(Photo credit: John Allen)
Kennewick, WA – The Lethbridge Hurricanes wrapped up a two-game Washington State road trip on Saturday as they made a rare pit stop in Kennewick to face the Tri-City Americans in hopes of snapping a 17 year drought but the ‘Canes failed to do so dropping a 6-5 shootout loss.
Ryan Gilchrist made his first start in the Western Hockey League as he made 30 saves in defeat. The ‘Canes inserted Brayden Burke, Jesse Zaharichuk, Kord Pankewicz and Brady Reagan who were all scratched in Spokane on Friday night.
The Hurricanes scored the first goal of the game for the fifth straight game. On a two-on-one, Zaharichuk snapped home his third of the season beating Americans netminder Beck Warm to make it 1-0 – Burke picked up the lone assist on the play. In the middle of the of the period, the ‘Canes got in penalty trouble as Calen Addison and Reagan took penalties just 12 seconds apart to give Tri-City a five-on-three power play for 1:48 but the ‘Canes killed both penalties off with help from some great goaltending by Gilchrist as the ‘Canes stayed in front. On a man advantage last in the period the Amerk finally broke through with his third of the year at the 18:41 mark to tie the game 1-1 after twenty minutes. Shots favoured the Americans 10-8 in the first period.
It was a free-flowing second period as a total of five goals were scored, three by the Hurricanes and two by the Americans. Zaharichuk scored his second of the game just 1:05 into the period as Burke centered to the 19-year-old who snapped one by Beck to give the ‘Canes a 2-1 lead. It didn’t take long before the Amerks tied the game as James netted his second of the night at the 3:50 mark to draw the game even at 2-2. However, just 30 seconds after James tied it, Brennan Menell weaved his way into the Tri-City zone and snapped one over the shoulder of Warm to give Lethbridge a 3-2 lead. Warm got pulled in place of Nicholas Sanders. The ‘Canes got to Sanders early as on a power play Zaharichuk completed his first WHL hat-trick at the 9:14 mark to put the ‘Canes up 4-2. Just over two minutes later the see-saw battle continued as New York Islanders draft pick Parker Wotherspoon blew one by Gilchrist to cut the lead to 4-3. Shots favoured the Hurricanes 9-7 in the middle frame.
It was another wild period in the third between the two teams as the Americans would tie the game at the 12:29 mark as Parker AuCoin scored a power play goal to make it 4-4. Tyler Wong would put the Hurricanes back up with his fifth of the season at the 13:36 mark on the power play – Giorgio Estephan and Burke picked up the assists. Late in the period on a too many men penalty the Amerks once again tied the game for the fourth time in the game as Nolan Yaremko tapped home another power play goal to send the game to overtime tied 5-5.
Neither team would score in the three-on-three session and the game would go to the shootout. In the skills session, the Americans would outduel the ‘Canes 3-2 in the shootout picking up the 6-5 victory.
The Hurricanes were outshot 36-25 in the game. ‘Canes went 2/7 on the power play while Tri-City went 3/8.
Three stars of the game were:
1) Americans – #37 Parker Wotherspoon – 1 goal, 4 assists
2) Americans – #30 Nicholas Sanders – 13 saves
3) ‘Canes – #10 Jesse Zaharichuk – 3 goals, 1 assist
The loss for the Hurricanes drops their record to 4-2-0-1 on the year as they go 1-0-0-1 in Washington. The ‘Canes are back in action on Wednesday night when they host the Victoria Royals at the ENMAX Centre.