LETHBRIDGE, AB – Two goals just over a minute apart in the 3rd period on Friday, Mar. 8, was all the difference for the Lethbridge Hurricanes as they extended their current winning streak to five games with a 5-2 win over the Medicine Hat Tigers.
On fan appreciation night and with a full house rocking, the Hurricanes rode the momentum to an early lead.
Following a net-mouth scramble after a Logan Barlage wraparound attempt, Hurricanes captain Jordy Bellerive beat Tigers goaltender Jordan Hollett to open the scoring at 5:46.
Jake Leschyshyn was called for tripping a few minutes after Lethbridge made it 1-0, but with the Tigers on the powerplay, it would be the Hurricanes getting a couple of good shorthanded chances but Hollett answered the bell.
The Tigers, energized by the play of their netminder and thanks to a turnover by Lethbridge just inside the Medicine Hat zone, came down on a two-on-one and Baxter Anderson tapped one past Hurricanes goalie Carl Tetachuk to even the score at 1-1 around the midway point of the 1st period.
There was nearly another Tigers goal near the end of the period off a turnover, but thanks to a quick whistle it remained 1-1 heading into the first intermission.
Shots after the 1st period were 15-13 in favour of Lethbridge.
The Hurricanes started fast in the 2nd period as well, and it wasn’t any of the usual suspects helping Lethbridge retake the lead.
All three members of the Hurricanes fourth line picked up points on Zach Cox' 11th goal of the season just before the four-minute mark of the middle frame to give the home side a 2-1 lead.
Lethbridge held the advantage in the pace of play for most of the 2nd, but later in the period, Ty Prefontaine was whistled for checking from behind which gave the Tigers a late powerplay chance.
They would make it count when Ryan Chyzowski beat Tetachuk to make tie the game 2-2 before the end of the period.
Despite carrying the pace, Medicine Hat took over the shots on goal advantage after two periods at 22-21.
After a late penalty hurt the Hurricanes in the 2nd period, just 48 seconds into the 3rd Tigers forward Ryan Jevne was called for high sticking and this time it would be Lethbridge taking advantage.
Off the faceoff, Bellerive took a shot and it was tipped home by Taylor Ross giving the Hurricanes a 3-2 lead with less than 18 minutes to go.
As they’ve been doing a lot lately, Lethbridge struck again quickly, this time just over a minute after Ross’ goal it would be Dylan Cozens burying his 33rd of the season past Hollett off a pass by Zach Stringer making it 4-2 Hurricanes.
Nick Henry would seal the deal with an empty netter late in the period for the 5-2 final score.
Shots finished at 31-30 for Lethbridge, who went 1-for-2 on the man advantage while the Tigers finished 1-for-3 on the powerplay.
The win brings the Hurricanes record to 37-18-5-5 on the season, but they remain in second place in the Central Division because the Edmonton Oil Kings also won on Friday night.
The Hurricanes will play their final game on home ice for the 2018-19 Western Hockey League season tomorrow night when they host the Calgary Hitmen.
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