Thursday, October 25, 2012

F Tim Kraus (Vancouver, Regina, 2003-08) signed a one-year contract with the Dundee Stars (Scotland, UK Elite). He had one goal and one assist in four games with the Wichita Thunder (CHL) and no points in one game with the Dayton Gems (CHL) last season. Kraus was in camp with the Denver Cutthroats (CHL) on a try-out basis earlier this month but did not make the Cutthroats' season-opening roster.
The CHL’s weekly rankings came out Wednesday, as they always seem to, and the Kamloops Blazers are No. 1 for a second straight poll.
At 12-0-1, they remain the only one of the CHL’s 60 teams not have tasted defeat in regulation time. Combine that with last week’s 5-0-0 trip into the Central Division and it’s only right that the Blazers are No. 1.
Now I normally don’t pay a whole lot of attention to these polls, as they are public relations vehicles that aren’t worth much if only because there isn’t any inter-league play within the CHL’s three leagues.
But I am here today to question the lack of respect shown to the Tri-City Americans.
No, the Americans aren’t in the top 10. Yes, they are given an honourable mention. That’s not good enough. They should be in the top 10, maybe even in the top five.
Because they are 9-3-2.
Because they are 8-0-2 in their last 10 games.
Because included in their last 10 games was a 6-0-1 road swing.
Because included in that road swing was a 5-0-1 record in the East Division.
Because they are 7-1-1 on the road.
Because they are doing all of this after having lost their big three from last season — Patrick Holland, Adam Hughesman and Brendan Shinnimin.
Because their No. 1 goaltender, Eric Comrie, is the real deal.
For some reason, however, the Americans of GM Bob Tory and head coach Jim Hiller just don’t garner nearly the respect that is their due.
I mean, the Americans are there year after year. In fact, they now are gunning for their seventh straight 40-victory season. Only the Kamloops Blazers (1989-96) and Regina Pats (1979-86) have won 40 or more games in seven straight seasons.
Honourable mention? Uhh, no.
F Brendan Persley, 19, of the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers had surgery Tuesday to repair a broken leg. Persley, who was in training camp with the Tri-City Americans prior to this season, played 55 games with the Chilliwack Bruins (2009-11) and nine with the Victoria Royals last season. . . . He is expected to be out of the Vernon lineup for at least six weeks.
Fighting is down 32.1 per cent in the OHL this season, following the introduction of a rule that calls for suspensions for players as they surpass a 10-fight barrier.
Dave Nayor of TSN reports that “just five weeks into the 2012-13 season, the new measure has had a dramatic influence on the number of fights across the league.”
"I'm surprised, I really am," OHL commissioner David Branch told Naylor. "I didn't think there would be that kind of immediate, shall we say, impact on the number of (fights)."
It’s also interesting to note that about 27 per cent of fights in the OHL have included an instigator penalty.
The OHL, under Branch, once again proves to be one of the most, if not the most, progressive hockey leagues in the world.
Naylor’s piece is right here.
G Cam Lanigan stopped 55 shots, including eight in OT, and wasn’t beaten in the circus as the host Medicine Hat Tigers got past the Kelowna Rockets, 4-3. . . . The Tigers had lost their last three games. . . . Kelowna held a 58-28 edge in shots. . . . Kelowna F Zach Franko forced OT with a goal with 24.7 seconds left in the third period and G Jordon Cooke on the bench for the extra attacker. . . . Medicine Hat F Curtis Valk scored twice, running his goal streak to four games. . . . F Hunter Shinkaruk and F Elgin Pearce scored in the circus for the Tigers, while the Pats came up empty. . . .

G Teagan Sacher recorded his first WHL shutout as the Regina Pats went into Cranbrook and beat the Kootenay Ice, 3-0. . . . Sacher stopped 28 shots. He’s a Winnipegger who turns 18 on Dec. 1. . . . F Lane Scheidl scored twice, giving him six. . . .

The host Moose Jaw Warriors erased a 1-0 deficit with three second-period goals and went on to beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 3-2. . . . D Morgan Rielly’s fourth goal stood up as the winner. . . . The Warriors got their three goals in a span of 7:20. . . . F Sam Mckechnie scored his eighth goal of the season for the Hurricanes, who had points in each of their last four games. . . . Mckechnie had 13 goals in 72 games as a freshman last season. . . . Warriors D Reid Jackson left early with an undisclosed injury. . . . The Warriors continue to play without F Miles Warkentine and F Jordan Messier, both of whom are injured. . . .

The visiting Brandon Wheat Kings broke a 1-1 tie with PP goals 1:18 apart in the third period and went on to beat the Vancouver Giants, 3-2. . . . The Giants had Payton Lee, 16, in goal. Lee, who was in camp with the Giants but has been playing for the junior B Richmond Sockeyes, stopped 25 shots. . . . F Nick Buonassisi, who is from Coquitlam, B.C., scored twice for Brandon. He’s got six goals. . . . Brandon D Tyler Yaworski may be looking at a suspension after taking a major at 19:34 of the third period. The WHL’s online scoresheet records it as a checking-to-the-head penalty; however, Rob Henderson of the Brandon Sun is reporting that it was a charging major. . . . The game was 1-1 until Buonassisi and F Tim McGauley scored PP goals 1:18 apart early in the third. . . . The Giants’ record slipped to 2-9-0; they have lost five in a row. . . .

The host Prince George Cougars snapped a six-game losing streak with a 4-2 victory over the Spokane Chiefs. . . . The Chiefs had won the first two games in what was a three-game series between the teams. . . . Attendance was announced as 1,371 and that’s 11 fewer than Tuesday night. . . . The Chiefs got the game’s first goal, then the Cougars got the next four.

D Tyler Yaworski, Brandon (major)
From Tyler King (@tyler_king), the play-by-play voice of the AJHL’s Fort McMurray Oil Barons: “Am told Dauphin Kings (#MJHL) leading scorer Brendan Hurley has left the team to join the Calgary Hitmen (#WHL).”

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