Lethbridge Hurricanes (42-20-1-1) vs. Moose Jaw Warriors (33-23-7-1)
The Lethbridge Hurricanes kicked off a four game road trip on Wednesday night in Moose Jaw against the Warriors and the ‘Canes began their trip with a 5-1 victory at Mosaic Place.
A four goal second period helped the Hurricanes to the win. Cory Millette scored his first ever WHL hat-trick in the game while Stuart Skinner was terrific making 35 saves as the ‘Canes earned their second straight win. The Hurricanes, for the third straight game head to head, were able to keep the duo of Brayden Point and Dryden Hunt in check. The ‘Canes held Point pointless for the second time in the four games while Hunt had just one assist; both Point and Hunt were each a minus-3 in the game.
It was a strong start to the game for the Hurricanes who had a good pace and carried the momentum for the opening five minutes quickly tallying a 7-2 shot favour. However, it was Moose Jaw that struck first. With Andrew Nielsen in the penalty box, Brett Howden redirected a Dryden Hunt pass and opened the scoring 7:20 into the hockey game. The Hurricanes outshot the Warriors 16-14 in the opening period, but trailed 1-0 after twenty minutes.
It didn’t take long in the second period for the Hurricanes to equalize as Nielsen got redemption and tied the game just 45 seconds into the middle stanza scoring his 17th of the season. Just 51 seconds later Millette potted his first of three in the game snapping one by Zach Sawchenko to give the Hurricanes their first lead of the game. Millette made it 3-1 with a power play goal at the 5:10 mark as he tipped home an Arvin Atwal point shot – Jordy Bellerive picked up the second assist. Late in the period, the ‘Canes built their lead to three as Brayden Burke capped off a give-and-go with Tyler Wong as Burke snapped home his 24th of the season for his 99th point on the campaign as the ‘Canes lead 4-1 after forty minutes. The ‘Canes outshot the Warriors 17-10 in the second period.
In the third, the ‘Canes played a locked down twenty minutes. While Moose Jaw hit two goal posts, Skinner was outstanding stopping all 12 shots he faced in the final twenty minutes. The ‘Canes directed 12 shots on goal in the third period. Millette completed his first WHL hat-trick with 1:58 left in the game as his deposited his 30th goal of the year into the gaping cage to make it a 5-1 final.
The Hurricanes outshot the Warriors 45-36 in the game. The ‘Canes went 1/5 on the power play while Moose Jaw was 1/4.
Three stars of the game were:
1) ‘Canes – #74 Stuart Skinner – (35 saves)
2) ‘Canes – #10 Cory Millette – (3 goals, first WHL hat-trick)
3) Warriors – #21 Brett Howden – (1 goal)
With the victory, the Hurricanes won the season series with Moose Jaw 3-1-0-0. The win improves the ‘Canes record to 42-20-1-1 on the season and they stay tied with the Brandon Wheat Kings for first overall in the Eastern Conference.
The Hurricanes continue their Saskatchewan road trip on Friday night when they visit the Saskatoon Blades at 6:00pm mountain time before facing the Prince Albert Raiders on Saturday night.