Friday, January 13, 2017

Len Boogaard fights the good fight ... Patrick solid in return ... Americans, Cougars roar back to win


F Björn Svensson (Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, 2003-06) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Ingolstadt (Germany, DEL). Svensson was released by Färjestad Karlstad (Sweden, SHL) on Thursday. He had three goals and three assists in 31 games.

The WHL has acknowledged that, yes, Don Hay’s first head-coaching victory occurred on Dec. 18, 1987, but, no, it isn’t going to count it.
If you’re late to this story, everyone thought that Hay had posted his 700th victory on Jan. 6 when his
Kamloops Blazers beat the visiting Kelowna Rockets, 3-1.
The WHL had said that Hay’s first coaching victory occurred on Dec. 13, 1991, when Hay, then an assistant coach with the Blazers, took over while head coach Tom Renney was with Canada’s national junior team. The Blazers went 6-5-0 under Hay during that stint.
But in conversation after the Jan. 6 game it became apparent that Hay also had taken over the Blazers from head coach Ken Hitchcock in December 1987 when the latter joined Team Canada’s coaching staff.
The Blazers went 2-4-0 with Hay as the head coach of record, twice beating the Seattle Thunderbirds, 5-2 both times, giving him the first two WHL victories of his career.
That would mean, then, that when the Blazers beat the Giants on Jan. 6, it actually was Hay’s 702nd victory.
Understand that people other than WHL head coaches get credit for victories a number of times each season.
For example, Mark O’Leary, an assistant coach with the Moose Jaw Warriors, ran the bench from Dec. 9 through Jan. 4 when head coach Tim Hunter was with Team Canada. The Warriors went 7-3-2 with O’Leary in charge.
Earlier than that, Lethbridge Hurricanes general manager Peter Anholt stepped in when head coach Brent Kisio was at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge. The Hurricanes went 2-2-1 under Anholt.
Just this week, Dean Brockman, the head coach of the Saskatoon Blades, missed a 5-4 OT victory over the visiting Calgary Hitmen because he attended a funeral. Assistant coach Ryan Keller was the head coach of record and earned his first victory.
Last season, the Brandon Wheat Kings played 13 games without general manager and head coach Kelly McCrimmon — one while he was at meetings in Calgary and 12 while he was with Team Canada. David Anning, then an assistant coach, stepped up and was 9-3-1.
You would think, then, that it is obvious that Hay should be given credit for the two 1987 victories.
However, when Earl Seitz, the sports director at CFJC-TV in Kamloops, contacted the WHL office and asked for clarification, here is the response he received:
“Upon further review, Dec. 18, 1987, should serve as Don’s first game as the coach of record. It also happens to be a 5-2 Blazers win at Seattle. While this changes the first game/date on Don’s coaching record, it does not change the number of career victories. We maintain that (the Jan. 6) win versus Kelowna is his 700th career coaching victory.”
All of this is significant because Hay is only the second coach in WHL history to get to 700 victories and now has the career record within reach. Ken Hodge, who coached with the original Edmonton Oil Kings and Portland Winterhawks, is on top, at 742.
It is most likely that Hay, assuming he is back for a fourth season as head coach of his hometown Blazers, will get the opportunity at some point next season to break that record.
It’s up to the WHL to clarify things by crediting Hay with the two victories before then so that the situation isn’t any messier when that time arrives.
The Edmonton Oil Kings have added D Matthew Robertson to their roster and he is expected to play tonight against the host Lethbridge Hurricanes. He had been playing with the midget AAA Sherwood Park Kings. The 6-foot-1, 170-pounder was the seventh overall selection in the 2016 bantam draft. He has three goals and eight assists in 22 games with the Kings.
Concussion Report

Len Boogaard isn’t going away. The father of the late Derek Boogaard continues to work towards getting fighting out of hockey. His son was an enforcer — in the WHL, the AHL, the NHL — and Len knows the hell through which Derek lived.
In an epic piece in The Globe and Mail, Roy MacGregor writes: “Scientists say that the developing brain is most vulnerable and Len Boogaard wonders how, then, junior hockey can justify fighting on any level.”
“Why,” Boogaard wonders, “would you have a 16-year-old fighting a 20-year-old? It doesn’t make any sense to me.”
Later, MacGregor writes: “If, as the (NHL) itself has said, fighting causes about 10 per cent of the concussions suffered in a season, why not reduce those concussion injuries by 10 per cent immediately by putting an end to fighting?”
Boogaard added: “How do you square the circle where they want to get rid of headshots but they allow fighting in the league?
“What am I missing?”
MacGregor’s complete essay is right here.



At Brandon, F Tyler Coulter scored three goals and added three assists but was overshadowed by the return of F Nolan Patrick as the Wheat Kings beat the Kootenay Ice, 8-5. . . . Patrick, who is likely to be
the No. 1 selection in the NHL’s 2017 draft, had two goals and two assists in his first game since Oct. 11. . . . Patrick, who began the game on a line with Ty Lewis and Stelio Mattheos, now has 13 points, including six goals, in seven games this season. . . . The Ice took a 2-0 lead as F Colton Kroeker (3) and F Vince Loschiavo (15), on a PP, scored at 1:33 and 6:00 of the first period. . . . The Wheat Kings came back with three goals, from F Linden McCorrister (2), Patrick, on a PP, and Coulter, shorthanded. . . . D Dallas Hines pulled Kootenay into a 3-3 tie at 18:07 of the first, on a PP. . . . Brandon took control with the next three goals, as Patrick got another PP goal, at 6:24 of the second period, Coulter scored again at 8:42 and F Reid Duke (24) counted at 13:31. . . . Still, the Ice didn’t go away and got back to within one when F Brett Davis (8) scored 53 seconds into the third period and D Sam Huston got his first at 3:11. Huston is from Brandon scored his first goal in his 30th game. He was a ninth-round pick by the Ice in the 2014 bantam draft. . . . Mattheos added insurance with his 15th, at 8:09, and Coulter completed his hat trick with his 19th goal, on a PP, at 17:52. . . . Brandon got two assists each from D Kale Clague and F Tanner Kaspick, with Mattheos and Duke adding one each. . . . D Troy Murray had two helpers for the Ice and Kroeker had one. . . . G Logan Thompson started for Brandon and gave up three goals on 10 shots in the first period. Travis Child, acquired from the Swift Current at the Broncos, made his Brandon debut with 14 saves on 16 shots over the last two periods to earn the victory. . . . The Ice got 32 saves from Payton Lee. . . . The Wheat Kings were 3-6 on the PP; the Ice was 2-5. . . . The Wheat Kings had Duke in their lineup despite his having taken a kneeing major and game misconduct in a 5-2 loss to the visiting Tri-City Americans on Wednesday night. Obviously, the WHL office didn’t feel the hit was worthy of a suspension. . . . Brandon (21-17-4) holds down the Eastern Conference’s first playoff spot, six points ahead of the idle Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . The Ice (10-26-8) has lost two in a row. . . . The teams meet again tonight in Brandon. . . . Announced attendance: 3,671.

At Kamloops, G Carter Hart returned to the Everett Silvertips’ lineup and blanked the Blazers, 4-0. . . .
Hart, who hadn’t played since he was with Team Canada at the World Junior Championship, stopped 22 shots for his fifth shutout this season and the 15th of his career. He is in his third season with Everett. . . . Only 13 goaltenders in WHL history have more shutouts than does Hart. . . . F Patrick Bajkov (19) scored the game’s first goal, at 14:20 of the second period. . . . Everett put it away with three third-period goals, two from F Devon Skoleski, who has eight goals, and one from F Matt Fonteyne, who has a dozen. . . . F Dominic Zwerger and F Connor Dewar had two assists each, while Fonteyne and Bajkov each had one. . . . Everett D Kevin Davis, who is from Kamloops, had his 13-game point streak snapped. . . . Kamloops G Dylan Ferguson stopped 24 shots in his 14th straight start. Ferguson is on that run because G Connor Ingram, Hart’s partner with Team Canada, is getting some R&R with his family in Imperial, Sask. . . . Each team was 0-2 on the PP. . . . Everett also had D Noah Juulsen back after the WJC, while D Aaron Irving returned from an undisclosed injury. . . . The Blazers had F Garrett Pilon back after a three-game absence due to a concussion. D Chaz Reddekopp of the Victoria Royals served a two-game suspension under supplemental discipline for the unpenalized hit on which Pilon was injured. . . . Everett (27-5-7) has points in three straight (2-0-1) and is tied for second in the overall standings, one point behind the Prince George Cougars. . . . The Blazers (25-16-3) were 2-0-1 in their previous three games. They are third in the B.C. Division, two points behind the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Announced attendance: 3,575.

At Lethbridge, F Nikita Popugaev scored the only goal of a shootout as the Prince George Cougars came
back from a 5-1 deficit to beat the Hurricanes, 6-5. . . . Lethbridge led this one 5-1 with fewer than 15 minutes left in the third period. . . . Cougars F Jesse Gabrielle got things started with his 21st goal, on a PP, at 5:13 of the third period. . . . F Josh Curtis (7) scored shorthanded at 6:55, to get the visitors to within two. . . . F Brogan O’Brien’s sixth goal, at 10:23, cut the deficit to 5-4. . . . O’Brien then tied the score at 15:59. . . . The Hurricanes had taken a 2-0 lead on goals from F Jordy Bellerive (20), at 4:51 of the first period, and D Brennan Riddle (3), at 5:45. . . . Popugaev’s 24th goal got the Cougars on the scoreboard, at 6:33. . . . The Hurricanes then added three straight goals to seemingly take control. F Jadon Joseph (1) scored on a PP, at 16:01 of the first period, with D Brennan Menell (7) counting, shorthanded, at 4:58 of the second period and F Tyler Wong getting his 30th goal, at 11:53. . . . Popugaev also had two assists, while Gabrielle had one. . . . Wong and Menell each had an assist for the Hurricanes. . . . G Nick McBride stopped 37 shots for Prince George, three more than Lethbridge’s Stuart Skinner. . . . Each team was 1-4 on the PP. . . . The Cougars are three games into a trip on which they’ll play four games in five nights. . . . Prince George (30-12-2) has won two in a row and has moved back into first place in the overall standings. . . . Lethbridge (23-15-6) had won its previous three games. The Hurricanes are second in the Central Division, six points ahead of the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Announced attendance: 3,675.
At Medicine Hat, F Chad Butcher scored three times and added two assists to help the Tigers to a 7-3
victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . The Tigers grabbed control early as they led 5-0 before the second period was five minutes old. . . . The home side got first-period goals from Butcher, on a PP, at 10:33; F Mark Rassell (18), at 11:54; F Zach Fischer (24), on a PP, at 14:54, and F Mason Shaw (14), at 15:51. . . . Butcher upped the lead to 5-0 at 4:08 of the second period. . . . F Riley Stotts (5) scored for the Broncos at 4:29 of the second period, but Butcher completed his hat trick, with his 20th goal, on a PP, at 17:45. . . . The Broncos then got goals from F Aleksi Heponiemi, his 15th, at 3:02 of the third period and F Lane Pederson, his 18th, at 15:17. . . . D Clayton Kirichenko, who also had three assists, scored his fifth goal, into an empty net, at 16:39. . . . F Steve Owre had two assists for the Tigers, with Fischer adding one. . . . Pederson had two helpers for the Broncos. . . . G Michael Bullion stopped 18 shots for Medicine Hat. . . . G Jordan Papirny, in his first start since coming over from the Brandon Wheat Kings on Tuesday, was beaten four times on nine shots in 15:51. Taz Burman came on to finish up and stopped 23 of 25 shots in 40:42. . . . Medicine Hat was 3-3 on the PP; Swift Current was 0-2. . . . F Ryan Graham was among Swift Current’s scratches. He is out with an undisclosed injury. . . . Swift Current F Glenn Gawdin didn’t finish the game. . . . The Tigers (30-13-1) are tied for second in the overall standings, one point behind the Prince George Cougars. . . . The Broncos (24-13-7) had won their previous two games. They are third in the East Division, four points behind the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . Announced attendance: 3,568.
At Portland, the Winterhawks built up a 5-1 lead and, unlike a couple of other teams on this night, hung
on for a 5-4 victory over the Spokane Chiefs. . . . F Ryan Hughes (15) gave Portland a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 5:03 of the first period. . . . The Chiefs tied it at 16:40 as F Ethan McIndoe got No. 9 on a PP. . . . Portland went back out front just 13 seconds later on F Brendan De Jong’s seventh goal. . . . Second-period goals from F Skyler McKenzie (26), F Colton Veloso (10) and D Caleb Jones (4), on a PP, gave Portland a 5-1 lead. . . . Jones, who has points in 10 straight games, was playing his first game since returning from winning gold with Team USA at the World Junior Championship. . . . Spokane F Kailer Yamamoto’s 26th goal, at 18:06 of the second period, got the Chiefs to within three goals. . . . McIndoe scored again, at 11:54, and D Nolan Reid’s first goal made it 5-4 at 13:19. . . . D Henri Jokiharju had three assists for Portland, while F Cody Glass added two. Jones and Hughes each had one. . . . Yamamoto added an assist to his goal. . . . G Cole Kehler turned aside 28 shots to earn the victory. . . . Spokane starter Jayden Sittler gave up five goals on 23 shots in 33:28. Dawson Weatherill came on in relief to stop the 10 shots he faced, in 25:09. . . . Portland was 2-2 on the PP; Spokane was 1-1. . . . F Hayden Ostir returned to Spokane’s lineup for the first time since Dec. 13. . . . The Winterhawks (22-18-1) hold down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot and are one point out of third in the U.S. Division. . . . . The Chiefs (17-19-7) have lost four in a row (0-3-1) and are four points behind Portland. . . . Announced attendance: 4,338.

At Prince Albert, the Red Deer Rebels scored the game’s last two goals and beat the Raiders, 4-3. . . .
The last two goals came from two players who skated for Czech Republic at the World Junior Championship. . . . F Michael Spacek tied the score, 3-3, at 7:01 of the third period, while shorthanded. He’s got 17 goals. . . . F Adam Musil’s PP goal, at 16:52, proved to be the winner. It was his 16th goal. . . . The Raiders had opened a 2-0 first-period lead on goals from F Parker Kelly (6) and F Tim Vanstone (7), on a PP. . . . The visitors tied it on two quick second-period goals from D Alexander Alexeyev (4), on a PP, at 2:24, and F Lane Zablocki (11), at 4:05. . . . F Curtis Miske gave the home side a 3-2 lead with his seventh goal 48 seconds into the third period. . . . Red Deer got two assists from D Colton Bobyk and one each from Alexeyev and Spacek. . . . G Riley Lamb stopped 33 shots for Red Deer, two more than the Raiders’ Ian Scott. . . . Red Deer was 2-5 on the PP; Prince Albert was 1-5. . . . The Rebels (20-17-6) have won two in a row and are third in the Central Division. . . . The Raiders (8-32-4) have lost eight straight (0-6-2). . . . Raiders F Simon Stransky didn’t play the last 10 minutes of the third period after taking a check from Red Deer D Brandon Schuldaus. . . . Announced attendance: 2,127.

At Regina, the Tri-City Americans erased a 5-1 first-period deficit and beat the Pats, 6-5. . . . Regina scored four times in the game’s first 11 minutes but couldn’t hang on. . . . D Connor Hobbs (17), F Jake
Leschyshyn (16), F Bryan Lockner (2) and F Dawson Leedahl (17) had the home side out front 4-0 by 10:51 of the opening period. . . . F Michael Rasmussen, back in Tri-City’s lineup after a two-game absence, made it 4-1 with No. 30, on a PP, at 11:16. . . . Regina F Filip Ahl (19) got that one back at 17:12. . . . F Vladislav Lukin got the Americans’ comeback started with two goals — he’s got 18 — at 18:33 of the first period and 4:32 of the second. . . . F Jordan Topping (10) added a PP goal at 16:08 of the second and F Tyler Sandhu (12) tied it with another PP score, this one at 6:48 of the third. . . . The Americans won it on F Max James’ eighth goal, at 10:27 of the third period. . . . D Juuso Valimaki had three assists for the visitors, with Sandhu and Lukin adding one each. . . . Regina F Adam Brooks had three assists, with Leedahl and Hobbs each getting one. . . . Tri-City G Evan Sarthou gave up three goals on eight shots in 8:40. Rylan Parenteau came on stop 26 of 28 shots in 51:20 and also earn two assists. . . . The Pats started Tyler Brown, who was beaten four times on 17 shots through two periods before leaving with an undisclosed injury. Kurtis Chapman played the third period, giving up two goals on 12 shots. . . . Brown is expected to miss a Saturday-Sunday home-and-home with the Prince Albert Raiders. The Pats have been juggling backup goaltenders with Jordan Hollett (ankle) sidelined. Chapman is expected to start tonight against the visiting Raiders, with Max Paddock of the midget AAA Brandon Wheat Kings backing him up. . . . The Americans were 3-7 on the PP; The Pats were 1-3. . . . Tri-City (27-17-3) is 5-0-0 on an East Division swing that wraps up Saturday in Swift Current. The Americans are second in the U.S. Division, four points behind Everett, but the Silvertips hold eight games in hand. . . . The Pats (27-5-7) have lost two in a row and slipped into a tie for second in the overall standings. . . . Announced attendance: 5,313. . . . Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post has a game story right here.
At Langley, B.C., F Thomas Foster turned with a goal and an assist to help the Moose Jaw Warriors to a
4-1 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Foster had been dealt to by the Giants to the Warriors earlier in the week. . . . Foster opened the scoring with his 11th goal, on a PP, at 7:19 of the first period. . . . Vancouver tied it at 12:22 when F Ty Ronning scored No. 17. . . . Moose Jaw F Jayden Halbgewachs, who leads the WHL with 38 goals, broke the tie, on a PP, at 18:25. He also had two assists and now has 70 points, tying him with forwards Adam Brooks and Sam Steel for the WHL scoring lead. . . . The Warriors got insurance from F Brayden Burke when he scored his 13th goal, on a PP, at 2:59 of the third period. Burke also had two assists. . . . Moose Jaw D Colin Paradis finished it with his first goal, shorthanded, at 11:03. . . . G Brody Willms stopped 25 shots for the Warriors, while Vancouver’s Ryan Kubic blocked 21. . . . Moose Jaw was 2-4 on the PP; Vancouver was 0-7. . . . The Giants were without F Tyler Benson with an undisclosed injury for a fifth straight game. . . . D Darian Skeoch (ankle) also was missing from Vancouver’s lineup. . . . The Warriors (26-10-7) were playing the first game of a B.C. Division tour. They have closed to within two points of the East Division-leading Regina Pats, who have four games in hand. . . . The Giants (16-24-4) have lost four in a row and are 10 points out of a playoff spot. . . . Announced attendance: 4,461.
At Victoria, F Dillon Dube scored three goals and added an assist as the Kelowna Rockets dumped the Royals, 9-2. . . . The Rockets had beaten the host Royals, 4-3, on Wednesday night. . . . D James
Hilsendager gave Kelowna a 1-0 lead with his second goal, at 2:37 of the first period. . . . The Royals tied it on F Jack Walker’s 21st goal, at 5:06. . . . The Rockets followed that with the next seven goals, the first three from Dube, who has six goals this season. . . . Dube has six goals and 13 assists in 14 games. He missed the start of the season with a knee injury. . . . Dube’s last two goals came in the second period when the Rockets counted six times. . . . F Devante Stephens (8), F Tomas Soustal (14), F Reid Gardiner (2) and F Jack Cowell (3) had Kelowna’s other second-period goals. . . . F Ethan Price (4) scored for Victoria at 19:39. . . . Kelowna F Erik Gardiner, Reid’s younger brother, closed out the scoring with his second goal, at 12:58 of the third period. . . . D Cal Foote and F Carsen Twarynski each had two assists for the winners, Cowell, Soustal and the Gardiner boys added an assist each. . . . Walker added an assist to his goal, too. . . . G Michael Herringer stopped 19 shots for the winners. . . . Victoria starter Griffen Outhouse was beaten four times on 19 shots in 30:20. Dean McNabb then made his WHL debut and allowed two goals on four shots in 2:26. Outhouse then came back in and gave up three more goals on 20 shots in 27:14. . . . Kelowna was 2-4 on the PP; Victoria was 1-6. . . . The Rockets (26-15-3) have won three in a row and now are second in the B.C. Division, two points ahead of the Kelowna Rockets. . . . The Royals (22-18-4) have lost three straight and are five points behind Kamloops. . . . Announced attendance: 7,006.

SATURDAY’S GAMES (all times local):

Kootenay at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Prince George at Calgary, 7 p.m.
Seattle at Everett, 7:05 p.m.
Vancouver at Kamloops 7 p.m.
Edmonton at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.
Spokane at Portland, 7 p.m.
Prince Albert at Regina, 7 p.m.
Red Deer at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.
Tri-City at Swift Current, 7 p.m.
Moose Jaw at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

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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