A LITTLE OF THIS . . .
A tip of the Taking Note cap to the WHL for moving its awards show and the bantam draft to Red Deer for at least the next three years. . . . This year, the awards will be handed out on May 2, with the bantam draft on May 3, with both taking place at the Sheraton Hotel. . . . The more the WHL is able to spread its annual events around, the better for all involved. . . . Now it’s about the annual meeting that seems to have settled into secrecy in Vancouver, and that annual gather on Super Bowl weekend in Las Vegas. If only the WHL pooh-bahs would move those around, too.
The Kootenay Ice has added D Anson McMaster, 15, to its roster. McMaster, from Siksika Nation, Alta., was a second-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. This season, he had 13 assists in 35 games with the midget AAA Okotoks Oilers.
Noah Geekie’s father, Craig, played four seasons in the WHL, playing with the Brandon Wheat Kings and Spokane Chiefs. Noah’s brother, Morgan, is in his third season with the Tri-City Americans and was a third-round pick by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2017 NHL draft. Noah was selected by the Calgary Hitmen in the second round of the 2015 bantam draft. . . . With all that hockey in the family, why has Noah turned to baseball? Bob Elliott of the Canadian Baseball Network has Noah’s story right here, and it involves a fastball that improved by 12 miles per hour, now touching on 87.
If you have a tip or just want to chat, email me at email@example.com. You are able to follow me on Twitter at @gdrinnan.
IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …
Saskatoon at Moose Jaw
Brandon at Medicine Hat
Regina at Swift Current
Red Deer at Lethbridge
Seattle at Everett
Tri-City at Kelowna
Spokane at Portland
Vancouver at Victoria
At Portland, the Kamloops Blazers scored three second-period goals and went on to score a 3-1 victory over the Winterhawks. . . . Kamloops (27-29-5) had lost its previous five games (0-4-1). It now is six points from a playoff spot with 11 games to play. . . . Portland (35-20-4) has lost two in a row. It is second in the U.S. Division three points ahead of Spokane. . . . The Blazers won the season series, 3-1-0. . . . F Cody Glass (28) gave Portland a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 7:00 of the first period. . . . Kamloops F Jermaine Loewen tied it, on a PP, at 4:28 of the second period and F Nick Chyzowski (17) put the visitors ahead, on a PP, at 19:01. . . . Loewen (31) provided insurance 47 seconds later. . . . D Joe Gatenby had two assists for Kamloops. . . . Portland F Skyler McKenzie picked up his 200th career point when he drew an assist on his club’s first goal. . . . Kamloops was 2-5 on the PP; Portland was 1-4. . . . G Dylan Ferguson stopped 30 shots to earn the victory. . . . G Cole Kehler started for Portland and surrendered three goals on 22 shots through two periods. Shane Farkas played the third period, stopping all four shots he faced. . . . The Blazers were without D Luke Zazula and F Luc Smith for a seventh straight game. . . . Announced attendance: 5,589.
At Swift Current, D Artyom Minulin drew three assists to help the Broncos to a 4-2 victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . Swift Current (43-13-5) has points in eight straight (7-0-1). . . . Moose Jaw (44-12-3) and Swift Current are tied atop the overall standings, with the Warriors holding two games in hand. . . . I don’t know who is leading the season series, but Swift Current is 4-3-0 and Moose Jaw is 3-2-2. . . . The Broncos took a 1-0 lead when F Aleksi Heponiemi (26) scored, on a PP, at 9:00 of the first period. . . . F Tanner Jeannot (36) pulled Moose Jaw even, on a PP, at 19:25. . . . The Broncos went ahead 3-1 on goals from F Max Patterson (9), at 12:26 of the second period, and F Beck Malenstyn (11), shorthanded, at 7:07 of the third. . . . F Jayden Halbgewachs (57) got the Warriors to within one, on a PP, at 7:29. . . . Swift Current got insurance from D Colby Sissons (13), on a PP, at 16:32. . . . The Broncos got two assists from F Giorgio Estephan, with Heponiemi and Sissons each getting one. . . . D Kale Clague and F Brayden Burke each had two assists for the Warriors. . . . Broncos G Glenn Gawdin had one assist for his 300th career point. It came in his 305th game, all with the Broncos. . . . He leads the WHL in scoring this season, with 112 points, six more than Burke. . . . Swift Current was 2-4 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 2-6. . . . The Broncos got 37 saves from G Stuart Skinner, who posted his 100th regular-season victory. The first 88 of those came with Lethbridge. He is 12-3-1, 2.43, .925 since being acquired by the Broncos. . . . Moose Jaw’s Brody Willms stopped 21 shots. . . . The Warriors were without F Barrett Sheen and D Jett Woo, both of whom are suspended. . . . Announced attendance: 2,890.
At Calgary, F Jake Kryski and F Jakob Stukel each had a goal and two assists as the Hitmen bounced the Red Deer Rebels, 6-4. . . . Calgary (18-33-7) had lost its previous two games. . . . Red Deer (21-27-13) had won its previous four games. It is third in the Central Division, two points ahead of Kootenay. Red Deer has a game in hand. . . . F Mason McCarty gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 5:07 of the first period. . . . Calgary scored the next three goals. . . . Stukel (28) tied it at 9:16. F Tristen Nielsen (13) gave Calgary a 2-1 lead at 4:27 of the second period, with F Luke Coleman (14) making it 3-1 at 10:42. . . . The Rebels came back with three straight goals. . . . F Brandon Hagel (11) scored, shorthanded, at 18:20, with McCarty (33) getting his second goal, just 1:05 later. . . . F Kristian Reichel (28) gave the Rebels a 4-3 edge 32 seconds into the third period. . . . Kryski (11) got Calgary into a tie at 2:04, with D Vladislav Yeryomenko (12) giving the Hitmen a 5-4 lead at 9:42. . . . F Riley Stotts (13) provided the insurance at 18:59. . . . D Egor Zamula had two assists for Calgary, with Yeryomenko and Stotts each getting one. . . . Red Deer got two assists from each of F Grayson Pawlenchuk and D Carson Sass. . . . Red Deer was 0-1 on the PP; Calgary was 0-2. . . . G Nick Schneider blocked 19 shots to earn the victory. . . . Red Deer starter Riley Lamb allowed three goals on 19 shots in 30:42. Ethan Anders came on to stop eight of 10 shots in 29:03. . . . Announced attendance: 4,706.
At Lethbridge, the Prince Albert Raiders took control with six straight goals en route to an 8-2 victory over the Hurricanes. . . . Prince Albert (24-25-11) had lost its previous two games. It now is six points out of a playoff spot. . . . Lethbridge (29-25-6) had won three straight. It is second in the Central Division, three points behind Medicine Hat and with a game in hand. . . . F Brett Leason (13) put the visitors ahead 1-0 at 0:16 of the first period and F Sean Montgomery (12) made it 2-0 at 2:53. . . . F Jadon Joseph (8) got Lethbridge on the scoreboard at 14:34. . . . F Justin Nachbaur (8) started the six-goal onslaught at 18:58. . . . The Raiders got second-period goals from F Curtis Miske (20), at 7:54; F Cole Fonstad (18), 14:51; and F Kody McDonald (30), at 4:35; with third-period scores coming from F Sean Montgomery (13), at 4:54, and D Sergei Sapego (2), on a PP, at 6:50. . . . F Keltie Jeri-Leon (7) got Lethbridge’s last goal. . . . Fonstad added two assists to his goal, with Leason, Sapego, Montgomery, McDonald and Nachbaur each getting one. . . . Joseph had an assist for Lethbridge. . . . Prince Albert was 1-5 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-7. . . . The Raiders got 35 stops from G Ian Scott. . . . The Hurricanes started Reece Klassen, who gave up seven goals on 27 shots in 44:54. Logan Flodell finished up, stopping six of seven shots in 15:06. . . . The Raiders took 72 of the game’s 140 penalty minutes. That total included 10 misconducts late in the game. . . . The Raiders had D Vojtech Budik back after a one-game absence. . . . The Hurricanes were without D Calen Addison as he served a one-game suspension. . . . Announced attendance: 3,036.
At Kennewick, Wash., F Jordan Topping scored twice to help the Tri-City Americans to a 4-2 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Tri-City (30-21-8) had lost its previous two games. It holds down the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot, and is fourth in the U.S. Division, three points behind Spokane. . . . Seattle (28-22-9) has lost two in a row. It is in possession of the conference’s second wild-card spot, three points behind Tri-City. . . . Tri-City is 5-2-1 in the season series; Seattle is 3-3-2. . . . Topping opened the scoring at 10:56 of the first period. . . . The Thunderbirds tied it 18 seconds into the second period when D Austin Strand got No. 20. . . . F Nolan Yaremko (18) gave the Americans a 2-1 lead at 2:29. . . . The Thunderbirds tied it at 5:31 when D Jarret Tyszka (8) scored. . . . Topping (34) snapped the tie at 9:51. . . . F Michael Rasmussen (23), who also had an assist, upped the lead to 4-2, on a PP, at 19:54. . . . Tri-City was 1-3 on the PP; Seattle was 0-3. . . . G Patrick Dea earned the victory with 26 saves. . . . Seattle G Liam Hughes stopped 41 shots. . . . With F Blake Bargar and Sami Moilanen injured, the Thunderbirds again have added F Payton Mount, who turned 16 on Monday, and F Graeme Bryks, who turns 17 today, to their roster. Mount, from Victoria, plays at the Delta Hockey Academy. He was a first-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft. This was his fourth game with Seattle this season. Bryks, an eighth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft, plays for the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints. This was his fifth game with Seattle this season. . . . Announced attendance: 2,547.
THURSDAY (all times local):
No Games Scheduled.
FRIDAY (all times local):
Edmonton at Calgary, 7 p.m.
Medicine Hat vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.
Brandon at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.
Prince Albert at Red Deer, 7 p.m.
Seattle at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.
Prince George at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.
Kamloops vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.
Regina at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.
Portland at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.
Everett vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7:30 p.m.