By Woodard, Dale on November 9, 2018.
We now resume our regular episodes of the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
For the most part, anyway.
As they get ready to host the Calgary Hitmen in Western Hockey League play tonight at 7 p.m. at the Enmax Centre, there have been a few subplots in the Canes camp over the past week that has sent some of the team’s personnel to opposite sides of the country.
Hurricanes forwards Jordy Bellerive and Dylan Cozens, defenceman Calen Addison and head coach Brent Kisio headed west to Kamloops and Vancouver for Games 1 and 2 of the Canadian Hockey League’s annual Canada Russia series as members of Team WHL Monday and Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Hurricanes assistant coach Jeff Hansen trekked east to Saint John and Quispamsis, New Brunswick, for the World Under-17 Challenge, serving as the video coach for Team Canada Black, who were playing Team Sweden in the quarter-final Thursday night.
With Hansen clear across the country, but the Canada Russia series quartet back, it’s time to flip the channel back to the regular Hurricanes broadcast.
When fans last tuned in, the Hurricanes were coming off a 5-4 overtime loss to the Swift Current Broncos last Friday in Swift Current.
The outcome didn’t favour the Canes, but forward Jadon Joseph managed to net his eighth goal of the season to up his point streak to 10 games.
“It’s just kind of clicking right now and it obviously gives me confidence,” said Joseph, who has been skating with Jackson Shepard and Jake Elmer.
“With the linemates I have, we’re all helping each other out and it’s just going the right way right now.
“I would probably say we’re one of the fastest lines right now. That’s one of the top things we have on that line and we work well together. We started off slow at the start and then we had a meeting with each other to get on the same page and it worked out really well.”
However, the second point eluded the Hurricanes in Swift Current when the Broncos scored on a six-on-four man advantage with 36 seconds remaining and with the goalie pulled to force overtime.
The hosts netted the winner nearly three minutes into the extra frame.
“That game was tough in Swift Current,” said Joseph.
“We didn’t end it off well and we want to get back on track after that game. This week was really important. Even though we had our three big parts gone and four counting (Kisio). We really want to focus on a lot of details that need to be cleaned up after that game. We thought we did pretty well with the guys being gone. So we’ll have to see how we do tomorrow.”
Back in town as his team prepared for practice Thursday afternoon, Kisio reflected on Games 1 and 2 of the Canada Russia series.
“It was a great experience,” said Kisio, who will be back behind the bench for Team Canada as an assistant coach at the World Junior Championship at the end of the year in Vancouver and Victoria.
“Getting to meet a lot of the top players in our league and represent our league and play against Russia, it was really fun to coach them. And being with our own guys there obviously made it a lot more special and it was a real treat to see our guys playing in that game as well.”
The Canes reps were front-and-centre in the series opener Monday as Cozens scored the first Team WHL goal before Bellerive buried the winner in a 2-1 decision.
“I thought they played really well,” said Kisio. “You look at that first game it was pretty neat to see how Addison played and then Cozens and Bellerive scoring the winner was a special moment for them and our organization.”
On Thursday, it was back to business with the Hitmen beckoning tonight.
“I was talking with the guys as much as I could while I was gone, but we had a really good week of practice,” said Kisio. “(Assistant coach) Josh MacNevin took over with Jeff away. In between him and (skills and development coach) Matt Anholt and (video coach)Andrew Doty they took care of the week and they put the boys through the paces. It was a work week and I think a lot of things were accomplished. We’ll get on the ice again today and work at it and be ready for tomorrow.”
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