The Lethbridge Hurricanes are in a funk. For nearly three weeks they’ve been unable to win a hockey game. The ‘Canes’s losing streak ran to six on Saturday when the team fell 6-0 to the Swift Current Broncos.
“It’s never fun losing. You come to the rink and it’s always in the back of your head,” Hurricanes forward Zane Franklin said. “That last loss, or the last couple weeks (of losses). So we need to get going.”
The skid has dropped the ‘Canes to (7-10-1) on the season. It’s not disastrous by any means, particularly this early in the season, but what’s frustrating is the answer to their problems remains elusive.
“We’ve had the same talk after every single loss and after every practice,” Hurricanes goaltender Stuart Skinner said. “When we get mad, or things aren’t going our way we say the right things. We say we need to work harder we need to play our game and when it really comes down to it on the ice we never really do it.”
The Hurricanes have given up six goals in four-straight games, including their last tilt against Swift Current.
“I saw a couple guys just floating around and not stopping on pucks,” Skinner said. “When a puck is right there in front of you they just kind of sweep by it. It almost looks like we don’t really care. I know that we do care and I know that we’re hard workers, I just don’t think we’re working smart right now.”
The losing streak brings up memories of last season when the ‘Canes struggled early in the year. It was well documented that the team had a fractured locker room when they traded away star forward Brayden Burke. After the move, the ‘Canes rallied and went on to an excellent season, eventually losing out in the Eastern Conference Final.
This year, the Hurricanes are adamant the only thing that needs fixing is their performance on the ice.
“At least we don’t have the problems in the dressing room,” Skinner said. “The only problem is that we’re just not executing the things that we’re doing on the ice.”
Hurricanes head coach Brent Kisio points to slow starts as one of the main reasons his team is struggling, but sees hope in the strength of his locker room.
“We’ve been here. We were probably in a worse spot last year,” Kisio said. “That’s one thing we like. We have such a good group right now. It’s one of the things that’s disappointing is we have a good group that says the right things.”
Kisio says the team needs ‘A lot more from a lot more guys’ and hopes that when they do break the losing streak, they can get on a roll.
It’s worth noting that through much of the losing streak the ‘Canes have been without super rookie Dylan Cozens, who’s been away at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
The Hurricanes’s next game is on Friday when they travel to Kelowna to play the Rockets.