Wednesday, April 11, 2012

THE MacBETH REPORT:
F Johannes Salmonsson (Spokane, 2005-06) signed a two-year contract with Linköping (Sweden, Elitserien). He had five goals and 13 assists in 41 games for AIK Stockholm (Sweden, Elitserien) this season.
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THE COACHING GAME:
The Salmon Arm SilverBacks will introduce Troy Mick as their general manager and head coach today. Owner Randy Williams also is bringing Mick on board as a business partner. . . . Mick has been working as the director of hockey operations and the under-18 boys coach at the Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy in Kelowna. . . . In Salmon Arm, Mick will take over from Colin O’Hara, who resigned a week ago as GM and head coach. O’Hara was there for two seasons. . . . Mick is a familiar figure in the interior of B.C., having coached the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers and the junior B Revelstoke Grizzlies in recent seasons.
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The Portage Terriers won the MJHL championship on Tuesday night, beating the visiting Winnipeg Saints 2-1 to take the best-of-seven final in five games. . . . The Terriers have won the title four of the last five seasons, including each of the last two seasons. . . . Blake Spiller has been the head coach for all four championships. . . . The Terriers went 12-3 in the playoffs.
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I’m sorry, but are all Portland Winterhawks’ fans paranoid, or is it just a select few?
With Kamloops having scratched G Cole Cheveldave due to what obviously is a concussion, there are those people out there who actually believe the Blazers have done this simply to get Portland F Oliver Gabriel out of the lineup.
Seriously!
Here’s a sample of texts and tweets sent my way over the last couple of days:
“Does it actually make sense in your head that blazers would scratch their most needed player in exchange for a #5 forward?”
“They scratch Cheveldave to make it look good.”
“If you saw infraction you’d shake head at nonsense call.”
“What an absolute joke!”
People! People! People! Take a deep breath and climb down off the roof.
Cheveldave is the Blazers’ No. 1 goaltender. He was selected as a Western Conference second-team all-star. Were it not for the regular season turned in by F Tim Bozon, Cheveldave may well have been the Western Conference’s rookie of the year.
And you’re suggesting that the Blazers would put Cheveldave in the stands with an injury that is the figment of someone’s imagination!
Go back and take a look at the fuzzy video of the hit. Surely, you will at least admit that Cheveldave was the victim of a rather hard check. Surely, you also will admit that the hit sent Cheveldave flying. And, surely, you will admit that there is a least a slim chance, even while viewing it through your Rose City-coloured glasses, that Cheveldave may have been injured on the play.
To suggest that Cheveldave has been told to fake an injury, or that a doctor has been told to invent an injury, in an attempt to get Gabriel out of the Portland lineup is laughable.
Now . . . if we were talking about Ty Rattie or Sven Baertschi . . .
Seriously, ask yourself this. If you’re a Portland fan and one of the Blazers, say Brandon Herrod, had run over Mac Carruth like that, how sharp would you have the guillotine by now?
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TUESDAY’S GAMES:
What is going on in the WHL? Five of the eight first-round series ended in the minimum four games; two others went five games.
Here we are into the second round and three of the four series stand at 3-0. Three road teams won last night to go up 3-0.
All of this follows a 2011 playoff season in which there were six sweeps, three five-game series and six six-game sets.

In Brandon, the Edmonton Oil Kings scored the game’s last five goals and beat the Wheat Kings, 5-1. . . . The Oil King, who have won 18 straight games, including seven in the playoffs, lead this series 3-0 and can wrap it up tonight in Brandon. . . . Brandon D Ryan Pulock scored the game’s first goal, on a PP, at 10:48 of the first. . . . Edmonton scored two second-period goals, the eventual winner coming from F Curtis Lazar, his fourth playoff goal, at 14:21. . . . The visitors had a 19-2 edge in shots in the second period. . .  .The Oil Kings got two assists from F Henrik Samuelsson, who missed a couple of shifts after taking a heavy check from Brandon F Michael Ferland. . . . Edmonton G Laurent Brossoit stopped 25 shots, 12 fewer than Brandon’s Corbin Boes. . . . Edmonton was 2-5 on the PP; Brandon was 1-3. . . . According to the Wheat Kings, F Mark Stone is questionable for Game 4 with an injury. He didn’t come out of the dressing room for the third period. . . . Rob Henderson of the Brandon Sun reports: “Attendance was 3,651, the lowest turnout for a playoff game in Brandon since March 21, 2009 when 3,506 showed up for a first-round game against the Kootenay Ice.” . . .

In Medicine Hat, the Moose Jaw Warriors erased a 1-0 deficit with four straight goals and beat the Tigers, 4-2. . . . Moose Jaw leads the series 3-0 with Game 4 in Medicine Hat tonight. . . . Medicine Hat F Curtis Valk gave his side a 1-0 lead at 8:15 of the first. . . . Moose Jaw F Brayden Point who turned 16 on March 12, got his fourth playoff goal in eight games at 1:49 of the second and D Kendall McFaull gave his guys the lead at 12:40. . . . Moose Jaw F Cam Braes had one assist to run his point streak to eight games. . . . Tigers G Tyler Bunz stopped 48 shots, 24 more than Moose Jaw’s Luke Siemens. . . . The Tigers had F Emerson Etem back from a one-game suspension, but he was held off the scoresheet. . . . Moose Jaw D Morgan Rielly (knee) remains on the sideline. . . .

In Kamloops, F Brad Ross scored four times — even strength, power play, two shorthanded — to lead the Portland Winterhawks to a 5-2 victory over the Blazers. . . . The Winterhawks, with a 3-0 lead, can finish the series tonight in Kamloops. . . . Ross scored four goals in 16 playoff games last spring. He now has seen in seven games in these playoffs. . . . The Winterhawks broke a 1-1 tie with two shorthanded goals 33 seconds apart early in the second period. . . . Ross now holds the franchise record for shorthanded goals (4) in one playoff season. . . . Portland F Taylor Peters drew three shorthanded assists. . . . @WHLFacts tweeted that Ross “has just become the first WHL player in at least 15 years to get 4 Shorthanded Goals in one playoff season.” . . . More from @WHLFacts: “Taylor Peters has become the first WHL player in at least 15 years with 4 Shorthanded Assists in one playoff season” . . . The Winterhawks also set a franchise record with three shorthanded goals in one playoff game. . . . Portland G Mac Carruth stopped 38 shots in running his record this spring to 7-0. . . . Kamloops G Cam Lanigan turned aside 24 shots. . . . The Blazers are without G Cole Cheveldave (concussion). Portland F Oliver Gabriel was suspended for four games for the Game 1 hit on which Cheveldave was injured. Gabriel now has served two games of that suspension. . . . Attendance was 3,712, the third-smallest playoff crowd since the Blazers moved into what now is Interior Savings Centre for the 1992-93 season. The only smaller crowds came on March 25 and 26, 2008, when 2,895 and 2,570 fans showed up for Games 3 and 4 of a first-round sweep at the hands of the Tri-City Americans.

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