Lethbridge Hurricanes heating up as playoffs approach

The Lethbridge Hurricanes are playing their best hockey of the year as they march towards the post-season.

The team has just five games left in the Western Hockey League regular season and is getting contributions from players throughout its roster; but no ‘Cane is running hotter than Jake Elmer.

“Once he scores, every game, we’re like, ‘Oh there it is, he’s staying hot,’ so it’s pretty cool,” Hurricanes forward Dylan Cozens said with a smile on Wednesday.

Elmer has scored a goal in 12 straight games, lighting the lamp 16 times in that span.

“There’s a little bit of pressure to keep the streak alive, but most importantly, we are trying to win hockey games here,” Elmer said. “We’re in the chance for first place in the division here.”

Elmer has certainly elevated his play over the course of the last two months, along with many of his teammates.

“I think the biggest thing for us is kind of [that] all our top guys were kind of in a slump at the same time,” Hurricanes captain Jordy Bellerive said. “It seems like we’re all turning it on now at the same time, which is pretty special to do.”

After a slow start to the season, the Hurricanes have gone 24-10-2-3 since Nov. 30. The team is now just two points back of the Edmonton Oil Kings for first place in the WHL’s central division.

“Our main thing is just getting home ice,” Hurricanes head coach Brent Kisio explained. “And it would be great to catch Edmonton, and the competitive nature wants to finish first, but we’ll see what happens there.”

The ‘Canes lost eight of their last nine games last season but still went all the way to the conference final.

That experience suggests perhaps momentum doesn’t matter, but the Hurricanes don’t want to test that theory.

“We know that that was pretty lucky to do that, so we’re really focusing in on playing the right way and playing how we’re going to play in the playoffs right now, and kind of build into it and have a long run,” Bellerive said.

The Hurricanes will continue their push for the central division title on Wednesday night when they host the Brandon Wheat Kings.

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