Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Wenatchee Wild won’t be joining the BCHL, at least not for the 2012-13 season. . . . The BCHL has denied the Wild’s request for entry, so the Wild has withdrawn its request for dormancy within the NAHL and owner Bill Stewart has said the team will play in that league next season. . . . The Wild is expected to continue its attempt to get into the BCHL, now aiming for the 2013-14 season. . . . The Wenatchee World reports: “The Wild has been pursuing a move to the BCHL for travel reasons. In the NAHL, its closest opponents are 920 miles away (Fresno, Calif., and Dawson Creek, B.C.), while all 16 BCHL teams are within 635 miles of Wenatchee.”
The QMJHL has suspended Benoit Groulx, the head coach of the Gatineau Olympiques, for two games after he threw a few sticks and a garbage can during a game on Wednesday. . . . Groulx will miss his club’s last two regular-season games, both of them in Rouyn-Noranda against the Huskies.
Winnipeg’s hockey community is mourning the death of Dave (The Wrecker) Hrechkosy. He died early this month from brain cancer. Doug Lunney of the Winnipeg Sun takes a look back right here.
In Prince Albert, the Moose Jaw Warriors scored the game’s last four goals and beat the Raiders, 4-1. . . . With the victory, the Warriors tied franchise records for victories (44) and points (96) set in 2005-06. The Warriors can break both those records tonight when the Raiders visit Moose Jaw. . . . F Brayden Point scored his first WHL goal for Moose Jaw. Point, the 14th overall pick in the 2011 bantam draft, was playing in his fourth game. . . . Moose Jaw F Cam Braes scored his 40th goal. . . . F James Henry was among the Warriors’ scratches. Head coach Mike Stothers told Matthew Gourlie of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald that Henry was “attending to some personal issues.” Henry isn’t expected to play tonight either. . . . The Warriors have won three in a row. . . . The Warriors will be the Eastern Conference’s No. 2 seed but won’t know until tonight who will provide the first-round opposition. . . .

In Regina, F Michael Ferland scored twice to lead the Brandon Wheat Kings to a 2-1 victory over the Pats. . . . Ferland has 47 goals, eight of which have been against the Pats. . . . He scored at 8:07 of the first and 8:28 of the second, the latter via the PP. . . . F Tanner Olstad scored for Regina, at 15:19 of the third. . . . Brandon F Mark Stone had two assists. . . . Brandon is 5-2-0 against Regina this season. . . . The teams play again tonight in Brandon. . . . Brandon F Kevin Sundher (concussion) took the pregame skate and then was scratched. . . . With the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair moving into their home arena, the Wheat Kings will play first-round playoff games at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg. . . . The Wheat Kings are eighth in the Eastern Conference, one point behind Regina and Kootenay. . .

In Swift Current, F Josh Nicholls had two goals and an assist to help the Saskatoon Blades to a 5-3 victory over the Broncos. . . . Nicholls has 30 goals. . . . F Taylor Vause and F Brad Hoban, both 20 years of age, scored in their final home games with the Broncos. Vause has 37 goals; Hoban has 20. Vause also had two assists. . . . F Matej Stransky had his 38th goal and two assists for the Blades. . . . It was Scratch City before this one. . . . The Broncos, who were playing their final home game, also scratched six players, although three of those were due to numbers. . . . The Blades were without six players, including D Tommy Stipancik, who has been plagued by concussion-related problems and now has mononucleosis, and backup goaltender Adam Todd, who is injured. D Dalton Thrower also remains out, along with D Matt Pufahl and F Michael Burns. Todd was hit in the head by a puck during practice on Thursday and is expected to sit for at least 10 days with a concussion. The Blades had G Patrick Johnson, an 18-year-old from Saskatoon, on the bench. He played in the SJHL with the Kindersley Klippers and Melfort Mustangs this season. . . . You’re wondering about G Alex Moodie, who played so well for the Blades in January. His midget AAA Winnipeg Wild opened the best-of-five Manitoba league final last night with a 4-1 victory over the Southwest Cougars in the Manitoba capital. Game 2 is Sunday in Souris, Man. . . . The Blades won their 40th game and are one point ahead of Regina and Kootenay. . . .

In Medicine Hat, the Edmonton Oil Kings scored the game’s last four goals and beat the Tigers, 4-2. . . . F Henrik Samuelsson broke a 1-1 tie at 14:47 of the first period. . . . Edmonton G Laurent Brossoit stopped 36 shots. . . . The Tigers welcomed back D Spenser Jensen, who hadn’t played since Feb. 18 due to an injury. . . . Medicine Hat F Emerson Etem got his WHL-leading 61st goal at 19:56 of the third. . . . The Oil Kings have won 10 in a row. . . . The Oil Kings can clinch first place in the overall standings with a victory in Red Deer tonight. . . . The Tigers were 0-8 on the PP; the Oil Kings were 0-2. . . .

In Red Deer, F Adam Kambeitz broke a 2-2 tie at 13:12 of the third period as the Rebels beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 3-2. . . . Kambeitz has 18 goals. . . . The Rebels dressed 15 skaters, three under the maximum. . . . Red Deer G Bolton Pouliot stopped 34 shots. . . . Medicine Hat is tied for third with Calgary but the Hitmen have one more victory. . . .

In Cranbrook, the Calgary Hitmen erased a 4-0 first-period deficit and beat the Kootenay Ice 6-5 in OT. . . . D Spencer Humphries won it with a PP goal just 59 seconds into OT. . . . The Ice took a 5-3 lead into the last minute of the third period. . . . Calgary F Jimmy Bubnick got his 34th goal at 19:03 and F Greg Chase tied it with his sixth goal at 19:18. . . . Bubnick had two goals. . . . Calgary got three assists from each of F Alex Gogolev and F Brooks Macek. . . . F Joey Leach had a goal, his 12th, and two assists for the Ice. . . . Calgary was 3-7 on the PP; the Ice was 1-3. . . . The Ice now is tied with Regina for sixth in the Eastern Conference. . . . Calgary is tied with Medicine Hat for third. . . .

In Kamloops, the Blazers scored six third-period goals and beat the Prince George Cougars, 10-4. . . . The loss ended any chance the Cougars had of making the playoffs. . . . F Colin Smith scored three times for Kamloops. It was his first hat trick this season and the third of his career. He has 35 goals. . . . F Brandon Herrod had a goal and three assists for Kamloops, while linemates Jordan DePape had two goals and an assist, and Brendan Ranford added a goal and two helpers. . . . The Blazers were 3-5 on the PP; the Cougars were 1-3. . . . Cougars F Campbell Elynuik took a cross-checking major and game misconduct late in the third period and will be suspended for tonight’s rematch in Prince George. . . . The Blazers will be the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference but don’t yet know who they will play. . . .

In Spokane, F Burke Gallimore’s 100th career goal, at 15:51 of the third period, gave the Seattle Thunderbirds a 4-3 victory over the Chiefs. . . . With Gallimore driving to the net, a Colin Jacobs centring pass went off one of his skates and over Spokane G Eric Williams. Video review determined there wasn’t a kicking motion involved and the goal stood. . . . F Dylan Walchuk gave the Chiefs a 3-2 lead at 13:08 of the second period. . . . Seattle F Colin Jacobs tied it with 31 seconds left in the period. . . . F Marek Kalus scored his 20th goal for Spokane. . . . Seattle G Calvin Pickard stopped 36 shots. . . . The loss means the Chiefs will finish fifth in the Western Conference and meet the No. 4 Vancouver Giants in the first round. . . . The Thunderbirds, with two games remaining, are tied with Everett for eighth but can still finish seventh. . . .

In Kennewick, Wash., the Tri-City Americans clinched the Westerm Conference and U.S. Division pennants with a 4-1 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . D Zach Yuen broke a 1-1 tie with his 12th goal at 15:35 of the third period. . . . F Adam Hughesman iced it with two late goals, giving him 50 on the season. . . . That gives the Americans two 50-goal men for the first time since 1994-95 (Daymond Langkow and Terry Ryan). . . . Hughesman also had an assist and now has 350 career points. . . . F Brendan Shinnimin had two assists as he ran his point streak to 22 games, matching the franchise record set by Colton Yellow Horn in 2007-08. . . . Shinnimin leads the WHL with 133 points, 14 more than Brandon F Mark Stone. . . . Tri-City F Patrick Holland drew one assist, running his assist streak to 19 games. . . . The Americans won their 50th game, the first CHL team to get there this season. It is the second time in franchise history the Americans have won 50; they also did it in 2007-08. . . . The Americans are one point behind Edmonton, which leads the overall standings. . . . Everett is tied for eighth with Seattle and the teams meet tonight in Kent, Wash. A Seattle victory clinches a playoff spot and eliminates Everett. . . . An Everett victory would mean Seattle would have to win in Portland on Sunday to force a sudden-death playoff game. If it comes to that, Everett would play Seattle in Kent on Tuesday. . . . If Seattle wins both its remaining game, it finishes seventh, with Victoria eighth. . . .

In Victoria, G Keith Hamilton stopped 37 shots to lead the Royals to a 3-1 victory over the Portland Winterhawks. . . . The Royals had beaten the visiting Winterhawks 4-3 on Wednesday. . . . After the game, Portland D Derrick Pouliot tweeted: “Sick of Victoria.” . . . F Mike Forsyth broke a 1-1 tie at 5:40 of the third period. He has three goals this season. . . . F Jamie Crooks added insurance with his 37th at 7:28. . . . F Dakota Conroy had a goal, his 11th, and an assist for Victoria. . . . F Dominic Turgeon, the son of former NHLer Pierre Turgeon, made his WHL debut with the Winterhawks. . . . The Royals clinched a playoff spot. They will finish seventh or eighth in the Western Conference. . . . The Winterhawks will be the third seed in the Western Conference and will open at home to the No. 6 Kelowna Rockets on Friday. . . . Portland and Kelowna met in the second round last season, with the Winterhawks winning in six games. . . .

In Vancouver, F Jordan Martinook scored his third goal of the game, and 40th of the season, at 1:05 of OT to give the Giants a 5-4 victory over the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Martinook, who also had an assist, at tied the game at 15:13 of the third on a PP. . . . F Marek Tvrdon had three assists for Vancouver. . . . Kelowna took a 3-1 lead into the third period. . . . F Brett Bulmer had a goal, his 34th, and two assists for Kelowna. . . . The Giants clinched home-ice advantage in their first-round series with the Spokane Chiefs. . . . The Rockets, the sixth seed in the Western Conference, will be in Portland to open a first-round series on Friday.
F Matej Stransky, Saskatoon.
F Curtis Valk, Medicine Hat.
D Tanner Muth, Kootenay
F Justin Hickman, Seattle.
D Drydn Dowd, Tri-City.

Eastern Conference
Edmonton (1) vs. Brandon (8)
Moose Jaw (2) vs. Kootenay (7)
Calgary (3) vs. Regina (6)
Medicine Hat (4) vs. Saskatoon (5)
Western Conference
Tri-City (1) vs. Everett/Seattle (8)
Kamloops (2) vs. Victoria (7)
Portland (3) vs. Kelowna (6)
Vancouver (4) vs. Spokane (5)
Regina at Brandon
Kootenay at Calgary
Lethbridge at Medicine Hat
Prince Albert at Moose Jaw
Edmonton at Red Deer
Swift Current at Saskatoon
Vancouver at Kelowna
Kamloops at Prince George
Everett at Seattle
Spokane at Tri-City
Seattle at Portland
(End of regular season)

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