Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mazur Tries Out With Central League Club, Zabotel Back With Baby Pens, Dever Coaching in World U18 Div. 1 Group B, Gordon & Gedig Win Fred Page Cup:

Defenceman Alan Mazur is the second Cents alum in the last two weeks to sign an amateur pro tryout after his college career ended. After Brandon Wong signed a tryout with Grand Rapids of the AHL two weeks ago, Mazur has joined the Rapid City Rush of the Central Hockey League. Incidentally, Wong and Mazur were both teammates on the Cents 2005-06 team.

Here's the story from the Rapid City Journal, a newspaper in the South Dakota city.

Jim Holland Journal staff | Posted: Monday, April 12, 2010 8:17 pm | (0) Comments

The Rapid City Rush signed a second player to an amateur tryout on Monday.

Defenseman Alan Mazur of the Rochester Institute of Technology of New York joined the Rush on the road to Bossier City, La., for Games 3, 4 and 5 of the CHL Northern Conference finals.

The RIT Tigers are fresh from an appearance in the NCAA Frozen Four men’s ice hockey tournament in Detroit, where they lost in the semifinals to eventual runner-up Wisconsin.

The Tigers beat New Hampshire and No. 1 seed Denver University to advance to the Frozen Four.

Mazur, a 6-0, 200-pound blueliner, is the leading scorer among defensemen during RIT’s Division I era, with 19 career goals. He is second among defensemen and fifth out of all skaters in career points with 76, and third in assists with 57.

Mazur joins defenseman Corey Laurysen of Sacred Heart University as the two amateur players allowed to be added to a team during the CHL playoffs.

RIT eliminated Sacred Heart from NCAA tournament contention in the Atlantic Conference finals.

Mazur is a native of Burnaby, British Columbia, and played junior hockey with the Merritt Centennials of the British Columbia Hockey League.

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Another member of that 2005-06 Centennials team, Casey Pierro-Zabotel, has been called up by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL from Wheeling of the ECHL.

Zabotel was also brought up by the Baby Penguins last season, but didn't play any games in the AHL post-season. I know that Zabby is hoping to get into a playoff game this season, but whether he will remains to be seen.

Here's the article from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's website:

The Pittsburgh Penguins have reassigned left wing Casey Pierro-Zabotel from the Wheeling Nailers (ECHL) to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, it was announced on Wednesday.

Pierro-Zabotel, 21, recorded one assist and a plus-one rating in seven games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. His first AHL assist was recorded on January 31 against the Manitoba Moose.

The 6-2, 202-lb. left wing has posted 39 points (12+27) in 45 games with the Nailers this season. He posted a season-high nine-game point streak from December 26-January 15, and has registered six points (3+3) in seven games prior to his recall.

The native of Ashcroft, British Columbia entered his first year of professional hockey having come off of a banner year with the Vancouver Giants (WHL), where he posted a league-best 115 points (36+79) in 72 regular-season games. His 115 points shattered the Giants’ single-season point record, an achievement which earned him Vancouver’s first-ever recipient of the Bob Clarke Trophy awarded to the WHL’s leading scorer. In 294 games over five seasons split between the Merritt Centennials (BCHL) and the Vancouver Giants, Pierro-Zabotel has recorded 346 points (132+214).

Pierro-Zabotel was selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the third round (80th overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

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Bob Dever, who was an assistant coach with the Cents in the early to mid-2000's and also played in Merritt in the late 1980's, is coaching Hungary's national Under-18 team at the IIHF World Championships Div. 1 Group B this week. You can follow the progress of Dever and Team Hungary by clicking on this link:

http://www.iihf.com/channels0910/wm18-ib/statistics.html

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Big time congratulations to the Vernon Vipers on their Game Seven 3-1 win over Powell River on Monday night. I am especially happy for three members of the Vipers organization who have Merritt connections.

Graeme Gordon, who played parts of two seasons with the Cents after being acquired in a trade from Salmon Arm in January 2008, was named first star in the deciding game and Curtis Gedig, who started his BCHL career during the 2008-09 season in Merritt, was solid on the blueline. Todd Miller, who is Vernon's Director of Business Operations and play-by-play voice of the Vipers, was raised in the Nicola Valley and got his start in radio with Merritt Broadcasting Ltd.

Well done boys and bring the Doyle Cup back to the BC Interior! Same for the RBC!

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When I was writing my last post about the Keystone Cup, there were a couple of errors that I didn't notice. Firstly, the tournament itself wasn't taking place the weekend I was referring to, it's in fact THIS coming weekend in Kamloops.

Secondly, there is one other person (who's not a player) taking part in the Keystone who has past ties to the Cents organization. And that someone if Revelstoke coach and GM Troy Mick. In naming all the players participating who at one time or another wore the Centennials uniform, I didn't even think of Mick, who played in Merritt in the early 1980's before moving on to the Western Hockey League. Troy, if you read this, Sorry buddy! I didn't omit you on purpose!

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