A LITTLE OF THIS . . .
Two men who work as off-ice employees at WHL games are headed to the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. Dan Courneyea, who heads up the Kamloops Blazers’ off-ice crew, and Ed Petrullo, a scorekeeper with the Seattle Thunderbirds, leave Friday for PyeongChang, where they will be part of the crew working the hockey competitions for the IOC. . . . Courneyea has been with the Blazers for 24 years. He has plenty of international experience, having worked, among other things, a World Junior Championship, the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and a World Women’s Championship. . . . Petrullo worked the 2010 Wknter Games in Vancouver and also travelled to Kamloops to work the World Women’s Championship in 2016. . . . How do you get to PyeongChang from Kamloops? You fly to Vancouver, wait for four hours, then fly to Seoul. From there, it’s two hours on a high-speed train to PyeongChang.
When the Brandon Wheat Kings won the 2015-16 WHL championship by beating the Seattle Thunderbirds in Kent, Wash., the man who drives the bus for the Prince George Cougars found himself in the team photo. . . . Wait? What? . . . Perry Bergson of the Brandon Sun explains right here how Ralph Posteraro got into the championship photo. This is junior hockey at its story-telling best.
D Baron Thompson of the Brandon Wheat Kings has drawn a four-game suspension for a hit on D Colin Paradis of the visiting Red Deer Rebels on Saturday night. The Wheat Kings won that game, 4-3 in OT. . . . Thompson served the first game on Tuesday when he sat out Brandon’s 5-2 loss to the visiting Regina Pats. . . . Thompson will miss Friday’s game against visiting Saskatoon and Saturday and Wednesday games in Swift Current. He will be eligible to return on Feb. 16 in Prince Albert. . . . Paradis is out indefinitely with an undisclosed injury.
F Erik Middendorf, 17, has committed to attending Colorado College and playing for the Tigers next season. Middendorf, from Scottsdale, Ariz., was a fourth-round selection by the Moose Jaw Warriors in the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft. This season, he is playing in the U.S. National Team Development Program. He has four goals and four assists in 15 games against USHL opposition. He also has seven goals and eight assists in 38 games with the U.S. U-18 team. . . . Middendorf had committed to the U of Denver on Sept. 19, 2016, but he walked away from that sometime last month.
IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …
Prince Albert at Moose Jaw
Regina at Medicine Hat
Brandon at Swift Current
Kootenay at Lethbridge
Seattle at Everett
Spokane at Kelowna
Tri-City at Portland
Vancouver at Victoria
At Prince Albert, F Jordy Stallard scored two goals to lead the Raiders to a 4-3 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Prince Albert (22-20-11) has points in nine straight games (6-0-3). It is tied with Saskatoon for the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. They will meet in Saskatoon on Saturday. . . . Kootenay (23-28-3) had lost five straight. The Ice is third in the Central Division, seven points behind Lethbridge and four ahead of Red Deer. . . . The Raiders got out to a 2-0 lead on first-period goals from Stallard, at 5:39, and F Curtis Miske (19), on a PP, at 17:27. . . . The Ice tied it as F Cameron Hausinger (16) scored at 17:50 of the first, and F Sebastian Streu (8) did the same at 13:45 of the second. . . . F Spencer Moe (7) put the Raiders back out front at 18:43 . . . Kootenay tied it again, this time when F Alec Baer (22) scored at 8:04 of the third period. . . . Stallard broke the tie with his 34th goal, at 18:42. . . . The Raiders got two assists from each of Miske and D Vojtech Budik. . . . Prince Albert was 1-2 on the PP; Kootenay was 0-2. . . . G Ian Scott earned the victory with 20 saves. . . . Ice G Duncan McGovern, back after serving a one-game suspension, made 30 saves. . . . The Raiders had D Sergei Sapego, a Belarusian freshman, in the lineup for the first time since Jan. 20 and only the second time since Dec. 1. . . . Announced attendance: 1,961.
At Medicine Hat, the Tigers struck four times in the first period en route to a 6-0 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Medicine Hat (27-21-7) had lost its previous four games (0-3-1). The Tigers lead the Central Division by five points over Lethbridge. . . . Edmonton (14-31-7) has lost two in a row. . . . Prior to the game, Corey Graham, the radio voice of the Oil Kings, pointed out via Twitter that the Tigers “have defeated the Oil Kings 16 straight times in the regular season and have won 19 of the last 20 regular-season matchups.” . . . You may add one to each of those numbers. . . . The Tigers got those first-period goals from F Tyler Preziuso (12), at 2:43; D David Quenneville (22), at 11:12; F Ryan Chyzowski (17), at 17:34; and F Mark Rassell (43), shorthanded, at 19:27. . . . F Gary Haden (14) and F Josh Williams (7) added third-period goals. . . . The Tigers got two assists from F Elijah Brown, and one each from Quenneville, Rassell and Chyzowski. . . . Preziuso (head) was playing for the first time since Jan. 26. . . . Medicine Hat was 0-4 on the PP; Edmonton was 0-5. . . . G Michael Bullion stopped 31 shots in recording his second shutout of the season and fifth of his career. . . . The Oil Kings got 33 saves from G Josh Dechaine. . . . With six regulars injured, the Tigers had Garin Bjorkland, 15, backing up Bullion, and D Daniel Baker, 16, also was in the lineup. Baker, from the Northern Alberta X-Treme prep team, played in three games earlier in the season. . . . Bjorklund plays for the midget AAA Calgary Buffaloes. . . . Announced attendance: 2,771.
At Red Deer, F Kristian Reichel scored the only goal of the shootout to give the Rebels a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Red Deer (16-25-13) has points in eight straight games (6-0-2). The Rebels are fourth in the Central Division, four points behind Kootenay. Those two teams will play each other three more times, including a home-and-home series on the regular-season’s final weekend. . . . The Hitmen (16-30-7) have points in two straight (1-0-1). . . . F Conner Chaulk (11) gave Calgary at 1-0 lead at 2:49 of the first period. . . . F Mason McCarty (27) pulled Red Deer into a tie at 17:38. . . . The home team took a 2-1 lead when F Chris Douglas (5) scored, on a PP, at 13:37 of the second period. . . . Calgary F Tristen Nielsen (11) tied it, shorthanded, at 15:03. . . . Red Deer was 1-4 on the PP; Calgary was 0-2. . . . G Ethan Anders stopped 29 shots for Red Deer, nine fewer than Calgary’s Nick Schneider. . . . With D Colin Paradis (undiscosed injury) and D Alex Alexeyev out, the Rebels brought in D Sam Pouliot from the BCHL’s Powell River Kings. . . . Alexeyev went home to Russia last month following the death of his mother. He is due to return to practice on Friday. . . . Announced attendance: 3,545.
At Kamloops, F Riley Woods broke a 1-1 tie with a shorthanded goal late in the second period as the Spokane Chiefs skated to a 3-1 victory over the Blazers. . . . Spokane (28-19-5) has points in eight straight (6-0-2). It and Seattle are tied for the Western Conference’s two-wild card spots, one point behind the Tri-City Americans, who are third in the U.S. Division. . . . Kamloops (24-25-4) now is nine points out of a playoff spot. . . . F Brodi Stuart (13) gave Kamloops a 1-0 lead at 10:22 of the first period. . . . Spokane F Luke Toporowski (7) tied it at 9:512 of the second period. . . . Woods got his 20th goal on a shorthanded breakaway at 18:04 of the second. . . . F Ethan McIndoe (16) iced it with an empty-netter at 19:03 of the third period. . . . Spokane was 0-2 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-3. . . . G Dawson Weatherill stopped 21 shots for the Chiefs, eight fewer than Dylan Ferguson of Kamloops. . . . Spokane F Kailer Yamamoto had an 11-game point streak come to an end. He had nine goals and 18 assists during that stretch. . . . F Josh Pillar, 15, made his WHL debut with the Blazers and came close to tying the game on a redirection late in the third period. A first-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft, he returned to the midget AAA Prince Albert Mintos after the game. . . . The Chiefs had F Cordel Larson, 16, make his WHL debut. He was a ninth-round selection in the 2016 bantam draft. Larson plays for the midget AAA Notre Dame Hounds in Wilcox, Sask. . . . F Nick Chyzowski played in his 324th regular-season game with the Blazers, tying him with D Aaron Gionet for third on the franchise career list. F Brendan Ranford holds the career record, at 348. . . . Associate coach Scott Burt was back with the Chiefs after having his number (12) retired by the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads in Boise on Saturday. He spent seven seasons there, winning championships in 2004 and 2007. . . . Announced attendance: 4,097.
At Portland, F Ryan Hughes, who left in the first period with an apparent leg injury, snapped a 5-5 tie at 7:29 of the third period and the Winterhawks went on to an 8-5 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . Portland (32-18-4) has won two in a row, and is second in the U.S. Division, three points behind Everett. . . . Victoria (32-19-4) had won its previous two games. It is second in the B.C. Division, two points behind Kelowna. . . . F Kaid Oliver (6) gave Victoria the lead at 2:29 of the first period. . . . Conor MacEachern, a defenceman who has been playing up front lately, scored his third goal of the season for Portland at 10:42. . . . F Cody Glass (26) gave the home team its first lead at 11:23. . . . F Tyler Soy pulled the visitors even at 14:25, only to have F Mason Mannek (9) scored for Portland at 18:00. . . . Soy opened the second period with two goals, at 0:41 and 2:31. The hat trick leaves him with 27 goals this season. . . . Soy’s second goal was the 141st regular-season score of his career, breaking the record set by Ryan House (Chilliwack Bruins, 2006-11). Earlier this season, Soy set franchise career marks for assists and points. He now has 304 points, including 162 assists, in 307 games. . . . Portland went back out front, 5-4, on second-period goals from F Joachim Blichfeld (17), at 11:03, and F Keiffer Bellows, at 12:21. . . . F Matthew Phillips (39) got Victoria back into a tie at 6:55 of the third period. . . . Hughes broke that tie with his ninth goal, at 7:29. . . . Bellows (28) added insurance at 9:31 and F Skyler McKenzie (40) got the empty-netter, at 18:14. . . . Portland got two assists from each of Glass, D Henri Jokiharju, F Alex Overhardt, D Dennis Cholowski and McKenzie, with Blichfeld and Bellows adding one apiece. . . . Victoria got three helpers from F Dante Hannoun, with Phillips getting two and Soy adding one. That line finished with 10 points. . . . Phillips ran his point streak to 15 games. . . . Soy has six career hat tricks, one of them this season. . . . Victoria was 0-1 on the PP; Portland was 0-3. . . . G Cole Kehler stopped 23 shots for the Winterhawks. . . . Victoria starter Dean McNabb allowed seven goals on 43 shots in 53:46. Griffen Outhouse came on in relief and stopped all three shots he saw in 6:02. . . . The Royals now will play three in a row against Kelowna. They’ll play Friday and Saturday in Victoria and Monday in Kelowna. . . . Announced attendance: 4,795.
At Kelowna, G Brodan Salmond turned aside 25 shots to help the Rockets to a 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Kelowna (33-16-4) had lost its previous two games. It is second in the Western Conference, one point behind Everett. . . . Vancouver (28-17-8) had points in its previous four games (3-0-1). It is third in the B.C. Division, four points behind Victoria. . . . Kelowna held a 15-2 edge in first-period shots, but only led 1-0 thanks to a goal by F Kole Lind (28), at 3:10. . . . F Conner Bruggen-Cate’s 15th goal, shorthanded, at 6:09 of the second period made it 2-0. . . . The Giants cut into the lead at 19:13 when F Davis Koch got No. 20. . . . Vancouver put it away with two third-period goals, from F Carsen Twarynski (34), at 11:21, and F Dillon Dube (23), at 17:47. . . . Kelowna got two assists from F Kyle Topping, with Lind and Twarynski adding one each. . . . Kelowna was 0-1 on the PP; Vancouver was 0-4. . . . G Brodan Salmon recorded the victory with 25 saves. . . . The Giants got 32 stops from G David Tendeck. . . . D James Hilsendager and F Nolan Foote were among Kelowna’s scratches. . . . The Giants were without F Ty Ronning (ill), F Aidan Barfoot (ill), D Darian Skeoch (undisclosed injury) and F Milos Roman (ankle). . . . Announced attendance: 4,807.
THURSDAY (all times local):
No Games Scheduled.
FRIDAY (all times local):
Lethbridge at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.
Kootenay at Regina, 7 p.m.
Prince Albert at Swift Current, 7 p.m.
Saskatoon at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Edmonton at Red Deer, 7 p.m.
Calgary at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.
Kamloops at Prince George, 7 p.m.
Tri-City at Portland, 7 p.m.
Kelowna at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.
Seattle vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7:30 p.m.
Spokane at Everett, 7:35 p.m.