Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Sports Curmudgeon celebrates (?) the end of 2012 with his Meathead of the Year posting. You won’t want to miss it and it’s right here.
If you are at all concerned about concussions in sport, including the WHL, you should be paying attention to this website right here.
It is the sports page for the PBS-TV investigative program FRONTLINE. And there is some remarkable information available there.
For example, the site has been tracking concussions in the NFL this season. In the Week 16 Roundup, Jason M. Breslow begins:
“Through the first 15 weeks of the NFL season, roughly 10 players per week suffered a concussion. This past weekend, teams appeared to outdo that pace as at least 12 players — including three who have already had a concussion this year — left games due to possible head injuries.”
If you are paying attention, the number of head injuries being suffered by athletes, including WHL players, is absolutely mind-boggling.
Right here is another Frontline piece, this one written by Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada, who are writing a book on football and brain injuries that will be published in 2013.
This story details how “the NFL’s retirement board awarded disability payments to at least three former players after concluding that football caused their crippling brain injuries — even as the league’s top medical experts for years consistently denied any link between the sport and long-term brain damage.”
Fainaru and Fainaru-Wade have another piece right here in which they write:
“Three years after Congress pressured the NFL to overhaul its concussion program, the league effort remains marked by inconsistencies in how it tracks, manages and even describes serious head injuries, making it difficult to assess the league’s progress on the issue, an analysis by ESPN’s Outside the Lines and PBS FRONTLINE shows.
“The analysis found that NFL officials this season have released conflicting data about head injuries, and medical personnel have sent some injured players back into games — possibly in violation of new league guidelines.”
Check out that piece right here.
The gang at CBC Regina’s The Morning Edition set up a chat with Shelley Lipon, the mother of Team Canada forward JC Lipon, who also plays for the Kamloops Blazers, on Monday morning. Shelley and her husband, Jason, are in Ufa, Russia, taking in all the excitement of the World Junior Championship. That interview is right here.
F Adam Lowry of the Swift Current Broncos was credited with an assist in a postgame scoring decision following a 4-1 loss to the Tigers in Medicine Hat on Saturday night. That extended Lowry’s point streak to 14 games. . . . The Broncos are at home to the Lethbridge Hurricanes today at 2 p.m.
The Everett Silvertips have signed F Logan Aasman, 17, who made his WHL debut in Sunday’s 5-1 loss to the Rockets in Kelowna. The 6-foot-4, 185-pound Aasman, from Medicine Hat, had 18 points, including 12 goals, with the midget Southeast Tigers. He is the younger brother of D Ryan Aasman, who played with five different WHL teams from 2008-12.
The OHL’s London Knights ran their win streak to 24 games on Monday, and that’s one shy of the league record that is held by the 1984-85 Kitchener Rangers. . . . On Monday, the Knights erased a 2-0 deficity and beat the host Sarnia Sting, 3-2. . . . The teams play today in London. . . . Should the Knights win today, they could set the record Friday when they play host to the Saginaw Spirit. . . . Kitchener and the QMJHL’s 1973-74 Sorel Eperviers share the CHL record. . . . On Monday, the Sting felt London should have been called for a check from behind just prior to the visitors scoring the tieing goal. . . . “It wasn’t hard to figure out who was bad and who wasn’t,” Sting head coach Jacques Beaulieu told Morris Dalla Costa of the London Free Press. “It wasn’t the London Knights or the Sarnia Sting tonight.” . . . The WHL record for longest winning streak in one season is 22 (Estevan Bruins, 1967-68).
If you read here the other day about Dwight McMillan’s decision to step down as head coach of the SJHL’s Weyburn Red Wings, you may be have been left wondering what really happened.
Well, McMillan has written a letter thanking a whole lot of people for their support over the last 37 years.
He also writes a bit more than that.
“Unfortunately,” McMillan writes, “my term as Head Coach is over.  Scott Sabados - Team President, and the Board of Directors terminated my employment as Head Coach I then offered to allow them to have me resign and they chose to communicate my dismissal as a resignation.”
McMillan’s complete letter is right here
In Portland, G Mac Carruth stopped 31 shots to lead the Winterhawks to a 5-0 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . It was the 18th straight New Year’s Eve that these teams have played in Portland and the 22nd renewal of the battle overall. . . . The Winterhawks hold a 13-8-1 edge. . . . Carruth, now 18-2-0, won his 105th regular-season game to tie the franchise record held by Darrell May Sr. (1978-82). . . . Carruth has three shutouts this season and seven in his career. . . . On Dec. 31, 2011, Carruth stopped 18 shots as Portland beat visiting Seattle, 2-0. . . . The Winterhawks, who are playing as though on a mission or something, have won nine in a row and are 28-2 over their last 30 outings. . . . They lead the overall standings by nine points over the idle Kamloops Blazers and hold a 16-point edge over the Spokane Chiefs in the U.S. Division. . . . Portland has the WHL’s top offence (172 goals for) and defence (82 goals against). . . . F Paul Bittner’s fifth goal of the season, at 12:41 of the first, stood up as the winner. . . . Portland F Brendan Leipsic got his 24th, shorhanded, and had two assists, while F Nic Petan scored No. 26. . . . The Thunderbirds have lost eight in a row. . . . F Keegan Kolesar, the 20th overall selection in the 2012 bantam draft, made his debut with Seattle. From Winnipeg, Kolesar has 26 points, including 15 goals, in 25 games with the midget AAA Winnipeg Thrashers. . . .

In Cranbrook, F Levi Cable broke a 2-2 tie at 10:20 of the third period as the Kootenay Ice got past the Calgary Hitmen, 3-2. . . . F Brock Montgomery scored the Ice’s other two goals, giving him 14. . . . Cable has five goals. . . . Calgary is 13-2-1 on the road . . . Ice G Mackenzie Skapski stopped 30 shots. . . .

In Edmonton, F Henrik Samuelsson scored three times to lead the Oil Kings to a 6-2 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Samuelsson, who also had an assist, has 45 points, including 22 goals, in 38 games. He joined the Oil Kings a year ago and put up 23 points, seven of them goals, in 28 games. . . . This was Samuelsson’s first WHL hat trick. . . . Edmonton D Keegan Lowe scored twice, giving him eight goals this season — in this first three season, he scored two, two and three goals. It was his first two-goal game and came in his 243rd regular-season game. . . . The Oil Kings now lead the Eastern Conference by three points over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Bruce Luebke, the radio voice of the Wheat Kings, tweeted this during the game: “Michael Ferland goes akwardly into the boards on an attempted hit in 2nd period & then immediately limped to the #BWK dressing room.” . . .

In Kennewick, Wash., the Tri-City Americans scored the game’s last four goals and beat the Spokane Chiefs, 6-3. . . . The Americans hold a 15-6-1 edge, with one tie, in the New Year’s Eve series. . . . Spokane took a 3-2 lead into the third period, only to have F Parker Bowles tie it at 2:06 and D Drydn Dow put the Americans out front for good at 7:41. . . . Bowles, who has 10 goals, finished with two scores and an assist. . . . Tri-City F Marcus Messier played for the first time since Nov. 30 and scored the game’s first goal, his ninth. He had missed nine games with an undisclosed injury. . . . Spokane D Brenden Kichton had a goal and an assist; he’s got 44 points in 37 games. . . . The Chiefs hold a 4-2-1 edge in the season series but have lost the last two.


Kelowna Rockets F Ryan Olsen (@rolsen94): “45 minutes to find a kiss . . . . Or its 3 years in a row #newyears #imgayiguess”

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