Lethbridge Hurricanes (32-12-0-0) vs. Kamloops Blazers (21-15-4-3)
The Lethbridge Hurricanes played host to the Kamloops Blazers on Friday night at the ENMAX Centre and picked up a 6-2 win in front of 4,518 fans.
Andrew Nielsen and Cory Millette each scored twice while Egor Babenko and Ben Duperreault added the others in the victory. Stuart Skinner made 29 saves for his 17th victory of the season; Skinner has now won seven straight starts.
The Hurricanes came out flying in the first period peppering Blazers starting goaltender Dylan Ferguson who was making just his fourth start since November 28th. The ‘Canes directed 18 shots on Ferguson in the first period and capitalized early as Duperreault potted his first as a Hurricane and first in over a calendar year to make it 1-0. Kamloops tied the game on a shorthanded goal as Deven Sideroff forced a steal resulting in a breakaway and Sideroff made no mistake making it 1-1. However, just 22 seconds later on the same power play, Millette scored his first of two in the game to restore the ‘Canes lead 2-1 as the ‘Canes lead 2-1 after one period.
It was an onslaught in the second period as the teams combined for five goals, four of them by the Hurricanes. Nielsen scored his first of two in the period at the 4:06 mark with an absolute bullet high passed Ferguson making it 3-1. Blazers pulled back within one as Matt Revel scored at the 7:36 but the ‘Canes restored their two goal lead as Babenko scored a beauty to make it 4-2. Nielsen added another at 15:19 of the period before Millette added his second with 44 seconds left to make it 6-2 ‘Canes after two periods.
Neither team lit the lamp in the third period as the Blazers outshot the ‘Canes 13-7 in the final twenty minutes. The Hurriccanes held the shot advantage 40-31 in the hockey game.
The Hurricanes were 4/5 on the power play on the night while they were 3/3 on the penalty kill.
Three stars of the game were:
1) ‘Canes – #6 Andrew Nielsen – (2 goals, game winner)
2) ‘Canes – #10 Cory Millette – (2 goals)
3) ‘Canes – #20 Kord Pankewicz – (3 assists)
The Hurricanes improve to 18-3-0-0 on home ice and are 32-12-0-0 on the season. The ‘Canes return to action tomorrow night at the ENMAX Centre when they welcome the Prince Albert Raiders at 7:00pm.