The Kootenay Ice saw themselves move up to the number nine position in the
CHL Top Ten list last week after defeating both the Calgary Hitmen and the Seattle Thunderbirds
and tying the Portland Winterhawks in the last three games of their six-game road trip. The Ice play three games before the next list will be issued. This week sees the Ice match up against the Lethbridge Hurricanes before they meet up with the Red Deer Rebels for a home and home series.
Steve McCarthy will leave this Sunday (December 12th) for Kitchener to compete for a position on the Canadian World Junior Team roster. Jaroslav Svoboda has already been named to the Czech Republic National Junior Team and left earlier this week. Steve and Jaro are the first two Kootenay Ice players to be named or chosen to play in this tournament. Coming from someone who watches this tournament over the holidays every year, it will be great to finally watch a couple of your own play the game.
The Ice have called up a player named Stacey Bublitz. I can’t seem to find a great deal of information on this player, but I’ll tell you what I do know. It seems the Kootenay Ice (this is second hand information) were trying to deal with the Tri-City Americans for a “tough-guy” type of player. With Calgary and T.C. making a large trade last week, I am going to assume that the player we were after went to Calgary in that trade. Bublitz was “listed” and was picked up by the Kootenay Ice shortly afterwards. He is a 19 year old player who hails from South Flocan, B.C. and has been playing in the BCJHL for Beaver Valley. Standing about 6 foot and weighing in around 210 (I’m guessing here) this could be the “toughness” it seems management was after. Graham Belak is the resident brawler but due to his over-age status, I think the Ice may be looking to fill a void that will be present next year. If I can get more information on this player, I will post it at a later date. In Bublitz’ first home game appearance, he tried (but was not very successful) to fight Godard of the Lethbridge Hurricanes. The crowd cheered him on as they leaned over to the guy next to him and asked, “who is this kid.” A minus to the Kootenay Ice Hockey Club for not providing any information on this newcomer in either their game program, website or newspaper stories.
The Regina Pats will be hosting the 2001 Memorial Cup. With this in mind, you can be assured that before the January 10th deadline, the Pats will be doing some wheeling and dealing to stack a team that will be challenging for the cup. They currently have two players who have the possibility of achieving NHL status next year. Do the Pats trade them now while they are worth a few young and strong players or keep them in the hopes that they will still be in the WHL next year? The two players are Barrett Jackman (1st round pick in the 1999 Draft) and Brett Lysak (2nd round pick in the 1999 Draft). It will be interesting to see what the Pats do before the deadline arrives.
The long awaited CSB report has been released and Jarret Stoll is ranked number 7. Also expected to go in the first few rounds are forward, Colin Sinclair and defenseman, Cole Fischer. The number one ranked player is Marion Gaborik of Slovakia.
Prior to the game versus Lethbridge last night, the Ice were 17-8-5 on the season. With the win last night (2-1 Ice), the Ice see themselves 10 games over .500 for the first time in franchise history. The Ice are still in second place in the Central Division behind the Calgary Hitmen who have a 9-point lead with 50 points. In the entire WHL, the Ice continue to hold onto the number 3 spot, but are only 1 point behind the 2nd place Swift Current Broncos who lost their game against the Kamloops Blazers last night.