Medicine Hat News

The Medicine Hat Tigers made two big changes before hitting the road for their longest trip of the year.

On Wednesday, with the team already on the way to Victoria for Thursday's game against the Royals, the team sent a press release announcing that goaltender Dawson MacAuley was reassigned to the Yorkton Terriers of the Saskatchewan Junior AHockey League.

The team also announced that home-grown defenceman Ryan Aasman, acquired over the summer after WHL stops in Prince Albert, Seattle and Swift Current, has been sent to play with the junior A Spruce Grove Saints.

MacAuley, 17, battled with 18-year-old Kenny Cameron to back up Tyler Bunz in the pre-season. But the Tigers decided he'd be best served getting starters minutes in junior A.

"Dawson being the younger of the two needs to play more," said Tigers general manager Brad McEwen in a statement. "Going to Yorkton in the SJHL will give him the opportunity for ice time he needs to continue his development. He will come back that much more of a better goaltender."

Cameron was an Alberta midget AAA all-star last year playing with the Calgary Flames and was a late addition to the Tigers camp roster.

As for Aasman, once a first-round bantam draft pick, the demotion to the Alberta Junior Hockey League comes after 162 WHL games in which he had one goal and 11 assists and a minus-24 rating. The 19-year-old's departure leaves 16-year-olds Spencer Jensen and Tyler Lewington plus 17-year-old Kyle Becker on the roster as the remaining rookie blueliners. Lewington is classified as a 17-year-old by birthdate.

"We need to get some of our younger players into game situations," McEwan was quoted as saying. "Ryan is going to a real good junior A program. He is excited about going there with the opportunity of being one of their top four D-men and winning a championship."

The 2-2 Tigers play Victoria tonight and tomorrow, with both games starting at 8:05 p.m. Medicine Hat time.