- 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.
- On the Saturday of the All-Star Break, the Boston Badgers traded LW Cary Estabrook to the Hamilton Pistols for F Norris “Beaver” Young. Read more about the trade here.
- Prior to the beginning of play this week, the Dakota Jackalopes demoted D Victor Addison to their CHL affiliate in Idaho and called up D Rodney Black from Idaho to replace him. Addison was a lightly-used reserve in Dakota this season; he appeared in only 7 games, recording no points and a -4 rating. Recently, he had been passed on the depth chart by Geoff Moultrie. Black, meanwhile, was one of the CHL’s top blueliners, putting up 29 points (19 goals, 10 assists) in the first half and earning a berth in the All-Star Game.
- Also prior to the start of play, the Kansas City Smoke demoted C Edz Zalmanis and RW Andrew “Lucky” Fortuno to their CHL affiliate in Omaha, while calling up C Owen Griffin and RW Adriaen van der Veen from Omaha. Kansas City’s offense was lackluster in the first half; they averaged only 24.3 shots per game, second-worst in the league, and they are dead last in plus-minus at -30. The 23-year-old Zalmanis, who signed a 5-year, $3.5 million free agent contract in the offseason, put up only 4 assists and a -9 rating in 23 games. Fortuno did a bit better, with 7 points (4 goals, 3 assists) and a -6 plus-minus in 24 games. The 21-year-old van der Veen was a CHL All-Star and one of leading scorers, with 39 points (16 goals, 23 assists). Griffin, 22, was leading the CHL in plus-minus at +24; he notched 30 points (5 goals, 25 assists) in the first half.
- On Wednesday, the Jackalopes placed Black on the 10-game disabled list. Black got off to a strong start with Dakota after being called up, with a goal and an assist in 2 games, but he exited in the third period of Tuesday’s 3-0 loss to Kansas City with an upper-body injury that’s expected to keep him out for 2 to 3 weeks. Since the Jackalopes had 8 defensemen on their roster already, they chose not to call anyone up at this time.
- On Friday, the Badgers activated G Roger Orion from the disabled list, after he’d missed three and a half weeks with a lower-body injury. With Orion activated, Boston returned Jonas Schemko to their minor-league affiliate in Hartford. Schemko looked good in his brief stint with the Badgers, going 1-1-1 with a 2.27 GAA and a .924 save percentage.
- On Saturday, the Washington Galaxy placed LW Charlie Brooks on the disabled list. Brooks suffered a lower-body injury in Saturday’s 6-0 rout of Boston. To replace Brooks on the roster, the Galaxy promoted LW Alan Youngman from their farm team in Baltimore. Youngman is one of the CHL’s top scorers, notching 44 points (20 goals, 24 assists) so far on the season.
The day after the SHL’s All-Star Game, their minor league will be holding its second annual All-Star contest. The game will take place at Wasatch Arena, home of the Utah Owls. The rosters for the game, along with each player’s current stats, are below.
Coach: Patrick Chillingham (Minnesota)
LW: Veikko Sikanen, Omaha (16 G, 19 A, 35 Pts, 42 PIM, +16)
D: Rodney Black, Idaho (19 G, 10 A, 29 Pts, 10 PIM, +6)
C: Dale Wilcox, Idaho (13 G, 25 A, 38 Pts, 16 PIM, +16)
D: Brady Prussian, Idaho (15 G, 13 A, 28 Pts, 16 PIM, +6)
RW: Adriaen van der Veen, Omaha (16 G, 23 A, 39 Pts, 6 PIM, +16)
LW: Terry Cresson, Idaho (11 G, 22 A, 33 Pts, 16 PIM, +16)
D: Laszlo Cierny, Minnesota (6 G, 19 A, 25 Pts, 46 PIM, +2)
C: Foster Culp, Colorado Springs (16 G, 16 A, 32 Pts, 12 PIM, Even)
D: Lowell Sharkey, Omaha (4 G, 19 A, 23 Pts, 12 PIM, +8)
RW: Harris Wondolowski, Utah (15 G, 24 A, 39 Pts, 18 PIM, +2)
LW: Gabriel Swindonburg, Milwaukee (19 G, 10 A, 29 Pts, 34 PIM, -4)
D: Trevor Lockwood, Omaha (12G, 14 A, 26 Pts, 29 PIM, +11)
C: Lloyd “Goofy” Banjax, Utah (13 G, 19 A, 32 Pts, 10 PIM, -6)
D: Craig Werner, Utah (7 G, 17 A, 24 Pts, 12 PIM, +2)
RW: Joel Hagendosh, Colorado Springs (13 G, 20 A, 33 Pts, 63 PIM, -13)
Hobie Sanford, Milwaukee (7-8-3, 2.02 GAA, .931 save %)
Curt Freeze, Minnesota (12-8-1, 2.07 GAA, .924 save %)
Coach: Jeffrey “Swampy” Marsh (Virginia)
LW: Alan Youngman, Baltimore (18 G, 22 A, 40 Pts, 22 PIM, +17)
D: Ambroz Melicar, Baltimore (11 G, 25 A, 36 Pts, 10 PIM, +2)
C: Tucker Barnhill, Baltimore (17 G, 30 A, 47 Pts, 24 PIM, +17)
D: Elvis Bodett, Oshawa (14 G, 8 A, 22 Pts, 19 PIM, +12)
RW: Steve Brandon, Cleveland (19 G, 12 A, 31 Pts, 24 PIM, +2)
LW: Yuri Laronov, Virginia (16 G, 15 A, 31 Pts, 16 PIM, -5)
D: Teddy Morrison, Maine (8 G, 13 A, 21 Pts, 14 PIM, Even)
C: Hilliard Macy, Oshawa (15 G, 18 A, 33 Pts, 12 PIM, +15)
D: Casimir Druzek, Virginia (2 G, 20 A, 22 Pts, 27 PIM, -4)
RW: Sidney Archer, Baltimore (15 G, 16 A, 31 Pts, 2 PIM, +17)
LW: Marty “Fish” Pescatelli, Hartford (12 G, 16 A, 28 Pts, 39 PIM, -9)
D: Roscoe “Ruckus” Corbetta, Virginia (6 G, 12 A, 18 Pts, 70 PIM, -5)
C: Tanner Brooks, Virginia (19 G, 12 A, 31 Pts, 10 PIM, -5)
D: Burton Cullidge, Cleveland (1 G, 15 A, 15 Pts, 42 PIM, -4)
RW: Felix Delorme, Hartford (15 G, 13 A, 28 Pts, 14 PIM, -9)
Eugene Looney, Cleveland (8-7-0, 1.79 GAA, .925 save %)
Jonathan Crane, Maine (9-9-2, 2.06 GAA, .917 save %)
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!’”