Sunday, October 23, 2016

Milestone win for Williamson . . . What's up in Cranbrook? . . . Mayor won't intervene in Regina

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MIKE WILLIAMSON
(Photo: Tri-City Americans)
Mike Williamson, the head coach of the Tri-City Americans, became the seventh member of the WHL’s 500 Club on Sunday.
Williamson posted his 500th regular-season coaching victory when the Americans beat the Vancouver Giants 5-4 in Langley, B.C.
The seven head coaches who have recorded at least 500 regular-season victories:
1. Ken Hodge (Edmonton, Portland), 742
x-2. Don Hay (Kamloops, Tri-City, Vancouver) 682
x-3. Don Nachbaur (Seattle, Tri-City, Spokane) 668
4. Lorne Molleken (Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Regina) 626
5. Ernie McLean (Estevan, New Westminster) 548
6. Pat Ginnell (Flin Flon, Victoria, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, New Westminster) 518
x-7. Mike Williamson (Portland, Calgary, Tri-City) 500
(x — active.)
Interestingly, Williamson played for the Portland Winterhawks when Hodge was the head coach. Williamson also began his coaching career in Portland as an assistant with Hodge.
There are two other active WHL head coaches with more than 400 victories.
Brent Sutter of the Red Deer Rebels has 418, with Marc Habscheid of the Prince Albert Raiders at 407.
Sutter got No. 418 on Saturday night, with a 3-1 victory over the visiting Raiders, to break a tie with Doug Sauter and move into 12th place on the all-time list. Next up for Sutter is Bob Lowes, at 453.
Habscheid is 16th on the all-time list, four victories behind Marcel Comeau.
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The air in Cranbrook is said to be abuzz with rumours involving the impending sale of the Kootenay Ice.
However, a source familiar with the situation indicates that it’s all abuzz about nothing.
The one thing that hasn’t changed: The Ice, which is owned by the Chynoweth family, remains
available, as it has been for about four years now.
There has been recent buzz that an offer was received from True North Sports and Entertainment (TNSE), which owns the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets, the AHL’s Manitoba Moose, Winnipeg’s MTS Centre and the MTS Iceplex, which is an arena with four ice surfaces that often serves as a practice facility for the two teams.
However, TNSE has denied making a recent offer. Furthermore, Jeff Chynoweth, the Ice’s president and general manager, told Taking Note on Sunday that he hasn’t spoken with anyone from TNSE “about (our) team in over two years.”
Meanwhile, a group with local ties is believed to have expressed at least some interest, but isn’t thought to be anywhere close to purchasing the franchise.
The group apparently includes former Ice captain Colin Sinclair. He is a native of Brooks, Alta., who played five seasons with the Ice (1998-2003) and now makes his home in Cranbrook. Sinclair went on to attend the U of New Brunswick for four years, before playing three years of pro hockey, two of them in Norway. Along the way, he earned a business degree and an MBA. In Cranbrook, he is the controller and co-founder of Spartan Scaffolding.
The group also is said to include two former NHL defencemen — Robyn Regehr and Rhett Warrener — both of whom played in the WHL.
Regehr, 36, played three seasons (1996-99) with the Kamloops Blazers. He went on to play 1,090 regular-season games in the NHL, making stops with the Calgary Flames, Buffalo Sabres and Los Angeles Kings. He retired after the 2014-15 season.
Warrener, 40, spent three seasons (1992-95) with the Saskatoon Blades before going on to a professional career that included 714 NHL games split between the Florida Panthers, Buffalo and the Calgary Flames.
Regehr signed contracts valued at more than US$30 million during his NHL career; Warrener’s figure was around $18 million.
The two were teammates in Calgary from 2003-08.
According to figures compiled by the WHL, the Ice has drawn 10,622 fans to six home games this season. That leaves it last in the 22-team league in attendance, with an average of 1,770. The Ice and Swift Current Broncos (1,942) are the only teams averaging under 2,000 fans per game in the early going.
Last season, the Ice finished with an average attendance of 1,957, the poorest in the league. That was down from 2,239 in 2014-15.
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As Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post points out, lease-related disputes between the Regina Pats and their landlord date back, at least, to 1986. That one was over a $1 parking fee that was institute by the Agridome landlord and, ultimately, led to the sale of the franchise. . . . In the latest chapter of what just might become a soap opera-type show, Michael Fougere, the major of Regina, tells Harder that his office won’t intervene in a dispute between the Regina Exhibition Association Ltd. (REAL) and the Pats’ owners, even though it could end up costing his city a chance to host the 2018 Memorial Cup. . . . Oh, and Regina is holding a civic election on Wednesday. . . . Harder’s latest story is right here.
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Got a tip or some information you feel could be useful to me, feel free to email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com.
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SUNDAY’S GAMES:

IAN SCOTT
At Calgary, the Prince Albert Raiders scored the game’s first three goals and went on to a 3-2 victory over the Hitmen, who held a 34-15 edge in shots on goal. . . . F Adam Kadlec’s first goal gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead at 8:57 of the first period and F Simon Stransky’s seventh goal upped that to 2-0 at 11:40. . . . F Luke Coleman’s third goal, at 6:28 of the second period, would prove to be the winner. . . . Calgary made it interesting on goals from F Taylor Sanheim, his first of the season, at 16:43 of the second period, and F Carsen Twarynski, his second, at 7:19 of the third. . . . Calgary F Andrei Grishakov had two assists. . . . The Raiders got 32 saves from G Ian Scott, a Calgary native, while Cody Porter of the Hitmen stopped 12 shots. . . . The Hitmen were 0-3 on the PP; the Raiders were 0-5. . . . Prince Albert (4-7-1) had lost its previous three games (0-2-1). . . . Calgary (3-5-1) now has lost five straight (0-4-1). . . . The Hitmen remain without injured D Jake Bean. . . . Announced attendance: 5,328.
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At Langley, B.C., the Tri-City Americans erased a 2-1 deficit with four second-period goals en route
BECK WARM
to a 5-4 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Tri-City, which was playing its third game in less than 48 hours, got 36 saves from G Beck Warm. . . . F Radovan Bondra’s eighth goal gave the Giants a 1-0 lead at 4:19 of the first period. . . . Tri-City F Parker AuCoin tied it with his third goal, at 6:35. . . . Vancouver went back out front when F Tyler Benson scored 23 seconds into the second period. . . . The Americans then scored four times in 10:07. F Carson Focht got his first goal at 4:25, with D Parker Wotherspoon and D Dylan Coghlan scoring PP goals, at 7:21 and 10:23. . . . F Kyle Olson gave the visitors a 5-2 lead at 14:32. . . . Vancouver F James Malm got his guys to within two, on a PP, at 11:19 of the third period and F Johnny Wesley made it a one-goal game at 14:12. . . . AuCoin, Coghlan and Olson added an assist apiece. . . . F Thomas Foster, F Alec Baer and Bondra had two assists each for Vancouver. . . . G Ryan Kubic stopped 14 of 19 shots for the Giants, with David Tendeck coming on in relief to stop all nine shots he faced in 24:22. . . . Tri-City was 2-7 on the PP; Vancouver was 1-4. . . . The Americans (7-5-1) had lost their previous two games (0-1-1). . . . The Giants slipped to 6-9-0. . . . Announced attendance: 3,720.
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MONDAY’S GAMES (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.
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TUESDAY’S GAMES (all times local):

Brandon at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
Victoria at Kamloops, 7 p.m.
Spokane at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.
Tri-City at Portland, 7 p.m.

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