The 2023 Kamloops Kidney Walk is scheduled for June 4, and Dorothy is taking part once again. She will celebrate 10 years as a kidney-transplant recipient in September, so the annual Kidney Walk is a big deal for her. In fact, she is participating for a 10th straight year. Yes, that means she is fund-raising, with all donations going to the Kidney Foundation. . . . Things are rolling right along, too, as she surpassed $3,000 on Saturday. . . . If you are interested in helping, you are able to do so on her home page, which is right here.
WHL PLAYOFF NOTES:
The host Red Deer Rebels take a 3-2 lead into Game 6 of an Eastern Conference semifinal this afternoon (Sunday). The Blades, who have won the last two games, are hoping to force a Game 7 back in Saskatoon on Tuesday night.
“The Blades,” blogger Darren Steinke wrote after the Blades won, 6-3, on Friday night in Saskatoon, “are trying to become the third team in WHL history to overcome a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-seven series to win it 4-3.
“Dating back to the WHL’s start in 1966-67, only two teams have rallied to win a best-of-seven series having trailed the set 3-0. The Spokane Chiefs, who were guided by Mike Babcock as head coach, trailed the Portland Winterhawks 3-0 before rallying to take a first-round series 4-3 in 1996. The Kelowna Rockets fell behind the Seattle Thunderbirds 3-0 in 2013 before rallying to claim that first-round series 4-3.” . . .
The WHL office updated its discipline page sometime Saturday evening and the Rebels and Blades each will be without a player due to suspension in Game 6. . . . Red Deer F Frantisek Formanek was given a one-game suspension “under supplemental discipline” for something that happened in Game 5 on Friday night. . . . Saskatoon F Justin Lies had his suspension finalized at three games for the headshot on Red Deer F Kalan Lind in Game 4. That means Lies will miss the remainder of the series should it go seven games. . . . According to Troy Gillard, the Rebels’ radio voice, Formanek’s suspension is related to a boarding penalty he picked up at 7:21 of the first period in Game 5.
SATURDAY IN THE WHL PLAYOFFS:
Moose Jaw (4) at Winnipeg (1) — The Winnipeg Ice erased a 2-0 first-period deficit and went on to beat the Moose Jaw Warriors, 5-2. . . . The Ice holds a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal, with Game 6 in Moose Jaw on Monday night. . . . If they need a seventh game, it would be played in Winnipeg on Wednesday. . . . Last night, the Warriors jumped out to a 2-0 first-period leads on goals from F Jagger Firkus (9), at 13:35, and F Brayden Yager (6), at 15:03. . . . Winnipeg equalized in the second period on two goals from F Conor Geekie (3), at 2:27 and 11:32. . . . F Matt Savoie (9) broke the tie at 15:06 of the third period. . . . Geekie had a chance at the hat trick when he was awarded a penalty shot with his side ahead 3-2 and 4:21 left to play in the third period. But he wasn’t able to beat Moose Jaw G Connor Ungar. . . . Geekie did get a third goal, this one into an empty net, at 17:50. . . . F Zach Benson (2) added another empty-netter, at 19:01. . . . Each team was 0-for-1 on the PP. . . . The Ice got 26 saves from G Daniel Hauser, while Ungar turned aside 33 shots. . . . F Evan Friesen returned to Winnipeg’s lineup after serving a two-game suspension for a headshot on Moose Jaw D Matthew Gallant in Game 2. . . . Gallant hasn’t played since absorbing that hit.
You may recall that Adam Silver, the NBA commissioner, fined the Dallas Mavericks US$740,000 the other day because of an obvious tank job in the final game of their regular season. . . . Meanwhile, Jack Finarelli (aka The Sports Curmudgeon) points out that Yao Ming, the former NBA star who runs the Chinese Basketball Association, had to deal with something similar after a game that featured the Shanghai Sharks and Jiangsu Dragons. . . .
Finarelli writes: “There would be a benefit to both teams if the Dragons lost. In the second half of the game, the Dragons committed five consecutive turnovers in the final two minutes to assure a victory for the Sharks.” . . .
While this kind of thing is called “tanking” in the NBA (or the NHL, for that matter), Yao Ming referred to it as “game-fixing.”
According to Finarelli, Yao fined each team “the equivalent of $727,000, banned the Sharks’ general manager and coach for five years each; and banned the Dragons’ general manager and coach for three years each.
“Silver is never going to use the term ‘game-fixing’ lest the gambling interests that provide lots of funding for the league get very antsy,” Finarelli added. “People hate to lose money gambling, but they will hate it a whole lot more if they find out — or even suspect — that the game was ‘fixed,’ and they were not ‘in on the fix.’ But this is an issue that sports leagues must deal with when they dip their beak into the fountain of cash that can come from the myriad gambling sites out there today.”
The Battlefords North Stars beat the Bombers, 7-4, in Flin Flon on Saturday night to sweep the SJHL’s championship series. . . . The North Stars lost their first game of these playoffs, dropping a 3-2 decision to the visiting Weyburn Red Wings, then rolled to 12 straight victories. . . . The North Stars were the SJHL’s top regular-season club, finishing with a record of 48-5-3. . . .
F Riley Heidt of the Prince George Cougars has joined Team Canada at the IIHF U18 World Championship that is being played in Porrentruy and Basel, Switzerland. . . . Canada is 1-1 after losing 8-0 to Sweden on Thursday and beating Germany 7-0 on Friday. . . . Canada is to play Slovakia today (4 a.m. PT) and Czechia on Tuesday. . . . Heidt, who turned 18 on March 25, is from Saskatoon. He finished tied for fourth in the WHL’s regular-season points derby, with 97 points, including 72 assists.
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
Toll free: 1-877-922-9822
Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney
Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre
Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9
604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182
Or, for more information, visit right here.