Thursday, October 20, 2011

Patrick Holland of the Tri-City Americans fights through traffic in an attempt to get a shot off on Saskatoon Blades
goaltender Andrey Makarov on Wednesday night in Kennewick, Wash.

(Photo by John Allen /
F Derek LeBlanc (Brandon, Calgary, 2003-07) requested and was granted his release by the Belfast Giants (Northern Ireland, UK Elite) for personal reasons. He had four goals and nine assists in 12 games for the Giants this season. . . .
G Dusan Salficky (Tri-City, 1990-91) has been loaned by Litomerice (Czech Republic, 1.Liga) to Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic, Extraliga) for at least one game. Salficky has yet to appear in a game this season. Last season, he had a 3.88 GAA and a .885 save percentage in 12 games with Plzen (Czech Republic, Extraliga), a 2.73 GAA and a .927 save percentage in nine games with Litomerice, and a 1.14 GAA and a .963 save percentage in six games with Slovan Ustecti Lvi (Czech Republic, 1.Liga).
F Austin Connor, who was acquired by the Vancouver Giants from the Prince Albert Raiders on Monday, has chosen to retire. The Raiders, instead, have sent the Giants a fourth-round pick in the 2013 bantam draft. The Raiders got F Teal Burns and F Tyler Hart in the deal, with D Arvin Atwal going to Vancouver.
Connor, who is from Beechy, Sask., has decided he would rather farm than play hockey.
Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province has that story right here.
Rob Vanstone, in the Regina Leader-Post: “The WHL is transmitting mixed messages. While vowing to crack down on headshots, with the laudable goal of reducing concussions, the league refuses to provide specific injury information on its website. Instead, the site typically refers to upper- and lower-body injuries. In this case, the WHL’s collective big brains should give their heads a shake.”
Vanstone, continued: “Let’s amend that: They should give their upper bodies a shake.”
I am told that D Matt Benning of the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints has been offered a scholarship to Minnesota-Duluth, starting with the 2013-14 season. Benning is the son of Brian Benning, a defenceman with the Portland Winterhawks and Kamloops Blazers for parts of two seasons (1983-85). The younger Benning was a second-round bantam draft pick by the Kootenay Ice in 2009. His rights were dealt this summer to the Tri-City Americans, but he chose not to report as he wanted to keep his NCAA options open. It would seem that the NCAA option now has materialized.
JUST NOTES: The Tri-City Americans have assigned F Justin Gutierrez to the NAHL’s Wichita Falls Wildcats. Gutierrez, who turns 16 on Dec. 22, was pointless in one game with the Americans. He is the younger brother of former WHLer Moises Gutierrez. . . . Rick Brodsky, who owns the Prince George Cougars, is a co-owner of the Wichita Falls franchise. . . . Head coach Don Hay of the Vancouver Giants will be the head coach of the WHL team that will meet a touring Russian side in the annual Subway Super Series. He will be assisted by Ryan Huska of the Kelowna Rockets and Lorne Molleken of the Saskatooon Blades. Of course, Hay also is head coach of Canada’s national junior team, and Huska is one of his assistants. . . . The WHL team will meet the Russians in Regina on Nov. 16 and in Moose Jaw on Nov. 17. . . . Greg Mayer of the Regina Pats, Curtis Amiot of the Moose Jaw Warriors and Jamie LeBlanc of the Swift Current Broncos will serve as the WHL team’s training staff.
Some Wednesday highlights:
In Edmonton, D Griffin Reinhart scored his first two goals to lift the Oil Kings to a 2-1 victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . Reinhart forged a 1-1 tie at 13:20 of the second period, while on the PP, then got the winner at 18:28 of the third. . . . F Michael St. Croix assisted on both Edmonton goals. . . . Moose Jaw took 50 of 82 penalty minutes. . . . Edmonton held a 42-18 edge in shots. . . .
In Red Deer, the Rebels scored the game’s last three goals, the final one into an empty net, and beat the Kamloops Blazers, 4-2. . . . All three goals were unassisted efforts, with F Tyson Ness and F Chad Robinson erasing a 2-1 deficit with goals 24 seconds apart early in the third period. . . . F Turner Elson got the empty-netter at 19:41. . . . Red Deer’s Patrik Bartosak, the CHL’s goaltender of the week, stopped 30 shots. . . .
In Everett, the Brandon Wheat Kings got two goals and an assist from each of F Darian Dziurzynski and F Paul Ciarelli and beat the Silvertips, 8-2. . . . There have been reports that Dziurzynski scored three goals, but the online scoresheet shows him with two. . . . F Brenden Walker and F Michael Ferland each had a goal and two helpers. . . . Brandon G Brandon Anderson stopped 30 shots. He’s 2-0 since being acquired Sunday from the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Dziurynski has three (or four) goals in two games since being acquired from the Saskatoon Blades, also on Sunday. . . . Brandon F Mark Stone had a goal as he ran his season-opening point streak to 11 games. . . . The Wheat Kings were without F Bruno Mraz, who left Tuesday’s game against the Seattle Thunderbirds after hitting his head on the boards. . . . The Silvertips had three players leave with injuries — D Ryan Murray, F Josh Birkholz and F Ryan Harrison. . . . Murray, one of the WHL’s top defencemen, left in the first period after taking a hit from Stone. Murray was on crutches after the game. . . . The Wheat Kings next play Friday in Medicine Hat against the Tigers. That game will mark the second time the Clouston brothers have clashed as head coaches. Cory is in his first season as Brandon’s head coach; Shaun is the Tigers’ second-year head coach. . . . Rob Henderson of the Brandon Sun notes that the two met on Jan. 3, 2003, when the Kootenay Ice, with Cory running things, beat the Tri-City Americans, with Shaun as head coach, 4-1, in Kennewick, Wash. . . . It’s believed that the only other brothers to have opposed each other in the WHL was the Sauters, Doug with the Calgary Wranglers and Mike with the Lethbridge Broncos, in 1979-80. . . .
In Kennewick, Wash., F Justin Feser scored twice and set up another as the Tri-City Americans got past the Saskatoon Blades, 5-2. . . . Feser’s second goal, at 18:00 of the third, gave the Americans a 4-2 lead and F Brendan Shinnimin iced it with an empty-netter 38 seconds later. . . . Tri-City G Ty Rimmer stopped 33 shots, three fewer than Saskatoon’s Andrey Makarov. . . . The Blades have lost three in a row in the U.S. Division after opening the swing with a victory in Everett. . . . The Americans will spend the weekend in Prince George. Tri-City won last season’s series 2-1-0-1, but the Americans hold a 20-3-0-1 edge since 2005-06.
Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News has been following the impending sale of the NHL’s Dallas Stars. Tom Gaglardi, the majority owner of the Kamloops Blazers, is hoping to purchase the Stars out of bankruptcy and there is an important deadline arriving on Saturday.
Heika’s latest piece is right here.
A report in the Estevan Mercury indicates that the four western Canadian junior A leagues are seriously considering abandoning the RBC Cup and starting up their own championship.
“According to the document,” the newspaper reports, “a major reason for the change is to get away from Hockey Canada’s overbearing rules for hosting tournaments, which restrict profit for the host community by forcing them to change most or all of their advertising to Hockey Canada sponsors.
“The document cites ‘Hockey Canada exclusivities’ and ‘administrative fees for event management’ among the reasons for taking this initiative.”
The Mercury’s complete story is right here.
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