Hurricanes Begin Trip with Thumping of Royals
Victoria, BC – The Lethbridge Hurricanes opened a five-game BC Division road trip on Friday with a convincing 8-3 victory over the Victoria Royals at the Save-On Foods Memorial Centre.
The Hurricanes saw a return of a quartet of players to the lineup as Logan Wormald, Brayden Edwards and Carter Dereniwsky returned from injury while Will Sharpe made his return after capturing a gold medal at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. Lethbridge had a great start to the game as Dereniwsky drew a penalty on the opening shift and on the ensuing power play, the ‘Canes made good as Kooper Gizowski scored his ninth goal of the season – and eighth goal in his last eight games – to make it 1-0 just 1:35 into the game; Logan McCutcheon and Miguel Marques picked up the assists on the goal. Victoria answered to tie the game when Cole Reschny extended his point streak to 12-games on a goal-mouth scramble to make it 1-1 with his fifth goal of the year. The ‘Canes retook the lead just 1:16 later as Tyson Zimmer redirected a Leo Braillard pass to finish off a three-way passing play – Marques earned the second assist – to put Lethbridge back in front 2-1. Late in the period, the Hurricanes built on their lead as Edwards buried a one-timer for his ninth of the year making it 3-1 on a cross-ice pass from Chase Pauls with 1:36 remaining; Joe Arntsen was credited with the second assist as the ‘Canes led by two after twenty minutes of play. Lethbridge was outshot 11-8 in the first period.
In the opening minute of the second period, the Hurricanes added to their lead as Edwards redirected a Wormald shot for his second goal of the night – and team-leading 10th of the year – giving Lethbridge a 4-1 lead; Tristen Doyle earned the secondary helper on the goal. Victoria cut the lead back to two as Logan Pickford tipped home a centering pass from Casper Haugan-Evenson at the 4:00 mark making it a 4-2 game. The Hurricanes struck again with 6:21 remaining in the period as Noah Chadwick pinched up the middle was ripped a one-timer through the legs of Jayden Kraus to give the ‘Canes a 5-2 advantage after two periods of play. Lethbridge doubled Victoria in shots in the middle frame outshooting them 16-8 in the period.
In the third period, Edwards completed his first WHL hat-trick on a breakaway as he jumped on a loose puck and pulled away from the Victoria defender before tucking home his 11th goal of the year to put Lethbridge ahead 6-2 just 5:18 into the third period – the hat-trick was the first Hurricanes hat-trick of the season and first since March of last year when Hayden Smith scored three against Edmonton. Victoria pulled back to within three goals at the 11:29 mark as Escalus Burlock finished a centering pass from Taber product Deegan Kinniburgh to cut the lead to 6-3. The Hurricanes added two late goals as Marques tipped home a pass from Braillard on another beautiful tic-toe-goal making it 7-3 – for Marques, his fourth point of the game and first career four-point effort. Lethbridge added a power play goal by Wormald in the final minute to round out the scoring in an 8-3 win for the Hurricanes.
Lethbridge was outshot in the third period 9-7 but held the edge 31-28 in the game. The Hurricanes went 2/4 on the power play while going 3/3 on the penalty kill.
Three stars of the game were:
1) ‘Canes – #19 Brayden Edwards (3 goals, 1 assist)
2) ‘Canes – #14 Miguel Marques (1 goal, 3 assists)
3) ‘Canes – #2 Logan McCutcheon (2 assists)
The win for the Hurricanes was their second straight victory and their second straight road win. The win improving the ‘Canes road record to 5-5-0-0 on the season while lifting their overall record to 11-8-2-0 on the season. Lethbridge improved to 4-6-0-1 all-time in Victoria.
The Hurricanes will continue their season-long five game road trip on Saturday when they visit the Vancouver Giants at 8:00pm MT at the Langley Events Centre. Lethbridge will return to the ENMAX Centre on Wednesday, November 29th when they welcome the Calgary Hitmen at 7:00pm. Tickets are available for purchase by visiting the ENMAX Centre Ticket Centre, by calling 403-329-SEAT (7328) or online at www.enmaxcentre.ca.