THE MacBETH REPORT:
F Juha Metsola (Lethbridge, 2007-09) has been assigned on loan to Ilves Tampere (Finland SM-Liiga) by HPK Hämeenlinna (Finland SM-Liiga). Metsola has a 2.57 GAA and a .924 save percentage in three games with HPK this season. In an earlier loan assignment to LeKi Lempäälä (Finland Mestis), he had a 3.05 GAA and a .907 save percentage in two games. Ilves did not announce the length of the loan agreement but it is dependent on the injury situation with Ilves' goaltenders. Ilves has five goalies under contract. Their No. 1 goalie, former NHLer Jani Hurme, injured a knee on Nov. 30 and is out indefinitely; their No. 2 goalie, Miika Wiikman, injured his back in practice Monday; their No. 3 goalie, 18-year-old Sami Aittokallio, is with the Finnish national junior team in Buffalo; their No. 4 goalie, 19-year-old Jaakko Simola, is on loan for the season to LeKi; and the No. 5 goalie, 18-year-old Ville Kolppanen (Lethbridge, 2009-10), has been playing with the Ilves junior team all season.
Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province, who has covered the Vancouver Giants since they entered the WHL, continues his battle against cancer -- you will have to see the medical term to understand why I won’t attempt to spell it. Anyway, Steve’s latest blog entry is right here. Give it a look.
The Moose Jaw Warriors dealt F Nathan Smith, 17, to the Vancouver Giants for F Brett Lyon, 19, on Tuesday. Smith, a third-round pick in the 2008 bantam draft, is with the AJHL’s Drayton Valley Thunder and he will remain there, at least for now. He had 34 points in 38 games at the time of the trade. . . . The Giants acquired Lyon from the Kamloops Blazers last season. He had 10 points and 198 penalty minutes in 67 games with Vancouver (44) and Kamloops (23) last season. Lyon took three assists and 105 penalty minutes in 25 games into last night’s game against the Blazers in Kamloops.
F Tyler Johnson of the Spokane Chiefs is the Husky WHL player of the month for December. He had 22 points in 12 games. . . . Drew Owsley of the Tri-City Americans is the Vaughn WHL goaltender of the month. He was 6-2 with a 1.75 GAA and a .945 save percentage. . . . The WHL hammered F Josh Cowen of the Red Deer Rebels with an eight-game suspension on Tuesday. Cowen was disciplined for sucker-punching Saskatoon Blades D Stefan Elliott in a 7-3 loss in Saskatoon on Jan. 1. . . .
With the WHL trade deadline arriving on Monday, you know that Brandon Wheat Kings F Brayden Schenn knows he may well be on the move. Schenn, of course, goes for gold with Team Canada at the World Junior Championship in Buffalo later today. Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun has a bit on trade rumours right here.
SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM TUESDAY’S GAMES:
Has any game this season had a more bizarre ending than the one in Brandon, where the Prince Albert Raiders edge the Wheat Kings, 6-5? . . . Brandon took a 4-3 lead into the third period and, in fact, led 4-3 with three minutes to play. . . . F Todd Fiddler pulled the Raiders even at 17:19. . . . F Shayne Wiebe restored Brandon’s lead, at 5-4, at 19:06. . . . F Igor Revenko got the Raiders back into a tie, at 19:20. . . . And, finally, the Raiders won it on F Jonathan Parker’s 24th goal of the season, at 19:45. . . . Parker and Fiddler each had two goals, with F Brandon Herrod getting three assists. . . . This was a tough loss for Brandon, because the Raiders hold the Eastern Conference’s eighth and final playoff spot. The Wheat Kings, 11th in the 12-team conference, now are five points behind the Raiders. . . . A tip of the cap to Brandon D Brodie Melnychuk, who played in his 200th consecutive game. Think about that for a second or two. . . . From Rob Henderson of the Brandon Sun: “Prince Albert dressed two affiliate players including OCN Blizzard C T.J. Constant, the son of former Wheat Kings F Chris Constant.” . . .
In Kennewick, Wash., F Neal Prokop scored twice to lead the host Tri-City Americans to an 8-4 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Tri-City got a goal and three assists form each of D Tyler Schmidt and F Justin Feser, while F Brendan Shinnimin had a goal and two helpers, and F Patrick Holland had three assists. . . . F Travis Toomey scored twice for Seattle. . . . Tri-City G Drew Owsley stopped 24 shots for his 60th career victory. That moved him into a tie with Brian Boucher for No. 4 on the Ams’ career list. . . . The Americans have won six in a row over Seattle this season. The Thunderbirds, in fact, have lost 15 straight at the Toyota Center in Kennewick. . . .
In Medicine Hat, F Wacey Hamilton and F Tyler Pitlick each scored once and set up two others as the Tigers got past the Edmonton Oil Kings, 5-2. . . . Pitlick has nine points in three games against Edmonton. His NHL rights are held by the Edmonton Oilers. . . .
In Kamloops, the Moose Warriors won for the fourth time in five road games, beating the Blazers, 4-2. . . . The Warriors have won in Calgary, Vancouver, Chilliwack and now Kamloops, while losing in Prince George on this swing. Moose Jaw plays Thursday in Kelowna and Friday in Cranbrook. . . .
In Saskatoon, G Adam Morrison stopped 29 shots to help the Blades to a 5-0 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Morrison has two shutouts this season and four on his career. . . . The Blades have put up three blank jobs this season; the Hitmen have been zeroed four times. . . . D Stefan Elliott had a goal and three assists, while F Marek Viedensky had a goal and two assists. . . . From Cory Wolfe of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix: “With a goal and three assists during Tuesday’s 5-0 win over the visiting Calgary Hitmen, Elliott became just the second defenceman in franchise history to register 200 regular-season points. He reached the milestone in 250 games and is now 37 points behind Pat Price, the Blades’ most prolific pointman of all-time. Price registered 239 points in 266 games from 1970-74.”
TUESDAY’S CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
Prince Albert D Ryan Button
Saskatoon F Darian Dziurzynski (double minor)