F Cameron Hughes of Edmonton, who was selected by the Swift Current Broncos in the ninth round of the 2011 bantam draft, has made a verbal commitment to attend the U of Wisconsin and play for the Badgers. It hasn’t yet been decided whether he will make the jump next season or in 2015-16. . . . Andy Johnson of buckys5thquarter.com writes: “Hughes was widely regarded as the top uncommitted forward in Western Canada. Early reports consider the elite-skating center a potential top-two round draft pick for the 2015 NHL draft.” . . . Hughes has 44 points, 17 of them goals, in 44 games with the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints.
“Using advanced imaging techniques,” writes Sheryl Ubelacker of The Canadian Press, “researchers have detected microstructural brain damage in male and female varsity hockey players who sustained a concussion — changes that aren't apparent with standard hospital-based MRI scans.” . . . It’s one more step in the process as doctors move towards a better understanding of brain injuries. . . . Her complete story is right here.
The Kamloops Blazers apparently have decided to shut down F Tyson Ness and allow him to go home to Grande Prairie, Alta., to recover from a broken jaw suffered last month. . . . Jon Keen, the radio voice of the Blazers, tweeted this on Tuesday: “Despite a report injured Blazer F Tyson Ness would try and come back to play final wknd of the season, the decision has been made for Tyson to return home to Grande Prairie to recover from a broken jaw, ending his WHL career.” . . . The day after Ness was hurt, I reported that he had told people within the Blazers organization that he badly wanted to return to play one last game in order to end his career on his terms. That apparently won’t happen.
The SPHL’s Fayetteville FireAntz have named Emery Olauson as their head coach. Olauson, 32, is from Canmore, Alta., and played two seasons with the FireAntz. He replaces Greg McAuley, who resigned late last month in order to spend more time with his ailing mother. . . . Assistant coach Sean Edwards ran the bench for the last three games and will stay on under Olauson, who had been working as an assistant coach with the SJHL’s Flin Flon Bombers.
WEDNESDAY’S WHL GAMES (all times local):
Medicine Hat at Brandon, 7 p.m.
Saskatoon at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.
Edmonton at Kamloops, 7 p.m.
Red Deer at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.
Seattle at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.
Calgary at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.
F Curtis Valk had a goal and two assists to lead the Medicine Hat Tigers to a 4-1 victory over the host Regina Pats. . . . Valk, who has 29 goals, ran his point streak to 11 games. . . . Medicine Hat G Marek Langhamer stopped 41 shots. . . . Regina’s lone goal came from F Chandler Stephenson, his 25th, on a second-period penalty shot. . . . The Tigers (30-19-3) are fourth in the Eastern Conference and visit the Eastern Division-leading Brandon Wheat Kings (27-19-6) tonight. . . . The Pats (27-22-5) are seventh. . . .
In Prince Albert, the Raiders scored the game’s last four goals and beat the Swift Current Broncos, 5-2. . . . Raiders F Leon Draisaitl scored three times and added an assist, completing his first WHL hat trick into an empty net at 19:52 of the third period. He’s got 22 goals. . . . Draisaitl, a sophomore from Cologne, Germany, has 64 points in 44 games. Last season, he finished with 58 points, including 21 goals, in 64 games. . . . F Coda Gordon scored his 20th goal for the Broncos. . . . Prince Albert D Josh Morrissey drew three assists, giving him 48 points in 39 games. Last season, as a sophomore, he finished with 47 points in 70 games. Morrissey has a career-high 17 goals and his 31 assists are one shy of last season‘s career high. . . . F Collin Valcourt added a goal, his 17th, and two assists for the Raiders. . . . The start of the game was delayed after the Broncos encountered some minor bus problems en route. . . . Referees Jon Stephenson and Colin Watt called only two minor penalties, both to the Broncos. . . . Raiders G Cole Cheveldave stopped 34 shots. . . . The Raiders (24-25-3) are seven points out of a playoff spot. . . . The Broncos (26-20-8) are tied for fifth in the Eastern Conference but have lost two in a row and are 3-5-2 in their last 10. . . .
In Cranbrook, the Saskatoon Blades couldn’t handle Kootenay’s big line as the Ice skated to a 6-3 victory. . . . Jaedon Descheneau, Sam Reinhart and Zach Franko combined for 16 points as they scored all five Ice goals. . . . Descheneau had his third WHL three-goal game -- he’s got 34 goals -- and added three assists. . . . Franko scored twice, giving him 17 goals, and added three assists. . . . Reinhart picked up his 25th goal and drew four assists as he ran his point streak to 11 games. . . . Descheneau has 71 points in 51 games; Reinhart has 70 points in 41 games; Franko has 12 points in nine games since joining the Ice from the Kelowna Rockets at the trade deadline. On the season, he’s got 30 points in 48 games. . . . Reinhart has 20 points, nine of them goals, in eight games since rejoining the Ice from Canada’s national junior team. . . . D Tyler King was the only other Kootenay player with a point as he drew an assist on Franko’s empty-netter at 19:25 of the third period. . . . The Ice led this one 3-0 before the first period was half over. . . . Blades D Dylan Busenius, who played in his 299th regular-season game, had two assists. . . . The Ice (28-21-4) has won three in a row and seven of 10, and has moved into a fifth-place tie with Swift Current. . . . The Blades (14-37-4) have lost four in a row. . . .
In Vancouver, F Cain Franson scored his 21st goal of the season at 4:20 of OT as the Giants beat the Red Deer Rebels, 3-2. . . . Red Deer F Conner Bleackley forced OT with his 24th goal at 15:47 of the third period, via the PP. . . . The Giants led 2-0 in the second period. . . . Vancouver started a four-game homestand with the victory; Red Deer, which has lost three in a row, opened a four-game road trip. . . . F Aspen Sterzer had a goal, his 22nd, and an assist for the Rebels. . . . Russian D Dmitry Osipov, the first selection in the 2013 CHL import draft, got his second goal of the season for Vancouver. Osipov, 17, has two points, both goals, in 38 games. . . . Vancouver head coach Don Hay posted his 604th WHL coaching victory, moving him past Lorne Molleken and into second place on the all-time list. He trails only Ken Hodge (742). . . . Vancouver (27-19-9) is sixth in the Western Conference, four points behind the Spokane Chiefs. . . . Red Deer (27-22-4) holds down the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot, seven points ahead of Prince Albert. . . .
In Victoria, the Royals erased a 2-1 deficit with two goals 51 seconds apart late in the second period and went on to beat the Calgary Hitmen, 7-2. . . . Victoria F Austin Carroll, who scored three times for his second hat trick this season, tied it 2-2 at 18:46 and F Logan Nelson made it 3-2 at 19:37. . . . Carroll, who had scored just twice in his previous 13 games, now has 25 goals this season; Nelson has 17. . . . Carroll, a 19-year-old from Scottsdale, Ariz., scored 15 goals last season and seven as a rookie. He has 41 points in 52 games this season; last season, he finished with 42 in 67. . . . Victoria got two assists from each of D Jordan Fransoo, F Steven Hodges and F Tyler Soy. . . . Royals F Braden Oleksyn, a 17-year-old from Saskatoon who came to Victoria in a swap with Calgary, scored his first WHL goal. It came in his 11th game, four of which have been with the Royals. . . . Calgary F Brady Brassart reached the 100-goal mark in his 304th regular-season game. . . . Victoria G Coleman Vollrath stopped 24 shots. . . . The teams meet again tonight in Victoria. . . . The Royals (35-16-3) tied the franchise record set last season for victories in one season. They are 3-0-1 in their last four games and are third in the Western Conference, two points ahead of Seattle. . . . The Hitmen (32-15-6) have lost their last two and are 3-6-1 in their last 10. They are a comfortable third in the Eastern Conference. . . .
In Kent, Wash., the host Seattle Thunderbirds scored the game’s last two goals and beat the Everett Silvertips, 5-3. . . . Seattle F Alexander Delnov broke a 3-3 tie with his 21st goal at 9:31 of the third period, with F Justin Hickman getting his second of the game and 15th this season at 14:55. . . . Hickman also had an assist. . . . F Mathew Barzal had a goal, his ninth, and two assists for Seattle, with F Ryan Gropp and B Branden Troock each getting two assists. . . . Seattle G Danny Mumaugh turned aside 34 shots. . . . Seattle (33-16-5) is 8-2-0 in its last 10. . . . Everett (26-20-8) is seventh, three points ahead of the Tri-City Americans. But while the Americans are 7-2-1 in their last 10, the Silvertips, who are battling injuries and a flu bug, are 2-7-1.
From the Lethbridge Herald’s Dylan Purcell (@dylpurcell): “I sure hope he's OK, Hurricanes assistant coach Brad Lukowich misses a sixth day of team activities, team says he sick.”
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