Tuesday, February 17, 2015

More on minimum wage debate . . . Americans lose pair for season . . . Hitmen closer to Tigers

Davos (Switzerland, NL A) announced the signing of F Tyler Redenbach (Prince George, Swift Current, Lethbridge, 2001-05) to a contract for the rest of this season. This season, with Pelicans Lahti (Finland, Liiga), he had 29 points, including 23 assists, in 40 games. He was the team’s second-leading scorer when he was released for financial reasons on Friday.

The debate involving CHL teams and amateurism continued Tuesday with a story written by Robert Cribb of the Toronto Star. . . . “Canadian Hockey League team officials in Washington gave incomplete — and what appears to be misleading — testimony before state lawmakers last week during debate over a proposed law exempting clubs from paying players minimum wage, a Star investigation has found,” Cribbs writes in a piece that can be found right here.
The Tri-City Americans have lost F Parker Bowles and D Carter Cochrane for the remainder of this season. Bowles, who leads the Americans in assists (31) and points (44), suffered an injury to his left shoulder during a 3-0 loss in Kamloops on Feb. 9. Cochrane, who is from Kamloops, was acquired from the Everett Silvertips at the trade deadline in January. He also has a shoulder injury. . . . As well, G Evan Sarthou has an undisclosed injury that may end his season. “We need more analysis by the doctors before we know for sure (on Sarthou),” Tri-City general manager Bob Tory told Annie Fowler of the Tri-City Herald. “It would be nice to have two healthy goalies going into the playoffs. (Cochrane) was just starting to feel comfortable here, then he got hurt in the Medicine Hat game. It wasn’t a hard hit, but he was in an awkward position. It’s one of those years. It’s part of hockey and you have to fight through it. Hopefully the guys get hungry. They need to stick together and compete as a group.”
The 2015 Subway Super Series will open with games in Kelowna on Nov. 9 and in Kamloops on Nov. 10. . . . It’s a six-game series featuring the best major junior players against a Russian junior team. . . . The Kelowna Rockets will play host to Game 1, with the Kamloops Blazers doing the same for Game 2. . . . The series stopped in Kelowna in 2009 where the WHL won, 4-2. . . . It has twice been in Kamloops, with the WHL winning 8-1 in 2006 and Russia winning 7-6 in a shootout in 2010. . . . Games 3 and 4 are to be played in Owen Sound and Windsor on Nov. 12 and 16, with Games 5 and 6 in Rouyn-Noranda and Halifax on Nov. 17 and 19. . . . This will be the 13th straight season that the series has been played. . . . CHL teams lead the series 49-17-6, although the Russians have won three times since 2010, including in 2014. . . . All games of the series will be televised by Sportsnet and TVA Sports.

The Regina Pats were to have visited the Prince Albert Raiders last Sunday but the game was postponed due to inclement weather. It now has been rescheduled for March 10. . . .
The Raiders have added F Luke Coleman, 16, to their roster for the remainder of the season. The Red Deer Optimist Chiefs, his midget AAA team, didn’t qualify for the playoffs so its season is over, freeing him up to join the Raiders. Coleman, a fifth-round pick in the 2013 bantam draft, had 20 points, including eight goals, in 27 games. . . .
The Red Deer Minor Hockey Association announced Tuesday via Twitter that Brandin Cote (Spokane 1996-2002) “will return as head coach of the Optimist Chiefs for the 2015-16 season.” . . .
The Spokane Chiefs, who are celebrating their 30th anniversary this season, have added five players to their list of the Top 25 Chiefs in 25 Years that was created five years ago. The program was started in 2010, so now it’s the Top 30 in 30. On Friday night, with the Calgary Hitmen in town, the Chiefs will salute Mick Vukota (1985-87), Steve Junker (1988-92), Barry Brust (2000-04), Michael Grabner (2004-07) and Brenden Kichton (2008-13). Vukota and Junker are expected to be in attendance. The other three have playing commitments. . . .
The BCHL has suspended F Latrell Charleson of the Surrey Eagles for the remainder of this season for abuse of an official in a game on Saturday. The Eagles, who won’t make the playoffs, have five games remaining in their regular season. . . . If you haven’t seen the incident in question, it’s right here. . . . Charleson, 19, was a seventh-round selection by the Moose Jaw Warriors in the WHL’s 2010 bantam draft. He has yet to play in the WHL. . . .
Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet checks in right here with the latest edition of the always readable 30 Thoughts.


B.C. DIVISION: Victoria was the only one of the division’s five teams to play. It lost at home, but that won’t impact what will be a second-place finish.
U.S. DIVISION: Portland won on the road and now is six points behind first-place Everett. . . . Portland is five points ahead of third-place Seattle. The teams will meet three more times. . . . Tri-City lost at home. It holds down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, three points behind Spokane.
EAST DIVISION: Moose Jaw won on the road to close within eight points of Edmonton, which holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. In the division, Moose Jaw is nine points behind third-place Swift Current. . . . Prince Albert lost at home but picked up a loser point. It is one point behind Moose Jaw.
CENTRAL DIVISION: Calgary won at home, beating Medicine Hat, and now is four points behind the first-place Tigers. Calgary has 15 games remaining; Medicine Hat has 13 to play. . . . Red Deer won a road game and is six points behind Calgary. . . . Kootenay won on the road and now is in sole possession of the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, seven points behind third-place Red Deer and two ahead of Edmonton.
In Victoria, the Moose Jaw Warriors scored the game’s first three goals and went on to a 4-3 victory over the Royals. . . . F Jack Rodewald got the Warriors rolling when he scored his 26th goal of the season 1:30 into the first period. . . . Former Victoria F Axel Blomqvist added his 22nd at 2:01, with Rodewald getting the lone assist, and F Tanner Eberle made it 3-0 with his 30th at 1:53 of the second. . . . The Royals twice got to within a goal but weren’t able to equalize. . . . Moose Jaw F Jiri Smejkal’s 10th goal, at 10:42 of the third, provided a 4-2 lead and stood as the winner. . . . Warriors F Brayden Point had two assists. . . . Victoria F Austin Carroll had one assist and set the Victoria franchise record for most points in a single season. He’s got 68. F Brandon Magee set the previous record (67) last season. . . . The Chilliwack/Victoria franchise record (101) is held by F Mark Santorelli (2007-08). He won the WHL scoring title that season. . . . Victoria was without D Ryan Gagnon. He served a one-game suspension for having incurred his third game misconduct of the season against host Seattle on Sunday. . . . The Royals were playing their fourth game in 90 hours. . . . The Royals, who are second in the B.C. Division, are at home to the first-place Kelowna Rockets on Friday and Saturday. . . .Moose Jaw improved to 23-30-4, while Victoria slipped to 32-22-4. . . .

In Prince Albert, F Riley Sheen scored the only goal of the shootout to give the Red Deer Rebels a 2-1 victory over the Raiders. . . . F Scott Feser scored his 11th goal of the season for Red Deer at 3:23 of the second period. . . . F Matteo Gennaro tied it with his 10th goal, on a PP, at 16:42 of the second. . . . The Raiders shot first but failed to scored in the shootout, so Sheen’s second-round goal stood as the winner. . . . Rebels G Rylan Toth stopped 29 shots, three more than Prince Albert’s Rylan Parenteau. . . . The Rebels had Trevor Martin on the bench in support of Toth. Martin, who came over from the Saskatoon Blades in a January deal, has been with the SJHL’s Melville Millionaires. The Red Deer Advocate reports that Martin is expected to start tonight in Saskatoon. Taz Burman, who didn’t dress last night, is scheduled to be on the bench tonight. . . . The Rebels remain without F Conner Bleackley, their captain, who is out with an undisclosed injury. . . . The Raiders continue to play without F Kris Schmidli, who is out with an undisclosed injury. . . . The Rebels (29-18-9) are 3-4-3 in their last 10. . . . The Raiders (23-32-3) have lost two straight (1-0-1). . . . Brett Smith of the Prince Albert Daily Herald has a game story right here. . . .

In Lethbridge, F Matt Alfaro scored two goals and set up another to help the Kootenay Ice to a 5-2 victory over the Hurricanes. . . . Alfaro, who equaled a single-game career high with three points, has nine goals. . . . The Hurricanes scored the game’s first two goals and took a 2-1 lead into the third period. The Ice put it away with three goals in the first 7:08 of the third. . . . F Tim Bozon tied a franchise record with a goal eight seconds into the third. D Steve McCarthy had set the record on Dec. 18, 1998, at Red Deer. . . . Bozon has 26 goals. . . . F Jaedon Descheneau had two assists for the Ice, with D Troy Murray scoring his third goal and adding an assist. . . . F Mike Winther had two goals for Lethbridge, giving him 11, and F Ryley Lindgren drew two assists. . . . Ice G Wyatt Hoflin stopped 17 shots, 16 fewer than Jayden Sittler of the Hurricanes. . . . The Ice (29-27-2) has points in its last two (1-0-1) . . . The Hurricanes (18-33-6) are 6-4-0 in their last 10. . . .

In Calgary, G Brendan Burke turned aside 29 shots to help the Hitmen to a 4-1 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . After a scoreless first period, the Hitmen got two second-period goals, from F Connor Rankin, his 27th, at 6:54, and F Radel Fazleev, his 17th, at 10:30. . . . F Steve Owre got his 15th goal, on a PP, at 18:56. . . . Calgary F Adam Tambellini added insurance with his 40th goal 23 seconds into the third. . . . F Chase Lang hit an empty net for his 23rd goal at 18:31. . . . With G Marek Langhamer fighting the flu, G Nick Schneider made his second straight start for the Tigers. He stopped 23 shots. . . . The Tigers were without F Trevor Cox, the WHL’s scoring leader, for a second straight game. He was hit with a ‘tbd’ suspension for a boarding incident against visiting Calgary on Saturday. Calgary F Kenton Helgesen, the victim of that hit, didn’t play last night. . . . The Hitmen will play their next 11 games on the road as the Canadian men’s curling championship takes over their home building. . . . Calgary will play five games in the U.S. Division and then go into B.C. for three. . . . While Calgary has won 11 of 12, the Tigers have lost eight of 10. As a result, the Hitmen (34-18-5) have closed to within four points of the Central Division-leading Tigers (37-19-3). . . . The Hitmen went 3-3-0 in the season series; the Tigers finished 3-2-1.

In Kennewick, Wash., F Oliver Bjorkstrand had a goal and three assists as the Portland Winterhawks dumped the Tri-City Americans, 5-1. . . . Bjorkstrand’s 40th goal, at 2:50 of the first period, gave Portland a 2-0 lead and stood up as the winner. . . . F Paul Bittner, who scored twice, had opened the scoring 27 seconds into the game. He’s got 24 goals. . . . F Nic Petan added his 11th goal and two assists for the Winterhawks. . . . F Tyler Sandhu scored his 13th goal for the Americans, getting it on the PP at 8:31 of the first. . . . Portland G Adin Hill made 24 saves in his 20th straight start. . . . Tri-City G Eric Comrie turned aside 45 shots. . . . The Americans, who revealed this week that F Parker Bowles and D Carter Cochrane won’t play again this season, lost D Brandon Carlo in the first period. He left after being struck in the head by a puck and didn’t return. . . . Also missing from Tri-City’s lineup was F Richard Nejezchleb (undisclosed injury). . . . Portland has won the first six games of the 10-game season series. . . . The Winterhawks (33-20-4) are 2-0-1 in their last three. . . . The Americans (26-29-3) have lost three in a row.


(all times local)
Moose Jaw at Vancouver, noon
Red Deer at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.
Kamloops at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

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