Saturday, 6 February 2016

Canes End Skid, Beat Warriors 5-1

Ryan Vandervlis and Cory Millette each scored twice as the Lethbridge Hurricanes beat the Moose Jaw Warriors 5-1 Friday night at the ENMAX Centre.

The victory put the breaks to a three game losing skid for the Canes and improves their overall record to 37-15 on the season. It also vaults the Hurricanes a point ahead of Kelowna again for top spot in the WHL standings.

This was a scoreless game until the final few minutes of the first period. The Canes got on the board first with about 1:30 to go in the opening period when Ryan Vandervlis scored his first of two in the game to make it 1-0 Lethbridge. It was his 4th of the season and gave the Canes the lead heading into the dressing room after one period of play.

In the second, Moose Jaw tied things up. 46 seconds into the period, Brayden Point beat Stuart Skinner making it a 1-1 game. For the visitors, that would the only offence they'd be able to muster up on this night. Lethbridge regained its one goal lead when Cory Millette scored midway through the period to make it 2-1 Canes. That was his first of two in the game and 23rd of the season. The Canes took a one goal lead into the final period.

In the third, Millette added his second of the game and 24th of the season just 21 seconds into the period giving the Canes a 3-1 lead and a little insurance as well. It remained that way until the final couple of minutes when the Hurricanes added a pair of quick goals right near the end of the game. Bryaden Burke scored his 19th of the season into an empty net and the Ryan Vandervlis with his second of the game and 5th of the season a few seconds later and the Hurricanes skated away with a 5-1 win.

Lethbridge out shot Moose Jaw 31-20 in this game. Stuart Skinner, the WHL's goalie of the month for January, earned the win between the pipes. The Canes went 0/2 on the power play and the Warriors 0/4.

The Hurricanes next action is Saturday in Cranbrook. It'll be first against worst in this game as the ICE have the WHL's worst record with only 8 wins in 52 games this season. Their streak of 17 straight seasons making the playoffs will be coming to an end this year. The Hurricanes though can't take this club lightly. On paper, it should be a walk in the park for Lethbridge, but again never underestimate your opponent!

After Saturday's game, the Hurricanes are back home Wednesday (Feb. 10) when they host the Saskatoon Blades.



  1. Thrower should have been given a Hit to the Head penalty, (48.3), and 3-5 games suspension for his brutal hit on Bellerive. Thrower is a multiple repeat offender for this type of hit, but the league hasn't suspended him for two years (almost to the day).

    Tonight in Kootenay - Forget about points, streaks, and standings. Coach should roll 4 lines all night. Zborosky, Alfaro, & the Zahar are very good, and all 4 lines on a first place WHL club should be up for the challenge. With Estephan (& Gutierrez?) out, we are not going to be scoring 5+ goals/night, especially on the road, so need to roll 4 and tear up the ice every shift.

    Canes skaters MINIMUM requirements:

    1. Three shots on net or 3 hits (or combo 3), OR at least one point, AND must end the game at least even +/-, or he sits out next game.

    2. Any Cane that puts the Ice on a power play before he scores a goal has his next 3 even strength shifts after he gets out to get either a point, or a "+". If he fails, he is done for the night.

    I would love to see the 3 skaters that don't yet have a goal as a Cane get one (Merezhko, Watson, & Kroeker). The last time Kroeker scored was in Cranbrook, two games before joining the Canes, 11 games ago. He needs to score if Kisio is going to continue to pair him with the leading assist man in the LEAGUE! I love the idea of pairing them tonight. If together against this opponent that has allowed the most goals of any in the league, in the building where #17 most recently scored, and he doesn't get at LEAST one goal after two periods, then he needs to be directed to the fourth line.


    1. If the above applied, the Canes MIGHT have 8 skaters dressed for the next game.

      (How did Pankewicz get a minus-1 when he was in the box on the Alfaro goal? - Nice work, WHL/Ice stats-wizards!)

      The hardest working players on the Ice in this game were from the Ice, and Kootenay has more than enough talented players to beat any team in this league. They have played enough periods well enough this season to prove that their lack of success is due to coaching &/or organizational problems, and not due to lack of player talent.

      As humiliated as the Canes must be after losing to the team with the worst record in the league, as I look ahead to a probable playoff appearance, I am more interested in what my team leaders were saying (or not saying) between the 2nd & 3rd of a very winnable game. Where were they when the third started in a 1-0 game, & where were they for the final ten minutes of a now 2-0 and still winnable game? - Not even close to the effort required to win.