June 25th, 2024

Hurricanes pleased with first half progression

By Justin Seward - Lethbridge Herald on December 22, 2022.

Herald photo by Justin Seward Lethbridge Hurricanes Jett Jones celebrates after tipping in the first goal of a game against the Saskatoon Blades earlier this season at the Enmax Centre.

The Lethbridge Hurricanes have hit the half way point of the season sitting fifth place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 19-13-0-1, and the coaching staff is pleased with the progression through the first fourth months of the season.

“Very proud,” said Ryan Aasman, Hurricanes assistant coach.

“(In) the preseason, a lot of previews had us not even in a playoff spot, and to be sitting here in (fifth) and fighting for home ice is really good. And it shows you how much character we have in our dressing room. We have such great kids; we have good hockey players and we’ve had to scrap and earn everything we’ve gotten. I mean besides this weekend (last Friday and Saturday losses), we knew exactly what we’re showing up with every single night.

“We play the game hard in the right way. Of course we’re going to have lots of lolls and ups throughout the first half. But I thought we did a good job (of) just getting slowly better every week and that came with some adversity that we overcome. I’m really proud to be able to come to the rink, and my work is deal with some really great athletes, people and really high character in the dressing room.”

The team had lots of young players who came in and learned the system.

“We had an older group that pulled them into the fire and taught them how to be really good junior players right away on and off the ice and they just kept building off of it,” said Aasman.

“And we really didn’t take our lolls very much. Our lolls were really minimized, we took half steps, we played teams really hard, we bought into how important it was to show up to the rink every day and get a little bit better and that’s what helped have a really good first half.”

A couple of game on a recent six-game road trip is what Aasman thought was a highlight of the first half.

“You know that Brandon road trip (Nov. 25/26) was really big in swinging it and keeping momentum,” said Aasman.

“I think that was probably the highlight of the first half. You know to go on those long trips to Manitoba and play two really good teams, and to come out with a 3-1 record was really big and just kind of kept it going for us.”

A more notable player was 18-year-old goalie Harrison Meneghin coming in and taking over the starting role during the first half of the season.

“He’s had such a great first half,” said Aasman.

“It’s been so impressive. Obviously, he’s learning fast at what the body needs to do to be able to handle such a work load that he wasn’t expecting. So I think that’s just another sight, that he can take even more steps as he’s not tapped out. He’s got so much more upside left to give and that’s really exciting for a young kid like him and he’s been really good for us.”

“I just think people didn’t have the faith in us at the start of the year,” said forward Logan Wormald.

“So it’s definitely good to see our guys over .500. So, yeah, we’ve just got to keep it going.”

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