Thursday, February 16, 2012

Garry Davidson, the new general manager of the Everett Silvertips.
(Everett Silvertips photo)
Right off the WHL’s Facebook page comes this question from Doug Schneider: “What really happened with the Chilliwack franchise?”
D Darryl Boyle (Brandon, 2004-08) signed a one-year contract extension with the Augsburger Panther (Germany, DEL). He has six goals and 14 assists in 44 games for the Panther this season.
There has been an interesting development in the WHL’s decision not to admit to players being sidelined with concussions or post-concussion syndrome.
The Kelowna Rockets are admitting that F Colton Sissons, their captain, has a concussion. In discussing his club’s injuries prior to last night’s game against the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings, Kelowna head coach Ryan Huska told Doyle Potenteau of the Kelowna Daily Courier:
“Potentially, we might have Cody Chikie back, but Colton is out with a concussion. The frustrating part of it is the league is fully aware of Colton having a concussion and yet the player in Kamloops is still playing, so there’s no suspension.
“They talk about head shots and wanting to clean it up, but there we go with another situation.”
Apparently, Sissons was injured in the third period of a 3-2 loss to the visiting Blazers on Saturday.
What is interesting about this is that Bruce Hamilton, the Rockets’ owner, president and governor, is the chairman of the WHL’s board of governors. He will have played a role in the WHL’s decision prior to this season to clam up about concussions.
Which makes one wonder why the Rockets now are admitting that their captain is out with a concussion?
Sissons didn’t play Tuesday in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Seattle Thunderbirds in Kent, Wash. Potenteau reports that Sissons will be out for “one month-plus.”
Sissons was one of seven regulars out of the lineup on Tuesday. He joined D Mitchell Chapman (undisclosed), Filip Vasko (knee), Chikie (undisclosed), F Spencer Main (concussion), F Jessey Astles (undisclosed) and Brett Lyon (WHL suspension). Astles also is believed to have a concussion. Chikie played last night against Edmonton.
Potenteau reported that “according to Kelowna, it leads the league in lost man-games, having hit 300 on Tuesday night.”
As expected, the Everett Silvertips introduced Garry Davidson as the second general manager in the franchise’s history on Wednesday.
Davidson, 60, had been the Portland Winterhawks’ director of player personnel, having signed on there before the 2008-09 season following the purchase of the franchise by Bill Gallacher. Davidson and Mike Johnston, the GM and head coach of the Winterhawks, are products of Brandon University’s now-defunct hockey program.
It will be interesting to watch Davidson, who is an astute judge of young talent, operate as a general manager in WHL circles. After all, WHL folks don’t think very highly of him, thanks to his many seasons in the BCHL where he proved to be a consistent recruiter of talent against the WHL. In fact, there are a number of WHL people who shake their heads and wonder how it is that he is even working in their league.
Davidson’s philosophy? Here’s what he told a news conference in Everett yesterday: “We're going to put together a team with lots of speed and lots of skill and one that plays an uptempo game. I think it's fan appealing and I think it's a way you can win hockey games.”
A three-time, BCHL coach of the year, Davidson was the owner, GM and head coach of the Salmon Arm SilverBacks. He also worked as GM/head coach in Nanaimo, Penticton, Trail and Victoria.
Having known Davidson since the early 1970s when the likes of him and Andy Murray (the hockey coach, not the tennis player) were hockey/football players at Brandon University, I would recommend that other WHL general managers not under-estimate him. If they do, he will pick their bones clean.
The Silvertips didn’t announce the length of Davidson’s contract, only that it is “multi-year.” I would bet on five years, which seems to be the going thing these days.
The connection between the Silvertips and Davidson is Gary Gelinas, the franchise’s president and governor. They both were owners in the BCHL at the same time.
Davidson takes over from Doug Soetaert, who was in the last season of his contract when he was fired on Feb. 2. It is interesting that Gelinas told a news conference in Everett on Wednesday that he had targeted Davidson before having fired Soetaert.
Gelinas also implied that head coach Mark Ferner, who is in his first season with the Silvertips, won’t be going anywhere. Gelinas said one of the requirements in hiring Davidson was that he had to accept Ferner as the head coach.
The Garry Davidson era started yesterday but on the ice it gets underway on Friday when the Silvertips play host to — you guessed it! — the Winterhawks.
The Portland Winterhawks have signed F Dominic Turgeon, the son of former NHLer Pierre Turgeon.
Dominic was a third-round selection, 64th overall, in the 2011 bantam draft.
This season, Turgeon, who is said to be a superb skater, is with the U16 AAA Colorado Thunderbirds, who play in the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League. In 35 games, he has put up 37 points, including 23 goals.
Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post reports that the Regina Pats have had two bantam draft picks opt to go the NCAA route, both of them with Ivy League schools. . . . D Alec McCrea, a 10th-round pick in the 2010 draft, is playing with the NAHL’s Janesville Jets and has committed to Harvard. . . . D Nolan De Jong, who was taken in the seventh round in 2010, is with the BCHL’s Victoria Grizzlies. He has committed to Cornell.
As well, Harder reports, two of the Pats’ list players, both defencemen, also are planning on going to school.
Harder writes that those two skaters are “Brady Skjei, 17, a highly touted NHL prospect who’s planning to attend the University of Minnesota, and Rhett Holland, an 18-year-old with the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers who has a scholarship offer from Michigan State.”
However, you can expect the Pats to be active in continuing to recruit those four players.
“Despite those commitments, it doesn’t necessarily mean the door to Regina is closed,” Harder writes. “The controversial exodus of NCAA players to the major-junior ranks has been well publicized, as is the NCAA’s desire to prevent CHL teams from raiding its talent.
“Right or wrong, the Pats would be foolish to not take advantage of the current system and step up their efforts to lure high-end American prospects, especially now that the team has more to offer as it builds momentum toward establishing a winning culture under the guidance of Lang and head coach Pat Conacher.
“In the past, those kind of players would elude Regina and fall in the laps of teams like the Vancouver Giants, Calgary Hitmen and Portland Winterhawks.
“Maybe now it’s the Pats’ turn.”
It has been quite a couple of months for the Maschmeyer family of Bruderheim, Alta. . . . Bronson, 20, is a defenceman with the Kamloops Blazers. He is having the best season of his career as the team enjoys success the franchise hasn’t seen in more than 10 years. . . . Emerance, a 17-year-old goaltender with the AJHL’s Lloydminster Bobcats, was the starter as Canada’s U-18 women’s team won the 2012 world championship in the Czech Republic early in January. . . . And now there is word that Brock, a 19-year-old defenceman with the AJHL’s Fort McMurray Oil Barons, has committed to the Northern Michigan U Wildcats. This season, he has 42 points in 57 games with the Oil Barons. . . . Walt Kyle, who once did a turn as head coach of the Seattle Thunderbirds, is the head coach at NMU.
Catherine Litt of the Kamloops Daily News continues to search for the origin of the Go Vees Go cap that apparently was worn by waitresses at Warwick’s Commodore Café in Penticton back in the day.
Check right here for the latest on this story.
Scott McDonald, the head coach of the women’s hockey team at the Rochester Institute of Technology, has pleaded not guilty to a third-degree assault charge after an incident in a rec hockey league game.
There is more on this situation right here.
The Seattle Times is reporting that a news conference will be held in that city today to outline details of a potential new arena that could be home to NBA and NHL teams. It’s worth nothing that there isn’t a lot of NHL mention here, but you have to think it would be a natural. Anyway, that story is right here.
Firstly, I don’t know what’s going on, but there were nine games played and in four of them a grand total of 11 minor penalties were called. . . . Red Deer at Prince George: Two referees handed out four minors. . . . Brandon at Lethbridge: Two referees called three minors. . . . Regina at Medicine Hat: One referee called three minors. . . . Calgary at Victoria: Two referees found only one infraction worthy of a minor penalty. . . . On Tuesday night, I watched two referees “let the boys play” as the Kamloops Blazers beat the Edmonton Oil Kings, 3-2. Edmonton head coach Derek Laxdal did a marvellous job of biting his tongue after his club didn’t get even one power-play opportunity. . . . Last night, the Oil Kings were 4-for-6 with the man advantage in beating the Rockets 6-3 in Kelowna. . . .

In Kelowna, the Edmonton Oil Kings fell behind 2-0 in the first period and then roared back to beat the Rockets, 6-3. . . . F Zach Franko gave Kelowna a 2-0 lead, scoring on a penalty shot at 18:02 and on the PP at 18:38. . . . The Oil Kings then scored six straight goals, five of them in the second period and three of those on the PP. . . . Leading 2-1, the Rockets had two goals disallowed. On the second one, Kelowna F Brett Bulmer was penalized for goaltender interference. The Oil Kings scored on the PP and they were off to the races. . . . F Tyler Maxwell tied it with two, giving him 34, before F Michael St. Croix, F Rhett Rachinski and D Keegan Lowe found the range. . . . Franko completed his hat trick on the PP at 7:46 of the third. . . . Six of the game’s goals came via the PP, as Edmonton, which was 0-0 in a 3-2 loss in Kamloops on Tuesday, went 4-5 and Kelowna was 2-6. . . . Edmonton D Martin Gernat drew three assists. . . . The Oil Kings now are back within three points of the Blazers, who lead the overall standings. . . . The Oil Kings lead the Eastern Confernce standings by five points over the Moose Jaw Warriors and hold a nine-point edge over the Medicine Hat Tigers in the Central Division. . . . The Rockets, who are winless in five, complete a stretch of four games in five nights when they are home to the Calgary Hitmen on Friday and the Red Deer Rebels on Saturday. . . .

In Moose Jaw, F Kenton Miller scored three times as the Warriors erased a 2-0 deficit and beat the Saskatoon Blades, 5-2. . . . Miller, 20, has 23 goals in 44 games with Moose Jaw after opening the season with three goals in 11 games with the Calgary Hitmen. His 26 goals are a career high. He had 32 points, including 12 goals, in 71 gams with the Spokane Chiefs in 2009-10. This season, in 55 games, he has 36 points. . . . F Cam Braes broke a 2-2 tie with his 33rd goal at 16:23 of the second. . . . Miller added insurance 47 seconds later and completed the hat trick at 14:18 of the third. . . . F Jesse Paradis, a former Warriors skater, opened the scoring with his 15th goal, and fourth shorthanded score, of the season for the Blades. . . . Saskatoon took 52 of 99 penalty minutes. There were five fighting majors handed out at 17:28 of the third period. . . . Might be ch-ch-ching time! . . . The Warriors now lead the East Division by nine points over the Blades. . . .

In Prince Albert, F Taylor Vause scored his 32nd goal of the season just 18 seconds into OT as the Swift Current Broncos beat the Raiders, 4-3. . . . The Broncos snapped a five-game losing streak. . . . Prince Albert forced OT with two third-period goals — F Mike Winther got his 28th goal at 7:11 and F Jesse Knowler got his first WHL score — it was his 45th game — at 16:18. . . . F Coda Gordon had two goals for the Broncos, giving the freshman sensation 23 scores. . . . Swift Current G Jon Groenheyde stopped 41 shots. . . . The Broncos are 15 points out of a playoff spot with 14 games to play. . . . The Raiders are 23 points out with 15 to play. . . .

In Lethbridge, F Brenden Walker scored the game’s first three goals and the Brandon Wheat Kings went on to a 4-2 victory over the Hurricanes. . . . Walker, who had three assists in Tuesday’s 4-3 victory over the host Kootenay Ice, scored at 8:07 of the first and 0:21 and 11:21 of the second. . . . Brandon F Mark Stone had two assists. He leads the WHL scoring race with 94 points. . . . Brandon G Corbin Boes stopped 39 shots. . . . Due to injuries, Brandon was down to nine forwards and six defencemen for this one. F Jason Swyripa, who had played 136 consecutive games to begin his career, took the pregame warmup but then was scratched with an undisclosed injury. . . . The Wheat Kings now have won five of six and are eight points ahead of the ninth-place Red Deer Rebels in the Eastern Conference. . . . The Hurricanes are 18 points out of a playoff spot with 13 games left. . . .

At Medicine Hat, F Jordan Weal had a goal and an assist, leading the Regina Pats to a 3-1 victory over the Tigers. . . . Weal has 92 points, including 33 goals. He is two points off the WHL scoring lead. . . . Regina led 2-0 on goals from F Matt Marantz, his 11th, and D Martin Marincin, his eighth, midway through the second period. . . F Trevor Cox got the Tigers on the board at 14:31 of the second. . . . Weal wrapped it up with an empty-netter at 19:24 of the third. . . . Regina G Matt Hewitt stopped 31 shots. . . . The Tigers started Kenny Cameron in goal, giving Tyler Bunz a rest after 25 consecutive starts. Cameron made 25 saves. . . . Regina is seventh in the Eastern Conference, three points behind the Calgary Hitmen and three ahead of the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Medicine Hat is third, four points ahead of the Kootenay Ice. . . .

In Prince George, D Cody Carlson broke a 1-1 tie at 9:50 of the third period as the Cougars beat the Red Deer Rebels, 3-1. . . . Carlson has eight goals. . . . F Troy Bourke scored his 10th goal, an empty-netter at 19:39 of the third. He also assisted on Carlson’s winner. . . . Prince George G Drew Owsley stopped 38 shots, 21 more than Red Deer’s Deven Dubyk. . . . With seven regulars out with injuries, the Rebels had F Scott Feser, D Kevin Pochuk and F Dexter Bricker, all recalls from midget AAA, in their lineup. . . . Feser player his eighth game of the season, Pochuk his fifth and Bricker his fourth. . . . Red Deer F Charles Inglis was pointless in his return to Prince George. The Cougars traded him to Red Deer after sending him home for being in violation of team rules. . . . The victory kept the Cougars in the playoff chase in the Western Conference. They are 10th, one point behind the Everett Silvertips and two behind the Victoria Royals, who hold down the last playoff spot. . . . The Cougars headed south right after the game. They have games in Victoria on Friday and Saturday. . . .

In Portland, G Mac Carruth won for the 35th time this season as the Winterhawks beat the Tri-City Americans, 5-3. . . . Carruth, who leads the WHL in W’s, now is tied with Brent Belecki (1997-98) for the franchise’s single-season record. . . . It also was Carruth’s 80th career win, one more than Belecki put up. Carruth now trails only Darrell May Sr., who earned 105 victories as a Portland goaltender. . . . At one point in the first period, the Winterhawks had a 15-1 edge in shots and were leading 2-0. . . . The period ended with the score tied 2-2 and the shots 25-7. . . . Portland F Marcel Noebels broke the 2-2 tie with his 14th goal at 5:06 of the second period and D Troy Rutkowski upped the lead to 4-2 at 14:28. . . . Portland F Brad Ross was credited with his 100th career goal when Tri-City D Zach Yuen scored an own goal, tipping a cross-ice Ross pass behind G Ty Rimmer. . . . Ross joins Perry Turnbull and Brendan Morrow in the Winterhawks’ 100-200-600 club. That would be 100 goals, 200 points and 600 penalty minutes. . . . Portland F Sven Bartschi had a goal and two assists. He has 73 points, including 52 assists, in just 37 games. He has one more assist this season than he picked up in 66 games last season. . . . Portland F Ty Rattie drew two assists, as did D Derrick Pouliot. . . . Rattie and Tri-City F Brendan Shinnimin, who scored his sixth shorthanded goal, each have 91 points, three off the scoring lead. . . . The victory lifted Portland, which has won four straight, into a tie with the Americans atop the U.S. Division standings. . . . Portland has won the last three meetings with Tri-City. . . . The Americans are 6-8-3 since having a 13-game winning streak snapped by Kamloops on Jan. 11. . . .

In Victoria, the Calgary Hitmen erased a 2-0 first-period deficit with four straight goals en route to beating the Royals, 5-3. . . . F Victor Rask pulled Calgary into a 2-2 tie at 13:40 of the first period, with his 24th goal, and F Trevor Cheek got his 20th, at 3:37 of the second, to give the visitors the lead. . . . F Danny Gayle’s 12th, at 5:17 of the second, stood up as the winner. . . . The Hitmen snapped a four-game skid. . . .

In Spokane, F Jackson Houck broke a 1-1 tie at 9:35 of the third period as the Vancouver Giants got past the Chiefs, 2-1. . . . Houck has five goals. . . . F Liam Stewart scored his ninth to give the Chiefs a 1-0 lead at 5:38 of the second. . . . Vancouver F Cain Franson got his 23rd at 19:02 of the second. . . . Vancouver G Adam Morrison stopped 32 shots. . . . The home team had a 17-5 edge in shots in the third. . . . The victory lifted the Giants into fourth place in the Western Conference, two points ahead of the Chiefs. Might this have been a first-round preview? . . . The Giants lost F Marek Tvrdon at 20:00 of the first period when he was hit with a match penalty for spearing. He will be hearing from the WHL office. . . . The victim was D Brendan Kichton, who was back for the second period.
F Joey Baker, Portland.
D Riley Guenther, Prince Albert.

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