There are 22 teams in the WHL. That means there are approximately 500 players on WHL team rosters on any given day.
F Spencer Asuchak of the Prince George Cougars has been suspended for eight games after testing positive for methylhexaneamine, a stimulant that he inadvertently ingested in an over-the-counter supplement. Which is how he became the first player in WHL history to be suspended under the CHL’s anti-doping policy.
Asuchak has said that he used one supplement (Jack3d) over the summer and another (Razor 8) in December.
Two OHL players were suspended, or at least their suspensions were announced, on Jan. 14. One of the players had already served his eight-game suspension when the announcement was made. Both of them tested positive for methylhexaneamine; both of them apparently ingested it via Jack3d, which they purchased over the counter.
So, boys being boys and all of that, do you really think that Asuchak is the only player in all of the WHL who inadvertently used an over-the-counter supplement? Do you think that these three players are the only ones in the 60-team CHL with methylhexaneamine in their systems?
What if every player in the WHL was tested? How many of those 500 or so players do you think would come up positive?
Here’s what Dean Clark, Prince George’s head coach, told Sunaya Sapurji, Yahoo! Sports’ junior hockey editor:
“I’m sure there are other kids. These guys aren’t the first guys. I think there are some general managers in our league who are worried . . . because there was a month before the Ontario guys came out (positive) where (WHL players) were being tested, so there could be some more guys that come out here that end up testing positive.”
Asuchak was tested in Prince George on Dec. 17. The Cougars were informed of his result on Jan. 19.
What if every player in the WHL was tested on, say, Feb. 20? How many players would be looking at suspensions as the playoffs were getting started?
Of course, the testing is done by random selection, so that would never happen. But it’s worth thinking about.
G Mac Engel of the Spokane Chiefs has played in 13 games this season, but he’s still looking for his first victory. He is 0-4-3 going into this weekend’s games. And he will be the starter now that James Reid, who has appeared in 42 games, is out with an ankle injury. Dave Trimmer of the Spokane Spokesman-Review has the Chiefs’ story right here.
Nick Patterson of the Everett Herald reports that Silvertips F Landon Ferraro’s season may not be over. “Ferraro, who was diagnosed with a hernia, is heading to Detroit this week to be evaluated by the Red Wings' doctors,” scribbled Patterson, noting that Ferraro has signed an NHL contract with the Wings, who selected him in the second round of the 2009 draft. “Those doctors will determine whether Ferraro will undergo surgery now or after the season. If Ferraro undergoes surgery to repair the hernia, he could be back in early March, in time for the stretch run.”
F Oliver Gabriel of the Portland Winterhawks will miss the remainder of the season thanks to a shoulder injury. He is to undergo surgery to repair a dislocated right shoulder. He suffered the injury in October, then hurt it again Jan. 15 in a 5-2 victory over the Blazers in Kamloops. . . . Gabriel, 19, had 32 points in 41 games with Portland this season, getting career highs in goals (11) and assists (21). . . . He attended training camp with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets on a free-agent tryout deal and ended up signing a three-year deal.
The Medicine Hat Tigers made some new friends during their recent visit to Kamloops for a game with the Blazers. Check this out right here.
JUST NOTES: The Tri-City Americans have signed F Justin Spagrud, a third-round pick in the 2010 bantam draft. Spagrud, who is from Gull Lake, Sask., has 15 points in 32 games with the midget AAA Swift Current Legionnaires. He will play for Team Saskatchewan at the Canada Winter Games in Halifax, N.S., Feb. 11-27. . . . F Tyler Johnson of the Spokane Chiefs is the CHL’s player of the week. He had 10 points in four games last week. . . . The AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have signed G Alkexander Pechurskiy to a pro tryout contract. Pechurskiy, 20, started this season with the Tri-City Americans but lost out in the 20-year-old numbers game. He has played in 21 games with the Central league’s, going 10-8-0, 2.74, .898. A Russian, he was selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the fifth round of the NHL’s 2008 draft.
SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM TUESDAY’S GAMES:
In Regina, the Medicine Hat Tigers scored the game’s first two goals and never trailed as they beat the Pats, 4-3. . . . F Tyler Pitlick, with his 20th, and F Linden Vey, with No. 32, gave the visitors a 2-0 lead before the game was five minutes old. . . . The Pats weren’t able to get back even, despite getting a goal, his 22nd, and two assists from F Jordan Weal. . . . F Garrett Mitchell also had a goal and two helpers for Regina. . . . Vey also had an assist and now leads the WHL with 81 points, two more than Spokane Chiefs F Tyler Johnson. . . . F Hunter Shinkaruk had a goal and two assists for the Tigers, who got 30 saves from G Tyler Bunz. . . . Attendance was 4,998. . . .
In Swift Current, G Thomas Heemskerk stopped 53 shots to lead the Moose Jaw Warriors to a 4-3 victory over the Broncos. . . . The home side outshot the visitors 20-9 in the first period and 22-6 in the third. . . . Moose Jaw F Cody Beach, in his return after a six-game concussion-related absence, got the game’s first goal, his ninth, at 3:55 of the first period on a PP. . . . F Antonin Honejsek upped the lead to 2-0 with his 21st just five minutes later. . . . The Broncos weren’t able to catch up. . . . F Quinton Howden got his 28th for Moose Jaw, while F Dylan Hood got No. 21. . . . F Taylor Vause had a goal and an assist for the Broncos. . . . F Sebastian Svendsen and D Dylan Bowman each had two assists for the Warriors. . . . Moose Jaw was 2-for-6 on the PP. . . . Attendance was 2,212. . . . “(Heemsker) played well,” Moose Jaw head coach Dave Hunchak told Matthew Gourlie of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald. “We’ve been challenging our guys to start getting playoff ready mentally here and to play a certain way. If there’s one guy that’s already there, it’s Thomas Heemskerk. He made big saves when we needed them and he was a calming influence and he controlled the pace of play. There’s no question we gave up shots, but we didn’t give up 56 shots.” . . .
In Calgary, Saskatoon’s Lorne Molleken earned the 499th victory of his head-coaching career as the Blades beat the Hitmen, 8-4. . . . Molleken’s first chance to become the fifth coach in WHL history to get to 500 victories comes tonight in Edmonton against the Oil Kings. He also has coached the Moose Jaw Warriors and Regina Pats. . . . The Blades led this one 4-0 by 12:43 of the second period and took a 6-1 lead into the third period. . . . F Jake Trask scored twice for Saskatoon -- he’s got 13 -- and added an assist. F Curtis Hamilton had a goal and two assists, and F Brayden Schenn, the third member of the line, scored his first goal for the Blades and set up another. . . . D Stefan Elliott also had a goal and two assists for Saskatoon. . . . F Cody Sylvester had two goals for Calgary, which got two assists from F Brooks Macek. . . . Saskatoon was 3-for-6 on the PP. . . . Attendance was 7,820. . . .
In Lethbridge, the Hurricanes opened up a 3-0 lead and went on to beat the Brandon Wheat Kings, 4-3. . . . F Michael Sofillas, with his second, F Austin Fyten, with No. 19, and F Max Ross, with his 12th, scored first-period goals for Lethbridge. . . . F Shayne Wiebe got Brandon to within one with a pair of second-period goals, both of which were shorthanded. Wiebe has 26 goals. . . . F Russell Maxwell restored Lethbridge’s two-goal lead at 12:39 of the third on a PP. . . . F Scott Glennie got Brandon back to within one at 17:04, with his 21st. . . . Lethbridge G Dylan Tait stopped 29 shots, seven fewer than Brandon’s Liam Liston. . . . Lethbridge D Mike Reddington had two assists. . . . Attendance was 2,748. . . . G Tyson Sexsmith, the WHL’s career record-holder in shutouts (26), is joining the AHL’s Worcester Sharks. Sexsmith hasn’t played since Nov. 7 when he was with the ECHL’s Stockton Thunder. He has been on injured reserve since then, and now has been recalled by Worcester. Sexsmith, who played for the Vancouver Giants, was a third-round pick by the San Jose Sharks in the NHL’s 2007 draft.