THE MacBETH REPORT:
G Ian Gordon (Swift Current, Saskatoon, 1992-95) announced his retirement through the Ingolstadt (Germany, DEL) website. Gordon had a 2.49 GAA and a .909 save percentage in 33 games for Ingolstadt this season. After five seasons in the AHL and IHL, Gordon headed for Germany, where he played 13 seasons in the DEL with Schwenningen and Frankfurt, and the past three seasons with Ingolstadt. He won a DEL championship with Frankfurt in 2003-04 and played in the DEL All-Star game in 2007-08 and 2008-09. . . .
F Roman Psurny (Medicine Hat, 2004-06) signed a one-year plus option contract extension with Litvinov (Czech Republic, Extraliga). He had five goals and nine assists in 42 games with Litvinov and had one goal and one assist during a three-game loan assignment to Slovan Ustecti Lvi (Czech Republic, 1. Liga) this season. . . .
F Mike Egener (Calgary, 2000-04) signed a one-year contract extension with the Coventry Blaze (England, UK Elite). He had three goals and 12 assists in 56 games with the Blaze this season.
Here’s an ad that was posted on alberta.kijiji.ca on April 1:
Slightly worn out WHL franchise for sale. NO LEASING!!! Treated with care and appreciation in it’s first few years and left to crumble more recently.
A fantastic place to practice and perform.
Minimal backseat driving.
A healthy schedule of roadtrips.
WHL/NHL regulations dictate a brand new paint job before it hits the ice again.
A caring/knowledgeable owner to get under the hood and find out why it’s been stuck in neutral the past few years(occasionally locks into reverse).
A driver without vision problems.
Just a few more parts to beef up horsepower, speed and a fresh set of tires for MORE TRACTION and dependability.
NO KEY JINGLERS!
If interested please contact current board of directors directly.
Fans of the Lethbridge Hurricanes
A few Memorial Cup-related thoughts from Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post:
“There is not a classier owner in junior hockey than Jack Brodsky, whose family has operated the Blades since 1976. If anyone deserves a Memorial Cup ring, it is Brodsky. But if the Blades capture major-junior hockey's greatest prize despite failing to register a single WHL playoff victory, it will not be the finest moment in CHL history. There has to be a better way.
“Here is one suggestion: Continue to rotate the host leagues. The champion of the host league earns a Memorial Cup berth, and some time off while a playoff is held to determine the other finalist. If the WHL is hosting, for example, the OHL and QMJHL champions would meet to determine the other Memorial Cup participant. A best-of-seven, Stanley Cup-style Memorial Cup championship series would ensue, with games being played in the home rinks of the two finalists. Such a format would ashcan the flawed host-team exemption and reward the fans of each league champion.
“Are there glitches in this proposal? Of course. The travel would be gruelling, although the NHL has overcome such obstacles when the New Jersey Devils have met the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks for Lord Stanley's grail. There is also the question of whether a Memorial Cup final could feasibly be held in a small centre such as Swift Current, where the Credit Union i-Plex seats 2,879. But, honestly, could this proposed format be any worse than the current blueprint?”
No, it couldn’t be worse.
Yes, it is time to go to a format that features two teams in a best-of-seven final for the Memorial Cup.
That is all.
The Seattle Thunderbirds will be without F Connor Honey for their next two games, including tonight’s Game 6 of a first-round series with the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Honey has been suspended for three games for a hit from behind on Kelowna D MacKenzie Johnston in Game 4 of that series. . . . Honey sat out Game 5, so has two games left to serve. . . . Johnston will be out for up to two months with a shoulder injury. . . .
The Chicago Blackhawks have assigned F Mark McNeill of the Prince Albert Raiders to the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs. McNeill had 67 points, including 25 goals, in 65 games this season. . . . He was the 18th overall selection in the NHL’s 2011 draft. . . .
F Nick Buonassisi, who finished his junior eligibility with the Brandon Wheat Kings last month, has joined the Central league’s Quad City Mallards. Buonassisi had 34 points in 69 games this season. . . . The Mallards are trailing the Fort Worth Brahmas 2-0 in a first-round best-of-seven series and have suffered two serious injuries. . . . The series resumes Wednesday in the Quad Cities.
THE COACHING GAME:
Danny Flynn is out as head coach of the QMJHL’s Moncton Wildcats, although he will stay on as the director of hockey operations. . . . The Wildcats were 42-33-3 this season, then were eliminated in five games by the Victoriaville Tigres in a first-round series. . . .
The U of Denver has fired George Gwozdecky, the long-time coach of the WCHA’s Pioneers. In his 19 years at Denver, he won two NCAA titles. Gwozdecky had one season left on a 12-year contract. . . . According to Mike Chambers of the Denver Post: “DU is the only Division I hockey team to have won 20 games in each of the past 12 seasons. However, the Pioneers recently lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in the past six years, part of the reason the sources said Gwozdecky was fired. An inability for the school and Gwozdecky to reach a contract extension also figured into the decision.” . . . Chambers’ complete story is right here. . . .
Keith Cassidy won’t be back as the general manager and head coach of the SJHL’s Estevan Bruins. Cassidy, 38, completed two seasons with the club and the board of directors chose not to exercise an option for a third season. . . . This season, the Bruins finished fifth in the Sherwood Division, sidelined the Kindersley Klippers in a survivor series and then lost a best-of-seven series to the Yorkton Terriers in five games. . . . Josh Lewis of the Estevan Mercury has more right here.
The WHL’s first-round 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)
(Seattle leads 3-2; Game 6 tonight in Kent, Wash.)
Kamloops (3) vs. Victoria (6)
(Kamloops wins 4-2)
Spokane (4) vs. Tri-City (5)
(Spokane wins 4-1)
Two more Western Conference series ended last night, leaving only the Kelowna Rockets and Seattle Thunderbirds left to settle the issue.
The No. 7 Thunderbirds take a 3-2 edge into tonight’s home game against the No. 2 Rockets.
Should Seattle win, the second round will feature the No. 1 Portland Winterhawks against Seattle and the No. 3 Kamloops Blazers versus the No. 4 Spokane Chiefs.
Should Kelowna win tonight, Game 7 of that series will be played in the Little Apple on Wednesday.
Should Kelowna win that series, the Rockets would face Kamloops in the second round, with Portland meeting Spokane.
No matter which team the Winterhawks play, they’ll be in Portland on Friday and Saturday.
In Everett, F Oliver Bjorkstrand had two goals and two assists as the Portland Winterhawks dumped the Silvertips, 5-1. . . . Portland held a 52-13 edge in shots, including 20-4 in the second period and 15-1 in the third. . . . D Seth Jones had two Portland goals, his first of the series. . . . F Reid Petryk gave the Silvertips a 1-0 lead with a shorthanded goal at 2:14 of the first period. . . . Everett G Austin Lotz stopped 47 shots. . . .
In Victoria, F Kale Kessy scored three times to help the Kamloops Blazers to a 6-2 victory over the Royals. . . . Kessy leads the WHL with seven playoff goals. He also scored three times in Game 4, a 5-4 OT victory by the visiting Blazers. . . . Kessy played his first 284 regular-season and playoff games without a hat trick. He now has two in three game. . . . F Cole Ully and Kessy scored the game’s first two goals and the Blazers were never caught. . . . Kamloops F JC Lipon had a goal and two assists; he leads the playoff scoring race with 14 points. He was in on 14 of the Blazers’ 23 goals against the Royals. . . . D Joel Edmundson and F Brendan Ranford each had three assists for the Blazers. . . . D Keegan Kanzig scored one of Victoria’s goals. It was his first WHL goal, and came in his 143rd game, 133 of which are regular-season tilts.
CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT (11):
D Jordan Fransoo, Victoria
CHECKING-TO-THE-HEAD COUNT (4):
From Edmonton Oil Kings F Trevor Cheek (@trevorcheekAZDK): “Agreed to terms with the Avalanche. Could not be more excited! Still a lot of unfinished business to take care of this year!”
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