Saturday, November 22, 2014

Hurricanes getting help . . . Giants, Americans cut deal . . . Who's that with the MJ Moose?

F Chris St. Jacques (Medicine Hat, 1999-2004) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Wedemark Scorpions (Germany, Oberliga). This season, with Sterzing/Vipiteno (Italy, Serie A), he had two goals and 12 assists in 15 games. He played his first game with Wedemark on Friday night, scoring once and drawing four assists in a 7-4 victory.

Ron Sakamoto, who knows a thing or two about marketing and promotions, has joined forces with the Lethbridge Hurricanes and the ENMAX Centre in an attempt to raise the profile of the WHL franchise.
Sakamoto was introduced at a Friday news conference as part of a new advisory committee that will, according to a news release, “help support the Hurricanes community-owned franchise with promotion, fund-raising initiatives and ticket sales.” The other members of the committee weren’t identified in the news release.
For one thing, team president Doug Paisley said, work is going to be done to “build the identity and culture of our hockey club.”
To do that, Paisley added, “We’re looking to achieve this with banners and other identifiable markers that commemorate the heritage and the past players that have achieved the highest level in the sport.”
The news release refers to Sakamoto as “the leading music promoter in Canada as well as a longtime supporter of organizations and businesses in Lethbridge and Southern Alberta.”
Sakamoto is quoted: “I live here, this is my home, this is my community and I’m really proud of it. In order to keep this a community-owned team, I’m happy to lend my support to the organization but we have to have everyone’s help to keep (the team) in the community.”
Sakamoto, according to the release, “is looking at bringing in new initiatives to the table including the introduction of new benefits to season-ticket holders, as well as bringing in concerts with proceeds that would benefit the club.”
It’s interesting that Sakamoto would refer to wanting to keep the Hurricanes as a community-owned team. Don’t forget that at the franchise’s annual general meeting on Sept. 30, shareholders decided to vote at the next AGM on whether to explore the sale of the franchise.
Could it be that battle lines are being drawn in Lethbridge?
Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet has his weekly 30 Thoughts right here. This week he leads off with the financial mess in which Columbus Blue Jackets D Jack Johnson has found himself.


The Vancouver Giants have acquired D Josh Thrower, 18, from the Tri-City Americans in exchange for D Tyler Morrison, 19, and a second-round selection in the 2015 bantam draft. . . . Thrower, from Squamish, B.C., had three assists in 23 games with the Americans this season. He also has played with the Calgary Hitmen, who selected him in the second round of the 2011 bantam draft, and has 14 points, including three goals, in 124 regular-season games. . . . “Josh came to me and expressed a desire to play closer to home for personal reasons,” Americans general manager Bob Tory said in a news release. “We are sad to see him go, but this was the right thing to do for Josh.” . . . Thrower’s brother, Dalton, captained the Giants as a 20-year-old last season. Josh is wearing No. 47 with Vancouver, the same number that his brother wore. Josh wasn't in Vancouver’s lineup last night against the visiting Regina Pats. . . . Morrison, from Sherwood Park, Alta., had one goal and four assists in 20 games with the Giants this season. In 153 regular-season games with the Giants, he has 49 points, nine of them goals. . . . Morrison is expected to be in the Tri-City lineup against the visiting Spokane Chiefs tonight.

The Regina Pats have dropped G Tyler Fuhr, 19, from their roster and he will join the SJHL’s Estevan Bruins. Fuhr was 1-0 with the Pats, backstopping them to a 7-1 victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors on Sept. 26. . . . The Pats, who opened a B.C. Division swing in Vancouver last night, are carrying 22 players, including six defencemen and 14 forwards. . . .

Former Regina Pats D Tye Hand, 19, is considering a return to the game after quitting prior to the start of this season due to post-concussion syndrome. Former Pats assistant coach Billy McGuigan now is the head coach of the junior A Summerside, P.E.I., Western Caps and has made an offer to Hand.


In Prince Albert, F Jayden Hart scored three times to lead the Raiders to a 6-2 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Hart, who has 11 goals, got the game's first two scores early in the first period. He completed the hat trick into an empty net at 19:17 of the third. . . . Raiders F Craig Leverton added his 12th goal and three assists. . . . F Cory Mallette, who was acquired by the Raiders (10-13-0) from the Saskatoon Blades this week, went pointless. . . . Raiders G Rylan Parenteau stopped 44 shots. . . . On Wednesday night, Broncos G Landon Bow shut out the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings for his WHL-leading fifth blank job. Last night, he didn't get through the second period, leaving after giving up four goals on 18 shots. . . . Broncos F Coda Gordon had his WHL-high 15-game point streak come to an end. . . . The Broncos (13-9-4), who had points in their previous five games (3-0-2), are in Saskatoon tonight. . . .

In Brandon, F Nolan Patrick scored twice to help the Wheat Kings to a 7-4 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Edmonton F Brett Pollock set a franchise record with three goals in 53 seconds. . . . Pollock scored at 19:14 and 19:45 of the first period, erasing a 2-0 Brandon lead in the process, and completed his first WHL hat trick seven seconds into the second period. F Mitch Moroz had held the franchise record of two minutes 32 seconds. He did that last season in Brandon. . . . After Pollock's third goal, the Wheat Kings scored four straight, with F John Quenneville tying it with his eighth goal at 14:06 of the second, on the PP, and Patrick getting his sixth, while shorthanded, at 18:40. . . . Pollock has 12 goals. . . . F Jim Harrison of the Estevan Bruins holds the WHL record for fastest three goals. He scored three times in 24 seconds, in the last minute of the third period, as the Bruins beat the visiting Regina Pats 6-5 on Dec. 4, 1966. . . . Patrick has six goals. . . . Brandon (18-5-1) got a goal and two assists from F Tim McGauley, who has nine goals. . . . Brandon D Ivan Provorov drew three assists. . . . Edmonton F Mads Eller had a rough third period. He needed to be helped to the bench after taking a hit from Brandon F Jesse Gabrielle, and later headed for the dressing room after a hit from Brandon F Reid Duke. . . . Edmonton (12-9-3) had been 3-0-1 in its past four games. . . . The same teams meet again tonight in Brandon. . . .

In Calgary, F Jake Virtanen scored his fourth goal and added two assists to spark the Hitmen to a 5-2 victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . The Hitmen (12-8-3) are 5-0-2 in their last seven. . . . Calgary D Colby Harmsworth tied the score 2-2 at 12:02 of the second period, with his first goal. . . . Calgary D Kenton Helgesen broke the tie at 15:05. . . . He's got five goals. . . . Calgary D Keegan Kanzig, who was acquired from the Victoria Royals on Wednesday, had one assist. . . . F Jesse Shynkaruk, who came over from the Kamloops Blazers in a Thursday deal, was in the Warriors’ lineup and scored their first goal at 2:53 of the first period. . . . Moose Jaw G Zach Sawchenko started -- it was his first appearance since Nov. 8 -- but left after stopping all seven shots he saw in the first period. Justin Paulic came on to stop 22 of 26 shots. . . . "Sawchenko tweaked his injury a little bit, so we pulled him out for precautionary reasons and put (Paulic) in after the first period," Warriors head coach Tim Hunter told Matthew Gourlie of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald. “He just felt it might get a little worse as the game went along, so we pulled him out and we'll re-evaluate him in the morning." . . . Calgary G Mack Shields made 13 saves. . . . The Warriors (9-11-3) had points in their previous three games (2-0-1). . . . The Warriors are in Lethbridge tonight, while the Hitmen are in Red Deer. . . .

In Red Deer, G Rylan Toth made 29 saves as the Rebels scored a 4-2 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Red Deer F Evan Polei broke a 2-2 tie with his 10th goal at 15:45 of the thrid period. . . . Rebels F Wyatt Johnson got hi 11th into an empty net at 19:03. . . . F Cole Sanford scored his 16th goal for the Tigers, who got 30 saves from G Marek Langhamer. . . . The Rebels (12-9-3) are at home to Calgary tonight. . . . The Tigers (16-5-2) had been 2-0-1 in their previous three games. They will entertain the Kootenay Ice tonight. . . .

In Cranbrook, D Rinat Valiev scored a goal and set up four others as the Kootenay Ice scored a 5-1 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . He's got three goals. . . . Ice F Tim Bozon scored twice, giving him six, and added an assist, while F Sam Reinhart had two assists. Reinhart now is the franchise assists leader with 164. He had been tied at 162 with F Jarret Stoll. . . . Reinhart has 15 points, including 11 assists, in six games since returning from the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres. . . . Lethbridge remains without G Stuart Skinner (concussion), although he did ride the bike on Friday. He may return to the ice on Sunday. In his absence, G Zac Robidoux stopped 43 shots. . . . The Ice had F Levi Cable, F Jon Martin and F Kyle O’Connor, all of whom had been out with injuries, back in the lineup. . . . The Ice (9-14-0) has won six of its last seven and is in Medicine Hat tonight. . . . The Hurricanes (5-13-4) are 1-3-3 in their last seven. They are at home to Moose Jaw tonight. . . .

In Kamloops, D Josh Connolly drew four assists as the Blazers dumped the Prince George Cougars, 5-2. . . . Connolly is from Prince George. . . . Kamloops F Logan McVeigh broke a 2-2 tie 27 seconds into the third period. He's got three goals. . . . The Blazers scored three times in the third period with Connolly earning an assist on each of them. . . . Kamloops F Cole Ully scored his 11th goal and added an assist, while F Matt Needham had two assists. . . . Blazers F Deven Sideroff, who leads all freshmen in goals, got his 12th just 1:33 into the game. . . . The Blazers lost D Ryan Rehill to an apparent leg injury in the second period. They already were without D Brady Gaudet (shoulder). . . . Kamloops F Matthew Campese, acquired during the week from the Victoria Royals, made his debut but left in the second period with a kneeing major and game misconduct for a hit on F Chase Witala, who didn't return. . . . The Blazers (11-10-4), now 2-0-1 in their last three, are in Spokane on Sunday. . . . The Cougars (12-13-0), who have lost five of six, are in Vancouver tonight. . . .

In Kelowna, the Portland Winterhawks erased a 3-0 deficit and dropped the Rockets 4-3 in OT. . . . F Alex Schoenborn won it with his second goal of the game and seventh of the season, at 1:04 of OT. . . . The Rockets led 3-0 at 16:29 of the first period. . . . Kelowna got is first goal from its big line -- Tyrell Goulbourne, with his 11th, from Rourke Chartier and Nick Merkley -- but the unit was blanked after that. . . . The Winterhawks, who held a 52-26 edge in shots, began the comeback with two PP goals, from Chase De Leo, his 13th, and Schoenborn, at 5:42 and 19:02 of the second period. . . . De Leo tied it at 8:49 of the third. . . . Portland G Brendan Burke left after one period, having stopped nine of 12 shots. Aden Hill came on to make 14 saves and get the victory, improving his record to 1-2-0. . . . Kelowna G Jackson Whistle made 48 saves. . . . Portland lost F Paul Bittner to an apparent leg injury early in the second period. . . . The Rockets scratched eight players, leaving them able to dress only 16 skaters, two under the maximum. They went with only 10 forwards. . . . The Rockets were without F Rodney Southam, who drew a one-game suspension for incurring his third game misconduct of the season during that end-of-game melee in Kelowna on Wednesday. . . . The Rockets (21-1-3) are 11-0-3 in their last 14 outings. . . . The Winterhawks are 10-12-3. . . . The same teams meet tonight in Kelowna. . . .

In Victoria, G Jayden Sittler turned aside 24 shots to help the Royals to a 3-1 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . Sittler got his first WHL victory in his first home start. . . . F Austin Carroll and F Jared Dmytriw had a goal and an assist each. Carroll has 16 goals; Dmytriw has two. . . . Victoria D Joe Hicketts added insurance to a 2-1 lead with his seventh goal at 13:49 of the third period. . . . Everett G Carter Hart stopped 26 shots. . . . Victoria F Greg Chase, acquired Wednesday from the Calgary Hitmen, was pointless but had five shots on goal in his debut. . . . The Royals were without F Brandon Magee, who has been suspended for five games for a spearing incident at the end of Wednesday’s 5-3 loss to the visiting Kelowna Rockets. Magee began this season by sitting out a 12-game sentence left over from last season’s playoffs. . . . Victoria F Taylor Crunk drew a one-game suspension for his part in that melee. . . . Victoria (13-11-2) will meet the visiting Regina Pats tonight. . . . The Silvertips (14-4-3) will visit the Seattle Thunderbirds in Kent, Wash., tonight. . . .

In Vancouver, the Regina Pats spotted the Giants an early 2-0 and then roared back for a 6-2 victory. . . . The game was the first of Regina’s B.C. Division swing that continues tonight in Victoria. . . . F Tyler Benson, with his fourth, and F Jackson Houck, with his seventh, on a PP, gave the Giants the lead in the first period. . . . F Adam Brooks, with his ninth, and F Dryden Hunt, with his 11th, tied it for Regina before the end of the period. . . . D Kyle Burroughs gave Regina its first lead with a PP goal, his third, at 10:11 of the second. . . . Hunt finished with two goals. . . . Regina D James Hilsendager didn’t have any points but finished plus-5. . . . G Daniel Wapple stopped 25 shots for the Pats (13-9-1), who have won five straight. . . . The Giants (9-14-0) have lost two in a row. They are at home to Prince George tonight. . . .

In Kent, Wash., G Tyson Verhelst kicked out 35 shots to lead the Spokane Chiefs to a 2-1 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . F Kailer Yamamoto scored both goals for the Chiefs (10-7-3), giving him five. Both came via the PP, at 15:03 of the first period and 9:35 of the third. . . . F Calvin Spencer had Spokane’s goal, his third, at 13:46 of the third. . . . Seattle (9-11-3) has lost three straight. . . . The Chiefs visit the Tri-City Americans in Kennewick, Wash., tonight, while the Thunderbirds entertain Everett.

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