Victoria fans doff hats for Bedard . . . Howe’s six-pack sparks Pats . . . Firkus, Warriors stun Rockets with late goal

F Connor Bedard’s I Can Sell Out the B.C. Division Arenas Tour made its second stop on Saturday night, this one in Victoria. How’d it go? Well, his team won, he scored three goals and some fans threw hats onto the ice. And when is the last time that happened for a visiting player?

Anyway, the Pats (11-11-2) won the game, 9-5, and now are 2-0-0 in the B.C. ReginaDivision. . . . The Royals (3-17-3) have lost eight straight (0-7-1). . . . The announced attendance was 7,006. That is the largest crowd in Victoria since Feb. 22, 2020, when 7,006 fans watched the Royals beat the Kelowna Rockets, 4-3 in OT. . . .

Bedard, F Tanner Howe and D Stanislav Svozil combined for 14 points. . . . Howe, a Prince Albert native who will turn 17 on Monday, scored four times and added two assists. This season, he has 33 points, 15 of them goals, in 23 games. In 87 games over his 16- and 17-year-old seasons, he has 102 points, including 42 goals. . . . Svozil, a sophomore from Prerov, Czech Republic, had a goal and three assists. He has four goals and 20 assists in 21 games this season. . . .

As for Bedard, well, he scored three times — the second time he has done that this season and the fourth time in two seasons — and added an assist as he extended his point streak to 23 games. He leads the WHL in goals (22), assists (31) and points (53). His leads are four, five and 14, respectively. . . . In 101 career regular-season games, Bedard has 181 points, 85 of them goals. . . .

The Royals actually led this game 2-1 at 14:51 of the first period. The Pats scored the next six goals — three by Bedard, two by Howe and one by Svozil. . . . F Jake Poole (13) had a goal and two assists for Victoria, which ws 4-5 on the PP, with F Alex Thacker adding three assists. . . .

The Bedard tour continues with stops in Kelowna on Tuesday and Kamloops on Wednesday. . . . Yes, both building will be sold out. . . . Perhaps the B.C. Division teams could kick back 10 per cent of the gate to Berard?

——

ELSEWHERE IN THE WHL ON SATURDAY NIGHT:

F Tyson Laventure scored three times to lead the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 6-Lethbridge4 victory over the Wheat Kings in Brandon. . . . The Hurricanes swept the weekend doubleheader, having won 4-3 in Brandon on Friday. . . . Lethbridge (14-10-1) has won two in a row. . . . The Hurricanes are 3-1-0 on a six-game swing that continues Friday in Kennewick, Wash., against the Tri-City Americans. . . . Brandon (8-15-2) has lost two straight. . . . Brent Kisio, the Hurricanes’ head coach, posted his 249th regular-season victory, all of them with Lethbridge. According to Dustin Forbes, the Hurricanes’ radio voice, Kisio is 40th coach in WHL history to get to 250. . . . Laventure, who has eight goals, opened and closed the scoring, and his second goal, at 6:35 of the second period, provided a 4-1 lead and proved the winner. He completed his first WHL hat trick with an empty-netter. . . . F Jett Jones had three assists for the winners. . . .

F Jagger Firkus scored the winner with 18 seconds left in the third period as the WarriorsNewMoose Jaw Warriors beat the Rockets, 4-3, in Kelowna. . . . The Warriors (15-9-0) have won two in a row. . . . The Rockets now are 9-10-1. . . . Firkus (14) had two goals and two assists as he ran his point streak to 17 games. . . . Larry Fisher (@LarryFisher_KDC) pointed out that Firkus and the goaltender he beat, Jari Kykkanen, were U15 teammates in Lloydminster, Alta., for two seasons. . . . F Brayden Yager (13) added two goals and an assist — he set up the winner with a terrific pass on a PP — for Moose Jaw. . . . Moose Jaw had a 3-1 lead until F Andrew Cristall (16) and F Colton Dach (7) got Kelowna even in the latter half of the third period. . . . The Warriors were 3-5 on the PP. . . .

F Riley Fiddler-Schultz’s three-point night sparked the Calgary Hitmen to a 5-Calgary2 victory over the Tigers in Medicine Hat. . . . The Hitmen now are 12-6-3. . . . The Tigers (8-11-5) had won their previous two games. . . . Calgary erased a 1-0 deficit with three second-period goals — from F Zac Funk (7), F Sean Tschigerl (5) and F David Adaszynski (2). . . . Fiddler-Schultz’s 13th goal came with the man advantage as the Hitmen were 3-8 on the PP. . . . The Tigers were 0-6. . . .

F Caedan Bankier broke a 1-1 tie early in the second period and the Kamloops KamloopsBlazers went on to beat the Cougars, 4-1, in Prince George. . . . The Blazers (11-5-4) moved into a tie atop the B.C. Division with the Cougars (13-10-0), who had won their previous four games. Kamloops holds three games in hand. . . . Bankier’s 14th goal of the season came at 4:11 of the second period, and F Fraser Minten (7) added insurance, on a PP, at 8:02. . . . Bankier got his second goal of the game, shorthanded, just 40 seconds into the third period. . . . Kamloops F Logan Stankoven now is on a 16-game scoring streak after drawing one assist. . . . The Blazers got 34 stops from G Dylan Ernst, who is 10-4-2, 2.29, .922 this season. . . .

In Red Deer, the Rebels scored the first six goals en route to a 6-1 victory over RedDeerthe Prince Albert Raiders. . . . Red Deer (17-4-3) has lost its previous three games (0-1-2). . . . The Raiders (9-13-2) had a four-game winning streak snapped. . . . F Kai Uchacz (18) had a goal and two assists. . . . F Arjun Bawa scored his first WHL goal for the Rebels. He is the son of Robin Bawa, who played in the WHL with the Kamloops Junior Oilers, Kamloops Blazers and New Westminster Bruins. Robin was the first person of Indian descent to play in the NHL. He split 61 games between the Washington Capitals, Vancouver Canucks, San Jose Sharks and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. . . . Prince Albert is 1-1-0 on a five-game road trip that continues today in Medicine Hat as the Raiders play their third game in fewer than 48 hours. . . .

F Egor Sidorov struck for three goals as the Saskatoon Blades got past the Saskatoonvisiting Winnipeg Ice, 5-2. . . . The Blades (16-5-0) gained a measure of revenge on the Ice, which had beaten them, 6-3, in Saskatoon on Friday. . . . The Ice (22-3-0) had won its previous two games. . . . Sidorov completed his hat trick with the game’s last two goals, at 13:11 and 16:24 of the third period. . . . F Trevor Wong had three assists for Saskatoon. . . . Ice F Ty Nash (12) scored the game’s first goal; he has goals in five straight. . . . Sidorov, now with 12 goals, has played in only 10 games this season. He also has nine assists. . . . The Blades held Pride Night for this one, thus the sharp sweaters in the above tweet. . . .

In Swift Current, the Broncos scored the game’s last two goals to beat the SwiftCurrentEdmonton Oil Kings, 5-3. . . . The Broncos (11-11-0) had beaten the visiting Oil Kings, 5-2, on Friday. . . . The Oil Kings (4-20-1) have lost three in a row. The Oil Kings, the WHL’s defending champions, lost 18 games (50-14-4) all of last season. . . . Edmonton overcame one-goal deficits on three occasions, but couldn’t do it a fourth time. . . . F Josh Filmon (12) broke a 3-3 tie at 13:07 of the third period, and F Mathew Ward (12) added insurance at 18:06. . . .

F Parker Bell had two goals to lead the Tri-City Americans to a 4-2 victory over Tri-Citythe Spokane Chiefs in Kennewick, Wash. . . . The Americans (9-13-0) had lost their previous two games. . . . The Chiefs (4-15-1) have lost four games. . . . F Carter Streek (6) has goals in three straight after giving Spokane a 1-0 lead at 2:53 of the first period. . . . The Americans scored the next four goals, two of them from Bell (8). . . . Tri-City D Lukas Dragicevic had an assist as he ran his point streak to 15 games.


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

The BCHL’s Penticton Vees now are 23-0-0 this season after posting a 4-2 victory over the Kings in Powell River on Saturday night. . . . The Vees went 9-0-0 in November. . . . They are scheduled to entertain the West Kelowna Warriors on Dec. 3 and then travel to Wenatchee, Wash., for a Dec. 9 date with the Wild.


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Lowbridge

Gallant’s diagnosis has him into Movember movement . . . Hodnett has a game for Oil Kings . . . Thornton’s six-pack sparks Cougars

As you no doubt are aware, we are well into Movember, that time of year when so many men grow moustaches as a fund-raiser for the fight against prostate cancer.

KevinGallant
KEVIN GALLANT

Statistics show that at least 1.4 million men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year.

Kevin Gallant, a fun-loving former radio voice of the Regina Pats, was one of those 1.4 million. He has been diagnosed with prostate cancer (stage 4). It’s why he is working hard this Movember.

“I am getting involved this year because I don’t want others to suffer or go through what I have, which is stage 4 prostate cancer,” he writes. “Funds we raise will help those much younger then me.

“I was completely shocked when I was diagnosed with PC, and wish I would have caught it much earlier because more can be done. I have a beautiful family with a loving wife and two boys that I want to make many more memories with. I hope no one has to go through what our family has.”

If you would like to join Kevin’s team, you are able to do so by making a donation right here.


Dragon


FRIDAY IN THE WHL:

The Moose Jaw Warriors broke a 1-1 tie with four straight goals en route to a 5-WarriorsNew4 victory over the visiting Swift Current Broncos. . . . The Warriors (12-8-0) had lost their previous two games. . . . The Broncos slipped to 9-10-0. . . . The Warriors got two goals from F Jagger Firkus (11). . . . F Mathew Ward (10) scored twice and added an assist for the Broncos, making things interesting with his second goal at 19:13 of the third period. . . . Ward now has 103 points, 65 of them assists, in 107 career regular-season games. . . . Swift Current was 2-2 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 1-7. . . . The Warriors had F Ryder Horczak, 20, in their lineup for the first time since the NHL’s New York Rangers returned him earlier in the week. He picked up one assist. . . . With four 20-year-olds on their roster, one over the maximum, Moose Jaw scratched D Cole Jordan. . . . The Warriors and Broncos will have a rematch tonight in Swift Current. . . .

F Egor Sidorov scored in OT to give the host Saskatoon Blades a 4-3 victory over Saskatoonthe Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . The Blades (15-4-0) have won four straight. . . . The Tigers (6-9-5) have points in four straight (2-0-2). . . . Sidorov’s ninth goal came at 1:11 of OT. . . . F Brendan Lee, who played 30 games with the Blades last season, had a goal and an assist for the Tigers. His goal, at 3:56 of the third period, tied the score, 3-3. . . . Lee went into this season with 40 points in 123 regular-season games. This season, he has 19 points, 11 of them goals, in 20 games. . . . Darren Steinke was in attendance and posted this report right here to his blog. . . .

F Noah Chadwick’s shootout goal gave the host Lethbridge Hurricanes a 3-2 Lethbridgevictory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . The Hurricanes (11-8-1) have points in seven straight (6-0-1). . . . The Rebels (16-3-2) have points in their past two outings (1-0-1). . . . F Jayden Grubbe had a goal (6) and an assist for the Rebels, his goal tying the score 2-2 at 1:07 of the third period. . . . F Tyson Zimmer (3) had a goal and an assist for Lethbridge. . . . G Bryan Thomson, who has yet to play after having off-season surgery, was on the Lethbridge bench in support of starter Harrison Meneghin, who made 35 stops. . . . G Kyle Kelsey stopped 33 shots for Red Deer, 15 of them in the first period when his guys were outshot, 16-4. . . . D Kale Tipler, a sixth-round pick in the 2021 WHL draft, made his WHL debut with the Hurricanes. He plays for the U18 AAA Lloydminster Bobcats. . . .

The Edmonton Oil Kings scored three PP goals as they snapped a five-game Edmontonlosing skid with a 5-3 victory over the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Edmonton now is 3-17-1. . . . Brandon, which has lost four straight, is 7-13-2. . . . F Gavin Hodnett, who had gone eight games without a point, led Edmonton with three goals, his first goals in the WHL, and two assists. A first-round pick in the 2021 bantam draft, the Winnipegger had two assists in five games last season; this season, he now has three goals and seven assists in 16 games. . . . F Cole Miller (5) added two goals and an assist for the winners. . . . F Nolan Ritchie (8) scored twice for Brandon. . . . G Kolby Hay of the Oil Kings stopped 36 shots. . . .

In Portland, the Winterhawks scored the game’s first four goals and went on to Portlandbeat the Everett Silvertips, 4-1. . . . Portland (15-1-2) has points in 10 straight (8-0-2). . . . Everett (12-7-0) has lost two in a row. . . . After a scoreless first period, the Winterhawks struck three times in the second period. . . . D Ryder Thompson got Portland started with his first goal of this season and his second in 87 career games. He also had an assist. . . . F Robbie Fromm-Delorme (11) and F Aidan Litke (5) also had a goal and an assist each. . . . Portland finished with a 36-27 edge in shots; it has outshot each of its opponents through 18 games. . . .

In Kelowna, the Rockets scored three first-period goals and went on to beat the KelownaSpokane Chiefs, 10-3. . . . The Rockets are 7-8-1; the Chiefs now are 4-12-1. . . . F Marcus Pacheco (5), F Colton Dach (5) and F Andrew Cristall (14) each had two goals and two assists. . . . F Grady Lenton scored his first WHL goal for the Rockets. It came in his 12th game. . . . G Dawson Cowan, who arrived in Spokane in a deal that had G Mason Beaupit go to the Winnipeg Ice, got into his first game with the Chiefs as he took over from Cooper Michaluk with the score 5-0. . . .

F Tyson Greenway’s second goal of the game, this one in OT, gave the Tri-City Tri-CityAmericans a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Hitmen in Kennewick, Wash. . . . The Americans (8-11-0) had lost their past three games. . . . The Hitmen (10-5-3) are 2-1-1 on their U.S Division trek that wraps up tonight in Spokane. . . . Greenway, who has 10 goals, tied it, 3-3, at 7:44 of the third period, then won it at 2:50 of OT. . . . The Americans overcame 2-0 and 3-2 deficits. . . . Tri-City D Lukas Dragicevic had two assists in running his point streak to 13 games. He has two points in each of his past five games. . . . F Oliver Tulk (10) scored twice for Calgary. . . . F Ethan Ernst scored once for the Americans. He has 12 goals and 12 assists in 18 games; last season, he finished with 12 goals and 12 assists in 62 games. . . . G Jared Picklyk, acquired by the Americans from the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Thursday, wasn’t dressed. They started Tomas Suchanek and had Nick Avakyan on the bench. . . .

D Hudson Thornton had a career night as the visiting Prince George Cougars PrinceGeorgedumped the Victoria Royals, 9-1. . . . The Cougars (11-9-0) have won two in a row. . . . The Royals (3-15-3) have lost six straight (0-5-1). . . . Thornton finished with six points — his first three-goal game and three assists — as he ran his point streak to 12 games. . . . Thornton, a 19-year-old from Winnipeg, has 29 points 22 of them assists, in 20 games. . . . F Chase Wheatcroft scored his 15th goal for the Cougars, making them the only one of the WHL’s 22 teams with two 15-goal men. F Koehn Ziemmer, who was held to one assist last night, also has 15 goals. . . . The Royals released F Caleb Willms as they got down to the mandated three 20-year-olds. They kept F Alex Thacker, who was acquired Thursday from the Lethbridge Hurricanes, F Jake Poole and F Riley Gannon. Thacker was in the lineup last night. . . . F Grant Reid, a third-round pick in the WHL’s 2022 draft, made his debut with Victoria. Reid, 15, plays for the U18AAA team at the Yale Hockey Academy in Abbotsford, B.C. . . . The Royals also had F Cole Reschny, the third overall selection in the 2022 draft, in the lineup for the third time this season. He plays for the U18 AAA Saskatoon Blazers. . . . And, with G Tyler Palmer out for personal reasons, Victoria had Jayden Kraus, who turned 16 on Friday, backing up Logan Cunningham. Kraus plays for the U18AAA Prince Albert Mintos. He was a third-round pick in the 2021 draft. Kraus entered the game with his guys trailing 5-0 and stopped 17 of 21 shots. . . . The Cougars and Royals will meet again tonight in Victoria. . . .

F Logan Stankoven ran his point streak to 12 games as he led the Kamloops KamloopsBlazers to a 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Giants in Langley, B.C. . . . The Blazers (9-4-3) have points in three straight (2-0-1). . . . Vancouver (7-9-4) has lost two in a row. The Giants played at home for the first time since Oct. 23. They were 4-3-1 on their road swing. . . . Stankoven , who had a shorthanded goal and two assists, has 26 points, 12 of them goals, in the 12 games in which he has played since being returned by the NHL’s Dallas Stars. In eight of those games, he has put up at least two points. . . . In 189 career regular-season games with the Blazers, the Kamloops native has 93 goals and 96 assists.


Vegan


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

The BCHL’s Penticton Vees ran their season-opening winning streak to 19 games on Friday, beating the visiting West Kelowna Warriors, 11-2. The Vees will go for No. 20 tonight at home against the Prince George Spruce Kings. . . . There are some players on Penticton’s roster who have won their last 35 games, because the Vees finished last spring’s playoffs on a 16-game run. . . . The 2011-12 Vees, who finished 54-4-2, own the BCHL record for longest winning streak, having won 42 in a row. . . .

The BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks have reached an agreement with the Shuswap Recreation Society and the City of Salmon Arm that will keep them in the Shaw Centre through the 2025-26 season. The facility has been home to the Silverbacks since 2001-02.


Bulldozer


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Busdoor

Dreger: NHL GMs want to talk about 19s in the AHL . . . Friedman: CHL to ban Belarusians, Russians from draft . . . Bananas skate to WHL victory

A couple of items that involve the WHL slipped through the cracks here this week, so allow me to touch on them now . . .

The NHL’s general managers met in Manalapan, Fla., early in the week.

Darren Dreger of TSN reported that there was some conversation about what CHLonce was known as the pro-junior agreement — the deal between the NHL and CHL that involves the 60 major junior teams. That contract expired a couple of years ago, and simply has been rolled over because of the pandemic. But it seems that the parties are getting closer to sitting down and hashing it out.

Dreger also reported: “The general managers coming out of Tuesday’s meetings want to talk more about 19-year-olds playing in the American Hockey League and it feels like every March, when we’re healthy enough to be in a face-to-face environment, that the topic comes up. I know Kelly McCrimmon of the Vegas Golden Knights gave a very passionate account — as the former owner of the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings — to tell the general managers (there are 11 new guys in there) how devastating it would be to the CHL if they introduce 19-year-olds at the AHL level.”

The NHL and major junior operators love to talk about how the CHL teams are in the business of developing players. And that is true. But it is time for both parties to acknowledge that these teams, first and foremost, are in the entertainment business. If they don’t produce an entertaining product, they might not be in business.

There has long been chatter about the NHL teams wanting the OK to put 19-year-olds in the AHL. One school of thought has it that a 19-year-old who has been a first-round selection in the NHL draft should be able to be placed in the AHL.

As things stand now, an NHL team has two options with a 19-year-old whose rights it owns — keep him in the NHL or offer him to his major junior team.

These 19-year-olds are the best players in major junior hockey, the players people pay to watch. To take them away from CHL teams would be a real slap in the face to those teams and their fans.

——

Meanwhile, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet posted his weekly 32 Thoughts and it included this: “It’s not announced yet, but several CHL teams are indicating a ban will be enforced against selecting Russians and Belorusians in the upcoming import draft. Existing prospects will be grandfathered, allowed to return next (season).”

Here’s a look at Russian (3) and Belarusian (7) players on WHL rosters (age shown is as of start of this season):

Brandon — F Zakhar Polshakov, 18, Minsk, Belarus.

Calgary — F Anton Astashevich, 17, Minsk, Belarus; F Maxim Muranov, 17, Moscow, Russia.

Lethbridge — F Yegor Klavdiev, 18, Minsk, Belarus.

Medicine Hat — D Gleb Ivanov, 18, Moscow, Russia.

Prince Albert — G Tikhon Chaika, 18, Minsk, Belarus; F Vladislav Shilo, 18, Minsk, Belarus.

Saskatoon — F Egor Sidorov, 17, Vitebsk, Belarus.

Spokane — D Timafey Kovgoreniya, 18, Minsk, Belarus.

Swift Current — F Alexei Shanaurin, 17, Snezhinsk, Russia.


Sweater


FRIDAY IN THE WHL:

Eastern Conference:

F Matthew Savoie scored twice and added an assist, while G Daniel Hauser WinnipegIceearned the shutout as the visiting Winnipeg Ice dumped the Regina Pats, 7-0, for their 13th straight victory. . . . Savoie now has 32 goals and 52 assists in 60 games. . . . The Ice also got a goal, his 23rd, and three assists from F Zach Benson, with F Connor McClennon scoring his 40th goal of the season. . . . Hauser stopped 17 shots to put up his WHL-leading eight shutout of the season. He is 30-2-1, 1.97, .915 this season. . . . Winnipeg (49-9-5) is 15-0-2 in its last 17 games and leads the conference by eight points over the Edmonton Oil Kings, who have six games remaining. . . . Regina (24-32-5) is five points away from a playoff spot with seven games left. . . .

Bananas

In Saskatoon, F Egor Sidorov scored twice to lead the Blades to a 4-1 victory Saskatoonover the Moose Jaw Warriors in what may well have been a first-round playoff preview. . . . Sidorov, who has 21 goals, broke a 1-1 tie at 8:04 of the third period and added insurance at 14:36. . . . G Nolan Maier recorded the victory with 18 saves. That was the 119th victory of his career, one shy of the WHL record. . . . The Blades (35-24-4) are fifth, one point behind the Warriors (35-23-5). Each team has five games remaining. . . . The Blades rebranded themselves as the Saskatoon Bananas, complete with new sweaters, for this one. For more on that, check out the Blades’ website. . . . 

The Brandon Wheat Kings scored two empty-netters as they beat the Raiders, Brandon4-2, in Prince Albert. . . . F Nate Danielson got his 20th goal into an empty net and gave Brandon a 3-1 lead at 18:12 of the third period. . . . F Sloan Stanick scored his second of the game and 21st of the season at 19:03 to get the home team to within a goal. . . . Brandon F Chad Nychuk (19) iced it with another empty-net goal at 19:32. . . . F Nolan Ritchie scored his 30th goal of the season in the first period. . . . G Ethan Kruger stopped 35 shots for Brandon, which clinched a playoff spot. . . . The Wheat Kings (31-25-5) are sixth, seven points behind Saskatoon and eight ahead of Swift Current, which has only three games remaining. . . . Prince Albert (25-33-5) is three points from a playoff spot. . . .

In Swift Current, the Calgary Hitmen scored the game’s last three goals as they Calgarybeat the Broncos, 5-2. . . . F Sean Tschigerl (22) gave the Hitmen a 3-2 lead, at 15:38 of the second period, with his second of the game. He also had an assist. . . . F Cael Zimmerman, who has 14, scored Calgary’s last two goals. . . . The Hitmen (24-31-8) are ninth, three points behind the Broncos (26-32-7), who trail Lethbridge by a point. . . .

The Lethbridge Hurricanes erased a 2-0 deficit with five straight goals en route Lethbridgeto a 6-3 victory over the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . F Alex Thacker scored twice for Lethbridge, giving him 12. He got the Hurricanes even at 9:08 of the second period and scored the eventual winner, on a PP, at 15:51. . . . Lethbridge got three assists from F Yegor Klavdiev. . . . The Hurricanes (28-30-4) are seventh, one point ahead of Swift Current. . . . The Tigers (11-47-4) have lost six in a row. . . .

Western Conference:

F Andrew Cristall, F Pavel Novak and F Scott Cousins each had three points as Kelownathe host Kelowna Rockets dumped the Prince George Cougars, 9-2. . . . The Cougars scored the game’s first goal — D Jonas Brøndberg got his first of the season at 1:31 of the first period — but the Rockets took a 4-1 lead into the second period. . . . Cristall had two goals, giving him 23, and an assist, with Novak scoring his 26th goal and adding two assist, and Cousins getting No. 3 and two assists. . . . Kelowna was 3-for-4 on the PP. . . . The Rockets (36-19-6) appear headed to a fifth-place finish. . . . The Cougars (22-37-3) are eighth, two points ahead of Spokane and three behind Victoria. . . .

In Kamloops, the Spokane Chiefs took a 5-1 lead into the third period and hung Spokaneon for a 6-5 victory over the Blazers. . . . F Blake Swetlikoff (11) gave the visitors a 5-1 lead, on a PP, at 19:47 of the second period. . . . Kamloops outscored Spokane 4-1 in the third period, getting goals from D Logan Bairos (4), at 11:16, and F Daylan Kuefler (37), on a PP, at 13:10, to get within a goal. . . . F Nick McCarry, who started the season with Kamloops, had a goal, his 18th, and two assists for Spokane. He had 28 points in 34 games with the Blazers; he has 28 points in 30 games with Spokane. . . . Spokane was 3-for-5 on the PP. . . . The Blazers got a goal, his 41st, and two assists from F Logan Stankoven. . . . Kamloops, which is carrying three goaltenders, didn’t dress starter Dylan Garand. Dylan Ernst went the distance, with Jesse Sanche on the bench. . . . Mike Boyle, the radio voice of the Chiefs, called his 1,500th WHL game and you can bet it was one he’ll remember. . . . The Blazers (45-16-2) are second, three points behind Everett. . . . Spokane (20-37-5) is ninth, two points behind Prince George. . . .

F Cross Hanas ended a three-goal comeback in OT as the Portland Winterhawks Portlandbeat the Silvertips, 5-4, in Everett. . . . The Silvertips took a 4-2 lead on third-period goals from F Jackson Berezowski (44), at 12:58 and D Aidan Sutter (4), at 16:08. . . . F Marcus Nguyen (19) pulled Portland to within one at 16:29 and D Clay Hanus (18) tied it at 19:46. . . . Hanas, who also had two assists, won it with his 24th goal at 1:03 of extra time. . . . The announced attendance was 6,833, Everett’s third-largest crowd this season. . . . The Winterhawks (42-16-5), with five games left, are third, three points behind Kamloops and six in arrears of Everett (43-10-9). . . .

In Kent, Wash., the Seattle Thunderbirds opened up a 5-0 lead en route to a 6-4 Seattlevictory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . F Henrik Rybinski’s 19th goal gave Seattle a 5-0 lead just nine seconds into the second period. . . . The Americans scored the next four goals, getting started at 1:50 when F Jordan Gavin scored his first WHL goal in his sixth game. . . . Tri-City got to within a goal at 18:41 on D Marc Lajoie’s 11th goal, via the PP, but Seattle F Lukas Svejkovsky (32) put it away at 19:58 with his second of the game, this one into an empty net. . . . F Jared Davidson scored twice for the winners, giving him 35. . . . Seattle (40-17-6) is three points behind Portland. . . . Tri-City (18-40-5) is six points out of a playoff spot with five games remaining.


Mat


JUNIOR JOTTINGS: F Matthew Wood, a freshman with the Victoria Grizzlies, won the BCHL scoring title this season by putting up 85 points, including 45 goals, in 46 games. Wood, who turned 17 on Feb. 6, is from Lethbridge. He was selected by the Regina Pats in the second round of the WHL’s 2020 draft. However, he has committed to join the U of Connecticut Huskies in Hartford for 2023-24. . . . G Eve Gascon stopped 23 shots to earn the victory as the QMJHL’s Gatineau Olympiques beat the visiting Drummondville Voltigeurs, 7-3, on Friday night. This was the first time a woman had posted a goaltending victory in the QMJHL since Charline Labonte did it with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in 2000. . . . It seems there might be at least three bids being prepared with aspirations to play host to the 2023 World Junior Championship. The NHL’s Ottawa Senators are partnering with Quebecor, which owns the arena in Quebec City, and the Quebec government on one bid. Things are moving in Regina and Saskatoon with another bid being prepared from there; city councils in both cities already have approved some funding. Meanwhile, Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reported that “the belief is the Halifax Mooseheads and the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League are working on a bid with officials from their respective cities to host the tourney.”


Three former WHL players — F Jared Aulin, F Jayce Hawryluk and D Brennan Menell — have signed with 3ICE, a 3-on-3 pro hockey league that is scheduled to begin play in Las Vegas on June 18. . . . Each of the league’s six teams will comprise seven players, including one goaltender. All six teams will be in action on nights when the tour stops in Las Vegas, Denver, Grand Rapids, Mich., Hershey, London, Ont., Pittsburgh, Quebec City and Nashville. The 3ICE championship is to be decided in Las Vegas on Aug. 20. . . . Aulin, 40, played with the Kamloops Blazers (1998-2002), while Hawryluk, 26, was with the Brandon Wheat Kings (2012-16), and Menell, 24, skated with the Vancouver Giants and Lethbridge Hurricanes (2014-17). Hawryluk and Menell still are active; Aulin last played in 2019-20 with the Elite Ice Hockey League’s Manchester Storm and actually announced his retirement on July 26, 2021.


Ink


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Birthday

Hurricanes delete one from staff . . . Blades’ Maier closing in on career mark . . . Oil Kings’ streak now at 13

Earlier this week, I posted a piece here that led with some comments on announced attendance totals at WHL games this season.

Yes, some teams really are struggling at the gate, but there are a number of possible reasons, some of them pandemic related.

Anyway . . . that piece created a lot of interest and a few comments.

So now I’m asking readers to drop me a line and explain why they no longer go to games or why they don’t go to as many games as they once did. Also feel free to comment on what you think the WHL and its teams might do to increase attendance at their games.

You are able to contact me by DM at Twitter (@gdrinnan) or via email at greggdrinnan@gmail.com.

Responses will be used for a posting here at some point in the not-too-distant future.


The OHL announced on Thursday that it has “expelled” Terry Christensen, the OHLFlint Firebirds’ president of hockey operations, for conduct that is “prejudicial to the welfare” of the league. An investigation, sparked by an allegation that was made via the OHL’s player communications system, revealed that Christensen had make remarks that violated the league’s Harassment and Abuse/Diversity Policy. . . . “His conduct violated the league’s expectation of the appropriate conduct of a representative of an OHL Team and he has lost the privilege to participate in the League,” the league said in a statement. . . . Christensen had been with the Firebirds since May.

Meanwhile, Jeff Marek of Sportsnet tweeted Thursday morning that “the OHL is launching an independent investigation into the Niagara IceDogs over alleged offensive comments made by people in senior positions on a team group chat.”

Greg Cowan is a sports reporter with the Owen Sound Sun Times:

https://twitter.com/GregCowanST/status/1501969145952407553?s=20&t=mGTe9yMl1lERdkg59YQaXw


The Lethbridge Hurricanes fired assistant coach Jeff Hansen on Friday. Hansen, Lethbridgefrom Calgary, was in his fifth season after spending four seasons as the video coach with the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Lethbridge general manager Peter Anholt, in a news release: “Jeff is a good man and a hard worker, and this wasn’t an easy decision, but we felt it was time to make a change. We weren’t happy with the development of our defence and the accountability of our blueline.” . . . The Hurricanes’ coaching staff now comprises head coach Brent Kisio, Matt Anholt, the assistant GM/assistant coach, and video coach Ryan Aasman. According to the news release, those three will run things “for the remainder of the season.”


FRIDAY IN THE WHL:

In Brandon, the Winnipeg Ice scored three third-period goals and beat the WinnipegIceWheat Kings, 6-3. F Mikey Milne’s 28th goal of the season, at 2:37 of the third period, broke a 3-3 tie. . . . Through a promotion involving Heritage Co-op, fans 18 and older who purchased an adult ticket received a $10 gas card. Announced attendance was 2,880. . . . The same teams meet again tonight in Winnipeg. . . . The Ice (38-9-5) leads the East Division by 12 points over the Moose Jaw Warriors. Winnipeg, with five games in hand, trails the Eastern Conference-leading Edmonton Oil Kings by eight points. . . . The Wheat Kings (28-19-5) are a comfortable sixth in the Eastern Conference. . . .

F Braxton Whitehead broke a 3-3 tie at 15:30 of the third period as the host ReginaRegina Pats beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 4-3. . . . Whitehead has seven goals. . . . Regina F Connor Berard had a goal, his 35th, and an assist as he ran his point streak to 16 games. He has 33 points, including 16 goals, in what is the WHL’s longest active such streak. . . . Lethbridge is 2-3-1 on a seven-game road trip while the Canadian men’s curling championship is in their home arena. The Brier ends on Sunday. . . . Regina (21-27-4) is 11th in the Eastern Conference, but just two points shy of eighth. . . . Lethbridge (23-27-4) is seventh, two points ahead of the Prince Albert Raiders and Calgary Hitmen, who are tied for eighth. . . . From Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post: “Factoring in last season, when Bedard debuted as a 15-year-old, he has 99 points (including 47 goals) in 61 games as a WHLer. Bedard is on the verge of tying the Pats’ record for most WHL goals by a player who has yet to turn 17. Jeff Friesen had 48 goals over his first 74 games. He scored three goals in four games as a 15-year-old call-up with the 1991-92 Pats. The following season, he had 45 goals in 70 games en route to being named the CHL’s rookie of the year.” . . .

F Egor Sidorov’s 16th goal, at 2:40 of OT, give the visiting Saskatoon Blades a 3-Blades2 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders before a sellout crowd of 2,600. . . . G Nolan Maier turned aside 49 shots for the Blades, but wasn’t selected as one of the three stars. Gee, do you think the Blades are that unpopular in P.A.? Maier now has 117 regular-season victories, three shy of the WHL career record that, according to quanthockey.com, is shared by Tyson Sexsmith (Vancouver, 2004-09) and Corey Hirsch (Kamloops, 1988-92). . . . Maier now is tied for fourth with Mac Carruth (Portland, 2009-13), two behind Jordan Papirny (Brandon, Swift Current, 2012-17). . . . F Hayden Pakkala scored twice for the Raiders, giving him nine this season. . . . The same teams will meet again tonight, this time in Saskatoon, on Nolan Maier Bobblehead Night. . . . The Blades (32-18-4) are fifth in the Eastern Conference, one point behind the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . The Raiders (22-28-4) are tied for eighth. . . .

In Swift Current, F Jalen Luypen scored twice, the second into an empty net, as the Edmonton Oil Kings beat the Broncos, 3-1. He’s got 25 goals. . . . The Oil Kings have won 13 in a row. They’ll go for 14 tonight back in Swift Current. . . . Edmonton G Sebastian Cossa stopped 25 shots in posting his WHL-leading 29th victory. . . . The Oil Kings (43-11-3) lead the Eastern Conference by eight points over Winnipeg, which has five games in hand. . . . Swift Current (20-29-7) is 10th, one point out of eighth. . . .

F Jagger Firkus broke a 2-2 tie with his 31st goal, at 5:12 of the third period, and the host Moose Jaw Warriors went on to a 5-2 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . The Warriors (32-19-5) are fourth in the Eastern Conference, eight points behind the Red Deer Rebels and one ahead of Saskatoon. . . . The Hitmen (20-27-8) are tied for eighth with Prince Albert, two points behind Lethbridge and one ahead of Swift Current. . . .

F Ben King had a goal, his 44th, and four assists as the Red Deer Rebels clinched a playoff spot with a 6-3 victory over the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . King leads the WHL in goals and points (85). He has one more point than linemate Arshdeep Bains, who signed with the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks earlier in the day. Bains had a goal and two assists in this one. He leads the WHL with 53 assists. . . . The Rebels were 4-for-5 on the PP; King leads the WHL with 21 PP goals. . . . Red Deer (37-16-3) is third in the Eastern Conference, four points behind Winnipeg, which has four games in hand. . . . Medicine Hat (10-40-4) is in next-season country. . . .

F Tarun Fizer scored his 13th goal and added an assist to help the Victoria VictoriaRoyalsRoyals to a 5-3 victory over the Cougars in Prince George. Fizer, who has three goals and five assists in his past three games, iced this one with an empty-netter. . . . The Cougars, who have lost seven in a row, had been 7-0-0 against the Royals this season. . . . Prince George led 2-0 before the game was seven minutes old, but surrendered the next four goals. . . . Victoria (17-33-6) closed to within one point of Prince George (19-32-3) and the Spokane Chiefs, who are tied for seventh in the Western Conference. . . .

The Kamloops Blazers got two goals from F Logan Stankoven — he’s got 33 — Kamloopsas they beat the visiting Kelowna Rockets, 4-2. . . . Stankoven broke a 1-1 tie at 14:27 of the first period and then added insurance at 1:53 of the third. . . . Kamloops G Dylan Garand stopped 24 shots in his first appearance since suffering a leg injury on Feb. 16. . . . F Luke Toporowski of the Blazers, a 35-goal man, didn’t return after a collision with Kelowna D Tyson Feist in the first period. . . . The same teams are to meet tonight in Kelowna. In fact, they also will play home-and-home each of the next two weekends. . . . The Blazers (40-14-2) lead the B.C. Division by 10 points over the Rockets (34-15-4). . . .

In Kent, Wash., the Seattle Thunderbirds scored two late third-period goals, Portlandboth with their goaltender on the bench in favour of the extra attacker, but ended up dropping a 3-2 shootout decision to the Portland Winterhawks. . . . D Luca Cagnoni, the 14th shooter, won it with the only goal of the circus. . . . Portland nursed a 2-0 lead from the 11:18-mark of the second period. . . . Seattle F Reid Schaefer (27) scored at 17:58 of the third period and F Jared Davidson (28) tied it at 19:28. . . . Portland got 51 saves through OT from G Taylor Gauthier . . . The Thunderbirds saluted head athletic trainer Phil Varney, one of hockey’s good guys, as he worked his 1,000th game. He is in his 15th season with Seattle. . . . Seattle F Henrik Rybinski missed his fifth straight game with an undisclosed injury. . . . Seattle F Lucas Ciona, who has 32 points, including 17 goals, didn’t finish with apparent arm injury. . . . Portland (38-14-5) is third in the Western Conference, one point out of first. . . . Seattle (34-14-6) trails Portland by seven points. . . .

F Fabian Lysell’s 19th goal of the season broke a 2-2 tie at 18:08 of the third period as the Vancouver Giants beat the Tri-City Americans, 3-2, in Kennewick, Wash. . . . F Jaden Lipinski, who has five goals, scored twice for the Giants, his second forging a 2-2 tie at 17:04 of the second period. . . . F Samuel Huo, who has 24 goals, scored twice for the Americans. . . . Vancouver (21-29-3) is sixth in the Western Conference, 27 points behind Kelowna and four ahead of Spokane and Prince George. . . . Tri-City (15-34-5) is last in the conference, six points out of a playoff spot. . . .

F Niko Huuhtanen scored twice, giving him 30, and added an assist as the host Everett Silvertips dumped the Spokane Chiefs, 6-3. . . . Everett erased a 2-1 deficit with four straight goals. . . . Everett (37-9-8) is tied with Kamloops atop the Western Conference, but the Silvertips hold two games in hand. . . . Spokane (18-32-5) is tied for seventh with Prince George, four points behind Vancouver and one ahead of Victoria.


JUNIOR JOTTINGS: The Vancouver Canucks signed F Arshdeep Bains, 21, to a three-year free-agent deal on Friday. CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) reported that the entry-level contract calls for an NHL salary of US$750,000 for 2022-23 and $775,000 each of the next two seasons. There also is a $50,000 signing bonus payable each season. His minor-league salary would be $70,000. Bains is from Surrey, B.C.; the Canucks’ AHL affiliate is just down the road in Abbotsford. . . .

The QMJHL’s Gatineau Olympiques added G Ève Gascon to their roster on Thursday. She had been 9-5-0 with the CÉGEP St-Laurent Patriotes in the Quebec Collegiate Hockey League (Division 1). . . . Gascon is to join the Olympiques this morning (Saturday) and could get the start against the visiting Val D’Or Foreurs later in the day. . . . The last woman to play in the QMJHL? G Charline Labonté got into 26 games (4-9-2, 5.22, .841) with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in 1999-2000 and two in 2000-01.


Shawn Mezei, a former WHL player, died in Lethbridge on Wednesday. He was 36. Funeral arrangements hadn’t yet been arranged as of Friday night. Mezei was a native of Taber, Alta. A defenceman, he played 116 games over five seasons with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, totalling two goals, 12 assists and 165 penalty minutes.


My wife, Dorothy, who underwent a kidney transplant on Sept. 23, 2013, is taking part in her ninth kidney walk, albeit virtually, on June 5. She has been involved in every walk since she had her transplant. If you would like to sponsor her, you are able to do that right here.


Colonel


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Pearls Before Swine
Pearls Before Swine
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