It was only an exhibition game but, still, it was the first four-point game of F Jake Kryski’s WHL career.
The 18-year-old Vancouver native had two goals and two assists on Saturday night, helping the visiting Kelowna Rockets to a 6-3 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. One night earlier, he set up the
game’s only goal as the host Rockets beat the Blazers, 1-0.
Kryski is preparing for his third WHL season, the first two of which were with the Blazers, who traded him to the Rockets on Aug. 18 in a deal that had the Gatenby brothers, Joe and Danny, both defencemen, come to Kamloops.
While Kryski spent most of his time with the Blazers patrolling left wing, the Rockets’ coaching staff has him playing centre, at least for now.
“We’re trying stuff,” said Kryski, noting that he last played centre with the Burnaby Winter Club bantam AAA side in 2012-13. “We’ll see how it goes. I’ll play wherever I’m needed.”
Of the difference between playing centre or on the wing, Kryski said: “There is more responsibility on the defensive side of things. Taking draws . . . I have to work on that to play centre and play well. But I like the challenge and I like having the responsibility. And I feel I have the puck more playing centre.”
Last season, he had 39 points, including 12 goals, in 67 games with the Blazers. In this preseason, he has seven points, including four goals, in four games.
“They’re coming,” he said of the points, “a bit more than last season, so that’s good.”
Some of that, he feels, is simply due to his having 132 regular-season games of experience in the WHL.
“I’m more confident holding onto the puck now,” he said. “And I’ve learned that I have to shoot the puck when I’m in scoring areas.”
That, of course, is something that head coach Don Hay and the Blazers’ staff tired to get him to do while he was in Kamloops.
“Yeah,” Kryski said with a smile. “Every coach (has tried that).”
The Rockets, who are down to 24 players, dressed only 17 skaters, including 11 forwards, in Kamloops on Saturday. As a result, Kryski is seeing a regular shift, as well as power-play and penalty-killing time.
“I don’t mind that at all,” he said. “I love getting out there.”
The Everett Silvertips have waived veteran F Brandon Ralph, 20. A native of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., he had five goals and three assists in 55 games with the Silvertips last season. He had spent the previous two seasons with the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Ralph’s departure leaves Everett with two 20-year-olds — F Graham Millar and D Lucas Skrumeda, who turns 20 on Oct. 7.
F Carter Folk of the Lethbridge Hurricanes has drawn a TBD suspension after he was hit with a headshot major and a game misconduct during a game against the visiting Swift Current Broncos on Friday night.
While a lot of attention has been focussed on the final days of the career of Vin Scully, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ iconic play-by-play voice, another wonderful broadcaster is preparing to sign off for the final time. Dick Enberg, these days the voice of the San Diego Padres, will end his broadcasting career when this MLB season ends. . . . Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times has more on Enberg right here.
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In Kennewick, Wash., the Portland Winterhawks finished their exhibition schedule with a 6-2 victory over the Kootenay Ice. The Winterhawks went 5-0-1. F Alex Overhardt scored twice for Portland, which got two assists from each of D Brendan De Jong and D Keoni Texeira. F Peyton Krebs and F Zak Zboroski had a goal and an assist each for the Ice (0-2-1). . . . F Brandon Hagel scored twice, giving him four in the preseason, to lead the Red Deer Rebels to a 4-1 victory over the Spokane Chiefs. D Josh Mahura had two assists for the Rebels (3-1-0). G Riley Lamb stopped 29 shots for Red Deer. Czech freshman F Pavel Kousal scored for the Chiefs (2-3-0). He has two goals and two assists in five games. . . . The Tri-City Americans scored the game’s last two goals to beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 4-2. D Parker Wotherspoon, who also had an assist, broke a 2-2 tie at 8:33 of the third period and F Morgan Geekie added insurance with his second goal of the game at 13:07. F Jordan Topping had two assists for the Americans (3-3-0). The Thunderbirds are 3-2-0. . . .
In Victoria, F Gunnar Wegleitner and F Jack Walker scored shootout goals to give the Royals a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . F James Malm scored for Vancouver (0-2-1), at 1:21 of the first period. . . . F Ethan Price got Victoria’s goal at 9:08 of the second. . . . The Royals are 3-1-0. . . . G Griffen Outhouse stopped 39 shots for the Royals, while the Giants got 31 saves from G Ryan Kubic. . . . The teams meet again this afternoon, this time at the Ladner Leisure Centre. . . .
In Calgary, the Edmonton Oil Kings built up a 4-1 lead and hung on to beat the Hitmen, 4-3. . . . F Davis Murray had a goal and an assist for Edmonton (2-2-0). . . . Calgary (2-2-0) got a goal and an assist from D Jake Bean. . . . Announced attendance was 10,435. . . .
In Kamloops, F Jake Kryski had two goals and two assists as the Kelowna Rockets beat the Blazers, 6-3. . . . The Rockets (3-1-0) acquired Kryski from the Blazers (1-3-0) last month. . . . F Kole Lind added a goal and two assists for Kelowna. . . . D Dawson Davidson had three assists for Kamloops (1-3-0). . . . There is a complete game story right here. . . .
In Moose Jaw, F Tanner Jeannot, F Ryan Bowen and B Brett Howden each had a goal and an assist as the Warriors beat the Brandon Wheat Kings, 4-1. . . . Moose Jaw G Zach Sawchenko stopped 32 shots, while Brandon’s Hunter Arps made 35 saves. . . . Warriors F Brayden Watts broke a 1-1 tie at 16:22 of the second period. . . . The Warriors improved to 3-2-0, while Brandon slipped to 0-2-0. . . .
In Regina, F Sam Steel’s second goal of the game, at 3:20 of OT, gave the Pats a 5-4 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Steel scored the game’s first goal, at 13:17 of the first period, and the team’s alternated goals right through game’s end. . . . F Austin Wagner also scored twice for Regina (3-2-0), while F Adam Brooks and F Riley Woods each had two assists. D Chase Harrison chipped in a goal and an assist. . . . The Tigers (2-2-0) got a goal and an assist from each of F Matt Bradley and F John Dahlstrom, with D Ty Schultz recording two assists. . . .
In Warman, Sask., F Parker Kelly had a goal and two assists to help the Prince Albert Raiders to a 7-5 victory over the Saskatoon Blades. . . . F Kirby Dach had two goals and an assist for the Blades. The second overall pick in the 2016 bantam draft, Dach gave the Blades a 5-4 lead at 9:34 of the third period. . . . The Raiders tied it on F Spencer Moe’s third goal of the preseason at 11:46 and went ahead when F Kolten OIynek scored on a PP at 14:03. . . . The Raiders (2-1-0) got a goal and an assist from each of F Luke Coleman, F Tim Vanstone and F Sean Montgomery. . . . F Lukus MacKenzie and F Jesse Shynkaruk each had two assists for the Blades (2-3-0). . . . Raiders F Drew Warkentine drew a cross-checking major at 13:25 of the second period. . . .
In Swift Current, F Kaden Elder had two goals and an assist to lead the Broncos to a 5-2 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . F Aleksi Heponiemi had two assists for the Broncos (5-1-1) and F Tyler Steenbergen added a goal and an assist for the Broncos (4-1-1). . . . Heponiemi has a WHL-leading 12 points this preseason, including five goals. . . . F Tyler Wong had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes (1-3-0).
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