The Vancouver Giants have added D Eric Walker, 18, to their roster. Walker, who was listed by the Giants after the 2008 bantm draft, spent the last two seasons with the BCHL’s Trail Smoke Eaters and was to play this season with the Northern Michigan Wildcats. However, after not getting into one of NMU’s first 12 games, he opted to leave and join the Giants. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Walker is from Castlegar, B.C. He could be in the Giants’ lineup tonight (Sunday) against the visiting Kootenay Ice. Interestingly, in each of his two seasons with Trail, he had four goals and seven assists in 59 games. . . . Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province reported: “Walker (was) in his freshman season at Northern Michigan but is yet to play a game with the squad, who were 4-6-3 as of Friday. He was also one five Northern Michigan players charged in connection with thefts of bikes from the school’s campus. According to the Mining Journal of Marquette, Mich., each of the players faces trial on the misdemeanour charges Dec. 6 in Marquette County District Court.” . . . Walker is a nephew of former NHLer Steve Bozek. . . . Former Seattle Thunderbirds head coach Walt Kyle is the head coach at NMU. . . . F Dylan Walchuk, 19, of McBride, B.C., whose WHL rights belong to the Spokane Chiefs, also was charged in the bicycle thefts. He was charged with receiving and concealing stolen property.
The Marquette Mining Journal has more on that story right here.
The North Wind, NMU’s student newspaper, has more on the story right here, includig a link to the police report.
In Moose Jaw, the Warriors broke a 1-1 third-period tie with two PP goals and beat the Medicine Hat Tigers, 3-2. . . . F Kenton Miller gave Moose Jaw a 2-1 lead at 2:51 and F Justin Kirsch upped it to 3-1 at 8:28. . . . Kirsch has seven goals, including three winners, in nine games since coming to Moose Jaw from the Calgary Hitmen. . . . The Tigers again had Kenny Cameron in goal, with Dawson MacAuley of the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers backing him up. G Tyler Bunz, who took a puck to the head while on the WHL team’s bench in a Subway Super Series game in Regina on Wednesday, is expected to miss at least a week. . . . F Emerson Etem and F Hunter Shinkaruk, the Tigers’ two snipers, both were kept off the scoreboard. . . . Matthew Gourlie of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald notes that the Warriors have won eight in a row at home, five by 3-2 counts. . . .
In Swift Current, the Broncos erased a 4-0 deficit and stunned the Wheat Kings, 5-4. . . . Swift Current F Daniel Dale, an 18-year-old from Grande Prairie, Alta., scored his first two WHL goals in his 19th game. . . . Brandon had won four in a row; the Broncos, who now head into the U.S. Division, have won three straight. . . . Dale broke a 4-4 tie at 11:31 of the third period. . . . F Mark Stone had a goal and two assists as the Wheat Kings took a 4-0 lead before the game was 24 minutes old. He leads the WHL with 50 points in 24 games. . . . Swift Current F Christian Magnus also had a goal and two helpers. . . . Rob Henderson of the Brandon Sun points out: “Brandon had been 12-0-1-0 when leading after two periods this season, while Swift Current had been 0-11-1-1 when trailing after two.” . . .
In Calgary, D Collin Bowman scored his first three goals with the Hitmen, leading them to a 7-1 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . Bowman, who enjoyed his first career hat trick, had scored four goals when he was acquired from the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . He scored the game’s first two goals and the last one. . . . Bowman has 27 goals in 295 career games. . . . Calgary F Jimmy Bubnick picked up his 100th career regular-season assist on a second-period goal by F Trevor Cheek. . . . The victory left the Hitmen, who have won three of four, at 10-9-2, the first time they’ve been above .500 this season. . . . Nine of the Eastern Conference’s 12 teams are at .500 or better. Five of the Western Conference’s teams are at .500, with three other teams within one, three and four points. . . .
In Lethbridge, F Brady Ramsay scored three times and added an assist, leading the Hurricanes to their second victory in as many nights, 5-2 over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Ramsay, an 18-year-old sophomore from Calgary, has 10 goals in 24 games. He scored one in 57 games last season. . . . The Oil Kings, already without D Mark Pysyk and D Griffin Reinhart with undisclosed injuries, lost F T.J. Foster to an undisclosed injury in the first period. . . . Lethbridge F Cam Braes played in his 300th regular-season game, all with the Hurricanes. He scored his club’s second goal, his seventh this season and the 82nd of his career. . . .
In Red Deer, the Saskatoon Blades won the latest clash of the titans, beating the Rebels, 2-1. . . . All three goals came in the second period. . . . F Colton Mayor put Red Deer on the board at 2:06. . . . The Blades got goals from D Dalton Thrower, on the PP, at 14:42 and F Lukas Sutter at 18:31. . . . Saskatoon G Andrey Makarov, fresh of playing in two games for Russia in the Subway Super Series, stopped 43 shots. . . . The victory lifted the Blades into first place overall, one point ahead of the Brandon Wheat Kings and Tri-City Americans. . . . Red Deer D Matt Dumba took a slashing major and game misconduct at the game’s final buzzer. Just a few seconds before that, Red Deer head coach Jesse Wallin was given the old heave-ho. . . .
In Victoria, F Elgin Pearce had his first career three-goal game and added an assist as the defending-champion Kootenay Ice whipped the Royals, 8-3. . . . It was the second lop-sided loss in two nights for the Royals, who were trounced 11-3 on Friday by the Giants in Vancouver. . . . F Jesse Ismond had two goals and three assists for the Ice. . . . Pearce, Ismond and D Luke Paulsen, who had a goal and an assist, each was plus-4. . . . Paulsen’s goal was his first of the season and fourth in 118 career games. . . . Ice G Mackenzie Skapski stopped 25 shots. That included a third-period penalty shot attempt by F Austin Carroll. . . .
In Everett, the Vancouver Giants got two shootout goals and bet the Silvertips, 2-1. . . . Vancouver F Brendan Gallagher and F James Henry each scored in the shootout. . . . F Joshua Winquist counted for the home team in the shootout. . . . The Giants have won six in a row. They are at home to the Kootenay Ice tonight as the defending champions begin a nine-game road trip. . . . D Evan Morden got Everett on the board, shorthanded, at 10:32 of the second. . . . It was the third shorthanded goal allowed by Vancouver over its last four games. . . . F Taylor Makin tied it at 4:52 of the third. . . . Everett G Austin Lotz stopped 47 shots through OT. . . . Nick Patterson of the Everett Herald reported before the game that Silvertips D Ryan Murray (ankle) was running stairs. . . . That is great news for the Silvertips and for the Canadian national junior team. . . .
In Kent, Wash., the Seattle Thunderbirds broke a 2-2 tie with four straight second-period goals and beat the Portland Winterhawks, 6-3. . . . Seattle struck for the four goals in a span of 5:53, two of them coming eight seconds apart. . . . F Burke Gallimore had two goals for the winners, with F Luke Lockhart adding a goal and two assists. . . . Portland F Ty Rattie and F Sven Bartschi, both of whom have been burning it up of late, were pointless and minus-5 and minus-4, respectively. . . . Bartschi came up short on a second-period penalty shot with Seattle leading 6-2. . . . Seattle G Calvin Pickard stopped 47 shots in what was his fourth start in four nights. He went the distance in the WHL’s two Subway Super Series games with the Russians on Wednesday and Thursday in Regina and Moose Jaw. On Friday, he stopped 47 shots in beating the visiting Tri-City Americans, 3-0. Yes, he’s in the conversation as the WHL’s player of the year, and it isn’t even December. . . . Portland had won six in a row. . . .
In Kennewick, Wash., F Justin Feser scored at 1:25 of OT to give the Tri-City Americans a 3-2 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . The winner was scored with the teams playing three skaters aside. . . . Kamloops F Matt Needham had forced OT with his fourth goal of the season, at 13:28 of the third. . . . The Americans led 2-0 going into the third period. . . . Feser’s goal was his ninth of the season. It also was the second OT goal of his career. . . . Tom Gaglardi, the Blazers’ majority owner, wasn’t at the game. Rather, he was in Dallas where the Stars, the team he officially purchased on Friday, was losing 4-1 to the San Jose Sharks, their fifth straight setback. Gaglardi will be introduced as the Stars’ owner on Monday in Dallas and will take part in a ceremonial faceoff later that evening prior to a game against the Edmonton Oilers. . . .
In Spokane, the Chiefs beat the Regina Pats 6-5 after a nine-round shootout. . . . With Spokane shooting first, F Mike Aviani opened the ninth round with a goal and the Pats weren’t able to equalize. . . . Regina D Brandon Underwood gave his side a 5-4 lead at 4:09 of the third period. . . . Spokane F Steve Kuhn tied it at 18:59. . . . Underwood went into this season with two goals and 15 assists in 149 career regular-season games with the Kamloops Blazers. He had three goals and nine assists in 22 games with Regina. . . . F Jordan Weal had a goal and three assists for Regina. He has 33 points in 21 games this season. For his career, he has 302 points, including 198 assists, in 233 regular-season games. . . . The Chiefs are 4-0 against East Divison teams, with the Swift Current Broncos coming to town Wednesday. . . .
In Prince George, the Kelowna Rockets erased a 2-0 first-period deficit and beat the Cougars, 4-2. . . . The Rockets swept the doubleheader, having won 3-2 on Friday night. . . . Kelowna F Tyson Baillie broke a 2-2 tie at 2:06 of the third period on the PP. . . .
SATURDAY’S CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
F Rhett Rachinski, Edmonton
D Kayle Doetzel, Red Deer
D Daniel Gibb, Prince George
D Tyler Bell, Kamloops
D Austin Madaisky, Kamloops
Two good reads today, both from the pages of The Globe and Mail. The first, which is right here, is by former Regina Leader-Post writer Darrell Davis, who chronicles the return to work of NHL referee Mike Hasenfratz. . . . The other, from the keyboard of Roy MacGregor, is right here. He’s writing about “slippage” as he wonders if the NHL’s crackdown on headshots isn’t fading away.
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