Blades player involved in locker room incident

  • By Nick Patterson Herald writer
  • Monday, February 3, 2014 5:52pm
  • SportsSports

Two years ago former Everett Silvertips defenseman Brennan Yadlowski made an infamous foray into an opponents’ locker room following a game. Last week Saskatoon Blades defenseman MacKenzie Johnston tried to follow suit.

Johnston tried to get to the Prince George Cougars locker room following Prince George’s 10-6 victory at Saskatoon last Wednesday.

The incident stemmed from the actions toward the end of the game. According to the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Blades leading scorer Nikita Scherbak had to leave the ice in the final minute after being pulled down and punched by Prince George’s Aaron Macklin during an after-the-whistle scrum. Macklin received a double-minor for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct on the play.

The StarPhoenix reported that after the game Johnston approached the Prince George locker room, and when he saw Macklin he started cursing at him and calling him a coward. Johnston had to be restrained by Saskatoon coach Dave Struch and was escorted back to the Blades locker room.

The next day Johnston was not apologizing for his actions.

“I’m going to say it, I think it’s a coward’s thing to do,” Johnston told the StarPhoenix. “(Scherbak is) a 175-pound Russian goal scorer, skilled guy. It’s not the same type of player on the other end. To do what he did (was) classless, gutless, cowardly — whatever you want to call it. It’s something I hate.”

Johnston was not on the ice when the incident happened, meaning the overage defenseman would have had to come off the bench and face a lengthy suspension to defend Scherbak, who hasn’t played since the incident because of injury.

“If there was anything I could do to defend Scherbie without virtually ending my career, I would have done it,” Johnston told the StarPhoenix. “He’s a good kid, works hard, loves the game. That’s a tough spot. Not really being able to do anything, that’s a tough one to swallow.”

Yadlowski ended up with a 10-game suspension for barging into the Portland Winterhawks’ locker room after Everett’s 7-3 loss in Portland on Feb. 3, 2011. But neither Johnston nor Macklin was suspended by the league for this incident.

Around the WHL

Calgary’s Chris Driedger became just the sixth goaltender in league history to be credited with a goal when he scored in Calgary’s 5-2 loss to Kootenay on Friday. Driedger was the last Hitman to touch the puck before the Ice accidentally put the puck into their own net while the goaltender was pulled during a delayed penalty. … Prince George owner Rick Brodsky denied reports he talked to the owners of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets about the possibility of selling the Cougars. The Jets have been seeking a WHL franchise to run, similar to the setups the Calgary Flames have with the Calgary Hitmen and the Edmonton Oilers have with the Edmonton Oil Kings. … Kelowna’s Myles Bell was named the WHL Player of the Week. The 20-year-old forward had six goals and three assists as the Rockets went 2-0-0-1.

League leaders

Points — Mitch Holmberg (Spokane) 92; goals — Holmberg 47; assists — Nicolas Petan (Portland) 60; penalty minutes — Ryan Rehill (Kamloops) 145; wins — Tristan Jarry (Edmonton) 33; goals against average — Coleman Vollrath (Victoria) 1.92; save percentage — Vollrath .941.

Check out Nick Patterson’s Silvertips blog at http://www.heraldnet.com/silvertipsblog, and follow him on Twitter at @NickHPatterson.

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