Sunday, May 24, 2015

Generals need OT to stay perfect . . . Rockets, Oceanic on tap today . . . No Draisaitl was Oilers call

D Zack FitzGerald (Seattle, 2001-05) signed a one-year contract with the Sheffield Steelers (England, UK Elite). This season, as a player-assistant coach with the Braehead Clan Glasgow (Scotland, UK Elite), he had two goals and 12 assists in 50 games.


The Oshawa Generals clinched a Memorial Cup playoff berth on Sunday, beating the host Quebec Remparts 5-4 in OT before 10,970 fans. . . . The OHL-champion Generals are 2-0; the Remparts 1-1. . . . The OHLGenerals, who outshot the Remparts 50-25, forced OT with a goal late in the third period, then won it on D Stephen Desrocher’s goal at 18:07 of OT. His wrist shot glanced in off the crossbar. . . . The goal came off a faceoff win by F Cole Cassels, who had been on the bench for a bit trying to recover after blocking a shot. . . . All three games in this tournament have been decided by one goal. . . . Tonight, the WHL-champion Kelowna Rockets (0-1) meet the QMJHL-champion Rimouski Oceanic (0-1). . . . Quebec F Dmytro Timashov scored twice, his second goal, at 8:48 of the third period, giving the Remparts their first lead of the game, 4-3. . . . The Generals forced OT when F Tobias Lindberg scored on the PP at 17:51. Before that goal, Oshawa’s PP was 0-for-8 in the tournament. . . . Cassels finished minus-1 but he drew an assist on each of Oshawa’s last two goals. . . . Quebec G Zach Fucale stopped 45 shots, 24 more than Oshawa’s Ken Appleby. . . . The Remparts were 1-for-3 on the PP; the Generals were 1-for-4. . . .
Doyle Potenteau of the Kelowna Daily Courier sets the stage for tonight’s game: “Without doubt, the Generals (2-0) will be rooting for the Oceanic (0-1) to defeat the Rockets (0-1) today. If Rimouski wins, Oshawa will
 advance to Sunday’s championship game, regardless if the Rockets beat the Generals on Tuesday. . . . Sunday’s game was the third consecutive one-goal contest to open the 2015 Memorial Cup. The last time a championship opened with three straight one-goal outcomes was 2008.”
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, May 24: Quebec 4 vs. Oshawa 5 (OT) (10,970)
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.
Kinsey Millhone has nothing on Sunaya Sapurji, one of the junior hockey writers for Yahoo! Sports Canada.
When F Leon Draisaitl didn’t play for Germany in the 2015 World Junior Championship, Sapurji wanted to know whether that was his decision or one made by the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, the team whose roster Draisaitl was on at the time.
(The Oilers later assigned Draisaitl to the WHL, but told the Prince Albert Raiders, with whom he had played in 2013-14, that they wanted him with the Kelowna Rockets. Draisaitl was dealt to the Rockets and was the WHL’s playoff MVP.)
Sapurji didn’t have any success finding an answer to her question during the tournament but she didn’t give up. On Sunday, she tweeted that she had gotten the answer from Draisaitl and that it was a decision made by the Oilers.
“That wasn’t really my decision, to be honest,” Draisaitl told reporters at the Memorial Cup. “It was the Oilers’ decision. I don’t want to comment too much on it. It’s their decision and I’m happy with whatever would have happened.”

Without Draisaitl in its lineup, Germany ended up being relegated.
“It’s never fun to see your country go down, especially your age-group,” Draisaitl said. “It’s kind of funny, all my best friends are on that team. I’ve played with all those guys for a number of years. It’s not easy to see something like that, so, obviously it’s disappointing. I would have loved to help them out a little bit at least. But at the same time, I played in the NHL, and that’s a kid’s dream. There’s nothing bad I have to say about that.”

Jay Isbee, the governor of Washington, has signed a bill that makes players on the state’s four WHL teams amateur athletes. That exempts those teams from any minimum wage-related laws. However, Scott Sepich, writing for Yahoo! Sports Canada, reports right here that the story may not yet be over.
F Andrew Johnson, who played out his junior eligibility this season with the BCHL’s West Kelowna Warriors, has committed to the U of Saskatchewan and the Huskies for next season. Johnson, who is from Saskatoon, played with the Moose Jaw Warriors, Seattle Thunderbirds and Swift Current Broncos (2010-15). He was a second-round selection by the Warriors in the WHL’s 2009 bantam draft.

Tyler Richards, a goaltender with the NLL’s Vancouver Stealth, is retiring at the age of 28. Why? Because he has had three concussions in the last five years, all from being hit in the head by shots. . . . Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province has that story right here.

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