By Lethbridge Herald on September 18, 2021.
With people in the building for the first time in a long time, the Lethbridge Hurricanes delivered a win.
The Hurricanes edged the Medicine Hat Tigers 3-2 in their opening game of the Western Hockey League preseason Friday night at the Enmax Centre.
Playing in front of a crowd for the first time in 566 days since the COVID-19 pandemic put an early end to the 2019-20 season, the Hurricanes opened a 3-1 lead and then held on in the last minute as the Tigers pulled goaltender Beckett Langkow for the extra attacker.
At the other end, Canes goaltender Bryan Thomson went the distance, stopping 17 of 19 shots to post the win as the teams get ready for the rematch tonight in Medicine Hat at 7 p.m.
The Tigers were first on the board and provided the only first period goal as Brayden Boehm was able to rush in and shovel a shot past Thomson for a 1-0 lead 5:35 into the game.
But three unanswered Hurricanes goals put the hosts up for good.
Logan Barlage got it started 9:44 into the second before Noah Boyko put Lethbridge up 2-1 with 7:53 left in the second.
Alex Thacker struck for what stood up as the game-winner 9:16 into the third, but Medicine Hat made it interesting late.
With the Tigers on the power play, Carlin Dezainde was able to poke a rebound five-hole on Thomson to make it 3-2 with 1:28 to go.
That was as close as the Tigers got as the Canes held on for the win, outshooting Medicine Hat 41-19.
Thacker added an assist for a two-point night, while defenceman Nolan Bentham had a pair of assists.
The Tigers were 1-for-7 on the powerplay, while the Hurricanes went 0-for-5.
After tonight’s game in Medicine Hat, the Hurricanes are back at the Enmax Centre Sept. 24 when the Red Deer Rebels come to town.
The Hurricanes wrap up the preseason Sept. 25 in Red Deer.
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