Sunday, October 30, 2011

Brendan Shinnimin of the Tri-City City Americans
and Spokane Chiefs goaltender Mac Engel get up close
and personal on Saturday night.

(Photo by John Allen /
If you haven’t already, please go on over to and make a donation.
As it reads on that website:
“On Sept 7, 2011, 44 lives were lost in the worst tragedy in professional hockey history. A plane carrying crew members, hockey personnel, coaches and players of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team went down, breaking the hearts of their loved ones near and far.
“In a united effort to show support for the grieving families, hockey wives and girlfriends from around the world have created this website in hopes to raise money for their dear friends.”
Please visit the website and make a donation. You also are able to get memory bracelets there.
Don’t wait. Do it now.
Please and thanks.
Former Kamloops Blazers head coach Ken Hitchcock could be back as head coach of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets as early as Monday.
The Columbus Dispatch’s hockey blog — Puck-Rakers Blog — reported early this morning that team president Mike Priest has talked with Hitchcock, who was fired as head coach by the Blue Jackets but still is under contract to the team. He would replace Scott Arniel.
The complete report is right here.
In Brandon, F Mark Stone scored his 11th goal of the season to help the Wheat Kings to a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Stone, who now is tied for second in the WHL’s scoring race, is riding a season-opening 15-game point streak. He has 31 points, one behind Victoria Royals F Kevin Sundher. . . . Stone also is on a five-game goal-scoring streak. . . . Edmonton D Mark Pysyk was a late scratch. That allowed D Cody Corbett, who was signed out of the Minnesota high school ranks earlier in the week, to make his WHL debut. . . . Corbett was pointless but did finish plus-1. . . . It was the Wheat Kings’ 1,500th regular-season WHL victory. . . .

In Calgary, F Trevor Cheek’s fourth goal of the season broke a 1-1 tie and the Hitmen went on to a 3-1 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . Cheek’s goal, a shorthanded effort, came at 19:33 of the second period. . . . Everett G Kent Simpson, who turned aside 52 shots Friday in a 3-2 shootout victory over the Rebels in Red Deer, made 39 saves, 16 of them in the first period. . . .

In Cranbrook, F Erik Benoit and F Max Reinhart each scored twice as the Kootenay Ice dumped the Portland Winterhawks 4-1 in a rematch of last season’s championship final. . . . The Ice, which hsa won four in row now, won that series in five games. . . . Reinhart broke a 1-1 tie with a shorthanded goal at 17:58 of the second period. He later added his eighth goal of the season, into an empty net. . . . Benoit has five goals. . . . Obviously, the rivalry built up in last season’s final is still alive, witness the Ice taking 39 of 68 penalty minutes. All told, referee Sean Raphael whistled 27 infractions. . . . Attendance was 2,751. . . . The Winterhawks went 2-3-1 on their Central Division swing. They will play the Blazers in Kamloops on Wednesday, then go into Kelowna for a Friday-Saturday double-dip with the Rockets. . . .

In Lethbridge, G Patrik Bartosak stopped 29 shots to help the Red Deer Rebels to a 5-0 victory over the Hurricanes. . . . Bartosak, an 18-year-old Czech freshman, is 9-3-0, 1.81, .941. . . . This was his first shutout. . . . D Matt Dumba had two PP goals, giving him five snipes this season. . . . The Hurricanes now have lost 13 in a row after opening 2-0-1. . . .

In Moose Jaw, the Warriors scored the game’s last two goals and beat the Regina Pats, 3-2. . . . It was the Pats’ first visit to Mosaic Place and the joint was sold out (4,513). . . . Regina held 1-0 and 2-1 first-period leads. . . . F Quinton Howden tied it at 19:04 of the second period and F Brett Lyon won it on the PP at 2:02 of the third. . . . Lyon, 20, has seven goals in 15 games. He went into this season with eight goals in 158 career regular-season games. . . . Each team took five minor penalties. . . .

In Prince Albert, the Saskatoon Blades ruined Steve Young’s debut as the Raiders’ head coach, as they posted a 4-3 victory. . . . Young was promoted from assistant GM/associate coach to head coach on Friday. He replaced Bruno Campese as head coach; Campese stays on as GM. . . . The Blades, trailing 1-0 midway in the first period, responded with three straight goals. . . . Saskatoon F Jake Trask returned after being out since Oct. 5 with an injury. . . . Saskatoon G Andrey Makarov stopped 31 shots as his club was outshot 34-18. . . .

At Medicine Hat, G Tyler Bunz stopped 30 shots and F Emerson Etem became the WHL’s first 20-goal man as the Tigers dumped the Swift Current Broncos, 5-0. . . . Etem scored three goals, giving him 21, and added an assist. He has 31 points in 15 games, one point of the WHL scoring lead. . . . Etem scored the game’s first three goals. . . . Bunz recorded his second shutout this season and the seventh of his career as he picked up his 10th victory of the season. . . . F Trevor Cox, the great grandson of the legendary Cyclone Taylor, scored his second career goal. He had picked up his first goal one night earlier as the Tigers lost 3-2 in Swift Current. . . . Emotions got heated in the Gas City, too. As Shawn Mullin, the radio voice of the Broncos tweeted: “We nearly had a goalie fight there... Jon Groenheyde took down Kale Kessy and eventually called out Tyler Bunz... but no deal.” . . .

In Prince George, F Alex Forsberg scored a PP goal at 16:16 of the third period to give the Cougars a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . G Drew Owsley of the Cougars stopped 28 shots as his side was outshot 29-18. . . . The Cougars had lost their previous eight games. . . . The Giants, who had won four straight, had beaten the host Cougars 4-2 one night earlier and 6-2 on Tuesday in Vancouver. . . .

In Kelowna, F Dylan Willick scored twice for the second time in two nights as the Kamloops Blazers beat the Rockets, 4-3. . . . Willick has nine goals, all coming over his last 10 games. . . . He scored twice Friday as the Blazers beat the visiting Rockets, 5-2. . . . Kamloops F Brendan Ranford’s ninth goal, at 18:26 of the third, gave his side a 4-2 lead and proved the winner. . . . The Blazers, who didn’t make the playoffs last season, are 11-3-0 and have won four in a row. They boast the WHL’s top winning percentage (.786) and are tied with the Tri-City Americans (11-5-0) atop the Western Conference. . . .

In Kennewick, Wash., F Brendan Shinnimin broke a 1-1 tie at 12:59 of the third period and the Tri-City Americans went on to a 3-1 victory over the Spokane Chiefs. . . . Shinnimin, who took a misconduct at 14:42 of the first period, also scored the game’s first goal. . . . F Adam Hughesman drew assists on both of Shinnimin’s goals. . . . F Justin Feser iced it with an empty-netter. . . . Spokane F Blake Gal, who scored his club’s goal, was ejected with a boarding major at 19:33 of the first period. . . . The Americans lead the 12-game season series, 2-1. . . .

In Victoria, F Kevin Sundher enjoyed a five-point night in leading the Royals to a 7-3 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Sundher scored four times and added an assist to move into the WHL scoring lead. He has 32 points, one more than Brandon F Mark Stone and Medicine Hat F Emerson Etem. . . . Sundher, who has 11 goals, had 23 points over his last 11 games. That includes two four-point outings and the five-pointer. . . . His career high going into this season was four points. He did that once last season. . . . One of the WHL’s most under-appreciated players, Sundher, 19, has 209 points in 232 career regular-season games. . . . Victoria F Robin Soudek had a goal and four helpers. He had played 201 regular-season games and had never had more than three points in a game.
Brent Peterson, a former Portland Winterhawks player and coach, continues his scrap with Parkinson’s diseason. Peterson told Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal that he wants a better quality of life so will undergo surgery in December as doctors at Vanderbilt University in Nashville implant a neurostimulator in his brain.
Matheson’s complete story on Peterson is right here. Peterson hasn’t lost his sense of humour and there are a couple of good anecdotes here.
The hazing story involving the MJHL’s Neepawa Natives isn’t going away any time soon. It has legs, as they say. Randy Turner of the Winnipeg Free Press has a terrific piece on the whole mess right here. . . . And there were reports late Saturday that the Natives have traded at least three players.
Every hockey parent should read The Lost Dream, a book written by Toronto Sun sports columnist Steve Simmons. The book’s subtitle is The Story of Mike Danton, David Frost, and a Broken Canadian Family. . . . This book tells an ugly, ugly story, one with which you may be familiar as Danton — he was Mike Jefferson before changing his name. . . . There are so many angles to this story that it is impossible to list them all there. . . . Just read the book if you get the opportunity. . . . My only real quibble is with the book’s title. It should be: The Lost Family.
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