Lethbridge Hurricanes on verge of elimination after game five loss to Broncos – Lethbridge


The Lethbridge Hurricanes are a game away from being eliminated from the Western Hockey League playoffs after a 4-3 loss to the Swift Current Broncos Saturday night. The Broncos held off a hard charging ‘Canes team in the third period to capture game five and take a (3-2) series lead.

READ MORE: Hurricanes storm back from series deficit to tie WHL Eastern Conference Final

“I thought we battled and competed, but not to the level we needed to be at,” Hurricanes Head Coach Brent Kisio said. “We knew Swift Current would come out hard in their rink. I thought Swift Current out-battled us, was more physical and they deserved to win the game.”

After a dismal effort in game four, the Broncos responded with a much better performance in game five. The two teams went scoreless in the first period, but goals from Swift Current Forwards Max Patterson and Giorgio Estephan in the middle frame would give the Broncos a 2-1 lead through 40 minutes.

The two teams exchanged goals early in the third period to make it 3-2 Swift Current, kicking off a wild final twenty minutes.

Seven minutes into the period Tyler Steenbergen found Estpephan cutting to the net and the former Hurricanes Captain buried his second of the night to put the Broncos out-front 4-2.

The Hurricanes fought back tenaciously in the final ten minutes, launching 16 shots at Swift Current Goalie Stuart Skinner in the third period. In the final minute the ‘Canes pulled the goaltender for the extra attacker and it paid off. Egor Zudilov found some open space beside Broncos Goalie Stuart Skinner and potted a loose puck to get the Hurricanes to within a goal at 4-3.

The ‘Canes then pressed for the equalizer, but came up empty.

WATCH: Lethbridge Hurricanes ready for ‘intense’ playoff battle

“Obviously when we were down (2-0) in the series we had urgency and had to get going and we did. And whenever you get up and win a couple like that you expect the other team is going to respond,” Kisio said. “They got a couple bodies back and they got back in their building and they played with energy and fed off of that. They played a good game.”

The ‘bodies’ Kisio is referring to, were two important Broncos players who returned from injury in game five. Both Captain Glenn Gawdin and Defenceman Artyom Minulin drew back into the lineup Saturday night.

Whether it was two strong players coming back, or the fact the Broncos were on home-ice, Swift Current played their best game of the series. The Broncos outshot Lethbridge 32-30 and controlled much of the play through the first two periods.

The loss forces the Hurricanes into their first ‘must win’ game of the playoffs. But the ‘Canes still have an ace up their sleeve. They’ve become an unstoppable force on home-ice. The Hurricanes are an undefeated (8-0) when playing in Lethbridge in the playoffs.

“We just got to get back home and we’ll get reset,” Kisio said. “We need to find a way to get back home and win that game and we’ve been very good at home in playoffs and I expect the same thing from us to come out and play hard.”

In addition to Zudilov’s goal, Forwards Brad Morrison and Zane Franklin each scored for Lethbridge.  In net, Hurricanes Goaltender Logan Flodell stopped 28 of 32 shots.

Game six is on Monday night at the Enmax Centre.

 

 

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.





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