Friday, 15 September 2017

Mascot Twister Retiring After 30 Years

The Lethbridge Hurricanes Hockey Club have learned that the clubs mascot Twister has decided that after 30 years with the team he has decided to retire.

Twister notified the club on Thursday of his decision stating that the Dairy Queen Home Opener on Friday, September 22nd against the Medicine Hat Tigers will be his final game.

Photo credit to Lethbridge Hurricanes

“This decision did not come easy by any means,” wrote Twister in a letter to the team and fans. “It was very apparent to me during the Whoop Up Days Parade in August that I am ready to step away and spend more time with my family.”

Twister spent 30 years as the Hurricanes mascot joining the team in their inaugural season in 1987. He was a member of all four teams that went to the Western Hockey League Finals, including the Championship victory in 1997.
“Being considered Southern Alberta’s favourite mascot was a dream come true,” added Twister.

“We are very sad to hear of Twister’s decision to retire,” said Hurricanes General Manager of Business Operations, Terry Huisman. “His contribution to our franchise for 30 years has been very impactful. We want to thank Twister for all of his efforts over the last three decades.”


The Hurricanes, who are slated to open the 2017-2018 season next Friday, September 22nd against the Medicine Hat Tigers will announce Twister’s successor prior to next week’s Dairy Queen Home Opener.

(Lethbridge Hurricanes Release)

Thanks,
Pat

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Hurricanes Back in Black Financially

What a difference a few years makes, not to mention a very competitive hockey team on the ice.

The Lethbridge Hurricanes told shareholders Tuesday night at the ENMAX Centre during the club's 2017 Annual General Meeting, that the organization is no longer in the negative.

President Doug Paisley speaks to media following 2017 AGM

The Hurricanes posted a profit during the 2016/17 WHL season of $731,710 and that had a lot to do with a long playoff run. That profit, coupled with a nice little profit the season before has helped turn around what looked to be a sinking ship. The team is now in a positive net financial position of more than $320,000.

A massive difference given just four seasons ago when the community-owned hockey club was bleeding money. In fact, during the AGM Tuesday night Paisley, GM Peter Anholt, and Business Manager Terry Huisman were all given rounds of applause for playing a big part in what has been a massive turnaround. 

The Hurricanes averaged 3700 fans a game during the 2016/17 season. Already, the club has sold more than 2100 season tickets, well ahead of last season and we are still over a week away from puck drop.

The following is a media scrum with Doug Paisley following the AGM


Thanks,
Pat

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Hurricanes Ink Import (F) Yegor Zudilov

The Lethbridge Hurricanes Hockey Club announced Tuesday that they have signed forward Yegor Zudilov to a Western Hockey League Standard Player Agreement.

Zudilov, 16, was selected in the first round, 48th overall in the 2017 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft. The Russian-born forward will turn 17 on September 10th. In 2016-2017, Zudilov registered 65 points (31g-34a) along with 18 penalty minutes in 36 games with Avangard Omsk U17 in the Russia U17 league. He also appeared in one game with Omskie Yastreby of the MHL where he was held pointless.

Zudilov is one of two import players on the Hurricanes roster heading into training camp later this week joining Igor Merezhko after forward Egor Babenko signed a contract in the Kontinental Hockey League with Lada Togliatti.

The Hurricanes open their 2017 ENMAX Training Camp this Thursday, August 24th at the ENMAX Centre beginning with Rookie Camp. Main Camp will start on Saturday with the annual Red versus White Intrasquad game to be held on Tuesday, August 29th.
 

Admission is free with a donation of a non-perishable food item.

(Lethbridge Hurricanes Release)

Thanks,
Pat

Monday, 21 August 2017

Canes' Acquire Rights to Austin Wong From ICE

Photo credit to Okotoks Oilers
The Lethbridge Hurricanes Hockey Club have acquired the rights to forward Austin Wong from the Kootenay Ice in exchange for defenseman Tyler Strath and a conditional fifth round pick in the 2019 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft.

Wong, 16, will turn 17 on Saturday. He is the younger brother of former Hurricanes forward Tyler Wong. Austin, who is 5’10, 175-pound spent the 2016 2017 season with the Okotoks Oilers in the Alberta Junior Hockey League where he recorded 20 points (10g-10a) along with 150 penalty minutes in 53 games. He added an additional five points (3g-2a) and 36 penalty minutes in 12 playoff games.

“Austin played Junior-A last year as a 16-year-old in Okotoks and had a good season. Okotoks has done a nice job developing him and we are excited to acquire his rights from Kootenay,” said Hurricanes General Manager Peter Anholt. “We think this moves helps build the depth to our 2000-born age group. Obviously there is a history with the family, so we know the pedigree with what we are acquiring in Austin.”

In 2015-2016, Austin racked up an impressive 75 points (44g-31a) and 72 penalty minutes in 37 games with the AC Avalanche Minor Midget AAA in the Alberta Minor Midget Hockey League. He was originally drafted by the Ice in the 11th round, 232nd overall in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft.

Austin will attend the Hurricanes camp this weekend. The Hurricanes open their 2017 ENMAX Training Camp this week beginning with rookie camp on Thursday, August 24th at 4:00pm. For a full schedule of both Rookie and Main Camp please visit www.lethbridgehurricanes.com.

(From Lethbridge Hurricanes)

Thanks,
Pat

Hurricanes Ready For Training Camp

The Lethbridge Hurricanes get their 2017 WHL training camp underway this week.

I had a chance to have good chat with Canes General Manager Peter Anholt. You can listen to that on the link below.



ROOKIE CAMP

Thursday, August 24th
Team A Practice: 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Team B Practice: 5:15pm – 6:15pm
Goalie Session: 7:00pm – 8:00pm

Friday, August 25th Game (Team A vs. Team B): 9:00am – 10:15am
Veterans Skills Session: 10:30am – 11:45am
Game (Team A vs. Team B): 3:00pm – 4:00pm

Saturday, August 26th Rookies Game (Team A vs. Team B): 9:00am – 10:15am

MAIN CAMP

Saturday, August 26th Team A Practice: 1:00pm – 2:00pm
Team B Practice: 2:15pm – 3:15pm
Team C Practice: 3:30pm – 4:30pm

Sunday, August 27th Game (Team A vs. Team B): 9:00am – 9:45am
Game (Team A vs. Team C): 10:00am – 10:45am
Game (Team B vs. Team C): 11:00am – 11:45am
Game (Team A vs. Team C): 4:00pm – 4:45pm
Game (Team B vs. Team C): 5:00pm – 5:45pm
Game (Team A vs. Team B): 6:00pm – 6:45pm

Monday, August 28 th Game (Team A vs. Team B): 9:00am – 9:45am
Game (Team A vs. Team C): 10:00am – 10:45am
Game (Team B vs. Team C): 11:00am – 11:45am
Game (Team A vs. Team C): 4:00pm – 4:45pm
Game (Team B vs. Team C): 5:00pm – 5:45pm
Game (Team A vs. Team B): 6:00pm – 6:45pm

Tuesday, August 29th Pre-Game Skate (Team Red): 10:00am – 11:00am

Pre-Game Skate (Team White): 11:15am – 12:15pm
Red vs. White Inter-squad Game: 7:00pm (ENMAX Centre)

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Canes Addison Heading to Ivan Hlinka Cup

The Western Hockey League will be represented by six players on Hockey Canada’s 22-player roster for the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup, scheduled for August 7 to 12 in Breclav, Czech Republic and Bratislava, Slovakia.

Hockey Canada announced its 22-player roster Tuesday afternoon following its five-day National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team selection camp.

Representing the WHL on Hockey Canada’s roster for the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup are forwards Luka Burzan (Moose Jaw Warriors / Surrey, B.C.), Jackson Shepard (Kamloops Blazers / West Vancouver, B.C.), Nolan Foote (Kelowna Rockets / Kelowna, B.C.) and defencemen Ty Smith (Spokane Chiefs / Lloydminster, Alta.), Calen Addison (Lethbridge Hurricanes / Brandon, Man.) and Jett Woo (Moose Jaw Warriors / Winnipeg, Man.).

All but two of the 22 players represented their country at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge – an international tournament hosted annually in Canada that features three Canadian teams (Red, White, Black) and five international teams. Canada’s team also includes 15 players who’ve worn the red-and-white in international competition overseas – six having donned the Team Canada jersey at the 2017 IIHF U18 World Championship in Poprad and Spisska Nova Ves, Slovakia, in April; and 11 having competed for Canada at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway.

“We’ve had a great selection camp here in Calgary, with all 44 players showing us what they’re made of,” said Brent Kisio (Lethbridge Hurricanes / Calgary, Alta.), head coach of Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team. “As a best-on-best tournament, the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup allows us to showcase the very best Canadian talent in this age group. We are ready to make Canadians proud with how we represent them on and off the ice.”

Kisio and assistant coaches Drew Bannister (Sault Ste. Marie, OHL / Sudbury, Ont.) and Daniel Jacob (Blainville-Boisbriand, QMJHL / St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que.), along with Hockey Canada’s new head scout Brad McEwan (Whitewood, Sask.) and regional scout Barclay Branch, joined Bruce Hamilton (Kelowna Rockets / Saskatoon, Sask.) of the management group of Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence to select this year’s Hlinka roster from the 44 players who attended the selection camp.

Canada has won gold 20 times in 25 years of summer under-18 competition and will play in Group B this year with Finland, Russia, and Slovakia; Group A consists of the Czech Republic, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.

The Canadians will face the Czech Republic in a pre-tournament game on August 5 in Breclav, and official open the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup on August 7 against Russia. The top two teams from each group advance to the semifinals on Friday, August 11, with the gold-medal game scheduled for Saturday, August 12.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Kisio Head Coach of Canada's Men's U-18 Team

Hockey Canada announced that Brent Kisio (Calgary/Lethbridge, WHL) will lead Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team as head coach following the departure of Paul McFarland, who has accepted an assistant coaching position with the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers.

Photo credit to Hockey Canada

Kisio is entering his third season as head coach of the Lethbridge Hurricanes and was originally slated to work as an assistant coach under McFarland for the National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team selection camp and 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup. His experience with the Hockey Canada Program of Excellence includes as head coach of Team Canada White at the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, and winning a silver medal as an assistant coach with Team Pacific at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

With Kisio taking the reins behind the bench, Hockey Canada has added Drew Bannister (Sudbury, Ont./Sault Ste. Marie, OHL) as an assistant coach for this summer’s U18 group.

Bannister was named head coach of the Soo Greyhounds in 2015 after an 18-year pro career with Anaheim, Edmonton, the New York Rangers, and Tampa Bay of the NHL; his career also included playing in Europe. Drafted by the Lightning in 1992, he’s represented Canada on the international stage as a player and coach. Bannister won gold at the 1994 World Juniors as a player, and he’s also won gold as a head coach with Team Ontario at the 2015 Canada Winter Games. Bannister was also an assistant coach with Team Ontario at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

“Both men are experienced and detail-oriented hockey coaches that know what it takes to compete and win in short-term competition,” said Scott Salmond, Hockey Canada’s vice-president of hockey operations and national teams. “With both having been a part of our Program of Excellence the past couple of years, they will bring their knowledge and passion of the game in helping our players develop and succeed at an elite level.”

In the coming weeks, 44 players will be put through their paces on and off the ice as they vie for a spot on Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team during a week-long selection camp. A 22-player roster will be selected to compete at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup in August, leaving directly from camp to wear the red-and-white at the storied tournament hosted in the Czech Republic and Slovakia this year.

Hockey Canada’s scouting staff will continue to monitor players following their return to their home clubs, with an eye for putting together the best available team to compete at the 2018 IIHF U18 World Championship in Russia next spring.

(Hockey Canada Release)

Thanks,
Pat