Practice brings back ‘good memories’ for Brent;Leafs hold open skate before Marlies game

It was the announcer at Ricoh Coliseum, home of the Toronto
Marlies, who made the startling statement:

“Welcome back, Tim Brent!” he told the few hundred fans who
spent Sunday morning at a Leafs open practice before the Marlies’
afternoon game.

No, Brent hadn’t been returned to the AHL club; the ex-Marlie
was just getting the star treatment.

“Obviously, I’ve got a lot of good memories here,” said Brent.
“I enjoyed my time with the Marlies. I’m definitely a better hockey
player from playing here.

“But,” he added, pointing to the
Maple
Leafs crest on his red practise
jersey, “it’s always nice to put this jersey on.”

Leafs coach Ron Wilson is impressed with Francois Beauchemin’s
steady play on the blue line.

“He’s keeping the game simple, not trying to do too much,” said
Wilson. “He hasn’t been caught up the ice as much. Last year, he
was trying to do too much and pressed when we weren’t playing well.
Now he’s letting the game come to him. He played better last year
when we picked up Dion Phaneuf. Both players are compatible.”

Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta has been fined by the NHL for
trying to head-butt Travis Zajac of the Devils on Wednesday, TSN.ca
reports. In front of the New Jersey bench, Kaleta leaned and tried
to make contact using his head, but missed. Zajac gave him a shove
and drew a roughing minor.

The Calgary Flames have moved ex-Leaf Matt Stajan on to their
top line with Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay.

The Leafs will hold a news conference Monday morning to promote
their participation in the annual CHL Prospects Game. Toronto
hosted the first three events beginning in 1996 at
Maple
Leaf Gardens.

“Another great hockey event for Toronto,” said Tom Anselmi,
executive vice-president of
Maple
Leaf Sports and Entertainment. “This
is another nice step and builds Toronto’s profile as a great hockey
town.”

The two-day event features talent from the Western, Ontario and
Quebec junior leagues. The skills competition and three-on-three
challenge will be on Jan. 18, the day before the game.

Thomas Nesbitt scored twice and added an assist as the Ottawa
67’s defeated the Battalion 5-1 in OHL action in Brampton. Petr
Mrazek made 41 saves for Ottawa, 18 in the first period to set the
tone.

Brett Thompson had two goals and two assists, including the
overtime winner, as the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds beat the Storm
6-5 in Guelph. Vern Cooper scored and added three assists for the
Greyhounds (4-6-1). Michael Latta had a hat trick for Guelph
(5-3-2).

Ivan Telegin scored twice as the Saginaw Spirit netted four
unanswered goals to beat the Generals 5-2 in Oshawa. Saginaw’s
Anthony Camara scored 16 seconds into the game, which was rough
from the start. Saginaw’s Michael Kantor and Oshawa’s Jeff Brown
fought three seconds in.

Kevin McGran, Star wires