Sunday, 7 February 2016

Last Place ICE Blank Hurricanes 2-0

On paper it should've been an easy two points for the Eastern Conference-leading Lethbridge Hurricanes, however the game against the ICE in Cranbrook Saturday night turned out to be a lot more difficult.

The last place Kootenay ICE shut out the Hurricanes 2-0. That was only the second time all season the high-powered Lethbridge offence was held off the score sheet in a hockey game.

After a scoreless first period, the Kootenay ICE opened the scoring in the second with a power play goal. River Beattie beat Jayden Sittler at the 7:27 mark to give the ICE a 1-0 lead and break the scoreless tie. That was the only goal to that point in the game.

In the third, the Hurricanes looked to even the game, however the ICE had other plans. Kootenay added some insurance. Matt Alfaro scored midway through the period to make it a 2-0 game for the home side. The Hurricanes were unable to find a way to beat ICE goalie Wyatt Hoflin on this night. He was perfect, stopping every shot he faced as Kootenay shut out the Hurricanes 2-0.

The Hurricanes were blanked for the first time since early December when they lost 2-0 to Prince Albert. Kootenay also out shot the Canes 33-31. This last stretch is the most adversity the Hurricanes have faced all season. They've lost four of their last five games, so it's certainly a good test for this club with 19 games to go in the regular season.

The Hurricanes are now home for their next two games. They host Saskatoon Wednesday (Feb. 10) and then Tri-City rolls through the ENMAX Centre Friday (Feb. 12). That Friday game will be earlier than originally scheduled. The Canes have moved the start time for Friday's game against the Americans to 6:00 pm because they travel to Edmonton for a 2:00 pm start Saturday afternoon. The Hurricanes will close out a busy week with four games in five days in Calgary next Sunday afternoon (Feb. 14) when they take on the Hitmen.

Thanks,
Pat

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.

Thanks,
Pat


Thursday, 4 February 2016

Canes Announce Time Change For Feb. 12 Game

The Lethbridge Hurricanes Hockey Club has announced a change to the start time of the Friday, February 12th, 2016 home game versus the Tri-City Americans from 7:00 pm to now 6:00 pm with the doors opening at 5:00 pm. 

Due to an afternoon game on Saturday, February 13th, in Edmonton at 2:00 pm, the Friday game has been changed to one hour earlier to help with travel and required rest time. 

Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Lethbridge Hurricanes in person or by phone at (403) 328-1986.

(From Hurricanes)

Thanks,
Pat

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Hurricanes Fall 2-1 to Rockets in Kelowna

It wasn't wasn't the road trip the Lethbridge Hurricanes were hoping for.

The Canes left for B.C. a week ago riding high on a ten game winning streak and came home on a three game losing skid. The latest loss coming Tuesday night, 2-1 in Kelowna.

The loss drops the Hurricanes overall record to 36-15 on the season and for the first time in several weeks, it knocks the Canes out of first place in the WHL standings. With that win, the Rockets leapfrog Lethbridge by one point for top spot in the league.

This was actually a very close game from start to finish, both on the scoreboard and the shot clock.

The Rockets opened the scoring in this game. Tomas Soustal scored his first of two on the night, beating goaltender Stuart Skinner 7:40 into the first period to give Kelowna a 1-0 lead through one periods of play.

After a scoreless second period, the Rockets would add to their lead in the third, when Soustal scored his second of the game early in the final frame to make it a 2-0 lead in favour of the home team. Less than two minutes later though, the Hurricanes got that one back. Jordy Bellerive with his 4th of the season cut the Rockets lead to 2-1. Still with about 16:00 to go in the period, the Hurricanes pushed for the tying goal, but it wasn't in the cards. Kelwona would skate away with a 2-1 victory.

Both teams finished the game 0/2 on the power play. Lethbridge slightly out shot Kelowna 31-29 on the night.

It was a costly loss for the Hurricanes as well as they lost forward Giorgio Estephan for 3 to 6 weeks with a lower body injury. The team updated his status on Twitter Wednesday.


The Hurricanes return home Friday (Feb. 5) to host the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors. They'll travel to Cranbrook Saturday (Feb. 6) to play the struggling Kootenay ICE.

Thanks,
Pat

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Skinner Named WHL Goalie of the Month

The Western Hockey League announced today that Stuart Skinner of the Lethbridge Hurricanes has been named the Vaughn WHL Goaltender of the Month for January 2016.

A 17-year-old from Edmonton, AB, Skinner posted a record of 5-1-0-0 over six appearances in January. He recorded a 1.50 goals against average and a .955 save percentage to go along with two shutouts. In the six games he started, Skinner held the opposition to two goals or fewer in five of those contests.



Skinner’s productive play has propelled the Hurricanes to first place in the Eastern Conference standings and the best overall record across the League. The 6-4, 197 lb netminder claimed three first star honours and a third star nod in January while helping Lethbridge achieve a 10 game winning streak from January 2nd-24th.

Skinner is in his second WHL campaign with the Lethbridge Hurricanes and has posted a 32-30-2-3 record with four shutouts in 74 career regular season contests.

These accomplishments make Stuart Skinner a deserving choice as the Vaughn WHL Goaltender of the Month for January.

(From the WHL)

Thanks,
Pat

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Giants Double Up Hurricanes 4-2

The Lethbridge Hurricanes had a two goal lead late in the second period slip away as they fell 4-2 to the Giants in Vancouver Saturday night.

The loss was the Canes second in a row on this B.C. road trip. It drops their overall record to 36-14 on the season. Red Deer lost to Brandon Saturday, so the Hurricanes didn't give up any ground to the Rebels in the Eastern Conference standings which is the good news.

Just like in Victoria the night before, the shots on goal totals were lopsided in favour of the home side. The Giants badly out shot the Canes 37-16 ion the night.

Things started off nicely for the Hurricanes in this game. 8:31 into the first period, Cory Millette scored his first of two on the night and 21st of the season to make it 1-0 Lethbridge. That was it for the offence in the opening 20 minutes.

In the second, the Hurricanes would strike again, this time with less than five minutes remaining in the period. Cory Millette scoring his second of night and 22nd of the year and the visitors sat with a 2-0 lead. That lead though would vanish pretty quickly for the Canes. Vancouver scored a pair of quick goals, one on the power play from Trevor Cox and then with just over a minute left in the period, Alex Baer tied the game at 2-2 after two periods of play.

In the third, the Giants would finish things off. Chase Lang gave Vancouver its first lead of the game midway through the period, making it 3-2. The Hurricanes pushed for the equalizer, but Brennan Menell scored into an empty minutes with less than a minute to go and the Giants would end up scoring four unanswered goals to beat the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes 4-2.

The Canes power play went 0/3 in this game, while Vancouver was 1/3.

It was back-to-back losses for the Hurricanes for the first time since November 14-15. Needless to say, it hasn't happened often to the Canes this season.

This now sets up a huge game in Kelowna Tuesday (Feb. 2). The Canes hold a slight one point lead on the Rockets for first place in the WHL. Lethbridge with 72 points and the Rockets with 71.

Thanks,
Pat

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Royals End Hurricanes Long Win Streak

As they say, all good things have to come to an end at some point and that's what happened for the Lethbridge Hurricanes on the road Friday night in Victoria.

Jack Walker scored a pair of goals as the Royals beat the Canes 3-1 at Save-On-Foods Arena. It was the Hurricanes first loss of 2016 and their first defeat since December 30th. Despite the loss the Hurricanes record since December 15th is more than impressive. They are 16 and 2 in their last 18 games during that six week stretch.

Now to Friday's game. The Royals appeared more than ready for the WHL-leading Hurricanes. They badly out shot the Canes in this game, 42-17, but Stuart Skinner kept his club in it and made it a very close game right down to the final minute and a half.

After a scoreless first period between two of the best teams in the Western Hockey League, Victoria opened the scoring. in the second period, when Jack Walker scored his first of two on the night 5:25 into the second, giving the Royals a 1-0 lead. That held up through the opening 40 minutes.

In the third, the Hurricanes tied the game, thanks to their top notch power play. Ryley Lindgren with his 20th of the season on the man advantage, evened the game at 1-1. With that goal, Lindgren joins five other Hurricanes who've either hit or surpassed the 20 goal mark this season. About four minutes later though, the Royals would get a power play of their own and they'd score what would turn out to be the game winner. Alex Forsberg beat Skinner to make it a 2-1 game in favour of the home team. There was still half a period left for the Hurricanes to try and get back to even terms, but with about 1:30 left to go in the game, Jack Walker scored into an empty net and the Victoria Royals skated off with a 3-1 win.

This game was a lot closer than the shots on goal would indicate, thanks to the play of Stuart Skinner. Lethbridge finished the game 1/4 on the power play and Victoria was 1/5. The win was the Royals 30th of the season in 50 games played. They trail Kelowna by six points for first place in the West. The Canes still lead the Eastern Conference and the WHL with 72 points, five points ahead of Red Deer. The Hurricanes do have a few points on the Rebels and Brandon Wheat Kings, however things can change pretty quickly with a few loses. That's why every point and every game is critical.

The Hurricanes will now travel to Vancouver to take on the Giants Saturday (Jan. 30). Vancouver has struggled this season with only 19 wins in 51 games. They sit last in the West. On paper, this should be a rebound game for Lethbridge, however the Canes can't take any team for granted despite their opponents record. After the Vancouver game, thee Hurricanes will have a few days off until they play in Kelowna next Tuesday (Feb. 2).

Thanks,
Pat