THE BEDARD REPORT: It was only a few short days ago that I was wondering if fatigue was catching up to F Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats. After all, he had had a four-game stretch during which he had only two points, both goals. . . . Since then? Well, he had another five-point outing — three goals and two assists — on Saturday night as the Pats beat the Warriors, 7-3, in Moose Jaw. One night earlier, in Regina, Bedard also had three goals and two assists, but the Warriors won that one, 9-5. . . . Prior to the back-to-back five-pointers, he had a four-point outing, so he now has 14 points in a three-game stretch. . . . He also now has nine hat tricks this season — seven three-goal games and two four-goal outings. Of the WHL’s 21 other teams, only the Saskatoon Blades have as many hat tricks. . . . Bedard leads the WHL in goals (69) and points (139). He and F Riley Heidt of the Prince George Cougars are tied for the lead in assists, with 70. . . . The last WHLer to score 70 goals in a season was F Jayden Halbgewachs of the Moose Jaw Warriors in 2017-18. . . . Up next? The Pats are in Saskatoon to play the Blades today and somewhere around 15,000 are expected to show up for that one. Yes, that will a single-game attendance record for Saskatoon.
The NHL’s Dallas Stars have signed F Chase Wheatcroft of the Prince George Cougars to a three-year entry-level contract. Wheatcroft, 20, was an NHL free agent. . . . Wheatcroft, from Calgary, is second in the WHL scoring race, his 105 points trailing only F Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats, who has 139. Wheatcroft has 47 goals and 58 assists. . . . He went into this season with 82 points, 31 of them goals, in 137 games split between the Lethbridge Hurricanes (104) and Winnipeg Ice (33). . . .
The Edmonton Oilers have signed F Jake Chiasson of the Saskatoon Blades to a three-year entry-level contract. The Oilers selected Chiasson in the fourth round of the NHL’s 2021 draft. . . . Chiasson, an 18-year-old from Abbotsford, B.C., was picked by the Brandon Wheat Kings in the first round, 15th overall, of the WHL’s 2018 draft. . . . The Wheat Kings dealt him to Saskatoon in January. He has 10 goals and 18 assists in 30 games with the Blades this season, after putting up 10 goals and 18 assists in 37 games with Brandon. In 170 career regular-season games, he has 40 goals and 67 assists.
If the WHL playoffs started today:
Winnipeg (1) vs. Calgary (8)
Red Deer (2) vs. Medicine Hat (7)
Saskatoon (3) vs. Regina (6)
Moose Jaw (4) vs. Lethbridge (5)
Seattle (1) vs. Kelowna (8)
Kamloops (2) vs. Vancouver (7)
Portland (3) vs. Everett (6)
Prince George (4) vs. Tri-City (5)
SATURDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:
F Matt Savoie drew three assists to lead the host Winnipeg Ice to a 4-1 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . G Daniel Hauser recorded the victory with 19 saves. This season, he 36-4-1, 2.31, .915. In 89 career appearances, he is 77-7-3, 2.24, .913. . . . Winnipeg (54-9-1) has won six straight and leads the overall standings by two points over Seattle. Each team has four games remaining. . . . Prince Albert (27-35-3) was eliminated from the playoff chase after Saturday’s games. . . .
The Lethbridge Hurricanes scored the game’s last four goals as they beat the Oil Kings, 6-1, in Edmonton. . . . F Tyson Laventure had a goal (22) and an assist. . . . Lethbridge (35-24-6) is fifth in the Eastern Conference and headed to a first-round clash with Moose Jaw. . . . Edmonton (9-51-4) has lost four in a row (0-3-1). . . .
G Brayden Peters stopped 23 shots to help the Calgary Hitmen to a 2-0 victory over the Tigers in Medicine Hat. . . . Peters, a 20-year-old from Taber, Alta., has three shutouts this season and seven in his career. This season, he is 16-14-6, 2.88, .908, pretty good numbers for a Calgary team that had something of a roller-coaster season. . . . F Carter Yakemchuk (17) gave Calgary a 1-0 lead with a PP goal at 16:14 of the second period, and the Hitmen nursed that until F Sean Tschigerl (24) got the empty-netter at 19:26 of the third. . . . Calgary (28-28-8) is eighth in the Eastern Conference, one point behind Medicine Hat and two ahead of Swift Current. . . . Medicine Hat (28-27-9) had won its previous two games. . . .
G Drew Sim stopped 45 shots as the Regina Pats beat the Warriors, 7-3, in Moose Jaw. . . . F Connor Bedard had three goals (69) and two assists, while F Braxton Whitehead added a goal (10) and two assists. . . . Attendance was announced at 4,965, the largest crowd in Moose Jaw this season, well above the 4,011 fans who watched the Pats win 6-3 there on opening night. According to its website, the Moose Jaw Events Centre seats 4,465 for hockey. . . . Regina (33-28-4) clinched a playoff spot with the victory. It is sixth in the Eastern Conference and likely to face Saskatoon in the opening round. . . . Moose Jaw (39-23-3) had won its previous four games and will finish fourth in the conference. . . .
G Reid Dyck turned aside 31 shots as his Swift Current Broncos came out of Red Deer with a 3-1 victory over the Rebels. . . . F Josh Filmon scored his 45th goal of the season for the Broncos. . . . The Broncos led 2-1 after the first period and it stayed that way until F Mat Ward (25) scored into an empty net at 19:18 of the third. . . . Red Deer lost F Frantisek Formanek to a cross-checking major and game misconduct at 15:33 of the first period. . . . Swift Current (29-32-4) snapped a six-game losing skid (0-5-1). It is ninth in the Eastern Conference, two points from a playoff spot with three games remaining. . . Red Deer (42-18-6) had points in each of its previous six games (4-0-2). It will be the No. 2 seed in the conference and is awaiting an opponent. . . .
F Justin Lies broke a 2-2 tie at 16:04 of the second period as the Saskatoon Blades beat the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings, 3-2. . . . Lies has eight goals. . . . F Jake Chiasson, whom the Blades acquired from Brandon in January, had two assists on the day he signed a three-year entry-level contract with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers. . . . Saskatoon (46-14-5) has won two straight and will be Eastern Conference’s third seed when the playoffs open. . . . Brandon (26-32-8) has lost four in a row and is four points from the conference’s last playoff spot with only two games remaining. . . .
D Aidan Sutter had a goal and two assists to help the host Everett Silvertips to a 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . He’s got six goals. . . . The Silvertips scored the first two and the last two goals. . . . Sutter’s PP marker, at 18:20 of the first period proved to be the winner. . . . Everett (32-30-3) is sixth in the Western Conference, three points behind Tri-City. . . . Vancouver (26-30-8) had won its previous two games. It is seventh in the conference, four points ahead of Kelowna but with two games in hand. . . .
F Kyle Crnkovic broke a 2-2 tie with two late third-period goals as the Seattle Thunderbirds beat the Winterhawks, 4-2, in Portland. . . . Crnkovic scored his 29th goal of the season at 16:46, then added No. 30 into an empty net at 18:31. . . . It was Seattle’s club-record 24th road victory of the season, breaking a record that was set last season. . . . Seattle (52-9-3) has points in 18 straight games (17-0-1), but trails Winnipeg by two points atop the overall standings. . . . Portland (39-19-7) has lost two in a row. It will be the Western Conference’s No. 3 seed when the playoffs begin. . . .
F Logan Stankoven’s goal at 2:19 of OT gave the Kamloops Blazers a 5-4 victory over the Rockets in Kelowna. . . . Stankoven, playing in his second game since returning from an undisclosed injury, also had an assist. He’s got 33 goals. . . . F Ryan Hofer of the Blazers forced OT with his 40th goal, at 15:55 of the third period. . . . Kamloops D Olen Zellweger scored his 29th goal of the season, tops among WHL defencemen. . . . Kamloops got two goals and an assist from F Connor Levis, who now has 26 goals. . . . F Carson Golder had a goal (30) and two assists for the Rockets, as did F Dylan Wightman (15). They also got two goals from F Andrew Cristall (38). . . . Kamloops (47-11-6) has won nine in a row and 20 of 21, but is seven points behind Seattle atop the Western Conference standings. Each team has four games remaining. . . . Kelowna (26-36-4) has lost three in a row (0-2-1). It is eighth in the conference and appears headed to a first-round meeting with Seattle. . . .
F Brayden Schuurman scored in the second-round of a shootout to give the Victoria Royals a 7-6 victory over the Cougars in Prince George. . . . The Royals had tied the game with two PP goals in the final minute of the third period. F Teague Patton (14) scored at 19:15 and Schuurman got his second of the game and 15th of the season at 19:54. . . . F Koehn Ziemmer reached the 40-goal plateau with a pair for the Cougars. . . . Victoria (16-43-7) has lost its previous 12 games (0-11-1). . . . Prince George (35-24-7) has points in nine straight (6-0-3) and will finish fourth in the Western Conference. . . .
F Jordan Gavin and F Parker Bell each had two goals and an assist to help the Tri-City Americans to an 8-2 victory over the Spokane Chiefs in Kennewick, Wash. . . . Gavin, the second overall selection in the WHL’s 2021 draft, has 22 goals and 30 assists in 59 games. He won’t turn 17 until Nov. 13. . . . Bell, 18, has 24 goals and 39 assists in 53 games. Last season, in 64 games, he finished with 18 goals and 31 assists. . . . Tri-City (31-26-8) has points in four straight (3-0-1). It is fifth in the Western Conference, three points ahead of Everett with each team have three games remaining. . . . Spokane (14-42-9) has lost six in a row (0-4-2).
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