“Change” has been the theme this off-season and those changes will be seen as a new coaching staff leads the way at training camp.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes will open up camp for the 2013-2014 season Thursday, August 29th with close to 80 participants, including last year’s roster, with the exception of Mike Simpson who has decided to return to school.
For the days leading up to the start of camp, we’ll preview of each position and some key players to watch. First up is a look at the Hurricanes goaltending situation.
Among the coaching changes that took place was Assistant Coach, Chris Chisamore who also worked with the goalies. The Hurricanes did announce the signing of Jeff Battah who was the Hurricanes goalie coach from 2004 to 2008.
Just like last year at the Bantam Draft (in which they made a trade for 20 year old Ty Rimmer), the Hurricanes again went after a veteran goalie this year when they acquired 20 year old Corbin Boes from the Brandon Wheat Kings. The native of Saskatoon, SK played his entire WHL career with Brandon and posted a record of 13-23-2-3 in 43 games last season. He had a GAA of .897 and a 3.76 save percentage. For his career he has a .901 save percentage with a 3.35 GAA and a record of 46-45-3-11.
With the graduation of Ty Rimmer, the lone returning netminder is Chris Tai. The 17 year old from Delta, BC was listed by the Hurricanes following camp in 2010. While he saw limited playing time behind Rimmer, he did play in 12 games, finishing with a 4-4 record, a 3.87 GAA and a save percentage of .886. One of his most notable games from last season includes a 41-goal save performance in a victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors.
Among the others to watch is Stuart Skinner from Edmonton, AB. When the Hurricanes sent the 6th overall pick to Brandon for Boes, they used their 17th overall selection to draft the highly touted prospect. At 6’3 and 189 pounds, Hurricanes Head Scout Blake Robson calls Skinner “a franchise goalie that’s played in two Western Championship final games – winning one and he’s the top goalie in Western Canada.”
With SSAC of the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League, Skinner was 18-1-2 with a .929 Save Percentage, 1.75 GAA with 4 shutouts. He was also named AMBHL ‘Outstanding Goaltender’ for the North Division for 2012-2013.
Also on the radar at this year’s training camp are 2011 8th round (158th overall) bantam pick Jonny Hogue, Eric Szudor and Joey Desrosiers who the Hurricanes listed back in 2012. Hogue returns for his third camp with Lethbridge and was even called up in a backup role to Tai last season when Ty Rimmer was out with injury. With the Lethbridge Midget Pronghorns, Hogue posted a record of 8-8-2, a .904 save percentage and a GAA of 3.81. Szudor is back for his second camp with the team that drafted him in the 6th round (121st overall) in the 2012 Bantam Draft. Last season Szudor played with the AMMHL’s KC Centennials. He posted a 4-6-1 record with a GAA of 4.23 and a .908 save percentage. Desrosiers was 10-7-2 (with 1 shutout) with the Leduc Oil Kings of the AMHL in 2012-2013. He finished the year with a .910 save percentage and a 2.80 GAA and his Oil King were among the teams that competed at the prestigious Mac’s Midget Hockey tournament.
Be sure to visitwww.lethbridgehurricanes.comand follow us via social media atfacebook.com/WHLHurricanesand @WHLHurricanes on Twitter for daily reports from Hurricanes Training Camp and the preseason which is proudly sponsored byENMAX. Scrimmages will beginFriday, August 30th and fans are encouraged to attend camp to get their first look at the 2013-2014 Lethbridge Hurricanes. The Canes exhibition schedule startson September 5th (vs. Calgary in Taber) before Lethbridge hosts Medicine Hat on September 11th.
(From Esther Madziya, Hurricanes Media Relations)