Friday, January 4, 2013

The Vancouver Giants are back to having three goaltenders on their roster. The Giants have acquired G Jared Rathjen, 18, from the Victoria Royals for a 2013 eighth-round bantam draft pick. . . . Rathjen is with the AJHL’s Whitecourt Wolverines but is expected to join the Giants in Red Deer, where they are to play the Rebels tonight. . . . Rathjen played in 26 games with the Royals over the last two seasons. This season, he was 2-2-0, 2.92, .912 in four appearances. . . . His arrival in Vancouver puts him in a battle with Tyler Fuhr, 17, to back up Payton Lee, the 16-year-old who has been getting most of the starts.
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The Vancouver Giants have added F Luca Leone, 16, to their roster. Leone had been with the BCHL’s Coquitlam Express after spending two seasons at Shattuck-St. Mary’s, the prep school in Faribault, Minn. He had 93 points in 61 games with a bantam Tier 1 team and last season had 34 points in 45 games with a midget team. This season, with the Express, he had six points in 29 games.
The 6-foot-0, 190-pound Leone expected to join the Giants in Red Deer today.
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The Victoria Royals have acquired F Trent Lofthouse, 18, from the Everett Silvertips for a sixth-round draft pick in the 2014 bantam draft. . . . This season, Lofthouse has 12 points, including nine goals, in 34 games. That includes his first WHL three-goal game. . . . Lofthouse, 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, had five points in 58 games with Everett last season. . . . His father, Mark, played in the WHL with the New Westminster Bruins (1974-77). Mark put up 116 and 112 points in his last two WHL seasons.
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D Brenden Kichton, 20, will play in his 300th regular-season game with the Spokane Chiefs tonight in Everett against the Silvertips. He will be the eighth player in Chiefs history to get there, but just the first defenceman. . . . Kichton is putting the wraps on a fabulous WHL career. He leads the franchise in goals, assists and points by a defenceman. His 172 assists have him fourth on the Spokane career list, 14 behind F Mitch Wahl. F Ray Whitney is No. 1 at 207, with F Pat Falloon second at 194. . . . The other seven Chiefs to have played 300 games: Brandin Cote (1996-2002), 352; Tim Krymusa (1998-2003), 332; Levko Koper (2006-11), 330; Derek Schutz (1994-2000), 322; Mason Wallin (1998-2003), 319; Jeff Lynch (2001-06),  313; and Jevon Desautels (2000-05), 301. . . . It is worth noting that of the 10 players to have played the most games with the Chiefs – Blake Gal is at 290 and Steven Kuhn finished at 288  – eight were Spokane draft picks. The exceptions are Koper and Kuhn, both of whom were listed by the Chiefs.
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F Adam Kambeitz and F Josh Nicholls, teammates with the Saskatoon Blades, also will play in their 300th regular-season games tonight. The Blades are playing host to the Prince Albert Raiders tonight. . . . Nicholls was a second-round pick by the Blades in the 2007 bantam draft. Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix points out that if Nicholls plays every game this season, he will finish with 332 games, five shy of the franchise record held by Paul Buczkowski. . . . The Blades acquired Kambeitz from the Red Deer Rebels earlier this season.
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After Thursday’s happenings at the World Junior Championship, Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun points out right here that hockey no longer is Canada’s game. In fact, as he writes, it hasn’t been since about 1971.
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And the last word on Canada at the WJC goes to The Globe and Mail’s Roy MacGregor, who is in Ufa. As he puts it, “Stuff happens.” His piece is right here.
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THURSDAY’S GAME:
In Lethbridge, G Laurent Brossoit stopped 45 shots as the Edmonton Oil Kings beat the Hurricanes, 4-0. . . . It was Brossoit’s first shutout this season. He has a franchise-record six shutouts in his career. . . . His 45 saves are the most for a WHL goaltender in a shutout this season. . . . F Stephane Legault had two goals, giving him seven on the season. . . . Lethbridge was 0-for-6 on the PP. The Oil Kings, with the WHL’s best penalty killing, have killed off the last 15 PP opportunities they have faced. . . . Edmonton has won three straight and eight of 10.
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CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
None

CHECKING-TO-THE-HEAD COUNT:
F Henrik Samuelsson, Edmonton
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 From Tom Reale (@realet): “Canada has not won the WJC since they unleashed Bieber on the world. This is not a coincidence. #2013WJC”


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 The WHL’s trade deadline arrives on Jan. 10. Here is a look at trades since the end of the WHL’s Christmas trade moratorium:

Jan. 1: Medicine Hat trades D Dylan Busenius, 19, F Jayden Hart, 18, and a 2014 sixth-round pick to Prince Albert for F Logan McVeigh, 18, D Zach Hodder, 19, F Connor Hobbs, 15, and a 2013 second-round pick.

Jan. 2: Vancouver trades F Kale Kessy, 20, to Kamloops for F Rob Trzonkowski, 18, and a 2015 fifth-round pick.

Jan. 3: Everett trades F Trent Lofthouse, 18, to Victoria for a 2014 sixth-round draft pick.

Jan. 3: Victoria trades G Jared Rathjen, 18, to Vancouver for a 2013 eighth-round draft pick.

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