Saturday, March 29, 2014

Wheat Kings, Rockets advance; Silvertips stay alive

F Jeff Smith (Red Deer, 1998-2002) has signed for season with the Melbourne Ice (Australia, AIHL). The AIHL season starts April 12. Smith also will coach in the Melbourne Ice Academy. This season, with the Hull Stingrays (England, UK Elite), he had 15 points, five of them goals, in 57 games. He was the team captain.

George Johnson, the Calgary Herald’s sports columnist, is one of the best-kept secrets in Canadian writing circles. He’s good . . . really good. Johnson was at Thursday’s game between the host Calgary Hitmen and Kootenay Ice. His column is right here. Enjoy!
It seems that Bruno Campese, the general manager of the Prince Albert Raiders, didn’t go quietly into the night as his club was swept from the first round with a Game 4 loss to the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings on Wednesday night. According to the WHL website, Campese has been fined $500 “for comments to WHL Supervisor.”
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
The Kootenay Ice sold more than 500 tickets on Friday for their game tonight against the Calgary Hitmen in Cranbrook. The Ice, the Eastern Conference’s No. 6 seed, takes a 3-2 edge over the No. 3 Hitmen into tonight’s sixth game of the best-of-seven series. . . . The series is being televised by Shaw TV, and Games 3 and 4 in Cranbrook drew 1,992 and 2,102 fans, respectively. . . . “The people who are here are loud and passionate,” Ice GM Jeff Chynoweth said on Friday. “There’s no scoreboard that says ‘NOISE’ here.” . . . F Tim Bozon, who was released from hospital in Saskatoon on Friday after being there for a month with meningitis, is scheduled to be in the house and take part in a ceremonial faceoff. “With what our kids have gone through in the last month . . . it’s going to be a big lift to have Timmy here,” Chynoweth said. “It’ll be emotional.”
According to a Friday night tweet from Darryl Wolski (@darrylwolski): “Vancouver Giants overage forward Cain Franson agrees to terms to finish the season with the Allen Americans.” . . . The Americans play in the Central league. Franson had 63 points, including 30 goals, in 66 with the Giants this season, his third in Vancouver. He improved his goal total in each of his seasons, going from 27 to 29 to 30.
D Josh Morrissey of the Prince Albert Raiders is expected to join the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps for the end of their regular season and the playoffs. Morrissey was selected 13th overall by the Winnipeg Jets in the NHL’s 2013 draft. Morrissey, a Calgarian who turns 19 on March 28, ha3 73 points, including 28 goals, in 59 games this season. . . . He improved his offensive numbers (goals and assists) in each of his three seasons, going from 10-28 to 15-32 to 28-45.
The junior B 100 Mile House, B.C., Wranglers of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League have hired Dale Hladun as their new general manager and head coach. . . . Hladun, who replaces Doug Rogers, has ample KIJHL experience as he also has coached the Princeton Posse and Fernie Ghostriders. He spent this season in Fernie. . . . The Wranglers are coming off their first season in the KIJHL. They qualified for the playoffs at 23-21-0-8, then beat the Chase Heat in a first-round series before being eliminated by the Kamloops Storm.

The Brandon Wheat Kings, the Eastern Conference’s No. 7 seed, completed a sweep of the Regina Pats, who finished atop the East Division, thus earning the No. 2 seed, on Friday night. . . . That sets up a second-round series between the No. 1 Edmonton Oil Kings and the Wheat Kings. The last time these teams met, in the spring of 2012, the Oil Kings swept a conference semifinal series en route to winning the WHL championship. . . . The Eastern Conference’s other semifinal will feature the winners of the other two series. The No. 4 Medicine Hat Tigers and No. 4 Swift Current Broncos are 2-2 going into tonight’s game in The Hat, while the No. 6 Kootenay Ice are at home tonight with a 3-2 lead on the No. 3 Calgary Hitmen.
In the Western Conference, the Kelowna Rockets, who finished atop the overall standings in the regular season, advanced to the second round with a ?? victory over the visiting No. 8 Tri-City Americans last night. The Rockets will meet the winner of a series between the No. 4 Seattle Thunderbirds and No. 5 Everett Silvertips in the second round. Seattle leads that series 3-1 after dropping a ?? decision in Everett last night. . . . The conference’s other second-round series will feature the No. 2 Portland Winterhawks against the No. 3 Victoria Royals, both of whom completed first-round sweeps on Thursday night. That series will open with games in Portland on Friday and April 5.
THE FIRST ROUND (best-of-seven; all times local):
(x - if necessary)

(Edmonton wins, 4-0)
Season series: Edmonton, 2-1-1; Prince Albert, 2-2-0.
Saturday: Prince Albert 3 at Edmonton 5 (6,534)
Sunday: Prince Albert 1 at Edmonton 3 (6,584)
Tuesday: Edmonton 4 at Prince Albert 3 (2,881)
Wednesday: Edmonton 6 at Prince Albert 2 (2,727)
Edmonton: F Brandon Baddock, 3-5 weeks; D Blake Orban, indefinite; F Reid Petryk, day-to-day.
REGINA (2) vs. BRANDON (7)
(Brandon wins, 4-0)
Season series: Brandon, 5-3-0; Regina, 3-3-2.
Saturday: Brandon 6 at Regina 3 (6,200)
Sunday: Brandon 8 at Regina 4 (5,014)
Wednesday: Regina 4 at Brandon 5 (3,547)
Friday: Regina 1 at Brandon 5 (4,705)
Brandon: None.
Regina: D Tye Hand, indefinite.
(Kootenay leads, 3-2)
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 7 at Kootenay 6 (OT) (1,992)
Tuesday: Calgary 4 at Kootenay 5 (2,102)
Thursday: Kootenay 6 at Calgary 5 (6,826)
Saturday: Calgary at Kootenay, 7 p.m.
x-Monday: 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 Tyler King, day-to-day; D Tanner Faith, 3-5 months.
(Series tied, 2-2)
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 1 at Swift Current 3 (2,840)
Wednesday: Medicine Hat 2 at Swift Current 3 (OT) (2,890)
Saturday: Swift Current at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday: Medicine Hat at Swift Current, 7 p.m.
x-Tuesday: Swift Current at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.
Medicine Hat: F Anthony Ast, indefinite; F Gavin Broadhead, day-to-day; F Hunter Shinkaruk, indefinite.
Swift Current: None.
KELOWNA (1) vs. TRI-CITY (8)
(Kelowna wins, 4-1)
Season series: Kelowna, 4-4-0; Tri-City, 0-3-1.
Saturday: Tri-City 1 at Kelowna 3 (5,827)
Sunday: Tri-City 1 at Kelowna 3 (5,041)
Tuesday: Kelowna 3 at Tri-City 4 (2,010)
Wednesday: Kelowna 5 at Tri-City 3 (2,189)
Friday: Tri-City 1 at Kelowna 4 (4,875)
(NOTE: Tri-City plays home games in Kennewick, Wash.)
Kelowna: F Myles Bell, day-to-day; D Jesse Lees, indefinite.
Tri-City: F Taylor Vickerman, indefinite.
(Portland wins, 4-0)
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 6 at Vancouver 3 (5,680)
Wednesday: Portland 6 at Vancouver 1 (5,142)
Portland: None.
(Victoria wins, 4-0)
Season series: Victoria, 1-3-0; Spokane, 3-1-0.
Saturday: Spokane 1 at Victoria 2 (OT) (6,615)
Sunday: Spokane 3 at Victoria 4 (OT) (4,629)
Wednesday: Victoria 6 at Spokane 1 (3,412)
Thursday: Victoria 4 at Spokane 2 (3,711)
Victoria: None.
(Seattle leads, 3-1)
Season series: Seattle, 5-4-1; Everett, 5-4-1.
Saturday: Everett 1 at Seattle 2 (4,650)
Sunday: Seattle 3 at Everett 1 (4,150)
Tuesday: Everett 3 at Seattle 4 (OT) (5,176)
Friday: Seattle 1 at Everett 6 (4,908)
Saturday: Everett at Seattle, 7:05 p.m.
x-Monday: Seattle at Everett, 7:05 p.m.
x-Wednesday: 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; D Noah Juulsen, day-to-day; F Tyler Sandhu, day-to-day.
THE SECOND ROUND (best-of-seven; all times local):
(x - if necessary)
Dates to be announced.
Season series: Portland, 1-1-2; Victoria, 3-1-0.
Friday: Victoria at Portland (Veterans Memorial Coliseum), 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 5: Victoria at Portland (Moda Center), 7 p.m.
Monday, April 7: Portland at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.
Tuesday, April 8: Portland at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.
x-Thursday, April 10: Victoria at Portland (Moda Center), 7, p.m.
x-Saturday, April 12: Portland at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.
x-Monday, April 14: Victoria at Portland (Veterans Memorial Coliseum), 7 p.m.
In Brandon, F Jayce Hawryluk, who spent Wednesday and Thursday nights in hospital, had a goal and an assist as the Wheat Kings dumped the Regina Pats 5-1 to sweep a first-round series. . . . The Wheat Kings will meet the Eastern Conference-winning Edmonton Oil Kings in the second round. . . . Hawryluk scored three times and added an assist in Wednesday’s 5-4 victory, after which he experienced light-headedness and respiratory problems. He was taken to Brandon Regional Health Centre by ambulance and spent Thursday undergoing tests, all of which were negative. . . . Hawryluk’s line enjoyed another solid night Friday, as John Quenneville had two goals and an assist, and Jesse Gabrielle had one of each. . . . Brandon took a 2-0 lead into the second period, on goals by Gabrielle, his third, and F Richard Nejezchleb, his second. . . . Regina got on the board when F Morgan Klimchuk got his third of the series, this one on a PP, with 1.6 seconds left in the second period. . . . The Wheaties put it away with third-period goals by Hawryluk, his fifth in four games, F Ryley Lindgren and Quenneville, the latter on a PP. . . . Brandon was 1-for-7 on the PP; Regina was 1-for-3. . . . Brandon G Jordan Papirny stopped 28 shots, while Regina G Daniel Wapple turned aside 37. . . . F Peter Quenneville was back in Brandon’s lineup after a one-game absence. He was held pointless. . . . “I was able to recover and get some fluids and whatnot into me,” Hawryluk told Rob Henderson of the Brandon Sun. “I’m ready to play and I want to play. I want to be out here as much as anything . . . I want to be here and help the guys no matter what the situation. They’re my brothers and I just want to be here for them if I can.”

In Everett, F Jujhar Khaira scored three times as the Silvertips staved off elimination with a 6-1 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Seattle holds a 3-1 lead in the series as it returns to Kent, Wash., for Game 5 tonight. . . . Khaira, who scored his first three playoff goals, is coming off a regular-season in which he scored 16 times in 59 games. . . . Khaira opened the scoring at 1:27 of the first period as Everett scored first for the third straight game. . . . It was 2-0 just 1:05 later as F Josh Winquist added his first goal of the series, shorthanded. . . . F Brayden Low got his first goal of the series at 7:57 and Everett took a 3-0 lead into the second period. . . . Everett scored three times on its first six shots. . . . D Jared Hauf scored for Seattle at 18:22 of the second period. . . . Khaira put it away with two PP goals early in the third. . . . Everett G Austin Lotz made 17 saves. . . . Seattle starter Taran Kozun was beaten six times on 29 shots. Danny Mumaugh came on after Everett’s sixth goal, at 6:48 of the third, and stopped five shots. . . . Everett D Cole MacDonald left in the second period with an undisclosed injury and didn’t return. . . . F Jaimen Yakubowski was among Seattle’s scratches, as he served a one-game WHL suspension for a hit from behind on Everett D Noah Juulsen in Game 3. . . . Juulsen left Game 3 and didn’t return. He was scratched last night. . . . Everett had lost its previous nine home playoff games. . . .

In Kelowna, F Marek Tvrdon scored twice to help the Rockets to a 4-1 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . The Rockets won the series, 4-1, and will meet the winner of the Seattle/Everett series in the second round. . . . The Americans, trailing 2-1, had a number of terrific scoring chances early in the third period but weren’t able to beat Kelowna G Jordon Cooke, who finished with 29 saves. . . . Tvrdon relieved the pressure with a PP goal, his fourth of the series, at 13:24. . . . Kelowna F Rourke Chartier iced it at 14:40 with his third goal in five games. . . . F Carter Rigby, at 6:56 of the first, and Tvrdon, at 13:05 of the second, had given Kelowna a 2-0 lead. . . . Americans F Parker Bowles got his first goal of the series, at 17:42 of the second, on a PP. . . . F Nick Merkley had two assists for Kelowna. . . . The Rockets were 1-for-2 on the PP; the Americans were 1-for-4. . . . Kelowna was without F Myles Bell, its leading regular-season scorer, with 77 points, including a team-high 42 goals. He was in the crowd, with crutches, after being injured in a Game 4 collision with Tri-City F Beau McCue. . . . Tri-City G Eric Comrie stopped 34 shots. He is expected to join the St. John’s IceCaps, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets. Comrie was a second-round pick by the Jets in the NHL’s 2013 draft. . . . “This was (Tvrdon’s) best game,” Rockets head coach Ryan Huska told Doyle Potenteau of the Okanagan Saturday. “He seemed like he was engaged all night. And when you look at your older players, you need that from him. Tonight, we saw that, if not our best player, then him and (goalie Jordon Cooke). Our two 20-year-olds were our best guys on the ice.”

From Brandon Wheat Kings F Jayce Hawryluk (@JayceHawryluk): “Brandon regional hospital, first class service all the way. Thank you once again!”
From Christian Laughland (@ChristianCKDM): “It will go down in history as the most anticipated game never to be played in Dauphin. Congrats @bdnwheatkings #WHL #Round2”
Had Brandon’s first-round series gone deep enough, Game 6 would have been played in Dauphin, Man., the home of radio station CKDM.

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