Saturday, May 5, 2012

If you haven’t seen The Flame in action, well, you’ve missed out on one of the great moments in Canadian sports.
But it’s not like you won’t have another opportunity to see him blow his stack.
That’s because The Flame will be in action in Regina on Saturday, May 12, as the Prairie Fire take on the Wolverines in the inaugural Ultra 7’s rugby game.
All the fun will be at the Regina Rugby Union Club House and Fields and the fun begins at 4:30 p.m.
The Flame first came to fame at Saskatchewan Roughriders games and later spent a number of years doing his thing at Rugby Canada Super League games involving the Prairie Fire RFC in Regina.
Brothers Shay and Logan Stephenson each signed a one-year contract with Karlskrona (Sweden, Allsvenskan). F Shay (Red Deer, 2000-04) had 28 goals and 42 assists in 44 games, good enough for third place in league scoring, and D Logan (Tri-City, 2001-06) had eight goals and 15 assists in 28 games with Vålerenga Oslo (Norway, GET-Ligaen) this season.
Hockey players have long looked for a buzz prior to games and for a way to get rid of the buzz after games.
I can remember one player with the Regina Pats who would drink at least five cups of coffee before games.
Another time, about 20 years ago, a player with the Pats came back from an NHL camp expressing amazement at the availability of Sudafed in the pro team’s dressing room. I remember him telling me it was in glass bowls “just like candy.”
Sean Gordon of The Globe and Mail takes a look right here at how modern pharmaceuticals are part of the culture in the NHL.
The Central league’s Allen Americans announced Friday that the contracts of GM/head coach Dwight Mullins and associate coach Bill McDonald won’t be renewed. . . . The Americans also announced that former NHLers Mike Modano, Ed Belfour, Richard Matvichuk and Craig Ludwig all have joined the organization. According to a news release, “Modano, Belfour and Ludwig have partnered as minority owners with current majority owner Doug Miller, owner Steve Duchesne, and minority partner and team president Matt Canavan. Richard Matvichuk will join the Americans in a hockey operations role.”

Game 2 . . .
In Edmonton, G Mac Carruth stopped 38 shots to lead the Portland Winterhawks to a 5-1 victory over the Oil Kings. . . . The championship final now is tied 1-1 with Games 3 and 4 in Portland’s Rose Garden on Sunday and Tuesday. . . . Game 5 is scheduled for Edmonton on Thursday. . . . The Winterhawks were without F Ty Rattie, who leads the playoff scoring race. He suffered an undisclosed injury – the Winterhawks are saying it isn’t a concussion – when he landed awkwardly after a collision with Edmonton F Mitch Moroz in Game 1. . . . F Brendan Leipsic scored the game’s first two goals, at 2:37 of the first period and 9:30 of the second, to give him six in these playoffs. . . . Portland F Sven Baertschi also scored twice, the second into an empty net at 18:34 of the third. He’s got 10 goals and now has 28 points, two fewer than Rattie. . . . F Taylor Peters also scored for Portland. His first playoff goal, at 18:38 of the second, gave Portland a 4-0 lead. . . . Carruth lost his shutout at 4:44 of the third when F Kristians Pelss got his fifth playoff goal. . . . Portland D Troy Rutkowski, who is from Edmonton, continued his stellar playoff season. He had two assists and was plus-3. He has eight points in 17 playoff games and is plus-14. He also is a shot-blocker supreme. . . . Edmonton G Laurent Brossoit stopped 22 shots. . . . Portland was 1-3 on the PP; Edmonton was 0-4. . . . This was Edmonton’s first loss at home in these playoffs. . . . Attendance was 10,720.
Here is the schedule for the WHL’s championship final for the Ed Chynoweth Cup (all times local):
Thursday, May 3: Portland 2 at Edmonton 3 (7,466)
Friday, May 4: Portland 5 at Edmonton 1 (10,720)
Sunday, May 6: at Portland (Rose Garden), 6 p.m.
Tuesday, May 8: at Portland (Rose Garden), 7 p.m.
Thursday, May 10: at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
x-Saturday, May 12: at Portland (Rose Garden), 6 p.m.
x-Sunday, May 13: at Edmonton, 6 p.m.
Chris O’Leary of the Edmonton Journal checks out the Ty Rattie situation right here.
O’Leary has a blog item right here on a play in Game 2 that involved video review of a potential Oil Kings goal. Portland was leading 3-0 at the time so it was an important review and it seems the reviewers got it wrong.
John MacKinnon of the Edmonton Journal takes a look at the attendance situation involving the Oil Kings and their playoff games. That piece is right here.
After Friday’s game, the Oil Kings issued this news release:
The Edmonton Oil Kings and partner ATB Financial announced a special ticket offer for the remainder of the 2012 WHL Championship Series presented by Kal Tire and Husky.
As a thank you to fans for their continued support throughout the entire season, ATB Financial and the Oil Kings will offer 10,000 tickets for both Games 5 and Game 7 of this series versus the Portland Winterhawks for just $20. Tickets for both future games will go on sale Monday, May 7, 2012 at 10 a.m.
Game 5 of the series is scheduled for Thursday, May 10, 7 p.m. Game 7, if necessary, will be played Sunday, May 13, 7 p.m., at Rexall Place.
Tickets will be available at, at the Oil Kings ticket office at TELUS Field (10233-96 Avenue) during regular business hours Monday through Friday, by calling (780) 414-GOAL (4625) or at the door.

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