Thursday, February 9, 2012

JUST NOTES:
The Tri-City Americans have signed F Parker Bowles, 16. A list player since March 2011, Bowles has 60 points, including 29 goals, with the major midget Okanagan Rockets, who play out of Kelowna. He is the B.C. major midget league’s leading sniper and is second in points. . . .
For the second time in recent days, the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders have reached into a WHL team’s front office for a hiring. The Swift Current Broncos announced Wednesday that Jordan Wall, the club’s assistant general manager, business operations, will be joining the CFL team in corporate partnerships. Wall has been with the Broncos for five seasons after starting as the director of marketing. He joins the Roughriders on March 26. The Broncos already are searching for a replacement. . . . A few days ago, the Regina Pats announced that they were losing Dan Plaster, who is their radio voice and also works with their website and community relations, to the Roughriders.
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WEDNESDAY’S GAMES:
In Saskatoon, the Blades scored the last two goals of a shootout and beat the Swift Current Broncos, 4-3. . . . F Brad Hoban gave Swift Current a 1-0 lead in the circus, only to have F Josh Nicholls and F Brent Benson reply for the Blades. . . . Swift Current took a 2-0 lead in the first period and then needed a goal from F Levi Bews at 18:27 of the third period to take it to OT. . . . Saskatoon D Connor Cox ended a 41-game drought with his second goal of the season. . . . Saskatoon F Matej Stransky gave the Blades a 3-2 lead with his 29th, at 8:56 of the second. . . . Swift Current G Austin Smith, making his first start in 28 games, stopped 41 shots. . . . D Ross Hnidy, a sixth-round pick in the 2011 bantam draft, made his WHL debut with the Blades. He plays with the midget AAA Saskatoon Contacts. . . . Hnidy’s services were needed because the Blades have three defencemen out with injuries — Matthew Pufahl (broken ankle), Duncan Siemens (concussion) and Tommy Stipancik (concussion). Siemens, it seems, might be out for three weeks. . . . The Blades moved into a tie with the Calgary Hitmen for fourth in the Eastern Conference. . . . The Broncos now are 11 points behind the eighth-place Brandon Wheat Kings. Swift Current plays in Brandon on Friday. . . .

In Lethbridge, F Quinton Howden’s three goals helped the Moose Jaw Warriors to a 5-3 victory over the Hurricanes. . . . Howden, who scored once in each period, filled his hat with an empty-netter at 19:40 of the third. . . . Howden also had an assist. . . . F Cam Braes, the former Hurricanes captain who was traded to the Warriors in January, had two assists. . . . Lethbridge F Brody Sutter scored twice, giving him 24. . . . F Adam Henry drew three assists for Lethbridge. . . . The Warriors had D Kirk Johnson, 16, make his WHL debut. He plays for the midget AAA Red Deer Optimist Rebels. . . . Moose Jaw continues to hold a five-point lead over the Saskatoon Blades atop the East Division. . . . In an interview with play-by-play man James Gallo, Warriors D Morgan Rielly said he is two or three weeks away from returning to Moose Jaw. He would continue his rehabilitation from knee surgery there. Rielly, who will be an early selection in the 2012 NHL draft, hasn’t played since Nov. 6. . . .

In Regina, the Brandon Wheat Kings scored the game’s last three goals and beat the Pats, 3-2. . . . Brandon got two goals from F Michael Ferland, giving him 30, sandwiched around one by F Kevin Sundher, who has 25. . . . Ferland’s second goal broke a 2-2 tie at 15:57 of the third period. . . . According to the online scoresheet, Brandon F Jason Swyripa and Regina D Kyle Burroughs each received instigator penalties for a fight late in the first period. . . . Brandon F Dominick Favreau returned after a six-game absence with a shoulder injury, but left late in the first period after being hit by Burroughs. . . . The Wheat Kings have won two in a row for the first time since Nov. 30 and Dec. 2 when they beat the Vancouver Giants 5-4 and Red Deer Rebels 4-2 in Brandon. . . . Wheat Kings G Corbin Boes stopped 35 shots. . . . The Wheat Kings hold down the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot and they now hold a four-point lead over Red Deer. . . . Brandon is three points behind the seventh-place Pats and the teams will meet five more times this season. . . .
In Red Deer, G Deven Dubyk stopped 17 shots to help the Rebels to a 4-0 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . That was Dubyk’s first shutout of the season and the third of his career. . . . D Alex Petrovic scored twice, giving him seven. His first goal came 10 seconds into the game. . . . F Joel Hamilton had a goal and two assists. . . . The Rebels, who have been hammered by injuries, dressed only 16 skaters, two under the maximum. . . .

In Calgary, F Tyler Maxwell and F T.J. Foster each had three goals to help the Edmonton Oil Kings to a 9-5 victory over the Hitmen. . . . Maxwell has 32 goals, while Foster is up to 22. . . . The Oil Kings scored five times in the second period. . . . Edmonton D Martin Gernat had two assists and was plus-4. . . . Calgary fell behind 3-1 in the second period then came back to tie it on F Jimmy Bubnick’s 25th at 10:57 of the second. . . . Maxwell then scored twice 2:21 apart and the Oil Kings were off to the races. . . . The Hitmen have won 15 of their 19 games. . . . The victory allowed the Oil Kings to move into second place in the overall standings, two points behind the Kamloops Blazers and two ahead of the Tri-City Americans. . . .

In Kamloops, F Brendan Ranford scored twice in the third period to spark the Blazers to a 5-1 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . Ranford, who has 31 goals, scored on a breakaway at 7:07 of the third period to give his side a 3-1 victory. . . . Kamloops F Cole Ully scored his eighth goal at 1:11 of the second period. It was his third straight game with a goal; it also was his fifth game-winner of the season. . . . Kamloops F Chase Schaber scored his 20th goal, giving the Blazers six 20-goal scorers. . . . The Blazers remain atop the Western Conference and now are four points ahead of the Americans. . . . Tri-City G Ty Rimmer appeared to suffer a left groin injury in the third period, while F Tyson Dallman left in the first period with a left leg injury. . . . The Americans have lost eight of their last 13 games. . . .

In Kelowna, G Calvin Pickard stopped 32 shots for the shutout as the Seattle Thunderbirds dumped the Rockets, 2-0. . . . It was Pickard’s fourth shutout this season — a single-season career high — and the 11th of his career. . . . The Thunderbirds got third-period PP goals from F Seth Swenson, at 0:33, and F Colin Jacobs, at 8:55. . . . Seattle was 2-3 on the PP; Kelowna was 0-5. . . . F Brett Bulmer was back in Kelowna’s lineup after missing two weekend games with the flu, but the Rockets are without D Mitchell Chapman, F Filip Vasko, F Spencer Main and F Jessey Astles, all injured. . . . Seattle D Shea Theodore had two assists. . . . The Thunderbirds moved into a tie with the Victoria Royals for eighth place in the Western Conference. Seattle has two more victories and three games in hand on Victoria. . . .

In Victoria, F Ryan Harrison scored twice, including the winner, as the Everett Silvertips beat the Royals, 3-2. . . . Harrison broke a 2-2 tie with his 16th goal at 11:37 of the third period. . . . He also had the winner Tuesday in Everett’s 3-2 victory in Victoria. . . . Everett G Kent Simpson stopped 29 shots. . . . Everett F Ryan Chynoweth returned from a one-game absence with an injury to score his second goal. . . . F Jamie Crooks scored his 30th goal of the season for Victoria. . . . D Brodie Clowes made his WHL debut with the Royals. Clowes was a fifth-round selection by the Chilliwack Bruins in the 2010 bantam draft. He plays with the AJHL’s Olds Grizzlys. . . . The victory allowed Everett to close to within three points of the Western Conference’s final playoff spot.
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WEDNESDAY’S CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
D Tyler Hansen, Kamloops.
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WEDNESDAY’S CHECKING-TO-THE-HEAD COUNT:
None.
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OK. Who's your goaltender — Devan Dubnyk or Miikka Kiprusoff?  Ritch Winter, the player agent, takes a look at the burgeoning field of goaltender analytics and what it could mean right here. This is great stuff and shows that, yes, hockey statistics have at least started to travel down the road to Sabermetrics.
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Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle has a hilarious tale right here of something that happened one night when he and his wife attended a sporting banquet. It’s a quick read and involves asparagus and a football coach.
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Plenty has been written on the ongoing battle between the NCAA and the CHL. And, lord knows, plenty more will be written before things cool down. But if you click right here you will find a piece written by Chris Peters that does a terrific job of explaining the present-day situation. This is perhaps the most even-handed piece I have seen on this situation in the last while.
Peters is a freelancer who once worked in public relations with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program.
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Roy MacGregor of The Globe and Mail has a piece in today’s paper on Ken Hitchcock and how he has had to adapt with the times. Perhaps the most intriguing part of this piece is Hitchcock’s description of how fast the game is today.
“We tried to still play possession hockey after the lockout, and now it’s race-a-rrific hockey,” Hitchcock says. “Bang it up the ice, chip it in, fore-check like hell, bang it down the ice.”
That column is right here.


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