Saturday, 25 January 2014

Rockets Blank Hurricanes 5-0 in Kelowna

KELOWNA, BC - The Kelowna Rockets scored four times in the first 10 minutes of the 3rd period and beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes 5-0 Saturday night.

Not a bad first period for the Lethbridge Hurricanes. The CHL-leading Kelowna Rockets opened the scoring this game on a Hurricanes turnover. Goalie Jonny Hogue came out to play the puck behind his goal, when he fanned on the clearing attempt. The puck went out in front and it was cashed in by Justin Kirkland. That made it 1-0 Rockets. Hogue bounced back extremely well after that goal and shut the door for the rest of the period. The Canes had a couple of decent chances as well, but the game remained 1-0 Rockets after 20 minutes of play. The shots on goal favoured the Rockets 16-8.

In the second, the Hurricanes would get a couple of fantastic chances, including a shorthanded breakaway, but Jackson Whistle came up with some big stops to keep the Rockets in the lead. On the other side of the ice Jonny Hogue kept up his stellar play, shutting the door and through 40 minutes that one goal by Kelowna back in the first period held up as the Rockets stayed ahead 1-0. The shots on goal favoured Kelowna 29-19.

In the third, the Rockets blew the game wide open with four goals in a span of 9:54. Myles Bell, Marek Tvrdon, Rourke Chartier, and Tyson Baillie all scored for the number one ranked Rockets and before the 3rd period was 10 minutes old, Kelowna had taken a 5-0 lead. The Canes pushed to try and break the shut out bid for Jackson Whistle, but he would shut the door and the Canes would fall 5-0. It's the second game in a row the Canes have been shut out. They were out scored 27-3 on this four game BC road trip. Kelowna out shot the Hurricanes 49-26. Lethbridge went 0/2 on the power play and Kelowna 0/5. The Canes also lost Reid Duke to what appears to be an injury to his arm. He blocked a shot in the second period and left the ice and did  not return. Assistant Coach Mike Craig said on the post game show that Duke went to hospital to be looked at. The Canes are also without defenceman Nick Walters who was injured the previous game in Vancouver.

Next Up

The Hurricanes are back in southern Alberta for a brief period this coming week with a pair of games on what is a much lighter schedule for a change. The Canes play host to the visiting Prince Albert Raiders Wednesday night (Jan. 29). This will be the final meeting of the season between the two clubs, with PA winning all but one of the 5 match-ups so far. Game time is 7:00 pm MST. The pre-game show on CJOC at 6:30. The Canes will then finish off the month of January Friday (Jan. 31) with another game on the road, this time in Red Deer against the Rebels. Like the Raiders, the Rebels hold a 4 games to one edge in the regular season series. I will be away for both those games as my News Director's job takes me to Vancouver for CRTC hearings with my company. So with me being away, Fred Jack will be calling the play-by-play against PA at home and Paul Kingsmith from Global TV has kindly accepted the invitation to fill in for me in Red Deer Friday. After next week's games, the Hurricanes will officially hit the three quarter point in the season and kick off February with a home date on Wednesday (Feb. 5) vs. Saskatoon. I'll be back to broadcast that game and the rest of the season from that point on. A big thanks to Fred and Paul for filling in for me while I'm gone for other radio station business.



  1. It would be one thing to watch this style of hockey IF it was effective. It is quite another when you have put it off the glass for 50+ games as instructed by the coach only to show no real progress and arguably a significant regression in results since the beginning of the year.

    For a struggling WHL franchise, signing Drake to a three year contract when all he has done as a head coach previously is post a losing record was a huge mistake. Now what?

    The coaches remain united and keep publicly selling their belief in their "systems," but WHY?! How many games do they have to get shut-out or blown out before they figure out that "it aint working!"

    What I have seen this year is without a doubt, the WORST hockey I have ever seen in my life. It is hockey without purpose or plan. It is get it out of here and see what happens next. Bottom line; it is obviously NOT working. The players and the scores are getting consistently worse.

    Time to start asking the tough questions of this head coach. When is enough going to be enough?? WHY DOES HE THINK IF HE KEEPS SHOWING VIDEO THAT THE FUTURE RESULTS WILL EVER DIFFER FROM THE CURRENT or PAST ONES? He has had ONE previous year as a Head Coach (ECHL) where he confidently posted a 28W 37L season with the leagues WORST last 10 games of the season (2-7-0-1), and league WORST streak to end the season of 0-4. He is a retired NHL defenceman, yet only ONE team in the 23 team conference let in more goals than his... Is THAT really the system you want to keep preaching? Are we really stupid enough to keep buying it?

    Tiradeausaurus Rantus

  2. I am not sure that any of us (me included) who were calling for Preston to be removed this time last year would have predicted how much worse the situation would be a year later....debacle is the only word I can come up with. I apologize to Mr. Preston because you actually had your teams at a competitive level in the league even though the teams fell short of the playoffs. This team is not even close to being competitive. SJ

    1. Preston underachieved with what he had. He needed to be removed and replaced with qualified individuals. Apparently, none were available. Patti

  3. With a clear decline regarding any type of success, logic would seem to demand some type of significant shift in direction, that is if the Canes wish to attract any of their current players and/or any drafted players or prospects going into next season? With that said, any type of conventional logic has not seemed to be a real consideration in decision making these past 10 months? It would therefore seem difficult to believe that logic could possibly play any role in a decision to make a much needed course change at this point??? Hope this statement is in correct though? Don't think it is anything personal toward BR or DB by if would be foolish to continue to believe that either one and most likely both are in well over their head! This is a very good league in which teams are well schooled, well taught and very well prepared to play, systems are complex and well executed at all levels from the front office to the scouting of potential prospected players to developing systems, to understanding players and most importantly, the ability to teach! If this BOD and manager do not possess the hockey knowledge to select qualified personal to fill the important positions that will allow this franchise to compete with all other teams in this league...then. It is likely time to consider the sale of the team to an owner or group that has the knowledge and the resources to make that happen? I is simply not fair to the players and the families that have committed to this WhL program with hopes of fair and proper development. If there was any doubts about why some of the players walked out on this team earlier in the season...there should be no further doubt now. There are some decisions that are required now and the very survival of the franchise depend on them!

  4. At the beginning of the season, it sounds like Drake essentially said to the players, "This is the way we need to play to be successful. I am willing to teach you, but you WILL play within these systems, or you can prepare to be moved." (Leverton, Henry, Laurencelle)

    The players who didn't see themselves fitting into his plan have either left to await trades (Pilon, McKechnie, Yakubowski), or quit hockey and went back to school (Topping).

    We have almost an entire new roster of the type of player Drake said he wanted and needed to play in this league within his systems, yet we have seen little other than continuing failure with the new faces.

    With all the success this year has brought him, is Drake really STILL ready to push his "systems" down the player’s throats next season too? Why does he think these systems are so great?

    Has Drake EVER seen his "system" succeed? (By succeed, I mean finishing HIGHER in the standings than DEAD LAST as this year, or higher than 20th of 23 teams in the ECHL as he finished as head coach of the Orlando Solar Bears last year. These are the ONLY two years he has been Head Coach that I can find info about)

    Where has he seen these systems succeed? Did the team win a championship? Multiple championships?

    Who was the coach?

    How long does it take to learn, because in case nobody told him, this is junior hockey, and as he should recall, players have only 3-4 years to learn it before they have to move on.

    I think the monumental failure that this year has been should reveal to him that the learning curve to learn his systems is simply too steep to climb!

    Is this the ONLY system he can coach, because there are 22 teams in this league and EVERY ONE of them has been able to win more games this year with some other system(s) in place?

    Here is the REAL KICKER! With its new coaches and new systems, Drakes' previous team, the ECHLs Solar Bears were SO LOST WITHOUT HIM, they have RISEN from second last in their conference of 13 teams to FOURTH. From 12th to 4th! Without the handicap of Drake’s systems, they have SKY-ROCKETED to FOURTH place with a record of 22W 13L!

    Did all the Solar Bears players have “A-ha” moments during the summer where his systems finally made sense? The DRAKE Phenomenon? Time to get over yourself and your ego and spend some time “teaching” your team to make some passes to ONE ANOTHER, rather than off the GLASS!

    Off the Glass, my #%%

    1. Drake doesn't even know what "accountability" means.
      Its not in his vocabulary. It never will be in his vocabulary.

      I am beginning to believe that he thinks it has something to do with "count"ing all the "bil"ls that he knows he will get paid by the suckers in Lethbridge despite coaching the team to the bottom of EVERY statistical category in the WHL.

      After hearing him on the Monday night show, I am now certain beyond any doubt that DB is the wrong man for the job and that he has absolutely no chance of improving this team because he is absolutely way over his head. He failed miserably in his last job with the Solar Bears, and he does not have the necessary self assessment skills to succeed in Lethbridge.

      Sans Summa Cum Laude