Thursday, February 3, 2011

The QMJHL’s Chicoutimi Saguenéens fired GM/head coach Richard Martel on Wednesday.
Martel is the QMJHL’s winningest head coach, with 589 career victories.
Assistant coach Marc-Étienne Hubert and assistant GM Carl Bouchard were to run the bench for Wednesday’s game against the visiting Rimouski Oceanic.
The Sagueneens went into the game with an 18-22-10 record, good for 13th in the 18-team league. They were fifth in the East Division, four points behind Rimouski.
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D Brodie Melnychuk of the Brandon Wheat Kings will be out indefinitely after having been found to have a fractured left leg.
Melnychuk is the most experienced player on the Brandon roster, having played 249 games.
He was injured Jan. 11 but the fracture wasn’t discovered until it showed up in X-rays this week. In fact, Melnychuk played four games with a sore leg, thinking it was bruised, before the fracture showed up.
Melnychuk, 19, was one of seven defencemen on the Brandon roster. Of the six left, one (Ryley Miller, 18) is a veteran, while the other five are in their freshman seasons — Ryan Pulock (16), Eric Roy (16), Jordan Fransoo (17), Spencer Galbraith (17) and Rene Hunter (17). . . . The Wheat Kings are at home to the Swift Current Broncos tonight, with the Regina Pats in the Wheat City on Friday.
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Former WHL G Kelly Hrudey (Medicine Hat, 1978-81) and two partners — Paul Colborne and David Moir, both of Calgary — have purchased one-third of the BCHL’s Nanaimo Clippers. These three join Bill Gallacher, the Calgary-based businessman who owns the Portland Winterhawks, Ken Wagner, another Alberta-based businessman, and Bill Bestwick, the team’s GM and head coach, in the Clippers’ ownership group.
From a release on the BCHL website:
“Colborne’s background is in the oil-and-gas industry and he is currently on the board of directors for firms including Crescent Point Energy Corp., Legacy Oil & Gas Ltd. and Surge Energy. He was instrumental in the 2006 purchase of the Calgary Stampeders Football Club, helping put the team back into local hands. Colborne is also the creator of the National Sports Development Program that trains young athletes in all sports in the Calgary area.
“Moir has been involved in the NHL for 30 years and worked for the Calgary Flames organization in the 1980s, including the Stanley Cup-winning team of 1989. Since 1990 he has been a key part of the Hockey Night in Canada broadcast team as well as the TSN broadcast team in both the NHL and CFL. David has worked at seven Olympic Games, including the men's hockey games at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.”
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JUST NOTES: F Brendan Shinnimin of the Tri-City Americans is the Husky WHL player of the month for January. Shinnimin, 19, had 29 points in 13 games in January. . . . Darcy Kuemper of the Red Deer Rebels is the Vaughn WHL goaltender of the month. Kuemper, 20, went 9-1-1, 1.74, .937 in January.
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SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM WEDNESDAY’S GAMES:
In Brandon, F Shayne Wiebe’s goal at 11:32 of the third period gave the Wheat Kings a 3-2 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Wiebe, who has eight goals over his last seven games, has 29 goals this season, three shy of his career high. . . . The Wheat Kings led 2-0 in the first period. . . . The Broncos tied it on F Justin Dowling’s 17th goal at 18:04 of the first period and D Reece Scarlett’s fifth at 9:30 of the second. . . . Broncos G Mark Friesen stopped 43 shots. . . . Brandon F Mark Stone, Brandon D Ryan Pulock and Swift Current F Jordan Peddle each had two assists. . . . Attendance was 3,298, the smallest crowd in Brandon this season. . . . Brandon, which dressed only 16 skaters, lost D Spencer Galbraith when he took a charging major and game misconduct at 2:24 of the second period. . . . The Wheat Kings have won five of seven and now are alone in eighth in the 12-team Eastern Conference, a point behind the Broncos, who have lost seven in a row, and one up on the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Prince Albert Raiders. . . . Rob Henderson of the Brandon Sun reports that Broncos F Ryan Bloom, who absorbed the hit from Galbraith, Peddle and F dillong Wagner “all left the game with injuries.” . . .
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In Saskatoon, the Blades got two goals from F Jake Trask as they won their seventh straight game, this one 6-2 over the Regina Pats. . . . It also was Saskatoon’s WHL-leading 40th victory of the season. . . . Saskatoon is 23-2-1 at home. . . . F Brayden Schenn had four assists for the Blades. . . . Trask also had one assist. He’s got 17 goals on the season. . . . Saskatoon D Darren Dietz had two assists and was plus-4. . . . The season series is 2-2. . . . The Blades scored three goals in the game’s first five minutes. . . . Attendance was 3,546. . . . The Pats are 11th, three points behind the eighth-place Brandon Wheat Kings. The Pats are scheduled to play in Brandon on Friday. . . .
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In Prince Albert, F Byron Froese scored three times to help the Red Deer Rebels to a 7-4 victory over the Raiders. . . . Red Deer trailed 3-1 in the first period and 4-2 in the second before scoring the game’s last five goals. . . . Froese, who was acquired from the Everett Silvertips over the summer, has 30 goals this season. . . . F Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a goal and three assists for the Rebels, while F John Persson had a goal and two assists. . . . F Igor Revenko scored three times for the Raiders, giving him 16 goals. . . . The Raiders were 3-for-6 on the PP. . . . Red Deer G Dawson Guhle stopped 28 shots, seven fewer than the Raiders’ Jamie Tucker. . . . Attendance was 2,122. . . .
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In Lethbridge, the Vancouver Giants scored twice in the shootout and beat the Hurricanes, 5-4. . . . The Giants led 4-2 late in the second period before the Hurricanes forced OT with goals from F Brody Sutter, at 16:50 of the seocnd, and D Mike Reddington, at 7:12 of the third. . . . F Brendan Gallagher and F Andrej Stastny scored for Vancouver in the shootout. . . . Gallagher had a goal, his 34th, and three assists in regulation time. . . . Vancouver F Spencer Bennett had a goal and an assist, as did F Brendan Rowinski. . . . Lethbridge F Austin Fyten (upper body) didn’t play. . . . Attendance was 3,990. . . . Gordie and Marty Howe, both of whom played with Lethbridge GM/head coach Rich Preston with the WHA’s Houston Aeros, were in the house. . . .
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In Kamloops, F Tyler Maxwell broke a 2-2 tie at 16:29 of the third period to give the Everett Silvertips a 3-2 victory over the Blazers. . . . Everett has won four in a row for the first time since the first four games of the season. . . . Maxwell scored twice, giving him 35 of Everett’s 133 goals this season. . . . The winner came on the PP. . . . Everett G Kent Simpson stopped 36 shots, including 21 in the first period. . . . Everett D Ryan Murray had a goal and an assist. . . . Everett F Parker Stanfield made two key plays that led to Maxwell’s goals. First, he tried a wraparound and the rebound went to Maxwell, who whipped it home. Then, on the winner, Stanfield set a great screen that allowed Maxwell to pick the longside corner on G Jeff Bosch. . . . Attendance was 4,428. . . .
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In Kelowna, F Evan Bloodoff scored twice to lead the Rockets to a 6-4 victory over the Chilliwack Bruins. . . . The Rockets have won seven straight, while the Bruins have lost six in a row. . . . Bloodoff has 14 goals. . . . D Tyson Barrie had three assists for the Rockets. . . . The Bruins got two goals from F Roman Horak, who has 21. . . . The teams were tied 3-3 midway through the second period. . . .Bloodoff broke the tie at 14:38 on a PP, and F Geordie Wudrick made if 5-4 with his 30th goal of the season at 15:12, on another PP. . . . Bloodoff’s first goal, at 8:40 of the second period, was a shorthanded effort. . . .. Kelowna was 2-for-10 on the PP, while Chilliwack was 1-for-6. . . . Attendance was 6,037. . . .
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In Calgary, the Hitmen halted a six-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . One night earlier, the Ice had beaten the visiting Hitmen, 8-0. . . . . The Ice also had beaten the Hitmen seven straight times this season. . . . Kootenay G Nathan Lieuwen, who left Tuesday’s game after a collision with Calgary F Cody Sylvester, wasn’t dressed. Jeff Holick, the radio voice of the Ice, reports that Lieuwen has neck and back spasms and is day-to-day. . . . G Mackenzie Skapski, 16, stopped 25 shots in his second career WHL start. . . . Calgary G Brandon Glover made 32 saves, losing his shutout bid on F Matt Fraser’s 23rd goal at 18:02 of the second. . . . F Kris Foucault and F Jimmy Bubnick each notched his 16th goal for Calgary. . . . Attendance was 7,222. . . . The Ice has returned D Mike Simpson to the junior B Port Moody, B.C., Black Panthers and F Levi Cable to the midget AAA Yorkton, Sask., Harvest. At the same time, according to Holick, the Ice is bringing in D Jeff Hubic, a fourth-round pick in the 2009 bantam draft, from the midget AAA Tisdale, Sask., Trojans for the next four games. . . .
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In Kennewick, Wash., D Matt MacKenzie’s OT goal gave the host Tri-City Americans a 4-3 victory over the Edmonton oil Kings. . . . MacKenzie scored his fifth goal just 53 seconds into OT. It came on the PP. . . . Tri-City F Jordan Messier forced OT with his 23rd goal, on the PP, at 15:39 of the third period. . . . Edmonton F Dylan Wruck had given his side a 3-2 lead with his 30th goal at 11:38 of the third. . . . Wruck, who scored twice in a 4-2 victory over Seattle on Tuesday, set the Oil Kings’ modern day franchise record for goals in a season. F Brenden Dowd scored 29 in 2008-09. . . . F Brendan Shinnimin had two assists for Tri-City, running his point streak to 20 games. He has 44 points over that stretch. . . . Tri-City G Chris Driedger stopped 23 shots to earn his second victory in his third WHL start. It was his ninth appearance of the season. . . . Edmonton G Jon Groenheyde stopped 42 shots. . . . Edmonton D Braeden Laroque left at 7:02 of the first period with a boarding major and a game misconduct. . . . Tri-City was 3-for-6 on the PP. . . . Attendance was 3,588. . . . The loser point was big for the Oil Kings, who are sixth in the Eastern Conference and now are five points ahead of the seventh-place Swift Current Broncos. Edmonton, which is in Portland on Friday, opened its U.S. swing with that 4-2 victory over Seattle on Tuesday.
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WEDNESDAY’S CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
Four minors:
Prince Albert D Harrison Ruopp
Kamloops D Austin Madaisky
Edmonton F Kristians Pelss (double minor)

gdrinnan@kamloopsnews.ca
     
gdrinnan.blogspot.com
     
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