Thursday, October 9, 2014

Oil Kings make decision . . . Sawchenko wins but streak ends

Bobby Orr anyone! This terrific photo has been making the rounds on the
Internet. It features Victoria Royals D Joe Hicketts airborne as he tucks the
puck past Portland Winterhawks G Brendan Burke during a Monday game.
The host Royals won the game, 6-2.

Photo: Jonathon Howe, one lion photography (

The Edmonton Oil Kings have released Russian D Marsel Ibragimov, 17, a freshman who played in one regular-season game. The Oil Kings released Ibraginov in order to get down to the limit of two imports, meaning they chose to keep veteran forwards Mads Eller, 19, and Edgars Kulda, who turns 20 on Nov. 13. . . . With Ibragimov on waivers, any WHL team can claim him, but only the Kootenay Ice and Swift Current Broncos are carrying one import. . . . However, there is speculation that F Tim Bozon, 20, may be on the verge of rejoining the Ice. Bozon, a third-round selection by Montreal in the NHL's 2013 draft, was in camp with the Canadiens and then assigned to their AHL affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs. . . . The Ice also is carrying just two 20-year-olds, so would have room for Bozon in that department, too. . . . Bozon, of course, is back in the game after almost losing his life to Neisseria meningitis in March.
In Moose Jaw, Warriors G Zach Sawchenko had his shutout streak snapped, but his 17 saves helped the Warriors to a 3-1 victory over the Kootenay Ice on Thursday night. Sawchenko, who was coming off back-to-back shutouts, had his streak end at 229 minutes 10 seconds when Ice F Luke Philp scored a shorthanded goal at 18:14 of the third period. G Keelan Williams made his first WHL start for Kootenay and was the game's first star, with 35 saves. . . . The Ice scratched F Vine Loschiavo, a 16-year-old freshman from Winnipeg, who left Wednesday's game in Regina after taking a heavy check. . . . Before the game, the Warriors released F Ethan Lazaro, 17. He was a seventh-round pick in the 2012 bantam draft. From St. Albert, Alta., Lazaro, who didn't get into any games with the Warriors this season, is expected to play in the AJHL. . . .
In Saskatoon, the Tri-City Americans scored the game's last four goals and beat the Blades, 5-3. According to Les Lazaruk, the long-time radio voice of the Blades, the Americans snapped a 10-game winless skid in Saskatoon that dated to Feb. 27, 1996. . . . F Parker Bowles had a goal and two assists for the Americans. . . . For the first time in franchise history, the Blades have started a season with six straight losses.
Over the past couple of years, the OHL, under commissioner David Branch, has acted to squeeze fighting out of the game. As Jim Parker of the Windsor Star writes right here, “The heavyweight appears to be fast losing his place in the Ontario Hockey League.“

Brain injuries have claimed another hockey career with the news Thursday that Simon Fraser University F Trevor Milner has retired from the B.C. Intercollegiate League team “due to concussion-like symptoms.” . . . “I'm sad to leave a sport I love and have played for so long, most of all I miss the camaraderie amongst the guys on the team and going out every game competing together,” Milner said in a news release. “It’s frustrating to stop playing due to concussions because they are somewhat invisible injuries. However, I understand that the implications of further concussions could be drastic to my personal health and that it’s in my best interest to help out the team in other ways than playing.” . . . Milner, 24, is from North Vancouver. He played junior A with the SJHL’s Notre Dame Hounds and played in 55 games over three seasons at SFU. . . . The complete news release is right here.

Veteran D Tyler Bell, who played two games with the Lethbridge Hurricanes this season, may be about to join the MJHL's Steinbach Pistons. Bell, 20, last played for the Hurricanes on Sept. 20. He has 38 career points, 10 of them goals, in 196 regular-season WHL games. He also played with the Kamloops Blazers and Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . Lethbridge gave up a third-round pick in the 2013 bantam draft to get Bell from the Warriors in November. . . . In Steinbach, Bell would join D Landon Cross, 20, with whom he played in Kamloops. . . . Without Bell, the Hurricanes would be down to three 20-year-olds -- D Nick Walters, F Zane Jones and F Riley Sheen. . . .
The Prince George Cougars got their roster down to 24 on Thursday by released F Lance Yaremchuk, 18, and D Raymond Grewal, 19. Yaremchuk will join the SJHL's Flin Flon Bombers, while Grewal, who has been out with a concussion, will play for the BCHL's Prince George Spruce Kings. Grewal is from Prince George. The Cougars are carrying 14 forwards and eight defencemen. . . .
The Portland Winterhawks have dropped D Joshua Smith and F Travis McEvoy, both 20, from their roster. Smith had one assist in eight games, while McEvoy was pointless in five. . . . It would seem that the Winterhawks have something brewing because they are left with two 20-year-olds -- F Miles Koules and D Josh Hanson -- and that's one under the maximum. . . .
F Eric Krienke, who was released this week by the Kamloops Blazers, has joined the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers. Krienke was a ninth-round pick by the Blazers in the 2011 bantam draft. . . . The Spokane Chiefs and Seattle Thunderbirds will play each other three times in six days, starting tonight in Spokane. They meet Tuesday in Kent, Wash., and again Wednesday in Spokane. . . . Meanwhile, the Portland Winterhawks meet the Silvertips in Everett tonight. That will be Everett’s fourth game against Portland in its first six games this season. This will be the fourth game between the two in 14 days.

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