Lethbridge, AB –
The Lethbridge Hurricanes played host to the Medicine Hat Tigers in Game 3 of their best-of-seven second round series on Tuesday night and the ‘Canes earned a 5-2 victory.
The ‘Canes iced a depleted line-up as they were without regulars Calen Addison, Matt Alfaro, Ryan Bowen, Zak Zborosky and Zane Franklin. Affiliates Connor Lyons and Jayden Davis made their WHL Playoff debut’s in the game on a line with another affiliate Dylan Cozens.
The Tigers and Hurricanes came out flying in the opening twenty minutes with great chances at both ends. The Hurricanes surrendered the opening goal for the third straight game as James Hamblin kicked home his second of the post-season at the 12:27 mark to make it 1-0 Medicine Hat; the goal was reviewed but stood. The Hurricanes had countless great opportunities in the first period but Michael Bullion stopped all nine shots in the first period while the Tigers had 11 shots in the period.
In the second period, the Tigers dominated the first ten minutes of the period and added to their lead as Mark Rassell netted his fifth of the playoffs after a set faceoff win as he snapped one by Stuart Skinner to make it 2-0. The Hurricanes responded less than four minutes later as Jordy Bellerive snapped one by Bullion at the 12:13 mark to get the ‘Canes on the board – Alec Baer and Igor Merezhko earned the assists. Just 1:04 later, the ‘Canes tied the game as Giorgio Estephan ripped one home on a power play to tie the game 2-2 – Brennan Menell earned the lone assist. Shots were tied 13-13 in the middle frame.
The Hurricanes scored all three goals in the final twenty minutes. On yet another power play, Tyler Wong came in late and snapped one over the blocker of Bullion at the 4:04 mark to give Lethbridge their first lead of the night making it 3-2 – Estephan and Ryan Vandervlis picked up the helpers. Estephan added his second of the night at the 11:28 mark from Menell and Wong making it 4-2. The ‘Canes added an empty net goal as Menell deposited the puck into the empty net.
The Hurricanes were outshot 14-9 in the third period and 38-31 in the hockey game. Lethbridge went 2/4 on the power play while the Tigers were 0/1 with the extra man.
Three stars of the game were:
1) ‘Canes – #9 Giorgio Estephan – 2 goals, 1 assist
2) ‘Canes – #5 Tyler Wong – 1 goal, 1 assist
3) Tigers – #10 James Hamblin – 1 goal, 1 assist
The win for the Hurricanes gives them a 2-1 series lead after dropping the first game in Medicine Hat. The Hurricanes and Tigers will play Game 4 tomorrow at the ENMAX Centre as the ‘Canes will look to take a stranglehold on the series.
Tickets for Game 4 are available online, by calling 403-329-SEAT (7328) or by visiting the ENMAX Centre or Yates Ticket Centre’s.