Lethbridge Hurricanes (40-18-1-0) vs. Portland Winterhawks (30-25-3-0)
The Lethbridge Hurricanes welcomed the Portland Winterhawks on Friday night in hopes of kicking off a two-game weekend on the right foot but it was the ‘Hawks that earned a 4-2 win as the ‘Canes dropped their second straight home game.
Alex Schoenborn scored twice while Rodrigo Abols also had a pair of goals in the Portland win. Tyler Wong netted his 34th goal of the season in the loss. Cory Millette reached a new career-high in goals with his 25th of the season.
It didn’t take long for Portland to find the net as just 29 seconds into the game Abols scored his first of two in the game to give the Winterhawks a 1-0 lead early in the game – Keoni Texeira and Dominic Turgeon had the assists on the goal. The Hurricanes struggled to start the game, but played well in the final 12 minutes creating multiple opportunities, including a crossbar by Kord Pankewicz, but couldn’t beat Adin Hill as they trailed 1-0 after twenty minutes. Hurricanes outshot the Winterhawks 13-10 in the first period.
The Hurricanes final struck as Millette banged home a rebound pass Hill are the 1:37 mark to tie the game 1-1; Andrew Nielsen and Brayden Burke earned the assists on the play. The ‘Canes continued to push as the game went back-and-forth but it was a broken play that resulted in a Schoenborn goal with 4:01 left in the period to give Portland a 2-1 lead. Shots favoured the ‘Hawks 17-16 in the middle frame.
Down a goal, the ‘Canes looked for an equalizer early in the third period but couldn’t muster any Grade-A scoring chances. Portland added to their lead as Schoenborn capped off a three-way passing play to make it 3-1 ‘Hawks. They’d add another as Abols potted an unassisted goal on a power play to make it 4-1. ‘Canes added a power play goal of their own with just 13 seconds left in the game as Wong scored his team-leading 34th of the year.
The Hurricanes outshot the Winterhawks 19-11 in the third period and 48-38 in the game. Lethbridge went 1/3 on the man advantage while Portland was 1/5.
Three stars of the game were:
1) Winterhawks – #22 Alex Schoenborn – (2 goals, including game winner)
2) Winterhawks – #18 Rodrigo Abols – (2 goals, 1 assist)
3) ‘Canes – #16 Ryley Lindgren
Brayden Burke, who had two assists in the game, becomes the first Hurricane player to reach the 90 point plateau since Zach Boychuk has 91 points in 2006-2007.
The Hurricanes have now lost two straight games at home for the first time all season and fall to 25-5-0-0 on home ice and 40-18-1-0 overall. The ‘Canes are back in action on Saturday night when they travel to Calgary to face the Hitmen at Scotiabank Saddledome.