Thursday, October 11, 2012

F Stepan Novotny (Kelowna, Swift Current, 2008-11), released last week by Liberec (Czech Republic, Extraliga), signed a one-year contract with Kosice (Slovakia, Extraliga). He was pointless in six games with Liberec.
In the past, I have written here about the relationship between the Tri-City Americans and Jessi Smith, a young superfan who has had more than her share of medical problems brought on by Down Syndrome. Along the way, these problems claimed her sight.
And through it all she has had an amazing relationship with Tri-City players. Oh, she also is a member of the Tri-City Hockey Booster Club.
Here is the latest, from teacher Dawn Johnson:
“As you may remember, I've written you for the last few years about Adam Hughesman and Kruise Reddick mini-putting with blindfolds to mimic Jessi's first attempt after losing her sight.
“Then last year, I was touched by Kruise texting Justin Feser to ensure that Jessi had a partner since Kruise had graduated, and Adam was at an NHL camp. Justin asked Mitch Topping to join him, and the two made sure that Jessi had a wonderful day.”
Which bring us to this year, Dawn writes.
“The dates of the event are picked with about a month's notice, and Jessi and her family were disappointed that they wouldn't be able to attend as they had scheduled their vacation at that time (it was held on Sept. 9). That just wasn't good enough for Justin and Mitch, so last weekend Justin and Mitch played a second time — four weeks later the two players went to Golf Universe and met Jessi there to ensure she was able to play a round with ‘her hockey boys.’
“I definitely think that Justin and Mitch deserve to be recognized for going above and beyond!”
This is a terrific story, one that just keeps on giving.
D Seth Jones, who at this point is looked at as potentially one of the first two selections in the NHL’s 2013 draft, is doing just fine in the early going of his first season with the Portland Winterhawks. . . . “It has been pretty good,” Jones told Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post after a 3-2 OT loss to the host Regina Pats on Tuesday. . . . At that point, Jones had two assists in eight games. . . . “My numbers aren’t really showing how good I think I’m playing right now,” Jones added. “I think I’m playing very solid. I’m moving the puck pretty well. I think my time with the puck has been exceptional. I obviously expected it to be a little tougher than what I came from. Now I’m really starting to get a feel for the level and the skillset in this league. Hopefully, I can produce a little bit more for my team but I think I’m playing pretty well right now.” . . . Jones had a goal and an assist in a 4-0 victory over the Blades in Saskatoon last night.
Harder’s complete story is right here.
First, they assigned him; then they signed him.
The AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs assigned D Antoine Corbin, 20, to the Prince Albert Raiders on Wednesday morning. Later in the day, the Montreal Canadiens’ AHL affiliate announced that it had signed Corbin to a one-year AHL contract.
Corbin had been in Hamilton’s training camp on a free-agent tryout.
The Raiders had acquired Corbin from the Kelowna Rockets on Nov. 18, 2010, for a third-round pick in the 2012 bantam draft.
In 118 regular-season games with the Raiders, Corbin had 52 points, including 20 goals.
The Raiders are left with three 20-year-olds — D Davis Vandane, who was acquired last week from the Spokane Chiefs, F Anthony Bardaro, who came over from Spokane last season, and G Luke Siemens, an offseason acquisition from the Moose Jaw Warriors.
The Saskatoon Blades have placed D Connor Cox on waivers in order to get down to three 20-year-olds. Cox led Saskatoon defencemen in assists (38) and plus-minus (plus-26) last season. This season, he had three assists in seven games. . . . The Blades got Cox from the Moose Jaw Warriors on Nov. 11, 2010, for a second-round pick in the 2011 bantam draft. . . . In 219 regular-season WHL games, Cox has 86 points. . . . The move leaves Saskatoon with F Adam Kambeitz, F Josh Nicholls and F Brenden Walker as its 20s. . . . The Blades also brought back D Kyle Schmidt, 19, who was in training camp with Saskatoon before being assigned to the SJHL’s Battlefords North Stars.

The Kelowna Rockets have dealt F Austin Ferguson, 17, to the Red Deer Rebels for a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2013 bantam draft. . . . Ferguson, from Abbotsford, B.C., has four points in 58 career regular-season games. He was a 10th-round pick by Kelowna in the 2010 bantam draft. . . . Ferguson had been one of 15 forwards on Kelowna’s roster. . . .
The legendary Bob Ridley (@BobRidley_CHAT) let his twitterverse know yesterday that the Medicine Hat Tigers continue to be without F Jayden Hart “due to an unspecified illness. Will be examined by specialists this week.” . . .
As mentioned here previously, G Tyler Fuhr of the Vancouver Giants is from Sherwood Park, Alta., but he isn’t related to Grant Fuhr, the former Edmonton Oilers goaltender. It seems, however, that the two have met. Earlier this summer, the younger Fuhr was headed to Palm Springs, Calif., to visit grandparents when he spotted Fuhr, the elder, in an airport. "I went over,” Tyler tells Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province, “and said, ‘Hi,' and told him, 'My name is Tyler Fuhr and I'm a goalie, too.’ He laughed. I thought it was pretty cool."
G Mac Carruth earned the shutout as the visiting Portland Winterhawks beat the Saskatoon Blades, 4-0. . . . Carruth, 20, made his first start of the season for Portland since returning from the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs. . . . G Cam Lanigan, 20, was scratched by Portland for a second straight game. . . . Carruth stopped 26 shots, including just one in the third period, in recording his fifth career shutout. . . . The Blades now have lost four in a row and been outscored 23-5 in the process. They are 0-4-0 at home. . . . Portland F Preston Kopeck scored his first two WHL goals 25 seconds apart to break a scoreless tie early in the second period. . . . Winterhawks D Seth Jones scored his first WHL goal. . . . Portland plays the red-hot Raiders in Prince Albert on Friday. . . . The Blades head out on the road for three in three nights. They’ll play Friday in Cranbrook against the Kootenay Ice, Saturday in Lethbridge and Sunday in Medicine Hat. . . .

The Kamloops Blazers ran their record to 6-0-1 with a 5-2 victory over the visiting Victoria Royals. . . . The Blazers, leading 1-0 after one, took control in the second period, outshooting the Royals 17-0 and outscoring them 2-0. . . . D Sam Grist, acquired by Kamloops from the Tri-City Americans on Tuesday, wasn’t in the Blazers’ lineup. He is expected to play Friday against the visiting Spokane Chiefs. . . . Kamloops D Tyler Hansen (concussion), who hasn’t played since Sept. 22, also is expected in the lineup for that one. . . .

The Edmonton Oil Kings were excellent on the penalty kill as they doubled the host Medicine Hat Tigers, 4-2. . . . Edmonton successfully killed eight of nine Medicine Hat power plays, including four 5-on-3s. . . . Edmonton G Laurent Brossoit made 34 saves, showing that he is closer to regaining last season’s form. . . . D Keegan Lowe (foot) returned to Edmonton’s lineup after missing four games. . . .

F Mitch Holmberg scored twice to help the Spokane Chiefs to a 6-4 victory over the Rockets in Kelowna. . . . Holmberg leads the WHL with nine goals and has scored in each of his club’s six games. Last season, he had 27 goals in 66 games. . . . Kelowna’s Myles Bell, a defenceman who is playing on a forward line, had three assists. With 14 points, he shares the WHL scoring lead with Kamloops F JC Lipon. . . . Kelowna G Jordon Cooke made his eighth straight start. . . . Kelowna F Carter Rigby (shoulder) left the game in the first period. . . . Spokane (5-1-0) has won three in a row. The Chiefs are in Kamloops on Friday. . . .

The Prince George Cougars were credited with only two assists as they scored a 5-4 victory over the Kootenay Ice in Cranbrook. . . . F Brett Roulston broke a 3-3 tie at 17:20 of the second period with his first WHL goal, an unassisted effort. . . . Kootenay D Joey Leach tied it at 2:49 of the third with his second goal of the game. . . . F Jari Erricson got the winner, unassisted, at 10:39. . . . The Cougars successfully killed off a major penalty to F Zach Pochiro for checking from behind shortly after Erricson’s goal. . . . The Ice held a 39-17 edge in shots. . . . The Cougars now are 5-1-1 as they head for Lethbridge and a Friday date with the Hurricanes.
D Jeff Hubic, Kootenay
F Zach Pochiro, Prince George (major)
F Henrik Nyberg, Kelowna

D Griffin Reinhart (@GriffinReinharrt) of the Edmonton Oil Kings sometimes calls for questions from his Twitter followers. He was doing that yesterday afternoon.
“@RKENNY93: @GriffinReinhart who do you like more Sam or Max? Neither . I like my dog mojo the most.”
And a question from Sam Reinhart (@SamsonReinhart): “@GriffinReinhart I have a quick question for you. Are you this rude in person or am I mistaken by your tone over the screen?”
For today’s good read, check out this piece right here by Bonnie D. Ford of
She pretty much lays bare the myth of Lance Armstrong.

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