View Full Version : to much fun?

01-02-2006, 12:24 PM
Blazers bring in New Year minus pucks www.kamloopsnews.ca
by Gregg Drinnan

At least some members of the Kamloops Blazers brought in the New Year in the wee, wee hours of Sunday morning.

So the entire team paid the price on Sunday at Memorial Arena as players skated for 80 minutes without pucks.

“We had to have a straightening-out practice,” Dean Clark, the WHL team’s general manager and head coach, said.

Clark had given his team a curfew of 1:30 a.m., allowing the players what he felt was ample time to celebrate the New Year. Clark said some players chose to stay out after that time.

“There were a few,” said Clark, who admitted that he wouldn’t have been as upset had “the players done it as a team.”

Rather, it seems some older players headed off on their own.

“If they’re all out late together, it wouldn’t be so bad,” said Clark, who was quick to say that no one got into any trouble. “I told them, one guy (screws up) and everybody pays the price. It doesn’t matter to me.”

It simply was a matter of some players going off as a group and missing curfew. So they skated … and skated … and skated …

“They needed that skate,” Clark said. “In fact, it likely should have happened three months … probably after that 6-1 loss to Vancouver.”

That was on Nov. 12 when, in front of the largest crowd of the season (5,419 fans), the Blazers laid a particularly large egg.

Less than a month later, head coach Mark Ferner was fired and Clark took over as head coach. Since then the Blazers are 3-3-1-1.

They are scheduled to leave this morning for Cranbrook where they meet the Kootenay Ice on Tuesday night. The Blazers (19-19-1-1) go into the week in fifth place in the B.C. Division, three points behind the Prince George Cougars (20-15-0-3). The Ice is 27-11-0-2, one point behind the division-leading Vancouver Giants.

The Blazers are coming off a three-game U.S. Division swing in which they went 1-1-1-0. Clark came off that trip feeling that his club was starting to establish a good work ethic and also was showing some good character. He doesn’t feel that Sunday’s situation changes any of that.

Clark said the Blazers had a “really good practice” on Saturday. “We had a good meeting before practice,” he said, “and practice had good tempo.”

Of course, that practice included pucks.

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With C Brady Mason injured and unable to play, the Blazers have recalled LW Alex Rodgers from the major midget Kamloops-Thompson Blazers for Tuesday’s game.

Rodgers, 17, has 38 points, including 18 goals, in 22 games with the major midget club.

In the continuing absence of goaltender Devan Dubnyk, who is with Canada’s national junior team, Mike Maniago will get the start on Tuesday, with Kurt Kramer backing him up.

Clark said that he expects to start Dubnyk on Friday when the Red Deer Rebels visit the Interior Savings Centre.

C Reid Jorgensen, the Blazers’ captain, also might be in the lineup on Friday. He has missed 16 games with a broken jaw.

C Kevin Hayman (wrist) isn’t expected back before Jan. 14. He has missed 11 games.

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Sophomore D Victor Bartley picked up two points, including a goal, in Thursday’s 6-5 overtime loss to the Winter Hawks in Portland. That was his first two-point effort of the season and the second of his career … RW Brock Nixon, in his third season here had three points in the loss — it was the first two-goal and three-point game of his career.

01-03-2006, 02:17 PM
I think the boys know who that one guy is and I would be paying him a visit to thank him personally for a 80 min bag skate.