EDMONTON - Despite some early penalty trouble, the Lethbridge Hurricanes relied on a big performance from goaltender Liam Hughes and a balanced offensive attack to beat the Edmonton Oil Kings 5-2 on Sunday, Jan. 6.
The Oil Kings came out of the gate with a great jump, thanks in part to three minor penalties to the Hurricanes in the 1st period.
Despite outplaying the Hurricanes early on, Hughes stood his ground and helped the Hurricanes kill off all three Oil King man advantages.
Things remained scoreless after 20 minutes of play, despite Edmonton outshooting Lethbridge 13-2.
Early in the 2nd period, Jake Elmer drew the first power play of the day for the Hurricanes following a breakaway.
Despite a few chances, Lethbridge couldn't cash and Edmonton quickly took advantage after the penalty expired when Jalen Luypen buried one past Hughes to make it 1-0 for the Oil Kings.
Just after the five-minute mark of the 2nd, Andre Fyten took a hooking penalty and it was back to the powerplay for Lethbridge.
On the powerplay, it would Dylan Cozens making a nifty toe-drag around Wyatt McLeod before roofing it on Oil Kings goalie Dylan Myskiw to make it 1-1 with 13 minutes left to go in the middle frame.
That goal would spark the Hurricanes when less than three minutes later Logan Barlage beat Myskiw on the backhand to give Lethbridge their first lead of the game, 2-1 at 8:23.
At 16:06, Elmer teed up Taylor Ross perfectly who put a bullet of a one-timer past Myskiw to give the Hurricanes a 3-1 lead with only 3:45 left in the 2nd period.
That's how things would sit after 40 minutes, with the shots in the 2nd period favouring Edmonton again but this time by a 15-14 margin.
The Hurricanes would open the 3rd period with a 5-on-3 penalty kill due to carry-over penalties from the on Ross as well as a bench minor.
Edmonton would capitalize, as Connor McDonald would strike for the Oil Kings just 1:10 in, but that would be it for offence from the home side in this one.
Ty Prefontaine fought against Parker Gavlas after a check on Justin Hall that Prefontaine didn't like.
The fisticuffs again gave the momentum to Lethbridge, and following another penalty to Edmonton, Noah Boyko's 4th goal of the season on the powerplay restored the Hurricanes two-goal lead with 7:20 to play.
'Canes captain Jordy Bellerive would ice the game with his 20th goal of the season into an empty net off an odd-man rush to make it 5-2.
Shots finished at 41-26 for the Oil Kings, who went 1-for7 on the power play while the Hurricanes finished 2-for-5 with the man advantage.
With the win, Lethbridge leapfrogs Edmonton for 1st place in the Central Division. The Hurricanes are now 21-10-4-4, good for 50 points, and they still have three games in hand on the Oil Kings.
Next up for Lethbridge is a home matchup against the Kootenay Ice on Wednesday, Jan. 9.
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