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


MacBeth

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


DAN’S DIARY . . .

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

He reports:

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

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

“Brett Iverson did the game.”

Iverson is a veteran WHL referee.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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And don’t forget that the domain name here is greggdrinnan.com.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw

Regina at Medicine Hat

Brandon at Swift Current

Kootenay at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

WEDNESDAY:

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


THURSDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Regina at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Brandon at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

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

Kelowna at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

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

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

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


TWEET OF THE DAY

Kisio has lighter wallet, victory . . . Oil Kings shock Blazers . . . Rebels continue to put heat on Ice

Dan
Dan Courneyea of Kamloops is ready to work some games in the Gangneung Hockey Centre in PyeongChang.

DAN’S DIARY . . .

Dan Courneyea, who heads up the Kamloops Blazers’ off-ice crew of officials is at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang where he’ll be working the hockey competitions.

On Monday, he reported:

“The Games have started off well. Fans are showing up to events. When Korea is involved events are sold out — it’s great to see the support). Still cold, sun is out.

“The wind has been playing havoc on some events up in the mountains. Women’s hockey, no surprises. Men’s actually starts on the 14th.”


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

On the road again . . . the Edmonton Oil Kings are on the road, again. . . .

When the Oil Kings played in Kamloops on Monday afternoon, it was their 12th road EdmontonOilKingsgame in their last 15 assignments. Since Jan. 9, they have made stops in Brandon, Regina, Moose Jaw, Swift Current, Cranbrook, Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Cranbrook (again), Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Red Deer and Kamloops.

The Oil Kings’ present trip also will include stops in Victoria, Vancouver and Kelowna, which will make it 15 of 18 on the road, and all of that since Jan. 9.

All of the travel means two things to a WHL team — a lack of sleep and a dire shortage of true practice time.

Here’s Edmonton head coach Steve Hamilton, talking with Derek Van Diest of Postmedia:

“You give up sleep and that’s the biggest thing when you’re managing yourself on the road. Every bus trip, you give up sleep, and then you start operating from a deficit and it’s hard to make that up, because we haven’t had a set amount of time to recoup that. We’ve played every second day, every third day, we travel in between and practice has been virtually nil.”

Here’s  hoping that the WHL will put a whole lot of thought into its 2018-19 schedule. With the decision already made to trim each team’s schedule from 72 to 68 games, there really is a need for the WHL pooh-bahs, who love to talk about being a developmental league, to find more time for its players to rest and to practice.

Van Diest’s story is right here.


DEPARTMENT OF DISCIPLINE: Brent Kisio, the head coach of the Lethbridge Hurricanes, has been $750 after he was tossed from a 4-2 loss in Regina on Saturday. Kisio got the ol’ heave-ho at 15:01 of the third period. According to Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post, Kisio offered up a “lengthy tirade” and “gave referees Steve Papp and Mike Langin an earful before he finally left the bench, receiving a loud ovation from the locals.” . . . The WHL office also set F Parker Kelly’s suspension at one game. Kelly, a forward with the Prince Albert Raiders, took a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct for a hit on Saskatoon F Kirby Dach in a 6-3 loss to the host Blades on Saturday. Kelly served the suspension when he sat out Sunday’s 6-5 loss to the visiting Swift Current Broncos. Each didn’t play in Sunday’s 2-1 shootout victory over visiting Regina.


The Portland Winterhawks have signed D Nick Perna, a 16-year-old who is from Dallas, Texas. He was added to the Winterhawks’ protected list in March. The 6-foot-2 Perna had a goal and eight assists in 30 games with the Dallas Stars elite U16 AAA team. . . . Perna attended the Winterhawks’ training camp prior to the start of this season.


If you like what you see here, please consider clicking on the DONATE button over there to the right and helping the cause.

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


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw

Regina at Medicine Hat

Brandon at Swift Current

Kootenay at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

MONDAY:

At Cranbrook, the Lethbridge Hurricanes scored four third-period goals as they beat the Kootenay Ice, 5-2. . . . Lethbridge (26-23-6) had lost its previous two games. It is second in Lethbridgethe Central Division, five points behind Medicine Hat. The Hurricanes hold three games in hand. . . . Kootenay (24-30-3) has lost two in a row. It is third in the Central Division, seven points behind Lethbridge. . . .  D Koletrane Wilson (3) gave Lethbridge a 1-0 lead at 16:19 of the second period. . . . The Ice tied it at 17:54 when F Alec Baer (24) scored, on a PP, then took a 2-1 lead at 1:27 of the third period as F Colton Veloso (19) scored, also on the PP. . . . The visitors took a 3-2 lead on two goals from F Brad Morrison, at 15:22 and 15:41. He’s got 20 goals. . . . F Jake Elmer (15) added insurance, at 15:41, and F Jordy Bellerive (38) got the empty-netter, at 17:17. . . . The Hurricanes got two assists from each of D Calen Addison, Bellerive and F Jadon Joseph, with Morrison adding one to his pair of goals. . . . Kootenay was 2-5 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-5. . . . G Logan Flodell earned the victory with 26 saves, eight fewer than the Ice’s Duncan McGovern. . . . F Dylan Cozens was back in Lethbridge’s lineup after not having played since Jan. 19. He missed nine games with an undisclosed injury. When he went down, Cozens, 17, had 16 goals and 23 assists in 40 games. . . . Announced attendance: 2,969.


At Kamloops, the Edmonton Oil Kings erased a 1-0 deficit with two goals 22 seconds apart early in the second period and went on to a 4-1 victory over the Blazers. . . . Edmonton EdmontonOilKings(16-32-7) has won two in a row. . . . Kamloops (26-26-4) had won its previous two games. It remains six points away from a Western Conference wild-card spot. . . . F Jackson Shepard (7) was credited with the Blazers’ first goal, when a point shot by D Sean Strange went off his skate and trickled over the goal line. . . . Edmonton tied the score at 1:20 of the second period when F Colton Kehler re-directed a point shot by D Conner McDonald. . . . Shortly after that, the Blazers broke out 2-on-1, only to have the horn sound to kill play. An apparent save by Kamloops G Dylan Ferguson went to video review and Edmonton F Brendan Semchuk, who is from Kamloops, was awarded his 12th goal of the season. . . . Kehler (26) gave the visitors a 3-1 lead, on a PP, at 12:05 of the second period. . . . D Ethan Cap iced it with an empty-netter, at 19:29 of the third period. . . . D Conner McDonald, who began his career with Kamloops, had two assists for Edmonton. . . . Edmonton was 1-1 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-3. . . . G Josh Dechaine stopped 29 shots for Edmonton, 10 more than Dylan Ferguson of the Blazers. . . . This season, Kamloops is 1-6-2 when playing in front of more than 4,000 fans at home. . . . This game, on Faith and Family Day, drew the largest crowd this season. . . . Announced attendance: 5,578.


At Prince George, F Brandon Hagel earned four assists and G Riley Lamb posted the shutout as the Red Deer Rebels blanked the Cougars, 4-0. . . . Red Deer (18-26-13) has PrinceGeorgeclosed to within two points of third-place Kootenay in the Central Division. . . . Prince George (19-30-8) has lost four in a row. . . . D Dawson Barteaux (3) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 10:05 of the first period. . . . D Alex Alexeyev (7) upped that to 2-0 at 19:01 of the second period. . . . Alexeyev was playing his first game since Jan. 20. He had left the team and returned to Russia following the unexpected death of his mother. . . . F Mason McCarty (29), on a PP, and F Kristian Reichel (24) added third-period goals. . . . Barteaux and Alexeyev added an assist each, as did Lamb. . . . Lamb finished with 25 saves as he put up his first shutout of the season and the fourth of his career. . . . The Cougars got 27 saves from G Taylor Gauthier. . . . Announced attendance: 3,071.


At Kelowna, the Rockets opened up a 5-2 second-period lead and hung on for a 5-4 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . Kelowna (34-17-5) had lost its previous two games (0-KelownaRockets1-1). It leads the B.C. Division by one point over Victoria. The Rockets have two games in hand. . . . Victoria (34-20-4) had won two in a row. . . . The teams played a Friday-Saturday doubleheader in Victoria, with the Royals winning 6-1 and 4-3 in OT. . . . F Matthew Phillips (42) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead when he scored on a penalty shot at 5:02 of the first period. . . . Kelowna F Kole Lind tied it at 5:31. . . . The Royals went back out front at 8:29 when F Noah Gregor (21) scored. . . . Lind (31) tied it, on a PP, at 19:07. . . . The Rockets took control with three second-period goals. . . . F Dillon Dube (25) made it 3-2 at 4:03; F Carsen Twarynski (35) scored at 8:09; and D Gordie Ballhorn (4) upper it to 5-2, on a PP, at 13:52. . . . F Tyler Soy (29) got Victoria to within two at 16:04. . . . The Royals cut the deficit to one on a goal by F Andrei Grishakov (18), on a PP, at 11:01 of the third period. . . . Dube added two assists to his goal, with F Kyle Topping and D Cal Foote also getting two assists each for the Rockets. Lind added one to his pair of goals. . . . The Royals got two assists from F Igor Martynov and one from Phillips. . . . Phillips now has 93 points, which is a Victoria franchise record. He had shared the record with F Alex Forsberg (2015-16). F Mark Santorelli holds the Chilliwack/Victoria record (101, 2007-08). . . . Phillips also is riding a franchise record 18-game point streak. He has 34 points, including 14 goals, in that time. . . . Kelowna was 2-5 on the PP; Victoria was 1-3. . . . Kelowna G James Porter Jr. allowed four goals on 25 shots in 51:20, before leaving with an injury. Brodan Salmond came on to finish up. He stopped the only shot he fced in 8:40. . . . The Royals got 30 stops from G Griffen Outhouse. . . . Each team was 4-3-1 in the season series. . . . Wayne Moore of castanet.net reports that “Lind may have suffered a concussion after he was hit by by Ralph Jarratt while cutting through the slot. Lind lay on the ice for several minutes before being helped off the ice.” Jarratt wasn’t penalized on the play; Lind didn’t return. . . . “I don’t really have any comment on the hit,” Kelowna head coach Jason Smith told Moore, “because the league will look at that, and there may be some decisions on what they thought, whether it was a clean hit or not a clean hit.” . . . Announced attendance: 5,625.


TUESDAY (all times local):

Tri-City at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

McIntyre, former WHLer, dies at 48 . . . Burke, Gawdin century men . . . Hart equals career shutout record . . . Big night for two Chiefs

SeoulAirport
Dan Courneyea of the Kamloops Blazers’ off-ice crew arrived at the airport in Seoul en route to the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. (Photo: Dan Courneyea)

DAN’S DIARY . . .

Dan Courneyea, who heads up the Kamloops Blazers’ off-ice crew of officials left Friday for PyeongChang and the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, where he’ll be working the hockey competitions.

He arrived in Seoul on Saturday — well, it was Sunday there — and then took a high-speed train to PyeongChang. En route, he sent along this note:

“Well . . . the time change is definitely something! It’s 17 hours, so it was Sunday when we got here. Temp is -7/c but windy and I mean cold. Feels like -20/c with a wind blowing in your face. Looks like everything is set up nicely and the Korean people are very friendly.”


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

Ken McIntyre, who was involved in a 10-player trade during the WHL’s 1986-87 season, has died.

McIntyre, 48, was found unresponsive at an intersection in Minot, N.D., on Wednesday afternoon. A passer-by spotted him, initiated CPR and called 9-1-1.

According to The Associated Press, police in Minot say “medical conditions” caused his death. The police released that information after an autopsy was completed on Friday.

According to AP, police responded to the call on Wednesday. “The man was taken to the hospital,” AP reported, “where he was pronounced dead a short time later.”

McIntyre, a native of Regina, had been living in Minot.

He was in his second season with the Pats when he was traded to the Seattle Thunderbirds. Joining McIntyre on the way west were F Brent Fedyk, F Garnet Kazuik, D Gerald Bzdel and F Kevin Kowalchuk. In return, the Pats acquired F Craig Endean, F Ray Savard, F Erin Ginnell, F Grant Chorney and the rights to F Frank Kovacs, who was 15 and playing bantam AA in his hometown of Regina.

After finishing that season with Seattle, McIntyre played with the Moose Jaw Warriors in 1987-88. In 167 regular-season games, he had  20 goals and 28 assists, along with 288 penalty minutes.

Someone who knew McIntyre told Taking Note that he was “a world traveller” who at one time was teaching English in Cambodia.

After being away from Regina for a number of years McIntyre returned to help care for his ill father until his death. While in Regina, McIntyre spent a lot of time with former teammate Brad Hornung at the Wascana Rehabilitation Centre and they renewed their friendship.

“He was a fun guy,” Terry Hornung, Brad’s mother, told Taking Note, “and everyone who knew him liked him. We will all miss him.”


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IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw

Regina at Medicine Hat

Brandon at Swift Current

Kootenay at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Victoria

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Kelowna


Scoreboard

SATURDAY:

At Edmonton, F Trey Fix-Wolansky scored a late goal to give the Oil Kings a 4-3 victory EdmontonOilKingsover the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Edmonton (15-32-7) had lost its previous three games. . . . Red Deer (17-26-13) had points in each of its previous nine games (7-0-2). It is fourth in the Central Division, four points behind Kootenay. . . . Interestingly, Fix-Wolansky had been ejected from the Oil Kings’ 7-2 loss in Red Deer on Friday night, thanks to a cross-checking major and game misconduct at 8:42 of the first period. Obviously, the WHL office didn’t feel it was a suspendible offence, so he played on Saturday. . . . Fix-Wolansky scored the winning goal with 7.6 seconds left in the third period, one second after an Edmonton PP had expired. He got his 23rd goal of the season by kicking the puck into the net from about five feet above the top of the Red Deer crease. The goal wouldn’t have counted last season, but the WHL changed the rule to allow pucks to be kicked in, as long as the kicker isn’t in the goal crease. . . . The Rebels had tied the game 3-3 at 18:21 when F Reese Johnson (18) scored while shorthanded. . . . Edmonton F Liam Keeler (3) opened the scoring at 3:45 of the second period with a shorthanded goal. . . . The other six goals all were scored in the third period. . . . Red Deer took a 2-1 lead on goals from F Austin Schellenberg (2), at 3:34, and F Brandon Cutler (2), at 3:57. . . . The Oil Kings went ahead 3-2 on goals from F David Kope (9), at 6:40, and F Colton Kehler (24), on a PP, at 8:52. . . . D Conner McDonald had two assists for Edmonton, with Kehler and Fix-Wolansky each getting one. . . . Johnson also had an assist for Red Deer. . . . Edmonton was 1-3 on the PP; Red Deer was 0-5. . . . The Oil Kings got 29 saves from G Josh Dechaine. . . . Red Deer G Ethan Anders stopped 18 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 11,317.


At Moose Jaw, the Warriors scored three times in the first period and went on to a 6-0 MooseJawWarriorsvictory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Moose Jaw (42-9-3) has won three in a row. It leads the overall standings by five points over Swift Current. . . . The Warriors have equalled their victory total from last season when they finished 42-21-9. The franchise record for victories in a season (45) is from 2011-12, when they went 45-19-8. . . . Kootenay (24-29-3) is third in the Central Division, five points behind Lethbridge. . . . G Brody Willms stopped 15 shots for his second shutout in as many nights. He blanked visiting Lethbridge 2-0 on Friday. Willms has four shutouts this season and five in his career. . . . F Brayden Burke opened the scoring at 7:47 of the first period as he became the first player in all of the CHL to reach 100 points. He later added a second goal, giving him 28, and an assist, pushing his total to 102 points. . . . D Dmitri Zaltsev (6) upped Moose Jaw’s lead to 2-0 at 18:30, and F Brett Howden made it 3-0 at 19:32. . . . Howden later added a second goal, giving him 20, and D Brandon Schuldaus (4) also scored. . . . The Warriors got two assists from each of D Kale Clague and Zaitsev, with Howden and Schuldhaus adding one each. . . . Moose Jaw was 1-4 on the PP; Kootenay was 0-2. . . . The Ice got 28 saves from G Matt Berlin. . . . Announced attendance: 3,309.


At Regina, the Pats broke a 1-1 tie with three straight goals as they skated to a 4-2 victory ReginaPats100over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Regina (29-23-5) is fourth in the East Division, two points behind Brandon. . . . Lethbridge (25-23-6) has lost two in a row. It is second in the Central Division, seven points behind Medicine Hat. . . . D Libor Hajek (11) gave Regina a 1-0 lead at 4:04 of the first period. . . . F Logan Barlage (4) tied it, on a PP, at 17:55. . . . Regina took control on goals from F Matt Bradley (32), at 2:23 of the second period, and F Sam Steel (21), on a PP, at 15:09. D Cale Fleury (10) made it 4-1, shorthanded, at 3:17 of the third period. . . . F Brad Morrison (18) got Lethbridge’s second goal, on a PP, at 19:46. . . . F Jake Leschyshyn had two assists for Regina, with Fleury, Steel and Hajek adding one each. . . . Lethbridge was 2-7 on the PP; Regina was 1-10. . . . G Max Paddock earned the victory with 33 saves. . . . Lethbridge G Logan Flodell, who is from Regina, stopped 30 shots on his 21st birthday. . . . The Pats scratched G Ryan Kubic, so brought in G Jacob Wasserman from the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos as the backup. . . . Regina also was without F Jared Legien, who was a recent healthy scratch for a couple of games. . . . Announced attendance: 6,484.


At Swift Current, the Broncos scored the game’s first four goals and went on to a 5-2 SCBroncosvictory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Swift Current (39-13-4) has won three in a row. It is second in the overall standings, five points behind Moose Jaw. . . . Brandon (30-20-5) is third in the East Division, two points ahead of Regina. . . . F Glenn Gawdin of the Broncos, playing in his 300th game, drew an assist on the game’s first goal, making him the second WHLer this season to get to 100 points. He followed Moose Jaw F Brayden Burke by about 20 minutes. . . . Gawdin later scored his club’s fourth goal, his 47th, while shorthanded. . . . F Tyler Steenbergen (38) opened the scoring at 19:09 of the first period. . . . F Matteo Gennaro upped it to 2-0, on a PP, at 15:34 of the second, and F Beck Malenstyn (8) made it 3-0 at 19:20. . . . Brandon made it interesting on third-period goals from F Jonny Hooker (3), at 5:39, and F Ty Lewis (29), shorthanded, at 11:47. . . . Gennaro concluded the scoring with his 35th goal, at 18:27. . . . F Aleksi Heponiemi had two assists for the Broncos. . . . Swift Current was 1-5 on the PP; Brandon was 0-4. . . . G Joel Hofer stopped 22 shots for the Broncos, three fewer than Brandon’s Logan Thompson. . . . Announced attendance: 2,890.


At Saskatoon, the Blades erased a 3-2 deficit with four third-period goals as they beat the SaskatoonPrince Albert Raiders, 6-3. . . . Saskatoon (27-26-3) holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, two points ahead of the Raiders (22-22-11). . . . Jeff D’Andrea of panow.com points out that the Raiders have lost 14 in a row in Saskatoon. . . . The Blades took a 1-0 lead at 7:44 of the first period when F Michael Farren (7) scored. . . . F Parker Kelly (25) tied it 36 seconds later. . . . F Josh Paterson (26) scored, on a PP, at 16:39 to give the Blades a 2-1 lead. . . . The visitors went ahead 3-2 on a pair of second-period goals from F Jordy Stallard (36), at 11:35 and 16:49, the latter via a PP. . . . The Blades owned the third period. . . . D Logan Christensen (2) tied it at 9:15 and F Bradly Goethals put Saskatoon in front at 10:32. . . . F Braylon Shmyr (27) added insurance at 15:37. . . . Goethals, who has 13 goals, got the empty-netter at 19:57. . . . Shmyr and F Eric Florchuk each had two assists for the winners, with Christensen getting one. . . . Saskatoon was 1-3 on the PP; Prince Albert was 1-5. . . . The Blades got 29 stops from G Nolan Maier. . . . G Ian Scott stopped 24 shots for the Raiders. . . . Prince Albert lost Kelly to a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct at 18:27 of the first period for a hit on Saskatoon F Kirby Dach, who left the game and didn’t return. . . . The Blades and their fans celebrated the 30th anniversary of the opening of their arena. . . . Announced attendance: 4,444.


At Everett, G Carter Hart tied the WHL’s career shutout record as the Silvertips beat the EverettVancouver Giants, 5-0. . . . Everett (35-17-4) has points in four straight (3-0-1). It leads the Western Conference by two points over Portland and Victoria. . . . Vancouver (29-18-8) is third in the B.C. Division, five points behind Kelowna. . . . Hart stopped 23 shots in putting up his seventh shutout of the season and the 26th of his career. He now shares the career record with Tyson Sexsmith (2004-09). . . . Hart has 26 shutouts in 178 regular-season appearances. Sexsmith did it in 179 appearances, the first one with Medicine Hat and the rest with Vancouver. . . . Hart also won for the 107th time with Everett, tying Leland Irving’s career franchise record. . . . F Ethan O’Rourke (6) opened the scoring, getting his first goal since coming over from Prince George last night, at 11:34 of the second period. . . . F Sean Richards (19) made it 2-0 at 14:12. . . . Everett got third-period goals from F Matt Fonteyne (31), D Ian Walker (1) and F Bryce Kindopp (16). . . . F Patrick Bajkov helped out with two assists, with O’Rourke, Richards and Fonteyne each getting one. . . . Vancouver was 0-4 on the PP; Everett was 0-5. . . . Vancouver G David Tendeck surrendered four goals on 42 shots in 45:38. Trent Miner finished up, stopping seven of eight shots in 14:22. . . . Everett D Kevin Davis played in his 331st regular-season game. F Shane Harper (2005-10) holds the franchise record, at 335. . . . Announced attendance: 5,982.


At Prince George, F Jermaine Loewen had two goals and two assists to lead the Kamloops Kamloops1Blazers to a 4-2 victory over the Cougars. . . . Kamloops (26-25-4) had beaten the host Cougars, 3-2, on Friday night, winning on Loewen’s goal at 19:20 of the third period. The Blazers are six points out of a playoff spot. . . . Prince George (19-29-8) has lost three in a row and now trails Kamloops by 10 points. . . . Loewen, who has 28 goals, opened the scoring at 7:17 of the first period. . . . The Cougars took a 2-1 lead on second-period goals from F Jackson Leppard (12), on a PP, at 12:34, and F Kjell Kjemhus (2), at 16:13. . . . Kamloops tied it when F Travis Walton (3) scored at 6:59 of the third period. . . . F Orrin Centazzo (9) broke the tie at 16:47, and Loewen adding insurance at 18:48. . . . F Connor Zary had two assists for the Blazers. . . . Loewen’s career highs going into this season were six goals and 11 assists from last season. This season, he has 47 points, 28 of them goals, in 49 games. . . . Prince George was 1-3 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-1. . . . G Dylan Ferguson stopped 30 shots for Kamloops, one more than Prince George’s Isaiah DiLaura. . . . Kamloops D Joe Gatenby played in his 300th regular-season game. . . . The Blazers dressed 17 skaters, one under the maximum, because F/D Tylor Ludwar was serving a one-game suspension after he took a kneeing major and misconduct on Friday, and F Luc Smith and D Luke Zazula are nursing injuries. . . . Announced attendance: 2,645.


At Kent, Wash., the Portland Winterhawks broke open a scoreless game with three Portlandsecond-period goals and went on to a 4-1 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Portland (34-18-4) has won four in a row. It is second in the U.S. Division, two points behind Everett. . . . Seattle (27-19-9) had points in each of its previous three games (1-0-2). It is tied with Tri-City for the Western Conference’s two wild-card spots. . . . The teams will turn around and play in Portland on Sunday, the third game in fewer than 48 hours for both clubs. . . . F Cody Glass (27) got Portland started, on a PP, just seven seconds into the second period. . . . D Keoni Texeira (8) made it 2-0 at 8:37, and F Ryan Hughes (10) upped it to 3-0 at 13:11. . . . Seattle got its goal from F Graeme Bryks (1) at 4:40 of the third period. . . . Bryks, who turned 17 on Jan. 22, is from Edmonton. He was an eighth-round pick in the 2016 WHL bantam draft. He was playing in his third WHL game, but his first since Oct. 7. Bryks is up from the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints. . . . F Skyler McKenzie (41) got the empty-netter for Portland at 18:43. . . . Hughes and Texeira each had an assist for Portland. . . . Portland was 1-4 on the PP; Seattle was 0-3. . . . The Winterhawks got 28 saves from G Cole Kehler, while Seattle’s Liam Hughes made 24 saves. . . . Announced attendance: 6,058.


At Kennewick, Wash., F Jaret Anderson-Dolan and F Kailer Yamamoto had five points SpokaneChiefsapiece as the Spokane Chiefs beat the Tri-City Americans, 6-3. . . . Spokane (30-19-5) has points in 10 straight (8-0-2). It is third in the U.S. Division, seven points behind Portland. . . . Tri-City (27-19-8) has lost four in a row (0-3-1). It is tied with Seattle, three points behind Spokane. . . . Anderson-Dolan finished with three goals and two assists, with Yamamoto scoring once and adding four helpers. F Ethan McIndoe, the third member of that line, had a goal and two assists. . . . Anderson-Dolan, who has 32 goals, gave his guys the lead at 6:01 of the first period. . . . The Americans took a 2-1 lead before the period ended, thanks to goals from F Michael Rasmussen (20), on a PP, at 15:19, and F Morgan Geekie (21), at 18:12. . . . Spokane got the next three goals, the first two via the PP. . . . D Ty Smith (9) tied the score at 7:29 of the second period, and McIndoe (17) gave the Chiefs the lead just 24 seconds later. . . . Anderson-Dolan made it 4-2 at 8:48 of the third period. . . . Tri-City D Juuso Valimaki (6) got his mates to within a goal, at 9:34. . . . Yamamoto (12) got that one back at 12:46, and Anderson-Dolan completed the hat trick with an empty-netter, at 19:15. . . . Smith added two assists to his goal. . . . Geekie had an assist for Tri-City. . . . In 12 games since returning to the Chiefs from the WJC, Yamamoto has 30 points, including 20 assists. . . . Spokane was 2-5 on the PP; Tri-City was 1-5. . . . G Dawson Weatherill stopped 25 shots for Spokane. . . . G Beck Warm blocked 14 shots for Tri-City. . . . Announced attendance: 5,011.


At Victoria, F Tanner Kaspick scored at 2:22 of OT to give the Royals a 4-3 victory over the VictoriaRoyalsKelowna Rockets. . . . Victoria (34-19-4) had beaten the visiting Rockets 6-1 on Friday. It now leads the B.C. Division by one point over Kelowna. . . . Kelowna (33-17-5) is five points ahead of Vancouver. . . . These same two teams will play again Monday afternoon, this time in Kelowna. . . . Last night, the Royals got two goals from each of Kaspick and F Noah Gregor, both of them mid-season additions by GM Cam Hope. . . . Gregor gave the home team a 1-0 lead at 3:52 of the first period. . . . Kelowna went ahead 2-1 on goals from F Kole Lind, at 8:36, and D Cal Foote (14), at 13:18. . . . Kaspick tied it at 17:44 of the second period. . . . F Conner Bruggen-Cate (16) put Kelowna back out front at 8:22 of the third period. . . . Gregor tied it with his 20th goal, on a PP, at 10:19. . . . Kaspick won it with his 20th goal, on a PP, in OT. . . . Kaspick has scored eight goals in 11 games with the Royals, and he has five game-winners. . . . Royals F Matthew Phillips drew one assist, giving him 91 points this season. That ties the Victoria franchise record for points in a single-season (F Alex Forsberg, 2015-16). F Mark Santorelli holds the Chilliwack/Victoria franchise record (101 points, 2007-08). . . . F Dante Hannoun had two assists for the Royals, with Gregor and Kaspick adding one each. . . . Foote had an assist for Kelowna. . . . Kelowna was 1-1 on the PP; Victoria was 2-6. . . . G Griffen Outhouse earned the victory with 33 saves. . . . G James Porter Jr. stopped 34 shots for Kelowna. . . . Announced attendance: 5,874.


SUNDAY (all times local):

Medicine Hat at Calgary, 2 p.m.

Swift Current at Prince Albert, 4 p.m.

Regina at Saskatoon, 4:05 p.m.

Seattle at Portland, 5 p.m.

Everett at Spokane, 5:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

Lowes is Hall of Famer . . . Kehler wins duel with Hart as ‘Hawks win . . . Topping fills hat in rout of Royals . . . Anders blanks Blades

MacBeth

F Eric Johansson (Tri-City, 1997-2002) has been released by Val Pusteria Brunico (Italy, Alps HL). He had eight goals and 18 assists in 31 games. . . .

F Jiří Cetkovský (Calgary, 2002-03) has signed a contract for the rest of the season with Prostějov (Czech Republic, 1. Liga) after being released by Nové Zámky (Slovakia, Extraliga). He had five goals and eight assists in 38 games. . . .

D Richard Nedomlel (Swift Current, 2010-13) has been assigned on loan by Sparta Prague (Czech Republic, Extraliga) to Mladá Boleslav (Czech Republic, Extraliga) for the rest of this season. He had two assists in 34 games. . . .

D Tomáš Voráček (Prince Albert, 2007-09) has signed a contract the for rest of this season with Sparta Prague (Czech Republic, Extraliga) after obtaining his release from Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia, KHL). He had three assists in 53 games. . . .

F Lukáš Vantuch (Calgary, Lethbridge, 2005-07) has been assigned on loan by Liberec (Czech Republic, Extraliga) to Chomutov (Czech Republic, Extraliga) for the rest of the season. He had two assists in 29 games. He also had one goal and two assists in three games while on loan to Benátky nad Jizerou (Czech Republic, 1. Liga).


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

Bob Lowes, a former WHL player and coach, was inducted into the U of Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame on Wednesday night. After completing his WHL playing career (Prince Albert, Regina, 1982-84), Lowes played four seasons (1985-89) with the U of Manitoba Bisons. . . . He later worked in the WHL as an assistant coach with the Regina Pats and Seattle Thunderbirds, then as a head coach with the Brandon Wheat Kings and Regina. . . . These days, he is the assistant director of player personnel with the NHL’s top team, the Vegas Golden Knights.


If you like what you get here, please consider clicking on the DONATE button over there to the right and helping the cause.

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.

And don’t forget that the domain name here is greggdrinnan.com.

Enjoy!


Scoreboard

WEDNESDAY:

At Regina, the Pats unleashed a 60-shot barrage as they skated to a 4-1 victory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . The Pats (26-22-5) had lost their previous two games. They are ReginaPats100fourth in the East Division, four points behind Brandon. Regina also holds down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, four points ahead of Saskatoon. . . . The Cougars (18-26-8) are 0-3-1 on an East Division swing. They are 13 points out of a playoff spot. . . . The Pats held a 24-7 edge in first-period shots, but came out tied 1-1. F Jesse Gabrielle (7) scored for the Pats, on a PP, at 1:20, with F Jared Bethune (17) scoring, while shorthanded, for the Cougars at 7:57. . . . Regina took control with second-period goals from F Sam Steel, at 4:15, and F Matt Bradley (30), at 11:17. . . . F Cam Hebig (35) stretched the lead to 4-1, shorthanded, at 1:35 of the third period. . . . F Emil Oksanen had two assists for Regina, with Steel adding one. . . . G Max Paddock stopped 29 shots for Regina. . . . Prince George got 56 saves from G Taylor Gauthier. . . . The Cougars lost F Vladislav Mikhalchuk at 6:11 of the second period with a headshot major and game misconduct. . . . Announced attendance: 5,426.


At Saskatoon, G Ethan Anders posted his first WHL shutout as the Red Deer Rebels beat Red Deerthe Blades, 2-0. . . . Red Deer (14-25-12) has points in five straight (4-0-1) and is fourth in the Central Division, nine points behind Kootenay. . . . Saskatoon (25-24-3) had won its previous two games. It holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, three points ahead of Prince Albert. The Raiders hold two games in hand. . . . D Jacob Herauf (2) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 1:49 of the first period. . . . F Josh Tarzwell (6) got the empty-netter at 18:53 of the third period. . . . Anders, a 17-year-old freshman from Regina, stopped 33 shots. He is 8-14-6, 2.95, .910. . . . The Blades got 24 stops from G Tyler Brown. . . . F Kirby Dach (ill) was among Saskatoon’s scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 2,821.


At Cranbrook, B.C., the Edmonton Oil Kings scored the game’s first two goals and went on to a 5-2 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Edmonton (14-29-7) had lost its previous four EdmontonOilKingsgames (0-3-1). . . . The Ice (23-24-3) had won three in a row. It is third in the Central Division, three points behind Lethbridge. . . . F Trey Fix-Wolansky (21) got Edmonton started at 19:25 of the first period and F Tomas Soustal (13) made it 2-0 just 27 seconds into the second period. . . . Ice F Brett Davis scored a PP goal at 14:03. . . . The Oil Kings got that one back on a PP as F Nick Bowman (5) scored at 1:50 of the third period. . . . Davis (18) scored again at 5:06, but the Oil Kings put it away on goals from F Brett Kemp (12), at 9:47, and F Colton Kehler (23), into an empty net, at 19:06. . . . The Oil Kings got two assists from F Brendan Semchuk, with Soustal and Fix-Wolansky adding one each. . . . The Ice got two assists from D Jonathan Smart. He’s got three goals and 13 assists, including his 50th career assist, in 27 games with the Ice since moving over from Regina. . . . Edmonton was 1-4 on the PP; Kootenay was 1-7. . . . G Todd Scott earned the victory with 30 saves, 10 more than Kootenay’s Duncan McGovern. . . . Announced attendance: 2,112.


At Kamloops, D Luke Zazula broke a 1-1 tie at 2:02 of the third period and the Blazers went on to a 3-1 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Kamloops (24-24-3), which has Kamloops1won six of seven, is six points from a playoff spot. . . . Medicine Hat (26-21-6) has lost two in a row. It leads the Central Division by six points over Lethbridge. . . . F Luc Smith (16) gave Kamloops a 1-0 lead at 15:30 of the first period, using a baseball swing to bang in a goal-mouth rebound. . . . Medicine Hat tied it when F Elijah Brown (2) scored, on a PP, at 16:23 of the second period. . . . Zazula broke the tie with his third goal. . . . F Jermaine Loewen (24) provided insurance when he tipped in a point shot by D Montana Onyebuchi at 8:15 of the third period. . . . F Carson Denomie had two assists for Kamloops, with Loewen getting one. . . . Medicine Hat was 1-2 on the PP; Kamloops was 1-4. . . . G Dylan Ferguson was solid for the Blazers, with 36 saves, four more than Medicine Hat’s Michael Bullion. . . . F Ryan Chyzowski of the Tigers took a headshot major and game misconduct on Tuesday in Kelowna. Sometime on Wednesday that was changed to an interference major and it didn’t draw a suspension, so he was in the lineup in his hometown. In all liklihood, it also was the final meeting between the Chyzowski brothers. Nick, 20, is in his final season with the Blazers. . . . Announced attendance: 3,321.


At Portland, F Cody Glass and F Kieffer Bellows returned to the Winterhawks’ lineup with five points in a 3-0 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . Portland (30-17-4) has won Portlandtwo in a row. It is second in the U.S. Division, three points behind Everett. . . . Everett (32-17-3) had points in each of its previous 10 games (9-0-1). The Silvertips are second in the Western Conference, one point behind Kelowna. . . . Bellows, who has 24 goals, scored at 11:11 and 13:18 of the third period. . . . F Skyler McKenzie (38) added an empty-netter at 18:51. . . . Glass, who missed six games with a hip injury, had three assists, with McKenzie adding one. . . . Bellows (hand) had sat out seven games. . . . G Cole Kehler stopped 21 shots in recording his third shutout this season and the fifth of his career. . . . Everett got 39 saves from Carter Hart, including 20 in the second period when the Winterhawks held a 20-5 edge. . . . Announced attendance: 3,938.


At Langley, B.C., F Ty Ronning scored twice to help the Vancouver Giants to a 4-1 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Vancouver (26-16-8) had lost its previous four games (0-2-2). VancouverThe Giants are third in the B.C. Division, four points behind Victoria. . . . Calgary (15-29-6) is 0-3-0 on a B.C. Division swing that began with two losses in Victoria. . . . Vancouver got out to a 1-0 lead at 9:59 of the first period on a goal by F Davis Koch (19). . . . F Tyler Popowich (5) made it 2-0 at 4:38 of the second period. . . . Ronning, who is second in the league with 44 goals, made it 3-0 at 11:22 of the second and 4-1 at 18:50 of the third. . . . Calgary got its goal from F Jakob Stukel (24) at 4:05 of the third. . . . F Tyler Benson had two assists for the winners. . . . Each team was 0-4 on the PP. . . . Vancouver G David Tendeck stopped 27 shots, three fewer than Calgary’s Nick Schneider. . . . F Justin Sourdif, the third-overall selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft, was in the Giants’ lineup. He was pointless in an earlier game with them. He plays for the Valley West Hawks of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League. . . . D Darian Skeoch was among Vancouver’s scratches, and the Giants still are without F Milos Roman. . . . Announced attendance: 2,624.


At Kennewick, Wash., F Jordan Topping scored three goals before the game was half over to lead the Tri-City Americans to a 7-1 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . Tri-City (26-16-TriCity307) has points in six straight (4-0-2). It is third in the U.S. Division, five points behind Portland and one ahead of Seattle. . . . Victoria (30-18-4) had won its previous three games. It is second in the B.C. Division, four points behind Kelowna. . . . Topping, who has 29 goals, got the game’s first two scores, at 2:30 and 5:05 of the first period. . . . He completed the hat trick at 7:22 of the second period, giving his guys a 5-0 lead. . . . That was Topping’s sixth career hat trick, and he now has 100 career goals in 220 games. This season, he has 29 goals and 29 assists in 49 games. . . . F Isaac Johnson (14) and F Michael Rasmussen (19) also had first-period goals for the Americans. . . . F Morgan Geekie (18), who also had three assists, added a second-period PP goal for a 6-0 lead. . . . Victoria F Jared Freadrich (11), on a PP, scored for Victoria at 2:37 of the third period. . . . Tri-City F Nolan Yaremko (16), on a PP, rounded out the scoring at 9:40. . . . The Americans got three assists from D Dylan Coghlan, two from Rasmussen, with Yaremko and Johnson each getting one. . . . Tri-City was 3-6 on the PP; Victoria was 1-3. . . . G Beck Warm stopped 28 shots for the Americans. . . . Victoria started Griffen Outhouse was beaten six times on 31 shots through 40 minutes. Dean McNabb finished up by stopping five of six shots in the third period. . . . F Tanner Kaspick, with six goals, four of them game-winners, in eight games since being acquired from Brandon, was among Victoria’s scratches. . . . D Juuso Valimaki was back in Tri-City’s lineup for the first time since Dec. 13. Between injuries and playing for Finland at the WJC, he has played in only 19 WHL games this season. . . . Announced attendance: 2,421.


THURSDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Red Deer at Moose Jay, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Prince George at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Swift Current at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Spokane vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.

Everett at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

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

Medicine Hat at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

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


TWEET OF THE DAY

Hockey loses writing legend . . . It’s twins for the Hurricanes . . . Halbgewachs is first sniper to 50 . . . Bellerive, Topping, Volcan fill their hats

A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

Many observers are in agreement that the newspaper business is headed for an abyss.

If that, indeed, is the case, it is a tragedy that generations to come won’t ever enjoy the thrill of waiting for their daily newspaper to be delivered in order to read the likes of Red Fisher, who died Friday at the age of 91.

When I was a youngster, I delivered the Winnipeg Tribune. It arrived in our town via a train, which came in three nights a week. That meant I delivered two papers at a time. First, though, I would camp under a street light and read Jack Matheson. Later, in the mid-1970s, I was fortunate enough to spend five years working for Matty, which is how I came to meet the legendary Jim Coleman, who was the national columnist for Southam, which owned a number of Canada’s major dailies.

Coleman was one of the greats, and so was Fisher.

Back in the day, newspapers entered into exchanges with other newspapers. We would send you a copy of our product; you would reciprocate. That’s how I came to read Fisher on a regular basis.

As Michael Farber, no slouch himself, wrote on Friday for the Montreal Gazette, Fisher’s “career touched seven decades.” Think about that for a moment or two.

Think about this, too — the first Montreal Canadiens game that Fisher covered, as Farber pointed out, “was the Richard Riot, that singular marriage of hockey, sociology and, ultimately, mythology that has marked Quebec for generations.”

Take a minute today and think about Fisher and all that he stood for as a journalist who was there when teams and writers travelled via train and was still writing when Twitter arrived.

He really did see it all, and he wrote it all, too.

Do yourself a favour at some point today. Pour yourself a cup of tea or coffee, and read Farber’s story celebrating the life and career of Red Fisher. It is right here.


I continue to hear from people wondering if I’m back writing again, or if it’s all over. So please don’t be afraid to tell your friends and neighbours that I’m back up and pass along the address. Thank you.


Danny Flynn made his debut as a WHL head coach on Friday night as the host Portland Winterhawks dropped a 5-3 decision to the Swift Current Broncos.

With Mike Johnston, Portland’s general manager and head coach, on a scouting trip, PortlandFlynn took over. Johnston, who apparently was at the bantam AAA John Reid Memorial tournament in St. Albert, Alta., on Friday,

is expected to rejoin the Winterhawks back for tonight’s game in Langley, B.C., against the Vancouver Giants.

Of course, it’s not like Flynn doesn’t have any experience as a head coach. For starters, he was in the Memorial Cup last season as head coach of the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs. He also has been head coach of the OHL’s Belleville Bulls and Soo Greyhounds, and the QMJHL’s Moncton Wildcats.

Flynn and Johnston both are from Dartmouth, N.S., which had a lot to do with Flynn’s joining the Winterhawks as an assistant coach prior to this season.

Evan Richardson, the play-by-play voice of the Winterhawks, pointed out via Twitter that Flynn is the fourth person to serve as a head coach in all three major junior leagues, joining Mike Kelly (Brandon, Windsor/North Bay, Saint John), Ron Harris (Spokane, Windsor, Saint-Jean) and Joe Canale (Medicine Hat, Sarnia, Shawinigan/Chicoutimi/Beauport/Sherbrooke).


The Lethbridge Hurricanes have signed twin brothers Adam and Justin Hall, both of whom were selected in the 2016 WHL bantam draft. . . . The twins, 16, are from Edmonton. Justin was a seventh-round selection; Adam was taken in the eighth round. . . . This season, they are playing for the midget AAA CAC Edmonton Canadians. Justin has 10 goals and eight assists in 27 games, while Adam has seven goals and 13 assists in 27 games.

While there have been a number of brother acts in the WHL, twins are a whole lot rarer. Of course, the Taphorn brothers — Kaeden and Keenan — are with the Kootenay Ice. The 17-year-olds are from Yorkton, Sask.

Know of any other twin acts? Email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com.


Hartley Miller, in his weekly Hart Attack column, wonders if winning is enough to draw hockey fans to an arena these days. He notes that the Prince George Spruce Kings are in the hunt for first overall in the BCHL, but their attendance is off about 10 per cent over last season and is the poorest it has been since 2010-11. . . . Miller points out, too, that the Spruce Kings are running a “Friday night promotion where they practically give away their product.” If you go to Save-On-Food, you are able to purchase the Friday Family Special — four tickets, including two adult, four soft drinks and four popcorn for $19.72. The regular price would be $68. . . . Now that’s a promotion. . . . Miller’s column is right here.


On Thursday, Jim Matheson, the Hockey Hall-of-Famer who covers the Edmonton Oilers for Postmedia, tweeted that he has been hearing that the annual Young Stars preseason tournament in Penticton, B.C., might be done.

The 2017 tournament was the eighth annual, but according to Matheson “many NHL scouts” have been saying that it “was disappointing for (the) calibre of kids taking part.”

However, Andrew Jakubeit, a former WHL on-ice official who now is the mayor of Penticton, told infonews.ca that all of this is news to him.

Jakubeit, who also is the event’s chairman, said that “we are still working with the (Vancouver) Canucks to finalize the details of the Young Stars tournament. It is our intention to host the event again this year.”


If you would like to contact Taking Note with information, have a question or just feel like commenting on something, feel free to send an email to greggdrinnan@gmail.com. I’m also on Twitter (@gdrinnan).


If you enjoy stopping by here, and even if you don’t, feel free to make a donation to the cause by visiting my old site, taking note.ca, and clicking on the DONATE button. Thank you, in advance.


Scoreboard

FRIDAY:

At Regina, F Jayden Halbgewachs scored twice, giving him 50 goals in 47 games, to lead the Moose Jaw Warriors to a 5-3 victory over the Pats. . . . Moose Jaw (37-7-3) has won MooseJawWarriorstwo in a row and continues to lead the overall standings by eight points over Swift Current. . . . Regina (24-20-4) had points in each of its previous five games (4-0-1). It holds down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot. . . . The Warriors took control with four first-period goals, two of them via the PP, as they outshot their hosts, 22-8. . . . Halbgewachs got it started, on a PP, at 5:46. . . . F Vince Loschiavo (14) made it 2-0 at 7:30, and D Dmitri Zaitsev (5) scored, on a PP, at 14:37. . . . F Tanner Jeannot (32) upped it to 4-0 at 19:34. . . . F Jesse Gabrielle (4) scored for Regina, on a PP, at 5:59 of the second period, but the Warriors got that one back when Halbgewachs got No. 50 at 3:35 of the third. . . . Halbgewachs joins F Theo Fleury and Kent Hayes as the only players in Warriors history to enjoy two 50-goal seasons. Halbgewachs finished last season with 50 goals in 71 games. Fleury had 61 in 1986-87 and 68 the following season. Hayes had 56 goals in 1984-85 and 50 in 1985-86. . . . The Pats’ last two goals came from D Josh Mahura, who has 16, at 8:53 and 19:09. . . . F Brayden Burke and D Kale Clague each had two assists for the Warriors, with Loschiavo adding one. . . . Mahura also had an assist to go with his two goals. . . . Moose Jaw was 2-3 on the PP; Regina was 2-4. . . . G Brody Willms earned the victory with 42 saves, 21 of them in the third period when his guys were outshot 23-5. . . . G Ryan Kubic stopped 32 shots for the Pats. . . . F Jake Leschyshyn was among Regina’s scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 6,484.


At Calgary, G Dylan Ferguson turned aside 32 shots to lead the Kamloops Blazers to a 2-1 Kamloops1victory over the Hitmen. . . . Kamloops (19-23-3) had lost its previous three games. It is eight points out of a playoff spot. . . . Calgary (14-26-6) is 13 points out of a playoff spot. . . . Don Hay of the Blazers now has 739 regular-season victories as a WHL head coach, three short of the all-time record that has belonged to Ken Hodge since the end of the 1992-93 season. . . . Ferguson was particularly busy in the third period when he stopped 19 shots. . . . The Blazers got their goals in the second period, from F Luc Smith (12), at 17:29, and F Quinn Benjafield (13), at 18:54. . . . D Vladislav Yeryomenko (11) scored for Calgary, on a PP, at 16:58 of the third period. . . . Calgary was 1-4 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-5. . . . The Hitmen got 34 stops from G Nick Schneider. . . . Announced attendance: 6,196.


At Red Deer, D Vojtech Budik scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Prince PrinceAlbertAlbert Raiders to a 5-1 victory over the Rebels. . . . Prince Albert (17-20-8) is five points behind Saskatoon, which holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . Red Deer (10-24-11) has lost 12 in a row (0-6-6) and has fallen into the league’s basement. . . . Budik, who has six goals, scored at 1:50 and 11:00, the latter via the PP, of the first period, then drew an assist on D Jeremy Masella’s fourth goal at 16:01. . . . F Jordy Stallard (31) made it 4-0, on a PP, at 4:55 of the second period. . . . D Alex Alexeyev (6) scored for Red Deer, on a PP, at 19:06. . . . The Raiders got their last goal from F Parker Kelly (19), shorthanded, at 7:00 of the third period. . . . Kelly also drew two assists. . . . The Raiders were 2-3 on the PP; the Rebels were 1-5. . . . Prince Albert got 29 saves from G Ian Scott. . . . Red Deer starter Ethan Anders allowed two goals on seven shots in 11:00. Riley Lamb came on in relief to stop 24 of 27 shots in 49:00. . . . Announced attendance: 3,987.


At Cranbrook, B.C., F Brendan Semchuk and F Colton Kehler each scored two first-period goals to get the Edmonton Oil Kings started towards a 5-1 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . EdmontonOilKings. . Edmonton (13-26-6) had lost its previous two games. . . . Kootenay (20-23-3), which opened a seven-game homestand, had won its past two games. It is third in the Central Division, five points behind Lethbridge. . . . Semchuk opened the scoring at 3:37 with his first goal since being acquired from Vancouver at the trade deadline. . . . Kehler, who has 20 goals, made it 3-0 with goals at 4:27 and 8:19, the latter via the PP. . . . Semchuk got his 10th goal at 14:54. . . . F Sebastian Streu (6) got the Ice’s goal, on a PP, at 4:43 of the second period. . . . Edmonton F Carter Souch (2) closed out the scoring at 13:49. . . . F Tomas Soustal had two assists for Edmonton, with Kehler adding one. . . . The Oil Kings were 1-2 on the PP; the Ice was 1-6. . . . Edmonton got 43 saves from G Todd Scott, 20 of those in the second period. . . . G Matt Berlin allowed five goals on 19 shots in his first start for the Ice since being acquired from Seattle at the trade deadline. He hadn’t played since Dec. 29 due to an undisclosed injury. . . . Announced attendance: 2,431.


At Portland, F Aleksi Heponiemi had three assists as he ran his point streak to 26 games in the Swift Current Broncos’ 5-3 victory over the Winterhawks. . . . Swift Current (33-10-SCBroncos3) has points in eight straight (7-0-1) and is 2-0-0 on its U.S. Division trek. The Broncos are second in the overall standings, eight points behind Moose Jaw. . . . Portland (26-15-4) has lost three in a row (0-2-1). It is second in the U.S. Division, two points behind Everett. . . . G Giorgio Estephan (20) gave the Broncos a 1-0 lead at 4:45 of the first period. That was the 300th regular-season point of his career. He later added two assists and now has 302 points in 301 games, the first 297 of those with Lethbridge. . . . F Skyler McKenzie (35) got Portland into a 1-1 tie at 14:11. He’s got five goals in his past three games and 14 goals in 13 games. . . . D Colby Sissons put the Broncos back out front at 7:50 of the second period, only to have F Alex Overheard (11) tie it, on a PP, at 15:20. . . . The Broncos took a 4-2 lead on third-period goals from F Beck Malenstyn (4), at 1:05, and Sissons (11), on a PP, at 11:21. . . . Portland F Joachim Blichfeld (15) cut into the lead at 17:55, but the Broncos iced it on an empty-netter from F Tanner Nagel (5) at 19:56. . . . Portland got two assists from D Dennis Cholowski, with Blichfeld and McKenzie adding one each. . . . Each team was 1-3 on the PP. . . . The Broncos got 34 saves from G Stuart Skinner. At the other end, Cole Kehler blocked 21 shots. . . . Cody Glass, Kieffer Bellows and Ryan Hughes (ill) were Portland’s scratches, each of them a top-six forward. . . . Portland did get back F Lane Gilliss and F Jake Gracious from injury-related absences. . . . The Winterhawks have added F Jaydon Dureau to their roster. An eighth-round selection in the 2016 bantam draft, Dureau has 27 goals and 31 assists in 28 games with the midget AAA Regina Pat Canadians this season. . . . Still, Portland only has 10 healthy forwards on its roster, so Dureau slotted in on Portland’s fourth line with defencemen John Ludvig and Conor MacEachern. Yes, the Winterhawks are running short of forwards, which may have something to do with GM/head coach Mike Johnston missing this game while on a scouting/recruiting assignment. . . . F Matteo Gennaro was among Swift Current’s scratches after having a run-in with a goal post during the Broncos’ 3-2 OT victory over the host Tri-City Americans on Wednesday. . . . Announced attendance: 5,300.


At Prince George, F Jordy Bellerive scored three times to help the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 6-2 victory over the Cougars. . . . Lethbridge (22-19-4) has points in six straight (5-0-1). LethbridgeIt is second in the Central Divison, four points behind Medicine Hat. . . . Prince George (17-23-7) has lost three in a row and is eight points from a playoff spot. . . . Bellerive, who has a career-high 29 goals in 44 games, picked up his first WHL hat trick. He scored 27 goals in 70 games last season. This season, he also career highs in assists (34) and points (63). . . . F Owen Blocker (2) gave Lethbridge a 1-0 lead at 5:32 of the first period. . . . The Cougars tied it at 8:14 as F Josh Curtis scored. . . . The Hurricanes scored the next three goals, all in the second period. . . . Bellerive scored at 1:46, with F Brad Morrison (16) counting at 4:08 and F Jake Elmer (13) at 4:33. . . . Morrison, who also had an assist, is from Prince George and played the first 260 regular-season games of his WHL career with the Cougars. They traded him to Vancouver prior to the start of this season, and he dealt to Lethbridge earlier this month. . . . Curtis (7) cut into the lead at 14:46. . . . Bellerive completed his hat trick with goals at 15:20 of the second period and 17:09 of the third. . . . Lethbridge got three assists from D Igor Merezhko. . . . D Joel Lakusta had two assists for the Cougars. . . . Lethbridge was 0-4 on the PP; Prince George was 0-5. . . . G Logan Flodell earned the victory with 22 saves. . . . G Taylor Gauthier started for the Cougars. He gave up four goals on 13 shots in 24:33 before being lifted in favour of Isaiah DiLaura, who stopped 13 of 15 shots in 35:27. . . . Announced attendance: 5,138.


At Kennewick, Wash., F Jordan Topping completed a three-goal night with a PP goal in OT to give the Tri-City Americans a 4-3 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . .Tri-City TriCity30(23-16-6) had lost its previous five games (0-4-1). It and Seattle are tied for third in the U.S. Division, four points behind Portland. . . . Brandon (28-13-4) has lost three straight (0-1-2) and is 0-1-1 on its swing into the U.S. Division. Still, the Wheat Kings are third in the overall standings. . . . The Americans took a 2-0 lead on first-period goals from Topping, on a PP, at 10:07, and F Isaac Johnson (12) at 11:26. . . . The Wheat Kings tied it on PP goals from F Baron Thompson (13) at 3:01 of the second period and F Stelio Mattheos (31) at 7:19 of the third. . . . Topping put Tri-City back out front at 12:28. . . . Brandon forced OT when F Evan Weinger (20) scored at 19:18 with the extra attacker on the ice. . . . Topping won it with his 26th goal at 2:49 of extra time. . . . Tri-City got three assists from D Dylan Coghlan and two from F Morgan Geekie. . . . F Ty Lewis had two helpers for Brandon, with Mattheos and Thompson getting one each. . . . Brandon was 2-2 on the PP; Tri-City was 2-3. . . . The Americans got 35 saves from G Patrick Dea, who was making his 150th regular-season appearance. . . . G Dylan Myskiw stopped 32 shots for Brandon. . . . The Americans had F Max James back from a four-game absence, the first three of which were due to a WHL suspension, but remain without D Juuso Valimaki, F Michael Rasmussen, F Kyle Olson and D Roman Kalinichenko. Rasmussen, who had pre-Christmas wrist surgery, is back skating, but he’s wearing a non-contact sweater and isn’t shooting the puck especially hard. . . . Earlier in the day, the Wheat Kings named D James Shearer, who is from Brandon, as the team captain. He takes over from F Tanner Kaspick, who was traded to the Victoria Royals on Jan. 10. . . . Announced attendance: 3,463.


At Langley, B.C., F Tanner Kaspick scored in the sixth round of a shootout to give the Victoria Royals a 4-3 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Victoria (27-16-4) has won VictoriaRoyalsfour straight and is second in the B.C. Divison, one point behind Kelowna and one ahead of Vancouver. . . . Vancouver (25-14-7) has points in 10 straight (7-0-3). . . . F Ty Ronning gave the Giants a 1-0 lead at 5:23 of the first period. . . . Victoria went ahead 2-1 on goals from F Dante Hannoun (19), on a PP, at 17:20 of the first and F Jeff de Wit (9), at 4:48 of the second. . . . Ronning, who has 42 goals, tied it at 11:11. . . . Victoria went back out front at 1:00 of the third period on F Tyler Soy’s 21st goal. . . . The Giants tied it again on D Dylan Plouffe’s eighth goal, at 7:51. . . . F Tyler Benson and F Owen Hardy each had two assists for Vancouver. . . . Victoria was 1-2 on the PP; Vancouver was 0-2. . . . G Griffen Outhouse stopped 40 shots through OT for the Royals. At the other end, David Tendeck made 22 saves. . . . The Giants remain without Slovakian F Milos Roman, who last played on Jan. 9. He has eight goals and 21 assists in 34 games. On Friday, the CHL announced that Roman, a freshman, won’t be playing in the Top Prospects Game on Thursday in Guelph. He was replaced by F Liam Foudy of the OHL’s London Knights. . . . The Giants did have D Darian Skeoch in the lineup after he sat since Jan. 9 with an undisclosed injury. . . . Announced attendance: 3,637.


At Kent, Wash., F Nolan Volcan scored three goals to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 7-2 victory over the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Seattle (23-16-6) has won three in a row and is Seattletied with Tri-City for third in the U.S. Division. . . . Kelowna (28-14-3) leads the Western Conference by one point over Victoria and Everett. . . . Seattle scored the game’s first three goals. F Zack Andrusiak (20) got it started 59 seconds into the first period. Volcan made it 2-0 at 8:01. . . . F Noah Philp (9) upped it to 3-0 at 6:07 of the second period. . . . F Dillon Dube (20) got the Rockets on the scoreboard, on a PP, at 10:20. . . . The Thunderbirds reply with three more goals, from Volcan, at 12:00, D Turner Ottenbreit (6), at 13:40, and F Blake Bargar (9), at 6:43 of the third period. . . . F Conner Bruggen-Cate (13) got Kelowna’s second goal at 10:34. . . . Volcan, who has 23 goals, completed his hat trick, on a PP, at 17:33. . . . Seattle got three assists from each of D Jarret Tyszka and F Sami Moilanen. . . . The Thunderbirds were 2-6 on the PP; Kelowna was 1-4. . . . G Dorrin Luding blocked 27 shots for Seattle. . . . The Rockets opened with G Brodan Salmond, who was beaten five times on 16 shots in 33:40. Cole Tisdale, 15, came on in his WHL debut and stopped 15 of 17 shots in 26:20. . . . Announced attendance: 6,057.


SATURDAY (all times local):

Regina at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Kamloops at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Prince Albert at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.

Lethbridge at Prince George, 7 p.m.

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

Victoria at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Brandon at Everett, 7:05 p.m.

Swift Current vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:05 p.m.

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


TWEET OF THE DAY

This actually was from Thursday, but it holds up with the Tigers not playing on Friday . . .

Pats extend coaching staff . . . Season over for two Oil Kings . . . Heponiemi burning it up

MacBeth

F Linden Vey (Medicine Hat, 2006-2011) signed a contract for the rest of the season with the ZSC Lions Zurich (Switzerland, NL A) after being released by Barys Astana (Kazakhstan, KHL). He had 17 goals and 35 assists in 50 games with Barys Astana. Vey was third in the KHL in assists and points. Astana has been eliminated from KHL playoff contention.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

The Regina Pats have signed John Paddock, their general manager and head coach, Dave ReginaPats100Struch, the assistant GM and assistant coach, and assistant coach Brad Herauf to multi-year contract extensions. . . . No further details were released, but Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post reported that all three extensions were “for three-plus years.” . . . Paddock joined the Pats prior to the 2014-15 season. In three-plus seasons, he has a regular-season record of 149-83-31 and the Pats have reached at least the second round of playoffs each season. In 2016-17, the Pats set a franchise record with 52 regular-season victories, before losing out in the WHL’s championship series. He has twice been named the WHL’s coach of the year. . . . Struch is in his 12th season as a WHL coach. Like Paddock, he came to Regina prior to the 2014-15 season. . . . Herauf, a former head coach of the midget AAA Regina Pat Canadians, is in his third season with the Pats.


The Edmonton Oil Kings revealed via Twitter on Thursday that two players — G Travis Child and F Andrei Pavlenko — will miss the remainder of this season “due to shoulder surgery.” . . . Child, from Killam, Alta., is a 20-year-old so the injury means his junior hockey career is over. He got into 23 games with the Oil Kings this season, last playing on Dec. 15 when he left after the first period of a 5-0 loss to the visiting Tri-City Americans. . . . Pavlenko is a 17-year-old freshman from Minsk, Belarus. He had three goals and an assist in 20 games, but hasn’t played since Nov. 14.


F Aleksi Heponiemi of the Swift Current Broncos ran his point streak to 25 games in Wednesday’s 3-2 overtime victory over the host Tri-City Americans. He had two goals, SCBroncosincluding the winner, and an assist in the victory.

In the 25 games, he has 19 goals and 43 assists. He has had two five- and two four-point games. There have been seven three-point outings, including each of the past two. He has enjoyed two-point games on nine occasions, and five times has had one point.

The Broncos will play Game 2 of a U.S. Division trek tonight in Portland.

Heponiemi last went pointless on Oct. 13 in a 1-0 victory over the visiting Vancouver Giants. The Finnish sophomore missed 10 games while playing at the WJC in Buffalo.

The longest point streak in WHL history lasted 56 games. F Jeff Nelson of the Prince Albert Raiders put up 108 points from Oct. 24, 1990, through March 6, 1991.

Second on the list is 47 games, which two members of the Regina Pats — Jock Callander (141 points) and Wally Schreiber (99 points) — did in 1981-82.

In 1980-81, Portland D Jim Benning had a 45-game streak during which he had 95 points.


A couple of notes from info supplied by Geoffrey Brandon (@GeoffreyBrandow):

F Matthew Phillips of the Victoria Royals had a goal and two assists Wednesday’s 4-2 VictoriaRoyalsvictory over the Winterhawks in Portland. He now has 31 goals this season, the third straight season in which he has scored at least 30. He also has 40 assists for a second straight season.

In his last 15 games, during which he has been blanked twice, Phillips has 10 goals and 14 assists.

Meanwhile, F Tyler Soy of the Royals scored his 20th goal of the season in Portland. He is the first play with four straight 20-goal seasons since Tyson Baillie (Kelowna Rockets), Jackson Houck (Vancouver Giants/Calgary Hitmen), Luke Philp (Kootenay Ice/Red Deer Rebels) and Brayden Point (Moose Jaw Warriors) all did it from 2012-16.


If you would like to contact Taking Note with information, have a question or just feel like commenting on something, feel free to send an email to greggdrinnan@gmail.com. I’m also on Twitter (@gdrinnan).


If you enjoy stopping by here, and even if you don’t, feel free to make a donation to the cause by visiting my old site, taking note.ca, and clicking on the DONATE button. Thank you, in advance.


Scoreboard

THURSDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Moose Jaw at Regina, 7 p.m.

Kamloops at Calgary 7 p.m.

Prince Albert at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Edmonton vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.

Swift Current at Portland, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Prince George, 7 p.m.

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

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

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


TWEET OF THE DAY

First call for Memorial Cup ducats . . . Goaltender’s WHL days over . . . Giants get trade acquisition signed . . . Royals short on D, beat hurting ‘Hawks

MacBeth

F Ryan Olsen (Saskatoon, Kelowna, 2009-14) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Orli Znojmo (Czech Republic, Erste Bank Liga). This season, he had eight goals and 17 assists in 34 games with the Utah Grizzlies (ECHL). . . .

G Mac Carruth (Portland, 2009-13) has signed a one-year extension with Fehérvár AV19 Székesfehérvár (Hungary, Erste bank Liga). In 26 games, he is 2.82 and.923. He is fourth in the league in save percentage.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

If you are planning to attend the 2018 Memorial Cup in Regina, you now are able to call your banker and tell him the size of the loan you will be needing.

Ticket packages for what will be the Memorial Cup’s 100th anniversary will go on sale to MemCupRegRegina Pats season-ticket holders today (Thursday).

From a news release:

“Ticket packages for the 10-day event will include eight guaranteed games (plus a tie-breaker if needed), with season-ticket holder pricing set at $695 for Centennial-level seating and $645 for Festival-level seating.

“Regina Pats season-ticket holders will also enjoy an exclusive ticket presale opportunity from Jan. 18-26. Season-ticket holders aren’t guaranteed their current seat but the host committee in conjunction with the Regina Pats will do all they can to limit seat relocation.”

The complete news release is available at the Pats’ website (reginapats.com).

Tickets will be released to the general public on Jan. 30. At that time, those packages will be priced at $750 and $700.

If you visit mastercardmemorialcup.ca and click on TICKETS, you will be taken to a ticketmaster site that includes this message: “If selected, you will receive a specific seat allocation. All tickets packages are $847.50 including tax.”

Last year, in Windsor, Ont., regular bowl ticket packages went for $595 plus tax, with platinum packages at $885 plus tax.

When it came to single-game tickets in Windsor, round-robin games not including the Spitfires were $75, while games including the Spitfires were $90. The semifinal game was $95, with the final set at $115. You had to add HST to each of those prices, too.


The Victoria Royals were without two veteran defencemen as they beat the host Portland Winterhawks, 4-2, on Wednesday night. . . . Chaz Reddekopp (undisclosed injury) will be missing for up to six weeks. He was injured in Saturday’s 5-4 victory over visiting Kamloops. . . . Kade Jensen, meanwhile, began serving a four-game suspension that was delivered after he took a cross-checking major after the final buzzer of Saturday’s game. That was for a hit on Kamloops D Luke Zazula during a late scrum. . . . Dan Price, the Royals’ head coach, told Cleve Dheensaw of the Victoria Times Colonist that Jensen’s penalty had nothing to do with a lack of discipline. The way Price saw it, Jensen was “trying to protect (Matthew Phillips) and sometimes things happen in the moment.” . . . With Reddekopp and Jensen out, the Royals have added D Remy Aquilon, 16, to their roster. He has been playing for the Kelowna-based Okanagan Rockets of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League. He got into two games with Victoria earlier in the season.


The Edmonton Oil Kings revealed via this week’s WHL roster report that G Travis Child’s EdmontonOilKingsjunior hockey career is over. According to the report, Child has a “season-ending” upper-body injury. Child, 20, is from Killam, Alta. He also played with the Swift Current Broncos and Brandon Wheat Kings. This season, with Edmonton, he was 6-13-2, 4.21, .868, but last played on Dec. 15. . . . Edmonton acquired him from Brandon on May 31, giving up a conditional fifth-round selection in the 2018 bantam draft in the swap. . . . In 107 regular-season appearances, Child was 33-39-10, 3.39, .893.

The Oil Kings are left with three goaltenders on their roster — Josh Dechaine, 19, Todd Scott, 17, and Boston Bilous, 16. Scott was acquired last week from the Vancouver Giants.


After choosing not to sign with the Swift Current Broncos, D Joel Sexsmith signed with VancouverVancouver on Wednesday, 10 days after being acquired by the Giants. . . . The Broncos selected Sexsmith ninth overall in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. He refused to sign with the Broncos and observers thought he might be taking the NCAA route. Instead, he signed with the Giants, who gave the Broncos a first-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft for his rights. . . . This season, he has two goals and nine assists in eight games with the Calgary-based Edge School elite 15s. . . . Sexsmith is the last of the 22 first-round selections from the 2017 bantam draft to sign a WHL deal.


The BCHL’s Prince George Spruce Kings and general manager Mike Hawes have signed a three-year contract extension that runs through May 31, 2021. His present deal was due to expire on May 31. . . . Hawes joined the Spruce Kings as an associate coach for 2005-06. After two seasons, he was named assistant GM and director of player personnel a role he filled for four seasons. He took over as GM during the 2010-11 season. . . . The Spruce Kings have made the playoffs in six of the past seven seasons.


A full 117 days since the start of the 2017-18 regular season, the WHL’s Official Guide, with the Seattle Thunderbirds on the cover, is available for download. Featuring what appear to be training camp rosters, it arrived quietly this week, a few days after the league’s roster-shuffling trade deadline passed us by.


If you would like to contact Taking Note with information, have a question or just feel like commenting on something, feel free to send an email to greggdrinnan@gmail.com. I’m also on Twitter (@gdrinnan).


If you enjoy stopping by here, and even if you don’t, feel free to make a donation to the cause by visiting my old site, taking note.ca, and clicking on the DONATE button. Thank you, in advance.


Scoreboard

WEDNESDAY:

At Prince Albert, F Matt Bradley scored twice to help the Regina Pats to a 4-3 victory over the Raiders. . . . Regina (24-19-4) has points in five straight (4-0-1) and now has won more ReginaPats100games (24) than it has lost (23). The Pats are fourth in the East Division, seven points behind Brandon. . . . Prince Albert (16-20-8) is seven points away from a wild-card spot. . . . D Vojtech Budik (4) gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 5:02 of the first period. . . . Regina tied it when F Jake Leschyshyn (15) scored at 19:55. . . . F Curtis Miske (14) put the Raiders back out front at 17:47 of the second period. . . . Bradley tied it at 18:12. . . . The Pats opened the third period by surviving a 5-on-3 disadvantage for 1:02, then scored two PP goals. . . . The first two came from Bradley, at 5:19. . . . F Jesse Gabrielle (3) gave the Pats a two-goal lead, at 6:54. . . . Prince Albert got to within a goal when F Jordy Stallard (30) scored while shorthanded at 15:07. . . . F Cam Hebig had two assists for Regina. . . . Prince Albert got two assists from F Regan Nagy, with Miske adding one. . . . Regina was 2-4 on the PP; Prince Albert was 1-5. . . . G Ryan Kubic earned the victory with 34 saves, five more than the Raiders’ Curtis Meger. . . . F Cole Fonstad of the Raiders came up short on a penalty shot at 1:48 of the first period. . . . Regina leads the season series, 5-0-0; Prince Albert is 0-3-2. . . . Announced attendance: 2,045.


At Medicine Hat, F Brett Davis scored with 4.2 seconds left in the third period to give the Kootenay Ice a 4-3 victory over the Tigers, who coughed up a three-goal lead. . . . KootenaynewKootenay (20-22-3) has won two in a row. The Ice is third in the Central Division, three points behind Lethbridge. . . . Medicine Hat (24-18-4) had points in its previous two games (1-0-1). The Tigers lead the Central Division by six points over Lethbridge. . . . The Ice went ahead 1-0 when D Martin Bodak scored, on a PP, at 6:04 of the first period. . . . The Tigers scored the next three goals, all of them in the first period. . . . F Mark Rassell (38) got it started at 7:17. . . . F James Hamblin (14) gave the home side a 2-1 lead at 9:59. . . . F Ryan Chyzowski (15) upped the lead to 3-1 at 13:00. . . . Bodak (3) got the Ice to within a goal at 16:51 of the second period. . . . Kootenay F Michael King (7) tied the score at 11:20. . . . Davis snapped the tie with his 14th goal of the season. . . . Ice F Colton Veloso, playing in his 250th regular-season game, had two assists, but missed on a first-period penalty shot. . . . F Peyton Krebs also had two assists for the Ice. . . . Hamblin added an assist for Medicine Hat. . . . The Ice was 1-3 on the PP; the Tigers were 0-3. . . . G Duncan McGovern stopped 34 shots and picked up an assist for the Ice. . . . The Tigers got 19 saves from G Jordan Hollett. . . . In its previous nine games in Medicine Hat, the Ice had lost nine times and been outscored 54-20. . . . Announced attendance: 2,817.


At Portland, F Matthew Phillips had a goal and two assists to lead the Victoria Royals to a 4-2 victory over the Winterhawks. . . . Victoria (26-16-4) has won three straight. It is tied VictoriaRoyalswith Vancouver for second in the B.C. Division, three points behind Kelowna. . . . Portland (26-14-4) had points in each of its previous five games (4-0-1). The Winterhawks are second in the U.S. Division, two point behind Everett with two games in hand. . . . F Tanner Kaspick (14), who was acquired from the Brandon Wheat Kings a week earlier, broke a 2-2 tie at 11:14 of the third period. . . . Phillips, who has 31 goals, made it 4-2 at 12:02. . . . F Tyler Soy (20) had given Victoria a 1-0 lead, while shorthanded at 8:28 of the first period. . . . F Skyler McKenzie (34) pulled Portland into a tie, on a PP, at 9:09. . . . The Royals went back out front when D Matthew Smith (3) scored at 15:06 of the second period. . . . F Cody Glass (25) tied it for Portland, on a PP, at 7:21 of the third period. . . . Portland got two assists from each of D Henri Jokiharju and D Dennis Cholowski. . . . Portland was 2-3 on the PP; Victoria was 0-3. . . . G Griffen Outhouse stopped 28 shots for the Royals, one fewer than Portland’s Cole Kehler. . . . F Kieffer Bellows was among Portland’s scratches after suffering an undisclosed injury on Saturday against visiting Everett. . . . Portland dressed nine forwards and eight defencemen, then lost F Ryan Hughes to an undisclosed injury in the first period. . . . With the shortage of forwards, Portland used D Conor MacEachern and D John Ludvig up front. . . . Announced attendance: 2,838.


At Prince George, the Seattle Thunderbirds scored five of the game’s last six goals and beat the Cougars, 7-4. . . . Seattle (22-16-6) had beaten the host Cougars, 5-2, on Tuesday Seattlenight. The Thunderbirds are tied with Tri-City for third in the U.S. Division. . . . Prince George (17-22-7) has lost two straight and is eight points out of a playoff spot. . . . Seattle F Mike MacLean scored his first WHL goal at 7:53 of the first period, but Prince George F Aaron Boyd (9) tied it one minute later. . . . F Matthew Wedman (8) gave the Thunderbirds a 2-1 lead at 9:36. . . . The Cougars took a 3-2 lead on goals by F Max Kryski (5), at 11:11, and F Josh Maser (21), on a PP, at 13:53. . . . Seattle followed with the next three goals for a 5-3 lead. . . . F Jaxan Kaluski (3) scored at 7:14 of the second period, with F Sami Moilanen (18), on a PP, counting at 11:29. F Dillon Hamaliuk (11) got the fifth goal at 4:55 of the third period. . . . Hamaliuk, who had one goal in 17 games last season, has 29 points in 44 games this season. He’s got four goals and five assists in his past four games. . . . D Jack Sander (2) pulled the Cougars to within a goal, on a PP, at 7:47. . . . The Thunderbirds iced it on goals from F Zack Andrusiak (19), on a PP, at 16:31, and F Nolan Volcan (20) at 17:39. . . . Seattle got two assists from F Donovan Neuls, and one each from Andrusiak, Wedman, Hamaliuk, Volcan and MacLean. . . . The Cougars got two assists from D Ryan Schoettler. . . . The Cougars were 2-5 on the PP; the Thunderbirds were 2-6. . . . Seattle got 18 saves from G Darrin Luding. . . . G Taylor Gauthier blocked 37 shots for the Cougars. . . . Announced attendance: 2,454.


At Kelowna, D Cal Foote scored in overtime to give the Rockets a 4-3 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Kelowna (28-13-3) leads the Western Conference by one point over Everett. . . . Lethbridge (21-19-4) has points in five straight games (4-0-1). It is second in the Central Division, six points behind Medicine Hat. . . . The Hurricanes started OT on the PP — Foote was in stir for delay of game after he knocked the Rockets’ net off its moorings late in the third period — and hit two posts in extra time. . . . F Jordy Bellerive (26) put Lethbridge out front 42 seconds into the first period. . . . Kelowna F Dillon Dube (19) tied it at 8:08. He also drew the lone assist on the winning goal. . . . Dube was in the lineup for the first time since the WJC ended in Buffalo. Dube, who last played for Kelowna on Dec. 9, had been out with the flu. Team Canada’s captain last played for Kelowna on Dec. 9; all told, he missed 13 games. . . . F Kole Lind (22) gave the home boys a 2-1 lead at 4:05 of the second period. . . . The Rockets went ahead 3-1 when F Conner Bruggen-Cate (11) scored shorthanded, at 8:52. . . . D Tate Olson (1) got Lethbridge to within a goal at 13:27. . . . The visitors tied it when F Taylor Ross (14) scored at 12:27 of the third period. . . . Foote, who also had an assist, won it with his eighth goal of the season, at 2:55 of OT. . . . Lethbridge got two assists from F Dylan Cozens. . . . Kelowna was 0-3 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-5. . . . G Brodan Salmond stopped 31 shots for the Rockets. Salmond played for the first time since Nov. 4. Prior to that, he last played on Oct. 15. Cole Tisdale, 15, was on the bench in support of Salmond. G James Porter Jr. (day-to-day) and Roman Basran (week-to-week) are out with undisclosed injuries. . . . Tisdale, an eighth-round pick in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft, played in his hometown for the minor midget Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . G Reece Klassen turned aside 33 shots for Lethbridge. (No, Logan Flodell didn’t start). . . . The Rockets remain without F Erik Gardiner (concussion), who hasn’t played since Oct. 28. He took a puck to the visor the previous night, played in the next game but hasn’t played since then. He may have suffered a setback, however, as he is shown as being out week-to-week on the Jan. 9 roster report, after being shown as day-to-day one week earlier. . . . Announced attendance: 5,103.


At Spokane, G Bailey Brkin recorded his first WHL shutout to led the Chiefs to a 3-0 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Spokane (23-19-3) holds down the Western SpokaneChiefsConference’s second wild-card spot, but is only one spot out of third in the U.S. Division. . . . Brandon (28-13-3) opened a U.S. Division swing with its first regulation loss in six games. It had been 3-0-2 in its previous five games. The Wheat Kings are third in the East Division, eight points behind Swift Current. . . . Brkin stopped 21 shots. The 18-year-old was acquired from the Kootenay Ice on Jan. 8 for a 2019 eighth-round bantam draft pick. He has been with the Chiefs with Dawson Weatherill out with an undisclosed injury. . . . F Kailer Yamamoto (4) scored the game’s first goal, at 14:40 of the first period, then set up F Ethan McIndoe (12) at 18:34. . . . F Milos Fafrak (6) rounded out the scoring at 17:57 of the second. . . . Yamamoto has two goals and four assists in three games since returning from the WJC where he played for the U.S. . . . Each team was 0-5 on the PP. . . . Brandon got 32 saves from G Logan Thompson. . . . Announced attendance: 3,113.


At Kennewick, Wash., F Aleksi Heponiemi’s second goal of the game, in overtime, gave the Swift Current Broncos a 3-2 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . Swift Current (32-SCBroncos10-3) has points in seven straight games (6-0-1). The Broncos are second in the overall standings, eight points behind Moose Jaw. . . . Tri-City (22-16-6) has lost five in a row (0-4-1). It is tied with Seattle for third in the U.S. Division. . . . The Broncos took a 2-0 first-period lead on goals from F Matteo Gennaro (30), at 14:58, and Heponiemi, at 19:03. . . . Tri-City tied it on goals from F Jordan Topping (23), on a PP, at 10:52 of the second period and D Jake Bean (7), at 16:59 of the third period. . . . Heponiemi won it with his 23rd goal of the season at 2:23 of OT. . . . F Morgan Geekie had two assists for the Americans. . . . The Americans were 1-5 on the PP; the Broncos were 0-1. . . . G Stuart Skinner recorded the victory with 24 saves. . . . The Americans got 37 stops from G Patrick Dea. . . . Tri-City F Max James was eligible to return after serving a three-game suspension, but he was scratched. . . . The Americans remain without D Juuso Valimaki, F Michael Rasmussen, D Roman Kalinichenko and F Kyle Olson, all of whom are injured. . . . Announced attendance: 2,428.


THURSDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Moose Jaw at Regina, 7 p.m.

Kamloops at Calgary 7 p.m.

Prince Albert at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Edmonton vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.

Swift Current at Portland, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Prince George, 7 p.m.

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

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

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

Wednesday in the WHL: A pair of four-goal games … ‘Sudden-Death’ Kemp beats Pats … Wolf howls in Everett

Scattershooting

Thankfully, the madness that was the WHL trading deadline has passed us by. Might I suggest that somewhere along the line some people appear to have forgotten that this is junior hockey. . . . Is it not completely absurd to be moving around 15- and 16-year-olds, some of whom haven’t even had a taste of the WHL?


Just putting this out there, but when the Regina Pats lost 4-3 in OT to the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings last night they had four players — D Josh Mahura, F Nick Henry, F Robbie Holmes and D Liam Schioler — in the lineup who played in Game 6 of last spring’s WHL championship final. F Jake Leschyshyn, who played last night, missed last season’s playoffs with a knee injury. F Sam Steel, who didn’t play last night, is resting after playing for Team Canada at the WJC in Buffalo. . . . The Pats made seven trades after the Christmas break. . . . This is what you call a massive makeover.



The biggest winners at the WHL trade deadline? How about the folks who recruit for NCAA hockey teams? Hey, with the whacky WHL schedule and teams combining to move 110 players and 77 bantam draft picks since Nov. 13, you have to think NCAA recruiters are fine-tuning their sales pitches.


It didn’t used to be this way, you know. There was a time when players and draft picks didn’t fly around like snowflakes at the WHL trade deadline. Asked what changed, one GM told Taking Note: “Greed. It’s all about the money now. You can’t build a team anymore.”



One thing to keep in mind after all that has gone on in the last while is this: At the end, only one team can win.


The way I see it, there are four legitimate championship contenders in the WHL right now. My rankings look like this: 1. Portland; 2. Moose Jaw; 3. Everett; 4. Swift Current. . . . For the fans of the other 18 teams, well, the WHL is sorry but there’s always next season.


I would say that Tri-City and Kelowna are close, and I really like Vancouver as a dark horse. But they aren’t quite there. The Americans? They need to get their key guys healthy, something they haven’t been able to do for most of two seasons now.


Thanks to eliteprospects.com, a site that is invaluable during a hockey season, but even moreso with a trade deadline approaching.


Peter Anholt gets it. He really does. On Tuesday morning, the general manager of the Lethbridge Hurricanes traded two players — G Stuart Skinner and F Giorgio Estephan — who have been cornerstones of that franchise. Later that night, after the Hurricanes scored a 5-4 OT victory over the Red Deer Rebels, Anholt met with fans to explain the trade and to answer any questions they might have.


All those players who left Regina over the past while? Here’s hoping their parents didn’t purchase Memorial Cup tickets and make travel plans.



MacBeth

F Jared Aulin (Kamloops, 1997-2002) has signed a one-year extension with Rapperswil (Switzerland, NL B). This season, he has 10 goals and 33 assists in 30 games. He leads his team in assists and points; he is fourth in the league’s scoring race and second in assists.


A LITTLE OF THIS …

Scott Burt, an assistant coach with the Spokane Chiefs, will have his number (12) retired by the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads on Feb. 3 when they entertain the Utah Grizzlies. Burt played 403 games with the Steelheads over seven seasons (2000-07). Burt is second in Steelheads history in games played (403), third in goals (111) and third in points (250). He played on two ECHL-championship clubs. . . . Burt, now 40, played four seasons (1994-98) in the WHL, making stops with the Seattle Thunderbirds, Swift Current Broncos, Edmonton Ice and Red Deer Rebels.


The Swift Current Broncos have dropped F Logan Foster, 18, from their roster. He has joined the SJHL’s Melville Millionaires. From Kamsack, Sask., Foster had one assist in seven games with the Spokane Chiefs last season. This season, he had two goals and an assist in 22 games with the Broncos. The Chiefs selected him in the seventh round of the 2014 bantam draft.


The Red Deer Rebels have dropped D Sam Pouliot, 17, from their roster. He is expected to join the BCHL’s Powell River Kings. He had one goal in 12 games with the Rebels. A native of Ottawa who now calls North Vancouver, B.C., home, he is an undrafted list player who was in his first WHL season.


The Medicine Hat Tigers have dropped F Jaxon Steele, 17, from their roster and he is expected to join the AJHL’s Calgary Canucks. He was pointless in 17 games with the Tigers.


THE COACHING GAME …

KABOOM! The junior B Kimberley Dynamiters of the Kootenay International Junior KimberleyHockey have signed Derek Stuart, their general manager and head coach, to a two-season contract extension that contains an option on a third season. . . . Stuart is a former Dynamiters player. From Calgary, he is in his second season on the bench. This season, the Dynamiters are 27-6-1-1 (one OTL and one tie) and lead the overall standings by a point over the Nelson Leafs.


Scoreboard

WEDNESDAY:

At Moose Jaw, F Tristan Langan scored four goals, including three in a row in the first period, to lead the Warriors to an 8-3 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Moose Jaw (34-MooseJawWarriors6-3) has points in nine straight games (8-0-1) and leads the overall standings by 10 points over Swift Current. . . . Calgary (13-23-6) had lost two in a row. . . . F Jakob Stukel gave the Hitmen a 1-0 lead at 4:22 of the first period. . . . The Warriors scored the next six goals. . . . Langan, who has 12 goals, scored at 7:42, 14:12 and 19:36 of the first period. His fourth goal, at 8:08 of the second period, gave the home side a 6-1 lead. . . . F Justin Almeida (25), F Brecon Wood (2), F Tyler Smithies, with his first WHL goal, and F Tate Popple (5) also scored for Moose Jaw. . . . Stukel, who has 20 goals, scored twice, the second one coming on a third-period penalty shot. . . . F Carson Focht also scored for Calgary. . . . The Warriors got three assists from each of F Tanner Jeannot and Jayden Halbgewachs, with D Dmitri Zaitsev getting two and Smithies one. . . . The Warriors were 2-4 on the PP; the Hitmen were 1-3. . . . The Warriors got 17 saves from G Adam Evanoff. . . . Calgary starter Nick Schneider gave up six goals on 22 shots in 28:08. Matthew Armitage came on to stop 10 of 12 shots in 31:52. . . . Announced attendance: 3,048.


At Regina, F Brett Kemp scored at 1:40 of OT to give the Edmonton Oil Kings a 4-3 victory over the Pats. . . . The Oil Kings (12-24-6) have won two in a row. . . . The Pats (21-19-4) EdmontonOilKingshave points in two straight (1-0-1) and hold down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, one point ahead of Saskatoon. . . . One night earlier, Kemp, who has 11 goals, scored at 2:06 of OT to give Edmonton a 3-2 victory in Brandon. . . . Last night, F Robbie Holmes gave Regina a 2-0 lead before the first period was half over. Holmes, who has 12 goals, scored at 4:37 and 9:59. . . . F Trey Fix-Wolansky (18) got Edmonton’s first goal, at 12:12. . . . The Oil Kings took a 3-2 lead on two goals from F Colton Kehler, at 1:07 of the second period and 1:13 of the third. . . . The Pats forced OT when F Matt Bradley (26) scored at 14:25. . . . Fix-Wolansky also had an assist. . . . F Austin Pratt drew two assists for Regina and Bradley had one. . . . The Pats were 0-2 on the PP; the Oil Kings were 0-3. . . . G Josh Dechaine stopped 33 shots for Edmonton, four more than Regina’s Ryan Kubic, who was acquired earlier in the day from the Saskatoon Blades. . . . F Cam Hebig, who went to Regina in the same deal, didn’t play. . . . D Libor Hajek, who came over from Saskatoon on Tuesday, made his Regina debut. F Jesse Gabrielle, who was acquired from Prince George, also was in Regina’s lineup. . . . Announced attendance: 5,372.


At Saskatoon, F Bryan Lockner scored in his Medicine Hat debut as the Tigers beat the Blades, 3-2. . . . Medicine Hat (23-16-3) leads the Central Division by 10 points over Tigers Logo OfficialLethbridge and Kootenay. . . . Saskatoon (22-18-3) has lost two in a row and now holds the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, seven points ahead of Prince Albert.. . . . The Blades actually acquired Lockner from the Regina Pats on Wednesday morning, then flipped him to Medicine Hat in a deal that brought F Max Gerlach to Saskatoon. Gerlach made his Saskatoon debut and had an assist. . . . The Tigers opened up a 2-0 first-period lead on goals from F Gary Haden (11), at 1:57, and Lockner (8), at 6:00. . . . F Braylon Shmyr (22) pulled the Blades to within a goal at 17:39. . . . D David Quenneville (18) gave the Tigers a 3-1 lead at 12:31 of the third period. . . . The Blades got to within a goal when F Chase Wouters (11) scored at 19:45. . . . Quenneville also had an assist, as did F Elijah Brown, who was acquired from the Seattle Thunderbirds on Tuesday. . . . Wouters had an assist for Saskatoon. . . . The Blades were 0-2 on the PP; the Tigers were 0-4. . . . G Jordan Hollett earned the victory with 31 saves, 12 fewer than Saskatoon’s Nolan Maier. . . . Maier was backed up by Tyler Brown, who was acquired from Regina earlier in the day. . . . F Ryan Jevne was back in Medicine Hat’s lineup after serving a three-game suspension. . . . Announced attendance: 2,709.


At Prince George, F Josh Maser scored four goals, the last one coming in OT, as the Cougars beat the Vancouver Giants, 4-3. . . . Prince George (16-19-7) had lost its previous PrinceGeorgetwo games (0-1-1). The Cougars are tied with Kamloops, six points out of a wild-card spot. . . . Vancouver (24-14-6) is 7-0-1 in its past eight games. It went 4-0-1 on a five-game road trip that ended with this game. The Giants are second in the Western Conference, one point behind Kelowna. . . . One night earlier, the Giants had beaten the host Cougars, 5-1. . . . Last night, seven goals were scored and they all came from two players, as F Ty Ronning had all three Vancouver goals. . . . Ronning, who has 39 goals, scored the game’s first two goals, at 10:16 of the first period and 7:53 of the second. . . . Maser, who now has 20 goals, gave the Cougars a 3-2 lead with goals at 9:17 of the second and 0:08 and 17:35 of the third. . . . The Giants forced OT when Ronning completed his hat trick with 29.9 seconds left in the third. . . . Master won it at 2:49 of OT. . . . The Cougars got two assists from F Josh Curtis. . . . Vancouver was 0-2 on the PP; Prince George was 0-3. . . . G Taylor Gauthier stopped 27 shots for the Cougars. . . . The Giants got 33 saves from G David Tendeck. . . . The Giants had traded G Todd Scott to Edmonton earlier in the day, a move that left them without a backup goaltender. Ted Clarke of the Prince George Citizen reports that Cougars G Isaiah DiLaura was on the lineup sheet as the Giants’ backup “and would have been called into service” had Tendeck been injured. . . . D Darian Skeoch was among Vancouver’s scratches. He had played in Tuesday’s victory. . . . Announced attendance: 2,495.


At Everett, G Dustin Wolf turned aside 29 shots to lead the Silvertips to a 4-0 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . Everett (25-16-2) has won two in a row and leads the U.S. EverettDivision by a point over Portland. . . . Tri-City (22-13-5) had won its previous two games. It is third in the U.S. Division, two points behind Portland and three ahead of Seattle. . . Wolf, 16, has been starting for Everett in the absence of Carter Hart, who won gold with Team Canada at the WJC in Buffalo. Wolf now is 9-5-0, 2.17, .933, with three shutouts. . . . Hart is expected to return Saturday in Spokane. . . . The Silvertips got two goals from each of F Connor Dewar and D Kevin Davis. . . . Dewar, who has 18 goals, scored the game’s first and fourth goals, at 5:27 of the first period and 8:35 of the third, on a PP. . . . Davis made it 2-0 while shorthanded at 10:41 of the second period, then added his sixth goal at 4:35 of the third. . . . F Matt Fonteyne had two assists, and Davis had one. . . . Everett was 1-4 on the PP; Tri-City was 0-3. . . . G Patrick Dea started for Tri-City and allowed four goals on 51 shots in 50:05. Beck Warm finished up by stopping all six shots he faced in 9:55. . . . Tri-City F Max James was handed a charging major and game  misconduct for a hit on Everett F Matt Fonteyne at 7:24 of the third period. . . . F Garrett Pilon and D Ondrej Vala, both acquired Sunday from Kamloops, made their Everett debuts. Vala had a game-high 11 shots on goal. . . . The Americans were without D Jake Bean, who is expected to make his debut on Friday against Portland, and F Morgan Geekie, F Kyle Olson, D Juuso Valimaki and F Michael Rasmussen, all of whom are hurt. . . . Announced attendance: 2,997.


At Kelowna, F Kyle Topping score two goals and added an assist to help the Rockets to a 7-4 victory over the Spokane Chiefs. . . . Kelowna (26-12-3) has won two in a row and KelownaRocketsleads the Western Conference by a point over Vancouver. . . . Spokane (21-18-3) has lost three straight. It holds down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . Topping, who has 17 goals, got the scoring started at 5:14 of the first period. . . . D Kaedan Korczak’s first WHL goal made it 2-0 at 14:57. . . . The Chiefs followed that with three straight goals, from D Jeff Faith (4), at 18:27; D Tyson Helgesen (6), at 0:19 of the second period; and F Jaret Anderson-Dolan (23), on a PP, at 2:11. . . . The Rockets erased the deficit and took a 5-3 lead as F Nolan Foote (12) scored at 3:37, D Cal Foote (7) counted, on a PP, at 14:20, and D Braydyn Chizen (4) added another at 7:53 of the third period. . . . F Zach Fischer (19), who also had an assist, pulled the Chiefs to within a goal at 15:41. . . . The Rocket put it away as Topping scored at 18:06 and F Kole Lind added his 21st goal at 18:55. . . . The Rockets got three assists from F Carsen Twarynski, with Lind, Topping and Nolan Foote adding one each. . . . Kelowna was 1-2 on the PP; Spokane was 1-3. . . . G Roman Basran started for Kelowna but was shaken up and left at 5:53 of the first period. He stopped all five shots he faced. James Porter Jr. finished up, stopping 23 of 27 shots in 54:07. . . . The Chiefs got 18 stops from G Donovan Buskey. . . . Spokane again had Campbell Arnold, 15, backing up Buskey with Dawson Weatherill scratched again. . . . Announced attendance: 5,372.


THURSDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Edmonton at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Swift Current at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat at Regina, 7 p.m.

Calgary at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Lethbridge at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

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

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

Kamloops at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

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

Wednesday’s WHL trades, Part I: Blades, Pats get together, again … Gerlach’s on the move … Giants, Oil Kings agree on Koch

WHEELING AND DEALING …

NUMBER OF TRADES (since Nov. 13): 48

PLAYERS: 91

BANTAM DRAFT PICKS: 61

CONDITONAL BANTAM DRAFT PICKS: 12

THE DEADLINE: It came and went on Wednesday, Jan. 10.


THE DEAL: The Regina Pats acquired F Cam Hebig, 20, and G Ryan Kubic, who turned 20 on Jan. 7, from the Saskatoon Blades for G Tyler Brown, 20, F Bryan Lockner, 17, a first- ReginaPats100and second-round selections in the WHL’s 2020 draft, and third-round picks in the 2019 and 2021 bantam drafts.

THE NUMBERS: The 6-foot-0, 180-pound Hebig has 30 goals and 28 assists in 48 games. In 238 career games, he has 193 points, including 87 goals. . . . Kubic, 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds, was 8-11-1, 3.96, .871 with the Blades this season. In 129 career appearances, the first 109 of those with the Vancouver Giants, he is 40-69-13, 3.59, .892. . . .

Brown, a list player, was in his fourth season with the Pats. He has made 152 career appearances, going 76-47-16, 3.02, .904, with seven shutouts. He was Regina’s starter last season as it reached the WHL’s championship final. In that playoff run, he was 14-9 (five of the losses came in OT), 2.56, .915. . . . This season, Brown was 15-13-3, 3.31, .891 with the Pats. . . . This season, Lockner has seven goals and five assists in 39 games. In 101 career games, he has recorded 11 goals and 14 assists.

THE INFO: Including the first five rounds of the bantam draft, Alan Caldwell, who tracks such things at smallatlarge.blogspot.ca, believes Regina cupboard includes only a third-Saskatoonround pick in 2018, a fourth- and two fifth-rounders in 2019, and a fourth- and a fifth-rounder in 2020. . . .

Hebig, from Saskatoon, had been with the Blades since the age of 16. He was an NHL free agent until signing a three-year entry-level contract with the NHL Oilers on Dec. 28. He missed all of last season with an injury that was first believed to be a concussion but Hebig has since indicated that he never did get a clear-cut diagnosis. . . . The Blades selected Hebig in the third round of the 2012 bantam draft. . . . Kubic, from St. Andrews, Man., has made one appearance with the Blades since returning from an injury that had kept him out since Dec. 16. He was selected by Vancouver in the second round of the 2013 bantam draft. They dealt him to the Blades on Sept. 21, getting back a second-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft. The Pats also have two other goaltenders — Max Paddock, 17, and Jacob Wassermann, who turned 18 on Tuesday — on their roster. Paddock has been injured, so Wassermann was brought in from the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos to back up Brown. . . . While Kubic has yet to play even one minute of playoff hockey in the WHL, Brown helped the Pats to the WHL’s championship final last season. . . . Brown, from Winnipeg, was listed by the Pats before the 2014-15 season. . . . Lockner is from Windsor, which is in the northern part of Colorado. he was a third-round pick by the Pats in the 2015 bantam draft.

WHY: The Pats are the host team for the 2018 Memorial Cup — it is the team’s 100th season and it will be the 100th anniversary of the Memorial Cup — so Regina is more than all-in. They wanted Hebig’s offence, and in adding a 20-year-old had to give up one, which turned out to be Brown. . . . The Blades got Lockner, and then, in adding a sniper to their lineup, flipped him to the Medicine Hat Tigers.


THE DEAL: The Saskatoon Blades acquired F Max Gerlach, 18, from the Medicine Hat Tigers for F Bryan Lockner, 17, Saskatoon’s first-round selection in the 2020 WHL bantam draft and a second-round pick in 2021.

THE NUMBERS: In 2015-16, as a freshman, the 5-foot-11, 175-pound Gerlach had 30 goals Tigers Logo Officialand 15 assists in 72 games. Last season, he recorded 34 goals and 28 assists in 72 games. This season, he has 16 goals and 19 assists in 35 games. . . . Add it all up and Gerlach has 80 goals and 62 assists in 179 career games. . . . For Lockner’s numbers, see the previous trade.

THE INFO: From Flower Mound, Texas, Gerlach was a sixth-round selection by the Tigers in the 2013 bantam draft. He played in the Colorado Thunderbirds organization before joining the Tigers.

WHY: The Blades got a pure scorer in Gerlach and that’s what they wanted. They expect him back next season as a 20-year-old. “Players like (Gerlach) do not come available very often,” Blades GM Colin Priestner said in a news release, “and the fact he can play for this year and next year as an overage made this decision easy for us.” . . . Gerlach was one of eight 19-year-olds on the Tigers’ roster, so they get younger with this deal.


THE DEAL: The Everett Silvertips acquired D Jameson Murray, 18, from the Calgary EverettHitmen for a conditional sixth-round selection in the WHL’s 2019 or 2020 bantam draft.

THE NUMBERS: Murray had one goal and five assists in 28 games with Calgary this season. Last season, his first in the WHL, he had a goal and two assists in 35 games. In 2015-16, he had 14 goals and 36 assists in 56 games with the major midget Okanagan Rockets, who are based in Kelowna.

THE INFO: The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder is from Kelowna. He is a right-hand shot, always a valuable commodity among defencemen.

WHY: Everett adds some size and depth to its back end. . . . The rebuilding Hitmen add another draft pick to their collection.


THE DEAL: The Victoria Royals acquired F Lane Zablocki, who turned 19 on Dec. 27, from the Lethbridge Hurricanes for second- and sixth-round selections in the 2018 WHL VictoriaRoyalsbantam draft and a conditional third-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft.

THE NUMBERS: This season, the 6-foot-0, 190-pound Zablocki has 11 goals and 14 assists in 40 games split between the Hurricanes and Red Deer Rebels. In 176 career games, he has 57 goals and 59 assists.

THE INFO: Zablocki, from Wetaskiwin, Alta., joins his third team this season and the fourth in two seasons. . . . The Prince George Cougars selected Zablocki in the fifth round of the 2013 bantam draft. He never played for the Cougars, who dealt him to theRegina Pats on Aug. 11, 2015. The Pats moved him to Red Deer on Jan. 10, 2017, and the Rebels traded him to Lethbridge on Dec. 9. . . . The Detroit Red Wings picked him in the third round of the NHL’s 2017 draft.

WHY: The Royals continue the attempt to remake their image by adding size and grit. They will be looking for that and some offence from Zablocki, who just might be back as a 20-year-old. . . . Lethbridge adds three draft picks to its coffers, something GM Peter Anholt no doubt will be able to use.


THE DEAL: The Saskatoon Blades acquired F Eric Florchuk, who was traded on his 18th birthday, from the Victoria Royals for first-round selections in the 2019 and 2021 WHL bantam drafts and a fourth-round selection in 2018.

THE NUMBERS: The 6-foot-1, 165-pound Florchuk, a WHL sophomore, had seven goals and 21 assists in 43 games with the Royals. In 94 career games, he has 10 goals and 27 assists.

THE INFO: From Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., Florchuk was selected by the Royals in the first round, 13th overall, of the 2015 bantam draft. In 2014-15, he had 24 goals and 22 assists in 33 games for the bantam AAA Fort Saskatchewan Rangers.

WHY: The Blades added to their roster of young forwards whom they feel have lots of upside. . . . The Royals moved out a forward whose ice time may have decreased with the trade additions they have made and you can’t scoff at a return that included two first-round draft picks.


THE DEAL: The Tri-City Americans acquired D Austin King-Cunningham, 17, from the TriCity30Vancouver Giants for a conditional fifth-round selection in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft.

THE NUMBERS: King-Cunningham was pointless in five games with the Giants this season. Last season, he had one assist in three games. . . . he has been playing with the SJHL’s Estevan Bruins for whom he has three assists in 16 games.

THE INFO: The 6-foot-4, 195-pound King-Cunningham is from Pilot Butte, Sask. . . . He was an undrafted bantam who was added to Vancouver’s protected list.

WHY: Tri-City adds a prospect who will provide some depth in their organization while staying in Estevan. . . . The Giants get a draft pick for a player who wasn’t able to crack their roster.


THE DEAL: The Vancouver Giants acquired F Davis Koch, 19, and an conditional third-round pick in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft from the Edmonton Oil Kings for F Brendan VancouverSemchuk, 18, G Todd Scott, 17, and a third-round selection in the 2018 bantam draft.

THE NUMBERS: The 6-foot-0, 165-pound Koch has 18 goals and 21 assists in 40 games this season. In 225 career games with Edmonton, he has 59 goals and 99 assists. Last season, he put up 21 goals and 49 assists in 72 games. . . . Semchuk, 6-foot-0 and 185 pounds, had 17 goals and 24 assists in 127 games over three seasons with the Giants. This season, he had eight goals and 11 assists in 33 games. . . . Scott, a WHL freshman, was 8-7-4, 4.11, .869 with the Giants.

THE INFO: Koch, from Surrey, B.C., requested a trade from the Oil Kings. He was a EdmontonOilKingssecond-round pick by Edmonton in the 2013 bantam draft and was an alternate captain this season. . . . Semchuk, from Kamloops, was on Vancouver’s suspended list after leaving the team in a dispute over playing time. He was a first-round selection, 10th overall, in the 2014 bantam draft. . . . The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Scott, from Albertville, Minn., joins Boston Bilous, 16, Josh Dechaine, 19, and Travis Child, 20, as goaltenders on Edmonton’s roster. However, Child is injured and hasn’t played since Dec. 15. . . . With Scott gone, Vancouver added G Trent Miner, 16, to their roster for the remainder of the season. From Souris, Man., Miner was a first-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. This season, he was 17-3-0, 1.64, .941 in 30 games with the midget AAA Brandon Wheat Kings.

WHY: In a news release, Vancouver GM Glen Hanlon described Koch as “dynamic” and a “game-changer.” The Giants also expect Koch to be excited about returning to the Lower Mainland and playing in front of friends and family. . . . The Oil Kings appear to have done OK, considering Koch had asked for a trade, something that sometimes puts the squeeze on the team. They will need Semchuk to live up to his potential and for Scott to continue to grow as a goaltender.


LOTS MORE TO COME . . .

Three high-profile players kept off ice on eve of trade deadline . . . Giants keep winning on road . . . Ferguson carries Blazers to victory

A LITTLE OF THIS …

With the WHL’s trading deadline arriving this afternoon, a couple of veteran forwards and a high-profile defenceman were kept off the ice by their teams on Wednesday.

F Cam Hebig didn’t practise with the Blades in Saskatoon. GM Colin Priestner admitted whlthat four teams had inquired about Hebig and the Blades didn’t want to risk an injury in case something could be worked out. Hebig missed all of last season with an injury.

This season, Hebig, who is to turn 21 on Jan. 21, has 30 goals and 28 assists in 40 games. From Saskatoon, he has 193 points, 87 of them goals, in 238 career games, all with the Blades. They picked him in the third round of the 2012 WHL bantam draft.

If Hebig isn’t dealt, he is expected to play tonight against the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers.

Meanwhile, in Brandon, F Davis Koch didn’t play as the Edmonton Oil Kings met the Wheat Kings. Koch, 19, is from Surrey, B.C. This season, he has 18 goals and 21 assists in 40 games.

In 224 regular-season games, he has 59 goals and 99 assists. The Oil Kings selected him in the second round of the 2013 bantam draft.

In Prince George, D Dennis Cholowski, the team captain, didn’t play for the Cougars as they dropped a 5-1 decision to the Vancouver Giants. After the game, Cougars head coach Richard Matvichuk admitted that Cholowski, 19, was scratched in order to keep him healthy just in case.

Cholowski, a first-round pick by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2016 NHL draft, has signed an NHL deal. In his first WHL season, he has 13 goals and 26 assists in 37 games.


The Calgary Hitmen claimed D Egor Zamula off waivers from the Regina Pats on Tuesday. Zamula, 17, is from Chelyabinsk, Russia. A freshman, he had seven assists in 38 games with the Pats, who had to drop an import player after acquiring D Libor Hajek from the Saskatoon Blades on Monday. . . . The Hitmen had an opening for an import after they sent F Andrei Grishakov to the Victoria Royals for a third-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft on Jan. 4. . . . Calgary’s other import is sophomore D Vladislav Yeryomenko, 18, who is from Belarus.


The Everett Silvertips have returned two players — D Dylan Anderson and F Gage Goncalves — to the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League. . . . Anderson, 15, was pointless in one game with the Silvertips. He was a fourth-round selection in the 2017 bantam draft. . . . Goncalves, a list player, also was pointless in one game with Everett.


Scoreboard

TUESDAY:

At Brandon, F Brett Kemp scored in OT to give the Edmonton Oil Kings a 3-2 victory over the Wheat Kings. . . . Edmonton (11-24-6) had lost its previous three games (0-2-1). It is 4-EdmontonOilKings3-3 in its last 10. . . . Brandon (27-12-2) had won its last two outings. The Wheat Kings are third in the overall standings, five points behind Swift Current. . . . F Ty Lewis (24) gave the Wheat Kings a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 16:03 of the first period. . . . D Jayden Platz (1) pulled the visitors even at 2:26 of the second period. . . . Brandon went back out front when F Baron Thompson (12) scored at 11:38 of the third period. . . . F Scott Atkinson (2) tied it for Edmonton at 14:53. . . . Kemp won it with his 10th goal at 2:06 of OT. . . . D Brayden Gorda had an assist and was plus-2 in his first game back with the Oil Kings. He returned to the Oil Kings last week after missing the first half of the season for personal reasons. . . . Brandon was 1-4 on the PP; Edmonton was 0-3. . . . G Josh Dechaine earned the victory with 34 saves, 12 more than Brandon’s Dylan Myskiw. . . . Brandon D Kale Clague has yet to return to the lineup after playing for Canada at the WJC. . . . Announced attendance: 3,225.


At Lethbridge, F Logan Barlage, acquired earlier in the day in the rather large trade, scored in the sixth round of a shootout to give the Hurricanes a 5-4 victory over the Red LethbridgeDeer Rebels. . . . The Hurricanes (18-19-3) had lost their previous two games. They moved into a second-place tie with Kootenay in the Central Division, eight points in arrears of Medicine Hat. . . . The Rebels (10-22-10) have lost nine in a row (0-4-5). . . . G Logan Flodell, who came over with Barlage in that swap with the Swift Current Broncos, got the victory with 29 saves through OT. He also stopped the last five Red Deer shooters in the shootout. . . . F Brad Morrison, acquired earlier from the Vancouver Giants, scored Lethbridge’s first two goals, both on the PP, at 6:26 and 17:53 of the first period. He’s got 13 goals. . . . In between, Red Deer D Alex Alexeyev (5) got his guys on the scoreboard. . . . F B Brendan Stafford (1) gave Lethbridge a 3-1 lead at 3:17 of the second period. . . . Red Deer took the lead on three second-period goals, two PP scores from Reese Johnson, who has 15 goals, at 7:16 and 8:52, and a goal from F Mason McCarty (20), at 10:19. . . . F Dylan Cozens (12) tied it again at 15:22. . . . The third period was scoreless. . . . Lethbridge got two assists from each of F Jordy Bellerive and F Taylor Ross, with Cozens adding one. . . . F Kristian Reichel and Alexeyev each had two assists for Red Deer, and McCarty had one. . . . Lethbridge was 2-2 on the PP; Red Deer was 2-4. . . . Red Deer G Ethan Anders allowed four goals on 27 shots through two periods. Riley Lamb came on for the third period and OT, stopping all 14 shots he faced. . . . Lethbridge acquired four players from Swift Current in the morning and all four played last night — Flodell, Barlage, D Matthew Stanley and F Owen Blocker. . . . F Jacob Boucher, a ninth-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft, made his WHL debut with the Hurricanes. He’s from St. Albert, Alta. . . . After the game, Lethbridge general manager Peter Anholt played host to a town hall as he explained to fans the deal he made with the Swift Current Broncos earlier in the day. . . . Announced attendance: 2,696.


At Kamloops, G Dylan Ferguson stopped 47 shots to lead the Blazers to a 2-1 victory over Kamloops1the Spokane Chiefs. . . . Kamloops (18-20-3) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). It is six points behind Spokane, which holds down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . Spokane (21-17-3) has lost two in a row. . . . The Blazers got first-period goals from F Quinn Benjafield (12), at 2:49, and F Luc Smith (9), at 19:09. . . . F Riley Woods (18) got the Chiefs to within a goal at 1:10 of the third period. . . . D Joe Gatenby had two assists for Kamloops. . . . F Orrin Centazzo, acquired Sunday from Everett, had an assist in his Kamloops debut. D Montana Onyebuchi, who also came over in that deal, sat out with the flu. . . . Kamloops was 0-3 on the PP; Spokane was 0-7. . . . G Donovan Buskey stopped 26 shots for the Chiefs. . . . Spokane F Kailer Yamamoto, who played for the U.S. at the WJC, sat out, and he won’t play tonight in Kelowna against the Rockets, either. . . . Announced attendance: 3,289.


At Prince George, the Vancouver Giants ran their road winning streak to seven games with a 5-1 victory over the Cougars. . . . Vancouver (24-14-5) is 6-0-1 in its past seven Vancouvergames. The victory lifted the Giants into a tie with Kelowna for the Western Conference lead. However, Kelowna has three games in hand. . . . Prince George (15-19-7) had points in each of its previous four games (2-0-2). . . . Vancouver took a 3-0 first-period lead on goals from F Dawson Holt (7), at 7:27, F James Malm (16), at 9:00, and D Matt Barberis (4), on a PP, at 16:04. . . . The Cougars’ goal came from F Jared Bethune (14), at 16:17. . . . D Kaleb Bulych (1) added more insurance for the Giants at 2:21 of the second period and F Jared Dmytriw (12) finished the scoring at 12:04. . . . The third period was scoreless. . . . Malm and Holt added two assists each. . . . Vancouver was 1-2 on the PP; Prince George was 0-2. . . . G David Tendeck made 21 saves for the Giants. . . . Cougars starter Tavin Grant allowed five goals on 21 shots in 32:04. Taylor Gauthier finished up by stopping all 10 shots he faced in 27:56. . . . D Brennan Riddle made his Vancouver debut after being acquired Monday from the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . The Cougars had recent acquisitions D Austin Crossley and F Ethan Browne in the lineup for the first time. . . . The same teams will meet in Prince George again tonight. . . . Announced attendance: 2,477.


At Kent, Wash., F Ryan Hughes scored the only goal of the shootout to give the Portland Winterhawks a 3-2 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Portland (24-13-3) has won Portlandtwo in a row and is back on top of the U.S. Division, one point ahead of Everett with two games in hand. . . . Seattle (20-14-6) has points in nine straight games (7-0-2) and holds down the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot. Seattle also is three points behind third-place Tri-City in the U.S. Division. . . . Portland had taken a 2-0 lead on first-period goals from F Skyler McKenzie (29), who was playing in his 250th game, at 1:31 and F Alex Overheard (9) at 19:58. . . . Seattle got second-period goals from F Sami Moilanen (17), at 0:57, and D Reece Harsch (9), on a PP, at 11:48. Hirsch left the game after two periods with an undisclosed injury. . . . The Thunderbirds were 1-5 on the PP; the Winterhawks weren’t given even one opportunity. . . . G Cole Kehler blocked 33 shots for Portland, seven more than Seattle’s Liam Hughes. . . . Seattle F Donovan Neuls, in his fourth full season there, had an assist to give him 42 points this season. He now has 29 assists, two more than he had last season, and 42 points, also a career high after he had 41 in 2016-17. . . . The Winterhawks are without three regulars who played in the WJC — F Kieffer Bellows (U.S.), D Henri Jokiharju (Finland) and F Joachim Blichfeld (Denmark). Blichfeld was injured in a late tournament game and he hasn’t yet been checked out by Portland’s medical staff. . . . Announced attendance: 5,020.


WEDNESDAY (all times local):

Calgary at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Edmonton at Regina, 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Vancouver at Prince George, 7 p.m.

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

Spokane at Kelowna 7:05 p.m.


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