In a back and forth battle the Seattle Thunderbirds get the last shot, Payton Mount ripped home the overtime goal from the slot to lift the visitors to the 5-4 win. Roddy Ross was steady in making 25 saves for the win while at the other end Bryan Thomson also made 25 saves for Lethbridge.
The Hurricanes got off to a great start in this one striking early. Chase Wheatcroft, with the hot hand extended his four game point streak by slipping one by Ross. That was Wheatcroft’s fourth on the season. Helpers from Koletrane Wilson and Justin Hall.
The lead was short live as Seattle made quick on the power play. Henrik Rybinski ripped home his ninth of the season to tie the game at 1-1. Assists on the play to Andrej Kukuca and Keltie Jeri-Leon. Lethbridge re-took the lead just under five minutes later on a Zack Stringer power-play marker. Stringer’s slap shot was his fifth of the season.
Once again the Thunderbirds respond. Late in period one, Conner Bruggen-Cate with a solo effort as he ripped one by Thomson and sent the game into the first intermission tied 2-2.
Seattle took over to start the second period and would then take their first lead of the night. Former Hurricane Keltie Jeri-Leon found the back of the net for his 13th on the year and the 3-2 lead. The Hurricanes then managed to find another gear after falling behind as they struck for two quick ones to once again take the lead.
Justin Hall struck for his 10th of the season from Wheatcroft and Barlage and just two minutes later Barlage circled the offensive zone before he ripped home his 14th of the season, converting another power-play chance. Lethbridge took the 4-3 lead into the intermission.
The third period was a little slower in action as the Hurricanes tried to hold off the Thunderbirds. But that effort came up short when Max Patterson used his size to drive the net and tuck the game-tying goal under a sprawled out Thomson. Patterson’s fifth of the season set this one to overtime.
A miscue along the boards and a bad bounce saw Rybinski collect a loose puck and set up Mount all alone who makes no mistake beating Thomson top shelf for the 5-4OT win for the visitors. That was Mount’s ninth of the season and his fourth game-winner of the season. Final shots on the night were counted 30-29 for Seattle.
Hurricanes coach Brent Kisio had an honest assessment after this one “I thought it was a battle, they played hard. We just didn’t really pay attention to details, our structure wasn’t quite where it’s been and we gotta be better.”
Shooting the breeze: The Hurricanes finished the night 2-for-6 on the power play while Seattle converted on just one of their four man advantages. Lethbridge held a significant faceoff edge winning 43-of-72 faceoffs.
Ross, with the win collected his 11th of the season giving him 27 victories in 53 WHL games played. The loss drops Thomson’s record to 10-4-1-0 on the season.
Wheatcroft’s four game point streak is a career high he will look to extend that to five on Saturday night vs Calgary. Coach Kisio had some praise for the Calgary native who has been playing top line minutes in the absence of Dylan Cozens and Oliver Okuliar. “He’s been outstanding. I thought he had a real solid game, I thought his line with Barlage and Hall were our best line.”
Wheatcroft was asked about his line and heaped on the praise for his linemates. “I like playing with those guys, we’re good friends and have that chemistry on and off the ice”
Max Patterson now has five points in 11 games since being acquired from Everett
Next up for the Lethbridge Hurricanes is that matchup vs Calgary. The Hitmen come to town after dropping a 5-2 game in Medicine Friday night. Seattle will travel to take on those Tigers in Medicine Hat Saturday night.