Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Nanaimo closing in on WHL franchise? ... Americans 4-0 on east swing ... Steenbergen shows off six-pack


Debrecen (Hungary, MOL Liga) has signed F Jesse Schultz (Tri-City, Prince Albert, Kelowna, 1999-2003) and D Jesse Dudas (Lethbridge, Prince George, Swift Current, Regina, 2003-09) to contracts for the rest of the season. . . . This season, with the Sheffield Steelers (England, UK Elite), Schultz had eight goals and 11 assists in 23 games. He was released on Dec. 30. . . . Dudas had been with TPS Turku (Finland, Liiga), but was injured in the only game he played, a Champions League match in which he scored a goal. He was released on Nov. 28.
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The Kootenay Ice moving to Nanaimo? An expansion franchise? What will it be? Who knows, but it seems that talks are ongoing . . .
According to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, the City of Nanaimo and the WHL are involved in talks that could lead to a franchise landing in the Vancouver Island City.
Tamara Cummingham of the News Bulletin reports that, according to city staff, “negotiations” between the WHL and the city “leading to a memorandum of understanding for one of its teams (are) underway.”
Nanaimo has yet to hold a referendum on an $86.6-million event centre, something that likely will happen in March.
Despite that, Cunningham reports, the city has “hired a legal advisor, financial advisor and put out requests for qualifications for architects, project management and an operations manager.”
Cunningham’s story is right here.
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You may have read here yesterday that the Red Deer Rebels had dropped veteran F Matt Campese, 19, and that he was returning to the BCHL’s West Kelowna Warriors. It turns out that Campese, who has a goal and an assist with the Rebels, will stay in Red Deer for the remainder of this season.
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A number of players who weren’t involved in deals at Tuesday’s WHL trade deadline are on the move. Here’s a look . . .
F Dakota Odgers, 20, has joined the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers. He was released by the Moose Jaw Warriors at the trade deadline. . . .
D Zach Wytinck, 17, has moved from the Brandon Wheat Kings to the midget AAA Southwest Cougars, while F Garrett Armour, 19, will play for the MJHL’s Winnipeg Blues. . . .
D Ethan King, 17, who had been with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, has been added to the roster of the BCHL’s Merritt Centennials. The 6-foot-6, 225-pound King is from Vernon, B.C. . . .
F Ethan O’Rourke, 17, has moved from the Prince George Cougars to the BCHL’s Prince George Spruce Kings. He is the son of Cougars’ associate coach Steve O’Rourke. . . .
The Regina Pats have brought in F Duncan Pierce, 16, from the midget AAA Winnipeg Thrashers, while dropping D Riley Bruce, 17, from their roster. Bruce is headed for the MJHL’s Steinbach Pistons. Bruce had a goal and two assists in 18 games with the Pats. . . . Pierce has 10 goals and 13 assists in 25 games with the Thrashers. His arrival leaves the Pats with 13 forwards, to go with three goaltenders — Jordan Hollett is injured — and seven defencemen.
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The Vancouver Giants, fresh off an Alberta swing and having traded away F Radovan Bondra, F Thomas Foster and D Dmitry Osipov, are at home to the Moose Jaw Warriors on Friday night. . . . Postmedia’s Steve Ewen reports that F Tyler Benson, who has missed the last three games with an undisclosed injury, skated Wednesday in a non-contact sweater, as did F Dawson Holt and F Johnny Wesley. . . . D Darian Skeoch, who has been out with an ankle injury, took part in the full practice so should play Friday.
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The Portland Winterhawks have rescheduled a pair of games that were postponed by inclement weather over the weekend. . . . The game with the Kamloops Blazers that was to have been played on Sunday now is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 24, 7 p.m., at the Moda Center. . . . The game with the Everett Silvertips that was to have been played on Saturday has been moved to Tuesday, Jan. 31, 7 p.m., at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
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The WHL hasn’t seen a sniper like Brian Propp since, well, Brian Propp. No one could score like Propp when he played for the Brandon Wheat Kings in the late 1970s, and he went on to an NHL career in which he totalled 1,004 points in 1,016 games. . . . Propp suffered a stroke more than a year ago, but has recovered to the point where he will be playing in a Philadelphia Flyers alumni game on Saturday. Adam Kimelman of nhl.com has more right here on Propp’s remarkable recovery and how he’s helping others.
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WEDNESDAY’S GAMES:


At Brandon, F Jordan Topping scored the game’s last three goals as the Tri-City Americans beat the
JORDAN TOPPING
Wheat Kings, 5-2. . . . The Wheat Kings took a 2-0 lead on goals from F Ty Lewis (22), at 1:43 of the first period, and F Baron Thompson (2), 38 seconds into the second period. . . . D Parker Wotherspoon got the Americans on the scoreboard, with his seventh goal, at 4:25 of the second. . . . F Parker AuCoin pulled Tri-City even with his 15th goal, his third shorthanded, at 9:21. . . . Topping, who has nine goals, gave the Americans the lead at 12:22, then added insurance at 5:17 and 19:44 of the third. His second goal came via a PP and the third was an empty-netter. . . . Tri-City F Morgan Geekie, who is from nearby Strathclair, Man., drew four assists and you can bet that his father, Craig, a former WHLer (Brandon, Spokane, 1991-94), was in attendance. . . . The Americans also got three assists from F Tyler Sandhu. . . . Geekie and Sandhu drew the assists on all three of Topping’s goals. . . . G Rylan Parenteau stopped 29 shots for the victory, while Brandon’s Logan Thompson also blocked 29. . . . The Americans were 1-5 on the PP; the Wheat Kings were 0-5. . . . The Wheat Kings lost F Reid Duke with a kneeing major and game misconduct at 2:41 of the third period. . . . Tri-City F Michael Rasmussen was scratched for a second straight game. . . . The Americans (26-17-3) have won four in a row, all on an East Division swing. They are second in the U.S. Division, four points behind the Everett Silvertips, who have eight games in hand. . . . The Wheat Kings (20-17-4) had won their previous two games. They hold down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot. . . . Announced attendance: 3,233.
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At Edmonton, the Lethbridge Hurricanes scored twice before the game was three minutes old and went
ALEC BAER
on to a 7-4 victory over the Oil Kings. . . . F Zak Zborosky, in his first game with the Hurricanes after being acquired from the Kootenay Ice, scored on his first shot on his first, at 1:06 of the first period. . . . He’s got 29 goals. . . . F Jordy Bellerive made it 2-0 at 2:29. . . . Edmonton head coach Steve Hamilton changed goaltenders, sending Josh Dechaine in for Patrick Dea at 2:29. . . . The Hurricanes scored off a 2-on-0 break with F Egor Babenko getting his 14th goal at 4:10. . . . The visitors went up 4-0 when F Tyler Wong got No. 29, at 13:41. . . . The Oil Kings made a game of it with three goals in 35 seconds early in the second period. . . . F Ty Gerla scored tgwice, giving him four goals, at 2:58 and 3:06, and D Will Warm added his sixth goal, at 3:33. . . . But the Hurricanes regained control on two goals from F Alec Baer, in his first game since coming over from the Vancouver Giants. He counted at 5:40 and 12:14 of the second period, giving him five goals this season. . . . Bellerive’s second goal of the game, and 19th this season, added more insurance 36 seconds into the third period. . . . Edmonton D Conner McDonald (2) closed out the scoring with his first goal since being acquired last week from the Kamloops Blazers. . . . The Hurricanes got two assists from each of D Brennan Menell, F Giorgio Estephan and D Igor Merezhko, and one each from Wong, Zborosky and Babenko. . . . F Brett Kemp, who was acquired from the Everett Silvertips, had three assists for Edmonton, with McDonald and Gerla each getting one. . . . G Stuart Skinner stopped 39 shots for Lethbridge. . . . At the other end, Dea gave up three goals on five shots, while Dechaine was beaten five times on 31 shots. . . . The Hurricanes were 1-4 on the PP; the Oil Kings were 0-2. . . . F Matt Alfaro, who came over from the Ice with Zborosky, was scratched with an undisclosed injury. . . . The Oil Kings are without F Riley Stadel, who was acquired from the Kelowna Rockets last week. He is out week-to-week with an undisclosed injury. . . . The Hurricanes (23-15-5) have won three straight and are a solid second in the Central Division. . . . The Oil Kings (18-21-4) have lost four in a row. They hold down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . Announced attendance: 5,442.
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At Everett, G Mario Petit and G Dorrin Luding combined for 23 saves in sharing the shutout as the
DORRIN LUDING
Silvertips beat the Spokane Chiefs, 5-0. . . . With Carter Hart yet to return to Everett’s lineup after playing for Canada at the World Junior Championship, Petit started and stopped 18 shots in 52:36. . . . Luding, a 17-year-old from Prince George, came on to make his WHL debut with 7:24 to play and stopped five shots. . . . F Brandson Hein scored his first goal, at 2:40 of the second period, and it stood up as the winner. . . . Hein, an 18-year-old from Winnipeg, scored in his 21st game. . . . F Connor Dewar (6) made it 2-0 at 11:57 of the second period and F Devon Skoleski (6) made it 3-0, while shorthanded, at 5:29 of the third. . . . F Jake Christiansen (3) and F Riley Sutter (13) added goals later in the third period. . . . Everett got two assists from F Bradly Goethals, while Skoleski added an assist to his goal. . . . Silvertips D Kevin Davis recorded one assist to run his point streak to 13 games, the longest active streak in the WHL at this point. . . . Spokane G Dawson Weatherill made 29 stops. . . . Everett was 1-3 on the PP; Spokane was 0-2. . . . The Silvertips were without D Aaron Irving and D Lucas Skrumeda. . . . Everett (26-5-7) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). It is tied for third in the overall standings, two points behind the Regina Pats and one behind the Prince George Cougars. . . . The Chiefs (17-18-7) have lost three in a row (0-2-1) and remain two points out of a playoff spot. . . . Announced attendance: 3,225.
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At Medicine Hat, the Prince George Cougars scored two third-period goals as they beat the Tigers, 4-3. .
JARED BETHUNE
. . F Radovan Bondra, who was acquired Tuesday from the Vancouver Giants, scored his 20th goal to tie the score just 37 seconds into the period. . . . F Jared Bethune broke the tie on a PP, at 7:06. He’s got 12 goals. . . . D Sam Ruopp (3) had given the visitors a 1-0 lead at 5:58 of the first period. . . . The Tigers took the lead on goals from F Steve Owre (15), at 10:05 of the first, and F Zach Fischer (23), on a PP, at 8:26 of the second period. . . . The Cougars tied it when F Jesse Gabrielle scored No. 20, at 9:26. . . . That lasted until 11:50 when F Matt Bradley’s 19th goal gave the home side a 3-2 lead. . . . Gabrielle and Bondra added an assist each, as did Fischer and Owre. . . . G Ty Edmonds stopped 29 shots in earning his 22nd victory of the season, one more than he put up last season and six fewer than in 2014-15. . . . Tigers G Nick Schneider, who leads the WHL with 26 victories, stopped 27 shots. . . . The Tigers were 1-4 on the PP; the Cougars were 1-5. . . . D Brendan Guhle was back in the Cougars’ lineup after missing one game due to illness. . . . The Cougars (29-12-2) moved past the Tigers (29-13-1) and into second place in the overall standings, two points behind the idle Regina Pats (27-4-7). . . . The Tigers had won their previous two games. . . . Announced attendance: 2,967.
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At Prince Albert, D Vladislav Yeryomenko scored at 2:11 of OT to give the Calgary Hitmen a 5-4 victory
VLADISLAV YERYOMENKO
over the Raiders. . . . It was Yeryomenko’s fourth goal this season. . . . The teams took turns scoring back-to-back goals in this one. . . . F Justyn Gurney (2) and F Andrei Grishakov (5) gave Calgary a 2-0 lead with goals at 9:21 and 11:51 of the first period. . . . The Raiders tied it on second-period goals from F Adam Kadlec (3) and D Kolten Olynek (9). . . . D Brady Reagan (2) gave Calgary a 3-2 lead at 13:22 of the second and F Jakob Stukel made it 4-1 just five seconds into the third period. . . . F Jordy Stallard, who was acquired from the Hitmen at the trade deadline, bot his ninth goal at 8:15 to get the Raiders to within one. . . . F Cavin Leth tied with his 11th goal, at 13:56. . . . F Parker Kelly had two assists for the Raiders, with Kadlec and Olynek getting one each. . . . G Trevor Martin, in his first appearance since joining the Hitmen this week, stopped 25 shots. . . . The Raiders got 27 stops from G Ian Scott. . . . Calgary was 0-1 on the PP; Prince Albert was 0-3. . . . The Hitmen lost 5-4 in OT to the Blades in Saskatoon on Tuesday night. . . . Calgary (15-19-6) had lost its previous five games (0-2-3). It is four points out of a playoff spot. . . . The Raiders (8-31-4) have lost seven in a row (0-5-2). . . . Announced attendance: 1,815.
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At Swift Current, F Tyler Steenbergen scored two goals and added four assists to lead the Broncos to an
TYLER STEENBERGEN
8-3 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Steenbergen has 12 points in his last four games and 21 in his last 10. In that 10-game stretch, he also has three two-point games, a three-pointer and a four-pointer. . . . The teams were tied 2-2 after the first period, but the Broncos took control with four goals in in 2:16 late in the second. . . . Steenbergen, who has 32 goals, scored at 15:14 and 16:41, with F Conner Chaulk getting his fifth goal at 17:20 and F Aleksi Heponiemi scoring No. 14 at 17:30. . . . Steenbergen, an 18-year-old from Sylvan Lake, Alta., has 55 points, including 32 goals, in 43 games. Last season, as a freshman, he finished with 20 goals and 26 assists in 67 games. His fifth point last night was No. 100 for his career. . . . Swift Current F Glenn Gawdin scored the game’s last two goals — he’s got 15 — and also had two assists, while Heponiemi also had two goals and two assists. Gawdin, Steenbergen and Heponiemi combined for 14 points. . . . Broncos D Max Lajoie had two assists, too. . . . F Vince Loschiavo scored his 14th goal and added an assist for the Ice. . . . The Broncos got 24 saves from G Taz Burman, while Kootenay’s Jakob Walter stopped 35 shots. . . . Kootenay was 2-3 on the PP; Swift Current was 0-3. . . . Swift Current (24-12-7) has won two in a row and is third in the East Division, two points behind the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . The Ice (10-25-8) had won its previous two games. . . . Announced attendance: 1,647.
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At Victoria, the Kelowna Rockets scored the game’s last two goals and beat the Royals, 4-3. . . . D Cal
CALVIN THURKAUF
Foote (4) pulled the Rockets into a 3-3 tie with a PP goal, at 14:36 of the third period. . . . Kelowna F Calvin Thurkauf broke the tie with his 18th goal, at 15:14 of the third period. . . . F Tomas Soustal had given the visitors a 1-0 lead at 12:43 of the first period. . . . Victoria F Vladimir Bobylev (3) tied it at 2:28 of the second period and F Ryan Peckford (13) gave the home side a 2-1 lead, on a PP, at 15:33. . . . F Dillon Dube’s third goal pulled the Rockets into a 2-2 tie at 8:32 of the third period. . . . F Matt Phillips scored No. 27 at 11:59, giving his guys a 3-2 lead. . . . The Rockets got three assists from F Kole Lind, with Dube and Foote adding one each. . . . Bobylev also had two assists for the Royals. . . . Kelowna G Michael Herringer stopped 19 shots, 13 fewer than Victoria’s Griffen Outhouse. . . . The Rockets were 1-4 on the PP; the Royals were 1-8. . . . Kelowna (25-15-3) has won two in a row and is tied with the idle Kamloops Blazers for second in the B.C. Division. . . . Victoria (22-17-4) has lost two straight and is five points behind Kamloops and Kelowna. . . . The teams will meet in Victoria again on Friday night. . . . Announced attendance: 3,783.
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THURSDAY’S GAMES (all times local):


No Games Scheduled.
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FRIDAY’S GAMES (all times local):

Kootenay at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Everett at Kamloops, 7 p.m.
Prince George at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.
Swift Current at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.
Spokane at Portland, 7 p.m.
Red Deer at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.
Tri-City at Regina, 7 p.m.
Moose Jaw vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7:30 p.m.
Kelowna at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

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