Monday, March 12, 2012

Canadian university hockey is perhaps the country’s greatest sporting secret, and there was a classic game at Rutherford Arena in Saskatoon on Sunday evening.
It was Game 3 in the best-of-three Canada West final between the U of Calgary Dinosaurs and the Saskatchewan Huskies.
The Huskies finally won it, 2-1, when D Brett Ward scored at 6:33 of the third OT period before 999 fans. Ward is a former WHLer, who played with Saskatoon, Moose Jaw and Chilliwack (2004-09).
The stars of this game, however, were goaltenders Dustin Butler of Calgary and Ryan Holfeld of Saskatchewan, both of whom also played in the WHL.
The Huskies will represent Canada West at the CIS national tournament in Fredericton, N.B., March 22-25.
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The Tri-City Americans have added three young forwards to their roster. . . . Parker Bowles, who turned 17 on Jan. 25, spent the season with the major midget Okanagan Rockets, who play out of Kelowna.  Bowles played one game with the Americans earlier this season. . . . Justin Gutierrez, a 16-year-old from Anchorage, was added from the Los Angeles Selects under-16 midget team. Gutierrez, who has one WHL game under his belt, is the younger brother of former WHL F Moises Gutierrez. . . . Beau McCue, who turned 17 on Jan. 3, is from Missoula, Montana. He played for the Phoenix Jr. Coyotes, a U-16 team.
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SUNDAY’S GAMES:
(If you’re on Twitter, you should be following @WHLFacts)
In Calgary, F Brady Brassart scored twice to help the Hitmen to a 5-2 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Brassart has 25 goals this season. . . . Calgary F Jake Virtanen scored his third goal of the season — his first on home ice. Virtanen, the first overall pick in the 2011 bantam draft, was playing in his seventh game. His PP goal gave Calgary a 2-0 lead at 12:11 of the first period. . . . F Adam Kambeitz had a goal, his 16th, and an assist for Red Deer, as did F Jon Persson, who has 23 goals. . . . Calgary G Brandon Glover stopped 13 shots in picking up his 20th victory of the season. Chris Driedger, Calgary’s other goaltender, has 22 victories. . . . It is the first time in franchise history that the Hitmen have had two goaltenders with 20 victories in the same season. . . . The Rebels were playing their third game in three nights with an injury-decimated lineup. On top of all the other injuries, they lost F Chad Robinson (knee) on Friday and he missed the last two weekend games. . . . The Hitmen now can finish no lower than fourth in the Eastern Conference. They are two points behind the third-place Medicine Hat Tigers with each team having three games remaining. . . .

In Vancouver, F Jordan Martinook scored at 2:50 of OT to give the Giants a 5-4 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . Martinook scored twice, giving him 37 this season. His first goal, at 5:03 of the third, gave Vancouver a 4-3 lead. . . . Victoria D Hayden Rintoul forced OT when he scored his 17th goal with 22.2 seconds left in the third. . . . Vancouver F Marek Tvrdon, who scored twice in a 3-2 victory in Kamloops on Saturday, added two more goals. He’s got 29. . . . Martinook and Tvrdon also had an assist apiece. . . . F Brandon Magee scored twice for Victoria, giving him 23. . . . The Giants now are fourth in the Western Conference, two points ahead of the Spokane Chiefs, who hold two games in hand. . . . With the loser point, the eighth-place Royals are three points ahead of the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Victoria also is one point behind the Everett Silvertips. . . . 

In Kent, Wash., F Connor Honey’s goal with 4.6 seconds left in OT gave the Seattle Thunderbirds a 3-2 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . Honey has seven goals. . . . F Josh Winquist of Everett had tied the score 2-2 with his 19th goal at 5:01 of the second. . . . Seattle G Calvin Pickard stopped 30 shots, 16 fewer than Everett’s Kent Simpson. . . . Seattle has four games remaining and is three points out of a playoff spot. . . . Everett has three games remaining, all on the road, and is seventh, a point ahead of Victoria and four in front of Seattle. . . .

In Kennewick, Wash., the Tri-City Americans scored the game’s last four goals and beat the Prince George Cougars, 5-4. . . . The Forsberg brothers, Jesse and Alex, gave the Cougars a 3-1 lead with goals at 11:59 and 14:28 of the first period. . . . Tri-City F Adam Hughesman scored at 0:34 and 7:16 of the second — he’s got 46 — to pull his guys even. . . . F Brendan Shinnimin, the WHL’s leading scorer, broke the tie at 19:11 of the third and added an empty-netter at 19:29. . . . Shinnimin has 57 goals. He also is riding a 20-game point streak, the longest in the WHL this season. He had a 21-game streak last season. . . . Shinnimin also had two assists, and now has 129 points and a 13-point lead atop the scoring derby. . . . Tri-City F Patrick Holland had one assist, running his assist streak to 17 games. . . . The game featured a clash of goaltenders who were swapped for each other prior to the season. Tri-City G Ty Rimmer stopped 17 shots in winning his 30th game. He came on in relief of Eric Comrie with the Ams trailing 3-1. . . . This is the sixth straight season in which a Tri-City goaltender has won at least 30 games. . . . Drew Owsley of the Cougars stopped 25 shots. . . . The Americans are back on top of the Western Conference, by one point over the idle Portland Winterhawks, and in a tie for first place overall with the idle Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . The Cougars are 10th in the Western Conference. Each of the three teams they are chasing earned at least one point last night. The Cougars now are five points out of a eighth place with three games remaining.
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SUNDAY’S CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
F Zane Jones, Victoria.
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SUNDAY’S CHECKING-TO-THE-HEAD COUNT:
None.
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IF THE PLAYOFFS STARTED TODAY:
Eastern Conference
Edmonton (1) vs. Brandon (8)
Moose Jaw (2) vs. Saskatoon (7)
Medicine Hat (3) vs. Regina (6)
Calgary (4) vs. Kootenay (5)
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Western Conference
Tri-City (1) vs. Victoria (8)
Kamloops (2) vs. Everett (7)
Portland (3) vs. Kelowna (6)
Vancouver (4) vs. Spokane (5)
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MONDAY’S GAMES
None.
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TUESDAY’S GAMES
Red Deer at Medicine Hat
Prince Albert at Saskatoon
Spokane at Seattle
Prince George at Tri-City

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