Saturday, May 23, 2015

Generals get past Oceanic . . . Rockets pay price for 'negative comments' . . . Tochkin turns to coaching

The OHL-champion Oshawa Generals eked out a 4-3 victory over the QMJHL-champion Rimouski Oceanic before 8,409 fans at the Memorial Cup in Quebec City on Saturday. . . . On Friday, the tournament opened with the host Quebec Remparts beating the WHL-champion Kelowna Rockets, 4-3. . . . The Remparts and Generals will clash this afternoon, with the Rockets and Oceanic meeting Monday night. . . . Only the left shoulder of Ottawa G Ken Appleby prevented OT as he beat Rimouski F Alexis Loiseau with six seconds left in the third period. The Oceanic was shorthanded at the time and had G Philippe Desrosiers on the bench for the extra attacker when Loiseau came loose directly in front of Appleby. Loiseau tried to go high on Appleby, and the puck hit him on the shoulder and ricocheted just wide of the post. . . .  The Generals appeared to take control of the game in the first period, as they led 2-0 before the 10-minute mark. . . . However, the Oceanic scored two goals 44 seconds apart late in the period and the teams were even going into the second. . . . Oshawa went back in front at 18:33 of the second when D Stephen Desrocher scored directly off a face-off win by F Cole Cassels. . . . Rimouski tied it at 3:46 of the third, on a PP, with D Jan Kostalek getting the goal. . . . The game-winner came at 9:24 when F Hunter Smith fired a long shot at Desrosiers and was able to get to his own rebound and score. . . . Rimouski’s chances were damaged late when it was penalized for too many men as it tried to get Desrosiers off for the extra attacker. . . . Desrosiers finished with 33 saves, 14 more than Appleby. . . . Rimouski was 1-for-4 on the PP; Oshawa was 0-for-5. . . . Brett Iverson, the lone WHL referee in the tournament, worked this game. . . . There was hardly any post-whistle shenanigans in this one, certainly not in comparison to all that went on in Friday’s game.
On Saturday afternoon, the CHL tweeted: “Kelowna Rockets fined $500 for a member of organization approaching #CHL Hockey Ops Dept. and making negative comments regarding officiating.”
No one has coughed up the name of the person who made the “negative comments,” but speculation is that someone complained about the misconduct penalty assessed to F Leon Draisaitl following the buzzer to end the second period. (Feel free to take part in our poll over there on the right.)
Of all the calls made during Kelowna’s 4-3 loss to the host Quebec Remparts, none had a larger impact than the one that took Draisaitl off the ice for the first half of the third period.
Here is the Memorial Cup schedule (all games on Sportsnet; all times Eastern):
Friday, May 22: Kelowna 3 vs. Quebec 4 (9,497)
Saturday, May 23: Rimouski 3 vs. Oshawa 4 (8,409)
Sunday: Quebec vs. Oshawa, 4:30 p.m.
Monday: Rimouski vs. Kelowna, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday: Oshawa vs. Kelowna, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday: Quebec vs. Rimouski, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday: Tiebreaker, if necessary, 7:30 p.m.
Friday: Semifinal, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday: Championship game, 7 p.m.

OHLAccording to court filings made Friday, the OHL’s Erie Otters are US$5.4 million in debt, that includes $296,688 owing to former player Brad Boyes, who now is with the NHL’s Florida Panthers. . . . The money owing Boyes is from a loan he made to the team almost six years ago. . . . Ed Palattella has more on this story right here from

Michael Beschloss provided a terrific read in Saturday’s New York Times. It’s right here and it deals with the M&M Boys — Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris — and the home run race of 1961. . . . You may want to check out the comments, too.


Former WHL F Kellan Tochkin is the new head coach of the Everett Jr. Silvertips 16U AAA team. Tochkin, 24, has decided to retire as a player to coach the Tier 1 elite midget team. . . . In the WHL, Tochkin, who is from Abbotsford, B.C., played for the Everett Silvertips, Medicine Hat Tigers and Prince Albert Raiders (2006-12). . . . He played three seasons of professional hockey, making stops in the Central league and ECHL, and in Sweden.
NAHLAlmost every time a coach is fired, the team issues a news release, thanking the coach for the time he has given to the organization and wishing him the best of luck.
Not the NAHL’s Austin, Minn., Bruins, who fired general manager and head coach Chris Tok on Friday, after five years on the job. He is the only GM and head coach the franchise has known. The relationship doesn’t seem to have ended well.
Here is an excerpt from the team-issued news release:
“No one doubts coach Tok's ability to have success on the ice. In fact we believe that Chris is one of the best coaches in the NAHL. Unfortunately being head coach/ general manager involves far more than coaching. The position requires the exercise of solid managerial decisions behind the scenes, and it requires those managerial decisions be focused primarily on the long-term interests of the team.
“Over the years as coach of the Austin Bruins, Chris Tok made a number of managerial decisions which were not consistent with the team's interests nor consistent with team policy. Those decisions have created tension and conflict between Chris Tok and management which has proven difficult to resolve. In light of those managerial issues and the conflict they have produced, the team has decided to seek a new head coach.”
Assistant coach Jamie Huffman, who resigned earlier in the week, told ABC 6 News, that the Bruins had been "planning (to fire Tok) since February.” Huffman also said the firing was an "absolute shame.”
Jason Feldman of the Rochester, Minn., Post-Bulletin has more right here.

Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports that the Columbus Blue Jackets haven’t yet decided whether to sign F Peter Quenneville, who played out his junior eligibility this season with the Brandon Wheat Kings. Quenneville was a seventh-round selection in the NHL’s 2013 draft. . . . Portzline’s piece is right here.
To date, the 2015 Hockey Coaches Conference has two NHL head coaches on its roster of presenters — Willie Desjardins of the Vancouver Canucks and Mike Johnston of the Pittsburgh Penguins. . . . The conference is scheduled for July 24 and 25 in Vancouver. . . . There’s more right here.

Gary Bettman, the NHL commissioner, spoke with reporters on Thursday, during an intermission in the playoff game between the host Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks. At one point, Bettman had something to say about chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Nicholas J. Cotsonika writes right here that Bettman should have kept quiet. . . . If you are interested in a balanced look at the NHL and concussions, this is it.

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