F Oleg Saprykin (Seattle, 1998-2000) has been released by Sochi (Russia, KHL) by mutual agreement. He had three goals in 15 games. . . .
F Toni Rajala (Brandon, 2009-10) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Färjestad Karlstad (Sweden, SHL). He was released by Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia, KHL) on Nov. 10, after recording three goals and 10 assists in 21 games. . . .
F Willie Coetzee (Red Deer, 2007-10) has been released after an unsuccessful tryout by Graz 99ers (Austria, Erste Bank Liga). He had four assists in 12 games during the tryout.
F Zach Pochiro, 20, was returned to the Prince George Cougars by the NHL’s St. Louis Blues on Tuesday. Pochiro, who is from Las Vegas, had been with the ECHL’s Alaska Aces. He had two assists in eight games. . . . Pochiro, who didn’t play against the visiting Vancouver Giants last night, was selected by the Blues in the fourth round of the 2013 NHL draft. In 128 regular-season games with the Cougars, he had 105 points, including 42 goals. . . . Pochiro’s arrival leaves the Cougars with four 20-year-olds, one over the maximum. They will have two weeks to get down to three. The others are G Jared Rathjen, F Chance Braid and F Jari Erricson.
There was an interesting development on the NCAA front as Arizona State University announced that it is planning on transitioning its hockey program to Division I in time for the 2016-17 season. It plans on playing as full Division I schedule then as an independent and hopes to be part of a conference for 2017-18. . . . College Hockey News has more right here.
If you are wondering, there are four players on WHL rosters who are from Arizona. D Tristen Pfeifer of the Everett Silvertips is from Phoenix, while G Brendan Burke of the Portland Winterhawks, F Austyn Playfair of the Tri-City Americans and F Austin Carroll of the Victoria Royals all show Scottsdale as their hometown.
The Kamloops Blazers have acquired F Matthew Campese, who turns 17 on Dec. 10, from the Victoria Royals. The Blazers also get a 2016 fifth-round bantam draft pick, while giving up a third-round selection in 2015. . . . Campese, the son of Prince Albert Raiders general manager Bruno Campese, has two goals in 14 games with the Royals. He was a third-round selection in the 2012 bantam draft. . . Last season, Campese had 88 points, including 46 goals, in 37 games with a midget team at the Okanagan Hockey Academy. . . . Campese is expected to join the Blazers in time to play tonight against the visiting Portland Winterhawks. . . . Kamloops is carrying 25 players, including eight defencemen and 15 forwards.
F Mathew Barzal of the Seattle Thunderbirds has undergone surgery to repair a cracked kneecap and is expected to be out until sometime in January. He was injured while horsing around with teammates while in Saskatoon during their recent East Division swing. . . .
D Austin Adam, who has missed 17 games with a shoulder injury, is expected back in the Moose Jaw Warriors’ lineup tonight as they play host to the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . With the 6-foot-6 Adam healthy again, the Warriors returned D Colin Paradis, 16, to the midget AAA Sherwood Park, Alta., Kings. . . .Dickson Liong, who has done some writing from the Vancouver area for Taking Note, also writes for The Fourth Period. His latest piece, on Vancouver Canucks D Chris Tanev, is right here. . . .
F Casey Pierro-Zabotel, who won the WHL’s scoring title in 2008-09 while with the Vancouver Giants, has signed a tryout deal with the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals. Pierro-Zabotel, 26, had been with the ECHL’s Gwinnett Gladiators, putting up 13 points, including seven goals, in 11 games.
TUESDAY’S GAMES:In Regina, F Connor Gay’s second goal of the game, at 2:45 of OT, gave the Pats a 5-4 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Gay, who also had an assist, has nine goals this season. . . . Regina D Colby Williams had broken a 3-3 tie with his third goal, via the PP, at 4:00 of the third period. . . . F Lane Bauer scored two PP goals for the Oil Kings, the second one, at 10:41 of the third period, forcing OT. . . . He’s got six goals. . . . F Dryden Hunt had a goal, his 10th, and two assists for the Pats, who got three assists from D Kyle Burroughs. . . . D Ashton Sautner had two assists for Edmonton. . . . The Pats (12-9-1) have won four in a row. . . . The Oil Kings (11-8-3) had won their past two games. . . .
In Medicine Hat, the Tigers scored the game’s first four goals en route to a 4-2 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . F Cole Sanford scored his 15th goal of the season for the Tigers (15-4-2), who had lost their previous two games. . . . D Tyler Lewington, F Trevor Cox and F Chad Labelle each had two assists for the Tigers. . . . D Ty Stanton helped out with his fourth goal and an assist. . . . The Rebels got goals from F Preson Kopeck, his seventh, and F Wyatt Johnson, his 10th, in the second half of the third period. . . . Red Deer was 1-for-6 on the PP; Medicine Hat was 0-for-6. . . . Red Deer (11-9-3) had been 3-0-1 in its past four games and 7-1-2 in its last 10. . . .
In Prince George, the Vancouver Canucks overcame a 3-0 deficit and went on to dump the Cougars, 6-4. . . . The Cougars took a 3-0 lead on F Chase Witala’s 10th goal, via the PP, at 6:16 of the second period. . . . The Giants tied it on D Clayton Kirichenko’s second goal, at 5:18 of the third, on the PP, and took the lead when F Matt Bellerive scored his seventh goal at 9:54. . . . Witala pulled the Cougars into a tie at 17:32, only to have Vancouver D Shaun Dosanjh scored his first goal just 28 seconds later. It stood up as the winner. . . . Vancouver G Cody Porter stopped 21 of 22 shots after replacing Payton Lee after the Cougars’ third goal. . . . F Thomas Foster had three assists for the Giants (9-12-0). . . . Vancouver F Dalton Sward scored his ninth career shorthanded goal, one off the franchise record held by F James Henry (2007-12). . . . The Cougars (11-12-0) have lost four in a row. . . . The same two teams meet in Prince George again tonight. . . . The Giants continue to be without F Tyler Benson, who suffered an undisclosed injury at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge. He won’t play in tonight’s rematch either. . . . Vancouver did have F Jakob Stukel (hand) back in the lineup for the first time since the second game of the season. . . .
In Victoria, F Axel Blomqvist scored at 3:16 of OT to give the Royals a 4-3 victory over the Kelowna Rockets. . . . The Royals scored the game’s last three goals. . . . F Tyson Baillie scored twice for Kelowna, giving him 17. . . . Victoria F Austin Carroll got Victoria to within one, at 3-2, with his 15th goal at 6:04 of the third period, on a PP. . . . F Brandon Magee tied it with his seventh goal at 18:03 of the third. . . . Blomqvist has 10 goals. . . . Kelowna F Rourke Chartier, who leads the WHL in goals (23), had his 10-game goal streak snapped. . . . Kelowna F Nick Merkley had one assist; he leads the WHL in assists (34) and points (41). . . . D Travis Brown and F Tyler Soy each had two assists, as did Kelowna D Jesse Lees. . . . Baillie also had an assist. . . . The Rockets (20-1-2) have points in their last 12 (10-0-2). . . . The Royals (11-11-2) have won two in a row.
Who wouldn't wanna play division I hockey for @ASUD1Hockey
— Brendan Burke (@bburke_1) November 19, 2014