Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun talks with F Brandon Leipsic of the Portland Winterhawks prior to the opener at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge. Leipsic and his Team Western teammates meet Team Pacific tonight and the game is sold out. Wiebe’s story is right here.
F Emerson Etem of the Medicine Hat Tigers is in Buffalo with the U.S. national junior team at the World Junior Championship. Early in the week, Etem slagged Buffalo in a tweet. Things were in damage control-mode on Tuesday. That story is right here.
F Brian Matte (Prince George, 2008-09) has signed with the Central league’s Laredo Bucks. Matte, who is from Prince George, started the season in camp with the AHL’s Oklahoma City Barons. He played 12 games with the U of Lethbridge Pronghorns last season.
JUST NOTES: F Tyler Fiddler (ankle) has returned to the Calgary Hitmen lineup after an 11-game absence, but F Misha Fisenko is weather-bound in Russia so hasn’t yet made his way back from the Christmas break. . . . The Saskatoon Blades, with skaters away at the WJC and the WHC, have added F Tim McGauley, 15, from the midget AAA Regina Pat Canadians and F Hudson Morrison, 16, from the Manitoba midget AAA league’s Southwest Cougars. McGauley was the 20th overall pick in the 2010 WHL draft, while Morrison was a ninth-round pick in 2009. . . . The NHL’s Minnesota Wild has re-assigned D Jared Spurgeon (Spokane, 2005-10) to the AHL’s Houston Aeros. He had two penalty minutes in 12 games with the Wild. He average 12:09 in playing time during those games.
SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM TUESDAY’S GAMES:
F Dylan Hood scored three goals, giving him 17, as the Moose Jaw Warriors beat the Hitmen 6-1 in Calgary. . . . In Regina, F Lyndon Martell, who was acquired earlier this month from the Kamloops Blazers, had a goal and an assist in the last two minutes of the third period to force OT and the Pats went on to defeat the Swift Current Broncos 4-3 in a shootout. Martell was playing in his first game with Regina. The Pats have 11 victories this season, with five of those against the Broncos. . . . The Kootenay Ice got two goals from each of D Brayden McNabb and F Brendan Hurley and beat the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers, 6-3. F Tyler Pitlick scored twice for the Tigers. . . . D Aaron Borejko and F Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each had two assists to help the Red Deer Rebels to a 4-1 victory over the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings. . . .
F Jordan DePape returned from serving a five-game suspension to score twice as the hometown Kamloops Blazers beat the Vancouver Giants, 6-1. Kamloops F Brendon Ranford had three assists, increasing his point total to a WHL-leading 57, two more than F Linden Vey of Medicine Hat. . . . In Portland, the Messier brothers, Jordan and Marcus, each scored as the Tri-City Americans dropped the Winterhawks, 5-1. Marcus has two goals, while Jordan has 21. . . . In Prince George, G Lucas Gore stopped 29 shots to lead the Chilliwack Bruins to a 3-0 victory over the Cougars. Gore has two shutouts this season and seven in his career. . . .
In Kelowna, F Evan Bloodoff scored twice and G Adam Brown stopped 26 shots as the Rockets blanked the Everett Silvertips, 4-0. Bloodoff has eight goals, while Brown has nine career shutouts, one this season. Everett has been blanked a WHL-high six times this season. . . . Kelowna was 4-10 on the PP, while Everett was 0-1. . . . In Kent, Wash., before 6,125 fans, G James Reid stopped 29 shots to lead the visiting Spokane Chiefs to a 2-0 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. Reid, who now has 20 victories this season, has three shutouts this season and 12 in his career.
TUESDAY’S CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
Kootenay D Luke Paulsen
Kootenay F Matt Fraser
Kootenay D Brayden McNabb
Tri-City F Connor Rankin
Seattle F Chance Lund
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