Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post is the most-deserving recipient of the WHL’s 2022 Bob Ridley Award. He has covered the WHL and the Regina Pats for more than 30 years. . . . At one point, he was part of a sports department that featured 12 or 13 people. That same sports department today is down to two writers and he continues to provide the WHL and the Pats with great coverage. . . . The award was unveiled on Feb. 27, 2021, and immediately presented to, yes, Bob Ridley, the longtime radio voice of the Medicine Hat Tigers. Vanstone is the second recipient of the award. . . . According to the WHL, the award “is presented annually to a distinguished member of the radio, television, and print journalism industry in recognition of their outstanding contributions to sports journalism and the WHL.”
In a game postponed from Wednesday night, the Calgary Hitmen beat the Victoria Royals, 5-2, on Thursday. The game was played in the Seven Chiefs Sportsplex on Tsuut’ina Nation, which is located at Calgary’s southwest edge. . . . Inclement weather in Calgary and area on Wednesday resulted in the postponement. . . . F Riley Fiddler-Schultz scored Calgary’s last two goals, giving him nine this season. . . . Calgary has won four straight. . . . D Kalem Parker had a goal for Victoria. He has eight points, including seven assists, over his past six games. . . . The Royals are 1-4-0 on a trek through the Central Division that wraps up Friday night against the Edmonton Oil Kings.
On Wednesday in the WHL . . .
F Ryan Hofer scored three times to lead the Everett Silvertips to a 6-3 victory over the Wheat Kings in Brandon. . . . Hofer, who is from Winnipeg, has 10 goals. He had scored once on Tuesday in a 5-4 loss to the Ice in Winnipeg. . . . F Joby Baumuller made his debut with the Wheat Kings. He was a first-round pick by Brandon in the WHL’s 2022 draft. Baumuller, 15, plays for the U18AAA Notre Dame Hounds in his hometown of Wilcox, Sask. . . . The Wheat Kings have lost four in a row. . . . They also lost G Carson Bjarnason and D Mason Ward during the game. Bjarnason left early in the second period and didn’t return when he came up ill, while Ward left in the third period after a collision with Hofer.
In Saskatoon, F Trevor Wong had a goal and two assists as the Blades beat the Tri-City Americans, 5-1. . . . D Lukas Dragicevic had the Americans’ goal as he ran his point streak to eight games. He’s got two goals and eight assists during that time. . . . The Americans were without F Reese Belton, who started a two-game suspension after taking a headshot major and game misconduct in Prince Albert on Tuesday.
D Sam McGinley scored at 2:57 of OT to give the host Swift Current Broncos a 5-4 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . McGinley, who finished plus-4, has two goals this season. . . . Vancouver had erased a 4-2 deficit on third-period goals from F Jaden Lipinski and F Samuel Honzek. . . .
In Portland, F Noah Boyko’s goal in the fifth round of a shootout gave the Prince George Cougars a 4-4 victory over the Winterhawks. . . . The Cougars forced OT on third-period goals 49 seconds apart by F Hudson Thornton and F Ondrej Becher, his second of the game.
Bob Irving, the longtime radio voice of the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers who retired following the 2021 season, is exactly right with his thoughts on the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and Gerry James, whose coaching history includes a stint with the Moose Jaw Warriors. If you aren’t aware of James’ exploits as a football-playing hockey player — or was he a hockey-playing football player? — let Google be your friend.
Dante De Caria, the radio voice of the Regina Pats, lives with a few pets. That includes, according to Drew Postey of CTV News Regina, “two crested geckos, two gargoyle geckos, three pink tongue skinks and a black and white Argentine tegu.” . . . Yes, De Caria has quite an interest in reptiles. . . . “The geckos,” he told Postey, “are kind of from the same family tree, an island called New Caledonia, a French colony very close to Australia, the pink tongue skinks come from the east coast of Australia and the black and white Argentine tegu hails from Argentina or South America.” . . . De Caria is in his second season with the Pats, who will be boarding their bus late this month and heading into the B.C. Division for the first time since mid-November, 2018 — hey, the Kootenay Ice (remember them?) were still in the WHL. Before the Pats head west this time, you have to think the players will do a reptile check before letting De Caria on the bus. Right? . . . Postey’s complete story is right here.
The Edmonton Oil Kings have added G Jake Pilon to their roster. Pilon, 16, plays for the U18AAA Calgary Flames. . . . Andrew Peard, the Oil Kings’ play-by-play voice, reports that G Alex Worthington “sustained a minor injury in practice earlier this week and likely won’t be available this weekend.” Peard also notes that Pilon is the son of Jeff Pilon, a former offensive lineman with the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders. . . .
The Red Deer Rebels have added D Luke Vlooswyk, 15, to their roster as they head out on a swing into the East Division. Vlooswyk, who plays for the U18AAA Calgary Buffaloes, was a first-round selection in the WHL’s 2002 draft. . . . The Rebels, who are 13-0-0 this season, open an eight-game road trip tonight against the Swift Current Broncos. The Rebels are on the road because the Canadian Finals Rodeo has taken over the Centrium. . . .
F Ethan Rowland, 20, who began this season with the Kamloops Blazers, has joined the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers. They acquired his rights from the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers on Thursday in exchange for future considerations. . . . Rowland lost his spot on the Kamloops roster because of a rule that limits WHL teams to three 20-year-old players. . . . Rowland will join his younger brother, Jackson, in Okotoks. Jackson, 18, is in his first season with the Oilers. . . . F Kobe Verbicky, 19, who also started this season with Kamloops, had his BCHL rights dealt by Vernon to the Cowichan Capitals on Thursday.
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