Sunday, 23 November 2014

Warriors Down Hurricanes 5-1 at ENMAX Centre

Two former Lethbridge Hurricanes combined for five points as the Moose Jaw Warriors beat the Canes 5-1 Saturday night.

Jaimen Yakubowski had a goal and one assist while Kolten Olynek added three helpers to help the Warriors to victory. After a scoreless opening period, the visitors broke the game open with three goals in the second period.

Jaimen Yakubowski scored early in the period with a goal at 2:34 to give Moose Jaw a 1-0 lead. The Warriors jumped ahead 2-0 three minutes later when Dustin Perillat beat Zac Robidoux on a power play. Moose Jaw kept the offence coming. A few minutes after that they struck again, this time Tanner Eberle scored at the 8:29 mark to make it 3-0 Moose Jaw. Those three goals in just under six minutes changed the complexion of the entire hockey game. The Canes got their only goal of the game midway through the second period on a power play, courtesy of Tyler Wong. That cut the Warriors lead to 3-1 after 40 minutes of play.

In the third, Moose Jaw put the game away when a pair of goal in the final five minutes. Torrin White, who was playing against his brother Jaeger for the first time scored at 14:40 to make it a 4-1 game and then in the final minute Austin Adam fired a shot by Robidoux to give Moose Jaw a 5-1 lead and that's the way this game would end. The Warriors out shot the Hurricanes 30-27. Moose Jaw was 1/3 on the power play and Lethbridge 1/6.

The loss was the Hurricanes 8th in a row and drops their record to 5-14-3-1 in 23 games this season. The Canes are only slightly ahead of where they were at this same time last season when the club has just 3 victories through their first 23 games.

Generating offence continues to be a huge problem for Hurricanes has the club enters the final week of November. The one goal Saturday gives the club a total of 54, still the lowest goals for total in the Western Hockey League to date. Every other team in the WHL has scored 60 or more to this point.

Ironically the last time the Hurricanes won a game was against the team the play Sunday afternoon (Nov. 23). The last time the Canes won was way back on October 29th when they beat Prince Albert at home. The Raiders fired their head coach after that and since then they've been playing better hockey. PA comes into this mid-afternoon game with a 5-5 record in their last 10 games and winners of two straight.

Game time is 4:00 pm MST. The Canes host Vancouver Wednesday (Nov. 26). They its on the road to the U.S. next weekend with games in Tri-City and Spokane.


Saturday, 22 November 2014

ICE Hand Canes 7th Straight Loss

Tim Bozon scored twice as the Kootenay ICE beat the struggling Lethbridge Hurricanes 5-1 Friday night in Cranbrook.

The Canes had trouble generating offence most the game as they were out shot 48-26 when it was all said and done.

It was scoreless through 20 minutes of play in this game. Robidoux made his 8th consecutive start in goal for the Canes as Stuart Skinner remains sidelined with injury.  Kootenay though got things going in the second period with a pair of goals. Tim Bozon opened the scoring at the 8:36 to make it 1-0 ICE. Bozon scored again in the final minute to give Kootenay a 1-0 lead through 40 minutes of play. That late goal really took the wind out of the Canes sails.

The Hurricanes scored their only goal 26 seconds into the third period when Taylor Cooper beat Wyatt Hoflin to cut the lead to 2-1. Kootenay got that back very quickly. Just 25 seconds later Levi Cable scored to restore the one goal lead for the home team making it 3-1. It stayed that way until the last minute. That's when Rinat Valiev scored into an empty net to give Kootenay a 4-1 lead and then with just 5 seconds to go, Jaedon Descheneau notched a power play goal and the ice would skate away with a 5-1 victory.

The loss drops the Hurricanes overall record to 5-13-3-1 in 22 games this season. The Canes have lost 7 games in a row as they try and find a way to get out of this funk. The Canes last win came October 29th against Prince Albert, a team this play Sunday at the ENMAX Centre.

Another issue for the Hurricanes is scoring. They've scored a league-lowest 53 goals so far this season. They must find a way to generate more offence in order to try and get things fixed.

The Canes are back home Saturday (Nov. 22) when they host Moose Jaw. The Warriors are 9-11-2-1 on the season. Prince Albert will play in Lethbridge Sunday. That's a 4:00 pm face-off.


Friday, 21 November 2014

Hurricanes Announce Advisory Panel

At a news conference Friday morning, the Lethbridge Hurricanes were joined by officials with the ENMAX Centre and Ron Sakamoto in announcing new board initiatives and a new Advisory Committee.


In partnership with the City of Lethbridge and Ron Sakamoto, the mandate of the Advisory Committee is to help support the Hurricanes community owned franchise with promotion, fundraising initiatives and ticket sales. Lethbridge Hurricanes Board President, Doug Paisley adds “a key component behind the committee is for the ENMAX Centre to work with us in helping build the identity and culture of our hockey club. We’re looking to achieve this with banners and other identifiable markers that commemorate the heritage and the past players that have achieved the highest level in the sport.”


Ron Sakamoto, the leading music promoter in Canada as well as a long time supporter of organizations and businesses in Lethbridge and Southern Alberta, continues to give back and he wants to see success come to the Hurricanes. Sakamoto does business across Canada, but he’s passionate about what happens here. “I live here, this is my home, this is my community and I’m really proud of it. In order to keep this a community owned team, I’m happy to lend my support to the organization but we have to have everyone’s help to keep them in the community.” 


Sakamoto is looking at bringing in new initiatives to the table including the introduction of new benefits to Season Ticket Holders as well as bringing in concerts with proceeds that would benefit the club.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Three Hurricanes Catch Eye of NHL Central Scouting

Giorgio Estephan was listed on the preliminary “2015 North American Watch List” in September and made his return to the Hurricanes lineup in October after missing all of training camp and the start of the season to injury. The 6’0, 188 pound Centre is listed as a WHL “C” skater on the watch list. Estephan, a native of Edmonton has played in 15 games this season with 1G, 3A.

Kade Jensen is in his second full season in the Western Hockey League and also appears as a “C” skater on the watch list. The 6’1 1/2, 191 pound defenseman from Calgary has 5 points (1G, 4A) and 28 PIM’s in 17 games this season.

18 year old Andrew Nielsen from Red Deer is in his first season in the WHL and has appeared in 18 games this season. At 6’3 and 207 pounds, Nielsen has registered 8 points (2G, 6A) with 32 PIM’s.

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.

(From Hurricanes Media Relations)

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Canes Set For Teddy Bear & Toque Toss Dec. 6

It’s an annual tradition and one of the highlights of the Lethbridge Hurricanes season!

The 19th annual Canadian Tire/Global TV Teddy Bear & Toque Toss Night is set for Saturday, December 6th when the Hurricanes take on the Red Deer Rebels at the ENMAX Centre at 7:00pm.

This year a new element has been added to the evening. With the cold weather approaching, both Canadian Tire locations are also selling toques and with the purchase of a teddy bear OR toque for $9.99, fans will also receive a ticket to the game.

Last season, former Hurricanes Forward Russ Maxwell scored the goal that sent the stuffed animals onto the ice with 3:07 left in the second period with Prince Albert. Over 23-hundred bears were donated and distributed across Southern Alberta. Each year the collection of bears goes to help organizations like: Chinook Regional Hospital – Pediatrics Ward, the Interfaith Food Bank, Piikani Youth Centre, RCMP Victim Services Unit, Blood Tribe Police, Head Dress Society, Salvation Army, Streets Alive and 1st Choice Savings and Credit Union on behalf of Lethbridge Family Services Angel Tree for Kids.

Following teddy bear night, some of the players will make a special delivery to visit kids and deliver the bears to the Chinook Regional Hospital. Details on the delivery to the hospital will be finalized in the coming weeks.

(From Esther Madziya, Hurricanes Media Relations)


Sunday, 16 November 2014

Kootenay ICE 4 Lethbridge Hurricanes 2

Sam Reinhart showed everyone why he's one of the best players in the Canadian Hockey League and a second overall NHL draft pick.

The Kootenay Captain scored once and added two assists as the ICE doubled up the Lethbridge Hurricanes 4-2 Saturday night at the ENMAX Centre. The loss was the Canes 6th in a row.

The visitors opened the scoring in this game when Zak Zborosky beat Canes goalie Zac Robidoux at the 14:59 mark of the first period to give Kootenay a 1-0 lead through 20 minutes of play. Robidoux made his 7th straight start in goal for the Hurricanes. Stuart Skinner returned from the U-17's earlier in the week, but he has an undisclosed injury and was scratched against the ICE Saturday night. No word on how long he will out of the Canes line-up.

In the second, the Hurricanes evened things up when Captain Jamal Watson was sprung free on a breakaway. He beat Wyatt Hoflin for his 9th goal of the season to tie the game at 1-1. After that it was all Kootenay. The ICE regained a one goal lead 3 minutes later when Sam Reinhart scored to make it 2-1. Just past the midway point in the period, Kootenay made it a 3-1 lead on a power play, thanks to a goal from Luke Philp. Before the buzzer sounded, the ICE would get one more, this time off the stick of River Beattie in the final minute of the period to put the visitors ahead 4-1 through 40 minutes of play. The shots favoured Kootenay 27-9 at that point in the game.

In the third, the score remained at 4-1 until the late stages when the Hurricanes scored a power play goal courtesy of Tyler Wong. That was his 7th of the season and cut the lead to 4-2. That would be as close as Lethbridge got in this game. The final shots were 39-22 ICE. The Hurricanes went 1/2 on the power play and the ICE 1/3. The loss dropped the Hurricanes overall record to 5-12-3-1 in 21 games this season.

The next month leading up to the WHL Christmas break is going to be critical for the Hurricanes. They remain 6 points back on Moose Jaw for 8th place in the Eastern Conference. The Canes must get some wins and make up points if they want to make a push. If they can't, then GM Brad Robson will likely be forced to make some trades prior to the deadline on January10th. The key for me though is the next four weeks. That will more than likely be the determining factor as to whether this team sells before the deadline or adds a few pieces to try and make a run for at least the final spot in the East. There is plenty of work for this team between now and the third week of December, but the time for this team to win is now. That's why head-to-head games against team like the Warriors, ICE, and Raiders are so important coming up next weekend.

The Hurricanes have a busy weekend coming up with three games in three nights. They travel to Cranbrook Friday (Nov. 21) and then it's back home for a pair of games Saturday (Nov. 22) vs. Moose Jaw and Sunday afternoon (Nov. 23) against the Prince Albert Raiders. That is a 4:00 pm MST start time vs. P.A.


Saturday, 15 November 2014

Third Period Difference in Loss Again

If there's been a theme to the Lethbridge Hurricanes past three games it's what's taken place in the last period of play.

The Red Deer Rebels scored four times in the third period Friday night to beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes 4-1 at the ENMAX Centrium.

It was a close hockey game until the final frame. The first two periods were scoreless in Red Deer, but that changed in the third. The Hurricanes broke the 0-0 tie when Zane Jones scored his 10th goal of the season at the 3:07 mark to make it 1-0 Lethbridge. After that, the Rebels took the game over scoring four unanswered goals to win the hockey game.

Just over a minute after the Canes opened the scoring, Red Deer tied things up. Tyler Sandhu evened the game at 1-1 with his first of two goals on the night. Five minutes later Sandhu scored again to give Red Deer a 2-1 lead and the Rebels didn't look back. Brooks Maxwell got in on the scoring at the 14:40 mark to make it 3-1 Rebels. The Hurricanes pulled goaltender Zac Robidoux with over two minutes to go. Red Deer would seal the game with an empty netter from Scott Feser and that wold be it. Final score: Red Deer 4 and Lethbridge 1. Red Deer out shot the Hurricanes 35-20 in this game. The loss was the Hurricanes 5th in a row and drops their overall record to 5-11-3-1 on the season. One positive for the Canes was discipline. The Rebels didn't have one single power play in this game, while the Hurricanes went 0/2 on the man advantage.

For whatever reason the third period has been a real problem for Lethbridge lately. They've been in tight games until the final frame when things have dramatically changed. If they can get a handle on why things are collapsing in third periods, there will certainly be more wins in the future for this club.

The Hurricanes are back home Saturday night (Nov. 15) when they host the Kootenay ICE. Game time is 7:00 pm MST at the ENMAX Centre. Lethbridge and Kootenay sit tied in second-last place in the WHL standings with 14 points each. The Canes will play three games in three nights next weekend. They play in Cranbrook against the ICE next Friday (Nov. 21), then back home to face Moose Jaw Saturday (Nov. 22) and Prince Albert comes to town next Sunday (Nov. 23).