Sunday, July 18, 2010

Vacation, Jeff Zmurchyk Helps Out, More Andersen Trade Reaction, Former Viper Bayda Off To Europe, Kirk Fraser Leaves Radio NL:


(North Shuswap Lake Beach)

I haven't been able to post lately because I've been taking a little R&R time at Shuswap Lake Provincial Park. Now that I'm back in Merritt, let's play a little catch-up.

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(Cents defenceman Jeff Zmurchyk helping out last month at Tim Hortons Camp Day in Fernie)

I received this photo from Cents coach and GM Luke Pierce last week, who in turn received it from Fernie coach and GM Will Verner. It's Cents defenceman Jeff Zmurchyk helping out with Camp Day at Tim Hortons in Fernie, which happens to be Jeff's hometown. Check out Jeff's KIJHL profile here.

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With the Cents acquisition of goaltender Jared Andersen from Grand Prairie, more reaction is coming from the trade. Here's the write-up from the Merritt News:

Faron Herring
Special to the News

With their goaltending future a little cloudy at the moment, the Merritt Centennials pulled the trigger on a trade Monday they hope will help provide future insurance between the pipes.

The Cents acquired goaltender Jared Andersen and future considerations from the AJHL's Grande Prairie Storm in exchange for defenceman Mitch Jones.

The six-foot, 175-pound Andersen split time last season with the Canmore Eagles and Grande Prairie, compiling a record of 5-6-1 with a 3.53 GAA and .887 save percentage.

Prior to that, Andersen toiled for the Shattuck St. Mary's Prep School where he recorded a 17-7-3 record.

His GAA of 2.32 and save percentage of .910 were instrumental in leading the team to the 2008 Under-18 U.S. National Championship.

“The acquisition of Jared gives us another proven goaltender heading into training camp next month,” said Cents head coach and GM Luke Pierce.

“With two years under his belt at the junior ‘A' level, we feel this trade gives us the type of depth in goal we feel we need to build towards becoming a strong team this season.”

The trade may signal the end of last year's goaltending tandem of Keith Hamilton and Cole Holowenko. Both goalies are trying to hitch onto WHL teams this season.

Should they stay, Pierce added there would be healthy competition for the starter's role at training camp.

“It's a good problem to have,” said Pierce. “We wanted to make sure we had someone to open the season with.”

Pierce said Andersen's character reference was instrumental in the swap – a decision made easier for the Cents since both clubs share goaltending coach Jamie McCaig.

“He's a very good kid in the dressing room and a very hard worker,” he noted.

The outgoing Jones recorded five goals and 23 assists last season with the Centennials after coming over from the Penticton Vees.

The 18-year-old rearguard amassed 74 penalty minutes in his short time with the Cents.

“We are extremely excited to be adding a quality defenceman like Mitch to our hockey club,” said Storm head coach and GM Mike Vandekamp.

“He has good size, good mobility, and will add skill to our blue-line.”

And from the Merritt Herald (thanks to Ian for the shout out!):

Cents sign experienced goalie

The Merritt Centennials announced this week that they have acquired 20-year-old goaltender Jared Anderson from the Grande Prairie Storm of the Alberta Junior Hockey League in exchange for defenseman Mitch Jones (91).

Anderson, who is from Fort St. John, B.C., appeared in 13 Junior ‘A’ games last season, split between the Storm and the Canmore Eagles of the AJHL. He finished with a 5-6-1 record, a 3.53 GAA and a .887 save percentage.

Prior to joining Canmore in 2008, the 6’0” 175 lb. netminder played with the renowned Shattuck St. Mary’s Prep School, compiling a record of 17-7-3, with a 2.32 GAA and a .910 SA in leading his team to the U-18 U.S. National Championship.

“The acquisition of Jared gives us another proven goaltender heading into training camp next month,” said Cents head coach and GM Luke Pierce. “With two years under his belt at the Junior ‘A’ level, we feel that this trade gives us the type of depth in goal that we need to build towards becoming a strong team this season.”

For more details on Merritt Centennials activities, including player transactions and alumni updates, be sure to log onto Q101 Program Director Brian Wiebe’s excellent blog: Making Cents.

And from the Grande Prairie Herald-Tribune:

Storm continue to beef up on the blueline

DON MOON – Special to the Herald-Tribune

Grande Prairie is definitely sending a message to the rest of the AJHL: If you want to play in our end of the rink, be prepared to pay the price.

The AJHL club continued to beef up its blueline corps this week by adding two sizable players while saying goodbye to their backup goalie from a year ago – Jared Andersen.

Andersen was dealt to the Merritt Centennials of the BCHL in exchange for Mitch Jones, while the team also added Ben Woodley out of London, Ont.

Over the last couple of months the Storm has added four new defencemen – all well over six feet tall.

The Storm acquired Jones, who is expected to be on the ice when the team opens its fall camp in the Canada Games Arena on Aug. 26.

Jones was traded to the Storm in exchange for Anderson.

"We are extremely excited to be adding a quality defenceman like Mitch to our hockey club," said Storm coach/general manager Mike Vandekamp.

"He has good size, good mobility, and will add skill to our blue line."

Jones, who started last season with the Penticton Vees of the BCHL where he played six games, played 53 games his first year of Junior A hockey scoring five goals and assisting on 23 others while taking 74 penalty minutes.

The 6-foot-2,185 pounder is expected to be a regular with the Storm.

"Mitch will be a very good defenceman for us at even strength, but will also be expected to play in all special teams situations," said Vandekamp.

Andersen appeared in 13 games last season split between Grande Prairie and the Canmore Eagles, finishing with a 5-6-1 record, a 3.53 goals-against-average and a .887 save percentage. The six foot, 175 lb. goaltender has a career record of 15-27-3 with a 4.43 goals-against-average and a .864 save percentage in 48 career appearances.

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(Former Vipers forward Ryan Bayda)

Former Vipers forward Ryan Bayda (98-99) is leaving North America to play in the German Elite League. Here's a link to the media release.

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(Former Kamloops Blazers play-by-play voice Kirk Fraser)

Word came out this past week that Kamloops Blazers play-by-play announcer Kirk Fraser is hanging up his microphone to take a full time job at Shaw Cable as a producer. With Kirk's resignation after 11 years in the booth calling Blazer hockey, I know that Radio NL Operations Manager Jim Reynolds' mailbox will be packed full of people applying for the job. There are some VERY good broadcasters in the BCHL and I wouldn't be surprised if at least one of them applied for the job and would be considered for it. It'll be interesting to see where the successful candidate comes from.

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