Saturday, March 22, 2014

Driedger's shutout allows Hitmen to even series

Kévin Bozon's medal.
From Kévin Bozon (@kevboz12): “C est pas l'or..dommage, juste une envie maintenant, l amener a mon frère @timbozon94 #silvermedal.”
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From Tim Bozon (@timbozon94): “@kevboz12 congrats to my bro on his silver medal! #proudbrother”
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From the Seattle Thunderbirds (@SeattleTbirds): “Big thanks to fans that did 50/50 raffle at Game 1. T-Birds Foundation able to donate $3,391.50 to Tim Bozon Trust. Way to go!”
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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 and want to donate, please mail donations to:
Western Hockey League
c/o Tim Bozon
Father David Bauer Arena
2424 University Drive NW
Calgary AB
T2N 3Y9
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If there is any doubt in your mind about whether the Vancouver Giants will bid to play host to the 2016 Memorial Cup tournament, you can forget it.
Ron Toigo, the Giants’ majority owner, told Greg Douglas, who writes a Saturday column for the Vancouver Sun, that his team is all-in for 2016.
Which is just one of the reasons why Toigo really wants his Giants to be competitive in their first-round series with the Portland Winterhawks.
“In order to get the required 11 votes from the league governors to land a Memorial Cup date, ” Toigo told Douglas on Friday, “we have to convince them that as the host team we’ll be competitive enough to be considered a threat to win it. We’ve been building our roster of young talent through the draft these past couple of years with an eye set on 2016.”
The WHL’s board of governors is expected to hears expressions of interest in October.
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This wasn’t a good week for the WHL office.
First, the Edmonton Oil Kings scratched a handful of key players for a Sunday game with the visiting Red Deer Rebels. Without those players, and playing in front of more than 14,000 fans on Fan Appreciation Night, the Oil Kings were beaten, 5-0. That allowed the Rebels to get into a tiebreaker game with the Prince Albert Raiders. On Tuesday, in Red Deer, the Raiders won that game to get into the playoffs.
Then, the Regina Pats, who play second fiddle to the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders, so need all the media help they can get, closed an early-week practice as they prepared to open a playoff series with the Brandon Wheat Kings. (WHL commissioner Ron Robison told Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post on Saturday night that the Pats have been fined an undisclosed amount. Too bad some of these disciplinary measures don’t show up on the discipline section of the WHL website.)
And, finally, the WHL announced Friday that if Game 1 between the Raiders and host Oil Kings needed to go past one OT period, it would be decided in a shootout because of building availability issues brought on by the NHL game that was to be played there Saturday night.
The Oil Kings saved the WHL from further embarrassment when they won the game, 5-3.
Earlier in the day Bruce Luebke (@wheatkingsvoice), the radio voice of the Brandon Wheat Kings, tweeted a few suggestions the WHL could consider in lieu of a shootout “when building availability an issue.”
Here they are:
1) Winnipeg minor hockey rule, game replayed entirely if tied after one OT;
2) Two 15-minutes periods of straight time, followed by 20-minutes of stop time;
3) Rock, paper, scissors, lizard, spock;
4) HR derby;
5) Team captains throw pucks from bench toward centre-ice dot curling style. Closest wins!;
6) 3-on-3 half-ice scrimmage;
7) Battle of Hockey Enforcers;
8) Alphabetically;
9) Hardest Shot; and
10) HC's in Sumo suits at centre ice. First takedown wins!!
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Meanwhile, Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff), a former radio voice of the Kamloops Blazers who now works for Team 1040 radio in Vancouver, tweeted: “Have never openly pulled for a shootout. But am today. #WHL playoffs.”
After the game, Paterson followed with: “5-3 final. League dodged big ol' bullet. Would have been a few suits squirming had it gone to O/T.”
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Bruce Luebke, in Regina to call the play of Game 1 between the Pats and the Brandon Wheat Kings, wasn’t impressed with home team early last night.
His tweets:
“The Pats, in their infinite wisdom, have decided not to post scratches and starting lineups until after pre-game warmup tonight.”
“As I understand it, this is another violation of the WHL's policies. I wonder if they'll get a free pass on this one as well.”
“1st time in 21 years of broadcasting WHL games (regular season, playoffs, League Final, Memorial Cup) I can remember this happened.”
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SATURDAY’S GAMES:
In Edmonton, F Brett Pollock scored two goals in his first WHL playoff game to help the Oil Kings to a 5-3 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . It was the opener of a first-round series, with Game 2 in Edmonton today. . . . Pollock, who turned 18 on March 17, is from Sherwood Park, Alta. He scored 25 goals in 71 regular-season games. Last season, as a freshman, he had two goals in 40 games. . . . Edmonton F Tyler Robertson broke a 3-3 tie at 19:55 of the second period. He also had an assist. . . . Robertson, a 17-year-old from Sherwood Park, Alta., also was playing in his first playoff game. He had two points in 26 regular-season games. . . . F Curtis Lazar had an empty-net goal and two assists for the Oil Kings. . . . Edmonton took a 3-1 lead in the first period, scoring three times on nine shots and driving Raiders starting G Nick McBride to the bench. Cole Cheveldave came on to stop 32 of 33 shots. . . . Edmonton G Tristan Jarry turned aside 21 shots. . . . The Raiders got a goal from D Brendan Guhle, who also is from Sherwood Park. Guhle didn’t score in 51 regular-season games. . . . Guhle pulled the Raiders to within 3-2 at 18:12 of the first period and F Dakota Conroy tied it at 10:39 on the PP. . . .

In Regina, the Brandon Wheat Kings scored four first-period goals and went on to a 6-3 victory over the Pats. . . . The second game of the series goes tonight in Regina. . . . F Jesse Gabrielle had a goal and two assists for Brandon. . . . Brandon G Jordan Papirny stopped 31 shots. . . . Regina starter Dawson MacAuley was gone after giving up four goals on 10 shots in the first period. Tyler Fuhr came on to stop 23 of 25 shots. . . . Brandon took a 4-0 lead into the second period when the Pats got goals from F Morgan Klimchuk at 3:13 and F Dryden Hunt, on the PP, at 10:51. . . . However, Regina D Ryan Pulock restored the three-goal lead at 16:45. . . . Regina F Connor Gay got his guys to within two at 17:45 of the second. . . . Gabrielle iced it with his goal at 8:19 of the third. . . . Brandon also got goals from the Quenneville brothers, John and Peter. . . . Brandon F Jayce Hawrulyk returned from a four-game WHL suspension to score once and add an assist. . . . The game featured two early picks from the 2013 bantam draft -- F Sam Steel of the Pats, who was taken second overall, and Brandon F Nolan Patrick, who went fourth. . . . Regina F Dyson Stevenson (hand), who led the Pats with 38 regular-season goals, didn’t play. . . . Brandon D Eric Roy didn’t play again after leaving in the second period with an undisclosed injury. . . .

In Calgary, G Chris Driedger stopped 34 shots to help the Hitmen to a 5-0 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . It was Driedger’s second career playoff shutout, and allowed the Hitmen to tie the series, 1-1. . . . Games 3 and 4 will be played in Cranbrook on Monday and Tuesday nights. . . . Calgary F Brady Brassart had a goal and two assists. He also was foiled on a second-period penalty shot. . . . F Adam Tambellini also scored once and drew two assists. . . . Calgary F Landon Welykholowa, playing his first WHL playoff game because two teammates were serving WHL suspensions, scored twice, including the winner, at 6:29 of the first period. . . . Welykholowa, who turned 18 on Jan. 1, had one goal in 18 games with the Victoria Royals last season. This season, the Calgarian had four points, all assists, in 16 games with his hometown team. He played most of the season with the AJHL’s Calgayr Canucks. . . . Ice G Mackenzie Skapski stopped 27 shots. . . . The Hitmen were without F Joe Mahon and F Linden Penner, both of whom were suspended by the WHL for Game 1 transgressions. . . . D Tyler King was among the Ice’s scratches. He left in the first period of Game 1 after absorbing a hit from Calgary F Brady Brassart, who was penalized for boarding. . . . The Ice also scratched veteran D Landon Cross as it dressed 16 skaters, two under the maximum. . . .

In Medicine Hat, F Chad Butcher broke a 2-2 tie at 12:11 of the third period and the Tigers went on to a 4-2 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Medicine Hat leads the series 2-0 as it shifts to Swift Current for games on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. . . . D Tommy Vannelli and F Miles Koules gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead with second-period PP goals. . . . The Broncos tied it on third-period goals from F Jack DeBrusk (7:58) and F Nate Burns (10:35). . . . Tigers F Trevor Cox got an empty-netter at 19:58. . . . Koules and Cox each finished with a goal and an assist, as did DeBrusk. . . . The Tigers were 2-for-4 on the PP; the Broncos were 0-for-3. . . . Tigers G Marek Langhamer stopped 34 shots, one more than the Broncos’ Eetu Laurikainen. . . .

In Portland, G Brendan Burke stopped 15 shots and the Winterhawks scored two power-play goals as they beat the Vancouver Giants, 3-0. . . . That was Burke’s first career playoff shutout and came in his fourth post-season appearance. . . . The Winterhawks take a 2-0 series lead to Vancouver for games on Tuesday and Wednesday. . . . F Nic Petan opened the scoring on the PP at 16:00 of the first period. . . . Portland got second-period goals from F Alex Schoenborn at 5:47 and F Taylor Leier at 7:37, on the PP. . . . Portland was 2-for-9 on the PP; Vancouver was 0-for-4. . . . Vancouver G Payton Lee turned aside 40 shots. . . . Jared Rathjen, Vancouver’s backup goaltender, was struck in the face by a puck while on the bench in the first period and needed some repairs. . . . Portland F Paul Bittner left in the second period, but returned to the bench early in the third. . . .

In Victoria, D Travis Brown scored at 8:10 of OT to give the Royals a 2-1 victory over the Spokane Chiefs. . . . Game 2 is scheduled for today in Victoria. . . . Royals F Ben Walker scored the game’s first goal, at 15:26 of the first period. . . . F Riley Whittingham pulled the Chiefs even at 2:22 of the third. . . . Victoria G Patrick Polivka stopped 26 shots, five fewer than Spokane’s Eric Williams. . . . Spokane was 0-for-5 on the PP; Victoria was 0-for-3. . . . Spokane lost F Keanu Yamamoto in the second period with an undisclosed injury. . . .

In Kent, Wash., G Taran Kozun stopped 37 shots, including 18 in the second period, to lead the host Seattle Thunderbirds to a 2-1 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . Game 2 in the series is scheduled for today in Everett. . . . All three goals came via the PP. . . . The Thunderbirds got two first-period goals, from F Russ Maxwell (2:27) and D Shea Theodore (11:44). . . . Everett F Patrick Bajkov scored at 2:43 of the second period. . . . Everett G Austin Lotz stopped 20 shots. . . . Seattle was 2-for-4 on the PP; Everett was 1-for-6. . . . Everett has been in the WHL for 11 seasons; this was the first playoff game between these teams. . . .

In Kelowna, F Rourke Chartier scored twice to lead the Rockets to a 3-1 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . The second game in the series will be played in Kelowna today. . . . Chartier opened the scoring at 7:09 of the first period and closed it with an empty-netter at 19:17 of the third. . . . Tri-City F Brian Williams pulled his guys even on a PP just 47 seconds into the second. . . . Kelowna F Myles Bell broke the tie at 17:53 of the second, also on a PP. . . . Each team was 1-for-4 on the PP. . . . Kelowna G Jordon Cooke stopped 32 shots. . . . Tri-City G Eric Comrie, who started just once in four regular-season games against the Rockets, stopped 32 shots.
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THE FIRST ROUND (best-of-seven; all times local):
(x - if necessary)
(Graphics by Taking Note Graphics Department)
EASTERN CONFERENCE
WHL team logo EDMONTON (1) vs. PRINCE ALBERT (8)
Season series: Edmonton, 2-1-1; Prince Albert, 2-2-0.Saturday: Prince Albert 3 at Edmonton 5 (6,534)
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: 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.
INJURIES
Edmonton: F Brandon Baddock, 3-5 weeks; D Blake Orban, indefinite.
Prince Albert: D Graeme Craig, indefinite.
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WHL team logo
REGINA (2) vs. BRANDON (7)
Season series: Brandon, 5-3-0; Regina, 3-3-2.Saturday: Brandon 6 at Regina 3 (6,200)
Sunday: Brandon at Regina, 7 p.m.
Wednesday: Regina at Brandon, 7 p.m.
Friday: Regina at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
x-Saturday: 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.
INJURIES
Brandon: G Kord Pankewicz, day-to-day.
Regina: D Tye Hand, indefinite; G Daniel Wapple, day-to-day; F Dyson Stevenson, day-to-day.
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WHL team logo
CALGARY (3) vs. KOOTENAY (6)
Season series: Calgary, 4-4-0; Kootenay, 4-2-2.Thursday: Kootenay 5 at Calgary 2 (6,649)
Saturday: Kootenay 0 at Calgary 5 (9,019)
Monday: Calgary at Kootenay, 7 p.m.
Tuesday: Calgary at Kootenay, 7 p.m.
Thursday: Kootenay at Calgary, 7 p.m.
x-Saturday: Calgary at Kootenay, 7 p.m.
x-Monday, March 31: Kootenay at Calgary, 7 p.m.
INJURIES
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 Tyler King, day-to-day; D Tanner Faith, 3-5 months.
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WHL team logo
MEDICINE HAT (4) vs. SWIFT CURRENT (5)
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 2 at Medicine Hat 4 (3743)
Tuesday: Medicine Hat at Swift Current, 7 p.m.
Wednesday: Medicine Hat at Swift Current, 7 p.m.
x-Saturday: 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.
INJURIES
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.
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WESTERN CONFERENCE
WHL team logo
KELOWNA (1) vs. TRI-CITY (8)
Season series: Kelowna, 4-4-0; Regina, 0-3-1.Saturday: Tri-City 1 at Kelowna 3 (5,827)
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: 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.)
INJURIES
Kelowna: D Jesse Lees, indefinite.
Tri-City: F Taylor Vickerman, indefinite.
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WHL team logo
PORTLAND (2) vs. VANCOUVER (7)
Season series: Portland, 4-0-0; Vancouver, 0-3-1.Friday: Vancouver 3 at Portland 4 (9,756)
Saturday: Vancouver 0 at Portland 3 (10,947)
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.
INJURIES
Portland: None.
Vancouver: F Tyler Benson, indefinite; F Jakob Stukel, indefinite; D Dalton Thrower, indefinite; F Ty Ronning, day-to-day.
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WHL team logo
VICTORIA (3) vs. SPOKANE (6)
Season series: Victoria, 1-3-0; Spokane, 3-1-0.Saturday: Spokane 1 at Victoria 2 (OT) (6,615)
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: 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.
INJURIES
Victoria: None.
Spokane: D Colton Bobyk, week-to-week; F Adam Hascic, day-to-day; F Blair Oneschuk, week-to-week.
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WHL team logo
SEATTLE (4) vs. EVERETT (5)
Season series: Seattle, 5-4-1; Everett, 5-4-1.
Saturday: Everett 1 at Seattle 2 (4,650)
Sunday: Seattle at Everett, 4:05 p.m.
Tuesday: Everett at Seattle, 7:05 p.m.
Friday: Seattle at Everett, 7:35 p.m.
x-Saturday: 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.)
INJURIES
Seattle: F Connor Honey, indefinite.
Everett: F Kohl Baum, indefinite; F Tyler Sandhu, day-to-day.
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From Jeff Hollick (@JHollick_ICE), the radio voice of the Kootenay Ice, before Saturday’s game in Calgary: “Already has been a great day for the ICE as all the players & coaches had a chance to Face Time with Tim Bozon this morning.”

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