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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday . . .

FIRST ROUND
(Best-of-7)
(All times local)
EASTERN CONFERENCE
Calgary (1) vs. Moose Jaw (8)
(Moose Jaw leads series 3-2)
Thursday: Moose Jaw 2 at Calgary 5
Saturday: Calgary at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.
———
Brandon (2) vs. Swift Current (7)
(Brandon wins series 4-0)
———
Saskatoon (3) vs. Red Deer (6)
(Saskatoon wins series 4-0)
Thursday: Saskatoon 5 at Red Deer 2
———
Kootenay (4) vs. Medicine Hat (5)
(Series tied 2-2)
Friday: Medicine Hat at Kootenay, 7 p.m.
Sunday: Kootenay at Medicine Hat, 6 p.m.
———
WESTERN CONFERENCE
Tri-City (1) vs. Chilliwack (8)
(Tri-City leads series 3-1)
Friday: Chilliwack at Tri-City, 7 p.m.
———
Vancouver (2) vs. Kamloops (7)
(Vancouver wins series 4-0)
———
Everett (3) vs. Kelowna (6)
(Series tied 2-2)
Friday: Kelowna at Everett, 7:35 p.m.
Saturday: Everett at Kelowna, 7 p.m.
———
Spokane (4) vs. Portland (5)
(Spokane leads series 2-1)
Friday: Portland at Spokane, 7 p.m.
Saturday: Portland at Spokane, 7 p.m.
———
THURSDAY’S PLAYOFF GAMES:
In Calgary, the Hitmen stayed alive with a 5-2 victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . Moose Jaw, the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, holds a 3-2 edge in the series. Game 6 is Saturday at the Crushed Can. Methinks the joint will be hopping. . . . F Brandon Kozun, the WHL’s regular-season scoring leader, led Calgary with a goal and three assists. . . . Moose Jaw scored first, when F Antonin Honejsek scored his third of the series at 18:59 on the PP. . . . The Hitmen scored the next five goals, before Honejsek closed the scoring with his fourth at 13:53 of the the third period. . . . Calgary was 3-for-5 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 1-for-6. . . . Attendance was 7,138.
———
In Red Deer, the Saskatoon Blades scored a 5-2 victory over the Rebels to sweep the first-round series. . . . F Adam Kambeitz scored shorthanded for Red Deer at 1:47 of the first period. . . . Saskatoon scored the next four goals, starting with one from D Stefan Elliott on the PP at 8:06 of the first period. . . . F Jeremy Boyer put the Blades out front at 113:11 of the second and F Curtis Hamilton notched the eventual winner at 4:23. . . . Saskatoon G Steven Stanford, beaten only three times in four games, stopped 31 shots and finished the series with a .977 save percentage. . . . Red Deer G Kraymer Barnstable turned aside 32 shots. . . . Red Deer was 1-for-8 on the PP; Saskatoon was 1-for-4. . . . Attendance was 3,800. . . . The Rebels played without F Landon Ferraro and F Andrej Kudrna. “This was a big game, a game we needed to win to survive to play the next day, and those two guys weren’t at 100 per cent physically,” Red Deer head coach Jesse Wallin told Greg Meachem, the sports editor of the Red Deer Advocate. “We just felt that to give ourselves the best chance we needed 20 guys on the ice who were 100 per cent, who were ready to compete at that level. We had healthy bodies available and although it was a difficult decision, we decided that was the right way to go.” 
———
MEANWHILE . . .
With Swift Current having been eliminated, Broncos F Cody Eakin is to join the Hershey Bears, the AHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals. Eakin, who had 91 points, including 47 goals, this season was a third-round pick by Washington in the NHL’s 2009 draft.
———
With the Kamloops-Vancouver series over, Shaw TV shifts its attention to the series between the Kootenay Ice and Medicine Hat Tigers. That series is 2-2 with Game 5 in Cranbrook on Friday night. Shaw won’t televise that game, but will show Game 6 from Medicine Hat on Sunday and, if necessary, Game 7 from Cranbrook on Tuesday.
———
The U of Manitoba Bisons staged quite a comeback as the CIS hockey championship began at Fort William, Ont., Gardens. F Mike Heller got his second goal, at 1:51 of OT, to give the No. 5 Bisons a 5-4 victory over the No. 2 McGill Redmen. . . . McGill led that one 4-1 going into the third period. . . . Manitoba tied it on goals by F Kyle Howarth (Medicine Hat, Spokane, Prince Albert, 2003--06), Hellyer (Prince Albert, 2003-06) and F Ian Duval (Regina, Calgary, Moose Jaw, Kelowna, 2003-09). Duval tied it with 4.8 seconds left in the third period. Duval also made the pass that set up Hellyer’s winner.
———
How did the Vancouver Giants celebrate their four-game sweep of the Kamloops Blazers that was completed Wednesday night? Well, they spent a couple of hours sitting on their broken down bus between Kamloops and Vancouver. . . . Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province reports that the Giants’ bus broke down not far from Kamloops and the team had to wait a couple of hours for a replacement. Instead of getting back to their homes by 3 a.m., they didn’t get home until around 6. . . . As Ewen pointed out, the Giants’ bus has had a tough season. “The bus has already had difficulties on trips from Chilliwack and Regina and there was the flat tire just outside Binscarth, Man., that caused a six-hour delay during their extended Eastern Conference roadswing brought about by the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.”
———
The SJHL’s Nipawin Hawks have hired Doug Johnson as their next head coach. He presently is an assistant coach with the USHL’s Omaha Lancers. Johnson, from Bracken, Sask., is a former Hawks player. . . . He replaces Colin O’Hara who resigned on Feb. 10.

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