View Full Version : Past Weekend

09-05-2006, 05:20 PM
by Gregg Drinnan www.kamloopsnews.ca

They were only exhibition games so perhaps no one will remember a month from now that the Kamloops Blazers went 0-2-0-1 at the Everett Silvertips’ annual tournament.

The Blazers fell 5-3 to the Portland Winter Hawks on Sunday afternoon. That followed a 5-4 shootout loss to the Silvertips on Saturday night.

“I thought we did really well,” said Dean Clark, the Blazers’ general manager and head coach. “Some guys played really well and we worked really hard on our team game.

“We looked tired (Sunday). We weren’t as good but in the first two games we outplayed the teams pretty badly.”

The Blazers were beaten 5-2 by the Spokane Chiefs on Friday.

The Blazers went with 16 skaters, two under the maximum, on Sunday as they played their third game in 48 hours.

“It was a quick turnaround,” Clark said, “but we also said we’ll have games where we play Saturday night and Sunday afternoon so don’t use that as an excuse.

“But you could tell the younger guys aren’t used to playing that much at that tempo.”

Colton Sceviour, with two, Swedish import Viktor Sjodin, Matt Betker, on a second-period penalty shot after being tripped up by defenceman Kevin Kraus while on a breakaway, and Riley Boychuk scored for the Winter Hawks. Terrance Delaronde, Ryan Bender and Matt Schmermund countered for the Blazers, who trailed 2-1 and 5-2 at the intermissions.

Betker’s goal broke a 2-2 tie and Clark felt that was the turning point.

Dalyn Flette started in goal for the Blazers, stopping 12 of 14 shots. James Priestner came on midway through the second period and surrendered three goals on 13 shots.

Priestner, a second-round pick in the 2006 bantam draft, isn’t old enough to play fulltime in the WHL and was to return home to Edmonton on Monday.

Flette, a 16-year-old from Calgary, “played very, very well this weekend,” Clark said. Asked if Flette was ahead of Kurt Kramer in the battle to back up Mike Maniago, Clark replied: “I would say right now he is.”

Clark said he was impressed with the play of two rookie Edmontonians — defenceman Jordan Rowley, 16, and Schmermund, an 18-year-old winger.

“Rowley got better every day,” Clark said. “Even (Sunday), I thought he was pretty good. He had a goal on Saturday and an assist (Sunday) on Schmermund’s goal that was unbelievable.

“Schmermund improved greatly over the weekend. With his speed, he’ll be very effective this season.”

Most of the other “younger guys were inconsistent,” Clark added. “You could see flashes of what they might be if they get some confidence.”

On Saturday, Juuso Puustinen, Travis Dunstall, Rowley and Scott Skrudland scored for the Blazers. Clinton Pettapiece, Brandon Campos, Shane Harper and former Blazers defenceman Joel Eisenkirch replied for the hosts. All eight goals came via the power play.

In the shootout, the first nine shooters misfired before Campos ended it by beating Maniago. He came on in relief of Priestner halfway through the second period and stopped 19 of 21 shots. Priestner blocked eight of 10 shots.

“Puustinen was unbelievable,” said Clark, who feels the Finnish winger may have found some chemistry with veteran Brock Nixon.

And then there were the penalties.

With the WHL having started a much-publicized crackdown on obstruction and stick-related fouls, the nine tournament games included 213 power plays.

In their three games, the Blazers were 7-for-45 with the man advantage, while their opponents were 9-for-47.

Clark said that three rookie defencemen — Joel Woznikoski, Krauss and Rowley — and sop****re Garrett Thiessen “had about 30 penalties between the four of them” and that Woznikoski and Thiessen “had 16 between the two of them.”

JUST NOTES: On Sunday, the Blazers scratched Maniago, Dunstall, Nixon, D Kurt Torbohm, D Ray Macias, Kramer, C Reid Jorgensen, Puustinen, D Keaton Ellerby (knee) and LW Ivan Rohac (immigration). . . . On Saturday, they scratched D Ryan White, D Victor Bartley, Delaronde, RW Matt Kassian, Flette, Kramer, Ellerby and Rohac. . . . The Blazers return to practice this afternoon after taking a day off. . . . The expansion Chilliwack Bruins visit the Interior Savings Centre on Friday, 7 p.m. . . . The Bruins will play their first ever game tonight when they meet the Rockets in Kelowna. . . . Clark said he likely will reassign a defenceman today. That would leave the Blazers’ roster at 27 — three goaltenders, 10 defencemen and 14 forwards. . . . Five players leave for NHL camps this week — Bartley (Vancouver Canucks), Jorgensen (Detroit Red Wings), Kassian (Minnesota Wild), Macias (Colorado Avalanche) and Puustinen (Calgary Flames).

JUNIOR JOTTINGS: Kootenay Ice D John Negrin is out for up to three weeks as he nurses a sprained ankle suffered while playing slo-pitch. . . . Citing off-ice issues, the Lethbridge Hurricanes have traded RW Brad Riege, 17, to the Moose Jaw Warriors for a third-round pick in the 2007 bantam draft. Riege, from Stoughton, Sask., was the 26th overall pick in the 2004 draft. Riege had six points and 49 penalty minutes in 59 games as a rookie last season

09-05-2006, 07:28 PM
Is Kevin Kraus still around up there? I know he went back to Kamloops with the team from Everett. (He lives just outside of everett)

09-06-2006, 09:10 PM
Is Kevin Kraus still around up there? I know he went back to Kamloops with the team from Everett. (He lives just outside of everett)

On Tuesday, the Blazers assigned 16-year-old defenseman Kurt Torbohm of Chase, BC to a Junior “B” team which is yet to be determined. The move leaves the Blazers with 26 players (14 forwards, 9 defensemen, and 3 goaltenders) heading into this weekend’s home-and-home exhibition series against the Chilliwack Bruins. Five players, Matt Kassian (MIN), Reid Jorgensen (DET), Juuso Puustinen (CGY), Ray Macias (COL), and Victor Bartley (VAN), will not be available for this weekend’s series as they attend their respective NHL camps.

I would think he will be around for a while yet, with the five guys gone to pro camps and Ellerby hurt that only leaves the team with 20 players and three of those are goalies, so if he works hard who knows what could happen.

09-06-2006, 11:58 PM
James Priestner's gonna be a hot goalie -- now if only he'd change those ugly yellow pads.

Travis Dunstall impressed me as well as I looked for number 14 when he was out on the ice.

and Rowley wearing number 25 turned a few heads during the tourney as well.