Oil Kings work OT to win in Red Deer . . . Neighbours gives Edmonton 3-0 edge . . . Ice, Blazers can follow suit tonight

One WHL team went up 3-0 in its best-of-seven conference finally by winning WHLplayoffs2022on the road in Monday’s lone playoff game. Two others have the same opportunity tonight. . . . The Edmonton Oil Kings went into Red Deer last night and beat the Rebels, 5-4 in OT, to take a 3-0 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal series. . . . Tonight, the Winnipeg Ice takes a 2-0 lead into Moose Jaw for Game 3 with the Warriors, while the Kamloops Blazers are up 2-0 and in Langley, B.C., to face the Vancouver Giants. . . . The Blazers are likely to be without F Luke Toporowski for a second straight game, while the Giants aren’t likely to have D Mazden Leslie or F Colton Langkow available. Head coach Michael Dyck told Steve Ewen of Postmedia that both players are “doubtful.” All three of those players were injured in Game 1 of this series.

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MONDAY IN THE WHL:

Eastern Conference

In Red Deer, F Jake Neighbours scored in OT to give the No. 2 Edmonton Oil EdmontonKings a 5-4 victory over the No. 3 Rebels. . . . The Oil Kings hold a 3-0 lead in the conference semifinal and get their first opportunity to wrap it up on Wednesday night in Red Deer. . . . D Luke Prokop (2) put the visitors out front at 1:55 of the first period. . . . F Liam Keeler (2) scored the Rebels’ first goal of the series — they had been blanked 4-0 and 5-0 in Edmonton — at 9:44, on a PP. . . . The Oil Kings went ahead 3-1 on second-period goals from F Dylan Guenther (7), at 6:32, and F Carter Souch (4), on a PP, at 15:56. . . . Guenther has a goal in each of Edmonton’s seven playoff games. . . . Red Deer got back to within a goal at 18:22 when F Kalan Lind (1) scored. . . . F Justin Sourdif (2) scored while shorthanded, at 7:38 of the third period, to give the visitors a 4-2 lead and really put the home side in a hole. . . . But the Rebels climbed out of it with two goals 36 seconds apart — F Arshdeep Bains (4) scored at 12:50 and F Jhett Larson (2) tied the game at 13:26. . . . Neighbours won it with his first goal of the playoffs, at 7:17 of OT. . . . G Connor Ungar blocked 47 shots for the Rebels, 29 more than Edmonton’s Sebastian Cossa, who drew an assist on Neighbours’ winner. . . . The Rebels went without D Jackson van de Leest who served a one-game suspension under supplemental discipline from Game 2. Also out: G Chase Coward and D Christoffer Sedoff, both with undisclosed injuries.



Mars


ICYMI, Lou Lamoriello, the general manager of the NHL’s New York Islanders, fired head coach Barry Trotz on Monday morning. Trotz, the pride of Dauphin, nhl2Man., has one year left on a five-year deal worth US$20 million, so don’t be weeping too long for him. He also is the NHL’s third-winningest regular-season coach of all-time, with 914 victories. Under his guidance, the Islanders reached the NHL’s Final Four twice — in 2020 and 2021. But the Islanders didn’t make the playoffs this season, so Lamoriello pulled the plug on Trotz. . . . “I’d rather not get into any of the reasons because that’s my job upon the information that I have and I experienced to make these type of decisions,” Lamoriello, 79, said during a conference call. . . . Trotz, who played three seasons (1979-82) with the Regina Pats, was the head coach when the Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup in the spring of 2018. The Capitals later let him go rather than extend his contract. That’s how he ended up with the Islanders. . . .

The Islanders’ coaching staff includes two former WHL head coaches in Lane Lambert, their associate coach and long-time Trotz lieutenant, and Jim Hiller. . . . Lambert, the head coach of the Prince George Cougars for a season and a half (2003-05), is seen by some observers as the leading candidate to replace Trotz. . . . Hiller, the head coach of the Chilliwack Bruins and Tri-City Americans (2006-14), just completed his third season with the Islanders after spending four seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs. . . .

The Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers and Winnipeg Jets, along with the Islanders, are NHL teams presently in the market for a head coach.


Congratulations to Shell for the terrific start to 2022. Well done! . . . Oh, and congratulations to the Shell gas station on the Trans-Canada Highway in the Valleyview area of Kamloops. The price of a litre of unleaded hit $2.04 there sometime Monday, to the best of my knowledge the first gas station in Kamloops to smash through the $2.00 barrier. Again, well done! . . . Can hardly wait to see what you have in store for us before Christmas.


Steve Kerr, the head coach of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, wasn’t able to work Monday night’s playoff game against the visiting Memphis Grizzlies. You guessed it! He tested positive earlier in the day. . . . In his absence, associate head coach Mike Brown served as the acting head coach. Interestingly, Brown already has signed on for next season — as the head coach of the Sacramento Kings.


Camo


JUNIOR JOTTINGS: The NHL’s Minnesota Wild has signed F Pavel Novak of the Kelowna Rockets to a three-year entry-level contract that is to begin next season. Novak, who turned 20 on April 16, is from Czech Republic. He had 72 points, including 29 goals, in 62 games with the Rockets this season. . . . The Wild selected him in the fifth round of the NHL’s 2020 draft. . . .

Craig Didmon is out as the GM/head coach of the BCHL’s Victoria Grizzlies. He has held both positions for the past seven-plus seasons. . . . Didmon has been coaching in Victoria since 2002, either with the junior B Cougars, the WHL’s Royals or the Grizzlies. . . . Taking Note was told last week that Rylan Ferster, a former GM/head coach with the BCHL’s West Kelowna Warriors, will be the Grizzlies’ next head coach. . . .

Chris Lynn is the new head coach of the junior B Victoria Cougars of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League. Lynn, a veteran of the coaching game, is a member of a real hockey family. He takes over from Brady Coulter, who has chosen to step aside. . . . Cleve Dheensaw of the Victoria Times-Colonist has more right here.


My wife, Dorothy, is preparing to take part in her ninth Kamloops Kidney Walk. . . . It will be held on June 5, but thanks to the pandemic it again will be a virtual event. . . . If you would like to sponsor her, you are able to do so right here.

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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

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

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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

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

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Or, for more information, visit right here.


Painting

Two WHL owners in headlines . . . Will Cards finally get back on field? . . . Five BCHL teams hoping to play in tournament

Two co-owners of WHL franchises were in the NHL news this week. . . . Dan Hamhuis, who owns a piece of the Prince George Cougars, announced his retirement, while Mark Recchi, one of the Kamloops Blazers’ owners, lost his job. . . . Hamhuis, 37, is from Smithers, B.C. He played four seasons (1998-2002) with the Cougars before going on to an 18-season pro career. He played 1,148 regular-season NHL games, split between the Nashville Predators, Vancouver Canucks and Dallas Stars. He played the past two seasons with Nashville, which had selected him 12th overall in the NHL’s 2001 draft. . . . Recchi, 52, is from Kamloops. The Pittsburgh Penguins fired him and two other assistant coaches — Sergei Gonchar and Jacques Martin — after losing a best-of-five NHL play-in series, 3-1, to the Montreal Canadiens in the Toronto bubble. (OK. They weren’t fired. Their contracts weren’t renewed.) . . . Recchi, a Hockey Hall of Famer, hired on as a development coach in July 2014, then moved up to assistant coach in July 2017. . . . Mike Sullivan, the Penguins’ head coach, signed a four-year extension on July 5, 2019.


COVID-19 CHRONICLES . . .

Bianca Andreescu won’t play in the U.S. Open that is to run Aug. 31 through Sept. 13 in New York. Andreescu, from Mississauga, Ont., is the defending champion. She suffered a knee injury in October and hasn’t played a whole lot since then. Andreescu said in a statement: “The U.S. Open victory last year has been the high point of my career thus far and I will miss being there. However, I realize that the unforeseen challenges, including the COVID pandemic, have compromised my ability to prepare and compete to the degree necessary to play at the highest level.” . . . Rafael Nadal, the men’s defending champion, also has said he won’t play in the U.S. Open. . . .

The Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) has cancelled all “championships and festivals that were scheduled for October and November.” According to a statement from Nick Rowe, the OFSAA president: “The decision is in alignment with the province’s Stage 3 reopening regulations. Those regulations apply a number of restrictions to sports and recreation activities that ultimately prohibit the possibility of OFSAA events.” . . .

The St. Louis Cardinals have played five games this MLB season. They were laid low by COVID-19. Their organization has suffered at least 17 positive tests, 10 of them players. . . . They were to have returned to play on Friday against the host Chicago White Sox. But that game has been postponed and the teams now are scheduled to play a Saturday doubleheader. . . . St. Louis hasn’t played since July 29. . . . The Cardinals go into Saturday knowing they have to play 55 games in 44 days if they are to complete a 60-game schedule.

Three more U.S. athletic conferences have suspended fall sports with the hopes of picking it all up again in the spring. . . . The Big East, Western Athletic Conference and Southland Conference all cited the pandemic in making their decisions. . . .

In a letter to its member associations, the board of directors of the New York State Amateur Hockey Association (NYSAHA) writes that it has heard from “multiple sources” that a “number of East Section players have recently tested positive for COVID-19; that some are sicker than others, with some players very sick; and in some cases have passed the virus on to family members and/or friends.” . . . According to the NYSAHA, the players who tested positive were on teams that played in non-sanctioned tournaments in New Hampshire and Connecticut. . . . The letter points out that “NYSAHA and its Section Presidents have stated in numerous emails and notices posted to the NYSAHA website that hockey is indefinitely suspended from ALL ON-ICE, OFF-ICE and administrative activities in order to help prevent the spread of COVID.” . . .


Accident


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

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

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

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

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Or, for more information, visit right here.

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The BCHL is aiming for a Dec. 1 start to its regular season with teams opening BCHLtraining camps in mid-September. The five teams from Vancouver Island are hoping to hold a tournament in Colwood, near Victoria, starting on Oct. 2. Cleve Dheensaw of the Victoria Times-Colonist reports that the Alberni Valley Bulldogs, Cowichan Valley Capitals, Nanaimo Clippers, Powell River Kings and Victoria Grizzlies each would play 12 games in a round-robin format leading to semifinals and a final. . . . Dheensaw writes: “The tournament will adhere to current B.C. guidelines and a maximum of 50 people — including players, coaches and scorekeepers — will be in the rinks for the games.” . . . Craig Didmon, the Grizzlies’ general manager and head coach, told Dheensaw: “This is all dependent on the health authorities. If it can’t happen, then we will continue practising and training until the start of the regular season.”


Here’s Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, with his Thought for the Day, this one from Will Rogers: “Never miss a good chance to shut up.” . . . And I say you should never miss a good chance to check out The Sports Curmudgeon right here.


Ass

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