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Gymnast wins Brandon Sun award

Brandon, Manitoba - A 19-year old gymnast from Brandon has been chosen the 2006 winner of the H.L. (Krug) Crawford Memorial Medal, emblematic of athletic achievement in western Manitoba.

A member of the Canadian women's gymnastics team, Jenna Kerbis edged out a number of worthy candidates including Brandon Wheat Kings' left-winger Mark Derlago and Ryan Craig of the National Hockey League's Tampa Bay Lightning.

In making the announcement in the Wednesday, January 3rd edition of the Brandon Sun, Kerbas was described as "unfailingly polite and soft spoken....and possesses a steely resolve that is best shown in her results and her relentless pursuit of her ultimate goal of representing Canada in the Olympics."

In 2006, Kerbis took a major step forward with her first taste of international success, including a Commonwealth Games bronze medal. A member of the Brigham Young Cougars women's gymnastics team in Provo, Utah, Kerbis won her first international title, taking the senior all around titles on the beam and the floor at the World Olympic Gymnastics Academy Classic in Texas. Then following the Commonwealth Games, she finished in a tie for fifth all around at the Canadian Championships in Laval, Quebec.

Since the award was first presented in 1958, a total of fourteen members of the Wheat Kings' organization including last year's recipient Eric Fehr have been honoured.

Other Wheat King players that have garnered this award over the years include the likes of Jordin Tootoo, Marty Murray, Cory Cyrenne, Trevor Kidd, Ray Ferarro, Glen Hanlon, Ron Chipperfield and Juha Widing. As well, former coaches Ron Maxwell and Dunc McCallum and general managers Kelly McCrimmon, Jack Brockest and Jake Milford have been recognized.

While Derlago came back from missing an entire season to lead the Wheat Kings with 28 goals last season, Craig has become a valuable member of the Lightning since being recalled from the American Hockey League midway through the 2005-06 campaign. A 20-year old Brandon product, Derlago is currently among the WHL leaders in goals with 25 in 41 games. He's second on the team in scoring with 45 points - eight behind all star center Codey Burki.

On the ice, Derlago, Burki and the Wheat Kings will host Saskatoon on Friday night at the Keystone Centre. Brandon is 2-1-0-1 since the 10-day Christmas break and will be hoping to put the brakes to the Blades' 7-game win streak. Puck drop is at 7:30 and tickets are now on sale at the Keystone box office, by calling 726-3555 or online at ticketmaster.ca

This Friday is also Family Skate Day at the Keystone, presented by The Home Depot and 101 FM The Farm. All fans are encouraged to bring their skates and cameras to the arena and join the players on the ice following the game.
 

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Canada advances to Gold Medal Game

LEKSAND, Sweden - Canada is going for gold, again.

Canada rallied to beat the United States 2-1 in a thrilling shootout Wednesday and advanced to their sixth straight gold medal World Junior Hockey Championship game.

The teams were tied at 1-1 after regulation play and when the outcome of the semifinal game was not decided in overtime, the game went to a shootout.

Jonathan Toews put Canada ahead to stay in Canada's seventh shot of the shootout, and when Carey Price made a stick save on Peter Mueller's shot, the Canadians won the game and the players spilled onto the ice and mobbed Price.

Canada, the two time defending world champions, will play either Sweden or Russia in the 2007 WJC championship game on Friday. The unbeaten Russians take on the host Swedes later today in Leksand.

Taylor Chorney scored a power play goal in the second period with Canadian forward Sam Gagner looking on from the penalty box to give the U.S. the lead.

But Luc Bourdon tied in midway through the third on a slap shot from the point while the Canadians were on a power play.

The 2007 WJC tournament ends Friday with the bronze and gold medal games.

Meanwhile Juraj Simek and Switzerland will close out the tournament on Thursday in a relegation game against Germany. The Slovakian born right-winger from the Brandon Wheat Kings scored the game winner on Tuesday in Switzerland's 2-1 victory over Slovakia.
 

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Brandon Wheat Kings Game Notes

1/5/2007: Saskatoon Blades @ Brandon 19:30, Keystone Centre

GAME NOTES: The WHEAT KINGS look to get back in the win column Friday night when they return home to the Keystone Centre following a 3-game Western Hockey League road trip...Tonight's game against SASKATOON is the second between the two in just over a week...Last Wednesday, the BLADES kicked off the second half of the 2006-07 regular season with a 3-2 Overtime Shootout victory over the WHEAT KINGS...BRANDON collected four of a possible six points during last weekend's road trip. After edging the REBELS 3-2 in an Overtime Shootout on Friday night in RED DEER, the WHEAT KINGS scored four third period goals on Saturday en route to a 4-2 victory over the HITMEN in CALGARY. BRANDON then closed out the trip with a 3-0 loss in REGINA on New Years Day...BRANDON is 2-1-0-1 since its 10-day Christmas break and enters the weekend sitting atop the Eastern Division with a record of 20-14-2-5, good for 47 points...WHEAT KINGS are currently five points up on second place SWIFT CURRENT and nine ahead of third place PRINCE ALBERT, who fell 6-2 in CALGARY Wednesday night...As for the Conference, the WHEATS are sitting in fifth place - two points back of both the HITMEN and REBELS and three up on LETHBRIDGE...BRANDON is currently 12-3-1-3 at the Keystone Centre and 8-11-1-2 on the road...The WHEATS are 3-2-2-3 in their last ten games, they're 7-5-1-2 against Eastern Division rivals and have a 2-2-5 record in nine games decided in Overtime this season...Last weekend's back to back wins over RED DEER and CALGARY marked the first time since early October that the WHEAT KINGS have won two straight games on the road...Last Friday's win in RED DEER snapped a 5-game winless (0-3-1-1) streak on the road...and the WHEATS have managed at least a point in eight of their last 10 games...BRANDON travels back to REGINA to meet the PATS on Tuesday night.

LAST GAME: The WHEAT KINGS modest 2-game win streak came to an end Monday afternoon in REGINA as they dropped a 3-0 decision to the fourth place PATS...A second period powerplay goal by GARRET FESTERLING proved to be the difference as the WHEAT KINGS oushot REGINA 34-27 including 27-11 through two periods of play...In making his first start since December 2nd against SWIFT CURRENT, 17-year old rookie JOE CALIGIURI turned aside 24 shots including 14 of 15 in the third period...PATS went 1-4 with the man advantage while the WHEAT KINGS went 0-7 on the powerplay...BRANDON has won just one of four games against the PATS this season.

VS. SASKATOON: This is the fifth meeting of the season between these two clubs, with BRANDON collecting seven of a possible eight points (3-0-0-1) against the BLADES this year...At the Keystone Centre, the WHEATS are 1-0-0-1...MARK DERLAGO leads BRANDON in scoring with three goals and 5 points in four games while ST. LOUIS BLUES' draft choice RYAN REAVES is second at 2-2-4...JOE CALIGIURI is 2-0-0 against the BLADES with a 1.50 goals against average and a .921 save pct while veteran TYLER PLANTE is 1-0-0-1 with a 1.44 goals against mark and a sparkling .944 save percentage...BRANDON posted a 2-6-1-1 record against SASKATOON in 2005-06.

PLANTE NETS MONTHLY HONOUR: TYLER PLANTE has been chosen the WHEAT KINGS' TIP TOP TAILORS PLAYER OF THE MONTH for December, after compiling a 4-2-2-2 record, a 2.73 goals against average and a .914 save percentage...In addition to those numbers, the FLORIDA PANTHERS' second round draft choice joined some pretty select company in December, becoming one of only four Brandon goalkeepers to eclipse the 8,000 minute mark during their WHL career. PLANTE has played 142 career games and 8,211 minutes, good for fourth place on the club's all time list...His 2.93 career goals against average is second only to ROBERT McVICAR'S 2.86 mark.

OTHER MILESTONES: TEEGAN MOORE, who will be playing in his 299th career game Friday night, picked up his 99th and 100th career WHL points in Saturday's win over CALGARY...JEFF TOPILKO played in his 250th career game on Friday in RED DEER while MARK LOUIS played his 200th on Dec. 16th in REGINA...DUSTIN KOHN is 5 assists shy of 100 while CODEY BURKI is 2 points away from 150 in his career.

BY THE NUMBERS: CODEY BURKI enters the weekend tied with BEN MAXWELL of KOOTENAY for third place in the WHL scoring race (21-32-53). BURKI hasn't scored since returning from the National Junior Selection Camp...MARK DERLAGO is 9th (25-20-45) in the WHL but fourth in goals...JURAJ SIMEK, who represented both the WHEAT KINGS and SWITZERLAND at the World Junior Hockey Championship, is fifth in rookie scoring (22-18-40), second in powerplay goals (14) and second in goals among first year players...DANIEL BARTEK is 4th in shorthanded goals (3)...DUSTIN KOHN is tied for 7th in scoring among blueliners with 2 goals and 31 points...THERAN YEO is third in penalty minutes (136)...TYLER PLANTE leads the league in saves (90 0), second in minutes played (1,904)...BRANDON'S powerplay is 4th in the WHL (22.1%) while its penalty killing is 14th (80.6%)...JEFF TOPILKO led the WHEATS in scoring last month (5-6-11 in 12 games)...BRANDON has not lost (regulation time) when leading through forty minutes of play (14-0-0-3) and have a 10-4-0-2 mark when outshooting its opponent.
 

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Three Hitmen named to 2007 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game

Calgary, AB - The Calgary Hitmen Hockey Club is proud to announce three members of this year's team will play in the 2007 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.

Karl Alzner, Brett Sonne and Alex Plante will all suit up on January 17th in Quebec City. They are among 40 of the CHL's top players who are eligible for the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

They were selected by the National Hockey League's 30 teams and will be separated into two teams prior to the event.

"This is a major event where scouts can see all the premier draft-eligible players in Major Junior hockey compete head-to-head," said Director of Central Scouting for the NHL, EJ McGuire.

PREVIOUS HITMEN AT THE CHL TOP PROSPECTS GAME

Year Location Player

2006 Ottawa (Scotiabank Place) Ryan White (1 Goal)

2005 Vancouver (Pacific Coliseum) Dustin Kohn

2005 Vancouver (Pacific Coliseum) Riley Merkley

2004 London (John Labatt Centre) Brett Carson (1 Assist)

2004 London (John Labatt Centre) Andrew Ladd (1 Goal, 1 Assist)

2004 London (John Labatt Centre) Andy Rogers (1 Assist)

2004 London (John Labatt Centre) Jeff Schultz

2003 Kitchener (Memorial Auditorium) Mike Egener

2003 Kitchener (Memorial Auditorium) Ryan Getzlaf

2002 Saskatoon (Saskatchewan Place) Johnny Boychuk (1 Goal)

2002 Saskatoon (Saskatchewan Place) Brandon Segal

2000 Toronto (Air Canada Center) Matt Pettinger (1 Goal)

2000 Toronto (Air Canada Center) Brent Krahn (30:46 Mins - 22/23 1.97GAA)

1999 Calgary (Canadian Airlines Saddledome) Pavel Brendl (1 Goal)

1999 Calgary (Canadian Airlines Saddledome) Kris Beech (1 Goal)

1998 Toronto (Maple Leaf Gardens) Chris Nielsen

1996 Toronto (Maple Leaf Gardens) Boris Protsenko
 

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Silvertips Down Red Deer 3-0

Silvertips goaltender David Reekie made 17 saves to record his 2nd straight shutout as the Everett Silvertips defeated the Red Deer Rebels 3-0 at the Everett Events Center on Wednesday night. With the win, the Silvertips pick up their 4th win in a row and their 15th straight home victory. The Silvertips remain in 1st Place in the US Division with a record of 31-5-0-1 (63 points). It was the only meeting of the regular season with the Red Deer Rebels. Everett is now 3-1 all time against the Rebels and 2-0 against Red Deer at the Everett Events Center.

Their was no scoring through the first two periods until Moises Gutierrez cracked in his 19th goal of the season on the power play to score the eventual game winning goal. Brennan Sonne connected with his 5th goal of the season a minute and five seconds later in the 3rd period. Silvertips forward Jesse Smyke added an empty short handed goal to secure the win. Silvertips goaltender David Reekie moves his record to 13-5 on the season while Rebels netminder James Reimer falls to 16-9-2-3.

The Silvertips out shot the Rebels by a margin of 32-17 in the hockey game. Everett went 1 for 6 on the power play and Red Deer went 0 for 5 on the extra man advantage.

The Silvertips will hit the road on Friday night to battle the Spokane Chiefs at Spokane Arena in Spokane, WA. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m.
 

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Three Silvertips Selected to CHL Top Prospects Game

Three Everett Silvertips will play in the 2007 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Quebec City, Quebec on Wednesday, January 17. Silvertips forward Zach Hamill and defensemen Taylor Ellington and Eric Doyle will be join 36 other CHL Prospects in this seasons' event. The game will showcase 40 of the CHL's top players that are eligible for selection in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. The players were selected by the National Hockey League's 30 teams. The players will be separated into two teams prior to the event.

Zach Hamill is currently leading the Silvertips in scoring with 15 goals and 31 assists for 46 points. The Port Coquitlam, BC native is currently the all time leading scorer in Silvertips franchise history with 140 career points. Hamill was selected to Team WHL at the 2006 ADT Canada/Russia Challenge in November.

Taylor Ellington has recorded 5 goals and 3 assists for 8 points in 35 games this season with Everett. The Victoria, BC defenseman was one of three Silvertips selected to play at the 2006 ADT Canada/Russia Challenge. During the 2006 WHL Playoffs, Ellington added a goal and 2 assists in 15 playoff contests.

Eric Doyle has posted 3 goals and 13 assists this season with Everett in 29 games. The Calgary, AB native was drafted by the Silvertips in the 1st Round (15th Overall) in the 2004 WHL Bantam Draft.

With Hamill, Doyle and Ellington selected to this year's event, the Silvertips have had a total of 7 players in the last two seasons' to play in Prospects Game. Last season goaltender Leland Irving and forwards Peter Mueller, Brady Calla and Ondrej Fiala played at the 2006 CHL Prospects Game.

More than 420 players have suited up in the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and gone on to be selected in the NHL Entry Draft. The game has featured five players who were the first overall picks in the NHL Entry Draft - Chris Phillips (1996), Joe Thornton (1997), Vincent Lecavalier (1998), Rick Nash (2002) and Marc-Andre Fleury (2003). The 2007 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game will be broadcast live across Canada on Rogers Sportsnet and RDS.

The Silvertips will return to the Everett Events Center to play the Medicine Hat Tigers on Saturday, January 6. Game time is set for 7:05 p.m. For tickets for Saturday night's game log onto Everett Silvertips or call the EEC Box Office at 1-866-332-8499.
 

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Silvertips continue run at the top

The Canadian Hockey League today announced the fourteenth CHL Mosaik MasterCard Top 10 Rankings for the 2006-07 season. The weekly rankings of the Canadian Hockey League's Top 10 teams are selected by a panel of National Hockey League scouts.

CHL Mosaik MasterCard Top 10 - Week Number 14

Rank Team Last Week Weeks in Rankings

1 Everett Silvertips (30-5-0-1) 1 14

2 Vancouver Giants (27-5-3-4) 2 14

3 Barrie Colts (27-9-0-1) 4 11

4 Lewiston MAINEiacs (28-8-0-3) 5 7

5 Medicine Hat Tigers (29-11-2-0) 3 11

6 London Knights (24-9-1-3) 6 14

7 Kamloops Blazers (26-10-1-1) 8 7

8 Kitchener Rangers (25-12-0-2) 7 2

9 Plymouth Whalers (24-10-1-2) 10 2

10 Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (26-12-2-0)
 

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Lenoski arrives in Spokane

What do Winnipeg, Edmonton, Chilliwack, Spokane and Kennewick have in common? The answer - Stephane Lenoski. Those are the five cities that the 20-year-old defenseman had been in a six day span that included a game with the expansion Chilliwack Bruins, a trade and a drive to Spokane and two games with his new team, the Chiefs. Needless to say, the Winnipeg native is looking forward to a week of practice and five straight home games.

"I think the trade came at great time," Lenoski said. "I was given a chance to contribute in two games versus Tri-City, which are important because of the standings. We now have a five-game home stand and it will be a good chance to get to know the team on and off the ice."

After traveling from his hometown in Winnipeg to Chilliwack on December 26th, Lenoski's final game with the Bruins, a 4-3 loss to the Kelowna Rockets on December 27th, came with a pair of assists and gave him a career high in points with 20, including 16 assists. Fourteen of his helpers have been on the power play, one of the strengths that Bill Peters sees in his game. "He is a puck moving guy," Peters said. "He will help in the transition five-on-five and gives us another defenseman who can play on the power play.

"He is a veteran who can play against anybody in the league. We can put him out there at any point and feel he can control the match-up anywhere we are."

Lenoski made his debut on Saturday night in the Arena in front of 8,300 fans and a playoff type of atmosphere versus Tri-City. "To be honest, I was a little nervous but it is always fun to play in front of a crowd like that". Lenoski added another power play assist in the 4-3 shootout loss and was +1 in a 4-3 shootout win against the Americans on Sunday night in Kennewick. "Those were big games in the standings. Every game from here on in we have to play like a playoff game because it is a tight race."

The only connection the four-year veteran had to Spokane prior to the trade was a few run-ins with Evan Haw, who he had played against numerous times when he was with the Saskatoon Blades, "He plays a rough game," Lenoski said. "He is the type of guy that you love to have on your team, but hate to play against. He's my d-partner now and I'm happy about that," said the overage with a little relief in his voice.

Both 20-year-old defensemen are looking for the same thing when it comes to their final year of junior hockey, a run at a championship. "I came close as an 18-year-old and it is the best memory I've had," Lenoski said. Two seasons ago, Lenoski was +22 in the Brandon Wheat King's run to the Eastern Conference title and appearance in the WHL Finals. "It would be nice to finish as a 20-year-old with one and to get that chance in a new environment is awesome."
 

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Two home games this weekend

After earning seven out of a possible eight points in four games last week, the Chiefs will have a few days off to recharge, practice and prepare for a pair of home games this weekend. Friday night, the Everett Silvertips will visit and Saturday, Spokane will host the Kootenay Ice. The games are the first two of five in a row in the Spokane Arena.

Spokane Chiefs Head Coach Bill Peters welcomes three days of practice before the weekend, "We have played four games without a practice after 10 days off and you see things that are slipping. Guys are excited to practice. There are things we will need to shore up and we will work on that in the next three days," he said.

The Chiefs remain in a battle for second place in the US Division with Seattle and Tri-City that began in the middle of November. At one point or another, each team has held onto second place on their own, but not long enough to put space between themselves and the others.

In the last 10 games, the Chiefs have 15 points, Seattle 14 and Tri-City 12. A perfect example of how tight the race for second place is last week. The Chiefs and Americans went to a shootout in back-to-back games with the road team winning each time. In 12 combined games against the Americans and Thunderbirds, five have gone to overtime and three others have been one goal games.

Spokane has eight games remaining against the two teams, including a stretch where they will play five times in two weeks (February 3rd -16th). Add the eight remaining games against Everett and Portland and the Chiefs have 16 of their 34 games against US Division opponents. "You will now see the whole league take a step in intensity as we move now into the second half of the season," Peters said.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 5TH

VS. EVERETT SILVERTIPS

Supercuts NASCAR Night - The Spokane Chiefs, Supercuts and Wired 96.9 are proud to be teaming up to pay tribute to racing on NASCAR Night presented by Supercuts. Chiefs fans will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to see Supercuts #22 Busch Series Race Car at the Spokane Arena on January 5th. Fans can also sign-up at the game or any Supercuts location for a chance to win 2 PIT PASSES to the Busch Series Race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March. You won't want to miss it!

The Chiefs take on the Silvertips for the fifth time this season, the third time in Spokane. Spokane is 3-1 on the year versus the Silvertips. The Chiefs earned a 4-2 decision over Everett in the Spokane Arena on December 13th in their last meeting. The Chiefs had a 5-2 win on October 13th in the Spokane Arena. Michael Grabner recorded his third career hat trick in the win. The Chiefs picked up their first win of the series with a 2-1 shootout victory on October 6th in Everett. Dustin Tokarski stopped 19 shots and two of three in the shootout for his first career victory in his first career start. Dan Mercer scored Spokane's lone goal. Everett won a 3-0 decision on October 25th in their only win of the series. Grabner has four goals and five points while Sean Zimmerman has one goal and three points and Ondøej Roman has three helpers in the series. Each team has had 28 power play opportunities while Spokane has scored four times (14.3%) and Everett, five times (17.9%). The Chiefs will travel to Everett on February 9th in their next meeting of the year.

Attractions:

- See the #22 Supercuts NASCAR Busch Series Car in Person! (Throughout)

- Supercuts Busch Series Pit Pass Giveaway (TBD) - Enter at Supercuts or at the game for your chance to win two (2) pit passes valid for the March 10, 2007 Busch Series Race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Transportation & Accommodations not included.)

- Supercuts FASTKART Races (1st Intermission)

- Columbia Paint & Coatings Racing Trivia Challenge (2nd Intermission)

- Global Fitness Prize Patrol (2ndIntermission)

- Boomer, the Spokane Chiefs mascot presented by ZAK! Designs

Pre-Game:

- Supercuts Ceremonial First Puck Drop Opportunity - A Supercuts representative(s) will have an opportunity to assist with the first puck dropping ceremonies.

- Hockey Armor 7th Man - One area youth hockey player will be introduced with the Chiefs starting lineup...a thrill of a lifetime.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 6TH

VS. KOOTENAY ICE

Red Robin Fantasy Hockey Night - The Chiefs and Red Robin are teaming up for the fifth consecutive year to turn the Arena into a giant fantasy hockey game using Chiefs players! As fans enter the gates, each person will receive a Red Robin Fantasy Hockey card with the name of two Chiefs players and an offer from Red Robin. If either player featured on the card scores during the game, their card will instantly become a coupon valid for a special offer from Red Robin. This unique promotion will have fans cheering from Red Robin and visiting thier three outstanding locations for weeks following the event.

Saturday's game will be just the second time all season that Spokane will face off against Kootenay. Spokane scored a season high eight goals in an 8-4 victory over the Ice in the opening game of the season, September 23rd. Six different players scored goals including Adam Hobson and Drayson Bowman who had two apiece. The Chiefs were 3-13 on the powerplay and 13-16 on the penalty kill. Including Saturday's game, the Chiefs will play Kootenay four more times this season. The Chiefs will be at Kootenay, the final game of eight in a row on the road and last of a seven game in nine day stretch, on January 27th. Kootenay will be back in Spokane on February 17th.

Attractions:

- Hockey Armor 7th Man (Pre - Game)

- Les Schwab Tires Tire Pull (1st Intermission)

- Red Robin Kiss the Girl (1st Intermission)

- Park University Name That Tune (1st Intermission)

- Southwest Airlines Chuck-A-Puck (2nd Intermission)

- Red Robin Dance for your Dinner (1st Intermission)

- Bud One Airship (2nd Intermission) featuring Red Robin Gift Cards

- Boomer, the Spokane Chiefs mascot presented by ZAK! Designs

Tickets for all home games are available by calling the Chiefs office at (509) 535-PUCK or TicketsWest at (800) 325-SEAT.

ZIMMERMAN-WORLD JUNIOR HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIPS UDATE

Sean Zimmerman and the United States National Junior Team dropped a 2-1 shootout decision to Team Canada on Wednesday morning in the semi- finals of the World Junior Hockey Championships. The U.S. will play for the bronze medal on Friday against the loser of the Sweden-Russia semi-final.

Team Canada scored late in the third period to tie the score at 1-1 and, after a 10-minute overtime period, went to a shootout with the Americans. Jonathan Toews scored three times in the seven round shootout to help Canada advance to the gold medal game.
 

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Gagnon ties for league lead in scoring in win over Tri-City

Kennewick, WA., January 3, 2007 - Seattle Thunderbirds captain Aaron Gagnon had a goal and an assist in Wednesday's 4-1 victory over the Tri-City Americans at the Toyota Center to move into a tie for the league lead in scoring.

Gagnon, the WHL Player of the Month for December, has 54 points on 26 goals and 28 assists. He is tied with Martin Hanzal of the Red Deer Rebels who has 54 points on 16 goals and 38 assists.

The T-Birds and Rebels meet on Saturday, January 6, at KeyArena at 7:05. Gagnon left the game about five minutes into the third period after receiving a cut that required medical attention. He did not return to the ice.

Seattle improves their record to 19-10-1-9 and is now in second place in the US Division, three points ahead of the Americans.

Seattle goalie Derek Yeomans (14-7-1-7) had a big hand in the win as well by stopping 39 of 40 shots. He made eight saves in the first period and 16 saves in both the second and third period.

Tri-City (22-14-0-1) took a 1-0 lead at 1:11 of the first period on a goal by Colton Yellow Horn. Joel Broda and Shaun Vey had the assists.

Radek Meidl tied the game 1-1 when he scored at 10:31 of the first on a two-on-one break with David Richard. Meidl got to a loose puck just inside the Seattle blue line. Meidl then fed a pass to Richard on the right side in the neutral zone and broke up ice. Richard carried the puck into the zone and at the right face-off dot made a cross-slot pass to Meidl who beat Tri-City goalie Chet Pickard high for the tying goal. It was Meidl's ninth goal of the year.

Seattle outshot Tri-City 11-8 in the first period.

The T-Birds took a 2-1 lead on Aaron Gagnon's team leading 26th goal of the year. Gagnon scored at 11:18 of the second period on an assist from Scott Jackson.

Gagnon's goal tied him with Brock Nixon of Kamloops Blazers for the league lead in goals scored.

The T-Birds outshot the Americans 20-16 in the second period and led 31-24 in total shots going into the second intermission.

The T-Birds made it a 3-1 lead early in the third period when Bud Holloway scored a power-play goal. The puck was in the right corner where Gagnon worked it up the boards to Holloway. Holloway passed the puck to Thomas Hickey on the blue line. Hickey skated along the blue line then fed the puck back to Holloway in the right circle. Holloway beat Pickard with a slap shot at the 32 second mark of the third period.

Gagnon's assist on the third Seattle goal tied him with Hanzal of the Rebels for the league lead in scoring.

The Americans pulled Pickard for an extra attacker with 1:40 left in the game. Greg Scott took advantage by scoring an empty-net goal at the 18:33 of the third. Brett Robertson had the only assist on the goal.

Pickard made 39 saves on 42 shots and his record falls to 10-7-0-1.

Thunderbird tickets are currently on sale for all 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 Seattle Thunderbirds Hockey. Tickets may also be purchased at all TicketMaster Outlets, the KeyArena 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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Four Giants Heading To Top Prospects Game

The Vancouver Giants congratulate four members of the hockey team who have been invited to take part in the 2007 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.

Goaltender Tyson Sexsmith, defenceman Jonathon Blum, and forwards Spencer Machacek and Michal Repik will all be representing the Giants at the game Wednesday January 17 in Quebec City.

"All four players from our club are well-deserving to be invited to this showcase," says Giants General Manager Scott Bonner. "Scouts from every NHL team will be on hand to see what these players can do in a big-game situation. We wish all four the best of luck in putting on a great performance."

Sexsmith is currently 3rd overall amongst all WHL goalies with a 1.99 goals against average. He is also 2nd in the WHL in shut-outs with five.

Blum is currently 6th overall among WHL defencemen in scoring (6g,28a) and is 2nd overall in the WHL in plus-minus at +21.

Repik, currently representing the Czech Republic at the World Junior Hockey Championships, has 15 goals and 18 assists in 33 games this season.

Machacek, having played just 32 games this year, has nine goals and 11 assists to this point in the season.

These four players are the latest members of the Giants organization to have taken part in the Top Prospects Game. Other Giants to have played in this event include Kenndal McArdle (2005), Brendan Mikkelson (2005), Gilbert Brule (2005), Mark Fistric (2004), Todd Ford (2002), Andy Thompson (2002), and Jiri Jakes (2001).

In total, 19 of the 40 players taking part in the event are from the Western Hockey League. For a complete roster of this year's game, check out www.whl.ca
 

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Hickey selected to play in 2007 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game

Seattle, January 4, 2007 - The Seattle Thunderbirds are pleased to announce defenseman Thomas Hickey has been selected by the Canadian Hockey League and National Hockey League to participate in the 2007 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on Wednesday, January 17, in Quebec City.

"This is a very deserving honor for Thomas," said T- Birds General Manager Russ Farwell. "Thomas is having an excellent season. He is one of our top defensemen and now will have the chance to showcase his talents on a very big stage."

The game will showcase 40 of the CHL's top players that are eligible for selection in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. The players were selected by the National Hockey League's 30 teams. The players will be separated into two teams prior to the event.

More than 420 players have suited up in the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and gone on to be selected in the NHL Entry Draft. The game has featured five players who were the first overall picks in the NHL Entry Draft - Chris Phillips (1996), Joe Thornton (1997), Vincent Lecavalier (1998), Rick Nash (2002) and Marc-Andre Fleury (2003).

Nine of the 12 defensemen selected to participate in the Prospects Game are from the Western Hockey League.
 
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