By Jensen, Randy on November 7, 2019.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes were knocking and they eventually got in.
A little persistence ultimately kept their points streak alive following a 4-1 win over the Swift Current Broncos in Western Hockey League action Wednesday night at the Enmax Centre.
Hometown product D-Jay Jerome scored twice and added an assist, while at the other end fellow Lethbridge product Carl Tetachuk stopped 20 of 21 shots as the Canes moved to 12-4-0-3.
It also keeps the Hurricanes points streak going at 11 (9-0-0-2) while head coach Brent Kisio moved into second all-time in franchise coaching wins with 169.
The Canes pumped 16 first-period shots at Broncos goaltender and former Hurricane Reece Klassen before breaking through on their 20th shot of the game early in second as Jerome opened the scoring.
“It was a good game, the whole game,” said Jerome, who has eight goals and 17 points in 19 games. “I thought we took it to them a little bit and we consistently stayed playing the same.”
Jerome opened the scoring 3:27 into the second period before Logan Barlage made it 2-0 with 8:38 remaining in the frame, going to the net and taking a heads-up, behind-the-net feed from defenceman Alex Cotton and putting home his third of the season.
Jerome added his second of the game with 1:42 to go in the second off another feed from Oliver Okuliar for a 3-0 lead.
The Broncos cut the Canes lead to two 1:56 into the third when Matthew Culling reeled in the puck right off the faceoff and sent a shot past Tetachuk to make it 3-1.
But Dylan Cozens rounded out the scoring with 7:49 remaining as Jerome added an assist for a three-point night.
“That’s the way we’ve been playing a lot of how we’ve been playing on the road,” said Kisio, who moves past Bob Loucks for second all time in coaching wins and trails Bryan Maxwell with 188. “That was a very similar game. What we’re proud of is tonight we didn’t change our game, we stuck to our identity, showed it and got the result we wanted.”
The win moves the Hurricanes into a tie for first in the Central with the 12-2-3-0 Edmonton Oil Kings, who will be at the Enmax Centre Friday at 7 p.m. in a clash of the first-place teams.
The Broncos remain at the bottom of the Central Division at 3-10-1-2, but Kisio stressed picking up points against divisional opponents.
“It’s important,” he said. “These are the games that at the end of the year there are still two points on the line. It doesn’t matter if it’s Edmonton, Swift Current or who you’re playing. They’re our rival now. They’re in our division and we have to realize that and have to take care of business and we did.”
Okuliar had two assists on the night, while Cozens’ goal was his 12th.
The duo are tied for second in scoring in the WHL with 26 points each.
“Sometimes stuff just clicks and that’s the way it’s working,” said Jerome of his linemates. “So obviously you hope it continues that way. But for now we’re happy.”
“I thought D-Jay was outstanding, I thought he played really well,” added Kisio. “Okuliar wasn’t feeling well, but I thought it was OK. He still got a couple points and Cozens is Cozens, he’s always pretty solid. But I thought were there a lot of other guys going. I thought Barlage had one of the better games he’s had in a while. He had a goal and a (shot) off the post. I thought he had a really strong game.”
NOTES: Tetachuk has cracked the top-five in the WHL in goals-against average and save percentage. He’s in fourth in goals-against (2.05) and fifth in save percentage (.931). Hurricanes affiliated player Salvatore Collora made his WHL debut Wednesday night. The forward skated on the fourth line with Jett Jones and Ty Nash. Wednesday night’s announced attendance was 3,033.