Sunday, October 23, 2011

F Brad Schell (Spokane, 1999-2004) signed a one-year contract after a successful tryout with Dornbirn (Austria, Nationalliga). He had five goals and five assists in six games during his tryout period. . . .
F Jakub Klepis (Portland, 2001-02) was placed on waivers by Salavat Yulayev Ufa (Russia, KHL) for the purpose of sending him to their minor league affiliate, Toros Neftekamsk (Russia, Vysshaya Liga). However, three KHL clubs put in claims — Metallurg Novokuznetsk, Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk and OHK Dynamo Moscow (all Russia, KHL). In the KHL, multiple claims made on players placed on waivers before Nov. 15 are decided based on the final standings from last season. Under this rule, Metallurg Novokuznetsk won the waiver claim but, according to Metallurg GM Leonid Vaisfeld, Klepis was never in their plans. Metallurg then traded Klepis to OHK Dynamo Moscow in exchange for a first-round draft pick. Klepis had three goals and two assists in 15 games with Salavat Yulayev this season. . . . As a side note, former NHL F Robert Nilsson also was placed on waivers at the same time as Klepis but he went unclaimed and will report to Toros.
SOME FRIDAY LEFTOVERS: Head coach Jim Hiller picked up his 100th victory with the Tri-City Americans on Friday as they posted a 1-0 victory over the Cougars in Prince George. Tri-City G Eric Comrie stopped 17 shots for his first career shutout in that one. . . . According to an Americans’ news release, Hiller is the third coach in franchise history to get to 100 victories. “He is also the fastest coach to reach the mark,” reads the released, “doing it in just 157 games (.659 winning percentage). It took Bob Loucks (103 wins) 207 games to reach the mark while Don Nachbaur, Tri-City’s all-time coaching wins leader (229), got his 100th win in game No. 236.” . . . If you missed it Friday night, Shaun Clouston’s Medicine Hat Tigers beat brother Cory’s Brandon Wheat Kings 5-2 in the Gas City. Cory still holds a 4-2 edge in the matchup of coaching brothers. . . . Medicine Hat F Kellan Tochkin returned to the Tigers’ lineup in that one. He hadn’t played since Thanksgiving Day when he suffered an upper body injury (concussion?) as he was punched in the head by Kamloops Blazers D Josh Caron. . . . The Vancouver Giants scored six PP goals in beating the visiting Victoria Royals, 8-1. . . .
NOW THAT WE’RE CAUGHT UP: Bob Ridley, the venerable radio voice of the Medicine Hat Tigers, was heard to say during a Saturday night broadcast that there is an “entirely good possibility” that the Gas City boys and the Kamloops Blazers could meet in the WHL playoffs. That, of course, would mean they are in the WHL final. . . . F Nail Yakupov of the Sarnia Sting has the OHL scoring lead after putting up three points on Saturday. The Russian, who is eligible for the 2012 NHL draft, has 29 points in 13 games. . . .
F Liam Stewart of the Spokane Chiefs scored his first WHL goal on Saturday, as he knocked a puck out of midair and into the net. It came in his sixth game and helped the Chiefs to a 3-2 victory over the visiting Everett Silvertips. . . . This is the last time that this blog will mention that Stewart is the son of model/actress Rachel Hunter and rocker Rod Stewart. Now that he’s on the board, he’s Liam Stewart and he might as well be the son of a Prairie farmer. OK? . . . That was Spokane’s sixth straight victory and was the fifth game in a row in which the Chiefs came from behind to win. . . . The Chiefs also have won seven straight on home ice. . . . Everett F Ryan Chynoweth, the grandson of the late Ed Chynoweth, the longtime WHL president, picked up an assist for his first WHL point. He is the son of Jeff Chynoweth, the Kootenay Ice’s president and general manager. . . .
On the MSG-TV telecast of last night’s game between Edmonton and the New York Rangers, Oilers president Kevin Lowe said, according to a tweet from @EJHradek_NHL: “I’d be shocked if (Ryan Nugent-Hopkins) goes back, but we’ll make that decision in a week or two.” . . . The Nuge scored again last night and added an assist. He played 16:04 in a 2-0 victory over the visiting New York Rangers. . . . He has a team-high five goals. Sorry, Red Deer! Sorry, Canada!! . . . F Tyler Giebel, 18, who had six points in 49 games with the Everett Silvertips last season, has joined the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers. Giebel, who is from Regina, was pointless in eight games with Everett this season when he was released. . . .
Brandon F Mark Stone ran his season-opening point streak to 13 games as he scored once in the Wheat Kings’ 4-2 victory over the host Lethbridge Hurricanes last night. Stone leads the WHL scoring race with 28 points. . . . Brandon finished its seven-game road trip, which included five stops in the U.S., at 4-3-0. . . . The Hurricanes now has lost 11 in a row. . . . The Moose Jaw Warriors dropped a 2-1 decision to the Kootenay Ice in Cranbrook last night. The Warriors dropped three one-goal decisions over the previous four days. . . .
Tri-City G Eric Comrie, 16, put up his second shutout in as many nights Saturday as the Americans beat the Cougars 1-0 in Prince George. Comrie, who stopped 17 shots in a 1-0 victory on Friday, turned aside 30 shots last night. . . . In both games, Comrie bettered former Americans G Drew Owsley. . . . According to Dan Mulhausen of the Americans, Comrie is “the first Americans goaltender to ever win consecutive 1-0 games, and the first 16-year-old goaltender in the franchise’s history to record back-to-back shutout victories.  Current Montreal Canadiens’ G Carey Price had three straight shutouts in December 2004, but he was 17 at the time.” . . . Mulhausen also reports that this was the eighth time in Tri-City history that it has won back-to-back games via shutout. Owsley and Price each did it twice, while Chet Pickard (Jan. 30-31, 2009), Jeff Blair (Feb. 20-26, 1999), David Trofimenkoff (Feb. 26-28, 1995) and Lance Leslie (Feb. 16-20, 1993) also did it. . . .
Former Kamloops/Regina D Victor Bartley scored the winning goal last night as the Milwaukee Admirals beat the Heat 3-1 in an AHL game in Abbotsford. It was his first goal and came in his fifth game. . . . The highlight of Saturday night? Watching the third period of the Dallas Stars at Los Angeles Kings — sorry, Jon Rosen, missed you in the intermission — and seeing Yvon Barrette in the nosebleeds with the commoners. He even did the “Who howns the Chiefs?” line when interviewed. Perhaps you know him better as goaltender Denis Lemieux from Slap Shot. . . . Going into Sunday games, 15 of the WHL’s 22 teams boast a winning percentage of .500 or better.
Will the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning keep F Brett Connolly or return him to the Prince George Cougars? John Romano of the St. Petersburg Times has the latest right here.
Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun reported via Twitter last night that “Justin Bieber went for a little twirl with Selena Gomez at MTS Centre” after the Winnipeg Jets game.
If you were wondering, both were wearing Jets jersey. Bieber, who put on a concert in the ’Peg on Friday, wore No. 6, while she wore No. 9.
And you thought the Biebs was a basketballer!
Hmmm! Gotta wonder if Biebs and his gal pal might be interesting in owning a WHL franchise in the Manitoba capital? Why not? Michael Buble owns a chunk of the Vancouver Giants.
Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the Saskatoon Star Phoenix has written a solid story on Colton Stephenson, who has ended his WHL career because of post-concussion syndrome. That piece is right here.
So . . . did a junior A team’s players have to run laps outdoors after returning home from a road game in which they blew a 4-0 third-period lead? Could it be that old-time hockey is back in Nanaimo, at least off the ice?
Philip Wolf of the Nanaimo Daily News tried to find out. He didn’t seem to get any denials for the piece that is right here.
From Cory Flett, the WHL’s director, communications:
“It is seems that 'parody' could be the #WHL buzz word thus far this season, each team has at least 3 losses, except Spokane with 2.”
For today’s good read, we bring you Hockey World, the weekly compilation by the Jim Matheson, the Edmonton Journal’s Hockey Hall of Famer. It’s right here and it’s about two cups of coffee in length. Enjoy!
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