Lethbridge, AB – The Lethbridge Hurricanes played their final home game before the Christmas break on Saturday as they earned a 5-2 victory over the Kamloops Blazers at the ENMAX Centre.
The Blazers struck early in the game as they would pounce 1:55 into the game scoring on their first shot as Kyrell Sopotyk outwaited Reece Klassen on a breakaway to make it 1-0 Kamloops. The ‘Canes equalized just over four minutes later as Jake Leschyshyn ripped home his 21st goal of the season on a two-on-one to tie the game 1-1; Nick Henry and Jordy Bellerive picked up the assists on the goal. Bellerive scored his 14th goal of the season on a power play at the 9:12 mark to put the ‘Canes ahead 2-1; Calen Addison and Leschyshyn earned the assists as Lethbridge held a 2-1 lead after twenty minutes. Blazers outshot the Hurricanes 17-16 in the first period.
In the second period, the Hurricanes outshot the Blazers 14-11 and had their chances. The ‘Canes hit a pair of goal posts in the middle frame, including a Bellerive bullet off the crossbar but they were unable to beat Blazers netminder Dylan Garand. Kamloops tied the game with a power play goal at the 13:34 mark as Connor Zary ripped home his ninth goal of the season to make it a 2-2 game; Josh Pillar and Carson Denomie earned the assists as the game was tied after forty minutes of play.
The Hurricanes broke the tie just 4:44 into the third period as Dylan Cozens snapped home his 17th of the season to make it a 3-2 Lethbridge lead; Taylor Ross and Jake Elmer earned the assists on the goal. Just under six minutes later, Ross ripped home his 19th of the year from Elmer and Cozens to make it 4-2. The ‘Canes rounded out the scoring with an empty-net goal as Nick Henry scored his first as a Hurricane and 16th of the season to make it a 5-2 final.
Shots in the third period were tied 11-11, but the ‘Canes held the edge in the game 41-39 in the game. The Hurricanes went 1/3 on the power play while the Blazers were 1/2 with the extra man.
Three stars of the game in the building were:
1) ‘Canes – #24 Dylan Cozens (1 goal, 1 assist, GWG)
2) ‘Canes – #31 Reece Klassen (37 saves)
3) Blazers – #12 Kyrell Sopotyk (1 goal)
The win for the Hurricanes was their second straight and improved their record to 8-1-2-0 in their last 11 games while improving their overall record to 17-9-4-2 on the season. The ‘Canes end the first half with a 10-4-0-2 record in 16 games at the ENMAX Centre.
The Hurricanes will play their final game of the first half on Sunday afternoon in Calgary against the Hitmen at Scotiabank Saddledome at 4:00pm. The ‘Canes will be back at the ENMAX Centre on Friday, December 28th when they welcome the Victoria Royals. Tickets can be purchased online at www.enmaxcentre.ca, by calling 403-329-SEAT (7328) or by visiting the ENMAX Centre Ticket Centre.