Well, it turned out to be a perfect weekend on the ice for the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
For the first time this season, the Canes rattled off back-to-back wins and were full value for both victories in my opinion. I think they key to the Hurricanes turning things around the past two games was clearly the physical play. On Friday, they came out of the gate banging every white jersey on the ice and I don't think the Red Deer Rebels expected that at all. The Rebels, to their credit found a way to battle back in the final few minutes, but the Hurricanes managed to get the win in a shoot out. On Saturday, the Hurricanes did the same against Edmonton in terms of using their bodies. This time they were able to get the lead and keep it. Brady Ramsey scored three goals in that game to lead the way offensively and goaltender Damien Ketlo was key in both wins.
Finally we have something extra positive to talk about with this team. Lethbridge battled hard in both games and with a healthy line-up it showed. They worked their butts off and it paid off. I thought Graham Hood was a monster on the weekend. He really lead the way with his physical play and everyone else seemed to follow. Sure, it's only two wins and there is plenty of hockey to be played, but this group deserves a lot credit for the way it played. I think the Hurricanes fans can give themselves a pat on the back too. They stuck with this team through the rough stretch in October and were more than gracious, showing their appreciation for the team's effort on the weekend with a near standing ovation. And with that, from the players came a solute to the crowd. The ENMAX Centre has been a fun place to be the last two games, not just because of the wins. The overall play of the team coupled with the crowd support made it a loud building and no doubt the players channeled that energy.
The status of Daniel Johnston still isn't clear after he was hit from behind on Saturday and never returned. He's a very important part of the Canes defence and had just returned to the line-up after missing a few weeks with an upper body injury. I hope to get an update later in the day. Besides Johnston, the Hurricanes have a healthy line-up. Something this team hasn't had in several weeks.
Coming up this week, the Hurricanes will play three games in four nights. They'll get reacquainted with Edmonton on Wednesday as the Oil Kings will be back in town for their final visit to Lethbridge this season. On Friday, the Canes hit the road for a date with the Rebels in Red Deer and then on Saturday it's off to Edmonton for the Canes first game of the year at Rexall Place. If the Canes play this week like they did last weekend, they should give both Red Deer and Edmonton a run for their money once again.
HURRICANES THIS WEEK
Hurricanes This Week is back on the radio tonight on CJOC. We are LIVE from Average Joe's Sports Bar on 6th Street South. Joining Fred Jack and I will be goaltender Damien Ketlo, Hurricanes Alumni Chair Dick Gibson to discuss the upcoming inductions into the Hurricanes/Broncos Hall of Fame in early January, and then in the final segment of the program, we'll speak with Corey Graham, the radio voice of the Edmonton Oil Kimgs. It starts at 6:00 pm (MST).