Neate Sager

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Neate Sager is a blogger for Yahoo! Sports.

  • Storm’s Fabbri suspended 10 games: the coast-to-coast

    Combing all corners of the country and the blogosphere for your junior hockey headlines ...

    WHL

    The spectator who body-slammed Victoria Royals mascot Marty the Marmot has shown some contrition. Royals GM Cam Hope: "He made a nice donation to the Movember campaign, personally called to apologize, and was truly remorseful about what happened." (Taking Note)

    So a goal can be disallowed for goalie interference without a goalie interference penalty being called? Guess you had to be there in Medicine Hat on Wednesday. (Medicine Hat News)

    Tim Leier, father of Philadelphia Flyers prospect Taylor Leier, has had a significant hand in several WHLers' success. (Saskatoon StarPhoenix)

    Highly touted defenceman Ryan Pilon leaving Lethbridge is a story that has legs, particularly when coupled with the Hurricanes' financial losses over the past two seasons. (Moose Jaw Times-Herald, Prince Albert Daily Herald)

    No mention of Washington Capitals prospect Madison Bowey's Gordie Howe hat trick in the

    Read More »from Storm’s Fabbri suspended 10 games: the coast-to-coast
  • Hunter Shinkaruk eyes return to Tigers: the coast-to-coast

    Combing all corners of the country and the blogosphere for your junior hockey headlines ...

    WHL

    Vancouver Canucks first-rounder Hunter Shinkaruk is optimistic about rejoining Medicine Hat's lineup as early as Friday. (Vancouver Sun)

    Victoria Royals defenceman Joe Hicketts opens up about the injury that has put his draft season on hold. (The Pipeline Show)

    Sticking to Victoria, charges are "likely" for the spectator who body-slammed mascot Marty the Marmot last Saturday. The YouTube-age has even been given a WWE mash-up. (Victoria Times-Colonist, QMI Agency)

    Quinnipiac University's release about Peter Quenneville bolting for the Brandon Wheat Kings notes, "Peter wants to focus only on hockey and here at Quinnipiac University our players are committed to excellence in both hockey and academics." Was that passive-aggressive? (Quinnipiac Chronicle, Luber's Lounge)

    The release of Mac Engel shows the about-to-be-road-tested Regina Pats are sold on 6-foot-6 Dawson McAuley as their No. 1 goalie. (Regina Leader-Post)

    OHL

    Sherry Bassin, on the Erie Otters' challenge of being in the same division with Guelph and London: "This is the American League East of junior hockey so you can't get too fired up about a good start. Erie's like the Minnesota Twins and we've got to figure out where we fit in." (London Free Press)

    Read More »from Hunter Shinkaruk eyes return to Tigers: the coast-to-coast
  • Pilon was a No. 3 overall bantam draft pick 2 seasons ago (Canes Cast photo)One would almost hope this is tied solely to the Lethbridge Hurricanes' record. Defenceman Ryan Pilon, a 2015 NHL draft prospect whose season began auspiciously with a stint with Canada's under-18 team in the summer, has become the third player to leave the Western Hockey League cellar dweller since the beginning of the season. The Hurricanes have just two wins and seven points at the 18-game quarter-pole in the WHL and are already seven points out of next-to-last place. Former star Kris Versteeg recently made a public pitch to buy the community-owned team and transfer it to private ownership.

    Suffice to say, having a former No. 3 overall bantam draft pick who was considered a huge building block does little to refute the perception of a team that is in an utter uproar. Lethbridge GM Brad Robson previously traded two veteran forwards who had gone home to the Seattle Thunderbirds. All three were alternate captains.

    It forms the impression there's something really off here, under first-time major junior coach Drake Berehowsky and assistants Mike Craig and Brad Lukowich. As Sportsnet's Sam Cosentino put it:

    "I'm not so sure these three guys have had extensive coaching experience in the Canadian Hockey League with players in this age group. The game's changed dramatically since then ... when you look at three National Hockey League guys ... they want to do things the way the way they were taught and the way that they were coached. That may not work with (a) today's style of game, the way it's changed since those guys played and (b) how players are, especially young ones. I call it the 'entitlement era.'

    "... It looks like a situation where Pilon said, 'You know what, I saw what happened last year, I didn't like it. The coaching change has obviously had an impact. So this is how I want to go about my business.' ... This is no good for anybody. It's a situation where you have a guy who is this high level and he's a huge movable piece, defencemen are hard to come by

    "... It sucks for everybody. The only people it's going to be good for is the team who gets him." (The Pipeline Show)

    Read More »from NHL draft prospect Ryan Pilon third player to leave WHL’s Lethbridge Hurricanes since start of season
  • Will Petschenig (6) did not miss a game after the sudden death of his father, Dan Petschenig, last week (OHL Images)

    The bond the Oshawa Generals credit for their success has grown only tighter as they rally around defenceman Will Petschenig, who is playing through the loss of his father.

    Normally, a midweek game in the nation's capital means a day trip, up and back. Tuesday, the Eastern Conference-leading Gens stayed overnight so they could attend the funeral of their teammate's father, Daniel Petschenig, a former Toronto Argonauts offensive lineman turned businessman and youth sports volunteer. Two months after turning 50, Petschenig died Oct. 29, from complications stemming from what doctors believe was a blood clot in his lung.

    In his grief, Will Petschenig did not miss a game. The only way one might have discerned anything was out of the ordinary on Tuesday is that the he was at Canadian Tire Centre before his teammates. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Manotick, Ont., native came up early to attend his father's visitation and support his family, including his mother Laura, brother Joseph and teenage sisters Margaret and Grace.

    "He came back right away — didn't want to miss a game," Generals captain Josh Brown said prior to Oshawa's 7-1 win over Ottawa. "He told me that's what his dad would have wanted him to do. I'm really proud of him for that.

    "When someone has to go through something like that it's terrible and we want to be there for him and show our respect," added Brown, a Florida Panthers draft choice. "Just help him along the way. Just be there for him."

    Read More »from Oshawa Generals’ Will Petschenig plays on after losing father, inspiring his teammates
  • Peter Quenneville played in the USHL before his stopover in the NCAABrandon Wheat Kings sophomore forward John Quenneville will have some brotherly help in his bid to raise his NHL draft stock, as his older brother has decided being a freshman with a Frozen Four contender is not for him.

    On Tuesday, 19-year-old Peter Quenneville, whom the Columbus Blue Jackets nabbed late in the NHL draft in June, left the No. 5-ranked Quinnipiac Bobcats to join Brandon. The Wheat Kings sent a 2015 third-round bantam draft pick to the Prince George Cougars to gain a forward who scored 70 points in 63 games for the United States league champion Dubuque Fighting Saints last season.

    It reads like a case of worrying about withering on the vine in Division I. The belief that teenagers develop best by playing more games often doesn't stand up to scrutiny, but it does hold sway with players. Quenneville, due in part to an lower-body injury, had dressed for only five of Quinnipiac's nine games. Brandon's already played 17.

    Read More »from Columbus Blue Jackets pick Peter Quenneville joins brother with Brandon Wheat Kings
  • Kitchener Rangers’ offensive outage powers rumour mill: CHL Hot & Cold

    Dallas Stars first-rounder Radek Faksa (left) is in his final OHL season with struggling Kitchener (OHL Images)

    When overages bolt, it's major junior hockey's answer to the canary in the coal mine.

    The Kitchener Rangers are not allowed to have down years, yet the flagship franchise seems bent on one during a season when the Memorial Cup is being staged in nearby London, which has created a "restless" franchise. If these trends continue, it will create some drama during the build up to the trade deadline. The biggest asset the Rangers could move is 19-year-Czech centre Radek Faksa and it just so happens that both Memorial Cup-host London and Eastern Conference-leading Oshawa Generals have an open import slot, just saying.

    Here's a look at who's up and who's down heading into the week.

    Read More »from Kitchener Rangers’ offensive outage powers rumour mill: CHL Hot & Cold
  • Eric Veilleux guided Baie-Comeau to the Quebec League final last season (The Canadian Press)

    Éric Veilleux is known as a coach who expects a lot, which apparently extends to when he sets the bar for the best coach conniption fit in Canadian junior hockey on the season.

    One can only imagine how many of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar players' $300 twigs would have hit the ice if the team wasn't on a point streak that has since reached 10 games. During the second period of a game on Friday, Veilleux didn't like the explanation for a call that he received from referee Dominick Bédard. As the arbiter skated away, Veilleux merely tried to regain his attention by snatching away six players' sticks and heaving them on to the ice.

    The best part is that the first player whose stick was heaved, San Jose Sharks second-round choice Gabryel Paquin-Boudreau, seemed taken aback. But then the rest of the Drakkar players were like, "this is happening" and obeyed their coach. The fifth and sixth players even seem to be trying to disguise a smile as they hand over their lumber.

    Read More »from Baie-Comeau Drakkar’s Eric Veilleux throws six sticks on ice, takes lead for CHL’s coach meltdown of the year
  • Marty the Marmot spent more than 400 hours at charitable events during the last hockey season (Facebook)

    At first, it might have seemed like part of an act. But the rage was real and hockey fans on Vancouver Island are not laughing after beloved mascot Marty the Marmot was attacked by a so-called fan on Saturday.

    The man, who could face assault charges, went berserk after Marty pulled an inflatable chair away during a second-intermission game of musical chairs. The man reacted by picking up the mascot and body-slamming him to the hard ice before briefly dragging him by the feet of his costume. (There is a sentence I never anticipated typing.) Police are taking it seriously and fans want to see charges filed.

    Marty isn't expected to miss any games, sparing us a unique WHL injury report ("M Marty the Marmot, upper body, day to day").

    Victoria's CHEK News even editorializes, "Charges should be laid."

    Read More »from Marty the Marmot, Canada’s mascot of the year, attacked during WHL game (VIDEO)
  • Combing all corners of the country and the blogosphere for your junior hockey headlines ...

    WHL

    Derek Zona's composite of rankings for the 2014 draft finds that Sam Reinhart is the consensus No. 1 pick. (The Copper And Blue)

    The Regina Pats' beacon, Sam Steel, led Alberta's under-16 team to Western Canada bragging rights over the weekend. Meantime, overage D-man Jesse Zgraggen has landed in the Queen City after Calgary got Alex Roach back from the ECHL. (Regina Leader-Post)

    Who says you can't have an 18-year-old captain? Washington Capitals second-rounder Madison Bowey had a big game after getting the honour from Kelowna. (Prince George Citizen)

    Defenceman Josh Thrower, brother of Montreal Canadiens second-rounder and Vancouver Giants captain Dalton Thrower, is giving scouts even more reason to closely watch the Calgary Hitmen. (The Pipeline Show)

    Spokane Chiefs defender Jason Fram's parents grew up in England and Singapore, so the hockey parent role was new to them. (Spokane Spokesman-Review)

    OHL

    The Windsor Spitfires brass spent Sunday scouting the London Knights, who ended Erie's 11-game win streak. But don't think for a second the two will make a trade to help London load up for the Memorial Cup. (London Free Press)

    The Guelph Storm failed to score five goals in a home win, scotching plans to investigate whether the 'free wings for a five-goal game' promotion includes a vegan alternative. Oh, make it an 18-game point streak for Carolina Hurricanes second-rounder Brock McGinn. (Guelph Mercury)

    What's up with the Kitchener Rangers struggling? (Waterloo Record, The Pipeline Show)

    Read More »from Reinhart consensus No. 1, London ends Erie’s run, Oceanic add offensive punch: the coast-to-coast
  • Laughton has scored at a goal per game pace since returning to the OHL (Terry Wilson, OHL Images)

    The NHL front-office folks who want the option to have a 19-year-old drafted out of the Canadian junior leagues play in the AHL might seize the footage of Scott Laughton's latest goal for evidence.

    While there is always something that a player can learn during his fourth year in the Ontario Hockey League, Laughton has pretty much done whatever he wanted offensively since the Philadelphia Flyers returned him to the Oshawa Generals. Take Sunday, when he pulled a now-you-see-it, now-you-don't, toe-drag move to beat a 6-foot-3 defenceman, Peterborough's Connor Boland, then completed the spectacular goal with a backhand move on goalie Andrew D'Agostini. That was part of a five-point effort in a 5-3 win for the Gens, who lead the OHL's Eastern Conference.

    At least someone associated with the Flyers is scoring. Laughton's had 14 goals and 25 points in 13 games in the 'Shwa. The Flyers have scored 21 goals all seaon.

    Read More »from Philadelphia Flyers prospect Scott Laughton scores ridiculous goal in OHL (VIDEO)

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