Third Period Sinks Hurricanes in Loss to Blazers
Lethbridge, AB – The Lethbridge Hurricanes dropped their third straight game on Friday suffering a 6-2 loss to the Kamloops Blazers at the ENMAX Centre.
It was the first meeting between the Hurricanes and Blazers since March 6th, 2020 when Lethbridge visited Kamloops while it was the first time the Blazers were at the ENMAX Centre since December of 2018. The road side – who entered on a 10-game winning streak – had a great start to the game pressing the ‘Canes in their own zone early. Kamloops had a pair of power plays in the first period but the Hurricanes, led by Bryan Thomson, were able to kill both chances to keep the game scoreless. Lethbridge had a great chance later in the period to open the scoring when Miguel Marques had a point-blank look from the slot but was stopped by Dylan Ernst as the first period came to a scoreless end. Shots were even 12-12 in the opening frame.
The teams combined for four goals in the second period as Kamloops opened the scoring at the 34-second mark when Logan Stankoven tapped home his 29th goal of the season on a back-door feed from Caeden Bankier to make it 1-0. The Hurricanes answered less than two-minutes later when Blake Swetlikoff sprung Tyson Zimmer on breakaway who made no mistake ripping home his 14th goal of the season to make it 1-1. Lethbridge had a great chance to pull ahead on a partial two-on-one which saw Logan Wormald rip a shot off the post. The ‘Canes did pull ahead as Blake Swetlikoff buried his 14th goal of the season finishing a centering pass from Anton Astashevich to make it 2-1 Lethbridge at the 16:02 mark. Blazers drew even with a minute remaining in the period as Fraser Minten snapped home his 26th goal of the season on a power play to make it 2-2 after two periods.
In the third period, the Blazers pulled ahead on a power play goal at the midway point as Olen Zellweger buried a slapshot from the right circle passed Thomson to put Kamloops ahead 3-2 with 10:07 remaining in regulation; Stankoven and Matthew Seminoff picked up the helpers on the goal. Blazers added to their lead when Kyle Masters found the net for his 10th of the season just 58-seconds later to make it a 4-2 game. The Hurricanes pulled the goaltender with just under five-minutes remaining and Kamloops would find an empty-net goal by Caeden Bankier before Ashton Ferster added one late goal for good measure as the Blazers scored four goals in just over eight minutes to steer home a 6-2 victory.
The Hurricanes were outshot 17-10 in the third period and 48-30 in the contest – the 48 shots against was a season-high for shots against in a game for the ‘Canes. Lethbridge was 0/1 with the power play while Kamloops was 2/5 with the extra man.
Three stars of the game:
1) Blazers – #11 Logan Stankoven (1 goal, 2 assists)
2) ‘Canes – #26 Blake Swetlikoff (1 goal, 1 assist)
3) Blazers – #3 Olen Zellweger (1 goal)
The loss for the Hurricanes was their third straight defeat as they fall to 30-21-3-3 on the season. Lethbridge had a three-game home winning streak end falling to 18-9-1-2 at the ENMAX Centre this season. The ‘Canes finished the season with a record of 3-4-1-2 against the Western Conference while going 2-2-0-1 against the BC Division.
The Hurricanes will open a four-game road trip on Saturday afternoon when they visit the Calgary Hitmen at 2:00pm at the Scotiabank Saddledome. The ‘Canes will return to the ENMAX Centre on Friday, March 10th when they welcome the Regina Pats.