Regina, SK – The Lethbridge Hurricanes played Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Championship against the Regina Pats in hopes of taking a 2-0 series lead but it was not to be as the Pats evened the series at a game apiece with a 3-2 overtime victory.
The ‘Canes once again received some bodies back into the line-up. After Zak Zborosky and Zane Franklin returned for Game 1, the ‘Canes had Ryan Vandervlis and Calen Addison draw back into the line-up for Game 2.
The first period didn’t go well for the Hurricanes as the Pats were strong in the opening twenty minutes. The Pats had three great scoring chances in the opening seven minutes but were unable to beat Stuart Skinner who looked sharp early. Regina eventually struck to opening the scoring at the 9:44 mark as their fourth scored to give them a 1-0 lead when Jeff de Wit redirected a Liam Schioler point shot handcuffing Skinner. The ‘Canes were awarded the only power play opportunity in the opening frame but didn’t register a shot on goal. The ‘Canes trailed 1-0 after twenty minutes, just like in Game 1. Regina held the edge in shots 14-3 in the opening period.
It was a back-and-forth second period that saw both teams have some scoring chances. The ‘Canes were shorthanded three times but kept the Pats top ranked power play from the regular season at bay as they failed to add to their lead. The Hurricanes had one power play chance but could not solve Brown as the Pats remained ahead 1-0 after forty minutes of play. Shots favoured the Pats 12-8 in the second period.
In the third period, the ‘Canes received a power play as Connor Hobbs was assessed a tripping minor but on the ensuing power play chance for the Hurricanes it was a shorthanded goal by Austin Wagner at the 7:21 mark that gave the Pats a 2-0 lead. The Hurricanes answered just 2:10 later though as Zane Franklin snapped one by Tyler Brown to make it a 2-1 hockey game – Jadon Joseph and Igor Merezhko picked up the assists on the goal. Just 23 seconds later, the ‘Canes tied the game as Jordy Bellerive whacked home a rebound for his sixth of the post-season to tie the game 2-2 – Alec Baer drew the lone helper on the play. The shots were even 11-11 in the third period – Regina held the edge 37-22 through sixty minutes.
In overtime, both teams had some fantastic chances to end the game but both Brown and Skinner was sharp keeping their teams alive. The Pats eventually ended the game 17:05 into the first overtime as Adam Brooks buried his fourth of the post-season to lift Regina to the 3-2 victory.
The ‘Canes were outshot 14-9 in the third period and 51-31 in the hockey game. The ‘Canes and Pats were both 0/4 on the power play in the game.
Three stars of the game were:
1) Pats – #77 Adam Brooks – 1 goal
2) ‘Canes – #74 Stuart Skinner – 48 saves
3) Pats – #27 Austin Wagner – 1 goal
The win for Regina evens the series at one game apiece. The Hurricanes will now host Game’s 3 and 4 on Tuesday and Wednesday at the ENMAX Centre, both will be 7:00pm puck drops. Tickets for Game 3 and Game 4 are available online, by calling 403-329-SEAT (7328) or by visiting the ENMAX Centre or Yates Ticket Centre’s.