Lethbridge, AB – The Lethbridge Hurricanes return home to host Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Championship Series tonight at 7:00pm against the Regina Pats at the ENMAX Centre.
The Hurricanes earned the split in Regina in the opening two games of the best-of-seven series as they earned a 3-1 victory Friday in Game 1 before being handed a 3-2 overtime loss in Game 2 at the Brandt Centre. In the two games, the ‘Canes had Zane Franklin, Zak Zborosky, Ryan Vandervlis, and Calen Addison return from injuries. Franklin and Jordy Bellerive scored in the losing cause in Game 2 while Stuart Skinner made 48 saves.
The Pats received a boost as well, as their Captain Adam Brooks played in both games and scored the overtime winning goal in Game 2 to even the series at one game a piece. Brooks had dressed but didn’t play in the final three games against the Swift Current Broncos. Austin Wagner scored in each of the first two games while Jeff de Wit netted one in Game 2.
The Hurricanes have posted a 4-2-1 record on home ice in the post-season and will look to hold court at the ENMAX Centre.
PLAYOFF SERIES: Tonight will be Game 3 of the best-of-seven series between the Hurricanes and the Pats. The ‘Canes lead the series 1-0. This is the second straight post-season that the ‘Canes and Pats have met after Regina eliminated Lethbridge in five games in the first round in 2016.
PLAYOFF SERIES: (* if necessary)
Game 1 – April 21st, 7:00pm – at Regina (3-1 LH)
Game 2 – April 22nd, 7:00pm – at Regina (3-2 OT REG)
Game 3 – April 25th, 7:00pm – at Lethbridge
Game 4 – April 26th, 7:00pm – at Lethbridge
Game 5 – April 28th, 7:00pm – at Regina
*Game 6 – April 30th, 6:00pm – at Lethbridge
*Game 7 – May 2nd, 7:00pm – at Regina
HURRICANE TOP 5 PLAYOFF SCORERS
Tyler Wong – 11G. 11A, 22 points
Giorgio Estephan – 10G, 11A – 21 points
Egor Babenko – 7G, 12A – 19 points
Brennan Menell – 4G, 9A – 13 points
Jordy Bellerive – 6G, 6A – 12 points
2016-2017 PLAYOFF STATS LEADERS:
Goals (11) – Tyler Wong
Assists (12) – Egor Babenko
Points (22) – Tyler Wong
PIMS (20) – Jordy Bellerive
Plus/Minus (+8) – Giorgio Estephan
Wins (9) – Stuart Skinner
Shutouts (0) – N/A
Save % (.923) – Stuart Skinner
Goals Against Average (2.85) – Stuart Skinner
VS. PATS, REGULAR SEASON: The Hurricanes and Pats met four times in the regular season with both teams winning twice. Regina took the first two head-to-head meetings while Lethbridge took the last two. Both teams won once at home and once on the road.
REGULAR SEASON SERIES:
October 15th/2016 – at Lethbridge (7-2 Pats)
October 18th/2016 – at Regina (6-1 Pats)
December 7th/2016 – at Lethbridge (5-4 OT Hurricanes)
February 28th/2017 – at Regina (4-1 Hurricanes)
HURRICANE TOP 5 SEASON SCORERS
Tyler Wong – 51G, 58A – 109 points
Giorgio Estephan – 35G, 54A – 89 points
Zak Zborosky – 41G, 33A – 74 points
Brennan Menell – 12G, 59A – 71 points
Matt Alfaro – 25G, 35A – 60 points
2016-2017 REGULAR SEASON STATS LEADERS:
Goals (51) – Tyler Wong
Assists (59) – Brennan Menell
Points (109) – Tyler Wong
PIMS (103) – Zane Franklin
Plus/Minus (+29) – Tyler Wong
Wins (34) – Stuart Skinner
Shutouts (2) – Stuart Skinner
Save % (.906) – Stuart Skinner
Goals Against Average (3.26) – Stuart Skinner
2016-2017 REGULAR SEASON LEAGUE LEADERS:
- Tyler Wong was tied 1st in WHL Goals with 51 & 3rd in WHL Scoring with 109 points
- Tyler Wong was tied 4th in WHL PP Goals with 15 & tied 2nd in WHL Game Winning Goals with 10
- Giorgio Estephan was tied 11th in WHL Goals with 35 & is tied 9th in WHL Scoring with 89 points
- Zak Zborosky was 5th in WHL Goals with 41 & tied 3rd in WHL Power Play Goals with 16
- Brennan Menell was tied 3rd in WHL PP Assists with 28 & 2nd in WHL Defenseman Scoring with 71 points
- Brennan Menell was tied 9th in WHL Defenseman Goals with 12 & 1st in WHL Defenseman Assists with 59
- Calen Addison was tied 10th in WHL Rookie Scoring with 33 points (2nd among Rookie D-man Scoring)
- Calen Addison was 1st among 2000-born scorers in the WHL with 33 points
- Stuart Skinner was 2nd in Games Played (60); 2nd in WHL Wins with 34 & tied 6th in WHL Losses with 18
- Stuart Skinner was 2nd in WHL Minutes by a Goalie (3386) & 2nd in WHL Shots (1933) & 2nd Saves (1749)
NEWS & NOTES:
So, We Meet Again: The Hurricanes and Pats will square off in the post-season for the second consecutive year. In the 2016 WHL Playoffs, the Hurricanes were eliminated by the Pats in five games in the first round of the post-season. After winning Game 1, the ‘Canes went on to lose the next four.
Road Warriors: The Hurricanes have been good on the road this post-season. Heading into tonight’s Game 3, the ‘Canes have won four of five road games and five of their last seven games away from the ENMAX Centre in the playoffs. The ‘Canes have scored 22 goals in their last five road games.
Oh, Giorgio: Giorgio Estephan has been racking up points. The four-year veteran has tossed 20 points (10g-10a) on the board in his last 12 games since returning from injury in Round 1 against Red Deer. The Hurricanes are 9-0-1 in the playoffs when Estephan records a point.
Seventh Heaven: The Hurricanes remained perfect in Game 7’s in their history as they earned a come-from-behind 5-4 overtime win in Medicine Hat last Tuesday in Game 7 to eliminate the Tigers. It was the second straight series in which the ‘Canes needed seven games to advance after they beat the Red Deer Rebels in seven games in the first round.
Locked Down: The Hurricanes, who had a difficult time holding leads early in their first-round series with the Rebels, were outscored 10-2 in the third period in their first four playoff games. In the last 12 post-season contests, the ‘Canes have been much better outscoring the opposition 19-8.
The Comeback: For the first time in franchise history the Hurricanes erased a 3-1 deficit to win a series in seven games. The ‘Canes fell behind 3-1 after losing Games 1, 3 and 4 but were able to battle back in their first-round series eventually eliminating the Red Deer Rebels in Game 7.