Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Tortorella: We practice too much; we coach too much ... 'Tips overpower Hitmen ... Cougars real road warriors

F Mitch Wahl (Spokane, 2005-10) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Västervik (Sweden, Allsvenskan). This season, he had one goals and three assists in 16 games with Ilves Tampere (Finland, Liiga) before being released on Oct. 30.
Granted that it’s on an experimental basis, but who would have thought that head coach John Tortorella of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets would be the guy to bring an end to the morning skate on the day of a game? . . . "When I can, I want to start trying to keep the team away from the morning,” he told Cory Wilkins in a story posted at thescore.com. “We bring them in here one time a day during practice days, but on game days we bring them in twice. It doesn't make any sense. With our schedule coming up the way it is, we are trying to get our guys out of the building as much as we can." . . . No, it doesn’t make sense and it hasn’t for a number of years. It also will be interesting to see if less time on the practice ice, even as loose as morning skates can be, will result in fewer injuries. . . . Tortorella also said: "When we get (the schedule) in July, I look for days off, not to see how many days we can practice. I do not want to practice two days in a row at all this year. We practice too much, we coach too much. If we don't have them here, then we don't have to coach them." . . . The Blue Jackets are into a stretch of seven games in 12 days. It will be interesting to see how they do. . . . Wilkins’ complete story is right here.
D Ryan Gardiner, 19, and the Moose Jaw Warriors have “mutually agreed” to go their separate ways, according to the WHL team. . . . Gardiner, from Winnipeg, is expected to join the MJHL’s Selkirk Steelers. . . . A third-round selection by the Warriors in the 2012 WHL bantam draft, he was in his third season with Moose Jaw. This season, he had two assists in 17 games. . . . In 158 regular-season games, he had one goal and 29 assists.
The Edmonton Oil Kings have added G Josh Dechaine, 18, to their roster. Dechaine had been with the SJHL’s La Ronge Ice Wolves. From St. Albert, Alta., he also has had stints with the AJHL’s Whitecourt Wolverines and Whitecourt Wolverines. He also has been in training camp with the Brandon Wheat Kings each of the past three years. . . . Dechaine, who has been practising with the Oil Kings, will replace freshman G Liam Hughes on the Edmonton roster. Hughes is out indefinitely with an undisclosed injury. . . . G Boston Bilous, 15, who had been backing up Patrick Dea since Hughes was hurt, has returned to the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League.
The Moose Jaw Warriors announced Tuesday that brothers Kevin and Ryan Smyth will be the 2016 inductees into the Conexus Warriors and Legends Hall of Fame. . . . It all will take place on March 3, with the Hall of Fame Game against the Medicine Hat Tigers on March 4. . . . Kevin finished his WHL career (1990-93) with 242 points, including 104 goals, in 201 games with the Warriors. He is seventh on Moose Jaw’s career points list. He was a fourth-round selection by the Hartford Whalers in the 1992 NHL draft. In 58 NHL games, he had six goals and eight assists. He played nine years of pro hockey, with stops in the AHL, IHL and WCHL. . . . The Warriors selected Ryan in the second round of the 1991 WHL bantam draft. He went to play 188 regular-season games with them, putting up 110 goals and 114 assists. He is 13th on the team’s all-time scoring list. In 1993-94, he had 105 points, including 50 goals. He was drafted sixth overall by the Edmonton Oilers in the NHL‘s 1994 draft. His NHL career included time with Edmonton, the New York Islanders, Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings. He also had an extensive international career on various Canadian teams.
The Okanagan Hockey Group, which is based in Penticton, B.C., has released an economic impact study that includes some numbers of interest.  According to the study, OHG had an economic impact of $19.91 million from September 2015 through August 2016. . . . From an OHG news release: “Okanagan Hockey Group Ltd. directly injects $3.95 million into the local economy. . . . Okanagan Hockey Academy activities contribute $7.7 million in direct spending in the City of Penticton. . . . As a result of Okanagan Hockey Camps offering eight weeks of programming the local economy benefited by an additional $4.8 million in direct spending.” . . . OHG provides 30 full-time and 100 part-time jobs with an annual payroll in excess of $1.76 million. . . . What I found especially interesting was that “47 families relocated to Penticton” with 15 of those relocating for the school year and 32 spent the entire year there. Those 47 families resulted in more than “$2.98 million of new dollars being spent in the local economy.” As well, visiting families spent $1.51 million, while visiting teams (1,671 visitors) spent $365,000. . . . According to the release, the study was conducted by “an independent third party, Lochaven Management Consultants Ltd., a company with 30 years of experience and a global reputation for excellence, (that) is internationally recognized for its work in private sector development.” . . . I am well aware that economic impact studies are to be read with caution, but these numbers can offer an interesting take on the impact of a business like OHG on a community the size of Penticton.
Steve Payne was a sniper; Michel Petit was a banger. They don’t know each other; they know of each other. Their NHL careers were ended by brain injuries and now both ex-players have joined the concussion-related lawsuit against the NHL. . . . Payne is adamant that he isn’t involved because he is looking for money. "I hope I don't become one of those guys, because that means I'm having trouble and problems that are beyond my ability to handle," he tells Joshua Kloke of sports.vice.com."I just want (the NHL) to be there for these guys and help them get the treatment they need to at least live as normal a life as they can under the circumstances.” . . . What Payne and Petit have gone through is an eye-opener and worth a read. Kloke’s story is right here.


The Kootenay Ice is expected to have F Peyton Krebs, 15, in the lineup for the first time (tonight) when it meets the Hurricanes in Lethbridge. Krebs, from Okotoks, Alta., was the first overall selection in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. Krebs is spending this season with the midget AAA UFA Bisons. He has 21 points, nine of them goals, in 12 games. . . . 
The Saskatoon Blades have a flu bug going through the dressing room. G Logan Flodell and D Libor Hajek, two key individuals, weren’t able to practice on Tuesday. The Blades are at home to the Moose Jaw Warriors on Thursday. 



At Everett, the Silvertips struck four times on a five-minute power play en route to a 6-1 victory over the
Calgary Hitmen. . . . Calgary F Travis Sanheim took a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct for a first-period hit on Everett D Noah Juulsen, who went to the dressing room. . . . Juulsen returned to start the second period, played a couple of PP shifts and then returned to the room. He finished the game in the press box. . . . The penalty occurred at 19:51 with the game at 0-0. . . . Eight seconds later, F Dominic Zwerger scored Everett’s first goal. He got its second, and his 10th, at 3:05 of the second period, with Juulsen getting the secondary assist. . . . F Eetu Tuulola added his fifth at 3:40 and D Kevin Davis got his second at 4:29. . . . The Silvertips will play in Davis’s hometown of Kamloops tonight (Wednesday). . . . Zwerger also drew two assists. Bajkov and F Sean Richards (4) each had a goal and two assists, while F Devon Skoleski had two helpers. Davis and Tuulola had an assist apiece. . . . Everett G Carter Hart stopped 27 shots, losing his shutout bid to F Matteo Gennaro (5) at 15:04 of the second period. . . . Calgary starter Cody Porter allowed six goals on 34 shots in 47:07. Kyle Dumba finished up by stopping all four shots he faced. . . . Everett was 5-5 on the PP; Calgary was 0-5. . . . The Silvertips (15-2-3) are 7-0-2 in their past nine games. . . . The Hitmen (7-7-2) have lost two in a row. The Hitmen have been outscored 15-3 in two games since opening a U.S. Division swing with a 3-1 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds in Kent, Wash., on Friday. . . . Announced attendance: 3,012.
At Kelowna, F Colby McAuley had two goals and an assist to lead the Prince George Cougars to a 4-2
victory over the Rockets. . . . The Cougars (16-4-2) continue to lead the overall standings. They are 4-0-0 against Kelowna this season. Prince George hadn’t beaten Kelowna four times in a season since 2006-07 when the Rockets won the season series, 6-4-0. . . . The Cougars also are 11-1-0 in the B.C. Division. . . . The Rockets, who had been 8-2-0 in their past 10 games, are 11-10-0. . . . The Cougars scored the game’s first two goals, with F Yan Khomenko getting his eighth goal at 6:23 of the second period and F Colby McAuley scoring No. 6 at 9:48. . . . F Tomas Soustal (9) got Kelowna on the board with a PP goal at 16:48. . . . McAuley scored again at 4:26 of the third period. . . . Kelowna F Calvin Thurkauf got his ninth, on a PP, at 8:51 of the third. . . . The Cougars closed the scoring on F Josh Boyd’s third goal at 18:45. . . . F Josh Curtis had three assists for the visitors, while Boyd added one to his goal. . . . G Ty Edmonds stopped 22 shots for the Cougars. . . . The Rockets got 32 saves from G Michael Herringer. . . . The Rockets were 2-4 on the PP; the Cougars were 0-5. . . . The Cougars are 10-1-1 on the road. . . . F Kody McDonald returned to the Cougars’ lineup after serving a three-game sentence, while D Sam Ruopp served Game 4 of an eight-game sentence. . . . Announced attendance: 4,521.
At Cranbrook, B.C., F Mark Rassell scored once and added two assists to help the Medicine Hat Tigers
to a 5-2 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . The Tigers, who are 8-2-0 on the road, outshot the Ice 38-13 as they took a 3-2 lead into the third period. . . . The visitors scored the game’s first two goals — F James Hamblin (4) at 2:07 of the second period and D Ty Schultz (1) at 5:47. . . . F Zak Zborosky’s 14th goal got the Ice to within one at 12:24, but Medicine Hat F Matt Bradley (9) got that one back 1:03 later. . . . F Noah Philp’s second goal pulled the Ice back to within a goal at 16:02. . . . The Tigers put it away with two quick third-period goals. Rassell, who has 12 goals, scored shorthanded at 4:17 and Bradley added another at 6:44. . . . F Mason Shaw had two assists for the winners. . . . G Nick Schneider stopped 19 shots for the victory. . . . The Ice got 50 saves from G Payton Lee. . . . Kootenay was 0-6 on the PP; Medicine Hat was 0-7. . . . The Tigers (14-5-1) have won three in a row. . . . The Ice (3-12-5) has lost five straight (0-4-1). . . . Announced attendance: 1,565.
At Spokane, the Seattle Thunderbirds scored the game’s first two goals and the last three in beating the
Chiefs, 5-2. . . . Seattle F Keegan Kolesar was in the lineup for the first time this season, and he started on a line with F Mathew Barzal and F Ryan Gropp. Kolesar had undergone surgery for a supraumbilical hernia in late Septembrer while in camp with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets. . . . D Brandon Schuldhaus got Seattle started with his first goal, at 1:22 of the opening period. F Scott Eansor made it 2-0 at 14:32. . . . The Chiefs tied the score with two quick goals, F Kailer Yamamoto scoring No. 16 at 17:14 of the first and F Hudson Elynuik getting his sixth just 13 seconds into the second. . . . F Ryan Gropp broke the 2-2 tie with his third goal at 3:54 of the third period. Kolesar and Barzal had the assists. . . . F Alexander True (6) made it 4-2 at 9:02 and F Nolan Volcan (8) got the empty-netter at 19:11. . . . D Reece Harsch and Barzal each had two assists for Seattle, with Eansor and True each getting one. . . . G Rylan Toth stopped 31 shots in earning the victory. . . . The Chiefs got 27 saves from Dawson Weatherill. . . . Each team was 0-3 on the PP. . . . The Thunderbirds (9-8-1) have won two straight. . . . The Chiefs (7-7-5) had points in seven straight (4-0-3) before this one. . . . Announced attendance: 3,317.
At Swift Current, D Artyom Minulin scored at 2:03 of OT to give the Broncos a 3-2 victory over the Red
Deer Rebels. . . . It was the seventh time in their past nine games that the Broncos went to OT. . . . Minulin has five goals this season. . . . He also had an assist. . . . Last season, Minulin finished with five goals and 28 assists in 72 games. This season, he has five goals and 16 assists in 22 games. . . . The Broncos scored the game’s first two goals, with F Tyler Steenbergen getting No. 15, on a PP, at 8:22 of the first period and F Cole Johnson scoring his second, at 2:41 of the second. . . . D Josh Mahura got Red Deer’s first goal, his eighth, on a PP, at 17:49. . . . The Rebels tied it when F Michael Spacek scored his 13th goal, shorthanded, at 7:14 of the third period. . . . The Broncos got 23 saves from G Taz Burman. . . . Red Deer G Lasse Petersen turned aside 27 shots. . . . The Rebels were 1-1 on the PP; the Broncos were 1-4. . . . Swift Current (11-6-5) had lost three in a row (0-1-2). . . . The Rebels (10-9-3) have lost two straight. . . . This was Red Deer’s eighth straight road game (2-5-1). . . . Announced attendance: 1,708.
At Victoria, F Tyler Soy scored once and added two assists as the Royals dumped the Prince Albert
Raiders, 3-1. . . . F Jared Dmytriw’s seventh goal, at 3:06 of the first period, on a PP, gave the home side a 1-0 lead. . . . D Loch Morrison tied it with his first goal at 16:11 of the second period. . . . Victoria F Matt Phillips (13) snapped the tie at 2:21 of the third period. . . . Soy iced it with an empty-netter at 19:36. That was his 11th goal of the season and 101st of his career. That equals the Royals’ career record that was held by F Brandon Magee, who also scored 12 times for the Chilliwack Bruins. . . . Soy has 204 points in 233 regular-season games. . . . G Griffen Outhouse stopped 25 shots for the Royals, while the Raiders’ Nick Sanders turned aside 27. . . . The Raiders were 1-4 on the PP; the Royals were 1-7. . . . The Royals improved to 12-8-2. . . . The Raiders (5-14-1) have lost three in a row, all in the B.C. Division. . . . This was the third game in a row for Prince Albert head coach Marc Habscheid against a former team. He also coached the Kamloops Blazers and Kelowna Rockets before ending up in Victoria. He was the head coach of the Chilliwack Bruins for two seasons and made the move with them to Victoria. . . . Announced attendance: 3,192.

WEDNESDAY’S GAMES (all times local):

Regina at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
Everett at Kamloops, 7 p.m.
Kootenay at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.
Calgary vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.

Prince Albert vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7 p.m.

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