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08-25-2005, 09:05 PM
Blazers Open Camp

Daily News Sports Editor

If it's good enough for Canada's national junior team, well, it must be good enough for the Kamloops Blazers.

During each of its last two summer evaluation camps, the national junior team has split its prospects into two teams and there has been little, if any, interaction between them. It is done in an attempt to build a rivalry and make scrimmages more intense.

When the WHL's Kamloops Blazers open their main training camp on Sunday at the Interior Savings Centre, they are going to follow the Baby Nats' blueprint.

"Typically what happens," Blazers head coach Mark Ferner explained earlier this week, "is that these guys come back and they see a bunch of 15- and 16-year-olds and there's no one to push them. I know every team says it, every coach says it - 'We want it to be a competitive camp' - but I would like to see when we break up into our teams that there is no interaction between the teams at all. None.

"We're going to do that."

Ferner expects the move to create "the right atmosphere" and "competitiveness."

The veteran players are going to find a couple of other things to be a bit different, too.

"First and foremost," Ferner said, "you let them know that the plan is to bring in some older guys."

The Blazers expect to have 19 players - 11 forwards, six defencemen and two goaltenders - in camp who were on the roster that dropped a first-round playoff series to the Kootenay Ice in April. Also expected are centre Marc Connors, 20, who was acquired from the Tri-City Americans in an offseason deal, and centre Janick Steinmann, 18, a Swiss centre selected in the CHL import draft.

With Connors the only 20-year-old on the roster, there is room for two more, and Ferner is emphatic that the Blazers are searching for a few more experienced players.

The head coach also has changed the format for training camp.

"We are going to get them acclimatized to the systems," he said. "In years past, there hasn't been a lot of practising. We're going to practise and we're going to practise our systems from Day 1, so that we don't have to wait a month down the road and then start implementing our systems.

"The quicker you can get your systems down, the quicker you can start identifying where the problems are and the quicker you can fix them."

However, things will be a bit more relaxed with the rookie camp that opens today. That is because Ferner feels it is important that the rookies be made to feel comfortable.

"I've been in that position as a young guy going to camp and if the older guys aren't good to the younger guys that makes it that much harder on the younger guys," he said. "They're all here for a reason; they all want to be part of the Kamloops Blazers.

"If we can make it as comfortable for them as we can, as far as being able to go out and show why they're here S I think that's important for the rookies."

JUST NOTES: Of the players from the 2004-05 season-ending roster who are eligible to return, only LW Richard Jasovsky and RW Nathan Grochmal aren't expected in camp. Jasovsky would take up one of three 20-year-old spots and one of two import spots, so won't return. Grochmal, 19, is at home in Yorba Linda, Calif., awaiting a two-year mission assignment from his church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints ... Ray Macias, who started last season as a defenceman and finished as a right winger who played the point on the power play, will open camp, in Ferner's words, "playing both." Tri-City C Alex Aldred won't play for about six weeks as he recovers from emergency surgery. Aldred, 19, had his spleen removed in Edmonton on Wednesday night. Aldred, who was acquired from the Portland Winter Hawks on May 6, was injured during a conditioning camp ... LW Kyle Bortis, the Swift Current Broncos' first pick, 16th overall, in the 2003 bantam draft, is out with mononucleosis. He was diagnosed at the under-18 national team camp in Kitchener and isn't likely to play before the Broncos open their regular season. Bortis led the Saskatchewan midget AAA league in scoring last season while playing for the Saskatoon Contacts, who went on to win the national title ... G Trevor Peeters, the son of former NHLer Pete Peeters, has left the Broncos and plans on playing in the AJHL this season. Kyle Moir is the Broncos' starter, with Contacts product Travis Yonkman the likely No. 2 man.


08-26-2005, 03:23 PM
scamperd; do you know if these guys will be at any NHL camps, or will they be with the Blaze for all training camp?

08-29-2005, 08:38 PM
August 28th, 2005


KAMLOOPS, BC - The Kamloops Blazers wrapped up their Rookie Camp at Interior Savings Centre on Sunday morning, with Team Orange claiming the round-robin title by winning 3 of their 4 games in the tournament.
The tourney closed with an 8-5 win for White over Blue to take second place, not to mention closing with some fireworks. Joel Woznikoski and Tyler Shattock put an exclamation point on a very exciting rookie camp by engaging in some fisticuffs in the final moments of the game.
Members of the winning Orange team are:
Kurt Kramer, Jamie Skrenkowich, Jason Sands, Chris Favero, Tyson Stefanyk, Jordan Rowley, Matt Oliphant, Chris Stew, Tyson Vaage, Alex Rodgers, Cody Bogner, Mitch Dougall, Shayne Wiebe, Brandon Wakita, Mark Hall, Dallas Goodrunning, Adam Stephen, Scott Jacklin, Michael MacDonald, Zackery Lenning, Sean Cessford, and Kolton Moen.



KAMLOOPS, BC - It’s safe to say Blazer General Manager Dean Clark is absolutely ecstatic with the way the first half of Training Camp has gone.
“This has to be one of the best rookie camps I’ve ever been a part of,” Clark said while watching the veterans skate on Sunday night. “We were hoping to have a competitive camp and we’ve had that and more. It certainly sets the tone for an even more intense Main Camp.”
The Blazers have reduced their camp roster to 72 players divided into 4 teams.
Practices for the four teams go at 8:30am, 9:45am, 11:00am, and 12:15pm on Monday with the first two scrimmages set for 6:00pm and 8:15pm Monday night.



KAMLOOPS, BC - Irvine, California’s C.J. Stretch won the rookie tournament scoring title by picking up 6 goals and 7 points in 4 games.
Finishing in a three-way tie for second were Alex Rodgers (4-2-6), Travis Dunstall (3-3-6), and Matt Chomyc (2-4-6). The top scoring defenseman was Garret Thiessen (1-4-5).



KAMLOOPS, BC - The Blazers’ annual Blue-White Game, set for Wednesday night at 7:00pm at Interior Savings Centre, will be FREE ADMISSION to all fans!
Fans are asked to bring a non-perishable food item, or cash, in support of the Kamloops Food Bank.



Top Rookie: Kevin Kraus 28
Top Main: Marc Connors 41
CHIN-UPS (max):
Top Rookie: Alex Rodgers 21
Top Main: Matt Schmermund 22
SIT-UPS (60 sec):
Top Rookie: Tyler Shattock 55
Top Main: Matt Schmermund 70
Top Rookie: Kurt Kramer 10.5”
Top Main: Kalvin Sagert 12”
Top Rookie: Shayne Wiebe 3.69 sec
Top Main: Reid Jorgensen 3.42 sec
Top Rookie: Zack Lenning 7.5
Top Main: Terrance Delaronde, Ryan Bender, Matt Kassian, Benn Olson, Derek Liebel 7.0



08-30-2005, 08:51 AM
How is Brady Mason looking in camp? Will he make the team? I do not think he was given enough playing time in Everett to give him a fair chance.

Nice to see him getting a chance close to home. He is a really nice guy!

09-01-2005, 06:08 PM
Tesliuk turtles, Kassian smiles
By Chris Jurewicz

Brian Henderson put it best.

“I wouldn’t want to have anything to do with Matt Kassian either,” Henderson, an assistant coach with the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers, said on Wednesday night following his Team Blue’s 3-1 victory over Ryan Thorpe and Team White at the Interior Savings Centre.

The talk in the bowels of the ATM centred around Kassian, the Blazers’ 6-foot-6, 225-pound right-winger, and Roman Tesliuk, the 6-foot-1, 206-pound defenceman.

Kassian (Team White) and Tesliuk (Team Blue) had a pair of run-ins in the third period.

It started when Tesliuk nailed Kassian, who was skating for a loose puck and whose helmet flew off. Kassian, who thought Tesliuk got an elbow up too high, immediately went after Tesliuk, who didn’t want anything to do with the Blazers’ tough guy.

Kassian was given a minor penalty for playing without a helmet.

Later in the third, Kassian exacted some revenge when he nailed Tesliuk, sending his helmet flying.

After the game, though, the teammates were joking about the incidents.

“I know coming into this camp, the coaches wanted competition,” Kassian said. “Backing down wouldn’t have been competitive. Especially for me, with my style of hockey, I just don’t do that.”

He added that his hit on Tesliuk was a way of ensuring there would be no hard feelings off the ice.

“That’s partially to make sure it gets settled on the ice and then you can go off the ice and there are no grudges,” Kassian said.

The Kassian-Tesliuk battle was the climax of a spirited third period, one that included three fights.

But, according to Dean Clark, the Blazers’ general manager, the game wasn’t intense enough.

“It was probably a step back,” Clark said. “These guys have been going at each other hard for a long time in camp. It wasn’t as intense as some of those games were. But it’s good to be done and move on and be ready to play some other teams.”

The Blazers are scheduled to leave today for Everett where they will play in this weekend’s for the Silvertips’ preseason tournament. Kamloops’ first game is against the Spokane Chiefs on Friday.

Last night, Tesliuk opened the scoring at 2:28 of the first period. Mark Hall, a Kamloops Minor Hockey Association product, was in the corner and made a tape-to-tape pass to Tesliuk, who was in the slot and slid a shot through the legs of Team White goaltender Devan Dubnyk.

White tied the game at 3:24. Team Blue defenceman Kalvin Sagert fell, giving Shayne Wiebe a breakaway against Michael Maniago.

Wiebe, a left-handed shooter, took the puck to his backhand and put it over Maniago’s left shoulder.

In the second, Jordan Funk, in an attempt to clear the puck from the Team White end, fired it over the glass and was sent to the penalty box for delay of game.

On the ensuing faceoff, Team Blue centreman Janick Steinmann got the puck back to Tesliuk. Tesliuk fired the puck on net, Dubnyk made the save, but Moises Gutierrez put away the rebound and gave his team a 2-1 lead at 3:23.

Jason Sands (Team White) and Kurt Kramer (Team Blue) replaced Dubnyk and Maniago at 10:30 of the second.

Right-winger Dallas Goodrunning finished the scoring when he fired a puck from the neutral zone into an empty Team Blue net with 42.9 seconds left in the third.

Blazers fans may have been treated to a glimpse into the future.

Hall, 15, played a lot between right-winger Tyler Shattock, 15, and left-winger Alex Rodgers, 16.

The players worked well in the Team White end, cycling the puck and creating several scoring chances.

Hall and Shattock played together at the B.C. Cup, an under-16 provincial camp held in Salmon Arm last spring.

Shattock and Rodgers played bantam AA together in Salmon Arm.

“It helps when you communicate,” Hall said. “If you communicate, it makes it a lot easier to see where everybody is and execute plays.”

JUST NOTES: The three fights last night (with Team Blue appearing first) were between: Goodrunning and LW Cody Bogner; D Victor Bartley and D Josh Kaliel; and, Gutierrez and D Keaton Ellerby … Last night’s attendance was 1,304 … Shane Clifford has left the Everett Silvertips to become the goaltending coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL. Clifford was Everett’s goaltending coach since the club joined the league for the 2003-04 season … The Manitoba Moose has hired Mike Kelly as an assistant coach. Kelly was head coach of the University of Prince Edward Island Panthers last season. Kelly was head coach of the Brandon Wheat Kings in 2003-04. Prior to that, he was general manager of the OHL’s North Bay Centennials … D Jonathan Webb, 20, will not play in his final WHL season with the Wheat Kings. Webb will not return because he “just felt he needed to turn his attention to the family farm,” according to Kelly McCrimmon, the Wheat Kings’ head coach/general manager.


09-03-2005, 05:42 PM
right now, the only obvious contender is Miles Stoez. are there any others?