Thursday, March 29, 2012

IT'S OVER! Tri-City Americans defenceman Zach Yuen celebrates the OT
goal that won the first-round series with the Everett Silvertips.

(Photo by Christopher Mast /
A quick email note from a reader:
“You won’t believe I was reading your blog in Thohoyandou while the monkeys played on the washing line! Bet none of your other fans can claim that!!”
Yes, I went to Wikipedia and looked it up:
“Thohoyandou is a town in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. It is the administrative centre of Vhembe District Municipality and Thulamela Local Municipality. It is also known for being the former capital of the bantustan of Venda.”
Thohoyandou means “head of the elephant.”
G Tyler Weiman (Tri-City, 2000-04) signed a two-year contract with the Nuremberg Ice Tigers (Germany, DEL). He had a 2.33 GAA and a .932 save percentage in 40 games with the Augsburger Panther (Germany, DEL) this season. That was the third-best GAA and the second-best save percentage in the DEL. . . .
D Patrick Baum (Swift Current, 1997-98) signed a one-year contract extension with the Heilbronner Falken (Germany, 2.Bundesliga). He had four goals and 15 assists in 44 games for Heilbronn this season.
The relationship between the Everett Silvertips and former general manager Doug Soetaert has turned completely sour.
Soetaert, who was fired on Feb. 2, has filed suit in Snohomish County Superior Court against the Silvertips, claiming the team owes him money as per terms of the agreement when he returned to the team in 2006 after a brief stint in the AHL.
Nick Patterson of the Everett Herald has the story right here.
It’s no secret that the WHL, with its teams’ expenses steadily climbing, is always on the lookout for new revenue streams.
The Kootenay Ice has an annual budget of $1.5 million, a figure that president/general manager Jeff Chynoweth has said is the second-lowest in the league. It has been speculated that there are teams with budget approaching three times that figure.
So . . . where to turn for new revenue streams?
Well . . . how about advertising on uniform tops?
According to Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: “In an attempt to generate more revenue, the NBA is pondering the idea of placing ads on the jerseys of every player from the 30 teams.”
Price reports that “this transition could create approximately $31.18 million in revenue in TV exposure alone.”
While it hardly would be worth that kind of coin to the WHL and its 22 teams, you have to think logos on uniforms could bring in a lot of money.
In the NBA, players and owners, according to Price, like the idea.
You have to think the feeling would be the same in the WHL.
The Kamloops Blazers have at least one advertising patch on their practice jerseys – it belongs to KGHM, a company that wants to open an open-pit mine on the south-western outskirts of Kamloops.
So why not advertising on game uniforms?
Dan Hodgson, who played with the Prince Albert Raiders (1982-85), had one of the greatest of all WHL careers. Now he’s gearing up to take a turn as a referee. That’s right! He’s donning the stripes. It’s all for a good cause, of course.
Brian Swane of the Edmonton Examiner has that story right here.
The Prince Albert Raiders, who missed the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons, have picked up the option year on the contracts of general manager Bruno Campese, head coach Steve Young and athletic therapist Duane Bartley. . . . As well, Dave Manson, who rejoined the club as an assistant coach during the season, has been promoted to associate coach. . . . Craig Bedard, an assistant coach since 2007-08, didn’t have his contract renewed. . . . The Raiders have added Tim Leonard as an assistant coach. He has been on the coaching staff of the midget AAA Prince Albert Mintos for the 10 years, the last seven as head coach. . . . Jeff D'Andrea of has more right here. . . .
John Grahame, the 37-year-old goaltending coach with the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers, no longer is with the team. He has signed with the NHL’s New York Islanders and will be with them for the remainder of this NHL season. . . . And goaltending coaches throughout hockey are thinking: “Hmmm! Maybe I’m not done after all.” . . .
Assistant coach Graham Johnson has been promoted to head coach of the USHL’s Des Moines Buccaneers, who fired Regg Simon on Tuesday. The Buccaneers, who have lost six in a row, have seven games remaining and are four points out of a playoff spot. Marty Mjelleli, the Bucs’ Minnesota scout, has come on board as assistant coach. . . . For more on the Simon firing, check out Ryan Clark's blog, Slightly Chilled, over there on the right. . . .
Two WHL players are on the shelf because of skate cuts.
The Tri-City Americans have lost F Jesse Mychan for the remainder of the season after he suffered a severed Achilles tendon during a 4-0 victory over the Silvertips in Everett on Tuesday night.
Mychan, a 19-year-old from Saskatoon, will undergo surgery next week. Fortunately, there wasn’t any nerve or tendon damage, but he is looking at a four-month rehabilitation process.
Meanwhile, F Chase Schaber, the captain of the Kamloops Blazers, was cut by a skate belonging to Victoria Royals F Zane Jones early in the first period of Game 3 on Tuesday night. The Blazers won the game, played in Victoria, 7-5.
Schaber was cut on the back of his left leg. He was taken to hospital and released later that night. He returned to Kamloops on Wednesday where the Blazers’ medical staff is looking after him.
D Bretton Stamler (Seattle, Edmonton, Swift Current, 2003-2008) has signed with the ECHL’s Colorado Eagles. Stamler, who is from Edmonton, played four seasons with the U of New Brunswick Varsity Reds. Stamler, 24, was a seventh-round selection by the Detroit Red Wings in the NHL’s 2005 draft.
One of the best things about covering the WHL as a journalist is meeting and chatting with the many scouts who travel the circuit. One of those is Jack Barzee of NHL Central Scouting. Barzee, 71, has announced his retirement after this season. Mike G. Morreale of has a terrific read right here.
PLAYOFF NOTES: F Brett Bulmer of the Kelowna Rockets will be back in the lineup tonight after the WHL set his suspension at one game. He missed Game 3 in Kelowna on Tuesday night. Bulmer was suspended after taking a kneeing major and game misconduct for a hit on Winterhawks D William Wrenn in Game 2 in Portland. Wrenn played Tuesday in Kelowna. . . . The Winterhawks take a 3-0 series lead into Game 4 tonight in Kelowna. . . .
(If you want WHL facts and stats, get on Twitter and follow @WHLFacts)
In Saskatoon, G Tyler Bunz stopped 32 shots as the Medicine Hat Tigers beat the Blades 5-0 to sweep the first-round series. . . . Bunz has two career playoff shutouts. . . . Medicine Hat F Emerson Etem opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal, his fourth straight goal for the Tigers. At that point, he had figured in 11 straight Tigers goals. . . . Etem scored 10 shorthanded goals in the regular season; he has two in this series. . . . Etem later added an assist. He finished the four games with seven goals and five assists. . . . F Curtis Valk scored twice and added an assist for the Tigers, who were 1-6 on the PP. The Blades were 0-2. . . . The Blades will be the host team for the 2013 Memorial Cup tournament. . . .

In Cranbrook, the Edmonton Oil Kings erased a 3-1 deficit with five third-period goals and beat the defending-champion Kootenay Ice, 6-3. . . .  Edmonton leads the series 3-0 with Game 4 in Cranbrook tonight. . . . Edmonton D Griffin Reinhart got the third-period comeback rolling with a goal at 1:57. D Keegan Lowe tied the game 3-3 at 8:14, and F Kristians Pelss put Edmonton out front at 12:44. . . . Oil Kings F Curtis Lazar, 16, continued his stellar season with a goal, his third, and two assists. . . . Ice F Max Reinhart was ejected at 13:22 of the third period. He was given a roughing minor and also a game misconduct. . . .

In  Regina, F Brayden Point’s goal at 6:14 of the second OT gave the Moose Jaw Warriors a 5-4 victory over the Pats. . . . The Warriors lead the series 3-1 as the series heads back to Moose Jaw for Game 5 on Friday. . . . Point, who turned 16 on March 12, had one goal in five regular-season games. He has two goals (both winners) and an assist in this series. From Calgary, he was the 14th overall selection in the 2011 bantam draft. . . . Moose Jaw F Eric Arnold forced OT with his second goal, and fourth of the series, on the PP at 15:51 of the third period. . . . The PP came when Regina F Dyson Stevenson was given a clipping major and game misconduct at 12:44 of the third. . . . Regina D Martin Marincin had given Regina a 4-3 lead with goals at 5:48 and 7:20 of the third period. . . . Regina F Jordan Weal, who has 135 regular-season goals, scored his first WHL playoff goal in the second period. . . . The Warriors had F Cody Beach back in their lineup after he served a one-game suspension for a derogatory comment directed at the Regina bench in Game 2. . . . The Pats were without F Andrew Rieder, who reinjured a shoulder in Game 3. . . . A post-game tweet from Warren Woods of Global-TV in Regina: “Brent Parker running hot after that one..gave officials in booth upstairs a blast.” . . .

In Victoria, the Kamloops Blazers scored two second-period goals and beat the Royals 4-1. . . . The Blazers swept the series, the first time the franchise has won a playoff series since 1999. Back then, the Blazers swept the Tri-City Americans in the Western Conference final. The Blazers then lost the WHL final in five games to the Calgary Hitmen. . . . The Blazers’ head coach was Marc Habscheid, now the general manager and head coach of the Royals. . . . The Blazers outscored the Royals 22-11 in the four games, including 16-3 in second periods. . . . F Dylan Willick scored twice for the Blazers, giving him five goals and at least one in each of the four games. He finished the regular season by going scoreless in six straight. . . . F Brendan Ranford, who led Kamloops with 40 goals, scored his first goal of the season, breaking a 1-1 tie in the second period. . . . The Blazers were without F Chase Schaber, who suffered a skate cut to a leg in Game 3 on Tuesday. He returned to Kamloops on Wednesday. . . .

In Everett, D Zach Yuen’s first goal of the series, at 18:53 of OT, gave the Tri-City Americans a 4-3 victory over the Silvertips. . . . Tri-City swept the first-round series. . . . The Silvertips erased a 3-0 deficit with three goals in a span of 13:09 in the third period. . . . F Ryan Harrison scored at 6:10, on the PP. D Ryan Murray got a shorthanded goal at 9:10. D Josh Caron scored on the PP at 19:19 with G Kent Simpson out for the extra attacker. . . . Tri-City F Brendan Shinnimin scored the game’s first goal, running his point streak, including the regular season, to 27 games. . . . Tri-City got a goal, his third, and two helpers from F Mason Wilgosh, while F Adam Hughesman had two assists. . . . Tri-City G Ty Rimmer stopped 42 shots, seven more than Simpson. . . . Harrison took a charging major and game misconduct at 8:39 of the third period. He missed Game 3 as he served a one-game suspension for a clipping major he had taken in Game 2. . . . The Silvertips were without F Manraj Hayer, whose suspension was finalized at three games. He was suspended for a Game 1 hit on Drydn Dow, who had his season come to an end with a broken arm. . . . The Americans were without F Patrick Holland. He served a one-game suspension for a clipping major and game misconduct in Game 3. . . .

In Spokane, F Mitch Holmberg scored at 6:43 of OT to give the Chiefs a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . The series is tied 2-2 with Game 5 in Vancouver on Friday and Game 6 in Spokane on Sunday. . . . Holmberg got his third goal of the series with a wrist shot from between the faceoff spots, right in the slot. . . . Vancouver F Brendan Gallagher forced OT with his fourth goal of the series with 31.6 seconds left in the third and G Adam Morrison on the bench for the extra attacker. . . . The Chiefs led 2-0 midway through the second, on goals from F Darren Kramer and F Liam Stewart, the first of the series for both. . . . F Austin Fyten got Vancouver on the board with his second at 9:21 of the third. . . . Fyten also had an assist. . . . The Giants put F Alex Kuvaev back into the lineup, while taking out F Anthony Ast (leg). That move went the other way for Game 3 on Tuesday. . . .
The Chiefs are without D Brenden Kichton, who suffered a broken jaw when he was struck in the face by a puck in Game 1. He has had surgery in Vancouver and is awaiting medical clearance to travel home to Spruce Grove, Alta.
On Wednesday, he tweeted:
“Doesn't feel great...slowly progressing tho. 6 weeks of torture! #looklike500lb #roadtorecovery”
Kichton also tweeted the photo that is included here.
F Dylen McKinlay, Kootenay.
F Lyndon Martell, Regina (double minor).
F Cody Beach, Moose Jaw.

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