Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Hurricanes Beat Hitmen 5-2 in Calgary

CALGARY - The Lethbridge Hurricanes scored three times in the opening period en route to a 5-2 victory over the Hitmen at the Saddledome Wednesday night.

The Hurricanes got off to a great start on the road in this game. The game was barely 5 minutes old and the Canes had jumped out to a 2-0 lead. 2:10 into the period, Jaimen Yakubowski snapped a shot off the goal post and in, beating Chris Driedger and giving Lethbridge a 1-0 lead on it's first shot of the night. It was Yakubowski's 16th goal of the season. A few minutes later, the Hurricanes would make it 2-0 with a power play. A shot by Yakubowski was stopped by the Calgary goaltender, but the rebound went right out to Russ Maxwell who buried his 12th goal of the year to give the the Canes a two goal lead. Calgary would get one of those back, when rookie Victor Rask cut the Hurricanes lead to 2-1. Before the end of the period, the Hurricanes would score again, this time Graham Hood would make it a 3-1 hockey game with his 15th of the season in what was his 250th career WHL game. That lead would stick through 20 minutes. Calgary held the edge in shots 13-10.

In the second, the Hitmen would get back to within one very quickly. Just 49seconds into the period, Trevor Cheek snapped one by Damien Ketlo to make it a 3-2 game in favour of the Hurricanes. That didn't last too long. Just a few minutes after that, the Hurricanes would get that one back. From behind the Calgary goal, Sam McKechnie banked the puck off the goaltender Dreidger and in for his 13th of the season. That made it 4-2 Lethbridge. That would be for Dreidger who surrendered 4 goals on 15 Lethbridge shots. Brandon Glover would come off the bench in relief and would play the rest of the game. Calgary was out shooting the Hurricanes 26-19 after two periods of play.

In the third, the Hurricanes would extend their lead by three. Jamal Watson turned on the jets and fired the puck into Glover, who carried it right into the Calgary goal. After a short video review, the goal stood and Watson would record his 5th of the season and give the Hurricanes a 5-2 lead. Calgary pulled the goalie with 3:30 left in the game to try and get back into it late, but the Hurricanes managed to hold off the push and win the game 5-2. Lethbridge was out shot 39-28 as Damien Ketlo was again extremely good in goal for the Hurricanes. Lethbridge went 1/5 on the power play while Calgary finished the night 0/3. The victory improves the Hurricanes overall record to 28-41-0-1 for 57 points in 70 games.


Craig Leverton, who's been sidelined for nearly a month with an upper body injury could slip back into the Hurricanes line-up this weekend. I spoke with Albin Blomqvist in Calgary. He says he's starting feel better. He's been out with a concussion since mid-January. Brady Ramsay is also feeling better, but is not likely to play in the Hurricanes final few games.


The Hurricanes will head to Red Deer on Friday (Mar. 16) for their second-last game of the season. The Rebels, like the Hurricanes went on a long losing streak earlier this season that proved to be the reason why they'll be spectators this upcoming post-season as well. Game time from Red Deer is 7:30 pm (MDT). The pre-game show on CJOC at 7:00. The Canes will close out the season Saturday (Mar. 17) in Medicine Hat.



  1. NICE WIN!!

    We should have beat Calgary in Lethbridge recently also (Both Cheek goals were very lucky/bad goals; Ketlo didn't have a good night, and the empty netter to end what should have been a tie game in regulation as 6-3 instead)

    ....Still trying to figure out WHY Ketlo is still in net...

    Pat, When Brandon sent us Liston and Galbraith, the WHL Transaction history shows we gave up Anderson and "TBD draft picks." Do you know or can you find out when/how the "To be determined" draft picks will revealed?

    Thanks! - Richie.

  2. I dunno Richie. I guess the coaches are going to play the "let's find a goalie" game again next year! I don't like how they've managed the goalies after we were eliminated from the playoffs, but it's their bed, I guess they can sleep in it.

    ps. Based on how Anderson performed in Brandon, I'd say the TBD draft pick should be a 5th rounder or later.

  3. I am a Hitmen season ticket holder. Hurricanes have a good young team and played as well as any team recently in the Dome. I like your young players they are fast and skilled, Watson, Mchenkie, Yakabowski and others. Your goaltending was outstanding. Your defenceman number 5 Johnston put on one of the most hard hitting displays that I have seen all year. Our forwards were dropping like flies. He is very skilled. Hurricanes have a great future which is good for the city and the league! Keep the faith Hurricanes fans! GO Hitmen GO! Terry

  4. Terry Thank you for saying that. I am a season ticket holder here and watched the game online last night and I think it would be hard for anyone not to see the potential for this team in the next few years. As a Hurricanes fan it makes me extremely excited about the upcoming season.


  5. Darren I think you are right that they are going to go through a "let's find a goalie process" either through trade or Euro Draft. The challenge is you can't afford to lose a whole bunch of games at the beginning of the season like this year waiting to see what you got in goal and the be out of the playoff hunt early like this year. It is the biggest achilles heal on the team and I would think something they would want addressed before training camp. Hoping something will work out as Preston basically suggested on the radio on Monday with existing non-proven talent is really a lack of planning and leadership with respect to probably the most important position on the team. TD

  6. Some really good points raised in the comments. Basically if you look at the line up the last few games, the team is almost set for next year. Potentially you could just be losing one forward in Sutter and on D if Blomqvist was back in the line up one 19 year old D would be replaced with Pilon so a D corp of say Johnston Blomqvist Erkamps, Henry, Galbraith, Pilon...I would say a very high confidence level overall that lineup team would be a playoff team except FOR the big wildcard in goal! It has to be the biggest unknown and priority to be dealt with! DK

  7. Looking ahead to next season with a lot of optomism. This is how things shape up for the potential lineup:
    FWD: Hood(20)Buonassisi(20)Bezuch(19)Ramsay(19)Tot(19)Moline(19)Maxwell(18)McKechnie(18)Yakabowski(18)Leverton(17)Merkley(17)Watson(17)Duke(16)

    Question marks are: Bezuch,Blomqvist,Moline along with both goaltenders.

    To be considered: Getting Olynek,Amason,Nemieth,Wong and Laurenchelle into the lineup, while addressing the low numbers in the 18-19 groups.

    Bezuch may not be back due to his lack of defensive play, and Blomqvist due to concussions and it is my feeling that Moline does not have the speed or toughness to be in this lineup.

    Roster thoughts for 2012-13.

  8. I wonder if we are going to lose 3/4 of the team because of poor defensive play. In case you have not noticed most of our forwards have a worse +/- than Bezuch. Besides the fact that he is our most skilled forward. AJ

  9. I think Bezuch returning will depend on what happens to Blomqvist health with respect to if he can return as I think he is a keeper and what is available in the I said before maybe a goalie?? Bezuch has improved for sure the last 6 weeks which makes that decision even tougher...TD

  10. Perhaps that's why Liston hasn't been getting many starts. Maybe it's part of the TBD of the Anderson trade, and if he plays x amount of games, then the draft pick goes higher... Just a random thought...

  11. Here are a few more stats for ya. I realize they don't tell the whole story but they are part of it. For those that did not like Ryckman, he is now +19 and has 101 penalty minutes. The Canes top d man is Johnson at +2 and worst Oslanski -30. Forwards best Yakobowski +2 worst Ramsay -25, Bezuch is -4. Have Tot and or Maxwell improved enough this year for them to be here next year with all of the young guys coming up. I think they are both tradeable for a goalie or big forward or d man. Any other opinions? I keep hearing that Preston has quit at the end of the year to go to LA. Anyone else hear that. I also hear season ticket sales are way up from expected. AJ

  12. Personally, I am much more impressed with Johnston's +2 on an 11th place team than Ryckman's +19 on a first place team. Plus/Minus is all relative. What stands out are plus players on losing teams and minus players on winning teams.

  13. I'm a Tiger seasons ticket holder and from what I have seen from the Canes this year I also think there is good things on the horizon. Would be nice to see the old heated rivalry return to the way it was years ago. Just one comment about the goaltending situation. Do you not think they keep playing Ketlo because he gives them the best chance to win and in turn is giving the young lineup some confidence that they will be able to carry wins this year into next season? Just my take.

    1. Tiger Fan, I could not agree with you more on both counts! Ketlo does give the "kids" on this team confidence and therefore they can play their games. I too would love to see the Tigers-Canes rivalry reach the heights it use to. Of course the best remedy for that would be a HWY 3 playoff series that goes 7.

  14. Not even Close Ryckman and Johnston...+2 on this team with 29 points in 53 games as a D man is remarkable and he hits...Ryckman never does and don't be mislead by penalty minutes...have you ever seen an opposition member challenge Johnston after a big hit?? Never ..that is intimidation and toughness....I cant see Preston joining Sutter in LA...I think that ship has sailed..Hope the season ticket news is true..TD

  15. Rumors are like tumbleweed in a chinook wind. You don't know where they got started and where they will end. Preston has NOT resigned!
    He has stated more than once that he wants to see his 3yrs plus 2 option years (5 in total) plan fullfilled.
    Of course the minute Darryl was hired by LA, speculation would start that Preston was leaving. Not so. Trouble is, rumors are started by people with their own agendas and then run amuck.

  16. I was not comparing Johnston and Ryckman. I was merely pointing out what Derek has done tbis year. Has Johnston ever been to a pro tryout or even been invited because if he hasn't he should be. Who knows he may not be back here if he does go to a pro camp.AJ

  17. Tiger fan, thank you for the kind words. Not to be rude but the rivalry is on full blast right now. If im not mistaken you have won 3 games and the canes 2 games this year.
    Might be tied after tomorrow.
    Enjoy the game tomorrow and best of luck in the playoffs. I have to go shower now, i was just polite to a tiger fan!!!

  18. I could give a crap what Ryckman's stats are. He was brutal as a Hurricane. Good for him if he's playing better. Maybe the trade did him some good, cause he wasn't doing squat for us. He was on pace for 0 fights and -19. Darren