Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Ex-WHL goalie gets called to Rangers . . . Wheaties win clash of leaders . . . Toth wins one for Rebels


Five years after being seriously injured in a bus accident, Mackenzie Skapski has made it to the NHL. No, he didn’t get into a game with the New York Rangers on Wednesday night, but he was on the bench, backing up Cam Talbot. Skapski, 20, was recalled from the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack earlier in the day as Henrik Lundqvist was unable after taking a puck to the throat. . . . Skapski, who played for the Kootenay Ice (2010-14), was injured on Dec. 11, 2009, when the major midget Fraser Valley Bruins’ bus hit some black ice and rolled while en route to Prince George. . . . Paul Doyle of the Hartford Courant details Skapski’s climb in a November story that is right here.
---D Joshua Chapman of the OHL’s Sarnia Sting has drawn a 12-game suspension for a headshot on F Ben Fanjoy of the host Ottawa 67’s on Friday. Chapman elbowed Fanjoy to the head behind the Sarnia goal late in the third period of a 5-0 Ottawa victory. Fanjoy was injured on the play. Chapman, a repeat offender, is eligible to return on Feb. 27.
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Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet has filed 30 Thoughts and, as usual, it’s great reading. The latest edition is right here.
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Roy Sommer is the third coach in AHL history to get to 600 victories. He did it Wednesday night as his Worcester Sharks beat the host Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 4-3. . . . Only Fred (Bun) Cook (636) and Frank Mathers (610) have more victories than Sommer. . . . Sommer, now 57, played two seasons (1975-77) with the Calgary Centennials. He also was an assistant coach with the Prince Albert Raiders (1988-89). He is in his 17th season as an AHL head coach, the last nine with Worcester. . . . BTW, Regina Pats head coach John Paddock is fourth on the AHL list of coaching victories, with 589.
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WEDNESDAY’S GAMES:

In Moose Jaw, the Warriors erased a 2-0 deficit with four straight goals as they skated to a 4-3 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . F Kris Schmidli, with his 11th, and F Reid Gardiner, with No. 26, gave the visitors a 2-0 lead early in the second period. . . . The Warriors tied it before period’s end on PP goals from F Jack Rodewald, his 24th, and F Axel Blomqvist, his 19th. . . . F Brett Howden gave Moose Jaw its first lead with his 14th goal, on a PP, at 6:48 of the second. . . . D Austin Adam added insurance with his second goal of the season, a shorthanded empty-netter, at 18:21. . . . Gardiner got the Raiders to within one at 18:47, on a PP. . . . The Warriors were 3-for-3 on the PP, despite going into the game with the WHL’s poorest PP; the Raiders were 1-for-3. . . . Warriors G Brody Wilms stopped 27 shots to earn his second career WHL victory. That was 12 more saves than Prince Albert’s Rylan Parenteau. . . . Gardiner also had an assist, while F Craig Leverton and F Matteo Gennaro each had two assists for the Raiders. . . . F Brayden Point had two assists for the Warriors, while Rodewald, Howden and Blomqvist each had an assist to go with their goals. . . . The Warriors were without F Jesse Shynkaruk, who has been suspended for three games after taking an interference major and game misconduct for a hit on Brandon F John Quenneville on Saturday. Quenneville is sidelined with a concussion. . . . Moose Jaw also is without F Jamien Yakubowski, who may miss a couple of weeks with an undisclosed injury. . . . The Warriors (21-27-4), who are at home to Spokane on Friday when they retire Ryan Smyth’s No. 28, had lost their previous three games. The victory moved Moose Jaw to within five points of third-place Swift Current in the East Division. . . . The Raiders (21-30-1) have lost two in a row and are three points behind the Warriors. . . . Prince Albert will entertain Swift Current on Friday. . . . 

In Medicine Hat, F Rihards Bukarts scored his 20th goal and added two assists as the Brandon Wheat Kings doubled the Tigers, 6-3. . . . Brandon took a 2-0 lead on goals by D Ivan Provorov, his 12th, and F Tim McGauley, his 31st, in the first 9:16 of the game. . . . The Tigers tied it before the period ended, with F Dryden Hunt counting twice. . . . The Wheat Kings, who have beaten the Tigers three times this season, took control again in the second period when F Morgan Klimchuk, with his 20th, and F Braylon Shmyr, with his 13th, scored 22 seconds apart. . . . Hunt completed his hat trick with his 25th goal at 19:33, on a PP. . . . Brandon put it away in the third with PP goals by Bukarts, his 20th, and F Nolan Patrick, his 24th. . . . Brandon was 2-for-4 on the PP; the Tigers were 2-for-3. . . . The Wheat Kings now have four skaters with at least 20 goals. . . . Provorov, Klimchuk, Patrick and McGauley, who was playing his 200th game, all had two-point nights. . . . Tigers F Trevor Cox ran his WHL-leading point total to 87 with two assists. . . . The Wheat Kings (38-9-5) lead the Eastern Conference by eight points over the Tigers (35-13-3). . . . Brandon went into this one 8-0-1 in its last nine; the Tigers were 6-0-1 in their last seven. . . . The Tigers, who lead the Central Division by nine points over Red Deer, visit Lethbridge on Friday, while the Wheat Kings are in Cranbrook. . . .

In Kamloops, G Rylan Toth stopped 38 shots to help the Red Deer Rebels to a 3-2 victory over the Blazers. . . . The Blazers held a 20-10 edge in second-period shots and it was 13-3 in the third. . . . “Our goalie won us a game here tonight. He played outstanding,” Brent Sutter, the Rebels’ general manager and head coach, told the Red Deer Advocate. . . . Toth is believed to be the best goaltender with that surname to play in Alberta since Mike Toth minded the twine for the Drumheller Falcons back in the day. . . . Rebels F Conner Bleackley scored twice, giving him 26. He got his guys on the board at 6:57 of the first and F Riley Sheen, with his 16th, made it 2-0 at 10:01. . . . The Blazers, who got both their goals from F Cole Ully, would never get even. . . . Ully got them to within one at 13:21 of the first. . . . Bleackley stretched the lead to 3-1 at 9:27 of the second, on a PP. . . . Ully got Kamloops back to within one with his 27th goal, at 6:37 of the third. . . . Sheen also had an assist. . . . Kamloops G Connor Ingram stopped 20 shots. . . . Toth was the beneficiary of some big shot blocks, with Sheen and Cote both making key ones in the first period and F Preston Kopeck blocking one with 1.2 seconds left in the third period. . . . Kamloops was 0-for-4 on the PP. It finished the game on the power play and with Ingram on the bench for the extra attacker but wasn’t able to score. . . . The Blazers remain without injured import defencemen Michael Fora and Patrik Maier, both of whom may be ready for the weekend when Kamloops goes home-and-home with Kelowna. . . . The Rebels (28-15-8), who snapped a three-game losing skid (0-1-2), moved into second in the Central Division, a point ahead of Calgary. Red Deer is to play at Vancouver on Friday. . . . The Blazers (20-27-6) remain third in the B.C. Division, three points ahead of Vancouver and four ahead of Prince George. . . . Kamloops will play in Kelowna on Friday.
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