GAME DAY: ‘Canes vs. Tigers

GameDayPreviewGame34-Tigers

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Who: 
Lethbridge Hurricanes vs. Medicine Hat Tigers
Where: ENMAX Centre
When: 7pm puck drop, pregame at 6:45pm
Listen: ROCK 106
Watch: WHL Live

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‘Canes vs. Tigers in 2014/15:
 0-2-0-0
Last Meeting: September 20th/2014 – 5-1 Tigers (in Medicine Hat)

‘Canes Record: 8-20-3-2
‘Canes Home Record: 3-9-2-2
‘Canes Road Record: 5-11-1-0

Tigers Record: 24-8-1-1
Tigers Home Record:
14-4-1-0
Tigers Road Record: 10-4-0-1

‘Canes Leading Scorer: Tyler Wong (12G, 14A, 26P)
Tigers Leading Scorer: Trevor Cox (12G, 43A, 54P)

The Break Down

The Lethbridge Hurricanes kick off the second half of the hockey season tonight when they host the central-leading Medicine Hat Tigers at the ENMAX Centre. The Hurricanes went into the break on a high note winning both games on a two Saskatchewan road trip in Moose Jaw and Regina.

Not only have the Hurricanes won the last two games and collected five of eight points in their final four games ahead of the break, they’ve been playing a much more exciting brand of hockey. New coach and GM Peter Anholt believes that having the defense jump into the play is something that needs to happen in today’s game and in their two wins, the d-core has combined for nine points.

Tonight, the Hurricanes take on their arch-rival Medicine Hat Tigers for the first time since opening weekend that saw the Tigers win both games by 3-2 and 5-1 scores. The Tigers are having a great season so far as they lead the Central Division and sit just two points shy of the Brandon Wheat Kings for top spot in the Eastern Conference.

What To Watch

Lethbridge Point of View

Fresh Slate, Working: The struggles of the Hurricanes over the last number of years, last season especially, have been well documented. However, a fresh start with Peter Anholt appointed head coach and general manger have seen a surprising and relieving change to the Hurricanes. Heading into the break, the ‘Canes won back-to-back games over Moose Jaw and Regina and collected five of a possible eight points in the final four games before the break – ironically, the four games since the coaching change.

Cooper is Super: 19-year-old Taylor Cooper is quickly showing that he can be a top scorer for the Lethbridge Hurricanes. After a sluggish start to the season that saw the Sherwood Park product not collect a point in his first seven games, Cooper has since put up 22 points (10g-12a) in the last 25 games only being held off the score sheet eight times in that span. Cooper, who was acquired in the Ryan Pilon trade, was red hot heading into the Christmas break having collected points in 7 of the last 8 games (5g-5a) in that span and 16 points (8g-8a) in 17 games since his birthday on November 1st.

Medicine Hat Point of View

Top Tier Scorers: Both Trevor Cox and Cole Sanford are having great years through the first half. Cox, who leads the club in scoring has collected 54 points (12g-42a), just one point shy of league leader Nick Merkley. While Sanford, who is just one point back with 53, has collected a team-high 26 goals. Through a total of 68 games combined, Cox and Sanford have accumulated a total of 107 points. Last year, Cox had 82 points (25g-47) and will likely shatter that number barring injury as he is on pace for 114 points. While Sanford, who had 73 points (33g-40a) last year, which was a 62 point improvement from the 11 points he collected in his first year is on pace for 55 goals and 112 points. Both are just 19-years-old and can return next season.

Langhamer Rock Steady: Tigers overage netminder Mark Langhamer is have a superb final year in junior. The Czech Republic native will be the last of the import goalies you’ll ever see in the WHL has collected a 17-6-1-1 record with a 2.31 goals against and a .917 save percentage. The Arizona Coyotes 7th round pick might be the best goalie in the entire league.

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