Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Portland Winterhawks spent Tuesday cutting new deals with Matt Bardsley, their director of hockey operations, assistant coach Kyle Gustafson and Rich Campbell, the athletic trainer and strength and conditioning coach. All three now are signed through 2014-15.
What this does is put all of the main players on the same timetable. GM/head coach Mike Johnston and Travis Green, the assistant GM/assistant coach, were signed to four-year extensions through 2014-15 in June 2011. Green, of course, now is acting head coach as he fills in for the suspended Johnston.
Bardsley is in his 14th season with the Winterhawks, while Gustafson is in his 10th season. Campbell joined the Winterhawks in 2008, coming on board when  Bill Gallacher purchased the franchise.
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The Brandon Wheat Kings have added F Jesse Gabrielle, 15, to their roster for the remainder of this season. Gabrielle was a fifth-round selection in the 2012 bantam draft and is an interesting study. He is a native of Moosomin, Sask., but played this season for the Eagan Wildcats, a high school team in Minnesota, putting up 47 points, 15 of them goals, in 28 games. Because Gabrielle played all of his minor hockey in Moosomin, perhaps the Minnesota high school people won’t look at this as another defection, but, then again, maybe they will. . . . Gabrielle practised with the Wheat Kings on Tuesday and could make his debut on Friday against the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings or Saturday when the Swift Current Broncos are in the Wheat City.
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The United States of Hockey takes a look right here at how “the ongoing recruiting battle between the NCAA and Canadian Hockey League” is impacting Minnesota high school hockey.
This is an interesting read.
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WHL team logoAccording to a tweet from his major midget team, the Red Deer Rebels have signed G Taz Burman, a second-round selection, 30th overall, in the 2012 bantam draft. Burman was drafted from the North Shore Winter Club, then played this season with the Greater Vancouver Canadians of the B.C. Major Midget League. This season, Burman was 12-10-1 with a 2.64 GAA in 24 games with the Canadians.
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D Martin Gernat of the Edmonton Oil Kings will miss the final six games of the regular season as he has, according to the team, returned to Slovakia to “complete exams.” . . . Gernat, 19, has 13 points in 22 games after missing the bulk of the season as he recovered from shoulder surgery.
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The matchups, if the WHL playoffs opened today:
EASTERN CONFERENCE
Edmonton (1) vs. Kootenay (8)
Saskatoon (2) vs. Swift Current (7)
Calgary (3) vs. Medicine Hat (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)
Tri-City (4) vs. Spokane (5)
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TUESDAY’S GAMES:
WHLIn Swift Current, F Levi Bews scored twice and added two assists as the Blazers doubled the Prince Albert Raiders, 6-3. . . . Bews has 20 goals this season. . . . F Colby Cave also reached the 20-goal for the Broncos as he scored twice. . . . Broncos G Eetu Laurikainen stopped 33 shots. . . . The Broncos moved into a tie for sixth with the Medicine Hat Tigers in the Eastern Conference. Each has five games remaining. . . . The Raiders now are four points behind the fourth-place Red Deer Rebels. . . .

In Red Deer, F Rhyse Dieno drew three assists to help the Rebels beat the Kootenay Ice, 6-4. . . . Dieno, 19, now has 54 points, including 28 assists, in 44 games. . . . F Tyson Ness scored twice for Red Deer, giving him 15. . . . Red Deer D Mathew Dumba broke a 3-3 tie at 14:12 of the second period as he scored his 14th goal. . . . Ness added insurance at 17:53. . . . F Jaedon Descheneau had two goals, giving him 24, and an assist for the Ice. . . . The Rebels appear headed to a first-round matchup with Prince Albert, and Red Deer would hold home-ice advantage. . . .

In Prince George, G Mac Engel turned aside 22 shots to lead the Cougars to a 3-0 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . Engel has two shutouts this sason and seven in his career. . . . The Americans had won 6-3 in Prince George on Monday. . . . Last night, Cougars F Troy Bourke scored the game’s first two goals in his 200th regular-season game. He’s got 13. . . . F Zach Pochiro had two assists. . . . F Connor Rankin, who scored two goals Monday, was scratched by the Americans for this one. . . . The Cougars, who had lost five straight, are six points out of the Western Conference’s last playoff spot. They have seven games left to play, but must play six of those on the road. . . . The Americans remain fourth in the conference, a point ahead of the idle Spokane Chiefs. . . .

In Kamloops, F Kale Kessy had two goals and two assists, for his second career four-pointer, as the Blazers dumped the Victoria Royals, 6-0. . . . Kessy has 19 goals. . . . F Colin Smith, F Tim Bozon and D Sam Grist each had a goal and two assists. . . . Kamloops G Cole Cheveldave stopped 14 shots in recording his sixth shutout of the season and 10th of his career. . . . He shut out the visiting Kelowna Rockets 3-0 on Sunday. The last Blazers goaltender with back-to-back shutouts? Cheveldave did it to the Prince George Cougars in January 2012. . . . The Royals were again without F Alex Gogolev, their leading scorer who is out with an undisclosed injury. He is back skating and it’s hoped he will get into a game or two next week and then be ready for the first round of playoffs. . . . Victoria F Logan Nelson hobbled off the ice at 19:10 of the third period. He appeared to be favouring his left leg. . . . The Cougars had F Matthew Campese in their lineup. Campese, a third-round selection in the 2012 bantam draft, is the son of Bruno Campese, the Prince Albert Raiders’ general managre. Matthew plays at the Okanagan Hockey Academy in Penticton. Campese came close to scoring at 7:10 of the first period when Cheveldave stopped his redirection. That may have been Cheveldave’s best save. . . . The Blazers are a point behind the B.C. Division-leading Kelowna Rockets, who hold two games in hand and will play host to Victoria tonight. . . . The Royals appear headed to a sixth-place finish in the Western Conference. . . .

In Saskatoon, F Cody Sylvester had a goal and five assists and was plus-6, leading the Calgary Hitmen to a 9-5 victory over the Blades. . . . Sylvester moved past F Ryan Getzlaf and into eighth place on Calgary’s career scoring list. Sylvester has 217 points. . . . After the game, Brad Curle, the radio voice of the Hitmen, tweeted that Sylvester had a goal and six assists, which would be a franchise record, so perhaps a scoring change is coming. . . . The Blades have followed an 18-game losing streak with two loses. They had been 18-0-1 in their last 19. . . . The Hitmen, who had lost four in a row, now have one more point than the Blades, who lead the East Division so are the second seed in the Eastern Conference. . . . Sylvester has 34 goals. . . . F Brady Brassart added two goals, giving him 30, and three assists for Calgary, while F Jake Virtanen scored twice, giving him 14. . . . Calgary scored nine goals on 38 shots, driving Saskatoon G Andrey Makarov to the bench in the process. That mean backup Alex Moodie got into a game for the first time since Dec. 30. . . . Calgary D Jaynen Rissling had a goal and two assists, and was plus-5. . . . Saskatoon lost F Michael Ferland, 20, late in the first period. He has an undisclosed injury and is to be re-evaluated today. . . .

In Portland, F Ty Rattie scored twice to help the Winterhawks to a 6-3 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . Rattie scored the game’s last two goals, giving him 44. It also left him with 101 points as he became the third member of his line to surpass 100 points. . . . F Nic Petan, who had two assists, leads the WHL with 113 points, while F Brendan Leipsic, who had two helpers, has 111. . . . Portland D Seth Jones scored twice, giving him 12, and added an assist. . . . Portland F Derrick Pouliot (high ankle sprain) played for the first time since Jan. 25. He had one assist. . . . Everett D Landon Oslanski scored twice, giving him 16. . . . Portland, which had lost three straight, won nine of 10 games from Everett this season.
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CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
F Mike Winther, Prince Albert
D Tyler Hansen, Kamloops

CHECKING-TO-THE-HEAD COUNT:
None
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From the Portland Winterhawks (@pdxwinterhawks): "Shoutout to the guy who yelled with 1:01 remaining, ‘How much time is left?’ right as @hawkspipes went into the one minute to play call”


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