Friday, 25 February 2011

Hurricanes Double Up Oil Kings 6-3

LETHBRIDGE - The Hurricanes used a hot power play as they battled to beat the Edmonton Oil Kings 6-3 Friday night at the ENMAX Centre.

Not a good start for Lethbridge in this one. The Oil Kings would get an early power play and just over a minute into the game, Mark Pysyk floated a knuckle-baller shot through to the Hurricanes goal. That handcuffed Brandon Anderson and it gave Edmonton a 1-0 lead. It was another slow start for Lethbridge, but despite that the Hurricanes would find their legs and get the equalizer on a man advantage of their own. Brody Sutter ended up finding the back of the net for his 13th goal of the year. That tied things up at 1-1. Before the end of the period, the Hurricanes would take the lead. Max Ross fired a loose puck by Edmonton goalie Jon Groenhyede for his 14th goal season. That gave Lethbridge a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes. The Oil Kings held the edge in shots on goal 15-12.

In the second, the Oil Kings would get another early power play and evened the score at 2-2. With just seconds remaining in a man advantage, Edmonton's Dylan Wruck hammered a one-timer past Anderson and that tied the game up. Lethbridge though would regain it's one-goal lead before the mid-way point of the period. On a 5-on-3 power play, Landon Oslanski wired a point shot for his 7th goal of the season and that gave the home team a 3-2 lead. A minute later the Hurricanes would get another one on the back-side of the two-man advantage. Derek Ryckman tapped home the puck by Groenheyde to give Lethbridge a 4-2 lead. That was Ryckman's 4th goal of the year and second in the last week. Edmonton would make a goaltending change after that goal. Laurent Brossiot would replace Groenheyde in the Edmonton crease for the rest of the period. The Oil Kings still held the edge in shots on goal 24-20 after 40 minutes of play.

In the third, Edmonton would put their starter back in goal as Groenheyde would get the nod by the Oil Kings coaching staff to get back into the game. The Hurricanes would end up jumping into a three-goal lead when Austin Fyten drove strong to the Edmonton goal, cut hard to the crease and beat Groenheyde for his 23rd goal of the season. The Hurricanes would take a 5-2 with that goal. The Oil Kings managed to get one of those back on yet another power play. This time Cam Abney put the puck in after a mad scramble at the side of the Canes' goal. That cut the Lethbridge lead to 5-3. With just over two minutes left in the game, Edmonton would pull the goalie to get the extra man out, but Cam Braes would score his 29th goal of the year into an empty net and that would seal the deal as the Hurricanes would go on to win the contest 6-3. Edmonton out shot Lethbridge 36-31. The power plays for both teams were excellent. The Hurricanes went 3 for 6 while Edmonton was 3 for 5.

The Hurricanes power play was clearly the difference in this game. Three goals on the man advantage was huge. It was the Hurricanes 21st win of the year, surpassing the team's entire win total all of last season and with 55 points, they move into a tie with Prince Albert for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Canes' have made up a lot of ground on the Raiders in the last 14 days and are really making this quite the battle for the final playoff spot. The Canes' have earned points in their last five straight games. You've got to give Lethbridge some props here. A week ago, making the post-season didn't look too good, but they've managed to find a way to dig deep lately and get some much needed victories with their backs up against the wall. Personally, I think this stretch of five or so games has been some of the best, most entertaining hockey this team has played since early in October.


I've been told the Hurricanes 25% off season ticket offer for their 25th anniversary season this fall is moving swiftly. I don't have any numbers, but I'm told ticket sales are two-and-a-half months ahead of the pace at this same time last year. For more information on the ticket drive, visit the Canes' website by clicking the 25th anniversary logo on the left on the blog.


The Hurricanes and Oil Kings will play again Saturday night, this time at Rexall Place in Edmonton. Game time is is 7:00 pm (MST). The pre-game show on CJOC at 6:30. After that, it's off to B.C. for the next week as the Hurricanes open the March portion of their schedule in Chilliwack on Wednesday. They play in Kamloops March 4th and in Kelowna March 5th. The Canes' next home game is set for Wednesday, March 9th when they host Moose Jaw.


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  1. Way to go canes!!!! Take 6th spot away from Edmonton.

  2. Wow what a game, Thats one the best games ive seen a long time. I just wish we could of played like this all year, and then we wouldnt have to fight for a playoff spot so much. Just like Fred and Pat said this is some the best hockey these past couple weeks for the canes and heres hoping they keep it up tonight and through to the BC raod trip.

  3. Great game! I thought there wasn't a single passenger. Well done.
    Pat, what is the ruling on the OK goalie engaging the Canes in the third? Isn't that a game misconduct? I thought the refs dropped the ball many times. The call on #7 in the first was completely uncalled for. Klein is a bit of a spotlight seeker.

  4. Groenheyde did get a slashing penalty on the play but both Fred and I were surprised be didn't get more. Especially since he left his crease and got in that scrum. He's very lucky the refs didn't toss him. They should've. If not, at least another penalty for leaving the crease. I don't comment much of the refs but they dropped the ball on that one.

  5. Thanks for the response, Pat.
    I wonder if there will be carry over to this next game. Perhaps the early signs of a budding rivalry?
    Wruck was so impressive. How does an undrafted bantam player go from 12(?)points as a 17 year old to 34 goals the following year?!?!
    Maybe there is hope for our #21.
    Enjoy the game tonight.

  6. does anyone know why kuvaev doesnt get into any games anymore? Pat maybe u know? feel bad for the kid!

  7. I know why Kuvaev doesn't play its cause Preston doesn't think hes very good. pat is pysyk playing tonight? Hes quite good. if hes out that would be a huge advantage for the canes.

  8. I don't know for sure about Pysyk at this time. He might be a game time decision by Edmonton. As for Kuvaev, he really hasn't been the same player since early on in the season. I think he's had a tough time adjusting, especially with the language barrier. Some Euros adjust quickly when they come here and for some it takes a while.

  9. has anyone asked rich if hes going to bring kuvaev back next year ? i would asume not being he never plays him now ! why keep a kid u never play ? whatta waste of a spot!

  10. I don't think Rich or any coach for that matter would comment on a player's future until the season is over. That is certainly a question I think local media will likely be asking when this season ends.

  11. Come on, let's be honest here!
    Kuvaev is a 12 game wonder then the North American game catches up with him. Language barrier or not, does not improve his skating. He has to be the slowest player on the team, he is the last man back and there is usually very little gas left in the tank at the end of each shift. Unfortunately he is a liability on the ice. It would not surprise anyone except those die-hard Kuvaev fans that he does not return next year. It would not suprise me one bit that Preston deals off his Euro picks this year in order to add two more Canadian kids to the line up. Afterall both Kootenay and Tri Cities are sucessfull without them.

    Enough of the Russian.....excellent game by the Canes last night. They will need the same effort in Edmonton before heading into BC for 3 tough games.

    Edmonton's goaltender should have gotten 2 for leaving the crease and a penalty for the third man coming into a scrum. Also if R Maxwell gets 2 for USLC for firing the puck after a whistle, then the same should have happened when the Edmonton player did the same thing with the puck but towards our net.


  12. Thats not the problem i have with kuvaev that hes not playing if he cant keep up to the game ! but come on i would say why would we have not have taken one of our talented 94s that are waiting in the wings instead u cant tellme he was better in training camp than a hanful of our young guys! anyways go canes keep up the good work!

  13. Kuvaev looked great in the first part of the year and I think everyone thought he was a top 6 forward but he hit the wall and his skating and legs evaporated. Its a tough league, tougher than he would have ever experienced in Russia. I feel bad for him. Not sure how many North American kids would survive playing in Russia.

  14. No Pysyk tonight for Edmonton. Out with undisclosed injury.

  15. 10:16 a.m., you're kidding, right? A 16-year-old rookie fires the puck around the boards petulantly and gets a textbook unsportsmanlike call. The unfortunate thing is that when Edmonton fired it in the net in the third period, well after the whistle, the consistency went missing. You can't argue what R. Maxwell did. It's a penalty, but so is the other one.
    -- Dylan

  16. I agree that Kuvaev is a defensive liability, but he has also shown early in the season that he loves to score goals and he can do it! This is why I would sure like to see coach give him at least some PP time. Tarnasky, Moser, and Ramsay are only given a few shifts a game, so why not dress Kuvaev (even on alternate games?) to see if he can improve our struggling PP?

    Klein has taken over for Savage as the biggest narcissist in the league. He was too busy polishing his head instead of paying attention during the Canes 5-on-3 and he took 5 minutes to put the player back in the box that he shouldn't have even allowed to leave the box if he was doing his job! A 2 min penalty called with 0:17 left on the first penalty. Hmmmm, Goal is scored, now there is 1:44 left on the second, so how many seconds do you think are left on the first?? Still always yelling, "Move, move, move,..." at players in the corners, and then calling Russ for Unsportsmanlike? Grow a thicker skin, and GET OVER YOURSELF! NOBODY comes to the games to SEE or HEAR YOU!