January 22, 2019 9:55 pm
Updated: January 22, 2019 10:20 pm

‘The future is now’: Lethbridge Hurricanes hand the reins to 2 rookie goaltenders

WATCH ABOVE: After Lethbridge Hurricanes starting goaltender Liam Hughes left the team this week for personal reasons, the team is forging ahead with two rookie goaltenders. Matt Battochio reports.

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The Lethbridge Hurricanes are preparing to make a playoff push with two rookie goaltenders between the pipes. The ‘Canes acquired their starting goaltender, Liam Hughes, in a trade with the Seattle Thunderbirds on Jan. 1, but on Monday the team announced Hughes was leaving the Hurricanes for personal reasons.

The situation has forced the ‘Canes to fast forward into the future by calling up 16-year-old Bryan Thomson.

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“I think we planned on it being next year, but it’s now,” Hurricanes head coach Brent Kisio said. “He’s an outstanding goalie and he’s one that we had planned for our future. The future is now, and we get to see it right away.”

READ MORE: Lethbridge Hurricanes acquire 2 star forwards from Pats in blockbuster deal

Thomson will join fellow rookie goaltender Carl Tetachuk to complete the ‘Canes tandem in net.

“I just finished a game when my coach pulled me out and told me that I’m going to Lethbridge to finish the season with them,” Thomson said with a smile. “I was kind of shocked at first.”

Thomson says he’s excited for the opportunity, but the move will come with some adjustment for the Wilcox, Sask., Grade 11 student.

“As soon as I got the call, I was preparing for final exams so all my classes are getting transferred over here,” Thomson said. “But I’ve still got homework back in (my school) Notre Dame to do, but it’s alright. I’m fine with it.”

As for Tetachuk, he’s won 10 of his 15 starts this season and he’ll likely see a lot more time in net in the coming weeks. It’s all a part of a wild ride for the Lethbridge teen.

“It’s been a big step from starting in AA, to Midget AAA, coming up all the way here to being a starter,” Tetachuk said. “Really excited about it; it’s going to be fun.”

The ‘Canes are inexperienced in net, but with a supporting cast that’s been to two Eastern Conference Finals in a row, they remain confident.

“It’s that comfort. If we were a younger team with younger goalies in net, we might be a little bit more nervous about this situation,” Kisio said. “But with our leadership and the way the guys are in the room, it doesn’t faze us.”

Kisio added that there is a very good chance Thomson could get a start on the Hurricanes’ upcoming U.S. road trip.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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