The Lethbridge Hurricanes made their lone visit to the BC Capital on Friday night with hopes of extending their winning streak to three, but despite being the better team the ‘Canes dropped a wild 3-2 shootout loss to the Royals.
The Hurricanes played arguably their best game of the season but ran into a red hot Griffen Outhouse to stymied the ‘Canes all night long. The Hurricanes, who trailed 2-0, eventually stormed back to force overtime but would lose in the 11-round shootout.
The Royals jumped out to an early lead after Igor Merezhko was assessed a holding call just 53 seconds into the game. On the ensuing power play, Jack Walker tapped home a Matthew Phillips centering pass to put Victoria up 1-0 just 1:39 into the game. Walker netted his second of the period late in the first with just 1:14 left as he snapped home his tenth of the year while four-on-four to give the Royals a 2-0 lead after twenty minutes. Royals outshot the Hurricanes 13-8 in the first period.
After the first period, the Hurricanes began to take over. The ‘Canes outshot the Royals 11-5 in the second period and would draw within one. Jesse Zaharichuk, who was goalless in seven games entering play, tapped home a beautiful passing play for his seventh of the season to cut the Royal lead to 2-1 – Ryley Lindgren and Brayden Burke picked up the assists on the play as the ‘Canes trailed 2-1 after two periods.
In the third period, it was all Lethbridge. The Hurricanes outshot the Royals 18-3 in the final twenty minutes generating chance after chance to try and tie the game. Outhouse was on his game in the third period steering everything aside until Zaharichuk struck again with just 3:33 left in the game as Burke fed Zaharichuk back door for yet another tap in to tie the game 2-2 – Lindgren picked up the second assist.
The game went to a wild overtime period. The Royals outshot the Hurricanes 6-1 in the three-on-three five minute period. Victoria had three breakaways as well as a penalty shot in overtime the Stuart Skinner stopped all of. Outhouse also robbed Lindgren on a breakaway in the overtime period.
After the thrilling five minute period, the game went to a shootout and that didn’t disappoint either. After battling back in the game, the ‘Canes battled back in the shootout facing elimination four separate times before extending the shootout. The Hurricanes would eventual fall after 11 rounds as Kaid Oliver scored the shootout winner for Victoria.
The Hurricanes outshot the Royals 38-27 on the night. ‘Canes were 0/1 on the power play while the Royals went 1/3 with the extra man.
Three stars of the game were:
1) Royals – #9 Jack Walker – 2 goals
2) Royals – #30 Griffen Outhouse – 36 saves
3) ‘Canes – #10 Jesse Zaharichuk
The loss for the Hurricanes drops their record to 7-7-1-2 on the season. The Hurricanes are now 1-0-0-1 in the first two games of the BC Division road trip that they wrap up tomorrow night in Vancouver against the Giants at the Langley Events Centre at 8:00pm Alberta Time.
(Photo Credit: Jonathon Howe)