Monday, March 27, 2017

Wheat Kings skate without Patrick . . . Estephan expected back for Game 3 . . . Two BCHL series go 7

The defending-champion Brandon Wheat Kings are down 2-0 and on the road again as the WHL playoffs resume Tuesday after taking Monday off. . . . The Wheat Kings lost Games 1 and 2 to the Tigers in Medicine Hat on the weekend, and now are in Dauphin, Man., for two games in the hopes of prolonging things. . . . The Wheat Kings haven’t had F Nolan Patrick in their lineup yet this series after he was injured in the second-last game of the regular season. He didn’t skate on Monday in Dauphin, so isn’t likely to play in Game 3. . . . Brandon G Logan Thompson, who left Saturday’s second game after a goal-mouth collision, was on the ice yesterday. . . . The Tigers, meanwhile, skated in Dauphin yesterday and they did so without D Brad Forrest, who was scratched from Game 2 as D Ty Schultz returned from a broken leg. Schultz was back in the Tigers’ lineup earlier than expected after Forrest suffered an undisclosed injury.
The Regina Pats won the first two games of their first-round series with visiting Calgary on the weekend, outscoring the Hitmen 10-3 in the process. However, John Paddock, the Pats’ general manager and head coach, says there is lots of room for improvement. . . . “We’re glad we’re up 2-0, that’s for sure,” Paddock told Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post on Monday. “They left us a lot of room for some teaching clips. It starts with intelligence and focus, (including) some of the penalties we took. We’re not playing near the kind of hockey you have to play.” . . . The Pats take a 10-game winning streak into Game 3 in Calgary tonight (Tuesday).
The Lethbridge Hurricanes expect to have F Giorgio Estephan back in the lineup on Wednesday when they resume their series with the Red Deer Rebels. The teams split the first two games in Lethbridge. . . . Estephan left in the second period of Sunday’s Game 2, a 5-2 Hurricanes’ victory, after taking a high-stick to the face from Red Deer F Michael Spacek. . . . “He’s fine,” Lethbridge head coach Brent Kisio told Dale Woodard of the Lethbridge Herald. “He’s good to go.” . . . Of course, this being the playoffs, nothing will be official until the lineup sheet for Game 3 is posted.
F Duncan Campbell, who began this season with the Brandon Wheat Kings, had a goal and an assist on Monday as his Penticton Vees beat the visiting Merritt Centennials, 6-2, in Game 7 of a BCHL semi-final series. The game drew 3,774 fans to the South Okanagan Events Centre. The Vees he'd led the series 3-1 before the Centennials won two straight games to force Game 7. . . . The Vees and Vernon Vipers will clash in the next round. . . . Meanwhile, at the Q Centre in Victoria, F Keyvan Mokhtari scored 57 seconds into the second OT to give the Grizzlies a 2-1 victory over the Powell River Kings in another Game 7. This one drew 1,705 fans. . . . Victoria advances to meet the Chilliwack Chiefs in the second semi-final.
Three coaches with WHL experience have been chosen by BC Hockey to lead the team that will compete at the 2017 U-16 Western Canada Challenge Cup in Calgary and the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer. . . . Steve O’Rourke, an assistant coach with the Prince George Cougars, has been named head coach. He spent three seasons as an assistant coach with the Red Deer Rebels before joining the Cougars. . . . Jason Becker and Brian Pellerin will serve as O’Rourke’s assistants. . . . Becker, a former WHL player, is an assistant with the BCHL’s Penticton Vees. He spent five seasons as an assistant coach with Prince George and two as a head coach at the Okanagan Hockey Academy in Penticton. . . . Pellerin, also a former WHL player, is associate coach with the Tri-City Americans. He also has coaching experience in the AHL, the Central league and a sports school. . . . Kevin Pedersen, an assistant coach with the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers, will be the video coach, with Kim Penner (Merritt Centennials) as trainer and Craig Carter (major midget Okanagan Rockets) as equipment manager.
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No Games Scheduled.

TUESDAY GAMES (all times local):

Moose Jaw at Swift Current, 7 p.m. (Series tied, 1-1)
Medicine Hat vs. Brandon, at Dauphin, Man., 7:30 p.m. (Medicine Hat leads, 2-0)
Regina at Calgary, 7 p.m. (Regina leads, 2-0)
Kelowna at Kamloops, 7 p.m. (Kelowna leads, 2-0)
Everett at Victoria, 7:05 p.m. (Series tied, 1-1)

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