Sunday, February 9, 2014

Hurricanes fire assistant coach

The Lethbridge Hurricanes fired assistant coach Brad Lukowich on Saturday.
Here is the team’s news release, in its entirety:
“The Lethbridge Hurricanes announced Saturday, Assistant Coach Brad Lukowich is no longer with the team.
“LethbridgeHurricanes General Manager Brad Robson says Lukowich has been ‘terminated for cause.’
“Lukowich joined the Hurricanes coaching staff in June 2013 after more than a decade in the National Hockey League with 6 different teams.”
Because Lukowich was fired “for cause,” the Hurricanes won’t pay out his contract.
Lukowich was hired by the Hurricanes on June 24, two weeks after Drake Berehowsky was named head coach.
Lukowich had been in the Dallas Stars organization, while Robson was a regional scout for the NHL team.
"It's been a long relationship so we know each other quite well and him being the GM is the No. 1 thing," Lukowich, who is from Cranbrook, told Trevor Crawley of the Cranbrook Daily Townsman when he signed with Lethbridge. "I know his history, he knows mine, so just going up there even today, it was very comfortable, like we been around each other for a long time. Really, it came down to the term and the familiar face of Brad Robson that landed me in Lethbridge."
Lukowich, 37, played three seasons with the Kamloops Blazers and was on the Memorial Cup-winning teams of 1994 and 1995. He went on to play 658 NHL games with the Dallas Stars, Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, San Jose Sharks and Vancouver Canucks. He retired after spending the 2011-12 season with the AHL’s Texas Stars.
For more, read this story right here from Dylan Purcell of the Lethbridge Herald.
F Austin Glover of the Kelowna Rockets suffered a broken ankle five games into this season. He ended up undergoing surgery and the ankle now includes a steel plate and five pins.
But, as much as he is having trouble believing it, he’s back in the game.
"It still hasn't really sunk in that I'm back," Glover told the Kelowna Daily Courier after scoring 7:50 into his first game back, Wednesday’s 4-3 victory over the visiting Red Deer Rebels, "but I'm just really happy to be out here again and doing my part to help the guys. Hopefully I can keep it going and help the team out. Energy is what I need to bring right now, especially this late in the season, and just some intensity and hard work."
Glover, who turned 18 on Jan. 15, is from Clavet, Sask.
SUNDAY’S WHL GAMES (all times local):
Spokane at Everett, 4:05 p.m.
Brandon at Swift Current, 7 p.m.
MONDAY’S WHL GAMES (all times local):
Tri-City at Kamloops, 2 p.m.
Portland at Prince George, 2 p.m.
Victoria at Vancouver, 2 p.m.
Seattle at Kelowna, 2:05 p.m.
(NOTE: It’s a holiday in B.C., as we enjoy Family Day.)
In Moose Jaw, the Swift Current Broncos ended a three-game losing skid with a 6-3 victory over the Warriors. . . . The Broncos scored the game’s first five goals and coasted from there. . . . F Jay Merkley scored twice for the Broncos, giving him 24 this season. . . . F Graham Black chipped in a goal, his 28th, and three assists for Swift Current. . . . The Broncos had a 45-26 edge in shots. . . . The Broncos (27-21-8) are sixth in the Eastern Conference, two points behind the Kootenay Ice and one ahead of the Regina Pats. . . . The Warriors (14-32-8) are 10th, 22 points out of a playoff spot with 18 games remaining. . . . The Broncos were without F Dakota Odgers, who was suspended for one game, and F Bobby Zinkan, who drew a three-game sentence, after an 8-1 loss to the Wheat Kings in Brandon on Friday night. According to Shawn Mullin, the radio voice of the Broncos, both were suspended for “entering an altercation while in the process of a line change.” . . .

In Prince Albert, D Josh Morrissey broke a 2-2 tie at 3:11 of the third period as the Raiders got past the Medicine Hat Tigers, 3-2. . . . The Tigers led this one 2-0 midway through the second period. . . . Raiders D Sawyer Lange got his guys on the board with his fifth goal at 10:04 of the second, via the PP. . . . F Chance Braid tied it at 15:28 with his sixth goal. . . . Morrissey has 19 goals. . . . Tigers F Curtis Valk picked up an assist to run his point streak to 14 games. . . . Raiders F Leon Draisaitl had two assists. . . . The Raiders (25-26-3) are five points behind the eighth-place Red Deer Rebels in the Eastern Conference. . . . The Tigers (32-20-3) remain fourth in the conference. . . .

In Regina, D Dmitri Sinitsyn and D Kyle Burroughs each had a goal and two assists to help the Pats to a 7-3 victory over the Saskatoon Blades. . . . Sinitsyn has four goals this season; Burroughs has six. . . . Regina led 3-0 by 14:15 of the first period and never looked back. . . . Regina unleashed a 62-shot barrage at Blades G Troy Trombley. . . . Regina F Boston Leier scored his 30th goal. . . . The Pats saluted their namesake, the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, on the occasion of its 100th year of service. That has been a focus of Pats’ promotions this season. . . . The Pats also honoured Regina’s Jon Ryan, the punter for the Super Bowl-champion Seattle Seahawks. . . . The Pats (28-22-5) are seventh in the Eastern Conference, a point behind Swift Current. . . . The Blades are 15-39-4 and won’t make the playoffs. . . .

In Cranbrook, F Sam Reinhart had a goal and two assists as the Kootenay Ice ran their winning streak to five games with a 4-2 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Reinhart has points in 13 straight games. . . . F Jaedon Descheneau and F Tim Bozon each had two assists for the Ice. . . . The Ice had gone into Lethbridge and won 8-1 on Friday. . . . Reinhart has 76 points, including 27 goals, in 43 games. In 186 career regular-season games, he has 225 points, including 92 goals. . . . The Ice took 65 of 112 penalty minutes. . . . The Ice (30-21-4) is fifth in the Eastern Conference, three points behind Medicine Hat. . . . The Hurricanes (11-41-5) have the WHL’s poorest record, .004 behind the Kamloops Blazers. . . .

In Kamloops, G Mack Shields stopped 26 shots as the Calgary Hitmen beat the Blazers, 3-0. . . . Shields, a Saskatoon native who turns 19 on Feb. 13, backs up Chris Driedger. Shields has one shutout this season and three in his career. . . . Driedger blanked the Giants 5-0 in Vancouver on Friday night. . . . Calgary D Jaynen Rissling scored the winner, getting his eighth at 17:30 of the first period on a PP. . . . Hitmen F Brady Brassart, who had his five-game goal streak snapped, drew two assists. . . . Calgary was 2-for-8 on the PP; the Blazers were 0-for-2. The Hitmen have eight PP goals over their last four games. . . . The Blazers took eight minor penalties, with seven of those going to defencemen. . . . Kamloops F Chase Souto took the pregame skate but then was scratched. He apparently was injured in Friday’s 3-1 loss to the visiting Victoria Royals. . . . The Blazers have lost nine in a row. . . . Kamloops (11-40-5) is 1-11-1 since Guy Charron replaced Dave Hunchak as head coach. This is only the second time in Kamloops franchise history that the team has lost 40 or more games. The Junior Oilers lost 53 times in 1981-82; the Blazers lost 41 games in 2007-08. . . . Calgary finished 3-2-0 on its trek through the B.C. Division, winning its last three games. . . . The Hitmen (35-15-6) are five points behind the Central Division-leading Oil Kings. . . .

In Portland, the Winterhawks ran their winning streak to 12 games with a 5-3 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . It is Portland’s longest winning streak this season. The franchise record (15) is shared by the 1979-80 and 1997-98 teams. . . . The Winterhawks, who had a 14-game winning streak last season, next play Monday afternoon when they meet the Cougars in Prince George. The Cougars are riding a six-game winning streak. . . . F Taylor Leier scored twice for the Winterhawks, giving him 27. . . . Portland D Layne Viveiros, whose father Emanuel is coaching the Austrian men’s hockey team at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, scored his third goal of the season. . . . Portland F Oliver Bjorkstrand had his five-game goal streak end, but he picked up two assists. . . . Portland F Nic Petan, who is second in the scoring race, scored his 29th goal and added an assist. He now is two points behind Spokane Chiefs F Mitch Holmberg. . . . Leier’s second goal, at 4:16 of the third period, tied the game 3-3. F Alex Schoenborn broke the tie with his 14th goal at 5:49. . . . Petan added insurance just 57 seconds later. . . . Portland (38-12-5) is nine points behind the Western Conference-leading Kelowna Rockets. . . . Everett (26-21-8) is seventh, three points behind the Vancouver Giants and three ahead of the Tri-City Americans. . . .

In Prince George, the Cougars ran their winning streak to six games with a 7-1 triumph over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . The Cougars had beaten the visiting Rebels 5-3 on Friday. . . . Red Deer has lost six in a row. . . . Cougars F Troy Bourke had two goals, giving him 21, and two assists, while F Jordan Tkatch had four assists. . . . Cougars D Martin Bobos had two assists and was plus-5. . . . F Brad Morrison had two goals, giving him nine, and an assist, while F Todd Fiddler scored twice, giving him 36. . . . Cougars G Adam Beukeboom stopped 17 shots as he won for the second time in two nights. . . . The Cougars (24-26-7) have closed to within two points of Tri-City, which holds down the conference’s last playoff spot. . . . The Rebels (27-25-4) are eighth in the Eastern Conference. . . .

In Vancouver, the Edmonton Oil Kings won their 11th straight game, beating the Giants, 5-1. . . . F Edgars Kulda broke a 1-1 tie with his 20th goal at 19:57 of the first period, via the PP. . . . Edmonton F Curtis Lazar got the game’s first goal, his 30th of the season. He also added an assist. . . . Edmonton was 2-for-7 on the PP; the Giants were 0-for-7. . . . Edmonton G Tristan Jarry stopped 15 shots in posting his league-leading 35th victory. . . . The Oil Kings are 9-1-0 in games played in B.C. Division arenas this season. On this swing, which involved three games in four nights, they also won 3-1 in Kamloops and 3-2 in a shootout in Kelowna. . . . Edmonton (40-13-1) is the second team with 40 victories this season; the other is Kelowna. The Oil Kings lead the Eastern Conference. . . . Vancouver (27-21-9) is sixth in the Western Conference. . . .

In Kelowna, the Victoria Royals set a franchise record for points in one season as they dumped the Rockets, 6-4. . . . The Royals now have 78 points, one more than the record that was set last season. On Friday night, the Royals beat the Blazers 3-1 in Kamloops and set franchise records for victories and road victories in a season. . . . The Rockets blew 2-0 and 3-2 leads. . . . Victoria F Austin Carroll tied the game 3-3 with his 27th goal at 11:59 of the second. . . . Victoria F Steven Hodges snapped that tie with his 15th goal at 4:29 of the third and F Logan Nelson, returning from a two-game WHL suspension, made it 5-3 just 25 seconds later. He‘s got 18 goals. . . . Hodges finished with two goals, while teammate Ben Walker drew three assists and D Joe Hicketts had two. . . . The Rockets got a goal and two assists from F Tyson Baillie, who has 22 goals. . . . The Royals, who are 2-0-1 in Kelowna this season, led 42-34 on the shot clock. . . . Victoria is 7-0-2 in its last nine outings and 37-16-4 on the season. That has it third in the Western Conference, three points ahead of the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . The Rockets (43-8-4) continue to lead the overall standings. They are nine points ahead of Edmonton and Portland. . . .

In Kennewick, Wash., the Spokane Chiefs halted a four-game losing skid with a 7-3 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . The Chiefs took a 3-2 lead into the third period and scored the game’s last four goals. . . . F Mike Aviani scored his 31st goal for the Chiefs, while F Marcus Messier, who was acquired from the Americans in January, notched sixth goal of the season and his first with Spokane. . . . Tri-City D Mitch Topping had two assists as he played in his 300th regular-season game. . . . Spokane G Eric Williams turned aside 31 shots, 10 more than Tri-City’s Eric Comrie. . . . Chiefs D Jason Fram had three assists. . . . Spokane F Mitch Holmberg, the WHL’s scoring leader, had one assist. . . . Spokane (32-18-5) is fifth in the Western Conference, six points behind Seattle. . . . Tri-City is eighth, just two points ahead of Prince George.

From WHL Facts (@WHLFacts): “125 - After tonight's results, the 1978-79 @bdnwheatkings WHL record of 125 single-season points is safe for another year.”
From former WHL D Mark Schneider (@MarkSchneider): “Congrats to my Dad and his @aaawheatkings on locking up first place tonight! 38-3-0-2 is a memorable season! #Jack Adams #ProudAlumni”
Former Wheat Kings captain Ken Schneider is head coach of the midget AAA Wheat Kings.

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