Sunday, January 29, 2017

Gervais shows improvement ... Milestones for Daum, Thibodeau ... Four-spots for Duke, Soy

There was some good news on Sunday from the bedside of Brevin Gervais, the 17-year-old defenceman from the junior B 100 Mile House Wranglers, who underwent emergency surgery for a brain aneurysm in Kamloops on Friday.
Mateo Albinati, who started the gofundme site with proceeds to Brevin’s family, posted that “Brevin has slowly begun breathing on his own. Although it is minimal, it is a step in the right direction, and he now has opened his eyes on command and squeezed hands. His blood pressure has increased, which also is a very good sign.”
Friends and folks in the hockey community responded in such a fashion that Albinati shut down the gofundme site on Sunday evening, by which time donations had totalled $20,350. His original goal was $16,000.
Well done and thank you! Please keep Brevin and his family in your thoughts and prayers as this chapter of their lives has just begun.
A native of Prince George, Brevin was a fourth-round selection by the Calgary Hitmen in the 2015 bantam draft.
The Everett Silvertips have added F Cal Babych, who turned 20 on Jan. 18, to their roster. While he was listed earlier this season by Everett, he had been with the BCHL’s Coquitlam Express. Everett will be Babych’s fifth WHL stop. He split 152 career games between the Calgary Hitmen, Prince George Cougars, Prince Albert Raiders and Vancouver Giants, putting up 35 points, including 15 goals. With the Express, he had seven goals and 21 assists in 33 games. . . . He made his Everett debut in Sunday’s 5-1 loss to the visiting Kamloops Blazers.
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Concussion Report

When Mary Lois Nittmo went looking for the ex-husband who ran out on her and their four children 12 years ago, Tim Graham of the Buffalo News accompanied her. They found Bjorn Nittmo, a Swede who is a former NFL and CFL kicker, but what they discovered wasn’t pretty. . . . Graham’s story is right here.
Meanwhile, in Houston, the site of Sunday’s Super Bowl game, a news conference is to be held today by a support group that calls itself Faces of CTE. In attendance will be co-founders Cyndy Feaser and Kimberly Archie. Feaser, whose ex-husband Grant Feasel was an offensive lineman who was diagnosed with Stage 3 CTE after his death, has written the book After the Cheering Stops: An NFL Wife’s Story of Concussions, Loss and the Faith That Saw Her Through.
Archie’s son Paul was 24 when he died from the effects of CTE caused by playing football.
The brain bank at Boston University has confirmed CTE in the brains of 91 of 95 deceased NFLers. Dr. Ann McKee, who has been in the forefront of all of this, admits she has stopped watching NFL games despite having been an avid fan of the Green Bay Packers.
“I, for one, don’t watch football anymore because I can’t,” she told Jeff Caplan of the Kansas City Star. “I can no longer sort of reconcile what I’m seeing at my work and watching the game on television. It’s been a long road, and it’s depressing. It’s very depressing.” . . . Caplan’s complete story is right here. Yes, it’s depressing.
Meanwhile, in the world of hockey, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman continues to deny a link between repeated blows to the head and CTE.
And in the WHL the powers-that-be continue to allow teenagers to punch each other in the face with no apparent thought given to the consequences.


A note from a reader informs us that the Red Deer Rebels had some special moments on Saturday night as they honoured three people who have been with them for 25 years, or since Day 1.
Judy Seher, the Rebels’ billet co-ordinator, and off-ice officials Carl Purves and Jim Hollman were saluted at centre ice prior to the game. They were presented with 25-year watches . . . first-class people honoured by a solid organization.

Rob Daum of EHC Linz has become the winningest head coach in Austria’s Erste Bank Eishockey Liga (EBEL). Daum put up victory No. 235 on Sunday, as the Black Wings beat the visiting Vienna Capitals, 5-3, allowing him to move out of a tie with Pierre Pagé. Daum, in his sixth season with EHC Linz, is a former WHL coach, having worked with the Prince Albert Raiders, Swift Current Broncos and Lethbridge Hurricanes (1989-95).
Gord Thibodeau, the head coach of the Whitecourt Wolverines, has tied the AJHL record for most regular-season coaching victories. When the Wolverines beat the host Bonnyville Pontiacs, 4-3, on Sunday, it gave Thibodeau 832 victories, tying him with Don Phelps, the long-time (1979-2011) head coach of the Calgary Canucks. . . . Thibodeau has been an AJHL head coach since 1997 and also has worked with the Lloydminster Blazers, St. Albert Saints, Fort McMurray Oil Barons and Lloydminster Bobcats. He is in his first season with the Wolverines.
The AJHL’s Drumheller Dragons fired general manager and head coach Brian Curran on Sunday. He was in the fifth year of a contract that was to expire after this season. A former AJHL coach of the year, Curran took the Dragons to the South Division championship in 2013-14. . . . Assistant coach Darryl Olsen has stepped in as interim head coach. . . . The Dragons (20-23-4) are sixth in the six-team South Division, 11 points out of fifth.



At Calgary, F Reid Duke scored four times to lead the Brandon Wheat Kings to a 6-1 victory over the Hitmen. . . . Duke, a Calgarian who has 30 goals, scored the game’s first three goals, recording his fifth
career hat trick and his second against the Hitmen this season. . . . He scored at 2:55 and 8:23 of the first period, 11:02 of the second and nine seconds into the third. Duke’s first goal came via the PP, while the third one was shorthanded. . . . F Tyler Coulter earned assists on three of Duke’s goals. . . . F Connor Gutenberg also had three assists. . . . F Beck Malenstyn scored for Calgary, his PP goal at 11:24 of the second period cutting the deficit to 3-1. He’s got 21 goals. . . . D James Shearer (6), who also had an assist, and D Dmitry Osipov (2) also scored for Brandon, which lost D Kale Clague to a charging major and game misconduct at 10:06 of the second period. That was for a hit on Malenstyn. . . . G Travis Child stopped 31 shots for Brandon. . . . Calgary starter Trevor Martin allowed four goals on 14 shots through two periods. Kyle Dumba played the third period, stopped six of eight shots. . . . Each team was 1-6 on the PP. . . . The Wheat Kings (24-19-5) had lost their previous two games. They hold down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot but the defending champions are just five points behind the Swift Current Broncos in the East Division. . . . The Hitmen (18-22-9) had points in each of their previous four games (1-0-3). This was their third game in fewer than 48 hours; they went 1-1-1. Calgary is one point behind the Saskatoon Blades, who are in possession of the conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . Announced attendance: 6,913.
At Edmonton, G Ty Edmonds turned aside 26 shots to help the Prince George Cougars to a 3-1 victory
over the Oil Kings. . . . The Cougars had won, 11-3, in Edmonton on Saturday night. . . . Edmonds now has 95 career regular-season victories, tying the Prince George franchise record that was held by Scott Myers (1996-2000). . . . This was Edmonds’ 26th victory this season. . . . F Aaron Boyd (7) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 3:33 of the first period. . . . Edmonton tied it when F Davis Koch scored his 13th goal — it was his 100th career point — at 14:49. . . . Prince George F Jansen Harkins broke the tie with his 16th goal at 4:50 of the second period. . . . D Brendan Guhle added insurance with his 12th goal just 15 seconds later. . . . Guhle and Boyd each added an assist. . . . The Oil Kings got 34 saves from G Patrick Dea. . . . Each team was 0-4 on the PP. . . . The Cougars (36-14-3) have won two in a row. They are alone atop the overall standings, two points ahead of the Regina Pats, who hold six games in hand. . . . The Oil Kings (18-28-4) have lost 11 straight games and are six points out of a playoff spot. . . . Both teams were playing for the third time in fewer than 48 hours. The Cougars went 2-1-0; the Oil Kings went 0-3-0. . . . Announced attendance: 6,827.

At Everett, G Dylan Ferguson stopped 37 shots and F Lane Bauer had two goals as the Kamloops
Blazers skated to a 5-1 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . Bauer, who has 29 shots. broke a 1-1 tie 25 seconds into the second period as the Blazers took control with three goals in a span of 4:27. . . . F Deven Sideroff (28) had given Kamloops a 1-0 lead at 10:34 of the first period. . . . Everett F Connor Dewar (10) tied it 11 seconds into the second period. . . . Bauer broke that tie just 14 seconds later. . . . F Nick Chyzowski’s 14th goal upped the Blazers’ lead to 3-1 at 3:54 and Bauer made it 4-1, while shorthanded, at 4:52. . . . Kamloops F Quinn Benjafield added more insurance with an empty-net goal at 11:37 of the third period. Yes, Everett head coach Kevin Constantine had his goaltender on the bench for the extra attacker with more than eight minutes to play. . . . F Garrett Pilon had two assists for the Blazers. . . . Bauer has 13 points, including four goals, in 10 games with Kamloops since coming over in a deal with the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Everett G Mario Petit was beaten three times on 17 shots in 23:54. Carter Hart came off the bench to stop 10 of 11 shots in 35:25. . . . Kamloops was 0-2 on the PP; Everett was 0-4. . . . Kamloops (31-17-3) has won two in a row. It is second in the B.C. Division, three points ahead of the Victoria Royals. . . . The Silvertips (30-9-9) have lost four in a row (0-3-1). They lead the U.S. Division by six points over the Tri-City Americans. Everett has five games in hand. . . . Announced attendance: 4,089.
At Kent, Wash., F Ryan Gropp and F Keegan Kolesar each enjoyed four-point outings as the Seattle Thunderbirds dumped the Tri-City Americans, 5-1. . . . The hosts scored the game’s first four goals to
lead 4-0 before the second period was six minutes old. . . . Gropp, who finished with two goals and two assists, got it started 29 seconds into the first period. . . . Kolesar, who had a goal and three assists, made it 2-0 with No. 10 at 5:12. . . . F Mathew Barzal got his seventh goal at 4:17 of the second period and F Alexander True made it 4-0, on a PP, at 5:39. He’s got 16 goals. . . . Tri-City F Tyler Sandhu scored his 14th goal, on a PP, at 10:16. . . . Gropp scored his 13th goal into an empty net at 16:52 of the third period. . . . Seattle got two assists from D Austin Strand, while Barzal had one helper. . . . Americans D Parker Wotherspoon recorded one assist, the 133rd of his career. That gave him the franchise’s career record for most assists by a defenceman, with one more than Tyler Schmidt (2006-11). . . . Seattle G Rylan Toth stopped 19 shots, 15 fewer than Tri-City’s Beck Warm. . . . Seattle was 1-3 on the PP; Tri-City was 1-4. . . . The Thunderbirds (29-15-4) have won five in a row. They are third in the U.S. Division, one point behind Tri-City and with five games in hand. . . . The Americans (30-20-3) are six points behind the Everett Silvertips. . . . Each team was playing for the third time in fewer than 48 hours. That included Seattle’s 4-3 victory over host Tri-City on Friday. Seattle went 3-0-0 in the triple header weekend; the Americans were 1-2-0. . . . Announced attendance: 4,098.
At Swift Current, the Prince Albert Raiders scored three PP goals to beat the Broncos, 3-2. . . . The third
of those goals, from D Max Martin, snapped a 2-2 tie with 6.7 seconds left in the third period. Martin has six goals. . . . F Cavin Leth gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead with his 16th goal at 3:13 of the first period. . . . Leth is a Cy Young candidate with 16 goals and three assists in 44 games with Prince Albert since moving over from the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . He has goals in four of his last five games, including four in his last three outings. . . . F Kaden Elder (10) scored on a PP at 11:53 to get the Broncos even, and F Arthur Miller (6) counted at 11:46 of the second period for a 2-1 lead. . . . The Raiders tied it on F Curtis Miske’s 11th goal at 9:07 of the third period. . . . Martin and Miske also had an assist each. . . . G Nic Sanders stopped 27 shots to earn the victory over Jordan Papirny, who made 29 saves. . . . The Raiders were 3-7 on the PP; the Broncos were 1-3. . . . F Logan Barlage, the fourth overall selection in the 2016 bantam draft, played his second game of the season with the Broncos. He turned 16 on Jan. 7. . . . While the Raiders were playing their third game in fewer than 48 hours — they went 2-1-0 — the Broncos hadn’t played since the previous Sunday when they dropped a 6-3 decision to the host Saskatoon Blades. . . . Prince Albert (13-35-5) has won two straight. The Raiders remain in the WHL cellar but now are just one point behind the Kootenay Ice. . . . The Broncos (25-17-8) have dropped four in a row and remain third in the East Division. . . . Announced attendance: 2,106.

At Victoria, F Tyler Soy scored four times and added an assist to lead the Royals to a 6-3 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . The Royals swept the triple header weekend from the Giants, having won 3-1 in
Langley, B.C., on Friday and 7-1 in Victoria on Saturday. . . . F Jack Flaman’s 12th goal 49 seconds into the game gave the Giants a 1-0 lead on Sunday. . . . The Royals took a 2-1 lead on goals from D Scott Walford (5) at 6:07 and Soy at 14:01. . . . Walford has goals in four straight games. . . . Vancouver tied it at 3:50 of the second period as F James Malm scored. . . . Soy, who has 24 goals, then scored three straight goals as the Royals took control. All three came via the PP — at 6:03 and 17:12 of the second period and 16 seconds into the third. . . . Victoria F Carter Folk added his fifth goal, on a PP, at 7:32 of the third period. . . . Malm closed out the scoring with his 17th goal, on a PP, at 10:39. . . . Soy, a 19-year-old from Cloverdale, B.C., has 50 points in 37 games. In his past eight games, he has scored seven times and added 10 assists. He is the third player in Royals history with a four-goal game, joining F Kevin Sundher (Oct. 29, 2011) and F Brandon Magee (Jan. 25, 2013). . . . F Matt Phillips, F Dante Hannoun, D Chaz Reddekopp and F Vladimir Bobylev each had two assists for Victoria. . . . The Giants got two assists from F Calvin Spencer. . . . D Ryan Gagnon, the Royals’ captain, played in his 300th regular-season game. . . . The Royals got 22 saves from Dylan Myskiw, who picked up his first career victory. Myskiw, who was injured before Christmas, was making his first appearance since Dec. 17 and only his second since Nov. 30. . . . G Griffen Outhouse had started the Royals’ previous 23 games as he set a franchise record. . . . Vancouver G Ryan Kubic stopped 36 shots. . . . Victoria was 4-10 on the PP; Vancouver was 1-4. . . . The Royals (29-19-4) have won three straight games. They are third in the B.C. Division, four points ahead of the Kelowna Rockets. . . . The Giants (17-30-4) have lost five in a row (0-4-1). . . . Announced attendance: 5,866.

MONDAY’S GAME (all times local):

Regina at Saskatoon, 11:30 a.m.

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