Saturday, February 25, 2012

Brendan Shinnimin (24) of the Tri-City Americans may be the hottest player
in the entire hockey world with 10 points in his last two games. He has moved
into the lead in the WHL scoring race, too.

(Photo by John Allen / AridAcres.co)
Kyle Woodlief’s Red Line Report was posted Friday by USA TODAY. In it, he wonders about the lack of skilled North American forwards eligible for the NHL’s 2012 draft. Boy, ain’t that the truth. You need only watch the number of junior teams playing chip and chase to wonder just what is going on with that. Park a player in the neutral zone -- and I mean park him. Have a defenceman rifle the puck in his direction. The forward, who is standing still, tips the puck into the offensive zone. And then the other team repeats the exercise.
Anyway, Woodlief’s latest rankings are right here.
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D Tommy Stipancik’s fourth concussion in three years caused him to miss nine game with the Saskatoon Blades. the 17-year-old Stipancik was back in the lineup last night against the visiting Kootenay Ice, albeit wearing a Reebok helmet that it’s hoped will help prevent future concussions. Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix has that story right here.
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F Tim McGauley, 16, has joined the Brandon Wheat Kings for the remainder of this season. McGauley had 53 points, including 29 goals, with the midget AAA Notre Dame Hounds, who play out of Wilcox, Sask. McGauley was a first-round pick by the Saskatoon Blades in the 2010 bantam draft. He was dealt to Brandon in the Brayden Schenn deal in January 2011.
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“Players are getting bigger, faster. Helmets are getting better, but it's more effective at protecting the skull than the brain inside. A high-speed impact jostles the brain, and a helmet won't stop it from slamming into the skull.”
That’s Gregg Doyel, a columnist at cbssports.com, and, no, he’s not writing about hockey. He’s writing about football and he is starting to wonder if we aren’t witnessing the beginning of the end . . . not of concussions, of football.
It’s a good read and it’s right here.
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FRIDAY’S GAMES:
(With a tip of the hat to @WHLFacts for some of the info that follows. If you are on Twitter and aren’t following, you should be.)
In Brandon, F Mark Stone and D Eric Roy scored in the circus to give the Wheat Kings a 3-2 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . F Brad Hoban scored twice for the Broncos, his 17th of the season coming at 18:57 of the third to force OT. . . . Stone had given Brandon a 2-1 lead with his 39th score, on the PP, at 16:04 of the third. . . . Stone extended his point streak to 14 games; he has 30 points, including eight goals, over that stretch. . . . Stone’s streak of 13 straight games with at least one assist came to an end. . . . Brandon G Corbin Boes stopped 37 shots, one fewer than Jon Groenheyde of the Broncos. . . . The Wheat Kings were again without F Kevin Sundher and D Tyrel Seaman, both of whom are concussed. . . . Brandon holds the Eastern Conference’s last playoff spot and is 10 points ahead of Red Deer and two behind Regina. . . . The Pats, who are just a point behind Saskatoon, are in Brandon tonight. . . .

In Prince Albert, G Cole Holowenko stopped 43 shots to help the Raiders to a 4-0 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . The Red Deer loss allowed the Edmonton Oil Kings to become the first Eastern Conference team to clinch a playoff spot. . . . Holowenko has two shutouts in his career, both this season. . . . F Mike Winther’s 29th goal, at 13:38 of the first, stood up as the winner. . . . F Mark McNeill picked up his 27th goal, into an empty net, and added two assists, as did F Shane Danyluk. . . . The Rebels were able to dress only 17 skaters, one under the maximum. . . .

In Regina, F Jordan Weal had two goals and two assists to lead the Pats to an 8-2 victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . Regina has won six of seven. . . . Weal, who has 37 goals, finished the game with 100 points. . . . Regina F Morgan Klimchuk broke a 1-1 tie at 13:41 of the first period. . . . The Pats then added six more goals before the Warriors closed out the scoring. . . . Regina was 2-8 on the PP; the Warriors were 0-3. . . . F Chandler Stephenson added two goals for Regina, giving him 18, while D Martin Marincin drew three assists. . . . Regina F Brandon Davidson missed his second straight game with a sore neck. He is questionable for a game tonight in Brandon. . . . Moose Jaw F James Henry played in his 300th regular-season game. . . . Regina F Lane Scheidl opened the scoring with a PP goal at 2:46 of the first. Scheidl, who has 24 goals, has a PP goal in each of his last three games. . . . The Warriors won the first three games in the season series with Regina; the Pats have won the last three. . . . Moose Jaw leads the East Division by eight points over Saskatoon. . . .

In Saskatoon, G Andrey Makarov, making his 14th straight start, stopped 38 shots to earn his first WHL shutout as the Blades beat the Kootenay Ice, 5-0. . . . F Brent Benson got the game-winner at 6:31 of the first on the PP. . . . F Matej Stransky got his 34th goal for the Blades and also added an assist. . . . Kootenay F Drew Czerwonka missed his fourth game with an undisclosed injury that could keep him out up to six weeks. . . . Jeff Hollick, the radio voice of the Ice, tweeted that Kootenay D Luke Paulsen and D Jagger Dirk both left with injuries. . . . The Blades remain without D Duncan Siemens (concussion). . . . The Ice is one point behind the fourth-place Calgary Hitmen in the Eastern Conference and one point ahead of the Blades. . . .

In Calgary, the Edmonton Oil Kings scored the game’s last four goals and beat the Hitmen, 4-1. . . . The Oil Kings, who lead the Eastern Conference, clinched a playoff spot as they beat the Hitmen for the fifth time in six meetings. . . . Calgary had won four in a row. . . . F Kristians Pelss tied the game with his 23rd at 10:36 of the first and F Tristan Sieben broke the tie with his fourth at 4:57 of the second. . . . F T.J. Foster got an empty-netter, his 24th goal, at 18:50 of the third. . . . F Rhett Rachinski rounded it out with his 25th at 19:56. . . . F Travis Ewanyk, who had offseason shoulder surgery, played his first game this season for Edmonton. Last season, in 72 games, Ewanyk had 27 points and 126 penalty minutes. He was pointless last night. . . . The Hitmen dressed 17 skaters, one under the maximum. . . . Calgary is three points behind the third-place Medicine Hat Tigers in the Eastern Conference and a point ahead of Kootenay. . . .

In Lethbridge, F Brady Ramsay scored three times to lead the Hurricanes to a 6-2 victory over the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Ramsay has 22 goals this season. He has two hat tricks. . . . The Hurricanes scored the game’s first four goals, with Ramsay getting two of them. . . . Lethbridge captain Brody Sutter got his 29th goal and added two assists. . . . Lethbridge G Damien Ketlo stopped 37 shots. . . . The Hurricanes were 3-6 on the PP; the Rockets went 2-3. . . . Lethbridge won’t make the playoffs, while the Rockets will finish sixth in the Western Conference. . . .

In Portland, F Sven Baertschi had a goal and two assists as the Winterhawks ran their winning streak to nine games with an 8-3 victory over the Spokane Chiefs. . . . That got Baertschi back to his two points-a-game pace. He has 84 points in 42 games. . . . F Ty Rattie scored his 52nd goal of the season, the most for a Portland skater since F Lonny Bohonos had 62 in 1993-94. . . . Rattie now is tied with Medicine Hat F Emerson Etem for the WHL lead in goals. . . . When this one was over, Portland still had a bunch of point steaks going — F Oliver Gabriel, 13 games; Baertschi, 12; D Derrick Pouliot, nine; Rattie, eight; and, F Marcel Noebels, six. . . . The Winterhawks have scored 34 goals in their last four games. . . . Portland D William Wrenn, the team captain, was back after being out since Jan. 28 with an injury to his right hand. . . . The Winterhawks lead the U.S. Division by two points over the Tri-City Americans. . . . The Chiefs are fifth in the Western Conference, three points behind Vancouver with two games in hand. . . .

In Prince George, G Jared Rathjen earned his first WHL victory as the Victoria Royals beat the Cougars, 4-2. . . . Rathjen, who is from Prince George, stopped 26 shots in improving his record to 1-5-1. . . . Victoria F Dakota Conroy broke a 1-1 tie at 11:30 of the second period with his ninth goal. . . . This was the first of eight in a row at home for the Cougars. . . . The teams meet there again tonight. . . . The Royals are seventh in the Western Conference, two points ahead of the idle Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . The Cougars are two points behind Seattle. . . .

In Kennewick, Wash., F Brendan Shinnimin scored three goals and set up another as the Tri-City Americans beat the Everett Silvertips, 4-2. . . . Shinnimin, who has 10 points in his last two games, moved into top spot in the WHL scoring race, with 106 points, including 47 goals. He also leads all of the CHL in points. . . . Shinnimin is one point ahead of Brandon F Mark Stone and two up on Portland F Ty Rattie. . . . In 11 February games, Shinnimin has 32 points, including six goals over his last two games. He has an eight-game goal streak going. . . . F Patrick Holland had three assists for the Americans. He has drawn assists on 15 of the Americans’ last 26 games. He also leads the WHL with 67 assists. . . . The Silvertips scored the game’s first two goals, with F Josh Birkholz and D Dominik Bittner getting PP goals in the first period. . . . Shinnimin tied it with a shorthanded goal at 2:16 of the third. . . . F Adam Hughesman broke the tie at 11:52 with his 36th. . . . Shinnimin iced it with an empty-netter. . . .G Eric Comrie stopped 20 shots in running his record to 18-5-2. . . . Everett F Ryan Harrison was back in the lineup after taking a slapshot in the throat from D Ryan Murray on Tuesday. . . . The Americans have won four in a row. . . . Everett is ninth in the Western Conference, one point behind Seattle. . . .
 
In Vancouver, the Blazers scored the game’s last four goals and beat the Giants, 6-2. . . . The victory lifted the Blazers back into first place in the overall standings, one point ahead of the Portland Winterhawks, who had been there about half an hour because their game last night ended before the Blazers were done. . . . Kamloops got eight points from the line of, left to right, Tim Bozon, Colin Smith and J.C. Lipon. The latter two each had a goal and two assists, while Bozon had one of each. . . . Smith and Bozon have 31 goals apiece. . . . Kamloops G Cole Cheveldave stopped 34 shots in winning for the 30th time this season. . . . The Blazers scored the game’s first two goals, but the Giants tied it with goals 38 seconds part in the first minute of the second period. . . . D Bronson Maschmeyer, whom the Blazers acquired from Vancouver prior to the 2009-10 season, broke the tie with a PP goal at 14:47 of the second. . . . The Blazers won for the 20th time on the road, the first time the franchise has done that since 1995-96. . . . The teams meet again tonight in Kamloops and a Blazers victory will clinch the B.C. Division pennant. . . . The Giants now have lost three in a row.
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FRIDAY’S CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
F Robin Soudek, Victoria.
F Reid Petryk, Everett (double minor).
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FRIDAY’S CHECKING-TO-THE-HEAD COUNT:
F Jordan Martinook, Vancouver.
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Adam Wodon, the managing editor at collegehockeynews.com has written a lengthy piece right here on the state of NCAA hockey as he tries to explain what led to this week’s departure of Paul Kelly, who had been the executive director of College Hockey Inc., until he was forced out.
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The United States of Hockey has more on the Paul Kelly situation, with comments from Kelly, right here. You can bet the major junior leagues are loving all of this.
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And then there is this, a stunning read from Ken Dryden, who writes about the victims of sexual abuse. If you read just one thing today, this has to be it. The end of the story will knock you off your chair.
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Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun weighs in on Tom Jefferson and wonders why the police haven’t done more to investigate the abuses he faced. That piece is right here.


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