Brian Liesse

Daily Dose of the Dub: Stankowski dealt to Calgary; Semifinals set for Hlinka Gretzky Cup

Stankowski staying closer to home

The Seattle Thunderbirds rode a stellar effort from a 16-year-old goalie in the 2017 playoffs all the way to a Ed Chynoweth Cup. That rookie netminder may very well have won the WHL MVP award of not for 2017-18 NHL Calder Trophy winning center Mathew Barzal.

On Tuesday, the T-birds traded that goalie away.

Carl Stankowski was traded to the Calgary Hitmen for the WHL rights to defenseman Mike Koster and an eighth-round pick in the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft and conditional future pick.

Stankowski was originally a second-round pick by Seattle in 2015 and joined the team in a three-goalie platoon in 2016-17. In an interview with Andy Eide in February, Stankowski and his family revealed that Stankowski suffered a slight labrum tear quite possibly at the U-17 tournament in November of 2016.

Instead of surgery, they went with some therapy and the injury did not affect his play at all with him taking the net for the injured Rylan Toth and steering Seattle to a WHL title.

Then after he was invited to Canada’s Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament camp, his doctors found that he now had a herniated disc and a lot of inflammation. At that point they decided to have surgery.

After the surgery the doctors discovered that Stankowski had Ankylosing Spondylitis, which is an auto-immune disease.

The rare disease means that if Stankowski plays competitively again, his hips and back will need to be closely monitored for pain in case it leads to something that will cause severe health issues that may be hard to repair.

In the press release for the trade, Seattle general manager Bill La Forge stated that Stankowski’s health needs have become significant and moving him closer to home (he is from Calgary) will help his family and doctors keep a close eye on him.

Koster is a 2001-born defenseman currently playing for the USA at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup. He is from Chaska, Minnesota and played for the Tri-City Storm in the USHL a season ago.

Koster is committed to play for the University of Minnesota starting in 2020-2021.

It remains to be seen whether Stankowski can be ready for Calgary training camp starting later this month.

Hlinka Gretzky Cup’s semifinalΒ teams set

Russia 3 Czech Republic 0

Despite being out shot by the Czechs 35-26 and giving up seven power plays, the Russians beat the Czech Republic 3-0.

They netted a power play goal in the first with the secondary assist going to Regina Pats defenseman Nikita Sedov and added another one late in the second to take a 2-0 lead after one.

In the third, Vasili Podlozin (drafted by Medicine Hat) netted an insurance marker (his second of the tournament and fourth point) and the Russians cruised to their second straight win in Group B. They will face the USA tomorrow in a game that will settle who wins the group.

Defenseman Simon Kubicek (drafted by Seattle) was given a two-minute penalty for checking to the head and a game misconduct for a hit he delivered in the second period.

Sweden 5 Switzerland 0

The Swiss hung tougher in this game, but ultimately the Swedes overwhelmed them on their way to a 5-0 win and a birth in the semifinals. They will play Canada tomorrow to settle who will win Group A.

USA 6 Finland 2

After closing the scoring in the USA’s first win at the tournament, Luke Toprowski (Spokane) both opened and closed the scoring in this game. His two goals led the way for the Americans who secured a semifinal birth.


He also added an assist and his four points have him tied for the tournament scoring lead with Podlozin, Canadian Peyton Krebs (Kootenay) and four others through two games played each.

In net, Everett Silvertips goalie Dustin Wolf again got the start and he was up for a game where he was tested much more often than he was in Game 1 for the Americans. He stopped 29 of 31 and has now turned away 45 of 47 overall. I would expect that he will be given a rest tomorrow against the Russians.

Canada 4 Slovakia 2

The Canadians were all over the Slovaks, out-shooting them 36-11 through two periods, but were only up two goals. Krebs assisted on the first goal, Josh Williams (Medicine Hat) assisted on the second. Kirby Dach (Saskatoon) then won the face off setting up Canada’s third goal early in the third.

Slovakia then used a power play in the third to get on the board and added another marker just under four minutes later and it was only 3-2 with 10:28 left in regulation.

Cue Williams, who worked his way to the bak post and slammed home a nice pass from Jamieson Rees for some insurance. The 4-2 win sets up a showdown atop Group A with Sweden tomorrow.

Taylor Gauthier (Prince George) stopped 17 of 19 to get the win in his first action at the tournament.

Links and notes:

-Former Portland Winterhawks and Kootenay ICE forward Colton Veloso has signed in the ECHL.

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