Saturday, February 19, 2011

Tri-City defenceman Zach Yuen (left) and goaltender Chris Driedger
combine to deny Chilliwack centre Kevin Sundher during a
Friday night game in Kennewick, Wash.

(Photo by John Allen/AridAcres.com)


The OHL has suspended Marty Williamson, the head coach of the Niagara IceDogs, for five games for actions during and after a Thursday night game. Not enough coaches get into it with the officials and then repeat it for public consumption. A five-game suspension would indicate that the OHL doesn't want its coaches going public.
There’s more right here.
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D Luke Fenske of the Vancouver Giants lost some teeth the other night. On Friday, he took time to show off his new smile and Dan Elliott, the Giants’ director of broadcasting and media relations, was on hand with a camera. That pic is right here.
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The WHL has issued a response to the lawsuit that has been filed by former Everett Silvertips captain Zach Dailey. Check out that response right here.
Somewhere Paul Kelly, the executive director of College Hockey Inc., is smiling as he enjoys his morning coffee.
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Kyle Woodlief of of Red Line Report checks in with a look to the NHL’s 2012 draft and which WHL players may be early selections. You can start with Everett Silvertips D Ryan Murray. In fact, Woodlief and his staff wonder if the first five picks from the WHL might be defencemen. . . . Check that out right here.
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Mike Caccioppoli, who covers the Seattle Thunderbirds for mynorthwest.com, has posted a lengthy interview with general manager Russ Farwell. Lots of interesting thoughts on the Thunderbirds right here.
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F Cody Eakin and F Brayden Schenn will renew acquaintances tonight in Cranbrook as Eakin’s Kootenay Ice plays host to Schenn’s Saskatoon Blades. They were teammates with Team Canada at the World Junior Championship and were the biggest fish in the trading pond at the WHL deadline. . . . Patrick King of Sportsnet has more right here.
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If you’re into the late Stieg Larsson’s trilogy (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo; The Girl Who Played with Fire; The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest), speculation continues on whether a fourth book may be forthcoming at some point. Eva Gabrielsson, Larsson’s longtime girlfriend, has published a memoir. There’s more right here.
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Should the Regina Pats qualify for the playoffs, they won’t be playing first-round games in the Brandt Centre, which is their home arena. The Ford World men’s curling championship will be decided in Regina, April 2-10. With the necessary setup time needed for the curling event, it’s unlikely that the Pats would get into the building for first-round games. . . . Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post has that and some interesting stuff on the Pats’ lease negotiations, and it’s all right here.
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This week’s WHL injury report lists 11 players as being out with concussions and four others with head injuries. . . . Craig Hartsburg, the head coach of the Everett Silvertips, will coach his 500th major junior game tonight against the Cougars in Prince George. He also has coached the OHL’s Guelph Storm and Soo Greyhounds. . . . Hartsburg also has coached 491 NHL games. He will get to No. 1,000 combined when the Portland Winterhawks visit Everett on March 12. . . . The Tri-City Americans have recalled F Dylan Fluter, 16, from the midget AAA North Battlefords Stars. An eighth-round pick in the 2009 bantam draft, the 5-foot-9, 160-pound Fluter has 30 points and 45 penalty minutes in 42 games with the Stars.
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SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM FRIDAY’S GAMES:
In Brandon, F Scott Glennie scored two goals and set up another as the Wheat Kings dumped the Swift Current Broncos, 10-1. . . . F Hampus Gustafsson, who ended an 18-game drought, had a goal and two assists, as did F Mark Stone and F David Toews. . . . Brandon F Matt MacKay scored 12 seconds into the game. He has goals in six straight games and points in each of his last 13 outings. . . . Brandon G Corbin Boes stopped 22 shots, losing his shutout bid when F Adam Lowry got his 15th goal at 19:19 of the third period. . . . Attendance was 4,508. . . . The Wheat Kings visit Swift Current tonight. . . . The Wheat Kings have won four straight and eight of 10. They are seventh in the Eastern Conference, two points behind Edmonton and and three in front of Prince Albert. . . . The Broncos, who have lost four straight and nine of 10, are ninth, four points out of a playoff spot. . . . Swift Current was without F Justin Dowling (ankle) and F Dillon Wagner (knee). As well, F Killian Hutt (concussion) remains out. He hasn’t played since Dec. 10. . . .
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In Regina, the Calgary Hitmen scored two shootout goals and beat the Pats, 2-1. . . . The teams will meet again Monday at Calgary’s McMahon Stadium in the first major junior outdoor game to be played in Canada. . . . Regina went into this one with a 9-1 record in shootouts. . . . Calgary got SO goals from F Brooks Macek and F Jimmy Bubnick. . . . Regina F Nils Moser scored his fifth goal at 17:10 of t he second period. . . . Calgary forced OT on F Rob Trzonkowski’s second goal at 12:18 of the third. . . . Attendance was 4,167. . . . The Pats are tied for 10th with Lethbridge, five points out of a playoff spot. . . . The Hitmen, who have won two straight, are last in the conference, but now are just six points behind Lethbridge and Regina. . . . The Pats will play in Medicine Hat tonight. . . .
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In Prince Albert, F Quinton Howden struck for four goals to lead the Moose Jaw Warriors to a 6-3 victory over the Raiders, who are celebrating their 40th anniversary this weekend. . . . Howden has 37 goals. . . . D Nathan Deck gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead at 2:30 of the first. . . . Howden then scored twice to put Moose Jaw out front. . . . Howden added a third goal at 2:40 of the third, giving the Warriors a 3-2 lead. . . . His fourth goal, at 13:50 of the third, came via the PP and gave Moose Jaw a 5-3 lead. . . . F Brett Lyon scored his fifth goal in 20 games since Moose Jaw acquired him from Vancouver. Matthew Gourlie of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald points out that Lyon had three goals in his first 143 regular-season games. . . . Moose Jaw G Thomas Heemskerk stopped 32 shots, four more than Prince Albert’s Eric Williams. . . . Attendance was 2,442. . . . The teams meet again tonight in Moose Jaw. . . . The Warriors, who are without F Antonin Honejsek (ankle) and F Brayden Cuthbert (concussion) are fifth, seven points behind Medicine Hat and 12 in front of Edmonton. . . . The Raiders are eighth, three points behind Brandon and four ahead of Swift Current. . . .
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In Edmonton, F Thomas Frazee’s second goal of the game, at 2:32 of OT, gave the Kamloops Blazers a 4-3 victory over the Oil Kings. . . . Frazee, who was playing in his 301st regular-season game, has 26 goals. . . . Kamloops F Brendan Ranford was kept off the scoresheet as he played his 200th regular-season game with the Blazers. He is from Edmonton. . . . C Dalibor Bortnak had two assists for Kamloops. . . . F Michael St. Croix had a goal, his 23rd, and two helpers for Edmonton. . . . Oil Kings F Kristians Pelss forged a 3-3 tie with his ninth goal just 17 seconds into the third period. . . . Kamloops G Jeff Bosch stopped 46 shots. . . . Edmonton G Jon Groenheyde, who was acquired from the Blazers on Nov. 4, turned aside 31 shots. . . . Attendance was 5,492. . . . The Blazers moved three points ahead of Chilliwack in the race for the Western Conference’s last playoff spot. . . . Edmonton is sixth in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of Brandon. . . . Kamloops moves on to Red Deer tonight, while Edmonton is in Lethbridge. . . .
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In Cranbrook, the host Kootenay Ice scored the game’s first four goals and went on to beat the Medicine Hat Tigers, 4-1. . . . Ice D Brayden McNabb scored his 16th goal and added an assist, while D Luke Paulsen, recently returned from a concussion, had two assists, as did F Matt Fraser. . . . The Ice had a 2-0 lead when F Joe Antilla and F Max Reinhart each scored shorthanded goals. . . . Reinhart has 30 goals this season. . . . Ice G Nathan Lieuwen stopped 27 shots. He lost his shutout when F Linden Vey, who leads the WHL points race, notched his 39th goal at 8:22 of the third. . . . Attendance was 2,593. . . . The Ice welcomed back F Steele Boomer (ankle) who hadn’t played in more than a month. . . . Ice D Joey Leach (ankle) could be back skating next week. . . . The Tigers had F Tyler Pitlick (concussion) back for this one. . . . The Ice is third in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of the Tigers. . . . The Ice is at home tonight to Saskatoon, while the Tigers return home to face Regina. . . .
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In Red Deer, F John Persson scored his 29th goal of the season at 1:58 of OT to give the Rebels a 2-1 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Red Deer F Adam Kambeitz gave his side a 1-0 lead at 8:58 of the first period. . . . Lethbridge D Daniel Johnston tied it with his seocnd goal at 17:53 of the second on a PP. . . . Red Deer G Darcy Kuemper stopped 27 shots, one fewer than Lethbridge’s Brandon Anderson. . . . Attendance was 4,619. . . . The Rebels closed to within six points of idle Saskatoon, which leads the conference, but the Blades hold two games in hand. . . . Red Deer is at home to Kamloops tonight. . . . The Hurricanes meet the visiting Oil Kings. . . .
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In Prince George, G Kent Simpson stopped 28 shots and F Scott MacDonald scored twice as the Everett Silvertips beat the Cougars, 4-1. . . . D Sena Acolatse gave the home team a 1-0 lead 52 seconds into the first period. . . . Everett F Jari Erricson, who is from Prince George, tied it with his seventh goal at 10:11 of the first. . . . MacDonald, who has seven goals, broke the 1-1 tie at 8:06 of the third period. . . . He later added an empty-netter. . . . Everett D Ryan Murray had two assists. . . . Attendance was 2,003. . . . The Silvertips closed to within two points of sixth-place Prince George in the Western Conference. . . . The teams meet again tonight in Prince George. . . .
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In Kelowna, the Spokane Chiefs erased a 2-1 deficit and beat the Rockets, 3-2. . . . Spokane F Levko Koper had two goals, giving him 31, and an assist. . . . Koper tied the score 2-2 at 10:19 of the second period and D Brenden Kichton got the winner on a PP just 50 seconds into the third period. . . . Spokane was 2-for-4 on the PP; the Rockets were 0-for-2. . . . D Davis Vandane assisted on each of Spokane’s last two goals. . . . Spokane G Mac Engel stopped 22 shots, 14 fewer than Kelowna’s Adam Brown. . . . Attendance was 6,101. . . . The loss, combined with a Vancouver victory, dropped the Rockets into second in the B.C. Division, while the Chiefs closed to within one point of conference-leading Portland. . . . Vancouver travels to Kelowna tonight, while the Chiefs visit the Tri-City Americans. . . .
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In Kennewick, Wash., the Tri-City Americans got three goals and an assist from F Justin Feser as they beat the Chilliwack Bruins, 6-2. . . . The Americans, who have won 17 of their last 18 at home, scored the game’s last five goals. . . . Feser, who finished at plus-6, has 22 goals. . . . Americans F Patrick Holland, who missed their last game with the flu, had a goal, his 20th, and three assists. . . . Americans F Connor Rankin had a goal and two assists. . . . Feser, Holland and Rankin are linemates. . . . Americans D Tyler Schmidt was one and one. . . . Holland, Rankin and Schmidt each was plus-5. . . . Chilliwack F Ryan Howse scored the game’s first goal, his 41st. It also was his 16th on the PP, which tied F Oscar Moller’s single-season franchise record. . . . With G Drew Owsley still injured, G Chris Driedger stopped 14 of 16 shots in his third straight start. He made way for Cam Gorchynski with 14:13 to play. Gorchynski, who stopped four shots, will be returning to the BCHL’s Victoria Grizzlies early next week. . . .The Bruins dressed only 16 skaters, two under the maximum. . . . Attendance was 5,518. . . . The Americans are third in the U.S. Division, two points behind Spokane and three back of Portland. The Americans hold two games in hand on Portland and three on Spokane. . . . Spokane is in Kennewick tonight, while the Bruins are in Portland. . . .
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In Vancouver, F Nathan Burns and F Jordan Martinook each scored twice as the Giants beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 6-2. . . . F Teal Burns drew three assists for Vancouver. . . . Martinook also had an assist. . . . The Giants scored the game’s first three goals and the last three. . . . Attendance was 8,387. . . . The Giants moved back atop the B.C. Division, meaning they again are the Western Conference’s second seed. . . . The Thunderbirds now are six points out of a playoff spot. . . . The Giants are in Kelowna tonight. . . . The Thunderbirds are at home to Chilliwack on Sunday. . . .
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FRIDAY’S CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
Two minors:
Lethbridge F Austin Fyten
Seattle F Justin Hickman

gdrinnan@kamloopsnews.ca
     
gdrinnan.blogspot.com
     
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