Silvertips keep title hopes alive . . . WHL final headed back to Swift Current . . . Humboldt Broncos will be back on ice in 2018-19

MacBeth

D Lukáš Bohunický (Kootenay, 2005-07) signed a one-year contract extension with Dukla Trenčín (Slovakia, Extraliga). He had three assists in 56 games. . . .

D Jesse Craige (Lethbridge, Chilliwack, 2004-10) signed a two-year contract extension with the Guildford Flames (England, UK Elite). The team captain, he had 11 goals and 52 assists in 56 games. He was named to the UK Elite League’s first all-star team. He led defencemen in assists and points, and was second overall in assists in the entire league. . . .

G Kevin Nastiuk (Medicine Hat, 2001-05) signed a one-year contract extension with the Coventry Blaze (England, UK Elite). In 56 games, he was 3.12 and .900. He was named Coventry’s player of the year by his teammates. Nastiuk is studying at Coventry Business School while playing for the Blaze.


ThisThat

The WHL’s championship final for the Ed Chynoweth Cup will be decided in Swift Current. The host Everett Silvertips beat the Broncos, 6-3, on Friday night, leaving Swift EdChynowethCupCurrent with a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series. . . . They’ll play Game 6 on Sunday night, with Game 7, if needed, scheduled for Monday. . . . The Memorial Cup begins Friday (May 18) in Regina. . . . Last night, Everett took a 2-0 lead on first-period goals from F Wyatte Wylie (2), on a PP, at 6:19, and F Matt Fonteyne (9), at 16:07. . . . F Glenn Gawdin, who scored three times in the Broncos’ 3-2 OT victory in Game 4, pulled his guys even by scoring, on a PP, at 17:50 of the first and at 6:37 of the second period. He’s got 14 goals. . . . F Sean Richards (4) gave the Silvertips a 3-2 lead at 4:48 of the third period, with F Riley Sutter (9) upping it to 4-2 at 6:09. Sutter also had two assists. . . . D Noah King pulled the Broncos to within one  when he scored his first WHL goal at 12:51. . . . Everett hung on, though, and put it away with a pair of empty-netters from F Connor Dewar, who now has 12 goals. . . . G Carter Hart stopped 21 shots to earn the victory over Stuart Skinner, who made 34 saves. . . . Both teams were 1-3 on the PP. . . . The referees were Jeff Ingram and Reagan Vetter. . . . Announced attendance: 6,628.


The Lethbridge Hurricanes have signed F Zack Stringer, who was the eighth overall selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. Stringer, from Lethbridge, had 30 points, including 17 goals, with the midget AAA Hurricanes despite playing with them as an underage. He added 16 points, 11 of them goals, in 10 playoff games, then had seven goals and three assists at the Telus Cup national championship tournament.



The Humboldt Broncos made it official on Friday — they will ice a team for the SJHL’s 2018-19 season. Darcy Haugan, their general manager and head coach, was one of the 16 people who died when the team’s bus was involved in a crash on April 6. The Broncos posted the GM/head coach position yesterday. . . . The team will hold a player camp in Saskatoon, May 25-27, that will be by invitation only and will be closed to the public and media. . . . Kevin Mitchell of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix has more right here.


Kevin Mitchell of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix spent some time with Kaleb Dahlgren, a survivor of the Humboldt Broncos’ bus crash, the other day. Dahlgren has been at home since April 27, and these days he’s looking back but mostly ahead. . . . Mitchell’s piece is right here.

On Friday, it was revealed that Dahlgren plans to attend York U in Toronto and play for the Lions. Mark Cross, the Humboldt assistant coach who was one of 16 people who died because of the bus crash, also attended York. “My goal,” Dahlgren, 20, tweeted, “is to attend York in the fall of this year. However, the school has assured me I can begin whenever my body is ready.”


Dave Hunchak, who has coached in the WHL with the Moose Jaw Warriors and Kamloops Blazers, also worked with the SJHL’s Kindersley Klippers and has been inducted into the SJHL Hall of Fame. He also has had issues with mental wellness and depression and all that goes with it. So when he was asked to go to Humboldt and help out following the Broncos’ bus crash on April 6, he didn’t hesitate. . . . Allan Maki of The Globe and Mail has more right here.


The Humboldt Broncos and the SJHL may be on the verge of lawyering up as they scrap for control of the #HumboldtStrong hashtag that has shown up on t-shirts and other merchandise following the April 6 bus crash. Geoff Lee of CBC News reports that the SJHL has applied for the trademark, but the Broncos want it. . . . That piece is right here.


The Prince George Cougars are in the midst of a shakeup, there having been a change at the top of the ownership group and, of course, general manager Todd Harkins lost his job. . . . Ted Clarke of the Prince George Citizen examines all of that right here, and also talks with John Pateman, the organization’s new president, about the past, present and future.


The Edmonton Oil Kings have signed F Dylan Guenther and D Keagan Slaney, their two EdmontonOilKingsfirst-round selections in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. . . . Guenther, from Edmonton, was the first overall selection; Slaney, from Airdrie, Alta., was taken with the 20th pick. . . . Guenther had 56 goals and 47 assists in 30 games with the Northern Alberta Xtreme bantam prep team. . . . Slaney had 13 goals and 23 assists in 35 games with the bantam AAA Airdrie Xtreme.


F Morgan Geekie of the Tri-City Americans has signed a three-year entry-level contract TriCity30with the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes. . . . Geekie had 30 goals and 54 assists in 68 regular-season games in 2017-18. He added 17 goals and 10 assists in 14 playoff games. . . . He was a third-round selection in the NHL’s 2017 draft. . . .  The team revealed that “the deal will pay Geekie US$650,000 in 2018-19 and $700,000 in 2019-20 and 2020-21. He will be paid $70,000 per season on the AHL level and receives a signing bonus of $240,000.” . . . Geekie is eligible to return to junior hockey in 2018-19 as a 20-year-old, but as a signed player he is almost certain to start his pro career.


Simon Ferguson is the new head coach of the major midget Okanagan Rockets, who play in the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League. He takes over from Eric Blais, who will coach the Okanagan-Central Zone bantam AAA team next season. . . . Ferguson also was the Rockets’ head coach in 2014-15. He spent this season coaching at the Banff Hockey Academy. . . . Ferguson played five seasons in the WHL (1999-2004) with the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Kelowna Rockets. He was acquired by Kelowna during 2002-03 and helped the Rockets win the 2004 Memorial Cup.

CHL’s Team of the Century: Montreal Jr. Canadiens top this list . . . How about these five series?

You may be aware that the CHL, which is celebrating 100 years of the Memorial Cup, has provided a site where you are able to learn about the first 99 championships.

If you haven’t already, click right here and give it a look. I guarantee that it will be well worth your time.

As part of this, the CHL ran a promotion aimed at selecting the Team of the Century. The TeamCenturyother day, it revealed the four finalists — the 1995 Kamloops Blazers, 2000 Rimouski Oceanic, 2005 London Knights and 2013 Halifax Mooseheads.

For what it’s worth, my top four, in order, would be the 1969 Montreal Jr. Canadiens, 1974 Regina Pats, 1973 Toronto Marlboros and 1978 New Westminster Bruins.

To take it one step further, here are five Memorial Cup matchups I would pay to see, if only they were possible:

1969 Montreal Jr. Canadiens vs. 1978 New Westminster Bruins — With the likes of Guy Charron, Bobby Guindon, Norm Gratton, Rejean Houle, Bobby Lalonde, Richard Martin, Gilbert Perreault and Marc Tardif among the forwards on the roster, the Jr. Canadiens would be my selection as the Team of the Century. They swept the Regina Pats in the best-of-seven final in 1969, winning twice in the Montreal Forum and twice in Regina’s Exhibition Stadium. . . . Ernie (Punch) McLean’s Bruins won the 1977 Memorial Cup in Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum, beating the Ottawa 67’s, 6-5, in the final of the three-team round-robin tournament. The big, bad and burly Bruins’ roster included Barry Beck and Brad Maxwell on the back end and it would be a lot of fun watching McLean’s gang try to corral the Jr. Canadiens’ high-flying forwards.

——

1974 Regina Pats vs. 1973 Toronto Marlboros — The Pats were led by F Dennis Sobchuk, who was one of the all-time great junior players; F Clark Gillies, a true power forward who went on to a terrific career with the NHL’s New York Islanders; D Greg Joly, who was selected first overall by the Washington Capitals in the 1974 NHL draft; and G Ed Staniowski, who would be named the CHL’s player of the year the following season. The Pats’ head coach was Bob Turner, who as a defenceman had been part of five straight Stanley Cup winners with the Montreal Canadiens. . . . The Marlboros featured the Howe brothers, Mark and Marty, along with the likes of Paulin Bordeleau, Bruce Boudreau, Wayne Dillon, and goaltender Mike Palmateer. Toronto could score, as it proved in a 9-1 victory over the Quebec Remparts in the three-team tournament’s championship game. . . . The Pats were a high-powered squad with a lot of toughness and great goaltending. This would have been a terrific series.

——

1952 Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters vs. 1983 Portland Winter Hawks — To those of a certain generation, the Mad Hatters’ roster contained a number of magical names, such as Andy Bathgate, Lou Fontinato, Aldo (Bep) Guidolin, Harry Howell, Bill McCreary, Ron Murphy, Dean Prentice and Ron Stewart. Ohh, the memories! Yes, they could score, witness a four-game sweep of the Regina Pats in a final in which the victors held a 30-8 edge in goals. . . . These Winter Hawks were the first American team to win the Memorial Cup. They lost the WHL final to the Lethbridge Broncos, but then became the first host team to win it all in what was the first four-team tournament. Featuring the likes of Randy Heath, Ken Yaremchuk, Grant Sasser, Cam Neely and Alfie Turcotte, the Winter Hawks could wheel and deal. . . . A seven-game series between these teams might produce seven 10-9 scores.

——

1989 Swift Current Broncos vs. 1995 Kamloops Blazers — The Broncos may have had the best power-play in the history of the junior game. Although they had tough guy Mark McFarlane on the bench, it was the PP that intimidated the opposition. With Dan Lambert, Darren Kruger and Bob Wilkie running it from the blue line, players like Kimbi Daniels, Peter Kasowski, Sheldon Kennedy, Brian Sakic, Peter Soberlak and Tim Tisdale, who has never had to buy lunch in Swift Current after he scored the OT goal in the championship game, wreaked havoc on opposing goaltenders. When you think about what some of these players went through, from a bus accident two years earlier that claimed the lives of four teammates to the sexual abuse heaped on some of them by Graham James, their coach, this championship is even more spectacular. . . . The Blazers were the host team for the four-team tournament, but went in through the front door as WHL champions. They then won the franchise’s third title in four-year period. This may have been the best of the three championship teams, boasting the likes of Nolan Baumgartner, Shane Doan, Hnat Domenichelli, Ryan Huska, Jason Holland, Jarome Iginla, Aaron Keller, Brad Lukowich, Tyson Nash, Darcy Tucker and Randy Petruk. They whipped the Detroit Jr. Red Wings, 8-2, in the final.

——

1985 Prince Albert Raiders vs. 1966 Edmonton Oil Kings — Under head coach Terry Simpson, the Raiders were one of those teams that could play it any which way the opposition wanted. They had Ken Baumgartner and Dave Manson to keep the other guys honest. Dan Hodgson, one of the junior game’s greatest talents, keyed the offence, with help from snipers Pat Elynuik, Tony Grenier, Ken Morrison and Dave Pasin, and defenceman Emanuel Viveiros. . . . The Oil Kings, meanwhile, were in the Memorial Cup final for a seventh straight season. Led by defenceman Al Hamilton, they beat Bobby Orr’s Oshawa Generals in a six-game final in Maple Leaf Gardens. Unfortunately, the talented defenceman didn’t play a lot thanks to a groin injury that he apparently suffered in practice a week before the final series. In those days, teams were allowed to add players from elsewhere, and the Oil Kings brought in Jim Harrison, Ted Hodgson and Ross Lonsberry from the Estevan Bruins, all of whom contributed to the championship.

There you have it, for whatever it’s worth. Discuss among yourselves.

Let’s help Hirsche leave his legacy . . . No playoffs so Blades fire Brockman . . . Second season next for WHL

Scattershooting

Scattershooting . . . following the end of another WHL regular season:

I don’t think there is a playoff format out there that would make everyone happy. But you are free to ask about the fairness of the format now being used by the WHL. Under it, eight teams from each conference qualify for the playoffs. But the Saskatoon Blades, with the seventh-most points in the 12-team Eastern Conference, didn’t make it.


The Blades also finished with more victories (35) than two Eastern Conference teams that did qualify — the Prince Albert Raiders (32) and Red Deer Rebels (27). So what happened to the Blades? They got bit in the ass by the dreaded loser point. The Blades finished with four of them, while the Raiders and Rebels each finished 13.


The Blades, of course, fired head coach Dean Brockman on Sunday morning. You are free to discuss among yourselves if he lost his job because of the playoff format.


If the WHL playoff format called for the top eight teams in each conference to qualify, the Red Deer Rebels would have been on the outside, instead of preparing for a first-round set-to with the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Had the Rebels missed, do you suppose the general manager would have fired the head coach? Hey, just asking.


Perhaps during the off-season the WHL pooh-bahs will take a look at a format that rewards losing in such a grand fashion. . . . Perhaps they also will take a serious look at banning fighting, because the time is long past for adults to stop allowing teenagers to punch each other in the face. There simply is too much evidence that cumulative blows to the head simply aren’t good for the brain. . . . And while they’re at it maybe they’ll get rid of that stupid trapezoid behind each goal and allow the goaltenders to get back to handling the puck.


Jayden Halbgewachs of the Moose Jaw Warriors is the WHL’s 2017-18 scoring champion, thanks to 129 points. The last time one of the Warriors won the WHL scoring title? Troy Brouwer, in 2005-06, with 102 points. Of course, Halbgewachs also led the WHL in goals, with 70. . . . In his past two seasons, Halbgewachs put up 230 points, 120 of them goals, in 143 games.


The Warriors acquired Halbgewachs from the Kamloops Blazers on Dec. 6, 2012. The Blazers had selected him 19th overall in the WHL’s 2012 bantam draft. They acquired D Joel Edmundson and a fourth-round pick in the 2015 bantam draft for D Tyler Bell, then, 18, Halbgewachs, who was 15, and a first-round selection in the 2015 draft. . . . That first-rounder turned out to be the fourth-overall pick and the Warriors used it to take D Jett Woo, who might be a first-round selection in the NHL’s 2018 draft. . . . Kamloops later traded the fourth-round pick and a sixth in 2017 to Calgary for F Mike Winther, a 20-year-old who played 39 games with the Blazers before being dealt to the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Edmundson played 34 regular-season and 15 playoff games with the Blazers, helping them to the Western Conference final where they lost in five games to the Portland Winterhawks.


Is it fair that Winnipeg is home to Canada’s best football play-by-play man — Bob Irving of CJOB — and a hockey play-by-play voice — TSN’s Dennis Beyak — who is at the top of his field, too?


Thank you to everyone who has stopped by here or at one of the earlier homes of Keeping Score. We have had a good time over the past few years and it’s been a great ride, but I have decided to step back.

I have been writing about the WHL for a long time and it’s time. There is no other reason for this decision than that — it simply is time.

I have been writing for 45 years, so I am sure that I will continue to post on this blog, but not in anything resembling a daily fashion. Nor will I be doing WHL roundups or reporting regularly on WHL-related news.

If you’re looking for me, I’ll be behind the cover of a book. First up, it’s Roy MacGregor’s Original Highways: Travelling the Great Rivers of Canada, then Father Bauer and the Great Experiment, by Greg Oliver, and the just-published A Matter of Confidence: The Inside Story of the Political Battle for B.C., by journalists Rob Shaw and Richard Zussman.

And, of course, the baseball season is about upon us.

So . . . farewell, stay safe and, please, if you haven’t already, take a few minutes and think about signing on as an organ donor.


ThisThat

Two years ago, Brock Hirsche, the captain of the U of Lethbridge Pronghorns, was diagnosed with testicular cancer. That was one year after two other team members had been diagnosed with it. They both were able to beat it.

It looked like Hirsche had beaten it, too, but it wasn’t to be. The cancer is back and has spread. Treatment has been unsuccessful and Hirsche has been told his cancer is terminal.

Hirsche, 26, is from Lethbridge. He played four seasons (2009-13) with the Prince George Cougars, wearing an ‘A’ for two seasons and serving as captain in his final season. Unfortunately, injuries limited him to 26 games over his last two seasons.

He moved on to the U of L and was the Proghorns’ captain in 2015-16, his third season there.

He didn’t play last season and, of course, didn’t play this season.

So what did he do after getting the latest diagnosis? He started a scholarship fund in his name.

“He wants to leave a legacy behind,” Pronghorns head coach Spiros Anastas tells Taking Note. “It’s a testament to the type of person he is. In one night we raised $11,000.”

If you would like to help, the link is right here. The U of Lethbridge will provide tax receipts.


The Saskatoon Blades announced Sunday morning that they had fired head coach Dean Brockman “effective immediately.”

The move came the morning after the Blades ended their season with a 5-4 victory over Saskatoonthe visiting Prince Albert Raiders.

Brockman had two seasons left on a multi-year contract extension that was announced on Aug. 24.

The Blades finished 35-33-4, as they missed the playoffs for a fifth straight season, the last two under Brockman. He spent two seasons on the coaching staff as an assistant coach before taking over as head coach.

“While this was a difficult decision for us to make, we felt our performance over the last month of the season was very disappointing and the team did not meet the expectations we set out for them,” Colin Priestner, the Blades’ general manager, said in a news release. “We have been in a playoff position two years in a row coming down the stretch and just haven’t been able to take that next step, which ultimately led us to this decision.”

The news release didn’t make any mention of the status of assistant coaches Ryan Keller and Bryce Thoma, both of whom also are signed through 2019-20.

The Blades seemed to be comfortably in the conference’s second wild-card spot on Feb. 20, when they led the Raiders by eight points. The Raiders then went on a 9-0-2 rip, while the Blades were going 2-6-1. With everything decided, the Blades closed out the season by beating the Raiders twice.

The Blades were 63-68-13 over the past two seasons. Brockman is credited with 62 of those victories; he missed one while attending a funeral.

Priestner and Steve Hildebrand, the associate general manager, held exit interviews with the players on Sunday. Three players were provided to the media for interviews.

Les Lazaruk, the Blades’ veteran radio voice, reported at dubnetwork.ca that F Chase Wouters, when asked if he was surprised by the firing, “stammered” and said: “I actually can’t comment on that, sorry.”

According to Lazaruk, team captain Evan Fiala responded with: “Sorry, no comment on it.”

F Braylon Shymr said, “Yeah, definitely surprised.” But he quickly added: “No further comments other than that.”

Lazaruk’s story is right here.

Darren Steinke, the travellin’ blogger, was at Priestner’s media availability and offered up this entry right here.


The U of Alberta Golden Bears, with a roster comprising former WHL players, won their 16th Canadian university men’s hockey championship Sunday, beating the St. Francis Xavier U X-Men, 4-2, in Fredericton, N.B. . . . D Will Tomchuk, who played in the WHL with the Tri-City Americans and Prince George Cougars (2012-15), scored his only goal of the season at 4:18 of the second period and it stood up as the winner. That goal snapped a 2-2 tie as the Golden Bears erased a 2-0 deficit. . . . Alberta’s other goals came from F Stephane Legault (Edmonton Oil Kings, 2009-13), F Luke Philp (Kootenay Ice, Red Deer Rebels, 2011-2016) and F Jamie Crooks (Saskatoon Blades, Chilliwack Bruins, Victoria Royals, 2008-13). . . . G Zach Sawchenko, who joined the Golden Bears rather than return for a 20-year-old season with the Warriors this season, earned the victory with 24 saves. . . . Jason Hills of Postmedia has more right here.


The Kamloops Blazers’ season came to an end with a 6-5 shootout victory over the host Prince George Cougars on Saturday night.

The victory snapped a five-game skid for the Blazers and left head coach Don Hay with whl750 career regular-season victories. Earlier in the season, Hay broke the record of 741 that had been held by Ken Hodge since he retired after the 1992-93 season.

Unfortunately for Hay, after he broke Hodge’s record, the Blazers weren’t able to gain traction and they finished 7-14-2, which wasn’t enough to get them into the playoffs.

Here’s a look at the 23 WHL head coaches who have more than 300 regular-season victories to their credit (following 2017-18):

1. Ken Hodge (Edmonton, Portland), 750

2. Don Hay (Kamloops, Tri-City, Vancouver) 720

3. Don Nachbaur (Seattle, Tri-City, Spokane) 692

4. Lorne Molleken (Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Regina) 626

5. Mike Williamson (Portland, Calgary, Tri-City) 572

6. Ernie McLean (Estevan, New Westminster) 548

7. Pat Ginnell (Flin Flon, Victoria, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, New Westminster) 518

8. Brent Sutter (Red Deer) 468

9. Peter Anholt (Prince Albert, Seattle, Red Deer, Kelowna, Lethbridge) 466

    Jack Shupe (Medicine Hat, Victoria) 466

11. Dean Clark (Calgary, Brandon, Kamloops, Prince George) 465

12. Marc Habscheid (Kamloops, Kelowna, Chilliwack, Victoria, Prince Albert) 456

      Kelly McCrimmon (Brandon) 456

14. Bob Lowes (Seattle, Brandon, Regina) 453

15. Doug Sauter (Calgary, Medicine Hat, Regina, Brandon) 417

16. Marcel Comeau (Calgary, Saskatoon, Tacoma, Kelowna) 411

17. Bryan Maxwell (Medicine Hat, Spokane, Lethbridge) 397

18. Shaun Clouston (Tri-City, Medicine Hat) 356

19. Graham James (Moose Jaw, Swift Current, Calgary) 349

20. Bob Loucks (Lethbridge, Tri-City, Medicine Hat) 340

21. Willie Desjardins (Saskatoon, Medicine Hat) 333

22. Kevin Constantine (Everett) 326

23. Mike Johnston (Portland) 315

——

Victory totals of the remaining head coaches who finished the 2017-18 regular season:

John Paddock, Regina 165

Tim Hunter, Moose Jaw 145

Brent Kisio, Lethbridge 121

Steve Hamilton, Edmonton 110

Dan Lambert, Kelowna, Spokane 93

Jason Smith, Kelowna 88

Emanuel Viveiros, Swift Current 85

David Anning, Brandon, 79

Richard Matvichuk, Prince George 69

Dean Brockman, Saskatoon 62

Jason McKee, Vancouver 56

Dennis Williams, Everett 47

Dan Price, Victoria 39

Matt O’Dette, Seattle 33

James Patrick, Kootenay 27

Dallas Ferguson, Calgary 23



JUST NOTES . . .

F Alec Baer, who played out his 20-year-old season with the Kootenay Ice, will be joining the ECHL’s Rapid City Rush. Baer, who is from St. Louis Park, Minn., finished this season with 30 goals and 31 assists in 72 games. . . . He played 342 regular-season games — he also skated with the Vancouver Giants and Lethbridge Hurricanes — and finished with 187 points, including 86 goals. . . .

Everett’s last goal of the regular season, in an 8-1 victory over the host Victoria Royals on Saturday, was scored by F Matt Fonteyne, with assists to F Patrick Bajkov and D Kevin Davis. They are the club’s three 20-year-old players. . . .

Not to be outdone, the Seattle Thunderbirds got one goal from each of their 20-year-olds — D Austin Strand, D Turner Ottenbreit and F Donovan Neuls — in a 5-1 victory over the visiting Portland Winterhawks on Saturday. . . .

A tweet from Caden Fanshaw (@cfanner4) of Prince George’s front office, points out that Cougars F Jared Bethune “has only missed one regular-season game in the past three seasons, and played every playoff game possible in his career. That’s a combined 230 of 231 possible games.” . . .

Nick Patterson of the Everett Herald points out that the Silvertips won their third U.S. Division title in the last four years “and sixth in the franchise’s 15-year history, but the first without Kevin Constantine as head coach.” . . .

F Cohner Saleski, who is from Saskatoon, made his WHL debut with the visiting Prince Albert Raiders on Saturday night. Yes, he had family in attandance. In fact, according to a tweet from Jeff Helperl, Saleski’s father went home with a cool $53,250 in his jeans after winning the 50/50 draw.


Scoreboard

SUNDAY:

At Calgary, the Edmonton Oil Kings scored five PP goals in the first period en route to a 7-3 victory over the Hitmen. . . . Neither Edmonton (22-42-8) nor Calgary (24-37-11) EdmontonOilKingsqualified for the playoffs. . . . Calgary went 3-2-1 in the season series; Edmonton was 3-3-0. . . . F Riley Stotts (19) gave the Hitmen the lead just 49 seconds into the first period. . . . It didn’t last long. . . . F Tomas Soustal got Edmonton’s first PP goal, at 5:47, and F Trey Fix-Wolansky (32) put the Oil Kings ahead at 10:00. . . . Soustal (22) added a second goal at 12:41, and F Brett Kemp (17) made it 4-1 at 13:04. . . . D Matthew Robertson upped it to 5-1 at 17:54. . . . F Cael Zimmerman (7) got the Hitmen to within three goals, on a PP, at 19:38. . . . Robertson’s second goal of the game, and seventh of the season, put Edmonton ahead 6-2 at 16:34 of the second period. . . . Calgary D Egor Zamula (2) struck on a PP at 0:17 of the third period, before Edmonton F Colton Kehler (32) closed out the scoring on, yes, another PP, at 7:57. . . . The Oil Kings got two assists from each of F Jake Neighbours and Kemp, with one each going to Soustal, Robertson, Kehler and Fix-Wolansky. . . . Neighbours, the fourth overall selection in the 2017 WHL bantam draft, recorded four assists in 11 games with the Oil Kings. . . . Stotts added an assist to his goal for Calgary. . . . Edmonton finished 6-7 on the PP; Calgary was 2-6. . . . The WHL record for PP goals by one team in a single game is 10. The Tri-City Americans set that mark on Sept. 30, 1990, in a 16-3 victory over the visiting Victoria Cougars. . . . The Oil Kings got 34 stops from G Todd Scott, while Nick Schneider blocked 19 for the Hitmen. . . . Announced attendance: 13,075.


At Portland, F Riley McKay scored the only goal of a four-round shootout to give the Spokane Chiefs a 5-4 victory over the Winterhawks. . . . Spokane (41-25-6) finished third SpokaneChiefsin the U.S. Division, five points behind Portland (44-23-5). . . . The Winterhawks won the season series, 5-3-0. . . . These teams will meet in the first round of the playoffs, starting Saturday in Portland. . . . McKay opened the scoring with his fourth goal of the season, at 9:46 of the first period. . . . The Winterhawks scored the next four goals, the first three coming in the second period from F Mason Mannek (10), at 2:48; F Kieffer Bellows (41), at 12:15; and F Skyler McKenzie (47), at 16:07. . . . F Ryan Hughes (17) upped the lead to 4-1 at 2:11 of the third period. . . . The Chiefs got three goals in the last nine minutes of the period. . . . F Jake McGrew (19) scored, on a PP, at 11:43, and F Milos Fafrak (9) moved the visitors to within a goal at 12:20. . . . D Nolan Reid (14) tied it, 4-4, on a PP, at 19:39. . . . McGrew also had an assist. . . . Spokane was 2-3 on the PP; Portland was 0-3. . . . G Donovan Buskey earned the victory with 33 saves, 14 more than Portland’s Shane Farkas. . . . The Winterhawks scratched F Lukus MacKenzie, who is injured, along with F Alex Overhardt and D Brendan De Jong. . . . Among Spokane’s scratches were F Kailer Yamamoto, who missed his third straight game, G Dawson Weatherill, F Zach Fischer (undisclosed injury), D Ty Smith, F Hudson Elynuik and D Dalton Hamaliuk. . . . With all the scratches, the Chiefs had 11 freshmen in their lineup. . . . Announced attendance: 8,170.


At Kennewick, Wash., F Nolan Yaremko and F Parker AuCoin each scored twice to lead the Tri-City Americans to a 5-2 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Tri-City (38-25-TriCity309) is the Western Conference’s first wild-card team and will open the playoffs in Kelowna on Thursday, against the Rockets, who finished atop the B.C. Division. . . . Seattle (34-28-10) will meet the U.S. Division-winning Everett Silvertips. That seres starts Friday in Everett. . . . Tri-City finished 6-3-1 in the season series with Seattle, which was 4-4-2. . . . On Sunday, Yaremko gave his guys a 1-0 lead at 3:55 of the first period, only to have Seattle F Zack Andrusiak (36) tie it at 5:06. . . . The Americans went ahead 3-1 on second-period goals from D Jake Bean (12), at 13:41, and Yaremko (22), at 19:51. . . . Seattle got to within a goal when F Dillon Hamaliuk (15) scored, shorthanded, at 7:13 of the third period. . . . AuCoin iced it with two PP goals, at 7:57 and 15:10. He finished with 19 goals. . . . The Americans got two assists from D Juuso Valimaki, and one each from Bean and Yaremko. . . . Tri-City was 2-8 on the PP; Seattle was 0-2. . . . G Patrick Dea started for the Americans and stopped nine of 10 shots in 31:26. Beck Warm finished up by allowing one goal on 10 shots in 28:33. . . . G Dorrin Luding blocked 37 shots for the Thunderbirds. . . . F Michael Rasmussen, F Max James and D Dylan Coghlan were among Tri-City’s scratches. . . . Seattle scratched D Turner Ottenbreit, F Noah Philp, who left Saturday’s game with an undisclosed injury, F Donovan Neuls, F Tyler Carpendale and F Nolan Volcan, along with F Blake Bargar (undisclosed injury). . . . Announced attendance: 3,708.


END OF REGULAR SEASON


TWEET OF THE DAY

Historic night for Warriors . . . Tigers win Central Division again . . . Raiders get last playoff spot


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

The Vancouver Giants are almost certain to finish third in the B.C. Division and likely will meet the Victoria Royals in the first round.

Vancouver is third in the B.C. Division, five points behind the Royals. The Giants have Vancouverthree games remaining, but appear likely to finish the regular season without G David Tendeck.

Glen Hanlon, the Giants’ general manager, told Steve Ewen of Postmedia that Tendeck will miss at least two games with an undisclosed injury. The Giants have three games remaining — they are at home to the Kelowna Rockets and Friday and finish up in the Little Apple on Saturday.

I would bet that Tendeck misses all three games, as the Giants try to get him ready for their playoff opener, likely on March 23 in Victoria.

That means the Giants will ride G Trent Miner, who turned 17 on Feb. 5, to the finish line. From Brandon, he was a first-round pick in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. In six games with the Giants, he is 2-2-0, 4.10, .888.


The Spokane Chiefs have added G Bailey Brkin, 18, to their roster. They acquired his SpokaneChiefsWHL rights from the Kootenay Ice on Jan. 8, giving up an eight-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft. He finished this season with the AJHL’s Lloydminster Bobcats, getting into 11 games and going 5-4-1 (the 1 was a tie), 2.68, .929. In four games with the Chiefs, he was 3-1-0, 2.51, .921. . . .

Meanwhile, the Chiefs have signed F Sean Gulka, 18, to a WHL contract and have added him to their roster for the remainder of the season. The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder is from Langley, B.C. He had 12 goals and 13 assists in 50 games with the BCHL’s Langley Rivermen this season. . . . Gulka was a ninth-round pick by the Victoria Royals in the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft. The Chiefs acquired him from the Royals on Nov. 22 for a sixth-round selection in the 2018 bantam draft.


JUST NOTES . . .

The Portland Winterhawks have said that F Lukus McKenzie will be out day-to-day after leaving a game on Sunday with an apparent injury to his right arm or wrist. The Winterhawks next are scheduled to play on Friday against visiting Seattle. . . .

F Tanner Nagel of the Swift Current Broncos has been suspended for three games for something that occurred in a game at Moose Jaw on Saturday — Warriors D Dmitri Zaitsev was injured on the play in question and didn’t return to the game. Nagel, who wasn’t penalized on the play in question, was suspended under supplemental discipline so won’t play again in the regular season as the Broncos have only three games remaining. . . .

There will be pro hockey in St. John’s, Nfld., again next season with the news that the ECHL has granted an expansion franchise to Dean MacDonald. The team, which doesn’t yet have a nickname, will be affiliated with the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs. . . . The ECHL also is losing two teams — the Quad City Mallards are folding, while the Colorado Eagles are moving up to the AHL. . . . Robin Short of the St. John’s Telegram has lots more right here. . . .

F Ryan McBeath of the midget AAA Red Deer Optimist Chiefs was killed in a car accident on Tuesday morning. McBeath, 17, died just south east of Red Deer when McBeath’s vehicle hit a tanker trunk. McBeath, from Olds, Alta., was the lone occupant of his vehicle. . . . According to rdnewsnow.com, “Cpl. Curtis Peters (of Three Hills RCMP) said there was thick fog in the area at the time of the crash which may have contributed to the cause of the accident. Environment Canada issued a fog advisory for the area earlier in the morning.” . . . McBeath had 16 goals and 15 assists in 35 games with the Chiefs this season. He also got into two games with the AJHL’s Drumheller Dragons, scoring twice and adding an assist.


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 Moose Jaw, the Warriors clinched their first Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy as regular-season champions with a 2-1 shootout victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . MooseJawWarriorsMoose Jaw (52-15-3) has won three in a row. It also wrapped up its fourth East Division title. . . . Prince Albert (32-25-12) had won its previous nine games. It is in the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, and clinched a playoff berth when Saskatoon lost in Brandon. That was the final playoff spot that had yet to be decided. . . . The Raiders now are five points behind Brandon, which is in possession of the first wild-card spot. Prince Albert has three games remaining. . . . Should the standings remain as they are, the Warriors and Raiders would meet in the first round of the playoffs, a series that likely would open in Moose Jaw on March 23. . . . The Warriors won the season series, 5-2-1; the Raiders were 3-4-1. . . . F Nikita Krivokrasov (3) gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead at 3:21 of the first period. . . . F Vince Loschiavo got the Warriors into a tie with his 19th goal, just 34 seconds later. . . . There wasn’t any further scoring until the shootout. F Brett Howden and F Jayden Halbgewachs, Moose Jaw’s first shooters, both scored, while Prince Albert’s first two were blanked. . . . Each team was 0-4 on the PP. . . . G Brody Willms earned his 37th victory of the season with 27 saves. He now holds the franchise’s single-season record for victories, one more than Thomas Heemskerk (2010-11). . . . The Raiders got 36 saves from G Ian Scott. . . . The Warriors were without three injured players — F Brayden Burke, who has missed five games, and D Brandon Schuldaus and D Dmitri Zaitsev, both of whom sat out a second straight game after being injured on Saturday. . . . Moose Jaw F Barrett Sheen’s suspension for a Saturday night charging major and game misconduct — he hit Swift Current F Tyler Steenbergen — was set at four games by the WHL on Tuesday. He served the first game on Sunday, so won’t play again in the regular season, but will be eligible to return for the first game of the playoffs. . . . The Raiders continue to play without F Brett Leason. . . . Announced attendance: 3,349.


At Brandon, the Wheat Kings posted a 5-3 victory over Saskatoon, a loss that eliminated the Blades from the playoff picture for a fifth straight season. . . . Brandon (38-27-5) holds BrandonWKregulardown the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot. It is fourth in the East Division, one point behind Regina. . . . Saskatoon (32-33-4) has lost three in a row (0-2-1). . . . The Wheat Kings won the season series, 6-2-0. . . . D Logan Christensen (5) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 7:38 of the first period. . . . Brandon took a 2-1 lead on goals from F Linden McCorrister (19), at 9:09, and F Marcus Sekundiak (4), at 5:50 of the second period. . . . The Blades tied it at 11:26 as F Max Gerlach got No. 29. . . . But the Wheat Kings scored the next two goals, as D Schael Higson (5) counted at 13:44, then F Ty Lewis (43) scored at 6:59 of the third period. . . . The Blades got back to within a goal at 12:39, courtesy of F Eric Florchuk (16). . . . Brandon got an insurance goal from F Evan Weinger (30) at 14:07. . . . Higson, Lewis and Weinger each had an assist for Brandon. . . . The Blades got two assists from F Kirby Dach, and one apiece from Florchuk and Gerlach. . . . Saskatoon was 0-1 on the PP; Brandon was 0-4. . . . With G Logan Thompson still out, Brandon started G Dylan Myskiw, and he stopped 40 shots. . . . The Blades got 23 saves from G Nolan Maier. . . . Announced attendance: 4,715.


At Edmonton, the Oil Kings exploded for five goals in the third period and went to beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 5-1. . . . Edmonton (21-41-8) has won two in a row. . . . EdmontonOilKingsLethbridge (32-31-6) has lost six straight. It will finish second in the Central Division and meet Red Deer in the first round of the playoffs. Home-ice advantage has yet to be decided. Lethbridge, which entertains Red Deer tonight, is five points ahead of the Rebels with each team having three games remaining. . . . Lethbridge went 3-2-1 in the season series with Edmonton, which finished 3-3-0. . . . F Jadon Joseph (9) gave Lethbridge a 1-0 lead at 5:48 of the first period. . . . F Colton Kehler (31) got Edmonton into a 1-1 tie, on a PP, at 2:09 of the second period, and F Nick Bowman (6) put it in front at 7:23. . . . D Conner McDonald upped the lead to 3-1, on a PP, at 14:50, and F Tomas Soustal (20) added another PP score at 16:08. . . . F Trey Fix-Wolansky (31), who also had three assists, put a cap on the five-goal outburst at 18:48. . . . Edmonton was 3-4 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-5. . . . The Oil Kings got 26 stops from G Josh Dechaine. . . . G Logan Flodell turned aside 30 shots for the Hurricanes. . . . Announced attendance: 6,468.


At Medicine Hat, the Calgary Hitmen scored three times in the third period and beat the CalgaryTigers, 3-1. . . . Calgary (22-36-11) has points in three straight games (2-0-1). . . . Despite the loss, Medicine Hat (35-27-8), which has lost two straight, clinched the Central Division pennant for a second straight season as second-place Lethbridge lost in Edmonton. . . . Calgary and Medicine Hat each was 3-2-1 in the season series. . . . The Tigers took a 1-0 lead when D Dylan MacPherson (4) scored 12 seconds into the third period. . . . F Tristen Nielsen (19) got Calgary into a tie at 6:41, and F Riley Stotts (17) put it in front, on a PP, at 13:01. . . . F Conner Chaulk (16) added the empty-netter at 19:29. . . . F Carson Focht had two assists for Calgary, as did D Vladislav Yeryomenko. . . . Calgary was 1-4 on the PP; Medicine Hat was 0-5. . . . Calgary G Nick Schneider stopped 36 shots, 14 more than Michael Bullion of the Tigers. . . . Announced attendance: 2,899.


At Kennewick, Wash., the Tri-City Americans erased a 2-1 deficit with the game’s last three goals and beat the Everett Silvertips, 4-2. . . . Tri-City (36-24-9) has won four in a TriCity30row. It holds down the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot, seven points ahead of Seattle, which has four games remaining. The Americans are fourth in the U.S. Division, three points behind Spokane. . . . Everett (45-20-5) has lost two straight. It leads the Western Conference by four points over Portland, which has three games left. . . . Everett is 5-2-1 in the season series; Tri-City is 3-5-0. . . . D Jake Bean (11) gave Tri-City a 1-0 lead at 18:23 of the first period. . . . F Matt Fonteyne (34) tied it, on a PP, at 2:52, and F Garrett Pilon (33) gave the visitors the lead, on another PP, at 9:03. . . . The Americans tied it at 10:45 as F Michael Rasmussen got No. 29, and took a 3-2 lead at 15:10 on F Morgan Geekie’s 29th goal. . . . F Riley Sawchuk (15) made it 4-2 at 18:46 of the third period. . . . The Americans got two assists from F Sasha Mutala, with Bean and Geekie each getting one. . . . D Kevin Davis had two assists for Everett. . . . The Silvertips were 2-2 on the PP; the Americans were 0-1. . . . The Americans got 33 saves from G Patrick Dea. . . . G Carter Hart stopped 20 shots for Everett. . . . F Patrick Bajkov drew an assist on Everett’s second goal, setting a club record for most points in a season (94) in the process. He had been sharing the mark with F Zach Hamill (2006-07) and F Josh Winquist (2013-14). . . . Everett was without D Ondrej Vala, who completed a two-game suspension for a cross-checking major and game misconduct during a game against Seattle in Kent, Wash., on Saturday. . . . Announced attendance: 2,799.


WEDNESDAY (all times local):

Prince Albert at Regina, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Calgary, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Prince George at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Seattle at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.


THURSDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Brandon at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Swift Current at Regina, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Seattle at Portland, 7 p.m.

Prince George at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Tri-City at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.

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

Victoria at Everett, 7:35 p.m.


SATURDAY (all times local):

Regina at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Prince Albert at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Calgary at Edmonton, 7 p.m.

Red Deer at Kootenay, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.

Kamloops at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Portland vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 6:05 p.m.

Spokane vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.

Everett at Victoria 7:05 p.m.


SUNDAY (all times local):

Edmonton at Calgary, 2 p.m.

Spokane at Portland, 5 p.m.

Seattle vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 5:05 p.m

END OF REGULAR SEASON


TWEET OF THE DAY

Kelowna forward gets NHL deal . . . Halbgewachs moves into scoring lead . . . Kehler, Winterhawks blank Silvertips

A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

F Carsen Twarynski of the Kelowna Rockets has signed a three-year entry-level contract KelownaRocketswith the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers. Twarynski, 20, was a third-round selection by the Flyers in the NHL’s 2016 draft. . . . From St. Alberta, Alta., he has 43 goals, 17 of them via the PP, and 27 assists in ?? games this season. His previous career highs were 20 goals and 45 points. . . . Twarynski has appeared in the Flyers’ past two development camps, and has played in one game in each of the past two preseasons. . . . The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder wasn’t selected in the WHL bantam draft. He has played in 255 regular-season WHL games, the first 161 with the Calgary Hitmen. He has 86 goals and 94 assists in those 255 games. . . . With the Rockets, he has 50 goals and 42 assists in 94 games.


The Kootenay Ice has added three players to its roster — F Eli Lieffers, who will turn 18 Kootenaynewon March 26; F Blake Allan, 16; and D Jordan Chudley, 16. . . . Lieffers was a fourth-round pick in the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft. He had five goals and seven assists in 15 games with the midget AAA Saskatoon Contacts this season. . . . Allan was a third-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. This season, he had 10 goals and 23 assists in 42 games with the midget AAA Saskatoon Blazers. . . . Chudley was a fourth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. From Souris, Man., he played for the midget AAA Southwest Cougars, putting up two goals and nine assists in 42 games. . . . All three played in Sunday’s 4-3 OT loss to the Oil Kings in Edmonton. Allan, in fact, scored his first WHL goal.


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

SUNDAY:

At Moose Jaw, F Jayden Halbgewachs had a goal and two assists to take over the WHL scoring lead as the Warriors dumped the Brandon Wheat Kings, 5-3. . . . Moose Jaw (51-MooseJawWarriors15-3) has won two straight and now leads the overall standings by five points over Swift Current. Each team has three games remaining. . . . Brandon (37-27-5) had won its previous three games. It holds down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, four points ahead of Prince Albert. . . . With two games left in the season series, Moose Jaw is 5-1-0; Brandon is 1-5-0. . . . Both teams played three games in fewer than 48 hours, with each going 2-1-0. . . . The Warriors took a 2-0 first-period lead on two goals from F Vince Loschiavo (19), at 14:24 and 16:47. . . . Brandon tied it on goals F Gunnar Wegleitner (10), at 10:39 of the second period, and F Rylan Bettens (7), at 5:56 of the third. . . . Halbgewachs broke the tie with his WHL-leading 68th goal, at 6:12, only to have Brandon F Caiden Daley (6) tie it at 13:09. . . . F Ryan Peckford (20) gave Moose Jaw a 4-3 lead at 15:07, and F Tanner Jeannot (37) got the empty-netter at 19:07. . . . Halbgewachs assisted on each of the last two goals. He now has 125 points, one more than F Glenn Gawdin of Swift Current. . . . Moose Jaw got two assists from F Brett Howden and one from Jeannot. . . . The Warriors were 0-1 on the PP; the Wheat Kings were 0-2. . . . G Brody Willms earned the victory with 18 saves, two fewer than Brandon’s Dylan Myskiw. . . . F Brayden Burke was among Moose Jaw’s scratches for a fourth game in a row. The Warriors also were without D Brandon Schuldhaus and D Dmitri Zaitsev, both of whom were injured during a 4-2 victory over visiting Swift Current on Saturday. . . . With the two defencemen out, the Warriors brought in D Matt Sanders from the midget AAA Calgary Buffaloes. . . . Also missing from Moose Jaw’s lineup was F Barrett Sheen, who has been given a TBD misconduct after he took a charging major and game misconduct for a hit on Swift Current F Tyler Steenbergen on Saturday. . . . The Wheat Kings scratched G Logan Thompson. . . . Announced attendance: 3,326.


At Victoria, the Royals erased a 3-2 deficit with two third-period goals to beat the Prince George Cougars, 4-3. . . . Victoria (39-25-6) has won two in row, having beat the visiting VictoriaRoyalsCougars, 4-3 in OT, on Friday night. Yes, the Cougars had a day off on Saturday in Victoria. . . . The Royals are second in the B.C. Division, three points behind Kelowna. Victoria has two games remaining. . . . Prince George (23-37-9) has lost five in a row (0-4-1). . . . Victoria went 5-2-1 in the season series; Prince George was 3-3-2. . . . F Aaron Boyd (13) gave the Cougars a 1-0 lead just 15 seconds into Sunday’s game. . . . The Royals took a 2-1 lead on goals from F Tarun Fizer (2), at 2:36, and F Matthew Phillips, on a PP, at 13:53. . . . The Cougars tied it at 17:14 on D Joel Lakusta’s ninth goal. . . . The visitors went ahead 3-2 at 19:02 of the second period when F Jackson Leppard (15) counted on a PP. . . . Victoria F Igor Martynov (18) tied it at 8:09, and Phillips (47) got the winner, on a PP, at 13:08. . . . The Royals got two assists from F Tyler Soy, who set a franchise record for games played (321), one more than D Ryan Gagnon (2012-17). . . . F Jared Bethune and F Brogan O’Brien each had two assists for the Cougars. . . . Victoria was 2-2 on the PP; Prince George was 1-3. . . . The Royals got 33 saves from G Griffen Outhouse, who won his franchise-record 35th game of the season. That broke the record he set last season. . . . G Tavin Grant stopped 30 shots for the Cougars. . . . Victoria has scored 284 goals this season, breaking the franchise record of 281 (2015-16). . . . Announced attendance: 5,815.


At Edmonton, D Wyatt McLeod scored in OT to give the Oil Kings a 4-3 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Edmonton (20-41-8) had lost its previous four games. . . . Kootenay (25-EdmontonOilKings38-6) has lost 10 in a row (0-7-3). . . . Edmonton won the season series, 4-1-1; Kootenay was 2-3-1. . . . The Oil Kings got the game’s first goal when D Conner McDonald (9) scored at 8:42 of the first period. . . . F Blake Allan (1) tied it at 12:40, and D Martin Bodak (7) gave the Ice the lead at 4:31 of the second period. . . . The Oil Kings went ahead 3-2 as F Trey Fix-Wolansky (30) and F Brett Kemp (16), on a PP, scored at 11:43 and 19:03. . . . The visitors forced OT as F Cameron Hausinger (19) tied the score at 19:33 of the third period. . . . McLeod won it with his second goal of the season. . . . Edmonton was 1-1 on the PP; Kootenay was 0-4. . . . The Oil Kings got 36 saves from G Josh Dechaine. . . . G Duncan McGovern stopped 25 shots for Kootenay. . . . Announced attendance: 10,533.


At Portland, G Cole Kehler recorded the shutout as the Winterhawks skated to a 2-0 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . Portland (43-21-5) is second in the Western PortlandConference standings, four points behind Everett (44-19-5), which had won its previous three games. . . . Each team has three games remaining. . . . Portland went 5-4-1 in the season series; Everett was 5-5-0. . . . Everett was playing for the third time in fewer than 48 hours. It went 2-1-0. . . . Kehler turned aside 28 shots in posting his fourth shutout this season and the sixth of this career. This season, he is 29-15-5, 2.72, .910. . . . The Winterhawks moved out front, 1-0, when D Brendan De Jong (5) scored at 10:06 of the first period. . . . The home side made it 2-0 at 13:54 of the third period on D Henri Jokiharju’s 10th goal, on a PP. . . . F Cody Glass had two assists for Portland. . . . The Winterhawks were 1-3 on the PP; the Silvertips were 0-5. . . . G Carter Hart stopped 29 shots for Everett. This season, he is 29-5-4, 1.55, .950. Three of his regulation-time losses have been to Portland. . . . Everett was without D Ondrej Vala, who drew a TBD suspension after he was tossed from a Saturday game with a cross-checking major and game misconduct following a hit on Seattle F Zack Andrusiak. . . . Portland scratched F Alex Overhardt (ill) and then lost F Lukus MacKenzie to what appeared to be an arm or wrist injury in the first period. . . . Announced attendance: 8,263.


At Kennewick, Wash., the Tri-City Americans broke a 2-2 tie with two second-period goals 23 seconds apart and went on to a 4-3 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Tri-City (36-TriCity3024-9) has won two in a row. It looks destined to finish in the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot. . . . Vancouver (34-25-9) is third in the B.C. Division, five points behind Victoria with three games to play. . . . Tri-City won three of four games between the teams this season. . . . D Jake Bean (10) gave the Americans a 1-0 lead at 14:27 of the first period. . . . F Ty Ronning pulled Vancouver even at 16:40. . . . Ronning had been ejected from a Saturday game with a clipping major and game misconduct, but the WHL obviously chose not to issue a suspension. . . . The Americans went ahead 2-1 on F Morgan Geekie’s 28th goal, at 17:31. . . . Ronning scored again — he’s got 59 — at 0:32 of the second period, this one on a PP. . . . The Americans moved into a 4-2 lead on two quick goals from F Michael Rasmussen (28) and F Riley Sawchuk (14), at 17:41 and 18:04. . . . F James Malm (19) got Vancouver’s third goal, at 18:16 of the third period. . . . D Anthony Bishop had two assists for Tri-City. . . . The Giants got two assists from F Davis Koch and one from Ronning. . . . Vancouver was 1-4 on the PP; Tri-City was 0-4. . . . Tri-City G Patrick Dea stopped 37 shots, one more than Vancouver’s David Tendeck. . . . Both teams were playing their third game in fewer than 48 hours. The Giants lost 6-2 to the host Americans on Friday, then moved on to Spokane where they beat the Chiefs, 6-5 in shootout, on Saturday. Then it was on the bus and back to Kennewick for this one. . . . The Americans won 6-2 in Portland on Saturday, so had a 3-0-0). . . . Dan O’Connor, the radio voice of the Giants, called his 500th WHL game. He is in his first season after having worked with the Prince George Cougars. . . . Announced attendance: 3,030.


MONDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


TUESDAY (all times local):

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Brandon 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Edmonton, 7 p.m.

Calgary at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.

Everett vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

Ex-players point fingers at WHL . . . Raiders shock Broncos, move into playoff spot . . . Andrusiak sparks Seattle’s key victory

A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

The WHL came under fire from two former players who appeared in front of Oregon’s Senate Committee on Workforce on Tuesday, reports TSN’s Rick Westhead. The Portland whlWinterhawks are seeking an exemption from the state’s minimum wage legislation. At a hearing on that subject, former WHL players Tyler Maxwell and James McEwan argued, according to Westhead, that “the WHL is a professional league and its teams are for-profit businesses.” . . . Maxwell played four seasons (2008-12) in the WHL, the first three-plus with the Everett Silvertips and the last 47 games with the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Maxwell, Westhead wrote, told the committee “that he was given excellent school grades in exchange for autographed pucks, and was refused an X-ray for days and forced to play in games after breaking a kneecap.” . . . Maxwell said he played with the injury for seven games. “I was still scoring so they didn’t care what shape I was in,” he said. . . . As for McEwan, according to Westhead, he testified “that he has navigated bankruptcy and battled depression without the support of his former teams or the WHL.” McEwan played two seasons each with the Kelowna Rockets and Seattle Thunderbirds, fighting at least 72 times over four seasons (2004-08). . . . Ron Robison, the WHL commissioner, informed the Oregon State Senate via letter that it is reviewing “the statements with the WHL clubs concerned.”

Westhead’s complete story is right here.

Maxwell’s testimony is right here.


Other than a 20-minute delay at one point, the Vancouver Giants made it over the Coquihalla Highway to Kamloops in good shape on Friday.

But shortly after they arrived at the Sandman Centre, the Highway from Hell was shut Vancouverdown in both directions due to an accident.

Then, early in the first period of the Giants’ game with the Blazers, came word that the highway likely wouldn’t be open again until at least midnight.

During the warmup and the early minutes of the first period, Derek Holloway, the Giants’ bus driver, was glued to his phone and also getting highway updates from a friendly blogger seated next to him. Holloway also was in close contact with Giants general manager Glen Hanlon, who hadn’t travelled with the team.

The highway has been closed on numerous occasions of late due to accidents, and upon hearing that it wasn’t likely to reopen before midnight, Hanlon quickly gave Holloway the OK to park the bus and for the Giants to spend the night in a hotel.

The Giants and Blazers will both be on the Coquihalla today, though, as they are scheduled to play in Langley tonight.


F Liam Stewart, who played four seasons with the Spokane Chiefs, has had his 2017-18 ended by a concussion. The 23-year-old Stewart, who has been playing for the Guildford Flames of the Elite Ice Hockey League, had been sidelined for almost two months due to the brain injury. He posted on Twitter that he “tried coming back against Sheffield but the symptoms came right back.” . . . The result, he wrote, is that “I’ve decided to do what’s best for my health and well-being and hang up my skates for the rest of the season.” . . . He had 12 goals and 11 assists in 35 games with the Flames. . . . Stewart’s decision means that he won’t be playing for Great Britain at the IIHF World Chamionship, Division 1 Group A, in Budapest, Hungary, April 22-28.


Stan Butler, the head coach of the North Bay Battalion, joined the OHL’s 700-victory club on Friday with a 2-1 victory over the host Mississauga Steelheads. . . . Butler has 630 victories with the Battalion (Brampton and North Bay) and 70 with the Oshawa Generals. He also spent one season in the WHL, with the Prince George Cougars, winning 28 games in 1996-97.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Regina at Medicine Hat

Brandon at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

FRIDAY:

At Swift Current, the Prince Albert Raiders scored twice in a shootout to beat the Broncos, 5-4. . . . Prince Albert (28-25-11) has won five straight and now holds down the PrinceAlbertEastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, two points ahead of Saskatoon. . . . Swift Current (45-14-6) has points in three straight (2-0-1). It is second in the overall standings, one point behind Moose Jaw. . . . The Broncos actually led this one 4-1 midway through the second period. . . . The home side took a 2-0 first-period lead on goals from F Kaden Elder (14), on a PP, at 3:49, and F Giorgio Estephan, at 14:45. . . . D Sergio Sapego (3) got the visitors on the scoreboard at 4:07 of the second period. . . . The Broncos took a 4-1 lead right after that, on goals from F Matteo Gennaro (39), at 5:38, and Estephan (30) at 6:52. . . . D Brayden Pachal (5) cut the Prince Albert deficit to a pair at 13:36. . . . The Raiders tied it on third-period goals from D Vojtech Budik (12), on a PP, at 16:29, and F Jordy Stallard (41), at 18:54, with the extra attacker on the ice. . . . Gennaro scored in the shootout to give the Broncos a 1-0 lead, but the Raiders won it on goals from F Regan Nagy and F Parker Kelly. . . . Stallard added two assists to his goal for the Raiders, with F Cole Fonstad also getting two assists and Sapego one. . . . F Aleksi Heponiemi had two assists for the Broncos, with Gennaro getting one. . . . Prince Albert was 2-6 on the PP; Swift Current was 1-5. . . . G Ian Scott started for the Raiders, but he left after giving up three goals on 13 shots in 25:38. Curtis Meger finished up by stopping 22 of 23 shots in 38:21. . . . G Stuart Skinner made 34 saves for the Broncos. . . . Announced attendance: 2,890.


At Saskatoon, F Jake Elmer scored the game’s last two goals as the Lethbridge Hurricanes beat the Blades, 5-3. . . . Lethbridge (32-25-6) has won three straight. It is second in the LethbridgeCentral Division, two points behind Medicine Hat. . . . Saskatoon (31-30-3) has lost three in a row. It is two points from a playoff spot. . . . F Braylon Shmyr (34) gave the Blades a 1-0 lead at 9:58 of the first period. . . . F Taylor Ross, who now has 20 goals, scored two second-period goals, at 0:49 and 2:11, to give Lethbridge a 2-1 edge. . . . F Bradly Goethals (15) got Saskatoon back even at 9:42. . . . F Jordy Bellerive (44) scored shorthanded at 7:32 of the third period to put the Hurricanes ahead. . . . F Eric Florchuk (14) got the Blades back into a tie at 10:26. . . . Elmer snapped the tie at 14:11, then added an empty-netter at 18:51. He now has 17 goals. . . . The Hurricanes got two assists from D Calen Addison, with Elmer and Bellerive adding one each. . . . Goethals added an assist to his goal. . . . Lethbridge was 1-3 on the PP; Saskatoon was 0-6. . . . G Logan Flodell stopped 43 shots to earn the victory. . . . The Blades got 27 stops from G Nolan Maier. . . . D Dawson Davidson was back in Saskatoon’s lineup after a brief absence. . . . Announced attendance: 3,988.


At Brandon, F Ty Lewis scored three times to lead the Wheat Kings to a 4-2 victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . Brandon (34-25-5) moved into third in the East Division, one BrandonWKregularpoint ahead of Regina. . . . Moose Jaw (47-14-3) leads the overall standings, by one point over Swift Current. . . . Lewis opened the scoring, on a PP, at 7:48 of the first period. . . . F Stelio Mattheos (38), who assisted on that first goal, made it 2-0 at 11:33. . . . Lewis added his second goal at 14:51. . . . F Barrett Sheen (5) scored for Moose Jaw at 15:30 of the first and F Justin Almeida (37) got the visitors to within a goal, on a PP, at 9:35 of the third. . . . Lewis completed his hat trick at 12:49. He’s got 39 goals. He also has seven goals over his past three games. . . . Brandon was 1-2 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 1-5. . . . G Logan Thompson was outstanding for Brandon, with 41 saves. . . . G Brody Willms was beaten twice on six shots in 11:33, before he was replaced by Adam Evanoff, who went 46:39 and turned aside 13 of 15 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 3,656.


At Edmonton, F Colton Kehler scored 18 seconds into OT to give the Oil Kings a 4-3 victor over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Edmonton (19-37-8) had lost its previous five games (0-4-1). It is last in the Eastern Conference, one point behind Calgary. . . . Calgary (19-35-9) has lost four straight (0-2-2). . . . Calgary led this one 3-0 in the second period. . . . F Zach Huber (1) got it started at 11:16 of the first period. The Hitmen then got second-period goals from F Jake Kryski (15), at 1:20, and F Jakob Stukel (32), at 4:25. . . . Edmonton F Trey Fix-Wolansky (28) got the comeback started, shorthanded, at 9:09 of the second. . . . F Kobe Mohr (9) pulled the Oil Kings to within a goal, on a PP, at 2:17 of the third period. . . . F Tomas Soustal (18) tied it at 19:25. . . . Kehler won it on a PP with his 27th goal of the season. . . . The Hitmen had a chance to go ahead 4-2 at 18:56 of the third period when F Luke Coleman was awarded a penalty. But he wasn’t able to score. . . . Edmonton was 2-6 on the PP; Calgary was 0-2. . . . The Oil Kings got 26 stops from G Josh Dechaine. . . . G Nick Schneider stopped 25 shots for Calgary. . . . Earlier in the day, the Oil Kings announced that they have added F Jake Neighbours to their roster for the remainder of the season, but he was a scratch from this one. From Airdrie, Alta., he was the fourth overall selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. This season, he had 26 goals and 31 assists in 33 games with the midget AAA Calgary Buffaloes. In three earlier games with the Oil Kings, he had one assist. . . . Announced attendance: 10,431.


At Red Deer, F Mason McCarty scored the only goal of a shootout to give the Rebels a 5-4 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Red Deer (24-28-13) had won three in a row. It is third Red Deerin the Central Division and now leads Kootenay (25-37-4) by seven points. The Ice, with six games left, has lost seven in a row (0-6-1). . . . Red Deer took a 1-0 lead when F Alex Morozoff (6) scored, on a PP, at 8:30 of the first period. . . . F Colton Kroeker (13) tied it at 10:59. . . . Red Deer took a 3-1 lead on second-period goals from McCarty (35), at 3:52, and F Reese Johnson (21), at 14:16. . . . The Ice tied it as F Michael King (8) scored at 16:23 of the second and F Colton Veloso (24) found the range any 15:29 of the third. . . . F Chris Douglas (9) put Red Deer out front, 4-3, at 16:43, only to have F Brett Davis (24) pull Kootenay even at 19:02. . . . The Rebels got two assists from F Brandon Hagel and one from McCarty. . . . F Peyton Krebs had two assists for the Ice. . . . Red Deer was 1-3 on the PP; Kootenay was 0-2. . . . G Riley Lamb recorded the victory with 27 saves. . . . Kootenay got 13 stops from Matt Berlin. . . . Red Deer was credited with two shots in the third period and three in OT. . . . The Rebels were without D Alex Alexeyev (hand), who left in the third period of their previous game and didn’t return. He could be gone for up to six weeks. . . . Announced attendance: 4,324.


Blazers2
It was Organ Donor Awareness Night in Kamloops, with the Blazers wearing Don Cherry-themed outfits. Head coach Don Hay got in the spirit of the night, too, and wore the No. 15 sweater.

At Kamloops, F Luc Smith scored twice to help the Blazers to a 5-1 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Kamloops (29-32-5) has won two in a row but remains six points Kamloops1from a playoff spot. . . . Vancouver (32-22-9) had points in each of its previous two games (1-0-1). It is third in the B.C. Division, three points behind Victoria. . . . F Ryley Appelt (4) gave the Blazers a 1-0 lead at 7:08 of the first period, and F Connor Zary; (8) made it 2-0, on a PP, at 5:42 of the second period. . . . Smith upped it to 3-0 at 0:40 of the third period. . . . Vancouver got its goal from F Ty Ronning  (55) at 7:34. . . . Smith (19) scored at 13:05 of the third, and D Brady Reagan (2) closed it out at 15:07. . . . F Jermaine Loewen had two assists for the winners, and Smith and Reagan each added one. . . . Kamloops was 1-4 on the PP; Vancouver was 0-1. . . . The Blazers got 30 saves from G Dylan Ferguson, who was sharp again. . . . G David Tendeck stopped 31 shots at the other end. . . . Kamloops continues to play without D Luke Zazula, whose return this season is in doubt. They also scratched D Montana Onyebuchi. . . . The Giants continue to play without D Dylan Plouffe, F Owen Hardy and F Milos Roman. . . . Announced attendance: 3,479.


At Portland, F Zack Andrusiak, who had two goals and two assists in regulation time, scored a shootout goal that gave the Seattle Thunderbirds a 5-4 victory over the SeattleWinterhawks. . . . Seattle (30-24-9) has won two in a row to remain six points ahead of Kamloops in the chase for the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot. The Thunderbirds hold three games in hand. . . . Portland (38-20-5) has points in four straight (3-0-1). It is second in the U.S. Division, two points ahead of Spokane. . . . Andrusiak gave Seattle a 1-0 lead at 14:27 of the first period, but Portland F Ty Kolle (6) tied it at 17:17. . . . Seattle took a 3-1 lead with the only goals of the second period, from Andrusiak (29), at 2:13, and F Donovan Neuls (21), at 8:19. . . . The Winterhawks grabbed a 4-3 third-period leads on goals from F Cody Glass (31), on a PP, at 9:47; F Joachim Blichfeld (22), at 9:53; and F Ryan Hughes (15), at 12:31. . . . Seattle forced OT when F Noah Philp (13) scored at 15:58. . . . Andrusiak and Philp scored shootout goals for Seattle, with Glass scoring for Portland. . . . Philp also had two assists, with Neuls getting one. . . . Philp has 45 points, including 13 goals, in 63 games with Seattle this season. In 132 games with Kootenay, prior to this season, he had 41 points, 14 of them goals. . . . Andrusiak has 63 points, including 29 goals, in 63 games. He went into this season with six goals and five assists in 67 games — 52 with Seattle, eight with Prince Albert and seven with Tri-City. . . . Portland got two assists from D Henri Jokiharju and one from Glass. . . . The Winterhawks were 1-1 on the PP; Seattle was 0-3. . . . G Liam Hughes stopped 36 shots through OT for Seattle. . . . The Winterhawks got 29 saves from G Cole Kehler. He started after watching G Shane Farkas go the distance in the previous three games. . . . Seattle had F Sami Moilanen back in the lineup after a 14-game absence. . . . Announced attendance: 6,124.


At Prince George, D Ryan Schoettler’s goal in OT gave the Cougars a 2-1 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . Prince George (23-33-8) has won three straight games. . . . Victoria (35-PrinceGeorge24-6) has lost four in a row (0-3-1), but the loser point was enough for it to clinch a playoff spot for the seventh consecutive season — or each season since the franchise relocated from Chilliwack. It is second in the B.C. Division, six points behind Kelowna. . . . Prince George D Joel Lakusta (8) scored the game’s first goal, on a PP, at 5:00 of the third period. . . . Victoria tied it at 8:07 when F Noah Gregor scored his 26th goal, on a PP. . . . Schoettler won it with his seventh goal of the season, at 4:04 of extra time. . . . Victoria had F Tyler Soy and F Matthew Phillips back in the lineup, after both sat out Wednesday’s 5-1 loss in Kamloops. . . . Phillips drew an assist on Gregor’s goal, giving him 101 points this season. That ties the Chilliwack/Victoria franchise record that was set by F Mark Santorelli in 2007-08. . . . Victoria was 1-4 on the PP; Prince George was 1-9. . . . The Cougars got 32 saves from G Taylor Gauthier. . . . At the other end, G Griffen Outhouse, who also sat out the game in Kamloops, stopped 36 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 4,035.


At Kennewick, Wash., F Jaret Anderson-Dolan’s goal in OT gave the Spokane Chiefs a 5-4 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . Spokane (37-21-5) has won four in a row. It is SpokaneChiefsthird in the U.S. Division, six points ahead of Tri-City. . . . Tri-City (32-22-9) has lost two straight (0-1-1). . . . Spokane jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals from F Ethan McIndoe (21), on a PP, at 9:03 of the first period. . . . D Dalton Hamaliuk (4) upped it to 2-0 just 36 seconds later. . . . The Americans scored the next three goals, with F Jordan Topping (36) counting at 12:29, F Morgan Geekie (24) scoring at 19:10, and D Dylan Coghlan (17) adding the third goal at 5:00 of the second period. . . . The Chiefs tied it on D Filip Kral’s seventh goal, on a PP, at 17:24. . . . Tri-City F Morgan Geekie (25) gave his guys the lead 50 seconds into the third period. . . . Spokane F Jake McGrew (17) tied it at 5:35. . . . Anderson-Dolan won it with his 35th goal at 3:51 of OT. . . . D Nolan Reid and F Hudson Elynuik each had two assists for the Chiefs, with Anderson-Dolan adding one. . . . Topping added an assist to his goal. . . . Spokane was 2-5 on the PP; Tri-City was 0-2. . . . G Dawson Weatherill stopped 36 shots for the Chiefs, three more than Tai-City’s Patrick Dea. . . . Announced attendance: 4,345.


At Everett, the Silvertips scored the game’s last four goals to beat the Kelowna Rockets, 4-2. . . . Everett (42-18-5) leads the Western Conference standings, by seven points over EverettKelowna. . . . Kelowna (38-21-6) has lost three in a row. . . . The Rockets led 2-0 on goals from F Carsen Twarynski (39), at 12:51 of the first period, and F Kole Lind (36), at 5:17 of the second. . . . F Matt Fonteyne (32) scored Everett’s first goal at 18:41. . . . The Silvertips tied it on F Patrick Bajkov’s 29th goal at 11:39 of the third period. . . . Everett F Connor Dewar broke the tie at 16:51, then added insurance with his 34th goal, on a PP, at 19:11. . . . F Garrett Pilon drew two assists for Everett, with Fonteyne getting one. . . . Bajkov’s goal was the 108th of his career and gave him the franchise record. That’s one more than F Tyler Maxwell scored with Everett. . . . The Silvertips were 1-4 on the PP; the Rockets were 0-1. . . . G Carter Hart recorded a 22-save victory. . . . G Brodan Salmond stopped 36 shots for the Rockets. . . . Announced attendance: 5,778.


SATURDAY (all times local):

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Brandon at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Regina at Calgary,  7 p.m.

Red Deer at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.

Victoria at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Kamloops vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7 p.m.

Seattle at Everett, 7:05 p.m.

Spokane at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Portland vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

Wheaties manage to beat Raiders . . . Hurricanes blow away Ice . . . Kambeitz breaks Giants’ hearts

A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

A number of former NHLers, including Hockey Hall of Famer Bryan Trottier, were in Regina for the All-Star Celebrity Classic on Saturday.

During the lead-up to the game, Dave Struch, the Regina Pats’ assistant GM and assistant coach, came face-to-face with Trottier for perhaps the second time in their lives.

The first time? That was during Struch’s four-game NHL career.

Struch relived that first meeting with Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post, and it’s all right here. Hey, there might even be a coaching lesson buried in here somewhere, courtesy of Dave King.


If you have a tip or just want to chat, email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com. You are able to follow me on Twitter at @gdrinnan.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw

Regina at Medicine Hat

Brandon at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

SATURDAY:

At Brandon, the Wheat Kings opened up a 3-0 first-period lead and, despite being badly outshot, beat the Prince Albert Raiders, 4-3. . . . Brandon (31-22-5) had lost its previous BrandonWKregularthree games, including a 5-2 setback in Prince Albert on Friday. It moved back into third in the East Division, one point ahead of Regina. . . . Prince Albert (23-24-11) is four points behind Saskatoon, which holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . Brandon is 3-2-0 in the season series; the Raiders are 2-2-1. . . . F Ty Lewis gave the home side a 1-0 lead 26 seconds into the first period. F Marcus Sekundiak (3) made it 2-0 at 2:40, and D Ty Ettinger (2) upped it to 3-0 at 14:31. . . . The Raiders got the only two goals of the second period, both on the PP, from F Jordy Stallard (38), who is from Brandon, at 9:35, and F Brett Leason (11), at 10:47. . . . The Raiders outshot the Wheat Kings 15-5 in the first period and 16-4 in the second, but went into the third period trailing 3-2. . . . Brandon stretched the lead to 4-2 when F Rylan Bettens (5) scored at 2:15 of the third. . . . F Spencer Moe (8) cut the Raiders’ deficit to one at 13:39. . . . The Raiders got two assists from F Kody McDonald. . . . Prince Albert was 2-5 on the PP; Brandon was 0-4. . . . G Logan Thompson stopped 39 shots in earning the victory. . . . Curtis Meger started for the Raiders and gave up four goals on 10 shots in 42:15. Ian Scott came on to stop the three shots he faced in 16:14. . . . The Wheat Kings again were without F Stelio Mattheos, but also scratched D Chase Hartje, D Daniel Bukac and F Linden McCorrister (all ill). . . . Announced attendance: 3,826.


At Lethbridge, the Hurricanes erased an early 2-0 deficit and went on to defeat the Kootenay Ice, 5-2. . . . Lethbridge (28-24-6) has won two in a row. It is second in the LethbridgeCentral Division, three points behind Medicine Hat. . . . Kootenay (25-32-3) is tied with Red Deer (20-26-13) for third in the Central Division, with the Rebels having a game in hand. The Ice has five more victories, but Red Deer’s loser points leaves it with a higher points percentage — .449 to .442. . . . The Ice and Hurricanes will meet this afternoon in Cranbrook. Each team will be playing its third game in fewer than 48 hours. . . . Lethbridge is 5-1-0 in the season series; Kootenay is 1-5-0. . . . The Ice led 2-0 on first-period goals from F Cameron Hausinger (18), at 2:57, and F Gillian Kohler (5), on a PP, at 5:04. . . . F Dylan Cozens (18) started Lethbridge’s comeback at 13:17, and F Brad Morrison (22) tied it, on a PP, at 15:41. . . . F Jordy Bellerive put the Hurricanes in front with 18.7 seconds left in the second period, on a PP. Bellerive had left the game briefly at 17:03 after taking a knee from Ice D Martin Bodak, who was tossed with a major and game misconduct. . . . F Jadon Joseph (7) upped the lead to 4-2 at 14:44 of the third period. . . . Bellerive (41) added an empty-netter at 19:59. . . . F Brett Davis had two assists for Kootenay. . . . Lethbridge was 2-5 on the PP; Kootenay was 1-7. . . . The Hurricanes got 29 saves from G Logan Flodell. . . . G Matt Berlin stopped 37 shots for the Ice. . . . Announced attendance: 3,680.


At Medicine Hat, F Ryan Jevne’s OT goal gave the Tigers a 4-3 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Medicine Hat (29-24-7) had lost its previous two games. It leads the Tigers Logo OfficialCentral Division by three points over Lethbridge. . . . Swift Current (42-13-5) has points in seven straight (6-0-1) and now is tied with Moose Jaw atop the overall standings. The Warriors hold four games in hand. . . . One night earlier, the Broncos beat the visiting Tigers, 6-2. . . . The Broncos won the season series, 3-0-1; the Tigers were 1-3-0. . . . Earlier, Jevne gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 17:18 of the first period. . . . The Broncos went ahead 3-1 on goals from F Glenn Gawdin (51), at 3:35 of the second period; F Aleksi Heponiemi (25), at 4:01 of the third; and D Artyom Minulin (12), at 6:14. . . . The Tigers got to within a goal when F Bryan Lockner (11) scored at 9:21, then tied it when F Elijah Brown (6) scored at 15:00. . . . Jevne won it with his 16th goal, at 3:07 of extra time. . . . The Tigers got two assists from F Mark Rassell. . . . Heponiemi had an assist for the Broncos, as did Gawdin. . . . Gawdin leads the WHL scoring race with 111 points, eight more than Heponiemi. . . . Gawdin also is on a 19-game point streak. . . . The Tigers were 1-3 on the PP; the Broncos were 0-5. . . . G Michael Bullion stopped 28 shots for the Tigers. . . . The Broncos got 34 saves from G Stuart Skinner. . . . Medicine Hat D Dylan MacPherson was back in the lineup after leaving Friday’s game early after taking a shot off one knee. . . . Announced attendance: 3,677.


At Kamloops, the Prince George Cougars got two shootout goals to beat the Blazers, 7-6. . . . Prince George (20-30-8) had lost its previous four games. It is fifth in the B.C. Division, PrinceGeorgenine points behind the Blazers. . . . Kamloops (26-28-5) has lost four straight (0-3-1) and is eight points out of a playoff spot. . . . Kamloops leads the season series, 5-2-1; Prince George is 3-5-0. . . . The Blazers, who lost 2-1 to visiting Kelowna on Friday night, are scheduled to play in Everett his afternoon. . . . F Nick Chyzowski (16) gave Kamloops a 1-0 lead 15 seconds into the first period. . . . The Cougars took a 2-1 lead on goals from F Vladislav Mikhalchuk, at 7:08, and F Josh Maser, on a PP, at 10:22. . . . The Blazers then went ahead 3-2 on goals from F Justin Sigrist (3), at 11:55, and F Jackson Shepard (9), on a PP, at 14:03. . . . Maser (25) tied it at 1:57 of the second period. Maser joined the Cougars during last season, after playing with the junior B Kamloops Storm. . . . F Josh Curtis (9) put the Cougars ahead, 4-3, at 4:14. . . . The Blazers got the next two goals to go ahead 5-4. F Jermaine Loewen (29) scored at 4:42, with F Quinn Benjafield (19), on a PP, scoring at 12:05. . . . The Cougars go the next two goals, going ahead 6-5 at Mikhalchuk (12) scored at 17:49 and F Jared Bethune (19) counted, on a PP, at 19:53. . . . After all that, F Tylor Ludwar (1) scored the only goal of the third period to get the Blazers into a 6-6 tie. . . . Mikhalchuk and F Ethan Browne scored shootout goals for the Cougars; Sigrist had one for the Blazers. . . . Kamloops was 2-3 on the PP; Prince George was 2-5. . . . The Cougars got 39 saves from G Tavin Grant. . . . Kamloops G Dylan Ferguson started and allowed five goals on 24 shots in 37:49. Max Palaga finished up, stopping six of seven shots in 27:11. . . . The Blazers lost D Nolan Kneen to a kneeing major and game misconduct at 2:48 of the second period. . . . F Connor Bowie, 16, made his WHL debut with the Cougars. From Fort St. John, B.C., he was a seventh-round pick by the Portland Winterhawks in the 2016 bantam draft. The Cougars acquired his rights in a deadline deal that had D Dennis Cholowski go to Portland. . . . Announced attendance: 3,165.


At Kelowna, F Trey Fix-Wolansky scored the only goal of a shootout to give the Edmonton EdmontonOilKingsOil Kings a 3-2 victory over the Rockets. . . . Edmonton (18-33-7) was 3-1-0 on a trek into the B.C. Division. . . . Kelowna (35-18-6) leads the B.C. Division by one point over Victoria. . . . The Oil Kings were able to dress only 10 forwards. . . . D Cal Foote (15) gave the home team a 1-0 lead at 5:34 of the first period. . . . D Conner McDonald (5) tied it with a PP goal, at 11:58. . . . D Braydyn Chizen (5) gave the Rockets a 2-1 lead at 5:52 of the second period. . . . Edmonton F Tomas Soustal (16), who moved over from Kelowna earlier in the season, tied it at 15:09. . . . Edmonton was 1-4 on the PP; Kelowna was 0-2. . . . The Oil Kings got 29 saves from G Todd Scott. . . . James Porter Jr. turned aside 27 shots for Kelowna. . . . Announced attendance: 5,112.


At Victoria, F Dino Kambeitz broke a 3-3 tie at 19:49 of the third period to give the Royals a 4-3 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Victoria (35-21-5) had lost its previous three VictoriaRoyalsgames (0-2-1). It is second in the B.C. Division, one point behind Kelowna and five ahead of the Giants, who have three games in hand. . . . Vancouver (31-19-8) had won its previous two games. . . . Victoria won the season series, 7-3-0; Vancouver was 3-4-3. . . . Kambeitz won it with his 11th goal of the season. . . . Giants F Ty Ronning had tied the score with his 53rd goal, with 36.3 seconds left in the third period. . . . Ronning had scored the game’s first goal, on a PP, at 1:41 of the second period. . . . Victoria went ahead 2-1 on goals from Kambeitz, at 11:57, and F Tyler Soy, at 1:59 of the third period. . . . F Brayden Watts (15) tied it for Vancouver at 13:15. . . . Soy put Victoria back out front with his 32nd goal, at 16:06. . . . The Royals got three assists from F Matthew Phillips, but he wasn’t able to score on a first-period penalty shot. Phillips ran his point streak to 21 games. . . . Watts added an assist for Vancouver. . . . With 53 goals, Ronning is one off the WHL lead that is held by Moose Jaw F Jayden Halbgewachs. . . . The Giants were 2-3 on the PP; the Royals were 0-1. . . . G Griffen Outhouse, back after being out for a couple of games, stopped 24 shots for the Royals. . . . G Trent Miner was outstanding for the Giants. He finished with 38 saves, 19 of them in the first period. . . . The Royals also had D Ralph Jarratt back after he sat out a couple of games. . . . Victoria D Kade Jensen played in his 300th regular-season game. . . . Announced attendance: 5,816.


At Spokane, F Jake McGrew had a goal and two assists to lead the Chiefs to a 5-1 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . Spokane (32-20-5) has won two in a row. It is third in the SpokaneChiefsU.S. Division, five points behind Portland. . . . Tri-City (29-21-8) has lost two straight. It is fourth in the U.S. Division, three points behind Spokane and one ahead of Seattle. . . . Spokane is 5-2-2 in the season series; Tri-City is 4-2-3. . . . The Chiefs jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on goals from F Ethan McIndoe (8), on a PP, at 3:54 of the first period, and D Ty Smith (10), at 4:14. . . . F Max James (7) scored Tri-City’s goal at 4:44. . . . Spokane got second-period goals from F Luke Toporowski (8), at 4:33, and McGrew (15), at 17:05. . . . D Dalton Hamaliuk (2) had Spokane’s final goal, at 7:06 of the third period. . . . F Riley Woods had two assists for the Chiefs. . . . Spokane was 1-5 on the PP; Tri-City was 0-1. . . . The Chiefs got 18 saves from G Dawson Weatherill. . . . G Patrick Tea stopped 27 shots for the Americans. . . . Announced attendance: 9,785.


At Everett, the Seattle Thunderbirds got two shootout goals and beat the Silvertips, 3-2. . . . Seattle (28-20-9) had lost its past four games (0-2-2). It holds down the Western SeattleConference’s second wild-card spot, one point behind Tri-City. . . . Everett (37-17-5) has points in seven straight (5-0-2). It leads the Western Conference standings by three points over Kelowna.  . . . On Friday, the visiting Silvertips beat the Thunderbirds, 4-3, in overtime. . . . Seattle is 4-2-1 in the season series; Everett is 3-2-2. . . . F Martin Fasko-Rudas (4) gave Everett a 1-0 lead at 16:54 of the first period. . . . Seattle F Blake Bargar (11) tied it, on a PP, at 1:42 of the second period. . . . D Jarret Tyszka (7) gave Seattle a 2-1 lead at 4:26. . . . Everett F Riley Sutter (23) tied it at 16:20. . . . F Noah Philp and F Zack Andrusiak scored shootout goals for Seattle, with F Matt Fonteyne replying for Everett. . . . Tyszka also had an assist. . . . Seattle was 1-2 on the PP; Everett was 0-5. . . . Seattle G Dorrin Luding stopped 41 shots through OT. . . . Everett got 30 stops from G Carter Hart. . . . The Silvertips were without F Sean Richards after he drew a TBD suspension. He was given a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct for a hit on Seattle D Jarret Tyszka on Friday. . . . Announced attendance: 8,238.


SUNDAY (all times local):

Moose Jaw at Regina, 2 p.m.

Saskatoon at Calgary, 2 p.m.

Lethbridge vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 4 p.m.

Red Deer vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 4 p.m.

Kamloops at Everett, 4:05 p.m.

Spokane vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 5:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY