Monday, March 2, 2015

No suspension for Rockets star . . . Bjorkstrand guns for 50-in-50 . . . Chase ends shootout

The NHL’s trade deadline passed us by on Monday afternoon. The day’s best story involved a young girl and the letter she wrote. If you haven’t read all about D Jordan Leopold and his daughter, Jordyn, check it out right here.

F Leon Draisaitl of the Kelowna Rockets won’t be suspended for the major penalty and game misconduct he incurred against the visiting Calgary Hitmen on Saturday night. Draisaitl was penalized after running into Calgary G Brendan Burke. . . . Draisaitl should be in the Rockets’ lineup tonight when they meet the Silvertips in Everett. . . . The Silvertips will get D Ben Betker back, after he served a one-game suspension, and D Kevin Davis may return from an undisclosed injury. . . .
Kelowna is likely to have Jackson Whistle in goal for a second straight game since his return from an early February appendectomy. It is quite possible that the Rockets will be without D Josh Morrissey after he suffered an injury to his left leg on Saturday. . . .
The Portland Winterhawks are 18-3-2 in 2015, which has moved them to within two points of the U.S. Division-leading Everett Silvertips. Portland holds one game in hand. . . . The Winterhawks and Silvertips are to meet once more this season. . . .
Portland F Oliver Bjorkstrand has 48 goals in 49 games this season, meaning he will be gunning for the magical 50 in 50 on Friday against the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds. He also has goals in 11 straight games, which tied a franchise record that was set by F Tony Currie in 1976-77, the team’s first season in Portland. . . .
The Saskatoon Blades are adding D Jake Kustra to their roster for the remainder of this season. Kustra, the 34th overall selection in the 2014 bantam draft, played this season with the midget AAA Notre Dame Argos. He played two games with the Blades last month, picking up one assist. . . .
The owners of the Prince George Cougars have purchased $25,000 in 50/50 tickets for Saturday’s game against the Victoria Royals. Why? Because ownership wants to guarantee fans that someone “will win the biggest 50/50 jackpot in Prince George Cougars history.” . . . The owners aren’t going to sit on those tickets, either. They will be distributed “free of charge to all adults with valid tickets attending the game. Season-ticket holders can receive a strip of 10 tickets . . . and all other adults can receive one ticket.” . . . The other half of the jackpot will be donated to the Shelly L. Mrkonjic ALS Research Fund. That fund was created by the Mrkonjic family in memory of wife and mother Shelly, who died in 2006. Her son, Tyler, is a forward with the Cougars.

“His name is Carson Barry and he is 12 years old,” begins a terrific story at “Carson has been researching concussions for over two years since his brother, who suffered several hockey concussions, committed suicide.” . . . The complete story is right here.


EAST DIVISION: Brandon (9 games remaining) will finish atop the Eastern Conference standings and now trails Kelowna by one point in the race for first place overall. . . . Regina (9) will finish second in the division. . . . Swift Current (9) is third, eight points ahead of Moose Jaw (9), which lost in Regina and now is seven points behind Edmonton (9), which holds down the conference’s second wild-card berth.
CENTRAL DIVISION: Calgary (9) is atop the division, two points ahead of Medicine Hat (9). . . . Red Deer (10) is third, seven points behind Medicine Hat and five ahead of Kootenay (8), which is in possession of the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot. . . . Edmonton (9) is five points behind Kootenay.
B.C. DIVISION: Kelowna (9) has clinched first place in the Western Conference and holds a one-point lead over Brandon atop the overall standings. . . . Victoria (9) will finish second. . . . Prince George (9) has won three straight and moved back into third place, one point ahead of Vancouver (10) and two up on Kamloops (9). . . . Vancouver is two points behind Tri-City (9), which holds down the conference’s second wild-card berth.
U.S. DIVISION: Everett (9) sits atop the division, but is only two points ahead of Portland (10). . . . Seattle (9) is third, eight points behind Portland and seven ahead of Spokane (11). . . . Spokane holds the conference’s first wild-card spot. . . . Spokane is seven points ahead of Tri-City (9), which is 2-8-0 in its last 10 and clinging to that second wild-card spot.


Eastern Conference
Brandon vs. Edmonton
Calgary vs. Kootenay
Regina vs. Swift Current
Medicine Hat vs. Red Deer
Western Conference
Kelowna vs. Tri-City
Everett vs. Spokane
Victoria vs. Prince George
Portland vs. Seattle
(NOTE: Team with home-ice advantage shown first.)


In Victoria, F Greg Chase scored the only goal of a three-round shootout as the Royals beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 3-2. . . . Seattle G Logan Flodell stopped 20 shots through OT, but was replaced by Taran Kozun for the shootout. Flodell had appeared in a shootout in Kamloops on Feb. 13, when he was 0-for-2. TBird Tidbits tweeted that, including this game, Kozun has allowed five goals on 31 shootout attempts. . . . The Royals took a 2-0 lead on goals from D Joe Hicketts, his 10th, at 8:53 of the first period and F Jack Walker, his 17th, at 2:59 of the second. . . . D Jerret Smith got Seattle on the board with his ninth goal, at 5:16 of the second, and F Keegan Kolesar tied it with his 19th at 10:57. . . . Victoria G Coleman Vollrath stopped 25 shots. . . . Seattle was 0-for-3 on the PP; Victoria was 0-for-2. . . . The Royals (34-25-4) had lost their previous two games. . . . The Thunderbirds (31-23-9) are 0-2-2 in their last four games. . . . They'll play again tonight in Victoria.


(all times local)
Edmonton at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.
Red Deer at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.
Calgary at Kamloops, 7 p.m.
Seattle at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.
Kelowna at Everett, 7:05 p.m.
Vancouver at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.

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