Sunday, 27 January 2013

Oil Kings Beat Lethbridge Hurricanes 7-1

EDMONTON - The Edmonton Oil Kings score four power play goals on nine chances as they easily skated past the Lethbridge Hurricanes 6-1 Sunday afternoon.

A fairly good opening period for Lethbridge against the top-ranked Edmonton Oil Kings. The home team would open the scoring in this game though, when Trevor Cheek knocked the puck by Canes goalie Chris Tai giving Edmonton a 1-0 lead.  That didn't last long.  Just 25 seconds later, Lethbridge would respond.  Josh Derko, in just his 3rd game with his new team would even the game with his 5th of the season when he fired a shot by a screened Laurent Brossoit.  That got the Hurricanes back to even terms.  Late in the period, Edmonton took the lead again when Dysin Mayo jumped up from the point, took a feed from Henrik Samuelsson and scored his first-even WHL goal, giving Edmonton a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes play.  The Oil Kings held a 13-9 edge in shots.

In the second, the Oil Kings would blow things open as the league's number one power play team would get back to business in a big way. Dylan Wruck would score once and Michael St. Croix added two more, all with the man advanatge.  St. Croix's second goal was on a 5-on-3 power play. The Hurricanes were given two penalties on the same play, putting them down two men.  That put Edmonton ahead 5-1.  In the final minute of play, Edmonton would score again.  Henrik Samuelsson beat Chris Tai, giving the Oil Kings a commanding 6-1 lead after 40 minutes.  Tai was bombarded with shots in this game as Edmonton held a sizeable 32-12 edge.

In the third, the Canes would give Ty Rimmer a nod in goal.  The Oil Kings would score once more before the final buzzer when Brandon Baddock snapped a shot by Rimmer, making it 7-1 Oil Kings.  With 2 minutes remaining in the game, 3 fights broke out, including a scrap between the two goaltenders, Ty Rimmer and Laurent Brossoit went at it right at centre ice. A number of penalties were assessed to both teams and Hurricanes Head Coach Rich Preston was ejected for the rest of the game. Edmonton would easily win 7-1 and heavily out shot Lethbridge 46-23.  The Oil Kings power play was deadly, going 4/9 while Canes went 0/4. 

The loss drops the Hurricanes record to 23-22-1-7 on the season, still in 5th place in the Eastern Conference and one point ahead on Swift Current.  The Broncos have 3 games in hand. 


Our weekly Hurricanes radio show is back on the air Monday evening for the final time in January.  We bring back the Media Roundtable.  Paul Kingsmith from Global TV and Dylan Purcell from the Lethbridge Herald will join Fred Jack and myself.  The show starts at 7:00 pm MST on CJOC.


The Hurricanes have wrapped up the January portion of their schedule and will now turn their attention to a busy month of February with 10 games, 4 at home and 6 on the road.  The Canes are the back home Friday (Feb.1 ) when they host the Red Deer Rebels.  This will be the first visit by the Rebels to Lethbridge this season.  The Canes will hit the road Saturday to Cranbrook for a date with the Kootenay ICE then it's off to Saskatchewan and Manitoba for the entire first week of the February.  The Hurricanes will then have a stretch mid-month where they play just once in 12 days, giving most other teams who have games in hand a chance to catch up.  At the end of the month it's on the bus again heading out to Vancouver Island and the B.C. Okanagan. A very busy month as the Hurricanes get into the final quarter of this WHL season.



  1. No discipline at all. I would love to hear the reasoning behind scratching Wong for 3 games straight while playing Harper for 2 out of 3. A disappointing couple of nights the the Canes.

  2. From the outset of the game, it appeared like the only plan of the players and coaches was to hang Chris Tai out to dry!

    If you want to take the day off, then find some AJHL tender you don't care about, or somebody in the stands in Edmonton and strap the pads on them!! And coach,... if you are going to give Rimmer the night off, then GIVE HIM THE NIGHT OFF!

    The Oil Kings team is really good, but all we learned (again) from this opponent is that if we don't play physical or compete, we lose HUGE.

    It was like watching a real WHL team (Kings) against a team of pick up hockey WHL-wannabee shinny players along with MAYBE four Canes that came prepared to compete, and the level of interest of the four that came prepared faded fast as they each realized their line-mates were duds.

    The ony Cane worthy of "Hardest Working Cane" in this game was the Hurricane team bus driver!!

    Watching the Oil Kings player's reactions on their bench and after their goals, it was evident that they were barely challenged in this game. They were frequently laughing. They obviously enjoyed embarassing the Canes.

    Maybe because of it being the third in three days, but the Canes were individually and collectively slow, weak, and disinterested.

    The Canes veterans and captain better step it up BIG time and start to show some urgency! Use your gifts and lead by example or this team will be on the outside looking in by Valentines Day! - Richie.

  3. I think it's important to remember this was an afternoon game after playing less than 24 hours earlier against one of the best teams in the country. I'm not going to cut them up over this one.

    Safe trip home Canes.


  4. So anon 7:07 are you saying we would have won yesterday with Wong in the line up. How many Darrens write in this blog seems to be a few with differing opinions. This team will go no where as long as this coach and possibly coaches are here. Why did he bring in Simpson when we had Sutton. Simpson in 8 games has 0 points and is a -9. Sutton in 12 games had 1 goal and was a -4. Bring back Sutton and either send Simpson or Topping back down or both when Dan is back. Derko is exactly what we thought high intensity and size but takes way to many stupid penalties because of it. Febuary will tell the story as far as the playoffs go there are alot of games with the other teams in this playoff race. If the Canes make the playoffs I sure hope it is not in 8 place or it will be a short ugly series. AJ

  5. Anon 1:58, not saying that they would have won with Wong at all (actually don't think it would have affected the outcome much at all), just think it's very discouraging to be a healthy scratch for 3 games straight after working so hard even when given close to zero opportunity to prove himself or to improve during games. It is one thing to scratch Wong for 3 straight but to play Harper for 2 of the 3 doesn't make a lot of sense. But, that is only my opinion.

  6. far as I can tell, there's only one "Darren" posting on here. Not sure what my differing opinions are? I wasn't going to freak out on the team for losing to a top-ranked team like the Oil Kings playing the 3rd in three nights (afternoon actually).


  7. Good round table again. Do we want top picks on our team that “show a lack of motivation” to get shipped out? Not sure that type of player needs to be on our team or would demand much on the trade market. I have yet to see Duke or Pilon showing a lack of motivation and I would assume both are looking to bigger a better things including being drafted high in the Nhl. Not sure it has been a good strategy for guys like Merkley and or A. Forsberg should they want to make it to the next level. This team has the schedule and skill to take 12 of 14 points at home and at minimum go 500 for the remaining away games. If Rich can’t motivate this roster to make the playoffs he needs to go. HLR

  8. HLR...get your facts straight. Forsberg went to PG and played first line and every PP from the moment he played his first game. He had no beef with icetime but was unhappy because he was on a losing team and he personally was not doing well. He chose not to show up after Christmas to the surprise of his team and this was because he was demanding a trade. In no way,shape or form is this the way Merkley behaved. Merkley was proud to be drafted and play for the Hurricanes. He never quit on the team despite I'm sure some very trying times. He had lots of friends and was popular with his teammates. In a year and a half he never played above the 3rd line and many games played a hand full of shifts. This was a very unusual way to develop a player that you draft that high assuming that they would be a top 6 forward. Merkley did not walk out on Lethbridge rather he was traded. Although RP and Brad Robson knew what they were getting when they drafted him they never gave him that chance. They traded him....he did not walk out on Lethbridge. Whether you like the way he played (and it sounds like you did not) you cannot characterise him as someone who did not like it here. I don't know anymore about what was in the roundtable then you do about Merkley. You might be better asking yourself who is accountable for trading a 17 year old that really was never given a chance. And by the way Merkley is on Central Scouting Mid season draft predictions list and I'm sure just like all of these kids has dreams of playing in the NHL. The problem is these kids can't control everything including icetime and trades and the damage done when they occur. See how things turn out in the end...who knows but just like for you and I life will go on.

  9. Might be best to listen to the program yourself it’s on 94.1 website. It was suggested that ”if you want out and you are a very high pick showing a lack of motivation might be a good way to get out of Lethbridge” or at least that is what I heard. Not my comments but you would infer from those comments that Merkley showed a lack of motivation and got shipped out. We have 3 high picks remaining on our team and both Duke and Pilon haven’t shown me a lack of motivation and I doubt they will. I was suggesting that both look to be more concerned with making it to the next level rather than getting out of Lethbridge. I hope Merkley does well, gets drafted and gets the chance he never got here. I wish we would have gotten more picks but Life will go on. Pretty sure Forsberg’s motivation has been in question difference is Prince George got nothing for him and he’s playing in the SJHL. HLR

  10. Maybe Merk was a dud. 2 g 2 a in 8 games. -4. not missing him here.

  11. I should clarify my remarks on the radio show. I was referring to Merkley's dissatisfaction with being a third-fourth line player. It's the development philosophy I believe Preston uses. He did it with Brady Ramsay, who came in a soft sniper and now works very hard defensively and is a good penalty killer. He also had Duke playing defence, and he excelled at it. Wong is in the same boat right now.
    Laurencelle, who was also likely unhappy with his playing time, has become a better defensive player recently. Preston requires defensive effort from all his players.
    Merkley, as anyone could see, was unwilling to give that effort defensively. I'm not saying that's wrong, the kid has great offensive talent and asking him to plug away is a mistake.
    But he was clearly not buying in, hence the 'unmotivated' comment. Although I think Merkley still worked hard, it's tough to get motivated when you're unhappy with your situation. I credit Preston with dealing Merkley to a place he should succeed rather than packing him off to Prince George.

    -- Dylan

  12. Is this the weekend the Canes fall to 8th place?

  13. Thanks for clarifying your remarks for HLR Dylan.....he obviously is confused about what was said as well as the intent.

    What I think also needs to be mentioned is that Swift approached Preston about Merkley and RP obliged them by almost giving him away. As the roundtable discussed, Preston didn't get NEAR enough for a GM that was holding all the cards.

    In my opinion, this trade shows worse for Preston as a GM and also as a coach than it does for Merkley. It shows that Preston as GM didn't know the player he was drafting and then as a coach, tried to fit a square peg into a round hole.

    As for the 8th place comment, this is an important weekend for the Canes. Most of the teams around them are winning. The Blades seem to have found their chemistry, Kootenay's on fire as is Swift and Red Deer. So the Canes need to keep pace! (currently losing 2-1 to RD)

    All this said could be tough without Dan Johnston, but if they can keep pace and get Johnston back, that would be a real shot in the arm!

    McKechnie just scored...2-2!

  14. Darren, Was very clear on what Dylan said. It’s also very clear to me that Derko is a great addition to this team and was large contributor to our win tonight. In an interview with SC Merkley suggested that Preston approached him with trade options. That to me says he was shopped. Secondly Merkley is 9 games in with 4 points and a -5. As they suggested in the round table the numbers are what they are. And that plug Derko is 4 games in with 3 points and has a heart that would have made Merkley live up to the third overall pick he was. For our team this year and next, it clearly was the right move and the better deal for Lethbridge. You would have been impressed should you have spent the $20 to go to the game. HLR

  15. HLR......again you missed this on the roundtable discussion. They were VERY clear when they stated Preston told Paul Kingsmith Swift approached HIM about Merkley. Trade "options" to me means Preston asked Merkley if Swift was a place he would consider. It doesn't mean he "shopped him around".


  16. Darren, Listen to Merkley’s interview with Shawn Mullin in early Jan after the trade. Rich approached Merkley with different trades due to his no trade clause. Different trades to me means more teams than SC showed interest and gave offers for Merkley. SC may have called Rich but that doesn’t mean Rich didn’t find out what else he could get from other teams. HLR