Sunday, December 7, 2014

News from Austria . . . Neat feat for Koules . . . Americans cool off Ice

F Florian Baltram of the Seattle Thunderbirds will play for Austria at the IIHF’s U-20 World championship (Division I, Group A). The tournament runs Dec. 14 through Dec. 20 in Asiago, Italy. . . . Austria will compete with Belarus, Italy, Latvia, Norway and Slovakia. . . . The winner in Asiago will move up to play with the big boys in the 2016 World Junior Championship. . . . Baltram, 17, is in his first season with the Thunderbirds. He has four assists in 29 games. . . . The Portland Winterhawks have indicated that D Layne Viveiros, 19, has declined an invitation to play for the Austrian national junior team in that tournament. Viveiros, who was with the national junior team last year, has a bigger role with the Winterhawks this season and apparently wants to get some rest over the Christmas break. He also wants some family time at Christmas.
A glance at the WHL standings shows that 16 of the 22 teams, eight in each conference, boast a winning percentage of at least .500. . . . If you go by wins and losses, there are 12 teams, six in each conference, at .500 or better.


In Calgary, the Hitmen dumped the Moose Jaw Warriors, 8-3. . . . F Radel Fazleev scored the Teddy Bear goal at 1:38 of the first period, getting his 11th of the season on the game’s first shot. . . . Attendance was 17,543, the largest crowd in the WHL this season. . . . The Warriors, who were playing their third game in less than 48 hours, led 3-2 late in the first period. . . . Calgary F Kenton Helgesen tied it with his ninth goal, at 16:13 of the first. . . . The Hitmen then added five more, with F Chase Lang breaking the 3-3 tie with his 13th goal at 6:10 of the second. That was the first of three straight PP goals by Calgary. . . . The Hitmen were 3-for-3 on the PP. . . . Helgesen finished with two goals and two assists, while Lang also had two assists. F Jake Virtanen scored twice, giving him nine goals. D Jake Bean and D Travis Sanheim each had three assists. . . . F Jack Rodewald scored his 17th goal and added two assists for the Warriors, who also battled the flu bug over the weekend. F Brayden Point and F Tanner Eberle, linemates with Rodewald, each had a goal and an assist. Point has 17 goals; Eberle has 15. . . . The Hitmen (17-11-3) have won three in a row. . . . The Warriors (13-14-3) played in three straight Teddy Bear games as they went 1-2-0 in Alberta. . . .

In Portland, the Winterhawks scored the game’s first three goals en route to a 4-1 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . F Miles Koules, acquired by Portland from Medicine Hat earlier this season, got the game’s first goal, his 12th, at 6:37 of the first period. . . . Andy Kemper, who works alongside Portland play-by-play voice Todd Vrooman, tweeted: “With the first-period goal, Miles Koules now has at least one point against all 22 teams in the WHL, including MH and PORT.” . . . F Oliver Bjorkstand scored his 21st goal of the season for Portland, a shorthanded empty-netter. . . . F Cole Sanford got his 19th of the season for the Tigers. . . . Portland F Nic Petan drew two assists, giving him 302 career points, including 201 assists, in 224 regular-season games. . . . Portland G Adin Hill stopped 41 shots, 10 more than Medicine Hat’s Marek Langhamer. . . . The Tigers were 0-for-8 on the PP; the Winterhawks were 0-for-4. . . . Portland F Alex Scheonborn left at 1:42 of the first period with a boarding major and a game misconduct. . . . Medicine Hat was without F Mason Shaw, who is scheduled for season-ending knee surgery. As well, German F Markus Eisenschmid didn’t return from injury over the weekend as had been hoped. The Tigers also lost F Chad Butcher during last night’s game with an undisclosed injury. ““We lost Chad Butcher in the first period tonight, and we’re kind of not sure where he’s at,” Shaun Clouston, the Tigers’ GM and head coach, told Ryan McCracken of the Medicine Hat News. “That was kind of challenging.” . . . The Winterhawks (17-13-3) have won two in a row. . . . Medicine Hat (21-7-2) had a five-game winning streak snapped. . . .

In Kennewick, Wash., F Beau McCue and F Parker Bowles each had a goal and three assists to help the Tri-City Americans to a 5-4 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . McCue has 12 goals; Bowles has nine. . . . Tri-City D Riley Hillis scored his first goal at 17:12 of the second period to give the Americans a 5-2 lead. . . . Tri-City F Richard Nejezchleb scored his seventh goal and added two assists. . . . F Tim Bozon scored twice for the Ice, giving him 12 this season. Bozon didn’t score in his first two games, but since has goals in 10 of his past 14 games. . . . Ice D Rinat Valiev drew three assists. . . . Kootenay F Sam Reinhart had one assist, running his point streak to 14 games, while F Jaedon Descheneau had two assists and now is on a 13-game point streak. . . . Reinhart has 27 points over those 14 games, while Descheneau has 21 points during his streak. . . . F Coda Gordon of the Swift Current Broncos owns the longest point streak in the WHL this season (15 games). . . .  Tri-City G Eric Comrie stopped 31 shots. . . . The Americans (16-13-0) had lost their previous two games. . . . The Ice (15-16-0) had a four-game winning streak end. . . .

In Spokane, the Seattle Thunderbirds scored two goals in the game’s first five minutes and went on to a 4-1 victory over the Chiefs, who have lost five in a row. . . . F Nolan Volcan, F Evan Wardley and F Keegan Kolesar each had a goal and an assist for Seattle, while F Donovan Neuls had two assists. . . . Seattle G Taran Kozun stopped 24 shots. He has started Seattle’s past 11 games against Spokane and is 7-3-1. . . . Spokane G Tyson Verhelst turned aside 28 shots. Seattle F Ryan Gropp failed to score on a third-period penalty shot. . . . Veteran F Justin Hickman (ill) was among the Seattle scratches. . . . Seattle improved to 13-13-4, while the Chiefs slipped to 14-12-3.
 shutouts as a TBird vs the Chiefs.


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