This will be the third meeting of the season between the two teams and the first match-up since early November. The Canes' have a 1-1 record versus the ICE this season. The Hurricanes are coming off a 10-2 loss in Red Deer on Wednesday while Kootenay dropped a 5-4 decision to Brandon that same night. Kootenay has also lost it's passed three games going into this home-and-away set between the the two teams. The re-match is set for tomorrow in Cranbrook.
Lethrbidge will be without the services of Cason Machacek until February 9th. The Canes' defenceman was tagged with a 5 game suspension by the Western Hockey League for leaving the bench at the end of the second period in Red Deer the other night to fight the Rebels Alex Petrovic. That means he'll miss the next two weeks and won't be allowed to return to the line-up until February 9th when the Hurricanes host Regina.
Going into this game tonight, the Hurricanes remain tied with Prince Albert for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They lead Brandon by just one point and trail Swift Current and Edmonton by five points. This is continuing to be an interesting back-and-forth battle for the final three playoff positions in the Conference.
Lethbridge is closing out it's busiest stretch of the season this weekend. After tomorrow, it'll be the 9 games in the last 13 days for the Canes', 7 of which were on the road. Things get a little less hectic for the Hurricanes heading into February. Besides a quick trip next weekend into Prince Albert and Saskatoon, the Hurricanes will remain at or very close to home for the entire month. The Hurricanes have a number of key head-to-head match-ups in February as well with three games against Edmonton and one game each versus P.A. and Regina. All pivotal games for these teams pushing to make the post-season.
Game time tonight from the ENMAX Centre is 7:00 pm (MST). The pre-game show on CJOC at 6:30.
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