Lethbridge, AB – The Lethbridge Hurricanes ended a four-game homestand on Friday with a 4-2 loss to the Brandon Wheat Kings on the 25th annual Canadian Tire Toque and Teddy Toss.
The Hurricanes were buzzing early in hopes of sending the bears flying early but Ethan Kruger was sharp early as Lethbridge peppered him early. Brandon opened the scoring when Zakhar Polshakov banged home a loose puck in front of the net to make it 1-0 just 5:10 into the game; Vincent Iorio and Chad Nychuk earned the helpers. Just over three minutes later, the ‘Canes answered with a power play goal as Ty Nash scored his fifth of the season as he scored the coveted Teddy Bear Toss goal at the 8:30 mark to send the 3585 bears and 413 toques to the ice; Yegor Klavdiev and Noah Boyko picked up the assists on the goal to even the game 1-1. After a cleanup break, the two teams came back for the second half of the first period and the ‘Canes continued to flood shots to the net, but Kruger turned aside 14 of 15 shots in the period. Lethbridge outshot Brandon by 11 in the first period.
Brandon pushed back early in the second period as they had a goal start striking early to take their second lead; Tyson Zimmer scored his third of the season just 2:44 into the middle frame to make it 2-1 Wheat Kings. Just 2:02 later, the ‘Canes once again equalized as Chase Pauls sent Logan Wormald home-free on a tape-to-tape stretch pass and Wormald was able to bury his fifth of the season on the breakaway to make it a 2-2 game. Brandon held the edge in shots 13-12 in the middle frame.
The ‘Canes pushed early in the third for a go-ahead goal but Kruger continued to stand tall with a handful of great point blank saves on Logan Barlage and Chase Wheatcroft. Lethbridge had a late power play but the Wheat Kings scored their seventh shorthanded goal of the season as Nate Danielson ripped home his fifth of the season to make it 3-2 Brandon with 3:18 left in the game. The Hurricanes pulled the goaltender in hopes of finding yet another equalizer but the Wheaties added an empty-net goal to make it a 4-2 final.
The Hurricanes outshot the Wheat Kings 9-7 in the third period and 36-24 in the game. Lethbridge was 1/5 on the power play while not surrendering a man advantage opportunity in the game.
Three stars of the game were:
1) Wheat Kings – #30 Ethan Kruger (34-saves)
2) ‘Canes – #21 Ty Nash (1 goal)
3) Wheat Kings – #29 Nate Danielson (1 goal)
The loss for the Hurricanes dropped their record to 8-11-1-0 on the season while slipping their home-ice record to 6-4-1-0 this season at the ENMAX Centre. The ‘Canes end their four-game homestand with a 2-1-1-0 record in the four contests.
The Hurricanes will visit the Calgary Hitmen on Saturday afternoon at 2:00pm in their Teddy Bear Toss game before returning to the ENMAX Centre on Wednesday to welcome the very same Hitmen. Tickets for the game can be purchased 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.