Monday, December 12, 2011

Lokomotiv Yaroslavl is scheduled to resume play in the Vysshaya Liga (VHL) today at home against Neftyanik Almetyevsk. Lokomotiv will play each VHL club once for a 22-game schedule and will then participate in the VHL playoffs, with automatic entry into the second round. Lokomotiv’s seeding will be determined by percentage of points won. . . . All KHL teams were required to submit lists of all players under contract aged 17 to 22 and each team was allowed to protect two players. Lokomotiv was then allowed to negotiate with all unprotected players on the lists. . . . The new Lokomotiv roster lists 24 players. The oldest player is 22, the youngest 17, and 12 of the 24 are 19 or younger. . . . Lokomotiv will return to the KHL, with a guaranteed place in the KHL playoffs, next season.
Meanwhile . . .
F Ladislav Scurko (Seattle, Tri-City, 2004-07) signed a contract for the rest of the season with his hometown team, Slovan Gelnica (Slovakia, 2.Liga). Scurko was released from jail in November after serving 2 1/2 years in prison for the murder of a Slovakian hockey referee. In his last season prior to his conviction, 2008-09, Scurko had seven goals and five assists in 52 games with Kosice (Slovakia, Extraliga) and nine goals and 10 assists in 11 games with Trebisov (Slovakia, 1.Liga). . . .
F Kyle Wanvig (Edmonton/Kootenay, Red Deer, 1997-2001) was released by mutual agreement by Villach (Austria, Erste Bank Liga). Villach's press release states that he has retired and is returning to Canada to become a firefighter. Wanvig was limited by injuries to just 16 games this season, getting one goal and two assists for Villach.
F Brett Connolly of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, via the Prince George Cougars, is on the limp at the Canadian national junior team’s selection camp in Calgary. It appears that he first injured a calf in a Sunday morning practice, and may have irritated in the nightly scrimmage. He is to be re-examined today.
Late Sunday, Connolly sent this tweet: “Everything is okay. Just a little banged up. Not serious at all.”
In Calgary, F Brady Brassart broke a 3-3 tie on the PP with 1:50 left in the third period as the Hitmen beat the Brandon Wheat Kings, 4-3. . . . F Trevor Cheek scored twice for Calgary, giving him 11. . . . F Alessio Bertaggia had two goals — he has 16 — and an assist for Brandon. . . . Calgary had a 41-25 edge in shots. . . . The Hitmen have assigned D Keaton Lubin, 17, to a team still to be named. He had one assist in 11 games but hasn’t played in 10 due to an undisclosed injury. . . .

In Regina, F Jordan Weal scored three times to lead the Pats to an 8-4 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . Weal also had an assist. . . . The Blazers, now 1-1-0 on their East Division swing, had won eight in a row. . . . Regina G Adam Beukeboom stopped 32 shots to earn his first WHL victory. . . . For more on this game, check out the blog over on the right where Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post hangs his hat. . . .

In Red Deer, G Cole Holowenko stopped 39 shots to help the Prince Albert Raiders dumped the Rebels, 5-0. . . . That was Holowenko’s second victory season and the first shuout of his career. . . . Red Deer now has lost a franchise-record 13 in a row. . . . F Mike Winther and F Justin Maylan each scored twice. Each has 17 goals this season. . . . Red Deer scored three PP goals. . . . The Rebels were without seven regulars. Five of those are injured, including G Patrik Bartosak, while D Alex Petrovic and D Mathew Dumba are in Calgary at the Canadian national junior team’s selection camp. . . . The Rebels had D Haydn Fleury, 15, from the midget AAA Notre Dame Argos in the lineup. . . .

In Kennewick, Wash., G Ty Rimmer stopped 29 shots as the Tri-City Americans dumped the Portland Winterhawks, 3-0. . . . Rimmer has three shutouts this season. . . . Tri-City F Connor Rankin scored twice. . . . Tri-City F Justin Feser scored the game’s first goal, his 15th this season and the 200th point of his career. . . . The Americans are 5-0-0 against Portland this season, with Rimmer having won four of those, two by shutout. . . . Rimmer has three shutouts this season and seven in his career. . . . Tri-City has won six in a row and is the first WHL team to 50 points this season. It leads the U.S. Division five seven points over Portland and is atop the Western Conference, five points up on the Kamloops Blazers. . . . Portland has lost three in a row. . . .
F Oliver Gabriel, Portland.
F Chase Clayton, Calgary.
D Colton Jobke, Regina.
For today’s good read, we go to Larry Brooks of the New York Post. You know, Brooks . . . he is John Tortorella’s favourite sparring partner. Anyway, Brooks has a column in Sunday’s paper that is headlined: Time for NHL to give up the fighting. . . . It is right here and it is more food for thought.
And now here’s a treat that doesn’t have much of a hockey angle, other than a mention of Brian McFarlane. But if you read The Hardy Boys back in the day, this right here is for you.
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