Friday, November 8, 2013

Two Giants facing charges

F Bernhard Keil (Kamloops, 2010-11) has signed for the rest of this season with Red Bull Munich (Germany, DEL).
Vancouver radio station CKNW reported Friday night that two veteran players with the Vancouver Giants — F Jackson Houck and D Brett Kulak — are facing criminal charges stemming from an Aug. 18 house party in Delta. B.C. According to CKNW, the players, who continue to play with the Giants, have already made three court appearances. . . . Kulak leads the Giants in points (20), while Houck has a team-high eight goals. . . . The Giants, who were idle last night, are at home to the Prince George Cougars tonight. . . . The CKNW report is right here.
On Wednesday night, F Brandon Baddock of the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings left Victoria Royals D Keegan Kanzig woozy and wobbly following a late second-period fight. (Kanzig was scratched from Victoria's game with the host Seattle Thunderbirds last night.)
Which got me to wondering what the numbers are looking like, so I scurried over to and checked things out.
According to, in 2011-12, there were 790 fights during the WHL's regular season.
In 2012-13, there were 666 fights during the WHL's regular season, a decrease of 15.7 per cent.
This season, through Friday's action, there have been 206 fights in 217 games, leaving the WHL on a 752-fight pace. If that plays out, it would be a 12.9 per cent increase over last season.
Brent Sapergia, who played with the Saskatoon Blades and Medicine Hat Tigers (1979-81), got caught up in a drug ring and found himself in a New York court room last month. . . . The New York Post story is right here. . . . And right here is a story from the Winnipeg Free Press.
A fourth former NFL player has demonstrated signs of CTE. Former Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mark Duper confirmed it to CBS Sports on Friday. That story is right here.
Elliotte Friedman's weekly column — 30 Thoughts — is right here. At the end of it, he writes:
"Here are the eight NHL teams to watch for my Nov. 1 stat, ie. if you're four points out of the playoffs after games on that date, you are in a brutal spot to make it. The teams: Dallas Stars, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia and Winnipeg (five points back), Calgary (7), Florida (8), Buffalo and Edmonton (11). Some of you think the new format will change things. We'll all find out together."
I don't know if Friedman's theory applies to the WHL and its 72-game regular season, but if it does only the Kamloops Blazers, Moose Jaw Warriors and Lethbridge Hurricanes were at least four points out of the playoffs after Friday's games. The Blazers were four points out in the Western Conference; the Warriors were four points back in the Eastern Conference, with the Hurricanes 13 off the pace.
The Vancouver Giants won't have D Dalton Thrower, their captain, in the lineup tonight when they play host to the Prince George Cougars. According to Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province:
"The Giants aren't saying what's wrong with the Montreal Canadiens prospect, but Thrower took a blindside hit to the head from Edmonton Oil Kings winger Mitch Moroz behind the Vancouver net on the first shift of the third period in Tuesday's 3-0 home side defeat at the Coliseum.
"Thrower stayed down for a time, but went to the bench without assistance and remained in the game. He later challenged Moroz to a fight. Moroz declined and Thrower was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
"Moroz didn't get a penalty for the check.
"Thrower did suffer a concussion last season while with the Saskatoon Blades, the result of a fight in practice in early November. He ended up missing 11 games."
Ewen's story is right here.
Meanwhile, the WHL injury list shows Vancouver F Rob Trzonkowski as being out indefinitely with an undisclosed injury. However, the team's stats page has an 'x' beside his name, indicating that he no longer is with the team. Trzonkowski, 19, had one point, a goal, in three games.
The Regina Pats have dealt G Teagan Sacher, 19, to the Lethbridge Hurricanes for a fifth-round selection in the 2015 bantam draft. Sacher, from Winnipeg, played 26 games with the Pats last season (8-13-2, 3.87, .883), but was limited to two games this season because of injury. Sacher left the Pats on Oct. 15  with the team stating that he was going to "pursue academic interests at the University of Winnipeg." . . . Sacher is to join the Hurricanes before they play in Brandon on Monday. . . . The Hurricanes have two goaltenders on their roster -- Corbin Boes, 20, and Christopher Tai, who turns 18 on Dec. 1. They also are working to trade D Ryan Pilon, 17, who has left the team and is at home awaiting a deal.
In Moose Jaw, F Nate Burns had a goal and two assists as the Saskatoon Blades opened a 4-0 lead and hung on to beat the Warriors, 4-3. . . . The Warriors are 0-5-3 on home ice since beating the Vancouver Giants 2-1 on Oct. 5. . . . Saskatoon F Nikita Scherback had two assists as he ran his point streak to 13 games. The Russian freshman has 11 goals and 10 assists over that stretch. . . . Saskatoon D David Nemecek was bleeding and went to the dressing room after a third-period scrap with Moose Jaw D Jesse Forsberg. . . .

In Brandon, F Jake DeBrusk enjoyed a four-point second period to help the Swift Current Broncos dump the Wheat Kings, 6-3. . . . A freshman, DeBrusk went into the game with six points in 20 games. . . . Swift Current has won six in a row, while Brandon has dropped two straight, both at home. . . . The Broncos erased a 2-1 first-period deficit with five straight goals, four of them in the second period. . . . Swift Current D Jordan Harris, 17, scored his first WHL goal in his 38th game. He played 17 games with the Prince George Cougars last season. The Cougars selected the Prince Albert native with the 10th pick of the 2011 bantam draft. . . . With G Curtis Honey hurt, Brandon G Jordan Papirny made his fourth consecutive start. Honey was on the bench, though. . . .

In Cranbrook, G Patrik Bartosak stopped 19 shots to lead the Red Deer Rebels to a 3-0 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Bartosak has one shut out this season and seven in his career. . . . It was School Spirit Night, and attendance was 2,908. . . . The Rebels snapped a three-game losing skid. They are 2-3-0 on a six-game road swing that ends tonight in Lethbridge. . . .

In Lethbridge, F Mitch Holmberg became the WHL's first 20-goal scorer this season as he led the Spokane Chiefs to a 6-2 victory over the Hurricanes. . . . Holmberg scored three times, giving him 22 goals, and added an assist. He leads the WHL in goals and points (49). . . . Holmberg's first goal tied the game 2-2 and his second gave his side a 3-2 lead. It stood up as the winner, giving him a league-high six GWG this season. . . . There were three fights in the game's first eight minutes. . . . The Hurricanes now have lost eight straight. . . .

In Medicine Hat, F Cole Sanford scored twice and added an assist to lead the Tigers to a 5-3 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . Sanford has 12 goals in 18 games this season. He had two goals in 53 games last season. . . . Tigers F Trevor Cox, who chipped a front tooth in his previous game and posted a 'Sorry, Mom' photo on Twitter, had three assists. . . . Raiders F Shane Danyluk drew a cross-checking major and game misconduct for a hit on Sanford late in the third period. . . .

In Kelowna, the Rockets scored the game's last five goals and beat the Prince George Cougars, 5-2. . . . The Cougars led 2-0 late in the second period and took a 2-1 edge into the third. . . . Kelowna held a 51-28 shot advantage, including 19-5 in the second period. . . . F Todd Fiddler, 20, played his first game with the Cougars after being acquired from the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . .

In Everett, G Daniel Cotton stopped 14 shots for the shutout as the Silvertips beat the Tri-City Americans, 2-0. . . . Everett held a 35-14 edge in shots. . . . Cotton has two shutouts this season and four in his career. . . . He is the go-to guy in Everett as Austin Lotz rehabs an ankle injury. . . . The second intermission was extended by about 45 minutes when a pink breast cancer awareness logo came through the ice and got caught by a Zamboni. . . . The Americans were missing F Ty Comrie, F Marcus Messier, F Philip Tot and F Taylor Vickerman. . . . Tri-City, which had won six of seven, has been blanked twice this season, both times by Everett. . . .

In Kamloops, the Edmonton Oil Kings scored four times in 4:20 early in the second period en route to a 5-0 victory over the Blazers. . . . Edmonton G Tyler Santos posted his first WHL victory and shutout in his third start. . . . Tristan Jarry, the Oil Kings' No. 1 goaltender, has posted two straight shutouts. Overall, the Oil Kings are riding a shutout streak of 228 minutes 10 seconds. . . . The Oil Kings have won four in a row and seven of eight. . . . Edmonton F Brandon Ralph, from Fort McMurray, Alta., scored twice, his first two WHL goals coming in his seventh game. . . . Santos, a 19-year-old from Edmonton, finished with 33 saves, including turning aside freshman F Eric Krienke on a third-period penalty shot. . . . Santos also has stopped Kootenay F Sam Reinhart on a penalty shot this season. . . .

In Kent, Wash, G Coleman Vollrath stopped 43 shots to spark the Victoria Royals to a 5-3 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . At one point in the second period, Seattle held a 20-5 edge in shots and was trailing 2-0. . . . F Tyler Soy, the eighth overall pick in the 2012 bantam draft, had a goal, his fourth, and two assists for the Royals. . . . D Shea Theodore scored all three Seattle goals.

From Hecklers Row (@Hecklers_Row): "half way threw the first and the chiefs coach has already yelled at us, love it @WHLHurricanes @Jordancjoc @CanesCast"
From ESPN's John Buccigross (@Buccigross): "University of Minnesota women's hockey team (11-0-0, 9-0-0 WCHA) recorded its 60th-straight victory with a 4-1 win over St. Cloud State"
From Iain MacIntyre (@imacVanSun) of the Vancouver Sun: "Once asked Alex Edler how he treats himself at dinner out. 'Maybe have french fries instead of a baked potato.' Look out, LA!"

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