Monday, May 12, 2014

Oil Kings crowned kings of the WHL

KHLF Gilbert Brulé (Vancouver, 2002-06) has signed a one-year contract with Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg (Russia, KHL). This season, with the Phoenix Coyotes (NHL), he was pointless in three games. In 11 games with the Portland Pirates (AHL), he had 12 points, including 12 goals. . . .

KHLF Roman Horák (Chilliwack, 2009-11) has signed a one-year contract with Vityaz Podolsk (Russia, KHL). This season with the Calgary Flames/Edmonton Oilers, Horák had one goal in three games. With the Abbotsford Heat/Oklahoma City Barons (AHL), he had 55 points, 23 of them goals, in 66 games.
G Justin Myles’ stint with the Kamloops Blazers is over, and he never did get into a game.
In January, the Blazers sent G Taran Kozun to the Seattle Thunderbirds in exchange for Myles, D Austin Douglas and a fourth-round selection in the 2015 bantam draft.
However, Myles, who is from Calgary, was injured and never did play for the Blazers.
On Monday, the Blazers dealt Myles, 19, to the Lethbridge Hurricanes for a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2015 bantam draft.
Kamloops also has received a 2016 fourth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft from Seattle as compensation for Myles.
The Blazers are expected to open next season with Bolton Pouliot, 20, as their starter. Cole Kehler, 17, is No. 2 on the depth chart, after getting into 11 games this season. Connor Ingram, 17, of the midget AAA Prince Albert Mintos, who won the Telus Cup, and Dylan Ferguson, 16, of the midget AAA Notre Dame Argos also are in the picture.
Myles joins Teagan Sacher, who turns 20 on Dec. 1, Jarrod Schamerhorn, 19, Jonny Hogue, 18, and Stuart Skinner, who will be 16 on Nov. 1, as goaltenders on the Lethbridge roster who have seen action in the WHL.
The Moose Jaw Warriors have acquired F Kolten Olynek, 18, from the Lethbridge Hurricanes for F Miles Warkentine, 18.
Olynek, from Saskatoon, had 12 points, including four goals, in 57 games with the Hurricanes this season. He was a second-round pick, 26th overall, in the 2011 bantam draft.
After an injury-filled freshman season, Warkentine, from Prince Albert, had 12 points, three of them goals, in 65 games with the Warriors this season. Moose Jaw selected him 16th overall in the 2011 bantam draft.

1. Travis Green, the head coach of the AHL’s Utica Comets, was in the house in Portland on Tuesday night as the Winterhawks lost 4-2 to the Edmonton Oil Kings in Game 7 of the WHL final. Green spent most of last season as the Winterhawks’ head coach, with GM/head coach Mike Johnston suspended. Stu Walters of Shaw-TV reported that Green watched Game 6 of the WHL final in Anaheim, while communicating with Portland assistant GM Matt Bardsley. With the Oil Kings leading 5-2, Green apparently told Bardsley that if the Winterhawks came back and won, he would be in Portland for Game 7. They did and he was.

2. The Memorial Cup field will be rounded out tonight when Game 7 of the QMJHL final is played in Baie-Comeau between the Drakkar and the Val-d’Or Foreurs.

3. The Memorial Cup is to be played in London, Ont., and will open Friday with the host Knights meeting the QMJHL champion. The Edmonton Oil Kings, who won the WHL title last night in Portland, open Saturday against the OHL-champion Guelph Storm. . . . The Oil Kings then meet London on Saturday.

4. Late night tweet from the Guelph Storm (@Storm_City): “Hey @EdmOilKings, we found some ice time in London on Saturday. Are you in?”

5. Response from the Edmonton Oil Kings (@EdmOilKings): “It's a date!”

6. G Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers drew a $5,000 fine for squirting Sir Sidney Crosby with water during a playoff game on Sunday night. . . . Earlier in these playoffs, F Milan Lucic was fined $5,000 for spearing Detroit Red Wings D Danny DeKeyser in the jewels. . . . Boston F Shawn Thornton was fined $2,820.52 for squirting water in the face of Montreal Canadiens D P.K. Subban. . . . All of these are the maximum allowed under the CBA, which makes one wonder if that part was negotiated near the end of an all-nighter.

7. Remember when the NHL said it was going to crack down on obstruction and that penalties would be called in the playoffs just like they are in the regular season? Did you believe the NHL at the time? If so, do you now feel shame?

8. If you were wondering, Brett Iverson will be the WHL referee to work Memorial Cup games in London.
BCHLJason Williamson, the general manager and head coach of the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers, got a new two-year contract last week. Williamson, 33, who is coaching the host team for the RBC Cup this week, was in the final year of a three-year contract. . . . Associate coach Kris Mallette also will return to the Vipers next season, as will assistant coach Dave Robinson.
Bob Prier has resigned after three seasons as head coach of the Princeton U Tigers, who were 6-26-0 this season. Prier, who resigned Monday, had a 25-58-12 record at Princeton.
The junior B Grand Forks Border Bruins of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League have signed Brad Snyder as their general manager and head coach. Snyder, from Flin Flon, Man., replaces Kevin Flather, who had been hired Nov. 7 to replace Nick Deschenes, who left early in the season to join the staff of the BCHL’s Trail Smoke Eaters.

THE FOURTH ROUND (best-of-seven):
WHL final, for the Ed Chynoweth Cup
PORTLAND (2, West) vs. Edmonton (1, East)(Edmonton wins, 4-3)
Season series: Portland, 0-0-1; Edmonton, 1-0-0.
Saturday: Edmonton 2 at Portland 5 (10,947)
Sunday: Edmonton 1 at Portland 3 (10,645)
Tuesday: Portland 2 at Edmonton 3 (6,799)
Wednesday: Portland 0 at Edmonton 2 (7,859)
Friday: Edmonton 3 at Portland 2 (10,947)
Sunday: Portland 6 at Edmonton 5 (OT) (11,902)
Monday: Edmonton 4 at Portland 2 (10,095)

In Portland, the Edmonton Oil Kings erased a 1-0 deficit with four goals in the second period and went on to win the Ed Chynoweth Cup with a 4-2 victory over the defending-champion Winterhawks. . . . The Oil Kings, who won four of the last five games in the series, took the best-of-seven series 4-3. . . . The Memorial Cup opens Friday in London, Ont., with the host Knights playing the QMJHL champion, which will be decided tonight. . . . The Oil Kings open Saturday against the OHL-champion Guelph Storm. . . . In 10 previous WHL championship Game 7s, the home team was 10-0. . . . This was the third time in as many years that the same teams met in the WHL final. Edmonton won two years ago; the Winterhawks won last season. In the three finals, each team won 10 times. . . . Portland F Oliver Bjorkstrand opened the scoring at 4:42 of the first period, going coast-to-coast and beating G Tristan Jarry off the right wing, high to the long side, moments after G Brendan Burke had come up big on Edmonton F Mitch Moroz. . . . The Oil Kings came close to tying it a short time later while on the game’s first PP, but F Curtis Lazar was ruled to have kicked the puck into the net with his left foot. . . . Edmonton tied it when F Mitch Moroz waltzed from the right wing across the slot and beat Burke at 3:50 of the second. . . . With the Winterhawks on the PP but looking the more tired of the two teams, Lazar scored shorthanded at 9:02 for a 2-1 lead. . . . Just 40 seconds later, F Reid Petryk drove to the net and got the puck through Burke for a 3-1 lead. . . . Edmonton finished off the period with F Mads Eller scoring on a 3-on-1 break at 17:17. . . . Portland didn’t score again until F Brendan Leipsic beat Jarry on a PP at 16:38 of the third period. . . . Portland was 1-for-5 on the PP; Edmonton was 0-for-2. . . . Jarry finished with 32 saves, three more than Burke. . . . Edmonton D Griffin Reinhart was selected as the MVP of the playoffs. Reinhart was injured last season and didn’t play in the championship series. . . . Bjorkstrand and Leipsic tied for the playoff scoring lead, each with 33 points. Bjorkstrand led the playoffs in goals (16) and Portland D Derrick Pouliot was tops in assists (27).

From Edmonton Journal sports columnist John MacKinnon (@rjmackinnon), after the post-game trophy presentations: “#WHL pres. Ron Robison gets the boos in Portland. Fans don't forgive or forget, apparently. Yikes.”

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