Sunday, 11 January 2015

Hitmen Down Hurricanes 5-3

The Lethbridge Hurricanes let a 2-0 first period lead slip away, falling 5-3 to the visiting Calgary Hitmen Saturday night at the ENMAX Centre.

The Canes got off to a good start in this hockey game when Brayden Burke scored a pair of goals to put the home side up 2-0 after 40 minutes. Burke's first goal came at 11:34. That was also his first goal of the season. Burke then scored again in the the final minute of the period, this one a power play goal to give Lethbridge a two goal cushion through one period of play.

In the second, the Calgary Hitmen came out with guns blazing. Less than five minutes into the period, the Hurricanes found a two goal lead turn into a two goal deficit. Calgary's Adam Tambellini scored at 1:14, beating goalie Jayden Sittler who got his second straight start in goal as Stuart Skinner battles some sickness. That made it a 2-1 game. Just over a minute later, the Hitmen tied the game, when Pavel Karnaukhov scored to even things up at 2-2. Two minutes after that Calgary took its first lead, thanks to a goal from Layne Bensmiller. That made it 3-2 Calgary. The Hitmen kept pouring it on. A power play goal by Jake Bean at 4:25 put the visitors ahead 4-2 and in the driver's seat as well. Before the end of the period, the Hitmen scored once more when Adam Tambellini scored his second of the night to make it 5-2 Calgary through 40 minutes. The Hitmen out shot the Canes 12-2 in the period.

In the third, just one goal, that came off the stick of Giorgio Estephan. That was his 5th of the season late in the game and that would be all she wrote for this one. Calgary would win it 5-3. The loss drops the Canes overall record to 10-24-3-3 in 40 games this season. Lethbridge was heavily out shot 42-16. Calgary went 1/3 on the power play and the Hurricanes 1/4.

Just prior to the game, the Canes announced another roster move, releasing forward Brett Kitt and reassigning him to Flin Flon of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. It was part of a busy day or trades for GM and Head Coach Peter Anholt.

The Hurricanes will close out a four game home stand Tuesday (Jan. 13) when they host the Red Deer Rebels. After that it's on the bus and heading east for games in Brandon against the Eastern Conference-leading Wheat Kings Friday (Jan. 16) ans in Moose Jaw Saturday (Jan. 17).



  1. The Canes (and Skinner) certainly deserve some praise for keeping this game close after the GM made a number of roster moves on Saturday (and Friday night). Just glad to see Anholt making an attempt to make the team younger and bigger with skill up front and size on the back end. Time will tell if these players (most of them 17 years old) are full time WHL'ers. I'm hoping they are even though he didn't give away any high picks to obtain the new players. It would be nice to see them help turn this franchise around.

    Losing Jones will hurt in the short term as he always created space for the smaller forwards and provided some nice scoring touch around the net. But it's nice to see him go to a playoff team and extend his season past the regular season.

    I liked seeing how engaged the team was against the Blades Friday night. The players didn't back down and finished their checks every chance they got. Also pleasantly surprised by the new goaltender Sittler (any relation??). He seemed comfortable and confident all night stopping 35 shots + (I only saw Robidoux once, but he VERY shaky and unstable against the Blazers last month. He didn't play his angles well and was constantly scrambling around the crease).

    Here's hoping these trades make an impact in the long term. I'm liking what I see so far, but understand (as Anholt put it) there's a lot of work left to do. Let's hope this is the beginning of something good (and the league allows this management team the time is needs to make the roster competitive, which, in turn, will bring back the fans needed to pay the bills).


  2. LaRon, Hate to inform you, but Skinner did not play on Saturday vs Calgary. Jayden Sittler played the whole game as Skinner was not dressed due to illness. Sittler was certainly busy with 40+ shots and under constant pressure by the Hitmen.


    1. Sittler also played the game against Saskatoon. Thought he played well. Made several key saves in tight. Thanks for the reminder.....

  3. noticed Mike Winther did not play in the last game was he healthy scratched?

  4. Healthy scratch yes....but for discipline reasons.