Sunday, 19 October 2014

Regina 6 Lethbridge 1: Canes Lose 6th Straight

The Regina Pats scored three times in the second period and cruised to a 6-1 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes Saturday night at the ENMAX Centre.

The Canes scored the first goal in this game when Carter Folk was sprung free on a breakaway in the first period. He scored his first of the season to give Lethbridge a 1-0 lead. The Pats tied things up late in the period when Dryden Hunt scored at the 18:30 mark to even things at 1-1 after 20 minutes of play.

The visitors really took over the game in the second with three goals and out shooting the Hurricanes 18-6. Colby Williams scored at the 6:33 mark to give Regina its first lead of the night. That was followed up at the 15:05 mark with a goal from Austin Wagner who made it a 3-1 game. That Pats then added one more with just six seconds remaining in the period when Morgan Kilmchuk scored on a 5-on-3 power play to give the Pats a comfortable 4-1 lead after 40 minutes of play.

In the third, the Pats got another power play goal. Connor Gay scored at the 1:12 mark to increase Regina's lead to 5-1 and before it was all said and done, Patrick D'Amico scored off a nice pass from Pavel Padakin to make it 6-1 Regina and that's the way this one would end.

Regina out shot Lethbridge 35-30. The loss drops the Canes record to a WHL worst 1-8-0-1 in 10 games. Regina went 2/4 on the power play. The Hurricanes were 0/6.

The Canes hit the road for their next four games, including three games in three days next weekend in Saskatchewan. Their next action is Tuesday (Oct. 21) when they take on the defending WHL and Memorial Cup Champion Oil Kings in Edmonton. Then it's off to Saskatoon, Prince Albert, and Regina next weekend.


Saturday, 18 October 2014

Canes Lose 5th Straight, 4-2 to Victoria

Former Hurricane Axel Blomqvist scored twice to lead the Victoria Royals to a 4-2 win over the Lethbridge Hurricanes Friday night at the ENMAX Centre.

It was the Canes first home game in a couple of weeks. The hockey club is trying to find a way to get out of an early season funk which has seen the Hurricanes really struggle to score goals.

The game remained scoreless until the final minute of the first period, when Axel Blomqvist scored at the 19:00 mark against his former team to give the visiting Royals a 1-0 lead heading into the dressing room after 20 minutes of play.

In the second, Victoria jumped ahead 2-0 when Jack Walker scored on a power play at 3:59. Although down 2-0, that actually lit a bit of a fire under the Hurricanes who came charging back with a pair of goals to even the game. Giorgio Estephen notched his first goal of the season on the power play at 11:23 to cut the lead to 2-1 and then Tyler Wong scored his first of the year, also on the power play to tie the game at 2-2 late in the period.

In the third though, the Royals would get both of  those goals back. Tyler Soy scored at 6:39 to give Victoria a 3-2 lead and then Blomqvist score his second of the evening, unassisted at 7:16 to add a little insurance for the visitors. When it was all said and done, the Royals would skate away with a 4-2 victory and hand the Hurricanes their 5th consecutive loss. The loss drops the Canes overall record to a league-worst 1-7-0-1 in 9 games this season. One real positive for Lethbridge was the power play. It went 2/5, while Victoria was 1/4. The Canes have struggled with the man advantage all season so far. Victoria out shot the Hurricanes 33-22.

The biggest concerns I have for the Hurricanes at this point are two-fold: lack of scoring and the amount of shots being given up. The Canes have only scored 18 goals this season. That's the lowest in the WHL to this point and second-lowest in the entire CHL. The club must find a way to generate more offence. Right now Riley Sheen, Zane Jones, and Jamal Watson account for over half of the entire team's goals (10 combined). The other concern, and it has been for a while is the number of shots being given up. The Canes are being out shot consistently each game. They are giving up an average of 41 shots a night through the first 9 games. Again, that is far too many shots for these young goalies to be facing game in and game out.

The Hurricanes next action is Saturday (Oct.18) when they host the Regina Pats. Regina has a .500 record heading into this game and are coming off a 1-0 loss to the ICE in Kootenay. Game time is 7:00 pm MDT at the ENMAX Centre. After this game, the Canes are on the road again for four straight games. They'll make stops in Edmonton next Tuesday (Oct. 21) and then it's off to Saskatchewan for three games in three days next weekend as they play Saskatoon, Prince Albert, and Regina.


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Hurricanes Holding "Pink in the Rink" Game

To recognize October as “Breast Cancer Awareness Month” the Lethbridge Hurricanes will be holding a special “Pink in the Rink” Weekend.
Friday night, the Hurricanes host the Victoria Royals and on Saturday the Regina Pats are in town with both games scheduled for 7:00pm at the ENMAX Centre.
Fans are encouraged to get to the rink early for both nights as “pink thundersticks” will be handed out. In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness, the players will also be sporting some “pink” with tape on their sticks and laces on their skates. The Hurricanes are encouraging all fans coming to the games to wear pink and help join in the fight against cancer.
Friday Night we’ll be holding a special $10,000 Chuck-a-Puck with proceeds benefitting the Canadian Cancer Society. Saturday night it’s a $10,000 “toonie toss” during intermission in which fans are encouraged to put their toonie in the envelopes provided and write their name (first and last) on the envelope.
A special silent auction is also being held starting Friday and wrapping up Saturday night. Items up for bid include gift certificates and jerseys including an autographed (Hurricanes Blue Third) jersey by #99 Wayne Gretzky.
The Canadian Cancer Society will have a table set up on the concourse with volunteers promoting the support services they offer to residents in Lethbridge and Southern Alberta.
Vouchers for either Friday or Saturday’s game can be picked up from Canadian Tire (both locations), Save on Foods (both locations), Bert and Mac’s or the Canadian Cancer Society. The vouchers can be redeemed at the ENMAX Ticket Centre with $5.00 from each $20 dollar ticket going to the Canadian Cancer Society.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Canes Drop 4th Straight, Losing 4-2 in Kelowna

The Lethbridge Hurricanes saw a 2-0 lead slip away against the WHL's top team in Kelowna Saturday night and when it was all said and done, the Rockets would storm back and beat thee struggling Canes 4-2.

Despite being on opposite ends of the standings, the Hurricanes played the Rockets close all night long. In fact this was the closest game the Canes have played in that Okanagan city is quite some time.

The game was scoreless after the first period, but the Hurricanes got off to an explosive start in the second with a pair of goal less than a minute in. Taylor Copper got the Canes on the score board when he scored his first of the season at the 17 second mark of the period to Lethbridge a 1-0 lead.  That was followed up just 23 second later with another goal, this time off the stick of Zane Jones. That was his 4th goal of the season for the 20 year old and gave the visitors a quick 2-0 lead to start the period.

The Rockets got one of those back with about 6 minutes to go in the second when Tyson Baillie scored to cut the Lethbridge lead to 2-1 after one. That goal also seemed to give Kelowna the momentum heading into the final period.

It remained a one goal game until the final few minutes of the third period when the Rockets scored three times to storm back and win the game. Madison Bowey tied things at 2-2 with a goal at the 16:23 mark and then just 14 seconds later, right off the draw at centre ice, the Rockets would take the lead for the first time when Justin Kirkland beat Zac Robidoux to give the home team a 3-2 lead. The Hurricanes pulled the goalie to try and get the equalizer, but it wouldn't happen on this night. Tyson Baillie scored his second of the game into an empty net and the Rockets would skate off with a 4-2 win. Kelowna remains unbeaten on the season with a perfect 8-0 record. The loss drops the Canes to 1-6-0-1 in 8 games on the season. They sit second last in the WHL standings, one point up on Saskatoon.

The Rockets out shot Lethbridge 35-28 in this game. Both teams finished the night 0/4 on the power play.

The Hurricanes are back home for their next few games. They host the visiting Victoria Royals on Friday night (Oct. 17) and then Saturday (Oct. 18) the Regina Pats come to town. Both games are 7:00pm MDT starts at the ENMAX Centre.


Saturday, 11 October 2014

Canes Lose 3-1 to Blazers in Kamloops

Close, but not close enough for the Lethbridge Hurricanes Friday night on the road in BC.

The Canes lost a close game, 3-1 to the Blazers in Kamloops. It was a hockey game the Hurricanes were in right to the end. The game remained 2-1 Kamloops until an empty net goal sealed the deal for the home team in the final few seconds of play.

The Hurricanes opened the scoring in this game when Riley Sheen notched his 3rd goal of the season on a power play 12:52 into the first period. That gave Lethbridge a 1-0 lead. It was short-lived however as the Blazers got that back a few minutes later.  Matt Needham scored at 15:56 to get the game back to even terms after 20 minutes of play.

In the second, the Blazers scored early in what turned out to be the eventual game winner. Jake Kryski beat Stuart Skinner at the 4:19 mark to make it 2-1 Kamloops. That lead actually held up through the rest of the hockey.

In the third, the Hurricanes pulled the goalie to try and get the equalizer, but Matt Needham scored into an empty net in the final seconds to seal a 3-1 victory for Kamloops. The Blazers out shot Lethbridge 38-27 on the night, as it was another busy game between the pipes for one of the two Lethbridge goaltenders. On a positive note it was the Hurricanes most disciplined game so far this year as Kamloops didn't have one single power play all night long. The Canes finished the game 1 for 3.

The Canes have just one win in their first 7 games this season. The loss Friday dropped their overall record to 1-5-0-1. The Hurricanes close out this BC road trip Saturday night (Oct. 11) against the WHL's top team. The Kelowna Rockets are a perfect 7-0 and averaging just over 6 goals for per game during this stretch.

The Hurricanes return home next weekend for game against visiting Victoria on Friday (Oct.17) and Regina Saturday (Oct.18).


Friday, 10 October 2014

(D) Tyler Bell Clears WHL Waivers

The Lethbridge Hurricanes are down to three overagers.

Defenceman Tyler Bell cleared Western Hockey League waives Thursday and was not claimed by any other team. GM Brad Robson tells me Bell's Junior "A" rights are held by Flin Flon in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. Bell has since joined Steinbach of the MJHL.

Bell played in only two games for the Hurricanes this season, but once the club acquired Zane Jones, it was evident a roster move pertaining to a 20 year old player was going to be made before the annual October 15th deadline.

The Canes now have Riley Sheen, Zane Jones, and Nick Walters as their three overagers.


Thursday, 9 October 2014

Cougars Down Hurricanes 6-2 in PG

The early season struggles continued Wednesday night for the Lethbridge Hurricanes. The Cougars opened up a 5-1 lead and then cruised on to a 6-2 victory over the Canes in Prince George.

The home team got on the score sheet early in this game. Just over three minutes into the first period, Jari Erricson scored his first of two goals on the night, beating Stuart Skinner to give PG a 1-0 lead. The Cougars jumped ahead 2-0 just past the mid-way point of the period when Colby McAuley scored a shorthanded goal. Lethbridge did get one of those goals back before the end of the period when Dexter Bricker notched his first-ever WHL goal to cut the PG lead to 2-1 after one.

In the second, the Cougars blew the game open with three more goals. Jari Erricson scored his second of the game on the power play to make it 3-1 Prince George. That was followed up just over a minute later with a goal from Kody McDonald to make 4-1 and then in the final minute of the period the Cougars would take a commanding 5-1 lead when Chase Witala scored for the home team.

In the third, the Hurricanes scored their second of the game when Kord Pankewicz got his first as a Hurricane to cut the PG lead to 5-2, but the Cougars would seal the deal with an empty net goal late in the game off the stick of Cal Babych. That would make it 6-2 Prince George and that's the way this one would end. Zac Robidoux played the final period for Lethbridge in goal, in relief of Skinner who was pulled after allowing 5 goals on 33 shots through two periods of play.

Again the shots on goal stats were an issue for Lethbridge. The Cougars out shot the Canes 42-27. PG went 1/7 on the power play and the Hurricanes finished the night 0/5. The loss drops the Canes record to 1-4-0-1 in 6 games this season.

The Hurricanes have the day off Thursday, but conclude this BC trip with a pair of tough games on the weekend. Friday (Oct. 10) the Hurricanes play the Kamloops Blazers for the second time in a week. The Blazers are off to a solid start with 5 wins in their first 8 games. The Canes will finish off the trip against the WHL's number one team Saturday (Oct. 11) in Kelowna. The Rockets are a perfect 7-0 to start the year.