By Nick Kuhl on December 28, 2019.
The eye in the sky had to go for a brief second look.
But one set of eyes on the Lethbridge Hurricanes bench had head
coach Brent Kisio confident his team had just netted the overtime
They had, as forward Dino Kambeitz scored his second of the game in
overtime to give Lethbridge a 5-4 win over the Calgary Hitmen in
Western Hockey League play Friday night at the Enmax Centre.
The Canes flooded onto the ice to celebrate the OT winner as the goal
was initially waved off, somewhat delaying the festivities, but a
quick video review confirmed the shot indeed went in.
Even as the play went under review, Kisio and the rest of his staff
had already gotten their seal of approval courtesy their own set of
eyes on the bench, those peepers belonging to equipment manager Rhett
“I wasn’t sure, but our equipment guy told us it was a goal,”
said Kisio. “So we’re happy he said that. It was all good.”
With the win, the Hurricanes improve to 21-10-0-5 to take over second
in the Central Division, one point up on the Medicine Hat Tigers
(22-10-1-1), who dropped a 4-3 shootout loss to the Swift Current
Broncos Friday in Swift Current.
In their first game back after the Christmas break and their third
straight against the Hitmen, the Canes opened a 3-1 lead after the
first, settled for a 3-3 tie after the second and lost the lead in the
third as Calgary grabbed a 4-3 lead on a goal from Riley Stotts midway
through the third.
But with time winding down, the Hurricanes power play found the back
of the net for the third time in the game as Justin Hall forced
overtime with 3:59 remaining.
Kambeitz earned his team the key second point three minutes into the
extra frame, snapping home the winner on an odd-man rush for his 12th
of the season.
“I thought we had a good first period,” said Kisio. “I thought we
played really well coming off the break and in the second period they
took over. They’re a good hockey club and have good players and
they’re going to have their pushes and they did. They found a way to
take the lead and I was really proud of our response to find a way to
tie it and get it done in OT.”
The teams wasted little time exchanging some post-Christmas cheer.
The Hurricanes got the first power play early and made it 1-0 on
Koletrane Wilson’s fourth of the season 3:47 in. It didn’t last
long as Calgary’s James Malm took a feed from Mark Kastelic and beat
Lethbridge goaltender Carl Tetachuk to tie things up 1-1 4:31 into the
The Canes retook the lead with 7:56 to go in the first on Kambeitz’s
11th of the season.
The man advantage struck for the second time for Lethbridge when
defenceman Alex Cotton — the team’s leading scorer with Dylan
Cozens, Calen Addison and Oliver Okuliar at the World Junior
Championship — stepped into a shot at the top of the left circle
following a scramble in the Hitmen crease for a 3-1 lead.
The goal resulted in McNaughton getting the hook as backup and Taber
product and former Lethbridge midget AAA Hurricane Brayden Peters came
on in relief.
Calgary started clawing back in the second, pulling within one 4:30
into the frame when Orca Wiesblatt fleeced Cotton off the puck to the
left of the Canes net and slid a shot past Tetachuk to make it 3-2.
Calgary then pulled even on the power play on a goal by Jett Woo with
9:50 left in the second.
The Hitmen took their first lead of the game midway through the third
on a goal from Stotts.
But the Hurricanes fifth-ranked power play went to work for the third
time in the game when Hall finished off a pass from Logan Barlage,
roofing the feed past Peters with 3:50 to go to send the game to
“It has to be good for us right now,” said Kisio of the power play,
which was clicking at 24 per cent heading into Friday’s game. “We
know we have to win the special teams battle. We’re missing some key
guys and we have to take advantage of those opportunities.”
Cotton’s goal was his 11th of the season and gives him 38 points in
36 games, tops among WHL defencemen.
“I think we dominated the first period and stuck to what we were
supposed to do,” said Cotton. “Then in the second we kind of got
away from that and they came back. It was a battle going into the
third and we knew we had to stay resilient. We were down by one and
then Hallsie popped that one.”
Rookie forward Alex Thacker had three assists, including a helper on
Hall’s game-tying goal. Barlage had two assists in Friday’s win.
Tetachuk stopped 26 of 30 shots, while Peters kicked aside eight of 10.
The Canes power play was 3-for-6. The Hitmen were 1-for-4.
The Hurricanes are back at the Enmax Centre tonight for their final
home game of the 2019 portion of their schedule against the Swift
Current Broncos at 7 p.m.
The Edmonton Oil Kings remain six points up on the Canes for first in
the Central Division after a 2-1 win over the Red Deer Rebels Friday
in Red Deer.