THE MacBETH REPORT:
F Domenic Pittis (Lethbridge, 1991-94) was loaned by Visp (Switzerland, NL B) to Zug (Switzerland, NL A). He has 11 goals and 35 assists in 30 games for Visp this season. The loan is through the end of this season's NL A playoffs, which start on Saturday. Visp was eliminated from the Swiss NL B playoff quarterfinals on Sunday, losing its series against Lausanne, four games to one. Pittis is under contract with Visp through the 2014-15 season.
Skate-inflicted cuts have been in the news recently. . . . With that in mind, here are a couple of stories involving such incidents and what might be done to prevent them. . . . This one right here is by Sean Gordon of The Globe and Mail and deals with the way hockey seemingly shrugs its shoulders at such injuries. . . . And this piece right here, written by Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun, deals with just how sharp skates are in this day and age.
Dave Waddell of the Windsor Star writes:
“For 22-year-old Spencer Jean, the fight during a Great Lakes Junior C Hockey League game six years ago was a life-changing event.
“The Wheatley Sharks' rookie, who was then 16, suffered a blow to the head and the first of 10 to 15 concussions.
In the process he had become a statistic in what many researchers call the silent epidemic of youth concussions.
“A Statistics Canada survey found there are approximately 30,000 concussions or related head injuries reported annually among the 12-to-19-year-old age group. Sixty six per cent of those concussions are related to sports activity.”
Waddell’s complete story is right here.
This story should be mandatory reading for anyone involved in sports at any level. Despite his young age, Jean knows that he is a prime candidate for early-onset dementia. This is scary stuff.
The Spokane Chiefs have added F Jacob Cardiff, 16, to their roster, while returning D Colton Bobyk, 16, to the midget AAA Red Deer Optimist Chiefs. . . . Cardiff, a seventh-round pick in the 2011 bantam draft, had 41 points in 42 games with the SJHL’s Notre Dame Hounds this season. He will say with the Chiefs through three road games this week. . . . Bobyk got into two games with the Chiefs. He will rejoin Red Deer for the AMHL playoffs.
The Portland Winterhawks take a five-game winning streak into a game tonight in Kennewick, Wash., against the Tri-City Americans. The Winterhawks then will return home to face the Edmonton Oil Kings on Wednesday. . . . Portland leads the overall standings with 105 points, 13 more than the Kelowna Rockets and 14 ahead of Edmonton. . . . The Oil Kings beat the Winterhawks in seven games in last spring’s championship final. . . . From a Winterhawks’ news release: “The ‘Hawks already have fifth-highest point total in team history with nine games still to play, and with a winning percentage of .833, are looking to become the first team to play .800 hockey over a full season since Calgary (.847, 122 points) and Vancouver (.826, 119 points) both did it in 2008-09.” . . . The Winterhawks have a franchise-record 26 road victories this season. They have five road games remaining, meaning the WHL record (28) that is held by the Calgary Hitmen (1999-2000) and Saskatoon Blades (2008-09) is within reach.
The Kootenay Ice looked as done as Tiger Williams’ dinner when the WHL broke for Christmas. But here the Ice is, having won its last four games and in possession of a playoff spot with 10 regular-season games remaining. In fact, the Ice, which is eighth in the Eastern Conference, is just one point behind the Swift Current Broncos and Kootenay holds a game in hand. The Ice also is five points up on the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
The Ice has done this by going 21-6-1 since Christmas. And it has won its last 12 home games, tying the franchise record set in 2006-07.
Ryan McGill as the Eastern Conference’s coach of the year? Why not?
THE COACHING GAME:
The SJHL’s La Ronge Ice Wolves announced Monday that general manager/head coach Bob Beatty had tendered his resignation and that it had been accepted. Beatty spent nine seasons with La Ronge, which won the SJHL title in 2010 and 2011. This season, La Ronge finished 20-31-3 and didn’t make the playoffs. . . . There was almost immediate speculation that Beatty would be taking over the BCHL’s Cowichan Capitals, but as of late last night I don’t believe that move had been confirmed. The Capitals changed coached on Jan. 29, with assistant coach Aaron Plumb replacing Jim Ingram.
The matchups, if the WHL playoffs opened today:
Edmonton (1) vs. Kootenay (8)
Saskatoon (2) vs. Swift Current (7)
Calgary (3) vs. Medicine Hat (6)
Red Deer (4) vs. Prince Albert (5)
Portland (1) vs. Everett (8)
Kelowna (2) vs. Seattle (7)
Kamloops (3) vs. Victoria (6)
Tri-City (4) vs. Spokane (5)
No Games Scheduled.
From former Kelowna Rockets D Mitch Chapman (@chapstar5): “Surgery tomorrow!”
An ankle injury kept Chapman, 20, from playing even one game this season.
From Red Deer Rebels F Turner Elson (@turnermeatelson): “I’m done I will never watch bachelor again #whatajoke @seansaloser”
From Portland Winterhawks D Troy Rutkowski (@TRutter2): “Repeatedly losing respect for some teammates every Monday night #BachelorTweets #keepittoyourself”
And if you weren’t witness to it live, you may want to hunt up the exchange that took place Monday on Twitter between Dan Russell (@DanRussellCKNW) of Vancouver radio station CKNW and Jason Botchford (@botchford) of the Vancouver Province.
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