Sunday, October 26, 2014

Wheat Kings poised to deal . . . Grant backstops Cougars to win . . . Pats end skid

With apologies to Blackie Sherrod, we're scattershooting on a Sunday night . . .

1. The Medicine Hat Tigers are one OT loss from being tied for the WHL's best record, and who saw that coming? The Tigers are 11-1-1, while the Kelowna Rockets, at 12-1-0, have the No. 1 record.

2. If you're a baseball fan who is interested in the World Series, you should be listening to ESPN Radio where Dan Shulman and Aaron Boone have been almost as good as San Francisco Giants starter Madison Bumgarner.

3. Hopefully, you have enjoyed Bumgarner's performance in this World Series because it truly is one for the ages. We should take time to appreciate greatness like this when it occurs.

4. Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post writes about Bumgarner, his accomplishments and the state of this World Series right here. No, the Kansas City Royals are done.

5. Of course, the World Series will go to a Game 7. How do I know that? Because Game 7 would be played on Wednesday, the same night that the Everett Silvertips (8-1-3) are scheduled to meet the Blazers (9-6-1) in Kamloops. I really want to watch Ivan Nikolishin and Nikita Scherbak of the Silvertips taking on the Blazers’ big line that has Matt Needham between Cole Ully and Deven Sideroff. I realize that Nikolishin and Scherbak are regular linemates, but a guy can dream, can’t he?

6. LaMarr Houston, a defensive end with the Chicago Bears, suffered a knee injury while celebrating a sack on Sunday. The Bears were trailing by 25 points at the time. Yes, the apocalypse is that much closer.

7. I hate to break it to you but the top of Mount Martin now is white. The view from our deck looks east down the South Thompson River valley to Mount Martin. My wife tried to tell me it was just the sun shining on the mountain. Uhh, no!

8. F Leon Draisaitl celebrates his 19th birthday today as his Edmonton Oilers play host to the Montreal Canadiens. Assuming he plays tonight, it will be his ninth NHL game. If he plays a 10th game, the first year of his three-year contract is activated. The Oilers are expected to decide his immediate future -- stay with them or be returned to the Prince Albert Raiders -- before that 10th game arrives.

9. Spent part of the evening wondering how much Seattle Thunderbirds head coach Steve Konowalchuk will be fined for his Saturday night rant on the state of WHL officiating. Also wondering if it will have an impact on his Christmas shopping.

10. That’s quite a drama the CBC has on its hands, isn’t it? Too bad it’s not a 10-part TV series. Yet.

All signs point toward the Brandon Wheat Kings trading away Czech F Richard Nejezchleb, 20. His presence gives Brandon three 20s, and that’s one over the maximum. Last season, he had 57 points, including a team-high 32 goals, in 66 games with the Wheat Kings. . . . Kelly McCrimmon, the Wheat Kings’ owner, general manager and head coach, says Nejezchleb played “like a man” last season. This season, he’s the odd-man out. . . . His NHL rights belong to the New York Rangers, and he returned to Brandon from the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack. But the Wheat Kings don’t have room for him. Allowed to keep two imports, it’s obvious that Brandon will hang on to Latvian F Rihards Bukarts, 19, and freshman Russian D Ivan Provorov. . . . Every other team in the WHL has two imports, so someone is going to have to open up a spot in order to acquire an awfully good player. For once, it would seem that McCrimmon isn’t dealing from a position of strength. He’s got about 10 days in which to move one of his imports and it would appear that another team is going to get a really good player for a mere pittance.
There is speculation that the owner of the American League's Tampa Bay Rays is perhaps wanting to relocate the franchise to Montreal, the former home of the Expos. How excited should Montreal baseball fans get? Richard Griffin, who is the Toronto Star's baseball columnist and who once worked for the Expos, explores the situation right here.
If you are of a certain vintage, you may be a Billy Joel fan. If that is the case, Nick Paumgarten has written a terrific piece for The New Yorker that is titled the Thirty-Three-Hit Wonder. It's long and it's right here.


In Calgary, the Prince George Cougars scored the game's first three goals and went on to beat the Hitmen, 3-2. . . . G Tavin Grant, a 16-year-old making his third career start, stopped 25 shots and got his first victory. . . . F Tyler Mrkonjic scored his third goal of the season at 3:32 of the third period to gave the Cougars a 3-0 lead. . . . F Chase Lang (7:53) and F Adam Tambellini (16:51), on a PP, got the Hitmen to within one. . . . Lang and Tambellini each has eight goals, as does Prince George F Chase Witala, who scored the game’s first goal. . . .

In Edmonton, the defending Memorial Cup-champion Oil Kings ran their record to 9-3-1 with a 3-1 victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . Edmonton F Edgars Kulda opened the scoring at 9:26 of the second period and the Oil Kings nursed that lead in the last three minutes of the third. . . . F Lane Bauer upped Edmonton's lead to 2-0 at 17:31 before Moose Jaw F Jack Rodewald scored at 18:36. . . . Edmonton F Tyler Robertson got an empty-netter at 19:41. . . . The Oil Kings took all four of the game's minor penalties. . . . The Oil Kings are 6-0-1 in their last seven games. . . . The Warriors went 0-3 on an Alberta swing, in large part because they scored only three goals. . . . Matthew Gourlie of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald has more right here. . . .

In Regina, F Adam Brooks, F Braden Christoffer and F Patrick D'Amico each scored twice as the Pats dumped the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 8-1. . . . The Pats, who had been on a four-game losing skid, led 1-0 and 5-0 at the period breaks. . . . Lethbridge F Lenny Hackman scored his first goal at 9:36 of the third period. . . . Regina G Daniel Wapple stopped 35 shots. . . . Lethbridge G Stuart Skinner, making his third start in 48 hours, gave up four goals on 30 shots before giving way to Zac Robidoux, who stopped 12 of 16 shots. . . . Regina F Morgan Klimchuk had a goal, his third, and two assists. . . . The Hurricanes had won their previous three games.


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