Thursday, March 26, 2015

Oil Kings win opener . . . Another team to hire head coach . . . Three WHLers get NHL deals

F Yannic Seidenberg (Medicine Hat, 2003-04) has signed a one-year extension with Red Bull Munich (Germany, DEL). In 46 games, he had 12 goals and 10 assists. . . .
D Colton Jobke (Kelowna, Regina, 2009-13) has signed a one-year contract with the Straubing Tigers (Germany, DEL). This season, he had four assists in 20 games with the Alaska Aces (ECHL) and he was pointless in 20 games with the Augsburger Panther (Germany, DEL). Jobke is a dual Canadian-German citizen. . . .
D Craig Schira (Regina, Vancouver, 2003-09) has signed a two-year contract with Lulea (Sweden, SHL). This season, with HPK Hämeenlinna (Finland, Liiga), he had five goals and 23 assists in 55 games while averaging 24:33 in ice time per game. He also was an alternate captain. . . .
D Daryl Boyle (Brandon, 2004-08) has signed a one-year extension with Red Bull Munich (Germany, DEL). In 44 games, he had 11 goals and 21 assists. He is a dual Canadian-German citizen. . . .
D Richie Regehr (Kelowna, Portland, 1998-2004) has signed a one-year extension with Red Bull Munich (Germany, DEL). In 51 games, he had 10 goals and 30 assists.


In Brandon, the Edmonton Oil Kings, the defending Memorial Cup champions, scored two first-period goals en route to a 4-1 victory over the Wheat Kings. . . . It was Game 1 of their series, with Game 2 scheduled for Brandon tonight. . . . This is the only first-round series being played with a 2-3-2 format, with the middle three games scheduled for Edmonton. That means tonight’s game takes on even more importance. . . . Brandon was 27-3-6 at home in the regular season. . . . The Oil Kings scored 11 seconds in when F Tyler Robertson, who had one goal in his previous 22 games, found the net. . . . F Brett Pollock made it 2-0 at 11:55. . . . Brandon F Peter Quenneville scored a PP goal at 17:53 of the second to get his guys back in it. . . . Pollock scored off a PP rebound at 1:35 of the third for a 3-1 lead. . . . F Lane Bauer provided more insurance for the visitors at 9:07. . . . Edmonton D Dysin Mayo had two assists, while Pollock had one for a three-point night. . . . Oil Kings G Tristan Jarry was sharp in making 25 saves, five fewer than Brandon’s Jordan Papirny. . . . Edmonton was 1-for-2 on the PP; Brandon was 1-for-4. . . . Brandon had won three of four regular-season meetings, although the teams had only met once since Nov. 22. . . . The Wheat Kings had F Stelio Mattheos in the lineup. The Winnipegger was the first selection in the 2014 bantam draft. . . . Edmonton’s lineup included 15 players from last season’s championship club. . . . WHL commissioner Ron Robison presented the Wheat Kings with the Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy prior to the game. The trophy is for finishing atop the overall standings in the regular season. . . . Attendance was announced as 3,086. That is 809 below Brandon’s regular-season average crowd.

Two WHL teams are looking for head coaches. . . . Earlier in the week, the Vancouver Giants revealed that Claude Noel wouldn’t be returning as their head coach. . . . Peter Anholt, who finished the season as the general manager and head coach of the Lethbridge Hurricanes, has confirmed to Paul Kingsmith of Global TV that he won’t be back on the bench. Anholt is involved in contract negotiations with the Hurricanes. Assuming he gets a deal as GM, he will hire a head coach and a head scout. . . . There’s more from Kingsmith right here.
The Brandon Sun has covered a lot of Brandon Wheat Kings playoff games over the years. And it always, always, always has gotten a story from the game into the next day’s paper. That streak may come to an end next week when the Wheat Kings’ first-round series with the Edmonton Oil Kings moves to the Alberta capital. . . . Sportsnet requested a change in starting times for Games 4 and, if necessary, 5, both of which are scheduled to be played in Rexall Place on March 31 and April 1. Rather than starting at 7 p.m., the games are to begin at 8 o’clock. . . . With the difference in time zones, that is 9 o’clock in Brandon. . . . The Sun’s deadline is 11:05 p.m., and it’s doubtful that it can be changed enough to make a difference.
The Tampa Bay Lightning has signed F Brayden Point, 19, of the Moose Jaw Warriors to a three-year, entry-level NHL contract. Point also signed an ATO (amateur tryout) with the Syracuse Crunch, the Lightning’s AHL affiliate, and will finish the season there. . . . The Lightning selected Point in the third round of the 2014 NHL draft. . . . This season, he had 87 points, including 38 goals, in 60 games with the Warriors. In 204 career games, he has 236 points, including 99 goals. . . . From Calgary, he was a member of Team Canada as it won gold at the 2015 WJC in Montreal and Toronto.
The Calgary Flames have signed F Austin Carroll, who turned 21 on Thursday, to an entry-level deal. He led the Victoria Royals in goals (38) and points (77) in the regular season. Carroll, from Calgary, was a seventh-round pick by the Flames in the 2014 NHL draft. . . . In 268 games with the Royals over four seasons, Carroll had 196 points, including 95 goals.
The Winnipeg Jets have assigned F Axel Blomqvist of the Moose Jaw Warriors to the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps. Blomqvist, 20, was acquired by Moose from the Victoria Royals during the season. From Sweden, he finished the season with 59 points, including 25 goals, in 61 games. The 6-foot-6, 212-pounder was a NHL free agent when he signed a three-year, entry-level deal with the Jets prior to the 2013-14 season.
The Edmonton Oilers have signed D Ben Betker of the Everett Silvertips to a three-year, entry-level NHL contract. Betker, 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds, was a sixth-round pick in the NHL’s 2013 draft. From Cranbrook, Betker, 20, had 31 points, including six goals, in 64 gamers this season. In 201 career games, he has 58 points, including 14 goals.
The AHL’s Toronto Marlies have signed F Jack Rodewald of the Moose Jaw Warriors to an ATO (amateur tryout) for the remainder of this season and to an AHL contract for 2015-16. Rodewald, who turned 21 on Feb. 14, had career highs in goals (35), assists (50) and points (85) this season, all in 71 games. . . . In 255 career games, he put up 166 points, including 76 goals.
Cody Nickolet, over at Dub From Above, reports that only six WHLers who were selected in the NHL’s 2013 draft haven’t signed NHL contracts. Those six are F Jackson Houck of the Vancouver Giants (Edmonton Oilers); D Eric Roy of the Brandon Wheat Kings (Calgary Flames); D Mitch Wheaton of the Kelowna Rockets (Detroit Red Wings); G Brendan Burke of the Calgary Hitmen (Arizona Coyotes); D Mark McNulty of the Kamloops Blazers (Detroit); and D Kyle Burroughs of the Medicine Hat Tigers (New York Islanders).

The Medicine Hat Tigers open a first-round series against the visiting Red Deer Rebels on Saturday. The Tigers were a bit banged up down the stretch, but reports out of Medicine Hat indicate that F Anthony Ast, F Matt Bradley and D Tommy Vannelli will be available for Game 1. . . . The Tigers will be without D Ty Lewington, their captain, as he serves a one-game WHL suspension. . . .
The Kootenay Ice and Calgary Hitmen open their first-round series tonight in Calgary. The game will be televised by Shaw with Dan Russell calling the play and Bill Wilms riding shotgun. . . .
The Tri-City Americans are huge underdogs as they open a first-round series with the Rockets in Kelowna tonight. The Americans have five injured players who aren’t expected to play — F Parker Bowles, D Carter Cochrane, D Riley Hillis, F Braden Purtill and F Taylor Vickerman. All five are said to be done for the season. . . . The Rockets aren’t expected to have D Josh Morrissey back for this series, but F Justin Kirkland, who hasn’t played since Feb. 14, might return. . . .
The Spokane Chiefs go into these playoffs having lost eight straight playoff games. The Chiefs open in Everett against the Silvertips tonight. . . . Spokane was swept by the Portland Winterhawks in the first round in 2013 and then was swept by the Victoria Royals a year ago. . . . The Chiefs also go into these playoffs having lost their last five regular-season games. . . .
The starting time for Game 3 between the Medicine Hat Tigers and the host Red Deer Rebels on March 31 has been changed. Originally scheduled for a 7 p.m. start, it now is listed as TBD (to be determined). . . . Why? According to a note from the Rebels, it is “to accommodate the possibility of a TV broadcast of the game. . . . Game time will either be 7 p.m. or 8 p.m.”



The OHL’s Flint, Mich., Firebirds have signed Terry Christensen as general manager and John Gruden as head coach. The Firebirds are the former Plymouth Whalers franchise. . . . Christensen, 60, has been with the Little Caesars program and with the USA Selects Elite AAA junior program of late. He has coached in the ECHL, NAHL, Colonial league and NCAA. . . . Gruden, 44, has been in USA Hockey’s program. . . . The Firebirds have kept assistant general manager Joe Stefan and head scout Dave McParlan, both of whom were with the Whalers.

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