GDB 72.0: THE END OF THE BEGINING
(Photo Credit: Tyler Mikla)
When I got the call from Brock to prepare a pre-game “lead” into today’s game, my first thought was, I will either be writing a prelude to the Canes playing a meaningless game in the Hat or worse, the Canes having to taking a point in the hostile environment in Medicine Hat in order to clinch first place in the Central Division. The latter would have been a commentary on the Hurricanes being “under the gun” to clinch first place.
Of course, following last night’s statement game by the Hurricanes, it is now a mute point as we are well aware of the Hurricanes locking up first in the Central and thus avoiding the nightmare that now faces the Red Deer Rebels in playing the Hitmen. If you did not know, the opening series with Calgary was 3 games in 2 ½ days with game 3 in the Calgary Corral.
But that is now the Rebels problem.
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Before looking ahead to today’s game, I would like to reflect back on last night’s win. Even though I am repeating what has been written, said, and printed; one could not help but be impressed with the sense of purpose the whole Canes team played with last night. The kids were on a mission, and had 5300 plus fans (minus a few Tiger fans) solely behind them. Those fans who have gone through a 6 season playoff famine, were feasting on every goal, every save and every hit by the Canes.
Highlight for me (along with everyone in the building) was Stuart Skinner’s goal. A standing ovation echoed through the Enmax while Skinner did the high fives at the players’ bench.
A thing of beauty. We would see the standing ovation repeated as the dying seconds counted down to mark the end of the 9-3 win, and salute the CENTRAL DIVISION FIRST PLACE FINISH.
Oh right, there is a game tonight in the Hat.
The Tigers will be seeking some form of revenge due to last night’s drubbing by the Canes, plus they have to defeat the Canes and hope that Red Deer defeats Edmonton in order to sneak into the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. So they do have something to play fore. Their intensity will certainly be up.
The Canes will be playing out the season and I would anticipate Coach Kisio to insert a few of the youngsters into the lineup in order to give them valuable experience and to rest a few key bodies. Calen Addison, Nick Watson, Brett Davis and Drayton Thunder Chief should be suited up while Jayden Sittler should be between the pipes.
- Canes’ win total of 46 is the third highest total in the team’s history. Only the 1989-90 Canes with 51 and the 1996-97 Canes with 47 are higher.
- Heading into tonight’s game, Lethbridge has scored 302 goals which is the 8th highest total in team history. Of course no Hurricane team will match the 1989-90 total of 465.
- Love it …..love it…..Skinner’s goal and celebration, as part of the First Place Central Division clinching game! Never before has a Hurricanes netminder scored. Last night we witnessed history.
GAME DAY PREDICTION: Medicine Hat sneaks into the playoff picture with a win over the Canes who have rested some key players.
OBVIOUS GDP: Darian Skeoch will stand up for a rookie if/when a Tiger player decides to take “liberties”.
NOT SO OBVIOUS GDP: Tiger’s awards ceremony will take much longer than the Cane’s did, and will likely feature another on-ice marriage proposal.
What do you think? Who are you excited to watch tonight and what will be the outcome. Comment below.
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