THE MacBETH REPORT:
D Gerad Adams (Regina, Kelowna, 1995-99) signed a two-year contract extension as player and head coach for the Cardiff Devils (Wales, UK Elite). He had eight goals and nine assists in 56 games this season, his seventh in Cardiff.
If you scoot on over to DubNation — there’s a link over there on the right — you will find the latest production from the computer of Doyle Potenteau. It’s the March edition and it’s full of WHL-related news, feature stories and photographs. . . . D Ryan Murray of the Everett Silvertips is profiled. There’s a look back at Ray Ferraro . . . and a whole lot more. . . . Enjoy!
SOME PRO NEWS: F Garett Bembridge (Saskatoon, 1997-2001) has signed with the Central league’s Wichita Thunder. He had been playing for Valpellice in Italy, totalling 28 points in 36 games. . . . F Taylor Vause, who signed with the AHL’s Texas Stars after completing his junior eligibility this season with the Swift Current Broncos, scored his first pro goal on Sunday in a 4-2 victory over the host Toronto Marlies. Vause was playing his third AHL game. . . . Also on Sunday, G Jon Groenheyde, who also finished his junior career with Swift Current, picked up his first pro victory. Groenheyde stopped 23 shots as the host Allen Americans downed the Wichita Thunder 3-1 in a Central league game. That was Groenheyde’s second start; he gave up two goals on 27 shots the first time out. He is one of three goaltenders on the roster, including Rejean Beauchemin (Prince Albert, 2002-05).
Prior to the start of the just-completed regular season, the WHL announced it was implementing a social media policy.
After its annual general meeting in June, the league announced: “The WHL has adopted a Social Media and Networking Policy designed to educate players and all members of the WHL community on the risks associated with this new medium. The policy contains guidelines for using social media in a responsible manner and areas which would constitute a League violation.”
Now I haven’t seen a copy of that policy but I’m thinking it was violated at some point after Saturday’s playoff action.
I didn’t see it but I am told that a player who shall go unnamed tweeted this:
“Never seen such bullshit refing in my life. #conspiracy #anythingfortricity what a f'en joke”
Except that he didn’t write ‘f’en’, preferring to spell it out in case there was any doubt.
Apparently, the tweet was deleted about an hour after it first showed up.
Could be an interesting test for the WHL’s social media policy, whatever it is.
On behalf of my media brethren, a reminder to all WHL teams . . .
According to the WHL’s Media Services Policy, “Players coaches and other team personnel will be available upon request for media interviews up to 90 minutes before game time.”
That rule stands for regular-season games and for playoff games.
I offer this reminder after being informed Saturday by a veteran coach that he wasn’t aware of that rule.
It is on Page 26 of the WHL’s 2011-12 Guide.
DEPT. OF DISCIPLINE: D Darren Dietz of the Saskatoon Blades is under a ‘tbd’ suspension for a slashing major and game misconduct in Game 1 against the Tigers in Medicine Hat on Friday. The victim was Tigers F Emerson Etem. Dietz didn’t play in Game 2 on Saturday. . . . The Regina Pats requested supplemental discipline for a hit by Moose Jaw F Cody Beach in Game 1 against the host Warriors. The WHL office didn’t grant the request, so the Pats are $500 lighter. . . . There are a few other players awaiting word on discipline. . . . Kelowna F Brett Bulmer took a kneeing major and game misconduct in Game 2 of the Rockets series with the Winterhawks in Portland on Saturday. . . . Everett had two players ejected from a 3-1 loss to the host Tri-City Americans in Game 2. F Ryan Harrison drew an interference major and game misconduct, while F Cody Fowlie got tossed with a checking-from-behind major. . . . As well, Portland F Oliver Gabriel drew a game misconduct in Game 2 after taking a minor penalty. I don’t know that whatever he did was a suspendable offence, however.
To date, there have been 17 playoff games played. During those games, WHL referees have handed out 36 misconduct penalties, along with six game misconducts and 10 majors, six of which were for fighting.
Yes, sirree! In 17 games there have been three fights. In total. That’s all.
During the 792-game regular season, there were 790 fights, or an average of one scrap before game. (Thanks to hockeyfights.com for compiling those numbers.)
A few weeks ago, WHL commissioner Ron Robison was talking about how fighting was down in the league. Well, he was right. The number of fights per game fell by .08.
Last season, there were 857 fights, an average of 1.08 per game.
In last season’s playoffs, teams combined to play 70 games. There were 24 fights, an average of 0.34 per game.
Please tell me again why fighting is such an integral part of the game?
In Edmonton, D Keegan Lowe’s goal at 16:48 of the third period broke a 3-3 tie and gave the Oil Kings a 4-3 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . The Oil Kings, who had the WHL’s best record in the regular season, take a 2-0 lead into Cranbrook for Games 3 and 4 on Wednesday and Thursday. . . . Edmonton has won its last 13 games. . . . Edmonton G Laurent Brossoit, who stopped 22 shots, preserved the tie with a big save off F Sam Reinhart with 38 seconds left in the third. . . . Lowe’s goal was his first of the series and his second in six career playoff games. He had three goals in 72 games during the regular season and has seven in 212 career regular-season games. . . . Ice G Nathan Lieuwen turned aside 41 shots. . . . The Ice got the game’s first goal, with F Drew Czerwonka scoring a minute into the first period. . . . The teams alternated goals after that, with the Ice leading 2-1 after one period and 3-2 after two. . . . Edmonton F Curtis Lazar, the second overall selection in the 2010 bantam draft, tied the game with his second goal in two games at 15:05 of the third. . . . Lowe won it 1:43 later. . . . Edmonton was 2-7 on the PP; the Ice was 0-4. . . . The Oil Kings were without F Henrik Samuelsson, who completed a two-game suspension for a clipping major he incurred in the regular season’s final game. . . .
Columnist John MacKinnon the Edmonton Journal took in Game 2 and filed this piece.
In Winnipeg, Brandon F Michael Ferland broke a 1-1 tie at 8:01 of the second period and the Wheat Kings went on to a 4-1 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . The Wheat Kings hold a 2-1 lead in the series with Games 4 and 5 in Winnipeg on Tuesday and Thursday nights. . . . The Wheat Kings are 11-4-0 in games played at the MTS Centre, including 4-3 in playoff games. . . . The Wheat Kings are playing their home games at the MTS Centre because the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair is in Westman Place in Brandon. . . . Brandon D Eric Roy scored perhaps the game’s biggest goal, giving his side a 3-1 lead at 19:41 of the third period. . . . Brandon F Kevin Sundher made it 4-1 at 4:56 of the third. That was Sundher’s first goal of the playoffs and his first goal since Feb. 10. Two games later, he suffered a concussion, then tried to come back on March 2, wasn’t able to continue and didn’t play again until Game 1 of this series. Sundher also had an assist and was named the game’s first star. . . . If he’s healthy, Sundher, who turned 20 on Jan. 18, can be a difference-maker. . . . Brandon G Corbin Boes stopped 26 shots, 12 fewer than Calgary’s Brandon Glover, who started his second straight game after Chris Driedger played in the opener. . . . Brandon was 1-5 on the PP; Calgary was 0-1. . . . Attendance in the home of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets was announced as 3,578. . . . F Cody Sylvester, Calgary’s captain, missed the first two games with an undisclosed injury. He travelled to Winnipeg but didn’t play in Game 3. . . . Calgary F Victor Rask (leg) didn’t make the bus trip to Winnipeg but still could join the team there this week.
SUNDAY’S CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
F Max Reinhart, Kootenay.
F Brock Montgomery, Kootenay.
SUNDAY’S CHECKING-TO-THE-HEAD COUNT:
There aren’t any WHL games scheduled for tonight. Seven series will resume on Tuesday.
Lem Barney is in the Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, and yet if he had it to do all over again he wouldn’t play football. Why? Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press writes about Barney and his concussion history right here.
In the Boston Globe’s weekly hockey notebook, Fluto Shinzawa looks at the NHL and the impact of new statistics and data. Give it a read and you will realize that hockey is unlikely to ever go the way of baseball when it comes to that area of the game.
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