THE MacBETH REPORT:
F Ned Lukacevic (Spokane, Swift Current, 2001-06) was released by Aalborg (Denmark, AL-Bank Liga) for personal reasons. Lukacevic signed with Aalborg at the end of January but he did not receive his Danish work permit until last week. In the meantime, he had to return to Canada to tend to family matters. As a result, Lukasevic did not appear in a game for Aalborg. Earlier this season, he was pointless in a two-game tryout with Eispiraten Crimmitschau and had three goals and eight assists in 15 games with Banska Bystrica (Slovakia, Extraliga).
The Tri-City Americans have been cycling a few prospective players through their lineup as they deal with a few injuries. . . . They have returned F Matthew Gelinas to the AJHL’s Calgary Royals for their playoffs. . . . F Fraser Bulbuc will play for the Americans on Tuesday against the visiting Portland Winterhawks and then will rejoin the AJHL’s Sherwood Park Crusaders. . . . Meanwhile, the Americans are adding F Justin Marreck, 16, to their roster for their next three games. After his stint with the Americans, he will return to the major midget Kelowna-Okanagan Rockets for the B.C. Major Midget League playoffs. Marreck has 28 points in 36 games with thie Rockets this season.
The Americans’ injury list includes G Eric Comrie, F Phil Tot and D Brodie Clowes, all of whom aren’t expected to play again this season. F Tyson Dallman will miss up to three weeks, while F Justin Gutierrez and F Brian Williams should return in a week or so, and F Ryan Chynoweth is day-to-day.
Goaltenders dream about getting onto the kind of roll that Kurtis Mucha is on these days. The former WHLer has put up four straight shutouts for the Alberta Golden Bears. Evan Daum of the Edmonton Journal has that story right here.
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)
In Vancouver, the Giants scored three power-play goals and beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 4-1. . . . F Cain Franson scored his 25th goal of the season for Vancouver, into an empty net. . . . Vancouver G Payton Lee stopped 23 shots, 19 fewer than Seattle’s Brandon Glover. . . . The Thunderbirds remain seventh in the Western Conference, one point ahead of the Everett Silvertips. . . . Vancouver was without D Wes Vannieuwenhuizen, the team captain. He took a boarding major and game misconduct for a hit on F JC Lipon in a 6-0 loss to the visiting Kamloops Blazers on Friday night and is awaiting word on a suspension. . . .
In Lethbridge, G Mackenzie Skapski stopped 36 shots as the Kootenay Ice dumped the Hurricanes, 2-0. . . . Skapski’s sixth shutout of the season allowed the Ice to move five points ahead of the Hurricanes in the chase for the Eastern Conference’s last playoff spot. . . . Each team has 10 games remaining. . . . F Jaedon Descheneau scored both Kootenay goals, the second one, his 21st this season, into an open net. . . . Lethbridge G Ty Rimmer turned aside 48 shots. . . .
In Medicine Hat, F Curtis Valk scored three times to lead the Tigers to a 5-4 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Valk has 41 goals this season. . . . F Miles Koules scored the Tigers’ other two goals, giving him 17. . . . F Connor Bleackley scored twice for Red Deer, giving him nine. . . . The Tigers are sixth in the Eastern Conference, three points behind the Prince Albert Raiders and five behind Red Deer. . . .
In Swift Current, F Colby Cave and F Graham Black each scored twice as the Broncos beat the Brandon Wheat Kings, 6-1. . . . Black has 22 goals, while Cave has 18. . . . The Broncos scored the game’s first five goals. . . . Broncos G Eetu Laurikainen made 22 saves. . . . The Broncos are seventh in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of Kootenay and four behind Medicine Hat. . . . The Wheat Kings are one loss from being eliminated from playoff contention. . . .
F Josh Derko, Lethbridge (double minor)
From Tyler Olsen (@ty_olsen): “Very sick of rec hockey games in which it’s left to players to pull guys who have dropped their gloves off of non-fighters.”
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