Thursday, December 13, 2007

Silverbacks @ Centennials


22-8-2-2 (2nd in Interior Conference).......7-20-1-5 (8th in Interior Conference)
4-4-2-1 in Last 11 Games.........................................2-3-1-0 in Last 6 Games
4.8 Goals For Avg (1st in BCHL)......................3.0 Goals For Avg (15th in BCHL)
3.3 Goals Against Avg (T-4th in BCHL).........5.1 Goals Against Avg (16th in BCHL)
22.32% Powerplay (4th in BCHL)......................12.63% Powerplay (16th in BCHL)
81.31% Penalty Kill (8th in BCHL).................. 75.11% Penalty Kill (16th in BCHL)
Derek Lee (47 - 8th in BCHL)............................Erik Ruud (42 - 16th in BCHL)
Graeme Gordon (.889 - 20th in BCHL)........Shane Mainprize (.888 - 21st in BCHL)
Previous Games: 7-1 Salmon Arm road win on September 15th, 5-4 Salmon Arm overtime home win on October 30th, 6-3 Salmon Arm home win on November 20th.

Other than the first meeting the Silverbacks have had to come back twice at home against the Centennials. Salmon Arm was down 4-1 in the third period in October and down 2-0 in the second period in November.

It will be interesting to see how the team comes out as three of their top players have missed the entire week of practice. Damon Kipp (fly down), Derek Lee (prospects game), and Kelly Zajac (fly down) will all have to quickly gel their way back into form.

It is an important two points for the 'Backs to grab tonight with a first place showdown tomorrow night against the Vees. However any complacently with players thinking about either tomorrow night or the Christmas break and Merritt will walk away victorious.

Spruce Kings head south

by Ted Clarke of the Prince George Citizen

Considering their 3-8-0-2 road record this season, that is a tall order.

"We definitely have to get at least three wins out of four on this roadswing before Christmas and get on a streak after Christmas to secure a playoff spot," said Spruce Kings right winger Anthony Collins, an 18-year-old native of Langley.

"We don't want to come down to the deadline, hoping one team will win here and another team will win somewhere else. We want to secure one just through our own hard work."

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It's time to revamp no-hitter all-star game

by Michael Rhode of The Nanaimo Daily News

All-star outings are glorified games of shinny, with little or no defence.

How about dangling a little carrot at the finish line for the teams and players?

I'd say players have a better chance of catching the eye of a college recruiter in a real game situation than in a no-hitter.

Have the interior conference all-star team play the AJHL's north division squad in Alberta, while the coastal all-stars take on the AJHL's southern team here in B.C.

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Clippers are all-stars

by Staff of the Nanaimo News Bulletin

“I’m not going down there to [get] a shutout or anything,” he joked. “But for my one period I think it’s fun hockey and it’s a great time to showcase talent … You always hear so much about certain kids and you get to go meet them.”

Filiou might find himself in the odd position of passing the puck to those rival Caps.

“It will certainly be different,” he said. “It will be something that we’re not used to but I think we’re going to pull something fun out of it.”

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Team East wins 2007 CJAHL Prospects Game

by Scott Unger

Greg Miller (St. MIchael's Buzzers/OPJHL) scored twice and was named Team East's player of the game as the visiting side defeated Team West 5-3 in the 2007 Heartland Credit Union CJAHL Prospects Game in Winkler last night.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Rare 0-0 game highlights ’Backs’ week

by Richard MacKenzie of the Salmon Arm Observer

Yet, the Salmon Arm SilverBacks and their arch-rivals, the Vernon Vipers, managed to play a 0-0 game on Friday night at the Sunwave Centre in what some are calling the most entertaining regular season SilverBacks contest in a long time.

SilverBacks teammates Ronnie Smith and Randy Hanagan will continue to wear the same uniform for a few more season even if they aren’t in Salmon Arm. Both second-year forwards have secured NCAA division 1 scholarships for next season with Union College which is located in New York state.

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BCHL

by Kevin Parnell of the Kelowna Capital News

“This last week and a bit has been the best hockey Kevin (Walrod) has played for us. He’s 19 and it’s time for him to step up and evolve into one of our top guys and he’s doing that. Trevor plays in a lot of situations of us and because of the work he does in practise he has become one of our top guys.”

The naming to the all tar team for Schultz is just another feather in his cap. The 17-year-old rookie will play in the Canadian Junior A prospects game tonight and is already listed as a player to watch by NHL Central Scouting.

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Grizzlies' stars to shine at home

by Brian Drewry of the Victoria Times Colonist

"And while it's a great honour to be named to the team -- it was one of my goals this season -- this really is a team award, especially in my case, because I'm only as good as the guys in front of me."

"Jordie and Matt have been standouts for us this year and we're very proud of them," Jackson said yesterday as he got the troops ready for Friday's game in Alberni Valley. "Matt has given us a chance to win every night and Jordie, in my opinion, is the best defenceman in the league."

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Lone Hunter inall-star search

by Staff of the Vernon Morning Star

“He (Kakoske) doesn’t show up on the scoresheet as far as scoring is concerned every night, but we know how valuable he is to our organization,” said Ferner. “Either of our goalies (Bryce Christianson and Lucas Gore) are also worthy of consideration.”

Defenceman Cody Ikkala was out of the lineup with strep throat, while Bishop was playing with flu-like symptoms.

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Kings gaining ground

by Alistair McInnis of the Prince George Free Press

“I’m okay with that,” said Spruce Kings head coach and general manager Ed Dempsey of the three points collected last weekend. “I’ll go with the glass half full theory on that one, so we’ll be positive about that. It was nice to inch our way closer to Trail, and at the same time inch our way ahead of Quesnel.”

“This is going to be a wild ride because every team that we’re playing on this trip is going pretty good right now,” Dempsey said. “With the dogfight that we’re in now with Trail and Quesnel for spots in the standings, there should be no reason (why) our guys are not ready to go for these games.”

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Little known of Clippers star's injury

by Michael Rhode of The Nanaimo Daily News

"We don't expect to know for a week or so," said Bestwick."It's all got to subside. It's extremely swollen. It was a blood vessel that burst. That's what compounded the swelling and the bruising. He's extremely bruised. It's really bleeding a lot.

"It is just a wait and see. It's going to be some time before he gets a MRI. We just hope that he gets it before he goes home at Christmas time."

"They've said it doesn't require surgery so that saves four-plus weeks of recovery. Whenever you have an incision, the scar tissue has to heal," he said.

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Irwin gets to star at home

by Michael Rhode of The Nanaimo Daily News

"I'm not going to be trying to keep my save percentage up," admitted the Vail, Colo. native. "It's going to be fun. There will be a lot of scoring chances and it will be exciting hockey."

"I understand he doesn't exactly have a great winning record in all-star games so this year we're going to try and get him his first win in however many years it's been," said Garman.

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Cents fall to Eagle attack

by Colin Oswin of the Merritt Herald

“I’ll give Surrey full credit,” he says. “They blocked about 25 shots – we just didn’t get it through.”

Merritt managed two shots on net over the first 20 minutes, while the Eagles peppered Mainprize for 13 shots.

The assistant coach says fatigue might be getting to Mainprize. With the Cents’ starter in his first BCHL season, Leberre says the 18-year-old goalie has played a lot of games since he arrived in November.

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Captain raring to go

by Gary Ahuja of the Langley Times

Watching Canada West capture the gold medal, he was relegated to helping track stats and do video work.

“It has been a month and a bit now and it is getting a bit repetitive,” he said about his longest absence from the game.

Prior to leaving the team, the 19-year-old was Langley’s top scorer with seven goals and 13 assists in the first 18 games.

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Junior A Caps 'refuse to be negative'

by Kevin Rothbauer of The Cowichan Valley Citizen

It was neither the first nor the last time in the game that Burnaby netminder Kevin Jebson would kick the net free during a goal-mouth scramble.

In the first period alone, the margin was 13-3 in favour of the host squad.

"It was one of the most entertaining overtimes I've ever seen," Robinson commented. "The building was really on fire. That's what we're trying to sell in this league. Everyone was worn out after that game, including the fans."

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Wait for a goal unbearable

by Don Bodger of the Cowichan News Leader and Pictorial

The bears were already collected and obviously couldn’t be returned to wait for a real goal to be scored that didn’t happen anyway.

They outshot Burnaby 39-19 but couldn’t beat a red-hot Kevin Jebson in the Express net, particularly during the third period when many of his 15 saves were brilliant.

The Caps are No. 1 in the league on the power play away from home, but 14th of the league’s 16 teams for power play efficiency at home.

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Roadies up to third place

by Tom Berridge of Burnaby Now

"We fought the referee all night in that game and again the better team didn't win. We should have put the game away earlier," said Burnaby head coach Dave McLellan.

Nevertheless, the Express is 12-3-0-2 in its last 17 games and among the leading clubs on special teams at home.

"I want to be a buyer, not a seller on Jan. 10," he said. "We have a good enough group to win in this league, it's a matter of positioning."

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Zajac Snubbed

Despite having the fourth most points in the Interior Conference Kelly Zajac was not voted into the All-Star game. Zajac has 13 goals and a Interior Conference best 31 assists this season. He is also one of the best centers at taking face offs in the league winning approximately 66% of the draws he takes. This Ironman also stays out of the penalty box totalling 16 penalty minutes in playing in all 34 Silverbacks games this year. All this from a guy who has spent most of the season as the second line center without the benefits of top line wingers to play with.

On the flip side of things I am very pleased to see Prince George goaltender Damien Ketlo among the three Interior goaltenders. While Ketlo's numbers might not be all that impressive this 16-year-old is a big-time big-game goalie. Of his six wins two have came against the Silverbacks, one against Penticton, and one over Vernon. In those four games Ketlo has a save percentage of .927 and a goals against average of 2.25.

Warriors ask league for review of questionable calls

by Kevin Parnell of the Kelowna Capital News

“The referees are supposed to be evaluated. I’ve contacted the league for their input and what they do with it is up to them.”

Making matters even tougher to take, several college scouts who were watching the game from behind the net told the club that the puck had clearly gone in.

Video was inconclusive.

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Walrod carries the load for Warriors

by David Trifunov of the Kelowna Daily Courier

“We didn‘t play our best game, that‘s for sure,” Vernon coach Mark Ferner said. “We had too many turnovers and we weren‘t very good in the neutral zone. . . . We‘re disappointed with some of our guys, and some of our efforts in certain areas.”

On the Warrior bench, forwards Brady Mason (shoulder) and Chris Shudo (ankle), and defenceman Cory Pritz (lower body), were scratched.

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Vees leave Grizzlies in their dust

by Cleve Dheensaw of the Victoria Times Colonist

The outcome was probably to be expected from a Penticton team with seven players already committed to U.S. collegiate NCAA athletic scholarships -- Devon Krogh, Zac Dalpe and Cory Schneider to the Ohio State Buckeyes, Eric Kroshus to Harvard, Austin Smith to Colgate, Brett Hextall to North Dakota and Trevor Nill to the Michigan State Spartans.

"I think they have a chance to win it all and you could see that in the third period," said an impressed Grizzlies GM and head coach Jackson Penney.

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Grizzlies scratch out a tie

by Ron Rauch of the Victoria Times Colonist

"When you get to overtime [four-on-four for five minutes and then three-on-three for five minutes], we try to keep it as simple as possible and play man-to-man. Cowichan has a very fast team and if you make a bad decision, it will cost you. We made a couple tonight and the puck ended up in our net.''

With injuries to forwards Cody Bremner and Mike Hammond, the Grizzlies called up Jimmy Carter from the Victoria Cougars and Dan Bell from the Peninsula Panthers.

Carter started the year in the BCHL with the Westside Warriors before he was released.

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Vipers draw rare blank

by Staff of the Vernon Morning Star

Salmon Arm (21-8-2-2) played with only ten forwards while, for the second time in as many games, the Vipers (19-12-1-2) lost the services of captain Chris Crowell after he was handed a game misconduct for a hit from behind late in the second period.

“I saw him walk off the bench and was wondering what the heck was going on,” said Ferner, who was watching from the press box. “They said they found him curled up in a ball on the trainer’s table until a fan offered to drive him home.

“He ate three bags of chips and drank two pop on the way down... maybe that had something to do with it,” added Ferner, chuckling.

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Eagles flex offensive muscle to extend streak

by Michael Booth of Surrey Now

"All of the lines are scoring because everybody is contributing. Every guy is chipping in with the scoring and that's what you need to win hockey games. To keep other teams from keying on our top scorers we need balance in the scoring and that means contributions from everyone."

"That game was really quite a lot like the game here," Kuss said. "We dominated them pretty good and we kept things simple. We put a lot of pucks to the net and our talent kind of took over from there."

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Offence gets two Cents’ worth

by Nick Greenizan of the Peace Arch News

They’ve outscored opponents 32-10 in the last four games, dating back to an 8-3 win over Powell River on Nov. 30.

“It makes it tough for other teams, I’m sure, when they’ve got to play against us when we’ve got three lines that can score. And we’ve even been scoring on the penalty kill lately, too,” said Eagles captain Phil Magistrale, who had two goals Friday night.

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Late collapse costly for standings-starved Kings

by Ted Clarke of the Prince George Citizen

Overtime has been more cruel than kind to the Kings, who sport a 3-6 overtime record. In many of those losses they’ve given up late goals in regulation time. Saturday’s loss spoiled an otherwise sparkling performance from Ketlo, who made 33 saves while being outshot 37-27.

“It comes down to the will to win and being willing to sacrifice for the team. Some guys on this team are, and some aren’t. The guys who aren’t, repeatedly, are killing us.”

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Spruce Kings win one-sided affair

by Ted Clarke of the Prince George Citizen

Kings defenceman Jeff Forsythe came in to rescue Christian, who had been hit over the head twice and cross-checked across the face by the stick of Brad Davis. Muchalla jumped into the Davies-Brodie scrap as the third man in, and that attracted Paul Levarsky, who rammed Muchalla into the net and was about to duke it out with the pint-sized Kings forward when Forsythe intervened.

The Kings took full advantage, keeping their feet moving, finishing checks and beating Trail to virtually every loose puck as they outshot the Smokies 20-3 in the opening frame.

The Smokies got themselves in penalty trouble with the second period half gone and found themselves two men short for 83 seconds. They were also without a head coach for the rest of the game when bench boss Jim Ingram got tossed for disputing referee Korey Martens’ assessment of the situation.

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Latest roster addition suited for stretch run

by Staff of the Nanaimo News Bulletin

“He’s a big kid, a strong power forward that we feel sort of resembles a Jaret Engele, sort of resembles a Joe Bitz,” Bestwick said. “A player that we think is extremely important when you get down into tough games and physical and abrasive games.”

“I’ve played in the league for a couple of years; I wanted to be back here,” Forster said. “It worked out better coming to a great team.”

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Clippers win game, lose star

by Greg Sakaki of the Nanaimo News Bulletin

“We did everything we wanted to do – we wanted to have the lead, we wanted to take the flow away, we wanted to pressure and force their decision-making in our end.”

Sunday’s big win should have been more uplifting, but the Clippers were disheartened afterwards to learn that Goodman suffered a serious knee injury and will be out an extended period of time.

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Clippers Break Two-Game Slide With 4-2 Triumph Over Vees

by Michael Rhode of the Nanaimo Daily News

"We really competed. We minimized our turnovers in the first two periods to under 10 and that's key to success.

Goodman was forced to leave the game in the third period with appeared to be a serious injury to his right leg.

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Empty seats at Chiefs games alarming

by Troy Landreville of the Langley Advance

As of Dec. 8, the British Columbia Hockey League reported that an average of 548 fans have attended each of the Chiefs' first 17 home games at the GPRC. Only the Quesnel Millionaires (550) attract fewer fans to their rink.

When you consider that the 35-year-old GPRC (formerly known as the Langley Civic Centre) seats more than a thousand folks, and it's half full at best during Chiefs games, I shiver to think of what games will look and feel like when the team moves to the 3,200 seat, $56 million Langley Events Centre, currently under construction in Willoughby.

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BCHL players finding more opportunities

by Staff of the Alberni Valley Times

The US college option disappears as soon as a player signs a contract with a major junior program and with the pressure to make this decision sometimes as early as 15 years of age, players and families are finding that patience pays when it comes to deciding the future.

"We are in no way disappointed when mature players such as Casey and Garry leave our league to a situation that benefits them. It's much more frustrating when we see players who have no opportunity to pursue a US scholarship when things don't work out in major junior at 16 or 17 and find themselves at our door with fewer options. That's the message that we need to get to the parents of young players."

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Bulldogs top of the class

by Staff of the Alberni Valley Times

The program consists of college, online, high school, and upgrading opportunities for their players as well as preparation for the all important US SAT exams. It includes putting together college/university marketing packages, communication with colleges and universities and help with the myriad of details and rules of both the US NCAA and the Canadian CIS intercollegiate athletic systems.

Captain Moriarty pulled off the highest score in Bulldogs history with an overall 2100 out of 2400 while younger players such as Kerr and Ross also have very high scores.

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Canadian Junior A Hockey League Top 15

Clippers #4, Silverbacks #5.

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Rookie goalies make impact

by Mark Janzen of Hockey Now

In Burnaby, Kevin Jebson has been the go-to-guy almost every night. Jebson, playing on a Burnaby team that is only four games over .500, managed a 14-8-0-1 record through early December.

The Cowichan Valley Capitals Kiefer Smiley—with a .911 save percentage after playing in 16 games—has the best save percentage among rookie goalies and is second in the conference among all goalies.

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Finucci finds feet at last

by Steve Ewen of The Province

Keep in mind he had 64 points on 21 goals and 43 assists in his previous 109 games in the league.

"I was a bubble guy at the cuts a few times. I was always working hard to make those teams, though. You knew that you were going to go to good tournaments with them.

Express coach Dave McLellan says the University of Alaska-Fairbanks is talking seriously with Finucci and more offers could come soon.

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Pighin thriving with snipers on top line

by Marc Weber of The Province

"It just kind of happened," Pighin chuckled. "Heat of the moment, I guess. He wanted to go with me and I said why not? It's good fun every once in a while."

"My first game, I gave Moller the puck in our zone and he went end-to-end for a highlight-reel goal," he recalled. "He went through four of their guys and buried the puck. I think that was the easiest assist I've ever had. I thought, 'Wow, I could get used to this.'"

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Friday, December 7, 2007

Saturday tilt sure to continue Warrior-Viper rivalry

by Kevin Parnell of the Kelowna Capital News

In the past two season the Warriors and Vipers have engaged in a bitter rivalry that has turned nasty at times. Two line brawls, a physical six game playoff series, coaches being tossed from games and nearly 10 games in combined suspensions.

With apologies to Penticton, the Westside-Vernon rivalry is the best one that’s been established since the Warriors moved to town.

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Matheson a marvel for Grizzlies' offence

by Sharie Epp of the Victoria Times Colonist

Since then, Matheson has done everything possible to make it happen, including losing 25 pounds in a vigorous summer regime of fitness and diet.

Matheson has also made the move from defence to forward to add more of a physical presence to the Grizzlies depleted front lines.

Having the 17-year-old Matheson "on fire" is not good news for opposition defencemen.

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LOADED FOR BEAR

by Dylan G. Dylan of the Victoria News

“I don’t see it as a surprise,” Penney says of his club’s record. “Since day one, people have said we’re surprising everyone because we’re extremely young. I just don’t see it that way. We’re 20 guys pulling on the same rope.”

Penney, it should be pointed out, is in his first year as head coach of the Grizzlies. That said, he is not a novice, in that he spent 14 years in pro hockey and harbours the experience of two years coaching in the German DEL Hockey League. He speaks in matter-of-fact, no-nonsense tones, he spits out clich├ęs like they’re sunflower seeds and he seems genuinely offended at the suggestion that his Grizzlies continue to surprise people with their play.

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Vipers get payback

by Staff of the Vernon Morning Star

The Alaskan Assassin responded to a large contingent of young Aussie fans – Silver Star Mountain Resort employees – who chanted his name all night long.

“It’s pretty easy to be up there in the scoring race when you’re playing with the Sedin (Jones) twins,” laughed Bishop.

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Win helps Eagles forget their past

by Michael Booth of Surrey Now

More importantly, the win was the 18th of the season for Surrey -- one more than the team attained during the dismal 2006-07 season in which Surrey finished last among Coastal teams.

Travis Gorman, and 18-year-old power forward formerly of the WHL's Kootenay Ice, is expected to be in the Eagles' lineup for Friday night's (December 7) game at South Surrey Arena.

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Kings hope to move up

by Alistair McInnis of the Prince George Free Press

In expressing his thoughts on their current spot in the standings, Spruce Kings head coach and general manager Ed Dempsey said: “Well I’d rather be in first place, but to be honest with you we’re a little bit behind where I thought we could be at this time of the year when we sat down in August and kind of projected where we’d like to be.”

“[Trail is] just a good all around hockey club,” he said. “They’re well coached [with] good solid goaltending and very balanced forward lines.”

Nineteen-year-old Spruce Kings forward Shaun Fomenoff injured his shoulder during the second period of the team’s 4-2 loss to the Victoria Grizzlies last Saturday at the Coliseum. Dempsey said on Tuesday he was a couple weeks away from being ready for game action.

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Better late than never as Vees nip Kings

by David Crompton of the Penticton Herald

Alex Evin made 25 saves to get the win while Chris Rawlings made just 18 saves for the Kings.

A new-look fourth line combined to tie the game for the Vees at 6:34, as Labreche bagged his second of the season on a nice pass from Curtis McKenzie. Michael Guzzo also skated on the line.

Affiliated player Michael Boivin played his second straight game on the Vees blueline with Jimmy Geerin scratched again due to an upper-body injury.

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Clippers see lesson in loss

by Michael Rhode of The Nanaimo Daily News

Combine a handful of regulars out due to injury with three new faces in the lineup (forwards Andrew Cherniwchan, Chad Ziegler and Paul Forester) that are still trying to get used to head coach/GM Bill Bestwick's systems and a loss like Wednesday's was bound to happen sometime.

He also thinks that last week's trade which saw the Clippers send three players -- Warren Muir, Tim Holloway and Braden Birch -- to Drayton Valley of the Alberta Junior Hockey League for Cherniwchan and Ziegler, may have slightly changed the team's chemistry, just like any mid-season trade would do.

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Eagles soar as Chiefs lose again

by Gary Ahuja of the Langley Times

The Chiefs coach was ejected from the BCHL game just 11 seconds in when he received a gross misconduct.

But since an 11-day layoff, the team has gone 1-5-0-1 while tallying just 13 goals and allowing 27.

Since winning the season opener against Langley, the Eagles had dropped the previous four encounters between the two clubs, being out-scored 26-10 in those four losses.

And despite the fight happening at the Eagles blue-line, the referees moved the ensuing face-off to the Chiefs zone, a decision that resulted in both a bench minor for Langley and Smyl’s ejection.

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Eagles axe struggling Chiefs

by Troy Landreville of the Langley Advance

Langley has now lost five of its last six games; this, after running off seven straight wins prior to taking what is looking more and more like a disastrous 11-day break in mid-November.

Langley lost its head coach Harvey Smyl for much of Wednesday's game. The fiery Smyl was ejected after arguing a first period penalty call.

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Vees spell victory for team-oriented Caps

by Kevin Rothbauer of The Cowichan Valley Citizen

The Vees replied three minutes later, but rookie Mickey Spencer potted his 23rd -- tops on the team and among all BCHL rookies -- to put his team up for good at the 11:36 mark of the period.

"They're a big team," Robinson commented. "Foot speed is going to be our advantage against a team like that. We've got to go to the net and finish our checks. We have to be all over their team, much like we were (Wednesday). Burnaby has been laying lickin's on people lately, winning handily. It's a conference game, so we have to make a statement."

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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Smokies forward diagnosed with cancer

by Guy Bertrand of the Trail Daily Times

Last week the players were informed that teammate Scott Jago was diagnosed with cancer.

"We know it's cancer in the lymph nodes," said Ingram. "And there's a biopsy to come in the next week or so. There's no plan of action until the biopsy."

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Brotheract

by Nick Greenizan of the Peace Arch News

Brody stayed at the junior B level, and didn’t play at all last year – choosing to travel abroad instead.

“This is Brody’s last year of junior hockey, and this is our first time playing together, so we might as well do it.”

Both are welcome additions to the Eagles’ defence corps, who lost veteran Jeff Regier to the WHL’s Everett Silvertips the same week Nolan decided to come to the BC Hockey League

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Vees absorb Capital punishment

by David P. Crompton of the Penticton Herald

Clinton Pettapiece and Mickey Spencer also scored for the Capitals, who outshot the Vees by a whopping 54-22.

Forward Luc Challier was back in the Vees lineup after missing 25 games with a shoulder injury and promptly got into a spirited scrap with Cowichan‘s Josh Clare. Forward Eric Kroshus made his debut for the Vees, while fellow newcomer, defenceman Nic Knudsen (conditioning), likely won‘t play until after the road trip. Defenceman Jimmy Geerin (upper body) was scratched from the lineup.

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Clips get hammered in Vernon

by Michael Rhode of the Nanaimo Daily News

The Clippers had another new face in their lineup on Wednesday. Forward Paul Forster, from the Westside Warriors by way of the Winnipeg South Blues, saw his first action with Nanaimo, starting the game on a line with Cherniwchan and Chad Ziegler.

Clippers' top marksman Eric Filiou took a hard hit in the first period, played sparingly in the middle frame and did not see the ice in the third period.

With a couple of call-up players dressed and the likes of forwards Tyler Pistone, Carson Schell and Randy McNaught, as well as defenceman Ian Thistlethwaite out of the lineup, the Clippers were a little undermanned.

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Newcomers make an impact with Nanaimo

by Greg Sakaki of the Nanaimo News Bulletin

Their first flight from Edmonton couldn’t land at Comox Saturday. Neither could their second flight. Ziegler and Cherniwchan finally landed in Victoria Sunday afternoon, then endured a Greyhound trip that saw their bus get stuck in the snow, twice.

Both he and Cherniwchan have NCAA scholarships for next fall, anyways, with Ziegler heading to Yale; Cherniwchan, to Northern Michigan.

“He can score goals out of situations where you don’t think a goal is possible,” Ziegler said. “And he’s not afraid to play defence and be physical.”

“He’s very physical; the hardest worker out there,” said Cherniwchan. “Likes to get in the corner and dig, and battle in front of the net.”

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Reid helps Express salvage point

by Grant Granger of the Burnaby NewsLeader

McLellan said he doesn’t like to play them together because all three could get caught up ice.

Reid was acquired in the off-season from the Surrey Eagles. McLellan said he felt coming out of training camp Reid could be “the hidden secret” of the team and could end up in the top 10 of BCHL scoring. Heading into play Wednesday, Reid was seventh with 25 goals and 46 points. Finucci leads the pack with 55 points, including 21 goals while Campbell is eighth just two points behind Reid.

The Express are also 10-3-0-1 since Oct. 26.

Brennan Vargas made his debut with the Express on the weekend getting an assist Friday. Vargas was playing his first game in two weeks after leaving the Tri-City Storm of the U.S. Hockey League.

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Banged-up SilverBacks lose two of three

by Richard MacKenzie of the Salmon Arm Observer

On Saturday night at home, during a 6-3 Salmon Arm victory over the Cowichan Valley Capitals, rookie sensation Jeff Smith, after scoring the game’s opening goal, left the contest early and did not return

“Usually I’ll come in from the other side but I noticed the goalie was a little weak with his feet so I decided to come in from the right, fake the shot and go backhand,” he said.

“I’m really excited to be here,” he said. “I asked for a trade and this is where I requested because I feel this team, over any other in the BCHL, has a shot at winning the RBC (Royal Bank Cup). It’s my last year and that is what I’m hoping for.”

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Arduin makes trip to Warriors pay off

by Kevin Parnell of the Kelowna Capital News

Arduin, acquired by the Warriors on Saturday from Trail, spent the better part of 24 hours trying to join his new team in Prince George, traveling first by bus and then by airplane to arrive midway through the game’s warm-up on Sunday.

“Those were goal-scorers’ goals,” said Warriors’ coach Mark Howell. “You need those guys. You need guys that can score and have a natural gift and I think he has that knack. He’s a naturally gifted player. On the bench he was talking a lot and being a leader and I thought there was some real good messages in there for our guys.”

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Loss to Clippers ‘just wrong‘

by David Trifunov of the Kelowna Daily Courier

Referee Sebastien Valois awarded Nanaimo a goal late in the second period, telling Westside coaches afterwards a linesmen saw the puck cross the line before the whistle blew.

What made the situation hard for the Warriors to swallow was Cory Pritz‘s blast with three seconds to play that everyone on the Westside thought went in, hit the back crossbar and bounce out again. But the referee didn‘t talk to his assistants or the goal judge for that one, irking Warriors coach Mark Howell.

“The referee doesn‘t have the respect of the game to go ask his linesmen? It‘s wrong, it‘s just wrong,” Howell said. “Just go ask, that‘s all you‘ve got to do. . . . Yet on the other one, I guess they made the wrong call on that one, too. So two bad calls tonight.”

Westside forwards Brady Mason (shoulder) and Chris Shudo (ankle) were both sidelined.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Smokes salvage point against Cents

by Staff of the Trail-Rossland News

“It’s hard to say that after a loss,” he said. “They went minutes at a time without shots on net and we were pretty much in their end all night. We played fifty-eight and a half minutes of hockey tonight and unfortunately the last minute we didn’t play they scored two goals.”

“We lost the faceoff and then we had missed assignments both from the defenseman and the winger going through and guys got into our slot area with no price to be paid,” he explained. “They weren’t boxed out or challenged in any way. It’s bad enough to get one shot wide open like that, but he got his own rebound and that’s just not good enough.

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Kings drop two at home

by Alistair McInnis of the Prince George Free Press

Westside head coach Mark Howell noted that former Spruce King turned Warriors forward Chris Shudo was out of the lineup with a sore ankle, defenceman Cory Pritz sat out with a sore groin, and forward Brady Mason left the game after a couple shifts nursing his shoulder.

I think we worked hard all game,” said Fraser. “[The Warriors] just got lucky. Pretty much all their goals were nothing special, they were just luck so it was just tough luck tonight.”

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Vees deliver knock-out blow

by Harpreet Sidhu of the Penticton Western News

“I don’t think there is any disappointment. It was a good game,” said Vees captain Brett Hextall. “We beat them on the scoreboard and then we got into some of that other stuff. People have been saying we’re not gritty enough well I think we looked pretty gritty.”

“It was blatant hit from behind that was missed. I think our captain took it in his own hands and it says a lot about him. It says a lot about our program. I think that was when the game was won,” said Harbinson.

The six-foot, 195 pound-Kroshus was tied for fifth in team scoring with Camrose. The 18-year-old Calgary native had nine goals and nine assists, along with 40 penalty minutes in 27 games as a member of the Kodiaks this season.

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BCHL talent scooped up by WHL

by Scott Brown of The Nanaimo Daily News

"There is no hidden agenda in the reason why we keep some of our 16-year-old players, if we don't (keep them) we won't get them back (from the BCHL)," said Hamilton. "I am one of the owners of the (BCHL's Penticton Vees), so I'm not bashing anyone, but I believe the best players should be playing at the highest level possible."

"The way we have to combat it is we have to get rid of the 17-year-old import rules if we want to compete with them. The (WHL) has the best of both worlds. We're prevented from bringing Grade 12 students from out of province but they can take players from us at any time, basically for free, no fee," said Bestwick.

"They can talk to our players any time they want. There's no tampering. And of course, colleges can't talk to these kids until they've finished Grade 11. It's not a level playing surface and in order for us to get a level playing surface we have to play by the same rules as them."

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Beattie's marker lifts Clips to win No. 25 in Westside

by Michael Rhode of The Nanaimo Daily News

With the Clippers buzzing Westside's goal, Noble slipped a shot past Stephen Caple but the Warriors argued the puck entered the goal after referee Sebastien Valois blew his whistle. The goal stood, much to the dismay of the 1,198 fans.

He was particularly sharp in the second period when the Warriors outshot Nanaimo 11-5.

Newcomers Andrew Cherniwchan and Chad Ziegler saw a regular shift in their first game with Nanaimo. Cherniwchan assisted on Beattie's winning goal.

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Centennials make a splash in Trail

by Heather Thomson of the Merritt Herald

“We haven’t been on the road for six-weeks,” explains Keegan Goodrich, director of player personnel for the Cents. “It’s always better to go on the road.”

Merritt won the game 3-1, even though they were outshot by the Smoke Eaters 44-29.

“It’s like Gretzky and Currie,” Birks says. “They work well together and have good chemistry on the ice – they’re a good fit.”

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Back-to-back losses drop Chiefs to fifth place

by Gary Ahuja of the Langley Times

“I don’t know what is going on right now,” said Chiefs winger Trevor Elias.

Since an 11-day break in the schedule — and after the team had won a season-high seven consecutive games — the Chiefs have won just one of their past five games, scoring only 10 goals in the process.

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Chiefs look for consistency

by Gary Ahuja of the Langley Times

Roy’s goals have been an added bonus, Smyl said, as the team did not expect that much offence from the 18-year-old who had two goals in 48 games last season.

The blue-line corps have gone through some changes, with local products Brad Bakken and Dillon Scholten returning from the Western Hockey League to join the Chiefs.

Breaking down the team’s season into 10 game segments (box page 32), the Chiefs were out-scored 53-36 in the first 10, scored two more goals in the middle 10 (49-47) and really took flight in the past 10, out-scoring the opposition 46-31.

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Caps one game below .500 at the midway mark

by Don Bodger of the Cowichan News Leader and Pictorial

“I could understand if we were a rough and tumble group,’’ he said. “But we’re not a team that takes a lot (of penalties).’’

The Caps received five straight penalties in the first period at Salmon Arm when Robinson lost it in his old stomping grounds. He was handed an unsportsmanlike penalty for the team’s sixth straight infraction late in the period and then got ejected at the end of the period for expressing his displeasure with referee Andrew Guest’s work.

The Caps sent Andrew Christ back to his previous Kootenay International Junior Hockey League team in Spokane and added Willie Coetzee, who attended the Caps’ spring camp, from the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League.

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Caps lose three on road

by Kevin Rothbauer of The Cowichan Valley Citizen

"In overtime, in a non-divisional game, you take your chances at getting two points instead of one," said Bodger.

"It sounds funny to say that we got good goaltending when we let in six goals, but we did," said Bodger.

"It's better than zero," he said. "You have to look on the positive side."

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Win streak ends in overtime

by Tom Berridge of the Burnaby Now

"We didn't play well at all in the first two periods. If we had played like that (third period) all game, we would have killed them," said Reid. "I guess the day off got us unfocussed."

The newest Express player, U.S. under-18 national team forward Brennan Vargask, earned a point in his very first BCHL game, earning an assist on Hunt's first of the game at 15:21 of the opening period.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Smokies trade top scorer to Westside

by Guy Bertrand of the Trail Daily Times

"Basically what it amounts to is we traded Arduin to Westside for Chris Santiago and future considerations which ended up being some cash and our future considerations back in the August Aiken deal."

"This is a great opportunity for David to find his scoring touch again," said Ingram. "He was very upset about the trade. He loved it here in Trail."

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Trail gets one point against lowly Cents

by Guy Bertrand of the Trail Daily Times

The Smokies have played 14 games this season against teams with a record of .500 or less according to Saturday's standings. Their record against those clubs is a mediocre 7-6-1. Against teams with a record over .500 the Smokies are right there with seven wins in 16 games.

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New Clips delighted to join 'most hated' team

by Michael Rhode of The Nanaimo Daily News

Ziegler and Cherniwchan, both 18, have scholarships lined up for next year -- Ziegler will be off to Yale University while Cherniwchan will attend Northern Michigan University.

"We didn't hear much, but talking to Goodman he said they're the most hated team in the league, and everybody brings their 'A' game against them," said Ziegler. "He said just be prepared for that against every team on the Island.

Cherniwchan says speed is his best attribute, while Ziegler brings a physical element with his game.

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Streaky Chiefs salvage point from weekend set

by Troy Landreville of the Langley Advance

Losers of four of their past five games, the Langley Chiefs are trying to get their mojo back.

Grant, who now shares the team lead with Mac Roy with 15 goals, scored both Chiefs markers versus the Kings.

The lanky, 6'3" 17-year-old is currently with teammate Alex Angers-Goulet on a U.S. university flydown to Goulet's home next season, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) (RPI) in Troy, NY.

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Ocean lure to Powell River

by Steve Ewen of The Province

Sure enough, Williams connected Lewis with one of his summer hockey buddies, right-winger Erik Vos, a reigning Ontario junior B league scoring champion from Hamilton.

Vos, 19, agreed to come west. He was looking at the Kings website later with his older sister, Elise, when they spotted an opening for the team's director of marketing.

Erik, who had 29 goals and 83 points last season for the Elmira Sugar Kings, is fourth on Powell River scoring this season, with his 29 points (15 goals) in 33 games.

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Monday, December 3, 2007

Warriors keep on winning

by Staff of the Kelowna Daily Courier

“It‘s been a while since I‘ve been involved in a weekend like that,” said Warriors head coach Mark Howell, whose team has won five straight games and is 8-2 in its past 10 contests.

“It all happened so fast,” Smokies GM and head coach Jim Ingram told the Trail Times. “They put together a great offer for us, and we couldn‘t overlook it. What it amounts to is we traded Arduin to Westside for Santiago and future considerations, which ended up being some cash and our future considerations in the August Aiken deal.”

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Grizzlies claw Silverbacks

by Cleve Dheensaw of the Victoria Times Colonist

The game concluded Victoria's second four-game bus trip of the B.C. Hockey League season. And like the previous one, this excursion also netted a 3-1 record.

"We thought we would get into town earlier than we did, but we had to stay in 100 Mile House [after playing the Spruce Kings in Prince George on Saturday]. The Silverbacks are an outstanding team and have the most goals in the league. We knew it wasn't going to be easy. We just played our style of game. We have a very fast team, too, so playing a good, fast team like Salmon Arm suited us. We're not as good in small barns. I thought it was the smartest game we have played all year. And Wong was outstanding."

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Grizzlies overcome sluggish start

by Sharie Epp of the Victoria Times Colonist

"It was greasy," coach Jackson Penney said. "There was no atmosphere, no nothing."

In Salmon Arm, the Grizz will want to avoid the sluggish start they had in Prince George, likely due to being unable to find practice ice. They began the game outshot 13-1, leaning hard on goaltender Matthew Wong, and were lucky to score first.

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Vipers rally to thwart Gorillas

by Roger Knox of the Vernon Morning Star

"Lately the bounces have been going against us at home," said Zurevinski, named the game's first star. "I don't want to blame that, it could be us just not working hard enough, but we haven't been getting the bounces and tonight we got some bounces we liked in the second and third."

"You have to give them credit," said Salmon Arm head coach Rylan Ferster. "They battled really hard, came back and got a couple of unfortunate goals, I thought their second and third goals were maybe a little unfortunate, but they worked real hard and, in my mind, the game was played in the third period. They won the third period, they won more one-on-one battles and they beat us."

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Smeltzer adds veteran presence to blueline

by Roger Knox of the Vernon Morning Star

The 20-year-old defenceman asked, on Monday, that the Alberni Valley Bulldogs trade him to the Vernon Vipers.

"I heard there was great coaching here, great guys in the room, and they've got a good team," said Smeltzer, who arrived in Vernon at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, and saw tons of ice time against the Salmon Arm SilverBacks. "They needed some help on the back end, I thought I could provide that. It’s a good fit."

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Spruce Kings sidetracked by Westside

by Ted Clarke of the Prince George Citizen

“The trade was a total surprise, I had no idea it was coming, so I was a little shocked (Saturday) when I found out,” said Arduin. “But obviously coming to a good situation and a winning team in Westside I couldn’t be happier about it.

“I went from 4 1/2 hours away being my closest game in Trail, to 4 1/2 hours being our farthest game in Westside so I’m happy about that. Trail and P.G. are a long ways apart and I didn’t think I’d play (Sunday), but after three hours of sleep and a couple delays I got here with about three minutes left in the warmup.”

The Warriors were without speedy winger Chris Shudo. The former Spruce King sprained his ankle in Saturday’s game in Quesnel, a 5-4 overtime win for the Warriors, who made their final visit to the Coliseum this regular season. Westside was also missing its top defenceman, the injured Cory Pritz

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Trade winds blow Clippers' way

by Michael Rhode of The Nanaimo Daily News

"They're two quality players that we didn't get a lot of time to do very much research on because it happened to quickly.

"We weren't looking. It was an opportunity that was presented and one that we felt, responsibly, we had to give it our best effort and it's worked out in our favour, we think."

The initial phone call by Drayton Valley was to Clippers' head scout Brent Graham at about 11:30 a.m. Friday. By 8:45 that night, all the paperwork was complete.

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Canadian Junior "A" Hockey League Top 15

Clippers #3, Silverbacks #4.

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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Ketlo feeling confident in Spruce Kings’ crease

by Ted Clarke of the Prince George Citizen

“That surprised me a lot because I’m a 16-year-old rookie and I didn’t think they’d go with a 16-year-old and and a 17-year-old in goal,” Ketlo said. “I didn’t think they’d give a young guy the starting spot, it just came to me eventually.”

It was a big night for the young goalie, but last week’s 32-save win over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks ranks higher on the Ketlo scale of Spruce Kings achievements.

He still has plans to return to the WHL next season with the Regina Pats but so far he’s enjoying the ride with the Kings. So are his family and friends, who make the trek every game from the Nadleh area, a 90-minute drive west of the city near Fraser Lake.

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Express sink Surrey with seven

by Tom Berridge of Burnaby Now

The win was Burnaby's third in a row and fourth in its last five starts.

"We're going into these weeks before Christmas with a sort of playoff mentality. We understand the importance of making some hay before Christmas."

That hay has resulted in Burnaby registering nine wins in their last dozen games.

Carlo Finucci led the way with a six-point night, including his 19th goal of the season. Finucci's season-high outing put him on top of the BCHL scoring race for the first time this season.

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New Giant's a speed demon

by Ian Walker of the Vancouver Sun

He almost made the club as a 16-year-old, but suffered a shoulder injury during training camp. Part of the reason he decided to bolt to the 'Dub was the fact he'd need to red-shirt his first year of college.

"I had signed to play with the Giants and that meant I'd have to sit my first year," said Nunn, who led the Grizzlies with 16 goals and 40 points in 28 games this season. "That was part of it. But to be honest, I always thought I'd make the jump and end up playing here. It's a better route to play pro hockey."

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Friday, November 30, 2007

Kings exorcise Quesnel demon

by Alistair McInnis of the Prince George Free Press

“Off the draw we get the puck to [John] Williams, who’s our leading scorer and we tell him when we write it up to shoot it and he doesn’t shoot it,” he said. “That’s an execution thing. We’ve been doing that all year... We execute for 60 [minutes] and then we seem to get a little full of ourselves and we were guilty of that tonight for sure.”

“I”m not really sure what’s bothering him right now,” Malgunas said of Forsythe. “I know he’s not in as good of shape as he should be, and he wasn’t on top of his game tonight, so I made the executive decision to go with some younger guys who have some jump.”

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Back on home ice

by Harpreet Sidhu of the Penticton Western News

“Everyone was really relieved after that Merritt game,” said Vees captain Brett Hextall. “We’ve all got to relax. We were pretty tense there. We were all on edge. To get back on track there, it felt good.”

“Over the last 10 games there has been a lot of mixing around with injuries and line-up changes. Hopefully once we get the guys back. We can go back to work,” said Vees head coach Fred Harbinson.

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Vees will don V’s jerseys

by Staff of the Penticton Western News

With the addition of Lieuwen goaltending has to be considered the strength of the Warriors, in five of the teams last six games the club has allowed just a single goal against.

The last previous home game was Nov. 17, while the next home game is the Dec. 14, so you best get your butt to the game.

On the injury front, Denver Manderson won’t be back in the line-up any time soon. Luc Challier appears to be closer, but don’t expect to see him this weekend. Devon Krogh on the other hand has been cleared to play.

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Chief gets nod for prospects game

by Gary Ahuja of the Langley Times

Stefishen, who leads the Chiefs in points (37) and is tied for the team lead in assists (23) and goals (14), is off to Ohio State University in the fall, after accepting an athletic scholarship to the Buckeyes program.

“It is definitely weird,” he said about attention from NHL scouts. “But I like it.”

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Chiefs endure grisly night at GPRC

by Troy Landreville of the Langley Advance

"We were not prepared," fumed Chiefs head coach Harvey Smyl. "We need the leadership to make sure the guys are ready to play."

Chiefs rookie Colton Beck - nephew of former NHLer Barry - scored his first BCHL goal, and point, with 1:48 remaining to round out the game's scoring.

"I didn't think we played well at all after the first period," Smyl said. "I think Victoria didn't come as hard. I'm disappointed with the way we played. I know we haven't played much [lately] and our timing could be off, but that's no excuse for lack of effort. That's not acceptable."

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Former backstop beats ’Backs

by Richard MacKenzie of the Salmon Arm Observer

That they have been able to stay on top in the conference is a tribute to the depth and resilience of the team as they continue to find success with a line-up decimated by injuries.

“When you’re missing four out of your top six on the back-end (defence), it makes it pretty tough,” he said. “And here we are in the meat of our schedule, so it’s a good test for the guys available. We hope to have (Mike) Glaicar back this weekend and (Ryan) Forgaard is back and healthy now. (Matt) Grassi’s return is still unknown, but we’re getting there.”

He also noted the work of affiliated defencemen Mike Puddifant, from Salmon Arm who plays for the Chase Chiefs, and Sicamous’ Colton Hayes for their work, as well as forward Ronnie Smith who racked up some time on the back-end versus the Kings.

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Warriors need all hands

by David Trifunov of the Kelowna Daily Courier

The Warriors have fought the injury bug lately, especially on defence. Blue-liners Justin Schultz, Cory Pritz and Brad Plumton have all missed time, but should play this weekend. Forward Pierre Girard (shoulder) is getting closer to returning.

But while Howell said flu and injury played a role in Tuesday‘s roster freeze, there was also team suspensions. He was tight-lipped about it all, saying only that there are “various” reasons, including a lack of commitment on the ice and in the gym.

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Grizzlies look for cure on the road

by Sharie Epp of the Victoria Times Colonist

"The most disappointing thing [about the two losses to Burnaby] is we would have been in a good solid position going on the road," Grizzlies coach Jackson Penney said.

"The guys are thinking too much about offence, before defence. One thing I've really noticed is we haven't been blocking shots," Penney said. "If you go for points and go where it hurts in the offensive zone, you better be able to block shots in the defensive zone."

Rookie Cody Bremner is hurt, and won't be making the road trip.

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Vipers makesome moves

by Kevin Mitchell of the Vernon Morning Star

“We’re going to take a peak at him today, and if we like what we see, we’ll make the deal with Merritt,” said Ferner, of the 6-foot-3, 215-pounder.

Ferner, who was disappointed with Cumming’s decision to join the Cats after the Kamloops product told him he wanted to play a few years here and earn an NCAA scholarship, released Cumming without getting any compensation.

“I talked to Patrick’s dad and he said Patrick wanted more of the quality ice time to develop quicker. We have identified him as a young player who needs to work on a few things like strength and speed. He’s going to get 25 minutes a game and he’ll be back with us in the future.”

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Vipers search for true identity

by Kevin Mitchell of the Vernon Morning Star

The Vipers, with 14 freshmen on their roster, have surprised fans with a pretty decent opening 30 games.

Head coach/GM Mark Ferner held a lengthy closed-door meeting after the Warriors simply outworked the Vipers before 1,900 fans. He wants his team to find a clear identity through consistent performance.

Ferner no longer considers his club rookie-laden.

“We like our hockey team and we shouldn’t be using the rookie thing. The nerves should be gone and they should be comfortable as teammates and where they stand as players. People have to understand that most of these kids are coming out of minor hockey and they aren’t used to the expectations or pressures at this level.

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Shorthanded Warriors too much for Trail

by Guy Bertrand of the Trail Daily Times

A combination Of suspensions, injuries and internal discipline saw Westside only dress 12 skaters against Trail's 18 but the Warriors only really needed two players on this night.

"That's as gutsy a win as I've seen in a long time," said Howell. "I was telling the guys in the room, 'You're always going to have a game, at some point in your career, that you'll talk about. You guys are going to remember this game forever,'

"We got beat by 12 guys," said Ingram. ''It doesn't matter if we had a team of 40. We didn't have enough guys willing to pay the price. That's really disappointing after the wins we've had."

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Eagles clip first-place Nanaimo

by Nick Greenizan of the Peace Arch News

The team currently has five players averaging at least one point-per-game. Another, winger Adam Hartley, has 22 points in 29 games.

Defensively, the Eagles have been buoyed the last two weekends by new goaltender Justin Mulholland, who is 2-1 in four appearances, and has allowed just five goals.

“If they both keep playing that strong, we can kind of go with who’s going, and give the other guy a rest. It’ll be good down the road because we don’t want to tire our guys out. We want two goalies we can count on.”

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McCann's hope -- lesson learned

by Jim Swanson of the Prince George Citizen

One, it keeps McCann from being able to tell his side of the story in front of a judge. And two, the prosecutor can’t raise the question of whether Hill’s actions were his idea alone.

“You can’t tell on the video that (one of the coaches sent Hill), but he came from the bench and he took his time. I’m almost positive he didn’t go on his own. If he’d have reacted on his own, it would’ve been more of a thing where he jumped over the boards right away.”

“Simon, McSorley, they happened in the middle of the play and it was heat of the moment. You can get angry on the ice. But this, they had more than two minutes to think about what they were going to do. That’s the thing that frustrates me the most, that it wasn’t just heat-of-the-moment and they knew what they wanted to do to me.”

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Finally, Spruce Kings find a way to beat Millionaires

by Jason Peters of the Prince George Citizen

A second player, defenceman Brandon Busse, made his home debut for the Kings on Tuesday. Busse, a mass of humanity at six-foot-two and 205 pounds, assisted on Potter’s winning goal.

The Kings played the third period without the services of offensive-minded defenceman Jeff Forsythe. The all-star blueliner wasn’t injured, he was benched.

“I’m not happy with his intensity,” Malgunas added. “I think he’s got a lot more to give and he would tell you the exact same thing.”

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Halfway there

by Harpreet Sidhu of the Penticton Western News

But of the Vees’ eight losses this season four have come in the last 10 games including dropping a game to Prince George and Quesnel.

“Everyone has hovered around 500. Our penalty kill is No. 1 I the league and our power play has suffered a bit since we lost Denver Manderson to an injury. We’re going to make some changes on the power play that will get it going again.”

Defensively the team has shined with the lowest goals against average allowing just 2.40 goals per game but offensively Harbinson would like to see the number move higher than the 3.90 goals they seem to get most nights.

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Freshman leads Clips over Kings

by Michael Rhode of the Nanaimo Daily News

With sniper Brad McConnell shelved with the flu, McGhee filled in nicely, scoring once and adding an assist as the Clippers defeated the Powell River Kings 4-1 in BCHL action at the Powell River Recreation Complex.

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Elias buries breakaway as Chiefs down Eagles

by Gary Ahuja of the Langley Times

Alex Angers-Goulet then iced the victory with an empty-netter as the Chiefs won 3-1, the fourth time in a row Langley has defeated Surrey this season.

In the season’s first 15 games, the team allowed a whopping 79 goals against, more than five goals per game. In the dozen games since then, the team has cut that number down to 35, which is less than three per game.

Defenceman Dillon Scholten, a product of the Aldergrove Minor Hockey system, suited up for Langley against the Eagles.

Scholten joins the team after spending 11 games with the Western Hockey League’s Vancouver Giants.

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Chiefs winger happy with married life

by Troy Landreville and Jhim Burwell of the Langley Advance

While they've known each other since they were both 10, the two actually started dating about three years ago. After seeing each other for a year and eight months, they were engaged at 19 and married by 20.

"He was so into video games and hockey he didn't even talk to me," she laughed.

"I love it," Dana said, of Coleton's ability to trade punches. "When we first started dating it was a little scary. But he's so tough and I think that's part of what attracted me to him in the first place. Telling him not to fight would be very bad. I love his fights."

"We [the team] go out and have fun," Coleton said. "She comes out with the team - it's like any guy and [his] girlfriend that way. I get beaked at all the time about being married, but it's all fun. I'm in the position I want to be in. It's not like I'm the old man of the team - I still like to have my fun with the guys."

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Undermanned Chiefs earn weekend split

by Troy Landreville of the Langley Advance

Top four defenceman Jessie Tresierra and veteran forward Coleton Thielmann were each slapped with five game suspensions. Productive veteran Neeco Belanger, another team leader, was hit with a one-game penalty and also had to miss Thursday's game.

To make matters worse, team captain and all-star defenceman Nolan Julseth-White continues to deal with a troublesome back injury and was unable to play against the Kings.

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Express take two from Grizz

by Tom Berridge of Burnaby Now

"On defence, that is one thing that seems to have come together. We've simplified what we do our zone," said Express head coach Dave McLellan. "Now we have confidence in our system. It's proven to our players at some level that it works."

On Saturday, Burnaby opened a 3-0 lead in the opening period on goals by first star Carlo Finucci, Milorad Kos and newly signed rookie import Justin Faryna from Calgary.

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From the coach

by Scott Robinson of the Cowichan Valley Capitals

Having won our last four road games we must say that we are happy to be heading north to PG, Quesnel and Salmon Arm this week which will no doubt be a tough test.

We are also happy to welcome Willie Coetzee into the fold. Willie was with the Red Deer Rebels until now and will add to the energy and speed to our line-up.

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Smiley blanks the Bulldogs for second straight shutout

by Don Bodger of the Cowichan News Leader and Pictorial

“It’s the first time I’ve ever done it,’’ said Smiley.

“The whole first period of the last game I started thinking it’s going to suck getting scored on,’’ he said.

“The mascots were trying to get on my nerves,’’ laughed Smiley.

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Smiley stands tall to blank Bulldogs

by Kevin Rothbauer of The Cowichan Valley Citizen

"I've now been part of this league for seven or eight years," said Caps coach Scott Robinson, "and I can't recall a goalie getting back-to-back shutouts.

Anderson was making his season debut after sitting out the first 26 games with an injury.

Even though he hasn't allowed a goal in the last 147:21 that he has played, that won't change the Caps' goaltending situation, as the rookie will continue to serve as backup to veteran Marco Raimondo.

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Another BCHL pluck

by Steve Ewen of The Province

"We've wanted Garry for the last few seasons," general manager Scott Bonner said of the Victoria native, who was passed over in the bantam draft but added to Vancouver's protected list. "We feel he's a real quick, extremely fast player who's excelled at the Junior A level. He will be one of the quickest guys we've had since Adam Courchaine and Darren Lynch."

Edmonton player-agent Gerry Johannson had been acting as advisor to Nunn. He has lengthy ties to the Giants. His clients include past and current Vancouver players like Mark Fistric, Paul Albers, Milan Lucic, Spencer Machacek and Michal Repik.

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Coach taps his previous life connections

by Steve Ewen of The Province

"I don't have to worry about that just yet,"chuckled the Surrey Eagles coach, who has eight skaters who played for him with the Delta Ice Hawks.

Surrey was 16-39-2-3 two years ago. They finished 17-39-1-3 last season.
Kuss is neatly rebuilding on the fly, sitting at 16-12-0-2 so far, and says that part of the reason is that he has so many players who know the systems and schemes he's trying to employ.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Westside Warriors pick up two new players, release two

by Kevin Parnell of the Kelowna Capital News

In Juola, the Warriors get a player they had recruited in the summer. Juala opted to begin the season in the USHL but left the defense-oriented league to come to Westside and the BCHL, feeling it was a better fit offensively.

Lieuwen stands 6-foot-5 and is a member of the Under-17 Team Pacific hockey team. He was injured early in the season and the WHL’s Ice kept two other goalies.

“By all accounts he is the best 16-year-old goalie in Western Canada,” said Howell.

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Schultz pegged to be early pick in NHL Entry Draft

by Kevin Parnell of the Kelowna Capital News

“I came into the dressing room and everyone was talking about it,” he said. “It’s kind of surprising. I’ve dreamed about this but I’ve never really thought about it becoming a reality. It’s a little overwhelming. I try to put it in the back of my mind and worry about what’s happening on the ice.”

Last season Schultz led his Westside Midget AAA team in scoring. This year he has 16 points in the Warriors first 26 games and the Warriors coaches continue to talk about the improvement nearly every game out.

He has decided to continue to play junior A with the Warriors despite being courted by the Kootenay Ice, who have him on its WHL protected list.

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Burnaby Express rolls over Grizz

by Sharie Epp of the Victoria Times Colonist

They just seem to come out all fired up against us," Victoria defenceman Devon Lang said about losses of 5-4 and 8-2 in previous games. Last night they jumped out to a 3-0 lead.

"They've got a very talented player in [playmaker Finucci]. He finds open ice, and he's really hard to cover," Lang said.

Overall, Victoria outshot Burnaby 42-27, and went 1-for-9 on the power play.

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Morrison, Millionaires own the Spruce Kings this season

by Ted Clarke of the Prince George Citizen

The win was the third in three meetings for the Mills in head-to-head encounters with the Kings and left the teams tied for sixth place in the Interior Conference standings.

“We had some unbelievable chances on the power play and then they came down on a 2-on-1 and passed it across and (Lavoie) swiped it out of the air into the net and we couldn’t rebound from that,” said Kings associate coach Stew Malgunas.

“We’re a different hockey team against Quesnel -- we obviously battled Salmon Arm and battled Penticton, but then we think we can sleep against some of the weaker teams. Quesnel is always up and ready to play us, and they definitely have our number.”

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Second chances

by Harpreet Sidhu of the Penticton Western News

“I couldn’t have asked for better coaching. I was the last cut last year and went down hoping to develop and I was in the same position. It worked out great: a change of scenery and different coaching. I was playing in very situation this year and I developed a lot this year. I think Blake Wesley kind of shortened up the time of development from a year to a couple of months and it worked out nicely,” said Lebreche.

“It was different because it didn’t feel like it was my seventh game with the team, it felt like it was my third because it’s different when you play as an affiliate player and you don’t have as much confidence and you are trying not to screw up more then anything,” said Lebreche. “It was perfect because it was a parents weekend my mom was at the game and when I scored and looked up in the stands and she was smiling at me. It was perfect.”

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Coach Bestwick finds positives in Clippers' 6-2 loss in Surrey

by Michael Rhode of The Nanaimo Daily News

"To be quite honest, we played a great game," said Bestwick, whose team is now 2-1 against the Eagles this season. "We outshot them 39-19, we had a power play early in the game that we didn't capitalize on. That may have set the tone if we could have scored.

"We liked our puck movement, we liked out defence," said Bestwick. "If they had seven scoring chances, they scored on six of them. We played a really good game. I'm not disappointed at all."

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Canadian Junior A Hockey League Top 15

Silverbacks at #3, Clippers at #5.

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Centennials break jinx vs. Warriors

by Staff of the Kelowna Daily Courier

Caple was pulled midway through the game in favour of Lieuwen, who was sent to the Warriors by the Western Hockey League‘s Kootenay Ice on Thursday.

It was somewhat of a makeshift lineup for the Warriors. Regular defencemen Cory Pritz, Justin Schultz and Brad Plumton are all injured, so forward Brady Mason dropped to the blue-line. They also called up Tyler Parfeniuk from the Okanagan Rockets. David Briere was traded to the Quesnel Millionaires for future considerations when Lieuwen became available.

Michael Juola was picked up from the Sioux Falls Stampede after he saw limited action with the U.S. Hockey League team. Forward Kevin Knopp was released to make room on the roster.

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Vipers pick up ground

by Nicole Berg of the Vernon Morning Star

“While our home record hasn't been so great this season at 6-7, our road record has been outstanding at 11-3-2. Assistant coach Jason Williamson also told us that while there is more pressure to play better at home, compared to as on the road, we need to concentrate on not worrying about anything else but just playing simple hockey.”

“I just kept playing a simple game tonight. Try not to do anything too fancy but stay reliable on the back end and keep the puck out of our zone,” said the 20 year old Kakoske. “We got into some penalty trouble by the second after outshooting them 13-2 after the first and let them creep back into the game with more shots while we were on the penalty kill. Our plan every night is to try and limit their chances on the powerplay and to score more powerplay goals than them."

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Clippers hammer struggling Alberni

by Scott Brown of the Nanaimo Daily News

Along with his three goals, Gale also had two assists while linemate Russell Goodman scored a goal and four assists and rookie Eric Filiou, the third member of the Clippers' top line, added a goal and three helpers.

Nanaimo, which improved its BCHL-best record to 21-3-0-3, were without several regulars, including Carson Schell, Randy McNaught, Joe Perry and Braden Birch.

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Dinosaur tactics never worked

by Scott Brown of The Nanaimo Daily News

Kerr's coach was a man named Jack Sangster and the Breakers were nicknamed 'Sangster's gangsters' due to their rough-and-tumble (aka violent) play.

Sangster was gone the next season after the club missed the playoffs with a 24-47-1 record. After Seattle, he had two woeful seasons (17-54-1 and 24-46-2) with the Brandon Wheat Kings and never coached in the WHL again.

Parents don't put their teenaged boys in another man's charge so they can be embarrassed publicly.

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Caps can’t keep up, Clips win again

by Greg Sakaki of the Nanaimo News Bulletin

Favreau said the Clippers were able to win by playing patient hockey, even when it was getting down to crunch time.

“We’ve been a really good team at coming back from behind all year…” he said. “So we all just stayed pretty calm and we all knew we had the firepower to come back.”

Clippers forwards Randy McNaught and Bryden McGhee were both injured in the third period, and both will miss action

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Clippers rule the road

by Don Bodger of the Cowichan News Leader and Pictorial

The Caps have now gone seven straight B.C. Hockey League home games dating back to last season’s playoffs without a point against the Clippers after dropping a 5-3 decision Wednesday night.

“Normally in this league, if you hold anybody to 23 shots on goal, you’re going to win,’’ said Caps’ head coach Scott Robinson.

The Caps are actually better on the road with a 7-6 record compared to 6-7 at home so far.

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Bulldogs hoping to gain with Payne

by Staff of the Alberni Valley Times

The Bulldogs continue to struggle and have lost their last seven games.

"The coaching staff has been addressed by the ownership group and the coaching staff has addressed the players after the situation and we are moving forward in a positive manner. Our ownership group is committed to the fans of Alberni Valley and to the franchise being one of the top franchises in the BCHL in coming years. As we grow and move forward we want to ensure that the players, staff and fans are all treated with respect and integrity.

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Grizzlies' rookie brothers hitting their strides

by Sharie Epp of the Victoria Times Colonist

"We were after them hard, but then we kind of thought we were losing the battle," Victoria coach Jackson Penney said, adding the Reids were leaning toward the Burnaby Express. When then Express coach Rick Lanz came to Victoria to coach the Grizzlies, he brought the Reid brothers with him. Lanz moved on to take a scouting position with the Colorado Avalanche, but Brad and Cam are happy to call Bear Mountain Arena home.

"I've tried to get them their own identity, instead of always relying on each other," Penney said. "They both possess tremendous skill level, basically in just seeing the game."

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On the road

by Harpreet Sidhu of the Penticton Western News

For Harbinson the loss was hard to take because of the effort the team displayed.

“The parity in this league is really high. There are a lot of teams in this league. Salmon Arm loses to Trail and PG beat us and Quesnel beat Trail and we held them to 10 shots,” he said.

“Going into Trail is never easy. And we’ll get back late and then we travel to Merritt,” said Vees captain Brett Hextall. “That’s a lot of travel in a small amount of time and we just have to be prepared.”

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Vees regrouping after weekend

by Staff of the Penticton Western News

After a day off Sunday, the coaching staff made no bones about their feelings on Saturday’s 4-1 loss, as Monday’s hour-and-a-half practice didn’t require pucks –– just starts and stops.

Denver Manderson’s upper body injury will see some extra examination this week, his return date is a mystery.

Luke Challier appears to be closer to returning and may be back in the line-up before the advent calendars start bearing chocolate.

Devon Krogh could be back in the line-up this weekend after a missing most of last weekend and some practice time this week with a lingering injury.

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Nanaimo Clippers blueliner gets downright offensive

by Scott Brown of the Nanaimo Daily News

All this offence from a guy who scored just four goals and nine assists in 54 games last season begs an answer to the aforementioned question.

"I'm rushing the puck more lately and getting back to my old game," said Favreau, referring to his midget hockey days with the Tisdale Trojans. "This season I'm getting a lot more opportunity and we are so strong on the back end that it allows us to try more things (offensively)."

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Kerr explains why he kept Bulldogs on the bench

by Staff of the Alberni Valley Times

The Bulldogs have reacted to adversity in a positive manner this season in short spurts. The two game winning streak against Salmon Arm and Nanaimo was right after the captain and assistant changes.

In the Salmon Arm game, two players were told to undress due to taking undisciplined penalties after the second period. We had talked about doing this for weeks and had support from the team in doing so.

We were down two goals going into the third and came back to win. Penalties at the time were costing us the ability to win games and has been better for the most part since.

The other reason for making the decision to have the players on the bench was to deflect some of the pressure off of the players. We have a young group that at times play tight and not relaxed due to feeling pressure especially at home as the expectations are higher. As a coach I am more than willing to carry as much as possible in an attempt to improve our play.

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Merritt loses star, Interior still strong

by Kevin Parnell of Hockey Now

BCHL commissioner John Grisdale said he wasn’t concerned about either Pierro-Zabotel or Pighin deciding to leave the league.

“We’re a player-centred league so the decision of the player and the family of where they decide to go is up to them,” he said. “The scholarship or academic route is not for everyone.”

“The league would love to have the Davidson’s back involved in some capacity,” said Grisdale.

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