If you clicked on the NHL website last night, right there at the top was this: #hockeyisback.
It is the epitomy of arrogance.
I’m sorry, Gary Bettman and Co., hockey never left. You left. The NHL left. For four months.
So, please, why not show some respect for every other hockey league in the world and dump that slogan. After all, they all kept playing. You didn’t.
So why don’t you go back into your negotiating rooms and come out with another slogan?
Like . . . #lockoutisover.
Or . . . #secondlockoutineightyearsisover.
Or . . . #thirdlockoutin18yearsisover.
Or . . . #dateofnextlockoutnotyetdecided.
As you may be aware, the Kelowna Rockets have won 17 straight games on home ice. The 2002-03 Rockets hold the Kelowna record of 18. . . . A note from a fan in Lakewood, Wash., points out that the 1992-93 Rockets won 24 straight home games. Yes, the Rockets were hanging out in Tacoma in those days.
That was the WHL record until the next season when the Kamloops Blazers won 29 in a row at home. That stands as the record today.
The Rockets spent four seasons (1991-95) in Tacoma before relocating to Kelowna.
It would seem there still are Rockets fans in Tacoma, just like there still are Bruins fans in Chilliwack.
In Prince Albert, D Josh Morrissey scored twice, the second one coming at 1:58 of OT, as the Raiders beat the Red Deer Rebels, 4-3. . . . Morrissey, who scored the game’s first and last goals, has 12 scores this season. . . . Red Deer D Haydn Fleury forced OT with a goal at 19:59 of the third. . . . Red Deer F David Volek had cut into a 3-1 deficit with his fifth goal at 11:57 of the third. . . . Prince Albert F Mark McNeill, who missed Friday’s 3-1 loss in Swift Current with the flu, scored his 15th goal in the second period. . . .
In Swift Current, the Broncos won their fourth straight game, beating the Calgary Hitmen, 4-3. . . . F Colby Cave got the winner, breaking a 3-3 tie at 9:47 of the third period. It was his 12th goal this season. . . . The Hitmen erased a 2-0 deficit and led 3-2 until D Richard Nedomlel got his second goal of the season, on a PP, at 13:38 of the second. . . . Broncos F Adam Lowry scored his 29th goal of the season and added an assist as he ran his point streak to 20 games, the longest in the WHL this season. . . . The Hitmen had won six in a row. . . .
In Saskatoon, the Edmonton Oil Kings built a 2-0 lead and went on to a 2-1 victory over the Blades. . . . F Brandon Baddock got his sixth goal for Edmonton at 8:32 of the second and D Keegan Lowe scored his ninth at 17:01, on the PP. . . . Blades F Josh Nicholls became the first WHLer to 30 goals this season when he scored at 9:56 of the third. . . . Edmonton G Laurent Brossoit stopped 34 shots. . . . Saskatoon F Nathan Burns, who had missed two games with a concussion, returned to the lineup. . . . The Blades took issue with a second-period hit by Edmonton F Henrik Samuelsson on Nicholls. There was no penalty, but Nicholls told Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix that it was from the blind side. Lorne Molleken, the Blades’ GM/head coach, told Nugent-Bowman he expects the WHL office to “take a long look at” the hit. . . .
In Brandon, F Tim McGauley’s shorthanded goal in the second period stood up as the winner as the Wheat Kings edged the Regina Pats, 2-1. . . . All three goals were scored in a span of 5:17 in the second period. . . . F Chad Robinson gave Brandon a 1-0 lead on the PP at 10:42. . . . McGauley got his 13th goal at 15:21. . . . F Carson Samoridny got Regina on the board on the PP at 15:59. . . . F Nick Buonassisi had two assists for Brandon. . . . Regina was without D Colby Williams, with a hand injury. He blocked a shot with the palm of one hand during a 6-1 loss to visiting Calgary on Friday. . . .
In Medicine Hat, F Curtis Valk had five points to lead the Tigers to a 10-3 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Lethbridge led 3-2 in the second period when Valk scored at 13:09 and 19:04, the latter on the PP, to move out front. . . . Valk was in on the Tigers’ last five goals, scoring the first two and earning assists on the next three. . . . F Elgin Pearce added his 19th goal and three assists for the Tigers, while F Hunter Shinkaruk got goals No. 24 and 25. . . . Tigers D Tyler Lewington had a goal, his first of the season, and an assist, and was plus-5. . . . Lewington’s goal was his first in the WHL and it came in his 86th regular-season games. . . .
In Prince George, D Sam Grist scored at 3:01 of OT as the Kamloops Blazers got past the Cougars, 2-1. . . . Grist has four goals this season. . . . F Dylan Willick gave the Blazers the lead four minutes into the first period. . . . F Colin Jacobs tied it for the Cougars at 1:06 of the third on a PP. . . . Prince George, which beat the Blazers 1-0 on Friday, got the game’s first five PPs and was 1-for-5. The Blazers got the last two and were 0-for-2. . . . Kamloops had lost its previous two games. . . .
In Spokane, F Mitch Holmberg scored twice to help the Chiefs to a 4-2 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Holmberg, who also had an assist, now has 27 goals. . . . Spokane D Brenden Kichton scored his 14th goal and added two assists. He leads all WHL defencemen in assists (39) and points (53). Only Portland D Troy Rutkowski has more goals, with 15. . . . There was only one minor penalty in the game, that to Ice G Mackenzie Skapski for hooking. Holmberg scored the game’s first goal on the ensuing PP. . . .
In Everett, G Brendan Burke turned aside 31 shots to help the Portland Winterhawks dump the Silvertips, 8-0. . . . Burke, the son of former NHL G Sean Burke, has two career shutouts. . . . The Winterhawks, with only five losses in regulation time, have won 14 in a row. They have won 35 of their last 37 games. . . . The Winterhawks are 7-0-0 versus Everett this season. . . . D Troy Rutkowski had two goals and an assist for the Winterhawks, who got a goal and two assists from F Nic Petan, and three assists from F Ty Rattie. . . . Rutkowski is on a five-game goal streak, which is somewhat amazing for a defenceman. He also has 14 points over a seven-game point streak. . . . Petan, who has 29 goals, is the WHL’s leading scorer, his 74 points giving him a three-point edge on teammate Brendan Leipsic, who had his 28th goal and and assist. . . . With 14 straight victories, the Winterhawks are one victory shy of the franchise single-season record that is shared by the 1979-80 and 1997-98 teams. . . . Portland next plays Friday when it entertains Lethbridge. . . . The eight-goal differential was Everett’s worst loss this season. . . .
In Vancouver, D Brett Kulak’s ninth goal of the season at 3:01 of OT gave the Giants a 4-3 victory over the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Vancouver F Travis McEvoy had forced OT when he scored his second goal of the season at 9:40 of the third. . . . The Giants had lost their previous four games; the Rockets had their eight-game winning streak come to an end. . . . F Jackson Houck scored twice for Vancouver, giving him 13. He also had an assist. . . . The Rockets led this one 2-0 just 1:42 into the first period. . . . F Jason Trott, in his first game with Vancouver, had two assists, as did F Cain Franson. . . . The Rockets were without F Myles Bell, who drew a TBD suspension for a hit from behind in Friday’s 6-3 victory over the visiting Tri-City Americans. . . .
In Kent, Wash., F Jamie Crooks scored three times as the Victoria Royals beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 6-2. . . . Seattle has lost 13 games in a row. . . . Victoria G Patrik Polivka stopped 37 shots. . . . Crooks has 21 goals this season. . . . The Royals scored the game’s first four goals, the last three on the PP. . . . Seattle then scored twice, but Crooks iced it with his 20th at 4:37 of the third and his 21st into an empty net at 18:58 while shorthanded. . . . The game was delayed for 16 minutes at 10:26 of the third period to replace a shattered pane of glass.
D Brady Gaudet, Red Deer
F Brady Brassart, Calgary
D Sam Grist, Kamloops
F Tristan Sieben, Vancouver
From Kelowna Rockets F Zach Franko (@Franky_939), and you can guess where he’s from: “Gotta love going to play in the worst city on earth @colton_es15 @rolsen94 #tata #winnipegsbetter”
The Rockets were en route to Vancouver for a game with the Giants.
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