Monday, March 4, 2013

Brothers D Logan (Tri-City, 2001-06) and F Shay (Red Deer, 2000-04) Stephenson have signed contract extensions with Sparta Sarpsborg (Norway GET-Ligaen). Shay has one goal and one assist in two games, while Logan has two goals and nine assists in 13 games with Sparta this season. Both brothers started the season with Karlskrona (Sweden, Allsvenskan); Logan had one assist in 21 games and Shay was pointless in three games.
The Tri-City Americans have sent F Ryan Chynoweth home to Cranbrook for a couple of weeks after he suffered a head injury in a 5-3 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds in Kent, Wash., on Saturday night.
Chynoweth was knocked into the boards, hitting his head and suffered a cut to his forehead.
Chynoweth, 17, was playing in his second game after coming back from a shoulder injury. He had been out since Jan. 22.
Chynoweth, the son of Kootenay Ice president/general manager Jeff Chynoweth, was acquired by Tri-City from the Everett Silvertips early in the season. He has four points in 33 games with the Americans.
Earlier Sunday, Ryan Chynoweth tweeted: “Flying home to Cranbrook today, been an extremely frustrating year! Hope to get back on the ice soon! Wish the boys all the best!”
While he was on a plane to Cranbrook, his teammates were riding the bus to Prince George where they are to play the Cougars tonight and Tuesday.
With 38 victories, a doubleheader sweep would give the Americans 40 victories for a seventh straight season, tying a WHL record shared by the Kamloops Blazers (1989-96) and Regina Pats (1979-86).
The U of Alberta has iced a men’s hockey team for 100 years. The school won its 50th league title Sunday when the Golden Bears beat the visiting U of Saskatchewan Huskies 5-2 in Game 3 of a best-of-three Canada West final.
Both teams will play in the six-team University Cup tournament in Saskatoon as the Huskies are the host team. That event runs March 14-17.
Evan Daum of the Edmonton Journal has the story right here.
Roy MacGregor of The Globe and Mail has written a lengthy piece right here examining the results of a recent survey conducted on behalf of the Rick Hansen Institute.
Some of the numbers that came out of this survey are rather startling, including the fact that “7 per cent of those hockey parents surveyed believe their child as the potential to play professional hockey.”
You really should take the time to give this a read.
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. Seattle (8)
Kelowna (2) vs. Everett (7)
Kamloops (3) vs. Victoria (6)
Spokane (4) vs. Tri-City (5)
In Moose Jaw, F Tanner Eberle scored in OT as the Warriors erased a 4-0 deficit and beat the Saskatoon Blades, 5-4. . . . Eberle’s 15th goal came 45 seconds into OT. . . . The Blades went into the game having won 18 straight games. . . . They scored three goals in the game’s first 8:13, with F Matej Stransky getting two of them to equal his career high with 39 snipes. . . . Moose Jaw G Justin Paulic, making his 20th straight start, stopped 36 shots. . . . The Warriors trailed 4-0 until 3:28 of the third period when F Justin Kirsch scored his 22nd goal on a PP. . . F Brayden Point was in on the Warrior’ next three goals, drawing an assist on F Jordan Messier’s 10th and then scoring twice, giving him 18, at 8:48, on a PP, and again at 11:35. . . . Point finished with two goals and two assists. . . . The Blades had been 7-0 against the Warriors this season. . . . Warriors D Kendall McFaull, the team captain, went to hospital after being injured in a scrap with F Collin Valcourt in the second period. McFaull lost two teeth and two others pushed back, but he returned and was on the ice when OT began. “He’s the ultimate and true Warrior,” Moose Jaw head coach Mike Stothers told Matthew Gourlie of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald. “He didn’t want to leave. He didn’t want to get fixed. He said ‘I can do that later’ and we told him he better go get it done. They don’t make them like that any more.” . . . Attendance was announced at 3,462 but only about 1,200 fans braved near-blizzard condtions to watch this one.

In Regina, F Chandler Stephenson scored in the circus to give the Pats a 4-3 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . The Wheat Kings held a 3-1 lead halfway through the third period. The Pats tied it on goals by F Carson Samoridny, his 10th, at 11:14, and Stephenson, his 14th, at 15:12, on the PP. . . . The Pats, who won’t make the playoffs, won three games in as many nights. . . .

In Vancouver, D Blake Orban scored at 1:47 of OT to give the Giants a 1-0 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . Vancouver G Payton Lee stopped 13 shots for the shutout, his first in the WHL. . . . Everett G Austin Lotz turned aside 26 shots. . . . There was some discussion after the game over whether Orban’s shot went in off the stick of Vancouver F Alec Baer, the 15-year-old Minnesotan who was playing in his third WHL game. "I don't even know, to be honest," Baer told Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province. "I'm glad our team did. I was just in front battling. I hit something: might have been a stick, might have been a puck. The Giants scored. That's all that matters." . . . Baer is to return to Minnesota today but plans on returning to play in a home-and-home series against the Victoria Royals on Friday and Saturday. . . . The loser point moved Everett into a tie with Seattle for seventh in the Western Conference. However, Everett has more victories — 23-22 — so is shown in seventh place. . . .

In Kamloops, F JC Lipon scored three times and G Cole Cheveldave stopped 25 shots as the Blazers beat the Kelowna Rockets, 3-0. . . . Lipon has 34 goals this season. He has two career hat tricks, both of them this season. . . . Cheveldave earned his fifth shutout this season and the ninth of his career. . . . F Myles Bell, who leads the Rockets in goals, assists and points, didn’t play after 17:50 of the first period. He went to the bench after going knee-to-knee with Kamloops D Sam Grist in a collision that was more of an accident than anything. . . . The Blazers closed to within three points of the B.C. Division-leading Rockets, who hold a game in hand. . . .

In Medicine Hat, D Derek Ryckman got the Tigers rolling to a 5-2 victory over the Calgary Hitmen when he opened the scoring with his first goal of the season. . . . Ryckman, a 20-year-old form Red Deer, now has nine goals in 284 regular-season games. . . . F Curtis Valk scored his 42nd goal — it was shorthanded and gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead at 11:50 of the first — and added two assists. . . . Medicine Hat G Marek Langhamer stopped 39 shots. . . . The start of the game was delayed 40 minutes as poor weather conditions kept the Hitmen from arriving until 5:40 p.m. The game was to have started at 6 p.m.
F Carter Popoff, Vancouver
F Ryan Olsen, Kelowna

F Josh Nicholls, Saskatoon

From Calgary resident Alan Caldwell (@smallatlarge): “So RCMP advising drivers not to travel highway 1 yet apparently the Hitmen are still bound for Medicine Hat. Stupidity.”
Caldwell again: “As long as #WHL teams insist on driving in this weather its a matter of when, not if, theres a repeat of Broncos tragedy. Very disappointed.”
From Pat Siedlecki (@radiopat258), the play-by-play voice of the Lethbridge Hurricanes, at 1:28 p.m. Pacific time: “RCMP now say ALL highways across southern Alberta are being shut down as of now! Zero visibility, blowing snow, heavy snow.”
More from Siedlecki, this one at 4:12 p.m. Pacific: “A round of applause from the players as the bus moves for the first time in 1.5 hrs! EMS dealing with several crashes west of the city.”
The Hurricanes were on their way home from a West Coast road swing that ended Saturday in Kelowna. The Hurricanes arrived in Lethbridge some 18 hours after leaving the Little Apple.
From Vancouver Sun sports reporter Brad Ziemer (@BradZiemer): “My day just got better. Michael Buble just dropped by Vera’s Burger Shack at YVR. Sang part of Fly Me To The Moon with staffer. Really.”
Ziemer was trying to get to Calgary to cover last night’s NHL game between the Canucks and Flames.

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