Thursday, May 8, 2014

Oil Kings, Winterhawks dead even in final

F Zdenek Okal (Medicine Hat, 2008-10) had the option year of his contract picked up by Zlin (Czech Republic, Extraliga). This season with Zlin, he had seven points, five of them goals, in 44 games. On loan to Sumperk (Czech Republic, 1. Liga), he had a goal and an assist in three games.

1. When Ron Hextall was scrapping his way through the WHL (Brandon, 1981-84) and NHL, how many of you saw him as a future NHL general manager? Well, he now is the general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers.

2. The Prince George Cougars will hold a news conference on Tuesday at the CN Centre to introduce the franchise’s new owners to media and fans. . . . The festivities will begin with a barbecue at 11:30 a.m., with the news conference set for 12:15 p.m. . . . All members of the new ownership group are scheduled to be on hand, including NHL defencemen Eric Brewer and Dan Hamhuis, both of whom are former Cougars players.

3. If you’re a fan of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, you should know that their championship-season DVD is scheduled to hit stores on May 23. There is more right here.

4. Former Roughriders running back Kory Sheets ran afoul of the law in Estevan, Sask., recently. This story right here was first reported by the Estevan Mercury. . . . This wasn’t Sheets’ first brush with the law. There’s more right here.

5. These are interesting times with the Penticton Minor Hockey Association, which is alleging that its treasurer embezzled $315,650. However, the woman who handled the association’s finances died in July. The Penticton Herald’s latest story on this situation is right here.

6. Ryan Ohashi, who knows his way around the WHL, has another blog entry right here that covers a lot of ground, including a pretty good rant brought on by attendance at Game 3 of the WHL’s championship series in Edmonton.

7. D Josh Morrissey scored his first professional goal Wednesday night as the host St. John’s IceCaps beat the Norfolk Admirals 2-1 in a second-round AHL playoff game. Morrissey was selected 13th overall by the Winnipeg Jets in the NHL’s 2013 draft. He played the last three seasons with the Prince Albret Raiders. From Calgary, Morrissey had one assist in eight games with the IceCaps at the end of this regular season. Last night, he opened the scoring with a second-period PP goal.

8. There are comebacks and there are comebacks. Then there are the Clinton LumberKings, a Class A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners who play in the Midwest League. Last night, they trailed the Burlington Bees, another Iowa-based club, 17-1 after five innings. The game, however, went 12 innings, with the LumberKings winning, 20-17. The eventual winners struck for six runs in the sixth inning, five in the eighth and five more in the ninth.

To date, the roster of presenters for the 2014 Hockey Coaches Conference is at six. . . . That includes Barry Trotz, until recently the only head coach in the history of the NHL’s Nashville Predators, who will deal with bench management. . . . Frantz Jean, the goaltending coach with the Tampa Bay Lightning, will deal with, yes, goaltending. . . . Martin Gelinas, an assistant coach with the Calgary Flames, will present on the power play, while Kelowna Rockets head coach Ryan Huska is to handle the penalty kill. . . . Jamie Pringle, the Flames’ video coach, will deal with video technology, and Matt Nichol handles physical presentation. . . . The conference is scheduled for July 18 and 19 at the U of British Columbia in Vancouver. . . . For more info, click on the ad at the top of this page.
D Aaron Keller (Kamloops, 1992-96) has retired. The 39-year-old Keller, who played on two Memorial Cup-winners while with the Blazers, has played in Japan since 1999. This season, he had 35 points, including four goals, in 42 games with Oji of the Asian league. He also has played internationally for Japan. . . . Keller posted his on Facebook: “Just wanted to say thanks to my family, friends, teammates past and present and all of my coaches throughout the years who have been influential and supportive in my hockey career. The skates are officially hung up and on to the next phase of my career!”
The Swift Current Broncos have dealt D Bobby Zinkan, 19, to the Vancouver Giants for F Luca Leone, 18, and a 2016 sixth-round bantam draft pick. . . . Leone, from Vancouver, had six points, including two goals, in 33 games with the Giants this season. . . . Zinkan was a fourth-round pick by the Broncos in the 2010 bantam draft. He had four points, two of them goals, in 52 games this season.
G Marek Langhamer of the Medicine Hat Tigers has signed a three-year entry-level deal with the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes. Langhamer, who is to turn 20 on July 22, is from Pisek, Czech Republic. He was a seventh-round selection by the Coyotes in the 2012 NHL draft. . . . This season, he was 23-14-3, 2.58, .913 with the Tigers.
In North Bay, the Guelph Storm whipped the Battalion 10-1 and now hold a 3-1 edge in the best-of-seven championship series. . . . F Scott Kosmachuk had a goal and three assists for the Storm, which scored the game’s first nine goals. . . . The Storm gets it first chance to wrap it up on Friday in Guelph.
In Val-d’Or, F Felix Girard, the team captain, scored at 14:41 of OT to give the Baie-Comeau Drakkar a 4-3 victory over the Foreurs. . . . The best-of-seven championship final is tied 2-2 with Game 5 scheduled for Friday in Baie-Comeau. . . . F Alexandre Ranger of the Drakkar forced OT with a PP goal at 16:25 of the third period. . . . The Foreurs got two goals from F Anthony Mantha, who has scored 22 times in these playoffs.
The USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks have signed Todd Robinson as an assistant coach. . . . Robinson, who played in the WHL with the Portland Winterhawks (1994-99), spent nine seasons as a player in Muskegon, suiting up with the Fury (2000-07) and the Lumberjacks (2008-10), both of which were pro teams. . . . According to a Lumberjacks news release, “Robinson played 15 years of professional hockey with 13 different organizations spanning over seven different leagues and compiled a stat line of 1,546 points (402 goals and 1,144 assists) to go along with a plus-133 rating in 1,125 career games played.”
The AHL’s Portland Pirates have signed a one-season extension to their affiliation agreement with the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes. . . . Portland head coach Ray Edwards has added the general manager’s duties to his portfolio, while assistant coach John Slaney and head trainer Mike Booi have signed extensions and will be back for their fourth seasons.
The NHL’s Los Angeles Kings have chosen not to renew the contract of Mark Morris, who had been head coach of their AHL affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs. Morris, the winningest coach in Manchester history, had been head coach there for eight seasons. With a record of 338-251-39, .569, he is the 10th-winningest coach in AHL history.

THE FOURTH ROUND (best-of-seven; all times local):
WHL final, for the Ed Chynoweth Cup
(x - if necessary)
(All games televised live by Shaw)
(All games televised on delayed basis by Root Sports)
PORTLAND (2, West) vs. Edmonton (1, East)
(Series tied, 2-2)
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 at Portland, 7 p.m. (Moda Center)
Sunday: Portland at Edmonton, 4 p.m.
x-Monday: Edmonton at Portland, 7 p.m. (Memorial Coliseum)
Portland: None.
Edmonton: None.

In Edmonton, G Tristan Jarry stopped 26 shots in leading the Oil Kings to a 2-0 victory over the Portland Winterhawks. . . . The WHL’s championship series for the Ed Chynoweth Cup now is tied 2-2 with Game 5 in Portland on Friday night and Game 6 back in Edmonton on Sunday. . . . The Winterhawks, who scored 10 goals in the first seven periods of the series, now haven’t scored a goal in 116:30. . . . Jarry has three shutouts in 19 games in these playoffs. He is 14-4, 2.01, .927. . . . According to WHL Facts (@WHLFacts), the Winterhawks had played 247 regular-season, playoff and Memorial Cup games without being blanked. . . . Edmonton’s first goal came at 8:40 of the second period when a shot by D Dysin Mayo bounced off the end glass and back over the net, from where F Mitch Moroz put in the rebound. . . . Moroz, a 35-goal man in the regular season, had gone eight games without a goal. . . . Edmonton F Curtis Lazar, who scored 41 times in the regular season, made it 2-0 at 6:17 of the third period. . . . Portland G Corbin Boes stopped 35 shots. . . . Edmonton was 0-for-7 on the PP; Portland was 0-for-3. . . . The Oil Kings got three power-play opportunities in the second period when Portland F Brendan Leipsic took three minor penalties in a span of 9:34. . . . In the first three games, the Winterhawks had outscored the Oil Kings 7-0 in first periods (3-0, 2-0, 2-0). Last night, the first period was scoreless. . . . The Oil Kings are 14-4 in these playoffs, including 10-0 at home. . . . Portland also is 14-4, and is 9-0 at home. . . . D Blake Heinrich made his WHL debut with the Winterhawks. A fifth-round selection by the Washington Capitals in the NHL’s 2013 draft, Heinrich spent this season with the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers.

From Not Ron Robison (@NotRonRobison): “You Portland people thought I was going to hand your Hawks the cup on Friday didn't you?”

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