The Lethbridge Hurricanes kicked off a three game home-stand on Friday night as they welcomed the Kootenay Ice at the ENMAX Centre. After a disappointing second game last Saturday, the Hurricanes bounced back with a 5-4 victory over the Ice.
The ‘Canes gained some bodies back as Brayden Burke and Brennan Menell made their season debuts for the Hurricanes after returning from Calgary Flames and Philadelphia Flyers training camps respectively. It was a good night as five ‘Canes (Burke, Egor Babenko, Ryley Lindgren, Jesse Zaharichuk and Colton Kroeker) had multi-point nights.
It didn’t take long for the Hurricanes to get on the board as Babenko scored just 56 seconds into the hockey game as Ryley Lindgren fed Babenko back door as the second year Russian netted his first of the season to make it 1-0 – Zaharichuk earned his first point as a ‘Cane with the second assist on the goal. The ‘Canes struck again just 33 seconds later as Bellerive redirected a Kroeker pass passed Payton Lee to make it 2-0 – Babenko picked up the second helper to make it 2-0 Hurricanes. Late in the period, Lethbridge added another as Zaharichuk scored his first as a ‘Cane at the 17:13 mark to make it 3-0 – Lindgren and Burke picked up the helpers. The ‘Canes outshot the Ice 17-9 in the opening period.
It was a tail of two periods in the middle frame for the Hurricanes. It was a not-so-good first ten minutes and a much better second ten minutes. The Ice scored three goals in a span of 1:26 to shock the ‘Canes into a tie. First the Ice struck at the 4:28 mark as Kaedon Taphorn redirected his first WHL goal passed Stuart Skinner to make it 3-1. At the 5:12 mark, former Hurricane Barrett Sheen netted his first with the Ice as he snuck one through the arms of Skinner to cut the ‘Canes lead to one. Just 42 seconds after the Sheen goal, Zak Zborosky scored his second of the season on a partial breakaway to tie the game at three. The Hurricanes regrouped after a time-out and played much better in the second half of the period but were unable to beat Payton Lee as the game was tied 3-3 after forty minutes of play. Shots favoured the ‘Canes 17-12 in the middle period.
The Hurricanes struck early in the third period as newcomer Brennan Menell let go with a bullet of a shot on the power play that beat Lee high over the glove giving the ‘Canes a 4-3 lead just 6:43 into the final period – assists went to Kroeker and Zaharichuk. The Ice again tied the game as Sheen potted his second of the night at the 12:16 mark as he kicked home a loose puck after a giveaway to draw the game even at 4-4. With under two minutes left the Hurricanes continued the pressure and Lindgren would cash on a rebound with 1:13 left in regulation play beating Lee for his second of the season – Burke and Zaharichuk earned the helpers the ‘Canes would hang on for the 5-4 victory.
The Hurricanes outshot the Ice 12-8 in the third period and 46-29 overall in the game. The ‘Canes went 1/4 on the power play while the Ice were 0/1 with the extra man.
Three stars of the game were:
1) ‘Canes – #10 Jesse Zaharichuk – 1 goal, 3 assists
2) ‘Canes – #22 Egor Babenko – 1 goal, 1 assist
3) Ice – #30 Payton Lee – 41 saves
The victory improves the Hurricanes record to 2-1-0-0 on the season and 2-0-0-0 on home ice. Dating back to last year, the ‘Canes have now won 30 of their last 38 regular season games at the ENMAX Centre.
The ‘Canes are back in action on Saturday night as they welcome the Calgary Hitmen at 7:00pm. Tickets are available online, by visiting the ENMAX Centre Ticket Centre or by calling 403-329-SEAT (7328).