Sunday, November 21, 2010

F Lynn Loyns (Spokane, 1997-2001) signed a one-year contract with Brunico/Val Pusteria (Italy Serie A). He had six goals and three assists in 26 games for the Krefeld Pinguine (Germany DEL) last season. Loyns missed the last half of the season after tearing an ACL in mid-January in a game against Ingolstadt.
Sometime today or Tuesday, the WHL office — hello, there, Richard Doerksen — will finalize the discipline emanating from that messy situation in Portland between the Winterhawks and Kamloops Blazers on Saturday night.
And it will be interesting to see just what comes out of all this.
One fan, in a posting to this blog, felt the stuff hitting the fan was “all started by a vicious cross-check by Brad Ross on Dylan Willick after the buzzer.”
Ross, who appears to give Willick three shots off a faceoff to start the scrap, plays for Portland, Willick for Kamloops, and the buzzer signalled the end of the second period.
Those two fought and were then sent to their dressing rooms.
As the teams came off their benches to head to their respective dressing rooms, Portland F Nino Niederreiter shot Willick’s helmet along the ice and toward the exit the Blazers would be taking.
As the helmet scooted past Kamloops G Jeff Bosch, he raised both arms slightly in a gesture that said: “Hey, what’s going on here?” Or something like that.
At the same time, Bosch was slowly coasting toward the Portland players and soon found himself in a cluster of Winterhawks.
As the Blazers in the neutral zone noticed the predicament in which their goaltender now found himself, a few of them headed towards him. Soon players were milling around.
Which was when Portland D Joe Morrow appeared to skate right at Kamloops F Brendan Ranford and shove him towards the corner boards. And away they went. Somehow, though, referees Matt Thurston and Derek Zalaski ruled that this wasn’t a fight, as they gave Ranford a roughing minor and Morrow two roughing minors.
Bosch ended up in a fight, albeit a brief one, with Portland G Mac Carruth. Bosch came out of that with a slight cut on his forehead — it didn’t need stitches — and a blackened and swollen eye. He is to see a doctor on today, although the team says that is strictly a precautionary measure.
Meanwhile, in the neutral zone, Kamloops F JC Lipon and Portland F Seth Swenson were flailing away at each other.
When all was said and done, Bosch and Carruth got tossed, as did Lipon and Swenson.
Both teams are certain to be fined $250 each because of the battling goaltenders.
But the WHL will have to rule on whether this was what it calls a multi-fight situation. By WHL definition, a multi-fight situation involves three or more fights at the same time.
At a glance, it might appear that there were four fights.
However, Ross and Willick had been broken up and sent to their respective dressing rooms.
And the incident involving Morrow and Ranford didn’t warrant fighting majors, at least not in the eyes of the two referees.
Which leaves only two fights — Bosch vs. Carruth and Lipon vs. Swenson.
However, Morrow and Swenson were suspended by the WHL on Sunday, meaning they didn’t play in the Winterhawks’ 3-1 loss to the visiting Spokane Chiefs that night.
Swenson’s suspension may mean Lipon also will be suspended.
Morrow, who you will recall received only a double minor, was suspended for something, which may or may not mean Ranford also will be suspended. But when you watch the video it’s hard to see Ranford doing anything, other than defending himself.
There are other issues to deal with here, too.
Kamloops captain Chase Schaber received a game misconduct, apparently for making contact with one of the linesmen. Did he, or didn’t he, and, if he did, how serious was it? Is that worth a suspension?
And Portland F Ryan Johansen, who left the ice surface and went into the dressing room, returned to the fray while wearing a baseball cap. He didn’t get involved in anything, but there is the matter of leaving the ice surface and then returning. He played last night, so that move wasn’t deemed worthy of a suspension, but might it be worth a fine?
The Blazers next play Tuesday against the visiting Regina Pats. Portland is at home to the Everett Silvertips on Wednesday.
Don’t look now but the 10-team Western Conference is something of a mess.
The Portland Winterhawks are 20-4-1 and threatening to run away with things, what with a 12-point lead over the second-place Vancouver Giants.
But after that there are only six points separating nine teams.
A week ago, the Kamloops Blazers were coming off two home-ice victories — they beat the Kelowna Rockets 4-0 and the Everett Silvertips 3-1 — and were tied for fifth, just one point out of third place.
This morning, the Blazers wake up having lost two straight road games and find themselves in last place.
Kamloops (11-11-1) is 10th, one point behind the Spokane Chiefs, Kelowna and the Prince George Cougars, who are tied for seventh. (Yes, all 10 teams are at .500 or better, but we won’t get into that, at least not now.)
The Chilliwack Bruins are sixth, with 25 points, just one point behind the Seattle Thunderbirds, Tri-City Americans and Everett, all of whom are tied for third, just three points behind Vancouver.
This has the feel of a horse race that will be like this right into March.
How big a role will injuries play?
And how big a price might be paid by those teams that lose players to national junior teams and to the U-17 World Hockey Challenge during the month of December and into January?
Yes, there are interesting times ahead.
The Eastern Conference, meanwhile, appears to be splitting into three packs.
The Kootenay Ice, Saskatoon Blades and Red Deer Rebels have opened up a bit of room, over a pack that features the Medicine Hat Tigers, Moose Jaw Warriors, Lethbridge Hurricanes, Swift Current Broncos and Brandon Wheat Kings. At the same time, the Regina Pats, Prince Albert Raiders and Edmonton Oil Kings are scrambling to get back into playoff position, while the 12th-place Calgary Hitmen have lost 13 of 14 and are 12 points out of a playoff spot.
In Moose Jaw, F Spencer Edwards and F Dylan Hood each scored twice to lead the Warriors to a 6-3 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . It was the first game between the teams since they completed a five-player deal on Tuesday. . . . F Cody Beach, who went from Calgary to Moose Jaw in that deal, had two assists. . . . Edwards broke a 2-2 tie on the PP just 34 seconds into the third period and Hood added another PP goal just 1:03 later. . . . G Brandon Glover, who went from the Warriors to the Hitmen, stopped 28 shots. . . .
In Medicine Hat, F Wacey Hamilton set up three goals as the Tigers doubled the Prince Albert Raiders, 4-2. . . . The Tigers led 3-0 in the third period when Prince Albert D Antoine Corbin scored two goals 43 seconds part to get his side to within one just past the midway point. . . . F Tyler Pitlick scored into an empty net at 19:43 to give the Tigers some insurance. That was his eighth goal. . . . F Emerson Etem had two assists for the Tigers. . . .
In Kennewick, Wash., G Kent Simpson stopped 37 shots to spark the Everett Silvertips to a 4-2 victory over the host Tri-City Americans. . . . Everett has won three straight games. . . . F Josh Winquist had two assists for the Silvertips, while F Tyler Maxwell got his 17th goal and F Kellan Tochkin notched No. 11. . . . Everett remains with F Landon Ferraro (concussion) but F Parker Stanfield, who had been out with a concussion, has returned. . . . The Americans have lost five of their last six games. . . .
In Portland, the Spokane Chiefs scored twice in the game’s first five minutes and went on to a 3-1 victory over the Winterhawks. . . . F Blake Gal and F Anthony Bardaro scored those Spokane goals and they came just seven seconds apart. . . . Portland had won 14 of its previous 15 games. . . . The Winterhawks were without D Josh Morrow and F Seth Swenson, both of whom were suspended by the WHL for their roles in a melee during a Saturday night game with the visiting Kamloops Blazers.
One minor:
Tri-City D Drydn Dow
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