ASK THE BLOGGER:
Who covered for Bob Ridley when he missed that game in 1973?
Here is Bob Ridley’s answer: “It was my colourman Larry Plante. He was with me for 25 years.”
F Marek Trvrdon of the Vancouver Giants drew a three-game suspension for the match penalty he took for spearing in a 2-1 victory over the host Spokane Chiefs on Wednesday. . . .
The injury bug is taking a chunk out of the Tri-City Americans. F Mason Wilgosh, F Malte Stromwall, F Tyson Dallman (knee), F Marcus Messier and F Jesse Mychan (thumb) all are injured. Mychan, who was hurt on Tuesday, is to have surgery on Monday to repair a broken thumb. Dallman was injured during a 5-1 loss in Kamloops on Feb. 8 and could miss up to six weeks. . . . You wonder if the Americans aren’t into survivor mode, where they are more concerned about getting healthy than they are about where they finish in the standings. . . . At the same time, Tri-City GM Bob Tory has told Annie Fowler of the Tri-City Herald that there isn’t anything knew on the Brett Connolly front. The Lightning acquired Connolly’s rights from the Prince George Cougars on Jan. 10, but he continues to be with the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning. "I've been in conversation with (Lightning GM) Steve Yzerman,” Tory told Fowler, “but they have until the 27th to make their decision. We'll see at that point.” . . . The NHL trade deadline Feb. 27. NHL teams are able to return major junior-eligible players until that date. . . . Fowler also reports that F Parker Bowles, 16, will join the Americans on Monday from the major midget Okanagan Rockets, who are based in Kelowna. He goes into the weekend with 63 points, including 30 goals, in 34 games. The plan is for Bowles to play one game, agianst the Everett Silvertips on Tuesday, and then return to the Rockets. . . .
There are reports that F Cam Cunning (Kamloops, Vancouver, 2002-05) has retired. A Friday tweet from @dcmahiban: “Former #NHLFlames prospect and #AHLHeat forward Cam Cunning has retired to become a firefighter.” . . .
In the BCHL, the host Penticton Vees erased a 4-2 third-period deficity and beat the Vernon Vipers 6-4 for their league-record 33rd straight victory. . . .
In Saskatoon, D Darren Dietz scored four times in the game’s first two periods as the Blades beat the Swift Current Broncos, 7-3. . . . Dietz, who now has 14 goals, later hit a goal post while killing a penalty as he came that close to a five-goal night. . . .The Blades, who had lost three in a row, were leading 4-3 when Dietz scored his third and fourth goals 29 seconds apart in the last minute of the second period. . . . The Blades were 3-5 on the PP. . . . Saskatoon is 4-0 against the Broncos this season. . . . F Coda Gordon scored twice for the Broncos, giving him 25. . . . Dietz is one of eight defencemen to score four goals in a game in WHL history. How did he find out he had tied a WHL record? He took a penalty late in the game and the officials in the penalty box informed him. . . .
In Moose Jaw, G Luke Siemens stopped 22 shots as the Warriors dropped the Medicine Hat Tigers, 6-0. . . . Siemens, who is 29-10-4, has four shutouts this season and six in his career. . . . Moose Jaw has won six in a row. . . . F Quinton Howden scored twice for the Warriors, who were 5-8 on the PP. He has 27 goals. . . . F Cam Braes added a goal, his 34th, and two assists. . . . The Tigers took 72 of 140 penalty minutes. . . . The Tigers were without G Hunter Shinkaruk, F Curtis Valk, D Kale Kessy, F Gavin Broadhead and G Tyler Bunz, all of whom are injured. F Brendan Hurley sat out Game 5 of a six-game suspension. . . . Those six all are expected to miss tonight’s rematch in Medicind Hat. . . . The Tigers also lost F Riley Sheen, who left in the second period after a fight with F Jordan Wyton. . . . Tigers F Emerson Etem had his point streak snapped at 19 games. . . . Moose Jaw F James Henry drew two assists, giving him 201 career points. . . . Matthew Gourlie of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald reports that the head coaches, Shaun Clouston of Medicine Hat and Moose Jaw’s Mike Stothers, “leaned over the bench to yell at each other.” That came after there were five fights in a span of 2:10 in the third period. . . . “I don’t know what they were thinking,” Stothers told Gourlie. “How many guys do you have to get beat up? And then they kept sending more guys out.” . . .
In Brandon, F Mark Stone had a goal and four assists to help the Wheat Kings to a 6-1 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . Stone, who has 38 goals, leads the WHL scoring race, with 99 points. He is on an 11-game point streak. . . . Brandon F Michael Ferland had two goals, giving him 36, and a helper. . . . B Brenden Walker, the third member of that line, had a goal and two assists. . . . F Bruno Mraz, a Slovakian freshman, scored his first WHL goal for Brandon, which counted the game’s first six goals. . . . Mraz, 18, also has 13 assists in 53 games. . . . Brandon dressed 17 skaters, with F Kevin Sundher, F Tyrel Seaman and F Alessio Bertaggio all sitting this one out. . . . Brandon has won three in a row and six of seven. . . . Prince Albert D Tyler Yaworski left in the first period with an apparent shoulder injury after being checked into a stanchion. . . . The same two teams will play again tonight in Brandon. . . . The Wheat Kings are mourning the loss of former player Mac Beaton, who died Tuesday. He was 83. Beaton was a member of the team that played in the 1948-49 Memorial Cup final. . . .
In Cranbrook, the Kootenay Ice scored four of the game’s first five goals and went on to a 4-3 victory over the Spokane Chiefs. . . . F Joe Antilla had a goal, his 11th, and two assists for the Ice, as did F Max Reinhart. He has 22 goals. D Jonathon Martin’s sixth goal gave the Ice a 4-1 lead at 12:42 of the second. . . . F Dominick Uher scored twice for the Chiefs, at 16:45 of the second and 11:17 of the third. . . . Uher has 24 goals. . . . Ice F Drew Czerwonka, who scored his 14th goal in the first, left in the second with an undisclosed injury. . . . Ice G Mackenzie Skapski stopped 25 shots. . . . The Chiefs have lost three straight. . . .
In Lethbridge, F Brody Sutter and F Jaimen Yakubowski scored goals 43 seconds apart in the last minute of the second period and the Hurricanes went on to beat the Regina Pats, 6-4. . . . Sutter had tied the game 3-3 on a PP at 17:36 of the second. He then scored on another PP at 19:11 . . . Sutter has 28 goals. . . . Yakubowski got his 12th at 19:54 for a 5-3 lead. . . . F Brady Ramsay and F Phil Tot each had a goal and two helpers for Lethbridge. . . . F Dyson Stevenson had two goals for Regina, with D Martin Marincin helping out with a goal and two assists. . . . Lethbridge was 4-7 on the PP. . . . The Pats lost D Luke Fenske to a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct at 6:23 of the second. . . .
In Kamloops, F Charles Inglis broke a 2-2 tie at 17:37 of the third period and G Bolton Pouliot got his first WHL victory as the Red Deer Rebels beat the Blazers, 3-2. . . . Pouliot was making his seventh start of the season but his first since Dec. 9. . . . He stopped 37 shots, including a tremendous glove save on D Austin Madaisky who wired a one-timer off a back-door pass from F Colin Smith. . . . After the game, Madaisky tweeted: “Gunna have nightmares about that one #backdoor #glovesave #2minsleft.” . . . The Blazers held a 16-3 edge in shots in the third period. Pouliot stopped all 16. . . . Kamloops F Chase Schaber, the team captain, wasn’t on the bench for the third period. He has an undisclosed injury and is questionable for tonight’s game with the visiting Calgary Hitmen. . . . Red Deer had three midget AAA players in their lineup. D Kevin Pochuk (Winnipeg Wild) scored his first WHL goal. F Scott Feser (Red Deer Optimist Rebels) drew an assist on Pochuk’s goal. F Dexter Bricker (Swift Current Legionnaires) played with some spunk. . . . Red Deer D Alex Petrovic had a goal and an assist and was plus-2 in a monster game. . . . Inglis now has scored two game-winners for two different teams in Kamloops this season. He scored for the Prince George Cougars when they beat the Blazers 1-0 in the season-opener for both teams. . . . The Rebels are eight points out of a playoff spot but hold three games in hand on Brandon. . . .
In Kelowna, the Calgary Hitmen scored three PP goals and beat the Rockets, 7-1. . . . Calgary went 3-5 on the PP. . . . The Hitmen are 2-0 on a B.C. swing, having beaten the Victoria Royals 5-3 on Wednesday. The Hitmen also are 2-0 since head coach Mike Williamson tossed water bottles during a 4-0 loss to the visiting Kootenay Ice on Sunday. . . . F Danny Gayle scored twice for Calgary, giving him 14. . . . F Brady Brassart, who is from Vernon, B.C., got the game’s first goal, his 20th, and drew an assist on the second. . . . F Alex Gogolev helped out with a goal, his 23rd, and two assists. . . . F Victor Rask got his 25th goal and was plus-3 for Calgary. . . . G Chris Driedger lost his shutout bid with 36 seconds to play when Kelowna D Madison Bowey scored a shorthanded goal. . . . Rockets F Brett Lyon returned after serving a six-game suspension. . . .
In Victoria, the Royals erased a 1-0 deficit with four straight goals and went on to a 4-2 victory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . Victoria F Brandon Magee scored his 20th goal to tie the game on a PP at 5:00 of the second. . . . F Steven Hodges, with his 18th, gave Victoria the lead at 12:22. . . . The Cougars took 55 of 104 penalty minutes. . . . Prince George was 0-7 on the PP, while the Royals were 2-5. . . . The Royals pulled into a tie with Seattle for seventh in the Western Conference. They are three points ahead of Everett and four up on Prince George. . . .
In Vancouver, F Cain Franson had a goal and an assist and was the game’s first star as the Giants beat the Edmonton Oil Kings, 6-2. . . . It was only fitting that Franson have a good night because his older brother, D Cody Franson of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, was inducted into the Giants’ Ring of Honour last night. . . . Vancouver D Brett Kulak had two assists and was plus-5. . . . Giants D David Musil had one assist and was plus-4. . . . Vancouver F Jordan Martinook continued his break-out season with two goals, giving him 32. . . . Vancouver F Brendan Gallagher got the game’s first goal, his 35th. . . . The Oil Kings, down 2-0, tied it with PP goals from F Tyler Maxwell, his 35th, and F Rhett Rachinski, his 24th, in the second period. . . . F Matt Bellerive broke the tie at 16:45 and Martinook provided insurance at 11:05 of the third. . . . Rachinski has eight goals in his last seven games. . . . The Giants now are four points ahead of fifth-place Spokane in the Western Conference. . . . Vancouver G Adam Morrison stopped 26 shots in winning his 31st game. . . . Edmonton went 3-2-1 on a road swing that included five games (2-2-1) in the B.C. Division. . . . The Giants went 3-0-0 against Edmonton this season, holding a 13-5 edge in goals. . . .
In Everett, G Mac Carruth stopped 26 shots for his WHL-leading 36 victory of the season as the Portland Winterhawks beat the Silvertips, 4-1. . . . Carruth set the Winterhawks’ single-season record for victories. The previous record was held by Brent Belecki. . . . F Oliver Gabriel, F Taylor Leier and F Sven Baertschi each had a goal and an assist for Portland. . . . In his last eight games, Baertschi has 18 points, including nine goals. He has scored in each of his club’s last five games. . . . On the season, he has 75 points in 38 games. Might he end up averaging at least two points per game? . . . Portland F Ty Rattie picked up his 45th goal. . . . Everett G Kent Simpson stopped 43 shots. . . . I am told the Portland play-by-play voice Todd Vrooman had some minor health problems and was subbed for to start the second period. Who took over? None other than his father, Dean (Scooter) Vrooman, the former long-time voice of the Winterhawks. . . . “Hawk fans got a treat,” one fan told me. . . .
In Kent, Wash., F Brendan Shinnimin and F Connor Rankin each had two goals to help the Americans to a 5-2 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Shinnimin, who has 39 goals, also had an assist. . . . In eight February games, Shinnimin has 20 points, including 10 goals. . . . Due to injuries, the Americans were able to dress only 10 forwards. . . . Seattle got two goals from F Connor Honey, giving him six. . . . Tri-City G Eric Comrie stopped 36 shots, 12 fewer than Seattle’s Calvin Pickard. . . . The Thunderbirds have lost eight of 10.
FRIDAY’S CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
D Richard Nedomlel, Swift Current.
D Tanner Muth, Kootenay.
D Luke Fenske, Regina (minor, major).
D Zach Yuen, Tri-City.
FRIDAY’S CHECKING-TO-THE-HEAD COUNT:
D Dylan McIlrath, Moose Jaw.
Do you love watching your child play hockey or baseball or any other sport? Do you tell your child that you loved watching him or her play?
Did you know:
“Nearly 75 percent of kids who play organized sports quit by age 13. Some find that their skill level hits a plateau and the game is no longer fun. Others simply discover other interests. But too many promising young athletes turn away from sports because their parents become insufferable.”
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