Saturday, 17 March 2012

Hurricanes Storm Back to Beat Tigers 6-5 in SO

MEDICINE HAT - Russ Maxwell scored three goals including the game winner in a shoot out as the Lethbridge Hurricanes came from behind to beat the Medicine Hat Tigers 6-5 Saturday.

The Tigers scored first in this one. Five minutes into the game, on a nice passing play, Hunter Shinkaruk buried a shot past Damien Ketlo to make it 1-0 Tigers. Two minutes later, Lethbridge would tie things up on a power play of their own. Russ Maxwell lifted a backhander by Tyler Bunz and that evened things up at 1-1. It appeared that possibly would be all the scoring until late in the period, when the Tigers got two more. Hunter Shinkaruk notched his second of the night with under 3 minutes to go to make it 2-1 Medicine Hat and then with just 0.3 seconds to go, the Tigers would score another power play goal, this one off a nice tip in front from Curtis Valk. Medicine Hat would take a 3-1 lead into the dressing room after 20 minutes. Lethbridge held the edge in shots at 13-12. Bunz came up with a number of huge saves for the Tigers in the opening period.

In the second, the Hurricanes would get to within one with a power play goal. Russ Maxwell would tap in his 2nd of the night and 14th of the season. That made it a 3-2 hockey game in favour of Medicine Hat. Three minutes later, the Tigers would get that back on yet another man advantage. Hunter Shinkaruk snapped home his 3rd of the game and 49th of the season to give Medicine Hat it's two goal lead again, this time 4-2. The Hurricanes would keep chipping away and before the end of the period would tie things up. On another power play, the Canes would make it a one goal game when Captain Brody Sutter scored his team-leading 30th goal of the season to make it 4-3 game. Then Lethbridge would get back to even terms when Russ Maxwell was sprung free on a breakaway, scoring his 3rd of game and 15th of the season to tie things up at 4-4 after two periods of play. Lethbridge held the edge in shots at 25-19. Up to this point, both teams had scored three times each on the power play.

In the third, both teams would come out hard to try and get the go-ahead goal. Later in the period, the Tigers would take a 5-4 lead when Matt Konan's point shot beat Damien Ketlo to give the Tigers a one goal lead with about 7 minutes to go in the period. Late in the period, the Hurricanes would pull the goalie and with 16 seconds remaining, Graham Hood knocked in his 16th of the season to tie the game at 5-5. That sent the game into overtime. The OT solved nothing, but in the shoot out Russ Maxwell, who had the hot hand for Lethbridge in this one would score the game winner as the Hurricanes would come back to win 6-5. Lethbridge out shot Medicine Hat 41-27. The power plays were busy. The Hurricanes went 3/8 and the Tigers 3/4.

The Hurricanes finish the 2011-2012 season with a record of 29-42-0-1 for 59 points. Last year, the Canes also had 59 points, but had less wins and closed out the year sitting at 23-36-5-8.


With this season now in the books, I'd like to thank all of our listeners who've tuned into the Hurricanes broadcasts and the Monday night radio show throughout the year on 94.1 CJOC as well as the readers of this blog. Everyone has an opinion on how things have gone and how they should go in the future both on and off the ice for this team. I hope this forum has provided you with another avenue to have a say and get opinions from others. It's been fun and although it's tough seeing your team miss the playoffs for a 3rd straight year, I'm also looking for a bit of downtime too after lots of travel this season. I know for the Hockey Operations staff, things remain busy and will be until the Bantam Draft in early May. Rich Preston and Brad Robson will be making the rounds to Manitoba, Saskatchewan, BC, and then finally back to Lethbridge in late April for the Alberta Cup as they scout the top Midget players available for the draft. It's another big one for the Hurricanes with two first round picks for a second year in a row. Then the Euro draft will take place in June after the NHL draft and the way it sits right now, the Canes will have a top 12 pick during that draft, so there are plenty of things taking place in the months ahead. With a high Import pick, it'll be interesting to see if the Canes make a selection or keep their two current imports, Albin Blomqvist (Sweden) and Juraj Bezuch (Slovakia) or trade that pick away for a roster player on another team. Like I said, plenty can happen in the next few months. Of course, there's been talk in the community about some parties interested in possibly purchasing the community-owned hockey team. I'm sure we will hear more about that in the months ahead too. As President Don Clark said on a recent edition of Hurricanes This Week, he has heard of talk around selling team, but that's all it's No group or groups have formally come to the Board with a request.

Before the playoffs begin, I'll write a post-mortem of the season so-to-speak and a look ahead to next year. There is no question there is plenty of talent coming up, but there are still a few questions too. We will get to that next week. Also, Hurricanes This Week will bring back the Media Roundtable for one last time this Monday night. Fred Jack and I will be joined by Dylan Purcell and Paul Kingsmith to take a look back at the season that was. There will be plenty to discuss and we plan to cover as much ground as possible in one hour. The show airs Monday, March 19th at 6:00 pm MDT.



  1. Thanks for the season Pat. It has been fun and I love the differing opinions regarding the staff, ownership and roster (even AJ’s). Most of the fans and bloggers seem very excited for the future.
    I have been waffling on the euros. We could instantly get 70 plus points with that pick. We know what we have in Albin and Buzuch so it would be safer to keep both and trade the pick. I personally would like the canes to keep one and use the draft pick. Both of our current euro’s likely have one season left where we could get two plus years with the top twelve pick.
    Goal should be one number one priority this off season. Draft one of the highest rated in the second and trade for a number one to play next season.

    Love ending off with a win against the Tigers. Also love the turnaround in Russ’s game the past two months.
    I’ll do Richs prediction for him – Playoffs guaranteed next season!

  2. It is always rewarding to beat the Tigers, but even more so in their own barn. Good on Brody to get his 30th. He certainly stepped up as captain! Bezuch should stick around just for shootouts! This team was competitive after their horrible October! There is certainly lots if good young talent with speed and skill. With two picks in the first round the team should draft....size...size...size up front! Slot of questions to be answered in the off season, namely the question of ownership. It will be interesting to listen Monday and see how the media disect the season , the team, and what could lie ahead!

  3. Thanks Pat for all your great work this year... you are one best in league as we find out everytime we watch an internet broadcast. I went down the road last night and watched the game. It was story book ending for Sutter and Ketlo. Both captured the moment. The team battled right to the end...Maxwell skated as well as he did all year. Yakobowki was physical up front. Johnston and Kizuik had to shadow Etem and Shinkaruk all night and they never had a even strength point all against that D pair. A great effort all around. Some good comments on the Euros, Bezuch has played really well lately. Blomqvist should return. Assuming Johnston returns he and Blomqvist are the only D men with any size and so if you can get a proven scorer with our Euro picks they should do it. Goaltending has to be the number one issue on the team and commitemnt to improve all round defensive play whether it is a new defensive coach or new system. The team gave up the third most goals in the league this year and second most last year and this year I would say the goaltending and defense were much better. The opportunity is there for this team but it won't happen unless it is nurtured and managed! Best wishes to Ketlo and Sutter at the next level and thank you to those boys who won't be back next year and best of luck! Can't wait until the puck drops next season! Scott

  4. What a great way to end the season! Way to go Canes! I hope the bus trip was a party all the way home! Sutter and Ketlo go out with a bang! The 41-27 edge in shots seems like they outplayed the Tigers.

    Thanks to you Pat for this blog and allowing us fans (some more rabid than others!) to voice our opinions. I enjoy your radio broadcasts and the media roundtable discussion with guests on Monday night.

    I agree with the previous comments that there's lots of work to be done between now and next season. Goaltending and our Euro's seem to be at the top of the list. I'd also like to see both our Euro's come back next year and trade our Euro pick for a roster player. I think both Blomqvist and Bezuch will be much better next year. They will be much more aware of the lifestyle and expectations of the club as opposed to bringing in a new Euro who has become "acclimatized" to the style of play, rinks, food, culture etc.

    I won't belabour the goaltending point, but it's obvious there's a lot of decisions to be made there.

    Thanks for the game report Scott! Good on ya for braving the snow and roads to watch the game (as well as the fans and the bathrooms in the old Hat arena!).

    I also can't wait to see how the team shapes up next year. The few games I saw after Xmas, the team looked SO much better than they did in October. Things are looking up! Go Canes Go!
    (Cheering for Braes and the Warriors now).


  5. Good job all year Pat! Really enjoyed your telecasts.

    Would like to see the Canes trade the Euro pick keep Juri and Albin. Once they are done perhaps go without a Euro. Other teams have and done well look no farther than the Ice.

    We will see an improvement next year as the young guys have another year of experience.

    Six months will be a short time till puck drop again.

    Best of luck to both Brody and Damien in the future and thanks for your efforts.

    Looking forward to see the Canes next year which will be a playoff year!

  6. A great way to end the season. I would also like to thank Pat for all the work he has done and allowing us fans to say our opinions. The funny thing about my opinions are that the ones I mentioned 2 ish months ago like playing the young guys in all situations and giving them more ice time seem to have gotten thru to the coaches ie. play Bezuch and Yak on the power play. This team has a very bright future with a few obvious short falls. The first is size and toughness up front, we have alot of skill up front but know one to watch out for them. If Hood is here as an overage he is the one that needs to really step up, he did a little more of that the last few games but will need to do it every game. The second as everyone has said is goaltending. Liston has shown on a few occasions that he can be a good goalie but has to step up and do it for 50+ games, Are there any 17 or 18 year old goalies available? Drafting one will not help the team for at least 2 or 3 years. Have a great off season boys, go home work your butts off and be ready to do this again in the fall. See you in September. AJ