Lethbridge, AB – The Lethbridge Hurricanes played their first of two home ENMAX Pre-Season games on Saturday with a 3-2 overtime victory against the Red Deer Rebels.
The Hurricanes had a strong start to the game as they were physical earlier and hard on the forecheck. After an early penalty kill with Koletrane Wilson in the box for interference, the ‘Canes continued to press offensively. Lethbridge opened the scoring at the 10:32 mark when Rylan Thiessen snapped home his second goal in as many pre-season games to make it 1-0; Alex Thacker and Oliver Okuliar earned the assists on the goal. The Rebels tied the game with a shorthanded goal just 5:10 later as Chris Douglas ripped home his first of the exhibition season in his first game as the game was tied 1-1 after twenty minutes. Hurricanes outshot the Rebels 9-5 in the opening period.
In the second period, the Hurricanes and Rebels skated to a scoreless frame. The ‘Canes were outshot 10-8. The Hurricanes had the best chance of the period when Zack Stringer hit a crossbar with a point-blank shot but could not beat the Rebel starter Byron Fancy who stopped 10 of 11 shots he saw in half a game; Fancy was replaced by Eric Ward at the midway mark of the second period.
Lethbridge outshot Red Deer in the third period by an 11-5 margin. Rebels took the lead at the 13:29 mark as Zak Smith snapped home a loose puck in front of the net beating Carl Tetachuk to put Red Deer ahead 2-1. Less than three minutes after the Rebels pulled ahead, the ‘Canes struck to tie the game as Chase Wheatcroft scored his first of the pre-season; Okuliar and Alex Cotton had the assists on the goal. Neither team were able to end the game before the end of regulation as the game went to overtime.
The Hurricanes had a power play to start the overtime period but failed to capitalize with the extra man. At the 2:10 mark, the Stringer banged home a rebound to lift the Hurricanes to a 3-2 win; Koletrane Wilson and Wheatcroft assisted on the game-winning goal.
Lethbridge had all three shots in the overtime and outshot Red Deer 31-20 in the game. The Hurricanes went 0/5 on the power play while the Rebels were also 0/5 with the extra man.
The Hurricanes will play a home-and-home set with the Swift Current Broncos next weekend when the welcome the Broncos at the ENMAX Centre at 7:00pm. Tickets can be purchased for $10.00 cash at the Lethbridge Hurricanes Office at the ENMAX Centre or at Gas King locations in Lethbridge.