Morrow impressed by DonovanNew York Islanders scout Ken Morrow, a defenseman on the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team, was at the Cox Center for Friday night’s playoff game between the Barons and Hamilton Bulldogs. Morrow, who now lives in Kansas City, was on the ice for the final seconds of the U.S.’s semifinal win over the Soviet Union. The Americans went on to win the gold medal. The Islanders signed Edmond native Matt Donovan after he completed his sophomore season at the University of Denver. “We think he’ll be pushing for an NHL job next year,” Morrow said. “I saw him at our rookie camp last summer, and he certainly stood out there. I think we all felt that he was ready to make the jump to play professionally.” Donovan, a fourth-round pick by the Islanders in 2008, had a goal and four assists in six games for the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers this season.
RENNEY, TAMBELLINI MAKE APPEARANCEEdmonton general manager Steve Tambellini has been to Oklahoma City before. For Edmonton coach Tom Renney, Friday’s Game 5 was his first chance to see the Barons at the Cox Center. Renney did get a chance to see the team when they played in Calgary in February. “It’s crucial,” Renney said to getting the Oilers’ young players playoff experience at the American Hockey League level. “No question, it helps develop the culture of winning that can carry over.” Renney and Tambellini were part of the Oilers’ contingent at the game. For Tambellini, the week has been a whirlwind, taking him from Germany to Edmonton to look at draftable players, then to Oklahoma City on Friday.
THREE STARS• 1. Aaron Palushaj, Hamilton Palushaj came back from an illness that kept him out of Game 4 to register a goal and an assist. • 2. Nigel Dawes, Hamilton The Bulldogs’ top player since being acquired midseason, Dawes scored his third goal of the series late in the second. • 3. Drew MacIntyre, Hamilton The Bulldogs’ goaltender didn’t have to work as hard as he did early in the series but still posted a shutout to push the Barons to the brink.
PENALTY SHOTSBarons coach Todd Nelson and Hamilton coach Randy Cunneyworth were together last season as assistant coaches for Atlanta. They were released when John Anderson was let go as the Thrashers’ head coach. ... The Barons also had 20 shots in their Jan. 21 win over Rockford. ... The loss broke a four-game home winning streak. ... The Bulldogs are 5 for 30 on the power play in the series. BY RYAN ABER
Morrow impressed by Donovan