THE MacBETH REPORT:
D Oleg Tverdovsky (Brandon, 1994-95) was released by Salavat Yulaev Ufa (Russia, KHL). He had no points in 12 games this season. Tverdovsky cleared KHL waivers last week but elected not to report to Salavat Yulaev's farm club, Toros Neftekamsk (Russia, Vysshaya Liga).
JUST NOTES: F Filip Vasko, 18, of the Kelowna Rockets will attend the Slovakian national junior team’s selection camp in Three Hills, Alta., Dec. 15-23. Vasko, in his freshman WHL season, has 11 assists in 24 games with the Rockets. . . .
F Geordie Wudrick (Swift Current, Kelowna, 2005-11) is leaving the Rosenheim Star Bulls, a German pro team, to join the U of New Brunswick Varsity Reds, the No. 1 team in Canadian Interuniversity Sport’s latest rankings. . . . Wudrick had 59 points, 43 of them goals, in 71 games with the Kelowna Rockets last season. . . . He will play for the V-Reds after Christmas. . . . Wudrick had nine points in 14 games with Rosenheim, which plays in the 2.Bundesliga. . . .
F Thomas Frazee (Portland, Medicine Hat, Regina, Moose Jaw, Kamloops, 2005-11) will play for the Lakehead University Thunderwolves after Christmas. Frazee, 21, finished up his WHL eligibility with the Kamloops Blazers last season. He went to camp this season with the NHL”s Washington Capitals and began the season with the ECHL’s Bakersfield Condors, finishing up with a goal and three assists. . . .
F Adam Rockwood of the Northeast Chiefs put up 28 points in eight B.C. major midget league games in November. That broke the record for most points in a month set by F Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, now with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers. . . . Rockwood is on the Medicine Hat Tigers’ list. . . . The Chiefs, who are coached by Doneau Menard (New Westminster, Victoria, 1985-89), are on an 8-0 run. . . . The Federal Hockey League’s Vermont Wild, who played out of Morrisville, have ceased operations. They lasted 10 games, going 3-7-0. . . .
The NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets have returned F Oliver Gabriel, 20, to the Portland Winterhawks. He should play Friday against the visiting Everett Silvertips. Gabriel, a free-agent signee of the Blue Jackets, was with the AHL’s Springfield Falcons. He had one goal in 11 games. Last season, he had 32 points in 41 games with Portland before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in January. . . . Gabriel’s arrival leaves Portland with four 20-year-olds, one over the limit. The others are D William Wrenn, the team’s captain, F Dillon Wagner and F Charles Wells. The Winterhawks have two weeks from Gabriel’s arrival to get down to three. . . .
The Lethbridge Hurricanes have assigned G Tanner Kovacs to the AJHL’s St. Albert Steel. That leaves the Hurricanes with Damien Ketlo, 20, and Liam Liston, 18, as their goaltenders. Kovacs, 17, had gotten into only three games.
THE COACHING GAME:
Former WHL player and coach Brad Lauer has joined the Anaheim Ducks as an assistant coach. The move came as the Ducks fired head coach Randy Carlyle and replaced him with Bruce Boudreau, who had been dumped a couple of days earlier by the Washington Capitals. Lauer was an assistant under Cory Clouston with the NHL’s Ottawa Senators last season. After Ottawa cleaned house, he signed as an assistant with the Syracuse Crunch, Anaheim’s AHL affiliate. . . .
The USHL’s Omaha Lancers fired GM/head coach Bliss Littler on Wednesday, replacing him with assistant coach Mike Aikens, at least on an interim basis. The Lancers were 9-8-2 and third in the Western Conference in Littler’s fourth season with them. He was 117-60-22 in Omaha. . . . Perhaps it’s a sign of the times that Littler announced his firing via Twitter. Here’s his tweet: “Fired this morning. Good luck to a bunch of great kids and staff.” . . .
Earlier in the week, Kevin Willison resigned as director of hockey operations and head coach of the AJHL’s Olds Grizzlys. Assistant coach Brett Hopfe is the interim head coach. Olds was 9-18-0-3 after going 0-7-1-2 in November. Willison had been with the Grizzlys since August 2010. . . .
In Saskatoon, the Reinhart brothers combined for seven points as the Kootenay Ice whipped the Blades, 6-1. . . . F Max Reinhart scored three times, while his younger brother, Sam, drew four assists. . . . Ice G Nathan Lieuwen stopped 20 shots. . . . Max Reinhart, 19, has 34 points, including 15 goals, in 24 games. In his career, he has 191 points in 229 games. . . . This was his third WHL hat trick — he had a four-goal game and three-goal game last season. . . . Sam Reinhart, 16, has 26 points, 18 of them assists, in 27 games. He has followed three pointless games by putting up 18 points in his last six games. He has had at least two points in each of those games, as he has alternated two- and four-point outings. . . . The Ice also set a franchise record with its seventh straight road victory. . . . The defending-champion Ice (19-5-3) boasts the WHL’s best record. . . . “That was like some of the girls you used to date, Daniel,” Lorne Molleken, the Blades’ GM/head coach, said to Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. . . .
In Brandon, F Brenden Walker had a goal and two assists as the Wheat Kings scored the game’s last three goals and beat the Vancouver Giants, 5-4. . . . F Mark Stone, the WHL scoring leader, got the winner just 38 seconds into the third period. He has 25 goals. . . . Brandon, which had lost three straight, trailed 4-2 when it scored two quick PP goals, the first on the 5-on-3. . . . F Alessio Bertaggia got the Wheaties to within one and D Brodie Melnychuk tied it. . . . F Brendan Gallagher had three goals for the Giants, giving him 22 on the season. . . . Vancouver D Kiefer McNaughton didn’t return after taking a punch from Brandon F Mike Ferland in a second-period bout. . . . The teams became involved in a donnybrook of sorts at games end. It resulted in six fighting majors, which means it was a multi-fight situation. That means — ch-ch-ching! — there will be fines. And just in time for Christmas shopping, too. . . . The Wheat Kings were without G Brandon Anderson (flu), so had Tyrel Heap of a local high school team, the Crocus Plains Plainsmen, backing up Corbin Boes. . . .
In Prince Albert, G Luke Siemens stopped 18 shots to help the Moose Jaw Warriors to a 3-0 victory over the Raiders. . . . Siemens has two shutouts this season. . . . Prince Albert D Tyler Hart took a cross-checking major and game misconduct at 11:02 of the third period. . . . The Warriors had a 35-18 edge in shots. . . . D Dylan McIlrath was back in Moose Jaw’s lineup after sitting out a three-game suspension. . . .
In Medicine Hat, the Lethbridge Hurricanes erased a 2-0 deficit and went on to beat the Tigers, 4-3. . . . D James Bettauer had two goals and an assist for the Tigers. He has 12 points, including seven goals, in 16 games. . . . The Hurricanes were one skater short due to injuries. . . . Lethbridge G Damien Ketlo stopped 35 shots. . . . The Hurricanes were without F Graham Hood (suspension), who is awaiting supplementary discipline for a hit on Red Deer F Josh Cowen, who didn’t play last night in a loss to the Spokane Chiefs. . . . Lethbridge did have D Albin Blomqvist and F Juraj Bezuch back after one-game absences (flu). . . .
In Red Deer, F Mitch Holmberg scored twice as the Spokane Chiefs beat the Rebels, 5-2. . . . The Chiefs, who won for the first time in nine road games this season, are 1-1 on their Central Division trek. . . . The Chiefs had a 22-15 edge in shots. . . . Spokane captain Darren Kramer scored his 10th goal of the season in his 22nd game. he had seven in 68 games last season. . . . Chiefs D Brenden Kichton, one of the WHL’s more under-appreciated players, had a goal and two assists. He has 24 points in 23 games. . . . The Rebels have lost seven in a row. . . . Red Deer had four forwards and two defencemen out with injury or suspension. The Rebels dressed F Conner Bleackley of the midget AAA UFA Bisons. He was their first pick in the 2011 bantam draft. F Scott Feser, an eighth-round pick in 2010, played his second straight game. He plays for the midget AAA Red Deer Optimist Rebels. . . . All told, the Rebels were without D Alex Petrovic, D Aaron Borejko, F Turner Elson, F Josh Cowen, F Daulton Siwak and F Adam Kambeitz. . . . The Rebels open a four-game road trip in Brandon on Friday. . . .
In Kelowna, F Brett Bulmer scored two goals to help the Rockets dump the Tri-City Americans, 6-2. . . . Bulmer has eight goals. . . . The Rockets are 6-3-1 in their last 10 outings. . . . The Americans had won four in a row and finished November with an 8-2-0 record for the month. . . .
In Victoria, F Chase Schaber’s fourth goal in two games, at 2:30 of overtime, gave the Kamloops Blazers a 6-5 victory over the Royals. . . . Schaber’s goal came with Victoria forward Jesse Pauls in the penalty box for slashing. . . . Schaber had scored three times Tuesday night as the Blazers beat the Royals 4-3 in Victoria. . . . Kamloops has now beaten the Royals four straight times this season, including 4-1 in Kamloops on Friday night. . . . The teams meet for the fourth time in nine nights on Saturday in Kamloops. . . . The Blazers (18-7-1) are 6-1-1 in their last eight games and have won four in a row. They boast the WHL’s best road record (9-2-1) and are 10-2 inside the B.C. Division, which they now lead by a point over the Vancouver Giants. Kamloops also is within a point of the Western Conference-leading Tri-City Americans. . . . The Royals (11-15-2) now have lost six in a row and nine of 10.
WEDNESDAY’S CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
D Justin Weller, Red Deer
TWEET OF THE NIGHT:
From Edmonton Oil Kings F Tyler Maxwell, who tweets as KingMaxymus23: “I'm proud to be part of a generation that was once mesmerized by Lite-Brites but now complains if we can't stream HD video from our phones.”
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