Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Big night for Rick the Welder . . . Hurricanes stun Pats . . . Silvertips, Royals in shootout

F Warren Peters (Saskatoon, 1997-2003) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with SønderjyskE Vojens (Denmark, Metal Ligaen). Last season, with the Iowa Wild (AHL), Peters had eight goals and 12 assists in 69 games. He is scheduled to arrive in Vojens on Jan. 5. . . .
F Riley Armstrong (Kootenay, Everett, 2002-04) has signed a contract for the rest of the season with Heilbronner Falken (Germany, DEL2). This season, with Vita Hästen Norrkoping (Sweden, Allsvenskan), he had six goals and seven assists in 25 gmes. He was released by Vita Hästen on Dec. 8.

The Lethbridge Hurricanes have released Russian F Nikita Milekhin, 17, who was the third overall selection in the CHL’s 2014 import draft. He had a goal and three assists in 16 games with the Hurricanes. He is expected to return to his home in Krasnogorsk, Russia. . . . The Hurricanes are carrying 24 players, including eight defencemen and 14 forwards.
The Medicine Hat Tigers are the top-ranked WHL team in the Buzzing The Net Dynamic Dozen, Neate Sager’s CHL rankings at Yahoo! Sports Canada. Check them out right here.
In an attempt to win back fans, the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s have reduced the price of some tickets and parking. They also are changing up the concession menu. Gord Holder of the Ottawa Citizen has more right here.
Darren Steinke, who used to cover the Medicine Hat Tigers for the Medicine Hat News, is in Saskatoon these days. And he has his own blog. In his latest entry right here, he takes a look at the Saskatoon Blades and the situation in which they find themselves. (He also gives a pretty good plug to a certain blog!)
How serious is the situation in which the Kontinental Hockey League finds itself these days, thanks to the falling ruble? Mark MacKinnon and James Mirtle of The Globe and Mail take a look right here.


The drive to a new computer for the blog master continues. One will be purchased in the immediate future. Yes, the Christmas sales are being closely watched. If you enjoy this blog and would like to help, just click on the donate button, and thanks a bunch. . . . BTW, the computer fund has received 10 donations and is at $545.


The WHL's Christmas break is upon us. The league now is closed through Dec. 26. Teams will reconvene for practices on Boxing Day, with a full slate of 11 games on the schedule for Dec. 27.
Kelowna F Nick Merkley goes into the break leading the WHL in assists (45) and points (55). Medicine Hat F Trevor Cox, with 10 points over his last two games, has 54 points, including 42 assists. Tigers F Cole Sanford has 43 points. Sanford's 26 goals trail only the 32 of Kelowna F Rourke Chartier.
Joe Hicketts of Victoria leads all defencemen in assists (30) and points (38). Brandon freshman Ivan Provorov has 27 assists and 37 points.
Why do they play the game? To win the game, of course. Kelowna's Jackson Whistle leads all goaltenders with 22 victories, one more than Brandon's Jordan Papirny.
Taran Kozun of Seattle has the top GAA (2.24), with Medicine Hat's Marek Langhamer at 2.31 and Whistle at 2.33. Aden Hill of Portland has the top save percentage, at .926, with Tri-City's Eric Comrie and Whistle at .921.
Swift Current's Landon Bow leads in shutouts, with 5, one more than Whistle. No other goaltender has more than two.


In Medicine Hat, the game's first star wore a mask but didn't make a save as the Tigers played host to the Kamloops Blazers. Rick Dumont, a welder from X-Calibre Industries, came to the rescue early in the first period as he repaired a gate that was twice broken and allowed the game to proceed, albeit after a 58-minute delay. . . . Rick should be a cinch as the WHL's nominee as the CHL's welder of the week. . . . The gate broke at 2:02 of the first period when Kamloops D Ryan Rehill checked Tigers F Trevor Cox. Eventually, it was repaired, but when the referees had Rehill test it, it broke again. . . . Sean Rooney of the Medicine Hat News reports that Matt Csada, the owner of X-Calibre Industries, was called. He got in touch with Dumont, one of his welders, and he fixed things up in short order. . . . On the ice, F Cole Sanford scored three times and added an assist as the Tigers won, 7-3. . . . Kamloops led 3-2 when Tigers F Steve Owre tied it on the PP at 17:23 of the second. He's got 12 goals. . . . Sanford broke the tie at 4:54 of the third, on another PP, and F Trevor Cox added to the lead with his 12th at 8:31. . . . Sanford completed the hat trick at 11:14. He's got 26 goals. . . . Cox finished with a goal and four assists, giving him 10 points over his last two games. . . . He may provide Rick with some competition as the WHL's player of the week. . . . Tigers D Tommy Vannelli had a goal, his 11th, and two assists. . . . F Matt Needham scored twice for Kamloops, giving him 12, while F Cole Ully had two assists. . . . The Blazers went 1-5-0 on a Central Division swing on which they played six games in eight nights. . . . The Tigers (24-8-2) lead the Central Division by nine points; they are two points behind the Eastern Conference-leading Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . The Blazers (13-20-5) are last in the Western Conference, one point behind the Vancouver Giants, who hold four games in hand. . . . When the schedule resumes, Kamloops will play its first five games against Kelowna (3) and Vancouver (2). . . .

In Regina, D Nick Walters scored at 1:46 of OT as the Lethbridge Hurricanes got past the Pats, 5-4. . . . Walters has two goals this season. . . . Regina F Carter Hansen gave his guys a 4-3 lead with his first goal of the season at 17:32 of the third period. . . . Lethbridge F Jaeger White tied it with his second goal of the season at 18:30. . . . The Pats led this one 2-0 before the first period was 6:30 old as F Sam Steel got his 10th goal on the PP and F Austin Wagner added his eighth, a shorthanded effort. . . . F Jamal Watson, who left in the third period with an apparent leg injury, got his 13th goal for Lethbridge, while F Tyler Wong notched his 12th. . . . Regina F Braden Christoffer ran his goal streak to five games with his 13th. . . . F Zane Jones and D Andrew Nielsen each had two assists for Lethbridge, which got 22 saves from G Stuart Skinner. . . . The Hurricanes (8-20-5) have won two straight, both on the road, where they are 5-11-1. They are 2-1-0 under GM/head coach Peter Anholt. . . . The Pats (20-11-2) had won their previous two games. . . .

WHL team logoIn Swift Current, F Glenn Gawdin, who wasn't named to the Top Prospects Game earlier in the day, drew three assists to spark the Broncos to a 5-2 victory over the Saskatoon Blades. . . . The Broncos scored the game's first four goals, two of them via the PP. . . . F Colby Cave scored twice for Swift Current, giving him 15, and added an assist, and F Coda Gordon added his 17th. . . . Gawdin drew assists on both of Cave's goals, both of which came on the PP. . . . The Broncos were 2-for-2 on the PP. . . . The Broncos scratched play-by-play voice Shawn Mullin, who spent the evening awaiting the birth of a child. His partner went into labour earlier in the day. . . . Marc Smith, a reporter from Moose Jaw, replaced Mullin on the broadcast. . . . The Broncos (17-14-4) are four points behind second-place Regina in the East Division. . . . The Blades (7-25-3) have lost 11 in a row (0-9-2). . . .

In Prince Albert, F Reid Gardiner had a goal and two assists to help the Raiders to a 5-1 victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . The Raiders scored two goals in the game's first minute as F Simon Stransky got his seventh of the season at 0:46 and Gardiner got his 17th just 10 seconds later. . . . Stransky has goals in three straight games. . . . F Jayden Hart gave the home side a 3-0 lead with his 17th goal just 32 seconds into the second period. . . . Ch-ch-ching! There was a line brawl with 33.3 seconds remaining in the third period. Just in time for the WHL's late Christmas shopping rush, too. . . . At game's end, the Warriors had five players left on their bench; the Raiders had six. . . . The Warriors to 80 of the game's 158 penalty minutes. . . . Raiders G Rylan Parenteau stopped 25 shots. . . . Moose Jaw dressed 17 skaters, one under the maximum. . . . The Raiders (16-18-1) ended a five-game losing skid (0-4-1). . . . The Warriors (15-17-3) have lost three in a row. . . .

In Calgary, G Patrick Dea stopped 31 shots as the Edmonton Oil Kings beat the Hitmen, 3-1. . . . The Oil Kings scored the game's last three goals after Calgary F Layne Bensmiller scored his second goal at 18:57 of the first period. . . . Edmonton D Dysin Mayo tied it at 5:48 of the second and F Lane Bauer gave the Oil Kings the lead with his ninth goal at 12:11. Both goals came on the PP. . . . Edmonton F Brandon Baddock got his ninth into an empty net at 19:28 of the third. . . . D Ben Carroll had two assists for Edmonton. . . . The Oil Kings were 2-for-5 on the PP; the Hitmen were 0-for-6. . . . The Oil Kings (15-15-5) closed to within three points of third-place Red Deer in the Central Division. . . . The Hitmen (19-12-3) had a five-game winning streak end. They are one point ahead of Red Deer. . . .

In Red Deer, F Justin Kirkland scored two goals and added an assist to help the Kelowna Rockets to a 6-3 victory over the Rebels. . . . Kelowna led 3-0 in the second period, only to have the Rebels roar back and tie it on F Conner Bleakley's second goal of the game, and 14th of the season, at 2:26 of the third period, via the PP. . . . Kelowna F Dillon Dube broke the tie, with his sixth goal, at 3:58. . . . Kirkland added insurance at 5:06 and F Tyson Baillie got an empty-netter, his 23rd, at 18:49. . . . D Brett Cote had two assists for the Rebels. . . . F Nick Merkley had two assists for the Rockets and leads the WHL in assists (45) and points (55) going into the break. . . . The Rockets went 4-1-0 on a swing into Alberta. . . . D Nelson Nogier and F Austin Adamson, acquired earlier in the week from Saskatoon, were in Red Deer's lineup. "I loved them both. . . . Those two kids are gonna fit in really nice for us," Red Deer owner, general manager and head coach Brent Sutter told reporters. . . . The Rockets (28-5-3) have 17 road victories and lead the Western Conference by 15 points. . . . The Rebels (18-13-4) have lost their last two. . . .

In Prince George, G Tyson Verhelst stopped 41 shots as the Spokane Chiefs beat the Cougars, 5-0. . . . That's Verhelst's first WHL shutout. . . . The Chiefs, who beat the Cougars 5-4 on Tuesday night, took control with three first-period goals. . . . F Kailer Yamamoto had a goal, his ninth, and two assists for the Chiefs, who got two assists from D Tyson Helgesen. . . . F Calder Brooks scored No. 13 for Spokane. . . . F Markson Bechtold scored Spokane's first shorthanded goal of the season. He's got three goals. . . . The Chiefs (18-12-3) have won four in a row. . . . The Cougars (17-18-0) have lost three straight. . . .

In Everett, F Kohl Bauml scored three times in regulation and then added the winner in the shootout as the Silvertips got past the Victoria Royals, 7-6. . . . Victoria opened the third period with three goals in 3:42 as it erased a 4-3 deficit. . . . Royals F Tyler Soy tied it with his second goal of the game and 10th of the season at 3:11. D Chaz Redekopp, who had three assists, scored his second goal of the season at 5:19 and F Brandon Fushimi got his seventh at 6:53. Fushimi also had two assists, while Soy had one and finished plus-4. . . . Bauml then took things into his own hands, scoring at 7:55 and 15:54 to force OT. He's got 15 goals. . . . Victoria F Austin Carroll got his 22nd goal. . . . Everett D Cole MacDonald had two goals, giving him nine, and an assist. . . . Everett F Nikita Scherbak had three assists. . . . F Greg Chase was among Victoria’s scratches. He drew a one-game suspension for a spearing major and game misconduct he incurred on Tuesday night. . . . The Silvertips (20-9-4) lead the U.S. Division by three points over Portland. . . . The Royals (17-18-2) have lost four straight.

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