|The Okanagan Rockets will compete in the national midget hockey|
championship tournament for the first time in franchise history. The
tournament is to be held in Moose Jaw later this month.
F Kevin Saurette (Regina, Tri-City, 1997-2000) has signed a one-year extension with the Belfast Giants (Northern Ireland, UK Elite). This season, in 59 games, Saurette had 75 points, including 36 goals, good sixth in the league scoring race. He was named a UK Elite first team all-star. . . .
Also on UK Elite first all-star team: D Rob Sandrock (Spokane, Swift Current, Medicine Hat, Kelowna, 1994-99) of the Belfast Giants. On the UK Elite second all-star team: D Tyson Marsh (Vancouver, 2001-05) of the Cardiff Devils and D Rory Rawlyk (Medicine Hat, Vancouver, Prince Albert, Red Deer, 2000-03) of the Dundee Stars.
A couple of months ago, the Moose Jaw Warriors unveiled the logo that they will use at times next season as part of their 30th anniversary season. The logo, however, doesn’t sit well with the Cultural Diversity Advisory Committee. In fact, the CDAC has written a letter protesting the logo to Moose Jaw City Council. Justin Crann of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald has more right here.
Elliotte Friedman’s weekly 30 Thoughts begins with a look at the Winnipeg Jets and F Evander Kane. Where do they go from here? . . . The whole package is right here.
The Kelowna-based Okanagan Rockets of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League beat the Optimist Chiefs in Red Deer on Sunday to win the Pacific Regional and earn a berth in the Telus Cup that begins next week in Moose Jaw. . . . Red Deer was the defending Canadian champion. . . . The Rockets won 3-2 in OT on Sunday in what was the third game of a best-of-three series. . . . The Rockets tied the game 2-2 on a goal by D Tanner Browne with eight minutes left in the third period and won it on a goal by F Liam Finlay five minutes into OT. . . . Browne was a second-round selection by the Brandon Wheat Kings in the 2012 WHL bantam draft, but was traded to the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the Nov. 16 deal that had D Ryan Pilon going the other way. . . . Finlay has committed to the U of Denver. . . . This will be the Rockets’ first appearance in the national tournament. . . . In order to gain their berth at the national tournament, the Rockets twice knocked off a five-time champion. First, they dethroned the Vancouver-Northwest Giants, who had won five straight BCMML titles. Red Deer has won five straight Alberta midget AAA titles and also took the last two Canadian championships. . . . The six-team Telus Cup also includes the Halifax Macs, the host Moose Jaw Generals, Prince Albert Mintos and Toronto Young Nationals. A Quebec representative has yet to be decided. The tournament runs April 21-27.
THE SECOND ROUND (best-of-seven; all times local):
(x - if necessary)
EDMONTON (1) vs. BRANDON (7)
(Edmonton leads, 2-0)
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 at Brandon, 7 p.m.
Wednesday: Edmonton at Brandon, 7 p.m.
x-Friday: Brandon at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
x-Monday: Edmonton at Brandon, 7 p.m.
x-Wednesday, April 16: Brandon at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
Edmonton: F Brandon Baddock, day-to-day; D Blake Orban, day-to-day.
Brandon: G Curtis Honey, day-to-day.
MEDICINE HAT (4) vs. KOOTENAY (6)
(Series tied, 1-1)
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 at Kootenay, 7 p.m.
Thursday: Medicine Hat at Kootenay, 7 p.m.
Saturday: Kootenay at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.
x-Monday: Medicine Hat at Kootenay, 7 p.m.
x-Wednesday, April 16: 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 (1) vs. SEATTLE (4)
(Kelowna leads, 2-0)
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 at Seattle, 7:05 p.m.
Wednesday: Kelowna at Seattle, 7:05 p.m.
x-Friday: Seattle at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.
x-Sunday: Kelowna at Seattle, 5:05 p.m.
x-Tuesday, April 15: Seattle at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.
(NOTE: Seattle plays home games in Kent, Wash.)
Kelowna: F Myles Bell, week-to-week.
Seattle: F Connor Honey, indefinite; F Jaimen Yakubowski, day-to-day.
PORTLAND (2) vs. VICTORIA (3)
(Portland leads, 2-1)
(Series televised by Shaw-TV in Canada;
Games 4, 6 and 7 on Comcast SportsNet in Portland area)
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 at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.
Thursday: Victoria at Portland (Moda Center), 7, p.m.
x-Saturday: Portland at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.
x-Monday: Victoria at Portland (Veterans Memorial Coliseum), 7 p.m.
In Victoria, the Royals scored two early power-play goals and went on to beat the Portland Winterhawks, 2-1. . . . Portland takes a 2-1 lead series lead into Game 4 in Victoria tonight. . . . The loss snapped Portland’s winning streak at 13, including six straight in these playoffs. . . . Victoria got first-period PP goals from F Brandon Magee, at 2:49, and F Austin Carroll, at 9:24. . . . Magee has three goals in the playoffs; Carroll has five. . . . Portland F Taylor Leier scored his third goal of these playoffs at 19:46 of the third period. . . . Victoria G Patrik Polivka was outstanding, with 38 saves, while Portland’s Brendan Burke turned aside 25 shots. . . . Victoria was 2-for-8 on the PP; Portland was 0-for-4. . . . Royals D Keegan Kanzig didn’t play as he completed a two-game WHL-issued suspension for his role in a skirmish late in Game 1.
From Terry Jones (@sunterryjones) of the Edmonton Sun: “Yukon has a basketball team?”
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