Saturday, 1 March 2014

Hurricanes Lose 9th Straight, 7-4 to Broncos

SWIFT CURRENT, SK - The Lethbridge Hurricanes erased a 3-0 first period deficit, but it wasn't enough as they fell 7-4 to the Swift Current Broncos Saturday night.

Just like the last number of games, the Hurricanes opposition would open the scoring. Swift Current defenceman Julius Honka floated a point shot which beat a screened Jonny Hogue, giving the Broncos a 1-0 lead. Four minutes later, Swift Current added another. Graham Black wired a shot to make it 2-0. Then less than two minutes after that, Julius Honka scored his 2nd of the game to put the Broncos ahead 3-0. That was it for goalie Jonny Hogue who allowed 3 goals on just 10 shots. Teagan Sacher replaced him in goal and that appeared to light a fire under the Hurricanes. Lethbridge came storming back with three goals in the final 6:30 to even the score. Lenny Hackman scored his 2nd of the season, then Jamal Watson stole the puck while shorthanded and he snapped home his 17th of the season to cut the Broncos lead to 3-2. That was the Canes 2nd shorthanded goal of the year. In the final minute of the period, the Hurricanes tied the game when Carter Folk knocked in his 5th of the season and the game would go from a 3-0 Swift Current lead to a 3-3 tie after 20 minutes of play. The shots favoured the Broncos 14-12.

In the second, the Broncos would regain the lead when Andrew Johnson snapped home a shot, beating Sacher to make a 4-3 game in favour of Swift Current. Before the end of the period the Broncos scored once more, this time a power play goal by Dillon Heatherington. The goal had to go to video review before it was confirmed to be a good goal. It was and Swift Current would grab a 5-3 lead heading into the dressing room after 40 minutes of play. The shots favoured Swift Current 27-17.

In the third, the Broncos kept the offence coming. Jake DeBrusk, 2:11 into the period, hammered the puck by Sacher to give Swifty a 6-3 lead early in the period. The Canes got one of those back when Michael Holub tucked in his 2nd goal of the year to cut the lead to 6-4. The Canes pulled the goalie in the final few minutes, but Colby Cave iced the game with an empty netter and the Broncos skated away with a 7-4 victory. Swift Current out shot Lethbridge 42-30 in this game. The Canes went 0/7 on the power play and the Broncos 1/5.

The Hurricanes have now lost nine games in a row with just five games left in the season. This loss sees their overall record fall to 12-50-2-3 in 67 games this season. This year will already go down as the least amount of wins in franchise history. Prior to this season, the least amount of victories for Lethbridge Hurricanes came in the 1987-88 and 2009-10 season when the club had only 20.

Hurricanes This Week

We are down to our final three radio shows on CJOC. Coming up on Monday (Mar. 3) Fred Jack and I will be joined by Head Coach Drake Berehowsky, Hurricanes overage forward Brady Ramsay, and Shawn Mullin, the radio voice of the Swift Current Broncos. The show airs at 7:00 pm MST. 

Next Up

The Hurricanes will now remain in southern Alberta for the remainder of this WHL season. With just five games to go, the Canes will play their next two at home on Friday (Mar. 7) and Saturday (Mar. 8) when they host Regina and Swift Current respectively. Both games at 7:00 pm MST starts on CJOC. Then he's Eason wraps up the following week with games in Calgary and the back to back against rival Medicine Hat to close out the 72 Western Hockey League schedule.



  1. "Thanks For Having Me" said in a recent pre-game interview that some players were "having career years." We were parking at the Enmax at the time and I choked when I heard him say it, immediately shouting disdainfully, "Yeah, career WORST."

    Lenny now has TWICE as many goals as last year, so I guess DB was correct.... Career season!

    Ironman Lenny Hackman has played in EVERY game for the last two years. I can't imagine that there are many players that share this amazing accomplishment. Attaboy Lenny!

    (Have a look at Lenny's celebrity twin).

    Not much else for the guys to get excited about except golf season, so I hope the players make a concerted effort to set up Alldridge, Amson, & Jensen for their very first WHL goals (and get Lenny to TEN!).

    More on "Career Seasons"

    In addition to being the most physically threatening player on the club, Carter Folk has impressed me with his two way play and occasional offensive displays. While masterfully achieving his assigned role of running over everything that moves and putting knuckle prints in the chins of the shrinking number of willing participants, he has scored twice in the past five games, and has a TEAM BEST -6 plus/minus in his 39 games with the hapless Canes!

    Of the players who played in all 12 games in February, only ESTEPHAN has played both ends of the rink better in the one-win month where the Canes were outscored 73-21 (an AMAZING EVEN!!)

    The closest Cane forwards to Folk's year plus/minus total are Cooper & Derko. Both have played only 37 games as Canes and are -13 and -12 respectively.

    Reid Duke is ranked #65 on the NHL website of draft eligible players. Although it does not seem likely, it would not surprise me if Folk is picked in the later rounds.

    Al Forone Andonforal

  2. Accounting 101

    They are having trouble paying the bills because they need CASH, and they SAY there is going to be a team here in Lethbridge next year, yet they are not OFFERING season ticket packages for next year.... To Shareholders, or to anyone?

    Would this not be the most obvious way to generate the cash flow to reduce the interest expense on that line of credit?

    NEXT SEASON SEASON TICKETS - 36 Home Games @ $13/seat is $470. 2130 seats at $470 per is $1M. It would make sense to both the organization and the Season Ticket Holders to offer a discount for early seat payment.

    Canes are probably paying 4-6% on their Line of Credit, so offer a similar reduction ($440/seat) for payment by the last game of the season.

    GIVE YOUR LOYAL SEASON TICKET HOLDERS the opportunity to receive the value rather than PAYING a bank INTEREST on borrowed money.

    If they are really clever, they could include some well priced merchandise options with the 2014-15 Season Ticket offer to further increase the revenue.

    Unless they are as bad at investing the early Season Ticket revenue as they are at hiring coaches, and unless someone from the board has their hand in the cookie jar all summer, they should be able to keep the team in the black until they sell some billboards, and baked goods if they have to.

    If Huisman and Wichers say the team is NOT for sale and WILL BE in Lethbridge next season, then WHAT is the hold-up for offering next year’s Season Tickets? If they are waiting for Drake's "Culture Change" to kick-in on the last five games of the year to generate additional interest, I have some bad news for them.

    If they can get Drake to resign, they will ABSOLUTELY increase their seat sales significantly, but even with him returning as coach next year, there are enough fans / shareholders (like myself) that WILL pay for our seats today for September, 2014.

    dumb & dumberererest

  3. Rantus: you have made some very salient points. After listening to Pats show last night. There seems to be a lot of double speak going on. If it was business as usual why does the Business Manager speak to the league once a week. Why does the league speak to BM every week as well. I do not think the league is that involved in running other teams in this league.

    I do not think that the community has an appetite to front $470.00 per seat to the Canes under the present business model. Something will have to happen in a very concrete manner before you will see ticket holders rallying around the Canes It is my opinion that the Board of Directors, Hockey Operations and Business Operations are seriously flawed. The Canes will need a very positive and believable statement with in the next six weeks to draw the season ticket holders.

    A View From Above

  4. Rantus,..nice plan but until there is a hockey team that is going to be competitive, in the playoff hunt and there is far more transparency from the President and Business Manager, season ticket holders will not put up with increased prices. In fact if the Business Manager was smart he would make certain there are attractive incentives for the season ticket holders to renew (and not some gift card that offers special deals a businesses most of us do not use: ie Red Arrow)

    I totally agree with "View" that there is a lot of "double talk" going on. In fact I would say there is comments that come from both the Business Manager and the Self Appointed Owner that lacks substance. Both have said there is a "cash crunch" (Pat's show--Shareholder meeting). Cash crunch means to me that you are low on money. But they do not say how much. They are not forthcoming. McNaughton said (taped interview) that "we have $100,000 overdraft account and we have increased the line of credit "by a bit". How much is a bit? $5? Once again not forth coming with details. McN said (tape interview) "I feel we could come close to breaking even by the end of the year" but then followed up by saying "I am not prepared to predict a loss right now". If revenues are down, if they are borrowing money, if they have suppliers that have not been paid (as admitted to) then they will lose money again. Why not be forthcoming with the shareholders, season ticket holders and fans. Hiding numbers behind a cloak of secrecy is not the way to operate. Besides all of the actual numbers will come out at the AGM when the auditors present the true picture. Loss again this year, yes! By the way if you borrow money, to cover operating costs, etc: it is still a debt. Debts do have to be paid back.

    One other tiny detail; McNaughton and Wichers have both stated publicly "the Hurricanes are not for sale!" I was under the impression that the mandate of the elected board of directors was to oversee the operation of the club. That the only people that could say the Hurricanes are for sale or not, are the shareholders or if the WHL forces the sale.

    Rumors are swirling around this franchise like buzzards over a wounded animal.

    As the expression goes, "where there is smoke, there is fire".

    Dump'n Chase