Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Presentation day for Pats ... Nanaimo picks arena site ... Glass breaks Blazers


This is a big day for the Regina Pats and a pair of OHL teams — the Hamilton Bulldogs and Oshawa Generals. One of those teams will be selected as the host team for the 2018 Memorial Cup tournament, which will be the 100th anniversary of the prestigious tropy. Team representatives will be in Toronto today to make their presentations in front of the CHL’s site selection committee. . . . Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post has a piece right here on the Pats and management’s mindset going into the presentations.
The City of Nanaimo has decided that if it is to have a new arena, it will be built on land on the waterfront. City council made the decision at a Monday meeting, choosing that location over the Howard Johnson Harbourside Hotel property.
According to Mayor Bill McKay, Tamara Cunningham of the Nanaimo News Bulletin reports, the costs of acquisition and construction were estimated to be much higher for the Howard Johnson site, including land purchase, building demolition, site contamination and access. He also said 1 Port Dr. supports better technical analysis, including knowledge of geotechnical issues and transportation requirements.
OK, so what’s next? Cunningham reports right here: “Council will hold a special council meeting Wednesday . . . for the first three readings of a borrowing bylaw and vote on a referendum question. The votes had been planned for Feb. 6.” . . . The referendum is expected to be held on March 11.
Earlier, Cunningham reported that the city already is in negotiations with the WHL aimed at acquiring a franchise for the new arena, should construction get the green light.
Of course, the city has yet to announce what the question will be for the referendum, although I would imagine it will seek the OK to borrow a good chunk of the money needed for the project, which is estimated at more than $80 million.
This is starting to remind me of a referendum that was held in Kamloops on Nov. 7, 2015.
Shortly after Glacier Media announced the closure of the Kamloops Daily News, the City of Kamloops revealed that it had purchased the newspaper building, which once was a department store, for $4.8 million. The plan was to spend $90 million on a performing arts centre and parkade on the sight.
The referendum question was: “Are you in favour of the City of Kamloops borrowing up to $49 million to design and construct the parkade and performing arts centre complex?”
The loan, which you will note wasn’t for the complete cost of the project, would have cost the average tax-paying household something like $40 per year for 20 years.
In the end, 53.7 per cent of those who voted said “NO!” However, only 32 per cent of eligible voters chose to exercise their right.
I got the feeling at the time that people weren‘t voting against the construction of a performing arts centre. Rather, it was a vote by taxpayers against something that would have resulted in an increase in their taxes. Through that process I really got the sense that those who voted “No” were wanting to deliver a message to those in charge of the public purse, something about being tired of costs always rising.
There was plenty of public debate preceding the referendum in Kamloops, as I’m sure the citizens of Nanaimo will experience over the next few weeks.
BTW, The Daily News building sits empty in downtown Kamloops, more than three years after the newspaper closed.
The Tri-City Americans have shut down D Tyler Jette, 18, for the remainder of this season, thanks to an “upper-body” injury.
A native of Farmington, Minn., the 6-foot-3, 190-pounder was placed on the Americans’ protected list in November 2015. They signed him on Sept. 26 and he practised with the Americans that week, but never got into a game.
He showed up on the WHL roster report on Sept. 26 as having been added from Farmington High School. On Oct. 3, he was shown as being out day-to-day with an upper-body injury. One week later that status was changed to week-to-week.
On the latest roster report that was released Tuesday, Jette is shown as having a “season-ending” injury.
Like Ken Campbell of The Hockey News, I haven’t watched Don Cherry in years. So I didn’t see Cherry’s latest rant, nor will I hunt it up on the Internet. As Campbell writes, “Don Cherry stopped being relevant a long time ago, even before he ran the Mississauga IceDogs into the ground.” . . . Campbell wasn’t watching on Saturday when Cherry embarrassed himself, again, this time by being critical of Paul Romanuk, who just happens to be a fellow employee. However, Campbell heard about it and then found it on social media, watched it and felt compelled to write this piece right here.
This also allows me to relate my favourite Cherry anecdote, something I uncovered while researching a year-by-year epic on the Memorial Cup that I put together about 20 years ago.
What follows comes from what I wrote about the 1953 Memorial Cup that featured Cherry’s Barrie Colts and the St. Boniface Canadiens:
The Cherry legend includes — or doesn't include, depending upon to whom you are speaking — an incident from Game 5 that included Gary Blaine, a St. Boniface defenceman of immense potential whose career would fall victim to the demon rum, and Cherry.
Legend has it that Blaine actually chased Cherry around the Winnipeg Amphitheatre in an attempt to get him to fight.
As Winnipeg Free Press columnist Hal Sigurdson recounted in June of 1996, "Blaine's teammate, Ab McDonald . . . says it was Cherry. So does former provincial cabinet minister Larry Desjardins, who was general manager of Blaine's St. Boniface Canadiens at the time.”
As for Blaine . . .
"To be honest,” he told Sigurdson, "I'm not sure.
"Orval Tessier had just slashed our goaltender, Hal Dalkie, and I drilled him. When he went down I tried to pick him up, but he turtled. I'd never seen a guy do that before. Anyway, I heard another of their players chirping so I went after him. He took off and I chased him. When I asked our guys who it was they told me his name was Don Cherry.”
Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet filed his latest 30 Thoughts on Tuesday and, as always, it’s highly readable. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s right here.
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F Noah Gregor of the Moose Jaw Warriors is scheduled to have knee surgery this week and isn’t expect to be out for as long as four weeks. Gregor, 18, last played on Jan. 7 in Regina and now has missed seven games. He has 52 points, including 20 goals, in 42 games. . . . 
The Prince George Cougars have signed F Edge Lambert, 15, to a WHL contract. Lambert, from Grande Prairie, Alta., was a seventh-round selection in the 2016 WHL bantam draft. . . . Lambert, 5-foot-11 and 175 pounds, has four goals and two assists in 29 games with the midget AAA Notre Dame Hounds of Wilcox, Sask. Last season, he had 20 goals and 24 assists with the bantam AAA Hounds.



At Portland, the Winterhawks, with F Cody Glass enjoying a five-point night, opened up a 5-0 lead and hung on for a 6-4 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . Portland drove Kamloops G Connor Ingram to
the bench with four goals in the game’s first 9:41, with Glass scoring one of them and assisting on the other three. . . . F Joachim Blichfeld got it started as he ran his goal-scoring streak to six games with his 15th goal at 1:51. . . . F Skyler McKenzie got No. 30 at 4:17. . . . F Evan Weinger (13) made it 3-0 at 4:45. . . . Glass upped it to 4-0 at 9:41. . . . D Keoni Texeira assisted on the last two goals. . . . F Ryan Hughes made it 5-0 with his 20th goal just 23 seconds into the second period. . . . Kamloops got back into it by scoring the next four goals. . . . F Luc Smith got his eighth at 10:00 of the second period, with F Garrett Pilon (12) scoring at 18:55. . . . F Rudolfs Balcers, who has 27 goals, added two third-period goals, at 10:00 and 13:16, to get the Blazers to within a goal. . . . Glass put it away with his 23rd goal, on a PP, at 17:41. . . . Glass, who has had two five-point games this season, has 23 goals and 41 assists in 46 games. He went into this season with 10 goals and 17 assists in 68 games. . . . Glass had two assists on Friday when the Winterhawks fell, 4-3 in a shootout, in Kamloops. . . . Blichfeld added an assist to his goal. . . . Pilon also had an assist. . . . Portland G Shane Farkas, who sat out Friday’s game in Kamloops due to illness, made 39 saves. Farkas, who turned 17 on Jan. 12, is from Penticton, B.C. He earned his first WHL victory in his third appearance. . . . Ingram, who was 6-0-1 against Portland going into the game, was beaten four times on 13 shots. Dylan Ferguson relieved him and stopped 27 of 29 shots in 48:05. . . . Portland had a 22-18 edge in the first period. Yes, the teams combined for 40 shots in the opening period. . . . The Winterhawks (23-21-3) had lost their previous five games (0-3-2). They hold down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, two points ahead of the Spokane Chiefs. . . . The Blazers (29-17-3) watched a four-game winning streak end. They are second in the B.C. Division, three points ahead of the Kelowna Rockets. . . . This was the first of seven straight road games for Kamloops. . . . This game had been scheduled to be played on Jan. 8 but was postponed by inclement weather conditions. . . . Announced attendance: 5,674.
At Spokane, D Austin Strand’s second goal, at 3:48 of OT, gave the Seattle Thunderbirds a 3-2 victory over the Chiefs. . . . The winner was Strand’s fourth goal this season. He had one goal in 38 games with
the Red Deer Rebels before behind dealt to Seattle, where he has scored three times in nine outings. . . . Seattle took a 2-0 lead with second-period goals from F Alexander True (15), on a PP, at 7:34, and Strand, at 14:24. . . . F Mathew Barzal assisted on both goals. . . . The Chiefs pulled even on third-period goals from F Eli Zummack, his fifth, at 5:31, and F Alex Mowbray, his first, at 9:11. . . . D Nolan Reid assisted on both Spokane goals. . . . Mowbray, who came over from the Medicine Hat Tigers, didn’t play this season until Dec. 27. The goal came in his 13th game. . . . The Thunderbirds had a glorious chance to win it in the third period when they were a presented with a 5-on-3 PP for 1:57. . . . Seattle went 1-4 on the PP; Spokane was 0-4. . . . Strand’s winner came after Seattle G Rylan Toth made a couple of terrific saves, including a poke-check that foiled a Spokane 2-on-0 break. . . . Toth finished with 35 saves as he ran his record to 21-15-1. . . . Spokane G Dawson Weatherill turned aside 31 shots. . . . The Thunderbirds lost D Jarret Tyszka with an undisclosed injury in the first period. He is scheduled to play in the Top Prospects Game in Quebec City on Jan. 30. . . . Seattle F Wyatt Bear, 17, was in the lineup for the first time this season. He had been out with an undisclosed injury since the season started. A fifth-round pick in the 2014 bantam draft, Bear played three games with Seattle in 2014-15 and nine, with one assist, last season. He only played four other games last season, those with the midget AAA Interlake Lightning in Manitoba. . . . Seattle (26-15-4) has won two in a row. The Thunderbirds are third in the U.S. Division, five points behind the Tri-City Americans with five games in hand, and five ahead of the Portland Winterhawks. . . . Spokane (20-20-7) is 2-0-1 in its last three. The Chiefs are nine points behind Seattle. . . . Announced attendance: 3,237.
At Cranbrook, B.C., the Medicine Hat Tigers surrendered the game’s first goal, but responded with the
next eight en route to an 8-1 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . F Max Patterson scored his sixth goal, at 3:27 of the first period, to give the home team a 1-0 lead. . . . D Jordan Henderson’s second goal of the season, his first season joining the Tigers from the Saskatoon Blades, tied the score at 8:52. . . . Medicine Hat took control with two goals from F Max Gerlach, who leads it with 27 goals. He broke the tied at 2:29 of the second period and added insurance at 13:58. . . . D Clayton Kirichenko had a goal, his sixth, and two assists. F James Hamblin had two assists, while Gerlach added one to his two goals. F Mark Rassell added a goal, his 21st, and an assist. . . . The Tigers also got goals from F Zach Fischer (26), F John Dahlstrom (22) and F Mason Shaw (16). . . . G Michael Bullion earned the victory with 19 saves. . . . Kootenay starter Payton Lee was beaten eight times on 33 shots in 48:56. Jakob Walter came on to stop three shots in 11:04. . . . Medicine Hat was 0-3 on the PP; Kootenay was 0-5. . . . Medicine Hat (32-15-1) leads the Central Division by six points over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . The Ice (11-30-8) has lost three in a row. . . . Announced attendance: 1,568.

WEDNESDAY’S GAMES (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.

THURSDAY’S GAMES (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.

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