Junior hockey notes: Winterhawks on eastern swing

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

Published:

 

Portland Winterhawks

This week: The Winterhawks begin a six-game road trip through the East Division with games at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Brandon, 6 p.m. Saturday at Moose Jaw, 6 p.m. Tuesday at Regina and 6 p.m. Wednesday at Saskatoon.

Where they stand: At 3-2, the Winterhawks lead the U.S. Division with six points. Spokane, at 2-1, has the best winning percentage in the division.

Seth Jones scores in prospects game — Portland defenseman Seth Jones, projected as one of the top picks in next June's NHL Draft, had a goal for the winning team in the first CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game played last Saturday in Buffalo.

The game brought together 40 of the top American-born players eligible to be drafted in 2013. Jones played for Team McClanahan, coached by Rob McClanahan, which won the game.

"First period, I got off to a little bit of a slow start," Jones said in a post game press conference. "I had to get my legs under me a little bit. First intermission I regained my confidence a little bit and went out and played my game. I got some pucks through, and lucky that one went in there. I made some good passes."

McClanahan described Jones as poised on the ice.

"He's very aware of what's around him," McClanahan said of Jones. "Even though he made a couple of poor plays, he's a presence. He's big. He's physical. He's just aware of all that's going on."

• Forward Taylor Leier is expected to make his season debut sometime during this road trip.

• Goalie Cam Lanigan posted his first career shutout on Sept. 28 when he made 31 saves in a 1-0 win over Kelowna. Lanigan, 20, is in his sixth WHL season after previous stints in Edmonton and Kamloops.

• Winnipeg native Brendan Leipsic will play his closest game to home on Friday at Brandon, which is 135 miles from Winnipeg. Leier is a native of Saskatoon, while Derrick Pouliot is from Weyburn, Saskatchewan, which is 70 miles from Regina.

Cheek starts fast for Giants

In three games since being traded from the Calgary Hitmen to the Vancouver (B.C.) Giants, Camas native Trevor Cheek has two goals and one assist. He scored the game-winner in the Giants first win this season, a 3-2 win over Spokane on Sunday. Calgary needed to trade one of its 20-year-olds to get to the WHL limit of three and sent Cheek to the Giants for a two future bantam draft picks.

Over two full seasons in Calgary, Cheek tallied 74 points, including 33 goals, in 124 games played.

Goalie stops 92 shots

Addison Phillips, a goalie for the Vancouver Junior Vipers pee wee team (ages 11-12) stopped 92 of 102 shots he faced in a Sept. 29 game in Kirkland. The newly former Junior Vipers lost 10-0 loss to the Sno-King Junior Thunderbirds.

"I didn't have a chance to think about it, I just had to react and stop the pucks during the game," Phillips said.

His family recently moved from Nashville, where he was a goalie for the Nashville Junior Predators.

In five games over three days, Phillips stopped 320 of 370 shots he faced. It was the first action for the newly-formed Junior Vipers team.