Sunday, November 14, 2010

No bobbles in Speedy Creek

Cody Eakin, with his namesake bobblehead dolls.
(Swift Current Broncos photo)
The WHL’s best storyline on Saturday night occurred in Swift Current where the fans were lined up to get into the Credit Union i-plex before the doors opened.
That’s because it was Cody Eakin Bobblehead Night.
So who better to score the game-winning goal in OT than the man of the night?
Yes, Eakin’s goal at 1:46 of OT gave the Broncos a 2-1 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. Eakin, a third-round pick of the Washington Capitals in the NHL’s 2009 draft, scored his 11th goal of the season the PP with Seattle D Travis Bobbee off for slashing.
G Derek Tendler, in his first appearance with the Broncos, stopped 26 shots for the victory. He was acquired from the Vancouver Giants earlier in the season.
At the other end, Seattle started Michael Salmon, who made 35 saves as he played for the first time this season. It was the first time this season that Calvin Pickard didn’t start and finish for the Thunderbirds, who were playing their 19th game.
The Thunderbirds, who had a three-game winning streak end, went 3-1-2 on their East Division swing.
The Swift Current injury list looks like this: D Jordan Evans (concussion, week-to-week); D Tanner Muth (fractured clavicle, week-to-week); D Joel Rogers (high ankle sprain, day-to-day); F Brenden Silvester (back, indefinite); F Taylor Vause (hamstring, week-to-week); and F Dillon Wagner (off-season knee surgery, week-to-week). . . . Haven’t checked for a couple of hours to see if there are any additions. . . . Oh, and let’s not forget that Eakin is playing with a wonky hip. . . .
D Tomas Fojtik (Portland, 2003-04) signed a one-year contract with Montpellier (France Division 1). He had two assists in eight games with Spisska Nova Ves (Slovakia Extraliga) last season. He also appeared in two games with Prostejov (Czech Republic ) and two games with Neumarkt/Egna (ItalySerie A2), going pointless all four games.
Wondering how it went for Shannon Tweed and Gene Simmons on Friday as they watched the host Saskatoon Blades score a 4-3 victory over the Portland Winterhawks. Check out a story from the Saskatoon StarPhoenix right here.
The Medicine Hat Tigers had D Jace Coyle back in their lineup Friday after he missed five games with an injury. . . . When Brandon Wheat Kings F Scott Glennie scored in OT to beat the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes on Friday, it was his first goal since Oct. 26. But it’s not like he wasn’t contributing offensively -- he picked up 13 assists over his last eight games, including the 150th assist of his WHL career. . . .
It’s going to be a busy Monday in the WHL office.
For starters, Vancouver Giants D Wes Vannieuwenhuizen will find out the length of his suspension after he incurred a checking-from-behind major in a 5-1 loss to the Bruins in Chilliwack on Thursday. It was a nasty one and it’s doubtful that the suspension will be of the one-, two- or three-game variety.
And there were two major penalties handed out Saturday night.
In Moose Jaw, the Warriors lost F Quinton Howden in the first period when he was tossed with a cross-checking major. Howden apparently popped Lethbridge Hurricanes F Cam Braes in the face area in retaliation for what he felt were a couple of cross-checks from Braes, who wasn’t penalized.
In Cranbrook, D Adrian Van de Mosselaer of the Edmonton Oil Kings left at 1:50 of the third period with a kneeing major after a hit on Kootenay Ice F Christian Magnus, who left the game.
As well, Portland Winterhawks forward Brad Ross is likely to be dealt with for an incident that occurred early in their 5-4 loss to the Blades in Saskatoon on Friday. He was given a game misconduct for a hit on Saskatoon F Ryan Olsen.
And at what point do we get concerned about the number of checking-from-behind penalties?
Officials handed out eight minors -- including one double minor -- on Friday night. Last night, there were four more minors dished out.
It would seem the message isn’t getting through. So what’s the next step?
In Moose Jaw, G Brandon Stone stopped 32 shots as the Warriors blanked the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 3-0. . . . However, he got tossed with eight seconds left in the third period so ended up sharing the shutout with Thomas Heemskerk. . . . The Warriors lost D Dylan McIlrath with an apparent knee injury when he fell awkwardly late in the third period. He is to be re-examined today. . . . Things got interesting at 19:52 of the third period with both starting goaltenders being penalized for leaving their creases. . . . F Jesse Paradis had a goal and an assist for Moose Jaw, while Joel Edmundson and Danny Gayle each had two assists. . . . Lethbridge G Brandon Anderson made 31 saves, but he, too, got the ol’ heave-ho. It seems that he skated the length of the ice to get at Stone. However, before fisticuffs could start, a linesman brought down Anderson. . . . Both goaltenders were given unsportsmanlike minors, minors for leaving their creases and misconducts. . . .
In Prince Albert, F Sven Bartschi scored two goals, running his points streak to 15 games, as the Portland Winterhawks dumped the Raiders, 8-2. . . . Bartschi, a freshman from Switzerland, has 16 goals. . . . F Nino Niederreiter scored his second of the season for Portland. . . . Prince Albert actually led 2-0 before this game was six minutes old. But the visitors scored three times in 3:54 and took a 3-2 lead into the second period. . . . D Joe Morrow had three assists for Portland, while F Ty Rattie and D Troy Rutkowski each had two. . . . Portland G Keith Hamilton stopped 37 shots. . . . The Winterhawks, who are 3-1-0 on their East Division trip, scored three PP goals and two while shorthanded. They are in Moose Jaw on Monday. . .
In Cranbrook, G Brent Teskey stopped 12 shots for his first WHL shutout as the Kootenay Ice beat the Edmonton Oil Kings, 1-0. . . . Edmonton G Laurent Brossoit turned aside 33 shots and was beaten by only F Elgin Pearce, who got his second goal at 10:09 of the second period. . . . The Ice lost F Christian Magnus in the third period with an apparent leg injury. . . . Kootenay F Erik Benoit missed his first game after hurting a knee in a 4-2 victory over the Hitmen in Calgary on Thursday. . . . The Ice also is without F Drew Czerwonka (shoulder), F Brendan Hurley (hand), D James Martin (nose) and F Brock Montgomery (concussion). . . .
In Kamloops, G Jeff Bosch stopped 23 shots for his second shutout of the season as the Blazers bounced the Kelowna Rockets, 4-0. . . . The Rockets had a six-game winning streak snapped. . . . Kamloops F Brendan Ranford scored twice, giving him a league-leading 19 goals, one more than F Brendan Gallagher of the Vancouver Giants. . . . Ranford also had an assist. . . . Former Blazers head coach Ken Hitchcock, who is being paid not to coach by the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, was in the crowd. . . .
In Spokane, G James Reid stopped 20 shots for the shutout as the Chiefs beat the Tri-City Americans, 5-0. . . . Attendance was 9,816. . . . Spokane has won three in a row. . . . The Chiefs broke open a 1-0 game with three goals in 4:56 late in the second period. . . . Reid has one shutout this season and 10 in his career. . . . The teams combined for 114 penalty minutes. . . . They meet again Saturday at the Toyota Centre in Kennewick, Wash. . . .
In Medicine Hat, F Linden Vey had a goal and three assists, and was plus-4, as the Tigers beat the Regina Pats, 6-4. . . . F Emerson Etem added two goals -- he has 13 -- and an assist for the Tigers. . . . Vey has 33 points in 19 games and is third in the points derby. . . .

In Vancouver, F Brett Connolly and F Troy Bourke scored in the shootout to give the Prince George Cougars a 3-2 victory over the Giants. . . . Only F Matt MacKay was able to score for the Giants in the shootout. . . . The teams combined for 116 penalty minutes. . . . Vancouver led 2-0 midway in the first period, but the Cougars got two third-period goals, from F Tayler Stefishen, his fourth, and D Martin Marincin, his eighth, on the PP. . . Marincin and Stefishen each had an assist. . . . Cougars G Ty Rimmer stopped 37 shots. . . . F Brendan Rowinski, acquired Thursday by the Giants from Moose Jaw, didn’t play. He took the pregame skate but has yet to cleared by the Vancouver medical staff although he played two games with the Warriors before being dealt. He had major offseason knee surgery. . . .
In Everett, D Ryan Murray’s first goal of the season, with 23.1 seconds left in OT, gave the Silvertips a 3-2 victory over the Chilliwack Bruins. . . . Chilliwack F Jamie Crooks forced OT with his seventh goal at 19:49 of the third. . . . F Kellan Tochkin scored twice for Everett with F Tyler Maxwell assisting on both. . . . Attendance was 7,256. . . . Everett G Kent Simpson stopped 38 shots.
And, in Calgary, the WHL's website struggled to make sense of how more than half the teams could boast of being .500 or better, so it ran hot and cold for a lot of the night.
Four minors:
Kamloops D Corey Fienhage
Spokane D Tyler Vanscourt
Tri-City D Sam Grist
Everett F Scott MacDonald
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