Hurricanes Rally in OT Victory Over Pats
Lethbridge, AB – The Lethbridge Hurricanes has a triumphant return to the ENMAX Centre on Friday night with a come-from-behind 5-4 overtime victory over the Regina Pats in front of a sold-out crowd.
It was the first game for the Hurricanes at home since February 24th. Lethbridge had a great start to the game keeping the Pats pinned and outshooting them 7-1 in the first three minutes, however, a power play for Regina would produce the opening goal as Connor Bedard slipped home his WHL-leading 61st goal of the season to make it 1-0 just 3:50 into the game. The Hurricanes responded with a power play goal of their own when Jett Jones whacked home a rebound for his 20th goal of the year at the 9:24 mark to make it 1-1; Tyson Laventure and Cole Shepard earned the assists on the goal that ended an eight-game stretch without a power play goal. Regina pulled back in front with another power play goal at the 11:11 mark as Tanner Howe swatted home a bouncing puck off the end boards and beat Bryan Thomson – who made his seventh straight start – to make it 2-1. The Pats added another before the period was out when Braxton Whitehead stole a puck from Thomson behind the net and hooked it into an empty-net to make it 3-1 after twenty minutes of play.
The Hurricanes dominated the second period in time on attack and scored an early goal to pull within one goal as Miguel Marques finished a give-and-go with Logan McCutcheon shelfing a puck to the back of the net to make it a 3-2 game; Tyson Zimmer earned the second assist on the goal. The ‘Canes continued to press in search of an equalizer and found one with 6:34 remaining in the frame when Zimmer had a pass deflect off a defenceman and passed Drew Sim to tie the game 3-3; Chase Pauls earned the lone assist on the tying goal. Before the period was out, the Pats pulled back in front as Tye Spencer tapped home a centering pass from Sam Oremba on a power play to make it 4-3 Regina after forty minutes. The Hurricanes outshot the Pats 13-7 in the frame.
In the third period, the ‘Canes had a power play midway through the frame when Bedard took a hooking penalty but failed to capitalize to find an equalizer as Regina stayed in front 4-3. Lethbridge pulled even with 2:22 remaining in regulation as Joe Arntsen tapped home a rebound at the side of the net for his 10th goal of the year to make it 4-4; Blade Swetlikoff earned the lone assist on the goal. The Hurricanes had a late power play opportunity in the period and almost pulled ahead when Cole Shepard rifled a shot off the cross-bar but it stayed out as the game went to overtime tied up.
In the extra session, the ‘Canes opened with 34-seconds worth of power play time but couldn’t find a winner. Regina pressed late in the overtime session as Bedard ripped a shot from the slot off the post before being stopped point blank on a partial break by Thomson to keep the game alive. After Bedard turned the puck over in the offensive end, the Hurricanes had a two-on-one and scored the winner as McCutcheon buried his third goal of the season with just 1:21 left in overtime to give Lethbridge a come-from-behind 5-4 victory.
Regina outshot the Hurricanes 2-1 in overtime, but it was Lethbridge that held the edge in shots 39-26 in the game. The Hurricanes went 1/6 on the power play while the Pats were 3/6 with the extra man.
Three stars of the game:
1) ‘Canes – #21 Tyson Zimmer (1 goal, 1 assist)
2) ‘Canes – #27 Cole Shepard (1 assist)
3) Pats – #33 Drew Sim (34-saves)
The win for the Hurricanes was their first come-from-behind win when trailing after two periods this season as they improved to 33-23-3-3 on the season. Lethbridge lifted their home-ice record to 19-9-1-2 on the season as they split the season series going 2-2-0-0 against Regina this year.
Lethbridge returns to action on Wednesday when they visit the Calgary Hitmen at Scotiabank Saddledome at 7:00pm. The Hurricanes return to the ENMAX Centre on Friday, March 17th when they welcome the Hitmen in the back-half of a home-and-home. Individual game tickets are available by visiting the ENMAX Centre Ticket Centre, the Yates Memorial Theatre Ticket Centre, by calling 403-329-SEAT (7328) or online at www.lethbridgehurricanes.com.