Monday, February 17, 2014

Cougars win big one on road; Holmberg first to 50!

Slovak Ex-LigaF Gal Koren (Kelowna, 2010-11) has signed with Zvolen (Slovakia, Extraliga) for the rest of this season. He had one goal in 23 games with Medvescak Zagreb (Croatia, KHL) and eight points, four of them goals, in 15 games with Olimpija Ljubljana (Slovenia, Austria Erste Bank Liga) this season. . . .

Slovak Ex-LigaF Richard Rapac (Moose Jaw, Prince George, 2006-07) has signed with Banska Bystrica (Slovakia, Extraliga) for the rest of this season. This season, with Litvonov (Czech Republic, Extraliga), he had two points in 17 games. He also was on loan to Most (Czech Republic, 1.Liga) and had two goals in six games.
MONDAY’S WHL GAMES (all times local):
Victoria at Moose Jaw, 2 p.m.
Brandon at Regina, 2 p.m.
Prince Albert at Swift Current, 2 p.m.
Lethbridge at Edmonton, 2 p.m.
Red Deer at Calgary, 4 p.m.
(NOTE: Monday is a holiday as the Prairie provinces celebrate the end of winter or something like that.)
In Vancouver, the Giants scored three first-period goals, two of them via the PP, en route to a 7-2 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . The Giants ended a five-game losing streak. . . . D Tyler Morrison, with his sixth, D Mason Geertsen, with his third, and F Jackson Houck (28) got the Giants rolling in this one. . . . Houck hadn’t scored in 10 games. . . . Vancouver F ‘Citizen’ Cain Franson later got his 23rd, and then got No. 24. He also had two assists. . . . Vancouver F Joel Hamilton had a goal, his seventh, and three assists, while Houck also had two assists. . . . F Matt Bellerive, a former Vancouver skater, scored twice for Kamloops, giving him 13. . . . The Giants finished 3-for-4 on the PP. Kamloops was 0-for-3. . . . Vancouver held a 51-21 edge in shots. . . . Kamloops G Cole Kehler, 16, stopped 44 shots, 25 more than Vancouver’s Jared Rathjen. . . . F Johnny Wesley, who signed with the Giants earlier this month, made his WHL debut. . . . Kamloops had F Matt Needham, the team captain, on the bench in a coaching capacity. Injuries have limited Needham to 37 games, including just one since Dec. 29. He last played on Jan. 24. . . . Vancouver D Dalton Thrower (ankle) missed his 11th game. The Giants are 4-5-2 without him. . . . Vancouver (28-23-10) is in sole possession of sixth place in the Western Conference, two points ahead of the Everett Silvertips. . . . The Blazers (12-43-5) are 2-18-1 in 2014. They are again tied with the Lethbridge Hurricanes (12-43-5) in the WHL’s cellar. . . .

In Kent, Wash., the Prince George Cougars erased an early 3-0 deficit and beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 6-4. . . . Seattle scored three times in the game’s first 6:48. . . . Prince George F Jansen Harkins broke a 3-3 tie at 5:48 of the second period and drove Seattle G Danny Mumaugh to the bench having allowed four goals on 23 shots. The Cougars promptly scored on their first two shots on G Taran Kozun, who relieved Mumaugh. . . . F Zach Pochiro scored twice, giving him 26, and added an assist for the Cougars, while F Troy Bourke got his 25th goal and had two helpers. . . . Prince George F Todd Fiddler had his 39th goal and an assist. . . . Cougars G Ty Edmonds came on in relief with his side down 3-0 and stopped 39 of 40 shots. . . . F Jaimen Yakubowski scored twice for Seattle, giving him nine goals. . . . Prince George D Wil Tomchuk missed the early part of the game with skate problems so wasn’t on the ice for any of Seattle’s early goals. At game’s end, he had one assist and was plus-4. . . . The Cougars (25-29-8) are two points behind the Tri-City Americans, who hold down the Western Conference’s last playoff spot. . . . Seattle (37-18-5) is fourth, five points behind the Victoria Royals and eight in front of the Spokane Chiefs. . . .

In Spokane, Chiefs F Mitch Holmberg became the WHL’s first 50-goal man this season in a 5-3 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . Holmberg scored twice, giving him 51, and added an assist. The three points also moved him to 100 on the season and put him into a tie with Portland Winterhawks F Nic Petan for the lead in the points derby. . . . Spokane and Portland each has 13 regular-season games remaining. . . . Holmberg has 136 regular-season career goals, 10 behind F Pat Falloon (1988-91), who holds the franchise record. . . . F Mike Aviani helped the Chiefs with his 32nd goal and two assists, while F Adam Helewka had three assists. . . . Helewka, an 18-year-old sophomore from Burnaby, B.C., has 42 points, including 20 goals, in 49 games. Last season, he finished with 27 points, 10 of them goals, in 60 games. . . . Everett F Josh Winquist got his 38th goal of the season. . . . G Carter Hart, 15, made his WHL debut by starting for the Silvertips. He stopped 20 shots. A native of Sherwood Park, Alta., Hart is wearing No. 70. . . . Spokane G Eric Williams turned aside 34 shots. . . . This was Spokane’s 18th straight home-ice victory over Everett. . . . The Chiefs (33-20-5) are fifth in the Western Conference. . . . Everett (28-22-8) is seventh, two points behind Vancouver and four ahead of Tri-City.

From Regan Bartel (@Reganrant), the radio voice of the Kelowna Rockets: “The @WHLsilvertips should be excited about 1st round pick Tyson Jost. Had a 7 pt game today for @OkanaganRockets and set a franchise record.”
More from Bartel: “Jost sets new @OkanaganRockets record for points in a season with 72. Old mark of 71 points was held by @TCAmericans Parker Bowles.”

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