Mike Sanderson

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  • Are goalie Michael Giugovaz and the London Knights the OHL's 'velvet rope'? (CP / Mark Spowart)Are goalie Michael Giugovaz and the London Knights the OHL's 'velvet rope'? (CP / Mark Spowart)
    Combing all corners of the country and the blogosphere for your junior hockey headlines ...

    WHL

    Josh Morrissey is out indefinitely with a leg injury, and that’s some reason to panic if you’re a fan of the Rockets, with Rourke Chartier, Justin Kirkland, Tomas Soustal and Mitch Wheaton also sidelined, but Jackson Whistle looked solid in his return Saturday. (Kelowna Daily Courier)

    17-year-old Rykr Cole not only has one of the best names in all the CHL, but he’s climbing up the lineup of the Regina Pats and showing some excellent potential. (Regina Leader-Post)

    The Saskatoon Blades might be out of the playoffs this season, but their goaltending future looks bright with both their 17-year-old netminders set to return next year: Nik Amundrud and Brock Hamm. (Saskatoon StarPhoenix)

    The U.S. Division has the potential to go down to the wire for seeding, and the new WHL wild card races are heating up too. (SeattlePI.com)

    Interesting look at the breakdown of the anatomy of a junior team, in the

    Read More »from London Knights a ‘velvet rope’? Blueliner Morrissey out for Rockets, QMJHL potential draftees shine: the coast-to-coast
  • Pollock’s four points help solidify grasp for Oil Kings on WHL wildcard playoff spot: Sunday’s 3 stars

    No. 1 star: Brett Pollock, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)

    Pollock came through for the Oil Kings when they needed it the most, a big four point night for him in a four point game for Edmonton.

    The Dallas Stars’ second rounder set the tone for the Oil Kings with three points in the first period as they went on to beat the Prince Albert Raiders 5-3 at Rexall Place.

    The only goal Pollock didn’t have a hand in was the winner, as Mads Eller earned his fifth of the season just 21 seconds into the second frame that stood up as the winning marker, but he did have a hand in all the other goals to keep the Oil Kings in the last playoff spot in the East, seven points up on Moose Jaw and 13 points up on Prince Albert with the victory.

    Pollock evened last year’s point totals with 55, this season scoring four more goals so far in ten less games. Anything further will be a career high for the three-year WHL vet from just outside Edmonton. He has a four game point streak, with seven points in that span.

    Read More »from Pollock’s four points help solidify grasp for Oil Kings on WHL wildcard playoff spot: Sunday’s 3 stars
  • Wildcats equipment manager fired after pleading guilty to drug charges

    The Moncton Wildcats terminated the contract of equipment manager Dominic Boudriau after appearing in court for a drug-related charge. (Moncton-Wildcats.com)The Moncton Wildcats terminated the contract of equipment manager Dominic Boudriau after appearing in court for a drug-related charge. (Moncton-Wildcats.com)
    The Moncton Wildcats announced Friday that equipment manager Dominic Boudriau was let go by the team.

    Boudriau pled guilty to drug related charges, namely possession of marijuana with the purposes of trafficking, relating to an event in June last year in Valleyfield, Que.

    The QMJHL is in support of the Wildcats’ decision, according to vice president of business operations Ryan Jenner.

    The team released a statement Friday night stating that the team released Boudriau after “news that he had appeared on a drug-related charge in a Quebec court”.

    Wildcats governor Jean Brousseau told Acadie Nouvelle that Boudriau violated the team’s policies on drugs.

    “We have a zero-tolerance policy regarding drugs,” Brousseau told Stephane Paquette of Acadie Nouvelle.

    “We are very disappointed in the situation. Everyone has the right to make mistakes, but he made his choice. It’s now his turn to respect ours.”

    Jenner said that assistant equipment managers Bob Cormier and Terry Leblanc will take over

    Read More »from Wildcats equipment manager fired after pleading guilty to drug charges
  • Timo Meier's winning goal in Halifax's 3-1 win over Cape Breton increased his team-leading goal total to 32. (CP / Ghyslain Bergeron)Timo Meier's winning goal in Halifax's 3-1 win over Cape Breton increased his team-leading goal total to 32. (CP / Ghyslain Bergeron)
    No. 1 star: Timo Meier, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)

    Meier was the man for the Mooseheads on Saturday, scoring the winning goal and assisting the other two as Halifax downed the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 3-1.

    Cape Breton led 1-0 after twenty, but a Maxime Fortier goal, assisted by Meier and his import-mate Nikolaj Ehlers,evened the score heading into the final frame.

    Meier made up for an earlier penalty with the winner on the man advantage at 14:23 of the final stanza, and assisted the empty netter to cap off the three point night in front of 9,120 fans at Scotiabank Centre in downtown Halifax.

    Ehlers had a pair of assists in the win, which improved the Mooseheads to 26-23-3-1, two points back of Charlottetown, but three points ahead of rival Cape Breton, who dropped to 24-24-2-3.

    Meier has exploded this season after a middling rookie campaign. His 34 points last season was ninth on the Mooseheads in scoring, but he’s jumped to second this season with 71 points in just 47 games, three

    Read More »from Meier’s three points all the offence the Mooseheads needed in win over rival Screaming Eagles: Saturday’s 3 stars
  • Salituro’s five-point night caps off 67’s shootout win: Sunday’s 3 stars

    Dante Salituro's five-point night capped off a 67's comeback that saw them overcome 4-1 and 5-4 leads to win 6-5 in a shootout Sunday. (Aaron Bell / OHL Images)Dante Salituro's five-point night capped off a 67's comeback that saw them overcome 4-1 and 5-4 leads to win 6-5 in a shootout Sunday. (Aaron Bell / OHL Images)
    No. 1 star: Dante Salituro, Ottawa 67’s (OHL)

    Salituro was the offense for the 67’s in their 6-5 shootout win over the North Bay Battalion.

    He scored two goals and assisted three others in the win, including primary assists on key Brendan Bell goals to even the score in the third. Bell scored with less than two minutes to go to tie the game at 5-5 and send it to a shootout.

    The only thing Salituro, up for the draft as an 18 year old this season, couldn’t do Sunday was score in the shootout, as teammate Travis Barron scored the only goal in the relay to give the 67’s the win in the fifth round.

    North Bay was up 4-1 midway in the second period when the 67’s, led by two Salituro goals, tied the game at four, followed by Bell’s clutch second marker after they again fell, this time 5-4 to the Battalion later in the third.

    Bell added two assists to give himself a four point night. Liam Herbst made 23 saves in the win. Miles Liberati had a goal and two assists in the loss.

    Ottawa improved to

    Read More »from Salituro’s five-point night caps off 67’s shootout win: Sunday’s 3 stars
  • Battalion coach Stan Butler has meltdown in North Bay’s 6-5 shootout loss to Ottawa

    Stan Butler coached Team Canada twice at the World Junior Championships during his long and tenured OHL career. (Frank Gunn / CP)Stan Butler coached Team Canada twice at the World Junior Championships during his long and tenured OHL career. (Frank Gunn / CP)
    North Bay Battalion head coach Stan Butler is a veteran to the OHL, and knows his way around junior hockey, but if this was his way to motivate his players, he missed the mark in more ways than one.

    The vine above was after the Ottawa 67’s scored their third goal in an eventual shootout win against the Battalion in Ottawa on Sunday. The goal, a Dante Salturo marker, cut the lead to 4-3.

    Butler is annoyed because his Battalion were set to receive a penalty, and he feels North Bay touched the puck before Salituro buried his goal. What we witness in the vine is him telling referees Joe Celestin and Jason Goldenberg in no uncertain terms what he thinks about the situation.

    A stick gesture and turning the air blue might give Stan Butler four out of five Jim Playfairs for his performance. At least he didn’t throw the stick. Or throw his jacket. Or throw his tie. But gesturing to slash with a stick in hand isn’t the best move to show your displeasure.

    Let’s face it, simply entering “Jim

    Read More »from Battalion coach Stan Butler has meltdown in North Bay’s 6-5 shootout loss to Ottawa
  • Moncton Wildcats get a boost from an unlikely fan: Hulk Hogan

    The Moncton Wildcats are a team known for looking south of the border for talent, with eight Americans taken in the last QMJHL draft and five Yanks on the current roster, it’s not surprising they would have some fans below the 49th parallel.

    One new famous fan is Hulk Hogan, and he made a video to pump the fans up before a recent game against Halifax.

    “So all I’ve got to say now that my main man Cam Askew is all jacked up brother, because he’s a stone cold Hulkamaniac - what you gonna do Mooseheads, when the Wildcats run wild on you, brother?,” said Hogan in the clip, that you can see above.

    As it turns out, Wildcats forward Cam Askew knows the Hulkster through his girlfriend, as Hogan is her godfather.

    Askew told the Moncton Times & Transcript that he gets a kick out of the video.

    “It’s kind of funny,” he said. “I showed some of the boys on the team, they thought it was funny .. and especially when he said my name, it’s definitely cool to have someone like that talk about you and

    Read More »from Moncton Wildcats get a boost from an unlikely fan: Hulk Hogan
  • Red-hot Mooseheads get rough in second game in a row

    The Halifax Mooseheads are turning into the Broad Street Bullies.

    After a brawl in Tuesday’s 8-3 loss to the Moncton Wildcats on Tuesday, the Moose bounced back with four straight goals in a 4-1 win over the Sherbrooke Phoenix Thursday, in a game that was defined by two fighting conga lines in the third period.

    As we see in the video above (stick tap to John Moore, Mooseheads broadcaster and owner of sportsandmoore.com), we have a lovely tilt between Halifax’s Brandon Vuic and Sherbrooke’s Owen Bennington that earned both players staged fight misconducts and early showers.

    The video jumps to 14:15 of the third period, where Moosehead blueliner Jean-Sébastien Taillefer and Phoenix winger Tim Weiser trade blows, both earning roughing and fighting penalties.

    Next we join the action at 16:23, where the same two lines are on their next shift, and all hell breaks loose. Everyone picks a partner and squares off, with Halifax’s Ryan Falkenham and Kelly Bent and Sherbrooke’s Jérémy Roy getting

    Read More »from Red-hot Mooseheads get rough in second game in a row
  • Wildcats hope to get back to hot first half play

    Moncton's Conor Garland leads the QMJHL in points with 77 in 47 games. (Ghyslain Bergeron / CP)Moncton's Conor Garland leads the QMJHL in points with 77 in 47 games. (Ghyslain Bergeron / CP)
    Much like a high school relationship, things can go up and down like a toilet seat for a major junior hockey club throughout a season. The highs are sky-high, and the lows are valleys.

    The Moncton Wildcats were at the top of the table on January 10, just after beating a tough Saint John Sea Dog team on the road. With a 28-10-0-3 record, they were the surprise toast of the league.

    “If in August, September, you told me we’d be in first overall in the league, I’d be a bit surprised,” head coach Darren Rumble said. “So I think we’ve had a very successful first half-plus. I think we’ve had a lot of guys over-achieve.”

    Then a loss to the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada at home starts a skid. Then a tough three-game road trip.

    Two weekends ago was a defining road trip for the team, taking on Blainville-Boisbriand, the Rimouski Oceanic and the 2015 Memorial Cup host Quebec Remparts in a three-games-in-three-days stretch.

    The three game road trip had the Wildcats facing three teams who combine

    Read More »from Wildcats hope to get back to hot first half play
  • Slight, PP propel Cataractes to major comeback win: Saturday’s 3 stars

    Slight's five points capped a five-goal third period comeback from 5-2 down for the Cataractes over rivals Victoriaville in a 7-5 win Saturday. (Ghyslain Bergeron / CP)Slight's five points capped a five-goal third period comeback from 5-2 down for the Cataractes over rivals Victoriaville in a 7-5 win Saturday. (Ghyslain Bergeron / CP)
    No. 1 star: Gabriel Slight, Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL)

    At 1:29 of the third period, Antoine Marcoux (1G) scored off a feed from Mathieu Ayotte (2G, 1A) to put the Victoriaville Tigres up 5-2 and the game was comfortably in hand, allowing the Tigres to cruise to an easy win, right?

    Wrong. Penalty trouble and four powerplay goals later and Victoriaville is on the losing end of a 7-5 barn burner, and right in the middle of it was Slight (2G, 3A, GWG).

    Slight scored the go-ahead goal at 14:45 of the third on the Cataractes third of four man advantage markers to put them up for good and ice the win. He also opened the scoring on another power play goal early in the first, and added three helpers, too.

    All three of his assists went to Christophe Lalonde (3G), who fired a hat trick of his own into the Victoriaville net. Anthony Beauvillier (3A) and Dylan Lab (3A) also had three point nights in a wild come-from-behind win for Shawinigan.

    Lalonde’s second goal at 7:50 started the heroics,

    Read More »from Slight, PP propel Cataractes to major comeback win: Saturday’s 3 stars

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