Medicine Hat, AB – The Lethbridge Hurricanes finished 2016 with a bang outduelling the Medicine Hat Tigers for a thrilling 9-7 victory Friday night at the Canalta Centre.
The game started with fireworks as the Tigers quickly got into penalty trouble and the Hurricanes made them pay. With a five-on-three power play, Ryley Lindgren potted his 13th of the season just 4:11 into the game as the ‘Canes jumped out to a 1-0 lead. The Tigers answered back however as Matt Bradley scored a beautiful goal at the 11:22 mark to tie it 1-1 but the tie last all of 11 seconds as after the ensuing faceoff Ryan Vandervlis moved in and on a rebound roofed it over Tiger netminder Nick Schneider to put the ‘Canes ahead 2-1. Medicine Hat drew even just 1:27 after that as Max Gerlach snapped home his 24th of the season to tie the game back up at 2-2. The Tigers outshot the Hurricanes 17-13 in the first period as the game was tied after twenty minutes.
The craziest continued in the second period. Jordy Bellerive gave the Hurricanes their third lead as he matched his jersey number with his 15th goal of the season 4:56 into the middle frame. Just under three minutes later though, Bradley once again tied the game potting his second of the night to make the game 3-3. The ‘Canes though would forge ahead once again as Giorgio Estephan scored his 18th goal of the year on a power play at the 10:54 mark to give the ‘Canes their fourth lead of the game. Another power play goal by Tyler Wong at the 14:22 mark extended their lead before Egor Babenko gave the ‘Canes a three goal cushion as he scored a breakaway goal with 54 seconds left in the second period as the ‘Canes lead 6-3 after forty minutes. Shots in the second favoured the Tigers 19-14.
As wild as the first two periods were, it was trumped by what took place in the third. The Tigers came out flying trailing by three and at the 9:46 mark, Mason Shaw netted his 12th of the season to pull Medicine Hat to 6-4. At the 11:35 mark, Tigers struck again as Chad Butcher made it 6-5 before Shaw tallied again just 28 seconds later to tie the game at 6-6. Once again, however, the Hurricanes responded right away as Wong sniped his second of the game and 25th of the season just 22 seconds after Shaw tied the game to put the ‘Canes ahead 7-6. Less than three minutes later though, the Tigers tied it once again as Zach Fischer banged home his 20th of the year to tie the game at 7-7. It took all of 1:08 seconds though and the Hurricanes pulled back out in front as Brett Davis intercepted a Butcher pass in the Tiger end, turned and roofed it over Schneider for the eventual game-winning goal. Estephan added an empty net goal with one second left as the ‘Canes earned a wild 9-7 win.
The Tigers outshot the Hurricanes 14-6 in the third period and 50-33 in the game. The ‘Canes went 3/5 on the power play while the Tigers were 1/5 with the extra man.
Three stars of the game were:
1) ‘Canes – #5 Tyler Wong – 2 goals, 3 assists
2) Tigers – #18 Mason Shaw – 2 goals, 2 assists
3) ‘Canes – #16 Ryley Lindgren – 1 goal, 2 assists
The Hurricanes are back in action as they kick off the 2017 portion of their schedule on Tuesday, January 3rd as they travel to Swift Current to face the Broncos in the first of a quick two game Saskatchewan road trip.
The ‘Canes will return to the ENMAX Centre on Friday, January 6th when they welcome the Edmonton Oil Kings at 7:00pm.