Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Broncos lost $$ on hockey, but still show profit . . . Americans fighting that bug again . . . Bethune's hat trick sparks Cougars

D Tomáš Slovák (Kelowna, 2001-03) has signed a one-year contract with Plzeň (Czech Republic, Extraliga). Last season, with Košice (Slovakia, Extraliga), he was pointless in five games. He also had two assists in 25 games with Třinec (Czech Republic, Extraliga).
The Swift Current Broncos, one of the WHL’s four community-owned teams, showed a $140,000 profit for 2015-16 despite the fact that attendance was down by 7,000 over the previous season.
How does that work?
Well, the Broncos, who held their annual general meeting on Tuesday night, received what is known
as “extraordinary income” from the 2016 Women’s World Curling Championship that was held in Swift Current, and the 2016 Memorial Cup that was held in Red Deer.
During the curling event, according to a news release, the Broncos “took on the management of the box office, the concession and the suites, and shared in the management of the beer stands with the Swift Current Curling Club.”
As for the Memorial Cup, all of the WHL teams received a piece of the pie.
According to the Broncos, they would have lost $93,000 had it not been for the extraordinary income.
Do the math and you realize that the Broncos got about $230,000 from the curling and the Memorial Cup.
“Fortunately, through the great fan support and extraordinary efforts from our staff we were able to take a difficult on-ice season and turn it into a profitable year off the ice,” Liam Choo-Foo, the chairman of the Broncos’ board, said in a news release.
For 2014-15, the Broncos declared a profit of $133,465; it got a real boost from an adjustment of about $100,000 to the team’s education fund.
For 2013-14, the team announced a profit of $197,244.
Tuesday’s news release also noted that Broncos staff and players “contributed 795 hours to Swift Current and surrounding communities last (season), up 150 hours from the previous (season), and donated $5,700 worth of merchandise and tickets to various community fundraising events.”
The Lethbridge Hurricanes, Moose Jaw Warriors and Prince Albert Raiders are the WHL’s other community-owned franchises.
The Tri-City Americans will continue to carry three goaltenders for the next while as Evan Sarthou, their No. 1 guy last season, continues to recover from an undisclosed injury suffered while in camp with the U.S. national junior team in August. He is out week-to-week. Sarthou, from Black Diamond, Wash., played in 60 games with the Americans last season, going 26-28-2, 3.46, .888. . . . With Sarthou, 19, sidelined, the Americans are going with Beck Warm, 17, from Whistler, B.C., and Nicholas Sanders, 18, of Calgary. . . . Warm went into this season having played in one game, that in 2014-15. He has played both Tri-City games so far this season, going 1-1-0, 4.62, .857. . . . Playing behind Sarthou last season, Sanders got into 23 games, going 9-6-1, 2.99, .901. . . . The Americans also will be without F Jordan Topping for a few weeks after he was injured while in camp with the NHL’s Dallas Stars. Topping, 19, had 67 points, including 33 goals, in 72 games last season. . . . Tri-City lost sophomore D Kurtis Rutledge, 19, when he was injured on Sunday. He’ll be out for a month. . . . On top of those injuries, veteran F Austyn Playfair, 19, and freshman D Seth Bafaro, 16, have yet to play as they recover from off-season surgery. . . . The result of all this is that the Americans still are carrying 29 players.
The WHL has yet to release information on how the Moose Jaw Warriors and host Brandon Wheat Kings will conclude the game that was suspended by fog on Saturday night. The Warriors had just scored to take a 2-1 second-period lead when a decision was made to suspend proceedings because of concerns about player safety. . . . Neil Thomson, the general manager of the Keystone Centre, which oversees Westman Place, has told Perry Bergson of the Brandon Sun that the facility takes the blame for what happened. . . . "It was just really a combination of different factors coming into play that one time at the home opener to come together to do it," Thomson told Bergson. "It’s our responsibility. It’s the Keystone Centre’s responsibility and I know that. We certainly apologize to the city, to the fans, to the Wheat Kings organization, to the Moose Jaw Warriors. We’ll do what we can to have it hopefully never happen again but we can’t guarantee it." . . . Bergson’s complete story is right here.
The latest players to return to the WHL from the NHL:
Calgary Hitmen — F Jakob Stukel, Vancouver Canucks; F Carsen Twarynski, Philadelphia Flyers.
Everett Silvertips — G Carter Hart, Philadelphia Flyers.
Lethbridge Hurricanes — D Brennan Menell, Philadelphia Flyers; F Tyler Wong, Toronto Maple Leafs.
Portland Winterhawks — D Caleb Jones, Edmonton Oilers.
Regina Pats — D Sergey Zborovskiy, New York Rangers.
Seattle Thunderbirds — D Ethan Bear, Edmonton Oilers.
Swift Current Broncos — F Glenn Gawdin, St. Louis Blues.
Vancouver Giants — F Ty Ronning, New York Rangers.
Victoria Royals — F Jack Walker, Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes and Victoria Royals added 20-year-olds to their rosters on Tuesday. . . . The Hurricanes got F Tyler Wong back from the Toronto Maple Leafs, while F Jack Walker was returned to the Royals by the Maple Leafs. . . . Wong’s arrival leaves the Hurricanes with three 20-year-olds, as he joins F Ryley Lindgren and D Kord Pankewicz. Wong, the team captain, put up 89 points, including 43 goals, in 72 games last season. Wong also will sit out his first game back with Lethbridge, thanks to a one-game suspension left over from last season’s playoffs. . . . The Royals also have three 20-year-olds, with Walker joining F Carter Folk, who was acquired from Lethbridge earlier this month, and D Ryan Gagnon. Walker had 84 points, 36 of them goals, in 72 games last season.
There may be more than meets the eye to the decision by the Brandon Wheat Kings to drop the Thompson brothers, Tyler and Baron, from their roster. The brothers, from Lakeville, Minn., had been acquired from the Victoria Royals on Sept. 1. . . . Perry Bergson of the Brandon Sun reported that Grant Armstrong, Brandon’s general manager, “had no comment on the decision.” . . . Bergson also reported that “two sources told The Sun that it was a non-hockey related matter.” . . . Neither Thompson had dressed for Brandon’s first two regular-season games. . . . Armstrong, of course, spent the previous four seasons with Victoria before moving to the Wheat Kings last month. 


The New York Rangers made a number of roster moves on Tuesday and one of them included F Reid Duke of the Brandon Wheat Kings. Duke, 20, was reassigned to the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack. Duke, who has yet to sign a pro contract, had 61 points, including 33 goals, in 68 games with the Wheat Kings last season, his fourth in the WHL. He added 24 points, 16 of them assists, in 21 playoff games. . . . 
Andy Eide, who covers the Seattle Thunderbirds for 710 ESPN, reports that the teams says F Keegan Kolesar is week-to-week with an undisclosed injury suffered in training camp with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets. If Kolesar, 19, is out for any length of time it will be a big loss for Seattle, especially if F Mathew Barzal earns a spot with the NHL’s New York Islanders. . . . Kolesar had 61 points, including 30 goals, in 64 regular-season games in 2015-16. In 16 playoff games, he added seven goals and eight assists. . . . 
The Calgary Hitmen have dropped D Jackson van de Leest from their roster. He will play for the midget prep team at the Okanagan Hockey Academy this season. Van de Leest, 15, is from Kelowna. He was a first-round selection by Calgary in the 2016 bantam draft. He got into Calgary’s first two games this season, but was pointless.
Got a tip or some information you feel could be useful to me, feel free to email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com.

TUESDAY GAME (all times local):

At Langley, B.C., F Jared Bethune scored three goals, including the winner, as the Prince George Cougars ran their season-opening winning streak to three with a wild 7-6 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . The last time the Cougars opened a season with three straight victories was 2012-13. That also is the last time that they won their first three road games. That season, neither of those winning streaks reached four. . . . This edition of the Cougars goes for four in a row, all on the road, tonight against the Rockets in Kelowna. . . . Last night, the Cougars held leads of 3-0, 4-1, 5-4 and 6-4. . . . Goals by D Dylan Plouffe, F Brendan Semchuk and F Taden Rattie pulled the Giants (0-3-0) into a 4-4 tie in the second period. . . . However, Bethune scored his second goal, at 19:13 of the second, and F Colby McAuley added another at 5:02 of the third for a 6-4 lead. . . . The Giants came right back and tied it on goals from F Jack Flaman, at 11:05, and F Radovan Bondra, at 13:02. . . . Bethune finally won it with his third goal at 15:43. . . . Bethune went into last night with one two-goal game in 135 regular-season games. Last season, the Warroad, Minn., native finished with 16 goals and 21 assists in 72 games. In his freshman season, he recorded six goals and 14 assists in 61 games. . . . . McAuley and F Justin Almeida each had a goal and two assists for the Cougars, with D Tate Olson adding a goal and an assist. . . . Semchuk, Rattie and Bondra each added an assist to their goals, with F Dawson Holt and D Darian Skeoch each earning two assists for the Giants. . . . Vancouver D Alex Kannok-Leipert, a 16-year-old brought in from Regina to help during a back-end shortage, scored his first WHL goal. . . . Prince George G Nick McBride was beaten four times on 16 shots over 36:22. Ty Edmonds came on to finish up, stopping 10 of 12 shots. . . . G Ryan Kubic turned aside 25 shots for Vancouver. . . . The Cougars were 1-3 on the PP; the Giants were 1-6. . . . Announced attendance: 2,898.

WEDNESDAY GAME (all times local):

Prince George at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

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