Wednesday, April 3, 2013
F Justin Feser has signed an amateur tryout contract (ATO) with the Portland Pirates, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes. Feser played five seasons with the Tri-City Americans, completing his junior eligibility this season. He put up 106 points in 72 games to finish fourth in the WHL scoring race. . . .
Bob Tory, the Tri-City Americans’ governor and general manager, announced Tuesday that D Mitch Topping, 20, will be the team’s captain in 2013-14. Topping is the 25th captain in Americans’ history and succeeds F Justin Feser, who completed his junior eligibility this season. . . . Topping, from Red Deer, was taken eighth overall by the Chilliwack Bruins in the 2008 bantam draft. He just completed his second season with the Americans. . . .
Jeff Chynoweth, the governor and general manager of the Kootenay Ice, announced Tuesday that F Sam Reinhart is the team's new captain. He takes over from D Joey Leach, who has used up his junior eligibility. . . . Reinhart is preparing for his third WHL season, although he isn’t eligible for the NHL draft until 2014. . . . Reinhart is the 18th captain in franchise history. . . .
Nick Patterson of the Everett Herald reports that Silvertips F Reid Petryk is joining the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters. . . . Patterson also reports that Everett D Mirco Mueller will play for Switzerland at the IIHF U-18 world championship in Sochi, Russia, April 18-28.
So . . . you’re wondering what Shaw TV will do in the second round of the playoffs.
Greg Meachem of the Red Deer Advocate tells us that if the Kelowna Rockets win tonight’s Game 7 against the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds, Shaw will bring you the series between Kelowna and the Kamloops Blazers.
If Seattle wins tonight, Shaw will televise the series between the Calgary Hitmen and Red Deer Rebels.
By the way, Shaw, with Dan Russell calling the play, will televise tonight’s Game 7 between the host Rockets and the Thunderbirds.
Regardless of the outcome, history will be made.
If Kelowna wins, the Rockets will become the second team in WHL history to fall behind 3-0 and come back to win a series. The Spokane Chiefs did it in 1996 in beating the Portland Winterhawks.
If Seattle wins, it will be the biggest upset, in terms of regular-season point differential, in WHL history. The Rockets finished with 108 points, 50 more than the Thunderbirds.
WHL Facts pointed out on Twitter that the Prince George Cougars have pulled off the two biggest such upsets, having beaten the Everett Silvertips in 2007 after finishing 37 points back and having dumped Portland in 1997 after being 36 points in arrears.
The WHL’s playoff situation:
Edmonton (1) vs. Kootenay (8)
(Edmonton wins 4-1)
Saskatoon (2) vs. Medicine Hat (7)
(Medicine Hat wins 4-0)
Calgary (3) vs. Swift Current (6)
(Calgary wins 4-1)
Red Deer (4) vs Prince Albert (5)
(Red Deer wins 4-0)
Edmonton (1) vs. Medicine Hat (7)
Calgary (3) vs. Red Deer (4)
Portland (1) vs. Everett (8)
(Portland wins 4-2)
Kelowna (2) vs. Seattle (7)
(Series tied 3-3; Game 7 tonight in Kelowna)
Kamloops (3) vs. Victoria (6)
(Kamloops wins 4-2)
Spokane (4) vs. Tri-City (5)
(Spokane wins 4-1)
In Kent, Wash., F Myles Bell scored at 10:39 of OT to give the Kelowna Rockets a 4-3 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds (of Kent). . . . Strangely, the game’s first six goals all came in the first period. . . . Kelowna F Cody Fowlie scored 22 seconds into the game. . . . Seattle then took a 3-1 lead as it scored three times on its first four shots. . . . F Connor Sanvido, F Adam Kambeitz and F Luke Lockhart, who would hit a post early in OT, put Seattle out front. . . . F Tyrell Goulbourne and Fowlie, with a second goal at 16:20, forged the 3-3 tie. . . . Seattle G Brandon Glover stopped 55 shots, 15 more than Kelowna’s Jordon Cooke. . . . It was the fourth time in six games that the teams went to OT. Seattle had taken a 3-0 lead in the series by winning three times in extra time. . . . The Rockets lost D Jesse Lees late in the second period when he took a check to the head from Seattle F Justin Hickman. . . . Hickman left with a major and game misconduct and could be suspended for Game 7. . . . Lees didn’t return to the ice, although he was on the bench. That left the Rockets to finish up with four defencemen. . . . Seattle was 0-2 on the PP and now is 0-24 in the six games. . . . The Rockets had six regulars out of the lineup — F JT Barnett (ill), F Rourke Chartier (back), D MacKenzie Johnston (shoulder), F Carter Rigby (shoulder, foot), F Colton Sissons (shoulder) and D Mitchell Wheaton (shoulder). As a result, the Rockets had F Nick Merkley, 15, and F Justin Kirkland, 16, in their lineup last night and they saw ample ice time. . . . The Thunderbirds were without F Connor Honey as he served Game 2 of a three-game suspension for a hit on Johnston in Game 4. . . . "We just have to put that game behind us," Glover told freelancer Jim Riley, who covered the game for the Seattle Times. "Before this series began, if we'd have known we just had to steal a Game 7, we'd have taken that every time. We just have to look at the positives."
Riley’s story is right here.
CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT (12):
F Justin Hickman, Seattle (major)
CHECKING-TO-THE-HEAD COUNT (4):
From Pat Siedlecki (@radiopat), the play-by-play voice of the Lethbridge Hurricanes: “New @WHLHurricanes GM Brad Robson says it's been a busy 1st week on the job. Already received more than 20 resumes for Head Coach position.”
Check out Siedlecki's blog over there on the right for a Tuesday interview he did with Robson.
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