Calgary Herald article (Hitmen pack one-two punch in net)January 23 2012 at 10:42 PM
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|N. W. Bruin (Login NW_Bruin_GM)|
Hitmen pack one-two punch in net
By Kristen Odland,, Calgary Herald
January 23, 2012
Calgary 4 and Red Deer 2
Looking at the stats, you'd think there is goalie drama brewing in the Calgary Hitmen dressing room.
Not so fast, says Mike Williamson.
Even though he's started Chris Driedger in favour of Brandon Glover the past two games - including Sunday's 4-2 win over the visiting Red Deer Rebels - the Hitmen head coach refused to admit he's favouring one netminder over the other.
"It's not a controversy at all," Williamson said, smiling. "We knew a while ago that both guys were capable and showed signs of taking the ball and running with it. We tell them that we expect both of them to be ready and prepared. Obviously, the better they play and the more wins they get, the more chance there is. At the same time, we feel comfortable with both guys and there's a healthy competition there."
Following a rough outing on Wednesday night - a 5-1 loss that snapped an eight-game winning streak and saw Brandon Glover (14-9-0-0) in net for six of those victories - Williamson started Driedger on Friday night against the Prince George Cougars. The 2012 NHL draft-eligible goalie produced 18 saves in a 5-1 win.
And, the latest example of Williamson's netminder "taking the ball and running with it" was Sunday's 41 save performance against Red Deer.
Driedger (13-7-2-1) made some incredible saves on several players including potential first-rounder Mathew Dumba, captain Adam Kambeitz, and John Persson, who recorded nine shots the entire game.
"Our D and forwards were doing a really good job of getting guys out of my way and keeping their shots to the outside, which also helps," he said. "Against Prince George, I got like five shots in the first and had to battle to keep in it. You'd think that goalies would like the 19-shot game over the 44-shot game or whatever it was, but (more shots) actually helped me a lot to stay in the game."
Chase Clayton added two more to his season's goal total (10) after connecting short-handed in the first period and on a second-period power play to lead the Calgary attack.
"Mike told me a couple days ago that he wants me to get in front of the net more," Clayton said. "When you're going out and getting rewarded for working hard, it makes it easier to keep going."
Jimmy Bubnick and Victor Rask's empty-netter rounded out the scoring efforts as the Hitmen improved to 27-17-2-1 and won their second in a row.
Playing some of their best hockey of the season, Calgary continues its' climb up the Eastern Conference standings with 57 points, good enough for seventh while Red Deer dropped to 20-21-1-4.
But the Rebels - under the watch of president and owner Brent Sutter, head coach of the Calgary Flames - did not go down easy at the Scotiabank Saddledome before 8,314 patrons.
Out-shooting the Hitmen 14-9 after the first 20 minutes and 43-34 in the end, Red Deer produced a dynamic third period.
The frame saw Dumba slip into a comfort zone 40 seconds in, skating into Calgary's end and connecting on the remainder of Alex Gogolev's penalty from the second period.
A few shifts later, Bubnick took the wind out of the visitors' sails with Calgary's third marker of the game. Red Deer responded when Tyson Ness connected at the 7: 26 mark to make it 3-2.
The highlight of the afternoon had to go to Gogolev, who made the entire building squeal in delight after faking a shot, then going upstairs on a wraparound. However, the referees waved off the goal, deeming that Calgary winger Calder Brooks was in the crease.
Driedger made some unbelievable saves including a slick pad save on Kambeitz on a power play to end the second frame and had to stay especially sharp during the Rebels full-court press in the third period.
Before this weekend, Driedger hadn't played since Jan. 4 - a 6-4 win at Vancouver. But he did not take the coaches' decision personally.
"The team was winning and Glover was playing well, so obviously they'd give him the start," he said. "We were on an eight-game winning streak so obviously, they were going to play a guy that was hot. But we lost one and there was an opportunity to get back in there and show them what I can do."
ICE CHIPS: Calgary scratched LW Danny Gayle and D Alex Roach. Roach is awaiting a suspension from the WHL for a checking to the head major he took Friday against Prince George . . . Red Deer's scratches were G Patrik Bartosak, D Devan Fafard, D Justin Weller, RW Brooks Maxwell, and RW Marc Mackenzie . . . Calgary continues its five-game homestand Wednesday and Friday against the Brandon Wheat Kings and Vancouver Giants.
KODLAND@CALGARYHERALD.COM FOLLOW ON TWITTER/KRISTENODLANDCH
© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald
|N. W. Bruin|
Leader-Post article (Pats' Lane Scheidl is hitting his stride)No score for this post
|January 23 2012, 11:09 PM |
Pats' Lane Scheidl is hitting his stride
By Greg Harder, Leader-Post
January 23, 2012 11:00 PM
Lane Scheidl is becoming a tough guy to slow down.
The speedy winger has found another gear with the Regina Pats, taking his game to a new level alongside WHL scoring leader Jordan Weal. Scheidl's recent string of dynamic performances was capped by the best of the bunch Saturday night against the Moose Jaw Warriors when a relentless effort culminated in the game-tying goal (on a short-handed penalty shot) in an eventual 3-2 overtime win.
"Not to be cocky or anything, but I thought it was probably one of my best games of the year," admitted Scheidl, 19. "It was just one of those games where everything seems to be going your way."
It was the second straight contest in which Scheidl scored a game-tying goal in the third period to force overtime. The other came in Friday's 3-2 loss to the Medicine Hat Tigers when he drove to the net and banged in his own rebound.
Scheidl did it again Saturday when - at the end of a long shift on the penalty kill - he blocked a shot at his own blue line and chased down the loose puck in the neutral zone. Quinton Howden caught him at the end and interfered enough to prevent Scheidl from getting away a shot, but the referee immediately pointed to centre ice.
"I was pretty tired at the end there," Scheidl said with a smile. "Luckily I got a penalty shot. I kind of milked it for a bit (after falling to the ice) so I could regain by breath."
Scheidl recovered in time to score on the second opportunity, flying in on goalie Spencer Tremblay and beating him low to the blocker side. The goal was followed by a sigh of relief from Scheidl, who had been robbed by Tremblay on a handful of previous opportunities, including a second-period breakaway.
"After the second I came in (to the dressing room) a little frustrated," said Scheidl. "Jordan and the other guys calmed me down a little bit. I blew some steam off between periods and came out in the third and just battled, stuck with it. It definitely felt good for me to tie it up."
No less for head coach Pat Conacher, who was glad to see Scheidl get rewarded for his tireless effort.
"I said to Lane he could be a prominent power forward in this league if he brought that every night," noted Conacher. "He skates so well and he's so strong on the puck. He's (getting) more consistent. To be a player at any (elite) level, you have to be good every night and there are nights you are going to be great. That's what Lane has got to. He has been good or better than good. Some nights when you play like that then you take it to the next level."
That's what he did Saturday.
"It was after a long shift," Conacher said of the gametying goal. "I even asked if he wanted a timeout to get his breath for the penalty shot. He said, 'No, I'm ready to rock and roll,' so he went in and stuffed it for us. Good for him."
And good for the Pats, who desperately need some secondary scoring behind Weal. Ironically, it was Scheidl who provided the decoy on a 2on1 when Weal scored the winner 30 seconds into OT.
"He's one of those guys that when he gets going top speed he's really hard to stop," noted Weal. "(On the tying goal) you could see Howden, who's one of the fastest guys in the league, and he had trouble catching him. He played really well for us. He should have had two or three goals. It was good for him to get that one to tie it up."
It was the 17th goal of the season for Scheidl - second on the team behind Weal's 30. Scheidl is also second with four game-winning goals and three short-handed markers while sitting third with 33 points and a plus-19 rating.
"I've been trying to find my consistency all year," he said. "The biggest thing for me is sticking to my game and not try to be a different player playing with Jordan. I just have to stick to my north-south game, take the puck to the net and do the little things right, make smart plays and not try to do too much out there. It seems to be falling into my favour these last few games."
© Copyright (c) The Regina Leader-Post
|N. W. Bruin|
Leader-Post article (Ex-NHLer Sillinger lends a hand)No score for this post
|January 23 2012, 11:11 PM |
Ex-NHLer Sillinger lends a hand
By Rob Vanstone, Leader-Post
January 23, 2012 11:00 PM
Edmonton Oilers' Mike Sillinger talks with members of the Regina Rebels on Monday.
Photograph by: Don Healy, Leader-Post, Leader-Post
Mike Sillinger generated plenty of applause while playing for the Regina Pats and participating in 1,049 NHL games.
The laurels continue, even though he has retired from active duty.
"It's amazing to think that an NHL player was out on the ice helping us out during practice,'' Erica Rieder, who plays defence with the female midget AAA Regina Rebels, marvelled after Monday's workout at the Co-operators Centre.
"It goes to show that he likes giving back to the community and helping out and spreading his knowledge to as many people as he can,'' teammate Teah Anderson added.
The Regina-born Sillinger, whose playing career concluded after the 2008-09 NHL season, is now the Edmonton Oilers' director of player development. He attended the Rebels' practice at the invitation of assistant coach Kim Perepeluk, who was a minor hockey teammate.
The Rebels have a 12-10-0-1 record, which is good for fourth place in the eight-team Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League. Their season was highlighted by a gold-medal win in the prestigious Mac's midget tournament, which was held in Calgary during the holiday season.
"I was pretty impressed with them,'' said Sillinger, 40. "I can see why they won. They've got good habits and they work hard. I was really impressed with their work ethic.
"I knew they were an elite group, but I wasn't expecting them to be as intense as they were. Obviously, the coaches are doing a great job.''
Sillinger worked with the players on scoring drills and offered advice regarding faceoffs. Tutelage in the latter facet of the game was invaluable, considering that Sillinger was one of the NHL's premier faceoff men.
"I liked the faceoff drills, because I take faceoffs when we're killing penalties,'' Anderson, a 16-year-old winger, said while breaking into a chuckle. "I learned how to actually win one.
"He also helped with preparation going into the faceoff. As a winger, I have to know exactly what my centre is going to do. That's what hockey is all about - anticipation.''
Sillinger, a three-time 50-goal man with the WHL's Pats who went on to score 240 NHL goals, also offered pointers on how to bury chances around the net.
"We were doing scoring drills and I was teaching them a quick release,'' Sillinger said. "Doug (Folk, head coach) said they've been getting lots of chances, but they haven't been getting rid of the puck quickly enough.''
Sillinger did more than discuss strategy. He was actively involved in the drills.
"I worked them out, and they made me sweat,'' he remarked.
Monday's agenda, in and of itself, was enough to make Sillinger break a sweat. The day included three trips to the Co-operators Centre.
He played hockey at the facility from 1: 30 to 2: 45 in the afternoon, helped out the Rebels from 4: 30 to 5: 30, and then returned for an 8 p.m. Hockey Regina game. The pee wee Blackhawks, whose roster includes 11-year-old Lukas Sillinger, played at the Co-operators Centre last night. Mike Sillinger is an assistant coach with the Blackhawks.
Sillinger's three sons are in Hockey Regina. Owen, 14, is with the bantam Oilers. Eight-year-old Cole is with the bantam Bears. Owen's game coincided with that of Lukas. His mother, Karla, attended Owen's game at the Al Ritchie Memorial Centre.
"When I'm in town, I spend a lot of time at the rink,'' said Mike Sillinger, whose job with the Oilers often takes him out of town.
"I love being on the ice.''
© Copyright (c) The Regina Leader-Post
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