May 29th, 2024

Hurricanes dull the Blades

By Dale Woodard on October 30, 2021.

On a night when the Lethbridge Hurricanes wore replicas of the Lethbridge Bulls baseball jerseys, Ty Nash hit a key double.

The Hurricanes edged the Saskatoon Blades 4-3 in Western Hockey League action Friday night at the Enmax Centre as the Canes honoured the Bulls’ Western Canadian Baseball League championship title this past summer with the special jerseys.

Trailing 3-1 in the second period, Nash scored his first two goals of the season in a 50-second span to tie the game before Justin Hall netted the eventual game-winner early in the third for the Canes second straight win that improves them to 5-3-0-0 on the season and hands the Blades (7-2-1-0) their second loss of the season.

At the other end, Canes goaltender Bryan Thomson fleeced Saskatoon’s Brandon Lisowsky with a stunning glove save late in the second period to keep it 3-3 before Lethbridge’s special teams came on to earn the save late with two key penalty kills in the third.

And Nash finally found the back of the net.

“It was unreal,” said Nash. “Seven games in and not having goal, that’s pretty frustrating. To be able to get two back-to-back like that is pretty unreal. It was great plays by Wheats (Chase Wheatcroft) and Thacks (Alex Thacker). It’s just exciting and I’m glad I have more confidence now.”

The Blades went up 2-0 on a pair of goals from Jayden Wiens in the opening 7:08.

But the Canes cut that in half when Jett Jones reeled in a rebound off a shot from Yegor Kladiev and slid the puck past Blades goaltender Nolan Maier to make it 2-1 with 5:19 left in the first.

Saskatoon restored that two-goal lead a little over two minutes later on Kyle Crnkovic’s eighth goal of the season.

Then a little over eight minutes into the second, Nash drew his team even with a pair of goals in 50 seconds.

“It was just a matter of time until he scored,” said Hurricanes head coach Brent Kisio of Nash’s quick snipes in the second. “He’s had so many chances and has played so well for us. To score two goals like that and get us back in the game, it was big for our team. When he scores, our bench knows how hard he works. It was a good momentum boost.”

Thomson’s glove kept the game 3-3 late in the second when the veteran goaltender slid across the crease and flashed the leather to deny Lisowsky.

Shortly after, the Blades had a goal waved off when Tyler Parr thought he had shoved in a rebound off the back boards past Thomson, but a quick video review waved off the goal and kept the game tied heading into the third.

“He was outstanding and he’s been outstanding all year long,” said Kisio of Thomson, who stopped 24 of 27 shots. “Again tonight, he made some big saves again. When he plays like that we always have a chance to win.”

Hall scored his third of the season 1:11 into the third for the eventual game-winner to cap off the Canes comeback.

“They’re a fast team,” said Kisio of the Blades. “Their forward group, especially (Tristen) Robin’s line, they really move and it was a good challenge for us. I think we were a little caught off guard with their speed. As much as we talked about it, they do have next-level speed and I think you saw in the second and third period when we started skating and playing a little more physical we had success.”

The Hurricanes second big test of the weekend looms tonight as the 11-1-0-0 Winnipeg Ice come calling to the Enmax Centre at 7 p.m.

Winnipeg was handed their first loss of the season Friday night in Edmonton as the Oil Kings scored three third period goals to erase a 1-0 Ice lead and post a 3-1 win

“Saskatoon is a great team, so beating them and having another tough game (tonight) definitely gives us some confidence,” said Nash. “So I think it’ll be the same case with Winnipeg being a fast team. I think we just have to play the same way and it’ll work out for us.”

Hall added an assist for a two-point night, while Thacker had two helpers.

Blades defenceman Charlie Wright had two assists.

The Hurricanes outshot the Blades 34-27 as Maier made 30 saves.

The Blades were 1-for-5 on the power play, while the Hurricanes were 0-for-4.

Friday’s announced attendance was 3,189.

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