When is .500 not a winning record? . . . Winterhawks ink two forwards . . . Fix-Wolansky leads charging Oil Kings


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The WHL standings include categories for points and winning percentage.

According to the latter, there are 15 teams in the 22-team league that have a record of whl.500 or better. That, of course, would seem to indicate that there are 15 teams that have won more games than they have lost.

That is because we are stuck in the quagmire brought on by the doling out of loser points. To date, WHL teams have banked 42 of those, with the Brandon Wheat Kings having six of them. Yes, they have lost three times in OT and three times in shootouts. The Wheat Kings’ record is 9-4-6, which, put another way, means they have lost one more game than they have won.

If you’re wondering how many of the 22 teams have won more games than they have lost, well, the answer would be nine. Yes, nine!

In the 10-team Western Conference, the Vancouver Giants, Everett Silvertips, Portland Winterhawks, Tri-City Americans and Victoria Royals have more victories than losses. In the 12-team Eastern Conference, only the Prince Albert Raiders, Red Deer Rebels, Edmonton Oil Kings and Saskatoon Blades fall in that category.

Such is life in the era of the loser point.


The Portland Winterhawks have signed F Jack O’Brien and F James Stefan, both of whom Portlandare playing in the U-15 Little Caesars midget program. Their Tier I team is ranked second in the U.S. . . . O’Brien, a 15-year-old from Denver, has six goals and 14 assists in 20 games. . . . In 25 games, Stefan, who is from Laguna, Calif., has 15 goals and 13 assists. Stefan, 15 is the son of Patrik Stefan, whose playing career included 455 NHL games — 414 with the Atlanta Thrashers and 41 with the Dallas Stars. Patrik now is the head coach of the Little Caesars midget team. . . . The then-Edmonton Ice selected Patrik in the 1997 CHL import draft but he never played in the WHL.


The Kootenay Ice has returned D Anson McMaster to the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers. KootenaynewMcMaster, 16, is pointless in three games with the Ice this season. He was a second-round pick by the Ice in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. . . . D Ben Zloty, 16, has gone back to the midget AAA Calgary Royals, while F Owen Pederson, 16, was returned to the prep team at OHA Edmonton. Pederson, a fifth-round selection in the 2017 bantam draft, is pointless in six games; Zloty, a sixth-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft, is pointless in three. . . . The Ice already has had 32 players dress for at least one game. . . . At 6-12-3, the Ice is three points out of the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, but has played five more games than the Moose Jaw Warriors (7-5-4), who are in possession of that berth, at least for now.


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The AJHL’s Lloydminster Bobcats have hired Nigel Dube, 30, as their general manager and head coach. He replaces Travis Clayton, who was fired on Friday while in his third season with the team. . . . Dube, who is from Lampman, Sask., was in his second season as the associate coach with the AJHL’s Camrose Kodiaks. Earlier, he spent four seasons as an assistant coach with the NAHL’s Minot, N.D., Minotauros. . . . The Bobcats are 5-15-1 and in last place in the eight-team Viterra North Division.


There was a neat story out of an OHL game between the Guelph Storm and ohlhost Windsor Spitfires on Saturday night. . . . Windsor won the game, 2-1, in a shootout and when it was over three goaltenders — two from the Storm — were introduced as the three stars. . . . Windsor’s Michael DiPietro was the first star, after stopping 31 shots. . . . Guelph starter Anthony Popovich blocked 28 shots and was selected as second star. . . . Nico Daws, Guelph’s backup on this night, was named the third star, despite not being credited with any playing time. . . . Daws came off the bench at 2:58 of OT and stopped Windsor F Cody Morgan on a penalty shot. On the play that led to the penalty shot, Morgan was hauled down from behind and fell into Popovich, who ended up with a broken skate blade. When the skate couldn’t be repaired quickly, referee Joe Celestin called for Daws to enter the game. . . . Daws stopped Morgan, and Popovich, a new blade in place, re-entered the game. . . . While Daws was announced as third star after the game, it appears to have been changed later because the OHL website now shows the third star as Windsor F Daniel D’Amico. He scored the winner in the eighth round of the shootout. . . . Tony Saxon of guelphtoday.com has the story right here.


MONDAY NIGHT HIGHLIGHTS:

F Trey Fix-Wolansky had a goal and two assists in leading the Edmonton Oil Kings to a 6-4 EdmontonOilKingsvictory over the Hurricanes in Lethbridge. . . . Edmonton (13-7-2) has points in nine straight games (8-0-1). The Oil Kings lead the Central Division by one point over the Red Deer Rebels (13-5-1), who hold three games in hand. . . . Lethbridge (8-6-4) was 1-0-1 in its previous two outings. . . . The same teams will be back at it Friday, again in Lethbridge. . . . Fix-Wolansky now leads the WHL in assists (32) and points (45). He has points in 10 straight games, with seven goals and 20 assists in that run. . . . Fix-Wolansky (13) broke a 2-2 tie at 7:19 of the second period, while shorthanded, and D Conner McDonald (6) made it 4-2, on a PP, at 19:42. . . . The Hurricanes got to within a goal just 53 seconds into the third period when F Zachary Cox scored, but F Vince Loschiavo (10) got that one back for Edmonton at 9:39. . . . Cox (6) made it a one-goal game again, at 11:16, but the Oil Kings got insurance from F Jalen Luypen (2) at 18:30. . . . F Brett Kemp scored his 15th goal and added two assists for the winners, with F Quinn Benjafield earning three assists. . . . Lethbridge F Jadon Joseph had his point streak snapped at 11 games. He had nine goals and six assists in that time.


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‘Tips looking at bizarre schedule . . . Ex-Raiders forward Edmonton’s top cop . . . OHL’s Firebirds get first victory


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D Nolan Yonkman (Kelowna, Brandon, 1996-2001) has signed a contract through Jan. 20 with JYP Jyväskylä (Finland, Liiga). Last season, with JYP, he had two goals and an assist in 52 games. . . .

D Austin Madaisky (Calgary, Kamloops, 2008-12) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Kölner Haie Cologne (Germany, DEL) after a successful tryout in which he had one goal and two assists in 16 games. . . .

F Geordie Wudrick (Swift Current, Kelowna, 2005-11) has been released by Harzer Falken Braunlage (Germany, Oberliga) after an unsuccessful tryout in which he scored once in seven games.


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The Everett Silvertips and Kamloops Blazers will play a doubleheader this weekend.

They will meet in Kamloops on Friday, 7 p.m, and they’ll do it all over again in the EverettSandman Centre on Sunday, 5 p.m.

Nothing unusual about that. The WHL schedule often has teams play two games in a row in the same arena, although it mostly happens on back-to-back nights in places like Prince George and Victoria.

But what if I told you that the WHL has the Silvertips playing a Saturday night game, too? What if I told you that game is scheduled for Kent, Wash., against their arch-rival, the Seattle Thunderbirds?

Would you believe me? Well . . . you should.

The Silvertips will ride the bus to Kamloops today. They will challenge the Blazers on Friday night, then get back on the bus and head for home, then play the Thunderbirds in Kent on Saturday night. After that, it will be back on the bus and back to Kamloops for the Sunday game.

As one interested observer asked Taking Note on Wednesday: “Who signed off on this?”

And you thought the WHL’s wild weekends would go away when the WHL cut back from 72 to 68 games.

But wait . . .

This is just the start of a horrendous bit of scheduling for the Silvertips, who also will play three games in fewer than 48 hours the following weekend, too.

In fact, by the time they get through with playing the visiting Spokane Chiefs on Nov. 18, they will have played seven games in 10 nights. Throw in a visit by the Calgary Hitmen on Nov. 20 and it’s eight games in 12 nights.

When that part of the schedule is over, the Silvertips will have played 11.8 per cent of their schedule in only 12 days.

Maybe the players could be given a bonus when it’s over, like, say, a pay raise to the minimum wage, at least for the 12 days.

——

BTW, the Silvertips have another bizarre stretch of schedule to deal with in February. . . . They are to play the visiting Red Deer Rebels on Feb. 13, then travel to Kelowna for a game with the Rockets on Feb. 15. On Feb. 16, they have to be in Kent, Wash., for a game with the Seattle Thunderbirds. That’s a Saturday night. It’ll be on the bus right after that game because they’ll be playing the Cougars in Prince George on Monday, Feb. 18, at 2 p.m. . . . They’ll stay in Prince George for a game the next night, too, before returning home to play on Feb. 22 (Seattle) and Feb. 23 (Prince George). . . . At some point in time the Silvertips obviously did something to offend the WHL’s scheduling guru, whoever/whatever that is.



The Kootenay Ice has added D Ben Zloty, a 16-year-old from Calgary, to its roster. He was a sixth-round selection by the Ice in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. This season, he has three goals and 10 assists in 12 games with the midget AAA Calgary Royals.


Dale McFee, a former player with the Prince Albert Raiders, has been named Edmonton’s PrinceAlbertchief of police. He will begin his new duties early in the new year. . . . McFee, 53, is from St. Albert, Alta. He spent four seasons (1982-86) with the Raiders, totalling 270 points, including 118 goals, and 535 penalty minutes in 269 games. . . . McFee also did a stint as the police chief in Prince Albert and has been the president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. He has been Saskatchewan’s deputy minister of justice for six years. . . . McFee was an assistant coach with the Raiders in 1993-94, and served as team president for nine years (2008-17). He remains a member of their board of directors.



The OHL’s Flint Firebirds won their first game of the season on Wednesday afternoon, beating the visiting Sarnia Sting, 7-4, in front of an announced crowd of 3,534 in what was billed as a ‘School Day Game.’ . . . F Jake Durham had three goals for the Firebirds, who now are 1-16-1, having scored 45 goals and allowed 108.



If you stop off here and enjoy what you see — or even if you don’t — feel free to click on the DONATE button over there on the right and make a contribution. Thanks in advance.


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