The Kootenay ICE made a case for the defense over a three-game road trip last weekend, unfortunately it just wasn’t a very good one. The Key City club managed a paltry one point out of a possible six with losses against Swift Current and Lethbridge and a tie against the Medicine Hat Tigers and it made their current hold on third place in the B.C. Division a precarious one with the Kelowna Rockets a scant two points back with three games in hand. Being so close to the January 14 trade deadline it no longer became a wonder whether or not a personnel change might happen but rather a matter of when. Just before the 3:00 PM M.S.T. deadline Monday, it did and again it would be a long-time familiar face that would be making his way out of town.
Fulfilling one of his trade deadline wishes of shoring up his club’s blueline, Kootenay ICE G.M. Jeff Chynoweth swapped nineteen-yr-old defenseman Trevor Johnson for nineteen-yr-old rearguard Gerard Dicaire of the Seattle Thunderbirds. It’s a change in venue and a deal that Coach Ryan McGill thinks it will be beneficial to the four-year veteran. “Trevor’s been here a long time,” said McGill the day after the deal was made. “Obviously he was a big part of our championship team and when Steve (McCarthy) went down Trevor took over and he took over at the age of seventeen and that’s pretty commendable on his part. He did a heck of a job.”
McGill was quick to commend his fiery blueliner but admitted that certain aspects of the Trail, B.C. product’s play had hit the wall of late. A fact made more glaringly obvious by the minus-22 Read more»
Duncan Milroy -RW (Drafted-01(2/37))Duncan Milroy managed 2 assists through 3 games since our last update. Both his assists came during a 3-2 loss to Swift Current. He currently has the eighth-best goal total in the WHL. Overall, the 6’0″, 185-lbs winger has played 40 games. He has 46 points (27-19-46), and is -5 with 30 minutes in penalties. Ten of his goals were scored on the powerplay, while 2 others were scored shorthanded.
Josef Balej -RW (Drafted-00(3/78))Portland’s Josef Balej managed 6 points through 3 games since our last update. Balej is currently 3rd in league scoring, and leads the entire league in goals with 36. He’s also on a 7-game point-scoring streak, and has managed 10 goals and 4 assists over the same span. Overall, the 5’11”, 175-lbs winger has played 41 games. He has 62 points (36-26-62), and is +18 with 30 minutes in penalties. Four of his goals were scored short-handed, while 16 others were scored on the powerplay.WHL player of the week for the week ending December 25th.WHL player of the month for December.
Andrew Archer -D (Drafted-01(7/203))Andrew Archer was shutout through 2 games since our last update. He suffered a apparent shoulder injury during a January 11th game against Sarnia, and was unable to play two days later against Oshawa. Overall, the 6’4″, 195-lbs stay at home defenseman has played 39 games. He has 11 points (1-10-11), and is -5 with 50 minutes in penalties.
Eric Himelfarb -C (Drafted-01(6/171))Sarnia’s Eric Himelfarb managed 8 points throug Read more»
A player comes along every now and then that captures the eye of scouts at a very young age. He is so superior to any of his peers that he is dominant in every aspect of the game. It’s not a matter of just having a size or skill advantage, or being brighter that the other players, but a blend of all of these gifts. This player brings such ability and leadership that teams are built around this individual. Jason Spezza was one of these players.
At a very young age, people could see Jason was something special. He had skill oozing out of his pores. Jason was a kid that had scouts salivating before he was more than a year into his teens. He played in the Ontario Hockey League for the Brampton Battalion one year before he was draft eligible, and lead that team in scoring at the tender age of fifteen. He ended up being drafted first overall in the 1999 OHL Priority player draft by the expansion Mississauga Ice Dogs. The Ice Dogs were ecstatic about getting Spezza, as this was a player that they could build a championship team around. In his first year with the Ice Dogs, Jason did not disappoint. He scored a respectable sixty-one points in a mere fifty-two games, leaving him second on the team to only Chad Wiseman. It should be noted that Wiseman did have an advantage of playing sixteen games more games than Spezza that season. The Ice Dogs only won nine games that year, but they had a player they could build a winner around.
The fall of 2000 took Jason back to Mississauga for the start of the season. The Ice Dogs were not a very good team and headin Read more»
He has the best goals against average in the Western Hockey League, an eyelash above two (2.02). He has the best save percentage in the WHL an eyelash above 93 (.934). His record over his last 11starts is 8-1-2.
Oh yeah, he’s the Cougars “back-up goalie” and his name is Kyle Stanton.
The 19-year-old from “The Little Town that Did” (Chemainus, B.C.) is doing it for the Prince George Cougars.
“I’m just seeing the puck very well right now,” said Stanton, who earned his second career WHL shutout Dec. 29 in Spokane. “I want more playing time and to get that, I need to play like this.”
Stanton’s WHL career began in Kelowna before a trade brought him to the Cougars a season ago. He’s shared the Cougar crease with Billy Thompson, who has seen the bulk of work for the Cats.
Thompson was a fifth round draft pick of the Florida Panthers in the 2001 National Hockey League Entry Draft.
“Billy and I are great friends,” Stanton said. “We don’t feel like there is any goaltending controversy, we both want to play and when he plays well I’m happy for him.”
“Kyle’s a great goalie,” Thompson said. “He’s my teammate and it’s just to bad we can only play one goalie at a time.”
Cougar head coach Ed Dempsey noted that the current situation promotes healthy competition. “Not to many teams have two quality goaltenders like we do,” Dempsey said. “I think they both understand our situation and are working together to keep themselves sharp.”
COUGAR TRACKS: The Cougars continue to battle for first place atop the BC Read more»
Thumbs up to co-coaches Mark Holick, Mike Vandekamp, general manager Garry Davidson and the entire British Columbia Hockey League squad, which brought back a silver medal from the Viking Cup in Camrose, Alta.
The only loss for Team BCHL came in the final, a 5-4 loss to AugustanaUniversity (or should I say Team Geritol). Augustana had players up to the age of 27.
So from seventh to second in two years for the best from the BCHL, not bad. Hold your heads up high boys. Now maybe we finally leave the whole Cowichan Valley/Viking Cup mess behind us, although I have a feeling there may be a few heated words at the league’s semi-annual general meetings in Nanaimo next week during the all-star break.
We all must agree though that hats go off to Cowichan for helping T.J. Caig achieve his goal of attending college.
When he departed for Minnesota and Duluth last week, Caig was the Caps leading scorer. Cowichan coach Greg Adams and his staff should be commended for doing their best to enable one of the most talented players in the league to take it to the next level.
Speaking of scholarships, 21 players have now committed to schooling for the 2002-03 season. The latest addition being Vernon’s Chad Clower, who gives the Vipers their fourth player who will be studying the three R’s next season, – reading, writing and wrist shots.
The Chilliwack Chiefs currently lead the way with five players having committed to head south of the border while South Surrey and Penticton each have three signings.
By the time you ar Read more»