Medicine Hat, AB – The Lethbridge Hurricanes looked to bounce back in Game 2 of their second round best-of-seven series with the Medicine Hat Tigers and they did just that earning a 7-4 win and evening their series at one game apiece.
It was a wild first period that saw a total of six goals scored in the opening twenty minutes. Just twenty seconds into the game Zach Fischer made it a 1-0 Medicine Hat lead as he netted his fifth of the post-season. Fischer struck again at the 2:23 mark to put the Tigers up 2-0 on a delayed penalty. Hurricanes responded as Giorgio Estephan snapped home his third of the playoffs at the 8:16 mark as he beat Michael Bullion over the blocker to make it 2-1. ‘Canes struck again just 27 seconds later as Alec Baer duplicated the Estephan shot and beat Bullion high blocker side to tie the game at 2-2. Medicine Hat forged ahead again as Ryan Jevne scored his second of the playoffs on a power play with Brennan Menell in the penalty box. Just over six minutes later though, Tyler Wong tied the game with a long shot high to the glove side of Bullion to tie the game 3-3 after twenty minutes of play. The Hurricanes outshot the Tigers 15-14 in the opening frame.
Bad blood started to brew in the second period between the two clubs as the physical play started to ramp up. The Tigers pulled back in front as they made it a 4-3 lead as James Hamblin redirected a shot by Max Gerlach passed Skinner to give Medicine Hat their third lead of the night – the goal was reviewed upstairs by the video goal judge but it was deemed good goal. The ‘Canes once again answered back to tie the game as just 2:34 later Dylan Cozens scored his first career playoff goal in his second post-season game – Ryan Bowen and Josh Tarzwell picked up the helpers as the period came to a close in a 4-4 tie. The ‘Canes were outshot 8-3 in the middle frame as the Tigers had the edge 22-17 after two periods.
The Hurricanes pulled ahead in the third period for the first time in the game as Estephan scored his second of the game at the 12:51 mark on the power play as the Tigers were handed a too many men penalty – Ryan Vandervlis and Wong picked up the assists on the goal that put the ‘Canes in front 5-4. Late in the game the Tigers would get a power play opportunity and pulled the goaltender for a six-on-four attack. Chad Butcher hit a crossbar on the man advantage but the ‘Canes killed off the penalty and right as Tanner Nagel returned to the ice Estephan completed his hat-trick depositing a puck into the empty net to make it 6-4. The ‘Canes added another empty netter while shorthanded as Nagel cleared the puck down ice on his back hand making it a 7-4 final.
The Hurricanes and Tigers each had eight shots in the third period, Tigers outshot the ‘Canes 30-26 in the hockey game. Both teams went 1/5 with the power play.
Three stars of the game were:
1) ‘Canes – #9 Giorgio Estephan – 3 goals, 1 assist
2) Tigers – #11 Steven Owre – 2 assists
3) ‘Canes – #5 Tyler Wong – 1 goal, 1 assist
The win for the Hurricanes earns them a split and evens their best-of-seven series at one game apiece. The ‘Canes with the win have also stolen home ice advantage away from the Tigers as the series now shifts to the ENMAX Centre for Game 3 and 4 on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Tickets for Game 3 and 4 can are for sale online, by calling 403-329-SEAT (7328) or by visiting the ENMAX Centre or Yates Ticket Centre’s.