Hope you had a great Christmas!
After a 10 day break, the Lethbridge Hurricanes will begin the unofficial second half of this WHL season tonight when they travel to Cranbrook to take on the Kootenay ICE. Going into the break, the Canes were one of the hottest teams in the league, having won 11 of their past 15 games, including 4 in a row. The hope is that some time off won't slow this young group down.
This will be the 4th meeting of the season between the Hurricanes and ICE, with Kootenay winning all three previous match-ups, twice in Cranbrook and once in Lethbridge. A couple of players have been on hot streaks too as of late. Nick Buonassisi has 20 points in 25 games since joining the Hurricanes and Brody Sutter has 15 points in his last 12 games.
Lethbridge will be without three players for the next few games. Jay Merkley, Macoy Erkamps, and Craig Leverton are all playing at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge in Ontario. Head Coach and GM Rich Preston has his hands tied a bit when it comes to trying to fill those spots. The Hurricanes have 11 prospects playing at the Mac's Tournament in Calgary this week. That pretty much means the Canes are going to have to make do with what they have.
Damien Ketlo has been a big reason for the Hurricanes recent turn-around. He's been nothing short of outstanding in goal. He sits with a record of 10-9, a Goals Against Average of 3.36 and a Save Percentage of .907. If he continue to play the way he has the last six weeks, perhaps the Hurricanes can continue on this roll.
Tonight's game from the RecPlex in Cranbrook is 7:00 (MST). The pre-game show on CJOC at 6:30.