LETHBRIDGE - To begin a home-and-home, it was the Hurricanes who hit first Friday night as they hosted Calgary - just 27-seconds in. Jordy Bellerive had the home team on the scoreboard off an assist from Ryan Vandervlis and Tate Olson.
The speed of the first goal may have rankled the visitors. Just over three minutes later, Calen Addison took a hit to head and had to be helped off the ice. Hitman Andew Fyten took the penalty. Fortunately, Addison was back on the ice five minutes later.
The Hitmen turned on the heat at the 8-minute mark and scrambled in front the Canes net, with Matteo Gennaro flicking the puck in to tie the game 1-1.
After a string of faceoffs favouring the Hitmen, the Canes’ Tanner Nagel followed Cael Zimmerman up the ice where the pair dropped the gloves and went at it. The fight cost the duo five-minute majors.
The Hitmen didn’t waste time after the fight and took advantage of a rush up the ice to take the lead 2-1.
With just over three minutes left, the Canes’ Jake Elmer went end-to-end to net his first goal of the season and tie the game two apiece. The first period came to a close with the shots on goal favouring the Hitmen 12-11.
The second period offered the Canes plenty of opportunities and the team out-shot the Hitmen 25-20. However, just five minutes into play, Hitman Andrei Grishakov had his team up 3-2.
With just over 8-minutes remaining, the Canes Josh Tarzwell pulled a two-minute minor for tripping and at 16:10, some sleight of stick by the Hitmen served to fool Stuart Skinner and the Hitmen finished the period ahead 4-2.
The third period left no doubt the opposition came to play. At 6:10, the Hitmen again found the back of the net and the score was 5-2 for the Hitmen.
The Canes mustered steam and Giorgio Estephan took advantage of a power play feed from Calen Addison, adding to their team’s third goal of the evening.
Scoring came to a halt at that point and the Canes pulled Skinner at the three-minute mark. A minute later, Zane Franklin shot the puck into the empty net from 190 feet to give the Hitmen up 6-goals on the evening.
With 40 seconds remaining in the game, the Canes’ Tanner Nagel was tapped with a two-minute minor for high sticking and the game ended in a 6-3 Hitmen win.
The two teams meet again Saturday night in Calgary, with the 7-7-1 Hurricanes charting three straight losses.
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