Many Lethbridge Hurricanes fans were hoping for an encore performance Saturday night in Game 2 of the ‘Canes best-of-seven series with the Regina Pats. But, after scoring six goals in game one, the ‘Canes offence ran dry on Saturday night as the team lost 3-0.
“It was a tighter game tonight,” said Hurricanes Coach Brent Kisio. “When teams lose they usually come out a little more desperate, and we’re still learning to try and get our killer instinct.”
The teams were scoreless through the first period, thanks in large part to Regina Pats goaltender Tyler Brown. He was shaky in Game 1 of the series, but made two huge breakaway stops on Carter Folk, and Riley Lindgren to keep the game scoreless through 20 minutes. Outside of those two plays, Lethbridge struggled to generate any significant scoring opportunities.
“I thought we battled a lot harder in our zone defensively tonight then we did last night,” said Regina Pats Coach John Paddock. “We were just much more sound in our own end.”
Regina opened the scoring in the second period when Adam Brooks took a pass from behind the net, waited for Stuart Skinner to go down, then put it upstairs. Brooks, who led the WHL in scoring in the regular season, had three points Friday night, and was every bit as dangerous Saturday night.
The star forward continued to pressure the ‘Canes in the third period. Austin Wagner hit Brooks on a quick feed to send him in on a breakaway and he made no mistake, snapping one past Skinner to make it 2-0 Regina.
“He’s (Adam Brooks) been a challenge to every team he’s played this year,” said Kisio. “That’s why he was the top scorer in the league. We have to do a better job of watching him. Usually with good players it’s time and space and being aware whenever they’re on the ice.”
Sam Steel sealed the Hurricanes’ fate in the final minutes when he added an empty net goal to make it 3-0 Regina. The Pats stifled the Hurricanes offence, limiting them to just 27 shots in the game; a rarity for a team that finished second in the WHL in scoring in the regular season. Hurricanes Captain Tyler Wong believes the lack of offence is more on his teams execution than the Pats’ strong defensive play.
“I don’t think it was them,” said Hurricanes Captain Tyler Wong. “I think we got away from what we need to do to be successful. It’s just going to come down to us supporting each other better. I’m not worried about our offence. This goalie, I think he’s beatable.”
The Hurricanes and Pats are off Sunday and Monday, but meet for Game 3 of the series Tuesday night in Regina.