Wednesday, March 13, 2013

F Taggart Desmet (Calgary, 2000-01) signed a one-year contract extension with Meran/Merano (Italy, Serie A2). He had 23 goals and 45 assists in 41 games for Meran/Merano this season. Desmet led the league in assists, finished fifth in goals, and finished fourth in scoring.
F Devin Oakes, 17, and F Deven Sideroff, 15, have joined the Kamloops Blazers. . . . Oakes, a list player from Prince Rupert, B.C., had 21 points in 32 games with the junior B Kamloops Storm before being injured. He will stay with the Blazers through the end of their season. . . . Sideroff, from Summerland, B.C., plays for the Okanagan Hockey Academy in Penticton and will return there after the weekend. He has 55 points in 49 games. . . .

The Everett Silvertips have added three 15-year-olds, all selections in the 2012 bantam draft. . . . D Kevin Davis, a first-round selection, played for the major midget Kamloops-based Thompson Blazers, while F Matt Fonteyne, a third-round selection, was with the midget AAA Leduc, Alta., Oil Kings, and D Noah Juulsen, who was taken in the fourth round, played with the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds in the B.C. major midget league. Davis was signed to a WHL deal earlier this season and has played five games with Everett. The signings of Fonteyne and Juulsen were announced yesterday. . . . Fonteyne, from Wetaskiwin, Alta., had 34 points in 34 regular-season games with the Oil Kings. . . . Juulsen, from Abbotsford, B.C., had 25 points in 35 games. . . . As an aside, F Val Fonteyne, who played in the NHL from 1959-72 and also played in the WHA, is from Wetaskiwin. Feel free to drop a note to if you know that Val and Matt are related.
With the start of the WHL playoffs only 10 days away, the Victoria Royals have placed G Patrik Polivka (undisclosed) on the injury list. Polivka last played on March 5 when he started and went 40 minutes in a 6-0 loss to the Blazers in Kamloops. Polivka stopped 17 of 22 shots in that one before being replaced by Coleman Vollrath to start the third period.
Since then, Vollrath has gone the distance in five straight games — a 4-3 shootout loss to the Rockets in Kelowna on March 6, a 5-3 victory over the visiting Vancouver Giants on Friday, a 3-1 loss in Vancouver on Saturday, a 5-2 loss to the visiting Portland Winterhawks on Sunday, and a 4-1 loss to those same Winterhawks last night in Victoria.
The Royals have brought in G Michael Herringer, a ninth-round selection in the 2011 bantam draft, to back up Vollrath. Herringer, who was on the bench last night, had been with the junior B Victoria Cougars.
Meanwhile, the Royals continue to be without veteran Russian F Alex Gogolev, who is their leading scorer.
Mario Annicchiarico of the Victoria Times Colonist reports today that “sources say (Gogolev) is about to undergo surgery and is done for the season. The team would not confirm that.”
The Royals are to open the first round of playoffs in Kamloops on March 22.
The matchups, if the WHL playoffs opened today:
Edmonton (1) vs. Kootenay (8)
Saskatoon (2) vs. Medicine Hat (7)
Calgary (3) vs. Swift Current (6)
Red Deer (4) vs Prince Albert (5)

Portland (1) vs. Everett (8)
Kelowna (2) vs. Seattle (7)
Kamloops (3) vs. Victoria (6)
Spokane (4) vs. Tri-City (5)
In Cranbrook, the Kootenay Ice wrapped up the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot with a 3-1 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . While the Ice qualified for the playoffs for a 15th straight season, the Hurricanes will miss for the fourth straight season. . . . The Ice scored the game’s last three goals, with F Jaedon Descheneau tying the game, with his 28th goal, at 13:26 of the first and F Brock Montgomery, with his 31st, breaking the tie at 2:33 of the second. . . . Ice F Sam Reinhart later scored his 32nd goal. . . . The Ice had lost its previous three games. . . . Kootenay is eighth, three points behind the seventh-place Medicine Hat Tigers. The Ice has three games remaining. . . .

In Edmonton, F Shane McColgan scored the only goal of the circus as the Saskatoon Blades got past the Oil Kings, 3-2. . . . The Oil Kings led this one 2-0 at 10:44 of the second period. . . . F Brenden Walker got the Blades on the board, with his 32nd goal, at 4:13 of the third, and McColgan tied it with his 19th at 8:31. . . . Saskatoon G Andrey Makarov stopped 39 shots. . . . Edmonton had won six straight. . . . F Dylan Wruck had a goal, his 22nd, and an assist for Edmonton, while D David Musil drew two assists. . . . The Oil Kings lead the Eastern Conference, with 104 points, 12 more than the Blades, who top the East Division. . . .

In Victoria, the Portland Winterhawks tied a WHL record with their 28th road victory of the season as they beat the Royals, 4-1. . . . Portland shares the record with the Calgary Hitmen (1999-2000) and Saskatoon Blades (2008-09). Portland has one road game remaining; it is to play the Seattle Thunderbirds in Kent, Wash., on Saturday. . . . The Winterhawks, with three games to play, are two points shy of the franchise record for points in one season (113) set in 1980-81. . . . Portland swept the four-game season series from Victoria. . . . F Ty Rattie scored a goal, his 45th, and added an assist for Portland. . . . Rattie and linemates Brendan Leipsic and Nic Petan each has 45 goals, as does Saskatoon's Josh Nicholls, and that leads the WHL. . . .Leipsic, who got his 45th goal last night, leads the WHL with 115 points, while Petan has 112 and Rattie 104. . . . The Winterhawks make a goaltending change halfway through the third period with reports indicating that starter Mac Carruth may have left with an injury. . . .

In Moose Jaw, G Justin Paulic stopped 31 shots to help the Warriors to a 5-0 victory over the Regina Pats. . . .  The shutout was the first of Paulic’s career. . . . D Morgan Rielly had three assists for Moose Jaw. . . . Rielly, the fifth overall selection by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2012 NHL draft, is expected to join the AHL’s Toronto Marlies once the Warriors’ season ends on the weekend. . . . Moose Jaw F Ben Duperreault scored his first WHL goal in his third game. . . . Moose Jaw F Jordan Messier sat out the second of a three-game suspension. I erroneously wrote here yesterday that he was done for the season. He had served one game by the time the WHL announced the suspension, so actually will be eligible to return for the Warriors’ final game. . . .

At Kent, Wash., F Luke Lockhart had a goal and two assists as the Seattle Thunderbirds (of Kent) dumped the Tri-City Americans, 8-3. . . . The victory put the Thunderbirds into the playoffs for the first time after a three-year absence. . . . Seattle will clash with either the Portland Winterhawks or Kelowna Rockets in the first round. . . . Lockhart opened the scoring with his 24th goal, on a PP, just 1:18 into the game, then broke a 1-1 tie with a shorthanded goal at 8:39. . . . He’s got 25 goals this season. . . . F Connor Honey, F Seth Swenson and F Roberts Lipsbergs each added a goal and two assists for Seattle. . . . Seattle G Danny Mumaugh stopped 28 shots to get his first WHL victory. . . . G Austin Smith, who played for the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers, backed up Mumaugh with G Brandon Glover serving Game 1 of a two-game suspension. Smith got into 20 games with the Swift Current Broncos last season. . . .

In Calgary, F Cody Sylvester had a goal, his 39th, and two assists as the Hitmen doubled the Medicine Hat Tigers, 6-3. . . . Sylvester’s shorthanded goal at 15:50 of the second period gave Calgary a 4-2 lead. . . . F Victor Rask scored his 14th goal and added two assists for Calgary. . . . Medicine Hat got a goal and two assists from F Hunter Shinkaruk. The Calgary native has 35 goals. . . . F Logan McVeigh added two goals, giving him 18, and an assist for the Tigers. . . . Medicine Hat F Boston Leier was unsuccessful on a third-period penalty shot on Calgary G Chris Driedger, who stopped 31 shots. . . . The Tigers changed goaltenders at 13:06 of the second period, removing starter Cam Lanigan with an undisclosed injury and sending in Marek Langhamer. . . .

In Spokane, the Chiefs scored the game’s first five goals and then hung on for 6-4 victory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . F Mike Aviani gave the Chiefs a 5-0 lead at 1:50 of the third period. He’s got 30 goals. . . . The Cougars then scored four times in a span of 7:44 to get to within a goal. . . . Spokane F Alessio Bertaggia got an empty-netter at 18:07. . . . The Cougars got two goals from D Dan Gibb, giving him five, while F Colin Jacobs had three assists and F Zach Pochiro scored his 14th goal and added two helpers. . . . Spokane F Markson Bechtold scored his first WHL goal in his fourth game. . . . The Chiefs are fourth in the Western Conference, two points ahead of the Tri-City Americans. Each has three games remaining and will play each other twice more. . . . The Cougars are four points out of the playoffs with three games remaining.
F Harrison Harper, Lethbridge
F Jack Rodewald, Regina

D Jordan Fransoo, Victoria

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