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USA Hockey shortlists three for 2018 WJC

Giants' Benson out up to five weeks
By Gregg Drinnan
September 15, 2015 10:30 P.M.

Ron Toigo, the majority owner of the Vancouver Giants, told TSN Radio Vancouver on Tuesday that he expects F Tyler Benson to be out between three and five weeks. . . . If he is out through Oct. 17, he would miss the Giants’ first 10 regular-season games. . . . Benson, a projected first-round selection in the NHL’s 2016 draft, underwent surgery on an undisclosed ailment last week. . . . The Giants also are without F Jakub Stukel and F Thomas Foster, both out with undisclosed injuries. . . . Vancouver will play host to the Kelowna Rockets on Friday night at the Langley Events Centre.
USA Hockey is down to three candidates as the host city for the 2018 World Junior Championship. It was announced Tuesday that Buffalo, Pittsburgh and St. Louis are still in the running. . . . USA Hockey officials will do site visitations and a final decision is expected before year’s end. . . . Yesterday’s announcement meant that Chicago and Tampa were eliminated. . . . The 2016 WJC is schedule for Helsinki, with Toronto and Montreal playing host in 2017.
Coaching Game
Rich Sutter (Lethbridge Broncos, 1980-83) has joined the U of Lethbridge Pronghorns as an assistant coach. He will work alongside head coach Spiros Anastas. Sutter will juggle his coaching duties with his responsibilities as an in-studio NHL analyst with Sportsnet. . . . The Pronghorns also added Derek Purfield as their goaltender coach and Curtis Arsenault as athletic therapist and equipment manager. . . . Purfield has worked with the WHL’s Swift Current Broncos and AJHL’s Drumheller Dragons. . . . Returning for a second season are director of hockey operations Jesse Hale, assistant coach Sean Gillam, and strength and conditioning coach Austin Davenport.

F Brandon Ralph is taking his Memorial Cup ring to the Everett Silvertips. The Edmonton Oil Kings have traded Ralph, 19, to the Silvertips for a fourth-round selection in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Ralph, from Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., is going into his third WHL season. He was a freshman with the Oil Kings when they won the 2014 Memorial Cup title. . . . He has 13 goals and eight assists in 114 regular-season games. . . . The Oil Kings are freeing up room for younger forwards. With Everett, Ralph gives head coach Kevin Constantine another depth forward with some size.

D Nathyn Mortlock of the Kootenay Ice has been suspended for two games after taking a checking-from-behind major on Friday in a game against the Seattle Thunderbirds that was played in Kennewick, Wash. . . . Mortlock didn’t play Saturday as the Ice lost 3-2 to the Prince George Cougars in Kennewick and he won’t play against the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Thursday. . . .
BTW, there are two players who have suspension time left over from last season. F Max James of the Tri-City Americans and F Jared Dmytriw of the Victoria Royals will sit out the first game of the regular-season. . . . James was suspended for one game for getting involved in a fight at the start of game against the visiting Kelowna Rockets on April 1. . . . Dmytriw drew a one-game suspension for a boarding major and game misconduct in a game at Kelowna on April 17. . . .
The Portland Winterhawks have added F Igor Larionov II to their roster. He was acquired last week from the Saskatoon Blades. At that time, he was being referred to as Igor Larionov Jr. But one look at this Twitter account reveals that he prefers Larionov II.


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