Saturday, April 7, 2012

Tri-City goaltender Ty Rimmer and Spokane F Todd Fiddler appear to be
crawling for cover after a Friday night collision during a WHL playoff
game in Kennewick, Wash.

(Photo by John Allen /
Stephen Hume, a columnist with the Vancouver Sun, has written a piece expounding the theory that NHL arenas are unsafe workplaces.
“Researchers recently published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal a study examining seven seasons from 1997 to 2004. It identified 559 ‘concussions,’ ” he writes. “Headaches afflicted 71 per cent; dizziness 34 per cent; nausea 24 per cent; neck pain 23 per cent; blurred vision 22 per cent. One victim in five suffered amnesia and 18 per cent lost consciousness. This is brain damage. It can be permanent. It can be cumulative. It destroys lives.
“May I ask an impertinent question? When will authorities responsible for occupational health and safety turn their attention to the professional hockey rink, which, after all, is a workplace and therefore subject to regulation?”
Hume’s complete column is right here.
And while you’re reading it, ask yourself this question: If NHL workplaces are unsafe, what is the situation in junior hockey, where players get paid a pittance and don’t have a players’ association that presumably will protect their best interests?

(If you want WHL facts and stats, get on Twitter and follow @WHLFacts)

In Moose Jaw, D Joel Edmundson scored twice as the Warriors skated to a 2-1 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers in Game 1 of their second-round series. . . . They’ll play Game 2 in Moose Jaw tonight. . . . The game took a bizarre twist at 3:37 of the first period when Medicine Hat F Emerson Etem, who led the WHL in regular-season goals, was ejected with a kneeing major and game misconduct for a knee-to-knee hit on Moose Jaw F Torrin White. White, a freshman and a stepson of Medicine Hat head coach Shaun Clouston, did come back but only for about a five-second shift. He would seem to be doubtful for tonight. . . . “I was going to finish my check and he moved out of the way and put himself in a vulnerable position. I didn’t expect him to move out of the way,” Etem told Matthew Gourlie of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald. “I’m one of the least-penalized players in the league. I haven’t got a game misconduct in my three years here so hopefully (the league) takes that into consideration.” . . . F Dylan Bredo, who plays on Etem’s line, got tossed 40 seconds into the second period with a major and game misconduct for a check to the head of F Sam Fioretti. . . . The Warriors weren’t able to score on either extended PP. . . . Edmundson scored at 8:11 of the second and 11:41 of the third. . . . Medicine Hat F Curtis Valk got his guys on the board with a PP goal at 19:06 of the third. . . . Medicine Hat G Tyler Bunz stopped 41 shots, while Moose Jaw’s Luke Siemens turned aside 16. . . . Moose Jaw was 0-3 on the PP but two of those totalled 10 minutes in duration. . . . The Tigers were 1-2. . . . With the game being televised by Shaw, it wasn’t a sellout at Mosaic Place. Attendance was announced at 4,598. The Warriors’ three first-round games with the Regina Pats all were sellouts (4,714). . . . The Warriors remain without D Morgan Rielly (knee) and D Travis Brown, who sat out the last three games of the series with Regina. . . . Medicine Hat is without F Kale Kessy, F Gavin Broadhead and F Jayden Hart. The team says they have upper-body injuries; all are thought to have concussions. . . . Medicine Hat F Chad Labelle left in the third period with an apparent shoulder injury.

In Edmonton, the Oil Kings built up a 2-0 lead and hung on for a 2-1 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . They’ll play Game 2 in that series tonight in Edmonton. . . . The Oil Kings now have won 16 straight games, including five in a row in the playoffs. . . . Edmonton F Kristians Pelss scored at 9:08 of the first period and F Dylan Wruck upped it to 2-0 at 3:45 of the second via the PP. . . . Brandon D Brodie Melnychuk, in the playoffs for a fifth straight season, got the visitors on the board at 8:23 of the third. . . . Edmonton G Laurent Brossoit stopped 28 shots, 17 fewer than Brandon’s Corbin Boes. . . . The Wheat Kings had F Rene Hunter back in the lineup after he missed 11 games with an inury. . . .

In Kennewick, Wash., F Mitch Holmberg scored at 1:06 of OT to give the Spokane Chiefs a 3-2 victory over the host Tri-City Americans. . . . They’ll play Game 2 tonight in Kennewick. . . . Holmberg, who scored off a 3-on-1 rush following a neutral zone turnover, has a team-leading seven goals this playoff season. . . . It should be no surprise that these teams ended up in OT. That has happened in nine of the last 14 (and 12 of 17) playoff games between these teams. . . . Holmberg, who was plus-3, has two OT goals this playoff season, having scored the winner in a 3-2 victory over the visiting Vancouver Giants in Game 4 of that first-round series. . . . Spokane G Eric Williams stopped 30 shots as he won his fifth straight game. . . . F Brendan Shinnimin had a goal and an assist for Tri-City. He has at least one point in 28 straight games. . . . He scored at 8:05 of the first period on a PP. . . . The Chiefs took the lead on goals by F Mike Aviani, at 16:22 of the second, and F Darren Kramer, at 2:39 of the third. . . . F Mason Wilgosh pulled Tri-City into a 2-2 tie at 14:34 of the third. . . . Tri-City G Ty Rimmer stopped 35 shots. . . . Tri-City was 1-7 on the PP; the Chiefs were 0-3. . . .

In Portland, the Winterhawks scored four third-period goals and beat the Kamloops Blazers, 5-3. . . . Game 2 is tonight in Portland. . . . The Winterhawks erased a 3-1deficit with three goals in a 5:45 span in the third period. . . . F Sven Baertschi scored at 9:02, with F Ty Rattie tying it at 10:09 and F Brad Ross getting the eventual winner on the PP at 14:47. . . . Ross later added an empty-netter. . . . Rattie had two goals and two assists. He leads the WHL with 17 points, including 12 goals, in only five games. . . . Baertschi had a goal and three assists. . . . F Marcel Noebels, the third member of that line, had two assists. He has 10 points, all assists, in five games. . . . Kamloops G Cole Cheveldave stopped 41 shots. . . . Portland G Mac Carruth won his fifth straight game with 26 stops.

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