Consider for a few moments, if you will, the road, or roads, travelled by Travis Bobbee during his WHL career.
Bobbee, 20, grew up on a farm near the rural Manitoba community of Arborg. It’s in the Interlake region, about an hour’s drive north of Winnipeg. The population of Arborg in 2006 was 1,021.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes selected Bobbee with the 15th overall pick in the 2005 bantam draft. He played 59 games over two seasons in Lethbridge -- population somewhere around 86,000 -- before being traded to Portland, with a population of slightly more than 500,000, early in 2007-08.
The Winterhawks dealt him to the Swift Current Broncos last season. Swift Current, with a population of 16,000, is the smallest of the 60 communities that are home to CHL teams.
Earlier this season, Bobbee found himself on the move again. This time it was off to Seattle -- population about 600,000, but with something like 4 million living in its metropolitan area.
Going from Portland to Swift Current, Bobbee admits, was a bit of a shock.
“Everything in that town is about five minutes away,” said Bobbee, who scored his first goal of the season in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Blazers in Kamloops on Saturday night. “It’s unbelievable how small it was.”
But now he’s in Seattle where traffic can be, shall we say, something of a problem.
The Thunderbirds, for example, played at home on Friday night. Rather than wait until Saturday morning to head for Kamloops, they chose to leave right after a 2-0 loss to the Prince George Cougars.
That’s because they knew the traffic would be much lighter at night than at anytime the following day.
As a chuckling Bobbee put it: “Every hour is rush hour” in the Seattle area.
As for making the adjustment from Swift Current to Seattle, Bobbee said: “Now everything is back to the big city life. It’s 15, 20, 25 minutes to get to the rink some days.”
His family is still on the farm at Arborg, so he’s still a small-town boy at heart.
Ask him what he prefers -- big city or small town -- and he replies: “Ahh, I’ll take anything.”
VANCOUVER 4 at EDMONTON 2: G Brendan Jensen stopped 35 shots for the Giants (10-6-2). . . . Vancouver F Brendan Gallagher broke a 1-1 tie 20 seconds into the second period with his WHL-leading 16th goal. . . . Vancouver F Matt Bellerive got his second just 2:26 later. . . . F James Henry upped the lead to 4-1 at 3:54 of the third. . . . F Michael St. Croix had both Edmonton goals. He has six. . . . The Oil Kings (5-9-1) have lost eight in a row. . . . Vancouver F Craig Cunningham, the WHL’s scoring leader, had two assists. . . . Edmonton starter Cam Lanigan surrendered three goals on six shots. Laurent Brossoit came on to stop 15 of 16. . . . Vancouver was 1-for-4 on the PP; Edmonton was 1-for-3. . . . Attendance was 4,311. . . . Checking-from-behind count: Zero.
BRANDON 3 at LETHBRIDGE 6: F Graham Hood scored his second and third goals of the season for the Hurricanes (6-5-3). His first goal gave the home team a 4-0 lead at 16:06 of the first period. . . . Lethbridge F Brady Ramsay scored his first WHL goal at 4:31 of the first to give his side a 2-0 edge. . . . F Cam Braes upped the lead to 3-0 when he ended a 12-game drought at 9:47 of the first. It was his third goal of the season. . . . The Wheat Kings (6-10-1) had been 2-0-1 in their last three games. This was the last game in an eight-game road trip that took them through the B.C. Division. Brandon finished 2-5-0-1 on the trip that began Oct. 16 in Swift Current. . . . Brandon G Corbin Boes was lifted after one period. He gave up four goals on 14 shots. Liam (Sonny) Liston came on to stop 15 of 17. . . . F Jacob Berglund, F Ryon Moser and D Reid Jackson each had two assists for Lethbridge. . . . F Dominick Favreau scored twice for Brandon, while Mark Stone got his 10th. . . . Brandon was 1-for-5 on the PP; Lethbridge was 1-for-4. . . . Lethbridge G Dylan Tait turned aside 32 shots. . . . Brandon F Shayne Wiebe left in the first period with an apparent leg injury and didn’t return. . . . Lethbridge F Brody Sutter returned from a shoulder injury but left after two shifts. . . . Attendance was 2,776. . . . Checking-from-behind count: One minor, to Brandon F Hampus Gustafsson.
PRINCE ALBERT 4 at MOOSE JAW 7: F Quinton Howden scored twice in the game’s first 5:03 and the Warriors went on to lead this one 5-1 before the second period was half over. . . . Howden has nine goals. . . . Moose Jaw (7-8-1) has won three straight. . . . Moose Jaw F Antonin Honejsek also scored twice, giving him seven, while F Sam Fioretti had three assists. F Spencer Edwards and F Dylan Hood added two helpers each for the Warriors. . . . Moose Jaw F Danny Gayle had a goal and two assists. . . . Raiders F Jonathan Parker got his 11th goal of the season. . . . Moose Jaw F A.J. Johnson got his first WHL goal. . . . The Raiders (5-8-4) got two goals from F Todd Fiddler, who has three. . . . Moose Jaw G Brandon Stone stopped 30 shots in what was his second career start and his first complete game. . . . G Jamie Tucker of the Raiders turned aside 31. . . . P.A. was 3-for-5 on the PP; the Warriors were 1-for-6. . . . The Raiders have lost five in a row. . . . Attendance was 2,678. . . . Checking-from-behind count: Zero.
SPOKANE 11 at REGINA 1: F Levko Koper scored two goals and set up four others for the Chiefs (6-7-0). . . . Koper, who has seven goals, also was plus-5. . . . The Chiefs, who opened an East Division tour with a 3-2 loss in Moose Jaw on Friday, scored twice in the first period and added five more in the second before the Pats got on the board. . . . Regina (5-8-2) had won three straight. . . . Spokane F Tyler Johnson added two goals and two assists, while F Marek Kalus had two goals and an assist. . . . D Garrett Leedahl, D Brenden Kichton and F Dominik Uher each had two assists. . . . Attendance was 4,327. . . . Checking-from-behind count: Zero.
SEATTLE 2 at KAMLOOPS 3 (OT): F Jordan DePape scored a PP goals 32 seconds into overtime to win this one. It was his fourth goal of the season. . . . However, the night belonged to Seattle G Calvin Pickard, who stopped 49 shots. . . . DePape and Pickard are boyhood friends from Winnipeg. . . . The Thunderbirds (5-3-4) have lost five straight games but have at least one point in nine of their 12 games. . . . The Blazers (8-7-1) took a 1-0 lead on F Colin Smith’s third goal at 9:43 of the first. . . . The Thunderbirds took a 2-1 lead on goals by D Travis Bobbee, his first, at 15:58 of the second, and F Marcel Noebels, his fourth, on the PP, at 1:10 of the third. . . . Kamloops D Austin Madaisky forced OT with a PP goal at 8:43 of the third. . . . The Blazers outshot Seattle 19-3 in the first period and 16-9 in the second. The home team had three quick PP shots in OT, with DePape slapping home a rebound. . . . Kamloops G Jeff Bosch turned aside 23 shots. . . . Kamloops was 2-for-6 on the PP; Seattle was 1-for-6. . . . Attendance was 4,058. . . . Checking-from-behind count: Zero.
PRINCE GEORGE 4 at TRI-CITY 3 (SO): F Charles Inglis won this one with a shootout goal. . . . He and D Sena Acolatse, both of whom were acquired from Saskatoon this season, both scored in the shootout. F Adam Hughesman scored for the Americans, with Inglis breaking the tie. . . . The Cougars got the game’s first goal, from D Martin Marincin on the PP at 1:55 of the first, and the teams alternated goals after that. . . . F Jordan Messier had two goals -- he has 11 -- and an assist for the Americans (11-4-2). . . . Inglis had two assists for the Cougars (9-6-1) who won 2-0 in Seattle on Friday night. . . . The Americans had won their first four home games. . . . The Cougars had been winless in 13 games in the Toyota Center, going back to Nov. 2, 2003. . . . Prince George G Ty Rimmer, coming off the shutout in Seattle, stopped 28 shots, one fewer than Tri-City’s Drew Owsley. . . . Each team was 1-for-3 on the PP. . . . Attendance was 4,165. . . . Checking-from-behind count: Zero.
KELOWNA 1 at PORTLAND 6: The Winterhawks (12-2-1) ran their win streak to six with their second victory over the Rockets in two nights. On Friday, Portland beat the visitors 4-2. . . . Kelowna (4-10-0) now has lost three straight. . . . The Winterhawks are 6-1-1 at home. They lead the WHL in points (25), victories (12) and winning percentage (.833). . . . Portland forwards Ty Rattie and Sven Bartschi ran their point streaks to nine games. Rattie, who had two goals and an assists, has 20 points in those nine games. Bartschi, who had a goal and assist, has 17 points over the nine games. . . . Rattie, with 28 points, is third in the WHL scoring race. Bartschi, with 23 points, is the WHL’s highest-scoring rookie. . . . Portland F Nino Niederreiter, playing his second game since returning from the NHL’s New York Islanders, scored his first goal. . . . Portland got two assists from each of D Joe Morrow and F Brad Ross. . . . Portland G Mac Carruth stopped 29 shots to improve to 6-1. He has allowed five goals over his last five games. . . . Carruth lost his shutout bid when F Shane McColgan scored on the PP at 10:39 of the third. . . . Kelowna G Adam Brown stopped 35 shots, including a second-period penalty shot by F Taylor Peters. . . . Attendance was 2,508. . . . Checking-from-behind count: Zero.
SASKATOON 1 at RED DEER 7: F Andrej Kudrna scored three times and set up another to lead the Rebels (11-5-0). . . . Red Deer, which has won three straight, broke open a 1-1 tie with two PP goals in the last minute of the second period, F Byron Froese getting his ninth at 19:12 and Kudrna scoring 35 seconds later. . . . Kudrna now has 12 goals. . . . The Rebels added four third-period goals. . . . Froese finished up with a goal and two assists, while F Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had two assists. . . . The Blades are 10-4-0. . . . The Rebels have allowed 31 goals in 16 games. . . . The Blades had earned a 2-1 victory in Red Deer on Oct. 15. . . . Red Deer G Darcy Kuemper stopped 25 shots. . . . Saskatoon starter Adam Morrison allowed four goals on 28 shots. With Steven Stanford (concussion) out for a week, Adam Todd backed up Morrison and saw his first action. He stopped nine of 12 shots. Todd was brought in from the Kelowna-based Okanagan Rockets of the B.C. major midget league. . . . Saskatoon was 0-for-1 on the PP; the Rebels were 3-for-8. . . . Attendance was 4,897. . . . Checking-from-behind count: Zero.
CHILLIWACK 4 at MEDICINE HAT 5: F Linden Vey led the Tigers (7-5-0) with a goal and two assists, his goal, at 16:23 of the third period, giving his guys a 5-3 lead. . . . Vey has four goals on the season. . . . F Emerson Etem scored three times for the Tigers, giving him nine on the season. He scored once at even strength, once on the PP and once while shorthanded. . . . F Wacey Hamilton of Medicine Hat broke a 3-3 tie with a PP goal at 4:03 of the third. . . . Tigers D Thomas Carr had two assists. . . . The Bruins (8-5-0) got two assists from F Ryan Howse. . . . Each team was 2-for-7 on the PP. . . . Medicne Hat had lost two in a row, while the Bruins had a four-game winning streak snapped. . . . Attendance was 4,006. . . . Checking-from-behind count: Zero.
Taking Note on Twitter