Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Check out the cap that Mason Carter is wearing as he
meets his pal, Dog the Bounty Hunter.
Mason Carter is a 16-year-old hockey fan who lives in Teulon, Man.
He recently received some help from the Rainbow Foundation, which granted him a wish.
That wish was to meet Dog the Bounty Hunter (aka Duane Chapman).
That meeting recently took place and you can bet that the Tri-City Americans are loving the cap that Mason chose to wear for the meet and greet.
F Lee Goren (Saskatoon, 1995-96) signed a contract for the rest of the season with Bern (Switzerland NL A) after his release by the Straubing Tigers (Germany DEL) on Sunday. He had 12 goals and 25 assists in 33 games for Straubing this season. . . .
F Kyle Wanvig (Edmonton/Kootenay, Red Deer, 1997-2001) signed a contract for the rest of this season with Poprad (Slovakia Extraliga) after his release by the Augsburger Panther (Germany DEL). He had five goals and 10 assists in 37 games for the Panther this season. . . .
D Gennady Razin (Kamloops, 1996-98) and D Deron Quint (Seattle, 1993-96) signed two-year contract extensions with Traktor Chelyabinsk (Russia, KHL). Razin has three goals and six assists in 48 games and Quint has 17 goals and 10 assists in 48 games this season for Traktor.
———The Portland Winterhawks have lost a second player to serious injury.
Last week, they announced that F Oliver Gabriel would be having shoulder surgery so won’t play again this season.
Now it’s D Brett Ponich who has a date with a surgeon. Ponich, 19, will have surgery Thursday to repair a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). The surgery may cost him the rest of his season.
Ponich, who has played 249 games over five seasons with Portland, was injured Jan. 18 in a 5-4 OT victory over the visiting Tri-City Americans. He has 12 assists in 45 games and is plus-23.
The 6-foot-7, 225-pound Ponich was a second-round selection of the St. Louis Blues in the NHL’s 2009 draft. He has signed with the Blues.
The loss of Ponich is a big hit to the Winterhawks, who remain on top of the Western Conference, although the Spokane Chiefs and Tri-City Americans are nipping at their heels.
Ponich, whose size is an intimidating factor out there, is as good as any shut-down defenceman in the WHL.
And now how prescient do the Winterhawks look for having landed D William Wrenn.
Wrenn, 19, left the U of Denver Pioneers and joined the Winterhawks at the Christmas break. He has six assists and is plus-18 in just 12 games with Portland. And you can bet he will be playing an increased role with Ponich gone, as will D Derrick Pouliot, the 16-year-old from Weyburn, Sask., who was the first overall pick in the WHL’s 2009 bantam draft.
As for Gabriel, he had surgery on his right shoulder last week in Columbus, Ohio, and has begun the recovery and rehabilitation process. He has signed with the NHL’s Blue Jackets, having attended their 2010 training camp as an undrafted free agent.
John Blanchette, the sports columnist at the Spokane Spokesman-Review, takes a look at exactly what it is that has the Spokane Chiefs going in the right direction. Blanchette’s column on head coach Don Nachbaur and his impact on the Chiefs is right here.
Bob Florence of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix takes a look at Les Lazaruk, who has called the play for more than 1,300 games involving the Saskatoon Blades. About all that is missing is a summary of Lazaruk's Strat-O-Matic baseball days. That piece is right here.
The Red Deer Rebels take their 11-game winning streak into Saskatoon tonight to face the Blades, who, at 38-10-2, boast the WHL’s best record. The Blades have won 16 of their last 20 outings. . . . The Rebels are three points in arrears of the Blades. . . . Red Deer G Darcy Kuemper leads the WHL in victories (33), GAA (1.83), save percentage (.933) and shutouts (10). Kuemper just happens to be from Saskatoon. . . . F Cody Chikie of the Kelowna Rockets is the WHL’s player of hte week. He had seven points, including six assists, in two games. . . . Kent Simpson of the Everett Silvertips is the WHL’s nominee as the CHL’S goaltender of the week. He was 3-1-0 last week, with a 1.25 GAA and a .965 save percentage. . . . The Calgary Hitmen and Kootenay Ice were fined $250 each for warmup violations prior to weekend games. . . . F Ryan Harrison of the Everett Silvertips drew a one-game suspension for a checking-from-behind major he incurred Sunday during a 2-1 victory over the host Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Seattle F Travis Toomey is under one of those tbd (to be determined) suspensions under supplemental discipline for something that happened in that loss to Everett on Sunday.
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