Rebels stuck in Hood River, game postponed 24 hours . . . Hurricanes announce Plan B details . . . Gerlach burns former club


MacBeth

D Dalton Yorke (Kelowna, Prince Albert, Tri-City, 2012-17) has signed a one-year contract extension with Löwen Frankfurt (Germany, DEL2). In 46 games, he has one goal and 11 assists. Yorke is a dual German-Canadian citizen. . . . Frankfurt GM Franz-David Fritzmeier: “Dalton has developed very well this season. He has made a big leap forward and has become an important cornerstone of our defence. We are pleased that we were able to extend the contract with him at an early stage.” . . .

F Pavel Brendl (Calgary, 1998-2001) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Kopla Joensuu (Finland, Division 2). Last season, he had five goals and three assists in 12 games with Arlanda (Sweden, Division 1).


ThisThat

The Red Deer Rebels spent much of Wednesday in Hood River, Ore., tweeting with the hashtag #stuckinhoodriver.

It sounds so much like a rock tune. In fact, the only thing missing was CCR.

With apologies to John Fogerty . . .

“I rode in on the Greyhound

“I’ll be walkin’ out if I go

“I was just passin’ through

“Must be seven months or more

“Ran out of time and money

“Looks like they took my friends

“Oh, Lord, I’m stuck in Hood River again.”

The Rebels opened a five-game road swing through the U.S. Division with a 4-3 OT loss to Red Deerthe Chiefs in Spokane on Tuesday night. They tried on Wednesday to get to Everett for a date that night with the Silvertips but they got stopped by what the Pacific Northwest locals have labelled snomageddon.

Red Deer wasn’t able to take the usual way, which would have had them on I-90 via the Snoqualmie Pass. But that route was closed due to the poor driving conditions.

Instead, the Rebels tried to go south via Yakima and Kennewick, then west to Portland, and north to Everett. They got as far as Hood River on I-84 before running into more road closures.

So . . . there they were, stuck in Hood River, an hour east of Portland, which is 200 miles south of Everett. Keep in mind, too, that the traffic conditions in the Seattle area aren’t especially conducive to quick travel at the best of times.

All of this resulted in the WHL postponing Wednedsay’s game for 24 hours. The Rebels and Silvertips now are scheduled to play in Everett tonight.

All because Red Deer got #stuckinhoodriver.

“The man from the magazine

“Said I was on my way

“Somewhere I lost connections

“Ran out of songs to play

“I came into town, a one-night stand

“Looks like my plans fell through

“Oh, Lord, stuck in Hood River again.”

The Oregon Department of Transportation reopened the westbound lanes of I-84 last night at 7:30. That, of course, was far too late for the Rebels to make it to Everett by game time. However, the Rebels were able to get to Everett last night.

The rescheduling means that the Silvertips will play five games in six nights, four of them on the road. After playing Red Deer, they will have to get to Kelowna for a Friday night date with the Rockets, then head back home to visit the Seattle Thunderbirds on Saturday. On Sunday, Everett will head to Prince George for a Monday-Tuesday doubleheader with the Cougars. Oh, and the Monday game is to start at 2 p.m.

The Rebels will visit the Thunderbirds on Friday, the Portland Winterhawks on Saturday and the Tri-City Americans on Tuesday, before heading back to Alberta for a Feb. 22 date with the host Edmonton Oil Kings.


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The Lethbridge Hurricanes have made it official. With the World Men’s Curling LethbridgeChampionship in the 5,479-seat ENMAX Centre, March 30 through April 7, they will be playing some playoff games, as needed, in Nicholas Sheran Arena.

According to a news release, there will be 1,176 spots available for as many as three first-round playoff games. They will be distributed through a lottery process to fans who purchase playoff ticket packages.

From that news release: “Those who are not selected in the playoff package draw, as well as other interested community members, are invited to attend a free family-friendly community event to watch the games on the big screen, eat and drink, and enjoy some great family programming and giveaways.”

The WHL playoffs are scheduled to open on March 22. Nicholas Sheran Arena is home to the U of Lethbridge Pronghorns women’s and men’s hockey teams.

The complete news release is right here. It contains all the information you need to know and more.


WEDNESDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The host Brandon Wheat Kings scored four times in the third period en route to a 5-2 BrandonWKregularvictory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Brandon (24-22-7) is six points from a wild-card spot. . . . Edmonton (30-17-8) leads the Central Division by one point over the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . D Conner McDonald gave Edmonton a 1-0 lead at 17:37 of the first period. McDonald’s goal was his 17th of the season, tying the franchise’s single-season record for defencemen that was set by Cody Corbett in 2013-14. . . . F Ben McCartney (16) got Brandon even at 1:55 of the second period. . . . F Vince Loschiavo (24) provided the Oil Kings with a 2-1 edge at 17:25. . . . Brandon followed that with four third-period goals, from F Linden McCorrister (13), shorthanded, at 0:26; F Luka Burzan (31), at 6:30; F Stelio Mattheos (34), at 13:01; and F Connor Gutenberg (13), into an empty net, at 19:43. . . . Mattheos also had two assists. . . . Brandon G Jiri Patera stopped 36 shots, 19 more than Edmonton’s Dylan Myskiw.


F Parker Kelly scored twice to lead the Prince Albert Raiders to a 3-1 victory over the PrinceAlbertBroncos in Swift Current. . . . Prince Albert (46-7-2) has won five in a row. It leads the Eastern Conference by 16 points over the Saskatoon Blades. . . . Swift Current (10-39-4) has lost six straight (0-5-1). . . . F Dante Hannoun (26), who also had two assists, gave the Raiders the lead, on a PP, at 2:24 of the second period and Kelly doubled it at 5:33. . . . F Joona Kiviniemi (14) scored for the Broncos, on a PP, at 2:49 of the third period. . . . Kelly iced it with his 27th goal at 15:23 of the third period. . . . The Raiders had  43-16 edge in shots — 13-5, 17-7 and 13-4 by period. . . . G Isaac Poulter made 40 saves for the Broncos. . . . G Boston Bilous stopped 15 shots for the Raiders. . . . The Raiders were without G Ian Scott, F Brett Leason and F Sean Montgomery. Scott and Leason both are injured; Montgomery, who had played in 155 consecutive games, is ill. . . . The Raiders had F Justin Nachbaur back from a three-game suspension. . . . Prince Albert had F Cole Nagy, 17, make his WHL debut with them. He plays for the midget AAA Saskatoon Blazers. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound Nagy was a sixth-round pick by the Moose Jaw Warriors in the 2016 bantam draft. He signed with the Raiders on Jan. 2. 


The two Jakes — Elmer and Leschyshyn — scored two goals each and added an assist to Lethbridgelead the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 6-2 victory over the visiting Calgary Hitmen. . . . Lethbridge (28-16-10) had lost its previous three games (0-1-2). It is third in the Central Division, one point behind the Medicine Hat Tigers and two in arrears of the first-place Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Calgary (28-21-5) and Red Deer are tied for fourth in the Central Division; they also are tied for the Eastern Conference’s two wild-card spots. . . . Lethbridge is 5-1-0 in the season series with Calgary. . . . The Hurricanes completed a six-game homestand with a 3-1-2 record. . . . The Hurricanes took control early as they scored five times on 16 first-period shots. . . . Elmer opened the scoring at 2:50 of the first period, and Leschyshyn made it 2-0 at 7:05. . . . F Riley Stotts (18) pulled Calgary to within one at 9:35. . . . Elmer upped the lead to 3-1 with his 24th goal, shorthanded, at 15:36; F Jordy Bellerive (25) made it 4-1, at 16:37; and F Taylor Ross (26) got the fifth goal, at 17:11. . . . F Ryder Korczak (6) had Calgary’s other goal, at 9:03 of the second period. . . . Leschyshyn wrapped up the scoring with his 33rd goal, at 6:36 of the third period. . . . G Carl Tetachuk earned the victory with 36 saves. . . . The Hurricanes were without F Scott Mahovlich, who has left the team “to be with family after a family emergency,” according to a news release. General manager Peter Anholt said in the news release that Mahovlich, 19, “has returned home to be with family for whatever length of time that he requires.” Mahovlich is from Abbotsford, B.C.


F Max Gerlach, who began his career with Medicine Hat, scored two goals to help the SaskatoonSaskatoon Blades to a 6-3 victory over the host Tigers. . . . Saskatoon (35-13-8) has points in 11 straight games (9-0-2). It is second in the East Division, 10 points ahead of the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . Medicine Hat (31-19-5) had points in each of its previous five games (4-0-1). It is second in the Central Division, one point behind the Edmonton Oil Kings and one ahead of the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . The home side had a 1-0 lead at 2:44 of the first period on a PP goal by F James Hamblin (31). . . . Gerlach tied it, on a PP, at 15:28, and F Ryan Hughes (21) gave the Blades a 2-1 lead, on another PP, at 9:10 of the second period. . . . Gerlach upped the lead to 3-1 with his 35th goal, at 12:47. . . . Gerlach, 20, played the first 180 regular-season games of his WHL career with the Tigers. According to Ryan McCracken of the Medicine Hat News, Gerlach, after his first goal, “shrugged off the lack of support from his former fans and joked, ‘I built this place’ as he returned to Saskatoon’s bench.” His first WHL goal was the first goal scored in the Canalta Centre. It came on Sept. 26, 2015, with the Tigers beating the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 5-3. . . . Last night, Gerlach’s second goal tied his career high. He scored 16 goals in 35 games with the Tigers last season, and added 19 in 30 with the Blades after being dealt to Saskatoon. . . . He also is on a career-high 12-game point streak, with 21 points in that stretch. . . . And one other Gerlach note. According to Les Lazaruk, the radio voice of the Blades, Gerlach’s goal was the 15,000th in franchise history. . . . Lazaruk also pointed out that this was the first time since Jan. 8 that the Blades didn’t score the game’s first goal. They had gone up 1-0 in 12 straight games. . . . F Nick McCarry (2) got the Tigers to within a goal at 15:41, but F Eric Florchuk (18) got that one back at 19:38. . . . The Blades got insurance from F Tristen Robins (8), at 1:52 of the third period, and F Chase Wouters (13), shorthanded, at 3:52. . . . F Ryan Jevne (14) scored Medicine Hat’s last goal, on a PP, at 16:22. . . . Saskatoon D Dawson Davidson had three assists. Davidson is riding a 14-game point streak, with 24 points in that time. . . . Davidson has 64 points, 54 of them assists, in 56 games. His 54 assists are second in the WHL to F Trey Fix-Wolansky of the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . The Blades scratched F Kirby Dach for a third straight game after he was struck in the throat by a puck. . . . Saskatoon also is without D Aidan De La Gorgendiere, who last played on Feb. 2 when he took a hit from D Jake Neighbours of the Edmonton Oil Kings, who now is three games into a four-game suspension. . . . The Tigers were without D Linus Nassen and D Joel Craven, while F Hayden Ostir remains out.


The Kamloops Blazers scored the game’s first four goals as they skated to a 6-1 victory Kamloops1over the visiting Victoria Royals. . . . Kamloops (21-27-5) had lost its past three games (0-2-1). It is one point behind the Seattle Thunderbirds, who hold down the Western Conference’s second wild-card berth. Kamloops also is fourth in the B.C. Division, four points behind the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Victoria (27-23-3) is second in the B.C. Division, six points ahead of the Kelowna Rockets. . . . The Royals are 5-2-1 in the season series; the Blazers are 3-5-0. . . . Kamloops had scored three goals on 71 shots in going 0-2-1 in its previous three games. In this one, the Blazers erupted for four goals on 13 shots in the first period. . . . F Connor Zary accounted for the game’s first two scores, at 3:58 and 11:42, with the first one shorthanded. . . . F Zane Franklin (25) made it 3-0 at 18:48, and F Brodi Stuart (15) upped it to 4-0 with 3.3 seconds left. . . . F Phillip Schultz (13) got a PP goal for Victoria at 3:20 of the second period. . . . F Jermaine Loewen (21), who also had two assists, counted the Blazers’ second shorthanded goal of the game, at 4:34 of the third period. . . . Zary, who has 16 goals, completed his first WHL hat trick at 13:45 of the third period. . . . Zary, a second-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft, has a late birth date so isn’t eligible for the NHL draft until 2020. He now has 48 points in 48 games. . . . G Dylan Ferguson stopped 36 shots for the Blazers. . . . With F Martin Lang and F Ryley Appelt both out, the Blazers dressed 17 skaters, one under the maximum. . . . D Montana Onyebuchi was back in the Blazers’ lineup after serving a two-game suspension and he had two assists. . . . Darryl Sydor, one of the Blazers’ five owners, made his WHL coaching debut behind the team’s bench. He was named a full-time assistant on Tuesday.


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Kootenay Ice unveils Hall of Fame on way out of Cranbrook . . . Blades stretch lead over Warriors . . . Byram’s red-hot streak continues

MacBeth

F Jozef Balej (Portland, 1999-2002) has been released by Žilina (Slovakia, Extraliga). The team’s captain, he had three goals and eight assists in 31 games.


ThisThat

Eight days after announcing that the franchise will be leaving Cranbrook, B.C., for Winnipeg once this season is over, the Kootenay Ice has announced the formation of a Hall of Fame.

No, it’s not April 1. No, this isn’t a script for Saturday Night Live. This isn’t MAD KootenaynewMagazine.

You can’t make this stuff up. Seriously. You just can’t.

The Ice made the announcement in a news release on Wednesday, adding that former captain Jarret Stoll, 36, who played four seasons (1998-2002) in Cranbrook, will be the first inductee. Stoll captained the Ice in its Memorial Cup-winning season (2001-02).

According to a news release, selection to the Hall of Fame “is not a number retirement; however, all inductees will be honoured with a special ceremony and banner-raising to commemorate their achievements.”

The news release doesn’t indicate where Kootenay-area fans will have to go in future seasons to view the Hall of Fame, whether it will be located in the U of Manitoba’s Wayne Fleming Arena, the Ice’s home for the next two seasons, or later in its yet-to-be built home in an area in the southwestern corner of Winnipeg.

Stoll, in his second season as a development coach with the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, is to be honoured prior to a game with the visiting Calgary Hitmen on March 2 after which Cranbrook’s time in the WHL will be down to three home games.

“The ceremony,” reads the news release that is right here, “will include a banner raising.”

What that means is that Western Financial Place, the home of the Ice, which already has a Wall of Fame, won’t have a WHL team after March 16, but there will be one Hall of Fame banner fluttering in the rafters.

The news release also states: “All banners hanging in the rafters at Western Financial Place, including the future Ice Hall of Fame banner, will remain in Cranbrook.”

Hey, good for Stoll, who will be on hand for the evening, along with his wife, Erin, who you may know as Erin Andrews of ESPN. There isn’t any doubt that he should be the first but it’s all about the timing.

In future seasons, fans and sponsors who supported the Kootenay Ice will be able to find solace by wandering into the arena, grabbing a seat, sipping on their coffee, and looking up into the rafters. They won’t have a WHL team, but, hey, those banners. . . .

One Ice fan told Taking Note: “It is a rare occasion that I am lost for words.”

Another long-time observer of the Cranbrook hockey scene offered: “I don’t understand this for a second. . . . It is insulting and ridiculous.”

Mattmove1
While the Kootenay Ice was announcing the first inductee into its Hall of Fame, a moving fan was at the Cranbrook home of president/general manager Matt Cockell on Wednesday.

——

Neil Godbout is the editor-in-chief of the Prince George Citizen. He has written a column headlined ‘Are we the next Cranbrook?’ It points out that with support for the Cougars seeming to be fading, “The Cougars are Prince George’s team. Whether they stay that way is up to Prince George.”. . . . The announced attendance on Tuesday was 2,030 when the Cougars dropped a 4-2 decision to the Vancouver Giants. On Wednesday, the number was 2,083 as the Cougars fell 4-3 in OT to the Giants. . . . Godbout’s piece is right here.


D Liam Schioler of the Regina Pats will attend Queen’s U in Kingston, Ont., next season and play for the Gaels. The 6-foot-3 Schioler, 20, is from Winnipeg. An alternate captain, he is in his fourth season with the Pats. He played in his 223rd regular-season game on Wednesday night as Regina dropped a 4-3 decision to the host Calgary Cowboys (aka Calgary Hitmen) in the Corral.


The Everett Silvertips could run into something of a scheduling conflict in Angel of the EverettWinds Arena should they advance to the second round of the WHL playoffs. . . . The first round should begin on March 22 and conclude on or about March 31. . . . That would mean the second round should start about April 2 or 3. . . . The Silvertips, who lead the Western Conference, are certain to be playing in the first round, likely against the conference’s second wild-card seed. Assuming the Silvertips advance to the second round, they are likely to run head-on into the Cirque de Soleil CRYSTAL, which is to hold a total of eight performances in Angel of the Winds Arena from April 10 through April 14. . . . It could be that the Silvertips and a second-round opponent will have to do some creative scheduling.


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WEDNESDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

 

The Saskatoon Blades unleashed a 48-shot attack in skating to a 6-1 victory over the Saskatoonvisiting Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . Saskatoon (32-13-8) has points in eight straight (6-0-2). It is second in the East Division, eight points ahead of Moose Jaw, although the Warriors do hold four games in hand. . . . Moose Jaw (28-13-8) has lost two in a row. . . . The Warriors had a 21-5 edge in first-period shots and emerged with a 2-0 lead on goals from F Kyle Crnkovic (6), at 9:46, and F Chase Wouters (10), on a PP, at 19:48. . . . F Ryan Hughes (20) made it 3-0 just 54 seconds into the second period. . . . F Justin Almeida (21) got Moose Jaw’s goal, on a PP, at 12:53 of the second period. . . . Saskatoon D Dawson Davidson (10) got that one back, on a PP, at 18:11. . . . F Max Gerlach (32), on another PP, and D Brandon Schuldaus (5) — yes, on another PP — scored for Saskatoon in the third period. . . . Saskatoon was 4-6 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 1-5. . . . The Blades ended up outshooting the Warriors, 48-20. . . . Davidson also had two assists, as did Crnkovic. . . . Moose Jaw D Jett Woo left at 3:20 of the third period with a charging major and game misconduct for a hit on Blades F Kirby Dach. . . . The Warriors were without F Tristin Langan, as he served a one-game suspension.


F Riley Stotts broke a 3-3 tie late in the third period as the Calgary Cowboys (aka Calgary cowboysHitmen) beat the Regina Pats, 4-3, in the second game of what they are calling the Corral Series. . . . Calgary (27-19-5) has points in seven straight (6-0-1). It is tied with the Red Deer Rebels for fourth in the Central Division, three points behind the Medicine Hat Tigers. Red Deer and Calgary hold down the Eastern Conference’s two wild-card spots, eight points ahead of the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Regina (14-36-3) is 28 points out of a playoff spot with 15 games remaining. . . . The Hitmen are playing three games in the Corral and honouring three teams — the Centennials, Cowboys and Wranglers — who played in the building. . . . F Kaden Elder put Calgary out front 54 seconds into the second period. . . . Regina took the lead on a pair of goals from F Ty Kolle, at 10:50 and 14:08. . . . F Mark Kastelic tied it with his 37th goal, at 15:23, and Elder’s 22nd goal, 35 seconds into the third period, provided Calgary with a 3-2 lead. . . . Kolle, who hadn’t scored in 27 games, completed his first WHL hat trick at 5:09. It came in his 122nd career game, his 28th with Regina. He now has 11 goals this season. He also had a shootout goal in the Pats’ 2-1 victory in Lethbridge on Tuesday night. . . . Stotts won this one with his 15th goal at 16:41. . . . Calgary got 33 stops from G Jack McNaughton, one fewer than Regina’s Max Paddock. . . . G Carl Stankowski, who last played on Nov. 23, was on Calgary’s bench in a backup role.


IceMH1
The Kootenay Ice had an announced attendance of 1,902 on Wednesday at their second home game since the announcement that the franchise will be moving to Winnipeg after this season.
IceMH2
Fans of the Kootenay Ice are saying their thank yous before the season ends and the team moves to Winnipeg.

The two Ryans — Chyzowski and Jevne — each scored twice to lead the Medicine Hat Tigers Logo OfficialTigers to a 6-3 victory over the Kootenay Ice in Cranbrook, B.C. . . . Medicine Hat (29-18-4) has won two in a row. It is third in the Central Division, one point behind the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Kootenay (11-33-8) has seven home games remaining before it leaves Cranbrook for Winnipeg. . . . The Tigers had a 21-3 edge in first-period shots and came out with a 2-1 lead. . . . F Brad Ginnell (12) gave the Ice a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 8:24. . . . The Tigers took the lead as Chyzowski scored, on a PP, at 15:26, and D Cole Clayton (4) counted at 19:12. . . . F Tyler Preziuso (18) upped the Tigers’ lead to 3-1, on a PP, at 1:52. . . . The Ice came back to tie it on goals from F Peyton Krebs (17), on a PP, at 15:53, and F Jakin Smallwood (9) at 5:39 of the third period. . . . Jevne snapped the tie at 6:03. . . . Chyzowski added insurance with his 18th goal, on another PP, at 16:09, and Jevne put it away with his 24th goal, an empty-netter, at 19:32. . . . Jevne added two assists to his goal, with Preziuso getting two helpers and Chyzowski one. . . . Ice F River Fahey didn’t return after a first-period fight with Tigers F Trevor Longo . . . . The Tigers ended up with a 51-26 shot advantage. . . . Medicine Hat got 23 saves from G Mads Søgaard, with the Ice’s Jesse Makaj blocking 45 shots. . . . The Tigers were 3-4 on the PP; the Ice was 2-4. . . . This was the Ice’s second home game since the team’s owners announced that they will be moving the franchise to Winnipeg at season’s end. The announced attendance was 1,902, the smallest crowd of the season.


F Luke Toporowski scored twice and added an assist as the Spokane Chiefs skated to a 5-SpokaneChiefs4 victory over the Rockets in Kelowna. . . . Spokane (27-17-6) has points in four straight games (3-0-1). It is third in the U.S. Division, nine points behind the Portland Winterhawks and three ahead of the Tri-City Americans. . . . Kelowna (21-26-5) is third in the B.C. Division, eight points behind the Victoria Royals and two ahead of the Kamloops Blazers. . . . D Lassi Thomson (13) got Kelowna started at 3:38 of the first period. . . . Toporowski, who has 15 goals, tied it at 5:02 and gave his guys the lead at 15:08, on a PP. . . . F Alex Swetlikoff’s first WHL goal, on a PP, got Kelowna into a 2-2 tie at 2:37 of the second period. . . . The Chiefs went ahead 4-2 on goals from F Connor Gabruch, his first, at 4:15, and F Jaret Anderson-Dolan (6), at 12:55. That was Anderson-Dolan’s 99th career regular-season goal. . . . Swetlikoff scored another PP goal, this one 23 seconds into the third period, but F Jake McGrew (22) restored Spokane’s two-goal lead at 2:08. . . . F Nolan Foote (26) got a shorthanded goal at 7:14 to pull the Rockets to within a goal. . . . F Leif Mattson had four assists for the Rockets, with Swetlikoff adding one to his pair of goals. . . . Spokane D Ty Smith was back in the lineup and had two assists, after leaving early during a 6-5 shootout loss to the host Portland Winterhawks on Saturday. Smith left after absorbing a hit from Portland F Joachim Blichfeld, who was given an interference major and game misconduct, but hasn’t been suspended. . . . The Rockets were without F Conner Bruggen-Cate, who served the first of a two-game suspension. . . . The Rockets had F Steel Quiring make his WHL debut while D Jackson DeSouza played his second game. Quiring, who turned 16 on Jan. 15, was a fifth-round selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft, with DeSouza a fourth-round pick in that same draft. Quiring, from Vernon, B.C., plays for the Kelowna-based Okanagan Rockets of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League. DeSouza, 15, is from Erie, Colo. DeSouza, who also plays for the Okanagan Rockets, made his WHL debut on Dec. 15 in a 2-1 victory over the host Medicine Hat Tigers.


D Bowen Byram scored his third OT goal of the season to give the Vancouver Giants a 4-3 Vancouvervictory over the Cougars in Prince George. . . . Vancouver (35-13-3) had won three straight, including a 4-2 victory in Prince George on Tuesday night. The Giants lead the B.C. Division by 18 points over the Victoria Royals. . . . Prince George (16-30-6) has lost 11 in a row (0-8-3). It is eight points away from a playoff spot. . . . Last night, the Giants took a 3-0 lead on second-period goals from F Jared Dmytriw (11), at 7:11; F Brayden Watts (12), at 8:34; and D Aidan Barfoot (3), at 12:55. . . . F Vladislav Mikhalchuk (20) started the Cougars’ comeback, on a PP, at 16:00 of the second period. . . . F Josh Maser (20) cut the deficit to one, on another PP, at 19:50. . . . F Reid Perepeluk tied the game with his first goal of the season, at 11:05 of the third period. . . . Perepeluk’s first goal came in his 39th game. Last season, he scored twice in 10 games. . . . Byram won it with his 21st goal of the season, 57 seconds into OT. . . . In 17 games since Jan. 1, Byram has 12 goals and 11 assists. . . . On Jan. 26, Byram scored at 2:39 of OT to give the Giants a 5-4 victory over the Tri-City Americans in Kennewick, Wash. On Jan. 30, he scored 33 seconds into OT to provide Vancouver with a 3-2 victory over the Blazers in Kamloops. . . . The Giants got 28 saves from G David Tendeck. . . . G Taylor Gauthier stopped 26 shots for the Cougars.


F Phillip Schultz scored three times to help the Victoria Royals to a 5-3 victory over the VictoriaRoyalsvisiting Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Victoria (26-21-3) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). It is second in the B.C. Division, eight points ahead of the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Seattle (20-25-6) had beaten the host Royals, 5-2, on Tuesday night. It holds down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, one point ahead of the Kamloops Blazers. . . . F Henri Rybinski (3) gave Seattle a 1-0 lead just 47 seconds into the game. . . . The Royals responded with the next three goals — from Schultz, on a PP, at 17:09; F Kaid Oliver (21), on a PP, at 3:52 of the second period; and Schultz, at 6:27. . . . F Andrej Kukuca got Seattle to within a goal at 4:44 of the third period, but F Dino Kambeitz (8) got it back for the Royals just 10 seconds later. . . . Kukuca (16) added a PP goal at 16:07. . . . Schultz completed his hat trick with an empty-netter at 19:55. Schultz, an 18-year-old freshman from Denmark, has 11 goals and eight assists in 42 games. . . . D Scott Walford had three assists for the Royals, the fourth time in his career that he has had at least three helpers in one game. . . . Despite not appearing on the WHL’s weekly roster report that was issued on Tuesday, Seattle D Jarret Tyszka missed his second game in as many nights.


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Report: Ice to be part of ‘ambitious development’ plan in Winnipeg . . . Giants stun Chiefs with comeback . . . Porter, Rockets win in Everett


MacBeth

Curt Fraser (Victoria Cougars, 1974-78) has been named the new head coach of Kunlun Red Star Beijing (China, KHL) after the club fired head coach Jussi Tapola. Fraser was an assistant coach with the Dallas Stars (NHL) for the past six seasons. . . .

F Blair Jones (Red Deer, Moose Jaw, 2002-06) has been released by Sparta Prague (Czech Republic, Extraliga) after an unsuccessful tryout. He had one goal in six games. He had signed with Sparta on Dec. 27 for the rest of this season with a one-month tryout clause. . . .

F Björn Svensson (Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, 2003-06) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with IK Pantern Malmö (Sweden, Allsvenskan). He was released by Medveščak Zagreb (Croatia, Erste Bank Liga) on Jan. 14, after putting up five goals and 15 assists in 35 games. . . .

G Ty Rimmer (Brandon, Prince George, Tri-City, Lethbridge, 2009-13) has been released by Kitzbühel (Austria, Alps HL) for personal reasons. In 29 games, he was 3.39, .920, with three shutouts. . . .

F Garrett Festerling (Portland, Regina, 2003-07) has signed a two-year contract beginning next season with Grizzlys Wolfsburg (Germany, DEL). This season, with Adler Mannheim (Germany, DEL), he had 10 goals and 13 assists in 39 games. . . .

D Neil Manning (Vancouver, 2006-12) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with the Kassel Huskies (Germany, DEL) after obtaining his release from the Rockford IceHogs (AHL). He was pointless in three games with Rockford, and had two goals and 15 assists in 30 games with the Indy Fuel (ECHL).


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KOOTENAY KOUNTDOWN

There has been ample speculation over the last while that the Kootenay Ice will be 31relocating to Winnipeg upon the conclusion of this WHL season.

Ron Robison, the WHL commissioner, appeared on TSN Radio 1260 in Edmonton with host Dean Millard. At that time, Millard asked Robison about the Ice’s future.

Robison responded in part that “we’ll be very soon making an announcement as to what the future of that franchise is.”

That was 31 days ago. WHL fans have yet to hear from the Ice or the league office.

——

The relocation of the Kootenay Ice “is expected to trigger an ambitious development plan with the operation of the major junior hockey team as its centrepiece,” the Winnipeg KootenaynewFree Press reports.

According to the newspaper, the Ice’s owners — Greg Fettes and Matt Cockell — and other investors “are in the midst of implementing a strategy that will see Winnipeg receive among the largest-ever private investments for the game’s development in Canada. The project is also said to include at least 20 acres of sports, recreational and commercial expansion.”

The newspaper also reports that the group has plans to buy the Winnipeg Blues, the last remaining MJHL franchise in the Manitoba capital, and to have them play out of the new facility.

The story also includes this: “The WHL did not respond when asked for comment.”

The Free Press story, reported by Jeff Hamilton and Mike Sawatzky, is right here.


The Calgary Hitmen have added G Brayden Peters, 16, to their roster. Peters, from Taber, had been playing with the midget AAA Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . He was a fifth-round selection by Calgary in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. . . . With G Carl Stankowski still out with an ankle injury, Peters will back up Jack McNaughton. . . . Peters will fill the roster spot created when Ethan Hein, 16, was returned to the midget AAA Swift Current Legionnaires after spending some time backing up McNaughton.


F Jackson Niedermayer, the 17-year-old son of former WHL/NHL D Scott Niedermayer, has committed to the Arizona State U Sun Devils for the 2021-22 season. . . . Jackson was born in Newport Beach, Calif. He is in his first season with the BCHL’s Penticton Vees, and has two goals and four assists in 36 games. . . . Niedermayer was selected by the Calgary Hitmen in the fifth round of the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. . . . Scott played three seasons (1989-92) with the Kamloops Blazers and also owned a chunk of the Kootenay Ice.


G Matt Davis of the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints has committed to the U of Denver Pioneers for the 2021-22 season. . . . Davis, 17, is from Calgary. . . . With the Saints, he is 16-5, with one tie, 1.95, .917. . . . The Spokane Chiefs acquired D Noah King, Davis and a conditional fifth-round selection in the 2021 WHL bantam draft from the Swift Current Broncos for F Carter Chorney, D Devin Aubin and F Kye Buchanan.


G Mikey DiPietro of the Ottawa 67’s set the OHL career shutout record on Friday night as he stopped 15 shots in a 4-0 victory over the visiting Peterborough Petes. . . . DiPietro, whose NHL rights belong to the Vancouver Canucks, now has 17 career shutouts, one more than Tom McCollum, who played for the Guelph Storm and Brampton Battalion (2006-09). . . . Ottawa acquired DiPietro, 19, from the Windsor Spitfires on Dec. 4.


FRIDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

F Ridly Greig scored in OT to give the host Brandon Wheat Kings a 5-4 victory over the BrandonWKregularKootenay Ice. . . . Brandon (18-18-6) is four points from a wild-card playoff spot. . . . Kootenay (10-29-8) had won its previous two games, both of them on the road. . . . D Braden Schneider (6) gave Brandon a 1-0 lead at 10:56 of the first period. . . . The Ice took a 2-1 lead on second-period goals from F Brad Ginnell (10), at 1:13, and D Chase Hartje (5), on a PP, at 6:18. Hartje, 19, played his first game against Brandon since the Wheat Kings dealt him to the Ice at the trade deadline. . . . The Wheat Kings went ahead 3-2 on goals from F Cole Reinhardt, at 6:44, and F Luka Burzan (26), at 12:09. . . . Kootenay got the next two goals to take a 4-3 lead. F Jaeger White (18) counted, on a PP, at 13:03, and F Davis Murray (8) scored at 3:20 of the third. . . . Reinhardt’s 11th goal, via a PP, tied it 10:54, and Greig won it with his ninth goal, at 1:56 of OT. . . . G Jiri Patera stopped 37 shots for Brandon, five more than Kootenay’s Jesse Makaj. . . . Brandon F Stelio Mattheos had four points — all assists — for the sixth time in his WHL career. It was his first four-assist game. . . . The Wheat Kings promoted this game as Winnipeg Blue Bomber Night and QB Matt Nichols was on hand to greet fans and sign autographs. The Ice, of course, is expected to relocate to Winnipeg upon the conclusion of this season. . . . The teams will meet again tonight in Brandon. . . . The Ice was without F Connor McClennon, 16, who left Wednesday’s 4-3 victory over the Pats in Regina about eight minutes into the third period after absorbing a big hit in the neutral zone. The second-overall pick in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft has five goals and 10 assists in 26 games. . . . McClennon missed 12 games earlier with an undisclosed injury and had only returned to action on Jan. 4. . . . The Ice brought in D Carson Lambos, who turned 16 on Jan. 14, for the weekend. This was his fourth game of this season with the Ice. Lambos, the second-overall pick in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft, is from Winnipeg.


The Saskatoon Blades scored the game’s first three goals and the last three en route to a Saskatoon6-2 victory over the visiting Regina Pats. . . . Saskatoon (27-13-6) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). The Blades are second in the East Division, five points ahead of Moose Jaw. . . . Regina (12-32-2) has lost nine straight (0-8-1). . . . These two teams will meet again tonight, this time in Regina. . . . F Max Gerlach (27) gave the Blades a 1-0 lead at 9:29 of the first period, and F Ryan Hughes (19) upped it to 2-0 just 20 seconds later. . . . F Kirby Dach (18) made it 3-0 at 4:29 of the second period. . . . The Pats got to within a goal on second-period scores by F Cole Dubinsky (2), at 14:08, and F Austin Pratt (17), at 17:56. . . . The Blades put it away with third-period goals from F Riley McKay (8), on a PP, at 1:16; F Chase Wouters (9), at 7:41; and F Cyle McNabb (2), at 19:08. . . . Saskatoon outshot the visitors, 34-17. . . . The Blades got three assists from D Dawson Davidson, who now has 46 points, including 38 assists, in 46 games. He finished last season with 43 points in 69 games — 43 with Regina and 26 with Saskatoon. . . . Regina G Max Paddock (ill) remains out, although he did skate on Friday morning. As a result, Matthew Pesenti remains with the team, backing up Dean McNabb. . . . The temperature in Saskatoon as game time approached was minus-23 C, so the Blades’ merchandise store offered 23 per cent off all toques and mitts.


F James Hamblin and F Corson Hopwo each scored once and added an assist to lead the Tigers Logo OfficialMedicine Hat Tigers to a 3-1 victory over the Broncos in Swift Current. . . . Medicine Hat (25-16-4) has points in four straight (3-0-1) and is tied with Lethbridge for third in the Central Division, just two points from top spot. . . . Swift Current (9-32-3) has lost two in a row. . . . They’ll play again tonight, this time in Medicine Hat. . . . The Tigers scored the game’s first three goals. . . . Hamblin (21) stuck while shorthanded at 6:35 of the second period, and F Corson Hopwo (3) made it 2-0 at 10:15. . . . D Trevor Longo (4) made it 3-0 at 9:26 of the third period. . . . F Ethan O’Rourke (5) got the Broncos’ goal at 10:29. . . . The Tigers held a 46-24 edge in shots and won 36 of the game’s 60 faceoffs. . . . Each team took one minor penalty. . . . G Riley Lamb stopped 43 shots for the Broncos, 20 more than the Tigers’ Jordan Hollett. . . . With G Mads Sogaard sideline with a hip problem, the Tigers had Garin Bjorklund backing up starter Jordan Hollett. Sogaard was injured in Wednesday’s 4-3 shootout victory over the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings. Bjorklund, 16, is from Calgary where he plays for midget AAA Buffaloes. He was the 21st-overall selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft, and made two earlier appearances with the Tigers this season. . . . F Tyler Lees made his debut with the Broncos. He came over in a trade with the Victoria Royals on Jan. 7.


G Ethan Anders stopped 35 shots to lead the Red Deer Rebels to a 3-1 victory over the Red DeerHurricanes in Lethbridge. . . . Red Deer (26-13-3) has points in five straight (4-0-1). It is second in the Central Division, one point behind Edmonton and one ahead of Lethbridge and Medicine Hat. . . . Lethbridge (23-13-8) has lost two in a row. . . . They will do it all over again tonight, this time in Red Deer. . . . Red Deer took a 1-0 lead on F Jeff de Wit’s 23rd goal, at 19:27 of the first period. . . . F Jordy Bellerive (23), in his 250th regular-season game, tied it, at 13:18 of the second period. . . . Red Deer F Chris Douglas (12) broke the tie, on a PP, at 17:29. . . . F Cam Hausinger (15) added insurance with the empty-empty-netter at 19:33 of the third period. . . . F Jett Jones made his WHL debut with the Hurricanes. Jones, 16, is from Olds, Alta., and plays for the midget AAA Airdrie CFR Bisons for whom he has nine goals and 17 assists in 29 games.


The Prince Albert Raiders scored the game’s last three goals and went on to a 4-1 victory PrinceAlbertover the Blazers in Kamloops. . . . Prince Albert (39-5-1) has won four in a row, including two straight on this tour of the B.C. Division. . . . Last season, the Raiders finished with 38 victories and 77 points, so have already surpassed both of those totals. . . . The Raiders are 19-2-1 on the road. They lead the East Division by 19 points over Saskatoon. . . . Kamloops (15-24-3) has lost six in a row and is two points away from a wild-card playoff berth. . . . F Brett Leason (31) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead just 28 seconds into the game. . . . Kamloops D Jackson Caller (3) tied it at 5:53. . . . F Ozzy Wiesblatt (10) broke the tie at 14:53. . . . The Raiders put it away with two third-period goals — F Dante Hannoun (21) scored at 1:00 and F Justin Nachbaur got his 12th at 15:40. . . . G Boston Bilous, who was acquired by Prince Albert from the Edmonton Oil Kings on Jan. 10, stopped 29 shots in his debut with the Raiders. In fact, he hadn’t played since Nov. 24 when he was with the Oil Kings. . . . Kamloops G Dylan Garand made 22 saves in a stellar effort. . . . Kamloops F/D Jeff Faith served Game 4 of a five-game WHL suspension. . . . Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid played for the Kamloops Jr. Oilers — he had seven goals and 16 assists in six games in 1982-83 — and went 85-43-16 in two seasons (1997-99) as the Blazers’ head coach. . . . The Blazers left for Prince George immediately after the game. They’ll play the Cougars there tonight and again Sunday afternoon. Yes, that’s another case of a team playing three games in fewer than 48 hours.


The Vancouver Giants overcame an early 3-0 deficit and beat the host Spokane Chiefs, 6-Vancouver4. . . . Vancouver (28-12-2) has won five in a row and leads the B.C. Division by 13 points over Victoria. . . . Spokane (24-14-4) had won its previous four games. It is third in the U.S. Division, five points behind Portland. . . . Spokane got three PP goals in the first half of the first period, the first two from F Luc Smith, who has 20 goals, and the other from D Nolan Reid (8). . . . F Tristen Nielsen (7) started Vancouver’s comeback at 18:33 of the first. . . . The Giants took a 4-3 lead on second-period goals from F Jared Dmytriw, at 1:52; D Seth Bafaro (5), at 6:11; and Dmytriw (10), at 8:40. . . . Spokane D Filip Kral (5) tied it at 4:12 of the third period. . . . Vancouver F Davis Koch (15) snapped the tie at 11:11, and F Justin Soudif (11) added the empty-netter at 19:21. . . . Nielsen also had an assist, and now has three goals and seven assists over his past four games. . . . Koch, who has goals in four straight games, added an assist too, and now has 12 points over his past five games. . . . The Giants got three assists from F Dawson Holt.


The Tri-City Americans got the only two goals of the shootout to beat the Seattle tri-cityThunderbirds, 3-2, in Kennewick, Wash. . . . Tri-City (22-16-3) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). It is fourth in the U.S. Division, five points behind Spokane. . . . Seattle (15-21-5) has points in four straight (3-0-1). . . . F Riley Sawchuk (14) gave the home side a 1-0 lead at 3:06 of the second period. . . . The Thunderbirds took a 2-1 lead on second-period goals from F Payton Mount (4), on a PP, at 13:22, and F Noah Philp (16), at 17:41. . . . F Parker AuCoin (24) pulled the Americans even at 8:41 of the third period. . . . F Nolan Yaremko and AuCoin scored in the shootout. . . . The Americans got 39 saves from G Beck Warm.


F Tristin Langan scored three times and G Adam Evanoff stopped 28 shots to lead the MooseJawWarriorsvisiting Moose Jaw Warriors to a 4-0 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . Moose Jaw (24-11-7) has won three in a row, all in the B.C. Division. It is third in the East Division, five points behind Saskatoon but with four games in hand on the Blades. . . . Victoria (22-18-1) has lost three straight. It is second in the B.C. Division, five points ahead of Kelowna and with three games in hand on the Rockets. . . . While Evanoff was earning his first WHL shutout, Langan was recording his fifth WHL hat trick. . . . Evanoff stopped 13 shots in the first period, while his mates were mustering only four shots at the other end. . . . Langan got all of his goals in the second period, scoring at 9:27, 13:54 and 17:57, with the latter coming on a PP. . . . F Keenan Taphorn (11) had the game’s last goal, at 3:08 of the third period. . . . Langan, who finished last season with 42 points, including 16 goals, in 70 games, now has 74 points, including 36 goals, in 42 games. . . . F Justin Almeida drew an assist on each of Langan’s goals. . . . Each team took two minor penalties. . . . The Royals welcomed back two players who had been injured. F Sean Gulka last played on Dec. 15; F Logan Doust hadn’t played since Jan. 4.


G James Porter blocked 40 shots to lead the Kelowna Rockets to a 2-0 victory over the KelownaRocketsSilvertips in Everett. . . . Kelowna (18-22-4) had lost its previous six games (0-5-1). It is third in the B.C. Division, five points behind Victoria. . . . Everett (33-10-2) leads the U.S. Division by 11 points over Portland, which has two games in hand. . . . Porter’s night work included 19 saves in the second period and 13 in the third. . . . He has one shutout this season and four in his career. . . . The last time the Rockets recorded a shutout in Everett? On Nov. 28, 2003, G Kelly Guard stopped 13 shots in a 1-0 victory. . . . F Michael Farren (2) scored the game’s first goal, at 3:07 of the second period, and F Mark Liwiski (3) made it 2-0 at 10:56. . . . Farren, who was acquired from the Saskatoon Blades earlier in the season, scored his first goal with the Rockets in his 26th game. . . . Liwiski, who played 10 games with Everett last season, has three goals and four assists in 40 games with the Rockets this season. . . . D Matt Barberis, 20, made his debut with the Rockets. Acquired on waivers from the Vancouver Giants on Jan. 10, Barberis has had injury woes and hadn’t played since Nov. 18. In fact, this was only his 10th game of this season. . . . D Gianni Fairbrother (ill) was among Everett’s scratches.


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Leason streak hits 27; Raiders at 19 . . . Wheaties’ McCorrister fills his hat . . . Palaga posts first shutout for ‘Tips


MacBeth

F Justin Sigrist (Kamloops, 2017-18) has been reassigned by ZSC Zurich (Switzerland, NL A) to GC Küsnacht Lions (Switzerland, NL B). This was Sigrist’s second call up by ZSC this season. He was called up Sept. 21 for three games, during which he was pointless. In six games on the second recall, he also was pointless. . . . This season, he had four goals and two assists in 12 games with GC Küsnacht Lions. He also has played three games with GCK Lions Zurich U20 (Switzerland, Elite Junior A), scoring six times and adding two assists.


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COUNTDOWN TO DEADLINE

(WHL trade deadline: Jan. 10, 3 p.m. MT)

No. of trades: 6.

Players: 17.

Bantam draft picks: 15.

Conditional draft picks: 3.


If you stop off here , feel free to click on the DONATE button over there on the right and make a contribution. Thanks in advance.


SATURDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

F Brett Leason ran his point streak to 27 games as his Prince Albert Raiders beat the Pats, PrinceAlbert5-2, in Regina. . . . The Raiders (26-1-0) have won 19 in a row. . . . Prince Albert is next to play Tuesday against the Broncos in Swift Current. . . . The Pats (8-19-0) have lost four straight. . . . F Carter Massier ’s first WHL goal gave Regina a 1-0 lead at 9:14 of the first period. . . . Leason, who leads the WHL with 27 goals, tied it, on a PP, at 19:33. . . . F Kody McDonald (5) and D Brayden Pachal (6), in his 200th regular-season game, gave the visitors a 3-1 lead heading into the third period. . . . F Jadon Joseph (11) got his first goal for the Pats since coming over in a deal with the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Thursday. . . . F Ozzy Wiesblatt (5) and F Spencer Moe (5) added more late insurance for Prince Albert. . . . The Raiders got three assists from F Noah Gregor. . . . Leason leads the WHL with 60 points, three more than F Trey Fix-Wolansky of the Edmonton Oil Kings.


F Linden McCorrister scored three times to lead the Brandon Wheat Kings to a 5-2 BrandonWKregularvictory over the Broncos in Swift Current. . . . Brandon (13-7-6) has won three in a row to get to .500 in terms of wins and losses. . . . Swift Current (4-21-2) has lost three straight. . . . The Wheat Kings were 3-7 on the PP, with two of those coming from McCorrister. . . . His second goal broke a 2-2 tie at 12:15 of the third period. . . . F Ridly Greig (6) made it 4-2 at 13:01 and McCorrister, who has eight goals, completed his second career hat trick at 13:53. . . . F Stelio Mattheos scored No. 22 for Brandon. . . . F Joona Kiviniemi, a Finnish freshman, scored the Teddy Bear goal at 15:36 of the first period. He’s got five points, all goals, in 25 games. . . . The Wheat Kings got three assists from D Zach Wytinck. . . . G Joel Hofer stopped 30 shots in his third straight start for the Broncos.


D Jett Woo broke a 2-2 tie at 4:33 of the second period and the goal stood up as the MooseJawWarriorswinner as the Moose Jaw Warriors skated to a 3-2 victory over the Rebels in Red Deer. . . . The Warriors (15-5-4) have points in 10 straight (9-0-1). . . . The Rebels now are 17-9-1. . . . The Warriors got three assists from F Tristin Langan, who ran his point streak to 10 games. He has eight goals and 13 assists over that stretch. He also has a career-high 44 points, in 24 games. Last season, he put up 42 points in 70 games. . . . D Daemon Hunt (3) got Moose Jaw on the scoreboard first, at 7:18 of the first period. . . . Red Deer took a 2-1 lead on goals from F Brandon Hagel (18), at 7:57, and F Zak Smith (6), at 18:27. Hagel’s goal was a Teddy Bear score. . . . F Tate Popple (6) pulled Moose Jaw even at 1:55 of the second period. . . . Woo’s fourth goal of the season was the winner. . . . F Jeff de Wit, who didn’t finish Red Deer’s 6-2 victory over the visiting Calgary Hitmen on Friday, was in the Rebels’ lineup. . . . Red Deer won 33 of the game’s 50 faceoffs. . . . Moose Jaw was 0-3 on the PP; Red Deer didn’t get even one opportunity. . . . G Byron Fancy stopped 43 shots, 27 more than Moose Jaw’s Adam Evanoff. . . . F Brayden Tracey had an assist for the Warriors as he ran his point streak to 10 games. He has five goals and 12 assists over that stretch. . . . F Brett Davis, who was acquired Friday from the Kootenay Ice, travelled from Seattle and got into Red Deer in time to make his debut. . . . F Cam Hausinger, the other forward acquired from the Ice, is injured and expected to be out at least another week. . . . The Rebels will play their fifth game in six days tonight in Lethbridge.


F Kaden Elder scored in OT to give the host Calgary Hitmen a 4-3 victory over the CalgaryEdmonton Oil Kings. . . . Calgary (11-14-3) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). . . . Edmonton (14-11-5) has lost five straight (0-3-2). . . . The Hitmen got first-period goals from F Bryce Bader, who notched his first WHL goal, and F Jake Kryski, on a PP, to take a 2-1 lead. . . . F Brett Kemp had opened the scoring for Edmonton. Kemp has 19 goals in 30 games; last season, he finished with 17 in 69. . . . F Quinn Benjafield (11) got Edmonton even at 11:10. . . . Kryski (13) put Calgary back out front 15 seconds into the second period. . . . F Trey Fix-Wolansky (19) got Edmonton into a 3-3 tie with his 200th career point at 5:51 of the third period. He’s got 200 points, including 75 goals, in 171 regular-season games. . . . Elder won it with his ninth goal at 2:30 of OT. . . . Kryski drew the primary assist on the winner, for a three-point night. . . . Calgary got 26 saves from G Jack McNaughton, who is the go-to guy with Carl Stankowski (ankle) on the shelf. . . . Edmonton G Todd Scott stopped 27 shots in his first start of the season.


F Jake Leschyshyn broke a 1-1 tie in the second period as the Lethbridge Hurricanes Lethbridgescored a 3-1 victory over the Tigers in Medicine Hat. . . . Lethbridge (13-8-5) has points in five straight (4-0-1). . . . Medicine Hat (12-13-3) had won its previous two games. . . . F James Hamblin (12) gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 14:38 of the first period. It was the Teddy Bear goal, and Mads Søgaard, the freshman Danish goaltender, picked up his first career assist on the score. . . . F Jordy Bellerive (11) tied it for Lethbridge at 9:40 of the second period, and Leschyshyn scored his 17th goal, on a PP, at 12:17. . . . That was Leschyshyn’s first goal with the Hurricanes since coming over from the Regina Pats on Thursday. . . . F Dylan Cozens (13) provided the Hurricanes with some insurance, on a PP, at 19:34 of the second. . . . Lethbridge was 2-3 on the PP. . . . G Reece Klassen stopped 31 shots for the Hurricanes, eight more than Søgaard.


F Orrin Centazzo broke a 3-3 tie in the second period to help the host Kamloops Blazers Kamloops1to a 6-3 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Kamloops (11-11-2) has won two in a row, both on home ice where it now is 4-6-1. The Blazers also moved into possession of the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, one point ahead of the Prince George Cougars. . . . Seattle slipped to 9-13-3. . . . The Thunderbirds erased a 3-1 deficit on second-period goals from F Andrej Kukuca (7) and F Nolan Volcan (6). . . . Centazzo, who has eight goals, then scored twice on the PP. He snapped the tie at 15:28 and added an insurance goal at 18:25. . . . The Blazers were 3-5 on the PP. . . . F Kobe Mohr (3) got the empty-netter at 18:33 of the third period. . . . Kamloops F Zane Franklin (16) scored the Teddy Bear goal, at 11:02 of the first period. . . . Centazzo also had an assist for a three-point night. . . . The Blazers also got a goal, his third of the season and third in four games, and two assists from D Quinn Schmiemann, with F Connor Zary recording three assists. . . . Seattle F Zack Andrusiak had one assist, but his seven-game goal streak ended. He was coming off back-to-back hat tricks. . . . G Dylan Garand, the No. 1 guy in Kamloops with Dylan Ferguson hurt, stopped 26 shots. . . . D Luke Bateman, who is from Kamloops, was in Seattle’s lineup for the second time this season. He was a fourth-round selection in the 2017 bantam draft. Bateman plays for the major midget Thompson Blazers, who are based in Kamloops.


D Dawson Davidson scored on a breakaway in OT to give the Saskatoon Blades a 5-4 Saskatoonvictory over the Rockets in Kelowna. . . . Saskatoon (17-9-3) has points in three straight (2-0-1). The Blades went 3-1-1 in playing five games in eight nights in the B.C. Division. . . . The Rockets now are 12-15-2. . . . Saskatoon led this one 3-0 on goals from F Gary Haden (7), at 11:27 of the first period; F Tristen Robins (4), at 12:31; and Davidson, on a PP, at 1:32 of the second. Davidson ended a 17-game drought with the goal. . . . F Mark Liwiski (2) got Kelowna on the scoreboard with the Teddy Bear goal, at 10:29, and F Leif Mattson (12) pulled Kelowna to within a goal at 3:30 of the third. . . . Saskatoon D Brandon Schuldhaus (3) restored the two-goal lead, on a PP, at 14:57. . . . Kelowna tied it on goals from D Braydyn Chizen (1), at 15:22, and F Kyle Topping (12), at 18:39. The tying goal came with G James Porter on the bench for an extra attacker. . . . Davidson won it with his sixth goal of the season, 23 seconds into OT.


The Portland Winterhawks scored the game’s first four goals and the last four en route to Portlandan 8-2 victory over the visiting Spokane Chiefs. . . . Portland (15-10-2) had lost its previous two games. . . . Spokane (14-9-4) had been 3-0-1 in its previous four outings. . . . The Winterhawks took control with three goals in the game’s first 8:37. . . . It all started with F Lane Gillis (3) scored the Teddy Bear goal at 2:10. . . . F Joachim Blichfeld (22), who also had two assists, made it 2-0 at 3:43, and F Jake Gricius (13) added another, on a PP, at 8:37. . . . F Ryan Hughes upped the lead to 4-0 at 3:54 with the first of his two goals. He’s got nine. . . . The Chiefs got the next two goals, from D Filip Kral (3) and F Jake McGrew (7), but F Jaydon Dureau (4) and F Seth Jarvis (4) scored 1:00 apart for Portland late in the second for a 6-2 lead. . . . F Cody Glass, back after a one-game absence, had three assists for the Winterhawks. He has 26 points, including 21 assists, in a 13-game point streak. . . . Portland had a 44-20 edge in shots, including 15-6 and 16-4 over the first two periods.


The Victoria Royals exploded for four first-period goals and went on to a 5-2 victory over VictoriaRoyalsthe Cougars in Prince George. . . . Victoria (13-9-0) had lost its previous three games. . . . Prince George (10-14-3) has lost four in a row. . . . The teams will meet again this afternoon in Prince George in the Cougars’ final home game until Jan. 11. That is one day after the WHL trade deadline, meaning there may have been Cougars in this game who were playing their last home game in Prince George. . . . They will play their next 11 games on the road, a stretch that will include three separate trips into the U.S. Division. . . . F Dante Hannoun opened the scoring at 4:52 of the first period, on a PP, with F Igor Martynov following that with goals at 6:18 and 13:46. . . . Martynov has three goals. . . . F Tanner Sidaway (3) made it 4-0 at 18:17. . . . F Ilijah Colina (4) got Prince George’s goal at 8:28 of the second period. . . . Hannoun’s second goal, his ninth of the season, ended the scoring at 12:56 of the second. . . . The Royals were 2-4 on the PP; the Cougars were 0-3. . . . G Keegan Maddocks made his WHL debut for the Royals when he played the game’s last 1:10. He didn’t face a shot. Prior to that, Victoria G Brock Gould had stopped 18 shots.


The Vancouver Giants scored the game’s first two goals and never trailed as they went on Vancouverto beat the visiting Tri-City Americans, 5-2. . . . Vancouver (19-6-2) has won five in a row. . . . The Americans (14-10-1) had points in their previous three games (2-0-1). . . . F Milos Roman got Vancouver started with his 15th goal, on a PP, at 3:05 of the first period. . . . F Evan Patrician (1) made it 2-0 at 12:46. . . . F Isaac Johnson (10) scored, on a PP, for Tri-City at 8:25 of the second, only to have F Dawson Holt (5) counter at 14:26. . . . F Parker AuCoin (13) got a PP goal at 16:35 as the visitors got back to within a goal. . . . F Brayden Watts (5) restored Vancouver’s two-goal lead just 56 seconds later. . . . D Bowen Byram (8) iced it with a shorthanded empty-netter at 18:55 of the third period. . . . The announced attendance for this game, played in the Giants’ former home, Pacific Coliseum, was 6,156. The same teams will play again today, this time at the Langley Events Centre.


F Max Palaga posted his first career shutout as the Everett Silvertips beat the Kootenay EverettIce, 3-0. . . . Everett (22-7-1) has points in eight straight (7-0-1). . . . Kootenay (7-19-4) has lost eight in a row (0-7-1). . . . Palaga, who usually backs up Dustin Wolf, blocked 36 shots. . . . The Silvertips took a 1-0 lead when F Luke Ormsby (3) scored at 11:27 of the first period. . . . F Bryce Kindopp (10) made it 2-0, on a PP, at 19:59 of the second. . . . D Gianni Fairbrother (3) got the empty-netter at 19:48 of the third. . . . Everett F Connor Dewar had one assist as his streak of four-straight two-point games was halted. . . . G Jesse Makaj stopped 42 shots for the Ice.


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Golden boy gets NHL deal . . . Thompson, Wheaties blank ‘Canes . . . Royals stop streaking Chiefs

A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

F Tyler Steenbergen of the Swift Current Broncos has signed a three-year entry-level SCBroncoscontract with the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes. They selected him in the fifth round of the NHL’s 2017 draft. . . . Steenbergen, who turned 20 on Jan. 7, is from Red Deer. The Broncos selected him in the first round of the WHL’s 2013 bantam draft. . . . Last season, he put up 41 goals and 39 assists in 72 games. He has followed that up with 44 goals and 54 assists in 51 games this season. . . . Steenbergen also scored the winning goal with 1:40 left in the third period as Canada won the 2018 World Junior Championship with a 2-1 victory over Sweden in Buffalo on Jan. 5.


The Regina Pats have signed F Carter Massier and G Matthew Pesenti, both 16, to WHL contracts. . . . Massier, from Peace River, Alta., is a list player who played for the midget AAA Grande Prairie Storm, putting up 20 goals and 19 assists in 35 games. . . . Pesenti, also a list player, will turn 17 on Saturday. He was 9-14-0, 3.35, .900 with the midget AAA Saskatoon Blazers. Pesenti was on the Pats’ bench in Medicine Hat on Tuesday night backing up Max Paddock with Ryan Kubic injured.


JUST NOTES . . .

G Rayce Ramsay, who turned 17 on Jan. 3, is practising with the Kamloops Blazers this week. A list player from Saskatoon, he was 15-14-0, 2.83, .910 with the midge AAA Saskatoon Contacts this season. . . .

The Red Deer Rebels have added F Zak Smith, 16, to their roster. This season, he had 22 points, including 11 goals, in 46 games with the MJHL’s Neepawa Natives. . . . Smith, from Austin, Man., played in six games with the Rebels earlier in the season.


TheCoachingGame

The AJHL’s Drayton Valley Thunder is looking for a head coach after Ryan Rechner posted on Twitter on Monday night that “I regret to inform you I’ve resigned effective immediately.” . . . According to Laine Mitchell of rdnewsnow.com, “There have been five Thunder coaches leave the team since the 2015-16 season.” . . . Rechner took over from Kyle Adams as head coach in November after the Thunder started the season with three wins in 21 games. . . . The Thunder went on to finish 17-40-3. . . . Jason Nicholetts, the team’s director of player development, also has resigned. He also tweeted on Monday night, saying that “I have chosen to resign my position with the organization effective immediately.” . . . There also is speculation that general manager Joey Bouchard also is leaving. However, Mitchell reported that Monte Waronek, the franchise’s president and governor, “was unable to confirm if he was or not.” . . . On Tuesday afternoon, head scout Travis Gibson revealed that he, too, had resigned.

Mitchell’s piece is right here.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Prince Albert 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

TUESDAY:

At Brandon, F Ty Lewis and F Stelio Mattheos joined the 40-goal club and G Logan Thompson put up the shutout as the Wheat Kings dumped the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 6-BrandonWKregular0. . . . Brandon (35-26-5) is fourth in the East Division, three points behind Regina. The Wheat Kings hold down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, six points ahead of Prince Albert. . . . Lethbridge (32-27-6) has lost two in a row. It is second in the Central Division, six points behind Medicine Hat. The Hurricanes have two games in hand. . . . Mattheos opened the scoring, on a PP, at 6:45 of the first period. . . . F Luka Burzan (12) upped it to 2-0 at 14:14, and Lewis made it 3-0 at 19:33. . . . Mattheos got his 40th goal, on a PP, at 3:35 of the second period, with Lewis getting No. 41, on another PP, at 16:41. . . . D Chase Hartje (3) scored Brandon’s last goal, at 16:42 of the third period. . . . Lewis also had two assists for a four-point night, while Mattheos added one helper. . . . The Wheat Kings also got two assists from each of F Rylan Bettens, F Linden McCorrister and F Cole Reinhardt. . . . Brandon was 3-6 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-8. . . . Thompson stopped 32 shots in recording his third shutout of the season and the fourth of his career. . . . Lethbridge starter Logan Flodell was beaten three times on nine shots in the first period. Reece Klassen played the final 40 minutes, giving up three goals on 24 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 3,312.


At Saskatoon, the Blades gave up a 3-0 lead before coming back to beat the Edmonton Oil Kings, 6-5. . . . Saskatoon (32-31-3) had lost its previous four games. It is two points behind SaskatoonPrince Albert, which holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. The Raiders have a game in hand. . . . Edmonton (19-39-8) has lost two in a row. . . . The Blades got that 3-0 lead on goals from F Michael Darren (9), on a PP, at 6:17 of the first period; F Eric Florchuk (15), on another PP, at 15:00; and D Dawson Davidson (10), who also had three assists, at 0:56 of the second period. . . . Edmonton tied it by scoring three times in 3:37 in the second period. . . . F Kobe Mohr (11) got it started at 5:36. F Carter Souch (4) got the visitors to within a goal, on a PP, at 6:59. F Brett Kemp (15) tied it at 9:13. . . . However, the Blades scored twice before the period ended, with F Max Gerlach (28) counting, on a PP, at 15:37, and F Josh Paterson getting his 39th at 17:44. . . . D Conner McDonald (7) scored for Edmonton at 9:54 of the third period, but Saskatoon F Braylon Shmyr (35) got that one back, on another PP, at 12:39. . . . F Colton Kehler (28) of the Oil Kings closed out the scoring at 19:43. . . . The Blades got three assists from F Kirby Dach, two from Gerlach, and one each from Shmyr and Farren. . . . Soustal had two assists for Edmonton, giving him 100 for his career, and Kemp had one. . . . Saskatoon was 4-7 on the PP; Edmonton was 1-5. . . . The Blades got 26 stops from G Nolan Maier. . . . G Boston Bilous stopped 30 shots for Edmonton. . . . Announced attendance: 3,379.

At Medicine Hat, the Regina Pats scored the game’s last three goals to beat the Tigers, 6-3. . . . Regina (36-25-6) has won three in a row. It is third in the East Division, three points ReginaPats100ahead of Brandon. . . . Medicine Hat (34-25-8) had points in each of its previous seven games (6-0-1). It leads the Central Division, by six points over Lethbridge. . . . F Jesse Gabrielle (12) opened the scoring for Regina at 2:05 of the first period. If you’re wondering, the Pats had 89 entrants in their contest and each person is eligible for a cap. . . . Medicine Hat went ahead 2-1 on goals from F Tyler Preziuso (14), at 7:00, and F Henry Rybinski (3) just 56 seconds later. . . . F Koby Morrisseau pulled Regina even at 19:45. . . . F Emil Oksanen (16) gave Regina a 3-2 lead, on a PP, at 4:12 of the second period. . . . F Mark Rassell (49) tied it again at 17:43. . . . Regina won it with three late third-period goals, from D Libor Hajek (12), on a PP, at 15:17; Morrisseau (5), at 15:52; and D Josh Mahura (22), on a PP, at 17:18. . . . Gabrielle, Oksanen, Mahura and Hajek each had an assist for Regina. . . . The Pats were 3-3 on the PP; the Tigers were 0-2. . . . G Max Paddock earned the victory with 24 saves. . . . G Michael Bullion stopped 23 shots for Medicine Hat. . . . Phil Andrews, the radio voice of the Pats, called his 500th WHL game. . . . Announced attendance: 2,878.


At Prince George, F Ty Kolle broke a 3-3 tie late in the third period as the Portland Winterhawks beat the Cougars, 4-3. . . . Portland (41-20-5) has points in seven straight Portlandgames (6-0-1). It is second in the U.S. Division, six points behind Everett. . . . Prince George (23-35-8) has lost two in a row. . . . The visitors got out to a 2-0 lead on goals from F Joachim Blichfeld (23), at 13:53 of the first period, and F Reece Newkirk (7), at 19:03. . . . The Cougars got even on two quick second-period goals from F Josh Maser (27), at 17:13, and F Ethan Browne (1), at 17:31. . . . F Skyler McKenzie (42) gave the Winterhawks a 3-2 lead at 2:19 of the third period. . . . The Cougars tied it at 3:10 when former Portland F Ilijah Colina (11) scored. . . . Kolle won it with his seventh goal of the season, at 16:53. . . . D Dennis Cholowski, who was acquired from the Cougars in January, had two assists for Portland and was named the game’s first star. . . . Browne added an assist to his first WHL goal for the Cougars. . . . Each team was 0-3 on the PP. . . . The Winterhawks got 20 stops from G Cole Kehler. . . . G Taylor Gauthier made 39 saves for the Cougars. . . . They’ll play again tonight in Prince George. . . . Announced attendance: 2,278.


At Kent, Wash., the Seattle Thunderbirds scored the game’s first four goals and then hung on for a 4-3 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . Seattle (31-25-10) had lost its previous Seattletwo games (0-1-1). It holds down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, nine points ahead of Kamloops, which has five games remaining. Seattle also is fifth in the U.S. Division, one point behind Tri-City. . . . Tri-City (32-24-9) has lost four in a row (0-3-1). . . . D Austin Strand (21) scored Seattle’s first goal, at 5:19 of the first period. . . . F Zack Andrusiak (31) made it 2-0, on a PP, at 4:31 of the second period, and F Nolan Volcan (30) upped it to 3-0, on a PP, at 9:15. . . . F Matthew Wedman (16) scored Seattle’s fourth goal at 1:00 of the third period. . . . Tri-City’s first goal came from F Morgan Geekie (26), on a PP, at 5:25. . . . F Michael Rasmussen (25) got the Americans to within two goals, on a PP, at 6:19, and F Sasha Mutala (9) made it a one-goal game at 15:31. . . . Volcan added an assist to his goal. . . . The Americans got two assists from each of F Jordan Topping and D Dylan Coghlan. . . . Tri-City was 2-5 on the PP; Seattle was 2-7. . . . Seattle got a big game from G Liam Hughes, who made 40 saves. . . . G Patrick Tea stopped 29 shots for the Americans. . . . Announced attendance: 4,353.


At Victoria, the Royals broke a 3-3 tie with four third-period goals and beat the Spokane Chiefs, 7-3. . . . Victoria (37-24-6) has points in three straight (2-0-1). It is second in the B.C. VictoriaRoyalsDivision, two points behind Kelowna, which has a game in hand. . . . Spokane (38-22-5) had a five-game winning streak snapped. It is third in the U. S. Division, six points behind Portland and eight ahead of Tri-City. . . . The Royals scored the only goals of the first period, from F Braydon Buziak (5), at 3:14, and F Dante Hannoun (23), on a PP, at 6:54. . . . F Hudson Elynuik (28) got Spokane’s first goal, at 11:48 of the second period. . . . F Noah Gregor (28) restored Victoria’s two-goal edge at 16:08. . . . The Chiefs pulled even on goals from F Jaret Anderson-Dolan (36), at 19:39 of the second, and F Kailer Yamamoto (20), at 4:22 of the third period. . . . D Scott Walford gave Victoria a 4-3 lead at 4:46, and F Matthew Phillips (45) added insurance, on a PP, at 10:05. . . . The Royals got an empty-netter from F Tanner Kaspick (23), at 17:29. . . . F Jeff de Wit (11) finished the scoring at 18:48. . . . De Wit, who also had an assist, was playing in his first game since Feb. 7. . . . Kaspick and F Tanner Soy had two assists each for the winners, with Phillips, Hannoun and Gregor adding one each. . . . Yamamoto and Anderson-Dolan each had an assist for Spokane. . . . Victoria was 2-5 on the PP; Spokane was 0-4. . . . G Griffen Outhouse stopped 28 shots for the Royals. In the process, he took over top spot on the franchise list for career victories. He now has 85, one more than Coleman Vollrath (2012-16). . . . The Chiefs got 16 saves from G Dawson Weatherill. . . . They’ll do it all over again tonight in Victoria. . . . Announced attendance: 3,651.


WEDNESDAY (all times local):

Lethbridge at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Edmonton at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Calgary at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Portland at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Spokane at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY