GDB 25.0 WRAP UP: V
V is for victory.
Victory is good.
Egor Babenko put the Hurricanes up 1 – 0 early on a defensive lapse by the Wheat Kings’ John Quennville. It didn’t take long for Quennville to redeem himself as he would score a few minutes later on a beautiful shot top shelf over Jayden Sittler. The teams would trade powerplays after the goals – the best chance going to Corey Millette short handed on a breakaway. He had Papirny beat, but his backhand hit the side of the net to keep the score at 1 – 1. The Wheat Kings would take the lead late in the first on a bad miscommunication between Merezhko and Estephan. They both drifted to the high-man in the slot and neglected the Wheat King’s winger just on the edge of Sittler’s crease. It was a tap-in goal at 5 on 5. That’s how the period would end, 2 – 1 Brandon.
The Hurricanes stormed out of the gate in the third. Tyler Wong and Justin Gutierrez would both score on low – glove side – shots to put the Canes up 3 – 2. The two teams continued to trade chances as the period progressed but couldn’t seem to find the net. Jayden Sittler was fantastic on a fierce Brandown powerplay flurry where he made four or fives saves consecutively to hold the Hurricanes one-goal-lead. After Wong and Babenko both failed to score on clearcut breakaways, Sitter was again called upon to make a massive 3 on 2 save late in the period. He was equal to the task and the Canes would head to the third up a goal.
Tyler Wong, continuing to buzz, generated two breakaways in the first five minutes of the third but couldn’t score on either. Fantastic defense by the Wheat Kings on the second, and a borderline trip on the first kept Wong from tallying. A few moments later, Justin Gutierrez and Brayden Burke combined for one of the best garbage goals I’ve seen in a long time. The puck deflected several times and both players hacked at it until it eventually was kicked into the net by Papirny’s toe. The goal went under-review to confirm it crossed the line, but would ultimately stand. The two teams continued to play a hard-nosed game right down to the final minutes, but the Hurricanes were able to keep Brandon from getting on the board in the third. Final score, 4 – 2 Lethbridge.
- Once again the Hurricanes got off to a good start. It’s been a positive trend of late. It hasn’t always translated to wins, but it’s a sign that the Canes are ready to play at the drop of the puck.
- The top line is starting to see some bounces again. Tyler Wong had a big goal for the Canes to start the second period.
- Both teams showed some great feistiness tonight. Neither squad was about to back down, but things never got out of hand. It was a hard played game between two good clubs and was a pleasure to watch.
- Carter Folk absolutely annihilated Jayce Hawryluk at the Wheat Kings blueline. No doubt the hit of the game.
- Jayden Sittler made a massive save on a Wheat King 3 on 2 rush late in the second to preserve the Hurricanes 3 – 2 lead. It was a key save at a key time in the game.
- Tyler Wong had a phenomenal game tonight. His final score-line is not indicative of how impactful he was in tonight’s game. Wong was creating chances, out-muscling opponents, and driving the net.
- Big time warrior credit to Arvin Atwal for wearing a hard shot off his foot with a minute left. Those plays are invaluable. In the dying seconds he also made some key stick checks to hold Brandon to two goals. Great game by the 20 year old.
- The Canes defense was fantastic at times tonight. They had their occasional breakdown, but the overall level of play was commendable. Most impressive was the puck movement from Nielsen, Atwal, and Pankewicz.
- Defensive breakdowns at even strength were an issue for the Canes tonight. While the Wheaties deserve credit for their ability to create and finish chances, more than one of their goals could have been avoided.
- Poor Tyler Wong made one of the sickest deke’s you can make on a clear cut break away in the second, but it was so good, he deked himself into losing the puck.
- Despite scoring their fair share of goals, I couldn’t help but think the Canes lacked a little finish around the net. They had numerous grade A scoring chances (breakaways, high slot shots, etc..) that, on most nights, would probably end in goals.
THIS AND THAT
- Reid Duke is growing himself some fine looking hockey hair.
- Jordan Papirny didn’t have a very strong game tonight. Neither the Wong nor the Gutierrez goals were the kind you want your netminder to let through.
- The Wheat Kings have some impressive defensemen. I was impressed by how active they were tonight. Most of Brandon’s offense seemed to flow from the back-end. Their defensemen never hesitated to take a big shot from the point. I did, however, feel that Brandon’s defense struggled with the speed of Lethbridge’s forwards at times in their own end.
- I was digging the layout of the Hurricanes Crush Cancer lavender jerseys tonight! I wish they would switch out their current jerseys with the vertical striping with a look that is a little more classic. Bring back the horizontal stripes!
Thats a big win Lethbridge! It sets the Canes up for a fantastic weekend as they play in Cranbrook tomorrow evening. The Hurricanes were fully credit for tonight’s victory over a good Brandon team. Both squads played a good game and had their legs, but unlike their first meeting, tonight it was the Canes that found a way to win.
Home ice continues to be friendly to this Hurricanes team. Fans have had a treat this season. It wasn’t a huge crowd tonight, but people are into it. The fans in Lethbridge are loving this team – as they should. It seems like ages ago that things were dire for the organization. Don’t get me wrong – the finances still need tending to – but the on-ice product is worth paying to see.
At long last, there is a reason to head to the Enmax on game night. That reason is a entertaining team that just beat one of the East’s strongest.