Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Sutter rethinking things after injury ... Blazers, Chiefs make trade ... 'Cane train rolling


F David Turoň (Portland, 2002-03) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Polonia Bytom (Poland, PHL). He had been released by the Fife Flyers (Scotland, UK Elite) on Monday. He had three goals and five assists in 30 games with the Flyers. . . . Turoň told hokej.net: “I wanted to be closer to home because of health problems with my in-laws.” He is from Havirov, Czech Republic. . . .
F Radek Meidl (Seattle, Tri-City, 2006-08) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Orlik Opole (Poland, PHL). He had a goal and three assists in 27 games this season with Frydek-Mistek (Czech Republic, 1. Liga). He had signed with Dukla Trenčín (Slovakia, Extraliga) on Dec. 19 but didn’t appear in a game with them.
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D Alex Alexeyev of the Red Deer Rebels won’t play again this season and Brent Sutter, the team’s owner, general manager and head coach, now is taking an up-close look at everything from what players do in the off-season to how it practises.
“We’ve had some pretty significant injuries to some very important players the last year and a half,” Sutter
ALEX ALEXEYEV
told Greg Meachem of reddeerrebels.com.
“From a general manager’s perspective, I have to look at certain things. We have to look at the demands we put on these players nowadays, with the off-ice conditioning and the way we practise.These kids are still growing into their bodies. They’re still young players whose bodies are filling out.
“It bothers me, it’s something that I’ve been thinking about for quite some time. Some injuries are fluke things. That being said, it still happens, and it’s been happening here more often than it needs to be and you’d like it to be, especially in the last couple of years.”
Sutter was referring to recent injuries to F Grayson Pawlenchuk, F Reese Johnson, F Conner Bleackley, D Josh Mahura, F Adam Musil and G Rylan Toth.
Sutter has long been an outspoken advocate of having teenagers play other sports in the summer, allowing them to use other muscle groups and to get away from the pressures of hockey.
He also has been cognizant of how much rest his players get but now is wondering if there is more that can be done in that area.
“I’d like to think we’ve done a good job with the rest part, but maybe it’s still not enough,” Sutter said. “There are certain things we need to do differently as a coaching staff. I have to take a serious look at it. You can’t just stick your head in the sand and ignore this.”
Alexeyev was injured when he slid into the boards during the third period of a 4-1 loss to the visiting Regina Pats on Saturday. He underwent surgery Tuesday for an undisclosed “lower-body” injury and, according to Meachem, “will need three to five months to recover.”
Alexeyev, who turned 17 on Nov. 15, is from St. Petersburg, Russia. He had four goals and 17 assists in 21 games.
Meachem’s complete story is right here.
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There is some news on the Brevin Gervais front.
You will recall that Gervais, 17, underwent surgery for a brain aneurysm in Kamloops on Friday. A native of Prince George, he had been playing for the junior B 100 Mile House Wranglers of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.
Mateo Albinati set up a gofundme page with a goal of $16,000, then shut it down when it raised more than $20,000. On Tuesday, Albinati reopened the page.
“Due to overwhelming support,” he explained, “I have been asked to reopen the go fund me account. Everyone's generosity has already been amazing but every penny still helps. So please continue to spread the word and help the Gervais family.”
That page is right here.
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The Swift Current Broncos have brought back F Brandan Arnold, 19. The Broncos dropped Arnold from their roster on Jan. 11 — he had six points, two of them goals, in 27 games — and he joined the SJHL’s Nipawin Hawks. He had 12 points, including five goals, in six games with Nipawin. . . . From Dodsland, Sask., he was a seventh-round pick by the Broncos in the 2012 bantam draft.
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The Kamloops Blazers have signed F Kyrell Sopotyk, 15, who was a fifth-round selection in the 2016
bantam draft. From Aberdeen, Sask., the 5-foot-8, 160-pounder has 29 goals and nine assists in 35 games with the Prince Albert Mintos of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League. . . . On Tuesday, he scored four times as the host Mintos beat the Saskatoon Blazers, 4-3. . . . The Blazers also made a trade on Tuesday, as they dealt a fourth-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft to the Spokane Chiefs for a fifth- and a sixth-round pick in that same draft. The Blazers had two fourth-rounders in that draft — their own and one they acquired from the Moose Jaw Warriors for F Jesse Shynkaruk on Nov. 20, 2014. The news release doesn’t specify which pick was sent to Spokane.
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JUST NOTES:

G Liam Hughes won’t play again this season for the Edmonton Oil Kings. Hughes, who last played on Oct. 29, is shown as having a “season-ending” injury on the WHL’s weekly roster report that was issued Tuesday. A 17-year-old freshman from Kelowna, he got into seven games this season, going 1-4-2, 3.26, .895 before being injured. . . . The Oil Kings have been going with veteran Patrick Dea, 19, and freshman Josh Dechaine, 18, as their goaltenders. . . .
The Vancouver Giants will be without F Taden Rattie for four games. That’s the length of the suspension he drew for becoming involved in a one-man fight during a game against the host Victoria Royals on Sunday. The incident occurred at 15:32 of the second period in a game won by the Royals, 6-3. . . . The Royals had beaten the Giants 3-1 in Langley, B.C., on Friday, and 7-1 in Victoria on Saturday.
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Coaching

Gordie Dwyer stepped down as head coach of Medvescak Zagreb of the KHL after a Tuesday game and now is head coach of Ambri-Piotta of the Swiss League. Dwyer, 39, was in his second season with Medverscak Zagreg. With Ambri-Piotta, he replaces Hans Kossmann. . . . Dwyer was an assistant coach with Team Canada at the Spengler Cup in December. . . . Medvescak Zagreb hasn’t named a replacement for Dwyer.
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The QMJHL’s Gatineau Olympiques have added Denny Lambert to their coaching staff. He will work alongside Eric Landry, who took over as head coach on Jan. 23 when Mario Duhamel was fired. Most recently, Lambert, a former NHL player, was an assistant coach with the ECHL’s Allen Americans. Lambert, 47, spent seven seasons (2004-11) with the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, the last four as head coach.
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TUESDAY’S GAMES:

At Portland, F Joachim Blichfeld scored at 3:58 of OT to give the Winterhawks a 4-3 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . The Winterhawks jumped out front when F Evan Weinger scored his 15th goal at
JOACHIM BLICHFELD
5:24 of the first period. . . . Everett scored two early second-period goals for a 2-1 lead. D Aaron Irvin got his 15th goal, at 3:17, and F Devon Skoleski scored No. 9 just 28 seconds later. . . . F Connor Dewar assisted on both goals. . . . Portland tied it on F Colton Veloso’s 13th goal, on a PP, at 6:02 and took the lead 42 seconds into the third period when F Alex Overhardt got his 10th goal. . . . The Silvertips tied the game, forcing OT, when F Brian King got his second goal of the season at 9:24 of the third period. . . . Blichfeld won it with his 17th goal of the season. . . . On Saturday, Blichfeld scored at 19:56 of the third period as Portland beat the Rockets 5-4 in Kelowna. . . . D Caleb Jones had two assists for Portland, while Blichfeld added one. . . . G Cole Kehler stopped 31 shots for the Winterhawks. At the other end, Carter Hart made 42 saves. . . . Portland was 1-3 on the PP; Everett was 0-3. . . . The Silvertips continue to play without D Noah Juulsen, who is out week-to-week with an undisclosed injury. . . . The Winterhawks (26-21-3) have won four in a row. They hold down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, three points behind Kelowna and seven ahead of the Spokane Chiefs. . . . The Silvertips (30-9-10) have lost five in a row (0-3-2), but they still lead the U.S. Division by six points over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . This game was rescheduled from Jan. 7, when it was postponed due to inclement weather. . . . Announced attendance: 3,406.
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At Lethbridge, G Giorgio Estephan scored the only goal of a shootout to give the Hurricanes a 4-3 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Lethbridge now is 1-3 in shootouts; Brandon is 5-2. . . . The visitors
GIORGIO ESTEPHAN
held 2-0 and 3-2 leads but couldn’t hang on. . . . F Tanner Kaspick scored his 17th goal, on a PP, at 14:05 of the first period and F Nolan Patrick got his ninth at 17:01 for that 2-0 lead. . . . The Hurricanes tied it on second-period goals from F Egor Babenko (16) and F Matt Alfaro (14), on a PP, at 13:58. . . . F Reid Duke’s 31st goal put Brandon back out front at 16:33. . . . Lethbridge F Tyler Wong’s 36th goal, at 6:25 of the third period, forced OT. . . . F Zak Zborosky had two assists for Lethbridge. . . . D Kade Jensen drew two helpers for Brandon. . . . G Ryan Gilchrist stopped 31 shots from the Hurricanes, while Logan Thompson blocked 30 shots for Brandon. . . . Brandon was 1-3 on the PP; Lethbridge was 1-7. . . . Brandon was without D Kale Clague, who sat out a one-game suspension for a charging major and game misconduct he incurred Sunday in Calgary. . . . The Hurricanes (29-15-7) have points in 11 straight games (9-0-2). They are second in the Central Division, six points behind the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . The Wheat Kings (24-19-6) are 1-0-1 in their last two. They are fourth in the East Division, four points behind the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Announced attendance: 3,410.
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At Medicine Hat, the Tigers scored the game’s last three goals to beat the Kootenay Ice, 4-3. . . . F Brett Davis gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 4:43 of the first period. . . . F Mason Shaw, playing with a full visor
JOHN DAHLSTROM
because of a facial laceration from a skate, tied it with his 19th goal, on a PP, at 16:49. . . . Kootenay took the lead with two second-period PP goals. . . . F Jake Elmer (5) scored at 3:57 and Davis added his 14th goal at 5:13 for a 3-1 lead. . . . Medicine Hat D Clayton Kirichenko’s eighth goal, at 6:58, got the Tigers back to within a goal. . . . F Mark Rassell’s 22nd goal, on a PP, tied it at 11:25. . . . F John Dahlstrom broke that tie with his 23rd goal, at 1:42 of the third period. . . . Shaw also had an assist. . . . F Vince Loschiavo had two assists for Kootenay. . . . Medicine Hat started G Nick Schneider, who was beaten three times on 20 shots in 25:13. Michael Bullion came on to finish up and get the victory, stopping all nine shots he faced in 34:46. . . . G Payton Lee blocked 42 shots for the Ice. . . . Kootenay was 2-3 on the PP; Medicine Hat was 2-4. . . . The Tigers (35-15-1) have won four in a row. They are third in the overall standings, four points behind the Regina Pats and Prince George Cougars, who are tied for top spot. . . . The Ice (12-32-8) has lost two straight. . . . These teams will play again tonight, this time in Cranbrook, B.C. . . . Announced attendance: 2,904, the smallest crowd in the history of the Canalta Centre, which is in its second season.
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KEEGAN KOLESAR
At Kent, Wash., F Keegan Kolesar scored on a breakaway at 1:07 of OT to give the Seattle Thunderbirds a 4-3 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . The teams combined for three goals in the final 4:09 of the third period in what was a frantic finish. . . . F Deven Sideroff had given the visitors a 1-0 lead at 11:10 of the first period. . . . Seattle tied it on D Ethan Bear’s 18th goal, at 3:43 of the third period. Originally, the goal was disallowed on the ice, but that call was overturned after video review. . . . Seattle’s first goal came on its 44th shot of the game. . . . F Lane Bauer gave the Blazers a 2-1 lead, on a PP, at 8:42. . . . Kolesar pulled Seattle even at 15:51 and F Sami Moilanen (15) sent the home team out front at 17:05. . . . However, Bauer’s 31st goal of the season tied it at 18:23. . . . Kolesar won it with his 12th goal. . . . Seattle got three assists from D Turner Ottenbreit, with Bear adding one. . . . Sideroff added two assist to his goal. . . . G Rylan Toth earned the victory with 22 saves. . . . The Blazers got a 57-save effort from G Connor Ingram, who was named the game’s first star. . . . Seattle held a 16-0 edge in shots with 9:37 left in the first period. . . . Kamloops was 1-3 on the PP; Seattle was 0-4. . . . The Thunderbirds (30-15-4) have won six straight and moved into second in the U.S. Division, six points behind the Everett Silvertips. . . . Kamloops (31-17-4) is 2-0-1 in its past three outings. It is second in the B.C. Division, three points ahead of the Victoria Royals. . . . The Blazers and Thunderbirds will meet again in Kent on Friday, after Kamloops plays the Winterhawks in Portland on Wednesday. . . . Announced attendance: 4,407.
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WEDNESDAY’S GAMES (all times local):

Calgary at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.
Medicine Hat vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.
Kamloops at Portland, 7 p.m.
Lethbridge at Red Deer, 7 p.m.
Moose Jaw at Regina, 7 p.m.
Edmonton at Swift Current, 7 p.m.
Everett vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.

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