Sunday, October 7, 2012

It’s your lucky day because I bring word that a new issue of DubNation is available. Yes, right now!
The latest edition has Dave Lowry, the first-year head coach of the Victoria Royals, on the cover to go with a story on him.
Among other things in this edition are a look at hockey in Seattle and a look back at Ernie (Punch) McLean’s WHL days.
It is available in flip-page or PDF.
To get it, you can click right here.
Or go over to the right side of this page, click on DubNation and then on MAGAZINE.
DubNation is put together — planned, designed and laid out — by Doyle Potenteau, the Kelowna Daily Courier’s veteran hockey writer.
There is little doubt but that the NHL lockout is being felt in the WHL.
For example, the Regina Pats got D Colton Jobke, 20, back from the AHL’s Houston Aeros on Thursday. Were it not for the lockout, he almost certainly would have gotten a longer look and may well have ended up somewhere in the Minnesota Wild’s organization.
On Saturday, the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs shipped out six players, with G Mac Carruth, 20, finding himself on his way back to the Portland Winterhawks.
This, of course, makes things awfully interesting in Portland, where the Winterhawks opened the season with two goaltenders — Brendan Burke, 17, and Cam Lanigan, 20.
Carruth played the last three seasons in Portland, while Lanigan was claimed off waivers from the Kamloops Blazers over the summer.
Carruth went 73-30-3 over the last two regular seasons and then helped get the Winterhawks into the WHL’s championhip final each of the last two seasons.
Lanigan, meanwhile, has had a spotty WHL career with stops in Edmonton, Kamloops and now Portland. But he has been really strong with the Winterhawks in the early part of this season, going 3-0-0, 1.00, .960.
If nothing else, his performance this season should ensure Lanigan gets a look from someone else should he be the odd goaltender out in Portland.
BTW, the IceHogs assigned two other ex-WHLers — F Byron Froese and G Kent Simpson — to the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye.
Simpson, like Carruth, is a 20-year-old and one supposes he could still end up back with the Everett Silvertips.
Tyler Bunz, another 20-year-old goaltender, has been assigned from the AHL’s Oklahoma City Barons to the ECHL’s Stockton Thunder. Bunz played the last four seasons with the Medicine Hat Tigers.
F Matt Barzal, taken first overall by the Seattle Thunderbirds in the WHL’s 2012 bantam draft, was taken to hospital in Prince George on Saturday with what is believed to be a concussion. . . . Sheri Lamb of the Prince George Citizen reports that Barzal, who plays for the major midget Vancouver-North East Chiefs, was injured in the second period. He was taken to hospital during the intermission. . . . The Chiefs dropped a 4-0 decision to the Cariboo Cougars. . . . Barzal attended the Thunderbirds’ training camp but hasn’t signed a WHL contract.
The Vancouver Giants have assigned D Arvin Atwal to the junior B North Delta Devils of the Pacific International junior league. Atwal, who turns 17 on Nov. 26, is recovering from shoulder surgery and isn’t expected to play until sometime in November.
The AHL’s Abbotsford Heat has signed D Steve McCarthy, 31, who hasn’t played in the NHL since 2007-08 when he was with the Atlanta Thrashers. . . . McCarthy played three WHL seasons, one with the Edmonton Ice and two with the Kootenay Ice. In 1996, he was the Ice’s first bantam draft pick when he went first overall. . . . McCarthy, who is from Trail, B.C., played last season with the Swiss Elite League’s Zurich Lions, who won the championship under head coach Bob Hartley. Hartley now is head coach of the NHL’s Calgary Flames, the Heats’ parent club.
D Ryan Pulock celebrated his 18th birthday with two goals as the host Brandon Wheat Kings beat the Red Deer Rebels, 2-1. . . . Pulock tied the game 1-1 at 9:43 of the second and got the winner, via the PP, at 1:19 of the third. . . . Brandon F Nick Buonassisi had two assists. . . . Pulock has 11 points, four of them goals, in seven games. He also is plus-11. . . .

The Edmonton Oil Kings broke open a scoreless game with three PP goals in the second period and went on to beat the visiting Saskatoon Blades, 4-1. . . . The Oil Kings finished 3-5 on the PP; the Blades were 1-9. . . . The Blades have given up eight PP goals in their last two games, losing them by a cumulative 14-2. . . . Edmonton G Laurent Brossoit picked up two assists, to go with his 27 saves. Oh, he also had a minor penalty. A victory. An assist. A penalty. Is that some kind of Terry Sawchuk hat trick? . . . Brossoit went into the game with three assists in 101 career regular-season games. . . . Edmonton D Keegan Lowe (foot) missed his third straight game. . . . Saskatoon D Dalton Thrower, a second-round pick by the Montreal Canadiens in the 2012 NHL draft, was a healthy scratch for the second time in two nights. . . . The Blades (2-5-0) have lost three in a row as they prepared to face the visiting Portland Winterhawks on Wednesday. . . .

G Daniel Wapple got his first WHL victory in his first home start as the Moose Jaw Warriors dumped the Portland Winterhawks, 4-2. . . . Wapple, who made 32 saves, lost his shutout in the last half of the third period. . . . F Sam Fioretti had a goal and two assists for Moose Jaw. . . . Moose Jaw F Justin Kirsch returned from a four-game WHL suspension. . . .

The host Swift Current Broncos scored the game’s first two goals and then hung on for a 2-1 victory over the Regina Pats. . . . G Eetu Laurikainen made 25 saves for the Broncos, who have points in all seven games they have played. . . . F Ryon Moser scored his fourth goal for the Broncos. He is riding a season-opening seven-game point streak. . . .

The line of Colin Smith between Tim Bozon and JC Lipon totalled nine points as the Kamloops Blazers dropped the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers, 4-1. . . . Lipon had two goals and an assist, with Bozon scoring his fifth of the season and adding two assists, and Smith drawing three helpers. . . . Lipon has 12 points, nine of them assists, in six games, while Smith has 11 points and Bozon has 10. . . . Lipon is tied for the WHL points lead and is No. 1 in assists. . . . The Blazers are 5-0-1 and alone atop the Western Conference. . . . The Tigers went 0-2-1 in a quick trip into the B.C. Division. . . .

F Rourke Chartier, the 15th overall selection in the 2011 bantam draft, scored his first two WHL goals and set up another to help the visiting Kelowna Rockets to a 7-5 victory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . Rourke’s father, Marc, played in the WHL with the Saskatoon Blades, New Westminster Bruins and Billings Bighorns (1977-81). . . . D Myles Bell, who has been spending some time of late playing up front with Kelowna, had a goal and three assists. . . .

D Shea Theodore scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 5-2 victory over the visiting Everett Silvertips. . . . Russian F Alex Delnov broke a 2-2 tie at 4:08 of the third period. At that point all five goals had come via the PP. . . . In the end, six of the seven scores came with the man advantage. . . . For the second night in a row, Seattle was awarded a penalty shot because an opposing player covered the puck in his crease. This time, Delnov couldn’t beat G Austin Lotz. (On Friday, Kamloops G Cole Cheveldave stopped F Connor Honey). . . . Lotz left with an undisclosed injury and was replaced by Cole Holowenko to open the third. Holowenko was beaten on two of the first three shots he faced. . . .

G Eric Williams ran his record to 2-0 as Spokane’s unchallenged starter as the host Chiefs beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 4-2. . . . Williams stopped 27 shots, one night after he and the Chiefs beat the visiting Victoria Royals, 5-3. . . . The Chiefs released G Mac Engel, 19, on Friday and are trying to trade him. With that move, Williams, 19, took over as the starter. . . . Spokane F Mitch Holmberg got his WHL-high eighth goal of the season. . . .

F Logan Nelson tied the game late in the third period and then scored the only goal of the shootout as the Victoria Royals beat the Tri-City Americans 4-3 in Kennewick, Wash. . . . Nelson scored his second goal of the game and third of the season with 34.1 seconds to play in the third period. . . . G Jared Rathjen stopped 34 shots for the Royals and then was perfect in the circus. . . . F Brian Williams received credit for Tri-City’s first goal when Victoria scored an own goal with a delayed penalty being called on the Americans. With Tri-City D Zach Yuen to be called for slashing, Victoria F Jamie Crooks tried to centre the puck from behind the Americans net and had the puck go all the way down the ice and into the empty net. . . . “I’ve never see it before, and I’m old,” Tri-City head coach Jim Hiller told Annie Fowler of the Tri-City Herald.
F Marc McCoy, Red Deer
F Alex Forsberg, Prince George
D Nick Walters, Everett (double minor)
F Luke Harrison, Victoria
F Jason Swyripa, Brandon
F Jayce Hawryluk, Brandon
F Mitch Moroz, Edmonton
F Jessey Astles, Saskatoon
D Joel Edmundson, Moose Jaw
From Matthew Gourlie (@MattGourlie) who covers the Warriors for the Moose Jaw Times-Herald: “Having technical issues was bringing back flashbacks of life in the Civic Centre. Don’t miss those issues, but I still miss the Crushed Can.”
From Les Lazaruk (@Bladesvoice), the play-by-play voice of the Saskatoon Blades: “My hand is up but if @bladeshockey get spanked again tonight vs @EdmOilKings, somet players might not find themselves at Memorial Cup in May”
Brandt Snedeker has become one of the PGA tour’s best players. His caddy is Scott Vail, the 38-year-old son of former NHLer Eric Vail, a Calder Trophy winner. Tim Wharnsby of checks in with Scott Vail right here.

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