Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Geneva players to honour Tim Bozon with logo

On Monday afternoon, Aurelian ‘Jimmy’ Omer (@jimmyomer) tweeted: “During the playoffs @officialGSHC players will wear a logo on their helmets to support @timbozon94”
Omer is the equipment manager for Genève-Servette HC, which plays in the Swiss National League A.
That logo is pictured above.
F Tim Bozon of the Kootenay Ice remains in Saskatoon’s Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon, where doctors continue to treat him for Neisseria meningitis.
Bozon was admitted to RUH on March 1 and played in a medically induced coma on Thursday.
His father, Philippe, a former NHL and French national team player, told Kamloops This Week on Monday that doctors “have been doing exams today and, normally, we get a meeting every morning. One minute it’s like this and one minute it changes. Right now, we cannot say anything.”
Philippe told the thrice-weekly newspaper that when there is new information the family will provide a statement.
Tim, 19, began his WHL career with the Kamloops Blazers. He was traded to the Ice earlier this season. He has signed a three-year contract with the Montreal Canadiens, who selected him in the third round of the NHL’s 2012 draft.
The WHL begins its final week of play with seven games tonight. Perhaps surprisingly, there are 11 teams still with four games left to play, meaning they will finish up by playing four games in six nights or four in five. Here’s a look at what teams are playing for between now and Sunday, with teams listed in order of winning percentage:

1. Kelowna Rockets, .824 -- With 112 points, the Rockets need one point to clinch first place overall. They visit the Blazers in Kamloops on Wednesday. The Rockets appear headed for a first-round matchup with G Eric Comrie and the Tri-City Americans. . . . Rockets G Jordon Cooke goes into the last four games with 38 victories, three fewer than Edmonton’s Tristan Jarry, who leads the WHL.

2. Portland Winterhawks, .772 -- The Winterhawks would need to win their last four games and have Kelowna lose its last four in order to finish first overall. That isn’t going to happen. Therefore, the Winterhawks will be trying to get their two veteran goaltenders back on track. Brendan Burke has been out with mononucleosis and hasn’t played since Feb. 10. Corbin Boes was shaken up in a goalmouth collision on Friday and didn’t play Saturday. . . . F Nic Petan leads the WHL in assists (74) and is five points off the scoring lead. But he has only two points, both assists, in his last five games. . . . A first-round series with the Vancouver Giants awaits.

3. Victoria Royals, .721 -- The Royals, who spent part of Monday loading up on food in downtown Merritt, B.C., have flown under the radar for much of this season but are the best defensive team in the league, having allowed 168 goals, one fewer than the Edmonton Oil Kings and two fewer than Kelowna. This is a team that has made the commitment to defence and it shows. . . . Victoria will finish third in the Western Conference, so the Royals will want to keep everyone healthy as they prepare to meet the Spokane Chiefs or Everett Silvertips in the first round.

4. Edmonton Oil Kings, .713 -- The Oil Kings are tied with the Calgary Hitmen atop the Eastern Conference, each with 97 points. Edmonton has four games remaining: against visiting Kootenay tonight and in Medicine Hat on Wednesday, then a Saturday-Sunday home-and-home with the Red Deer Rebels that begins in Red Deer. . . . The first tiebreaker is victories and Edmonton leads Calgary by two, 47-45. . . . First place in the conference means a first-round date with the eighth-place team -- Prince Albert, Red Deer or Brandon, teams that will end up about 30 points off the pace. Third place in the conference likely means Swift Current in the first round, although Kootenay still is a possibility.

5. Calgary Hitmen, .703 -- The Hitmen, who are 7-2-1 in their last 10 (Edmonton is 5-4-1), have three games remaining if they are to catch the Oil Kings. Calgary is at home to Lethbridge tonight, in Cranbrook against Kootenay on Friday and at home to the Ice on Saturday.

6. Medicine Hat Tigers, .638 -- Hands up if you saw the Tigers finishing with as many as 45 victories after F Hunter Shinkaruk, a potential 50-goal, 100-point man, had his season ended by hip surgery. . . . The Tigers, who finish up with two games against the Lethbridge Hurricanes, are headed to a fourth-place finish in the Eastern Conference. They will get Kootenay or Swift Current in the first round.

7. Seattle Thunderbirds, .632 -- The Thunderbirds have 40 victories for the first time since 2007-08, when they won 42. . . . Last season, in going 24-38-10, Seattle allowed 286 goals. With four games remaining, that number is 230. . . . Shea Theodore leads all WHL defencemen in assists (55) and points (75). . . . Seattle is fourth in the Western Conference, four points ahead of Spokane and five up on Everett. The Thunderbirds are at home to Spokane tonight and then finish with three in three -- at home to Portland on Friday, in Portland and in Kennewick, Wash., against the Tri-City Americans.

8. Kootenay Ice, .603 -- The Ice is in the playoffs for a 16th consecutive season and needs to win one more game for its ninth 40-victory season its 16 winters in Cranbrook. . . . In fifth place with four games to play, three of them on the road, the Ice is six points behind Medicine Hat and three ahead of Swift Current. Kootenay, which is 21-9-1 since the Christmas break, finishes with four games in five nights, playing in Edmonton tonight, in Red Deer on Wednesday, at home to Calgary on Friday and in Calgary on Saturday. . . . With teammate Tim Bozon in a Saskatoon hospital, you can bet these are emotional times in the Kootenay dressing room. . . . D Tanner Faith won’t play again this season, while D Landon Cross and D Landon Peel are out for up to two weeks. The Ice needs the latter two back if it hopes to make a run. . . . A playoff opponent will have to deal with the high-flying line of Sam Reinhart (97 points in 56 games), Jaedon Descheneau (94 in 66) and Zach Franko (21 in 24 since coming over from Kelowna).

9. Spokane Chiefs, .603 -- The Chiefs, who are fifth in the Western Conference, have won their last two games as they try to ward of the oncoming Everett Silvertips. . . . F Mitch Holmberg, who played in all 68 of the Chiefs’ games, leads the WHL in goals (60) and points (113). The last Spokane skater to lead the WHL in goals was F Tyler Johnson (53, 2010-11); the last to lead in points was F Ray Whitney (185, 1990-91). . . . D Reid Gow is second among defencemen with 54 assists, one behind Seattle’s Shea Theodore. . . . The Chiefs visit the Seattle Thunderbirds tonight, then are at home to Everett on Wednesday, at home to Tri-City on Friday and at the Americans on Saturday.

10. Everett Silvertips, .596 -- No one is hotter than the Silvertips right now. They’ve won eight straight and have points in nine in a row (8-0-1). . . . That allowed them to distance themselves from the eighth-place Vancouver Giants in the Western Conference and close to within a point of Spokane. . . . The Silvertips will finish with four games in five nights, with three of those on the road. They are in Spokane on Wednesday, in Victoria on Friday, at home to Victoria on Saturday and in Portland on Sunday.

11. Regina Pats, .594 -- The Pats got their game together in 2014 and that allowed them to take control of the East Division race. They lead the division by three points over the Swift Current Broncos, with each team having three games to play. First place in the division means the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference and a first-round meeting with Prince Albert, Red Deer or Brandon. . . . G Daniel Wapple is fighting an ankle sprain, leaving Dawson MacAuley to carry the mail, at least in the short term.

12. Swift Current Broncos, .572 -- The Broncos are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games after encountering a late-season slump just prior to that. With three games remaining, they are sixth in the Eastern Conference but still could finish first in the East Division, which would give them the No. 2 seed. They are three points behind Kootenay in the conference and three points behind Regina in the division. . . . The Broncos have a favourable last three games as they finish with two non-playoff teams. They are at home to Saskatoon on Wednesday and then go home-and-home with Moose Jaw on Friday and Saturday, opening in Swift Current. . . . D Julius Honka is second among freshmen in assists (39) and points (55). He leads all freshmen defencemen in goals (16), assists and points.

13. Vancouver Giants, .529 -- After going 1-3 in their first four games this season, the Giants ventured into the East Division where they went 0-4-2. Today, with three games remaining, they are 31-27-11 and anchored in seventh place in the Western Conference. They lead the WHL in loser points (11). . . . G Jared Rathjen, who has had a pretty good season (13-8-5, 2.98, .898), has appeared once since Feb. 21. . . . D Dalton Thrower (ankle), their best player and their captain, hasn’t played since Jan. 24. . . . As the No. 7 seed, they will meet Portland in the opening round of playoffs.

14. Prince Albert Raiders, 522 -- It wasn’t that long ago when the Raiders were losing faster than someone sitting in front of a slot machine. Of late, though, they have won four in a row and are 7-2-1 in their last 10. That has lifted them into a tie for seventh in the Eastern Conference, alongside Red Deer and Brandon. The Raiders, with four games left, have a game in hand on each of those teams. The Raiders will finish with four in five nights: in Moose Jaw tonight, in Regina on Wednesday, at home to Saskatoon on Friday and in Saskatoon on Saturday. . . . D Josh Morrissey leads all defencemen in goals (26), five more than Brandon’s Ryan Pulock. . . . F Leon Draisaitl, the German sophomore, has 97 points, including 62 assists, in 60 games. Since Feb. 1, he has 12 multi-point outings in 17 games. In the Raiders’ four-game winning streak, he has 11 points, including six goals. Yes, he will be a top five selection in the NHL’s 2014 draft.

15. Red Deer Rebels, .514 -- The Rebels have been treading water of late, witness 5-4-1 in their last 10. With three games left, they are tied for the Eastern Conference’s last playoff spot, with Prince Albert and Brandon. . . . The Rebels are at home to Kootenay on Wednesday, then go home-and-home with Edmonton, playing at home Saturday and on the road Sunday.

16. Brandon Wheat Kings, .514 -- The Wheat Kings will finish without F Jayce Hawryluk, their leading scorer, who has three games left in a season-ending four-game WHL suspension. . . . F Peter Quenneville, who has 45 points in 42 games since joining the team from Quinnipiac U, hasn’t played since Feb. 17. . . . Brandon finishes at home to Saskatoon tonight, in Regina on Friday and at home to the Pats on Saturday.

17. Tri-City Americans, .471 -- The Americans need one point to wrap up the Western Conference’s last playoff spot. The prize? A first-round series with the Kelowna Rockets, who will finish atop the overall standings. . . . The Americans (28-32-8) are in a reloading mode. They last finished below .500 in 2005-06 when they went 30-35-7. They then won at least 40 games in each of the next seven seasons. . . . F Phil Tot hasn’t played since Feb. 1. He has 36 points, 15 of them goals, in 49 games, so getting him back would really help. . . . The Americans are in Portland tonight, go home-and-home with Spokane on Friday and Saturday, and finish up against visiting Seattle on Sunday.

18. Prince George Cougars, .429 -- With Tri-City having lost three in a row and having gone 1-7-2 in its last 10, the Western Conference’s last playoff spot was there for the taking. The Cougars, however, have lost five in a row and are just 2-7-1 in their last 10, so remain four points back. . . . They were swept at home by Spokane last weekend and that may have been the final nail. . . . The Cougars have only two games left -- they are in Kamloops on Friday and play host to the Blazers on Saturday. . . . Should Tri-City lose each of its last four games and Prince George sweep the Blazers, the Americans and Cougars would be tied after 72 games. Because they would be tied for the last playoff spot, it would necessitate a tiebreaker game.

19. Moose Jaw Warriors, .355 -- The Warriors (20-40-9) have won three in a row, but that only ensured a 10th-place finish in the Eastern Conference. This will be two straight seasons without a playoff appearance.

20. Saskatoon Blades, .272 -- A year ago, the Blades were preparing for the playoffs knowing that they would appear in the Memorial Cup, as the host team. Today, the Blades, who won at least 40 games in each of the last five seasons, are 16-47-5, have lost eight straight and last season is but a distant memory. . . . F Nikita Scherback leads all first-year players in assists (47) and points (74) and is tied with Brandon F Rihards Bukarts in goals (27).

21. Kamloops Blazers, .225 -- A year ago, the Blazers made a run to the Western Conference final, where they lost in five games to the Portland Winterhawks. . . . Today, the Blazers are 13-51-5 and have set a Kamloops franchise futility record for victories. The franchise record for most losses in a season (53) is also right there, as is the mark for fewest points (35). . . . The fact that the Blazers, who have lost seven in a row, have three players out with broken jaws may sum up their season better than anything else. Three other players -- F Chase Souto, G Justin Myles and D Austin Douglas -- aren’t likely to play again this season, either. Myles, who came over from Seattle at the trade deadline, has yet to play for the Blazers.

22. Lethbridge Hurricanes, .210 -- The Hurricanes will miss the playoffs for a fifth straight season. The history of this franchise can be traced to the Winnipeg Jets in 1967-68. It goes through the Winnipeg Clubs, Winnipeg Monarchs and Calgary Wranglers. When this season is over, this edition of the Hurricanes will own the single-season franchise records for fewest victories, most losses and fewest points. . . . The Hurricanes (13-51-5) are two points behind Kamloops in the turtle derby. Each team has three games remaining.

F Nolan Patrick has joined the Brandon Wheat Kings for the remainder of this season. Patrick, from Winnipeg, was the fourth overall selection in the 2013 WHL bantam draft. . . . The son of former Wheat Kings F Steve Patrick, Nolan had 63 points, including 33 goals, in 39 regular-season games with the midget AAA Winnipeg Thrashers. . . . Patrick is expected to make his WHL debut against the visiting Saskatoon Blades tonight.
D Evan Fiala, the 14th overall pick in the 2012 bantam draft, will be with the Spokane Chiefs for the remainder of this season. He is expected to play tonight against the host Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Fiala, from Clavet, Sask., spent this season with the midget AAA Saskatoon Contacts. He had 16 points, including four goals, in 44 games.
The Saskatoon Blades have added D Turner Ottenbreit, 16, to their roster for the remainder of the season. He played nine games with the Blades earlier in the season, then joined the midget AAA Yorkton Harvest. He had 27 points, nine of them goals, in 42 games with the Harvest. He was the last of Saskatoon’s four 12th-round selections in the 2012 bantam draft. . . . Saskatoon D Ayrton Nikkel, 18, won’t play again this season. He suffered an undisclosed injury in a 6-1 loss to the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors on Friday.
Kevin Waugh of CTV-Saskatoon tweeted on Monday evening that Saskatoon Blades assistant coach Curtis Leschyshyn “will join coaching staff of Saskatoon Blazers Midget AAA next season. Joins son Jake.” . . . With the Blades, Leschyshyn works alongside head coach Dave Struch and Jerome Engele, and goaltending coach Tim Cheveldae.
The Portland Winterhawks will have a couple of neat guests when they open the playoffs at home on March 21 and 22. The Winterhawks have been helping out with the celebration of 100 Years of Hockey in Oregon and as part of that party are bringing the Stanley Cup and the Lester Patrick Cup to Portland. . . . The Portland Rosebuds won the Pacific Coast Hockey Association in 1916 and were awarded the Stanley Cup. . . . The Lester Patrick Cup, which went to the champions of the professional Western Hockey League, was won by the Portland Buckaroos in 1961, ’65 and ’71. . . . According to a news release from the Winterhawks: The two trophies “will be on display at the Oregon Historical Society on Thursday, March 20, from 7:30 – 9 p.m., and then again on Friday, March 21 from 12 – 4 p.m. Fans may also see the trophies on the Moda Center concourse before and during Game 1 of the playoffs on the 21st, and then post-game on the 21st in Dr. Jack’s, the new restaurant on the Rose Quarter campus.”  . . . The Winterhawks will meet the Vancouver Giants in the first round.
Eastern Conference
Edmonton (1) vs. Red Deer (8)
Regina (2) vs. Prince Albert (7)
Calgary (3) vs. Swift Current (6)
Medicine Hat (4) vs. Kootenay (5)
(NOTE: Prince Albert, Red Deer and Brandon are tied for eighth, each with 71 points. Prince Albert has four games remaining; the other two have three games left. Remember that a tie for a conference‘s final playoff spot will result in a tiebreaker game.)
Western Conference
Kelowna (1) vs. Tri-City (8)
Portland (2) vs. Vancouver (7)
Victoria (3) vs. Everett (6)
Seattle (4) vs. Spokane (5)
TUESDAY’S WHL GAMES (all times local):
Saskatoon at Brandon, 7 p.m.
Lethbridge at Calgary, 7 p.m.
Kootenay at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
Prince Albert at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.
Tri-City at Portland, 7 p.m.
Victoria at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.
Spokane at Seattle, 7:05 p.m.
No games scheduled.

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