Saturday, 27 February 2016

Wheaties Bump Canes From First in East

The Lethbridge Hurricanes are no longer sitting in first place in the WHL's Eastern Conference following a 5-2 home ice loss Friday night to the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings.

The Wheaties leapfrogged the the Hurricanes by one point with the victory. It was a huge game for both teams and with ten games to go in the regular season for the Hurricanes, the finish should be interesting. Brandon leads the East now with 83 points. The Hurricanes are second with 82. Red Deer sits in 3rd with 77 points. Lethbridge will have to find a way to get back on track in the final couple of weeks before playoff time. They've lost five games in a row as they look to get out of this late season funk.

This game Friday was by far the marquis match-up in the Western Hockey League. Brandon got things going first in this one when Kale Clague scored for the visitors making it 1-0 Wheat Kings. The Hurricanes evened the score a few minutes later when Brayden Burke put home his 22nd of the season tying things at 1-1. Before the end of the period, the Canes took their first and only lead of the night. Egor Babenko, who's been on a bit of a goal scoring drought, scored his 26th of the season with about a minute and half left in the period giving Lethbridge a 2-1 lead through 20 minutes of play.

No scoring in the second period of this game, but things started to pick up in the third with more offence, all by the Brandon Wheat Kings. The Wheaties tied the game just 45 seconds into the third period when Tim McGauley scored make it a 2-2 game. Less than two minutes later, Nolan Patrick scored what would turn out to be the game winner, giving the Wheaties a 3-2 lead. Brandon added a pair of insurance goals after that, one each by John Quenneville and Tyler Coulter and that would cap a four goal third period, giving Brandon a 5-2 come-from-behind victory.

The shots were close in this game with Brandon narrowly out shooting Lethbridge 26-24. Neither team scored with the man advantage. Lethbridge going 0/7 on the power play and the the Wheat Kings 0/3.

The Hurricanes close out a mini home stand Saturday (Feb. 27) when they host the Edmonton Oil Kings. The Canes will head on the road next week to kick off the final couple of weeks in the regular season.

Every point is super critical now, especially if the Hurricanes hope to take first place in the Eastern Conference. There is still plenty of work to be done in these last ten games. Ending this losing skid is first on the list for sure and then finding their groove again heading into the post-season.



  1. Tough loss last night. It is almost painful watching Wong try so hard knowing he has been playing injured for a few weeks now. The first two periods were very good and it looked like maybe the lads had got the train back on track. And while I heard Forbes say on the post-game show that the "wheels fell off in the third", I don't think the Hurricanes played any worse in the third than they did in the first two periods. I think Brandon just played better than their team did in the first two period. We have to miss the game tonight but let's hope the Hurricanes find their way back tonight against Edmonton.

    I am still at a loss as to why the Hurricanes management have not realized how they look like a bunch of jerks with their greedy little playoff package plan. It would be nice to actually hear them step up and explain why they feel that the best way to thank the fans who have stuck by them all these years is to increase the season ticket price by a ridiculous amount, hold the fans playoff seats ransom and justify this when no other team in the league pulls off such crap.

    1. I also though that the Canes got back to their style of hockey, especially in the 2nd when they looked like the Canes we have loved to watch this year. They were physical, the giveaways were minimal, and they managed to stuff an offence, that to date, is the highest scoring team in league.
      Cue the third. I hate to blame anyone, but two of those goals scored by Brandon in the third were brutal. Our team has lived and died by there goaltending this year, and both of the lads have shown that they are in the WHL goaltending elite. But, Mcgaulie's goal, and whoever put the one through the wickets later on were both ones that absolutely had to be stopped. It was very obvious that the wind went out of the sails of the team, and that was that.
      This is playoff time, and if this team is going to be successful, they need to be peaking now. Maybe once Justin and Georgio return, this team can find it's winning ways....Dare to dream!!

      Can't agree more on the absolute shamefull way the season ticket holders are being treated. I will leave it at that...


  2. You know you don't need to buy a season ticket package to buy playoff tickets right? The way I read it is that you can get cheaper playoff tickets by securing tickets for next season. Sounds like a decent reward to me. If you don't want cheaper playoff tickets then don't buy regular season tickets. If you buy regular season tickets you don't need to pay for them until July or August. What is so shameful in that? How many home playoff games will they play? 2? 4? 8? who knows, but the savings is $5 per game. It's 5 bucks...nothing to see here. This team was "a dumpster fire" for 7 years and now they are in 1st place, arguably the most exciting team in the entire league and that isn't good enough.... this city never ceases to amaze me.

    Juha for P.M.

    1. The shameful part is that yes, if you want YOUR seats for the playoffs, the ones you paid for last year, you have to agree to seasons tickets. It has nothing to do with the price, it has nothing to do with when you pay for the tickets. It has everything to do with this group deciding that ALL the hay must be made back in one year. I think if you asked most season ticket holders, they will tell you that yes, they love this team, and will continue to support them. I think most will also tell you that being held hostage by a business office that finally has a quality product to offer is, in a word, shameful.