THE MacBETH REPORT:
F Radek Meidl (Seattle, Tri-City, 2006-08) has signed a try-out contract with Sumperk (Czech Republic, 1. Liga). Meidl was on try-out with Berounsti Medvedi (Czech Republic, 1. Liga) earlier this season but it ended at the end of October. While with Berounsti Medvedi, Meidl had three goals and two assists in 15 games. . . .
D Logan Stephenson (Try-City, 2001-06) was released by Karlskrona (Sweden, Allsvenskan). He had one assist in 21 games this season. . . .
F Matt Keith (Spokane, Red Deer, 1998-2003) signed a contract for the rest of this season with Dornbirn (Austria, Erste Bank Liga) after a successful try-out. He has four goals and four assists in 12 games with Dornbirn. Keith started the season with Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic, Extraliga), with no points in four games before his release in early October.
Paul Buker of The Oregonian has spoken with Ken Hodge, the winningest head coach in WHL history, about the goings-on between the WHL and the Portland Winterhawks, and that piece is right here. . . . It’s interesting that Hodge’s handicap has gone up in semi-retirement. Next thing you know he’ll be trying a belly putter!
Todd Ripplinger has resigned as the Vancouver Giants’ director of player development and has joined The Sports Corporation (TSC) as its director of player personnel. . . . This is a new position with one of the most prominent agencies in the business of representing players. . . . Ripplinger, who lives in Regina, spent 14 years as the Regina Pats’ director of scouting before his contract wasn’t renewed in 2011. . . . Gerry Johannson, TSC’s president and CEO, told Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post: “It’s a position we’ve been looking to fill for some time and we wanted to make sure we got the right guy. Todd was our No. 1 choice. We were able to get him out of Vancouver in a very positive and seamless way. It’s not every day you get a guy with Todd’s experience. He’s a really honest and really smart guy and a really easy guy to communicate with. He understands junior hockey and he knows the people and the game. He understands the players and knows how the system works. That’s exactly what we’re looking for.”
In Prince Albert, F Levi Cable scored the only goal of a six-round shootout as the Kootenay Ice beat the Raiders, 5-4. . . . The Raiders led 4-2 midway through the second period. . . . The Ice tied it on goals by F Luke Philp, his second of the game, at 13:55 of the second and F Sam Reinhart, his 11th this season, at 9:10 of the third. . . .
In Portland, the Winterhawks scored three times on the PP and beat the Everett Silvertips, 4-2. . . . Those three PP goals gave the Winterhawks a 3-0 lead by 2:43 of the second period. . . . Portland F Brendan Leipsic scored his 22nd goal, while F Nic Petan got his 21st and also had an assist. . . . Portland D Seth Jones was held pointless in his final game before joining the U.S. national junior team. . . .
In Vancouver, F Cain Franson’s 11th goal, at 13:02 of the third period, broke a 1-1 tie as the Giants beat the Prince George Cougars, 2-1. . . . The teams both hit the road immediately after the game because they play tonight and Sunday in Prince George. . . . That’s about an 800-kilometre jaunt. . . . The Giants snapped a three-game skid and co-owner Michael Buble was in the house to watch. . . . Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun reports that the Giants are thinking about taking a look at F Jakob Stukel, a second-round pick in the 2012 bantam draft, right after Christmas. He plays for the major midget Valley West Hawks. . . . Pap also reports that the Giants won’t be getting a look at F Ty Ronning, their first-round pick in 2012, any time soon. “Ronning suffered a greenstick fracture in his left arm at the Giants training camp in August,” Pap writes, “returned in November to play for the South Delta Hockey Academy but bowed out of the lineup last week when he hurt the arm again. He is gone for at least six weeks.” . . .
In Lethbridge, the Hurricanes scored three times on the PP and beat the Kamloops Blazers, 4-2. . . . F Jaiden Yakubowski broke a 2-2 tie with his 20th goal of the season at 16:26 of the second. . . . Lethbridge’s last three goals came via the PP as it went 3-for-10. . . . The Blazers were 1-for-3. . . . The Blazers, who released F Charles Inglis, 20, on Wednesday night, were able to dress only 10 forwards. F Dylan Willick (ankle) and F Cole Ully (mononucleosis) should be back shortly after Christmas, while F JC Lipon is with Canada’s national junior team. . . . The two head coaches, Guy Charron of Kamloops and Lethbridge’s Rich Preston, exchanged Christmas greetings near game’s end, but I don't think they met for egg nogs later. . . . “It was a good, physical game,” Preston told Dylan Purcell of the Lethbridge Herald. “Our guys had to play disciplined and they did. They took some dumb penalties and we made them pay. It’s tough, in the third period we had a two goal lead and we had to turn the other cheek because we had to get the win.They were taking some liberties and we’re really not that kind of team. You wish you were up three or four goals in the third, then you could return the favour. But our guys showed good discipline and got the win.” . . . Charron, on Radio NL’s post-game show, said a naughty word — bullshit — on three occasions. That was in response to play-by-play man Jon Keen asking Charron what it was Preston had to say. It seems that Preston thought a late-game hit by one of the Blazers wasn’t quite, uhh, kosher. . . .
In Spokane, the Chiefs erased a four-goal deficit and beat the Seattle Thunderbirds 7-6 in a shootout. . . . Spokane F Mitch Holmberg keyed the comeback with three straight third-period goals, his second hat trick this season. He also scored in the circus. . . . Holmberg, who also had two assists, scored at 8:09, 14:31 and 17:09. . . . F Mike Aviani forced OT with his 17th goal at 19:05 of the third. . . . Seattle F Connor Honey scored at 1:27 of the third to give the Thunderbirds a 6-2 lead. . . . D Brendan Kichton also scored for Spokane in the shootout, while F Connor Sanvido counted for Seattle. . . .
In Saskatoon, the Blades ran their winning streak to five with a 4-3 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Saskatoon, which started so poorly, now is 18-14-1 and sixth in the Eastern Conference, just nine points out of top spot. . . . Saskatoon F Josh Nicholls scored twice, giving him 26 and the WHL goal-scoring lead. . . . Nicholls gave the Blades a 3-2 lead at 2:45 of the third, only to have F Coda Gordon pull the Broncos even at 4:46. . . . Saskatoon F Shane McColgan won it at 11:21. . . .
In Brandon, the Wheat King scored four times in the third period and beat the Moose Jaw Warriors, 4-2. . . . All six goals were scored in the game’s final 15:44. . . . F Tim McGauley scored twice for Brandon. He has missed the previous six games with an undisclosed injury. . . . Moose Jaw F Torrin White (broken hand) was back after missing 14 games. . . .
In Medicine Hat, D Damon Severson had a goal and two assists as the Kelowna Rockets beat the Tigers, 4-2. . . . Kelowna, which wraps up a stretch of four games in five nights tonight in Red Deer, has won five straight. . . . Kelowna wraps up its Alberta trek on Sunday in Calgary. . . . F Nick Merkley, the ninth overall selection in the 2012 bantam draft, will make his WHL debut with Kelowna tonight in Red Deer. Merkley is from Calgary. . . .
In Red Deer, the Rebels scored three times in the circus to beat the Victoria Royals, 3-2. . . . F Rhyse Dieno, F Matt Bellerive and F Conner Bleackley all scored for the Rebels in the shootout. They need all three of them, too, because Victoria got circus goals from F Logan Nelson and F Steven Hodges. . . . Victoria D Jack Walker scored his first goal at 15:28 of the third period to force OT. . . . Victoria F Ben Walker, Jack’s older brother, had two assists. . . .
D Ryley Miller, Brandon
D Sam Grist, Kamloops
F Ryan Olsen, Kelowna
F Matt Bellerive, Red Deer
D Nick Walters, Everett
F Chance Braid, Prince Albert
D Jordan Thomson, Kamloops
From Lethbridge F Russell Maxwell (@Russizzle7): “Just to avoid any confusion . . . The reason for my frustration at the end of the game was because I lost new teeth . . . Dentist here I come.”
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