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TULSA Oilers coach leaving for Portland

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Tulsa Oilers coach Shaun Clouston will leave the minor-league hockey team to take a position with a Western Junior Hockey League team.

Clouston announced Thursday he would become an assistant with Portland, which he called a premier organization in a premier league.

``In order to take the next step in my career, this is a move I needed to make and Portland was able to offer enough to make it financially worthwhile for me to come.''

Clouston, who was a captain on the Oilers when Tulsa won the Central Hockey League championship in 1992-93, said the decision to leave was not an easy one.

``But this is a great opportunity to go to the major junior level and back to where I played for three years, including two as a captain.''

Clouston, 33, has a year left on his contract, but Oilers owner Jeff Lund said he would not stop Clouston's departure.

Under Clouston, the Oilers were 74-53-13 and had two playoff berths in two seasons. He coached San Angelo of the Western Pro Hockey League before signing on with Tulsa.

Lund said he wants to fill the coaching position quickly because of recruiting needs, but said he has no timetable or a list of top candidates compiled.
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