What lies ahead for WHL GMs? . . . Hitmen adding goalie with Stankowski out . . . Watson remembers McGeough


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While the WHL’s trading deadline doesn’t arrive until Jan. 10, the 22 general managers know that it really is closer than that because of the Christmas moratorium that runs from Dec. 15 through Dec. 26.

At the same time, the 2018-19 regular-season is about one-third completed, and that’s whlenough for each general manager to have a pretty good idea how things are shaping up — with his team and how it stacks up against the competition.

For some of them then, there isn’t any sense waiting until January. That’s why general manager Matt Bardsley of the Kamloops Blazers made two deals on Monday.

This season’s arm’s race isn’t expected to be anything close to what went on a year ago. Back then, you may recall, things started to heat up on Nov. 13 when the Regina Pats acquired D Cale Fleury from the Kootenay Ice for D Jonathan Smart, F Cole Muir and two 2018 bantam draft picks — a second and a sixth.

Twelve days later, the Calgary Hitmen shipped F Matteo Gennaro, F Beck Malenstyn and a 2018 fifth-rounder to the Swift Current Broncos for five players — F Conner Chaulk, G Ethan Hein, F Josh Prokop, D Dom Schmiemann and F Riley Stotts — and a 2018 second-rounder.

From that point on, the WHL experienced its silliest silly season yet. In fact, before this season arrived, the WHL rewrote the regulations that govern trades. Now there are restrictions on the trading of 15-, 16- and 17-year-olds players.

Because of the new rules, it’s going to be interesting to see what transpires between now and Jan. 10.

On Monday, Bardsley traded away two players — a 20-year-old and a 19-year-old — and got back two players, one 20 and the other 19, and four bantam draft picks.

“You’re not allowed to trade a signed 15- or 16-year-old and the 17-year-olds have to agree to a trade,” Bardsley told Earl Seitz of CFJC-TV in Kamloops. “So you have a pretty small group of 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds that you’re allowed to trade.

“Last (season), with all those major trades, a lot of them included signed 15- and 16-year-olds. (Now) teams are going to have to make up it with the draft picks . . . so whether we use those to select a player or use those drafts to acquire a player — it gives some options of what you can do to improve your team.”   

Who knows? Maybe we’ll see trades like the one in the OHL last week in which one team gave up two players and got back two players and 11 — count ‘em, 11 — draft picks.


F Cam Hausinger and F Connor McClennon, both of whom were injured on Saturday Kootenaynewnight in a 5-1 loss to the visiting Prince Albert Raiders, didn’t practice with the Kootenay Ice on Tuesday, indicating they won’t play tonight against the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . However, F Peyton Krebs, who has missed four games, and D Valtteri Kakkonen, a Finnish freshman who has sat out five games, were on the ice Tuesday. . . . On the WHL’s weekly roster report, McClennon is listed as being out four-to-six weeks, with Hausinger out week-to-week. . . . Also on Tuesday, the Ice brought in F Skyler Bruce and F James Form. If both players make their WHL debuts tonight that will give the Ice 12 available forwards. . . . Bruce, 15, has 16 goals and 18 assists in 19 games with the Winnipeg-based Rink Hockey Academy Elite 15s. He was a second-round pick in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. . . . Form, 16, is from Saskatoon where he plays for the midget AAA Blazers. He has seven goals and four assists in seven games. The Ice selected him in the third round of the 2017 bantam draft. . . . If Bruce and Form play tonight, they will become the 34th and 35th players to have suited up for the Ice this season. The Ice (7-16-4) is seven points away from the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot.


The Calgary Hitmen are listing G Carl Stankowski as being out week-to-week with a Calgarylower-body injury. . . . As you no doubt are aware, Stankowski, then 16, came off the bench to backstop the Seattle Thunderbirds to the WHL title in the spring of 2017. He didn’t play at all last season due to injuries, including hip-related woes, and illness, then was acquired by the Hitmen during the off-season. . . . Stankowski went the distance in Calgary’s second-last game, stopping 24 shots in a 5-2 victory over the Thunderbirds in Kent, Wash., on Friday night. . . . This season, Stankowski is 6-6-2, 3.72, .879. . . . With Stankowski out, freshman Jack McNaughton will take over the starter’s role. In 12 appearances, he is 4-6-1, 3.35, .890. . . . G Matt Armitage, who was with the Hitmen earlier in the season and has been playing with the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks, will join Calgary for three weekend games. . . . The Hitmen, who just came off a U.S. Division trip on which they went 3-1-1, are next scheduled to play on Friday when they visit the Red Deer Rebels.


Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post filed a piece on Tuesday that began like this:

“At an altitude of 38,000 feet, Brad Watson expressed his appreciation for a late, great friend who was always so down-to-earth.

“While flying from Denver to Detroit, Watson wrote a tribute to a fellow Regina-born NHL referee — Mick McGeough — and, upon landing, kindly shares the heartfelt sentiments with us.”

It’s all right here, and it’s the best tribute to McGeough that I’ve read since his death, at 62, last week.


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Simon Black, an assistant professor of labour studies at Brock U in St. Catharines, Ont., writes in the Toronto Star:

“Major junior hockey is big business. Everyone from coaches to Zamboni drivers to concession stand workers gets paid and protected under labour laws. Everyone, that is, but the players.”

Some of what he writes involves the CHL claim that major junior players are amateur student athletes.

However, as Black points out, “There’s also legal precedent dispelling the amateur myth. Hearing a case about whether the Brandon Wheat Kings should pay employment insurance and Canada Pension Plan assessments, the Tax Court of Canada ruled in 2000 that the relationship between club and players is indeed one of employer-employee.”

Simon’s complete piece is right here.


F Nick Bowman, who left the Kootenay Ice earlier in the month, has joined the AJHL’s Sherwood Park Crusaders. Bowman, 18, is from Sherwood Park. . . . He was a sixth-round selection by the Edmonton Oil Kings in the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft. He had 13 goals and 13 assists in 117 games with the Oil Kings when they dealt him to the Moose Jaw Warriors prior to this season. . . . After recording one assist in 10 games with Moose Jaw, he was traded to the Ice on Oct. 22, along with a sixth-round pick in the 2021 bantam draft, for F Kaeden Taphorn and his twin brother, Keenan, also a forward. . . . After scoring twice in 10 games with the Ice, Bowman chose to leave the club.


Brad Moran, who won a WHL scoring title while with the Calgary Hitmen, has been promoted from assistant coach to head coach of the AJHL’s Calgary Canucks. He takes over form Darryl Olsen, who was fired on Nov. 22. . . . Moran, 39, is from Abbotsford, B.C. He spent five seasons with the Hitmen. He totalled 450 points, including 204 goals, in 357 regular-season games. Moran won the WHL’s 1999-2000 scoring title, with 120 points. . . . The Canucks are 4-22-1, 20 points out of fifth-place in the AJHL’s Viterra South Division.


TUESDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The Prince Albert Raiders ran their winning streak to 17 with a 4-3 victory over the PrinceAlbertRebels in Red Deer. . . . The Raiders (24-1-0) are 2-1-0 against the Rebels, having lost 4-3 in Red Deer on Oct. 6 and won 2-1 at home on Oct. 13. . . . Prince Albert set a franchise record with its seventh straight road victory. It had shared the record with the 1985-86 team. . . . The Rebels (16-7-1) have lost two in a row. . . . The visitors jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals from F Spencer Moe (4), at 2:59 of the first period, and F Parker Kelly (11), at 4:11. . . . D Ethan Sakowich (1) scored for Red Deer at 5:27, but F Cole Fonstad (7) got that one back for the Raiders at 9:07. . . . F Zak Smith (4) pulled the Rebels to with a goal at 9:43 of the second period. . . . F Brett Leason scored his WHL-leading 26th goal, on a PP, at 14:27, to restore Prince Albert’s two-goal lead. . . . F Jeff de Wit (16) counted on a PP, with G Byron Fancy on the bench for the extra attacker, at 19:01 of the third period for Red Deer’s third goal. . . . D Sergei Sapego had three assists for the winners. . . . Leason ran his point streak to 25 games — yes, every game this season — with an assist on Kelly’s goal. . . . Leason leads the WHL in goals and points (56). . . . Leason went into this season with 24 goals and 27 assists in 135 regular-season games. . . . The Raiders were 1-2 on the PP; the Rebels were 1-7. . . . Sakowich’s goal was his fourth in 161 career regular-season games. He didn’t score in 72 games last season; in fact, his last goal came in a 6-1 victory over the visiting Kootenay Ice on March 11, 2017. . . . The Rebels were without their best defenceman, Russian Alex Alexeyev, who is out with an undisclosed injury. . . . The Raiders are back at it tonight when they meet the Oil Kings in Edmonton. This will be the first meeting of the season between these teams.


The Tri-City Americans erased a 2-1 deficit with the game’s last four goals and beat the tri-cityPrince George Cougars, 5-2, in Kennewick, Wash. . . . Tri-City (14-9-0) has won two in a row. . . . Prince George (10-12-3) has lost two straight. . . . F Vladislav Mikhalchuk (6) scored his second goal of the game, on a PP, at 4:09 of the second period to give the visitors a 2-1 lead. . . . F Isaac Johnson (9) tied the score, on a PP, at 9:51, and F Krystof Hrabik (7) snapped the tie at 18:42. . . . Tri-City put it away with third-period goals from F Sasha Mutala (6), at 6:00, and D Mitchell Brown (3), into an empty net, at 18:02. . . . G Beck Warm stopped 39 shots for the Americans. . . . D Aaron Hyman, who was acquired Monday from the Regina Pats, was in Tri-City’s starting lineup. He had one assist and it came on a PP. . . . The Americans lost F Kyle Olson to a cross-checking major and game misconduct at 19:19 of the first period.


F Davis Koch figured in three of the game’s last four goals to lead the Vancouver Giants to Vancouvera 5-3 victory over the Saskatoon Blades in Langley, B.C. . . . The Giants (17-6-2) have won three straight. . . . The Blades are 1-1-0 on a B.C. Division tour that continues tonight in Victoria. . . . Saskatoon scored all three of its goals in the game’s first 10 minutes, F Max Gerlach (16) giving it a 3-1 lead at 9:56. . . . Koch scored, on a PP, at 1:49 of the second period to get the Giants to within a goal. . . . F Aidan Barfoot (1), playing in his third game of the season and first since Sept. 22, tied it at 3:51. . . . F Milos Roman (13) gave Vancouver a 4-3 lead, on a PP, at 3:21 of the third period. . . . Koch scored his eighth goal into an empty net at 19:46. . . . Koch has 13 points, including five goals, in a six-game point streak. . . . D Nolan Kneen, who was acquired Monday from the Kamloops Blazers, made his Saskatoon debut.


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McGeough, ex-referee, dies at 62 . . . Cozens, Addison blow through Brandon . . . Raiders run victory streak to 15


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D Alexei Platonov (Medicine Hat, 2015-16) has been assigned on loan by Lada Togliatti (Russia, Vysshaya Liga) to Cheboksary (Russia, Pervenstvo Vysshaya Liga). Platonov was injured during the exhibition season and hasn’t played in the regular season. Last season, he had one goal and two assists in 24 games with Toros Neftekamsk (Russia, Vysshaya Liga). . . .

G Andrei Makarov (Saskatoon, 2011-13) has been claimed on waivers by Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg (Russia, KHL) from Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk (Russia, KHL). This season, with Nizhnekamsk, he got into six games and was 1-3-1, 2.64, .897. In seven games with CSK VSS Samara (Russia, Vysshaya Liga), he was 3-2-2, 1.95 GAA, .913.


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Former WHL/NHL referee Mick McGeough died Friday night in a Regina hospital. . . . His family revealed earlier in the day that he was to be taken off life support. McGeough, 62, had suffered a stroke on Sunday. . . . According to the Regina Leader-Post, McGeough’s family “made the announcement Friday — one day after a GoFundMe page was set up to assist with medical expenses.” . . . The Leader-Post story, which was written early on Friday and includes a link to a GoFundMe page, is right here.


G Ian Scott of the Prince Albert Raiders is on quite a run.

Consider . . .

On Nov. 14, Scott stopped 43 shots in posting a 2-0 shutout over the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers, perhaps missing an empty-net goal when his attempt to fire the puck the length of the ice struck the scoreclock.

On Nov. 16, Scott scored an empty-net goal in a 3-1 victory over the visiting Tri-City Americans.

On Nov. 17, Scott blocked 26 shots in a 6-0 beating of the Wheat Kings in Brandon.

On Nov. 20, Scott and the Raiders dumped the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes, 5-1.

Last night, Scott stopped 26 shots and had an assist as the Raiders beat the Tigers, 7-3, in Medicine Hat. In earning the assist, his first of the season (and third of his career), Scott corralled the puck behind his goal and fired it off the left boards and right on to the stick of F Brett Leason. The WHL’s leading scorer went in shorthanded and scored, giving the Raiders a 4-0 lead.

This season, Scott is 19-1-0, 1.45, .948.

Scott, 20, is from Calgary. His NHL rights belong to the Toronto Maple Leafs, who selected him in the fourth round of the NHL’s 2017 draft.


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The Nelson Daily has dubbed it “Twitter-Gate.” That would be the sniping that went on following a Kootenay International Junior Hockey League game between the Nelson Leafs and the host Spokane Braves on Sunday. . . . In a story that is right here, The Daily reports that Larry Martel, the KIJHL president, has told both teams to cut it out. . . . The good news for Spokane hockey fans is that the two teams will close out November on Friday at Eagles Ice Arena. Game time is 7 p.m.

——

Former WHL D Jonas Harkins has joined the junior B North Van Wolf Pack of the Pacific Junior Hockey League. Harkins, who will turn 18 on Dec. 26, made his debut with the Wolf Pack on Wednesday night. A native of North Vancouver, he played 34 WHL games over four seasons with the Prince George Cougars and Regina Pats.


FRIDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

F Dylan Cozens scored three goals and set up three others, and D Calen Addison drew Lethbridgefive assists, as the Hurricanes skated to an 8-4 victory over the Wheat Kings in Brandon. . . . Lethbridge (11-8-4) has won two straight. The victory moved it into a tie with Brandon in the Eastern Conference standings. . . . The Wheat Kings (10-7-6) have lost three in a row. . . . The Hurricanes were 5-6 on the PP. . . . F Jordy Bellerive (10), who also had two assists, gave Lethbridge a 2-1 lead at 8:13 of the first period, and Cozens upped it to 3-1, on a PP, at 18:04. Cozens made it 4-1 on another PP at 4:06 of the second and the Hurricanes were in control. . . . Cozens enjoyed the first six-point game of his career, and had his third hat trick. This season, Cozens has 30 points, including 12 goals, in 23 games. . . . Addison has four goals and 21 assists in 23 games. . . . Addison, who is from Brandon, had a five-point night last season when he recorded five assists in a 7-2 victory over the Oil Kings in Edmonton. . . . F Ty Kolle scored twice for Lethbridge, giving him seven goals and four assists since being acquired from the Portland Winterhawks. . . . Brandon got two goals from F Stelio Mattheos, who has 21. . . . G Jiri Patera of the Wheat Kings was pulled for the first time in his freshman season. It came in his 19th start. He gave up three goals on 16 shots in the first period. . . . Brandon had D Schael Higson in the lineup for the first time since Oct. 16, but D Braden Schneider remains sidelined.


F Tristin Langan scored his second goal of the game in OT to give the host Moose Jaw MooseJawWarriorsWarriors a 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Moose Jaw (11-5-4) has points in six straight (5-0-1). . . . Edmonton now is 14-8-4. . . . The teams exchanged goals until the Warriors scored the last two. . . . F Kaeden Taphorn (2) tied it 3-3 at 15:55 of the third period. It was his first goal in seven games with the Warriors since coming over in a deal with the Kootenay Ice. . . . Langan, who also had an assist, won it with his 17th goal, at 3:08 of OT. . . . The Warriors got three assists from D Josh Brook. . . . F Justin Almeida returned to Moose Jaw’s lineup after missing four games with an undisclosed injury suffered in Game 1 of the CIBC Canada Russia Series. He had a goal, his fourth, and the primary assist on Langan’s winner. . . . F Trey Fix-Wolansky scored his 15th goal 22 seconds into the first period and added two assists. . . . Edmonton was 1-4 on the PP; Moose Jaw’s unit wasn’t given even one opportunity. . . . F Andrei Pavlenko, a freshman from Belarus, as back after sitting out since Nov. 12. . . . This game actually featured four players from Belarus — Pavlenko and F Vladimir Alistrov of the Oil Kings, and F Yegor Buyalski and F Daniil Stepanov of the Warriors. . . . The Warriors will be on the ice again this afternoon as they meet the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes in a game that is to be televised by Sportsnet. Game time is 2:30 p.m. (1:30 p.m. MT, 12:30 p.m. PT). The Hurricanes beat the Wheat Kings, 8-4, in Brandon last night.


F Brandon Hagel’s late goal gave the Red Deer Rebels a 3-2 victory over the Kootenay Ice Red Deerin Cranbrook, B.C. . . . The Rebels (16-5-1) have won five in a row. They are 4-0-0 against the Ice this season, having won three times by one goal. . . . The Ice (7-15-4) has lost four straight (0-3-1). . . . The Rebels took a 2-0 lead on first-period goals from D Dawson Barteaux (2), on a PP, and F Jeff de Wit (15). . . . The Ice tied it on two goals from F Cam Hausinger, who has eight. He scored at 15:07 of the first, on a PP, and 5:46 of the third. . . . Nagel, who also had an assist, won it with his 15th of the year, at 19:10. . . . D Alex Alexeyev and F Reese Johnson each had two assists for the Rebels. . . . The Ice remains without F Peyton Krebs.


F Brett Leason had two goals and two assists to help the Prince Albert Raiders to their PrinceAlbert15th consecutive victory, this one by a 7-3 count over the Tigers in Medicine Hat. . . . The Raiders now are 22-1-0. . . . The 15-game victory streak has tied a franchise record set in 1985-86. Next up for the Raiders? They’re in Cranbrook, B.C., tonight to meet the Kootenay Ice. . . . The Tigers slipped to 10-12-3. . . . The Raiders won the season series, 4-0-0, outscoring the Tigers, 19-7. . . . Leason ran his point streak to 23 games — yes, he has at least a point in every game this season — when he gave his guys a 2-0 lead at 9:22 of the first period. . . . His second goal, at 1:30 of the second period, came while shorthanded and gave his club a 4-0 lead. The Raiders now have scored a WHL-leading 15 shorthanded goals; the Red Deer Rebels are next with seven. . . . The Tigers came back to get within a goal, at 4-3, on a goal from F Ryan Jevne (7) at 7:50 of the third period. . . . The Raiders put it away with three goals in a span of 1:26 later in the period. . . . F Parker Kelly scored twice for the winners, giving him nine. . . . Leason leads the WHL in goals (24) and is tied with Edmonton F Trey Fix-Wolansky for the points lead, each with 51. . . . Tigers D Joel Craven missed his 13th straight game with concussion-like symptoms, while F Elijah Brown (shoulder) also is out.


The host Kelowna Rockets scored the game’s first two goals and went on to beat the KelownaRocketsVictoria Royals, 3-1. . . . Kelowna (11-13-1) has won three in a row. . . . Victoria (12-7-0) had won its previous two games. . . . F Kyle Topping (10) gave Kelowna a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 10:47 of the second period. . . . The Rockets nursed that lead until 14:05 of the third when F Liam Kindree (5) made it 2-0. . . . F Kaid Oliver (14) got the Royals to within one at 18:18. . . . F Leif Mattson (9) gave the Rockets some insurance at 19:53. . . . Kelowna got 23 saves from G Roman Basran. . . . Victoria G Griffen Outhouse, who stopped 26 shots, set a franchise record by playing in his 166th game. He had shared the record with Coleman Vollrath (2012-16). . . . The Royals had F Dante Hannoun back in the lineup, but D Ralph Jarratt remains out. . . . D Braydyn Chizen was among Kelowna’s scratches.


The Prince George Cougars scored the game’s first two goals and the last two as they beat PrinceGeorgethe visiting Regina Pats, 5-3. . . . The Cougars (10-10-3) had lost their previous two games. . . . The Pats (8-17-0) have lost two in a row. . . . The Pats went 1-5-0 on their road swing, including 1-4-0 in the B.C. Division. . . . F Jackson Leppard (5) got the home side off to a 1-0 lead with a shorthanded score at 5:58 of the first period. . . . D Joel Lakuska (4) made it 2-0 at 11:40. . . . F Josh Maser (7) gave the Cougars a 3-1 lead at 2:32 of the second period. . . . The Pats got even on F Nick Henry’s three goals, in a span of 6:59 in the second period. It was the third hat trick of his career and the second in eight days. Henry also scored three times on Nov. 16 in a 10-4 loss to the Vancouver Giants in Langley, B.C. . . . Henry’s 15th goal tied the game at 7:41 of the second. . . . Prince George F Ethan Browne (5) broke the tie, on a PP, at 11:57 of the second. . . . F Josh Curtis (6) got the empty-netter at 19:01. . . . Prince George G Isaiah DiLaura stopped 30 shots. . . . The Pats lost F Marco Creta to a boarding major and game misconduct at 9:30 of the second period. . . . Regina F Jake Leschyshyn had his 12-game point streak snapped.


G Carl Stankowski stopped 24 shots for the Calgary Hitmen in his return to Kent, Wash., Calgaryas they beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 5-2. . . . The Hitmen (10-13-2) have won two in a row in the U.S. Division. They are 4-1-0 on a road trip that wraps up tonight in Kennewick, Wash., against the Tri-City Americans. . . . The Thunderbirds (8-11-3) have lost two straight. . . . “I’ve had this game marked on my calendar for a long time,” Stankowski told Alex Medina of hitmenhockey.com before the game. “I’m pretty anxious to go there and play against some of my old teammates. It’s going to be really fun and exciting to go back in that barn. It’ll bring back a lot of great memories. I want to win that game really bad.” . . . Stankowski, then 16, was Seattle’s starting goaltender in the playoffs as they won the WHL championship in the spring of 2017. After getting into only seven regular-season games, he went 16-4, 2.50, .911 in the playoffs after starter Rylan Toth was injured. . . . Stankowski ran into injury and health issues, and didn’t play last season, then was dealt to Calgary over the summer. . . . With the Hitmen, he now is 6-6-2, 3.72, .879. . . . The Hitmen got two goals from each of F Mark Kastelic, who has 21, and F Luke Coleman, who has seven. . . . Kastelic’s two goals, one on a PP, and one from F Carson Focht (5), at 1:59 of the second period, gave the visitors a 3-0 lead. . . . Seattle got to within a goal as F Matthew Wedman (8) scored, shorthanded, at 7:55 of the second period and F Zack Andrusiak (12) found the range at 10:05 of the third. . . . But F Luke Coleman put it away with two empty-netters, giving him seven goals. . . . Calgary was 1-2 on the PP and 7-7 on the PK. . . . Andrusiak has goals in five straight games.


The Kamloops Blazers scored the game’s last four goals and beat the Tri-City Americans, Kamloops15-1, in Kennewick, Wash. . . . The Blazers (9-10-2), who are only 2-6-1 at home, now are 7-4-0 on the road where they have won six of their last seven. . . . The Americans (12-9-0) have lost three straight. . . . The Americans last played at home on Oct. 19. They then went on an 11-game road trip on which they were 7-4-0. . . . F Orrin Centazzo scored the Blazers’ first two goals, giving them a 1-0 lead at 8:50 of the first period and a 2-1 edge, on a PP, at 4:12 of the second. He’s got six goals. . . . D Montana Onyebuchi (2) had a goal and an assist for Kamloops, with F Zane Franklin and F Luc Smith each getting two assists. . . . The game featured the Schmiemann brothers playing against each other — Dom with the Americans and Quinn with the Blazers. Quinn’s first WHL goal gave the Blazers a 4-1 lead at 14:51 of the second. The goal came in his 20th WHL game, 17 of them this season. . . . Kamloops got 34 stops from G Dylan Ferguson. . . . F Jermaine Loewen, the team captain, was among the Blazers’ scratches. He apparently was ill.


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Did Leason make the right choice? . . . Edmonton takes battle of Kings . . . Stankowski, Hitmen win in Portland


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Hockey or football? Football or hockey? . . . It’s not that long ago when Brett Leason was PrinceAlbertputting up pretty impressive numbers as a quarterback in peewee football. On top of that, his father, Darryl, was a superb university quarterback and, at 44, continues to play competitively. Still, Brett ended up choosing hockey and it would seem that he made the right decision. . . . After all, the Prince Albert Raiders forward went into Wednesday’s games leading the WHL in goals and points. . . . Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post has more on the Leasons right here.


Kelly Sowatsky, a fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins, needed a kidney transplant. So she showed up at a Penguins game on March 31 with a sign. She got a new kidney on Nov. 6. . . . Mike Brehm of USA Today has that story right here.


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WEDNESDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

F Quinn Benjafield scored twice to help the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings to a 4-1 victory EdmontonOilKingsover the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Edmonton (14-8-3) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). . . . Brandon (10-6-6) has lost two in a row. . . . F Stelio Mattheos (19) gave Brandon a 1-0 lead, on the PP, at 2:49 of the first period . . . Edmonton F Brett Kemp (16) got that one back at 4:50. . . . The Oil Kings took control with two more goals before the period ended. . . . Benjafield scored at 16:38 and F Trey Fix-Wolansky (14) made it 3-1, on a PP, at 19:21. . . . Benjafield, who has 10 goals, added an empty-netter at 19:52. . . . Fix-Wolansky also had an assist, moving back atop the WHL scoring race. He’s got 48 points, one more than the idle Brett Leason of the Prince Albert Raiders. Fix-Wolansky also leads the WHL in assists (34). . . . G Dylan Myskiw stopped 30 shots for Edmonton. The Oil Kings acquired Myskiw, 19, from Brandon on Sept 19, giving up a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft. With Edmonton, Myskiw is 11-5-2, 2.95, .905. . . . The Wheat Kings are without two of their top defencemen in Schael Higson and Braden Schneider.


G Carl Tetachuk stopped 35 shots to help the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 3-1 victory over Lethbridgethe Blades in Saskatoon. . . . Lethbridge (10-8-4) had lost its previous two games. . . . Saskatoon (14-8-2) had a four-game winning streak come to an end. . . . The Hurricanes scored the game’s last three goals after F Tristen Robins (3) gave the home boys a 1-0 lead at 19:07 of the first period. . . . F Jadon Joseph (10) tied it just 35 seconds later. . . . F Ty Kolle (5), who also had two assists, broke the tie at 3:17 of the third period. . . . F Jackson Shepard (1) got the empty-netter at 19:35. . . . Kolle has five goals and four assists in 15 games with Lethbridge after being acquired from the Portland Winterhawks. . . . The Blades will open a five-game B.C. Division swing in Prince George on Saturday night.


F Nolan Foote scored a pair of PP goals to lead the host Kelowna Rockets to a 3-2 victory KelownaRocketsover the Regina Pats. . . . The Rockets (10-13-1) have won two in a row. They also have won four straight at home. . . . The Pats (8-16-0) are 1-3-0 on a B.C. Division tour that concludes Friday in Prince George. . . . F Kyle Crosbie (3) and Foote gave the Rockets a 2-0 lead, before F Jake Leschyshyn (16) got the Pats to within one at 13:00 of the second period. That ran his point streak to 12 games. . . . Foote restored the two-goal lead with his 15th score at 18:23. . . . Regina D Aaron Hyman (5) got the Pats to within a goal, on a PP, at 19:01 of the third. . . . Finnish D Lassi Thomson, a freshman, had two assists for Kelowna. He’s got seven goals and 11 assists in 24 games.


The Calgary Hitmen erased a 1-0 deficit with three goals and went on to score a 3-2 Calgaryvictory over the Winterhawks in Portland. . . . Calgary (9-13-2) is 2-1-0 on a five-game trip through the U.S. Division. . . . Portland (13-8-2) has lost two in a row. . . . F Cody Glass (8) ran a point streak to 10 games as he gave his guys a 1-0 lead at 9:28 of the first period. . . . F Jake Kryski (11) got Calgary even, on a PP, at 5:42 of the second. . . . Hitmen F James Malm (12) broke the tie at 3:46 of the third period, and F Riley Stotts (6) made it 3-1 at 7:52. . . . D John Ludvig (1) scored at 15:17 as Portland got to within a goal. . . . Calgary was 1-3 on the PP and its penalty-killers were 5-5. . . . D Brendan De Jong was back in Portland’s lineup after a one-game absence. . . . The Hitmen got 38 saves from G Carl Stankowski. You will recall that Stankowski, then 16, wrote quite a story in the WHL playoffs in the spring of 2017 as he helped the Seattle Thunderbirds to a championship. He ran into injury and health problems and didn’t play last season, then was dealt to Calgary. The Hitmen are scheduled to visit the Thunderbirds on Friday night.


The Vancouver Giants opened a 3-0 lead and went on to beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 4-Vancouver2, in Kent, Wash. . . . Vancouver (15-6-2) had lost its previous two games. . . . Seattle now is 8-10-3. . . . The Giants got first-period goals from D Bowen Byram (7), on a PP, and D Dylan Plouffe (3). . . . F Milos Roman (11) made it 3-0, on another PP, at 3:54 of the second period. . . . F Nolan Volcan (5) got Seattle on the scoreboard, shorthanded, at 14:37. . . . However, F Lukas Svejkovsky (2) restored Vancouver’s three-goal lead at 14:13 of the third period. . . . F Zack Andrusiak (11) got Seattle’s second goal, on a PP, at 17:03. . . . Plouffe, who played in his 200th career game, has two goals and four assists in a four-game point streak. . . . G Trent Miner stopped 23 shots for Vancouver. . . . G David Tendeck was among the Giants’ scratches. With him on the shelf, the Giants had Braedy Euerby backing up Miner. Euerby, from Delta, B.C., was a fifth-round pick by Vancouver in the 2017 bantam draft. He plays for the Delta Hockey Academy prep team. . . . F Lucas Ciona made his WHL debut with the Thunderbirds. Ciona, 15, is from Edmonton. He was a second-round selection in the 2018 bantam draft. He has six goals and eight assists in 16 games with the Northern Alberta X-Treme prep team. He also has one assist in two games with the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints.


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Americans and Hitmen cut deal . . . Royals run their record to 7-0-0 . . . Anders superb as Rebels dump Raiders . . . T-Birds beat Rockets in wild one


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F Radek Duda (Regina, Lethbridge, 1998-2000) signed a contract for the rest of this season with Piráti Chomutov (Czech Republic, Extraliga) after obtaining his release from Benátky nad Jizerou (Czech Republic, 1. Liga). This season, he had three goals and three assists in 10 games with Benátky nad Jizerou.


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The Tri-City Americans have acquired D Dom Schmiemann, 19, from the Calgary Hitmen tri-cityfor a fourth-round selection in the 2019 WHL bantam draft and a conditional fifth-rounder in 2020. . . . “With a long-term injury to Anthony Bishop, we felt it was necessary to add a veteran defenceman,” Americans general manager Bob Tory explained in a news release. . . . The Swift Current Broncos selected Schmiemann in the first round of the 2014 bantam draft. . . . From Wilcox, Sask., he had one assist in four games this season. Last season, he put up a goal and 10 assists in 47 games with Calgary after being acquired from the Broncos. In 135 regular-season career games, he has two goals and 22 assists. . . . His younger brother Quinn, 17, is in his first season with the Kamloops Blazers. He, too, is a defenceman.


Three players were suspended by the WHL on Saturday afternoon, all for infractions committed on Friday night. . . . F Sean Richards of the Everett Silvertips and F Jermaine Loewen of the Kamloops Blazers drew TBD sentences and didn’t play last night. Both players drew headshot majors and game misconducts on Friday, Richards for a hit on D Reece Harsch of the Seattle Thunderbirds, Loewen for a hit on D Matthew Quigley of the Portland Winterhawks. Neither Harsch nor Quigley played last night. . . . Loewen’s family was in Kamloops from Arborg, Man., for the weekend, so likely got a bit more quality time with Jermaine than they had anticipated. . . . F Reid Perepeluk of the Prince George Cougars was given a one-game suspension for a charging major and game misconduct during Friday’s 5-0 loss to the visiting Vancouver Giants. He sat out last night’s rematch in Prince George.


The Moose Jaw Warriors have released F Tristyn DeRoose, 19. . . . From Ceylon, Sask., DeRoose was pointless in three games with the Warriors this season. Last season, he had four goals and three assists in 47 games. . . . The Warriors acquired DeRoose from the Vancouver Giants for a sixth-round pick in the 2020 WHL bantam draft on Sept. 12, 2017. . . . In 108 regular-season games, he has five goals and eight assists.


F Mackenzie Wight has left the Swift Current Broncos. Wight, 19, is from Burnaby, B.C. SCBroncosHe was a seventh-round selection of the Seattle Thunderbirds in the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft. . . . He was pointless in two games with the Broncos this season, after recording one goal and three assists in 55 games last season. . . . “Basically, he decided that he wanted to play closer to home,” Dean Brockman, the Broncos’ director of hockey operations and head coach, told David Zammit of swiftcurrentonline.com, “and felt he wanted to go back there, and we certainly weren’t going to stop him.” . . . In 74 career regular-season games, including six with Seattle, had had two goals and three assists.


Tyler Lowey is a former Thompson Rivers U baseball player, who dabbles in sports writing. While seated beside me in the press box as the Portland Winterhawks skated to a 5-3 victory over the host Kamloops Blazers on Friday night, he casually mentioned that he had written a story on G Carl Stankowski that would be posted at dubnetwork.ca sometime on Saturday. . . . Well, that story is right here, and it is outstanding as it outlines in minute detail exactly what Stankowski has gone through to get back on the ice and, in fact, what he goes through in order to keep on playing, now with the Calgary Hitmen.


SATURDAY NIGHT NOTES:

And then there was one . . .

When the evening began, there were two WHL teams with perfect records; there was one left standing at night’s end.

The Victoria Royals ran their record to 6-0-0 with a 2-1 victory over the Blazers in VictoriaRoyalsKamloops. This one was 1-1 when a point shot by D Mitchell Prowse changed directions off the shaft of F Dante Hannoun’s stick and beat G Dylan Garand at 9:21 of the third period. . . . Hannoun has four goals this season. . . . The Royals got 26 saves from G Griffen Outhouse, who has played every minute of all six victories. . . . Garand, a 16-year-old from Victoria, made his first start of the season, stopping 20 shots. Garand, a third-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft, made two starts last season at the age of 15. . . . Kamloops D Nolan Kneen played in his 200th regular-season game on Friday in a 5-3 loss to the visiting Portland Winterhawks. . . . The Blazers, who opened the season with a home-and-home sweep of the Kelowna Rockets, now have lost five in a row. . . . The Royals are 3-0-0 against Kamloops, having beaten the Blazers 3-2 and 6-3 in Victoria on Sept. 28 and 29. . . .

Meanwhile, in Red Deer the host Rebels ran their winning streak to five games, with a 4-3 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders, who lost for the first time in eight outings this season. . . . The Raiders held a 52-21 edge in shots on goal. . . . Red Deer G Ethan Anders stopped 49 shots. . . . Red Deer F Reese Johnson broke a 3-3 tie with his fourth goal of the season, at 17:44 of the third period. . . . F Brandon Hagel of the Rebels played in his 200th regular-season game. . . .

There is one other team that has yet to taste defeat in regulation time . . .

The Brandon Wheat Kings are 4-0-1 after scoring five second-period goals en route to a 7-BrandonWKregular3 victory over the Pats in Regina. . . . Brandon’s second-period explosion included short-handed goals 28 seconds apart from F Caiden Daley and F Lynden McCallum. . . . The Pats, last season’s Memorial Cup host team, slid to 1-5-0. . . .

Victoria has a week off to enjoy perfection before playing host to the Vancouver Giants on Oct. 13 and 14. . . . Brandon is at home to the Moose Jaw Warriors on Friday night.


F Tristin Langan scored three goals and added an assist to lead the Moose Jaw Warriors to MooseJawWarriorsa 5-4 victory over the visiting Swift Current Broncos. . . . The Broncos, the reigning WHL champions, are 0-6-0 and one of two teams in the 22-team league without a victory. The Calgary Hitmen, who were idle last night, are 0-4-1 after going 6-0-0 in the exhibition season. . . . In those six losses, they have scored 12 goals and given up 31. . . . Langan, who has five goals, scored three in a row, with the final one giving his guys a 4-1 lead 13 seconds into the third period. . . . The Broncos made it close with two goals late in the third. . . . F Justin Almeida had three assists for the winners. . . . The Broncos next play on Friday when they are at home to the Spokane Chiefs.


F Kirby Dach shot first and scored the only goal of a shootout to give the Saskatoon Blades a 3-2 victory over the Hurricanes in Lethbridge. . . . The Blades (6-2-0) were playing their fourth game in Alberta in five nights — they went 3-1-0. . . . It also was Saskatoon’s sixth game in eight nights; they went 4-2-0. . . . Saskatoon F Riley McKay (3) tied the game 2-2 at 19:57 of the second period. . . .


F Dillon Hamaliuk of the Seattle Thunderbirds ran his goal-scoring streak to five games in a 4-1 victory over the Kelowna Rockets in Kent, Wash. . . . Hamaliuk has a goal in each Seattleof his five games this season. Going back to last season, he has scored in six straight regular-season games. . . . According to Tbird Tidbits (@TBirdTidbits), Hamaliuk is believed to be the first Seattle player “to score a goal in the team’s first five games . . . since Petr Nedved” in 1989-90. . . . G Liam Hughes, back in action after sitting out one game with an undisclosed injury, stopped 44 shots for Seattle. . . . The Rockets now are 1-7-0. . . . With D Reece Harsch out after taking a high hit on Friday night, the Thunderbirds brought in D Luke Bateman, 16, from the major midget Thompson Blazers, who are based in his hometown of Kamloops. He was a fourth-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft. . . . Kelowna G Roman Basran, who stopped 28 shots, was in the thick of things for a lot of the night. He took three minor penalties in the first period — a minor for high-sticking at 7:32 and a double minor for high-sticking at 20:00 — and another in the third period (leaving the crease). . . . At 10:45 of the second period, Basran was involved in a collision that resulted in Seattle F Nolan Volcan getting ejected with a goaltender interference major and a game misconduct. . . . In the third period, Basran skated from his net well over the centre red line as players scrummed in the Seattle zone. Linesmen intercepted him before anything could happen. . . . The Thunderbirds and Rockets will meet again Wednesday, this time in Kelowna.


G Bailey Brkin stopped 28 shots to help the Spokane Chiefs to a 3-2 victory over the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . After starting with five victories, the Oil Kings have lost three in a row (0-2-1). . . . F Eli Zummack’s second goal of the season broke a 2-2 tie at 14:44 of the second period and stood up as the winner. . . .


G Jordan Hollett stopped 26 shots for the shutout as the Medicine Hat Tigers dumped the Tri-City Americans, 2-0, in Kennewick, Wash. . . . Hollett has three career shutouts, but this was his first with the Tigers. The other two came with the Regina Pats. . . . F Elijah Brown (3) scored the game’s first goal, at 12:08 of the first period. . . .


The Vancouver Giants ran their road record to 4-0-0 with a 3-2 victory over the Prince VancouverGeorge Cougars. . . . On Friday, the Giants had beaten the host Cougars, 3-0. . . . G Trent Miner stopped 33 shots last night for Vancouver. . . . The Giants took a 3-1 lead at 19:22 of the second period when D Bowen Byram (2) scored. . . . The Cougars lost F Josh Maser to a major penalty for a slewfoot on F Justin Sourdif at 0:11 of the second period. . . . The Giants have won four games in a row and have allowed only 11 goals in seven games. . . . Joey Kenward, a former radio voice of the Giants who now works for Sportsnet 650 in Vancouver, pointed out via Twitter on Saturday morning that the Giants, in their 17th season, “have posted back-to-back road shutouts for the first time in franchise history.” . . . Miner posted a 5-0 shutout over the Rockets in Kelowna on Wednesday, and David Tendeck followed that up by beating the Cougars on Friday.


The Portland Winterhawks got two goals and two assists from F Joachim Blichfeld — both goals were empty-netters — as they skated to a 4-1 victory over the Silvertips in Everett. . . . The Winterhawks (4-2-1) are 4-0-1 in their last five games. . . . Blichfeld now leads the WHL in goals (8) and points (15). He has played seven games. . . . F Seth Jarvis had given the visitors a 2-1 lead with a PP goal at 12:40 of the first period. . . . Portland played without D Matthew Quigley, who left in the first period of a Friday game in Kamloops after taking a high hit from Blazers F Jerome Loewen.


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Rockets deal for 20-year-old from Royals . . . Oil Kings win again . . . Brandon’s Burzan fills the net


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The Kelowna Rockets have acquired F Lane Zablocki, who is to turn 20 on Dec. 27, from the Victoria Royals. In exchange, the Royals got a conditional seventh-round selection in KelownaRocketsthe 2019 WHL bantam draft and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2021 bantam draft. . . . The Royals’ news release indicated that both draft picks were conditional; the Rockets’ news release didn’t use the word ‘conditional.’ . . . The Royals got Zablocki from the Lethbridge Hurricanes at last season’s trade deadline, giving up a second-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft, a conditional third-rounder in 2019 and a sixth-rounder in 2018. . . . He recorded one goal and five assists in 25 regular-season games with the Royals, then added two goals and an assist in 10 playoff games. . . . Zablocki also has played with the Regina Pats and Red Deer Rebels. In 201 regular-season games, he has 58 goals and 64 assists. . . . Zablocki, from Wetaskiwin, Alta., was a fifth-round pick by the Prince George Cougars in the 2013 bantam draft. The Detroit Red Wings selected him in the third round of the NHL’s 2017 draft. . . .

The Rockets were down to one 20-year-old for two weekend games in Prince George. They have been carrying two, but F Ryan Bowen was ill and didn’t play on the weekend. That left D Braydyn Chizen as the team’s lone 20-year-old. . . .

Bruce Hamilton, the Rockets’ president and general manager, said that Zablocki isn’t expected to play “for another two weeks” as he recovers from an undisclosed injury. “He is just arriving back home to Regina from Detroit’s training camp where he was all summer,” Hamilton added, “and he will report to us on Monday.”

The Royals, meanwhile, have settled on F Dante Hannoun, D Ralph Jarratt and G Griffen Outhouse as their three 20s.

The Rockets snapped their season-opening four-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over the Cougars in Prince George on Saturday night. Kelowna went into this game having lost 12 straight — four playoff games, four exhibition games and the first four games of this regular season.


Steve Ewen of Postmedia reported Friday night that D Bailey Dhaliwal had one arm in a sling after injuring a shoulder during a 3-1 loss to the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds. Dhaliwal, 19, left the game in the first period. . . . He has a history of shoulder woes. He was limited to six games last season because of surgery. In 2016-17, he was able to play in only 29 games. . . . “We’re going to see where he’s at . . . but obviously I’m concerned,” Michael Dyck, the Giants’ head coach, told Ewen. “Anytime that shoulder is injured there’s a concern.” . . . Ewen has more on the Giants’ situation right here.


G Carl Stankowski is back in action after sitting out all of last season. You’ll recall that Stankowski, as a 16-year-old, was the story of the 2016-17 playoffs as he backstopped the Seattle Thunderbirds to the Ed Chynoweth Cup. But he didn’t play at all last season due to injury and illness. Now he’s back and playing with the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Todd Saelhof of Postmedia has more right here.


SATURDAY NIGHT STUFF:

The Washington Capitals have signed F Riley Sutter of the Everett Silvertips to a three-year entry-level NHL deal. He is to turn 19 on Oct. 25. Sutter, who is back with the Silvertips, was a third-round pick by the Capitals in the NHL’s 2018 draft. His father, Ron, played 19 seasons in the NHL. . . . Last night, Sutter scored twice and added an assist to lead the visiting Silvertips to a 3-2 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . Each team scored twice via the PP. . . .

D Igor Merezhko of the Lethbridge Hurricanes was given a two-game suspension after he got tossed from Friday’s 8-4 victory over the Pats in Regina. Merezhko didn’t play in Lethbridge’s 8-4 loss to the Wheat Kings in Brandon and won’t play Friday against the visiting Prince Albert Raiders. . . . The Wheat Kings got four goals and an assist from F Luka Burzan as they built up a 7-0 second-period lead; he later added an empty-netter for a five-goal night, the first in the WHL this season. . . .

F Riley McKay scored in the 10th round of a shootout to give the host Saskatoon Blades a 4-3 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. The Blades are 3-0-0 for the first time since 2011-12. Danish G Mads Søgaard, who stands 6-foot-7, made his first WHL start for the Tigers by stopping 39 shots. . . . The Blades had F Josh Paterson back in the lineup after he missed two games last weekend after taking a high hit from D Parker Gavlas of the visiting Regina Pats in an exhibition game on Sept. 13. When Paterson sat out the first game, it ended a streak of 145 straight regular-season games played. Gavlas was hit with a six-game suspension for the hit. . . . Paterson had two assists and was chosen the game’s first star. . . .

D Jared Freadrich, playing in his 200th regular-season game, had a goal and three assists as the Portland Winterhawks scored three PP goals and won their home-opener, 4-2, over the Seattle Thunderbirds. The Winterhawks got three assists from F Cody Glass, with linemate  Joachim Blichfeld getting a goal and two assists. . . . The Winterhawks next play on Wednesday (and Friday) when they visit the Blazers in Kamloops. This will be the return of Portland assistant coach Don Hay, the winningest head coach in WHL history who spent the previous four seasons with the Blazers. . . .

F Parker Kelly scored the game’s last two goals as the visiting Prince Albert Raiders erased a 5-2 deficit late in the third period and beat the Moose Jaw Warriors, 6-5. Moose Jaw D Brandon Schuldaus completed a three-game suspension left over from last season. He was suspended after taking a match penalty in a playoff game against Swift Current on April 16. . . . F Brayden Tracey, the 21st overall selection in the 2016 bantam draft, scored his first two WHL goals for the Warriors. Tracey, 17, is from Calgary. He had two assists in five games last season. This season, he had been pointless in two games. . . .

The host Victoria Royals erased 2-0 and 3-1 deficits, the latter in the second period, en route to a 6-3 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. The Royals had beaten the Blazers, 3-2, on Friday night. Victoria G Griffen Outhouse stopped 71 of 76 shots (.934) in the two victories. . . . Kamloops scratched sophomore F Connor Zary (ill) last night. . . . The Royals went 4-0-0 on a season-opening four-game homestand. . . .

The Swift Current Broncos, the WHL’s reigning champions, avoided a third straight shutout as they slipped to 0-4-0 by losing 5-2 to the Rebels in Red Deer. The Broncos have been outscored, 20-3. . . .

The Spokane Chiefs won their home-opener, getting two goals and an assist from Riley Woods in a 6-3 victory over the Kootenay Ice. One night earlier, the Chiefs came out of Cranbrook with a 7-4 victory over the Ice. . . . D Ty Smith had one assist and was plus-3 in his first game with the Chiefs since returning from the camp of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils with a three-year entry-level deal in his hip pocket. . . .

The visiting Edmonton Oil Kings skated to a 6-3 victory over the Calgary Hitmen, improving to 5-0-0 in the process. This is the first time in the franchise’s modern history, starting in 2007-08, that the Oil Kings have opened with five straight victories. . . . The Hitmen, who were 6-0-0 in the exhibition season, are 0-3-0. . . . This was the first meeting between these teams this season. During the offseason, the Oil Kings fired head coach Steve Hamilton and the Hitmen hired him.


If you are a WHL fan and are on Twitter, you should be following Geoffrey Brandow (@GeoffreyBrandow). He regularly tweets interesting notes and stats involving WHL teams and players.


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Hitmen get goalie from T-birds . . . Seattle playoff hero off to Calgary . . . Rockets sign Finnish defender


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F Radim Valchar (Portland, Lethbridge, 2007-10) signed a one-year extension with Csíkszereda (Romania, Erste Liga). Last season, he had 22 goals and 27 assists in 32 games. He led his team in goals, assists and points, and was third in the league’s points race.


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The Seattle Thunderbirds have traded G Carl Stankowski, who shone as they won the 2016-17 WHL championship but then didn’t play in 2017-18, to the Calgary Hitmen.

In return for Stankowski, an 18-year-old who played minor hockey in Calgary, and a Seattleconditional fourth-round selection, year undisclosed, in the WHL’s bantam draft, the Thunderbirds acquired D Mike Koster, 17, an eighth-round selection in the 2019 bantam draft and a conditional pick in the 2019 or 2020 bantam draft.

“Carl’s medical needs have become very significant and we felt that being close to his home in Calgary would allow his family to more closely monitor his needs,” Seattle GM Bil La Forge said in a news release.

Stankowski, then in his 16-year-old season, took over from injured starter Rylan Toth late in the 2016-17 regular season and sparkled as Seattle won the Ed Chynoweth Cup. CalgaryStankowski, a second-round pick by Seattle in the 2014 bantam draft, was 3-0-0, 2.18, .910 in seven regular-season appearances, then went 16-4, 2.50, .911 in the playoffs. However, hip problems and health issues kept Stankowski from playing last season.

Andy Side of 710 ESPN Seattle detailed Stankowski’s issues in a February story that is right here. . . .

Koster, from Chaska, Minn., has committed to the U of Minnesota for 2020-21. Last season, he had two goals and eight assists in 21 games with the USHL’s Tri-City Storm. He also captained the Chaska High Team, and put up 14 goals and 41 assists in 25 games. Koster is playing for Team USA at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup this week.

“Koster is an elite defenseman who is NCAA committed,” La Forge said. “We feel that we will provide him with a very viable option going forward. We look forward to opening the lines of communication with him.”

In Seattle, the trade means that G Liam Hughes, 19, is alone atop the depth chart. Last season, after being acquired from the Edmonton Oil Kings, he was 16-12-6, 3.15, .909. It is likely that Cole Schwebius, 17, and Eric Ward, 17, will battle for the No. 2 spot. Schwebius, from Kelowna, was a 10th-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft; Ward is a list player from Edmonton.

In Calgary, the Hitmen, who didn’t make the playoffs last season, are looking to replace Nick Schneider, who completed his eligibility by making 61 appearances.

The Hitmen acquired G Nick Sanders, 20, who was limited by injuries to four games with the Prince Albert Raiders last season. Interestingly, Sanders, like Stankowski, has had hip-related problems. Also in the hunt will be Matthew Armitage, who turns 19 on Oct. 30. A fourth-round selection by the Spokane Chiefs in the 2014 bantam draft, he got into 19 games with Calgary last season (4-7-1, 3.55, .890).


There wasn’t anything on the Kelowna Rockets’ website as of Tuesday night, but if Regan Bartel, the team’s radio voice, says they have signed Finnish D Lassi Thomson, well, that’s good enough for me. . . . Thomson will turn 18 on Sept. 24. . . . He is from Tampere. . . . Last season, he had 12 goals and 15 assists in 49 games with Ives U-20 in the Jr. A SM-liiga. He also played six games with the Ives U-18 team, putting up four goals and three assists. On top of that, he played 20 games with the U-18 national team, scoring three goals and adding seven assists. . . . The Rockets selected him in the CHL’s 2018 import draft.



The Calgary Hitmen are looking for an athletic therapist with the news that Kyle Vouriot has signed on with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose as assistant athletic trainer and assistant strength and conditioning trainer. . . . The Winnipeg-based Moose is the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets. . . . Vouriot, who is from Winnipeg, was with the Hitmen for three seasons.


Spiros Anastas is the new head coach of the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays. He spent the previous four seasons as head coach of the U of Lethbridge Pronghorns. . . . With the Stingrays, Anastas, 33, takes over from Ryan Warsofsky, who now is an assistant coach with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers. . . . The Stingrays are coming of the best regular season (48-16-7-1) in franchise history. . . . Anastas was 36-68-8 with the Pronghorns. The school’s athletic department announced his departure on Friday, and now is searching for a replacement.


Matt Thomas is the new head coach of the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones. Thomas, a 42-year-old native of Maple Ridge, B.C., spent 11 seasons (2002-13) coaching in the ECHL, with the Atlantic Boardwalk Bullies, Fresno Falcons and Stockton Thunder. . . . From a news release: “He enters the 2018-19 campaign as the ECHL’s sixth-winningest coach with a career record of 342-225-80, just one win back of fifth place all time. He is also the all-time leader in playoff games coached with 97, and ranks third with 49 playoff wins.” . . . Thomas spent the past five seasons as the head coach of the U of Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves. . . . In Cincinnati, Thomas replaces Matt Macdonald, who left after four seasons to join the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins as an assistant coach.


Dorothy, my wife of 46 years, underwent a kidney transplant on Sept. 23, 2013. She will celebrate the fifth anniversary on Sept. 23 by taking part in the Kamloops Kidney Walk. This will be the fifth time she has done the Kidney Walk; she has been the leading fund-raiser in Kamloops in each of the previous four years. . . . If you would like to support her this year, you are able to do so right here.


Tweetoftheday

Seattle goaltender won’t play this season . . . Warriors back alone on top . . . Pats, Blades earn some breathing room

Dan
An inside look at the Gangneung Hockey Centre, which apparently will be dismantled once the Olympic Winter Games are over. (Photo: Dan Courneyea)

DAN’S DIARY . . .

Dan Courneyea, who is part of the Kamloops Blazers’ off-ice crew of officials, is working men’s hockey games at the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. He has been keeping Taking Note readers up to date, too. . . . He has some notes from Monday, which is OlylogoTuesday over there:

“This building (Gangneung Hockey Centre) was built solely for these Olympics. There never were any games played on the ice until the Olympics started. Once the Olympics and Paralympics have finished, they allegedly are tearing this building down. No call for more ice in South Korea. It’s a nice building.”

In looking ahead to the Canadian men’s team and its next game against OAR, he notes:

“The OAR (Olympic Athletes from Russia) have a talented men’s team, it’s whether or not they can play as a team?”

Courneyea, like most everyone else, also is looking forward to the women’s gold medal game, which will be, yes, a rematch between Canada and the U.S.

“Looks like Team Canada has been built to skate with Team USA,” he writes. “The gold medal game should be a good one. Team Canada has the right group to score, skate, check and win.”

Two years ago, Courneyea was part of the off-ice crew that worked the IIHF Women’s World Championship in Kamloops.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

In one of the notes that Dan Courneyea sent to Taking Note from PyeongChang, he mentioned that the sweaters worn by the men’s hockey players all contain computer chips that are being used to track various statistics. . . . Stephen Whyno of The Associated Press takes a look at all of this in an intriguing story that is right here. . . . It turns out that NHL players aren’t all that enthusiastic about a lot of this stuff.

——

It should come as no surprise to WHL fans to learn that G Carl Stankowski won’t play at Seattleall this season. Stankowski, who took over as Seattle’s No. 1 goaltender and led the Thunderbirds to the 2017-18 WHL championship, hasn’t played, nor will he. What is surprising is what Stankowski has gone through over the last few months. Andy Eide of 710 ESPN Seattle posted an all-encompassing story on Monday that mentions a torn labrum in his right hip, a herniated disc, and a rare autoimmune disease. . . . For more, take a look at Eide’s complete story right here.


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.


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

MONDAY:

At Brandon, the Moose Jaw Warriors scored three first-period goals and went on to beat the Wheat Kings, 6-3. . . . Moose Jaw (44-11-3) had lost its previous two games. It now MooseJawWarriorsleads the overall standings by two points over Swift Current. The Warriors have two games in hand. . . . Brandon (31-23-5) is fourth in the East Division, three points behind Regina. The Wheat Kings hold down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, four points ahead of Saskatoon. . . . Moose Jaw’s first goals came from F Brett Howden (22), at 7:09; F Jayden Halbgewachs (56), at 9:02; and F Justin Almeida, at 13:47. . . . F Connor Gutenberg (16) got Brandon’s first goal, on a PP, at 6:28 of the second period. . . . The Warriors scored twice before the period ended. Almeida (33) scored while shorthanded at 7:50 and F Brayden Burke, back after missing two games, got his 29th, on a PP, at 13:50. . . . D James Shearer (2) and D Braden Schneider (1) scored third-period PP goals for Brandon. . . . F Tristyn DeRoose (3) got Moose Jaw’s final goal. . . . The Warriors got two assists from each of D Josh Brook and Halbgewachs, with Burke adding one. . . . Halbgewachs, the WHL’s leading goal scorer, and Burke have 104 points apiece, seven points behind Swift Current F Glenn Gawdin, who leads the league. . . . F Stelio Mattheos, who had missed four games, returned to Brandon’s lineup and drew two assists. . . . Brandon was 3-4 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 1-3. . . . G Adam Evanoff stopped 21 shots for the Warriors. . . . The Wheat Kings got 33 saves from G Logan Thompson. . . . D Jonathon Lambos, who turned 17 on Jan. 14, made his WHL debut with the Wheat Kings. He was acquired from Victoria in a deadline deal that had F Tanner Kaspick join the Royals. Lambos, from Winnipeg, was a third-round pick by the Royals in the 2016 bantam draft. He has four goals and 20 assists in 33 games with the Winnipeg-based Rink Hockey Academy prep team. . . . Moose Jaw lost D Jett Woo to a headshot major and game misconduct at 3:10 of the second period. Brandon F Ty Lewis was helped to the dressing room after the play. . . . The Warriors were without F Barrett Sheen, who drew a TBD suspension, for his part in a brouhaha at the end of Sunday’s 4-2 loss in Regina. Sheen was playing in his second game after serving a five-game suspension. . . . The Warriors are 4-0-0 against the Wheat Kings this season. Moose Jaw has 14 games remaining, while Brandon has 13 yet to play. They will meet four more times. . . . Announced attendance: 4,040.


At Prince Albert, the Regina Pats scored two first-period goals en route to a 3-1 victory over the Raiders. . . . Regina (32-24-6) has won three in a row. It is third in the East ReginaPats100Division, three points ahead of Brandon. . . . Prince Albert (23-25-11) has lost two straight. It is eight points out of a playoff spot with 13 games remaining. . . . F Nick Henry gave Regina a 1-0 lead at 7:23 of the opening period, and F Jared Legien (20) added to the lead at 15:17. . . . F Brett Leason (12) got Prince Albert’s goal at 13:54 of the second period. . . . Regina F Matt Bradley (35) got the empty-netter at 19:26 of the third period. He also had an assist. . . . The Pats were 0-2 on the PP; the Raiders were 0-3. . . . Regina got a big game from G Max Paddock, with 37 saves. With G Ryan Kubic injured, Paddock made his sixth straight start. . . . G Ian Scott blocked 21 shots for the Raiders. . . . F Kody McDonald of the Raiders left at 8:49 of the first period after taking a hit from Regina D Liam Schioler, who was given a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct. However, McDonald returned in the second period. . . . Raiders D Vojtech Budik took the pregame warmup but didn’t play. . . . Regina was without F Jesse Gabrielle, who drew a TBD suspension for his part in a kerfuffle at the third-period buzzer of the Pats’ 4-2 victory over visiting Moose Jaw on Sunday. . . . “It was an ugly win,” John Paddock, Regina’s general manager and head coach, told Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post. “It’s not totally unexpected to have the emotional level down (after three straight games against the Moose Jaw Warriors). We played seven games in 11 days so that’s a factor as well. That’s probably a bigger factor than the emotional level dropping down. Max was really good. Sometimes your goalie has to steal a game just like once in a while top players find a way to score enough goals to win. The penalty killing was really good and he was really good along with it.” . . . Harder’s story is right here. . . . Announced attendance: 2,256.


At Edmonton, D Jake Kustra scored in OT to give the Saskatoon Blades a 3-2 victory over the Oil Kings. . . . Saskatoon (31-27-3) has won two in a row. It holds down the Eastern SaskatoonConference’s second wild-card spot, but now is only two points behind Brandon. . . . Edmonton (18-34-7) is two points ahead of Calgary in the scrap to avoid the Eastern Conference basement. . . . The Blades held a late 2-0 lead on goals from F Braylon Shmyr (32), at 18:02 of the second period, and F Chase Wouters (16), shorthanded, at 7:20 of the third. . . . The Oil Kings got to within a goal when F Kobe Mohr (8) scored at 11:58. . . . The home team tied it at 16:44 when F Trey Fix-Wolansky (25) scored on a PP. . . . Kustra won it with his fourth goal of the season, at 1:37 of OT. He has six career goals in 149 games, and two of them have been game-winners — both this season. . . . Shmyr and Wouters each had an assist for the Blades. . . . Edmonton was 1-5 on the PP; Saskatoon was 0-4. . . . Saskatoon G Nolan Maier stopped 15 shots as the Oil Kings struggled to generate offence. . . . Edmonton starter Todd Scott stopped 18 of 20 shots in 47:20. He was injured on the play on which Wouters scored and had to leave the game. Josh Dechaine came on to stop two of three shots in 14:17. . . . Announced attendance: 9,913.


TUESDAY (all times local):

Kootenay at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.

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

Everett at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY