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Terrier 50th: Moger sets sights on NHL roster

Week #12 comes from Jan. 6, 1993. 
Sandy Moger

YORKTON - The Yorkton Junior Terriers are celebrating 50 years in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League this season.

To mark the milestone Yorkton This Week is digging into its archives and pulling out a random Terrier-related article from the past five decades of reporting on the team, and will be running one each week, just as it originally appeared.

This feature will appear weekly over the entire season in the pages of The Marketplace.

Week #12 comes from Jan. 6, 1993. 

Many Yorkton Terriers have gone on to solid American college careers, but Sandy Moger is one of the few to parlay the move into the National Hockey League draft.

Moger, 23, who played with the Terriers during the 1987-88 season, was drafted 176th overall in the 1989 entry draft.

“I was really happy – and also surprised,” he said from Hamilton Monday. “I’d been talking to Hartford and Minnesota and then Vancouver drafted me.”

Being a British Columbia native the opportunity to play with Vancouver was like the proverbial dream coming true.

“It would be a chance for my family and friends to come out and see me,” he said.

And during training camp last fall they had the chance as Moger attended the Canucks’ training camp, and played in six exhibition games.

“It was fast and skillful,” said Moger of NHL hockey. “But it was a lot easier too.”

Moger theorizes that the skill level is such that everyone knows their role, whereas in the junior ranks mistakes contribute to the uncertainty of the game.

Being teamed with veterans Cliff Ronning and Sergio Momesso helped smooth the way for the right-winger’s transition into the pros.

“You give him (Ronning) the puck and go to the net,” said Moger.

Moger scored his first goal in Los Angeles, and added three assists for four points in pre-season play, but when training camp ended he was sill headed to Hamilton for a year of seasoning in the American Hockey League.

“I think I can play up there if I can be more consistent,” he said. “I play four good games and then have an off game and then four more good games.”

The Vancouver coaching staff would also like Moger to work more on his skating.

“All three coaches, Pat Quinn and his assistants, really helped out in explaining if we did something wrong,” he said.

The vets also helped, although Moger admitted to being somewhat in awe of players such as Pavel Bure.

“They (the vets) really get you pumped up and ready to play,” he said.

Realistically, Moger expects it will take at least another year, and probably two in the AHL before a spot on the Canucks will open.

During his three-year career at Lake Superior State Moger did have a fair amount of success, which included being part of a national championship team last season.

As team captain, Moger led the Lakers with 25 goals, including seven game winners, also a team best.

“It was a skating, hitting team,” he said, which made his years with the Terriers an excellent training ground.

“At the time the Saskatchewan league was considered the top league. The players were known for skating and hitting.”

In the meantime, Moger isn’t setting too many goals for himself.

“I just want to play sound hockey and have a good year,” he said.