Thursday, March 15, 2012

Another day, another upset coach throwing things.
This time, it’s Benoit Groulx of the QMJHL’s Gatineau Olympiques, who is rather upset that there wasn’t a penalty for what he felt was a kneeing incident.
It’s obvious that Groulx hasn’t yet been to the Marlin Murray school of cleaning up the bench, but he does get good distance in the garbage can toss.
With a tip of the cap to Jérôme Bérubé.
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The Vancouver Giants took a couple of hits Tuesday with the news that D David Musil and F Nathan Burns won’t play again this season. . . . Musil, who has had wrist problems for a couple of months, was found to have a broken scaphoid and was to have surgery yesterday. Musil played major minutes for the Giants and was a key part of their penalty kill. He was a second-round pick by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2011 NHL draft. . . . Burns, who has 34 points in 55 games, was injured in the third period of a 5-4 OT victory over the visiting Victoria Royals on Sunday. He has been diagnosed with a sprained knee. . . . The Giants also are without F Anthony Ast (high ankle sprain) and F Austin Vetterl (foot), neither of whom is likely to play again this season. . . . Vancouver did get the news that F Austin Fyten, 20, has been given medical clearance to practise with contact. Fyten had knee surgery prior to the start of the season and has yet to play.
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The Portland Winterhawks have added D Ben Betker, 17, to their roster. A native of Cranbrook, Betker spent this season with the BCHL’s Westside Warriors. He put up 18 points in 59 games and had 52 penalty minutes.
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WEDNESDAY’S GAMES:
A couple of notes: After last night’s games, all Eastern Conference teams have two games remaining. . . . The Prince George Cougars were not eliminated from playoff contention last night. They still can tie for the Western Conference’s eighth and final playoff. Should two teams tie for a conference’s final playoff spot, they would play a sudden-death game, with the winner advancing. . . .

In Brandon, the Moose Jaw Warriors got two goals in the circus and beat the Wheat Kings, 3-2. . . . F Cam Braes and F Eric Arnold, who scored his 13th goal in regulation, scored in the shootout for Moose Jaw. . . . Brandon got one shootout goal from F Mark Stone. . . . The Wheat Kings got their regulation-time goals from D Ryan Pulock, his 19th, and D Eric Roy, with 6.2 seconds left in the third period. . . . Stone had two assists. . . . Brandon G Corbin Boes stopped 44 shots, 15 more than Moose Jaw’s Luke Siemens. . . . The Wheat Kings took the game’s only two minor penalties. . . . The Warriors scratched second-year F Jordan Wyton, 18, after he suffered a broken hand in practice on Tuesday. . . . The victory allowed Moose Jaw to clinch home-ice advantage through two rounds of playoffs. . . . The Wheat Kings remain eighth in the Eastern Conference, two points behind Saskatoon and Kootenay. . .

In Calgary, the Lethbridge Hurricanes scored the game’s first two goals and went on to surprise the Hitmen, 5-2. . . . F Jaimen Yakubowski, at 2:10, and F Russell Maxwell, at 5:19, on a PP, put the Hurricanes out front early and they never trailed. . . . Lethbridge F Graham Hood, playing his 250th career game, got his 15th goal this season. . . . F Juraj Bezuch drew two assists for Lethbridge. . . . G Damien Ketlo stopped 37 shots for the Hurricanes. . . . The loss kept the Hitmen from moving into a tie with idle Medicine Hat for third place in the Eastern Conference. The Hitmen, who can finish no lower than fourth, remain two points back. . . .

In Regina, F Jordan Weal scored twice to help the Pats to a 4-1 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . Weal got his 40th of the season on a PP with two seconds left in the first period and later added an empty-netter. . . . Regina F Matt Marantz had two assists. . . . D Sawyer Lange, a 17-year-old from Prince Albert, scored his first WHL goal in his 56th game this season. . . . The victory moved Regina into fifth, a point ahead of Saskatoon and Kootenay. . . .

In Cranbrook, F Kristians Pelss scored at 3:55 of OT to give the Edmonton Oil Kings a 5-4 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . The goal was the 27th of the season for Pelss and gave Edmonton its ninth straight victory. . . . D Jagger Dirk gave the Ice a 4-3 lead with a shorthanded goal at 10:21 of the third period. . . . Edmonton F Tristan Sieben tied it at 10:52 on a PP. . . . Ice D Spencer Wand, a 16-year-old from Saskatoon, scored his first WHL goal in his 50th game. . . . The loser point lifted the Ice into a sixth-place tie with idle Saskatoon. . . . The Oil Kings moved into first place in the overall standings, one point ahead of idle Tri-City. Each team has two games remaining, meaning Edmonton finishes first if it wins out. . . .

In Victoria, F Stephen Hodges broke a 3-3 tie at 13:14 of the third period to give the Royals a 4-3 victory over the Portland Winterhawks. . . . The visitors hit three posts after Hodges’ goal. . . . Portland F Oliver Gabriel tied the game 3-3 with his 17th goal at 2:36 of the third. . . . Hodges has 21 goals this season. . . . Portland led 2-1 after the first period, but Victoria took a 3-2 led into the third. . . . Victoria G Keith Hamilton stopped 32 shots, including 12 of 13 in the third when his side was outshot 13-2. The Royals acquired Hamilton from Portland prior to the start of the season. . . . Portland G Mac Carruth stopped 15 shots. . . . Portland F Ty Rattie scored his 55th goal, while F Jamie Crooks got his 36th for Victoria. . . . Victoria continues with F Robin Soudek, who has an undisclosed injury. . . . The Winterhawks remain without F Sven Baertschi, who remains on emergency recall with the NHL’s Calgary Flames. . . . The victory lifted the Royals into seventh in the Western Conference, a point ahead of Everett and three ahead of idle Seattle, which has three games left. . . . The Winterhawks, with two left, are two behind Tri-City and three behind Edmonton. . . .

In Kelowna, the Rockets broke a 1-1 tie with three straight goals and beat the Everett Silvertips 4-2. . . . F Tyson Baillie broke a 1-1 tie at 18:10 of the first period, getting his ninth goal on a PP, and F Shane McColgan and F Cody Chikie scored in the third period as the Rockets pulled away. . . . McColgan and Chikie both have 18 goals. . . . The Rockets were 2-3 on the PP; Everett was 0-4. . . . Kelowna F Brett Bulmer scored his 33rd goal. . . . The Rockets, already without veteran D Mitchell Chapman due to injury, lost D Myles Bell (leg) in the first period and D Madison Bowey (upper body) in the second. . . . The Rockets will finish sixth in the Western Conference. . . . The Silvertips slid back a spot and now are eighth, two points ahead of Seattle. Everett has two games remaining. Seattle will finish with three games in three nights, starting Friday in Spokane. . . .

In Spokane, D Reid Gow broke a 4-4 tie at 19:13 of the third period as the Chiefs beat the Kamloops Blazers, 6-4. . . . Gow has two goals this season. . . . Spokane F Dominik Uher iced it with his 33rd into an empty net. . . . D Brendan Kichton had two goals, giving him 16, and an assist for Spokane. . . . F Tim Bozon scored twice for Kamloops, giving him 35 in his freshman season. . . . Kamloops G Cole Cheveldave left after the first period due to illness. He stopped eight of nine shots. Cam Lanigan replaced him and turned aside 14 of 18 shots. . . . The Blazers have added G Taran Kozun, 17, to their roster. He spent the season with the SJHL’s Nipawin Hawks. . . . Kamloops F Chase Schaber missed his fourth straight game with a leg injury. . . . The victory lifted Spokane back into a fourth-place tie with Vancouver. Each team has two games remaining. Should they end up in a tie, Vancouver would finish fourth as it would have more victories. . . . The loss means the Blazers can’t finish first overall and will go into the first round as the second seed because they are B.C. Division champions.
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WEDNESDAY’S CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
D Cole Wedman, Spokane.
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WEDNESDAY’S CHECKING-TO-THE-HEAD COUNT:
F Chase Souto, Kamloops.
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IF THE PLAYOFFS STARTED TODAY:
Eastern Conference
Edmonton (1) vs. Brandon (8)
Moose Jaw (2) vs. Kootenay (7)
Medicine Hat (3) vs. Saskatoon (6)
Calgary (4) vs. Regina (5)
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Western Conference
Tri-City (1) vs. Everett (8)
Kamloops (2) vs. Victoria (7)
Portland (3) vs. Kelowna (6)
Vancouver (4) vs. Spokane (5)
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TODAY’S GAMES:
None.
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FRIDAY’S GAMES:
Calgary at Kootenay
Moose Jaw at Prince Albert
Brandon at Regina
Saskatoon at Swift Current
Edmonton at Medicine Hat
Lethbridge at Red Deer
Prince George at Kamloops
Seattle at Spokane
Everett at Tri-City
Portland at Victoria
Kelowna at Vancouver

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