THE BEDARD REPORT — You thought the Bedard Report was done just because he and his Regina Pats have been eliminated, didn’t you? Au contraire! . . . You may recall reading here about one of Bedard’s goals turning into an assist sometime on Monday, the day the host Saskatoon Blades beat the Pats, 4-1, to win Game 7 of their first-round series. . . . Bedard went into that game with 11 goals and eight assists, or so many of us thought. But after he picked up an assist on Regina’s only goal in Game 7, the WHL website showed him with 10 goals and 10 assists. . . . So what happened? . . . Det. Les Lazaruk, who doubles as the veteran radio voice of the Blades, took on the case and was able to figure it out. . . . Here’s how he explained it: “On the Pats’ first goal in Game 5, Bedard’s PP shot ticks Zack Stringer on the way in. Stringer gets credit for the goal, Bedard an assist, and Alexandre Suzdalev lost a helper on the play.” . . . That game was played on April 7 in Saskatoon. The goal in question was scored at 11:24 of the first period and cut Saskatoon’s lead to 2-1. The Blades eventually won the game, 4-2, to take a 3-2 lead in the series. . . .
Gino De Paoli, the radio voice of the Medicine Hat Tigers (@GDP_PXP), tweeting about Bedard: “That young man alone might’ve saved junior hockey in Western Canada post-COVID. Attendances were up and the post-Bedard buzz will hopefully continue into next season with other great talents coming in. Guy should have a statue and a couple of cars for his body of work in the WHL.” . . .
Ken Campbell of Hockey Unfiltered: “Take this to the bank. Both Connor Bedard and Adam Fantilli will receive invites for Canada’s World Championship team, which will have whichever team picking second beating a path to Finland. There are scouts out there — a good number of them — who believe that Russian phenom Matvei Michkov will ultimately be the second-best player after Bedard. If you’re willing to wait until 2026, when Michkov’s contract expires, it will be well worth the wait. But if you need someone to inspire and energize your fan base now, Fantilli will be a ridiculously good consolation prize.”
WHL PLAYOFF NOTES:
The Saskatoon Blades have two goaltenders on their roster who put up similar regular-season stats. Freshman Austin Elliott was 25-6-3, 2.20, .911 in 37 appearances, while sophomore Ethan Chadwick went 23-9-2, 2.61, .899. . . . So how did head coach Brennan Sonne decide who to start in Game 7 against the visiting Regina Pats on Monday night. Here’s Sonne: “Chaddy gets us to (Game 7) like a middle reliever and we had an all-star goalie that was fresh, so bring in the closer.” . . . Chadwick was 3-1, 3.23, .847 in the first round; Elliott went 1-1, 3.95, .841. . . .
From Troy Gillard (@Troy_Gillard), the play-by-play voice of the Red Deer Rebels: “Can confirm Jayden Grubbe set a Rebels playoff game record with five assists vs. Calgary on Friday. Michael Spacek had the previous record of four (vs. Lethbridge 03/30/2017).” . . .
The WHL’s second round begins on Friday on four fronts, and there are previews of all series on the league’s website. Check them out!
Dave Struch is the new director of hockey at the Athol Murray College of Notre Dame in Wilcox, Sask. Struch, who steps into his new position on July 1, also will be the head coach of the Hounds male U15 prep team. . . . Struch, 52, spent this season as the associate coach with the WHL’s Everett Silvertips. Prior to that he worked with the Regina Pats for seven-plus seasons (2014-22), as assistant coach, assistant GM/assistant coach and assistant GM/head coach. He also spent eight seasons (2006-14) with the Saskatoon Blades, first as assistant coach, then associate coach and head coach. . . . While he worked in Everett, his family remained at their home in Regina. Wilcox is located a few slapshots south of Regina. . . .
Jeff Truitt, the head coach of the Prince Albert Raiders, has been named the head coach of Canada’s entry in the 2023 IIHF U18 World Championship. The tournament is scheduled to run April 20-30 in Basel and Porrentruy, Switzerland. . . . This will be Truitt’s first head-coaching position with Hockey Canada; he won gold and silver as a video coach with the 2005 and 2004 national junior teams. . . . Former WHL G Justin Pogge will be on Truitt’s staff as goaltending consultant. Pogge, who played with the Prince George Cougars and Calgary Hitmen, played this season with the DEL’s Wolfsburg Grizzly Adams. He has played professionally for the past 17 seasons. . . . Also on Team Canada’s staff will be athletic therapist Jimmy McKnight (Edmonton Oil Kings), team physician Dr. Michael Conrad (Victoria Royals) and education consultant Nic Renyard (Victoria). . . . Canada opens the tournament against Sweden on April 20. . . .
D Stanislav Svozil of the Regina Pats has joined the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets. Svozil, a 20-year-old from Czechia, was a third-round pick by Columbus in the NHL’s 2021 draft. . . . In 115 regular-season games with the Pats over two seasons, he put up 119 points, including 98 assists. This season, he finished with 11 goals and 67 assists in 56 games, then added four goals and nine assists in seven playoff games. . . . He is expected to make his NHL debut tonight (Thursday) against the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins. . . .
The NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks have assigned F Jalen Luypen of the Tri-City Americans to their AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs. . . . Luypen, 20, had 18 goals and 21 assists in 38 regular-season games with the Americans after missing the start of the season following off-season shoulder surgery. . . . Chicago selected him in the seventh round of the NHL’s 2021 draft. . . .
G Bryan Thomson of the Lethbridge Hurricanes has signed an ATO with the Texas Stars, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars. Thomson, 21, went 59-42-6, 3.06, .901 in 117 appearances with Lethbridge. This season, after recovering from off-season hip surgery, he was 13-8-2, 2.64, .919.
With the 10th anniversary of her kidney transplant within in sight, Dorothy is taking part in her 10th straight Kamloops Kidney Walk. So, yes, she is fund-raising. . . . The 2023 Walk is scheduled for June 4. . . . If you would like to donate to her cause, you are able to do so right here.
If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:
Living Kidney Donor Program
St. Paul’s Hospital
6A Providence Building
1081 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6
Toll free: 1-877-922-9822
Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney
Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre
Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9
604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182
Or, for more information, visit right here.