Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Raiders forward's season over ... TV station apologizes ... Gabrielle, Gropp fill hats

F Josh Nicholls (Saskatoon, 2008-13) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with the Straubing Tigers (Germany, DEL). This season, with the Colorado Eagles (ECHL), he had 11 goals and 21 assists in 30 games. . . .
F Denis Rehák (Prince George, 2003-04) has transferred from Žilina to Nové Zámky (both Slovakia, Extraliga). Details of the move weren’t disclosed. He had a goal and six assists in 46 games with Žilina. . . .
F Štěpán Novotný (Kelowna, Swift Current, 2008-11) was transferred from Žilina to Nové Zámky (both Slovakia, Extraliga). Details weren’t disclosed. He had six goals and eight assists in 20 games with Žilina.
F Jordy Stallard of the Prince Albert Raiders underwent shoulder surgery on Monday and won’t play
again this season. He is expected to be ready for the opening of training camp in August.
Stallard, a 19-year-old from Brandon, was injured in a game against the host Calgary Hitmen on Jan. 22.
The Raiders acquired Stallard from the Hitmen on Jan. 10. He had 10 points, including six goals, in eight games with Prince Albert. He had put up four goals and three assists in his last four games.
He finished this season with 37 points, 14 of them goals, in 40 games.
Stallard was a fifth-round selection by the Winnipeg Jets in the NHL’s 2016 draft.
DEPT. OF DISCIPLINE: The WHL handed out four games in suspensions and $1,250 in fines following weekend games. . . . F Cameron Hausinger of the Red Deer Rebels received a two-game suspension for a hit on Blades D Jake Kustra in Saskatoon on Saturday night. Hausinger had been given a headshot major and game misconduct, but the penalty later was changed to a charging major. Kustra, who was taken from the ice on a stretcher and was taken to hospital, was left with a facial laceration and a brain injury. He is out indefinitely. . . . Red Deer D Colton Bobyk, who levelled Blades F Braylon Shmyr later in that same game, wasn’t disciplined. Shmyr also has a brain injury and will be out indefinitely. . . . F Jeff de Wit of the Regina Pats was given two games after taking a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct for a hit on Blades D Mark Rubinchik in Saskatoon on Friday night. Rubinchik wasn’t injured on the play. . . . Meanwhile, the Lethbridge Hurricanes were fined $750 and the Moose Jaw Warriors $500 for the line brawl that occurred during their game in Lethbridge on Saturday. It was the Hurricanes’ second such incident this season, thus the difference in fine amounts.
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Portland’s CW, a local television station, has apologized via its Facebook page to viewers after it pulled the plug prematurely on the telecast of a game between the Seattle Thunderbirds and host Winterhawks on Saturday night. With about three minutes left in a five-minute OT period, the clock struck 10 p.m., and the station switched to a newscast. The Winterhawks went on to win the game, 4-3 in a shootout.
“We sincerely apologize for the disruption in coverage of Saturday’s game,” read the apology issued by the station, “and are taking action now to ensure this doesn’t happen again. Thank you for your viewership!”
Nothing has been heard from the WHL, the Winterhawks or the Thunderbirds.
Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports in his weekly 30 Thoughts that “word at the CHL Top Prospects’ Game last week was that Regina’s Memorial Cup bid did not to unnoticed. The Saskatchewan capital is in the conversation.” . . . The lead to this week’s piece involves a junior B team in B.C. that is 0-40-3. It’s good stuff, as usual, and it’s all right here.
Marko Kardum, a farmer in Central Saanich, B.C., was out clearing a little snow on Monday night when the police showed up. The fact that Kardum was driving a Zamboni may have something to with it. . . . Katie Derosa of the Victoria Times Colonist tracked him down and has his story right here.
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The WHL’s weekly roster report shows some of the league’s top players on the shelf, listed as being out either week-to-week or indefinitey, all with undisclosed injuries.
Noah Juulsen of the Everett Silvertips, one of the WHL’s top defencemen, is week-to-week, so likely won’t play on the East Division swing that opens Friday in Brandon. He last played on Jan. 20.
F Tomas Soustal of the Kelowna Rockets hasn’t played since Jan. 28 and also is shown as being out week-to-week.
F Noah Gregor of the Moose Jaw Warriors has been sidelined since Jan. 7 and is out week-to-week. He had 52 points, including 20 goals, in 42 games when he was injured.
D Brendan Guhle wasn’t in the Prince George Cougars lineup last night against the visiting Vancouver Giants. He won’t play tonight (Wednesday) either. He last played on Jan. 29.
F Scott Eansor of the Seattle Thunderbirds was day-to-day in last week’s roster report, but that was changed to week-to-week for the report issued Tuesday. He hasn’t played since Jan. 14.
F Braylon Shmyr of the Saskatoon Blades also is shown as being out week-to-week after suffering a brain injury in a game on Saturday night.
F Jake Leschyshyn of the Regina Pats is out indefinitely after apparently being injured on Friday in Saskatoon.
D Alexander Alexeyev of the Red Deer Rebels hasn’t played since Jan. 28 and won’t play again this season after undergoing surgery to repair an undisclosed lower-body injury last week.
The Vancouver Giants are listing F Tyler Benson (groin) as being out indefinitely. Benson last played on Jan. 2 and originally was said to have a minor injury.
Meanwhile, the Tri-City Americans revealed that D Seth Bafaro, a 16-year-old from Revelstoke, B.C., has been shut down for the season. He has a shoulder injury that requires surgery. Bafaro, with one assist in 28 games as a freshman, played on Jan. 28 and 29 after being out since Jan. 13.
Bafaro is the second defenceman the Americans have shut down this season. Tyler Jette, 18, suffered an "upper-body" injury and had his season end before he had played a game. The Americans announced on Jan. 24 that he was done, at least for now.

The Medicine Hat Tigers were able to leave Cranbrook and head for home on Tuesday after behind snow-stayed since early Sunday morning. They were on their way home from Kennewick, Wash., after beating the Tri-City Americans, 6-5, on Saturday night when their progress was halted by highways closed due to a heavy snowfall.


At Prince George, F Jesse Gabrielle had a goal and two assists to lead the Cougars to a 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . F Radovan Bondra, who was acquired from the Giants earlier in the season,
gave the Cougars a 1-0 lead at 9:36 of the first period. He’s got 26 goals, seven of them in 14 games with Prince George. . . . F Jack Flaman (13) pulled the Giants even at 8:10 of the second period. . . . F Jared Bethune snapped the tie with his 15th goal, at 13:47. . . . F Nikita Popugaev added insurance at 5:34 of the third period, with his 15th goal. . . . Gabrielle, who assisted on those last two goals, got No. 26 at 12:29. . . . Gabrielle now has 47 points in 45 games. . . . D Sam Ruopp had two assists for the Cougars, while Bethune added one to his goal. . . . The Cougars got 25 saves from G Nick McBride. . . . Vancouver G Ryan Kubic stopped 29 shots. . . . The Giants were 0-2 on the PP; the Cougars were 0-3. . . . F Jansen Harkins and D Brendan Guhle were among the Cougars’ scratches. . . . The Cougars (37-16-3) had lost their previous two games. The are second in the overall standings, four points behind the Regina Pats. However, the Pats hold six games in hand. The Cougars also lead the B.C. Division by eight points over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . The Giants (17-32-5) have lost eight in a row (0-6-2). . . . These same teams will clash again tonight in Prince George. . . . Announced attendance: 2,511.

At Victoria, F Ryan Gropp scored three times as the Seattle Thunderbirds skated past the Royals, 3-1. . . . Gropp’s third goal was his 18th this season and the 100th in 238 career games. It was Gropp’s first hat
trick this season and the fifth of his career. He had two last season when he scored a career-high 34 goals. . . . Gropp, a 20-year-old from Kamloops, gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 9:00 of the first period. . . . F Dante Hannoun’s 19th goal, on a PP at 18:36, tied it, 1-1. . . . Gropp struck for his second goal at 19:42 of the first and he completed the hat trick with an empty-netter at 18:59 of the third. . . . F Mathew Barzal drew assists on Gropp’s first two goals. . . . Victoria was 1-4 on the PP; Seattle was 0-3. . . . G Matt Berlin earned the victory with 17 saves. He is 5-0-2 in nine appearances with Seattle this season. . . . Victoria got 29 saves from G Griffen Outhouse. . . . The Thunderbirds had D Jake Lee make his WHL debut. From Sherwood Park, Alta., Lee was a first-round selection by Seattle in the 2016 bantam draft. He plays for the midget AAA Sherwood Park Kings. . . . However, Seattle F Elijah Brown, a first-round selection in the 2015 bantam draft, left in the sec ond period with an apparent injury to his right leg. . . . Victoria F Jack Walker played in his 300th career regular-season game. He has played all 300 regular-season games with the Royals. He has 231 points, including 94 goals. Over the last two seasons, Walker has put up 139 points, including 60 goals, in 123 games. . . . The Thunderbirds (32-15-5) have points in nine straight games (8-0-1). They are second in the U.S. Division, three points behind the Everett Silvertips. Each team has played 52 games. Everett is scheduled to open a six-game East Division swing in Brandon on Friday. . . . The Royals (30-20-4) had a four-game winning streak end. They are tied with the Kelowna Rockets for third in the B.C. Division, five points behind Kamloops. . . . The teams will play again tonight in Victoria. . . . Announced attendance: 3,085.

WEDNESDAY’S GAMES (all times local):

Moose Jaw at Brandon, 7 p.m.
Regina at Calgary, 7 p.m.
Swift Current at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
Kelowna at Kamloops, 7 p.m.
Prince Albert at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.
Vancouver at Prince George, 7 p.m.
Lethbridge at Red Deer, 7 p.m.
Portland at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.
Seattle at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

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