Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Hitmen Hand Hurricanes 4th Consecutive Loss

CALGARY - A goal with just under 30 seconds to go in the third period lifted the Calgary Hitmen to a 3-2 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes Wednesday night at the Saddledome. 

Nothing to speak of in terms of offence in the first period of this game.  The Calgary Hitmen had most of the chances as they out shot Lethbridge 16-7.  Ty Rimmer was very good in the opening frame.  The Canes got caught a few times coughing up the puck in their own zone, but Rimmer was there to keep his team in it and keep the game scoreless.

In the second, the Calgary Hitmen would finally break the scoreless tie with a power play goal. Jaynen Rissling's shot went off a Hurricanes defenceman and by Rimmer, making it 1-0 Calgary.  The Hurricanes though would get that one back one a two-on-one rush.  Reid Duke passed the puck out front to Axel Blomqvist and he tapped in a backhander to even the game at 1-1.  That was Blomqvist's 2nd of the season and got the visitors back to even terms.  Before the end of the period, Calgary would take the lead against when Alex Roach stepped across the blueline and hammered a 40 foot shot which Rimmer got a piece of, but not enough as the puck rolled under his arm and just across the goal line to the Hitmen a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes.  Calgary held a sizable edge in shots 29-13.

In the third, the Hurricanes would tie the game with just over 5 minutes to go in the period. Tyler Wong was sprung free on a breakaway by Russ Maxwell and he would score his first ever in the WHL, beating Chris Driedger to even the score at 2-2.  It looked like this game was heading into overtime, but with just 27 seconds to go in the game, Jake Virtanen came out from behind the net and banked a shot of the back of Rimmer for the game winning goal and the Calgary Hitmen would skate away with a 3-2 victory. 

The Hurricanes power play let them down in this game.  The Canes went 1/7 with the man advantage while the Hitmen finished the night 1/2.  That was the difference.  The loss drops the Hurricanes record to 13-12-1-1 on the season, still tied for 4th place in the Eastern Conference with Red Deer.


The Hurricanes have 5 more games on the road before returning back to Lethbridge on December 5th.  The Canes next action is Friday (Nov. 23) when they travel to Red Deer to take on the Rebels. It's the first of 6 meetings this season between the two clubs, who are neck and neck in the Eastern Conference standings.  Game time from Red Deer is 7:30 pm MST.  The pre-game show on CJOC at 7:00.



  1. Unfortunately the Canes have now lost 4 in a row, but still cling to a tie for 4th. But are we seeing the old troubles starting to surface again? In the last 4 games the Hurricanes have scored 9 goals...a significant drop off from the previous string of games. The Hurricanes powerplay over the last 4 games is 3/22 (13.6%)and a shorthanded goal against. With 7 powerplays tonight, you would think that the Canes shot total would be greater than 16. So, the lack of focus on powerplay practice, systems comes up again.
    Also, the Canes had 44 shots on Tuesday night, only 16 tonight, so it is obvious that the Hitmen made adjustments (neutral zone trap) according to CC. Why no adjustsments to the trap then?

    If the Canes are going to get themselves out of this mini funk, the coaching staff is going to have to work on the powerplay and system adjustments. But haven't we all heard this before?
    On a positive note, the Canes are playing far more disciplined!

    Get ready for a tough, hard-nosed Rebel team. Things are different now with Sutter back behind the bench.


  2. To bad we could not at least get 1 point in the last 2 games. If you guys would look at the schedule from the last month we have not played many of the top teams. Now that we are going up against the top teams our weaknesses are really going to show up. At the start of the year NO one thoght this team had a chance to be in the playoffs including me but yet here we are with a chance. I owe Graham Hood an apology because I was pretty hard on him early in the year and although he still has his weaknesses it is obvious that the team misses his leadership. The team does need some size up front but not neccessarily a goal scorer. Someone to get in front of the net and create space. The BIGGEST thing this team is lacking is COACHING. We have 13 games left until the end of 2012. Only 5 of those games are against teams with a worse record than ours and only 1 with a win percentage under 442. Good luck boys and remember pressure on the puck all the time. AJ

  3. Well I called this several posts back and was bang on. Galbraith wasn't so ready to leave hockey and move on. He just moved on with who he is playing. Made his debut as a Spruce Grove Saint on Wednesday in the AJHL. So why leave the Dub and go the AJHL? The ugly head of paying players 'under the table' is not reserved to the some CHL teams, but it is alive and strong in the AJHL also which is a feed for the NCAA.

    This only proves that most players on any team or any league has no allegiance to where they play. They go where the money is or where they can advance. So all the stabs made over the years about players who left Lethbridge to move on with another team is no different. They look after #1.


  4. Galbraith is playing for Spruce Grove because he's near home, near his girlfriend, with much less commitment and more ice time.

  5. This isn't a deep Hurricanes team, so after a couple of injuries (or suspensions as in Ramsey's case), it's hard for the rest of the players to pick up the scoring. I know Hood wasn't a big goal scorer when he was in the lineup, but at least he was a big body. So having him out doesn't help. And Galbraith leaving was also a blow. I know Topping and Pilon will be very good one day, but they lack Galbraith's edge and toughness at this point. Is anyone else injured right now? Sofilas?? (not sure)

    In any event, they need to get their lineup solidified, either with returning injured players or a trade.


  6. Really, Charlie, get your facts straight. According to the coach, Galbraith left to be closer to home and his very ill grandfather. No X-Files, no conspiracy theories, just a kid doing right by his family. Do we always have to see the negative in everything?