History repeats as Lethbridge Hurricanes see early post-season exit
Lethbridge in action against Moose Jaw Wednesday night (Photo: Twitter@WHLHurricanes)
It was a somber mood at the Enmax Centre Thursday morning as the Hurricanes' coaching staff conducted exit interviews with team members.
The 'Canes were sent packing after dropping a 5-2 decision to the Moose Jaw Warriors Wednesday night.
They were swept in four by the Warriors.
"It’s disappointing," said head coach Brent Kisio. "I’m proud of the way we played in the regular season but playoffs are a whole new level of hockey with physicality and compete and our group is still learning about that."
The 'Canes needed to win after dropping the first three games of the best-of-seven series against the Warriors.
The #WHLCanes 2022-2023 season ends with a 5-2 loss to the Moose Jaw Warriors in Game 4 of their first-round playoff series.
In an effort to switch things up, goaltender Harrison Meneghin got his first start of the season while veteran Bryan Thomson sat on the bench. Lethbridge struck first in the game when Tyson Zimmer snapped home his first of the playoffs but the club couldn’t capitalize on some key opportunities including a five-minute power play in the second period.
"We were right there a lot of times in this series," said overager Cole Shepard. "We needed to put together a sixty-minute effort and it wasn’t there."
This marks the 10th time in Hurricanes post-season history the club has been swept. It’s the first time they’ve been swept in back-to-back seasons since 1998-99. Last year, they were taken out in four games by the Edmonton Oil Kings.
"There’s a lot of work to be done, it’s not good enough," said Kiso "we’re all tired of shaking hands on home ice after four games so there’s a lot that needs to change."
“There’s going to be a lot of work put in in the off-season.”
The team is hoping for a brighter playoff future but they’ll have to do it without three key players; overagers, Jett Jones, Cole Shepard and Bryan Thomson graduate from the WHL now.
"You’ve got to cherish the time you have in this league it goes by too fast," said Shepard "It's sad."
"There’s a lot of emotions," said co-captain Jett Jones "I’m proud of the effort our group had this season. We battled hard every night."