Thursday, November 17, 2016

Forward returns to Silvertips . . . Update on Patrick . . . Warriors romp in Saskatoon

F Jens Meilleur (Brandon, 2010-14) has been released by the Nuremberg Ice Tigers (Germany, DEL) at his request. He was pointless in four games. This season, he had two assists in seven games while on loan to Bayreuth (Germany, DEL2) and was pointless in one game while on loan to Weiden (Germany, Oberliga).
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Jesse Geleynse of the Everett Herald tweeted Thursday that F Bradly Goethals has returned to the Everett Silvertips.
Goethals, 18, from Ile-des-Chenes, Man., was acquired from the Brandon Wheat Kings on Oct. 11 for a conditional seventh-round selection in the 2018 WHL bantam draft. Goethals joined the Silvertips after the trade, but left shortly afterwards for what was said to be personal reasons.
Last season, he put up 74 points, 41 of them goals, for the midget AAA Eastman Selects. He led the
Manitoba Midget Hockey League in goals and points. He also had three goals in one game with the MJHL’s Selkirk Steelers and a goal and an assist in five games with the MJHL’s Dauphin Kings.
The Silvertips, of course, are the WHL’s top defensive team, but surely could use an injection of offensive talent. All Goethals has to do is buy into head coach Kevin Constantine’s structured defensive game to earn enough playing time to be able to exercise his offensive skills.
The Silvertips had their defensive game on display in Kamloops on Wednesday night and an Everett fan could make the argument that circumstances conspired against the visitors in this one.
A Kamloops fan would say that the Blazers’ goaltender was better than Everett’s in this one — not by much, but enough to win.
The Blazers, who had been terrible in a 7-0 loss to the visiting Prince George Cougars on Saturday night, were much better against Everett, but still needed superb goaltending from Connor Ingram before beating the Silvertips 2-1 in OT.
The Blazers were being outshot 22-7 when Everett scored its only goal, at 12:12 of the second period, and the edge was 27-12 going into the third period.
However, the Silvertips had played at home the night before — they beat the Calgary Hitmen, 6-1 — and got into Kamloops in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. And it started to show in the latter stages of the second period.
The Silvertips got caught running around in their zone for maybe the only time all night at 15:31 when Kamloops F Rudolfs Balcers was able to beat a stickless Carter Hart with a high shot.
The OT lasted 11 seconds and the flagging Silvertips were no match for the Blazers’ speed 3-on-3, with Balcers ending the game as he finished off a give-and-go-go with linemate Deven Sideroff.
By game’s end, the Blazers had closed the gap on the shot clock to 34-23.
Everett’s offence is averaging 3.25 goals per game, 10th-best in the WHL, while it is far and away No. 1 on defence at 1.95, with the Prince George Cougars next at 2.55.
The Silvertips (15-2-4) and Cougars (16-4-2) are tied atop the WHL’s overall standings, with the Regina Pats (15-0-3) just a point off the pace. The high-flying Pats are scoring 5.78 goals per game, almost a goal more than the Medicine Hat Tigers (4.80) and two up on the Tri-City Americans (3.81). If you’re wondering, Regina’s defence is ninth, allowing 3.17 goals per game.
If Goethals can stick around and add even a little bit to Everett’s offence, Constantine and general manager Garry Davidson will be thrilled. If not, well, the trade deadline is less than two months away.
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F Nolan Patrick of the Brandon Wheat Kings, the consensus No. 1 pick in the NHL’s 2017 draft, has told NHL.com that he expects to miss another two to three weeks. Patrick, who underwent sports hernia surgery in July and missed most of training camp, has played only six games this season, putting up four goals and five assists. He last played on Oct. 11. . . . "I'm skating on my own right now," Patrick told Mike Morreale of nhl.com. "I’m just starting getting back on the ice (this week) and doing edge work and skill stuff like that, but nothing too intense yet. Every day it gets a little better, so I'm hopeful. This was out of my control, and it's killing me not to be out there with my teammates." . . . Patrick still hopes to get an invitation to the Canadian national junior team’s selection camp. He likely will be on the list that Hockey Canada says will come out on Nov. 29. The selection camp is scheduled to open Dec. 11 in Blainville, Que. If Patrick isn’t back with Brandon for another three weeks, the time line would seem to be a bit tight. . . . Morreale’s story is right here.
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The Brandon Wheat Kings posted the above tweet on Thursday afternoon. We have determined that No. 6 is D Dean Kennedy, who was the captain of the Wheat Kings at the time. If you have any idea who the other player might be, drop me an email at greggdrinnan@gmail.com.
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The Spokane Chiefs have signed Chris Moulton to a contract through 2017-18 and named him assistant general manager, hockey operations. Moulton has been with the Chiefs since 2005 when he signed on as director of player personnel. . . . Before joining the Chiefs, he scouted with the Calgary Hitmen. . . . The Chiefs also have signed Todd Daniels, their athletic trainer and conditioning coach, through 2017-18. He has been with them since 2008.
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John Tortorella, the head coach of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, suggested earlier this week that game-day skates are over-rated. . . . Mike Benton, the radio voice of the Everett Silvertips, asked head coach Kevin Constantine for his thoughts. Here’s Constantine’s answer:
“We do everything with trying to add a bit of science and study to make sure our facts are facts and not just an idea. We have found ourselves that we are much better by not skating. All the analytics and studies we’ve done we’re a better team when we don’t skate in the morning and we save the energy for the game at night.”
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Have you ever wondered how much money is to be made by playing hockey in Europe? Well, let us take a look at F Aaron Gagnon, a product of Armstrong, B.C. Gagnon, now 30, played five seasons with the Seattle Thunderbirds before going on to a pro career that includes 38 NHL games — 21 with the Dallas Stars and 17 with the Winnipeg Jets. . . . Gagnon went to Europe for 2013-14 and now is into his fourth season with Lukko Rauma in the Finnish Liiga, that country’s top league.
Every October, the Finnish government publishes a list of individuals who earned at least 100,000 euros and their taxable income for the previous year as reported on their tax returns. The list that was published last month is for 2015 and Gagnon shows up as having the fourth-highest taxable income for a paid hockey player during that period.
According to the list, Gagnon earned 252,904 euros. At Thursday’s exchange rates, he made Cdn$363,300 (US$268,058).
That might be something for today’s junior/college players to ponder.
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Coaching
Mark McNaughton has stepped in as the interim general manager and head coach of the junior B Princeton Posse of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. . . . He replaces Geoff Goodman, who was fired on Wednesday. The Posse also fired associate coach Lance Vaillancourt. . . . Goodman was in his second season in Princeton. . . . McNaughton had been the Posse’s director of hockey operations.
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Concussion Report
These days, Bob McKeown is the co-host of the fifth estate, CBC-TV’s investigative show. In another life, he played for the CFL’s Ottawa Rough Riders. In fact, he played enough football during his athletic career that he writes “I happen to know something about concussions in football because . . . I’ve had a lot of them.” . . . This is scary and interesting stuff, and it’s all right here.
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THURSDAY’S GAME:


At Saskatoon, F Luka Burzan and F Noah Gregor each had two goals and an assist as the Moose Jaw Warriors skated to a 5-1 victory over the Saskatoon Blades. . . . Burzan, who has seven goals, gave the
Blades a 2-0 lead with goals at 18:39 of the first period and 1:40 of the second. . . . Burzan drew an assist on Gregor’s eighth goal, at 7:00 of the second, that gave the visitors a 3-0 lead. . . . F Wyatt Sloboshan (3) got the Blades to within two goals at 7:23. . . . Warriors F Jayden Halbgewachs got that one back when he scored No. 13, on a PP, at 11:39. . . . Gregor closed out the scoring with a shorthanded goal at 4:03 of the third period. . . . F Nikita Popugaev had three assists for the Warriors, with D Matt Sozanski earning two. . . . G Zach Sawchenko stopped 32 shots for the Warriors, two more than Saskatoon’s Brock Hamm. . . . The Warriors were 1-2 on the PP; the Blades were 0-4. . . . Moose Jaw (12-4-4) had lost its previous three games. . . . The Blades slid to 9-12-1. . . . F Brayden Burke was pointless in his debut with the Warriors after being acquired last week from the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . The Blades will complete a stretch of three games in as many nights by playing in Brandon on Friday and Saturday. . . . Announced attendance: 3,302.
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FRIDAY’S GAMES (all times local):

Saskatoon at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Vancouver at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.
Edmonton vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.
Prince Albert at Prince George, 7 p.m.
Lethbridge vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:35 p.m.
Calgary at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.
Medicine Hat at Red Deer, 7 p.m.
Moose Jaw at Swift Current, 7 p.m.
Kamloops vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.





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