Leaf profile: Andrew Walton says ‘no big deal’ to play out his junior career in Nelson

first_imgThroughout the KIJHL season The Nelson Daily Sports Editor Bruce Fuhr will take a capsule look at the players on the Nelson Leafs hockey club. Today the focus in on starting netminder Andrew Walton.If someone in the crowd last year during a Nelson/Castlegar game had said in a year from now Andrew Walton would be wearing the Green and White and tending goal for the Nelson Leafs the response would have been:“Are you crazy?”But there was 6’1”, 170-pound Sunflower City native backstopping the green and white to a 3-0 victory over their Murdoch Division counterparts, in his hometown of Castlegar, no less, on opening night of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League season.“I felt pretty good but that was definitely not the same (Castlegar) team as last year,” Walton said about the eventful night at the Community Complex.“(Sniper Ryan) Anysley wasn’t there so it’s not the same team as last season.”Fact is the 20-year-old goalie has moved on.Fact is Walton moved on last season when he asked for a trade in the middle of Castlegar’s amazing run that saw the Rebels make it all the way to the KIJHL final.“I just wanted to assure myself of playing in the Cyclone Taylor tournament,” Walton said when asked about the mid-season deal, a blockbuster trade by KIJHL standards.Walton got his wish. However, it was the road to the Cyclone Taylor Cup that he might have wanted to be traveled a little different.His former mates from Castlegar knocked Walton and the Ghostriders out of the playoffs during the Kootenay Conference Finals.A hiccup during the opener in Fernie proved to be the difference as the Rebels ousted the Riders in six games.Walton did get the last laugh against his former mates as Walton got a free pass to the Cyclone while Castlegar lost a heartbreaking KIJHL final to the Osoyoos Coyotes.But just when it appeared Walton would sip from the cup of Cyclone victory, the Peninsula Panthers skated away with a 5-3 victory in the tourney final.“That definitely sucked a lot,” Walton, still feeling that bitter taste in his mouth when the subject is brought up, said. “All of us could have played a lot better, including myself. But I thought during the game lot of the bounces went their way for sure.”But that was last year and this is a new opportunity for Walton.To be back in the West Kootenay, closer to family, and finish out his junior hockey career with the Green and White in Nelson.“I don’t really think it’s that big a deal,” said Walton about playing in Nelson. “It’s not like I necessarily going to be remembered for playing junior B in Castlegar.”Fans may not remember Walton in Castlegar in a few years.But the current Leaf players, especially the defence, will definitely have fond memories of Walton during this season.“He’s like another defenceman back there,’’ said Leaf rearguard Tyler Parfeniuk, one of two 20-year-olds, including Walton, that will be called upon to provide veteran leadership to this band of younger players on the Leafs.“He’s so cool under pressure and handles the puck so well.”Walton, enrolled in the carpentry program at Selkirk College, is eager to make this final season in junior hockey a successful one.After last season’s musical goalies between the pipes for Nelson, it’s obvious Walton will be a welcome edition to the Leafs.“I want to help Nelson go really far and win the league this year,” Walton prophesized. “I think we have a really good team here. We’ve got a really good bunch of guys and we’re only going to get better as the season goes on.”Andrew Walton Fast FactsPosition: GoalHeight: 6’1″Weight: 170 poundsHometown: CastlegarAge: 20:Favourite music: anything but countryFavourite NHL team: None really, but in a pinch Detroit Red WingsFavourite NHL player: Pavel DatsyukFavourite hobby other than hockey: Playing video games, NHL 12iPhone or BlackBerry: Knock off cell phonesports@thenelsondaily.comlast_img read more

Connacht Rugby chief speaks about Pat Lam’s departure

first_imgConnacht Rugby CEO Willie Ruane (above right) was in studio this morning chatting about yesterday’s shock announcement that Head Coach Pat Lam was leaving at the end of the season for Bristol. Ruane told Keith Finnegan about the process involved in replacing the man who has made such an impact in his 4 years in charge… Audio Playerhttps://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/sports.podcast/Willie+Ruane+Studio.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume..print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Emaillast_img read more

Closing arguments in La Mesa gang murder trial set for Tuesday

first_img SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Closing arguments are scheduled tomorrow in the murder trial of two suspected gang members accused in a pair of fatal shootings that took place years apart in La Mesa as part of a gang feud.Donte Haddock and Anthony Frank, both 28, are charged with the murders of Xusha Brown Jr., 22, on May 5, 2013, and Darris Walker, 20, on April 30, 2011. They face life imprisonment without the possibility of parole if convicted of murder, attempted premeditated murder and conspiracy to commit murder, with a special circumstance allegation that the killings were carriedout to benefit a street gang.A third defendant, 29-year-old Alaeante Eason, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and awaits sentencing next month. Deputy District Attorney Sophia Roach alleged in her opening statement that the defendants both fired on Walker as he sat alone in the back seat of a car parked in the lot of a restaurant on Alvarado Road.“Two years later, they would kill again,” she said, referring to the shooting death of Brown, a member of the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation.The prosecutor said Brown was an unintended target who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was riding in a car on eastbound Interstate 8 in La Mesa when shots fired from a silver or light gray sedan hit him in the head and wounded the driver, Malcolm Hune, according to Roach. The car belonged to Haddock, who was driving while Frank emptied a pistol into the vehicle withthe intention of killing Hune, she alleged.The prosecutor said the car could be seen on surveillance footage circling a gas station where Hune and Brown were fueling up just before the shooting. Days afterward, the car was posted for sale on Craigslist, presumably in an attempt to get rid of the evidence, Roach said.The prosecutor alleged that Frank told some witnesses that he killed Brown, while text messages implicated Haddock in the killing.Haddock’s attorney, Jane Kinsey, said her client was staying with a woman on the night of Brown’s killing, which she said would be corroborated by the woman and several other witnesses. She also said that on the night of Walker’s killing, Haddock’s cell phone showed he was nowhere near the shooting scene.Kinsey told jurors that the prosecution could not definitively prove her client’s involvement in either shooting, and thus would spend much of the trial focusing on his gang affiliation and the protracted gang feud to distract from the real issues at hand.“Don’t get bogged down in a lot of the side events,” Kinsey said. “The gang feud is not the issue. The question is whether this young man is guilty of these crimes.”Frank’s attorney, Richard Jayakumar, claimed Eason — in a bid to raise his standing within the gang — was actually the man who killed Brown. Jayakumar said Eason and Hune had previous issues with each other, culminating in Eason’s attempt on Hune’s life, which “tragically” resulted in Brown’s killing.Jayakumar also argued that there was no physical evidence tying Frank to Brown’s murder and called the investigation against his client “flawed and misdirected” and based on “lies and rumors.”In the case of Walker’s murder, Jayakumar said his client and the victim were friends, and that Frank would have no motive for killing Walker. Eason, Haddock and Frank were arrested in 2016. July 15, 2019 Closing arguments in La Mesa gang murder trial set for Tuesday Posted: July 15, 2019 KUSI Newsroom KUSI Newsroom, Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more