By Nick Kuhl on January 4, 2020.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes top line put up some points, but the Canes
missed the crucial second one as they were edged 5-4 by the Seattle
Thunderbirds in Western Hockey League play Friday night at the Enmax
Playing in the first game of 2020, the Canes held a 4-3 lead after two
periods, but Thunderbirds Max Patterson provided the only third-period
goal with 7:10 to go to send the game to overtime.
The visitors completed their comeback in the extra frame when a scrum
along the boards in the Hurricanes zone sprung Henrik Rybinski and
Payton Mount on a quick two-on-none and Mount capitalized with his
ninth of the season past Hurricanes goaltender Bryan Thomson at 1:50.
The loss snaps a Hurricanes three-game winning streak and puts them at
23-10-1-5 for second in the Central Division and two points up on the
Medicine Hat Tigers, who downed the Calgary Hitmen 5-2 in Medicine Hat.
The Hurricanes line of Logan Barlage, Chase Wheatcroft and Justin Hall
accounted for eight points, but it wasn’t enough for a fourth
Wheatcroft opened the scoring with his fourth of the season 3:16 into
the game and added two helpers, but was also on the ice in the
overtime when Mount buried the winner.
“I think it was a battle from start to finish,” said Wheatcroft.
“I thought we got some big goals, but we have to be able to finish it
off and that comes from me as well. It was a costly mistake in
overtime. We’ll come back, short memory (tonight).”
Barlage gave the Canes to a 4-3 lead after the second period and added
an assist, while Hall tied the game at 3-3 and added two assists.
Zack Stringer — on the power play — added the other Hurricanes goal.
Rybinski, Conner Bruggen-Cate and former Hurricane Keltie Jeri-Leon
scored in regulation for the Thunderbirds.
“I thought it was a battle, I thought we were OK,” said Hurricanes
head coach Brent Kisio. “Give Seattle credit, they came in and played
hard. We just didn’t really pay attention to the details. Our
structure wasn’t quite where it’s been and we have to be better.”
The Thunderbirds outshot the Hurricanes 30-29, including 12 shots in
the third and some extended time in the Hurricanes zone.
“We didn’t give up a lot and I know Tommy knows he could probably
get a couple of those saves back, too,” said Kisio. “He’s been
good for us all year long. Our team had a little bit of a hiccup
tonight, he had a little bit of a hiccup. We just had to be better.”
Wheatcroft’s three-point night gives him 18 points in 35 games and
extends his points streak to four games.
“He’s been outstanding,” said Kisio. “I thought he had a solid
game, unfortunately he had a mishap on that last OT goal. He was in
the wrong spot. But overall, he played a great game and I thought his
line with Barlage and Hall were our best line.”
Hurricanes defenceman Koletrane Wilson had two assists.
Rybinski had three points for the Thunderbirds, while goaltender Roddy
Ross made 25 saves in the win.
The Hurricanes power play was 2-for-6. The Thunderbirds were 1-for-4
with the man advantage.
The Canes are back at the Enmax Centre tonight at 7 against the Hitmen.
NOTES: The Hurricanes unveiled their Wall of Honour at Friday night’s
game. The wall on the west side of the arena honours Hurricanes
players, builders and legends and also includes a touch screen,
allowing to swipe and scroll to read about the inductees. See
Monday’s Herald for the story.