WHL positive tests somewhere above 150 . . . Winterhawks, Gauthier on real roll . . . BCHL suspends Nanaimo coaches pending investigation

Dan Courneyea, our man at the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, was on hand Beijingfor the opening day of the men’s hockey competition on Wednesday.

“Well . . . that was an interesting first day of men’s ice hockey,”  he reported. “ROC almost lost to the Swiss, who played a great game. A bounce is how that game ended.

“Denmark has come to play! They also played a great game and beat Czechia in what I saw was a big upset. Denmark, as a team, played very well with their goalie standing on his head.”

ROC scored a first-period goal and hung on for a 1-0 victory over Switzerland. In the other game to which our man referred, Denmark, playing in the Olympics for the first time, got past Czechia, 2-1.

In one other game, Sweden eked out a 3-2 victory over Latvia.

“Three games today,” he added. “It’s just going to get better as it goes along.”

Games on the second day (Thursday) will have Slovakia meeting Finland (National Indoor Stadium, 12:40 a.m. PT), China taking on the U.S. (5:10 a.m. PT, NIS), and Canada versus Germany (5:10 a.m. PT, Wukesong Sports Centre).

There is a women’s game Thursday, too, with Czechia and the U.S. meeting in a quarterfinal at 8:10 p.m. PT. On Friday, it’ll be Sweden and Canada at 5:10 a.m. PT and Switzerland versus ROC at 8:10 p.m. PT. The other quarterfinal will have Japan playing Finland on Saturday at 12:40 a.m. PT.


According to the WHL’s weekly roster/injury report, teams didn’t report any players in COVID-19 protocol until after the Christmas break. Since then, teams have shown 149 players having been in protocol.

However, the real number isn’t known because four teams — the Kamloops WHLBlazers, Lethbridge Hurricanes, Medicine Hat Tigers and Red Deer Rebels — haven’t listed even one player as having been in protocol. Interestingly, each of those teams has been shut down by the WHL at one point or another. Kamloops, Medicine Hat and Red Deer were among 15 teams that were told to pause team activities on Jan. 7 “as a result of multiple players and staff being added” to the protocol list “due to exhibiting symptoms or having tested positive for COVID-19.”

Also on Jan. 7, the WHL announced that Lethbridge had been “cleared to resume team activities” after it had been put on pause.

That figure of 149 also doesn’t include staff members who have  tested positive.

Here are the WHL teams who have reported having had players in protocol since returning from the Christmas break — Saskatoon Blades, 18; Seattle Thunderbirds, 17; Swift Current Broncos, Victoria Royals, each 14; Tri-City Americans, 13; Prince George Cougars, 11; Everett Silvertips, 10; Prince Albert Raiders, 9; Portland Winterhawks, 8; Spokane Chiefs, Vancouver Giants, each 7; Edmonton Oil Kings, Kelowna Rockets, Moose Jaw Warriors, Winnipeg Ice, each 4; Brandon Wheat Kings, Calgary Hitmen, each 2; and Regina Pats, 1.

As well, Spokane had two players test positive in November, but they weren’t shown on the roster report.


Airport


The Spokane Chiefs were in Portland for a Wednesday night date with the PortlandWinterhawks, the second of five straight games between these teams. . . . Portland, which had posted a 7-3 victory in Spokane on Saturday, delivered a quick message with five first-period goals, en route to a 9-0 victory. . . . They’ll play the next three in Spokane — on Friday, Saturday and Tuesday — and finish their season series on Feb. 20 in Portland. . . . Portland has points in 17 straight games — 16-0-1. . . . After last night, Portland is 7-1-0 in the season series; Spokane is 1-6-1. . . . Also last night, Portland G Taylor Gauthier, a recent acquisition from the Prince George Cougars, set a franchise record for longest shutout streak. He now has put up three straight shutouts and the shutout streak is at 232:19. The previous record (174:57) was set by Brendan Burke during the 2013-14 season. . . . In nine starts with Portland, Gauthier, who will turn 21 on Tuesday, is 9-0-0, 1.33, .954. His three shutouts leave him with nine in his WHL career.


Some Super Bowl trivia for you just in case you are trying to impress someone between now and Sunday. . . . In nine different Super Bowl games, there has been a starting quarterback named Joe — Namath, Kapp, Montana (4 times), Flacco, Theismann and Burrow. . . . In 10 different Super Bowl games, there has been a starting QB named Tom — Brady.


The BCHL has notified players with the Nanaimo Clippers that it “has appointed bchlan independent investigator to review allegations of Code of Conduct breaches” by Darren Naylor, the team’s vice-president, general manager, head coach and director of hockey operations, and Colin Birkas, the associate GM and associate coach. . . . In a Tuesday email from the Executive Committee to “Nanaimo Clippers Players,” the players were informed that the BCHL “has placed the coaches on temporary administrative leave while the investigation proceeds. At this time, the allegations are allegations only; no findings have been made against the coaches.” . . . According to the BCHL, it “cannot comment on particulars of the investigation itself due to privacy laws . . .” The letter also informs players that they may be contacted by the investigator “to discuss the allegations. It is very important for all concerned, particularly the game of hockey, that you provide the investigator with your full and honest cooperation. This is not the time for silence or silencing others; no one should lie on any person’s behalf for any reason.” . . . The league has told the Nanaimo players that “we will be advising your billets about this situation” and “we strongly encourage you to inform your parents as soon as possible as they will want to hear this development from you first . . . Please do not hesitate to reach out for support, whether it is to your parents, your billets or the league.” . . . The letter also indicates that the league will be “appointing an interim coaching solution to continue your day-to-day team activities and games.” . . . The Clippers are 23-13-2 and five points out of first place in the nine-team Coastal Division. They are scheduled to be in Powell River for games with the Kings on Friday and Saturday nights.


Pipe


Chad Harden, who scouts for the Calgary Hitmen, will be back in the Calgary Stampede’s chuckwagon races this year. Krista Sylvester of the Calgary Citizen reports that Harden, who was facing a potential lifetime ban after an accident in the 2019 Rangeland Derby, has been invited to return and has accepted the invitation. Harden received a stiff reprimand after the accident in which one horse died and three others were injured. A driver since 2000, Harden also was fined $10,000 and had to pay $10,000 for the horse that was killed. . . . Sylvester’s story is right here.


The Regina Pats ran out of goaltenders this week. Yes, they did! That’s how PatsKelton Pyne, a 16-year-old from White City, Sask., came to make his WHL debut with 36 saves in a 6-3 loss to the host Edmonton Oil Kings on Tuesday. . . . Matthew Kieper and Drew Sim, the two goaltenders on the Pats’ roster, both are sidelined with concussions. . . . Pyne wasn’t selected in the WHL draft and has been on the Pats’ protected list since last fall. . . . He is a regular with the U-18 Regina Pat Canadians of the Saskatchewan Male AAA Hockey League. . . . The Pats are scheduled to meet the visiting Calgary Hitmen on Friday and then visit the Saskatoon Blades on Saturday. Regina’s goaltenders are expected to be Pyne and Spencer Welke, who has come in from the AJHL’s Camrose Kodiaks. . . . Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post has more on this story right here.


The B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League will have a new team — the Logan Lake LoganLakeMinersMiners — when the 2022-23 season arrives. The Miners will play out of the Logan Lake Recreation Centre. As an independent team, they will, according to a news release, feature players “enrolled in full-time courses at Thompson Rivers University and Nicola Valley Institute of Technology.” . . . Those schools are located in Kamloops and Merritt, respectively. . . . Logan Lake will get a look at a couple of BCIHL teams this weekend as the Okanagan Lakers meet Vancouver Island University at the Recreation Centre on Friday and Saturday nights. There won’t be an admission charge for either game, but public health guidelines will be in place. . . . The BCIHL’s news release is right here.


Bed


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

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Barrow

Scattershooting on a Monday morning while listening to the snow melt . . .

Scattershooting2

ChinaClock
The scoreclock tells the tale after the Chinese women’s hockey team beat Japan at the Olympic Winter Games. (Photo: Dan Courneyea)
ChinaWin
The Chinese women’s hockey team celebrates its 2-1 shootout victory over Japan at the Olympic Winter Games. (Photo: Dan Courneyea)

There was some excitement at the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing on Sunday with the Chinese women’s hockey team earning a 2-1 victory over Japan. The game went to a shootout and the Chinese scored the lone goal, that coming in the fourth round. . . . “China is not as good as Japan,” reports Dan Courneyea, our man at the hockey competition. “They just brought a better game. . . . China’s goalie kept them in the game.” . . . Interestingly, the winning goal came from Hannah Miller, who is from North Vancouver. On the Chinese roster, she is Le Mi. . . . According to Reuters, Miller joined a Chinese team — KRS Vanke Rays — in 2018 in order to be eligible for these Games. She played NCAA hockey at St. Lawrence U, and also was member of Canada’s U-18 women’s team. . . .

On Monday, Canada ran its record to 3-0 by beating the ROC — shhh! don’t say Russia — 6-1 in a game that was delayed when, according to reports, the latter’s COVID-19 test results weren’t made available. The game eventually started with both teams wearing N95 masks. . . . But, wait, there’s more. The ROC players left their masks in the dressing room for the third period, while the Canadians continued to wear theirs. It turns out, too, that F Emily Clark of Canada was removed during the pregame warmup because of what reports say was an inconclusive test. . . . Canada, with Emerance Maschmeyer making her Olympic debut in goal, had a 49-12 edge in shots. She is the sister of former WHL D Bronson Maschmeyer (Vancouver, Kamloops, 2008-12). . . . Canada has outscored its opposition 29-3 in six games, with the U.S. up next. They are scheduled to be on your TV tonight (Monday) at 8:10 p.m. PT.


Yes, it’s true. COVID-19 bit the WHL again on Sunday, with an undisclosed Vancouvernumber of Vancouver Giants players apparently having tested positive and forcing the postponement of at least one game. . . . The Seattle Thunderbirds were scheduled to play the Giants in Langley, B.C., on Sunday, but that game will be rescheduled. . . . This was the WHL’s first postponement since a Jan. 29 game that was to have had the Brandon Wheat Kings in Prince Albert was scuttled because the Raiders weren’t able to dress 14 healthy players. . . . The Giants had dropped a 3-2 decision to the visiting Kamloops Blazers on Friday and then were beaten 7-2 by the Seattle Thunderbirds in Kent, Wash., on Saturday. . . . Vancouver is scheduled to visit the Kelowna Rockets on Wednesday and then meet the Cougars in Prince George on Friday and Saturday nights.


The Regina Pats lost a hockey game on Sunday, falling 5-4 in OT to the host Calgary Hitmen, but the hockey world was left abuzz over a goal by F Connor Bedard, who won’t turn 17 until July 17. . . . Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post writes about the goal right there.


Cash


Dwight Perry, in the Seattle Times: “Bucs QB Tom Brady, to no one’s surprise, announced his retirement last week. That takes the undecided list down to Brett Favre (yes/no/yes/no/maybe) and Aaron Rodgers (still doing his own research).”


After Brady made it official, comedy writer Alex Kaseberg (@AlexKaseberg) tweeted: “But wait, don’t you have to rip off your shirt and dance in the end zone in front of the crowd to retire from the Bucs?”


And then there was this from Football Hall of Fame Dick Butkus, who recently joined Twitter (@thedickbutkus): “I think it’s great Giselle let Tom Brady retire. Hopefully she’ll let him keep Rob Gronkowski in the yard.”


With the Olympic Winter Games ongoing and the pandemic raging, the KHL has chosen to end its regular season with its playoffs scheduled to begin on March 1. . . . According to the KHL, there are 120 players from 22 of its teams on national teams in Beijing. By ending the regular season and starting playoffs on March 1, all players will have the opportunity to quarantine before play begins.


Dinner


Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Giants, after the NFL’s Washington Football Team revealed that its new nickname will be Commanders: “A Commander? To some old-timers, reader Kevin Love reminds us, a Commander is a Philip Morris cigarette back in the 1960s. The TV commercial jingle was, ‘Have a Commander, welcome aboard!’ Selling point: A special vacuum ‘gently cleans every bit of tobacco.’ You still got lung cancer, but it was a tidy lung cancer. And when you checked into the hospital, they welcomed you aboard.”

——

Ostler, again: “Speaking of the military, credit is due to the sports-star anti-vaxxers like Aaron Rodgers, Kyrie Irving and Novak Djokovic for keeping our military busy. My mom was in a hospital in Eugene, Ore., for a heart procedure. Her meals were served by National Guard soldiers, helping fill manpower shortages caused by sick non-vaxxers clogging hospitals. Hey, Aaron and friends: Have a Commander, welcome aboard.”


Some people are raising a fuss over the Arizona Coyotes’ plan to play three NHL seasons in a new arena at Arizona State U, one that will have somewhere around 5,000 seats. The critics seem to think it’s beneath the NHL to have a team playing in such a small facility. Hey, the Winnipeg Ice is in its third season in a 1,600-seat barn, doesn’t seem to have put a shovel in the ground on a new facility yet, and the WHL is still alive and kicking.


If you are on Twitter, you will want to take a few minutes and read the threat that resulted from the question — New Yorkers: What’s the most New York thing that’s ever happened to you? . . . I mean, there’s an eel on the subway, bad manners from Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, and a whole lot more. Enjoy!


Poop


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

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Escape

Courneyea gives Opening Ceremony a WOW! . . . Raiders show small profit for 2020-21 thanks to gov’t money . . . Chiefs retire Johnson’s No. 9

Dan Courneyea, our man at the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, is there to work as an off-ice official at the hockey venues. But he took time to attend the Opening Ceremony on Friday, writing that “all I can say is WOW! It was AWESOME!” . . . Courneyea, who heads up the Kamloops Blazers’ crew of off-ice officials, is part of the Olympic hockey crew for the third time, having also been at Vancouver in 2010 and PyeongChang, South Korea, in 2018. . . . He got his Beijing Games started by working Canada’s 11-1 victory over Switzerland on Thursday, and was back at the NIS today as Canada skated past Finland, 11-1. . . . Before going to the hockey game, Dan sent along some photos from the Opening Ceremony. I am partial to the third one, which provides a proud moment for Canadians. . . . Enjoy!

Ceremony1

Ceremony2

Ceremony3


Despite not playing any home games in what would have been the 2020-21 WHL season, the community-owned Prince Albert Raiders announced a profit Raidersof $25,891 during their annual general meeting on Thursday night.

The pandemic resulted in the WHL’s Manitoba- and Saskatchewan-based teams playing a 24-game schedule a bubble in Regina in the spring of 2021.

At their previous AGM, the Raiders announced a loss of $331,895 for the 2019-20 season. That was when they had $1,074,857 in ticket sales. In 2020-21, the Raiders didn’t have any ticket sales, but did receive a $600,000 grant from the provincial government, as did each of the other four Saskatchewan-based WHL teams.

“That lost revenue was made up for by generosity,” reported Jeff D’Andrea of paNOW. “The Raiders received $1,081,179 in grants, including the $600,000 WHL Support Grant from the Government of Saskatchewan, and $416,111 from the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) along with others.”

His story is right here.

Kyle Kosowan of the Prince Albert Daily Herald reported that the Raiders’ revenue for 2020-21 totalled $515,917, down $1,776,412 from 2019-20.

“The expense total,” Kosowan wrote, ”was nearly $1 million less in 2020-21. Advertising was the largest factor of expenses. Spending just $39,690, that’s a difference of $204,770 from 2019-20. The difference in expenses was $917,347. While revenue generated wasn’t nearly as high, being able to cut down on expenses was a huge game-changer.”

Kosowan’s story is right here.

The WHL has four community-owned teams; all four now have held their AGMs.

The Lethbridge Hurricanes, who received $668,000 in government funding, showed a profit of $72,250.

The Swift Current Broncos declared a loss of $129,968 after factoring in the $600,000 in provincial government money.

The Moose Jaw Warriors didn’t post a news release on their website, but president Chad Taylor said at the time: “If it wasn’t for the provincial government our balance sheet . . . would look a lot different than it is today. We are still showing a loss. You can’t just recover . . . With no revenues it’s impossible to try and pull a profit out of an organization like this.”

The Warriors lost $391,299 for 2019-20, after losses of $165,145 for 2018-19 and $463,566 for 2016-17. In 2017-18, the Warriors declared a profit of $704,182.


These days, Rick Brodsky mostly hangs his hat in Kelowna, although in non-pandemic times he also spends time in Arizona. Of course, there are times, like now, when you might find him in northern Manitoba, helping nephews get heavy equipment over winter roads and into position to do a big-time construction job. . . . There was a time, though, when he was a prominent WHL owner, first with the Saskatoon Blades, and then the Victoria Cougars, a franchise he would move to Prince George. . . . Hartley Miller, the news supervisor and sports editor for VISTA Radio in Prince George, does a weekly podcast that most often is wrapped around the Cougars. On Thursday, he released Part 1 of a two-part interview with Brodsky, who also is a former chairman of the WHL’s board of governors. . . . It is right here.


Carey


JUNIOR JOTTINGS: The Spokane Chiefs retired No. 9 on Friday night in honour of  F Tyler Johnson, who put up 128 goals and 154 assists in 266 regular-season games over four seasons (2007-11). Johnson, who is from Spokane, helped the Chiefs win the 2008 Memorial Cup title. He is in his ninth NHL season, the first eight with the Tampa Bay Lightning and this one with the Chicago Blackhawks. However, injuries have limited him to eight games this season.  . . . F Bear Hughes, who had been wearing No. 9, gave his sweater to Johnson and now wears No. 8. . . . Among those in attendance in Spokane was former Chiefs GM Tim Speltz and former head coach Bill Peters, whose final season there was 2007-08. . . . F Ray Whitney is the only other Spokane player to have had his number (14) retired. . . .

The AJHL’s Drayton Valley Thunder and Eric Thurston, the general manager and head coach, have agreed on a contract extension that runs through 2024-25. According to a news release, the contract makes “Eric one of the highest-paid coaches in the AJHL.” No figures were release. He has been with the Thunder since March 13, 2018.


Passwords


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

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Rodent

Hockey venues almost ready in Beijing . . . Chow to leave SJHL after season . . . Milestone night ahead for Lazaruk

BeijingNIS
The NIS (National Indoor Stadium) is sparkling in preparation for the start of the men’s and women’s Olympic hockey competitions. (Photo: Dan Courneyea)

Dan Courneyea, Taking Note’s man in Beijing, reports that folks are hard at work as they put the final touches on venues with the Olympic Winter Games about to get rolling. While organizers refer to Feb. 4 as the opening date, some competitions actually start today (Wednesday).

“Lots of final preparation still being done before the first puck drop,” Courneyea told Taking Note late Monday night Pacific Time. “Everything is coming together.” That missive, with the National Indoor Stadium photo, arrived Monday at 11:15 p.m. PT, which was 3:15 p.m. on Tuesday in Beijing.

The women’s hockey begins with Pool A games today. It’s Switzerland and Canada in the NIS and China against Czechia in the Wukesong. Both games start at 8:10 p.m. PT.

BeijingWukesong
Only some final touches are left before Wukesong Arena is ready for the Olympic hockey competitions in Beijing. (Photo: Dan Courneyea)

Bill Chow announced on Monday that he will be leaving his post as commissioner of the SJHL on May 31. Chow, who has been commissioner for sjhl10-plus years, said that he won’t complete his contract that is set to expire on May 31, 2023. . . . Chow didn’t give a specific reason for his decision, saying in a news release that “there have been many factors that have gone into my final decision.” . . . Chow was named commissioner in the spring of 2011 after having retired at the age of 52 after almost 30 years with the Prince Albert Police Service and leaving as a staff sergeant. . . . In his last few years with the SJHL, he dealt with, among other things, the bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos that took 16 lives and then the first two years of the pandemic. . . . He also spent 25 years as a WHL scout, 10 of them with the Spokane Chiefs.


Chad Leslie was named general manager of the WHL’s Swift Current Broncos on ScurrentMonday, more than two months after he stepped in as the interim GM. Leslie, from Elkhorn, Man., had been the club’s assistant GM since the start of the 2020-21 season. He was named interim GM on Oct. 14 when Dean Brockman, who had been GM and head coach, resigned. . . . Before becoming the assistant GM, Leslie spent two seasons as the Broncos’ director of scouting. . . . The complete news release is right here.


JUNIOR JOTTINGS: Les Lazaruk, the play-by-play voice of the Saskatoon Blades, will call his 2,000th WHL game tonight (Wednesday) from Regina.“To put 2,000 games under your belt is just an astonishing achievement at any level, in any capacity, in any industry,” Tyler Wawryk, the Blades’ director of business operations, told Pat McKay of CTV News. “When you think of Blades hockey, especially when you think of the sound of Blades hockey, it’s Les Lazaruk.” . . . Of course, 2,000 games means a whole lot of bus miles. Here’s Wawryk, again: “He has a knack for sleeping on the bus. It doesn’t matter what the weather’s like and how loud it is and what position he’s in, he can always find a way to grab a couple of Zs on the bus. I have a few videos of him sleeping upright, and he snores like a chainsaw.” . . . The Blades will salute Lazaruk on Friday as they play host to the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . McKay’s complete story is right here. . . .

The Thief River Falls, Minn., Norskies of the Superior International Junior Hockey League have shut down for the remainder of this season. A news release from the league stated that “an issue that the Norskies struggled with since the outset of the campaign — a shortage of players — is ultimately what led to the decision.” . . . The departure of the Norskies, who are expected back next season, leaves the SIJHL with six teams as it prepares to resume play on Feb. 4. The league has been shut down since Jan. 5 because of Ontario government restrictions due to COVID-19. . . . A complete news release is right here.


It would seem that you don’t have to be a hockey fighter in order to end up with CTE. Ralph Backstrom, who died on Feb. 7 at the age of 83, played 15 seasons in the NHL and four more in the WHA, totalling 490 penalty minutes in 1,336 games. He was hardly a fighter, but he still was found to have CTE.




The Canadian men’s Olympic hockey team was to have met Switzerland in an exhibition game on Tuesday. However, that game, which was to have been played in Zug, was postponed after Swiss D Christian Marti tested positive. Canada is to open preliminary play in Beijing against Germany on Feb. 10 at 5:10 a.m. PT.


One of the more bizarre happenings of this pandemic occurred in San Francisco on Saturday night as the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets visited the Golden State Warriors. . . . Kyrie Irving of the Nets is unvaccinated and not allowed to play home games because of a New York City regulation that allows only those who are vaccinated in city facilites. The San Francisco Department of Public Health also has such a mandate, however it made an exception for visiting NBAers. That meant that on Saturday night every person in the Chase Center was vaccinated . . . except for one.

Here’s Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle: “If anyone can find a plausible explanation for this exemption, please come forward. It’s reckless and irresponsible, although not terribly surprising in light of so many people, companies, counties and government agencies mistakenly letting their guard down as the pandemic rages on. The local health order states that visiting players ‘are, by definition, present in the venue only occasionally,’ but how does that make sense? You might ‘only occasionally’ stray from your personal safe zone in these difficult times, but that’s when you put yourself most at risk.”



Facebook


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

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Dads

Scattershooting on a Sunday night after watching the Canadian men’s soccer team make more memories . . .

Scattershooting2

Another voice is gone as the Baltimore Evening Sun has its last run . . .


Here’s hoping that you were able to watch at least some of the soccer game between the men’s national teams from the United States and Canada that was played at Hamilton’s Tim Hortons Field on Sunday afternoon.

Because that Canadian soccer team is doing far more for our country than the hooligans who took over parts of our nation’s capital on the weekend as they protested about lost freedoms or whatever it is that has them upset today.

As for lost freedoms, well, let’s see . . . they have left big rigs idling overnight on residential streets . . . they have defaced a statue of Terry Fox, a true national hero who believed in science . . . they have danced on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier . . . they have urinated on the National War Memorial . . . they have defecated on Ottawa sidewalks . . . they have threatened and intimidated folks, many of them volunteers, who operate a service that feeds the homeless . . . and, oh yes, there were the Confederate and Nazi flags, too. . . .

The hooligans have, in other words, acted like the boors they are.

Meanwhile, in Hamilton, our men’s soccer team continued what has become CdaSoccerperhaps the biggest story in the world of international soccer with a 2-0 victory over the U.S.

The objective, of course, is to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, a tournament Canada hasn’t been in since 1986. The 2022 affair is scheduled for Qatar, from Nov. 21 through Dec. 17. After Sunday, Canada remains atop the CONCACAF qualifying standings with six wins and four draws in 10 games. It now is four points clear of the Mexico and the U.S.

Canada is to play El Salvador (2-3-5) on Wednesday, then will be off until March 24 when it is to play in Costa Rica. Then it’s back home for a March 27 date with Jamaica. The schedule concludes on March 30 in Panama.

Canada is all but certain to earn a sport in Qatar, where it will have an opportunity to make some noise and, oh, is that going to be a lot of fun.

Before then, though, you are going to want to learn about Cyle Larin, who scored Canada’s first goal yesterday. A 26-year-old from Brampton, Ont., he now has 23 goals for Canada, more than any other player in the program’s history.

You also will want to learn about Milan Borjan, 34, the starry keeper who was Qatar2022born in Croatia. His family emigrated to Winnipeg in 2002 before settling in Hamilton. You can bet Sunday’s victory meant a whole lot to him, especially a remarkable hand save off a header from a corner in the 43rd minute.

Let’s not forget, too, that Canada was without perhaps its top two players, with the blazing fast Alphonso Davies out with myocarditis after a bout with COVID-19 and mid-fielder Stephen Eustaquio having apparently tested positive in Portugal.

This Canadian team is a whole lot of fun to watch and has been spreading an immense amount of joy, something that is going to continue almost certainly until Christmas.

By then the hooligans hopefully will have returned to their homes, wherever that may be, as they continue to search for their freedom or whatever it is that they lost.


There isn’t a journalist in Canada today who is doing better and more important work than Rick Westhead of TSN. Last week, TSN aired a story involving Tess and Ian White, a former WHLer/NHLer who lost himself and his family in a world of drug abuse. It’s a painful watch, but it’s more than worth it just to watch Tess’s courage under this kind of pressure. Ian spent four seasons (2000-04) with the Swift Current Broncos.


HHelper


Gord Broda, the president and governor of the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders, and his wife, Barb, had the winning bid of US$1 million for a special kind of automobile at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Friday. The object of their affection was a custom-built 1968 Ford Shelby Mustang 427. The Mustang was part of the Pegasus Project with all proceeds from its sales going to the air ambulance organization STARS — Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service. . . . “I do have a passion for cars and it made it pretty easy,” Broda told Jason Kerr of the Prince Albert Daily Herald. “We certainly wanted to make a contribution to STARS and this was a really fun and exciting way to do it to be part of the auction and buy the car and make a donation.” . . . As Kerr explained, “the Pegasus Project began in 2019 to raise money to renew the STARS’ helicopter fleet, in response to the Humboldt Broncos’ bus crash in April 2018.” . . . Kerr’s story is right here.



JUNIOR JOTTINGS: The Kamloops Blazers are 7-2-0 in their past nine games, and have won each of their six outings. F Logan Stankoven, who had been with Canada’s national junior team, has 10 goals and 14 assists in those nine games. This weekend, which was a three-in-three assignment, he totalled five goals and six assists. . . . F Luke Toporowski, who has been playing alongside Stankoven since being acquired from the Spokane Chiefs earlier this month, has 12 points in his six games with Kamloops. He has nine goals over that stretch and, yes, he has scored at least once in each game. . . . Interestingly, Stankoven, a natural centre, moved to right wing, with Caedan Bankier slotting in at centre. He is coming off back-to-back two-point outings. . . .

Dan Courneyea, who heads up the Blazers’ off-ice officials, will miss a handful of games. He’s in Beijing for one more stint as part of the crew that will be working hockey games at the Olympic Winter Games that open on Friday. He also was in Vancouver in 2010 and PyeongChang in 2018. . . . If you’re wondering, Beijing is 16 hours ahead of Vancouver, meaning noon on Monday in Vancouver is Tuesday, 4 a.m., in Beijing. . . .

Jeremy Colliton, who played in the WHL with the Prince Albert Raiders (2001-05), has taken over as head coach of the Canadian men’s Olympic hockey team. He replaces Claude Julien, who fell and suffered fractured ribs during a team-building session in Switzerland.



Samuel Dodge of mlive.com reported on Sunday: “The University of Michigan ice hockey program is under investigation by the university for, among other allegations, attempting to hide COVID-19 cases before last year’s NCAA Tournament, according to documents obtained by MLive/The Ann Arbor News.”

From College Hockey News: “Michigan coach Mel Pearson is accused of instructing players to lie on their COVID-19 tracing forms during last year’s NCAA Tournament, among other allegations currently being investigated by the university.

“Documents obtained by The Ann Arbor News describe a set of allegations being investigated by outside law firm WilmerHale. That’s the same firm that investigated former Michigan athletic doctor Robert Anderson for decades-long sexual abuse. Anderson was an employee from 1966-2003 and passed away in 2008. Last week, Michigan settled a lawsuit with Anderson abuse survivors for $490 million.”

The CHN report is right here.


Bike


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

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Bargain

Lazaruk, no Phantom, sings for charity . . . Everett, Seattle gets hot, hot, hot . . . Blazers, Rockets ends in kerfuffle

MacBeth

F Brandon Segal (Calgary, 1999-2004) has signed a one-year contract extension with the Nuremberg Ice Tigers (Germany, DEL). He has 12 goals and 14 assists in 49 games this season.


DAN’S DIARY . . .

Dan Courneyea, a member of the Kamloops Blazers’ off-ice crew, is in Pyeong Chang, where he has been working at men’s hockey games in the Olympic Winter Games. Yes, he Olylogowas part of the off-ice crew that handled Team OAR’s 4-3 OT victory over Germany. He also has been letting us know how things are going. On Saturday, he sent this . . .

“Well, after plenty of heartbreaking plays, it was truly sad to see the end results of both Team Canada’s meaningful games. Both teams worked hard but got away from the true Canadian style of physical crash and bang play. They tried to play that finesse style, which led to their defeat.

“We Canadians don’t play that way!

“There won’t be any North American on-ice officials doing the gold medal game.

“Both referee Brett Iverson and linesman Nathan Van Oosten will be working the Blazers game on Wednesday.”


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

Les Lazaruk, the veteran radio voice of the Saskatoon Blades, took his game to a different level on Friday night.

With the Blades at home to the Regina Pats, Lazaruk got things started by singing O Canada. Yes, he did.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be too much video of it kicking around the Internet, other than the link that is supplied in the above tweet.

Lazaruk did this as a fund-raiser in support of Pink Day for the Saskatchewan Red Cross.

If you aren interested in donating, you are able to do so right here.

Mike Priestner, the Blades’ owner, has agreed to match every penny that is donated.


Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post takes time out of his busy schedule to interview sporting personalities in a light and personal fashion. His most recent subject was John Paddock, the general manager and head coach of the Regina Pats. Paddock, as always, is worth listening to as he recounts a lot about his NHL days. . . . It’s all 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

SATURDAY:

At Kent, Wash., the Everett Silvertips scored the game’s last two goals to beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 2-1. . . . Everett (41-17-5) has points in 11 straight (9-0-2). It leads the EverettWestern Conference by five points over Kelowna. . . . Seattle (28-24-9) has lost four in a row. It holds down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, by six points over Kamloops. . . . Everett is 4-2-2 in the season series; Seattle is 4-3-1. . . . F Nolan Volcan (26) put Seattle ahead 1-0 at 14:18 of the first period. . . . F Connor Dewar (32) tied it at 11:35 of the second period. . . . G Garrett Pilon (31) broke the tie at 2:44 of the third period. . . . Dewar also had an assist. . . . Seattle was 0-1 on the PP; Everett was 0-4. . . . G Carter Hart recorded the victory with 23 saves. . . . Seattle got 37 stops from G Liam Hughes. . . . Announced attendance: 5,452.


At Red Deer, the Rebels overcame a 3-1 third-period deficit and beat the Swift Current Broncos, 5-3. . . . Red Deer (22-28-13) had lost its previous two games. It is third in the Red DeerCentral Division, six points behind Lethbridge. . . . Swift Current (43-14-5) had points in each of its previous eight games (7-0-1). It is second in the overall standings, two points behind Moose Jaw, which holds two games in hand. . . . F Brandon Hagel (12) gave the home side a 1-0 lead at 1:28 of the second period. . . . The Broncos responded with three goals. . . . F Giorgio Estephan (27) scored at 2:39 of the second period, and F Matteo Gennaro (37) put the visitors ahead at 15:26. . . . F Glenn Gawdin (52) ran his point streak to 21 games, giving the Broncos a 3-1 lead at 7:03 of the third period. . . . The Rebels then tied it on two goals from F Grayson Pawlenchuk, who has 18, at 9:05 and 15:53. . . . F Chris Douglas (7) broke the tie at 16:50, and F Kristian Reichel (29) got the empty-netter, at 19:18. . . . The Rebels got two assists from F Mason McCarty, with Hagel adding one. . . . F Tyler Steenbergen had two assists for the Broncos. . . . Gawdin has 20 goals and 20 assists in his 21-game point streak. . . . Swift Current was 0-1 on the PP; Red Deer was 0-2. . . . G Riley Lamb stopped 28 shots for the Rebels, one more than Swift Current’s Joel Hofer. . . . Announced attendance: 4,735.


At Moose Jaw, the Warriors jumped out to a 3-0 lead and held on for a 3-2 victory over the Regina Pats. . . . Moose Jaw (45-12-3) has tied its franchise record for victories in a MooseJawWarriorsseason that was set in 2011-12. It leads the overall standings, by two points over Swift Current. . . . Regina (33-25-6) had won its previous four games. It is third in the East Division, three points ahead of Brandon. . . . Moose Jaw is 6-2-0 in the season series; Regina is 2-5-1. . . . Head coach Tim Hunter posted the 138th regular-season victory, moving to No. 1 on the Warriors’ career list. He had been sharing the record with Al Tuer. . . . F Tristin Langan (14) gave the home side a 1-0 lead at 6:50 of the first period, with F Justin Almeida (34) adding another, on a PP, at 14:25. . . . F Jayden Halbgewachs made it 3-0 with his WHL-leading 58th goal, at 12:15 of the second period. . . . F Jesse Gabrielle (11) got Regina on the scoreboard at 17:39. . . . F Robbie Holmes (15) pulled the Pats to within one at 7:28 of the third period. . . . Moose Jaw was 1-2 on the PP; Regina was 0-2. . . . G Brody Willms earned the victory with 28 stops. . . . The Pats got 23 saves from G Max Paddock. . . . D Jett Woo served the second of a three-game suspension, while D Dmitri Zaitsev (ill) also was among the scratches. . . . The Warriors have added D Daemon Hunt, 15, to their roster for the weekend. He was a first-round pick in the 2017 WHL bantam draft. Hunt has 40 points, including 36 assists, in 40 games with the midget AAA Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Regina D Liam Schioler completed a two-game suspension by sitting out this one. . . . Announced attendance: 4,701.


At Edmonton, F Parker Kelly scored the only goal of the third period to give the Prince Albert Raiders a 5-4 victory over the Oil Kings. . . . Prince Albert (26-25-11) has won three PrinceAlbertin a row. It is two points behind Saskatoon, which holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. Each team has 10 games remaining. . . . Edmonton (18-35-8) has lost three straight (0-2-1). . . . The Oil Kings had an early 2-0 lead on first-period goals from F Trey Fix-Wolansky (26), at 1:44, and D Conner McDonald (6), on a PP, at 5:47. . . . The Raiders took a 3-2 second-period lead on goals from D Vojtech Budik (10), on a PP, at 5:18; F Curtis Miske (21), at 5:52; and F Brett Leason, at 6:39. . . . Edmonton got back into a tie when D Wyatt McLeod scored his first WHL goal at 7:07. . . . Leason, who has goals in six straight games, broke that tie with his 16th goal at 12:04. . . . F David Kope (11) pulled the Oil Kings into a 4-4 tie at 18:34. . . . Kelly, playing in his 200th regular-season game, won it with his 26th goal, at 8:35 of the third period. . . . F Kody McDonald and F Regan Nagy each had two assists for the winners, with Kelly and Miske adding one each. . . . Fix-Wolansky had two assists and Kope one for Edmonton. . . . The Oil Kings were 2-4 on the PP; the Raiders were 1-7. . . . Prince Albert got 25 stops from G Ian Scott. . . . G Josh Dechaine made 26 saves for Edmonton. . . . Announced attendance: 9,723.


At Spokane, F Kailer (Yammi) Yamamoto had a goal and two assists and F Jaret (JAD) Anderson-Dolan had three assists to lead the Chiefs to a 5-3 victory over the Kootenay SpokaneChiefsIce. . . . Spokane (35-21-5) has won two in a row. It is third in the U.S. Division, three points behind Portland. . . . Kootenay (25-36-3) has lost five straight. It is fourth in the Central Division, four points behind Red Deer. . . . As part of the night’s promotion, the Chiefs had nicknames on the backs of their jerseys. Those nicknames are included in the lineup in the above tweet. . . . The Chiefs took a 1-0 lead at 4:55 of the first period on a goal from F Milos (Fafs) Fafrak. . . . F Gillian Kohler (6) tied it for the Ice, at 9:10. . . . The Chiefs went out front 3-1 before the period ended, on goals from F Ethan (Dewey) McIndoe (20) and Yamamoto (18), shorthanded, at 19:06. . . . F Colton Veloso scored for the Ice at 2:10 of the second period, but the home team went up 5-2 on goals from F Jake (McGruber) McGrew (16), at 8:25 of the second, and D Ty (Smitty) Smith (13), at 3:38 of the third. . . . Veloso (23) got the Ice’s final goal, at 14:25. . . . The Chiefs also got two assists from F Riley (Woodsy) Woods, with McGrew and Fafrak each getting one. . . . Kootenay was 1-2 on the PP; Spokane was 0-2. . . . The Chiefs got 12 stops from G Dawson (Weatherman) Weatherill. . . . G Matt Berlin stopped 31 shots for the Ice. . . . Announced attendance: 8,352.


At Kennewick, Wash., the Tri-City Americans scored three first-period goals in the span of 2:34 and went on to a 6-1 victory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . Tri-City (32-21-8) TriCity30has won three in a row. It holds down the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot and is fourth in the U.S. Division, three points behind Spokane. . . . Prince George (20-33-8) has lost three straight. . . . The Americans took control with three goals in the span of 2:34 early in the first period. . . . F Jordan Topping (35) got it started at 4:11, with D Juuso Valimaki making it 2-0 at 4:51 and F Paycen Bjorklund (2) adding another at 6:45. . . . The Americans went ahead 5-0 before the period ended, as Valimaki scored at 11:41 and F Parker AuCoin (17) counted at 19:20. . . . Valimaki completed his second career hat trick with his 11th goal at 10:18 of the second period. . . . The Cougars got their goal from D Ryan Schoettler (6) at 17:42. . . . D Anthony Bishop drew three assists for Tri-City, with F Isaac Johnson and F Nolan Yaremko each getting two. . . . Each team was 0-3 on the PP. . . . G Beck Warm stopped 19 shots for the Americans. . . . The Cougars started G Isaiah DiLaura, who gave up five goals on 14 shots in the first period. Tavin Grant played the last two periods, stopping 15 of 16 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 5,406.


At Victoria, F Cody Glass, who also had two assists, broke a 2-2 tie at 16:56 of the third period to give the Portland Winterhawks a 3-2 victory over the Royals. . . . Portland (37-Portland20-4) has won two in a row, having beaten the host Royals, 2-1, on Friday. The Winterhawks have clinched a playoff spot. They are second in the U.S. Division, nine points behind Everett. . . . Victoria (35-23-5) has lost two straight. It is second in the B.C. Division, seven points behind Kelowna and five ahead of Vancouver. . . . The Winterhawks went ahead 1-0 at 3:50 of the first period when F Kieffer Bellows scored on a PP. . . . Victoria F Noah Gregor got that one back, on a PP, at 17:08. . . . Bellows (32) gave the visitors a 2-1 lead 54 seconds into the second period, only to have Gregor (25) tie it, on a PP, at 6:28. . . . Glass got the winner, his 29th goal this season, on a PP. . . . The Winterhawks got three assists from D Dennis Cholowski. . . . Glass now has 200 career points in 190 regular-season games. . . . F Dante Hannoun had two assists for Victoria. . . . F Matthew Phillips of the Royals had his point streak snapped at 22 games. . . . Victoria was 2-4 on the PP; Portland was 2-6. . . . G Shane Farkas earned the victory with 21 saves. He also went the distance for Portland on Friday. . . . The Royals got 39 saves from G Griffen Outhouse. . . . Announced attendance: 7,006.


At Kelowna, the Rockets scored the game’s last two goals to beat the Kamloops Blazers, 6-5. . . . Kelowna (38-18-6) has points in five straight (4-0-1). It is second in the Western KelownaRocketsConference, five points behind Everett. . . . Kamloops (27-31-5) has lost two in a row. It is six points out of a playoff spot with nine games remaining. . . . Kelowna is 6-0-0) in the season series; Kamloops is 0-5-1. . . . The Rockets actually led this one 3-0, before giving up four goals in a span of 5:57 in the second period. . . . F Dillon Dube, who has 31 goals, scored for Kelowna at 10:51 and 18:46 of the first period, the latter coming via a PP. . . . F Conner Bruggen-Cate (17) made it 3-0, on another PP, at 5:36 of the second period. . . . F Jermaine Loewen (32) got the Blazers’ comeback started at 11:04. F Luc Smith (17), back after a two-week absence, made it 3-2 at 11:25, and F Nick Chyzowski (19) tied it, on a PP, at 14:25. D Nolan Kneen (5) gave Kamloops the lead, at 17:01. . . . The Rockets tied it at 12:50 of the third period as F Leif Mattson scored while shorthanded. . . . Kamloops F Orrin Centazzo (10) gave Kamloops a 5-4 lead, on a PP, at 13:11. . . . The Rockets tied it at 13:40 as F Carsen Twarynski (38) struck, on a PP, then took the lead at 17:47 on Mattson’s 21st goal of the season. . . . The Rockets got two assists from each of D Gordie Ballhorn and F Kole Lind, with Dube and Brutten-Cate adding one apiece. . . . Loewen had two assists for Kamloops, as did Kneen and F Quinn Benjafield. . . . Loewen went into this season with 14 goals and 18 assists in 170 games. This season, he has developed into one of the WHL’s top power forwards, with 32 goals and 24 assists in 57 games. . . . Kelowna was 3-6 on the PP; Kamloops was 2-6. . . . The Rockets got 23 saves from G Brodan Salmond, while G Dylan Ferguson stopped 31 shots at the other end. . . . The Rockets took 62 of the game’s 120 penalty minutes. Eight game misconducts, including one to Salmond, were handed out following a kerfuffle at the final buzzer. . . . Announced attendance: 5,324.


At Medicine Hat, F Cole Reinhardt’s overtime goal gave the Brandon Wheat Kings a 4-3 victor over the Tigers. . . . Brandon (32-24-5) had lost its previous two games. It is fourth BrandonWKregularin the East Division, three points behind Regina. The Wheat Kings hold down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, four points up on Saskatoon. . . . Medicine Hat (31-24-8) is 3-0-1 in its past four games. It leads the Central Division, by four points over Lethbridge. . . . The Wheat Kings got off to a 1-0 lead at 8:44 on a goal by F Stelio Mattheos (37). . . . F Ryan Jevne (17) tied it for the Tigers, on a PP, at 17:31. . . . After a scoreless second period, the Wheat Kings went ahead 3-1 on goals from Reinhardt, at 4:43, and F Evan Weinger (26), shorthanded, at 11:19. . . . D David Quenneville (26) scored at 15:02 to get the Tigers to within a goal. . . . The home team tied it with 38.2 seconds left and the extra attacker on the ice when F Mark Rassell (46) scored the 100th regular-season goal of his career. . . .  Reinhardt scored his 15th goal of the season to win it at 1:06 of OT. . . . Mattheos added two assists to his goal. . . . Quenneville also had two assists, with Rassell and Jevne adding one each. . . . Medicine Hat was 1-4 on the PP; Brandon was 0-1. . . . The Wheat Kings got 31 saves from G Dylan Myskiw. . . . With G Michael Bullion ill, the Tigers gave Kaeden Lane his first WHL start, and he responded with 10 saves. Lane, 16, is from Burnaby, B.C. He plays for the Burnaby Winter Club’s prep team in the CSSHL. . . . Announced attendance: 3,226.


SUNDAY (all times local):

Moose Jaw at Saskatoon, 2:05 p.m.

Brandon at Calgary, 4 p.m.

Swift Current at Edmonton, 4 p.m.

Spokane at Everett, 4:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

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

Scattershooting on a Sunday . . . Pats take two from Warriors . . . Shmyr sparks Blades . . . Rebels roar through B.C.

Scattershooting

Will the Brandon Wheat Kings make the playoffs? . . . The Brandon Wheat Kings were third in the WHL’s overall standings, behind Moose Jaw and Swift Current, when the trade deadline arrived. Brandon’s brass chose to sell, and today the Wheaties are 10th in the overall standings. More importantly, they hold down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, four points ahead of Saskatoon and 10 up on Prince Albert. So, yes, the Wheat Kings should be in the playoffs when they get here.


Headline at SportsPickle.com: Montreal Canadiens request to become NHL expansion team in hopes of becoming as good as Vegas Golden Nights.


How much green is it worth for a head coach to make a post-game visit to the referees’ room? . . . You know the WHL is in the stretch run and that the heat is on when a head coach checks in with the on-ice officials after a game. As I understand it, that happened on Saturday night. I’m thinking it might be worth $500. . . . We should find out early this week.


Have the Regina Pats found themselves? . . . The Pats, the host team for the 2018 Memorial Cup, have undergone something of a makeover since this season started. For a lot of the season, they have been wandering around like a thirsty man in a desert. But they took two in a row from Moose Jaw on the weekend, something that has to give Regina fans some hope. . . . It’s now looking like the Pats’ first-round matchup — against Moose Jaw or Swift Current — should be an Ed Whalen special, a ring-a-ding-dong-dandy.


A big hello to the readers of this blog who are at the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. There were nine of you visiting here on Saturday — although that may have been Sunday where you are. . . . Thanks, too, to the readers who are vacationing in Mexico. Keep cool!


I’m wondering why Canadian skip Rachel Homan didn’t cross-check — cross-brush? — the Danish skip the other day? But, then, that wouldn’t have been very Canadian, eh?


Yes, Larry Walker should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame. So . . . why haven’t the voters put him in there? Walker summed it up when he told TSN Radio in Montreal: “No needles went in my ass. I played the game clean, but I played in the ballpark, and it’s almost like Coors Field is my PED.”


Steve Simmons, a columnist with Postmedia, went to great lengths in a recent piece to point out that Willie Desjardins, the head coach of Canada’s men’s hockey team, isn’t at all like Mike Babcock. As Homer Simpson would say: “Doh!” . . . “The best coaches,” Simmons has observed, “exude a certain arrogance, a certain confidence: Desjardins has yet to demonstrate any of these skills.” . . . Hey, Willie is Willie, and he isn’t about to change now. . . . The Olympics aren’t yet near an end and Simmons already has done hatchet jobs on mixed curling and Desjardins. One more and he gets a tin medal.


Wouldn’t it be something if the NRA and its puppet Republicans got taken to the woodshed by the U.S.’s high school students?


You can’t make the playoffs in the first nine games of a WHL season. But the Kamloops Blazers are in the process of proving that you can miss them by starting 0-9-0. That’s how the Blazers started this season and that early damage is proving to be too much to undo.


After the New York Yankees acquired quarterback Russell Wilson from the Texas Rangers, Seattle Times decker Brett Miller noted: “Imagine how the Jets and Giants feel, knowing that the Yankees have the best QB in New York.”


Dwight Perry, in the Seattle Times: “Fired Arkansas football coach Bret Bielema will receive 37 monthly installments of $322,567.57 through Dec. 31, 2020 as called for his in buyout, the Hogs’ support foundation announced. Final score: Greenbacks $11,935,000, Razorbacks 0.”


MacBeth

F Zane Jones (Chilliwack/Victoria, Calgary, Everett, Lethbridge, Vancouver, 2010-15) has signed a contract for the 2018 season with the Newcastle North Stars (Australia, AIHL). He is playing for Sollentuna (Sweden, Division Division 1), where he has 16 goals and five assists in 28 games. . . . Jones played for Newcastle last summer, scoring 12 goals and adding six assists in 16 games. . . . The AIHL begins its regular season on April 21 and it ends on Aug. 26. The sudden-death semifinals are Sept. 1 and the league final is Sept. 2.


Dan

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. Here is his latest note:

“As expected, the Games are a success. The events are getting large numbers of Olylogospectators from around the world.

“The hockey has been interesting, to say the least. No clear team has the advantage, yet those weaker teams are making each game interesting.

“When the Korean team hits the ice, the building is electric. The venue is sold out and the fans, not being as knowledgeable of the sport, get really excited when Team Korea charges down ice. (There are a lot of knowledgeable fans which is nice to see.)

“Now the real hockey competition begins. The playoff brackets are set and it’s time to see who comes out on top.”


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

SUNDAY:

At Regina, the Pats scored two third-period goals and beat the Moose Jaw Warriors, 4-2. . . . Regina (31-24-6) has won two in a row. It moved back into third in the East Division, one ReginaPats100point ahead of Brandon. . . . Moose Jaw (43-11-3) has lost two in a row. It is tied with Swift Current atop the overall standings. The Warriors have three games in hand. . . . This was the third time these teams met in five days. Moose Jaw won 6-3 in Regina on Wednesday; Regina won 5-3 in Moose Jaw on Friday. . . . On Sunday, F Jayden Halbgewachs (55) gave the Warriors a 1-0 lead on a PP, at 8:59 of the first period. . . . The Pats went ahead 2-1 on second-period goals from F Emil Oksanen (15), at 6:31, and F Sam Steel (23), at 9:31. . . . The Warriors tied it when F Brett Howden (21) scored at 19:44. . . . Pats D Cale Fleury (11), who had two assists, snapped the tie at 8:49 of the third period. . . . Regina F Matt Bradley (34) added insurance at 10:38. . . . Halbgewachs, the WHL’s leading sniper, also had an assist, giving him 101 points in 57 games. Last season, he finished with 101 points, including 50 goals, in 71 games. . . . He joins teammate Brayden Burke in the 100-point club. Burke, who sat out a third straight game, has 102 points. The last time the Warriors had two 100-point men in the same season was 1984-85 (F Kent Hayes and F Mark MacKay). . . . Halbgewachs is the first Moose Jaw skater with back-to-back 50 goal seasons since Hayes (84-86) and F Theo Fleury (1986-88). . . . Moose Jaw was 1-4 on the PP; Regina was 0-4. . . . The Pats got 21 saves from G Max Paddock, including a first-period stop on Halbgewachs on a penalty shot. . . . Moose Jaw G Brody Willms blocked 22 shots. . . . Prior to the game, the Pats honoured Jock Callander by retiring his number (15). If you were watching on TV, that was Kevin Gallant, a former play-by-play voice of the Pats, handling the emcee duties from ice level. . . . Announced attendance: 6,484.


At Calgary, F Braylon Shmyr scored three goals to lead the Saskatoon Blades to a 5-1 victory over the Hitmen. . . . Saskatoon (30-27-3) holds down the Eastern Conference’s Saskatoonsecond wild-card spot, four points behind Brandon and six points ahead of Prince Albert. . . . Calgary (17-33-7) has lost two in a row. . . . Shmyr scored the game’s first two goals — at 5:51 of the first period and 5:18 of the second, the latter on a PP. . . . F Jakob Stukel (27) got Calgary’s goal at 14:09 of the third period. . . . F Max Gerlach (27), F Bradly Goethals (14) and Shmyr (31) had third-period goals for Saskatoon. . . . Shmyr has two hat tricks this season and five in his career. . . . Gerlach also had an assist. . . . Saskatoon was 1-3 on the PP; Calgary was 0-4. . . . G Nolan Maier stopped 32 shots to earn the victory. . . . The Hitmen got 25 saves from G Nick Schneider. . . . Saskatoon is 2-1-0 on a four-game swing into the Central Division that concludes Monday afternoon in Edmonton. . . . Announced attendance: 8,455.


At Cranbrook, B.C., F Jordy Bellerive broke open a scoreless game 16 seconds into the second period and the Lethbridge Hurricanes went on to a 4-1 victory over the Kootenay LethbridgeIce. . . . Lethbridge (29-24-6) has won three in a row. It is second in the Central Division, one point behind Medicine Hat. . . . Kootenay (25-33-3) has lost two straight. It is fourth in the Central Division, two points behind Red Deer. . . . Lethbridge beat visiting Kootenay, 5-2, on Saturday night. . . . The Hurricanes went 3-0-0 in playing three games in fewer than 48 hours. . . . The Ice also played three times in fewer than 48 hours, going 1-2-0. . . . On Sunday, Bellerive opened the scoring with his 42nd goal. . . . D Ty Prefontaine (5) made it 2-0 at 2:06. . . . The Ice got its goal from F Colton Veloso (21), on a PP, at 7:37. . . . The visitors put it away with third-period goals from F Brad Morrison (23), at 18:06, and F Taylor Ross (16), into an empty net, at 18:26. . . . Bellerive also had an assist. . . . Kootenay was 1-5 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-1. . . . The Hurricanes got 38 saves from a solid Reece Klassen. . . . G Duncan McGovern made 20 saves for the Ice. . . . Kootenay played without D Martin Bodak, who got a one-game suspension after he took a kneeing major and game misconduct on Saturday night. . . . The Hurricanes lost D Calen Addison to a headshot major and game misconduct at 6:25 of the second period. . . . D Tate Olson of the Hurricanes played in his 300th regular-season game. . . . Announced attendance: 2,608.


At Langley, B.C., F Brandon Cutler scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Red Deer Rebels to a 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Red Deer (21-26-13) has won Red Deerfour in a row and now is in sole possession of third place in the Central Division. It is two points ahead of Kootenay. Red Deer has 12 games remaining, Kootenay 11. . . . Vancouver (31-20-8) has lost two straight. It went 2-2-0 in playing four times in five days. The Giants are third in the B.C. Division, five points behind Victoria. . . . F Dawson Holt (11) gave the Giants a 1-0 lead, shorthanded, at 17:32 of the first period. . . . Red Deer tied it on a goal by F Kristian Reichel at 6:34 of the second period. . . . Cutler broke the tie at 11:48, then gave his guys a 3-1 lead at 3:49 of the third period. Cutler, who turned 18 on Jan. 4, has five goals this season. . . . F Jared Dmytriw (13) got the Giants to within a goal at 5:19. . . . Reichel (27) added insurance at 11:35. . . . Red Deer got two assists from F Brandon Hagel. . . . Vancouver was 0-1 on the PP; Red Deer was 0-3. . . . G Riley Lamb stopped 39 shots in winning for the seventh straight time for Red Deer. . . . The Giants got 37 saves from G David Tendeck. . . . The Giants played three games in fewer than 48 hours, going 1-2-0. They lost 4-3 in Victoria on Saturday night, while the Rebels were enjoying a night off in Vancouver. . . . The Rebels, who are 11-1-2 in their past 14 games, went 4-0-0 on a four-game trek into B.C., winning in Prince George, Kelowna and Victoria prior to Sunday’s game. . . . The Giants welcomed back D Darian Skeoch, who had been out since Feb. 3, but remain without D Dylan Plouffe, D Matt Barberis, D Alex Kannok Leipert and F Milos Roman, all of whom are hurt, and F Owen Hardy (ill). . . . Announced attendance: 3,769.


At Everett, G Dustin Wolf stopped 20 shots to help the Silvertips to a 4-0 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . Everett (38-17-5) has points in eight straight (6-0-2). It leads the EverettWestern Conference, by five points over Kelowna. . . . Kamloops (26-29-5) has lost five in a row (0-4-1). It has 12 games remaining and is eight points out of a playoff spot. . . . Wolf recorded the fourth shutout of his freshman season. It came in his 17th appearance. . . . Wolf’s partner, Carter Hart, has seven shutouts. . . . F Martin Fasko-Rudas (5) opened the scoring at 11:05 of the first period. He also had two assists for his first career three-point game. . . . D Jake Christiansen (6) upped it to 2-0, on a PP, at 2:28 of the second period. . . . The Silvertips closed it out with PP goals from F Patrick Bajkov (28) and F Bryce Kindopp (18). . . . F Matt Fonteyne had two assists, with Bajkov adding one. . . . Everett D Kevin Davis, 20, played in his 335th regular-season game, tying him for top spot on the franchise’s list with F Shane Harper (2005-10). Davis is from Kamloops. . . . Everett was 3-7 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-2. . . . The Blazers got 38 saves from G Max Palaga. . . . Both teams played three games in fewer than 48 hours. The Blazers played at home Friday and Saturday, then rode the bus to Everett for the Sunday afternoon game. . . . The Silvertips went home-and-home with Seattle so didn’t have quite the same travel. . . . Kamloops went 0-2-1 in the three games; Everett was 2-0-1). . . . This was the first meeting of the season between these teams since the trade deadline, when the Blazers dealt F Garrett Pilon and D Ondrej Vala to the Silvertips for D Montana Onyebuchi, F Orrin Centazzo, two prospects and three bantam draft picks. . . . Onyebuchi was in the penalty box for two Everett goals; Centazzo was in stir for one. . . . Kamloops was without D Nolan Kneen, who drew a one-game suspension after taking a kneeing major and game misconduct in Saturday’s 7-6 shootout loss to visiting Prince George. . . . Announced attendance: 4,417.


At Kent, Wash., F Kailer Yamamoto had two goals and an assist to help the Spokane Chiefs to a 5-1 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Spokane (33-20-5) has won three SpokaneChiefsin a row. It is third in the U.S. Division, three points behind Portland. . . . Seattle (28-21-9) has points in each of its previous two games (1-0-1). It holds down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, one point behind Tri-City. . . . F Hudson Elynuik (24) got the Thunderbirds started with a shorthanded goal, at 16:40 of the first period. . . . D Nolan Reid (12) made it 2-0 at 17:51. . . . Yamamoto upped it to 3-0, on a PP, at 17:01 of the second period. . . . D Austin Strand (19) got Seattle’s goal at 18:01. . . . F Jaret Anderson-Dolan (34) and Yamamoto (16) added third-period goals for the Chiefs. . . . Anderson-Dolan and Reid added an assist each. . . . Yamamoto has 14 goals and 23 assists in 16 games since Jan. 12. . . . Spokane was 1-2 on the PP; Seattle was 0-2. . . . The Chiefs got 25 saves from G Dawson Weatherill. . . . G Liam Hughes stopped 26 shots for Seattle. . . . Seattle went 1-1-1) in playing three games in fewer than 48 hours. . . . Strand left in the first period after taking a stick to the face. He returned in the second period wearing a cage. . . . Seattle F Blake Bargar left in the second period and didn’t return. . . . Announced attendance: 5,099. . . . Andy Eide of 710 ESPN in Seattle has a gamer right here.


MONDAY (all times local):

Moose Jaw at Brandon, 2:30 p.m.

Regina at Prince Albert, 4 p.m.

Saskatoon at Edmonton, 4 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

Doing some scattershooting . . . Giants salute their bus driver . . . Pats to retire No. 15

Scattershooting

If you haven’t noticed, the Kootenay Ice and Red Deer Rebels are tied for third place in the WHL’s Central Division, each with 51 points. Each team has 14 games remaining. This being the era of the loser point, it’s worth noting that the Ice (24-31-3) has five more victories and five more losses than the Rebels (19-26-13), who have 10 more loser points. In this instance, it’s all about those loser points.


Whichever team loses the race to third in the Central Division likely will miss the playoffs. That’s because the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot is 10 points away.


The Moose Jaw Warriors (42-9-3) lead the overall standings by three points over the Swift Current Broncos (41-13-4). However, the Warriors have four games in hand. If you’re wondering, those teams only have two games remaining with each other — Wednesday at Swift Current and March 10 in Moose Jaw. . . . Five of Moose Jaw’s remaining 18 games will be played against the Brandon Wheat Kings.


It‘s good to see former Brandon D Dwayne Gylywoychuk working the bench with the Canada’s women’s team at the Olympic Winter Games. He’s an assistant coach, and if you catch a glimpse of him you’ll see why his nickname is Chewy. I still can’t believe he doesn’t have an endorsement from Double Bubble.


Here’s Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle:

“If Tom Brady can be at the top of his game at 40, why not a rebuilt Tiger Woods at 42? There’s just too much accumulated golf knowledge, hunger and battle savvy packed into that bad-ass, free-safety body for Tiger to fade away. Plus, Woods never gets sacked, so to speak.”


One of the interesting things to happen this week has been the tweets from Mr. T — remember him? — professing to a new-found love for curling. This has led to speculation on social media that curling’s pooh-bahs will change the name of the T-line to the Mr. T line.


Former MLB pitcher Jim Deshaies, who now provides analysis on Chicago Cubs’ telecasts, remembers a time when the late Oscar Gamble saw pitcher Nolan Ryan’s name on a marquee in Anaheim and said: “Ooh, boy . . . 0-for-4 and no fractured skull is a good day.”


Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, points out: “The last ‘Really Good’ QB for the NY Jets may in fact have been Joe Willie Namath. To put that in perspective, he is six months older than I am; and when I was in high school, they were able to teach all of World History in four days.”


Those international hockey games between the American and Canadian women’s teams certainly have a lot of body contact for a game in which bodychecking is against the rules. . . . I got a personal introduction to that rivalry two years ago when the IIHF Women’s World Championship was decided in Kamloops. It only seems to have grown hotter since then.


MacBeth

D Austin Madaisky (Calgary, Kamloops, 2008-12) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Leksand (Sweden, Allsvenskan) after receiving his release from the Straubing Tigers (Germany DEL). He had five goals and eight assists in 45 games with Straubing this season.


DAN’S DIARY . . .

Dan Courneyea, one of the Kamloops Blazers’ off-ice officials, is at the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. With the men’s hockey competition having started, he is a busy man.

Early Thursday (Pacific time), he reported . . .

“A day at the exciting last game of the day. Korea vs Czech Republic. The Czech won 2-1, Olylogobut the big thing was what happened inside the game building, actually. We’re in South Korea in an ice rink and who comes in — nope, not him — but a singing and dancing choir from North Korea. WOW is all I had to say.

“Hockey is interesting without the NHL. Anyone can win this tournament.”

Later Thursday — it was well into Friday in PyeongChang — Courneyea worked the men’s game between Slovakia and the U.S.

“I’m now supervising the upstairs crew,” he wrote, “Ed (Petrullo) from Seattle was moved downstairs onto scorekeepers row. You might see him on TV. He’s at centre ice level right above the large snowflake on the boards.

“The atmosphere in here is great.”

Petrullo is an off-ice official with the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds.

Courneyea added:

“We are doing training for the local Koreans who came to work and will move on to the Paralympics.

“We originally came to do one job but our experience has over-ridden that. We also didn’t want to cut out those locals who have been training and working for this time. That was our group’s consensus when the four of us came in on the first day.”

As for the men’s tournament, he wrote:

“This is ANYONE’S tournament. No clear winners!”

It’s worth noting, too, he wrote, that the sweaters players are wearing in these Olympics, “have chips to track all the on-ice stats.”

If you weren’t watching, Team USA beat the Slovakians, 2-1.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

A tip of the Taking Note cap to the players on the Vancouver Giants for something they did after their 4-2 victory over the Winterhawks in Portland on Wednesday night.

Many junior teams have something that goes to a player of the game. In the Giants’ case, Vancouverit is a replica of a WWE championship belt.

Jess Rubenstein is the prospect editor for the Blueshirt Bulletin, and keeps close tabs on New York Rangers’ prospects, including Giants F Cliff Ronning.

All Ronning did in Portland was score twice — Nos. 50 and 51. In the process, he became the first player in franchise history to score 50 times on one season. No, he didn’t get the replica WWE belt.

Rubenstein was at the game and sent along a couple of notes after the game:

“The belt was given to bus driver Derek Holloway. He was wearing the belt with a giant-sized smile as he supervised the postgame loading.

“It was a huge win for the Giants players but they honoured their driver for his 600th road game. Hockey truly is special.

“It was truly a classy move by the players to honour the guy who gets them from place to place. The rest of the world doesn’t know how important these drivers are, so it was great to see the Giants do that for Holloway.”


The Regina Pats will honour Jock Callander by retiring his number (15) prior to a game against the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors on Sunday. . . . Callander played four seasons ReginaPats100(1978-82) with the Pats, totalling 368 points, 158 of them goals, in 201 games. In franchise history, he is sixth in points, tied for seventh in goals, and sixth in assists (210). . . . In 1981-82, Callander led the WHL in scoring, with 190 points in 71 games. . . . Callander, who is from Regina, went on to a pro career that included a Stanley Cup title with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992. . . . He also played 1,054 games in the now-defunct International Hockey League. He finished with 1,242 points, and that’s No. 1 in IHL history. . . . The last Regina player to wear No. 15 was F Braydon Buziak, who was traded to the Victoria Royals earlier this season.

Other numbers retired by the Pats — 1. Ed Staniowski; 7. Jordan Eberle; 8. Brad Hornung; 9. Clark Gillies; 12. Doug Wickenheiser; 14. Dennis Sobchuk; 16. Dale Derkatch/Mike Sillinger; 17. Bill Hicke.


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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

Regina at Medicine Hat

Brandon at Swift Current

Kootenay at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

THURSDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Regina at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Brandon at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Tri-City vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.

Kelowna at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Red Deer at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

Edmonton vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7:30 p.m.

Everett vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:35 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

Warriors first to clinch playoff spot . . . Dach just what Blades ordered . . . Ronning breaks 50, beats Winterhawks


MacBeth

F Colin Long (Kelowna, 2005-09) has signed a one-year extension with Gherdëina Selva Gardena (Italy, Alps HL). This season, he has four goals and 11 assists in 11 games. His season was cut short due to a “serious knee injury” suffered in a game against Sterzing on Dec. 26.


DAN’S DIARY . . .

Dan Courneyea, one of the Kamloops Blazers’ off-ice officials, is at the Olympic Winter OlylogoGames in PyeongChang. He flew out of Kamloops on Friday, and saw his first game action on Wednesday.

He reports:

“Just finished the Slovakia vs Olympic Athletes of Russia game (kind doesn’t sound right).

“Russia played an incredible game but Slovakia decided to play smarter and got the win (3-2).

“Brett Iverson did the game.”

Iverson is a veteran WHL referee.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

Max Wutzke, a defenceman with the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks, is recovering in hospital in Coquitlam after taking a hit from behind during a game against the host Coquitlam Express on Feb. 7.

Wutzke, a 19-year-old from Calgary, left the game at 1:55 of the first period.

He has since had surgery on a broken femur and is looking at likely another two weeks in hospital. Troy Mick, the Silverbacks’ president, told Taking Note that there Wutzke had to deal with some “complications from surgery.” Wutzke has had four operations on that femur.

Mick added that Wutzke faces a long road back, but “they say his career isn’t over.”

This season, his second with Salmon Arm, Wutzke has a goal and nine assists in 51 games.

D Lucas Wong of the Express drew a match penalty on the play and has since been suspended for six games.


The AJHL’s Canmore Eagles announced Wednesday that Jeremy Reich, their assistant general manager/assistant coach, has resigned “to pursue other career aspirations” in the area of firefighting. . . . Reich had been on the Eagles’ coaching staff since 2012, after finishing his playing career in Germany. . . . Reich, 39, and Andrew Milne, the Eagles’ GM and head coach, played together in the WHL with the Swift Current Broncos in 1998-99. . . . Reich split 335 regular-season games between the Seattle Thunderbirds and Swift Current (1995-2000).


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IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw

Regina at Medicine Hat

Brandon at Swift Current

Kootenay at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

WEDNESDAY:

At Regina, the Moose Jaw Warriors became the first WHL team this season to clinch a playoff spot as they beat the Pats, 6-3. . . . Moose Jaw (43-9-3) has won four straight. It MooseJawWarriorsleads the overall standings by three points over Swift Current. The Warriors have three games in hand. . . . Regina (29-24-6) is 1-1-1 in its past three games. It holds down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot. It also is fourth in the East Division, one point behind Brandon. . . . The Pats and Warriors will meet twice more this week — in Moose Jaw on Friday, then back in Regina on Sunday. They will complete the season series on Feb. 24 in Moose Jaw. . . . The Warriors lead the season series, 5-0-0; Regina is 0-4-1. . . . D Brandon Schuldhaus gave the Warriors a 1-0 lead at 6:53 of the first period. . . . Regina took a 2-1 lead on goals from F Cam Hebig (39), at 12:57 of the first, and F Sam Steel (22), on a PP, at 1:41 of the second period. . . . The visitors took control by scoring the next four goals, three of them in the second period. . . . F Tanner Jeannot got it started, on a PP, at 9:52, with Schuldaus (6) making it 3-2 at 10:15, and F Jayden Halbgewachs upping it to 4-2 at 10:35. Jeannot added his 35th goal, at 6:30, for a 5-2 lead. . . . D Josh Mahura (19), on a PP, scored for the Pats at 8:01. . . . Halbgewachs closed out the scoring with his WHL-leading 53rd goal at 18:54. . . . Halbgewachs added two assists to his two goals, while Jeannot had one helper. F Brett Howden helped out the winners with two assists, with Schuldaus getting one. . . . Schuldaus didn’t have a goal in 37 games with Red Deer this season before being dealt to Moose Jaw. Since then, he has six goals and four assists in 14 games. . . . F Matt Bradley drew three assists for Regina. Steel and Mahura each had one. . . . Regina was 2-5 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 1-5. . . . G Brody Willms earned the victory with 33 saves, three more than Regina’s Max Paddock. . . . The Warriors continue to play without D Jett Woo and F Barrett Sheen. . . . Announced attendance: 6,047.


At Swift Current, F Tyler Steenbergen broke a 2-2 tie at 11:06 of the third period to help the Broncos to a 4-2 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Swift Current (41-13-4) SCBroncoshas won five straight. It is second in the overall standings, three points behind Moose Jaw, which holds three games in hand. . . . Brandon (30-21-5) has lost two in a row. It is third in the East Division, one point ahead of Regina. . . . Steenbergen, who scored the goal that gave Canada the 2018 World Junior Championship, got his seventh game-winner this season and the 22nd of his WHL career. . . . D Colby Sissons (12) gave the home team a 1-0 lead at 11:18 of the first period. . . . Brandon F Ty Lewis (30) tied it at 9:15 of the second period. . . . The Broncos went back out front at 9:46 as F Kole Gable (6) scored. . . . The Wheat Kings tied it 2-2 as F Rylan Bettens (4) scored at 13:27. . . . Steenbergen broke the tie with his 40th goal, at 11:06 of the third period, and F Glenn Gawdin (49) add the empty-netter at 19:49. . . . Gawdin and Steenbergen added two assists each. . . . Gawdin leads the WHL scoring race with 107 points, five more than Moose Jaw F Brayden Burke. . . . Swift Current was 0-2 on the PP; Brandon was 0-3. . . . G Stuart Skinner stopped 31 shots for the Broncos. . . . Brandon got 29 stops from G Dylan Myskiw. . . . F Stelio Mattheos (UB) was among Brandon’s scratches, while D Chase Hartje (ill) and D Schael Higson (ill) also sat this one out. . . . Brandon F Baron Thompson served the final game of a four-game suspension. . . . Announced attendance: 2,734.


At Calgary, D Dylan Coghlan drew three assists to lead the Tri-City Americans to a 4-3 victory over the Hitmen. . . . Tri-City (29-19-8) has won two in a row. It holds down the TriCity30Western Conference’s first wild-card spot. It also is fourth in the U.S. Division, one point behind Spokane. . . . Calgary (17-32-7) had won its previous game. . . . The Americans opened a three-game dip into the Central Division with a 6-3 victory in Lethbridge on Tuesday. Tri-City will meet the host Kootenay Ice on Friday. . . . F Luke Coleman (13) got Calgary on the scoreboard first, at 8:34 of the first period. . . . Former Hitmen D Jake Bean (9) pulled Tri-City even, on a PP, at 16:59. . . . F Michael; Rasmussen (22) gave the Americans the lead, on a PP, at 19:54. . . . D Dakota Krebs (3), who went to Calgary in the Bean deal, tied it at 11:17 of the second period, only to have Tri-City F Jordan Topping (32) scored just seven seconds later. . . . F Parker AuCoin (15), who also had an assist, upped the lead to 4-2, shorthanded, at 13:03. . . . F Tristen Nielsen (12) got the Hitmen to within a goal at 3:11 of the third period. . . . Coleman added an assist for Calgary. . . . Tri-City was 2-4 on the PP; Calgary was 0-6. . . . G Beck Warm earned the victory with 36 saves. . . . Calgary got 21 stops from Nick Schneider. . . . Announced attendance: 5,213.


At Cranbrook, B.C., F Kirby Dach returned after a one-game injury-related absence to score on goal and set up two others as his Saskatoon Blades got past the Kootenay Ice, 3-Saskatoon2. . . . Saskatoon (29-26-3) has won three in a row. It now has won 30 games, one more than it won all of last season. The Blades also have 12 road victories, one more than last season. . . . Saskatoon holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, six points ahead of Prince Albert. . . . Kootenay (24-31-3) has lost three straight. It is tied with Red Deer for third in the Central Division. . . . The Blades took a 2-0 lead on PP goals from Dach (5), at 9:25 of the first period, and D Dawson Davidson (9), at 4:16 of the second. . . . The Ice tied it on goals from F Colton Veloso (20), on a PP, at 14:25 of the second and F Brett Davis (21), shorthanded, at 13:33 of the third. . . . At 17:12, Dach set up F Michael Farren (8) for the game-winner. . . . Farren also had an assist. . . . Davis added an assist to his goal for the Ice. . . . Saskatoon was 2-7 on the PP; Kootenay was 1-5. . . . G Nolan Maier stopped 25 shots for the Blades, one more than the Ice’s Matt Berlin. . . . The Ice scratched D Jonathan Smart (undisclosed injury), who wasn’t listed on Tuesday’s injury report, while they remain without injured F Keenan Taphorn (UB). . . . Kootenay added F Connor McClennon, the second overall selection in the 2017 bantam draft, to their roster on Tuesday, but he was a healthy scratch from this one. . . . The Blades were en route to Cranbrook on Tuesday when they had to stop for the night in Pincher Creek, Alta., due to high winds and deteriorating driving conditions. They left Pincher Creek on Wednesday and proceeded with no problems, arriving in Cranbrook at 11 a.m. “Winds were down significantly and plows and sanding trucks had been out overnight,” Les Lazaruk, the radio voice of the Blades, told Taking Note. “The highway actually opened at 10 (Tuesday night), but no sense going at that point.” . . . Announced attendance: 2,022.


At Portland, F Ty Ronning scored Nos. 50 and 51, and G David Tendeck made 49 saves, leading the Vancouver Giants to a 4-2 victory over the Winterhawks. . . . Vancouver (30-Vancouver18-8) is third in the B.C. Division, five points behind Kelowna and Victoria. . . . Portland (35-19-4) had won its previous five games. It is second in the U.S. Division, two points behind Everett. . . . F Dawson Holt (10) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 1:30 of the first period. . . . Portland went ahead 2-1 on second-period goals from F Reece Newkirk (5), at 2:49, and F Ryan Hughes (12), on a PP, at 17:02. . . . Ronning became the first player in Giants to get to 50 when he scored at 10:25 of the third period. He broke the tie with No. 51, at 17:32. . . . F Brayden Watts (13) got the empty-netter at 19:30, off a pass from Ronning. . . . D Bowen Byram had two assists for the Giants. . . . Portland was 1-4 on the PP; Vancouver was 0-2. . . . Tendeck stopped all 18 shots Portland fired his way in the third period. He had turned aside 19 shots in the second. . . . G Cole Kehler made 15 saves for Portland. . . . The Giants scratched four defencemen — Dylan Plouffe, Matt Barberis, Darion Skeoch and Alex Kannok Leipert, all of whom are injured. . . . They also are without F Milos Roman (ankle) and F Owen Hardy (ill). . . . D Joel Sexsmith, a first-round selection by the Swift Current Broncos in the 2017 WHL bantam draft, made his debut with the Giants. . . . Announced attendance: 3,025.


At Spokane, F Kailer Yamamoto broke a 2-2 tie scoring on a deflection at 19:32 of the third period to give the Chiefs a 3-2 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . Spokane (31-SpokaneChiefs20-5) is third in the U.S. Division, seven points back of Portland. . . . Kamloops (26-27-4) has lost two straight and remains six points out of a playoff spot. . . . D Joe Gatenby (12) put Kamloops ahead 1-0 at 3:26 of the first period. . . . Spokane F Eli Zummack (11) tied it at 10:32. . . . F Jake McGrew (14) gave the Chiefs a lead, on a PP, at 14:35. . . . The Blazers tied it at 14:06 of the third period on F Jackson Shepard’s eighth goal. . . . Yamamoto won it with his 14th goal. . . . The Chiefs got two assists from D Tyson Helgesen. . . . Yamamoto also had an assist. He now has 34 points, including 12 goals, in 14 games since returning to the Chiefs from the WJC. . . . F Orrin Centazzo had two assists for Kamloops. . . . Spokane was 1-5 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-3. . . . G Dawson Weatherill made 29 saves for the Chiefs, while the Blazers got 24 saves from G Dylan Ferguson. . . . The Blazers again were without D Luke Zazula and F Luc Smith, both of whom are injured. . . . Blazers head coach Don Hay turned 64 on Tuesday, celebrating with a taco or two in Spokane, as you can see from the above tweet. . . . Announced attendance: 3,526.


At Kelowna, the Red Deer Rebels scored the game’s last three goals, all in the third period, as they skated to a 4-1 victory over the Rockets. . . . Red Deer (19-26-13) has won Red Deertwo in a row and now is tied with Kootenay for third in the Central Division. . . . Kelowna (34-18-5) has points in its previous two games (1-0-1). It is tied with Victoria for top spot in the B.C. Division, but the Rockets hold two games in hand. . . . The Rebels won despite being outshot 11-1 in the first period and 15-7 in the second. . . . F Josh Tarzwell (8) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 2:19 of the first period. . . . F Kyle Topping (19) tied it at 10:10 of the third period. . . . Rebels F Brandon Hagel (10) broke the tie at 11:08. . . . F Reese Johnson (19) upped it to 3-1, on a PP, at 13:21. . . . F Mason McCarty (30) got the empty-netter at 19:00. . . . D Dawson Barteaux had two assists for the winners, with Johnson adding one. . . . Red Deer was 1-2 on the PP; Kelowna was 1-6. . . . G Riley Lamb was terrific for the Rebels, finishing with 36 saves. . . . The Rockets got 14 stops from G Brodan Salmond. . . . G James Porter Jr., who left a Monday game with an apparent injury, was on Kelowna’s bench in a backup role. . . . Kelowna scratched F Kole Lind, who took a stiff check from Victoria D Ralph Jarratt on Monday afternoon. . . . Announced attendance: 4,526.


At Victoria, Tomas Soustal scored in the third round of a shootout to give the Edmonton Oil Kings a 7-6 victory over the Royals. . . . Edmonton (17-32-7) has won three straight. . . . EdmontonOilKingsVictoria (34-21-4) has lost two in a row. It is tied with Kelowna for first place in the B.C. Division. . . . F Tyler Soy (30) gave the Royals a 1-0 lead at 1:02 of the first period. . . . Edmonton went up 2-1 on goals from F Trey Fix-Wolansky (24), on a PP, at 6:36 and F David Kope (10), at 7:54. . . . F Matthew Phillips (43) tied it at 8:33. . . . F Davis Murray (1) put Edmonton back into the lead at 14:15, and Victoria F Tanner Kaspick wrapped up a six-goal period by tying it at 17:35. . . . D Brayden Gorda (1) gave Edmonton a 4-3 lead at 2:44 of the second period, only to have Victoria D Kade Jensen (5) equalize at 9:52. . . . Soustal put the Oil Kings back out front at 14:09. . . . Kaspick (22) tied it, again, at 2:51, but Soustal (15) gave the visitors a 6-5 lead at 16:29. . . . The Royals forced OT when F Noah Gregor got his 22nd goal with 57.3 seconds left in the regulation time. . . . F Brett Kemp, D Matthew Robertson and F Nick Bowman head two assists each for Edmonton, with Soustal, Fix-Wolansky and Murray each getting one. . . . Victoria got two assists from each of D Mitchell Prowse and Soy, with Phillips, Kaspick, Jensen and Gregor adding one apiece. . . . Royals F Dante Hannoun picked up one assist, for his 200th career point. . . . Edmonton was 1-2 on the PP; Victoria was 1-6. . . . G Josh Dechaine stopped 32 shots for the Oil Kings. . . . With G Griffen Outhouse scratched — no, he wasn’t listed on Tuesday’s injury report — the Royals added G Joel Grzybowski to their roster from the SJHL’s Battlefords North Stars. He was acquired from the Saskatoon Blades earlier in the season. . . . Grzybowski, 18, started, as he made his seventh WHL appearance, the first six of which were with Saskatoon last season. He stopped 21 shots. . . . F Ty Yoder, 15, made his WHL debut with the Royals. From Tofield, Alta., he was a fifth-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft. He has 38 goals and 21 assists in 29 games with the Northern Alberta Elite 15s of the CSSHL. . . . D Ralph Jarratt was among Victoria’s scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 3,791.


THURSDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Regina at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Brandon at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Tri-City vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.

Kelowna at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Red Deer at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

Edmonton vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7:30 p.m.

Everett vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:35 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

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