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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Cowen excited

A couple of hockey notes:

From Cory Wolfe of the Star-Phoenix, Jared Cowen's reaction to making Team Canada: The first call Cowen made was to his mom, Cara, in Saskatoon.
“She was relieved,” Cowen said with a grin. “She’ll get to see her son a little bit more this Christmas.”
Hockey Canada has big plans for all three Saskatchewan players.
The 6-foot-5 Cowen is Canada’s biggest defenceman and he’s pegged to play a shutdown role.
“He’s got a big reach and good, quick feet so he can play against some of the better players on the other teams,” said Hockey Canada scout Al Murray. “It looks like, over the last year, he’s been trying to add more of an offensive component to his game. That won’t be necessary here.”
That role suits Cowen just fine.
“I think I can play against every line on every other team,” he said. “Hopefully that’s the case and hopefully I get a lot of minutes.”

Check out the blog of Jon Keen, Swift Current's play-by-play man. He was in the Arena for the Air Force-Washington State basketball team and captured the transformation for Saturday night's hockey game.

Finally, for a  note from the Chiefs on Saturday's Teddy Bear toss, click the extended entry:

Chiefs fans can rest well, all 4,651 Teddy Bears have found a home.  The lion’s share of the Teddy Bears tossed onto the ice when Brenden Kichton scored in the third period of last Saturday night’s home game were delivered on Monday to the fairgrounds and The Spokesman-Review’s Christmas Bureau. 

Through the coordination of many volunteers, including Catholic Charities and the Volunteers of America, The Christmas Bureau is open for two weeks in December where needy families can come in to pick out a toy and a book for each of their children for Christmas Day. In addition, each household receives a grocery-store voucher to stock the cupboards for the holidays.

Several Chiefs also delivered Teddy Bears to three local hospitals as a part of the Gus Johnson Ford Christmas Caravan on Monday.

Fourteen players climbed into Gus Johnson Ford vehicles to deliver teddy bears to Holy Family Hospital’s Speech and Hearing Center, the Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital and BEST Program and Shriner’s Hospital. 

2009 was the 10th season in a row that the Chiefs held their Annual Teddy Bear Toss.

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Vince Grippi's daily take on all things regional sports has been moved to our main sports section online. You can find a collection of these columns here.