F Stanislav Balán (Portland, 2005-06) has signed a one-year contract with Vítkovice Steel Ostrava (Czech Republic, Extraliga). This season, with Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic, Extraliga), he had 13 goals and 18 assists in 51 games. . . .
F Roman Horák (Chilliwack, 2009-11) has signed a one-year extension with Vityaz Podolsk (Russia, KHL). This season, he had 31 points, including 18 goals, in 53 games.
. . .
D Michal Hlinka (Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, 2010-12) has signed a one-year extension with Dukla Trencin (Slovakia, Extraliga). He had 15 points, seven of them goals, in 43 games this season.
In Portland, the Winterhawks scored the game’s first five goals as they skated to a 5-3 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . Portland takes a 2-1 lead into Game 4 tonight at home. . . . The teams hadn’t played since Saturday because of arena availability issues in Portland. . . . Portland D Anton Cederholm opened the scoring with his first goal at 17:52 of the second period. . . . By coincidence, freelancer Scott Sepich wrote a feature on Cederholm and his father, who is in Portland this week from Sweden, for The Oregonian. That piece is right here. . . . F Nic Petan got his sixth goal at 18:13 of the second, on a PP, and F Oliver Bjorkstrand scored twice, giving him eight, in the third period. . . . F Dominic Turgeon upped it to 5-0 at 14:27. . . . Everett scored three times in 1:46 late in the period, with D Kevin Davis, F Ivan Nikolishin and F Graham Millar scoring. . . . Petan also had two assists for Portland, as did F Miles Koules and F Chase De Leo. . . . F Logan Aasman had two assists for Everett. . . . Winterhawks G Adin Hill stopped 16 shots. . . . Everett starter Carter Hart gave up four goals on 34 shots. Reliever Austin Lotz was beaten once on two shots in 6:26 of playing time. . . . Portland was 2-for-5 on the PP; Everett was 0-for-2. . . . Everett F Dawson Leedahl returned to the lineup after a five-game absence, but the Silvertips remain without D Noah Juulsen and D Tristen Pfeiffer. . . . Leedahl was involved in a fight with F Keegan Iverson at 10:27 of the second period, then took a cross-checking minor at 19:01. Leedahl didn’t return to serve out his penalty to start the third period. Nikolishin actually finished serving the penalty. . . . Attendance was 5,518.
Joke that’ll kill at your next dinner party:Q: What do you call it when Everett hockey players pay gratuities in quarters?A: Silver tips
— Portland Winterhawks (@pdxwinterhawks)
D Connor Hobbs of the Regina Pats has drawn one of those ‘tbd’ suspensions from the WHL for a hit in Game 4 against the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings on Wednesday night. Hobbs took out Brandon D Ryan Pilon, whose status for Game 5 in Brandon tonight isn’t known.
Here’s Rob Henderson, the Brandon Sun’s sports editor, with some thoughts earlier Thursday:
“It would be in the Wheat Kings’ best interest to end the series as soon as possible. In addition to the obvious desire to not let the Pats force a Game 6 on Sunday in Regina, the physical series is also taking a serious toll on both teams’ lineups.
“Wheat Kings Jayce Hawryluk, Rihards Bukarts, Colton Waltz and Ryan Pilon have all been injured since the series began, with Pilon being knocked out of Game 4 by the hit that led to Hobbs’ major. . . . Pats defenceman Sergey Zborovskiy still has one game left in his suspension for the hit that sidelined Hawryluk, while Regina’s Rykr Cole and Chase Harrison have also gone down to injuries in the series.”
Henderson added that Kelly McCrimmon, Brandon’s general manager and head coach, “didn’t divulge any information when asked if any of his injured players would return for tonight’s game.”
Brandon F Morgan Klimchuk, who has sat out six games, took part in Thursday’s optional skate.
The Calgary Hitmen can eliminate the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers tonight and book a berth in the Eastern Conference final. . . . The Hitmen are coming off a 2-1 OT victory in Medicine Hat on Wednesday night that gave them a 3-1 lead in the series. . . . Calgary F Adam Tambellini, who leads the WHL playoffs in assists (10) and points (19), missed Game 4 with an undisclosed injury, but was back on skates Thursday. He likely will skate again this morning and then be re-evaluated. . . . You can bet that the Hitmen go into tonight’s game with their first-round series victory over the Kootenay Ice fresh in their minds. Calgary was ahead 3-1 in that series and it ended up going seven games. . . . The Tigers may be without F Blake Penner, who left Game 4 with an undisclosed injury. . . . Laurence Heinen wrote this story for the Calgary Herald.
The NHL’s Colorado Avalanche is dropping its affiliation with the AHL’s Cleveland-based Lake Erie Monsters. . . . The NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets are expected to announce today that they are moving their affiliation from Springfield, Mass., to Lake Erie. . . . There is speculation that the Arizona Coyotes will hook up with Springfield, at least for one seasno. . . . Former WHL GM/coach/player Dean Chynoweth is Lake Erie’s head coach. . . . Jared Bednar, another former WHL player, is the head coach in Springfield. . . . Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, who broke the story, writes that the Springfield coaching staff, which includes another former WHLer in Nolan Pratt, would move to Lake Erie. . . . Portzline’s blog piece is right here. . . . Mike Chambers of the Denver Post reported last night that the Avalanche will affiliate with the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage, which had been hooked up with the Florida Panthers. Next season, Florida will be affiliated with the AHL’s Portland Pirates, who had been Arizona’s farm team. Arizona, of course, will end up cutting a deal with Springfield, and the circle will be complete.
The Globe and Mail is reporting that former WHLer Dale McFee, who is the president of the Prince Albert Raiders, is the “wild card contender” to become Toronto’s next police chief. McFee, who played four seasons with the Raiders (1982-86), also is a former Prince Albert police chief; he now is Saskatchewan’s deputy minister of corrections. . . . Robyn Doolittle’s story is right here.
SUN FRONT: Game 2 btw & goes Friday. All we gotta say is HEADS UP, P.K. pic.twitter.com/qYJwF18yTL
— Ottawa Sun (@ottawasuncom)
As Pierre LeBrun of ESPN notes in this piece right here, the NHL series between the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators already has degenerated into a “gong show,” and it’s only one game old. . . . It could be that Ottawa F Chris Neil, who didn’t play in Game 1, will be doing his thing tonight in Game 2.
Just as things heat up in the NHL players and we are wondering if something might relieve the pressure, if only for a few minutes, along comes a video starring ESPN’s Britt McHenry. . . . If you haven’t seen it or read about what happened, well, it’s like something out of Dumb and Dumber and Dumbest. Seriously, you thought stuff like this only happened in Judd Apatow movies. . . . At one point, McHenry says to the attendant at a towing company’s lot: “Maybe if I was missing some teeth they would hire me, huh? . . I’m in television and you’re in a f—— trailer, honey.” . . . Sheesh, wouldn’t you think that someone who is in the TV business would realize that she just might be on camera in a place like that?
Richard Deitsch of SI.com has more right here.
The Seattle Thunderbirds have signed D Jarret Tyszka, who was the 16th overall selection in the 2014 bantam draft. From Langley, B.C., Tyszka played this season for the midget team at the Yale Hockey Academy, putting up 10 points, three of them goals, in 23 games.
F Tyler Jeanson of the MJHL-champion Portage Terriers has signed a letter of intent with the Colgate University Raiders. Jeanson, 17, was selected by the Kamloops Blazers in the ninth round of the 2012 bantam draft. The MJHL’s rookie of the year last season, he had 54 points, including 23 goals, in 56 regular-season games this season.
The Melfort Mustangs won the SJHL championship last night, beating the host Notre Dame Hounds 4-0 to win the series, 4-0. Trevor Blevins, the Mustangs’ head coach, is from Melfort. He was a player with the Mustangs when they last won the SJHL title, in 1996. . . . The Mustangs went 12-2 in their playoff run, with both losses coming in OT. . . . In the BCHL, the host Penticton Vees beat the Nanaimo Clippers 3-2 last night. The Vees take a 3-2 series lead into Nanaimo for Game 6 tonight. The Clippers had won Games 1 and 2, both in Penticton. . . . In the AJHL, the Spruce Grove Saints hold a 3-1 lead on the Brooks Bandits with Game 5 scheduled for Spruce Grove tonight. . . . Three teams — the host Fort McMurray Oil Barons, Melfort and the MJHL-champion Portage Terriers — now have spots in the Western Canada Cup. It runs in Fort McMurray, April 25 through May 3. The top two teams move on to the Royal Bank Cup, the national championship tournament. This year, it will be held in Portage la Prairie, Man.
I hear contract talks with Canes head coach and GM Peter Anholt are proceeding and they hope to have him signed soon.
— Dylan Purcell (@dylpurcell)