Irvine hat-trick leads Cubs past Flyers for first win of 2018

By Scott Roblin
January 21, 2018 - 2:06pm

HIGH RIVER, AB – A big step towards the push for a playoff spot for the Medicine Hat Travelodge Cubs on Saturday night, picking up one of their biggest wins of the season.

Facing off against the High River Flyers, the Cubs had endured three straight losses to open 2018 and had been outscored 26-7 over that span.

The Cubs got off to a great start on Saturday however, netting the game’s opening goal just 2:13 into the contest off the blade of Kian Simonson.

Taking a 1-0 lead into the second period, the Cubs saw their lead vanish as Egor Sinko scored his fourth of the season to tie the game up at 1-1.

With seven minutes to play in the frame High River took their first lead of the game, scoring on the power play courtesy of Josh Younker.

Cubs leading scorer Noah Irvine got that goal back for the visiting squad quickly, snapping home his 18th goal of the year 17 seconds later to knot the game back up at two a piece.

Flyers defenceman Devon Barlow got High River back in front with 4:05 left in the second, but Medicine Hat responded again with a power play marker from Irvine to tie the game at 3-3 heading to the third period.

A little over a minute into the third, the Flyers made it a 4-3 contest with a Connor Taylor goal, but the Cubs wouldn’t go away with another equalizer from Irvine to complete the hat-trick.

With 9:09 left in regulation, the Cubs took the lead for good with a go-ahead goal from Cody Riehl and held on for a thrilling 5-4 victory.

Irvine padded his stats with a four-point night, while starter Josh Breznik had one of his best games of the season with a 51-save performance.

Equalling their point total from all of last year, the 11-17-1 Cubs now just sit one point behind the Strathmore Wheatland Kings for fifth place in the South Division.

Medicine Hat will try to overtake Strathmore on Sunday afternoon, heading up to Ponoka to do battle with the Stampeders at 3:00 pm.

Hounds finish weekend with tie, loss