By Nick Kuhl on February 29, 2020.
What a time to be in a divisional race.
On Friday night at the Enmax Centre, the Lethbridge Hurricanes and
Edmonton Oil Kings put the pedal down and made an announced crowd of
5,227 white knuckle it right to the end before the Canes prevailed in
an entertaining 5-4 Western Hockey League shootout win.
The Oil Kings held 3-2 and 4-3 leads in the third period before the
Canes responded each time — including the game-tying goal from
Lethbridge’s Zack Stringer with 53 seconds left in the game with the
extra attacker — to force overtime.
After that solved nothing, Brett Davis, who scored twice in
regulation, and Alex Cotton found a way past Oil Kings goaltender
Beck Warm in the shootout, while Hurricanes goaltender Carl Tetachuk
turned aside Dylan Guenther and Jake Neighbours.
The win moves the Hurricanes to 26-15-2-5, gives them their third win
against the Oil Kings this year and pulls them to within 11 points of
Edmonton for first in the Central Division.
“Those are my favourite games, for sure,” said Dylan Cozens who
tied the game at 2-2 on a power-play goal in the second. “When
you’re going against the top teams and a division rival and you’re
going for first place those are exciting games. You could see with the
crowd, they were excited for this one, too. Huge thanks for the
support from the fans and we’re happy with how we played. We battled
back so much and we got the win.”
Davis opened the scoring 11:29 into the game, but Wyatt McLeod and
Ethan McIndoe gave Edmonton a 2-1 lead early in the second.
After Cozens tied it after two periods, Neighbours put the Oil Kings
up 3-2 20 seconds into the third.
Davis tied it at 3-3 with 6:56 to go, but Edmonton nudged ahead again
as Vladimir Alistrov made it 4-3 with a little over two minutes to go.
With Tetachuk on the bench, Stringer tied it in the last minute before
the hosts closed it out in the shootout.
“It was a playoff atmosphere,” said Hurricanes head coach Brent
Kisio. “I think our building was rocking. It was a great atmosphere
for us to play in front of tonight and I thought our boys delivered.
We played hard. We were playing a good hockey team. We would get up,
they fought back and they found a way to get up.
“What we liked is we didn’t quit. There were a couple bounces late
that we made some errors on and they got some good fortune on, but we
kept going and found a way to tie it up. The shootout is what it is,
but it was a good hockey.”
Davis’ two goals give him 25 on the season as the Hurricanes return
to the Enmax Centre tonight at 7 p.m. to take on the Brandon Wheat
“It was a super-fun game to play in,” said Davis. “We didn’t
give up and kept pushing at the end. That’s what good teams do. It
was good to get the win and we’ll come back (tonight) even
Down 3-2 in the third, the Canes had a golden chance to pull even with
a five-on-three for 1:50.
The Oil Kings killed it off before Davis briefly tied it.
“Great response,” said Cozens. “We get down, but we don’t get
negative and we don’t pout. We stay confident and we battled back.
The amount of times being down this year in the third and coming back
and battling just shows the resilience and character we have on this
team and that’s what wins in playoffs. So we’re really excited
about our group going into those.”
Davis added an assist for a three-point night, while Cotton had three
Calen Addison had two assists.
Matthew Robertson had two assists for the Oil Kings.
Tetachuk stopped 23 of 27 shots, while Warm turned aside 32 of 36 shots.
The Hurricanes power play was 1-for-5. The Oil Kings were 1-for-2 with
the man advantage.
Hurricanes head to Calgary Sunday to face the Hitmen at 4 p.m.
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