This week in the Windy City: A look at the Hurricanes history

 

For the Lethbridge Hurricanes history on May 6th has been quiet.

The beginning of May normally sees the CHL League’s Championship series. The Hurricanes have only played one game on May 6th. We take a look back on that game as part of a magical run for the Hurricanes. They welcomed the Spokane Chiefs to Lethbridge for Game 3 of the 2008 WHL final. Coming into the game the Chiefs lead the series 2-0.

After a back and forth first period the teams remained scoreless as they entered the second period with the Chiefs holding a slight edge in shots at 8-6.

The Hurricanes turned the table on the shot clock in the second period with an 11-7 advantage but the play on the ice remained tight until late in the period.

Dwight King’s eighth of the playoffs broke the ice in this game. Jeff May and Carter Bancks were credited with the helpers on the play that came at the 19:57 mark of the second period and gave the home team a 1-0 lead heading into the final frame.

Goalie Juha Metsola, Photo by Gavin Young/Calgary Herald

The Chiefs, who now were in search of the tying goal, turned on the pressure and for much of the third period were unable to beat Hurricanes goalie Juha Metsola. That is until Chris Bruton finally managed to tuck one through Metsola’s pads for his third goal of the postseason. Justin McCrae and Stefan Ulmer had the assists.

With the game tied late at 1-1, Lethbridge received a golden chance when Tyler Johnson was called for holding with under a minute to play in the third period. The Hurricanes were unable to capitalize on the man advantage in regulation time nor on the carryover to overtime.

After killing off the Johnson minor, Spokane went to work and outshot the Hurricanes 3-1 in the extra period. Their final shot from Johnson beat Metsola and gave the visitors a 2-1 win and a 3-0 series lead. Levko Koper and Trevor Glass were credited with assists on the game-winner.

Final shots in the game were 26-23 for the Chiefs. The Hurricanes powerplay let the team down, going 0-for-3 on the night. Spokane went 0-for-1.

Dustin Tokarski, photo by Sam Chan

It was a heartbreaking loss for the Hurricanes as this was their best opportunity to get back into the 2008 WHL final. Spokane would go on to win Game 4, also in Lethbridge, by a 4-1 score. The Chiefs swept the series and headed to the Memorial Cup. The team eventually became the 2008 Memorial Cup Champions. It was a repeat of the 1991 WHL Final as the Chiefs swept the Hurricanes in that final as well.

Shooting the breeze: That 2008 WHL final was the fourth time in the Hurricanes history that they had made the league’s final series. Of the four times, the Hurricanes made it to the WHL Final, the team has won the Ed Chynoweth Cup just once. That win came in the 1996-97 season as they beat the Seattle Thunderbirds in four straight games. Blaine Russell was named playoff MVP. The Hurricanes lost the Memorial Cup final that year to the Hull Olympiques, whom they had beaten in overtime in the round-robin.┬áThat season remains as the most successful in Hurricanes’ history.

 

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