Lethbridge, AB – The Lethbridge Hurricanes wrapped up their final three-in-three weekend on Sunday in Cranbrook as they earned a 6-4 victory over the Kootenay Ice.
Adam Swan, who was called up by the Hurricanes on Saturday, made his first Western Hockey League start in the game. Swan was tested early as Kootenay struck on their first shot of the game just 1:01 into the game as Colton Kroeker scored his 12th of the season against his former to make it 1-0 – Brett Davis and Cale Fleury picked up the helpers. At the 8:23 mark, Davis set up Kroeker again as the Ice led 2-0. The Hurricanes cut the lead to one as Zak Zborosky scored in his return to Cranbrook – Matt Alfaro picked up the lone assist. Zborosky added another on a power play to tie the game 2-2. Josh Tarzwell netted his second of the season on a pinball puck passed Jakob Walter at the 16:27 mark. Kootenay tied the game less than two minutes later as Vince Loschiavo finished a Kroeker pass on a two-on-one. With 14.5 seconds left in the period, Egor Babenko took a drop pass from Jordy Bellerive and roofed one by Walter giving the ‘Canes a 4-3 lead after twenty minutes of play. The ‘Canes outshot the Ice 18-9 in the first period.
The Hurricanes peppered the Ice in the second period outshooting them 25-13 in the middle period. The ‘Canes added to their lead at the 6:10 mark as Tyler Wong banged home his 40th goal of the season to make it 5-3 – Zborosky earned the lone assist on the play. Wong becoming the first Hurricanes player to score 40 or more goals in back-to-back seasons since Nathan Barrett in 2002. Walter was lifted in favour of overage goaltender Payton Lee and he was tested early. At the 9:21 mark, Ryan Vandervlis potted his 5th of the year while shorthanded – Giorgio Estephan picked up the lone helper as the ‘Canes led 6-3. Kootenay responded as Kaedon Taphorn roofed one by Swan making it 6-4 ‘Canes after two periods.
In the third period, the Hurricanes continued to pepper the Kootenay goal with shots. The ‘Canes had a handful of good scoring chances but Lee was great in relief as he stopped 33 of 34 shots he faced in relief. Neither the ‘Canes nor the Ice were able to solve the goaltenders in the third period as the Hurricanes went on to the 6-4 victory.
The ‘Canes outshot the Ice 16-10 in the third period and registered a season-high 59 shots on goal. Lethbridge went 1/3 on the power play while the Ice were 0/3 with the extra man.
Three stars of the game were:
1) ‘Canes – #22 Zak Zborosky – 2 goals, 1 assist
2) Ice – #21 Colton Kroeker – 2 goals, 1 assist
3) ‘Canes – #5 Tyler Wong – 1 goal, 1 assist
The Hurricanes improved their record to 34-16-4-3 on the season with the victory and 14-1-1-1 in their last 17 games. The ‘Canes are back in action on Friday when they welcome the Victoria Royals at the ENMAX Centre.