Saturday, March 22, 2014

A playoff game decided in shootout? It could happen!

Bruce Vance (left), the Prince Albert Raiders' business
manager, presents Tim Bozon and his parents, Philippe
and Helene, with a cheque from the WHL team for the
Tim Bozon Trust.

Bruce Vance, the business manager of the Prince Albert Raiders, made the trip to Saskatoon on Friday morning and made a stop at Royal University Hospital.
He was there to say hello to Kootenay Ice F Tim Bozon, who has been there since being diagnosed with meningitis on March 1.
Vance also presented Bozon and his parents, Helene and Philippe, with a banner that had been signed by Raiders fans, along with a cheque for $1,715. The money was raised at the Ches Leach Lounge in the Art Hauser Centre on Tuesday as fans gathered to watch the Raiders play and win a tiebreaker against the Rebels in Red Deer.
A trust fund has been established to assist the Bozon family with medical- and rehabilitation-related costs with which they now are faced.
You are able to make a donation at any BMO Bank of Montreal branch in Western Canada.
Should you live outside of that area, please mail donations to:
Western Hockey League
c/o Tim Bozon
Father David Bauer Arena
2424 University Drive NW
Calgary AB
T2N 3Y9
Sheesh! Now this should be embarrassing to the WHL.
It announced Friday that today’s playoff game in Edmonton between the Oil Kings and Prince Albert Raiders could end up being decided in a shootout. You know, the ol’ skills competition.
According to a WHL news release:
“NHL Regulations require that the ice in an NHL venue must be clear for three hours prior to one of their games. Prince Albert and Edmonton are scheduled to play at 1:30 pm on Saturday . . . in Rexall Place, followed by an NHL contest between the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers at 8 p.m.
“Consequently, if the WHL game is tied and overtime is needed, there will only be time to play one overtime period. Should the game still be tied after the first overtime period, a shootout (as per WHL regular-season rules) will be held to determine the winning club.”
In the regular season, WHL games that remain tied after a five-minute overtime period (teams play 4-on-4) are decided in a shootout. However, the rules change in playoffs where games tied after regulation time are to be played to a decision by using 20-minute sudden-death overtime periods.
In the case of today's game, the WHL should have required the Oil Kings to scratch the same players who didn’t play Sunday when they were beaten 5-0 by visiting Red Deer, an outcome that forced a tiebreaker between the Rebels and Raiders on Tuesday night.

F Troy Bourke, who played the last three seasons with the Prince George Cougars, made his professional debut on Friday night. And what a debut it was! Bourke, a 19-year-old from Onoway, Alta., had a goal and two assists as his Lake Erie Lock Monsters blanked the Rochester Americans, 5-0, in front of 12,685 fans. He took four shots and was plus-3. . . . Lake Erie is the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche and is coached by former WHL player and coach Dean Chynoweth. . . . Bourke, who scored the game’s first goal at 11:20 of the first period, was a third-round selection by Colorado in the NHL’s 2012 draft.
The Calgary Hitmen will be without two suspended players when they meet the visiting Kootenay Ice in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series tonight. F Joe Mahon drew a one-game suspension after he was hit with a game misconduct at game’s end on Thursday. F Linden Penner was given a ‘tbd’ suspension for a cross-check that got Ice F Zach McPhee in the face. . . . The Ice won the game, 5-2.
The Regina Pats are expected to have D Kyle Burroughs, their captain, and D Colby Williams back in their lineup as they open a first-round series against the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings tonight. . . . Burroughs and Williams, who have been out with head/neck injuries, practised Friday. . . . Regina F Dyson Stevenson, who has a broken hand, didn’t practice and is questionable for tonight. Stevenson had a team-high 38 goals in the regular season.
The Medicine Hat Tigers have added F Matthew Bradley to their roster and, in fact, he made his WHL debut last night in Game 1 of a playoff series with the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Bradley, a second-round selection in the 2012 bantam draft, had 71 points, including 39 goals, in 37 games with the Valley West Hawks of the B.C. Major Midget League. A native of Surrey, B.C., Bradley turned 17 on Jan. 22.
Dwayne Gylywoychuk, a former Brandon Wheat Kings played, assistant coach and head coach, is working as an assistant coach with the team that is representing Canada at the IIHF’s under-18 women’s world championship in Budapest, Hungary. Canada plays its first game on Sunday against Japan. Laura Schuler is Canada’s head coach.
The USHL’s Lincoln Stars fired head coach Jimmy McGroarty on Friday morning, with assistant coach Mike Berge stepping up as interim head coach.
USHLFrom Brent C. Wagner of the Lincoln Journal Star:
“This is the second time McGroarty has been fired as head coach of the Stars. He previously was the head coach from 2007-10. After being fired after winning only 16 games in 2009-10, McGroarty was retained as associate head coach when Chad Johnson took over as head coach.
“McGroarty's second stint as head coach lasted just this season. He helped the team out by taking over as head coach when Johnson resigned because of health and personal reasons in September, just before the start of the regular season. Johnson died in November.
McGroarty did not have the title of interim head coach but still worked without a contract, unlike most USHL head coaches. He did so knowing the season could possibly be tough, with only five returning players from last year’s playoff team, and none of them being proven goal scorers.”
The Stars were 21-26-7 and fifth in their conference when the move was made. They won’t qualify for the playoffs.
According to Wagner, the team received “résumés or phone calls from more than 20 candidates“ within three hours of the move having been made.

In Medicine Hat, G Marek Langhamer stopped 25 shots to lead the Tigers to a 2-1 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . The Tigers lead the best-of-seven first-round series 1-0 with Game 2 in Medicine Hat tonight. . . . F Curtis Valk got the Tigers on the board at 14:57 of the first period, with F Chad Butcher making it 2-0 at 2:55 of the third period. Butcher, who is from Kamloops, had six goals in the regular season. With F Anthony Ast having undergone an appendectomy and not likely to play in the series, Butcher moved up to play alongside Miles Koules and Markus Eisenschmid, each of whom drew an assist on the winner. . . . D Julius Honka scored for the Broncos, getting a PP goal at 8:40 of the third. . . . Broncos G Eetu Laurikainen made 28 saves. . . . The Broncos were 1-for-4 on the PP; the Tigers were 0-for-3. . . . The Tigers, who sold out each of their 36 regular-season home dates (4,006), drew 3,512 fans to the opener.

In Portland, F Oliver Bjorkstrand’s second goal of the game, at 18:23 of the third period, broke a 3-3 tie as the Winterhawks got past the Vancouver Giants, 4-3. . . . The Winterhawks lead the first-round series 1-0 with the second game in Portland tonight. . . . The Giants were outshot 45-16, including 32-9 through two periods, but they hung in there. . . . F Jackson Houck gave the visitors the lead at 6:08 of the first period. . . . Portland took a 2-1 lead on goals 43 seconds apart by F Brendan Leipsic (12:37) and Bookstand (13:20). . . . F Thomas Foster pulled Vancouver into a tie at 17:22. . . . Leipsic got his second of the game at 18:19 of the second period, giving his side a 3-2 lead. . . . D Brett Kulak pulled the Giants even again, at 7:16. . . . F Taylor Leier, D Derrick Pouliot and D Mathew Dumba each had two assists for Portland. . . . Vancouver G Payton Lee stopped 41 shots, while Portland’s Brendan Burke turned aside 13. . . . Houck and Dumba got into a fight as the game ended. . . . Portland F Adam De Champlain was back in the lineup for the first time since Jan. 31. . . . The Portland power play was No. 1 in the WHL in the regular-season, at 27. 5 per cent. But after going 0-for-5 last night, that unit is 3-for-25 against Vancouver this season. . . . The Winterhawks now are 27-1-0 since Dumba played his first game with them on Jan. 17. . . . The first period ended prematurely as there was a problem with one of the gates at the Vancouver bench. The teams were sent to their dressing rooms, then, after repairs were made, they returned to play the final 2:52 of the period. Foster scored 14 seconds after play resumed, tying the score 2-2.
THE FIRST ROUND (best-of-seven; all times local):(x - if necessary)
(Graphics by Taking Note Graphic Department)

WHL team logo EDMONTON (1) vs. PRINCE ALBERT (8)
Season series: Edmonton, 2-1-1; Prince Albert, 2-2-0.
Saturday: Prince Albert at Edmonton, 1:30 p.m.
Sunday: Prince Albert at Edmonton, 4 p.m.
Tuesday: Edmonton at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.
Wednesday: Edmonton at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.
x-Saturday, March 29: Prince Albert at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
x-Sunday, March 30: Edmonton at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.
x-Tuesday, April 1: Prince Albert at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
Edmonton: F Brandon Baddock, 3-5 weeks; D Blake Orban, indefinite.
Prince Albert: D Graeme Craig, indefinite.
WHL team logo
REGINA (2) vs. BRANDON (7)
Season series: Brandon, 5-3-0; Regina, 3-3-2.
Saturday: Brandon at Regina, 7 p.m.
Sunday: Brandon at Regina, 7 p.m.
Wednesday: Regina at Brandon, 7 p.m.
Friday: Regina at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
x-Saturday, March 29: Brandon at Regina, 7 p.m.
x-Monday, March 31: Regina vs. Brandon, at Dauphin, Man., 7 p.m.
x-Wednesday, April 2: Brandon at Regina, 7 p.m.
Brandon: None.
Regina: D Kyle Burroughs, day-to-day; D Tye Hand, indefinite; G Daniel Wapple, day-to-day; D Colby Williams, day-to-day; F Dyson Stevenson, day-to-day.
WHL team logo
(Kootenay leads, 1-0)
Season series: Calgary, 4-4-0; Kootenay, 4-2-2.
Thursday: Kootenay 5 at Calgary 2 (6,649)
Saturday: Kootenay at Calgary, 7 p.m.
Monday: Calgary at Kootenay, 7 p.m.
Tuesday: Calgary at Kootenay, 7 p.m.
x-Thursday: Kootenay at Calgary, 7 p.m.
x-Saturday, March 29: Calgary at Kootenay, 7 p.m.
x-Monday, March 31: Kootenay at Calgary, 7 p.m.
Calgary: F Cal Babych, day-to-day; F Connor Rankin, day-to-day.
Kootenay: F Tim Bozon, indefinite; F Ryan Chynoweth, indefinite; D Landon Cross, day-to-day; D Tanner Faith, 3-5 months.
WHL team logo
(Medicine Hat leads, 1-0)
Season series: Medicine Hat, 2-2-0; Swift Current, 2-2-0.
Friday: Swift Current 1 at Medicine Hat 2 (3,512)
Saturday: Swift Current at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday: Medicine Hat at Swift Current, 7 p.m.
Wednesday: Medicine Hat at Swift Current, 7 p.m.
x-Saturday, March 29: Swift Current at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.
x-Sunday, March 30: Medicine Hat at Swift Current, 7 p.m.
x-Tuesday, April 1: Swift Current at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.
Medicine Hat: F Anthony Ast, indefinite; F Gavin Broadhead, day-to-day; F Steve Owre, day-to-day; F Hunter Shinkaruk, indefinite.
Swift Current: None.
WHL team logo
KELOWNA (1) vs. TRI-CITY (8)
Season series: Kelowna, 4-4-0; Regina, 0-3-1.
Saturday: Tri-City at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.
Sunday: Tri-City at Kelowna, 5:05 p.m.
Tuesday: Kelowna at Tri-City, 7:05 p.m.
Wednesday: Kelowna at Tri-City, 7:05 p.m.
x-Friday: Tri-City at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.
x-Saturday, March 29: Kelowna at Tri-City, 7:05 p.m.
x-Tuesday, April 1: Tri-City at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.
(NOTE: Tri-City plays home games in Kennewick, Wash.)
Kelowna: F Tyson Baillie, day-to-day; D Jesse Lees, indefinite.
Tri-City: F Phil Tot, day-to-day; F Taylor Vickerman, indefinite.
WHL team logo
(Portland leads, 1-0)
Season series: Portland, 4-0-0; Vancouver, 0-3-1.
Friday: Vancouver 3 at Portland 4 (9,756)
Saturday: Vancouver at Portland, 7 p.m.
Tuesday: Portland at Vancouver, 7 p.m.
Wednesday: Portland at Vancouver, 7 p.m.
x-Friday: Vancouver at Portland, 7 p.m.
x-Sunday, March 30: Portland at Vancouver, 2 p.m.
x-Tuesday, April 1: Vancouver at Portland, 7 p.m.
Portland: None.
Vancouver: F Tyler Benson, indefinite; F Jakob Stukel, indefinite; D Dalton Thrower, indefinite; F Ty Ronning, day-to-day.
WHL team logo
Season series: Victoria, 1-3-0; Spokane, 3-1-0.
Saturday: Spokane at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.
Sunday: Spokane at Victoria, 5:05 p.m.
Wednesday: Victoria at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.
Thursday: Victoria at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.
x-Saturday, March 29: Spokane at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.
x-Monday, March 30: Victoria at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.
x-Wednesday, April 2: Spokane at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.
Victoria: None.
Spokane: F Jacob Cardiff, day-to-day; D Colton Bobyk, week-to-week; F Adam Hascic, day-to-day; F Blair Oneschuk, week-to-week.
WHL team logo
Season series: Seattle, 5-4-1; Everett, 5-4-1.
Saturday: Everett at Seattle, 7:05 p.m.
Sunday: Seattle at Everett, 4:05 p.m.
Tuesday: Everett at Seattle, 7:05 p.m.
Friday, March 28: Seattle at Everett, 7:35 p.m.
x-Saturday, March 29: Everett at Seattle, 7:05 p.m.
x-Monday, March 31: Seattle at Everett, 7:05 p.m.
x-Wednesday, April 2: Everett at Seattle, 7:05 p.m.
(NOTE: Seattle plays home games in Kent, Wash.)
Seattle: F Connor Honey, indefinite.
Everett: F Kohl Baum, indefinite.

From Shawn Mullin (@shawnmullin), the radio voice of the Swift Current Broncos: “If you can't play the game under the same rules as everyone else you should move it to a different day or different location.”
More from Mullin: “The decision to change overtime rules for the PA/Edmonton game (today) compromises the integrity of the playoffs. Don't like that one bit.”
From Brent Parker (@Patguy65), the former president and general manager of the Regina Pats: “Couldn’t agree more Shawn!”
From ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo): “Despite over 11 million entries, there are no remaining perfect brackets in the ESPN Tournament Challenge.”

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