Saturday, January 10, 2015

Oil Kings win fourth straight . . . Bittner fills his hat . . . Soy, Royals win in OT








F Tim Traber (Chilliwack/Victoria, Vancouver, 2009-14) was assigned on loan by Genève-Servette (Switzerland, NL A) to Red Ice Martigny (Switzerland, NL B). This season, with Genève-Servette, Traber, who is a dual Canadian-Swiss citizen, had one goal in 29 games.
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F Jackson Keane, a fourth-round pick by the Swift Current Broncos in the 2012 WHL bantam draft, has committed to the U of North Dakota. Keane, 17, is the son of former WHL/NHL F Mike Keane. . . . Jackson has 36 points in 34 games with the MJHL’s Winnipeg Blues.
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If you’re interested in what’s going on in the BCHL, you have to start visiting Brian’s Banter, a blog maintained by Brian Wiebe. It’s right here, and there’s also a link over there on the right. . . . The junior A trade and roster deadlines are up, too, and he has been doing a terrific job of tracking all the moves.
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FRIDAY’S GAMES:

In Regina, F Brandon Ralph broke a 1-1 tie at 16:55 of the second period and the Edmonton Oil Kings went on to a 4-1 victory over the Pats. . . . Ralph has three goals this season. . . . F Brandon Baddock and F Luke Bertolucci each had two assists for Edmonton, while Ralph added one assist. . . . The Oil Kings had F Mads Eller and F Edgars Kulda back in their lineup. Eller had been with Denmark at the WJC; Kulda missed 24 games with an undisclosed injury. . . . Oil Kings G Tristan Jarry made 36 saves, seven more than Regina’s Tyler Brown. . . . Regina was 0-for-9 on the PP; Edmonton was 0-for-5. . . . The Oil Kings have killed off 41 straight opposition power-play opportunities. . . .The Oil Kings (20-16-5) have won four in a row. . . . The Pats (25-13-3) had been 5-0-1 in their previous six games. . . . F Jake Leschyshyn made his WHL debut with the Pats and is expected to play again tonight against visiting Prince Albert. . . . The Oil Kings are in Moose Jaw tonight. . . . 

In Moose Jaw, F Dawson Leedahl had two goals and an assist as the Everett Silvertips dumped the Warriors, 6-2. . . . Leedahl has five goals this season. . . . Everett F Nikita Scherbak broke a 2-2 tie at 5:55 of the second period with his 20th goal. . . . Everett D Jordan Wharrie had tied it 2-2 with his first goal at 4:07. . . . F Tanner Eberle scored his 20th goal of the season for Moose Jaw. . . . Everett G Austin Lotz stopped 25 shots. . . . G Zach Sawchenko made his ninth straight start for the Warriors. He stopped 20 shots, but left with his side trailing 5-2 after Everett F Kohl Bauml notched his 18th goal at 5:47 of the third period. . . . The Silvertips (25-12-4) are 4-1-0 on a six-game East Division trip that concludes tonight in Swift Current. . . . The Warriors (16-23-4), who are at home to Edmonton tonight, have lost three in a row. They are 1-9-1 in their last 11 outings and now trail fourth-place Prince Albert by a point in the East Division. . . . After the game, Matthew Gourlie of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald tweeted that Warriors head coach “Tim Hunter opened the Warriors room to media post-game. Unusual move and clearly a message about accountability being sent to the players.” Nothing like punishing your players by making them face the media. . . . Gourlie’s game story is right here. . . .

In Prince Albert, F Reid Gardiner’s PP goal at 1:05 of OT gave the Raiders a 4-3 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Gardiner, who scored twice, now has 21 goals this sesaon. . . . The Broncos trailed by a goal three times and each time came back to tie it. . . . Swift Current F Calvin Leth forced OT with his second goal of the season at 14:36 of the third. . . . Broncos F Jake DeBrusk got his 23rd goal. . . . Raiders F Kris Schmidli scored his first goal for the Raiders, and sixth of the season, after coming over from the Kelowna Rockets. He also had two assists. . . . D Jordan Thomson scored his third goal of the season in his first game with the Broncos. He was acquired from the Saskatoon Blades earlier in the week. . . . Broncos G Landon Bow stopped 37 shots, six more than Prince Albert’s Rylan Parenteau. . . . Shawn Mullin, the radio voice of the Broncos, reported late Friday afternoon that the Broncos will be without F Coda Gordon for “likely a few weeks” with an undisclosed injury. He was injured Friday in a 5-4 OT victory over the visiting Calgary Hitmen. . . . The Raiders (18-23-1), who are in Regina tonight, have won two in a row. . . . The Broncos now are 20-17-5. They are at home to Everett tonight. . . .

In Cranbrook, G Taz Burman turned aside 30 shots to help the Red Deer Rebels to a 3-1 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . The Rebels scored the game’s first three goals in winning their seventh straight game in Cranbrook. . . . F Jeff de Wit got it started with his second goal at 2:16 of the first period. . . . F Preston Kopeck added his 11th at 19:48 of the first and F Riley Sheen got his 10th, via a PP, at 13:26 of the third. . . . D Cale Fleury scored his first goal for the Ice at 15:40 of the third. . . . Ice F Sam Reinhart, who played for Canada at the WJC, was back in the lineup. He missed a couple of third-period shifts after blocking a shot with a foot. He was being examined by medical staff after the game. . . . Among the Ice’s scratches was D Rinat Valiev (ill). . . . The Rebels (22-14-5) have won two in a row and are a point ahead of third-place Calgary in the Central Division. The Rebels are at home to Brandon tonight. . . . The Ice (21-19-1), which entertains Saskatoon tonight, has lost two straight and is two points behind fourth-place Edmonton in the Central Division. . . . Kootenay plays host to Saskatoon tonight. . . . Taylor Rocca of the Cranbrook Daily Townsman has a game story right here, including an amusing anecdote involving the Fleury brothers. . . .

In Lethbridge, G Jayden Sittler stopped 40 shots in his debut as the Hurricanes dumped the Saskatoon Blades, 4-1. . . . Sittler was acquired this week from the Victoria Royals. . . . G Nik Amundrud stopped 30 shots for Saskatoon. . . . F Giorgio Estephan scored two goals and set up another for the Hurricanes. Estephan has six goals. . . . The Hurricanes built up a 4-0 lead before F Cameron Hebig scored his ninth goal for Saskatoon at 11:51 of the third period. . . . F Tyler Wong scored his 14th goal for Lethbridge, while F Jamal Watson had two assists. . . . The Hurricanes (10-23-6) snapped a four-game losing skid (0-3-1). . . . The Blades (9-29-3), who play in Cranbrook tonight, have lost four in a row and now will be the last of the WHL’s 22 teams to reach 10 victories. . . . Calgary visits Lethbridge tonight, while the Blades are in Cranbrook to face Kootenay. . . .

In Kamloops, F Dillon Dube ended a seven-round shootout with a goal that gave the Kelowna Rockets a 2-1 victory over the Blazers. . . . F Deven Sideroff, Kamloops’ third shooter, gave his side a 1-0 lead, only to have Kelowna F Nick Merkley tie it. . . . F Leon Draisaitl, in his second game with Kelowna, forced OT with a big-time goal at 16:22 of the third period. He went wide on Kamloops D Patrik Maier and whistled a quick shot just under the crossbar. . . . Other than that, though, Draisaitl was average, obviously lacking in familiarity with his teammates, and vice versa, and needing time to adjust to more playing time than he received with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers. . . . F Luke Harrison gave Kamloops a 1-0 lead with his eighth goal at 9:07 of the second period. . . . Blazers G Connor Ingram was outstanding, with 38 saves. Including the shootout, he beat Kelowna F Rourke Chartier, the WHL’s leading sniper, on breakaways. . . . Kelowna G Jake Morrissey, who hadn’t started since Dec. 3, stopped 35 shots. . . . The Rockets, presented with a PP in OT, put Merkley, Chartier, Draisaitl and F Tyson Baillie on the ice and fired away. But the Blazers, with D Ryan Rehill and Sideroff blocking shots, and Ingram standing tall held the visitors at bay. Kelowna’s second PP unit comprised Draisaitl, F Gage Quinney, D Cole Martin and F Justin Kirkland. . . . Of course, the Rockets didn’t dress D Madison Bowey or D Josh Morrissey, both of whom played for Canada at the WJC. . . . The Rockets, who were 0-for-6 on the PP, have beaten the Blazers in 15 straight games, including an 8-0-0 run last season and 5-0-0 this season. . . . Kelowna (33-6-3) has won four in a row. The Rockets are at home to Medicine Hat tonight. . . . The Blazers, who play in Spokane tonight, are 14-23-6. . . .

In Kennewick, Wash., F Richard Nejezchleb scored the only goal of the shootout to give the Tri-City Americans a 4-3 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . D Shea Theodore, in his first game since playing for Canada at the WJC, had two goals, giving him four, and an assist for Seattle. . . . The Thunderbirds led 3-1 late in the third period. . . . Nejezchleb scored his 12th goal at 17:58 and F Brian Williams tied it with his 12th at 18:29. . . . The Americans gave G Eric Comrie the weekend off after his stint with Canada at the WJC. . . . Americans G Evan Sarthou stopped 21 shots through OT, while Seattle’s Taran Kozun turned aside 34. . . . The Americans (20-19-2) have won two straight and are within a point of the fourth-place Thunderbirds in the U.S. Division. . . . The Thunderbirds (19-16-5) have lost two straight. . . . Both teams are off tonight. They’ll play Sunday in Kent, Wash, in a game rescheduled from tonight to avoid a conflict with the NFL playoff game that has the Carolina Panthers in Seattle to play the Seahawks. . . .

In Victoria, F Tyler Soy scored at 1:03 of OT to give the Royals a 3-2 victory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . Soy has 15 goals this season. He has goals in three straight and points in eight straight. . . . The Cougars got two first-period shorthanded goals, from F Chase Witala, his 23rd, and F Aaron Boyd, his third, to take a 2-1 lead. . . . Victoria F Brandon Magee scored his second of the game, and 13th of the season, at 3:39 of the second, on a PP, to tie it at 2. . . . D Travis Brown had two assists for Victoria, running his point streak to eight games. He leads WHL defencemen with 41 points. . . G Patrick Gora, who left the AJHL’s Camrose Kodiaks this week, was backing up for the Cougars, who got 33 saves from Ty Edmonds. . . . G Coleman Vollrath stopped 20 shots for the Royals. . . . Victoria improved to 21-19-3, while the Cougars are 20-22-1. Victoria is four points ahead of the third-place Cougars in the B.C. Division. . . . The same teams meet again tonight in Victoria. . . .

In Spokane, F Paul Bittner scored three times to lead the Portland Winterhawks to a 5-3 victory over the Chiefs. . . . Bittner’s second goal, a shorthanded effort at 13:14 of the third period, broke a 3-3 tie. . . . He got his third of the night, and 18th of the season, in an empty net at 19:06. . . . The Winterhawks had been 0-3-0 against Spokane this season. . . . Portland F Chase De Leo had two assists, running his point streak to 16 games, the best in the WHL this season. . . . Portland F Oliver Bjorkstrand enjoyed his first WHL four-point game with his 23rd goal and three assists. . . . Chiefs F Kailer Yamamoto had an assist to run his point streak to nine games. He’s got 18 points over that stretch. . . . Spokane F Adam Helewka scored twice, giving him goals in six straight games and 23 on the season. . . . Portland F Alex Schoenborn came up empty on a third-period penalty shot with his side ahead 4-3. . . . The Winterhawks are 22-18-3. . . . The Chiefs slipped to 22-15-3. . . . The teams are tied for second in the U.S. Division, although Spokane has three games in hand. . . . The Chiefs entertain Kamloops tonight, while Portland is at home to Vancouver. . . . Chris Derrick of the Spokane Spokesman-Review has a game story right here. . . .

In Vancouver, the Giants scored three first-period goals and went on to beat the Medicine Hat Tigers, 5-3. . . . Giants F Jesse Roach broke a 2-2 tie with his fifth goal at 17:48 of the first. . . . Vancouver F Carter Popoff scored his 17th, shorthanded at 4:52 of the second, and the Tigers weren’t able to equalize. . . . F Thomas Foster and F Tyler Benson each had two assists for the Giants. . . . Tigers F Cole Sanford scored his 32nd goal. . . . Vancouver was 2-for-3 on the PP; the Tigers were 1-for-5. . . . F Ty Ronning made his season debut with the Giants. He had been out since breaking a collarbone during the exhibition season. . . . Former Tigers GM/head coach Willie Desjardins was in attendance. He is now the head coach of the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks. . . . In a wonderful move, the Giants held a ceremony and retired the seat belonging to long-time NHL goaltender/scout Charlie Hodge. Well done! Hopefully, there were some Nanaimo bars there for him. . . . The Giants (19-20-2) are fourth in the B.C. Division, a point behind Prince George. . . . The Tigers (28-10-2) had a four-game winning streak snapped. . . . The Giants are in Portland tonight, while the Tigers visit Kelowna. . . . Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province has more on the Giants right here.
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