Saturday, March 24, 2012

As readers of this blog — and viewers of the WHL’s news conference out of Kamloops on Thursday — are aware, the Victoria Royals, or at least the odd member of their organization, are a little sensitive when it comes to the team’s nickname.
Well, I now am wondering if someone at Shaw TV is going to be feeling the wrath over something that took place on Friday.
A reader of the blog informs via email that Victoria’s WHL team was referred to as the “Victoria Rebel’s” — yes, with the apostrophe — in the Shaw digital listings on Friday.
The Victoria Rebels were a junior football team that now is the Westshore Rebels.
G Tyler Bunz of the Medicine Hat Tigers no longer is facing two impaired driving charges. Both charges – one of impaired driving, one of driving with a blood-alcohol level over .08 – were stayed by the Crown on Friday. . . . The Edmonton Journal quoted Alberta Justice spokesman Josh Stewart as saying: “The charges were stayed after a thorough review of the file, the Crown having concluded that there was no reasonable likelihood of conviction for either of the charges .  . .”
As the Journal noted: “When charges are stayed, the Crown still has the option of prosecuting them for one year.”
Bunz, who turned 20 on Feb. 11, was charged in St. Albert, Alta., on May 28. He is from St. Albert.
He was a fifth-round selection of the Edmonton Oilers in the NHL’s 2010 draft. He signed a three-year contract with the Oilers earlier this month.
Steve O’Rourke has resigned as the general manager and head coach of the BCHL’s Langley Rivermen. O’Rourke cited personal reasons in leaving after one season on the job. . . . He had spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the AHL’s Abbotsford Heat. The Rivermen were 19-35-1-5 this season. . . . Bobby Henderson, an assistant coach with Langley this season, has been named GM/head coach, while Jordan Emmerson has been named associate head coach.

In Calgary, F Trevor Cheek scored three times to lead the Hitmen to a 4-0 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . The series is 1-1 as it heads to Winnipeg for the next three games on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. . . . Cheek, who had 23 goals in the regular season, scored the game’s last three goals. . . . Calgary G Brandon Glover, in his first playoff start, stopped 20 shots for the shutout. The Hitmen had gone with G Chris Driedger in their 6-2 opening game loss. . . . D Alex Roach, who has been seeing time up front for Calgary, scored the game’s first goal and also added an assist. . . . Brandon G Corbin Boes stopped 37 shots. . . . The Hitmen again were without F Cody Sylvester and F Victor Rask, two of their top three regular-season scorers. . . . As well, F Brooks Macek, who has had back woes, is seeing limited ice time. . . . Brandon took 54 of 80 penalty minutes. . . .

In Moose Jaw, G Matt Hewitt stopped 31 shots as his Regina Pats edged the Warriors, 3-2. . . . Moose Jaw went in having won its last 16 home games. The Warriors were 30-3-3 at home. . . . Regina F Dyson Stevenson, who had two goals, broke a 2-2 tie with a PP goal at 6:52 of the third period. . . . Regina F Jordan Weal had two assists. . . . Regina was 2-4 on the PP and also scored while shorthanded; Moose Jaw was 1-6. . . . Regina F Tanner Olstad scored the SH goal, on a breakaway. . . . Moose Jaw G Luke Siemens stopped 12 shots. . . . They’ll play Game 2 tonight in Moose Jaw. . . . Moose Jaw D Morgan Rielly, who had major knee surgery and hasn’t played since Nov. 6, is back practising but didn’t play. . . . Regina had F Andrew Rieder back after he missed 16 games with a shoulder injury. . . .

In Medicine Hat, the Tigers scored four second-period goals and went on to a 5-2 victory over the Saskatoon Blades. . . . Medicine Hat F Curtis Valk broke a 1-1 tie at 11:33 of the second, with D Spenser Jensen striking at 14:44 and D James Bettauer scoring on the PP at 15:56. . . . Medicine Hat G Tyler Bunz stopped 29 shots. . . . Saskatoon D Darren Dietz took a slashing major and game misconduct following Medicine Hat F Emerson Etem’s empty-net goal at 18:17 of the third. . . . F Michael Burns (concussion) didn’t make the trip to Medicine Hat with the Blades. . . . Attendance was 3,879. The Tigers had sold out (4,006) all 36 of their regular-season home games. . . . They’ll play Game 2 tonight in The Hat. . . .

In Edmonton, G Laurent Brossoit stopped 29 shots to lead the Oil Kings to a 3-0 victory over the defending-champion Kootenay Ice. . . . Brossoit picked up his first playoff shutout and his first victory in his third playoff start. . . . Ice G Nathan Lieuwen stopped 25 shots. . . . Edmonton F Curtis Lazar had a goal and an assist. . . . Edmonton F Mitch Moroz got the game’s first goal at 19:54 of the first period. . . . The Ice welcomed back F Drew Czerwonka, its captain, and F Max Reinhart, both of whom missed the end of the regular season with injuries. . . . Game 2 is scheduled for Sunday in Edmonton. . . .

In Kamloops, F Tim Bozon scored twice as the Blazers ended a 19-game playoff losing streak with a 4-1 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . Bozon broke a 1-1 tie at 4:13 of the second period. . . . F Chase Schaber upped the lead to 3-1 at 17:03 of the second and Bozon made it 4-1 just 47 seconds later. . . . Schaber, who missed the last six regular-season games with a leg injury, also had an assist. . . . Kamloops D Austin Madaisky had two assists and was plus-3. . . . F Robin Soudek, who missed Victoria’s last three games, scored on the PP at 11:36 of the thirst. . . . They Royals were without F Brandon Magee, who has a foot injury and isn’t expected to play in this series. . . . Victoria D Zach Habscheid (ankle) hasn’t played since Feb. 3 but is back practising. . . . They’ll play Game 2 tonight in Kamloops. . . .

In Portland, the Winterhawks held a 55-29 edge in shots as the beat the Kelowna Rockets, 6-3. . . . F Ty Rattie led the Winterhawks with three goals, his first multi-goal playoff game. Rattie had four hat tricks during a 57-goal regular season. . . . Portland D Joe Morrow broke a 2-2 tie with 1.8 seconds to play in the second period. . . . F Sven Baertschi and F Marcel Noebels each had two assists for Portland. . . . F Brett Bulmer drew two assists for the Rockets, who got 49 saves from G Adam Brown. . . . Portland F Brandon Leipsic (undisclosed) didn’t play. He had missed the Winterhawks’ last game of the regular season. . . . Kelowna F Colton Sissons scored in his third game back from a concussion. The Rockets captain played the last two regular-season games after sitting out since Feb. 11. . . . Game 2 is to be played tonight in Portland. . . . After the game, Scott Sepich, a Portland-based writer, tweeted: “After the whistle, Adam Brown skated to the corner and picked up the puck and skated off with it, while the ref followed him off.” . . . Sepich followed that up with: “The official was grabbing Brown physically to try and get the puck but Brown wasn’t having it. He just took off with it. Not sure why.” . . . Ahh, the games within the game. . . .

In Vancouver, F Cain Franson scored three times and added an assist as the Giants beat the Spokane Chiefs, 7-5. . . . Franson, the younger brother of Toronto Maple Leafs D Cody Franson, was playing his second WHL playoff game. . . . Vancouver F Jordan Martinook had two goals and two assists. . . . Vancouver F Austin Fyten, playing his first game of the season after coming back from major knee surgery, got the game’s first goal, with 2.6 seconds left in the first period. . . . Vancouver led 3-0, 4-1 and 5-2 before the Chiefs closed to 5-4 on goals from D Jason Fram and F Dominik Uher. . . . Franson got his second goal at 16:12 of the third and his third at 19:58 into an empty net. . . . F Blake Gal had a goal and two assists for the Chiefs. . . . Vancouver F Brendan Gallagher had three assists. . . . The victory was the 102nd of Vancouver head coach Don Hay’s playoff career, moving him to No. 1 on the alltime list, one ahead of Ken Hodge, who did it with the Portland Winterhawks. . . . They’ll play the second game of the series in Vancouver tonight. . . . Spokane D Brendan Kichton didn’t play again after taking a puck in the face in the third period. Head coach Don Nachbaur said he expects Kichton to play tonight. But, hey, it’s the playoffs so that’s what a coach will say. . . . The Giants, who scratched D Blake Orban, had D Reid Zalitach, a second-round pick in the 2011 bantam draft, in the lineup. Zalitach, who got into three games with the Giants during the season, played with the midget AAA Winnipeg Thrashers. . . . Vancouver also used F Carter Popoff, 16, who spent most of the season with the junior B Richmond, B.C., Sockeyes. He got in because F Scott Cooke (ill) was scratched. . . .

In Kennewick, Wash., F Matt Strömwall had two goals and an assist as the Tri-City Americans dumped the Everett Silvertips, 7-2. . . . The Americans got a PP goal from F Jesse Mychan at 3:11 of the first period and led 3-0 at 9:07. . . . The Americans were 1-7 on the PP; the Silvertips were 0-4. . . . Everett G Kent Simpson stopped 18 of 23 shots before being lifted at 8:04 of the second. Austin Lotz came on to finish with 17 saves on 19 shots. . . . Tri-City G Ty Rimmer turned aside 14 shots. . . . Tri-City F Brendan Shinnimin, the regular-season scoring champ, had two assists. . . . Everett got a goal from F J.T. Barnett, who returned after a knee injury kept him out since Jan. 14. . . . Game 2 is set for tonight in Kennewick. . . . A post-game tweet from Tri-City D Zach Yuen: “What a way to start the playoffs! Sorry @WHLsilvertips it's not going to get any easier.”
D Mark Pysyk, Edmonton.
D Keegan Kanzig, Victoria (twice).
F Lukas Sutter, Saskatoon.

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