Taking Note’s pick as sportsmen of the year . . . Come on, folks, mask up . . . Rockets, Giants stung by WJC injuries

As another old year gives way to a new one, numerous organizations hand out end-of-year awards. That doesn’t happen at Taking Note, but if it did I would Brandonbe quick to salute Calder Anderson, Jake Chiasson, Nolan Ritchie and Ben Thornton of the Brandon Wheat Kings as this site’s sportsmen of the year. . . . In case you missed it, in the words of the Brandon Sun’s Perry Bergson, they “successfully interceded to help a distressed man who was contemplating suicide on the First Street Bridge” on the evening of Nov. 29. . . . “We’re very happy that we were able to save him and get him some help,” Thornton told Bergson, who added: “They also learned another lesson when 30 or 40 vehicles drove by without stopping in the short span they were trying to help the man. Yet they never considered leaving until the man was safe.” . . . Gentlemen, I salute you. . . . Bergson’s complete story is right here.

Let’s be honest. We are part of a society that is putting together an absolutely Covidabysmal record unless being selfish and uncaring is the objective. Really, had you told me four years ago that the time was coming when our children would by dying, when our children would be unable to get much-needed surgical procedures, when our hospital’s emergency rooms would be over-run and that society would refuse to help by doing something as simple as masking up, well, I would have told you that you were crazy. . . . But, well, here we are.


After avoiding COVID-19 for almost three years, it caught up with me almost five weeks ago. Ironically, I tested positive on a day when I was to have visited a pharmacy for my fifth shot. Thankfully, the boosters did what they were supposed to, leaving me with a bit of a cough and some fatigue. The strangest thing is that there have been good days followed by bad. Just when you think you’re over the rough road, it reappears. Kind of like city streets, if you know what I mean. . . . As for that fifth shot, well, it’ll have to wait until May. . . . In the meantime, I will be here as fatigue’s curtain allows.


André Picard wrote this in The Globe and Mail last week:

“In some ways, these more recent viral challenges have distracted us from the main event: COVID-19. While we largely returned to ‘pre-pandemic’ normalcy this year, this has actually been the deadliest year yet for COVID-19; in 2022, Canada will surpass 17,000 deaths, more than the 14,642 deaths we recorded in 2020 or the 16,489 in 2021. A fifth wave of Omicron is just beginning.

“We still don’t know if SARS-CoV-2 will mutate further. We do not know if it will become seasonal, like most respiratory viruses. And we definitely do not yet have a handle on what it will mean if we suffer repeated COVID-19 infections — but it certainly won’t be good news.

“Viruses are ubiquitous, and will continue to pose new threats. We can’t live a virus-free existence, nor can we place our children and seniors in a protective bubble.

“But we also cannot hang them out to dry on a viral firing range, without any protection. We need to use the mitigation tools (vaccinations and masks) we have while we develop new ones. That’s what ‘living with COVID’ really needs to mean, moving ahead into a new year.”


The Angus Reid Institute released results of an online survey early in December that showed of 5,013 participants 54 per cent would be prepared to mask up if it was made mandatory if COVID-19 levels increase. But only 31 per cent are wearing masks more than half the time when they are in indoor public places. Sheesh, people, that just doesn’t make any sense.

Get vaccinated and wear a mask when appropriate, like when shopping or anywhere in a crowded area. . . . Just because the politicians and health officers won’t do their part by mandating masks doesn’t mean you can’t do the right thing and be part of the solution.

Look, F Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals is not the greatest goal scorer nhl2in NHL history. So stop trying to tell me that he is. He’s still 88 behind Wayne Gretzky. Have people already forgotten just how great Gretzky was? . . . Allow me to point out that Gretzky also scored 92 goals in the WHA, which was a better league than many of those same people seem to recall. As for Gordie Howe, well he scored 801 NHL goals and another 174 in the WHA. . . . But when Ovechkin puts in No. 895, then you can call him the greatest goal scorer in NHL history. OK?


While some hockey fans celebrate Ovechkin’s scoring accomplishments, there are those who don’t and never will go that way. Why? Because of Ovechkin’s long-time support of Russian ruler Vladimir Putin, who, of course, is responsible for the ongoing war on Ukraine. Luke Fox of Sportsnet took a look at the Ovechkin-Putin situation the other day and it really is an interesting read. That piece is right here.


BTW, did Gretzky really have to throw mud on his legacy by jumping on the gambling gravy train?

It is every general manager’s worst nightmare . . . a top player leaves for an international assignment and then suffers a serious injury. . . . That is what has happened with the Kelowna Rockets and Vancouver Giants, each team having had a player seriously injured at the 2023 World Junior Championship. Those injuries may well have an impact on the WHL’s Western Conference playoff race from which eight teams will qualify. . . .

F Colton Dach, the Rockets’ captain, initiated a hit during a Saturday game — KelownaCanada beat Sweden, 5-1 — and left the game in obvious discomfort thanks to an injury to his right shoulder area. Dach, who turns 20 on Wednesday, has 17 points, nine of them goals, in 14 games with the Rockets this season. Earlier, he missed some time with a concussion. . . . The Rockets (12-18-3), who have lost five in a row, are eighth in the conference, seven points ahead of the Victoria Royals (8-24-4). . . .

Meanwhile, freshman F Samuel Honzek, the Vancouver Giants’ leading scorer, Vancouversuffered a skate cut to the back of his left leg on Wednesday as his Slovakian side beat the U.S., 6-3. The 18-year-old Honzek, who is expected to be out as long as six weeks, leads the Giants in assists (26) and points (43) in 31 games. . . . Vancouver (14-16-6) is tied for fourth in the conference with the Tri-City Americans, who hold two games in hand. They are one point ahead of the Everett Silvertips. . . .

The WHL’s trade deadline arrives on Jan. 10.

The Everett Silvertips and Victoria Royals swapped 19-year-old goaltenders on Dec. 28. Tyler Palmer, who had left the Royals for what the team said was WHLpersonal reasons, was dealt to Everett in exchange for Braden Holt. . . . Palmer, from Fernie, B.C., was in his second season with Victoria. He left the Royals sometime after a 7-4 loss to the visiting Portland Winterhawks on Nov. 12. . . . Holt, from Bozeman, Mont., was in his fourth season with Everett. In his first start with Victoria, he stopped 35 shots in a 3-0 victory over the host Vancouver Giants. . . . Having acquired Holt, the Royals then traded G Logan Cunningham, a 17-year-old from Sherwood Park, Alta., to the Edmonton Oil Kings for a fifth-round pick in the 2025 WHL draft. . . . After adding Cunningham to their roster, the Oil Kings dropped G Ronin Geraghty, 18. From Burnaby, B.C., he was 0-5-0, 6.48, .819 in seven games with Edmonton. . . .

Still with goaltending, the Swift Current Broncos lost starter Gage Alexander on Dec. 30 when the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks signed him to an entry-level deal and assigned him to the AHL’s San Diego Gulls. Alexander, 20, had played in 15 games for the Broncos this season, two more than Reid Dyck. Alexander was 8-5-1, 3.47, .898. . . . The Ducks had selected Alexander in the fifth round of the NHL’s 2021 draft. . . . The Broncos had acquired him from the Winnipeg Ice on July 28, giving up a third-round pick in the WHL’s 2025 draft in the exchange. . . . The move left the Broncos with Dyck, an 18-year-old from Winkler, Man., and Joey Rocha, 17, from Nanaimo, B.C., as their goaltenders. . . . Dyck, in his third season, was 4-10-0, 4.07, .880 at the time of the deal; Rocha, a freshman, had been in four games. . . .

And while we’re on the subject of goaltending, how about the run Scott Ratzlaff is on with the Seattle Thunderbirds while starter Thomas Milic is with Team Canada at the WJC? Thom Beuning, the veteran radio voice of the Thunderbirds, points out that Ratzlaff’s December looked like this: 8-0-1, 1.65, .941, with two shutouts. . . . Ratzlaff, 17, is from Irma, Alta. He was a second-round selection in the WHL’s 2020 draft. This season, the 6-foot-2, 170-pounder is 14-2-1, 2.04, .925. In 42 career appearances, he is 32-4-2, 2.31, .912. . . .

And let’s not forget about Daniel Hauser of the Winnipeg Ice. An 18-year-old from Chestermere, Alta., Hauser recorded his 20th victory of the season the other night. This season, in 22 games, he is 20-2-0, 2.36, .912. He has made 70 regular-season appearances over three seasons, going 61-5-2, 2.24, .911. Not at all shabby, eh?

The junior B Nelson Leafs and the visiting Beaver Valley Nitehawks of the kijhlKootenay International Junior Hockey League took time out from chasing a puck to exchange Happy New Year greetings as they began the second period on Saturday evening. . . . The Leafs are the team in white in the above video, and the video evidence would seem to indicate that they were first off the mark. . . . The puck now has been passed to Jeff Dubois, the KIJHL commissioner. . . . Happy New Year, Mr. Dubois.


THINKING OUT LOUD — The best part of the World Junior Championship? That’s easy. Having the opportunity to listen to Dennis Beyak do play-by-play again. It says here that he is the best in his field even if he is semi-retired. . . . The other day, the choice was Beyak calling Slovakia and Switzerland from the WJC on TSN or Jack Edwards handling the Buffalo Sabres against his beloved Boston Bruins on Sportsnet. Sorry, Sportsnet. . . . The most annoying commercial on TV these days (pick one) — Clay Matthews for Tide, Rogers’ Wrapped in Red spots, the Subway ads featuring the Toronto Raptors’ Scottie Barnes, or the Sobeys’ family of four. . . . If you enjoy your time on this site, and even if you don’t, you may want to consider clicking on the DONATE button over there on the right side. Thanks in advance. . . . Dan Russell, the now-retired host of the long-running Vancouver-based radio show Sportstalk, release his memoir — Pleasant Good Evening: A Memoir — My 30 Wild and Turbulent Years of Sportsnet — in 2022 and now is thinking of spinning off a podcast. “My plans,” he writes on his blog, “now are to add more content to this site, especially in the audio vault. And I will update this blog from time to time. I’m also considering a podcast as my 2023 project. One that will combine what is happening today with the large archive of Sportstalk audio I have saved over the years.” If you haven’t seen his blog, it’s right here.

Here’s Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, after the final game in soccer’s World Cup: “If you watched this game and came away from it with the idea that it was not a good expenditure of your time, then you simply do not like soccer and should make a note to yourself not to waste any more time trying to appreciate the sport.” . . . Hey, he is correct!

How many WHLers do you know of, past or present, who have put together and released an album? Yes, an album of their own music. . . . F London Hoilett of the Calgary Hitmen is quite a story, having made the team prior to this season despite never having been drafted. He also is something of a musician and has his first album — Can’t Sit Still — ready for release on Jan. 10. . . . Cami Kepke of Global Calgary has more right here.



A few things of note that popped up while I was away from here . . .

D Ethan Samson, the captain of the Prince George Cougars, has signed a three-year entry-level deal with the Philadelphia Flyers, who selected him in the sixth round of the NHL’s 2021 draft. Samson, 19, is from Delta, B.C. He had two goals and an assist as the Cougars beat the visiting Kamloops Blazers, 10-6, on Saturday night. This season, Samson has 11 goals and 16 assists in 28 games. . . .

The Kelowna Rockets have added former player Curtis Hamilton, 31, to their front office as assistant general manager. Yes, his father, Bruce, is the Rockets’ owner, president and general manager. There is a news release right here. . . .

Gilles Courteau, who took over as the QMJHL’s president during the 1985-86 season, will retire at the end of this season. A replacement is expected to be named in May, with Courteau staying on into 2024 to help with the transition. . . . The league has changed the name of its championship trophy from the President’s Cup to the Gilles Courteau Trophy. . . . Courteau first worked in the QMJHL office in 1977 as a statistician. . . .

The junior B Spokane Braves of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League announced that they will ice a team for the 2023-24 season. The Braves have sat out the past two KIJHL seasons for reasons related to the pandemic. . . .

Another high-end WHL forward changed teams on Dec. 31 when the Winnipeg Ice acquired Carson Latimer, 19, from the Prince Albert Raiders for F Aiden Quiring, 17, and third-round selections in the 2024 and 2025 WHL drafts. . . . Latimer, a fourth-round selection by the Ottawa Senators in the NHL’s 2021 draft, had 22 goals and 38 assists in 75 regular-season games with the Raiders. This season, he had 10 goals and 18 assists in 31 games when he was dealt. . . . Quiring, a freshman who was a third-round pick in the 2020 WHL draft, had five goals and three assists in 26 games at the time of the trade. . . .

The Tri-City Americans revealed on Dec. 30 that D Ben Feenan “has left the team for personal reasons and will join the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs.” . . . Feenan, 18, is from Surrey, B.C. He had three assists in 22 games this season, after recording six helpers in 48 games in 2021-22. . . . The Americans selected him in the sixth round of the WHL’s 2019 draft. . . .

The Americans got past the visiting Spokane Chiefs, 7-6 in OT, on New Year’s Eve. And wouldn’t you know it . . . Americans D Lukas Dragicevic didn’t pick up so much as one point, thus ending his 27-game point streak. He put up seven goals and 30 assists during that stretch.


Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press recently wrote a piece in a newsletter about things he would change if he ruled the hockey world for a day. Here’s one item with which I completely agree:

“Severely limit betting/gambling advertisements. Heck, I might just consider an outright ban. I could tolerate them when they first began, in small doses. But it’s to the point now of being completely obnoxious. Seemingly every second commercial is for some website, and now even hosts such as Ron MacLean are routinely shilling for these services. To be clear, I’ve got absolutely nothing against gambling. If you have the means and can do it responsibly, knock your socks off. It’s the idea of having it shoved down my throat everywhere I turn that I find so offensive.”

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



Or, for more information, visit right here.



Hurricanes captain back on ice . . . Three teams sign import picks . . . Schaefer back in coaching game


F Curtis Hamilton (Saskatoon, 2006-11) signed a one-year contract with the Graz 99ers (Austria, Erste Bank Liga). Last season, he was pointless in five games Tappara Tampere (Finland, Liiga), and had three goals and five assists in 16 games with SaiPa Lappeenranta (Finland, Liiga).


Slightly more than a month after F Jordy Bellerive of the Lethbridge Hurricanes was in hospital with burns, he has returned to the ice. Steve Ewen of Postmedia reports that Bellerive, the Hurricanes’ captain, skated at Canlan Ice Sports in North Vancouver this week. . . . Ewen’s story is right here.

The Swift Current Broncos added two players to their roster on Thursday, as they SCBroncosclaimed D Ryan Pouliot, 20, off waivers from the Kootenay Ice and signed Finnish F Joona Kiviniemi. . . . Pouliot is preparing for his fourth WHL season, after playing with the Ice (135 games) and Red Deer Rebels (14 games). Last season, he had two goals and eight assists in 64 games with the Ice. . . . In 169 career games, he had three goals and 27 assists. . . . Kiviniemi, who will turn 17 on Dec. 17, played most of last season with Karpat’s U-18 team in the Jr. B SM-Sarja. He had one goal and two assists in 12 games.

The Kamloops Blazers have signed their two selections from the CHL’s 2018 import draft Kamloops1— Czech F Martin Lang, who will turn 17 on Sept. 15, and D Joonas Sillanpää, 17. . . . Lang had 32 goals and 22 assists in 35 games with HC Plzen’s U-18 team last season. He is expected to play Czech Republic at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Edmonton and Red Deer, Aug. 6-11. . . . The 6-foot-5 Sillanpää had two goals and six assists in 43 games split between HIFK’s U-18 and U-20 teams. . . . Last season, the Blazers’ imports were Czech D Ondrej Vala, who was traded to the Everett Silvertips in January, and Swiss F Justin Sigrist, who won’t be back for a second season.

The Kootenay Ice has signed D Valtteri Kakkonen of Finland, who was its only selection in the CHL’s 2018 import draft. Last season, Kakkonen, 18, had five goals and seven assists in 47 games with JYP’s U-20 team that played in the Jr. A SM-Liiga.

Peter Schaefer, the WHL’s player of the year for 1996-97 while with the Brandon Wheat Kings, has returned to the BCHL’s Surrey Eagles as an assistant coach. . . . Schaefer, 41, was the Eagles’ general manager and head coach in 2013-14. This time, he will work alongside head coach Brandon West and assistant coach Linden Saip.

F Branden Klatt won’t be returning to the WHL for his 20-year-old season. He has cleared WHL waivers and chosen to sign with the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers. . . . Klatt, who is from Moose Jaw, was a sixth-round pick by the Edmonton Oil Kings in the WHL’s 2013 bantam draft. . . . In 184 regular-season WHL games, 85 of them with Edmonton and 99 with the Moose Jaw Warriors, he had 15 goals and 30 assists. . . . Last season, with the Warriors, he had seven goals and eight assists in 69 games.

Nathan Oystrick is the new general manager and head coach of the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos. He reported to work on Wednesday and Kevin Mitchell of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix spent some time with him. . . . That piece is right here.

The Texas-based USA-Central Hockey League, which bills itself as a “non-tuition” junior A league, announced Thursday that Tory Mick is its first president. . . . Mick is a former WHL coach and player, who spent the past five seasons in the front office of the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks. . . . Kevin Mitchell of Black Press has more right here.


Wings win in Hicketts’ debut . . . Two WHLers out of prospects’ game . . . Chiefs send goalie back to Bobcats


F Fredrik Pettersson (Calgary, 2005-07) has signed a three-year contract extension with the ZSC Lions Zurich (Switzerland, NL A). This season, he has 21 goals and 20 assists in 38 games. He leads the Lions in goals and points, and is second in the league in goals and seventh in points. He has been named to Sweden’s Olympic team. . . .

F Ned Lukacevic (Spokane, Swift Current, 2001-06) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with the Odense Bulldogs (Denmark, Metal Ligaen). He started the season with Újpesti TE Budapest (Hungary, Erste Liga), going pointless in two games. He was released from a tryout contract on Sept. 28. . . .

F Chase Witala (Prince George, 2010-16) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Starbulls Rosenheim (Germany, Oberliga) after being released from a tryout contract by Žilina (Slovakia, Extraliga). He was pointless in two games. . . . Witala started the season with the Atlanta Gladiators (ECHL), putting up three goals and seven assists in 11 games. He also was pointless in five games with the Norfolk Admirals (ECHL).

F Curtis Hamilton (Saskatoon, 2006-11) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with SaiPa Lappeenranta (Finland, Liiga) after being released by mutual agreement on Monday by Tappara Tampere (Finland, Liiga). He was pointless in five games after signing with Tappara on Dec. 31. . . . Hamilton played 43 games with SaiPa last season before being assigned on loan to TPS Turku (Finland, Liiga) on Feb. 15. He had 14 goals and 13 assists in 43 games SaiPa, and one goal in two games with TPS.


D Joe Hicketts became the first product of the WHL’s Victoria Royals to reach the NHL when he made his debut with the Detroit Red Wings as they beat the host New Jersey VictoriaRoyalsDevils, 3-0, on Monday night.

Paired with 6-foot-4 Jonathan Ericsson, the 5-foot-8 Hicketts took a regular shift and killed penalties — he played 23 shifts totalling 15 minutes 13 seconds. He had one hit, three blocks and two giveaways. He also was plus-1, just missing a second plus when he left the ice on a change. In fact, the replay from the camera behind the New Jersey net shows Hicketts still on the ice by the gate as his replacement heads into the Devils’ zone.

Hicketts was recalled by the Red Wings on Sunday after D Trevor Daley was injured on Saturday. 

Hicketts, 21, is from Kamloops. His parents, Lee-Gaye and Mike, were in New Jersey for last night’s game.

Hicketts played four seasons (2012-16) with the Royals, and represented Canada twice at the World Junior Championship. He signed with the Red Wings as a free agent and was in his second season with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.

“He’s excelled at every level,” Detroit head coach Jeff Blashill told Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press. “His skill set doesn’t scream NHL in terms of skating, size, body, all that, but he’s proven people wrong his whole life. He was one of the best defensemen when he played for the Canadian world junior team, was out there in big moments. He was a big piece of the Calder Cup championship team last (season) in Grand Rapids.

“He brings stuff to the table that I think can help our team.”

The Red Wings are at home to the Philadelphia Flyers tonight and Daley isn’t expected to play, so Hicketts may get in another NHL game. The Red Wings then are at home to the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday before the NHL goes into its all-star break.

Two WHL players have been taken off rosters for Thursday’s Top Prospects Game that is whlscheduled to be played in Guelph, Ont.

D Alex Alexeyev of the Red Deer Rebels has returned home to St. Petersburg, Russia, following the sudden death of his mother, Julia, on Monday morning.

D Jett Woo of the Moose Jaw Warriors also has been replaced. He didn’t play in Sunday’s 5-3 victory over the Blades in Saskatoon. At the time, it was said that the Warriors wanted to get D Matthew Benson into the lineup so were giving Woo some rest. Now it seems that he is injured.

Matthew Gourlie, who follows the Warriors for DUBnetwork.ca, tweeted Monday afternoon that “Woo said he ‘didn’t feel good’ during warm-up” prior to Friday’s 5-3 victory over the Pats in Regina. According to Gourlie, Woo played a few shifts, “then sat the rest of the game and was scratched Sunday.”

D Xavier Bernard of the QMJHL’s Drummondville Voltigeurs and D Giovanni Vallati of the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers were named as replacements.

The Spokane Chiefs have returned G Bailey Brkin, 18, to the AJHL’s Lloydminster Bobcats.

The Chiefs acquired Brkin’s rights from the Kootenay Ice earlier in the month and listed SpokaneChiefshim as an AP while he was with the Bobcats. The Chiefs added him to their roster when G Dawson Weatherill suffered an undisclosed injury that has kept him out six games.

In four starts with the Chiefs, Brkin went 3-1-0, 2.51, .921.

“The terms of our affiliated player loan agreement with Lloydminster dictated that Bailey would be returned as soon as Dawson was available to play,” Chiefs’ general manager Scott Carter said in a news release. “With Weatherill ready to return to the lineup this week, we had to return Brkin to his regular club.”

Weatherill is 12-9-3, 3.23, .888 this season. Donovan Buskey, the other goaltender on the roster, is 8-8-0, 3.65, .868.

A tweet from TBird Tidbits (@TBirdTidbits) informs us of another set of WHL twins, although Connor and Curtis Honey didn’t play together.

From Edmonton, the twins now are 23.

Connor, a forward, played two plus seasons (2011-14) with the Seattle Thunderbirds. Curtis was a goaltender with the Brandon Wheat Kings at the same time.

“In their one game against each other,” TBird Tidbits notes, “Curtis won the battle, not allowing a goal by his brother.”

Earlier, with the help of readers, we had identified Bob and Ted McAneeley, Rich and Ron Sutter, Darren and Trevor Kruger, and Trevor and Troy Pohl as twins who were teammates in the WHL. Of course, the Kaphorn twins, Kaeden and Keenan, now are with the Kootenay Ice.

We also were informed via email of Chad and Cody Huseby, twin brothers who work as WHL linesman based in Red Deer.



No Games Scheduled.

TUESDAY (all times local):

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

Medicine Hat at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

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

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


Cougars, ‘Tips swap Ethans . . . Blades’ win streak now at five . . . Mahura helps Pats to victory in return


D Cody Carlson (Medicine Hat, Regina, Prince George, 2006-12) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with the Dundee Stars (Scotland, UK Elite). This season, he had a goal and three assists with the Atlanta Gladiators (ECHL) 28 GP, 1+3. . . .

F Curtis Hamilton (Saskatoon, 2006-11) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Tappara Tampere (Finland, Liiga). Last season, he had 14 goals and 13 assists in 43 games with SaiPa Lappeenranta (Finland, Liiga), and one goal in two games with TPS Turku (Finland, Liiga) 2 GP, 1+0. . . . Last week, he played with Team Canada as it won the Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland.


There was an interesting occurrence on my Twitter timeline on Monday afternoon.

Two tweets arrived back-to-back and each one dealt with a goal scored by a Chyzowski in a WHL game. The brothers — Ryan and Nick — must have been close to scoring at precisely the same time.

The first tweet came from Ryan McCracken of the Medicine Hat News, at 4:03 p.m.: “A beautiful set play on the PP makes it 1-0 Tigers out in Cranbrook. Chyzowski finished off a feed from Quenneville.”

A nano second later this tweet — it is time-stamped 4:04 p.m. — arrived from Earl Seitz of CFJC-TV in Kamloops: “Chyzowski on power play gives Blazers 2-1 lead with 11:10 left in the third.”

McCracken’s tweet referred to F Ryan Chyzowski, a sophomore with the Medicine Hat Tigers, who scored his 13th goal of the season for a 1-0 lead at 7:02 of the second period. The Tigers went on to beat the Kootenay Ice, 5-4 in OT.

Seitz was watching as F Nick Chyzowski, Ryan’s older brother, scored his 12th goal of the season to break a 1-1 tie at 8:50 of the third period in the Blazers’ 4-1 victory over the visiting Victoria Royals.

The Chyzowski brothers are the sons of former Blazers F Dave Chyzowski, who now is the team’s marketing director.

When D Alex Petrovic played for the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels, his name was pronounced just as it is spelled — Pet-ra-vick. These days, he is with the NHL’s Florida Panthers and he has decided to change the pronunciation of his surname. Why? Because he wants to honour his 96-year-old grandfather. . . . Matthew DeFranks of the Sun Sentinel has more on this neat story right here.


NUMBER OF TRADES (since Nov. 13): 17





THE DEAL: The Prince George Cougars dealt F Ethan O’Rourke, 18, to the Everett Silvertips for F Ethan Browne, 16. . . . Browne had been on Everett’s suspended list since leaving the team early in November. At the time, general manager Garry Davidson said that Browne “has been placed on suspension as he has clarified his wishes to return home to the Edmonton area.”

THE NUMBERS: This season, the 6-foot-5, 200-pound O’Rourke has five goals and nine assists in 37 games. In 57 career regular-season games, he has six goals and 10 assists. In his draft season, O’Rourke had 18 goals and 17 assists in 58 games with the Okanagan Hockey Academy bantam prep team. . . . The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Browne was pointless in one game with Everett last season and had one assist in eight games earlier this season. He has been with the AJHL’s Drayton Valley Thunder, where he had three goals and two assists in nine games. In his draft season, he had 77 points, 39 of them goals, with the bantam AAA Sherwood Park Flyers.

THE INFO: While O’Rourke was a third-round pick by the Cougars in the 2014 WHL bantam draft, the Silvertips selected Browne in the first round, 13th overall, in 2016. . . . O’Rourke, from Penticton, B.C., is the son of Cougars associate coach Steve O’Rourke. . . . There is an O’Rourke family connection with Everett. Steve played one season (1993-94) with the BCJHL’s Penticton Panthers when Davidson was the team’s head coach.

WHY: O’Rourke provides Everett with size and depth up front. . . . The Cougars, who are looking to the future, are hoping that Browne can recapture the offensive ability he showed in bantam. In 2014-15, he had 114 points in 32 games with the bantam AA Sherwood Park Flyers.



At Saskatoon, F Josh Paterson broke a 2-2 tie in the third period as the Blades beat the Swift Current Broncos, 4-2. . . . Saskatoon (19-17-3) has won five in a row and eight of Saskatoonnine. It is tied with Regina for the Eastern Conference’s two wild-card spots. . . . Swift Current (26-10-2) has lost three straight, but remains second in the overall standings. However, it now is nine points behind Moose Jaw. . . . F Dryden Michaud (2) gave the home side a 1-0 lead at 9:42 of the first period. . . . F Ethan Regnier (2) tied it at 14:11. . . . The Blades went back on top, 2-1, at 7:49 of the second period when D Evan Fiala scored his fourth goal of the season. . . . The Broncos tied it when F Kole Gable (4) scored at 8:38. . . . Paterson broke the tie, on a PP, at 5:36 of the third period. He’s got 19 goals in 39 games, and that’s two more than he scored in 72 games last season. An 18-year-old from Edmonton, Paterson has eight goals in a five-game streak. . . . F Braylon Shmyr (19), who also had an assist, got the empty-netter for Saskatoon, at 18:16. . . . The Blades were 1-4 on the PP; the Broncos were 0-3. . . . Saskatoon G Nolan Maier stopped 20 shots in earning his eighth straight victory. . . . The Broncos got 38 saves from G Logan Flodell. . . . For much of the season’s first half, the Broncos’ top line of Glenn Gawdin, Aleksi Heponiemi and Tyler Steenbergen terrorized opponents. On Monday, all three were out of the lineup. Gawdin was ill, while Heponiemi (Finland) and Steenbergen (Canada) are in Buffalo at the World Junior Championship. Those three have combined for 204 points, including 86 goals. . . . Starting on Wednesday, Swift Current, which also is without D Artyom Minulin (Russia), will play four games in five nights before the WJC comes to an end. . . . G Ryan Kubic, who has played one game for the Blades since Nov. 18, was dressed in a backup role. . . . Announced attendance: 3,760.

At Edmonton, F Davis Koch, who also had three assists, scored late in the third period to give the Oil Kings a 5-4 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Edmonton (10-22-5) has EdmontonOilKingspoints in five straight (3-0-2). The Oil Kings are 14 points away from a playoff spot. . . . Calgary (11-20-6) is 10th in the Eastern Conference, 11 points from a playoff spot. . . . The Oil Kings opened up a 3-0 first-period leads on goals from F Trey Fix-Wolansky, at 4:15; F Colton Kehler (14), on a PP, at 15:10; and Fix-Wolansky (16) again, at 18:20. . . . F Andrei Grishakov (11) got Calgary on the scoreboard, on a PP, at 6:16 of the second period. . . . Edmonton got that one back as F David Kope (5) scored at 18:43. . . . The Hitmen tied the game with three third-period goals, from F Mark Kastelic, at 4:09; F Jakob Stukel, at 11:39; and Kastelic (12), on a PP, at 15:36. . . . That set the stage for Koch (17) to get the winner at 16:26. . . . Edmonton got two assists from each of F Tomas Soustal, Fix-Wolansky and D Conner McDonald. . . . Grishakov and Stukel each had two assists for Calgary, with Kastelic getting one. . . . Calgary was 2-7 on the PP; Edmonton was 1-7. . . . The Oil Kings held a 35-19 edge in shots, including 16-1 in the first period. . . . G Josh Dechaine stopped 15 shots for the Oil Kings. . . . Calgary starter Nick Schneider surrendered four goals on 23 shots through the first two periods. Matthew Armitage came on in relief to stop seven of eight shots in 20 minutes. . . . Announced attendance: 9,821.

At Kamloops, the Blazers scored the game’s last four goals to beat the Victoria Royals, 4-1. . . . The Blazers (17-19-2) had lost their previous four games (0-3-1) and had been shut out Kamloops1in each of their last two home games. They are ninth in the Western Conference, five points out of a wild-card spot. . . . The Royals (21-15-4) had been 1-0-1 in their previous two games. They are second in the B.C. Division, three points behind Kelowna, which holds three games in hand. . . . F Tyler Soy (17) gave the Royals a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 1:09 of the second period. . . . Kamloops pulled even when F Carson Denomie (5) scored at 6:25. . . . F Nick Chyzowski (12) broke the tie, on a PP, at 8:50 of the third period, and F Brodi Stuart (11) added insurance at 13:25. . . . F Quinn Benjafield, who also had two assists, got the empty-netter, at 19:42. . . . Kamloops was 1-3 on the PP; Victoria was 1-5. . . . G Dylan Ferguson earned the victory with 23 saves. . . . At the other end, Griffen Outhouse stopped 43 shots. . . . Including this game, Kamloops will play Victoria in four of six straight games. The Royals will be back in Kamloops on Saturday. The Blazers are to visit Victoria on Jan. 12-13. . . . Don Hay of the Blazers now has 737 regular-season coaching victories, five short of the career record held by the retired Ken Hodge. . . . Announced attendance: 3,732.

At Langley, B.C., F James Malm scored at 2:00 of OT to give the Vancouver Giants a 4-3 victory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . The Giants (20-14-5) are 2-0-1 in their past Vancouverthree games. They now have as many victories as they had all of last season when they finished 20-46-6 and out of the playoffs for a third straight season. . . . The Giants are third in the B.C. Division, one point behind Victoria and nine ahead of Kamloops. . . . The Cougars (14-18-6) got a victory and an OTL from the doubleheader in Langley. They had won a wild one, 7-6 in OT, on Saturday. . . . Prince George is fifth in the B.C. Division, two points behind Kamloops. . . . Yesterday, the Cougars had a 2-0 lead early in the first period as D Dennis Cholowski (11) scored at 6:19 and F Kody McDonald got his 19th at 6:33. . . . F Brayden Watts (11) got the Giants to within a goal, on a PP, at 8:21, and F Jared Dmytriw tied the score, at 13:26. . . . Dmytriw (10), who had two goals and two assists, gave the Giants their first lead at 9:05 of the second. . . . Cholowski forced OT when he scored his 12th goal at 12:44 of the third period. Cholowski, who is from Langley, had scored two goals and added two assists in Saturday’s game. He now has 35 points in 35 games. . . . F Owen Hardy had two assists for Vancouver, with Watts getting one. . . . Vancouver was 1-5 on the PP; Prince George was 0-3. . . . G David Tendeck started for the Giants but lasted just 6:33 as he allowed two goals on six shots. Todd Scott came on to earn the victory, stopped 12 of 13 shots in 55:27. . . . The Cougars got 34 stops from Tavin Grant. . . . Ethan Browne, acquired earlier in the day from the Everett Silvertips, wasn’t in the Cougars’ lineup as they went with 11 forwards. . . . Announced attendance: 3,776.

At Cranbrook, B.C., D Kristians Rubins scored at 1:54 of OT to give the Medicine Hat Tigers a 5-4 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Medicine Hat (21-15-2) has won two in a Tigers Logo Officialrow. . . . The Tigers are atop the Central Division, five points ahead of Kootenay. . . . Kootenay (18-17-3) has points in seven straight (5-0-2). . . . With this game, the Ice started a stretch of five games in six nights. It starts with three games in three nights as it visits Lethbridge tonight and Swift Current on Wednesday. . . . The Tigers looked to have this one under wraps with a 4-1 lead early in the third period. . . . After a scoreless first period, F Ryan Chyzowski (13) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 7:02 of the second. . . . F Mark Rassell (32), who also had two assists, upped it to 2-0 at 13:26. . . . Ice F Brett Davis halved the deficit at 1:18 of the third period, but Medicine Hat went ahead 4-1 on a pair of shorthanded goals by F James Hamblin, at 6:20 and 6:55. He’s got 13 goals. . . . The Ice got even by scoring three times in 6:25. . . . F Alec Baer got it started, on a PP, at 7:18. . . . F Cameron Hausinger (12) pulled the home boys to within a goal at 7:56. . . . Baer forced OT with his 16th goal, at 13:43. . . . Rubins won it with his third goal of the season. . . . Davis added an assist to his goal for the Ice. . . . Each team was 1-2 on the PP. . . . G Jordan Hollett made 35 saves for the Tigers, four more than the Ice’s Bailey Brkin. . . . Announced attendance: 2,426.

At Regina, F Matt Bradley scored the OT winner and added two assists as the Pats got past the Prince Albert Raiders, 5-4. . . . Regina (19-18-3) has won three straight games and ReginaPats100remains tied with Saskatoon for the Eastern Conference’s two wild-card spots. . . . Prince Albert (13-17-8) has lost five in a row (0-4-1) and is 1-6-1 in its past eight. It now trails Regina and Saskatoon by eight points. . . . D Dawson Davidson (7) gave the Pats a 1-0 lead when he scored shorthanded at 7:41 of the first period. . . . The Raiders then took a 3-1 lead on second-period goals from D Brayden Pachal (2), at 7:27; F Cole Fonstad (12), on a PP, at 13:27; and F Parker Kelly (16), at 16:54. . . . Regina erased that deficit and took a 4-3 lead by scoring three times in 2:38 of the third period. . . . D Josh Mahura (12) pulled the home boys to within a goal at 4:46. . . . F Nick Henry (6) tied the game at 7:14. . . . F Jake Leschyshyn gave Regina its first lead at 7:24. . . . The Raiders pulled even when F Jordy Stallard (26) scored, on a PP, at 13:01. . . . Bradley won it with his 24th goal of the season. . . . Mahura, in his first game since being released by the Canadian national junior team on Dec. 26, also had two assists, including the primary helper on the winner. . . . F Robbie Holmes also had two assists for Regina. . . . The Raiders got two assists from each of Pachal and F Spencer Moe, with Fonstad and Stallard each getting one. . . . Prince Albert was 2-5 on the PP; Regina was 0-3. . . . G Tyler Brown blocked 27 shots for Regina, while the Raiders’ Curtis Meger, who is from Regina, stopped 34. . . . Announced attendance: 6,243.

TUESDAY (all times local):

Kootenay at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.


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