Nick Patterson of the Everett Herald reports that the Everett Silvertips are disputing the lawsuit that has been brought against them by former general manager Doug Soetaert. That story is right here.
Former NFL quarterback Mark Rypien is 49 years of age and already he is experiencing memory loss.
Nathan Fenno of the Washington Times has more right here.
Lorne Molleken will be back behind the bench of the Saskatoon Blades next season. Molleken, who is the Blades’ general manager and head coach, has told Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix that he will reassess his position(s) after the 2012-13 season, which means after the 2013 Memorial Cup. The Blades will be the tournament’s host team.
Molleken also told Nugent-Bowman that the roster of next season’s team will bear little resemblance to the Saskatoon roster that lost in four games to the Medicine Hat Tigers this week.
That story is right here.
THE COACHING GAME:
The QMJHL’s Cape Breton Screaming Eagles have announced that they won’t bring back assistant coach Kevin Higo, whose two-year contract is to expire on July 31. Higo, from Lethbridge, was an assistant coach with the Moose Jaw Warriors for two seasons (2008-10). . . .
Victor Gervais (Seattle, 1986-90) is the new GM/head coach of the junior B Westshore Wolves, a new club in the Vancouver Island junior league. Gervais has spent the last five seasons with the BCHL’s Victoria Grizzlies. This season, he was GM and assistant coach, with Len Barrie as majority owner and head coach. . . . The Wolves will play out of Victoria’s Bear Mountain Arena, which also is home to the Grizzlies. . . .
The U of Alberta Golden Bears have redone their organizational tree. No longer will they have a head coach and an assistant coach; instead, there will be a general manager and a head coach. Stan Marple, the interim head coach last season, will be the first GM, while the search is on for a coach. Evan Daum has that story in the Edmonton Journal right here.
D Morgan Rielly isn’t yet ready to return to the Moose Jaw Warriors’ lineup; in fact, it sounds as though he may not play for a couple of weeks, although he has been practising for 10 days. Rielly, who had major knee surgery on Dec. 1. He visited with his Vancouver surgeon this week and Alan Millar, the Warriors’ director of hockey operations, told Matthew Gourlie of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald that Rielly is “week-to-week.” Millar told Gourlie: “The appointment with the surgeon went very well. (Rielly) continues to be on pace to have a chance to play somewhat ahead of schedule. I know there was a lot of speculation and some reports that he would be in the line-up (tonight). He will not be in the line-up. He will not play at all in this series.” . . . The Warriors take a 3-1 series lead over the Regina Pats into Game 5 in Moose Jaw tonight.
Gourlie’s story, and there’s more to it, is right here.
Is Saskatoon, a city that would be home to an NHL franchise, a good sports town, or not? Les MacPherson, a columnist with the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, tackles that question right here.
D Duncan Siemens of the Saskatoon Blades will finish his season with the Lake Erie Monsters, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche. Siemens was selected by Colorado with the 11th pick of the 2011 NHL draft. . . .
D Josh Caron of the Everett Silvertips, who signed a free-agent deal with the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, is expected to join the AHL’s Houston Aeros for the remainder of the season. . . . Nick Patterson of the Everett Herald reports that F Ryan Harrison has been invited to join the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters, and D Brennan Yadlowski may hook up with the ECHL’s Colorado Eagles.
Richard Doerksen, the WHL’s vice-president, hockey, was busy again on Thursday.
He hit Everett F Ryan Harrison with a ‘tbd’ suspension for a charging major and game misconduct in Game 4 against the visiting Tri-City Americans on Wednesday. Assuming that Harrison, 19, is back in the fall, the start of his season almost certainly will be delayed. . . .
F Max Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice was hit with a one-game suspension for a game misconduct he took against the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings on Wednesday. Reinhart didn’t play last night as the Oil Kings completed a sweep of the defending-champion Ice. . . .
Ice D Spencer Wand also sat out last night’s game after being suspended for a game following a pregame violation on Wednesday. . . .
Regina Pats F Dyson Stevenson won’t play tonight in Game 5 against the host Moose Jaw Warriors. He incurred a one-game suspension after taking a clipping major and game misconduct in Game 4 in Regina on Wednesday. He has a team-high three goals and is tied with F Jordan Weal for the team lead in points, with five. . . .
And, finally, Regina president Brent Parker was fined $2,500 for “inappropriate behaviour” after Wednesday’s 5-4 overtime loss to the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors.
Glenn Reid of CBC Regina tweeted: “GM Brent Parker fined $2500 for inappropriate conduct. I thought he was screaming at me for a second there (Wednesday) night.”
Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post reported that Parker “punched a hole in the door of the video replay booth inside the press box” after the game and “also became involved in a heated verbal confrontation with the off-ice officials who were inside the booth.”
Harder had a busy time of it. He also spoke with Wayne Gretzky, whose good friend, Pat Conacher, is in his first season as the Regina Pats’ head coach. That story is right here.
Bill Graveland of The Canadian Press reports on a WHL player who received probation and community service after pleading guilty to charges from a high-speed car crash in which his girlfriend was killed. That story is right here.
THURSDAY’S WHL GAMES:
(If you want WHL facts and stats, get on Twitter and follow @WHLFacts)
In Winnipeg, the Brandon Wheat Kings got a goal at 8:26 of OT to beat the Calgary Hitmen 3-2 and win a first-round series in five games. . . . The Wheat Kings played their home games in Winnipeg because the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair is in Westman Place in Brandon. . . . The Wheat Kings actually scored twice on the game-winning play. F Paul Ciarelli fired a shot that hit the cross-bar in the back of the net. As one of the referees waved it off, F Darian Dziurzynski, who turns 21 today, banged in the rebound. . . . Originally credited to Dziurzynski, the goal was later changed to Ciarelli. . . . The Hitmen killed off a Brandon power play just before the winning goal and, in fact, came close to winning when G Corbin Boes made a tremendous glove save off F Jimmy Bubnick. . . . It is the eighth time in the last 11 seasons that Brandon has moved into the second round. . . . Boes finished with 42 saves. . . . Ciarelli scored at 4:14 of the third period to forge a 2-2 tie. Those were his first two goals of the series. . . . Dziurzynski and Jens Meilleur each had two assists for Brandon as they figured in both Ciarelli goals. . . . The Hitmen played all five games without F Victor Rask (leg), who scored 33 goals in the regular season. . . . Attendance was 4,002. . . . You can bet this series victory meant just a little bit more to Brandon owner/general manager Kelly McCrimmon. His brother, Brad, would have been 53 on Thursday. Brad was the head coach of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, the KHL team that was wiped out in a plane crash on Sept. 7. . . . The Wheat Kings will be back in Westman Place for the second round. Brandon will face the Edmonton Oil Kings next, if the Moose Jaw Warriors eliminate the Regina Pats. The Warriors take a 3-1 lead in that series into Game 5 tonight in Moose Jaw. . . .
In Cranbrook, F Rhett Rachinski scored the game’s last two goals as the Edmonton Oil Kings beat the Kootenay Ice 3-1 and swept the defending champions from the playoffs. . . . Edmonton has won its last 15 games. . . . Rachinski broke a 1-1 tie with his first goal of the series at 14:09 of the second period and added an empty-netter at 19:23 of the third. . . . The Oil Kings, in their fifth season in the WHL, won a series for the first time. They went in having been swept from the first round in both of their appearances. . . . Ice G Nathan Lieuwen stopped 25 shots, while Laurent Brossoit of Edmonton turned aside 14. . . . The biggest story of the two games in Cranbrook may well have been the attendance — 2,293 on Wednesday and 2,146 last night. Those are the two smallest Rec-Plex playoff crowds in franchise history. . . . The highlight for the fans may have been when Marian Dixon shot a puck from the far blue-line through a hole in a sheet of plywood and won a truck from Denham Ford. . . . A Thursday night tweet from Edmonton D Griffin Reinhart: “Best comment on the ice goes to my little bro Sam saying ‘If you touch me I'm telling mom’ when we were in a scrum.” . . .
In Kelowna, F Ty Rattie scored four times as the Portland Winterhawks beat the Rockets 5-3 to sweep that first-round series. . . . The Winterhawks will meet the Kamloops Blazers in the second round. That series will open with Games 1 and 2 in Portland’s Veterans’ Memorial Coliseum on April 6 and 7. . . . Rattie scored his club’s first three goals, giving Portland 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 leads. . . . He later added an empty-netter for his 10th goal in the four games. He also had three assists. . . . Interestingly, in the four games in this series, Rattie had one-, two-, three- and four-goal games. . . . Last spring, Rattie finished the playoffs with nine goals in 17 games. . . . He actually outscored the Rockets, 10-9, in the four games. . . . Portland F Sven Baertschi had two assists. . . . Linemates Rattie, Baertschi and Marcel Noebels, who had one helper, each was plus-4.
THURSDAY’S CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
THURSDAY’S CHECKING-TO-THE-HEAD COUNT:
F Curtis Lazar, Edmonton.
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