Hurricanes End Trip with 6-4 Loss to Cougars
Prince George, BC – The Lethbridge Hurricanes ended their five-game BC Division road trip on Friday with a 6-4 loss to the league-leading Prince George Cougars at the CN Centre.
The game marked the final of the ‘Canes season-long five-game road trip while it also marked the first WHL game for Miguel Marques in his hometown. Lethbridge had a good start to the game jumping out to a 1-0 lead just 2:21 in when Elias Knoester wired a shot off the right-wing that fooled Coaldale product Ty Young to give the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead; Kooper Gizowski earned his first assist of the season as Knoester extended his point-streak to five-straight games. Prince George pulled even just 2:03 later as Koehn Ziemmer ripped home his 10th goal of the season from Riley Heidt and Arjun Bawa. The ‘Canes retook their lead as Marques tapped home his ninth goal of the year on a centering pass from Brayden Edwards on a two-on-one with 7:21 left in the first period. The Cougars once again tied the game at the 16:27 mark as Heidt scored his first of two goals in the period as he added another just under three minutes later on a three-on-one to give Prince George a 3-2 lead after one period. Shots favoured the Cougars 13-8 in the first period.
The free-flowing game continued into the second period where the Hurricanes outshot the Cougars 12-7, but the game had a plethora of scoring chances for both teams. Lethbridge had a pair of glorious opportunities on back-door looks but Tristen Doyle and Joe Arntsen both missed the net on one-timers. The ‘Canes pulled even at the 8:20 mark as Arntsen ripped home his first goal in 18-games on drive from the blue-line to tie the game 3-3; Marques and Leo Braillard picked up the helpers on the goal. Just over four-minutes later, the Hurricanes took the lead as Arntsen finished a centering pass by Marques for his second goal of the game – and second career two-goal game – to make it a 4-3 Lethbridge lead. Prince George would pull back even on a power play goal by Zac Funk while four-on-three to make it a 4-4 tie after two periods.
In the third period, it appeared that the Hurricanes ran out of gas as they were outshot 11-5 by the Cougars. At the midway point of the third, Prince George got a power play on the second-best man advantage struck just 15-seconds into the power play as Funk redirected home his 20th goal of the season – and WHL-leading 14th power play goal – to give the Cougars a 5-4 lead; Hudson Thornton and Ondrej Becher earned the assists on the goal. Just over two minutes later, the Cougars added a dagger as Ziemmer beat a ‘Canes defenceman to a puck in front of the net and stole it away from Harrison Meneghin before slipping it into an empty net to give Prince George a 6-4 victory.
The Hurricanes were outshot 31-25 in the game. Lethbridge went 0/5 on the power play while Prince George was 2/5 with the extra man.
Three stars of the game were:
1) Cougars – #27 Riley Heidt (2 goals, 3 assists)
2) Cougars – #13 Koehn Ziemmer (2 goals, 1 assist)
3) Cougars – #17 Zac Funk (2 goals)
With the defeat, the Hurricanes end their five-game BC road trip with a 3-2-0-0 record while their record against Western Conference opponents slipped to 5-4-0-0 on the season. Lethbridge is now 7-7-0-0 away from home this season while their overall record falls to 13-10-2-0 on the year.
The Hurricanes will return to the ENMAX Centre on Wednesday at 7:00pm when they welcome the Calgary Hitmen in the first of a three-game homestand. The ‘Canes will host their annual Canadian Tire Toque and Teddy Toss on Friday at 7:00pm against the Saskatoon Blades. Tickets are available for purchase by visiting the ENMAX Centre Ticket Centre, by calling 403-329-SEAT (7328) or online at www.enmaxcentre.ca.