Saturday, 7 December 2013

Calgary Hitmen Beat Lethbridge Hurricanes 5-2

CALGARY - The Calgary Hitmen unloaded for three goals in the first period and that powered them to a 5-2 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes Saturday night at the Saddledome.

The Hurricanes did a good job weathering the storm early at the Saddledome, but Calgary scored a pair of very quick goals midway through the period in a span of 32 seconds to change the game. Pavel Padakin found the back of the net, beating Corbin Boes to make it 1-0 Calgary and then right off the draw at centre ice, the Hitmen would score again, this time Jake Virtanen made it 2-0 Hitmen, not even 10 minutes into the game. Before the end of the period, the Hitmen would go up by a three spot, when Radel Fazleev's point shot would beat a screened Boes to give the home team a 3-0 through 20 minutes of play. Calgary held a 10-4 edge in shots on goal.

In the second, the Hurricanes would score early. Giorgio Estephan took nice feed from Reid Nemeth and snapped home his 5gth goal of the season. That cut the Calgary lead to 3-1. The Canes really settled down after giving up three goals in the first period. They had a number of good scoring chances and out shot the Hitmen 9-7 in the period and were the better team in that period. Calgary though ended up holding on to the 3-1 lead after 40 minutes of play. Teh shots favoured the Hitmen 17-13, it was certainly anything but an offensive game to this point.

In the third, the Hitmen would regain their three goal lead. 1:47 into the period, Jake Virtanen would score his second goal of the night, this time on the power play to give Calgary a 4-1 lead. The Hurricanes would keep chipping away at the lead and a few minutes later, on a 5-on-3 power play, Taylor Cooper rifled home his first as a Hurricanes and 8th of the season to cut the Calgary lead to 4-2. Calgary though got that back late in the period, when Alex Roach found the back of the net and the Hitmen would go on to win the game 5-2. The game was fairly evenly play. Calgary out shot the Canes 30-26. The Hitmen went 1/6 on the power play and the Hurricanes 1/3.

The loss drops the Hurricanes record to 4-24-2-2 for 12 points in 32 games. They have two wins in their last 20 games. The Canes are nearly half way through their 2013-2014 WHL schedule and will hit the official halfway point in their season this coming week.

Hurricanes This Week

Our weekly Hurricanexs radio show is back on the air Monday night (Dec. 9) on CJOC. Coming up on this week's program, Hurricanes GM Brad Robson, Board Member Nick Polychronopoulos, and Hurricanes rookie forward Giorgio Estephan. After this Monday, we have one more show in 2013 and that'll take place Monday, December 16th. The program starts at 7:00 pm MST on CJOC.

Next Up

The Hurricanes head into thee second week of December with their busiest stretch of hockey this season. The Canes will play 5 games in 6 days. Red Deer and Calgary coming to Lethbridge Tuesday and Wednesday (Dec. 10-11) and then the Hurricanes will head to Edmonton on the weekend where they will take on the Oil Kings Friday (Dec. 13) and in Red Deer Saturday (Dec. 14). The Canes will then return home Sunday (Dec. 15) for an early afternoon game at 2:00 pm against the visiting Victoria Royals.



  1. Sounds like the kids played well for most of the game. Bad start hurt them again. I would second guess the decision to start Boes, after Sacher played very steady in nets against PA. Most coaches would go with the hot hand. Unless the thinking was that last night's game was the first full game for Sacher since the start of the season and therefore Boes got the nod.

    I know there are a lot of fans (so-called fans) who do not go to the Hurricane games because of the team's record, or because they are ticked with the coaches, management and the B.O.D. But those who stay away because of their personal "hate on" are only hurting the players. They need your support and deserve it. But what an absolute disgrace for the Teddy Bear Toss. Only 3400 for the game which is usually close to a sellout and a pathetic 2300 stuffed animals.
    So who gets hurt? The hospitalized and less fortunate children of this city and area.
    Heck I can recall when the total was 20,000 teddy bears. Can you imagine all the smiling faces of children, who would normally get nothing?

    Yes the team's record is embarrassing. But the support by this community for worthwhile causes, is just as embarrassing.

    Dump'n Chase

    1. It was a good game and I;m glad I went but you have to figure the 50 below temps had something to do with the attendance....bob

  2. Your comments are valid Dump'n Chase and the boys and the sick kids deserve support but the organization doesn't. Many of us don't want to re-enforce the incompetence in management and the board and at the end of the day the only way change will be forced is when they have no more money to pay the bills. This is a business that is not supporting its employees (players) and the only way change will happen is if we boycott them until change happens. Harsh but true. SC

  3. Before we get into the game I would like to take a moment to comment on SC's assertion that management is not supporting it's employees. The changes this year show support 4 coaches as opposed to 2.5 last year. The .5 being RP had two jobs GM and Coach. One of the better scholarship programs in my opinion better than the NCAA's if you read any articles about how major colleges treat their athletes who get injured. Support systems Psychologist, strength trainers doctors and therapy when needed quality billet families so please do not feed me the no support argument. Secondly have you thought past your little boycott statement to think what will change if the Canes do not have enough money to pay their bills. Team sold and moved. No commitment that new ownership keeps the team in Lethbridge. Fans do not support boycotts they will buy a share and work within the system to change what they perceive to be the shortfalls. So much for my Rant!

    I too was a little dismayed that the coach went with Boes after the fine game that Sacher played. Our team can not afford to spot the other team three goals in the first period and expect to come back from that hole. There are not many teams that can. I do feel that it maybe a time when the coach goes with a "Win and your In" attitude when it comes to our goalies. Another thing I have noted is that our team when they get down a couple of goals their whole demeanour changes. Friday night when Sacher kept them in the game at times in the first period their was no let down they were on their front foot going hard. Other times when they were down early they were slow and tentative staying back almost protecting against another goal. Just an observation.

    Sounded like the refs did their usual inconsistent job last night. Not blaming the refereeing but it did seem they lost control of the game.

    DnC the way to butts in the seats is winning. That is the only way you will get support in this city. Sad but true. So as Tommy Lasorda used to say "Just win baby"

    A View from Above

    1. Absolutely agree that rotating the tenders should be the team M.O. for the rest of the season. The Canes have FOUR wins in 32 games this year... and TWO of them are NOT Boes' starts. Hmmmm... How would a genius process this information?

      The last thing the Canes need this year is to be "developing" another bench-garnish like Tai that they underutilized by starting him only 8 times in 2012-13, then they gave him away this year (They won't likely get the "conditional pick" from Brandon)

      As much as the Tigers and their drunken fans irritate me, I hope Tai gets the start when they come after Christmas, and I hope they beat us 8-1 with Boes in net. As much as I will hate to watch it while I am at that game, it is a lesson that I would like Robson to learn for making such a thoughtless trade to get Boes for such a high pick in the first place.

  4. A lot of people will disagree and be mad at me for saying this but I'm so sick of reading posts about boycotting and people who are genuinely angry about this team losing. I get the frustration and disappointment, but mostly for the players, not myself. With a family member on the team I am VERY invested in the team and want them/him to do well and am discouraged for him when they lose but the day I get as angry as someone like SC (and many others) and choose to boycott a team of teenagers because they are losing, I will know its time to find a new hobby. At the end of the day, this is just hockey, a sport, an entertainment source and it should be treated as so. If you love this team or the boys on it, go to the games and support them, have fun, be disappointed in a loss but MOVE ON.

    These players work so hard, they invest so much, struggle to get their school work done and good grades with their crazy travel schedule. I talked to Wonger last night after the game and said that it was a great game and that shots were much closer last night and responded positively saying that they were starting to play better together and improve and what do they get? An empty arena to play in front of in their own city.


    1. I totally agree, it fun to go watch major jr hockey. were lucky to have it and I for one love going to the games and sitting with friend..i'm not crazy about their record this year either but to let something a small as a hockey game throw you off kinda seems there's bigger issues in you life you need to fix..the one thing I like is the enmax is a louder building this year, cheering for the players after periods yelling during the game and the odd go canes go. keep the faith boys and never give up...bob

    2. -C, it is not the players, no one has ever said that. It is about an awful coach, a horrible GM and an incompetent BOD that has run this organization into the ground. Why would anyone want to give their money to such a useless bunch of......

      I'm sure everyone feels bad for the players and what makes it worse for the current roster is that here in Lethbridge this history of poor management has gone on for many years and so many people have just had enough. If as a fan, you want change what other way is their to incite change?
      Derek Sutton

    3. Fair weather fans are NOT what this team needs right now, solid stalwart fans REQUIRED are! The fans are just as big a part of this team as the players themselves! The state of this union is NOT the players fault…this is a very fragile and hurting group right now and they are giving everything they have and they desperately need some rock solid, thick or thin support right now, so I guess we can either be part of the solution, OR, we can be part of the problem? Look at the Edmonton Oilers, struggling, inconsistent, YET their fans continue to support their team with the best sellout attendance in the league knowing that building good teams takes time and is a process! Having our Lethbridge Hurricanes is NOT a right, it IS a privilege and people should not forget that! This franchise made a wholesale change in the management and coaching department, changes like that require high level support and take time to develop and show results! Shoulda, woulda, coulda comments and postings on the various blogs etc do not help these young boys, they do not get paid to play on this team and are but children…WE NEED TO GET ON THE BAND WAGON, GET BEHIND THESE BOYS AND LIFT THEM UP AS HIGH AS WE CAN!!! SUNDAY, DECEMBER 15 @ 2:00PM IS THE FINAL HOME GAME BEFORE THE CHRISTMAS BREAK…WE SHOULD SELL THE BUILDING OUT FOR THEM THAT DAY, COME OUT AND SEND THE BOYS HOME BELIEVING THAT THEY ARE WANTED AND THAT WE WILL BE HERE FOR THEM NO MATTER WHAT!!!! ITS A CHALLENGE TO YOU ALL….

    4. Derek what background to you have to comment on the BOD, GM and coaching staff. I wish some of the bloggers that comment on these aspects of the Canes would state their qualifications so we may judge the quality of their statements. To answer your final question the answer simply is go to the games support the players and buy a share and work from in the organization to change your perceived shortfalls.

      I for one think the GM and Coaching staff are improving this team as you can see the improvement each game I will not comment on the BOD as I am not a shareholder and do not attend their AGM's. As well in C's post he stated that Wong himself sees improvement. The players are closest to the situation so I will take their opinion as the strongest voice. To get a winning team which is what both players and fans want will take time. To sit back and complain without providing a constructive solution is not the way to rectify the situation!

      To Anon I will be at the Dec 15 game as well as others because these kids are providing great entertainment value. The Canes need and deserve our support!

      A View from Above

    5. I forgot it sign, Derek Sutton. It while I'm typing again I will list why I feel Robson should be let go, add all these up and there is no way anyone can defend him
      1) hiring his son as head scout, is really the most qualified person for the job?
      2) giving up Clague for Boes, and then admitting that this deal was done the day before the draft. Boes or another equally capable goalie would have been available for little to nothing
      3) saying DB was his first choice of over 80 some odd applicants
      4) saying DB was a winner
      5) though not a reason to be fired Lethbridge had a pretty decent aaa bantam team last year and only two players were invited to training camp from that team while they invited kids from other places including a couple who played aa from calgary, you know guys with ties to Robson. That is mainly just a personal grief I had with the team when training camp opened
      6) how he handled the situations with JY, SM and RP, saying that "they have their reasons for wanting to leave and you'll have to ask them." They wanted out because the coaching sucks and his "systems" are crap. The skilled players need to be coached differently then the 4th liners and penalty killers.
      7) the fact that he doesn't acknowledge what a catastrophic failure this season has been and continues on with the current coach and his staff

      Is that enough? If I think for a few minutes I can probably have 5 more

    6. "A View From Above" promotes the classic logical fallacy of appealing to authority. "I wish some of the bloggers that comment on these aspects of the Canes would state their qualifications so we may judge the quality of their statements".
      Derek's comments need to be examined on their own merits, as do those attributed to Wong. The team record speaks for itself in assessing the effectiveness of the BOD, GM and coaching staff. You don't have to know anything about Derek to see that things are not as good as they ought to be. Looking at the win/loss and playoff record of the team over the past 5 years will tell you a great deal more about things than seeing Derek's resume. If you can build a case for improvement from the record have at it. But tilting at the commentator, especially from your own anonymity, doesn't really cut it.

      How to respond to the incompetence of the BOD, GM and Coaches is another story. The prevailing philosophy on this thread seems to be summed up in this tactic: "Floggings will continue until morale improves."

      A View from the Ice

    7. "Coaching sucks, systems are crap, catastrophic failure, BOD is incompetent, floggings will continue.
      There is always a ray of sunshine amidst the doom and gloom of this season.

      In the race for the first overall pick in the 2014 Euro draft, as of today the picks would look like this.
      1-Lethbridge Hurricanes WHL (12pts)
      2-Shawinigan Cataractes QMJHL (15pts)
      3-Kamloops Blazers WHL (16pts)
      4-Saint John Sea Dogs QMJHL (17pts)
      5. Belleville Bulls OHL (18pts)

      Oh I know there will be a few negative comments that will likely arise. So I will leave it up to you all.

      Dump'n Chase

    8. Actually the order for the Euro Draft as of today is as follows.

      1- Belleville Bulls OHL (18pts)
      2- Shawinigan Cataractes QMJHL (15pts)
      3- Lethbridge Hurricanes WHL (12pts)
      4- Niagara IceDogs OHL (20pts)
      5- Saint John Sea Dogs QMJHL (17pts)
      6- Kamloops Blazers WHL (16pts)


  5. Probably fair to question the wisdom of the BOD's where the hiring of Robson is concerned, especially when there were other candidates that were proven and very experienced? Robson is pretty much as green as they get, a guy like Doug Soetaert probably would have been a much more prudent hire? As Derek states, one would have to conclude that this franchise is bleeding to death from the lack of management experience which allows for poor decisions to be made right down the line. At this point in the season it is abundantly clear that the head coach is eyeball deep and sinking fast, the presents of George Kingston has to all but confirm that? Will be interesting to see just how long this BOD is willing to let this continue before the required decisions and needed changes are made? Likely they (Robson group) are all nice people and mean well, however that doesn't cut it at this level! They players and the Lethbridge faithful deserve much better. Hopefully they (BOD) can get a Captain to the bridge before this ship runs a ground if it hasn't already??? - Lindon