- On Monday, the Hamilton Pistols demoted RW Michael Jennings to their farm team in Oshawa, and called up D Russ Klemmer from Oshawa. This move reverses a transaction made at the end of last week, when the Pistols called up Jennings to fill a spot opened up by Claude Lafayette‘s injury. The return move proved necessary when Oshawa LW Troy Blackwood got hurt, leaving the Drive short a forward. Jennings’ second stint of the season in Hamilton lasted a grand total of one game; he failed to record a point.
- On Wednesday, the New York Night activated RW Ivan “Trainwreck” Trujwirnek from the injured list. Trujwirnek was out for the last two and a half weeks with an upper body injury. His absence was a major blow to the Night’s depth, as he was a key contributor on their second line. Recently acquired Nori Takoyaki had filled in on the second line during Trujwirnek’s absence. To make room for Trujwirnek on the roster, the Night sent RW Sylvester Catarino to their farm team in Utah. The 22-year-old Catarino, a New York native, was a fan favorite, but struggled to put up the numbers to keep himself in the lineup. In 34 games with New York this season, Catarino registered 7 points (4 goals, 3 assists) and a +4 rating.
- On Friday, the Pistols activated G Lasse Koskinen from the injured list. It’s not a moment too soon for Hamilton, which has been treading water in the absence of their starting netminder. The 22-year-old Koskinen posted a 17-10-2 record with a 2.30 GAA and a .922 save percentage prior to his injury. With Koskinen returning, the Pistols returned G Hector Orinoco to Oshawa. The 23-year-old Orinoco went 2-0-0 with a 2.00 GAA and an .878 save percentage during his stint with Hamilton.
- On Saturday, the Kansas City Smoke demoted RW Adriaen van der Veen to their CHL affiliate in Omaha, and promoted RW Andrew “Lucky” Fortuno from Omaha. This transaction reversed a move the Smoke made right after the All-Star break, when they sent Fortuno down and called van der Veen up. In 18 games with Kansas City, van der Veen put up only 3 points (2 goals, 1 assists) while recording a -14 rating. Fortuno started the season with the Smoke, and was demoted after recording 7 points (4 goals, 3 assists) in 24 games.
- On Monday, the Quebec Tigres activated D Ward Jones from the disabled list. Jones had missed more than a month with an upper-body that he suffered before the All-Star break. To make room for Jones on the active roster, the Tigres reassigned D Serge Rimbaud to their farm team in Maine. The 18-year-old Rimbaud appeared in 13 games with Quebec, recording 8 assists and a +1 rating.
- Also on Monday, the Hamilton Pistols placed goaltender Lasse Koskinen on the disabled list. Koskinen suffered an upper-body injury during Sunday’s 7-4 win over New York. He is expected to miss 2 to 3 weeks, a serious blow for a Pistols team that is trying to snatch a playoff spot in the East. To replace Koskinen, the Pistols called up Hector Orinoco from their affiliate in Oshawa. The 23-year-old Orinoco has gone 13-11-0 with a 2.69 GAA and a .902 save percentage with Oshawa this season.
- On Tuesday, the Tigres placed LW Stellan Fisker on the disabled list. Fisker suffered an upper-body injury during the Tigres’ 3-0 win over Hershey. He is expected to miss 3 to 4 weeks. To replace Fisker on the roster, the Tigres called up LW Carl Bleyer from their farm team in Maine. Bleyer has put up 26 points (8 goals, 18 assists) with the Moose on the year.
- Wednesday was the trading deadline. The following trades were consummated at the deadline:
- The New York Night traded RW Mickey Simpson, D Andy Ruger, and a 3rd-round draft pick to the Washington Galaxy for RW Nori Takoyaki. (More details here.) After making the trade, the Night promoted D Craig Werner from their farm team in Utah and signed D Sheldon Harville to a minor-league contract.
- The Galaxy traded Ruger to the Kansas City Smoke in exchange for a 3rd-round pick.
- The Michigan Gray Wolves traded RW Cleo Rodgers, G Gus Parrish, and a 2nd-round pick to the Smoke in exchange for LW Kevin Starkey and D Scott Hexton. (More details here.) After the trade, Kansas City called up Parrish and LW Veikko Sikanen from their CHL affiliate in Omaha, and demoted G Jim Fleetwood to Omaha. They also released G Toby Kemper. Meanwhile, Michigan released D Igor Shovshenkov, demoted F Yann Eberlein to their affiliate in Cleveland, and signed Kemper to a minor-league deal.
- The Saskatchewan Shockers traded C Tanner Brooks to the Dakota Jackalopes in exchange for D Rusty Anderson. (More details here.) After the trade, the Shockers demoted D Valeri Nistrumov to their farm team in Virginia. They also released D Knute Skoeglin and signed F Marvin Cascio to a minor-league deal.
- The Hamilton Pistols traded C Pat Collistone, D Buster Kratz, and a 1st-round pick to the Galaxy in exchange for C Eddie Costello. (More details here.) After the trade, the Pistols called up D Russ Klemmer from their CHL affiliate in Oshawa, and demoted RW Michael Jennings to Oshawa. They also signed D Gresham Sourwine to a minor-league contract. The Galaxy demoted Kratz to their affiliate in Baltimore and promoted C Tucker Barnhill from Baltimore. They also released D Sheldon Harville.
- The Quebec Tigres traded D Kirby Hanlon, C Jacob Cunniff, and a 1st-round pick to the Jackalopes in exchange for D Matt Cherner. (More details here.) After the trade, Dakota released RW Omar Zdurchek; Quebec then signed him to a minor-league deal.
- Finally, the Seattle Sailors traded D Serkan Mratic to the Galaxy for D Stan Gallagher. (More details here.)
- On Saturday, the Jackalopes activated D Rodney Black from the injured list. Black, who was sidelined in only his second SHL game, missed two and a half weeks with an upper-body injury. Since Dakota was one player short of the roster limit, they did not make a corresponding move.
- Also on Saturday, the Hershey Bliss placed LW Lance Sweet on long-term injured reserve. Sweet was carried off the ice on a stretcher after being crunched into the boards late in the second period during Saturday’s 6-3 win over Saskatchewan. Sweet underwent surgery on his right leg, and is expected to be out for the rest of the season. To fill Sweet’s roster spot, Hershey called up D Seth Dowd from their CHL affiliate in Milwaukee. The 33-year-old Dowd, who last played in the SHL in 2016, recorded 27 points with Milwaukee this season.
Fans who showed up at Oshawa’s General Motors Arena on Sunday for a CHL interdivision clash between the Oshawa Drive and the Idaho Spuds probably weren’t expecting anything noteworthy. The Drive and Spuds have no rivalry to speak of, and on paper, the matchup between Western-division-leading Idaho (14-7-3 coming into the game) and third-place Oshawa (9-12-3 coming in) seemed like mismatch.
Surprisingly, the fans were treated to a thrilling contest, highlighted by a crazy third period in which the home town built a three-goal lead, lost it, and had to head to overtime before finally claiming a 4-3 win.
“That game was just plain bat-[guano] insane,” said Oshawa coach Harvey Williams. “No other way to put it.’”
Going into the third, it looked like things were going to end well for the home team, despite being outplayed. Although Idaho outshot Oshawa 23-14 through two, Drive goalie Hector Orinoco was in top form, turning aside every shot and staking his team to a 2-0 lead.
When LW Troy Blackwood went top-shelf on Spuds goalie Guy Laroche to put Oshawa up 3-0 a mere 96 seconds into the third, the crowd was ready to start celebrating its victory. They began chanting “Start the bus! Start the bus!” at the dejected Idaho bench.
Spuds coach Gilbert McCoyne saw the crowd’s taunting chant as an opportunity. “You hear that? Hear it?” McCoyne barked at his players. “The folks up in the stands seem to think the game’s over already. Are you gonna let ‘em get away with that?”
“Hell no!” responded Spuds F Trace Walker. “Time for us to turn the bus around!” His teammates thumped their sticks on the ground in approval.
Just over three minutes later, Walker found D Gray Torian with a laser-beam pass in the slot. Torian tipped the puck past Orinoco’s catching glove to break the shutout.
Unfortunately for the Spuds, they struggled to generate another goal as the minutes ticked off the clock. With just under six minutes to go and the Drive still up 3-1, the fans began the “Start the bus!” chant again.
“They’re really trying that again?” hollered Walker. “Time to really make ‘em pay.”
A few seconds later, Walker ripped a shot over Orinoco’s left shoulder to make it 3-2. Walker skated around with his hand cupped over his ear, but the crowd had fallen quiet.
Just over a minute later, Drive C Albert North tried to draw a penalty, snapping his head back as though Torian had hit him with a high stick. But eagle-eyed referee Alan Cole wasn’t fooled, and he sent North to the box for embellishment. Oshawa managed to kill off the penalty, barely, but were unable to get the puck out of their own end. Idaho kept up the pressure after the penalty expired, as the exhausted Drive desperately tried to hold off the vistors.
Finally, with 15 seconds left, the puck got lost in a scrum in front of the Oshawa net. It seemed to bounce off a forest of sticks and bodies before winding up on the blade of Spuds D Rodney Black, who jammed it home to tie the game and stun the crowd.
Orinoco slumped on the ice and several Oshawa players slammed down their sticks and looked at the ceiling in frustration. Williams argued vigorously for a goaltender interference call, to no avail.
The Spuds turned the heckling back on the fans, chanting “Stop the bus! Stop the bus!” before launching into a round of the nursery rhyme “The Wheels on the Bus” as the fans sat in disconsolate silence.
“I was really proud of the way the boys didn’t give up when it looked bad,” said McCoyne. “Especially on a long road trip like this, it can be hard to find the energy. But they found it – thanks to the fans. Appreciate it!”
At the end of regulation, the Drive filed quietly into their locker room, unsure what had happened. “It’s like [the Spuds] drove the bus right over us,” said C Pat Collistone.
But with a pep talk from Williams and a crucial opportunity to catch their breath, Oshawa pulled themselves together, and D Elvis Bodett banged home the winning goal 24 seconds into overtime.
“I don’t know if they were trying to give me another heart attack or what,” quipped Williams, who only recently returned to the bench after collapsing on the bench due to cardiac trouble. “I told ‘em after the game, ‘Don’t do that to an old fart with a bad ticker like me!’”
The SHL’s minor league, the Continental Hockey League, held its first All-Star Game this week at Waterfront Center, home of the Virginia Rhinos. The sell-out crowd in attendance was treated to a win for the home team, as the East built a big lead, then survived a late rally from the West to pull out a 6-4 victory.
“Nothing better than getting a big W in front of my home crowd!” said Rhinos coach Jeffrey Marsh, who was in charge of the Eastern squad. “It almost makes up for losing in the Finals last year. Almost.”
In addition to enjoying a fun and thrilling game, each fan in attendance received a special gift from the home team: a “superhero plush rhino” with Virginia’s logo on it (pictured). The giveaway proved to be a big hit; examples were selling on eBay for as much as $50 after the games. Marsh conducted his postgame press conference with one of the stuffed rhinos in his pocket. “Adorable little fellow, isn’t he?” said the coach. “Honestly, the only reason I agreed to coach this game was because they promised to give me one of these guys.” Marsh then proceeded to make the rhino soar in circles over his head.
Much like Marsh’s rhino, the game got off to a flying start. It took only 20 seconds for Rhinos D Rennie Cox to get the East on the board, banging a shot off the crossbar behind Colorado Springs Zoomies goalie Sonny Kashiuk. 19 seconds later, Zoomies C Dale Wilcox put one in from a severe angle to tie the game.
After the early scores, the teams settled in for a while. But 5:41 into the game, Oshawa Drive RW Anders Pedersen tapped one in past Kashiukv to put the East back in front for good. Baltimore Blue Crabs LW Rex Batten scored with five minutes left in the period to make it a 3-1 game.
The game threatened to turn into a rout, as the East scored twice more in the second period. By the time Pedersen scored again on a power-play tally 1:14 into the third, the score stood at 6-1.
But the West made a game of it later on. Minnesota Freeze D Brian Coldivar got the rally started with a hard slapper three minutes into the period. A couple minutes later, the West got another score on a crazy shot that deflected multiple times before sneaking past Drive goalie Hector Orinoco. Milwaukee Hogs C Vance Ketterman was credited with the goal. When Hogs RW James Clay cashed in on a power play with 7:37 left in the game, it drew the West within two and caused the crowd to stir uncomfortably. But Orinoco shut things down the rest of the way, and the East held on for the victory.
Pedersen, with his pair of goals, was recognized as the game’s MVP. In addition to the award, Pedersen received a Chris-Craft boat. “I have never had my own boat before,” Pedersen said. “Maybe now I will have to start fishing or something. What do you do in a boat?”
AllStarGame, West All-Stars @ East All-Stars, Waterfront Center 1 2 3 OT F West All-Stars 1 0 3 4 East All-Stars 3 2 1 6 West All-Stars G A PTS PIM +/- East All-Stars G A PTS PIM +/- Garcia LW 0 1 1 0 0 Young LW 0 0 0 0 0 Cargill D 0 1 1 0 -1 Hermine D 0 2 2 0 1 Wilcox C 1 0 1 0 0 Collistone C 0 0 0 0 0 Ochre D 0 1 1 2 -1 Cox D 1 0 1 2 1 Durien RW 0 0 0 0 0 Pedersen RW 2 0 2 0 0 Sikanen LW 0 0 0 0 1 Laronov LW 0 0 0 0 -1 Kerasov D 0 1 1 0 1 Blacklett D 0 0 0 0 -1 Everest C 0 0 0 0 1 Perignon C 0 0 0 0 -1 Coldivar D 1 0 1 0 1 Melicar D 0 0 0 0 -1 Clay RW 1 1 2 0 1 Quake RW 0 0 0 0 -1 Fleury LW 0 0 0 0 -3 Batten LW 1 1 2 2 3 Lockwood D 0 1 1 0 -2 Hanlon D 1 2 3 0 2 Ketterman C 1 1 2 0 -3 Cage C 1 1 2 0 3 DeShantz D 0 1 1 2 -2 Olsson D 0 1 1 0 2 Winters RW 0 0 0 0 -3 Delorme RW 0 3 3 0 3 ---------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------- TOTALS 4 8 12 4 -2 TOTALS 6 10 16 4 2 Scratches: WAS: EAS: West All-Stars SH SV G Sv% ---------------------------------------- Kashiuk 37 32 5 0.865 Ke. White 18 17 1 0.944 East All-Stars SH SV G Sv% ---------------------------------------- Crane 19 18 1 0.947 Orinoco 14 11 3 0.786 First Period ------------ GOALS: 00:20 EAS Cox (Cage, Hermine) 00:39 WAS Wilcox (DeShantz, Garcia) 05:41 EAS Pedersen (Hanlon, Olsson) 15:09 EAS Batten (Delorme) PENALTIES: 06:27 WAS Ochre 2:00 (Elbowing) Second Period ------------- GOALS: 07:47 EAS Hanlon (Delorme, Batten) 08:06 EAS Cage (Delorme, Hanlon) PENALTIES: 15:07 EAS Cox 2:00 (Elbowing) Third Period ------------ GOALS: 01:14 EAS Pedersen PP (Hermine) 03:02 WAS Coldivar (Clay, Kerasov) 04:56 WAS Ketterman (Ochre, Cargill) 12:23 WAS Clay PP (Ketterman, Lockwood) PENALTIES: 00:51 WAS DeShantz 2:00 (Slashing) 12:12 EAS Batten 2:00 (Clipping) SHOTS ------ 1 2 3 OT F West All-Stars 10 9 14 33 East All-Stars 19 18 18 55 POWER PLAYS ----------- West All-Stars 1 for 2 East All-Stars 1 for 2 INJURIES -------- None
This year, the SHL’s minor league will also be holding an All-Star Game. The game will take place at Waterfront Center, home of the Virginia Rhinos. The rosters for the game, along with each player’s current stats, are below.
Coach: Jeffrey “Swampy” Marsh (Virginia)
LW: Norris “Beaver” Young, Oshawa (15 G, 27 A, 42 Pts, 10 PIM, +19)
D: Gary Hermine, Oshawa (11 G, 28 A, 39 Pts, 16 PIM, +20)
C: Pat “Stoner” Collistone, Oshawa (17 G, 26 A, 43 Pts, 8 PIM, +19)
D: Rennie Cox, Virginia (15 G, 20 A, 35 Pts, 4 PIM, +7)
RW: Anders Pedersen, Oshawa (12 G, 25 A, 37 Pts, 23 PIM, +19)
LW: Yuri Laronov, Virginia (17 G, 19 A, 36 Pts, 16 PIM, -2)
D: Blake Blacklett, Virginia (14 G, 19 A, 33 Pts, 26 PIM, +7)
C: Cyril Perignon, Virginia (17 G, 24 A, 41 Pts, 0 PIM, +2)
D: Ambroz Melicar, Baltimore (12 G, 21 A, 33 Pts, 8 PIM, +3)
RW: Chris Quake, Virginia (6 G, 24 A, 30 Pts, 20 PIM, -2)
LW: Rex Batten, Baltimore (11 G, 21 A, 32 Pts, 31 PIM, Even)
D: Kirby Hanlon, Maine (6 G, 12 A, 18 Pts, 20 PIM, +1)
C: Phoenix Cage, Cleveland (7 G, 17 A, 24 Pts, 6 PIM, -9)
D: Hampus Olsson, Maine (6 G, 8 A, 14 Pts, 6 PIM, +1)
RW: Felix Delorme, Hartford (11 G, 12 A, 23 Pts, 6 PIM, -12)
Jonathan Crane, Maine (10-8-3, 2.06 GAA, .917 save %)
Hector Orinoco, Oshawa (15-6-0, 2.75 GAA, .896 save %)
Coach: Wiley Kiyotie (Utah)
LW: Diego Garcia, Utah (8 G, 23 A, 31 Pts, 10 PIM, -1)
D: Steve Cargill, Milwaukee (7 G, 23 A, 30 Pts, 48 PIM, +8)
C: Dale Wilcox, Colorado Springs (12 G, 19 A, 31 Pts, 29 PIM, +13)
D: Georg Ochre, Muncie (5 G, 21 A, 26 Pts, 49 PIM, +12)
RW: Philippe Durien, Colorado Springs (24 G, 22 A, 46 Pts, 22 PIM, +13)
LW: Veikko Sikanen, Omaha (15 G, 15 A, 30 Pts, 23 PIM, +5)
D: Brian Coldivar, Minnesota (12 G, 14 A, 26 Pts, 18 PIM, +6)
C: Tanner Everest, Minnesota (7 G, 24 A, 31 Pts, 18 PIM, +7)
D: Rudolf Kerasov, Minnesota (8 G, 17 A, 25 Pts, 22 PIM, +6)
RW: James Clay, Milwaukee (8 G, 22 A, 30 Pts, 16 PIM, +3)
LW: Jean Pierre Fleury, Minnesota (14 G, 11 A, 25 Pts, 14 PIM, +8)
D: Trevor Lockwood, Omaha (7G, 17 A, 24 Pts, 53 PIM, -1)
C: Vance Ketterman, Milwaukee (11 G, 15 A, 26 Pts, 12 PIM, +3)
D: Duncan DeShantz, Colorado Springs (4 G, 18 A, 22 Pts, 45 PIM, +17)
RW: Mark Winters, Minnesota (7 G, 20 A, 27 Pts, 24 PIM, +7)
Sonny Kashiuk, Colorado Springs (20-3-1, 1.57 GAA, .943 save %)
Kelvin White, Muncie (12-10-0, 1.85 GAA, .937 save %)
The following trades took place in the offseason before Season 3:
The Quebec Tigres made a huge deal at the top of the draft after their planned choice went awry. The Tigres had planned to take scoring winger Rod “Money” Argent with the #2 pick, addressing their major shortcomings on offense. But after the Seattle Sailors surprisingly drafted Argent with the first pick, Quebec found themselves with no obvious choice. So they traded down, dealing the #2 pick to the Hamilton Pistols in exchange for the #5 pick, a second-round pick, and D Dmitri Kalashnikov. Hamilton sought the #2 pick in order to grab G Lasse Koskinen, who immediately became the team’s top netminder. While Quebec did not wind up with an impact player of Argent’s caliber, they traded quality for quantity. With the #5 pick, they plucked RW Rupert MacDiarmid, who put up 15 goals and 39 points in juniors last year. In Kalashnikov, the Tigres added an elite and ferocious defender, whose 109 penalty minutes were the second-most in the SHL last season. The Tigres used the second-round selection to nab D Hal Pugliese, who took Penn Tech to the NCAA tournament three times in his collegiate career.
The Dakota Jackalopes also dealt a first-round pick, sending the #6 selection to the New York Night along with C Phil Miller in exchange for C Mike Rivera. The trade represents a bold gamble for both teams. For Dakota, adding Rivera augments their high-flying offense, as the Jackalopes attempt to catch up with their division rivals in Michigan and Anchorage. Last season, Rivera banged home 23 goals and collected 39 points with New York. He is expected to anchor Dakota’s second line this year. For New York, the trade reflects new coach Nick Foster’s desire to build a more balanced club. Although Rivera was a strong contributor on offense, he is widely considered a defensive liability. Miller, who put up 18 goals and 30 points between Saskatchewan and Dakota in ’16, is regarded as more of a two-way player. With the sixth pick, the Night grabbed goaltending prospect Sherman Carter, who recorded a 2.27 GAA and a .930 save percentage in juniors last season. In addition to drafting Carter, New York signed the top free-agent netminder, Jesse Clarkson, to complete an overhaul of one of their weakest positions.
After the draft, the Night made a pair of deals aimed at improving their third line. First, they swapped G Oliver Richardson to the Saskatchewan Shockers for the rights to G Hector Orinoco, then sent Orinoco’s rights along with F Dill Howlter to Hamilton for winger Andrei Volodin. Richardson, who posted a 6-10-0 mark with a 4.37 GAA for New York last season, became expendable after the Night drafted Carter and signed Clarkson. He represents an upgrade for the Shockers, who have struggled to find a solid backup for Zeke Zagurski since the league’s inception. Orinoco played last season in the German league, where he record a 17-11-2 record with a 3.06 GAA. He will likely spend the season in the minors for Hamilton, barring an injury. The 25-year-old Volodin should bring a little extra scoring punch to New York’s third line. He scored 18 goals and 34 points for Hamilton in the 2016 season. The 20-year-old Howlter failed to record a point in 9 games for New York last season.
The Washington Galaxy sent longtime backup goalie Gus Parrish to the Seattle Sailors in exchange for F Yann Eberlein. The deal was a bit disappointing for the fans, as Parrish was a beloved figure in Washington, adored for his boyish enthusiasm and flair for colorful quotes. Last season, Parrish went 7-6-0 with a 3.21 GAA as the Galaxy defended their Eastern Division title. But after Washington signed free agent Ron Mason in the offseason, Parrish found himself without a job. Eberlein struggled in limited action with the Sailors last year, recording 2 goals and 7 points in 34 games. Washington hopes that the 25-year-old Swiss forward can provide a solid presence off the bench. The Galaxy suffered from poor third-line and bench production last season, as rookies Henry Van Alpin, Barry Sullivan, and Oliver Wallington all turned in disappointing campaigns.
The Jackalopes and the Hershey Bliss made a minor deal just before the start of the season, swapping bottom-pairing defensemen. Dakota sent Pierre Chappelle to Hershey in exchange for Scott Hexton. The Jackalopes were looking to strengthen their blueline corps a bit, and Hexton (3 goals, 12 points last season) grades out as an above-average defender. On the other hand, the Bliss were looking to enhance their offensive production beyond their loaded top line. Chappelle (5 goals, 20 points last year) provides an upgraded scoring threat relative to Hexton. The 28-year-old Montreal native is on his third team in as many seasons; Dakota picked him up from Hamilton during last offseason.