Ex-Silvertips find success with Kelowna

Cody Fowlie and JT Barnett were deemed excess to the Everett Silvertips’ needs.

But both landed on their feet in Kelowna, and at least for the time being they’re making the most of their time with the Rockets.

Fowlie and Barnett made their return to Everett on Sunday when the Tips played host to the Rockets, and they helped contribute to Kelowna’s dominating 8-2 victory.

“It felt good, but it was a pretty big win so I kind of felt bad,” Fowlie said about his return to Everett. “It was nice to see the guys again.”

Both have contributed for the Rockets. Fowlie has six goals and three assists in 13 games with the Rockets. Barnett suffered a knee injury in Kelowna’s first game of the season, but he recently returned and has two goals and an assist in those three contests.

“They’re both good young men,” Kelowna coach Ryan Huska said. “Unfortunately for JT this is the first we’ve seen of him because of the injury he had in our first game of the year, but he’s worked very hard to get himself back into the lineup and has been a good addition for us. Cody has been a pleasant surprise, he works very hard and he fit into our dressing room from day one. So both have been good for us.”

Fowlie and Barnett both opened training camp with Everett as the 20-year-old wingers were among four players competing for Everett’s three overage roster slots.

Barnett, who had four goals and eight assists in 20 games with the Tips last season after arriving in a trade with Kamloops, was the odd-man out and placed on waivers, with the Rockets claiming him.

“Things have gone well,” Barnett said. “It’s a great organization, I really can’t say enough about them.”

Fowlie, who spent the previous two seasons with the Tips and had 14 goals and 26 assists in 72 games last season, seemed safe. However, when the overager deadline arrived in October, Fowlie was unexpectedly released when Everett chose to pick up defenseman Connor Cox, who was released by Saskatoon. That move came just as the Tips were beginning their six-game road trip through the WHL’s East Division.

Fowlie originally joined the British Columbia Hockey League’s Vernon Vipers. However, when the Rockets found themselves down two overagers because of injuries they called on Fowlie.

“I was confused, for the most part,” Fowlie said about being released. “But it all worked out for the best, I guess.

“Things have been really good (with Kelowna),” Fowlie added. “I’ve started getting some goals and really clicking with the guys on my line.”

While things are going smoothly for Fowlie and Barnett in Kelowna for now, it’s possible they’ll find themselves back in an overager battle. Defenseman Mitchell Chapman is expected back in a month, which would give the Rockets four overagers. But for now they’ll enjoy the ride.

Around the WHL

Spokane Chiefs coach Don Nachbaur reached an impressive milestone when he coached his 1,000th career WHL game in Saturday’s 5-2 victory over the Tri-City Americans. Nachbaur became just the fourth coach to achieve that feat. Nachbaur is in his 15th season behind the bench of a WHL team, having spent previous stints with Seattle and Tri-City. … The Moose Jaw Warriors announced that 19-year-old defenseman Reid Jackson will not play again this season. Jackson is dealing with post-concussion symptoms. … Portland’s Brendan Leipsic was named the WHL Player of the Week. The 18-year-old forward had three goals and six assists as the Winterhawks went 3-0.

League leaders

Points — JC Lipon (Kamloops) 53; goals — Lipon 21; assists — Colin Smith (Kamloops) 33; penalty minutes — Ryley Miller (Brandon) 81; wins — Luke Siemens (Prince Albert) 17; goals against average — Tristan Jarry (Edmonton) 1.50; save percentage — Mac Carruth (Portland) .942.

Check out Nick Patterson’s Silvertips blog at http://www.heraldnet.com/silvertipsblog, and follow him on Twitter at NickHPatterson.

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