Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Moose Jaw Warriors Beat Hurricanes 5-3

LETHBRIDGE - Quinton Howden scored three times and Cam Braes added two assists as the Moose Jaw Warriors beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes 5-3 Wednesday night at the ENMAX Centre.

Moose Jaw would get things going offensively in this game. Halfway through the period, a shot went off the pad of Damien Ketlo and right onto the stick of Eric Arnold who would bury the puck by the Lethbridge goalie to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead. Near the end of the period, the Warriors would get a short two-man advantage and they would make good. Cam Braes found Quinton Howden at the side of the Lethbridge net and he would make no mistake, making it 2-0 Moose Jaw after one period of play. It was all Warriors in the opening 20 minutes as they out shot the Canes 19-5.

In the second, the Warriors would get another one and quick. Just a few seconds in, Cam Braes fed Quinton Howden once again and he would beat Ketlo with a shot between the legs. That was a power play goal and it gave Moose Jaw a big 3-0 lead. A few minutes later, the Canes would finally get on the board. Brody Sutter snapped home his 23rd of the season to cut the Moose Jaw lead to 3-1. Not too long after that, the Warriors were back it. This time, Kenton Miller would get in on the action and extended his team's lead to 4-1, but before the period would come to an end, Lethbridge would score once more. Brody Sutter again, this time his 24th of the season, making it a 4-2 Moose Jaw lead after 40 minutes of play. The shots were much closer, with the Warriors holding the edge 29-21.

In the third, The Hurricanes would press hard to get back into the hockey game and with about 2:30 minutes to go, Lethbridge pulled the goalie and Sam McKechnie scored his 9th of the season to get the Hurricanes to within one. The Hurricanes kept Ketlo on the bench after that to try and get the equalizer and send the game to extra time, but Quinton Howden would end up scoring into an empty goal, getting his third of the game and securing the Moose Jaw Warriors a 5-3 victory. Moose Jaw out shot Lethbridge 40-32. The Canes went 1/2 on the power play and the Warriors finished the night 2/4. The loss drops the Hurricanes overall record to 21-34-0-1.

Assistant Coach Chris Chisamore said on the CJOC post game show that the Hurricanes "didn't start well in this hockey game and that was the difference. We got better as the game went on, but it wasn't a 60 minute effort for us tonight."

Cam Braes made his first return to Lethbridge since being traded to the Warriors a month ago. He told me in a pre-game interview that he was both nervous and excited to be playing at the ENMAX Centre. He said he really wanted a chance to say thank-you to Hurricanes fans for supporting him during his long career in Lethbridge, an opportunity he didn't have before getting dealt January 9th. Moose Jaw Head Coach Mike Stother told me Braes has been everything as advertised and more for the Warriors.


The Hurricanes will play the second game of this five game home stand on Friday night (Feb. 10) when they host the Saskatoon Blades. This will be the 3rd meeting of the season between the two hockey teams. The Hurricanes will host Prince Albert on Saturday (Feb. 11). Lethbridge will welcome Brandon and Regina next week. They don't play on the road again until February 22 in Saskatoon.



  1. It was promising to see Sam, Watson, Henry play very good 2 and 3rd periods. Besides the first period we did not look out of place.

  2. A few things from last night that I did notice. Some of our young guys look like they are lost, especially the 4 liners. Play these kids now for next year and I don't want to hear some bull crap about hurting them and there ego's. These kids will be worse next year unless we play them. Release Hood now, these past weeks he has been on another planet. Theses coaches rarely talk to any players during the game, the Warriors coaches were always talking to there players. How will these kids get any better if there is not anyone teaching them. Sutter almost looked like he cared last night, still need him tougher. AJ

  3. AJ.......Are you suggesting that the 16 and 17 year-olds should make up the 1st and 2nd lines?? That doesn't make any sense at all, sorry. They are getting playing time, but it doesn't make sense to put them in situations they are going to fail. Putting them out against Quenton Howden, Cam Braes and company wasn't going to do anything for their confidence.......not when they would be getting beat and losing the "skill" battle. You would also need to realize they would be on the ice against the opposition's 1st line defence, which usually is very tough. I think you need to temper your expectations for players of that age. They certainly will not be worse next year for getting the time they've received this year. They'll be far better for it.

    Why would they release Hood? What does that accomplish?? This isn't the NHL, so it's not like the team needs to cut salary.

  4. There is no point bringing a 16 year old to play 5 or 6 minutes a game. Get some big slug that will run around hitting and fighting. These 16 year olds were high draft picks and have always played quality minutes. Leave them in midget if thats the plan. Almost every other team is playing their young player in every situation. The spirit of these players will be broken and they will lose their love of the game. In the end the Hurricanes will have a shell of what they drafted. If I was them I would be asking to be traded now. The team is not going to make the playoffs and their is no excuse for not playing them. Worst franchise for any young player to come to and that the word on the street!

  5. As an organization the Canes blew it last night with the return of cam Braes. Much more should have been done. Very sad to see how the night played out.

    The best part goes to CJOC and their management team.They allowed Fred in Freddie's Formula to have a beautiful piece on Cam. Very classy. Thanks CJOC and Fred.


  6. What happens to these kids when they are drafted in the nhl and don't get their 22 minutes a game. Demand a trade? Quit? It’s a process people. Why not get them used to the 72 game schedule, travel, daily practice and workouts (that they don’t get in midget). Rich’s biggest mistake last season was not keeping the likes of Sam, Henry, Yakabowski as 16 year olds. The 11 - 16, 17 and 18 year old rookies are going to benefit from this non playoff year and be much more prepared next season.

  7. I find that these coaches have become very predictable. They will play the same players no matter what the situation. There is no accountability for lousy play. There is no accountability for lack of discipline. The same guys get the nod no matter what. The result is the youngsters don't get the ice they need to develop. I was in awe of that young line in Regina of Volek, Stephenson and Klimchuk. They are already ready to be productive players in this league. Imagine where they would be if they played on this team.

  8. A couple of comments on our 16 year olds. First few if any team play 4 - 16 year olds every game. Only two other teams in the league Kootenay and PG have 4 16 year olds on the roster. Most have 2 to three at most and the play their 40 game min with a few shifts per game. Our upcoming opponents Saskatoon have 1 16 year old and PA - 2. Our boys get a lot of ice time, Erkamps is on the first Power play unit which is unheard of and the 16 year olds are not regularly healthy scratched....Coaches have done a good job getting the young players a lot of ice time my critiscsm would be have they learned anything from this coaching staff. Game last night was a good effort in the second and third against a good team. Nice to see Henry and Johnston pick up 5 points between them could be a good future pairing...TD

  9. If you want young players to get better you have to play them. Fit them into the line-up mixed with the veterans so they learn. They need to see and feel the whole game and learn from the older players so they can develop into the type of player drafted. This does not happen. The highest pick ever drafted by the Hurricanes rides the pine every night in the third period. He and Klimchuk were equals all through minor hockey. The difference is the Pats have chosen to lift him up and make him believe in himself playing quality minutes with great players... on the other hand Rich and the Hurricanes have are placed Merkley in a role where he is very unlikely to have success and more likely is to demoralize him to the point that he may never become the player that the organization coveted when they drafted him. You would think that for the final stretch of the season where the team has lost using these older players that they would come to their senses and give these younger players a chance. It couldn't be much worse. The way this is going Merkley will likely make a good trade for some future 4th or 5th rounder...then will we hold these guys accountable!

  10. I apparently am not watching the same games most of you are. I see a team full of young kids getting ice time. Between forwards Merkley, Yakubowski, McKechnie, Leverton, Bezuch and Watson up front, I count 99 points.

    When these players fisrt hit Midget AAA age, the older players would typically get more ice time and they would get less. Their ice time would increase as the players got older and more skilled.

    In the WHL, the older players typically get more ice time and the rookies get less. Their ice time will increase as the players get older and more skilled.

    In the NHL, the older players typically get more ice time and the rookies get less. Their ice time will increase as the players get older and more skilled.

    Are we noticing a pattern here? If certain players can see the benefit in learning from the vets then they and their attitude should go back to AAA where they will again be one of the "older players getting more ice time" instead of playing in the WHL whenre as a rookie "they are going to get less".

    I for one am excited about the futre of this club with the calibre of players I have seen this season. To be honest I don't think it matters to some of you if Preston rolls 4 lines or 4 players. He will either play the rookies too much and deflate them or not enough and destroy them. The man will never win.


  11. I agree with cc and those that think our 16 year-olds are getting enough ice time. There's no way you can tell me that Merkley has poor numbers when he has 11 goals and 11 assists. That's a GREAT way to start a WHL career. The only 16 year-olds that are getting more ice time are those who are on teams with a lot of veteran players.

    For people to continually keep saying that the only way to develop a 16 year old is to play them more. What a ridiculous statement!! Get some idea about how to develop a young player and then make your comments. The only thing worse than a wrong opinion is an uninformed one! Merkley is getting PLENTY of ice time.

    Anon 3:10.....your comparison to Klimchuck is brutally flawed. Check Klimchuk's stats....if Merkley had not sustained that concussion early in the year, his stats would be VERY comparable to Klemchuk's.

    How much ice time did Joe Thornton get in his rookie year with the Bruins?? How about Tyler Seguin?? That's right, not much. They learned from watching from the bench as 19 year-olds and playing spot minutes to get their feet wet. Look at Thornton now!

    Ya, let's just bench all the 19 year-olds when they make a mistake. Good idea....holy cow. Get a grip. This is such a ridiculous arguement and can't waste anymore time on it.

  12. We some of this attitude in Lethbridge

    Praising patience in Edmonton

    Gretzky said he believes the Oilers are rebuilding the right way and that Tom Renney is the right man for the job. He said through conversations he's had with Lowe, his former teammate in Edmonton, there is concern the fans won't be as patient as the front office, but, "you have to stay the course.

    "Obviously they'd like to have a few more wins this year, but they're on the right path to getting stronger and better and more talented each year," Gretzky said.

  13. Just curious to know how many of you have played competative sports. If you have did you play or sit on the bench. Would you rather play or sit on the bench. I never once said play the kids all game but I would love to see them get powerplay time and yes play them against the other top lones once in awhile. When I said to release Hood it is because he doesn't play like he wnts to be here and if thats the case let him go and give his spot to a younger player that wants to be here. Not sure if the Oilers comparrison was good or bad. They play there young stars alot and would have a way better team if they had a defense. AJ

  14. AJ - Is Merkley the only guy you are concerned about not getting enough ice time? Just because we used the 3rd overall pick on someone doesn’t mean he is entitled to not earn his spot. There are 20 other players that want a hockey careers as well. My only concern is the goalie situation. We need to draft one of the top rated goalies this draft.
    Also why not use Hood to get a younger forward or a pick at the end of the season?

  15. My concern is not just for Merkley but for any of the 3 or 4 liners. Watson and Bezuch also come to mind. These two play even less than Merkley. Bezuch may be our best puck handler so why isn't he on the powerplay. I realise he looks alittle out of control at times but I think that is because he tries to do to much in the 2 minutes of ice time he gets. As far as Hood goes who the heck will want him especially in a 20 spot. AJ

  16. A 6-3 220 plus pound man likely .6 points per game and a dominant physical presence. I would say any team looking to fill a 20 year old spot. I would guess a 5th round at worst or package him with pick(s) for a high end player (hopefully a goalie). Didn’t we get a 5th or 6th for Cason. A good GM gets the most for his players. I can see a Watson, Merkley line next season playing the second line role (including powerplay). Both need to work on strength this summer and I expect big things next season. Not as confident on Bezuch.

  17. Anon 10:44 I would love to have this player on the Hurricanes because we could use an enforcer type to help protect our small young forwards. If it is Hood you are talking about can I borrow your glasses so I can what you are. AJ

  18. I've played plenty of "competitive" sports AJ. Basketball, volleyball, basketball and yes.....even hockey! Sure, my competitive spirit wanted to be on the ice when I was in Gr. 10 or a rookie in any given sport I was playing, but I also kept hearing my coaches and parents telling me that "I'd get my turn" and to just "be patient, learn from the older guys....ask questions and watch them closely". It was definitely frustrating to watch other players starting ahead of me when I THOUGHT I was a better player. But in the end, there's NO question that playing spot minutes helped me learn the team concept better. Looking back, I know for a fact that I wasn't ready to play more minutes (in any of the above sports) because my philosophy was too individualistic instead of team-oriented. I remember one basketball game in Gr. 7 when the coach yanked me off the floor after scoring a bunch of baskets and asking me "are you going to pass the ball or should I pull the rest of the team off the floor??" I was stunned!! I just scored the last 8 points (or whatever it was). I sat on the bench for most of the rest of that game, but it woke me up to the fact there's more to learn than just playing time and scoring.

    That's a long-winded reply to you AJ and I don't mean to demean your idea of giving the young kids more time. It's just another way of looking at their development. It's a bit of a tough line to walk. You want the young kids to develop, but you don't want to put them in situations in which they will constantly fail. That can also kill confidence.

    Anyway........I'll stop on this topic and just see how the rest of the year plays out.

    By the way, I was told by the WHL website that they don't keep track of TOI, so hard to tell how many minutes the kids are getting.