The Lethbridge Hurricanes paid their first visit of the season to the Scotiabank Saddledome to face the Calgary Hitmen on Saturday afternoon in the Hitmen’s Teddy Bear Toss game. The Hurricanes were led by their Captain Tyler Wong who scored three in a 4-2 win over the Hitmen.
The Hitmen came out flying in the first period as you might expect but were unable to beat Stuart Skinner who was locked in early. The Hurricanes ended up getting on the board first as Tyler Wong scored his team-leading 14th of the season at the 10:03 mark with a laser high over the glove of Cody Porter to make it 1-0. Wong netted a second just 2:22 later as this time he beat Porter high blocker on a slap shot on the power play to make it 2-0 – Brennan Menell and Jordy Bellerive picked up the assists on the play. The ‘Canes made it 3-0 on another power play just under three minutes later as Giorgio Estephan scored his 10th of the season at the 15:22 mark – Egor Babenko and Calen Addison picked up the helpers on that goal. Before the period was out, the Hitmen eventually broke through as their overage Captain Micheal Zipp let a point shot go that deflected by Stuart Skinner to send the bears flying with just 12.6 seconds left in the first period. After the break, the period ended with the ‘Canes in front 3-1 with the shots tied 13-13.
The Hurricanes added to their lead in the second period. Wong completed his hat-trick at the 11:34 mark as he tapped home a centering pass from Estephan to make it 4-1 Lethbridge – Kroeker picked up another assist in the game on the goal. The Hurricanes had few good opportunities with power plays but couldn’t added upon their lead as they had a three goal cushion after forty minutes of play. Hurricanes outshot the Hitmen 10-4 in the middle frame.
In the third period, the Hurricanes were outshot 11-8. The Hitmen started the period on a lengthy power and they would claw into the lead. Beck Malenstyn tapped home a rebound at the 2:06 mark to make it 4-2 Hurricanes. Both teams continued to look for chances and with the empty net Calgary came close, but could not get another as the ‘Canes went on to the 4-2 victory.
The Hurricanes outshot the Hitmen 31-28 on the night. ‘Canes went 2/6 on the power play while the Hitmen were 1/3.
Three stars of the game were:
1) ‘Canes – #5 Tyler Wong – 3 goals
2) Hitmen – #4 Micheal Zipp – 1 goal
3) ‘Canes – #9 Giorgio Estephan – 1 goal, 1 assist
The Hurricanes have now won four straight games and improve to 11-11-1-2 on the season. The ‘Canes are back in action on Wednesday when they host the Prince Albert Raiders at the ENMAX Centre.
(Photo Credit: Candice Ward/Calgary Hitmen)