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Zary helps Team Black to two victories

Saskatoon native scores three times in rookie camp
August 26, 2016 10:20 P.M.

Connor Zary, a 14-year-old forward from Saskatoon, scored three times in two games Friday as his Team Black opened the Kamloops Blazers’ two-day rookie camp with a pair of victories at the Sandman Centre.
Zary, who will turn 15 on Sept. 25, was a second-round selection by the Blazers in the 2016 bantam draft. He had 81 points, including 44 goals, in 30 games with the bantam AA Saskatoon Outlaws last season.
Zary opened camp with one goal as Team Black beat Team Orange, 4-3, in the first scrimmage. He later scored twice in a 4-1 victory over Team Grey.
Tyler Prosofsky, Alex Danis and Luke Zazula, a 16-year-old defenceman who is expected be on the Blazers’ roster when the season opens, also scored for Team Black in the opener. Team Orange got its goals from Ryan Strange, Braiden Koran and Brodi Stuart. Nathan Moore, who stopped eight of nine shots, and Cav Holbrook, who was beaten twice on nine shots, were the winning goaltenders.
In its second game, Team Black got its other goals from Dace Prymak and Danis, with Yewta Plamondon scoring for Team Grey. Holbrook stopped all nine shots he faced, with Moore blocking eight of nine.
In the other scrimmage, goaltenders Blake Wood and Dawsen Savage combined for 17 saves as Team Grey beat Team Orange, 5-0. Wood stopped nine shots; Savage made eight saves. The goals came from Myles Whiteside, AJ Belanger, Simon Nemethy, Plamondon and Brandon Paolera.
There will be scrimmages today (Saturday) at 10:15 and 11:30 a.m., and 12:45, 4, 5:15 and 6:30 p.m., all at the Sandman Centre.
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F Massimo Rizzo, the 15th overall selection in the 2016 bantam draft, hasn’t signed with the Blazers but is attending rookie camp. Unfortunately, he has an undisclosed injury, perhaps suffered during a short stint with the BCHL’s Penticton Vees earlier in the week.
Rizzo, from Burnaby, played for the Vees as they beat the West Kelowna Warriors 2-0 in a BCHL exhibition game on Wednesday night. After watching Rizzo, Penticton assistant coach Jason Becker, a former Blazers defenceman who has worked in the WHL as an assistant coach, said: “He looked pretty good . . . he’s a special player.”
Last season, with the bantam AAA Burnaby Winter Club Bruins, Rizzo had 137 points, including 60 goals, in 61 games.
During an appearance on Radio NL’s Jim Harrison Show earlier this month, Blazers majority owner Tom Gaglardi indicated that he didn’t foresee a problem in signing Rizzo but acknowledged that the family had said it wanted time to consider the options.
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D Jordan Thomson, selected fourth overall by the Blazers in the 2011 bantam draft, has retired after winning a WHL championship last season with the Brandon Wheat Kings.
Thomson would have been one of five 20-year-olds in camp with Brandon, but has chosen to enter the working world while contemplating whether to go to school. If he chooses the latter, the native of Wawanesa, Man., would attend Assiniboine Community College in Brandon.
The Blazers traded Thomson to the Saskatoon Blades who, in turn, dealt him to the Swift Current Broncos. They moved him to the Wheat Kings on Nov. 25.
In 237 regular-season games, Thomson recorded 69 points, including 16 goals.
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Some camp notes from Tim O’Donovan, the Blazers’ director of hockey/media administration . . .
There are 60 players in rookie camp, with 26 (13 forwards, nine defencemen and three goaltenders) in main camp. . . . Of the 25 players in main camp, 20 are returnees. . . . Of the 60 players in rookie camp, 23 are on the Blazers’ 50-player protected list. . . . All 11 players the Blazers selected in the 2016 bantam draft are in camp.
Some hockey bloodlines in camp include: F Hayden Hirsch of Phoenix, son of former Blazers G Corey Hirsch; D Tylor Ludwar of Regina, younger brother of former Saskatoon Blades D Kane Ludwar; F Michael McCosh of Glendale, Ariz., son of former NHLer Shawn McCosh; F Jagger Prosofsky of Saskatoon, son of former Kelowna Rockets F Tyler Prosofsky; F Carson Reagan of Sherwood Park, Alta., younger brother of Blazers’ D Cameron Reagan; and D Quinn Schmiemann of Wilcox, Sask., younger brother of Swift Current Broncos D Dominic Schmiemann.
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If you haven’t already, visit gdrinnan.blogspot.ca for WHL news, game roundups and a whole lot more.

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