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  • When it comes to holiday cheer, the Edmonton Oil Kings bring the party with them. Assuming your Christmas party includes Justin Bieber lip dubs.

    Last season, the WHL team produced a video of the players rocking out to the Mariah Carey-Bieber cover of All I Want For Christmas, which got a pretty wide airing. So when the rival Calgary Hitmen put out a competing cover, it was only a matter of time before there was a response out of Northern Alberta. It's kind of the like the East Coast/West Coast dynamic in hip-hop.

    Anyway, last night the Oil Kings, in what will be sacrilege to both pop megastars' respective fanbases, issued their Santa Claus Is Coming To Town medley. Brace for a record-scratch moment when it switches from The Boss to The Biebs, though.

    Read More »from Edmonton Oil Kings channel Bruce Springsteen, Justin Bieber in Christmas video
  • Rouyn-Noranda Huskies' Sven Andrighetto (The Canadian Press)

    No. 1 star: Sven Andrighetto, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (QMJHL)

    Andrighetto (1G-4A, +3), Sergei Kucherov (3G-2A) and Jean-Sébastien Dea (2G, -1) shepherded the Huskies to a 6-4 win over their northern Quebec rival, the Val-d'Or Foreurs. From the looks of it, this was a see-saw offensive game and the big trio essentially provided all of the Huskies offence, accounting for 15 of their 18 dangerous shots.

    The 19-year-old Andrighetto, who will be expected to be a big offensive contributor for Switzerland at the IIHF world U20 championship in fewer than three weeks' time, was in on every goal that Rouyn-Noranda put past the Foreurs' François Tremblay. The Huskies fell behind twice in the first period, but the Zurich native responded each time by scoring from close range and setting up Kucherov, the Tampa Bay Lightning second-rounder, later in the period.

    Andrighetto's aerial pass also sprung Kucherov for a second-period breakaway goal. In the third, he also helped work the puck to Dea on a

    Read More »from Sven Andrighetto gets 5 points, Luke Lee-Knight steals 2 points and Jaimen Yakubowski snipes 5 goals: Friday’s 3 Stars
  • Combing all corners of the country and the blogosphere for your junior hockey headlines ...

    WHL

    Hockey Canada has picked its training camp roster and now has to wait and see if all 37 players turn up in Calgary healthy. (Coming Down The Pipe!)

    Today's should-read: Swift Current Broncos forward Shea Howorko opens up about the concussion that has caused him to miss a full year: "I don't even know how close to normal I am." (Prairie Post)

    Will the high price the Moose Jaw Warriors extracted in the Joel Edmundson trade only make it more difficult for the struggling MasterCard Memorial Cup-host Saskatoon Blades to load up? (Small Thoughts At Large, Kamloops Daily News, Moose Jaw Times-Herald)

    Portland Winterhawks scoring ace Brendan Leipsic has stayed even-keel during his recent hot streak. Of course, as the son of a former Olympic gymnast, he would know about balance. (Oregon Live)

    Vancouver  Giants GM Scott Bonner's summation on being in last place: "Anything that can go wrong has." (Vancouver Sun)

    Tri-City coach Jim Hiller's assessement of losing 8-4 at home to Seattle: "We gave them pretty much everything on a platter." (Tri-City Herald)

    OHL

    Edmonton Oilers prospect Tobias Rieder's fractured bone in his right foot may keep from playing for Germany in the IIHF world U20 championship. (Waterloo Record)

    Seventeen-year-old forward Tyler Bertuzzi is out indefinitely for the Guelph Storm due to a concussion. (Guelph Mercury)

    Read More »from Habs prospect Charles Hudon receives ‘C’ in Chicoutimi: Friday’s coast-to-coast
  • JP Anderson had 42 saves on Thursday (OHL Images)

    No. 1 star: JP Anderson, Sarnia Sting (OHL)

    Saginaw Spirit players will be sleeping with their mouthguards tonight in keep from grinding their jaws. Anderson earned his OHL record-tying 114th career win in style, stopping all 42 Spirit shots to help Sarnia win the border battle 3-0. The overage who's bounced back well from shoulder surgery was indefatigable and impregnable during an inspired first period when he was credited with 26 saves against one of the OHL's highest scoring teams. Several were point-blank stops, as dangerous Spirit attackers such as Justin Kea, Terry Trafford and potential Team USA forward Vince Trocheck came away empty-handed. Sarnia likely should have been behind, but instead had the lead thanks to Davis Brown's first junior goal.

    The Toronto native's brilliance might have caused Saginaw to recede over the final two frames. They had only 16 shots across that stretch while Montreal Canadiens prospect Alex Galchenyuk (1G-1A) scored a backbreaking goal with a big-league wrist shot in the second period.

    For Anderson, whom the San Jose Sharks signed as a free agent in 2010, it was his 17th career OHL shutout, counting playoffs.

    Read More »from JP Anderson, Michael Giugovaz steal wins: Thursday’s 3 Stars
  • Joel Edmundson (WHL.ca)The Kamloops Blazers knocked over a huge domino that could ignite a flurry of trades prior to the Western Hockey League's January 10 trade deadline.

    The Blazers acquired St. Louis Blues second-rounder Joel Edmundson and a fifth-round bantam pick in 2015 from the Moose Jaw Warriors for 18-year-old blueliner Tyler Bell, 2012 first-round bantam pick Jayden Halbgewachs, and a first-round pick in 2015.

    The 22-7-1-3 Blazers gave up a big piece of their future for Edmundson. But they didn't have much of a choice with the Edmonton Oil Kings' trade for David Musil and the Saskatoon Blades' acquisition of Nathan Burns setting up a pricy trade market.

    Ultimately, the Blazers had to add a defensive star to their roster to stack up to a remote extent with the Oil Kings' and Portland Winterhawks' elite bluelines.

    Prior to the Blazers landing Edmundson, they didn't have any NHL draft picks on their back end. The Oil Kings have four NHL prospects — Griffin Reinhart, Keegan Lowe, Martin Gernat, and

    Read More »from Blazers add Blues prospect Joel Edmundson to kick off the trade deadline madness
  • QMJHL grad Louis Leblanc with the Bulldogs (The Canadian Press)

    Forget the Ontario Hockey League returning to the Hammer.

    The mayor and city council in Hamilton, Ont., do not have a sterling record on managing sports facilities and relationships with local professional teams — Guelph Tiger-Cats, to wit — but sanity seems to have won the day, for now. On Thursday, a Hamilton city committee voted to negotiate a new lease with the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs rather than explore negotiating a lease with an unnamed OHL team, reported since last season to be the Erie Otters. By no means is it a done deal, but viewed through a major junior hockey lens, it means the OHL is not returning to the city.

    From Scott Radley:

    An Ontario Hockey League team had been vying for the right to use the arena beginning in the fall. That will now not happen unless the Bulldogs are unable to come to agreement with HECFI.

    Though the details of both the Bulldogs and the OHL's offers to the city [of Hamilton] were secret, the Bulldogs have received an annual $220,000 subsidy from the city since 2002. The OHL is reportedly not requesting any subsidy. (Hamilton Spectator)

    Read More »from OHL bid to move into Hamilton fizzles
  • Chris Bigras leads Owen Sound's defencemen in points (Getty Images)

    Chris Bigras' head for the game is putting him ahead of the game.

    Nearly a year ago, the Owen Sound Attack felt safe and secure in trading two older defencemen with the expectation Bigras would be ready for a major role in his sophomore season. It is paying off. The 17-year-old has emerged as a main cog on the blueline on a contending team. The 6-foot-1, 189-pound Bigras' all-around game led to him being the OHL's 10th-ranked skater when NHL Central Scouting released its preliminary rankings last month.

    "The coaches have put a lot of trust in me and I've been learning a lot from [his defence partner] Nathan Chiarlitti, who came here from Sarnia," says Bigras, who scored Wednesday when the Attack eked out a tense shootout win over the Plymouth Whalers. "[How the season has gone has] definitely exceeded my expectations so far."

    The native of Elmvale, Ont. — same hometown as Garrett Wilson, who captained the Attack's 2011 OHL championship team — began his season by helping Canada win the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka under-18 tournament in August. Bigras is also getting it done at each end of the rink. He leads the Attack defencemen in scoring with 20 points in 30 games (also fourth on the team) and his +20 plus/minus rating is fourth among defenders. If he plays like a veteran, well, he has the vets to thank for it.

    Read More »from NHL draft tracker: Chris Bigras, Owen Sound Attack
  • Combing all corners of the country and the blogosphere for your junior hockey headlines ...

    WHL

    Draft-year defenceman Ryan Pulock is back in the Brandon Wheat Kings lineup this weekend. (Luber's Lounge)

    Guy Flaming projects a Team Canada lineup, with the NHL still in effect. (Coming Down The Pipe!)

    Edmonton Oilers forward Jordan Eberle's Regina Pats jersey retirement was made all the more poignant by the presence of his grandfather, who went off chemotherapy for a week so he would have the strength to attend. (Regina Leader-Post)

    The Kamloops Blazers have bestowed the captaincy upon forward Dylan Willick, who is currently a few weeks away from returning from a broken ankle. (Kamloops Daily News)

    Cam Tait wonders if the MasterCard Memorial Cup will ever come to Red Deer. Wait, didn't the Rebels bid for it for this season are they not five places ahead of Saskatoon? (Edmonton Journal)

    The Portland Winterhawks booster club has started to taking donations to help subsidize players' parents' airfare to the Oregon city. Meantime, it looks like there is not much chance of the WHL reducing the sanctions against the 'Hawks. (Oregon Live, Taking Note)

    Kelowna Rockets fans know what winning ugly looks like after Wednesday night. (Regan's Rant)

    OHL

    Twenty-year-old forward Derek Schoenmakers, recently traded from Windsor to last-place Peterborough, will not report to the Petes. (Peterborough Examiner)

    What will the Kitchener Rangers do before the OHL trade deadline? (Waterloo Record)

    New Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds coach Sheldon Keefe makes his debut tonight against the Windsor Spitfires. (Sault Star)

    Read More »from Sheldon Keefe debuts behind ‘Hounds bench: Thursday’s coast-to-coast
  • Vancouver Giants' Cain Franson (Derek Leung, Getty Images)

    No. 1 star: Cain Franson, Vancouver Giants (WHL)

    The Giants forward, who is working his way back to top form after being sidelined with a concussion in his crucial 19-year-old season, had three points in the 7-2 win over rival Victoria. The Giants, coming in on a seven-game losing streak, got a shot of confidence when Franson (2G-1A, +3) scored late in the opening period to open the scoring; he then set up Jackson Houck (1G-2A, +3) with eight seconds left in the frame. That no doubt deflated the Royals. Defenceman Brett Kulak and Franson scored 37 seconds apart in the third to blow the game open.

    Read More »from Vancouver Giants’ Cain Franson snaps slump: Wednesday’s 3 Stars
  • Brendan Leipsic (WHL.ca)

    While growing up in Winnipeg, Brendan Leipsic had his share of critics doubting how far he could go in hockey because of his smaller stature.

    "Brendan has grown up hearing about his size being an issue," said  Leipsic father, Greg. "A couple coaches certainly pegged him as a fourth liner, but when he got the opportunity he made the most of it and worked his way up in the lineup."

    The 5-foot-9, 170-pound centre never let his critics get in his head. His confidence in his game and his strong supporters helped him take his doubters' comments with a grain of salt.

    "I didn't really listen to the people that would doubt me because of my size," said Leipsic. "I have always believed in myself and have had other people that believed in me."

    Despite standing out as a star with the Winnipeg Monarchs in his bantam draft year, Leipsic didn't garner a lot of attention from scouts. It was suspected that his lack of popularity in the 2009 Western Hockey League bantam draft was because of his

    Read More »from Portland’s Brendan Leipsic silences his critics, with the help of Teemu Selanne

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