Playing some catchup -- as opposed to ketchup or catsup -- after coasting through then end of 2010 . . . ---
SOME NOTES FROM FRIDAY’S GAMES:
The Portland Winterhawks got three goals from newly acquired F Craig Cunningham but were beaten 4-3 by the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Seattle F Luke Lockhart broke a 3-3 tie at 16:27 of the third period. . . . Attendance in the Rose Garden was 10,511. . . . Cunningham was acquired Tuesday from the Vancouver Giants. . . . Portland was missing seven regulars -- F Sven Bartschi and Nino Niederreiter are withi Switzerland at the World Junior Championship; F Ryan Johansen is with Canada at the WJC; F Brendan Leipsic and D Derrick Pouliot are playing in the U1-7 World Hockey Challenge; and, F Riley Boychuk and F Adam Smith were serving WHL-issued suspensions. . . . The Winterhawks will have most, if not all, of those players back before they next play, which will be Jan. 8 when they again meet the visiting Thunderbirds. . . . You can bet the fans in Kennewick, Wash., went home in a non-celebratory move after the Tri-City Americans’ New Year’s Eve date with the Spokane Chiefs was called off early in the second period because of poor ice conditions in the Toyota Center. The teams were tied 1-1 at 2:35 of the second period when the game was halted. The WHL is expected to reschedule the game early next week. . . . Ch-ch-ching! The old year ended with a few bangs in Everett as the Vancouver Giants beat the Silvertips 6-1 in a game that featured 262 minutes in penalties. The visitors took 262 of those and now are the WHL’s most-penalized team. The Giants have taken 944 minutes in 39 games, with the Kamloops Blazers next at 910 in 38 games. . . . Want some positive news? Head coach Craig Hartsburg, who underwent open-heart surgery on Oct. 20 to repair an ascending aortic aneurysm, has last been behind the bench on Oct. 16. The Silvertips were 11-14-3 with associate coach Jay Varady and assistant Chris Hartsburg, who is Craig’s son, running things. . . . The Silvertips are at home to the Americans tonight (Jan. 1), so the WHL is likely to announce at least some disciplinary action before that game. The Giants are in Chilliwack to face the Bruins on Sunday. . . . Keep in mind that the Giants were fined $750 after the stuff hit the fan during a 9-1 loss in Kennewick on Dec. 17. . . . In Chilliwack, the Moose Jaw Warriors doubled the Bruins 4-2 with F Dylan Hood icing it with his 20th goal of the season, into an empty net, late in the third period. The road Warriors are 3-0 on this trip, including a 2-0 start to a B.C. Division tour that continues Sunday in Prince George and Tuesday in Kamloops, before wrapping up Thursday in Kelowna. . . . In Edmonton, the Oil Kings got two goals from F Dylan Wruck and 26 saves from G Jon Groenheyde in beating the Brandon Wheat Kings, 4-2. Edmonton has won three straight and eight of 10 to move into sixth place in the Eastern Conference. . . . In Cranbrook, the Kootenay Ice dropped the Swift Current Broncos 5-3 in front of 2,822 fans, the second crowd in a row about 2,800 in the RecPlex. F Max Reinhart had a goal and two assists for the Ice. The Broncos, who have lost five straight on the road, were outshot 48-14, including 17-1 in the third period. Swift Current is 3-6-1 since last playing at home on Dec. 3. The Broncos finish up the 11-game run of road games tonight in Lethbridge before turning home to face Saskatoon on Sunday.
FRIDAY’S CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
Moose Jaw F Cody Beach
Chilliwack F T.C. Cratsenberg
Kootenay D Joey Leach
The NHL’s Ottawa Senators have recalled C Jim O’Brien (Seattle, 2007-09) from the AHL’s Binghamton Senators. O’Brien was the 29th overall pick in the 2007 NHL draft. This is his first stint in the NHL. He had 25 points in 33 games in Binghamton this season. Last season, as a freshman pro, he had 17 points in 76 games. . . . F Tristan King (Portland, Medicine Hat, 2006-10) has moved from the AHL’s Texas Stars to the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads, who are coached by former Spokane head coach Hardy Sauter. King, 20, played in six games with Idaho early in the season. He had four points with Idaho and four in 11 games with Texas.
F Derek Hulak (Regina, Saskatoon, 2005-10) returned to Saskatoon and joined the U of Saskatchewan Huskies on Dec. 29. Hulak is a former Saskatoon Blades captain who graduated from the WHL after last season. Hulak, now 21, had been with the Central league’s Tulsa Oilers with whom he had 14 points in 21 games. . . . He is eligible to play for the Huskies immediately. By returning from the pro ranks prior to Jan. 1, he protected his CIS eligibility.
The Swift Current Broncos and Vancouver Giants swapped defencemen on Dec. 30. The Broncos got Dalton Reum, 18, while Joel Rogers, 19, went to the Giants. . . . The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Reum, from Camrose, Alta., had six assists in 37 games with the Giants. This is his first WHL season. . . . Rogers, from Abbotsford, B.C., was in his fourth season with the Broncos. This season, the 6-foot-1, 185-pounder had three assists in 28 games.
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