Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kudos to the WHL for putting a link from its website to DubNation, the online magazine that is loaded with WHL-related information. . . . It’s produced by Doyle Potenteau of Kelowna, a veteran hockey writer who follows the Rockets for the Daily Courier. . . . If you haven’t checked out the March edition, get on over to whl.ca and give it a look.
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D Cody Carlson of the Prince George Cougars has signed an ATO with the Central league’s Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. The team announced the signing Tuesday morning. Carlson had 39 points in 72 in his final season of junior eligibility. . . . G Damien Ketlo, who played out his WHL eligibility with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, stopped 27 shots to record his first pro shutout and was the game’s first star last night as the ECHL’s Colorago Eagles, who play out of Loveland, beat the visiting Ontario Reign, 3-0. . . . F Spencer Asuchak of the Cougars made his pro debut in that game. Asuchak, 20, had two shots on goal.
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The Spokane Chiefs confirmed Tuesday morning that D Brenden Kichton has had surgery to repair a broken jaw suffered Friday in Game 1 of their series with the Vancouver Giants. Kitchton was struck in the face by puck early in the third period. He has undergone surgery and is awaiting medical clearance to travel to his family’s home in Spruce Grove, Alta. . . . Kitchton is a first team Western Conference all-star and the conference’s defenceman of the year.
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Another hockey career has come to a sudden end because of concussions. Matt Eagles, the captain of the St. Thomas University Tommies men’s hockey team, has had to walk away from the game. That story is right here. St. Thomas U is in Fredericton, N.B.
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Eric Duhatschek of The Globe and Mail has written an interesting piece about the impact that concussions may have on the NHL playoffs.
“More and more,” he writes, “you get the sense that the 2012 NHL playoffs may well be The Concussion Games, a two-month marathon that could twist and turn on how many times players in (Daniel) Sedin’s category get clocked in the head and are forced out of a team’s lineup.”
That complete column is right here.
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If you read anything today, make it this piece right here. It’s columnist Dave Kindred remembering the legendary Furman Bisher, who left us earlier this month.
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THE COACHING GAME:
The USHL’s Des Moines Buccaneers fired head coach Regg Simon on Tuesday. He promptly told Mark Emmert of t he Des Moines Register that it was “one of the happiest days of my life, and I’m glad it happened now rather than later.” . . . Simon is the fourth coach to be fired in the 16-team USHL this season. . . . The Buccaneers are 20-27-4 and in danger of missing the playoffs. . . . A replacement should be named today.
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TUESDAY’S WHL GAMES:
(If you want WHL facts and stats, get on Twitter and follow @WHLFacts)
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Let’s get this out of the way early. . . . The Spokane Chiefs came back from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Portland Winter Hawks in the spring of 1996. That is the only time in WHL history a team has done that. . . . There are six playoff games scheduled for tonight and the Saskatoon Blades, Everett Silvertips and Victoria Royals all are down 3-0. . . .
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In Winnipeg, F Mark Stone had a goal and an assist to lead the Wheat Kings to a 3-1 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . The Wheat Kings, the Eastern Conference’s sixth seed, hold a 3-1 series lead over the No. 3 Hitmen and can wrap up the series in Winnipeg on Thursday night. . . . Game 6, if needed, would be played in Calgary on Sunday. . . . Brandon D Ryan Pulock also had a goal and an assist. . . . The Wheat Kings are playing their first-round home games at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg because the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair has taken over Westman Place in Brandon. . . . F Cody Sylvester, Calgary’s captain, returned after missing the first two games with an undisclosed injury. The Hitmen remain without F Victor Rask (leg). . . . Calgary G Brandon Glover came in for Chris Driedger with the Wheat Kings leading 3-0 at 1:53 of the second. . . . Brandon G Corbin Boes stopped 32 shots. . . . Attendance was 3,563, 15 fewer than attended Game 3. . . .

In Saskatoon, Medicine Hat F Emerson Etem scored all of his club’s goals as the Tigers beat the Blades 3-2 in overtime. . . . This was the first overtime game of this season’s playoffs and it ended at 9:42 as Etem scored his sixth goal of the series. . . . Etem has scored or assisted on the Tigers’ last 10 goals. He leads all playoff scorers, with 10 points, and is tied with Portland F Ty Rattie, each with six goals. . . . The Tigers hold a 3-0 edge and can wrap it up tonight in Saskatoon. . . . Blades F Matej Stransky forced OT with his first goal at 16:52 of the third. . . . F Michael Burns scored Saskatoon’s first goal. He was playing his first game after missing seven with a concussion. . . . Tigers F Dylan Bredo drew two assists. . . . Medicine Hat G Tyler Bunz stopped 32 goals, one fewer than Saskatoon’s Andrej Makarov. . . .

In Regina, the Moose Jaw Warriors scored five first-period goals and went on to a 5-3 victory over the Pats. . . . The Warriors take a 2-1 lead into Game 4 tonight in Regina. . . . Moose Jaw D Joel Edmundson scored 23 seconds into the first period and F Quinton Howden made it 2-0 just 27 seconds later. . . . Howden also had two assists. . . . F James Henry had two assists for the Warriors. . . . F Lane Scheidl got his first two goals of the series for Regina. . . . Moose Jaw F Cody Beach served a one-game suspension for making derogatory comments to the Regina bench in Game 2. . . . Moose Jaw D Travis Brown sat out with an undisclosed injury. . . . Regina F Andrew Rieder left during his first shift with an apparent shoulder injury. He missed the last 16 games of the regular season with a shoulder problem. . . .

In Kelowna, F Sven Baertschi and F Ty Rattie each had two goals and two assists as the Winterhawks doubled the Rockets, 6-3. . . . Portland leads 3-0 and can finish it in Kelowna on Thursday. . . . Rattie and Baertschi have nine points apiece in the series. Rattie is tied for the WHL lead in goals, with six, while Baertschi and teammate Marcel Noebels are tied for the WHL lead, with seven assists. . . . Noebels had three assists last night. . . . Rattie and Baertschi each was plus-4. . . . Portland ended it with two empty-netters. . . . Rattie broke a 2-2 tie at 19:19 of the second period and Baertschi gave the visitors a 4-2 lead at 3:55 of the third. . . . Portland G Mac Carruth stopped 38 shots, two fewer than Kelowna’s Adam Brown. . . . D Damon Severson had two goals for Kelowna, but finished minus-5. . . . The last time Kelowna has been swept? That hasn’t happened since 1994 when the franchise was in Tacoma, Wash., and lost four straight to Portland. . . . The Winterhawks had F Brendan Leipsic back in their lineup after he missed the first two games with an undisclosed injury. . . . Portland D William Wrenn, who was kneed by Kelowna F Brett Bulmer in Game 2, also played. Bulmer, who was given a kneeing major on that play, served the first game of a ‘tbd’ suspension. . . .

In Spokane, D Corbin Baldwin gave the Chiefs a 3-1 lead at 15:56 of the third period and they hung on for a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . The Giants lead the series 2-1 going into Game 4 tonight in Spokane. . . . The Chiefs got first-period goals from D Reid Gow and F Blake Gal. . . . Vancouver F Cain Franson cut into that lead with his fourth goal of the series at 3:48 of the second. . . . Vancouver F Brendan Gallagher got his team’s second goal at 17:30 of the third. . . . The Chiefs turned to Eric Willians in goal after going with Mac Engel in the first two games. Williams made 26 saves, one more than Vancouver’s Adam Morrison. . . . Giants F Jordan Martinook wasn’t able to beat Williams on a penalty shot with 5:48 left in the third period and the Chiefs leading 2-1. . . . Vancouver added F Anthony Ast to its lineup and scratched F Alex Kuvaev. . . . The Chiefs were without D Brenden Kichton (broken jaw). . . .

In Everett, G Ty Rimmer stopped 23 shots to lead the Tri-City Americans to a 4-0 victory over the Silvertips. . . . The Americans hold a 3-0 series lead and can end it tonight in Everett. . . . F Brendan Shinnimin, the WHL scoring champ, scored his first two goals of the series as he ran his point streak to 26 games. . . . He scored the game’s first goal at 1:41 of the second period. . . . Tri-City F Patrick Holland, who led the WHL in assists during the regular season, took a clipping major and game misconduct at 13:28 of the first period. . . . There was only one minor penalty called in the game, that an elbowing infraction by Everett F J.T. Barnett. . . . Everett G Kent Simpson stopped 27 shots. . . . The Silvertips were without F Ryan Harrison and F Manraj Hayer, both of whom were serving suspensions. Harrison is eligible to return tonight; Hayer’s suspenskon was ‘tbd’ . . . The Americans were without D Drydn Dow (broken arm), who was hurt on the check by Hayer. . . . Tri-City F Jesse Mychan left in the second period with a leg injury. . . .

In Victoria, the Kamloops Blazers scored six second-period goals and went on to a 7-5 victory over the Royals. . . . Kamloops holds a 3-0 lead and can win the series tonight in Victoria. . . . The Blazers haven’t won a playoff series since the spring of 1999 when they beat the Tri-City Americans in the Western Conference final. . . . The Royals got three goals from F Jamie Crooks, the first playoff hat trick in Chilliwack Bruins/Victoria franchise history. . . . Kamloops F Matt Needham broke a 4-4 tie with his first playoff goal, a shorthanded effort, at 17:26 of the second period. . . . Blazers F J.C. Lipon stretched the lead to 6-4 with a PP goal at 18:48 of the second. Lipon also had two assists, his third straight game with two helpers. . . . Kamloops F Colin Smith had a goal and three assists. . . . Kamloops has scored 18 goals in this series, 14 of them in second periods. . . . The Blazers were 3-6 on the PP and also scored two shorthanded goals. . . . Victoria was 0-4 on the PP. . . . Kamloops G Cole Cheveldave stopped 18 shots, while the Victoria duo of Jared Rathjen and Keith Hamilton combined for 26 saves. Rathjen started and left after Needham’s goal. . . . Kamloops F Chase Schaber, the team captain, suffered a skate cut to one of his legs and spent the night in hospital. He is to be re-examined and re-evaluated today but isn’t expected to play tonight. . . . According to Mike Walker of CHEK-TV, the teams also combined to hit seven goalposts.
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TUESDAY’S CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
D Tyler Vanscourt, Vancouver.
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TUESDAY’S CHECKING-TO-THE-HEAD COUNT:
D Kiefer McNaughton, Vancouver.

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