THE MacBETH REPORT:
F Adam Courchaine (Medicine Hat, Vancouver, 2001-05) signed a one-year contract extension with Krefeld Pinguine (Germany, DEL). He had no points in three games with the Graz 99ers (Austria, Erste Bank Liga), eight goals and 16 assists in nine games with Duisburg (Germany, Oberliga), and 17 goals and 18 assists in 33 games after joining Krefeld at the end of October.
Focus Features has taken out an option on a series of stories about the late Derek Boogaard that appeared in The New York Times. That series, written by John Branch, was titled Punched Out: The Life and Death of a Hockey Enforcer. . . . There’s more right here.
Dave Dotan, a former WHL defenceman (Prince Albert, 2007-10), and a few other Simon Fraser University business students have hooked up with some hockey players and are in the process of launching Potential Apparel. Proceeds from the project will be used to help disadvantaged youths get into sports. Philip Raphael has the story in the Richmond News and it’s right here.
F Marek Tvrdon has been assigned by the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings to their AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins. Tvrdon’s season with the Vancouver Giants was halted by a blood clot in one shoulder. He had 22 points in 18 games at the time. In 90 career games, the native of Nitra, Slovakia, had 107 points in 90 career games. Tvrdon was a fourth-round selection in the 2011 NHL draft. . . . Tvrdon didn't play last night as the Griffins opened the AHL playoffs with a 3-0 loss to the host Houston Aeros.
The host Baie-Comeau Drakkar scored in OT to beat the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in a QMJHL playoff game last night. The Armada leads the best-of-seven semifinal 3-2 with Game 6 in Blainville-Boisbriand on Sunday. The winner will meet the Halifax Mooseheads, who are 12-0 in the playoffs, in the championship final. . . . The teams were without 12 players, including all four of their regular goaltenders, following a donnybrook after Game 4 on Wednesday. . . . Drakkar G Simon Lemieux stopped 29 shots to earn the victory. . . . The Armada was down to its fourth goaltender, Marc-Antoine Turcotte, by the time the game ended. Storm Phaneuf made 20 saves before leaving with an injury. Turcotte finished with six saves. . . . Penalties? Only four minors were handed out.
A couple of quick notes . . . The OHL’s London Knights have advanced to the OHL final. The let a 4-0 lead get away last night before beating the Plymouth Whalers 5-4 in OT. . . . London F Max Domi had five points, including the winner 22 seconds into OT. . . . London won the series, 4-1. . . . The Knights will meet either the Barrie Colts or Belleville Bulls in the final. The Bulls beat the visiting Colts 3-1 last night. The Colts hold a 3-2 lead with Game 6 in Barrie tonight. . . . In the QMJHL, the P.E.I. Rocket isn’t going anywhere. A local group has reached a tentative agreement to purchase the franchise from the Savard family. Jason Malloy of The Guardian has more right here.
THE COACHING GAME:
Mike Madill is the new general manager and head coach of the ECHL’s Las Vegas Wranglers. Madill is a former Las Vegas defenceman and team captain. Madill, who turns 31 next month, played five of the last six seasons with the Wranglers, but has retired to take on these roles. He replaces Ryan Mougenel, whose contract wasn’t renewed after four seasons (151-111-26).
Former WHL defenceman and coach Terry Virtue has been named the varsity head coach of the Canon-McMillan Hockey Association in Pennsylvania. Virtue was an assistant coach with the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack (2010-12) after working for three seasons with the WHL’s Tri-City Americans.
The WHL’s playoff situation:
Edmonton (1) vs. Calgary (3)
(Edmonton leads series, 3-2; Game 6 in Calgary on Sunday; all games on Shaw TV, with Dan Russell calling the play.)
Portland (1) vs. Kamloops (3)
(Portland wins series, 4-1)
Portland vs. Edmonton/Calgary winner
(Series opens May 3 and 4 in Portland)
In Edmonton, the Oil Kings struck three times in the first period and went on to a 5-1 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . D Martin Gernat opened the scoring at 7:38, then F Henrik Samuelsson and F Travis Ewanyk scored 44 seconds apart late in the period. . . . Edmonton G Laurent Brossoit stopped 28 shots. He lost his shutout bid when F Brooks Macek scored a PP goal at 15:04 of the third. . . . Going into the game, the Hitmen were 4-1 at Rexall Place this season. . . . Edmonton had D Cody Corbett (knee) back after he was injured in Game 2. . . . Calgary F Jake Virtanen returned after serving a two-game suspension for the hit that injured Corbett. . . . Edmonton F Trevor Cheek didn’t return after a first-period collision with Calgary D Spencer Humphries. . . . Edmonton is without injured D Griffin Reinhart and F Luke Bertolucci. . . . Attendance was 11,074, the largest crowd in these WHL playoffs. . . . The Hitmen, who held a players only meeting after last night’s loss, are 7-1 at home in these playoffs. . . .
In Portland, F Ty Rattie had a goal and an assist to help the Winterhawks to a 4-1 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . Rattie’s 15th goal, off a shorthanded breakaway, gave Portland a 3-1 lead at 10:05 of the third period. . . . Portland F Taylor Leier broke a 1-1 tie at 4:23 of the second. . . . Rattie leads playoff scores in goals (15) and points (30). . . . Rattie had 12 points in the five games with Kamloops and was named the series’ MVP. . . . Portland G Mac Carruth allowed seven goals in the five games, with five of those coming in a 5-1 loss in Game 3. . . . He is 12-3, 1.62, .935 in these playoffs. In his playoff career, he is 45-22, 2.78, .917.
CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT (21):
D Joel Edmundson, Kamloops
CHECKING-TO-THE-HEAD COUNT (6):
From Paul Buker (@Pnbuker) of The Oregonian, about 90 minutes before game time: “Hawks' media mogul Graham Kendrick says no word yet from WHL on the status of Keegan ‘killer’ Iverson. Might be OK, I suppose it's ...”
More from Buker: “..also possible Iverson is fined $200,000, his cell phone is confiscated, and he is forced to take a 60 minute timeout #Judgedredd”
From Portland freelancer Scott Sepich (@SSepich): “I gotta say, the WHL final series kickoff press conference in Portland w/ commish Ron Robison could be must-see Internet streaming.”
One more from Sepich: “I just want to mention that over the last 2 years, Guy Charron has been as classy, humble and honest as anyone in sports I've interviewed.”
Allow me to echo that statement. Hockey needs more coaches like Guy Charron.
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