Friday, February 17, 2017

Second WHL team hit by mumps ... Cougars "being subsidized by ownership group" ... Goalie scores in AJHL

A second WHL team has been hit by the mumps. Ryan McCracken of the Medicine Hat News reported via Twitter on Friday afternoon that the Medicine Hat Tigers had two players “diagnosed with mumps, while another two have been tested and quarantined.” . . . Apparently, one coach also has been impacted. . . . McCracken later reported that the two players who had been diagnosed were F John Dahlstrom and D Jordan Henderson, neither of whom played against the host Swift Current Broncos on Friday night. The Tigers also scratched F Zach Fischer and F Ryan Chyzowski. . . . Earlier this month, the Brandon Wheat Kings also had mumps in their dressing room. Their stricken players returned to the lineup earlier this week. . . . If you're wondering, Brandon played in Medicine Hat on Jan. 28. . . . The Tigers also remain without D David Quenneville and D Ty Schultz, both of whom are recovering from broken legs suffered while blocking shots. Quenneville, however, is nearing a return. He was injured on Jan. 3 and now has been cleared for full-contact at practices.
The Prince George Cougars have added Nick Drazenovic to their front office as director of player development. Drazenovic, who is from Prince George, played 281 games with the Cougars, putting up 214 points, including 77 goals. . . . He went on to a professional career that included 12 games in the NHL and more than 500 in the AHL. . . . “Nick will be responsible for developing our current roster players,” general manager Todd Harkins said in a news release, “while also spending one-on-one time with our prospects. He will monitor their progress year-round to ensure that when their time comes to join our team full-time that they are ready to make an impact.”
There isn’t anything new to report regarding the Kootenay Ice and where they will play next season.
One thing is for certain, though. “We can't continue,” Jeff Chynoweth, the team’s president and general manager, told Jaimie Kehler of CBC News. “We are bleeding bad right now, averaging under 1,700 people a night. That just doesn't work in today's economics of the Western Hockey League.” . . . For now, there aren’t likely to be any developments before March 11 when the citizens of Nanaimo vote in a referendum that could allow the city to borrow $80 million for an events centre that would include an arena large enough for a WHL franchise. . . . Taking Note reported last month that the WHL is preparing two schedules for the 2017-18 season — one that includes Kootenay, and one that includes Nanaimo but not Kootenay. . . . Kehler’s story is right here. . . . The Ice stage Pink the Rink night on Friday and drew 2,690 fans to a 3-2 OT victory over the Saskatoon Blades.
In Prince George, meanwhile, the EDGEPRO Sports and Entertainment group in its third season owning the Cougars. That group features Greg Pocock, Eric Brewer, Ray Fortier, Dan Hamhuis,
Ernest Ouellet and John Pateman. As the franchise’s president and governor, Pocock has morphed into the group’s public face.
The Cougars’ average announced attendance in 2013-14, the final season under owner Rick Brodsky, was 1,693. That number has reached 3,467 this season, but Pocock said that’s not enough.
“We are happy to see the continued growth of the attendance in our building,” he told play-by-play man Dan O’Connor and Hartley Miller, the analyst on home games, during a 4-3 loss to the visiting Spokane Chiefs on Monday afternoon. “It seems to be sustainable growth. It’s not people jumping on a bandwagon that are going to be here today and gone tomorrow.
“Having said that, this team is not making money. This team is being subsidized by the ownership group and that is not a circumstance that is going to continue indefinitely. We are behind in projections as far as numbers go. Although we are happy to see where we are it, we’re not satisfied where we are at either.”
There’s more from Pocock right here in a story that was posted by Miller.
Jake Morrissey, a former WHL goaltender, scored a goal for the AJHL’s Sherwood Park Crusaders on Friday night. Morrissey, who made 32 saves, scored an empty-net goal at 19:59 of the third period to put the cap on a 3-1 victory over the visiting Camrose Kodiaks. . . . Morrissey, a 19-year-old from Saskatoon, made WHL stops with the Kelowna Rockets, Vancouver Giants, Saskatoon Blades and Medicine Hat Tigers.
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At Brandon, G Logan Thompson blocked 45 shots to lead the Wheat Kings to a 5-3 victory over the
Regina Pats. . . . Thompson stopped 21 of 23 shots in the third period as the Wheat Kings snapped a three-game losing skid (0-2-1). . . . Brandon scored the game’s first three goals. . . . F Baron Thompson (3) opened the scoring at 1:42 of the first period. . . . F Nolan Patrick added his 14th at 3:54. . . . F Ty Lewis upped the lead to 3-0 with his 27th goal, on a PP, at 15:47 of the second period. . . . Regina D Connor Hobbs got his guys started, on a PP, at 16:20. He leads all WHL defencemen with 26 goals. . . . Brandon D Schael Higson (4) got that one back, on a PP, at 18:58. . . . Regina made it interesting with two third-period goals. . . . F Austin Wagner got his 26th, at 1:34, and F Adam Brooks scored No. 32, on a PP, at 8:11. . . . The Wheat Kings hung on until F Stelio Mattheos got an empty-netter at 18:30. He’s got 23 goals. . . . Brandon got two assists from F Connor Gutenberg, with Matheos adding one to his goal. . . . Hobbs and Brooks each had two assists for Regina. . . . G Jordan Hollett stopped 24 shots for Regina as he lost for the first time in regulation this season. He now is 12-1-1. . . . The Wheat Kings were 2-3 on the PP; the Pats were 2-5. . . . Brandon (28-22-8) holds down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot. . . . Regina (41-8-7) remains atop the overall standings, six points ahead of Medicine Hat with three games in hand. . . . Announced attendance: 4,433.

At Calgary, F Jakob Stukel scored at 1:52 of OT to give the Hitmen a 2-1 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . This was Calgary’s 20th trip to OT this season. The Hitmen are 7-8 in OT and 3-2 in shootouts. . . . The Hitmen had the only three shots of the extra time and won it on Stukel’s 18th goal of the season. . . . F Trey Fix-Wolansky’s 17th goal gave Edmonton a 1-0 lead at 9:20 of the first period. . . . Calgary tied it on F Andrei Grishakov’s sixth goal, at 7:58 of the second period. . . . Calgary D Jake Bean had two assists. . . . The Hitmen got 23 saves from G Trevor Martin. . . . Edmonton G Patrick Dea turned aside 33 shots. . . . Edmonton was 1-5 on the PP; Calgary was 0-2. . . . The Hitmen (21-26-10) have points in three straight (2-0-1). They are two points out of a wild-card spot, but also trail third-place Red Deer by only three points in the Central Division. . . . The Oil Kings (20-33-5) have points in three in a row (2-0-1) after losing 16 in a row. They are nine points out of a playoff spot with 14 games remaining. . . . Announced attendance: 6,945.
At Kelowna, F Kailer Yamamoto scored at 1:01 of OT to give the Spokane Chiefs a 5-4 victory over the Rockets. . . . Spokane G Jayden Sittler, who had an outstanding game, stopped Kelowna F Nick Merkley at one end and the Chiefs broke out 2-on-1 with Yamamoto scoring off a pass from Hudson Elynuik. . . . The Chiefs are 3-0-0 against Kelowna this season, winning three times in OT. . . Spokane scored the game’s first three goals, then surrendered three in a row. . . . F Jaret Anderson-Dolan’s 33rd goal gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 8:47 of the first period, with F Ethan McIndoe (16) making it 2-0 at 12:24. . . . Elynuik’s 21st goal made it 3-0 at 1:30 of the second period. . . . The Rockets roared back to tie it with Merkley’s 18th goal starting the comeback at 6:39. . . . D Nolan Foote’s 15th goal cut the deficit to one at 17:12. . . . F Calvin Thurkauf tied it at 3:55 of the third period. . . . The Chiefs went back in front at 6:18 when F Hayden Ostir got No. 7. . . . Thurkauf tied it, scoring his second of the game and 29th of the season at 18:55, on a PP. . . . Yamamoto won it with his 33rd goal of the season. . . . Sittler, who also had an assist, finished with 45 saves. . . . The Rockets started G Michael Herringer, who gave up three goals on nine shots in 21:30. Brodan Salmond came on to stop 10 of 12 shots in 39:17. . . . Kelowna was 1-6 on the PP; Spokane was 0-1. . . . Spokane head coach Don Nachbaur was stitched up at the arena after being struck in the head by a puck off Foote’s stick in the second period. Nachbaur was back for the third period and no one who saw him during his playing days was surprised. . . . Spokane (25-24-9) is eight points out of a wild-card spot. . . . Kelowna (33-20-5) had won three straight. It is third in the B.C. Division, five points behind Kamloops. . . . Announced attendance: 4,836.
At Cranbrook, B.C., F Vince Loschiavo’s goal at 2:16 of OT gave the Kootenay Ice a 3-2 victory over the Saskatoon Blades. . . . Loschiavo scored his 23rd goal of the season on Kootenay’s second shot of OT. . . . F Markson Bechtold had given Saskatoon a 1-0 lead with his seventh goal just 15 seconds into the game. . . . The Ice tied it when F Brett Davis got No. 16 at 13:10 of the first period. . . . Saskatoon went back out front at 5:00 of the third period as F Mason McCarty got his 16th goal. . . . The Ice tied it as F Noah Philp (7) scored at 14:45. . . . Kootenay G Jakob Walter earned the victory with a 28-save performance. . . . The Blades got 28 saves from Logan Flodell. . . . Saskatoon was 0-3 on the PP; Kootenay was 0-5. . . . Kootenay (13-35-10) had lost its previous seven games (0-5-2). It now has one more victory than it managed all of last season. . . . The Blades (23-26-8) have points in five straight (3-0-2). They hold down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, two points ahead of Calgary. . . . Announced attendance: 2,690.
At Lethbridge, F Tyler Wong scored the only goal of a three-round shootout to give the Hurricanes a 5-4 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . The Royals had taken a 1-0 lead on F Blake Bargar’s fourth goal, at 10:03 of the first period. . . . Wong tied it with his 41st goal at 11:51. . . . Victoria went back out front when F Matt Phillips got his 41st, at 19:59. . . . The home side took a 3-2 lead on second-period goals from F Alec Baer (12), at 2:38, and F Egor Babenko (20), at 7:53. . . . The Royals tied it when F Regan Nagy counted at 11:24, only to have Lethbridge go back ahead on F Zak Zborosky’s 37th at 14:53. . . . Victoria forced OT when Nagy got his second of the game, and 15th of the season, at 18:29 of the third period. . . . Wong added an assist to his goal. . . . G Stuart Skinner blocked 35 shots for the winners. . . . Victoria got 36 saves from Griffen Outhouse. . . . Lethbridge was 0-1 on the PP; Victoria was 0-4. . . . The Hurricanes (35-16-7) have won two in a row. They are second in the Central Division, six points behind Medicine Hat with a game in hand. . . . The Royals (31-23-5) have lost three straight (0-2-1). They are tied with Portland for the Western Conference’s wild-card spots. Victoria also is fourth in the B.C. Division, four points behind Kelowna. . . . Announced attendance: 4,653.
At Portland, the Winterhawks scored the game’s first two goals and never trailed en route to a 4-3
victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . F Joachim Blichfeld got it started with his 25th goal just 59 seconds into the first period. . . . F Ryan Hughes scored his 24th goal at 1:16 of the second period, with Blichfeld getting the lone assist. . . . F Adam Musil (19) got Red Deer on the scoreboard, on a PP, at 2:47. . . . Portland got that one back as F Keegan Iverson got No. 16 at 12:24. . . . F Michael Spacek, who also had an assist, pulled the Rebels back to within a goal with his 25th, at 13:03. . . . F Jake Gricius restored Portland’s two-goal lead with No. 7 at 14:37. . . . D Jared Freadrich (6) added Red Deer’s third goal, at 14:12 of the third period. . . . G Cole Kehler stopped 30 shots for Portland and also picked up an assist. . . . The Rebels got 40 stops from G Lasse Petersen. . . . Red Deer was 2-6 on the PP; Portland was 0-5. . . . The Rebels went 0-3-0 on a three-game U.S. Division swing on which they were outscored 16-8. . . . The Winterhawks (32-23-3) have won two in a row. They are fourth in the U.S. Division, four points behind Tri-City. . . . The Rebels (23-27-9) have lost seven straight (0-6-1). They are third in the Central Division, three points ahead of Calgary. . . . Announced attendance: 4,724.
At Prince Albert, the Everett Silvertips scored three second-period goals, two of them via the PP, and went on to beat the Raiders, 3-1. . . . F Eetu Tuulola (14) opened the scoring at 5:14 and F Riley Sutter (16) made it 2-0, on a PP, just 45 seconds later. . . . When F Patrick Bajkov scored his 23rd goal on another PP, at 12:44, it was 3-0. . . . The Raiders got their goal from F Curtis Miske, on a PP, at 18:11 of the third period. . . . G Carter Hart stopped 26 shots for Everett. . . . The Raiders got 33 saves from G Nic Sanders. . . . The Silvertips were 2-4 on the PP; the Raiders were 1-5. . . . The Raiders lost F Kolby Johnson to a charging major and game misconduct 16:14 of the second period after an open-ice hit on F Orrin Centazzo in the neutral zone. . . . The Silvertips are 4-1-0 and have outscored opponents 12-6 on a six-game East Division swing that ends tonight (Saturday) in Swift Current. . . . Everett (35-12-10) has won four in a row and leads the U.S. Division by three points over Seattle. . . . Prince Albert (15-39-5) had won its previous two games. . . . Announced attendance: 2,014.
At Swift Current, G Jordan Papirny made 42 saves to lead the Broncos to a 3-1 victory over the
Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Papirny turned aside all 15 shots he faced in the first period and 14 of 15 in the second. He is 5-5-2, 2.97, .911 since coming over from the Brandon Wheat Kings in January. . . .   The Broncos got a pair of first-period goals from F Aleksi Heponiemi, at 15:18 and 18:08, the latter via the PP. He’s got 23 goals in his freshman season. . . . F Riley Stotts made it 3-0 with his seventh goal, at 8:48 of the second period. . . . The Tigers got their goal from F Mark Rassell (27), on a PP, at 18:52 of the second. . . . G Michael Bullion stopped 31 shots for the Tigers. . . . Swift Current was 1-3 on the PP; Medicine Hat was 1-4. . . . The Tigers were able to dress only 16 skaters as they scratched four players with illness and two with broken legs. . . . Swift Current (30-18-9) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). It is third in the East Division, five points behind Moose Jaw with a game in hand. . . . Medicine Hat (41-17-1) had a five-game winning streak come to an end. It leads the Central Division by six points over Lethbridge. . . . Announced attendance: 2,244.
At Kennewick, Wash., the Tri-City Americans erased a 1-0 deficit with four straight goals and went
on to a 4-2 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Seattle took a 1-0 lead on D Ethan Bear’s 23rd goal, on a PP, at 2:56 of the first period. . . . The Americans responded by taking a 4-1 lead. . . . F Morgan Geekie’s 32nd goal, on a PP, at 6:48, tied it. . . . D Dakota Krebs scored his second goal of the season, at 9:26, to give the home side the lead. . . . F Tyler Sandhu increased the lead to 3-1 with his 16th goal, at 17:04 of the second period. . . . D Dylan Coghlan’s 12th goal, on a PP, at 19:19, provided more insurance. . . . F Keegan Kolesar (19) got Seattle to within two goals 17 seconds into the third period. . . . Sandhu and Geekie each added an assist for Tri-City. . . . F Mathew Barzal and F Ryan Gropp each had two assists for Seattle. Gropp had his goal streak end at eight games, but is on a 15-game point streak. . . . G Rylan Parenteau earned the victory with 25 saves. . . . Seattle also got 25 saves from G Rylan Toth. . . . Each team was 2-5 on the PP. . . . The Americans (34-23-3) have won three in a row. They are third in the U.S. Division, six points behind Seattle. . . . The Thunderbirds (36-17-5) are second in the U.S. Division, three points behind Everett. . . . Announced attendance: 3,408.
At Langley, B.C., the Kamloops Blazers broke a 1-1 tie with four second-period goals in a span of
6:06 and went on to beat the Vancouver Giants, 6-1. . . . F Calvin Spencer sent the Giants out to a 1-0 lead with his 12th goal at 1:53 of the first period. . . . The visitors tied it when F Quinn Benjafield scored No. 12 at 10:25. . . . Kamloops blew it open with the four second-period scores. . . . F Rudolfs Balcers scored two of them, at 7:29, on a PP, and 13:06. He’s got 33 goals. . . . F Lane Bauer’s 33rd goal made is 3-1 at 9:19. . . . F Garrett Pilon (15) upped it to 5-1 at 13:35. . . . The Blazers got their final goal from F Nick Chyzowski (15) at 1:38 of the third period. . . . The Blazers got two assists from each of F Deven Sideroff and F Collin Shirley, with Chyzowski and Bauer adding one each. . . . The Blazers got 24 saves from G Connor Ingram. . . . G Ryan Kubic stopped 33 for the Giants. . . . Kamloops was 1-5 on the PP; Vancouver was 0-3. . . . The Blazers (35-19-6) are second in the B.C. Division, four points behind the Prince George Cougars. . . . The Giants (18-36-5) have lost four in a row. . . . Announced attendance: 4,321.

SATURDAY’S GAMES (all times local):

Prince Albert at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Prince George at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.
Victoria vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.
Saskatoon at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.
Edmonton at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.
Regina at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.
Portland vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 6:05 p.m.
Everett at Swift Current, 7 p.m.
Spokane vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.
Red Deer vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7 p.m.

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