‘We’re excited to play in front of fans again’ Hurricanes hit the ice for season home opener

It’s been roughly 580 days since the Hurricanes played in front of a hometown crowd at the Enmax Centre, and tonight the puck is set to be dropped against the Calgary Hitmen with an energetic arena. Assistant coach, Jeff Hansen, says the team is eager to hit the ice once again.

 

“Guys are really excited. There’s a buzz and a good feel around here. For us, it’s been a long time since we’ve had fans in the building for a meaningful game, we’re really excited about playing in front of fans again,” says Hansen.

 

During the preseason against Medicine Hat and Red Deer, the ‘Canes went 2 and 2. Going into the 2021-22 season, the team says they are expecting a tough season ahead, but are capitalizing on the size and age of the team. 

 

“We’re going play to our size, we’re going to play to our skill, even though we’re big guys we have a lot of skill in that locker room. We will use the size to open up room for our skilled guys, if we can capitalize on that, we’re going to be a pretty hard team to play against,” says Hurricanes forward, Sal Collora.

 

The 23 man roster includes three 20-year-olds veterans, Justin Hall, Alex Cotton, and Logan Barlage, with only seven rookies hitting the ice this season.

 

“I think we’ll have a good group, we have some older guys with some good experience and I think we’ll see how it goes, but I think we’ve got a good shot at doing well this year,” says Hurricanes defenseman, Logan MuCutcheon.

 

With the pandemic limiting sports last year, the ‘Canes played a shortened season last year, featuring a divisional format with only a 24 game schedule. However, this season will not feature any interlocking conference games, meaning the schedule includes a total of 34 regular season home games against Eastern Conference opponents, with another 34 on the road . Coach Hansen says it’ll be a physical season, with the end goal of making it to the championship

 

“We’re going have to be a hard to play against team if we want to have success and for us, playing that way combined with playing with more structure than whatever team we’re playing is going to be a recipe for our success,” added Hansen.

 

Masking and proof of vaccination is required, with the puck set to drop at 7 p.m.

 

A tailgate barbecue put on by Browns Social House and will take place from 5 p.m. until puck drop, with the proceeds going to United Way Lethbridge and South Western Alberta.

Karsen Marczuk

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