In their last WHL season (1983-84) in Winnipeg, before relocating to Moose Jaw, the Warriors finished with a 9-63-0 record.
The Winnipeg Ice of 2022-23 already have won more than nine games and they have yet to play a home game.
With repairs ongoing in the Wayne Fleming Arena, the Ice has been forced to open this WHL season with 13 straight road games. It played the 11th and 12th of those games this weekend, beating the Kamloops Blazers, 5-3, on Friday and the Kelowna Rockets, 5-4, on Saturday. The victory in Kelowna meant that the Ice ran the table in B.C., going 5-0 in Lotusland.
So with one game remaining on that trek, the Ice leads the Eastern Conference at 11-1-0. The Ice’s lone loss to this point occurred on Oct. 8 when it lost, 4-1, yes, in Moose Jaw.
The Ice will conclude the road trip on Friday when it meets the Brandon Wheat Kings. Then, on Oct. 29, the Ice finally will play its home-opener with another game against the Wheat Kings.
Last night, in Kelowna, the Rockets pulled into a 4-4 tie on a goal from F Adam Kydd with 30.2 seconds left in the third period. The Ice won it just seven seconds later when F Conor Geekie scored his second goal of the game.
Winnipeg F Owen Pederson, who had a goal and two assists in Kamloops, was blanked in Kelowna so his 11-game point streak is over.
How much are Saskatchewan’s six WHL teams charging for tickets this season? Which one of those teams doesn’t have child pricing available? The answers to those questions and a whole lot more are right here in a story by Stefanie Davis of CTV News in Regina. . . . It turns out that the Saskatoon Blades have chosen, again, not to increase ticket prices. Tyler Wawryk, the Blades’ director of business operations, told Davis: “This would be our fifth season without any price increases.” Part of the reason for that, he explained, is that the Blades took into account that the provincial government made tickets liable to a PST as of Oct. 1. . . . This really is an interesting read and it shows what WHL teams are up against as they fight to get fans back into their buildings.
Rick Bowness finally got to work the bench with his new NHL team, the Winnipeg Jets. Bowness signed with the Jets over the summer, but wasn’t on their season-opening four-game road swing after he tested positive for COVID-19. In his absence, associate coach Scott Arniel — along with Brad Lauer, the capable assistant coach — ran things. Bowness is healthy again and was on the bench Saturday for the Jets’ home-opener, as they dropped a 4-1 decision to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
A tip of the Taking Note fedora to Jeff Truitt, the head coach of the Prince Albert Raiders. Truitt and his guys met the Rebels in Red Deer on Saturday night. Three of the Raiders — F Keaton Sorensen, F Harrison Lodewyk and D Justice Christensen — are from Red Deer and all three were in the starting lineup. . . . Well done! . . .
And then there were two. . . . The Tri-City Americans were beaten 11-3 by the Medicine Hat Tigers and 7-1 by the Kamloops Blazers, both in Kennewick, Wash., on Oct. 12 and 14, respectively. It figures, then, that the host Americans knocked the Portland Winterhawks from the ranks of the unbeaten by beating them, 7-3, on Saturday night behind three goals and two assists from F Tyson Greenway. The Winterhawks now are 7-1-1, while the Americans are on a three-game winning streak. . . . Still unbeaten are the Red Deer Rebels (10-0-0) and Seattle Thunderbirds (8-0-0). . . . The Rebels continued their franchise-record season-opening run with a 3-0 blanking of the visiting Prince Albert Raiders as G Rhett Stoesser earned his first WHL shutout with 23 saves. . . . The Rebels had posted a 4-2 victory over the host Medicine Hat Tigers on Friday. . . . Last night, in Kent, Wash., the Thunderbirds bounced the Spokane Chiefs, 8-3. . . . F Reid Schaefer scored his ninth and 10th goals for Seattle, which counted the game’s last six goals. . . . The Rebels next play Wednesday when they are at home to the Victoria Royals (2-8-2). The Thunderbirds are off to Prince George for a Friday-Saturday doubleheader with the Cougars (5-5-0). . . .
The Cougars got to .500 with an interesting 4-3 OT victory in Kamloops last night. . . . F Logan Stankoven scored all of the Blazers’ goal, the third one giving them a 3-2 lead at 18:12 of the third period. . . . F Chase Wheatcroft pulled the Cougars even at 19:19 and F Koehn Ziemmer, who also had two assists, won it at 1:39 of extra time. . . . D Ethan Samson, who had two goals in a 5-1 victory over the host Giants on Friday, drew three assists in Kamloops. . . .
BTW, Prince Albert will play its third road game in fewer than 48 hours when it meets the Calgary Hitmen this afternoon. The Hitmen, 3-0 losers to the visiting Saskatoon Blades on Friday, were idle last night. . . . Also playing three games in fewer than 48 hours this weekend: Kamloops (home to Winnipeg and Prince George, at Vancouver); and the Vancouver Giants (home to Prince George, at Victoria, home to Kamloops.) . . . Sorry, but three games in fewer than 48 hours at this level just shouldn’t happen. . . .
G Max Hildebrand of the Prince Albert Raiders recorded his first WHL victory on Friday, stopping 26 shots in a 2-1 victory over the host Edmonton Oil Kings. His father, Steve, is the Saskatoon Blades’ associate general manager. . . . Max was a 13th-round selection by the Raiders in the WHL’s 2019 draft. . . .
When G Talyn Boyko, 20, was returned by the NHL’s New York Rangers, it left the Kelowna Rockets with three goaltenders on their roster. On Friday, they dropped Nicholas Cristiano, an 18-year-old from Langley, B.C. He is expected to join the BCHL’s West Kelowna Warriors. In three appearances, Cristiano was 0-1-0, 2.61, .879. . . . All of this means the Rockets, at least for now, will go with Boyko, who is from Drumheller, Alta., and Jari Kykkanen, 18, of Lloydminster, Alta. . . .
The Ottawa 67’s got past the Soo Greyhounds, 2-1, in a Friday night OHL game that needed 15 shootout rounds to decide. Only one of the 30 circus shooters was able to score. D Gavin Ewles’ goal allowed the 67’s to run their season-opening record to a franchise-record 8-0-0. . . . Ottawa G Collin MacKenzie set an OHL record with 15 shootout saves as he improved his career record to 6-0-0. . . . BTW, it was the second-longest shootout in OHL history. The longest? The London Knights went 19 rounds in beating the Mississauga Steelheads, 4-3, on Dec. 2, 2012.
THINKING OUT LOUD — Got home from a breakfast gathering of the Kamloops Kidney Support Group late Saturday morning. Turned on TV. Minnesota Wild at Boston Bruins. Ewwww! I had forgotten just how unlistenable the NESN broadcast crew of Cheerleadin’ Jack and the Brick really is. I lasted until Cheerleadin’ Jack referred to the Boston goaltender as being “calm as a cucumber.” . . . D Arber Xhekaj of the Montreal Canadiens scored his first NHL goal on Saturday. He has become a favourite because of his nickname. Hockey players love to add a ‘y’ or an ‘ie’ to a name and make that a nickname. So how do you do that to Xhekaj? Instead, his nickname is ‘Wifi’ because his surname looks like a computer password. Gotta love that! . . . I don’t know if you’re ready for this, but the various TV networks and streaming outfits have more than 140 new Christmas-themed movies poised for release. In fact, some of them showed up on TV this weekend. Merry Christmas! . . . The one good thing about those Christmas-themed movies is that they don’t include any gambling commercials. Do they?
The Saskatchewan Roughriders won’t be playing in the 2022 Grey Cup game, which is to be played in Regina. Their playoff hopes ended on Saturday with a 32-21 loss to the visiting Calgary Stampeders. Here’s Rob Vanstone in the Regina Leader-Post: “A paid/pained attendance — 27,192 — that wasn’t even remotely reflective of the actual turnout. . . . One meaningless game remains in this miserable season. At this stage of the game, the Roughriders’ toughest opponent is not the Stampeders — but, instead, indifference.” . . . Too bad the CFL wouldn’t let the Roughriders take a knee on the entire game that is to be played in Calgary on Saturday. . . . Vanstone’s complete column is right here.
If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:
Living Kidney Donor Program
St. Paul’s Hospital
6A Providence Building
1081 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6
Toll free: 1-877-922-9822
Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney
Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre
Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9
604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182
Or, for more information, visit right here.