Monday, January 16, 2017

It's official! Hay's at 704 ... Benson still sidelined ... Silvertips power past Rockets

The official figure is 704.
The WHL office has done the research and announced on Monday that Don Hay, the head coach of the Kamloops Blazers, has 704 career regular-season WHL coaching victories.
Taylor Rocca, the WHL’s co-ordinator, communications, did the work, going over game sheets from 1987-88 and 1991-92, and found that Hay posted nine victories as a head coach during those two seasons.
Hay, then a Kamloops assistant, took over as the Blazers’ head coach for the first time in December 1987 when Ken Hitchcock left to join the staff of Canada’s national junior team at the World Junior Championship.
The same thing happened in December 1991 when Hay stepped up as head coach Tom Renney joined Team Canada.
Rocca discovered that the Blazers under Hay were 4-3-0 in Hitchock’s absence, and 5-4-0 when Renney was gone.
Those nine victories are one more than my records had given to Hay, but going off the actual game sheets makes it all official.
So . . . what this all means is that Hay is at 704.
That 3-1 victory over the Kelowna Rockets on Jan. 6 that we all thought was No. 700 actually was No. 703.
Hay, then, will go into the Blazers game tonight (Tuesday) against the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors with 704 victories, the latest one by a 6-3 count over the Vancouver Giants in Kamloops on Saturday.
The game between the Warriors and Blazers will be televised by Shaw, so chances are there’ll be some chatter there about Hay’s pursuit of the WHL record for career coaching victories.
That record (742) is held by Ken Hodge, who coached the original Edmonton Oil Kings and made the move to Portland as the franchise became the Winterhawks for the 1976-77 season
A Vancouver radio station reported Monday morning that F Tyler Benson, the captain of the Vancouver Giants, “has a pubic-pelvis bone injury that results in groin pain.”
According to News 1130 Sports, the Giants “say Benson’s pubic-pelvis bone injury is not serious or season-ending but sounds similar to the injury he suffered last (season).”
Benson, 18, has missed the Giants’ past six games.
Last season, he underwent surgery for a cyst near his tailbone and then was done in by inflammation near the pubic bone. He was limited to 30 games and finished with 28 points, including nine goals.
This season, he has 42 points, 11 of them goals, in 33 games.
Benson, who is from Edmonton, was selected by the Oilers in the second round of the NHL’s 2016 draft. The Oilers signed him to a three-year, entry-level contract on Dec. 31.
D Darian Skeoch also is expected to be missing again tonight when the Giants and Victoria Royals meet at the Langley Events Centre. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Skeoch, who has an ankle injury, last played on Dec. 3.
The Giants (16-25-3) have lost five in a row and are 10 points away from a playoff spot.
The Kootenay Ice, with three defenceman injured, have brought in D Loeden Schaufler, 16, from the Notre Dame Hounds of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League. This season, he has 11 points, including four goals, in 22 games, with the Hounds. From Dewinton, Alta., he was a third-round pick in the 2015 bantam draft. . . . The Ice has lost D Sam Huston (2-3 weeks), D Nikita Radzivilyuk (two weeks) and D Ryan Pouliot (1-2 weeks), all with undisclosed injuries. . . . The Ice next plays on Wednesday when it entertains the Prince Albert Raiders.



At Everett, the Silvertips scored three times on the power play and beat the Kelowna Rockets, 5-4. . . . It was Martin Luther King Day in the U.S., and these teams played an afternoon affair. . . . The Silvertips
finished 3-7 on the PP; the Rockets were 0-3. . . . “(The Rockets) are big, they’re physical, they’re old school, and by old school I mean war,” Everett head coach Kevin Constantine told Jesse Geleynse of the Everett Herald. “Tonight was war. I respect them for how they play. They play extremely hard and I admire that. I thought it was a playoff type of hockey (game) where it was very emotional and physical, and I’m proud of our guys for hanging in that kind of environment.” . . . D Kevin Davis (4), on a PP, gave Everett a 1-0 lead at 2:55 of the first period. . . . The teams then exchanged goals until the middle of the second period. . . . Kelowna D Lucas Johansen (2) tied it at 4:05 of the first period, with Everett F Bryce Kindopp (6) restoring the lead, at 5:50. . . . F Jack Cowell (4) pulled the Rockets into a 2-2 tie at 12:21, only to have F Connor Dewar (8) put the home boys out front again, at 18:22. . . . F Calvin Thurkauf’s 19th goal, at 19:38, tied it again. . . . In the end, the difference was two second-period PP goals scored by Everett. F Dominic Zwerger scored his 19th at 9:27 and F Riley Sutter got his 14th at 19:17. . . . Kelowna F Conner Bruggen-Cate’s third goal got Kelowna to within one at 13:26. . . . Sutter added two assists to his goal, for his first career three-point outing, while Davis and Zwerger each had one. . . . F Reid Gardiner had two assists for Kelowna but wasn’t able to finish the game after absorbing a hard hit in a second-period collision with Thurkauf. . . . Everett G Carter Hart recorded the victory with 25 stops. It was his 71st career victory, tying him for third with Kent Simpson on the Silvertips’ all-time list. Austin Lotz is next, at 72. Leland Irving is No. 1, with 107. . . . Kelowna starter Michael Herringer gave up four goals on 11 shots in 29:27. Brodan Salmond came on in relief and was beaten once on 15 shots in 29:01. . . . Everett lost F Devon Skoleski in the second period after he took a check from Kelowna F Dillon Dube. . . . The Silvertips (28-5-8) have points in five straight (3-0-2). They are tied for second in the overall standings with the Prince George Cougars, one point behind the Regina Pats. Everett and Regina hold four games in hand on Prince George. . . . The Rockets (26-16-3) had won their previous three games. They are tied for second in the B.C. Division, with the Kamloops Blazers. . . . Announced attendance: 3,712.

TUESDAY’S GAMES (all times local):

Moose Jaw at Kamloops, 7 p.m.
Portland at Prince George, 7 p.m.
Everett vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:05 p.m.
Victoria at Vancouver, 7 p.m.

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