Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Thunderbirds bow out of Memorial Cup ... Sea Dogs win, 7-0 ... Love staying in Everett


F Radek Meidl (Seattle, Tri-City, 2006-08) has signed a one-year extension with Orlik Opole (Poland, PHL). This season, he had three goals and an assist in four games there. He began the season with Frydek-Mistek (Czech Republic, 1. Liga), scoring a goal and adding three assists in 27 games, before joining Dukla Trencin (Slovakia, Extraliga), where he had one assist in 10 games. . . .
F Cody Sylvester (Calgary, 2008-13) has signed a one-year contract with Bad Nauheim (Germany, DEL2). This season, with Dornbirn (Austria, Erste Bank Liga), he had nine goals and 20 assists in 50 games. . . .
F Stanislav Balán (Portland, 2005-06) has signed a one-year contract with Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic, 1. Liga). This season, he had a goal and an assist in 30 games with Vítkovice Ostrava (Czech Republic, Extraliga). Balán's contract has an option clause that extends it by one year should Karlovy Vary win promotion to Extraliga next season. . . .
F Dylan Wruck (Edmonton, 2008-13) has signed a one-year contract with Cologne (Germany, DEL). This season, with the Iserlohn Roosters (Germany, DEL), he had eight goals and 16 assists in 52 games.
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QMJHLThe WHL-champion Seattle Thunderbirds bowed out of the Memorial Cup tournament in Windsor, Ont., on Tuesday night after losing 7-0 to the QMJHL-champion Saint John Sea Dogs. . . . The Thunderbirds lost all three of their games and were outscored 18-3 in the process. . . . While the Thunderbirds are finished, the Sea Dogs advanced to Friday’s semifinal where they will meet the loser of Wednesday’s game between the host Windsor Spitfires (2-0) and the OHL-champion Erie Otters (2-0). The winner moves on to Sunday’s final. . . . Without the need for a tiebreaker, Thursday is a day off, as is Saturday. . . . 
Last night, Seattle and Saint John played through a goalless first period before the Sea Dogs exploded for six goals in the second period. . . . F Joe Veleno opened the scoring at 1:14. The next five goals came in the span of 3:09, starting at 14:04. . . . Veleno finished with two goals and an assist, with F Bokondji Imama adding a goal and two assists. F Spencer Smallman, F Mathieu Joseph, D Chase Stewart and F Cole Reginato also had goals. . . . G Callum Booth recorded the shutout with 31 saves. . . . Seattle head coach Steve Konowalchuk went back to G Carl Stankowski after lifting him after he gave up three goals, in 38 seconds, on six shots to start Sunday’s 7-1 loss to the host Windsor Spitfires. Against Saint John, Stankowski was beaten four times on 14 shots in 34:57. Rylan Toth came off the bench to stop 11 of 14 shots. . . . Seattle was 0-2 on the PP; Saint John was 0-3. . . . 
Seattle made one lineup change, inserting F Luke Ormsby and scratching D Anthony Bishop. . . . The WHL champion now is 0-6 in the last two Memorial Cup tournaments, the Brandon Wheat Kings having gone 0-3 a year ago in Red Deer. . . . Announced attendance: 5,062.
Andy Eide of 710 ESPN Seattle has a game story right here.
Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun has a game story right here.
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The number of empty seats at Memorial Cup games in the WCFU Centre in Windsor, which has a capacity of 6,500, is becoming a story in its own right.
They haven’t come close to a sellout through five games in the four-team tournament, this despite the fact the host Spitfires are 2-0 and proving to be highly competitive. The announced attendances, in order, have been: 5,926, 5,259, 5,237, 5,114 and 5,062. Games 1 and 3 featured the Spitfires.
So where are the fans? Well, perhaps junior hockey fans have a problem paying $70 or more for a single ticket.
As pensionplanpuppets.com points out right here, the cheapest adult season-ticket for the Spitfires (34 games) could be had for $425, while the cheapest Memorial Cup pass (nine games) was $672.35, tax included.
The piece at pensionplanpuppets.com is headlined: I love you Memorial Cup, but we need to talk about ticket prices.
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The Prince George Cougars have signed F Tyson Phare to a WHL contract. Phare, from Maple Ridge, B.C., was the 18th overall selection in the 2017 bantam draft. He played this season with the Yale Hockey Academy Lions in Abbotsford, B.C., putting up 18 goals and 22 assists in 28 games.
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The Swift Current Broncos have signed F Ben King, who was the 13th overall selection in the 2017 WHL bantam draft. King, from Vernon, B.C., played this season with the Pursuit of Excellence’s bantam prep team, putting up 16 goals and 30 assists in 22 regular-season games.
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Matt Cockell, the Kootenay Ice’s new president and general manager, is getting settled in Cranbrook and has begun the work aimed at re-establishing the WHL franchise in the area. Cockell, 38, is a former WHL goaltender and is eager to get things rolling. Brad McLeod of the Cranbrook Townsman has a piece on Cockell right here.
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Chase Souto has been named assistant general manager of hockey operations for the Los Angeles Jr. Kings organization. Souto, who is from Yorba Linda, Calif., played four seasons (2010-14) with the Kamloops Blazers before his career was ended by concussion problems. . . . Souto, 22, has been coaching with the Jr. Kings for three seasons. With his new title, he also will work as an assistant coach with three teams from midget to pee wee. . . . There’s more on Souto and his new position right here.
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OHLThe Mississauga Steelheads, fresh off their first appearance in the OHL’s championship final, have parted company with general manager James Boyd. He told John Matisz of Postmedia that “we were unable to come to an agreement on a contract moving forward.” According to Matisz, Boyd said the parting was “amicable” and that the decision was “mutual.” . . . Boyd had been the Steelheads GM/head coach for five seasons (2011-16). Prior to this season, James Richmond stepped in as head coach, allowing Boyd to focus on the GM’s duties. On Tuesday, after Boyd’s departure was made public, the Steelheads announced that Richmond now is the GM and head coach, and that he had signed a five-year contract. . . . Boyd is expected to interview with the Ottawa 67’s, who are looking for a GM and head coach to replace Jeff Brown. . . . Matisz reported that assistant GM Jan Egert also is gone from Mississauga, his contract having expired. . . . Matisz’s story is right here.
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The U of Waterloo, Ont., Warriors have commitments from two players who finished up their junior eligibility this season in the WHL. . . . G Trevor Martin, who was with the Calgary Hitmen, and F Markson Bechtold, who finished the season with the Saskatoon Blades, both have chosen to attend Waterloo. . . . Martin, from Androssan, Alta., also played with the Saskatoon Blades and Red Deer Blades. He spent some time with the QMJHL’s Baie-Comeau Drakkar this season before joining the Hitmen. . . . From Strathmore, Alta., Bechtold was dealt to the Blades by the Spokane Chiefs this season. In 231 career regular-season games, he had 38 goals and 62 assists. . . . Stick tap to Victor Findlay on the tweets about both players. He keeps tabs on the Canadian university hockey scene at @Finder_24.
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USHLIn the USHL, F Tyler Gratton scored at 11:30 of OT to give the visiting Chicago Steel a 2-1 victory over the Sioux City Musketeers in the final game of the championship series. The Steel won the best-of-five series, 3-2. . . . That goal was the first point in 14 playoff games for Gratton, a 17-year-old from Pottstown, Pa. . . . The Musketeers had a 46-25 edge in shots on goal. . . . Jay Varady, who is in his fourth season as the Musketeers’ director of hockey operations and head coach, spent eight seasons (2003-11) on the coaching staff of the WHL’s Everett Silvertips. . . . Mark LeRose, in his third season as Sioux City’s GM, was an assistant coach in Everett for three seasons (2007-09, 2013-14).
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Coaching

Mitch Love will be returning as an assistant coach with the Everett Silvertips, who introduced Dennis Williams, their new head coach, to their fans on Monday. Jesse Geleynse of the Everett Herald reported that Love’s signing to a two-year extension should be announced shortly. . . . Love played five seasons (2000-05) in the WHL, the last two with the Silvertips. He is heading into his sixth season on their coaching staff. He spent four seasons alongside head coach Kevin Constantine, whose contract wasn’t renewed after this season. . . . Geleynse also reported that the Silvertips will employ only one assistant coach this season, a decision having been made not to replace Brennan Sonne, now the head coach of the pro team in Angers, France. . . . Geleynse’s story is right here.
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The OHL’s Sudbury Wolves are in the market for a head coach after parting company with Dave Matsos on Tuesday. Matsos had been with the Wolves since 2013 when he was the associate coach. He took over as head coach in January 2015. Matsos had a year left on his contract when, according to a news release from the Wolves, the parties “mutually agreed to part ways.” . . . Rob Papineau, the Wolves’ vice-president of hockey operations and general manager, said in a news release: “We considered options on contract extensions but we were unable to come to an agreement moving forward.” . . . Assistant coach Barry Smith also is gone. He joined the Wolves in mid-November when assistant coach Drake Berehowsky left to take over as head coach of the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears.
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