Saturday, 3 December 2011

Lethbridge Beats Saskatoon Blades 6-3

LETHBRIDGE - Damien Ketlo was outstanding in the Lethbridge goal as the Hurricanes beat the visiting Saskatoon Blades 6-3 at the ENMAX Centre Saturday night.

The Hurricanes would get on board first and early in this one. Reid Duke would make a great off-wing pass to Sam McKechnie who would bury his 4th goal of the season to give Lethbridge a quick 1-0 lead. Damien Ketlo was outstanding in the Lethbridge goal in that opening period, stopping all 23 Saskatoon shots he faced. Late in the period, the Blades had thought they had tied the game, but after video review the goal was disallowed after it was directed in with a skate.

In the second period, in the Hurricanes would make it 2-0. Nick Buonassisi threw the puck at the Saskatoon goal, banking it off a Blades' defender and by Adam Todd and into Saskatoon goal to give the Canes a two goal lead. Sasktoon though would come charging back with two goals in 41 seconds. First, Josh Nicholls found the back of net by Damien Ketlo and the right that after Dalton Thrower beat Ketlo on the shortside to quickly tie the game at 2-2. Lethbridge would regain it's one goal a few seconds later. Russ Maxwell fired home his 6th of the season to give the Hurricanes a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes. Three goals scored between the two teams in a span of just 67 seconds. Saskatoon out shot the Canes 39-21 through two periods of play.

In the third, the Hurricanes would keep it coming with a couple of quick goals to start the period. Jaimen Yakubowski would score his 3rd of the season and then right after that, Jay Merkley would get his 6th of the year and just like that, Lethbridge would increase it's lead to 5-2. The Blades would get one of those back. Matej Stransky unloaded a shot that beat Ketlo, cutting the Hurricanes leads to 5-3. The Blades pulled the goalie late to try and get back into the game, but Cam Braes would ice the game for Lethbridge with an empty-netter for his 13th goal of the season. That would be it as the Canes would skate away with a 6-3 win. Damien Ketlo was brilliant in the Hurricanes goal, as Saskatoon out shot Lethbridge 55-34. The Canes went 1/5 on the power play and Saskatoon went 0/3. The win improved the Hurricanes record to 9-20-0-1 on the season. Lethbridge has won three games in a row for the first time this season and have now won 6 of their last 8 games.

Hurricanes Assistant Coach Chris Chisamore said on the CJOC post-game show that Ketlo's goaltending perfomance against the Blades was the best he's seen iby a Lethbridge goalie in his time as a coach with this team.

The Hurricanes got back one of their wounded defencemen Saturday. Macoy Erkamps returned to the line-up after missing the last week of action. The Hurricanes also called in a couple of draft picks to play. Reid Duke played his third straight game with the Hurricanes and his 5th already this season. The Canes also brought in Tyler Wong from the UFA Bisons. It was his first WHL regular season action. Wong had a 101 points as a Bantam last year and has 14 points in 13 games in Midget AAA. Like Duke, the Hurricanes are hoping for big things from Wong in the years to come.


The Hurricanes will host the Spokane Chiefs at the ENMAX Centre Sunday night at 6:00 (MST). This will be the last of the U.S. Division teams to roll through Lethbridge this season. Fred and I will have the pre-game show at 5:30. After that, the Hurricanes hit the road next week for games in Kelowna Wednesday (Dec. 7), Friday (Dec. 9) it's off to Vancouver Island to play the Royals in Victoria, and then next Saturday (Dec. 10) the Hurricanes will play the Giants in Vancouver, looking for their first win against the Giants in nearly 7 season. All games on the B.C. road trip start at 8:00 pm (MST).



  1. Excellent win! Very glad we didn't fire Rich or the scouting staff after our terrible slump. How exciting does our future look? I have never been this excited for our young kids to get on this team. Duke and Wong looked great for 15 year olds. Keep putting great drafts together and we legitimately can look forward to finally winning a Memorial Cup. Great job to Brad R and his scouting staff to give us Canes fans hope.

  2. Great win last night! What a goaltending display! Keep it going tonight Canes! TD

  3. At 19 and 9, vs 8 and 20 before puck drop, it is definitely fair to call this another huge upset.

    Our thanks to the Blades for playing their second string tender who started his third game of the year last night; his only win came against us when we had the worst record in the dub.

    Great discipline for the Canes! Just 3 minor penalties against a very fast and skilled opponent.

    Fantastic effort by about half the club, the other half was counting on Ketlo.

    Since the league disciplinarian (idiot) gave Graham Hood 3 games for his clean hit where there was no resulting injury, is Galbraith also going to sit for his (clean) check that resulted in star Josh Nicholls injury?

    Spokane is very beatable this year, but do the Canes have to rely on Ketlo making 55 stops in order to win hockey games? - Richie.

  4. From all accounts, Duke looks great every time he plays for the Canes and impacts on every shift! Pretty impressive accolades for a 15 year old!

    Ketlo's goaltending has definitely been a key to the Cane's turnaround, but it begins to set up an interesting dilemma for the GM.

    Does anyone else see think so?

    Hey ho, we're out of the basement! Really good to see the boys reaping the benefits of their hard work after really tough stretch.

  5. Duke and Wong did not look out of place out there. The whole team pulled together and put out an exceptional effort. Great Job! Nice to see the scoring shared by six different players.

    Ketlo was outstanding and should have been all three stars

  6. Re: Ketlo

    JWB: By GM dilemma, are you referring to the trade value of Ketlo increasing (dramatically) lately?

    If Ketlo keeps stealing games for the Canes, the Canes will want him for their OWN playoff run! They need to pay some bills!

    This may sound Dumba, but the Canes are 6-4 in their past 10, (ALL of their wins against conference rivals above them in the standings), and in the East, ONLY Kootenay and Calgary have better P10 records.

    IF they could continue or even improve on this winning percentage, they would be very near .500 by year end; which could be enough for 8th or better this year. - Richie.

  7. Thanks for lunch, Canes! Go get your free taco, Pat!