GDB 50.0 WRAP UP: LO-FLOW
Ah the dissatisfaction of a shower with no water pressure. We’ve all been there and it usually seems to come on the road in some dingy hotel bathroom. You know the kind I’m talking about. It’s got the same off-white/yellow bathroom, the door opens awkwardly into the toilet, and they provide shampoo with conditioner in it, not shampoo and conditioner separately. Well, that unsatisfying road trip shower was the equivalent of the Canes’ game tonight.
It was lackluster at best and there was very little pressure.
Check out the summary below.
It was not a great start to this game for the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Vancouver was undoubtedly the more aggressive team and controlled the pace of play early on. The Canes had trouble transitioning out of their own zone resulting in the D pairing of Atwal and Skeoch being on the ice for 2 consecutive minutes to start game # 50 of the season. Lethbridge’s PK would be tested early following a hooking call to Carter Folk. The PK did a great job of keeping the G-men to the outside and limiting scoring chances. The successful kill seemed to spur the Canes on a little as they finally got their legs moving in Vancouver. Cory Millette would get the Canes on the board at the 8:31 mark of the 1st. The Canes were able to stop the Giants entry into the Lethbridge zone at the blueline and push the puck up the boards. Carter Folk brought the puck in on a 3 on 2. He dropped to Ryley Lindgren who would fire a wrister at the Vancouver net where Millette managed to get the lumber on it and send it upstairs and put Lethbridge up by a goal. From there on the Giants were the better team and had the much stronger possession numbers; however, the Canes defenders did a great job of closing the gaps and taking away the middle of the ice from the Giants. The Canes struggled to get their cycle game going in the opening period, but were able to go to the dressing room holding a one goal lead. Shots after 20 favoured Vancouver 8-4.
The 2nd started off with some fireworks between these two teams. Darian Skeoch and Taylor Crunk would drop the gloves a mere 8 seconds into the period. Skeoch would get the relatively easy decision after landing a couple of bombs that dropped Crunk to the ice. From there it was a similar narrative to the 1st period for the Canes. The major difference was that Lethbridge spent some time on the PP in the 2nd. The Canes struggled on their first 2 power plays of the period. The absence of Andrew Nielsen was notable as the Canes were unable to control the line and maintain much in the way of possession. On the 3rd PP of the period, Giants F Trevor Cox would break in all alone, but Sittler stoned him with the blocker to preserve the Canes lead. Lethbridge would break out off of the Giants short-handed chance. Egor Babenko would feed a hard charging Cory Millette who made no mistake in potting his 2nd goal of the game just as the Giants penalty had expired. Vancouver would cut the Canes lead in half on a greasy goal off the stick of Trevor Cox on their 3rd PP of the game. Cox would fire a seemingly harmless shot on net from below the goal line. Unfortunately for the Canes the puck would bank in off of Sittler, who was a cheating a little off his post trying to play the centering pass. Just under 2 minutes later the G-men would tie the game at 2 apiece. Nick Watson would see his breakout pass intercepted at the line by Vancouver D man Brennan Menell. Menell slid it to Alec Baer who made no mistake beating Sittler over the glove from the slot. The period would end with the score tied 2-2. Vancouver again outshot the Canes 12-7 in the period, and 20-11 overall.
The 3rd period would start out with a lot of back and forth play as both teams would dump the puck deep only to see it head back the other way The Canes came close to going ahead on the scoreboard when Brayden Burke fired a centering pass to Tyler Wong from the corner. However, Vancouver D man Ryan Jones would tie up the captain’s stick and prevent a sure goal from going in the Giants net. From there it was pretty much all Vancouver for the remainder of the game. The Giants would get the go ahead goal at 10:05 of the period. Following a face off win, Vancouver would simply outmuscle the Canes below the goal line and work the puck to the front of the net. Giants forward Chase Lang would bang away and eventually shovel it past a defenceless Jayden Sittler, who had done all he could to keep it out of the net. Coach Kisio threw the lines in a blender in an effort to generate some sort of offensive spark, but nothing would work for Lethbridge on this night. Vancouver would ice the game when Brennan Menell sent into the empty net from 180 feet away off the draw. Make it a 4-2 final in favour of the Giants. Shots in the 3rd were 17-5 Vancouver and 37-16 for the G-men overall. This marks the first time the Canes have lost back-to-back games since November 14th and 15th.
- Cory Millette had a solid night for the Hurricanes as he accounted for all the offence the team would muster on this night.
- Egor Babenko also looked dangerous for the much of the night and had an assist on Millette’s second goal. Perhaps more important was the fact that he returned to the game after skating to the bench and heading to the dressing room in the 2nd after an awkward collision in the Giant’s end.
- The Canes defensive play was generally solid in this one. Outside of the Lang and Baer goals, the Canes stuck to their systems and did a good job of taking away the middle of the ice. Unfortunately for Lethbridge, the Giants were able to convert when the Canes did make mistakes.
- The Canes simply could not generate any sustained pressure on this night. They were on their heels for the majority of the game. If not for a solid team defensive effort Vancouver probably would have won this game in lop-sided fashion.
- Injuries seem to have taken their toll. The absence of Guiterrez and Nielsen was quite noticeable. Nielsen was especially missed on the power play. It’s evident how valuable he is on the man advantage as the Canes struggled to hold the zone and generate chances from the blue line.
- Shot on goal. This is becoming quite the problem for Lethbridge. The Canes have now gone 9 consecutive periods with 8 shots or less on goal. This is most surprising considering the offensive prowess the Canes have demonstrated throughout the season.
- Face-offs were an issue tonight. The Canes lost a lot of draws tonight. Vancouver was able to out-muscle the Canes on scramble draws quite consistently.
- The neutral zone play was quite sloppy this evening and was certainly one of the reasons for the lack of pressure and low shot totals. The Canes didn’t execute their break out passes very well. This often led to neutral zone turnovers or prevented the Canes from gaining the Giants zone with speed.
This game took a similar turn to last night’s contest versus the Victoria Royals. Once again, it’s not that the Canes were that bad, it’s just that the home side was much better. Vancouver, much like the Royals, executed their game plan to perfection. The Canes played a fairly sound defensive game and were in this one until the end. Again, much like the game versus the Royals. While it may be small consolation, the Canes were no where near their best and still had a chance at getting 1 or 2 points on the road. Perhaps a little adversity will end up being a good thing for Lethbridge. The last few times this type of thing occurred (on the previous western swing and earlier jaunt through Saskatchewan and Manitoba) the Canes came out the other side on fire. Time will tell. One thing’s for certain, the Canes will need to be much better versus the Kelowna Rockets on Tuesday night if they want to maintain their hold on first place in the league.