Swift Current, SK – The Lethbridge Hurricanes begin the Eastern Conference Championship Series tonight at 7:00pm against the Swift Current Broncos at the Innovation Credit Union I-Plex.
The Hurricanes are in the East Final for the second straight season after eliminating at the Red Deer Rebels in five games in the first round and the Brandon Wheat Kings in five games in the second round. The ‘Canes have been off since last Friday when they earned a 3-0 victory over the Wheat Kings at the ENMAX Centre. Lethbridge has posted a 2-2 record on the road so far in the post-season.
The Broncos are in the East Final for the first time since 2001 after going the distance in each of their first two series, eliminating the Regina Pats and Moose Jaw Warriors in seven games. Swift Current has played over 300 more minutes of hockey than the Hurricanes in the WHL Playoffs so far. The Broncos are 4-3 on home ice in the post-season, but have lost two of their last three games at home.
Tonight’s Game 1 can be heard on 106.7 ROCK beginning at 6:45pm with the pre-game show or watched at either Browns Socialhouse locations in Lethbridge.
PLAYOFF SERIES: (* if necessary) HURRICANE TOP 7 PLAYOFF SCORERS
Game 1 – April 20th, 7:00pm – at Swift Current Brad Morrison – 12G. 17A, 29 points
Game 2 – April 21st, 7:00pm – at Swift Current Jordy Bellerive – 8G, 10A – 18 points
Game 3 – April 24th, 7:00pm – at Lethbridge Taylor Ross – 8G, 7A – 15 points
Game 4 – April 25th, 7:00pm – at Lethbridge Calen Addison – 3G, 10A – 13 points
*Game 5 – April 28th, 7:00pm – at Swift Current Tate Olson – 3G, 10A – 13 points
*Game 6 – April 30th, 7:00pm – at Lethbridge Jake Elmer – 4G, 7A – 11 points
*Game 7 – May 1st, 7:00pm – at Swift Current Jadon Joseph – 1G, 8A – 9 points
2017-2018 PLAYOFF STATS LEADERS:
Goals (12) – Brad Morrison Assists (17) – Brad Morrison
Points (29) – Brad Morrison
PIMS (24) – Owen Blocker Plus/Minus (+14) – Tate Olson
Wins (8) – Logan Flodell Shutouts (2) – Logan Flodell
Save % (.910) – Logan Flodell Goals Against Average (2.77) – Logan Flodell
BRONCOS, REGULAR SEASON: The Hurricanes and Broncos met four times during the 2017-2018 regular season. Lethbridge posted a 1-3-0-0 record against Swift Current, with their lone victory coming at the ENMAX Centre on February 2nd. Lethbridge won the only post trade-deadline match-up. The ‘Canes have posted an 8-4-0-0 record against the Broncos over the last three seasons.
REGULAR SEASON SERIES: HURRICANES TOP 5 SCORERS
October 10th/2017 – at Swift Current (6-2 SC) Jordy Bellerive – 46G, 46A – 92 points
October 20th/2017 – at Lethbridge (6-4 SC) Brad Morrison – 27G, 48A – 75 points
November 11th/2017 – at Swift Current (6-0 SC) Calen Addison – 11G, 54A – 65 points
February 2nd/2018 – at Lethbridge (5-2 LET) Dylan Cozens – 22G, 31A – 53 points
Taylor Ross – 21G, 21A – 42 points
2017-2018 REGULAR SEASON STATS LEADERS:
Goals (46) – Jordy Bellerive Assists (54) – Calen Addison
Points (92) – Jordy Bellerive
PIMS (103) – Matthew Stanley Plus/Minus (+18) – Ty Prefontaine
Wins (38) – Logan Flodell Shutouts (3) – Logan Flodell
Save % (.909) – Logan Flodell Goals Against Average (3.14) – Logan Flodell
2017-2018 REGULAR SEASON LEADERS:
– Jordy Bellerive is tied 12th in WHL Scoring with 92 points & is tied 8th in WHL Goals with 46
– Jordy Bellerive is tied 8th in WHL Power Play Goals with 16 & tied 20th in WHL Power Play Assists with 23
– Calen Addison is tied 9th in WHL Defenseman Scoring with 65 points & tied 3rd in WHL PP Assists with 35
– Calen Addison is 21st in WHL Assists with 54
– Dylan Cozens is tied 2nd in WHL Rookie Scoring with 53 points & 1st in WHL Rookie Goals with 22
– Logan Flodell is 1st in WHL Games Played with 61 & 2nd in WHL Minutes by a Goaltender with 3474
– Logan Flodell is 1st in WHL Shots Faced with 1999 & 1st in WHL Saves with 1818
– Logan Flodell is 1st in WHL Wins with 38 & 6th in Shutouts with 3
– Logan Flodell is 1st in WHL Eastern Conference Save Percentage .909%
NEWS & NOTES:
Five Times: While the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Swift Current Broncos have never faced off in the WHL Playoffs, the two franchises have met five times before in the post-season. When the Broncos were in Lethbridge, they faced the Calgary Wranglers (who became the Hurricanes) five times between 1977 and 1985. The Broncos franchise won three of those series (1977, 1979 and 1983) while the Wranglers won twice (1981 and 1985).
Experience: The Hurricanes have 403 man-games worth of playoff experience. Of all the ‘Canes, the most experienced is Igor Merezhko who has skated in 35 post-season games. The ‘Canes entered the 2018 playoffs with 190 games worth of playoff experience compared to 95 when they started the 2017 playoffs.
Game 1’s: The Hurricanes enter tonight having posted an all-time record of 19-16 in Game 1’s in their post-season history. The ‘Canes earned a 6-0 win in Game against the Rebels and a 5-1 win against the Wheat Kings in their prior two series; both were on home ice.
Go Mo Go: Hurricanes overage forward Brad Morrison has been on a tear in the WHL Playoffs so far as he has racked up 29 points (12g-17a) in 10 games in the WHL Playoffs; an average of 2.90 points per game. Morrison currently leads the entire WHL in playoff scoring. With his next point, Morrison will become just the third ‘Cane ever to reach the 30-point plateau in a single season joining Wes Walz (37 points in 19 games, 1990) and Mark Greig (32 points in 18 games, 1990). He is also just two goals shy of tying the single-season playoff record for most goals by a Hurricanes when Kelly Ens had 14 goals in 19 games in 1990.
Special Teams: The Hurricanes special teams have been terrific in the playoffs. The ‘Canes power play has converted at a 39.1% clip going 18/46 on the man advantage and is ranked second in the WHL Playoffs while the penalty kill has killed at 85.4% (41/48) sitting first overall in the post-season. The ‘Canes PP was just 2/36 (5.6%) and PK was 62.2% (23/37) in their final nine regular season games.