Raiders off to good start, but overage player leaves
The Prince Albert Raiders and the Spokane Chiefs are the only 4-0 teams in the Western Hockey League.
Prince Albert’s start has come with an unwanted distraction.
After the Raiders improved to 4-0 last Saturday with a 4-2 win over the Brandon Wheat Kings, rumors circulated that 20-year-old defenseman Evan Morden had left the team.
Morden had appeared in the club’s first three games but was scratched for the Brandon game. On Sunday, the Raiders issued a statement that Morden returned to his home in Swan River, Manitoba, to ponder his hockey future, Dave Leaderhouse of the Prince Albert Daily Herald reported.
Morden’s departure leaves the team without a third overage player. Rookie Mackenzie Stewart filled Morden’s spot on Saturday.
The Vancouver Giants, off to a 1-3 start while being outscored 15-5, received a boost last weekend when the Montreal Canadians sent back Dalton Thrower.
Thrower, the Canadians’ second-round draft pick from 2012, will become the Giants’ No. 1 defenseman as the team works to improve its league-worst 2-for-21 power play. The Canadians returned him to Vancouver after determining he wouldn’t earn a spot on their AHL affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs.
Thrower, known for his testiness, was tossed out of the Memorial Cup last spring while with the Saskatoon Blades for his hit to the head of Portland Winterhawks forward Taylor Leier.
Around the league
Cole Ully, the Kamloops Blazers’ leading goal-scorer with three in four games, faces a league suspension after receiving a major penalty for checking from behind during last Saturday’s 3-1 loss at Prince George. … Calgary’s Greg Chase, who needed more than two months to score his fourth goal last season, scored four goals during the Hitmen’s first five periods this season. … Chandler Stephenson has scored a goal in all four games he has played with the Regina Pats this season. … Prince Albert winger Carson Perreaux has scored six of his 18 career goals against his hometown team, Brandon. … Brandon captain Ryan Pulock will make his season debut against the Edmonton Oil Kings tonight. The defenseman scored an NHL preseason goal with the New York Islanders but didn’t make the final 23-player roster and was assigned back to the Wheat Kings. … Another captain is on his way back to the WHL. Medicine Hat forward Hunter Shinkaruk, who scored two goals in two NHL preseason games with the Vancouver Canucks, was returned to the Tigers on Monday.