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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Regina Pats 2015 Spring Camp Roster

Regina, Saskatchewan – The Regina Pats will hold their annual spring camp this weekend.  It runs from Friday, May 29 to Sunday, May 31 at the Cooperators Arena.
This year’s camp is the largest the Pats have held in recent years.  It features prospects with 2000, 1999 and 1998 birth years.  The camp is fans first chance to get a look at prospects from Regina’s 2015 draft class including Dawson Barteaux (1st Rd), Bryan Lockner (3rd Rd) and Tyler Pryhitka (3rd Rd).  Also on the ice will be nine undrafted list players, six of which take part in their first camp with the Pats.
Included in this year’s roster are five players who participated at the 2015 Telus Cup Midget AAA National Championship tournament: Riley Woods, Gary Haden, Kurtis Chapman, Zach Cox and Trygve Many Guns.  Also joining the 1998 born prospects at camp is 2013 2nd round pick (28th overall), defenceman Liam Schioler.
Following registration and orientation Friday evening, the prospects will be split into two teams which will take part in separate ice sessions running from 10:00 a.m. until 12:15 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.  All on-ice sessions are open to the public at the Cooperators Arena.
2015 Spring Camp Schedule
Team White On-Ice Session
Cooperators Arena
Team Blue On-Ice Session
Cooperators Arena
Team Blue On-Ice Session
Cooperators Arena
Team White On-Ice Session
Cooperators Arena

Players and coaches will be available to the media following each on-ice session.  Please inform a Pats media representative of your request during or at the conclusion of the session.  
Named for the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, the Western Hockey League’s Regina Pats are the oldest major junior hockey franchise in the world operating from its original location.  Since their founding in 1917, the Pats have won three Memorial Cup championships and compete in the WHL’s Eastern Division.  To learn more about the Pats, call 306-337-1535 or visit www.reginapats.com.

Daniel Fink
Director Media and Communications
Regina Pats Hockey Club

Braden Christoffer signs First Pro Contract

CONDORSTOWN, Calif. - The Bakersfield Condors, owned by the Edmonton Oilers, announced today that G Ty Rimmer, LW Braden Christoffer, and LW Connor Rankin have been signed to AHL contracts. They become the first three players signed to contracts by the AHL Condors.

RIMMER (stats) 6’1″, 180 lbs., 23 years old, Edmonton, Alberta
Entering his third professional season
Made 25 appearances in 2013-14 with the Condors (ECHL) going 8-11-3 with a 3.20 goals-against average (GAA) and an .889 save percentage

Earned his first ECHL shutout on January 2, 2015 against Stockton
Left the team in February for surgery and treatment after being diagnosed with testicular cancer. Made a full recovery and joined the Oklahoma City Barons at the end of the season for their playoff run.

In 2011-12, was named to the Western Hockey League (WHL) First All-Star Team and had the league’s best GAA (2.43) and save percentage (.922) with the Tri-City Americans

CHRISTOFFER (stats) 5’10’, 190 lbs., 20 years old, Sherwood Park, Alberta
Played three seasons in the WHL for the Regina Pats with 114 points (50g-64a) and 368 penalty minutes in 202 games

Finished third on the Pats in scoring in 2014-15 with 59 points (26g-33a)In 72 games
Second in the WHL in penalty minutes with 147 and led the Pats two consecutive seasons in the same category.

Led the Pats in 2012-13 with 130 PIMs in 61 games

RANKIN (stats) 6’0, 202 lbs., 20 years old, North Vancouver, British Columbia
Played five seasons in the WHL for Tri-City and most recently with the Calgary Hitmen, recording with 268 points (121g-147a) in 339 games

His best season came in 2014-15, finishing second on the Hitmen with 79 points (32g-47a) in 72 games

Third on the Americans in scoring (58pts) and second in goals (32) in 2012-13

Courtesy www.bakersfieldcondors.com

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The Regina Pats open 2015 Spring Training Camp on Saturday at the Co-operators Centre. The 2014 and 2015 draft classes will be attendance as well as a number of list players and even some 17-year-old's including Sam Steel. 

Senior VP of Hockey Operations and Head Coach John Paddock says he is looking forward to getting a look at all the young talent in the organization. "Very much so. There are a couple here that we didn't even see last year and other ones that were here last year that to some extent was really quick for especially just coming in at that time. I'm really excited to see our players from the month ago draft especially (Dawson) Barteaux and (Bryan) Lockner, two players we are really excited about." 

Paddock says they are inviting some of the 1998 born 17-year-old's for the camp. "Some of them that we don't know, or haven't seen before. Sean Richards is coming in, Trygve Many Guns is coming in, guys that we haven't seen play as coaches. Some other guys like Jared Freadrich that we just didn't get any sort of look at last year. It jut didn't work to look because the rookie camp was three days and they were gone. It's unusual, it won't happen again for kids that don't make it as 16-year-old's but still this is really important to get a good read on them."

The camp is a primer for training camp and allows the coaching staff to give some direction for the two months of training ahead of training camp in August. "That will be part of it. I think everybody from top to bottom in hockey emphasizes training and workouts but if we can give them a little bit more direction we will certainly do that. Whether it in playing the game or diet or whatever. We will have a little bit of testing. We will be able to tell when they come back if they put some time into it if there is a weakness in a certain area."

At the end of the day the weekend is a chance for players to see what the team and organization is all about. "It's certainly a big part of it on the recruitment side for them to see what we are about. We will give them lots of information on all the important stuff and that's not really the hockey, it's the school, it's how the organization is run from the ownership down, it's the city. We will have some former players there and a current player in Sam (Steel) getting a skate in just to get the ok (after his injury). It's really an information session more than anything."

Former captain Braden Christoffer will be in Regina helping out with the camp. He has signed an AHL contract with the Oklahoma City Barons who are headed to Bakersfield next year. Colby Williams and Carter Hansen will also be at the rink this weekend. 

The on ice sessions will be at 10 AM both Saturday and Sunday. 

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The Regina Red Sox open their 2015 WMBL season on Friday night at Currie Field against the Weyburn Beavers. Manager Scott Douglas says it's going to be good to have baseball back in Regina. "Well it's going to be good to get going. With camp stuff, even though it's just like a mini abbreviated camp, everybody wants to play. It's no different than any other sport, lets get out there and get this going so we can see what we've got. We know what we have to do, what kind of team we have so I am really excited."

The Red Sox won 30 games under Douglas in his first year in 2014 and went to the second round of the playoffs.

Douglas says he's not sure what to expect this year. "I'm a little more familiar with the league again. It had changed a little bit since my time in 06/07. I know what this team looks like on paper but until you meet the guys face to face and see how they go about their stuff every day, I really don't know either but we will find out soon enough." 

Douglas says he likes what he has seen so far from the guys that are already in Regina. "Whats really neat is you see the maturity of the returning guys. The area guys that have come back and it's totally different because they have played for me before. It changes everything and they are, I don't want to say comfortable but they know what to expect and that changes a lot. That's a good thing and can only mean positive things for all of us."

There are about 15 players who have yet to arrive for the season as of Tuesday night. General Manager Bernie Eiswirth says it was a good recruiting year for the club. "It went well, we have coach Douglas and Rob Cherepuschak doing all the recruiting and then they clear everything through me. It's a process, we start basically last September and then right through the season until as recently as this week. Guys back out at the last minute and then the next guy you get doesn't have a passport and those are the kinds of problems you have to deal with. We get through that, it's the same thing every year. It all works out in the end, we have our lineup and it's an ever evolving thing and things will change in the next few weeks too. We will probably get our roster set finally by July."

Come on out to Currie Field on Friday night for the home opener at 7 o'clock against Weyburn.

SLAP SHOTS

- I think we saw the best two teams at the Memorial Cup last night. The Kelowna Rockets lost 2-1 to the OHL champion Oshawa Generals. It was a heck of a hockey game and from what I've seen of the two QMJHL teams I think they are a little behind. Anything can happen of course in the single game playoffs. The Rockets are guaranteed at least a tie-breaker against Rimouski. But it the Oceanic lose to Quebec tonight then the Rockets would play the Ramparts in the semi-final. All that is decided is that Oshawa is into Sunday's final. 

- I can't wait for game 6 tonight in Chicago with the Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks. What an incredible series. I hope it goes seven games. Would be a shame if we didn't get to see two more games between those two great teams. I will say it again, the winner of this one will win the Cup. 

- The other series is going seven games as well after the New York Rangers won on the road in Tampa Bay last night. The Lightning I thought were the better team for two periods but Henrik Lundquist was so good and then the third period the Lightning fell apart. It's been a fun one to watch as well but not at the same level as Chicago and Anaheim. 

- Apparently I have been missing out on the NBA Playoffs. I would like to watch but there just isn't enough time in the evenings to get the hockey in and watch basketball. 

That's it from me today, have a good week!

Phil 
@PhilTheThrill18

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Kelowna Rockets fall to 1 and 2 at Memorial Cup

Quebec City, QC - The Kelowna Rockets were narrowly defeated by the OHL Champion Oshawa Generals on Tuesday night at the Pepsi Colisee as their 2015 MasterCard Memorial Cup round robin play concluded.

With the loss, the Rockets finish round robin play with a 1-2 record. With the win, the Generals secured a perfect 3-0 record and punched their ticket to the MasterCard Memorial Cup Final.

As expected, a tight-checking first period produced a scoreless draw after 20 minutes of play. The second period, however, saw Vancouver Canucks prospect Cole Cassels and import forward Tobias Lindberg give the Generals a 2-0 lead by the 17:16 mark. With Oshawa carrying a two-goal lead and the bulk of the play, Gage Quinney stemmed the tide for the Rockets with his tournament-leading fourth goal to make it a 2-1 Gens’ lead at the second intermission. 

Pushing for the equalizer, Kelowna received a golden opportunity with 3:33 remaining in regulation time when Oshawa received delay of game penalty that gave the Rockets a 5-on-3 advantage. Kelowna worked to earn multiple scoring chances which brought the Colisee crowd to its feet, but ultimately failed to convert. 


Unless the Rimouski Oceanic defeat the Quebec Remparts by a large enough margin (ex. minimum 8-0) on Wednesday, the Rockets’ next game will be on Friday night in the semi-final. Should Rimouski beat Quebec by a smaller margin (ex. 7-0 or less), a tie-breaker game between the Oceanic and Remparts would be played on Thursday. Should Quebec win on Wednesday, they would meet Kelowna in the semi-final on Friday night


Lindberg was named the game’s first star while Quinney received a second star nod. With an assist in the game, Oshawa’s Michael Dal Colle is now tied with Kelowna’s Nick Merkley for the tournament lead in scoring with five points.

Jackson Whistle made 27 saves for the Rockets while Ken Appleby needed to stop 20 for the win. The Rockets went 0/3 on the powerplay, while Oshawa didn’t earn a 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




Winterhawks trade Goaltender to Medicine Hat

The Portland Winterhawks have acquired a conditional sixth round pick in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft from the Medicine Hat Tigers in exchange for goaltender Evan Johnson.

Johnson was acquired by the Hawks in January from the Calgary Hitmen. He saw action in four games with Portland after the trade, compiling a record of 1-0-1-1 with a goals against average of 3.97 and .880 save percentage. 

“We’d like to thank Evan for his hard work and dedication during his time in Portland, and we wish him well as he continues his career in Medicine Hat,” said Portland Winterhawks General Manager & Head Coach Jamie Kompon.

Premier membership season tickets for the 2015-16 season are on sale now and start at only $42 per month and include playoffs. Visit winterhawks.com or call 503-236-HAWK to reserve the best seat locations.

Courtesy Graham Kendrick. Winterhawks PR

Kootenay Ice hire new head Coach

Cranbrook, BC --  Jeff Chynoweth, General Manager of the Kootenay ICE Hockey Club, today announced the Club has hired Luke Pierce as the seventh Head Coach in franchise history. Pierce, who has signed a three-year contract, replaces Ryan McGill who in April mutually agreed to part ways with the Club when his contract expires on June 30, 2015.

“Luke is one of the bright young coaches coming through the system. He has coached in Merritt which is very similar to Cranbrook in terms of his teams achieving on-ice success despite the obstacles faced as a small market team. In speaking with numerous hockey people throughout this process there was one common theme: his teams come to play and work hard every night, while most importantly getting better as the season progresses. Patience and teaching will definitely be needed as we turn over the majority of our roster and ice one of the youngest teams in the WHL this year,” continued Chynoweth.

“This is a great opportunity for my family and I. Kootenay has been one of the most successful WHL franchises for the past 17 years. I intend on keeping the strong culture and tradition going despite the expected roster turnover. Hard work gives you a chance to win and we definitely will be a team that competes each and every game,” commented Luke Pierce.

Luke Pierce has been the General Manager / Head Coach of the Merritt Centennials of the British Columbia Hockey League since November 2009. During his time behind the bench his teams posted a 168-111-21 regular season record and qualified for the playoffs all six years. Pierce was named the BCHL Interior Conference Coach of the Year in 2012-2013 and was an Assistant Coach for Team Canada West at the 2014 World Junior A Challenge. Luke attended the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario from 2004-2009. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with a Psychology Major and Business Minor. He also earned a Master’s Degree of Business Administration with a concentration in Strategic Management.

Luke Pierce is a 31-year-old native of Merritt, BC. He and his wife Amy are the parents of three boys – William (6), Bennett (3) and Austin (1).

Courtesy Chris Wall, Ice PR. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Rockets get first win at the Memorial Cup

Quebec City, QC - The Kelowna Rockets downed the QMJHL Champion Rimouski Oceanic by a 7-3 score on Monday night at the Pepsi Colisee to earn their first win of the 2015 MasterCard Memorial Cup. 

With the win, the Rockets are now guaranteed to move past the round robin portion of the tournament and will at least play a tie-breaker game. Now with a 1-1 record, Kelowna will play the 2-0 Oshawa Generals on Tuesday night.

Nick Merkley, Gage Quinney and Leon Draisaitl each scored two goals while 11 different Kelowna skaters recorded at least one point in the game. Merkley, Draisaitl and team captain Madison Bowey each had three points on the night and Merkley was named the game’s first star. With five points (3g-2a), Merkley also now leads the tournament in scoring.

Kelowna came out of the gates flying with goals from Merkley, Quinney and Bowey, but Rimouski fought back with a pair of goals to make it a 3-2 Rockets edge after 20 minutes. 

The second period was all Kelowna with goals from Merkley, Quinney and Draisaitl to make it a 6-2 game. The Oceanic replaced Louis-Philip Guindon with Philippe Desrosiers in net after the Rockets’ fifth goal. 

Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Frederik Gauthier potted a marker for the Oceanic, but a great individual effort from Draisaitl closed out the game’s scoring as the Rockets took a 7-3 victory at Le Colisee. 


Jackson Whistle made 28 saves for the Rockets while the Oceanic tandem faced 36 shots from Kelowna. The Rockets went 1/5 on the powerplay, while Rimouski finished 2/6 with the man advantage.

Kelowna returns to action on Tuesday night when they attempt to down the OHL Champion Oshawa Generals at 7:30pm EDT, live on Sportsnet.

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