Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wednesday's stuff . . .

THE MacBETH REPORT:
Dinamo Minsk (Belarus, KHL) announced that it won’t re-sign D Tomas Mojzis (Moose Jaw, Seattle, 2000-03) for next season. He had two goals and seven assists in 49 games in helping Minsk to a second-place finish in the Western Conference of the KHL. However, it was upset by seventh-place Dynamo Riga 4-2 in the Western Conference quarterfinals.
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The Edmonton sporting scene and, indeed, the entire WHL is poorer today following the death of Vic Mah. Mah, who was 91, died on Friday. . . . A giant on the Edmonton sporting and restaurant scene, Mah longed to bring a WHL franchise to Edmonton. . . . Mah was on the Oil Kings’ board of directors when it was a dominant junior franchise in the 1960s. . . . He was part of the group that purchased the Flin Flon Bombers and moved them to Edmonton in time for the 1978-79 season. Unfortunately, that turned out to be a one-season stand. . . . Few people were aware of it, but Mah even was a shareholder in the Kamloops Blazers when the franchise was community-owned.
Cam Tait of the Edmonton Journal has more right here.
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The Saskatoon Blades clinched the fourth regular-season championship in franchise history on Wednesday, beating the Wheat Kings 5-3 in Brandon. . . . The Blades are 52-13-2 and have tied the franchise record for victories in one season that was set in 1982-83. . . . The Blades last finished first overall in 1987-88 when they went 41-22-3 and wound up three points ahead of the Medicine Hat Tigers. Saskatoon later was swept from a second-round series by the Tigers. . . . The Blades also won the regular-season points title in 1982-83 (52-19-1) and 1972-73 (46-11-11). . . . F Marek Viedensky scored twice for the Blades last night as they ran their winning streak to five games and ended Brandon’s home-ice win streak at 11. . . . Viedensky leads the Blades with 33 goals. . . . Saskatoon will play in Brandon again on Friday. . . .
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G Brandon Glover stopped 24 shots last night to lead the Calgary Hitmen to a 3-0 victory over the host Swift Current Broncos. . . . It was Glover’s first WHL shutout. . . . F Spencer Humphries scored twice for the Hitmen, breaking a scoreless tie in the third period and adding an empty-netter. . . . The Broncos have been blanked eight times this season, tying them with the Everett Silvertips for the WHL lead in a dubious category. . . . While the Hitmen have been eliminated from the playoff chase, the Broncos are on the verge. They are eight points out with five games remaining. . . .
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The Prince Albert Raiders are back in sole possession of the Eastern Conference’s last playoff spot. . . . The Raiders, with F Jonathan Parker scoring three first-period goals, beat the visiting Regina Pats 8-5, while the host Lethbridge Hurricanes lost 5-3 to the Moose Jaw Warriors, who got three assists from D Collin Bowman. . . . Parker has 44 goals this season. . . . The Raiders hold a two-point lead over Lethbridge with each team having five games remaining. . . . The Pats are 10th, five points behind Prince Albert with five games left. . . .
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The Chilliwack Bruins ran their franchise-record winning streak to six games, blanking the Giants 2-0 in Vancouver. . . . Chilliwack G Lucas Gore, the reigning CHL goaltender of the week, stopped 36 shots in earning his fourth shutout this season. . . . Vancouver has been shut out three times. . . . F Robin Soudek had a goal and an assist. . . . The Bruins, having won seven of eight, now are alone in sixth place in the Western Conference, two points ahead of the Everett Silvertips and just four behind the fifth-place Giants. . . . Vancouver lost F Michael Burns in the second period after he was checked by Chilliwack D Tyler Stahl. Burns stayed down and was taken from the ice on a stretcher. . . . Later, Chilliwack F Curt Gogol took a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct for a hit on Vancouver D Wes Vannieuwenhuizen. . . . The teams combined for 134 penalty minutes, with the Bruins taking 78 of those. . . . Vancouver has lost four in a row. . . . The Giants are to visit Chilliwack on Saturday. . . . Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun has the game story right here.
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The Kelowna Rockets moved eight points ahead of Vancouver by beating the visiting Tri-City Americans, 3-1. . . . The Rockets are atop the B.C. Division, which brings with it the second seed in the Western Conference. . . . The Americans appear headed to a fourth-place finish. . . . Kelowna F Colton Heffley picked up a charging major and game misconduct so is likely to hear from the WHL office.
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Congrats to Nella Rounsville and Lorne Frey, the latest recipients of the WHL’s Distinguished Service Award. . . . Rounsville is the Kootenay Ice’s education advisor, a role she has filled since 1998-99. She also is chairperson of the Ice’s annual golf tournament. . . . Frey is the assistant general manager, head scout and director of player personnel for the Kelowna Rockets. He is arguably the best purveyor of talent in the WHL today and has two Memorial Cup rings to show for it (Swift Current, 1989; Kelowna, 2004) . . . Frey has been with the Rockets since they set up shop in Tacoma in 1991. . . . Hockey really is in his blood. F Travis Moen (Kelowna, 1998-02) of the Montreal Canadiens is Frey’s son-in-law. As well, Frey and the late Louise (Fanner) Kruger were siblings, meaning Frey is an uncle to Darren, Trevor and the late Scott Kruger, all of whom played in the WHL.
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Shawn Mullin, the radio voice of the Swift Current Broncos, reports that it looks like F Killian Hutt’s season is over. Hutt hasn’t played since suffering a concussion during a game against the Blazers in Kamloops on Dec. 10.
“He was optimistic when we chatted last week that he’d be able to get back into the line-up in the final two weeks of the season,” Mullin wrote on his blog (link over there on the right). “However, as he started working harder in practice some post-concussion symptoms came back. It looks like he’ll be shut down for the year as a result.”
Mark Lamb, the Broncos’ GM and head coach, told Mullin:
“It was coming along well. He sartged getting headaches again. It looks like we’re going to have to shut him down for the year. That’s too bad for him. . . . I feel bad for him. It’s been a tough year for him. He’s a 19-year-old player who needs to get back in the lineup for his career. But you can’t do anything when you have those head injuries.”
Mullin also reports that F Graham Black, who won the Saskatchewan midget AAA league scoring championship with the Regina Pat Canadians, has joined the Broncos. They acquired his rights from the Edmonton Oil Kings in December. . . . With F Jarrett Dowling (ankle) out of the lineup, Black likely will see ample playing time in the Broncos’ remaining games.
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The Brandon Wheat Kings will play their first-round playoff games at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg because the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair will have taken over the Keystone Centre. Games 1 and 2 will be played there on March 28 and 31, with a sixth game, if necessary, there on April 4. . . . Brandon last played postseason games in Winnipeg in 2006 when they lost a first-round series in six games to the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . While the Wheat Kings haven’t yet clinched what would be their 11th straight playoff berth, they are getting close. They are seventh, one point out of sixth and seven out of eighth.
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JUST NOTES: F Nino Niederreiter of the Portland Winterhawks is the CHL player of the week. He had nine points, including seven goals, in four games last week. He is the first Portland skater to earn the honour this season. . . . Lucas Gore of the Chilliwack Bruins is the CHL’s goaltender of the week after going 4-0-0, 1.00, .968. . . .
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The QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs have a 53-6-3 record, in no small part because of the play of G Jacob DeSerres (Seattle, Brandon, 2005-10). DeSerres, 20, is profiled right here by Scott Briggs of the Saint John Telegraph-Journal.

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