By Woodard, Dale on December 16, 2019.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes won’t head into the Christmas break on a winning note.
Instead, they’ll settle for a home-and-home split following a 5-2 loss to the Calgary Hitmen in Western Hockey League play Sunday afternoon in Calgary.
The loss comes less than 24 hours after a 3-0 Canes win Saturday night at the Enmax Centre and sends Lethbridge into the break at 20-10-0-5.
That puts the Hurricanes in a tie for second place in the Central Division with the 22-10-1-0 Medicine Hat Tigers and six points behind the Edmonton Oil Kings (22-6-5-2) who have gone undefeated in eight games.
On Sunday, the Hitmen quickly made sure they didn’t get the same result from Saturday night and chased the goalie who shut them out in the process with three first-period goals that ended Hurricanes goaltender Carl Tetachuk’s afternoon after the first period in favour of Bryan Thomson.
The Hitmen outshot the Hurricanes 14-1 in the first with the Canes only shot coming from centre ice.
The Hurricanes were able to do a bit of damage control in the second period when D-Jay Jerome netted his 14th goal of the season to make it 3-1 after 40 minutes.
But the Hitmen added two more in the third to clinch the win.
Justin Hall provided the other Lethbridge goal in the third period with the Hurricanes ninth shorthanded tally of the season.
Riley Fiddler-Schultz, Carson Focht and Riley Stotts scored in the first period – all on the power play – for a 3-0 lead as Thomson came on in relief of Tetachuk to start the second.
Jerome cut the lead to two on a breakaway goal 4:52 into the second for the only goal of the period.
But Fiddler-Schultz second of the game – this one shorthanded – and another by Josh Prokop rounded out the Hitmen’s scoring before Hall scored with 8:35 remaining for his sixth of the season.
Tetachuk stopped 11 of 14 shots in the first and Thomson turned aside 22 of 24 in the final 40 minutes.
Hitmen goaltender Jack McNaughton had a 15-save performance to earn the win.
Calgary’s power play was 3-for-5. The Canes were 0-for-5 on the man advantage.
On Saturday, Hurricanes forward Dino Kambeitz broke a scoreless tie early in the third period and Logan Barlage and Alex Cotton added goals later in the period for the shutout win.
Tetachuk earned his third shutout of the season with a 31-save performance. Taber product Brayden Peters – a former member of the Lethbridge midget AAA Hurricanes – earned third star honours with his 26-save performance.
The Hurricanes and Hitmen will face off for the third game in a row in their first game back from the Christmas break on Dec. 27 when the Hitmen return to the Enmax Centre.