Monday, May 19, 2014

Storm books spot in MC final; Pouliot taking injured shoulder to Pittsburgh

F Tomas Hricina (Regina, 2008-10) has signed a one-year contract with Arystan Temirtau (Kazakhstan, Vysshaya Liga). This season, with Bardejov (Slovakia, 1. Liga), Hricina had 65 points, including 43 assists, in 44 games. He led the league in assists and points.

1. If you’re wondering why the WHL’s championship final turned out the way it did, Megan, over at Shinny Stats has done a terrific statistical analysis of what went on between her Portland Winterhawks and the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . That breakdown is right here. . . . I also have linked to Megan’s blog over there on the right, because she is doing some nifty work involving Portland games.

2. Amid all the chatter about the injury to Montreal G Carey Price, who was bowled over by New York Rangers F Chris Kreider in Game 1 of that Stanley Cup, came the news that Canadiens F Brendan Gallagher leads the NHL in goaltender interference penalties. . . . And anyone who paid attention to the WHL when Gallagher was with the Vancouver Giants said: “That’s news?”

3. Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune reported Sunday evening that D Derrick Pouliot of the Portland Winterhawks “will be in Pittsburgh this week to have a shoulder injury evaluated by physicians.” . . . According to Rossi, Pouliot was injured during the WHL final, and the injury has prevented him from joining the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for their playoff run. . . . Pouliot was selected by Pittsburgh with the eighth overall pick of the NHL's 2012 draft.

4. The Los Angeles Kings are halfway through what they hope will be a run to the Stanley Cup, and Jon Rosen, a former radio voice of the Everett Silvertips, is along for the ride. If you are a hockey fan, you should check out his blog, L.A. Kings Insider, right here. It is updated daily . . . and sometimes hourly. Watch especially for the wit and wisdom of Kings head coach Darryl Sutter.

5. Unfortunately, the 2014 Memorial Cup is quickly turning into a dud. At least it is if you’re a hockey fan in search of some excitement. The scores to date -- 1-0, 5-2, 5-2, 6-3. . . . Of course, last year wasn’t much better. In Saskatoon, the scores from the first five games were 3-2, 7-4, 5-2, 6-3 and 9-2. In fact, of the nine games played in Saskatoon, two were decided by one goal, two by two goals, three by three goals, one by five goals and one by seven goals.

6. I don’t know how much money you spent on the weekend, but AT&T is about to drop US$48.5 billion (that’s with a B) on purchasing DirecTV. How big is the NFL? Well, it seems the whole deal hinges on DirecTV’s ability to renew its NFL Sunday Ticket contract. . . . Sports Business Daily has more on all the big, big numbers right here.

7. Bob Moore, now the editor of the El Paso Times, was 18 when he was bitten in the butt by a dog belonging to Jeb Magruder of Watergate fame. Magruder died last week and Moore recalls the dog-biting incident right here.

8. When F Riley Kieser was traded by the Vancouver Giants to the Edmonton Oil Kings prior to this season, it may have meant more to his family than it did to him. He is from Sherwood Park, Alta., where his family still lives. His father, Chris, has been confined to a wheelchair by multiple sclerosis. The trade, then, made it a whole lot easier for Dad to watch his son play hockey. John MacKinnon of the Edmonton Journal has more right here.

9. Today is Tuesday, May 22. The New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens are two games into their Stanley Cup conference final. They will have two days off before Game 3 and then take two more days off before Game 4. Yes, they will play twice in seven days. Seriously. . . . Yes, it’s time to watch some NBA.

F Cam McLise, who played one season with the Edmonton Oil Kings (2009-10) before going on to be named the CJHL’s player of the year (2012-13), will attend Mount Royal U in Calgary and play for the Cougars. . . . However, he will have to redshirt in 2014-15 as he played last season for the U of New Brunswick. . . . After playing with the Oil Kings, McLise spent three seasons with the AJHL’s Brooks Bandits, winning two league titles and an RBC Cup. . . . The 22-year-old McLise is from Lacombe, Alta.
The USHL’s Madison Capitols have yet to play their first game and they already have gone through one general manager/head coach. Steve Miller resigned on the weekend, saying he has “decided to return to Colorado and pursue other interests at this time.” . . . Miller was named the expansion club’s head coach on Oct. 22 after spending 20 years on the coaching staff of the U of Denver Pioneers. . . . The Capitols expect to gave a GM/head coach signed within the next week, according to managing partner Tom Garrity.

(at London, Ont., all times Eastern)
(all games televised by Sportsnet)
Friday: Val-d’Or 1, London 0 (8,863)
Saturday: Guelph 5, Edmonton 2 (8,842)
Sunday: Edmonton 5, London 2 (8,863)
Monday: Guelph 6, Val-d’Or 3 (8,796)
Tuesday: Edmonton vs. Val-d’Or, 7 p.m.
Wednesday: London vs. Guelph, 7 p.m.
Thursday: Tiebreaker, if necessary, 7 p.m.
Friday: Semifinal, 7 p.m.
Saturday: No game scheduled.
Sunday: Final, noon.

The OHL’s Guelph Storm booked its berth in the Memorial Cup’s championship game with a 6-3 victory over the Val-d’Or Foreurs on Monday night. . . . The QMJHL-champion Foreurs and the WHL-champion Edmonton Oil Kings, each 1-1, are scheduled to play tonight. . . . The Storm is 2-0 and will meet the host London Knights (0-2) on Wednesday in the final game of the round-robin. A Guelph victory will eliminate the Knights. . . . The Storm got a goal apiece from six players -- F Kerby Rychel, F Zach Mitchell, F Jason Dickinson, F Robby Fabbri, F Pius Suter and F Tyler Bertuzzi, while F Scott Kosmachuk had three assists and Mitchell, F Brock McGinn and D Matt Finn each had two. . . . F Timotej Sille, F Anthony Beauregard and D Randy Gazzola replied for the Foreurs. . . . Guelph G Justin Nichols stopped 30 shots. . . . Val-d’Or starter Antoine Bibeau stopped 30 of 36 shots through two periods. Keven Bouchard came on for the third period and kicked out 13 shots. . . . Guelph D Chadd Bauman received a kneeing major and game misconduct at 7:50 of the third period for a hit on Foreurs D Guillaume Gelinas, who looked to have injured his left knee and needed help getting off the ice. . . . The Storm, the highest-scoring team in the CHL this season, with 340 goals, has scored 11 times in two games. . . . Guelph took control of this game with three goals in the first six minutes of the first period. . . . The Foreurs were 2-for-5 on the PP; the Storm was 0-for-6.
After the game, Alan Caldwell of Small Thoughts at Large, explained via Twitter what it all means:
4 possible outcomes of the Memorial Cup round-robin now . . .
1) Edmonton and Guelph win last 2 games. London goes home, Edmonton hosts Val-d'Or in semi.
2) Edmonton and London win last 2 games. Edmonton goes to semi. Val-d'Or hosts London in tiebreaker.
3) Val-d'Or and Guelph win last 2 games. London goes home, Val-d'Or hosts Edmonton in semi.
4) Val-d'Or and London win last 2 games. Val-d'Or goes to semi, Edmonton hosts London in tiebreaker.

From former WHL D Garrett Thiessen (@thies89): “I hate to say it Habs fans, but I scored on Tokarski back in 06. And if I can score on Tokarski. Anyone can score on Tokarski. #gohabs”
From the Edmonton Oil Kings (@EdmOilKings): “It's an off day for the #OilKings at the #MCMemorialCup, and they'll spend it with their families. Back in action (today) vs. @LesForeurs!”

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