Lethbridge, AB – The Lethbridge Hurricanes played their final home game of the ENMAX Pre-Season on Friday night at the ENMAX Centre and skated to a 6-3 win over the Swift Current Broncos.
The Hurricanes were once again without some key players as Stuart Skinner, Brennan Menell, Giorgio Estephan and Jordy Bellerive were all attending NHL camps. The ‘Canes also were without regulars Brennan Riddle, Josh Tarzwell and Ryan Bowen.
It didn’t take long for the ‘Canes to get on the board as just 1:01 into the period Tanner Nagel roofed his first of the exhibition season passed Broncos goaltender Taz Burman to make it 1-0 Lethbridge – Egor Zudilov and Kyle Yewchuk picked up the assists on the goal. Zudilov netted his first goal at the 15:03 mark as he buried a centering pass from Zane Franklin into an empty net after Burman gave the puck away and then stumbled as the ‘Canes were up 2-0 – Jadon Joseph picked up the second assist. The Broncos cut the lead in half late as Owen Blocker banged home a rebound passed Adam Swan with 1:52 to go in the period as the ‘Canes held a 2-1 lead after twenty minutes of play.
The Hurricanes were able to add to their lead in the second period scoring the only two goals. It was another strong start for the ‘Canes who added to their lead 1:25 into the period as Brendan Stafford snapped one by Burman to make it 3-1 Lethbridge – Nagel and Yewchuk earned the assists. Nagel struck for his second goal and third period of the game at the 13:58 mark as he let a long wrist-shot fly that floated by Burman to make it a 4-1 lead for the Hurricanes – helpers went to Shawn Harke and Jayden Davis. The ‘Canes held the play in the second period outshooting the Broncos 16-4.
In the third period, the Broncos struck early as Aleksi Heponiemi cut the lead in half with a power play goal just one minute into the final twenty minutes as he cut the lead in half making it a 4-2 Hurricanes lead. The ‘Canes quickly got the goal back however as Ryan Vandervlis busted in on a shorthanded breakaway and slipped one home for his third of the pre-season and second shorthanded goal to make it 5-2. The ‘Canes made it 6-2 shortly after the Vandervlis goal as Calen Addison put a wrist shot on goal to give Lethbridge a four goal lead. Broncos once again cut the lead in half with another power play goal as Logan Barlage banked one in passed Swan to make it 6-3 and that would be the final score.
The Hurricanes held the shot advantage 39-24 in the hockey game. ‘Canes went 0/2 on the power play while the Broncos were 1/7 with the extra man.
The Hurricanes will play the second of a home-and-home with the Broncos on Sunday in Swift Current before wrapping up the ENMAX Pre-Season next Friday in Crowsnest Pass against the Kootenay Ice.