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scamperdog
01-13-2007, 03:05 PM
By GREGG DRINNAN

Daily Newhttp://www.blazerhockey.com/newspaper/newspaper-stories/01-13-07.phps Sports Editor

Sasha Golin was sporting the largest smile among the Kamloops Blazers at practice Friday afternoon at the Interior Savings Centre.

Golin, an 18-year-old right winger, was acquired from the Portland Winter Hawks on Wednesday and will make his debut with the Blazers tonight against the visiting Prince George Cougars.

A native of Vernon whose family lives in Summerland, Golin will skate in front of his parents, who are certain to be in attendance.

“They’ll be at almost all the home games,” said Golin, flashing another smile.

Golin joins a team that is 30-10-1-1, has won seven in a row and is hot on the heels of the B.C. Division-leading Vancouver Giants. The Blazers, who also are at home Sunday when the Tri-City Americans are here, are one point in arrears of the Giants, who fell 3-2 to the Tigers in Medicine Hat last night. The Giants (28-8-3-4) meet the Hurricanes in Lethbridge tonight and play the Kootenay Ice in Cranbrook on Sunday.

While Golin wasn’t certain who his linemates would be tonight, he knows that he will be playing alongside centre Reid Jorgensen, one of the WHL’s hottest players these days. Jorgensen has 17 points, including 10 goals, in his last nine games, including a stretch where he enjoyed four straight three-point outings.

“He’s a talented player,“ Golin said of Jorgensen. “We were connecting a bit in practice. I just hope I don’t hinder him.”

Golin, who was the fifth overall selection in the 2003 bantam draft, had seven points, but only one goal, in 39 games with Portland this season. He hasn’t scored in his last 25 games.

Either Terrance Delaronde or Brendan Dowd will skate on the left side with Jorgensen and Golin. Delaronde is the regular winger there, but missed yesterday’s practice with a cold and a fever.

“He was pretty sick,” Dean Clark, the Blazers’ general manager and head coach, said of Delaronde. “Right now, I don’t know that he’ll be well enough to play.”

You can bet that Golin will be.

The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder, who was acquired for 18-year-old centre Matt Schmermund, said he left Portland at noon Thursday and arrived in Summerland at midnight.

“Icy” is how he described his drive.

“Oregon was just as bad as here,” Golin said, adding that in some places traffic speeds were as low as 10 miles per hour. “It took a long time.”

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The Blazers will welcome back centre Brock Nixon, a 27-goal man who missed three games with a sore shoulder.

Nixon, who looked good at practice yesterday, will reunite with right-winger Juusu Puustinen, who has six points, including two goals, in seven games since returning from spending Christmas in Finland.

Alex Rodgers will be on the left wing with Nixon and Puustinen.

Mark Hall, who has centred a line since joining the Blazers from the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers, moves to left wing alongside Brady Mason and Matt Kassian, with C.J. Stretch, who has four points in his last two games, between Ivan Rohac and Tyler Shattock.

Left-winger Travis Dunstall, who has sat out two games with a shoulder injury, won’t play this weekend. He hopes to return Friday when the Blazers meet the Kootenay Ice in Cranbrook.

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JUST NOTES: Both games begin at 7 p.m. . . . For the first time in franchise history, fans will be allowed to purchase draft beer on the concourse and take it to their seats. The Blazers and the City announced a test program Thursday that will run through the playoffs. It will be re-evaluated at season’s end. Sales will end as the third period begins. . . . Russian D Alexander Provkin, 17, was sent home by the Medicine Hat Tigers this week. The club said it just couldn’t find enough playing time for him. Provkin had one assist in 16 games. Kamloops fans may remember Provkin because he was added to the Russian team that lost 8-1 to the WHL Selects at Interior Savings Centre on Nov. 30.

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