Lethbridge, AB – The Lethbridge Hurricanes returned to the ENMAX Centre on Friday as they welcome the Medicine Hat Tigers in the fifth meeting of the season and earned a 5-4 win in their final home game of 2017.
It was a good first period for the Hurricanes who played an up-tempo game in front of the 4,313 in attendance. The ‘Canes had an early power play opportunity, but they failed to capitalize. The Tigers had a chance with the man advantage, but like the Hurricanes Medicine Hat could not solve Reece Klassen. Lethbridge opened the scoring at the 14:35 mark as Igor Merezhko snapped one by Jordan Hollett to make it 1-0; Giorgio Estephan and Lane Zablocki picked up the assists on the goal. The Hurricanes outshot the Tigers 16-14 in the first period.
It was busy second period that saw a total of four goals, two for either side. The ‘Canes jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a power play goal by Dylan Cozens just 1:21 into the second period; Jordy Bellerive and Calen Addison earned the assists. Tigers cut the lead in half when Jaeger White cut out from behind the net and snapped one over the glove of Klassen to make it 2-1. Lethbridge restored their two-goal lead 1:50 later as Estephan potted his 16th of the season from a sharp angle to make it 3-1; lone assist went to Ty Prefontaine. The Tigers once again pulled within one however as David Quenneville rifled one home from the line after a Medicine Hat faceoff win. Tigers outshot the Hurricanes 16-7 in the second period.
Medicine Hat tied the game early in the third period with a power play goal by Ryan Chyzowski just 4:56 into the final twenty minutes to make it a 3-3 game. The ‘Canes answered back when Bellerive shelfed his team-leading 19th goal of the season at the 9:37 mark to make it 4-3. Just 3:12 later, Zane Franklin put the ‘Canes ahead 5-3 with a beauty of a goal; Tanner Nagel and Jadon Joseph earned the assists. Tigers made it a one goal game again when Mark Rassell scored his 29th goal of the season with 4:15 left in the game to make it 5-4, but that was as close as they’d come as the ‘Canes hung on to the victory.
The Hurricanes and Tigers each had 11 shots on goal in the third period; Medicine Hat outshot Lethbridge 41-34 in the game. The ‘Canes went 1/2 on the power play while the Tigers were 1/4.
Three stars of the game were:
1) ‘Canes – #15 Jordy Bellerive (1 goal, 1 assist)
2) ‘Canes – #25 Zane Franklin (1 goal, 1 assist)
3) Tigers – #19 David Quenneville (1 goal, 2 assists)
The win for the Hurricanes improves their record to 16-17-2-0 on the season. The ‘Canes finish the calendar year of 2017 with a 23-9-2-1 record at the ENMAX Centre.
The Hurricanes return to action tomorrow when they travel to Calgary to face the Hitmen at Scotiabank Saddledome at 7:00pm. The ‘Canes will return to the ENMAX Centre on Tuesday as they begin the 2018 portion of their schedule against the Kootenay Ice. Tickets can be purchased online, by calling 403-329-SEAT (7328) or by visiting the ENMAX Centre Ticket Centre.
(Photo Credit: Cindy Adachi)