Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Ex-Brandon defenceman dies . . . Wheaties end Edmonton drought . . . Rebels win fourth straight

F Jordan Knackstedt (Red Deer, Moose Jaw, 2004-08) signed for the rest of this season with Kaufbeuren (Germany, DEL2). Knackstest was released on Monday by mutual agreement by Saryarka Karaganda (Kazakhstan, Vysshaya Liga). This season, with Rubin Tyumen (Russia, Vysshaya Liga), he had two goals and three assists in 17 games. He was traded to Karaganda on Dec. 15 and had one goal in six games. . . .
F Chris St. Jacques (Medicine Hat, 1999-2004) has been released by mutual agreement by the Wedemark Scorpions (Germany, Oberliga). He had eight goals and 15 assists in 12 games. According to Wedemark's Facebook page, St. Jacques is to start practising with Olten (Switzerland, NL B) today. . . .
F Adam Courchaine (Medicine Hat, Vancouver, 2001-05) has been released by the Krefeld Pinguine (Germany, DEL) at his request. He had 23 points, 11 of them goals, in 27 games. . . .
D David Hájek (Spokane, 1998-99) has signed for the rest of this season with Löwen Frankfurt (Germany, DEL2). This season, with Bad Nauheim (Germany, DEL2), he had two goals and five assists in 12 games. . . .
D Petr Šenkeřík (Kootenay, Prince George, 2009-10) has been assigned on loan by Vítkovice Ostrava (Czech Republic, Extraliga) to Slavia Prague (Czech Republic, Extraliga) for the rest of this season. With Vítkovice, he had one goal and six assists in 25 games. In seven games with Havířov (Czech Republic, 1. Liga), he had two goals and seven assists in seven games.


It began with an email from Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province.
He was wondering if I could recall who might hold the record for having played with the most WHL teams.
Ewen was writing a story on F Zane Jones, 20, who was acquired by the Vancouver Giants from the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Saturday. Jones is joining his fifth WHL team; he played for the Chilliwack Bruins and Victoria Royals, and we’re counting that as one team. Jones also played for the Calgary Hitmen and Everett Silvertips.
Anyway . . . I immediately thought of F Rod Williams, aka ‘Radville’ Rod. Yes, he is from Radville, Sask.
Williams, who now lives and works in Regina, played for seven different WHL teams, and he did it when there were only 14 teams in the league. Now that’s impressive!
He played his first WHL game in 1982-83 with the Lethbridge Broncos. He wrapped up his WHL career after playing seven games with the Medicine Hat Tigers in 1987-88. In between, he also played with the Kelowna Wings (71 games), New Westminster Bruins (1), Brandon Wheat Kings (70), Victoria Cougars (29) and Regina Pats (18). He totalled 23 games with the Tigers. In fact, he had two separate stints with Brandon, so you could make a case that he played for eight teams. But for the purposes of this, we are counting it as one team.
Interestingly, he played with three teams in 1985-86 and repeated that feat the following season.
So what made ‘Radville’ Rod so attractive to so many teams?
Well, he was 6-foot-2 and about 200 pounds. He showed up every night, whether at home or on the road. He had a terrific smile and provided a whole lot of sandpaper. The Tigers, under head coach Bryan Maxwell, thought enough of him that they acquired him from Regina late in 1986-87 as they were en route to a second straight Memorial Cup title.
Unfortunately, Williams struggled with injuries during his career. But in 213 regular-season WHL games, he put up 110 points, including 42 goals, and 431 penalty minutes.
He also scored one goal in four Memorial Cup games.
An 11th-round selection by the Philadelphia Flyers in the NHL’s 1985 draft, Williams left the game before ever playing a pro game. If memory serves, he had knee and shoulder issues.
Meanwhile, there are at least eight players who played with six teams. They are:
F Grant Chorney (Seattle, Regina, Calgary, Lethbridge Hurricanes, Victoria Cougars, Saskatoon, 1986-90).
G Don Blishen (Calgary Wranglers, Lethbridge Hurricanes, Swift Current, Portland, Tri-City, Brandon, 1986-90).
F Shawn Green (Victoria Cougars, Lethbridge Broncos, New Westminster, Calgary Wranglers, Kamloops, Saskatoon, 1981-85).
F Jeff Jubenville (Seattle, Brandon, Saskatoon, Lethbridge Hurricanes, Tacoma, Kamloops, 1990-95).
D Garth Lamb (Medicine Hat, Moose Jaw, Victoria Cougars, Swift Current, Lethbridge Hurricanes, New Westminster, 1984-88).
F Jamison Orr (Vancouver Giants, Lethbridge Hurricanes, Brandon, Saskatoon, Medicine Hat, Prince George, 2002-06).
D Zak Stebner (Red Deer, Prince Albert, Kamloops, Calgary Hitmen, Tri-City, Kelowna, 2005-11).
F Steve Young (Calgary Wranglers, Lethbridge Hurricanes, New Westminster, Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Portland, 1983-90).
According to the WHL Guide, F Martin Smith also played for six teams (Seattle, Saskatoon, Brandon, Victoria Cougars, Regina, Prince Albert, 1988-90). However, I am unable to find any indication that he did indeed play for the Raiders.
I stand to be corrected but I would suggest that Jamison and Colton Orr hold the WHL record for most teams played for by brothers. As noted above, Jamison played for six teams. Colton, meanwhile, played for three (Swift Current, Kamloops and Regina).
With nine, the Orr brothers beat out Erin and Kevin Ginnell, who totalled eight teams. Erin played for New Westminster, Calgary Wranglers, Seattle, Regina and Swift Current; Kevin skated with the Lethbridge Broncos Medicine Hat and Calgary Wranglers.

Former Wheat Kings D dies at 64;

had brief role in Slap Shot

Terry Marshall, who played four seasons (1967-71) as a defenceman with the Brandon Wheat Kings, has died. Marshall, who lived in Rapid City, Man., was 64.
Marshall, who was born in Brandon and raised in Virden, was a seventh-round selection (92nd overall) by the St. Louis Blues in the NHL’s 1970 draft. He was the Wheat Kings’ MVP for 1970-71.
Marshall went on to play five seasons of pro hockey, but never made it to the NHL.
He spent two of those seasons in the Eastern Hockey League, playing with the Charlotte Checkers, Jersey Devils and Long Island Ducks. He finished up by playing three seasons with the Syracuse Blazers of the North American Hockey League, which also included the Johnstown Jets.
Marshall was a familiar face on the rodeo circuit in southwestern Manitoba. He was the Manitoba Rodeo Cowboys Association’s Pick-up Man of the Year in 1995. Yes, his nickname was Cowboy.
If you watch closely in the movie Slap Shot, you will catch a glimpse of Marshall.
Bill Redekop, who has long written about rural Manitoba for the Winnipeg Free Press, recounted in his book Made in Manitoba how Marshall got into Slap Shot.
“Marshall is the guy in the movie with the big black beard,” Redekop told Roger Newman of the Interlake Enterprise in October 2011. “He is in one early hockey scene and appears later holding open a door while Paul Newman jaws with fictional hockey goon Dr. Hook.”
As Roger Newman wrote: “(Marshall) got into Slap Shot because he fought regularly with Ned Dowd of the Johnstown Jets whose sister, Nancy Dowd, wrote the Slap Shot screenplay. Ned helped his sister by providing her with material and rounding up 30 Eastern league tough guys to play on-ice extras.”
Slap Shot was filmed in 1976, after Marshall had played his final season. According to hockeydraftcentral.com, Marshall was paid $1,800 for six full days of filming.

There was quite a shocker out of the OHL on Tuesday afternoon when the Guelph Storm announced that Scott Walker had stepped down as head coach, effective immediately. . . . Assistant coaches Bill Stewart and Todd Harvey are expected to handle things through the end of this season. Stewart and Harvey have been coaching the team since Nov. 24. That‘s when Walker, 41, came down with the mumps. Shortly after, he joined Canada’s national junior team . . . In a news release, Walker, who also owns a piece of the Sorm, was quoted as saying: "I want to spend more time with my family as life has been incredibly hectic since I retired as an NHL player several years ago.” . . . Walker was an assistant coach with the Canadian team that won the WJC. . . . Tony Saxon of the Guelph Mercury has more right here.

Still with the OHL, the sale of the Plymouth Whalers is expected to be announced this morning, with the franchise relocating to Flint, Mich., following the season. Bob Duff of the Windsor Star has more right here.
Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet opens this week’s 30 Thoughts with thoughts on the Los Angeles Kings. But, as usual, there’s a lot more than that right here. Enjoy!

F Tyson Predinchuk, 19, who left the Portland Winterhawks last week in search of more playing time, has joined the SJHL’s Melville Millionaires. Predinchuk is from Regina. . . .
The Vancouver Giants have signed D Ryan Jones, 16, who is with the junior B Richmond Sockeyes of the Pacific Junior Hockey League. From Delta, B.C., Jones has 20 points, including two goals, in 27 games with the Sockeyes. . . .
The Victoria Royals have given D Joe Hicketts a few days off, so he’s at home in Kamloops with the gold medal he won with Canada at the WJC. He will be in attendance tonight as the Blazers entertain the Portland Winterhawks, and will be honoured in a pre-game ceremony. He also will be signing autographs in the first intermission. . . .
The St. Louis Blues beat the visiting Edmonton Oilers 4-2 last night. That was NHL coaching victory No. 684 for Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock, moving him into a tie with the late Pat Quinn for fifth on the all-time list. . . . Next up? Dick Irvin Sr., 692.


In Edmonton, D Ryan Pilon broke a 1-1 tie at 17:42 of the second period and the Brandon Wheat Kings held on for a 2-1 victory over the Oil Kings. . . . The Wheat Kings had lost 14 straight games (regular season and playoffs) in Edmonton. . . . On Sunday, when they beat the Hitmen 5-4, Brandon snapped an 11-game regular-season skid in Calgary. . . . Pilon has seven goals. . . . Brandon G Jordan Papirny, who is from Edmonton, stopped 25 shots. . . . Brandon F John Quenneville, who also is from Edmonton, got Brandon’s first goal, at 16:55 of the first, on a PP. He’s got 15 goals. . . . That was the first time in six games that the Wheat Kings opened the scoring. . . . F Brett Pollock scored his 19th goal for Edmonton, at 10:56 of the second. . . . Edmonton G Tristan Jarry made 19 saves. . . . The Wheat Kings (31-9-4), who took three of four from the Oil Kings, have won two in a row. . . . Edmonton slipped to 21-18-5. . . .

In Lethbridge, the Red Deer Rebels outscored their hosts 4-2 in the third period en route to a 5-3 victory over the Hurricanes. . . . D Haydn Fleury came out of the penalty box and scored his second goal of the season on a breakaway, snapping a 1-1 tie at 2:08 of third period and the Rebels were never caught. . . . Fleury also had two assists. . . . Red Deer F Conner Bleackley scored twice, given him 21. . . . F Riley Sheen had two assists for Red Deer. . . . D Kord Pankewicz drew three assists for Lethbridge. . . . F Johnny Wesley, in his first game since being acquired from the Vancouver Giants and making the move from the BCHL’s Surrey Eagles, scored for the Hurricanes. . . . Lethbridge was 1-for-2 on the PP; the Rebels’ PP never got off the bench. . . . The Rebels (24-14-5), who play in Calgary tonight, have won four in a row. . . . The Hurricanes (10-26-6) have lost two straight. . . .

In Kent, Wash., F Keegan Kolesar scored the only goal of a five-round shootout to give the host Seattle Thunderbirds a 5-4 victory over the Spokane Chiefs. . . . Kolesar scored his 14th goal of the season on a first-period PP. . . . Seattle F Nolan Volcan forced OT with his sixth goal at 5:30 of the third. . . . Spokane F Adam Helewka had given his side a 4-3 lead with his 25th goal at 16:46 of the second. He ran his goal-scoring streak to eight straight games, one shy of the franchise record. . . . Spokane F Kailer Yamamoto had one assist, and now is riding an 11-game point streak. . . . D Shea Theodore and D Ethan Bear each had two assists for Seattle. . . . F Ryan Gropp, in his second game since returning from an undisclosed injury, scored his 16th goal for Seattle. . . . Chiefs F Liam Stewart scored his 16th goal. In his fourth season, he has career highs in goals and points (30), all in 42 games. . . . The Thunderbirds (21-16-5) are 2-0-1 in their last three. . . . The Chiefs are 23-16-3.

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