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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!
The Prince Albert Raiders served notice Tuesday that they are intent on spoiling the Saskatoon Blades’ Memorial Cup party.
With the WHL trade deadline arriving on Jan. 10, the Raiders began the day with a 12-point lead over the Blades atop the East Division. The Blades, of course, are the host team for the 2013 Memorial Cup but have had more ups and downs than a yoyo in the first 38 games of their season.
The Raiders, who haven’t even made the playoffs in four of the last five seasons, perhaps sense an opening here, so they and the Medicine Hat Tigers got together Tuesday and agreed to swap five players and two draft picks.
The Raiders acquired D Dylan Busenius, 19, F Jayden Hart, 18, and a sixth-round pick in the 2014 bantam draft from Medicine Hat for D Zach Hodder, 19, F Logan McVeigh, 18, D Connor Hobbs, 15, and a second-round pick in the 2013 draft.
Hobbs is the the only player involved who isn’t in the WHL. A fourth-round selection in the 2012 bantam draft, he turns 16 on Friday and is with the midget AAA Saskatoon Blazers. The 5-foot-11, 175-pounder has eight points in 22 games.
Busenius, from Edmonton, was in his fourth season with the Tigers. He has 26 points in 37 games this season. The 16th overall pick in the 2008 bantam draft, he gives the Raiders some size – he’s 6-foot-1, 190 pounds – and some more offence from the back end.
Hart had been at home in Spruce Grove, Alta., having asked the Tigers to trade him. A third-round selection in the 2009 bantam draft, he put up 32 points in 67 games as a freshman. This season, he has 10 points in 18 games.
Hodder, from Delta, B.C., was a first-round selection, 20th overall, in the 2008 bantam draft by the Vancouver Giants. He has a history of shoulder problems and has played 87 games with the Giants, Saskatoon Blades and the Raiders over three season. He has three points in 25 games this season.
McVeigh, from Kenaston, Sask., was a second-round selection by the Kamloops Blazers in the 2009 bantam draft. In his third WHL season, he has 23 points in 38 games with the Raiders this season.
On Dec. 31, 2011, the Blazers dealt McVeigh, and a second-round pick in the 2012 bantam draft, to the Raiders for F Brandon Herrod, 20.
Hodder and McVeigh were in the Tigers’ lineup last night as they brought in 2013 with a 7-2 loss to the Blades in Saskatoon. McVeigh scored the Tigers’ first goal, while Hodder was minus-4.
The Tigers meet the Raiders in Prince Albert tonight.
For more on the trade, check out the story right here by Dave Leaderhouse of the Prince Albert Daily Herald.
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The Brandon Wheat Kings close out a three-game Alberta swing in Calgary against the Hitmen tonight. F Mike Ferland, 20, has an undisclosed injury and will be re-evaluated today before a decision is made as to whether he will play. He left in the second period of Sunday’s 6-2 loss to the host Edmonton Oil Kings.
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D Sena Acolatse (Seattle, Saskatoon, Prince George, 2006-11) underwent surgery for a broken jaw after being hit in the face by a puck on Saturday as his Worcester Sharks dropped a 3-2 decision to the host Providence Bruins. . . . Acolatse, in his second AHL season, had his jaw broken in two places.
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In the OHL, F Nikolay Goldobin scored four times, the last one in OT, as the Sarnia Sting beat host London 6-5 to end the Knights’ winning streak at 24 games. . . . That is one shy of the OHL record held by the 1983-84 Kitchener Rangers. The Rangers share the CHL record with the QMJHL’s 1973-74 Sorel Eparviers. . . . The WHL single-season record of 22 straight is held by the 1967-68 Estevan Bruins. . . . Goldobin, a Russian who isn’t eligible for the NHL draft until 2014, now has 18 goals. . . . London had won 3-2 in Sarnia on Monday. . . . The Knights actually had a 3-0 first-period lead.
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Concussions and how to prevent them will continue to be a big story in 2013.
Men’s Health magazine has come up with a list of “13 ladies to look for this year.”
No. 3 on the list is Dr. Ann McKee, the co-director of the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University.
There’s more right here.
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TUESDAY’S GAMES:
In Swift Current, the Lethbridge Hurricanes struck for five third-period goals and beat the Broncos, 6-4. . . . The Broncos led this one 4-2 with 13 minutes left in the third period. . . . F Tyler Wong got the visitors to within one at 7:14 and F Sam Mckechnie tied it at 8:05, with his 18th. . . . D Daniel Johnston got the winner, his seventh, at 14:42, via the PP. . . . F Graham Hood wrapped it up with the empty-netter, at 19:51. . . . Swift Current F Adam Lowry ran his point streak to 15 games with his 25th goal and an assist. . . . Johnston also had an assist, giving him 31 points in 38 games this season. Last season, he finished with 30 points on 55 games. . . . Lethbridge F Brady Ramsay had a goal, his 11th, and two assists. . . . The Hurricanes brought in G Jonny Hogue to backup starter Ty Rimmer as Chris Tai had to leave the club to deal with a family matter. Hogue, 16, was an eight-round bantam draft pick in 2011. Hogue plays for the midget AAA Lethbridge Pronghorns. . . .

In Saskatoon, the Blades opened up a 7-0 lead and went on to beat the Medicine Hat Tigers, 7-2. . . . The Blades had lost their previous four games. . . . F Adam Kambeitz had two goals, giving him eight, and an assist for Saskatoon. . . . Blades F Shane McColgan had a goal, his 11th, and an assist on his 20th birthday. . . . Saskatoon G Patrick Johnson stopped 38 shots in earning his first WHL victory. . . . F Josh Nicholls scored his 27th goal for the Blades and now is tied for the WHL lead with F Colin Smith of the Kamloops Blazers and F Todd Fiddler of the Spokane Chiefs. . . . Nicholls scored off a turnover high in the Medicine Hat zone. He went in alone on G Cam Lanigan, put his stick between his legs and went upstairs. “I practise that a lot in warm-ups just for fun,” Nicholls told Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. “It just felt like the right time to do it. I got it off nicely, luckily. I would have looked pretty stupid if I missed that.” . . . Nicholls, F Shane McColgan and D Dalton Thrower had been bench for the third period of a 6-2 loss in Regina on Sunday. . . . And what did Saskatoon GM/head coach Lorne Molleken think of the goal? “It was a highlight goal,” Molleken told Nugent-Bowman. “Those are things that the fans like to see. I’ll keep my own remarks to myself.” . . . The Blades lost F Nathan Burns in the second period when he didn’t return after being cross-checked from behind by Medicine Hat D Ty Stanton. “It doesn’t look good,” Molleken told Nugent-Bowman. . . . Medicine Hat lost D Kyle Becker following a first-period collision with Saskatoon F Alex Elliott. Becker may be concussed.
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The first time I saw the move that Nicholls used to score last night was in the mid-1980s.
F Theo Fleury of the Moose Jaw Warriors went in alone on G Stacey Nickel of the host Regina Pats, who went down and stacked his pads. Fleury tucked the stick through his legs, reached back and lifted the puck over Nickel’s pads and into the net.
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CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
D Graeme Craig, Saskatoon

CHECKING-TO-THE-HEAD COUNT:
None
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From hockey fan Chris Cote (@RealChrisCote): “Who needs a winter classic? The @SCBroncos play today.”
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From Everett Silvertips assistant coach Mitch Love (@mlovehockey): “I swear I grab a broken down grocery cart every time I attempt to go to the store. #nomoreshoppingfor this guy”

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