Paul Figler - DUBNetwork

Handshakes in Lethbridge as Hurricanes hold off hard charging Rebels

Following games three and four in Red Deer, it looked as though the Rebels had swiped some of the momentum the Hurricanes had over the first two games of the Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals. Red Deer did trail the series 3-1 coming into game five, but they had taken Game 3 to overtime and Game 4 they won 5-2.

The game started off very feisty and both teams were leading a parade to the penalty box in the early goings.

An awful pass up the boards by Alexander Alexeyev led to a turnover in the neutral zone. The Hurricanes then entered the Rebels zone. Tate Olsen dropped the puck to Brad Morrison. He came streaking down the side and went top shelf on Ethan Anders. For the fourth time in the series the Hurricanes struck first.

With the teams four-on-four, Grayson Pawlenchuk gave the puck to Reese Johnson at the Hurricanes blue line. Pawlenchuk then headed to the middle of the ice and got return pass in the slot. He beat Logan Flodell to tie the game at one before the period was half over.

Reichel then clanged a puck off the crossbar at 10:11 of the first period. As he went after the puck he was rocked by a hit from Zane Franklin. Reichel laid motionless on the ice for a moment and the play was blown down. Franklin was assessed a 5-minute major and game misconduct for interference. Reichel would not return to the game.

On the ensuing power play the Rebels take a 2-1 lead. Having just killed off their own penalty, there was a scramble play in the Hurricanes end resulted in the puck getting to Brandon Hagel on a pass from Alexander Alexeyev. Hagel’s shot nearly went off the foot of Mason McCarty in front, but the original shot beat Flodell to give the Rebels their first road lead of the series.

On their own power play with less than four minutes to play in the first period, Jordy Bellerive scored to re-tie the game. His shot from inside the circle beat Anders cleanly. A Canes forward acted as a great decoy and Anders had to give the streaking player some respect.

The parade of penalties continued in the second period. Early in the second Logan Barlage tripped up a Red Deer Rebel 180 feet from the Hurricane net.

From the point an Alexander Alexeyev shot beat everyone. His wrist shot is just a laser beam beyond the blocker of Flodell. The play started with a puck deep in to the Hurricanes zone when Brandon Cutler picked up the puck and fed it back to Alexeyev.

More trips to the penalty box came with Dawson Barteaux taking a high sticking penalty to the right of Ethan Anders. The Hurricanes looked to make quick work of the power play, having already scored one earlier in the game.

A couple of grade A chances for the Hurricanes early in the power play and Anders was square to the puck.

Anders had to make a number of five alarm saves in the middle portion of the period as the Hurricanes pulled away in the shot department.

The Rebels were out shot 18-2 in the period but scored the only goal to head to the third up 3-2.

There would be no more penalties in this one, but the goals would come fast and furious early in the third period.

3:17 in Calen Addison tied it up at three. He cut right in front of Anders on a rush after accepting a pass from Morrison and was able to stick it behind Anders. It was the 34th shot of the game for the Hurricanes.

Just 1:23 later Taylor Ross accepted a long feed from behind his own red line. He cut behind Colin Paradis and gave the Hurricanes the lead back.

And just shortly after, that a broken play in the Hurricanes end found the stick of Hagel. He shot it towards the Canes net and Johnson picked up the puck in the slot all alone. He just deked around Flodell to make it 4-4.

And there were more goals. Taylor Ross just got his stick on a pass from Bellerive to the right of Anders who had no chance to make a save on it. The play started with Cozens streaking into the Rebels zone with Bellerive and Ross turned on the jets to get behind the Rebels defense.

With one minute and 18 seconds to go in the third period the Hurricanes iced the game. With Ethan Anders on the bench, a chip up the ice from Jadon Joesph and all Morrison had to do was chip it over the diving Rebel defender. Canes make it 6-4 and close out their first round series. Canes win the series 4-1.

The Hurricanes will wait for their opponent, the matchup between the Brandon Wheat Kings and Medicine Hat Tigers. Those two will play Game 6 in Dauphin, Manitoba on Sunday April 1st, 2018.

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