Saturday, 8 March 2014

Canes Lose 11th Straight, 5-3 to Swift Current

LETHBRIDGE - The Swift Current Broncos scored three times in a very short span late in the second period as they came back to beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes 5-3 Saturday night.

 The Hurricanes, for the first time in a while opened the scoring in a game. Tyler Wong walked in and rifled a wrist shot over the blocker of Landon Bow to give the Canes a 1-0 lead. That was Wong's 16th goal of the season. It was also the Canes first shot of the game. The Broncos had a few solid chances as well as the period moved along, but Teagan Sacher was solid in goal to keep the visitors off the score sheet. The Hurricanes held on to that 1-0 through 40 minutes of play. The shots favoured Swift Current 10-6.

In the second, the teams would exchange a total three goals in very short order. Swift Current tied the game at 1-1 when Jay Merkley hammered a shot off the crossbar and in to get the Broncos on the board. Lethbridge though restored its one goal lead literally seconds after that when Brady Ramsay snapped the puck by Landon Bow for his 14th goal of the season, giving the Canes a 2-1 lead. That didn't last long as the the Broncos came right back to tie the game again, this time a nice goal by Graham Black to even the score at 2-2. That was three goals in just 1:14 between the two clubs. The Broncos ended up blowing the game wide open with three goals late in the period over a span of just 92 seconds. Graham Black scored his second of the game to make it 3-2 Broncos. Then right after that, Jay Merkley fired home his 2nd of the game to make it a 4-2 game. Shortly after that Coda Gordon would get in on the action with a goal and just like that Swift Current opened things up with a 5-2 lead after 40 minutes of play. The Broncos held a 33-16 edge in shots.

In the third, the Hurricanes made a goalie change. Stuart Skinner came in to replace Teagan Sacher. This was Skinner's first-ever WHL action. The Hurricanes scored early in the period when Jamal Watson scored his team-leading 18th goal of season. That would cut the Broncos lead to 5-3. The Canes kept pushing to get back into the game, but on this night, that would be as close as they could manage to get. The loss was the Canes 11th in a row and drops their overall record to 12-52-2-3 in 69 games this season. The Broncos went 1/3 on the power play and Lethbridge 0/4. Swift Current out shot the Hurricanes 42-25.

Hurricanes This Week

Our second-last Hurricanes radio show hits the airwaves on CJOC Monday night (Mar. 10) at 7:00 pm MDT. On the show Fred Jack and I will be joined by Hurricanes Captain and overage forward Josh Derko, Western Hockey League Commissioner Ron Robison, and Bob Ridley, the long time radio voice of the Medicine Hat Tigers.

Next Up

The Hurricanes are down to their final three games in this WHL campaign. They travel to Calgary Tuesday (Mar. 11) to take on a very good Hitmen team at the Saddledome. Calgary has been a big fight for weeks with Edmonton for the number one overall spot in the Eastern Conference. The Canes will return home Friday (Mar. 14) to host Medicine Hat in their final home game of the season and then wrap things up Saturday (Mar. 15) against the Tigers again, this time in Medicine Hat.



  1. Good for Jay Merkley! No class by the fans by booing this kid. First star, 2g in vs the team that gave up on him at 17 after drafting him 3rd overall…most players don't even play until 17 and we gave up on him at this age…what a joke!!! He never asked for this trade…it was forced upon him and he was devastated to be trade.…RP played him on the 4th line for a year and a half…wondered why he did not produce like he had in Midget and Bantam…duh…3 shifts a game with 4th line players. At 18 he has 30g, 31a and 61pts…do we have a guy like this…NOOOOOO. This team would of been fine had we developed our players…we had high, high draft picks like Jay Merkley and Pilon and Duke that would be just hitting their stride right now….The trade of Jay for really nothing was the beginning of the end and I personally am happy for Jay that he has proved it…Shame on RPreston and BRobson…now we may lose our team good job Hurricanes……..Lethbridge loses games and destroys first round picks…thats what we are know for ….its nice when one of our 1st rounders rams it down our that….blame the people that traded him…not the kid that came here with dream that were crushed….

  2. I wasn't at the game, but if fans were booing Merkley, that's a disgrace to their hockey IQ and brutal poor sportsmanship. That trade was the catalyst for the downfall of the Hurricanes last season as Derko has been a complete bust (injured for more games than he's played). If idiot Hurricane fans want to boo someone about booing Brian McNaughton and Brian Wichers for running this franchise into the ground! But to boo Merkley is ridiculous and shows a complete lack of class!

    Merkley has regrouped after being underplayed and underdeveloped by this organization (Preston didn't have a clue the type of player he drafted) and is having a very nice season! All the credit to Jay. I hope he gets some looks from NHL teams as a FA after his career is over.

    Hey MacNaughton, are you still "excited about this team moving forward"??? The WHL needs to start dictating your moves from this point on since you and your Board members don't have a clue.

  3. I too was at the game and I didn't hear the fans boo Merkley at all. If one or two in your section did, it was not audible in the building.

  4. In defense of Robson on the Merkley deal to SC, it is fairly common knowledge that he opposed the trade made by Preston. But it is a mute point at this time.

    Nice to be able to talk with Jamie McLennan. "Noodles" is a class act who is very down to earth and approachable. But the Hurricane Business Manager is anything but a class act, when he could not even make the effort to have McLennan's Alumni Hall of Fame hanging for the game. It was up there last year.

    Apparently Pat/Fred will be talking with WHL Commish Ron Robison on Monday's show. Try as they may, they will likely get very little out of Robison, especially if there are things underway with the franchise. I would love to hear either of them ask him bluntly, "How long is the league going to let this continue?".

    It is high time that this franchise is sold to local interests (that does not include McNaughton); is sold to outside interests and moved in order to allow another franchise to relocate to Lethbridge. Allowing the franchise a "mulligan year" will not change anything one bit.

    Best scenario, Winnipeg buys the Canes and moves them to Winnipeg, allowing for the Kootenay Ice to move in. Worst case scenario, league lets this go for another year, before allowing the sale to Winnipeg and the move by Kootenay. Regardless, something must be done and a lot sooner than May 1st.

    Dump n Chase

  5. Really, Robison doesn't have to do much to fix the WHL's problem with the Canes' situation if he is a smart man.

    IF he can mediate the sale or force a shareholder vote, I believe the majority of shareholders will vote to SELL IF the buyer stipulates to operate the team in Lethbridge for at least the next 5 years.
    The new owner would immediately:
    -Thank the board for their contributions, then change the locks on the conference room door.
    -Move Robson back to Head of scouting, and offer his son a lesser role.
    -Prepare a letter of reference for Terry Huisman, and during his exit interview, suggest he respond to emails in a more timely manner.
    -Issue Drake Berehowsky a cheque for the remainder of his contract, complement him on his contract negotiating skills, congratulate him on his 12 wins, and encourage him to purse a career as a player agent.

    I was surprised that Fred Jack was talking on last Monday's show as if he KNOWS that there is an announcement coming in six weeks, but just can't tell anyone what that announcement is going to be. Monday's interview with Robison is going to be the usual waste of time. He won't say a THING of interest... GUARANTEED. Dos Equis is the beer of choice for the most interesting man alive, and Booster Juice is the beverage of choice of Robison who is the uncontested LEAST interesting man alive.

  6. Nice Derko interview. Nice player. Good captain. Nice guy. Unfortunate that the role the coaches gave him this year didn't leave room to include his most deadly and rare asset; his hard shot. It would have been fun to watch him get some powerplay time and let that cannon go from the point, or on some cross-ice one-timers.... and since the coaches powerplay plan rarely included anyone in front of the goalie all season, at least no Cane player would have been hurt by it, just the opposition players. He seems like a really determined young man. As a pretty good looking kid, If hockey doesn't work out, he could probably make it big as a soap-opera star!

    Wow, what a surprise! Ron Robison and the WHL are "monitoring." He probably doesn't even have to rehearse his responses, anymore.

    From about seven years ago when I heard him for the first time until tonight, he is the exact same interview, every time. You could easily replay the same clip; in fact, I'm not so sure that it ISN'T the same sound byte.

    It doesn't matter what the question is, the WHL is always 'monitoring' the teams in all markets. There are always a few markets every year that they are 'monitoring more closely' than others, and this year those markets are (still) PG, Cranbrook, and Lethbridge at the top of the list.

    He's glad that former players are interested in ownership, but makes it clear that you have to be a (multi-) business owner (i.e. have predictable and sustained outside sources of cash flow) to be seriously considered; which of course, makes perfect sense.

    Good that you asked him if the WHL was running the team. (Robison said that they are not).

    Why didn't you guys ask him...

    1. What would have to happen for the WHL to step in and take over a community owned team? How many years of 12 win seasons? How much debt? How many players "walking away"? - What might the take over look like - Board dissolution? Board Member insertion from WHL office?

    2. If the shareholders of a privately owned team voted to sell, what would or could the league do to ensure that the new owner would continue to operate the team in Lethbridge? (SINCE THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE LETHBRIDGE HURRICANES DOESN'T RESPOND TO EMAILS FROM A MONTH AGO.... IT WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE TO GET SOME ANSWERS!)

    What happened to "Fred's big secret announcement to be in the next 6 weeks?" - Not a word about it this week?

    Ron Caynuttin