Saskatoon, SK – The Lethbridge Hurricanes wrapped up a brief two game Saskatchewan road trip on Saturday night with a 3-1 victory over the Saskatoon Blades at SaskTel Centre.
It was a sluggish start to the hockey game in the first period as it took a few minutes for both teams to find their legs. It started to open up midway through the period as both teams had some chances. The Blades had two opportunities on the power play but only managed one shot on goal and failed to score. The ‘Canes went 0/1 on their lone chance with the extra man. Ryan Gilchrist and Logan Flodell were both perfect in the first period as the Blades outshot the Hurricanes 12-8.
The scoreless game continued for quite some time in the second period as neither team found the net until late. The Hurricanes opened the scoring on a beautiful three-way passing play finished off by Zak Zborosky as he netted his 32nd of the season at the 16:21 mark – Alec Baer and Giorgio Estephan picked up the assists on the goal to make it 1-0. Just 1:28 later, Jordy Bellerive would bang home his 22nd of the year on a centering pass from Igor Merezhko to put the ‘Canes ahead 2-0 – Ryan Bowen picked up the second helper. It didn’t take long for the Blades to respond, however, as Saskatoon cut the lead in half as Jake Kustra beat Gilchrist with a point shot just 25 seconds after the Bellerive goal to make it 2-1 after two periods of play. The ‘Canes outshot the Blades 11-6 in the second period and held the edge 19-18 after forty minutes of play.
The Hurricanes added to their lead in the third period. While shorthanded, Jadon Joseph did a terrific job ragging the puck and not letting it escape the Saskatoon zone. On the third opportunity to clear the zone for the Blades, Joseph stole the puck and moved in before centering to Bellerive who made no mistake scoring his second of the game and 23rd of the season to put the ‘Canes ahead 3-1. The Blades had countless power play opportunities, including a lengthy five-on-three, but were unable to solve Gilchrist who stood tall leading the ‘Canes to a 3-1 victory.
The Hurricanes outshot the Blades 11-10 in the third period and 30-28 in the hockey game. The ‘Canes went 0/4 on the power play but were 7/7 on the penalty kill.
Three stars of the game were:
1) ‘Canes – #33 Ryan Gilchrist – 27 saves
2) ‘Canes – #15 Jordy Bellerive – 2 goals
3) Blades – #3 Jake Kustra – 1 goal
The win for the Hurricanes was their fourth straight victory and it improved their record to 8-0-1-1 in their last ten games. The ‘Canes are now 28-15-4-3 on the season.
The Hurricanes are back in action on Tuesday when they welcome the Brandon Wheat Kings at the ENMAX Centre at 7:00pm. Tickets are available online, by calling 403-329-SEAT (7328) or by visiting the ENMAX Centre or Yates Ticket Centre’s.
(Photo Credit: Steve Hiscock)