Sunday, March 10, 2013

The matchups, if the WHL playoffs opened today:
EASTERN CONFERENCE
Edmonton (1) vs. Kootenay (8)
Saskatoon (2) vs. Medicine Hat (7)
Calgary (3) vs. Swift Current (6)
Red Deer (4) vs Prince Albert (5)

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Portland (1) vs. Everett (8)
Kelowna (2) vs. Seattle (7)
Kamloops (3) vs. Victoria (6)
Spokane (4) vs. Tri-City (5)
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SATURDAY’S GAMES:
In Moose Jaw, the Edmonton Oil Kings wrapped up their Brier road trip with a 4-1 victory over the Warriors. . . . With the Brier, the Canadian men’s curling championship in Rexall Place, the Oil Kings had to hit the road. They went 6-2-0 away from home. . . . Edmonton now has won six in a row. . . . Oil Kings F Trevor Cheek scored Edmonton‘s first two goals, giving him a career-high 31 goals. . . . Edmonton F Dylan Wruck set a franchise single-season record with his 61st assist. That broke the record set last season by F Michael St. Croix. . . . Wruck later got his 62nd assist. . . . St. Croix, who scored his 37th goal, also had an assist, his 52nd. . . . Edmonton G Tristan Jarry stopped 27 shots. . . . The Warriors were without F Jordan Wyton, who left after a fight in a Friday night game and didn’t return. . . . Moose Jaw had F Ben Duperreault, a 10th-round pick in the 2011 bantam draft, in its lineup. Duperreault, from Wilcox, Sask., played for the midget AAA Moose Jaw Generals. . . .

In Prince Albert, F Hunter Shinkaruk scored with 23.5 seconds left in OT to give the Medicine Hat Tigers a 2-1 victory over the Raiders. . . . The Tigers clinched a playoff spot for the 11th straight season. . . . F Jonas Knutsen got his ninth goal for the Raiders just 25 seconds into the game. They wouldn’t score again. . . . Medicine Hat F Elgin Pearce tied it with his 29th at 14:06 of the second. . . . Tigers G Marek Langhamer stopped 37 shots. . . . The Raiders held a 13-0 edge in shots in the third period but weren’t able to beat Langhamer. . . . Prince Albert remains fifth in the Eastern Conference and now is two points ahead of Swift Current and four ahead of Medicine Hat. . . .

In Saskatoon, F Brenden Walker scored his 31st goal of the season at 4:14 of OT to give the Blades an 8-7 victory over the Regina Pats. . . . The Blades trailed 7-3 going into the second period. . . . F Matt Revel forced OT when he scored his seventh goal at 12:11 of the third period. . . . F Jessey Astles drew an assist on the goal. He was playing his first game following a 50-game absence after he suffered a nasty skate cut on one wrist. . . . Walker finished with two goals and two assists, while F Erik Benoit had three assists. . . . The Blades also got two goals, givin ghim 23, and an assist from Collin Valcourt. . . . F Lane Scheidl, a Saskatoon native, continued his terrific season for the Pats. He scored twice, giving him 39. . . . Regina F Connor Gay, who is from Saskatoon, scored his first WHL goal in his 33rd game. . . . The Blades were without F Michael Ferland and D Dalton Thrower for a second straight game. Both have undisclosed injuries. . . .

In Brandon, the Swift Current Broncos erased a 1-0 deficit with three second-period goals and beat the Wheat Kings, 3-2. . . . The Broncos earned 15 points from eight games with Brandon this season. . . . Swift Current D Reece Scarlett tied it 1-1 with his eighth goal at 3:31, D Dillon Heatherington added his fourth at 5:22 on the PP, and F Adam Lowry got the winner, his 44th, at 19:25. . . . Heatherington didn’t finish the game, leaving in the second period after taking a hit from Brandon F Jayce Hawryluk. . . . Brandon D Eric Roy scored his 17th goal. . . . The Broncos are sixth in the Eastern Conference, two points behind Prince Albert and two ahead of Medicine Hat. . . .

In Calgary, G Chris Driedger stopped 22 shots as the Hitmen whipped the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 9-0. . . . Driedger has five shutouts this season. . . . F Brooks Macek scored three times, giving him 31 goals this season. . . . The Hitmen got a goal and two assists from each of Jake Virtanen and Victor Rask. . . . F Cody Sylvester scored twice, giving him 37. . . . Calgary D Kenton Helgeson had two assists and was plus-5. . . . The Hurricanes are six points out of a playoff spot with four games remaining. . . .

In Vancouver, the Giants scored the game’s last three goals and beat the Victoria Royals, 3-1. . . . The Royals had beaten the visiting Giants 5-3 on Friday. . . . Vancouver F Jackson Houck broke a 1-1 tie at 8:20 of the third period and added an empty-netter at 19:42. . . . Houck has 22 goals. . . . The Giants have won five of their last seven games. . . . Victoria had D Keegan Kanzig back after he served a two-game suspension. . . . Vancouver had D Arvin Atwal back after a one-game absence. Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province reported that Atwal sat out Friday’s game “due to academic issues.” . . . The Royals will finish sixth in the Western Conference and play Kamloops in the first round. . . .

In Kelowna, the Rockets clinched the B.C. Division pennant with a 2-1 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . Kamloops went into the game five points behind the Rockets and with three games remaining. . . . F Tyrell Goulbourne gave the Rockets a 2-0 lead with his 14th goal at 15:48 of the second period. . . . The Rockets had won 3-2 in Kamloops on Friday night. . . . Kelowna G Jordon Cooke stopped 31 shots, one fewer than Cole Cheveldave of the Blazers. . . . The Blazers will meet the Victoria Royals in the first round of playoffs, opening with games in Kamloops on March 22 and 23. . . .

In Kent, Wash., it was a ch-ch-ching kind of night as the Silvertips got past the Seattle Thunderbirds (of Kent), 4-3. . . . F Tyler Sandhu, who turned 17 on Jan. 7, scored twice for Everett, giving him 16. He tied the score 2-2 at 11:32 of the second and gave his side the lead at 12:39 of the third period, on the PP. . . . Seattle D Shea Theodore got his 18th goal just eight seconds later. . . . Everett F Dawson Leedahl broke that tie with his third goal at 17:03. . . . A late-game melee included battling goaltenders as Everett’s Austin Lotz and Brandon Glover of the Thunderbirds scrapped. . . . Everett is eighth in the Western Conference, one point behind Seattle. . . .

In Spokane, F Blake Gal scored twice to help the Chiefs to a 6-3 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . The Chiefs broke open a 2-2 game with four third-period goals. . . . The victory sets up a first-round meeting between the Chiefs and the Tri-City Americans. . . . Spokane D Brendan Kichton added his 22nd goal and two assists. . . . F Jaedon Descheneau had two goals and an assist for the Ice. He’s got 27 scores. . . . F Brock Montgomery got his 30th goal for the Ice. . . . The Chiefs and Tri-City Americans will meet in the first round. They are tied for fourth with 84 points. Each team has four games remaining. . . .

In Kennewick, Wash., the Prince George Cougars got two goals in the circus and beat the Tri-City Americans, 3-2. . . . F Zach Pochiro and F Colin Jacobs had the shootout goals for the Cougars. . . . Cougars D Michal Plutnar forced Ot with his seventh goal, via the PP, at 14:10 of the third. . . . Tri-City F Justin Feser got his 42nd goal in the first period. . . . F Jari Erricson had a goal, his 13th, and an assist for the Cougars. . . . Prince George, which beat host Seattle in a shootout on Friday, is four points out of a playoff spot with five games remaining.
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CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
F Carson Perreaux, Prince Albert
F Josh Derko, Lethbridge
D Marc McNulty, Prince George

CHECKING-TO-THE-HEAD COUNT:
None
———
TWEET OF THE DAY:
From Victoria Royals prospect Matthew Campese (@MatthewCampese): “The cold side of a pillow is really under appreciated”

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