Monday, April 13, 2015

Hitmen hang on for win . . . Manitoba Hockey Hall names inductees . . . Stewart off to ECHL








F Matt MacKay (Moose Jaw, Medicine Hat, Vancouver, Brandon, 2008-11) signed one-year contract with the Augsburger Panther (Germany, DEL). This season, with Eispiraten Crimmitschau (Germany, DEL2), he had 24 goals and 20 assists. He led his team in goals. MacKay is a dual Canadian-German citizen. . . .
D Paul Kurceba (Red Deer, Kootenay, 2003-08) has signed a one-year contract with the Melbourne Ice (Australia, AIHL). This season, with the Okotoks Drillers (Chinook Hockey League), he had one goal and 10 assists in 19 games. The AIHL season starts on April 25.
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MONDAY’S GAME:

In Calgary, the Hitmen erased an early 2-0 deficit with five straight goals and then hung on to beat the Medicine Hat Tigers, 5-4. . . . The Hitmen hold a 2-1 edge in the series. . . . The teams will return to Medicine Hat for Game 4 on Wednesday, with Game 5 in Calgary on Friday. . . . F Chad Labelle and Steve Owre gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead before the game was three minutes old. . . . Calgary tied it on goals by F Adam Tambellini, at 6:20, and F Kenton Helgesen, on a PP, at 10:36. . . . Another PP goal, this one from F Connor Rankin, gave the Hitmen their first lead, at 13:28. . . . Helgesen has six goals; Rankin has nine. . . . Calgary D Travis Sanheim stretched the lead to 4-2 with his fourth goal, at 2:14 of the second, on another PP. . . . Tambellini upped it to 5-2 with his second of the game and ninth of the playoffs, at 5:17. . . . The Tigers made it interesting on Labelle’s second goal of the game, and second of the playoffs, at 3:09 of the third, and F Dryden Hunt’s fourth goal, at 6:04. . . . Medicine Hat F Trevor Cox rang one off the cross-bar late in the third period. . . . Special teams obviously were key in this one. Calgary was 3-for-5 on the PP; Medicine Hat was 0-for-4. . . . The Hitmen got a total of four goals and four assists from their three 20-year-olds — Helgesen, Rankin and Tambellini. . . . Tambellini also had two assists; he leads the playoffs in assists (10) and points (19). He and Rankin share the goal-scoring lead, each with nine. . . . Sanheim also had two assists. . . . F Blake Penner and F Cole Sanford each had two assists for the Tigers. . . . Calgary G Mack Shields stopped 29 shots, while Medicine Hat’s Marek Langhamer turned aside 26. . . . A note from Scott Fisher of the Calgary Sun: “Including the regular season, the Tigers have outshot the Hitmen in nine straight games.” . . . The Tigers remain without F Chad Butcher (hand), who was injured in Game 3 of their first-round series. . . . The Hitmen continue to play without D Jake Bean, who has an undisclosed injury. They also are without F Chase Lang, who suffered a right leg injury in Game 2. . . . Attendance was 5,297, the Hitmen’s smallest crowd of this season.
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F Morgan Klimchuk of the Brandon Wheat Kings skated in the early portion of practice on Monday but isn’t expected to play in Game 3 of their series against the Pats in Regina tonight. The Wheat Kings lead that series, 2-0. . . . Klimchuk, who was acquired from Regina in January, has missed Brandon’s past four games. . . .
The Pats aren’t expected to have D Sergey Zborovsky, F Rykr Cole or D Chase Harrison in their lineup tonight. . . . Zborovsky has been hit with a ‘tbd’ suspension after taking an interference major and game misconduct in Game 2. Brandon F Jayce Hawryluk was injured on the play and may sit tonight. . . . Cole was injured after taking a hit from F Tanner Kaspick in Game 1 in Brandon, while Harrison went down in Game 2 after a hit from Hawryluk. . . . Regina F Taylor Cooper didn’t practice on Monday for undisclosed reasons. . . . Regina will have D James Hilsendager back in its lineup as he has completed a three-game WHL-issued suspension.
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John Paddock, the Regina Pats’ vice-president of hockey operations and head coach, and former NHL coach Andy Murray head up the 2015 inductees to the Manitoba hockey Hall of Fame. . . . The induction ceremony is scheduled for Winnipeg on Oct. 3. . . . Paddock, who is from Oak River, Man., played for the Brandon Wheat Kings and also worked as general manager and head coach of the Winnipeg Jets. . . . Paddock, who also is in the AHL Hall of Fame, is being inducted as a builder, along with Al Hares of Selkirk and Murray, who is from Souris and now is the head coach at Western Michigan. . . . Those going in as players include Winnipeg’s Cam Connor (Winnipeg, Flin Flon, 1971-73), Elkhorn’s Sheldon Kennedy (Moose Jaw, Swift Current, 1984-89), Curt Ridley (Brandon, 1970-71), who grew up in Portage la Prairie, and the late Cully Wilson, an Icelandic-Canadian who played in the early 1900s. . . . Others being inducted are the late Dianne Woods of Winnipeg (builder), Gerry Varnes of Winnipeg (official), and Scott Oake of Winnipeg (media). . . . Three teams also will be inducted — the 1953-54 Dauphin Kings, the 1979-80 Transcona Railers and the 1975-76 Deloraine Royals.
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F Liam Stewart, who played out his junior eligibility with the Spokane Chiefs this season, has signed with the ECHL’s Quad City Mallards. Stewart had career highs in goals (25), assists (28) and points (53) this season. In 251 career regular-season games, all with the Chiefs, he had 132 points, including 57 goals. . . .
It turns out that two of the scouts mentioned here yesterday did lose their jobs when the Toronto Maple Leafs began cleaning house on Sunday. Roy Stasiuk and Darryl Stanley both are gone; among those kept on the scouting staff was Garth Malarchuk. . . .
Hungary finished 2-3 at the IIHF Division 1 Group B women’s world championship that wrapped up Sunday in Beijing. Dwayne Gylywoychuk, a former WHL player and coach, was the Hungarian team’s head coach. It finished fourth in the six-team affair that was won by Slovakia. . . .
The Edmonton Oilers have missed the NHL playoffs each of the past nine seasons. Interestingly, when Edmonton GM Craig MacTavish met with the media on Monday, his message was that next season will be “another developmental year.” . . . John MacKinnon of the Edmonton Journal has his reaction right here.
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THE COACHING GAME:

The ECHL’s Brampton Beast fired Brent Hughes, their vice-president of hockey operations and head coach, on Monday, one day after its season ended. . . . The Beast went 23-46-3, finishing last in the Western Conference’s Central Division. . . . Hughes was an assistant coach with the Beast last season when it was in the Central league. He took over as head coach prior to this season. . . . The Beast also announced that Phil Oreskovic will return as an assistant coach next season. He retired as a player earlier this season and joined the Beast’s coaching staff in January.
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