Broncos win first WHL title since ’93 . . . Take out Silvertips in six games . . . Skinner ties shutout record; Gawdin is MVP

MacBeth

D Dan Gibb (Prince George, 2009-13) signed a one-year contract with Gap (France, Ligue Magnus). This season, with the University of Calgary (Canada West), he had two goals and six assists in 19 gams. He was the team captain. . . .

F Alexander Chirva (Moose Jaw, Kootenay, 2013-15) signed a two-year contract extension with Bars Kazan (Russia, Vysshaya Liga). This season, he had two assists in eight games. . . .

F Vitali Karamnov (Everett, 2007-08) signed a one-year contract extension with Dynamo St. Petersburg (Russia, Vysshaya Liga). The team captain, he had seven goals and 21 assists in 38 games. . . .

F Chase Witala (Prince George, 2010-16) signed a one-year contract extension with Starbulls Rosenheim (Germany, Oberliga). He signed with Rosenheim on Jan. 22, and put up six goals and 11 assists in 12 games. . . . This season, prior to signing with Rosenheim, he had three goals and seven assists in 11 games with the Atlanta Gladiators (ECHL); was pointless in five games with the Norfolk Admirals (ECHL); and was pointless in two games with Zilina (Slovakia, Extraliga).


ThisThat

The Swift Current Broncos scored two first-period goals, the second one with 0.6 seconds remaining, en route to a 3-0 victory over the visiting Everett Silvertips on Sunday night. SCBroncosThe Broncos won the best-of-seven WHL final, for the Ed Chynoweth Cup, 4-2. . . . This was the third championship in Swift Current’s history. The Broncos won it all in 1989, then went on to win the Memorial Cup in Saskatoon, beating the Blades in the final 29 years ago. In 1993, they won their second WHL title, but didn’t fare as well at the Memorial Cup in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. This also was the first time since 1993 that a Saskatchewan-based team has won the WHL championship. . . . This was Everett’s second trip to the WHL final. It first got that far in 2004, which was its first season — yes, it’s first season — in the WHL. That time, it was swept by the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Last night, F Giorgio Estephan (13) gave the Broncos a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 6:41 of the first period. . . . F Aleksi Heponiemi, who drew the primary assist on Estephan’s goal, made it 2-0 with his fifth goal at 19:59. . . . F Beck Malenstyn added the empty-netter with 6.4 seconds remaining in the third period. . . . G Stuart Skinner stopped 31 shots as he recorded his sixth shutout of these playoffs and his second in the last three games of the final. He now shares the WHL record for shutouts in one playoff with Dustin Slade (Vancouver, 2006). . . . Everett got 22 stops from G Carter Hart. . . . Broncos F Glenn Gawdin, the team captain, was named the playoff MVP. He finished with 32 points, including 14 goals. . . . F Brad Morrison of the Lethbridge Hurricanes led all playoff scorers with 37 points. F Morgan Geekie of the Tri-City Americans was No. 1 in goals (17) and Heponiemi was tops in assists (25). . . . Swift Current was 1-5 on the PP; Everett was 0-2. . . . The referees were Chris Crich and Reagan Vetter. . . . The attendance was 2,890.


Two of the men who coached in the WHL final may be on the move shortly.

There is speculation in NHL circles that the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks all have at least some interest in Manny Viveiros, the Broncos’ director of player personnel and head coach. All three NHL teams are, or will be, looking to fill assistant coach vacancies.

Viveiros is the WHL’s reigning coach of the year. His situation is certain to be a big story during the Memorial Cup in Regina.

Meanwhile, sources indicate that Mitch Love, who has been on Everett’s coaching staff since 2011-12, has been interviewed by the Saskatoon Blades, who are looking to replace Dean Brockman, who was fired when their season ended.

The Blades also have shown interest in Serge Lajoie, who spent the past three seasons as head coach of the U of Alberta Golden Bears. This season, Lajoie guided the Golden Bears to the Canadian university championship.

Lajoie is looking now because Ian Herbers has returned to the U of A after being dropped by the Oilers. Herbers had been on sabbatical while with the Oilers.

Lajoie’s son, Marc, a defenceman, was selected by the Tri-City Americans with the 14th overall selection of the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft.


The four teams are set for the 100th running of the Memorial Cup tournament that opens Friday in Regina. Interestingly, none of the four teams won its league’s regular-season title.

The Regina Pats, of course, are the host team. They finished seventh in the WHL’s overall standings. The Moose Jaw Warriors were first overall, then lost out to the Swift Current Broncos in the second round. The Broncos, who were second overall, six points behind the Warriors, won the WHL title at home on Sunday night.

In the OHL, the Hamilton Bulldogs, who were second overall, beat out the No. 1 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds on Sunday, winning Game 6, 5-4, on Sunday. In the 68-game regular season, the Greyhounds finished 13 points ahead of the Bulldogs.

In the QMJHL, the Acadie-Bathurst Titan beat the visiting Blainville-Boisbriand Aramada, 2-1, in Game 6 on Sunday night. In the regular season, the Armada finished first overall, with 107 points, 11 more than the second-place Titan.

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The Memorial Cup schedule (all times local):

Game 1, Friday – Hamilton vs. Regina, 8 p.m.

Game 2, Saturday – Swift Current vs. Acadie-Bathurst, 2 p.m.

Game 3, Sunday – Regina vs. Acadie-Bathurst, 5 p.m.

Game 4, Monday, May 21 – Swift Current vs. Hamilton, 6 p.m.

Game 5, Tuesday, May 22 – Acadie-Bathurst vs. Hamilton, 8 p.m.

Game 6, Wednesday, May 23 – Regina vs. Swift Current, 8 p.m.

Tiebreaker (if necessary) – Thursday, May 24, 6 p.m.

Semifinal – Friday, May 25, 8 p.m.

Final — Sunday, May 27, 5 p.m.


The legendary Clare Drake, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November, died on Sunday morning. He was 89. Drake was a long-time coach of the U of Alberta Golden Bears, and his coaching tree is as large as anyone who has ever been involved in hockey. . . . Jim Matheson, the hall-of-fame hockey writer, has more right here.


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Scattershooting on a Sunday . . . Warriors, Broncos both win . . . Chiefs complete perfect weekend

Scattershooting

It’s obvious that the Everett Silvertips are in the Seattle Thunderbirds’ kitchen and they’re cooking up a tremendous dinner. If you haven’t seen the comments from Seattle head coach Matt O’Dette after the last couple of games, you need to hunt them up because this has turned into the WHL’s best rivarly.


The Thunderbirds and Silvertips are scheduled to meet again on Saturday in Everett and March 10 in Kent, Wash. After that, they may end up going head-to-head in the first round of the playoffs. Fans of both teams need to buckle up and enjoy the ride, because these rivalries tend to come and go, depending on the competitiveness of both sides.


In this instance, these teams are competitive with each other, never mind the fact that Everett is 22 points ahead in the standings. In the season series, Everett is 4-2-2; the Thunderbirds are 4-3-1.


The Kamloops Blazers and Kelowna Rockets made an attempt to revive their rivalry on Saturday night in the Little Apple. The Rockets blew a 3-0 lead, trailed 4-3, then came back to win 6-5 in a game that concluded with something of a brouhaha. But you can’t have a fierce rivalry when one team — in this case, Kelowna — is 6-0-0 in the season series.



No, I won’t be waking up at 5 a.m., just because there are NHL trade deadline shows on TV. . . . Yawn!


Remember when teams would get franchise-type players like D Erik Karlsson and keep them for the duration of their careers?


Those of us from a certain generation relived some memories this weekend when the New York Rangers reunited the GAG Line. You remember Jean Ratelle, Vic Hadfield and Rod Gilbert, don’t you? . . . If you don’t, and even if you do, Larry Brooks of the New York Post has more right here.


Yes, the Swift Current Broncos lost F Tanner Nagel to injury following a fight in a game on Sunday afternoon. Hey, what’s a kid with a brain injury now and then? By all means, let’s keep fighting in the game.


If you’re looking for an interesting read, you may want to try Court Justice: The Inside Story of My Battle Against the NCAA. . . . Written by former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon, along with lawyer Michael McCann, it really opens a window onto the NCAA and the way it has used inane rules to take advantage of student-athletes.


When you’re pondering who might win the WHL’s Ed Chynoweth Cup, don’t count out the Spokane Chiefs as long as their big three — D Ty Smith, F Jaret Anderson-Dolan and F Kailer Yamamoto — are healthy.


With the U.S. sixth in the medal count, behind Russia, during the Olympic Winter Games, Michael Rosenberg of SI.com pointed out that Russia “isn’t even officially here. I was pretty fired up about that. That’s like losing a bar bet to an empty stool.”


Did you see Fergie’s rendition of the U.S. national anthem at the NBA All-Star Game? After that one, Jim Barach of WCHS-TV in Charleston, W.Va., noted: “Even Rosanne was saying, ‘I’m finally off the hook!’ ”


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

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WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

SUNDAY:

At Saskatoon, F Brayden Burke had a goal and two assists to lead the Moose Jaw Warriors to a 4-2 victory over the Blades. . . . Moose Jaw (46-12-3) has won two in a row, and has set MooseJawWarriorsa franchise record for most victories in one season. The Warriors lead the overall standings, by two points over Swift Current. Moose Jaw has two games in hand. . . . Saskatoon (31-29-3) has lost two straight. It holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, two points ahead of Prince Albert, which has a game in hand. . . . F Ryan Peckford gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 1:52 of the opening period. . . . The Blades tied it at 6:55 when F Braylon Shmyr scored his 33rd goal. . . . Burke scored the next two goals, at 4:59 and 14:52 of the second period, to give the Warriors a 3-1 lead. He’s got 31 goals. . . . F Josh Paterson (27) pulled the home side to within a goal at 12:10. . . . F Jayden Halbgewachs got the empty-netter for Moose Jaw, his WHL-leading 59th goal of the season, at 19:04. . . . F Justin Almeida had two assists for Moose Jaw. . . . The Warriors were 0-3 on the PP; the Blades were 0-4. . . . G Adam Evanoff stopped 33 shots for the Warriors, one more than Saskatoon’s Nolan Maier. . . . D Dawson Davidson again was among Saskatoon’s scratches. . . . D Kale Clague was among Moose Jaw’s scratches. . . . Moose Jaw D Jett Woo completed a three-game suspension by missing this one. . . . The Warriors will go on to play in Lethbridge on Tuesday and Cranbrook, B.C., on Wednesday as they play four games in five nights. . . . Announced attendance: 3,662.


At Calgary, F Ty Lewis marked his return to Brandon’s lineup with two goals as the Wheat Kings doubled up on the Hitmen, 6-3. . . . Brandon (33-24-5) has won two in a row, BrandonWKregularboth on the road. It is fourth in the East Division, one point behind Regina. Brandon is in possession of the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, six points up on Saskatoon. . . . Calgary (19-34-7) had won its previous two games. . . . F Conner Chaulk (14) gave the home team a 1-0 lead at 4:14 of the first period. . . . The Wheat Kings took a 2-1 lead on second-period goals from F Cole Reinhardt (16), at 5:30, and D Schael Higson (4), on a PP, at 13:32. . . . F Jakob Stukel (30) tied it, on a PP, at 15:40. . . . Brandon went out front 3-2 at 19:00 as F Luka Burzan (11) scored. . . . Lewis, who hadn’t played since Feb. 19, upped the lead to 4-2 with a shorthanded goal at 9:14. . . . F Jake Kryski (14) pulled the Hitmen back to within a goal at 18:02. . . . The Wheat Kings then got two empty-netters, from Lewis (34) and F Ben McCartney (2). . . . F Stelio Mattheos had two assists for Brandon, with Burzan getting one. . . . Kryski and Chaulk each had an assist for Calgary. . . . Each team was 1-4 on the PP. . . . The Wheat Kings got a big game from G Logan Thompson, who stopped 45 shots as he celebrated his 21st birthday. . . . G Matthew Armitage, in his first start since Feb. 3, stopped 33 shots for Calgary. . . . The Wheat Kings played three games in fewer than 48 hours, going 2-1-0. . . . Announced attendance: 7,376.


At Edmonton, F Glenn Gawdin and F Beck Malenstyn each had four points, and G Stuart Skinner recorded the shutout, as the Swift Current Broncos dumped the Oil Kings, 8-0. . . . SCBroncosSwift Current (44-14-5) is second in the overall standings, two points behind Moose Jaw. . . . Edmonton (18-36-8) has lost four in a row (0-3-1). . . . Edmonton went 0-3-0 in playing three games in fewer than 48 hours. . . . Gawdin, who has 54 goals, scored on a first-period penalty shot, then added a second-period shorthanded goal. . . . Gawdin now has a WHL-leading 117 points, eight more than Moose Jaw F Brayden Burke. . . . Malenstyn scored his 12th goal and added three assists. . . . The Broncos, who led 2-0 and 5-0 by period, also got two goals from F Tyler Steenbergen (43) and singles from F Matteo Gennaro (38), D Sahvan Khaira (6) and D Connor Horning (3). . . . F Giorgio Estephan had two assists, with Khaira and Gennaro getting one each. . . . Swift Current was 1-7 on the PP; Calgary was 0-6. . . . Skinner, who is from Edmonton, stopped 20 shots in posting his sixth shutout this season and the 12th of his career. . . . G Josh Dechaine started for the Oil Kings and was beaten eight times on 38 shots in 52:42. Boston Bilous, who hadn’t played since Dec. 15 because of mononucleosis, finished up by stopping all three shots he faced in 7:18. . . . Swift Current F Tanner Nagel left the game at 4:04 of the second period after being injured in a fight with Edmonton F Colton Kehler. . . . Announced attendance: 8,431.


At Everett, the Spokane Chiefs erased a 1-0 deficit with five goals and went on to a 5-2 victory over the Silvertips. . . . Spokane (36-21-5) has won three in a row. It is third in the SpokaneChiefsU.S. Division, one point behind Portland. . . . Everett (41-18-5) had points in each of its previous 11 games (9-0-2). It leads the Western Conference, by five points over Kelowna. . . . The Silvertips completed a run of seven games in 10 days at 5-1-1. . . . The Chiefs were went 3-0-0 in playing three games in fewer than 48 hours, the first two at home. . . . Everett also played three games in fewer than 48 hours, going 2-1-0. . . . F Bryce Kindopp (19) gave the Silvertips a 1-0 lead at 16:26 of the first period. . . . F Riley Woods (21) tied it at 7:42 of the second period, and F Riley McKay (3) put the visitors ahead at 13:44. . . . F Kailer Yamamoto (19) upped the lead to 3-1 at 15:59. . . . D Filip Kral (6) added insurance at 1:34 of the third period, with D Matt Leduc (1) making it 5-1 at 15:34. . . . F Sean Richards (20) got Everett’s second goal, at 16:29. . . . D Ty Smith had two assists for Spokane. . . . Everett was 0-1 on the PP; Spokane was 0-2. . . . G Donovan Buskey stopped 29 shots for the Chiefs. . . . The Silvertips got 24 saves from G Dustin Wolf. . . . Announced attendance: 6,087.


MONDAY (all times local):

Kamloops vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7 p.m.


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