Hurricanes Fall to Pats 5-2

photo 4On Saturday night, the Lethbridge Hurricanes played their second of two games in Regina at The Co-operators Arena against the host Pats. The ‘Canes were coming off a come-from-behind 2-1 shootout victory over the Prince Albert Raiders on Friday afternoon and they were facing a Pats team who had won back-to-back games to kick off the preseason over Moose Jaw (by an 8-1 margin) and the Calgary Hitmen (a see-saw 6-5 win) and it was the Sam Steel show as the 16-year-old lead the Pats with two goals and an assist in part of a 5-2 Regina victory.

With many rookies still on the club vying for spots on the roster, the Hurricanes changed their line up from the Friday’s game. Out was Griffin Foulk, Bryton Sayers, Jamal Watson, Andrew Nielson, Ethan King, Tyler Wong and Connor Rokosh, as well as goalie Zac Robidoux; while Riley Sheen, Tyler Bell, Thomas Lenchyshyn, Lenny Hackman, Kade Jensen, Brandon Kennedy, Jonny Hogue and Reid Duke drew into the line 1

The Hurricanes came out with another impressive period of hockey in the first against the Pats. The ‘Canes were generating good chances off the rush and the cycle game was good offensively. Defensively, the defense was stepping up at the blue line and not giving the Pats forwards much time to gain the zone. Both teams had power play chances in the first period, but it was an even-strength goal from Jaeger White that opened the scoring on a two-on-one at the 9:54 mark. Carter Folk made an excellent cross-seam pass to White who buried the one-timer past Dawson MacAuley to give the ‘Canes the 1-0 lead after one period – Pavel Skumatov picked up the second assist.

In the second period, the momentum seemed to shift in favour of the Pats after a bone-crushing hit by the Pats Luc Smith on Reid Duke right in front of the Regina bench at centre; Dexter Bricker would step in and fight Austin Wagner after a scrum following the hit. Regina would gain a boost after the hit and would tie the game at the 4:56 mark as Sam Steel scored to tie it 1-1. Hurricanes would get a power play later in the period, and just eight seconds into it after mis-communication between Nick Walters and Jaeger White, the Pats would transition on a two-on-one that was buried passed Jonny Hogue – who replaced Stuart Skinner – to give the Pats their first lead of the game 2-1 with 7:46 to go in the period. However, just over four minutes later, Thomas Lenchyshyn found Pavel Skumatov at the far blue line, Skumatov slipped one through to Sheen who beat Tyler Fuhr to tie it 2-2 after forty minutes.

The Hurricanes would start the third seemingly on their heels as the Pats came out strong and would take a 3-2 lead as Sam Steel ripped one over the shoulder of Hogue at the 5:10 mark after a sequence of turnovers in the defensive end by the ‘Canes. Lethbridge had a few good looks to tie the game, the first a chance by Duke but he hit the outside of the post and then quickly thereafter a chance by Sheen who was poke-checked by Fuhr, however, despite the pair of chances the play would be controlled by the Pats with chance after chance, but Hogue stood tall making a couple of good saves – his best off Steel who was bidding for a hattrick. Steel would get back on the score sheet, this time with an assist at the 14:00 minute mark as he offloaded a pass to Adam Brooks who beat Hogue high to the blocker side to make it 4-2 Regina. The Pats would seal the deal with an empty net with 2:04 to play as Patrick D’Amico iced it to give Regina a 5-2 win.

Stuart Skinner stopped 12 of 13 shots he faced in the game, while Jonny Hogue allowed three goals on 25 Regina shots.

The Hurricanes went 0/5 on the power play and gave up a shorthanded goal in the game – their second of the preseason. While the Pats were 0/3 with the extra man.

Final shots on goal favoured Regina by a 38-23 margin – ‘Canes gave up 21 in the third period.

The Hurricanes fell to 1-1 on the pre-season with the loss to the Pats, while Regina improves to a perfect 3-0. The ‘Canes will next be in action next Friday when they host the Calgary Hitmen in Coaldale – you can get tickets for that game for just $10 – game time will be 7pm.


‘Canes Open Pre-Season With Shootout Win Over PA

photo 4The Lethbridge Hurricanes opened their 2014/15 pre-season schedule with a come-from-behind 2-1 shootout victory over the Prince Albert Raiders Friday afternoon at The Co-operators Arena in Regina.

It was an impressive first period for the veteran-laden Hurricanes who outshot the Raiders by a 13-3 margin. Nick McBride, who got the start of PA looked sharp, stopping three shorthanded breakaway’s from the speedy Jamal Watson. Territorially, the ‘Canes looked much better as the Raiders didn’t get their first shot on Zac Robidoux who started for Lethbridge came not until the 9-minute mark. The ‘Canes had an early power play opportunity early in the first but could not bury past McBride despite a few good chances for Nikita Milekhin off the left wall, but it remained scoreless after the first period.

The Hurricanes begin the second period with a brief power play opportunity but didn’t really gain the zone. The tempo continued for the ‘Canes in the middle frame as again the team generated some good chances but seemed to not be able to buy a goal. Robidoux stopped all of the shots he faced in his half game as at the mid-way mark of the second, the team put in 16-year-old Stuart Skinner in and less than a minute later the Raiders opened the scoring on a rebound buried by Matteo Gennaro who capitalized shorthanded with 9:01 to go in the second. Lethbridge continued to get some chances with the extra man but McBride stood tall. The ‘Canes two best chances in the period came late as minutes apart Tyler Wong had a 2-on-1 and was stopped and then soon thereafter Nikita Milekhin was stopped on a breakaway and it ended 1-0 PA after forty minutes.

The third period continued with much of the same, some good chances for Lethbridge but no finish. Jaeger White had one of the better chances on a steal just outside the Raiders blue line and he went in on the left side but his shot went high and Pavel Skumatov couldn’t bury the rebound. The White, Skumatov and Zach Goberis line was probably the best line for the Hurricanes in game one in my opinion. After killing off a Reid Nemeth checking from behind penalty, the Hurricanes got another chance on the power play – their seventh of the game – and the ‘Canes would finally break the ice as an Andrew Nielson point shot was tipped home to make it 1-1 at the 15:02 mark. The Hurricanes would get another great chance in the dying seconds of the game to win it as Tyler Wong from the high slot rang one off the crossbar and so the game went to overtime.

In the extra frame, Prince Albert would get the first good chance at the two minute mark as Sean Montgomery let a shot go from the high slot that squeezed through Skinner and hit the post behind him, but stayed out of the net. The ‘Canes and Raiders would trade chances, but to no result and so the game went to a shootout.

In the shootout, Jaeger White and Nikita Milekhin would be stopped, before Jamal Watson scored the shootout winner beating McBride five-hole for the winner – Watson went 0/3 on breakaways in the game, but scored when they needed him the most as the ‘Canes earned the win. Skinner stopped all three PA shooters.

Final power plays saw the ‘Canes go 1/7, while the Raiders went 0/6.

The ‘Canes picked up a strong 2-1 shootout win a character building, come from behind contest to open the pre-season.

The Hurricanes will play their second game of the Regina tournament tomorrow, Saturday at 7pm when they take on the hosting Regina Pats at The Co-operators Arena.

Duke Reports to ‘Canes

canes1A midst their first pre-season game of the year against the Prince Albert Raiders, the Lethbridge Hurricanes announced that forward Reid Duke has reported to the hockey club in Regina after not appearing last weekend for training camp.

Duke will likely appear in the second game of the tournament this weekend in Regina when the ‘Canes take on the Regina Pats tomorrow evening at The Co-operators Centre, however no decisions have been officially made.

Hurricanes press release:

The Lethbridge Hurricanes announced Reid Duke returned to the hockey club on Thursday. 

General Manager, Brad Robson says “the hockey club, Reid Duke, his family and agent came to an agreement beneficial to both sides.”

Duke is expected to play in the second game of the tournament the team is competing at this weekend in Regina.

Rokosh Signs With ‘Canes

canes1Lethbridge Hurricanes General Manager Brad Robson has been hard at work this week. Having traded for goaltender Zac Robidoux from the Medicine Hat Tigers last Friday, Robson has since signed three prospects who shined this past weekend at the teams main training camp.

On Saturday, the ‘Canes announced the signing of forward Pavel Skumatov, followed by Ryan Vandervlis yesterday and yet another this morning as the team has inked defenseman Connor Rokosh to the WHL’s Standard Player Agreement.

Rokosh looked very good this past weekend at camp, and has since earned himself a spot with the club moving forward – at least for the pre-season. The big right-handed rearguard is one of only three right-handed defenseman still with the club.

Hurricanes press release:

Lethbridge, AB – The Lethbridge Hurricanes are pleased to announce prospect Connor Rokosh has signed the Western Hockey League’s Standard Player Agreement.

Rokosh, a 6’5, 205 pound defenceman was the Hurricanes 4th round (74th overall) pick in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft. The 1998-born blueliner from Edmonton last played with the SSAC Bulldogs in the Alberta Minor Midget AAA Hockey League (AMMHL) where he chipped in 16 points in 36 games to go along with his 28 penalty minutes.

Hurricanes Head Scout, Blake Robson says “he plays hard in both ends. He’s good on the penalty kill, along the wall and he skates well for his size.” Rokosh and the Bulldogs played at the AMMHL Provincial Championships where they won the Bronze medal. “Rokosh made good plays in his zone, he engages physically, showed good hockey sense and is good in front of his net” commented Scout Darin Sceviour.

Following training camp, Rokosh was named to the Hurricanes pre-season roster and he’ll be with the hockey club as they kick off their six-game pre-season schedule this weekend at a tournament in Regina.

‘Canes Sign Another

canes1The Lethbridge Hurricanes announced today that they have signed yet another prospect, this time Ryan Vandervlis. The 16-year-old from Red Deer looked very good over this past weekend’s training camp at Enmax Centre. His performance earned him the contract, and a spot with the club as the ‘Canes get set to open their pre-season schedule this Friday in Regina against Prince Albert.

Vandervlis is yet another player in the group of ’98’s and ’99’s that has shown signs of being an important member of the Hurricanes in the coming years.

Hurricanes press release below:

Lethbridge, AB – The Lethbridge Hurricanes are pleased to announce prospect Ryan Vandervlis has signed the Western Hockey League’s Standard Player Agreement.

The 1998-born defenseman from Red Deer, AB was listed by the Hurricanes in October 2013. Vandervlis played for his hometown Red Deer Chiefs in the AMMHL last season and was the captain of his team. He registered 26 points, including 14 goals, in his 37 games played while also adding 36 penalty minutes.

At 6’2 and 193 pounds, the Hurricanes scouting staff like his size and his ability to score. “He’s a big, strong player that works very hard and competes in all areas of the game and ice”commented Hurricanes General Manager Brad Robson. He added “Ryan works hard, goes to the net hard and takes the body. He battles and is a leader on his team; he is the captain for a reason.”

During the Hurricanes training camp, Vandervlis continued to impress the scouting and coaching staff. He was named to the pre-season roster and he’ll be with the hockey club as they kick off their six-game pre-season schedule this weekend at a tournament in Regina.

My First Hurricanes Camp, Complete

canes1It was a busy first week to begin my new role as play by play voice of the Lethbridge Hurricanes, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Training camp was a blast! An opportunity to meet some of the young kids vying for spots on the WHL club, and some of the ones that were just here for the experience. As well as getting an opportunity to see what is in the Hurricane pipeline for the first time, and a lot of those young players stood out to me.

Training camp seemed to fly by. Wednesday evening the veteran players performed fitness testing, and then on Thursday everyone began testing both on-ice and off-ice. But the real fun began on Friday when real practices and scrimmages commenced.

There was a lot of talk about the two players that didn’t show up at the beginning of camp, that being defenseman Macoy Erkamps and forward Reid Duke, and for good reason – both would be important pieces to the club this season and are two of the veterans from last year. But their absence was soon forgotten by many with the outstanding play of a lot of the younger players.

There were almost too many players that stood out to me to name them all, however, the player that impressed me the most was Jordan Bellerive, and for obvious reason. The 15-year-old from North Vancouver, BC, was taken second overall by the Hurricanes in this year’s WHL Bantham Draft. Jordy, the younger brother of Matt Bellerive who has played in the WHL with Vancouver, Red Deer and Kamloops, really seems like the full package. He can skate, he can pass, he can shoot, and you can tell he’s got a great hockey IQ. In the last two seasons playing with the North Shore Winter Club, Bellerive has appeared in 114 games and has collected 129 goals, 113 assists for 242 points. It’s too bad he’s only 15, because there is no doubt in my mind that he would be able to play in the dub this year.

There were other forwards that impressed as well. In sticking with the 1999 class, Brett Davis was very good. The speedy forward didn’t look out of place at all, and sure impressed in the Championship game on Sunday. In fact, the one-two punch of Bellerive and Davis helped Team White to the victory.

The whole group of 1999’s looked very good. Headlined by Bellerive and Davis, big d-man Ethan King looked good, so too did defensemen Nick Watson, Ayden Roche-Setoguchi, Koletrane Wilson and forwards Zane Franklin and Tyler Traptow While goaltender Shane Farkas was one of the best netminders in camp at times over the course of the weekend.

There were a lot of other players that looked pretty good to me as well, including:

Barrett Sheen (F)(’98), Jesse Sheen (D)(’98), Ryan Vandervlis (F)(’98), Drayton Thunder Chief (F)(’98), Jedd Horvath (F)(’98), Kolten Carpenter (’97), Brandon Kennedy (D)(’97), and Thomas Lenchyshyn (D)(’97).

The Russians also impressed as Pavel Skumatov and Nikita Milekhin were very good. Both were taken in this past years CHL Import Draft and both were both in 1997. Skumatov can scoot and has a very good work ethic and quick release on his shot. While Milekhin is more of a play-maker that can slow the game down to his pace but can also shoot the puck as well.

Least to say, the group of players in the Hurricanes prospect pipeline is impressive which makes for an exciting time around the ‘Canes team moving forward.

The Hurricanes will kick off their pre-season this Friday in Regina against the Prince Albert Raiders before facing the Pats on Saturday evening.



Canes Sign Skumatov

canes1After acquiring a goaltender Zac Robidoux on Day 2 of training camp, Hurricanes General Manager Brad Robson was back at work on Day 3 signing Russian Pavel Skumatov to a WHL contract. 

Skumatov, who was selected in the second rounds of this years CHL Import Draft by the Hurricanes has looked very good at camp alongside his Russian counterpart Nikita Milekhin, although playing on separate teams. The 1996-born Skumatov looks as though he has a high hockey IQ with some excellent skill to go along with it.

For the Hurricanes press release, visit: