Canes blank Bron­cos 7-0

Jeri-Leon scores four goals in five-point game

Lethbridge Herald - - HERALD SPORTS - Dale Woodard LETH­BRIDGE HER­ALD

So far, so good. Play­ing in their fi­nal home game of the West­ern Hockey League pre­sea­son, the Leth­bridge Hur­ri­canes blanked the Swift Cur­rent Bron­cos 7-0 Fri­day night at the En­max Cen­tre in the first half of a home-and-home series that will con­clude tonight in Swift Cur­rent.

Canes for­ward Keltie Jer­iLeon scored four goals and added an as­sist, while Dy­lan Cozens scored twice and capped it off with a spir­ited scrap with Sam Pouliot with 38 sec­onds re­main­ing in reg­u­la­tion.

Lo­gan Bar­lage added the other Leth­bridge goal, while at the other end, sec­ond-year goal­tender Reece Klassen turned aside all 18 shots he faced as the Hur­ri­canes im­prove to 3-1 in ex­hi­bi­tion play.

The Hur­ri­canes head into their fi­nal dress re­hearsal tonight in Swift Cur­rent be­fore the reg­u­lar sea­son kicks off Fri­day.

“We’re get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter and that’s what we’ve wanted to from the start, to get bet­ter through pre­sea­son so when the real sea­son starts we’re good to go,” said Hur­ri­canes head coach Brent Ki­sio. “I think we took a good step tonight, but we want to see how we re­spond to­mor­row after a win.”

Jeri-Leon handed the Hur­ri­canes a 2-0 lead after the first pe­riod and com­pleted his nat­u­ral hat trick bid one minute into the sec­ond pe­riod on the power play.

Bar­lage put Leth­bridge up 4-0 after the sec­ond pe­riod with his sec­ond of the pre­sea­son be­fore Cozens scored his first two on the night in the third and Jer­iLeon added his fourth of the pre­sea­son with 2:39 re­main­ing.

“I thought we played well right from the puck drop,” said Jeri-Leon, whose team rang up 49 shots on Bron­cos goal­tender Isaac Poul­ter. “Ev­ery line was go­ing, get­ting pucks deep and out­work­ing them, lots of shots, we al­most had 50.”

Klassen faced eight shots through the first 40 min­utes and stopped 10 more in the third.

“I thought the team played un­real in front of me,” said the goal­tender from Cloverdale, B.C., who turned 19 last month. “The de­fence was keep­ing it sim­ple and I didn’t get many crazy chances. I have to give it to the D for this.”

Klassen came into Fri­day’s game as one of three goal­tenders on the Canes ros­ter that in­cludes Akira Sch­mid — who is at the New Jersey Devils train­ing camp — and lo­cal prod­uct Carl Te­tachuk.

“It’s been good, said Klassen of the pre­sea­son. “I’ve been work­ing hard this sum­mer. So com­ing in here and play­ing well ob­vi­ously feels good.”

The Hur­ri­canes cap off the pre­sea­son tonight in Swift Cur­rent and then will pre­pare for their sea­son-opener Fri­day against the Medicine Hat Tigers.

“Right now we’re just wor­ry­ing about our­selves and that the guys are play­ing the way we want to play and I thought it was a good step in the right di­rec­tion,” said Ki­sio. “We worked on a lot of struc­ture over the past week and I think we dis­played that tonight. A lot of guys did a lot of good.”

Hur­ri­canes for­ward Tay­lor Ross went heav­ily into the boards mid­way through the third. He was slow to get up, skated off on his own, but didn’t re­turn.

Ki­sio said his for­ward was al­right.

“He could have come back, we just kept him out.”

Fol­low @DWoodard­Her­ald on Twit­ter

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