Hurricanes Down Hitmen 6-4 on St. Paddy’s Day
Lethbridge, AB – The Lethbridge Hurricanes bounced back on Friday with a 6-4 victory over the Calgary Hitmen in front of 5,249 at the ENMAX Centre.
It was the second of a home-and-home set for the Hurricanes and Hitmen after Calgary earned a 7-1 win on Wednesday. Hitmen rookie Matteo Danis – who scored four times in the win on Wednesday – struck to open the scoring just 3:02 into the contest as he tapped home his 12th goal of the season off of a faceoff to make it an early 1-0 Calgary advantage. The Hitmen outshot the Hurricanes 11-1 in the first half of the period, but the ‘Canes answered back outshooting Calgary 10-6 in the second half of the frame. Lethbridge pulled even as Tyson Laventure picked off a pass before slipping one five-hole on Brayden Peters to make it a 1-1 tie after twenty minutes of play. Calgary held the edge in shots 16-11 in the opening frame.
Calgary struck on the first shift of the second period as Riley Fiddler-Schultz redirected a Grayden Siepmann point shot through the legs of Bryan Thomson to restore the Hitmen lead 2-1 just 11-seconds into the middle frame. The Hurricanes pushed back and outshot the Hitmen 7-5 in the middle frame. Lethbridge once again tied the game as Logan McCutcheon tied the game with his fourth of the season while shorthanded at the 13:48 mark to make it a 2-2 game; Hayden Smith and Tristan Zandee earned the assists on the equalizer. Lethbridge had a good look at the end of the second period to take the lead but Peters made a good save as the game remained tied after forty minutes of play.
In the third period, the doors blew open as the two teams combined for six goals, with the Hurricanes scoring four of them. Calgary, however, took their third lead just 2:41 into the final frame as London Hoilett deflected home his 12th goal of the season to make it a 3-2 Hitmen lead. Lethbridge once again tied the game when Cole Shepard ended a 10-game goal drought with a power play goal just over three-minutes later to make it 3-3; Laventure and Joe Arntsen earned the helpers on the goal. The ‘Canes took their first lead as Trae Wilke ripped home his second of the season on a give-and-go with Miguel Marques to give Lethbridge a 4-3 advantage. The Hurricanes added to their lead when Brayden Edwards finished a three-way passing play for his 10th goal of the season to make it 5-3; Logan Wormald and Noah Chadwick picked up the helpers. But, just 1:20 later, the Hitmen pulled back to within a goal as Maxim Muranov banked a shot off of Thomson’s mask and in to make it a 5-4 game with 5:33 remaining in regulation. After a timeout, Calgary pulled Peters for the extra attacker and pressed before the Hurricanes rounded out the scoring with an empty-net goal by Jett Jones to make it a 6-4 final.
The Hurricanes outshot the Hitmen 14-9 in the third period and 32-30 in the game. Lethbridge went 1/5 with the power play while going 3/3 on the penalty kill.
Three stars of the game:
1) ‘Canes – #2 Logan McCutcheon (1 goal)
2) Hitmen – #21 Riley Fiddler-Schultz (1 goal, 2 assists)
3) ‘Canes – #28 Tyson Laventure (1 goal, 2 assists)
The win for the Hurricanes split the home-and-home set with the Hitmen as Lethbridge improved to 34-24-3-3 on the season. The win for the ‘Canes was their second-straight victory on home-ice as they improved to 20-9-1-2 at the ENMAX Centre this season. The 20-wins at home is the fourth time in the last seven seasons, and 16th time in franchise history, that the ‘Canes have reached the 20-win mark at home.
Lethbridge visit the Edmonton Oil Kings on Saturday at 7:00pm at Rogers Place before returning to the ENMAX Centre on Wednesday to once again welcome the Hitmen at 7:00pm. Individual game tickets are available by visiting the ENMAX Centre Ticket Centre, the Yates Memorial Theatre Ticket Centre, by calling 403-329-SEAT (7328) or online at www.lethbridgehurricanes.com.