Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday . . .

In the OHL, the Windsor Spitfires, who have won the last two Memorial Cup titles, are into the Western Conference final after finishing off the Sarnia Sting on Sunday. The Spitfires won 5-0 to take the series in six games.
With the victory, the Spitfires established an OHL record — it was their 10th straight series victory. They have been tied with the Peterborough Petes, who won nine straight (1978-80).
According to the gang at, Medicine Hat Tigers F Tyler Pitlick will get NHL salaries of US$865,000, $900,000 and $900,000 under terms of the three-year deal he signed with the Edmonton Oilers. His AHL salary each season would be $67,500. And he got a $270,000 signing bonus, payable over three years. Pitlick, who hasn’t played since early March because of a broken ankle, was a second-round selection in the 2010 NHL draft. He left Minnesota State-Mankato to join the Tigers prior to this season. He had 62 points, including 27 goals, in 56 games when he was injured.
F Brayden Schenn made his AHL playoff debut with the Manchester Monarchs on Sunday. He had an assist and was plus-3 as the Monarchs scored a 5-4 OT victory over the host Binghamton Senators. The Monarchs, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, lead the best-of-seven first-round series, 2-1. Schenn joined the Monarchs after his Saskatoon Blades were eliminated from the WHL playoffs on Wednesday night.
The WHL now has three teams having moved into conference finals.
The Portland Winterhawks got there Sunday, with a 4-2 victory over the Rockets in Kelowna. That gave Portland a 4-2 victory in the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal.
The Winterhawks will meet either the Spokane Chiefs or Tri-City Americans in the conference final. The Chiefs beat the host Americans 3-2 in OT on Sunday and will take a 3-2 series lead into Game 6 in Spokane on Tuesday.
The Eastern Conference final will open Friday, with the Kootenay Ice visiting the Medicine Hat Tigers.
In Kelowna, F Sven Bartschi had a goal and two assists to lead the Portland Winterhawks to a 4-2 victory over the Rockets. . . . The Winterhawks took control with goals 51 seconds apart in the first period. F Ty Rattie broke a scoreless tie at 6:44 and Bartschi made it 2-0 at 7:35. . . . F Craig Cunningham made it 3-0 at 3:14 of the second. . . . The Rockets got to within one on goals from F Geordie Wudrick, at 13:03 of the second, and F Brett Bulmer, 54 seconds into the third on a PP, but couldn’t get the equalizer. . . . Portland D Joe Morrow closed out the scoring with an empty-netter. . . . Attendance was 4,821. . . . The Rockets, a team that averaged more than 6,000 fans per game in the regular season, drew crowds of 6,059 and 6,085 for first-round games with the Prince George Cougars. However, crowds were under 5,000 for the three home games against Portland. Strange, no? . . . Portland G Mac Carruth stopped 45 shots, 10 more than Kelowna’s Adam Brown. . . . The Winterhawks last appeared in the Western Conferencee final in 2001. That series is to open Friday in the Rose Garden in Portland. . . .
In Kennewick, Wash., F Blake Gal came out of the penalty box in OT to score the winner as the Spokane Chiefs beat the Tri-City Americans, 3-2. . . . The Chiefs lead the series 3-2 with Game 6 in Spokane on Tuesday. . . . The Chiefs led this one 2-0 on goals by D Jared Cowen, hust 27 seconds in, and F Matt Marantz, at 4:32 of the second. . . . The Americans tied it on third-period goals from D Tyler Schmidt, at 3:24, and F Carter Ashton, at 18:59. . . . Gal went off for high-sticking at 2:46 of OT, but the Americans weren’t able to beat G James Reid, who made 33 saves. . . . Six seconds after getting out of stir, Gal put the winner past G Drew Owsley, who stopped 40 shots. . . . Owsley had opened OT with five saves as the Chiefs started extra time on the PP. . . . The goal was Gal’s sixth of these playoffs. . . . Attendance was 4,014. . . . If they need a Game 7, it’ll be played in Spokane on Wednesday. . . . The series winner will open the Western Conference final in Portland on Friday.
Two minors:
Portland F Craig Cunningham.
Spokane F Darren Kramer.
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