Canes Clinch Playoff Spot But Fall 3-1 to Warriors

Lethbridge, AB – The Lethbridge Hurricanes continued their season long four game home stand as they welcomed the Moose Jaw Warriors in search of their ninth straight home victory but it was the Warriors who spoiled the party earning a 3-1 win at the ENMAX Centre.

It didn’t take long for the Hurricanes to get an early opportunity to open the scoring as just 16 seconds into the game the Warriors were issued a penalty. The ‘Canes had a couple of good chances but were unable to find the net. Moose Jaw had a power play quickly thereafter but did not score on their first chance but they did on their second opportunity. Tanner Jeannot swatted one by Stuart Skinner at the 9:54 mark to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead. Less than a minute later, the Warriors struck again as Spencer Bast beat Skinner with a sharp-angled shot as Moose Jaw had a 2-0 lead after twenty minutes. Hurricanes held the shots 12-9 in the first period.

The Warriors added to their lead early in the second period as just 20 seconds in Thomas Foster was able to bury his 17th of the season after being fed by Branden Klatt on a two-on-one to make it 3-0 Moose Jaw. The Warriors had a chance on the power play midway through the period but were unable to add to their lead. The Hurricanes were outshot 8-7 in the second period.

The Hurricanes peppered Zach Sawchenko in the third period as they outshot the Warriors 14-5 in the final twenty minutes. The ‘Canes finally broke through and beat Sawchenko as Jordy Bellerive sniped home his 24th goal of the season and first in nine games at the 11:52 mark – Tyler Wong and Brennan Riddle picked up the helpers. The ‘Canes continued to push late in the game with the extra attacker but weren’t able to find another goal as they were handed a 3-1 loss.

The ‘Canes outshot the Warriors 33-22 in the game. Lethbridge went 0/3 on the power play while Moose Jaw was 1/6 with the extra man.

Three stars of the game were:
1) Warriors – #31 Zach Sawchenko – 32 saves
2) Warriors – #61 Thomas Foster – 1 goal, 1 assist
3) Warriors – #29 Spencer Bast – 1 goal, 1 assist

The loss for the Hurricanes was their first in regulation on home ice in 20 games dating back to November 16th as they’ve posted a 17-1-1-1 record in their last 20 home games.

The defeat drops the ‘Canes overall record to 36-17-4-3 on the season as they remain six points back of the Medicine Hat Tigers for top spot in the Central Division; ‘Canes still have one game in hand.

Despite the loss, the Hurricanes did clinch a playoff spot for the second straight year as the Saskatoon Blades were downed 4-1 by the Regina Pats.

The Hurricanes will wrap up their season long four game home stand on Friday at 7:00pm when they welcome the Brandon Wheat Kings to the ENMAX Centre. Tickets are available online, by calling 403-329-SEAT (7328) or by visiting the ENMAX Centre or Yates Ticket Centre’s.

(Photo Credit: Cindy Adachi)

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