The Travellin’ Bedards have two games left against the Blades in Saskatoon — March 19 and 24. On Thursday, the Blades posted on social media: “We’ve surpassed 10,000 tickets sold for our game against the Regina Pats on March 19 and more than 9,000 tickets sold for our final game of the regular season on March 24.” . . . Those are the Blades’ last two home games of the regular season. . . . The Pats and Blades played in front of 7,868 fans on Nov. 13, with Saskatoon winning, 5-2. That is the Blades’ largest home crowd of this season. . . . Meanwhile, Regina will entertain the Moose Jaw Warriors tonight and the Pats announced on Friday afternoon that the game is “officially SOLD OUT!” . . . The ticket-buying public, of course, is wanting to see Regina F Connor Bedard, who leads the WHL in goals (45) and points (91).
The OHL’s Kitchener Rangers fired head coach Chris Dennis on Friday, with general manager Mike McKenzie choosing to go behind the bench and help out assistant coaches Brennan Menard, Brandon Merli and Dennis Wideman. . . . The Rangers were 21-24-2 and in possession of the Western Conference’s eighth and final playoff spot at the time of the move. . . . Dennis had been in his first season with the Rangers. . . .
It would appear that former WHL/NHL D Clayton Stoner has embarked on a new hockey journey, this one in the BCHL. On Thursday, he tweeted that he is “excited to be involved on the coaching and ownership side with the Cowichan Capitals.” . . . Stoner, 37, played three seasons (2002-05) with the WHL’s Tri-City Americans. He went on to a pro career that included 360 regular-season NHL games, split between the Minnesota Wild and Anaheim Ducks. He last played in 2016-17. . . . Mike Vandekamp is the general manager and head coach of the Capitals. They are 10-28-3 this season, and in last place in the nine-team Coastal Division. . . .
The schedule for the 2023 Centennial Cup has been released. The 10-team tournament featuring the host Portage Terriers and the champions from nine junior A leagues is to run in Portage la Prairie, Man., from May 11 through May 21. There will teams there from the Alberta Junior Hockey League, Ligue de hockey junior AAA du Québec, Ontario Junior Hockey League, Superior International Junior Hockey League, Central Canada Hockey League, Manitoba Junior Hockey League, Maritime Hockey League, Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League and Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. . . . The British Columbia Hockey League doesn’t compete for the Centennial Cup. That’s because it pulled out of the governing Canadian Junior Hockey League. . . .
The BCHL’s Penticton Vees have signed Fred Harbison, their president, general manager and head coach, to a five-year extension that runs through the 2028-29 season. He had one season left on his previous contract. . . . Harbison is in his 16th season as the Vees’ head coach. This season, Penticton is 36-3-1 and atop the overall standings. . . . From a Vees news release: “Harbinson has the most wins in Vees’ franchise history and sits third all-time in the BCHL, with 640. Overall, Penticton has posted a record of 640-174-15-39-7 (W-L-T-OTL-SOL) under Harbinson. It only took him 829 games to reach 600 career wins and he owns an impressive .766 career win percentage in the BCHL. Harbinson has won an additional 144 career playoff games, which ranks him first in BCHL history.” . . . The Vees announced a crowd of 4,775 on Friday night, as they beat the Coquitlam Express, 5-2. . . .
The junior B Nelson Leafs of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League have signed head coach Briar McNaney for the 2023-24 season. McNaney joined the Leafs in January after the KIJHL suspended head coach Adam DiBella for the remainder of the season for his part in inciting a line brawl on Dec. 31. DiBella resigned his position after he was suspended.
FRIDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:
F Caleb Hadland’s first WHL goal stood up as the winner as the host Brandon Wheat Kings dumped the Edmonton Oil Kings, 4-1. . . . Hadland, a 16-year-old from Sylvan Lake, Alta., was the 22nd selection in the WHL’s 2021 draft. Playing in his 19th game, he picked up his first WHL assist on the game’s opening goal, then got his first goal at 14:59 of the second period, giving Brandon a 2-0 lead. . . . F Matthew Henry, an 18-year-old from Prince Albert, also scored his first WHL goal for the Wheat Kings. He made it 4-0 with 11 seconds left in the third period. It came in his 46th game. . . . Brandon (20-22-7) is 10th in the Eastern Conference, two points behind the eighth-place Regina Pats. . . . The Oil Kings (8-40-3) have lost three in a row. . . .
G Reid Dyck stopped 19 shots in posting his first WHL shutout as the Swift Current Broncos beat the visiting Prince Albert Raiders, 4-0. . . . Dyck, who turned 19 on Jan. 20, is from Winkler, Man. He has made 56 appearances over three seasons with the Broncos. This season, he is 10-14-1, 3.86, .880. . . . Swift Current had a 35-19 edge in shots. . . . The Broncos were 1-for-7 on the PP; the Raiders were 0-for-1. . . . F Connor Hvidston scored his 13th goal and added three assists. He has 43 points in 39 games; last season, as a freshman, he put up 13 goals and 19 assists in 58 games. This was his first four-point night; he had three times reached three points in a game, all of them this season. . . . The Broncos (24-21-3) have won two in a row. They are tied with the Calgary Hitmen for sixth in the Eastern Conference. . . . The Raiders (19-28-3) have lost three in a row and are 10 points out of a playoff spot. . . . The rematch goes tonight in Prince Albert. . . .
G Bryan Thomson turned aside 29 shots to lead the Hurricanes to a 3-0 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers in Lethbridge. . . . F Cole Shepard’s 18th goal of the season, shorthanded at 3:28 of the second period, stood up as the winner. He also had an assist. . . . Thomas recorded his first shutout of this season — it was his 10th appearance — and the third of his career. He has made 103 appearances over five seasons, all with Lethbridge. . . . Lethbridge (28-18-5) had lost its previous two games. It is fifth in the Eastern Conference. . . . Medicine Hat (21-22-8) had been on a 6-0-2 run. It is ninth in the conference, one point behind the eighth-place Regina Pats. . . . The Hurricanes and Tigers will play again tonight, this time in Medicine Hat. . . .
In Kamloops, the Blazers snapped a 2-2 third-period tie with three goals as they dumped the Saskatoon Blades, 5-2. . . . The Blades, playing their first game on a B.C. Division tour, took a 2-1 lead into the second period. . . . D Logan Bairos (6) got Kamloops even at 15:20 of the second period, and F Daylan Kuefler (26) snapped the tie at 12:56 of the third. . . . F Matthew Seminoff scored his 20th goal into an empty net, giving the Blazers six 20-goal men. . . . Kamloops F Logan Stankoven had two assists to run his point streak to 33 games. . . . Kamloops scored the game’s first goal and now is 26-1-4 when that happens. . . . F Jayden Wiens returned to the Blades’ lineup after missing 23 games with an undisclosed injury. . . . Kamloops (32-10-6), which will win the B.C. Division, has won four straight. . . . Saskatoon (33-13-4) had won its previous three games. The Blades are third in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . .
F Cole Dubinsky enjoyed his first WHL three-goal game in leading the Prince George Cougars to a 9-2 victory over the Rockets in Kelowna. . . . This was the third straight game between these teams. The Cougars swept the series, having won 5-1 and 7-2 at home on Tuesday and Wednesday. . . . Dubinsky, 20, was playing in his second game since Jan. 14. He came back from an undisclosed injury to play on Feb. 8, but then didn’t play again until Friday night. . . . Dubinsky, who has 14 goals, also had an assist. . . . D Viliam Kmec had four assists for the Cougars, who got two goals and an assist from F Chase Wheatcroft (34) and a goal and two assists from F Caden Brown (14). . . . Wheatcroft ran his point streak to 12 games. . . . The Cougars outshot the Rockets, 45-23. . . . Prince George (24-21-4) has won five straight and is two points behind the fifth-place Everett Silvertips in the Western Conference. . . . The Rockets (17-29-3) are eighth, three points ahead of the Victoria Royals. . . .
The Seattle Thunderbirds exploded for five goals in the last seven minutes of the third period to beat the Red Deer Rebels, 6-1, in Kent, Wash. . . . F Jared Davidson (29) scored Seattle’s first two goals, providing a 1-0 lead at 6:11 of the third period and a 2-1 lead at 13:22. . . . F Nico Myatovic (20) also scored twice. . . . F Dylan Guenther scored once and added an assist in his first game with Seattle after having been assigned by the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes. . . . F Kai Uchacz scored his 40th goal of the season for Red Deer. This was Uchacz’s first game against the team with which he began his WHL career. He and F Brendan Williamson were dropped from Seattle’s roster in March 2020 after both were found to have directed racial slurs at F Mekai Sanders. Uchacz, a first-round pick by Seattle in the WHL’s 2018 draft, had to sit out the 2020-21 season, while, among other things, completing a diversity coaching program. He later was traded to Red Deer for a second-round selection in the 2021 draft. . . . Last season, he had 14 goals and 19 assists in 52 games with Red Deer; this season, he has 40 goals, which is second in the league, and 28 assists in 50 games. . . . Williamson, now 20, is playing a second season with the junior B Chilliwack Jets. . . . Seattle (37-9-2) remains tied with the Portland Winterhawks atop the Western Conference. . . . Red Deer (35-12-4) is 2-2-0 in the U.S.Division. The Rebels lead the Central Division by 13 points over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . .
F Jackson Berezowski’s 34th goal of the season gave the Everett Silvertips a 2-0 lead and they went on to a 2-1 victory over the Chiefs in Spokane. . . . F Ben Hemmerling (18), who also had an assist, scored for Everett at 2:59 of the first period, with Berezowski adding to the lead at 4:10 of the second. . . . F Cade Hayes (12) got Spokane’s goal at 12:01 of the third. . . . G Tyler Palmer earned the victory with 34 saves. . . . Everett (26-22-2) has points in four straight (3-0-1). It is tied with the Prince George Cougars for fifth in the Western Conference, three points behind the Tri-City Americans. . . . Spokane (9-35-5) has lost eight in a row (0-6-2). . . . The Silvertips and Chiefs will do it all over again tonight, this time in Everett. . . .
F Marcus Nguyen scored twice and added two assists to help the Portland Winterhawks to a 6-3 victory over the Tri-City Americans in Kennewick, Wash. . . . Nguyen, with 17 goals, opened the scoring at 7:55 of the first period, then gave his guys a 4-2 lead, while shorthanded, at 14:03 of the second. That goal stood up as the winner. This was his first career four-point outing. . . . F Ethan Ernst had a goal (29) and two assists for Tri-City. . . . Tri-City was 3-for-7 on the PP; Portland was 2-for-7. . . . Portland had a 48-36 edge in shots. . . . The Winterhawks (36-10-4) have points in three straight (2-0-1). They are tied with the Seattle Thunderbirds atop the Western Conference. . . . The Americans (25-19-5) have lost three in a row. They are fourth in the conference, one point ahead of the Everett Silvertips. . . .
F Ethan Semeniuk’s OT goal gave the visiting Vancouver Giants a 2-1 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . F Teague Patton (12) had given the Royals a 1-0 lead at 15:01 of the first period. . . . F Sammy May’s first WHL goal, at 2:55 of the third, pulled the Giants into a tie. May, 19, has one goal and seven assists in 50 games this season. . . . Semeniuk won it at 3:16 of OT. . . . The Giants got 37 stops from G Jesper Vikman. . . . The Royals remain without D Gannon Laroque, F Jake Poole, who is their leading scorer, F Matthew Hodson and D Austin Zemlak. . . . Vancouver F Samuel Honzek has yet to return after suffering a badly cut leg while playing for Slovakia at the World Junior Championship. . . . Vancouver (20-24-6) is seventh in the Western Conference, six points behind the Prince George Cougars. . . . Victoria (14-32-6) has lost five in a row (0-4-1). It is ninth in the conference, three points behind the Kelowna Rockets. . . . The Royals and Giants will meet again tonight, this time in Langley, B.C.
THURSDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:
F Connor McClennon scored three times to help the Winnipeg Ice to a 7-6 victory over the visiting Calgary Hitmen. . . . The Ice, which had beaten the Hitmen, 8-2, on Wednedsay, overcame 3-1, 4-2 and 5-3 deficits en route to victory. . . . Winnipeg (39-7-1) scored four times in 3:53 early in the third period to take a 7-5 lead. . . . McClennon’s second goal, at 2:11 of the third, got the Ice to within a goal, at 5-4, and F Zack Ostapchuk (17) tied it at 3:19. . . . McClennon’s third goal of the night, his 34th of the season, gave the Ice a 6-5 at 5:57 and F Owen Peterson (23) upped it to 7-5 at 6:04. . . . McClennon now has 126 career regular-season goals, second to F Nigel Dawes (159) in franchise history. Dawes played 245 games over four seasons (2001-05) with the Kootenay Ice; McClennon, 20, has played 222 games. . . . The Hitmen got two goals and an assist from F Oliver Tulk, who turned 18 on Jan. 19. From Gibsons, B.C., Tulk has 21 goals and 24 assists in 51 games; last season, as a freshman, he finished with nine goals and 10 assists in 63 games. . . . Calgary (23-21-7) has lost eight straight (0-5-3).
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
Toll free: 1-877-922-9822
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.