Sunday, April 1, 2012

Yesterday, you will recall, I mentioned that there were 32,262 fans in attendance at three hockey games on B.C.’s Lower Mainland on Friday night.
Just to recap, that was 18,890 at an NHL game in Vancouver, 7,044 at an AHL game in Abbotsford and 6,328 at a WHL playoff game in Vancouver.
An emailer has suggested that the total be added to, what with there having been 1,018 fans at a BCHL playoff game in Surrey at the same time.
So make the total 33,280.
Another emailer writes:
“The better bet for a (WHL) team to relocate would be to place a team in Langley . . . great facility and no sour aftertaste . . . too early for the Dub to go back to the ‘Wack. Just a thought . . .”
The 5,500-seat Langley Event Centre is home to the BCHL’s Langley Rivermen.
Justice never sleeps.
Richard Doerksen, the WHL’s vice-president, hockey, has hit F Darren Kramer, the captain of the Spokane Chiefs, with a one-game suspension for shenanigans at the end of Game 5 in Vancouver on Friday night.
The Chiefs won the game, 5-1.
Kramer was given a roughing minor at 18:02 of the third period. At 20:00, he was penalized for roughing and for leaving the penalty box.
He won’t play tonight in Spokane as the teams meet in Game 6. The Chiefs hold a 3-2 lead.
Should Vancouver win, Game 7 will be played Wednesday in Vancouver.
The Tri-City Americans, who have to be hoping for a seventh game, await the winner of the series.
A Saturday night with nary a WHL game.
What are we to do?
Well, there was ch-ch-ching moment in the QMJHL, where Gilles Courteau, the commissioner, is certain to add to the league’s coffers after some comments made by Leo-Guy Morrissette, the owner of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.
There was a time when the Morrissette brothers ruled the QMJHL, or at least tried to, but now Leo-Guy is the only one left. It’s nice that he helps out the media at times by reverting to the old days when owners, GMs and coaches weren’t afraid to speak their minds, even if they were putting feet in mouth at the same time.
In this instance, Morrissette is alleging that some owners are spending too much money, making it impossible for others to compete.
Sunaya Sapurji of Yahoo! Sports wraps up this story right here.
Here’s a good ready, nay, a great read for you. It’s been 50 years since Emile Griffith pummelled Benny (The Kid) Paret to death in a boxing match on live television. Dan Klores looks back right here in a story from the pages of The New York Times. It's amazing how some of the best of sports writing involves boxing or horse racing.
Some interesting numbers from Jeff Hollick, the radio voice of the Kootenay Ice.
On his blog (, he points out that the Ice, the WHL’s defending champion, was 19-5-3 on Nov. 30 and was riding a six-game winning streak.
After which the roof fell in.
From that point through the end of the regular season, the Ice was 17-21-7 and never put together more than back-to-back victories.
Of course, the Ice then was swept from the playoffs by the Edmonton Oil Kings, which means Kootenay won only 17 of its final 49 games.
Hollick also points out that the Ice lost 25 games in which it led or was tied in the third period.
It’s apparent that, as things started to slide, the Ice became a very fragile team, something one might think wouldn’t happen to a team that was coming off a championship season.
But it just goes to show the difference between success and failure at this level can be a very fine line, indeed.
G Kent Simpson of the Everett Silvertips has signed an ATO with the Rockford IceHogs, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks. Simpson, 20, was a second-round selection by Chicago in the 2010 NHL draft. . . . F Shane McColgan of the Kelowna Rockets will be joining the Connecticut Whale, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s New York Rangers. He was a fifth-round selection by the Rangers in the 2011 NHL draft. . . . If was a no-brainer, but it seems that F Troy Bourke of the Prince George Cougars has been the first player selected to play for Canada at the IIHF U18 World Championship in Brno and Znojmo, Czech Republic, April 12-22. . . . Two graduating members of the Calgary Hitmen have pretty much decided to go to school, F Jimmy Bubnick to the U of Saskatchewan, which is in his hometown of Saskatoon, and D Brock Sutherland to the U of Manitoba. Sutherland is from Brandon. . . .
G Calvin Pickard of the Seattle Thunderbirds came on in relief and stopped all eight shots he saw as his Lake Erie Monsters dropped a 4-0 decison to the host Texas Stars in an AHL game last night. Pickard came on with 16:59 left in the third period. D Duncan Siemens of the Saskatoon Blades also played for the Monsters. He was minus-1 with one shot on goal and a tripping minor. . . . G Damien Ketlo, who finished up with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, stopped 44 shots as the visiting Colorado Eagles beat the Las Vegas Wranglers 4-3 in an ECHL shootout. Ketlo also stymied four Las Vegas shooters in the circus.
And, finally, for all the hockey fans out there, right here is Jim Matheson’s Hockey World from the pages of the Edmonton Journal.

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