Saturday, January 29, 2011

Friday Puckpourri: Trailers, teddy bears... oh, and The Hanson Brothers! Plus: a salute to law enforcment

(Note: This post was written on Friday, January 28. There was a hiccup in posting. Sorry for the dated info, but I wanted to leave it all in, especially about the fundraisers. Because even though the game itself may be over, the need is not and you can still donate. ~ Su)

Rockin' the 70's
Three words evoke memories of what many agree is the greatest hockey movie ever made. And tonight, anyone who considers him/herself a "Slap Shot" fan needs to be at Rexall Place in Edmonton, because the Oil Kings are rolling out the red carpet for Jeff, Steve and Jack, otherwise known as The Hanson Brothers. They're the highlight of tonight's "70's Night" promotion, as Edmonton welcomes the Red Deer Rebels. The Hansons will take part in some in-game activities, sign autographs and hang out with fans. The fun continues after the game at a special "after-party" at the pint. I'm not sure whether any foil will be involved, but if you live within 60 miles of Edmonton and want to check things out, click here for more info (and tickets). Bust out the polyester, platform shoes and your best Elton John sunglasses.

Trailer Raffle
It's the middle of winter - a perfect time to start thinking about summer vacation. The Swift Current Broncos want you to think about hitting the open road, in a new trailer. They're raffling off a 2009 Fleetwood Mallard 24HB. Second prize is $3000 cash and third prize is a Molson bar fridge (not sure if it's stocked or not). Fans who go to tomorrow night's game against the Saskatoon Blades can enter an early drawing for $3000 cash. Click here for more information.

Salute to Law Enforcement
The Everett Silvertips welcome I-5 rival Seattle Thunderbirds to Comcast Arena, but the biggest winners tonight could be the men and women in blue who protect and serve throughout Snohomish County, Washington.The 'Tips are hosing their second annual Snohomish County Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation fundraiser tonight. It benefits families of officers killed in the line of duty. Last year, Silvertips fans donated more than $5,000 for the fund. This year, they hope to surpass that amount, through special ticket sales, as well as sales of $15 commemorative pucks. For $30, fans can buy commemorative pucks autographed by a number of Everett players. Click here for more information, to buy special tickets or order commemorative pucks.

Teddy Bears
The Seattle Thunderbirds are showing their softer side, by asking all fans to bring teddy bears to Saturday night's game against the Portland Winterhawks. By the time the game is over, those plush toys will be on their way to the trunks of police cars, fire trucks and emergency vehicles across the greater Seattle area. The T-Birds have teamed up with Seattle radio station WARM 106.9 for their annual Teddy Bear Toss. Police officers, deputies and emergency crews offer the toys to children in times of crisis or emergencies. Fans will toss the teddy bears onto the ice after the T-Birds score their first goal. Last year, fans tossed 4,000 plush toys onto the ice. In 2009, they donated 2,000.

Sandusky Radio, which owns and operates WARM 106.9, is proud to team up with the T-Birds. The event is an emotional one for General Manager Marc Kaye, who told me, "Each time I see the thousands of teddy bears thrown onto the ice at the annual Teddy bear Toss at The Thunderbirds game it brings tears to my eyes.  For every bear that lies there, a child’s life will be positively affected."

The T-Birds are also excited about the yearly event. Ian Henry, the team's Director of Media and Public Relations, says players are looking forward to the "Teddy Bear" game, and a little competition gets going behind the scenes. "Leading up to the game there is always talk among the guys about who is going to score the Teddy Bear Goal," he said. "It’s quite a scene when that goal goes in and the bears start reigning down on to the ice."

If you've never experienced this for yourself, it's worth it to check it out. And even though the Portland Winterhawks are one of the WHL's top teams, standings go right out the window when they meet the T-Birds for one of the longest rivalries in the league. Click here for more information.

League Leaders
Here's a quick look at the WHL's brightest stars so far:

Points Leaders
1. Linden Vey, Moose Jaw Warriors. 82 points in 46 games (33G, 49A)
(Note: last season, he had 75 points in 72 games)

2. Tyler Johnson, Spokane Chiefs. 80 points in 47 games (36G, 44A)
(Note: last season, he had 71 points in 64 games)

3. Brendan Ranford, Kamloops Blazers. 72 points in 50 games (32G, 40A)
(Note: last season, he had 65 points in 72 games)

GAA Leaders
1. Darcey Kuemper, Red Deer Rebels. 1.84 GAA. He also has 9 shutouts and a 31-8-1-2 record in 42 games
2. James Reid, Spokane Chiefs. 2.48 GAA. He also has 4 shutouts and a 29-8-2 record in 42 games
3. Tyler Bunz. Medicine Hat tigers. 2.58 GAA. He also has 2 shutouts and a 24-10-2 record in 36 games.

Now, the schedule:
Tonight (Friday, January 28
Regina @ Moose Jaw
Swift Current @ Saskatoon
Brandon @ Calgary
Kootenay @ Lethbridge
Edmonton @ Red Deer
Chilliwack @ Spokane
Prince George @ Kelowna
Portland @ Tri City
Kamloops @ Vancouver
Seattle @ Everett

Saturday, January 29
Moose Jaw @ Regina
Saskatoon @ Swift Current
Price Albert @ Edmonton
Lethbridge @ Kootenay
Brandon @ Medicine Hat
Calgary @ Red Deer
Kamloops @ Chilliwack
Tri City @ Spokane
Prince George @ Everett
Vancouver @ Kelowna
Portland @ Seattle

Sunday, January 30
Prince Albert @ Calgary
Everett @ Seattle

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