Hurricanes Drop OT Decision to Blades Wednesday
Saskatoon, SK – The Lethbridge Hurricanes earned a single point on Wednesday with a 4-3 overtime loss to the Saskatoon Blades at SaskTel Centre.
The ‘Canes looked to bounce back after a 4-0 defeat Tuesday in Prince Albert. The game marked the WHL debut of Trae Wilke who suited up for the first time in his hometown after being selected in the second round of the WHL Prospects Draft in December.
The two teams came out firing and both goaltenders stood tall as the Blades outshot the Hurricanes 17-10 in the opening frame. Saskatoon opened the scoring with a tic-tac-toe power play goal at the 11:40 mark as Jayden Wiens finished the three-way passing play to make it 1-0. Lethbridge answered with a tying goal as Chase Pauls scored his second goal of the season with a wrist-shot from the right point that beat Ethan Chadwick to make it 1-1. But just a minute-and-a-half later, Saskatoon pulled back ahead when Josh Pillar scored his first as a Blade beating Jared Picklyk high over the glove to make it 2-1 after twenty minutes of play.
The Blades continued to pepper Picklyk in the middle frame, but the Kelowna product stood tall turning aside all 15 shots Saskatoon fired his way, including a pair of saves back-to-back on Brandon Lisowsky to keep the game a one-goal deficit. Lethbridge tied the game when Wilke ripped home his first WHL goal in his first WHL game as he buried a one-timer from the high-slot over the glove of Chadwick to make it a 2-2 game; Liekit Reichle earned the lone assist on the goal.
In the third period, the Hurricanes returned fire on the shot on the count firing 15 on net but it was the Blades the once again pulled ahead in the game. Lisowsky, who was stymied by Picklyk in the second period, skated in on the left-wing after intercepting a neutral zone pass and snapped one post-and-in to make it a 3-2 Saskatoon lead. The ‘Canes once again answered to tie the game when Reichle banked home his first goal as a Hurricane ending a 31-game goal drought to pull the game even at 3-3. The Blades nearly found a final minute goal when former ‘Cane Noah Boyko – who faced his former team for the first time – hammered a shot off the post with thirty-seconds left but the game would go to overtime.
In the three-on-three, five-minute overtime session, the Blades outshot the Hurricanes 4-1 and would find the game-winning goal as Lisowsky snapped one past the blocker of Picklyk with 29-seconds remaining to lift Saskatoon to a 4-3 overtime victory.
The Hurricanes were outshot 41-32 in the contest. Lethbridge was 0/2 on the power play while Saskatoon went 1/5 with the extra man.
Three stars of the game were:
1) Blades – #9 Jayden Wiens (1 goal, 1 assist)
2) Blades – #72 Josh Pillar (1 goal)
3) ‘Canes – #15 Trae Wilke (first WHL goal)
The overtime loss dropped the Hurricanes record to 5-3 in overtime this year while it dropped their record to 2-2-1-0 in the first five games of their seven-game road trip. Lethbridge’s record slips to 23-26-3-1 on the season as they reach the 50-point mark and remain seventh in the Eastern Conference.
The Hurricanes will visit the Regina Pats on Friday at the Brandt Centre at 6:00pm MT before ending their road trip on Saturday in Moose Jaw against the Warriors. The ‘Canes will return to the ENMAX Centre on Wednesday, March 16th when they welcome the Pats at 7:00pm. Tickets can be purchased online at www.lethbridgehurricanes.com or in person at the ENMAX Centre Ticket Centre.