June 14th, 2024

Hurricanes and Grizzlys clash for SCAHL title

By Lethbridge Herald on March 16, 2023.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

The South Central Alberta Hockey League U13AA final is bound to be a good series this weekend between the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Olds Grizzlys.

The Hurricanes are coming in having finished atop the South Division with record of 26-5-1 and won the south playoff tournament with a 5-0 record that included a nail-biting 2- win in the final over Medicine Hat.

Olds is going in having finished second in North Division with a 23-8-1 record and won north playoff tournament with an 5-0 record.

“I think the kids need to keep that compete,” said Hurricanes head coach Greg Cowie.

“So this week in practice, we’re actually going to work pretty hard. But it’s keeping that compete level up at practice and making sure they have that competition edge all the time.”

Cowie has been around a lot of players at the minor hockey level and really enjoys watching different guys lead every day.

“And sometimes it’s guys you’d expect and some guys you don’t expect,” said Cowie.

“And that’s what’s been a real key to our team, is every day you have different guys stepping up. I always go back to there was a time when our top scorers weren’t scoring all the time and our secondary scoring really took over. And then in this previous tournament we just had, I mean our top three guys said, ‘Hey, jump on our backs. We got this.’ and so that’s been the real cool thing about them building every single day. Like I said, that’s what makes it good for this team, is everybody leads and I think we’ve got a ton of confidence going in to playing Olds this week.”

Cowie said they’re a really good team.

“They’ve got the top scorer (Jaxon Jaffrey) in the league,” said Cowie.

“He scored 50 some odd goals in 32 games, and I think they had three or four guys in the top 15 of scoring. And like I said, they’re a really good hockey team and we’re going to have work really bloody hard to have some success against them.”

Cowie thinks the Canes will have to commit to working harder inside the game and with the puck and take away their chances in order to be successful.

Both teams will get an automatic berth to provincials as Olds is hosting.

“I think both teams want to go in through the front door and that’s the bottom line,” said Cowie.

“We want to go in as a team whose continuing to have success. You always want your last game to be a win. One of the things that we always talk about is they have to play us and if we commit to working as hard as we possibly can, we’re going to give ourselves a great chance at success. It might not happen, but we’re going to do everything we can to put ourselves in that position to have that.”

The Hurricanes beat the Grizzlys 4-3 in Olds and Lethbridge beat them 2-1 in the second las game of the regular season.

Game 1 is tonight at 6:45 p.m. at Logan Boulet Arena, Game 2 is in Olds on Saturday at 5 p.m. and if necessary the third game will be played back at the Logan Boulet Arena on Sunday at 3 p.m.

Provincials is March 30-April 2 in Olds.

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