It was a tough week for Prince Albert’s Dawson MacAuley.
The 18-year-old netminder was reassigned by the Medicine Hat Tigers to the Yorkton Terriers of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League after the Tigers acquired overage goalie Cam Lanigan from the Portland Winterhawks. MacAuley appeared in six games with the Tigers this year posting a 1-3-0 record and 3.84 goals-against average. With Medicine Hat floundering in the East Division basement, a change had to be made and unfortunately for MacAuley, he was the odd man out. MacAuley returns to Yorkton, a team he played 11 games for last year, only this time the Terriers are battling for the Sherwood Division lead early in the year … The group hoping to form a union with the players from the 60 Canadian Hockey League teams is trying to move up the certification vote in Alberta claiming that intimidation and accessibility to scholarships are key factors in the movement.
October is breast cancer awareness month and several teams have donned pink jerseys recently to show their support for the cause. Kelowna did it against Brandon and Portland had a Pink the Rink night for a game against Seattle. Saskatoon also wore pink jerseys in their game against the Everett Silvertips, but as an added feature they inscribed the names of 102 long-time supporters who succumbed to the disease along the bottom band of the jerseys. The Blades raised $16,500 for cancer research when the jerseys were auctioned off following the game … It was a reunion of sorts last week when Tri-Cities visited Regina for their bi-annual date at the Brandt Centre. The coaches of the two teams, Jim Hiller from Tri-Cities and Pat Conacher from Regina, were teammates with the Los Angeles Kings for a brief time during the 1992-93 season. Both were finalists for the WHL coach of the year last season with Hiller claiming the honour. Hiller also had a bit of a homecoming in Prince Albert when the Americans visited the Art Hauser Centre as he played three games with the Raiders during the 1986-87 campaign and although he never got any points, he did collect 12 penalty minutes.
With the NHL lockout continuing, more players and coaches are showing up at WHL games. Last week in Saskatoon, Patrice Brisebois, the player development coach for the Montreal Canadiens, was on the ice for one practise paying special attention to Habs’ draft picks Darren Dietz and Dalton Thrower. Former Wheat Kings Jordin Tootoo and Wade Redden took the Brandon team out for supper on the weekend when the Wheaties were in Kelowna as part of their trip through the British Columbia Division. Both Tootoo and Redden, who call Kelowna home in the offseason, also took to the ice for a practice session.
The Kamloops Blazers are the No. 1 team in the CHL and their leading scorer is JC Lipon, a former world-class wake boarder … When Tri-Cities was on their swing through the East Division, they spent an afternoon curling in Regina as part of a team-bonding activity. The prize: Tim Horton’s gift cards … Swift Current Bronco captain Adam Lowry is the son of Victoria Royals’ head coach Dave Lowry. The two could be reunited next month as the younger Lowry is considered a good bet to make the WHL team that will compete in the Subway Super Series with the Russians while the elder Lowry has been named one of the club’s assistant coaches. Don Nachbaur of the Spokane Chiefs is the head coach for the WHL team with Derek Laxdal of the Edmonton Oil Kings assuming the other assistant coaching role.
An advertisement apparently appeared in a Washington job site this week requesting applications for the position of general manager for the Tri-Cities Americans. Bob Tory has been the GM for the club for the past 18 years, but he is now applying for his green card to become a permanent resident of the United States and with advice from legal counsel the Americans were told to advertise the position to see if there were any qualified candidates from the States. It is deemed a part of the immigration process and the club has no plans on replacing Tory … At the start of this week, the Seattle Thunderbirds were the only team not to have a checking-from-behind or check-to-the-head penalty this year. Kamloops leads the way with six checking-from-behind infractions while Lethbridge and Prince George each have four check-to-the-head violations … Nic Kerdiles is staying with the University of Wisconsin despite receiving a 10-game suspension for violating amateur status rules. Originally banned for the year, rumours started circulating that Kerdiles might go to Kelowna, but in a press release this week the second-round draft pick of the Anaheim Ducks said he has no intention of leaving the NCAA.