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T-Birds Fall to Cougars in Season Opener

Prince George, BC, September 22, 2006 - The Prince George Cougars defeated the Seattle Thunderbirds 4-2 Friday night at the CN Centre in the season opening game for both teams.

This was the first game of a back-to-back series between the two teams. They meet Saturday night at 7 p.m. Prince George took a 1-0 lead at 6:44 of the first period on a goal by Brett Robertson. Jared Walker had the only assist.

Walker scored a power-play goal at 11 of the first to give the Cougars a 2-0 lead. Robertson and Dan Gendur had the assists.

Aaron Gagnon put the T-Birds on the board at 13:49 of the first. Bud Holloway had the puck in the Seattle zone and hit Gagnon with a pass at center ice just in front of the red line. Gagnon passed to Radek Meidl along the left boards and Meidl brought the puck into the Cougars zone. After the pass Gagnon charged towards the front of the net. Meidl passed back to Gagnon and the T-Birds captain beat Prince George goalie Real Cyr five-hole for his first goal of the season.

Prince George outshot Seattle 11-3 in the first period.

The T-Birds outshot the Cougars 11-6 in a scoreless second period. The Cougars led 17-14 in shots going into the second intermission.

The Cougars took a 3-1 lead 32 seconds into the third period on a power-play goal by Dana Tyrell. Robertson and Ty Wishart had the assists.

Eric Hunter scored a power-play goal at 5:32 to give the Cougars a 4-1 lead. Dan Gendur and Robertson had the assists.

David Richard scored a power-play goal with 57 seconds left in the game. Richard was planted in front of Cyr where he converted a pass from Thomas Hickey. Meidl had the second assist.

Seattle outshot Prince George 28-25 in the game.

Seattle goalie Derek Yeomans made 21 saves on 25 shots in his T-Bird debut and his record is now 0-1-0.

Cyr made 26 saves on 28 shots and his record is now 1-0-0.

The T-Birds and Cougars play the second game of the back-to-back series on Saturday night at 7 p.m. The game can be heard on 1150 AM KKNW.

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.

SCORING SUMMARY

First period - 1, Prince George, Robertson 1 (Walker), 6:44. 2, Prince George, Walker 1 (Robertson, Gendur), 11:58 (pp). 3, Seattle, Gagnon 1 (Holloway, Meidl), 13:49. Penalties - Hickey, Sea (interference), :25. Gagnon, Sea (hooking), 1:08. Meaver, PG (tripping), 4:05. Gagnon, Sea (slashing), 7:23. Vanduynhoven, PG (roughing), 7:23. Richard, Sea (interference), 7:57. Acolatse, Sea (delay of game), 11:18. Gagnon, Sea (roughing), 14:01. Walker, PG (roughing), 14:01. Durand, Sea (holding), 18:47.

Second period - No scoring. Penalties - Olson, Sea (major-fighting), :59. Fuller, PG (major-fighting), :59. Meidl, Sea (hooking), 3:12. Gendur, PG (hooking), 4:52. Hickey, Sea (tripping), 7:38. Meaver, PG (hooking), 8:47. Redden, PG (major- kneeing, major-fighting, game misconduct), 9:25. Klinkhammer, Sea (instigator-served by Jo. Schappert, major-fighting, 10-minute misconduct), 9:25. Gendur, PG (cross checking, unsportsmanlike conduct) 9:25. Hunter, PG (cross checking, unsportsmanlike conduct), 13:23. Acolatse, Sea (unsportsmanlike conduct), 13:23. Nielsen, Sea (cross checking), 16:00. Holloway, Sea (interference), 16:48. Olson, Sea (unsportsmanlike conduct-diving, roughing), 18:34. Hunter, PG (double minor-roughing), 18:34. Gendur, PG (10-minute misconduct), 18:34.

Third period - 4, Prince George, Tyrell 1 (Robertson, Wishart), :32 (pp). 5, Prince George, Hunter 1 (Gendur, Robertson), 5:27 (pp). 6, Seattle, Richard 1 (Hickey, Meidl) 19:03 (pp). Penalties - Gagnon, Sea (goaltender interference), 4:49. Meaver, PG (holding), 5:49. Olson, Sea (tripping), 9:00. Hunter, PG (hooking), 10:31. Klinkhammer, Sea (slashing), 13:29. Scott, Sea (elbowing), 14:36. Durand, Sea (holding), 15:15. Vrana, PG (hooking), 15:24. Patterson, PG (slashing), 16:52. Sagert, PG (roughing), 18:03. Meaver, PG (tripping), 19:33.

Shots on goal - Seattle 3-11-14 28. Prince George 11-6-8 25. Goalies - Seattle, Yeomans 25 shots-21 saves (0-1-0); Prince George, Cyr 28-26 (1-0-0). Power plays - Seattle 1- 11; Prince George 3-16. A - 3,949. Referee - Chris Savage, Ryan Agar. Linesmen - Brandon Dombroski, Dean Laschowski.
 

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Wheaties Win Opener

Brandon, Manitoba -- Western Manitoba hockey fans went home happy Friday night as the Brandon Wheat Kings beat the defending Western Hockey League Eastern Conference Champion Moose Jaw Warriors 3-2 in the opening game of their 2006-2007 season.

Andrew Clark's powerplay goal with just over three minutes remaining was the difference as the Wheat Kings took the opening game of their 2-game home and home weekend series with the Warriors before close to 5,200 fans at the Keystone Centre.

Jeff Topilko and Mark Derlago also scored goals for the Wheat Kings, who led 2-1 after forty minutes of play after battling to a 1-1 tie through one period.

The story of Friday's season opener was a comination of superb goalkeeping and excellent special teams. While Florida Panthers' second round draft choice Tyler Plante was busy turning aside 28 Moose Jaw shots, the Wheat Kings were making fans forget last year's struggles with the man advantage.

Brandon went 3-4 with the man advantage on Friday while successfully killing off ten of 11 Moose Jaw powerplays.

Game two of the weekend series will be Saturday night in Moose Jaw, where the Warriors will unveil their 2005-06 Eastern Conference banner before the opening face-off.
 

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Dumb, dumber and Domi

The idiot box just got a whole lot more idioter-er-er. Yes, this week the world of cable sports welcomed Tie Domi into its fraternity of well-dressed saying nothings, as the former stick-wielding goon finally called it quits on a career that had been, in the last couple of years, reduced to bench cozy and cheerleader.

An ugly, ugly cheerleader.

No doubt TSN saw in Domi the opportunity to compete with Sportsnet's resident knuckledragger Nick Kypreos.

But other than direct competition, looking back on Tie's career it's hard to find anything that would justify TSN throwing him into their lineup -- other than a built-in audience of Leafs fans who would pay-per-view a public urinal cam if there was the remote chance Mats Sundin might drop trou and relieve himself.

On the ice he was known for losing his mind not using it -- most notably a vicious backwoods-stupid elbow on New Jersey Devil Scott Niedermayer in the dying seconds of a 2001 playoff game, what could have been Domi's best game in the NHL.

complete article
 

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Hitmen off to 1-0 start

It was sneak-a-peek night at the 'Dome.

Karl Alzner gave the scouts a taste of what to expect this season and the Hitmen followed in his footsteps as Calgary beat the visiting Red Deer Rebels 3-2 in WHL action.

Alzner, expected to be a high first-round draft pick in next summer's NHL Entry Draft, was everything he needed to be: Physical, poised and a threat in the offensive zone.

The 6-ft. 2-in., 210-lb. d-man had a pair of assists while Matt Isbister, Steve Covington and Brodie Dupont lit the lamp in Calgary's season-opening victory.

"It felt like I played about 50 minutes," the exhausted blueliner said. "I have to do my best to fill in for (Brett) Carson and (Jeff) Schultz because they are a big loss," he said of the graduated twin towers.

Dupont broke a 2-2 tie on the powerplay 4:38 into the third period when he shovelled a rebound past Rebels starter James Reimer.

Daniel Spence made 28 saves for the win, surrendering goals to Ted Vandermeer and Kirill Starkov.

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WHL roundup

Boychuk scored the game-winning goal on a late third-period power play as the Lethbridge Hurricanes opened the Western Hockey League season with a 4-3 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers Friday.

Boychuk roofed a backhand shot over the shoulder of Tigers' Blaine Neufeld with 4:30 to play in the third period, as the Hurricanes rallied from a 3-2 deficit.

Rookie Jesse Craige, Mitch Fadden and Mike Wuchterl also scored for Lethbridge.

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Blazers 6 Winter Hawks 3

When Devan Dubnyk left at the end of last season to seek a spot in the Edmonton Oilers' system, Michael Maniago became the player to watch on the Kamloops Blazers' roster.

After all, a hockey club is generally built from the goal out.

But Brock Nixon stole the show in Friday's regular season opener before 4,600 fans at Interior Savings Centre.

The veteran centre achieved hockey's equivalent of baseball's cycle - scoring at regular strength, on the power play and while shorthanded to lead the Blazers to a resounding 6-3 victory over the U.S. Division's Portland Winter Hawks.

Nixon added an assist, while Finnish flash Jusso Puustinen notched three assists in a game in which the Blazers' power play shone — Kamloops was an impressive 40 per cent with the man advantage, scoring four times in 10 opportunities.

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Kamloops 6, Portland 3 Blazers outlast Hawks

Brock Nixon scored three goals and Raymond Macias had two to propel the Kamloops Blazers to a 6-3 victory over the Portland Winter Hawks on Friday night at the Interior Savings Centre.

The Hawks had the first goal and made the score 2-2 early in the second period before the Blazers pulled away in both teams' Western Hockey League opener.

Kamloops limited the Hawks to 22 shots on goal. Hawks goals Kurtis Mucha made 26 saves.

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Historic win for Chilliwack

he Memorial Cup was on display Thursday evening at Prospera Centre. For the host Chilliwack Bruins, maybe it's a sign of things to come.

Mark Santorelli set up two goals and Alex Archibald was almost perfect between the pipes as the expansion Bruins debuted with a splash, scoring an unexpected 3-1 victory over the Kelowna Rockets in season-opening WHL action on Thursday.

"Doing the first game of the season, it's a great step," said Archibald, a 19-year-old from Winnipeg who played last season for the Prince Albert Raiders. "We're just pumped we got the first win."

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Canes finally tame Tigers

In one game the Lethbridge Hurricanes equaled last season’s win total against the Medicine Hat Tigers.
Maybe now, we can stop talking about last season.
The new-look Hurricanes authored a new ending Friday night at the Enmax Centre when they rallied from a 3-2 third-period deficit to beat the Medicine Hat Tigers 4-3, their first home win over their chief rivals since Feb. 25, 2004.
“It’s been a long time since we beat this hockey club,” head coach Michael Dyck said after the win.
“We looked forward to this hockey game, we were pretty excited because this was a great measuring tool for us. We played well tonight and earned the two points.”
After failing to expand on a 2-1 second period lead in which the Hurricanes had 10 power play chances, Medicine Hat scored both late in the middle frame (Darren Helm with 14 seconds left) and early in the third (Kevin Undershute just 20 seconds in) for a 3-2 lead and it looked like so many previous Tiger tales. These Hurricanes wouldn’t buy into history though.

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Broncos stumble out of gate in home opening loss

The Swift Current Broncos, who never lost on home ice during the exhibition season, lost at home when it counted most, as they dropped their 2006-07 home opener 5-2 to the visiting Regina Pats.

Special teams were the difference in the game, with Regina going three for 10 on the powerplay and adding a shorthanded marker. The Pats certainly looked like a team with 17 returning veterans.

On the other hand, the Broncos failed to put in a strong enough effort to win the game, as they were held to just 22 shots and were totally out of sync while posting a zero for seven effort on the powerplay.

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Cougars Acquire Grossman

PRINCE GEORGE, BC- The Prince George Cougars have acquired 18 year old defenseman Eli Grossmann ("Gross-man") of Seattle Thunderbirds in exchange for a 5th round Bantam selection in 2008.

Grossman, a 6'2", 212 lbs, product of Delta Junction, AK, played in 63 regular season games with Seattle last season, recording 1 assist and 91 PIM's.
 

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T-Birds trade Grossman to Prince George

Seattle - Seattle Thunderbirds General Manager Russ Farwell today announced the team has traded defenseman Eli Grossmann to the Prince George Cougars for a future fifth round bantam pick.

"With our depth on the blue line we made this trade to give Eli an opportunity to play," said Farwell.

The T-Birds are playing back-to-back games in Prince George to open the season. They lost 4-2 Friday night to the Cougars. The second game is Saturday night at 7 p.m. The T-Birds home opener is Saturday, September 30, against the Vancouver Giants at 7:05 p.m. 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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Late goal sinks Warriors in opener

The new enforcement of WHL rules is supposed to help open up all 200 by 85 feet of ice surface.

Friday in Brandon, the Wheat Kings won the game against the Moose Jaw Warriors by winning battles in the 10 feet in front of the net.

Andrew Clark buried a loose puck in the Warriors’ crease to give the Wheat Kings a 3-2 win over the Warriors at the Keystone Centre. Clark’s goal was the Wheat Kings third power play goal of the night and came with 3:26 left in the game.

The teams meet again tonight (7 p.m. Civic Centre) in Moose Jaw for the Warriors home opener.

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Tri-Cities open season with 7-3 loss at Kootenay

CRANBROOK, British Columbia -- The Tri-City Americans opened the 2006-07 Western Hockey League season with a 7-3 loss to the Kootenay Ice in front of 2,892 fans at the Cranbrook Rec Complex on Friday night.

The Ice took advantage of 20 Americans penalties to complete a 4-for-13 power-play run, including its first two power play goals of the game in the first period.

Kootenay added two more power play goals in the third period -- both by Kootenay's Ian Barteaux.

Kootenay jumped out to a 7-1 lead after two periods, chasing Americans goalie Chet Pickard.

Kyle Jahraus finished the game in net for the Ams, playing the third period and stopping all 10 shots he faced.

The Ams scored two goals in the third period, as Aaron Boogaard scored 1:13 in the period off assists from Ladislav Scurko and Erik Felde. Tyler Schmidt scored on a power play at 7:40 off assists from Felde and Scurko.

The Americans finished 2-for-9 on the power play.

Kootenay finished with 42 shots on goal, while the Americans had 35.
 
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