Saturday, February 1, 2014

Goaltender credited with a snipe; Cougars are rolling

D Harlan Pratt (Seattle, Red Deer, Prince Albert, Regina, Portland, 1994-99) has signed with Löwen Frankfurt (Germany, Oberliga West). Last season, with Alba Volan Székesfehérvár (Hungary, Austria Erste Bank Liga), Pratt had 28 points, seven of them goals, in 53 games. . . .
G Ian Gordon (Swift Current, Saskatoon, 1992-95) has signed with Löwen Frankfurt (Germany, Oberliga West) as a precautionary third goalie. Last season, Gordon was with Ingolstadt, going 2.49 and .909 in 33 games. He presently is the goaltending coach with the Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL). . . .
(Note: Frankfurt’s signings of Pratt and Gordon are both as precautions. The signing deadline in Germany was Friday if a player is to be eligible to play this season. . . . Frankfurt’s record this season is 34-0-0, with one overtime victory. It has scored 267 goals and allowed 60 as it pushes for promotion to DEL2 for next season. . . . Frankfurt’s GM is Rich Chernomaz (Saskatoon, Victoria Cougars, 1979-83). Chernomaz also was the head coach of Hungary at WJC D2 this season.)

BCHLIn the MJHL, the Selkirk Steelers’ franchise-record winning streak ended at 20 games as they dropped a 5-4 shootout decision to the host Portage Terriers on Saturday night. The Steelers tied the MJHL’s single-season record on Friday night, beating the Steinbach Pistons 3-2, and now share that mark with the 2012-13 Dauphin Kings, who also put together a 20-game winning streak.
G Chris Driedger of the Calgary Hitmen, who was credited with a goal on Saturday night, set a franchise record in the first period of Friday’s 7-4 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. During that period, he made his 3,375th career save, breaking the record that had been held by Martin Jones (2006-10). . . . Jones now is with the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings.
Neate Sager has more right here on the Friday night fisticuffs between F Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice and D Josh Morrissey of the Prince Albert Raiders. As Sager points out, not only was it the first bout of Reinhart’s WHL career, but he had spent only 65 seconds in the penalty box to that point in the entire season.
If you are in the market for a major junior team, the Sarnia Observer reports that the OHL’s Sarnia Sting franchise is for sale. That story is right here.
TODAY’S WHL GAMES (all times local):
None scheduled. Hey, it’s Super Bowl Sunday. Enjoy! . . . Despite my respect for Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning, I’ve got the swaggering Seattle Seahawks, by three.
F Chandler Stephenson had a goal and two assists and was plus-4 as he led the host Regina Pats to a 5-2 victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . Stephenson has 24 goals. . . . The Pats are 7-0 against the Warriors this season. . . . F Jack Rodewald, a former Regina skater, had both Moose Jaw goals, giving him 16. . . . Regina G Daniel Wapple stopped 33 shots. . . . The victory lifted Regina (27-21-5) to within one point of the fifth-place Swift Current Broncos in the Eastern Conference. . . . The Warriors (13-31-8) are 10th in the conference. . . .

In Swift Current, F Troy Bourke scored twice and added an assist to help the Prince George Cougars to a 6-2 victory over the Broncos. . . . It was the sixth game in nine nights in the East Division for the Cougars, who lost the first two and then won four in a row. . . . Bourke has 19 goals this season. He also has a career-high 57 points in 52 games, one more than he scored in 71 games in 2011-12. . . . F Klarc Wilson also scored twice for the Cougars; he’s got 22. . . . Cougars F Todd Fiddler had two assists. . . . Prince George G Adam Beukeboom turned aside 38 shots in evening his record at 3-3-0. . . . Broncos F Nate Burns scored his 20th goal. He’s got 14 points, including four goals, in 12 games since moving from Saskatoon in a January deal. On the season, he has 57 points in 52 games. . . . The Cougars (22-26-7) are six points out of the last Western Conference playoff spot. . . . The Broncos (26-19-8) are one point behind the fourth-place Medicine Hat Tigers in the Eastern Conference. . . .

F Rihards Bukarts scored twice to help the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings to a 4-1 victory over the Blades in Saskatoon. . . . Bukarts, who served a one-game suspension earlier in the week, has 21 goals. . . . The Wheat Kings halted a three-game losing streak as they played their fourth game in in a five-night road swing. . . . Brandon D Rene Hunter and F Tim McGauley each had two assists. . . . Brandon G Jordan Papirny stopped 33 shots. . . . The Wheaties were 2-for-9 on the PP; the Blades were 0-for-5. . . . The Blades had F Ty Mappin in their lineup as they brought him in from the AJHL’s Olds Grizzlys. They had acquired Mappin at the trade deadline, getting him from the Everett Silvertips for a conditional seventh-round 2015 bantam draft pick. He was the seventh overall selection in the 2011 bantam draft. . . . The Wheat Kings (27-19-6) are tied with Swift Current atop the East Division, but more victories (27-26) puts them in first place. . . . The Blades (14-36-4) are 11th in the 12-team Eastern Conference. . . .

In Cranbrook, G Chris Driedger of the Calgary Hitmen was credited with the game’s first goal, but the Kootenay Ice came back to score a 5-2 victory. . . . Driedger is the sixth goaltender in WHL history to be credited with a goal, the first since Jordan McLaughlin of the Prince George Cougars scored against the Vancouver Giants on March 5, 2003. The other goaltenders with goals -- Jason Clague, Red Deer Rebels, March 28, 1994; Jeff Calvert, Tacoma Rockets, Dec. 29, 1992; Chris Osgood, Medicine Hat Tigers, Jan. 3, 1991; and, Olaf Kolzig, Tri-City Americans, Nov. 29, 1989. . . . Driedger was credited with the goal when he was the last Calgary player to touch the puck before the Ice scored an own goal in trying to move the puck back to the point in the offensive zone while a delayed penalty was waiting to be called. . . . The Hitmen led this one 2-0 at 5:54 of the first period, but gave up the game’s last five goals. . . . F Tim Bozon scored twice for the Ice, giving him 23, while F Austin Vetterl got his ninth and 10th. . . . Ice F Sam Reinhart had three assists, running his point streak to 10 games. . . . Ice F Luke Philp had his 12-game point streak halted. . . . Kootenay’s last two goals came into an empty Calgary net. . . . The Ice (27-21-4) is 7-2-1 in its last 10 and is seventh in an awfully tight Eastern Conference where six teams are separated by four points. . . . The Hitmen (32-14-6) are five points behind the Central Division-leading Edmonton Oil Kings. . . .

In Red Deer, F Brian Williams had a goal and two assists as the Tri-City Americans doubled the Rebels, 4-2. . . . Williams has 33 goals. . . . Tri-City G Eric Comrie stopped 27 shots in running his record to 23,17-5. He has a 2.29 GAA with a .932 save percentage. . . . The Americans were 1-for-9 on the PP; the Rebels were 2-for-8. . . . Americans D Josh Thrower was tossed at 18:41 of the first period with a headshot major. . . . The Americans (26-22-5) are eighth in the Western Conference, three points behind the Everett Silvertips. . . . The Rebels (27-22-3) own the Eastern Conference’s last playoff spot. They are one point behind Kootenay and eight up on the Prince Albert Raiders. . . .

In Medicine Hat, the Edmonton Oil Kings ran their winning streak to eight games with a 5-1 victory over the Tigers. . . . F Mitch Moroz scored twice for Edmonton, giving him 29 goals this season and tying him for the team led with F Curtis Lazar, who had one goal. . . . Edmonton D Cody Corbett drew three assists. . . . F Curtis Valk of the Tigers scored the game’s first goal, his 28th. . . . Edmonton G Tristan Jarry stopped 25 shots. He’s now 33-11-1, 2.28, .912. . . . The Oil Kings have won 14 of their last 15 games. . . . The Oil Kings (37-13-1) lead the Eastern Conference. . . . The Tigers (29-19-3) are fourth, one point ahead of Brandon and Swift Current. . . .

In Portland, G Brendan Burke put up his second shutout in as many nights as the Winterhawks ran their winning streak to 10 games with a 3-0 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Burke stopped 16 shots in posting his third shutout this season. . . . One night earlier, he beat the visiting Spokane Chiefs, 6-0. . . . Seattle G Taran Kozun turned aside 46 shots as his record slipped to 7-1-0 since he was acquired from the Kamloops Blazers at the trade deadline. . . . The Winterhawks held a 22-2 edge in shots in the second period. . . . Portland F Oliver Bjorkstrand had a goal, his 37th, and an assist. . . . Portland D Derrick Pouliot had two assists. . . . Seattle F Keegan Kolesar drew a fighting major and game misconduct when he tried to scrap with an unwilling Brendan Leipsic. On Dec. 17, Leipsic drew a match penalty and a seven-game suspension for a hit that left Kolesar with a concussion. . . . Portland was 2-for-8 on the PP as it received the game’s first seven man-advantage situations. . . . Seattle was 0-for-2. . . . The Winterhawks have outscored the opposition 53-13 during its 10-game winning streak. This is their second 10-game win streak this season; they won 11 straight from Oct. 12 to Nov. 2. . . . Seattle F Branden Troock returned to the lineup after not having played since Jan. 4. . . . Portland (36-12-5) is 10 points behind the Western Conference-leading Kelowna Rockets. . . . Seattle (32-16-5), which is 8-2-0 in its last 10, is fourth, two points in back of the Victoria Royals. . . .

In Everett, F Ivan Nikolishin scored his 13th goal, via the PP, at 4:24 of OT to give the Silvertips a 5-4 victory over the Spokane Chiefs. . . . Everett had lost its last six games. . . . Spokane F Mitch Holmberg had forced OT with his WHL-leading 47th goal at 8:34 of the third. . . . Injuries limited Everett to 16 skaters, two under the maximum. . . . Everett F Kohl Bauml had a goal, his 12th, and two assists, while F Josh Winquist scored his 33rd goal and set up two others. . . . Spokane F Mike Aviani completed a three-game WHL suspension for a headshot on Kamloops D Connor Clouston on Tuesday. . . . Spokane got two goals from F Colton Bobyk, who now has four on the season. . . . Each team used both of its goaltenders in this one. . . . Everett (26-19-8) is seventh in the Western Conference, a point behind the Vancouver Giants and three ahead of Tri-City. . . .

In Kelowna, F Myles Bell scored four times and added two assists as the Rockets dumped the Kamloops Blazers, 7-3. . . . With the victory, the Rockets became the first WHL team to clinch a playoff spot. They have 20 regular-season games remaining. . . . One night earlier, in Kamloops, Bell had two goals and an assist in a 4-2 Kelowna victory. . . . On the season, Bell has 61 points, including 35 goals, in 50 games. . . . F Collin Shirley scored twice for Kamloops; he’s got 10. . . . D Austin Douglas scored his first WHL goal for Kamloops. It came in his 22nd game, the first 13 of which were played with Seattle. . . . The Rockets were 2-for-3 on the PP; on Friday night, they were 3-for-5. . . . Kelowna is 7-0-0 against Kamloops this season and has a 34-14 edge in goals. . . . The Blazers hadn’t scored more than two goals in any of the first six games. . . . The Rockets (42-7-3) lead the overall standings by 10 points over Portland. . . . The Blazers (11-37-5) won’t make the playoffs. . . .

D Joe Hicketts scored 36 seconds into OT to give the host Victoria Royals a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . One night earlier, the Giants had beaten the Royals 5-4 in a shootout. . . . Hicketts, who returned to the lineup Friday for the first time since Oct. 26, has five goals this season. He had two assists in his return Friday after missing 34 games. . . . Vancouver erased a 2-0 deficit and forced OT on goals by F Cain Franson, his 20th at 15:10 of the second, and F Ty Ronning, his sixth at 6:22 of the third. . . . Victoria F Logan Nelson had a goal, his 16th, and an assist. . . . F Ben Walker got his 20th goal of the season for the Royals. . . . Attendance was 7,006 on a Pink the Rink night. . . . The Royals (34-16-3) are third in the Western Conference, six points behind Portland and two ahead of Seattle. . . . The Giants (26-19-9) are sixth.

From Thom Beuning (@ThomBeuning), the radio voice of the Seattle Thunderbirds: “After starting 0-3, @SeattleTbirds finish January 10-4. Last time they had double digit wins in a month, 6 years ago, February 2008 (10-4).”
From Kootenay Ice G Mackenzie Skapski (@Skaps29): “Got absolutely sniped by @ChrisDriedger. Yes. I repeat. I got sniped by the other teams goalie.... #scoring machine.”

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