Lethbridge Hurricanes (46-24-1-1) vs. Medicine Hat Tigers (30-37-3-2)
The Lethbridge Hurricanes wrapped up the regular season on Saturday night by dropping a 4-2 decision in Medicine Hat against the Tigers at the Canalta Centre.
The loss for the Hurricanes ends the regular season with a 46-24-1-1 on the season. Arvin Atwal led all ‘Canes scorers with a goal and one assist in his final regular season game of his career while Clayton Kirichenko led the Tigers with a pair of assists.
Tigers, who needed a victory and an Edmonton loss in regulation, played a very strong game in front of a packed crowd. Medicine Hat struck first as Ty Schultz beat Jayden Sittler with a high wrist shot from the right point after a faceoff win just 3:20 into the game to make it 1-0. The ‘Canes equalized at the 10:12 mark as Jordy Bellerive jumped on an Atwal rebound and shelfed it over the blocker of Nick Schneider for his 11th goal of the season as the ‘Canes tied the game 1-1 with the power play goal. With just 1:51 left in the period though, the Tigers retook the lead as Ryan Jevne let a bullet go that beat Sittler as a power play goal of their own gave the Tigers are 2-1 advantage after one period of play. The Hurricanes were outshot 12-9 in the opening period.
Despite some great chances for both teams in the second period, both goalies stood tall as neither team was able to find the net in the middle period. Sittler made countless great saves, including a pair of two-on-one’s, to keep the ‘Canes within one of Medicine Hat. Tigers outshot the Hurricanes 11-7 in the middle stanza.
It didn’t take long for Medicine Hat to build on their lead as Brian Williams redirected a Kirichenko point shot through the legs of Sittler just 1:26 into the third period to give the Tigers a 3-1 lead. Two minutes later, the ‘Canes struck again, cutting the lead to just one goal as Atwal sniped one by Schneider to cut the lead back to 3-2. Hurricanes continued to push but Schneider was outstanding making some key saves including a post-to-post stop on Egor Babenko. The ‘Canes pulled the goalie in hopes of generating a game-tying goal but it was Zach Fischer who deposited the puck into the empty net to make it a 4-2 final.
The Hurricanes had a strong third period outshooting the Tigers 15-9 but the edge went to the Tigers in the game 32-31. The ‘Canes went 1/4 on the power play while the Tabbies went 1/3.
Three stars of the game were:
1) Tigers – #31 Nick Schneider – (29 saves)
2) Tigers – #9 Zach Fischer – (1 goal)
3) ‘Canes – #4 Arvin Atwal – (1 goal, 1 assist)
The Hurricanes for the first time in six seasons will appeared in the WHL playoffs as they will face the Regina Pats starting next Friday at the ENMAX Centre. Tickets are available by visiting the ENMAX Centre Ticket Centre or by calling (403) 329-SEAT (7328).