Lethbridge, AB – The Lethbridge Hurricanes played Game 3 of their best-of-seven first round series in Red Deer against the Rebels on Wednesday night and it was the Rebels that earned a 4-3 double overtime victory.
The Rebels came out flying in the first period peppering Stuart Skinner early. Early in the period, the ‘Canes’ Jadon Joseph was handed a goaltender interference penalty and on the ensuing opportunity the Rebels made the ‘Canes pay as Lane Zablocki rifled one over the glove of Skinner to make it 1-0 Red Deer 2:44 into the period. The ‘Canes answered with a power play goal of their own as Tyler Wong snapped one low passed Riley Lamb to tie it 1-1 and breaking an 0/26 run on the man advantage – Brennan Menell and Zak Zborosky picked up the assists. The Hurricanes were outshot 14-11 in the opening period.
The Hurricanes were the much better team in the second period as they pushed the pace. The line of Tyler Wong, Egor Babenko and Alec Baer were outstanding creating countless scoring chances in the second period. That line came through late in the period as Wong was able to dig out a loose puck in a goal mouth scramble and centred back to Brennan Menell who ripped one over the glove hand of Lamb with 1:03 left in the period to give the ‘Canes their first lead – Babenko was given the second assist on the go-ahead goal. The ‘Canes outshot the Rebels 15-12 in the middle frame.
In the third period, the ‘Canes continued to push and were rewarded as they made it a 3-1 lead as Zak Zborosky scored his first of the playoffs at the 3:10 mark on a delayed penalty – Wong and Brennan Riddle picked up the assists on the goal. Red Deer started to push midway through the third period and would pull within one with yet another power play goal at the 16:53 mark as Brandon Hagel buried one by Skinner to make it 3-2. Rebels pulled the goaltender late and tied the game as Zablocki potted his second of the night to force overtime.
Neither team scored in the first overtime period despite some great chances on both ends. The Hurricanes outshot the Rebels 16-9 in the first overtime period. The game went to the second overtime and just 48 seconds in, Evan Polei picked his way through the Hurricanes defense and snapped one by Skinner for the game winning goal to give the Rebels a 4-3 double overtime win.
Hurricanes outshot the Rebels 52-49 in the hockey game. The ‘Canes went 1/2 on the power play while the Rebels went 2/5 with the extra man.
Three stars of the game were:
1) Rebels – #10 Evan Polei – 1 goal, 1 assist
2) Rebels – #19 Lane Zablocki – 2 goals
3) ‘Canes – #5 Tyler Wong – 1 goal, 2 assists
The Hurricanes now trail the best-of-seven series 2-1 and will look to regroup ahead of Game 4 on Thursday night in Red Deer at the ENMAX Centrium before heading back to Lethbridge for Game 5 on Saturday night.