Hurricanes Doubled by Tigers 4-2
Medicine Hat, AB – The Lethbridge Hurricanes opened a stretch of three-straight games against the Medicine Hat Tigers on Saturday with a 4-2 loss at Co-op Place.
The Hurricanes entered with a 4-1-0-0 record against the Tigers this season having won four-straight games against their Highway-3 rivals. Lethbridge had a quartet of power plays early in the period as Medicine Hat got into penalty trouble and the ‘Canes were able to cash in with two power play goals. Logan McCutcheon opened the scoring with his second of the season at the 10:51 mark to make it 1-0; Logan Wormald and Joe Arntsen earned the assists on the goal. Lethbridge added another man advantage goal when Tyson Laventure fired home his team-leading ninth power play goal of the season to make it a 2-0 Hurricane lead; Blake Swetlikoff and Cole Shepard were credited with an assist on the goal. Medicine Hat pushed back scoring twice in a span of 2:27 as Oasiz Wiesblatt ripped home his 18th of the season to make it 2-1 before Cayden Lindstrom banged home a rebound to tie the game before the end of the first period. Lethbridge outshot Medicine Hat 14-12 in the first period.
Early in the second period, the Hurricanes were assessed a penalty and the Tigers were able to make good on their first chance as Wiesblatt redirected home his second goal of the game to put Medicine Hat up 3-2; Tomas Mrsic and Dru Krebs picked up the assists on the goal. The Hurricanes had some great chances to tie the game but Tigers netminder Evan May made a handful of good saves to keep his team in front by one turning aside all 14 Lethbridge shots. Medicine Hat had two glorious opportunities to add to their lead, but Harrison Meneghin made a pair of wonderful saves, including robbing 15-year-old Gavin McKenna of his first WHL goal. Lethbridge outshot Medicine Hat 14-13 in the second period but trailed 3-2 after forty minutes of play.
Lethbridge had an early power play to open the third period. The ‘Canes had a ton of great looks including a point-blank chance by Jett Jones, but the Hurricanes failed to find a tying goal. The third period flew by with the two teams playing a stretch of 12-minutes without a whistle. Lethbridge once again pulled the goaltender for the extra attacker in hopes of finding a goal to force overtime, but the Tigers sealed the victory with an empty-net goal by Tyler MacKenzie to make it a 4-2 final.
The Hurricanes outshot the Tigers 9-7 in the third period and 37-32 in the game. Lethbridge went 2/6 on the power play while Medicine Hat went 1/3 with the extra man.
Three stars of the game were:
1) Tigers – #7 Oasiz Wiesblatt (2 goals)
2) ‘Canes – #35 Harrison Meneghin (28-saves)
3) Tigers – #31 Evan May (35-saves)
The loss for the Hurricanes was their second straight regulation defeat, marking the first time since December 16th and 17th that the ‘Canes were downed two-straight in regulation. The defeat dropped Lethbridge’s record to 27-18-3-2 on the season as it ended a four-game winning streak to the Tigers.
The Hurricanes will welcome the Tigers in the second of three-straight games next Friday, February 10th at 7:00pm before returning to Medicine Hat next Saturday. Individual game tickets can be purchased in person at the ENMAX Centre Ticket Centre, the Yates Memorial Theatre Ticket Centre, by calling 403-329-SEAT (7328) and online at www.lethbridgehurricanes.com.