THE BEDARD REPORT: F Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats enjoyed his second six-point night of this season on Wednesday in a 6-3 victory over the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Bedard finished the night with a goal and five assists. . . . He leads the WHL in goals (52), assists (59) and points (111), all in 43 games. He holds a 26-point lead over F Zach Benson of the Winnipeg Ice in the points derby. . . . Bedard, who won’t turn 18 until July 17, is on the verge of averaging two points per game for his career. He now has 239 points in 120 regular-season games. . . . This was Bedard’s first five-assist game of his career. . . . Since having a 35-game point streak come to an end on Feb. 3, Bedard has 21 points, including 13 assists, in six games. . . . Next up for Bedard and the Pats? A visit to Brandon for a Friday night game with the Wheat Kings.
When I was a youngster, I had an aunt and uncle who every Christmas would buy me a subscription to The Hockey News. That is how I came to be interested in the career of Val Fonteyne, who played 820 regular-season NHL games and another 149 in the WHA. . . . The amazing thing is that Fonteyne, a native of Wetaskiwin, Alta., who now is 89 years young, totalled 30 penalty minutes in all those games. Seriously! He never had more than four PiMs in any one season. However, somehow, in 1957-58, while with the WHL’s Seattle Americans, he actually ended up with 11 PiMs. I would love to know what he did to incur a major penalty that season.
I mention him today because it seems his grandson, Matt, is cut from the same cloth. Matt, who also is from Wetaskiwin, played with the WHL’s Everett Silvertips and now is with the U of Alberta Golden Bears. On Wednesday, Canada West handed out some post-season awards and the 25-year-old was named the winner of the Sportsmanship and Ability Award.
In five seasons (2013-18) in Everett, Fonteyne’s season-high in penalty minutes was 28. In 48 games over two seasons with the Golden Bears, he has 10 penalty minutes. This season, the team captain has 12 goals and 20 assists in 28 games, and four PiMs. . . .
Four other former WHL players were honoured by Canada West.
F Riley Sawchuk (Tri-City Americans, Edmonton Oil Kings) of the Mount Royal U Cougars was named the player of the year. He signed a pro contract with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins earlier this week. . . . Connor Hobbs (Medicine Hat Tigers, Regina Pats) of the U of Saskatchewan Huskies got top defenceman honours, with Carl Tetachuk (Lethbridge Hurricanes, Moose Jaw Warriors) of the U of Calgary Dinos the top goaltender. . . . F Jakin Smallwood (Winnipeg Ice) of the Golden Bears was saluted as rookie of the year. . . .
Mark Howell of the U of Calgary was named coach of the year. He played in the WHL with the Seattle Thunderbirds and Medicine Hat Tigers, and later was an assistant coach with the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Howell’s Dinos will play a best-of-three semifinal series with Saskatchewan this weekend. The Dinos are on a 23-game winning streak.
If the WHL playoffs started today:
Winnipeg (1) vs. Medicine Hat (8)
Red Deer (2) vs. Calgary (7)
Saskatoon (3) vs. Regina (6)
Moose Jaw (4) vs. Lethbridge (5)
Seattle (1) vs. Kelowna (8)
Kamloops (2) vs. Vancouver (7)
Portland (3) vs. Prince George (6)
Tri-City (4) vs. Everett (5)
WEDNESDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:
F Zach Benson scored once and added three assists as the Winnipeg Ice skated to a 5-2 victory over the Hitmen in Calgary. . . . Benson opened the scoring with his 30th goal at 8:25 of the first period. . . . F Matt Savoie (28) added two goals for the Ice, the first one a shorthanded effort, and F Connor McClennon (38) also scored twice. . . . G Daniel Hauser earned his 30th victory of the season with 24 saves, including a first-period stop on a penalty-shot attempt by F Sean Tschigerl. . . . Hauser is 30-3-1, 2.43, .911 this season. In 82 career regular-season appearances, he is 71-6-3, 2.29, .911. . . . Winnipeg (45-7-1) has won eight in a row and now leads the Eastern Conference by 13 points. . . . Calgary (24-25-7) and Medicine Hat are tied for seventh, two points behind Regina and two ahead of Swift Current. . . .
F Connor Bedard had a goal and five assists and wasn’t even the first star as the host Regina Pats beat the Medicine Hat Tigers, 6-3. . . . F Tanner Howe was selected as the No. 1 star after scoring twice and adding two assists. . . . While playing in Bedard’s shadow, Howe, who turned 17 on Nov. 28, is having quite a season. He now has 68 points, including 28 goals, in 53 games. Last season, he finished with 69 points, 27 of them goals, in 64 games. . . . Last night, it likely was Howe’s second goal that stung the Tigers the most. He scored seven seconds into the third period to gave the Pats a 4-1 lead. . . . Regina D Stanislav Svozil had three assists and that pushed him over the 100-point mark for his career. He now has 101 points, including 84 assists, in 101 games. . . . Regina (27-24-3) has won two in a row and now is sixth in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of Calgary and Medicine Hat (23-23-9), which is 6-2-3 in its past 11 games. . . .
The Kamloops Blazers are on a 10-game winning streak after beating the Broncos, 6-3, in Swift Current. . . . The Blazers have won four in a row on this tour of the Central Division that continues in Lethbridge on Friday and Medicine Hat on Saturday. . . . Last night, the Blazers got two goals from each of F Ryan Hofer (36) and Connor Levis (16). . . . Hofer’s second goal gave the Blazers a 5-0 lead at 15:01 of the second period. . . . The Broncos opened the third period with three goals, but Levis put it away at 16:31. . . . F Josh Filmon got No. 34 for the Broncos, with F Connor Hvidston (17) adding a goal and an assist. . . . Kamloops held a 53-29 edge in shots, including 24-9 in the first period. . . . Kamloops (37-10-6) is second in the Western Conference, eight points behind Seattle. . . . Swift Current (25-26-3) has lost four in a row. It is ninth in the Eastern Conference, two points behind Calgary and Medicine Hat. . . .
In Kennewick, Wash., the Tri-City Americans opened up a 4-0 lead en route to a 6-2 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . F Adam Mechura (20) and F Jalen Luypen (9) each had two goals and an assist for the winners. . . . F Ben Hemmerling scored his 20th of the season for Everett. . . . This may have been a playoff preview. . . . Tri-City (27-21-7) is fourth in the Western Conference, four points ahead of Everett (27-24-3) and five up on Prince George.
The SJHL’s Kindersley Klippers announced on Wednesday that they and Ken Plaquin, their general manager and head coach, “have agreed to part ways.” Plaquin was in his third season with the Klippers. . . . Tyler Traptow, who had been an assistant coach, will serve as the interim GM/head coach for the remainder of this season. . . . The Klippers, who lost 5-4 to the visiting Yorkton Terriers on Wednesday night, are 11-30-7, which is the poorest record in the 12-team SJHL.
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