Tylers to tie it on; Fienhage to fight for spot

A pair of Sabres first round picks will faceoff against each other Friday night, as Tyler Myers' Kelowna Rockets visit Tyler Ennis and the Medicine Hat Tigers. The Kelowna Capital News has set the table for the matchup, including a bit on Myers who has assumed the leadership role on the blueline in the absence of Maple Leafs prospect, Luke Schenn.

The Rockets celebrated the return of Tyler Myers on Wednesday night as the lanky defenceman recorded a goal and an assist in the win, while breaking up several plays with his albatross-like reach.

The 6-foot-8 Myers—he grew another 1/2 inch during the off-season—is back after spending the better part of the last three weeks at the training camp of the Buffalo Sabres.

Myers played in one exhibition game, logging 15 minutes 59 seconds of ice time.

“It was a great experience,” Myers said of his first NHL training camp. “Playing with older guys and playing the game at that pace was a real learning experience. It’s definitely where I want to be one day.”

As for Myers’ return to the Rockets line-up, Huska said his impact was immediate, both on and off the ice.

“He logged a lot of minutes for us and what it did was help our younger guys play with more composure,” said Huska.

“He’s grown up a lot over the last couple of years and has become a real leader for us.”

While Myers had a fine return, Ennis has gotten off to a rather cold start in his young WHL season. After averaging 1.30 points-per-game in 2007-08, the talented forward has just one assist and a cumulative -4 in three games since returning from Buffalo's camp. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ In NCAA news, Brad Elliott Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald continues the thought that 2008 third-rounder Corey Fienhage will battle for the #6 spot on the Sioux blueline this fall.

On the blue line, sophomores Jake Marto and Derrick LaPoint will be relied upon even more than last season.

They split time as the sixth defenseman a year ago. The smooth-skating Marto had two goals and six assists in 28 games. LaPoint had two goals and five assists in 31 games.

“Both of them did a very good job in their roles last season,” Hakstol said. “But it’s a challenge to step up from a little more of a limited role to a more significant role. They’ll play more minutes and more key minutes.”

They are expected to be top-five defensemen along with Genoway, Joe Finley and Zach Jones. Freshmen Corey Fienhage, a third-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres, and rookie Ben Blood, a fourth-round pick of the Ottawa Senators, also will battle for a lineup spot.

A Mr. Hockey finalist last season while leading Eastview High, it shouldn't be long before the 6'3, 214-pounder is skating and hitting in the Sioux green.
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