Thunderbirds win terrific Game 4; can wrap up series on Friday . . . Petes, Remparts in control of their series . . . Vees win second straight BCHL title


The Seattle Thunderbirds will have a chance to win the Ed Chynoweth Cup as WHL champions when they entertain the Winnipeg Ice in Game 5 of the final series in Kent, Wash., on Friday night. The Thunderbirds scored a 4-2 victory over the Ice on Wednesday night to assume a 3-1 series lead. . . . The Thunderbirds are in the final for the second straight season, having lost in six games to the Edmonton Oil Kings a year ago. . . . Seattle won its only WHL championship in 2016-17. . . .

In the OHL, the host Peterborough Petes erased a 1-0 deficit with four straight goals en route to a 5-3 victory over the London Knights. . . . The Petes hold a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven championship series with Game 5 in London on Friday night. . . . If Games 6 and/or 7 are needed, they’ll be played in Peterborough on Sunday and London on Monday. . . . Last night, F Easton Cowan (8) gave London a 1-0 lead at 1:19 of the first period. . . . The Petes took control with the next four goals, three in the second period. F J.R. Avon (9) scored twice in the second, with F Owen Beck (8) getting the other. D Donovan McCoy (2) made it 4-1 at 7:44 of the third period. . . . London got to within a goal on a pair of PP goals, from D Sam Dickinson (4), at 13:59, and F Denver Barkley (10), at 16:51. . . . F Avery Hayes (11) iced it for the Petes with an empty-netter at 17:24. . . . G Michael Simpson earned the victory with 50 saves, 24 of them in the third period. . . .

In the QMJHL, the visiting Quebec Remparts broke a 1-1 tie in the third period as they beat the Halifax Mooseheads, 2-1, to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven championship final. . . . The Remparts get their first opportunity at wrapping it up when the play Game 5 in Quebec City on Friday night. . . . If needed, a sixth game would be played in Halifax on Sunday with a seventh game in Quebec City on Monday. . . . Last night, F Zachary Bolduc (10) scored the game-winner at 13:11 of the third period. Remparts F Theo Rochette likely should have been assessed a slashing penalty in the defensive zone as he forced a turnover, skated up ice, split the defence and fed Bolduc on the left side. He rifled the winner past G Mathis Rousseau on the short side. . . . Rochette (4) had the Remparts’ other goal, at 2:54 of the first period, with Bolduc drawing an assist. . . . F Evan Boucher (8) scored for Halifax at 11:53 of the second period. . . .

Check out Geoffrey Brandow on Twitter (@GeoffreyBrandow) for even more information after each CHL game. . . .

The Memorial Cup is scheduled to arrive in Kamloops on May 25 with the first game — the QMJHL champion against the host Blazers — set for May 26. Of note: Smoke from various forest fires moved into Kamloops in a big way on Wednesday. Hopefully, it moves out long before tournament time arrives.



Winnipeg (1) at Seattle (2) — F Dylan Guenther broke a 2-2 tie at 7:47 of the Seattlethird period as the Seattle Thunderbirds beat the Winnipeg Ice, 4-2, in Kent, Wash. . . . The Thunderbirds, having won three straight games, lead the best-of-seven series, 3-1. . . . Game 5 is scheduled for Kent on Friday night. . . . If needed, Game 6 would be played in Winnipeg on Sunday with Game 7, if needed, there on Monday. . . . Guenther ended up with the game-winner in what was a terrific game. He one-timed a pass from F Reid Schaeber from the top of the right circle for his WHL-leading 16th goal. . . . F Nico Myatovic (3) iced it with an empty-netter at 19:52. . . . Ice F Carson Latimer (4) had opened the scoring at 16:25 of the first period, using his speed to get to a loose puck about 10 feet in front of G Thomas Milic from where he lifted it over him. Latimer has goals in three straight games. . . . D Kevin Korchinski (3) pulled Seattle even when he scored off a quick wrist shot from the top of the right circle with 16.3 seconds left in the first period. . . . Seattle F Gracyn Sawchyn (3) gave his side its first lead at 4:31 of the second period when he banged home a rebound off the end boards while on a PP. . . . F Evan Friesen (6) got the Ice into a 2-2 tie by tucking home a loose puck at 8:33. . . . The Ice felt it had a 3-2 lead at 10:54 when Latimer was able to beat Milic from in close by knocking in the puck out of midair. The call on the ice was a goal but it was disallowed after a lengthy video review, because, according to an entry on the online scoresheet, the puck was “directed in by a player’s glove.” . . . Both goaltenders, Milic and Winnipeg’s Daniel Hauser, were nothing short of superb. Milic finished with 31 saves, two fewer than Hauser. . . . Seattle was 1-for-5 on the PP; Winnipeg was 0-for-3.



The Penticton Vees won their second straight BCHL championship on bchlWednesday night, beating the host Alberni Valley Bulldogs, 4-1, to sweep the best-of-seven series. . . . The Vees went 16-1 in winning last season’s Fred Page Cup, and they replicated that this time around. . . . F Brett Moravec scored twice for the winners, giving him 10 goals. . . . The game was halted with 4:02 left in the first period following an injury to Penticton F Spencer Smith following a high hit. From St. Catharines, Ont., Smith is to turn 21 on Saturday. The first intermission was held at that point. . . . During that intermission, the BCHL tweeted: “Smith is alert and was helped off the ice. We hope for a speedy recovery.” . . . The Vees tweeted in the second intermission: “Spencer Smith is doing well at Port Alberni’s hospital. His spirits are high.”

The 2023 Kamloops Kidney Walk is scheduled for June 4, and Dorothy is taking part once again. She will celebrate 10 years as a kidney-transplant recipient in September, so the annual Kidney Walk is a big deal for her. In fact, she is participating for a 10th straight year. Yes, that means she is fund-raising, with all donations going to the Kidney Foundation. . . . If you are interested in helping, you are able to do so on her home page, which is right here.


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873



Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182


Or, for more information, visit right here.



Tracey nets two more for Canada. . . . Scott, Wiesblatt help Raiders to victory. . . . Hardy sparks Giants; Chiefs lose Smith


F Roman Horák (Chilliwack, 2009-11) has signed a one-year contract extension with Växjö (Sweden, SHL). This season, he had 15 goals and 18 assists in 50 games.


F Brayden Tracey of the Moose Jaw Warriors scored twice and added an assist on Friday Canadato help Canada to a 7-4 victory over Switzerland at the IIHF U-18 World Championship in Umea, Sweden. . . . The tournament, which runs through April 28, also is being played in Ornskoldsvik. . . . Tracey had scored twice on Thursday as Canada skated to a 5-3 victory over Finland as the tournament began. . . . On Friday, Canada got a goal and an assist from each of F Peyton Krebs (Winnipeg Ice) and F Connor Zary (Kamloops Blazers). F Dylan Cozens (Lethbridge Hurricanes) also scored for Canada. . . . G Taylor Gauthier (Prince George Cougars) stopped 17 shots in his second straight start. . . . Canada led 3-0 and 4-3 by period. . . . Canada will next play on Sunday when it is to meet Belarus.

In other Friday games, Team USA dumped Slovakia, 12-5, behind four goals from each of F Cole Caufield, who has seven in two games, and F Jack Hughes; Sweden beat Latvia, 5-2; and Belarus surprised Finland, 4-3, despite being outshot 29-3 in the third period. F Yegor Buyalski of the Warriors had a goal and an assist for Belarus.

The NCAA has announced a series of rule changes regarding the does and don’ts of recruiting that will impact Division I men’s hockey. . . . Here’s Mike G. Morale of “The new legislation, which will go into effect May 1, calls for no recruiting conversations until Jan. 1 of a player’s sophomore (grade 10) school year, as well as no verbal offers (commitments) made to a player until Aug. 1 before the player’s junior (grade 11) school year. Under the old guidelines, players could initiate communication at any time, and verbal offers could be made anytime.” . . . Morreale’s story is right here.


With the rule changes not kicking in until May 1, there may well be a few young players making verbal commitments between now and then. . . . On Friday, F Tanner Ludtke, a 14-year-old from Elko, Minn., announced via Twitter that he has committed to the U of Nebraska-Omaha and will join the Mavericks for the 2023-24 season. . . . This season, he had 30 goals and 33 assists in 46 games with the Lakeville South bantam AA club. . . .

Meanwhile, F Brett Moravec, 16, has committed to the U of Wisconsin Badgers. Moravec, from Airdrie, Alta., was a fifth-round pick by the Prince Albert Raiders in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. This season, he had 13 goals and 23 assists in 32 games with the prep team at the Edge School in Calgary.

The Battlefords North Stars wrapped up the SJHL championship on Friday night, beating the visiting Melfort Mustangs, 7-2. . . . The North Stars won the series and the Canalta Cup, 4-1, and now will meet the MJHL-champion, either the Portage Terriers or the Swan Valley Stampeders, for the ANAVET Cup. The MJHL champion will be decided on Monday when the teams meet in Game 7 in Portage la Prairie. . . . Last night, Battlefords got two goals from each of F Macgregor Sinclair, Quintin Loon-Stewardson and F Braydon Buziak. . . . They also got 32 saves from G Joel Grzybowski.


NOTES: The WHL playoffs resumed on Friday night as each of the conference finals got started. . . .

The Prince Albert Raiders opened the Eastern Conference final at home with a 1-0 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings, who hadn’t played since eliminating the Calgary Hitmen on April 10. The Raiders won their series with the Saskatoon Blades on April 14. . . .

In the Western Conference, the Vancouver Giants got started with a 4-1 victory over the Spokane Chiefs in Langley, B.C. . . . They’ll play again tonight in Langley. . . . The Giants had been idle since finishing off the Victoria Royals on April 11. The Chiefs eliminated the Everett Silvertips on April 13.



G Ian Scott recorded the shutout and F Ozzy Wiesblatt scored the game’s only goal as the PrinceAlbertPrince Albert Raiders opened the Eastern Conference final with a 1-0 victory over the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . They’ll play Game 2 in Prince Albert tonight. . . . Wiesblatt (4) scored at 1:48 of the second period, his backhand shot bouncing past G Dylan Myskiw after hitting the stick belonging to Edmonton D Wyatt McLeod. . . . Wiesblatt had scored three goals in the Raiders’ first four games of these playoffs; this goal ended a six-game drought. . . . Scott blocked 26 shots, and was superb in a third period in which his guys were outshot 11-3. . . . In these playoffs, Scott is 9-2, 1.64, .934 with two shutouts. . . . Myskiw finished with 23 saves. . . . Edmonton was 0-2 on the PP; Prince Albert was 0-4. . . . The Raiders are 6-0 at home in the playoffs. . . . The Oil Kings went into the game having won their previous four road games. . . . F Cole Fonstad was back in the Raiders’ lineup after missing the last two games of their six-game series victory over the Saskatoon Blades. . . . F Justin Nachbaur of the Raiders sat out as he completed a two-game suspension.

F Owen Hardy scored once and added two assists to lead the Vancouver Giants to a 4-1 Vancouvervictory over the Spokane Chiefs in Langley, B.C. . . . It was Game 1 of the Western Conference final. Game 2 will be played tonight in Langley. . . . The Giants took control with two goals 2:12 apart early in the first period. . . . F Lukas Svejkovsky (4) opened the scoring, on a PP, at 6:25, and F Dawson Holt (3) made it 2-0 at 8:37. . . . Hardy (4) upped the lead to 3-0 just 57 seconds into the second period. . . . The Chiefs got their goal at 5:30 as F Adam Beckman (6) scored. . . . D Bowen Byram (5) put it away for the Giants with an empty-netter at 18:06 of the third period. . . . Vancouver was 1-2 on the PP; Spokane was 0-2. . . . G David Tendeck earned the victory with 30 saves, four more than Spokane’s Bailey Brkin. . . . The Giants continued to play without F Aidan Barfoot, who is out with an undisclosed injury. . . . Spokane F Luc Smith left the game early in the first period after falling into the boards. He didn’t return. If he has to miss any time it will be a big loss for the Chiefs. At 6-foot-4, he’s a big body and as a 20-year-old he brings a lot of experience to their lineup. After being acquired from the Kamloops Blazers this season, he had 20 goals and 14 assists in 42 games. He went into this series with four goals and an assist in 10 games.


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