Hit by a positive test after almost three years . . . Sold out in Kelowna, or not? . . . Pats, Warriors both win in B.C.

I am going to try and explain what it’s like for someone who is Covidimmunocompromised to navigate through a society filled with politicians, health officials and fellow citizens who couldn’t care less about them, and, furthermore, don’t mind letting them know how they feel just by their inaction.

There are hundreds of thousands of people walking around today who are immunocompromised. Solid organ transplant recipients, cancer patients, people on various kinds of medication . . . the list goes on.

And you wouldn’t know it just by walking past one of them. There is no scarlet “I” on their foreheads. For the most part, they look just like ‘normal’ people.

If you think that number is an exaggeration, consider that the National Kidney Foundation, an American organization, tweeted on Monday that “24,670 people received a kidney transplant in 2021.”

If you do the math it works out to 68 such procedures carried out every single day in the U.S.

I don’t know what the number was for Canada, but I can tell you that, according to BC Transplant, there were 529 organ transplants carried out in this province in 2021, including 340 kidneys, 97 livers, 66 lungs and 22 hearts.

Through Oct. 31, the numbers for 2022 were 242 kidneys, 90 livers, 45 lungs and 20 hearts.

All of the recipients take anti-rejection drugs that prevent their systems from rejecting the foreign body that has been surgically implanted into their bodies. In order to do that, some of those medications work to suppress the immune system.

This is a round-about way to tell you that Dorothy, my wife of 50 years, tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday morning. It’s been more than nine years since she underwent a kidney transplant, so we knew to be careful from the moment COVID hit the fan. We had avoided the bullet for almost three years. She has had five vaccinations; I am to get my fifth this week. We have had our flu shots. We have had our first Shingrix vaccinations. We have been avoiding large crowds. We have been masking up when going for groceries or being anywhere with other people, most of whom, of course, now are unmasked.

For the first couple of years of this pandemic, we ordered our groceries online. We didn’t go into restaurants, choosing drive-thru or pickup instead. We didn’t have guests into our home. We didn’t travel.

Last spring, we loosened up a bit. We decided that we had to live at least a bit. So, on rare occasion, we went inside a couple of our favourite eateries, masking up to go in and unmasking to eat/drink. We brought the Kamloops Kidney Support Group back together for monthly gatherings. We went back to in-person grocery shopping, always wearing masks, of course. Dorothy went back to one of the loves of her life — playing the piano once a week for the residents of a care home.

But, still, it got her, and we haven’t any idea how or when.

Thankfully the scientific and medical communities are there for us. After an exchange of phone calls with staff at Royal Inland Hospital on Tuesday, Dorothy underwent her first infusion of anti-bodies via IV on Wednesday morning. She will be back for a second one on Thursday and a final one on Friday.

By Wednesday afternoon, she was feeling somewhat better. The pounding headache that was there on Tuesday was receding. But the coughing, sneezing and stuffiness still was hanging around.

After she is up and about, hopefully at some point after Friday, we’ll see how things go. We will have to decide whether we want to wade back into the great unmasked community. What about going back into restaurants? What about the much-discussed long COVID, something that is as real as the nose on your face?

As for the anti-vaxxers and the anti-maskers, here’s hoping that your immune systems never go away on you. Here’s hoping that you never need a solid organ transplant. Because if you do you are in for a horrible feeling of loneliness when it hits you that you are expendable to a whole of people out there.

You will find out what it feels like to hear politicians and medical officials “recommend’ the wearing of facemasks rather than mandating it. It will dawn on you that the almighty dollar is more important than the lives of a bunch of people with wonky immune systems or a whole lot of senior citizens.

Yes, you really will find out, and it will sting.

And all of this was/is so avoidable. Mask up. Get vaccinated. Wash your hands.

Please!



TUESDAY IN THE WHL:

It would appear that F Connor Bedard’s I Can Sell Out the B.C. Division Arenas ReginaTour experienced its first non-sellout in Kelowna. The Pats beat the Rockets, 6-5 in OT, before an announced crowd of 6,407. There were plenty of references on social media to it being a sellout crowd; however, Prospera Place, on its website, lists its capacity for hockey at 6,886. . . . The fans who were in attendance saw F Alexander Suzdalev win it for the Pats with a PP goal at 3:07 of Prospera 2OT. . . . The Pats (12-11-2) have won three in a row, all in the B.C. Division. . . . The Rockets (9-10-2) have lost two straight (0-1-1). . . Suzdalev, who has 14 goals, scored twice and added two assists. . . . Bedard kept his point streak alive with the primary assist on the winning goal. That ran his streak to 24 games. . . . Regina D Stanislav Svozil helped out with four assists. . . . The Rockets got two goals and two assists from F Andrew Cristall (18), who is riding a 12-game point streak. D Caden Price (3) had a goal and two assists, and F Gabriel Szturc had three assists. . . . D Tanner Brown, who is from Kelowna, gave Regina a 5-4 lead with his first goal of the season at 17:32 of the third period. . . . Cristall tied it on a 5-on-3 PP with the goaltender pulled for an extra attacker at 19:08. . . . The Rockets were without F Adam Kydd, 20, who is expected to miss up to six weeks with a fractured foot. He has 11 goals and 12 assists in 20 games this season. . . . The Pats are to face the Blazers in Kamloops tonight and then conclude their B.C. swing against the Prince George Cougars on Friday. . . .

D Denton Mateychuk enjoyed a five-point night as the Moose Jaw Warriors beat the Royals, 8-3, in Victoria. . . . The Warriors (16-9-0) have won three in a row. WarriorsNewThey are 3-1-0 on a B.C. Division swing that wraps up tonight with a game against the Vancouver Giants in Langley, B.C. . . . The Royals (3-18-3) have lost nine straight (0-8-1). . . . F Brayden Schuurman (4) gave the Royals a 1-0 lead just 49 seconds into the first period. The Warriors scored the next seven goals. . . . Mateychuk scored his sixth goal and added four assists, leaving him with 25 points in 21 games. . . . F Atley Calvert (12) scored twice and D Max Wanner had three assists for Moose Jaw. . . . Warriors F Jagger Firkus scored his 15th goal as he ran his point streak to 18 games. . . . Victoria F Marcus Almquist has left to join Denmark’s team that is preparing for the IIHF Division I World Junior tournament in Asker, Norway, Dec. 11-17. . . . The Royals also are without veteran G Tyler Palmer, who is on personal leave with his family.


Lego


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

Ryan Kuwabara is the new head coach of the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs. . . . Jeff Angelidis had been serving as interim head coach since the firing of Daniel Fitzgerald on Nov. 14. Angelidis will stay on as an assistant coach under Kuwabara. . . . There is a news release 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

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

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

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Democracy

Evason: ‘He’s from Manitoba. Right?’ . . . Ice completes doubleheader sweep of Rebels . . . Four WHLers enjoy five-point nights

There was a rather funny moment during Wednesday night’s NHL game Wildbetween the visiting Minnesota Wild and Anaheim Ducks. . . . Wild F Connor Dewar, a product of the Everett Silvertips who is a native of The Pas, Man., got into a second-period scrap with D Nathan Beaulieu. . . . A few minutes later, Darren Pang, who was the TNT reporter at ice level, chatted with Wild head coach Dean Evason. “Young kid fighting, too . . . gotta like that,” Pang said. . . . Evason, who wears intensity like a fitted suit, smiled as much as he ever does during a game and replied: “He’s from Manitoba. Right?” . . . Evason, former WHL player and coach, was born in Flin Flon and grew up in Brandon. . . . Dewar let set up former WHL D Matt Dumba for what turned out to be the game-winner in a feisty 4-1 victory.


THE WHL ON WEDNESDAY . . .

The Winnipeg Ice ran their winning streak to 12 games with a 7-4 victory over WinnipegIcethe visiting Red Deer Rebels. . . . The Rebels arrived in Winnipeg riding a season-opening 15-game winning streak. The Ice beat them, 3-1, on Tuesday, then completed the doubleheader sweep last night. . . . While Winnipeg improved to 17-1-0, Red Deer now is 15-2-0. . . . The Ice took control early, scoring four times before the first period was 16 minutes old. . . . The Ice, which was 4-5 on the PP, got two goals and three assists from F Owen Pederson, two and two from F Connor McClennon, and two and one from Skyler Bruce. . . . Pederson, who enjoyed his first career five-point night, has nine goals and 19 assists in 18 games. . . .

F Borya Valis scored three times and added an assist, and F Connor Bedard had five points in leading the host Regina Pats to a 7-4 victory over the Edmonton ReginaOil Kings. . . . F Marshall Finnie pulled Edmonton into a 2-2 tie at 10:51 of the second period, but Regina scored the next five goals with Bedard scoring once and setting up three others. He finished with a goal and four assists in running his point streak to 16 games. . . . This was Bedard’s second five-pointer in three games; he has three goals and nine assists in the three games. He also had two five-point outings last season. . . . Bedard leads the WHL in assists (22) and points (36). His 14 goals are one behind the leaders (F Kai Uchacz of the Red Deer Rebels and F Koehn Ziemmer of the Prince George Cougars). . . . Valis, an 18-year-old sophomore from Boulder, Colo., enjoyed his first career hat trick and his first four-point outing. He has eight goals and seven assists in 15 games. . . . Edmonton F Luca Hauf, an 18-year-old freshman from Krefeld, Germany, had had goal and two assists. . . . The Pats improved to 8-8-1; Edmonton now is 2-14-1. . . . F Zane Rowan, an 18-year-old from Torrence, Calif., was back in Regina’s lineup after not playing since Sept. 29. . . . F Zack Shantz, 17, made his Regina debut after being acquired from the Prince George Cougars in a Nov. 4 deal that had F Cole Dubinsky, 20, go the other way. . . .

In Lethbridge, the Hurricanes scored the game’s first two goals and hung on for Lethbridgea 2-1 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . The Hurricanes (9-8-1) have points in five straight (4-0-1). . . . The Raiders (4-12-2) have lost three in a row. . . . Lethbridge got goals from F Tyson Laventure and D Joe Arntsen, the latter providing a 2-0 lead at 6:12 of the third period. . . . C Carson Latimer got the Raiders to within a goal at 16:57. . . . G Harrison Meneghin stopped 21 shots for Lethbridge. . . .

F Reid Schaefer’s 14th goal of the season, at 1:24 of OT, gave the Seattle SeattleThunderbirds a 2-1 victory over the Blazers in Kamloops. . . . F Caedan Bankier had given the Blazers a 1-0 lead at 18:26 of the first period. . . . F Sam Popowich pulled Seattle even with a shorthanded goal at 1:19 of the second. . . . Seattle (11-3-0) had lost its previous two games. . . . Kamloops (7-4-3) has lost two in a row. . . . Kamloops F Logan Stankoven drew an assist to run his point streak to 10 games. He has 21 points, 10 of them goals, in that stretch. . . . G Thomas Milic stopped 38 shots for the visitors, including a stop on a Stankoven penalty shot attempt in OT. . . . D Luke Prokop, 20, who was added to Seattle’s roster on Tuesday, was in the starting lineup, but the Thunderbirds remain without F Jared Davidson. . . .

F Adam Kydd scored three times and added two assists to help the Kelowna KelownaRockets to a wild 8-6 victory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . It was the first WHL three-goal game — and first five-pointer, too — for Kydd, who has eight goals. . . . F Andrew Cristall drew five assists for the Rockets, who held leads of 1-0, 2-0, 2-1, 3-1, 4-3, 5-3, 6-5, 7-6 and, finally, 8-6. . . . F Rilen Kovacevic snapped a 6-6 tie at 16:44 of the third period and F Colton Dach added the empty-netter, his second goal of the game. . . . Cristall has 27 points, including 11 goals, in 14 games this season. This was his second five-point outing; he had two goals and three assists in an 8-4 victory over the visiting Vancouver Giants on April 9. . . . F Riley Heidt had four assists for the Cougars, who got two goals and an assist from each of F Chase Wheatcroft and F Koehn Ziemmer. . . . Kelowna (6-7-1) has won two in a row; Prince George (9-8-0) had a three-game winning streak ended. . . . F Cole Dubinsky, 20, who was acquired from Regina on Nov. 4, was in the Cougars’ lineup for the first time. He scored once and added an assist.


Sewer


Allen Lazard, a receiver with the NFL’s Green Bay Packers, suffered a shoulder injury in a game with the Washington Commanders this season. He explains the feeling: “A pop, a crack — snap, crackle, pop. Three Rice Krispies men showed up, too. Not the good kind. All three of them.”


Dennis Williams, the head coach of the Everett Silvertips, will be the head coach HockeyCanadaof Team Canada at the 2023 World Junior Championship. . . . The tournament is to open on Dec. 26 in Halifax and Moncton. . . . Williams was an assistant coach on the 2022 Canadian team that won a gold medal in Edmonton. . . . Canada’s assistant coaches will be Stephane Julien of the QMJHL’s Sherbrooke Phoenix, Brent Kisio of the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Alan Legant of the OHL’s Sarnia Sting. . . . Kelly Guard of the Prince Albert Raiders will serve as the goaltending consultant. . . . While Hockey Canada hasn’t yet announced a selection camp roster, that camp is scheduled to be held in Moncton, from Dec. 9-12.


Congratulations to California voters for a couple of decisions they made on Tuesday. Here’s Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle:

“Two California ballot props that would have legalized and expanded sports wagering went down in flames.

Our lovable state remained the largest market in America closed to legal sports betting. We overwhelmingly rejected the promised riches that would have come from allowing casinos and racetracks to offer in-person sports betting (Prop. 26), and from allowing online and mobile sports betting for adults (Prop. 27). For some reason, we don’t trust people in the gambling industry when they say, ‘Trust us.’ ”


“The Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant — who called for coach Steve Nash’s ouster last summer — said he was ‘shocked’ when Nash was fired last week,” notes Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “Somewhere, Steve Urkel is giggling.”


Morgue


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

The Kamloops Blazers have acquired 2004-born F Shea Van Olm from the Edmonton Oil Kings for a conditional seventh-round selection in the WHL’s 2024 draft. . . . Van Olm, from Calgary, was a fourth-round pick by the Oil Kings in the 2019 draft. This season, he has two goals and an assist in 16 games. . . . In 74 games over three seasons, Van Olm had 10 goals and seven assists with Edmonton. . . . Van Olm didn’t play for the Blazers last night against the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds. . . .

The Vancouver Giants have made an adjustment to their 20-year-old situation. They have signed D Dylan Anderson, while releasing D Tom Cadieux, who had been one of their alternate captains. . . . Anderson, from Langley, B.C., started this season with the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks after spending three seasons with the Everett Silvertips. . . . He totalled five goals and 26 assists in 143 regular-season games with Everett. Last season, he put up three goals and 17 assists in 62 games. . . . Cadieux, from Saskatoon, also has played with the Tri-City Americans and Regina Pats. In 179 regular-season games, he has six goals and 27 assists. This season, in 11 games, he earned three assists. . . . The Giants had acquired Cadieux from Regina on Jan. 17, surrendering a 2022 fifth-round WHL draft pick and a third in 2023. . . .

G Keegan Maddocks, 19, has joined the BCHL’s Trail Smoke Eaters. He had been with the Winnipeg Ice before being released on Oct. 27. . . . Maddocks also has made WHL stops with the Victoria Royals and Kamloops Blazers. . . .

If you were wondering, the BCHL’s Penticton Vees, who are 16-0-0 to open the season, next are scheduled to play Friday when the Vernon Vipers (7-7-2) are to visit. On Saturday, the Vees are to face the host Trail Smoke Eaters (7-8-1). . . . It’s worth noting that the Vees closed out last season by winning their last 16 playoff games. . . . Yes, Penticton has won its last 32 games.


Keith


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

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

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

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Unsub

Ice storms through B.C. Division . . . How are WHL’s six Saskatchewan teams handling ticket prices? . . . Two unbeaten teams still standing in WHL

In their last WHL season (1983-84) in Winnipeg, before relocating to Moose Jaw, the Warriors finished with a 9-63-0 record.

The Winnipeg Ice of 2022-23 already have won more than nine games and they WinnipegIcehave yet to play a home game.

With repairs ongoing in the Wayne Fleming Arena, the Ice has been forced to open this WHL season with 13 straight road games. It played the 11th and 12th of those games this weekend, beating the Kamloops Blazers, 5-3, on Friday and the Kelowna Rockets, 5-4, on Saturday. The victory in Kelowna meant that the Ice ran the table in B.C., going 5-0 in Lotusland.

So with one game remaining on that trek, the Ice leads the Eastern Conference at 11-1-0. The Ice’s lone loss to this point occurred on Oct. 8 when it lost, 4-1, yes, in Moose Jaw.

The Ice will conclude the road trip on Friday when it meets the Brandon Wheat Kings. Then, on Oct. 29, the Ice finally will play its home-opener with another game against the Wheat Kings.

Last night, in Kelowna, the Rockets pulled into a 4-4 tie on a goal from F Adam Kydd with 30.2 seconds left in the third period. The Ice won it just seven seconds later when F Conor Geekie scored his second goal of the game.

Winnipeg F Owen Pederson, who had a goal and two assists in Kamloops, was blanked in Kelowna so his 11-game point streak is over.




How much are Saskatchewan’s six WHL teams charging for tickets this season? WHLWhich one of those teams doesn’t have child pricing available? The answers to those questions and a whole lot more are right here in a story by Stefanie Davis of CTV News in Regina. . . . It turns out that the Saskatoon Blades have chosen, again, not to increase ticket prices. Tyler Wawryk, the Blades’ director of business operations, told Davis: “This would be our fifth season without any price increases.” Part of the reason for that, he explained, is that the Blades took into account that the provincial government made tickets liable to a PST as of Oct. 1. . . . This really is an interesting read and it shows what WHL teams are up against as they fight to get fans back into their buildings.


Rick Bowness finally got to work the bench with his new NHL team, the Winnipeg Jets. Bowness signed with the Jets over the summer, but wasn’t on their season-opening four-game road swing after he tested positive for COVID-19. In his absence, associate coach Scott Arniel — along with Brad Lauer, the capable assistant coach — ran things. Bowness is healthy again and was on the bench Saturday for the Jets’ home-opener, as they dropped a 4-1 decision to the Toronto Maple Leafs.


OCD



JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

A tip of the Taking Note fedora to Jeff Truitt, the head coach of the Prince Albert Raiders. Truitt and his guys met the Rebels in Red Deer on Saturday night. Three of the Raiders — F Keaton Sorensen, F Harrison Lodewyk and D Justice Christensen — are from Red Deer and all three were in the starting lineup. . . . Well done! . . .

And then there were two. . . . The Tri-City Americans were beaten 11-3 by the Medicine Hat Tigers and 7-1 by the Kamloops Blazers, both in Kennewick, Wash., on Oct. 12 and 14, respectively. It figures, then, that the host Americans knocked the Portland Winterhawks from the ranks of the unbeaten by beating them, 7-3, on Saturday night behind three goals and two assists from F Tyson Greenway. The Winterhawks now are 7-1-1, while the Americans are on a three-game winning streak. . . . Still unbeaten are the Red Deer Rebels (10-0-0) and Seattle Thunderbirds (8-0-0). . . . The Rebels continued their franchise-record season-opening run with a 3-0 blanking of the visiting Prince Albert Raiders as G Rhett Stoesser earned his first WHL shutout with 23 saves. . . . The Rebels had posted a 4-2 victory over the host Medicine Hat Tigers on Friday. . . . Last night, in Kent, Wash., the Thunderbirds bounced the Spokane Chiefs, 8-3. . . . F Reid Schaefer scored his ninth and 10th goals for Seattle, which counted the game’s last six goals. . . . The Rebels next play Wednesday when they are at home to the Victoria Royals (2-8-2). The Thunderbirds are off to Prince George for a Friday-Saturday doubleheader with the Cougars (5-5-0). . . .

The Cougars got to .500 with an interesting 4-3 OT victory in Kamloops last night. . . . F Logan Stankoven scored all of the Blazers’ goal, the third one giving them a 3-2 lead at 18:12 of the third period. . . . F Chase Wheatcroft pulled the Cougars even at 19:19 and F Koehn Ziemmer, who also had two assists, won it at 1:39 of extra time. . . . D Ethan Samson, who had two goals in a 5-1 victory over the host Giants on Friday, drew three assists in Kamloops. . . .

BTW, Prince Albert will play its third road game in fewer than 48 hours when it meets the Calgary Hitmen this afternoon. The Hitmen, 3-0 losers to the visiting Saskatoon Blades on Friday, were idle last night. . . . Also playing three games in fewer than 48 hours this weekend: Kamloops (home to Winnipeg and Prince George, at Vancouver); and the Vancouver Giants (home to Prince George, at Victoria, home to Kamloops.) . . . Sorry, but three games in fewer than 48 hours at this level just shouldn’t happen. . . .

G Max Hildebrand of the Prince Albert Raiders recorded his first WHL victory on Friday, stopping 26 shots in a 2-1 victory over the host Edmonton Oil Kings. His father, Steve, is the Saskatoon Blades’ associate general manager. . . . Max was a 13th-round selection by the Raiders in the WHL’s 2019 draft. . . .

When G Talyn Boyko, 20, was returned by the NHL’s New York Rangers, it left the Kelowna Rockets with three goaltenders on their roster. On Friday, they dropped Nicholas Cristiano, an 18-year-old from Langley, B.C. He is expected to join the BCHL’s West Kelowna Warriors. In three appearances, Cristiano was 0-1-0, 2.61, .879. . . . All of this means the Rockets, at least for now, will go with Boyko, who is from Drumheller, Alta., and Jari Kykkanen, 18, of Lloydminster, Alta. . . .

The Ottawa 67’s got past the Soo Greyhounds, 2-1, in a Friday night OHL game that needed 15 shootout rounds to decide. Only one of the 30 circus shooters was able to score. D Gavin Ewles’ goal allowed the 67’s to run their season-opening record to a franchise-record 8-0-0. . . . Ottawa G Collin MacKenzie set an OHL record with 15 shootout saves as he improved his career record to 6-0-0. . . . BTW, it was the second-longest shootout in OHL history. The longest? The London Knights went 19 rounds in beating the Mississauga Steelheads, 4-3, on Dec. 2, 2012.


Lawyer


THINKING OUT LOUD — Got home from a breakfast gathering of the Kamloops Kidney Support Group late Saturday morning. Turned on TV. Minnesota Wild at Boston Bruins. Ewwww! I had forgotten just how unlistenable the NESN broadcast crew of Cheerleadin’ Jack and the Brick really is. I lasted until Cheerleadin’ Jack referred to the Boston goaltender as being “calm as a cucumber.” . . . D Arber Xhekaj of the Montreal Canadiens scored his first NHL goal on Saturday. He has become a favourite because of his nickname. Hockey players love to add a ‘y’ or an ‘ie’ to a name and make that a nickname. So how do you do that to Xhekaj? Instead, his nickname is ‘Wifi’ because his surname looks like a computer password. Gotta love that! . . . I don’t know if you’re ready for this, but the various TV networks and streaming outfits have more than 140 new Christmas-themed movies poised for release. In fact, some of them showed up on TV this weekend. Merry Christmas! . . . The one good thing about those Christmas-themed movies is that they don’t include any gambling commercials. Do they?


The Saskatchewan Roughriders won’t be playing in the 2022 Grey Cup game, Riderswhich is to be played in Regina. Their playoff hopes ended on Saturday with a 32-21 loss to the visiting Calgary Stampeders. Here’s Rob Vanstone in the Regina Leader-Post: “A paid/pained attendance — 27,192 — that wasn’t even remotely reflective of the actual turnout. . . . One meaningless game remains in this miserable season. At this stage of the game, the Roughriders’ toughest opponent is not the Stampeders — but, instead, indifference.” . . . Too bad the CFL wouldn’t let the Roughriders take a knee on the entire game that is to be played in Calgary on Saturday. . . . Vanstone’s complete column is right here.


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

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

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Bodies

Jets’ first-rounder could end up in Portland . . . Three WHL teams live to play another game . . . Winterhawks finish off Cougars


In a move that could have implications in the WHL, the Winnipeg Jets have signed F Chaz Lucius to a three-year entry-level contract that is to begin next WHLseason. . . . Lucius, who turns 19 on May 2, is from Lawrence, Kan. This season, as a freshman, he had nine goals and 10 assists in 24 games with the NCAA’s Minnesota Golden Gophers. Before that, he played two seasons in the U.S. National Team Development Program. . . . The Jets selected him with the 18th overall pick of the NHL’s 2021 draft. The Portland Winterhawks grabbed his major junior rights in the fourth round of the WHL’s 2018 draft. . . . Next season, assuming he doesn’t crack the Jets’ roster, Lucius will be eligible to play in the AHL, with the Manitoba Moose, or the Winterhawks. . . . Eric Vegoe, a freelance writer who follows the Gophers, tweeted: “I’d be absolutely shocked if Lucius went to the AHL. He’d be a phenomenal fit in Portland and be one of the league’s top scorers for a franchise that knows what (it’s) doing with prospects.” . . . Lucius’s brother, Cruz, 18, has committed to playing at Minnesota next season after spending the past two seasons with the U.S. National Team Development Program. He was selected by the Seattle Thunderbirds in the eighth round of the WHL’s 2019 draft. With his brother no longer at Minnesota, you wonder if the younger Lucius might be rethinking his immediate future, too?



WEDNESDAY IN THE WHL:

There were six playoff games with four of the teams staring elimination squarely in the face. Three of those teams lived to fight another day, with only the Prince George Cougars having their season come to an end. . . . You should know, too, that only two teams in WHL history have come back from trailing 3-0 to win a series. . . . In 1996, the Spokane Chiefs beat the Portland Winterhawks in Game 7 at home. . . . In 2013, the Kelowna Rockets did the same thing against the Seattle Thunderbirds, winning Game 7 at home. . . . In tonight’s only game, the Edmonton Oil Kings take a 3-0 lead into Lethbridge against the Hurricanes. . . . Here’s a brief look at what happened last night. . . .

Western Conference

In Langley, B.C., the Everett Silvertips took a 2-1 series lead over the Vancouver EverettGiants with a 6-2 victory. . . . They’ll play again Friday in Langley, then head for Everett and Game 5 on Saturday. . . . Everett, which got two goals from each of Ryan Hofer (3), Niko Huuhtanen (5) and Matthew Ng (2), held period leads of 3-0 and 5-2. . . . Huuhtanen has nine points in the three games. . . . G Braden Holt stopped 32 shots to earn the win. . . . Vancouver G Jesper Vikman returned after missing Game 2 and blocked 18 shots. . . . Everett was without F Alex Swetlikoff, who was suspended for two games after taking a checking-from-behind major in Game 2 on Saturday. . . . Swetlikoff and F Jackson Berezowski, who is out with an undisclosed injury, were the Silvertips’ top two scorers in the regular season. . . . Vancouver F Tom Cadieux was tossed with an interference major at 12:50 of the third period. Then, at 19:00, F Matthew Edwards of the Giants left after taking a headshot major. . . . The Silvertips had Vancouver’s own Dave Sheldon handle the play-by-play “with Casey Bryant unavailable to travel.” Sheldon was part of the Everett broadcast crew back in the day (2003-06). These days, Sheldon is the team operations manager for the NLL’s Vancouver Warriors. . . .

In Prince George, the No. 3 Portland Winterhawks scored two first-period goals Portlandand hung on for a 2-1 victory over the No. 6 Cougars. . . . The Winterhawks swept the series, 4-0, and now go home to await and as-yet undecided second-round opponent. . . . F James Stefan (2) put the visitors out front at 8:22 of the first period and F Luke Schelter (1) made it 2-0 at 11:51. . . . The Cougars got to within a goal when F Jonny Hooker (1) scored at 6:55 of the third period. . . . Portland’s took the game’s only three minor penalties, the last one to D Cross Hanas for delay of game at 18:59 of the third period. With G Tyler Brennan on the bench, the Cougars held a 6-on-4 advantage but weren’t able to equalize. . . . G Taylor Gauthier stopped 29 shots for Portland, including 12 in the third period. He finished the series 4-0, 1.00, .965. . . . Brennan turned aside 40 shots. He got into all four games, going 0-2, 1.86, .954. . . . The Cougars had to scratch F Riley Heidt as he served a one-game suspension for the kneeing major and game misconduct he took in Game 3 on Tuesday. . . .

In Kelowna, F Adam Kydd scored in OT to give the Rockets a 3-2 victory over the KelownaSeattle Thunderbirds. . . . Seattle holds a 3-1 lead as the series returns to Kent, Wash., for Game 5 on Friday night. . . . The Rockets erased a 2-0 second-period deficit to get the game into extra time. . . . F Lucas Ciona (3) scored both Seattle goals, at 19:41 of the first period and 3:16 of the second. . . . G Gabriel Szturc (1) got the Rockets to within a goal, on a PP, at 6:28 of the second and D Noah Dorey (1) tied it at 12:45 as he ended a 43-game goal drought. . . . Kydd won it with his second goal of the series, on a PP, at 15:55 of OT. . . . F Andrew Cristall drew the primary assist on each of Kelowna’s last two goals. . . . The Rockets got 36 saves from G Talyn Boyko, who had watched Game 3 from the bench. . . . Kelowna was 2-for-5 on the PP; Seattle, which went into the game 10-for-19, was 0-for-3. . . . The Rockets were without F Mark Liwiski, who was suspended for two games after taking a headshot major and game misconduct in Game 3 on Tuesday. . . . F Matthew Rempe (undisclosed) was among Seattle’s scratches. . . .

——

Eastern Conference

In Prince Albert, G Tikhon Chaika stopped 25 shots to help the No. 8 Raiders to a PrinceAlbert3-1 victory over the No. 1 Winnipeg Ice. . . . The Ice now holds a 3-1 edge in the series, with Game 5 in Winnipeg on Friday night. . . . D Remy Aquilon (1), on a PP, at 1:53 of the second period, and D Eric Johnston (1), at 1:06 of the third, gave the home team a 2-0 lead. . . . Ice F Mikey Milne got his fourth of the series, on a PP, at 18:51, but F Sloan Stanick (1) iced it with the empty-netter. . . . Winnipeg was 1-for-3 on the PP and now is 9-for-18 in the series. The Raiders are 2-for-19. . . .

In Brandon, the No. 6 Wheat Kings scored the game’s last three goals to earn a Brandon3-1 victory over the No. 3 Red Deer Rebels. . . . The series is tied, 2-2, with Game 5 in Red Deer on Friday. Then they’ll return to Brandon for Game 6 on Sunday. . . . F Jace Isley (2) gave the Rebels the lead at 7:44 of the first period. . . . F Trae Johnson (1) tied it at 13:01. . . . The Wheat Kings won it on two PP goals from F Marcus Kallionkieli, at 18:24 of the second period and 19:22 of the third. The second one was an empty-netter. . . . Kallionkieli, a Finn who turned 21 on March 20, also drew an assist on Johnson’s goal.

In Saskatoon, F Kyle Crnkovic scored twice to lead the No. 5 Blades to a 5-3 Saskatoonvictory over the No. 4 Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . Moose Jaw leads the series 3-1 and can win it at home on Friday night. . . . The Blades actually coughed up 2-0 and 3-1 leads with Warriors F Ryder Korczak (2) getting his guys even, at 3-3, at 2:54 of the third period. . . . Saskatoon D Rhett Rhinehart (1) broke the tie at 8:37 and Crnkovic’s second goal of the game and series, an empty-netter, iced it at 19:31. . . . D Maximus Wanner (3) scored twice for Moose Jaw. . . . The Blades got 32 saves from G Nolan Maier.


JUNIOR JOTTINGS: The Tri-City Americans have named D Marc Lajoie as the 33rd captain in franchise history. The Americans went without a captain this season as they didn’t qualify for the playoffs. Lajoie, the 14th pick in the 2018 WHL draft, has played three seasons with the Americans. . . .

Neil Pilon, who played 263 games over five seasons in the WHL, was named head coach of the Kamloops-based U-18 AAA Thompson Blazers on Wednesday. Pilon played with the Kamloops Junior Oilers, Kamloops Blazers, Moose Jaw Warriors and Seattle Thunderbirds (1983-88). . . . Pilon also is the greens superintendent at the Sagebrush Golf and Sporting Club, which is located near Merritt, B.C. . . .

Eric Thurston, the general manager and head coach of the AJHL’s Drayton Valley Thunder, is leaving after four seasons with the organization. In a news release, the Thunder said it “regrets to announce” that Thurston is leaving. . . . The news release didn’t indicate any reason for Thurston’s departure. . . . This season, the Thunder was 33-17-10, good for fourth in the North Division, before being swept from a first-round series by the Spruce Grove Saints. . . .

Brad Elliott Schlossman of the Grand Forks, N.D., Herald tweeted Wednesday afternoon that “Brad Patterson is out as head coach of the (USHL’s) Youngstown Phantoms.” . . . Their season ended with first-round playoff loss on Tuesday night. . . . Patterson had been on the Phantoms’ coaching staff since 2009-10, and was the head coach since 2016-17. . . .

The OHL’s Peterborough Petes and general manager Michael Oke have agreed on a two-year contract that will take them through the 2023-24 season. Oke has been the Petes’ GM since Feb. 14, 2013. He joined the organization as the director of player personnel in July 2010.


Child


My wife, Dorothy, is preparing to take part in her ninth Kamloops Kidney Walk. . . . It will be held on June 5, but thanks to the pandemic it again will be a virtual event. . . . If you would like to sponsor her, you are able to do so right here.


A note involving Tom Gaglardi, the majority owner of the Kamloops Blazers, from Elliotte Friedman’s weekly 32 Thoughts:

“During the second week of April, five Canadians lived atop five 40-foot flagpoles for 100 hours. The significance of that length is 100 years ago, Sir Frederick Banting and Charles H. Best discovered insulin to help manage diabetes. One of those five was Wilson Gaglardi, the 16-year-old son of Dallas Stars owner Tom Gaglardi. To donate toward a cure, please go to canadacuresdiabetes.ca.


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

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

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

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Restaurant

Cougars’ co-owner opens up on Cat Scan . . . Royals end lengthy skid . . . Veteran coach joins BCHL’s Clippers

Hartley Miller hit another home run with his Cat Scan podcast this week. In his previous two episodes, Miller, the sports director at Vista Radio in Prince PrinceGeorgeGeorge, chatted with Rick Brodsky, a former owner of the Cougars and once the chairman of the WHL’s board of governors. This week, Miller visited with John Pateman, one of the men who purchased the Cougars from Brodsky and the organization’s president.

Pateman is one of the Cougars’ six owners, and he was quick to admit that these aren’t the best of times. He also talked about the Cougars having received government subsidies to help them through these pandemic times.

“We get an update on attendance around the league every Monday,” Pateman told Miller. “On average, it’s down about 30 per cent. There are people who aren’t vaccinated, there’s people who wearing a mask for two or three hours straight is an issue. There’s people who don’t feel comfortable coming out too much in public . . . that’s been across the league. The attendance being down that much . . . that’s the negative.

“Certainly, a lot of businesses, ourselves included . . . the federal wage subsidy . . . we received significant subsidies through that time period to help us out. The province . . . in August or so, we received significant funds there. We’re probably not losing any more money than we have the last few years. It’s obviously not good but, again, we believe we’re heading into a three- or four-year run. We’ve kind of hurt for six or seven so . . . it’s going to get better.”

According to Pateman, the Cougars have the youngest team in the WHL, but they are on pace to make the playoffs. And, as he said, a good run would certainly help the bottom line.

“We have been able to do some things on the expense side,” he explained. “If we can get into the playoffs and end up having a bit of run that makes a huge difference.”

If the playoffs were to start today, the Cougars would meet the Portland Winterhawks in the first round. Pateman also talked about what that would mean, especially with Taylor Gauthier now Portland’s starting goaltender. The Winterhawks acquired him from the Cougars earlier this season, giving up D Jonas Brøndberg, a 2023 third-round draft pick and a pair of conditional fifth-rounders. Those latter two picks just might be tied into how deep the Winterhawks get in the playoffs, so a first-round meeting with the Cougars could prove interesting.

Pateman also reaffirmed that the Cougars’ owners remain committed to making it work in Prince George.

“Certainly, that is the case,” he told Miller. “Over the next three, four years, all being well, we have a pretty good hockey team and I still think wins make a big difference. If we can get a bit of run in the playoffs at some point over the next year or two or three, I think we’ll have that fan support to at least not lose money to any great degree.

“If we can just pay the bills in the end, we’d be quite happy.”

It runs about 36 minutes, it’s well worth listening to, and it’s all right here.


The WHL announced adjustments to its regular-season schedule on Thursday, WHLindicating that the 68-game season now is to conclude on April 17. If there is a need for tiebreakers, they will be played on April 19. The first round of playoffs is to begin on April 22. . . . The playoffs will include four rounds of best-of-seven series, with the first three rounds all in-conference. The championship final is to start on June 3 and, if seven games are needed, would end on June 14. . . . The WHL’s playoff format is explained right here. . . . The Memorial Cup, which is to be held in Saint John, N.B., is to run from June 20 through June 29. . . . The WHL also announced a number of rescheduled games all of which can be found on the schedule at whl.ca. . . . And, again, make sure you check your favourite team’s schedule for any changes that may have been made.


Agree


The International Ice Hockey Federation had news about a couple of tournaments on Thursday. . . . The 2022 World Junior Championship that got started in Red Deer and Edmonton before being cancelled due to multiple positive tests among players and on-ice officials will be held in Alberta in August. No dates were provided, but Darren Dreger of TSN tweeted that organizers are aiming for Aug. 8-19. . . . If all goes according to plan — in other words, if COVID-19 allows it — the WJC will proceed at some point after the Hlinka Gretzky Cup. It is scheduled for Red Deer early in August. The exact dates haven’t yet been announced. . . . The WJC will feature the same teams that gathered in December with all players who are on those teams still eligible. Results of the few games that were played in December have been scrubbed, so teams will start fresh.

Meanwhile, the U18 Women’s World Championship that was to have been held in Linköping and Mjölby, Sweden, in January now will be played “in June in the north of the USA,” Luc Tardif, the IIHF president, told reporters on Thursday. The 2023 event likely will be held in Sweden. . . . There is a whole lot more on these stories right here.



JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

EverettMarty Hastings of Kamloops This Week tweeted on Thursday that Shaun Clouston, the Kamloops Blazers’ GM/head coach, said G Dylan Garand isn’t “likely to play this weekend, but injury not expected to keep him out long term.” Garand appeared to suffer an injury to his left leg during the second period of a 6-4 victory over the visiting Victoria Royals on Wednesday night. . . . That means that G Dylan Ernst started on Friday night against the visiting Everett Silvertips, with Jesse Sanche, 15, on the bench. Sanche plays at OHA in Kelowna. . . . The Silvertips were without G Braden Holt (non-COVID illness) and had Evan May up from the BCHL’s Cowichan Valley Capitals to back up Koen MacInnes, who stopped 28 shots to beat the Blazers, 4-1. . . . Everett scored three times in 10:31 in the first period. The Silvertips got two goals from each of F Niko Huuhtanen (28) and F Jackson Berezowski (34). . . . Kamloops F Logan Stankoven had an assist to run his point streak to 18 games. . . . The Western Conference-leading Silvertips now lead the Blazers by five points. . . .

The WHL hasn’t posted a roster/injury report since Feb. 8, so there is no way of knowing how many players tested positive for COVID-19 from then through Feb. 14. The Vancouver Giants experienced some positives and had a couple of games postponed during that time period. . . .

F Adam Kydd’s 10th goal of the season gave Kelowna a 3-1 lead and stood up as the winner as the Rockets beat the Cougars, 3-2, in Prince George. He’s got 14 points, including six goals, in 14 games since coming over from the Calgary Hitmen. On the season, Kydd, 19, has 33 points in 44 games. . . . In Kent, Wash., the Seattle Thunderbirds scored the game’s last three goals and beat the Spokane Chiefs, 3-1. F Matthew Rempe’s 12th goal, at 2:38 of the second period, broke a 1-1 tie. . . .

F Mathew Ward scored three times — it was his first WHL hat trick — and added an assist to lead the host Swift Current Broncos to a 7-2 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. He’s got 46 points, including 18 goals, in 44 games. Ward, 18, now has 68 career points in 68 regular-season games. . . . F Connor Bedard drew the lone assist on F Cole Carrier’s game-tying goal at 15:29 of the third period and then won it with this 30th goal of the season 24 seconds into OT as the Regina Pats beat the Raiders, 5-4, in Prince Albert. Darren Steinke, the travellin’ blogger, was on hand and filed this piece right here. . . .

F Nate Danielson scored three times, giving him 18 this season, and F Ridly Greig put up three assists in his hometown as the Brandon Wheat Kings beat the host Lethbridge Hurricanes, 5-2. The Wheat Kings wrapped it up with two empty-net goals. . . . In Red Deer, F Arshdeep Bains scored two goals — he’s got 25 — and added to assists as the Rebels beat the Saskatoon Blades, 5-3. Bains broke a 3-3 tie with his second goal at 9:12 of the third period. . . .

F Zach Benson scored the game’s last two goals as the Winnipeg Ice beat the Hitmen, 3-1, in Calgary. Benson, who has 16 goals, scored at 2:00 and 17:52 of the third period. . . . F Robbie Fromm-Delorme had three third-period goals to spark the Portland Winterhawks to a 6-2 victory over the Tri-City Americans in Kennewick, Wash. Fromm-Delorme, who has eight goals and 11 assists in 18 games, completed his hat trick with an empty-netter at 18:06 of the third period. His first career multi-goal game came in his 157th game. Fromm-Delorme has missed 30 games this season; he was playing just his second game since returning from an injury. . . . In Langley, B.C., the Victoria Royals got a goal and two assists from F Tarun Fizer, their captain, as they snapped a 17-game losing skid with a 5-2 victory over the Vancouver Giants. The Royals broke a 1-1 tie with three goals in 2:57, scoring at 19:27 of the first period and 2:09 and 2:24 of the second. The Royals are 13-29-5, with seven of the victories coming over the Giants.


With two coaches suspended pending an independent investigation, the BCHL’s NanaimoNanaimo Clippers have added veteran coach Bob Beatty to their staff. Beatty was behind the bench Friday night, along with assistant Ken McPhalen, as the Clippers dropped a 5-0 decision to the visiting Chilliwack Chiefs. . . . Darren Naylor, Nanaimo’s vice-president, general manager, head coach and director of hockey operations, and Colin Birkas, the associate GM and associate coach, were suspended by the BCHL for what the league has said are alleged “Code of Conduct breaches.” . . . Beatty spent 17 seasons coaching (1996-2013) in the SJHL and then was in the BCHL for four seasons with the Cowichan Valley Capitals. He was at Shawnigan Lake School for two seasons (2017-19) before joining the AJHL’s Fort McMurray Oil Barons prior to the 2019-20 season. He left the Oil Barons on Jan. 14, 2020. Most recently, he has been scouting for the SJHL’s Melville Millionaires.



THINKING OUT LOUD:

If you missed it — if you blinked you likely did — MLB and the MLBPA met again on Thursday. This negotiating session lasted all of 15 minutes. . . . Before the owners locked out the players, pitchers and catchers were to have begun reporting three days ago. . . . There isn’t much doubt now but that Opening Day is in jeopardy and there are those who suggest — wait for it! — that the entire season is in danger of not happening. . . . Oh wait! Owners and players say they are prepared to meet every day next week. Don’t hold your breath for a deal. . . . On Friday, it was announced that they already have flushed away the first week of spring training games. . . .

I saw a graphic on Thursday that showed the entire coaching staff of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars. Head coach Doug Pederson has a staff of 23 assistant coaches. Yes, 23! . . . When I first had anything to do with covering the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers for the late, great Tribune in the mid-1970s, I believe head coach Bud Riley had four assistants one season and three the next. . . . And then, on Friday, I happened upon a list showing the Miami Dolphins’ coaching staff. Head coach Mike McDaniel has 26 assistants. Yes, 26! . . .

Derek Taylor, the radio voice of the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders, revealed on Thursday that he won’t be back for a third season at CKRM. Speculation has him ending up in Winnipeg, where the Blue Bombers will have a new play-by-play voice on CJOB following the retirement of Bob Irving, or back at TSN, where he was before moving to Regina. Hmmm! I’m thinking TSN. . . .

It would seem more obvious than ever that the rest of the curling world has caught up with Canada, at least it has if we can go by the results from the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing. I don’t know what it means but it sure is interesting to see just how many Canadians are coaching Olympic curling teams from other countries. . . .

Here’s how Jesse Campigotto of CBC Sports’ The Buzzer summed it up: “So, has the rest of the world ‘caught up’ to Canada in curling? In terms of depth, no. This country still produces roughly half of the top 10 men’s and women’s teams. But you can only send one to the big international tournaments. And it’s becoming clear that, here, the players wearing the maple leaf are no longer exceptional. At best, they’re first among equals. Often, they’re simply among equals.”


Quiz


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

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

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

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Facebook

Canucks make their Abbotsford intentions official . . . OT the rage in WHL’s Tuesday games . . . Does CFL draft make Bob Lowes a Blue Bombers’ fan?


The Vancouver Canucks’ AHL affiliate won’t be setting up shop in Kamloops or CanucksKelowna. But it appears that it will be operating out of B.C. next season. . . . Although negotiations with the City of Abbotsford aren’t yet complete, the Canucks said Tuesday that they intend to move the Utica Comets to the Abbotsford Centre for the 2021-22 season. . . . Here’s Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini from a statement: “With momentum starting to build, we are pleased to confirm our goal to bring our AHL franchise and Canucks prospects home to the City of Abbotsford. The move would bring significant opportunities for both our team and the community and it would begin a new chapter, bringing Canucks hockey to even more fans throughout the Lower Mainland.” . . . The Canucks’ AHL team has been in Utica since the 2013-14 season. The New Jersey Devils are expected to move their AHL franchise, the Binghamton Devils, to Utica in time for next season. . . . The Calgary Flames had their AHL affiliate, the Heat, play out of Abbotsford for five seasons (2009-14), before relocating it to Stockton, Calif.

——

Only time will tell what kind of impact, if any, having the Vancouver Canucks’ Vancouvertop affiliate in Abbotsford might have on the WHL’s Vancouver Giants. . . . The Giants play out of the Langley Events Centre, which is located 34 km west of the Abbotsford Centre. Both facilities are just off the Trans-Canada Highway. . . . The Giants have played four seasons out of Langley after relocating from Pacific Coliseum after the 2015-16 season. . . . In their last season in the Coliseum, announced attendance averaged 5,169. . . . In their four seasons in Langley, starting in 2016-17, the announced average has been 3,848, 3,383, 3,826 and 3,920. That last figure was from the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season in which the Giants ended up playing 30 home games. . . . The Lower Mainland also is home to four BCHL franchises — the Chilliwack Chiefs, Coquitlam Express, Langley Rivermen and Surrey Eagles. . . . You would think that the presence of one more hockey team — this one featuring prospects who belong to the area’s NHL team — will have an impact of some kind somewhere along the line. . . . Also, having a new team on the block certainly won’t help the junior teams as they try to find their ways back into the hearts of their fans after having been away from live crowds for what will have been about 18 months . . . assuming, that is, that the 2021-22 season gets started in the fall and that teams will be allowed to have fans in attendance.



Three more WHL teams, all from Alberta, played their final games of this developmental season on Tuesday night. The other two will wrap up their seasons on Thursday night. . . . That will leave 10 WHL teams left with games on the schedule, all of them in B.C. or the U.S. . . . All told, there were four games played last night with three of them needing OT to decide a winner. . . .

The Calgary Hitmen tied the game late in the third period and then scored late Calgaryin OT to beat the host Red Deer Rebels, 4-3. . . . Calgary (10-8-3) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). . . . Red Deer (4-15-4) finished with points in each of its last four games (2-0-2). . . . Both teams were playing their final games of this season. . . . D Mason Ward (2) put the Rebels out front at 16:43 of the first period. . . . The Hitmen went ahead on second-period PP goals from F Sean Tschigerl (13), at 16:40, and F Riley Stotts (6), at 18:13. . . . Stotts also had two assists. . . . Red Deer took a 3-2 lead when F Ben King scored two third-period goals — at 9:14, on a PP, and 16:45. . . . Calgary got it to OT as F Josh Prokop (10) scored at 19:13. . . . F Adam Kydd (9) won it at 4:21 of extra time. . . . King also drew one assist. The 13th overall pick in the 2017 bantam draft finished with 28 points, including 12 goals, in 21 games. He totalled four goals and four assists over his final three games. . . . Tschigerl, the fourth overall selection in the 2018 draft, finished on a 12-game point streak, putting up 11 goals and seven assists over that stretch. . . . The Hitmen got 32 saves from G Brayden Peters. . . . Red Deer G Chase Coward turned aside 42 shots. Coward appears to suffer a cut to one wrist during a scramble in his crease at 13:55 of the third period. He was replaced by Byron Fancy, who stopped four of five shots in finishing the period. Coward was back for OT. . . .

In Edmonton, F Josh Williams scored 21 seconds into OT to give the Oil Kings a Edmonton3-2 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . The Oil Kings (19-2-1) will finish with the best record among the five Alberta teams. . . . The Hurricanes (9-12-3) lost their last two games (0-1-1). . . . Lethbridge played its final game of this season; Edmonton and the Tigers will conclude their seasons in Medicine Hat on Thursday. . . . Williams gave the Oil Kings a 1-0 lead at 10:12 of the first period. . . . Lethbridge took a 2-1 lead on goals from F Chase Wheatcroft (8), at 15:11 of the first, and F Ty Nash (4), at 14:52 of the second. . . . F Jalen Luypen (16) pulled Edmonton even at 17:32 of the second. . . . Williams won it with his 17th goal of the season. . . . Nash was unable to score on a penalty shot at 1:09 of the third period. . . . Edmonton G Sebastian Cossa stopped 27 shots, nine fewer than Lethbridge’s Carl Tetachuk. . . .

F Samuel Huo scored the game’s final two goals, the last one in OT, to give the Americansvisiting Tri-City Americans a 4-3 victory over the Spokane Chiefs. . . . The Americans (7-8-0) have won two in a row. . . . The Chiefs (6-7-5) have points in four straight (2-0-2). . . . Tri-City took a 1-0 lead at 5:46 of the first period when F Tyson Greenway (3) scored. . . . The Chiefs got two goals before the period ended, from F Adam Beckman (16), on a PP, and D Graham Sward (1). . . . F Connor Bouchard (4) got Tri-City back into a tie, on a PP, at 14:18. . . . F Luke Toporowski (1) gave Spokane the lead at 9:41 of the third period in his second game since returning from the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede. . . . Huo, who also had an assist, tied the score at 12:47 and won it with his ninth goal, just 23 seconds into OT. . . .

The Prince George Cougars have points in five straight games after beating the PGhost Kelowna Rockets, 2-1. . . . The Cougars (8-7-3) are 4-0-1 in their five-game streak. . . . The Rockets (8-3-1) had at least a point in each of their previous six games (5-0-1). . . . F Koehn Ziemmer (7) gave the Cougars a 1-0 lead at 7:08 of the first period. . . . F Connor Bowie (7) upped that to 2-0 with a shorthanded goal, the seventh the Rockets have surrendered this season, at 5:23 of the second. . . . Kelowna didn’t cut the deficit in half until F Mark Liwiski (9) scored at 15:38 of the third period. . . . The Rockets had a 30-18 edge in shots, including 12-4 in the third period. . . . G Taylor Gauthier earned the victory with 29 saves.


Artisans


The CFL held its annual draft on Thursday, and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers used a fourth-round pick, 34th overall, to take LB Robbie Lowes of the Regina Rams. . . . He’s 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, and may well end up in the Bombers’ defensive backfield. He also is the son of Bob Lowes, the former WHL player and coach who now is the director of amateur scouting for the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights. . . . Robbie lost the 2020 season, which would have been his fifth in USports, to the pandemic. But USports is allowing those players to return to play a fifth season so that option still will be open to him.


Don’t forget that my wife, Dorothy, is preparing to take part in her eighth Kamloops Kidney Walk, albeit virtually, on June 6. If you would like to be part of her team, you are able to make a donation right here.

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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

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

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

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


JUST NOTES: F Tristen Robins of the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades is joining the San Jose Barracuda, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s San Jose Sharks. Robins, 19, had 10 goals and 13 assists in 16 games in the WHL’s Regina hub. The Sharks selected him in the second round of the NHL’s 2020 draft.


Radio

Wickenheiser wonders if Olympics should go ahead . . . Did virus find Flames? It found P.K. Subban . . . Hitmen return with a bang


One of the things that really, really hurts — and also amazes and confuses me — is the lack of respect shown to healthcare workers during the pandemic.

The numbers go up and it doesn’t seem to mean anything to a whole lot of folks. A government institutes new restrictions and a whole lot of people immediately start looking for loopholes, or just flat-out refuse to follow the recommendations.

So here we are . . . more than 14 months into this mess. And through it all our healthcare workers just continue to do their jobs. Day after day. Night after night.

It’s been more than a year now and I can’t begin to imagine the angst, the emotions, that every single one of them has to be feeling. I can’t imagine the feeling in the pits of their stomachs as they prepare for another day of working in their chosen profession.

That brings us to Hayley Wickenheiser, who has gone from being one of the world’s greatest hockey players to medical school. These days, she works the front lines at Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary.

And she is wondering whether the Olympic Summer Games and Paralympics that are scheduled to be held in Tokyo this summer should go ahead.

“It’s very hard after what I’ve witnessed this past year and then think about the Games. I’ve seen such suffering,” the six-time Olympian and four-time gold medal-winner told Devin Heroux of CBC Sports.

Wickenheiser, who also is on the IOC’s Athletes Commission, asked the same questions in March 2020 that she’s asking now, and that’s when organizers chose to postpone the Olympics and Paralympics until July 2021.

And here we are again. But, as Heroux points out, Japan has vaccinated fewer than two per cent of its population and a majority of the citizens there don’t want the Games to go ahead.

“I think we maybe have another month before they have to make a decision,” Wickenheiser said. “If things change drastically in terms of vaccinations in the country of Japan. Cases there are spiking . . . This is someone’s country we’re going into. These are real people living in crisis. We have to be sensitive to the needs of a nation.”

And when it comes time to make a decision . . .

“This decision needs to be made by medical and health experts, not by corporate and big business,” Wickenheiser told Heroux. “A very clear and transparent explanation needs to be given if the Games are going to go ahead.”

Heroux’s complete story is right here.


Fire


Prior to Friday, the Calgary Flames had been the only NHL team not to have had nhl2to place a player on the COVID-19 protocol list. However, it seems the virus has found the Flames.

Calgary cancelled its Friday morning skate in advance of the evening’s game against the visiting Montreal Canadiens. According to the team, a player received a positive test on Thursday.

Later Friday, the Flames placed F Josh Leivo on the COVID-19 list. After beating the Canadiens, 4-2, Calgary head coach Darryl Sutter said that Leivo was asymptomatic.


D P.K. Subban of the New Jersey Devils said Friday that he has tested positive. In a video that he posted to Twitter, he said the virus “got right in my kitchen.” Subban, 31, was placed on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list on Tuesday. . . . “The COVID thing hit me pretty hard,” he said, “but just battling through it, working through it. Just remember to take care of yourselves, stay healthy, I love you guys and I definitely will be back in the mix soon.”


The AJHL announced Friday afternoon that there has been a positive test “in ajhlthe Drumheller Dragons cohort,” so team activities have been suspended. . . . The Dragons were to have played the Okotoks Oilers on Saturday and Sunday, but those games have been “cancelled.” . . . Drumheller hasn’t played since April 3. . . . Okotoks last played on March 28. It was to have played the Calgary Canucks on April 2 and the Brooks Bandits on April 4 but both games were cancelled.


In the QMJHL, athletic therapist Joseph Ferrar and equipment manager Jean-qmjhlnewFrançois Larochelle of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies was evicted from the “protected environment” in Victoriaville for being in violation of COVID-19 protocol. The Huskies also were fined $5,000. . . . According to the league, “Support staff from within the protected environment have been found to replace them.” . . . The Huskies were in Victoriaville to open a first-round playoff series against the Tigres.


Canyon


Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times was back on the legal beat yesterday, reporting Krakenthat the city’s NHL team, the Kraken, “moved quickly Friday to head off a legal dispute with a University District punk-rock bar alleging trademark infringement and tortious interference in a $3.5 million lawsuit filed the previous day.” . . . The team said it won’t be naming the restaurant at its practice facility the Kraken Bar & Grill. . . . The owners of The Kraken Bar and Lounge, the dive bar that doesn’t want to be a hockey bar, filed suit Thursday, asking that the team not be allowed to use Kraken as a nickname or in any other marketing or projects. . . . Baker’s latest story is right here. . . . Spoiler: It doesn’t sound as though this move by the Kraken is going to appease the dive bar’s owners.


I mentioned here yesterday that there is ample speculation about the future of the Vancouver Canucks’ AHL affiliate, the Utica Comets. No, they aren’t going to end up in Kamloops or Kelowna. . . . But if the Canucks choose to make a move, where might the AHL team land? . . . Rob Williams, who always has a solid grasp of what’s happening in the AHL, takes a look at some of the options right here.


Prof


The Calgary Hitmen were hit by a positive test earlier this month and were shut WHL2down for more than two weeks. They returned to game action on Friday and opened with a four-goal first period en route to a 6-3 victory over the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . The Kelowna Rockets, on hold for more than two weeks after a handful of positive tests, returned on April 7 with four goals in the first 27 minutes of a 7-5 victory over the Prince George Cougars in Kamloops. . . . Hmmm. . . . The Tri-City Americans are scheduled to return from their virus-enforced layoff on Wednesday. . . . In the meantime, there were six WHL games played last night. . . .

The Calgary Hitmen, playing their first game since April 5 because of a positive Calgarytest, scored four times in a span of 3:11 in the first period and went to a 6-3 victory over the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . F Josh Prokop (7), F Cael Zimmerman (4) and two from F Adam Kydd gave Calgary a 4-0 lead before the game was 11 minutes old. . . . Kydd has six goals in 15 games; last season, he finished with six goals in 53 games. . . . The Hurricanes bounced back with three second-period goals. The first two came from D Alex Cotton (7) and F Dino Kambeitz (5) added a shorthanded score. . . . F Brandon Whynott (1) restored Calgary’s two-goal lead at 19:03 of the second period, and F Riley Stotts (4) got the empty-netter at 19:58 of the third. . . . Whynott, a second-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft, scored his first WHL goal in his 14th game. . . . The Hitmen (7-6-2) have points in three straight (2-0-1). . . . The Hurricanes (7-9-2) have lost two in a row. . . .

F Owen Pederson scored twice to lead the Winnipeg Ice to a 4-1 victory over the WinnipegSaskatoon Blades. . . . The Ice (16-5-1) has points in five straight (4-0-1). It moved into second in the Regina hub standings, two points ahead of Saskatoon and one behind the idle Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Saskatoon (14-5-3) has lost four in a row (0-3-1). . . . The Wheat Kings have three games remaining, with the Ice and Blades each having two more. . . . The Ice scored the game’s first four goals. . . . Pederson got it started at 6:05 of the first period. . . . D Mike Ladyman (2) added another at 11:00, with F Connor McLennon (14) making it 3-0 at 14:32 of the second. . . . Pederson, who has 13 goals, got his second at 5:40 of the third. . . . F Alex Morozoff (2) scored for Saskatoon at 12:49. . . . Pederson has 30 points in 22 games. . . . McLennon also had two assists. He now has 33 points, including 19 assists, in 22 games. . . . Winnipeg F Peyton Krebs had two assists to run his point streak to 21 games. He now shares the Ice’s franchise record for longest such streak with F Mike Comrie, who did it in 2000-01 with the Kootenay Ice (hey, remember when Cranbrook had a WHL team?). . . . F Karter Prosofsky had an assist for the Ice. Les Lazaruk, the veteran radio voice of the Blades, reports that Karter is the “son of Tyler, former Tacoma/Kelowna Rockets forward, also nephew to F Garrett Prosofsky,” who played with the Blades, Prince Albert Raiders and Portland Winterhawks. . . .

The Regina Pats scored two second-period goals 13 seconds apart and went on Patsto a 4-1 victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . F Cole Dubinsky gave the Pats (9-10-3) a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 8:02 of the first period. . . . They broke it open in the second when D Layton Feist (5) scored, on a PP, at 15:30, and F Drew Englot make it 3-0 at 15:43. . . . F Zack Smith (4) scored while shorthanded for a 4-0 lead at 3:15 of the third period. . . . The Warriors (8-12-2) got their goal from D Cory King (2) at 12:46 of the third. . . . Regina D Ryker Evans ran his point streak to 12 games with an assist. He has two goals and 14 assists over that stretch. . . . The Pats were designated as the visitors for this game in the Regina hub. They are 3-5-3 as the home team and 6-5-0 as the visitors. . . .

The Kamloops Blazers erased a 1-0 deficit with three third-period goals as they Kamloopsbeat the Victoria Royals, 3-2. . . . Kamloops (10-2-0) has won three straight. . . . Victoria (1-11-1) has lost eight in a row. . . . F Brayden Schuurman (4) gave the Royals a 1-0 lead at 12:50 of the second period. . . . F Matthew Seminoff (6) got the Blazers even 36 seconds into the third. . . . F Connor Zary (5), at 12:57, and F Fraser Minten (1), at 16:25, stretched the lead to 3-1. . . . Zary had served 16 minutes in penalties — three minors and a misconduct — earlier in the game. . . . F Brandon Cutler (5) got the Royals within a goal while on a PP at 18:20. . . . Minten’s first WHL goal came in his 10th game — he has six assists — and stood up as the winner. He was a fourth-round selection in the 2019 bantam draft. . . . G Dylan Ernst, in his second start of the season, stopped 14 for the Blazers. . . . At the other end, Adam Evanoff blocked 31. . . .

F Jake Poole had a goal and two assists to lead the host Kelowna Rockets to a 5-1 Rocketsvictory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . The Rockets now are 4-2-0. . . . The Cougars (4-7-2) have lost four in a row. . . . F Dillon Hamaliuk (2) gave the Rockets a 1-0 lead at 16:15 of the first period. . . . The Cougars tied it on F Jonny Hooker’s fifth goal, on a PP, at 15:49 of the second. . . . Kelowna D Tyson Feist (1) broke the tie at 18:55 and F Dylan Wightman (3) upped the lead to 3-1 at 19:38. . . . Kelowna F Alex Swetlikoff (3) added a PP goal at 1:34 of the third period, and Poole concluded the scoring with his first goal at 17:27. . . . Poole, a sixth-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft, went into the game with three points, all assists, in his first five WHL games. . . .

G Dustin Wolf came within 1:58 of his 25th career shutout as the visiting Everett EverettSilvertips beat the Spokane Chiefs, 6-1. . . . Wolf, who recorded a 5-0 shutout over host Spokane on Thursday night, was beaten by F Cordel Larson at 18:02 of the third period. . . . Wolf earned his 100th career regular-season victory in his 142nd game. He is 1.83, .936 in those appearances. . . . D Zach Ashton, who went into the game with one goal in 89 career games, scored twice for Everett. . . . Ashton’s other goal came on Jan. 8, 2019, while he was with the Saskatoon Blades. . . . F Cole Fonstad (11) got Everett’s first goal, at 9:48 of the first period. . . . Everett also got goals from F Ryan Hofer (5), F Hunter Campbell (8) and F Austin Roest (2). . . . Roest, who also had an assist and was named the game’s first star, is the son of Stacy Roest, a former WHLer (Medicine Hat, 1990-95) who now is in his ninth season with the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, now as assistant general manager and director of player development. . . . Wolf finished with 21 saves. . . . The Silvertips (13-3-0) have won four in a row. They lead the U.S. Division by 11 points over the idle Portland Winterhawks (6-5-3). . . . Spokane now is 4-7-3.


——

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

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

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

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


JUST NOTES: The SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers have signed Mat Hehr, their general manager and head coach, to a contract extension that covers the next two seasons with an option for a third season. Hehr, 32, has been with the Terriers since 2016 when he signed on as an assistant coach. He stepped in as GM and head coach during the 2017-18 season.


Irony

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