Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday Puckpourri: Silvertips, WHL Playoffs, UAH and a guy named Calvin

                                            Everett Silvertips (Photo: Su Ring)

The Everett Silvertips are in Kelowna, BC for Games 3 and 4 of first round WHL playoff action. The 'Tips ride a 2-game lead into Kelowna, winning the first game 5-4 in overtime and the second game by a decisive 5-2 score over the Rockets. I wrote up the first two games for a story on the big KING 5 website. Click here and you can read the whole thing. I went to Game 2 Saturday night and sat with my friend Brynna in the nosebleed section (Section 217 to those of you familiar with the seating at the Cable Box). I think my favorite parts of the game (aside from the scoring) was watching play by play guy Jon Rosen lean out of the broadcast room each time the game got exciting. I was kind of worried that he'd actually topple over the ledge, but luckily, he kept his balance. Tonight's game starts at 7. The pre-game show starts at 6:35, I think, over on KRKO-AM (NorthSound 1380). Or, you can listen online at the Silvertips' website. Just click here. Or, you can watch the game live online, at the WHL's website. Just click here. (See how easy I make it for you to keep up?)

Other WHL teams in action tonight:

Tri City Americans v. Chilliwack Bruins:  7pm Pacific time. Tri City manhandled Chilliwack in Games 1 and 2. The Ams won Game 2 by a score of 8-1. 8-1! Brendan Shinnimin had a hat trick in that game. Todd Kennedy had 2. Eric Mestery and Jordan Messier also added to the Ams blowout. Justin Feser had 3 assists. Can we call that a "hat trick" of assists? Why not! Young goalie Drew Owlsey had a shootout going. Well, technically, he kind of still has a shootout in this game, as Chilliwack scored on Alexander Pechurskiy late in the 3rd. I know, it doesn't count on the scoresheet. So what.

Calgary Hitmen v. Kamloops Blazers: 7pm Mountain time (please don't make me break it down by time zone). Calgary's actually down 2 games to 1, which is surprising to most and shocking to some. But don't count the Hitmen out. They're not one of the league's top teams for nothing.

Brandon Wheat Kings v. Swift Current Broncos: 7pm Mountain time. Brandon won the first two games at home. Matt Calvert scored two goals for the Wheat Kings and assisted on 2 other goals in Game 1. A guy named Schenn (Brayden) also scored for Brandon in Game 1. Schenn also scored in Game 2, along with 4 other guys. Swift Current scored 2 in the first game and 3 in the second, so don't count them out either, especially in front of  a home crowd.

Vancouver Giants v. Kamloops Blazers: 7pm Pacific time. One useful thing I learned from the "Today" show during the Olympics is that crooner Michael Buble is one of the Giants' owners. I may be the only hockey fan on the PLANET who didn't know that, but I'm not ashamed to admit that I did not know, until he and Matt Lauer suited up and fired some shots during one contrived segment. I think I like Buble a little more, knowing that he's a hockey fan. Anyway... Vancouver won Games 1 and 2 before a home crowd. (Game 1 went to OT). Now, they're in Kamloops, hoping to keep their winning ways going. Craig Cunningham factored majorly for Vancouver in both games. We'll see if he continues his scoring streak. Meanwhile, here's that segment featuring Michael Buble, Matt Lauer, and a few Giants:

Kootenay Ice v. Medicine Hat Tigers: 7pm Mountain time. Kootenay won the first two games at home. (Am I sensing a trend here?). Now, they have to show they can do it on the road, blah blah blah, just like I wrote for every team above. I just checked out the sheet for Game 2 and noticed 21 PENALTIES, including 3 10-minute misconducts. Do these teams not like each other or what? I also noticed several "checking from behinds" and 2 "unsportsmanlike conduct" calls. Hmm... these two teams might be worth going to see in person, if you're anywhere near Kootenay or Medicine Hat. I'm not, but I might be willing to pay for the live streaming video on the WHL's website. Once again, if you're interested in any of these games, you can follow the score tracker or watch online at the WHL's website. Just click here. If you'd rather watch or listen via a specific team's website, go to the WHL's site anyway-- you can click on any team logo to visit their site.

The other WHL US Division match-up I'm following pits the Portland Winterhawks against the Spokane Chiefs. The Chiefs won the first two games - IN PORTLAND - and drop the puck tomorrow night at home for Game 3. Kyle Beach scored twice in Game 1, including the game winner late in the 3rd period. He didn't score in Game 2, but went to the box several times. It's worth it to watch the streaming video just to see what he'll do next.

UAH: An undeserved honor?

                                CHA Champs! (Photo: UAH Chargers)

Several blogs have taken aim at my would-be alma mater, the University of Alabama Huntsville (I say "would-be" alma mater because I did not graduate).  Late last week, an article appeared in Puck Daddy's column suggesting that UAH didn't deserve to be in the NCAA tournament. You can read it for yourself by clicking here.  Today, our friends at From the Rink took a slightly different view of UAH's CHA championship and seeding in the NCAA tourney. Click here to read that story. For those of you interested in watching the Chargers, they play Saturday at 1pm Pacific (figure out the other time zones for yourself) on ESPNU.  They'll take on Miami (OH), a CCHA team. I know people who have kids at Miami, but I hope that UAH just crushes them, and gives the CCHA a face wash while doing it. Sorry, I'm still choked about all the stupid happenings from last August. Want to follow the team? The best way to do it is to support the group SAVE UAH Hockey. Click here to visit their wonderful site!

CONGRATULATIONS go out to Seattle Thunderbirds Head Coach Rob Sumner, who's been selected as an Assistant Coach for Team Canada's Under-18 team heading overseas to compete next month. I wrote something up about this for the KING 5 site. Click here to read it. Good Luck, Coach!

And last, but certainly not least! 

                                                 Calvin Pickard (Photo: Mick White/Kent Valley Sports)

CONGRATULATIONS go out to T-Birds goalie Calvin Pickard for being named the Western Conference finalist for the WHL Goaltender of the Year award. (His brother Chet is a past winner of this very same award). Calvin's also been named a Western Conference First Team All Star. His teammate, the very talented Prab Rai (a Vancouver Canucks prospect), has been named a Second Team All Star.  Calvin is currently the top ranked goalie by NHL Central Scouting for the 2010 NHL Draft. I wrote a nice story about Calvin, his brother Chet and their dad Bill a few months back. Since there may be some of you who have not read this story yet, I've linked it again. Just click here. I'm quite proud of it-- and thank the Pickard family again for such candid interviews and cute pix of their boys as budding young hockey stars.

I guess that's it for now. As always, I welcome your feedback. Happy Tuesday!

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