Newly acquired goalie Liam Hughes maked 33 saves to backstop the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Giants. Jake Elmer adds two goals and an assist to pace the ‘Canes in scoring while Taylor Ross added a goal and two helpers in the victory. David Tendeck made 24 saves in the loss.
In a scoreless opening frame, the story was that of Liam Hughes.
Early in the game he was accidentally run into and stayed down for a minute, putting a small scare into the crowd but he regrouped and seemed to use that as motivation for the game. Off the next faceoff, he made a series of saves including a ten beller. The B.C product would go on to stop all 10 shot he faced from the Giants. Dylan Cozens had the one prime chance for the home side when he rang a blistering shot squarely off the post. The Hurricanes finished with just seven shots in the opening 20 minutes.
The middle period was action packed, getting started at just 1:01 of the period when Jake Elmer ripped home his 17th of the season that finished off a beautiful passing play from Cozens and Ross. Lethbridge would double the lead 3:17 later as Captain Jordy Bellerive backhanded a centring pass from Nick Henry into the top corner. That goal caused Giants head coach Michael Dyck to use his timeout. That seemed to do the trick for his team as would turn the momentum in the game on its side by scoring two goals in just 33 second to tie the game. Owen Hardy and Justin Sourdif would get goal credits with their eighth and ninth respectively. Tendeck added to the momentum by stopping Hurricanes forward Henry on a short-handed breakaway, his team fed off of the save. Giants led the shot clock after 40 minutes by a 24-16 mark.
Whatever the message from Coach Brent Kisio was to his locker room seemed to fire up his team as the Hurricanes came out blazing. The hard work paid off when Ross, in the slot, slammed home his 22nd goal of the season into the top corner. Restoring the lead for the home side. Just over four minutes later Elmer would get his second of the game and put the Canes in the driver’s seat with a two-goal lead. With the game in hand, the Hurricanes took little risk and steered this game home. The Giants did get a late goal from Defencemen Bowen Byram but where unable to tie the game up with the goalie pulled late. Final shots were counted 36-28 for the visitors.
Shooting the breeze: The loss was the fourth in a row for the Giants who fall to 23-12-2-0 on the season but remain tops in the BC division, Hurricanes improve to 20-10-4-4 with 48 points which is good for second in the division just one point behind Edmonton but they have three games in hand on the Oil Kings. Rookie Defencemen Joe Arntsen made his WHL debut in the game and looked pretty good. Hughes is now 1-1-0-0 with his new team and was named the game’s third star, Taylor Ross took home the second star and with his two goals, Jake Elmer was named the games first star. Hurricanes next action is Sunday when they travel to Edmonton for a showdown versus the Oil Kings. Vancouver will head west to Cranbrook to tangle with the Ice.