Thursday, January 20, 2011

It sure does sound as though at least a couple of QMJHL teams are going to be on the move once this season draws to a close. It could be that the province of Prince Edward Island will lose one team but gain another. There is more right here.
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It turns out that the website on the Lethbridge Maple Leafs that was mentioned here earlier this week is the work of Trevor Esau and his son, Darcen. They also have another site dedicated to hockey history. It is right here. Feel free to check it out and, once you do, don’t forget to bookmark it. . . . Make sure you find the photo of the 1970-71 Lethbridge Sugar Kings. There is Lanny McDonald, without the ’stache, and, yes, that is John Chapman kneeling in the front.
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Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun was at the Top Prospects game on Wednesday night and he had Red Deer Rebels F Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as the best player on the ice. Koshan’s report from the Air Canada Centre is right here. . . . The attendance? One can only assume the hockey fans stayed at home to watch their Maple Leafs lost to the Rangers in New York. And how did that go?
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They are the mostly unsung heroes of the WHL. They are the off-ice officials. About the only time you hear about them is when a coach is upset over the shots on goal.
Which is why congratulations are in order to Ken Thomas, who is an off-ice official with the Seattle Thunderbirds in Kent, Wash.
Thomas, who does it all from being a goal judge to spotter to penalty box attendant, has been named Kent’s new Chief of Police. The announcement was made Wednesday by Kent Mayor Suzzette Cooke.
Chief Thomas will be sworn in sometime in the next two weeks. Presently a captain of the 185-member department, he is a 22-year veteran of policing. He also serves on the Thunderbird Community Sports Foundation and is on the foundation’s grant review committee. As well, he makes an annual presentation to Seattle players on public safety.
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Some folks were tweeting earlier today about WHL products on NHL rosters, and someone noted that every NHL team but one has a WHLer on its roster. That one, it was noted, was the New Jersey Devils. . . . The Devils do have one WHLer out with a long-term injury — D Bryce Salvador (Lethbridge, 1992-97) hasn’t played this season because of a concussion.
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The MJHL’s Swan Valley Stampeders, who play out of Swan River, have signed head coach Dwayne Kirkup to an extension that will run through 2012-13. He was the MJHL’s coach of the year in 2009-10, his first season with the Stampeders. . . . Kirkup is from Souris, Man., which also produced the likes of Andy Murray, Garry Davidson and Glen (Ab) Williamson, all of whom have had good runs in hockey at one level or another.
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One WHL player had his truck stolen on Wednesday afternoon. Which is why police officers regularly tell people not to leave their vehicles running, even when you are going to be away only for a minute or two. Read all about this incident right here.
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SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM WEDNESDAY’S GAMES:
In Moose Jaw, goaltenders Thomas Heemskerk and Brandon Stone combined for 20 saves as the Warriors blanked the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 4-0. . . . Heemskerk stopped 19 shots over 59:06, with Stone coming on to make one save in the final 54 seconds. . . . Moose Jaw head coach Dave Hunchak made the goaltending change as play got chippy late in the third period. . . . F Quinton Howden scored twice for the Warriors, giving him 27. . . . D Dylan McIlrath drew three assists, while F Sebastian Svendsen had two. . . . The teams combined for 104 penalty minutes, with 64 of those going to Lethbridge. . . . The Hurricanes have been blanked six times this season; the Warriors have put up three shutouts, with Heemskerk and Stone sharing two of them — both at home against Lethbridge. . . . The Crushed Can was rocking with 2,807 fans in the building. . . .
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In Kelowna, F Spencer Main had four assists and G Adam Brown stopped 30 shots as the Rockets dumped the Prince George Cougars, 6-2. . . . F Cody Chikie scored his eighth and ninth goals of the season, getting both in the first period to help the Rockets take a 3-0 lead. . . . Chikie’s second goal, at 13:00, sent G Ty Rimmer to the bench in favor of James Priestner. Chikie stopped six of nine; Priestner 17 of 20. . . . Attendance was 6,061. . . .
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In Kennewick, Wash., F Connor Rankin had a goal and two assists and G Drew Owsley earned his third shutout this season as the host Tri-City Americans blanked the Kamloops Blazers, 5-0. . . . The Americans were leading 1-0, on D Paul Sohor’s second goal, when F Carter Ashton and Rankin scored 19 seconds apart in the second period. . . . Owsley stopped 21 shots, only two in the third period, in earning his eighth career shutout and his 25th victory this season. . . . The Blazers were without injured forwards Jordan DePape, Thomas Frazee, Bernhard Keil and Chase Schaber, then lost C Dalibor Bortnak to an undisclosed injury in the third period. That left them with eight forwards on their bench. . . . The Americans have won 12 straight home games. . . . Kamloops D Josh Caron may hear from the WHL office after being hit with a spearing major and game misconduct in the third period. . . . Kamloops took 45 of the 59 penalty minutes handed out by referee Jason Nissen. . . . Attendance was 3,812. . . . The Blazers wrapped up the U.S. portion of their road schedule with the game. The Americans have yet to play in Kamloops this season.
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WEDNESDAY’S CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
Two minors:
D Daniel Johnston, Lethbridge
D Reid Jackson, Lethbridge

gdrinnan@kamloopsnews.ca
     
gdrinnan.blogspot.com
     
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