The 99-00 WHL season has begun and the Kootenay Ice started off with their third consecutive home and home series with the Red Deer Rebels. In the previous two home openers between these teams, the club who wins the first game of the home and home series has gone on to win the second game. The Kootenay Ice opened their fourth season in the WHL 2-1-0 in season openers.
FRIDAY NIGHT: Read more»
TWO MORE GONE…
Two more players gone was the news coming out of the Kootenay Ice office yesterday. This means that the Kootenay Ice is very close to setting the opening day roster. Because this is Junior Hockey, no roster has to be finalized until January 10th.
Forward Charlie Mattersdorfer, who had four goals during exhibition play, has been released back to the Fernie Ghostriders of the American West Hockey League. The other player is forward Jeremy Yablonski who announced his retirement from hockey due to personal reasons.
STILL IN CAMP…
Defenceman Steve McCarthy is still at NHL training camp. McCarthy is with the Chicago Blackhawks. He is expected to be in Cranbrook by October 1st when NHL rosters are completed.
THE WAITING GAME…
The Kootenay Ice are hopeful that defenceman David Tanabe will be coming to play in the system very shortly. Tanabe, 18, left the University of Wisconsin after one season where he had nine goals and 20 points in 33 games. Tanabe was selected 16th overall by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 1999 draft. We certainly have our fingers crossed at this point, but it is in Carolina’s court right now.
Jason Jaffray Jarret Stoll
Trevor Johnson Jesse Ferguson
Mike Green Kyle Wanvig
Scott Roles Dean Arsene
Wade Burt Tyler Beechey
Dion Lassu Steve McCarthy Read more»
Something to prove is the buzz about the Kootenay Ice going into this season. With 19 returning players, there are not a lot of openings for these up and coming players to fill. After a heartbreaking Game 7 loss to the Calgary Hitmen in the first round of playoffs last year, the Ice are coming back with a vengeance and it has every one thinking that this might be the year.
Last week we took a look at the future of the Brandon Wheat Kings, the rookies. This week let’s take a look at who is returning.
Friday night Moose Jaw rolled into town for Brandon’s second preseason game of the season. Moose Jaw dropped the sluggish Wheaties 4 to 2.
This wasn’t a great game to really evaluate the veterans from last year; reason being, coaches Bobby Lowes and Mark Johnston decided to play almost all their veteran rearguards as forwards. Therefore let’s extrapolate where each veteran left off last year, what is needed out of them this year and perhaps a guess as to what might happen to them in the scheme of things.
This would be an area of strength for Brandon if the fact that the yearly tradition of many injuries has struck again.
Jamie Hodson – 19, 6’2″, 196. Hodson through the balance of last years season established himself as Brandon’s number one puck stopper. Hodson made his status clear in spite of his coaches sticking to alternating between goalies. Going into the playoffs Hodson was deemed ‘the man’ between the pipes. Hodson aggravated an existing injury to his knee in March and after a brief rest played out the season with pain. In May he underwent re-constructive knee surgery to repair the damage. He is presently rehabbing well and is on schedule to return to the lineup in late November.
558 miles to Kimberley, BC, the training camp home of the Portland Winterhawks, from Portland, OR was every bit worth the effort. My travel woes aside, here’s the latest on the Portland Winterhawks and their new breed of NHL prospects.
Impact players for 1999-2000:
Blake Robson (Center, 6’0″, 185lbs) – Blake is playing with a confidence that I only saw a glimmer of last year. He is playing bigger and is definitely a step ahead of the rest of the camp. He’s going to be the offensive leader this year, and already has one tournament under his belt. Blake was selected to Team Canada’s World Under 18 Team and brought home the gold medal playing in a tournament featuring the best 17 year olds from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, USA and Canada. I asked Blake if he thought he would be expected to be a leader this year, “yes, but Kiesman and Walker will also be looked to for leadership.” When asked about some of the new guys, Robson responded, “I don’t know many of them yet, but there’s a big kid from California who everyone’s talking about.” (That big kid is Eric Bowen from Canoga Park, CA, he’s huge and is opening a lot of eyes at this training camp). I asked Blake about playing for second year coach Harold Snepts, “He’s definitely a lot more comfortable this year and with Willy as assistant it’s a great combo to play for. They know a lot about hockey.” Blake Robson will be a top performer in the WHL this year, and he has a bright future to look forward to. Read more»