Saturday, January 21, 2017

Take finances with grain of salt? ... Phillips fills hat again ... Milestone for Clouston as Tigers win

F Chris Langkow (Spokane, Saskatoon, Everett, 2005-10) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Västerås (Sweden, Allsvenskan). This season, with Olimpija Ljubljana (Slovenia, Erste Bank Liga), he had 10 goals and 18 assists in 41 games. He was granted his release for financial reasons this week. . . .
F Jakub Rumpel (Medicine Hat, 2006-07) has signed with Preussen Berlin (Germany, Oberliga). He had been on a tryout with Schönheide (Germany, Oberliga) in November. In four games, he had a goal and two assists.

Like many of us, Ken Campbell of The Hockey News has looked over the financial information involving OHL and WHL teams that was released by the CHL on Thursday.
And what did he think?
“In an effort to get out in front of the story and win the case in the court of public opinion,” Campbell writes, “the Canadian Hockey League . . . released some of the financial information it had previously been trying to keep from the prying eyes of everyone outside its inner circle. It’s a curious move to say the least. And when you look at the numbers, you get the sense that the CHL is cherry picking on the same level as an out-of-shape beer leaguer who constantly hangs out at the opponent’s blueline.
“The CHL has crafted its message, complete with an expert opinion saying teams would have to consider ceasing operations if they had to pay players minimum wage, giving people just enough information to portray themselves as downtrodden philanthropists interested only in providing entertainment and helping young men realize their NHL dreams, without really telling us where the money trail actually leads. Well played.”
The releasing of these figures is part of the CHL’s attempts to neutralize attempts by around 370 present and former players to get the OK to move forward with class-action lawsuits in Alberta and Ontario aimed at forcing the major junior leagues to pay minimum wage, among other things.
“The WHL claimed revenues of just over $80 million in 2015,” Campbell notes. “The cost to pay the players minimum wage in that league would be about $300,000 per year per team for a total cost of about $6.6 million, which would amount to about 8.25 percent of total revenues.
“What business in any part of the real world would be able to claim revenues of more than $136 million, then try to convince people that it couldn’t afford to pay 850 of its employees minimum wage? Welcome to the world of junior hockey where it seems no matter how much money a team makes, its expenses seem to rise at the same rate. How the heck are these people ever expected to make a go of it?”
Campbell’s complete piece is right here. 
Coaching Game
The ECHL’s Quad City Mallards have fired general manager/head coach Terry Ruskowski, who was in his fifth season on the job. Phil Axtell, an assistant coach for two years, was named interim head coach, while the search for a full-time head coach gets started. . . . The Mallards were 19-16-2 and in fourth place in the seven-team Central Division at the time of the firing. However, they had lost six of their past seven games. . . . The Mallards were 160-122-31 under Ruskowski. . . . "I was shocked a little bit because we were still over .500," Ruskowski told Bobby Metcalf of the Quad-City Times. "We played the last three weeks really shorthanded with guys out of the lineup, guys called up, I was trying to patch things together until everybody got healthy. I think I would have probably understood if we had a full lineup and were semi-successful, I probably would have understood more but it was their decision. They hired me and I appreciate what they've done for me the last four to five years." . . . Ruskowski, 62, is from Prince Albert. He played three sesaons (1971-74) with the Swift Current Broncos before going on to a 15-year professional career in the WHA and NHL. He also spent two seasons (1989-91) in the WHL as the head coach of the Saskatoon Blades.


At Calgary, F Matt Phillips, whose NHL rights belong to the Calgary Flames, scored three times and
added an assist to help the Victoria Royals to a 7-2 victory over the Hitmen. . . . Phillips, who has 35 goals, had scored three goals on Thursday night as the Royals beat the host Edmonton Oil Kings, 6-3. He was a sixth-round pick by the Flames in the NHL’s 2016 draft. . . . Last night, the Royals jumped out to a 4-0 lead. F Vladimir Bobylev had a goal, his fifth, and two assists in that outburst, while Phillips scored twice and F Regan Nagy got No. 13. . . . F Beck Malenstyn (19) got the Hitmen on the scoreboard with a PP goal, at 5:01 of the second. . . . D Chaz Reddekopp (9) and D Ralph Jarratt (1) counted for Victoria at 7:14 of the second and 9:57 of the third period. . . . F Matteo Gennaro got his 26th for Calgary at 15:20. . . . Phillips completed his fifth career hat trick and third this season at 16:51. . . . Victoria F Tyler Soy had three assists, giving him seven in two games, while Bobylev also finished with three helpers. Reddekopp added one. . . . Gennaro and Malenstyn had an assist each. . . . The Royals got 25 saves from G Griffen Outhouse, who won for the 26th time. That ties him with Nick Schneider of the Medicine Hat Tigers for the WHL lead. . . . Calgary starter Kyle Dumba allowed five goals on 16 shots in 27:14, with Trevor Martin coming on to play 32:46 and stop 13 of 15 shots. . . . Calgary was 1-4 on the PP; Victoria was 0-3. . . . The Royals (26-18-4) have won four in a row. . . . The Hitmen (17-21-6) has won their previous two games. . . . Announced attendance: 7,243.
At Everett, G Carter Hart stopped 33 shots as the Silvertips beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 1-0. . . . Hart
posted his WHL-leading sixth shutout of the season and the 16th of his career. He was especially busy in the third period when the Thunderbirds held a 16-4 edge in shots. . . . The game’s lone goal came from F Orrin Centazzo, who scored No. 4, on a PP, at 9:14 of the first period. . . . Seattle G Rylan Toth stopped 13 shots. . . . Everett was 1-4 on the PP; Seattle was 0-4. . . . The Silvertips had F Dominic Zwerger among their scratches, while Seattle continues without F Scott Eansor. . . . The Silvertips have added F Ethan Browne, 15, to their roster. He had been playing for the midget AAA Sherwood Park Kings. Everett selected Browne in the first round of the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. Browne, who is from Sherwood Park, has 23 points, including seven goals, in 23 games with the Kings. Browne wasn’t in the lineup for this one. . . . The Silvertips (29-6-8) are second in the overall standings, two points behind the Prince George Cougars. . . . The Thunderbirds (24-15-6) had won their previous six games. They are third in the U.S. Division. . . . The Thunderbirds were fined $500 for a warm-up violation on Tuesday prior to a 3-1 victory over the visiting Silvertips. . . . Announced attendance: 6,867.
At Kamloops, F Lane Bauer scored in the fourth round of a shootout to give the Blazers a 4-3 victory over
the Portland Winterhawks. . . . Kamloops G Connor Ingram stopped 33 shots through OT and made four more saves in the shootout. . . . Kamloops took a 2-0 first-period lead on goals from F Garrett Pilon (11), at 1:21, and F Nic Holowko (3), at 10:31. . . . Portland tied it in the second period when D Keoni Texeira (9) scored at 6:48 and F Joachim Blichfeld got his 13th, at 8:22, on a PP. . . . Kamloops went back out front on F Rudolfs Balcers’ 25th goal, at 8:42. . . . The Winterhawks forced OT when F Colton Veloso (11) counted at 3:11 of the third period. . . . D Dallas Valentine had two assists for Kamloops. . . . F Cody Glass was outstanding for Portland and drew two assists. . . . G Cole Kehler, who was acquired from the Blazers prior to the season, stopped 30 shots. . . . Portland was 1-5 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-5. . . . The Winterhawks welcomed back D Caleb Jones and F Cody Glass, both of whom had been ill. . . . Kamloops (28-16-3) has won three in a row. It is second in the B.C. Division, three points ahead of the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Portland (22-20-3) has lost four in a row (0-2-2), but still holds down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . The Winterhawks were fined $500 for “actions of team member” at Prince George on Wednesday. . . . Announced attendance: 3,630.
At Prince George, G Zach Sawchenko stopped 34 shots to help the Moose Jaw Warriors to a 2-1 victory
over the Cougars. . . . Sawchenko turned aside all 12 shots he faced in the first period and all 14 in the third. . . . The game’s three goals came in a span of 3:47 in the second period. . . . F Spencer Bast (7) opened the scoring for Moose Jaw at 7:04. . . . F Brett Howden’s 24th goal, on a PP, at 9:32, gave the visitors a 2-0 lead. . . . F Colby McAuley (16) scored for the Cougars at 10:51. . . . The Cougars got 20 saves from G Ty Edmonds. . . .  Moose Jaw was 1-4 on the PP; Prince George was 0-2. . . . F Jesse Gabrielle of the Cougars sat this one out as he completed a three-game suspension. D Sam Ruopp is still out with an undisclosed injury. . . . The game drew a sellout crowd with a 50/50 promotion. Canadian Tire started it off with $25,000 and by draw time the total was $123,851, meaning one fan won $61,425. . . . The Warriors (28-12-7) went 3-2-0 in the B.C. Division. They wind up a six-game road trip in Edmonton on Sunday. Moose Jaw is second in the East Division, two points behind the Regina Pats, who hold five games in hand, and five ahead of the Swift Current Broncos. . . . The Cougars (33-13-2) had won their previous five games. They lead the overall standings. . . . Announced attendance: 5,896.
At Red Deer, D Brayden Pachal scored on a PP at 14:51 of the third period to give the Prince Albert
Raiders a 3-2 victory over the Rebels. . . . The victory allowed the Raiders to snap an 11-game losing streak (0-8-3). . . . Pachal’s first goal of the season came in his sixth game with the Raiders since being acquired from the Victoria Royals. He went into the game with one career goal in 80 regular-season games. . . . F Jordy Stallard’s 12th goal gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead at 5:03 of the first period. . . . The Rebels took a 2-1 lead on second-period goals from F Michael Spacek and F Evan Polei, each of whom scored his 20th goal. Spacek scored at 1:37, with Polei counting on a PP at 8:47. . . . The Raiders tied it when F Parker Kelly scored his eighth goal at 18:03 of the second period. . . . Stallard also had two assists, with Kelly getting one. . . . Spacek added an assist to his goal. . . . Prince Albert G Nic Sanders blocked 40 shots to earn his first victory with the Raiders. He had been 0-9-3 since being acquired from the Tri-City Americans on Oct. 13. . . . Red Deer’s Lasse Petersen stopped 24 shots. . . . Prince Albert was 1-4 on the PP; Red Deer was 1-5. . . . The Raiders continue to play without F Simon Stransky, F Tim Vanstone and F Drew Warkentine, all out with undisclosed injuries. . . . The Raiders now are 9-34-5. . . . The Rebels (20-20-7) have lost four straight (0-3-1), but still are a comfortable third in the Central Division. . . . Announced attendance: 4,800.
At Regina, the Medicine Hat Tigers scored the game’s first three goals and the last three as they beat the
Pats, 8-5. . . . The Tigers (31-15-1) lead the Central Division; the Pats (29-6-7) are atop the East Division. . . . Medicine Hat got first-period goals from F Steve Owre, at 5:31, F Mark Rassell, at 10:03, and Rassell, again, at 11:14. Rassell has 20 goals. . . . Regina came back with PP goals from F Dawson Leedahl, at 14:22, and F Adam Brooks (25), at 18:54. . . . F John Dahlstrom restored Medicine Hat’s three-goal lead at 1:51 of the second period, but Regina’s Sam Steel (33) got that one back at 2:36. . . . Dahlstrom, who has 21 goals, scored again at 17:33 and the Tigers took a 5-3 lead into the third period. . . . Regina tied it on goals from F Jeff de Wit (6), at 4:57, and Leedahl (21), at 6:00. . . . Owre broke the tie with his 17th goal, at 8:44, and F Zach Fischer added two insurance goals, at 15:01 and 16:57. . . . Fischer has 26 goals. . . . Owre also had two assists, as did D Clayton Kirichenko, while F Chad Butcher drew three of them. . . . Steel added three assists for Regina, with D Dawson Davidson getting two. . . . Steel leads the WHL with 80 points, four more than Brooks. . . . Medicine Hat started with Nick Schneider in goal, but he left after giving up three goals on 13 shots in 22:36. Michael Bullion came on to get the victory with 26 saves on 28 shots. . . . The Pats got 25 saves from G Max Paddock, who lost for the first time in four decisions. . . . Regina was 2-4 on the PP; Medicine Hat was 1-4. . . . These two teams have combined for 34 goals in three games — the Pats won 8-5 and 6-2 in Medicine Hat. . . . Announced attendance: 6,484.
At Saskatoon, F Josh Paterson’s shootout goal gave the Blades a 3-2 victory over the Brandon Wheat
Kings. . . . F Reid Duke scored for Brandon the first round of the skills competition, with F Jesse Shynkaruk tying it in the third round. Paterson scored in the fifth round. . . . The Blades got out to a 2-0 lead on goals from F Braylon Shmyr (25), at 7:32 of the first period, and F Caleb Fantillo (4), at 14:31 of the second. . . . F Stelio Mattheos scored his 16th goal, on a PP, at 4:08 of the third period to get Brandon to within one. . . . The Wheat Kings tied it with G Logan Thompson on the bench for the extra attacker as F Tanner Kaspick scored his 15th goal, at 18:57. . . . Brandon F Nolan Patrick missed a couple of shifts in the first period after taking an unpenalized hit from Saskatoon D Mark Rubinchik. Patrick drew an assist on each Brandon goal. . . . G Logan Flodell stopped 32 shots for the Blades. . . . Thompson made 32 saves for the Wheat Kings. . . . Brandon was 1-5 on the PP; Saskatoon was 0-2. . . . The Blades (19-22-6) have won four in a row and are in possession of the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, five points behind Brandon. . . . The Wheat Kings (22-17-5) had won their previous two games. . . . Announced attendance: 3,126.
At Kennewick, Wash., F Parker AuCoin had two goals and two assists to help the Tri-City Americans to a 7-4 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Tri-City led 4-0 at the game’s halfway mark. . . . AuCoin scored 41
seconds into the first period to get it started. D Juuso Valimaki (13) made it 2-0 at 12:08. . . . F Brett Leason’s second goal of the season ran the lead to 3-0 at 3:35 of the second period and F Kyle Olson (11) upped it to 4-0 at 9:55. . . . Kootenay got on the scoreboard when F Brett Davis (10) counted at 14:30. . . . Tri-City answered that with two more goals, from F Nolan Yaremko (5) at 15:46 and F Morgan Geekie (26) at 18:59. . . . The Ice made a game of it by scoring the next three goals. . . . F Reed Morison (1) scored at 19:25 of the second period, with F Austin Wellsby scoring the next two, at 1:21 and 10:06. He’s got six goals. . . . AuCoin added insurance with his 17th at 15:38. . . . Yaremko and D Parker Wotherspoon each had two assists, with Olson, Geekie and Leason adding one apiece. . . . F Jake Elmer and D Dallas Hines each had two assists for the Ice. . . . Wotherspoon now has 130 career assists, moving him into second place on the Americans’ career list among defenceman. He passed Darrell Hay (128) on Friday night and now trails only Tyler Schmidt, who recorded 132 over five seasons (2006-11). . . . Tri-City G Evan Sarthou blocked 25 shots. . . . Ice starter Payton Lee gave up four goals on 12 shots in 29:55. Jakob Walter came on in relief and stopped 10 of 13 shots in 30:05. . . . The Ice was 1-1 on the PP; the Americans were 0-2. . . . The game featured a brother act — F Peyton Krebs of the Ice and D Dakota Krebs of the Americans — and both were in the starting lineups. Their sister, Maddison, a country music artist, also was in the house and handled both anthems. . . . The Krebs family is from Okotoks, Alta. . . . The Americans (29-17-3) have won seven in a row and are second in the U.S. Division. This was the Americans’ first home game since they completed a 6-0-0 run through the East Division. . . . The Ice is 11-28-8. . . . Announced attendance: 3,543.
At Langley, B.C., F Ty Ronning broke a 4-4 tie at 16:35 of the third period as the Vancouver Giants beat the Kelowna Rockets, 5-4. . . . Ronning’s 19th goal of the season was his second of the game. . . . The
Giants held 2-0 and 4-1 leads. . . . First-period goals from F Tristyn DeRoose (1), at 9:23, and F Brayden Watts (6), on a PP, at 16:22, provided the 2-0 lead. . . . Kelowna F Calvin Thurkauf cut it to 2-1 at 18:36. . . . The Giants went up 4-2 on second-period goals from F James Malm (15), at 4:17, and Ronning, at 10:18. . . . The Malm goal actually was an own-goal scored by Kelowna F Carsen Twarynski, who hit the vacated net with a pass intended for a point man who wasn’t there while there was a delayed penalty being signalled against the Giants. . . . The Rockets then got goals from D Cal Foote (5), shorthanded, at 12:28 of the second and F Kyle Topping (9), just 1:05 later, to get to within one. . . . The Rockets tied it when F Rod Southam scored his 10th goal, on a PP, at 7:15 of the third period. . . . Malm added three assists to his goal, with Watts getting one. . . . Malm, a 17-year-old from Langley, had two assists in 25 games last season. This season, he’s got 15 goals and 22 assists in 43 games. . . . Foote had an assist for Kelowna. . . . G Ryan Kubic stopped 32 shots to earn the victory over Brodan Salmond, who blocked 20. . . . Kelowna was 1-5 on the PP; Vancouver was 1-6. . . . The Giants had F Dawson Holt (shoulder) and F Johnny Wesley (shoulder) back in their lineup after 13-game absences, but still are missing D Darian Skeoch and F Tyler Benson. Skeoch missed his 16th game; Benson missed his eighth straight game. . . . F Dillon Dube and F Reid Gardiner were among Kelowna’s scratches. . . . Vancouver (17-26-3) had lost its previous six games and is 10 points out of a playoff spot. . . . Kelowna (26-17-4) has lost three in a row (0-2-1) and is third in the B.C. Division, three points behind the Kamloops Blazers. . . . Announced attendance: 4,366.

SATURDAY’S GAMES (all times local):

Medicine Hat at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Prince Albert at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
Prince George at Kamloops, 7 p.m.
Portland at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.
Calgary at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.
Victoria at Red Deer, 7 p.m.
Vancouver vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:05 p.m. (Teddy Bear Game)
Kootenay at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.
Regina at Swift Current, 7 p.m.
Everett vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.

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