June 24th, 2024

Hitmen drop Hurricanes

By Lethbridge Herald on December 19, 2022.

Herald photo by JUSTIN SEWARD Lethbridge Hurricanes Anton Astashevich battles for the puck with the Calgary Hitmen’s Tyson Galloway during Western Hockey League action at the Enmax Centre on Saturday night.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

The Lethbridge Hurricanes went in to the Christmas break on a sour note after a 7-2 shellacking at the hands of the Calgary Hitmen on Saturday night at the Enmax Centre.

It was the second game in a row the Canes gave up six or more goals after being shutout 6-0 a night prior by the Kelowna Rockets.

“Yeah, I just think it’s a group that’s around the Christmas flu,” said Hurricanes assistant coach Ryan Aasman.

“We’re dealing with a bit of a bug in the room. But we just didn’t want to compete tonight. It was flat out what it was … We got away from how we play and we couldn’t find it as the game went on, because we played against a pretty good hockey team that’s built to play skilled and heavy. And we chased it the rest of the night.”

Aasman thought it was a good learning experience for a young group of teenagers to know what it’s like to have to be a professional and what it’s like to grind through things.

“It’s a tough time of year for kids,” said Aasman.

“They’re eager to go home. It’s been a long year. With the way that we play in general, the whole first half that’s made us successful is a really hard way to play. And for us to have some injuries and stuff, it’s hard to overcome it. But again, a good learning experience for us to know that we have to play a certain way every night or it just doesn’t work.”

Calgary’s Riley Fiddler-Schultz opened the scoring at 3:56 of the first period with his 18th goal of the year from Grayden Siepmann.

The Hitmen made the game 2-0 after Zac Funk jumped on a Hurricanes turnover at centre ice and skated in and beat Harrison Meneghin low glove side at 9:33 of the first period.

Matteo Danis made the score 3-0 Hitmen just 1:14 into the second, as he beat Meneghin in tight for his fifth of the season.

Calgary’s Dax Williams had plenty to celebrate on the evening as he scored his first Western Hockey League  goal at 5:38 of the second period from Funk.

Maxim Muranov made it 5-0 for the visitors after  one-timing a Thomas Marinkovic pass in tight for second of the season at 11:12 of the second period.

The Canes Logan Wormald gave the fans something to cheer about at the 18:10 mark of the second.

Wormald finished off a 2-on-1 play with Tyson Zimmer, where he made a nice deke to the backhand to slide it past Calgary goalie Ethan Buenaventura for his 12th goal of the season.

Anton Astashevich drew the other assist on Wormald’s marker.

Brady Smith replaced Meneghin to start the third period.

David Adaszynski scored an unassisted shorthanded marker at 6:40 of the third to make it 6-1 Hitmen.

Danis got his second of the night to give Calgary a 7-1 lead  at 10:59 of the third from Funk and Carson Wetsch.

Chase Pauls scored shorthanded for the Hurricanes second goal of the night at 13:49 of third from Zimmer and Cole Shepard.

“Like you said, it was a tough few games for the guys here,” said Wormald.

“I think we were a bit too undialed for these last two games. We’ve been playing good hockey though, we just got away from it these past two games.”

Aasman agreed with the importance of a reset heading into the break.

“Sometimes you deal with such mature kids that you forget how much they need the break —and they need to reset, go home and be with family and be kids for  a little bit ,” said Aasman.

“The sacrifice to play at this level is not easy. What they do every week is hard — three games in a week usually, the grinding of practices — (and) for some people a couple provinces away is not easy and they’re just teenage kids. So I think the Christmas break is really important for these kids to go and enjoy some time off.”

The Hurricanes sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference with a 19-13-0-1 record at the break.

Lethbridge’s first game after the break will be on Dec. 27 when they host the Medicine Hat Tigers.

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