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Cougars get down to two goaltenders

Raiders acquire forward from P.G.
By Gregg Drinnan
September 18, 2015 10:57 P.M.
Forward Cal Babych is on his way from Prince George to Prince Albert. (Photo: Brett Cullen Photography)

The Prince George Cougars have settled their goaltending issue. They will open the season with veterans Mack Shields, 20, and Ty Edmonds, 19, on their roster, after dropping Tavin Grant, 17, from their roster on Friday. . . . Grant is expected to join the junior B Kamloops Storm of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. . . . Grant, from Burnaby, B.C., signed with the Cougars a year ago and got into 18 games with them last season, going 3-6-0, 4.64, .849. . . . Shields was 27-16-2, 2.67, .900 with the Calgary Hitmen last season. They released him over the off-season because they have gone in a different direction with their 20-year-olds. . . . Edmonds got into 60 games with the Cougars last season, going 28-24-5, 3.64, .892. . . . The Cougars are carrying 31 players, including 10 defencemen and 19 forwards. They play their last exhibition game on Saturday night against the visiting Kamloops Blazers.
The Saskatoon Blades have released F Mitch Skapski, 19, whom they acquired last season from the Victoria Royals. He had three assists in 25 games with the Blades last season, after putting up a goal and three assists in 34 games with the Royals. A fourth-round selection by Portland in the 2011 bantam draft, he never played for the Winterhawks. He also played with the Everett Silvertips. . . . In 143 regular-season games, he has six goals and 19 assists. . . . Skapski, who is from Abbotsford, B.C., is expected to join the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs.
The Vancouver Giants went into the weekend carrying three goaltenders, and Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province wonders right here whether they are looking to move one of them in exchange for a forward. . . . Muddying the waters is that there are other teams in the WHL that are carrying more than two goaltenders.
OHLIf you are a journalist, there should be nothing more valuable to you than your credibility. So what if you are a sports reporter with a small daily newspaper and the junior hockey team that you are covering throws a game? Yes, throws . . . as in loses on purpose. . . . Mike Brophy was with the Peterborough Examiner when he was faced with that scenario at the 1980 Memorial Cup tournament in Regina. . . . He writes about that and more right here.


The Prince Albert Raiders have acquired F Cal Babych, 18, from the Prince George Cougars for a seventh-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . According to a news release issued by the Cougars, they get a seventh-round pick in the exchange; the Raiders’ news release has it as a conditional pick. . . . The Calgary Hitmen selected Babych in the fourth round of the 2012 bantam draft. They dealt him to Prince George in October for a seventh-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . In 51 games with the Cougars, he had seven goals and five assists. . . . He has played 93 career regular-season games, with 10 goals and 11 assists. . . . Babych, who was named after former Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken Jr., is the son of Dave Babych, who played with the Portland Winterhawks before going on to an NHL career.

In Coleman, in Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass, Calgary ran its record to 6-0-0 with a 5-4 OT victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes (3-2-1). . . . Freshman F Lucas Cullen scored the winner at 2:41 of extra time. He’s got three goals in the preseason. He was a fifth-round pick in the 2014 bantam draft. . . . The Hitmen erased a 2-0 deficit with four second-period goals. . . . Lethbridge F Riley Lindgren forced OT with a goal at 18:04 of the third period. . . .

In Brandon, G Logan Thompson stopped 48 shots to lead the Wheat Kings to a 4-2 victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . Thompson stopped 20 shots in each of the first and third periods. . . . The Wheat Kings are expected to keep Thompson or freshman Josh Dechaine as the backup to veteran Jordan Papirny. . . . F Braylon Shmyr and F Tanner Kaspick each had two goals and an assist for Brandon (3-0-0), with F Stelio Mattheos adding two helpers. . . . F Landon Quinney had two assists for the Warriors (2-3-1). . . . Moose Jaw D Colin Paradis (inner ear infection) sat out. . . . The Wheat Kings will visit Moose Jaw tonight. . . .

In Red Deer, F Austin Pratt’s two goals helped the Rebels to a 5-3 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . The Rebels (2-2-0) scored the game’s first four goals. . . . Red Deer got a goal and two assists from F Jeff de Wit and two assists from F Grayson Pawlenchuk. . . . De Wit’s goal came on a second-period penalty shot. . . . D Aaron Irving had a goal and an assist for Edmonton (2-3-0). . . .

In Prince Albert, D Jesse Lees and F Simon Stransky each had a goal and an assist as the Raiders dumped the Regina Pats, 4-1. . . . F Reid Gardiner added two assists for the Raiders (2-4-0). . . . The Raiders, who were 3-for-6 on the PP, broke a 1-1 tie with three third-period goals. . . . The Pats, outshot 43-21, slipped to 1-6-0. . . . Regina F Trygve Many Guns is likely to hear from the WHL office after taking a charging major in the third period. . . .


In Saskatoon, F Ryan Graham, fresh off a stint with the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, had two goals and an assist as the Blades dropped the Swift Current Broncos, 7-1. . . . Saskatoon improved to 3-0-1, with the Broncos falling to 1-4-0. . . . The Blades broke it open early in the second period by scoring three times on as many shots in 39 seconds to up their lead to 6-0. . . . Saskatoon F Cameron Hebig scored his sixth goal of the exhibition season. . . . Broncos D Kade Jensen got into a second-period scrap and drew a double game misconduct. . . . The Broncos took 69 of 116 penalty minutes. . . . Saskatoon G Brock Hamm stopped 29 shots. . . . The Broncos scratched five players with undisclosed injuries — F Scott Feser, F Jake Fletcher, F Cole Johnson, F Cavin Leth and F Andreas Schumacher. . . . On the injuries to Feser, Leth and Schumacher, Mark Lamb, the Broncos’ general manager and head coach, told Shawn Mullin, the club’s radio voice, that “we don't know the extent of them but they're not good.” . . . Saskatoon was without veteran D Mitch Wheaton, who has an undisclosed injury. . . . The Broncos and Blades meet again tonight in Swift Current. . . . After the game, the Raiders announced that they have dropped D Ty Prefontaine, a fifth-round pick in the 2014 bantam draft, from their roster. He is expected to play for the midget AAA Saskatoon Contacts. . . .

In Langley, B.C., F Taylor Crunk scored his first two goals of the exhibition season to help the Vancouver Giants to a 5-4 victory over the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Crunk’s second goal, at 3:23 of the third period, gave the Giants (3-1-0) a 5-3 lead. . . . F Dillon Dube and Gage Quinney each had a goal and an assist for Kelowna (2-2-0). . . . F James Malm had a goal and an assist for the Giants, with F Carter Popoff adding two assists. . . . Attendance was announced at 1,912. . . . There’s a rematch tonight in Kelowna. . . .

In Everett, F Skyler Mckenzie and D Blake Heinrich each had two goals and an assist as the Portland Winterhawks beat the Silvertips, 7-4. . . . Everett (4-2-0) had a 47-28 edge in shots. . . . Portland G Michael Bullion turned aside 43 shots as the Winterhawks improved to 4-3-0. . . . Everett had D Kevin Davis and F Carson Stadnyk back in the lineup. They had been in NHL camps, Davis with Edmonton and Stadnyk with St. Louis. . . . F Jack Flaman and F Cody Glass each had a goal and an assist for the Winterhawks. . . . Glass, 16, had seven points, two of them goals, in seven exhibition games. . . .

In Kennewick, Wash., F Parker AuCoin had a goal and an assist to help the Tri-City Americans to a 3-2 victory over the Spokane Chiefs. . . . AuCoin’s third goal of the exhibition season, at 10:29 of the third period, gave the Americans (3-2-2) a 3-1 lead. . . . F Curtis Miske got his fourth goal of the preseason for the Chiefs (2-4-0). . . . The same teams will play this afternoon in Spokane. . . .

In Kent, Wash., F Jared Dmytriw scored twice to lead the Victoria Royals to a 4-1 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . The Royals (3-3-0) scored the game’s first four goals. . . . Seattle slid to 2-3-1. . . . Seattle F Donovan Neuls played for the first time since being injured in a knee-on-knee collision with Spokane Chiefs F Hudson Elynuik on Sept. 6. Elynuik drew a three-game suspension for the hit. . . . Seattle scratched veterans Mathew Barzal, Ryan Gropp, Jamal Watson, Ethan Bear and Keegan Kolesar.


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