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Giants Weekly Recap

The Vancouver Giants are off to a perfect 5-0 start in the Western Hockey League as they prepare for their first road trip of the season this week.

Last Tuesday, the Giants doubled up the Spokane Chiefs 4-2 at the Pacific Coliseum. Tim Kraus, Garet Hunt, Kyle Lamb, and Michal Repik all scored for Vancouver as goaltender Tyson Sexsmith made 16 saves for his first win of the season.

On Friday, Hunt had a goal, an assists, and two fights (all in the first period), to help Vancouver to a 7-1 victory over the Chilliwack Bruins. J.D. Watt scored a pair as well on a night which saw the Giants out-shot their expansion-club rivals from the Fraser Valley 39-17.

Saturday in Seattle, the Giants picked up their first road win of the season in a 3-2 win in a shoot-out over the Thunderbirds. Lamb and Jason Reese each scored in regulation while Repik netted the only goal in the shoot-out. Sexsmith was the game's first star with a 21-save perfomance, plus four stops in the shoot-out.

On Sunday, the Giants wrapped up their 3-in-3 weekend with a 4-1 win at home over the Prince George Cougars. Reese scored twice on the power play while Cody Franson added three assists. Dustin Slade made 22 saves for his third win of the year. He has only allowed two goals against in three starts this year.

The Giants are the highest scoring team in the WHL right now with 27 goals for. Franson leads all WHL defencemen in scoring (1g,9a). Don Hay is now one victory away from 300 victories as a Head Coach in the WHL.

Vancouver have a busy week ahead as they'll play a pair of road games in Prince George Wednesday October 4 and Friday October 6. Both games start at 7:00pm. The Giants will return home Saturday October 7 to entertain the Swift Current Broncos (7:00pm).
 

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Tigers slip past Raiders

Kris Russell scored the overtime winner as the Medicine Hat Tigers eked by the Prince Albert Raiders 3-2 in Western Hockey League action Sunday.

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Weekend split for Cats

Mike Vandekamp would give just about anything — his closet of Armani suits, his big-screen TV, even his mint-condition collection of autographed Dallas Thompson hockey cards — to ice a healthy hockey club.

Not having that, the head coach of the Prince George Cougars was put through a difficult evening Sunday in Vancouver where the Giants, who have run roughshod over everyone in the WHL this season, lived up to the hype with a 4-1 triumph over the Cougars.

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Blazers Winless On Short U.s. Trip

The Kamloops Blazers return home this week with two tough losses under their belt following the weekend road trip to the U.S. Pacific Northwest.

The Blazers dropped a 3-2 shootout decision to the Portland Winter Hawks Sunday night, and fell 4-2 one night earlier in Everett.

Kamloops is now 1-2-0-1 (one win, two losses, zero overtime losses and one shootout loss) as it prepares to host B.C. Division nemesis Kelowna Tuesday at home.

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Reese leads unbeaten Giants

ason Reese scored twice as the Vancouver Giants remained undefeated in the Western Hockey League with a 4-1 win over the Prince George Cougars on Sunday night.

Mario Bliznak and Michael Repik also scored as the defending WHL champion Giants improved to 5-0. Vancouver defenceman Cody Franson added three assists.

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Yellow Horn scores game-winner

Colton Yellow Horn's third-period goal was the difference as the Tri-City Americans defeated the Chilliwack Bruins 7-3 in Western Hockey League action on Sunday.

Michael Kaye, Juraj Valach, Ladislav Scurko, Taylor Procyshen, Drew Hoff and Joel Broda also scored for Tri-City (3-1-0), which was playing its second game in as many nights.

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Mueller returns to Silvertips

The Everett Silvertips can breathe a deep sigh of relief. They now know they're getting one of their big guns back.

The NHL's Phoenix Coyotes reassigned Peter Mueller to Everett, the Coyotes announced in a press release Sunday, meaning the Silvertips will have the talented playmaking center back for the remainder of the season.

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Phoenix Reassigns Mueller Back to Everett

The Phoenix Coyotes (NHL) has reassigned forward Peter Mueller back to the Everett Silvertips. Mueller, the Coyotes 1st round selection (8th overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft played in a handful of pre-season games with the Coyotes and is expected to be back on the ice with the Silvertips on Friday, October 6 against the Spokane Chiefs at the Everett Events Center.

The 2005-2006 WHL Rookie of the Year finished tied for 2nd in the WHL in Rookie scoring with 58 points. The Bloomington, Minnesota native ended his first season in the WHL with 26 goals and 32 assists in 52 games which ranked him 4th on the Silvertips in scoring. Mueller also finished 2nd on the Silvertips in goals scored (26) and tied for 4th on the hockey club in assists (32). During the 2006 WHL Playoffs, Mueller ended the playoffs tied for 2nd on the hockey club in scoring with 13 points in 15 post season games. He also led the team in playoff goals (7) and tied for 4th on the club in playoff assists (6). Twice he was named Greyhound WHL Player of the Week (weeks of October 17-23 and April 3-9). He played for Team USA at the 2006 World Junior Championships and played in the Home Hardware 2006 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.

The Silvertips will be back in action on Friday, October 6 against the Spokane Chiefs at the Everett Events Center. Game time is set for 7:35 p.m. On Saturday, October 7, the Silvertips will battle the Seattle Thunderbirds for the first time this season at the Everett Events Center. Game time for Saturday's game is 7:05 p.m. For tickets for this weekend's games as well as all Silvertips home games at the Everett Events Center, log onto www.everettsilvertips.com or call the E.E.C. Box Office at 1-866-322-8499.
 

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Robertson Named WHL Player of the Week

PRINCE GEORGE, BC- The WHL Player of the Week is forward Brett Robertson of the Prince George Cougars. Robertson earned player of the week honours by scoring three goals and nine points including a power-play goal in the first four games to begin the 2006-07 Western Hockey League Regular Season.

On Friday, September 22nd, Robertson scored a goal and added three assists in a 4-2 Cougars win over the Seattle Thunderbirds.

On Saturday, September 23rd, Robertson chipped in a goal and an assist in a 4-2 loss to the Thunderbirds.

On Saturday, September 30th, Robertson paced the Cougars with a goal and two assists in a 5-3 victory over the Chilliwack Bruins.

Robertson, a 20-year-old native of Strathmore, Alberta is a free agent.
 

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Rebels get hot on the road

The Red Deer Rebels survived a late Regina Pats' rally and closed out a gruelling Western Hockey League road trip on a positive note Sunday.

Up 4-1 in the third period, the Rebels surrendered a three-on-two goal to Jason MacDonald at 14:11 and then watched the Pats close to within one when Levi Lind scored on a power play with 26 seconds remaining.

But that was it for the home side, as the Rebels easily killed off the remaining time and posted a 4-3 win that gave them a 3-1 record on a four-games-in-five-nights East Division jaunt.

"Evan Pighin made a bad play just outside of the blueline, which led to their (Regina's) second goal and then they went on a power play when Jordan Henry put the puck over the glass," said Rebels GM/coach Brent Sutter.

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Tigers scout nabbed by Oilers

Medicine Hat Tigers head scout Bob Green will become the architect of the Edmonton Oilers foray into junior hockey, sources close to the situation said on Sunday.
After 12 years as a scout with Medicine Hat — the last six as head talent recruiter for the talented Tigers — Green is expected to be named General Manager of the NHL team’s expansion Western Hockey League franchise and direct all hockey operations for the junior club, which will begin play next September.
Calls to both Green and Oilers management were not returned on Sunday.
Green and the Tigers organization downplayed rumours last month, but the Tigers new website leaves Green’s name out of the “front office” listings while regional scout Bill McLellan has taken over Green’s title as the Tigers head scout and director of player personnel.
“Bob is a good man, and he’ll do well no matter what he does,” said McLellan, from his home-base of Regina. “But (the Edmonton job) a great opportunity for him.
“He knows talent, and he’s pretty efficient at what he does. He’s now working with the Oilers, and he’ll do well.”
Green, who lives in the Edmonton suburb of Sherwood Park, had been rumoured to join the Edmonton junior team in a high-up capacity.

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Red Deer Rebels Add Dustin Moore

RED DEER, AB - The Red Deer Rebels Hockey Club announced today they have added 20-year old forward Dustin Moore from the Olds Grizzlys of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. Moore is a graduate of Red Deer Minor Hockey.
 

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Hitmen update

HITMEN LAST WEEK:

September 27th at Regina

PATS 5 HITMEN 2

Derek Hulak broke a 1-1 second period tie and started a string of three unanswered goals for the Pats who handed the Hitmen their first loss. Brodie Dupont and Keegan Dansereau scored the lone Calgary goals. Regina outshot the Hitmen 32-24. Calgary went 1-10 on the powerplay, Regina 0-10.

September 29th at Moose Jaw

WARRIORS 5 HITMEN 1

Kenndal McArdle and Riley Holzapfel combined for nine points as the Hitmen dropped their second straight. McArdle had 3 goals and 2 assists while Holzapfel had 2 goals and 2 assists. Michael Hengen scored the lone Calgary goal on a second period powerplay. For Hengen it was his first goal as a Hitmen. Calgary outshot Moose Jaw 32-31. Martin Jones made his first WHL start in the Calgary net and took the loss. Calgary went 1-7 on the powerplay, Moose Jaw 3-14.

September 30th at Brandon

HITMEN 6 WHEAT KINGS 3

For the first time this season Calgary scored the games first goal. They would ride that start to a 2-0 lead after twenty and a 4-2 lead after forty. Steve Covington led the Hitmen attack scoring twice while Ryan Letts, Brodie Dupont and Robin Figren added singles. For Figren it was his first goal in the Western Hockey League. Dan Spence made 26 saves in the Hitmen net as Calgary outshot Brandon 33-29. The Hitmen went 4-10 on the powerplay, Brandon 2-8.
 

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Blazers Week In Review

The Blazers went on the road for the first time this season over the weekend...picking up 1 point out of a possible 4 despite strong efforts in both games to push their record to 1-2-0-1. Here's what happened:

Saturday, September 30th @ EVERETT: Everett-4, Kamloops-2: Despite a stellar effort, the Blazers fell 4-2 in Everett on Saturday night. A pair of second-period Silvertip goals 1:34 apart spelled the end for the Blazers. Terrance Delaronde and Brady Mason scored for Kamloops...who went 1-for-8 on the PP and a perfect 13-for-13 on the PK. Final shots were 23-18 'Tips. Michael Maniago took the loss while Leland Irving picked up the win. Dalyn Flette made 8 saves on 8 shots in relief of Maniago.

Sunday, October 1st @ PORTLAND: Portland-3, Kamloops-2 (SO)...Tristan King's goal on the 24th shot ended the longest shootout in WHL history (12 rounds) as the Blazers fell 3-2 in Portland on Sunday night. Travis Dunstall and Brock Nixon scored for the Blazers as they outshot the Hawks 36-23 through the first 65 minutes. Kurtis Mucha picked up the win while Dalyn Flette suffered the SOL in his first WHL start. The Blazers were 0-for-8 on the PP and 7-for-8 on the PK.

THE WEEK TO COME

Monday: Practice, 2pm, Interior Savings Centre
Tuesday: GAME DAY vs KELOWNA; Face-off 7:00, Radio NL-McDonald's Pre-Game Show 6:35
Wedesday: Practice, 2pm, Interior Savings Centre
Thursday: Practice, 2pm, Interior Savings Centre
Friday: Practice, 2pm, Interior Savings Centre
Saturday: GAME DAY vs CHILLIWACK; Face-off 7:00, Radio NL-McDonald's Pre-Game Show 6:30
Sunday: Practice, 9am, Interior Savings Centre
Monday: GAME DAY vs SWIFT CURRENT; Face-off 2:00, Radio NL-McDonald's Pre-Game Show 1:30

THIS WEEK'S COMMUNITY CALENDAR

Monday, October 2nd: Kamloops Society for Community Living Car Wash, 11:30am - 12:30pm @ Wendy's Restaurant, North Shore; players will be on hand
Wednesday, October 4th: Carpet Bowling, 10am - 12pm @ Cottonwood Seniors Centre, North Shore; players will be on hand
Saturday, October 7th: Grand Opening, Petland, time 10am - 12pm @ new Petland location on Notre Dame Dr.; players TBD
Monday, October 9th; Skate With The Blazers, following game vs Swift Current (2pm game time) @ Interior Savings Centre; admission is ticket to game vs Swift Current

UPCOMING COMMUNITY EVENTS

Tuesday, October 10th: Family Fitness Night, 6:30 - 7:30pm @ John Tod Elementary; players TBD
Wednesday, October 18th: Dallas Elementary School Visit, 10am; players TBD
Sunday, October 22nd: Blueliner Breakfast, 8:30am @ SportsAction Lounge in Interior Savings Centre; all players will be on hand
Tuesday, October 31st: SKSS SmartRisk Pumpkin Drop, 12:50pm - 1:15pm @ South Kamloops Senior Secondary; players TBD

OPEN DURING RENOVATIONS

www.blazerhockey.com is presently undergoing renovations. We ask that all our fans remain patient as we work to improve our site. We are expecting to have the work completed by mid-October.
 

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Portland 3, Kamloops 2 - Winter Hawks hold off Blazers in record-long shootout

Tristan King didn't skate a lot of shifts Sunday night.

But he was the last skater on the ice, and his dramatic shootout goal lifted the Portland Winter Hawks to a 3-2 win over the Kamloops Blazers.

"It's definitely a great feeling," the Hawks' rookie center said. "Especially for my first WHL goal."

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WHL honors T-Birds team doctor

Seattle, October 2, 2006 - Ron Robison, Commissioner of the Western Hockey League, presented Dr. Alfred Blue, the Seattle Thunderbirds team doctor, with the WHL Distinguished Service Award prior to the team's home opener against the Vancouver Giants on Saturday, September 30.

The WHL Distinguished Service Award, which the Western Hockey League introduced during the 2004- 05 season, is presented annually to an individual associated with the WHL who has made an extraordinary contribution over an extended period of time at the WHL Club or League level.

"We are extremely happy for Doc Blue that the league presented him with this award," said T-Birds General Manager Russ Farwell. "He has been connected to hockey in this town for quite a while and it is great to see his contributions recognized. He's a very deserving recipient." Dr. Blue has been involved in Seattle hockey for the past four decades serving as Team Doctor for three Seattle teams - the Totems, the Breakers and the Thunderbirds. Dr. Blue is an orthopedic surgeon who recently pursued a law degree and is now a practicing attorney in Seattle.

The T-Birds are celebrating their 30th Anniversary season in 2006-07. Dr. Blue has been Seattle's Team Doctor during those three decades and he has rarely missed a game.

Dr. Blue becomes the fourth recipient of the WHL Distinguished Service Award since the 2004-05 WHL Season. Previous winners include Doris Rubel, who served as a billet coordinator in Kamloops for 38 years. Swift Current Broncos Education Advisor Colleen MacBean and long-time Medicine Hat Tigers radio play-by-play announcer Bob Ridley.

The T-Birds 30th Anniversary season continues on Friday, October 6, at 7:35 p.m. when they take on the Tri-City Americans at KeyArena.

Thunderbird tickets are currently on sale for all regular 2006-07 regular season home games. Tickets are priced at $20, $16 & $12 Tickets may be purchased by calling 206 628-0888 or 206 448 PUCK (7825) or online at www.seattlethunderbirds.com. Tickets may also be purchased at all TicketMaster Outlets, the KeyArena's West Box Office Monday - Saturday 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM and The Hockey Store located at 14326 124th Ave NE in Kirkland. For additional ticket information on Season Tickets and Group Rates please call 206 448 PUCK.
 

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Warriors Split at Home This Weekend

Kenndal McArdle with a 5 point effort in a 5-1 win over Calgary on Friday but Saturday was a completely different story.

14 powerplays for the Red Deer Rebels Saturday against the Moose Jaw Warriors.

9 of those were in the second period alone.

The Rebels finally scored on their last man advantage and 20th shot of the middle frame, and went on to win 4-1.

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Yellow Horn does it again

Colton Yellow Horn scored his second game-winning goal for the Tri-City Americans in as many days, firing a wrister from the left circle past Chilliwack goaltender Alex Archibald to break a 3-3 third-period tie en route to a 7-3 Ams win on the road.

The Americans (3-1-0) maintained sole possession of second place in the U.S. Division, one game behind Everett and one game ahead of Spokane.

Tri-Cities took leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2, but the Bruins (1-4-0) tied the score each time. During the four-goal third period, the Ams took the lead for good as Yellow Horn later added his second goal of the game -- and third of the year.

Michael Kaye led off the scoring for Tri-Cities with a first-period goal and later added assists on goals by Juraj Valach and Ladislav Scurko.
 

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Penalty-riddled Warriors fall to Rebs

Moose Jaw Warriors fans paid full WHL gate admission to see the special teams clinic Saturday night.

The Warriors and visiting Red Deer Rebels combined for 39 minor infractions in a 4-1 Rebels win at the Civic Centre that saw the home team go shorthanded an astounding 15 times in the first two periods.

The Rebels followed suit by getting dinged for eight infractions in the third period.

Suffice it to say, referees Cory McLean and Devin Klein weren’t the most popular people in the building, and they didn’t seem to have any friends among those wearing Tribe colours.

“It was tough to get everybody going,” said Warriors head coach Steve Young. “When you have that many penalties and it’s just certain guys have learned (how to kill them).”

As a result, players who wouldn’t normally see time on the penalty kill were seeing the ice a man down, simply because they wouldn’t have played otherwise. A combination of strange calls for what was essentially a non-stop penalty kill led to frustration boiling over for some players.
 

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Mixed results so far for Wheaties

Entering Week 3 of a 27-week WHL schedule, it’s important to keep a little perspective when looking at the Brandon Wheat Kings’ start to the season.

While a 2-2-0-0 record is far from disastrous, it’s not exactly where the Wheat Kings wanted to be through four games as they followed a win with a loss for the second straight weekend.

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