Author: Cam Tucker

Canucks’ Bieksa penalized for illegal check to the head


Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa was penalized for a hit to the head of Viktor Stalberg early in the first period of Tuesday’s game against the Nashville Predators.

The hit occurred less than three minutes into the game, and Bieksa was given only a minor penalty.

As Stalberg was trying to work past Bo Horvat behind the Vancouver net, Bieksa caught Stalberg with a shoulder to the head of the Nashville forward, sending him to the ice.

Stalberg was shaken up on the play, but returned to the game shortly after.

(H/T to @ThomasDrance and Canucks Army.)


Report: Predators prospect Vesey heading back to Harvard next year


Nashville Predators prospect Jimmy Vesey had a terrific year for the Harvard men’s hockey team, and it appears he’ll return to that team and school next year as a senior.

Bob McKenzie of TSN reported during Insider Trading on Tuesday that Vesey had been in contact with Harvard to see if he could turn pro and still get his courses from this semester.

The Predators selected Vesey in the third round of the 2012 NHL Draft. In his junior year with Harvard, he led his team with 32 goals and 58 points in 37 games.

According to recent reports, it’s believed from some NHL executives that Vesey was “NHL-ready.”

“We’ve been in contact with his family through his mom and his dad and family representative,” said Predators GM David Poile, as per The Tennessean.

“We’re just going to give them the time. We’ve told them what we think of their son and how he is as a hockey player. It’s their decision as to whether this is the right time for him now or after the year or even next year. We would never tell a player to leave school.”

North Dakota dominates Quinnipiac to advance in NCAA tournament

NCAA Quinnipiac North Dakota Hockey

Minnesota-Duluth will play Jack Eichel and Boston University for a berth in the Frozen Four, after defeating the Minnesota Gophers by a final score of 4-1 on Friday.

The Bulldogs got off to a quick start in the opening period, scoring three times and once more in the second, cruising to victory in the first round of the NCAA 16-team tournament.

BU and Minnesota-Duluth will meet Saturday. The winner moves to the Frozen Four in Boston.

“We kind of found our legs and we played a pretty good game,” Minnesota-Duluth head coach Scott Sandelin told the Pioneer Press. “In our four wins versus Minnesota, we’ve scored the first goal. I liked our game a lot tonight.”

North Dakota advanced to the quarter-finals after overpowering Quinnipiac 4-1. Boston Bruins draft pick Zane McIntyre, taken in the sixth round of the 2010 draft, made 29 saves for the win.

North Dakota will now play St. Cloud State University in the second quarter-final on Saturday.

SCSU defeated Michigan Tech 3-2 in overtime, with Judd Peterson scoring the winner at the 8:11 mark of the extra period.

Oilers put dent in Stars’ playoff hopes


Richard Bachman, who started his pro career in the Dallas Stars organization, may have dealt his former team a major blow to its playoff hopes on Friday.

Now with the Edmonton Oilers, Bachman stopped all 29 shots he faced, and the Oilers shut out the Stars 4-0 in a costly loss for Dallas, which had been red-hot coming into this game.

The Stars are now down to seven games remaining in their schedule. They had won four straight prior to Friday and were trying feverishly to get into the race, even at the last minute. Now they’re eight points back of the Winnipeg Jets for the final Wild Card spot in the West.

They gave up a goal to Jordan Eberle and the Oilers 33 seconds into the game. The Stars continued to put the pressure on Bachman but couldn’t score.

That came back to haunt the Stars.

The Oilers broke the game wide open with three goals in the final 11 minutes of regulation time. Andrew Miller, 26 years old and playing in his fifth career NHL game, scored his first ever NHL goal on a penalty shot to cap the win for Edmonton.

Toews: Blackhawks giving up too many ‘Grade-A scoring chances’ of late


Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford may have been pulled in the first period of Friday’s game, but the team in front of him was just as culpable after some defensive lapses against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Columbus had a pair of goals on breakaways in the opening period, including a beautiful short-handed tally from Cam Atkinson, who recorded the hat trick in the Blue Jackets decisive victory over Chicago.

And Jonathan Toews has had enough of the defensive miscues.

“We just gave away too many Grade-A scoring chances. We’re doing that to our goaltenders way too often lately,” said Toews, as per Tracey Myers of CSN Chicago.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Wild won again, defeating the Calgary Flames earlier in the evening. That moves Minnesota to within one point of the Blackhawks for third in the Central Division.