Scattershooting from beside the Christmas tree . . . Vandekamp marks a milestone . . . Three tied for first in Central Division

Scattershooting

On the fifth day of our annual Christmas countdown, we’ve got Bing Crosby and David Bowie with The Little Drummer Boy (Peace On Earth). It’s right here.


Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times reports: “Two nuns have been accused of embezzling about $500,000 from St. James Catholic School in Torrance, Calif., to support their gambling craze. Apparently they put too much money down on the Cardinals this season and not enough on the Saints.”


Whenever I see a reference made to the Moose Jaw Warriors’ merchandise store, it brings a smile to my face. They named it The Crushed Can, something that keeps the old barn’s memory alive. Thank you to whomever was responsible. Well done!


Ducks


If computers aren’t human, why do they always want to do updates when it’s inconvenient to the user?


The below tweet is from Friday night’s WHL game in Kent, Wash. It begs the question: Why aren’t all of these scouts doctors?


Bob Molinaro, in the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot: “I’m still digesting the news that North Carolina gave dismissed football coach Larry (The Hat) Fedora a $12-million buyout. What a deal. But colleges don’t have enough money to pay athletes.”


Headline at TheOnion.com: L.A. adds lanes for cyclists to recover from getting hit by cars.


Tree


The World Chess Championship in London was decided in the 13th match, after the first 12 ended in draws. According to Richmond, B.C., blogger TC Chong: “Norwegian Magnus Carlsen won it just before judges were going to decide the match using penalty kicks.”

——

One more from Chong: “Sesame Street has introduced Lisa, the first homeless Muppet. Really? So does living in a garbage can like Oscar the Grouch count as bona fide housing?”


If you’re looking for an entertaining read, check out Patti Dawn Swansson’s blog The River City Renegade.

You’ll find stuff like this . . .

Canadian Football League outfits are dumping coaches, scouts and management at an alarming rate. We haven’t seen this kind of cost cutting since the suits at Postmedia lost their minds. I don’t know if the CFL is still a professional sports league or a thrift store.”

And this . . .

“Steve Simmons of Postmedia Tranna calls Hockey Night in Canada play-by-play fossil Bob Cole the ‘voice of a lifetime’ and ‘the Hockey Sinatra.’ Oh, please. Apparently he never heard Danny Gallivan call a game. No one did it like Gallivan. His voice was electric. His vocabulary immense. I still get chills when I hear his call of Guy Lafleur’s tying goal in Game 7 of the 1979 Stanley Cup semifinal. ‘Lafleur, coming out rather gingerly on the right side . . .’ Rather gingerly. Who says that? Only Gallivan. Bob Cole is the Hockey Sinatra like I’m Celine Dion.”

The River City Renegade’s latest piece is right here.


2018 . . .

 

Selfie


After Rob Manfred, the commissioner of Major League Baseball, suggest that he would like to limit defensive shifts, Janice Hough of LeftCoastSportsBabe.com offered this suggestion: “Uh, here’s a solution: Teach players to bunt.”


If you haven’t read this already, you are going to want to give it some of your time. It’s a story about Charles Barkley — yes, that Sir Charles — and his unlikely friend, Lin Wang. This is a wonderful story and it’s right here.


Queen


Jack Finarelli, who can be found at sportscurmudgeon.com, has come bad news for fans of the Baltimore Orioles: “The fact is that the Orioles are going to stink like a bloated rhino carcass in the hot sun on the veldt for at least a couple of years. Maybe those 115 losses in 2018 represented the nadir of this losing cycle; maybe not.”


ThisThat

Mike Vandekamp was behind a junior team bench for the 1,500th time on Saturday night when his Cowichan Capitals met the host Salmon Arm Silverbacks in a BCHL game.

Vandekamp has quite a coaching history, having made stops in his hometown of Fort St. CowichanJohn, B.C., as well as Grande Prairie, Alta., and the B.C. hockey havens of Prince George, Vernon, Merritt, Nanaimo and Duncan, the latter being the home base for the Capitals.

These days he’s the GM and head coach of the Capitals, who are 10-20-5 and tied for fourth in the five-team Island Division. He’s in his first season as the Capitals’ GM and head coach, and here’s hoping he gets some time to turn things around there.

And how did No. 1,500 go? The Capitals won, 6-3.

Vandekamp actually posted one of my all-time favourite tweets on March 2. He had started the season with the BCHL’s Nanaimo Clippers, but was dumped after an ownership change. So when the BCHL playoffs got started, Vandekamp was on the outside looking in, but, hey, he had a nice view from a beach in Hawaii. Still, like all those coaches who have the hockey disease, he could think of a million arenas in which he would rather have been.


If you stop off here and enjoy what you see — or even if you don’t — feel free to click on the DONATE button over there on the right and make a contribution. Thanks in advance, and Merry Christmas.


SUNDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The Lethbridge Hurricanes scored four times in the third period en route to a 6-4 victory Lethbridgeover the Hitmen in Calgary. . . . Lethbridge (18-9-6) has points in four straight (3-0-1), is 9-1-2 in its past 12, and is tied with the Red Deer Rebels (20-10-2) and Edmonton Oil Kings (18-12-6) atop the Central Division. . . . Calgary (15-15-4) had points in each of its previous six (5-0-1). . . . The Hitmen scored three times in the second period, taking a 3-2 lead when F Kaden Elder (14) scored, on a PP, at 13:40. . . . F Dylan Cozens (8) got Lethbridge into a tie at 5:29 of the third period, only to have F Riley Stotts (10) shoot Calgary back in front at 8:25. . . . Lethbridge D Ty Prefontaine (1) tied it at 8:49, and F Logan Barlage (9) snapped the tie at 9:49. F Jordy Bellerive (16) provided insurance with his second goal of the game, at 18:53. . . . That was Bellerive’s 100th career regular-season goal and it came in his 239th game. He also had an assist in this one, and now has 39 points, including 23 assist, in 33 games. . . . It was the third game in fewer than 48 hours for Calgary, which went 1-1-1.


F Dylan Guenther, the first selection in the 2018 WHL bantam draft, scored twice to help EdmontonOilKingsthe Edmonton Ice to a 7-4 victory over the visiting Kootenay Ice. . . . Edmonton (18-12-6) has points in three straight (2-0-1) and goes into the break in a tie atop the Central Division with the Red Deer Rebels and Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . The Ice (8-22-6) is 14 points out of a playoff spot. . . . Guenther, a 15-year-old from Edmonton, has three goals and an assist in seven games with the Oil Kings. . . . A goal from F Brett Kemp and two from Guenther gave the home side a 3-1 lead in the first period. . . . F River Fahey (2) got the Ice to within a goal at 15:54. . . . Kemp, who has 22 goals, scored at 3:01 of the second, for a 4-2 lead, only to have D Martin Bodak (6) score for Kootenay at 4:14. . . . The Oil Kings put it away with three third-period goals, from F Vince Loschiavo (16), F David Kope (7) and F Scott Atkinson (5), the latter into an empty net. . . . Kootenay F Peyton Krebs, the team captain, took a game misconduct at 19:50 of the third period. . . . Kemp also had an assist, for a three-point evening. F Carter Souch had three assists for Edmonton. . . . The Oil Kings were without F Trey Fix-Wolansky and F Quinn Benjafield for a second straight game.


F Kyle Olson’s second goal of the game, a shorthanded snipe in OT, gave the Tri-City tri-cityAmericans a 4-3 victory over the Winterhawks in Portland. . . . The Americans (17-12-2) have won three straight. . . . The Winterhawks (19-11-4) have points in three straight (1-0-2). . . . On Saturday, the Americans had scored three late goals, including a tying score with the extra attacker on the ice, to erase a 2-0 deficit and beat the visiting Winterhawks, 3-2 in OT. . . . Last night, Portland D Jared Freadrich (4) forced OT when he scored with the extra attacker on the ice and just 34 seconds left in the third. . . . Olson won it with his eighth goal of the season at 4:37 of extra time. . . . F Joachim Blichfeld gave Portland a 1-0 lead at 1:06 of the second period. He also had two assists and now leads the WHL in goals and points (65), one more than F Brett Leason of the Prince Albert Raiders and F Trey Fix-Wolansky of the Edmonton Oil Kings. Leason is with Canada’s national junior team, while Fix-Wolansky has sat out Edmonton’s past two games. . . . Olson tied it at 6:40 and teammate Riley Sawchuk, who had two goals and two assists, gave the Americans the lead at 9:01. . . . F Ryan Hughes (13) pulled Portland into a tie at 9:54. . . . Sawchuk, who has 11 goals, gave Tri-City a 3-2 lead at 12:58 of the third period. . . . This was the first four-point game of Sawchuk’s WHL career; in fact, he had never had three points in a game. This was his 159th regular-season game, all with Tri-City. . . .


F Eli Zummack scored in OT to give the host Spokane Chiefs a 6-5 victory over the Seattle SpokaneChiefsThunderbirds. . . . Spokane (19-11-4) has won three in a row. . . . Seattle (11-16-4) has lost three straight. . . . Spokane has won the first five meetings of the season. . . . Seattle went 0-2-1 in playing three games in fewer than 48 hours. That included a 5-3 loss to visiting Spokane on Friday. . . . Zummack also scored the OT winner in a 4-3 victory over the visiting Kootenay Ice on Dec. 8. . . . Last night, Zummack, who also had two assists, won it with his 11th goal at 1:47 of OT. . . . The lone assist went to F Adam Beckman, who finished with two goals — he’s got 17 — and two assists. Beckman, a 17-year-old rookie from Saskatoon, was a fifth-round pick in the 2016 WHL bantam draft. This season, he’s got 28 points, including 11 assists, in 34 games. . . . Beckman, was in on each of his side’s last three goals, gave the Chiefs a 4-3 lead at 1:04 of the third period. . . . F Matthew Wedman (11) got Seattle into a tie at 8:07. . . . Spokane went back in front at 10:23 when D Noah King (3) scored. . . . The Thunderbirds forced extra time at 17:11 as F Dillon Hamaliuk (11) scored on a PP. . . . Seattle was 2-2 on the PP; Spokane was 1-4. . . . Spokane lost D Bobby Russell to a cross-checking major and game misconduct at 6:02 of the second period after a hit on Seattle F Tyler Carpendale. . . . Seattle again was without F Noah Philp.


F Brayden Watts scored twice, including the winner late in the third period, as the VancouverVancouver Giants beat the Prince George Cougars, 2-1, in Langley, B.C. . . . Vancouver (22-8-2) had lost its previous two games. . . . Prince George (11-19-3) has lost five straight. . . . The Cougars are five games into an 11-game road trip that will pick up after the Christmas break. They are 0-5-0 in those first five outings. . . . The Giants got 30 saves from G David Tendeck, 17 of them in the second period. . . . F Jackson Leppard (7) gave the Cougars a 1-0 lead at 4:02 of the first period. . . . Watts tied it, on a PP, at 9:23 of the second. He won it with his seventh goal, on another PP, with 49.5 seconds left in the third period. . . . D Bowen Byram and F Davis Koch drew assists on both goals. . . . Vancouver was 2-5 on the PP; Prince George was 0-5. . . . The Cougars got 32 saves from G Taylor Gauthier. . . . Prince George last played at home on Dec. 2, and won’t appear there again until Jan. 11. They will return from the break to play six more road games — in Kent, Wash., and Everett on Dec. 28 and 29, in Kamloops and Kelowna on Dec. 30 and Jan. 4, and then back into the U.S. Division against Tri-City and Spokane on Jan. 8 and 9. . . . Vancouver was playing its third game in fewer than 48 hours; it went 1-2-0. . . .

Prior to the game, linesman Nathan Van Oosten was presented with a WHL Milestone Award by Kevin Muench, the senior director of officiating. The award celebrates outstanding achievements by those associated with the WHL. Van Oosten is in his 13th season as a WHL linesman, and has worked in three championship finals and two Memorial Cups. He also has been on the ice for one World Junior Championship, two World Championships and one Olympic Winter Games.


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