Friday, 9 November 2012

Hurricanes Beat Brandon Wheat Kings 5-3

BRANDON, MB. - The Lethbridge Hurricanes erased a two goal deficit and came back to beat the Brandon Wheat Kings 5-3 Friday night on the road in Manitoba.

Not the start on the road the Hurricanes were hoping for. After scoreless first 12 minutes, the Brandon Wheat Kings opened the scoring on a breakaway by Alessio Bertaggia.  The Wheat King forward block a point shot from Jaimen Yakubowski and skated in all alone and beat Ty Rimmer to put the home side up 1-0.  The Wheaties would get one more very late, with just 10 seconds to go in the period. Jayce Hawryluk stormed down the right wing and hammered a shot that Rimmer got a piece of, but not enough as is got by him, putting Brandon ahead 2-0 after 20 minutes of play.  The Wheat Kings out shot Lethbridge 2-0.

In the second, the Hurricanes got things going offensively with a pair goals.  Jay Merkley scored his 9th of the season off a nice feed from Tyler Wong to cut the Wheaties lead to 2-1 early in the period.  That was Merkley's 9th goal of the season.  Just over 7 minutes later, the Canes found the equalizer on a power play.  Albin Blomqvist's point shot was stopped by Corbin Boes, but Russ Maxwell was right there to cash the puck into a wide open net to tie the game at 2-2.  It was Maxwell's team-leading 13th goal of the season.  The Hurricanes had a great opportunity late to take the lead when Jamal Watson was sprung free on a shorthanded breakaway, but he was unable to score and the game remained tied 2-2 after two periods.  The shots favour Brandon 26-23.

In the third, the Canes would keep it coming.  Jamal Watson broke in on another breakaway and this time he would make no mistake and put it upstairs on Boes to give Lethbridge a 3-2 lead. That was his 6th of the season and then a few minutes later the Hurricanes would go up 4-2 when Craig Leverton scored his 4th of the year while laying on the ice. The Canes came back with 4 straight goals to take a two goal lead.  The Wheaties got one of those back when Geordie Maguire beat Rimmer on a breakaway to cut the Lethbridge lead to 4-3.  That didn't last long as the visitors found a way to get their two goal lead once again. Macoy Erkamps slap shot hit a Brandon player in front and deflected in to give the Canes a 5-3 lead late in the period and that's the way the game would end.  That was Erkamps' 3rd goal of the year and sealed the deal for Lethbridge. 

The win improved the Canes record to 12-7-1-1 on the season fort 26 points.  Lethbridge has also won 4 games in a row.  The Hurricanes went 1/3 on the power play in this game while Brandon finished the night 0/4. The Hurricanes still remain in 4th place in the Eastern Conference.


Head Coach and GM Rich Preston talked more with me prior to the game about Spencer Galbraith leaving the team and going home.  He said, "It completely came out of the blue after the game on Wednesday. We (coaches) had a long chat with him and told him to sleep on it, but we couldn't talk him out of it.  He cam back the next morning, said bye to the guys, and went home.  I don't what he plans to do".  Preston says at some point with a surplus of defenceman, a decision or two would've had to be made at that position.  He says this does give Joel Topping a chance to play again. Preston notes Topping has been good and with him it was simply a numbers game with Topping being a healthy scratch.


The Hurricanes will play the second game of this 3 game road trip in Regina Saturday (Nov. 10 ) against the Pats.  The Canes routed Regina a few weeks ago when the Pats were in Lethbridge.  Game time from the Queen City is 6:00 pm (MST).  The pre-game show on CJOC at 5:30.



  1. That was a terrific come from behind win for the team. Being down 2 goals after the first period is one thing but given that they had to play without their captain and one of the veterans on their team quit just before leaving on the road trip the players could have easily been rattled and without focus. Good job, Hurricanes.


  2. Good win on the road, Hurricanes have the 2nd best streak in the league 6-0-0-1.
    I wonder how the negative posters are going to blame Preston for Galbraith decision. If you read Pat's transcript, it clearly states how they handled in and their reaction to his decision. It is not like Spencer was not getting lots of ice time, playing in all situations. His grit was appreciated, his shot was one of the best, and yes he did make mistakes, but his ice time was not limited. Spencer was traded to the Hurricanes along with Liston. In Brandon he did not have a major role on the blue line, coming to the Hurricanes gave him the opportunity to play and play he has. It is hard to understand the reasoning behind his departure. The club is on a great roll, they are dominating at home and will only get better. Trouble is the Hurricanes have a surplus of d-men and young ones that need the ice time. As they say, one door closes and another opens, Joel Topping who has been a healthy scratch for far too long, will now get a regular shot.
    This situation may force Preston to make a deal for a solid/tough 19 yr old d-man, that will play this year and become an overage next year. With the departure of Galbraith, that leaves Ramsay, Blomquist and Soffilas as overages. Albin would take two spots if he stays for 13-14 and unfortunately there is a huge question mark beside Soffilas.

    Another win in Regina!!!!


  3. Another gritty win for the Canes. I watched the game on the Internet . I think the defence is going to be just fine and are playing really well. Erkamps had a great game last night ( although I am almost 100 percent sure it was Johnston not Erkamps who set up Watson on that breakaway goal , Pat what did you see?) Pilon gets better every Game, Johnston is the best D man and Hackman is consistently good. Topping is good and when Henry comes back you are still looking at sitting a d man. Canes need to trade fot another skilled forward. Last night with Hood out they had to play Harper with Duke and Wong on the 4th line and the scoring threat that was there became a liability. Eventually they shortened the bench but the Canes strength has been 4 lines who can score. Got get them in Regina! Scott

  4. Again 4 out of our 5 goals by 17 yr olds (what a draft!!). They must have had some development last season. Wow. Playing this well is ahead of schedule imo but I will take it. Wish Spencer didn’t retire however he did make our d-men situation less of an issue. All the best Spencer and keep up the great effort Canes. I also suspect this will be the last season in a very long time that we do not have NHL draft picks playing for us. HLR

  5. Great gutty win boys!! I actually shouted "Yeah" when Watson scored the go-ahead marker! Total effort after a lackluster first period. I'm not sure what the coaching staff expected after a 54 hour bus ride to Brandon? Ok, it wasn't that long, but that's always to be expected and doesn't always need a shouting/trash can kicking after the first period.

    In any event, the team responded favourably and put in a gutsy 40 minutes for an important 2 points!

    Drive safe and good luck tonight!!
    Go Canes Go!


  6. HLR you said it ... the 2010 draft is turning out to be very very good:
    Jay Merkley - Round 1
    Craig Leverton - Round 2
    Macoy Erkamps - Round 2
    Joel Topping - Round 2
    Jamal Watson - Round 5
    Remi Laurencelle - Round 8
    Lenny Hackman - Round 9

    7 out of 10 kids taken in that draft are on the team and all contributing.