Sunday, 26 February 2012

Hurricanes Lose 4-1 to Oil Kings in Edmonton

EDMONTON - The Eastern Conference-leading Edmonton Oil Kings got off to a quick start and never looked back as they beat the Hurricanes 4-1 Sunday afternoon.

The Oil Kings would draw first blood in this matinee at Rexall Place. Mitch Moroz took the puck down the right wing, cut in front of the Hurricanes goal and slid it by Ketlo to make it 1-0 Edmonton. About 5 minute later the Oil Kings would get two more, just 15 seconds apart to blow the game open. Tyler Maxwell ripped home a shot on the power play to make it 2-0 and then right off the draw at centre ice, Mitch Moroz moved in and fired home his second of the afternoon to give Edmonton a convincing 3-0 lead. That's the way the period would end. The Oil Kings had several scoring chances in the opening period as they out shot the Canes 19-7. The Canes best chance came when the puck was dumped in off the glass and took a funny bounce, nearly beating a surprised Laurent Brossoit.

In the second, the Hurricanes would come out with a much better effort and had several decent chances and finally in the last minute they would get on their first of the afternoon. Brady Ramsay, who's been red hot lately had the shot go off an Edmonton defenceman and in to cut the Oil Kings lead to 3-1. Ramsay was credited for his 23rd goal of the season. Damien Ketlo did his job on the other side, keeping the home side off the scoresheet. That's the way the period would end. The shots favoured the Oil Kings 28-19. Brady Ramsay left the game near end of the period after getting hit partially from behind and didn't play the rest of the afternoon.

In the third, the Hurricanes would ramp up the pressure a bit more to try and get back into the game and again had numerous good opportunities, but Laurent Brossoit in the end turned out to be a huge factor in the Edmonton goal. He stopped Jamal Watson on a breakaway in that final period and also stopped Russ Maxwell on a breakaway back in the second. Edmonton would ice things with an empty net goal with a few seconds to go courtesy of Stephane Legault. The final shots favoured Edmonton slightly 35-32. Lethbridge went 0/3 on the man advantage while the Oil Kings finished the game 1/5. The loss ends the Hurricanes three game winning streak and drops their overall record to 25-37-0-1 in 63 games on the season.

Overall, the Hurricanes didn't play poorly, they just got off to a slow start allowing those three goals in the open 10 minutes of so. After that, I thoguht the Canes really adjusted well and didn't let that 3-0 deficit rattle them. They certainly had their chances in this game too, but as mentioned earlier, Laurent Brossoit was a big difference.


The Hurricanes play their next three games on the road this coming week. They'll head to Prince Albert Tuesday and will play the Raiders there Wednesday night (Feb. 29). That will wrap up the February portion of the Hurricanes schedule. Then on Friday (Mar. 2) it's off to Brandon to play the Wheat Kings for the final time this year and then Saturday (Mar. 3) the Canes will pay their final visit to Moose Jaw for a date against Cam Braes and the Warriors. The PA and Moose Jaw games are set for 6:00 pm (MST) on CJOC. The game is Brandon is a 6:30 (MST) face-off. Lethbridge returns home to host Moose Jaw March 6th.


The Hurricanes were mathematically eliminated from the WHL post-season Saturday when the Brandon Wheat Kings beat Regina. At this time last year, the Canes had less points, less wins, and were still very much in the playoff hunt. With the Eastern Conference so tight this year, it's been very tough for the Hurricanes to rebound from that 13 game losing streak back in October. They've been a consistently better team since mid-November, but that skid has turned out to be too steep of a mountain to climb.


Fred Jack and I are back LIVE from Average Joe's Sports Bar on 6th Street South Monday night for our next edition of Hurricanes This Week. We have four more programs before we wrap up for the season on March 19th. Coming up on the show this week, Hurricanes Associate Coach Matt Kabayama, Assistant GM and Director of Player Personnel Brad Robson, and the radio voice of the Brandon Wheat Kings Bruce Luebke. It all gets underway at 6:00 pm MST Monday night on CJOC. If you miss the show LIVE, you can download the program off the CJOC website or podcast it on iTunes the next day.



  1. Ketlo has been amazing, and has earned many wins for the team that they may not have had,... however...

    Continuing to play him as much as we have for the remaining games of the season is shortsighted.

    Liston (or Kovacs, or ??) should play 3 out of 4 for the remaining games of this season. We need to be getting as many auditions as possible so the coaches can evaluate and make some decisions during the off season about next year. - Richie.

  2. I watched the game on the internet. Considering the previous day debacle getting to Edmonton I guess the first ten minutes horrible play in the first was not totally unexpected. I bet you were even exhausted Pat. Edmonton has a lot of speed and size and our younger players took some time adjusting but they figured it out in the third. I hope Ramsey's injury is not serious. On a side note for the fan poll...most teams privately owned have their own team bus.

  3. With 3 days left on your poll, it is interesting to see that of the 93 people who have voted (maybe some more than once) that 83.8% have voted to have the team sold. Of those, 83.3% voted that the team be sold to a local owner. Hey Pat, sometime you might give those who voted and opportunity to express why they want the team to be sold. (Valid reasons only!) Nothing personal!

  4. Tough loss for the canes yesterday but was against a very strong team. Sounded like if they could have had a better start it may have been a better outcome. Sad to see Ramsay go down, hope it's not too serious, as he has been red hot lately. I was glad to hear Sutter stand up for his teammates. He took on a very tough opponent who has had more than 15 fights so far this year for Edmonton. Always good for the young guys to see the vets stand up for them. Hope they can finish out the season strong. Mike

  5. Since there is a majority who has voted for the club to be sold to a local owner, how about the next question... WHO should the club be sold too? Not many folks in Southern Alberta have 7-8 million in cash?

    As a shareholder, Rich Sutter wouldn't get my vote... I'm not a fan of his unneccessary nagging to the media... and his plan would likely be wanting the Canes to be a team stacked with LAA alumni... an idea he already failed at (ie. Mitch Maxwell, Cason Machacek). On top of that, numerous NHL clubs have let him go as a scout for a reason!

    Perhaps joint ownership like Kamloops has done would be a better option. One very successful businessman (Gaglardi, owner of the Sandman, Dennys, Moxies, and Shark Club chains) along with 4 former players (Iginla, Recchi, Doan, and Sydor).


  6. I've heard a rumour that a local group MIGHT be putting together a proposal to buy the team. It's just a rumour, so I won't print any names, but they include two former Hurricanes. Darren

  7. I voted to sell the team to local ownership. With some reservations though. As for the team being sold, (if it ever happens) there is no guarentee that there will be instant success. Would prospective owners like to buy the team with the players they have now and those waiting in the rear? It is highly likely and there is the matter of basically a new rink which is another plus. No matter who the buyers may be, they still have to get league approval. There are enough privately owned clubs that are not doing well. Seattle, Everett, Prince George come to mind, along with Kootenay who can't fill their rink ...even with highly competitive team. But, there is a valid reason for selling the club, to someone or a group with deep pockets. $$$$$$ The Hurricanes can't keep losing $400,000 year after year. And with another young team next season, it could happen again. I highly doubt that the league would allow this club to be moved regardless of the ownership. But stranger things have happened. Just look at Chilliwack. There is one benefit to selling the club, those who love to complain about the board, will not have anything to complain about........oh wait, they will then focus on the new ownership. One thing that will have to change private ownership or will have to show they want the club to stay. This city does not support this club the way it would be expected to. Very Fickle Fans!

  8. I don't have a strong opinion about the ownership of the Canes, but I would sure like them to stay here. The playoff ticket sales remain critical income to WHL teams for sustained viability, and because of this I have a big problem with the current unfair conference alignment and the motives of the league commissioner regarding the matter.

    The Canes are currently good enough for seventh place and a playoff berth in the West, yet we have already been mathematically eliminated from the post season in the conference to which we have been assigned.

    The following is a note I posted on the WHL Facebook section, "ASK THE COMMISH."

    If you agree with this, I would encourage you to post a similar notes or questions for the WHL commissioner on the subject.


    There are currently 22 WHL teams. Currently, the Eastern Conference has 12 teams while the Western has only 10. Hence, 4 teams miss the playoffs each year in the East, while in the Western Conference only 2 teams miss. In a league where the financial viability of teams hedges on playoff gate sales, how do you justify the unequal and unfair conference assignment? How is it fair to the cities, teams, owners, and players in the Eastern conference? YOU NEED TO CHANGE THE PLAYOFF FORMAT!! Add a "cross-over" or some system that will ensure the 16 teams with the BEST records play in the post season, or at least institute a "challenge" series that would allow a team with a better record than a "playoff bound" team in the other conference to "challenge" them for the spot. This year is a typical example of where teams that will miss the playoffs in the Eastern Conference would have MADE the playoffs if they were (on paper) in the West. Moving Kootenay to the West is the most obvious solution to at least equate the conferences. I heard Robison gave some weak-ass answer that he wants to maintain the "rivalries" of Kootenay with the existing teams of the East and that the travel would be too great for Kootenay if they were moved to the West. BS!!! Do the math! If you add the distances from Kootenay to all destinations, this is simply NOT true. In addition, MANY of the teams in the Western US division are lined up so well that both Kootenay and the US division teams could make VERY sensible road trip stops. Geographically, no team has to travel more than Brandon or Prince George, so sympathy or favoritism for any other team is politically alligned. Who owns the Kootenay ice again? What is our championship trophy called again? Hmmmmm.... (Hint: C.H.Y.N.O.W.E.Y.T.H.) - Smarten up, Robison!!

    - Richie.

  9. There is nothing that is going to get the Kootenay Ice to move to the West Division until JC decides he's had enough of low attendance in a very small market, despite having a very competitive team each year. Mark my words, the day that Nanaimo decides to build a new WHL sized rink, or when the Abbotsford Heat move, there will be a rush of teams to head to those two locations or Chilliwack. Kootenay and Prince George would be the obvious teams. That would then put both conferences at 11 teams. Trouble is, there are no longer any viable relocations for the Eastern Conference teams. Maybe Grande Prairie, but that creates another PG or Brandon type trip. Until there is another WHL rink on the island, there will likely be no movement.

    As for a cross-over, this year based on the current standings, Red Deer (62) and SC (54) would cross over, bumping Victoria (46) and Seattle (44) out of the playoffs. That would mean a first round match-up of SC and TC along with RD and Port....horrible travel situations and costs for all teams.

    Not going to change!

  10. I think that moving Kootenay to the Western Conference is the most sensible and consistent thing to do considering its geography, but even if the other less intelligent solution was put into place...

    Anyone that thinks that ... either Red Deer or Swift Current (or Lethbridge) would REFUSE a first round matchup (and opportunity to go deeper) in the playoffs (and hence an extra two games of gate revenue of at LEAST $80K PER GAME) just because they would have to drive too far to Tri City or Portland... is using the same overpriced travel agent as the delusional Robison!

    Use your head for just a minute! Gas has gone up in price, but until it hits about $1000/gallon, I am pretty sure the gate revenue of two extra home games would far exceed the gas and hotel costs to the West coast if given the opportunity to extend their season in a "crossover" or "challenge" scenario.

    I don't know all the excuses that the league and Kootenay has for the current unfair conference alignment (though I am certain they would be as irrelevant and entertaining as the first two "reasons" Robison gave), or why or how Chynoweth controls the commissioner and the league, but there are 12 teams in the Eastern Conference that have the opportunity EVERY year to get shafted from the playoffs because the commissioner is in bed with the owners of either the entire Western Conference or the owner of the Kootenay ice.

    There is NO intelligent argument to support an 8 team/12 team alignment without a playoff formula to include the 16 teams with the BEST records, and I cannot understand why the Eastern Conference teams put up with it.

    If Robison is going to continue to give teams of the Western Conference an obvious advantage at entering the post season, then he needs to restore equity by sharing the gate revenue of these undeserving teams of the West with the teams that have better records yet are in financial trouble because they are getting screwed in the Eastern Conference! - Richie.

  11. There is not much a person can add to that Richie. Well said.


  12. I'm tired of Lethbridge citizens taking heat for not going to Canes' games (ie. "Fickle Fans").

    I see it as more that there's SO much more to do than just go to a Canes' game all the time. Lethbridge is not a one sport, one team town. There's so much more going on around town on any given night.

    Don't compare us to Med. Hat. I said, 'Lethbridge has so much more to do.' The 'Hat doesn't, so everyone goes to the Tigers' games.