Thursday, October 4, 2007

Blazers and some notes

From The Daily News of Friday, Oct. 5, 2007 . . .

The WHL’s Kamloops Blazers now know how NCAA hockey teams feel — day off, practice, practice, practice, practice, game, game.
And, quite frankly, they are tired of it.
Which is why they are preparing to welcome with open arms the Swift Current Broncos, who visit Interior Savings Centre tonight. Game time is 7 o’clock.
The Blazers then will meet the Bruins in Chilliwack on Saturday before returning home to face the Calgary Hitmen on Monday, 7 p.m.
In fact, the Blazers will play seven games over the next 12 days, including a four-game swing into the U.S. Division.
“We’re here on the college circuit,” Dean Clark, the Blazers’ general manager and head coach, said during Thursday’s practice at Interior Savings Centre. “We want to get playing some games.”
The Blazers (2-1-0-0) played their first two regular-season games Sept. 21 and 22, then had eight days off before beating the Portland Winter Hawks 4-0 on Sunday. They were off Monday and practised the next three days, which gets them to today.
So are the players getting antsy?
“Oh, yeah,” Clark said with a smile.
“But,” Clark added, “we have had as good a week of practise as we’ve had since I’ve been here, on and off the ice.”
The Broncos (3-2-0-0) should be as well-rested as any team that is on a road trip. They beat the Hurricanes, 3-1, in Lethbridge on Tuesday night and then lost 7-2 in Calgary on Wednesday. They were to arrive in Kamloops late Thursday afternoon.
“They will be a little hungry after (Wednesday) night,” Clark said. “Coming off a loss like that you know thae coach will be after them to get them going.”
JUST NOTES: D Mark Schneider, who has been out since before training camp with a dislocated wrist, is to see a doctor today and expects to be cleared to take part in full-contact practices. He still is on track to play during the team’s first trip into the U.S., which begins Oct. 12 in Everett against the Silvertips. . . . The overtime goal scored by Kamloops RW Juuso Puustinen to beat the Seattle Thunderbirds on Sept. 22, had been viewed 9,790 times on as of last evening. . . . RW Keegan Dansereau, whom the Broncos acquired from the Hitmen this week, played his first game with his new team on Wednesday. . . . Duane Sutter, the Florida Panthers’ director of player development, is expected at tonight’s game. He’ll be paying particular attention to Kamloops D Keaton Ellerby, the Panther’s first pick, 10th overall, in the NHL’s 2007 draft. . . . For more on tonight’s game, see the Scouting Report on Page A13.
JUNIOR JOTTINGS: Everett has dealt LW Ondrej Fiala, 20, to the Saskatoon Blades for a 2009 third-round bantam draft pick. The Blades cleared room for him by releasing Slovakian F Robert Brandis, 19. . . . The Blades, however, now have four 20-year-olds — Fiala, C Chris Durand, RW Michael Kaye and D Curtis Patterson. The latter three were acquired in offseason trades and all are from Saskatoon. . . . Everett now is down to two imports — Russian C Vitali Karamnov, 18, and Slovakian LW Lukas Vartovnik — and four 20-year-olds. The 20s are RW Dan Gendur, LW Brennan Sonne, D Dane Crowley and G David Reekie. Reekie is out with mononucleosis.

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