Monday, January 9, 2012

Who knew that Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban were hockey fans?
Furthermore, who knew that they were fans of the BCHL's Vernon Vipers?
Hey, there they were on Friday night, watching the Vipers and Victoria Grizzlies go at it in the Wesbild Centre in Vernon.
Apparently, the happy couple was enjoying some skiing time at Silver Star, a resort near Vernon, when they decided to drop in on the hockey game.
Kidman and Urban left the game just prior to the end of the second period, which is even earlier than when NHL scouts bow out.
Sheesh, had Mark Ferner known such celebrities would drop by, he may have decided to stay with the Vipers, rather than leave for the WHL's Everett Silvertips. In fact, maybe the Aussie stars left because Ferner wasn't there!
For more, including a photo, click right here.
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WHL TRADE TRACKER (trades made since Dec. 27):
Trades made: 7
Players: 15
Draft picks: 6
Deadline: Tuesday, 3 p.m. MT
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The Red Deer Rebels have lost D Justin Weller for at least six weeks with a broken wrist. Weller, 20, underwent surgery on Sunday. He was injured during a 3-2 overtime loss to the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers on Saturday. Ironically, it was just last week when the Rebels found themselves carrying four 20-year-olds and were forced into dropping F Josh Cowen, who immediately was added to the coaching staff. . . . With the trade deadline approaching Tuesday, Jesse Wallin, the Rebels' GM and head coach, told Greg Meachem of the Red Deer Advocate that he isn't sure what he will do. “I don't know that a whole lot is going to happen,” Wallin said of the approaching trade deadline and how it is impacted by the Weller injury. “Nothing is imminent at this time. “t's tough to comment. We have a decision to make over the next couple of days.”
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The Saskatoon Blades have had to change their plans regarding their goaltending situation. They had planned on returning Alex Moodie, 16, to the midget AAA Winnipeg Wild. However, Andrey Makarov will be out at least a week after suffering a concussion in Saturday's 4-3 victory over the visiting Regina Pats. Makarov was injured in the first period when he was run over by Regina F Morgan Klimchuk, who was given a charging major and game misconduct. It seems, however, that Klimchuk may have received some help from Blades D Darren Dietz. . . . The Blades now will keep Moodie and go with him and Adam Todd until Makarov comes back. . . . There is, of course, another option. Perhaps they will trade for a goaltender prior to Tuesday afternoon's deadline. . . . The Blades next are scheduled to play Wednesday in Brandon.
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SUNDAY'S GAMES:
In Calgary, the Hitmen overcame an early 3-0 deficit and beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 6-3. . . . Calgary has won five in a row. . . . F Brady Brassart had two goals and assist, while F Brooks Macek added a goal and two helpers for Calgary. . . . The Hitmen trailed 3-0 with three minutes left in the second period. They scored twice before the period ended and added four more in the third. . . . F Phil Tot scored his sixth goal for Lethbridge. This season, in 33 games, he has six goals and 15 assists. Last season, in 58 games, he had six goals and 15 assists. . . .

In Cranbrook, G Nathan Lieuwen stopped 31 shots and F Max Reinhart drew two assists as the Kootenay Ice got past the Medicine Hat Tigers, 3-1. . . . Lieuwen's evening included stopping Medicine Hat F Hunter Shinkaruk on a penalty shot at 7:41 of the third period with his club leading 2-1. . . . Ice F Sam Reinhart scored his 12th goal to run his point streak to four games. . . . Tigers F Emerson Etem scored his 34th goal of the season. . . . Tigers G Tyler Bunz left the game in the first period to have a skate problem  fixed. Kenny Cameron came on and played 2:58 before Bunz re-entered. . . .

In Edmonton, F Colten Mayor, the 10th shooter, scored to give the Red Deer Rebels a 4-3 shootout victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Edmonton F Kristians Pelss forced OT with his 15th goal, at 12:07 of the third period. . . . Red Deer G Deven Dubyk stopped 37 shots through OT. He was beaten by F Tyler Maxwell, Edmonton's first shootout shooter, but then closed the door on the next four. . . . Red Deer took 61 of the 114 penalty minutes handed out. . . .

In Everett, F Todd Fiddler ran his goal streak to three games to help the Spokane Chiefs to a 5-3 victory over the Silvertips. . . . This was the Chiefs' third victory in as many nights in three different cities. They beat the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors 5-2 on Friday and then doubled the Seattle Thunderbirds 4-2 in Kent, Wash., on Saturday. . . . The Chiefs erased a 2-1 deficit when F Mike Aviani and F Mitch Holmberg scored 26 seconds apart in the first period. . . . Aviani's goal came 42 seconds after F Kohl Bauml had given Everett a 2-1 lead with his sixth goal of the season, via the PP. . . . Fiddler, who was acquired last month from the Prince Albert Raiders, has eight goals, four of them in six games with Spokane. Fiddler has six points over his last three games. . . . G Eric Williams, who also came west in that deal, stopped 27 shots. . . . Everett F Trent Lofthouse, the son of former WHLer Mark Lofthouse, scored his second goal of the season. . . . Everett was playing its fourth game in five nights. . . . The teams will meet again Wednesday in Spokane and then go at it again Friday in Everett.
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SUNDAY'S CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
F Jaimen Yakubowski, Lethbridge.
D Albin Blomqvist, Lethbridge.
D Mathew Dumba, Red Deer.
F Jordan Peddle, Edmonton.
F Jarid Hauptman, Spokane
F Collin Valcourt, Spokane (double minor)
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David Shoalts of The Globe and Mail suggests some areas that should be under consideration if the NHL is serious about ridding itself of what is an obvious problem with concussions. That piece is right here.
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For today's good read, we visit the Toronto Star where Rick Westhead provides an intriguing look at the Kontinental Hockey League. It is right here.


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