Canes battle Buffaloes to tie
As the veteran wearing the ‘C’ for the Lethbridge midget AAA Hurricanes, Carson Haynes is his team’s go-to guy. On Sunday afternoon, the Canes went to Haynes and he delivered as Lethbridge battled the South Division-leading Calgary Buffaloes to a 2-2 in Alberta Midget Hockey League play at the Logan Boulet Arena.
With the Hurricanes trailing 2-1 in the second and killing a penalty, Haynes and Brogan Booth capitalized on a neutral zone turnover and turned it into a shorthanded two-on-one that the Canes captain made no mistake on, burying his third of the season to tie the game.
That’s the way it stayed as the Hurricanes posted a two-point weekend following a 3-3 tie with the Calgary Royals Saturday afternoon, also at the Logan Boulet Arena. The two ties moved the Hurricanes to 14-8-5 and into a tie for second place in the Chrysler Division with the 15-7-3 Okotoks Oilers and leaves them four points back of the 16-4-5 Buffaloes.
“With Carson, we put a lot on his plate,” said Hurricanes head coach Sean Gillam. “We ask him to shut down the other teams top lines and when he skates and gets up ice he has a good gap he is really hard to play against. Today he was skating and making some good plays and using his assets, which are he’s a good skater and he has the ability to take over games. He did that today.”
On Sunday, Kort Kisinger scored in the first period for the Buffaloes and Kellen Hjartarson gave Calgary a 2-0 lead 2:50 into the second.
Lethbridge’s Derrien Tonin cut that lead in half 2:58 later before Haynes and Booth teamed up for the equalizer at the 8:07 mark of the second.
“One my teammates blocked a shot and one of the D-men just got sucked in a little bit,” said Haynes. “So I just decided to skate up and he gave me the puck and I just shot it.”
The teams skated through a scoreless third period as the Buffaloes outshot the Canes 36-25.
“I think in the first period we just kind of sat back and we were waiting for how things were going to go,” said Gillam. “In the second period we started to push back.”
“The Buffaloes are the elite and it’s always a good test to play them and it’s fun to play them. I’m glad that we pushed back and we gave them a good game.”
Calgary had a pair of power play chances in the last half of the third that the Canes were able to kill off as goaltender Ty Young came up with a few in-close key stops.
“Your best penalty killer has to be your goalie and Ty made some timely saves for us,” said Gillam. “But I’ll give our group credit, they were blocking shots in front of him and they were really digging in and when a group of four goes out and works hard like that you give yourself a chance.”
Buffaloes goaltender Sam Philpott made 25 saves to preserve the tie.
Haynes now has nine points in 27 games.
He’s enjoying being the guy with plenty on his plate.
“I enjoy it,” said Haynes. “I like shutting down the other team’s first line. I just hope at the end of the day our team wins.”
With the two weekend points, the Hurricanes find themselves in a bona fide battle for tops in the South.
The Buffaloes have already clinched a playoff spot.
“It’s great for the whole league to be so close rather than just having a couple of teams at the top,” said Haynes. “Last year was a bit different, but this year it’s all close and every game is a grind. You just have to battle for 60 minutes every game and hope you come out with a win.”
On Saturday, the Royals scored twice in the last 6:07 to earn a 3-3 draw with the Hurricanes.
Tonin, Emanual Hudson and Joel Mabin scored for the Hurricanes. Mabin added an assist for a twopoint afternoon and Nolan Price had two assists.
Hurricanes goaltender Marek
Andres made 22 saves.
The Canes are off from league play this weekend and have another big home test Jan. 25 when the leagueleading St. Albert Nektar Raiders (211-3) roll into the Logan Boulet Arena at 3 p.m.
In Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League play, the Lethbridge Val Matteotti bantam AAA Golden Hawks lit it up in their only game of the weekend.
The Hawks headed to Medicine Hat Sunday to take on the SEAC Tigers and posted a 7-1 win that improves them to 7-16-0 and within three points of the Tigers for third in the Ram South Division.
Tied 1-1 after the first period, the Golden Hawks buried four goals in the second period and two more in the third for the decisive win.
Ty Fraser and John Szabo each scored twice for Lethbridge. Fraser also had three assists for five points.
Trey Schofield, Ben Adserballe and Layne Loomer added the other Golden Hawks goals.
Loomer added four assists for a five-point afternoon and Nathan Hawkins contributed three helpers.
In goal, Brenner Fyfe made 34 saves, including 12 in the first period and 16 in the third.
The Golden Hawks have a midweek game against the Tigers Jan. 22 at 6:30 p.m. at Nicholas Sheran Arena.
The Lethbridge midget AA Hurricanes lost a 4-3 decision to the Medicine Hat Jasper Homes Hounds in South Central Alberta Hockey League play Sunday in Medicine Hat. With the loss, the Canes are 7-12-3. Garrett Carlson, R.J. Loo and Luke Preddy scored for Lethbridge Sunday.
Alex Resler was in goal for the Hurricanes, stopping 25 of 29 shots.
The Hurricanes return to league play Jan. 25 when they host the Foothills Bisons at 7:15 p.m. at Henderson Arena.
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