Bendera Takes Off For Kelowna
Late yesterday afternoon Shane Bendera had his car packed, but it wasn’t to go join his new Rocket teammates for their game in Moose Jaw against the Warriors. In fact, Bendera wasn’t even aware that he was a member of the Kelowna Rockets at the time. Bendera had his car packed so he could go home for the holidays.
“I was getting ready to go home for Christmas. I had the car all packed and ready to go. Then (Rebel Coach Brent) Sutter calls me into his office told me I got traded to Kelowna,” said Bendera. “…They wanted me in Moose Jaw (right away). So I had to catch a quick flight. I didn’t have time to pack or say any goodbyes.”
The Rockets aquired Bendera in an attempt to stabilize their goaltending, which has struggled at the best of times this season. As a team, the Rockets are 14-18-2, but are almost a lock for a playoff spot after acquiring arguably the best goalie in the WHL. The acquisition of Bendera comes not a moment too soon for Rockets General Manager Bruce Hamilton. His Rockets have not been consistent in net, and as a team have a 3.36 GAA with an .879 SV%. Bendera enters the organization sporting an 11-6-3 record with a 2.28 GAA and .918 SV%.
But a team cannot aquire a goaltender of the caliber of Shane Bendera without losing a few keys to success as well. Lost by the Rockets was former starting goalie, and the man Bendera replaces, Jason Stone. Stone, in 27 games, had posted a respectable 12-9-2 record with a 2.99 GAA and .890 S Read more»
Road woes continue
Nothing seems to work, as far as luck goes. On Friday night, the nuclear submarine USS Albany was in Norfolk harbor. On Sunday night, Hershey fans threw hundreds and hundreds of (stuffed) bears on the ice. Neither circumstance brought the slightest bit of luck for the Albany River Rats who, at 1-12-1 away from home, have sunk to the depths of the worst road team in the league. Quite a comedown for Rats’ fans who once boasted (just two years ago) that they had a winning record, lifetime, against every team in the American Hockey League and who were a solid road team.
In the week just past, the Rats dropped a 4-1 contest to the Norfolk Admirals and a 4-3 overtime loss to Hershey. In what was the last regular season game ever in HersheyPark Arena, the Rats had rolled up a 3-0 lead, then let in four unanswered goals, to see a road victory disappear, for a 4-3 loss. Lifetime, the River Rats are 11-7-0-2 on Hershey ice.
On Friday, in their second and final game this season against Norfolk, Albany mustered only one goal, a power play tally by Stephen Guolla, while giving up four, including two power play goals and an empty-netter. Ari Ahonen took the loss for Albany.
The road loss in Hershey should not have happened. The Rats scored the first three goals, all in the first 20 minutes. Joel Bouchard, a good puck-carrying defenseman, got his first goal of the season. Steve Guolla and Jiri Bicek combined on an odd-man rush for Bicek’s seventh goal on the campaign. Max Birbraer got his first on the season.
Th Read more»
WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE
There are four games in the WHL on Wednesday night. Moose Jaw plays in
Brandon, Seattle visits Kamloops (6), Kelowna is at Prince Albert and Regina
On Tuesday night in the WHL, Medicine Hat stopped Calgary 7-3 and Moose Jaw
defeated Kelowna 4-3.
In Moose Jaw, Shawn Limpright scored twice and added one assist to lead the
Warriors to their win. David Bararuk added one goal and two assists for the
winners, while Kyle Kettles made 23 saves in goal. Kiel McLeod had one goal
and one assist for the losers.
The Rockets announced on Tuesday that they had acquired veteran goaltender
Shane Bendera from the Red Deer Rebels in exchange for forward Carsen Germyn
and goaltender Jason Stone.
In Medicine Hat, Joffrey Lupul scored four goals to spark the Tigers to
their win. Brett Draney added one goal and two assists while Chris St.
Jacques added three assists for the winners. Sean Connors made 28 saves in
goal for Medicine Hat, while Brandon Segal scored his 23rd goal of the
season for Calgary.
ONTARIO HOCKEY LEAGUE
There are three games in the OHL on Wednesday night. Peterborough plays in
Belleville, Mississauga travels to Erie and Sault Ste. Marie visits Owen
There were no games in the OHL on either Monday or Tuesday night.
QUEBEC MAJOR JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
There are four games in the QMJHL on Wednesday night. Halifax (8) is at
Montreal, Cape Breton plays in Rouyn-Noranda, Acadie-Bathurst (1) is at
Baie-Comeau and Rimouski travels to Quebec.
On T Read more»
Bendera Sent Packing
In a strong attempt to gain stability between the pipes, Kelowna Rockets General Manager Bruce Hamilton aquired one of the top goalies in the WHL, Shane Bendera. Marred by goaltending trouble, the Rockets sent 19-year-olds Carsen Germyn and Jason Stone to the Rebels.
Bendera, who had posted an 11-6-3 record with a 2.28 GAA and .918 SV% was flipped for goaltender Jason Stone, who had put up respectable numbers of 12-9-2 with a .299 GAA and .899 SV%. Carsen Germyn, one of the most-liked players on the Rockets, had 10 goals and 28 points in 23 games.
There will me more to follow tomorrow…
ICE caught looking ahead, now find themselves behind
Perhaps I was erroneous in last week’s column in the statement that the ICE had yet to find any consistency after the big trade. The ICE have indeed found consistency – of the losing kind.
Barring the excuse of having arguably their two best players off at the World Junior Hockey Championship in Jarrett Stoll and Marek Svatos, the ICE haven’t played well even with the two sharpshooters in the lineup in going 1-4 in their last five games. Coincidentally the Swift Current Broncos are 5-1-0-1 since the trade and Jason Jaffray has scored 11 pts (7g, 4a)good for seventh in the WHL scoring race and seems bent on sending a message of why the ICE shouldn’t have traded the gritty forward. Some other telling stats since the trade; the club’s leading scorer, Tomas Plihal has but one goal; the club’s power-play, once the best in the league, has gone 1/24 since the deal, good for a 4 percent success rate. Now, usually five to seven games are not nearly enough to judge a major deal such as this. But one can’t help but think that the deal will be the major turning point in the ICE season – one way or the other. Right now, it’s the other . . .
While you were sleeping – Here’s the good news – Shane Bendera doesn’t play for the Red Deer Rebels any longer. Now for the bad news – the 19-yr-old Columbus BlueJacket draft pick and most recent ICE-melting nemesis was just traded to Kelowna for 19-yr-old goalie Jason Stone and a 19-yr-old high-scoring forward for the Rockets, Carsen Germyn. Kelowna, in case you’ve forgotten, is t Read more»