Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry handles the ceremonial faceoff at the Seattle
Thunderbirds’ home-opener, dropping the puck between Troy Rutkowski
of the Portland Winterhawks and Luke Lockhart. Petry’s daughter and son,
Megan and Austin, look on at left.
(Photo by Kyle Scholzen/Seattle Thunderbirds)
The Seattle Thunderbirds had Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry do the honours for the ceremonial faceoff as they opened at home against the Portland Winterhawks on Saturday night.
Sergeant First Class Petry is a Medal of Honor recipient and it’s more than worth your while to click on right here and read about how he earned such an honour.
Petry, who received the Medal of Honour on July 12, now is stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
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Richard Doerksen, the WHL’s vice-president of hockey who handles discipline, dropped the hammer on Saturday.
Now we will have to see how clearly the message was received.
Doerksen has suspended F Cody Beach of the Moose Jaw Warriors for seven games after he incurred a checking to the head major and game misconduct.
The penalty was assessed Thursday night in the WHL’s regular-season opener after Beach hit Brandon Wheat Kings F Bruno Mraz, who wasn’t injured on the play.
Beach was playing his first game with the Warriors after having returned from the camp of the NHL’s St. Louis Blues. He was a repeat offender, having been suspended twice earlier in his WHL career.
Matthew Gourlie of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald reported:
“Beach had previously been suspended twice for two games with the Calgary Hitmen in 2009 — once for instigating fight on line change and the other came after he picked up an elbowing major.”
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The NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets have assigned F Oliver Gabriel, 20, to the AHL’s Springfield Falcons. Gabriel has signed an NHL contract and is a 20-year-old, so is eligible to play anywhere in the Columbus organization or, at some point, he could be returned to the Portland Winterhawks. . . .
F J.T. Barnett of the Kamloops Blazers has been returned by the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. Barnett played for Devils — he scored the game’s first goal at 1:26 of the first period — in a 5-4 OT victory over te New York Rangers on Friday afternoon. Later in the first period, Barnett tweaked a knee and now is expected to miss between two and four weeks. . . .
The Devils also returned D Reece Scarlett to the Swift Current Broncos. . . . He got back in time to play for the Broncos in their home-opener against the Regina Pats on Saturday night. . . .
The St. Louis Blues have returned F Ty Rattie to the Portland Winterhawks. . . . He was in the Winterhawks’ lineup on Saturday, scoring twice in a 6-3 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds in Kent, Wash.
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Gerry Bell, who worked as the CEO of the Kamloops Blazers in 2005-06, has died. Bell, 68, passed away Thursday after a five-year battle with cancer.
Bell was a long-time labour negotiator who worked to help the Blazers get back on track after the franchise was torn apart by financial scandal in the early 2000s.
After the Blazers, then owned by community shareholders, were hit by a scandal that included the office manager having taken more than $900,000 over a number of years, the team’s board of directors hired Bell in late 2003 to take a long, hard look inside the organization. Shortly thereafter, the team began restructuring. Bell later was hired as the team’s CEO.
A celebration of Bell’s life will be held Wednesday in Kamloops.
There is more right here.
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JUST NOTES: When Saskatoon beat the visiting Prince Albert Raiders 4-3 on Friday night, it marked the 1,500th regular-season victory in the Blades’ WHL history. . . . The Blades made it 1,501 by beating the Raiders 5-3 in Prince Albert on Saturday night. . . . Seen huddling before the Prince George Cougars met the Blazers in Kamloops last night: Rick Brodsky, who owns the Cougars, and Stu MacGregor, the head scout for the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers. You don’t suppose they were chatting about Martin Marincin, the Slovakian defenceman who played with the Cougars last season and now is in the Oilers’ camp, do you? . . . The Oilers selected Marincin out of Europe in the 2010 draft, so he is eligible to play in their organization even though he is only 19.
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SATURDAY’S HIGHLIGHTS:
The Prince George Cougars beat the Blazers 1-0 as F Charles Inglis scored with eight-10ths of a second left in the second period. Prince George goaltender Drew Owsley was terrific, stopping 32 shots for his 10th career shutout and the second by a 1-0 count. While with the Tri-City Americans, he beat the visiting Kelowna Rockets 1-0 on Oct. 1. . . . The Blazers’ home-opener drew 4,069 fans, the smallest opening night crowd in the 20 openers that have been played in what now is the Interior Savings Centre. The previous smallest opening-night crowd (4,583) showed up last season as the Blazers beat the Cougars, 5-2. . . . F Brock Montgomery, who had played 114 regular-seasons without drawing more than one assist, set up four goals as the Kootenay Ice opened defence of its championship with a 5-1 victory over the visiting Calgary Hitmen. Attendance was 3,253. . . .
Slovakian F Filip Vasko, the 14th shooter, notched the winner as the visiting Kelowna Rockets beat the Everett Silvertips 5-4 in a shootout. . . . In Medicine Hat, F Cam Braes, Lethbridge’s new captain, had two goals as the Hurricanes stunned the Tigers, 4-2. Yes, attendance was 4,006. The game included 19 power plays, with Lethbridge going 2-for-10 and the Tigers 0-for-9. . . . Russian G Andrey Makarov stopped 33 shots in his first WHL start as the Saskatoon Blades beat the Raiders 5-3 in Prince Albert. Makarov, 18, was selected in the 2010 import draft. . . .
In Kent, Wash., D Derrick Pouliot enjoyed his first career four-point game — he drew four assists — in leading the Portland Winterhawks to a 6-3 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. Pouliot, a highly touted 17-year-old from Weyburn, Sask., had three two-point games last season. Seattle G Calvin Pickard stopped 40 shots. . . . In Swift Current, D Brandon Underwood scored his third career goal — it was his 151st regular-season game, to help the Regina Pats to a 4-2 victory over the Broncos. The Pats acquired Underwood, 19, from Kamloops over the summer. He didn’t score in 58 games last season, after counting once in 56 games in 2009-10 and once in 35 games in 2008-09. . . . Attendance was 2,023. . . . The Pats had beaten the visiting Broncos 5-1 on Friday night. . . .
In Kennewick, Wash., the Tri-City Americans went 3-for-6 on the PP and beat the Spokane Chiefs, 4-1. F Adam Hughesman had a goal and two assists. . . . The Americans have won their last 11 home-openers. . . . Spokane G Mac Engel stopped F Patrick Holland on a second-period penalty shot. . . . Attendance was 5,599. . . . Spokane F Dominik Uher took a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct in the second period. . . . The WHL returned to Victoria and there were 7,006 fans on hand as the Royals beat the Vancouver Giants 5-3. F Kevin Sundher had a goal and two assists for the Royals but the star was G Keith Hamilton, who stopped 48 shots. . . . It was the first WHL regular-season game in Victoria since the end of the 1993-94 season, after which the Cougars moved to Prince George.

gdrinnan@kamloopsnews.ca
     
gdrinnan.blogspot.com
     
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