Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Wheaties Double Up Hurricanes 4-2

LETHBRIDGE - Brendan Walker scored a hatrick as the Brandon Wheat Kings beat the Hurricanes 4-2 Wednesday night at the ENMAX Centre.

The Brandon Wheat Kings would open the scoring in this game on a rather flukey goal. Brodie Melnychuk's point shot went off the end boards and Brendan Walker was right there to put the puck off goalie Liam Liston and in to make it 1-0 Wheat Kings. The Canes had a couple of decent chances themselves to get on the scoreboard, but they couldn't find a way to beat Corbin Boes in the Wheaties goal and Brandon would take that 1-0 lead into the dressing room after 20 minutes of play. The shots favoured the Wheat Kings 14-12.

In the second, the Wheaties would add to their lead. Just 21 seconds into the period, Brendan Walker was at it again. He moved in and put a backhander off the post and by Liston making it 2-0 Wheaties. A few minutes later, Brandon gets another. Brendan Walker flew down the right wing and hammered a blistering shot past Liston for his 3rd of night making it 3-0 Brandon. It stayed the way till final 6:30 of the period. Brody Sutter cut the Wheaties lead to 3-1 with his 26th of the season, putting a rebound by Corbin Boes. Three minutes later, the Hurricanes would make it a one goal game when Graham Hood scored his 11th of season. The Brandon lead sat at 3-2 after that goal and that's the way it would stay after two periods of play. The Wheat Kings held a slight edge in shots 22-21.

In the third, another early goal by Brandon. This time Michael Ferland blasted a wrist shot into the top corner of the Hurricanes goal, giving the visitors a 4-2 lead just a couple of minutes into the period. After that, the Canes really picked up their play, firing 20 shots at the Brandon goal, but they could beat Corbin Boes. When it was all said and done, the Wheaties would skate away with a 4-2 victory. Lethbridge out shot Brandon 41-32 on the night. A very disciplined game by both teams with just a couple of penalties. The Wheat Kings went 0/2 on the man advantage while the Canes 0/1. The loss drops the Hurricanes overall record to 22-36-0-1 in 59 games on the season. Assistant Coach Chris Chisamore felt the Hurricanes got off to a "flat" start and that cost the them.


The Hurricanes will close out this current five game home stand Friday (Feb. 17) with the a game against the Regina Pats. Lethbridge is 1-2 versus the Pats this season. This will be the final meeting of the year between the two clubs. Game time is 7:00 pm MST. The pre-game show on CJOC at 6:30. The Canes will head out next week to Saskatoon for one game Wednesday (Feb. 22) before return home two night later (Feb. 24) to host the Kelowna Rockets.



  1. Totally don't understand how Tot was not named hardest working Hurricane.

  2. Good effort from the team, they probably deserved a better outcome in this game. A few things I did notice during the game. Some of the d-men were trying to rush the puck to much. It is nice to see them trying to make things happen and hopefully they will be taught ( coached ) or learn on there own when to go on the rush. Why did Bezuch get benched after he was the only one back on a 2 on 1. Sorry if I sound like a broken record but I feel he deserves better. I want to see our 3-4 lines play more and in all situations. They have now played in whl for most of a year so lets see them play. I feel it can only help them in the future. AJ

  3. Good effort last night....we need better finish but the effort was good. in our own zone all 5 skaters need to play defense, offensively we need all 5 players as well so I like to see the defense carrying the puck. joining the rush and pinching when appropriate. Watch other teams and how many point shots they get on us compared to the Canes who have defencemen wide open at the point while forwards try and jam the puck through multiple defenders...offense and defense have to be 5 man units. TD

  4. Pat great call giving Leverton hardest worker. best choice

  5. won't see the 3rd and 4th lines play more. That's not how it works. They are 3rd and 4th lines for a reason. What you are seeing is what they deserve. 16 year old's don't get 1st or 2nd line minutes. That means they'd be playing against Ryan Stone's or Michael Furland's lines??? I don't think so.

  6. AJ - Gotta agree with your assessment of low ice time for Bezuch considering the offensive talent that he has shown us (I counted 4 shots from him alone in the first period in this game against Brandon). He was flying around creating offensive opportunities and getting the puck to the net.

    Despite what others have written about what is "normally done in the WHL with 16-18 year olds," Bezuch (18y), Leverton (17y), Merkley (16y), Yakubowski (17y), and Watson (17y), have the best +/- numbers among ALL our forwards... So why WOULDN'T you play them more?... Unless our coaches are satisfied with their current win percent by pretty-much benching them for the final 20+ minutes every game.

    Liston lets in arguably his worst goal (first of the game) of the year... he didn't get pulled. - Fine. One poorly played puck. I wouldn't have pulled him either.

    Sutter, Ramsay, and Tot were giving up scoring chance after scoring chance while Preston continued to match them against Ferland, Walker, and Stone. It was pretty obvious that our top line was having all sorts of trouble handling these guys. None of our top line can throw a punishing hit, so they got dominated. They were on the ice for BOTH of the Wheaties first two goals and this Sutter line barely spent any time in the opposition zone... THEY didn't get benched. - Fine, tough opposition.

    Midway through the SECOND period, despite getting numerous scoring chances and spending considerable time in the offensive zone on previous shifts, Bezuch, Merkley, (and Mckechnie) were the forwards on the ice for Brandons' third goal... and while Bezuch was in better position than BOTH our defensemen in the neutral zone to cut off the pass which would have negated the scoring chance, he missed and Walker scored his hat trick...

    Still didn't pull Liston... Fine.

    Did either Bezuch or Merkley have two shifts after this? They definitely could have watched the game from the stands in the third.


    Season so far:

    Bezuch (18) 55GP,6G,10A,16P, -4,7PIM
    Lever (17) 39GP,4G,7A,11P, +1, 30PIM
    Merk (16) 45GP,12G,11A,23P, -7, 4PIM
    Watson (17) 56GP,4G,15A,19P, +3, 29PIM
    Yakub (17) 56GP,11G,7A,18P, -1, 86PIM

    Very respectable; with minimal defensive liability.

    Compare with the team's "stars," "first liners," and those players (Nothing against Ramsay) who a certain Cane analyst pats himself on the back regularly for claiming him to be the teams' "most improved" player.

    Ramsay (19) 57GP,18G,14A,32P, -28!!
    Sutter (20) 55GP,26G,24A,50P, -12
    Hood (20) 55GP,11G,18A,29P, -13 108PIM
    Tot (18) 48GP,11G,22A,33P, -17


    Why aren't we seeing Bezuch and Merkley with any regularity on the Powerplay??? If you think that Sutter gives us the best chance on the powerplay, then consider this: Sutter has 12 PPG, Merkley has 5 PPG. How many PP minutes do you think Merkley has had compared to Sutter?! 1/10th?? With numbers this good, don't you think he should get more opportunities?

    For the season, Merkley has scored 7 even strength goals compared to Sutter's 14. More impressive yet is that Merkley has done it in 10 fewer games played, and again, in a fraction of the ice time.

    So in a game having only one powerplay and two penalty kills, why wouldn't you want this player on the ice regularly??

    I would agree that when he feels like it, Sutter is probably the best player on the team, but the kids (Bezuch and Merkley especially) are obviously UNDER-PLAYED. Drives me NUTS!! How many games have we lost this year because of this?

    - ROLL FOUR LINES, COACH, or just give me my money back, please...

    "...and we'll be fine..." - Richie.

  7. You know I never once said the 3-4 lines need equal time as the 1:2 lines. What I said was I would like to see them get time in all situations. As far as Darren saying that would hurt them playing against Stone etc. I DO NOT agree especially since the 1-2 lines did so good against him.Having grown up in sports although not hockey and always being 1, 2, or 3 years younger than the majority of players on the other teams. From my experience it does nothing to teach or aid younger guys by sitting on the bench especially on a team that is not going to the playoffs. Must be good for them sitting on the bench on one of the worst teams in the league. Any way some of you agree with me and others do not so whatever. AJ

  8. I love our youth as well. I do remember Stone almost scoring at will against the world’s elite. I don't think our young kids would have outshined our vets.
    Liston has proven to me to be an above average backup. We need a tender for next season.
    Has Bezuch shown enough to keep him one more season as a 19 year old? I don't see him worth the spot if we can get a younger more elite euro with our top 15 pick this year.
    As for playing in all situations, WE HAD ONE POWERPLAY. The youth did play in all situations in the PA game.