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Two Blazers skaters added to Team WHL

Shirley, Sideroff could play against Russians
By Gregg Drinnan
November 8, 2015 9:40 P.M.
Collin Shirley (left) and Deven Sideroff have been added to Team WHL's roster for the first two games of the Canada Russia Series. (Photo: whl.ca)

The Kamloops Blazers will be represented on the ice in the CHL Canada Russia Series, after all.
Forwards Collin Shirley, 19, and Deven Sideroff, 18, were added to Team WHL’s roster on Sunday, filling spots created by injuries to a pair of other players.
The series begins Monday in Kelowna with the second game in Kamlooops on Tuesday. Game time both nights is 7 o’clock. Both games are to be televised by Sportsnet.
Sideroff is likely to be in the lineup Monday in Kelowna, with both players expected to play Tuesday in Kamloops.
Forwards John Quenneville of the Brandon Wheat Kings and Dillon Dube of the Kelowna Rockets are injured and unable to play. Quenneville hasn’t played since he left early on Nov. 1 when the Wheat Kings beat the host Moose Jaw Warriors, 3-2. Dube was injured Saturday night during an 8-4 victory over the host Portland Winterhawks. He was struck near an eye by a stick belonging to teammate Joe Gatenby, was checked over at hospital and later released. He is expected to be out up to three weeks.
Sideroff, from Summerland, has a goal and four assists in five games. He missed the start of this regular season while recovering from mononucleosis. He was a third-round selection by the Anaheim Ducks in the NHL’s 2015 draft.
“I knew there was a small chance . . . they gave me a little heads-up that I was there if somebody got injured,” Sideroff told Larry Fisher of the Kelowna Daily Courier as Team WHL gathered at Prospera Place in Kelowna on Sunday. “I was just really excited to get the call.
“Right next to my hometown, I’m going to have family and friends here, so it’ll be a really good experience.
“I’m a little bit nervous, but mostly just excited. You just want to impress everybody that’s watching.”
With Hockey Canada using these Canada-Russia games as part of the process to decide who will be invited to the national junior team selection camp in Calgary next month, a good showing by Sideroff would be huge.
Dave Lowry, the Victoria Royals’ head coach, is Team WHL’s head coach. He also is head coach of the national junior team that will play in the 2016 World Junior Championship that opens in Helsinki on Dec. 26.
“We’re going to take the best players,” Lowry told Fisher. “It’s going to be performance-based and the guys who are playing the best at that time, that’s who will play.”
Shirley, a native of Saskatoon, is in his fourth WHL season. He has 16 points, 10 of them goals, in 16 games with the Blazers. He scored the OT winner on Tuesday as the Blazers beat the visiting Spokane Chiefs, 5-4, and added two goals Saturday night in a 5-2 victory over the Prince George Cougars at the Sandman Centre.
These are just the latest changes to the WHL roster since it first was announced, with Dube having been added to the team as an injury replacement before he, too, was hurt.
For starters, Adin Hill of the Portland Winterhawks was added, joining Zach Sawchenko of the Moose Jaw Warriors and Carter Hart of the Everett Silvertips as the goaltenders.
Defencemen Jake Bean of the Calgary Hitmen and Dysin Mayo of the Edmonton Oil Kings were added after Travis Sanheim of the Hitmen was injured earlier in the week.
Forwards Rourke Chartier of the Rockets and Jake DeBrusk of the Swift Current Broncos were replaced by Reid Gardiner of the Prince Albert Raiders and Dube who, of course, now is injured. Chartier and DeBrusk both are out with undisclosed injuries.
“That creates opportunities for other guys that might have been overlooked,” Lowry said of the injuries. “Everybody says injuries provide opportunities and now it’s a great chance for some of these guys.”
The Russian roster includes four WHL players — D Ivan Provorov of Brandon, D Sergey Zborovskiy of the Regina Pats, F Radel Fazleev of Calgary and F Ivan Nikolishin of the Red Deer Rebels.
Team Russia skated at Prospera Place on Sunday.
Kamloops head coach Don Hay is on team WHL’s coaching staff as an assistant coach. Brandon GM/head coach Kelly McCrimmon is the other Team WHL assistant; he also is an assistant with the national junior team. Colin Robinson, the Blazers’ athletic therapist, also is part of Team WHL.

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