Saturday, September 18, 2010

Friday . . .

Marc Mackenzie says he’s not a hero. But you know what? He fits the bill.
Mackenzie, a forward with the Prince Albert Raiders, heard some noise and came upstairs at his billet’s home late Thursday morning to find a would-be burglar.
So what did Mackenzie do?
“He was about my build, maybe bigger,” Mackenzie, who goes 6-foot-2 and more than 190 pounds, told John MacNeil of the Prince Albert Daily Herald. “He just tackled me in the coat room. I got up and basically tossed him into the wall and just pounded on him for a good five minutes.
“He just ran out the door and I chased him for a little bit, but what are you going to do if this guy runs back to his buddies and tells (them what happened)? He just ran down the street, and then I just clued in, there’s no point in running after this guy.
“I’m totally fine. Just a little busted-up fist, but that’s about it.
Mackenzie, who turns 17 on Nov. 5, had returned home after morning classes and was in the basement, about to watch a movie.
“I guess it was just someone knocking on the door to try to get in . . . to see if people were home,” he told MacNeil. “And because I didn’t come upstairs fast enough, they just came in.”
When Mackenzie got upstairs, the would-be thief was in the living room . . . checking out Mackenzie’s laptop computer.
“Oh, I probably scared the crap out of him,” Mackenzie said. “He went after me first. I didn’t even touch the guy first. He just tackled me. I just said, ‘Who the f--- are you?’ and then he just tackled me into the closet.”
As MacNeil points out in his story, it would seem that “Mackenzie’s hockey instincts might have served him well.”
“I don’t know,” Mackenzie said. “Someone breaking and entering, there’s obviously something that’s going to get out of hand, if you walk in on him. You can’t just ask him to leave. I mean, they’re not going to wait for the cops (to arrive), that’s for sure.”
As of Friday night, Prince Albert City Police still were searching for the suspect.
Mackenzie, who is from Kelowna, played last season with the junior B Chase, B.C., Chiefs of the Kootenay International junior league. He had 24 points and 163 penalty minutes in 50 games with the Chiefs.
MacNeil wrote that Mackenzie “wanted to downplay the incident, and Raiders’ management refused to comment . . .”
You have to hope that Raiders’ management and the WHL office come to their senses and run this kid’s name up the flag pole, sooner rather than later. This is a great, great story coming as it does a week before the regular-season opens.
Mackenzie, however, would rather play down the entire episode.
“I’m not a hero,” he told MacNeil. “But it does save us, I guess (my billets), a little bit of money and hassle, not to have a bunch of crap stolen.
“My MacBook was sitting right there. The TV is there. Everything is in the house. There’s computers everywhere. If no one was home, it would have been bad, but . . .”
Something like this, of course, is every parent’s worst nightmare. I mean, think about it for a minute.
And here’s what Mackenzie’s father, Andrew, told MacNeil:
“It certainly shook me up a lot when he called and said what happened. The kid may be 6-foot-2 1/2, or whatever, but to me, he’s only 5-foot-5. He’s still a little boy, to me.”
Isn't that the truth!
The WHL dished out some discipline on Friday and you can bet at least one GM/head coach will be hearing from the Calgary office, perhaps even today.
Kelly McCrimmon, the general manager and head coach of the Brandon Wheat Kings got tossed from his club’s 5-4 victory over the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors on Friday. Brandon was 2-for-6 on the PP in that one, while the Warriors were 2-for-10. . . . McCrimmon was ejected, according to the Brandon Sun, “after a verbal exchange with the officials.” The teams are to conclude their exhibition seasons tonight in Moose Jaw. Hmmm! Wonder if McCrimmon will be in the Crushed Can for this one?
Earlier in the day, the WHL office suspended D Harrison Ruopp of the Prince Albert Raiders for one game after he got into his fourth fight of the exhibition schedule on Thursday in a 6-1 victory over the visiting Swift Current Broncos.
The WHL office also suspended Kootenay Ice head coach Kris Knoblauch for one game and his side $250 for its part in a multiple-fight situation in a 4-1 loss to the visiting Tri-City Americans on Thursday night. The Americans weren’t disciplined at all, so that tells what the WHL thought of that situation. Kootenay F Jared Iron drew a one-game suspension for his fourth fight, which came against the Americans.
Finally, Tri-City F Zach McPhee got a one-game suspension after incurring a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct in that game in Cranbrook.
The Everett Silvertips have dealt G Thomas Heemskerk, 20, to the Moose Jaw Warriors for D Chad Suer, 20. . . . Suer has played in 243 games over four seasons, with 66 points, including eight goals, and 130 penalty minutes. He had 20 points in 64 games last season. Suer is from Saskatoon. . . . Heemskerk, from Chilliwack, has played in 114 games over three seasons with the Kootenay Ice and Everett. Last season, he went 24-12-2-2 with a 2.34 GAA and a WHL-leading .927 save percentage, all with the Silvertips. . . . Heemskerk has signed with the NHL’s San Jose Sharks and is in their camp. . . . The deal leaves Kent Simpson, 18, as Everett’s starter, with Luke Siemens, 19, and Andy Desautels, 16, battling for the backup spot. . . . Siemens, from South Delta, B.C., played one game with the Prince George Cougars last season. . . . Desautels, from Regina, was a fifth-round pick in the 2009 bantam draft. He signed with the Silvertips in February.
Everett now has two 20-year-olds in camp — Suer and F Clayton Cumiskey.
According to the Warriors, Heemskerk will join them Sunday. The Warriors’ roster also features four other 20-year-olds — F Spencer Edwards, F Thomas Frazee, F Dylan Hood and F Brendan Rowinski.
The Red Deer Rebels have released F Steve Oursov, 19, who is from Chilliwack. Oursov was trying to come back from post-concussion syndrome. He had four goals in 29 games in 2008-09, before suffering a concussion during a fight. . . . Originally, he was a third-round bantam draft pick of the Seattle Thunderbirds in 2006.
Lorne Molleken, the GM and head coach of the Saskatoon Blades, is scratching his chin, scratching his head and pondering. He had said he would trim one goaltender from his roster following a Wednesday exhibition game in Regina. That didn’t happen. So the Blades continue to have four goaltenders on their roster. Freshmen Adam Iwan and Tyler Oswald, both 17, split a 4-3 victory in Regina, and Molleken chose not to make a move Thursday. He also has two veterans — Steven Stanford, 20, and Adam Morrison, 19 — on his roster. Morrison is in camp with the Philadelphia Flyers. When the smoke clears, you can expect the Blades to have one of the two veterans and one of the two newcomers on their roster. For now, though,everything is in a holding pattern. The Blades play their final exhibition game Saturday against the visiting Pats. Molleken may do something with his goaltending situation the next day. Maybe. . . .
I am thrilled that a couple of fans of the Crushed Can took time to write. One posted a comment on the blog; another sent me an email.
Here’s the comment, if you missed it:
“Neate Sager has obviously never gone deaf listening to 2700+ fans screaming their heads off in the Crushed Can during the playoffs. That arena will be greatly missed!”
Ain’t that the truth! It is going to be awfully hard for that atmosphere to be replicated in a new building, even when the Regina Pats come calling.
The other fan, who actually is from Saskatoon, wrote this:
“My observations about the crushed can . . . the stairs to the seating can not be code in any city/town/rural outpost in Canada . . . They have more security than any rink I have ever seen . . . The guy running sound gets it as the game went to shootout and he seemed to play all the right songs at the right time.
“I do not know why I never went to Moose Jaw for a game before . . . and am glad I did. It is one of the barns that has some atmosphere unlike some others. . . . I skated many times at the old Exhibition Stadium in Regina and could feel the atmosphere in that barn. It is just something about those rinks that, yeah, they are not the prettiest girls at the dance but they seem to have that allure.”
The Seattle Thunderbirds have acquired F Travis Toomey, 20, from the Saskatoon Blades for a fourth-round pick in the 2011 bantam draft. Toomey, form Leduc, Alta., has played three seasons with the Blades after being the 34th overall selection in the 2005 bantam draft. He put up 82 points and 314 penalty minutes in 198 career games in Saskatoon. . . . Seattle now has two 20-year-olds on its roster, the other being D Brenden Dillon. . . . The Blades still have seven 20-year-olds on their roster — G Steven Stanford, D Teigan Zahn, F Sena Acolatse, F Jeremy Boyer, F Randy McNaught, F Gaelan Patterson and F Marek Viedensky.
ODDS AND ENDS: Moose Jaw F Michal Hlinka left the Warriors game in Brandon in the third period after “being shaken up in a collision,” according to Rob Henderson of the Brandon Sun. . . . The Kelowna Rockets dropped the hometown Chilliwack Bruin, 9-1, on Friday. The Chilliwack Progress points out that “Kelowna's nine-spot set a franchise mark for most goals-against in a game (including preseason, regular season and playoffs), and the eight-goal differential tied a franchise mark for largest margin of defeat.” . . .
Mandi Schwartz, the native of Wilcox, Sask., who has been fighting a battle with acute myeloid leukemia, will have her next treatment on Wednesday in Seattle. The Regina Leader-Post has that story right here.
The OHL’s Oshawa Generals won’t have their games on the radio this season. And the games that they pick up and put on their website will, in most cases, by provided by the opposition. Check out that story right here.
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