Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Central league’s Mississippi RiverKings have fired director of hockey operations/head coach Kevin Kaminski and replaced him with Paul Gardner. Gardner, 54, a former NHL player and coach, has most recently been coaching Hamburg in the German Elite League (DEL). Before that, he was with Yaroslavl of the Continental Hockey League. "We needed to move in a different direction," said Ab Mattice, the RiverKings’ director of business operations, in a statement, "and we think our fans deserve better than what has been produced the past two years." . . . The River Kings are 11-11-1 and tied with three other teams for fourth place in the CHL’s Berry Division.
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D Rasmus Rissanen of the Everett Silvertips will attend the selection camp for Finland’s national junior team. He leaves Sunday for Toronto, where the camp is to be held. Rissanen, 19, was the last player cut from Finland’s team a year ago. Finland went on to finish fifth in the tournament. Rissanen was a sixth-round pick by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2009 NHL draft. This season, his second in Everett, he has four assists and 47 penalty minutes in 33 games. . . . On Tuesday, the Silvertips signed D Tye Hand of Yellowknife to a WHL contract. Hand, 15, was the 40th overall pick in the 2010 WHL bantam draft. The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder had four points and 35 penalty minutes in 22 games with the Kelowna-based Pursuit of Excellence prep team.
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Corey Voegele of the Wenatchee World has the story on John Becanic taking over as head coach of the Wild, which plays in the NAHL. Becanic, who has coached in Everett, Seattle and Vancouver, joined the Wild on Monday. That story is right here.
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It is interesting that while the WHL had a trade moratorium from Dec. 15 through Dec. 27, the QMJHL actually has a trading period that runs from Dec. 19 until Jan. 6. . . . C Cody Eakin of the Swift Current Broncos is the CHL’s player of the week. He had nine points, six of them goals, in three road games last week. . . . If you are planning to watch the Moose Jaw Warriors play the Hitmen in Calgary on Dec. 28, note that the starting time has been changed to 5 p.m. That’s two hours earlier than originally scheduled so that they are able to hold the 11th annual Dodge Skate with the Hitmen after the game. . . . F John Persson will be back in Red Deer’s lineup tonight as the Rebels play host to the Chilliwack Bruins. He has served a one-game suspension for a checking-from-behind major he picked up Saturday against the visiting Regina Pats. . . .
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Some highlights from Tuesday’s WHL games . . .
In Moose Jaw, the Warriors scored the game’s last three goals and went on to beat the Saskatoon Blades, 4-1. . . . The Blades battled miserable weather and horrible driving conditions to get to Moose Jaw. . . . Warriors F Spencer Edwards broke a 1-1 tie with his 13th goal at 18:02 of the second period. . . . Moose Jaw F Dylan Hood had two assists. . . . Moose Jaw G Thomas Heemskerk stopped 23 shots, six more than Saskatoon’s Steven Stanford. . . . Attendance was 2,444. . . .
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In Prince Albert, F Jonathan Parker scored twice to help the Raiders to a 6-3 victory over the Regina Pats. . . . Parker, a 20-year-old from Solana Beach, Calif., has 20 goals, three more than his career high. . . . F Sebastian Svendsen also scored twice for the Raiders. He has 15. . . . D Nathan Deck, F Mark McNeill and F Justin Maylan each had two helpers for P.A. . . . F Thomas Frazee scored his 16th goal of the season for the Pats. After the game, he was informed that he had been dealt to the Kamloops Blazers. . . . Frazee’s goal, at 18:37 of the first period, gave Regina a 2-1 lead, but the Pats surrendered four straight goals, including three in the second period. . . . Attendance was 1,896. . . .
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In Calgary, the Hitmen erased a 2-0 deficit and beat the Chilliwack Bruins 3-2. . . . F Jimmy Bubnick broke a 2-2 tie at 7:50 of the third period with his 14th goal on a PP. . . . The Bruins led 2-0 on a first-period goal by F Brandon Magee, his sixth, and a second-period PP score by F Jamie Crooks, his 10th. . . . The Hitmen tied it on second-period goals from F Justin Kirsch, his 15th, via the PP, and F Trevor Cheek, his fifth, at 11:59. . . . Calgary F Misha Fisenko had two assists. . . . Attendance was 7,552. . . . F Ryan Howse, released earlier in the day by Canada’s national junior team, was in Chilliwack’s lineup but didn’t figure in the scoring. . . .
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In Medicine Hat, G Tyler Bunz stopped 26 shots to lead the Tigers to a 2-0 victory over the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Bunz has two shutouts this season and four in his career. . . . D Jace Coyle opened the scoring with his third goal at 11:03 of the first period. . . . F Emerson Etem got his 21st into an empty net at 19:25 of the third. . . . Kelowna G Adam Brown stopped 26 shots. . . . Tigers F Linden Vey, cut earlier in the day by Canada’s national junior team, was back in the lineup but was kept off the scoresheet. . . . Attendance was 4,006. . . .
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In Prince George, G Ty Rimmer blocked 37 shots to spark the Cougars to a 6-0 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . It was Rimmer’s second shutout this season and the second of his career. . . . The Broncos have been blanked a WHL-high five times. . . . F Charles Inglis had two goals -- he’s got 15 -- and an assist. . . . D Martin Marincin and F Taylor Stefishen each had a goal and an assist. . . . The Cougars, who had lost five in a row, scored on their first three PP attempts. . . . This from the Prince George Citizen: “Announced attendance was 1,535, more than 100 fewer spectators than appeared a week earlier for a game against the Saskatoon Blades. That night, the figure of 1,663 figured as the lowest home crowd for a Cougars game in Prince George.” . . .
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In Kent, Wash., the Spokane Chiefs’ offensive lit it up again as they scored an 8-2 victory over the host Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . The teams went into the second period tied 1-1 but the Chiefs struck for the next four goals. . . . Spokane has scored 18 goals in its last two games. . . . The Chiefs got goals from eight different players, with F Collin Valcourt getting a goal and two assists, and D Brenden Kichton and D Corbin Baldwin each getting two assists and finishing plus-4. . . . Valcourt also was plus-4. . . . F Tyler Johnson, coming of a six-pointer in Saturday’s 10-5 victory over the visiting Kamloops Blazers, got his 23rd goal and added an assist to get to within two points of the WHL scoring lead. . . . With G Calvin Pickard in camp with Canada’s national junior team, Seattle started Michael Salmon, who gave up eight goals on 36 shots. Daniel Cotton, who plays for the major midget Vancouver-North West Giants, made his WHL debut by playing 5:21 in the third period and stopping the two shots he face. . . . Attendance was 3,091. . . . The teams meet again tonight in Spokane.
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Tuesday’s checking-from-behind count:
Two minors:
Chilliwack D Tyler Stahl
Calgary D Ben Wilson

gdrinnan@kamloopsnews.ca
gdrinnan.blogspot.com
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