Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday . . .

Tri-City goaltender Drew Owsley kicks out a shot while Vancouver
forward Spencer Bennett looks for rebound on Tuesday night.

(Photo by CJ Relke)

G Juha Metsola (Lethbridge, 2007-08) signed a three-year contract with Tappara Tampere (Finland SM-Liiga). Metsola had a 1.80 GAA and a .941 save percentage in six games with HPK Hämenlinna (Finland SM-Liiga); a 1.48 GAA and a .930 save percentage in two games on loan to Ilves Tampere (Finland SM-Liiga); and, a 3.05 GAA and a .907 save percentage in two games on loan to LeKi Lempäälä (Finland Mestis) this season.
The debate on headshots and concussions in hockey isn’t going to go away. If anything, in fact, it is heating up.
Dr. Charles Tator, a prominent Canadian neurosurgeon, told a news conference in Toronto on Tuesday that the IIHF rules on hits to the head should be adapted by North American leagues.
“I’m optimistic that the big attention to this issue will pay big dividends,” Tator said. “We will save the game.”
James Christie of The Globe and Mail was at the news conference. His story is right here.
Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette takes a hard look at the QMJHL and concussions, and wonders if the league is doing enough to curtail headshots. Guess what conclusion Hickey reached? That column is right here.
The first head-coaching change of the WHL offseason has taken place in Kent, Wash., where the Seattle Thunderbirds dropped Rob Sumner on Tuesday.
Sumner had been part of the Thunderbirds organization for 15 years, the last seven as head coach. He took over from Dean Chynoweth for the 2004-05 season.
The Thunderbirds missed the playoffs in 2009-10, thanks to a 19-41-12 record. And they went 27-35-10 this season, missing the postseason again.
“It was a very difficult decision,” Russ Farwell, Seattle’s general manager and majority owner, told freelance writer Jim Riley, who covers the Thunderbirds for the Seattle Times. “I don’t think we got the most from our team. There were a lot of factors,  but unlike last (season) when we were young and not good enough, this (season) we were in the hunt and I thought we should still be playing at this point.”
If you’re wondering about candidates to replace Sumner, it’s really too early for that.
You can expect Seattle assistant coach Turner Stevenson to be in the pool of candidates.
Mike Caccioppoli of mynorthwest.com has a chat with Farwell right here.
The Moose Jaw Warriors have signed a lease with the City for the use of the Multiplex that will replace the Civic Centre as the team’s home in the fall.
According to Carter Haydu of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald: “Under the five-year agreement, the Warriors will pay a base rent of $110,600 per season, or 10 per cent of gate revenues (whichever is greater). This is an increase from the current Civic Centre rental rate of approximately $47,000.”
There were 5,063 fans in the MTS Centre in Winnipeg on Monday as the host Brandon Wheat Kings beat the Medicine Hat Tigers 6-3 to take a 2-1 lead in that first-round series. According to the Wheat Kings, that “was the largest turnout for a Wheat Kings game at the MTS Centre.” The Wheat Kings have played 12 games there. . . . The Wheat Kings also report that “it also was the biggest crowd in Winnipeg since 7,042 turned out for Game 6 of the 2004 Eastern Conference quarterfinal against Prince Albert at the Winnipeg Arena.” . . . After seven seasons, the SJHL’s Melfort Mustangs have decided not to renew the contract of head coach Darrell Mann. The Mustangs were 32-18-8 this season. Their season ended in a conference final when they were beaten by the La Ronge Ice Wolves. . . . The Everett Silverips will be without concussed forwards Clayton Cumiskey and Parker Stanfield tonight when they play host to Game 3 of their first-round series with the Portland Winterhawks. The Silvertips also are expected to continue to be without G Kent Simpson (ankle). . . . The WHL has hit Chilliwack Bruins F T.C. Cratsenberg with a two-game suspension for a charging major and game misconduct he incurred in Game 2 of a series with the Spokane Chiefs on Saturday. . . . Medicine Hat Tigers F Hunter Shinkaruk won’t play Thursday in Game 4 against the Brandon Wheat Kings in Winnipeg. He is on one of those tbd suspensions. This one was issued under supplemental discipline for a hit on Brandon F Brenden Walker in Game 3 on Monday night.
In Moose Jaw, G  Thomas Heemskerk put up his second shutout in three games as the Warriors beat the Kootenay Ice, 4-0. . . . Heemskerk stopped 28 shots. He had stopped 30 on Friday in a 4-0 Game 1 victory in Cranbrook. . . . The Warriors lead the series 2-1 with a fourth game in Moose Jaw tonight. . . . The Warriors took control on first-period goals by F Spencer Edwards, at 12:15 on a PP, and F Joey Kornelsen at 19:29. . . .  The Warriors were 2-for-5 on the PP; the Ice was 0-for-4. . . . Attendance was 2,714. . . . The Ice lost F Drew Czerwonka in the first period after he was hit by Moose Jaw D Joel Edmundson. Czerwonka didn’t return and his status for tonight isn’t known. . . .
In Prince George, the Kelowna Rockets erased a 5-3 deficit with four straight goals and hung on to beat the Cougars 7-6 . . . . The Rockets lead the series 3-0 and can wrap it up tonight in Prince George. . . . F Mitchell Callahan got the Cougars to within one at 18:45 of the second period and F Brett Bulmer, who is from Prince George, tied it just 13 seconds into the third. . . . F Shane McColgan, at 12:07, and Callahan, at 14:16 on a PP, gave the visitors a two-goal lead. . . . Prince George D Martin Marincin got his guys to within one at 19:23. . . . Attendance was 2,475. . . . The Cougars were without F Brett Connolly (separated shoulder). . . .
In Vancouver, F Adam Hughesman returned from a knee injury to score two goals and lead the Tri-City Americans to a 4-0 victory over the Giants. . . . The Americans get their first chance to wrap up the series tonight in Vancouver. . . . G Drew Owsley stopped 22 shots to earn the shutout. . . . Hughesman had 39 regular-season goals. He missed the last 12 games of the regular season and first two games of this series. . . . This is just the second time in their 10-year history that the Giants have trailed 3-0 in a playoff series. They were swept by the Kelowna Rockets in the first round in 2003. That ended Vancouver's second WHL season. . . . The Americans were 3-for-6 on the PP, which both of Hughesman’s goals coming with the man advantage. . . . The Giants were 0-for-4. . . . The Giants had F James Henry, their captain, back in the lineup. He also had been missing with a knee injury.
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