WHL and organ donor awareness . . . Import goalies on way back? . . . A story about sportsmanship in minor hockey

MacBeth

F David Stieler (Swift Current, 2006-08) has signed a one-year extension with Augsburg (Germany, DEL). He has six goals and eight assists in 46 games, and leads the team in plus/minus at +10.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

BlazersCherry.jpg

March is Kidney Month, and nine WHL teams will be taking part in game promotions aimed at improving organ donor awareness. . . . The WHL has partnered with RE/MAX to present WHL Suits Up with Don Cherry to Promote Organ Donation. . . . During these games, the home teams will wear special Don Cherry-styled sweaters that will be available for purchase via auction. All proceeds from the auctions will go to local chapters of the Kidney Foundation of Canada. . . . According to the WHL’s original news release, “The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive special-edition Don Cherry bobbleheads, while other fans will receive limited-edition Don Cherry trading cards, courtesy of Upper Deck.” . . . The Edmonton Oil Kings and Kamloops Blazers are up first, on March 2. The next night, it’ll be the Medicine Hat Tigers, who will be wearing themed sweaters for the first time in franchise history, Prince George Cougars and Swift Current Broncos. The Victoria Royals will hold their game on March 9, with the Kelowna Rockets, Red Deer Rebels and Saskatoon Blades on March 10. . . . The other eight Canadian WHL teams held their nights in November.


There have been rumblings in hockey circles for a while now that the CHL may undo its ban on import goaltenders. John Matisz of Postmedia wrote Thursday that “a CHL spokesperson confirmed that there have been discussions about changing import draft rules to one again allow European goalies.” . . . The CHL has prohibited its teams from selecting goaltenders in its past five import drafts. In theory, the banning of import goaltenders was supposed to improve non-import goaltenders by allowing more opportunities for Canadians. In fact, that improvement in goaltending just hasn’t happened. . . . You also have to wonder if the NHL and its teams haven’t applied some pressure to the CHL to lift the ban. The Vegas Golden Knights, for example, selected two European goaltenders in the 2017 NHL draft — Russian Maxim Zhukov and Czech Jiri Patera. Zhukov is in his second season with the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers. Patera is in his freshman season with the USHL’s Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. . . . Matisz’s story is right here.


This is the way things are supposed to happen, at least in minor sports. . . . Sage Roberts, 12, and the peewee AA Melfort Mustangs were leading the Saskatoon Thunder, 1-0, in a game earlier this month. There was some action around the Saskatoon net and the on-ice officials ruled that Roberts had scored. . . . However, Roberts told his coach, Randy Kerr, that the puck hadn’t crossed the goal line. . . . Randy Smith, a former WHLer, coaches the Thunder. According to a story at ckom.com, he “approached the Melfort dressing room and congratulated the team for rallying around Roberts and coming forward with the right call.” . . . CKOM’s story is right here.


The WHL has finalized a couple of suspensions left over from Monday games. . . . D Jett Woo of the Moose Jaw Warriors got three games after taking a headshot major and game misconduct for a hit on F Ty Lewis of the host Brandon Wheat Kings. He has missed one game and won’t play Saturday against visiting Regina or Sunday in Saskatoon. . . . D Liam Schioler of the Regina Pats got two games for a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct for a hit on F Kody McDonald of the host Prince Albert Raiders. Schioler won’t play tonight (Friday) in Saskatoon or Saturday in Moose Jaw.


If you have a tip or just want to chat, email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com. You are able to follow me on Twitter at @gdrinnan.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

THURSDAY:

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.


TWEET OF THE DAY

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