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Newfoundlanders Away: O'Brien back in the AHL, flying with the Condors


Bishop starts well with Checkers; Newhook, Rose invited to try out for World Junior A entry; Foley, Clarke starring for college teams on both sides of the border

Some news and notes about players who can be found in The Telegram’s weekly Newfoundlanders Away feature (accessible within the photo gallery accompanying this story):

Zach O’Brien is back in the American Hockey League, this time with the Bakersfield Condors, the farm team of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers.

The 25-year-old forward from St. John’s signed an AHL contract with Bakersfield in the off-season and attended the training camps of the Oilers and Condors before being assigned to their ECHL affiliate, the Wichita Thunder, to begin the 2017-18 campaign.

However, after a successful start with the Thunder — averaging a point per game through 12 contests and putting up a plus-10 rating, O’Brien was summoned by Bakersfield and suited up in two recent road games against their California rivals, the Stockton Heat, recording an assist.

In all, O’Brien has suited up in 177 AHL contests with the Manchester Monarchs, Chicago Wolves, St. John’s IceCaps, Binghamton Senators and the Condors, recording 33 goals, 49 assists and a plus-10 rating.

His IceCaps and Senators stays were for a single game each time.

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Still with the AHL, Clark Bishop of St. John’s has had a solid start to his second pro season. In 17 games with the Charlotte Checkers, the farm club of the Carolina Hurricanes, he has two goals and six assists.

Granted, those aren’t mind-blowing numbers, but are very good for a player considered mostly a defensive centre, and they are augmented by Bishop’s plus-six rating.

The 21-year-old, a fifth-round 2014 draft pick of the Hurricanes, has already surpassed his rookie AHL numbers, when he had two goals and four assists in 42 games with the Checkers.

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Two Newfoundlanders playing with the Victoria Grizzlies of the British Columbia Junior Hockey League have been added to a list of 60 players who have been invited to the selection camp for the Canada West entry that will play in the 2017 World Junior A Challenge.

Forward Alex Newhook, 16, of St. John’s and goalie Zachary Rose, 18, of Paradise will be looking to secure places on the 22-player Canada West Team roster, which will be selected during a Dec. 2-5 camp in Calgary.

The invitees come from the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s five western junior A circuits: the BCJHL, Alberta Junior Hockey, Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, Manitoba Junior Hockey League and Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL). They were chosen by Hockey Canada and the CJHL, with assistance from NHL Central Scouting.

The World Junior A Challenge, which will also involve a Canada East entry, the United States, Russia, Czech Republic and Switzerland, begins Dec. 10 in Truro, N.S.

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A couple of female collegiate hockey players on the Newfoundlanders Away list had very good weeks.

Robyn Foley of Goulds, who plays defence for the University of Norwich (Conn.), had four assists in three games for the Cadets who play in the New England Div. 3 conference.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the border, Abby Clarke of Springdale, a goalie for the St. Thomas Tommies of the Atlantic University Sports women’s conference, continued her remarkable run of success.

Clarke has started nine straight games for the Fredericton-based Tommies, posting an 8-1 record, and allowing just 13 goals in that stretch, for a 1.44 GAA.

Her only loss was a 2-1 overtime setback, and in her last five games — all STU wins — she has allowed just a single goal each time out.

 

brendan.mccarthy@thetelegram.com

 

 

 

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