Wednesday, February 22, 2012
The Calgary Hitmen beat the Rockets 7-1 in Kelowna on Friday night. At 17:21 of the third period, Kelowna F Brett Lyon was given a misconduct penalty. At 19:24 of the third period, the Rockets scored their only goal — according to the online scoresheet, it went to Madison Bowey with assists to Tyson Baillie and, uhh, Brett Lyon. . . . Mr. Commissioner, how is it possible for Lyon to get an assist while he presumably was in the dressing room?
The Prince Albert Raiders will have F Tim Vanstone, 15, in their lineup tonight against the host Swift Current Broncos. Vanstone, a Prince Albert native, plays for the midget AAA Swift Current Legionnaires for whom he put up 33 points and 72 penalty minutes, including 14 goals, in 38 regular-season games. . . . Following tonight’s game, he will return to the Legionnaires for the playoffs where they will meet the Prince Albert Mintos in the first round. . . . Vanstone, who is not believed to be related to Regina Leader-Post sports columnist Rob Vanstone, was a third-round selection by the Raiders in the 2011 bantam draft. . . .
The Tim Hortons Brier – that is the Canadian men’s curling championship – is to be held in Saskatoon, March 3-11. With that in mind, the Blades will wear Brier-themed sweaters for their Saturday game against the visiting Red Deer Rebels. (Ironically, the Rebels are out of their building because the Scotties Tournament of Hearts – the Canadian women’s curling championship – is on in their building this week.). . . . There is more on the Blades and their sweaters, including a photo, right here. . . .
The Saskatoon Blades are bringing in D Macklin Pichonsky, an 11th-round bantam draft selection in 2010, for tonight’s game against the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes. Pichonsky, from Leduc, Alta., plays for the midget AAA Leduc Chrysler Oil Kings. . . .
The Tampa Bay Lightning traded F Steve Downie to the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday and some folks thought that might translate into more playing time for F Brett Connolly, whose WHL rights belong to the Tri-City Americans. . . . Connolly played 6:10 in a 3-2 victory over the visiting Anaheim Ducks last night. He had nine shifts — five in the first and two in each of the second and third. . . .
Kevin Paul Dupont, a veteran hockey writer with the Boston Globe, tweeted this last night: “One team exec I talked w/today says growing chatter among NHL GMs is that they'd like return of red line.” . . . You are going to hear a lot of this kind of talk in the next while as hockey execs, including in the WHL, search for ways to slow the game down and, hopefully, cut down on the number of concussions. . . .
Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province reports that F Austin Fyten, 20, is skating with the Vancouver Giants, something that could become a huge development as the days move forward. Fyten had reconstructive knee surgery in October; he was dropped by the Lethbridge Hurricanes in January and his rights were picked up by the Giants. He isn’t involved in contact yet but it would be quite a boost for the Giants should he be able to play at any point in the playoffs. . . . As well, Vancouver F Dalton Sward, who hasn’t played since Jan. 13 because of a shoulder injury, is back in full practice mode and may play against the visiting Kamloops Blazers on Friday. The teams play again Saturday in Kamloops.
In Brandon, F Jesse Ismond’s shootout goal gave the Kootenay Ice a 5-4 victory over the Wheat Kings, who had won four in a row. . . . It was Brandon’s 12th straight shootout loss. . . . Ismond was the only one of the 10 shooters in the circus to score. . . . F Sam Reinhart had two goals, giving him 25, and an assist for the Ice, while his brother, F Max, got his 24th goal. . . . Max gave the Ice a 3-2 lead at 6:01 of the third and Sam upped that at 9:44. . . . Brandon F Dominick Favreau forced OT when he scored his ninth goal with 13 seconds left in the third period. . . . Brandon G Eric Roy had made it 4-3 with a PP goal at 16:52. He also has nine goals. . . . Brandon F Mark Stone was awarded a late assist sometime after Saturday’s 6-2 victory over the visiting Prince Albert Raiders. So he went into last night’s game with a WHL-leading 102 points, not 101. . . . Stone added two more assists in this one and his 104 points give him a two-point lead atop the scoring race. He also is on a 13-game point streak. . . . Stone was shaken up in the third period, thanks to an elbow to the chops. . . . Brandon D Dylan Kuczek scored his first WHL goal. The 17-year-old from Winnipeg scored in his 32nd game, 31 of which have come this season. . . . The Wheat Kings welcomed back F Alessio Bertaggia, but remain without injured F Kevin Sundher, F Jason Swyripa and F Tyrel Seaman. Sundher and Seaman are concussed. . . . Still, Brandon dressed just 17 skaters, one under the maximum. . . . Brandon F Michael Ferland, a 40-goal man, left with about seven minutes left in the first period and didn’t return. It might be an upper-body injury (i.e. concussion). . . . The Ice continues to be without F Drew Czerwonka, who is out for up to six weeks with what is believed to be a knee injury. . . . The Wheat Kings, 7-1-1 in their last nine, pulled into a tie for seventh with the Regina Pats in the Eastern Conference. . . . The Ice slid past the idle Calgary Hitmen and into fourth in the Eastern Conference, three points behind the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . .
In Portland, the Winterhawks moved into first place in the WHL’s overall standings with an 8-1 victory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . The Winterhawks took a 2-0 lead into the second period and then struck for four PP goals in five opportunities. . . . F Brendan Leipsic scored three times — his first hat trick and the ninth of the season for Portland — and added two assists. . . . Portland got a goal and two assists from each of D Derrick Pouliot, who is on a seven-game point streak, and F Marcel Noebels. . . . The Winterhawks have won eight in a row. . . . Portland F Ty Rattie had a goal, his 51st, and an assist, giving him 102 points, two behind Brandon F Mark Stone. . . . Portland F Oliver Gabriel had an assist, to run his point streak to 12 games. . . . Portland F Sven Baertschi had an assist and is on an 11-game streak. With 81 points in 41 games, he has fallen slightly off his two points-per-game pace. . . . The victory lifted the Winterhawks to the top of the WHL’s overall standings, one point ahead of the idle Kamloops Blazers. Kamloops is at home tonight to the Victoria Royals. . . . The Tri-City Americans are a point behind the Blazers. . . . Kamloops and Tri-City each holds a game in hand on Portland. . . .
In Kennewick, Wash., F Brendan Shinnimin had a night to remember as he put up six points in a 7-2 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . Shinnimin finished with three goals, giving him 44, and three assists. . . . That lifted his point total to a career-high 102, leaving him two off the pace being set by Brandon F Mark Stone. . . . Shinnimin, who has two hat tricks this season, also reached the 300-point plateau — he has 305 pints in 254 games. . . . The last Americans skater with 100 points was Eric Johansson (103, 2001-02). . . . Shinnimin now has at least one goal in seven straight games. He has 70 points in 32 games since Dec. 1. . . . F Adam Hughesman had two goals and an assist for the Americans. He’s got 92 points, including 35 goals. . . . F Patrick Holland chipped in a goal and three assists, leaving him with 84 points, including 63 assists. . . . Holland has been playing on a line with Hughesman and Shinnimin — let’s call it the Straight A’s Line — and has a goal and eight assists in his last three games. . . . Straight A’s? Each of them wears an A. . . . In those three games, Shinnimin has seen goals and four assists, and Hughesman has three goals and four helpers. . . . F Jordyn Boyd had a goal for Everett, meaning he has scored in three straight games. . . . Everett D Ryan Murray didn’t have a point but finished plus-2. . . . Tri-City was 2-7 on the PP. . . . F Parker Bowles of the major midget Okanagan Rockets, who play out of Kelowna, made his WHL debut with the Americans. A list player, he signed a couple of weeks ago. . . . The Cougars remain 10th in the Western Conference but are just two points out a playoff spot.
TUESDAY’S CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
TUESDAY’S CHECKING-TO-THE-HEAD COUNT:
F Darian Dziurzynski, Brandon.
F Jari Erricson, Everett.
Nate Ewell was named interim executive director of College Hockey Inc., on Tuesday, replaced Paul Kelly, who left the organization on Monday.
Ewell has been with CHI since January 2011, serving as director of communications. Before that, he worked in communications for eight seasons with the NHL’s Washington Capitals.
Also on Tuesday, Kelly tweeted: “I greatly enjoyed establishing CHI 2+ years ago and being an advocate for the 58 NCAA D-I programs. Time now to let others carry on mission.”
If you have are a hockey fan, or have had anything to do with the game at the major junior level or above, you will enjoy The Code, a book that is new to bookshelves near you. Brad Shade, a grinder during his playing days, is scouting for the Los Angeles Kings, meaning he is preparing for another NHL draft. The Kings want to draft a particular player, but something doesn’t smell right. The Code was written by G.B. Joyce, and if you know anything about hockey you will get a real kick out of the clichés. . . . G.B. Joyce? You may know him as Gare Joyce, a prolific writer of all things hockey. . . . The book carries a $30 price tag in Canada, but I spotted it with a $20 tag on it in a bookstore earlier this week.
And if you click right here you will find Joyce’s review of Goon, the hockey-related movie that opens Friday in theatres everywhere. Joyce reviewed it for The Globe and Mail.
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