Friday, May 22, 2015

Rockets drop opener to Remparts . . . Lowry on Sharks' radar . . . Hiller on move

F Chet Pickard (Tri-City, 2005-09) signed  one-year-plus-option contract with RHW Iserlohn Roosters (Germany, DEL). This season, with Odense (Denmark, Metal Ligaen), he was 2.65 and .909 in 36 games. . . .
F Martin Cibák (Medicine Hat, 1998-2000) signed a one-year contract with Zlín (Czech Republic, Extraliga). This season, with Olomouc (Czech Republic, Extraliga), he had 11 goals and nine assists in 48 games. . . .
F Tyler Mosienko (Kelowna, 2000-05) signed a one-year extension with the Sheffield Steelers (England, UK Elite). This season, he had 26 goals and 37 assists in 60 games.

As you no doubt are aware, the games began at the Memorial Cup in Quebec City last night. . . . The host Quebec Remparts dumped the WHL-champion Kelowna Rockets, 4-3, before 9,497 fans. . . . In each of the last six tournaments, the host team had lost its opener. . . . The Remparts outchanced the Rockets and, at one point, held a 2-0 lead that could just as easily have been 5-0, but not for some solid play by Kelowna G Jackson Whistle. . . . A key part in this game occurred as the buzzer sounded to end the second period. The Remparts held a 2-1 lead at the time, with Kelowna F Nick Merkley having scored a shorthanded goal at 17:56 of the second period to get the Rockets to within a goal. . . . There was some milling around, some pushing and shoving, at the buzzer and the referees chose to slap misconducts on Kelowna F Leon Draisaitl and Quebec F Marc-Olivier Roy, both of whom are NHL draft picks of the Edmonton Oilers. That took Draisaitl, the WHL’s playoff MVP and Kelowna’s most-dangerous player, off the ice for the first half of the third period. . . . The Rockets didn’t do much offensively with Draisaitl off and, in fact, gave up a shorthanded goal to Quebec F Ryan Graves at 2:08 for a 3-1 Remparts lead. . . . Draisaitl came back and later scored the game’s last goal, on a PP, at 19:24. . . . The Rockets took 44 of the game’s 70 penalty minutes. If they are to win this tournament, they are going to have to stop giving the referees the option to make some of those calls. . . . The Rockets were 2-for-6 on the PP, but gave up that shorthanded goal. . . . Quebec was 0-for-5 on the PP. . . . Quebec G Zach Fucale stopped 26 shots, one fewer than Whistle. . . . Kelowna was 30-for-58 on faceoffs, and that was with Draisaitl struggling — he was 13-for-29. . . . Rockets D Madison Bowey had a game-high six shots, but he can play a lot better than he did. He fought the puck for a good part of this one. . . . The Rockets don’t play again until Monday, so will have some time to think about the loss.
Here is the Memorial Cup schedule (all games on Sportsnet; all times Eastern):
Friday: Kelowna 3 vs. Quebec 4 (9,497)
Saturday: Rimouski vs. Oshawa, 4:30 p.m.
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, May 31: Championship game, 7 p.m.
An interesting note from Doyle Potenteau of the Kelowna Daily Courier, who is in Quebec City:
“The Colisée Pepsi is a wonderful, albeit aging, rink, one filled with
history. Located steps away is the city’s newest construction site, the home of Videotron Centre, an 18,482-seat arena that fans in this hockey-mad market hope will soon be home to an NHL team. And steps away from the Videotron Centre is Pavillon de la Jeunesse, a small but outstanding rink of which some WHL teams would be envious. The rink seats 5,000, has a low roof and an ice surface that, with the touch of a button, can be expanded from NHL to Olympic size in only eight minutes. If that sounds crazy, here’s something really crazy: The rink doesn’t have a main tenant, and, according to staff, is mostly used for cultural events.”

NHLThose of us on the outside really have no idea how serious a contender Dave Lowry is for the head-coaching position with the NHL’s San Jose Sharks. But if you believe that where there’s smoke, there’s fire, the Victoria Royals head coach very well may be in the hunt. . . . It could be that someone like Randy Carlyle or Peter DeBoer will replace Todd McLellan. But, hey, it could be Lowry, who played 143 games with the Sharks back in the day. . . . David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News has more right here. . . . “I tried reaching Lowry through the Royals’ media relations director,” Pollak writes, “only to be told Lowry and Royals general manager Cam Hope — who indicated he thought the moment his coach would get a shot at an NHL job was getting closer — weren’t interested in talking any more about the subject. That, of course, only adds to Lowry’s viability as a serious candidate.”
The Spokane Chiefs have signed F Koby Morrisseau, who was the ninth overall selection in the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft. Morrisseau, 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds, is from Grandview, Man. He had 61 points, including 39 goals, with the Parkland Rangers, who play in the West Division of the Winnipeg bantam AAA league. . . . The Chiefs had two first-round selections in the 2015 draft. Earlier, they signed D Ty Smith, who was the draft’s first overall selection.


QMJHLThe QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs have signed Danny Flynn to a three-year contract as head coach. Flynn, 57, spent this season as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres. . . . Flynn, a veteran of the coaching wars, spent six seasons (2007-13) as head coach of the QMJHL’s Moncton Wildcats, guiding them to the 2010 championship. Flynn replaces Ross Yates, the head coach for the past two seasons.
NHLAnsar Khan, who covers the Detroit Red Wings for, reported Friday afternoon that former WHL coach Jim Hiller will be joining the Toronto Maple Leafs coaching staff. . . . Hiller, 46, coached in the WHL with the Chilliwack Bruins (remember them?) and Tri-City Americans. This season, he was an assistant coach under Mike Babcock with the Red Wings. . . . In Detroit, Hiller was responsible for the PP, which was the second most-prolific in the NHL.

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