Monday, 25 April 2011

Family Ties and Other Monday Morning Ramblings

- The Kootenay Ice have a nine-game playoff winning streak. After dropping two of the first three games against Moose Jaw in their first round series, the Ice won three straight to takes that series 4-2, swept the Saskatoon Blades in the second round and now have a 2-0 lead over Medicine Hat in the Eastern Conference Final heading into Game #3 in Cranbrook tomorrow night.

- The Portland Winterhawks and Spokane Chiefs are tied 1-1 after the first two games of the Western Conference Final after Portland's 2-1 victory last night. Killarney product Reid Gow of the Chiefs is Western Manitoba's last hope for a WHL title this season. The 16-year old has yet to appear in a playoff game.

- Jacob DeSerres and the Saint John Sea Dogs have a 2-0 lead over the Lewiston Maineiacs in the QMJHL's semifinal series. DeSerres was pulled in the third period of Game #1 on Friday night after allowing four goals on 24 shots. Mathieu Corbeil came in to stop all six shots he faced the rest of the way in a 5-4 overtime victory for the Sea Dogs. According to http://stationnation.blogspot.com/

The Sea Dogs’ coaching staff pulled goaltender Jacob DeSerres and replaced him with Mathieu Corbeil during the third period media timeout. DeSerres didn’t play horribly, but the move seemed to spark Saint John a bit as they netted two goals following the replacement. Corbeil looked a little cold at times but also made some big saves.

Corbeil then got the start and stopped 24 shots in Game #2 on Saturday night, a 4-1 Saint John victory. Game #3 and #4 are Tuesday and Wednesday in Lewiston, and who gets the start in goal is an interesting sidenote to the series heading into those two contests.

- Congrats to a pair of Wheat Kings' prospects. Brendan Harms and the Portage Terriers won the Anavet Cup Sunday night, blanking the SJHL Champion La Ronge Ice Wolves 4-0 in Game #7. Harms had a power-play goal in the contest, and finished the Anavet Cup Series with four goals and eight points. The Terriers are now headed to the RBC Cup in Camrose, Alberta for vye for the National Junior A Championship. Meanwhile, Dylan Kuczek and the Winnipeg Thrashers won the Telus Cup on Sunday with a 3-1 victory over London in the final. Kuczek had one goal and two points in seven games at the National Midget Hockey Championship. Kuczek was Brandon's second round pick and Harms the Wheat Kings' sixth round selection in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft.

- The Thrashers are just the second Manitoba team to win the Telus Cup. The first were the 2004 edition of the Brandon Wheat Kings, a team that included future Wheat Kings (WHL) Tyler Plante, Andrew Clark, Bryan Kauk, Tyler Dittmer and Brandon Lockerby and current Montreal Canadien Ryan White.

- The More family from Deloraine, Manitoba might be the first family of hockey in our neck of the woods today. The Notre Dame Hounds won the Esso Cup National Female Midget Hockey Championship on Saturday.  Jennifer More, captain of the Hounds, scored a pair of goals in the gold medal game.  Her brother, Cory, is captain of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League's Portage Terriers. He returned from a broken ankle to play in Game #7 of the Anavet Cup series and helped the Terriers to a victory. I imagine father Paul, who played with the Brandon Wheat Kings for two seasons from 1983 to 1985, and mother Vicki are pretty proud parents today. BTW, uncle Jayson is the former NHLer that was recently included on the list of 2011 inductees into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame this fall.

- Brayden Schenn and the Manchester Monarchs lost their first round AHL playoff series to Binghamton in seven games, dropping Games 5, 6 and 7 of the series in overtime. Schenn had one goal and four points in five games with Manchester. Schenn could still join the LA Kings as a 'Black Ace' but that hadn't happened as of this writing.

- Scott Glennie has one goal in five playoff games with the Texas Stars. They trail Milwaukee 3-2 in their first round series with Game #6 tonight.

- Shayne Wiebe did not see any action with the Connecticut Whale in their six-game loss to Portland in the first round.

- Brett Hextall signed a three-year, entry level contract with the NHL's Winnipeg, errr, Phoenix Coyotes over the weekend. Hextall is the son of former NHLer and Brandon product Ron Hextall. Brett Hextall had 13 goals and 29 points in 39 games with the North Dakota Fighting Sioux during his junior season in 2010-2011, helping the team reach the Frozen Four. He was a sixth round pick of Phoenix in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. If Brett plays an NHL game, he'd become a fourth generation NHLer, joining dad Ron, grandfather Bryan Hextall Jr. and great-grandfather Bryan Hextall.  Blake Geoffrion became the first fourth generation NHLer just this past February.

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