Sunday, March 4, 2012

John MacKinnon of the Edmonton Journal offers up his take on the debate — to fight or not to fight — right here.
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Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times writes right here about Spokane Chiefs F Liam Stewart, the son of you know who and you know who. The big news here is that Liam’s father and a few other family members apparently are planning on attending a game or two in Spokane in the immediate future.
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F Brock Nixon, who played in the WHL with the Kamloops Blazers and Calgary Hitmen, scored a shorthanded goal in OT to give the U of Calgary Dinos a best-of-three series sweep over the host U of Manitoba Bisons in a Canada West playoff series. . . . It was a shocker because the Bisons had gone 20-5-3 in the regular season, their best record since 1970-71. . . . Nixon is from Russell, Man. His goal at 6:39 of OT gave the Dinos a 4-3 victory. . . . Nixon also set up a goal by F Reid Jorgensen, Calgary’s captain, who also is a product of the Blazers. . . .
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In the BCHL, the Penticton Vees made it 40 straight victories with a 5-1 triumph over the visiting Chilliwack Chiefs. . . . The Vees are at home to the Trail Smoke Eaters on Tuesday. . . .
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Jim Matheson’s Hockey World, from the pages of the Edmonton Journal, is right here. Look for mentions of Brendan Shinnimin, Matt Kassian and Brenden Dillon among others.
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SATURDAY’S GAMES:
(If you’re on Twitter, follow @WHLFacts for lots of facts and numbers.)
In Portland, F Sven Baertschi struck four times, including twice while shorthanded, to lead the Winterhawks to a 7-3 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Baertschi’s game got him back on a two-points-per-game pace. He now has 92 points, including 31 goals, in 46 games. . . . It was his first four-goal game in the WHL and his second hat trick this season. It also was the 10th three-goal game by a Portland player this season. . . . F Ty Rattie added a goal, his 53rd, and an assist. He and Baertschi each was plus-4. . . . F Burke Gallimore scored his 20th goal for Seattle. . . . Portland D Joe Morrow had three assists. . . . The Winterhawks, who are 12-0-1 in their last 13 outings, now have a three-point lead atop the WHL’s overall standings and the Western Conference. The Tri-City Americans, Kamloops Blazers and Edmonton Oil Kings all are three points back. . . .

In Moose Jaw, F Justin Kirsch had a goal and two assists to lead the Warriors to a 6-2 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Kirsch, who scored his 19th goal, now has 102 career points in 150 games. . . . The Warriors, who have won 14 in a row at home, scored the game’s first six goals. . . . D Joel Edmundson scored twice for Moose Jaw, giving him three this season. . . . The Hurricanes took 52 of 96 penalty minutes. . . . The Warriors, who have won four in a row, have clinched at least a tie for top spot in the East Division. . . .

In Regina, F Chandler Stephenson scored three goals to lead the Pats to an amazing 6-4 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . The Pats scored six third-period goals, the first five in a span of 6:49, to erase a 4-0 deficit. . . . The Wheat Kings led 4-0 with 17 minutes to play in the third period. . . . F Dyson Stevenson tied it at 4-4 at 10:06 and Stephenson broke the tie with his 20th just 10 seconds later. He later added an empty-netter to complete his first WHL hat trick. . . . Regina F Jordan Weal had four assists. . . . Regina F Lane Scheidl got his 25th goal and added two helpers. . . . Regina D Luke Fenske scored his first goal of the season. . . . F Brenden Walker had a goal, his 26th, and an assist. . . . The Wheat Kings were again without F Kevin Sundher. He missed six games with a concussion, before returning to play in Friday’s 6-2 victory over visiting Lethbridge. . . . The Pats moved past Brandon and into a tie for sixth with Saskatoon in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of the Wheat Kings. Brandon has six games remaining; the other two have yet to play seven. . . .

In Edmonton, F Kristians Pelss scored at 17:12 of the third period to give the Oil Kings a 2-1 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . His 24th goal gave the Oil Kings their fourth straight victory. . . . F Michael St. Croix, who had 27 goals last season, got his 40th for Edmonton at 3:37 of the second period. . . . Swift Current D Richard Nedomlel tied it on a PP at 5:26 of the second. . . . Edmonton G Tristan Jarry stopped 18 shots, 14 fewer than Swift Current’s Jon Groenheyde. . . . The Oil Kings, who have won four straight, lead the Central Division by eight points over the idle Medicine Hat Tigers, who have six games left. . . .

In Cranbrook, F Brock Montgomery’s 20th goal gave the Kootenay Ice a 2-1 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . F Cody Sylvester gave the visitors a 1-0 lead with his 23rd at 4:00 of the second. . . . Ice F Sam Reinhart tied it with his 27th at 12:59 of the second. . . . Montgomery broke the tie at 2:23 of the third. . . . Ice G Nathan Lieuwen stopped 24 shots, three more than Calgary’s Chris Driedger. . . . The Hitmen had D Jaynen Rissling back after he missed 15 games with a knee injury. . . . The Ice is fifth in the Eastern Conference, three points behind Calgary and three ahead of Saskatoon and Regina. . . .

In Red Deer, the Rebels scored the game’s last four goals and beat the Saskatoon Blades, 4-1. . . . The Rebels were able to dress only 16 skaters, including midget AAA forwards Connor Bleackley and Dexter Bricker. . . . F Chad Robinson got Red Deer into a 1-1 tie with a shorthanded goal at 5:52 of the second. . . . Rebels captain Adam Kambeitz got the winner, his 15th goal of the season, at 4:24 of thet third on a PP. . . . Saskatoon G Andrey Makarov stopped 35 shots, including a first-period penalty shot by F Charles Inglis to preserve what was a 1-0 Blades lead. . . . The Blades killed off 22 straight opposition power plays over five games before Kambeitz’s goal. . . . Saskatoon is 0-5-1 in its last six road games. The Blades are on the road for six because the Tim Hortons Brier, aka the Canadian men’s curling championship, is in Saskatoon through next Sunday. . . . Saskatoon, 2-6-2 in its last 10, is tied for sixth with Regina in the Eastern Conference. . . . Despite the injuries, the Rebels won’t go away. They are eight points out of a playoff spot with seven games left. . . .

In Prince George, D Cody Carlson’s PP goal in OT gave the Cougars a 4-3 victory over the Spokane Chiefs. . . . Carlson got his ninth goal just 18 seconds in OT. The Chiefs had been called for too many men at 19:45 of the third. . . . The Cougars had lost seven in a row. . . . Cougars G Drew Owsley stopped 34 shots. . . . Spokane D Corbin Baldwin had forced OT with his sixth goal at 12:28 of the second. . . . F Troy Bourke had three assists for the Cougars, while Reid Jackson drew two helpers. . . . The Cougars were 3-5 on the PP. . . . The Cougars were without F Dalton Siwak, D Dan Gibb, F John Odgers, D Shane Pilling and F Alex Forsberg, all out with injuries. . . . The loser point guarantees the Chiefs of at least a fifth-place finish in the Western Conference. . . . The Chiefs are fourth at the moment, two points ahead of Vancouver. Each team has seven games remaining. . . .

In Everett, G Kent Simpson stopped 30 shots as the Silvertips stunned the Tri-City Americans, 4-1. . . . The Silvertips had lost five in a row to the Americans. . . . Everett F Josh Winquist broke a 1-1 tie at 1:03 of the second period. . . . F Josh Birkholz followed with his 28th goal, at 18:27, and F Manraj Hayer got his second 1:17 after that. . . . F Brendan Shinnimin scored his 53rd for the Americans. . . .  Tri-City F Patrick Holland reached 100 points with an assist on his side’s first goal. . . . From Dan Mulhausen of the Americans: “With an assist, Patrick Holland became the third member of the Americans to reach the 100-point mark this season, joining teammates Brendan Shinnimin and Adam Hughesman. Tri-City did not have any player score 100+ points in a season since 2001-02. It marks the first time since 1991-92 (Terry Degner, Brian Sakic and Vladimir Vujtek), and the fourth time ever, that an Americans’ roster has featured three 100-point scorers in the same season.” . . . Everett D Ryan Murray drew an assist for his 100th career point. It came in his 161st game. . . . The Americans now are second in the U.S. Division, three points behind Portland. . . . The Silvertips, who have won two in a row, are eighth in the Western Conference, and now are three points ahead of Seattle. . . . The Silvertips, with the fewest victories in the WHL, have triumphs over Portland and Tri-City in the last week. . . .

In Victoria, G Jared Rathjen stopped 29 shots to help the Royals to a 5-2 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Rathjen was making his sixth straight start. . . . Vancouver F Brendan Gallagher scored his 40th goal at 17:28 of the second to get his side to within one, at 3-2. . . . Victoria F Ben Walker restored the two-goal lead with his eighth just 29 seconds later. . . . Victoria D Hayden Rintoul got his 16th into an empty net at 18:55 of the third. . . . The same teams meet again today with the first faceoff scheduled for 1:05 p.m. . . . Victoria is seventh in the Western Conference, a point ahead of Everett and four up on Seattle. . . . The Giants are fifth, two ponts behind Spokane. . . .

In Kelowna, F Zach Franko’s goal at 2:31 of overtime gave the Rockets a 4-3 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . The Rockets beat the Blazers 6-3 in Kamloops on Friday. . . . Last night, the Blazers scored the game’s first two goals, with the Rockets getting the next three. . . . Kamloops D Austin Madaisky forged a 3-3 tie at 17:56 of the second period on the PP. It was his 13th goal, 11 of which have come via the PP. . . . F Brett Bulmer, who had two goals Friday, had a goal, his 32nd, and two assists for Kelowna. . . . Kamloops F Dylan Willick scored to run his point streak to eight games. . . . The Blazers wrapped up first place in the B.C. Division when Vancouver lost in Victoria. That game ended a few minutes before the one in Kelowna. . . . That means they will at worst be the Western Conference’s second seed when the playoffs begin.
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SATURDAY’S CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
F James Yakubowski, Lethbridge.
F Dominik Uher, Spokane.
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SATURDAY’S CHECKING-TO-THE-HEAD COUNT:
D Ryley Miller, Brandon.
F Carter Rigby, Kelowna.
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SUNDAY’S GAMES
Saskatoon at Edmonton
Prince Albert at Regina
Tri-City at Portland
Vancouver at Victoria
NOTES: Tri-City holds a 5-4-0 edge in the season series with Portland as they prepare for the final game. The Americans won the first five, the Winterhawks the last four, including a 6-4 victory in Kennewick, Wash., on Friday. . . . Seattle visits Prince George for games Tuesday and Wednesday.

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