Lethbridge, AB – The Lethbridge Hurricanes began their 2017 ENMAX Pre-Season on Friday night in the first of back-to-back games against the Medicine Hat Tigers at Nicholas Sheran Ice Centre and despite scoring first the ‘Canes were handed a 5-2 defeat.
The Hurricanes started goaltender Stuart Skinner while also dressing Giorgio Estephan, Alec Baer and Calen Addison in the game but were missing the likes of Brennan Menell, Ryan Vandervlis and Jordy Bellerive.
The Hurricanes struck early on a power play as Brady Pouteau one-timed a slap shot passed the Tigers start Garin Bjorklund just 1:30 into the hockey game – Alex Cotton and Zane Franklin picked up the assists as the ‘Canes led 1-0 early in the first. The teams traded chances throughout the first but both Skinner and Bjorklund were strong as they did not allow anything by them. The Tigers outshot the Hurricanes 17-7 in the opening period.
The Hurricanes peppered more shots on goal in the middle stanza as they rifled 20 on net but could not solve Bjorklund or Duncan McGovern who came in at the half way point. The Tigers struck for a pair in the second period as first Josh Williams redirected a shot over the glove of Skinner to tie the game. Williams struck again on the power play just 4:02 later as he was alone in front and outwaited Skinner before lifting it to the top of the net to give Medicine Hat their first lead of the night. The Tigers had 15 shots on goal in the middle frame.
In the third period the Tigers added to their lead as Daniel Baker beat Skinner through the legs at the 5:15 mark to go up 3-1. Medicine Hat made it 4-1 when Corson Hopwo scored at the 14:39 mark making it three goal lead. The ‘Canes cut into the lead late as Estephan snapped home his first of the pre-season with 1:28 left in the game – Nolan Jones and Igor Merezhko picked up the helpers – but that was as close as the ‘Canes would come falling by a 4-2 score.
The ‘Canes outshot the Tigers 13-11 in the third period but were outshot 43-40 overall in the game. Lethbridge was 1/5 on the power play while Medicine Hat was 1/7 with the extra man.
The Hurricanes will look for revenge on Saturday night when the two teams will lock heads again in Taber at 7:00pm. The ‘Canes will return home to the ENMAX Centre on Friday, September 8th when they welcome the Swift Current Broncos – tickets are $10 and can be purchased at Gas King, Lethbridge Minor Hockey or the Coaldale Food Market.