Thursday, April 2, 2015

Tigers, Royals in control . . . Winterhawks pull even with T-Birds . . . Coaches in war of words

D Vladimír Sičák (Medicine Hat, 1998-2000) signed a two-year extension with Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic, Extraliga). This season, he had three goals and 12 assists in 50 games. . . .
F Ryon Moser (Lethbridge, Swift Current, 2008-13) has signed a three-year contract with Ambrì-Piotta (Switzerland, NL A). This season, with the University of Lethbridge (CIS), he had four goals and 10 assists in 27 games. Moser, who has dual Canadian-Swiss citizenship, had tryouts with Ambrì-Piotta in the summers of 2012 and 2014. . . .
Altant Mytishchi (Russia, KHL) has traded the rights to G Andrei Makarov (Saskatoon, 2011-13) and F Vladimir Bobylyov (Vancouver Giants, 2014-15) to SKA St. Petersburg (Russia, KHL) for monetary compensation. This season, with Rochester (AHL), Makarov was 2.98, .902 in 37 games, while Bobylyov, 17, had three goals and six assists in 52 games with Vancouver. . . . Atlanta is in financial trouble.


In Red Deer, G Marek Langhamer turned aside 39 shots to lead the Medicine Hat Tigers to a 5-3 victory over the Rebels. . . . The Tigers lead the series 3-1 as it goes back to Medicine Hat for Game 5 on Saturday night. . . . The Rebels got the game’s first goal, from D Haydn Fleury at 3:37 of the first period, but the Tigers scored the next four. . . . The visitors tied it on F Cole Sanford’s third goal of the series at 19:40 and took the lead when F Trevor Cox got his second goal at 3:09 of the second. . . . F Steve Owre upped the lead to 3-1 at 10:34. . . . Each team scored twice in the third, with Red Deer getting to within one on F Wyatt Johnson’s shorthanded goal at 19:36. . . . Owre, F Markus Eisenschmid, who scored an empty-netter at 19:59 of the third, Sanford and Cox each had a goal and an assist for the Tigers. . . . Fleury also had an assist, while F Presten Kopeck had two of them. . . . Red Deer G Rylan Toth stopped 38 shots. . . . The Tigers were 1-for-5 on the PP; the Rebels were 0-for-4. . . . F Chad Butcher, a 51-point man in the regular season, was among the Tigers’ scratches. He has a hand injury after blocking a shot in Game 3 on Wednesday. He will be re-evaluated today. . . . The Rebels and Tigers now have combined for 15 goals in four games; the Calgary Hitmen and Kootenay Ice have scored 36 times in their four games. . . . Attendance was 5,946.

In Kent, Wash., the Portland Winterhawks scored twice before the game was three minutes old and were never headed as they beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 8-5. . . . The series is tied 2-2 as the teams head for Portland and Game 5 on Saturday night. Game 6 is scheduled for Kent on Tuesday. . . . Last night’s attendance was 3,021, and that’s 3,098 fewer than showed up for Game 3 on Tuesday when it was 2-for-Tuesday, meaning you could get hots dogs, soft drinks popcorn and, yes, beer for $2 each. . . . Portland F Chase De Leo scored his first goal of the series just 54 seconds into the first period and F Alex Overhardt added his first goal at 2:15. . . . F Ryan Gropp got Seattle to within one at 17:43, but the Winterhawks came back with the only three goals of the second period — D Adam Henry got his second of the series, F Nic Petan got his third and F Keegan Iverson got his first. . . . Seattle outscored the visitors 4-3 in the third but it was too little, too late. . . . Portland F Oliver Bjorkstrand, who led the WHL in goals and points in the regular season, scored his second goal of the series and added either three or four assists. The online scoresheet shows three; a news release from the Winterhawks gave him four. . . . De Leo added two assists to his goal, while Petan finished with two goals and an assist. . . . Gropp and D Shea Theodore each had a goal and two assists for the Thunderbirds. . . . Portland G Adin Hill stopped 34 shots. . . . Seattle starter Taran Kozun surrendered five goals on 22 shots. Logan Flodell came in with Portland leading 5-1 at 15:03 of the second period. He stopped 19 of 21 shots. . . . Portland was 2-for-4 on the PP; Seattle was 2-for-3.

In Prince George, G Coleman Vollrath stopped 24 shots to help the Victoria Royals to a 3-0 victory over the Cougars. . . . The Royals lead the series 3-1 with Game 5 in Victoria on Saturday night. . . . This was the first shutout by the Royals in franchise history. . . . D Tyler Brown opened the scoring at 4:40 of the second period. . . . The Royals got third-period goals from F Regan Nagy (0:46, shorthanded) and F Alex Forsberg (14:53, PP). . . . Brown and Nagy each added an assist; F Brandon Magee had two assists. . . . Cougars G Ty Edmonds turned aside 21 shots. . . . The Royals were 1-for-3 on the PP; the Cougars were 0-for-8. . . . Attendance was 4,448.

Finally, there is some off-ice action in these WHL playoffs. It seems that Spokane Chiefs head coach Don Nachbaur accused the Everett Silvertips of diving early in their series. Now, with Game 4 tonight in Spokane, Everett head coach Kevin Constantine has fired back. . . . Nick Patterson of the Everett Herald has that story right here. . . . Finally, something that would bring smiles to the faces of Wild Bill Hunter, Ben Hatskin and Scotty Munro.
D James Hilsendager of the Regina Pats will miss the first two games of their second-round series with the Brandon Wheat Kings. Hilsendager drew a three-game suspension for a headshot on Swift Current Broncos F Jake DeBrusk in Game 3 of that series. While Hilsendager wasn’t penalized at the time, DeBrusk wasn’t able to play in the OT period of a game the Broncos lost 5-4. He also didn’t play in Game 4 on Wednesday as the visiting Pats won 4-0 to sweep the series. . . . Hilsendager will miss Games 1 and 2 in Brandon on April 10 and 11.——
F Chance Braid of the Kelowna Rockets will sit out the first game of their second-round series against either the Victoria Royals or Prince George Cougars. He and F Max James of the Tri-City Americans each have been suspended for one game after their fight four seconds into a game in Kennewick, Wash., on Wednesday night. . . . James will serve his suspension at the start of the 2015-16 season. . . . The Rockets and Americans were fined $250 apiece, as well.
The Edmonton Oil Kings drew fewer than 16,000 fans to their three home playoff games against the Brandon Wheat Kings. Still, Kevin Radomski, Edmonton’s director of business operations, said the Oil Kings were “very happy” with that. . . . Chris O’Leary of the Edmonton Journal has more right here.
If you are into numbers or follow U.S. politics, you will be familiar with the name Nate Silver. In his latest essay at, Silver starts by writing: “The NHL’s ‘loser point’ is the stupidest rule in sports.” . . . He goes on to explain why that is, and then he offers up a solution. . . . Give it a read right here.

D Justin Hamonic of the Tri-City Americans will finish the season with the ECHL’s Alaska Aces. Hamonic, 20, was the Americans’ captain. He was a fifth-round pick by Tri-City in the 2009 bantam draft. Hamonic is to join the Aces today in West Valley City, Utah, where they are scheduled to play the Grizzlies tonight and Saturday. . . .
Colin (Toledo) Robinson and Tim O’Donovan of the Kamloops Blazers have been added to the staff of the Canadian U-18 team that will play in the IIHF World championship in Lucerne and Zug, Switzerland, April 16-26. . . . Robinson, who is the Blazers’ athletic trainer, will be Canada’s equipment manager. O’Donovan, the Blazers’ director of hockey/media administration, will be Canada’s video manager. . . . Both men are available because the Blazers didn’t qualify for the WHL playoffs. . . .
Scott Fisher of the Calgary Sun notes that Hitmen F Adam Tambellini is one  of three players in franchise history with two OT goals. Tambellini won Games 2 and 3 of the first-round series with the Kootenay Ice. “His back-to-back overtime winners will remind Hitmen fans of current Winnipeg Jets captain Andrew Ladd, who also scored sudden-death winners in consecutive games to eliminate the Lethbridge Hurricanes in 2005,” Fisher writes. “The only other Hitmen player with multiple OT goals is Ian Schultz.” . . . The Hitmen hold a 3-1 lead over the Ice with Game 5 in Calgary tonight. . . . That game will be televised by Shaw. . . .
The Everett Silvertips will meet the Chiefs in Spokane tonight in Game 4 of their first-round series. The game will be televised live on SWX in the Spokane area. . . . The game also will feature a silent auction on the Spokane Arena’s concourse, with proceeds going to the Chiefs’ education fund.

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