By Lethbridge Herald on April 21, 2017.
The puck has yet to be dropped on Game 1 of the Western Hockey League Eastern Conference final between the Regina Pats and the Lethbridge Hurricanes, but a few shots have already been fired.
The salvos in question, however, weren’t taken on the ice, but from Pats general manager and head coach John Paddock and Hurricanes general manager Peter Anholt.
On Wednesday, Paddock had some words about Hurricanes captain Tyler Wong.
“He has skill, ability to score and is physical. He (also) jumps a couple feet in the air when he hits guys and doesn’t get called.”
In Game 5 of the Hurricanes first-round loss to the Pats last season, Wong was suspended for a hit on Regina’s Austin Wagner.
On Thursday afternoon, Anholt came to the defence of his captain.
“I like that gamesmanship that John brings,” said Anholt. “John is one sly fox. He’s one of the great low-ballers and sandbaggers of all time and he knows how to work the Regina media and he has taken a run at one of our best players and one of the best players in the league about leaving his feet.
“We haven’t had any suspensions in the last couple years in the regular season at all. They, on the other hand, have had a number of situations where they’ve went after star players on the other team. The stats bear themselves out, it’s truth. Whether it’s (Dawson) Leedahl on (Lane) Pederson, those are true examples and you can’t say that about us at all. As far as the game goes, we’ll just make sure our players are aware and protect themselves and hopefully the league assesses the penalties accordingly.”
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