Canes set for the Sil­ver­tips

Lethbridge Herald - - HERALD SPORTS - Dale Woodard LETH­BRIDGE HER­ALD

Call it an early sea­son mea­sur­ing stick for the Leth­bridge Hur­ri­canes.

Fol­low­ing a 6-2 loss to the stil­lun­de­feated Swift Cur­rent Bron­cos in Western Hockey League ac­tion Tues­day night in Swift Cur­rent, the Canes re­turn home to the En­max Cen­tre tonight at 7 when they host the Everett Sil­ver­tips.

Af­ter Tues­day’s set­back in Saskatchewan, the 3-3 Hur­ri­canes look to get back above .500 fol­low­ing the loss to the Bron­cos that now makes Swift Cur­rent (7-0) the only un­de­feated team in the league head­ing into tonight’s play.

Still, Tues­day proved to be a chance to see how the Hur­ri­canes stack up in the early go­ing of the sea­son.

“It was a bit of a learn­ing curve for us,” said Canes vet­eran for­ward Jordy Bel­lerive as the team wound up prac­tice Thurs­day af­ter­noon at the En­max Cen­tre.

“We were up 2-1 at one point and then it was 2-2 go­ing into the third. That’s ar­guably one of the best teams in the coun­try right now and I think that’s a big step in the right di­rec­tion for us. Ob­vi­ously, we let it go in the third with a cou­ple of mi­nor break­downs that cost. But that hap­pens against teams like that that have guys that can score. I think we’re go­ing to try and build off what we did in the first two pe­ri­ods and try to for­get about the third and take that in the right to di­rec­tion.”

The Hur­ri­canes league-lead­ing power play went 2for-7 in Swift Cur­rent, but handed the Bron­cos nine man-ad­van­tage op­por­tu­ni­ties, two of which they cashed in on.

“It was kind of a weird game with that on both ends,” said Bel­lerive, who drew as­sists of both goals to up his to­tal to six points in as many games. “There were a cou­ple of calls that prob­a­bly shouldn’t have been called on both sides. They were try­ing to even things out or some­thing. But ob­vi­ously we’d like to stay out of the box be­cause five-on-five we’re a pretty dan­ger­ous team.”

How­ever, when the Canes find them­selves up a man, they’ve proven ef­fi­cient with eight power-play goals in 24 chances, good for a 33.3 per cent rat­ing that has them atop the league, just ahead of the Vic­to­ria Royal’s 32.7 per cent clip.

“I think it’s just a good strat­egy,” said Bel­lerive. “We’ve been able to adapt to dif­fer­ent penalty kills. We have a good group of guys run­ning it, so I think it’s just a close chem­istry and we want ev­ery­body to suc­ceed. So that’s work­ing well.”

Af­ter tonight’s game, the Hur­ri­canes hit the road to Cal­gary Sun­day to take on the Hit­men at 4 p.m.

They re­turn home next Fri­day and get an­other shot at the Bron­cos at 7 p.m. at the En­max Cen­tre, kick­ing off a seven-game home­s­tand that runs un­til Nov. 3.

Her­ald photo by Ian Martens

Ryan Bowen moves the puck in for a shot dur­ing prac­tice as the Leth­bridge Hur­ri­canes get set to host the Everett Sil­ver­tips tonight at the En­max Cen­tre.

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