Lethbridge, AB – The Lethbridge Hurricanes played their final regular season home game on Friday night as they were handed a 5-1 loss by the Medicine Hat Tigers.
It was a fast paced start to the hockey game as both teams came out flying in front of the sellout crowd. The ‘Canes had a few good looks early in the game including a power play but were unable to beat Michael Bullion in the Tigers crease. A goaltender interference penalty to Josh Tarzwell resulted in the opening goal of the game as John Dahlstrom banged home his 30th goal of the season at the 12:52 mark to make it 1-0 Tigers. Medicine Hat made it 2-0 with just ninety seconds left in the period as James Hamblin scored his first of two in the game. Tigers outshot the ‘Canes 17-8 in the opening twenty minutes.
Tigers continued to control early in the second period as Chad Butcher tipped home his 27th goal of the season 3:30 into the period to make it 3-0. Hurricanes broke the shutout at the 7:33 mark as Ryan Bowen was credited with his 11th goal of the season while shorthanded; despite being stopped on a breakaway, the puck crossed the goal line after it hit Steven Owre’s stick to put the ‘Canes down 3-1. The two goal deficit was short-lived as the Tigers restored their three goal lead as Mark Rassell potted his 35th goal of the season to put the Tigers up 4-1 after forty minutes. Medicine Hat outshot Lethbridge 16-7 in the second period.
In the third period the Hurricanes started to put more pucks on net as they fired 18 shots on goal to the Tigers nine. Despite the great deal of shots in the final twenty minutes, the ‘Canes were unable to solve Bullion. The ‘Canes were aided by power plays but still struggled to find that elusive second goal. Tigers rounded out the scoring as Hamblin added his second of the night at the 12:08 mark of the third to make it a 5-1 final.
The Hurricanes were outshot 42-33 in the game. The ‘Canes went 0/8 on the power play while the Tigers were 1/4 with the extra man.
Three stars of the game were:
1) Tigers – #10 James Hamblin – 2 goals
2) Tigers – #4 Clayton Kirichenko – 3 assists
3) ‘Canes – #19 Ryan Bowen – 1 goal
The loss drops the ‘Canes overall record to 44-20-4-3 on the season. The Hurricanes finish the regular season with a 25-8-2-1 record at the ENMAX Centre.
The Hurricanes will complete the regular season schedule on Saturday night when they travel to face the Tigers in Medicine Hat at the Canalta Centre at 7:30pm.
(Photo Credit: Cindy Adachi)