Hurricanes Sharpen Game Against Blades
The Hurricanes continued their march back to the CHL top 10 tonight by handing the Blades a 4-1 loss. Lethbridge used a great first period to push their home record to an an impressive 11-3-1, the Blades fell to 4-7-1 on the road.
The Canes came out flying in the first just as they’ve done all year long. It was the usual suspects getting the scoring started as Ryley Layden notched his 11th marker of the year, Nathan Barrett and Tim Green assisted on the goal. Less then two minutes later the Canes added another to their total as Brett O’Malley took advantage of a Blades give-away and flipped a shot low blocker side on Michael Garnett, who started in net for Saskatoon. The second goal silenced the Blades fans in attendence, which was quite a surprise amount since a trip from Saskatoon is a mighty trek. The Blades continued what was turning into a bad period when Tim Preston took a cross-checking minor. The Canes put the league’s fourth best powerplay to work and it wasn’t long before it clicked.Tim Green finished off a beautiful pass from New Jersey Devil draft pick Phil Cole. Green fired home a one timer from the side of the crease after Cole made a bullet of a pass across from the opposite point, Garnett didn’t have a chance. The Canes weren’t done yet and either was Tim Green. Green scored his second of the game, 16th of the season, with less then a minute left when he took a soft Nathan Barrett pass and fired the puck high blocker side past Garnett. The assist to Barret was his second of the night, he now has a league leading 49 points. That was the end of the first period and also the end of the game for Blades goalie Michael Garnett.
Blades back-up tender Ryan Senft started the second and ended up displaying a masterful performance. The second period also was the start of rough play and things would only get rougher as the game went on. Clay Plume and Ken Ludwar started the fun by dropping gloves at mid-ice, not much happened though as both players fell to the ice after only a couple seconds. Less then five minutes later Phil Cole and Davin Heintz squared off in what would be the first fight of the night for the two. Prior to the tilt Heintz had hit Scott Borders from behind so Phil Cole stepped in for his teammate. The Blades finally found a way to beat Canes starter Blake Ward…. the power-play. Saskatoons leading scoring Justin Kelly was left all alone on the left side of the net and he made no mistake using a quick deke to slip the puck by Ward. A scary moment for the Canes mid-way through the second frame when Tomas Kopecky was belted by Scotty Balan, the hit was clean but Kopecky was helped off the ice and headed strait to the dressing room. Rounding out the second period, the fans were treated to one more fight as Matt Bergen and Matt Suderman dropped the mittens.Suderman lost his jersey and the fight, he received a 10 minute misconduct for having his sweater come off. At the end of the second frame the Canes held a demanding 27-12 edge in shots.
Tomas Kopecky, the WHL’s second leading scorer, returned for the third period but he was sporting a full cage. Blades back-up Senft looked brilliant once again as he held the Blades in the game. The Hurricanes had wonderful chances to blow the contest wide open but Senft stopped three 2 on 1 breaks within the first six minutes of the third. Senft’s portfolio of saves included an unbelievable glove save on Nathan Barrett, the save left the fans and Barrett shaking their heads. The main event of the night would take place next as D.J. King and Davin Heintz traded blows. Hay-makers were being thrown left and right with many connecting, both warriors left the battle exhausted, but as Don Cherry would say, no body got hurt.
The play settled down for the last few minutes of the third and the Canes glided on to a 4-1 victory. When the final buzzer sounded Lethbridge had outshot the Blades 42-16 and had two points to show for it.
Blades goalie Ryan Senft recieved third star for his 40 minutes of brilliance, Nathan Barrett was named second star and first star went to Tim Green for his pair of goals.
The Blades were once agin without New Jersey first round draft pick Adrian Foster. Foster is resting a groin injury and has only played 3 games since being sent back from New Jersey. He does have 5 points in the 3 games he played.
Next up for the Canes……..
Saturday in Medicine Hat to play the last palce Tigers.
Sunday night back at the Enmax Centre to host the Raiders, it will be Lethbridges last game in a stretch that saw them play five times in six nights.
Check back to Hockey’s Future Monday for a recap of the Sunday night tilt with the P.A. Raiders.
For Hockey’s Future
I’m Dustin Nielson