Two WHLers get NHL deals . . . Warriors add first-rounder to their roster . . . Gilhooly writes about James, abuse


MacBeth

F Tomáš Plíhal (Kootenay, 2001-03) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Heilbronner Falken (Germany, DEL2) after being released  by mutual agreement by Orli Znojmo (Czech Republic, Erste Bank Liga). He had three goals and 12 assists in 45 games, and was an alternate captain. . . . Znojmo has two games left in its playoff round and cannot advance. Heilbronn has two games left and is in the 10th and last playoff spot, three points ahead of 11th-place Weisswasser. If Znojmo doesn’t make the playoffs, Heilbronn will play in the ‘playdowns’ or relegation series. . . .

F Robin Soudek (Edmonton, Chilliwack/Victoria, 2008-12) has signed  a contract for the rest of the season with Eispiraten Crimmitschau (Germany, DEL2) after being released by mutual agreement from Épinal (France, Ligue Magnus). In 42 games, he had 17 goals and 17 assists. . . . Épinal has five games left in its playdown series and cannot be relegated. Crimmitschau has two games left, is in ninth place, and has either playoffs or playdowns remaining. . . .

D Alex Roach (Calgary, 2010-14) has been released by Grizzlys Wolfsburg (Germany, DEL). He had three assists in 25 games. He also had two assists in eight games while on loan to Eispiraten Crimmitschau (Germany, DEL2).


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

The Vancouver Canucks have signed F Kole Lind of the Kelowna Rockets to a three-year entry-level NHL contract. Lind, 19, has 85 points, including 35 goals, in 51 games this season, his third in Kelowna. . . . He scored the game’s first three goals on Wednesday night in Prince George, but his Rockets went on to lose, 7-6 in OT, to the Cougars. . . . During his career, he has 214 points, including 79 goals, in 197 regular-season games. . . . From Shaunavon, Sask., Lind was a second-round pick by the Canucks in the 2017 NHL draft.


F Brayden Burke of the Moose Jaw Warriors has signed a three-year entry-level contract with the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes. Burke was a free agent. This season, Burke, who turned 21 on Jan. 1, has 112 points, 81 of them assists, in 59 games. He is second in the WHL in assists and points. . . . Burke, who was never drafted by an NHL team, is from Edmonton. He has 337 points, 252 of them assists, in 236 regular-season WHL games. He also has played with the Red Deer Rebels and Lethbridge Hurricanes.


The Moose Jaw Warriors have added F Brayden Tracey to their roster for the remainder of the season. Tracey, 16, was a first-round selection in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. . . . From Calgary, he had 52 points, including 21 goals, in 30 games with the midget AAA Calgary Northstars this season, finishing third in the Alberta Midget Hockey League scoring race.


F Ryan Robinson, a 16-year-old from Plano, Texas, has committed to Arizona State for the 2020-21 season. Robinson has 19 goals and 23 assists in 36 games with the Dallas Stars U-16 team. . . . He was a seventh-round selection by the Everett Silvertips in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft.


Tyler Metcalfe was a terrific player through five WHL seasons, all of them with the Seattle Thunderbirds. These days, you are able to find Metcalfe coaching a high school team in Winnipeg — the Sturgeon Heights Huskies.

On Wednesday, the Huskies were involved in a game that ended prematurely when Metcalfe chose have it called.

“The game was getting out of control at that point, it seemed,” Metcalfe told CBC News. “It’s 5-0 and you don’t expect big hits to come when the game is essentially out of reach for us.

“I think it was the right call for all parties involved to call it quits at that point of the game. There’s nothing to gain other than to put more kids at risk.”

By that stage, one of Metcalfe’s players had left on a stretcher after behind hit from behind, and the St. Paul’s Crusaders also had a player who needed help getting back to the bench.

The full CBC story is right here.

The teams played the third game of the best-of three Tier 1 final on Thursday, with St. Paul’s winning, 2-1.


“More than 200 current and retired National Hockey League players have taken concerns about existing or potential brain injuries into their own hands by visiting a neurosurgeon in Kingston, Ont., for MRI brain scan procedures,” writes Rick Westhead of TSN. “Dr. Douglas James Cook says at least 120 former and some 80 active NHL players have undergone the scans over the past two years. He said that about 50 active players combined from the Ontario Hockey League and Western Hockey League have also been tested at Queen’s University over the same time frame.” . . . That complete story is right here.


In 2010, Graham James was charged with sexual abuse of Theo Fleury, Todd Holt and Greg Gilhooly. James pleaded guilty to the Fleury- and Holt-related charges; the charge involving Gilhooly was stayed. . . . Gilhooly now has written a book and the title says it all — I Am Nobody: Confronting the Sexually Abusive Coach Who Stole My Life. . . . I haven’t yet read Gilhooly’s book, but Ken Campbell of The Hockey News has, and his review is right here.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon/Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

THURSDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Prince Albert at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Calgary at Edmonton, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Seattle at Portland, 7 p.m.

Victoria at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Spokane vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.

Kelowna at Everett, 7:35 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

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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

——

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.


TWEET OF THE DAY

McIntyre, former WHLer, dies at 48 . . . Burke, Gawdin century men . . . Hart equals career shutout record . . . Big night for two Chiefs

SeoulAirport
Dan Courneyea of the Kamloops Blazers’ off-ice crew arrived at the airport in Seoul en route to the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. (Photo: Dan Courneyea)

DAN’S DIARY . . .

Dan Courneyea, who heads up the Kamloops Blazers’ off-ice crew of officials left Friday for PyeongChang and the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, where he’ll be working the hockey competitions.

He arrived in Seoul on Saturday — well, it was Sunday there — and then took a high-speed train to PyeongChang. En route, he sent along this note:

“Well . . . the time change is definitely something! It’s 17 hours, so it was Sunday when we got here. Temp is -7/c but windy and I mean cold. Feels like -20/c with a wind blowing in your face. Looks like everything is set up nicely and the Korean people are very friendly.”


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

Ken McIntyre, who was involved in a 10-player trade during the WHL’s 1986-87 season, has died.

McIntyre, 48, was found unresponsive at an intersection in Minot, N.D., on Wednesday afternoon. A passer-by spotted him, initiated CPR and called 9-1-1.

According to The Associated Press, police in Minot say “medical conditions” caused his death. The police released that information after an autopsy was completed on Friday.

According to AP, police responded to the call on Wednesday. “The man was taken to the hospital,” AP reported, “where he was pronounced dead a short time later.”

McIntyre, a native of Regina, had been living in Minot.

He was in his second season with the Pats when he was traded to the Seattle Thunderbirds. Joining McIntyre on the way west were F Brent Fedyk, F Garnet Kazuik, D Gerald Bzdel and F Kevin Kowalchuk. In return, the Pats acquired F Craig Endean, F Ray Savard, F Erin Ginnell, F Grant Chorney and the rights to F Frank Kovacs, who was 15 and playing bantam AA in his hometown of Regina.

After finishing that season with Seattle, McIntyre played with the Moose Jaw Warriors in 1987-88. In 167 regular-season games, he had  20 goals and 28 assists, along with 288 penalty minutes.

Someone who knew McIntyre told Taking Note that he was “a world traveller” who at one time was teaching English in Cambodia.

After being away from Regina for a number of years McIntyre returned to help care for his ill father until his death. While in Regina, McIntyre spent a lot of time with former teammate Brad Hornung at the Wascana Rehabilitation Centre and they renewed their friendship.

“He was a fun guy,” Terry Hornung, Brad’s mother, told Taking Note, “and everyone who knew him liked him. We will all miss him.”


If you like what you see here, please consider clicking on the DONATE button over there to the right and helping the cause.

If you have a tip or just want to chat, email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com. You are able to follow me on Twitter at @gdrinnan.

And don’t forget that the domain name here is greggdrinnan.com.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw

Regina at Medicine Hat

Brandon at Swift Current

Kootenay at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Victoria

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Kelowna


Scoreboard

SATURDAY:

At Edmonton, F Trey Fix-Wolansky scored a late goal to give the Oil Kings a 4-3 victory EdmontonOilKingsover the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Edmonton (15-32-7) had lost its previous three games. . . . Red Deer (17-26-13) had points in each of its previous nine games (7-0-2). It is fourth in the Central Division, four points behind Kootenay. . . . Interestingly, Fix-Wolansky had been ejected from the Oil Kings’ 7-2 loss in Red Deer on Friday night, thanks to a cross-checking major and game misconduct at 8:42 of the first period. Obviously, the WHL office didn’t feel it was a suspendible offence, so he played on Saturday. . . . Fix-Wolansky scored the winning goal with 7.6 seconds left in the third period, one second after an Edmonton PP had expired. He got his 23rd goal of the season by kicking the puck into the net from about five feet above the top of the Red Deer crease. The goal wouldn’t have counted last season, but the WHL changed the rule to allow pucks to be kicked in, as long as the kicker isn’t in the goal crease. . . . The Rebels had tied the game 3-3 at 18:21 when F Reese Johnson (18) scored while shorthanded. . . . Edmonton F Liam Keeler (3) opened the scoring at 3:45 of the second period with a shorthanded goal. . . . The other six goals all were scored in the third period. . . . Red Deer took a 2-1 lead on goals from F Austin Schellenberg (2), at 3:34, and F Brandon Cutler (2), at 3:57. . . . The Oil Kings went ahead 3-2 on goals from F David Kope (9), at 6:40, and F Colton Kehler (24), on a PP, at 8:52. . . . D Conner McDonald had two assists for Edmonton, with Kehler and Fix-Wolansky each getting one. . . . Johnson also had an assist for Red Deer. . . . Edmonton was 1-3 on the PP; Red Deer was 0-5. . . . The Oil Kings got 29 saves from G Josh Dechaine. . . . Red Deer G Ethan Anders stopped 18 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 11,317.


At Moose Jaw, the Warriors scored three times in the first period and went on to a 6-0 MooseJawWarriorsvictory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Moose Jaw (42-9-3) has won three in a row. It leads the overall standings by five points over Swift Current. . . . The Warriors have equalled their victory total from last season when they finished 42-21-9. The franchise record for victories in a season (45) is from 2011-12, when they went 45-19-8. . . . Kootenay (24-29-3) is third in the Central Division, five points behind Lethbridge. . . . G Brody Willms stopped 15 shots for his second shutout in as many nights. He blanked visiting Lethbridge 2-0 on Friday. Willms has four shutouts this season and five in his career. . . . F Brayden Burke opened the scoring at 7:47 of the first period as he became the first player in all of the CHL to reach 100 points. He later added a second goal, giving him 28, and an assist, pushing his total to 102 points. . . . D Dmitri Zaltsev (6) upped Moose Jaw’s lead to 2-0 at 18:30, and F Brett Howden made it 3-0 at 19:32. . . . Howden later added a second goal, giving him 20, and D Brandon Schuldaus (4) also scored. . . . The Warriors got two assists from each of D Kale Clague and Zaitsev, with Howden and Schuldhaus adding one each. . . . Moose Jaw was 1-4 on the PP; Kootenay was 0-2. . . . The Ice got 28 saves from G Matt Berlin. . . . Announced attendance: 3,309.


At Regina, the Pats broke a 1-1 tie with three straight goals as they skated to a 4-2 victory ReginaPats100over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Regina (29-23-5) is fourth in the East Division, two points behind Brandon. . . . Lethbridge (25-23-6) has lost two in a row. It is second in the Central Division, seven points behind Medicine Hat. . . . D Libor Hajek (11) gave Regina a 1-0 lead at 4:04 of the first period. . . . F Logan Barlage (4) tied it, on a PP, at 17:55. . . . Regina took control on goals from F Matt Bradley (32), at 2:23 of the second period, and F Sam Steel (21), on a PP, at 15:09. D Cale Fleury (10) made it 4-1, shorthanded, at 3:17 of the third period. . . . F Brad Morrison (18) got Lethbridge’s second goal, on a PP, at 19:46. . . . F Jake Leschyshyn had two assists for Regina, with Fleury, Steel and Hajek adding one each. . . . Lethbridge was 2-7 on the PP; Regina was 1-10. . . . G Max Paddock earned the victory with 33 saves. . . . Lethbridge G Logan Flodell, who is from Regina, stopped 30 shots on his 21st birthday. . . . The Pats scratched G Ryan Kubic, so brought in G Jacob Wasserman from the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos as the backup. . . . Regina also was without F Jared Legien, who was a recent healthy scratch for a couple of games. . . . Announced attendance: 6,484.


At Swift Current, the Broncos scored the game’s first four goals and went on to a 5-2 SCBroncosvictory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Swift Current (39-13-4) has won three in a row. It is second in the overall standings, five points behind Moose Jaw. . . . Brandon (30-20-5) is third in the East Division, two points ahead of Regina. . . . F Glenn Gawdin of the Broncos, playing in his 300th game, drew an assist on the game’s first goal, making him the second WHLer this season to get to 100 points. He followed Moose Jaw F Brayden Burke by about 20 minutes. . . . Gawdin later scored his club’s fourth goal, his 47th, while shorthanded. . . . F Tyler Steenbergen (38) opened the scoring at 19:09 of the first period. . . . F Matteo Gennaro upped it to 2-0, on a PP, at 15:34 of the second, and F Beck Malenstyn (8) made it 3-0 at 19:20. . . . Brandon made it interesting on third-period goals from F Jonny Hooker (3), at 5:39, and F Ty Lewis (29), shorthanded, at 11:47. . . . Gennaro concluded the scoring with his 35th goal, at 18:27. . . . F Aleksi Heponiemi had two assists for the Broncos. . . . Swift Current was 1-5 on the PP; Brandon was 0-4. . . . G Joel Hofer stopped 22 shots for the Broncos, three fewer than Brandon’s Logan Thompson. . . . Announced attendance: 2,890.


At Saskatoon, the Blades erased a 3-2 deficit with four third-period goals as they beat the SaskatoonPrince Albert Raiders, 6-3. . . . Saskatoon (27-26-3) holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, two points ahead of the Raiders (22-22-11). . . . Jeff D’Andrea of panow.com points out that the Raiders have lost 14 in a row in Saskatoon. . . . The Blades took a 1-0 lead at 7:44 of the first period when F Michael Farren (7) scored. . . . F Parker Kelly (25) tied it 36 seconds later. . . . F Josh Paterson (26) scored, on a PP, at 16:39 to give the Blades a 2-1 lead. . . . The visitors went ahead 3-2 on a pair of second-period goals from F Jordy Stallard (36), at 11:35 and 16:49, the latter via a PP. . . . The Blades owned the third period. . . . D Logan Christensen (2) tied it at 9:15 and F Bradly Goethals put Saskatoon in front at 10:32. . . . F Braylon Shmyr (27) added insurance at 15:37. . . . Goethals, who has 13 goals, got the empty-netter at 19:57. . . . Shmyr and F Eric Florchuk each had two assists for the winners, with Christensen getting one. . . . Saskatoon was 1-3 on the PP; Prince Albert was 1-5. . . . The Blades got 29 stops from G Nolan Maier. . . . G Ian Scott stopped 24 shots for the Raiders. . . . Prince Albert lost Kelly to a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct at 18:27 of the first period for a hit on Saskatoon F Kirby Dach, who left the game and didn’t return. . . . The Blades and their fans celebrated the 30th anniversary of the opening of their arena. . . . Announced attendance: 4,444.


At Everett, G Carter Hart tied the WHL’s career shutout record as the Silvertips beat the EverettVancouver Giants, 5-0. . . . Everett (35-17-4) has points in four straight (3-0-1). It leads the Western Conference by two points over Portland and Victoria. . . . Vancouver (29-18-8) is third in the B.C. Division, five points behind Kelowna. . . . Hart stopped 23 shots in putting up his seventh shutout of the season and the 26th of his career. He now shares the career record with Tyson Sexsmith (2004-09). . . . Hart has 26 shutouts in 178 regular-season appearances. Sexsmith did it in 179 appearances, the first one with Medicine Hat and the rest with Vancouver. . . . Hart also won for the 107th time with Everett, tying Leland Irving’s career franchise record. . . . F Ethan O’Rourke (6) opened the scoring, getting his first goal since coming over from Prince George last night, at 11:34 of the second period. . . . F Sean Richards (19) made it 2-0 at 14:12. . . . Everett got third-period goals from F Matt Fonteyne (31), D Ian Walker (1) and F Bryce Kindopp (16). . . . F Patrick Bajkov helped out with two assists, with O’Rourke, Richards and Fonteyne each getting one. . . . Vancouver was 0-4 on the PP; Everett was 0-5. . . . Vancouver G David Tendeck surrendered four goals on 42 shots in 45:38. Trent Miner finished up, stopping seven of eight shots in 14:22. . . . Everett D Kevin Davis played in his 331st regular-season game. F Shane Harper (2005-10) holds the franchise record, at 335. . . . Announced attendance: 5,982.


At Prince George, F Jermaine Loewen had two goals and two assists to lead the Kamloops Kamloops1Blazers to a 4-2 victory over the Cougars. . . . Kamloops (26-25-4) had beaten the host Cougars, 3-2, on Friday night, winning on Loewen’s goal at 19:20 of the third period. The Blazers are six points out of a playoff spot. . . . Prince George (19-29-8) has lost three in a row and now trails Kamloops by 10 points. . . . Loewen, who has 28 goals, opened the scoring at 7:17 of the first period. . . . The Cougars took a 2-1 lead on second-period goals from F Jackson Leppard (12), on a PP, at 12:34, and F Kjell Kjemhus (2), at 16:13. . . . Kamloops tied it when F Travis Walton (3) scored at 6:59 of the third period. . . . F Orrin Centazzo (9) broke the tie at 16:47, and Loewen adding insurance at 18:48. . . . F Connor Zary had two assists for the Blazers. . . . Loewen’s career highs going into this season were six goals and 11 assists from last season. This season, he has 47 points, 28 of them goals, in 49 games. . . . Prince George was 1-3 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-1. . . . G Dylan Ferguson stopped 30 shots for Kamloops, one more than Prince George’s Isaiah DiLaura. . . . Kamloops D Joe Gatenby played in his 300th regular-season game. . . . The Blazers dressed 17 skaters, one under the maximum, because F/D Tylor Ludwar was serving a one-game suspension after he took a kneeing major and misconduct on Friday, and F Luc Smith and D Luke Zazula are nursing injuries. . . . Announced attendance: 2,645.


At Kent, Wash., the Portland Winterhawks broke open a scoreless game with three Portlandsecond-period goals and went on to a 4-1 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Portland (34-18-4) has won four in a row. It is second in the U.S. Division, two points behind Everett. . . . Seattle (27-19-9) had points in each of its previous three games (1-0-2). It is tied with Tri-City for the Western Conference’s two wild-card spots. . . . The teams will turn around and play in Portland on Sunday, the third game in fewer than 48 hours for both clubs. . . . F Cody Glass (27) got Portland started, on a PP, just seven seconds into the second period. . . . D Keoni Texeira (8) made it 2-0 at 8:37, and F Ryan Hughes (10) upped it to 3-0 at 13:11. . . . Seattle got its goal from F Graeme Bryks (1) at 4:40 of the third period. . . . Bryks, who turned 17 on Jan. 22, is from Edmonton. He was an eighth-round pick in the 2016 WHL bantam draft. He was playing in his third WHL game, but his first since Oct. 7. Bryks is up from the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints. . . . F Skyler McKenzie (41) got the empty-netter for Portland at 18:43. . . . Hughes and Texeira each had an assist for Portland. . . . Portland was 1-4 on the PP; Seattle was 0-3. . . . The Winterhawks got 28 saves from G Cole Kehler, while Seattle’s Liam Hughes made 24 saves. . . . Announced attendance: 6,058.


At Kennewick, Wash., F Jaret Anderson-Dolan and F Kailer Yamamoto had five points SpokaneChiefsapiece as the Spokane Chiefs beat the Tri-City Americans, 6-3. . . . Spokane (30-19-5) has points in 10 straight (8-0-2). It is third in the U.S. Division, seven points behind Portland. . . . Tri-City (27-19-8) has lost four in a row (0-3-1). It is tied with Seattle, three points behind Spokane. . . . Anderson-Dolan finished with three goals and two assists, with Yamamoto scoring once and adding four helpers. F Ethan McIndoe, the third member of that line, had a goal and two assists. . . . Anderson-Dolan, who has 32 goals, gave his guys the lead at 6:01 of the first period. . . . The Americans took a 2-1 lead before the period ended, thanks to goals from F Michael Rasmussen (20), on a PP, at 15:19, and F Morgan Geekie (21), at 18:12. . . . Spokane got the next three goals, the first two via the PP. . . . D Ty Smith (9) tied the score at 7:29 of the second period, and McIndoe (17) gave the Chiefs the lead just 24 seconds later. . . . Anderson-Dolan made it 4-2 at 8:48 of the third period. . . . Tri-City D Juuso Valimaki (6) got his mates to within a goal, at 9:34. . . . Yamamoto (12) got that one back at 12:46, and Anderson-Dolan completed the hat trick with an empty-netter, at 19:15. . . . Smith added two assists to his goal. . . . Geekie had an assist for Tri-City. . . . In 12 games since returning to the Chiefs from the WJC, Yamamoto has 30 points, including 20 assists. . . . Spokane was 2-5 on the PP; Tri-City was 1-5. . . . G Dawson Weatherill stopped 25 shots for Spokane. . . . G Beck Warm blocked 14 shots for Tri-City. . . . Announced attendance: 5,011.


At Victoria, F Tanner Kaspick scored at 2:22 of OT to give the Royals a 4-3 victory over the VictoriaRoyalsKelowna Rockets. . . . Victoria (34-19-4) had beaten the visiting Rockets 6-1 on Friday. It now leads the B.C. Division by one point over Kelowna. . . . Kelowna (33-17-5) is five points ahead of Vancouver. . . . These same two teams will play again Monday afternoon, this time in Kelowna. . . . Last night, the Royals got two goals from each of Kaspick and F Noah Gregor, both of them mid-season additions by GM Cam Hope. . . . Gregor gave the home team a 1-0 lead at 3:52 of the first period. . . . Kelowna went ahead 2-1 on goals from F Kole Lind, at 8:36, and D Cal Foote (14), at 13:18. . . . Kaspick tied it at 17:44 of the second period. . . . F Conner Bruggen-Cate (16) put Kelowna back out front at 8:22 of the third period. . . . Gregor tied it with his 20th goal, on a PP, at 10:19. . . . Kaspick won it with his 20th goal, on a PP, in OT. . . . Kaspick has scored eight goals in 11 games with the Royals, and he has five game-winners. . . . Royals F Matthew Phillips drew one assist, giving him 91 points this season. That ties the Victoria franchise record for points in a single-season (F Alex Forsberg, 2015-16). F Mark Santorelli holds the Chilliwack/Victoria franchise record (101 points, 2007-08). . . . F Dante Hannoun had two assists for the Royals, with Gregor and Kaspick adding one each. . . . Foote had an assist for Kelowna. . . . Kelowna was 1-1 on the PP; Victoria was 2-6. . . . G Griffen Outhouse earned the victory with 33 saves. . . . G James Porter Jr. stopped 34 shots for Kelowna. . . . Announced attendance: 5,874.


SUNDAY (all times local):

Medicine Hat at Calgary, 2 p.m.

Swift Current at Prince Albert, 4 p.m.

Regina at Saskatoon, 4:05 p.m.

Seattle at Portland, 5 p.m.

Everett at Spokane, 5:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

Hay ties WHL career coaching record . . . Americans’ Rasmussen set to return . . . Silvertips run win streak to eight

MacBeth

D Jakub Čutta (Swift Current, 1998-2001) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Litvínov (Czech Republic, Extraliga). Čutta last played in 2015-16 with Västerås (Sweden, Allsvenskan), when he had three assists in 31 games. . . .

F Michal Řepík (Vancouver, 2005-08) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Sparta Prague (Czech Republic, Extraliga) after his release by mutual agreement by Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia, KHL). He had 12 goals and 11 assists in 51 games. Slovan has two regular-season games left, but can’t make the playoffs.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

The Tri-City Americans may have F Michael Rasmussen in their lineup tonight (Saturday) when they meet the visiting Spokane Chiefs.

Rasmussen, who had wrist surgery before Christmas, last played on Dec. 16. The 6-foot-6, TriCity30220-pound Rasmussen has 31 points, including 16 goals, in 22 games. He was a first-round selection by the Detroit Red Wings in the NHL’s 2017 draft.

Rasmussen took part in full practices this week for the first time since having surgery.

“It’s been a good week,” head coach Mike Williamson told Annie Fowler of the Tri-City Herald. “He has worked hard to put himself in a position to get back. We are pretty sure he will play this weekend. . . . We are pretty sure he is ready to go. We will make that final determination (Saturday).”

The Americans are scheduled to entertain the Seattle Thunderbirds on Sunday.

Tri-City remains without D Juuso Valimaki, but he may return to the club next week.

Fowler’s complete story is right here.


The biggest smile in all of the west likely belongs to Bruce Vance these days. He’s one of the good guys and spent a lot of time working in WHL circles. These days, you can bet that his focus is on the U of Saskatchewan Huskies women’s hockey team.

That’s because his daughter, Jessica, leads Canada West with six shutouts and a .921 save percentage.

Oh, did we mention that she spent two seasons at the U of Manitoba but couldn’t get into the Bisons’ lineup, other than one game that cost her a season of eligibility.

Then she transferred to Saskatchewan and had to sit out a season.

Claire Hanna of Global News in Saskatoon has more right here.


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Enjoy!


Another day, another set of twins is brought to our attention.

This time it’s Brett and Garrett Festerling, now 31 and playing in Europe.

whlBrett, a defenceman, spent five seasons (2002-07) in the WHL, with the Tri-City Americans and Vancouver Giants. He now plays for the Nürnberg Ice Tigers of Germany’s DEL.

Garrett, a forward, was in the WHL for four seasons (2003-07), with the Portland Winterhawks and Regina Pats. These days, he also is in the DEL, with Adler Mannheim.

——

Twins who played together . . .

Darren and Trevor Kruger, Swift Current (1987-89)

Bob and Ted McAneeley, Edmonton (Calgary Buffaloes, 1966-67; Edmonton Oil Kings, 1968-69)

Trevor and Troy Pohl, Portland (1986-88)

Taylor and Travis Sanheim, Calgary (2014-16)

Jeremy and Joshua Schappert, Seattle (2005-08)

Rich and Ron Sutter, Lethbridge Broncos (1980-83)

Kaeden and Keenan Taphorn, Kootenay (active)

——

Twins who played but not together . . .

Brett and Garrett Festerling, Tri-City/Vancouver, Portland/Regina (2002-07)

Connor and Curtis Honey, Seattle, Brandon (2011-14)

Brent and Kyle Howarth, Kelowna, Medicine Hat/Spokane/Prince Albert Raiders (2003-06)

Kris and Ryan Russell, Medicine Hat and Kootenay (2003-07)

Beck and Will Warm, Tri-City and Edmonton (active)

——

Officials who are twins and work together . . .

Chad and Cody Huseby, linesmen from Red Deer (active)


THE COACHING GAME . . .

Since being fired as the general manager and head coach of the BCHL’s Nanaimo Clippers, Mike Vandekamp is hanging out at the rink and helping the minor hockey association.

“I want to continue to volunteer my time with that, mostly coach mentorship stuff,” Vandekamp, a former WHL coach, told Greg Sakaki of the Nanaimo News Bulletin. “That’s something that keeps a guy a little bit involved and down at the rink.”

Wes Mussio, the Clippers’ new owner, fired Vandekamp on Dec. 21, a move the coach said he never saw coming. Mussio announced the move via a late-night post on Twitter, citing irreconcilable differences.

“I don’t think there was ever a specific incident that led to this, or specific animosity or any disrespect shown,” Vandekamp said. “We were operating the hockey team the way we’ve always operated the hockey team.”

Under Vandekamp and assistant Dustin Donaghy, a former WHL player, the Clippers were 18-13-3-2 and second in the Island Division. Under Darren Naylor, the Clippers are 4-7-0-0 and have slipped to third, five points behind the Powell River Kings and Victoria Grizzlies.

Sakaki’s complete story is right here.


Scoreboard

FRIDAY:

At Prince Albert, F Kody McDonald had a goal and two assists against his old club as the Raiders beat the Prince George Cougars, 6-2. . . . Prince Albert (19-20-9) has points in four PrinceAlbertstraight (3-0-1) and remains four points behind Saskatoon in the chase for a wild-card spot. . . . Prince George (18-24-7) is 10 points out of a playoff spot. This was the start of a six-game East Division trek for Prince George. . . . McDonald opened the scoring with his 23rd goal, while shorthanded, at 3:51 of the first period. . . . F Josh Maser tied it with No. 22 at 9:48. . . . F Jordy Stallard (32) put the Raiders back out front at 9:48. . . . F Liam Ryan (2) got the visitors even again at 6:03 of the second period. . . . The Raiders scored the game’s last four goals. . . . F Parker Kelly (20) snapped the tie at 16:20. . . . F Curtis Miske (16) upped the lead to 4-2 at 1:21 of the third period. . . . F Cole Fonstad (13), just back from the Top Prospects game, scored at 8:36 and F Sean Montgomery (11) added a PP goal at 10:20. . . . Stallard, Montgomery and Parker each added an assist for the Raiders. . . . The Raiders were 1-2 on the PP; the Cougars were 0-5. . . . G Ian Scott earned the victory with 22 saves. . . . Prince George got 29 stops from G Tavin Grant. . . . F Brogan O’Brien, who last played on Dec. 10, was back in the Cougars’ lineup. . . . The Raiders were without F Regan Nagy, whose right knee injury apparently isn’t as bad as it looked when it happened. “I think we dodged a bullet there,” Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid told Jeff D’Andrea of paNOW.com. “He was X-Rayed, MRI’d, and they all came back clear. It seemed there was a lot of trauma in that area, but he seems to have dodged a bullet and he’s pretty much day-to-day. As soon as he can play, he can play.” . . . Announced attendance: 1,896.


At Saskatoon, G Nolan Maier stopped 20 shots to lead the Blades to a 5-0 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Saskatoon (24-23-3) had lost its previous two games. It holds Saskatoondown the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, four points behind Regina. . . . Edmonton (13-28-7) has lost three in a row (0-2-1). . . . Maier, who turned 17 on Jan. 10, has two shutouts this season. He is 16-9-1, 3.18, .904. . . . F Josh Paterson (24) scored the game’s first goal, at 3:05 of the first period. . . . F Max Gerlach (23) scored a PP goal at 6:07, and D Jackson Caller (3) made it 3-0 at 9:20. . . . The Blades got a second-period goal from F Michael Farren (4), on a PP, at 17:03, and one in the third from F Braylon Shmyr (25), at 12:39. . . . Saskatoon got two assists from F Kirby Dach, with Gerlach and Paterson each adding one. . . . Saskatoon was 2-11 on the PP; Edmonton was 0-3. . . . Edmonton took 17 of the game’s 25 minor penalties. . . . G Josh Dechaine started for the Oil Kings and was beaten three times on eight shots in 10:13. Todd Scott finished up by stopping 17 of 19 shots in 49:47. . . . The Blades had F Caleb Fantillo back in their lineup. He hadn’t played since Nov. 29. . . . D Dawson Davidson (ill) was among Saskatoon’s scratches, ending his chance of playing 73 games this season. The Blades acquired him from Regina earlier this month. . . . Announced attendance: 3,309.


At Lethbridge, F Brayden Burke scored in OT to give the Moose Jaw Warriors a 3-2 victory over the Hurricanes. . . . Moose Jaw (39-7-3) has won four straight and leads the MooseJawWarriorsoverall standings by 11 points over Swift Current. . . . Lethbridge (22-21-6) has lost four in a row (0-2-2). It is second in the Central Division, six points behind Medicine Hat. . . . The Warriors took a 2-0 lead on second-period goals from F Tristin Langan (13), at 11:35, and F Justin Almeida (29), on a PP, at 13:24. . . . F Keltie Jeri-Leon (5) got the home boys to within a goal at 19:45. . . . F Jadon Joseph (6) forced OT with a goal at 19:34 of the third period. . . . Burke, who was acquired from the Hurricanes last season, won it with his 23rd goal of the season at 2:38 of extra time. He leads the WHL scoring race with 95 points, three more than teammate Jayden Halbgewachs. . . . D Kale Clague drew three assists for Moose Jaw, with Burke and Almeida getting one apiece. . . . Moose Jaw was 1-4 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-1. . . . The Warriors got 19 saves from G Adam Evanoff. . . . G Logan Flodell stopped 30 shots for Lethbridge. . . . The Hurricanes are without F Taylor Ross and F Dylan Cozens, while D Jett Woo remains out of Moose Jaw’s lineup. . . . Announced attendance: 4,158.


At Medicine Hat, D Cal Foote’s OT goal gave the Kelowna Rockets a 4-3 victory over the Tigers. . . . Kelowna (31-14-3) has won three straight and leads the Western Conference by KelownaRocketsone point over Everett. . . . Medicine Hat (25-19-6) went to OT for the fifth time seven games. It leads the Central Division by six points over Lethbridge. . . . The Rockets scored the game’s last three goals, Foote winning it with his 10th goal on a breakaway at 3:01 of extra time. . . . F Mark Rassell gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead with goals at 0:42 and 5:43 of the first period. He has 41 goals, the third player this season to surpass 40. . . . F Leif Mattson (16) got Kelowna on the scoreboard at 19:45. . . . F Jaeger White (8) restored Medicine Hat’s two-goal lead at 17:39 of the second period. . . . F Kole Lind (25) got the visitors to within a goal at 5:20 of the third period, and F Conner Bruggen-Cate (14) tied it at 8:14. . . . D Gordie Ballhorn had two assists for Kelowna. . . . The Rockets were 1-2 on the PP; the Tigers were 0-1. . . . G Brodan Salmond stopped 29 shots for Kelowna, four fewer than Medicine Hat’s Michael Bullion. . . . F Dillon Dube was among Kelowna’s scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 3,041.


At Cranbrook, B.C., F Alec Baer and D Martin Bodak each scored twice to lead the Kootenay Ice to a 6-2 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings Kings. . . . Kootenay (22-23-3) Kootenaynewhas won two in a row. It is third in the Central Division, three points behind Lethbridge. . . . Brandon (28-16-5) has lost seven straight (0-4-3). It remains third in the East Division, six points ahead of Regina. . . . The same two teams will play in Cranbrook again tonight. . . . Last night, the Ice led 5-0 at 10:53 of the second period. . . . Bodak, who has five goals, got it started at 10:14 of the first period. Baer, on a PP, made it 2-0 at 13:00. . . . F Peyton Krebs (11) upped it to 3-0 at 1:22 of the second period. . . . F Sebastian Streu (7) made it 4-0, on a PP, at 4:28 and Baer’s 20th made it 5-0, on another PP, at 10:53. . . . Bodak added a third-period goal. . . . F Luka Burzan (7) and F Evan Weinger (23) scored for Brandon. . . . The Ice got three assists from F Brett Davis and two from F Colton Kroeker, with Baer adding one. . . . Kootenay was 3-3 on the PP; Brandon was 1-5. . . . G Matt Berlin stopped 21 shots for the home side. . . . Brandon’s Dylan Myskiw turned aside 27 shots. . . . The Wheat Kings will wrap up a seven-game road trip tonight. . . . Announced attendance: 2,230.


At Kamloops, head coach Don Hay tied the WHL’s career record for regular-season victories with No. 742 as the Blazers skated to a 5-2 victory over the Portland Winterhawks. . . . Hay Kamloops1now shares the record with long-time Edmonton/Portland coach Ken Hodge. Hay’s first opportunity to break the record comes tonight in a rematch with Portland. . . . Kamloops (22-23-3) has won four in a row but is still six points away from a playoff spot. . . . . Portland (28-16-4) had won its previous two games. It is second in the U.S. Division, four points behind Everett. . . . F Connor Zary (5) gave the home team a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 7:17 of the first period. . . . Portland F Skyler McKenzie (36) tied it, on a PP, at 9:18. . . . The Blazers went ahead 3-1 on second-period goals from F Justin Sigrist (2), at 10:44, and F Jermaine Loewen, at 12:24. . . . Sigrist hadn’t scored opening night when he notched the Blazers’ first goal of the season in a 6-2 loss to the Rockets in Kelowna. . . . F Jake Gricius (10) added a Portland goal, on a PP, at 4:12 of the third period. . . . F Quinn Benjafield (16) provided some insurance at 14:20, and Loewen (23) got the empty-netter, at 18:23. . . . Portland was 2-5 on the PP; Kamloops was 1-2. . . . Blazers G Dylan Ferguson was the game’s first star, with 30 saves. . . . Portland G Cole Kehler, 20, stopped 20 shots. The Winterhawks acquired him from Kamloops on July 21, 2016, for a seventh-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft. . . . It was a homecoming for F Ty Kolle and D John Ludvig of the Winterhawks. Both played their first WHL games in their hometown. . . . The Winterhawks continue to play without top forwards Cody Glass and Kieffer Bellows, who have combined for 47 goals. . . . With the injuries, the Winterhawks have added F Seth Jarvis, a first-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft, to their roster. Jarvis, who turns 16 on Feb. 1, plays at the Rink Hockey Academy in Winnipeg. . . . Kamloops F/D Tylor Ludwar didn’t return after his head and the right elbow of Portland D Matthew Quigley came into contact at 18:11 of the second period. It would be safe to assume that Ludwar is in concussion protocol. . . . Announced attendance: 3,721.


At Langley, B.C., F Tanner Kaspick’s second goal of the game, in OT, gave the Victoria Royals a 4-3 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Victoria (28-17-4) is second in the B.C. VictoriaRoyalsDivision, five points behind Kelowna. . . . The Giants (25-16-8) have lost four in a row (0-2-2). They are third in the B.C. Division, two points behind Victoria. . . . F Dawson Holt (8) gave Vancouver a 1-0 lead at 2:54 of the first period. . . . Victoria tied it on F Andrei Grishakov’s 15th goal, at 7:34. . . . F Tyler Benson put the Giants back out front at 9:22. . . . The Royals took a 3-2 lead on second-period PP goals from Kaspick, at 7:25, and F Matthew Phillips (33), at 10:28. . . . Benson’s 19th goal at 19:06 of the third period forced OT. . . . Kaspick won it with his 16th goal at 2:28 of extra time. . . . Phillips added an assist to his goal for the Royals, while Holt did the same with the Giants. . . . Victoria was 2-5 on the PP; Vancouver was 0-4. . . . G Griffen Outhouse stopped 22 shots for the winners. . . . The Giants got 28 stops from G David Tendeck. . . . Announced attendance: 3,357.


At Everett, F Matt Fonteyne broke a 1-1 tie 34 seconds into the second period and the Silvertips went on to a 3-1 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Everett (31-16-2) has Everettwon eight in a row and leads the U.S. Division by four points over Portland. . . . Seattle (25-17-6) had a five-game winning streak end. It is third in the U.S. Division, one point ahead of Spokane. . . . F Bryce Kindopp (14) put the home team out front at 9:25 of the first period. . . . Seattle tied it at 11:50 on a PP goal from D Austin Strand (16). He has 11 PP goals this season. . . . Fonteyne put the home side ahead 2-1 with his 29th goal, on a PP. . . . F Connor Dewar added insurance at 9:40 of the third period. . . . Fonteyne also had an assist. . . . Seattle was 1-4 on the PP; Everett was 1-5. . . . G Carter Hart earned the victory with 20 saves, 10 more than Seattle’s Liam Hughes, who had missed the previous five games with an undisclosed injury. . . . Hart now is 18-3-1, 1.33, .958. . . . Seattle lost F Sami Moilanen in the second period with an undisclosed injury. . . . Everett F Sean Richards sat this one out as he began serving a two-game suspension. . . . He also will miss tonight’s rematch in Kent, Wash. . . . Announced attendance: 8,164.


SATURDAY (all times local):

Edmonton at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Regina at Swift Current, 2:30 p.m.

Prince George at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Kelowna at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Brandon vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.

Portland at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Everett vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:05 p.m.

Spokane vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.

Calgary at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

Blazers’ Hay one victory away . . . Silvertips win seventh in row . . . Winterhawks roar back, beat Wheaties

MacBeth

D Cody Corbett (Edmonton, 2011-14) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Orli Znojmo (Czech Republic, Erste Bank Liga). This season, he had three goals and 18 assists in 35 games with the Idaho Steelheads (ECHL). . . .

D Shaun Heshka (Everett, 2003-06) has signed a one-year-plus-option contract extension with Kärpät Oulu (Finland, Liiga). This season, he has eight goals and 14 assists in 38 games.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

We have an addition to the piece on twins who have played in the WHL.

That piece identified Bob and Ted McAneeley, Rich and Ron Sutter, Darren and Trevor Kruger, and Trevor and Troy Pohl as players who had been teammates in the WHL. Of course, the Kaphorn twins, Kaeden and Keenan, now are with the Kootenay Ice.

An emailer on Sunday added two more names to the list, although they aren’t players.

Chad and Cody Huseby are twin brothers who work as linesmen based out of Red Deer. Chad is in his eighth season working WHL games, while Cody is in his ninth season.


Scoreboard

SUNDAY:

At Saskatoon, the Moose Jaw Warriors scored two goals in the second half of the third period and beat the Blades, 5-3. . . . Moose Jaw (38-7-3) has the WHL’s best record and has MooseJawWarriorswon three in a row. . . . Saskatoon (23-22-3) is in possession of the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, four points behind Regina. . . . The Warriors took a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals from F Brett Howden (18), at 1:48, and F Brecon Wood (3), at 11:42. . . . F Josh Paterson scored a shorthanded goal for the Blades at 19:44. . . . F Justin Almeida (28) restored Moose Jaw’s two-goal lead just 51 seconds into the second period. . . . Saskatoon pulled even in the third period on goals from Paterson (23), at 1:37, and F Eric Florchuk (10), at 6:58. . . . F Brayden Burke (22), who also had an assist, broke the tie at 12:57, and F Jayden Halbgewachs (51) added insurance at 19:55 with the empty-netter. . . . The Warriors got two assists from D Oleg Sosunov, with Halbgewachs and Howden adding one each. . . . Saskatoon was 0-2 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 0-3. . . . G Brody Willms stopped 16 shots for the winners, while Saskatoon’s Nolan Maier made 31 saves. . . . D Jett Woo was among Moose Jaw’s scratches, apparently given the day off by the coaching staff. . . . Announced attendance: 4,511.


At Calgary, F Conner Chaulk’s OT goal gave the Hitmen a 4-3 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . Calgary, which scored two shorthanded goals, improved to 15-26-6. . . . CalgaryPrince Albert (18-20-9) has points in three straight (2-0-1). It is four points away from a playoff spot. . . . The Raiders skated to a 2-0 lead on goals from F Kody McDonald (22), on a PP, at 4:38 of the first period and F Sean Montgomery (10), at 6:49 of the second. . . . F Riley Stotts (12) got Calgary on the scoreboard at 16:39. . . . F Ozzy Wiesblatt, in his first WHL game, restored Prince Albert’s two-goal lead at 3:47 of the third period. . . . Calgary forced OT on goals from F Luke Coleman (9), shorthanded, at 16:59, and F Jakob Stukel (22), at 18:33. . . . Chaulk won it with a shorthanded breakaway goal at 3:37 of OT. He’s got 10 goals this season. . . . F Jake Kryski had two assists for Calgary, with Stotts getting one. . . . Prince Albert was 1-6 on the PP; Calgary was 0-4. . . . Calgary G Nick Schneider earned the victory with 23 saves, 10 fewer than Prince Albert’s Ian Scott. . . . The Raiders were playing their third game in fewer than 48 hours after winning 5-1 in Red Deer on Friday and beating the Tigers 3-2 in OT in Medicine Hat on Saturday. . . . Announced attendance: 6,829.


At Edmonton, Don Hay closed to within one regular-season victory of the WHL’s career coaching record as his Kamloops Blazers beat the Oil Kings, 4-2. . . . Kamloops (21-23-3) Kamloops1has won three in a row to get within six points of a playoff spot. The Blazers played three road games in fewer than 48 hours and swept the Central Division’s three poorest teams. They also won 2-1 in Calgary and 3-1 in Red Deer. . . . Edmonton now is 13-27-6. . . . Hay has posted 741 victories as a WHL head coach, one shy of the record held by the retired Ken Hodge. The Blazers’ next three games are against Hodge’s old team, the Portland Winterhawks. They’ll play in Kamloops on Friday and Saturday, then in Portland on Sunday. . . . F Quinn Benjafield (15) scored twice for the Blazers in Edmonton, opening the scoring at 11:35 of the first period and giving them a 3-1 lead at 11:57 of the second. . . . Edmonton F Brendan Semchuk (11), who is from Kamloops, scored at 3:30 of the second period. . . . Kamloops D Nolan Kneen (4), on a PP, gave the visitors a 2-1 lead at 8:38. . . . After Benjafield’s second goal, F Colton Kehler (21), on a PP, got the home team to within a goal at 18:21. . . . Kamloops got insurance from F Jermaine Loewen (21) at 9:38 of the third period. . . . The Blazers got three assists from D Joe Gatenby, with Benjafield and Kneen each getting one. . . . F Trey Fix-Wolansky had two assists for Edmonton. . . . Kamloops was 1-3 on the PP; Edmonton was 1-4. . . . F Max Palaga stopped 32 shots for Kamloops. Dylan Ferguson had started the previous nine games for the Blazers. . . . The Oil Kings got 24 saves from G Todd Scott. . . . Announced attendance: 9.189.


At Everett, G Carter Hart stopped 23 shots to help the Silvertips to a 4-1 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Everett (30-16-2) has won seven straight games and leads the EverettWestern Conference, by one point over Kelowna. . . . Swift Current (33-11-4) had points in each of its previous nine games (7-0-2). It is second in the overall standings, nine points behind Moose Jaw. . . . Hart improved his numbers this season to 17-3-1, 1.35, .958. . . . F Garrett Pilon (23) gave Everett a 1-0 lead at 3:33 of the first period, and F Sean Richards (18) pped that to 2-0 at 4:20. . . . F Andrew Fyten (7) scored for Swift Current at 8:59. . . . The Silvertips got their other goals from F Riley Sutter (20), at 4:04 of the second period, and F Matt Fonteyne (28), at 14:59 of the third. . . . D Wyatte Wylie had two assists for Everett, with Fonteyne and Sutter adding one each. . . . Each team was 0-5 on the PP. . . . The Broncos got 30 saves from G Stuart Skinner, including 16 in the second period when the home team had a 17-2 edge in shots. . . . F Aleksi Heponiemi drew an assist on the Broncos’ goal to run his point streak to 28 games. He had picked up three points in each of his previous four games. He has 89 points in 36 games this season, after finishing last season with 86 points in 72 games. . . . Richards was hit with a match penalty for attempt to injure at 14:59 of the third period. . . . There were five national anthems played prior to this game as the Silvertips saluted the players who had represented their teams in the WJC — D Ondrej Vala (Czech Republic) and Hart (Canada) of the Silvertips, and F Tyler Steenbergen (Canada), F Artyom Minulin (Russia) and Heponiemi (Finland) of Swift Current. . . . Announced attendance: 4,089.


At Portland, F Alex Overhardt, playing in his 250th regular-season game, broke a 3-3 tie as the Winterhawks scored a 4-3 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Portland (28-Portland15-4) has won two in a row. It is second in the U.S. Division, two points behind Everett. . . . Brandon (28-15-4) has lost five straight (0-3-2). It is third in the East Division, 10 points behind Swift Current and seven ahead of Regina. . . . The Wheat Kings got out to a 3-0 first-period lead on two goals from F Evan Weinger (22), who played the previous three seasons with Portland, at 8:41 and 11:50, and one from F Ty Lewis (26), at 18:55. . . . The Winterhawks tied it with three second-period goals. . . . F Joachim Blichfeld (16) started the comeback at 4:43. . . . D Brendan De Jong (2) cut the deficit to one at 5:55. . . . F Lane Gilliss (3) tied it at 12:52. . . . Overhardt (12), who also had an assist, got the winner, on a PP, at 13:48 of the third period. . . . Brandon was 1-1 on the PP; Portland was 1-5. . . . G Cole Kehler earned the victory with 23 saves. . . . Brandon G Logan Thompson made 36 saves. . . . Portland had F Ryan Hughes (ill) back in the lineup, but remains without F Cody Glass and F Kieffer Bellows, both of whom are injured. . . . Announced attendance: 6,588.


MONDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


TUESDAY (all times local):

Lethbridge vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Brandon vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:05 p.m.

Swift Current at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.

Pats take outdoor games inside . . . Moose Jaw, Regina shoot, shoot and shoot some more . . . Giants into second in B.C.

A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post reported Wednesday evening that the Regina Pats have moved two scheduled outdoor games from Mosaic Stadium and put them inside the Brandt Centre.

Shortly after Harder’s story hit the Internet, the Pats issued a news release confirming it.

An NHL alumni game is scheduled to be played on Feb. 17, with the Pats to meet the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors on Feb. 18.

“Only 10,000-plus ticket packages have been sold for the two games at Regina’s new stadium, which holds over 33,000,” Harder reported. “Many of those seats were purchased by corporate sponsors.

“Local fans have given the mid-winter event a cold shoulder since two-game packages were released to the general public in late November ($75, $149.15, $198.72 and $275.22, including taxes and surcharges).”

Harder’s story is right here.


The Kootenay Ice was without Swiss F Gilian Kohler for a second straight game on KootenaynewWednesday night, Kohler is shown on the WHL’s latest roster report as being out week-to-week with an upper-body injury.

Kohler was injured on a hit by Medicine Hat F Ryan Jevne on Monday night in a game the visiting Tigers won, 5-4 ion OT. Jevne was given a minor penalty for checking to the head. On Wednesday, Jevne was hit with a three-game suspension under supplemental discipline.

Keep in mind that Kohler suffered a concussion while playing for Switzerland at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament in August. With the Ice, he has three goals and six assists in 32 games.


The Edmonton Oil Kings revealed Thursday via Twitter that D Brayden Gorda has EdmontonOilKingsreturned to the fold. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Gorda, an 18-year-old from Edmonton, didn’t report to training camp with the team saying that he was absent “due to personal reasons.” . . . A third-round pick in the 2014 bantam draft, Gorda had played two full seasons with Edmonton. Last season, he had four goals and 12 assists in 56 games. . . . Gorda was eligible for the NHL’s 2017 draft, but wasn’t selected after NHL Central Scouting ranked him No. 147 among North American skaters. . . . On Thursday, the Oil Kings didn’t indicate a timetable for Goyda to return to game action. As of last night, Edmonton’s roster included nine defencemen without Goyda.


The Everett Silvertips have signed F Gage Goncalves, a list player from Mission, B.C. Goncalves, 16, is playing with the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League and has 47 points, including 17 goals, in 24 games. He also gotten into four games with the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs, scoring once and adding an assist.


First, we had Christian Wohlwend, the head coach of Switzerland’s national junior team, speaking honestly with the media at the World Junior Championship in Buffalo. . . . Now we’ve got Frank Serratore, the head coach of the Air Force Falcons, doing the same thing. If you haven’t seen this video, it’s well worth your time.


Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet filed his latest edition of 31 Thoughts on Wednesday, and it’s all right here.


Scoreboard

WEDNESDAY:

At Regina, the Pats unleashed a 61-shot barrage and beat the Brandon Wheat Kings, 3-2. . . . The Pats (20-18-3) have won four in a row. They hold down the Eastern Conference’s ReginaPats100first wild-card spot. Regina is fourth in the East Division, eight points behind Brandon. . . . The Wheat Kings (25-12-1) have lost four in a row. They are third in the overall standings, five points behind Swift Current. . . . F Jared Legien, acquired last week from the Victoria Royals in the hopes that he would bring some offence to the Regina lineup, had two goals and an assist. . . . D Zach Wytinck (3) gave Brandon a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 7:38 of the first period. . . . Regina took a 2-1 lead on goals from F Matt Bradley (25), at 6:46 of the second period, and Legien, on a PP, at 1:58 of the third. . . . F Ty Lewis (20) got Brandon even at 5:32. . . . Legien snapped the tie with his 16th goal of the season at 10:20. . . . Bradley, playing in his 250th regular-season WHL game, added an assist on the winner to his goal. . . . Brandon was 1-2 on the PP; Regina was 1-4. . . . The Pats got 28 saves from G Tyler Brown. . . . G Logan Thompson stopped 58 shots — yes, 58 — for Brandon. . . . Announced attendance: 5,624.


At Swift Current, the Broncos scored three times in the third period en route to a 5-3 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . The Broncos (27-10-2) had lost their previous three SCBroncosgames. They are 2-3-0 in a stretch of playing eight games in 12 nights. They’ll wrap it up this weekend with a game in Brandon on Friday and home games, against Regina and Red Deer, on Saturday and Sunday. . . . The Broncos are second in the overall standings, nine pints behind Moose Jaw. . . . The Ice (18-19-3) has lost three in a row (0-2-1). Kootenay is 0-2-1 in the first three games of a stretch in which it will play five games in six nights. The Ice is off tonight (Thursday) and then will play in Prince Albert and Saskatoon on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Kootenay is second in the Central Division, six points behind Medicine Hat. . . . Last night, the Ice took an early 2-0 first-period lead on goals from F Brad Ginnell (6), at 1:19, and F Alec Baer (17), at 4:45. . . . It’s worth noting that Ginnell scored in the same arena where his father, Erin, played in the second half of the 1986-87 season. Erin moved from the Regina Pats to Swift Current to help the Broncos finish the season after the tragic bus crash of Dec. 30, 1986. . . . D Sahvan Khaira (6) scored, while shorthanded, for the Broncos at 19:24. . . . F Kaden Elder pulled the Broncos even at 8:32 of the second period and F Max Patterson (5) put them ahead at 1:40 of the third. . . . The Ice got back into tie at 10:54 as F Cam Hausinger (13) scored. . . . Swift Current F Matteo Gennaro snapped the tie with his 22nd goal, at 13:51. . . . Elder (9) got the empty-netter, at 18:01. . . . The Broncos got three assists form F Kole Gable and two from Gennaro. F Glenn Gawdin had one assist as he returned after missing a game while ill. . . . Baer added an assist to his goal for Kootenay. . . . The Broncos were 0-1 on the PP; the Ice was 0-4. . . . G Logan Flodell earned the victory with 30 stops, six fewer than the Ice’s Bailey Brkin. . . . Announced attendance: 2,096.


At Calgary, F Riley Stotts scored 47 seconds into OT to give the Hitmen a 4-3 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Medicine Hat (21-15-3) has points in three straight (2-0-1) Calgaryand leads the Central Division by six points over Kootenay. . . . The Hitmen (12-20-6) are 11 points out of a playoff spot. They are 10th in the Eastern Conference, four points behind Prince Albert. . . . D David Quenneville (16) gave the Tigers the lead, on a PP, at 13:25 of the first period, with Calgary F Mark Kastelic (13) tying it, on a PP, at 16:51. . . . F Mark Rassell (33) put the visitors back out front at 1:37 of the second period, with Calgary F Jacob Stukel (18) tying it at 8:20. . . . The Tigers went out front again, at 10:02, as F Max Gerlach (14) scored on a PP. . . . F Hunter Campbell (3) got Calgary back on even ground, again, at 12:56. . . . The third period was scoreless before Stotts won it with his sixth goal of the season. . . . The Hitmen got two assists from Kastelic and Stukel added one. . . . Medicine Hat was 2-7 on the PP; Calgary was 1-8. . . . The Hitmen got 23 saves from G Nick Schneider, while Medicine Hat’s Jordan Hollett stopped 28 shots. . . . F Bryce Bader, who played one game with the Hitmen last season, was in the Calgary lineup for the first time this season. He has 22 points, including 10 goals, in 25 games with the midget AAA Sherwood Park Kings. He was a second-round pick by Calgary in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . F Jake Kryski (ill) was among Calgary’s scratches. . . . The Tigers will be without Swedish D Linus Nassen for up to eight weeks with an undisclosed injury. Nassen has one goal and 21 assists in 38 games in his freshman season. He was a third-round pick by the Florida Panthers in the NHL’s 2016 draft. . . . Medicine Hat F Ryan Jevne served the first game of a three-game suspension. . . . Announced attendance: 5,505.


At Edmonton, F Tyler Ho, a freshman with one goal in 29 games this season, scored in the seventh round of a shootout to give the Vancouver Giants a 4-3 victory over the Oil Kings. Vancouver. . . The Giants (21-14-5), who went to extra time for a third straight game, have points in four straight (3-0-1). Out of the playoffs for three straight season, Vancouver now is second in the B.C. Division, one point ahead of Victoria. . . . The Oil Kings (10-22-6) have points in six in a row (3-0-3). They are last in the Eastern Conference, two points behind Red Deer. . . . Vancouver F Tyler Benson (15) put the visitors out front at 7:27 of the first period. He is from Edmonton and has signed with the NHL’s Oilers. . . . F Aidan Barefoot (4) made it 2-0 at 8:44. . . . F Brett Kemp (9) scored Edmonton’s first goal, at 6:01 of the second period, only to have Vancouver restore its two-goal lead as D Dylan Plouffe (7) scored at 12:04. . . . F Tomas Soustal (11) pulled the home side to within a goal at 5:26 of the third period, and D Conner McDonald (4) tied it at 10:34. . . . McDonald, who also had an assist, has two goals and nine assists in his last six games. . . . Kemp also added an assist to his goal. . . . Ho, who didn’t score in seven games last season, had two assists for Vancouver, giving him seven this season. . . . Plouffe added an assist to his goal. . . . Vancouver was 0-1 on the PP; Edmonton was 0-3. . . . G David Tendeck stopped 37 shots for Vancouver. At the other end, Josh Dechaine made 31 saves. . . . Only three of the 14 shooters in OT were able to score. Benson and Edmonton F Colton Kehler each scored in the second round. . . . Vancouver F Brad Morrison played in his 300th regular-season game. He went pointless. . . . D Aidan Lawson, a 16-year-old from the U16 Colorado Thunderbirds, made his WHL debut with Edmonton. . . . The Giants continue to play with F Brendan Semchuk, 18, who hasn’t been in a game since Dec. 15. He reportedly has left the team and asked to be traded. From Kamloops, he had eight goals and 11 assists in 33 games. . . . Announced attendance: 6,290.


At Red Deer, the Moose Jaw Warriors had a 69-shot game as they doubled the Rebels, 6-3. . . . The Warriors (31-6-3) have points in six straight (5-0-1). They lead the overall MooseJawWarriorsstandings by nine points over Swift Current. . . . The Rebels (10-20-8) have lost five straight (0-2-3). They are 13 points out of a playoff spot. . . . Moose Jaw got two goals and an assist from F Brayden Burke, and three assists from F Justin Almeida. Burke leads the WHL scoring race with 80 points, seven more than F Glenn Gawdin of Swift Current. . . . F Mason McCarty (19), on a PP, gave the home side a 1-0 lead at 11:51 of the first period. . . . The Warriors took a 2-1 lead on goals from F Vince Loschiavo (12), at 14:28, and Burke, at 17:11. . . . F Chris Douglas (3) got Red Deer even at 5:09 of the second period. . . . The Warriors got the game’s next four goals, the first two in the second period. F Tristyn DeRoose (2) scored at 7:37 and F Jayden Halbgewachs (41) counted on a PP at 17:55. . . . After two periods, the Warriors were ahead 4-2 on the scoreboard and 55-13 on the shot clock. . . . Moose Jaw stretched its lead in the third period as Burke (21) scored, shorthanded, at 5:50, and F Ryan Peckford (16) added another at 13:22. . . . D Dawson Barteaux (2) got Red Deer’s third goal, on a PP, at 14:41. . . . Peckford also had an assist. . . . The Rebels got two assists from D Alex Alexeyev and one each from Barteaux and McCarty. . . . Red Deer was 2-6 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 1-5. . . . G Brody Willms made 18 saves for the visitors. . . . At the other end, Riley Lamb turned aside 63 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 4,034.


At Kelowna, the Rockets scored the game’s last two goals as they beat the Tri-City Americans, 5-4, and ran their home-ice winning streak to 13 games. . . . The Rockets (24-KelownaRockets11-3) have won six in a row and lead the Western Conference by three points over Everett. The Rockets also lead the B.C. Division, by four points over Vancouver. . . . The Americans (20-11-5) had points in each of their previous seven games (5-0-2). They are third in the U.S. Division, two points behind Portland. . . . F Nolan Foote (11) got Kelowna into a 4-4 tie, at 3:42 of the third period, and F Conner Bruggen-Cate snapped the tie with his second goal of the game and eighth of the season, at 4:36. . . . Bruggen-Cate had opened the scoring at 6:29, with F Carsen Twarynski upping it to 2-0 at 14:46. . . . F Nolan Yaremko (12) got the Americans on the scoreboard at 15:51, only to have Twarynski (26) get it back, on a PP, at 18:21. . . . The Americans scored the game’s next three goal, with F Jordan Topping (19) scoring, on a PP, at 3:39 of the second period; F Parker AuCoin (8) counting, while shorthanded, 20 seconds into the third period; and F Brett Clayton (3) providing a 4-3 lead at 2:55. . . . The Rockets got two assists from each of Foote, F Kole Lind and F Kyle Topping, with Twarynski adding one. . . . Yaremko had two assists for the the Americans, with AuCoin getting one. . . . Each of the teams was 1-3 on the PP. . . . G James Porter Jr. stopped 24 shots to earn the victory. . . . Each of Tri-City’s goaltenders made two appearances. Tri-City starter Beck Warm and reliever Patrick Dea combined to stop 31 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 5,187.


THURSDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Kootenay at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Red Deer at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Swift Current at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Calgary, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Edmonton at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.

Tri-City at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Seattle at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Portland at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.

Everett at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.


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Goodbye 2017; hello 2018 . . . Royals’ Phillips get NHL deal . . . Red-hot Halbgewachs helps Warriors sweep Wheaties

HappyNewYear

Happy New Year to everyone who stops by to visit this site. May you and yours have a tremendous 2018 full of good food, good friends and safe travels.


Happy New Year to all of those members of the Vegas Golden Knights’ front office and coaching staff with ties to the WHL. Enjoy your run as part of what is perhaps the biggest story in hockey today. . . . That would be folks like Kelly McCrimmon, Murray Craven, Vaughn Karpan, Bob Lowes, Kelly Kisio, Ryan McGill, Mike Kelly, Ryan Craig, Jim McKenzie, Erin Ginnell and Bruno Campese. . . . Gentlemen, I don’t know what you will do for an encore, but here’s to a 2018 that is better for you than 2017, if that’s possible. . . .


Happy New Year to Willie Desjardins, Dave King and the rest of Team Canada as the program continues preparations for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Feb. 9-25. . . . Canada won the Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland, taking the championship game 3-0 over Switzerland on New Year’s Eve. . . . The Canadian roster included ex-WHL players like F Curtis Hamilton, F Zach Boychuk, D Jeff Schultz, D Victor Bartley and G Barry Brust, along with video coach Tyler Dietrich and therapist Jeff Thorburn. . . . Canada will open the Winter Games against Switzerland on Feb. 15. . . . Canada is likely to announce its Olympic roster on or about Jan. 11. . . .


Happy New Year to Derek Holloway and the many bus drivers throughout junior hockey. The highways in B.C. have been a mess for much of the past two weeks, and have been no treat across the Prairies, either. No one in any profession does a better job than these drivers, who do so much to keep the teams safe.


Happy New Year to the WHL’s on-ice officials. A lot of people forget that you often are driving the same highways and byways as the afore-mentioned bus drivers. Safe travels and be careful out there. Oh, and remember that despite what your ears sometimes tell you, the fans really do love you.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

F Matthew Phillips of the Victoria Royals signed a three-year entry-level contract with VictoriaRoyalsthe NHL’s Calgary Flames on Sunday. . . . The Royals’ captain, Phillips, 19, is from Calgary. He was selected by the Flames in the sixth round of the NHL’s 2016 draft. . . . This season, he has 28 goals and 31 assists in 39 games. . . . In 183 regular-season games, all with the Royals, the 5-foot-7, 155-pounder has 228 points, including 116 goals. That includes last season, when he finished with 50 goals and 40 assists in 70 games. . . . How did Phillips celebrate his good news? He and his teammates were in Kamloops, where they are to meet the Blazers in a New Year’s Day matinee.


Shaun Clouston, the general manager and head coach of the Medicine Hat Tigers, set a franchise record on Saturday night in a 4-3 OT victory over the visiting Red Deer Rebels.

Clouston now has 324 regular-season coaching victories with the Tigers, one more than Willie Desjardins.

Here’s a look at the 22 WHL head coaches who have more than 300 regular-season victories to their credit (includes games of Dec. 31):

1. Ken Hodge (Edmonton, Portland), 742

2. Don Hay (Kamloops, Tri-City, Vancouver) 736

3. Don Nachbaur (Seattle, Tri-City, Spokane) 692

4. Lorne Molleken (Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Regina) 626

5. Mike Williamson (Portland, Calgary, Tri-City) 554

6. Ernie McLean (Estevan, New Westminster) 548

7. Pat Ginnell (Flin Flon, Victoria, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, New Westminster) 518

8. Peter Anholt (Prince Albert, Seattle, Red Deer, Kelowna, Lethbridge) 466

    Jack Shupe (Medicine Hat, Victoria) 466

10. Dean Clark (Calgary, Brandon, Kamloops, Prince George) 465

11. Kelly McCrimmon (Brandon) 456

12. Bob Lowes (Seattle, Brandon, Regina) 453

13. Brent Sutter (Red Deer) 451

14. Marc Habscheid (Kamloops, Kelowna, Chilliwack, Victoria, Prince Albert) 437

15. Doug Sauter (Calgary, Medicine Hat, Regina, Brandon) 417

16. Marcel Comeau (Calgary, Saskatoon, Tacoma, Kelowna) 411

17. Bryan Maxwell (Medicine Hat, Spokane, Lethbridge) 397

18. Graham James (Moose Jaw, Swift Current, Calgary) 349

19. Shaun Clouston (Tri-City, Medicine Hat) 340

      Bob Loucks (Lethbridge, Tri-City, Medicine Hat) 340

21. Willie Desjardins (Saskatoon, Medicine Hat) 333

22. Kevin Constantine (Everett) 326


NanaimoNewsNOW has been taking a look back at the top stories in that Vancouver Island city from 2016. The staff has decided that No. 3 on the list belongs to the referendum that was held on whether the city would be allowed to borrow $80 million for a waterfront events centre. That facility was to include an arena that would be home to a WHL franchise. . . . Voter turnout was 35.3 per cent and 80 per cent of those voted against the proposal. . . . According to this piece right here, “At the meeting following referendum day, several councillors offered apologies. Coun. Jerry Hong apologized for heated social media exchanges. Others said it was the Western Hockey League applying pressure (that) led to a rushed process.” . . . Whatever the reason, this has to have been one of the biggest stories involving the WHL in 2016, if only because it delivered a crushing blow to the league’s dream of having a second franchise on Vancouver Island.


For your reading enjoyment, right here is Dave Barry of the Miami Herald with a look at the year that was 2017, especially in the American political arena. America, I don’t know how you got here from there, but, well, who better than Barry to sum it all up. Prepare two cups of copy and enjoy!


Scoreboard

SUNDAY:

At Moose Jaw, the Warriors scored three times on the PP, needing only 24 seconds to do it, en route to a 6-2 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . The Warriors (30-6-3) have MooseJawWarriorspoints in five straight games (4-0-1). . . . The Wheat Kings (25-11-1) have lost three in a row. . . . The Warriors had beaten the host Wheat Kings, 7-4, on Saturday afternoon. . . . Moose Jaw is atop the overall standings, nine points ahead of Swift Current and 12 ahead of Brandon. . . . F Jayden Halbgewachs led the Warriors with two goals and three assists. He’s got a CHL-leading 40 goals in 39 games. F Aaron Luchuk of the Barrie Colts leads the OHL with 31 goals in 36 games, while F Alex Barre-Boulet of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada is tops in the QMJHL with 31 in 34. . . . F Brayden Burke of the Warriors had a goal and two assists, giving him a WHL-leading 77 points. . . . Burke went over 300 regular-season points during the game and now has 302 points, including 229 assists, in 214 games. . . . Halbgewachs, who has seven goals and seven assists in his past five games, gave the Warriors a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 15:04 of the first period. . . . F Stelio Mattheos (28) pulled Brandon even at 17:56. . . . Halbgewachs put the Warriors back out front, on another PP, at 10:47 of the second period. . . . The home team went ahead 4-1 on goals from Burke (19), on a PP, at 13:39, and F Tristin Langan, shorthanded, at 1:59 of the third period. . . . F Evan Weinger (18) scored for Brandon at 5:07, but the Warriors put it away on goals from Langan (8), at 6:59, and F Tanner Jeannot (28), at 15:16. . . . F Justin Almeida had two assists for Moose Jaw, giving him six helpers in the two-game series. . . . Jeannot added an assist to his goal. . . . The Warriors were 3-6 on the PP; the Wheat Kings were 0-5. . . . Halbgewachs’ goals came 10 and six seconds into PP opportunities, and Burke’s goal took eight seconds. . . . The Warriors got 25 saves from G Brody Willms, while Brandon’s Logan Thompson stopped 38 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 4,021.


At Kennewick, Wash., the Tri-City Americans erased a 3-1 deficit with three second-period goals, en route to a 4-3 victory over the Spokane Chiefs. . . . The Americans (20-10-TriCity305) have points in seven straight (5-0-2). They are tied for third in the U.S. Division, two points behind Portland with two games in hand. . . . The Chiefs (20-15-3) are two points behind the Americans. . . . The Chiefs had beaten the visiting Americans, 4-3 in OT, on Saturday night. . . . F Isaac Johnson’s ninth goal of the season, on a PP, broke a 3-3 tie at 12:44 of the second period. . . . F Riley Sawchuk had given the Americans a 1-0 lead at 12:07 of the first period. . . . The visitors moved out front 3-1 on goals from F Jake McGrew (6), at 13:09, F Eli Zummack (10), on a PP, at 13:55, and F Zach Fischer (17), at 19:03. . . . D Dylan Coghlan (12) got Tri-City to within one, on a PP, at 5:19 of the second period. . . . F Nolan Yaremko (11) tied the game at 9:30. . . . F Jordan Topping recorded three assists for the winners, with F Kyle Olson getting two. Coghlan and Johnson added one each. . . . Tri-City was 2-4 on the PP; Spokane was 1-4. . . . The Americans got 43 saves from G Patrick Dea. . . . Spokane starter Dawson Weatherill allowed four goals on 13 shots in 32:44. Donovan Buskey came on in relief to stop all 13 shots he faced in 24:40. . . . Announced attendance: 6,011.


At Portland, F Noah Philp scored the WHL’s final goal of 2017. It came in a shootout and gave the Seattle Thunderbirds a 4-3 victory over the Winterhawks. . . . Seattle, the WHL’s Seattlereigning champion, improved to 18-14-5 and has points in six straight games (5-0-1). Seattle holds down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, two points behind Tri-City and Spokane. . . . The Winterhawks (22-12-3) have points in three straight (1-0-2) and are second in the U.S. Division, one point behind Everett with two games in hand. . . . On Saturday night, the host Thunderbirds beat the Winterhawks, 4-3 in OT. . . . In the season series, Seattle is 2-2-0; Portland is 2-0-2. . . . These two teams will meet each other eight more times this season. . . . Last night, F Skyler McKenzie (27) gave the home side a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 2:22 of the second period. . . . Seattle took a 2-1 lead on goals 37 seconds apart from D Reece Harsch (8), at 7:31, and F Nikita Malukhin (4), at 8:08. . . . F Reece Newkirk (2) got Portland into a 2-2 tie at 14:05. . . . F Matthew Wedman gave Seattle a 3-2 lead at 16:57 of the third period. . . . Portland F Ryan Hughes (5) forced OT at 19:02. . . . Philp, Seattle’s first shooter, won it with the only goal of the shootout. . . . D Turner Ottenbreit had two assists for Seattle. . . . Portland got two assists from F Cody Glass, who returned from a one-game absence due to a leg injury. . . . Seattle was 1-3 on the PP; Portland was 1-4. . . . Seattle G Liam Hughes stopped 33 shots, six more than Portland’s Cole Kehler. . . . Announced attendance: 10,568.


MONDAY (all times local):

Swift Current at Saskatoon, 2 p.m.

Calgary at Edmonton, 2 p.m.

Victoria at Kamloops, 2 p.m.

Prince George vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 2 p.m.

Medicine Hat vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 4 p.m.

Prince Albert at Regina, 7 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY


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