Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Jessi and her friends Mitch Topping (left) and Justin Feser.
(Photo courtesy of Carrie Carlson)
If you are a regular visitor to this site, you will be familiar with the story of Jessi, the young lady who is a huge fan of the Tri-City Americans and has Down Syndrome.
Well, the Americans held their annual miniature golf tournament for players and booster club members on Sunday and, yes, Jessi played a big part in it.
As usual, Dawn Johnson, one of Jessi’s teachers and a big Americans fan herself, fills us in:
“With the graduation of Taylor Procyshen and Kruise Reddick, Jessi's mom, Tracy Engel, was a little nervous about who would be kind enough to play a round with Jessi. Adam Hughesman has been a great friend to Jessi, but he was away at the New York Islanders' camp.
“But we shouldn't have worried — Kruise had texted Justin Feser before the event and asked him to make sure Jessi was looked after.
“So Justin and his friend and new teammate Mitch Topping joined Jessi on the (mini) links.
“Similar to last year with Kruise and Adam, they played half of the game blindfolded — as you remember Jessi lost her sight a few years ago. Justin said he was amazed at how difficult it was to play while blindfolded.
“I was extremely proud of both Justin and Mitch, and the rest of the team who continue to amaze and inspire me.
“Last season during the ‘Skate with the Ams’ after each Sunday night game, many of the boys were fighting over who would be next to push Jessi in her wheelchair on the ice. It definitely is a highlight for Jessi.”
It sounds like Jessi’s involvement is a highlight for the Tri-City players, too.
Well done, guys!
D Dustin Kohn (Calgary, Brandon, 2003-06) signed a one-year contract with Örebro (Sweden, Allsvenskan). He had two goals and 13 assists in 45 games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL) last season. Allsvenskan begins regular-season play Sept. 19. . . .
F Mike Bayrack (Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Prince George, 1995-99) signed a one-year contract with the Braehead Clan (Scotland, UK Elite). He had 12 goals and 23 assists in 36 games for the Belfast Giants (Northern Ireland, UK Elite) and four goals and three assists in 14 games for Jesenice (Slovenia, Austria Erste Bank Liga) last season. Braehead plays out of Glasgow and opens its regular season on Sept. 24. The Clan is the only UK Elite team that has not played a regular-season game yet.
Gilles Courteau is the commissioner of the QMJHL. And he should be applauded. As Chris Cochrane writes in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, “Courteau has recently made noise about taking the ultimate step — outlawing fighting. He believes such a move would be healthier for the players and would fit better with the league’s desire to offer family-type entertainment. Only a few years ago, the leader of a high-profile league would never have contemplated such a concept. That’s how much the times are changing.”
Cochrane’s complete column is right here.
For today’s good read, we visit esquire.com and a great piece by Chris Jones, who sat on his couch and watched the Monday Night Football doubleheader. Yes, he heard what Ron (Jaws) Jaworski said. Oh, it looks as though Jones also switched to the Republican debate a time or two, as well. That piece is right here.

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