Friday, May 29, 2015

Rockets, Generals in Memorial Cup final . . . Hockey Canada honours Tuer . . . Campese back coaching








F Adam Hughesman (Tri-City, 2006-12) signed a one-year contract with Sterzing/Vipiteno (Italy, Serie A). This season, with the Reading Royals (ECHL), he had 23 goals and 44 assists in 69 ghames. He also had one goal in three games with the Manchester Monarchs (AHL). Hughesman led Reading in assists and was second in points. . . .
F Brad Ross (Portland, 2007-12) signed a one-year-plus-option contract with the Iserlohn Roosters (Germany, DEL). This season, he had four goals and four assists in 32 games with the Toronto Marlies (AHL) and five goals and six assists in 32 games with the Orlando Solar Bears (ECHL). . . .
D Rod Sarich (Calgary, 1996-2002) signed a one-year extension with the Sheffield Steelers (England, UK Elite). This season, he had three goals and seven assists in 60 games. Sarich has dual Canadian-UK citizenship. Next season will be his 10th season with Sheffield. He has played 507 games with the Steelers, fifth on their all-time list.
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The WHL-champion Kelowna Rockets advanced to the Memorial Cup final by thrashing the host Quebec Remparts 9-3 before 9,870 fans on Friday night. . . . The Remparts were playing their third game in three nights and it showed. This also was their final game in the historic Colisee, as they will move into the brand new Videotron Centre next season. . . . The Rockets and OHL-champion Oshawa Generals will play Sunday
evening for the major junior championship. . . . The Generals went 3-0 in the round-robin to earn a bye into the final. The Rockets were 1-2 in the round-robin, including a 2-1 loss to Oshawa on Tuesday. . . . The Generals haven’t played since that game. . . . The QMJHL, the host league, won’t be represented in the final. This will be the first time that has happened since 2009 when the final, in Rimouski, Que., featured the Rockets and the Windsor Spitfires. That was the Rockets’ last Memorial Cup appearance. The Spitfires won that one, 4-1. . . . Oshawa head coach DJ Smith was on Windsor’s coaching staff at the time. . . . Last night, the Rockets got two goals and two assists from F Justin Kirkland, with F Leon Draisaitl and D Josh Morrissey each getting a goal and two assists. . . . Kelowna F Rourke Chartier scored twice. . . . F Adam Erne gave Quebec a 1-0 lead at 3:11 of the first period, with Kelowna F Chance Braid tying it at 9:51. . . . Kelowna took control with four second-period goals, the first three coming in a span of 3:49 in the first 4:06. . . . Kelowna G Jackson Whistle stopped 20 shots, while Quebec’s Zach Fucale, who turned 20 on Thursday, turned aside 35. . . . The Rockets were 3-for-6 on the PP; the Remparts were 1-for-7. . . . The referees were Jonathan Alarie and Olivier Gouin, both from the QMJHL. In fact, they were the referees on Wednesday when the Remparts dropped a 4-0 decision to the Rimouski Oceanic. After that game, Quebec head coach Phillippe Boucher ripped the officiating and later was fined $10,000. . . . The Rockets were 51-for-82 on faceoffs, with Draisaitl going 16-for-26. . . . Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News has more on the game right here, and it included quite a trash-throwing incident involving the fans.
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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, May 25: Rimouski 3 vs. Kelowna 7 (6,981)
Tuesday, May 26: Oshawa 2 vs. Kelowna 1 (7,002)
Wednesday, May 27: Quebec 0 vs. Rimouski 4 (10,277)
Thursday, May 28 (tiebreaker): Quebec 5 vs. Rimouski 2 (6,533)
Friday, May 29 (semifinal): Kelowna 9 vs. Quebec 3 (9,870)
Sunday (championship): Oshawa vs. Kelowna, 7 p.m.
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Luke Pierce, who signed with the Kootenay Ice earlier in the week, is the youngest head coach in the WHL, and it isn’t even close.
Keeping in mind that the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Vancouver Giants have yet to sign head coaches, here’s a look at the ages of the league’s head guys, from youngest to oldest:
Luke Pierce, Kootenay Ice, 31
Steve Hamilton, Edmonton Oil Kings, 41
Mike Williamson, Tri-City Americans, 42
Steve Konowalchuk, Seattle Thunderbirds, 42
Mark French, Calgary Hitmen, 44
Dan Lambert, Kelowna Rockets, 45
Mark Holick, Prince George Cougars, 46
Shaun Clouston, Medicine Hat Tigers, 47
Bob Woods, Saskatoon Blades, 47
Jamie Kompon, Portland Winterhawks, 48
Dave Lowry, Victoria Royals, 50
Mark Lamb, Swift Current Broncos, 50
Marc Habscheid, Prince Albert Raiders, 52
Brent Sutter, Red Deer Rebels, 52
Kelly McCrimmon, Brandon Wheat Kings, 54
Tim Hunter, Moose Jaw Warriors, 54
Don Nachbaur, Spokane Chiefs, 56
Kevin Constantine, Everett Silvertips, 56
John Paddock, Regina Pats, 60
Don Hay, Kamloops Blazers, 61
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Graham Tuer, one of the really good guys in the hockey world, received an Order of Merit for dedicated service to the sport during Hockey Canada’s Spring Congress in Toronto on Friday. . . . Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post has more right here. . . . It’s also worth mentioning that Brad Howard of Regina, a longtime on-ice official and someone who continues to be involved with officiating, was presented with Hockey Canada’s Officiating Award for his contributions to that aspect of the game.
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The Moose Jaw Warriors are holding their prospects’ camp this weekend, and there are some familiar names on hand. . . . F Landon Quinney of Las Vegas, who has played in the Arizona Bobcats program, is the son of former Calgary Wranglers F Ken Quinney and the brother of Gage, a forward with the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Also in camp, reports Matthew Gourlie of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald, is F Erik Middendorf, who was a fourth-round selection in the 2015 bantam draft. From Phoenix, he is the nephew of F Max Middendorf, who played in the QMJHL and NHL. . . . The Warriors have put some added emphasis on their American scouting of late. Former Lethbridge Hurricanes GM Bob Bartlett is Moose Jaw’s senior scout and manager of U.S. scouting and player development.
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Here’s Jeb Lund, for Rolling Stone, on the biggest story in sports this year: “FIFA is so grandiosely historically corrupt that busting them for this, finally, feels like ignoring reports on Jeffrey Dahmer for years and then raiding his kitchen for health-code violations.” . . . This excellent piece is right here.
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THE COACHING GAME:

Bruno Campese, the former general manager of the Prince Albert Raiders, has been named head coach of the Penticton, B.C.-based Okanagan Hockey Academy’s bantam prep team. . . . Campese, 51, spent eight seasons with the Raiders, beginning as head coach. He coached until 2011 and was the general manager from 2008-15. . . . Before joining the Raiders, Campese spent three seasons as director of hockey operations and head coach with the BCHL’s Penticton Vees.
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BCHLBrian Wiebe tweeted Friday that the BCHL’s Merritt Centennials have promoted Joe Martin, their assistant general manager and assistant coach, to GM and head coach. He takes over from Luke Pierce, who signed on as the Kootenay Ice’s head coach earlier in the week. . . . Pierce had been with the Centennials for six seasons. . . . Martin has been with the Centennials since May 27, 2011. He had been GM/head coach of the junior B Creston Valley Thundercats of the Kootenay International Junior League. . . . Wiebe, by the way, has been named assistant GM of the junior B Port Moody Panthers. He already was their director of media and communications.
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BCHLFred Harbinson, the general manager and head coach of the BCHL’s Penticton Vees, has decided to stay put. Andy Baggot of the Wisconsin State Journal has reported that Mike Eaves, the head coach of the U of Wisconsin Badgers, offered Harbinson an assistant-coaching position. Harbinson told Baggot he had multiple conversations with Eaves and received a “very strong” offer. . . . Harbinson chose to remain in Penticton because “it’s better for me and my family to stay put.”
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The Tri-City Americans have signed F Carson Focht, the seventh overall selection in the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft. The 6-foot-0, 150-pound Focht, from Regina, played with the Notre Dame Hounds of Wilcox, Sask. He led the bantam league in scoring, with 70 points, including 39 goals, in 38 games. . . .
In the AHL, the host Grand Rapids Griffins earned a 3-2 OT victory over the Utica Comets before 8,967 fans on Friday night. That tied the Western Conference final 2-2 with Game 5 in Grand Rapids on Sunday. . . . F Andreas Athanasiou got the winner last night, at 5:05 of the first extra period. . . .
The NHL’s Montreal Canadiens no longer are affiliated with the ECHL’s Wheeling Thunder. Instead, Montreal’s ECHL affiliate will be the Brampton, Ont., Beast. . . . The Beast will play in the 5,000-seat Powerade Centre, the former home of the OHL’s Brampton Battalion.
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