By Woodard, Dale on February 22, 2020.
Earlier this week, Lethbridge Hurricanes forward Brett Davis was honoured for his 300th Western Hockey League career game.
Over the course of that time, there were a few two-goal games, but the third one was always elusive.
That changed Friday night as the Canes downed the Moose Jaw Warriors 8-2 in WHL play at the Enmax Centre.
The overage forward, who started his career in Lethbridge before departing in 2017 for stints in Kootenay and Red Deer before returning prior to the trade deadline this year, scored once in each period to check that sneaky hat trick off his to-do list.
It also helped the Hurricanes snap a three-game losing streak that moves them to 35-15-2-5.
The night doubled as the WHL Suits Up to Promote Organ Donation with the Hurricanes wearing special light blue jerseys with their nicknames on the back.
“It feels good,” said Davis, who has 23 goals on the season and 14 in 14 games since returning to Lethbridge. “I’ve had a lot of two-goal games. Obviously, it’s not about me. So you have to give credit to my linemates and my teammates for helping me to do that.”
The Canes held a comfortable 6-2 lead after 40 minutes of play and showed no signs of a lull in the final 20 minutes en route to the win.
It was a late second-period barrage that set the table for the four-goal lead heading into the second intermission as Davis, Zack Stringer and Oliver Okuliar scored in a span of 3:28 to break open a 3-2 lead.
Despite the lopsided score, the Warriors held two leads as Calder Anderson opened the scoring on a breakaway 2:13 into the game and Martin Lang made no mistake on a power play one-timer to briefly give the Warriors a 2-1 lead in the first.
Davis and Dino Kambeitz scored in the first for Lethbridge for a 2-2 tie after 20 minutes.
The hosts took over on the scoresheet after that.
Danila Palivko netted his second of the season for the eventual game-winner 4:15 into the second before Canes struck for three more quick goals late in the period.
“I thought in the first period we weren’t playing the right way,” said Hurricanes head coach Brent Kisio. “I thought Moose Jaw came hard. But we had things we had to do. We were just getting a little too fancy and once we simplified the game, started shooting pucks and getting traffic.”
After Davis completed his hat trick 6:14 into the third, Jett Jones wrapped up the scoring with his seventh of the season with 2:30 to go.
The Hurricanes outshot the Warriors 15-4 in the third and 48-13 overall.
“We talked about our halves and just wanted to play the right way and keep our habits with us and I thought our guys did a great job,” said Kisio of the third. “We moved pucks, we didn’t get too loose and kept shooting. So it was a good job.
“We’ve been in a little bit of a slump, so it was nice to see a bunch of guys break out tonight. Some big scorers like Okuliar, who has been a little off and on, he stepped up and had a great night.”
Davis finished plus-four on the night.
“Obviously a great game by Davey,” said Kisio. “He’s been playing so well since he came back for us and it’s surprising that’s his first career hat trick with how many goals we’ve seen him score. So hopefully there are a couple more to come.”
Okuliar added two assists for three points, while Dylan Cozens and Logan Barlage had three helpers.
Trevor Thurston and Alex Thacker had two assists each and Palivko and Kambeitz each had one helper.
Canes goaltender Bryan Thomson made 11 saves and Warriors netminder Brock Gould stopped 40 of 48 shots.
The Hurricanes power play was 3-for-3. The Warriors were 1-for-2.
Lethbridge is back in action Friday when the Edmonton Oil Kings visit the Enmax Centre.
“It’ll be nice to rest our bodies a little bit, have the day off and then come back this week with some good practices and head into the weekend on a good note.”
NOTES – As part of the WHL Suits Up to Promote Organ Donation night, Jenn Suggitt, wife of former University of Lethbridge Pronghorns rugby coach Ric Suggitt, performed the ceremonial puck drop. Suggitt died in June of 2017 of a sudden brain aneurysm. Fans were encouraged to wear green in honour of the Logan Boulet Effect to raise awareness for Green Shirt Day April 7. The jerseys the Hurricanes wore Friday night were available in an online auction with proceeds going to the Kidney Foundation of Canada.
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