Sunday, March 29, 2015

Wheaties win in Edmonton . . . Tambellini OT hero . . . Langhamer, Hill pitch shutouts

If you didn’t watch the fifth estate’s episode — The Pain Game: Drugs, Doctors and Pro Sports — you should give it a view. It’s right here.
A lot of the news magazine’s show deals with the late Derek Boogaard and it really is scary stuff.
The foundation for a lot of the show is work done by Len Boogaard, Derek’s father who has retired from the RCMP. Through this, Len has documented the trail of drugs that led to his son’s opiate addiction and, ultimately, to his death.
The document is 23 pages in length and to sit and peruse it, one prescription at a time, really is overwhelming.
“In an effort to better understand the circumstances that contributed to the death of my son,” Len writes, “I requested documentation from team medical staff, outside physicians, the NHL’s substance abuse program, the rehabilitation facilities Derek attended, drug testing facilities and the pharmacies that filled his numerous prescriptions.
“In addition, I have spoken with a number of people who knew Derek and I have analyzed his own personal documents, such as cell phone, bank and email records.
“I was not always provided with the documentation I requested; however, I believe I have obtained information sufficient to construct a time-line of sorts spanning from Derek’s first entry in a rehabilitation facility in September 2009 until his passing.”
The document is heart-breaking and raises all kinds of questions. More than anything, though, it shows how the NHL, a couple of NHL teams, the NHLPA and various doctors — a couple of whom all but run from the fifth estate’s camera — failed Derek Boogaard.
You really need to watch this episode of the fifth estate. And if you haven’t already, read Boy on Ice: The Life and Death of Derek Boogaard. Written by John Branch of The New York Times, this is a devastating look at how Boogaard went from a fun-loving youngster who was just trying to fit in to an NHL enforcer who was enabled every step of the way.
Package all of this together and you get a look at an unseemly side of the NHL.



In Edmonton, G Jordan Papirny stopped 41 shots and the Brandon Wheat Kings scored the game’s last two goals as they beat the Oil Kings, 3-2. . . . The Wheat Kings lead the series 2-1 with Games 4 and 5 scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Both games are to be televised by Sportsnet. . . . Last night, Brandon D Macoy Erkamps, in his fourth WHL season but in the playoffs for the first time, broke a 2-2 tie at 6:02 of the third period. . . . Brandon F Jayce Hawryluk had tied it at 2:31 of the third with his third goal of the series. . . . The Wheat Kings took a 1-0 lead on F John Quenneville’s goal with 26.3 seconds left in the first. . . . The Oil Kings scored twice in the second — F Davis Koch at 1:54 and D Ben Carroll, on the PP, at 6:30. . . . The Oil Kings thought they had tied the score late in the third period when F Brandon Baddock had his own rebound go off his chest and past Papirny. But the goal was disallowed after video review. . . . “Hands are tied: you can’t glove it in, you can’t high-stick it in, you can’t use your feet, so I tried to use my body,” Baddock said on the Oil Kings’ website.“They said . . . I kind of directed my shoulders into it, and obviously that’s not allowed.” . . . Edmonton G Tristan Jarry stopped 26 shots. . . . Brandon F Braylon Shmyr was unsuccessful on a penalty shot at 16:23 of the first period. . . . Edmonton was 1-for-4 on the PP; Brandon was 0-for-3. . . . Edmonton F Mads Eller left the game in the first and didn’t return. He was injured when he hit one of the gates at the Oil Kings’ bench in attempting to check Shmyr. Eller’s status for Tuesday’s game isn’t known. . . . The Oil Kings took out D Marshall Donald and F Brayden Brown, replacing them with D Jake Kohlhauser and G Tyson Gruninger. . . . Brandon had F Duncan Campbell and F Tanner Kaspick back after they missed the first two games. To get them in, Brandon took out F Stelio Mattheos and D Mark Matsuba . . . Attendance was 5,957. . . . Bruce Luebke, the radio voice of the Wheat Kings, reports that Brandon F Quintin Lisoway is expected to have knee surgery today. Lisoway last played on March 4.

In Calgary, F Adam Tambellini’s goal at 16:36 of OT gave the Hitmen a 3-2 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . The series is 1-1 as it heads for Cranbrook, B.C., and games on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. . . . F Pavel Kamaukhov scored both of Calgary’s regulation-time goals, both via the PP. He also drew an assist on the winner. . . . Kamaukhov gave the Hitmen a 1-0 lead at 9:01 of the second period and tied the game 2-2 at 10:31 of the third. . . . F Sam Reinhart got the Ice’s first goal, on a PP, at 17:51 of the second. . . . F Jaedon Descheneau gave the visitors a 2-0 lead at 19:36 of the second. . . . Hitmen F Radel Fazleev had two assists, giving him four helpers in two games. . . . Calgary G Mack Shields came on to start the third period and stopped all 19 shots he faced. Starter Brendan Burke had given up two goals on 18 shots. . . . Ice G Wyatt Hoflin turned aside 30 shots. . . . The Hitmen were 2-for-2 on the PP; the Ice was 1-for-2. . . . D Jake Bean was among Calgary’s scratches. He suffered an apparent ankle injury in the third period of Friday’s game. . . . Attendance was 8,560. . . . Scott Fisher of the Calgary Sun has a game story right here.

In Medicine Hat, F Trevor Cox scored the game’s only goal as the Tigers beat the Red Deer Rebels, 1-0, in overtime. . . . The Tigers had won the opener 2-1 on Saturday, so goals have been hard to come by. . . . Cox had two assists on Saturday, so has been in on all three of his side’s goals. . . . The teams now head to Red Deer for games on Wednesday and Thursday nights. . . . Medicine Hat G Marek Langhamer stopped 27 shots in earning his first career playoff shutout. . . . Red Deer G Rylan Toth turned aside 36 shots. . . . Cox finished second in the regular-season points race, with 109 points, including a WHL-leading 80 assists, banked the winner in off Toth. . . . The Tigers were 0-for-5 on the PP; the Rebels were 0-for-3. . . . Medicine Hat had D Ty Lewington, its captain, back in the lineup after he served a one-game WHL suspension. . . . Attendance was 4,006.

In Portland, G Adin Hill turned aside 21 shots to lead the Winterhawks to a 3-0 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . It was Hill’s first career playoff shutout. . . . The series is tied 1-1 with the next two games in Kent, Wash., on Tuesday and Thursday nights. . . . F Nic Petan scored the game’s first goal, at 14:23 of the first period. . . . The Winterhawks iced it with empty-net goals from F Dominic Turgeon, at 18:02 of the third, and F Oliver Bjorkstrand, at 18:14. . . . Seattle G Taran Kozun stopped 36 shots. . . . Each team was 0-for-2 on the PP. . . . Attendance was 9,119. . . . The game story that freelancer Scott Sepich wrote for The Oregonian is right here. . . . Paul Danzer of The Columbian has a game story right here.

With the Portland Winterhawks having opened the playoffs with two home games, Scott Sepich, a freelancer who often writes for The Oregonian, looks at the team’s relationship with Veterans Memorial Coliseum, a venue that is 55 years of age and in need of at least some help. . . . That story is right here.

“More than a quarter of all helmets worn by hockey players, from the NHL to youth leagues, are unsafe, according to an independent study provided to ‘Outside the Lines’ that ranked hockey helmets based on their ability to reduce concussion risk,” writes Steve Fainaru of the ESPN investigative newsmagazine Outside the Lines. “Out of 32 helmets in the marketplace that were tested by researchers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, nine failed to earn a single star on a five-star scale and were classified as ‘not recommended.’ Just one helmet, made by Warrior Sports, received three stars. The rest received one or two stars.” . . . The really scary part of this report is, as Fainaru writes, “Hockey players wearing the ‘not recommended’ helmets risk incurring at least six concussions per season, and in some cases more than eight, according to Virginia Tech.” . . . The complete story, including a chart showing test results, is right here.


Dwayne Kirkup won’t be back as head coach of the MJHL’s Neepawa Natives. He had been in the position since May 6, 2013, having joined the Natives after a stint as head coach of the MJHL’s Swan Valley Stampeders. He was the MJHL’s coach of the year in 2009-10. . . . This season, the Natives finished 15-42-3, leaving them with the 11-team league’s poorest record.

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