Bedard, Pats leave ‘Toontown with two victories . . . Stringer nets OT winner . . . BCHL planning to leave Hockey Canada?


Some Twitter tidbits from Saturday’s WHL playoff games . . .

Geoffrey Brandow (@GeoffreyBrandow) points out that D Nolan Allan, who is from Davidson, Sask., and F Jared Davidson both scored for Seattle in the Thunderbirds’ 4-1 victory over the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Now if only Davidson was from Allan, Sask., but he’s from Edmonton. . . .

More from Brandow: The Calgary Hitmen won in OT — they beat the Red Deer Rebels, 2-1 — for the first time since April 28, 2015. That night, F Adam Tambellini’s goal at 3:07 of extra time gave the host Hitmen a 2-1 victory over Brandon in Game 3 of an Eastern Conference final that the Wheat Kings would win, 4-1. . . .

Brandow, again: D Lucas Benton, who scored twice in 68 regular-season games, had two goals in the third period as his Moose Jaw Warriors beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 5-1. . . .

After a 4-0 victory over the Everett Silvertips, Portland historian Andy Kemper (@Andy Kemper) informed us that “the shutout for Jan Spunar was the 24th playoff clean sheet in Winterhawks history and third against Everett. The others: 3/25/05 — Blake Grenier 20 svs, 3-0 in Portland; 3/26/11 — Mac Carruth 32 svs, 4-0 in Portland. . . . First on home ice since 3/29/15 (Adin Hill — 21 svs in 3-0 win over Seattle).” . . .

A note from Troy Gillard (@Troy_Gillard), the play-by-play voice of the Red Deer Rebels, following a 2-1 OT loss to the Calgary Hitmen: “Calgary’s game-tying goal late in the third period ended G Kyle Kelsey’s shutout streak versus the Hitmen at 190:59. He’d last allowed a goal to them in the third period of a Rebels OT win on Nov. 27.” . . .

After Seattle’s 4-1 victory over the Kelowna Rockets, Thunderbirds radio voice Thom Beuning (@ThomBeuning) noted: “G Thomas Milic earned his 16th playoff win in net for Seattle (16-11). I believe that ties him with Carl Stankowski (16-4) for most (playoff victories) in franchise history. Unless @TBirdTidbits says otherwise!” TBird Tidbits (@TBirdTidbits) later confirmed that as being correct.


There was one first-round game played on Sunday, with a late afternoon start time in Saskatoon where the Blades entertained the Regina Pats, who had taken Game 1, 6-1, on Friday night. . . . The teams couldn’t play Saturday in Saskatoon because the NLL’s Saskatchewan Rush had SaskTel Centre booked for a game. If you’re wondering, the Rush beat the Vancouver Warriors, 12-11. . . .

There are two WHL playoff games scheduled for tonight, with the Red Deer Rebels to face the Hitmen in Calgary, and the Portland Winterhawks to play the Silvertips in Everett. . . . The Rebels and Hitmen are even, 1-1, while the Winterhawks hold a 2-0 lead.




Regina (6) at Saskatoon (3) — F Zack Stringer scored two PP goals, the second one at 2:58 of OT, as the Regina Pats beat the Saskatoon Blades, 6-5. . . . The Pats had won the opener, 6-1, on Friday night. . . . The teams now head for Regina and games on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. . . . The Pats won it on the only shot by either team in OT; they were outshot 47-19 in the game, including 20-3 in the third period. . . . The Pats took a first-period lead on a goal from F Stanislav Svozil (2) and F Connor Bedard’s first of three scores. . . . The Blades got even on goals from F Justin Lies (1), at 18:01 of the first period, and F Lukas Hansen (2), at 2:48 of the second. . . . Stringer’s first PP goal, at 5:32, put the Pats back out front, but F Josh Pillar (1) tied it at 6:42. . . . Bedard scored at 12:31 for a 4-3 lead, but goals 18 seconds apart from F Jayden Wiens (1) and F Vaughn Watterodt (1) early in the third period gave the Blades their first lead of the series. . . . Bedard (who else?) tied it again at 11:10, just 2:20 after the Blades had taken the lead. . . . The WHL’s online scoresheet credited the winner to Svozil. However, on the play in question, F Alexander Suzdalev took the puck behind the Saskatoon net and centred it to Stringer, who snapped it past G Ethan Chadwick. . . . Suzdalev finished with a career-best four assists. . . . Chadwick came on in relief of Austin Elliott after Regina had scored four goals on 13 shots. Chadwick was beaten twice on six shots in playing 30:27. . . . The Pats got a huge effort from G Drew Sim, who finished with 42 saves. . . . The Blades were 0-for-4 on the PP and now are 0-for-6 in the two games. . . .

It would seem that there was at least one really unhappy fan when this one was over . . . A tip of the Taking Note cap to the attendants for maintaining their cool . . .



THE BEDARD REPORT: F Connor Bedard had three goals and two assists as his Regina Pats took a 2-0 lead in their first-round playoff series, beating the Blades, 6-5 in OT, in Saskatoon. . . . He had two goals and an assist in Friday’s 6-1 victory. . . . That means he has been in on eight of the Pats’ 12 goals in the two games. . . . This was Bedard’s 11th game this season with at least five points — nine with five, two with six. He now has played in 59 games this season and has at least three points in 27 of them. . . . Bedard has scored at least three goals in 10 games this season — eight threes and two fours. . . . The announced attendance for Game 2 was 10,598. That means that Bedard and the Pats have played before 50,399 fans in their last four visits to Saskatoon. . . . Some of the fans showed their appreciation on Sunday by tossing hats onto the ice after Bedard’s third goal.


If you were watching Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday, you may have seen bchlSportsnet’s Jeff Marek offer up some speculation about the BCHL perhaps preparing to leave the Hockey Canada umbrella.

The BCHL already has pulled out of the Canadian Junior Hockey League, so isn’t able to compete for the ‘national’ championship — the Centennial Cup.

As well, the BCHL has made recent noises about what it sees as the need for a super junior A league.

“The goal,” Marek told viewers on Saturday, “is to create this league of high-level, elite-level junior A players from all over the country without having to pay for players to bring them in. If you go out on your own away from Hockey Canada, you have access to everybody.”

According to Marek, a move could happen in time for the BCHL to operate independently starting with the 2023-24 season.

Jesse Adamson, the BCHL’s manager, communications and events, told Brian Wiebe, the owner and editor-in-chief of BCHL Network: ”We are always exploring opportunities to support more players. However, no decisions or votes have taken place and the reports are just rumours and speculation.”

Considering that last fall the BCHL sent Hockey Canada a 35-page report titled ‘Modernizing Junior Hockey in Canada — Supporting Two Junior Development Paths for Canadian Athletes’ and also posted it on its website, and apparently has yet to receive any reaction from Hockey Canada, this might well be one of those ‘where there’s smoke there’s fire’ situations.

Wiebe’s story on Marek’s report is right here.


THINKING OUT LOUD — Having watched more than a bit of MLB over the past few days I can tell you that some of the home-plate umpires seem to be doing everything in their power to speed up the arrival of robo-umps. . . . I’m not privy to details of the TV contract between the CHL and TSN, but it’s hard to believe that the ‘Canadian’ sports network didn’t jump through heats to get the Connor Bedard-led Regina Pats and Saskatoon Blades on one of their multiple channels on Sunday. . . . Hey, TSN, if you’re not aware, Games 3 and 4 in that WHL playoff series are scheduled for Regina on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. . . . Are fans of the Toronto Blue Jays reaching for the panic button yet? After all, they’ve played three games without hitting a home run.

Dorothy and two of the loves of her life — granddaughters Averi and Kara. This photo likely wouldn’t have been possible had Dorothy not had a kidney transplant almost 10 years ago.

My wife, Dorothy, will be taking part in the 2023 Kamloops Kidney Walk on June 4 and, for a 10th straight year, is fund-raising. In September, she will celebrate 10 years as a transplant recipient. . . . If you would like to make a donation and be part of Team Dorothy, you may do so 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

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873



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.



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