Johnston still has energy for coaching

Rebels lose Bleackley to fractured kneecap

 

 

 

F Josh Holden (Regina, 1994-98) has signed a one-year extension with Zug (Switzerland, NL A). This season, his eighth with Zug, he has 16 goals and 25 assists in 37 games. . . .

For those who are wondering, F Auston Matthews is ninth in NL A scoring, with 36 points, 21 of them goals, in 28 games with Davos. Matthews is tied for the league lead in goals with Lugano F Fredrik Pettersson (Calgary, 2005-07) and F Julien Sprunger, 30, who is in his 13th season with Fribourg-Gotteron. Petterson, 28, is in his third season with Lugano.

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Ken Hodge and Mike Johnston were quite attentive while watching Sunday's game in Portland. (Photo: Chad Balcom -- @hawkeyblog)

Ken Hodge and Mike Johnston were quite attentive while watching Sunday’s game in Portland. (Photo: Chad Balcom, @hawkeyblog)

Mike Johnston, the man who rebuilt the Portland Winterhawks franchise, was back in the Oregon city on the weekend to watch his former team play a couple of games. Johnston, of course, was fired as head coach of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins earlier this season. He had been in his second season with the Penguins, after spending six winters with the Winterhawks. . . . On Sunday, Johnston told Portland freelancer Scott Sepich that his next hockey job will have to include coaching because he’s not yet ready to be strictly an executive. “Maybe in four or five years I’ll look at those kinds of opportunities,” Johnston told Sepich. “But certainly not now. I enjoy coaching and I have a lot of energy to coach. I like working with players and running a team.” . . . Sepich’s complete story is right here. . . . Johnston spent Sunday’s game in the company of former Winterhawks GM/head coach Ken Hodge. Between the two of them, they have won 973 WHL regular-season and 150 playoff games.

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The Red Deer Rebels will be without F Conner Bleackley, 19, for up to six weeks with a fractured kneecap. He was helped off the ice during a 4-1 victory over the visiting Everett Silvertips on Saturday. . . . After a slow start, Bleackley has 41 points, 13 of them goals, in 47 games. He was a first-round selection by the Colorado Avalanche in the NHL’s 2014 draft but has yet to sign with them. . . . The Rebels also are waiting for F Luke Philp to be cleared to return from ankle surgery in November. Philp was acquired from the Kootenay Ice on Jan. 3 at which time it was thought he might be back around Jan. 22. That won’t happen, although he might return sometime over the next two weeks. . . . “It’s tough,” Brent Sutter, the Rebels’ general manager and head coach, told Greg Meachem, the Red Deer Advocate’s sports editor. “We’re counting the days until we get Luke back and all of a sudden (Bleackley) goes down. It’s been one of those *(seasons) where we’ve had lots of injuryes, and lots of tough injures with guys out for a month to six weeks.”

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If you have been following the Vancouver Giants and their injuries, you won’t be at all surprised to find out that F Tyler
Benson won’t play in Thursday’s Top Prospects Game at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. Nor will you be surprised to learn that F Ty Ronning of the Giants will replace Benson, who has been projected as a first-round selection in the NHL’s 2016 draft. . . . Ronning, the Giants’ leading goal scorer, has been sidelined with an undisclosed injury but has been cleared to play. . . . Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province has more right here.

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The Victoria Royals have signed D Mitchell Prowse, who was a second-round selection in the 2015 bantam draft. From Kelowna, Prowse is playing for the Okanagan Hockey Academy midget prep Team White. In 43 games, he has 20 points, including four goals. Last season, the 6-foot-1, 180-pounder had seven assists in 18 games with the OHA bantam prep team that won the Canadian Sport School Hockey League championship.

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F Dakota Boutin, 18, has committed to Northern Michigan. Boutin, from Moosomin, Sask., was a third-round selection by the Brandon Wheat Kings in the 2012 bantam draft. His rights were traded to the Saskatoon Blades on Aug. 9, 2014, for a conditional pick in the 2015 bantam draft. . . . Boutin scored the triple OT goal that gave the Prince Albert Mintos a 4-3 victory over the Grenadiers de Chateauguay in the 2014 Telus Cup final for the national midget AAA championship in Moose Jaw. . . . Boutin is in his second season with the SJHL’s Melfort Mustangs. He has 41 points, including 14 goals, in 35 games.

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F Chong Hyun Lee, a native of Seoul, South Korea, has committed to the BCHL’s Prince George Spruce Kings for next season. . . . BCHL His career already has had him play in Finland, South Korea and in the NAHL. This season, he plays for the junior B Port Moody Panthers of the Pacific International junior league. . . . The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder played four games with the Spruce Kings earlier this season, scoring once and adding three assists. He also will play in the Spruce Kings’ next three home games.

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Graham James has been granted day parole and at least two of his victims — Todd Holt and Sheldon Kennedy — are speaking out. James has been serving a seven-year sentence for having sexually abused players while he was coaching in the WHL with the Swift Current Broncos. This sentence followed an earlier 3 1/2-year term for the same crime. “Canada needs to wake-up,” Todd Holt, who was abused by James, told CBC. “Graham James raped us players. It’s a farce . . . If I was a pedophile out there today I’d be laughing at the justice system.” . . . The CBC piece is right here. . . . Meanwhile, Jerrod Schafer, the mayor of Swift Current, said the reaction there was “disbelief and disappointment and outrage.” That story is right here.

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F Rodney Southam, 19, is the 21st captain in the history of the Kelowna Rockets, who made the announcement on Monday. Southam, who is from Saskatoon, succeeds D Madison Bowey, who now is in the Washington Capitals organization. . . . Why did it take until late January for the Rockets to name a captain? “It’s taken a long time to figure this group out with players away (at the World Junior Championship and NHL training camps) and with injuries,” Kelowna general manager Bruce Hamilton said in a news release. “We’re confident Rodney will be back as an overage player as well, and that made it even more appealing to us.” . . . Southam returned to the Rockets’ lineup over the weekend after missing 12 games with an injury suffered while blocking a shot.

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Feel free to check out Drinnan on Hockey at NewsKamloops.com.

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Got a tip or some information you feel could be useful to me, feel free to email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com.

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MONDAY’S GAME:

At Prince George, F Chad Butcher scored twice and added an assist to help the Medicine Hat Tigers to a 6-4 victory over the
Cougars. . . . This was an important victory for the Tigers (19-25-4), who had lost their past three games. With this victory, they closed to within three points of a playoff spot. . . . The Cougars (29-18-2) had won their previous two games. . . . Butcher broke a 2-2 tie at 18:20 of the second period and the Tigers never trailed after that. . . . He later scored his 16th goal into an empty net. . . . F Steve Owre, in his first game since Dec. 1, scored his 10th goal for the Tigers, giving them a 2-1 lead at 6:47 of the second. . . . Cougars F Jesse Gabrielle, who has 31 goals, scored his second of the game to tie it at 7:36. . . . D David Quenneville scored No. 7, on a PP, and added an assist for the Tigers, with F Mason Shaw earning two assists. . . . F Brogan O’Brien and F Jared Bethune each had two assists for the Cougars, with D Joe Carvalho scoring his first goal of the season and adding an assist. . . . Medicine Hat G Mack Shields stopped 29 shots, six more than Prince George’s Ty Edmonds. . . . The Tigers were 2-for-5 on the PP; the Cougars were 1-for-2. . . . The Cougars were without D Shaun Dosanjh as he served a one-game suspension for a game misconduct he took against the visiting Kamloops Blazers on Saturday. . . . Announced attendance: 2,348.

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TUESDAY’S GAMES (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.

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WEDNESDAY’S GAMES (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.

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THURSDAY’S GAMES (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.