Seattle eliminates defending champions

Wheat Kings one victory from reaching WHL final




F Konstantin Panov (Kamloops, 1998-2001) has signed a one-year extension with Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia, KHL). The team captain, he had 13 goals and 14 assists in 57 games this season. . . .

D Patrick Baum (Swift Current, 1997-98) has signed a one-year extension with Dresdner Eislöwen (Germany, DEL2). He had six goals and eight assists in 48 games this season. He is a dual German-Canadian. . . .

F Oscar Möller (Chilliwack, 2006-08) will remain with Skellefteå (Sweden, SHL) after a two-year loan to Ak Bars Kazan (Russia, KHL). Moller has two years remaining on his contract with Skellefteå. This season, with Ak Bars, he had 15 goals and 22 assists in 58 games. He was second on the team in goals, assists and points. . . .

F Ryan Hollweg (Medicine Hat, 1999-2004) has signed a one-year extension with Plzeň (Czech Republic, Extraliga). He had two assists in 24 games in his fourth season with Plzeň. . . .

F Geordie Wudrick (Swift Current, Kelowna, 2005-11) has signed a one-year contract with Neuilly-sur-Marne (France, Division 1). This season, with the Louisiana IceGators (SPHL), he had 16 goals and six assists in 46 games. Right now, Wudrick is playing with the CBR Brave Canberra (Australia, AIHL). The season started Saturday. He’s got three goals and three assists in his first two games. Last season, Wudrick led the AIHL in goals and points with the league-champion Newcastle North Stars. He had 44 goals and 47 assists in 28 games, and was named the league and playoff MVP.


F Harrison Blaisdell of Regina has committed to the U of North Dakota where he will play for the Fighting Hawks. The 5-foot-9, 165-pound Blaisdell, who turned 15 on March 18, was expected to be a top 10 selection in the WHL’s bantam draft on May 5. This season, he had 54 points, including 20 goals, in 25 games with the Yale Hockey Academy bantam prep team. . . . Blaisdell is the son of former Regina Pats F Mike Blaisdell, who put up 109 points, including 71 goals, in 63 games in his one season (1979-80) with the Regina Pats.


Shawn Bryan was in an executive MBA program a few years ago when he decided to research fighting in junior hockey, in particular the age discrepancies between the fighters.

From a piece by James Mirtle of The Globe and Mail:

“Physical altercations between adults and minors have not been generally accepted in Western culture, inside or outside of sport,” Bryan wrote at one point in his study, which later concludes that: “A gratuitous risk exists for the underage participants and an unnecessary ethical conflict exists for ownership” given the age gap.

Mirtle continues: “Of the more than 2,250 fights in the OHL in the past five years, Bryan’s data reveal that nearly 400 — or 17 per cent — involved an age difference of two years or more.

“More than 80 fights, meanwhile, had an age difference of three years or more.”

The complete piece is right here.


TeamSnap Coaches Conference 2016

Patrick Conway has lots and lots of information in his weekly Russian Hockey News and Notes, from news on a possible KHL coaching move to a potential Swedish entry into the KHL and a whole lot more, and it’s all right here.


F Tristan King (Portland, Medicine Hat, 2006-10) scored at 3:28 of OT last night to give the host Allen Americans a 3-2 victory over the Idaho Steelheads in Game 7 of an ECHL Western Conference quarterfinal series. . . . The Americans will meet the Missouri Mavericks in the next round.



Bob Motzko was named the head coach of the U.S.’s 2017 national junior team. Motzko has been the head coach of the St. Cloud State Huskies, his alma mater, since 2005. He was an assistant coach with the U.S. team at the 2014 World Junior Championship in Malmo, Sweden. . . . The U.S. finished third at the 2016 WJC in Helsinki. The 2017 tournament is to be held in Toronto and Montreal. . . . Team USA will play its round-robin games in Toronto, with Canada, Latvia, Russia and Slovakia in its pool. . . . The U.S. will hold its summer evaluation camp in Plymouth, Mich., from July 3 through Aug. 6.



F Luke Bertolucci, who played four seasons with the Edmonton Oil Kings, has committed to Queen’s U in Kingston, Ont., where he will play for the Golden Gaels. . . . From Montrose, B.C., Bertolucci played out his junior eligibility this season with 17 points, including five goals, in 67 games. In 228 regular-season games, he had 69 points, 22 of them goals. . . .

The OHL has suspended D Michael Webster of the Barrie Colts for 10 games for a headshot on Niagara IceDogs F Kyle Langdon in a game on Monday.
Webster, who left his feet as he delivered the blow, was given a major and game misconduct on the play. The IceDogs won the game, 6-3, to take a 3-0 lead in the semifinal series. Niagara completed the sweep with a 6-3 home-ice victory last night. . . The OHL also suspended Niagara F Brendan Perlini for three games for a cross-checking incident. . . .

In the OHL last night, the London Knights beat the visiting Erie Otters, 5-1, last night to sweep their semifinal series. London has won nine straight playoff games. . . . Former Portland Winterhawks G Brendan Burke is with the Knights. He has yet to get into a playoff game after going 10-4-0, 2.95, .896 in the regular season. . . . Former Kootenay Ice head coach Kris Knoblauch is the Erie head coach.


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16-RD3-BWKvsRDRAt Red Deer, F Tim McGauley broke a 2-2 tie at 6:36 of the third period as the Brandon Wheat Kings beat the Rebels, 4-2. . . . The Wheat Kings lead the Eastern Conference final, 3-1, with their first chance to close it out on Friday at home. . . . WHL_Cup_Eastern Conference Championship_FINALF Grayson Pawlenchuk got the Rebels on the board first, his third goal coming at 3:54 of the first period. . . . The Wheat Kings tied it on D Macoy Erkamps’ third goal at 5:43. . . . Brandon F John Quenneville tied it at 16:00 with his WHL-leading 12th goal of these playoffs. It was his fifth goal in this series as he has scored at least once in each game. . . . After a scoreless second period, F Jake DeBrusk pulled the Rebels even with his seventh goal, on a PP, just 17 seconds into the third. . . . McGauley got his eighth goal about six minutes later and it stood up as the winner. . . . Brandon F Tanner Kaspick got his fourth goal into an empty net at 19:05. . . . The Wheat Kings got two assists from F Jayce Hawryluk and F Nolan Patrick, with Quenneville and McGauley each adding one to their goals. . . . McGauley is riding a 10-game point streak, with 18 points, including eight goals, in that time. . . . G Jordan Papirny stopped 34 shots just one night after not getting through the first period. . . . The Rebels got 39 saves from G Rylan Toth. . . . Red Deer was 1-for-1 on the PP; Brandon was 0-for-3. . . . Announced attendance: 5,608.


16-RD3-SEAvsKELAt Kent, Wash., F Matthew Wedman scored at 7:52 of the second OT to give the Seattle Thunderbirds a 5-4 victory over the Kelowna Rockets. . . . The Thunderbirds swept the defending-champions from the Western Conference WHL_Cup_Western Conference Championship_FINALfinal. . . . Wedman, a 16-year-old from Edmonton, scored six goals in 70 regular-season games. This was his first playoff goal. . . . Seattle overcame 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2 deficits. . . . The Rockets held a 4-2 lead with less than two minutes to play in the third period. . . . Seattle D Ethan Bear scored his second goal of the game, and sixth of the playoffs, at 18:45, with G Landon Bow on the bench for the extra attacker. . . . F Keegan Kolesar forced OT with his sixth goal, with 2.7 seconds showing on the clock and Bow back on the bench. . . . The teams combined to take five minor penalties in the first OT, with Seattle twice penalized for too many men. . . . The Rockets were on the PP just before Wedman’s winning goal, but were unable to score with F Andreas Schumacher off for high-sticking. . . . The Thunderbirds were 0-for-4 on the PP; the Rockets were 1-for-7. . . . Seattle had a 21-5 edge in shots in the first OT and it was 9-1 in the second OT. Kelowna G Michael Herringer finished with 71 saves, while Bow stopped 28. . . . The Rockets scored first for the first time in the series when F Rod Southam got his fifth goal at 13:50 of the first period. . . . Kelowna F Tyson Baillie made it 2-0 with his fourth goal at 14:15. . . . F Ryan Gropp’s third goal got Seattle to within one 46 seconds into the second period. . . . Rockets F Justin Kirkland restored the two-goal lead with his 10th goal at 4:59. . . . Bear cut into the lead at 15:08, with Kirkland scoring again at 13:50, his 11th goal giving Kelowna a 4-2 lead. . . . F Mathew Barzal had three assists for Seattle, giving him a career playoff total of 23, breaking F Patrick Marleau’s franchise record of 20. . . . Bear, Gropp and Kolesar each added an assist to their goals. . . . Baillie also had an assist for Kelowna. . . . Seattle’s only appearance in the WHL’s championship series was in 1997 when it was swept by the Lethbridge Hurricanes. The Thunderbirds will meet either the Brandon Wheat Kings or Red Deer Rebels in the championship final for the Ed Chynoweth Cup. . . . Bow posted his 12th playoff victory with Seattle, giving him the franchise record. Bryan Bridges had recorded 11 victories in the 2005 and 2006 playoff seasons. . . . Announced attendance: 3,751.


THURSDAY’S GAMES (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY’S GAME (all times local):

Red Deer at Brandon, 7:30 p.m. (Shaw-TV)

(Brandon leads series, 3-1)