GDB 16.0 WRAP UP: Fully Completely
Heading into tonight’s game there were more than a few questions. How would the team handle some adversity in the face of a three game losing streak? Would they be able to lock things down on the defensive side of the puck? Would they get out to a better start than they did again Kamloops, Kelowna, and Prince George?
Much to the joy of the Lethbridge faithful, this Hurricanes team answered those questions fully, and completely.
The Seattle Thunderbirds are a solid hockey club. It was apparent early that the Tbirds were capable of above average team play. Their breakouts and neutral zone transitions were generally well executed and they were fun to watch. On the other side of the ice, Lethbridge looked ready to play from puck drop. It was apparent early that four days of rest and preparation was exactly what the Canes needed to tighten up their play. Tonight’s game was a back and forth match between two evenly matched and talented teams. In other words, it was fun to watch!
Seattle was playing their third game in four nights but, for the most part, didn’t look worse for wear. Alexander True jumped on a bobbled puck by Estephan to score an early short handed goal, but the Canes would answer back before the penalty expired. It was indicative of how the rest of the game would play out. Both teams had their chances and the best players came to play. The Canes looked like they were going to skate away with the game by the midpoint of the second thanks to goals by Ryley Lindgren and Corey Millette, but Ryan Gropp answered back for Seattle to make it a one goal game heading into the third.
The third period saw the Hurricanes really step on Seattle’s throat. 1:24 seconds in, Giorgio Estephan finished a beautiful pass by Tyler Wong to put Lethbridge up by two. They would continue to press and were the better team for the majority of the period. Arvin Atwal would score a late insurance marker (a gorgeous toe-drag top-shelf PP goal) at the 16:39 mark and the Canes would skate to a 5 – 2 win. Lethbridge also won the shot battle, 32 – 24.
- The Canes didn’t let an early short handed goal by the Tbirds to deflate them. They came back and tied it on the very same powerplay.
- Brady Reagan had one of the best hits of the night late in the first. He decided to pinch in and absolutely sat down the Thunderbirds winger.
- Ryely Lindgren scored a beauty early in the second to put the Canes up 2 -1. He broke in one on two, found space, deked out the defender, then slide it five hole.
- The first ten minutes of the second was a fantastic stretch for the Canes. It was the best hockey they have played in a while. Dominant on the forecheck, backcheck, and winning almost every battle. Both Millette and Lindgren scored in that time.
- This was one of the Hurricanes most intentionally physical games of the season. They were finishing checks all over the ice and it was beneficial to their overall game. I have yet to see a team that doesn’t play better when they are engaged in the physical side of the game. Playing physical doesn’t necessarily mean throwing massive “all in” open ice hits. It’s the little plays that add up and wear down the opposition. Tonight the Canes did a good job of it.
- Lethbridge did a much better job of eliminating opposition centreing passes tonight. When Seattle did get them through, the defensemen did a great job of laying the body and tying up sticks.
- I liked that Kisio activated the blender for tonight’s game. The Canes have been really consistent with the lines to this point, but in the middle of a losing streak, it was time to mix things up. Brandon Kennedy moved upfront to the wing with White and Sheen. The shakeup seemed to ignite White who I felt played a really solid game and started to show some offensive flash in the third.
- With Kennedy becoming a forward, his regular partner, Reagan, formed a pair with Nielsen. They were good together tonight. Nielsen saw double duty for much of the third and also played minutes alongside Skeoch. With Kennedy on the wing and both Skeoch and Merezhko in the lineup, the Canes defense is more imposing based on size alone.
- The goal Arvin Atwal scored late in the third…. pure silk.
- A tough bounce of the puck for Estephan at the point on the games first powerplay resulted in a shorthanded goal for Seattle. Those things happen. It’s tough to fault Giorgio on it, but the end result was “bad”.
- There really wasn’t much bad to write about tonight. Lethbridge played a pretty complete game, and when they were caught running around, it was more to the credit of Seattle than it was detriment to the Canes.
As it turned out, a few days of rest and preparation was all that was needed for the Canes to turnout one of their best performances of the season – a 5 – 2 win over the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds. Seattle, nearing the end of a long Western trip, didn’t perform poorly tonight, but the Canes were too much. Lethbridge got back to the fundamentals that saw them go on a lengthy winning streak early.
For the upteenth time this season, this Hurricanes team is the real deal! Celebrate another home win Canes fans! You deserve it.