Saturday, October 4, 2014

Some Saturday WHL highlights, and a coaching change in the PJHL



D Josh Hanson was back in the Portland Winterhawks' lineup on Saturday night. Hanson missed the regular season's first six games with a hand injury. He is one of four 20-year-olds on the Portland roster, so Travis McEvoy sat this one out. The other 20s with Portland are D Josh Smith and F Miles Koules, who was acquired earlier in the week from the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . .
The Seattle Thunderbirds have released F Kevin Wolf, 18, and he is expected to join the AHL's Canmore Eagles. From Cuomo, Minn., Wolf was pointless in three games with Seattle this season. Last season, he had a goal and two assists in 27 games. In 2012-13, he had one assist in 20 games. Seattle selected him in the 10th round of the 2011 bantam draft. . . . Seattle G Danny Mumaugh had the scoop on this move on Thursday when he tweeted: "Going to miss (Kevin Wolf)! Sad to see him go after living with him for the past 2 years. Good luck big."
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Brandon F John Quenneville left early with an undisclosed injury as the Wheat Kings dropped the visiting Red Deer Rebels 7-1 on Saturday night. . . . The Kootenay Ice lost F Jon Martin with an undisclosed injury during a 6-4 loss to the Hitmen in Calgary on Saturday. Ice head coach Ryan McGill told Taylor Rocca of the Cranbrook Townsman that Martin is day-to-day. . . . The Hitmen got a goal and three assists from F Chase Lang in the victory. . . . The Ice blew a 4-1 lead in that one and McGill wasn't a happy camper at game's end. Rocca has more right here. . . .
The Kelowna Rockets, missing four injured defencemen, ran their record to 6-0-0 with a 6-4 victory over the Silvertips in Everett on Saturday. D Mitchell Wheaton didn't play, after being injured Friday night. Also on the shelf with undisclosed injuries are Joe Gatenby, Jesse Lees and Cole Martin. . . . The Rockets got three goals from F Roarke Chartier and four assists from F Nick Merkley. . . . Kelowna F Tyson Baillie scored an empty-netter, giving him a WHL-leading eight goals in six games. He has at least a goal in each of the six games. . . .
G Zach Sawchenko of the Moose Jaw Warriors put up his second straight shutout on Saturday, stopping 25 shots in a 5-0 victory over the visiting Tri-City Americans. On Thursday night, in his previous start, Sawchenko and the Warriors beat the visiting Red Deer Rebels, 3-0. . . . Sawchenko, who turns 17 on Dec. 30, had zero shutouts in 26 appearances with the Warriors last season. He now is riding a shutout streak of 170 minutes 56 seconds. . . .
F Matt Needham, the captain of the Kamloops Blazers, had a tough Saturday night in Medicine Hat. He took five minors and a fighting major in a 5-1 loss to the Tigers. In 187 regular-season games, he has 169 penalty minutes. Last season, he took 37 minutes in 48 games. . . . F Chase Witala had a goal and three assists as the Prince George Cougars beat the host Spokane Chiefs, 6-2. . . .
G Landon Bow stopped 35 shots and F Glenn Gawdin scored in OT as the Swift Current Broncos beat the Royals 2-1 in Victoria. . . . The Portland Winterhawks won their first game this season (1-5-1), getting an OT goal from F Alex Schoenborn to beat the Silvertips 3-2 in Everett. . . . The Silvertips have released F Addison Runey from their roster. He is expected to join the NAHL's Amarillo Bulls. Runey, 17, is from McKinney, Texas. . . . Everett now is carrying 24 players, including 14 forwards and eight defencemen.
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THE COACHING GAME:
The junior B Port Moody, B.C., Panthers of the Pacific Junior Hockey League have fired head coach Kevin Flather, with Ron Johnson, the team's director of hockey development, stepping in on an interim basis. General manager Frank Iantorno indicated that the search for a replacement has begun. . . . Flather joined the Panthers in May after spending last season as head coach of the Kootenay International Junior League's Grand Forks Border Bruins. . . . The Panthers lost 8-1 to the host North Vancouver Wolf Pack on Wednesday and 7-0 at home on Saturday. Those results dropped Port Moody's record to 0-8-0-1 and left it last in the five-team league.

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