Rockets, Crickard part company . . . Raiders complete sweep of Wheaties . . . Americans beat ‘Canes in wild one


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The Kelowna Rockets and assistant coach Travis Crickard “have mutually parted ways,” KelownaRocketsaccording to a news release issued by the team late Saturday afternoon. . . . Crickard was in his fifth season with the Rockets. In his first season (2014-15) as an assistant coach and goaltending coach, the Rockets won the Ed Chynoweth Cup. . . . Kris Mallette, the Rockets’ other assistant coach, also is in his fifth season. . . . The Rockets didn’t refer to hiring another assistant, but perhaps Adam Foote, who took over as head coach on Oct. 23, will be looking for someone with whom he is familiar.


COUNTDOWN TO DEADLINE

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

Saturday’s action:

No. of trades: 0.

Players: 0.

Bantam draft picks: 0.

Conditional draft picks: 0.

——

Total deals (since Nov. 26):

No. of trades: 10.

Players: 31.

Bantam draft picks: 18.

Conditional draft picks: 4.

(Note: On Nov. 30, Kelowna traded F Jack Cowell, 19, to Kootenay for a third-round selection in the 2020 bantam draft. Cowell chose not to report and the deal was voided, so isn’t included in these totals.)


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SATURDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The Saskatoon Blades scored four times in the second period en route to a 5-2 victory Saskatoonover the Warriors in Moose Jaw. . . . Saskatoon (18-10-3) had lost 3-2 to the visiting Warriors on Friday. . . . Moose Jaw (16-7-5) had points in its previous two games (1-0-1). . . . The teams had been tied for second in the East Division going in, although Moose Jaw does have three games in hand. . . . F Keenan Taphorn (8) gave the Warriors at 2-1 lead at 17:34 of the first period. . . . The Blades responded with four second-period goals, from F Zach Huber (6), at 8:24; D Brandon Schuldhaus (4), at 10:58; F Gary Haden (8), at 11:14; and F Josh Paterson (9), at 15:57. . . . F Tristin Langan (21) scored Moose Jaw’s last goal, on a PP, at 6:36 of the third. . . . F Riley McKay scored his fifth goal for Saskatoon in his 31st game. Last seaosn, he finished with four goals in 62 games for the Spokane Chiefs. . . . G Dorrin Luding blocked 28 shots to record the victory. He is 4-2-1, 2.57, .927, with two victories in Moose Jaw. He had 24 saves in a 5-2 victory on Nov. 2. . . . Saskatoon took the game’s only minor penalty. . . . Tim Hunter, the Warriors’ head coach, now is off to join Canada’s national junior team, along with D Josh Brook. Hunter is Canada’s head coach. On-ice work begins Tuesday in Victoria. . . . The Blades are at home to the East Division-leading Raiders today in what will be the third game in fewer than 48 hours for both teams.


F Brett Leason ran his point streak to 30 games as the host Prince Albert Raiders beat the PrinceAlbertBrandon Wheat Kings, 5-2. . . . Prince Albert (28-1-1) now has points in 22 straight games (21-0-1). The Raiders are 14-0-0 at home. . . . Brandon (14-9-6) has lost two in a row. . . . The Raiders had won, 5-2, in Brandon on Friday night. . . . Leason drew an assist on the Raiders’ third goal, a PP score, and another one on their final goal, and now has at least one point in each game the team has played this season. The WHL record (56 games) was set by Raiders F Jeff Nelson in 1990-91. . . . The Raiders erased a 1-0 deficit with three goals on 24 second-period shots. . . . F Cole Fonstad tied it at 14:31, F Kody McDonald (6) gave the home side a 2-1 lead at 15:11 and F Sean Montgomery, on a PP, provided a 3-1 lead. . . . Montgomery has 13 goals in 30 games. He had 12 goals in 2015-16, 13 in 2016-17, and 12 last season. . . . F Luka Burzan (18) pulled Brandon to within a goal at 16:50 of the second. . . . Fonstad (10) got that one back at 1:56 of the third and F Noah Gregor, who also had two assists, made it 5-2 with his 14th goal at 14:30. That was the 100th regular-season goal of his career. . . . Brandon G Jiri Patera stopped 42 shots, three more than the Raiders’ Ian Scott. . . . The Wheat Kings were without F Cole Reinhardt as he served a one-game suspension for a boarding major and game misconduct that he incurred on Friday night. . . . F Bode Hagan, a 16-year-old from Alsike, Alta., made his Brandon debut. He was an eighth-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft. This season, he has five goals and 27 assists in 18 games with the Edmonton-OHA prep team. . . . Darren Steinke, the travellin’ blogger, was at the game and filed this piece right here.


F Trey Fix-Wolansky scored 30 seconds into OT to give the Edmonton Oil Kings a 3-2 EdmontonOilKingsvictory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . The Oil Kings (16-11-5) have points in three straight (2-0-1). . . . The Blazers have points in four straight (4-0-1). . . . F Jalen Luypen gave Edmonton a 1-0 lead with the Teddy Bear goal at 13:28 of the second period. The goal came on Edmonton’s 29th shot as the Oil Kings struggled to solve Kamloops G Dylan Ferguson, who was back after a three-game absence. . . . F Orrin Centazzo (9) tied it 1-1 at 18:41. . . . F Carter Souch gave Edmonton a 2-1 lead at 15:50 of the third period, only to have the Blazers tie it when F Martin Lang (5) scored with 12.7 seconds left in the period. . . . Fix-Wolansky won it with his 21st goal. . . . Ferguson finished with 37 saves. . . . Kamloops F Jermaine Loewen was ejected with a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct at 8:07 of the second period. Earlier this season, he served a four-game suspension for a headshot on Portland Winterhawks D Matthew Quigley in an Oct. 5 game.


F Ryan Jevne scored twice to help the host Medicine Hat Tigers to a 4-2 victory over the Tigers Logo OfficialRegina Pats. . . . Medicine Hat (15-14-3) has won two in a row. . . . The Pats (8-22-1) have lost eight straight (0-7-1). . . . F Jadon Joseph (12) gave Regina a 1-0 lead at 1:33 of the first period. . . . The Tigers went ahead 2-1 on goals from F James Hamblin (15), shorthanded, at 19:11 of the second and Jevne at 1:50 of the third. . . . F Sergei Alkhimov (7) tied it at 8:25. . . . The Tigers won it with goals 1:16 apart. F Logan Christensen (3) broke the tie at 13:38 and Jevne (14) added insurance at 14:54. . . . The Pats got 42 saves from G Dean McNabb. . . . Medicine Hat G Mads Sogaard stopped 23 shots and earned his second WHL assist in three games. . . . Regina F Riley Krane was unsuccessful on a second-period penalty shot with his side leading, 1-0.


The line of Brandon Hagel, Cam Hausinger and Brett Davis combined for 11 points in Red Deerleading the Red Deer Rebels to a 6-2 victory over the visiting Swift Current Broncos. . . . The Rebels (19-9-2) have points in three straight (2-0-1). . . . The Broncos (5-23-2) have lost two in a row. . . . The Rebels held a 40-23 edge in shots, including 20-4 in the third period. . . . Hagel, who has 21 goals, scored twice and added two assists for the 12th four-point game of his career. . . . Davis scored his 10th goal and added three assists, and Hausinger scored twice, giving him 11, and added an assist. . . . Davis and Hausinger were acquired on Nov. 30 from the Kootenay Ice. . . . Red Deer grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first period before F Alec Zawatsky (9) scored, on a PP, for the Broncos. . . . The Rebels promptly put it away with the next three goals — two from Hausinger and one from Davis. . . . Davis has three goals and five assists in four games with Red Deer, while Hausinger has three goals and an assist in two games.


G Shane Farkas stopped 22 shots to help the host Portland Winterhawks to a 3-0 victory Portlandover the Prince George Cougars. . . . Portland (18-10-2) has won four in a row, outscoring opponents 26-6 in the process. . . . Prince George (11-16-3) has lost two straight. . . . On Friday, the Winterhawks beat the visiting Cougars, 5-2. . . . Farkas has two shutouts this season and five in his career. . . . F Jake Gricius (14) opened the scoring at 16:38 of the first period. . . . F Ryan Hughes (10), on a PP, made it 2-0 at 13:40 of the second and F Jaydon Dureau (6) finished the scoring at 19:35. . . . Portland F Cody Glass had an assist to run his point streak to 16 games. He has eight goals and 26 assists over that stretch. . . . The Cougars were 0-6 on the PP. . . . The Winterhawks were without D Brendan De Jong, who didn’t finish Friday’s game. . . . F Jackson Leppard was back in the Cougars’ lineup after serving a one-game suspension.


G Dustin Wolf blocked 43 shots to lead the Everett Silvertips to a 2-1 victory over the EverettSeattle Thunderbirds in Kent, Wash. . . . Everett (24-7-1) has points in 10 straight (9-0-1). . . . The Thunderbirds now are 10-14-3. . . . The Silvertips are 3-0-0 in the season series. . . . This season, Wolf is 22-7-1, 1.90, .926. . . . F Sean Richards, who later was tossed from the game, opened the scoring at 16:25 of the first period. He’s got 10 goals. . . . F Nolan Volcan (7) pulled Seattle into a tie at 3:59 of the second. . . . F Max Patterson (9) won it when he scored on a breakaway at 7:46 of the third. That was Patterson’s first goal in his second game since being acquired from the Swift Current Broncos on Dec. 3. . . . Seattle was 0-2 on the PP; Everett was 0-1. . . . Richards was hit with a boarding major and game misconduct at 10:10 of the second period after a hit on D Loeden Schaufler. . . . This season, Richards already has served a five-game suspension for a headshot major against Seattle on Oct. 5. Last season, he drew a four-game sentence for a checking-from-behind major against Seattle on Feb. 16, two games after he took a match penalty against Swift Current on Jan. 21, and one game for a headshot major against Regina on Nov. 19.


F Eli Zummack scored in OT to give the host Spokane Chiefs a 4-3 victory over the SpokaneChiefsKootenay Ice. . . . The Chiefs (16-10-4) have won two in a row. . . . The Ice (7-20-6) has lost 11 straight (0-8-3). . . . F Peyton Krebs (12) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 10:23 of the first period. Krebs also had two assists. He now has 35 points in 29 games. . . . Spokane D Bobby Russell, who was acquired from the Ice on June 25, scored the Teddy Bear goal at 2:05 of the second period. It was his third goal of the season. . . . F Jaeger White (12), who also had two assists, gave the Ice a 2-1 lead, on a PP, at 11:06. . . . Spokane went ahead 3-2 on third-period goals from F Luc Smith (12), at 0:31 of the third period, and F Cordel Larson (5), at 3:13. . . . Kootenay tied it when F Brad Ginnell (6) struck with 8.6 seconds left in the third period. . . . Zummack won it with his ninth goal at 2:35 of extra time. He’s got a goal and five assists over his past two games.


F Isaac Johnson’s OT goal ended a wild affair and gave the Tri-City Americans an 8-7 tri-cityvictory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Tri-City (15-12-2) had lost its previous five games (0-3-2). . . . Lethbridge (15-9-6) has lost two in a row (0-1-1). . . . The Americans ended up in OT despite having scored five second-period goals, three of them on the PP. . . . The teams combined for 15 goals on 87 shots, with 44 of those from the Americans, who went 3-6 on the PP. . . . Tri-City held a 7-4 lead after F Parker AuCoin (16) scored at 13:54 of the third period. . . . F Jake Elmer cut Lethbridge’s deficit to two at 14:22, and F Taylor Ross (17) made it a one-goal game just 37 seconds later. . . . Elmer completed a hat trick with his 15th goal at 17:49 to force OT. . . . Johnson won it with his 12th goal, at 1:10 of OT. . . . The Americans got for assists from F Krystof Hrabik, with F Nolan Yaremko scoring twice, giving him 15, and adding an assist. F Kyle Olson (6), AuCoin and D Aaron Hyman (7) each had a goal and two assists. . . . Olson’s score, on a PP at 1:39 of the second, was the Teddy Bear goal. . . . Elmer also had two assists, for a five-point night, while Ross added three assists to his goal, and F Dylan Cozens scored his 16th goal and had two assists. . . . Interestingly, both starting goaltenders went the distance. . . . Tri-City’s Beck Warm finished with 36 saves, one fewer than Lethbridge’s Reece Klassen. . . . There were 59 faceoffs in the game, with 14 of those following goals.


F Jared Dmytriw’s OT goal gave the Vancouver Giants a 2-1 victory over the visiting VancouverVictoria Royals. . . . Vancouver (21-6-2) has won seven straight. . . . Victoria (13-12-1) has lost four in a row (0-3-1). . . . The Giants, who normally play in the Langley Events Centre, moved this one to their former home, Pacific Coliseum, for the Teddy Bear toss. . . . F Tarun Fizer (4) gave the Royals a 1-0 lead at 13:29 of the third period. . . . Just when it looked like the Giants might get blanked in a Teddy Bear game, D Bowen Byram (9) tied the game at 18:41. . . . It was Byram’s second straight Teddy Bear goal. . . . Dmytriw, the Giants captain and a former Royals skater, won it with his seventh goal at 3:02 of OT. Dmytriw also had the primary assist on Byram’s goal. . . . The Giants got 25 saves from G David Tendeck. . . . Victoria G Griffen Outhouse stopped 36 shots. . . . The Royals went 1-3-1 on a five-game road trip that ended with this game. They were outscored 13-11 in the five games. . . . D Ralph Jarratt was back for a second straight game with the Royals. . . . With F Dawson Holt injured, the Giants had F Krz Plummer in the lineup. Plummer, 16, is from Whitecourt, Alta., and has nine goals and 15 assists in 21 games at the Delta, B.C., Hockey Academy. A third-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft, Plummer was pointless in one game with the Giants last season.


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Deal between Ice, Rockets voided . . . Fix-Wolansky, Woo trying to prove point? . . . Silvertips double up on Chiefs


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G Barry Brust (Spokane, Calgary, 2000-04) has been released by Kunlun Red Star Beijing (China, KHL). In nine games, he was 4-3-1, 3.11, .895. . . .

D Tomáš Kundrátek (Medicine Hat, 2008-10) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Třinec (Czech Republic, Extraliga) after requesting and receiving his release from Kunlun Red Star Beijing (China, KHL). He had three assists in 25 games while averaging 20:05 TOI. . . .

D Marek Hrbas (Edmonton, Kamloops, 2010-13) a signed contract for the rest of this season with Amur Khabarovsk (Russia, KHL) after obtaining his release from Vítkovice Ostrava (Czech Republic, Extraliga). He had one goal and three assists in 22 games with Vítkovice this season.


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Taking Note has been told that a Nov. 30 trade between the Kelowna Rockets and Kootenay Ice has been stamped null and void.

On Nov. 30, the Rockets traded F Jack Cowell, a 19-year-old from Winnipeg, to the Ice for Kootenaynewa third-round pick in the 2020 WHL bantam draft.

Cowell, however, chose not to report. Rather, Taking Note was told Wednesday night that he has gone home to Winnipeg.

As a result, although nothing has been announced by the league or either team, the trade has been voided and, in fact, has been removed from the transaction page on the WHL’s website.

The Ice was at home to the Lethbridge Hurricanes last night. There was no mention of Cowell anywhere in the Ice’s digital pre-game notes package.

This season, Cowell had two goals and three assists in 26 games. In 182 career games with Kelowna, he had 18 goals and 38 assists.


In the lead up to Hockey Canada naming the selection-camp roster for its national junior team, many observers of the WHL anticipated that F Trey Fix-Wolansky of the Edmonton Oil Kings and D Jett Woo of the Moose Jaw Warriors would be on the list.

However, their names were conspicuous by their absence when the camp roster was revealed on Monday.

Judging by their performances on Wednesday night, both players are using the snubs for motivation.

Fix-Wolansky had a goal and three assists to lead the host Oil Kings to a 6-1 victory over the Regina Pats. Meanwhile, in Moose Jaw, Woo had a goal and three assists in the Warriors’ 6-5 OT loss to the Medicine Hat Tigers.

Fix-Wolansky, who has six four-point games to his credit, moved back into a tie for the WHL scoring lead. He and F Brett Leason of the Prince Albert Raiders have 61 points apiece. Leason leads the WHL in goals (28); Fix-Wolansky has a WHL-leading 41 assists in 31 games.

This was Woo’s first career four-point outing. He’s got five goals and 15 assists in 22 games.

Woo was a second-round pick by the Vancouver Canucks in the NHL’s 2018 draft. The Columbus Blue-Jackets took Fix-Wolansky in the seventh round.


COUNTDOWN TO DEADLINE

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

Wednesday’s action

No. of trades: 0.

Players: 0.

Bantam draft picks: 0.

Conditional draft picks: 0.

——

Total deals (since Nov. 26):

No. of trades: 9.

Players: 30.

Bantam draft picks: 17.

Conditional draft picks: 4.

(Note: On Nov. 30, Kelowna traded F Jack Cowell, 19, to Kootenay for a third-round selection in the 2020 bantam draft. Cowell chose not to report and the deal was voided.)


Jeremy Fraser of the Cape Breton Post wrote an interesting piece this week about American players in the CHL. . . . It seems that QMJHL teams are struggling to attract Americans, especially from the New England area. . . . Using rosters as of Monday afternoon, Fraser reported that the QMJHL’s 18 teams had only seven American players on rosters. . . . The 20-team OHL, Don Cherry’s favourite junior league, was home to 52 American players at that point, while the WHL’s 22 teams had 37 on rosters as of Monday. . . . Fraser’s complete story is right here.


If you stop off here and enjoy what you see — or even if you don’t — feel free to click on the DONATE button over there on the right and make a contribution. Thanks in advance.


WEDNESDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

F Ryan Jevne’s second goal of the game gave the Medicine Hat Tigers a 6-5 OT victory Tigers Logo Officialover the Warriors in Moose Jaw. . . . Medicine Hat improved to 14-14-3. . . . Moose Jaw (15-7-4) has lost two in a row. . . . D Jett Woo had a goal, his fifth, and three assists for the Warriors. . . . D Joel Craven, playing only his third game after being out since Oct. 19, scored his first goal of the season for the Tigers. . . . F James Hamblin (14) gave the Tigers a 5-3 lead, on a PP, at 16:10 of the second period. . . . D Josh Brook (9) got Moose Jaw to within a goal, on a PP, at 18:08. . . . F Keennan Taphorn (7) pulled the Warriors into a tie at 4:01 of the third. . . . Jevne, who has 12 goals, won it on a PP at 1:16 of OT. He also had an assist. . . . D Daniel Baker scored his first career goal and added two assists for the Tigers. A 17-year-old freshman from Edmonton, Baker’s first goal and first multi-point night came in his 42nd game, 31 of them this season. . . . F Ryan Chyzowski had three assists for Medicine Hat. . . . Warriors F Tristin Langan scored his 19th goal and added an assist as he played his 200th regular-season game. . . . F Kjell Kjemhus, who was acquired this week from the Prince George Cougars, and F Luke Ormsby, who came over from the Everett Silvertips, both made their Moose Jaw debuts. . . . They started on a line with F Tate Popple, who was back after a one-game absence. . . . Ormsby’s fourth goal of the season, at 19:44 of the first period, cut into the Tigers’ 3-1 lead. . . . Medicine Hat, which held a 46-45 edge in shots, was 2-3 on the PP. The Warriors were 3-4.


The host Edmonton Oil Kings scored the game’s last six goals as they beat the Regina Pats, EdmontonOilKings6-1. . . . Edmonton (15-11-5) had lost its previous five games (0-3-2). . . . Regina (8-21-0) has lost six in a row. . . . F Riley Krane (4) gave the Pats a 1-0 lead at 8:00 of the first period. . . . But it was all Oil Kings after that point. . . . F Trey Fix Wolansky, who also had three assists, tied it with his 20th goal at 19:47. . . . F Dylan Guenther, the first overall selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft, broke the tie with his first career goal at 5:47, on a PP. Guenther scored in his third game; he also played on Nov. 2 and 3. . . . Guenther, from Edmonton, has 20 goals and 18 assists in 18 games with the Northern Alberta X-Treme prep team. . . . The Oil Kings were 3-5 on the PP. . . . F Vince Loschiavo scored his 13th goal and added two assists. . . . The Oil Kings were without F Vladimir Alistrov and F Andrei Pavlenko, both of whom are with the Belarusian team at the IIHF World Junior Championship (Division 1 Group A) that opens Sunday in Fussen, Germany. . . . Regina F Sebastian Streu also is there as he hopes to crack Germany’s roster.


F Dylan Cozens scored in OT to give the Lethbridge Hurricanes a 3-2 victory over the LethbridgeKootenay Ice in Cranbrook, B.C. . . . Lethbridge (15-8-5) has points in seven straight (6-0-1). . . . Kootenay (7-20-5) has lost 10 in a row (0-8-2). . . . The visitors took a 1-0 lead when D Alex Cotton (2) scored at 8:24 of the first period. . . . The Ice went in front on second-period goals from F Cole Muir (6) and F Jakin Smallwood (2). . . . F Jake Leschyshyn (18) got Lethbridge into a tie at 16:28 of the second. . . . Cozens won it with his 15th goal at 1:17 of extra time. . . . Leschyshyn also drew the primary assist on the winner. . . . The Hurricanes got 28 saves from G Reece Klassen, eight fewer than the Ice’s Jesse Makaj. . . . The Ice is without F Connor McClennon, who has one foot in a walking boot.


F Josh Pillar broke a 2-2 tie at 8:53 of the third period as the host Kamloops Blazers beat Kamloops1the Victoria Royals, 3-2. . . . Kamloops (12-11-2) has won three in a row, all at home where it is 5-6-1 after starting 2-6-1. . . . Victoria (13-11-0) has lost two in a row. . . . The Blazers overcame a 2-0 deficit to win this one. . . . Victoria led 2-0 on first-period goals from F D-Jay Jerome (12) and F Phillip Schultz (5). . . . F Kyrell Sopotyk (3) got the Blazers on the scoreboard at 7:07 of the second period. . . . F Jermaine Loewen (11) tied it, on a PP, at 8:53 of the third period. . . . Sopotyk set up the winner with a pass off a spin-o-rama in tight that Pillar was able to tuck into the net. . . . Kamloops lost F Jeff Faith to a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct for a hit on Victoria F Dante Hannoun after Pillar’s goal. . . . Moments after Pillar scored, Hannoun shoved him into the boards. Faith then came in and hit Hannoun from behind. . . . Kamloops was 1-6 on the PP; Victoria was 0-5, including a two-man advantage for 1:51. . . . The game featured a battle of two young goaltenders. With starters Griffen Outhouse (Victoria) and Dylan Ferguson (Kamloops) injured, Brock Gould, who turns 17 on Dec. 11, and Dylan Garand, 16, were the starters. . . . Garand, who is from Victoria, stopped 19 shots, while Gould turned aside 26. . . . Ferguson sat out a third straight game since being injured during a 3-1 loss to the Chiefs in Spokane on Nov. 24, while Outhouse also has missed three in a row. . . . Garand has won five straight starts and now is 5-1-1, 2.41, .912. . . . After the game, the Blazers returned G Rayce Ramsay to the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos, signalling that Ferguson is ready to return. . . . The Royals also continue to play without D Ralph Jarratt, who has gotten into only 11 games. For this one, they also scratched F Igor Martynov, who is in Fussen, Germany, with the Belarussian team that will play in the IIHF World Junior Championship (Division I Group) that begins Sunday in Fussen, Germany. Martynov snapped an 18-game goal-less drought in a 5-1 victory over the Cougars in Prince George on Saturday, then was blanked in a 5-3 loss on Sunday. . . . Victoria F Tanner Sidaway left the game in the last minute of the second period after falling awkwardly into the boards while killing a penalty. He looked to injury his left shoulder and crawled off the ice. . . . The Blazers won’t play at home again until Dec. 28. In the meantime, they’ll play six games in eight days on a Central Division trip that opens in Edmonton on Saturday.


The Kelowna Rockets scored the only two goals of a shootout to beat the visiting Tri-City KelownaRocketsAmericans, 4-3. . . . Kelowna (13-15-2) has points in three straight (2-0-1). . . . Tri-City has lost four in a row (0-2-2). . . . The Rockets held a 3-0 lead late in the second period on goals from F Erik Gardiner (5) and F Liam Kindree (6) in the first period, and F Nolan Foote (17), at 1:54 of the second. . . . The Americans got back into it with two PP goals from F Parker AuCoin, at 19:56 of the second and 8:53 of the third. He’s got 15 goals. . . . D Aaron Hyman (6) forced OT with a goal at 17:24. . . . That was Hyman’s first goal with the Americans, who acquired him from the Regina Pats. . . . Kelowna held a 3-1 edge in OT shots. . . . Kelowna shot first in the shootout and got goals from Foote and F Leif Mattson, their second and third shooters. . . . Tri-City was 2-7 on the PP; Kelowna was 0-2. . . .The Rockets got 28 saves from G James Porter. . . . G Talyn Boyko, who turned 16 on Nov. 16, made his second career start for the Americans. He made 24 saves. Boyko was a third-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft.


In Everett, the Silvertips built a 3-0 lead en route to a 4-2 victory over the Spokane Chiefs. Everett. . . Everett (23-7-1) has points in nine straight (8-0-1) and has closed to within six points of the Prince Albert Raiders (26-1-1), who lead the overall standings. The Raiders do hold three games in hand. . . . Spokane (14-10-4) has lost three straight (0-2-1). . . . The Silvertips grabbed a 3-0 lead on goals from F Jackson Berezowski (5), at 17:33 of the first period, and F Bryce Kindopp (11), at 1:47 of the second, and D Jake Christiansen (7), on a PP, at 14:48. . . . The Chiefs made it interesting with third-period PP goals from Ethan McIndoe (8), at 0:48, and F Riley Woods (21), at 9:26. . . . F Sean Richards (9) gave Everett some breathing room with an empty-netter, at 18:25. . . . F Max Patterson, acquired this week from the Swift Current Broncos, made his Everett debut and drew an assist on Berezowski’s goal. . . . G Dustin Wolf stopped 25 shots for Everett. He now is 21-7-1, 1.93, .923. . . . The Silvertips lost F Martin Fasko-Rudas aat 15:31 of the first period after he was hit in the neutral zone by Spokane F Egor Arbuzov, who was penalized for interference. . . . Former NHL D Kevin Bieksa took part in the ceremonial faceoff. He has been skating with the Silvertips as he prepares to play for Canada at the Spengler Cup that begins on Dec. 26 in Davos, Switzerland.


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Did Leason make the right choice? . . . Edmonton takes battle of Kings . . . Stankowski, Hitmen win in Portland


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Hockey or football? Football or hockey? . . . It’s not that long ago when Brett Leason was PrinceAlbertputting up pretty impressive numbers as a quarterback in peewee football. On top of that, his father, Darryl, was a superb university quarterback and, at 44, continues to play competitively. Still, Brett ended up choosing hockey and it would seem that he made the right decision. . . . After all, the Prince Albert Raiders forward went into Wednesday’s games leading the WHL in goals and points. . . . Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post has more on the Leasons right here.


Kelly Sowatsky, a fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins, needed a kidney transplant. So she showed up at a Penguins game on March 31 with a sign. She got a new kidney on Nov. 6. . . . Mike Brehm of USA Today has that story right here.


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WEDNESDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

F Quinn Benjafield scored twice to help the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings to a 4-1 victory EdmontonOilKingsover the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Edmonton (14-8-3) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). . . . Brandon (10-6-6) has lost two in a row. . . . F Stelio Mattheos (19) gave Brandon a 1-0 lead, on the PP, at 2:49 of the first period . . . Edmonton F Brett Kemp (16) got that one back at 4:50. . . . The Oil Kings took control with two more goals before the period ended. . . . Benjafield scored at 16:38 and F Trey Fix-Wolansky (14) made it 3-1, on a PP, at 19:21. . . . Benjafield, who has 10 goals, added an empty-netter at 19:52. . . . Fix-Wolansky also had an assist, moving back atop the WHL scoring race. He’s got 48 points, one more than the idle Brett Leason of the Prince Albert Raiders. Fix-Wolansky also leads the WHL in assists (34). . . . G Dylan Myskiw stopped 30 shots for Edmonton. The Oil Kings acquired Myskiw, 19, from Brandon on Sept 19, giving up a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft. With Edmonton, Myskiw is 11-5-2, 2.95, .905. . . . The Wheat Kings are without two of their top defencemen in Schael Higson and Braden Schneider.


G Carl Tetachuk stopped 35 shots to help the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 3-1 victory over Lethbridgethe Blades in Saskatoon. . . . Lethbridge (10-8-4) had lost its previous two games. . . . Saskatoon (14-8-2) had a four-game winning streak come to an end. . . . The Hurricanes scored the game’s last three goals after F Tristen Robins (3) gave the home boys a 1-0 lead at 19:07 of the first period. . . . F Jadon Joseph (10) tied it just 35 seconds later. . . . F Ty Kolle (5), who also had two assists, broke the tie at 3:17 of the third period. . . . F Jackson Shepard (1) got the empty-netter at 19:35. . . . Kolle has five goals and four assists in 15 games with Lethbridge after being acquired from the Portland Winterhawks. . . . The Blades will open a five-game B.C. Division swing in Prince George on Saturday night.


F Nolan Foote scored a pair of PP goals to lead the host Kelowna Rockets to a 3-2 victory KelownaRocketsover the Regina Pats. . . . The Rockets (10-13-1) have won two in a row. They also have won four straight at home. . . . The Pats (8-16-0) are 1-3-0 on a B.C. Division tour that concludes Friday in Prince George. . . . F Kyle Crosbie (3) and Foote gave the Rockets a 2-0 lead, before F Jake Leschyshyn (16) got the Pats to within one at 13:00 of the second period. That ran his point streak to 12 games. . . . Foote restored the two-goal lead with his 15th score at 18:23. . . . Regina D Aaron Hyman (5) got the Pats to within a goal, on a PP, at 19:01 of the third. . . . Finnish D Lassi Thomson, a freshman, had two assists for Kelowna. He’s got seven goals and 11 assists in 24 games.


The Calgary Hitmen erased a 1-0 deficit with three goals and went on to score a 3-2 Calgaryvictory over the Winterhawks in Portland. . . . Calgary (9-13-2) is 2-1-0 on a five-game trip through the U.S. Division. . . . Portland (13-8-2) has lost two in a row. . . . F Cody Glass (8) ran a point streak to 10 games as he gave his guys a 1-0 lead at 9:28 of the first period. . . . F Jake Kryski (11) got Calgary even, on a PP, at 5:42 of the second. . . . Hitmen F James Malm (12) broke the tie at 3:46 of the third period, and F Riley Stotts (6) made it 3-1 at 7:52. . . . D John Ludvig (1) scored at 15:17 as Portland got to within a goal. . . . Calgary was 1-3 on the PP and its penalty-killers were 5-5. . . . D Brendan De Jong was back in Portland’s lineup after a one-game absence. . . . The Hitmen got 38 saves from G Carl Stankowski. You will recall that Stankowski, then 16, wrote quite a story in the WHL playoffs in the spring of 2017 as he helped the Seattle Thunderbirds to a championship. He ran into injury and health problems and didn’t play last season, then was dealt to Calgary. The Hitmen are scheduled to visit the Thunderbirds on Friday night.


The Vancouver Giants opened a 3-0 lead and went on to beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 4-Vancouver2, in Kent, Wash. . . . Vancouver (15-6-2) had lost its previous two games. . . . Seattle now is 8-10-3. . . . The Giants got first-period goals from D Bowen Byram (7), on a PP, and D Dylan Plouffe (3). . . . F Milos Roman (11) made it 3-0, on another PP, at 3:54 of the second period. . . . F Nolan Volcan (5) got Seattle on the scoreboard, shorthanded, at 14:37. . . . However, F Lukas Svejkovsky (2) restored Vancouver’s three-goal lead at 14:13 of the third period. . . . F Zack Andrusiak (11) got Seattle’s second goal, on a PP, at 17:03. . . . Plouffe, who played in his 200th career game, has two goals and four assists in a four-game point streak. . . . G Trent Miner stopped 23 shots for Vancouver. . . . G David Tendeck was among the Giants’ scratches. With him on the shelf, the Giants had Braedy Euerby backing up Miner. Euerby, from Delta, B.C., was a fifth-round pick by Vancouver in the 2017 bantam draft. He plays for the Delta Hockey Academy prep team. . . . F Lucas Ciona made his WHL debut with the Thunderbirds. Ciona, 15, is from Edmonton. He was a second-round selection in the 2018 bantam draft. He has six goals and eight assists in 16 games with the Northern Alberta X-Treme prep team. He also has one assist in two games with the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints.


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When is .500 not a winning record? . . . Winterhawks ink two forwards . . . Fix-Wolansky leads charging Oil Kings


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The WHL standings include categories for points and winning percentage.

According to the latter, there are 15 teams in the 22-team league that have a record of whl.500 or better. That, of course, would seem to indicate that there are 15 teams that have won more games than they have lost.

That is because we are stuck in the quagmire brought on by the doling out of loser points. To date, WHL teams have banked 42 of those, with the Brandon Wheat Kings having six of them. Yes, they have lost three times in OT and three times in shootouts. The Wheat Kings’ record is 9-4-6, which, put another way, means they have lost one more game than they have won.

If you’re wondering how many of the 22 teams have won more games than they have lost, well, the answer would be nine. Yes, nine!

In the 10-team Western Conference, the Vancouver Giants, Everett Silvertips, Portland Winterhawks, Tri-City Americans and Victoria Royals have more victories than losses. In the 12-team Eastern Conference, only the Prince Albert Raiders, Red Deer Rebels, Edmonton Oil Kings and Saskatoon Blades fall in that category.

Such is life in the era of the loser point.


The Portland Winterhawks have signed F Jack O’Brien and F James Stefan, both of whom Portlandare playing in the U-15 Little Caesars midget program. Their Tier I team is ranked second in the U.S. . . . O’Brien, a 15-year-old from Denver, has six goals and 14 assists in 20 games. . . . In 25 games, Stefan, who is from Laguna, Calif., has 15 goals and 13 assists. Stefan, 15 is the son of Patrik Stefan, whose playing career included 455 NHL games — 414 with the Atlanta Thrashers and 41 with the Dallas Stars. Patrik now is the head coach of the Little Caesars midget team. . . . The then-Edmonton Ice selected Patrik in the 1997 CHL import draft but he never played in the WHL.


The Kootenay Ice has returned D Anson McMaster to the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers. KootenaynewMcMaster, 16, is pointless in three games with the Ice this season. He was a second-round pick by the Ice in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. . . . D Ben Zloty, 16, has gone back to the midget AAA Calgary Royals, while F Owen Pederson, 16, was returned to the prep team at OHA Edmonton. Pederson, a fifth-round selection in the 2017 bantam draft, is pointless in six games; Zloty, a sixth-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft, is pointless in three. . . . The Ice already has had 32 players dress for at least one game. . . . At 6-12-3, the Ice is three points out of the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, but has played five more games than the Moose Jaw Warriors (7-5-4), who are in possession of that berth, at least for now.


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The AJHL’s Lloydminster Bobcats have hired Nigel Dube, 30, as their general manager and head coach. He replaces Travis Clayton, who was fired on Friday while in his third season with the team. . . . Dube, who is from Lampman, Sask., was in his second season as the associate coach with the AJHL’s Camrose Kodiaks. Earlier, he spent four seasons as an assistant coach with the NAHL’s Minot, N.D., Minotauros. . . . The Bobcats are 5-15-1 and in last place in the eight-team Viterra North Division.


There was a neat story out of an OHL game between the Guelph Storm and ohlhost Windsor Spitfires on Saturday night. . . . Windsor won the game, 2-1, in a shootout and when it was over three goaltenders — two from the Storm — were introduced as the three stars. . . . Windsor’s Michael DiPietro was the first star, after stopping 31 shots. . . . Guelph starter Anthony Popovich blocked 28 shots and was selected as second star. . . . Nico Daws, Guelph’s backup on this night, was named the third star, despite not being credited with any playing time. . . . Daws came off the bench at 2:58 of OT and stopped Windsor F Cody Morgan on a penalty shot. On the play that led to the penalty shot, Morgan was hauled down from behind and fell into Popovich, who ended up with a broken skate blade. When the skate couldn’t be repaired quickly, referee Joe Celestin called for Daws to enter the game. . . . Daws stopped Morgan, and Popovich, a new blade in place, re-entered the game. . . . While Daws was announced as third star after the game, it appears to have been changed later because the OHL website now shows the third star as Windsor F Daniel D’Amico. He scored the winner in the eighth round of the shootout. . . . Tony Saxon of guelphtoday.com has the story right here.


MONDAY NIGHT HIGHLIGHTS:

F Trey Fix-Wolansky had a goal and two assists in leading the Edmonton Oil Kings to a 6-4 EdmontonOilKingsvictory over the Hurricanes in Lethbridge. . . . Edmonton (13-7-2) has points in nine straight games (8-0-1). The Oil Kings lead the Central Division by one point over the Red Deer Rebels (13-5-1), who hold three games in hand. . . . Lethbridge (8-6-4) was 1-0-1 in its previous two outings. . . . The same teams will be back at it Friday, again in Lethbridge. . . . Fix-Wolansky now leads the WHL in assists (32) and points (45). He has points in 10 straight games, with seven goals and 20 assists in that run. . . . Fix-Wolansky (13) broke a 2-2 tie at 7:19 of the second period, while shorthanded, and D Conner McDonald (6) made it 4-2, on a PP, at 19:42. . . . The Hurricanes got to within a goal just 53 seconds into the third period when F Zachary Cox scored, but F Vince Loschiavo (10) got that one back for Edmonton at 9:39. . . . Cox (6) made it a one-goal game again, at 11:16, but the Oil Kings got insurance from F Jalen Luypen (2) at 18:30. . . . F Brett Kemp scored his 15th goal and added two assists for the winners, with F Quinn Benjafield earning three assists. . . . Lethbridge F Jadon Joseph had his point streak snapped at 11 games. He had nine goals and six assists in that time.


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WJC in Everett/Seattle? Why not in 2025? . . . Paddock, Farkas put up clean sheets . . . Silvertips roll past Thunderbirds


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F Johannes Salmonsson (Spokane, 2005-06) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Timrå (Sweden, SHL). Last season, he had five goals and seven assists in 52 games with the Iserlohn Roosters (Germany, DEL).


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As was reported earlier in the week, Team USA will stop off in Everett and Kamloops before starting play in the 2019 World Junior Championship that opens in Vancouver and 2019wjcVictoria on Dec. 26.

Team USA will hold its selection camp at the Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett from Dec. 14-18, and then will go to Kamloops for its pre-tournament camp from Dec. 19-23.

While this is big news for Kamloops, it is huge news for the Pacific Northwest. In fact, I would suggest that the World Junior Championship will be held in Everett and Seattle in 2025, that is if everything goes according to plan and Seattle has an NHL franchise at the time.

Why 2025? Because that’s the next time the tournament is scheduled to be held in the U.S.

The Silvertips are owned by Consolidated Sports Holding (CSH).

“That’s the whole underlying thing,” Zoran Rajcic, the COO of CSH, told Josh Horton of the Everett Herald, “to not only help them out in a close location to where they’re going to be for this year’s World Juniors, (but get) a chance for us to sit down with USA Hockey (to find out) if they’d consider us hosting a future World Juniors in Everettt.”

John Vanbiesbrouck, the former NHL goaltender who is in his first go-round as general manager of USA Hockey’s national junior team, told Horton:

“We’re still a ways out. But we’re also looking at the impact that Seattle is going to have on the NHL and, between Seattle and Everett, it’s certainly a possibility and something that we haven’t had on the West Coast for some time, if ever. It’s lining up to be a decent fit and hopefully we can take (a look) as it gets closer at it becoming a reality.”

Gord Miller of TSN tweeted on Feb. 12 that the IIHF has reportedly picked these host countries for the next 14 WJCs:

2019: Vancouver and Victoria.

2020: Czech Republic

2021: Canada

2022: Sweden

2023: Russia

2024: Canada

2025: U.S.

2026: Canada

2027: Finland

2028: Czech Republic

2029: Canada

2030: USA

2031: Russa

2032: Canada


There has been ample speculation that an arena will be built in Winnipeg and that it Kootenaynewwould eventually be home to the Kootenay Ice, a WHL team that presently plays in Cranbrook, B.C. . . . The Ice’s owners, Greg Fettes and Matt Cockell, both were in Winnipeg when they purchased the franchise prior to the 2016-17 season. Cockell relocated to Cranbrook, with his family, as president and general manager. . . . The Winnipeg Free Press reported recently that the Ice would move to Winnipeg, likely in time for next season, and that the team would play out of an arena on the campus of the U of Manitoba until a 5,000-seat arena, built in conjunction to the Rink Hockey Academy, was ready for use. . . . Mike Sawatzky, who has been covering this story for the Free Press, reported Saturday:

“Reeve Brad Erb, who was recently re-elected, told the Free Press this week he has not been approached by representatives of the WHL’s Kootenay Ice for approval to build an arena adjacent to the Rink Hockey Academy (RHA) on the west end of South Landing and just off McGillivray Boulevard.

“A new facility for the RHA, which is currently under construction, lies within the municipality’s boundries.”

Erb told Sawatzky: “I’ve not officially had any introduction or conversation with anyone regarding a Western Hockey League team. I’m more curious than anything about some of the rumours that are out there and whether there’s any truth to them or not. That’s kinda where we stand.”

Sawatzky’s story is right here.


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SATURDAY NIGHT HIGHLIGHTS:

F Reese Johnson’s shootout goal gave the visiting Red Deer Rebels a 4-3 victory over the Red DeerMoose Jaw Warriors. . . . Red Deer improved to 12-5-1, while Moose Jaw now is 7-5-4. . . . The Warriors erased a 3-1 deficit in the final 2:04 of the third period. . . . F Ryan Peckford (4) got Moose Jaw to within a goal at 17:56, with his second goal of the game, and F Daniil Stepanov (3) tied it at 18:26. . . . Johnson was the first shooter in the fourth round of the shootout. F Oleg Zaytsev had scored for Red Deer in the second round, with F Peckford quickly replying for the Warriors. . . . F Jeff de Wit scored his 12th goal for Red Deer as he ran his goal streak to six games. He has 12 goals in 18 games; he went into this season with 30 goals in 247 career regular-season games. Last season, de Wit finished with 11 goals in 43 games — one goal in seven games with the Regina Pats, two in 15 with the Kootenay Ice and eight in 21 with the Victoria Royals. He also had an assist last night, and now has 21 points, two shy of his career high, in 70 games, with Red Deer in 2015-16. . . . The Rebels were without D Jacob Herauf, who was injured during a 6-3 loss to the Wheat Kings in Brandon on Friday. . . . F Justin Almeida was among Moose Jaw’s scratches. He suffered an undisclosed injury while playing for Team WHL in the CIBC Canada Russia Series in Kamloops on Monday. . . . The Rebels will meet the Broncos in Swift Current this afternoon in what will be the third game in fewer than 48 hours for both teams.


G Max Paddock stopped 20 shots to record his first WHL shutout as the host Regina Pats Patsgot past the Swift Current Broncos, 2-0. . . . The Pats (7-12-0) have won three in a row and four of five. . . . The Broncos (3-16-0) had lost two in a row. They have been blanked three times this season. . . . These teams have met three times this season and the Pats have won all three. . . . F Jake Leschyshyn (13) gave Regina a 1-0 lead at 19:22 of the first period, and F Scott Mahovlich (3) got the insurance marker at 2:03 of the second. . . . Paddock’s first shutout came in his 54th regular-season appearance. This season, he is 5-10-0, 3.82, .883. . . . Among the Broncos scratches were F Owen Blocker and D Garrett Sambrook, with undisclosed injuries, and D Matthew Stanley, who is ill and missed a second straight game. . . . The Pats will play their next six games on the road; they next play at home on Dec. 1.


The Saskatoon Blades got 31 saves from G Nolan Maier as they beat the Kootenay Ice, 2-1, Saskatoonin Cranbrook, B.C. . . . The Blades (12-7-2) have won two in a row. . . . The Ice (6-11-3) has lost four straight. . . . F Gary Haden (6) opened the scoring, giving Saskatoon the lead at 8:41 of the first period. That was his fifth goal in eight games since being acquired from the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . The Ice tied it when F Cole Muir (4) scored at 18:59. . . . Saskatoon D Seth Bafaro (2) broke the tie at 4:29 of the second period. . . . Maier was named the game’s first star for the second night in a row. On Friday, he turned aside 35 shots in a 3-1 victory over the Tigers in Medicine Hat. . . . This season, Maier is 10-5-1, 2.84, .910. . . . Kootenay D Jonathan Smart played in his 200th regular-season game. A 19-year-old from Kelowna, he also has played with the Rockets (68 games) and Regina Pats (64 games).


F Brett Kemp started the scoring and he ended it as the Edmonton Oil Kings beat the host EdmontonOilKingsMedicine Hat Tigers, 4-3, in OT. . . . Edmonton (12-7-2) has points in eight straight (7-0-1). . . . Medicine Hat (9-8-3) has lost two in a row. . . . Kemp, who has 14 goals, gave Edmonton a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 9:20 of the second period and he won it at 1:11 of extra time. . . . These teams went into the third period tied 1-1. . . . D Trevor Longo’s first WHL goal gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead at 5:50. . . . The Oil Kings went ahead 3-2 on PP goals from F Vince Loschiavo (9), at 8:21, and F Andrei Pavlenko (5), at 11:19. . . . Medicine Hat forced OT when F Hayden Ostir (7) scored, on a PP, at 13:50. . . . F Trey Fix-Wolansky of the Oil Kings had two assists and moved into the lead in the WHL scoring race, He has 42 points, two more than F Brett Leason of the Prince Albert Raiders, who didn’t play last night. Fix-Wolansky has a WHL-high 30 assists.


G Shane Farkas blocked 26 shots in earning his first shutout of the season as the Portland PortlandWinterhawks beat the visiting Kelowna Rockets, 3-0. . . . Portland (11-6-1) has won four straight. . . . Kelowna (8-11-0) had won its previous four games. . . . This was the Rockets’ first loss under head coach Adam Foote, who had been 4-0-0 since replacing Jason Smith. . . . Farkas had three shutouts last season. . . . F Joachim Blickfeld (15), who was credited with 10 shots on goal, gave Portland a 1-0 lead at 3:20 of the first period. He also had two assists. . . . F Cody Glass (7) made it 2-0 at 6:43 of the second period, with F Reece Newkirk (11) putting it away at 11:04 of the third. . . . Portland finished with a 50-26 edge in shots. . . . Blichfeld has 38 points in 18 games. . . . Glass has 31 points in 15 games. . . . The same teams meet again today in Portland.


F Connor Dewar scored twice to lead the Everett Silvertips to a 5-1 victory over the EverettSeattle Thunderbirds in Kent, Wash. . . . Everett (13-6-0) has won three straight and leads the U.S. Division. . . . The Silvertips, who now have won six straight on the road, have won both meetings with the Thunderbirds this season. . . . Seattle (7-8-2) has lost five in a row. . . . Everett took control of this game in the first period, when it outshot Seattle, 18-1, and emerged with a 3-0 lead. . . . Dewar, who has 14 goals, got it started at 2:57, with F Jalen Price (1) scoring at 7:44, and D Wyatte Wylie (3) making it 3-0 at 18:19. . . . Dewar made it 4-0 at 5:59 of the third period. . . .  Everett F Akash Bains was among the scratches. He scored twice in Kamloops on Friday night before leaving with an apparent knee injury. . . . The Silvertips, 6-1 victors over the Blazers in Kamloops on Friday night, are back in Kamloops today for a 5 p.m. start.


G Trent Miner turned aside 32 shots to lead the Vancouver Giants to a 2-1 victory over Vancouverthe Prince George Cougars in Langley, B.C. . . . Vancouver (13-3-2) has won three in a row. . . . Prince George (7-8-3) had won its previous two games. . . . These teams will play again this afternoon in Langley. . . . Miner’s evening included 17 saves in the third period. . . . F Connor Bowie (1) have the Cougars a 1-0 lead at 6:10 of the first period. . . . The Giants won it with second-period goals from F Tyler Ho (1), at 11:44, and F Cyle McNabb (1), at 15:07.


D Filip Kral had a goal and two assists to help the Spokane Chiefs to a 7-2 victory over the SpokaneChiefsRoyals in Victoria. . . . The Chiefs (9-7-3) had lost three in a row. . . . The Royals (10-6-0) had beaten the visiting Chiefs, 7-5, on Friday night. . . . F Luke Toporowski (6) of the Chiefs broke a 1-1 tie on a PP, at 13:38 of the first period. . . . Kral got his first goal of the season at 18:53. . . . F Eli Zummack (7) made it 3-1 just nine seconds into the second period as the Chiefs took control. . . . Kral drew assists on the goals by Toporowski and Zummack. . . . The Chiefs finished with two empty-net goals. . . . F Jake McGrew, who played for the Chiefs on Friday, was scratched from this one. He’s got six goals and nine assists in 16 games.


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Letter-writing time in Ontario . . . Jones close to KIJHL milestone . . . Raiders’ victory streak now at 10


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So . . . early in the week, David Branch, the OHL’s commissioner, penned an open letter directed at the Ontario government, stating that his league’s players should be exempt ohlfrom the province’s minimum-wage legislation because they are student-athletes and not employees.

On Tuesday, Michael Tibollo, Ontarios’ minister of tourism, culture and sport, wrote an open letter pledging his support and, presumably, that of the provincial government.

Then it seems it was the turn of Goldblatt Partners, the Toronto law firm that represents an untold number of former and present players who filed a class-action lawsuit against the OHL — and the WHL — asking that, among other things, players be paid minimum wage.

Joshua Mandryk, a lawyer with Goldblatt, wrote that OHL teams are owned by companies “who make money, big money in most cases, from the players’ work — work that the owners and the media like to call ‘play’ . . . Virtually all (OHL teams) are owned by private companies that are able to hide their books, and their profits, from the players, from their employees.

“Other multi-million dollar employers don’t get to avoid paying the employees who drive their revenue. Paying wages is part of doing business. Why should the OHL be any different?”

Rick Westhead of TSN has more on this story right here.


Terry Jones, the head coach of the junior B Beaver Valley Nitehawks, who play in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, went into Friday night with 998 career victories — 759 of the regular-season variety and 239 from playoff games. . . . Jones, 52, is in his 23rd season with the Nitehawks. Imagine that . . . 23 seasons with one team. Amazing! . . . As a player, he spent two seasons (1982-84) with the Portland Winterhawks.

“When I started coaching, well before the Nitehawks, it was a ‘winning is everything’ attitude,” Jones told Jim Bailey of the Trail Times. “Now I’ve flip-flopped and believe coaching is more about developing young men into adults and good citizens, and hockey is the vehicle we do that. As a result of that attitude, we’ve won a lot of games, we’ve won some championships.

“When you change your goals of winning to just building a good team, a good group of guys that care about each other, I think anything can happen.”

Bailey’s complete story is right here and it is a great read about a remarkable man.


The Edmonton Oil Kings have acquired D Parker Gavlas, 19, from the Regina Pats for an eighth-round pick in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft. . . . The Pats, who acquired D Kyle Walker, 18, from the Everett Silvertips on Thursday, were carrying nine defencemen, so this kind of move was hardly a surprise. At the same time, the Oil Kings’ roster included only six healthy defencemen. . . . Gavlas, from Saskatoon, had one assist in 12 games with the Pats. Last season, he was pointless in eight games with Regina.


The AJHL’s Lloydminster Bobcats have fired general manager/head coach Travis Clayton. He was in his second season with the Bobcats. . . . According to a post on the team’s website, “IHD and Lance Ward will provide interim coaching support . . . while the organization seeks a new head coach and general manager.” . . . IHD is Impact Hockey Development and Ward, a former WHLer (Red Deer Rebels, 1994-98), is a lead instructor in Lloydminster. . . . At the time of the move, the Bobcats were 5-13-1 and in last place in the eight-team Viterra AJHL North Division. . . . On Friday night, the Bobcats dropped a 6-2 decision to the host Sherwood Park Crusaders.


Dinamo Minsk of the KHL has fired head coach Gordie Dwyer, along with assistant coaches Sergey Stas and Konstantin Koltsov, goaltending coach Andrey Kudin and trainer Gennady Lyango. . . . Dinamo was seven points out of a Western Conference playoff spot at the time. . . . Dwyer, 40, was in his second season as Dinamo’s head coach. . . . No replacements were named.


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FRIDAY NIGHT HIGHLIGHTS:

In Brandon, the Wheat Kings erased a 2-0 second-period deficit with five straight goals BrandonWKregularen route to a 6-3 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Brandon improved to 9-4-5. This was Brandon’s first home game since Oct. 20. The Wheat Kings went 2-3-2 on a seven-game trek that included a 2-2-1 record in the B.C. Division. . . . Red Deer (11-5-1) had won its previous three games. . . . F Brandon Hagel (13) and F Arshdeep Bains (3) gave Red Deer a 2-0 lead early in the second period. . . . F Lynden McCallum (4) got the Wheat Kings started at 10:10 and F Stelio Mattheos (17) tied it on a PP at 15:26. That was his 100th regular-season goal. Mattheos also had two assists. . . . D Neithan Salame’s first goal, at 17:04, made it 3-2 and F Marcus Sekundiak (2) scored what proved to be the winner at 8:41 of the third. . . . The Wheat Kings got 40 stops from G Jiri Patera. . . . Brandon lost F Linden McCorrister to a charging major and game misconduct for a hit on Red Deer F Jacob Herauf at 4:47 of the first period. Herauf needed help getting off the ice and was taken to hospital “where he remained for several hours” with an undisclosed injury, according to Greg Meachem of reddeerrebels.com. . . . Meachem’s story is right here.


F Noah Gregor, F Kody McDonald and F Sean Montgomery each scored twice as the PrinceAlbertPrince Albert Raiders beat the visiting Swift Current Broncos, 6-2. . . . The Raiders (17-1-0) have won 10 in a row. . . . The Broncos (3-15-1) had points in each of their previous three games (2-0-1). . . . F Eric Houk (2) got the Broncos to within a goal, at 3-2, at 18:17 of the second period. The Raiders, who had a 43-19 edge in shots, put it away with the next three goals. . . . Houk’s father, Rod, was a goaltender who played two seasons (1987-89) with the Regina Pats. . . . McDonald (3), playing his first game after missing eight, got his second of the night at 18:31 of the second. . . . Gregor (8) upped it to 5-2 at 2:11 of the third period. . . . Gregor also had three assists for a five-point outing. . . . F Brett Leason of the Raiders ran his point streak to 18 games with an assist on F Sean Montgomery’s eighth goal just eight seconds into the second period. Leason has at least one point in each of the Raiders’ 18 games this season. . . . Montgomery scored his ninth goal at 14:13 of the third period, on a PP. . . . The Raiders brought in D Nolan Allan for his fourth game and he picked up his first WHL point, an assist, on McDonald’s first goal. Allan, 15, was the third overall selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. From Davidson, Sask., Allan plays for the midget AAA Saskatoon Blazers. . . . The Broncos were without D Matthew Stanley (ill) and D Garrett Sambrook (undisclosed injury). . . . Jeff D’Andrea of panow.com was at the game and has a story right here.


F Jake Leschyshyn scored three goals and F Nick Henry had four assists to lead the host PatsRegina Pats to a 5-1 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . Regina (6-12-0) has won two in a row. . . . Tri-City (10-5-0) had won its previous six games. This was Game 6 of an 11-game road trip for the Americans, who are 5-0-0 since last playing at home on Oct. 19. They next are scheduled to play at home on Nov. 23. . . . The Pats got started 30 seconds into the first period when F Austin Pratt (9) scored. . . . Leschyshyn made it 2-0 at 2:36, scored his second at 15:53 of the second period, for a 4-0 lead, and completed the hat trick with his 12th goal of the season at 7:27 of the third. . . . Regina got 39 saves from G Max Paddock. . . . Pats D Aaron Hyman had three assists; he’s got four goals and 16 assists in 18 games. Last season, in 26 games with the Seattle Thunderbirds and 28 with Regina, he totalled three goals and 10 assists.


F Liam Keeler broke a 2-2 tie late in the second period and the Edmonton Oil Kings went EdmontonOilKingson to beat the Kootenay Ice, 5-2, in Cranbrook, B.C. . . . The Oil Kings (11-7-1) have points in seven straight (6-0-1). . . . The Ice (6-10-3) has lost three in a row. . . . Kootenay erased a 2-0 deficit to tie the game on F Jaeger White’s 11th goal at 9:01 of the second period. . . . Keeler’s third goal, at 19:01 of the second, stood up as the winner. . . . F Quinn Benjafield had a goal, his eighth, and two assists for Edmonton. . . . F Vince Loschiavo returned to Edmonton’s lineup after a five-game absence. . . . F Tyler Horstmann, 16, scored his first WHL goal in his first game with the Oil Kings, who selected him in the fourth round of the 2017 bantam draft. From Richmond, B.C., Horstmann plays for the Delta Hockey Academy’s prep team.


F Jadon Joseph of Lethbridge ran his point streak to 11 games as the Hurricanes doubled Lethbridgethe visiting Calgary Hitmen, 4-2. . . . Lethbridge (8-5-4) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). . . . Calgary (5-12-2) has lost three in a row. . . . Joseph scored the game’s first goal, his ninth, at 1:01 of the first period. He has nine goals and six assists during his streak. . . . D Calen Addison (4) gave the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead at 8:13 of the second period and D Alex Cotton (1) made it 3-1 at 12:31. . . . Each team was assessed one minor penalty. . . . Calgary had a 36-19 edge in shots, but Lethbridge G Reece Klassen was solid.


F Max Gerlach and F Gary Haden scored against their former team as the Saskatoon SaskatoonBlades beat the Tigers, 3-1, in Medicine Hat. . . . Saskatoon improved to 11-7-2. . . . The Tigers now are 9-8-2. . . . F Josh Williams (3) gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead at 10:03 of the first period. . . . Gerlach, who was acquired from the Tigers in January, got his 13th goal, on a PP, at 17:57 of the second period. . . . Haden’s fifth goal — his fourth with the Blades since being acquired in a deal this season — turned into the winner at 5:31 of the third. . . . This was the first appearance in Medicine Hat as visiting players by Gerlach and Haden. . . . F Logan Christensen, who went the other way in the Haden deal, was pointless. . . . The Blades got 35 stops from G Nolan Maier.


The Everett Silvertips scored five PP goals as they beat the Blazers, 6-1, in Kamloops. . . . EverettEverett (12-6-0) has won two straight. . . . Kamloops (6-8-2) has lost three in a row (0-2-1). . . . At 10:32 of the second period, the Silvertips had a 6-0 lead and had outshot the Blazers, 22-3. . . . F Sean Richards (3) got Everett rolling, on a PP, at 4:02 of the first period. . . . F Akash Bains then scored twice, at 10:29 on a PP, and at 1:41 of the second, for a 3-0 lead. He’s got four goals. However, he wasn’t on the bench for the third period after leaving while appearing to favour a knee in the second. . . . Everett finished 5-for-8 on the PP. . . . The Silvertips got four assists from D Gianni Fairbrother. . . . When Max Palaga entered the game for Everett to start the second period, it marked the first time this season that a goaltender other than Dustin Wolf was in the Silvertips’ goal. . . . Palaga, who is from Kamloops, spent last season with the Blazers, but was cut early this season. He was with the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers when the Blazers dealt him to Everett on Oct. 29 for a sixth-round selection in the 2020 bantam draft. . . . Palaga stopped seven of eight shots, after Wolf turned aside all six shots he faced. . . . Kamloops G Dylan Ferguson was beaten six times on 22 shots. He came out at 10:32 of the second, with Rayce Ramsay going in to make his WHL debut. He was perfect in stopping 14 shots. . . . Ramsay, 17, is with the Blazers while G Dylan Garand is at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge. When Garand returns, Ramsay will go back to the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos. . . . D Artyom Minulin, 20, had one assist in his debut with the Silvertips. He had been acquired from the Swift Current Broncos. This was Minulin’s first game after he had off-season shoulder surgery. . . . Part of the game was played with two referees and one linesman after Nick Bilko left with a knee injury. He was injured when he got caught up in traffic along the boards in the middle of the first period. Nick Panter entered late in the second period to replace Bilko. . . . Former Blazers head coach Guy Charron was in the press box, helping the team’s new coaching staff as an eye in the sky. He also has been on the ice during recent practices. . . . The Silvertips left immediately after the game as they are to meet the Seattle Thunderbirds in Kent, Wash., tonight. Everett then returns to Kamloops for a Sunday evening game. The Blazers don’t play tonight.


The Kelowna Rockets scored the game’s first three goals en route to a 3-1 victory over the KelownaRocketsSeattle Thunderbirds in Kent, Wash. . . . The Rockets (8-10-0) have won four in a row and seven of their last nine. . . . Five of Kelowna’s victories have come on the road. . . . Seattle (7-7-2) has lost four in a row. . . . F Kyle Topping scored Kelowna’s first goal, on a PP, at 10:44 of the first period. He ran his goal-scoring streak to five games and his point streak to 12 games. . . . D Libor Zabransky (2) upped it to 2-0 at 3:10 of the second period. . . . F Nolan Foote (11) made it 3-0 at 4:57. Foote has eight goals in a six-game goal-scoring streak. . . . F Zack Andrusiak (7) scored for Seattle at 15:03 of the second. . . . Kelowna D Dalton Gally was hit with an interference major and game misconduct at 7:59 of the second period after a hit on Seattle F Jaxan Kaluski. . . . Kelowna is 4-0 since Adam Foote replaced the fired Jason Smith as head coach. . . . The Rockets opened a six-game road trip with this one; they’ll play those six games in nine nights. . . . The trip continues with games in Portland tonight and Sunday.


The host Victoria Royals scored nine seconds into the game and went on to a 7-5 victory VictoriaRoyalsover the Spokane Chiefs. . . . The Royals (10-5-0) had lost their previous two games. . . . The Chiefs (8-7-3) have lost three in a row. . . . F Tarun Fizer (2) got the Royals going with the early goal. . . . The WHL record for fastest goal to start a game? Dean Sexsmith of the Seattle Thunderbirds scored five seconds into a 7-6 victory over the visiting Victoria Cougars on Jan. 30, 1987. . . . The Royals went ahead 2-0 when F D-Jay Jerome scored at 1:55. . . . The Chiefs would trail 2-1, 3-2, 4-3 and 5-4, but weren’t able to equalize. . . . Jerome, who also had an assist, got his second goal of the game, and 10th of the season, at 10:20 of the third period for a 6-4 lead and D Scott Walford (1) added insurance at 13:43. . . . The Royals got three assists from F Sean Gulka, who, as you will have noticed from the above tweet, had some fans in the stands. He went into the game with two assists in 11 regular-season games, eight of them with the Chiefs. . . . F Brandon Cutler added a goal, his fifth, and two assists for Victoria. . . . F Riley Woods scored twice and added an assist for Spokane. He’s got six goals and three assists over his past four games. . . . Victoria D Ralph Jarratt (foot) is on the shelf for the second time this season. According to the team, this one could keep him out for up to six weeks. . . . F Dante Hannoun, who missed three games, and F Kaid Oliver, who missed one, both were back in the Royals’ lineup. . . . Hannoun scored his seventh goal and added an assist.


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Minulin ready so Silvertips move Walker to Pats . . . Ontario gov’t set to back OHL . . . Team USA will camp out in Everett and Kamloops


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With D Artyom Minulin poised to make his Everett debut, the Silvertips have traded D EverettKyle Walker to the Regina Pats for a fifth-round pick in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft. . . . The draft pick originated with the Medicine Hat Tigers. The Pats acquired it in a deal on May 23, 2017 that also included F Matt Bradley and a second-round selection in the 2018 bantam draft moving to Regina and G Jordan Hollett going to Medicine Hat. . . . Walker, an 18-year-old list player from Leduc, Alta., was pointless in 14 games with Everett this season. Last season, he had a goal and five assists in 50 games. . . . The Pats are scheduled to play the visiting Tri-City Americans tonight. . . .

Minulin, a 20-year-old Russian, was acquired from the Swift Current Broncos on Oct. 31 in exchange for D Alex Moar, 17, and an eighth-round pick in the 2021 bantam draft. Minulin has yet to play this season after undergoing off-season shoulder surgery. . . . He now has been cleared to play and has his immigration status looked after, so could play tonight against the Blazers in Kamloops. He was in Vancouver dealing with paperwork on Wednesday and was to meet the Silvertips in Kamloops on Thursday night. . . . In 206 regular-season games over three seasons with the Broncos, he had 26 goals and 100 assists.


Here’s Ken Campbell of The Hockey News:

“It should come as absolutely no surprise that it appears the Ontario government has quickly and unconditionally thrown its support behind the Ontario League’s attempts to prevent its players from making minimum wage. This is the same government that, early in its mandate, effectively killed Bill 148, which would have raised the minimum wage from $14 an hour to $15 an hour, along with granting two paid sick days, 10 emergency leave days and pay equity for casual and part-time workers. It was a move that prompted the president of the Ontario Federation of Labor to declare premier Doug Ford, ‘an enemy of workers.’”

Campbell’s complete piece is right here and there is input from a few agents, including one who makes quite a point in the last paragraph.


USA Hockey’s national junior team will train in Everett and Kamloops prior to the start of the 2019 World Junior Championship in Victoria and Vancouver. . . . Team USA will be in Everett from Dec. 14 through Dec. 18, then move to Kamloops and work there from Dec. 19 through Dec. 23. . . . The tournament is scheduled to open on Dec. 26. . . . Team USA’s training camp roster will be announced early in December.



Due to Justin Timberlake’s bruised vocal cords, the Prince Albert Raiders and Edmonton Oil Kings have had to reschedule a game in February. Timberlake was to have performed in Edmonton on Nov. 4 and 5, but was forced to postpone the stops on his Man of the Woods Tour because of bruised vocal cords. . . . The Edmonton stops now have been rescheduled for Feb. 6 and 7. . . . The game between the Raiders and Oil Kings that was to have been played on Feb. 6 at Rogers Place has been moved to Feb. 4.


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The junior B Campbell River Storm of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League announced late Wednesday night that it and general manager/head coach Lee Stone “have mutually agreed to part ways.” . . . Bill Brett has taken over as general manager, with Cam Basarab the head coach. . . . Brett had been an assistant coach, while Basarab was assistant GM/assistant coach. . . . “Stone, while pursuing other opportunities, will stay on board as a senior advisor to the owner and staff, shifting his focus to running a successful Cyclone Taylor Cup,” reads the announcement that ended with this: “There will be no further comment from the club.” . . . At the time of the moves, the Storm was 14-6-1 and leading the North Division standings by eight points over the Nanaimo Buccaneers.


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