LETHBRIDGE - On Jan. 9 the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Swift Current Broncos swung one of the biggest deals of the Western Hockey League season, and now both clubs are preparing for their first head to head match-up since that day.
Lethbridge dealt away captain Giorgio Estephan, goaltender Stuart Skinner and assistant captain Tanner Nagel to Swift Current in exchange for forwards Logan Barlage and Owen Blocker, defenceman Matthew Stanley, goaltender Logan Flodell, a first-round draft pick in the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft, a third-round pick in 2020 and a conditional second-round draft pick in 2021.
The Hurricanes were back on the ice on Wednesday, Jan. 31 for practise ahead of Friday's showdown.
Hurricanes goaltender Logan Flodell talked about what it's going to be like when he suits up against his old club.
"It's going to be a little different. I kind of dealt with this atmosphere before when I was traded from Saskatoon to Swift Current but it's going to be fun to play some old friends and my old team. It's going to be a good competition but it's another game that we need to win so we're going to focus on that in practise and get ready for Friday," Flodell said.
Friday's game against the Broncos will also be the 10th game for Flodell in a Hurricanes uniform. He's gone 6-2-1 and boasts a 3.17 goals against average and a .895 save percentage.
Flodell says things on and off the ice have been good for him since the trade.
"There's been no downsides at all so far," he continued. "The boys have played well, we were on a bit of a run of overtime losses there for a bit, but we finally broke that streak against Red Deer which is nice so hopefully that transfers into Friday."
The Hurricanes are currently sitting second overall in the Central Division with a record of 23-21-6, just six points back of the Medicine Hat Tigers for first place with two games in hand.
Flodell says obviously it's takes some time for the team to gel after making as many moves as they did, but admits it's coming along.
"It always does for anyone with a new team. We've missed a couple of our key guys recently, but we can't worry about that because we got to play with what we have," Flodell said.
Flodell also provided an update on his equipment, saying by next week he hopes to have some new gear that will finally match his current club.
"It's funny heading out onto the ice right now in all blue, but hopefully not for long. Breaking in new pads mid-season is tough but I've been through it before, so I don't see any issues," Flodell added.
As far as the other former Broncos, 16-year-old centreman Logan Barlage is fitting in well.
After posting just one goal, six assists and a minus 11 rating in 38 games in Swift Current, he's got two goals, three assists and is a plus nine in just 11 games with the Hurricanes.
Defenceman Matthew Stanley has only a single assist in those 11 games, while forward Owen Blocker has a goal and two assists.
Hurricanes Head Coach Brent Kisio says it takes time for guys to learn the system, which has been made a bit more complicated due to injuries, but believes they've played pretty well so far.
"There's a lot of moving parts, but it's also been a great opportunity for these guys. They've gotten some extra ice time, on the powerplay and penalty kill that they wouldn't usually get, so that's positive for us moving forward," Kisio said.
After last Wednesday's game against the Kelowna Rockets, Kisio informed the media that Taylor Ross was day-to-day, while Dylan Cozens would be missing for a couple of weeks.
Both forwards skated today, but only Ross stuck around to take part in practise.
Puck drop for Friday's game against the Broncos is set for 7 p.m.
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