Saturday, November 13, 2010

The tall and the short of it

An interesting story is developing with the midget AAA team in Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. (I have always wondered if there is a Fort Alberta in Saskatchewan?)
Anyway . . .
I am told that the midget AAA Fort Saskatchewan Rangers have two goaltenders — one is 6-foot-6, the other is 5-foot-6. One has signed a WHL contract with the Kamloops Blazers; the other has a brother who is a veteran defenceman with the Blazers.
The tall one is Troy Trombley, a third-round pick by the Blazers in the 2009 bantam draft. The short one is Emerance Maschmeyer, the first female to play in the midget AAA league since Shannon Szabados was with the Maple Leaf Athletic Club in 2002-03. Szabados, of course, later attended camp with the WHL’s Tri-City Americans, played in the AJHL and won gold with Canada’s Olympic women’s team in Vancouver in February.
Emerance is the younger sister of Bronson Maschmeyer, who plays with the Blazers.
The two goaltenders both are 16 years of age and I am told that they have, to this point in the season, split the playing time with a team that goes into the weekend at 2-6-5.
I was musing yesterday on the time when Pat Ginnell, then the GM and head coach of the Medicine Hat Tigers, borrowed goaltender Ron Popplestone from the Brandon Wheat Kings.
Well, I was able to find a clipping in my files from the Brandon Sun of Jan. 4, 1980. Here’s what I wrote:
“Regina Pats general manager Bob Strumm was most upset on Dec. 21, when his Western Hockey League club came out on the short end of a 5-4 count with the Medicine Hat Tigers.
“Medicine Hat . . . was using goaltender Ron Popplestone, who belongs to the Brandon Wheat Kings, and all the rookie net minder did was kick out 64 shots as the Tigers won in overtime. Both Medicine Hat goaltenders -- Kelly Hrudey and Randy Jaycock -- apparently had the flu.
“So Tigers general manager and head cocah Pat Ginnell apparently got permission from WHL president Dave Descent and Brandon general manager Jack Brockest to use Popplestone.
“Strumm immediately protested the game, because the Pats never did give permission for the move. But Descent threw the protest out the door.
“The Pats, though, have appealed and that will be heard by the WHL’s grievance committee, likely in February at the league’s next meeting.”
Popplestone as backing up Brandon starter Scott Olson during the 1979-80 season.
I don’t know that Strumm’s appeal was ever heard. But I have this feeling that if it was he lost.
As was mentioned here earlier in the week, the owners of the independent Golden Baseball League’s Victoria Seals pulled the plug on the franchise. Those owners happen to be Russ Parker, who also owns the Regina Pats, and his son, Darren. . . . I meant to follow up on the earlier post with a mention of the news conference that Darren held in Victoria to make it all official. The Victoria Times Colonist’s story is right here. . . . Cleve Dheensaw of the Times Colonist provides some opinion on the situation right here.
F Colin Jacobs of the Seattle Thunderbirds is from Coppell, Texas. So why is he in the WHL and not playing football somewhere in the U.S.? Adam Kimelman of answers that question and more right here. . . . The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Jacobs is in his draft season and, yes, the scouts are taking notice of him.
The Calgary Herald has been all over the story involving Flames F Brett Sutter and the charges he is facing in Scottsdale, Alta. There’s a story right here on what all is in the police report. And there’s a story right here on how the team is standing by Sutter, who is the son of Flames’ GM Darryl Sutter.
Glenda Luymes of the Vancouver Province has taken a look at what the City of Abbotsford, B.C., came up with in order to land the Abbotsford Heat, the Calgary Flames’ AHL affiliate, and how the hockey fans in the area have responded. Or not. . . . That story is right here.
The Kootenay Ice (13-4-0-2) meet the Oil Kings in Edmonton tonight before turning to Calgary to face the Hitmen on Sunday. Kootenay, which won 4-2 in Calgary on Thursday, already has beaten the Hitmen four times this season. . . . The Ice has added F Ryan Bloom, a second-round pick in the 2008 bantam draft, and F Jarrett Zentner, a fourth-rounder in the same draft. Bloom was brought in from the AJHL’s Drumheller Dragons; Zentner plays for the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers. Both will stay with the Ice through the weekend. . . . The Ice lost F Brock Montgomery with a head injury during Wednesday’s practice. . . . He joined D James Martin (facial injury), F Drew Czerwonka (shoulder) and F Brendan Hurley (hand) on the shelf. . . . G Alex Pechurskiy, who lost out in the 20-year-old game with the Tri-City Americans, has signed with the Central league’s Mississippi RiverKings. Pechurskiy, who is from Magnitogorsk, Russia, went 13-10-1, 2.61, .912 with the Americans last season. He was selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the fifth round of the NHL’s 2208 draft. . . . F Brendan Shinnimin of the Americans is eligible to return to their lineup Saturday when they meet the Chiefs in Spokane. He sat out the 12th game of his 12-game suspension on Friday night as the Americans played the visiting Everett Silvertips. Shinnimin was suspended for a hit from behind on Saskatoon Blades F Josh Nicholls on Oct. 6. . . . In practice this week, Shinnimin, who had 13 points in seven games when he was suspended, was working on a line with Adam Hughesman and Kruise Reddick. . . . The WHL may rule Monday on the length of suspension to Vancouver Giants D Wes Vannieuwenhuizen, who picked up a major penalty and a game misconduct for a Thursday hit on Chilliwack Bruins F Robin Soudek. . . . Soudek left the ice surface on a backboard but the Bruins didn’t update his condition on Friday. . . . F Brendan Rowinski, acquired by the Giants from the Moose Jaw Warriors, practised with Vancouver on Friday and should play tonight against the visiting Prince George Cougars.
The last fan had barely left Friday night’s final game when the email chimed. And here’s what had arrived:
“As Forrest Gump once said, I may not be a smart man, but can you help explain how an entire conference can be at or above .500 at 20 games into the regular season?
“Your insight is much appreciated Professor.”
It’s true. Each of the Western Conference’s 10 teams is at .500 or better.
Congratulations are in order to whomever is responsible for the format that allows this to happen.
All told, 17 of the WHL’s 22 teams went to bed safe in the knowledge that they were at .500 or better.
That, folks, is no mean feat.
Of course, what it all means is that the old axiom “For every winner there is a loser” no longer holds water or anything else.
In Friday’s most-anticipated game, the host Saskatoon Blades scored a 4-3 victory over Portland, snapping the Winterhawks’ 10-game winning streak. The Blades (14-5-0-1) scored the game’s last two goals, with F Josh Nicholls scoring on the Pp at 11:09 of the third period and F Curtis Hamilton getting the winner at 18:01. . . . The Blades got a goal and three assists from F Marek Viedensky, while Hamilton and Nicholls each had a goal and two assists. . . . The Winterhawks, at 16-3-0-1, still boast the WHL’s best record. . . . Portland G Mac Carruth stopped 33 shots, including 18 of 20 in the first period. . . . Saskatoon opened with Adam Morrison in goal. He stopped 12 of 14 shots, but left after F Riley Boychuk broke a 2-2 tie on the PP just 59 seconds into the third. . . . Steven Stanford came on to stop 13 of 14. Stanford had been out since Oct. 26 when he suffered a concussion in practice. . . . Portland F Sven Bartschi had one assist to run his point streak to 14 games. . . . The much-ballyhooed game — the Blades debuted the denim look, Shannon Tweed and Gene Simmons were in the crowd — drew 8,812 fans. . . .

In Moose Jaw, Warriors D Collin Bowman scored two first-period goals but Medicine Hat F Ryan Harrison struck three times — including twice on the same shift — in the second period and the Tigers went on to a 6-3 victory. . . . Harrison has nine goals this season. . . . Medicine Hat F Tyler Pitlick broke a 3-3 tie with his fifth at 12:27 of the third. . . .

In Brandon, F Scott Glennie’s goal 53 seconds into OT gave the Wheat Kings a 3-2 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. F Shayne Wiebe, the team captain, scored twice for Brandon. He has 10 goals this season. . . .

In Regina, the Seattle Thunderbirds scored the game’s last four goals, three of them in a span of 7:07 in the third period, and beat the Pats, 5-4. F Charles Wells broke a 4-4 tie at 14:20 of the third period. . . . The first three goals of Seattle’s comeback all came via the PP. . . . F Colin Jacobs had two goals and an assist for Seattle, while D Brendan Dillon had three assists. . . . F Carter Ashton scored his ninth and 10th goals for the Pats. . . . Seattle G Calvin Pickard stopped 38 shots. . . . Seattle was 3-for-4 on the PP. . . . The Thunderbirds are 3-1-1 on their East Division trip and have won the last three. . . . Seattle wraps up its trip tonight in Swift Current against the Broncos. . . .

In Swift Current, the Broncos blew a 2-0 lead and then got a PP goal from F Brad Hoban at 10:29 of the third period for a 3-2 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . Hoban had two goals, giving him 10. . . . G Mark Friesen stopped 45 shots for the Broncos. . . . The Raiders, who have lost three in a row, were without F Igor Revenko, who was out with an undisclosed injury. Apparently, he will be going to Edmonton for tests next week. . . .

In Spokane, F Tyler Johnson scored twice and G James Reid had 37 saves as the Chiefs beat the Edmonton Oil Kings, 4-3. . . . The Chiefs are 4-0-0 all-time against the Oil Kings. . . .

In Kelowna, the Rockets won their sixth straight game, beating the Prince George Cougars, 4-1. . . . F Mitchell (Dirty Harry) Callahan had a goal and an assist for Kelowna, which has gone from 4-10-0 to 10-10-0 with the winning skein. . . . D Tyson Barrie had two assists for the Rockets, who play the Blazers in Kamloops tonight. . . . Callahan’s 11th goal was into an empty net. He has 15 points in the six-game streak, which includes five victories over B.C. Division opponents. . . .

In Chilliwack, the Red Deer Deer Rebels’ scored the game’s first three goals and went on to beat the Bruins, 4-3. . . . The Bruins scored those three goals on eight shots in the game’s first 8:30. . . . F Ryan Howse scored his 17th goal of the season for the Bruins, tying him for the WHL lead with F Brendan Gallagher of the Vancouver Giants and F Brendan Ranford of the Kamloops Blazers. . . . F Turner Elson had a goal and an assist for the Rebels. The goal, his seventh, gave the Rebels a 4-2 lead and stood up as the winner. . . . Red Deer went 3-1-2 on its swing through B.C. and into the U.S. . . .

In Everett, F Josh Birkholz scored three times and added two assists as the Silvertips scored a 5-2 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . Birkholz has nine points, six of them goals, in 18 games. In other words, he more than doubled his points output in one game. . . . Birkholz was on a line with Scott MacDonald, who had two goals and an assist, and Clayton Cumiskey, who had an assist. . . . Cumiskey appeared to dislocate a finger at one point in the game. He left for repairs and then returned to action. . . . Everett G Luke Siemens, in a rare start, stopped 45 shots. . . . The Silvertips meet the visiting Chilliwack Bruins tonight and then travel to Kamloops for a Sunday encounter with the Blazers.
One double minor:
Brandon F Mark Mieritz
Six minors:
Seattle F Jacob Doty
Spokane F Blake Gal
Spokane F Tyler Johnson
Everett D Brennan Yadlowski
Red Deer D Alex Petrovic
Tri-City F Kruise Reddick
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