Monday, April 14, 2014

Tigers, Ice going to Game 7

G Riku Helenius (Seattle, 2007-08) signed a two-year contract with Jokerit Helsinki (Finland, KHL). Helenius split this season between the AHL and ECHL. With the Syracuse Crunch (AHL), he was 3.43 and .875 in five games; with the Florida Everblades (ECHL), he was 6.08 and .797 in four games. . . . Helenius, a first-round selection (15th overall) by Tampa Bay in the 2006 NHL draft, had his NHL contract terminated by the Lightning in February. The NHLPA had filed a grievance over that release and the case seems headed to arbitration. Lindsay Kramer of has more right here.

D Nick Holden of the Colorado Avalanche was in Vancouver recently, which gave Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province the opportunity to chat with him. And guess what? Holden says his junior team, the Chilliwack Bruins, would have survived just fine had the AHL’s Abbotsford Heat not arrived on the Lower Mainland hockey scene. . . . That piece is right here.
Interestingly, the city of Abbotsford has called a news conference for this morning at 10 a.m. PT, at which it is expected to address the future of the Heat. Again, there are rumours that the franchise is about to be sold and moved, this time to Glens Falls, N.Y.
Gord McIntyre of the Province reported last night that the Canucks aren’t interested in moving their AHL franchise, which is in its first season in Utica, N.Y., to Abbotsford at this time. That piece is right here.
F Sean MacTavish, who once was drafted by the Kelowna Rockets, has committed to Boston University. MacTavish, the son of Edmonton Oilers GM Craig MacTavish, was taken in the ninth round of the 2009 WHL bantam draft. He played the last two seasons with the AJHL’s Sherwood Park Crusaders. . . . MacTavish will turn 20 on Nov. 21.
The Vancouver Canucks inducted former general manager Pat Quinn into their Ring of Honour on Sunday. Ed Willes, a sports columnist with the Vancouver Province, wrote a column on Quinn that appeared in Sunday’s paper. Buried deep in that piece was a quote from Ron Toigo, the majority owner of the Vancouver Giants, that is rather interesting. It seems that Quinn, a minority owner with the Giants, isn’t all that enamoured with the Giants’ style of play of late.
Quinn’s teams, Willes writes, “have always been characterized by an uptempo pace and an emphasis on puck movement.
‘He doesn't really like the way we've played the last couple of years," Toigo says of the Giants' defensive style. ‘He likes the offensive game and defencemen who can move the puck. He says winning is important, but we still have an obligation to entertain.’ ”

Justin Crann of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald has been following the situation in that city involving the Warriors and their bringing back a 30-year-old logo as part of their 30th anniversary celebrations. Crann writes that the Warriors are too deep into this anniversary to turn back now, but adds that “it can be used as a positive learning opportunity.” . . . That piece is right here.

Tom Gaglardi, the owner of the NHL’s Dallas Stars and majority owner of the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers, was back in a Kamloops courtroom on Monday. Gaglardi was on the stand as he faces two charges of harmful alteration of a fish habitat. . . . According to Tim Petruk of Kamloops This Week, Gaglardi spent part of his time in the courtroom apparently playing with line combinations as his Stars get ready to open the NHL playoffs this season. . . . Petruk’s story is right here.
AHLD Ryan Pulock of the Brandon Wheat Kings will finish his season with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders. Pulock was a first-round selection, 15th overall, by the Islanders in the 2013 NHL draft. . . . Pulock played his first game with the Sound Tigers on Monday night, going pointless in a 4-2 loss to the visiting Adirondack Phantoms.
The 106th Allan Cup competition, for the championship of Canadian senior AAA hockey, is underway in Dundas, Ont. Steve Milton of the Hamilton Spectator takes a look at the field right here, explaining how each of the six teams qualified.
In Monday night’s opener, the Brantford, Ont., Blast edged the Kenora, Ont., Thistles, 5-4. F Sean McAslan (Calgary, 1996-2001) scored one of the Thistles’ goals.

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)
(Series tied, 3-3)
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 2 at Medicine Hat 9 (3,624)
Monday: Medicine Hat 2 at Kootenay 1 (2,732)
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 Landon Cross, 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. (Sportsnet)
Saturday: Portland at Kelowna, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, April 22: Kelowna at Portland (Moda Center), 7 p.m.
Wednesday, April 23: Kelowna at Portland (Moda Center), 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.
Edmonton: D Blake Orban, day-to-day.
WHL Playoffs
In Cranbrook, F Curtis Valk broke a 1-1 tie with 35.6 seconds left in the third period as the Medicine Hat Tigers beat the Kootenay Ice, 2-1. . . . The second-round series is tied 3-3 with Game 7 scheduled for Medicine Hat on Wednesday night. . . . The winner of the series will open the Eastern Conference final in Edmonton against the Oil Kings on Friday night. . . . F Miles Koules gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead at 8:10 of the first period with his fourth goal of these playoffs. . . . The Ice tied it at 15:46 of the third period when F Jon Martin got his second goal off a rebound. . . . Valk, known as The Incredible Valk around the Tigers, won it with his 10th goal of the playoffs. It was his sixth goal of this series, all of them coming in the last five games. . . . It also was Valk’s 20th playoff goal in 43 games. He has scored 19 times in his last 28 post-season games. . . . Valk and F Jaedon Descheneau of the Ice lead the WHL, each with 10 goals. . . . Ice G Mackenzie Skapski turned aside 28 shots, two more than Marek Langhamer of the Tigers.

From Darren Steinke (@MHND_Steinke) of the Medicine Hat News: “(Monday) night will mark the 392nd post-season contest Bob Ridley calls as the play-by-play voice of the #MHTigers.”
From F Anthony As (@AAST18) of the Medicine Hat Tigers: “Curtis Valk is my man crush Monday right now. Someone sign this guy to a NHL contract. That is all #CaptainClutch #TheIncredibleValk #Game7”
Ast was scratched from Monday’s game.

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