Mon Oct 31 07:45pm EDT
The Lethbridge Hurricanes were 0-for-October, so suffice to say, the Western Hockey League team is willing to try anything to change its fortunes in the month ahead.
Some teams would shake up the roster through trade(s), or considering a coaching changes. Who knows, those could yet happen for the southern Alberta team. First, though, the Hurricanes want to make sure they're on good terms with the supernatural. So on Halloween afternoon, the organization conducted an exorcism at centre ice.
From the looks of it, the ritual involved a hockey stick, tarragon and a chicken drumstick. (So like Pedro Cerrano, the voodoo-practising, curveball-chasing outfielder in the movie Major League, they could not get a live chicken.)
This being Halloween, and the team mired in an unlucky 13-game winless streak, a local Hurricane fan requested permission to 'exorcise' whatever mystical or unworldly elements that may be holding back the 'Canes from posting a much needed victory. The fan, who chose to remain nameless, asked for permission to perform a centre ice ritual that is meant to ward off unwanted metaphysical influences.
Hurricanes business manager Jim Bradley felt it couldn't hurt; the fans deserve a victory. "The players are working very hard every day, and the bounces seemingly are not going our way. If in some small way we can influence the outcome of the upcoming games, we owe it to the season ticket holders, fans and sponsors. They have all been very supportive of the team in this tough October stretch, and we owe it to them to leave no stone unturned."
Of course, the ceremony had to be approved and with some minor modifications, it was performed at centre ice. The ceremony included ancient spiritual gestures, ritualistic chants followed by a sacrifice at centre ice and then a quick lunch. (Facebook)
Hey, it can't hurt. And what else would you expect from a team with a goalie named who is named Damien? (In all seriousness, 20-year-old Damien Ketlo, who presumably has a good sense of humour and might be too young to know he shares his name with a demon child in a popular 1970s horror film, does have a respectable 2.30 goals-against average in his four appearances this season.)
Granted, this could all be in jest. However, I choose to believe the Hurricanes were completely earnest in July when they offered season tickets to the Royal Couple, Prince William and Catherine Middleton during the Royal newlyweds' North American tour and the same is true on this Halloween tonight. When a team has been waiting longer to savour a win then Linus Van Pelt did to meet the Great Pumpkin, it has to try everything. The Hurricanes are 2-13-1-0, tied with the OHL's Erie Otters and Kingston Frontenacs for the fewest wins in the Canadian Hockey League,
The first chance to see if the exorcism worked will be Wednesday when the Hurricanes host the Everett Silvertips. Of course, Everett will be playing its seventh game of a nine-game road trip and is also last in its division. So if the Hurricanes win, will it be due to the exorcism or finally getting a team they can handle? You will never know for sure, cue the ominous music.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports . Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet (photo: Lethbridge Hurricanes).