April 21st, 2024

Canes ready for the stretch run


By Lethbridge Herald on February 29, 2024.

Herald FILE photo Medicine Hat Tigers Tomas Mrsic battles for position with Lethbridge Hurricanes Logan McCutcheon in front of Canes goaltender Harrison Meneghin during WHL action earlier this season.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

The Lethbridge Hurricanes are taking a day-to-day approach as they entrench themselves in stretch run in hopes of a securing a playoff spot with 10 games remaining in the regular season.

The Hurricanes hold down the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 57 points, which is a point better than the Calgary Hitmen and are three points behind the Prince Albert Raiders for seventh place going into Friday night.

“Managing day-to-day,” said Ryan Aasman, Hurricanes assistant coach.

“I think we got a long stretch of games, we’re busy every week with travel or if we’re at home, we’re playing three games a week. So I think we just got to take it in stride and make sure we’re focusing on the next game and making the most of our practice time because we might not have a lot of  practices because of the rest ratio.”

Aasman was asked whether or not in the 10 games remaining if it’s up to the players to decide if they want a playoff spot.

“I think they just got to keep going,” said Aasman.

“Every year you have lulls and we just got out of a lull. We’ve been playing really good as of late, the boys have to keep doing their thing. All we ask is for work ethic and compete. It’s not much to ask, but that’s all we want out of our group.”

The Canes will undoubtedly try to avoid a win one game, lose one game streak.

“I think the whole year it’s been inconsistent with wins and losses,” said Aasman.

“It always seems like we might string one or two (wins) together and then end up finding a way to lose. We got to just find a way to string some more together for sure.”

Forward Kooper Gizowski has been in this late playoff battle before.

“It’s hard,” said Gizowski.

“Everyone’s got to dial in and everyone’s got to play their game. But I think if we kind of stay focused as a team and have everyone showing up to every game, we’ll be good.”

“We know how good we can be when we’re at our best,” said Logan McCutcheon.

“So I think we just got to stick with it in practice, stay within our system and I think that we’ll have a good final 10.”

McCutcheon said it’s going to be tough, when asked about what this ride is going to be like trying to secure a playoff spot.

“We know we got some good teams coming up here,” he said.

“So we just  got to play the way we can. We know that we can beat anybody on any given night, so we just got to do what we can do and get as many wins as we can.”

The Canes play in Saskatoon tonight and Prince Albert on Saturday with a 6 p.m. start time for both games.

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