The Lethbridge Hurricanes officially kicked off their 30th Anniversary Season on Friday night with a 4-2 victory of the Medicine Hat Tigers in front of 5,009 fans at the ENMAX Centre.
Ryley Lindgren led all scorers in the game with a three point night as he registered a goal and two assists. Stuart Skinner was sharp in the game making a total of 41 saves as the ‘Canes earned their first win of the season in the first of a back-to-back, home-and-home with the Tigers.
It didn’t take long for the Hurricanes to strike after a lengthy pre-game ceremony that saw the 2015-2016 Central Division Championship banner unveiled. On a power play, sixteen-year-old Calen Addison let go with a seeing-eye wrist shot from the blue line that sailed it’s way past Tigers netminder Duncan McGovern to give the ‘Canes a 1-0 lead and Addison’s first goal in the Western Hockey League – Lindgren earned the first assist. Late in the period, Addison returned the favour to Lindgren as he fed it ahead to the overage forward and Lindgren snapped it through the legs of McGovern to give the ‘Canes another power play goal and a 2-0 lead after twenty minutes. Tigers outshot the ‘Canes 13-8 in the first period.
In the second, it was the power play that struck for the Tigers early as Matt Bradley beat Skinner short side under the glove to cut the lead to 2-1. It wasn’t a strong second period for the Hurricanes as they were outshot 17-7 in the frame and the Tigers controlled most of the play. The Hurricanes did add to their lead, however, as Brady Reagan jumped into the rush and redirected a centering pass from Lindgren through the legs of McGovern to give the ‘Canes their two goal lead back making it 3-1 after forty minutes.
The teams traded goals in the third period. Jordy Bellerive scored his first of the season at the 5:52 mark. Bellerive attempted to make a centering pass across to Babenko but the puck deflected off the defenseman and passed the Tiger netminder giving the ‘Canes a 4-1 lead – Colton Kroeker earned the lone assist on the play. Once again on the power play, the Tigers struck as Ryan Jevne one-timed a pass from Mason Shaw passed Skinner to once again cut the ‘Canes lead in half making it 4-2. The Tigers pulled the goaltender with two minutes left in the game and despite countless opportunities to get their fifth goal of the game, the ‘Canes failed to do so but went on to the 4-2 victory.
Shots favoured the Tigers 13-5 in the third period and 43-20 overall in the game. The ‘Canes went 2/5 on the power play while Medicine Hat was 2/6 with the extra man.
Three stars of the game were:
1) Canes – #2 Calen Addison – 1 goal, 1 assist
2) Canes – #16 Ryley Lindgren – 1 goal, 2 assists
3) Canes – #74 Stuart Skinner – 41 saves
The Hurricanes have now won five straight games against the Tigers at the ENMAX Centre dating back to last season. The Hurricanes and Tigers will lock heads again Saturday night in Medicine Hat at the Canalta Centre at 7:30pm. Tune in to 106.7 ROCK starting at 7:15pm for the pre-game show.