Blades D learns lesson

SCOTT FISHER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:55 AM ET

Jyri Niemi is known for his big shot.

But the Saskatoon Blades defenceman is still working on his accuracy.

He learned a lesson the hard way last season when he rifled a shot off teammate Braden Holtby's mask in practice.

"He took a one-timer from the corner of the slot, and it went right off my chin," Holtby told the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. "It actually cracked my mask down the middle. I was pretty fired up about that. I said sorry after because I went a little crazy."

Niemi, who took a blocker in the face from Holtby after the errant shot, scored 14 goals last season but has just six this season.

ICE CHIPS

The Calgary Hitmen own the league's top powerplay at 31% while the Spokane Chiefs are No. 1 in penalty killing (88%) ... Brandon Wheat Kings C Scott Glennie and Hitmen C Brett Sonne are tied for the league lead with nine game-winning goals ... Calgary Flames draft pick Ryley Grantham, a centre with the Kelowna Rockets, tops the WHL with 158 penalty minutes.


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