At some point this week, the WHL office will put a definite length on the suspension to F Brendan Shinnimin of the Tri-City Americans.
For the league’s sake, it’s too bad the announcement wasn’t made late last week.
Shinnimin clobbered Saskatoon Blades F Josh Nicholls from behind, drawing a checking-from-behind major and the accompanying game misconduct. That was in Saskatoon on Wednesday. Yes, that was on Oct. 6. Yes, today is Oct. 12.
And with WHL meetings in Vancouver today and Wednesday — general managers meet today; governors are in session Wednesday — perhaps someone will ask: What took so long?
You see, had the WHL determined the length of the suspension on Thursday or Friday, the media would have dealt with it at that time and it would be all over.
Instead, because it has dragged on, the hit from behind has drawn all kinds of reaction and commentary from places like TSN and Hockey Night in Canada.
And now the media is going to get another kick at it whenever a final decision is handed down. Which means the video of the hit in question is going to be played over and over again. As it was on the weekend.
The WHL should have pretended it was a ruling political party and issued a press release at close of business on Friday. It was the Friday before a long weekend and a lot of media people may well have left it pretty much alone in their hurry to get away.
Instead, the WHL is going to have to face the music again at some point this week.
The Calgary Hitmen are in Portland to play the Winterhawks on Wednesday. It’ll be a homecoming of sorts for Calgary head coach Mike Williamson, who played 204 regular-season games for the Winterhawks, worked for them as an assistant coach and was their head coach for 531 games. . . . The Central league’s Laredo Bucks have signed F Aaron Boogaard (Calgary, Tri-City, 2002-06). . . . The younger brother of New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard, Aaron has 299 penalty minutes and 21 pionts in 133 pro games. He was in camp with the AHL’s Houston Aeros before signing with the Bucks. . . . Mike Johnston, the GM/head coach of the Portland Winterhawks, says he’ll be getting down to two goaltenders in the immediate future. “We’ve got to make a decision,” Johnston told Steve Brandon of the Portland Tribune. “We’re only going to stay with two.” Veterans Mac Carruth, 18, and Ian Curtis, 20, have come back from injuries to play, and win, one game each, while freshman Keith Hamilton, 18, went 4-1-0-1 to start the season. The Winterhawks are at home to the Calgary Hitmen on Wednesday, then play the Blazers in Kamloops on Friday and the Rockets in Kelowna on Saturday. . . . F Brayden Schenn is working hard to play his way into the Los Angeles Kings’ lineup on a regular basis. Dan Arritt of the Los Angeles Times has that story right here.
PRINCE GEORGE 7 at EDMONTON 8 (OT): F Dylan Wruck scored the winner as time ran out in the five-minute OT period. . . . It was his second goal of the game. . . . F Travis Ewanyk scored his first three goals of the season for Edmonton (5-2-0-0), which won its franchise record fifth straight game. . . . The Oil Kings overcame a 6-3 third-period deficit. . . . Prince George (3-4-1-0) got two early goals from F Brett Connolly, who has six, and stretched that into a 5-2 lead in the second period. . . . F Charles Inglis scored his second of the game, at 17:26 of the second period, to give the Cougars a 6-3 lead. . . . Edmonton actually took a 7-6 lead on third-period goals from F Mike Piluso (at 1:54) and Wruck (4:02, PP), and two from Ewanyk (6:48 and 7:29). . . . Prince George D Sena Acolatse tied it again at 11:48. . . . F Michael St. Croix had a goal and three assists for the Oil Kings. . . . Acolatse also had two assists. . . . Prince George D Martin Marincin, a second-round pick by the Edmonton Oilers in the NHL’s 2010 draft, had a goal and an assist, and was plus-4. . . . Prince George F James Dobrowolski set up three goals. . . . Edmonton D Adrian Van de Mosselaer had one assist and was plus-4. . . . Edmonton started Cam Lanigan in goal. He was beaten six times on 27 shots, with Laurent Brossoit coming on to stop 12 of 13. . . . Prince George G James Priestner stopped 33 shots. . . . Prince George was 1-for-4 on the PP; Edmonton was 2-for-5. . . . Attendance was 2,757. . . . Checking-from-behind count: One minor, to Prince George D Joshua Smith.
TRI-CITY 6 at MOOSE JAW 3: The Americans broke a 3-3 tie with three goals in the latter half of the third period. . . . Moose Jaw F Quinton Howden forged a 3-3 tie at 7:10 of the third period as the Warriors came back from a 3-1 deficit. . . . F Connor Rankin’s second PP goal of the game, at 11:17, broke the tie. . . . Tri-City F Patrick Holland added a PP score at 15:20 and F Jordan Messier added insurance at 18:00. . . . Tri-City got two assists from each of D Drydn Dow, F Brooks Macek and D Tyler Schmidt, while Rankin also had an assist. . . . The Americans (7-2-1-0) have won three in a row. They are 3-2 on their East Division swing, which ends Wednesday in Swift Current. . . . The Americans are 20-9-1-0 (with five ties) in the Crushed Can. . . . The Warriors (2-7-0-0) have lost three straight. . . . Tri-City G Drew Owsley was sharp, with 33 saves. . . . Moose Jaw G Thomas Heemskerk stopped 31 shots. . . . Moose Jaw was 0-for-4 on the PP and now is 3-for-35 in nine games. . . . The Americans were 3-for-4 on the PP. . . . Attendance was 2,610. . . . Checking-from-behind count: One minor, to Moose Jaw D Joel Edmundson.
KOOTENAY 0 at SWIFT CURRENT 1 (SO): The Broncos (3-6-0-0) got shootout goals from F Cody Eakin and F Justin Dowling, while the two Ice shooters — F Max Reinhart and F Kevin King — were foiled. . . . The Ice is 3-2-0-1. . . . Both goaltenders will be credited with a shutout. . . . Kootenay G Todd Mathews stopped 31 shots, three more than Swift Current’s Mark Friesen. . . . Friesen has two shutouts this season; Mathews has one. . . . Kootenay was 0-for-1 on the PP; the Broncos were 0-for-3. . . . Attendance was 2,028. . . . Checking-from-behind count: Zero.
VANCOUVER 5 at KAMLOOPS 4: The Blazers opened by outshooting the Giants 8-0 but fell behind 3-0 early in the second period and never recovered. . . . Kamloops (3-4-0-1) had won 5-4 in OT in Vancouver on Saturday night. . . . The Giants are 5-3-1-0 and atop the B.C. Division, which they have won each of the last five seasons. . . . . Vancouver got 34 saves from G Brendan Jensen, 17, who was making his second start of the season. . . . Vancouver F James Henry and F Dalton Sward each had a goal and an assist. . . . Kamloops F Colin Smith had two goals, his first of the season, and an assist. His second goal came with 3.2 seconds left in the third period. . . . Vancouver was 0-for-5 on the PP; the Blazers were 2-for-7. . . . Attendance was 3,842, the smallest crowd ever to watch the Giants play in Kamloops. It was their 36th regular-season appearance in Kamloops. . . . Checking-from-behind count: Zero. (However, a boarding major to Vancouver F Matt Bellerive could easily have been called CFB.) . . . Vancouver F Randy McNaught was taken to hospital for X-rays after injuring an ankle during a scrum in the first period. The X-rays were negative but he was on crutches, with the ankle wrapped, following the game. He is to be re-evaluated on Tuesday.
PRINCE ALBERT 5 at CHILLIWACK 2: The Raiders erased a 2-0 first-period deficit with the game’s last five goals. . . . F Roman Horak and F Ryan Howse scored for the Bruins (3-3-0-0) in the first period. Those two have scored 15 of Chilliwack’s 22 goals this season. . . . F Brandon Herrod, at 9:39, and F Sebastian Svendsen, at 16:23 on the PP, pulled Prince Albert (4-4-1-0) into a tie. . . . F Austin Connor notched the eventual winner, on a PP, at 10:04 of the third period. . . . The Raiders had lost their first two games of this six-game road swing. . . . The Raiders were 2-for-7 on the PP; the Bruins were 1-for-5. . . . Raiders G Eric Williams stopped 28 shots, while Braden Gamble of the Bruins stopped 32. . . . Chilliwack didn’t dress G Lucas Gore, 20, as it chose to go with D Jeff Einhorn, F Shayne Neigum and D Brandon Manning as its three 20-year-olds. . . . Attendance was 2,687. . . . Checking-from-behind count: Zero.
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