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Teskey lends Americans a helping hand

When Tri-City general manager Bob Tory needed a goalie to back up Ty Rimmer while Eric Comrie was at the U-17 Hockey Challenge, he chose a player with WHL experience.

Brett Teskey played for the Kootenay Ice last year when they made their run for the Memorial Cup. Teskey was a backup to Nathan Lieuwen and saw just 7 minutes of ice time in the payoff after going 9-3-0-0 during the regular season.

Teskey has been playing for the Weyburn Red Wings of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, where he is 9-3-0-0. But when he got the call asking if he'd like to spend a few days with the Americans, he said it was a no-brainer to join the top team in the WHL.

"Since Day 1, it's been my goal to play in the WHL," Teskey said before the Americans took the ice for practice on Friday afternoon. "Since I got let go by Kootenay, I've wanted to get back. This could be my first step to getting back in the league."

Teskey has been taking pucks in practice and was on the bench when the Americans beat Kelowna 5-1 on Thursday.

"It was really exciting," he said. "Even in warmups, I had the biggest smile on my face. It's great to be in that environment. The fans here are great."

And, he's looking forward to Saturday's New Year's Eve bash with Spokane.

"The guys said it's awesome to play in front of crowds like that," he said. "I'm sure it will be comparable to playing in front of 12,000 in Portland last year in the WHL Finals."

It's unknown if Teskey will get any ice time while he's with the Americans, but he said the experience he's getting was worth the trip.

"This is a great group of guys. Real welcoming," Teskey said of the Americans. "The caliber of play, even in practice, is good for me. Ty has been a great guy, showing me the ropes on and off the ice. I'm taking bits and pieces of everything. I'll take this experience back to Weyburn."