By Jensen, Randy on October 11, 2018.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes earned their first two home points of the season and their newest acquisition earned his first pair of points as well as the Canes doubled the Regina Pats 4-2 in Western Hockey League play Wednesday night at the Enmax Centre.
After settling for one point against the Saskatoon Blades in a 3-2 shootout loss Saturday night, the Canes got them both Wednesday thanks in part to a two-goal performance from forward Ty Kolle.
Acquired last week from the Portland Winter Hawks, Kolle scored his first goal in Canes silks on the power play to give the Canes a 2-1 lead in the second period and added the insurance marker in the final minutes for the win that improves Lethbridge to 3-3-0-1.
“It’s pretty awesome, I’ve been waiting for my first one to happen,” said Kolle. “I think I hadn’t really contributed to the last team I was on very much. Coming here, that was kind of my goal, to be a player that contributes and I wanted to be a part of it. It’s a pretty good feeling.”
The Pats took an early 1-0 lead off a turnover at the Hurricanes blue-line as Riley Krane made no mistake hammering home a rebound off a shot from Logan Nijhoff past Canes goaltender Reece Klassen 1:34 into the game.
The Canes pressed and made it 1-1 with 8:52 left in the first when Jake Elmer took a behind-the-net feed from Jadon Joseph and one-timed a shot past Pats goaltender Max Paddock.
Kolle’s first Lethbridge goal put the hosts up 2-1 on the power play as he took a sharp angle rebound and sent a shot over Paddock 5:35 into the second.
Hurricanes then went up by a pair when Dylan Cozens got his stick on Calen Addison’s point shot to make it 3-1 15:11 into the second period.
The goal gives Cozens – the Hurricanes leading scorer – at least one point in each of the team’s seven games.
Down a pair heading into the third, the Pats didn’t go quietly.
With Bellerive off for roughing, Regina’s Robbie Holmes finished off a passing play off what looked like a routine Hurricanes clearing attempt that didn’t get out.
With the Pats buzzing after pulling within one, Kolle delivered the dagger with 3:59 remaining for his second of the game.
“Bars (Logan Barlage) got it at the blue-line,” said Kolle. “He went to chip it in and the ref just happened to be there and it went off his skate. The d-man turned around to go get it, it popped into the middle and I didn’t even look. I just shot it as quick as I could, hoping it was on net and it went in.”
The Pats pulled Paddock with a little under two minutes to go, but couldn’t close the gap.
“It’s a win,” said Hurricanes head coach Brent Kisio. “We know we have a lot of things to work on, but the main thing was getting the win tonight. We needed the win and we did that. We worked. I thought we got a lot better as the game went along, especially in the second period. I thought we did a good job there. The third period was pretty solid, a couple turnovers, but it was a step in the right direction.”
Klassen stopped 24 of 26 shots.
“Klass has been good for us the whole year so far,” said Kisio. “He’s been probably our best player night-in and night-out. We know we can rely on him and when we have breakdowns he makes big saves for us.”
Up front, the trio of Elmer, Joseph and Jackson Shepard enjoyed a strong night.
“I thought our best line, by a mile, was Joseph, Elmer and Shepard,” said Kisio. “They worked hard from the start, they got us back in the game to tie it up. The whole night then kept playing hard and playing in the team zone. They played the right way the whole night.”
“I think it was commitment and compete level,” added Elmer, whose goal was his fourth of the season. “We stuck to the system and really took into consideration what the coaches said before the game. We got pucks in and we got pucks deep and ended up controlling the play in the offensive zone. Our compete level was really high and all credit to Jo and Shep, they were battling hard and they found me in the slot for a nice goal.”
Canes defenceman Igor Merezhko had two assists in Wednesday’s win, in front of an announced crowd of 2,832.
The Hurricanes are in Calgary Friday night to take on the Hitmen and return to the Enmax Centre Saturday at 7 p.m. when the Prince George Cougars visit.
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