Saturday, 29 September 2012

Hurricanes Double Up Kootenay ICE 4-2 in Cranbrook

CRANBROOK, BC - Russ Maxwell had a four point night as the Lethbridge Hurricanes beat the Kooentay ICE 4-2 Saturday night. 

A slow start to the first period for Lethbridge in this game.  Kootenay opened the scoring near the midway point of the first when Jagger Dirk fired a shot by Ty Rimmer, giving the ICE a 1-0 lead.  The Hurricanes had a few decent chances as the period moved along, but couldn't beat Wyatt Hoflin who received his first WHL start in goal for Kootenay.  The ICE out shot Lethbridge 9-5 in the period. Jay Merkley had a strong period for the Canes with a couple of good scoring chances, one of which went off the goalpost.

In the second period, the Hurricanes would end their goalless drought which lasted nearly 4-and-a-half periods of hockey when Jaimen Yakubowski notched his second of the season to even the score at 1-1.  A few minutes later though, the ICE would regain that one goal lead.  Eric Benoit with a great pass from behind the Hurricanes goal, found Brock Montgomery out in front and he buried behind Rimmer to give the ICE at 2-1 lead.  After that, the Lethbridge power play took things over.  Dan Johnston, on his return to the line-up from injury, hammered a point shot which hit a leg and deflected into the Kootenay goal, tying the game at 2-2.  Just before the end of the period, the Canes would get a 5 on 3 power play and make good when Russ Maxwell tapped in a pass from Johnston to give the Hurricanes a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes.  It was a great period of hockey for the visitors as Lethbridge out shot the ICE 18-6. The Hurricanes were lead by Russ Maxwell who had one goal and two assists in that period.

In the third, the Hurricanes would add one more late in the period when Russ Maxwell's hot stick would score another, his 2nd of the night and 2nd of the year on another Lethbrige power play.  That gave the Hurricanes some breathing room with a 4-2 lead.  Things got ugly with 1:11 left in the game as Kootenay's Brock Montgomery skated by the Hurricanes bench after taking exception to an earlier hit and that sparked a near line brawl.  After that was sorted out, the Hurricanes would skate away with a 4-2 victory, their first road win of the season.  Lethbridge out shot Kootenay 29-18.  The win improves the Canes record to 2-2, while ICE fall to 1-3.  Russ Maxwell was the game's first star with a 4 point night. Assistant Coach Chris Chisamore said on the CJOC post game show that discipline was a big key for the Hurricanes in this game. Lethbridge went 3 for 8 on the power play and Kootenay 1 for 2.


The Hurricanes received a big boost to their blueline Saturday with the return of 20 year old Dan Johnston. He hurt his shoulder in a pre-game game two weeks and saw his first regular season action against the ICE.  Lethbridge remains without the services of defencemen Connor Sutton, Adam Henry, and Ryan Pilon who all remained sidelined with injuries.  Pilon and forward Axel Blomqvist who is also injured are expected to return to the Canes line up next weekend.


The Hurricanes will play their next two games on the road south of the border next weekend.  On Friday (Oct. 5) they travel to Kennewick, Washington to take on the Tri-City Americans and then on Saturday (Oct. 6) the Canes with face off with the Chiefs in Spokane.  Both game start at 8:00 pm (MDT).  The pre-game shows on CJOC at 7:30.  The Hurricanes next home game is October 9th when they host Prince Albert.  The Canes will play 12 of their next 16 games between October and mid-November at home.



  1. Hey, Maxwell not only has a 4 point night, but gets a Gordie Howe Hat Trick! One more fight and it would have been a double Gordie Howe night.

    I wasn't there but listening to Pat's play by play it seemed like Kootney were more focused on roughing up Maxwell in the third period as retribution for what he did to them in the second, than winning the game. And sure enough, it cost them.

  2. Let's see how many negative comments come after this road win. Kids needed it big time after their encounter with Edmonton.


  3. Good job tonight fellas. Hats off to Russ Maxwell for the big night. Sure good to see Johnston back. We needed him. It sounds like the team really came together and got the job done.


  4. Nice to hear Merkley had a strong game... I hope he keeps it up since he has the tools to be a 1st round NHL pick in 9 months time!!

  5. The team played great...Johnston looked good and Jay looked like a different player...The team was very disciplined and the special teams came thru....all in all great game

  6. Watched the game on the net last night. Great to see Maxwell get points after being snakebitten last year, hopefully a lot more to come. I thought the story of the game was defence and disciplne. I cant remember the last time the Canes only gave up 18 shots especially on the road. Johnston back was huge for the team and he played the most minutes of any Cane. Bloomquist and Johnston are a tough pair to play against. The Ice were running at our guys, the refs did their job and it cost the Ice. Canes did not back down but did not retaliate. Good to see! TD

  7. Didn't see it and I hardly heard the stream, but I am so happy for the Canes result, and there were so many statistical postitives for the Canes in this one.

    They outshot their opponent, they only took 2 minor penalites, they came back from 2-1 down with 3 PP goals, and they didn't have to send Wong out to fight anyone.

    I wonder if Tai will get a start on the US trip?? - Richie.

  8. Canes must have really picked it up after I left the house! The 1st period didn't sound good from what I could tell as they seemed to sleep walk through most of it. Good to hear they came out strong for the 2nd period.

    Also good to see Johnston back in the lineup! It was obvious in the Oil Kings game they missed him on and off the ice. He brings so much leadership to the back end, it's hard to measure. Hopefully the other 4 injured players will be back soon as well. We could use Blomqvist II's size upfront.

    I had to chuckle at Pat's choice of words to describe the Canes PP ("took over") as it had been anemic in the first period. I don't think they had any shots on 2 PP's in the 1st, so it's good they got it going in the 2nd and 3rd.

    And ya, good to see them stay out of the box for a change. Dumb penalties is for the other team to take!

    It's anybody's guess as it whether they'll start Tai next weekend in the U.S. I think that depends more on how good Tri Cities and Spokane are. Don't want to throw him to the wolves against a high quality opponent.

    Good job boys! I'm sure that victory made for a good bus trip back to the Bridge!


  9. I went to the game last night in Cranbrook. First off, I've got to say congrats to the boys on the win. Every win they can get is needed.

    I think the Canes took advantage of a young and inexperienced goalie, as well the Ice couldn't keep they're emotions in check and it cost them.

    I am still very concerned about the coaching though. I couldn't help but notice how little the coaches interact with the players during the game. For instance the Ice took a 30 second time out with about 2:30 minutes to go in the game, our coaches didn't say a word to any of the players during the whole time out. They just stood looking out into the crowd. Now even being 2 goals up, why wouldn't they take that time to encourage the players, even if it's just to say keep up the good work boys.

    Coaching is definitely a concern IMO! But good they got the win!

  10. Anon 11:19am....I do not think that you are the lone voice expressing concerns about the coaching. Preston's comments last Monday regarding drills and 5 on 3 PP systems, certainly raised a red flag.
    IMHO a young, intune with today's WHL game, coach who will teach/develop players; is required....ASAP! Does the name Kris Knoblach come to mind?

    Good win!


  11. I don't think I'm the only one who realizes that there isn't about to be a coaching change anytime soon. The economics of the situation just won't allow it. They re-signed Preston to a new 2 year contract this past summer, so to fire him as coach would mean the organization would not only have to continue to pay Preston as coach but GM as well AND hire a new coach on top of that. I'm pretty sure the Board of Directors isn't about to spend money doing that. The franchise is in "the red" as it is. Unless the team hits a free fall like they did last year at this time, I don't see a coaching change coming soon.

    (Not saying I don't think a coaching change should happen, but I think the economics of the situation will prevent it from happening).


  12. Let's get the facts straight. I know it is a case of semantics, but Preston was not given a new 2 year contract this summer. Intially Preston was given a 3 year contract with an option of 2 more years to be dealt with a year at a time. So, at the end of his 2nd year he was extended for his 4th and and the end of his 3rd year he was extended for his 5.

    For sure the economics have painted the board into a corner should they ever decide a change has to be made.

    Coaching in order to improve the players and to develop them for the pro ranks does seem questionable at most times. (IMHO)

    The Hurricanes record at the end of November, could certainly tell the tale.


  13. I dont think Preston is going anywhere whatever the record. Having said that the personnel decision making so far this season has been questionable at best. On a team that was and is desparate for scoring you trade your best pont producer who is currently tied at the top of league in points for nothing then to make matters worse you make the forward you kept Captain. I think we saw in the Ice game how Johnston has a powerful positive impact on the team by making everyone better around him while Captain Hood has been invisible in the first 4 games. Yes its a long season ahead but so far not impressed with two "what were you thinking" moves. Scott