Sunday, April 20, 2014

Lazar key as Oil Kings go up 2-0



With apologies to Elliotte Friedman, here are 10 thoughts . . .
1. If he doesn’t already, G Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens is going to own that city before these playoffs are over.
2. If you are following the series between the Canadiens and Tampa Bay, you’ll be aware that Lightning head coach Jon Cooper is in the process of striking up a two-way love affair with the media. (If there were any doubts as to whether the Forums ghosts made the trek to the Bell Centre in Montreal, they may have been allayed on Sunday.)
3. The series between Boston and Detroit turned when Bruins F David Krejci drilled Red Wings D Brendan Smith on Sunday afternoon and there wasn’t a boarding penalty called. If the Winged Wheelers are to be competitive in that series, they need those calls to be made and to score on the ensuing power plays. . . . At least, Boston F Brad Marchand hasn’t speed-bagged one of the Wings yet.
4. The NHL must be into the playoffs because the on-ice officials are getting it from all directions. How were the voices of the fans heard before the arrival of social media?
5. Will anyone test the Edmonton Oil Kings before they reach the WHL’s championship final? They’re up 2-0 on the Medicine Hat Tigers in the Eastern Conference final, meaning they are 10-1 in these playoffs.
6. The San Jose Sharks are whuppin’ the Los Angeles Kings 6-2 late in the third period and have Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau out there on the power play. Now it’s a 5-on-3 and the Sharks have their big guns out there -- Thornton, Marleau, Joe Pavelski, Dan Boyle and Logan Couture. . . . And now it‘s 7-2. . . . Do you think maybe these teams don’t like each other?
7. Is the MLB season already over for fans of the Chicago Cubs and Seattle Mariners?
8. I am hearing that a news conference could be held at the CN Centre in Prince George on May 12 to make official the sale of the Cougars.
9. F Vincent Lecavalier, who turns 34 years of age today (Monday), is on the Philadelphia Flyers’ fourth line? Who saw that coming?
10. Does Portland Winterhawks GM/head coach Mike Johnston start Brendan Burke or Corbin Boes in goal on Tuesday night in Game 3 against the visiting Kelowna Rockets? The Western Conference championship is 1-1. . . . Burke has started five games against Kelowna this season and he has been hooked from three of those, including Saturday’s 5-4 victory in Kelowna. . . . The betting here is that Burke starts on Tuesday, if only because Johnston is more comfortable with Boes coming off the bench if needed.
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The Portland Winterhawks blew a 3-0 lead and lost 5-4 to the host Kelowna Rockets in Game 1 of the WHL’s Western Conference final on Friday night.
One night later, the Winterhawks erased a 2-0 first-period deficit and beat the Rockets, 5-3.
What was the difference?
At least part of it, according to Portland GM/head coach Mike Johnstone, may have had something to do with Game 1 being televised nationally in Canada by Sportsnet.
Your average WHL game has one timeout per period. Having Sportsnet in the house meant there were three of those.
“That was tough for us because we like to play with speed,” Johnston told Portland freelance journalist Scott Sepich. “I don’t really like it, I like to play the games the way it was tonight.”
Portland F Nic Petan, who had a goal and two assists in Game 2, added: “We’re not on TV much so we’re not used to (the timeouts).”
In Game 2, Petan said, “We were able to keep our momentum when we had it.”
None of the remaining games in this series are scheduled to be televised. Shaw-TV is showing all games in the Eastern Conference final between the Edmonton Oil Kings and Medicine Hat Tigers.
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Does this stuff really happen in today’s world? . . . Some parents in the Ottawa area created an online forum that they used to bully kids, according to the newspaper Metro.
Trevor Greenway writes: “Metro came across several threads on Network54.com written by Ottawa hockey parents that were criticizing kids behind their backs, insulting their skills, attitude and the way parents ‘pumped her head up so much that she can barely get a helmet on.’ ”
Greenway’s story is right here.
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F Ryan Bowen, a fifth-round selection by the Moose Jaw Warriors in the 2013 bantam draft, has committed to playing for the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs in 2014-15. Bowen, who is from Chilliwack, has signed with the Warriors. . . . He played this season with the Okanagan Hockey Academy U18 midget prep team, putting up 32 points, 12 of them goals, in 41 games.
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The Anaheim Ducks have signed D Kenton Helgesen, who turned 20 on March 19, to a three-year, entry-level NHL contract. Helgesen has played three seasons with the Calgary Hitmen. From Fairview, Alta., he had 51 points, including 10 goals, in 71 games this season. . . . The Ducks selected him in the seventh round of the NHL’s 2012 draft.
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Outfielder Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals didn’t run out a ground ball on Saturday and ended up on the bench. Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post has a terrific column right here, dealing with Harper and how manager Matt Williams is handling him.
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THE THIRD ROUND (best-of-seven; all times local):
(x - if necessary)
EASTERN CONFERENCE
EDMONTON (1) vs. MEDICINE HAT (4)
(Edmonton leads, 2-0)
Season series: Edmonton, 5-0-1; Medicine Hat, 1-5-0.
(All games on Shaw TV)
Friday: Medicine Hat 3 at Edmonton 8 (7,694)
Sunday: Medicine Hat 1 at Edmonton 3 (5,763)
Tuesday: Edmonton at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.
Wednesday: Edmonton at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.
x-Saturday: Medicine Hat at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
x-Monday, April 28: Edmonton at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.
x-Tuesday, April 29: Medicine Hat at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
INJURIES
Edmonton: D Blake Orban, day-to-day.
Medicine Hat: F Anthony Ast, day-to-day; F Gavin Broadhead, day-to-day; F Hunter Shinkaruk, indefinite.
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WESTERN CONFERENCE
KELOWNA (1) vs. PORTLAND (2)
(Series tied, 1-1)
Season series: Kelowna, 4-0-0; Portland, 0-4-0.
Friday: Portland 4 at Kelowna 5 (6,218)
Saturday: Portland 5 at Kelowna 3 (6,341)
Tuesday: Kelowna at Portland (Moda Center), 7 p.m.
Wednesday: Kelowna at Portland (Moda Center), 7 p.m.
Friday: Portland at Kelowna, 7 p.m.
x-Sunday: Kelowna at Portland, 2 p.m.
x-Tuesday, April 29: Portland at Kelowna, 7 p.m.
INJURIES
Kelowna: F Myles Bell, week-to-week.
Portland: None.
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SUNDAY’S GAME:
In Edmonton, F Curtis Lazar broke a scoreless tie with two second-period goals and the Oil Kings went on to a 3-1 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . The Oil Kings lead the Western Conference final 2-0 as the teams head to Medicine Hat for games on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. . . . Lazar, who has six goals in these playoffs, struck on the PP just 34 seconds into the second and then added a shorthanded tally at 10:47. . . . F Chad Butcher got the Tigers to within one on a PP at 12:14 of the second. . . . Edmonton F Edgars Kulda scored an empty-netter at 19:21 of the third period. . . . Butcher and Kulda each has five goals. . . . Edmonton G Tristan Jarry turned aside 32 shots, 11 fewer than Medicine Hat’s Marek Langhamer. . . . The Oil Kings were 1-for-6 on the PP; the Tigers were 1-for-5. . . . Lazar now has 46 career playoff points, and shares the Oil Kings’ franchise record with F Michael St. Croix, who now is with the ECHL’s Greenville Road Warriors. . . . Medicine Hat D Tyler Lewington said his guys aren’t done. "It is definitely going to be a challenge coming back,” he told Darren Steinke of the Medicine Hat News, “but I think that we got a little momentum with this game. We played a good team game. I think we did a lot of good things that we feel help us coming into Tuesday night."
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From the Edmonton Oil Kings (@EdmOilKings): “Tonight's 50/50 Jackpot of $7,337 went unclaimed. Ticket #: 124331C has 2 business days to claim.”


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