Sunday, January 15, 2017

Big day for Shirleys . . . Ex-WHL tough guy dies at 56 . . . Americans run table in East Division

Yes, Craig Cunningham, who played in the WHL with the Vancouver Giants and Portland Winterhawks, was in attendance at an AHL game in Tucson, Ariz., on Saturday night. It was the first game he has attended since suffering a heart attack during the pregame warmup on Nov 19. That is former Everett Silvertips GM Doug Soetaert, now the general manager of the Tucson Roadrunners, at the left.

Collin Shirley was all smiles late Saturday night, and it wasn’t all because the Kamloops Blazers captain had scored once and added two assists in a 6-3 victory over the visiting Vancouver Giants.
A lot of it was because his younger sister, Sophie, had been named the event’s top forward at the IIHF U-18 World Women’s Championship that concluded Saturday in Zlin, Czech Republic. Team USA beat Canada, 3-1, in the final.
Sophie, 17, finished the tournament with two goals and four assists in five games, tying with three others for the tournament scoring lead.
“She’s good,” Collin, 20, said. “She’s a really good skater and a skilled player. She’s really fast and skilled.”
With a laugh, he added: “It was tough to go home (to Saskatoon) at Christmas time and have her give it to me.”
It didn’t take any prodding to get Collin to admit that he’s awfully proud of his sister. His schedule only allowed him to take in part of one game during the U-18 tournament. But, as luck would have it, he picked the right one, Friday’s semifinal in which Sophie had two goals and an assist in a 6-2 victory over Sweden.
“When ever I get a chance to watch her it’s fun to see how far she’s come over the past two years,” he said. “It’s awesome.”
It’s worth noting that there’s another Shirley who’s a pretty fair player, too. That would be Grace, 15, who has 25 points, including 12 goals, in 20 games with the Saskatoon Stars of the Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League.
Boris Fistric, who won a Memorial Cup championship with Ernie McLean’s New Westminster Bruins died Friday night in an Edmonton hospital. He was 56.
Fistric died of a brain hemorrhage after falling on steps at home and striking his head.
He had worked at Edmonton Exchanger for 32 years.
As per Fistric’s wishes, there won’t be a memorial service.
Fistric, an Edmonton native, played two-plus seasons with the Bruins, totalling 27 goals, 76 assists and 973 penalty minutes — he had seasons of 414 and 460 minutes — in 143 games.
He helped the Bruins to the 1978 WHL championship and Memorial Cup title. In the regular season, he had nine goals, 34 assists and 414 penalty minutes. In 21 playoff games, he had three goals and 16 assists, along with 142 penalty minutes.
He was traded to the Brandon Wheat Kings early in 1979-80, where he had a goal, eight assists and 164 penalty minutes in 23 games.
Fistric, 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, was vastly under-rated as a passer, perhaps because his propensity for taking penalties over-shadowed that part of his game.
He was selected by the Detroit Red Wings in the third round of the NHL’s 1979 draft.
Fistric played two seasons with their IHL farm team, the Kalamazoo Wings, totalling 15 goals, 57 assists and 788 penalty minutes in 140 regular-season games. He added two assists and 109 penalty minutes in 10 playoff games.
He retired after the 1981-82 season.
Fistric’s son, Marc, played four seasons (2002-06) with the WHL’s Vancouver Giants before going on to a pro career that included 325 NHL games. A hard-hitting defenceman, Marc’s season was halted by back problems after the 2014-15 season.



At Brandon, G Travis Child stopped 18 shots to earn a shutout in his first start with the Wheat Kings as
they beat the Kootenay Ice, 4-0. . . . Child was acquired from the Swift Current Broncos at the trade deadline on Tuesday. . . . He has two shutouts this season, the first two of his career. . . . The Wheat Kings had beaten the visiting Ice, 8-3, on Friday night. . . . F Ryan Bettens (2) opened the scoring at 12:31 of the first period, with F Connor Gutenberg (9) making it 2-0 at 7:57 of the second. . . . F Reid Duke (25) added another at 14:53, with D Daniel Bukac rounding out the scoring with his first WHL goal, on a PP, at 17:16 of the second. . . . D Kale Clague had two assists. . . . G Payton Lee turned aside 39 shots for the Ice. . . . Brandon was 1-6 on the PP; Kootenay was 0-3. . . . Brandon F Nolan Patrick went pointless in his second game back. . . . F Vince Loschiavo, who scored one of the Ice’s goals on Friday night, was scratched from this one. . . . Brandon (22-17-4) has won two in a row. The Wheat Kings hold down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, eight points ahead of the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Kootenay (10-27-8) has lost three straight. . . . Announced attendance: 4,045.
At Calgary, the Prince George Cougars scored three times in the third period and beat the Hitmen, 5-4. . .
. Calgary took a 3-2 lead into the third. . . . Prince George F Jansen Harkins, who has 12 goals, scored at 7:20 and 12:54 to put his side oiut front, 4-3. . . . F Radovan Bondra upped that to 5-3 with his 21st goal at 17:24. . . . Calgary F Beck Malenstyn (18) got it back to within one at 18:39. . . . F Josh Maser (3) had given the Cougars a 1-0 lead at 2:10 of the first period. . . . Calgary tied it on F Mark Kastelic’s eighth goal, at 10:47. . . . Prince George went back out front when F Brad Morrison scored his 17th goal at 13:54. . . . The Hitmen took the lead on second-period goals from F Jakob Stukel (14), at 8:10, and D Jake Bean (3), on a PP, at 19:23. . . . Bondra also had two assists. . . . The Hitmen got three assists from D Vladislav Yeryomenko and one from Bean. . . . G Ty Edmonds blocked 47 shots for the Cougars in winning his 24th game this season. His 93 career victories are three off the franchise record held by Scott Myers. . . . G Trevor Martin stopped 24 shots for Calgary. . . . Calgary was 1-5 on the PP; Prince George was 0-3 on the PP. . . . Prince George F Jesse Gabrielle was hit with a cross-checking major and game misconduct at the end of the third period. . . . The Cougars went 3-1-0 in playing four games in five nights in Alberta. . . . The Cougars scratched D Sam Ruopp and D Tate Olson, both with undisclosed injuries, and F Aaron Boyd (ill). . . . Prince George (31-12-2) has won three in a row and is atop the overall standings, one point ahead of Regina, although the Pats have five games in hand. . . . The Hitmen (15-20-6) had points in each of their previous two games (1-0-1). They are within four points of a playoff spot. . . . Announced attendance: 6,607.

At Everett, F Keegan Kolesar’s goal at 4:44 of OT gave the Seattle Thunderbirds a 4-3 victory over the
Silvertips. . . . Kolesar has seven goals this season. . . . Seattle took a 2-0 lead on second-period goals from D Ethan Bear (12), at 8:22, and F Alexander True (11), at 8:46. . . . F Matthew Wedman drew the primary assist on each of those goals. . . . The Silvertips tied it on goals from F Connor Dewar (7), at 10:07, and F Eetu Tuulola (11), at 12:20. . . . Seattle went back out front at 15:32 of the third period when F Mathew Barzal scored his third goal of the season, beating Everett G Carter Hart through the legs. The two were teammates on Team Canada at the World Junior Championship. . . . Everett forced OT when F Matt Fonteyne got No. 13 at 17:23. . . . Bear and Barzal also had an assist each. . . . Seattle got 28 saves from G Rylan Toth, while Hart stopped 34 at the other end. . . . The Thunderbirds were 0-1 on the PP; the Silvertips were 0-3. . . . Seattle (22-14-4) has won four in a row and is third in the U.S. Division, three points ahead of the Portland Winterhawks. . . . Everett (27-5-8) has points in four straight (2-0-2). It leads the U.S. Division by three points over the Tri-City Americans. The Silvertips have eight games in hand. . . . Announced attendance: 8,249, a sellout on Local Heroes Night.
At Kamloops, line mates Collin Shirley and Lane Bauer combined for a goal and five assists as the Blazers doubled the Vancouver Giants, 6-3. . . . Shirley had a goal and two assists, while Bauer drew
three helpers. Nick Chyzowski, the third member of that line, scored once. . . . The Blazers took a 3-0 first-period lead on goals from F Deven Sideroff (25), Chyzowski (13) and F Rudolfs Balcers (23). . . . F Brendan Semchuk, who is from Kamloops, scored his seventh for the Giants, at 3:59 of the second period. . . . The Blazers jumped back into control on two goals from D Joe Gatenby, at 15:59 of the second period and 3:22 of the third. The latter came via the PP. . . . Gatenby went into this season with five goals in 174 regular-season games, all with the Kelowna Rockets. He has five goals in 44 games with the Blazers, including the first two two-goal games of his career. . . . Vancouver opened the third period with goals from F Brayden Watts,  his fifth, and F Ty Ronning, his 18th, at 5:00 and 10:51. . . . Shirley iced it with a highlight-reel shorthanded score at 14:19. He’s got 18 goals. . . . Balcers and Sideroff added an assist each. . . . F James Malm had three assists for Vancouver, with Watts adding two to his goal. Ronning had one assist. . . . Kamloops G Dylan Ferguson, making his 15th straight start, stopped 25 shots. G Connor Ingram, who hasn’t played since being with Team Canada at the World Junior Championship, should rejoin the Blazers before they entertain the Moose Jaw Warriors on Tuesday. . . . Vancouver G David Tendeck stopped 28 shots. . . . Kamloops was 1-3 on the PP; Vancouver was 0-3. . . . The Blazers (26-16-3) had lost their previous two games (0-1-1). They are tied with the Kelowna Rockets for second in the B.C. Division. . . . The Giants (16-25-3) have lost five in a row. . . . Vancouver F Tyler Benson missed his sixth straight game with what was said on Jan. 4 to be a minor injury. . . . Announced attendance: 3,923.
At Lethbridge, F Alec Baer scored two goals for the second time in three games to help the Hurricanes to a 6-5 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Baer had three goals in 39 games with the Vancouver
Giants. He has four in three games since being dealt to Lethbridge. . . . The Oil Kings got three goals from F Colton Kehler, who has 14 scores. . . . Lethbridge scored the game’s first three goals, with Baer counting at 1:25 and D Brennan Riddle (4) at 16:00 of the first period, and F Tyler Wong getting No. 31, and the 250th point of his career, at 2:15 of the second. . . . Kehler got his first goal, on a PP, at 3:50. . . . Baer put the home boys up by three again, at 6:34. . . . Kehler answered that one, on a PP, at 19:14. . . . F Egor Babenko (15) scored for Lethbridge at 2:43 of the third period, but Edmonton F Trey Fix-Wolansky replied with his 12th, at 3:01. . . . Lethbridge F Giorgio Estephan’s 22nd goal, at 5:38, ended up being the winner. It also was his 200th career point. . . . The Oil Kings got close as Kehler completed the hat trick at 10:09 and D Conner McDonald (3) scored at 18:32. . . . Lethbridge F Zak Zborosky had two assists, with Wong and Babenko adding one each. . . . Edmonton got two assists from each of D Will Warm and F Davis Koch, with Fix-Wolansky getting one. . . . G Ryan Gilchrist stopped 29 shots for the Hurricanes, nine more than Edmonton’s Patrick Dea. . . . Edmonton was 2-4 on the PP; Lethbridge was 1-5. . . . D Matthew Robertson made his WHL debut with the Oil Kings. He was their first-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. He was brought in from the midget AAA Sherwood Park Kings. . . . Lethbridge (24-15-6) has points in five straight (4-0-1) and is second in the Central Division. . . . Edmonton (18-22-4) has lost five in a row and now is tied with the Saskatoon Blades for the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . Announced attendance: 3,577.
At Portland, F JareT Anderson-Dolan scored two goals and set up another, and F Keanu Yamamoto had two goals as the Spokane Chiefs beat the Winterhawks, 6-5. . . . The Winterhawks had beaten the host
Chiefs, 5-4, on Friday night. . . . Last night, F Riley Woods (8) gave Spokane a 1-0 lead at 1:24 of the first period. . . . Portland F Skyler McKenzie tied it with his 27th goal at 1:55. . . . The Chiefs scored the next three goals, with Anderson-Dolan counting at 9:01, Yamamoto scoring at 9:55 and F Eli Zummack (3) scoring, on a PP, at 4:11 of the second period. . . . The Winterhawks replied with three straight goals. F Alex Overhardt (6) scored on a PP at 5:36, with F Ryan Hughes (16) getting the Winterhawks to within one at 6:13 and McKenzie tying it at 8:26. . . . The Chiefs went up by two as Yamamoto got No. 18 at 11:57 and Anderson-Dolan scored his 22nd at 11:57 of the third. . . . (I wonder how often that happens? The same team scores back-to-back goals at the identical time in back-to-back periods.) . . . F Cody Glass (21) pulled Portland back to within a goal at 18:34. . . . Woods and Zummack each had an assist for Spokane. . . . F Joachim Blichfeld had two assists for Portland, with Glass and Overhardt each getting one. . . . The Chiefs got 38 saves from G Dawson Weatherill. . . . Portland starter Cole Kehler was beaten three times on five shots in 9:55. Shane Farkas finished up in his WHL debut, allowing three goals on 20 shots in 48:04. Farkas, who turned 18 on Thursday, is from Penticton, B.C. . . . This was the fourth meeting of eight this season between these teams. Portland now is 3-1-0, while the Chiefs are 1-2-1. . . . Hughes has a goal in each of the four games. . . . F Keegan Iverson, the team captain, was among the Portland scratches after he didn’t finish Friday’s game due to an undisclosed injury. . . . The Chiefs (18-19-7) had lost their previous four games (0-3-1). They are two points out of a playoff spot. . . . The Winterhawks (22-19-1) are in possession of the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot but are just two points ahead of Spokane. . . . Announced attendance: 7,005. . . . F Matt Revel, acquired by the Winterhawks from the Kamloops Blazers at the trade deadline, is scheduled to travel to Portland on Jan. 22. Revel, 20, has been out since Dec. 10 with a collarbone injury that is expected to keep out until some time in February.
At Regina, F Adam Brooks scored the game’s last two goals to give the Pats a 7-6 OT victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . Brooks tied the game with 8.6 seconds left to play and won it 18 seconds into
OT. The winner was the 100th goal of his career. . . . He finished with two goals, giving him 24, and an assist. . . . The Raiders actually led this one 4-0 after one period on two goals from F Carson Miller, who has seven, and singletons from F Curtis Miske (8) and F Jordy Stallard (10). Miller’s first goal and Stallard’s score came via the PP. . . . Regina got back into it with three straight second-period goals — F Bryan Lockner got his third, and second in two nights, while F Jeff de Wit got No, 5 and F Dawson Leedahl got his 18th. . . . F Parker Kelly’s shorthanded goal restored Prince Albert’s two-goal lead at 6:43 of the third period. He’s got seven goals. . . . Regina F Nick Henry’s 21st goal, on a PP, pulled the home boys back to within one, at 7:48. . . . Raiders F Spencer Moe (4) gave them a 6-4 lead at 10:08. . . . F Jake Leschyshyn (17) scored for Regina at 12:09, setting the stage for Brooks’ heroics. . . . Regina got three assists from F Sam Steel, two from D Josh Mahura, and one from de Wit. . . . Steel and Brooks are tied for the WHL scoring lead, each with 73 points. . . . D Vojtech Budik had two assists for the Raiders, with Miller adding one for a three-point night. . . . G Kurtis Chapman, up from the MJHL’s Portage Terriers, made his first career WHL started for Regina and gave up four goals on 13 shots in 20 minutes. He was backed up by Max Paddock, who plays for the midget AAA Brandon Wheat Kings. Paddock, a nephew to Regina GM/head coach John Paddock, came on in relief and posted his first WHL victory by stopping 13 of 15 shots. . . . The Pats are down to the third and fourth goaltenders on their depth chart. Starter Tyler Brown went out with an undisclosed injury during Friday’s 6-5 loss to the visiting Tri-City Americans. Backup Jordan Hollett has been out with an ankle injury since before Christmas. . . . The Raiders got 29 saves from Nic Sanders. . . . Prince Albert was 2-5 on the PP; Regina was 1-2. . . . When the Raiders went up 4-0, it meant that the Pats had given up nine straight goals. The Tri-City Americans had scored the game’s last five goals in a 6-5 victory in Regina on Friday. . . . D Connor Hobbs and F Filip Ahl were among Regina’s scratches. . . . The Raiders were without F Simon Stransky, who left Friday’s 4-3 loss to the visiting Red Deer Rebels after absorbing a third-period hit from D Brandon Schuldaus. . . . Regina (28-5-7) had lost its previous two games. It is second in the overall standings, one point behind the Prince George Cougars. . . . Prince Albert (8-33-5) has lost nine in a row (0-6-3). . . . Announced attendance: 5,127.

At Saskatoon, F Lukus MacKenzie’s shorthanded goal broke a 2-2 tie at 6:58 of the third period and the Blades went on to a 4-2 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . MacKenzie has six goals. . . . F Michael Farren’s fourth goal, on a PP, gave Saskatoon a 1-0 lead at 3:37 of the first period. . . . Red Deer F Evan Polei then scored twice, giving him 19, at 7:04 and 15:08 of the second period, for a 2-1 lead. . . . The Blades tied it on F Gage Ramsay’s sixth goal, on a PP, at 2:18 of the third period. . . . F Jesse Shynkaruk added insurance for the Blades, his 17th goal going into an empty net at 19:43. . . . Farren also had an assist. . . . F Adam Musil had two helpers for the Rebels. . . . G Logan Flodell stopped 20 shots for the Blades, one more than Red Deer’s Lasse Petersen. . . . Saskatoon was 2-4 on the PP; Red Deer was 0-1. . . . The Blades (17-22-6) have won two in a row and are tied with the Edmonton Oil Kings for the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . The Rebels (20-18-6) had won their previous two games. They are third in the Central Division. . . . Announced attendance: 3,173.
At Swift Current, F Jordan Topping and F Morgan Geekie scored shootout goals to give Tri-City a 4-3
victory over the Broncos, allowing the Americans to run the table on their East Division trip. . . . F Ryley Lindgren’s 15th goal, his first since coming over to the Broncos from the Lethbridge Hurricanes earlier in the week, opened the scoring 25 seconds into the game. . . . F Jordan Topping gave the visitors a 2-1 lead with goals at 9:39 of the first and 9:38 of the second. . . . F Glenn Gawdin (16) and F Tyler Steenbergen (33) put the Broncos back out front by scoring at 1:10 and 6:07 of the third. . . . Geekie’s 25th goal, at 15:04 of the third, on a PP, forced OT. . . . Topping scored in the second round of the circus, with Lindgren replying for the Broncos. Geekie’s third-round goal won it. . . . F Aleksi Heponiemi had two assists for Swift Current and Steenbergen added one to his goal. . . . Tri-City got 28 stops from G Rylan Parenteau, while Jordan Papirny stopped 29 at the other end. . . . Tri-City was 2-5 on the PP; Swift Current 0-6. . . . The Americans (28-17-3) have won six in a row. They are second in the U.S. Division, 11 points ahead of Seattle, which holds eight games in hand. . . . The Broncos (24-13-8) have lost two straight (0-1-1). They are third in the East Division, three points behind the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . Announced attendance: 2,080.

At Victoria, G Griffen Outhouse stopped 36 shots to lead the Royals to a 3-0 victory over the Moose Jaw
Warriors. . . . Outhouse turned aside 11 shots in the first period and 15 in the third as he posted his third shutout this season and the seventh of his career, which is in its second season. . . . Outhouse also won his 23rd game this season as he improved his career record to 41-18-7. . . . F Tyler Soy opened the scoring with his 18th goal, at 12:26 of the first period. . . . Victoria went up 2-0 when F Vladimir Bobylev (4) struck on a PP, at 2:26 of the second period. . . . F Matt Phillips got No. 28 at 19:35 of the second. . . . Moose Jaw G Zach Sawchenko stopped 27 shots. . . . The Royals were 1-5 on the PP; the Warriors were 0-5. . . . Victoria (23-18-4) had lost its previous three games. It holds down the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot. . . . Moose Jaw (26-11-7) is 1-1-0 on its B.C. Division tour. The Warriors remain second in the East Division, four points behind the Regina Pats and three ahead of the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Announced attendance: 5,275.

SUNDAY’S GAMES (all times local):

Lethbridge at Calgary, 4 p.m.
Regina at Prince Albert, 4 p.m.
Spokane vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 5:05 p.m.
Red Deer at Swift Current, 4 p.m.

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