By Jensen, Randy on April 13, 2018.
If the Lethbridge Hurricanes are experiencing feelings of dŽjˆ-vu, it would be understandable.
The Hurricanes host the Brandon Wheat Kings in Game 5 of the teams’ best-of-seven Western Hockey League Eastern Conference semifinal series tonight at 7 at the Enmax Centre.
Following a 7-4 win over the Wheat Kings in Game 4 Wednesday in Brandon, the Canes head into tonight’s game up 3-1 in the series with the chance to end it at home.
That’s the same situation the Hurricanes were in almost two weeks ago when they led the Red Deer Rebels 3-1 in the opening round of the post season with the chance to put their opponent away at home.
They accomplished that back on March 31 in round one and they’ll attempt to do it again in round two tonight with a victory putting Lethbridge in the Eastern Conference final.
“We’re really excited,” said Hurricanes head coach Brent Kisio. “We’ll enjoy this one right now and we’ll get regrouped. We know Brandon is going to push hard. It’s going to be a big game and hopefully, as always, our crowd will be supportive.”
In Game 4, the Hurricanes grabbed a commanding 4-0 lead after the first period that almost didn’t stand up Brandon rallied with three unanswered goals in the second period to cut Lethbridge’s lead to one.
Canes goaltender Logan Flodell was called upon to minimize the damage, stopping Wheat Kings leading scorer Ty Lewis on a penalty shot shortly before the Wheaties second goal.
But a late goal in the second from Zane Franklin and third-period tallies from Jake Elmer and Logan Barlage was enough to fend off a potential Wheat Kings rally and grab the 3-1 series lead.
“It’s playoff hockey,” said Wheat Kings head coach David Anning. “We need to tighten up. We can’t afford to give up as many goals as we have. We need to cut down those goals against if we’re going to be successful.
“The focus is solely on getting Game 6 back in Brandon. We’re going to learn from our mistakes here, we’re going to be ready for (tonight) and our whole purpose and our whole approach will be working our way through the hockey game and getting back to Brandon for Sunday.”
Games 3 and 4 were post season homecoming for Hurricanes defenceman Calen Addison, who had a goal and an assist in Game 3 and added an assist in Game 4.
“Their season is on the line, but our fans and the way we play in our home building is crazy,” he said after Wednesday’s game. “If we come out hard, and crush them early, that’s what we’re going to have to do. Hopefully we end it so we don’t have to come all the way back here again.”
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