*Note: There will be no broadcast on either ROCK 106 or WHL Live tonight*
‘Canes vs. Tigers in 2014/15: 3-4-0-0
Last Meeting: February 7th, 2015 (4-1 Hurricanes win in Medicine Hat)
‘Canes Record (2014/2015): 20-44-5-3
‘Canes Home Record (2014/2015): 10-20-3-3
‘Canes Road Record (2014/2015): 10-24-2-0
Tigers Record (2014/2015): 45-23-2-2
Tigers Home Record (2014/2015): 25-9-2-0
Tigers Road Record (2014/2015): 23-14-0-2
‘Canes Leading Scorer (2014/2015): Tyler Wong (27G, 29A, 56P)
Raiders Leading Scorer (2014/2015): Trevor Cox (29G, 80A, 109P)
It has been a while since the Lethbridge Hurricanes played a real Western Hockey League game, but tonight they will do just that. The Hurricanes kick off their ENMAX Pre-Season as they welcome the Southern Alberta rival, the Medicine Hat Tigers at the ENMAX Centre.
The Hurricanes concluded Training Camp on Tuesday night with a Red versus White inter-squad game that was taken by Team White 5-4 in overtime on a Justin Gutierrez goal. And while the competition was strong and the tempo was high in that game, nothing compares to a real WHL game – one where there is actually hate towards the other team.
Don’t expect tonight to be a full snapshot of what the 2015-2016 edition of the Hurricanes will be because in all likelihood, the ‘Canes won’t be playing a the same roster that will be on display come three weeks from now when the Hurricanes begin the REAL season against the same Tigers at the ENMAX Centre on September 25th. However, take the opportunity tonight to see what the Hurricanes may look like in the near future. Expect tonight to have a lot of younger players in the line up, and some players bucking for full-time jobs. Either way you cut it, hockey is back in #YQL!Lethbridge Point of View
Young Stars: It is all but assured that the top three 2015 WHL Bantam Draft selections will dawn the Red and White for the first time – for real tonight. Expect to see Calen Addison, Josh Tarzwell and Tyler Strath be given some time to get a little taste of what WHL hockey is all about. They won’t, and can’t, make the team – but each can play a total of five games as an affiliate call-up, so tonight may prep them for if-and-when they get a call during the winter. Not to mention, it’ll be the first time seeing Jordy Bellerive throw on a Hurricanes jersey…. Six months ago today, not a lot of people thought that would be a reality!
Hurricane Hopefuls: The ‘Canes are currently carrying 32 players, including 18 forwards. That’s a lot of players fighting for not a lot of spots on the regular season roster. Look for defenseman Darian Skeoch and forward Ben Duperreault to assert themselves well. For my money, both have had a very strong camp and making a push to secure a full-time gig in the WHL this season.
Medicine Hat Point of View
Goaltending?: Granted, much like the Hurricanes, it’s game one of the pre-season so you have to take everything with a grain of salt. However, with the graduation of overage-import goaltender Marek Langhamer, the crease in the ‘Hat now belongs to Nick Schneider. Good goalie, sure. But good enough to be an undisputed number one in the WHL? For what I saw last year, the jury is still out!
Big Three Up Front: I’m not sure if they will all play, however, the Tigers still boast what may be the best line in the Canadian Hockey League in Trevor Cox, Dryden Hunt, and Cole Sanford. The only issue, they’re all 20-year-old’s and Markus Eisenschmid and Ty Stanton may be hoping to fill one of those three spots.