The rivalry between the Vancouver Giants and Kamloops Blazers heated up Friday night and the teams didn’t even play each other. The Giants acquired RW Randy McNaught, 20, from the Saskatoon Blades for a fifth-round pick in the 2011 bantam draft. McNaught started his WHL career with the Chilliwack Bruins and was dealt to the Blades last season. . . . In 65 games with the Blades, he had 163 penalty minutes. . . . McNaught, who was returned to the Blades by the New York Rangers on Friday, and Kamloops D Josh Caron are two of the WHL heavyweights. They were in Traverse City, Mich., for a prospects tournament, McNaught with the Rangers and Caron with the Minnesota Wild. Yes, they scrapped. “I fought him,” Caron told me after returning from the Wild’s camp. “That was good; he’s a tough kid.” . . . Fans in Whitehorse should get ready, too, because McNaught and Caron will be bringing their rivalry to an arena near you. The Blazers and Giants are to play in Whitehorse on Feb. 12 in what originally was to have been a Kamloops home game. . . . “He's a tough player,” Vancouver GM Scott Bonner told the Vancouver Sun of McNaught. “With all our skill guys, we just want to make sure they feel secure.”
The trade leaves Saskatoon with five and possibly six 20-year-olds. G Steven Stanford got the start last night against the visiting Prince Albert Raiders. Also dressed were F Marek Viedensky and D Teigan Zahn, the team captain. . . . Also in the picture are F Sena Acolatese, who also can play defence, and F Jeremy Boyer. F Gaelan Patterson, another potential candidate, is with the NHL’s Calgary Flames.
The acquisition of McNaught leaves the Giants with three 20-year-olds, the others being F Craig Cunningham and F Matt MacKay.
The Brandon Sun is reporting that “the book is closed on the 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup and it’s written in black ink.” . . . The four-team tournament, won for the second season in a row by the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires, was played in Brandon’s Keystone Centre, May 14-23. The host committee had guaranteed an $800,000 profit and it met that projection.
The City of Brandon and the Manitoba government backed that guarantee but their financial support wasn’t needed.
“We set out to make it the best Memorial Cup for everybody and we did that,” Jeff Cristall, the host committee chairperson, told The Sun. “That we managed to meet our financial commitments without the support having to come in, I think is just sort of the icing on the cake for us. As people who run things, we didn’t want to have to use the guarantee. … It was by the skin of our teeth, but that’s the way it turned out.”
The Sun reports that the estimated economic spinoff for Brandon was $13 million.
There would appear to be some confusion regarding the draft picks involved in Friday’s trade in which C Thomas Frazee moved from the Moose Jaw Warriors to the Regina Pats. . . . According to the Pats’ news release, one of the things they gave up in exchange was their second-round bantam draft pick in 2012. . . . According to a news release from the Warriors, they received Regina’s second-round pick in 2011.
The Moose Jaw Times-Herald reported: “The Warriors . . . dealt Thomas Frazee and their fourth-round pick in 2011 and a sixth-round pick in 2012 to the Regina Pats for their second-round pick in 2011 and the Pats’ fifth-round pick in 2013.”
The Regina Leader-Post reported: “Regina picked up (Frazee) along with a fourth-round pick in the 2011 bantam draft and a sixth-rounder in 2012. Going the other way was a second-rounder in 2012 and a fifth-rounder in 2013.”
Presumably someone will sort that out before the 2011 bantam draft, perhaps sometime after the WHL gets its website up and running and has placated its legions of upset fans.
By the way, the Warriors have four 20-year-olds on their roster, but F Brendan Rowinski (knee) is out until sometime next month. The deadline for getting down to three 20-year-olds is Oct. 14.
Unfortunately for the WHL, the opening of its regular season is being overshadowed by whatever is going on with its website.
People are tweeting about it, NHL scouts are talking about, fans are upset about it.
Talk about poor timing for a system failure, or whatever you want to call it.
Scott Clark, a native of Regina, is the first general manager of the Moose Jaw Multiplex, which is to be the new home of the Moose Jaw Warriors next season.
Moose Jaw couldn’t have hired a better man for the job.
Clark, 47, has spent 23 years working in many areas with teams and facilities in Canada. In the WHL, he has worked in marketing with the Regina Pats and Kootenay Ice. He won the WHL’s marketing award in 1999 while with Regina. He also was in marketing with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals while Eric Lindros was playing with them.
For the last eight seasons, he was been manager of sales channel development with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Clark begins his new job Oct. 15.
(Thanks to the Regina Leader-Post for this information.)
CHILLIWACK 4 AT VANCOUVER 9: The Giants trailed on four occasions but scored six straight goals to win going away. . . . F Brendan Gallagher had five points, including two goals. His line totalled 10 points, as Slovakian winger Marek Tvrdon had two goals and an assist, and C Craig Cunningham had one of each. . . . F Ryan Howse scored three times for the Bruins. . . . Vancouver had a 45-29 edge in shots. . . . Attendance was 8,109. . . . The Vancouver Sun reports that Michael Buble, who owns a piece of the Giants, had to miss the opener because he “was in Dublin, Ireland, performing for 45,000 Irish fans at the new Aviva Stadium.”
LETHBRIDGE 5 AT CALGARY 3: The Hitmen hoisted four banners into the Pengrowth Saddledome rafters and then were beaten by the Hurricanes. . . . Lethbridge came back from a two-goal deficit and counted three times on the PP. . . . Attendance was 9,251. . . . Calgary was 3-for-8 on the PP. . . . F Austin Fyten had three goals for Lethbridge, which didn’t make the playoffs last season while the Hitmen were winning the WHL championship. . . . Fyten also drew an assist on the winning goal that came off the stick of F Cam Braes, his second of the night. . . . Lethbridge G Brandon Anderson stopped 30 shots. . . . The Hitmen had a 21-5 edge in shots midway through the game.
REGINA 4 AT BRANDON 5: The Wheat Kings got off on the right foot, outshooting the visitors 13-1 in the early going. . . . Brandon took 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 leads, only to have Regina tie it each team. . . . However, the home side took control with two PP goals late in the second period. . . . Regina had F Thomas Frazee, 20, in the lineup after he was acquired earlier in the day from the Moose Jaw Warriors. But the Pats were without F Carter Ashton, 19, who is making his way back from the camp of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning. Ashton is expected to play Sunday against the visiting Wheat Kings. . . . Attendance was 5,287. . . . F Mark Stone had four assists for Brandon. . . . Regina was 0-for-3 on the PP; Brandon was 3-for-6. . . . Brandon G Liam Liston, 17, picked up the victory in his first WHL start. He got the start over two 20-year-old veterans — Andrew Hayes and Jacob DeSerres.
SEATTLE 3 AT EVERETT 4: The Silvertips overcame a 2-0 first-period deficit to win their home-opener. . . . F Tyler Maxwell pulled Everett into a 3-2 tie at 1:56 of the third period and he got the winner, off an assist by F Landon Ferraro, with 38 seconds left in the third period. . . . Everett D Ryan Murray had three assists. . . . Attendance was 6,599. . . . Everett D Alex Theriau took a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct at 13:28 of the third period and the score 3-3.
SWIFT CURRENT 4 at MOOSE JAW W 1: The Broncos broke open a scoreless game with two goals in the opening two minutes of the second period and went from there. . . . The teams meet Saturday in Swift Current. . . . Attendance in the Crushed Can was 2,774. . . . Broncos F Stepan Novotny scored 35 seconds into the second and F Taylor Vause made it 2-0 on a breakaway at 1:53. . . . “We made mental errors trying to force issues and gave up 14 odd-man rushes throughout the game. That’s unacceptable. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is,” Moose Jaw head coach Dave Hunchak told Mathew Gourlie of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald. “We didn’t give up 14 all year yet and we do it in the home opener.” . . . F Brad Hoban scored the Broncos’ last two goals, the second into an empty net. . . . The Broncos lost D Tanner Muth at 3:27 of the first period. He took a holding penalty just 52 seconds into the game and, at 3:27, it was pointed out to the on-ice officials that Muth wasn’t listed on the game sheet. The Broncos were hit with a bench minor for using an ineligible player and Muth got an early shower. . . . Moose Jaw D Dylan McIlrath, who was returned Friday by the New York Rangers, didn’t play. He will dress for Saturday’s rematch.
PRINCE ALBERT 2 AT SASKATOON 3: The Blades erased a 2-1 third-period deficit and won on two goals from F Darian Dziurzynski. . . . He tied the score at 7:56 of the third period and won it at 18:14 on the PP. . . . Saskatoon G Steven Stanford stopped 35 shots. . . . Saskatoon D Dalton Thrower, who turns 17 in December, scored his first WHL goal. It came in his 56th regular-season game. . . . Attendance was 5,446. . . . The teams meet Saturday in Prince Albert.
RED DEER 4 AT EDMONTON 1: The Rebels scored the first four goals, opening up a 4-0 lead early in the third period. . . . D Matt Dumba, the fourth overall pick in the 2009 bantam draft, got his first WHL at 6:32 of the first period. He had two assists in six games last season. . . . Red Deer G Darcy Kuemper stopped 27 shots. . . . Attendance was 6,320. . . . D Alex Petrovic drew two assists for Red Deer. . . . The teams meet again Saturday in Red Deer.
PRINCE GEORGE 2 at KAMLOOPS 5: LW Dylan Willick, who is from Prince George, scored twice to lead the Blazers. . . . He was credited with his first goal at 10:42 of the first period when a shot by D Linden Saip, on a Kamloops power play, appeared to glance off him. Willick said after the game that he wasn’t certain that it was his goal and that team officials would check the video. . . . Kamloops C Chase Schaber had a Gordie Howe hat trick — a goal, an assist and a scrap with Prince George D Martin Marincin, a Slovakian. . . . The night’s other bout featured LW Bernhard Keil of the Blazers, who is from Germany, and Cougars F Parker Stanfield. . . . Kamloops G Jon Groenheyde was outstanding, with 39 saves. . . . Prince George F Brett Connolly, who was reassigned earlier in the day by the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, flew into Kelowna late in the afternoon and arrived in Kamloops in time to play. He scored the Cougars’ first goal. . . . Attendance was 4,597.
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