D Joe Hicketts of the Victoria Royals has lived one of hockey’s more interesting stories over the last couple of years. Hicketts, who is from Kamloops, suffered a serious injury last season and then was bypassed in the NHL draft. But -- and all undrafted players should take notice -- that hasn’t kept him from earning an NHL contract. Glen Erickson of hockeysfuture.com has more right here.
In a Saturday OHL game, F Connor McDavid had a goal and three assists as the Erie Otters dumped the host Sudbury Wolves, 8-1. McDavid is on a 12-game season-opening point streak. In those 12 games, he's got 34 points, including 23 assists.
THE COACHING GAME:Former NHL/WHL D Curtis Leschyshyn has taken over as head coach of the midget AAA Saskatoon Blazers. Leschyshyn, an assistant coach with the Saskatoon Blades last season, had been an assistant coach with the Blazers, who now are 2-7. Former WHL F Randy Smith, who had been the head coach, has stepped up to be the general manager. . . . Tip of the cap to Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix for the tweet.
Willy Alexander Thomas, a high school student and a hockey player, had his whole life to live. But he committed suicide by jumping from the George Washington Bridge. He was 17. His parents now are wondering if concussions may have played a role in what happened. Pete Croatto of The New York Times has that story right here.
Another concussion-related lawsuit has surfaced. As Kevin Harden of the Portland Tribune writes right here, Billy Jack Haynes, a former pro wrestler, has filed suit against the WWE. Harden writes that Haynes, now 61, "is suing WWE in federal court for 'egregious mistreatment of its wrestlers for its own benefit, as well as its concealment and denial of medical research and evidence concerning traumatic brain injuries suffered by WWE wrestlers,' according to the 42-page lawsuit filed Thursday, Oct. 23, in Portland’s U.S. District Court. Haynes is also asking the court to grant class-action status for what his lawyers say could be 500 people who suffered injuries while wrestling or performing in the WWE ring."
SATURDAY'S REPORT:In Kelowna, F Nick Merkley had a goal and three assists to spark the Rockets to a 6-1 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Brandon, which had been 2-0-0 to start a seven-game road swing, got the game's first goal when F Quintin Lisoway scored at 6:39 of the second period. . . . The Rockets scored the last six goals, four of them in the third period. . . . Merkley, who has four goals, figured in Kelowna's first four goals. . . . The Rockets got two shorthanded goals, from Merkley and F Austin Glover. . . . D Madison Bowey scored twice for the Rockets, giving him six on the season. Both goals came via the PP as the Rockets went 3-for-6 with the man advantage. . . . Brandon was 0-for-5 on the PP. . . . Kelowna G Jackson Whistle stopped 31 shots, 15 more than Brandon's Jordan Papirny, who started for the 12th time in 14 games. . . . Brandon F Jesse Gabrielle failed to score on a penalty shot just 58 seconds into the game. . . . The Wheat Kings had scored 33 goals in winning their previous four games. . . . What kind of a game was it? "Had it not been for Whistle, who had his best game in a Rockets uniform, Brandon could have walked away as 6-1 winners after dominating the first two periods," wrote Doyle Potenteau of The Okanagan Sunday. . . . When it was over, the Rockets were 12-1-0 and the Wheat Kings 10-2-1. Unfortunately for hockey fans, the only way these teams meet again this season is if it's in the WHL final. . . . Rob Henderson of the Brandon Sun has a game story right here. . . .
In Prince Albert, F Taylor Cooper had a goal and an assist as the Lethbridge Hurricanes dumped the Raiders, 3-1. . . . The Hurricanes have won three in a row for the first time since Nov. 3-9, 2012. . . . The Hurricanes scored the game's first three goals. . . . Lethbridge G Stuart Skinner, who doesn't turn 16 until Nov. 1, stopped 24 shots. He lost his shutout bid when F Jayden Hart scored at 19:20 of the third period. . . . The Raiders were without F Reid Gardiner, who took 16 stitches to the forehead after a high hit from F Alex Schoenborn of the Portland Winterhawks on Friday night. Gardiner also is undergoing the concussion protocol. . . . F Marcus Messier, 20, was pointless in his debut with the Raiders. . . .
In Red Deer, F Conner Bleackley scored once and added two assists to lead the Rebels to a 5-1 victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . Bleackley broke a 1-1 tie at 8:13 of the second eriod with his third goal of the season. . . . Red Deer F Wyatt Johnson scored the game's first goal, his sixth of the season. . . .
In Saskatoon, F Oliver Bjorkstrand scored three times to help the Portland Winterhawks to a 6-1 victory over the Blades. . . . Bjorkstrand gave the visitors a 3-1 lead at 9:56 of the third and later scored the game's last two goals. He's got nine goals this season. . . . F Chase De Leo had a goal, his ninth, and an assist on his 19th birthday. . . . The game was the last of a six-game East Division swing for the Winterhawks, who went 4-2-0 on their tour. . . . The Winterhawks played without F Alex Schoenborn, who drew a TBA suspension for a headshot on F Reid Gardiner of the Prince Albert Raiders on Friday night. . . . Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix has a gamer right here, including the latest on the Blades' injuries.
In Edmonton, the Oil Kings scored the game's last five goals and beat the Prince George Cougars, 5-1. . . . Edmonton is 5-0-1 in its last six games. . . . F Mitchell Walker broke a 1-1 tie with this first goal at 16:18 of the second period. . . . F Luke Bertolucci scored his first two goals of the season 27 seconds apart late in the third period. . . . F Jari Erricson scored his 10th goal of the season for the Cougars, losers of four in a row. . . .
In Regina, G Landon Bow stopped 39 shots to lead the Swift Current Broncos to a 2-1 victory over the Pats. . . . On Friday night, the Broncos had beaten the visiting Pats, 3-1. . . . After last night, the Broncos are 14-0-2 against Regina over the last two-plus seasons. . . . D Brett Lernout broke a 1-1 tie with his third goal of the season at 10:06 of the third period. . . . Broncos F Jake DeBrusk scored his 10th goal, on a PP, at 5:47 of the first period. . . . Regina D Sergey Zborovskiy tied the score with his first goal at 11:33 of the second period. . . . Pats G Daniel Wapple turned aside 25 shots. . . . The Broncos have won won three in a row, while the Pats now have dropped four in a row. . . .
In Medicine Hat, the Tigers outscored Calgary 3-1 in the second period en route to a 7-5 victory over the Hitmen. . . . The Tigers, 11-1-1 overall and 8-0-1 in their last nine, scored the game's first two goals, but Calgary got those back before the first period ended. . . . Tigers D Ty Stanton broke a 3-3 tie at 19:09 of the second period and D David Quenneville added a PP goal at 19:54. . . . F Markus Eisenschmid scored twice for the Tigers, giving him seven, while F Trevor Cox had his second goal, into an empty net, and added two assists, and F Chad Butcher had three assists. . . . F Jake Virtanen, in his second game since returning from off-season shoulder surgery, had two goals and an assist for Calgary. . . . The Hitmen also got two goals and an assist from F Pavel Kamaukhov, who has eight scores, and a goal and two helpers from D Ben Thomas. . . . Calgary was 3-for-6 on the PP; Medicine Hat was 2-for-4. . . .
In Spokane, F Calder Brooks and F Adam Helewka each scored twice as the Chiefs beat the Kootenay Ice, 4-3. . . . Helewka's second goal, at 7:47 of the third period, on the PP, gave the Chiefs a 4-1 lead. . . . The Ice made it close with goals from F Matt Alfaro, his second of the game, and F Zak Zborosky 37 seconds apart late in the period. . . . Brooks, who also had two assists, and Helewka, who had one assist, each has five goals this season. . . . Spokane F Kailer Yamamoto, the third member of the line with Helewka and Brooks, had three assists. Yamomoto is a 16-year-old Spokane native who scored a goal in each of his previous two games. . . . Ice G Wyatt Hoflin stopped 41 shots, 20 more than Spokane's Tyson Verheist. . . . The Ice has lost five straight and is 1-9-0 in its last 10. . . .
In Victoria, F Austin Carroll's second goal of the game, at 13:27 of the third period, broke a 2-2 tie as the Royals edged the Vancouver Giants, 3-2. . . . Carroll has 10 goals this season. His first goal of the game gave the Royals a 2-1 lead at 9:08 of the second period. . . . Vancouver D Mason Geertsen tied it with his first goal at 5:38 of the third. . . . F Axel Blomqvist had two assists for the Royals, while F Matt Bellerive had a goal, his fourth, and an assist for the Giants, who are 0-6-0 on the road. . . . The Royals are riding a four-game winning streak. . . .
In Everett, F Ivan Nikolishin scored 41 seconds into OT to give the Silvertips a 2-1 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . The winner came off a feed from fellow Russian F Nikita Scherbak. . . . Seattle F Scott Eansor scored the game's first goal, at 4:50 of the first period, and now has goals in three straight games. . . . Everett F Cole MacDonald tied the score on a PP at 7:01 of the third. . . . Everett D Kevin Davis had two assists. . . . Nikolishin has four goals this season. . . . Everett G Austin Lotz stopped 24 shots, four fewer than Seattle's Taran Kozun. . . . The Silvertips have won their last two games to get to 8-1-3. . . . Seattle head coach Steve Konowalchuk wasn't happy with the officiating and you can bet it's going to cost him some coin. Ch-ch-ching! . . . "The officiating's got to get better," Konowalchuk told Andy Eide of 710 AM ESPN. "It’s atrocious, it's (expletive) atrocious." . . . Eide wrote: "Konowalchuk's frustration boiled over after the game as he felt the Silvertips embellished the plays and the bad calls cost his players a hard-fought game and a chance at picking up the win." Here’s more from Konowalchuk: "Two embellishments, I am so tired of the officiating in this league. I can't find it on the tape, I can't find it. I asked my player 'honestly did you touch him' he said 'my stick was up but I didn't touch him.' The guy at the red line calling it, the guy in the corner doesn't call it." . . . Eide's complete report is right here. . . .
In Kennewick, Wash., G Connor Ingram stopped 25 shots as the Kamloops Blazers blanked the Tri-City Americans, 2-0. . . . Ingram, a 17-year-old goaltender from Imperial, Sask., posted his first WHL shutout in his fifth appearance. . . . F Matt Revel scored the game's first goal, his fifth of the season, at 18:02 of the second period, and D Patrik Maier added insurance at 9:25 of the third. . . . Tri-City G Evan Sarthou stopped 25 shots. . . . The Americans have lost three in a row. . . . Tri-City was without veteran F Brian Williams, who suffered an undisclosed injury in a Friday game.