Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Nanaimo has memorandum of understanding with WHL . . . 'Tips forward needs surgery . . . Engele, Lauer hall of famers


G Tomáš Vošvrda (Medicine Hat, 2007-08) has signed a two-year extension with Bayreuth (Germany, DEL2). In 36 games, he is 2.65 and .929. . . . 
F Colton Yellow Horn (Lethbridge, Tri-City, 2003-08) has signed a one-year extension with Orli Znojmo (Czech Republic, Erste Bank Liga). This season, he has 19 goals and 23 assists in 38 games with Znojmo. He started the season with Plzeň (Czech Republic, Extraliga), scoring four goals in 11 games.
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Tracy Samra, the chief administrative officer for the City of Nanaimo, told city council on Monday that “we have a memorandum of understanding with the WHL.”
That would indicate that all is in readiness for a franchise to begin play in the Vancouver Island city next season, depending on the outcome of a March 11 referendum.
“That memorandum sets forward condition precedents that have to happen for the WHL to award a
franchise to play in the City of Nanaimo,” Samra told council.
She went on to say that “there are a number of conditions in that memorandum of understanding. They relate to key decisions that council will have to make if there is a yes vote.”
Taxpayers of Nanaimo will vote in a referendum on March 11 as the city asks for the OK to borrow $80 million in order to build an events centre.
In addressing council, Samra added:
“There is a negotiation that has to take place between the city and the new owners of a franchise for the WHL. One of the things that the city has made very clear in its discussions with the WHL is that we are looking for a 20-year long-term commitment of a WHL franchise to this community. That will be part of the negotiations with a facility lease and license agreement.”
Samra seemed to indicate that there is a WHL franchise out there that has new owners with whom Nanaimo will be negotiating. Or perhaps this is simply an indication that the City of Nanaimo has been told by the WHL that there will be new owners for a franchise and those owners will be involved in negotiations.
Of course, if the March 11 vote is “YES” and no one steps forward in an attempt to purchase the Kootenay Ice, the WHL could always buy the franchise and operate it until new owners are found.
There is precedent within the WHL for that kind of move. In 1995, the WHL bought the Regina Pats from a local group who had planned to sell it to the Ochapowace First Nation for $1.7 million. The WHL later sold the franchise to Diane and Russ Parker of Calgary in time for the 1995-96 season.
The Ice has been for sale since 2012 and is believed to be the only franchise that is on the market at this point in time.
Jeff Chynoweth, the governor, president and general manager of the Ice, couldn’t be reached for comment last night.
Samra also made it clear that the construction of an events centre is based on having a WHL team as the main tenant.
“(A) feasibility and business case study for the events centre is premised on having an anchor tenant,” she said. “The anchor tenant would be the WHL. If there is no WHL team there is no anchor and the business case for the events centre is not made.”
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Kevin Constantine, the head coach of the Everett Silvertips, revealed on Wednesday that F Orrin Centazzo won’t play again this season. Jesse Geleynse of the Everett Herald reported that Centazzo has a broken collarbone and will be undergoing surgery.
Centazzo was injured on Friday when he absorbed an open-ice hit from Prince Albert F Kolby Johnson during a 3-1 victory over the host Raiders. Johnson was suspended for three games.
There was some controversy involved, as Johnson originally was given a minor penalty that minutes later was changed to a major, something that didn’t sit well with the Raiders. They later were fined $500 for not providing adequate security at the officials’ exit.
“I think the refs, when they initially made the call, saw our player get up and come off the ice and assumed there was no injury and made a two-minute call,” Constantine told Geleynse. “I can’t tell you why. I saw there was two minutes up there, we had a discussion with the refs and I think they talked it over further and realized that the player had been injured on the play, which I don’t think they had factored into their decision at the time of the call.”
Centazzo, from Marwayne, Alta., was a fifth-round selection by Everett in the 2015 bantam draft. A freshman with the Silvertips, he had four goals and five assists in 41 games.
With Centazzo out, the Silvertips have added F Keith Anderson, 19, to their roster. Anderson has played 39 WHL games, 33 of those last season, all with the Victoria Royals. He had a goal and five assists in those games.
Anderson, from Hermiston, Ore., has been with the BCHL’s Alberni Valley Bulldogs, putting up four goals and four assists in 29 games.
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Jerome Engele and Brad Lauer, two men with ties to the WHL, will be among the inductees into the Humboldt and District Sports Hall of Fame on June 24. . . . Engele is from Carmel, a small town just west of Humboldt. He began his hockey career in Humboldt. Engele was a hard-nosed defenceman for five seasons with the Saskatoon Blades before going on to a pro career. He later joined the Saskatoon Police Service, retiring as an Inspector in 2015 after 35 years. Through a lot of that time, he served as an assistant coach with the Blades, something he continues to do. . . . Lauer, who was born and raised in Humboldt, played three seasons with the Regina Pats before moving to the pro ranks. He now is an assistant coach with the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning. . . . The 2007-08 Humboldt Broncos, who won a national junior A championship, also will be inducted. Their head coach was Dean Brockman, who now is the Blades’ head coach.
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F Crisitiano DeGiacinto, 20, of the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires has been suspended for 10 games after taking a headshot major and game misconduct on Sunday. DeGiacinto hit Nic Sicoly of the Guelph Storm, who was bleeding after the hit but returned to the game.
Ted Baker, the OHL vice-president who deals in discipline, admitted that DeGiacinto didn’t “intentionally target the head.” Not only that, Baker said, “he didn’t leave his feet or put his elbow up, but there is contact to the head.”
As Baker reasoned: “Although it was an attempt at a legal body check, there is no tolerance for checking to the head and he is a repeat offender.” Baker said when you factor in all of that, the result is a 10-game suspension.
DiGiacinto drew an eight-game suspension for a headshot major in January 2016. He also was suspended for five games during the 2013-14 playoffs for what was termed bullying after he chased down an opponent and instigated a fight.
In the WHL this season, the longest suspension involving a checking-to-the-head penalty has been five games. That went to F Carter Folk, then of the Lethbridge Hurricanes, from an incident during an exhibition game.
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ECHLDrake Berehowsky, the head coach of the Orlando Solar Bears, suffered a medical emergency on Tuesday night and has had to take a leave of absence from the ECHL club.
“Drake was taken to Florida Hospital where he is receiving medical treatment,” Joe Haleski, the franchise’s chairman and CEO, said in a news release. “I have spoken with Drake and he is in good spirits and eager to get back behind the bench as soon as he receives medical clearance to do so.”
Berehowsky, 45, was the Solar Bears’ head coach in 2012-13. He left to take over as head coach of the Lethbridge Hurricanes, where he spent two seasons. He signed on as an associate coach with the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves last season. He started this season there, but left to take over as Orlando’s head coach on Nov. 14.
While Berehowsky is away, assistant coach John Snowden will run the team. Snowden was in charge last night as the Solar Bears beat the visiting Atlanta Gladiators, 4-0.
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Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet filed his weekly 30 Thoughts on Wednesday. He speculates on Sidney Crosby’s legacy and touches on a whole lot more. It’s all right here.
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WEDNESDAY’S GAMES:

At Calgary, the Hitmen watched a 3-0 lead disappear before they were able to beat the Brandon Wheat Kings, 4-3 in a shootout. . . . The Hitmen have appeared in a franchise-record 21 OT games this season.
BRADY REAGAN
Calgary and Brandon (18) are 1-2 in OT appearances this season. . . . The Regina Pats led the WHL last season by going to OT 20 times. . . . The single-season record for most OT games (23) is shared by the Moose Jaw Warriors (2007-08) and Swift Current Broncos (2005-06) . . . F Beck Malenstyn (11) gave Calgary a 1-0 led at 4:46 of the first period and F Andrei Grishakov upped it to 2-0 at 11:31 with his seventh goal. . . . F Matteo Gennaro’s 35th score left the Hitmen with a 3-0 lead at 1:02 of the second period. . . . F Nolan Patrick got Brandon started with No. 15, at 5:53, and D Kale Clague’s fifth goal, on PP, at 9:08, got the visitors to within a goal. . . . The Wheat Kings tied it when F Reid Duke scored his 34th at 6:41 of the third period. . . . Calgary’s first two shootout shooters — F Jakob Stukel and F Jake Kryski — both scored, while Duke and Patrick were blanked. . . . Calgary got two assists from D Brady Reagan and one each from Stukel and Kryski. . . . Duke and Patrick had an assist each. . . . Calgary G Trevor Martin stopped 29 shots through OT, while Brandon G Travis Child turned aside 21. . . . The Wheat Kings were 1-4 on the PP; the Hitmen were 0-2. . . . The Hitmen (23-26-10) have points in five straight (4-0-1). They have moved past Saskatoon and now are in possession of the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . The Wheat Kings (28-23-9) have lost two in a row (0-1-1). They hold down the conference’s first wild-card spot. . . . It was the annual BE BRAVE anti-bullying game and began at 11 a.m. . . . Announced attendance: 10,896.
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At Kelowna, the Rockets unleashed a 53-shot attack as they beat the Edmonton Oil Kings, 10-1. . . . One night earlier, the Oil Kings were beaten, 7-0, by the Blazers in Kamloops. . . . The Rockets held a 37-10
ROD SOUTHAM
edge in shots after two periods. . . . Kelowna took a 4-0 lead into the third period where it struck for six goals. . . . F Rod Southam, the Rockets’ captain, scored three times, giving him 13 goals this season. He made it 4-0 at 3:39 of the second period, then completed his first WHL hat trick by scoring at 17:19 and 17:56, the latter on a PP, of the third period. . . . Kelowna’s other goals came from F Nick Merkley (20), F Carsen Twarynski (12), F Tomas Soustal (17), F Dillon Dube (9), D Lucas Johansen (5), F Kyle Topping (11) and F Kole Lind (27). . . . The Rockets got four assists from D James Hilsendager and two from each of Dillon, D Devante Stephens and F Nolan Foote. Johansen, Soustal, Lind, Southam and Twarynski added one each. . . . F Davis Koch (19) scored for Edmonton at 9:34 of the third period. . . . G Brodan Salmond blocked 14 shots for the Rockets. . . . Edmonton starter Patrick Dea gave up eight goals on 48 shots in 53:27. Josh Dechaine finished up, stopping three of five shots in 6:32. . . . Kelowna was 3-4 on the PP; Edmonton was 0-3. . . . The Rockets (35-20-5) have points in six straight (5-0-1). They are third in the B.C. Division five points behind Kamloops with two games in hand. . . . The Oil Kings (20-36-5) have lost four in a row (0-3-1). . . . Edmonton has been outscored 24-5 in its past three games. Next up is a Friday-Saturday doubleheader in Prince George against the Cougars. . . . Announced attendance: 5,155.



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At Lethbridge, the Moose Jaw Warriors opened up a 3-0 lead en route to a 3-1 victory over the Hurricanes. . . . The Warriors clinched a playoff spot with the victory. . . . Despite the loss, the Hurricanes also clinched a playoff spot. They actually had the spot
BRANDEN KLATT
wrapped up before their game ended because the Saskatoon Blades lost their game. . . . F Tanner Jeannot’s 15th goal got the Warriors on the scoreboard at 9:54 of the first period. . . . F Spencer Bast’s ninth goal made it 2-0 just 55 seconds later. . . . F Thomas Foster added more insurance with his 17th goal 20 seconds into the second period. . . . F Jordy Bellerive scored for Lethbridge, getting No. 24 at 12:52 of the third period. . . . F Branden Klatt has two assists for the Warriors, with Bast and Foster adding one each. . . . Klatt has two goals and four assists over his past four games. That gives him 12 points, including 10 assists, in 20 games since coming over from the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . The Warriors got 32 saves from G Zach Sawchenko. . . . G Stuart Skinner stopped 18 shots at the other end. . . . Moose Jaw was 1-6 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-3. . . . Moose Jaw (36-17-8) has won four in a row. They are headed to a second-place finish in the East Division as they are 13 points behind Regina and 10 in front of Swift Current. . . . The Hurricanes (36-17-7) had won their previous three games. They are second in the Central Division, six points behind Medicine Hat and 21 ahead of Red Deer. . . . Announced attendance: 4,521.
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At Saskatoon, the Regina Pats scored the game’s first four goals and went on to post a 4-1 victory over the Blades. . . . F Nick Henry got Regina started with the 29th goal of his freshman season at 9:32 of the
NICK HENRY
first period, on a PP. . . . F Adam Brooks made it 2-0, on another PP, at 5:39 of the second, with F Dawson Leedahl getting his 30th goal, on yet another PP, at 10:55. Leedahl is the Pats’ third 30-goal man this season. . . . F Braydon Buziak’s eighth goal, at 8:45 of the third period, gave Regina a 4-0 lead. . . . F Michael Farren (5) scored for the Blades, on a PP, at 13:26 of the third period. . . . Brooks, who won the WHL scoring title with 120 points last season, also had an assist as he became the second player this season to get to 100 points. Teammate Sam Steel had one assist, running his WHL-leading points total to 106. . . . Henry also added an assist to his goal. He has 67 points in 59 games. . . . Regina G Tyler Brown stopped 15 shots in his 40th start this season. He is 26-6-6. . . . The Blades got 43 saves from G Brock Hamm. . . . The visitors held a 35-9 edge in shots after two periods. . . . Regina was 3-7 on the PP; Saskatoon was 1-4. . . . The Blades had F Braylon Shmyr back in the lineup. He had been out since Feb. 4. F Caleb Fantillo, who suffered an injury in practice last week, also returned. . . .  Regina had F Cole Muir make his WHL debut. Muir, who turned 16 on Feb. 14, is from Vista, Man., and has been playing for the midget AAA Yellowhead Chiefs. He was a second-round pick by the Pats in the 2016 WHL bantam draft. . . . Regina (43-9-7) has won two in a row and leads the overall standings by eight points over Medicine Hat. . . . The Blades (23-29-8) have lost five straight (0-3-2) and now are two points out of a playoff spot. . . . Announced attendance: 3,782.

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At Kennewick, Wash., F Jordan Topping scored three times and added an assist to lead the Tri-City Americans to a 6-4 victory over the Portland Winterhawks. . . . The Americans took a 3-0 lead into the
JORDAN TOPPING
second period and never trailed although the Winterhawks twice whittled the deficit to one. . . . Topping, who has 21 goals, provided a 2-0 lead with PP goals at 5:38 and 9:20 of the first period. . . . D Parker Wotherspoon made it 3-0 with No 10 at 13:37. . . . Portland got to within a goal on second-period goals from F Keegan Iverson (18), on a PP at 3:45, and F Evan Weinger, at 5:03. . . . Topping completed his hat trick at 17:59, for a 4-2 lead. . . . F Kyle Olson (15) put the Americans up by three goals at 18:53. . . . Weinger added his 20th goal, at 19:55, and F Ryan Hughes’ 25th goal, at 3:08 of the third period, pulled the visitors to within a goal, at 5-4. . . . F Austyn Playfair’s first goal of the season provided the Americans with some insurance at 13:16. . . . The Americans got two assists from D Juuso Valimaki and one from Olson. . . . D Caleb Jones drew two helpers for Portland. . . . Tri-City G Evan Sarthou stopped 41 shots. . . . Portland started Cole Kehler in goal, but he left after allowing three goals on 11 shots in 13:37. Shane Farkas finished up, stopping 15 of 18 shots in 44:37. . . . Tri-City was 2-4 on the PP; Portland was 1-3. . . . Tri-City F Michael Rasmussen sat out his eighth straight game. The Americans lost the first three without him, but now have won five in a row. . . . Tri-City (36-23-3) has won five straight games. It is third in the U.S. Division, six points behind Seattle and seven ahead of Portland. . . . Portland (32-25-4) has lost three in a row (0-2-1). It holds the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, one point behind Victoria. . . . Announced attendance: 2,604.
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THURSDAY’S GAMES (all times local):

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

Medicine Hat at Calgary, 7 p.m.
Portland at Everett, 7:35 p.m.
Kelowna at Kamloops, 7 p.m.
Brandon at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.
Edmonton at Prince George, 7 p.m.
Kootenay at Red Deer, 7 p.m.
Swift Current at Regina, 7 p.m.
Prince Albert at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.
Seattle vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.
Victoria vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7:30 p.m.

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