Friday, May 1, 2015

Wheat Kings into final . . . Rockets one win away . . . Rochester needs a coach



In Brandon, the Wheat Kings advanced to the WHL final with an 8-2 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Brandon won the series 4-1 to reach the championship series for the first time since the spring of 2005. . . . Brandon has won each of its three playoff series this spring in five games, taking out the Edmonton Oil Kings and Regina Pats
before Calgary. . . . The series for the Ed Chynoweth Cup will open in Brandon with games on Friday, May 8, and Saturday, May 9. . . . The Wheat Kings outscored the Hitmen 29-13 in the five games, twice scoring eight goals and once getting nine. . . . For the second game in a row, the Wheat Kings broke it open with five goals in the second period. In Game 4, Brandon scored five times in 10:25. Last night, it was five times in 6:48. . . . The Hitmen took a 1-0 lead into the second period after F Pavel Karnaukhov scored his sixth goal, on the PP, at 17:22. . . . Brandon D Eric Roy tied it with his third goal at 8:35 of the second and D Ryan Pilon, with his first goal, put the Wheaties out front at 9:41. . . . Brandon F Nolan Patrick got his seventh goal 10 seconds later and the home team was off and running. . . . Brandon F Jayce Hawryluk scored twice, giving him 10, and added two assists, while F John Quenneville also scored twice, giving him 10. Patrick added two assists to his goal, and F Rihards Bukarts drew three assists. . . . Calgary F Adam Tambellini scored his 13th goal. . . . Brandon G Jordan Papirny turned aside 31 shots. . . . The Hitmen opened with Mack Shields in goal, after Brendan Burke had started the previous three games. . . . Shields surrendered three goals on 18 shots before Burke came on to give up four on 15. . . . Brandon F Tim McGauley scored his sixth goal, a shorthanded effort, into an empty net at 15:24 of the third. . . . Brandon was 2-for-3 on the PP; Calgary was 1-for-3. . . . The referees were Brett Iverson and Sean Raphael. . . . Attendance was 5,337. . . . Laurence Heinen wrote this game story for the Calgary Herald.

In Kelowna, F Tyson Baillie scored at 14:55 of OT to give the Rockets a 2-1 victory over the Portland Winterhawks. . . . The Rockets lead the Western Conference final, 3-2. They’ll play Game 6 in Portland’s Moda Center on Sunday. . . . Each team now is 3-1 in OT in these playoffs. . . . Despite giving up the winner, Portland G Adin Hill almost stole the show in OT. Kelowna had a 20-4 edge in shots in extra time. . . . Hill finished with 47
saves, five more than Kelowna’s Jackson Whistle. . . . Baillie’s eighth goal, and his second OT goal this spring, came off some good work by F Dillon Dube, a 16-year-old from Cochrane, Alta. . . . Baillie also scored the OT goal, 58 seconds into extra time, in Game 2 against the Victoria Royals. . . . Riley Stadel, a defenceman who has been turned into a forward due to Kelowna’s injury situation, scored the game’s first goal at 17:35 of the first period. . . . Portland F Nic Petan ran his point streak to 16 games with the game-tying goal at 16:27 of the third period. He’s got 10 goals. . . . That 16-game streak tied the franchise record set a year ago by F Brendan Leipsic. . . . Petan also tied the WHL record for most career playoff games. This was his 87th game — it’s the fifth season in a row in which the Winterhawks have played into May. He now shares the record with F Shay Stephenson (Red Deer, 2000-04). . . . In four seasons, Stephenson played in 22, 23, 23 and 19 playoff games. Petan has played in 7, 22, 21, 21 and 16 games. . . . Kelowna was 0-for-2 on the PP; Portland was 0-for-1. . . . The referees were Adam Byblow and Steve Papp. . . . The Rockets had F Justin Kirkland back after a two-game absence with an apparent illness. The Rockets haven’t said if it was an upper- or lower-body illness. . . . Kelowna lost F Tyrell Goulbourne in the second period after he checked Portland F Keegan Iverson. Goulbourne left the ice immediately and may have suffered a skate cut to his left leg. . . . One fan who was seated near Kelowna’s bench tweeted that Goulbourne “was screaming in pain as he got on the bench.” . . . Attendance was 6,261. . . . Larry Fisher of the Kelowna Daily Courier has a game story right here.

In the OHL, the host Oshawa Generals bounced the North Bay Battalion 4-1 to take a 3-2 lead in that semifinal series. Oshawa F Cole Cassels had a goal and an assist. They’ll play Game 6 in North Bay on Sunday. . . . The Erie Otters lead the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 3-2 in the other series. They’ll meet in Game 6 tonight in Erie.


The Buffalo Sabres have fired Chadd Cassidy, who was the head coach of their AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans. He had been head coach since February 2013, taking over from Ron Rolston, when the latter was promoted to the Sabres. . . . The Americans went 29-41-6 this season and didn’t make the playoffs. . . . The announcement was made by Sabres general manager Tim Murray. According to Kevin Oklobzija of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle: “The Sabres organization did not make Murray available to explain why he fired Cassidy, whose contract expires at the end of the season. They have not made Murray available since the Amerks season ended on April 17.” . . . Oklobzija also wrote: “Assistant coaches Chris Taylor, John Wroblewski and Bob Janosz weren't mentioned in the news release so it is not known if they will be retained.”

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