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Thunderbirds, Golden Bears coming to Kamloops

Cougars, Royals sign skaters
By Gregg Drinnan
August 31, 2015 10:30 P.M.
The UBC Thunderbirds are scheduled to play the Alberta Golden Bears twice in Kamloops.

F Jeff Smith (Red Deer, 1998-2002) signed a one-year contract with Amiens (France, Ligue Magnus) after a successful tryout. Last season, in 24 games with the Braehead Clan Glasgow (Scotland, UK Elite), he had two assists.

There was a piece here yesterday, under The Concussion Report, about former WHL F Cam Severson and his reported attempt to launch a concussion-related class-action lawsuit against the NHL.
Severson, 37, has since made this statement on Facebook:
“There has been article put out by TMZ about myself that I am solely suing the NHL for 5 million dollars , I have not been in contact with TMZ whatsoever, the content of that article is completely false. This article goes against my true character as a hockey player but more importantly as a person.”
Severson (Kamloops, Swift Current, Lethbridge, Prince Albert, Spokane, 1993-99) played 37 NHL games — 33 with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and four with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Victoria Royals have signed F Arjun Atwal and F Zach Russell, a pair of 16-year-old list players. . . . Atwal, from Edmonton, was listed by the Royals in 2015. He played last season with the minor midget Edmonton-South Side Athletic Club United Cycle Bulldogs, scoring 49 goals and adding 38 assists in 37 games. The 5-foot-6, 167-pounder led the league in goals and points. He led the AMMHL playoffs in scoring, with 22 points, including eight goals, in five games, and also led the provincial championship tournament with 19 points, six of them goals, in seven games. . . . The 6-foot-0, 183-pound Russell, from Calgary, was added to the Royals’ list in 2014. He had 73 points, 45 of them goals, in 33 games with the minor midget Northwest Calgary Athletic Association Bruins.
The Prince George Cougars have signed D Joel Lakusta, 17, and D Peter Kope, 16. . . . Lakusta, from Sherwood Park, Alta., was a seventh-round pick by the Saskatoon Blades in the 2013 bantam draft. The Cougars acquired his rights in a deal last summer. Lakusta played last season with the midget AAA Sherwood Park Kings, putting up 17 points, five of them goals. . . . Kope, from Edmonton, was a fifth-round pick by the Cougars in the 2014 bantam draft. He played last season with the minor midget AAA CAC Canadians in Edmonton, earning 30 points, including seven goals, in 28 games.
The Saskatoon Blades are in the market for a statistical analyst after the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs hired Bruce Peter. He had spent the past two seasons with the Blades. According to Blades’ news release, Peter “has been instrumental in the development and implementation of ground-breaking work in the areas of advanced stat tracking and reporting.” . . . If you are interested in the Blades’ position, send an email to managing partner Colin Priestner at
A training camp note from a fan of the Portland Winterhawks, who remembers when the team struggled to draw 1,000 fans to regular-season games:
“All sessions of the intrasquad scrimmages were sold out at $10 a ticket.
“They are charging $20 a ticket for a pre-season game against Everett that will be held at the Winterhawks Skating Center . . . only 350 tickets available and it will be sold out.
“They had an estimated 1,000 people attend their family festival on Sunday.
“There were plenty of games under (previous ownership) where there weren’t 1,000 people in Memorial Coliseum, Now they get that many people for a fan festival. Unreal!”
Cal and Nolan Foote, sons of former NHL D Adam Foote, are in camp with the Kelowna Rockets,. Both boys were selected in the second round of WHL bantam drafts, Cal in 2013 and Nolan in 2015. Cal, like his dad, is a rugged defender, while Nolan is a big forward with skill. . . . Larry Fisher of the Kelowna Daily Courier has more right here.

When the Kootenay Ice opened camp on Monday, three top prospects were conspicuous by their absence. D Griffin Mendel, the 11th overall pick in the 2014 bantam draft, G Jakob Walter, a second-round pick in 2014, and F Keenan Taphorn, a second-round pick in 2015 when the Ice didn’t own a first-round selection, all were missing. . . . Taylor Rocca of the Cranbrook Daily Townsman has that story right here.

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The UBC Thunderbirds and Alberta Golden Bears, who are the two-time CIS defending champions, have scheduled a pair of exhibition games in Kamloops on Sept. 12 and 13. According to the Thunderbirds, both games are to be played in The Sandman Centre, the home arena of the Blazers. . . . Former NHL F Ray Whitney (Spokane, 1988-91) has been hired by the Carolina Hurricanes as a pro scout. . . . G Brendan Burke of the Calgary Hitmen will go to rookie camp with the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks. Burke, 20, was selected by the Phoenix Coyotes in the sixth round of the 2013 draft; however, the Coyotes never signed him. . . . The junior B Regina Capitals are in need of an equipment manager. If you’re interested, send an email to . . .
The roster for the Tri-City Americans’ main camp features 19 players who were on the roster when the 2014-15 season ended. It also includes 11 American players — three each from Colorado and Texas, two each from California and Washington, and one from Arizona. . . . Alan Caldwell at Small Thoughts At Large continues his attempts to monitor training camp rosters right here. . . .

F Vladimir Bobylev, 18, had three goals and two assists in the first day of scrimmages in the Victoria Royals’ training camp. Bobylev, who played last season with the Vancouver Giants, had been in camp with the KHL’s Spartak Moscow. . . . F Ethan Price, 18, also is in camp with the Royals. Price opened last season with the Portland Winterhawks, who took him in the sixth round of the 2012 bantam draft. Price had four goals and five assists in 38 games with Portland. He left the Winterhawks in midseason and finished up with the USHL’s Lincoln Stars, in his hometown. The Winterhawks later dropped him from their protected list and the Royals added him. . . .
F Tyler Benson has yet to play in any scrimmages in the Vancouver Giants’ training camp due to an undisclosed injury. He apparently incurred an injury while with the Canadian U18 team that won the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament last month. Scott Bonner, the Giants’ general manager, told Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province that it’s “all precautionary. . . . He had a nagging injury through the Under-18 tournament. We want to make sure it goes away. There's no point in playing him in these games now.” . . . F Tyler Popowich had three goals and two assists as Team Quinn got past Team Howe 7-4 in an intrasquad game at the Giants’ camp in Ladner, B.C. Popowich, from Surrey, B.C., was the third overall pick in the 2015 bantam draft. He has played the past two seasons at the Okanagan Hockey Academy. . . .
F Deven Sideroff scored four times as Team Grey beat Team Black in a Monday scrimmage in the Kamloops Blazers’ main camp. In a later game, F Collin Shirley struck for three goals as Team Grey beat Team Orange, 4-2. The Blazers will hold their annual intra-squad game tonight. . . . After making some cuts on Monday, Kamloops has 42 players left in camp, including two injured veterans — D Marc McNulty and F Quinn Benjafield — and freshman D Conner McDonald, 16, from Delta, B.C. . . . The Blazers are down to three goaltenders — Connor Ingram and Cole Kehler, who were on the roster last season, and Dylan Ferguson, an eighth-round pick in the 2013 bantam draft who is from Lantzville, B.C. . . . The Blazers had 18 players from Kamloops in camp when it opened Friday. There are two left — F Nick Chyzowski, who is preparing for his third season, and F Tyler Ward, an 11th-round pick in the 2014 bantam draft who missed last season’s camp with a severed Achilles tendon. . . .
F Giorgio Estephan scored 33 seconds into OT as Team Blue beat Team Red in a scrimmage game at the Lethbridge Hurricanes’ camp on Monday. The WHL will go to 3-on-3 OT this season so teams are using it in training camps. . . . F Taylor Sanheim had three goals as Team Grey beat Team Red 5-2 in a Calgary Hitmen scrimmage on Monday. The Hitmen trimmed 30 players on Monday and are down to 53 with their intrasquad game scheduled for tonight at the Max Bell Centre. . . .

Veteran F Reid Gardiner scored twice to lead Team Gold past Team Green, 5-4, in the Prince Albert Raiders’ annual intrasquad game on Monday night. Interestingly, two veteran goaltenders went the distance — Rylan Parenteau made 22 stops for Team Green, with Nick McBride stopped 32 for the Gold guys. . . . Veteran F Chase Witala scored twice to help Team White to a 5-2 victory over Team Black in the Prince George Cougars’ annual intrasquad game on Monday night.


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