June 22nd, 2024

Hurricanes back home to face Ice

By Lethbridge Herald on January 26, 2023.

Herald FILE photo Lethbridge Hurricanes Tyson Zimmer tries to break to the net through a trio of Winnipeg Ice players during Western Hockey League action at the Enmax Centre in this file photo on Oct. 12,2022. The Canes hope to play a structured game tonight in hopes of splitting the season series with the Ice.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald


The Lethbridge Hurricanes return from a four-game road trip to host the Winnipeg Ice tonight at the Enmax Centre in what will be the finale of the season series.

The WHL’s top-ranked Ice (33-5-0-1)hold a 2-1 record versus the Hurricanes (24-16-3-2) in the season series after a 4-1 victory on Oct. 12 and 3-2 win on Nov. 23.

The Canes won the opening game of the back-to-back in Winnipeg 2-1 on Nov. 22.

“They’re obviously a very good hockey club,” said Hurricanes head coach Brent Kisio.

“They’re one of the best, if not the best in our league, and they have a lot of skill and they have a lot of dynamic players that can hurt you real quick. So it’s the same kind of thing, we’ve just got to keep our neutral zone tight and protect the middle of the ice, and try to keep them a little bit more perimeter. They’re going to get their chances and we’ll rely on our goaltending to be good as it always is. Then we’ve got to create havoc around their net and bear down on our chances.”

While it’s been since November since both teams faced off, Kisio thought both games were good.

“We’re able to get a win out of it and the second night we almost played a better game,” said Kisio.

“They were just a little more desperate and played a real strong game too. So, a real good hockey club and it’s going to be a challenge for us. But we seem to rise to these occasions.”

With the Ice in town tonight, the Hurricanes will have played three of the top 5 teams in the  league after playing Seattle and Portland last week.

“Well every game is hard right now,” said Kisio.

“You know it seems like we’re playing especially all the top teams right now. It’s a good kind of litmus test for to see where we’re at and see where we got to get to before playoffs come. But I’ve been real proud of the group, how hard we’re working, and we’re playing the right way.”

“Yeah, you know, obviously we  beat them before and so we’re looking to recreate that again (tonight),” said Canes forward Tyson Laventure.

“I think we’ve just got to play them hard, play our game, take it to them and I think we’ll be alright.”

The Canes have been able to keep the games close with the high-flying Ice by sticking to their systems .

“They’re always your friend (and) ingrained against a good team like those guys,” said Laventure.

“They’ve got some skilled players. So we’ve just got to give them nothing (and) keep them to the outside.

Laventure agreed playing the top teams does bring the best out in the team.

“Absolutely, we know we have to be at our best if we’re going to win that game. So we’ll bring it,” said Laventure.

Defenceman Chase Pauls thinks defensively, the team has to stick to their structure when playing Winnipeg.

“Obviously our neutral zone, our forecheck and our breakouts,” said Pauls.

”If we stick to that, our structure’s very well put in place for us and if we stick to it, we’re in a good spot every game.”

Pauls described Winnipeg games as a battle.

“They’re very fast,” said Pauls.

“They play off the rush and that’s not our game. So we can’t get into a track meet with them. We can’t play their game, where we’re trying to attack off the rush a lot. And we just got to put pucks in deep behind their defence and play our game.”

Game time is 7 p.m. from the Enmax Centre.

The Hurricanes went 1-1-2 on the road trip.

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