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The Lethbridge Hurricanes hit the ice for 2023 training camp


WHL hockey is back in Lethbridge with the Hurricanes kicking off their 2023 training camp.

Following a long off-season, players are eager to get back on the ice.

“It’s always a long summer, you know the last few weeks go by slow when you’re itching to get back here,” said veteran defender and team captain, Joe Arntsen.

“It feels like I’ve been to quite a few camps now and every year I seem to get more excited to come back.”

Last season, the ‘Canes finished fifth in the eastern conference, earning them a playoff spot.

However, they were swept in the first round by the Moose Jaw Warriors.

Returning players say they’re looking to make some changes to better position themselves for the upcoming season.                                                                                                  

“We were in tight games last year, like two to one and three to two final (scores), so this year, maybe we add a lot of scoring and start to put the puck in the back of the net more,” said second year forward Miguel Marques.

“Obviously, with the new coach, we have some more new systems and stuff so we’re going to play more offensive, so I think those areas will be very good.”

“Playoffs is always the goal, especially getting a win in the playoffs,” added Arntsen.

“The last two years have been disappointing how we finished, so I think getting to the playoffs is the first goal and we’ll take it from there.”

There are 79 players at camp which the ‘Canes will have to trim to 50.        

It’s a great opportunity for some of the rookies to come out and learn from the vets on the team and grow as players.

“It’s awesome just to see what they do, see how they prepare, see a day in the life of them and learn from them,” said Dayne Beuker who taken by the ‘Canes in the first round of the 2023 WHL Bantam Draft.

New head coach, Bill Peters, was at the rink Thursday watching camp and, for the most part, getting his first look at the young talent.

“They’re going to make good plays,” Peters told CTV News.

“I’ve seen the guys skate for a couple days in Ccaptain’s practice. There’s tots of pace, lots of skill, lots of guys to be excited about. I think the future is bright for 2023/24 and then moving forward.”

Returning players say they’re looking to make some changes to better position themselves for the upcoming season.

Despite the controversy surrounding Peters over the past few years, players say they’re looking forward to learning from a talented coach with NHL experience.

“We’ve had a quick talk with Bill and he seems like a great guy,” Arntsen said.

“I’m excited to really get to know him and get to work with him. He was in the NHL for a reason and the guys are really excited about that.”

Training camp runs throughout the weekend, ending with their annual Red vs. White intersquad game on Sunday.

Training camp is free to attend for fans and the intersquad game is free with a donation of cash or a non-perishable food item for Lethbridge’s food banks.

The first pre-season game is Tuesday, Sept.5 against the Medicine Hat Tigers at the ENMAX Centre.

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