By Woodard, Dale on March 2, 2020.
A second dramatic comeback in as many nights wasn’t in the cards for the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
The Canes were downed 4-3 by the Brandon Wheat Kings in Western Hockey League play Saturday night at the Enmax Centre.
Wheat King Marcus Sekundiak broke a 2-2 tie with his ninth of the season 6:23 into the third period. With Hurricanes defenceman Trevor Thurston cooling his heels on a four-minute double minor for slew footing, Cole Reinhardt scored his 31st of the season that also doubled as the game-winner.
Hurricanes co-captain Dylan Cozens scored all three Hurricanes goals including his hat trick marker with 2:17 to go, but it wasn’t enough one night after a dramatic 5-4, come-from-behind shootout win over the WHL Central Division-leading Edmonton Oil Kings Friday night.
Lethbridge product Ridly Greig and Connor Gutenberg scored in the second period for Brandon. Greig added an assist on the game-winner and earned second-star honours as the Wheat Kings move to 34-21-4-2 and three points behind the East Division-leading Prince Albert Raiders. The Raiders beat the Moose Jaw Warriors 3-2 Sunday afternoon in Prince Albert.
On Saturday, another Canes rally fell short.
“We weren’t very good tonight and didn’t have much going. They were the better team. They deserve to win and they came out on top,” said Hurricanes head coach Brent Kisio. “We just have to get re-focused. Our energy level wasn’t where it had to be tonight. We looked tired and disinterested.”
Cozens, who now has 36 goals on the year, opened the scoring 6:22 into the game for a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Greig and Gutenberg paced the Wheat Kings to a 2-1 lead in the opening 9:44 of the second before Cozens struck for his second of the game midway through the second stanza to tie it after 40. Sekundiak and Cole Reinhardt then put the game out of reach in the first half of the third period.
“I thought we had a slow start and then got going in the second,” said Greig, who now has 24 goals and 57 points in 54 games with the Wheaties this season.
“We got going and we took over the game a little bit. And the third we got some help with a couple of calls and took over on the power play and that always helps. So it was a good two points.”
Edmonton blanked the Red Deer Rebels 4-0 Saturday night in Red Deer to improve to 41-10-6-4, 11 points clear of the Canes for first in the Central following the Hurricanes 3-2 win over the Calgary Hitmen Sunday afternoon in Calgary.
“Obviously it was a high-emotion game (Friday) night in a packed rink and I think we are just living on that a little too much and maybe took Brandon a little bit too lightly,” said Hurricanes defenceman Koletrane Wilson.
Thomson stopped 34 of 38 shots, including a highlight reel stabbing glove save off of Luka Burzan in the third. With the Canes down 3-2 late, Thomson also turned aside Gutenberg on a breakaway chance
“Unbelievable save,” said Kisio of the glove save on Burzan that briefly went under video review to make sure Thomson’s glove wasn’t over the goal line. “He gave us a chance and he did his job. He stopped some breakaways. It was an unbelievable save there, but we didn’t care enough in front of him.”
The Hurricanes were 0-for-3 on the power play Friday night, while the Wheat Kings were 2-for-7.
Wheat Kings goaltender Ethan Kruger stopped 26 of 29 shots.
Saturday’s announced attendance was 4,251.
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