THE MacBETH REPORT:
Frölunda Gothenburg (Sweden, Elitserien) announced they won’t offer a new contract to F Fredrik Sjöström (Calgary, 2001-03). Sjöström had five goals and five assists in 50 games this season. . . .
Ingolstadt (Germany, DEL) announced that they won’t offer new contracts to D Craig Weller (Kootenay, 2000-02) and D Chris Heid (Spokane, 1998-2003). Weller had one assist in 34 games and Heid had one goal in 38 games for Ingolstadt this season.
F Kale Kessy of the Kamloops Blazers has signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Edmonton Oilers. Kessy, 20, was a fourth-round selection by the Phoenix Coyotes in the NHL’s 2011 draft. The Oilers acquired him last week in exchange for F Tobias Rieder of the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers. . . . This season, his fifth in the WHL, Kessy has played with the Medicine Hat Tigers (two games), Vancouver Giants (27) and Kamloops (31). He finished with 41 points, including 21 goals. . . . He scored seven goals, including two hat tricks, in the Blazers’ six-game first-round playoff victory over the Victoria Royals.
The WHL’s playoff situation:
Edmonton (1) vs. Medicine Hat (7)
(Edmonton leads, 1-0; Game 2, today, in Edmonton)
Calgary (3) vs. Red Deer (4)
(Calgary leads, 2-0; Game 3, Monday, in Red Deer)
Portland (1) vs. Spokane (4)
(Portland leads 2-0; Game 3, Tuesday, in Spokane)
Kelowna (2) vs. Kamloops (3)
(Kamloops leads 1-0; Game 2, today, in Kelowna)
In Kelowna, F Brendan Ranford scored two first-period goals and the Kamloops Blazers went on to a 4-2 victory over the Rockets. . . . It was the first time in these playoffs that Kelowna lost in regulation time. Kelowna lost three times in OT during a seven-game first-round victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Ranford opened the scoring 30 seconds into the first period and the Blazers were never caught. . . . Kamloops outshot the Rockets 18-3 and outscored them 3-0 in the first period. . . . Kelowna’s penalty kill, which was 27-for-27 against Seattle, surrendered two PP goals in the first period. . . . Kamloops lost F Colin Smith, who was its leading regular-season scorer with 106 points, after he took a hit from F Tyson Baillie two minutes into the second period. Smith went to the dressing room and didn’t return. He will be re-evaluated today. . . . Baillie wasn’t penalized. . . . The Rockets had D Mitchell Wheaton back in the lineup. He had been out since Jan. 25 with a shoulder problem. Originally, it was though that he would need surgery, but that obviously hasn’t happened. . . . Kamloops F JC Lipon drew two assists and now leads the playoff scoring race with 16 points, one more than Portland F Ty Rattie. . . . The Blazers also got two assists from Matt Needham. . . . Kamloops F Aaron Macklin, a freshman from High River, Alta., who turned 18 on Jan. 17, scored his first WHL playoff goal on a first-period PP. He had one goal in 62 regular-season games. . . . F Henrik Nyberg had a goal and an assist for Kelowna. . . . Kamloops G Cole Cheveldave stopped 21 shots, eight fewer than Kelowna’s Jordon Cooke. . . . The entire Kamloops-Kelowna series is being televised by Shaw. . . .
In Portland, G Mac Carruth stopped 27 shots as the Winterhawks blanked the Spokane Chiefs, 3-0. . . . Carruth set two records with the shutout and the victory. He had been tied with former Red Deer Rebels G Cam Ward for the record for most playoff victories. Carruth now holds that record, with 39. . . . This was Carruth’s fourth career playoff shutout, giving him Portland’s franchise record. He had been tied with Lanny Ramage. . . . F Chase De Leo’s goal at 13:17 of the first period stood up as the winner. . . . F Brendan Leipsic had a goal and an assist, with F Ty Rattie getting two assists. . . . Spokane G Eric Williams made 40 saves. . . . Paul Buker of The Oregonian was there and his report is right here.
CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT (12):
CHECKING-TO-THE-HEAD COUNT (5):
Three observers with comments after Kamloops-Kelowna game . . .
Patrick King (@SNPatrickKing): “So Bowey gets a penalty I can’t comprehend and Baillie doesn’t for a late hit on Smith? Having a hard time seeing some consistency here . . .”
From Alan Caldwell (@smallatlarge): “same refs from the RDR/CGY game last night. The ones who needed video replay to see a major penalty that wasn’t there.”
From Regan Bartel (@Reganrant): “I’m not a fan of Matt Kirk. Seems to stick it to team that dispues a call. Veteran guy with no feel for the game.”
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