The two clubs play tonight in Swift Current, back in Lethbridge tomorrow and then again next Wednesday in Swift Current. It'll be the first meeting of the season between these teams and I would suggest a fair bit at stake too. Going into action tonight, the Hurricanes and Broncos are tied with 26 points each in the Eastern Conference. If either team happens to pull off all three wins, that would give that team six points of breathing room over the other. Hurricanes Associate Coach Matt Kabayama said on the CJOC post-game show Wednesday, "We've never had a set of three straight games against one team in the regular season and we have two of those this year. (The other is against Calgary in January) It's kind of a different situation and we have to approach it as a mini-playoff series. We haven't seen them and they haven't seen us. We have to make our presence felt and come out and play our game. We need to set the tone in the first game so it carries over for the entire three game set."
Lethbridge is coming off a 5-4 victory in a shootout at home on Wednesday versus Red Deer. Cam Braes made his return to the line-up after missing one game with injury. He scored twice to lead the way offensively. The Broncos also went into extra time on Wednesday, pulling out a 3-2 overtime victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. The Broncos are lead by Justin Dowling, Stepan Novotny, and Cody Eakin. Swift Current has also played three more games than Lethbridge has this season. In fact going into action tonight, the Broncos have played the second most number of game to this point of the season (27), one less than Brandon (28).
Swift Current has very good special teams. They current sit with the 3rd best penalty kill in the WHL and the 6th best power play. Lethbridge's power play ranks 20th and their penalty kill #6. The Canes' P.K. has been nothing short of excellent this season. They were a key reason the Hurricanes beat Red Deer the other night, not to mention the power play scored twice which was a major factor in the outcome.
Game time tonight from the Credit Union I-Plex in Swift Current is 6:00 pm (MST). The pre-game show on CJOC at 5:30.
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