The Lethbridge Hurricanes looked to remain perfect on the season as they traveled down Highway 3 to face the Medicine Hat Tigers at the Canalta Centre but the Tigers stormed the ‘Canes with a five goal second period en route to a 9-3 victory.
Josh Tarzwell scored his first WHL goal in the loss while Calen Addison, Zane Franklin and Kord Pankewicz all had multi-point nights. Chad Butcher led all scorers in the game with a whopping six points while Zach Fischer scored a hat-trick for the Tigers. The ‘Canes were once again without Tyler Wong, Brayden Burke, Giorgio Estephan and Brennan Menell in the hockey game.
The Tigers were charged early in the first period as they controlled the first five minutes with wave after wave of attack, however were unable to beat Stuart Skinner early in the game. The Hurricanes started to push back in the middle part of the period as they began to put more pucks on Tigers netminder Duncan McGovern. The first goal came late in the period as Zach Fischer tapped home his first of the season at the 16:48 mark on the third rebound to make it 1-0 Tigers. Shots favoured Medicine Hat 10-7 in the opening period.
The second period was an ugly one for the Hurricanes. Five goals by the Tigers saw them build a big lead after forty minutes of play. Medicine Hat outshot the ‘Canes 22-5 in the period. Just 4:55 into the period Mark Rassell jammed home a rebound on the power play to put the Tigers up 2-0. Kord Pankewicz struck just 1:35 later with a power play goal of his own – assists went to Addison and Jordy Bellerive. Fischer scored his second of the game as he kicked the puck in off a rebound by Skinner – the goal would stand with the new WHL rule of being allowed to kick pucks in the net. Just under three minutes later, maybe the turning point in the game as Pankewicz had Hamblin knock his stick and the puck go passed Skinner into the net to make it 4-1 Tigers. Medicine Hat added two more power play goals before the period was out as completed his hat-trick at the 16:30 mark before Matt Bradley netted one with 25 seconds left in the middle frame.
Newly acquired goaltender Ryan Gilchrist started the third period in place of Skinner who gave up six goals on 32 shots. It didn’t take long for the Tigers to solve Gilchrist as Butcher potted his first of the season just 29 seconds into the period to make it 7-1. With a power play, the Hurricanes scored a pretty tic-tac-toe goal that was finished off by Franklin – assists went to Pankewicz and Brady Reagan. Tigers added two more, one by Mark Rassell and one by Max Gerlach to make it 9-2. Tarzwell scored his first career goal at the 13:42 mark to round out the scoring – Addison earned another assist while rookie forward Jayden Davis picked up his first WHL point earning an assist on the play.
The Hurricanes were outshot 14-7 in the third period and 48-20 in the hockey game. The ‘Canes went 2/10 on the power play while the Tigers were 4/8 with the extra man.
Three stars of the game were:
1) Tigers – #21 Chad Butcher – 1 goal, 5 assists
2) Tigers – #9 Zach Fischer – 3 goals
3) Tigers – #27 Mark Rassell – 2 goals, 1 assist
The Hurricanes record drops to 1-1-0-0 on the season as they split the weekend with the Tigers. The Hurricanes are off until Friday, September 30th when they welcome the Kootenay Ice at the ENMAX Centre. Tickets are available by calling 403-329-SEAT (7328).