Saturday, March 1, 2014
Greg Gatto (Brandon, Spokane, Prince Albert, Regina, Portland, 1990-92) is the new head coach of the NAHL’s Odessa Jackalopes, at least for the final 10 games of this season. Gatto, who was fired earlier this month as the head coach of the U of Lethbridge Pronghorns, replcaes Matt Cressman, who was dismissed Thursday. Cressman had been in his first sesaon as head coach, but his 13th with the Jackalopes. . . . Gatto was an assistant coach with the Jackalopes in 2003-04. He also played for the Jackalopes in 2002-03 when he and Cressman were teammates.
D Griffin Reinhart, the captain of the Edmonton Oil Kings, hopes to play this afternoon against the visiting Calgary Hitmen. Reinhart missed six games in February because of the flu, but he’s hoping he’s well enough to play today. . . . The Oil Kings and Hitmen are tied for first place in the Eastern Conference, each with 91 points. The Oil Kings have 10 games remaining; the Hitmen have eight to play.
The Regina Pats have added F Sam Steel to their roster for the remainder of this season. Steel, the second overall selection in the 2013 WHL bantam draft, spent the season with the midget AAA Sherwood Park, Alta., J. Ennis Kings. Their season ended earlier this week, freeing him up to join the Pats. . . . The Pats will use Steel, too, as they have been hit by injuries and illness. He played last night as the Pats beat the visiting Swift Current Broncos 4-3 in a shootout. . . . Regina was again without F Boston Leier and F Dryden Hunt, both of whom have concussions. F Morgan Klimchuk and D Dmitry Sinitsyn, both of whom missed a game this week due to illness, were back.
File this under the best laid plans. . . . Nick Patterson of the Everett Herald had hoped to get video of a post-game celebration between G Austin Lotz and D Ben Betker of the Everett Silvertips, and then post it on his blog. Well, the stars were aligned the other night, except that a bear got in the way. . . . Read all about it right here.
F Tanner MacMaster of the AJHL’s Camrose Kodiaks had signed a letter of intent to attend Boston College and play for the Eagles. However, it seems he has changed his mind and now has committed to Quinnipiac, which is in Hamden, Conn., where he will play for the Bobcats. . . . The Spokane Chiefs selected MacMaster with the 19th overall pick of the 2011 bantam draft. This season, with the Kodiaks, MacMaster, who turned 18 on Jan. 8, has 40 points, including 11 goals, in 47 games. Last season, he finished with 48 points, 24 of them goals, in 56 games. . . . Tanner is the younger brother of Nathan MacMaster (Moose Jaw, Calgary, Tri-City, 2007-12).
IF THE PLAYOFFS BEGAN TODAY:
Edmonton (1) vs. Red Deer (8)
Regina (2) vs. Brandon (7)
Calgary (3) vs. Swift Current (6)
Medicine Hat (4) vs. Kootenay (5)
Kelowna (1) vs. Tri-City (8)
Portland (2) vs. Vancouver (7)
Victoria (3) vs. Everett (6)
Seattle (4) vs. Spokane (5)
SATURDAY’S WHL GAMES (all times local):
Calgary at Edmonton, 2 p.m.
Kootenay at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.
Lethbridge at Swift Current, 7 p.m.
Brandon at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.
Regina at Moose Jaw, 7:30 p.m.
Kamloops at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.
Victoria at Prince George, 7 p.m.
Kelowna at Vancouver, 7 p.m.
Portland at Seattle, 7:05 p.m.
Tri-City at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.
In Moose Jaw, the Warriors scored three first-period goals and went on to a 5-2 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . F Colton McCarthy had a goal, his sixth, and an assist for the Warriors, while F Jack Rodewald got his 22nd goal and also had an assist. . . . Lethbridge F Taylor Cooper scored his 12th goal, seven of which have come against the Warriors. . . . The Hurricanes have lost eight in a row. . . . Neither the Warriors (17-38-9) nor Hurricanes (12-49-5) will appear in the playoffs. . . .
In Regina, F Connor Gay’s second goal of the game, at 4:13 of OT, gave the Pats a 4-3 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Gay has 15 goals this season. . . . The Broncos scored twice in the first period and took a 2-0 lead into the second period. . . . Gay tied the score at 3:29 of the third, with F Patrick D’Amico giving the Pats their first lead, with his sixth goal, at 6:03. . . . Broncos F Coda Gordon forced OT with his 24th goal at 12:24. . . . The Pats, who went 10-2-1 in February, are 36-23-6 and atop the East Division, seven points ahead of the Broncos (31-24-9). . . .
In Saskatoon, the Kootenay Ice scored the game’s last four goals and beat the Blades, 4-2. . . . Ice F Sam Reinhart had one assist, running his point streak to a franchise-record 22 games and his assist streak to 15 games, which already was a franchise record. Former Ice F Mike Comrie had set the previous points record of 21 games in 2000-01. . . . Saskatoon F Cameron Hebig, assigned the task of checking Reinhart, scored his 12th goal. . . . The Ice is 9-2-0 in its last 11. . . . The Blades have lost four in a row; they also have lost seven straight on home ice. . . . Ice F Luke Philp tied the score 2-2 with his 27th goal at 4:06 of the second period. . . . Kootenay D Landon Peel scored his fourth goal at 8:36 of the third to give his side its first lead. . . . Ice D Landon Cross iced it with a shorthanded empty-netter, his second goal this season, at 18:42. . . . Ice G Wyatt Hoflin stopped 31 shots. . . . It was Critters Pucks and Paws Night. There were 158 dogs in the audience, along with 4,517 folks. . . . Blades F Nikita Scherbak had his 10-game point streak snapped. . . . D Jordan Thomson made his debut with the Blades. Thomson, the fourth overall pick in the 2011 bantam draft, was acquired from the Kamloops Blazers in January. He will play two more games with the Blades this weekend and then return to the MJHL’s Dauphin Kings. . . . The Ice (37-23-4) is fifth in the Eastern Conference, five points behind the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . The Blades (16-43-5) won’t be in the playoffs. . . .
In Calgary, F Brady Brassart scored twice and added an assist to help the Hitmen to a 5-1 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . Brassart, who has 33 goals, ran his point streak to 14 games. . . . Calgary F Adam Tambellini opened the scoring with his 16th goal just 31 seconds into the second period. He has goals in three straight games. . . . Calgary F Pavel Padakin scored his 25th goal on a third-period penalty shot. . . . The Hitmen are 10-0-1 in their last 11. . . . The Blazers have lost three in a row. . . . Kamloops had veteran F Chase Souto back in the lineup. He hadn’t played since Feb. 8. . . . The Hitmen (42-15-7) are tied with the Edmonton Oil Kings atop the Central Division. . . . The Blazers (13-47-5) are 10th in the 10-team Western Conference. . . .
In Red Deer, F Miles Koules and F Cole Sanford scored in the shootout to give the Medicine Hat Tigers a 3-2 victory over the Rebels. . . . Koules scored his 24th goal of the season at 16:47 of the first period. . . . The Rebels came back with second-period goals form F Wyatt Johnson, his 10th, and F Scott Feser, his 12th. . . . Medicine Hat F Curtis Valk forced OT with his 38th goal, via the PP, at 4:54 of the third. . . . In a battle of Czech goaltenders, Medicine Hat’s Marek Langhamer stopped 25 shots through OT, while Red Deer’s Patrik Bartosak turned aside 38. . . . The Tigers (40-22-3) are fourth in the Eastern Conference, five points ahead of Kootenay. . . . Red Deer (30-30-5) holds down the conference’s last playoff spot, two points ahead of the Prince Albert Raiders. . . .
In Prince George, D Travis Brown scored at 15:09 of the third period to break a 3-3 tie and help the Victoria Royals a 5-3 victory over the Cougars. . . . Brown, who came over from the Moose Jaw Warriors in January, has 13 goals this season. . . . The Royals led 2-0 in the second period and 3-1 in the third, only to have the Cougars tie it on goals 13 seconds apart from F Zach Pochiro, his 27th, and F Todd Fiddler, his 44th. . . . Fiddler, who scored twice, now is riding a 17-game point streak. . . . The Royals are 9-1-1 in their last 11. . . . The Cougars had F Brett Roulston back in the lineup after he missed eight games with a concussion. Earlier in the season, he missed 13 games with a broken foot. . . . The Royals and Cougars play again tonight in P.G. . . . Victoria is 6-1-0 against Prince George this season. . . . The Royals (44-17-4) are third in the Western Conference and likely to finish there. . . . The Cougars (26-33-8) are two points out of the conference’s last playoff spot but have only five games left. . . .
In Kelowna, G Jordon Cooke stopped 31 shots to lead the Rockets to a 6-0 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . They’ll play again tonight in Vancouver. In fact, four of the Giants’ final eight games are scheduled to be against the Rockets. . . . Cooke has three shutouts this season and eight in his career. . . . F Nick Merkley, a 16-year-old from Calgary, scored twice, giving him 20 goals. He’s got 49 points in 58 games. . . . D Damon Severson drew three assists,. . . . The Rockets scored four times in the third period. . . . Kelowna (51-9-4) leads the overall standings. . . . The Giants (30-25-10) are seventh in the Western Conference, three points behind the Everett Silvertips. . . .
In Spokane, G Corbin Boes stopped 30 shots and the Portland Winterhawks ran their winning streak to 21 games as they beat the Chiefs, 2-0. . . . This was Boes’ first shutout of the season and the third of his career. It was his first blank job since Oct. 1, 2011, when he was with the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . With Brendan Burke recovering from mononucleosis, Boes made his eighth straight start. Boes is 12-0-1 since being acquired from the Lethbridge Hurricanes in January. . . . The Winterhawks have a chance to tie the WHL record for consecutive victories in one season when they meet the Seattle Thunderbirds in Kent, Wash., tonight. That record is held by the 1967-68 Estevan Bruins. . . . The Winterhawks have eight games remaining, four of them against Seattle. . . . Portland is 22-0-1 in its last 23 games. . . . The Winterhawks swept the Chiefs 8-0-0 this season, shutting them out in each of the last three meetings; in fact, Portland has won 16 straight games, regular-season and playoffs, from the Chiefs. . . . The Winterhawks scored the game’s first goal, as they now have done in each of the last 21 games these teams have played against each other. . . . F Alex Schoenborn opened the scoring with his 17th goal at 1:40 of the first period. . . . F Chase De Leo, with his 35th, added insurance at 1:51 of the second. . . . The game featured the WHL’s top three scorers, but neither Spokane F Mitch Holmberg (107 points) nor Portland’s Nic Petan (106) or Oliver Bookstand (96) picked up a point. . . . Portland (47-12-5) is seven points behind Kelowna with each team having eight games to play. . . . Spokane (36-22-6) is fifth in the Western Conference, four points behind the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . .
In Everett, the Silvertips took a 3-0 lead and then hung on for a 3-2 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . The Silvertips clinched a playoff spot for the 11th consecutive season. This is their 11th season in the WHL. . . . F Carson Stadnyk, with his 18th, and F Jujhar Khaira, with his 15th, gave the Silvertips a 2-0 first-period lead. . . . Everett had a 16-3 edge in shots in the first period. . . . F Manraj Hayer, with his 14th, upped that to 3-0 at 1:19 of the third. . . . The Americans got back in it on goals from F Lucas Nickles, at 10:51, and F Parker Powles, his 10th, at 17:53. . . . F Kohn Bauml had two assists for Everett. . . . F Brian Williams had two assists for Tri-City. . . . Americans G Eric Comrie stopped 32 shots, seven more than Everett’s Austin Lotz. . . . The Silvertips are 4-0-1 in their last five. . . . The Americans are 0-5-3 in their last eight. . . . Everett (32-23-9) is sixth in the Western Conference, three points ahead of Vancouver. . . . The Americans (27-29-8) are eighth in the conference, two points ahead of Prince George.
From Regina Pats G Daniel Wapple (@Wapps35): “Gotta love when your parents come down for the weekend even tho it's minus 60 outside #dedication #loveit”
From Portland freelancer Scott Sepich (@SSepich): “What a difference 6 years make: In March '08, Spokane beat Portland to extend the Winterhawks' losing streak to 21 games.”
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