April 19th, 2024

U18 Canes rebound in AEHL action


By Dale Woodard - Lethbridge Herald on February 9, 2022.

After a figurative bad day at the office, the Lethbridge U18 Hurricanes rebounded nicely the next day.
The Hurricanes downed the Red Deer Chiefs 5-2 in Alberta Elite Hockey League Sunday afternoon at Nicholas Sheran.
Playing their last home game of the regular season before finishing up with four straight on the road, the Canes opened up a 3-1 lead after the first period on their way to the win, a much more favourable outcome than the 7-1 drubbing the shorthanded Hurricanes were handed Saturday at the hands of Red Deer.
The split keeps the Hurricanes in third place in the South Division at 18-11-5.
On Sunday, the Canes earned the win with the likes of Carter Cook, Nathan Verloop, Ty Fraser and Braigh LeGrandeur nursing injuries, while goaltender Erick Roest was away with another commitment.
“Our group played within themselves, stuck to our game plan, showed up and were physical,” said Hurricanes head coach Sean Gillam. “Red Deer has been on a hot streak. They’re a good team and they play hard and are physical as well. It’s the first time we’ve shown up and gave them our best and I was really proud of the way the guys rebounded from our last effort.”
The Hurricanes opened up a 3-1 lead after the first period as John VandenElzen scored twice and Carter Klippenstein added another.
Peyton Twigg and Malachai North Peigan scored in the third period for the Hurricanes, who led 3-2 after two periods.
“I think it was a good lesson for us,” said North Peigan, whose goal was his fifth of the season to go along with an assist for a two-point afternoon. “It taught us to have some grit, bounce back and have some pride and just not let anyone come into our rink and walk around us like that.”
Twigg also had an assist for a two-point game and goaltender Beck Boiteau made 27 saves.
Ryan DeKok was the backup in Roest’s absence.
With a playoff spot locked up, the Hurricanes have four road games to get everybody healthy before the postseason.
“I don’t know where everyone is at, but Gord Watt, our therapist, does a good job and he gets guys healthy and back,” said Gillam. “We’re fortunate where we don’t have to play guys right now, we can give them a bit more rest and we’re doing that to make sure that when they do come back, we’re going to have a full roster for playoffs.”
In the meantime, callups Zac Rajcic and Drew Constant filled in on the weekend.
“We all have big roles on this team and when guys are out, we have to step it up,” said North Peigan. “Even with our AP’s, we make sure they’re comfortable and get them going in the game. We gel as a team.”
“They stepped in and we had an injury today,” added Gillam of the affiliated players. “So they both played a regular shift. They stepped right in. Rajcic has been with us before, so he knows what we expect and Drew came in and provided some spark and was a lightning bug out there. So I was really proud of the way those two played.”
The Hurricanes now become road warriors to wrap up the regular season as they head to Okotoks Saturday to take on the Bow Mark Oilers and the Calgary Northstars on Sunday.
They complete the regular season Feb. 19 and 20 in Calgary against the Royals and Buffaloes, respectively.
“You have to win on the road in the playoffs,” said Gillam. “So these are four good tests for us to figure out and find ways to win on the road and get us dialed in for the playoff run.”
North Peigan expected four close games with the playoffs right around the corner.
“We’re just going to have to learn how to close out games and I think we’ve been doing a really good job of that. It’s going to take a lot of heart.”
The Lethbridge U16 Headwater Hurricanes got back on the winning track with a 2-0 weekend following an 0-2 showing the weekend before.
The Canes doubled the Calgary Northstars 4-2 Saturday in Calgary and completed the road trek with a 5-4 decision over the Calgary Royals Sunday.
The win moves the Canes to 15-12-0 and puts them in fourth place in the South Division with two games in hand on the 15-14-0 Medicine Hat South East (SEAC) Tigers.
On Sunday, Lethbridge’s Aidyn Law’s 16th of the season with 2:32 left in regulation stood up as the game winner to seal the 2-0 weekend.
Alex Westlund and Adrien Fox each scored twice as the Hurricanes came back from a 3-1 deficit late in the second period.
Fox added an assist for three points.
Deegan Kinniburgh had three assists in Sunday’s win. Kahil Wright stopped 23 of 27 shots to record the win.
The Hurricanes scored three goals in the third period in Saturday’s win over the Northstars to snap a 1-1 tie as Carter Cunningham scored twice – his 17th and 18th of the season – and Kinniburgh added another.
Nathan Hawkins scored in the first period for Lethbridge and added an assist for two points.
Kasey Russell Jr. added two helpers in the win, while Harrison DeJong made 15 saves.
The Hurricanes remain on the road this weekend as they travel to Medicine Hat Friday to take on the Tigers in the battle for fourth in the South.
Lethbridge stays on the road for two more games before returning home to wrap up the regular season against the Red Deer North Stars Feb. 26 and the Calgary Royals Feb. 27 at the Logan Boulet Arena.
The Lethbridge U15 Val Matteotti Golden Hawks had a busy three-game northern road swing with three one-goal losses, two of those in overtime.
The Golden Hawks lost 5-4 to the Lloydminster Meridian Surveys Bobcats Friday before going to overtime with the Sherwood Park United Cycle Flyers in a 5-4 loss.
The Hawks were also topped 3-2 in overtime Sunday by the Grande Prairie Grande Peace (GPAC) Golden Arrow Storm.
Lethbridge is now 5-24-0 following the road trip.
The Golden Hawks scored twice in the third Sunday to force overtime against the Storm as Hayden Iron Shirt and Dominic Grieco scored in the final 9:29.
Brylin Noble stopped 33 of 36 shots in Sunday’s game.
On Saturday in Sherwood Park, two more late goals from the Hawks forced the extra session, this time from Rylan Ng and Jager Gugyelka in the last 8:42.
Briggs Olson scored in the first for Lethbridge and Kobe Urasaki added another in the second.
Noble kicked out 39 of 44 shots.
The Hurricanes lead Lloydminster 3-2 after two periods on Friday before the Bobcats struck for three in the third to post the win.
Gugyelka scored twice for the Golden Hawks and Braxton Hanna and Olson added singles.
Gugyelka also had an assist for three points. Olson had an assist for two points and Jake Demone had two helpers.
Seth Bird-Goodstriker made 22 saves.
The Golden Hawks return to Nicholas Sheran Arena this weekend when they host the Airdrie Xtreme at 2:45 p.m. Sunday.
The Lethbridge AA U18 Hockey Hounds had one game in South Central Alberta Hockey League play last weekend, dropping a 5-2 decision to the Wheatland Chiefs Saturday at Henderson Arena.
With the loss, the Hockey Hounds are 7-17-4 and in fourth place in the South Division.
Rajcic scored both Hockey Hounds goals and goaltender Nixon Ordway had a busy night, stopping 55 of 60 shots.
The Hockey Hounds are back at Henderson Arena for a pair this weekend. They host the Taber Golden Suns Friday at 7 p.m. and the Calgary CNHA Black Saturday, also at 7 p.m.
The Lethbridge Eagles were in Red Deer for the Showcase Tournament.
The Eagles were defeated 3-2 by the Lakeland College King’s Energy Group Rustlers Saturday, but finished on a winning note with a 5-1 victory over the Edmonton Wolves.
On Saturday, Skylar Colonna and Brooklyn Palmer scored for the Eagles, while Hayley Whelen made 21 saves.
Jayel Dovichak, Kianna Dietz, Kyra Greig, Colonna and Juliana Gulayets were the goal scorers for Lethbridge in Sunday’s win over the Wolves.
Greig had an assist for two points and Tenelle Lind had two assists.
Whelen stopped 30 of 31 shots.
The Eagles return to Alberta Junior Female Hockey League play Saturday when they host the Calgary Jags at 4:15 p.m. at Nicholas Sheran Arena.
Lethbridge is back at Nicholas Sheran Arena Sunday at noon when the Central Alberta Amazons pay a visit.
The Eagles are 18-8-1 and in second place in the South Division.

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