Lo­cal play­ers ac­tive in main­land leagues

The Compass - - SPORTS - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON arobin­son@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Six young hockey play­ers from the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion area are con­tin­u­ing to de­velop their skills by join­ing main­land teams, with hopes of one day fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of Har­bour Grace’s Danny Cleary, who toils for the Detroit Red Wings, or women’s na­tional team star Hay­ley Wickenheiser.

Har­bour Grace’s Brett Shute is suit­ing up for the Amherst Ram­blers of the Mar­itime Ju­nior Hockey League, an 11-team league. The team’s gen­eral man­ager is for­mer CeeBees star and Har­bour Grace na­tive Corey Crocker.

As of last Wed­nes­day, the 17-yearold for­ward had one goal and two as­sists for the team in 11 games. The pre­vi­ous two years, Shute played for the Tri-Pen Frost mid­get team. He was picked up in the fourth round, 43rd over­all, of the MJHL draft in June.

Lu­cas Yet­man, 17, a defenceman from Car­bon­ear, is play­ing his first sea­son with the On­tario Hockey Academy Mav­er­icks in Corn­wall, Ont. He was a team­mate of Shute’s on the Tri-Pen Frost.

On­tario Hockey Academy is a coed prep school fo­cused on aca­demics and hockey. The team com­petes with other clubs from south­ern On­tario, as well as some in the north­east United States, in­clud­ing Buf­falo, New York.

Yet­man man­aged to ob­tain a par­tial schol­ar­ship to at­tend the school. The school has served as a launch­ing pad for play­ers look­ing to play ma­jor ju­nior or col­le­giate hockey.

Mean­while, in New Brunswick, Tay­lor An­der­son of Har­bour Grace is fine-tun­ing her own tal­ents play­ing de­fence at Rothe­say Nether­wood School in Rothe­say, a com­mu­nity lo­cated a short dis­tance from Saint John.

The team plays in the North Amer­i­can Prep Hockey As­so­ci­a­tion, a 10-team league fea­tur­ing schools from the United States and Canada.

Mem­bers of An­der­son’s team prac­tice at an on-cam­pus rink, and also take part in off-ice train­ing ex­er­cises with a fully cer­ti­fied trainer. It’s her first sea­son in Rothe­say, and the op­por­tu­nity to at­tend the school for Grade 12 came about thanks to a schol­ar­ship awarded to An­der­son.

Prior to join­ing the Riverhawks, An­der­son, 17, played with the Con­cep­tion Bay CeeBees un­der-20 fe­male team, as well as the CeeBees mid­get team.

An­der­son was also a par­tic­i­pant in the 2010 New­found­land and Labrador Win­ter Games, and re­cently played for New­found­land and Labrador at the At­lantic Chal­lenge Cup on the un­der-18 team. Her team lost the bronze medal game on Oct. 11 to Nova Sco­tia by a score of 21. Natalie Keep­ing of Bay Roberts and Ali­cia Gil­lam of Whit­bourne also played for the un­der-18 team.

Af­ter Grade 12, An­der­son will have her sights set on at­tract­ing the at­ten­tion of a col­lege or uni­ver­sity to con­tinue her hockey ca­reer. She might want to take a les­son or two from Peggy Wake­ham of Bay Roberts.

A se­nior at the Uni­ver­sity of Ver­mont, Wake­ham pa­trols the blue­line for the Ver­mont Cata­monts, a Di­vi­sion I team in the Na­tional Col­le­giate Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion (NCAA).

Wake­ham is an im­por­tant player on her team ever since get­ting her start as a fresh­man in 2007. She was a mem­ber of the 2007-08 Hockey East All Aca­demic Team in her rookie sea­son, and set a team record for points by a defenceman with 22 in 33 games.

The next year, Wake­ham was named a Hockey East All-Star, and joined that team for an ex­hi­bi­tion game against the U.S. Women’s Na­tional Team.

As of last Wed­nes­day, Wake­ham had been held point­less in four games for the Cata­monts, play­ing on the left side of the team’s top pair on de­fence.

Be­fore mov­ing down south, she cap­tained the As­cen­sion Col­le­giate Astros, and was the MVP for the girls’ team as a ju­nior and se­nior. Wake­ham was also an as­sis­tant cap­tain for the Bay Arena Mid­get AA boys’ team from 2005 to 2007.

Ja­cob Lewis of But­lerville is play­ing ju­nior hockey with the Cum­ber­land Grads in Na­van, Ont., near Ot­tawa. It plays in the 12-team Cen­tral Hockey League Tier I.

The 19-year-old spent last year with the CBN Ju­nior Stars in Bay Roberts, and was a mem­ber of the Tri-Pen Frost the year be­fore.

In 11 games as of last Wed­nes­day, the defenceman had recorded 15 penalty min­utes and no points.

Fi­nally, Robert Slaney of Up­per Is­land Cove is con­tin­u­ing his quest to make it in the pro­fes­sional ranks.

The Toronto Maple Leafs signed Slaney, 22, to an en­try-level con­tract in April 2009.

Last sea­son, the for­mer Cape Bre­ton Scream­ing Ea­gle split his time be­tween the Leafs’ Amer­i­can Hockey League af­fil­i­ate, the Toronto Mar­lies, and the East Coast Hockey League’s Read­ing Roy­als. In 22 games with the Roy­als, Slaney scored one goal and added 10 helpers in 22 games, also adding six as­sists in 34 games with the Mar­lies.

As of Wed­nes­day, the left-winger had ap­peared in two games with the Roy­als, and had been held point­less in both con­tests.

Tay­lor An­der­son

Lu­cas Yet­man

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