Warriors first to clinch playoff spot . . . Dach just what Blades ordered . . . Ronning breaks 50, beats Winterhawks


MacBeth

F Colin Long (Kelowna, 2005-09) has signed a one-year extension with Gherdëina Selva Gardena (Italy, Alps HL). This season, he has four goals and 11 assists in 11 games. His season was cut short due to a “serious knee injury” suffered in a game against Sterzing on Dec. 26.


DAN’S DIARY . . .

Dan Courneyea, one of the Kamloops Blazers’ off-ice officials, is at the Olympic Winter OlylogoGames in PyeongChang. He flew out of Kamloops on Friday, and saw his first game action on Wednesday.

He reports:

“Just finished the Slovakia vs Olympic Athletes of Russia game (kind doesn’t sound right).

“Russia played an incredible game but Slovakia decided to play smarter and got the win (3-2).

“Brett Iverson did the game.”

Iverson is a veteran WHL referee.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

Max Wutzke, a defenceman with the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks, is recovering in hospital in Coquitlam after taking a hit from behind during a game against the host Coquitlam Express on Feb. 7.

Wutzke, a 19-year-old from Calgary, left the game at 1:55 of the first period.

He has since had surgery on a broken femur and is looking at likely another two weeks in hospital. Troy Mick, the Silverbacks’ president, told Taking Note that there Wutzke had to deal with some “complications from surgery.” Wutzke has had four operations on that femur.

Mick added that Wutzke faces a long road back, but “they say his career isn’t over.”

This season, his second with Salmon Arm, Wutzke has a goal and nine assists in 51 games.

D Lucas Wong of the Express drew a match penalty on the play and has since been suspended for six games.


The AJHL’s Canmore Eagles announced Wednesday that Jeremy Reich, their assistant general manager/assistant coach, has resigned “to pursue other career aspirations” in the area of firefighting. . . . Reich had been on the Eagles’ coaching staff since 2012, after finishing his playing career in Germany. . . . Reich, 39, and Andrew Milne, the Eagles’ GM and head coach, played together in the WHL with the Swift Current Broncos in 1998-99. . . . Reich split 335 regular-season games between the Seattle Thunderbirds and Swift Current (1995-2000).


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IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw

Regina at Medicine Hat

Brandon at Swift Current

Kootenay at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

WEDNESDAY:

At Regina, the Moose Jaw Warriors became the first WHL team this season to clinch a playoff spot as they beat the Pats, 6-3. . . . Moose Jaw (43-9-3) has won four straight. It MooseJawWarriorsleads the overall standings by three points over Swift Current. The Warriors have three games in hand. . . . Regina (29-24-6) is 1-1-1 in its past three games. It holds down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot. It also is fourth in the East Division, one point behind Brandon. . . . The Pats and Warriors will meet twice more this week — in Moose Jaw on Friday, then back in Regina on Sunday. They will complete the season series on Feb. 24 in Moose Jaw. . . . The Warriors lead the season series, 5-0-0; Regina is 0-4-1. . . . D Brandon Schuldhaus gave the Warriors a 1-0 lead at 6:53 of the first period. . . . Regina took a 2-1 lead on goals from F Cam Hebig (39), at 12:57 of the first, and F Sam Steel (22), on a PP, at 1:41 of the second period. . . . The visitors took control by scoring the next four goals, three of them in the second period. . . . F Tanner Jeannot got it started, on a PP, at 9:52, with Schuldaus (6) making it 3-2 at 10:15, and F Jayden Halbgewachs upping it to 4-2 at 10:35. Jeannot added his 35th goal, at 6:30, for a 5-2 lead. . . . D Josh Mahura (19), on a PP, scored for the Pats at 8:01. . . . Halbgewachs closed out the scoring with his WHL-leading 53rd goal at 18:54. . . . Halbgewachs added two assists to his two goals, while Jeannot had one helper. F Brett Howden helped out the winners with two assists, with Schuldaus getting one. . . . Schuldaus didn’t have a goal in 37 games with Red Deer this season before being dealt to Moose Jaw. Since then, he has six goals and four assists in 14 games. . . . F Matt Bradley drew three assists for Regina. Steel and Mahura each had one. . . . Regina was 2-5 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 1-5. . . . G Brody Willms earned the victory with 33 saves, three more than Regina’s Max Paddock. . . . The Warriors continue to play without D Jett Woo and F Barrett Sheen. . . . Announced attendance: 6,047.


At Swift Current, F Tyler Steenbergen broke a 2-2 tie at 11:06 of the third period to help the Broncos to a 4-2 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Swift Current (41-13-4) SCBroncoshas won five straight. It is second in the overall standings, three points behind Moose Jaw, which holds three games in hand. . . . Brandon (30-21-5) has lost two in a row. It is third in the East Division, one point ahead of Regina. . . . Steenbergen, who scored the goal that gave Canada the 2018 World Junior Championship, got his seventh game-winner this season and the 22nd of his WHL career. . . . D Colby Sissons (12) gave the home team a 1-0 lead at 11:18 of the first period. . . . Brandon F Ty Lewis (30) tied it at 9:15 of the second period. . . . The Broncos went back out front at 9:46 as F Kole Gable (6) scored. . . . The Wheat Kings tied it 2-2 as F Rylan Bettens (4) scored at 13:27. . . . Steenbergen broke the tie with his 40th goal, at 11:06 of the third period, and F Glenn Gawdin (49) add the empty-netter at 19:49. . . . Gawdin and Steenbergen added two assists each. . . . Gawdin leads the WHL scoring race with 107 points, five more than Moose Jaw F Brayden Burke. . . . Swift Current was 0-2 on the PP; Brandon was 0-3. . . . G Stuart Skinner stopped 31 shots for the Broncos. . . . Brandon got 29 stops from G Dylan Myskiw. . . . F Stelio Mattheos (UB) was among Brandon’s scratches, while D Chase Hartje (ill) and D Schael Higson (ill) also sat this one out. . . . Brandon F Baron Thompson served the final game of a four-game suspension. . . . Announced attendance: 2,734.


At Calgary, D Dylan Coghlan drew three assists to lead the Tri-City Americans to a 4-3 victory over the Hitmen. . . . Tri-City (29-19-8) has won two in a row. It holds down the TriCity30Western Conference’s first wild-card spot. It also is fourth in the U.S. Division, one point behind Spokane. . . . Calgary (17-32-7) had won its previous game. . . . The Americans opened a three-game dip into the Central Division with a 6-3 victory in Lethbridge on Tuesday. Tri-City will meet the host Kootenay Ice on Friday. . . . F Luke Coleman (13) got Calgary on the scoreboard first, at 8:34 of the first period. . . . Former Hitmen D Jake Bean (9) pulled Tri-City even, on a PP, at 16:59. . . . F Michael; Rasmussen (22) gave the Americans the lead, on a PP, at 19:54. . . . D Dakota Krebs (3), who went to Calgary in the Bean deal, tied it at 11:17 of the second period, only to have Tri-City F Jordan Topping (32) scored just seven seconds later. . . . F Parker AuCoin (15), who also had an assist, upped the lead to 4-2, shorthanded, at 13:03. . . . F Tristen Nielsen (12) got the Hitmen to within a goal at 3:11 of the third period. . . . Coleman added an assist for Calgary. . . . Tri-City was 2-4 on the PP; Calgary was 0-6. . . . G Beck Warm earned the victory with 36 saves. . . . Calgary got 21 stops from Nick Schneider. . . . Announced attendance: 5,213.


At Cranbrook, B.C., F Kirby Dach returned after a one-game injury-related absence to score on goal and set up two others as his Saskatoon Blades got past the Kootenay Ice, 3-Saskatoon2. . . . Saskatoon (29-26-3) has won three in a row. It now has won 30 games, one more than it won all of last season. The Blades also have 12 road victories, one more than last season. . . . Saskatoon holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, six points ahead of Prince Albert. . . . Kootenay (24-31-3) has lost three straight. It is tied with Red Deer for third in the Central Division. . . . The Blades took a 2-0 lead on PP goals from Dach (5), at 9:25 of the first period, and D Dawson Davidson (9), at 4:16 of the second. . . . The Ice tied it on goals from F Colton Veloso (20), on a PP, at 14:25 of the second and F Brett Davis (21), shorthanded, at 13:33 of the third. . . . At 17:12, Dach set up F Michael Farren (8) for the game-winner. . . . Farren also had an assist. . . . Davis added an assist to his goal for the Ice. . . . Saskatoon was 2-7 on the PP; Kootenay was 1-5. . . . G Nolan Maier stopped 25 shots for the Blades, one more than the Ice’s Matt Berlin. . . . The Ice scratched D Jonathan Smart (undisclosed injury), who wasn’t listed on Tuesday’s injury report, while they remain without injured F Keenan Taphorn (UB). . . . Kootenay added F Connor McClennon, the second overall selection in the 2017 bantam draft, to their roster on Tuesday, but he was a healthy scratch from this one. . . . The Blades were en route to Cranbrook on Tuesday when they had to stop for the night in Pincher Creek, Alta., due to high winds and deteriorating driving conditions. They left Pincher Creek on Wednesday and proceeded with no problems, arriving in Cranbrook at 11 a.m. “Winds were down significantly and plows and sanding trucks had been out overnight,” Les Lazaruk, the radio voice of the Blades, told Taking Note. “The highway actually opened at 10 (Tuesday night), but no sense going at that point.” . . . Announced attendance: 2,022.


At Portland, F Ty Ronning scored Nos. 50 and 51, and G David Tendeck made 49 saves, leading the Vancouver Giants to a 4-2 victory over the Winterhawks. . . . Vancouver (30-Vancouver18-8) is third in the B.C. Division, five points behind Kelowna and Victoria. . . . Portland (35-19-4) had won its previous five games. It is second in the U.S. Division, two points behind Everett. . . . F Dawson Holt (10) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 1:30 of the first period. . . . Portland went ahead 2-1 on second-period goals from F Reece Newkirk (5), at 2:49, and F Ryan Hughes (12), on a PP, at 17:02. . . . Ronning became the first player in Giants to get to 50 when he scored at 10:25 of the third period. He broke the tie with No. 51, at 17:32. . . . F Brayden Watts (13) got the empty-netter at 19:30, off a pass from Ronning. . . . D Bowen Byram had two assists for the Giants. . . . Portland was 1-4 on the PP; Vancouver was 0-2. . . . Tendeck stopped all 18 shots Portland fired his way in the third period. He had turned aside 19 shots in the second. . . . G Cole Kehler made 15 saves for Portland. . . . The Giants scratched four defencemen — Dylan Plouffe, Matt Barberis, Darion Skeoch and Alex Kannok Leipert, all of whom are injured. . . . They also are without F Milos Roman (ankle) and F Owen Hardy (ill). . . . D Joel Sexsmith, a first-round selection by the Swift Current Broncos in the 2017 WHL bantam draft, made his debut with the Giants. . . . Announced attendance: 3,025.


At Spokane, F Kailer Yamamoto broke a 2-2 tie scoring on a deflection at 19:32 of the third period to give the Chiefs a 3-2 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . Spokane (31-SpokaneChiefs20-5) is third in the U.S. Division, seven points back of Portland. . . . Kamloops (26-27-4) has lost two straight and remains six points out of a playoff spot. . . . D Joe Gatenby (12) put Kamloops ahead 1-0 at 3:26 of the first period. . . . Spokane F Eli Zummack (11) tied it at 10:32. . . . F Jake McGrew (14) gave the Chiefs a lead, on a PP, at 14:35. . . . The Blazers tied it at 14:06 of the third period on F Jackson Shepard’s eighth goal. . . . Yamamoto won it with his 14th goal. . . . The Chiefs got two assists from D Tyson Helgesen. . . . Yamamoto also had an assist. He now has 34 points, including 12 goals, in 14 games since returning to the Chiefs from the WJC. . . . F Orrin Centazzo had two assists for Kamloops. . . . Spokane was 1-5 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-3. . . . G Dawson Weatherill made 29 saves for the Chiefs, while the Blazers got 24 saves from G Dylan Ferguson. . . . The Blazers again were without D Luke Zazula and F Luc Smith, both of whom are injured. . . . Blazers head coach Don Hay turned 64 on Tuesday, celebrating with a taco or two in Spokane, as you can see from the above tweet. . . . Announced attendance: 3,526.


At Kelowna, the Red Deer Rebels scored the game’s last three goals, all in the third period, as they skated to a 4-1 victory over the Rockets. . . . Red Deer (19-26-13) has won Red Deertwo in a row and now is tied with Kootenay for third in the Central Division. . . . Kelowna (34-18-5) has points in its previous two games (1-0-1). It is tied with Victoria for top spot in the B.C. Division, but the Rockets hold two games in hand. . . . The Rebels won despite being outshot 11-1 in the first period and 15-7 in the second. . . . F Josh Tarzwell (8) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 2:19 of the first period. . . . F Kyle Topping (19) tied it at 10:10 of the third period. . . . Rebels F Brandon Hagel (10) broke the tie at 11:08. . . . F Reese Johnson (19) upped it to 3-1, on a PP, at 13:21. . . . F Mason McCarty (30) got the empty-netter at 19:00. . . . D Dawson Barteaux had two assists for the winners, with Johnson adding one. . . . Red Deer was 1-2 on the PP; Kelowna was 1-6. . . . G Riley Lamb was terrific for the Rebels, finishing with 36 saves. . . . The Rockets got 14 stops from G Brodan Salmond. . . . G James Porter Jr., who left a Monday game with an apparent injury, was on Kelowna’s bench in a backup role. . . . Kelowna scratched F Kole Lind, who took a stiff check from Victoria D Ralph Jarratt on Monday afternoon. . . . Announced attendance: 4,526.


At Victoria, Tomas Soustal scored in the third round of a shootout to give the Edmonton Oil Kings a 7-6 victory over the Royals. . . . Edmonton (17-32-7) has won three straight. . . . EdmontonOilKingsVictoria (34-21-4) has lost two in a row. It is tied with Kelowna for first place in the B.C. Division. . . . F Tyler Soy (30) gave the Royals a 1-0 lead at 1:02 of the first period. . . . Edmonton went up 2-1 on goals from F Trey Fix-Wolansky (24), on a PP, at 6:36 and F David Kope (10), at 7:54. . . . F Matthew Phillips (43) tied it at 8:33. . . . F Davis Murray (1) put Edmonton back into the lead at 14:15, and Victoria F Tanner Kaspick wrapped up a six-goal period by tying it at 17:35. . . . D Brayden Gorda (1) gave Edmonton a 4-3 lead at 2:44 of the second period, only to have Victoria D Kade Jensen (5) equalize at 9:52. . . . Soustal put the Oil Kings back out front at 14:09. . . . Kaspick (22) tied it, again, at 2:51, but Soustal (15) gave the visitors a 6-5 lead at 16:29. . . . The Royals forced OT when F Noah Gregor got his 22nd goal with 57.3 seconds left in the regulation time. . . . F Brett Kemp, D Matthew Robertson and F Nick Bowman head two assists each for Edmonton, with Soustal, Fix-Wolansky and Murray each getting one. . . . Victoria got two assists from each of D Mitchell Prowse and Soy, with Phillips, Kaspick, Jensen and Gregor adding one apiece. . . . Royals F Dante Hannoun picked up one assist, for his 200th career point. . . . Edmonton was 1-2 on the PP; Victoria was 1-6. . . . G Josh Dechaine stopped 32 shots for the Oil Kings. . . . With G Griffen Outhouse scratched — no, he wasn’t listed on Tuesday’s injury report — the Royals added G Joel Grzybowski to their roster from the SJHL’s Battlefords North Stars. He was acquired from the Saskatoon Blades earlier in the season. . . . Grzybowski, 18, started, as he made his seventh WHL appearance, the first six of which were with Saskatoon last season. He stopped 21 shots. . . . F Ty Yoder, 15, made his WHL debut with the Royals. From Tofield, Alta., he was a fifth-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft. He has 38 goals and 21 assists in 29 games with the Northern Alberta Elite 15s of the CSSHL. . . . D Ralph Jarratt was among Victoria’s scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 3,791.


THURSDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Regina at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Brandon at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Tri-City vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.

Kelowna at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Red Deer at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

Edmonton vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7:30 p.m.

Everett vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:35 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

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Injury-riddled Giants add Sexsmith . . . Strumm, Thunder into Hall of Fame . . . Rockets, Royals pay for early scrap


MacBeth

D Martin Gernát (Edmonton, 2011-13) had his loan assignment by Košice (Slovakia, Extraliga) to Lausanne (Switzerland, NL A) extended until the end of the season. He has two goals and an assist in eight games with Lausanne. . . . The initial loan assignment was until Dec. 17 and was subsequently extended until Feb. 5. Gernát started this season with Prešov (Slovakia, 1. Liga), recording two assists in three games. He signed with Košice on Nov. 21. He was pointless in two games when he was loaned to Lausanne on Dec. 7.


DAN’S DIARY . . .

Dan Courneyea, who heads up the Kamloops Blazers’ off-ice crew of officials is at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang where he’ll be working the hockey Olylogocompetitions.

On Tuesday, with the men’s hockey less than 24 hours from starting, he reported:

“The overall atmosphere here in South Korea has been amazing. There have been many locals volunteer for the Games, even if they don’t fully understand the sport. I think it’s that they just want to be involved.

“It’s still windy but the cold temps have dropped a bit.

“The locals say this is their winter season (Feb-Oct) but there is no snow in the lower elevations (kind of reminds us of Vancouver), yet the hills are battling cold and extremely windy conditions.

“Overall, the Games are good, the events are selling out and the people are very, very friendly.”


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

With the Vancouver Giants’ defensive corps suddenly riddled by injury, D Joel Sexsmith, 15, is expected to make his WHL debut tonight (Wednesday) against the host Portland VancouverWinterhawks. . . . Steve Ewen of Postmedia tweeted updates on the Giants’ situation on Tuesday morning. . . . The Giants will be without D Darian Skeoch, D Dylan Plouffe, D Matt Barberis and perhaps D Alex Kannok Leipert. . . . The Swift Current Broncos selected Sexsmith in the first round of the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. The Broncos weren’t able to sign him and dealt him to the Giants on Jan. 7, getting back a first-round pick in the 2019 draft. . . . From Edmonton, he has two goals and 12 assists in 13 games with the Edge School Elite 15s. He also had a goal and three assists with the Northern Alberta X-Treme prep team. . . . D Parker Hendren, another AP, likely will get into his eighth game. Hendren, 16, has been playing with the midget AAA Regina Pat Canadians. He was a seventh-round pick by the Giants in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . Meanwhile, Vancouver F Milos Roman (ankle) is scheduled to skate on Friday for the first time since he last played on Jan. 9. In a perfect scenario, he then would be about two weeks from playing again.


The Las Vegas Thunder, which included former WHL executive and coach Bob Strumm, is to be inducted into the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony Thunderis scheduled for May 11 at the Orleans Arena. . . . The Thunder, owned by the father-and-son duo of Hank and Ken Stickney, was an International Hockey League franchise that played out of the Thomas & Mack Center for six seasons (1993-99). The franchise folded on April 18, 1999. . . . “I just want to firstly thank the directors and the committee for recognizing our efforts and the fact that we may have paved the way a little bit for professional hockey, what’s happening here today, which is pretty special for us and pretty special for that other pro team that’s going pretty good right now,” Strumm said during a Tuesday news conference. “We hope that we kicked the can down the road a little bit for those guys.” . . . Strumm worked in the WHL office, and also with the Billings Bighorns, Regina Pats and Spokane Chiefs, filling roles from owner to GM to head coach.


F Mitchell Callahan of the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors has been suspended for 20 games. According to a news release from the AHL, Callahan was suspended for “violating the terms of the AHL/PHPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program.” . . . Callahan will be eligible to return on April 11. . . . Callahan signed a two-year deal with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers on July 1. He had been in the Detroit Red Wings’ organization for six seasons. . . . The 26-year-old Callahan is from Whittier, Calif. He played three seasons (2008-11) with the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets.


BradHornungKenMcIntyre
BEST OF FRIENDS: Brad Hornung enjoyed visits from buddy Ken McIntyre at the Wascana Rehabilitation Centre in Regina. McIntyre, 48, died last week in Minot, N.D.

CLARIFICATION: In this space on Saturday, I wrote that Ken McIntyre, a former WHL player, had died on Feb. 7 after being “found unresponsive in a vehicle at an intersection in Minot, N.D.” . . . I have been informed that this isn’t accurate. He wasn’t in a vehicle when he was found unresponsive at a city intersection, apparently having collapsed just as he was about to walk across the street. A passer-by spotted him, initiated CPR and called 9-1-1. However, McIntyre, 48, was pronounced dead at hospital.


The Kootenay Ice has added F Connor McClennon, 15, to its roster. McClennon, from Wainwright, Alta., was the second-overall selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. . . . He has 26 goals and 41 assists in 31 games with the CSSHL’s Northern Alberta X-Treme prep team. . . . The Ice is scheduled to entertain the Saskatoon Blades tonight (Wednesday).


The Victoria Royals and Kelowna Rockets have been fined $500 apiece after two players whlbecame involved in a fight just 10 seconds into Monday’s Family Day game in the Little Apple. F Braydon Buziak of the Royals and F Kyle Pow of the Rockets drew one-game suspensions for the scrap. . . . The Rockets won the game, 5-4, but lost F Kole Lind after he took a hard hit from Victoria D Ralph Jarratt while cutting across the slot in the Royals’ zone. Bruce Hamilton, the Rockets’ general manager, told Steve Ewen of Postmedia on Monday evening that Lind will be “out for a week likely.” . . . The Rockets also lost G James Porter Jr., when he left the game after being involved in a goal-mouth collision. . . . Lind and Porter both are listed as day-to-day with undisclosed injuries. . . . “Can you imagine if the Rockets and Royals met in a playoff series?” Regan Bartel, the radio voice of the Rockets, wrote on this blog. “It would be a blood bath. These two organizations detest one another.”


THE ROSTER REPORT: The Brandon Wheat Kings are listing F Stelio Mattheos as being out “TBD” with an upper-body injury. . . . The Regina Pats show G Ryan Kubic (UB) as being out indefinitely, meaning they will continue to go with Max Paddock as their starter. G Jacob Wasserman, who was added to the roster from the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos, remains with the Pats. . . . G Carl Stankowski, who has yet to play for Seattle this season, remains out week-to-week. It’s looking more and more as though he won’t appear in a game this season. . . . The Victoria Royals list F Jeff de Wit and F D-Jay Jerome (both UB) as week-to-week, while D Chaz Reddekopp (UB) will be out another three weeks.


The Kimberley Dynamiters of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League have yet to seen a penny from Mike Gould, who pledged $7.5 million to the junior B team earlier this season. . . . However, Gould has pleaded guilty to fraud charges after he allegedly paid a tab of almost $8,000 at a Cranbrook restaurant with two cheques that were in another person’s name. . . . Gould is to be sentenced in February. CBC News reports that Gould also faces a second charge of using a forged document. . . . The CBC report is right here.


You are free to donate to the cause if you wish. All you have to do is click on the DONATE button over there on the right.

If you have a tip or just want to chat, email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com. You are able to follow me on Twitter at @gdrinnan.



IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw

Regina at Medicine Hat

Brandon at Swift Current

Kootenay at Lethbridge


WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

TUESDAY:

At Lethbridge, D Juuso Valimaki scored a goal and drew two assists to lead the Tri-City Americans to a 6-3 victory over the Hurricanes. . . . Lethbridge (26-24-6) is second in the TriCity30Central Division, five points behind Medicine Hat. . . . Tri-City (28-19-8) had lost its previous four games (0-3-1). The Americans hold down the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot, two points ahead of Seattle. Tri-City is fourth in the U.S. Division, one point behind Spokane. . . . The teams alternated goals until the Americans took control with the last three scores. . . . F Riley Sawchuk gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 13:54 of the first period, only to have Lethbridge F Brad Morrison (21) tied it, on a PP, at 16:17. . . . The Americans went back out front at 3:41 of the second period when F Parker AuCoin struck, on a PP. . . . F Taylor Ross (15) got the Hurricanes even at 6:13. . . . Valimaki (7) gave Tri-City a 3-2 lead, on another PP, at 15:23. . . . F Logan Barlage (5) got the home boys back on even ground at 1:18 of the third period. . . . AuCoin (14) snapped the tie just 21 seconds later. . . . F Michael Rasmussen (21), who also had an assist, added insurance at 3:43 and Sawchuk (12) got the empty-netter at 19:10. . . . The Hurricanes got two assists from F Dylan Cozens. . . . Tri-City was 2-4 on the PP; Lethbridge was 1-2. . . . G Patrick Dea earned the victory with 27 saves. . . . The Hurricanes got 29 saves from G Reece Klassen. . . . The Americans are on a quick three-game trip into the Central Division. They will play the Calgary Hitmen tonight and the Kootenay Ice on Friday. . . . Prior to the game, the WHL presented Bob Bartlett, the Hurricanes’ director of player development, with a Distinguished Service Award. Bartlett has been around the WHL for more than 40 years, and has worked with the Lethbridge Broncos and Moose Jaw Warriors, as well as the Hurricanes. He is a member of the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame, the Alberta Hockey Hall of Game and the Lethbridge Broncos/Hurricanes Hall of Fame. . . . Announced attendance: 3,603.


WEDNESDAY:

Moose Jaw at Regina, 7 p.m.

Brandon at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Tri-City at Calgary, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Portland, 7 p.m.

Kamloops at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.

Red Deer at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Edmonton at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

Kisio has lighter wallet, victory . . . Oil Kings shock Blazers . . . Rebels continue to put heat on Ice

Dan
Dan Courneyea of Kamloops is ready to work some games in the Gangneung Hockey Centre in PyeongChang.

DAN’S DIARY . . .

Dan Courneyea, who heads up the Kamloops Blazers’ off-ice crew of officials is at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang where he’ll be working the hockey competitions.

On Monday, he reported:

“The Games have started off well. Fans are showing up to events. When Korea is involved events are sold out — it’s great to see the support). Still cold, sun is out.

“The wind has been playing havoc on some events up in the mountains. Women’s hockey, no surprises. Men’s actually starts on the 14th.”


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

On the road again . . . the Edmonton Oil Kings are on the road, again. . . .

When the Oil Kings played in Kamloops on Monday afternoon, it was their 12th road EdmontonOilKingsgame in their last 15 assignments. Since Jan. 9, they have made stops in Brandon, Regina, Moose Jaw, Swift Current, Cranbrook, Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Cranbrook (again), Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Red Deer and Kamloops.

The Oil Kings’ present trip also will include stops in Victoria, Vancouver and Kelowna, which will make it 15 of 18 on the road, and all of that since Jan. 9.

All of the travel means two things to a WHL team — a lack of sleep and a dire shortage of true practice time.

Here’s Edmonton head coach Steve Hamilton, talking with Derek Van Diest of Postmedia:

“You give up sleep and that’s the biggest thing when you’re managing yourself on the road. Every bus trip, you give up sleep, and then you start operating from a deficit and it’s hard to make that up, because we haven’t had a set amount of time to recoup that. We’ve played every second day, every third day, we travel in between and practice has been virtually nil.”

Here’s  hoping that the WHL will put a whole lot of thought into its 2018-19 schedule. With the decision already made to trim each team’s schedule from 72 to 68 games, there really is a need for the WHL pooh-bahs, who love to talk about being a developmental league, to find more time for its players to rest and to practice.

Van Diest’s story is right here.


DEPARTMENT OF DISCIPLINE: Brent Kisio, the head coach of the Lethbridge Hurricanes, has been $750 after he was tossed from a 4-2 loss in Regina on Saturday. Kisio got the ol’ heave-ho at 15:01 of the third period. According to Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post, Kisio offered up a “lengthy tirade” and “gave referees Steve Papp and Mike Langin an earful before he finally left the bench, receiving a loud ovation from the locals.” . . . The WHL office also set F Parker Kelly’s suspension at one game. Kelly, a forward with the Prince Albert Raiders, took a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct for a hit on Saskatoon F Kirby Dach in a 6-3 loss to the host Blades on Saturday. Kelly served the suspension when he sat out Sunday’s 6-5 loss to the visiting Swift Current Broncos. Each didn’t play in Sunday’s 2-1 shootout victory over visiting Regina.


The Portland Winterhawks have signed D Nick Perna, a 16-year-old who is from Dallas, Texas. He was added to the Winterhawks’ protected list in March. The 6-foot-2 Perna had a goal and eight assists in 30 games with the Dallas Stars elite U16 AAA team. . . . Perna attended the Winterhawks’ training camp prior to the start of this season.


If you like what you see here, please consider clicking on the DONATE button over there to the right and helping the cause.

If you have a tip or just want to chat, email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com. You are able to follow me on Twitter at @gdrinnan.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw

Regina at Medicine Hat

Brandon at Swift Current

Kootenay at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

MONDAY:

At Cranbrook, the Lethbridge Hurricanes scored four third-period goals as they beat the Kootenay Ice, 5-2. . . . Lethbridge (26-23-6) had lost its previous two games. It is second in Lethbridgethe Central Division, five points behind Medicine Hat. The Hurricanes hold three games in hand. . . . Kootenay (24-30-3) has lost two in a row. It is third in the Central Division, seven points behind Lethbridge. . . .  D Koletrane Wilson (3) gave Lethbridge a 1-0 lead at 16:19 of the second period. . . . The Ice tied it at 17:54 when F Alec Baer (24) scored, on a PP, then took a 2-1 lead at 1:27 of the third period as F Colton Veloso (19) scored, also on the PP. . . . The visitors took a 3-2 lead on two goals from F Brad Morrison, at 15:22 and 15:41. He’s got 20 goals. . . . F Jake Elmer (15) added insurance, at 15:41, and F Jordy Bellerive (38) got the empty-netter, at 17:17. . . . The Hurricanes got two assists from each of D Calen Addison, Bellerive and F Jadon Joseph, with Morrison adding one to his pair of goals. . . . Kootenay was 2-5 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-5. . . . G Logan Flodell earned the victory with 26 saves, eight fewer than the Ice’s Duncan McGovern. . . . F Dylan Cozens was back in Lethbridge’s lineup after not having played since Jan. 19. He missed nine games with an undisclosed injury. When he went down, Cozens, 17, had 16 goals and 23 assists in 40 games. . . . Announced attendance: 2,969.


At Kamloops, the Edmonton Oil Kings erased a 1-0 deficit with two goals 22 seconds apart early in the second period and went on to a 4-1 victory over the Blazers. . . . Edmonton EdmontonOilKings(16-32-7) has won two in a row. . . . Kamloops (26-26-4) had won its previous two games. It remains six points away from a Western Conference wild-card spot. . . . F Jackson Shepard (7) was credited with the Blazers’ first goal, when a point shot by D Sean Strange went off his skate and trickled over the goal line. . . . Edmonton tied the score at 1:20 of the second period when F Colton Kehler re-directed a point shot by D Conner McDonald. . . . Shortly after that, the Blazers broke out 2-on-1, only to have the horn sound to kill play. An apparent save by Kamloops G Dylan Ferguson went to video review and Edmonton F Brendan Semchuk, who is from Kamloops, was awarded his 12th goal of the season. . . . Kehler (26) gave the visitors a 3-1 lead, on a PP, at 12:05 of the second period. . . . D Ethan Cap iced it with an empty-netter, at 19:29 of the third period. . . . D Conner McDonald, who began his career with Kamloops, had two assists for Edmonton. . . . Edmonton was 1-1 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-3. . . . G Josh Dechaine stopped 29 shots for Edmonton, 10 more than Dylan Ferguson of the Blazers. . . . This season, Kamloops is 1-6-2 when playing in front of more than 4,000 fans at home. . . . This game, on Faith and Family Day, drew the largest crowd this season. . . . Announced attendance: 5,578.


At Prince George, F Brandon Hagel earned four assists and G Riley Lamb posted the shutout as the Red Deer Rebels blanked the Cougars, 4-0. . . . Red Deer (18-26-13) has PrinceGeorgeclosed to within two points of third-place Kootenay in the Central Division. . . . Prince George (19-30-8) has lost four in a row. . . . D Dawson Barteaux (3) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 10:05 of the first period. . . . D Alex Alexeyev (7) upped that to 2-0 at 19:01 of the second period. . . . Alexeyev was playing his first game since Jan. 20. He had left the team and returned to Russia following the unexpected death of his mother. . . . F Mason McCarty (29), on a PP, and F Kristian Reichel (24) added third-period goals. . . . Barteaux and Alexeyev added an assist each, as did Lamb. . . . Lamb finished with 25 saves as he put up his first shutout of the season and the fourth of his career. . . . The Cougars got 27 saves from G Taylor Gauthier. . . . Announced attendance: 3,071.


At Kelowna, the Rockets opened up a 5-2 second-period lead and hung on for a 5-4 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . Kelowna (34-17-5) had lost its previous two games (0-KelownaRockets1-1). It leads the B.C. Division by one point over Victoria. The Rockets have two games in hand. . . . Victoria (34-20-4) had won two in a row. . . . The teams played a Friday-Saturday doubleheader in Victoria, with the Royals winning 6-1 and 4-3 in OT. . . . F Matthew Phillips (42) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead when he scored on a penalty shot at 5:02 of the first period. . . . Kelowna F Kole Lind tied it at 5:31. . . . The Royals went back out front at 8:29 when F Noah Gregor (21) scored. . . . Lind (31) tied it, on a PP, at 19:07. . . . The Rockets took control with three second-period goals. . . . F Dillon Dube (25) made it 3-2 at 4:03; F Carsen Twarynski (35) scored at 8:09; and D Gordie Ballhorn (4) upper it to 5-2, on a PP, at 13:52. . . . F Tyler Soy (29) got Victoria to within two at 16:04. . . . The Royals cut the deficit to one on a goal by F Andrei Grishakov (18), on a PP, at 11:01 of the third period. . . . Dube added two assists to his goal, with F Kyle Topping and D Cal Foote also getting two assists each for the Rockets. Lind added one to his pair of goals. . . . The Royals got two assists from F Igor Martynov and one from Phillips. . . . Phillips now has 93 points, which is a Victoria franchise record. He had shared the record with F Alex Forsberg (2015-16). F Mark Santorelli holds the Chilliwack/Victoria record (101, 2007-08). . . . Phillips also is riding a franchise record 18-game point streak. He has 34 points, including 14 goals, in that time. . . . Kelowna was 2-5 on the PP; Victoria was 1-3. . . . Kelowna G James Porter Jr. allowed four goals on 25 shots in 51:20, before leaving with an injury. Brodan Salmond came on to finish up. He stopped the only shot he fced in 8:40. . . . The Royals got 30 stops from G Griffen Outhouse. . . . Each team was 4-3-1 in the season series. . . . Wayne Moore of castanet.net reports that “Lind may have suffered a concussion after he was hit by by Ralph Jarratt while cutting through the slot. Lind lay on the ice for several minutes before being helped off the ice.” Jarratt wasn’t penalized on the play; Lind didn’t return. . . . “I don’t really have any comment on the hit,” Kelowna head coach Jason Smith told Moore, “because the league will look at that, and there may be some decisions on what they thought, whether it was a clean hit or not a clean hit.” . . . Announced attendance: 5,625.


TUESDAY (all times local):

Tri-City at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Hicke, Delorme into Sask. Hockey Hall . . . Gawdin to top of points derby . . . Blades win, get breathing room

A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

The late Bill Hicke, a former player, owner, general manager and coach with the Regina Pats, will be one of the inductees into the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame in 2018. . . . The names of the inductees were revealed Saturday night in Swift Current, where the Credit Union iPlex is home to the Hall of Fame. . . . The induction dinner is scheduled for July 7 at the iPlex. . . . Also being inducted as players are Hayley Wickenheiser of Shaunavon, Sask., who won four Olympic gold medals with Canada’s women’s team; and Vancouver Canucks’ chief amateur scout Ron Delorme, who played with the Swift Current/Lethbridge Broncos before going on to a pro career. . . . The late Kelly Lovering will be inducted as a builder, with Lyle Wilhelm going in as an official. . . . Larry Johnson and the late Dennis Loeppky will be inducted in the grassroots category. . . . The 1987-88 Notre Dame Hounds, who won the Canadian junior A title, will go into the team category.


If you like what you see here, please consider clicking on the DONATE button over there to the right and helping the cause.

If you have a tip or just want to chat, email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com. You are able to follow me on Twitter at @gdrinnan.

And don’t forget that the domain name here is greggdrinnan.com.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw

Regina at Medicine Hat

Brandon at Swift Current

Kootenay at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Victoria

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Kelowna


Scoreboard

SUNDAY:

At Calgary, F Conner Chaulk’s second goal of the game, at 18:12 of the third period, gave the Hitmen a 5-4 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Calgary (17-31-7) had lost its Calgaryprevious two games (0-1-1). . . . Medicine Hat (28-23-7) had won its previous two games. It leads the Central Division by seven points over Lethbridge, which now holds four games in hand. . . . Medicine Hat held a 20-10 edge in first-period shots but managed only a 1-0 lead, that on a goal from D David Quenneville, at 9:41. . . . Calgary took a 2-1 lead on goals by D Dakota Krebs (2), at 5:33 of the second period, and F Carson Focht, at 6:52. . . . The Tigers came back with two goals of their own, from F Ryan Jevne, on a PP, at 9:08, and F Bryan Lockner (10), at 18:59. . . . The Hitmen took a 4-3 lead as Focht (9) scored at 7:25 and Chaulk got his first at 10:09. . . . F Mark Rassell (45) pulled the Tigers into a tie at 14:25. . . . Chaulk won it with his 13th goal of the season. . . . The Hitmen got two assists from F Luke Coleman. . . . Rassell, Lockner and Quenneville had an assist each for the Tigers. . . . Medicine Hat was 1-4 on the PP; Calgary was 0-1. . . . The Hitmen got 44 stops from G Nick Schneider. . . . Tigers G Michael Bullion, who was coming off back-to-back shutouts, turned aside 42 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 7,468.


At Prince Albert, F Glenn Gawdin had a goal and two assists to take over the WHL scoring lead as he helped the Swift Current Broncos to a 5-4 victory over the Raiders. . . . SCBroncosSwift Current (40-13-4) has won four in a row. It is second in the East Division, three points behind Moose Jaw, which has three games in hand. The Broncos last enjoyed at least 40 victories in a season in 2008-09 when they finished 41-24-7. Last season they finished 39-23-10. . . . Prince Albert (22-23-11) has lost three straight. It now is four points out of a playoff spot. . . . Both teams were playing for the third time in fewer than 48 hours. The Broncos went (3-0-0); the Raiders were (0-3-0). The Broncos had beaten the visiting Raiders 5-1 on Friday. . . . Swift Current took a 1-0 lead at 3:25 of the first period when F Andrew Fyten scored. . . . F Nikita Krivokrasov (2) tied it at 7:33. . . . Fyten (9) put the visitors back ahead at 17:41, only to have F Jordy Stallard (37) tie it, on a PP, at 19:22. . . . The Raiders took a 3-2 lead at 1:59 of the second period on a goal by F Kody McDonald. . . . The Broncos followed with three straight goals. Gawdin (48) scored, on a PP, at 4:23. D Josh Anderson (3) scored at 9:33, and F Tyler Steenbergen (39) made it 5-3 at 11:36. . . . Gawdin drew assists on each of the last two goals. . . . The Raiders tied it on goals from McDonald (28), on a PP, at 4:54, and F Cole Fonstad (17), at 13:18. . . . F Max Patterson won it with his eighth goal at 15:58. . . . Gawdin now has 104 points, two more than Moose Jaw F Brayden Burke. . . . The Broncos got two assists from F Beck Malenstyn, with Patterson and Steenbergen each getting one. . . . Stallard added two assists to his goal for the home side, with Fonstad getting one. . . . The Raiders were 2-3 on the PP; the Broncos were 1-5. . . . G Stuart Skinner stopped 23 shots for Swift Current. . . . The Raiders started G Ian Scott, who allowed five goals on 16 shots in 31:36. Curtis Meger finished up by stopping 12 of 13 shots in 26:21. . . . The Raiders were without F Parker Kelly, who drew a TBD suspension for a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct during Saturday’s 6-3 loss in Saskatoon. Each was scratched from the Blades game on Sunday. . . . F Tanner Nagel was scratched from the Broncos’ lineup after leaving Saturday’s game with an undisclosed injury. . . The Broncos are 6-1-0 in the season series; the Raiders are 1-4-2. . . . Announced attendance: 1,824.


At Saskatoon, F Michael Farren scored in the seventh round of a shootout to give the Blades a 2-1 victory over the Regina Pats. . . . Saskatoon (28-26-3) has won two in a row. It Saskatoonholds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, five points behind Regina and four ahead of Prince Albert. . . . The Blades have matched last season’s victory total when they finished 28-35-9. . . . Regina (29-23-6) is fourth in the East Division, one point behind Brandon. . . . Regina went 1-1-1 in playing three games in fewer than 48 hours. The Blades also played three times in fewer than 48 hours, going 2-1-0. . . . D Logan Christensen (3) gave the Blades a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 6:12 of the first period. . . . Regina tied it at 3:25 of the third period when F Matt Bradley (33) scored, on a PP. . . . Regina was 1-5 on the PP; Saskatoon was 1-6. . . . The Blades got 38 saves from G Nolan Maier. . . . G Max Paddock stopped 28 shots for the Pats. . . . The Pats were without G Ryan Kubic (ill) for a second straight game, so had Jacob Wasserman of the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos backing up. . . . F Kirby Dach was among Saskatoon’s scratches. He took a hit from behind from Prince Albert F Parker Kelly on Saturday night. . . . Saskatoon leads the season series, 5-2-0. Meanwhile, Regina is 2-2-3. . . . Announced attendance: 3,647.


At Portland, the Winterhawks scored three third-period goals to erase a 3-2 deficit and beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 5-3. . . . Portland (35-18-4) has won five in a row. It is Portlandsecond in the Western Conference, two points behind Everett and two ahead of Victoria. . . . Seattle (27-20-8) has lost three straight (0-2-1). It and Tri-City are tied for the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . On Saturday, the visiting Winterhawks beat the Thunderbirds, 4-1. . . . On Sunday, both teams played three games in fewer than 48 hours — Seattle went 0-2-1, while Portland was 3-0-0. . . . F Dillon Hamaliuk (13) gave the Thunderbirds a 1-0 lead at 4:48 of the first period. . . . Portland F Joachim Blichfeld tied it, shorthanded, at 13:16. . . . Seattle D Turner Ottenbreit (7) gave his guys a 2-1 lead, on a PP, at 19:11. . . . F Lane Gilliss (4) pulled Portland back into a tie at 15:30 of the second period. . . . The Thunderbirds went back out front at 19:00 when F Matthew Wedman (13) scored on a PP. . . . F Ryan Hughes (11) tied it at 8:48 of the third period, and F Alex Overheard (13) put Portland ahead, 4-3, at 13:02. . . . Blichfeld, who also had an assist, added insurance with his 20th goal, into an empty net, at 19:40. . . . Portland got two assists from each of D Dennis Cholowski and F Jake Gricius. . . . D Austin Strand had two assists for Seattle, while Ottenbreit added one to his goal. Ottenbreit, 20, has a career-high 34 points, two more than last season. Last season, he had career highs in goals (7) and assists (25). This season, he has seven goals and 27 assists. . . . Seattle was 2-4 on the PP; Portland was 0-4. . . . G Shane Farkas stopped 19 shots for Portland, while Seattle’s Dorrin Luding turned aside 31. . . . Portland is 6-0-2 in the season series; Seattle is 2-5-1. . . . Announced attendance: 6,122.


At Spokane, the Silvertips built up a 3-0 lead and hung on for a 3-2 victory over the Chiefs. . . . Everett (36-17-4) has points in five straight (4-0-1). It leads the Western EverettConference by two points over Portland. . . . Spokane (30-20-5) had points in each of its previous 10 games (8-0-2). It is third in the U.S. Division, nine points behind Portland and three ahead of Settle and Tri-City. . . . These two teams also were playing for the third time in fewer than 48 hours. Everett went 2-0-1, including a 2-1 OT loss to the visiting Chiefs on Friday. Spokane finished the hectic weekend at 2-1-0). . . . F Spencer Gerth (5) gave Everett a 1-0 lead at 17:11 of the second period, and F Riley Sutter (22) upped it to 2-0 at 19:00. . . . F Connor Dewar (29) made it 3-0 at 12:32 of the third period. . . . F Jaret Anderson-Dolan (33) got Spokane on the scoreboard, on a PP, at 13:10, and F Kailer Yamamoto (13) made it a one-goal game at 17:07. . . . Yamamoto also had an assist. . . . Spokane was 1-4 on the PP; Everett was 0-4. . . . The Silvertips got 24 stops from G Dustin Wolf. At the other end, Donovan Buskey blocked 18. . . . Everett leads the season series, 5-2-1; the Chiefs are 3-4-1. . . . Announced attendance: 5,219.


MONDAY (all times local):

Lethbridge vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 2 p.m.

Edmonton at Kamloops, 2 p.m.

Red Deer at Prince George, 2 p.m.

Victoria at Kelowna, 2:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

McIntyre, former WHLer, dies at 48 . . . Burke, Gawdin century men . . . Hart equals career shutout record . . . Big night for two Chiefs

SeoulAirport
Dan Courneyea of the Kamloops Blazers’ off-ice crew arrived at the airport in Seoul en route to the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. (Photo: Dan Courneyea)

DAN’S DIARY . . .

Dan Courneyea, who heads up the Kamloops Blazers’ off-ice crew of officials left Friday for PyeongChang and the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, where he’ll be working the hockey competitions.

He arrived in Seoul on Saturday — well, it was Sunday there — and then took a high-speed train to PyeongChang. En route, he sent along this note:

“Well . . . the time change is definitely something! It’s 17 hours, so it was Sunday when we got here. Temp is -7/c but windy and I mean cold. Feels like -20/c with a wind blowing in your face. Looks like everything is set up nicely and the Korean people are very friendly.”


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

Ken McIntyre, who was involved in a 10-player trade during the WHL’s 1986-87 season, has died.

McIntyre, 48, was found unresponsive at an intersection in Minot, N.D., on Wednesday afternoon. A passer-by spotted him, initiated CPR and called 9-1-1.

According to The Associated Press, police in Minot say “medical conditions” caused his death. The police released that information after an autopsy was completed on Friday.

According to AP, police responded to the call on Wednesday. “The man was taken to the hospital,” AP reported, “where he was pronounced dead a short time later.”

McIntyre, a native of Regina, had been living in Minot.

He was in his second season with the Pats when he was traded to the Seattle Thunderbirds. Joining McIntyre on the way west were F Brent Fedyk, F Garnet Kazuik, D Gerald Bzdel and F Kevin Kowalchuk. In return, the Pats acquired F Craig Endean, F Ray Savard, F Erin Ginnell, F Grant Chorney and the rights to F Frank Kovacs, who was 15 and playing bantam AA in his hometown of Regina.

After finishing that season with Seattle, McIntyre played with the Moose Jaw Warriors in 1987-88. In 167 regular-season games, he had  20 goals and 28 assists, along with 288 penalty minutes.

Someone who knew McIntyre told Taking Note that he was “a world traveller” who at one time was teaching English in Cambodia.

After being away from Regina for a number of years McIntyre returned to help care for his ill father until his death. While in Regina, McIntyre spent a lot of time with former teammate Brad Hornung at the Wascana Rehabilitation Centre and they renewed their friendship.

“He was a fun guy,” Terry Hornung, Brad’s mother, told Taking Note, “and everyone who knew him liked him. We will all miss him.”


If you like what you see here, please consider clicking on the DONATE button over there to the right and helping the cause.

If you have a tip or just want to chat, email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com. You are able to follow me on Twitter at @gdrinnan.

And don’t forget that the domain name here is greggdrinnan.com.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw

Regina at Medicine Hat

Brandon at Swift Current

Kootenay at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Victoria

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Kelowna


Scoreboard

SATURDAY:

At Edmonton, F Trey Fix-Wolansky scored a late goal to give the Oil Kings a 4-3 victory EdmontonOilKingsover the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Edmonton (15-32-7) had lost its previous three games. . . . Red Deer (17-26-13) had points in each of its previous nine games (7-0-2). It is fourth in the Central Division, four points behind Kootenay. . . . Interestingly, Fix-Wolansky had been ejected from the Oil Kings’ 7-2 loss in Red Deer on Friday night, thanks to a cross-checking major and game misconduct at 8:42 of the first period. Obviously, the WHL office didn’t feel it was a suspendible offence, so he played on Saturday. . . . Fix-Wolansky scored the winning goal with 7.6 seconds left in the third period, one second after an Edmonton PP had expired. He got his 23rd goal of the season by kicking the puck into the net from about five feet above the top of the Red Deer crease. The goal wouldn’t have counted last season, but the WHL changed the rule to allow pucks to be kicked in, as long as the kicker isn’t in the goal crease. . . . The Rebels had tied the game 3-3 at 18:21 when F Reese Johnson (18) scored while shorthanded. . . . Edmonton F Liam Keeler (3) opened the scoring at 3:45 of the second period with a shorthanded goal. . . . The other six goals all were scored in the third period. . . . Red Deer took a 2-1 lead on goals from F Austin Schellenberg (2), at 3:34, and F Brandon Cutler (2), at 3:57. . . . The Oil Kings went ahead 3-2 on goals from F David Kope (9), at 6:40, and F Colton Kehler (24), on a PP, at 8:52. . . . D Conner McDonald had two assists for Edmonton, with Kehler and Fix-Wolansky each getting one. . . . Johnson also had an assist for Red Deer. . . . Edmonton was 1-3 on the PP; Red Deer was 0-5. . . . The Oil Kings got 29 saves from G Josh Dechaine. . . . Red Deer G Ethan Anders stopped 18 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 11,317.


At Moose Jaw, the Warriors scored three times in the first period and went on to a 6-0 MooseJawWarriorsvictory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Moose Jaw (42-9-3) has won three in a row. It leads the overall standings by five points over Swift Current. . . . The Warriors have equalled their victory total from last season when they finished 42-21-9. The franchise record for victories in a season (45) is from 2011-12, when they went 45-19-8. . . . Kootenay (24-29-3) is third in the Central Division, five points behind Lethbridge. . . . G Brody Willms stopped 15 shots for his second shutout in as many nights. He blanked visiting Lethbridge 2-0 on Friday. Willms has four shutouts this season and five in his career. . . . F Brayden Burke opened the scoring at 7:47 of the first period as he became the first player in all of the CHL to reach 100 points. He later added a second goal, giving him 28, and an assist, pushing his total to 102 points. . . . D Dmitri Zaltsev (6) upped Moose Jaw’s lead to 2-0 at 18:30, and F Brett Howden made it 3-0 at 19:32. . . . Howden later added a second goal, giving him 20, and D Brandon Schuldaus (4) also scored. . . . The Warriors got two assists from each of D Kale Clague and Zaitsev, with Howden and Schuldhaus adding one each. . . . Moose Jaw was 1-4 on the PP; Kootenay was 0-2. . . . The Ice got 28 saves from G Matt Berlin. . . . Announced attendance: 3,309.


At Regina, the Pats broke a 1-1 tie with three straight goals as they skated to a 4-2 victory ReginaPats100over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Regina (29-23-5) is fourth in the East Division, two points behind Brandon. . . . Lethbridge (25-23-6) has lost two in a row. It is second in the Central Division, seven points behind Medicine Hat. . . . D Libor Hajek (11) gave Regina a 1-0 lead at 4:04 of the first period. . . . F Logan Barlage (4) tied it, on a PP, at 17:55. . . . Regina took control on goals from F Matt Bradley (32), at 2:23 of the second period, and F Sam Steel (21), on a PP, at 15:09. D Cale Fleury (10) made it 4-1, shorthanded, at 3:17 of the third period. . . . F Brad Morrison (18) got Lethbridge’s second goal, on a PP, at 19:46. . . . F Jake Leschyshyn had two assists for Regina, with Fleury, Steel and Hajek adding one each. . . . Lethbridge was 2-7 on the PP; Regina was 1-10. . . . G Max Paddock earned the victory with 33 saves. . . . Lethbridge G Logan Flodell, who is from Regina, stopped 30 shots on his 21st birthday. . . . The Pats scratched G Ryan Kubic, so brought in G Jacob Wasserman from the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos as the backup. . . . Regina also was without F Jared Legien, who was a recent healthy scratch for a couple of games. . . . Announced attendance: 6,484.


At Swift Current, the Broncos scored the game’s first four goals and went on to a 5-2 SCBroncosvictory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Swift Current (39-13-4) has won three in a row. It is second in the overall standings, five points behind Moose Jaw. . . . Brandon (30-20-5) is third in the East Division, two points ahead of Regina. . . . F Glenn Gawdin of the Broncos, playing in his 300th game, drew an assist on the game’s first goal, making him the second WHLer this season to get to 100 points. He followed Moose Jaw F Brayden Burke by about 20 minutes. . . . Gawdin later scored his club’s fourth goal, his 47th, while shorthanded. . . . F Tyler Steenbergen (38) opened the scoring at 19:09 of the first period. . . . F Matteo Gennaro upped it to 2-0, on a PP, at 15:34 of the second, and F Beck Malenstyn (8) made it 3-0 at 19:20. . . . Brandon made it interesting on third-period goals from F Jonny Hooker (3), at 5:39, and F Ty Lewis (29), shorthanded, at 11:47. . . . Gennaro concluded the scoring with his 35th goal, at 18:27. . . . F Aleksi Heponiemi had two assists for the Broncos. . . . Swift Current was 1-5 on the PP; Brandon was 0-4. . . . G Joel Hofer stopped 22 shots for the Broncos, three fewer than Brandon’s Logan Thompson. . . . Announced attendance: 2,890.


At Saskatoon, the Blades erased a 3-2 deficit with four third-period goals as they beat the SaskatoonPrince Albert Raiders, 6-3. . . . Saskatoon (27-26-3) holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, two points ahead of the Raiders (22-22-11). . . . Jeff D’Andrea of panow.com points out that the Raiders have lost 14 in a row in Saskatoon. . . . The Blades took a 1-0 lead at 7:44 of the first period when F Michael Farren (7) scored. . . . F Parker Kelly (25) tied it 36 seconds later. . . . F Josh Paterson (26) scored, on a PP, at 16:39 to give the Blades a 2-1 lead. . . . The visitors went ahead 3-2 on a pair of second-period goals from F Jordy Stallard (36), at 11:35 and 16:49, the latter via a PP. . . . The Blades owned the third period. . . . D Logan Christensen (2) tied it at 9:15 and F Bradly Goethals put Saskatoon in front at 10:32. . . . F Braylon Shmyr (27) added insurance at 15:37. . . . Goethals, who has 13 goals, got the empty-netter at 19:57. . . . Shmyr and F Eric Florchuk each had two assists for the winners, with Christensen getting one. . . . Saskatoon was 1-3 on the PP; Prince Albert was 1-5. . . . The Blades got 29 stops from G Nolan Maier. . . . G Ian Scott stopped 24 shots for the Raiders. . . . Prince Albert lost Kelly to a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct at 18:27 of the first period for a hit on Saskatoon F Kirby Dach, who left the game and didn’t return. . . . The Blades and their fans celebrated the 30th anniversary of the opening of their arena. . . . Announced attendance: 4,444.


At Everett, G Carter Hart tied the WHL’s career shutout record as the Silvertips beat the EverettVancouver Giants, 5-0. . . . Everett (35-17-4) has points in four straight (3-0-1). It leads the Western Conference by two points over Portland and Victoria. . . . Vancouver (29-18-8) is third in the B.C. Division, five points behind Kelowna. . . . Hart stopped 23 shots in putting up his seventh shutout of the season and the 26th of his career. He now shares the career record with Tyson Sexsmith (2004-09). . . . Hart has 26 shutouts in 178 regular-season appearances. Sexsmith did it in 179 appearances, the first one with Medicine Hat and the rest with Vancouver. . . . Hart also won for the 107th time with Everett, tying Leland Irving’s career franchise record. . . . F Ethan O’Rourke (6) opened the scoring, getting his first goal since coming over from Prince George last night, at 11:34 of the second period. . . . F Sean Richards (19) made it 2-0 at 14:12. . . . Everett got third-period goals from F Matt Fonteyne (31), D Ian Walker (1) and F Bryce Kindopp (16). . . . F Patrick Bajkov helped out with two assists, with O’Rourke, Richards and Fonteyne each getting one. . . . Vancouver was 0-4 on the PP; Everett was 0-5. . . . Vancouver G David Tendeck surrendered four goals on 42 shots in 45:38. Trent Miner finished up, stopping seven of eight shots in 14:22. . . . Everett D Kevin Davis played in his 331st regular-season game. F Shane Harper (2005-10) holds the franchise record, at 335. . . . Announced attendance: 5,982.


At Prince George, F Jermaine Loewen had two goals and two assists to lead the Kamloops Kamloops1Blazers to a 4-2 victory over the Cougars. . . . Kamloops (26-25-4) had beaten the host Cougars, 3-2, on Friday night, winning on Loewen’s goal at 19:20 of the third period. The Blazers are six points out of a playoff spot. . . . Prince George (19-29-8) has lost three in a row and now trails Kamloops by 10 points. . . . Loewen, who has 28 goals, opened the scoring at 7:17 of the first period. . . . The Cougars took a 2-1 lead on second-period goals from F Jackson Leppard (12), on a PP, at 12:34, and F Kjell Kjemhus (2), at 16:13. . . . Kamloops tied it when F Travis Walton (3) scored at 6:59 of the third period. . . . F Orrin Centazzo (9) broke the tie at 16:47, and Loewen adding insurance at 18:48. . . . F Connor Zary had two assists for the Blazers. . . . Loewen’s career highs going into this season were six goals and 11 assists from last season. This season, he has 47 points, 28 of them goals, in 49 games. . . . Prince George was 1-3 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-1. . . . G Dylan Ferguson stopped 30 shots for Kamloops, one more than Prince George’s Isaiah DiLaura. . . . Kamloops D Joe Gatenby played in his 300th regular-season game. . . . The Blazers dressed 17 skaters, one under the maximum, because F/D Tylor Ludwar was serving a one-game suspension after he took a kneeing major and misconduct on Friday, and F Luc Smith and D Luke Zazula are nursing injuries. . . . Announced attendance: 2,645.


At Kent, Wash., the Portland Winterhawks broke open a scoreless game with three Portlandsecond-period goals and went on to a 4-1 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Portland (34-18-4) has won four in a row. It is second in the U.S. Division, two points behind Everett. . . . Seattle (27-19-9) had points in each of its previous three games (1-0-2). It is tied with Tri-City for the Western Conference’s two wild-card spots. . . . The teams will turn around and play in Portland on Sunday, the third game in fewer than 48 hours for both clubs. . . . F Cody Glass (27) got Portland started, on a PP, just seven seconds into the second period. . . . D Keoni Texeira (8) made it 2-0 at 8:37, and F Ryan Hughes (10) upped it to 3-0 at 13:11. . . . Seattle got its goal from F Graeme Bryks (1) at 4:40 of the third period. . . . Bryks, who turned 17 on Jan. 22, is from Edmonton. He was an eighth-round pick in the 2016 WHL bantam draft. He was playing in his third WHL game, but his first since Oct. 7. Bryks is up from the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints. . . . F Skyler McKenzie (41) got the empty-netter for Portland at 18:43. . . . Hughes and Texeira each had an assist for Portland. . . . Portland was 1-4 on the PP; Seattle was 0-3. . . . The Winterhawks got 28 saves from G Cole Kehler, while Seattle’s Liam Hughes made 24 saves. . . . Announced attendance: 6,058.


At Kennewick, Wash., F Jaret Anderson-Dolan and F Kailer Yamamoto had five points SpokaneChiefsapiece as the Spokane Chiefs beat the Tri-City Americans, 6-3. . . . Spokane (30-19-5) has points in 10 straight (8-0-2). It is third in the U.S. Division, seven points behind Portland. . . . Tri-City (27-19-8) has lost four in a row (0-3-1). It is tied with Seattle, three points behind Spokane. . . . Anderson-Dolan finished with three goals and two assists, with Yamamoto scoring once and adding four helpers. F Ethan McIndoe, the third member of that line, had a goal and two assists. . . . Anderson-Dolan, who has 32 goals, gave his guys the lead at 6:01 of the first period. . . . The Americans took a 2-1 lead before the period ended, thanks to goals from F Michael Rasmussen (20), on a PP, at 15:19, and F Morgan Geekie (21), at 18:12. . . . Spokane got the next three goals, the first two via the PP. . . . D Ty Smith (9) tied the score at 7:29 of the second period, and McIndoe (17) gave the Chiefs the lead just 24 seconds later. . . . Anderson-Dolan made it 4-2 at 8:48 of the third period. . . . Tri-City D Juuso Valimaki (6) got his mates to within a goal, at 9:34. . . . Yamamoto (12) got that one back at 12:46, and Anderson-Dolan completed the hat trick with an empty-netter, at 19:15. . . . Smith added two assists to his goal. . . . Geekie had an assist for Tri-City. . . . In 12 games since returning to the Chiefs from the WJC, Yamamoto has 30 points, including 20 assists. . . . Spokane was 2-5 on the PP; Tri-City was 1-5. . . . G Dawson Weatherill stopped 25 shots for Spokane. . . . G Beck Warm blocked 14 shots for Tri-City. . . . Announced attendance: 5,011.


At Victoria, F Tanner Kaspick scored at 2:22 of OT to give the Royals a 4-3 victory over the VictoriaRoyalsKelowna Rockets. . . . Victoria (34-19-4) had beaten the visiting Rockets 6-1 on Friday. It now leads the B.C. Division by one point over Kelowna. . . . Kelowna (33-17-5) is five points ahead of Vancouver. . . . These same two teams will play again Monday afternoon, this time in Kelowna. . . . Last night, the Royals got two goals from each of Kaspick and F Noah Gregor, both of them mid-season additions by GM Cam Hope. . . . Gregor gave the home team a 1-0 lead at 3:52 of the first period. . . . Kelowna went ahead 2-1 on goals from F Kole Lind, at 8:36, and D Cal Foote (14), at 13:18. . . . Kaspick tied it at 17:44 of the second period. . . . F Conner Bruggen-Cate (16) put Kelowna back out front at 8:22 of the third period. . . . Gregor tied it with his 20th goal, on a PP, at 10:19. . . . Kaspick won it with his 20th goal, on a PP, in OT. . . . Kaspick has scored eight goals in 11 games with the Royals, and he has five game-winners. . . . Royals F Matthew Phillips drew one assist, giving him 91 points this season. That ties the Victoria franchise record for points in a single-season (F Alex Forsberg, 2015-16). F Mark Santorelli holds the Chilliwack/Victoria franchise record (101 points, 2007-08). . . . F Dante Hannoun had two assists for the Royals, with Gregor and Kaspick adding one each. . . . Foote had an assist for Kelowna. . . . Kelowna was 1-1 on the PP; Victoria was 2-6. . . . G Griffen Outhouse earned the victory with 33 saves. . . . G James Porter Jr. stopped 34 shots for Kelowna. . . . Announced attendance: 5,874.


SUNDAY (all times local):

Medicine Hat at Calgary, 2 p.m.

Swift Current at Prince Albert, 4 p.m.

Regina at Saskatoon, 4:05 p.m.

Seattle at Portland, 5 p.m.

Everett at Spokane, 5:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

Friday in the WHL: Ice triumphs in Regina … Reichel sparks Rebels … Chiefs stun Silvertips . . . Record, win for Ronning

A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

The Lethbridge Hurricanes have signed G Carl Tetachuk, 16, to a WHL contract. From Lethbridge, Tetachuk is playing for the midget AAA Hurricanes (14-1-1, 1.47, .931, with six shutouts). He leads the Alberta Midget Hockey League in victories, GAA, save percentage and shutouts. . . . The 5-foot-11, 160-pound Tetachuk wasn’t selected in the 2016 WHL bantam draft, despite going 14-3-1, 2.01, .885 with the Lethbridge Golden Hawks.


Jim Swanson, a former sports editor of the Prince George Citizen, has been named a finalist as the Victoria Chamber of Commerce’s Business Person of the Year. . . . Swanson, who spent a number of years covering the Prince George Cougars and the WHL, now is the managing partner of the Victoria HarbourCats of baseball’s West Coast League. He is preparing for his fifth season with the franchise, having started as general manager and vice-president. . . . The 2018 Greater Victoria Business Awards will be handed out on May 10.


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IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Regina at Medicine Hat

Brandon at Swift Current

Kootenay at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

FRIDAY:

At Moose Jaw, G Brody Willms stopped 20 shots to lead the Warriors to a 2-0 victory over MooseJawWarriorsthe Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Moose Jaw (41-9-3) has won two in a row and leads the overall standings by five points over Swift Current. . . . Lethbridge (25-22-6) had points in each of its previous five games (3-0-2). It is second in the Central Division, five points ahead of Kootenay. . . . F Vince Loschiavo (15) scored the game’s first goal, at 8:11 of the first period, and F Brayden Burke (26) added insurance at 16:10. Burke and Swift Current F Glenn Gawdin now are tied for the scoring lead, each with 99 points. . . . Willms posted his third shutout of this season, and the fourth of his career. This season, he is 29-7-3, 3.02, .901. . . . The Hurricanes got 34 saves from G Logan Flodell. . . . Lethbridge was 0-3 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 0-4. . . . The Warriors continue to be without D Jett Woo, although is back at practice in a non-contact outfit. . . . The Hurricanes still are without F Dylan Cozens. . . . Announced attendance: 3,259.


At Regina, the Kootenay Ice struck for three second-period goals and went on to beat the KootenaynewPats, 4-2. . . . Kootenay (24-28-3) had lost its previous five games. It is third in the Central Division, five points behind Lethbridge. . . . Regina (28-23-5) had won its past three games. It is fourth in the East Division, four points behind Brandon, but continues to hold down the Eatern Conference’s first wild-card spot. . . . F Alec Baer (23) gave the Ice a 1-0 lead just 46 seconds into the first period. . . . Regina F Nick Henry (9) tied it at 1:04 of the second period. . . . The Ice took common with three goals in 6:29. . . . F Colton Kroeker (12) started it with a shorthanded goal at 3:29. . . . F Sebastian Streu (9) gave the visitors a 3-1 lead at 6:14, and D Dallas Hines (4) added a PP goal at 9:48. . . . The Pats got their second goal from F Matt Bradley (31) at 6:33 of the third period. . . . Hines, Baer and Kroeker added an assist each for the winners. . . . F Sam Steel drew two assists for Regina. . . . Kootenay was 1-2 on the PP; Regina was 0-5. . . . The Ice got 37 saves from G Duncan McGovern, while Ryan Kubic stopped 29 shots for the Pats. . . . Announced attendance: 6,020.


At Swift Current, F Glenn Gawdin scored the game’s first two goals to get the Broncos SCBroncosheaded towards a 5-1 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . Swift Current (38-13-4) has won two straight. It is second in the overall standings, five points behind Moose Jaw, which holds two games in hand. . . . Prince Albert (22-21-11) had points in its previous nine games (6-0-3). It is tied with Saskatoon for the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . Gawdin, who has 46 goals, scored 22 seconds into the first period, then added a second goal at 11:25. He has 99 points and is tied with Moose Jaw F Brayden Burke for the lead in the scoring race. . . . F Giorgio Estephan (25), at 11:39, and F Beck Malenstyn (7), at 17:38, added goals before the period ended. . . . F Kaden Elder (13) made it 5-0 at 1:43 of the second period. . . . The Raiders got their goal from F Justin Nachbaur (7) at 13:58 of the second. . . . The Broncos got two assists from F Matteo Gennaro, with Estephan and Malenstyn getting one each. . . . Swift Current was 1-4 on the PP; Prince Albert was 0-3. . . . G Stuart Skinner earned the victory with 29 saves, one fewer than Prince Albert’s Curtis Meger. . . . The Broncos had F Aleksi Heponiemi, Elder and D Sahvan Khaira back after brief injury-related absences. . . . Announced attendance: 2,890.


At Brandon, the Wheat Kings scored the game’s last five goals, the last two into an empty BrandonWKregularnet, and beat the Saskatoon Blades, 6-3. . . . Brandon (30-19-5) is third in the East Division, now four points up on Regina. . . . Saskatoon (26-26-3) remains tied with Prince Albert for the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. They will play tonight in Saskatoon as the folks in ‘Toontown celebrate the 30th anniversary of the facility originally known as Saskatchewan Place (it now is the SaskTel Centre). . . . Last night, F Cole Reinhardt gave Brandon the lead at 3:11 of the first period. . . . Saskatoon scored the next three goals. . . . F Max Gerlach (26) tied it at 7:21. . . . F Bradly Goethals (11) gave the visitors a 2-1 lead at 5:17 of the second period, and D Dawson Davidson (8) upped it to 3-1 at 10:57. That was Davidson’s first goal since coming over from Regina in January. . . . F Luka Burzan (10) got Brandon to within a goal at 16:16. . . . D James Shearer (1) tied the scored at 2:38 of the third period, with Reinhardt 13) breaking the tie at 13:52. . . . D Chase Hartje (2) and F Evan Weinger (25) got the empty-netters, at 18:00 and 18:30. . . . F Gunnar Wegleitner had two assists for Brandon, with Reinhardt and Weinger getting one apiece. . . . The Blades got two assists from F Logan Christensen. . . . Brandon was 0-4 on the PP; Saskatoon was 0-2. . . . G Logan Thompson stopped 33 shots to record the victory over Tyler Brown, who made 19 saves. . . . G Nolan Maier (ill) was among Saskatoon’s scratches. As a result, Koen MacInnes, 16, came in from the Burnaby Winter Club to back up Brown. MacInnes was a second-round pick by Saskatoon in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. . . . Announced attendance: 4,210.


At Red Deer, F Kristian Reichel scored three goals and added an assist to lead the Rebels Red Deerto a 7-2 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Red Deer (17-25-13) has points in nine straight games (7-0-2). It is fourth in the Central Division, four points behind Kootenay. . . . Edmonton (14-32-7) has lost three in a row. . . . These two teams will play again this afternoon in Edmonton and it’s on Sportsnet. . . . F Kobe Mohr (7) gave Edmonton a 1-0 lead 26 seconds into the game. . . . Red Deer scored the next five goals, three of them by Reichel, who has 23. . . . He started with PP goals at 3:37 and 17:59 of the second period. . . . F Arshdeep Bains (2) made it 3-1 at 19:15. . . . Reichel completed the hat trick with a shorthanded goal at 4:28 of the third period. . . . F David Kope (8) got a shorthanded goal for Edmonton in the third period, before F Brandon Hagel (9) and D Hunter Donohoe (2) finished Red Deer’s scoring. . . . McCarty, Hael and D Dawson Barteaux each had two assists for Red Deer. . . . The Rebels were 3-11 on the PP; the Oil Kings were 0-3. . . . G Riley Lamb stopped 24 shots for the winners, while Edmonton’s Todd Scott turned aside 33. . . . The Oil Kings lost F Trey Fix-Wolansky to a cross-checking major and game misconduct for a hit on Reichel at 8:42 of the first period. . . . D Alex Alexeyev, who was due back in Red Deer on Friday after returning to Russia following the death of his mother, may return to the lineup on Monday in Prince George. . . . Announced attendance: 4,729.


At Medicine Hat, David Quenneville became the highest-scoring defenceman in Tigers Tigers Logo Officialhistory as they beat the Calgary Hitmen, 4-0. . . . Medicine Hat (28-22-7) has won two straight. It leads the Central Division by seven points over Lethbridge. . . . Calgary (16-31-7) had points in its two previous games (1-0-1). . . . Quenneville drew two assists, giving him 197 career points, one more than Kris Russell. Quenneville, 19, has played 236 games over four seasons. Russell, now with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, played 241 games over four seasons. . . . F Elijah Brown opened the scoring at 1:16 of the second period, with F Mark Rassell (44) making it 2-0 at 2:13. . . . Brown (5) upped it to 3-0 at 3:36. . . . F Ryan Chyzowski (18) added a PP goal at 15:20 of the third period. . . . G Michael Bullion recorded his second consecutive shutout with 16 saves. He’s got three shutouts this season and six in his career. . . . Calgary G Nick Schneider stopped 41 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 3,063.


At Prince George, F Jermaine Loewen scored a PP goal late in the third period to give the Kamloops1Kamloops Blazers a 3-2 victory over the Cougars on Lumberjack Night. . . . Kamloops (25-25-4) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). It is eight points away from a playoff spot. . . . Prince George (19-28-8) has lost two straight. It is fifth in the B.C. Division, eight points behind Kamloops. . . . F Ryley Appelt (2) gave the Blazers a 1-0 lead at 1:37 of the first period. . . . The Cougars took the lead on goals by F Ilijah Collins (8), at 2:46, and F Kjell Kjemhus (1), at 3:37. . . . Kamloops F Jackson Shepard (6) got the visitors even at 9:44. . . . The teams then played almost 50 minutes of scoreless hockey before Loewen scored his 26th goal. . . . D Joe Gatenby had two assists for the Blazers. He has career highs in goals (11), assists (36) and points (47). He will play his 300th regular-season game tonight in Prince George. . . . Kamloops was 0-3 on the PP; Prince George was 0-6. . . . G Dylan Ferguson stopped 26 shots to earn the victory over Taylor Gauthier, who made 30 saves. . . . Kamloops F/D Tylor Ludwar took a kneeing major and game misconduct after a hit on D Joel Lakusta at 9:38 of the third period. Lakusta wasn’t injured on the play. . . . Kamloops F Luc Smith left early in the first period, after he missed a check, hit the boards hard and left with an apparent leg injury. . . . F Brendan Boyle, 16, made his WHL debut with the Cougars. From Lake Country, B.C., he plays for the major midget Okanagan Rockets. He has 16 goals and 19 assists in 29 games in the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League. . . . Announced attendance: 2,901.


At Portland, G Shane Farkas stopped 32 shots to help the Winterhawks to a 3-1 victory Portlandover the Tri-City Americans. . . . Portland (33-18-4) has won three straight games. It is second in the U.S. Division, two points behind Everett. . . . Tri-City (27-18-8) has lost three in a row (0-2-1) and now is tied with Seattle for the Western Conference’s two wild-card spots, but they are just one point behind Spokane, which is third in the U.S. Division. . . . F Jordan Topping (31) gave Tri-City a 1-0 lead at 19:31 of the first period. . . . D Dennis Cholowski (14) got Portland into a 1-1 tie at 3:24 of the second period. That was his first goal with the Winterhawks, after being acquired from Prince George at the trade deadline. . . . F Joachim Blichfeld (18) broke the tie at 4:33. . . . F Kieffer Bellows (29) added insurance at 16:44 of the third period. . . . Tri-City was 0-1 on the PP; Portland was 0-2. . . . Farkas won for the fifth time in his last six decisions. . . . The Americans got 34 stops from G Patrick Dea. . . . D Keoni Texeira played in his 327th regular-season game, moving past Kevin Haupt (1994-99) and into second on Portland’s all-time list. Only D Troy Rutkowski (2008-13) has played in more, at 351. . . . Announced attendance: 7,741.


At Victoria, the Royals scored three times on the PP en route to a 6-1 victory over the VictoriaRoyalsKelowna Rockets. . . . Victoria (33-19-4) now is tied with Kelowna (33-17-4) atop the B.C. Division. The Rockets hold two games in hand. . . . The Royals took a 2-0 lead on PP goals from F Dante Hannoun (22), at 16:36 of the first period, and F Matthew Phillips, at 9:28 of the second period. . . . F Dillon Dube (24) got Kelowna’s goal at 11:26 of the second. . . . Victoria took a 3-1 lead at 13:20 of the second when F Igor Martynov (16) scored. . . . Phillips (41) added insurance at 17:19. His two goals made him the WHL’s fifth 40-goal man this season. . . . Victoria got third-period goals from F Tyler Soy (28) and F Andrei Grishakov (17), the latter on a PP. . . . Soy also had three assists, as did F Tanner Kaspick, with Hannoun getting two. . . . Victoria was 3-8 on the PP; Kelowna was 0-4. . . . G Griffen Outhouse stopped 37 shots through 56:00 for the Royals. Dean McNabb finished up with two saves in 4:00. . . . G Brodan Salmond allowed four goals on 25 shots through two periods for the Rockets. James Porter Jr. finished up by stopping 13 of 15 shots. . . . These same teams will play again tonight in Victoria, and then head for Kelowna and a Monday afternoon clash. . . . The Rockets had F Erik Gardiner in their lineup for the first time since Oct. 28. Gardiner, who missed 39 games, was out with a concussion. Gardiner was hit square in the visor by a puck on Oct. 27, then played the next night, before being knocked out of the lineup by symptoms associated with a concussion. . . . Announced attendance: 4,887.


At Langley, B.C., F Ty Ronning set a franchise single-season scoring record in OT to give the Vancouver Giants a 2-1 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Vancouver (29-17-8) is third in the B.C. Division, four points behind Kelowna and Victoria. . . . Seattle (27-18-8) has points in three straight (1-0-2) and is tied with Tri-City for the Western Conference’s two wild-card spots. . . . Ronning scored the game’s first goal, his 48th of the season, at 6:13 of the second period. . . . Seattle tied it on F Noah Philp’s 12th goal at 10:27 of the third. . . . Ronning won it at 1:42 of OT. That was his 49th goal in 53 games, giving him the Giants’ single-season franchise record. F Evander Kane had 48 goals, in 61 games, in 2008-09. . . . Ronning is second in goals, behind only Moose Jaw F Jayden Halbgewachs, who has 51. . . . Each team was 0-1 on the PP. . . . Vancouver got a giant game from G David Tendeck, who made 49 saves. . . . Seattle G Liam Hughes stopped 19 shots. . . . The Giants scratched four defencemen — Matt Barberis, Darian Skeoch, Alex Kannok Leipert and Dylan Plouffe. . . . Announced attendance: 3,437.


At Everett, the Spokane Chiefs scored the game’s last two goals and beat the Silvertips, 2-SpokaneChiefs1 in OT. . . . Spokane (29-19-5) has points in nine straight games (7-0-2). It has moved into third in the U.S. Division, seven points behind Portland. . . . Everett (34-17-4) has points in three straight (2-0-1). It leads the U.S. Division by two points over Portland. . . . F Garrett Pilon (26) gave Everett a 1-0 lead at 10:17 of the first period. . . . That lasted until 18:11 of the third period when F Jaret Anderson-Dolan (29) pulled Spokane even. . . . The Chiefs won it at 2:58 of OT when F Kailer Yamamoto scored his 11th goal. . . . D Ty Smith drew an assist on each of Spokane’s goals. . . . Spokane was 0-1 on the PP; Everett was 0-4. . . . The Chiefs got 38 saves from G Dawson Weatherill. . . . G Carter Hart stopped 30 shots. He is one victory shy of the franchise record for career victories by a goaltender, and one shutout away from tying the WHL’s career record. . . .  Announced attendance: 4,863.


SATURDAY (all times local):

Red Deer at Edmonton, 1:30 p.m.

Kootenay at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Regina, 7 p.m.

Brandon at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Prince Albert at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Vancouver at Everett, 7 p.m.

Kamloops at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Portland vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 6:05 p.m.

Spokane vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.

Kelowna at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

Paddock: Pats will play their best . . . Chico’s the man for Cougars . . . Tigers’ Shaw back on blades . . . Storm’s days numbered in Kamloops?


MacBeth

D Stefan Warg (Seattle, Prince Albert, 2008-10) has signed a two-year contract extension with Malmö (Sweden, SHL). This season, he has two goals and 10 assists in 44 games, while averaging 16:39 ice time per game.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

The situation staring the Regina Pats squarely in the face is the elephant in the WHL’s room at the moment.

The Pats, as you are aware, will be the host team for the Memorial Cup when it opens in May.

You also will be aware that they got off to a horrendous start this season, and have ReginaPats100known for some time that they won’t finish first or second in the East Division, the Moose Jaw Warriors (40-9-3) and Swift Current Broncos (37-13-4) simply being too far ahead. The Pats (28-22-5) trail the Warriors by 22 points and the Broncos by 17.

For a while, the third-place Brandon Wheat Kings (29-19-5) had a healthy lead, too, but that was before they turned into sellers at the trade deadline. Since then, they have gone 2-7-3 and now resemble a middle-of-the-pack squad rather than one that was running third in the overall standings.

Going into weekend games, then, the Pats are two points behind the Wheat Kings.

And there’s the rub. . . .

The third-place finisher in the East Division will play No. 2 in the opening round of the playoffs, which is likely to be Swift Current.

Finish fourth and chances are you will be the first wild-card team, meaning a first-round date with the first-place team in the Central Division, either the Medicine Hat Tigers or Lethbridge Hurricanes.

The injury-riddled Tigers have a five-point edge on the hard-charging Hurricanes.

You don’t have to be a rocket surgeon to know which is the easiest route.

Just don’t suggest to John Paddock, the Pats’ general manager and head coach, that maybe, well, just maybe . . . you know . . .

“There’s a lot of hypotheticals,” he told Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post.“One, be careful what you might wish for. Two, you can’t step on the ice as a player and you can’t go behind the bench as a coach without trying to win the game. It’s really just a joke (to suggest otherwise). You can’t go out and not play your best. . . .

“We’re not going to catch those top two teams. I’ve known that since October. But we’re going to have to play one or both at some point (in the playoffs). You want to play good and we also know we’re going to play in May and nobody else does. It’s very important to be playing better and better as the season goes on.”

Harder’s complete story is right here.


Chico Dhanjal worked his 700th WHL game with the Prince George Cougars on Jan. 31 while the team was on its East Division swing. A native of Saskatoon, the Cougars’ equipment manager celebrated 700 games during a game against the Pats in Regina.

Dhanjal, who seems to wear a perpetual smile, started with the Cougars in 2008-09, after working with the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos. He has degrees in kinesiology and psychology from the U of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.

The Cougars signed him to a three-year extension on Nov. 24, 2016.


The access ShoWare Centre in Kent, Wash., home of the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds, lost US$361,861 in 2017, up from a loss of $155,268 the previous year. But, as Steve Hunter of the Kent Reporter writes, city officials are “confident that the numbers show better days are ahead” for the facility. . . . Hunter’s story is right here.


F Mason Shaw, who has yet to play for the Medicine Hat Tigers this season, skated on Thursday for the first time at home since he suffered a knee injury in early September.

Shaw suffered a torn ACL while playing for the Minnesota Wild’s rookie team at an NHL Tigers Logo Officialpreseason tournament in Traverse City, Mich. He subsequently underwent surgery and only recently was cleared to resume skating.

CHAT News reported yesterday that Mason was wearing a non-contact jersey as he “skated several laps . . . by himself. It’s the first time he’s been on skates at his home rink, and the first time he was in full equipment since September.”

Shaw, 19, isn’t likely to play in the regular season, but hopes to be cleared for game action in time for the start of the playoffs.

It would be huge for the Tigers to get him back for playoff action. Last season, he finished with 27 goals and 67 assists in 71 games, then added 12 assists in 11 playoff games.

The Tigers (27-22-7) go into the weekend atop the Central Division, five points ahead of the Lethbridge Hurricanes (25-21-6), who hold four games in hand.

Medicine Hat is really banged up, and is 3-4-3 in its last 10 games, while Lethbridge is 5-2-3.

The Tigers will play home-and-home with the Calgary Hitmen (16-30-7) this weekend, opening tonight (Friday) in Medicine Hat and finishing Sunday afternoon in Calgary.

The Hurricanes are in Moose Jaw tonight and Regina on Saturday.


There is an interesting hockey story unfolding in Quesnel, B.C., where a group has been trying to land a junior B franchise, preferably in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.

The West Fraser Centre will be home to a pair of games tonight (Kamloops Storm vs. 100 KamStormMile House Wranglers) and Saturday (Kamloops Storm vs. Myles Mattila and his Kelowna Chiefs in a game that also will promote mental health awareness).

Matt Kolle, the Storm’s assistant GM, is part of Parallel Sports Group, which has been working to bring junior B hockey to Quesnel. The KIJHL has twice rejected Quesnel-based expansion applications.

Kolle has told Melanie Law of the Quesnel Observer that the group now is looking at the possible relocation of an existing franchise. In that vein, Kolle told Law that the Storm’s management team has spent the past while reviewing its financial picture.

“In the next few weeks,” Kolle said, “we’ll know where Kamloops’ team stands. And (Parallel Sports Group) has also been having conversations with other (KIJHL) teams in financial strain that might be better off in Quesnel.

“It has always been something we would consider, but we wanted to see how the expansion bid would play out first.”

The Storm, owned by Barry Dewar, has played in Kamloops since relocating from Osoyoos, B.C., prior to the 2006-07 season.

Law’s complete story is right here.


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IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Regina at Medicine Hat

Brandon at Swift Current

Kootenay at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Spokane at Kelowna

Tri-City at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

THURSDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Lethbridge at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Regina, 7 p.m.

Prince Albert at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Edmonton at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Calgary at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.

Kamloops at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Tri-City at Portland, 7 p.m.

Kelowna at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

Seattle vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7:30 p.m.

Spokane at Everett, 7:35 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY