The Lethbridge Hurricanes kicked off a busy week of games on Wednesday night as they dropped a 4-1 decision to the Kootenay Ice at the ENMAX Centre in the first of four games in five nights.
The Hurricanes got troops back in the lineup on Wednesday as Ryan Vandervlis returned from injury after missing 11 games while defenseman Brady Reagan returned from suspension. The ‘Canes also welcome Ryan Bowen into the lineup as he made his Hurricanes debut after being acquired from Moose Jaw last week.
It was a fast first period that saw some chances on either side. The Hurricanes were outshot by the Ice 14-8 in the opening frame. Kootenay had the only power play of the period and failed to register a shot on goal with Calen Addison in the box for high-sticking. Colton Kroeker had a breakaway but was stopped by Jakob Walter; the Ice also had a breakaway as well in the first period but Tanner Sidaway was stopped by Stuart Skinner as the first period was scoreless after one period of play.
Much of the same continued in the second period as it remained scoreless for the better part of the period. Both teams continued to have their opportunities to open the scoring. Kord Pankewicz had a great look on the power play but the puck was swept off the goal line. The best chance that went for not came for 15-year-old Peyton Krebs who, in his WHL debut, had a great opportunity on the doorstep but was robbed by Skinner. The game finally produced its first goal as Zak Zborosky made the Hurricanes pay for not clearing the puck at their own line and snapped one low glove-side on Skinner to make it 1-0 with 3:23 left in the period. The Hurricanes led the shots 12-9 in the second period but trailed the game after forty minutes.
The Hurricanes peppered the Ice goaltender Walter in the third period. Early in the period, Vandervlis hit the crossbar in hopes of tying the game. Kootenay struck as Zborosky potted his second of the night on a rebound from a Krebs shot to make it 2-0. Hurricanes continued to look for chances to break Walter and get on the board but the rookie netminder came up large. Late in the game, the Hurrianes pulled Skinner for the extra attacker and with 2:11 left in the period Cale Fleury scored into the empty net to make it 3-1. Just 12 seconds later, Tanner Nagel potted his second of the year to finally break the goose-egg and put the ‘Canes back within two – Kord Pankewicz and Ryley Lindgren picked up the helpers on the Nagel goal. The ‘Canes once again pulled the goalie but for the second time Fleury found the empty net sealing a 4-1 victory for the Kootenay Ice, just their fourth win of the season.
The Hurricanes directed 21 shots on goal in the third period and 41 in the game while Kootenay had 33 shots on goal. Hurricanes and Ice both went 0/3 on the power play in the game.
Three stars of the game were:
1) Ice – #29 Jakob Walter – 40 saves, 1 assist
2) Ice – #22 Zak Zborosky – 2 goals
3) ‘Canes – #21 Ryan Vandervlis
The loss for the Hurricanes was their fourth in a row. Lethbridge has just two wins in their last 12 games. Hurricanes sit with a record of 7-10-1-2 on the season.
Hurricanes will now head out on the road for a three-in-three road trip beginning Friday night in Seattle against the Thunderbirds. All three games can be heard on New Way Motorsports Hurricanes Hockey on 106.7 ROCK.
(Photo Credit: Colin Moreland)