After his guys posted a 3-1 victory over the visiting Kelowna Rockets on Friday night, Kamloops Blazers head coach Don Hay was talking about how much he has been looking forward to this week.
Because the Blazers will get in five consecutive days of practice. As Hay said: “It might be the last time all season that we get five days” of practice in one week.”
The Blazers are 2-2 in the exhibition season, having won twice at home, beating the Prince George Cougars and Kelowna, and having lost twice on the road, against the Vancouver Giants in Ladner, B.C., and in Kelowna on Saturday.
Hay and his staff have spent a lot of time talking to the troops about shooting the puck. In fact, he said that has talked to the players about overshooting and underpassing.
“They want to undershoot and overpass,” Hay said. “They make it tough on the coach.”
With five days of practice on tap, Hay said he planned on doing some 3-on-3 and 4-on-4 work, as well as spending time on special teams.
Whatever they work on, they’ll be doing it without veteran forwards Matt Campese and Matt Revel, both of whom are out with shoulder injuries. As well, D Conner McDonald, a 16-year-old freshman from Delta, B.C., remains out with an undisclosed injury. He was a second-round selection in the 2014 bantam draft.
The Blazers will complete their exhibition schedule in Prince George on Saturday night. The Blazers open the regular season by going home and home with the Rockets; they’ll play in Kelowna on Sept. 25 and will be in Kamloops on Sept. 26.
Keith McKittrick, an assistant coach with the Portland Winterhawks, is scheduled to appear in court today (Sept. 14) where he faces charges involving assault, strangulation and harassment.
McKittrick, 32, is on paid administrative lead from the Winterhawks. He joined them prior to the 2014-15 season after spending six seasons with the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings as a video coach.
McKittrick was released on $2,500 bail after being arrested in Beaverton, Ore., on Aug. 16.
SUNDAY’S EXHIBITION GAMES:
In Swift Current, F Cory Millette had two goals and two assists to lead the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 6-2 victory over the Broncos. . . . F Justin Gutierrez added two goals and an assist for Lethbridge, which got 32 saves from Stuart Skinner. . . .
In Victoria, F Vladimir Bobylev, who played for Vancouver last season, broke a 1-1 tie and the Royals went on to beat the Giants, 4-1. . . . Bobylev scored his first goal of the exhibition season at 4:01 of the third period. . . . F Matthew Phillips had two assists for the Royals, with D Brayden Pachal adding a goal and an assist. . . . Victoria G Coleman Vollrath stopped 42 shots. . . . The Giants were without F Taylor Crunk, who drew a one-game suspension for his actions the previous night against Victoria in Ladner, B.C. . . .
In Calgary, G Lasse Petersen stopped 17 shots to help the Hitmen to a 2-0 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . The Hitmen are 5-0-0 in the exhibition season. . . . F Carson Twarynski’s third goal of the exhibition season, at 5:49 of the second period, stood up as the winner. . . . Attendance was announced as 8,642. . . . The 18-year-old Petersen, who has played internationally for Denmark, played last season with the MJHL’s Swan Valley Stampeders. He has dual Danish/Canadian citizenship. His father, Erik, who is originally from Dauphin, Man., is the Stampeders’ general manager and head coach. He played in Denmark and coached several seasons there, prior to joining the Stampeders in time for 2014-15. . . . Laurence Heinen of the Calgary Herald has more right here.
Dad at youth soccer game screams at ref, "You suck!" Son on field yells at dad, "Shut up!" My day is made.— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) September 13, 2015