The Brandon Wheat Kings year after year seem to find a way to the medical ward. Injuries have been the story every season for the Wheat Kings and this year is no exception. As of this date Dan Tetrault has a groin problem, others on the shelf include Brett Thurston with a shoulder problem. Wade Skolney has an injured back; Richard Mueller has yet another concussion and Jamie Hodson is still laid up until late November from his knee problems. J.D. Kehler just returned from a long absence from well back in last year.
Add in the fact this Wheat Kings edition is the smallest team I have seen in the Western Hockey League and one would think you would have a recipe for disaster. Not necessarily so.
In spite of all the challenges there is a lot of good things going on with the Wheaties. Only two games out of third and 3 recent road wins on their West Coast swing and things look okay for a very young team.
Here is each player’s progress report so far this fall:
Jamie Hodson – still laid up from last years’ season ending injury, Hodson is the Wheat Kings best goalie as he proved last year and one of the best three in the Western Hockey League. Stay tuned for my prediction on his future. Brandon now has three 19 year old goaltenders in the fold…hmmmmmm?
As of Thursday morining, Oct. 28, the division is lead by the Prince George Cougars with fifteen points from fourteen games followed by the Kamloops Blazers, defending division champions, and Kelowna Rockets, each with thirteen points from the same number of games as the Cougars. The Tri-City Americans sit in fourth with twelve points after only ten games, with everyones preseason pick to runaway with the division, the Seattle Thunderbirds in fifth, with eleven points from only nine games and the Spokane Chiefs in sixth with ten points from ten games. The pre season consensus for last were the Portland Winterhawks and they are living down to eveyones expectations with a mere four points from eleven games, however the Hawks have picked up points in three of the last four games and may have turned the corner to be coming more competitive more often.
The Kootenay Ice now have a 5-4-3 (4-3-1-0 at home, 1-1-2-0 on the road and 0-0-3-0 in overtime) record after suffering two losses last week. The first loss was to Lethbridge on Wednesday, October 20 (in Lethbridge) with a final score of 6-3. The second loss came at home on Friday, October 23 when the Ice succumbed to a 5-2 final versus Prince Albert Raiders. This now places the Ice fourth in the Central Division and in a three-way-tie for 7th overall in the WHL.
In The Line-Up:
The Ice welcomed back Steve McCarthy in Friday’s game after he returned from his 5-game stint with the Chicago Blackhawks in which he had 1 goal and 1 assist. Kudos to Steve for his excellent performance in his NHL debut. Although Steve wasn’t on the opening line, the crowd showed its appreciation when Steve took to the ice about 1 minute into the game. With many standing, and everyone cheering, he must have known how proud we are. I can actually say that I have a genuine autographed NHL jersey now as I waited in line behind a ton of kids (all with their own hockey stories to tell the players) at the mall on Sunday when the Ice autographed calendars and jerseys and the like. I had my Ice jersey signed by all and then pulled out my Chicago Blackhawks jersey and asked Steve to sign the crest. He was very flattered and said “great jersey” with a huge smile on his face. Thanks Steve… Read more»
We apologize for the length of time between the last news update and this one.
We are back to provide you with all the information from the last two weeks. We’ll start from the present and work back…
BIG MAC IS BACK:
Yesterday, Oct. 18, it was announced that Steve McCarthy was being returned to the Kootenay Ice after playing for the Chicago Blackhawks. He may play in the Ice’s road game this Wednesday in Lethbridge but this has yet to be determined. The fans can be assured that #7 will be back on the ice by this Friday night for the game against Prince Albert (in Cranbrook).
OVERAGE ABUNDANCE SOLVED:
On October 14 the Ice traded over-age defenseman Scott Roles along with future considerations to the Spokane Chiefs in exchange for 17 year old defenseman Cole Fischer (Dec. 23, 1981). This will be Fischer’s third year in the WHL. Fischer dressed for the Ice for the first time on Saturday, October 16th versus the Moose Jaw Warriors. He proved himself as being an experienced player as well as a physical presence on the ice when he took a player into the boards in the first few seconds of his Ice debut.
NO MORE INJURIES:
Forward Mike Green returned to the line-up in time for the October 16th game where he proved that he was healthy by notching 1 goal and 2 assists and earning the title of first star. Green suffered an ankle injury in the October 2nd game against the Saskatoon Blades.
SUSPENSED: Read more»
Three teams rolled into Portland, Oregon to start off the Winter Hawk’s season and all three left feeling pretty good about themselves.