Sunday, December 4, 2011

It was quite a night at the Rose Garden in Portland where the annual Teddy
Bear Toss was accompanied by a marriage ceremony as Linda (Lulu)
Moonwood and Dr. Robert Murakami exchanged vows.

(Photos courtesy Portland Winterhawks)
Let’s be honest!
The big story from Saturday’s WHL action was in Portland where the Winterhawks took the Teddy Bear game to new heights.
There were 10,947 fans — a sellout for hockey — in the Rose Garden when F Ty Rattie scored the Teddy Bear goal at 2:52 of the first period.
And while they were cleaning the stuffed toys off the ice, a marriage ceremony involving Linda (Lulu) Moonwood and Dr. Robert Murakami took place.
I have looked high and low on the Internet but haven’t been able to find the couple’s names. (If someone has them, please email me at
I am told the groom is a local men’s league goaltender. Judging by his wedding suit, he takes his position in the goaltender’s union rather seriously.
By the way, does the groom resemble Denis Lemieux, or what? Come on! Just a bit?
No matter. Congratulations to the happy couple on what certainly was a wedding to remember. ———
In Regina, F Jordan Weal and F Trent Ouellette each had a goal and two assists to help the Pats to a 5-3 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . F Colton Stephenson scored the Teddy Bear goal at 11:05 of the first period. . . . Weal broke a 3-3 tie at 15:36 of the third period. . . . F Tyler Giebel, who had four goals in 60 games over three seasons with the Everett Silvertips, scored in his first game with Red Deer. Giebel, 18, is from Balgonie, Sask. Regina is a suburb of Balgonie. . . .

In Swift Current, F Cain Franson scored twice for Vancouver as the Giants edged the Broncos, 3-2. . . . Vancouver went 4-1-1 on its trek through the East Division. The only other time the Giants won four games on the trip was in 2005-06. . . . Franson has 11 goals. . . . Vancouver F Jordan Martinook got his 17th goal; he has seven goals in his last eight games. . . . F Anthony Ast drew two assists for the Giants. . . . The Broncos had only 11 shots on goal threw two periods. They were outshot 15-3 in the first. . . . Vancouver G Adam Morrison leads the WHL with 18 victories. . . .

In Moose Jaw, the Warriors scored the game’s last two goals and beat the Kootenay Ice, 2-1. . . . The Ice has lost two straight for the first time this season. . . . F Brett Lyon, with his 10th, tied it at 16:55 of the first on the PP. . . . F Quinton Howden broke the tie with his 1with at 18:19 of the first. . . . Moose Jaw G Luke Siemens stopped 26 shots to improve to 15-6-4. . . . Ice F Max Reinhart picked up an assist to run his points streak to nine games. . . .

In Medicine Hat, the Spokane Chiefs scored five straight goals and beat the Tigers, 6-3. . . . F Mitch Holmberg had three goals for Spokane, giving him 10. He has two career hat tricks. . . . Spokane is 2-1-1 on its six-game swing. . . . Chiefs F Steve Kuhn, who is from Oyen, Alta., and played for the bantam AAA Medicine Hat Hockey Hounds, had three assists. . . . The Tigers got the game’s first two goals, but the Chiefs scored once in the second period and added four in a row in the first 15 minutes of the third. . . . F Emerson Etem had a goal, his WHL-leading 28th, and two assists for the Tigers. . . . The team’s captains, Darren Kramer of the Chiefs and Cole Grbavac of the Tigers, did battle at 4:38 of the first. . . .

In Lethbridge, G Damien Ketlo stopped 52 shots to lead the Hurricanes to a 6-3 victory over the Saskatoon Blades. . . . The Hurricanes have won three in a row and six of eight. . . . Lethbridge F Russell Maxwell broke a 2-2 at 10:22 of the second. . . . Lethbridge opened the third with two goals and took it from there. . . . The Blades had won six straight road games. . . . Lethbridge F Reid Duke, 15, picked up an assist.  He was the fifth overall pick in the 2011 bantam draft. . . . The Hurricanes also used F Tyler Wong from the midget AAA UFA Bisons. . . . Saskatoon F Josh Nicholls scored his 20th goal in his 30th game. Last season, he had 34 goals in 71 games. . . . Nicholls later left the game with an apparent injury after taking a hard check. . . .

In Kamloops, G Cole Cheveldave stopped 29 shots, including a penalty shot, as the Blazers ran their winning streak to six games with a 4-2 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . Cheveldave stopped F Robin Soudek on a first-period penalty shot. . . . The Blazers beat the Rockets for the fourth time in nine nights. All told, Kamloops is 5-0 against the Royals this season, with three games left in the season series. . . . F Ben Walker, who joined the Royals a couple of weeks ago from the Minnesota high school ranks, scored his first goal. . . . Kamloops Ryan Hanes broke a 2-2 tie at 5:08 of the third. It was his fourth goal in 28 games. Last season, he had four in 70 games; in 2009-10, he had four in 51 games. . . . Kamloops last won six in a row in 2006-07. That season, its streak ended at eight victories. . . . The Blazers are 12-2 against B.C. Division opponents. . . . Kamloops also won its 20th game of the season; last season, it won No. 20 on Jan. 7. . . .

In Kelowna, F Alex Forsberg broke a 2-2 tie just 34 seconds into the third period and the Prince George Cougars beat the Rockets, 3-2. . . . Forsberg has six goals. . . . The Rockets mustered only 18 shots, including three in the first period and four in the third. . . . D Martin Marincin had two assists for the Cougars, who are 7-10-1 on the road but just 2-8-1 at home. . . . Prince George F Charles Inglis, 19, was a healthy scratch. . . .

In Portland, F Ty Rattie scored once and set up three others as the Winterhawks bounced the Seattle Thunderbirds, 7-1. . . . Rattie’s goal, at 2:52 of the first period, was the Teddy Bear goal. . . . The Winterhawks have won nine in a row at home and four straight overall. . . . Portland, which was 4-for-8 on the PP, fired 60 shots on goal, including 29 in the first period. . . . Seattle G Calvin Pickard made 39 stops through two periods. Daniel Cotton stopped 14 shots in the third. . . . Portland F Sven Bartschi? He had three assists. . . . The Winterhawks will play the Cougars in Prince George on Tuesday and Wednesday. . . . F Nino Niederreiter of the NHL’s New York Islanders, whose WHL rights belong to the Winterhawks, suffered a concussion in an NHL game on Saturday. Niederreiter, 19, is to be re-evaluated today. . . . Niederreiter had the boom lowered on him by Dallas Stars D Marc Fistric, a product of the Vancouver Giants. The hit is right here. . . . Discuss among yourselves how many games Sheriff Shanahan will give Fistric, who wasn’t penalized for the hit.
In Kennewick, Wash., F Adam Hughesman scored the only goal of the shootout and the Tri-City Americans beat the Everett Silvertips, 4-3. . . . F Jordan Messier scored the Teddy Bear goal at 11:58 of the first period after Everett had taken a 2-0 lead. . . . Tri-City F Brendan Shinnimin forced OT with a PP goal at 11:50 of the third. . . . Everett is 1-5 in shootouts. . . . Tri-City G Eric Comrie stopped 24 shots and three in the shootout as he improved to 9-3-0. . . . Everett G Kent Simpson stopped 46 shots. . . . The Silvertips have lost six straight.
D Colton Jobke, Regina
F Mike Forsyth, Victoria
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Josh Cooper of The Tennessean writes on on former WHL D Ian Herbers, who took over this week as head coach of the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals. That piece is right here.
If you have been following the saga involving the scrap between Joe Kapp and Angelo Mosca that took place in Vancouver two days before the Grey Cup game, here’s an interesting bit from Greg Douglas, who writes a weekly column for the Vancouver Sun:
“What wasn't caught on camera for YouTube and other Internet coverage was Kapp's hurried exit from the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel after the scrap. He tripped over a set of luggage on the sidewalk on West Hastings and hit the pavement like he'd been sacked, landing on a knee that instantly swelled up to the size of a grapefruit. He scrambled to his feet, looked around hoping nobody would recognize him and limped off into the late afternoon downtown mist.”
Steve Simmons, in the Toronto Sun:
“If you’ve been around junior hockey at all, you’ll know the name Jim Cressman. The old umpire and longtime reporter is packing it in with The London Free Press. The industry will be one heavyweight lighter without him.”
All the best, Jim!
Today's good read is right here.
The New York Times has started a three-part series examining the life and death, and everything in between, of the late Derek Boogaard. Part 1 of the series written by John Branch is tremendous. You won't want to miss it.
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