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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Oshawa Generals win MasterCard Memorial Cup

Leon Draisaitl named tournament MVP. 

 

Quebec City, QC - The Kelowna Rockets’ quest to become the 97thMasterCard Memorial Cup Champions fell narrowly short on Sunday night in Quebec City as the Oshawa Generals claimed the title with a 2-1 overtime win. 

 

The OHL Champion Generals earned their franchise’s fifth Memorial Cup and first since 1990. In the 97-year history of the tournament, Sunday marked the ninth occasion in which the final game was determined in overtime.

 

Tomas Soustal struck for the Rockets in the first period, but Anthony Cirelli answered for the Generals in the middle frame. Despite heavy pressure from Kelowna’s offence throughout the game, Oshawa’s Ken Appleby was superb in goal for the OHL representatives and stopped 37 of the 38 shots he faced. 

 

Jackson Whistle turned aside 24 shots in the loss and was steady throughout the tournament.

 

Cirelli was the hero and the game’s first star as he also added the overtime-winner at the 1:28 mark of the extra frame. 

 

Sunday’s appearance marked the third time the Rockets played in a MasterCard Memorial Cup Final. The Club was defeated by Windsor in the tournament finale in 2009 and won the Memorial Cup as hosts in 2004. It was the fifth time the Club has appeared at the MasterCard Memorial Cup.

The finale also marked the last hockey game scheduled to be played in the Pepsi Colisée, a building steeped in history which has stood since 1949.

 

Game Summary 

Game Highlights


Rockets forward Leon Draisaitl was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2015 MasterCard Memorial Cup with seven points (4g-3a) in five games. It is the second consecutive year a WHL player has won the award as Edgars Kulda of the Edmonton Oil Kings earned the honour in 2014. Draisaitl’s seven points were also enough to claim the event’s scoring title and the Ed Chynoweth Trophy. 

 

Draft-eligible Kelowna forward Nick Merkley and Rockets Captain Madison Bowey were both named to the MasterCard Memorial Cup All-Star Team. 

 

The 2015 MasterCard Memorial Cup is proudly supported by MasterCard, title sponsor of this event for 17 straight years.  Associate sponsors include BMO Bank of Montreal, SUBWAY, Cooper Tires, and autoTRADER.ca.   

 

For more information about the event please visit www.mastercardmemorialcup.ca, and follow the event on Twitter @TheWHL, @MCMemorialCup and @CHLHockey using #MCMemorialCup.  


Corey St. Laurent

Senior Manager, Communications

Western Hockey League


Regina Pats Spring Camp Concludes

The Regina Pats wrapped up their 2015 Spring Training Camp on Sunday with two more on ice sessions at the Co-operators Arena. On day 2, Team Blue was the first to skate and then Team White right after. Team Blue was made up of forwards Drew Coughlin, Zachary Cox, Jake Elmer, Riley Crane, Jake Leschyshyn, Trygve Many Guns, Sean Richards, Garrett Szeremley and Riley Woods. Defencemen Dawson Barteaux, Garrett Ewert, Austin Johnston, Tyler Pryhitka, Adam Sandstrom and Liam Schioler. Goaltenders Jordan Hollett and Ben Laidlaw.

Many Guns was impressive in this one. Early on the team used the Power Edge Pro equipment and the big man showed he is more than just size. He has skill to go along with it and moved pretty well. Trygve says he is grateful for the opportunity to play in Regina. "It's really exciting, it's a great organization, we will have a great team the next couple of years so I am really excited to get going and I hope I can crack the roster." Many Guns told me his favorite player is Dustin Byfuglien of the Winnipeg Jets and the comparisons are there no doubt. Many Guns says he brings that same type of game but up front. "I'm good around the net so rebounds I can pick up and you know getting in front of the net screening the goalie, using my hands to get around defenceman and using my size to crash the net. I'm a big winger, power forward." Many Guns says he has some work to do to be ready to make the jump to the WHL this year. "A lot of running and working on my leg strength. Losing weight and getting my leg strength up and getting faster and hopefully that's enough."


One of the Pats two 3rd round picks in 2015 Tyler Pryhitka who hails from Melville says it was a dream come true to be picked by the Pats this summer. " I always dreamed of playing with the Pats when I was little. I always had the little helmets and the little gloves and stuff. I always wanted to be in the Pats colours, it's just an amazing feeling. Pryhitka says he didn't expect to o so early in the draft. "I didn't talk to Regina so I was a little surprised I didn't think I was going to go in the 3rd round. I didn't start the season very good but by the end of the year and in playoffs I stepped up my game and I guess it payed off and I played really well at zones so it ended up being a good season for me." Tyler will play his first year of Midget AAA in Swift Current with the Legionaires.


Jake Leschyshyn who is entering his 16 year-old season with the Pats was certainly one of the standouts at the weekend ice sessions. The Grasswood Saskatchewan native says he has been working hard to get bigger and stronger since the Pats season ended. "Just working out and skating a bit... I've been eating lots and putting on a few pounds and I've been feeling stronger... I just have to keep working hard. I will be in the gym quite a bit on the ice and just keep getting better."


Goaltender Jordan Hollett, the first ever goalie drafted by the Pats organization in the first round had another solid day on Sunday. He says he is focused for what is to come in his 16-year-old season. "I am just going to work as hard as I can and just put on the best showing that I can. All I can control is what I can control and not worry about anything else and just play to the best of my ability." Hollett dealt with a concussion late last year and then got sick before joining the Pats late in the year. He says it is good to be feeling 100 per cent now. "I had a lot of sickness issues last year and the concussion was a little frustrating but I am feeling healthy now and I feel like I'm fully back in shape now and it's really exciting just to get on the ice with the boys and it's just a great opportunity here." Hollett will battle for a spot on the Pats come August.

The second session saw Team White take to the Ice made up of forwards, Mackenzie Belinski, Erik Gardiner, Gary Haden, Robert Holmes, Bryan Lockner, Dalton Ossman, Lukas Sillinger, Sam Steel and Carson Welke. Defencemen Riley Bruce, Jack Lenchyshyn, Owen Williams, Trevor Woytcke, Jared Freadrich and Mason Perich. Goaltenders Kurtis Chapman and Max Paddock.


Gary Haden has really taken a step in the year since he was drafted and will be one of the 16-year-olds to watch come main camp. Haden was drafted in the 9th round in 2014 and was almost a point a game with the UFA Bisons who went to the Telus Cup this last year. He says his game has come so far from a year ago. "My game has improved so much. Just the success my line had this year, my game is night and day since I got drafted." Like Many Guns, Haden knows he has to put the work in over the next two months to crack the lineup this year. "I need to get stronger for sure, hopefully sprout up a bit, work on my skating and hopefully if I do all of that I will have a good shot at making it."


Riley Bruce is another guy who really stood out for me as one of the guys who could push for a roster spot this year. He has grown and put on some weight as well. He skates well and has a good shot and says he is confident coming into this year. "I feel so good about it, I feel like I have a good chance to make this roster because I am age eligible so I hope I do... I played with older guys this year and it made me step up my game." Bruce seems to have a bit of a mean streak in his game which is always good for a defenceman, he was drafted in the 5th round in 2014.


Senior VP of Hockey Operations, GM and Head Coach John Paddock says it was a good weekend. "It's exciting to see players again in some cases after seeing them so briefly last year. Exciting to see our new picks in the organization. I think there was a good exchange of information between parties. Between all the parents and the kids and us and they got to see what we are about, how we conduct things, meet the ownership, see the rink. It unfolded exactly how we hoped it would unfold." Paddock says some things stood out for him on the ice. "I thought for the most part there is a lot of good skaters. Everybody skates well which is really important. I think the players you expect to stand out, stood out. Dawson Barteaux stood out because of his skating, he's so smooth. Bryan Lockner stood out because of his power, he has the size to play in the league right now. Robbie Holmes has gained 26 pounds since last spring camp, that's the kind of thing you don't project. He is 6'1 and 181 lbs now and he's only 16. There is players like that that have just grown and there is lots of things to like."

On Liam Schioler and where the team stands with him. "Well, I know that we made a good impression on him and so that's a positive. Past that I don't know. I have talked to his dad I talked with Liam, we will just see how it unfolds." Paddock says he was impressed by Schioler this weekend. "He is a big strong, good skating player with good skills to move the puck. In this kind of thing there was nothing not to like about him. I think when you get in games and you have opposition and you have to read and react as with any player things are different. But in skating, passing, shooting, skill, size thing like this was, just gathering information on ability, he is a good player."

On Colorado native Bryan Lockner. "They were super impressed. He's a little bit of a different situation. He's a young young player but they were excited to come as you would see on a tweet and as his dad tole me on the phone and wen talking to Bryan this was better than he expected. We are excited about their response, I have a lot of faith that he is going to play for Regina one day but when you say that that's a broad scope. Like we are talking from some time next year to when he is 20 so that covers a lot of years. But he is a really good player, he could probably play on this team this year because of his size. Why can't exceptional 15-year-old's play? Why couldn't Sam (Steel) play as a 15-year-old? Probably because of size. He's got that size and strength, he is a good player."

Up next for the Pats is the CHL Import Draft on June 30th.



Riders select Thunder DC Dave Jackson as Guest Coach

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are pleased to welcome four guest coaches to the 2015 Training Camp beginning today at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.

 

Dave Jackson joins the Riders after spending last season with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers as a defensive assistant. This is the second time Jackson has guested with the Green and White, after joining them during 2013 training camp. The Regina native, who helped guide the Regina Thunder to a CJFL Canadian Bowl Championship as the special teams coordinator in 2013, will work with both the defensive unit and on the special teams.  

 

At the conclusion of camp, Jackson will remain with the team throughout the season as part of the Riders Canadian developmental coaching program. 

 

Matt Applebaum has joined the Riders after spending the 2014 season with the Jacksonville Jaguars as an offensive assistant. The Yardley, PA native also spent three seasons (2008-10) with the Washington Redskins, working in various roles with the club. Before getting into coaching, he was a three year letterman at Connecticut as a starting offensive lineman. Applebaum will work alongside Dan Dorazio and the offensive linemen.      

 

Dwayne Cameron is currently the special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach with the Laurier Hawks of the CIS. The Guelph native was also hired by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats as a special teams assistant in 2010. Cameron will work with Tony Missick and the Riders defensive backs.  

 

Angus Reid will guest with the Green and White following a standout 14 year CFL career. The two-time Grey Cup champion (2006, 2011) retired in 2014 after playing 200 career regular seasons games, and was named three time division all-star (2004, 2011, 2012), picking up a 2011 CFL all-star recognition. The Richmond, BC native played 11 seasons as a centre under coach Dan Dorazio and will now work alongside him during camp. 


Courtesy Ryan Pollock, Riders PR   

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Warriors sign both 2015 1st Round Picks

Moose Jaw Warriors General Manager Alan Millar has announced that 2015 4th overall pick Jett Woo and 2015 6thoverall pick Luka Burzan have both committed to the Warriors and the Western Hockey League by signing a Standard Player Agreement.


“We are very excited to add both Jett and Luka to the group of strong young players we have and are building in our organization,” said Warriors General Manager Alan Millar.  “These are two quality young men and two very exciting young hockey players.”


Woo, 5’11 190lbs, is from Winnipeg, Manitoba and played last season with the Winnipeg Bantam AAA Warriors.  Woo had 10 goals, 27 assists, and 37 points in 31 games and finished 10th in Bantam 1 East regular season scoring.  Woo was one of two under-age players at the 2015 Canada Winter Games, he recorded a goal and four points in six games, and won a bronze medal. Woo was selected 4th overall by the Warriors at the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft.


Burzan, 6’0 165lbs, is from Surrey, BC and played last season with the North Shore Winter Club in the Pacific Coast Bantam “A” Hockey League (PCBHL).  In 62 games he had 80 goals, 51 assists, for 131 points.  Burzan was selected 6th overall by the Warriors at the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft.


Woo and Burzan both competed at the 2015 John Reid Memorial Tournament in January which features the top 2000 and 2001 born players from Western Canada and the United States.  Burzan had three goals and eight points in five games while Woo had a goal and three points in five games.  Both were named tournament All-Stars, Burzan also captured the Top Forward award.


The two players paths crossed again at the 2015 Western Canada Bantam Championships.  Burzan had four goals and ten points, leading North Shore to a gold medal, Woo had a goal and three points and helped Manitoba capture bronze.  Both were named to the tournament’s First All-Star Team, Burzan was named Most Valuable Player, and Woo was named the Top Defenceman.

Woo and Burzan were in town this weekend for the Warriors 2015 Prospect Camp, they will return to the Friendly City in August for the team’s 2015 Training Camp.

 

James Gallo

Manager, Communications/Hockey Administration 

Moose Jaw Warriors


Regina Pats kick off 2015 Spring Camp

The Regina Pats opened their Spring Training Camp at the Co-operators Arena on Saturday morning. At 10 AM Team White took to the ice for their first session. The team was made up of forwards, Mackenzie Belinski, Erik Gardiner, Gary Haden, Robert Holmes, Bryan Lockner, Dalton Ossman, Lukas Sillinger, Sam Steel and Carson Welke. Defencemen Riley Bruce, Jack Lenchyshyn, Owen Williams, Trevor Woytcke, Jared Freadrich and Mason Perich. Goaltenders Kurtis Chapman and Max Paddock.

Assistant Coach and GM Dave Struch ran the practice along with Darrin McKechnie, Rob Muntain and guest coach Braden Christoffer.

One of two 3rd round picks of the Pats Bryan Lockner out of Colorado says he has been impressed with Regina so far. "I really like it, the rink is sick, it's a great rink, the jumbo tron is sweet. I like the city it's a nice big city, it's growing so I like that, and it seems like they have good fans here so it seems pretty nice." Lockner says he didn't know if he was going to get picked going into the WHL Bantam Draft. "It was a little bit of a surprise (to get picked) because with us American guys we are 50/50 but it's awesome that Regina had faith in me and took me in a high round so I have huge respect for them and I am happy that they drafted me." On if Regina is an option for his future. "It depends how the future goes I guess, we will just go with the flow."

Lockner looked solid in his first skate, he is a think kid at 200 pounds already with a heavy shot and he can skate.


Max Paddock was one of the two goalies in the first skate, the nephew to Head Coach and Senior VP of Hockey Operations John Paddock. "It was very cool. I've never been really that close to him (John), he's always been away in Philadelphia or wherever but it's cool now to be only two hours away from him.... People might say they only drafted me because we are related but I think I've got a lot to offer."


Sam Steel is one of 9 players who are at camp that are entering their 17 year old seasons. The only reason he is at camp is to get a skate in as he comes off the high ankle sprain he suffered late last season. He says he feels good and will be ready come August. "It was a good time to get out there with the guys, it was really the first time I've been out on the ice with a bunch of guys (since the end of the year), I've just been skating by myself. It's good to be out here and good to be back in Regina and I'm looking forward to the rest of camp... The ankle is getting there, it feels a lot better on the ice. There are not many things that bother it but if it does I'm just being careful with it right now. I should be 100 per cent by training camp."


As for 16 year-olds coming in, Gary Haden looked solid on and is coming off a great season with the UFA Bisons. Erik Gardiner, much like his older brother showed his ability to score goals, he has a great shot. Lukas Sillinger was the smallest kid on the ice but his skill was evident.



The second session featured Team Blue which is made up of forwards Drew Coughlin, Zachary Cox, Jake Elmer, Riley Crane, Jake Leschyshyn, Trygve Many Guns, Sean Richards, Garrett Szeremley and Riley Woods. Defencemen Dawson Barteaux, Garrett Ewert, Austin Johnston, Tyler Pryhitka, Adam Sandstrom and Liam Schioler. Goaltenders Jordan Hollett and Ben Laidlaw.

This is an older group up front and there was some good skill on display. Jake Leschyshyn looks like he has put on weight and grown in height as well. He skated well and showed off his finish. Jordan Hollett was very impressive in goal in his first skate. Trygve Many Guns is one big dude and he moves very well considering his size.

Liam Schioler who is a bit of a surprise attendee after deciding not to come to camp last year. It is a welcome sight though for the 2nd round pick in 2013 to be back in Regina and he looked good in his first time out. He skates well, has a great shot. He says he noticed the changes in the organization in the last year and that's why he came back. "There are a lot of changes for the better I see. The organization seems to be on the up and up kind of thing so it's god to get here again and see the changes that have been made... The jumbo tron is awesome, it's a nice feature. Coach John, he's a great guy, he treats me well and he cares for me so that's a positive thing in terms of change... I am keeping all options open right now, I'm definitely considering this seriously. Whenever I'm here I feel great here so we will see where it goes."


The Pats 1st round pick in 2015, defenceman Dawson Barteaux was on the ice in the second session. He says it's been a great first day in Regina. "It felt really good, just love this team and it was just a great first skate... I feel like I have to really put on a show out there with some of the older guys so good, you have to give 110 per cent to keep up with these guys... I have a lot of pressure on me (being a 1st round pick) but I like the pressure so it's alright."

Riley Woods was listed by the Pats at last years training camp and had an unbelievable year with the Regina Pat Canadians winning the SMAAAHL and then a bronze medal at the Telus Cup. Woods told me he's put on 2 inches since last season and has gained some weight as well. He says it's good to be back. "I've been working out since the end of Telus and getting faster and stronger and I feel bigger out there than I did last year. Fitness testing went well and it transfer onto the ice... I hope I can make it, playing under John Paddock would be a great opportunity and I hope I can make it. I know what I need to do, work hard and stay focused but you know what last year is in the past and this is a new start."

Spring Camp continues Sunday morning at 10 AM at the Cooperators Arena with two more sessions.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Kelowna Rockets advance to Memorial Cup Final

Quebec City, QC - The Kelowna Rockets exploded against the host Quebec Remparts on Friday night in the MasterCard Memorial Cup Semi-Final with a 9-3 win to advance to Sunday’s Final.

 

Sunday’s appearance will mark the third time the Rockets have advanced to the MasterCard Memorial Cup Final. The Club was defeated by Windsor in the tournament finale in 2009 and won the Memorial Cup as hosts in 2004. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. ET on Sunday with the Final televised nationally on Sportsnet and TVA Sports. 

With a packed Pepsi Colisee cheering on the hosts, the Remparts struck first on a goal by Adam Erne just 3:11 in. Veteran acquisition Chance Braid leveled the score for Kelowna at the 9:51 mark and the two Clubs skated to a 1-1 draw after 20 minutes. 

 

The Rockets exploded in the second period after Edmonton Oilers prospect Leon Draisaitl found the back of the net 17 seconds in. Two goals by Justin Kirkland just 43 seconds apart and another by Josh Morrissey late gave the WHL Champions a commanding 5-1 lead after two periods of play. 

 

Anthony Duclair struck early in the third for Quebec, but the Rockets proved to be too much on the night as Kelowna skated to a 9-3 victory. 

 

Game Summary 

Game Highlights

 

Eight Rockets had multiple-point efforts on Friday, including Rourke Chartier who potted his first two goals of the tournament. Kirkland also broke out in a big way with a four-point (2g-2a) night en route to being named the game’s second star. With a goal and two assists, Draisaitl was named the game’s first star. Draisaitl also becomes the tournament’s leading scorer with seven points (4g-3a) through four games played. 

 
Jackson Whistle made 20 saves for the Rockets while Zach Fucale turned aside 35. The Rockets went 3/6 on the powerplay, while Quebec was 1/7 with the man advantage.

 

The 2015 MasterCard Memorial Cup is proudly supported by MasterCard, title sponsor of this event for 17 straight years.  Associate sponsors include BMO Bank of Montreal, SUBWAY, Cooper Tires, and autoTRADER.ca.   

 

For more information about the event please visit www.mastercardmemorialcup.ca, and follow the event on Twitter @TheWHL, @MCMemorialCup and @CHLHockey using #MCMemorialCup.  

 


Corey St. Laurent

Senior Manager, Communications

Western Hockey League


Tri-City Americans sign Regina native Carson Focht

KENNEWICK, WA – Tri-City Americans Governor/General Manager Bob Tory announced today that the team has signed 2015 First Round Bantam Draft pick Carson Focht to a standard WHL Players Agreement.

Focht was drafted seventh overall by the Americans in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft earlier this month. 

“Carson is a dynamic player who plays the game with tremendous intensity and skill,” stated Tory. “His work ethic is relentless.”

Focht, a 6’0, 152 pound forward, became the third straight forward taken by Tri-City in the first round after posting league-high numbers in his bantam year.  The Regina, SK native played this season with the Notre Dame Hounds of the South Saskatchewan Minor Hockey League, appearing in 38 games and led the league with 39 goals and 70 points.

"We are proud to have selected and signed Carson, and thank his family for choosing our program to help him pursue his future hockey development,” stated Tory.

"It's a very exciting day for me, signing with a great organization like Tri-City and getting one step closer to my goal of playing in the WHL,” Focht said. “I really can't wait to go to camp and meet all the guys.  Everybody's been so great welcoming me and I'm really looking forward to playing on the team in the future."

2015-2016 Season Tickets are now on sale!  Enjoy the best seats – and the best rates – in the Toyota Center!  And, ask about our brand new Complete Season Plan, featuring tickets to every home game, from pre-season to post-season, all for one low monthly payment!  Call (509) 736-0606, visit AmsHockey.com or drop by the Americans offices’ at the bottom level of the Toyota Center for more information.

Carson Focht StatsSeason             Team                                        GP       G          A          PTS      +/-        PIM
2014-15             Notre Dame Hounds (SSMHL)   38         39         31         70         N/A       66

Matt Baide
Marketing/Communications Coordinator
Tri-City Americans Hockey

Three Regina Pats invited to NHL Draft Combine


CALGARY, AB – Top prospects for the 2015 NHL Draft have been invited to the NHL Scouting Combine set for June 1-6 in Buffalo, New York. Of the 120 total invitees, 24 are WHL players. 

WHL Players Invited to Attend NHL Scouting Combine

Last Name
First Name
WHL Club
Pos
Height
Weight
BARZAL
Mathew
Seattle
C
5' 11.25"
175
BEAR
Ethan
Seattle
D
5' 11.0"
200
BITTNER
Paul
Portland
LW
6' 4.0"
204
CARLO
Brandon
Tri-City
D
6' 5.0"
196
DeBRUSK
Jake
Swift Current
LW
5' 11.75"
174
GABRIELLE
Jesse
Regina
LW
5' 10.75"
205
GAWDIN
Glenn
Swift Current
C
6' 0.5"
191
GROPP
Ryan
Seattle
LW
6' 2.0"
187
GUHLE
Brendan
Prince Albert
D
6' 1.75"
184
HARKINS
Jansen
Prince George
C
6' 1.25"
182
HILL
Adin
Portland
G
6' 3.5"
198
HOBBS
Connor
Regina
D
6' 0.5"
187
JUULSEN
Noah
Everett
D
6' 1.5"
174
KOLESAR
Keegan
Seattle
RW
6' 1.25"
217
MERKLEY
Nick
Kelowna
RW
5' 10.5"
191
MUSIL
Adam
Red Deer
C
6' 2.75"
202
NIELSEN
Andrew
Lethbridge
D
6' 3.0"
207
PILON
Ryan
Brandon
D
6' 2.0"
206
PROVOROV
Ivan
Brandon
D
6' 0.5"
201
REDDEKOPP
Chaz
Victoria
D
6' 3.25"
219
SIDEROFF
Deven
Kamloops
RW
5' 11.0"
171
SOY
Tyler
Victoria
C
5' 11.5"
172
WAGNER
Austin
Regina
LW
6' 1.0"
178
WOTHERSPOON
Parker
Tri-City
D
6' 0.25"
171


WHL Invitees 2014: 23
WHL Invitees 2013: 22
WHL Invitees 2012: 22

Each year, the Combine gives NHL amateur scouts and general managers an opportunity for 1-on-1 interviews with top prospects from across the globe. In addition, players’ fitness levels are tested through a series of exercises and medical exams are conducted. 

The 2015 NHL Draft is scheduled for June 26th and 27th in Sunrise, Florida. 


Corey St. Laurent
Senior Manager, Communications
Western Hockey League