Calgary, AB – The Lethbridge Hurricanes kicked off a home-and-home set with the Calgary Hitmen on Friday night as they were handed a 4-3 loss at Scotiabank Saddledome.
The ‘Canes jumped out to an early lead on the Hitmen. Just 2:14 into the opening period Giorgio Estephan sniped home his 31st goal as he gave the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead while setting a new career-high goals – Tyler Wong and Calen Addison picked up the assists. Quickly after, Tanner Nagel netted his ninth of the season to make it 2-0 Lethbridge just 3:58 into the hockey game – Jadon Joseph picked up the lone helper on the Nagel goal. Hitmen outshot the Hurricanes 8-6 in the opening period.
It was a special teams second period as three of four goals came with the extra man. Calgary got on the board at the 2:55 mark with a power play goal by Matteo Gennaro as he roofed his team-leading 41st goal of the season to make it 2-1. The Hitmen pulled even with yet another power play goal as Beck Malenstyn redirected a Vladislav Yeryomenko point shot to tie the game 2-2. Late in the period, the ‘Canes retook the lead as Estephan snapped home his second of the night and 32nd of the season to put Lethbridge up 3-2 with 1:01 left in the period. Calgary tied the game again however with 1.5 seconds left in the period as Jakob Stukel beat Stuart Skinner five-hole as the game was tied 3-3 after forty minutes of play. The ‘Canes outshot the Hitmen 11-10 in the second period.
It was an even third period but there was only one goal. Calgary took their first lead as Jaydan Gordon let go with a point shot 5:10 into the third period that beat a screened Skinner to give the Hitmen a 4-3 lead. The ‘Canes pressed late in the game with the extra attacker but was unable to solve Cody Porter as the Hitmen hung on for a 4-3 victory.
The Hurricanes outshot the Hitmen 7-4 in the third period and 24-22 in the hockey game. The ‘Canes went 1/2 on the power play while the Hitmen were 2/4 with the extra man.
Three stars of the game were:
1) Hitmen – #11 Beck Malenstyn – 1 goal
2) Hitmen – #6 Jaydan Gordon – 1 goal
2) ‘Canes – #9 Giorgio Estephan – 2 goals
The loss for the Hurricanes snaps their seven game winning streak and their six game road winning streak. It was just the third regulation loss for Lethbridge in their last 27 games. The ‘Canes fall to 43-18-4-3 on the season.
The Hurricanes and the Hitmen will play the second of the back-to-back, home-and-home on Saturday night at the ENMAX Centre on Fan Appreciation Night. Tickets are available online, by calling 403-329-SEAT (7328) or by visiting the ENMAX Centre or Yates Ticket Centre’s.