Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tri-City Americans captain Mason Wilgosh celebrates
the game-winning goal off the stick of teammate
Justin Hamonic while Colin Valcourt of the
Spokane Chiefs despairs.

(Photo by John Allen / AridAcres.com)

Moose Jaw and Edmonton haven’t met in a WHL playoff series since the spring of 1967. That season the Canucks and Oil Kings met up in a best-of-nine affair that almost went to 10 games. Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun has talked to some of the men who played in that game. That piece is right here.
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THE COACHING GAME:
Mike Hastings is the new head coach of the Minnestoa State Mavericks. . . . Hastings has been the associate head coach at Nebraska-Omaha for the last three seasons and was at the U of Minnesota for a season before that. Prior to that, he spent 14 seasons as the head coach of the USHL’s Omaha Lancers. With a 529-210-56 record, Hastings is the USHL’s all-time winningest coach. . . . Hastings signed a four-year contract with a salary of US$225,000 per year. . . . Hastings replaces Troy Jutting, who was reassigned by the university on April 2 after 12 seasons as head coach.
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SATURDAY’S GAMES:
In Portland, F Jordan DePape had two goals and two assists as the Kamloops Blazers beat the Winterhawks, 7-2, in the Rose Garden. . . . The Winterhawks lead the best-of-seven Western Conference final 3-2 with Game 6 in Kamloops on Monday. . . . A seventh game would be played in Portland on Wednesday. . . . The Blazers have outscored the Winterhawks 12-2 since the middle of the second period of Game 4. In that one, Kamloops erased a 4-0 deficit and won 5-4. . . . Last night, Kamloops led 2-0 and 4-1 by period. . . . Kamloops D Austin Madaisky had three assists. . . . After all the speculation about Portland F Ty Rattie, who left Game 4 in the first period and wore a neck brace while watching Friday’s practice, he was in the lineup and had one assist. . . . Kamloops F J.C. Lipon sat out the first game of a ‘tbd’ suspension. . . . Portland F Oliver Gabriel will be eligible to play in Game 6 after serving a four-game suspension for a late Game 1 hit on Kamloops G Cole Cheveldave, who hasn’t played since. He is doubtful for Monday. . . . Kamloops G Cam Lanigan stopped 34 shots. Portland G Mac Carruth surrendered six goals on 32 shots before giving way to Brendan Burke, who stopped one of two shots. . . . With Kamloops leading 4-1 in the third period, Blazers F Tim Bozon beat Carruth on a penalty shot. . . .

In Kennewick, Wash., D Justin Hamonic’s first WHL goal broke a 3-3 tie and the Tri-City Americans went on to a 5-3 victory over the Spokane Chiefs. . . . The Americans hold a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal. Game 6 is scheduled for Monday night in Spokane. . . . Game 7, if needed, will be played Wednesday in Kennewick. . . . Hamonic, who turned 18 on Feb. 14, is from, yes, Winnipeg. He had four assists in 39 regular-season games. . . . He scored the winner at 16:44 of the second period. . . . F Connor Rankin added an empty-netter at 19:00 of the third. . . . F Patrick Holland had a goal and two assists for Tri-City, while F Brendan Shinnimin had two helpers and F Adam Hughesman had a goal and an assist. . . . It turns out a scoring change was made after Game 4 that resulted in Shinnimin getting an assist and running his point streak to 31 games. So that streak now is at 32 games. . . . Shinnimin now has 39 playoff assists, breaking F Kruise Reddick’s franchise record. . . . Hughesman played in his 65th playoff game, breaking another franchise record that had been held by Reddick.
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Today’s good read comes from The Oregonian, the fine Portland newspaper. John Canzano, a sports columnist with The Oregonian, apparently got lost last night and ended up at the Rose Garden. Likely got his schedules mixed up and thought the Trail Blazers were playing there. Anyway, he watched the entire hockey game, it seems, and, yes, he liked what he saw. His rather entertaining column is right here.

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