Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wheaties one win from final . . . Rockets pull even with 'Hawks . . . Howse is coach of year








F Dustin Cameron (Saskatoon, Prince Albert, 2004-10) has signed a one-year contract with Bad Nauheim (Germany, DEL2). This season, with Heilbronner Falken (Germany, DEL2), he had 19 goals and 31 assists in 51 games. He led his team in goals, assists and points. . . .
F Danis Zaripov (Swift Current, 1998-99) has signed a two-year extension with Metallurg Magnitogorsk (Russia, KHL). This season, in 60 games, he had 64 points, including 24 goals. An alternate captain, he was third in the league’s scoring race.
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WEDNESDAY’S GAMES:


In Calgary, the Brandon Wheat Kings struck for five second-period goals as they ran away with a 8-3 victory over the Hitmen. . . . The Wheat Kings lead the Eastern Conference final 3-1 and get their first chance to wrap it up at home on Friday night. . . . The Wheat Kings have outscored the Hitmen 21-11 in the four games. . . . Last night, Calgary F Layne Bensmiller’s first WHL playoff goal gave his side a 1-0 lead at 13:46 of the first period. . . . That goal also gave the Hitmen their first lead of the series; they won Game 3 in OT. . .
. However, the Wheat Kings scored the game’s next five goals. . . . Brandon F John Quenneville tied it with his eighth goal, as he tipped home a point shot by D Reid Gow at 19:00 of the first. . . . F Jayce Hawrylyk (8), F Braylon Shmyr (3), F Morgan Klimchuk (2) and F Nolan Patrick (6) scored in a span of 9:10 as the visitors took control. . . . Shmyr and Klimchuk both are from Calgary, while Klimchuk was a first-round selection by the Calgary Flames in the NHL’s 2013 draft. . . . Klimchuk’s goal resulted in a goaltending change for Calgary, with Mack Shields replacing Brendan Burke. The Wheat Kings then scored on each of their first two shots on Shields. . . . Calgary F Pavel Karnaukhov got his fifth goal at 15:58 of the second period, cutting the Brandon lead to 5-2. However, the Wheat Kings got that one back 30 seconds later when F Tyson Coulter scored his fifth goal. . . . By the time it was over, the Wheat Kings had eight separate goal scorers. . . . F Peter Quenneville scored his seventh and added two assists, while Klimchuk added two helpers to his goal, and F Tim McGauley drew two assists. . . . Hawryluk and F John Quenneville each had a goal and an assist. . . . D Jake Bean and D Travis Sanheim each had two assists for Calgary. . . . On the PP while trailing 7-3, Calgary put Burke on the bench for the extra attacker with more than seven minutes left in the third period. Brandon D Colton Waltz hit the empty net for his first WHL playoff goal at 12:49. . . . If you are looking for a key, it may have been each team’s PP. Calgary was 0-for-3 on the PP when Brandon scored on its first PP, that goal coming from Hawryluk at 6:03 of the second period. . . . Brandon was 2-for-4 on the PP; Calgary was 1-for-7. . . . Brandon G Jordan Papirny stopped 28 shots. . . . Brandon scored eight goals on 30 shots. . . . The Wheat Kings again scratched, among others, D Kale Clague, F Reid Duke and F Tanner Kaspick. . . . The Hitmen were again without F Chase Lang, F Connor Rankin and F Jake Virtanen. Virtanen served Game 3 of a three-game suspension for a hit on Kaspick in Game 1. . . . Calgary F Elliott Peterson left in the third period after absorbing a hit from Brandon F John Quenneville. . . . The referees were Matt Kirk and Steve Papp. . . . The attendance was 5,672. . . . Laurence Heinen wrote this game story for the Calgary Herald.

In Portland, F Tyrell Goulbourne’s first goal of these playoffs stood up as the winner as the Kelowna Rockets beat the Winterhawks, 3-2. . . . The series is tied 2-2. . . . Game 5 is scheduled for Kelowna on Friday night, with Game 6 back in Portland on Sunday. . . . The Rockets held a long team meeting after dropping a 7-3 decision on Tuesday night. . . . Last night, Portland F Chase De Leo opened the scoring with his fifth goal, just 1:12 into the first period. . . . Kelowna scored the game’s next three goals. . . . F Leon Draisaitl tied the score with his sixth goal at 7:50 of the first. . . . F Chance Braid broke the tie
with his second playoff goal, at 2:40 of the second. . . . Goulbourne, who had come up short on two earlier shorthanded breakaways, stretched the lead to 3-1 at 9:16 of the second, on a PP. . . . Portland F Nic Petan ran his point streak to 15 games with his ninth goal at 12:03 of the second. He also set a franchise record by playing in his 86th career playoff game. The previous record had been held by D Derrick Pouliot. . . . Petan is tied with Calgary F Adam Tambellini for the playoff scoring lead, each with 25 points. . . . Portland was presented with a late PP when Kelowna D Madison Bowey took a delay-of-game penalty at 19:04 of the third period. The Winterhawks put G Adin Hill on the bench for the extra attacker but weren’t able to equalize. . . . Rockets F Nick Merkley had two assists, while Draisaitl added an assist to his goal. . . . Kelowna G Jackson Whistle was the game’s first star, with 40 saves, just one night after being yanked. . . . Hill turned aside 25 shots. . . . The Rockets added F Rourke Chartier to their scratches. With him out, perhaps with a shoulder injury, D Mitchell Wheaton checked into the lineup. . . . The Rockets continued to play without F Gage Quinney and F Justin Kirkland. . . . With Chartier out and Wheaton back in, D Devante Stephens moved up to the forward ranks. . . . Kelowna was 1-for-3 on the PP; Portland was 0-for-6. . . . The referees were Jeff Ingram and Brent Iverson. . . . Attendance was 8,629.
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Marty Klyne, a long-time Regina businessman, has joined the Regina Pats as their chief operating officer. According to a news release, Klyne “will be responsible for all facets of the business, focusing on fan experience and operational excellence. His responsibilities include revenue, sales growth, costs and financial goal management.” . . . Klyne is a former publisher and CEO of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix and Regina Leader-Post. He also was president and CEO of the Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation and COO of the Regina Regional Economic Development Authority (now the Regina Regional Opportunities Commission.
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It appears that the Wenatchee Wild be in the BCHL’s Mainland Division when next season gets here. Brian Wiebe, over at Brian’s Banter, has more, including a chart showing the mileage between Wenatchee and the other Mainland Division teams. Keep in mind that the Prince George Spruce Kings are in that division. . . . Brian’s Banter is right here. There also is a link to it over there on the right.
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In the QMJHL, the Rimouski Oceanic blanked the host Val-d’Or Foreurs 6-0 last night to sweep the semifinal series, 4-0. The Oceanic will meet the Quebec Remparts in the championship final. Because the Remparts are the host team for the Memorial Cup, both teams advance to the championship tournament.
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In the OHL, D Stephen Desrocher broke a 2-2 tie at 8:23 of the third period to give the visiting Oshawa Generals a 3-2 victory over the North Bay Battalion. . . . That semifinal is 2-2 with Game 5 in Oshawa on Friday night. . . . The other series, with the Erie Otters holding a 3-1 lead on the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, continues tonight in the Soo. Erie has won three straight games in that series.
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Ryan Howse, who starred with the WHL’s Chilliwack Bruins (2007-11), has been named Prince George’s minor hockey coach of the year for his work with a Bantam Tier 2 team. Howse, 23, was a third-round pick by the Calgary Flames in the NHL’s 2009 draft.
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THE COACHING GAME:

The OHL’s Kitchener Rangers have fired head coach Troy Smith, while re-signing general manager Murray Hiebert. . . . Smith’s contract was to expire in July. . . . Hiebert now is signed through 2017-18. . . . The Rangers went 32-26-10 in the regular season, then lost a first-round playoff series to the London Knights in six games. . . . It is believed that assistant coach Mike Van Ryn, a former NHLer, is in the running as the next head coach. The Rangers also are negotiating for the return of Mike McKenzie, another assistant coach.
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The AJHL’s Lloydminster Bobcats have announced that Gord Thibodeau now is their general manager and head coach. Garry VanHereweghe, who also is a coach with the Bobcats, had been the GM. VanHereweghe stays on as coach and assistant GM. All of this was agreed to when Thibodeau was hired on May 1. . . . The Bobcats also announced that assistant coach Kris Wiebe is returning, as are Curtis Johnson, the strength and conditioning coach, and athletic therapist Jeff Sotkowy. They also have hired Tom Keca as head scout.
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Brent Clarke has resigned as head coach of the Federal Hockey League’s Watertown Wolves, this season’s playoff champions. The Wolves, in their inaugural season, won the regular-season title and went on to win the Commissioner’s Cup. Clarke was named the FHL’s coach of the year.
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