The Emerson Etem Show, co-starring Hunter Shinkaruk, played in Brandon on Saturday night.
Etem had a goal in OT and drew two assists as the Tigers beat the Wheat Kings 4-3 in Chapter 2 of the Clouston Challenge. Shaun’s Tigers are 2-0-0 against Cory’s Wheat Kings, who are 0-1-1 against Cory’s Tigers.
Etem leads the WHL in goals (23) and points (39), all done in 17 games. He has two more points than Brandon F Mark Stone.
Shinkaruk, meanwhile, has 17 goals in 18 games. And he isn’t eligible for the NHL draft until 2013. Last season, the Calgary native — his father, Roger, is the team dentist for the Calgary Hitmen — had 14 goals in 63 games. Strangely enough, he finished last season with 14 goals and 28 assists; this season, he has 17 goals and eight apples.
Last night, he scored the Tigers’ three regulation-time goals. It was his second straight three-goal game and his third in 10 games. Last season, he had one two-goal game. This season, he has had five multi-goal games and four one-goal outings.
The host Edmonton Oil Kings beat the Seattle Thunderbirds 4-1 on Saturday night. Seattle, which has lost four in a row, is 0-2-0 on its six-game swing throught he Central Division. . . . In Kelowna, the Portland Winterhawks beat the Rockets 3-1 to complete their 17-day, nine-game road trip. Portland won its last three games — beating the Kamloops Blazers and then taking two from the Rockets — to finish the trip at 5-3-1. . . . The Rockets have lost four straight and 12 of 14. . . . Portland F Sven Bartschi had three assists and now has 24 points in 11 games. . . .
Portland now has only four trips (seven games) left to make into Canada. It will play Dec. 6 and 7 at Prince George, Dec. 9 and Jan. 7 at Vancouver, March 7 at Kamloops, and March 14 and 16 at Victoria. . . . Seattle also will have only seven games left in Canada once it is through in the Central Division next week. But the Thunderbirds will make the trip north six times to play those seven games. . . .
In Victoria, F Brendan Gallagher had two goals and an assist as the Giants beat the Victoria Royals, 5-3. Gallagher has 16 goals in 15 games. . . . Two of the Royals’ goals came from F Kevin Sundher, who is third in the WHL scoring race, with 36 points. . . . In Spokane, the Chiefs fell 4-1 to the Tri-City Americans. It was Spokane’s first loss at home in nine games. . . . The Americans will meet the defending-champion Kootenay Ice in Cranbrook on Wednesday in what could be a ding-dong dandy. . . .
On Saturday afternoon, F Ryan Hanes of the Kamloops Blazers, who has a lot of fun with Tweeter, tweeted: “20bucks on the line for D_Owsley30 if ya let me score tonight!Or maybe @1Ass16 toss up a pizza for your best bud.” . . . Later that night, Hanes didn’t score, Owsley didn’t play and the Cougars beat the Blazers 3-1. Cougars F Spencer Asuchak (@1Ass16 on Twitter) drew an assist as G Devon Fordyce got his first WHL victory with 26 saves. . . .
In Regina, the Pats scored a pair of own goals and lost 3-2 to the Calgary Hitmen. The visitors are without F Cody Sylvester (undisclosed). . . . F Cole Grbavac, the captain of the Medicine Hat Tigers, will be hearing from the WHL office after taking a charging major for a collision with Brandon Wheat Kings G Brandon Anderson, who wasn’t injured. . . .
JUST NOTES: The Moose Jaw Warriors have dealt F Sean Aschim, who turns 19 on Dec. 30, to the Moose Jaw Warriors for a conditional 2014 bantam draft pick (Other details not released). Aschim has nine points in 13 games this season with Moose Jaw, but couldn’t get in the lineup after the Warriors acquired F Kenton Miller, 20, from the Calgary Hitmen. Aschim has 13 points in 60 career games with the Prince Albert Raiders, Kelowna Rockets and Moose Jaw. He is expected to play for the Thunderbirds on Tuesday when they meet the Tigers in Medicine Hat. . . . The Saskatoon Blades have released D Zach Hodder, 18, who was acquired earlier in the season from the Vancouver Giants. Hodder, who is from Delta, B.C., was the 20th overall pick in the 2008 bantam draft. He had three points and four penalty minutes in 11 games with Saskatoon. The Blades acquired Hodder, F Michael Burns, 20, and a fourth-round pick in the 2013 bantam draft from Vancouver for G Adam Morrison, 20, and F Levi Bews, 17, on Oct. 4. . . .
Earlier in the week, Neate Sager of Yahoo! Sports researched and wrote a piece on F Emerson Etem of the Medicine Hat Tigers and his hot start. At the time, Etem had 22 goals in the season’s first 16 games, which is rather prolific.
That caused Sager to ask this question: “How many (WHL players) also had 22 or more goals after 22.2 per cent of the season?”
Sager discovered that F Layne Ulmer of the Swift Current Broncos had done it in 2000-01, and he wrote that.
And, as sometimes happened, a reader came up with another name and another hot start.
After hearing from the reader via email, here’s what Sager wrote:
“Coincidentally . . . both happened in the same year, 2000-01. Present-day NHLer Mike Comrie had 25 goals in his first 16 games for the Kootenay Ice. But Comrie's glut of goals came under exceptional circumstances. Hilary Duff's future hubby had spent two seasons with the University of Michigan before leaving to sign with the Edmonton Oilers, so he was well past most juniors in seasoning. (Comrie actually hit the 30-goal mark by Game 18, and had 39 in 37 contests by the time the Oilers decided to bring him up to the NHL.)
“That same winter, Layne Ulmer had 22 goals in the Swift Current Broncos' first 16 games on his way to scoring 63 goals (and 119 points) in 68 games. The rub is Ulmer was also a 20-year-old with an advantage over his peers in maturity and experience than the 19-year-old Etem ought to have.”
And just who was the reader who let us know about Comrie’s hot start?
That would be Darcy Ewanchuk, and you bet he knew what the facts on this story. After all, he was the Ice’s trainer then, meaning he had a front-row seat to Comrie’s blazing start.
A few days ago, a tweet from Tampa Bay Lightning F Brett Connolly, formerly of the Prince George Cougars, appeared here. It referenced his having gone out and purchased a vehicle. Well, in case you lost sleep wondering what kind of vehicle he bought, we have word from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times that he got a new Range Rover. . . . Connolly also said he has plans to take his parents on a vacation. “I’ve got to pay them back,” he told Cristodero. “A lot of sacrifices by them, a ton of money put in, early mornings. I’ve got to repay them somehow.”
For those of you following the MJHL’s Neepawa Natives and the hazing scandal in which they have been embroiled, Randy Turner of the Winnipeg Free Press reported late in the week on the team having issued apologies and that GM/head coach Bryan Perrier resigned.
Turner’s story is right here.
There also is word of another possible hazing, this one in Ontario.
Mary Caton of the Windsor Star reports:
“A LaSalle midget hockey team is being investigated by the sport’s governing body for an alleged hazing incident where rookies were forced to drink beer and other alcohol to the point of passing out or becoming ill.”
Caton’s story is right here.
Caton’s report comes on the heels of news from Los Angeles about the death of Griffen Kramer, a high school quarterback and the son of former NFL and CFL quarterback Erik Kramer. There are reports that he died of alcohol poisoning.
There are pieces right here and right here.
The Winnipeg Sun even came up with an editorial on the Neepawa hazing. That opinion piece is right here.
And, finally, a hockey father has written a letter on the Neepawa situation. It is right here.
For your Sunday morning reading enjoyment, we bring you a piece written by Mike Boone of the Montreal Gazette. He starts out writing about how the contract signed by Nashville Predators G Pekka Rinne might impact Canadiens G Carey Price, who if he doesn’t seen between now and then would be a restricted free agent on July 1. Boone then segues into a scathing critique of Hockey Night in Canada, and it really is hard to disagree with him.
Now, because it’s Sunday and it’s chilly outside and the coffee is good and hot, here’s a second good read. This one is from Roy MacGregor of The Globe and Mail. The headline is “The thumbing down of sportswriting.” And it's hard to disagree with him, too. That piece is right here.
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