Lethbridge, AB – The Lethbridge Hurricanes returned to action in the first of a back-to-back, home-and-home Friday as they were downed 3-1 by the Red Deer Rebels at the ENMAX Centre.
The game had an early playoff feel as the Hurricanes and Rebels traded early chances. Red Deer had a trio of power plays in the first period but the ‘Canes were strong on the penalty kill keeping the Rebels scoreless on the three power plays. The Rebels opened the scoring with just 32.7 seconds left in the opening frame as Jeff de Wit scored on a breakaway to make it 1-0 Red Deer after twenty minutes.
In the second period, the Hurricanes carried the play but the Rebels goaltender Ethan Anders stood tall keeping the ‘Canes at bay. After an Alex Cotton goal post, the Hurricanes finally tied the game as Jordy Bellerive struck at the 13:18 mark to tie the game 1-1 in his 250th career game; Nick Henry earned the only assist on the goal. Red Deer pulled back ahead with a five-on-three power play with 2:31 left in the second period by Chris Douglas gave the Rebels a 2-1 lead. The ‘Canes outshot the Rebels 14-6 in the middle frame.
The Hurricanes continued to push the pace in the third period and had some power play opportunities, but could not solve Anders who stopped all 13 Hurricanes shots in the final twenty minutes of play. The Rebels rounded out the scoring with an empty-net goal with 26 seconds left by Cameron Hausinger to make it a 3-1 final.
The Hurricanes outshot the Rebels 13-8 in the third period and 36-24 in the game. Lethbridge went 0/4 on the power play while the Rebels went 1/6 with the extra man.
Three stars of the game were:
1) Rebels – #31 Ethan Anders (35 saves)
2) ‘Canes – #30 Liam Hughes (21 saves)
3) Rebels – #22 Brandon Hagel (2 assists)
The loss for the Hurricanes was their third in their last four games. The defeat dropped the ‘Canes record to 14-5-2-2 in their last 23 games and falls them to 23-13-4-4 on the season.
The Hurricanes will begin a four-game road stretch Saturday in Red Deer against the Rebels. The ‘Canes will return to the ENMAX Centre on Friday, February 2nd when they welcome the Red Deer Rebels. Tickets can be purchased online at www.enmaxcentre.ca, by calling 403-329-SEAT (7328) or by visiting the ENMAX Centre Ticket Centre.