Kent's beautiful ShoWare Center plays host to the Kamloops Blazers and Seattle Thunderbirds to kick off 2011.
The Blazers will look to respond from a 7-1 loss in Kelowna Thursday while the T-Birds come in after a 4-3 win in Portland last night.
As always when you play Seattle, the big factor is always G Calvin Pickard. I'm sure Canada would love to have him around their junior team about right now. Unfortunately, he was cut by the national team. Canada's loss is the T-Bird's gain. Face-off at 7pm tonight.
I'm blogging out of the hotel room today. You would think one could get a wifi connection somewhere in this city... but not at the rink, and not at the strip mall where the team had lunch yesterday following practice. So, here I am...room 219, getting a quick update in.
A nice sunny day outside... a little crisp, but nice. A good start to 2011.
The Blazers will ice the same line-up they did against the Rockets Thursday. One short of the maximum 20 with call-ups Matt Needham and Landon Cross. Although the maximum number of games for a 15 year-old (Needham) to play in the WHL is five, the games over the Christmas break don't count towards that number. After Needham's team is done for the season, he can then join the team full time for the rest of the year. I'm not sure that's the plan just yet but it would make sense.
The Blazers busy schedule continues following tonight's game. They return home immediately after the game for rematch with the Rockets tomorrow night. Tuesday, Moose Jaw is in town.
No TSN in the states means no Canada World Junior wall-to-wall coverage. It made it very hard to check out the Canada/Sweden game. The tsn.ca streaming video is unavailable online to U.S. destinations. Finally, I found the end of the Canada/Sweden through online radio.
Have a good start to 2011... talk to you tonight. Pre-game show at 6:30, play-by-play at 7pm on Radio NL