Monday, May 11, 2015

Kelowna one win from title; can finish it on Wednesday . . . First two draft picks sign








F Gaelan Patterson (Saskatoon, 2006-10) signed a one-year contract with Sparta Sarpsborg (Norway, GET-Ligaen). This season, with the Idaho Steelheads (ECHL), he had 11 goals and 25 assists in 71 games.
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MONDAY’S GAME:

In Kelowna, F Rourke Chartier scored twice and added an assist to help the Rockets to a 5-3 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . The Rockets lead the championship series for the Ed Chynoweth Cup 3-0 and get their first chance to close it out on Wednesday night at home. . . . This certainly hasn’t turned into the series most observers were expecting, but it does fit in with the rest of this spring’s playoff rounds. With this series yet to be completed, the WHL has had two series go four games this season, with eight decided in five, three in six and one in seven. . . . Kelowna F Leon Draisaitl opened the scoring with his ninth goal, shorthanded, at 6:35 of the first period. . . . Brandon tied it on F Morgan Klimchuk’s PP goal at 7:48 — he’s got three goals — but Kelowna responded with the game’s next three goals. . . . F Gage Quinney put Kelowna back out in front 59 seconds later, with his sixth playoff goal. . . . F Dillon Dube got his fifth at 4:15 of the second period and Chartier made it 4-1 at 15:02. . . . Brandon F Nolan Patrick scored his eighth goal at 15:28 of the second and F Tim McGauley got his eighth, at 10:06 of the third, to get the visitors to within one. . . . But Chartier iced it with his 12th of the playoffs at 13:48. . . . Rockets F Nick Merkley had three assists, while Draisaitl and Quinney had an assist each. . . . Draisaitl has 26 points, two behind Calgary F Adam Tambellini, who leads the scoring race. . . . Kelowna G Jackson Whistle stopped 26 shots, one fewer than Brandon’s Jordan Papirny. . . . Brandon was 1-for-3 on the PP; Kelowna was 0-for-5. . . . The referees were Matt Kirk and Steve Papp. . . . Attendance was 6,271.
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The Spokane Chiefs have signed D Ty Smith, the first overall selection in the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft. Smith, 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds, is from Lloydminster, Alta. . . . The only other time the Chiefs held the first overall selection was in 2006 when they took D Jared Cowen. . . . This season, Smith had 28 points, including nine goals, in 16 games with the bantam prep team at the Delta, B.C., Hockey Academy.
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The Lethbridge Hurricanes have signed D Calen Addison, the second overall selection in the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft. Addison, 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds, is from Brandon where he played this season with the bantam AAA Wheat Kings. He had 76 points, including 45 goals, in 31 games.
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D Andy Stevens, a fifth-round pick by the Kootenay Ice in the 2013 bantam draft, has said he will play next season with the BCHL’s Powell River Kings. He played this season with the junior B Campbell River Storm of the Vancouver Island junior league. The Storm won league, provincial and Western Canadian championships. . . . "We're moving ahead without [Stevens] and wish him nothing but the best in Powell River," Ice GM Jeff Chynoweth told Taylor Rocca of the Cranbrook Daily Townsman. "He's going to stay on our list. Hopefully down the road he looks at it and wants to move up another level. That will be up to him as his career moves along." . . . Rocca’s story is right here.
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Here’s Cathal Kelly, in The Globe and Mail: “While he’s being squired across the continent like a visiting monarch, everyone dropping to their knees as he enters the rink, we’ve all decided Mike Babcock is the best coach in hockey. Not ‘one of’ or ‘arguably.’ Just the best, full-stop. Why is that?” . . . Why, indeed? . . . Kelly’s column is right here.
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In the OHL, the host Erie Otters scored a 4-3 victory over the Oshawa Generals on Monday night. The Generals lead the championship series 2-1 with Game 4 scheduled for Erie on Wednesday night. . . . Erie F Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist. . . . The Otters led it 4-1 before Oshawa made it close with a pair of late goals. . . .

The 2015 U-17 World Hockey Challenge is to be held in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., from Oct. 31 through Nov. 8. The tournament, which last year was held in Sydney, N.S., is to feature three Canadian and five international teams.
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THE COACHING GAME:

Travis Young is the new head coach of the bantam AAA Kings Mutual Wildcats in Berwick, N.S. Young played five WHL seasons (1999-2004) with the Brandon Wheat Kings and Prince Albert Raiders, before going to Acadia U and playing for the Axemen. He cut his career short after three seasons there due to post-concussion syndrome. He went on to spend six seasons as an assistant coach with the Axemen. Last season, the native of Souris, Man., was the head coach of the junior A Bridgewater Lumberjacks of the Maritime Hockey League.
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