Lethbridge, AB – The Lethbridge Hurricanes officially kick off their 30th Anniversary Season tonight at 7:00pm when they welcome the Medicine Hat Tigers at the ENMAX Centre in the Dairy Queen Home Opener.
The Hurricanes look to begin the season with a victory after posting a 2-4-0-0 record in six pre-season games. The ‘Canes most recent game was a 6-2 loss to the Calgary Hitmen last Friday in the Crowsnest Pass.
Last season, the Hurricanes began the year with a 5-1 victory over the Tigers in the Dairy Queen Home Opener. The ‘Canes posted a 5-2-0-0 record against Medicine Hat last year and were a perfect 4-0-0-0 at the ENMAX Centre.
Select tickets are still available for tonight’s game but are selling quickly. Reserve your seats for tonight by visiting the ENMAX Centre Ticket Centre, online or by calling 403-329-SEAT (7328). There will also be a tailgate party from 5:00pm until 7:00pm on the North Plaza of the ENMAX Centre sponsored by Browns Socialhouse with all proceeds going to the United Way.
NEWS & NOTES:
Familiar Start: For the fifth straight year the Hurricanes will begin the new season with a home-and-home with their Highway 3 rivals, the Medicine Hat Tigers. It is the sixth consecutive season the Hurricanes first game will be against the Tigers, the ‘Canes have posted a 3-2-0-0 record in the last five season openers against Medicine Hat, including a 5-1 victory last season.
Six Away: Six Hurricanes players are currently attending NHL Training Camps. Tyler Wong (Toronto Maple Leafs), Giorgio Estephan (Buffalo Sabres), Brayden Burke (Calgary Flames), Egor Babenko (Arizona Coyotes), Brady Reagan (Ottawa Senators) and Brennan Menell (Philadelphia Flyers).
Reigning Central Division Champs: The Hurricanes begin to defend their Central Division title from 2015-2016. It was the first division title the organization had won since 1996-1997 when the Hurricanes won the WHL Championship. Only once in franchise history has the team won back-to-back division championships, which was 1989-90 and 1990-91.
Family Ties: Hurricanes forward Connor Lyons has some pedigree. The 1999-born left winger is the son of former Hurricane star, Corey Lyons. Corey appeared in 145 games as a ‘Cane from 1987 to 1990 collecting a total of 254 points (116g-138a). Corey set a Hurricanes single season mark, which still stands today, of 142 points (63g-79a) in 1989-90. His son Connor was signed by the Hurricanes on September 8th, 2016.
Goalie Shuffle: On Tuesday, the Hurricanes acquired 18-year-old goaltender Ryan Gilchrest from the Seattle Thunderbirds for a conditional 7th round draft pick in 2017. The trade saw the Hurricanes then release 19-year-old netminder Brandon Kegler.
Puck Mover: On September 12th the Hurricanes acquired puck-moving defenseman Brennan Menell from the Vancouver Giants in exchange for rugged d-man Darian Skeoch and a 4th round draft pick. Menell had 53 points for the Giants last season and finish second in team scoring.
Moving Pieces: The Hurricanes have been shuffled their roster since the end of last August. Moves include:
– Aug. 22 – Acquired Jesse Zaharichuk from Kootenay for Barrett Sheen.
– Sept. 1 – Signed forwards Evan Ladouceur and Shawn Harke, defenseman Alex Cotton and goaltender Adam Swan to WHL standard player agreements.
– Sept. 8 – Signed forward Connor Lyons and Jayden Davis to WHL standard player agreements.
– Sept. 12 – Acquired defenseman Brennan Menell from Vancouver for defenseman Darian Skeoch and a 4th round draft pick in 2018.
– Sept. 12 – Traded overage forward Carter Folk to Victoria for a 4th round pick in 2017.
– Sept. 14 – Re-assigned forward Drayton Thunder Chief to the Kindersley Klippers of the SJHL (Junior-A).
– Sept. 15 – Acquired forward Tanner Nagel from Portland for unsigned goaltender Shane Farkas.
– Sept. 20 – Acquired goaltender Ryan Gilchrist from Seattle for a conditional 7th round pick in 2017.
– Sept. 20 – Released goaltender Brandon Kegler.
NHL DRAFTED PLAYERS:
Giorgio Estephan (BUF 6th ’15)
HOW THE ‘CANES WERE BUILT:
WHL Bantam Draft: Wong, Estephan, B.Davis, Bellerive, Watson, Skinner, Addison*, King*, Tarzwell*, Joseph*, Franklin*
Listed: Vandervlis, J.Davis*, Lyons*
Trade: Lindgren, Burke, Pankewicz, Reagan, Kroeker, Gilchrist*, Shamray*, Zaharichuk, Nagel, Menell
CHL Import Draft: Merezhko, Babenko
ROSTER AGE BREAKDOWN (* indicates rookie):
1996 – 3 – (Wong, Lindgren, Pankewicz)
1997 – 7 – (Estephan, Burke, Babenko, Reagan, Kroeker, Zaharichuk, Menell)
1998 – 6 – (Vandervlis, Merezhko, Shamray*, Nagel, Skinner, Gilchrist*)
1999 – 8 – (Bellerive, Watson, B.Davis, J.Davis*, King*, Joseph*, Franklin*, Lyons*)
2000 – 2 – (Addison*, Tarzwell*)