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Locally: Spokane Chiefs Mason Beaupit, Graham Sward and David Jiricek earn midterm spots on NHL scouting list

UPDATED: Mon., Jan. 17, 2022

Mason Beaupit makes a glove save in the Spokane Chiefs’ annual Red-White Game Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021 at the Spokane Arena.  (Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review)
Mason Beaupit makes a glove save in the Spokane Chiefs’ annual Red-White Game Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021 at the Spokane Arena. (Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review)
From staff and news services

By From staff and news services

The performances of three Spokane Chiefs this season have rewarded them with spots on the National Hockey League Central Scouting Service midterm rankings.

Mason Beaupit, a 6-foot-5 goalie from Surrey, British Columbia, is ranked seventh among North American goaltenders; defenseman Graham Sward from Abbotsford, B.C., Spokane’s first-round pick in the 2018 WHL draft, is listed 148th among North American skaters; and David Jiricek, a defenseman playing in his native Czech Republic, is ranked fourth among international skaters.

The 18-year-old Beaupit has a 3.26 goals-against average and .901 save percentage halfway through his second full season with the Chiefs.

After attending the Colorado Avalanche development camp in the fall, Sward has started the season strong. He has 24 points (6 goals, 18 assists) in 29 games and is among the WHL’s top 10 defensemen in assists and is tied for fifth in goals.

Jiricek, who Spokane selected with the 54th overall pick of the 2020 CHL Import Draft, has spent this season with HC Plzen in the Czech Republic, where he has 11 points (5 goals, 6 assists) in 29 games.

The 2022 NHL draft is scheduled July 7-8 in Montreal.

• The Chiefs made three roster moves last week, officially reassigning forward Copeland Fricker and defenseman Ben Bonni to Junior A teams in British Columbia, and releasing forward James Form.

Fricker, a 2003-born player, was reassigned to a team in Vernon, and Bonni (2004) to one in Selkirk. Both will remain on the Chiefs’ 50-man protected list and are eligible to play as affiliated players.

General manager Scott Carter said that with some Western Hockey League roster deadlines approaching and several players expected to return from long-term injuries it created “a numbers crunch we needed to address.”

WHL teams are restricted to a maximum 25 players on their active roster. Forwards Michael Cicek, Grady Lane and Reed Jacobson and defenseman Mac Gross are expected to return soon, Carter said.


The University of Idaho filled vacant head coaching positions in women’s golf and tennis with hires last week, athletic director Terry Gawlik announced.

Stephanie Young, women’s golf coach at Bowling Green University the last 16 years, is the new women’s golf coach at Idaho and Sanne Louwers, who has spent time coaching at the collegiate and club levels for six years, is taking over the UI women’s tennis program.

Young has bachelor and master’s degrees from the University of Toledo, where she was a four-year letter winner and team captain. She replaces Lisa Ferrero, who guided the Vandals through the pandemic-impacted 2019-20 season before leaving to become head coach at Fresno State.

During Young’s tenure at Bowling Green, the Falcons set school records for team season scoring average, and individual season and career scoring average. They lowered their team scoring average to a school-record 307.83 in 2015-16 and posted the number two mark of 310.93 in 2017-18.

Louwers, a graduate if LIU Brooklyn, where she was the 2013-14 Northeast Conference women’s tennis player of the year and a three-time all-conference selection, replaces Babar Akbar, who coached the Vandals the last five years.

A native of the Netherlands, Louwers is coming off a year as the head tennis professional at St. Petersburg Country Club in Florida. Prior to that, she spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Utah State, where she helped the Aggies to program-bests in 2018 and 2019, following a season as an assistant coach at Southern Utah and one as a volunteer assistant at her alma mater.

College scene

Washington State senior midfielder Sydney Studer, who had a stellar first season with the Cougars, is one of 18 college players invited to the U.S. Under-23 women’s soccer youth national team training camp Jan. 23-28 in Austin, Texas.

The collegians will be joined by 11 NWSL professionals in the first U-23 training camp since the fall of 2019 because COVID-19 concerns forced cancellations.

Studer, who transferred from Oregon State in the spring of 2021 after earning second-team All-Pac-12 and All-Region honors, was a key player in the middle of the Cougars’ attack, scoring two goals with a team-leading six assists. She earned a second straight United Soccer Coaches second-team All-Region honor and was named to the All-Pac-12 third team.

• Chalk up an eighth All-America football honor for Eastern Washington senior Eric Barriere.

The Walter Payton Award-winning quarterback as the Football Championship Subdivision offensive player of the year was named quarterback on the Walter Camp FCS All-America team that is voted on by FCS sports information directors.

• Eastern Washington, which made it to the second round of the 2021 FCS playoffs and finished the season with a 10-3 record, received two top-10 rankings in final Top 25 national polls.

The Eagles were rated No. 7 by Stats Perform and No. 9 by the American Football Coaches Association. It is the 17th time EWU has finished a season nationally ranked, the 13th since 2004.

• Fourteen Eastern Eagles and six Idaho Vandals were named to Phil Steele Magazine and All-Big Sky Conference football teams.

On offense, Eastern landed Barriere, the Phil Steele Big Sky Offensive Player of the Year; senior WR Talolo Limu-Jones and senior OL Tristen Taylor on the first team; senior RB Dennis Merritt and senior WR Andrew Boston on the second team; freshman WR Efton Chism III, junior WR Freddie Robinson and senior OL Wyatt Musser on the third team; and senior OL Conner Crist on the fourth team.

The defense includes senior DB Calin Criner on the third team and junior DL Josh Jerome, senior DL Mitchell Johnson, senior LB Ty Graham and senior LB Jack Sendelbach on the fourth team.

Idaho’s offensive selections are junior FB Logan Kendall on the first team, junior OL Logan Floyd on the second, and junior RB Roshaun Johnson and sophomore WR Terez Traynor on the fourth. The defense includes senior LB Tre Walker on the first team and senior DL Charles Akanno on the third.

• Eastern’s Chism, one of the top receivers in the Big Sky with 57 catches for 735 yards and nine touchdowns, was named to the Steele Freshman All-America second team.


Tyler Yelk, an NCAA Division II All-American defensive back at Minnesota-Duluth who has played with and coached with new Idaho defensive coordinator Rob Aurich, has been hired as the Vandals’ new safeties coach, first-year UI head coach Jason Eck announced.

Yelk, who began his coaching career at his alma mater in 2009, was at Temple the last three seasons, coaching nickel backs in 2019 and safeties the last two seasons.

His other coaching stops include South Dakota State (2016-17), where he was co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach, and Western Illinois (2013-15), where he was co-defensive coordinator in 2015.

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