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Lethbridge Hurricanes have high WHL hopes after disappointing playoff finish

Click to play video: 'Lethbridge Hurricanes have high WHL hopes after disappointing playoff finish' Lethbridge Hurricanes have high WHL hopes after disappointing playoff finish
The Lethbridge Hurricanes are set to begin their 2022-23 regular season this weekend in Medicine Hat. After being swept in the first round of the Western Hockey League playoffs last season, the team is looking to use that loss as motivational fuel this year. Erik Bay has more. – Sep 23, 2022

After ending the Western Hockey League preseason with a pair of wins over the Red Deer Rebels, Lethbridge Hurricanes head coach Brent Kisio is feeling good as his team turns its attention to the regular season.

“We finished our last two games really strong and our structure got better. We competed and worked hard,” Kisio said. “Red Deer’s going to be a pretty good hockey club this year in our division and I thought we played them hard.”

This year’s team brings back a large part of its veteran core, including co-captains Joe Arntsen and Jett Jones, along with Ty Nash, Alex Thacker, Chase Pauls and Nolan Bentham.

One player who won’t return — at least for the start of the season — is netminder Bryan Thomson, who Kisio expects will be out until early November as he recovers from offseason surgery.

Click to play video: 'Hurricanes’ focus shifts to preseason as training camp wraps' Hurricanes’ focus shifts to preseason as training camp wraps
Hurricanes’ focus shifts to preseason as training camp wraps – Sep 6, 2022

In Thomson’s place will be Jared Picklyk, who appeared in 25 games for the team last season, and Harrison Meneghin.

Both goalies managed goals against averages of 2.00 or lower and save percentages over .930 in the preseason.

Read more: Hurricanes want to build off growth next season

“Picks played some games for us last year and did a great job when he was in net,” Kisio said. “It’s his start this year to kind of take the ball and run with it.

“Then we’ve got Meneghin in net as well, who’s showed real well in preseason so we feel very confident in our goaltending.”

“I spent a lot of time this summer working on my game and I feel good about this season,” Picklyk said. “I feel good about these upcoming games and I’m really excited for this season.”

The Hurricanes will be leaning on their hard-earned experience from the 2022 playoffs, where they fell to the eventual Western Hockey League champion Edmonton Oil Kings in four straight games.

Read more: Hurricanes’ season over after Oil Kings complete sweep

“The playoffs is everybody’s goal,” said defenceman Joe Arntsen.

“We got a little bit of a taste last year. I know there’s a lot of us that are pretty sour with how things went last year in the playoffs.

“Get back there and get a good run going.”

The Hurricanes begin the regular season against their Highway 3 rivals, the Medicine Hat Tigers, on Saturday, before hosting the Tabbies for their home opener the following weekend.

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