Wednesday, April 30, 2014

WHL Announces 2014 Award Winners

Calgary, AB - The Western Hockey League held its annual WHL Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, April 30th, in Calgary, AB, honoring the top performances from the 2013-14 WHL regular season.

Here are the 2013-14 WHL Award Winners:

WHL Player of the Year - Four Broncos Memorial Trophy
WINNER: Sam Reinhart - Kootenay Ice

The Ice's captain, Reinhart scored 36 goals and 69 assists for 105 points along with a +24 rating in 60 games.  Reinhart's 105 points tied him for fourth in WHL scoring while his 69 assists placed him second among all WHL players and established a new Kootenay Ice record for assists in a single season.  In addition, Reinhart led the Ice with six game-winning goals and two shorthanded goals.  Reinhart's consistency during the 2013-14 regular season was remarkable as he was held off the score sheet just nine times, was only held without a point in back-to-back games once, and enjoyed a WHL-best 22-game point streak.  Reinhart's importance to Kootenay's success this season is evident in the fact that he factored in on 45% of his team's entire offensive output, and that the Ice lost all nine games in which he dressed but failed to register a point.

RUNNER UP: Mitch Holmberg - Spokane Chiefs

WHL Rookie of the Year - Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy
WINNER: Nick Merkley - Kelowna Rockets

A product of Calgary, AB, Merkley made a big impact in his first seasons with the Rockets.  The 16-year-old center scored 25 goals and 33 assists for 58 points in 66 games, finishing tied for fifth on the Rockets and third among all WHL rookies in scoring.  His 25 goals and 58 points led all 16-year-old players while his +24 rating placed him sixth among first-year players.  Selected by the Rockets in the first round, ninth overall, in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft, Merkley also scored four game-winning goals during the 2013-14 season, tying him for first among rookies.  Merkley is eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft.

RUNNER UP: Nikita Scherbak - Saskatoon Blades

WHL Goaltender of the Year - Del Wilson Trophy
WINNER: Jordon Cooke - Kelowna Rockets

Cooke enjoyed an outstanding season for the WHL's top team this year, posting a 39-7-0-4 record with four shutouts in 51 appearances.  The 20-year-old from Leduc, AB, finished second among WHL netminders with a 2.28 goals-against average, fourth with a .922 save percentage, and second with 39 victories while helping the Rockets finish in first place in the overall WHL standings.  Cooke's consistent season saw him lose back-to-back starts on just two occasions while putting together a string of 13 straight victories from November 22 to January 4.  Selected by Kelowna in the fourth round, 79th overall, in the 2008 WHL Bantam Draft, Cooke was named Vaughn WHL Goalie of the Month for September/October.  Cooke is a free agent.

RUNNER UP: Tristan Jarry - Edmonton Oil Kings

WHL Defenseman of the Year - Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy
WINNER: Derrick Pouliot - Portland Winterhawks

Weyburn, SK, native Derrick Pouliot enjoyed another excellent season for the Winterhawks, helping them to their second straight U.S. Division title.  The 19-year-old scored 17 goals and added 53 assists for 70 points in 58 games, putting him sixth on the Winterhawks and third among all WHL defencemen in scoring.  Pouliot's 53 assists placed him third among WHL defencemen while his +40 rating tied him for 13th among all WHL players.  The first overall pick from the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft, Pouliot earned a spot on the WHL Western Conference First All-Star Team this season.  Pouliot was selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round, eighth overall, in the 2012 NHL Draft.

RUNNER UP: Josh Morrissey - Prince Albert Raiders

WHL Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year - Brad Hornung Trophy
WINNER: Sam Reinhart - Kootenay Ice

A product of Vancouver, B.C., Reinhart was a star on the ice for the Kootenay Ice this season, leading the team and finishing tied for fourth in WHL scoring with 105 points, including 36 goals, in 60 games while helping the team to a WHL-record 15th consecutive season with a record of .500 or better.  As a key contributor in all situations for the Ice, Reinhart logged plenty of minutes.  Yet, the 18-year-old drew just 11 minutes in penalties on three minor infractions and one major infraction.  A highly skilled player, Reinhart has earned the respect of his teammates and opponents not only for his talent but for his level of sportsmanship.  Selected in the first round, 15th overall, in the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft, Reinhart is considered one of the top prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft.

RUNNER UP: Mitch Holmberg - Spokane Chiefs

WHL Scholastic Player of the Year - Daryl K. (Doc) Seaman Memorial Trophy
WINNER: Nelson Nogier - Saskatoon Blades

17-year-old Saskatoon Blades defenceman Nelson Nogier may have had his 2013-14 season cut short due to injury, but that didn't slow him down when it came to academic success.  The Saskatoon, SK, product completed his first semester of Grade 12 with a remarkable 96% average while taking four core courses after having finished his Grade 11 year with a 96.6% average, including a perfect 100% in Math Foundations 20.  Expected to graduate with Great Distinction, Nogier has already completed the application process for the University of Saskatchewan next year.  The Blades' fourth-round pick, 71st overall, in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft, Nogier also performed well on the ice, netting a goal and six points in 37 games this season.  Nogier is eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft.

RUNNER UP: Dominick Turgeon - Portland Winterhawks

WHL Humanitarian of the Year - Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy
WINNER: Sam Fioretti - Moose Jaw Warriors

In his fourth and final season in the WHL, Sam Fioretti made a big impact both on the ice and in the community for the Moose Jaw Warriors.  The 20-year-old from Calgary, AB, and captain of the Warriors made it a goal to help educate Moose Jaw & Area students about bullying and to educate them about the importance of physical activity.  Fioretti was a driving force behind the Warriors' partnership with the Moose Jaw Police Service that saw him and others visit schools to speak out against bullying.  He also played a big role in the development of the 'Warriors Workouts' program in which he and other members of the Club visit schools to spread a positive message about maintaining an active lifestyle and healthy eating.  A strong advocate for education, Fioretti was also a key participant in the Club's CIBC Read to Succeed program.

RUNNER UP: Mitch Topping - Tri-City Americans

WHL Coach of the Year - Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy
WINNER: Dave Lowry - Victoria Royals

In his second season as head coach of the Victoria Royals, Dave Lowry helped lead the Club to its best regular-season performance in franchise history, posting an impressive 48-20-1-3 record for 100 points and a third-place finish in the Western Conference.  Under Lowry's guidance, the Royals skated to the fourth-best road record in the WHL and the WHL's second-best defensive record, having allowed just 181 goals.  Under Lowry, the Royals boasted one of the most balanced attacks in the League with six players who reached the 20-goal mark.  Lowry's Royals were also a model of consistency during the season, losing back-to-back games on only four occasions.

RUNNER UP: Shaun Clouston - Medicine Hat Tigers

WHL Executive of the Year - Lloyd Saunders Memorial Trophy
WINNER: Cam Hope - Victoria Royals

In his second season as general manager for the Victoria Royals, Cam Hope's Club smashed several franchise records, including wins and points in a season with their 48-20-1-3 record and 100 points.  Under Hope's management, the Royals improved their win total by 13 and their point total by 23 from the 2012-13 season while also reducing their goals-against by a whopping 71 goals.  In addition to helping develop a stable of young players such as Tyler Soy, Chaz Reddekopp and Jack Walker, Hope also bolstered his Club's roster by acquiring impact players such as Axel Blomqvist and Travis Brown.

RUNNER UP: Mike Moore - Calgary Hitmen

WHL Marketing/Business Award
WINNER: Seattle Thunderbirds

The Seattle Thunderbirds have made significant strides forward in their performance from a business and marketing perspective during the 2013-14 WHL regular season.  A competitive team on the ice and a focus on increasing awareness and interest in the Club within the community has resulted in a 9.7% increase in attendance, which marks the biggest increase of any WHL Club.  Additionally, the Thunderbirds have focused on strengthening their relationship with local media by facilitating the sharing of highlight packages and audio with media, resulting in an increased media presence.  The Thunderbirds continue to be heavily involved in the community, raising funds and awareness for a variety of organizations, including helping raise $200,000 for Seattle Ronald McDonald House through the 2014 Hockey Challenge, while their partnership with Communities in Schools of Kent allows players to become positive mentors to school-aged kids.

RUNNER UP: Regina Pats

WHL Scholastic Team of the Year
WINNER: Calgary Hitmen

The Calgary Hitmen provided an exemplary model of scholastic excellence for their players this year.  Eight high school players passed all diploma exams and are successfully proceeding to graduation, and all High School graduate roster players successfully completed their university course in the fall, with five of those continuing with a second course through Athabasca University during the winter semester.  Of the Club's two European players, one was engaged in English as a second language while the other to a course at St Mary's University.  Communication with other League Education Advisors allowed Hitmen Education Advisor Bernie Bajnok to keep traded players on track through to successful completion of courses.  The Hitmen organization also provides extensive academic support and resources to their players, including a number of retired teachers available to provide tutoring services to support diploma prep courses, assignment completion and exam preparation.  Hitmen players are also provided media training, post-secondary orientations, professional hockey and career information and presentations from Hitmen graduates.

WHL Top Official - Allen Paradice Memorial Trophy
WINNER: Nathan Wieler

Nathan Wieler is in his 15th season as an official in the Western Hockey League.  The 35-year-old from Regina, SK, has been refereeing in the WHL for the past eight years, having established himself as one of the League's top officials.  His commitment to officiating has helped him develop all the skills necessary to be successful, including composure and confidence, strong communications skills, and excellent judgment.  Wieler's impressive officiating resume includes working the last three consecutive WHL Championship series' and representing the WHL at the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup, including working the final game.  He has also worked three RBC Cups and two CIS National Championships, and several international assignments, including the World Junior 'A' Championship.

WHL Regular Season Champion - Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy
WINNER: Kelowna Rockets

The Rockets posted a 57-11-0-4 record for 118 points in 72 games this season, finishing first overall for the first time since the 2003-04 season.  During the 2013-14 regular season, the Rockets set franchise records for wins and points in a single season, and tied a WHL record by posting 29 wins on the road, including a stretch of 16 straight road victories from October 25, 2013 - January 3, 2014.  The Rockets also won 28 games on home ice this season.  The Rockets finished five points ahead of their nearest competitor in the standings, and finished with an 18-point lead for first place in the B.C. Division.  During the regular season, the Rockets finished second overall in goals with 310, and finished third overall in goals-against, having allowed just 182.

WHL Top Scorer - Bob Clarke Trophy
WINNER: Mitch Holmberg - Spokane Chiefs

A 20-year-old from Sherwood Park, AB, Holmberg scored 62 goals and 56 assists for 118 points in 72 games during the 2013-14 WHL regular season, becoming the first member of the Spokane Chiefs to lead the League in scoring since Ray Whitney in 1990-91.  He led all WHL players in goals with 62, power play goals with 23, and finished tied for second with six shorthanded goals.  He also shared the League lead with 10 game-winning goals this season.  Having opened the 2013-14 season with a 17-game point streak, Holmberg only twice went more than two games without registering a point this season.  He recorded 37 multiple-point games and 19 multiple-goal games, including six hat tricks.  Drafted by Spokane in the first round, 21st overall, in the 2008 WHL Bantam Draft, Holmberg has played five seasons for the Spokane Chiefs, amassing a franchise-record 147 goals while adding 149 assists for 296 points in 314 games.

Jeff Hubert
Director, Communications
Western Hockey League

Regina Pats Sale Audio with Anthony Marquart and Ron Robison

The sale of the Regina Pats by Russ Parker to Queen City Sports and Entertainment was unanimously approved by the WHL Board of Governors this morning. Here is the audio from QCSPE President Anthony Marquart and WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. 

Check this out on Chirbit
Check this out on Chirbit

Pats and Cougars Sale Approved

CALGARY, AB - The Western Hockey League announced today that the WHL Board of Governors have approved the application to transfer the ownership of the Prince George Cougars and the Regina Pats WHL franchises.

The WHL Board of Governors voted unanimously to approve the transfer of the Prince George Cougars ownership from Rick Brodsky to EDGEPRO Sports and Entertainment Ltd., and the Regina Pats from Russ and Diane Parker to Queen City Sports and Entertainment Group Ltd. 

The new Prince George ownership group is led by local businessman Greg Pocock along with partners Ernest Ouellet, Raymond Fortier, and John Pateman. Former Prince George Cougars and current NHL players Dan Hamhuis and Eric Brewer are also key members of the new ownership entity.

The Prince George Cougars franchise relocated from Victoria twenty years ago. Rick Brodsky has been the only owner of the Cougars WHL franchise since it began operations in Prince George in 1994.

The new ownership group in Regina is headed by local businessman Anthony Marquart, who takes over the franchise from Russ and Diane Parker who have owned and operated the Pats franchise for the past 19 seasons. The other members of the Queen City Sports and Entertainment group includes prominent Regina businessmen Todd Lumbard, Gavin Semple, Shaun Semple, and Jason Drummond.

“The WHL is fortunate to have attracted two very high calibre ownership groups who are fully committed to whatever is necessary to take the Prince George Cougars and the Regina Pats franchises to a new level,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “We are confident that fans will enthusiastically embrace the local ownership groups and bring long-term stability to these WHL markets.”

It’s anticipated that both sales will close prior to the end of May. Further details will be announced in the near future when the new ownership groups conduct media conferences in both Prince George and Regina.

Jeff Hubert

Director, Communications

Western Hockey League

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Winterhawks' Petan CHL Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Winnipeg Jets prospect Nic Petan is the CHL Player of the Week for the playoff week ending April 27 after scoring three goals and four assists for seven points in three games.


Petan helped lead the Winterhawks to their fourth straight WHL Western Conference Championship with a five-game series win over the Kelowna Rockets.  With the series tied 1-1, Petan recorded a pair of assists in a 4-3 overtime win over the Rockets in Game 3 last Tuesday night.  In Game 4 on Wednesday, Petan unloaded for three power-play goals including the game-winner and earned first star honours in the 5-1 victory on home ice.  Petan picked up another two assists on Friday night as the Winterhawks skated to a 7-3 victory in the Game 5 series finale.  The Winterhawks will now face the Eastern Conference Champion Edmonton Oil Kings for the third straight season competing for the Ed Chynoweth Cup beginning on Saturday night.


Petan, a 19-year-old from Delta, BC, is playing in his third full WHL season with the Winterhawks.  Selected by the Jets in the second round of the 2013 NHL Draft, Petan has 21 points in 14 playoff games this season after recording 113 points in 63 games during the 2013-14 regular season.


Also considered for the award this week was Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Kerby Rychel who scored three goals and three assists for six points in three games for the Guelph Storm who advanced to the OHL Championship Series following a five-game series win over the Erie Otters.  Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Jonathan Drouin scored three goals and five assists for eight points in three games for the Halifax Mooseheads against the Val-d’Or Foreurs and recently moved into second place in all-time QMJHL playoff scoring with 101 points in 49 career games.


2013-14 CHL Playoff Players of the Week:

Apr. 21 – Apr. 27: Nic Petan (Portland Winterhawks)

Apr. 14 – Apr. 20: Louick Marcotte (Val-d’Or Foreurs)

Apr. 7 – Apr. 13: Robby Fabbri (Guelph Storm)

Mar. 31 – Apr. 6: Damon Severson (Kelowna Rockets)

Mar. 24 – Mar. 30: Jaedon Descheneau (Kootenay Ice)

Mar. 17 – Mar. 23: Simon Tardif-Richard (Gatineau Olympiques)


2013-14 CHL Regular Season Players of the Week:

Mar. 10 – Mar. 16: Jonathan Drouin (Halifax Mooseheads)

Mar. 3 – Mar. 9: Connor McDavid (Erie Otters)

Feb. 24 – Mar. 2: Jayce Hawryluk (Brandon Wheat Kings)

Feb. 17 – Feb. 23: Michael Joly (Rimouski Oceanic)

Feb. 10 – Feb. 16: Taylor Leier (Portland Winterhawks)

Feb. 3 – Feb. 9: Sam Reinhart (Kootenay Ice)

Jan. 27 – Feb. 2: Anthony Duclair (Quebec Remparts)

Jan. 20 – Jan. 26: Anthony Duclair (Quebec Remparts)

Jan. 13 – Jan. 19: Jonathan Drouin (Halifax Mooseheads)

Jan. 6 – Jan. 12: Connor Brown (Erie Otters)

Dec. 30 – Jan. 5: Myles Bell (Kelowna Rockets)

Dec. 9 – Dec. 15: Mike Aviani (Spokane Chiefs)

Dec. 2 – Dec. 8: Andreas Athanasiou (Barrie Colts)

Nov. 25 – Dec. 1: Leon Draisaitl (Prince Albert Raiders)

Nov. 18 – Nov. 24: Zac Leslie (Guelph Storm)

Nov. 11 – Nov. 17: Jonathan Drouin (Halifax Mooseheads)

Nov. 4 – Nov. 10: Martin Reway (Gatineau Olympiques)

Oct. 28 – Nov. 3: Jayce Hawryluk (Brandon Wheat Kings)

Oct. 21 – Oct. 27: Darcy Ashley (Halifax Mooseheads)

Oct. 14 – Oct. 20: Scott Kosmachuk (Guelph Storm)

Oct. 7 – Oct. 13: Anthony Mantha (Val-d’Or Foreurs)

Sept. 30 – Oct. 6: Nick Merkley (Kelowna Rockets)

Sept. 23 – Sept. 29: Mitch Holmberg (Spokane Chiefs)

Sept. 19 – Sept. 22: Michael Dal Colle (Oshawa Generals)


Jeff Hubert, Director, Communications                           
Western Hockey League                                              


Canadian Hockey League

Paul Krotz

Manager, Media and Information Services 

Monday, April 28, 2014

VIGR Lifestyles Wednesday Thriller

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Its a busy week for this radio guy with the Regina Pats sale going to the board of governors this morning, the WHL Awards Luncheon, the Bantam Draft tomorrow and Regina Thunder Spring Camp opening Friday night at Mosaic Stadium.

First with the Pats. I am in Calgary today for this mornings Board of Governors meeting that will see the sale of the Pats from Russ Parker to Queen City Sports and Entertainment go to a vote. The sale of the Prince George Cougars will also go to the board this morning. The sales need a yes from a minimum of 16 of the 22 governors to become official. 

I talked with WHL Commissioner Ron Robison on Monday to get some insight as to what exactly will go on inside the meeting. Here's what he had to say. "Once the purchase agreement is entered into by the owner of the franchise and the purchasers, we then go into a due diligence process. It normally takes anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks, reviewing the business plans and strategies of the new ownership group. Ultimately we then present the recommendation to the board of governors who vote on it."

On what the board of governors look for in new ownership. "The new ownership has to be first and foremost community minded. Very committed to the market, be able to demonstrate to the other ownership in the league that they are capable of not only financing but operating this franchise successfully on the long term. That will be the question that will be posed to this group when they enter the room to the board of governors."

Robison says the new ownership will field questions from the board. "Its an opportunity for the new ownership to make a brief presentation and as well for the board of governors to ask questions. The due diligence has already been completed by the league office. So they're more in a position of getting acquainted and to ask specific questions about the business plan and their strategies to be successful in the market."

The Board of Governors meeting will take place this morning, I will be there and will have an update as soon as the meeting concludes. Follow me @PhilTheThrill18 for your up to date news all week long. 

The Pats are also up for the WHL Marketing Award today at the annual awards luncheon. The Pats are the Eastern Conference nominee going up against the Seattle Thunderbirds from the Western Conference. VP of Business Operations with the Pats Cliff Mapes says he is honored to be going up for the award. "I'm happy for the entire staff, we already feel like we've won. Just getting the nomination for the East side alone is quite an honor. To be lumped in with the teams in our league that have done such a great job on the marketing business side of things is an honor too."

Oh and the WHL Bantam Draft starts tomorrow morning. The Pats hold the 13th overall pick. Here is a recent list of the top 22 prospects from the Western Elite Prospects.

Stelio Mattheos
RW 6'1 174lbs
Winnipeg Monarch WPG AAA
32gp 53g 50a 103pts 28pim

Jordy Bellerive
C 5'10 170
no stats on him

Brendan Semchuk
C 5'11 160
Kamloops Jardine OMAHA
no stats on him

Nolan Kneen
D 5'10 160
NSWC Winterhawks PCAHA
no stats on him

Justin Almeida
C/LW 5'9 135
NSWC Winterhawks
no stats on him

Michael Rasmussen
LW 6'1 170
59gp 41g 46a 87pts 123pim

Jaret Anderson-Dolan
C 5'10 155
Edge Mountaineers PREP
50gp 67g 36a 103pts 10pim

Scott Walford
D 5'11 174
50gp 11g 35a 46pts 34pim

Jake Leschyshyn
C 5'10 154
Saskatoon Stallions SBAAHL
31gp 31g 28a 59pts 69pim

Zane Franklin
C 5'9 175
Lloyminster Heat AMBHL
27gp 47g 42a 89pts 65pim

Jantzen Leslie
D 6'1 174
Llyodminster Heat AMBHL
30gp 15g 25a 40pts 63pim

Dylan Plouffe
D 5'11 170
Sherwood Park Flyers AMBHL
33gp 22g 36a 58pts 76pim

Josh Brook
D 5'10 155
Notre Dame Hounds SMAAHL
29gp 6g 17a 23pts 50pim

Josh Paterson
RW 6'1 170
32gp 46g 51a 97pts 10pim

Max Martin
D 5'11 178
Winnipeg Monarchs WPG AAA
31gp 18g 41a 59pts 30pim

Dominic Schmiemann
D 6'2 160
Notre Dame Hounds SMAAHL
30gp 3g 12a 15pts 76pim

Ian Scott
G 6'2 164
Calgary Northstar Sabres AMBHL
6-15-1 3.12GAA .916SV%

Jarrett Tyszka
D 6'1 154
Langley Eagles PCAHA
no stats on him

James Malm
C 5'9 150
no stats no him

Dawson Holt
C 5'9 165
Saskatoon Generals SBAAHL
26gp 35g 38a 73pts 42pim

Ethan King
D 6'3 196
47gp 5g 29a 34pts 46pim

Ryan Peckford
C 5'11 174
Spruce Grove Pac Saints AMBHL
33gp 28g 32a 60pts 44pim

I had a chance to catch up with Pats Senior VP and GM Chad Lang on how he is approaching the draft. First some highlights of what he said and then you can have a listen to the full interview.
  • Not as deep as in previous years but quality players available.
  • Has identified the top 15 guys, will be happy with who is available at the 13th spot.
  • No preference on defenseman, forward or goalie, will select the best player available.
  • Want to draft size as in previous two years.
  • Strong group coming out of the U.S.A.
  • Looking for late bloomers in the later rounds, there is some depth amongst the eligible players.
Now the audio.


The WHL Championship series gets underway Saturday in Portland as the Winterhawks will host the Edmonton Oil Kings in game 1. Its the third straight year these two teams will meet for the Ed Chynoweth Cup with Edmonton winning in 2012 and Portland in 2013. Personally I think the Hawks will win this series in 5.


The Regina Thunder open their 2014 season with their Spring Camp starting Friday night at Mosaic Stadium. About 120 players will take part in the four day camp that wraps up with the team practicing with the Concordia Cobbers Monday night. Concordia was a top ranked team in the NCAA's Division 3 last year.

The Thunder will have a new quarterback in 2014 as CJFL MVP Asher Hastings will play with McMaster University in 2014. Hastings spent 4 seasons with the Thunder and led them to their first ever championship in 2013. The most likely candidate to replace him would be Saskatoon native Kyle Siemens but there are rumors he will play CIS this season as well. That leaves Spencer Mack and Kieran Pruden as the other returning pivots.

The Thunder will see new faces on the field and some coaches in new positions. Dave Jackson is moving from special teams coordinator to defensive coordinator. The Defensive Backfield will be coached by Brent Glen who started with the Regina Thunder as a Defensive Assistant / Recruiting Coordinator in 2013. Kevin Pierce will double as the team’s Running Back Coach and Special Teams Coordinator and Jay Smith a 5 year veteran of the Regina Thunder, who last played for the U of R Rams and attended the CIS East West Bowl will be coming on board as an Assistant Receiver Coach and Special Teams Assistant.

Keep it locked here for a full weekend of coverage.


The Regina Red Sox open the 2014 season exactly a month from today in Weyburn against the Beavers.

That's it for today

Lots more to come this morning


Winterhawks' Petan WHL Player of the Week

Calgary, AB - The Western Hockey League announced today that Portland Winterhawks’forward Nicolas Petan is the Denny’s WHL Player of the Week for the week ending April 27, 2014.  

Petan scored three goals and four assists for seven points along with an even +/- rating over three games this past week, leading the Winterhawks to three victories over the Kelowna Rockets as they captured the 2014 WHL Western Conference championship.

On Tuesday, April 22, Petan recorded a pair of assists in a 4-3 overtime victory over the Rockets in Game 3 of the best-of-seven series in Portland.  On Wednesday, April 23, Petanscored three power play goals, including the game-winner, and was named the game’s 1st Star in a 5-1 victory over the visiting Rockets in Game 4.  On Friday, April 25, Petan picked up two assists in a 7-3 series-clinching victory over the Rockets in Game 5 in Kelowna.

Petan, an 18-year-old from Delta, B.C, is in his third season in the WHL with the Winterhawks.  The 5’9”, 173-lb center has appeared in 198 career WHL regular-season games for Portland, piling up 95 goals and 174 assists for 269 points.  Portland’s first pick, 16th overall, in the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft,Petan has also amassed 16 goals and 49 points in 64 career post-season games. Petan was selected by the Winnipeg Jets in the second round, 43rd overall, in the 2013 NHL Draft.

The WHL has also nominated Corbin Boes of the Portland Winterhawks for the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week award.  A native of Saskatoon, SK, Boes posted a 3-0 record over three starts in the past week, stopping 96 of 103 shots he faced for a 2.22 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage in that span, backstopping the Winterhawks to their fourth straight Western Conference championship.  On Tuesday, April 22, Boes stopped 30 of 33 shots he faced in a 4-3 overtime win over the visiting Kelowna Rockets in Game 3 of the best-of-seven series.  On Wednesday, Boes stopped 31 of 32 shots while earning 2nd Star honors in a 5-1 win over the Rockets in Game 4 of the series in Portland.  On Friday, April 25, Boesmade 35 saves on 38 shots to help the Winterhawks to a 7-3 win in Game 5 of the series in Kelowna.  Originally a 10th-round pick, 199th overall, of the Winterhawks in the 2008 WHL Bantam Draft, Boes has appeared in 168 career regular-season games for the Brandon Wheat Kings, Lethbridge Hurricanes and Winterhawks, posting a 64-70-5-14 mark.  He is a free agent.

Denny’s WHL Player of the Week
Apr. 21 – Apr. 27: Nicolas Petan, Portland Winterhawks
Apr. 14 – Apr. 20: Curtis Lazar, Edmonton Oil Kings
Apr. 7 – Apr. 13: Cole Sanford, Medicine Hat Tigers
Mar. 31 – Apr. 6: Damon Severson, Kelowna Rockets
Mar. 24 – Mar. 30: Jaedon Descheneau, Kootenay Ice
Mar. 17 – Mar. 23: Ryan Pulock, Brandon Wheat Kings
Mar. 10 – Mar. 16: Collin Valcourt, Prince Albert Raiders
Mar. 3 – Mar. 9: Leon Draisaitl, Prince Albert Raiders
Feb. 24 – Mar. 2: Jayce Hawryluk, Brandon Wheat Kings
Feb. 17 – Feb. 23: Morgan Klimchuk, Regina Pats
Feb. 10 – Feb. 16: Taylor Leier, Portland Winterhawks
Feb. 3 – Feb. 9: Sam Reinhart, Kootenay Ice
Jan. 27 – Feb. 2: Myles Bell, Kelowna Rockets
Jan. 20 – Jan. 26: Brendan Leipsic, Portland Winterhawks
Jan. 13 – Jan. 19: Derrick Pouliot, Portland Winterhawks
Jan. 6 – Jan. 12: Todd Fiddler, Prince George Cougars
Dec. 30 – Jan. 5: Myles Bell, Kelowna Rockets
Dec. 9 – Dec. 15: Mike Aviani, Spokane Chiefs
Dec. 2 – Dec. 8: Chandler Stephenson, Regina Pats
Nov. 25 – Dec. 1: Leon Draisaitl, Prince Albert Raiders
Nov. 18 – Nov. 24: Josh Winquist, Everett Silvertips
Nov. 11 – Nov. 17: Ryan Pulock, Brandon Wheat Kings
Nov. 4 – Nov. 10: Mitch Holmberg, Spokane Chiefs
Oct. 28 – Nov. 3: Jayce Hawryluk, Brandon Wheat Kings
Oct. 21 – Oct. 27: Josh Winquist, Everett Silvertips
Oct. 14 – Oct. 20: Nicolas Petan, Portland Winterhawks
Oct. 7 – Oct. 13: Matt Pufahl, Everett Silvertips
Sept. 30 – Oct. 6: Nick Merkley, Kelowna Rockets 
Sept. 23 – Sept. 29: Mitch Holmberg, Spokane Chiefs
Sept. 19 – Sept. 22: Julius Honka, Swift Current Broncos

Jeff Hubert

Director, Communications

Western Hockey League

Pat Chat April 28th

Important Week Ahead for the Regina Pats

Board of Governors Meeting
The Western Hockey League holds its special Board of Governors Meeting to review the ownership transfer application of the Regina Pats on Wednesday, April 30thQueen City Sports and Entertainment Group Ltd. intend to purchase the Pats from Russ and Diane Parker who have owned the team for the past 19 years.

WHL Bantam Draft
Future of the WHL will be guided by what happens this Thursday in Calgary.  Pats hold the 13th Overall selection in the draft.  Last year, the Pats picked forward Sam Steel 2nd Overall.  The day before, the WHL hosts its annual Awards Luncheon where the Pats are nominated for the WHL Marketing and Business Award.

Stevenson Signs in AHL
Former Pat Dyson Stevenson signed a one year deal with the Portland Pirates of the AHL last week.  The 2013-14 Pats MVP had multiple offers on the table, but felt the Pirates gave him the best fit.  Stevenson had a career year with the Blue and White, scoring 38 goals and adding 38 assists for 76 points.  The Shaunavon, SK native played 252 games in his career with the Pats.

Kammerer Strong Contributor for Germany
Maximilian Kammerer’s second run at the IIHF World U18 Hockey Championships showed a big jump from his last appearance.  Kammerer tied for second on Germany in scoring with five points (3G, 2A) in six games as Germany defeated Denmark in the Relegation Series.  Kammerer was named Germany’s player of the game in one contest.

Telus Cup
The 2014 Telus Cup wrapped up yesterday in Moose Jaw.  Prospect Liam Finlay and the Okanagan Rockets captured the Bronze Medal with a 3-2 OT win over the Toronto Young Nationals.  Finlay finished with ten points (5G, 5A) in seven games at the Telus Cup.  Signed prospect Rykr Cole (Moose Jaw) finished the tournament with one assist in five games.

Important Dates
Wednesday, April 30th – Board of Governors Meeting/Season Ticket Early Bird Deadline/WHL Awards Luncheon
Thursday, May 1st – WHL Draft
Monday, June 16th – 17th Annual Wickenheiser Golf Classic

Daniel Fink
Director of Media and Communications
Regina Pats Hockey Club

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Mintos win 2014 Telus Cup

The Prince Albert Raiders beat the Chateauguay Grenadiers in the longest game in Telus Cup History on Sunday night in Moose Jaw. 

Prince Albert held a 3-2 headed to the third but Chateauguay would tie it up and force OT. The first and second extra frames would solve nothing but at 18:36 of triple OT, Dakota Boutin would give the Mintos the victory on a 2 on 1 rush. 

Earlier Sunday in the Bronze Medal game the Okanagan Rockets would storm back from down 2-0 in the third to force overtime against Toronto. Regina Pats prospect Liam Finlay would pot his 5th of the tournament on the powerplay in the third to tie the game at 2's. 

In overtime Linden Hora would score his second of the game on a wrist shot that beat the goaltender 5 hole to give Okanagan the bronze. 

Here is a photo of Finlay with his medal. 

Team Canada Wins Bronze at U18's

LAPPEENRANTAFinland – Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team has won the bronze medal at the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship after a 3-1 victory over Sweden in Sunday’s third-place game.

It is Canada’s third straight medal at the world championship; it won bronze in 2012 and gold in 2013
. It is also Canada’s sixth medal all-time at the IIHF Ice Hockey World U18 Championship, having won three gold medals (2003, 2008, 2013), one silver (2005) and two bronze (2012, 2014).

On Sunday, Lawson Crouse (Mt. Brydes, Ont./Kingston, OHL) scored the game-winning goal – his first point of the tournament – midway through the second period. BrendanPerlini (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont./Niagara, OHL) and Travis Konecny (Clachan, Ont./Ottawa, OHL) also had goals for the Canadians, while Mason McDonald (Halifax, N.S./Charlottetown, QMJHL) made 38 saves for the win.

Following the tournament, McDonald was named Top Goaltender by the IIHF directorate, while Haydn Fleury (Carlyle, Sask./Red Deer, WHL) earned Top Defenceman honours.

The United States defeated the Czech Republic 5-2 in the gold medal game.



For more information on Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team and the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship, please, or follow along through social media, more information on Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team and the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship, please, or follow along through social media,

André Brin                                                             Francis Dupont                  

Director, Communications                                Manager, Media Relations

Hockey Canada                                                   Hockey Canada             


Jason La Rose                                                     KristenLipscombe

Coordinator, Content Services                          Coordinator, Communications

Hockey Canada                                                    Hockey Canada



Keegan Goodrich

Coordinator, Media Relations

Hockey Canada


Jeff Hubert

Director, Communications

Western Hockey League

Telus Cup Final Today

MOOSE JAW, Sask. – The gold medal game is set at the 2014 TELUS Cup.


The Prince Albert Mintos (West) and Grenadiers de Châteauguay (Quebec) will meet for Canada’s 41st National Midget Championship on Sunday afternoon at Mosaic Place after posting victories in their respective semifinals. The Mintos beat the Okanagan Rockets (Pacific) 6-3 in the early game, while the Grenadiers knocked off the Toronto Young Nationals (Central) 6-1.


Sunday’s gold medal game will be broadcast live on TSN2 at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT. Check your local listings for the broadcast time in your area.


The game will be a match-up of the two winningest provinces in tournament history; Saskatchewan has won 13 national championships, one ahead of Quebec.


The Mintos are making their fourth appearance at Canada’s National Midget Championship and will play in the gold medal game for the third time; they won the national title in 2006 in Charlottetown, P.E.I., and 2007 in Red Deer, Alta., and finished fourth when they hosted the tournament in 1999. Prince Albert carries a 20-game undefeated streak, the longest in tournament history, into the gold medal game; it went 7-0 in 2006 and 2007, and is 4-0-2 thus far in Moose Jaw.


The Grenadiers are the 25th Quebec team in the tournament’s 41-year history to reach the gold medal game, and will try to win Quebec’s 13th national championship. A Quebec team has not won gold since Ste-Foy in 2001, the longest drought ever for the province. Châteauguay is into the final for the first time in its second appearance; it won bronze in 2006 in Charlottetown.


The game marks the eighth time since the start of the six-team format in 1984 that the West Region champions and Quebec Region champions will meet for Canada’s National Midget Championship (1985, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1996, 2004, 2005), with Quebec holding a 4-3 advantage in the first seven.


In the early semifinal, the Mintos got a hat trick and an assist from Lance Yaremchuk, and 30 saves from Connor Ingram to beat the Rockets. Teal Sobkowicz and Wyatt Grant had the other goals for the Mintos, who withstood a late push from Okanagan after the Pacific Region champions made it a one-goal game seven minutes into the third period.


In the late game, Danick Crête had a goal and two assists, Samuel Levac scored once and added an assist and Pascal Laberge, Martin-Olivier Cardinal, Pierre-Luc Sanche and Justin Doucet scored a goal apiece to lead the Grenadiers over the Young Nationals. Étienne Montpetit made 39 saves for Châteauguay, which was outshot 40-28 by Toronto.


The Mintos and Grenadiers met Tuesday afternoon in the second preliminary round game for both. Dakota Boutin scored for Prince Albert and Justin Doucet answered for Châteauguay in a 1-1 draw, one of a record-setting five ties in the round robin.


The Rockets and Young Nationals will play for the bronze medal on Sunday (1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT). That game will be available through FASTHockey webcast


A number of future NHLers have taken part in Canada’s National Midget Championship since its inception in 1974, including 55 first-round draft picks, three No. 1 selections (Gord Kluzak, Wendel Clark and Sidney Crosby) and nine future Hockey Hall of Fame inductees(Glenn Anderson, Ron Francis, Mike Gartner, Al MacInnis, Larry Murphy, Patrick Roy, Joe Sakic, Denis Savard and Steve Yzerman).


For more information on the 2014 TELUS Cup, visit, or follow the tournament via social media at and

André Brin                                             Francis Dupont                                        Jason La Rose

Director, Communications                        Manager, Communications                        Manager, Content Services

Hockey Canada                                       Hockey Canada                                       Hockey Canada

Saturday, April 26, 2014

WHL Championship Series Schedule

Calgary, AB - The Western Hockey League has announced the schedule for the 2014 WHL Championship Series, presented by Kal Tire, featuring the Portland Winterhawks and the Edmonton Oil Kings .
All Start Times Are Local










Saturday, May 3

7:00 pm






Sunday, May 4

5:00 pm






Tuesday, May 6

7:00 pm






Wednesday, May 7

7:00 pm






Friday, May 9

7:00 pm *






Sunday, May 11

4:00 pm *






Monday, May 12

7:00 pm *


*If Necessary

Jeff Hubert
Director, Communications
Western Hockey League

Friday, April 25, 2014

Winterhawks Advance to WHL Finals

For the fourth consecutive year, the Portland Winterhawks are the Western Hockey League’s Western Conference champions.


The Hawks captured the conference title and their fourth straight trip to the WHL Final with a 7-3 win in Kelowna over the Rockets in Game 5 of the Western Conference championship series.


The Winterhawks become just the fourth team in league history to appear in four consecutive championship series, joining the Flin Flon Bombers (1968-71) the original Edmonton Oil Kings (1969-72), and the New Westminster Bruins (1975-78).


The Winterhawks now await the winner of the Eastern Conference Championship series, with the Edmonton Oil Kings leading the Medicine Hat Tigers 3-1. Game 5 of that series is tomorrow night. Regardless of who their opponent is, Portland will have home ice advantage in the final.


In addition to the conference title, defenseman Derrick Pouliot played in his 78thcareer playoff game Friday, passing Troy Rutkowski for the team record. And with he and Brendan Leipsic each hitting the scoresheet, they both have points in all 14 playoff games this season.


The Hawks struck first when Dominic Turgeon scored 13:12 into the opening period for a 1-0 lead. A few minutes later with Portland on a power play, Brendan Leipsic took a cross-ice pass and fired a one-timer through the five-hole of Kelowna goaltender Jordon Cooke at the 15:45 mark for a 2-0 lead the Hawks took into the second period.


Just 24 seconds into the second, Taylor Leier banged in a rebound for a 3-0 Hawks lead. The Rockets got on the board at the 8:29mark when Tyson Baillie scored with a man advantage to cut the Hawks’ lead to 3-1, then scored another power play goal just over two minutes later when a Jesse Lees marker made it 3-2, which remained the scoring going into the third.  


Any hope the Rockets had of completing the comeback were dashed early in the third when Portland exploded for four goals in the first half of the period. Matt Dumba scored 59 seconds into the frame, followed by a power play goal from Leipsic at the 2:56 mark as the Hawks jumped out to a 5-2 advantage.


The Hawks wouldn’t let up, and Chase De Leo made it a 6-2 game with a goal at the 6:33mark, followed by a Keegan Iverson goal at the 8:22 mark to push it to 7-2. Kelowna got one back at the 11:27 mark on a goal by Justin Kirkland to make it 7-3, which stood as the final.


Taylor Leier and Oliver Bjorkstrand each had three points in the win.


Corbin Boes had the win in net with 28 saves on 31 shots. Cooke took the loss with seven goals allowed on 41 Portland shots.

Courtesy Winterhawks PR