Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Hurricanes in the Community

The Lethbridge Hurricanes have a chance to meet their fans and even play some hockey with them this weekend.
For the second straight year, the Hurricanes have partnered with Lethbridge Public Library for a “meet and greet.” On Saturday, October 4th from 11:00 to 1:00pm at the Library (Main Branch: 810 – 5th Ave. South) some of the players will be on hand to visit with the community. Fans can find out what it’s like to be a member of the team, what practices and game days are like or the players will be on hand to read to their fans. Staff from the Library will be at both Hurricanes games this week encouraging fans to book their time slot to visit with the Hurricanes on Saturday.
On Sunday, October 5th from 11:00am to 1:00pm the Hurricanes are excited to partner with Kal-Tire, a proud sponsor of the Western Hockey League for some fun for the whole family. Members of the Hurricanes will have hockey activities planned as well as a BBQ from Kal-Tire and tons of prizing including an autographed jersey up for grabs. 
Fans are encouraged to bring their own sticks and join in the fun. Bring your friends and family to have some fun, food and don’t forget to get autographs from the players. 
(From Esther Madziya, Hurricanes Media Relations)

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Hitmen Hammer Hurricanes 9-2

The Calgary Hitmen opened up the flood gates as they hammered the Lethbridge Hurricanes 9-2 Sunday afternoon at the Saddledome.

This was pretty much over after the first period when the Hitmen jumped ahead 4-0 after 20 minutes.  Travis Sanheim scored twice while his brother Taylor scored once for the Hitmen in the first period. Pavel Karnaukhov also scored for Calgary in the first.

The home team added three more in the second frame to jump ahead 7-0 after two periods of play. Chase Lang scored for the Hitmen, Karnaukhov added his second of the afternoon and Terrell Draude also scored for Calgary to give them a commanding lead heading into the 3rd period.

Lethbridge finally got on the score sheet in the 3rd period when newcomer Zane Jones scored twice, once on a penalty shot to cut the Calgary lead to 7-2. The Hitmen though got both those goals back. Adam Tambellini made it an 8-2 game and Carson Twarynski scored his first-ever WHL goal to seal the deal and the Hitmen would skate away with an easy 9-2 victory. Calgary heavily out shot Lethbridge 45-20. The Hitmen went 1/4 on the power play and Lethbridge 0/5.

The loss drops the Canes record to 0-3 on the season. They've now lost 17 straight regular season games dating back to last season. They Hitmen and Canes play again Wednesday (Oct. 1) at the ENMAX Centre. Game time is 7:00 pm MDT. The Hurricanes will host an improved Kamloops team Friday (Oct. 3) prior to heading on the road to BC.

The Hurricanes will also hold their Annual General Meeting Tuesday night (Sept. 30) at the ENMAX Centre. It should be an interesting meeting given last year's 12 win season and the slow start this year. Only Hurricanes shareholders are allowed to attend the meeting. The 2013-2014 financial statement will be given out at that time. When the Canes held their mid-season AGM in February, the club at that time was $100,000 in the hole on the business side and club stated it had secured a load to cover that off.

I'll be attending the Tuesday meeting and will post a report on the blog and a full coverage on CJOC News as well.


Thursday, 25 September 2014

Hurricanes Reassign Vandervlis

The Lethbridge Hurricanes announced Thursday they have reassigned Center Ryan Vandervlis to the Red Deer Optimist Chiefs of the Alberta Midget AAA Hockey League.


Vandervlis, a native of Red Deer, played in one regular season game after playing all six games of the Hurricanes preseason. He scored one goal in the preseason in a 5-3 loss to the Calgary Hitmen on September 5th

The 6’2, 193 pound Centre played with the Minor Midget AAA Chiefs last season where he registered 26 points, including 14 goals, in 37 games.


The Hurricanes have 28 players on their roster with 17 forwards, 9 defencemen and 2 goalies. The team remains with 4 overagers – Nick Walters, Riley Sheen, Tyler Bell and Zane Jones who was acquired from the Everett Silvertips in exchange for a 4th round Bantam pick in 2015 on Wednesday.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Hurricanes Acquires Zane Jones From Everett

The Lethbridge Hurricanes added size and skill to their roster with the acquisition of Zane Jones from the Everett Silvertips in exchange for a 4th round Bantam pick in 2015.

The 20 year old from Olds began his WHL career with the Victoria Royals then played for the Calgary Hitmen before being traded to Everett just prior to the WHL’s trade deadline last season.

At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Lethbridge Hurricanes General Manager, Brad Robson not only likes size, but his ability to score. “He’s an experienced WHL players that will add size to our left wing and he’ll complement our skilled guys. He’s a big, strong, power forward who also has playoff experience, and we expect him to be a 50 point guy with our team.”

Jones put up career best totals in goals, assists and points with Calgary in 2012-2013 when he registered 44 points (21G, 23A) in 69 games. In 192 career WHL games, Jones has 48 goals and 56 assists for 104 points to go along with a plus-11 plus/minus rating and 183 penalty minutes.

(From Esther Madziya, Hurricanes Media Relations)


Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Giorgio Estephan Listed on 2015 CSS "Watch List"

Central Scouting Service released its preliminary “2015 North American Watch List” for September and cracking the list is Giorgio Estephan.

The 6’0, 184 pound Centre is listed as a WHL “C” skater on the watch list. Estephan wrapped up his rookie season with the Hurricanes 6th in team scoring after registering 24 points (12G, 12A) in 64 games. This summer, the 17-year old from Edmonton was also among 44 players invited to Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 selection camp to compete at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup Tournament.

Players on the CSS list are ranked on an “A” to “C” hierarchy in terms of the rounds at the NHL draft.

• A Rating -- Indicates a 1st round candidate

• B Rating -- Indicates a 2nd/3rd round candidate

• C Rating -- Indicates a 4th/5th/6th round candidate

• LV (Limited Viewing) -- Injured players who have not had sufficient viewings to be categorized.

A total of 39 players from the WHL are on the list, for the complete rundown visit www.nhl.com.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Tigers Take Second Game 5-1 Against Hurricanes

The Lethbridge Hurricanes dropped their second straight game to start the 2014-15 WHL season Saturday in Medicine Hat.

The Tigers scored 5 times en route to a 5-1 victory. Just like Friday night, the Hurricanes would score first. Captain Jamal Watson gave the visitors a 1-0 lead with his first of the season just 39 seconds into the hockey. Unfortunately for Lethbridge, that very early goal would be the only time all night long that they'd light the red lamp.

Chad Butcher and Steven Owre scored for Medicine Hat in the opening period to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes. The shots favoured the Tigers 16-7.

Medicine Hat extended its lead in the second period with a goal by newcomer Mark Rassell.  That made it 3-1 Tigers through two periods of play. In the third, the home team would seal the deal with a pair of goals. Steven Owre would get his second of the night to make a 4-1 game and Matt Bradley added a bit more insurance to increase the lead to 5-1 and that's the way this game ended.

The shots heavily favoured Medicine Hat for a second night, 39-21. In the two games on opening weekend, the Tigers out shot Lethbridge by a combined total of 77-39. Stuart Skinner played the entire game in goal for the Hurricanes in this one.

Penalties were a problem for the Canes. Medicine Hat went 1/7 while the Hurricanes finished the game 0/3.

The Hurricanes are now 0-2 to start the season with their next two games against the Calgary Hitmen. The Canes are off Friday and Saturday, but travel to Calgary Sunday (Sept. 28) when they take on the Hitmen at the Saddledome for a late afternoon start. Calgary makes the return trip to Lethbridge the following Wednesday (Sept. 30).

For Medicine Hat, Saturday's game was the last-ever WHL home opener the Tigers will play in the old Medicine Hat Arena. The Tigers will play starting next season in the brand new Medicine Hat Events Centre which is being built just off Highway 1 on the outskirts of Medicine Hat.


Saturday, 20 September 2014

Canes Drop Home Opener to Rival Tigers

The Medicine Hat Tigers got a late third period goal to break open a tie game as they beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes 3-2 Friday night at ENMAX Centre.

The game wasn't as close as they score indicated. Medicine Hat out shot Lethbridge 38-18 in this game. Canes goaltender Zac Robidoux had a very solid game against his former team. The Canes were out shot 10-0 at one point in the first period and 16-3 when the horn sounded to end the opening frame. It was scoreless after one.

Despite that though, the Canes did score first in the second when Russian Pavel Skumatov scored his first of two goals on the night. That made it 1-0 Lethbridge. Skumatov then made it 2-0 Canes with his second of the season, but for the Hurricanes that would be the only offence on this night as the Tigers came storming back with three unanswered goals to win it. Kyle Becker cut the Lethbridge lead to 2-1 with a goal in the second period and then late in the period Markus Eisenschmid evened the game at 2-2.

In the third period, the game remained tied until the finial two minutes. That's when Medicine Hat's Connor Hobbs scored on a power play to make it 3-2 Tigers. That happened to be the only power play goal either team would score in this game and that was the difference on the scoreboard.

Both teams were missing key players.  The Canes have 5 players out with injury as well as Reid Duke away at Minnesota Wild camp. Medicine Hat went 1/6 on the power play and the Hurricanes 0/5. There was a good crowd on opening night, with just over 4000 fans on hand. The two clubs will do it again Saturday (Sept. 20) when they play in Medicine Hat. The Canes next home game isn't until Wednesday, October 1st when they host the Calgary Hitmen.

Going back to last season, and yes I know that was several months ago and technically has nothing to do with this season, but the Hurricanes have lost 15 straight regular season games. The last time they won was February 12, 2014 when the Canes beat Brandon 3-2 on overtime. The Canes are going to need offence by committee this season. They can't depend on one or two guys to lead the charge. Although the team has a number of returning players from last year, the Canes are still a young squad.

A couple of positives from Friday's home opener for the Canes was the play of Pavel Skumatov who scored twice and goaltender Zac Robidoux. Both are newcomers to the Lethbridge Hurricanes.