In Portland on Saturday, the Kootenay Ice scored four straight PP goals, in a span of 5:45 in the second period, and went on to beat the Winterhawks, 7-5. . . . That ties the WHL’s championship final at 1-1 with Games 3 and 4 in Cranbrook on Tuesday and Wednesday. . . . This was a wild and crazy game. . . . The Winterhawks ran into some horrific penalty trouble and the Ice took advantage by going 4-for-7 on the PP. . . . The teams were 1-1 going into the second period. The Ice killed off a tripping penalty to D Hayden Rintoul and then F Matt Fraser broke the tie with his second goal of the game and 15th of the spring. . . . Portland then took two minors and two majors over a nine-minute stretch and the floodgates opened. "We took 18 penalty minutes in a row," Mike Johnston, Portland’s GM/head coach, told reporters. "I've never seen that. I've coached 25 years and never seen that many calls in a row on one team." . . . The Ice then got the four PP goals — F Max Reinhart (8:47), F Cody Eakin (10:15), F Steele Boomer (13:04) and F Kevin King (14:32) — to take a 6-1 lead. . . . Portland F Sven Bartschi, who had two goals in Portland’s 4-3 victory in Game 1 on Friday, then struck twice, shorthanded at 19:19 of the second and on the PP at 6:12 of the third. . . . F Taylor Peters, at 8:01, and D Joe Morrow, at 8:14, got the home team to within one but the comeback fell short. . . . King iced it with an empty-netter at 19:50. . . . Ice G Nathan Lieuwen stopped 39 shots and that included stopping Bartschi on a penalty shot with the score 1-1 at 2:40 of the second period. . . . Portland G Mac Carruth turned aside 23 of 29 shots, with Keith Hamilton coming on at 4:31 left in the second period and stopping all 13 shots he faced. . . . Referees Matt Kirk and Reagan Vetter hit Portland with 46 of the 60 minutes they handed out. While the Ice took seven minors, Portland picked up eight minors, two majors and two game misconducts. . . . The WHL is certain to look at two Portland penalties and maybe three. F Tayler Jordan took a checking-from-behind major at 7:48 of the second for a hit on Boomer. F Riley Boychuk was hit with an elbowing major at 15:59 for a check on Rintoul. Both penalties carry with them automatic game misconducts and will be looked at by the WHL office. . . . Portland F Brad Ross took roughing and tripping minors at 7:25 of the second period. Ross and Fraser, who was involved in the play, both left the game. Fraser, who appeared to suffer an injury to his left leg, didn’t return. Ross returned to the Portland bench but didn’t play again. . . . Attendance was 10,947. The Rose Garden, in its hockey configuration, was sold out. . . . The Winterhawks scratched D Tyler Wotherspoon (undisclosed) and inserted D Josh Hanson, 16, who played his first playoff game. . . . Game 5 is scheduled for Portland on Friday.
SATURDAY’S CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
Portland F Tayler Jordan
Jim Beseda of The Oregonian was at the game and his story is right here.
Jason Vondersmith of the Portland Tribune also covered the game, and his story is right here.
Tribune columnist Kerry Eggers also was in the house, and his piece is right here.
An interesting note from the blog (Between The Lines) of Jeff Hollick, who calls the Ice play-by-play: In their history, the Ice have faced eight penalty shots in playoff games, while they have never been awarded one. . . . Ice goalies have stopped seven of the eight.
In the QMJHL final, the visiting Gatineau Olympiques got 38 saves form G Maxime Clermont as they beat the Saint John Sea Dogs 3-2 to even the series at 1-1. . . . Saint John G Jacob DeSerres stopped 21 shots. . . . Games 3 and 4 are Monday and Wednesday in Gatineau.
Jim Matheson, the Edmonton Journal’s hall of fame hockey writer, notes today that “Ryan McGill, the former Oilers defenceman and Calgary Flames assistant coach, might catch on with the Phoenix Coyotes now that Ulf Samuelsson has departed for a head coaching job with MoDo of the Swedish Elite League.” . . . Matheson also notes that the Minnesota Wild have until June 1 to sign Red Deer Rebels G Darcy Kuemper or he becomes a free agent. The Wild selected Kuemper, the WHL’s player of the year, in the sixth round of the NHL’s 2009 draft. Matheson notes that “the trouble is that Kuemper . . . wants first-round draft money.”
Steve Simmons, in today’s Toronto Sun: “The Memorial Cup is coming to the so-called centre of the hockey universe and all indications are this event is in some trouble.
Staff from both the Ottawa Senators and the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors — two teams owned by Eugene Melnyk — have been desperately working the phones of late trying to offer up discounted and single-game tickets, for the Canadian junior hockey championship.”
Cleve Dheensaw of the Victoria Times Colonist has a couple of interesting tidbits in a story he wrote on the folding by RG Properties of the ECHL’s Victoria Salmon Kings. RG Properties, of course, purchased the Chilliwack Bruins and is moving the WHL team to Victoria’s Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.
1. Dave Dakers, the president of RG Properties’ sports and entertainment division, told Dheensaw that an announcement on a general manager and head coach “is a couple of weeks away.” Marc Habscheid, the Bruins’ GM/head coach for two seasons, ran the Bruins’ bantam draft on Thursday in Calgary.
2. RG Properties purchased the video scoreboard panels from Prospera Centre in Chilliwack when it bought the Bruins. It doesn’t seem certain that they will end up in the Victoria arena, though.
3. The Victoria franchise is working on a deal involving radio play-by-play.
Dheensaw’s story is right here.
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