Royals forward Dante Hannoun scored four goals on his six shots while adding an assist as the visitors blasted the Hurricanes 6-2 in the first game since the Christmas break. Carl Tetachuk was chased after allowing five goals on 22 shots in the Hurricanes net.
Hannoun wasted little time in this contest to score the first of those four goals, Just 3:04 into the opening period he rips a shot in to break the ice for the one-goal lead. Hurricanes unable to shake off the holiday legs leading to some sloppy play which cost them giving Victoria a couple chances on the man advantage. Royals made the ‘Canes pay, Igor Martynov popped home a rebound for his fourth of the season on the powerplay. The two teams traded some chances before the Jordy Bellerive helped pull on back for this team. While on the power play The ‘Canes captain grabbed a rebound off a Nick Henry shot and wristed it past Brock Gould, who got the start for the Royals. That goal made it 2-1 after 20 minutes. The shots were 13-9 Royals.
Second period action started off with a bang. The Hurricanes got a 2-on-1 break but the Nick Henry shot just missed leading to a counter-attack from Hannoun who on a breakaway tucked in his second of the night to restore the two-goal lead. The home side thought they had responded and scored not long after as Noah Boyko batted the puck in. However, it was waved off due to a high stick. That while disappointing for the ‘Canes seemed to energize the team as they carried the play and the pressure led them to a few chances and a power play. The Royals though were undeterred and continued to simplify the game and create. The result of which was two more goals before the buzzer went including the hat-trick goal from Hannoun. Another goal was reviewed after Calen Addison pinched from the point and set a laser off what many thought was the crossbar. It turned out Addison somehow found the inside top bar of the net for his fifth of the year, pulling the ‘Canes within three at the break. Shots also favoured the visitors at 22-18.
Reece Klassen led the Hurricanes out for the final frame replacing Tetachuk in goal. The goalie change seemed to spark the play of the home team but they were unable to convert any chances, including an early power play in which they peppered Gould with shots but he stood tall for the Royals. In an otherwise uneventful period, Hannoun capped off his night and the scoring with his fourth goal on a beautiful shot. Victoria shut things down after that skating to the convincing win. Final shots ended up in Lethbridge’s favour at 32-29.
Shooting the breeze… Special teams were a big story seeing The Royals go two for four a man up while the Hurricanes went scoreless on three chances. Gould, who got the start over Outhouse in goal, made 30 saves for the win. Tetachuk took the loss and Klassen stopped six of the seven shots he faced in the relief appearance. 4286 were in attendance for this game… a good sized post Christmas crowd. Bellerive’s second period goal gives him 101 in his career tying him for 15th all-time in ‘Canes history with Jason Hegberg (1995-2000). For his effort, the captain was also named the games third star. Royals forwards Hannoun and Fitzer where named stars one and two respectively. The Hurricanes travel to Cranbrook Saturday for a date with the Ice for the second of three-weekend games. The Royals will also travel Saturday as they head to Medicine Hat to play the Tigers, who will be in Lethbridge Sunday. Even with the loss, the ‘Canes are rolling in the last ten games going 7-2-1-0.