LETHBRIDGE – The Lethbridge Hurricanes post-Christmas struggles continued Saturday night, Jan. 6, as they dropped a 6-1 decision to the Calgary Hitmen at the ENMAX Centre.
Coming off an 11-day Christmas break, the Hurricanes are 2-4, with two losses to the Hitmen during that stretch. We’ll get more into that later.
Calgary’s Andrew Fyten opened the scoring five minutes in, but the ‘Canes’ leading goal scorer, Jordy Bellerive, evened the score 10 minutes later with his 24th of the season and seventh in his last six games. Two minutes after that though, and with just over two minutes left to play in the first period, Fyten picked up his second of the night – and eventual game winner – to make it 2-1.
Picking up where they left off, the Hitmen increased their lead to 3-1 1:34 into the second, and fired two more past Lethbridge goaltender Stuart Skinner in the period, chasing him from the net. They would add one more on the power play with 41 seconds left in the third to cap the scoring at 6-1.
A look at the WHL standings reveals some good and bad news for the Hurricanes as they continue the 2018 portion of their schedule.
The Hitmen are starting to make up ground in the race for one of the three Central Division playoff spots. With the win, Calgary is now just five points behind third place Lethbridge – although the Hurricanes do hold one game in-hand.
On the positive side, despite going 3-6-1-0 in their last 10 games, the Hurricanes are only two points back of the Kootenay Ice for second place.
More good news comes with a quick glance at the upcoming schedule, which includes a home-and-home engagement with the Red Deer Rebels this week. The Rebels have lost seven in a row and have just one win in their last 10 games. The Hurricanes open the two game series at home on Tuesday, Jan. 9, before travelling north to Red Deer on Friday, Jan. 12.
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