LETHBRIDGE - A frantic finish to the third period couldn't overcome a three-goal deficit as the Lethbridge Hurricanes were defeated 6-3 on home ice by the Tri City Americans on Tuesday night.
The only game on the Western Hockey League schedule got off to a slow start for both teams, but the Americans got on the board first at 13:54 when Riley Sawchuk buried his 11th of the season past Hurricanes goaltender Reece Klassen to make it 1-0.
With Tri City defenceman Dylan Coghlan off for cross checking the Hurricanes powerplay went to work, when Brad Morrison scored his 21st goal to knot the game up at 1-1 a few minutes later.
It was Morrison's third goal in 48 hours as he scored a pair against the Kootenay Ice on Monday, Feb. 12.
The two teams would head to the dressing room after the first period still tied at 1-1. Tri City also held the edge in shots 11-9.
Early in the second period the Americans would answer with a powerplay goal of their own, off the stick of Parker AuCoin to go ahead 2-1.
Again, the lead did not last long, with Taylor Ross beating Americans goalie Patrick Dea at 6:13 for his 15th tally of the year to tie the game back up at 2-2.
Tri City ended up 2 for 4 on the powerplay overall on Tuesday night, and the second goal on the man advantage put the visitors back up 3-2 thanks to defenceman Juuso Välimäki.
The Americans took a 3-2 lead into the third period, but when the game resumed Logan Barlage sniped his 5th of the season past Dea to get the home crowd going as the game as tied once again at 3-3.
But before the PA announcer could even announce the goal, Parker AuCoin's second goal of the evening spoiled the party to put Tri City ahead 4-3 just a 1:39 into the third.
Americans captain Michael Rasmussen, a Detroit Red Wings first round pick, would bury an insurance goal at 3:43 to make it 5-3.
Despite a flurry of chances late in the period the Hurricanes were stymied and Riley Sawchuk's second goal of the game into an empty net made it 6-3 which is how the game would finish.
For the game, Tri City outshot Lethbridge 35-30.
With the loss, the Hurricanes record now sits at 26-24-6.
Hurricanes Coach Brent Kisio says it was a back and fourth game and gave credit to Tri City for their performance.
"They're a good team, I thought they played hard and did a lot of good things. Unfortunately for us we didn't do enough good things and gave up some goals that we shouldn't have allowed," Kisio said.
Kisio admitted that Dea made some good saves in the final ten minutes of the third period, and wishes his team had that kind of push earlier.
"The push late is what we would've liked to see from the start of the game," Kisio continued. "I thought we looked a little tired tonight and couldn't find our legs until the last few minutes of the third."
The Hurricanes will now have two days of practise before a busy weekend.
On Friday, Feb. 16 they welcome the Saskatoon Blades to town for a 7 p.m. puck drop.
Then it's a home-and-home series against the Kootenay Ice beginning with a Saturday night showdown at the ENMAX Centre, followed by a 4 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Feb. 18 in Cranbrook.
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