Friday, April 11, 2014

Oil Kings into third straight conference final

The CHL announced details of the 2014 Subway Series on Thursday. That annual series involves a touring Russian team playing two games each against all-star teams from the WHL, OHL and QMJHL.
One reader of this blog saw the information posted here yesterday and sent along this query:
“Can you tell me how Canada is supporting the people in the Ukraine vs Russia as we still host the Subway Series? Why host them when Russia is still going at Ukraine?”
The aftershocks from some ugliness during Game 5 between the Victoria Royals and the Winterhawks in Portland on Thursday night will be heard for a while yet. The WHL has suspended two of the Royals -- F Steven Hodges, for a game misconduct he incurred, and F Brandon Magee, for a match penalty he was given for attempt to injure. . . . The Winterhawks won the game, 5-1, and the series, 4-1, to advance to the Western Conference final. . . . There is concern in the Portland camp that Magee cross-checked Winterhawks F Nic Petan in the back of the head at 15:10 of the third period as retribution from an earlier incident. . . . Tempers had flared at the end of the second period and, during the ensuing melee, Portland D Derrick Pouliot punched Victoria D Joe Hicketts, who is believed to have been rendered unconscious, at least briefly. Pouliot, Hicketts and Hodges all were ejected at that point.
“I probably had 17 or 18 concussions through my career, five or six documented,” former NHLer Dan LaCouture, 36, told Jeff Z. Klein of The New York Times. “Just after you have a concussion, you think you’re going to lose your job. So you try to play through it.” . . . LaCouture is part of a concussion-related lawsuit that was filed against the NHL this week. . . . Klein’s story is right here.
NHLGlenn (Chico) Resch, one of hockey’s really great guys, announced his retirement from broadcasting during the first intermission of the New Jersey Devils’ game on Friday night. . . . A lot of people forget that Resch, a native of Moose Jaw, did a stint as the general manager and then the head coach of the Tri-City Americans. That was in 1991-92. The Americans were 9-13-2 when his coaching career ended on Nov. 22, 1991. . . . Randy Miller of has an interview with Resch right here.
AHLF Justin Hickman of the Seattle Thunderbirds will finish the season with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s New York Islanders. Hickman, who turned 20 on March 18, had 45 points, 22 of them goals, and 154 penalty minutes in 67 games with the Thunderbirds this season. A second-round pick in the 2009 bantam draft, Hickman played four seasons with Seattle. He hasn’t been selected in the NHL draft.
A Pacific Division in the AHL that would be centred in Arizona? There’s more right here from the Prescott Daily Courier.
According to that report, “Fox Sports Arizona reported that multiple NHL sources with knowledge of the situation said several western-based NHL franchises, including the Phoenix Coyotes, want to form a Pacific Division for their affiliates in the American Hockey League (AHL).”That’s interesting because there was a time when the late Ed Chynoweth, then the WHL’s commissioner, was concerned that western NHL teams might set up AHL franchises in WHL cities such as Saskatoon, Lethbridge, Regina and Medicine Hat.
NHLGreg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post reported early Friday evening that F Chandler Stephenson of the Regina Pats has signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the NHL’s Washington Capitals. They selected him in the third round of the NHL’s 2012 draft. . . . Stephenson, who turns 20 on April 22, is from Saskatoon. He played four seasons with the Pats, putting up 195 points, including 73 goals, in 230 games. This season, he had career highs in goals (30), assists (59) and points (89), all in 69 games. . . . Ross Mahoney, Washington’s head amateur scout, is from Regina, so you know he’s most familiar with Stephenson, who will finish the season with the AHL’s Hershey Bears. . . . From Harder: “According to the terms of his contract, Stephenson has the opportunity (if he achieves certain bonuses) to earn the maximum salary under the rookie cap ($925,000 per season) when he reaches the NHL. He received the maximum signing bonus ($92,500 per season) and max AHL salary ($70,000) allowed by the CBA, meaning he will earn $162,500 per season as an AHLer.”
OHLThe London Knights, the host team for next month’s Memorial Cup tournament, will have five weeks to prepare after they were eliminated from the OHL playoffs last night. The Guelph Storm dropped the Knights 5-4 to win the second-round series, 4-1. . . . The Memorial Cup runs from May 16 through May 25.
If you are into the Masters, this is for you:
“Prepare to see more, much more, of what’s already in progress — a three-ring circus of birdies, glorious saves and single-car crashes. Rory McIlroy, one of the count-on-your-fingers-favorites, thought he was playing well after an opening 71. His Friday was one long GIF of jitters. At the second, he lost his drive, and almost himself, in flora to the left. At the 210-yard fourth, he was so long that fans lost sight as he searched for his ball in the kind of abandoned shrub-shrouded shed where the body dump is always found on ‘CSI.’ At the 13th, he was trapped by vegetables up to his neck. Normally, you’d say they were large azaleas, but this year, since they’ve barely bloomed, perhaps they don’t deserve the name.”
That is from the always excellent Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post, and his complete column is right here.

THE SECOND ROUND (best-of-seven; all times local):
(x - if necessary)
(Edmonton wins, 4-1)
Season series: Edmonton, 3-1-0; Brandon, 1-2-1.
Thursday: Brandon 0 at Edmonton 5 (5,899)
Saturday: Brandon 0 at Edmonton 3 (7,115)
Tuesday: Edmonton 5 at Brandon 2 (3,522)
Wednesday: Edmonton 2 at Brandon 5 (3,246)
Friday: Brandon 1 at Edmonton 5 (6,356)
Edmonton: D Blake Orban, day-to-day.
Brandon: F Jayce Hawryluk, day-to-day; G Curtis Honey, day-to-day; F Ryley Lindgren, day-to-day.
(Kootenay leads, 3-1)
Season series: Medicine Hat, 3-3-0; Kootenay, 3-3-0.
Saturday: Kootenay 4 at Medicine Hat 2 (3,750)
Sunday: Kootenay 2 at Medicine Hat 5 (3,755)
Wednesday: Medicine Hat 1 at Kootenay 3 (2,461)
Thursday: Medicine Hat 4 at Kootenay 7 (2,578)
Saturday: Kootenay at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.
x-Monday: Medicine Hat at Kootenay, 7 p.m.
x-Wednesday: Kootenay at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.
(NOTE: Kootenay plays home games in Cranbrook, B.C.)
Medicine Hat: F Gavin Broadhead, day-to-day; F Hunter Shinkaruk, indefinite.
Kootenay: F Tim Bozon, indefinite; F Ryan Chynoweth, indefinite; D Tyler King, day-to-day; D Tanner Faith, 3-5 months.
(Kelowna wins, 4-0)
Season series: Kelowna, 2-1-1; Seattle, 2-1-1.
Thursday: Seattle 2 at Kelowna 6 (4,581)
Saturday: Seattle 3 at Kelowna 6 (5,675)
Tuesday: Kelowna 5 at Seattle 4 (5,029)
Wednesday: Kelowna 5 at Seattle 2 (2,219)
(Portland wins, 4-1)
Season series: Portland, 1-1-2; Victoria, 3-1-0.
Friday: Victoria 2 at Portland 8 (6,152)
Saturday: Victoria 3 at Portland 6 (10,947)
Monday: Portland 1 at Victoria 2 (6,505)
Tuesday: Portland 4 at Victoria 3 (6,745)
Thursday: Victoria 1 at Portland 5 (8,083)
THE THIRD ROUND (best-of-seven; all times local):
(x - if necessary)

Season series: Kelowna, 4-0-0; Portland, 0-4-0.
Friday: Portland at Kelowna, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 19: Portland at Kelowna, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, April 22: Kelowna at Portland, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, April 23: Kelowna at Portland, 7 p.m.
x-Friday, April 25: Portland at Kelowna, 7 p.m.
x-Sunday, April 27: Kelowna at Portland, 5 p.m.
x-Tuesday, April 29: Portland at Kelowna, 7 p.m.
Kelowna: F Myles Bell, week-to-week.
Portland: None.
Season series: Edmonton, 5-0-1; Medicine Hat, 1-5-0.
Season series: Edmonton, 4-2-0; Kootenay, 2-2-2.
Friday: Medicine Hat/Kootenay at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
Sunday, April 20: Medicine Hat/Kootenay at Edmonton, 4 p.m.
Other dates TBA.
In Edmonton, the Oil Kings scored three times in a span of 2:08 late in the first period and sent on to beat the Brandon Wheat Kings, 5-1. . . . The Oil Kings won the second-round series, 4-1, and now await the winner of the other Eastern Conference semifinal, which resumes tonight in Medicine Hat. The Kootenay Ice lead the Tigers 3-1 in that one. . . . Edmonton is into the conference final for a third straight season. . . . Edmonton F Henrik Samuelsson opened the scoring at 15:26 of the first period, with F Brett Pollock scoring his fifth goal at 17:11 and F Reid Petryk making it 3-0 at 17:34. . . . D Eric Roy scored a 5-on-3 PP goal for Brandon at 2:55 of the third period. That was Brandon’s first road goal of the series. . . . Edmonton put it away with goals from D Cody Corbett, at 8:44, and F Mitch Moroz, at 11:09. . . . Oil Kings G Tristan Jarry stopped 19 shots. In the three home games in this series, he had a .984 save percentage and a GAA of 0.33. . . . Overall in these playoffs, he is 8-1, 1.78, .933. . . . Brandon G Jordan Papirny stopped 33 shots. . . . Edmonton was 1-for-5 on the PP; Brandon was 1-for-4. . . . Brandon F Richard Nejezchleb was given a clipping major and game misconduct at 16:12 of the third period. That may be worthy of a WHL suspension, but he would be a 20-year-old next season so perhaps Nejezchleb, who is Czech, won’t be back. . . . The Wheat Kings, as it turned out, suffered a blow at practice on Thursday when F Jayce Hawryluk, their top offensive forward, was injured. With him out, Roy saw some time on a forward line. . . . The Oil Kings had F Brandon Baddock back in their lineup for the first time since Feb. 19.

From Hodges Heroes (@hodgersheroes): “With Rattie's debut tonight, 6 players from the 2010-11 #Winterhawks team have played an NHL game this season.”
From Adam Proteau (@Proteautype) of The Hockey News: “It's always been a privilege and a pleasure to talk hockey with Chico Resch. Hockey needs more guys named Chico and like Chico. Happy retirement.”

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