Thursday, November 25, 2010

Derrick Pouliot of the Portland Winterhawks
in one of the club's third jerseys.
(Photo courtesy Bryan Heim/Portland Winterhawks)
’Tis the season. No, not for that. For third jerseys.
And the Portland Winterhawks are the latest WHL team to enter the fray.
The Winterhawks unveiled their third jerseys Wednesday night and went on to score a 4-2 victory over the Everett Silvertips before 7,444 fans at the Rose Garden.
The jersey in the photo above is that third jersey.
It’s different, as third jerseys should be. And the more I look at it, the more it grows on me.
Earlier, the Saskatoon Blades unveiled the denim look -- the Canadian tuxedo -- and got a whole bunch of publicity and reaction throughout the hockey world.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes, Brandon Wheat Kings, Kamloops Blazers, Chilliwack Bruins . . . everyone is getting in on the act.
And while they should.
With attendance figures falling like snowflakes in some communities, teams are having to pull out all stops in trying to lure fans into their buildings. And once they get them there, they have to put on an entertaining show in the hopes of turning them into regular customers.
The Winterhawks, for one team, are hard at work and seem to be on the right track.
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THE MacBETH REPORT:
F Radek Duda (Regina, Lethbridge, 1998-2000) has been assigned on loan by Chomutov (Czech Republic 1.Liga) to Plzen (Czech Republic Extraliga) for the rest of this season. He had 23 goals and 37 assists in 44 games for Chomutov last season and has one goal in two games with Plzen this season. . . .
D David Turon (Portland, 2002-03) signed a contract for the rest of this season with Lausitzer Fuchse Weisswasser (Germany 2.Bundesliga) after terminating his contract with Dukla Trencin (Slovakia Extraliga). He had two goals and one assist in 25 games with Dukla this season. . . .
F Troy Ofukany (Kelowna, Regina, Red Deer, 2004-08) signed a tryout contract with the Luleå Rebels (Sweden Division 1). He had eight goals and five assists in 49 games with the Wichita Thunder and Odessa Jackalopes (both Central Hockey League) last season.
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The OHL has had it with staged fighting and has moved to bring an end to it, starting with games of Friday.
From an OHL press release:
“The Ontario Hockey League today announced a new playing rule that will come
into effect with the commencement of games on Friday, November 26, 2010.
“The new rule is: ‘If two or more players should enter into a fight prior
to, or at the drop of the puck at the commencement of any period of a game,
then such player(s) shall be assessed an automatic game misconduct. In
addition to any penalties assessed, the OHL Member Team shall be fined
$500.00 and the player(s) suspended for one (1) game. For any subsequent
offence by the same team, the fine shall increase in $500.00 increments, and
for any subsequent offence by the same player the minimum suspension would
double from the previous occurrence.’ ”
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In case you have forgotten, the AJHL is staging an outdoor game Friday in Fort McMurray with the Oil Barons playing host to the Drayton Valley Thunder. The AJHL’s single-game attendance record apparently is 4,400. The outdoor game is expected to draw 5,000 or more fans.
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Here is a Thanksgiving Day story for you that involves Mandi Schwartz and her family. It’s a must read on this particular day.
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Some Wednesday highlights:
For starters, the 10-team Western Conference got put in the mixing bowl and tossed around like so much salad . . . again.
What a horse race this is going to be.
The Kamloops Blazers beat the visiting Regina Pats on Tuesday night and vacated the cellar. The Blazers lost to the Chiefs in Spokane last night and fell back into the basement.
But, as incredible as this may sound, the Blazers are four points out of second place.
The Portland Winterhawks won again and now hold a 14-point lead over the second-place Vancouver Giants.
The Giants have 29 points and are just one point ahead of the Tri-City Americans. The Seattle Thunderbirds are a point behind the Ams. The Chiefs, Kelowna Rockets, Prince George Cougars and Everett Silvertips are one point behind Seattle.
The Chilliwack Bruins and Kamloops are tied for last, one point that group of four.
Amazing!
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In Prince Albert, the Raiders scored three times in the third period and beat the Moose Jaw Warriors, 3-2. . . . F Brandon Herrod, with his ninth, broke a 2-2 tie at 17:08 of the third period. . . . F Todd Fiddler had a goal, his sixth, and an assist for the Raiders, as did F Jonathan Parker, who got his 15th goal. . . . D Antoine Corbin had two assists for the Raiders. He has played four games since coming over from the Kelowna Rockets and has three two-point games. . . . Raiders G Eric Williams stopped 34 shots. . . . Attendance was 1,893. . . .
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In Swift Current, F Killian Hutt scored his ninth goal on a PP at 4:28 of OT to give the Broncos a 3-2 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Brandon D Ryan Pulock forced OT with his second goal of the season at 7:05 of the third on the PP. . . . F Scott Glennie had two assists for Brandon. . . . F Adam Lowry had a goal and an assist for the Broncos, while D Kyle Verdino had two assists. . . . Broncos G Mark Friesen stopped 34 shots. . . .
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In Edmonton, F Dylan Wruck broke a 3-3 tie with a PP goal at 13:32 of the third period as the Oil Kings edged the Calgary Hitmen, 4-3. . . . Calgary had won the last 16 games between these teams, including four in the playoffs. . . . Since entering the league, the Oil Kings are 4-18-0 versus the Hitmen. . . . Wruck has 10 goals this season. . . . F Michael St. Croix drew three assists for Edmonton. . . . F Trevor Cheek had two assists for the Hitmen. . . . Calgary scored all three of its goals on the PP as it erased a 2-0 deficit. . . . F Kristians Pelss, with his second goal of the season, pulled Edmonton even at 7:16 of the third period. Pelss, 18, will play for his native Latvia at the Division 1A U-20 world junior championship in Bobruisk, Belarus, Dec. 13-19. . . . Edmonton G Jon Groenheyde stopped 32 shots. . . .
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In Lethbridge, the Hurricanes got three shootout goals and beat the Red Deer Rebels, 5-4. . . . F Cam Braes had two goals for Lethbridge and F Mitch Maxwell drew three assists. . . . D Alex Petrovic and F Dalton Siwak each had a goal and an assist for Red Deer. . . . Siwak forced OT with his seventh goal at 15:08 of the third. . . . F Mark Reners, F Jacob Berglund and F Austin Fyten scored for the home team in the shootout, while only F Byron Froese was able to counter for Red Deer. . . .
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In Kelowna, F Geordie Wudrick scored three times to lead the Rockets to a 6-1 victory over the Regina Pats. . . . The Rockets scored three goals in the game’s last minute, the first into an empty net. . . . Kelowna D Tyson Barrie had two assists. . . . Barrie became the franchise’s all-time leading scorer among defencemen last weekend. He now has 190 points, including 146 assists, in 219 regular-season games. The previous record (186 points) was held by Burt Henderson, who played with the Rockets from 1993-96. That included two seasons in Tacoma. . . . The Rockets, who were 4-10-0 not that long ago, now are 13-11-0, meaning they have won nine of their last outings. . . . Wudrick, who played his 300th game last weekend in Prince George, has 10 goals in 23 games this season. It was his second hat trick of this season and the third of his career. . . . He got his third goal at 19:59 of the third period. . . . Kelowna G Adam Brown stopped 32 shots. . . . Regina F Thomas Frazee had a nine-game point streak end. . . . Kelowna F Max Adolph (concussion) returned to the lineup after a nine-game absence. . . . Rockets F Andreas Stene will play for Norway at the World Junior tournament in Buffalo, Dec. 26 through Jan. 5. He has six points in 18 games with Kelowna. . . . F Gal Koren of the Rockets will play for Slovenia in the U-20 Division 1, Group B championship in Bled, Slovenia, Dec. 12-18. Gal, who has been out with a concussion, is pointless in nine WHL games. . . .
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In Chilliwack, G James Priestner stopped 28 shots to lead the Prince George Cougars to a 4-0 victory over the Bruins. . . . It was the first of eight scheduled meetings between these teams this season. . . . The Bruins, who are 2-3-4 over their last nine games, are three games into a six-game homestand. . . . It was Priestner’s first shutout this season and the third of his career. It was his first shutout since March 8, 2008, when, while with the Kamloops Blazers, he beat the Cougars 1-0 in Prince George. . . . F Brett Connolly had two assists for Prince George. . . . Attendance was 2,267. . . . The Bruins had F Robin Soudek back in the lineup for the first time since Nov. 11 when he was hit from behind by Vancouver Giants D Wes Vannieuwenhuizen, who drew a seven-game suspension. . . . . “I've seen it a few times, and I think the hit was probably partly my fault because I turned my back to him,” Soudek told Eric Welsh of the Chilliwack Progress. “As soon as I hit the boards, everything in my neck cracked and I was just happy I was able to move my fingers and toes. But they did the X-rays and everything was OK. The concussion was the worst, because some days you feel pretty good and think it might be gone. And the next day you've got symptoms back. It's not a fun time.” . . .
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In Portland, the Winterhawks got two goals and an assist from F Oliver Gabriel as they beat the Everett Silvertips, 4-2. . . . The Winterhawks are 21-4-1 and that’s the WHL’s best record. . . . Attendance in the Rose Garden was 7,444. . . . Portland G Mac Carruth stopped 22 shots, 12 fewer than Everett’s Kent Simpson. . . . The Silvertips remain without F Landon Ferraro (concussion). . . .
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In Spokane, D Jared Cowen scored three times as the Chiefs spanked the Kamloops Blazers, 10-1. . . . The teams meet again Friday in Kamloops. . . . Cowen, who was playing in his 201st regular-season game, enjoyed his first three-goal game. . . . He has six goals this season and 25 for his career. . . . F Tyler Johnson, F Steven Kuhn, F Anthony Bardaro and F Matt Marantz each had a goal and two assists for the Chiefs, while F Brady Brassart and F Levko Koper each had two assists. . . . F Brendan Ranford scored for the Blazers, giving him a WHL-leading 22 goals. . . . The Chiefs scored four times in the first period and six times in the third. . . . This was the worst beating absorbed by the Blazers since Jan. 17, 1997, when they lost 12-1 to the Winterhawks in Portland. . . . The last time the Blazers surrendered at least 10 goals in a game was Oct. 12, 2009, when they were beaten 12-5 by the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . In their last two visits to Spokane, the Blazers have been outscored, 17-1. The Chiefs beat them 7-0 on Feb. 17. . . .
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In Kent, Wash., F Adam Hughesman scored the lone goal of the shootout as the Tri-City Americans beat the host Seattle Thunderbirds, 5-4. . . . The Americans, who came in having lost six of seven, trailed 3-0 at 12:31 of the second period and 4-2 late in the third. . . . F Kruise Reddick, at 17:23, and F Jordan Messier, 18:01, scored for the Americans to force OT. . . . F Neal Prokop, who suffered a badly broken leg in the first round of the playoffs last spring, returned to the Americans’ lineup. Tri-City dressed Prokop, Reddick and D Zak Stebner as its 20-year-olds, choosing to sit D Tyler Schmidt. The Americans have 14 days to declare three 20-year-olds. . . . Prokop had one assist, setting up Messier’s tying goal. . . . Hughesman had two assists in regulation time, while F Brendan Shinnimin had a goal and an assist. . . . Seattle got two goals from F Colin Jacobs and two assists from F Tyler Alos. . . . Talk about busy goaltenders! Drew Owsley of the Americans stopped 42 shots, while Seattle’s Calvin Pickard turned aside 55. . . . Attendance was 2,639. . . . From the Americans’ Dan Mulhausen: “Owsley matched his season-high with 42 saves in collecting his 50th WHL win. Meanwhile, Pickard faced 50-plus shots for the fourth time in his career, finishing with 55 saves in the tough luck loss. Three of the four times he has faced 50 or more shots in a game have come against Tri-City, including a career-best 57-save shutout on Oct. 2, 2009.”
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WEDNESDAY’S CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
Two minors:
Seattle F Travis Toomey
Seattle F Brenden Dillon

gdrinnan@kamloopsnews.ca
     
gdrinnan.blogspot.com
     
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