Lethbridge Hurricanes (36-13-0-0) vs. Victoria Royals (30-15-2-3)
The Lethbridge Hurricanes kicked off a difficult three-game road trip on Friday night in Victoria against the rolling Royals in search of their 11th straight victory but it was not to be as the Royals picked up a 3-1 win at Save-On Foods Memorial Centre.
Stuart Skinner was sensational in the game as he made 39 saves on the night, but the Hurricanes offense for the first time this was looked anemic as they only mustered 17 shots in the game. Jack Walker scored twice in the game for Victoria.
It wasn’t a great opening period for the Hurricanes who seemed to come out of the gate somewhat flat. The Royals were buzzing early peppering Stuart Skinner early who entered on a shutout streak of 152:24. Skinner was sharp in the opening twenty minutes stopping all 16 Victoria shots while the ‘Canes only mustered five on Royals’ starter Coleman Vollrath. The bright spot of the period for the Hurricanes was when they killed off a five-on-three power play by Victoria, but the Royals couldn’t find a goal as the game was scoreless after one period.
The Royals continued to push the pace in the second period as they outshot the ‘Canes 11-4 in the middle frame. Victoria broke the deadlock 5:25 into the period as Jack Walker tipped home his 17th of the season – the assists went to Ralph Jarrett and Vladimir Bobylev. The goal for the Royals snapped Skinner’s shutout streak at 177:49 seconds as Victoria led 1-0 after forty minutes.
The Hurricanes came out and played better in the early part of the third period as they would tie the game just 5:40 into the period as Ryley Lindgren, who returned to the line up after missing five straight with a lower body injury, scored his 20th of the season on a power play to make it 1-1 – assists went to Brayden Burke and Andrew Nielsen. The tie game wouldn’t last long however as the ‘Canes Kord Pankewicz took a tripping penalty and Alex Forsberg made him pay scoring the game as Forsberg would score the eventual game winner just 4:05 after Lindgren tied the game as that made it 2-1. Royals added an empty netter with 1:17 left as Walker potted his second of the night to make it a 3-1 final.
Final shots in the third period favoured Victoria 13-8; Royals outshoot the ‘Canes 42-17 in hockey game. Hurricanes went 1/4 on the power play while Victoria was 1/5.
Three stars of the game were:
1) ‘Canes – #74 Stuart Skinner – (39 saves)
2) Royals – #2 Joe Hicketts – (1 assist)
3) Royals – #9 Jack Walker – (2 goals)
The Hurricanes ten game winning streak was snapped as they fall to 36-13-0-0 on the season. The ‘Canes are back in action on Saturday night when they visit the Vancouver Giants at the Pacific Coliseum. Puck will drop at 8:00pm mountain time.