May 22nd, 2024

Big test for the Canes tonight

By Dale Woodard on October 6, 2021.

With their best start in 10 years, the Lethbridge Hurricanes face another test tonight.

That test is none other than the Canadian Hockey League number-one ranked Edmonton Oil Kings, who pay a visit to the Enmax Centre tonight at 7 p.m. in Western Hockey League action.

It’ll double as an early season test as well as a chance for the Canes to build on their 2-0 start to the season after a weekend sweep of the Calgary Hitmen.

“They’re ranked number one in Canada right now and it’s going to be a huge test for us and we’ll be ready to go,” said Hurricanes defenceman Joe Arntsen. “With the team we have, I think we can beat them. We just have to bring our best. They’re a great team with a lot of great players.”

The 18-year-old from Dinsmore, Sask. who the Canes selected in the second round and 35th overall in the 2018 WHL bantam draft heads into his third season in Lethbridge with a letter on his jersey, having been named co-captain alongside forward Jett Jones.

“It’s obviously a huge honour to split the ‘C’ with Jett,” said Arntsen. “There is a room full of great leaders in there. So for Jett and I to share that is a huge honour. I’m proud of it and I’m ready to lead this team for a great year.

“I think I lead by example. I’ll work hard and I bring a bit of toughness, I’ll stand up for the guys on the ice.”

In the 2-0 start against the Hitmen, Arntsen had a pair of assists in Sunday’s 4-1 win in Calgary, going plus-four over the two games.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better start,” said Arntsen. “We’re just playing as a team and following the structure. The coaches have done a great job to prepare us for the start of the year. We just followed that. I think we have a lot of great skill up front with the forwards and they worked their magic last weekend and we were able to put 13 in, so it was good.”

At Friday’s home opener, 3,603 vaccine-cleared fans filed into the Enmax Centre for the first fan-attended game in 580 days.

Their presence was duly noted.

“Last year it was tough coming to the rink with no fans when we were playing,” said Arntsen. “But coming up the tunnel and hearing our fans and as great as they are and how loud they are in the building, it was unreal.”

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