Friday, April 14, 2017

Rockets, Thunderbirds to meet again ... Pats stay alive ... Hurricanes have the edge

Scattershoot

The Regina Pats welcomed back forwards Adam Brooks (knee) and Filip Ahl (mumps) on Friday night as they played host to the Swift Current Broncos in a second-round playoff game. However, Brooks spent the entire game watching from the bench. Brooks, with 250 points over the past two seasons, was injured in Game 2. . . . Ahl hadn’t played since Game 1. . . . Brooks isn’t expected to play in Game 6 today in Swift Current. . . . Regina took out F Duncan Pierce and F Kjell Kjemhus. . . . The Broncos, meanwhile, added F Mackenzie Wight and F Brandan Arnold. Wight served a two-game suspension for a hit on Brooks in Game 2. Arnold, 19, made his playoff debut after being with the SJHL’s Nipawin Hawks, whose season is over. . . . To get Wight and Arnold in, the Broncos scratched D Noah King and F Logan Barlage.
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In Kelowna last night, the Rockets were without D Cal Foote and F Carsen Twarynski (both suspended) and F Erik Gardiner and D Braydyn Chizen (both injured). . . . Twarynski’s suspension was set at one game on Friday. He took a boarding major and game misconduct in Game 4 for a hit on Portland F Keegan Iverson. We can assume Twarynski got one game because Iverson wasn’t injured. . . . The Winterhawks had F Alex Overhardt back from a one-game suspension, but were without F Evan Weinger, who completed a two-game suspension. . . . Portland F Skyler McKenzie (concussion) sat out a second game after taking a Foote elbow to the head. . . . Foote is two games into a three-game suspension, so will miss Game 1 of the Western Conference final against the Seattle Thunderbirds.
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In Medicine Hat, the Lethbridge Hurricanes again scratched F Matt Alfaro, while F Zak Zborosky, who played in Game 4, was out of this one. Alfaro and Zborosky, both 20, were acquired from the Kootenay Ice in January in the hopes they would add some offence. In the exchange, the Hurricanes gave up F Brett Davis, 17, F Colton Kroeker, 19, and second- and fourth-round selections in the 2018 WHL bantam draft. . . . The Hurricanes also scratched D Kyle Yewchuk, while adding F Connor Lyons and F Ryan Bowen. . . . The Tigers didn’t make any changes, meaning D Brad Forrest played a second straight game.
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Apologies to followers of the Winnipeg Jets. I mentioned here yesterday that the Vancouver Canucks were the lone Canadian NHL team not to have suffered a loss this week. Of course, the Jets didn’t lose a game, either. . . . The only explanation I have for that error is that I worked at The Trib for five years (1973-78) and part of my brain thinks the Jets are still in the WHA.
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If you missed it, the Chicago White Sox had quite a starting outfield when they met the host Minnesota Twins last night. Avisail García was in right field, Leury García was in centre, and Willy García was in left. . . . Melky Cabrera, who usually is in left, is on paternity leave, so Willy was brought up from the minors and given the start. . . . The Garcias went 4-for-10 with a run in Chicago's 2-1 victory.
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Do you think maybe Montreal D Shea Weber should have been given a cross-checking penalty moments before the Canadiens got a game-tying, OT-forcing goal from F Tomas Plekanec against the visiting New York Rangers last night. Oh, I forgot. Cross-checking now is legal.
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A reading recommendation: If you haven’t already read it, Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Run is a tremendous book. The Boss really does bare his soul, including his battles with anxiety and depression. This one definitely is a keeper.
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Another reading recommendation: Billy Martin: Baseball’s Flawed Genius, written by Bill Pennington, is an amazing look at a baseball manager who was a genius between the white lines, but rather troubled in a lot of other areas of his life. If you’re a baseball fan, this is a crackling good read.
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D Brad Cole (Seattle, Kootenay, Saskatoon, 2003-07) has signed a one-year contract with Ritten/Renon (Italy, Alps HL). Cole played one league game for Ritten this season, recording one assist. He also had two goals and two assists in six games in the Continental Cup competition.
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Jay Varady (left) and Mark LeRose of the Sioux City
Musketeers have been honoured by the USHL.

(Photo: ushl.com)
The USHL has honoured a pair of former WHL coaches as it named Mark LeRose and Jay Varady as its general manager and head coach of the year, respectively. LeRose and Varady are in charge of the Sioux City Musketeers. . . . Voting was done by USHL general managers. . . . The Musketeers had the USHL’s best record (40-13-5-2) this season to win the Anderson Cup for the first time since 1985-86. The Musketeers surrendered only 125 goals in the regular season, the fewest in the USHL. . . . In the Western Conference, the Musketeers wound up three points ahead of the Waterloo Blackhawks. Sioux City also was six points ahead of the Chicago Steel, which led the Eastern Conference. . . . LeRose spent three seasons (2007-09, 2013-14) as an assistant coach with the WHL’s Everett Silvertips. Varady was with Everett for seven seasons, four (2003-07) as an assistant coach and the next three as associate coach. . . . The USHL news release is right here. . . . The Musketeers opened the playoffs last night, beating the visiting Des Moines Buccaneers, 4-1. Check out the tweet below for a tremendous assist from that game.


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FRIDAY’S GAMES:


At Kent, Wash., F Keegan Kolesar scored twice and added an assist to help the Seattle Thunderbirds to
KEEGAN KOLESAR
a 4-1 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . The Thunderbirds won the second-round series, 4-0, and have yet to lose in these playoffs. They swept the Tri-City Americans from a first-round series, 4-0. . . . Seattle has moved into the Western Conference final and for a second straight season will meet the Kelowna Rockets. That series will open in Kent on Friday. . . . A year ago, the Thunderbirds beat the Rockets 4-0. . . . Last night, F Donovan Neuls (5) got Seattle started at 14:03 of the first period. . . . Kolesar made it 2-0 at 16:47. . . . F Mathew Barzal (4) upped it to 3-0, on a PP, at 6:24 of the second period. . . . Everett got to within two when F Dominic Zwerger (4) scored while shorthanded, at 10:05. . . . Kolesar restored the three-goal lead with his sixth goal at 12:51. . . . G Rylan Toth continues to be among Seattle’s scratches. He last played on March 11, when he left a game after the first period. At the time, I was told that he was ill, but the next day I was informed that Toth had been removed due to an injury but that it was only a precaution. . . . The Thunderbirds got 24 saves from G Carl Stankowski, who continued his amazing story since moving in for Toth. In eight starts, Stankowski is 8-0, 2.24, .913. . . . Stankowski, a Calgarian who turned 17 on March 9, got into seven regular-season games, going 3-0-1, 2.18, .910. . . . Everett G Carter hart stopped 27 shots. . . . Seattle was 1-2 on the PP; Everett was 0-2. . . . The Thunderbirds have won 20 of their last 21 playoff games within the Western Conference. . . . Announced attendance: 5,438.
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At Regina, the Pats scored three times in a span of 4:41 and went on to a 3-2 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . The Broncos still hold a 3-2 lead in the series with Game 6 tonight in Swift Current. .
SAM STEEL
. . The Pats likely will be without speedy F Austin Wagner, who was hit with a kneeing major and game misconduct at 8:52 of the third period last night. Wagner’s hit was on Broncos F Ryley Lindgren, who wasn’t injured. . . . "From watching it on the big screen, I thought there was shoulder contact," John Paddock, the Pats’ general manager and head coach, told Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post. “Maybe there was slight knee (contact) after but Lindgren is popping his head up and down like (he had) obviously drawn the penalty so it worked. He fooled them. He completely fooled them. He wasn’t hurt. You could see him out there playing net-front for the last three minutes (of the power play).” . . . Harder’s story is right here. . . . 
D Colby Sissons (4) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 17:16 of the first period. . . . Regina F Sam Steel (5) tied the score, on a PP, with 13.5 seconds left in the period. . . . D Connor Hobbs (3) put the Pats ahead at 3:49 of the second period and F Nick Henry (3) made it 3-1 at 4:27. . . . The Broncos got to within a goal when F Glenn Gawdin (5) scored, on a PP, at 13:18 of the third period. That goal came on the PP opportunity created when Wagner was hit with the kneeing major. . . . Steel and Henry added an assist each. . . . The Pats got 30 stops from G Tyler Brown. . . . Swift Current G Jordan Papirny made 33 saves. . . . Papirny’s evening included a glove save off Regina F Braydon Buziak on a penalty shot at 8:52 of the third period. Regina was leading 3-1 at the time. . . . Swift Current was 2-6 on the PP; Regina was 1-4. . . . The Broncos lost F Lane Pederson when he left after a hit from Regina F Dawson Leedahl during the first period. Harder reported that Pederson “appeared to be woozy.” Broncos head coach Manny Viveiros told Harder: “Lane’s fine.” . . . Announced attendance: 6,484. . . . Darren Steinke, the Travellin’ Blogger, was at the game. His story is right here.

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At Kelowna, F Reid Gardiner scored four times, three of them on the PP, and added two assists as the Rockets dumped the Portland Winterhawks, 6-2. . . . Kelowna won the second-round series, 4-1, and
REID GARDINER
next will play in the Western Conference final against the Seattle Thunderbirds. Game 1 of that series is scheduled for Friday in Kent, Wash. . . . Last night, the Rockets scored on their first three power-plays — the first took four seconds, the second took nine, the third took 35 — with Gardiner scoring two of those goals. . . . Gardiner scored at 4:54 and 12:41 of the first period. He leads all playoff performers in goals (12) and points (22), all in 11 games. . . . In between F Rod Southam (2) added the other PP goal, at 8:51, with, Gardiner getting the primary assist. . . . The Winterhawks made it interesting with second-period goals from F Joachim Blichfeld (5), at 7:06, and F Matt Revel (3), shorthanded, at 9:04. . . . However, Gardiner scored at 9:27 of the third period and added another PP goal at 16:02. . . . Kelowna F Dillon Dube (6) added an empty-netter, at 17:32. . . . Dube added three assists to his goal, while F Nick Merkley and F Calvin Thurkauf each had two of them. . . . Kelowna G Michael Herringer blocked 27 shots, 11 fewer than Portland’s Cole Kehler. . . . Kelowna was 4-9 on the PP; Portland was 0-4. . . . F Liam Kindree, who turned 17 on Jan. 2, made his playoff debut with the Rockets. From North Vancouver, he was a fourth-round pick in the 2015 bantam draft. He had one assist in seven regular-season games with Kelowna. . . . Announced attendance: 5,846.
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At Medicine Hat, F Ryan Vandervlis snapped a 3-3 tie with a PP goal at 4:14 of the third period and the
RYAN VANDERVLIS
Lethbridge Hurricanes went on to a 5-4 victory over the Tigers. . . . The Hurricanes lead the series, 3-2, and get their first chance to end it when they play at home on Sunday. . . . Last night, the Hurricanes took a 1-0 lead as F Tyler Wong scored at 3:36 of the first period. . . . The Tigers, as they would do three times, tied it, as F Max Gerlach scored at 6:17. . . . The visitors went back out front at 8:33 when F Ryan Bowen, who had missed the previous two games, scored his second goal of the playoffs. . . . Medicine Hat D Clayton Kirichenko (4) tied it at 12:44. . . . Wong’s ninth goal, on a PP, put Lethbridge back out front at 17:48. . . . Gerlach tied it with his fourth goal at 14:00 of the second period. . . . Vandervlis broke the tie with his fifth goal and D Brennan Riddle upped it to 5-3 at 10:27. That was Riddle’s first goal in 39 games. . . . The Tigers got to within a goal when D David Quenneville (4) scored, on a PP, at 14:34. . . . F Dylan Cozens drew two assists for the Hurricanes. . . . The Tigers got two assists from D Kristians Rubins. . . . G Stuart Skinner turned aside 37 shots for Lethbridge. . . . The Tigers got 22 stops from G Michael Bullion. . . . Lethbridge was 2-6 on the PP; Medicine Hat was 1-4. . . . Announced attendance: 5,046.
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SATURDAY’S GAME (all times local):

Regina at Swift Current, 7 p.m. (Swift Current leads, 3-2)
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SUNDAY’S GAME (all times local):

Medicine Hat at Lethbridge, 6 p.m. (Lethbridge leads, 3-2)

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