Monday, January 11, 2016

Storm Sign Ex Viper Friesen:

Former Vernon Vipers forward Mitch Friesen is on his way back to Kamloops after the trade between the  Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) OCN Blizzard & Langley Rivermen was rescinded. On January 2nd 2016 the Blizzard traded Friesen to Langley. Friesen's Junior A rights revert back to OCN. Friesen parted ways with the Blizzard before signing with the KIJHL Kamloops Storm.

The Western Hockey League Tri-City Americans reassigned Friesen to the KIJHL Kamloops Storm on September 22nd 2015.  Friesen spent last season with the Kamloops Blazers, Kamloops Storm & Vernon Vipers. Friesen went pointless in two games with the Vipers last year as an affiliated player "AP".

 Mitch Friesen's Player Profile:

 This is in the Kamloops Newspaper:

Welcome back, Friesen — Storm add forward in time for playoff-clinching contest

By: Adam Williams  in Hockey, Sports, Storm January 8, 2016

The Kamloops Storm can clinch a playoff spot in Sicamous tonight.

They hope to do it with Mitch Friesen in the lineup.

Friesen, a 19-year-old winger from Surrey, made his official return to the Storm this week, parting ways with the OCN Blizzard of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League and signing on for his third stint in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.

“It was a big deal for us,” Storm general manager Barry Dewar said of adding another scorer to the Storm.

The Storm have netted the fewest goals (113) of the four divisional leaders — the Kimberley Dynamiters (153), the Beaver Valley Nitehawks (159) and the Osoyoos Coyotes (144) — in the KIJHL.

“Especially a guy like Mitch, because he’s not just a goal scorer, he’s also a big leader on and off the ice,” Dewar continued.

The 6-foot-4 forward has played parts of two seasons with the Storm, leading the club offensively en route to KIJHL final against the Nitehawks in 2014 and the Dynamiters in 2015.

In 59 junior B games, Friesen has tallied 59 points, including 30 goals. He has 43 points, including 22 goals, in 41 career playoff contests

“I’m happy to be back,” Friesen said.

“Kamloops felt like home, so I wanted to come back.”

Friesen has had two stints in the Western Hockey League. He started this season with the Tri-City Americans, but went to the Blizzard after being released from the WHL club in September.

In 23 games in Manitoba junior A, he notched 15 points, including eight goals.

Friesen began his junior career with the Kamloops Blazers, selected in the fourth round of the 2011 WHL bantam draft, and had four points in 68 games with the club.

“It has definitely been another roller-coaster — I’ve had a couple of those over the years,” Friesen said, reflecting on the first half of his season.

“It’s definitely good to come back — I know I’ll enjoy it here, so that’s good.”

The 19-year-old has returned in time to help Kamloops vie for their first major milestone of the season — clinching a spot in the 2016 KIJHL playoffs.

A win tonight against the Sicamous Eagles would book the Storm’s spot in the post-season, putting them beyond the reach of the divisional basement dwellers in the Houseboat Capital of Canada.

Kamloops and Sicamous play at the Sicamous and District Recreation Centre at 7 p.m.

“In my humble opinion, I think it’s a big deal for us to have that breathing room, just because we’ve got a strong division,” Dewar said.

But, simply making the playoffs isn’t the goal.

“We’ve got 100 Mile House and Chase right on our heels and so we’re not just looking for the division, clinching playoffs, we’re looking to actually win the division, continue on and do the same thing we did last year — winning a lot of games.”

Friesen’s addition should help. He has long succeeded under Storm head coach Ed Patterson and brings an offensive pedigree to a club that recently added the KIJHL’s hottest player — Zack Andrusiak.

The pair played together for Tri-City and will have similar opportunities, at times, in Kamloops.

On the cusp of another playoff berth, the Storm are hoping the duo is enough to bring them in line with the league’s offensive powerhouses — just in time for the post-season.

“We really didn’t think — turning over as many players as we did — we really didn’t expect to have a team that was going to be clinching playoffs this early in the year,” Dewar said. “That’s huge.

“We’re young, we’re hungry, we’ve got a lot of things happening for us.”

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