*Note: There will be no broadcast on either ROCK 106 or WHL Live tonight*
‘Canes vs. ICE in 2014/15: 1-5-1-0
Last Meeting: March 18th, 2015 (6-3 Kootenay win in Lethbridge)
‘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
‘Canes Record in the Pre-Season: 0-1-0-0
ICE Record (2014/2015): 37-31-1-3
ICE Home Record (2014/2015): 21-13-1-1
ICE Road Record (2014/2015): 16-18-0-2
‘Canes Leading Scorer (2014/2015): Tyler Wong (27G, 29A, 56P)
‘Canes Leading Scorer (2014/2015): Calen Addison (1G, 1A, 2P)
ICE Leading Scorer (2014/2015): Luke Philp (30G, 52A, 82P)
The ‘Canes are coming off a 3-2 loss at the ENMAX Centre on Friday night to the Medicine Hat Tigers in the exhibition opener. It was a game that was largely controlled by the Tigers in the first two periods skating to a 3-0 lead after forty minutes. However, mid-way through the second period you could see the young Hurricanes begin to figure it out. Once the third period hit, the ‘Canes looked strong.
Calen Addison, although sent home after the game, was arguably the Hurricanes best defenseman as only a 15-year-old. While he looked tentative in the early part of the first period, he began to settle down and made some strong defensive plays including catching Cole Sanford on a partial breakaway to knock the puck of his stick in the second period. Not to mention, Addison had a goal and an assist.
The Hurricanes struggled last year against the Ice posting a 1-5-1-0 record against the team from the BC Kootenay, however, it’s a near year and that spawns new opportunity and while it’s only the pre-season, but sure that the Hurricanes will be hungry to find their first victory having had a strong third period to build on from last game.
Goaltending: On Friday night, the Hurricanes split time between the two incumbents from last year, and the two that a lot of people could form one of the better goaltending tandems in the WHL this season, in Stuart Skinner and Jayden Sittler. Tonight, don’t be surprised if the third goalie Brandon Kegler will see some time. Perhaps unlikely to bump Sittler from the ‘back-up’ spot, Kegler has something to prove and if plays well he may give General Manager Peter Anholt something to think about.
Vets Draw In: The ‘Canes will toss some more veterans into the line up tonight after icing a roster that featured 12 players born in 1998 or earlier. Tonight, Ryley Lindgren, Brayden Burke, Kord Pankewicz, Brandon Kennedy, Brady Reagan and Arvin Atwal will all dress. It will be the first time seeing Atwal in a game situation wearing the Hurricanes jersey. Impressive in camp offensively, however, sometimes guilty of trying to do too much and as a result being costly defensively. We will see how he does in a real game.
Kootenay Point of View
New Era: A team speckled with relocation rumours enters into a new era tonight as they kick off their 2015 pre-season schedule. The team parted ways with long-time head coach Ryan McGill in the off-season and replaced him with one of the best young-bright hockey mind, Luke Pierce. The 32-year-old has spent that last five seasons as the Head Coach of the Merritt Centennials of the BCHL. It will be interesting to see if Pierce can bring his BCHL success to the WHL, but having coached “under-talented” Cents teams to the post-season in every year behind the bench, don’t be surprised if the same continues for the Merritt native in his new role as the Kootenay club looks to continue their streak of making the playoffs to 18 straight years (yes, the ICE have yet to miss the post-season since relocating from Edmonton).
Philp’s Team Now: Once cast in the shadows of Sam Reinhart, Tim Bozon and Jaedon Descheneau and for obvious reasons, Luke Philp is now THE guy for the Kootenay Ice. While playing second fiddle to the 2014 second overall draft pick in Reinhart, Philp has had three very good seasons in the WHL. Posting 45 points as a 17-year-old, 77 in his 18-year-old year and eclipsing that mark with 82 last year, Philp could potentially be one of the better overagers in the WHL this season. By all accounts, he’ll likely be the Captain of the Ice and why not. If Kootenay hopes to keep their playoff streak alive, it’ll be on the shoulders of the Philp.