Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Hurricane blows through Lethbridge . . . Rockets, Raiders in blockbuster . . . Big night for DeBrusk

It turns out that the Lethbridge Hurricanes fired general manager Brad Robson on Tuesday. The board of directors just chose not to announce it until Wednesday.
Head coach Drake Berehowsky was fired on Tuesday, but the only communication from the team was a terse three-paragraph news release. No one from the organization provided any other communication.
Because it seems that Robson fired Berehowsky without input from the board.

Rather than provide any comment on Berehowsky's firing, the board met on Tuesday evening and decided to pull the plug on Robson. He was informed of the move sometime Tuesday night.
Robson, whose son Blake is the Hurricanes’ head scout, spent four seasons as Lethbridge’s assistant GM, as well as director of player personnel and scouting, before replacing Rich Preston as GM after the 2012-13 season.
Under Robson, the Hurricanes went 12-55-5 last season. This season, they were 6-19-4 when the axe fell. His tenure was marked by the defections of a number of players and two trades in which the Brandon Wheat Kings landed defencemen Ryan Pilon and Macoy Erkamps, along with forward Reid Duke. Pilon and Duke had been the third and five overall selections in the 2011 bantam draft.
Robson's contract isn't due to expire until after next season.
At a Wednesday news conference, Doug Paisley, who stepped in as president of the board a couple of months ago, announced that Peter Anholt is the new general manager and head coach. Anholt was in transit from Prince Albert yesterday, so wasn't in attendance at the news conference.
Anholt joined the Lethbridge organization as assistant general manager in June. Prior to that, he had been the general manager of the Waskesiu Golf Club, which is located in Prince Albert National Park. He also was doing some scouting for the Seattle Thunderbirds.
Anholt has ample WHL coaching experience, having worked as the head coach of the Prince Albert Raiders, Seattle, Red Deer Rebels and Kelowna Rockets. His 450 coaching victories have him 10th on the WHL's all-time list, while he is sixth in games coached (973).
Anholt last coached in the WHL in 2006-07 when he was the head coach of the Raiders after which he was replaced by Bruno Campese, who now is Prince Albert’s general manager.
Anholt doesn’t have any experience as a WHL general manager.
When Anholt’s promotion was discussed at Wednesday’s news conference in Lethbridge, the word 'interim' wasn't mentioned.
"Pete's our guy for now," Paisley told reporters, adding that the Hurricanes would "bump up" Anholt's salary.
Assistant coaches Bryan Maxwell and Mike Craig ran the bench last night as the Hurricanes dropped a 4-3 shootout decision to the visiting Kelowna Rockets.
It would appear that promoting Anholt was the board’s only move, especially from a financial standpoint. In recent times, the Hurricanes have chosen to fire Preston and assistant coach Brad Lukowich, both of whom had time remaining on contracts. The Lukowich situation resulted in his filing a wrongful dismissal lawsuit against the Hurricanes. It was settled out of court.
And now the organization is on the financial hook with Robson and Berehowsky.
Making the move it made with Anholt, then, was the prudent thing to do.
The Hurricanes, who have one victory in their last 15 games, aren’t going to make the playoffs this season. In the last couple of months, they have changed board presidents and brought in six new directors. Now they have a new general manager and head coach.
You have to wonder, though, if the winds of change will continue to blow in Hurricane country.
The Prince Albert Raiders and Kelowna Rockets tied a bow on a blockbuster late Wednesday night.
The Rockets acquired D Josh Morrissey, 19, and F Gage Quinney, 19, from the Rockets in exchange for D Jesse Lees, 19, F Austin Glover, 18, and two bantam draft picks -- a second-rounder in 2016 and a third in 2017.
Morrissey, the sixth overall pick in the 2010 bantam draft, is the best player in this exchange. A first-round selection by the Winnipeg Jets in the NHL’s 2013 draft, he finished last season with the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps, earning nine points in 20 playoff games.
In 228 regular-season games, Morrissey had 179 points, including 60 goals. This season, the Calgarian has 21 points, seven of them goals, in 26 games. He heads for Toronto today for the Canadian national junior team’s selection camp and could very well be the team’s captain.
In Kelowna, Morrissey will join his 17-year-old brother, Jake, who is one of three goaltenders on the Rockets’ roster.

Quinney, from Las Vegas, has 15 points, including six goals, in 32 games with the Raiders this season. In 91 career games, he has 31 points, 14 of them goals.
Lees, from Calgary, was the ninth overall selection in the 2010 bantam draft. He was in his fourth season in Kelowna, having earned 78 points, including 25 goals, in 180 games. Of late, he had seen considerable playing time up front as the Rockets went through a stretch where a number of forwards were injured.
This season, Lees has 20 points, six of them goals, in 28 games.
Glover, from Clavet, Sask., was a second-round selection by the Rockets in the 2011 bantam draft. In 73 career games, he has 28 points, nine of them goals. This season, he has 16 points, including six goals, in 18 games this season. Glover returned to the Rockets’ lineup last night in Lethbridge after being out since early November with an undisclosed injury.
You can bet that Rockets head coach Dan Lambert, a run-and-gunner in his playing days, is salivating at the thought of having Morrissey and Madison Bowey keying their transition game.
Yes, the WHL’s top team to this point just got a whole lot better.
Lees and two assists and Glover was pointless as the Rockets (25-4-3) beat Lethbridge 4-3 in a shootout last night. Kelowna is atop the 10-team Western Conference with a 13-point lead over the Everett Silvertips, who hold three games in hand.
Morrissey and Quinney were pointless last night as the Raiders (15-17-0) dropped a 3-0 decision to the Giants in Vancouver. Prince Albert has been blanked in three straight games. The Raiders are tied with the Kootenay Ice for ninth in the 12-team Eastern Conference.

D Sam Ruopp of the Prince George Cougars has been suspended for two games after taking a kneeing major and game misconduct in a 4-3 victory over the visiting Saskatoon Blades on Tuesday night. Saskatoon F Nick Zajac needed help getting to the dressing room after the hit, but he later returned to the game. . . . Ruopp will miss Friday's game in Everett against the Silvertips and Saturday's game in Spokane with the Chiefs. . . .
The junior B Port Moody Panthers of the Pacific Junior Hockey League will be host team for the 2015 PJHL Top Prospects Game. It is to be played at Port Moody Arena on Jan. 26. Rosters for the game will be announced in early January. They comprise the league’s top first-year players, with at last one player from each team selected. . . . According to a news release: “Of the 40 players who participated in last year's edition of the PJHL Prospects Game, half of them have moved on to play at least one game at the junior A, Western Hockey League, or collegiate level this season, including Port Moody's Jordan Wharrie, who is a regular on the blueline of the Everett Silvertips. . . . The Tom Shaw Conference won last season's contest 4-1, with Richmond's John Wesley scoring twice in the victory. Wesley is now the third-leading scorer on the BCHL's Surrey Eagles and was also called up to play one game with the Vancouver Giants.”


WHL team logoIn Swift Current, F Jake DeBrusk scored three times and added two assists to lead the Broncos to a 6-4 victory over the Regina Pats. . . . DeBrusk completed his hat trick into an empty net at 19:59 of the third period. He's got 16 goals in 34 games. Last season, as a freshman, he finished with 15 goals in 72 games. . . . The Broncos erased a 2-0 first-period deficit with four second-period goals. They took a 5-2 lead just 58 seconds into the third period on D Brycen Martin's second goal of the season. . . . The Broncos improved to 16-13-4. . . . The Pats (18-11-1) had a five-game winning streak snapped. . . .

In Moose Jaw, F Tanner Eberle scored the only goal of a four-round shootout as the Warriors beat the Brandon Wheat Kings, 5-4. . . . F Nolan Patrick scored twice and added an assist for the Wheat Kings, giving him 12 goals in his freshman season and eight goals in his last nine games. His second goal, at 15:30 of the third period, tied the score at 4. . . . F Jack Rodewald scored his 18th goal and added two assists for the Warriors, while F Tanner Eberle scored twice, giving him 17. . . . Brandon led 3-1 after the first period, with the Warriors equalizing on Rodewald's PP goal at 11:29 of the second. . . . Eberle gave the host team the lead at 5:54 of the third. . . . G Alex Moodie made his first start for the Wheat Kings since being acquired from the Saskatoon Blades on Nov. 26. He made 27 stops, one more than Moose Jaw's Zach Sawchenko. . . . The Warriors dressed 17 skaters, one under the maximum. They lost F Tanner Jeannot in the second period after he took a hit from Brandon D Macoy Erkamps, who was penalized for charging. . . . The Warriors improved to 14-14-3. . . . Brandon is 22-7-3 and tied with the Medicine Hat Tigers for top spot in the Eastern Conference. . . . Matthew Gourlie of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald has a game story right here. . . .

In Edmonton, D Ben Carroll broke a 1-1 tie at 17:08 of the second period and the Oil Kings went on to a 4-1 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . Carroll, who scored the goal via the PP, has four goals. . . . The Blazers were playing their first game of a six-game road trip. They'll play six games in eight nights. . . . Edmonton D Ashton Sautner had his point streak snapped at 12 games. He now shares the franchise record with F Michael St. Croix and F Dylan Wruck. . . . Kamloops F Deven Sideroff was back in the lineup after missing four games with an undisclosed injury. . . . The Oil Kings (15-12-5) had lost their previous three games (0-2-1). . . . The Blazers (12-16-5) have lost three straight. . . . The Blazers meet the Rebels in Red Deer in tonight’s lone game. . . .

In Lethbridge, F Nick Merkley's shootout goal gave the Kelowna Rockets a 4-3 victory over the Hurricanes. . . . F Jamal Watson gave the home side a 1-0 shootout lead, but Kelowna F Justin Kirkland tied it in the third round and Merkley won it in the fourth. . . . The Hurricanes erased a 3-1 deficit with two third-period goals. F Taylor Cooper got his ninth at 14:27 and D Nick Walters scored his first, on the PP, at 18:35. . . . F Dillon Dube, playing his fifth game since returning from an undisclosed injury, scored twice for the Rockets. Dube has four goals in seven games this season. In fact, he has four goals in his last five games. . . . Kelowna F Rodney Southam broke a 1-1 tie with his fourth goal just 10 seconds into the third period. . . . This was the Hurricanes' first game since the firing of general manager Brad Robson and head coach Drake Berehowsky. Assistant coaches Mike Craig and Bryan Maxwell ran the bench in this one, even though the online scoresheet listed Berehowsky as the head coach. . . . Kelowna had F Austin Glover and D Dalton Yorke back in the lineup. Both had been out since early November. . . . The Rockets (25-4-3) have won two in a row. . . . The Hurricanes (6-19-5) have lost five straight. . . .

In Vancouver, G Payton Lee stopped 29 shots to lead the Giants to a 3-0 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . Lee has two shutouts this season and four in his career. . . . Vancouver F Jackson Houck got the game’s first goal, his 12th, at 10:31 of the second period. . . . Houck, who has five goals over his last four games, left late in the third period while favouring one leg. After the game, head coach Claude Noel said that Houck is day-to-day. . . . F Matt Bellerive had two assists for Vancouver. . . . Raiders G Nick McBride stopped 35 shots. . . . The Giants (13-18-0) have won four in a row and now are three points behind the ninth-place Kamloops Blazers in the Western Conference. Vancouver is 3-0-0 under Noel. . . . The Raiders (15-17-0) have lost three in a row.

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