Sunday, 13 November 2011

Canes Lose 5th Straight: 6-2 in Calgary

CALGARY - Three goals in the first period powered the Calgary Hitmen to a 6-3 victory over the Hurricanes Sunday afternoon at the Saddledome.

Not the start the Hurricanes were hoping for in this afternoon contest with the Hitmen. Calgary got off to a quick start with three goals in just over 10 minutes of play. Trevor Cheek opened the scoring at the 3:53 mark. The Hitmen would then get a 5-on-3 power play for two straight minutes and they would make the Hurricanes pay dearly. Victor Rask scored on the power play to make it 2-0 and then just over a minute later, Jimmy Bubnick put the puck by Liam Liston to give the Hitmen a 3-0 lead. Things were looking a bit bleak for the Hurricanes until late in the period when Lethbridge scored twice in 30 seconds. First Graham Hood scored his 4th of the year to cut the lead to 3-1 and right after, Nick Buonassisi wrapped in the puck from behind the goal to make it a 3-2 hockey game in favour of Calgary after one period. The Hitmen held the edge in shots 13-7.

In the second, the Hitmen regained their two-goal lead. Danny Gayle made a nice move on Liam Liston, putting the puck low along the ice on the gloveside to give Calgary a 4-2 lead. Before the end of the period, the Hitmen would get one more. Alex Gogolev threw the puck at the net and it went off a Lethbridge defenceman and in by Liston making the score 5-2 Calgary after 40 minutes. The Hitmen held the edge in shots in goal 22-16.

In the third, the Hitmen would keep it coming. Alex Gogolev would get his second of the afternoon. That made it 6-2 Calgary and unfortunately for the Hurricanes that would be it. This would be the Canes 5th loss in a row and they have just one victory in their last 19 games. The Hurricanes out shot Calgary 31-29. Lethbridge went 0/3 on the power play and Calgary went 3/5. Hurricanes Assistant G.M. Brad Robson joined me on the second intermission Sunday. He said as difficult as this losing skid has been on all the players, coaches, fans, and team personnel, the Canes must use this as a learning experience they builds for the future.


The Hurricanes will have a few days off before their next action. They begin a stretch of 8 straight games against four of the top teams in the Western Hockey League. The Canes will play Red Deer and Edmonton three times each and Medicine Hat once to close out November. They'll open the month of December against the Saskatoon Blades. All four of those teams are at or just a few points away from first place in not just the Eastern Conference, but the entire WHL. Lethbridge will host the Rebels Friday night (Nov. 18) at the ENMAX Centre. Edmonton comes to town Saturday (Nov. 19).


Our weekly Hurricanes radio show is back on the air Monday night at 6:00 pm (MST) LIVE from Average Joe's Sports Bar on 6th Street South. Joining Fred and I will be Canes Associate Coach Matt Kabayama. We'll also welcome Gregg Drinnan, Sports Editor of the Kamloops Daily News and popular WHL blogger, and in the last segment of the program we hope to chat with Cam Moon, the radio voice of the Red Deer Rebels to set up Friday's game between the Hurricanes and Rebels.



  1. Listened to the November 14 Hurricane show with interest. But there was an interview with Board of Directors President Don Clark on Global News last night. Very interesting and it shed some light on how the Board IS holding Preston and his coaching staff accountable for their actions. Specifically, he said there is a business committee and a hockey committee. The hockey committee works with the coaches in the development and "where progress is being made" and "asking the hard questions" of the coaches. He said that he and the rest of the Board IS watching for the "development of the players". Excellent interview by Paul Kingsmith of Global TV.

    It seems the Board is being proactive in making sure the coaches are accountable for the on-ice product.

    I wish some fans would stop clammering for a coaching change and just understand that the rebuilding isn't going to happen overnight. A few months isn't going to solve anything in the long term.

  2. Don Clark will on our second intermission Friday during the upcoming Red Deer game. I will post his comments in a future blog post.

  3. @Darren A few months? really? Try 2 1/2 years. This team has gone nowhere since Preston got here except downhill,he's had plenty of time to implement his systems and develop the talent he has to work with.That's what "good" coaches do,and we've see zero in the way of results. As for the board watching the development of the players,no one on this board has any hockey background,they know about as much about developing players as Homer Simpson knows about running a nuclear plant.Of course Don Clark is going to say what he said,he's not going to come out and say Prestons doing a horrible job and It was a huge mistake to hire him but we just can't afford to hire another coach.If they were really holding him accountable he would have been gone long ago.

  4. Really Anonymous??? NO hockey experience? Do you know Brad Robson's background?? I would say that he has a little experiences to say the least.

    I'll spell out how rebuilding works since you obviously don't have grasp of this concept.

    The rebuilding didn't start in earnest until this year. The past two years, Preston has had to work with the previous GM's draft picks (or a lack thereof). He had very low draft picks in the Bantam draft and little left on the roster to work with.

    It wasn't until this year that Preston has been able to ice his own draft picks. From this point on is when he should be judged.

    I don't know what your expectations were for this season, but mine were not high because I knew they didn't have a lot to work with on last year's roster and the new draft picks were going to get their first taste of the league.

    Your expectations were obviously far too high, which has led you down this road of criticism and negativity.

    Get over it.

  5. @Darren...Really, Really.First of all Brad Robson isn't on the BOD and he wasn't who I was refering to. In fact I think he's the only thing this club has going for it. Secondly,you kind of shot yourself in the foot because Robson had a hand in the "previous GM's picks(or lack thereof)".Just because they are low round picks doesn't make them any less talented. Russ Maxwell was a 6th rounder and Zack Boychuck a 5th rounder and even Jordan Eberle was a 7th rounder.Not that I'm a Stasiuk fan but I'm tired of people blaming him for Prestons inabilaty to coach.I don't think Roy masterminded the demise of this team by making poor draft picks.Do you blame him for having too many good players at the end of 2008-09 that a lot of them didn't return.
    Thirdly,I know how the rebuilding process works,sure you take your lumps but that dosen't mean you have to be crappy every year.Preston himself said when he first came in that we would be competetive every year.We have been far from that.You think once we have "better players" Preston will be a better coach,unfortunately thats not how it works.
    Lastly,as far as my expectations for this year, I thought we would at least be competing for a playoff spot and with the right coaching we would be.I see no promise in any aspect of our game,offence,defence,special teams are all bottom of the league.You would think if Preston was any kind of coach we would be at least be half descent at something.
    I guess we all have to be like you and be content with losing.

  6. @ 11:24pm

    For every one or two steals in the late rounds of the bantam draft there are 20 average players. We have had improvement from multiple players on this team ie. Johnston, Landon, Ryckman, Hood,Sutter, Braes ect. These are good player and only one got drafted in the seventh round of the Nhl draft. I believe this team is growing and competing as hard as they can night in and out. I find it confusing that so many people want to blame the coach for our lack of "Elite Talent". They want to disregard the amount of positive attention Richs two drafts are garnering in Canada. What coach would have taken the last three rosters we have had and made them into NHL draft picks and playoff bound? We probably have the least amount of NHL draft picks on our team and we are likely the youngest in the W with the most rookies? Not sure but it has got to be close. So my main question is who on our team had the NHL type talent that Rich ruined? What round should they have been drafted? The one player I see that has the talent and should be drafted is Tot. I believe this is his draft year.

  7. Look at the central scouting rankings and tell me where the top ranked players were taken in the bantam draft. Not sure how many 5, 6th and 7th rounder’s there are.