Friday, April 5, 2013

Dmitri Uchaykin died on Sunday.
A player with HC Eris-Pavlodar in Kazakhstan’s top professional league, Uchaykin, 32, died of a cerebral hemorrhage after having taken a headshot during a game.
For some reason, this hasn’t received a whole lot of attention — certainly not the attention it is due — in the mainstream media. But Stu Hackel of has put together an excellent look at what happened, including two video links. That package is right here.
This incident is just more proof that the people who control hockey at all levels need to do everything in their power to get any and all contact with the head out of the game.
The death of a player in Kazakhstan, while a long way from North America, is proof that the time has come. It is time to penalize all contact to the head at all levels of hockey. And it is time to stop handing out inconsequential suspensions for deliberate headshots.
NHLD Harrison Ruopp of the Prince Albert Raiders has signed a three-year, entry-level deal with the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins. Ruopp had 16 points and 132 penalty minutes in 65 games this season. Ruopp, who turned 20 on March 17, was selected by the Phoenix Coyotes in the second round of the 2011 NHL draft. . . . The Penguins acquired the Zehner, Sask., native at the 2012 draft, along with a 2012 third-round pick, for D Zbynek Michalek.

Drew Wilson, the radio voice of the Raiders on CKBI, reports that Prince Albert F Leon Draisatl, who just completed his freshman WHL season, will play for his native Germany at the IIHF U-18 world championship in Sochi, Russia, April 18-28. . . . Draisatl, the Eastern Conference’s rookie of the year, told Wilson: "It's going to be another big tournament and as always our goal is not to play with the big guys (Canada, Russia and USA), it's just to avoid relegation." . . . Prince Albert D Josh Morrissey will be playing for Canada. . . . Wilson has more right here.

NHLG Laurent Brossoit of the Edmonton Oil Kings has signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Calgary Flames. A sixth-round pick in the 2011 NHL draft, Brossoit put up 33 victories this season, along with a 2.25 GAA and a .917 save percentage. . . . He will lead the Oil Kings against the Medicine Hat Tigers in a second-round playoff series that opens tonight in Edmonton. . . .

AHLF Adam Lowry of the Swift Current Broncos has signed an ATO with the St. John’s IceCaps, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets. Lowry, who turned 20 on March 29, was a third-round selection in the NHL’s 2011 draft. . . . He had 88 points, including 45 goals, in 72 games this season. Lowry’s father, Dave, is the head coach of the WHL’s Victoria Royals.

According to Evan Daum of the Edmonton Journal, Oil Kings F T.J. Foster is back skating and could play during the second round. He has been out with a foot injury and hasn’t played since Feb. 9.

If you’re on the sofa tonight, you should know that Game 2 between the visiting Red Deer Rebels and Calgary Hitmen will be televised by Sportsnet. . . . There’ll be Davis Cup tennis from Vancouver on Sportsnet One, followed by the WHL game. The other Sportsnet channels will show the baseball game between the host Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox, with the hockey game on when it ends.

Some interesting numbers going into the series between the Spokane Chiefs and Portland Winterhawks. . . . In the regular-season series, Spokane G Eric Williams was 2-5, 4.34, .884, while Portland G Mac Carruth was 6-1, 2.11, .937. . . . Carruth, by the way, has 37 career playoff victories, one fewer than Cam Ward, who won 38 games with the Red Deer Rebels (2001-04).
2013 Playoffs
The WHL’s playoff situation:
Edmonton (1) vs. Medicine Hat (7)
(Game 1, tonight, in Edmonton)
Calgary (3) vs. Red Deer (4)
(Calgary leads series, 1-0; Game 2, tonight, in Calgary)
Portland (1) vs. Spokane (4)
(Game 1, tonight, in Portland, Veterans Memorial Coliseum)
Kelowna (2) vs. Kamloops (3)
(Game 1, Saturday, in Kelowna)
In Calgary, F Brady Brassart scored three times and F Cody Sylvester had three assists as the Hitmen opened with a 4-2 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . It was the second playoff hat trick of Brassart’s WHL career, both of them coming this spring. He had three goals on March 21 when the Hitmen opened with a 6-5 OT victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . The Hitmen scored four goals on Red Deer G Patrik Bartosak in the game’s first half; in the first round, the Prince Albert Raiders beat Bartosak five times in four games. . . . Calgary was 2-for-5 on the PP; Red Deer was 0-for-3.


From WHLFacts (@WHLFacts): “Apr. 4, 2001 — 12 years ago today, Billy Thompson saved 34 of 37 and Derek Boogaard scored the OT winner as @PGCougars defeated Portland 4-3”
One more from WHL Facts: “1 — FYI, Boogaard’s OT winner for Prince George was the only playoff goal he scored in his hockey career (WHL, ECHL, AHL, NHL)”

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