Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Taylor Vause of the Swift Current Broncos, with the sweater that he designed.
(Photo courtesy of Swift Current Broncos)
ASK THE COMMISSIONER:
Mr. Commissioner, do you read all the comments left by fans on the WHL’s Facebook page?
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The Swift Current Broncos will wear themed sweaters on Saturday when the Regina Pats came calling.
The sweaters were designed by Broncos captain Taylor Vause, who obviously is rather talented when it comes to graphic design, and remembers the four Broncos who died when the team’s bus crashed on Dec. 30, 1986.
Leading up to Saturday night, the Broncos will auction off the game-worn jerseys with all proceeds going to the team’s education fund.
Fans will be able to bid online (www.scbroncos.com) or by phone (306-773-1509) leading up to the game, or in the lobby of the Credit Union iPlex during the game. The bidding will start at $150 for each jersey, with additional bids accepted in $10 increments.
A live auction is scheduled to be held after the game. That auction will involve sweaters worn by Vause, Andy Blanke, Coda Gordon and Graham Black.
All of which allows me to plug a book that is to be published by Dundurn Press in November.
Sudden Death: The Incredible Saga of the 1986 Swift Current Broncos tells the story of the team that survived that horrific bus accident and went on to win the 1989 Memorial Cup championship with a 5-4 overtime victory over the Blades in Saskatoon.
Yes, I was involved in writing the book, along with Leesa Culp, who happened to witness the accident, and Bob Wilkie, a defenceman who was on that bus and who also was on the Memorial Cup-winning team.
You may pre-order the book from right here at amazon.ca or McNally Robinson.
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Richard Doerksen, the WHL’s minister of justice, delivered something of a wakeup call on Tuesday morning by handing out 25 games in suspensions to four players.
D Brennan Yadlowski of the Everett Silvertips will watch for 10 games after receiving a game misconduct on Friday in Portland. “The player’s off-ice actions following removal from game in the third period were unacceptable,” read Doerksen’s written reasons.
F Brendan Hurley of the Medicine Hat Tigers and F Brett Lyon of the Kelowna Rockets each drew a six-game sentence for hits that left opponents concussed.
Hurley hit D Duncan Siemens of the Saskatoon Blades on Saturday. The Blades have said Siemens is likely to be out 10 days. “The player checked the opponent, who was in a vulnerable position, from behind,” Doerksen wrote. “The opponent was injured on the play. The player has received several checking from behind penalties this season.”
Lyon delivered a check to the head of Cougars F Jarrett Fontaine on Friday in Prince George. “Primary contact was made to the head of a vulnerable player,” Doerksen wrote. “This is the third suspension the player has received in the past three seasons for this type of hit.”
Lyon was suspended under supplemental discipline as there wasn’t a penalty on the play. Neither Lyon nor Fontaine played in Saturday’s rematch in Prince George.
Finally, F Kristians Pelss of the Edmonton Oil Kings was suspended for three games for a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct against the visiting Red Deer Rebels on Friday.
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So . . . let us try and piece together the Yadlowski suspension.
As stated above, Richard Doerksen, the WHL’s vice-president, hockey, wrote: “The player’s off-ice actions following removal from game in the third period were unacceptable.”
Yadlowski was given a major and game misconduct at 19:41 of the third period. That was after a fight with F Jason Trott, who received an instigating minor, fighting major and game misconduct.
So what happened after that? Well, it seems that Yadlowski may have gone somewhere he wasn’t welcome.
Scott Sepich, a freelancer who follows the Winterhawks, tweeted: “Yadlowski apparently tried to enter Portland's dressing room, upset with Portland's Jason Trott, with whom he had just fought.”
There may be some truth to that as Portland F Taylor Peters, again via Twitter, offered his services as tour guide.
"If the guy wants a tour of the room all he has to do is ask,” Peters tweeted.
There were other tweets, too:
From Portland D Troy Rutkowski: “@BigBadYads keep the ginger rage down a bit sir #deepbreaths #gingersdohavesouls”
Yadlowski, 20, responded with “not a fan of getting jumped #classless."
Rutkowski and Yadlowski, by the way, are pals from Edmonton.
The Silvertips played the Royals in Victoria last night and Everett head coach Mark Ferner confirmed before the game that Yadlowski, indeed, had made his way into Portland’s dressing room.
“It was silly,” Ferner told Travis Huntington, the radio voice of the Silvertips, on the pregame show. “The game was over . . . (late in the game we were) 4 on 4, they sent over a player who maybe got three or four shifts. . . . (Yadlowski) said the kid jumped him. Yads took his skates off and ended up going in their dressing room.”
In Portland’s Memorial Coliseum, the dressing rooms are on opposite sides with an expanse of concrete between them. Thus, Yadlowski had to take off his skates to make the trek. He must have been one upset dude.
Of course, as always seems to happen in these instances, Doerksen had the last word.
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JUST NOTES:
The WHL held meetings in Las Vegas on the weekend, it being Super Bowl weekend and the Las Vegas WHL franchise and that city’s hotels needing the help that might be generated from holding meetings there. . . . You are free to visit the Las Vegas Sun’s website for coverage of the meetings. . . . If you don’t find any coverage, it will be because the WHL believes in that old saying that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. . . .
The hits just keep coming for the Red Deer Rebels. They now have lost F Colten Mayor, 18, for up to four weeks with an undisclosed injury. . . . Mayor, in his third season, has 38 points, including 14 goals, in 52 games this season. . . . He is from St. Alberta, Alta. . . .
The Portland Winterhawks will be without D William Wrenn, their captain, for another couple of weeks. He suffered a broken bone in his right hand during a Jan. 28 game in Seattle. He should be back in two to three weeks. . . . Portland F Ty Rattie, who continues to lead the scoring race, took a rap on the head in Saturday’s 3-2 loss to the visiting Vancouver Giants and hasn’t played since. He is listed on the WHL injury report as being out for another week with an “upper-body” injury. . . .
In the BCHL, the Penticton Vees dumped the host Chilliwack Chiefs 7-0 on Tuesday night to run their winning streak to a league-record 30 games. That broke the record of 29 they had shared with the 1989-90 New Westminster Royals. . . .
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TUESDAY’S GAMES:
In Edmonton, F Michael St. Croix broke a 1-1 tie at 7:42 of the third period and the Oil Kings went on to beat the Kootenay Ice, 3-1. . . . F Sam Reinhart scored the game’s first goal, his 23rd, at 11:36 of the first, via the PP. . . . His brother, Griffin, got that one back for Edmonton at 17:52 of the second. . . . St. Croix got his 34th on the PP. . . . F Rhett Rachinski put it away with an empty-netter at 19:16. . . . Ice F Max Reinhart (foot) returned from a five-game absence. That meant all three Reinhart brothers were in the game, Sam and Max with the Ice and Griffin with the Oil Kings. . . . Griffin holds bragging rights as the Oil Kings have won three of four meetings this season. . . . Sam, who isn’t eligible for the NHL draft until 2014, has 23 goals. He is trying to become the first 16-year-old with 30 goals since F Brett Connolly scored 30 for the Prince George Cougars in 2008-09. Connolly was the first to do it since F Patrick Marleau scored 32 for the Seattle Thunderbirds in 1995-96. . . . The game was a rare midweek morning affair, with a start time of 11:30 a.m. Attendance was announced as 8,850. . . . Ice G Nathan Lieuwen stopped 32 shots, six more than Edmonton’s Laurent Brossoit. . . . The Oil Kings pulled into a tie with the Tri-City Americans for second place in the overall standings. Both teams are two points behind the Kamloops Blazers. The Americans visit Kamloops tonight. . . .

In Medicine Hat, F Cole Grbavac broke a 3-3 tie at 8:10 of the third period and the Tigers went on to a 5-3 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Medicine Hat G Tyler Bunz stopped 40 shots, including 15 in the first period and 17 in the second. . . . Grbavac, the Tigers’ captain, has nine goals. . . . Medicine Hat F Emerson Etem scored his WHL-leading 49th goal on a PP at 17:49 of the third. He has 49 goals in 48 games. . . . The Tigers are third in the Eastern Conference and now are three points ahead of the Hitmen. . . . Medicine Hat was 3-for-3 on the PP. . . .

In Victoria, the Everett Silvertips climbed out of the Western Conference basement with a 3-2 victory over the Royals. . . . The Silvertips are three points behind the Seattle Thunderbirds, who hold down the conference’s eighth and final playoff spot, and five behind the seventh-place Royals. . . . The Silvertips play in Victoria again tonight. . . . F Cody Fowlie, with his ninth goal, and D Dominik Bittner, with his third, gave Everett a 2-0 lead late in the second period. . . . Victoria F Ben Walker scored his seventh at 5:24 of the third, but Everett F Ryan Harrison, with his 14th, got that one back at 11:41. . . . F Brandon Mageen got the home team to within one with his 19th goal at 19:12 of the third on the PP. . . . Everett G Kent Simpson stopped 29 shots. . . . The Silvertips had F Carson Stadnyk, an eighth-round pick in the 2010 bantam draft, in their lineup for the first time. Stadnyk, who turned 17 yesterday, has 55 points in 38 games with the midget AAA Saskatoon Contacts. . . . Everett was without D Brennan Yadlowski, who was suspended for 10 games earlier in the day. In his absence, D Josh Caron had an ‘A’ on his sweater. . . . The Royals were without D Zach Habscheid (ankle), who was injured while unloading the team bus on Sunday and may be out for a while. Marc Habscheid, the Royals’ GM/head coach and Zach’s father, told the Victoria Times Colonist that “it’s not good . . . it might be the season.” . . . Habscheid said he has only had two games all season when he has had a healthy corps of defencemen. . . . Victoria did welcome back D Tyler Stahl, who hadn’t played since the fourth game of the season. He took a headshot from then-Prince George Cougars F Charles Inglis on Oct. 1 and has been out with a concussion. Inglis drew a 10-game suspension for the hit; he now is with the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Stahl didn’t finish, however, and now is looking at a suspension. He took a charging major and game misconduct for a hit on F Jordyn Boyd at 4:11 of the second period.
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TUESDAY’S CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
F Trent Lofthouse, Everett.
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TUESDAY’S CHECKING-TO-THE-HEAD COUNT:
None.
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TWEET OF THE DAY:
From Kamloops G Cole Cheveldave: “I just dropped my laptop off the boat...its a dell, rolling in the deep.”

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