Red Deer, AB – The Lethbridge Hurricanes played Game 4 at the ENMAX Centrium on Thursday night in hopes of evening the series at two games apiece but it went the way of the Rebels as Red Deer earned a 5-3 victory.
The Hurricanes yet again jumped out to an early lead in the hockey game as Tyler Wong was able to snap home his third of the post-season as he snapped one by Riley Lamb to give the ‘Canes a 1-0 lead – Egor Babenko and Igor Merezhko picked up the assists on a goal scored on four-on-four. The ‘Canes extended their lead to 2-0 as Jordy Bellerive scored his first of the playoffs on a power play. Rebels cut into the lead though as Lane Zablocki jammed home a loose puck with 37 seconds left in the first period as the ‘Canes led 2-1 after the first period. Rebels outshot the ‘Canes 18-11 in the opening period.
The Rebels continued their push early in the second period. With the Hurricanes on a power play, Red Deer moved the puck up ice as Michael Spacek passed off to Brandon Hagel who buried his third of the playoffs while shorthanded to equalize the game at 2-2. Rebels had a great period but Zablocki was issued a double minor for checking Brady Pouteau from behind. On the ensuing power play, the Captain struck again as Wong beat Lamb over the glove to make it 3-2 ‘Canes after two periods of play. Rebels lead the shots 13-11 in the second period and 31-22 after forty minutes.
Early in the third period, the Hurricanes had a power play opportunity and had some great looks including a Wong crossbar but were unable to beat Lamb to extend their lead. Quickly after the Hurricanes were on the power play, the team was handed a too many men penalty and the Rebels tied the game. Zablocki with the extra man was able to beat Stuart Skinner to tie the game 3-3 at the 9:11 mark. The ‘Canes and Rebels swapped chances in the middle part of the period but the Rebels took the push to the next level. Late in the game, Evan Polei was stuffed home his third of the playoffs on a wraparound to give Red Deer a 4-3 lead. Rebels’ Hagel potted an empty net goal with 54 seconds left in the third period as Red Deer went on to a 5-3 victory.
Shots in the third period favoured the Rebels 11-8 and 42-30 in the hockey game. The ‘Canes went 2/9 on the power play in the game while the Rebels were 1/3 with the extra man.
Three stars of the game were:
1) Rebels – #19 Lane Zablocki – 2 goals
2) ‘Canes – #74 Stuart Skinner – 37 saves
3) Rebels – #23 Michael Spacek – 3 assists
The Hurricanes now trail the best-of-seven series three games to one and will be facing elimination on Saturday night at the ENMAX Centre in Game 5 at 7:00pm. Tickets for Game 5 can be purchased online, by calling 403-329-SEAT (7328) or visiting the ENMAX Centre or Yates Ticket Centre’s.