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Winter Hawks

by: , VALCHAR

Next: The Winter Hawks (7-30-0-1) play host to Everett at 7 p.m. Saturday and Prince George at 5 p.m. Sunday.

Tribune player of week: European Radim Valchar had goals in post-Christmas losses to Moose Jaw and Seattle and set up Jacob Dietrich on the game-winning tally in a 2-1 victory over Tri-City. The fourth pick of the Canadian Hockey League draft, Valchar has started to come on; he has five goals and seven assists. From Karvina, Czech Republic, the 6-foot, 190-pound Valchar and four others have played in all 38 games.

• Former Hawk Cody McLeod, playing for Colorado, scored his first NHL goal Dec. 28 and added his second Monday against Phoenix. He also fought former teammate Brandon Dubinsky of the New York Rangers on Dec. 20. Hmm, bad blood?

McLeod, 23, is one of the few undrafted players to make the NHL, and he has drawn praise for his tough play.

'That's one guy that understands that you need to play the same game up here that you did down (in the minors),' the Avalanche's Ian Laperriere tells The Denver Post. 'That's why he got called up. He fits right in.' McLeod had been playing at affiliate Lake Erie.

'He plays hard. He plays simple,' coach Joel Quenneville tells The Post. 'Offensively, he knows his way around the rink. I think he's probably underappreciated in that part of his game.'

- Jason Vondersmith