Sunday, 15 December 2013

Victoria Royals Defeat Hurricanes 6-1

LETHBRIDGE - The Victoria Royals scored three times in the second period as they skated away with a 6-1 victory at the ENMAX Centre Sunday afternoon.

You'd never would have known the Hurricanes were playing their 5th game in six days. The Canes came out with a fair bit of jump against the Victoria Royals and had several good scoring chances, but Coleman Vollrath came up with a number of key saves for the Royals. It stayed scoreless until the final few minutes of the period when Victoria scored a pair of goals. First Brandon Magee beat Teagan Sacher with a great shot on the power play to give the Royals a 1-0 lead and then just over a minute later the Royals would score again when Ryan Gagnon redirected a point shot to make it 2-0 Royals after one period of play. The Hurricanes held a 11-9 edge in shots.

In the second, the Royals would add to their lead. Austin Carroll scored a pretty goal on a tic-tac-toe play early in the period to make it 3-0 Victoria. The play appeared to off-side, but there was no whistle on the play and the goal stood. The Hurricanes though got that one back on a power play when Tyler Wong scored his team-leading 14th goal of the season to cut the Royals lead to 3-1. About 5 minutes later, Victoria would strike again when Ben Walker skated down the right wing and snapped a laser beam by Sacher to give Victoria a 4-1 lead and then before the end of the period, the Royals would extend their lead when Steven Hodges scored to make it 5-1 Victoria through two period of play. The Canes replaced Teagan Sacher who gave up 5 goals on 20 shots. Corbin Boes would come in and play the rest of the game.

In the third, the Royals kept the offence coming. Mitch Skapski drove hard down the right side and jammed the puck by Boes early in the period to give Victoria a 6-1 lead. The Canes would get a few more good scoring chances as the period moved along but that's as close as they would get in this game as Victoria would win it 6-1. Lethbridge out shot the Royals 31-30 in this game. The canes went 1/7 on the power play and Victoria 1/5. The loss drops the Hurricanes overall record to 5-27-2-3 in 37 games this season.

Hurricanes This Week

Our final Hurricanes This Week radio show on 2013 airs on Monday night (Dec. 16) on 94.1 CJOC. Joining Fred Jack and I in-studio will be Hurricanes President Brian McNaughton. We are always joined by the President in our final program prior to the Christmas break. We will try and touch on a number of topics in the 30 minutes he will be on the show. We also hope to have Jeff Holick, the radio voice of the Kootenay ICE. After this Monday we will take a two week break for the Christmas holidays and resume January 6, 2014 with our first program of the year. We have 10 shows scheduled in the final few months of the season concluding March 17th with our last show featuring the Media Roundtable.

Next Up

The Hurricanes have one more game before the annual WHL Christmas break. They travel to Cranbrook on Tuesday (Dec. 17) where they will take on the Kootenay ICE. Kootenay currently sits in a battle for playoff positioning with several other teams in the WHL's Eastern Conference and are 5-5 in their last 10 games. They have 18 wins in 36 games this season. Game time from Cranbrook is 7:00 pm. The pre-game show on CJOC at 6:30.



  1. There is only one person to blame for this outcome. The schedule maker. Sure some teams had a lot of games in a short period of time, But the Hurricanes had 6 games in 9 1/2 days, of which 5 games were played in 5 1/2 days. The players were running on fumes by the end of the game. I know, I know teams have ugly schedules too. But this one just seemed over the top.

    For sure some negative Ned will go to the schedule to prove me wrong but it is not a case of being proven right or wrong, it is a case of stating that the Hurricanes' played too much this past week.

    Apparently a lot of teams are not happy with the "electronic scheduling".

    After Kootenay a 10 day rest and a chance to relax.

    Let's hope the break does not result in more player defections.

    Dump'n Chase

  2. My thoughts exactly on the "defections" - "Home" might look pretty good to several of these players... or becoming a teacher, or door to door vacuum salesman....

    25 shopping days until Trade deadline. Will Santa be bringing something for the Lethbridge Hurricanes?

    There are still nine more players on the current roster that I could easily see them moving before the deadline.

    Boes (93) - Robson "placed a bet" in May with BWKs and wagered his 6th overall bantam pick that Boes might be able to carry his team into the 2014 playoffs. He will be extremely difficult to move unless there is an injury on another team in goal between now and the deadline, but to me it makes so much more sense to play sacher.

    Boes saw 9 playoff games in 2012 with the BWKs and posted a 3.0 GAA with a very strong 0.922 save%. There should be teams that recognize the value of his experience on their bench.

    Erkamps (95) - Makes no sense to me to move him, but teams will recognize his value and will probably make offers. Anything less than a rostered larger younger defenseman and a first or second rounder would make it a step backwards and stupid move as far as I am concerned.

    Maxwell (94) - The Canes will have too many 20 year olds next year (Along with Walters, Bell, Sheen, Sacher). To me, Sacher and Sheen are the showing the most potential of these remaining four.

    Maxwell is excellent on the PK, he blocks shots, is exceptionally durable, versatile, and he would improve every team's playoff run. The Canes owe it to Russ to give him a playoff experience with a contender; the sooner they do so, the more they will get in return for him.

    Ramsay (93) - Similar to Maxwell, he has done it all for Lethbridge community and for the Canes, and all on teams with NO chance of success. HE absolutely deserves a chance in his final season with a contender. As excellent a team mate as he is, it makes ZERO sense to trap him here for the final stretch.

    The Canes should do the right thing and move him. As a speedy and talented offensive player that can kill penalties and drop the mits, he is easily worth a prospect and a first or second round pick. The only reason to keep him is IF he wants to stay and play golf next spring.

    Olynek (96) - I love this kid and I think it would be a mistake to move him, but given his size or lack thereof, coupled with the current management's philosophy, I could see them packaging him up with either Boes or Derko as part of a multi-player deal.

    Duke (96) - I think it would be a mistake to move him, but there will be interest given the recent history of the Hurricanes to give up on and give away their top young players (Merkley, Henry, Pilon).

    Watson (95) - Would be a bad move by the Canes, but they will receive calls. Every team in the dub has seen glimpses of the special skills this player has, and every team in the dub knows they can teach him how to defend better than the Canes have.

    Laurencelle (95) - Underutilized by the Canes coaches. He is much the same player as Craig Leverton who the Canes chose 2nd round in the same draft year. Remi was nearly a point a game player as a 15 year old in Manitoba AAA midget, and he was over 1.5 ppg in the same league as a 16 year old. He would succeed elsewhere. He needs a fresh start. The Canes have retarded his development by two years. Trade him before he requests it. He is worth a third rounder easily.

    Derko (93) - As much as the Canes need him for his toughness, other teams need him for the same reason. His 100mph shot is being wasted in Lethbridge. Preston recognized his value and gave up his third overall bantam pick (Merkley) to get him. In my opinion, his stock has risen since. I think a few contending teams would trade one of their 3 remaining 20s along with a first round pick to get him to add toughness for the final playoff push. (eg. Victoria, Jordan Fransoo) Derko has done all he can for us, we are now beyond help. (eg2. If Portland gets Dumba, Harr (93) might be expendable)

    1. TR I think your analysis is pretty close to being on the money. It is well thought out and insightful. There is some areas that should be explored further thought;

      Boes, I do not think will be moved. Just can not see it.

      Erkamps he has improved under Lukowich's tutelage. Kabayama as the defence coach last year retarded his development. I think BR will definitely try to get a roster player for him. There will be some conversations about him but I do not see him moved.

      Maxwell well here is the heart and soul of the team. With the amount of blood sweat and teeth he has shed for this team I would hope that BR goes to him and asks him if the wants to be moved. If the answer is yes then move him to a contender. He deserves it!

      Ramsay total agreement!

      Olynek I would keep him even with his lack of size can see him developing into a Marty St. Louis. There still is a place for the small guy that puts out.

      Duke will not be moved. Hurricanes did not give up on either Henry or Pilon. Henry was a hockey trade and Pilon gave up on the team. I believe both did burn some bridges on leaving though. With Merkly a move was in his best interests to help him develop.

      Laurencelle a move would do him good. He is falling behind some of the younger players. Nemeth Amson and Foulk are all above him in the depth chart.

      Derko has not utilized his toughness much this year. He maybe moved and some teams may show some interest but I do not think anything will happen here!

      This team is improving however I believe expectation were set far too high for them this year.

      A View from Above

    2. Just a thought, but the Ramsay and Maxwell suggested moves do make sense depending on what they get back. However, it would not surprise me one bit that when asked if they want to be traded, both Maxwell and Ramsay will say "no" and will stick it out just as Carter Bancks did when offered a move.

      Dump'n Chase

    3. most definitely if they say no to a trade then they stay! They are owed the same loyalty they have given the Canes.

      A View from Above

  3. I don't think anyone is going anywhere because nobody is going to come this way other than draft picks, maybe a Dman as we will be one over when the euro gets here? The issue is coaching the way I see it, until that changes NO ONE will want to come to Lethbridge. Nobody will want any forward or goalie off this team. Im sure the BOD prez will tell us tonight that the team is making amazing progress and all is good, likely more parachutes before this season ends…LOL

  4. from the fans section16 December 2013 at 11:31

    It is Not the Coaches.. and I wish those who state this phrase would take some time to monitor the development of this team. If you took a grade 6 child and put him into Grad 10 classes they would be behind andhave to overcome a great learning curve /. Well Our Canes learned Nothing from Preston and Kabayama . Our coaches came here thinking these kids knew some of the basics of hockey at this level. They did not and the lessons began. Even Georgio commented that he is learning how to be a defensive forward. Something he was never taught and at the age of 16 knows he need this knowledge to go further in his hockey career. I wish the commenters would attend some games and see the development of the players each game .. They are getting better and are sponges swallowing the new skills they are learning to master. Than again Yapping comments from You folks that never attend a game might actually see the skill development and perhaps act like fans of the player and believe that they are on the brink of winning and winning lots of games. I believe and appreciate the effort of players and coaches alike. It will happen and than the sideline computer chair coaches might have to just Be Quiet.. and that will be so fulfilling . Merry Christmas Canes.

  5. T.Rantus,

    The Canes have a small dilemma with '94s for next year - Seattle currently has NINE players from '94 (including all three undrafted former Canes, Henry, Yak, and Sam M.) on their roster and will have to pare it down to three by next year to meet WHL maximum. FIRE SALE!

    Of the three former Canes, since he is one of only two '94 D-men, and since he has an "A" sewn on his jersey, probably Henry has done enough to earn a spot on that team for next year (1/3), but all three may be soon traded again or will be cut altogether in 2014.

    The six other '94s in Seattle are: Hickman (F;NHL,undrafted, probably be 2/3 next year), Troock (F; drafted by Dallas, may play with Texas Stars next year?), Delnov (F-import, 4th round, Panthers, maybe gone to Panther affiliate next year), Lipsbergs (F-import, NHL undrafted, probably 3/3 next year), Honey (F, likely to be traded/cut), EVAN WARDLEY (D; NHL undrafted, 6'4", 208lbs, 25GP, 0G,5A,+8 (tied with Shea Theodore for team lead), 58PIMS - Vulcan, AB, Former Top D-man of Lethbridge AAA Hurricanes*, and Best D-man of AMMHL in 2009-10*)

    * Elite Hockey Prospects

    Last year with Seattle, on a team that had four fewer regular season wins than the Canes, it was good enough for 7th seed in the playoffs in the 10 team Western Conference.

    5 of 7 games in the series against #2 seed Kelowna went to OT. Wardley had 5 pts in 60 regular season games, then 4 points in 7 playoff games!

    I'm coming home.... I'm coming home... Tell the world I'm coming home... Let the rain wash away all the pain of yesterday.... I know my kingdom awaits....

    I will be watching this WHL story evolve, hopefully Robson will be also. Its "Buy Low" time.


  6. Trades are a strange animal but from a hockey perspective, the GM really has no choice but to move assets at or before the deadline. Emotion and loyalty have to be removed from the equation. Do you want to give tenure or do you want to get better and start heading back to excellence? 19 year olds are easier to move than 20 year olds every time. With 20 year olds they have to be special and you need a dance partner. 19 year olds offer some easier options. The numbers, positions etc all have an impact. However the GM has to try to follow through on his mantra of getting bigger, character etc. Based on they new criteria some players won't be back as 20 year olds.

    With all due respect I don't see Maxwell getting one of the 20 year old spots next season. I think his value is now as a 19 year old. There are a few teams deep enough that could send back a younger roster player or prospect and maybe both. It wouldn't be the first time a heart and soul guy got traded from a team. It's all about managing your assets so that two years down the road you reap big benefits. When you have dismal record I think you move older players, recoup some assets, and play younger prospects the balance of the season so that they hit the ground running next year.


  7. While it is all nice and well that we experts slice and dice who and what and why the Canes SELL at this trade deadline, I only have one question to ask.

    When oh when do we Canes fans get to ask the many and what kind of players do we need to BUY to win the WHL title?

    Actually I have another question. Richie at 16 December 2013 13:50...what are you talking about? You ain't makin' a lot of sense there bro!