Saturday, March 7, 2015

WHL coach hospitalized . . . No stopping Great Dane . . . Cougars win fifth in row








F Dylan Wruck (Edmonton, 2008-13) has signed a two-year extension with the Iserlohn Roosters (Germany, DEL). In 51 games, he has 37 points, including 14 goals. Wruck holds dual Canadian-German citizenship.
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Mark Lamb, the general manager and head coach of the Swift Current Broncos, didn’t accompany his team to Moose Jaw for Friday night’s date with the Warriors. . . . Early in the game, the Broncos tweeted: “Head Coach and GM Mark Lamb is not with the team in Moose Jaw tonight. He will be spending the night in @CypressHealth Hospital.” . . . No further details were available. . . . In Lamb’s absence, associate coach Josh Dixon ran the Broncos’ bench. The Warriors won the game, 3-2. . . . The Broncos are scheduled to play in Brandon tonight.
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What can one say about Portland Winterhawks F Oliver Bjorkstrand? The Great Dane scored four times on Friday night, giving him 52 goals in 50 games as the Winterhawks dumped the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . It was Bjorkstrand’s fourth hat trick of this season. . . . The WHL hasn’t had a sniper play a complete season and average a goal per game since F Pavel Brendl of the Calgary Hitmen scored 73 goals in 68 games in 1998-99. That season, Brendl scored 56 times in his first 50 games; he got his 50th goal in his 46th game. . . . F Layne Ulmer of the Swift Current Broncos scored 51 times in his first 47 games in 2000-01. . . . In 2011-12, F Emerson Etem of the Medicine Hat Tigers had 51 goals in his first 50 games. . . . F Mike Comrie left the U of Michigan and joined the Kootenay Ice during the 2001-01 season. He scored 39 goals in 37 games as he finished that season with the Ice. . . . In his last 14 games, Bjorkstrand has scored at least two goals on seven occasions. . . . Since playing for Denmark at the WJC, he has 31 goals in 22 games. . . . Bjorsktrand scored 50 goals last season. The last WHLer with back-to-back 50-goal seasons? F Eric Fehr of the Brandon Wheat Kings scored 50 in 2003-04 and 59 in 2004-05. . . . Thanks to Cody Nickolet, Todd Vrooman and TBird Tidbits for all the numbers.
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In Edmonton, the U of Alberta Golden Bears defeated the U of Calgary Dinos 2-1 to win the CIS Canada West title. The Golden Bears won the best-of-three final in straight games. . . . It was Alberta’s 52nd conference championship and it’s 13 in the past 15 seasons. . . . Chris O’Leary of the Edmonton Journal has more right here.
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“In response to feedback from season-ticket holders, the Regina Pats have offered a compromise in their new seating structure for the 2015-16 season,” writes Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post. The move follows a town-hall meeting with fans on Feb. 21. . . . Harder’s story is right here.
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The junior B Princeton Posse of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League is looking for a general manager/head coach. The Posse revealed Friday that it won’t be offering a new contract to GM/head coach Bill Rotheisler. He has been with Princeton for the past 20 months. . . . The Posse finished fourth in the Okanagan Division, at 22-24-3-2, then lost a best-of-seven first-round playoff series in five games to the No. 1-seeded Osoyoos Coyotes.
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THE WHL PLAYOFF PICTURE:

EAST DIVISION:
1. Brandon (7 games remaining) — Will finish atop the Eastern Conference for the first time since 1995-96. Will face second wild-card team, presently Edmonton, in first round. . . . At home to Swift Current tonight.
2. Regina (8) needs one point to clinch second in division. Will meet third-place team, presently Swift Current (7), in first round. . . . In Red Deer tonight.
3. Swift Current (7) appeared home free in third place but then lost five in a row and now has Moose Jaw (7) hot on its tail. . . . In Brandon tonight.
4. Moose Jaw (7) is four points behind Swift Current. Moose Jaw also is six points behind Edmonton (6), which holds down the conference’s second wild-card berth. . . . At home to Saskatoon tonight.
5. Prince Albert (8) is six points behind Moose Jaw. . . . At home to Lethbridge tonight.
6. Saskatoon (7) is playing out the string. . . . In Moose Jaw tonight.
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CENTRAL DIVISION:
1. Calgary (7) is atop the division. . . . Division winner gets first wild-card team in opening round. Right now, that’s Kootenay. . . . In Edmonton tonight.
2. Medicine Hat (7) is two points behind Calgary. . . . Entertains Kootenay tonight.
3. Red Deer (7) is five points behind Medicine Hat. . . . At home to Regina tonight.
4. Kootenay (7) is eight points behind Red Deer, and holds down the conference’s first wild-card spot. . . . In Medicine Hat tonight.
5. Edmonton (7) is in the second wild-card spot, three points behind Kootenay. . . . At home to Calgary tonight.
6. Lethbridge (8) won't be in the playoffs again, but there appears to be progress.
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B.C. DIVISION:
1. Kelowna (7) has clinched first place in the Western Conference and will play the second wild-card team, presently Tri-City (7) in the first round. . . . Leads the overall standings by two points over Brandon. . . . At home to Spokane tonight.
2. Victoria (7) will finish second and meet the third-place team — right now, that’s Prince George (7) — in the first round. . . . Completes weekend doubleheader in Prince George tonight.
3. Prince George (7) is third, thanks to a five-game winning streak. It is three points ahead of Kamloops (7) and five up on Vancouver (7). . . . At home to Victoria again tonight.
4. Kamloops (7) will meet Prince George four times in the next two weeks. The Blazers also are two points behind Tri-City (7), which holds down the conference’s second wild-card berth. . . . Plays Seattle in Kent, Wash., tonight.
5. Vancouver (7), which has lost five straight, is two points behind Kamloops. . . . At home to Everett tonight.
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U.S. DIVISION:
1. Everett (7) is in first place, four points ahead of Portland (9). Everett will play the first wild-card team, presently Spokane (9), in the first round. . . . In Vancouver tonight.
2. Portland (9) is on a 7-0-2 roll but hasn’t been able to catch Everett. The second-place team will play the third-place team, likely Seattle (7), in the first round. . . . At home to Tri-City tonight.
3. Seattle (7) trails Portland by eight points. . . . Entertains Kamloops tonight.
4. Spokane (9) is in the first wild-card spot, seven points behind Seattle and seven ahead of Tri-City (7). . . . Is in Kelowna tonight.
5. Tri-City (7) is in the second wild-card spot, two points ahead of Kamloops and four up on Vancouver. . . . Visits Portland tonight.
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IF THE PLAYOFFS BEGAN TODAY:

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

In Prince Albert, F Austin Glover scored two goals to lead the Raiders to a 5-2 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . On Feb. 20, the Raiders beat the Wheat Kings, 6-4. These are Brandon’s only two regulation-time losses in its last 23 games. . . . The Raiders took control with three goals in the first period, with F Sean Montgomery getting his sixth goal at 6:34 and Glover, who has 15 goals, scoring at 11:13 and 14:39. . . . F Reid Gardner and F Simon Stransky each had two assists for the Raiders, who got a goal and an assist from each of F Craig Leverton and F Jordan Tkatch. Leverton has 18 goals; Tkatch has nine. . . . Brandon F Tim McGauley scored his 39th goal and added an assist as he ran his point streak to 21 games. He’s got 44 points, including 14 goals, during that run, the longest in the WHL this season. . . . With 94 points, McGauley is five off the pace being set by Medicine Hat Tigers F Trevor Cox. . . . F Morgan Klimchuk had two assists for Brandon, with F Peter Quenneville scoring his 24th goal and adding an assist. . . . Raiders G Nick McBride stopped 22 shots, six fewer than Brandon’s Jordan Papirny, who was looking for his 40th victory. . . . The Raiders (26-35-3) have won two in a row. . . . Brandon (47-11-7) had points in its previous five games (4-0-1). . . .

Warriors 30thIn Moose Jaw, the Warriors scored the game’s first three goals and went on to beat the Swift Current Broncos, 3-2. . . . The Broncos were without GM/head coach Mark Lamb, who spent the night in hospital in Swift Current. In his absence, associate coach Josh Dixon ran things. . . . F Brayden Point got the home side on the scoreboard with his 31st goal at 10:15 of the first period. . . . F Blake Bargar made it 2-0 with his first career WHL goal at 2:21 of the second. . . . F Brett Howden stretched it to 3-0 with No. 17 at 9:00 of the second, on a PP. . . . The Broncos got back in it on goals by F Carter Rigby, his 17th, at 14:59 of the second and F Colby Cave, his 29th, at 18:51 of the third. . . . Point also had an assist, while F Jack Rodewald had two. . . . Rigby added an assist, too. . . . Warriors G Zach Sawchenko turned aside 37 shots, while Swift Current’s Landon Bow stopped 25. . . . The Warriors were 1-for-3 on the PP; the Broncos were 0-for-2. . . . Moose Jaw D Tyler Brown was back after sitting out three games with an undisclosed injury. . . . The Warriors (28-32-5) have won two straight. . . . The Broncos (30-30-5) have lost five in a row. . . . Matthew Gourlie of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald has a game story right here. . . .

In Saskatoon, F Carter Folk broke a 1-1 tie at 11:37 of the third period as the Lethbridge Hurricanes beat the Blades, 2-1. . . . Lethbridge swept the four-game season series. . . . F Wyatt Sloboshan scored his 10th goal, on a PP, for the Blades at 12:01 of the first period. . . . F Tyler Wong tied it with his 25th, shorthanded, at 9:39 of the second. . . . The Blades were 1-for-3 on the PP; the Hurricanes were 0-for-1. . . . G Stuart Skinner stopped 41 shots for Lethbridge, while Saskatoon’s Brock Hamm turned aside 28. . . . The Hurricanes (20-36-8) beat the Blades (19-42-4) to the 20-victory mark. . . .

In Cranbrook, F Brooks Maxwell and F Riley Sheen scored in a shootout to give the Red Deer Rebels a 2-1 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Maxwell had scored his 21st goal at 4:19 of the first period. . . . The Ice tied it on F Levi Cable’s 27th goal at 15:57 of the third. . . . Ice F Jaedon Descheneau scored to open the shootout and Maxwell then tied it. . . . After Ice F Tim Bozon failed to score, Sheen gave the Rebels a 2-0 lead. When Ice F Sam Reinhart missed, it was over. . . . This was Kootenay’s fourth shootout in five games. They went 2-2. . . . Red Deer G Rylan Toth stopped 30 shots, nine more than the Ice’s Wyatt Hoflin. . . . Red Deer (34-21-10) has won two straight. . . . The Ice (33-28-4) has lost two in a row. . . . Taylor Rocca of the Cranbrook Daily Townsman has a game story right here. . . .

In Edmonton, D Colby Williams and F Taylor Cooper each had a goal and two assists to help the Regina Pats to a 6-4 victory over the Oil Kings. . . . Williams opened the scoring with his eighth goal, via the PP, at 1:36 of the first period. . . . F Sam Steel gave the Pats a 2-0 lead with his 17th goal, shorthanded, at 6:14. . . . The Oil Kings tied it before the end of the period as F Cole Benson got his 10th at 12:26 and F Brandon Baddock got his 17th at 14:03. . . . The Pats took control by scoring the next three goals, two in the second period and one in the third. . . . F Adam Brooks got No. 27 and Cooper got his 25th. . . . Pats F Braden Christoffer added his 22nd at 15:19 of the third, on a PP, to make it 5-2. . . . Christoffer later got the empty-netter. . . . F Edgars Kulda, with his 11th, and F Brett Pollock, with his 31st, made it interesting as they got the Oil Kings to within one with goals at 16:20 and 16:48. . . . D Aaron Irving had two assists for Edmonton. . . . Regina was 2-for-8 on the PP; Edmonton was 0-for-3. . . . Regina (35-20-9) is 2-0-1 in its last three. . . . Edmonton (30-29-7) have points in its previous four games (3-0-1). . . .

In Prince George, the Cougars erased a 2-1 deficit with three third-period goals and beat the Victoria Royals, 4-3. . . . F Jari Erricson of the Cougars tied the score 2-2 at 5:08 of the third with his 22nd goal. . . . F Brad Morrison put the home side ahead with his 21st goal at 8:35 and F Kody McDonald added insurance with his seventh goal at 15:22. . . . Victoria F Greg Chase scored his 20th goal, on a PP, at 16:03. . . . Erricson also had one assist. . . . D Jack Walker drew two assists for the Royals, while Chase had an assist. F Alex Forsberg scored No. 25 and also had an assist. . . . Cougars G Ty Edmonds stopped 34 shots, one more than Justin Paulic of the Royals. . . . Victoria was 3-for-6 on the PP; Prince George was 1-for-4. . . . The Cougars (28-33-4) have won five in a row. . . . The Royals (34-27-4) have lost two straight. . . .

In Portland, F Oliver Bjorkstrand scored four times to lead the Winterhawks to a 7-1 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Bjorkstrand, who has a WHL-leading 52 goals, also finished plus-5. . . . On top of everything else, he set a franchise record by scoring at least once in a 12th straight game. The record had been held by F Tony Currie, who did it in 1975-76, the Winterhawks’ first season in Portland. Currie finished that season with 73 goals in 72 games. . . . It was the third four-goal game of Bjorkstrand’s career. Bjorkstrand, from Herning, Denmark, has 267 points, including 133 goals, in 184 regular-season games. His NHL rights belong to the Columbus Blue Jackets. . . . This season, Bjorkstrand has 95 points, four behind Medicine Hat Tigers F Trevor Cox, who leads the scoring race. . . . Portland F Nic Petan had four assists, giving him 17 helpers over his last five games. He has 63 assists in 45 games. . . . Seattle F Cory Millette scored his 20th goal, at 3:08 of the third period. . . . Portland G Adin Hill stopped 24 shots. . . . The Winterhawks (38-20-5) are 7-0-2 in their last nine outings. . . . Seattle (32-24-9) is 1-1-1 in its last three. . . .

In Kamloops, F Cole Ully scored twice to lead the Blazers to a 4-2 victory over the Spokane Chiefs. . . . Ully, who has 32 goals, scored at 12:03 of the first period for a 1-0 lead. . . . Kamloops F Collin Shirley got his 23rd at 16:54. . . . After Kamloops F Jake Kryski scored his ninth at 2:26 of the second, the Chiefs were never able to get into this one. . . . Kamloops F Matt Needham had two assists. . . . Kamloops G Connor Ingram stopped 36 shots, 10 more than Garret Hughson of the Chiefs. . . . The game featured the WHL’s second- and third-winningest head coaches. Don Hay of the Blazers now has 634 victories, while Spokane’s Don Nachbaur has 629. . . . The Blazers (25-33-7) have points in four straight (3-0-1). . . . The Chiefs (31-28-4) had a four-game winning streak snapped. . . .

In Kennewick, Wash., G Carter Hart stopped 21 shots as the Everett Silvertips beat the Tri-City Americans, 1-0. . . . It was Hart’s fourth shutout in his freshman season. . . . F Remi Laurencelle scored the game’s only goal, his 19th, at 15:02 of the first period. . . . Tri-City G Eric Comrie returned from the injury list to make 30 saves. It was his first appearance since Feb. 20 when the Americans beat Everett 2-1 in a shootout. . . . Everett had a 17-5 edge in second-period shots. . . . The Silvertips were 0-for-3 on the PP; the Americans were 0-for-1. . . . Everett F Carson Stadnyk went to the dressing room with an apparent injury to his right shoulder. . . . The Silvertips (39-19-7) have won two in a row. . . . The Americans are 28-34-3. . . .

In Vancouver, F Tyrell Goulborne scored three times and added an assist as the Kelowna Rockets beat the Giants, 5-2. . . . All of the goals were scored in the third period. . . . Goulbourne, who has 20 goals, signed a three-year deal with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers earlier in the week. . . . He opened the scoring at 2:57 of the first, got his second, shorthanded, at 9:056 of the third and closed the scoring with an empty-netter at 19:50. . . . It was Goulbourne’s second third-goal game this season. . . . Vancouver F Thomas Foster tied it with his 11th goal, shorthanded, at 4:36. . . . Vancouver F Zane Jones was given a boarding major and game misconduct at 4:01 of the third period for a hit on Kelowna D Devante Stephens. Stephens needed help getting back to the Kelowna bench. He did return to action. . . . The game was 1-1 at that point. The Rockets then took control with two PP goals. . . . D Riley Stadel broke the tie with his 10th goal, via a PP, at 6:05. . . . F Leon Draisaitl made it 3-1 as he ran his goal streak to seven games — and his point streak to 10 games — with his 16th goal at 8:40. . . . F Jackson Houck scored his 21st goal and added an assist for the Giants. . . . Kelowna G Michael Herringer stopped 25 shots. . . . Vancouver F Jakob Stukel failed on a first-period penalty shot. . . . Kelowna F Rourke Chartier was expected back in the lineup — his name appears on the online scoresheet — but he was a late scratch. He hasn’t played since Feb. 21. . . . Kelowna F Gage Quinney left in the first period after absorbing a hit from Vancouver D Dmitry Osipov. Quinney didn’t return. . . . The Rockets (49-11-5) are 1-1-1 in their last three. . . . The Giants (26-36-3), who had been blanked in each of their last two games, have lost five in a row. . . . Larry Fisher of the Kelowna Daily Courier has a game story right here.
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SATURDAY’S GAMES

(all times local)
Lethbridge at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.
Saskatoon at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.
Swift Current at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Calgary at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
Regina at Red Deer, 7 p.m.
Kootenay at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.
Everett at Vancouver, 7 p.m.
Victoria at Prince George, 7 p.m.
Tri-City at Portland, 7 p.m.
Spokane at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.
Kamloops vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:05 p.m.
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SUNDAY’S GAMES

No Games Scheduled
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MONDAY’S GAMES

No Games Scheduled
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