THE MacBETH REPORT:
F Kyle Bruce (Kamloops, Prince Albert, Vancouver, 1999-2004) signed a one-year contract extension with the Braehead Clan (UK Elite). He had 14 goals and 24 assists in 43 games with the Glasgow-based Clan this season. . . .
G Norm Maracle (Saskatoon, 1991-94) signed a one-year contract extension with Starbulls Rosenheim (Germany 2.Bundesliga). He posted a 2.51 GAA in 41 games this season. . . .
F Tyler Spurgeon (Kelowna, 2001-06) signed a one-year contract extension with Klagenfurt (Austria Erste Bank Liga). He had 11 goals and 10 assists in 34 games this season.
The Eastern Conference finalists have been decided. The Kootenay Ice, having swept the top-seeded Saskatoon Blades, will be in Medicine Hat on Friday to open against the Tigers, who ousted the No. 2 Red Deer Rebels on Saturday night. . . . The Tigers finished third in the conference, while the Ice was fourth. . . . Meanwhile, the two Western Conference series resume tonight. The Portland Winterhawks taking a 3-2 lead into Kelowna to face the Rockets. And, in Kennewick, Wash., the Spokane Chiefs and host Tri-City Americans clash in a series that is 2-2.
In Kelowna, the Rockets will be without D Colton Jobke, who will serve a one-game WHL suspension. That’s for a boarding major he incurred in Game 5 for a hit on Portland F Brad Ross.
The Rockets have added D Madison Bowey, a 15-year-old from Winnipeg, to fill the vacated roster spot. A second-round pick in the 2010 bantam draft, Bowey had one assist in three regular-season games with the Rockets.
On Saturday night in Red Deer, F Kellan Tochkin’s goal at 9:32 of overtime gave the Medicine Hat Tigers a 5-4 victory over the Rebels. . . . The Tigers won the second-round series 4-1 and now will meet the Kootenay Ice in the Eastern Conference final. That series opens with games in Medicine Hat on Friday and Saturday nights. . . . Red Deer, the conference’s second seed, led this one 4-1 after F John Persson scored on the PP at 2:21 of the third period. . . . F Boston Leier (2:44) and F Linden Vey (9:41) scored to get the Tigers close and F F Emerson Etem tied it at 15:46. . . . Vey and Etem each had a goal and two assists. . . . F Cole Grbavac scored his ninth goal of the playoffs for Medicine Hat. He has 16 points in 11 games, after finishing the regular season with 28 points, including 13 goals, in 67 games. . . . The Rebels went into the game having scored just three goals in the first four games. . . . Medicine Hat G Tyler Bunz stopped 41 shots, while Dawson Guhle turned aside 28 for the Rebels. . . . Red Deer lost started Darcy Kuemper to a high ankle sprain in Game 3. . . . Attendance was 6,225.
SATURDAY’S CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
Medicine Hat F Wacey Hamilton.
The Kamloops Blazers have signed G Cole Cheveldave, a list player from the AJHL’s Drumheller Dragons. Cheveldave, who turns 18 on June 8, had a 2.90 GAA nad a .917 save percentage, and was honoured as the AJHL’s rookie of the yer. . . . The Victoria Salmon Kings erased a 1-0 deficit with three second-period goals and went on to beat the host Utah Grizzlies 4-2 last night. The Salmon Kings lead the ECHL second-round series 2-0 as the series heads for Victoria and games Wednesday, Friday and, if necessary, Saturday. F Kiel McLeod, a former captain of the Kelowna Rockets, scored Victoria’s third goal, while Tommy Maxwell, who played for the Medicine Hat Tigers, got the fourth one. . . . The AHL’s Providence Bruins will have a new head coach next season as Rob Murray has been told he won’t be back for a fourth season. . . . The ECHL’s Elmira Jackals also are looking for a head coach. GM Robbie Nichols, who took over behind the bench from Malcolm Cameron in February, is moving aside. He’ll stay on as GM but won’t coach.
A note from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: “Rookie Jared Spurgeon, a revelation on the (Minnesota) Wild blue-line because of his IQ on the ice, only had one penalty in his 53 games. He’s one of only three defencemen (Bill Quackenbush and Tomas Kaberle are the others) in history who’ve played at least 50 games in a season to do that. How do you not get, say, six hooking penalties in a season?” . . . Spurgeon is a product of the Spokane Chiefs.
Doug McConachie, a friend and a former sports editor of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, is dying. The pancreatic cancer isn’t going to let go and he knows it. Cam Hutchinson of the StarPhoenix, a longtime friend and co-worker, captures McConachie's personality, including that infectious laugh, in today’s good read and it’s right here.
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