The Lethbridge Hurricanes found themselves down 3-0 in the WHL Championship Final, looking back on this day in 2008. This game is the lone contest the team has played on this date. The team welcomed the Spokane Chiefs to town for Game 4 of their best-of-seven series showdown for the Ed Chynoweth Cup.
The game the night before was an overtime thriller won 2-1 in OT by the Chiefs who took a commanding 3-0 series lead and set up this do or die situation for Lethbridge.
From the get-go, Spokane looked to be in control, knowing what was on the line for them. Outshooting Lethbridge 9-4 in the opening frame, Mitch Wahl broke the ice at the 13:14 mark of the period, his sixth of the playoffs beating Juha Metsola. Drayson Bowman had the lone helper on the play.
The Chiefs carried the momentum into the middle frame, getting an early goal to double their lead. Tyler Johnson ripped home his fifth goal of the playoffs just 3:37 into the period. Levko Koper and Justin McCrae earning the assists and the 2-0 goal.
What the home team needed was a quick response and that is what they got. A mere one minute and 51 seconds later Nicholas Hotson managed to get one by Dustin Tokarski making it again a one-goal game. Craig Orfino and Brennan Yadlowski were credited with the assists.
Down by a goal going into the final period, the Hurricanes made a critical mistake early in the frame. Carter Bancks, just 90 seconds into the period, took a slashing penalty to set up a Chiefs powerplay. That penalty proved to be fatal as David Rutherford put home his ninth of the playoffs and restored the two-goal lead for the visitors. Helpers on the 3-1 marker went to Bowman and Judd Blackwater.
Hurricanes were unable to make a comeback from there, only managing seven third period shots while allowing 10 from the Chiefs. Ondrej Roman put the finishing touches on the game for Spokane with his ninth of the playoffs.
A disappointing 4-1 defeat for the Hurricanes.
The victory gave the Chiefs their first title since 1991 when they also swept the Hurricanes for the Championship, and like 1991 Spokane went on to win the Memorial Cup as well.
Shooting the breeze: The Chiefs powerplay on this night went 1-for-5 while the Hurricanes were unable to take advantage of being a man up going 0-for-3. Lethbridge netminder Juha Metsola gave his team a chance to stay in this game making 21 saves on the night. Dustin Tokarski wasn’t overly busy in goal for Spokane but he was good enough in making 17 saves for the victory. The Chiefs were the first U.S. Based WHL team to win the WHL Championship in 10 years at that point. Tyler Johnson took home the MVP honors.