Saturday, 3 November 2012

Canes Rally to Beat Saskatoon Blades 5-4 in a Shootout

LETHBRIDGE -The Lethbridge Hurricanes erased a late two goal deficit to beat the visiting Saskatoon Blades 5-4 in a shootout Saturday night at the ENMAX Centre.

The Lethbridge Hurricanes got things going first in this hockey game.  A perfect passing play from Ryan Pilon, to Craig Leverton to the red hot Jay Merkley and he buried his 8th goal of the season by Andrey Makarov to make it 1-0 Lethbridge.  Just over two minutes after that, the Hurricanes would get another one when Captain Graham Hood found the back of the net for his 2nd of the season to make it 2-0 Hurricanes is short order.  The Canes had several chances to score a few more including a late 5-on-3 power play, but they would end up taking that two goal lead into the dressing room after 20 minutes.  The Canes out shot the Bladces 17-12.

In the second, the Blades would kill off some Lethbridge power play time to start off the period and that would be the start of a big comeback for Saskatoon. Seconds after the penalties had expired, Josh Nichlolls would score for the visitors, cutting the Canes lead to 2-1. Nicholls has had the hot hand for Saskatoon as of late.  Six minutes later the Hurricanes would get into a bit of penalty trouble and the Blades would take advantage. Dalton Thrower's point shot would find it's way through a crowd, beating Ty Rimmer to tie the game at 2-2 and then before the end of the period Coaldale's Adam Kambeitz would score on another power play to give the Blades a 3-2 lead.  Saskatoon had an excellent second period to erase a two goal deficit and take a one goal lead after 40 minutes of play.  Lethbridge still held the edge in shots 33-32.

In the third, the Blades would take a two goal lead halfway through the period when Matej Stransky ripped a hard shot off the post and in to make it 4-2 Saskatoon.  It looked like the Blades would skate away with a victory until a late rally by Lethbridge. The Canes would score twice in the final 5 minutes to tie the game.  Remi Laurencelle would hammered home his 2nd of the season and then with just over a minute to go Craig Leverton tipped in his 3rd of the season, by a screened Makarov to even the score at 4-4.  That would send the game into overtime.  The extra period solved nothing so we would go into a shootout for a second time this week.  In the shootout Jay Merkley was the only player who found a way to score and the Hurricanes would come back to win a wild game 5-4 in the shootout. Final shots 45-28 Lethbridge in this one. The Hurricanes improve to 10-7-1-1. They've managed 18 out of possible 22 points in their last 11 games. 

Hurricanes This Week is back on the radio Monday night on CJOC.  Joining Fred Jack and myself will be Hurricanes goaltender Ty Rimmer who's the only WHL goalie to play every game this season.  He made his 19th consecutive start between the pipes Saturday versus Saskatoon.  At the pace he's on, Rimmer could easily set several CHL goaltending records for minutes played and saves by the time the regular season comes to an end.  Also on the program, Gregg Drinnan of the Kamloops Daily News and Phil Andrews, the radio voice of the Regina Pats.  The show start Monday at 7:00 pm (MST).


The Hurricanes will close out this current home stand on Wednesday (Nov. 7) when they play host to the Victoria Royals.  This will be the first of two meetings this season between the two teams.  Lethbridge will make the return trip to Vancouver Island in late February for the rematch.  Game time from the ENMAX Centre is 7:00 pm (MST).  The pre-game show on CJOC at 6:30.  The Canes hit the road after that for games next weekend in Brandon and Regina (Nov. 9 & 10) and then a matinee game in Moose Jaw on Monday (Nov. 12) a1 1:00 pm (MST).



  1. Canes showed a lot of heart last night! Great two points. They took the second period off and still pulled it out. The 4th line with Wong and Duke was the best line all night. Great to have 4 strong lines. TD

  2. Rimmer > Makarov

    GREAT 18 minutes of the first period, and I agree, they owe the win to the comeback mounted by their third and fourth lines! Last year's Canes would NOT have come back from 4-2, and last year, Preston would not likely have even played the 3rd and 4th lines in the third. OUTSTANDING!

    That blades team is full of stars! Three guys with legitimate chances at 50+ goals this season. They don't need many opportunities to score lots of goals, just better attitudes.

    PRACTICE THE 5 ON 3, PRESTON! I remember hearing an interview where he said they don't practice it because it rarely happens! Well, it happened, and your lack of preparation was sure evident! It was (again) PAINFUL to watch the lack of intensity and organization on this 2 minutes of "advantage."

    Nicholls had by FAR the best scoring chance on the minute of 3 on 5 before Rimmer stoned him at the end of the first. The Canes looked COMPLETELY CLUELESS again at the beginning of the second on the fresh ice for another minute of 5 on 3... No attack, no pressure, poor passing, no threat! PATHETIC!

    They looked as if they couldn't wait to get back to 5 on 5! The momentum the Blades generated resulted in 2-0 changing to 2-4.

    Really disappointed in AX-BLOM these past two games. I think he has took a big step back and has become a real liability on Maxwell's line. He looks terrified of the net and of getting hit along the way. Hope this changes soon! - Richie.

  3. Good win for the Canes. It was good to see they had the heart and guts to come back from down by 2 in the 3. i could not agree more on the Ax Blom remark. I have never seen anything in him to deserve all the ice time, yes he is a big kid but he needs to gain about 20 lbs. before he can worry any defense. I also hope Preston realizes the other Blom is not a very good defense man. Not sure if anyone else saw the whole play when he took the misconduct, but he let 3 guys skate by him and never did turn around to skate forward but kept going backward, and then to shoot the puck down the ice because he was pouting. Time to give Sutton a chance on 'd' and also sit Ax. Our 3 line was fantastic again and is really jelling, hopefully they are together for @ least 2 more years, the 4 line also had a strong game. Good win boys keep up the hustle and puck pressure. AJ

  4. Richie, you are right about the Preston comment regarding 5 on 3 practices. I heard and copied the statement into a previous couple of comments. As you said, they did nothing on the extended 2 man advantage. Strange that since Preston made that remark, we have had more than one 5 on 3's. The only thing that messed up the time with the advantage was the intermission.
    The first period and the last 5 minutes of the third are once again a testiment to what this team is capable of. The dominated the star studded Blades. Just like they did with the two-dimentional Tigers. I doubt there is a team that can match the Hurricanes' overall team speed. As for Axel, he needs to find another way to the net besides that in-out move.

    Hottest team in the Eastern Conference? Lethbridge Hurricanes at 7-1-1-1 in their last 10. Canes also hold the second longest streak in the WHL a 4-0-0-1 behind only Portland.

    Good on Preston for using all 4 lines! They may be called the Cane Train.....but for me they are the RELENTLESS EXPRESS!


  5. Congratulations should go out to the team. Sounds like they have really began to win back the city.
    Thats a great thing. Many things can be attributed to that from better PR, Better inhouse presentation and a roster that is more skilled, relentless, and hungry to win.
    Like the previous three years records were earned this years results have also been earned.
    Well done to the entire organization.
    Let's continue to be humble in victory.

  6. Canes are much improved but have also had a soft schedule so far with the majority of games at home. Interesting to see how they perform on the road. Special teams are amonst the worst in the league on both the pp and pk and sooner or later its going to bite them.

  7. Great come back last night but it shouldnt have been that close but the 5 on 3 and the other missed PP chances turned the momentum of the game. Erkamps and Pilon on the 5 on 3 was a mistake. Even on normal powerplays they struggle and nearly gave up a shorthanded goal on the 5 on 3. They are young. The first unit should be Johnston and Pilon or Erkamps and Johnston. He controls the play makes good passes and decisions (see tieing goal) and has a hard shot. PP needs a quarterback. I seem to recall he scored on an earlier 5 on 3 this year. No question Albin Boomquist and Galbraith struggled last night and Axel up front needs to work on his skill and stamina as I think the schedule is getting to him. The fourth line was outstanding! If Canes could make a trade for one more contributing forward in addition to getting Henry back on D this team could really push the top teams in the league, Edmonton PA Kamloops etc because our young guys should be getting better as the year goes on. Team is the hottest in the league as RJ said and there is no reason why it shouldnt continue!Scott

  8. Great win over the "Baldes" about using spell check on your headline Pat!

  9. WOW ..... Just WOW.
    Not to overstate things, but in my entire life I have never ever seen such a rapid and complete transformation of any team, in any league or any sport as what we have witnessed with the Hurricanes in the last 5 or 6 weeks. This has been a special experience for we Canes fans, and if the boys continue this hot streak, we may well be shaking our heads at the end of the year and saying .... WTF. "I ain't never seen nuttin like dis before".
    GO CANES and continue to wreak havoc on the WHL.
    Hey Pat. Someone else asked you to make your sign in hieroglyphics easier to read and I concur. Man they are hard to read.

  10. I agree about the transformation of this team. I was really worried after the first few weeks of the season because I was seeing a LOT Of the same things I saw last year, but they've moved away from that and are playing high-intensity hockey.

    It's a loooooooong season, so I'm tempering my comments. But my hope is that the boys continue to understand that hard work causes havoc for other teams. Combine the hard work with the Canes' team speed and they suddenly become part of the playoff conversation!

    (The one negative thing I have to say about the atmosphere in the Enmax is that I wish the music/replays on the scoreboard weren't so loud. I can't have a conversation with those around me without yelling. We've all noticed how loud the volume is in between periods.....I don't think that is necessary).