By Woodard, Dale on February 8, 2020.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes return home tonight.
After seven straight games on the road, the Canes return to the Enmax Centre in Western Hockey League play against the unbeaten-in-10-games Prince Albert Raiders tonight at 7 p.m.
The Hurricanes went 5-2 on their road swing through Saskatchewan and Manitoba to move their record to 31-2-2-5, good for second place in the Central Division and two points up on the 32-15-2-1 Medicine Hat Tigers. The Canes are also eight points behind the Central Division-leading Edmonton Oil Kings (34-8-6-3).
The Hurricane scored 34 goals on their road trip, including seven-goal outings against the Moose Jaw Warriors, Regina Pats and a wild 7-6 win in Red Deer over the Rebels on Wednesday.
They also topped the Brandon Wheat Kings 6-5 in overtime.
The Hurricanes one loss in Saskatchewan came against tonight’s opponents after falling 4-1 to the Raiders in Prince Albert Jan. 31.
Hurricanes third-year forward and Buffalo Sabres prospect Dylan Cozens picked up 15 points over the course of the road trip, while Logan Barlage scord 10, only going pointless in the 4-1 loss in Prince Albert.
Defenceman Alex Cotton picked up another 10 points on the road and continues to lead WHL defencemen with 16 goals and 54 points in 50 games.
Since returning to Lethbridge right before the trade deadline, Brett Davis is operating at a goal-per-game pace with seven goals and 10 points in seven games, including the game-tying and game-winning goals Wednesday in Red Deer.
The Raiders are led by Aliaksei Protas’ 24 goals and 61 points in 45 games. Those totals have him in ninth in WHL scoring.
Ozzy Wiesblatt is second with 20 goals and 54 points, while Brayden Watts has also topped the 20-goal mark with 21 goals and 48 points in 48 games.
There’s a Lethbridge presence on the Raiders. Michael Horon has two goals and four points in 22 games in Prince Albert since coming over in a trade from the Seattle Thunderbirds earlier this season.
The Raiders 7-0-0-3 clip in the past 10 games has moved them back atop the Eastern Division standings, four points up on the Winnipeg Ice (30-19-1-0) and seven ahead of the surging Wheat Kings, who are 7-2-1-0 in their last 10 games.
Prince Albert acquired goaltender Max Paddock from the Regina Pats at the trade deadline and the move has paid off with Paddock going 6-0-0-2 since arriving.
In addition to being undefeated in their last 10, the Raiders lead the season series with the Hurricanes 3-0, having won 4-2 Oct. 11 in Prince and 5-3 in Lethbridge Nov. 22 in addition to last week’s win.
A win tonight would not only be the Hurricanes first against the Raiders, it would be Hurricane coach Brent Kisio’s 189th career win, moving him past Bryan Maxwell and into first place in franchise history.
The Hurricanes’ power play is ranked fifth in the league at 23.6 per cent, while the Raiders are 11th at 20.6.
Prince Albert’s penalty kill is fifth at 82.5 per cent and the Hurricanes are 12th at a 78.4 percentage.