Thursday, May 28, 2015

Memorial Cup semifinal set . . . Remparts coach pays price for rant . . . Pats shuffle their deck








SELD Shaun Heshka (Everett, 2003-06) signed a one-year contract with MODO Örnsköldsvik (Sweden, SHL). This season, with Ak Bars Kazan (Russia, KHL), he had one goal and five assists in 22 games. He was traded to Admiral Vladivostok (Russia, KHL) on Oct. 31, and had 13 points, including two goals, in 35 games there. . . .

SELF Malte Strömwall (Tri-City, 2011-13) signed a one-year contract with AIK Stockholm (Sweden, Allsvenskan). This season, with Växjö (Sweden, SHL), he had two goals in 21 games. He also had one goal and one assist in 21 games with Lulea (Sweden, SHL). On loan to Asplöven Haparanda (Sweden, Allsvenskan), he had one goal in four games, and he had three goals in 12 games with HV71 Jönköping (Sweden, SHL). . . .

EIHL-UKDarrell Hay (Tri-City, 1996-2000) has signed a one-year contract as a full-time assistant coach with the Sheffield Steelers (England, UK Elite). This season, with Sheffield, the defenceman had six goals and 19 assists in 65 games. . . . Hay, the son of Kamloops Blazers head coach Don Hay, remains registered as an active player for Sheffield for next season.
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It’ll be the WHL-champion Kelowna Rockets and the host Quebec Remparts in the Memorial Cup semifinal tonight in Quebec City. . . . The winner will meet the OHL-champion Oshawa Generals in Sunday’s final. . . . The Remparts advanced with a 5-2 victory over the QMJHL-champion Rimouski Oceanic before only 6,533 fans on Thursday night. . . . Attendance through seven games is 59,669, an average of 8,524. . . . I seem to recall attendance, or the perceived lack of same, being something of a story when the tournament was held in Saskatoon in 2013. That tournament featured nine games and drew 82,503 fans, an average of 9,167. . . . There should be more than 10,000 fans in Quebec City tonight. . . . This was the 17th time these two teams have met this season; the Oceanic finished with a 10-5-2 edge. Rimouski also went into
the tiebreaker having won its last six games against the Remparts at the Pepsi Colisée. . . . The Oceanic had posted a 4-0 victory over the Remparts in a round-robin game on Wednesday. After that game, Quebec head coach Philippe Boucher ripped the officiating — both referees were from the QMJHL. On Thursday, Boucher was fined $10,000. . . . The Kelowna Rockets were fined $500 after someone from their organization was critical of the officiating following a 4-3 tournament-opening loss to the Remparts. . . . Presumably, the difference is that Boucher performed his surgery in public, while the Kelowna official did it in private to CHL officials. . . . Adam Proteau of The Hockey News has more on Boucher and his rant right here. . . . After last night’s game, Boucher told reporters: “"I told my daughter there's no vacation this summer.” . . . Last night’s referees were Brett Iverson of the WHL and the OHL’s Mike Cairns. . . . Quebec F Jerome Verrier scored twice, his first goals in 15 games, while F Anthony Duclair and F Marc-Olivier Roy scored their first goals in nine games. . . . Verrier and Duclair had both left Wednesday’s game with injuries. . . . F Jeremy Lepine pulled Rimouski into a 2-2 tie at 16:07 of the second period. . . . However, Quebec F Adam Erne scored 47 seconds later and Verrier made it 4-2 at 19:19. . . . Roy iced it with his goal at 11:31 of the third. . . . Quebec G Zach Fucale, who didn’t finished one night earlier, stopped 30 shots, four more than Rimouski’s Philippe Desrosiers. . . . The Remparts were 1-for-4 on the PP; the Oceanic was 1-for-3. . . . This is the final hockey event to be held in the Pepsi Colisée, and you can bet the Remparts are using that for motivation.




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Here is the Memorial Cup schedule (all games on Sportsnet; all times Eastern):
Friday, May 22: Kelowna 3 vs. Quebec 4 (9,497)
Saturday, May 23: Rimouski 3 vs. Oshawa 4 (8,409)
Sunday, May 24: Quebec 4 vs. Oshawa 5 (OT) (10,970)
Monday, May 25: Rimouski 3 vs. Kelowna 7 (6,981)
Tuesday, May 26: Oshawa 2 vs. Kelowna 1 (7,002)
Wednesday, May 27: Quebec 0 vs. Rimouski 4 (10,277)
Thursday, May 28 (tiebreaker): Quebec 5 vs. Rimouski 2 (6,533)
Friday (semifinal): Kelowna vs. Quebec, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday (championship): Oshawa vs. Kelowna/Quebec winner, 7 p.m.
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The Regina Pats did a bit of shuffling in their front office on Thursday. . . . John Paddock now is the senior vice-president of hockey operations, general manager and head coach, while assistant coach Dave Struch has added assistant GM to his duties. . . . Gord Pritchard, the director of corporate affairs, now is the assistant to the general manager. . . . The Pats also have extended the contracts of goaltender coach Rob Muntain, athletic therapist Greg Mayer and equipment manager Gord Cochran. . . . As well, they announced that assistant coach Darrin McKechnie won’t be returning. According to a news release, McKechnie, “an Inspector with the Regina Police Service (RPS), recently received a promotion.” . . . The Pats now are looking to add an assistant coach to their staff.
Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post reports that Struch’s promotion is all part of the Pats’ succession plan.
From Harder’s story:
“There’s no question that we think Dave is our next head coach,” offered Pats president Todd Lumbard. “John has indicated that potentially his coaching days may be coming to an end, not right away, but at some point (in the not-too-distant future). Dave is the logical successor. If the timing can work out, that would be our plan for sure. John would move fully into the GM’s role and Dave would become our head coach. It’s not written in stone but that’s something we have talked about.”
Harder added: “The tentative plan is for the 60-year-old Paddock to remain behind the bench for the duration of his four-year contract, which he signed last summer to become the team’s head coach and senior vice-president of hockey operations. He absorbed the general manager’s title on Thursday as part of a minor shuffling of the hockey operations department, highlighted by Struch accepting a larger role.”
Harder also reported: “Although Struch was already under contract for the next three seasons, the Pats felt compelled to make a pre-emptive strike in order to keep him. He was regarded as a potential candidate for WHL head-coaching vacancies with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, Kootenay Ice and Vancouver Giants.
All three clubs are believed to have asked the Pats for permission to speak to him. According to sources, he was a leading candidate for the job in Lethbridge before pulling himself out of the running to stay in Regina.”
——
Bruce Vance worked his last day with the Prince Albert Raiders on Thursday. He spent seven years with
the Lethbridge Hurricanes and 14 with the Raiders. He now is moving on to work for the City of Prince Albert.
In honour of his leaving the Raiders, we have this note from Liane Sadlemyer Vance:
BRUCE VANCE
I am posting this for Carrie Georgeson, Eryn Georgeson-Tait, Kim Pagé who have expressed sadness on this day that Bruce Vance is leaving the Prince Albert Raiders. I have known Bruce for almost 30 years and his nicknames and sayings get in your head and won't go away (just ask his children)!! So here are the top 10 Bruce Vance(isms) for you ladies to give you a laugh. And remember when you catch yourself saying them over and over again, you have Bruce to thank (please note these are Bruce Vance Raider(isms), he makes up new sets depending on his environment.
10. ARGOOOOOOOSSSS!!!! (This would be yelled at random times, not necessarily when the Argos are playing)
9. Corksoaker!
8. 4,5, 6!!
7. Meow (this is more of a sound as opposed to a saying)
6. Smile and nod...
5. It's a great day for hockey
4. NUGGET what are you doing????
3. NOTHING!!!
2. Let's do this, it's our time
1. Win or lose..........
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THE COACHING GAME:

SJHLGeoff Grimwood, who had been working with the Victoria Royals, is the new general manager and head coach of the SJHL’s Kindersley Klippers. . . . Grimwood spent the past three seasons as an assistant coach with the Royals. He also oversaw the major midget South Island Royals for parts of three seasons. . . . Before that, he was an assistant coach with the BCHL’s Powell River Kings for two seasons. . . . He replaces Rockie Zinger, whose contract wasn’t renewed.
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If your organization is making a change or has vacancies that you are trying to fill, email Taking Note at gregg@takingnote.ca, and I’ll let the hockey crowd that follows this blog know all about it.
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AHLIn the AHL, the visiting Utica Comets scored a 4-1 victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins last night, to take a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal. F Sven Baertschi scored Utica’s first three goals. . . . Baertschi, who was acquired by the parent Vancouver Canucks from the Calgary Flames during the season, scored three second-period goals in a span of 8:36. . . . Utica F Jake Virtanen, who played this season with the Calgary Hitmen, drew an assist on Baertschi’s third goal. That was Virtanen’s first professional point. . . . Attendance was 5,122. . . . The Comets and Griffins will play again tonight and Sunday in Grand Rapids. . . .
——
NHLF Radel Fazleev of the Calgary Hitmen has signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers. Fazleev, 19, was selected by the Flyers in the sixth round of the NHL’s 2014 draft. . . . A native of Kazan, Russia, he had 51 points, including 18 goals, in 71 games this season, his second with the Hitmen. . . .
——

The Brandon Wheat Kings revealed earlier in the week that they have sold more than 1,200 season-tickets with two weeks left before their early bird deadline. A year ago, with two weeks to the deadline, the Wheat Kings said they had sold 1,100 season-tickets. A year ago, when the deadline arrived in June, that total was at 1,600. . . . The Wheat Kings, who lost in the WHL’s championship final earlier this month, are expected to contend again next season.
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“Rowan Stringer’s fatal head injury on a high school rugby field could have been prevented if those around her had some basic knowledge of concussion management, an internationally renowned concussion expert told an inquest Thursday into the teenager’s death,” writes Chris Cobb of the Ottawa Citizen. “Despite the proliferation of publicly available information about concussions and concussion management, Toronto neurologist Charles Tator said, it is a major concern that none of it appears to have reached Rowan, her peers, coaches or teachers.” . . . Stringer, 17, died in May 2013, four days after being injured. . . . The inquest in Ottawa has been ongoing and the jury is expected to bring back recommendations next week. . . . Cobb’s story is right here.
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These are interesting days with the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, with Klay Thompson appearing to have suffered a concussion on Wednesday night, just a couple of nights after Steph Curry, the league’s MVP, took a hard fall and landed on his head. . . . Jesus Gomez of sbnation.com has more right here.
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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Oceanic forces MC tiebreaker . . . Nickolet does draft preview up right . . . New deal for Everett coach








G Brett Jaeger (Medicine Hat, Vancouver, Saskatoon, 2000-04) signed a one-year contract with Dresdner Eislöwen (Germany, DEL2). This season, with the Fischtown Pinguins Bremerhaven (Germany, DEL2), he had a 3.07 GAA in 15 games. Jaeger has dual Canadian-German citizenship. . . .
G Mark Guggenberger (Portland, Swift Current, Kelowna, 2007-10) signed a one-year contract with the Perth Thunder (Australia, AIHL). This season, with the Gwinnett Gladiators (ECHL), he was 3.46 and .893 in 23 games. He also got into two games with the Fort Wayne Komets (ECHL), going 1.95 and .905. . . . Guggenberger signed with Perth in December but the club just announced it. He also will work with youth goalies in Western Australia. . . . At present, Perth is in first place in the AIHL with a 6-1-0-1 record.
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The QMJHL-champion Rimouski Oceanic and the host Quebec Remparts will meet in a Memorial Cup tiebreaker tonight. . . . On Wednesday night, the Oceanic dropped the Remparts 4-0, setting up tonight’s tiebreaker, with the winner
moving into Friday’s semifinal against the WHL-champion Kelowna Rockets. . . . The OHL-champion Oshawa Generals (3-0) have advanced to Sunday’s final. . . . The other three teams all finished 1-2 — it was the first time that three teams have done that — but the Rockets moved into the semifinal based on a tiebreaking formula. . . . Oceanic G Philippe Desrosiers stopped 27 shots for last night’s shutout. . . . Quebec G Zach Fucale allowed four goals on 25 shots before being lifted for Callum Booth, who stopped 17 shots over 27:20. Still, you know that Fucale will start for the Remparts tonight. . . . Rimouski F Justin Samson, in the lineup for an ailing Anthony DeLuca, got the game’s first goal, scoring one second after the expiration of an Oceanic PP, at 14:36 of the first period. . . . Oceanic F Michael Joly finished with a goal and four assists. He now has a tournament-high six points. . . . Rimouski was 2-for-6 on the PP; Quebec was 0-for-3. . . . Attendance was 10,277. . . . Rimouski was without DeLuca, a 44-goal man in the regular season, due to illness. . . . The Remparts, who never seemed in the last game of the round-robin, lost F Anthony Duclair (shoulder) and F Jérome Verrier (leg) with injuries in the third period. It isn’t known if they will be available tonight. . . . Rimouski has won its last six games at the Pepsi Colisée.
——
Here is the Memorial Cup schedule (all games on Sportsnet; all times Eastern):
Friday, May 22: Kelowna 3 vs. Quebec 4 (9,497)
Saturday, May 23: Rimouski 3 vs. Oshawa 4 (8,409)
Sunday, May 24: Quebec 4 vs. Oshawa 5 (OT) (10,970)
Monday, May 25: Rimouski 3 vs. Kelowna 7 (6,981)
Tuesday, May 26: Oshawa 2 vs. Kelowna 1 (7,002)
Wednesday, May 27: Quebec 0 vs. Rimouski 4 (10,277)
Thursday (tiebreaker): Quebec vs. Rimouski, 7:30 p.m.
Friday: Semifinal, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday: Championship game, 7 p.m.
——
The Kelowna Rockets drew a $500 fine on the weekend after someone in their organization was critical of the referees in Game 1 of the Memorial Cup in Quebec City. The guilty party wasn’t identified, so I asked readers of this blog who they thought it may have been.
All told, there were 117 voters, with general manager Bruce Hamilton getting the most votes (63). Among the five options presented in the poll, Ogopogo came in second (27), followed by play-by-play man Regan Bartel (12), head coach Dan Lambert (9), F Leon Draisaitl (6).
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There isn’t a more devoted observer of the WHL than Cody Nickolet, and he has released the fruit of his labours -- his final WHL rankings of players eligible for the 2015 NHL draft. It is more than 75,000 words in length, so there is a lot of detail. You should check it out right here.
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NHLThe Montreal Canadiens announced Wednesday that Vaughn Karpan, 53, has been named director of professional scouting. Karpan, a veteran scout, played for the Brandon Wheat Kings (1979-80) and is from The Pas, Man. He is preparing for his 11th season with the Canadiens, the past five as a pro scout. Karpan also spent 13 seasons with the Winnipeg Jets/Phoenix Coyotes.
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Taylor Rocca of the Cranbrook Daily Townsman reports that the Kootenay Ice may go to camp with seven 20-year-olds on hand. But that won’t include F Ryan Chynoweth or D Lenny Hackman. Chynoweth, the son of Ice general manager Jeff Chynoweth, is expected to play junior A, while Hackman apparently is headed to school. . . . Rocca’s story is right here.
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Pat Micheletti, the second-leading scorer in the history of the U of Minnesota Gophers, underwent a kidney transplant on Wednesday at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. His new kidney came from his brother, Jerry. . . . Michael Russo of the Minnesota StarTribune has more right here.
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BCHLF Owen Sillinger, the son of former WHL/NHL F Mike Sillinger, will play next season with the BCHL’s Penticton Vees. This season, Owen played with the midget AAA Regina Pat Canadians. He had 64 points, including 25 goals, in 42 games. . . . Sillinger, who will turn 18 on Sept. 23, was selected by the Vancouver Giants in the 10th round of the WHL’s 2012 bantam draft.
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AHLThe Manchester Monarchs, under former Moose Jaw Warriors head coach Mike Stothers, are headed to the AHL final. The Monarchs completed a sweep of the Hartford WolfPack on Wednesday night, winning 3-1 in Hartford. . . . The Monarchs are affiliated with the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings; the WolfPack is with the New York Rangers. . . . The Monarchs will meet either the Utica Comets (Vancouver Canucks) or Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit Red Wings) in the final. That series is 1-1 heading into Game 3 tonight in Grand Rapids.
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ECHLThe Allen Americans and South Carolina Stingrays will play for the ECHL championship. . . . The Americans beat the visiting Ontario Reign 3-1 in Game 7 of their semifinal series last night, while the Stingrays beat the host Toledo Walleye 1-0 in triple OT of their Game 7. . . . The Americans became the fifth team in ECHL history to win a series after trailing 3-1. . . . The final is scheduled to open Sunday in Allen, Texas.
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THE COACHING GAME:

The Everett Silvertips have signed assistant coach Brennan Sonne to a contract extension through 2015-16. That will be Sonne’s second season on the coaching staff, alongside head coach Kevin Constantine and fellow assistant Mitch Love. . . . Sonne, 28, worked with the forwards and on skill development this season. . . . From Maple Ridge, B.C., Sonne played parts of three seasons with the Silvertips, and also played with the Red Deer Rebels and Edmonton Oil Kings.
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BCHLThe B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League’s Selkirk Saints are in need a head coach as Alex Evin is off to the BCHL’s Alberni Valley Bulldogs as an assistant coach and goaltender coach. Evin guided the Saints to the BCIHL championship this season, his first as head coach. . . . Bob Hall of the Nelson Daily has more right here.
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Check out this young fellow’s favourite book . . .


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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Ice signs head coach . . . Generals beat Rockets . . . Tigers get goaltender from 'Hawks








F Brett Breitkreuz (Kelowna, Edmonton, Vancouver, 2006-10) signed a one-year contract with Löwen Frankfurt (Germany, DEL2). This season, with the Augsburger Panther (Germany, DEL), he had four goals and four assists in 51 games. . . .
F Brandon Segal (Calgary, 1999-2004) signed a two-year contract with the Nürnberg Ice Tigers (Germany, DEL). This season, with Medveščak Zagreb (Croatia, KHL), he had 10 goals and 15 assists in 54 games.
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LUKE PIERCE
The Kootenay Ice has dipped into the junior A ranks for the seventh head coach in its history.
Luke Pierce 31, was named head coach on Tuesday and signed a three-year contract. He replaces Ryan McGill, whose contract won’t be renewed after it expires on June 30. (That was McGill’s second stint as head coach; counting him twice makes Pierce No. 7.)
Pierce, who is from Merritt, B.C., has been the GM/head coach of the BCHL’s Merritt Centennials since November 2009. He put up a 168-111-21 record there and had the team in the playoffs in each of the six seasons.
Meanwhile, assistant coach Jay Henderson has said he won’t be returning to the Ice. His contract also expires on June 30.
Of the WHL’s 22 teams, 20 now have head coaches. Pierce is the only one of those 20 head guys to have moved into the WHL directly from junior A.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes and Vancouver Giants are the only two teams presently without a head coach.
Taylor Rocca of the Cranbrook Daily Townsman has more on the Ice’s hire right here, including a neat piece on how Pierce’s name was brought to the attention of general manager Jeff Chynoweth.
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The Oshawa Generals clinched a berth in the Memorial Cup final with a 2-1 victory over the Kelowna Rockets on Tuesday night. . . . The Generals won’t play again until Sunday’s final. . . . Oshawa improved to 3-0 with the victory, each of them by one goal, while the Rockets slipped to 1-2. . . . The host Quebec Remparts (1-1) and the Rimouski Oceanic (0-2) are scheduled to meet tonight. The Oceanic won the QMJHL title by beating the Remparts in double OT in Game 7. . . . If Quebec wins tonight, the Remparts and Rockets will play in the semifinal game on Friday. A Rimouski win tonight likely puts the Oceanic and Remparts into a tiebreaker on Thursday. The Rockets likely would avoid the tiebreaker on goal differential. . . . Last night, all three goals came in the second period. . . . Oshawa F Cole Cassels (4:15) and F Tobias Lindberg (17:16) gave the Generals a 2-0 lead. . . . F Gage Quinney scored for Kelowna at 18:11. . . . Quinney leads the tournament with four goals, one more than Lindberg. F Nick Merkley and F Leon Draisaitl of the Rockets also have three. . . . Merkley and Oshawa F Michael Dal Colle lead in points, each with five. . . . Oshawa G Ken Appleby stopped 20 shots, seven fewer than Kelowna’s Jackson Whistle. . . . The Rockets were 0-for-3 on the PP; Oshawa’s PP unit never got on the ice. . . . Kelowna had a glorious opportunity to tie the game, and maybe win it, when the Generals were given two minor penalties 1:01 apart late in the third period. Only three penalties were called in the entire game. F Dakota Mermis went off for kneeing at 15:36 of the third, and Cassels was called for delay to game at 16:37. The Rockets were all around Appleby and had numerous scoring chances, but they weren’t able to get the equalizer. . . . Draisaitl was 16-for-29 in the faceoff circle; Cassels was 15-for-30.
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Here is the Memorial Cup schedule (all games on Sportsnet; all times Eastern):
Friday, May 22: Kelowna 3 vs. Quebec 4 (9,497)
Saturday, May 23: Rimouski 3 vs. Oshawa 4 (8,409)
Sunday, May 24: Quebec 4 vs. Oshawa 5 (OT) (10,970)
Monday, May 25: Rimouski 3 vs. Kelowna 7 (6,981)
Tuesday, May 26: Oshawa 2 vs. Kelowna 1 (7,002)
Wednesday: Quebec vs. Rimouski, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday: Tiebreaker, if necessary, 7:30 p.m.
Friday: Semifinal, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday: Championship game, 7 p.m.
———


The latest alleged victim of former WHL coach Graham James went to the police in September 2013, one month after telling his family of his experiences. Since then, he has been in close contact with Todd Holt, who was sexually abused by James while both were with the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Dean Pritchard of the Calgary Sun has more right here.
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The Medicine Hat Tigers have acquired G Evan Johnson, 19, from the Portland Winterhawks for a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft. . . . The Winterhawks got Johnson from the Calgary Hitmen in January. He got into only four games with Portland, going 1-0-2, 3.97, .880. . . . Johnson, from Winnipeg, finished the season 6-3-4, 3.13, .890. . . . The top two goaltenders on the Tigers’ depth chart now are Johnson and Nick Schneider, who turns 18 on July 21. . . . Schneider played in 27 games this season, going 15-7-1, 2.82, .898. . . . Portland’s starter is Adin Hill, 19, who was 31-11-1, 2.81, .921 this season. . . . Michael Bullion, an 18-year-old from Anchorage, likely is No. 2 on the depth chart. He got into four games this season, going 2-2-0, 3.22, .900, but spent most of the season with the NAHL’s Wenatchee Wild.
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Veteran F Ben Duperreault won’t be back with the Moose Jaw Warriors. Duperreault, who turns 18 on July 18, had one goal and four assists in 34 games this season, after putting up 18 points, six of them goals, in 65 games in 2013-14. Duperreault, who is from Wilcox, Sask., was dropped by the Warriors prior to the bantam draft.
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Monday, May 25, 2015

Rockets back in the game . . . James facing another charge . . . Former enforcer pleads guilty








F Toni Rajala (Brandon, 2009-10) signed a one-year contract with Luleå (Sweden, SHL). This season, with Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia, KHL), he had three goals and nine assists in 21 games. In 31 games with Färjestad Karlstad (Sweden, SHL), he had 27 points, including 14 goals. . . .

KHLThe KHL ‘Junior Fair’ or entry draft was held on Saturday, and two players with WHL connections were selected. . . . F Jordan Weal (Regina, 2007-12) went in the third round (69th overall) to Sochi. This season, with the Manchester Monarchs (AHL), he had 20 goals and 49 assists in 73 games. Weal was third in the AHL scoring race and was named a second-team all-star. . . . G Patrik Bartosak (Red Deer, 2011-13) was taken in the fifth round (125th overall) by Dynamo Minsk. This season, with Manchester, he was 2.23 and .919 in 28 games. . . . The KHL draft is open to Russian players age 17 and non-Russian players ages 17-23 who don’t have any contractual ties to any KHL or other Russian club.
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F Nick Merkley scored on Kelowna’s first shot of the game last night and the Rockets went on to a 7-3 victory over the Rimouski Oceanic in the fourth game of the Memorial Cup in Quebec City. . . . Attendance was 6,981. . . . The Rockets are 1-1; the Oceanic is 0-2. . . . The Oshawa Generals are 2-0, while the host Quebec Remparts are 1-1. . . . The Rockets will play the Generals tonight. Should Oshawa win, it will get a bye into Sunday’s final. . . . The Oceanic is scheduled to play the Remparts on Wednesday. A victory by Kelowna tonight and Rimouski on Wednesday would put the Rockets into the final. . . . From Neate Sager of Yahoo! Sports Canada: “The Oceanic, which gave up six or more goals for only the third time since Jan. 1, must defeat Quebec on Wednesday in order to advance to a tiebreaker game. Coach-GM Serge Beausoleil's team is 5-0 against the Remparts at the Colisée since both teams finalized their rosters at the QMJHL trade deadline.” . . . Last night, Merkley scored twice and added an assist, getting both goals after kicking the puck from a skate to his stick. . . . The Rockets led 3-0 before the first period was 15 minutes old, and took a 3-2 lead into the second period. . . . Rimousk’s chances at victory ended when the Rockets scored the only three goals of the second period. . . . Kelowna also got two goals and an assist from F Leon Draisaitl, who is riding a 10-game point streak, while D Madison Bowey had a goal and two helpers, and F Gage Quinney scored twice. . . . F Cole Linaker was terrific for Kelowna. He only had one assist, but was 12-for-21 on faceoffs and had a solid defensive night. . . . Draisaitl and Rimouski F Frederik Gauthier, touted as two of the top centres, struggled at the dots. Draisaitl was 11-for-25; Gauthier was 12-for-29. . . . Rimouski opened with Louis-Philip Guindon in goal, but he left after Kelowna took a 5-2 lead. He stopped 17 shots. Philippe Desrosier came on to stop 12 of 14 shots. . . . Kelowna G Jackson Whistle turned aside 28 shots. . . . Rimouski was 2-for-6 on the PP; Kelowna was 1-for-5. . . . Draisaitl’s second goal, the last one of the game, came while the Rockets were shorthanded.
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Here is the Memorial Cup schedule (all games on Sportsnet; all times Eastern):
Friday, May 22: Kelowna 3 vs. Quebec 4 (9,497)
Saturday, May 23: Rimouski 3 vs. Oshawa 4 (8,409)
Sunday, May 24: Quebec 4 vs. Oshawa 5 (OT) (10,970)
Monday, May 25: Rimouski 3 vs. Kelowna 7 (6,981)
Tuesday: Oshawa vs. Kelowna, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday: Quebec vs. Rimouski, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday: Tiebreaker, if necessary, 7:30 p.m.
Friday: Semifinal, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday: Championship game, 7 p.m.
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Graham James is facing yet another sexual assault-related charge.
It was revealed Monday that the 63-year-old James, who coached in the WHL with the Moose Jaw Warriors (1984-85), Swift Current Broncos (1986-94) and Calgary Hitmen (1995-96), has been charged with one count of repeated sexual assaults.
Lawyer Robert Skinner of Regina represented James by phone with Swift Current provincial court on
GRAHAM JAMES
Monday. James has waived a preliminary hearing, electing to be tried by judge alone in Court of Queen’s Bench. His next appearance is scheduled for June 19.
On Monday, the judge in Swift Current issued a publication ban in order to protect the identity of the alleged victim.
According to the RCMP, a former Broncos player came forward with a complaint on Sept. 27, 2013. The complainant has said the alleged assaults took place in 1991 and 1992.
James is in prison, although prosecutors have not said where. He is in the final weeks of a sentence he received in 2012 for sexual assaults on former NHL/WHL star Theo Fleury, while he was with the Warriors, and his cousin, Todd Holt, when he was with the Broncos. In that case, James originally was sentenced to two years, but that was increased to five years on appeal.
As news of the latest charges hit social media, Fleury tweeted:
“By the time a pedophile gets caught he has over 120 victims, not surprised by the news of Graham James.
"For all of you asking if I'm ok, I appreciate it and it just gives me more conviction to keep fighting. I have a great life #epidemic.”
Prior to the Fleury/Holt-related sentence, James served 3 1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting former NHLer Sheldon Kennedy, while he was with the Broncos, and two other players.
You may recall that the National Parole Board gave James a pardon in 2007, something that resulted in a huge outpouring of outrage and, later, a tightening of the rules regarding such situations.
Kennedy told the Calgary Sun on Monday that he was aware of the latest charge against James, adding that he wasn’t “at all surprised.”
“When the police did the investigation in my case,” Kennedy told 660News, a Calgary radio station, “they figured there was anywhere from 75 to 100 other victims.
“I go back to thinking about how important it is for the individual, that we focus on them as they came forward and I know that there’s going to be some struggles as they go through the process.
“Graham James is hopefully not getting out of jail anytime soon.”
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“A former National Hockey League enforcer has pleaded guilty to a string of criminal charges dating back to last year,” writes Tim Petruk of Kamloops This Week. “Rudy Poeschek was in Kamloops provincial court on Monday, where he entered guilty pleas to four counts — three allegations of driving while prohibited and one count of assault. He will be sentenced on July 2.” . . . Petruk’s complete story is right here.
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THE COACHING GAME:

QMJHLBradley Flynn has joined the QMJHL’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan as an assistant coach under head coach Mario Pouliot. . . . Flynn, the son of Saint John Sea Dogs head coach Danny Flynn, will work with fellow assistant Jean-François Grégoire. . . . Bradley Flynn had been an assistant coach with the NAHL’s Corpus Christi IceRays. . . . The Titan also has added Nathan Dunnett as its goaltending coach. He played in the QMJHL with the Drummondville Voltigeurs and Baie-Comeau Drakkar. Most recently, he has been with the Maritime Hockey League’s Miramichi Timberwolves.
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OHLThe OHL’s Peterborough Petes are expected to announce today that they have added Jake Grimes to their coaching staff as an assistant under head coach Jody Hull. . . . Grimes spent 11 seasons as an assistant coach with the Belleville Bulls. The Belleville franchise has been sold and the Bulls now are the Hamilton Bulldogs.
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The four-team 2016 Cyclone Taylor Cup will be held in Victoria, April 7-10. The Cyclone Taylor Cup is the B.C. junior B championship. The Victoria Cougars of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League will be the host team. The tournament also includes the champions from the VIJHL, Kootenay International and Pacific junior leagues. . . . The VIJHL’s Campbell River Storm won the tournament this year in Mission.
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Trent Yawney, once a WHL defenceman (Saskatoon, 1981-85), is an assistant coach with the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks these days and is playing an important role in their playoff run. Eric Duhatschek of The Globe and Mail explains it all right here. . . . Brad Lauer, a former WHL player and coach, also is on the Ducks’ coaching staff.
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Mike O’Brien, who was a colleague when we both worked at the Regina Leader-Post, lost his battle with cancer on Monday. He was a special person. If you haven’t read the feature that Jana Pruden wrote about him recently, that story is right here.
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