F Pavel Brendl (Calgary, 1998-2001) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Wings Arlanda (Sweden, Division 1). Brendl didn’t play last season. In 2015-16, he had 19 goals and 10 assists in 46 games with Skalica (Slovakia, Extraliga), and three goals and three assists in six games with Zvolen (Slovakia, Extraliga) 6.
A LITTLE OF THIS …
With D Linus Nassen on the shelf, the Medicine Hat Tigers had D Eric Van Impe make his WHL debut on Friday night against the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings.
Van Impe is the son of former WHL D Darren Van Impe (Prince Albert, Red Deer, 1990-94).
The Tigers acquired Eric from Spokane, along with F Hayden Ostir, and a second-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft, on Oct. 19, sending F Zach Fischer to the Chiefs.
Van Impe, a second-round pick by the Chiefs in the 2016 bantam draft, has eight goals and 13 assists in 21 games with the midget AAA Calgary Northstars. Last season, he had five goals and 10 assists in 34 games with the Northstars.
CHAT News Today reports that Nassen, a freshman from Sweden, will miss up to eight weeks with a broken radial bone near one wrist. CHAT also reports that Ostir is week-to-week with a broken hand.
The Tigers are still waiting to get F Mason Shaw back after he suffered a knee injury that required surgery while with the NHL-Minnesota Wild’s entry in a preseason tournament.
F Josh Williams, who suffered a broken collarbone at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge, returned to the Medicine Hat lineup last night.
The Red Deer Rebels, who likely aren’t going to be in the playoffs in the spring, continued to get younger on Friday when they added F Alex Morozoff, 16, to their roster. . . . Morozoff, from Saskatoon, was a seventh-round selection by the Rebels in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . This season, he had 15 goals and 10 assists in 27 games with the midget AAA Saskatoon Contacts. Last season, he finished with five goals and 11 assists in 44 games with the Contacts. . . . Morozoff made his WHL debut in his hometown last night, scoring once in a 3-2 loss to the Blades.
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Tyler Steenbergen of the Swift Current Broncos, Canada’s 13th forward for most of the World Junior Championship, broke a 1-1 tie at 18:20 of the third period as his guys won gold with a 3-1 victory over Sweden on Friday night in Buffalo. . . . Steenbergen’s winner came as he skated to the left side of the Swedish goal with his stick on the ice and redirected a hard pass from D Conor Timmins past G Filip Gustavsson. . . . When Steenbergen left for Team Canada’s selection camp early in December, he had 35 goals in 27 games with the Broncos. . . . G Carter Hart stopped 35 shots in posting his eighth WJC career victory. He now shares the Team Canada record for career victories with Jimmy Waite and Stephane Fiset. . . . Team Canada included eight WHL players — D Jake Bean (Calgary), D Kale Clague (Brandon), F Dillon Dube (Kelowna), D Cal Foote (Kelowna), Hart, F Brett Howden (Moose Jaw), F Sam Steel (Regina) and Steenbergen — along with assistant coach Tim Hunter (Moose Jaw), athletic therapist Brian Cheeseman (Edmonton) and video coach Tim O’Donovan (Kamloops). . . . Brad McEwen, a familiar face in WHL arenas for a lot of years, played a key part, too, as Hockey Canada’s head scout. . . . In the video above, that’s Clague celebrating with this family. That’s his father, Jason, to the left. He is a former WHL goaltender. . . .
D Cale Makar, who is in his first season at UMass-Amherst, may have been Canada’s top defenceman in the tournament. He finished with three goals and five assists in the seven games. . . . A 19-year-old from Calgary, Makar was selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the fourth round of the NHL’s 2017 draft. . . . The Medicine Hat Tigers picked Makar in the eighth round of the WHL’s 2013 bantam draft, but he chose to play for the AJHL’s Brooks Bandits and then take the NCAA route. . . . It’s interesting that Brad McEwen, now Hockey Canada’s head scout, was Medicine Hat’s assistant GM and director of scouting when the Tigers drafted Makar. . . . A former Tigers scout told Taking Note last night that “Makar being on the Canadian team has Brad McEwen’s fingerprints all over it. . . . We had hoped he would come over to the WHL, but it never happened. . . . Brad has spent many years scouting in the Dub and obviously drew on some of that knowledge in putting the different pieces together on this team.” . . .
F Kieffer Bellows of the Portland Winterhawks scoredtwice as the U.S. beat Czech Republic, 9-3, in the third-place game at the World Junior Championship in Buffalo on Friday. That left Bellows with nine goals in the tournament — one of them came in a shootout, and the IIHF credits scorers with those goals. That is the most goals scored by an American in any one WJC, breaking the record that had been set by Jeremy Roenick at the 1989 tournament in Anchorage. In that event, Roenick had eight goals and eight assists in seven games as the U.S. finished fifth.
It’s worth noting that F Kailer Yamamoto of the Spokane Chiefs played in Friday’s game, despite having to be helped off the ice near the end of Thursday’s 4-2 loss to Sweden in a semifinal game. In the dying seconds, Swedish F Oskar Steen slashed Yamamoto behind the right knee. Yamamoto went down in a heap and teammates had to help him to the dressing room. In Friday’s pregame warmup, Yamamoto appeared to be favouring the leg, but as time went on — and he got warmed up — he looked to be playing at top speed.
Steen received a warning from the IIHF disciplinary committee and played in the championship game later in the evening.
Meanwhile, reports indicate that F Joachim Blichfeld of the Winterhawks, who played for Denmark at the WJC, wasn’t seriously injured when he was checked into the boards and struck his head. Blichfeld, who missed some games earlier in the season with a concussion, was stretchered off the ice and taken to hospital for tests.
Kevin Kurz, who covers the NHL’s San Jose Sharks for @TheAthleticSF, tweeted that a Sharks spokesman had told him there was “nothing serious” and that Blichfeld would “rest for a bit” and be back with Portland soon.
Blichfeld was selected by the Sharks in the seventh round of the NHL’s 2016 draft and signed an NHL contract on Dec. 28.
THE COACHING GAME …
The OHL’s Peterborough Petes fired head coach Jody Hull on Friday and replaced him with assistant Andrew Verner, at least on an interim basis. . . . At the time of the move, the Petes were 16-20-3, good for fourth place in the East Division and sixth place in the Eastern Conference. . . . Hull took over as interim head coach on Dec. 20, 2012, and had the interim tag removed on Feb. 14, 2013. His regular-season record with the Petes is 167-147-30. . . . Hull played for the Petes (1985-88) before going on to a 16-year pro career. . . . Verner is in his third season as an assistant coach with the Petes. He had been the team’s goaltending coach for two seasons (2013-15), and also played for the Petes (1989-92).
At Prince Albert, F Regan Nagy, in his first game with the Raiders, scored twice in a 7-3 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Nagy, who hadn’t played since Nov. 28 because of a finger injury, was acquired from the Victoria Royals earlier in the week. . . . The Raiders (14-17-8) had lost their previous five games (0-4-1). They are seven points out of a playoff spot. . . . The Ice (18-20-3) has lost four in a row (0-3-1). It finishes a stretch of five games in six nights tonight in Saskatoon. Kootenay is second in the Central Division, eight points behind Medicine Hat. . . . F Jordy Stallard (27) gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead 34 seconds into the first period. . . . Ice F Colton Veloso tied it at 1:25. . . . The Raiders took control with the next four goals. . . . D Brayden Pachal broke the tie at 9:36, with F Brett Leason (7) scoring, shorthanded, at 7:30 of the second period. . . . F Parker Kelly (17) upped the lead to 4-1 at 1:05 of the third period. . . . Pachal (4) got his second goal of the game at 2:37. He has three of his four goals in his past two games. . . . Veloso (14), on a PP, and D Jonathan Smart (5), shorthanded, added third-period goals for the Ice. . . . Nagy got the game’s last two goals, at 14:59 and 19:57. . . . Stallard added an assist to his goal. . . . The Ice got two assists from F Peyton Krebs. . . . The Ice was 1-5 on the PP; the Raiders were 0-1. . . . G Ian Scott earned the victory with 21 saves. . . . Kootenay starter Duncan McGovern was beaten three times on 14 shots in 11:14. Bailey Brkin came on to finish up and stopped 12 of 16 shots. . . . D Jeremy Masella, acquired by the Raiders from Victoria on Thursday, had one assist. . . . Announced attendance: 1,882.
At Saskatoon, D Jake Kustra broke a 2-2 tie at 10:35 of the third period as Blades beat the Red Deer Rebels, 3-2. . . . Saskatoon (20-17-3) has won six straight games and is tied with Regina for the Eastern Conference’s two wild-card spots. . . . The Rebels (10-21-8) have lost six in a row (0-3-3). . . . F Braylon Shmyr (20) put the home side ahead 1-0 at 19:19 of the first period. Shmyr, who drew the primary assist on the winner, has goals in five straight games. He also is on a six-game multi-point tear during which time he has six goals and 11 assists. . . . The Rebels took a 2-1 lead on second-period goals from F Reese Johnson (12), at 8:44, and F Alex Morozoff (1), on a PP, at 13:51. From Saskatoon, Morozoff was making his WHL debut. . . . F Bradly Goethals (9) pulled the Blades even at 16:42. . . . Kustra won it with his second goal of the season. It was his fourth goal in 128 career games. . . . Red Deer was 1-2 on the PP; Saskatoon was 0-1. . . . G Nolan Maier stopped 22 shots for the Blades, two fewer than Red Deer’s Riley Lamb. . . . F Mason McCarty (ill) was among Red Deer’s scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 3,169.
At Brandon, F Ty Lewis scored in OT to give the Wheat Kings a 3-2 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Brandon (26-12-1) had lost its previous four games. . . . Swift Current (27-11-2) is second in the overall standings, four points ahead of Brandon. . . . F Matteo Gennaro scored twice for the visitors, giving him 24 goals. He gave his guys a 1-0 lead at 16:53 of the first period. . . . After Brandon F Baron Thompson (11) tied it, at 6:27 of the second period, Gennaro put his boys out front again, at 7:10 of the third. . . . F Evan Weinger (19), on a PP, tied it for Brandon at 9:31. . . . Lewis won it with his 21st goal of the season at 3:32 of extra time. . . . Weinger had the lone assist on the winner. . . . F Max Patterson had two assists for the Broncos. . . . Brandon was 1-4 on the PP; Swift Current was 0-1. . . . The Wheat Kings got 24 saves from G Logan Thompson. . . . Logan Flodell stopped 32 shots for the Broncos. . . . Announced attendance: 3,351.
At Calgary, the Moose Jaw Warriors jumped out to a 4-0 lead and went on to a 5-3 victory over the Hitmen. . . . Moose Jaw (32-6-3) has points in seven straight games (6-0-1) and leads the overall standings by 10 points over Swift Current. . . . Calgary (12-21-6) is 13 points out of a playoff spot. . . . The Warriors scored two goals in each of the first two periods. . . . F Jayden Halbgewachs (42) got it started while shorthanded, at 9:35 of the first and F Tanner Jeannot upped it to 2-0 at 17:47. . . . D Dmitri Zaitsev (3) scored on a PP at 7:33 of the second and Jeannot (30) made it 4-0 at 15:17. . . . F Riley Stotts got Calgary’s first goal, on a PP, at 11:58 of the third period. . . . Moose Jaw F Vince Loschiavo (13) got that one back at 14:33. . . . Stotts (8) and D Layne Toder, with his first WHL goal, scored for Calgary before the period ended. . . . The Warriors got two assists from F Tristin Langan and one each from Loschiavo, Zaitsev, Jeannot and Halbgewachs. . . . Moose Jaw F Brayden Burke, the WHL scoring leader, was held pointless. . . . Toder also had an assist for Calgary. . . . Calgary was 1-4 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 1-5. . . . G Adam Evanoff started and stopped all 18 shots he faced in 45:53 for Moose Jaw, before giving way to Brady Willms, who was beaten three times on five shots in 14:07. Evanoff went to the dressing room with trainer Brooke Kosolofski after taking a blow to the head. . . . Calgary starter Nick Schneider was beaten four times on 31 shots through two periods. Matthew Armitage stopped 10 of 11 shots in the third period. . . . Announced attendance: 5,435.
At Lethbridge, F Tyler Benson scored twice to help the Vancouver Giants to a 5-2 victory over the Hurricanes. . . . The Giants (22-14-5) are 4-0-1 in their past five games. They also have won five straight on the road. They are second in the B.C. Division, two points behind Kelowna. . . . Lethbridge (17-18-3) had points in its previous three games (2-0-1). It is third in the Central Division, two points behind Kootenay. . . . F Jordy Bellerive (23) gave Lethbridge a 1-0 lead at 8:02 of the first period. . . . D Alex Kannok Leipert (2) tied it at 15:56. . . . Benson gave the visitors their first lead at 4:30 of the second period. . . . G Giorgio Estephan (18) tied it at 5:50. . . . Benson (17) snapped that tie at 6:29, with F Ty Ronning (35) adding insurance at 3:39 of the third period, on a PP. . . . F Jared Dmytriw (11) got the empty-netter, on a PP, at 17:31. . . . Ronning, D Darian Skeoch and F Brayden Watts each had two assists for the winners. . . . Bellerive also had an assist for Lethbridge. . . . Vancouver was 2-6 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-5. . . . The Giants got 33 saves from G David Tendeck. . . . G Stuart Skinner blocked 21 shots for the Hurricanes. . . . F Cole Shepard, a second-round pick by the Giants in the 2017 bantam draft, made his BCHL debut with the Penticton Vees last night. From West Vancouver, B.C., has has 10 goals and 25 assists in 23 games with the Delta Hockey Academy’s CSSHL prep team. . . . Announced attendance: 3,475.
At Medicine Hat, F Max Gerlach had two goals and an assist to help the Tigers to a 5-1 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Medicine Hat (22-15-3) has points in four straight games (3-0-1). It leads the Central Division by eight points over Kootenay. . . . Edmonton (10-23-6) had points in each of its previous six games (3-0-3). . . . Gerlach opened the scoring, on a PP, at 8:28 of the first period, and F Baxter Anderson (1) made it 2-0 at 5:05 of the second. Anderson, 17, had one goal in six games last season. He’s got a goal and three assists in 27 games this season. . . . D David Quenneville (17) made it 3-0, on a PP, 46 seconds into the third period. . . . F David Kope (6) scored while shorthanded for Edmonton, at 2:57 of the third period. . . . F Mark Rassell (34) and Gerlach (16) scored for the Tigers before the period ended. . . . D Kristians Rubins had two assists for the winners, with Gerlach, Rassell and Quenneville adding one apiece. . . . The Tigers were 2-8 on the PP; the Oil Kings were 0-6. . . . G Michael Bullion earned the victory with 19 saves, two fewer than Edmonton’s Josh Dechaine. . . . The Oil Kings lost F Colton Kehler at 18:45 of the second period with a match penalty for attempt to injury after he slew-footed D Dylan MacPherson of the Tigers. . . . Freshman F Josh Williams, 16, was back in Medicine Hat’s lineup for the first time since Oct. 28. He had four goals in 14 games when he suffered a broken collarbone at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge. He was the fifth-overall selection in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . D Logan Dowhaniuk, 15, made his WHL debut for the Oil Kings. From Sherwood Park, Alta., he was a second-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft. . . . Announced attendance: 3,059.
At Prince George, F Jared Bethune scored three times to lead the Cougars to a 4-3 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . The Cougars (15-18-6) have points in three straight (2-0-1). They are tied with Kamloops for fourth in the B.C. Division, seven points out of a playoff spot. . . . The Americans (20-12-5) have lost two in a row. They are third in the U.S. Division, two points behind Portland. . . . Bethune, who has 12 goals, gave the home side a 2-0 first-period lead with goals at 14:42, on a PP, at 16:51. . . . F Nolan Yaremko (13) pulled the Americans to within a goal at 1:41 of the second period. . . . F Josh Maser (16) got that one back for Prince George at 11:58. . . . Bethune completed the hat trick, his second in the WHL, with a PP goal at 6:40 of the third period. . . . The Americans made it interesting with goals from F Sasha Mutala (4), on a PP, at 9:46, and F Riley Sawchuk (5), at 19:00. . . . Maser, D Dennis Cholowski and D Joel Lakusta each had two assists for Prince George. . . . Mutala added an assist to his goal. . . . The Cougars were 2-3 on the PP; the Americans were 1-5. . . . G Tavin Grant stopped 34 shots for the Cougars. . . . The Americans got 16 saves from G Patrick Dea. . . . F Kody McDonald was among Prince George’s scratches. He was in the lineup but then was a late scratch. . . . Announced attendance: 2,855.
At Kelowna, the Seattle Thunderbirds scored the game’s last three goals and beat the Rockets, 6-4. . . . Seattle (19-14-5) has points in seven straight games (6-0-1). It holds down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . Kelowna (24-12-3) had won its previous six games. It has also won 13 in a row at home. The Rockets lead the Western Conference by two points over Vancouver. . . . Seattle D Aaron Hyman, back after being out since Dec. 1 with an undisclosed injury, scored his first goal of the season — and fourth in 134 career games — at 1:36 of the opening period. . . . F Dillon Hamaliuk (7) made it 2-0 at 13:52. . . . F Leif Mattson (11) got Kelowna on the scoreboard at 16:11. . . . Seattle got that one back when F Donovan Neuls scored, on a PP, at 7:23 of the second period. . . . The Rockets took a 4-3 lead on second-period goals from D Gordie Ballhorn (3), on a PP, at 8:25; F Kyle Topping (15), at 10:10; and F Carsen Twarynski (27), at 17:16. . . . Seattle pulled even as Neuls (11) got his second goal of the game, at 18:19. . . . F Nolan Volcan scored his 17th goal at 8:59 of the third period to give Seattle a 5-4 lead. . . . D Austin Strand (13) upped it to 6-4 at 12:09. . . . Volcan, in his fourth season with Seattle, had 16 goals in each of his previous two seasons. . . . Seattle got two assists from each of D Jarret Tyszka, F Zack Andrusiak and F Matthew Wedman. . . . F Nolan Foote had two helpers for Kelowna. . . . F Sami Moilanen had an assist in his return to Seattle’s lineup. He hadn’t played since leaving in December to try and crack the roster of Finland’s national junior team. . . . Seattle was 1-1 on the PP; Kelowna was 1-7. . . . G Liam Hughes earned the victory with 26 saves, five more than Kelowna’s James Porter Jr. . . . Announced attendance: 5,230.
At Spokane, F Hudson Elynuik and F Jaret Anderson-Dolan each had two goals as the Chiefs whipped the Portland Winterhawks, 9-3. . . . Spokane (21-15-3) is tied with Tri-City for third in the U.S. Division, but the Americans hold four games in hand. . . . Portland (22-13-3) had been 1-0-2 in its previous three games. It is second in the U.S. Division, one point behind Everett. . . . The Chiefs took control of this one with three first-period goals, from F Ethan McIndoe (10), on a PP, at 5:55; D Tyson Helgesen (5), at 9:11; and Anderson-Dolan, at 19:07. . . . F Jake Gricius (7) scored Portland’s first goal, at 4:26 of the second period. . . . Spokane F Zach Fischer (18) restored the three-goal lead, on a PP, at 8:32. . . . Portland F Cody Glass (23) scored at 11:23. . . . The Chiefs put it away with the next three goals, from F Jake McGrew (7) and two from Elynuik, who now has 21 goals. . . . F Skyler McKenzie (28) had Portland’s last goal. . . . Anderson-Dolan (21), on a PP, and D Luke Gallagher (1) rounded out Spokane’s scoring. . . . The Chiefs got three assists from F Eli Zummack, two from each of D Nolan Reid and D Ty Smith, and one each from Helgesen, McGrew and Elynuik. . . . Spokane was 3-4 on the PP; Portland was 0-2. . . . G Dawson Weatherill made 16 saves for the Chiefs, while Portland’s Cole Kehler stopped 41 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 5,042.
At Victoria, G Griffen Outhouse tied a franchise record as the Royals blanked the Everett Silvertips, 5-0. . . . Outhouse had 10 career shutouts, tying the Chilliwack/Victoria franchise record that he now shares with Lucas Gore. . . . Victoria (22-15-4) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). It is third in the B.C. Division, one point behind Vancouver. . . . Everett (23-15-2) leads the U.S. Division, by one point over Portland. . . . Outhouse stopped 38 shots in recording his second shutout of this season. . . . The Royals got goals from three recently acquired players. . . . F Braydon Buziak (3), who came over from Regina, made it 1-0 at 16:05 of the second period. . . . F Jeff de Wit (5), acquired from Kootenay, increased the lead to 2-0 just 17 seconds into the third period. . . . F Andrei Grishakov (12), who was acquired from Calgary, scored the game’s last goal, at 17:40. . . . F Dante Hannoun (14) and F Matthew Phillips (29) also scored. . . . F Kaid Oliver had two assists, with Buziak, Phillips and Hannoun each getting one. . . . Victoria was 0-2 on the PP; Everett was 0-3 on the PP. . . . Everett starter Dustin Wolf allowed four goals on 22 shots in 51:18, beefier Danton Belluk came on to stop two of three shots in 8:42. . . . Announced attendance: 5,207.
SATURDAY (all times local):
Red Deer at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.
Regina at Swift Current, 7 p.m.
Kootenay at Saskatoon 7:05 p.m.
Moose Jaw at Edmonton 7 p.m.
Calgary at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.
Vancouver at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.
Victoria at Kamloops, 7 p.m.
Tri-City at Prince George, 7 p.m.
Portland at Everett, 7:05 p.m.
Spokane vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash. 7:05 p.m.
TWEET OF THE DAY