Thursday, 6 September 2012

Hurricanes Lose Pre-Season Opener 6-1 to Calgary

The Lethbridge Hurricanes kicked off their 2012-2013 preseason with a tilt against their rivals, the Calgary Hitmen.

This was the first game for the Canes while Calgary was 2-0 to start their preseason. The starting lineup for the Canes was Tanner Kovacs in goal, on Defence Albin Blomqvist and Bryton Sayers and the Forwards were Graham Hood, Jay Merkley and Tyler Wong.

Lethbridge managed to get the early jump on the Hitmen as rookie Kolten Olynek (Axel Blomqvist) put the puck behind Mack Shields for a 1-nothing lead just 5 minutes into the game. Lethbridge would outshoot Calgary 14-5 in the opening period but it was the Hitmen who would have the 2-1 lead through 20 minutes. The Canes did have a chance to go up a pair, when Olynek was awarded a penalty shot just 3 minutes after he opened the scoring, but he would be denied a second goal. Calgary would pull even on a tally by Pavlo Padakin (unassisted) and then Brady Brassart would score less than a minute later. The Canes would get a powerplay with under a minute to go in the first, and they’d have a few chances to score, but they couldn’t bury the equalizer and again trailed by a goal through 20 minutes.

Calgary held their 2-1 lead into the middle of the period when Lethbridge would change goalies (Kovacs left after allowing 2 goals on 11 shots) and give the reins to Christopher Tai the rest of the way. Just over a minute into the game for Tai, Brooks Macek would score on the powerplay making it a 3-1 game and two minutes later, Calgary gets some insurance with their 4th goal coming off the stick of Alex Gogolev. Lethbridge had a chance to cut the lead in half but a shot by Tyler Wong went off the post. The game would also start to turn chippy as both teams would start making a steady stream to the penalty box.

In the third, tempers between the two sides didn’t seem to settle down any as penalties continued to mount as did the game misconducts. Again the Canes had a chance to cut the lead in half but Albin Blomqvist rang one off the iron and later in the period, Brady Ramsay was denied by Shields on shot from in close. Both sides would take exception to each other as a number of fights broke out that ended in players being ejected from the game. Calgary would also add to their lead as Brassart and Gogolev would both add their second goals of the game in the Hitmen’s 6-1 win. Final shots favored the Hurricanes 39-30 with Tai giving up 4 goals on 19 shots. Lethbridge would come up empty in 7 powerplay chances while Calgary was 3 for 7 with the man advantage.

Next up for the Canes is two games in two nights this weekend. On Saturday the Canes travel up the highway to play Red Deer (in Innisfail, AB) and on Sunday the Canes head east to play their bitter rivals from Medicine Hat, the Tigers. The next home game for the Canes is Wednesday, September 12th when they host the Tigers at 7:00pm

(From Esther Madziya, Hurricanes Media Relations)



  1. Good news is the Canes got a lot on shots...bad news is, like predicted by most this team desperately lacks goal scoring. I dont think Preston can wait too long to pull the trigger on a trade for some scoring. Rimmer didnt play and I cant tell but it doesnt look like Johnston played either. With those two in the line up it should cut back on the goals against.

  2. The Canes sat 6 vets and played their younger guys a lot in this game.

  3. 41 penalties, 180 penalty mins in this game between both teams.... Most coming from half way through the third. Nobody will ever accuse the Hurricanes of breaking in the box staff gently.

    Re: Penalties. This had better not be a sign of things to come from this team and these coaches. I hate to think the Canes coaching staff has to learn this lesson again?! I know its pre-season, but why even start down this path? Get your players under control coach, or move yourself out! -There will be no success with this young team with over 80 penalty minutues!

  4. Good comment on penalties...this team cannot afford to be undisciplined and it has to start with the veterans. Hood I see fought last night. Team needs him to be on the ice producing not in the box. Scott

  5. This game was not a fair indication of what the Hurricanes have or may not have. Facts are this was the 4th exhibiton game for the Hitmen and the Hurricanes 1st after only two days of practice. The Hitmen played 3 overages, the Hurricanes 1. The Hitmen had an older lineup, with just 8 in the 16-17 range, while the Canes had 12. Interestingly Calgary has 3 Euros, one of which is 20yr old Goglov and 4 other overages. They still have some trimming to do in both categories.

    As far as the penalty parade goes, it came in the later stages of the third period when the outcome of the game was pretty well determined, and the Canes did show that they were not going to be intimidated by the antics of Humphries, Henry, Calladine as such. Good on Spencer Galbraith who more than held his own with the much bigger Henry.

    Scoring? I would be worried if they were not getting the chances, but they had lots last night. Nerves, unfamiliarity with linemates, timing, etc, probably had a lot to do with their lack of touch around the net. If you look at the Hitmen's scoring, 3 goals came on powerplays, and of their 6 goals Gogolev and Brassart (two of thier leading scorers from last year) had 2 each.

    I was impressed by Kolten Olynek, the smallest of the Hurricanes, but very speedy and shifty. Too bad he missed on the penalty shot.


  6. The canes are going to be the best bantom team in the whl this year.

  7. Well said RJ. We were at the game last night as well and I can't say the fans appeared at all disappointed.

  8. it is a myth to believe that getting chances is a positive thing. somewhere along the line, a good goal scorer said on TV "if I wasnt getting the chances i would worry' and now we seem to think that the game is about chances. getting chances and not burying them is called not being able to score. this team has zero game breakers, their draft picks are all flawed. duke is soft and one gear, pilon is one gear, wong is small and not a fluid skater, estephan is lazy, hayward is terrified, white can't skate, mezner (the kid from camrose) doesn't know the game, lensyshen cannot think or move, hogue is small and reactionary, the new swede is lazy. this team is selling a future that will not be there based on this talent pool. there is no goaltending in the system, very little grit and the work ethic is low grade. preston won't see christmas.

  9. Anon 1:33 Lucky for us you're a fan of some of team and not the Hurricanes. You based all those judgements on players after a training camp and one exhibition game? Give me a break.


  11. ANON 1:33
    I would suggest you get your resume into Brad Robson immediately! You obviously know way more about our players than the scouts that the Hurricanes currently employ! The Hurricanes need someone like you to upgrade our team and our listed players. You certainly know how to downgrade our players after their extensive number of practices, and exhibition games. Therefore anything you do would be an upgrade!
    So get your resume into Brad Robson right away! Maybe then we can salvage the season that is all of one preseason long.

    Oh, let me do the math. Zero chances + zero shots = zero opportunities to score. But (let's say) 5 chances + 5 shots = 10 opportunities to score.


  12. Anonymous 1:33
    Thank You for your expert opinion. You are a real SUPER FAN and I think some other team or some other sport would love you.
    Move On.


  13. Anon 1:33, tell you what why don't you sign your name and I'll give you a call at Christmas and let you know how well Rich Preston is doing? It'll be great, we can chat about the impressive play of our 16year olds (by the way I actually attended the game in Taber this past week and Tyler Wong was one of our best players and dropped the gloves with a real tough veteran from the Hitmen). How did you enjoy the game? What? You could not make it? Wow I'm surprised cause you sound like you have been watching the Canes prospects so clsoely.
    Anyways, let's move on.
    We can also chat at that time about what you've been up to. I'm sure you will have much to say seeing as you must be employed by a high flying hockey organziation.
    On a less sarcastic note, why don't you try the fan hat on? You might actually get caught up in it and like it. Or maybe you prefer a sure thing. Well, either way sounds like you have been missing out cause these kids have been busting their humps for a number of years despite what you might see in their win/loss record.
    These are for the most part teenagers. They deserve your support if they work hard and represent our city well, which they do!

  14. Anon 1:33 Is that your new name Darren?

  15. anon 1:33 now we know what moon has been up to while whlfans has been down.

  16. No Anon 6:07, but thanks for guessing. Are you the same person who through Dave Gurr under the bus for comments he didn't make at the AGM meeting??? You want to call me out and then not add your name??

    I've got two words for people who think I'm this or that (I can't print them here), but then can't even sign their own name to their comment. Grow a set and maybe we can talk. Otherwise....well, you know the two words I'm offering.

    If you don't see my name, I DIDN'T WRITE IT!