Bedard’s legend grows and grows . . . Silvertips rout Winterhawks . . . Thunderbirds run winning streak to 11


BEDARD
CONNOR BEDARD

THE BEDARD REPORT: So . . . what do you think? Is F Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats one of those athletes who rises to the occasion, or what? . . . On Friday night, in a game being televised by TSN and with the highly touted F Zach Benson on the other side, Bedard scored four times and added an assist as the host Pats overcame a 3-0 deficit and posted a 5-3 victory. . . . Bedard has seven hat tricks this season — five three-goal outings and two four-goal games. . . . It was his second four-goal game this season and the third of his career. Last season, he had one three-goal game and one four-goal outing. . . . Bedard’s nine career hat tricks breaks the Pats’ record that he shared with F Jordan Eberle, who played four seasons. . . . Bedard now has 16 multi-goal games this season. . . . In his past eight games, he has 13 goals and 15 assists. . . . In 18 games since returning to the Pats from the World Junior Championship, where he led Canada to gold, Bedard has put up 31 goals and 24 assists. . . . In 123 career regular-season games, he now has 121 goals and 126 assists. . . . Bedard leads the WHL in goals (58) and points (119). And allow me to remind you once again that he won’t turn 18 until July 17. . . . Benson had two assists last night, giving him 61 this season. He is tied with Bedard and Ice D Ben Zloty for the league lead. . . . Next up for Bedard and the Pats? The Red Deer Rebels will be in Regina today with the Saskatoon Blades to visit on Sunday. . . .

And there’s more. . . . Chalk up at least two more sellouts to the Travellin’ Bedards. . . . The Lethbridge Hurricanes have said that their March 10 game against the Pats is sold out. . . . The Pats will go on to Medicine Hat the following night and the Tigers said Thursday that “a limited number of overflow tickets . . . are available now.” Overflow tickets? According to the tickets, overflow tickets “provide access into the venue but have no assigned seat or location.”


Grab


According to figures compiled by the WHL, the Saskatoon Blades’ average Saskatoonannounced attendance last season was 3,390. This season, through 28 home games, that average was at 3,876. . . . That number is going to go up simply because F Connor Bedard and the Regina Pats have two games left to play in Saskatoon. . . . Darren Zary of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix talked with Colin Priestner, the Blades’ president and general manager, about how things have gone this season. . . . That story is right here.


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

The U of Calgary Dinos scored a 3-2 OT victory over the Alberta Golden Bears in Game 1 of Canada West’s best-of-three men’s hockey championship on Friday. . . . F Josh Maser, who played four seasons (2016-20) with the WHL’s Prince George Cougars, scored the winner at 5:41 of OT. . . . They are scheduled to play the second game tonight in Calgary. . . .

F Jaxsen Wiebe of the Prince George Cougars has signed a three-year entry-level contract with the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks. Wiebe was an undrafted free agent. . . . The contract calls for an NHL salary of US$775,000, with $80,000 in the minors. There also are signing bonuses of $80,000, $77,500 and $75,000. . . . Wiebe, 20, is from Moose Jaw. The Cougars acquired him from the Edmonton Oil Kings early in this season. He has 28 points, 11 of them goals, in 29 games with the Cougars. In six games with Edmonton, which he helped to a WHL title last season, he had three goals and an assist in six games. . . . In 159 career games — he also played 73 games with the Red Deer Rebels — he has 88 points, including 33 goals. The Rebels selected him in the seventh round of the WHL’s 2017 draft. . . .

D Christoffer Sedoff of the Red Deer Rebels has signed a three-year entry-level contract with the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights. Sedoff, a 21-year-old from Helsinki, Finland, was an undrafted free agent. . . . The contract calls for a salary of US$870,000 in the NHL and $82,500 in the minors, with three $95,000 signing bonuses. . . . He is in his third season with the Rebels. This season, he has four goals and 42 assists in 54 games. Last season, he put up seven goals and 54 assists in 65 games. . . .

Brennan McConaghy has joined the Regina Pats as their interim athletic therapist. McConaghy, 29, has worked with the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos, the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves and the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . He takes over from Greg Mayer, who had been with the Pats for 19 years before joining the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders as their lead athletic therapist last week.


Stairs



If the WHL playoffs started today:

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Winnipeg (1) vs. Swift Current (8)

Red Deer (2) vs. Medicine Hat (7)

Saskatoon (3) vs. Regina (6)

Moose Jaw (4) vs. Lethbridge (5)

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle (1) vs. Kelowna (8)

Kamloops (2) vs. Vancouver (7)

Portland (3) vs. Tri-City (6)

Prince George (4) vs. Everett (5)

——

FRIDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:
The Red Deer Rebels broke open a scoreless game with four second-period goals, the first two via the PP, en route to a 6-3 victory over the Wheat Kings in Brandon. . . . F Ben King (16) scored both PP goals, at 6:43 and 8:26. . . . D Mats Lindgren helped out with a goal (10) and four assists for Red Deer. His first career five-point game has him at 27 points in 55 games. Lindgren, who came over from Kamloops prior to the season, had had six three-point games, but had never reached four. . . . F Nate Danielson scored his 30th goal of the season for Brandon. . . . D Christian Sedoff, who signed with the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday, was back in Red Deer’s lineup after serving a four-game suspension. . . . Red Deer (39-17-4) had lost its previous two games. The Rebels are headed to a Central Division title. . . . Brandon (23-27-8) is 10th in the Eastern Conference, three points from a playoff spot. . . .

In Everett, the Silvertips scored six times in the second period en route to a 10-3 victory over the Potland Winterhawks. . . . F Gabe Klassen (32), who had two Portland goals, got the Winterhawks to within one, at 2-1, at 9:53 of the first period. . . . Everett scored the next eight goals. . . . F Matthew Paszkiewicz scored his first goal for Everett and it proved to be the winner. A 17-year-old from Calgary, he scored in his 43rd game. . . . F Austin Roest (32) led Everett with a goal and three assists. D Dexter Whittle and F Ben Hammering each had three assists and F Raphael Pelletier (15) and F Caden Zaplitny (12) each scored twice. . . . F Jackson Berezowski scored his 40th of the season for the winners. . . . Everett (30-24-3) has won three in a row. It is fifth in the Western Conference, one point behind Prince George and two ahead of Tri-City. . . . Portland (36-17-5) has lost eight straight (0-7-1) and is headed to a second-place finish in the U.S. Division. . . .

The Kamloops Blazers unleashed a 53-shot attack in beating the visiting Kelowna Rockets, 8-1. . . . They’ll play again tonight, this time in Kelowna. . . . F Logan Stankoven’s 30th goal of the season, on a PP, got Kamloops started at 4:57 of the first period. The Blazers took a 4-0 lead into the second period, their fourth goal, at 14:17, off the stick of F Jakub Demek (1). . . . F Connor Levis (17) had a goal and two assists for Kamloops. . . . F Caedan Bankier (31) and F Ryan Hofer (37), both of whom signed NHL contracts this week, both scored for the Blazers. . . . F Ethan Neutens, a 17-year-old from Cochrane, Alta., scored his first WHL goal in his 53rd game for Kelowna. . . . Kamloops (39-11-6) will finish atop the B.C. Division. . . . Kelowna (23-32-3) had won its previous two games. It is eighth in the Western Conference, four points behind Vancouver and 12 ahead of Victoria. . . . The same two teams will do it again tonight, this time in Kelowna. . . .

The Medicine Hat Tigers built up a 5-0 second-period lead en route to a 5-2 victory over the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . The Tigers scored four times in the first period, two of them coming from F Brendan Lee (27). . . . F Tyler MacKenzie (17) had a goal and two assists in that outburst. . . . Edmonton D Rhys Pederson, a 16-year-old from Stettler, Alta., scored his first WHL goal; it came in his 28th game. . . . Medicine Hat (25-25-9) has won two straight. It is seventh in the Eastern Conference, two points behind Regina and four ahead of Swift Current. . . . Edmonton (8-47-3) has lost 10 in a row. . . .

G Bryan Thomson blocked 31 shots to lead the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 3-0 victory over the Raiders in Prince Albert. . . . Thomson has three shutouts this season and five in his career. He missed a lot of the early season due to injury, but now has made 16 appearances. He is 9-4-2, 2.14, .933. . . . The Hurricanes took control with second-period goals from F Tyson Laventure (20) and F Brayden Edwards (8). . . . Duane Bartley worked his 1,500 game as the Raiders’ athletic trainer/equipment manager. . . . Lethbridge (32-21-6) has won two in a row and has closed to within three points of fourth-place Moose Jaw in the Eastern Conference. . . . Prince Albert (25-30-3) is 11th, four points from a playoff spot. . . .

D Hudson Thornton scored twice to help the Prince George Cougars to a 5-2 victory over the visiting Spokane Chiefs. . . . Thornton, who has 20 goals this season, gave his guys a 1-0 lead at 3:43 of the first period and then snapped a 2-2 tie at 17:27 of the second. . . . Thornton is one of two defencemen with at least 20 goals; Olen Zellweger (22) of Kamloops is the other. . . . The Cougars scored once on the PP and twice while shorthanded. . . . F Carter Streek (15) had a goal and an assist for Spokane. . . . Prince George (30-24-4) is fourth in the Western Conference, one point ahead of Everett. . . . Spokane (13-38-7) has lost two in a row. . . . They’ll complete the doubleheader tonight in Prince George. . . .

In Regina, the Pats erased a 3-0 second-period deficit and beat the Winnipeg Ice, 5-3. . . . D Carson Lambos (11) gave Winnipeg a 3-0 lead at 6:29 of the second period. . . . F Connor Bedard got Regina to within a goal with scores at 7:12 and 12:07 of the second, and F Tanner Howe, who also had two assists, tied it with his 30th goal at 18:43. . . . Bedard gave his guys the lead at 1:35 of the third and added the empty-netter at 19:38. . . . D Stanislav Svozil had three assists for the winners. . . . F Zach Benson of the Ice, who is second to Bedard in the scoring race, had two assists. . . . According to Rob Vanstone, who used to cover the Pats for the Regina Leader-Post, the Pats last beat the Ice on Feb. 20, 2019. Back then the Ice was playing out of Cranbrook. Regina had been 0-18-2 against the Ice since the franchise moved to Winnipeg. . . . Regina (30-24-3) has won five in a row and is sixth in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of Medicine Hat. . . . Winnipeg (48-9-1), which leads the Eastern Conference and the East Division, will wrap up a 10-game road swing with a game in Brandon tonight.  The trek started with seven straight victories, but the Ice now has lost two in a row. . . .

The Saskatoon Blades got to 40 victories for the 19th time in franchise history by beating the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors, 4-1. . . . F Egor Sidorov scored twice for Saskatoon, giving him 37 this season. . . . Saskatoon F Conner Roulette picked up one assist, the 100th of his career. It came in his 181st game, the first 131 of which were played with Seattle. . . . Saskatoon (40-13-5) has points in eight straight (7-0-1). It is second in the East Division, 10 points behind Winnipeg. . . . Moose Jaw (35-22-3) has lost three in a row. It is fourth in the Eastern Conference, three points ahead of Lethbridge. . . .

The Seattle Thunderbirds scored the game’s last three goals to beat the Tri-City Americans, 4-1, in Kennewick, Wash. . . . F Gracyn Sawchyn (18) broke a 1-1 tie at 15:09 of the second period and F Lucas Ciona (26) added insurance at 17:55 of the third. . . . F Kyle Crnkovic had a goal (28) and an assist, running his career points total to 280 in 266 games, the first 210 with the Saskatoon Blades. . . . The Americans had D Jackson Smith, 15, the second overall selection in the WHL’s 2022 draft, in their lineup for the third time this season. He plays for the U18 prep team at the Edge School in Calgary. . . . Seattle (46-9-2) has won 11 straight and leads the Western Conference by 10 points over Kamloops. . . . Tri-City (27-24-7) has lost three in a row. It is sixth in the conference, two points behind Everett. . . .

The Vancouver Giants scored two goals 57 seconds apart early in the second period and went on to a 4-2 victory over the Victoria Royals in Langley, B.C. . . . They’ll finish their two-game weekend series tonight in Victoria. . . . F Karen Gronick (4) opened the scoring at 1:31 of the second period and F Ty Halaburda (17) made it 2-0 at 2:28. . . . Victoria twice came to within a goal but couldn’t equalize. . . . F Samuel Honzek (21) had Vancovuer’s other two goals. . . . Vancouver was without F Kyle Bochek, who drew a five-game suspension for a cross-checking major and game misconduct he incurred on Wednesday night in Prince George. He also is a repeat offender; this is his third suspension totalling 12 games this season. . . . Vancouver (23-28-7) has won two straight. It is seventh in the Western Conference, four points ahead of Kelowna. . . . Victoria (15-38-7) has lost seven in a row (0-6-1). It is 12 points from a playoff spot with eight games to play.


Bottle


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.


PinkFloyd

Advertisement

Blades get help from Bedard in setting attendance record . . . Tigers skate past Ice . . . Ex-WHLer Lee dead at 37

The Travellin’ Bedards will play in Saskatoon on March 19 and the Blades announced Wednesday that they will be setting a single-game attendance Saskatoonrecord that evening. . . . The record for now is 12,588 from Feb. 9, 2013, when the Blades beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 5-2. . . . As of Wednesday afternoon, tickets sales for the March 19 game had exceeded the record. . . . The Pats will provide the opposition for the Blades’ final home game of this season, too, on March 24, and more than 11,500 tickets already have been sold for that one. . . . The reason, of course, is Regina F Connor Bedard, who almost certainly will be the No. 1 selection in the NHL’s 2023 draft. . . . “Connor is an incredible player (who) comes along once every generation,” Colin Priestner, the Blades’ president and general manager, said in a news release. “As a league, we’re extremely fortunate Connor chose the WHL as his path because his star power has brought thousands of new fans to come see our product from across the country, and he’s been an outstanding ambassador for our game.”

It’s worth noting that the Blades and Pats could wind up as first-round opponents when the playoffs get here. And the Blades again are selling a $99 playoff pass. As the news release states: “This will guarantee your seat through the entire postseason, meaning you could enjoy as many as 16 playoff games for under $100!”

The Pats have made only one visit to Saskatoon to this point in the season; the Blades posted a 5-2 victory on Nov. 13 before 7,868 fans. That, to date, is the Blades’ largest home crowd this season.

Perhaps during the March 24 the Blades could thank Bedard for making all this possible by presenting him with a lifetime pass.



Two forwards with the Kamloops Blazers signed three-year entry-level NHL Kamloopscontracts on Wednesday. . . .

F Ryan Hofer signed with the Washington Capitals, who selected him in the sixth round of the NHL’s 2022 draft. He was with the Everett Silvertips at the time. His contract carries an AAV of US$851,666.67 in the NHL and $82,500 in the AHL. . . . There also is an annual signing bonus of $80,000, $80,000 and $70,000. . . . Hofer, 20, is from Winnipeg. He has 13 goals and nine assists in 22 games with the Blazers since being acquired from Everett. He had 23 goals and 13 assists in 36 games before being traded. In 142 career regular-season games, he has 67 goals and 58 assists. . . .

F Caedan Bankier signed with the Minnesota Wild, which selected him in the third round of the NHL’s 2021 draft. Bankier, who turned 20 on Jan. 26, had 62 points, including 30 goals, in 44 games with the Blazers this season. . . . His contract carries an AAV of US$867,500 in the NHL with an $80,000 salary in the minors. There also is an annual $92,500 signing bonus. . . . From White Rock, B.C., he has 165 points, 69 of them goals, in 189 career regular-season games with the Blazers. . . . Bankier also played for the gold medal-winning Canadian team at the 2023 World Junior Championship. . . .

There now are five players on the Blazers’ roster who have signed NHL contracts, the others being F Fraser Minten (Toronto Maple Leafs), F Logan Stankoven (Dallas Stars) and D Olen Zellweger (Anaheim Ducks).


Of all that I witnessed during more than 40 years of writing about sports the few seconds in time during which F Brad Hornung of the Regina Pats was injured is the only one that really, really stayed with me. Even now, all these years later, whenever I see a player get hit from behind and take a tumble into the boards, I cringe. . . . And, yes, there still is far too much checking from behind in the game of hockey. . . . We lost Brad more than a year ago — on Feb. 8, 2022. In the end, just to show that life really can be cruel, cancer took him from us. . . . He was five days from turning 53 when he died, meaning he spent almost 35 years as a quadriplegic. Courage, thy name was Brad Hornung.



If the WHL playoffs started today:

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Winnipeg (1) vs. Swift Current (8)

Red Deer (2) vs. Medicine Hat (7)

Saskatoon (3) vs. Regina (6)

Moose Jaw (4) vs. Lethbridge (5)

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle (1) vs. Kelowna (8)

Kamloops (2) vs. Vancouver (7)

Portland (3) vs. Tri-City (6)

Prince George (4) vs. Everett (5)

——

WEDNESDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

The Medicine Hat Tigers erased an early 2-0 deficit and beat the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers, 6-4. . . . The Ice had an 11-game winning streak come to an end. . . . This was the Tigers’ second victory over one of the WHL’s top teams in recent times. They beat the visiting Kamloops Blazers, 7-3, on Friday. . . . Last night, the Tigers got two goals and two assists from F Oasiz Wiesblatt (24). His first goal tied the score, 2-2, at 14:22 of the first period. His second, at 8:03 of the third period, stood up as the winner. . . . F Cru Hanas, a 17-year-old from Highland Village, Texas, scored his first goal for the Tigers, breaking a 3-3 tie. It came in his 39th career game. . . . D Reid Andresen (7) had a goal and two assists for Medicine Hat. . . . The Ice got a goal (32) and two assists from F Matt Savoie and three assists from D Ben Zloty. . . . G Evan May earned the victory with 40 saves. May, an 18-year-old freshman from Nanaimo, B.C., got his fourth victory in his 17th appearance of the season. . . . Medicine Hat (25-24-9) is seventh in the Eastern Conference, two points behind the Regina Pats and two ahead of the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Winnipeg (48-8-1) will finish atop the East Division and the Eastern Conference. . . .

F Rylen Roersma scored three times to lead the Brandon Wheat Kings to a 7-3 victory over the Warriors in Moose Jaw. . . . Roersma, who has 15 goals, notched his first hat trick in his 139th regular-season game, all with the Wheat Kings. . . . F Jagger Firkus scored twice for Moose Jaw, giving him 31 goals. He gave his guys a 1-0 lead at 1:04 of the first period, but Brandon erased the deficit with three goals, two from Roersma, in 4:28 before the period ended. . . . F Tony Wilson had a goal (7) and two assists for Brandon. His first career three-point game came in his 114th game. . . . Brandon F Ben Thornton had a goal (2) and an assist as he returned to the lineup for the first time since Oct. 14 when he was stretchered off the ice during a 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Giants in Langley, B.C. He spent two nights in hospital and then recovered at home in Chilliwack. He was left with concussion-related issues (headache and dizziness) and also had a hip injury. . . . Brandon (23-26-8) had lost three in a row (0-2-1). It now is three points from a playoff spot. . . . Moose Jaw (35-21-3) has lost two straight. It is fourth in the Eastern Conference, five points ahead of the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . .

D Mazden Leslie scored three goals to lead the Vancouver Giants to a 6-2 victory over the Cougars in Prince George. . . . The Cougars had beaten the visiting Giants, 6-0, on Tuesday night. . . . Last night, Leslie enjoyed the third multi-goal game of his career in his 138th game; the first two — both two-goal outings — came in the first and sixth games he played in his freshman season (2020-21). . . . Leslie’s second goal broke a 2-2 tie at 2:30 of the third period. His third goal, No 11 for the season, made it 5-2 at 11:04. . . . F Skyler Bruce (11) had a goal and two assists for the winners. . . . D Hudson Thornton (18) had both Prince George goals. . . . The Giants lost F Kyle Bochek to a cross-checking major and game misconduct at 10:02 of the second period. He served a three-game suspension last month after taking a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct, and a four-game suspension in October for a charging major and game misconduct. . . . Vancouver (22-28-7) had lost its previous three games (0-2-1). It is seventh in the Western Conference, two points ahead of the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Prince George (29-24-4) had a five-game winning streak end. It is fourth in the conference, one point ahead of the Everett Silvertips and Tri-City Americans. . . .

F Egor Sidorov and F Brandon Lisowsky each scored twice and added an assist to spark the host Saskatoon Blades to a 5-2 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . The Blades outshot the visitors 13-0 in the first period and came out of it with a 1-0 lead on Sidorov’s first goal. . . . Saskatoon ended with a 38-10 edge in shots. . . . Sidorov’s 35th goal made it 2-0 at 1:21 of the second period. . . . Lisowsky’s two goals — he’s got 31 — gave the Blades 3-1 and 4-1 leads late in the second and early in the third. . . . F Trevor Wong earned three assists for Saskatoon. . . . The Blades were 3-for-9 on the PP; the Rebels were 0-for-2. . . . A brouhaha at 7:59 of the third period resulted in 87 penalty minutes being handed out, including five majors and six game misconducts. The WHL’s Dept. of Discipline is certain to spend the morning looking at the video. . . . Saskatoon (39-13-5) has points in seven straight (6-0-1). . . . Red Deer (38-17-4) has lost two in a row. . . . So here’s the deal: The Blades have three more points — 83-80 — than do the Rebels. But Saskatoon, which also has two games in hand, is second in the East Division, while Red Deer is atop the Central Division. So it is looking like the Rebels will be the Eastern Conference’s No. 2 seed and the Blades No. 3 for the first round of the playoffs.

F Andrew Cristall and F Carson Golder each scored three times to lead the Kelowna Rockets to a 7-4 victory over the visiting Spokane Chiefs. . . . F Chase Bertholet (24) pulled the Chiefs to within a goal, at 3-2, at 2:51 of the third period. . . . The Rockets then struck three times in 4:43 to take control. Golder, who has 28 goals, scored the first two of those goals to complete his second hat trick this season. . . . Golder, 20, was a defenceman prior to this season. He went into this season with three goals in 100 regular-season games, split between the Victoria Royals and Edmonton Oil Kings. This season, he has 28 goals in 57 games; with Kelowna, he has 20 goals in 33 games. . . . Golder also had an assist. . . . The Rockets got three assists from each of D Elias Carmichael and F Gabriel Szturc. . . . Cristall had 75 points, 33 of them goals, in 43 games. He had a four-goal game earlier in the season. . . . The Rockets got 41 saves from G Jari Kykkanen. . . . Kelowna (23-31-3) is eighth in the Western Conference, 12 points ahead of the Victoria Royals, who have nine games remaining. . . . Spokane (13-37-7) had points in each of its previous three games (2-0-1).


Casey Lee, who played five seasons in the WHL, has died. The native of Kindersley, Sask., was 37. . . . Lee was killed early Sunday morning in a single-vehicle accident in Calgary. . . . Lee played with the Kamloops Blazers and Kootenay Ice (2001-06). He totalled 127 points, including 40 goals, in 285 regular-season games. In 32 playoff games, he added a goal and three assists. . . . There is an obituary right here.


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.


BakingSoda

WHL, Ice not taking questions . . . Why Winnipeg, but not Nanaimo? . . . Bedard now 50-50–100 but Pats lose

Earlier this week, Paul Friesen, a sports columnist with the Winnipeg Sun, wrote about how and why the WHL’s Winnipeg Ice might be on its last legs in the Manitoba capital.

Well . . . he had another column on Friday, this one digging a little more into WinnipegIcewhether the Ice ownership will be building an arena in the Rural Municipality of Macdonald.

The key points, at least from where I sit, are these:

1. On the subject of that possible construction project, Reeve Randy Erb said: “I haven’t heard a darn thing about it.”

2. “On Friday,” Friesen wrote, “team brass again wouldn’t take questions, choosing instead to issue a statement saying they’ve made some progress with the RM regarding development of their parcel of land, but making no mention of a new arena.”

3. “A request for follow-up questions was denied,” Friesen wrote.

4. Friesen added “the league also won’t take questions . . .”

There certainly seem to be a lot of folks not wanting to answer questions, isn’t there? Why is that?

Gee, I wonder what the folks of Cranbrook are thinking about now? And, yes, the hockey fans in Chilliwack, too.

Friesen’s complete column is right here and, again, it’s well worth a read.

——

The Victoria Royals began life as the Chilliwack Bruins, as I’m sure you will remember, but after a sale left for Vancouver Island following the 2010-11 season.

At the time, the WHL desperately wanted into Victoria and felt it had to act before the AHL got there, perhaps by having the Manitoba Moose relocate from Winnipeg.

You also may recall that Victoria had been home to the ECHL’s Salmon Kings until the franchise folded after that 2010-11 season.

Thus, the WHL hustled to get into Victoria.

And once it was there its pooh-bahs realized that it would be terrific if there WHLwas a second team on Vancouver Island. After all, it was turning out to be rather costly to ride a ferry there and back from the mainland to, in most instances, play one game. The logical place for another team would be Nanaimo, which had a population of about 90,500 in 2016. (That population grew to around 103,500 by 2022.)

The problem with Nanaimo, at least in the eyes of the WHL, was that it didn’t like the arena. The Frank Crane Arena, with its 2,400 seats, opened on Jan. 3, 1976. It is the home of the BCHL’s Nanaimo Clippers. For one season (1982-83), it had been home to a WHL franchise — the Nanaimo Islanders. (In 1981-82, the Islanders had been the Billings Bighorns; in 1983-84, they would be the New Westminster Bruins. Today, they are the Tri-City Americans.)

The Clippers’ lease was to end after the 2016-17 season, and a WHL franchise in Nanaimo would have led to that franchise’s demise.

All of this led to reports like this one, from CTV News on March 7, 2017:

“The Western Hockey League has raised the stakes in Nanaimo’s event centre debate.

“The league vowed Monday to bring a WHL club to the Harbour City if residents vote ‘yes’ this weekend on the proposed sports and entertainment complex, which could cost taxpayers close to $80-million.

“It’s the first time the WHL has outright committed to bringing a franchise to Nanaimo.”

Furthermore, the WHL said in a statement that a memorandum of understanding was in place between it and the City of Nanaimo, that a ‘yes’ vote would result in a team playing out of Nanaimo in time for the 2017-18 season and that there would be a 20-year lease in place if the new facility met WHL standards.

Ron Robison, the WHL commissioner, said in a statement: “The WHL remains fully committed to delivering a WHL franchise to Nanaimo, either through relocation or expansion, and will move forward to obtain the necessary final approvals should the residents of the City of Nanaimo vote in favour of a new events centre.”

On March 11, the day of the referendum, CBC reported that Jeff Chynoweth, then the general manager of the Cranbrook-based Kootenay Ice, had confirmed that a move by his team to Nanaimo “is under discussion.”

And so it was that Nanaimo voters went to the polls to vote on whether to borrow $80 million to build an events centre that would seat 5,700 for hockey and 7,100 for concerts.

The outcome was never in doubt. Voter turnout was 35.3 per cent, higher than the 2014 general election (34.1). All told, 23,885 ballots were cast and 80.3 per cent of those voted against borrowing the money.

About a month after the referendum, Chynoweth and his family sold the Ice to Greg Fettes, a Winnipeg businessman, and Matt Cockell, a former WHL goaltender who had been working with True North Sports + Entertainment, which owns the NHL’s Winnpeg Jets.

The Ice played two more seasons in Cranbrook but it became evident early that the franchise’s days there were numbered.

Indeed, on Jan. 29, 2019, the WHL confirmed hockey’s worst-kept secret — the Ice would relocate to Winnipeg after the 2018-19 season.

It didn’t seem to matter to the WHL that there wasn’t a suitable arena available in which the Ice could play its home games. It didn’t matter, perhaps, because Fettes was promising to build a 4,700-seat arena for his team.

So . . . here we are with the 2022-23 WHL regular season heading into the home stretch. The Ice is playing its third season in Winnipeg; it would be four but the abbreviated 2020-21 season ended up being played in a Regina bubble because of the pandemic.

And where does the Ice play its home games?

In Wayne Fleming Arena, on the campus of the University of Manitoba, a facility that also is home to Canada West’s U of Manitoba Bisons. It opened in 1981, about five years after Frank Crane Arena in Nanaimo. The Ice’s home seats about 1,600, and there have been improvements made over the past couple of years, with, among other things, a new ice plant having been installed in 2021.

As for Fettes’s promise to build a new arena. Well, there has yet to be even one shovel hit the ground. And now there are rumblings about the WHL possibly taking over the franchise . . . and perhaps having fined the Ice $500,000 for reneging on the arena promise, something the WHL and Ice both have denied . . . and a Paul Friesen column in the Winnipeg Sun this week detailed how it is that the Ice may be on its last legs in Winnipeg.

So . . . out of all this . . . can anyone explain why the WHL didn’t just move a team to Nanaimo and have it play in a 2,400-seat arena while waiting for someone to build a new facility.

No, the Frank Crane Arena doesn’t meet WHL standards, but neither does the Wayne Fleming Arena.

That didn’t seem to matter when putting a team into Winnipeg, so why was it a big deal when it came to Nanaimo?

You are free to play “What if . . .?”


Tacos


Tim McCarver, who made his name as an MLB catcher before becoming a prominent TV analyst, died on Thursday at the age of 81. . . . As Joe Posnanski points out, McCarver had one moment that stood out among all the rest. It was Game 7 of the 2001 World Series. Diamondbacks versus Yankees. Luis Gonzales against Mariano Rivera. Bottom of the ninth. 2-2. One out. Bases loaded.

Posnanski writes:

“Here’s what (McCarver) said while Gonzalez dug into the box and Rivera took the ball and readied for the next pitch. . . .

“ ‘The one problem is Rivera throws inside to lefthanders, so lefthanders get a lot of broken bat hits into . . . the shallow part of the outfield. That’s the danger of bringing the infield in with a guy like Rivera on the mound.’

“On the next pitch, Gonzalez hit a broken bat single over the drawn-in infield. The ball landed in the shallow outfield.

“Incredible. That might have been the greatest broadcasting prophecy in any sport.

“And, funny, you never really hear people talk about it. Tony Romo predicts a screen play correctly and people are ready to give him the Nobel Prize. McCarver perfectly called one of the most iconic hits in baseball history before it happened and . . . nothing.”


Headline at The Beaverton (@TheBeaverton) — Stabbed man who got hit by 3 cars then thrown off bridge probably died from the vaccine


Apps


FRIDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

THE BEDARD WATCH: F Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats, playing in his 40th game of this season, ran his totals to 50 goals and 50 assists in a 6-5 loss to the host Prince Albert Raiders. . . . Bedard, who won’t turn 18 until July 17, finished with two goals and two assists, giving him his 10th game with at least four points. . . . Bedard is the first Regina player with back-to-back 50-goal seasons since F Mike Sillinger, who did it three seasons in a row (1988-91). . . . Bedard is the second-fastest skater in Pats history to reach 50 goals behind only F Jock Callander who did it in 39 games in 1981-82. In 1982-83, F Dale Derkatch got his 50th goal in his 41st game. . . . “The difference,” Callander told Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post this week, “is that I was 20 and he’s 17. . . . Bedard has scored 31 times in his past 17 games. . . . He leads the WHL in goals and points. . . . Oh yes, his presence also sold out another WHL arena, this time the Art Hauser Centre.

——

In Prince Albert, the Raiders scored the game’s last two goals to beat the Regina Pats, 6-5. . . . The home boys overcame deficits of 2-0, 3-1 and 5-4 in earning the victory. . . . F Grady Martin’s first WHL goal, in his 37th game, tied it 5-5 at 5:19 of the third period. Martin, 16, is from Oyen, Alta., and was a second-round pick in the WHL’s 2021 draft. . . . F Aiden Quiring (9) broke the tie at 9:19. . . . F Alexander Suzdalev got his 30th goal for Regina. He is the third Regina freshman in recent years with 30 goals, behind F Nick Henry (2016-17) and F Petr Kalus (2005-06). . . . Regina F Tanner Howe, who is from Prince Albert, scored his 25th goal. . . . The announced attendance was 3,299, a sellout and the largest crowd in the Art Hauser Centre this season, well ahead of the 2,798 who watched the Saskatoon Blades post a 5-2 victory on opening night. . . . Of course, the fans were there to watch Regina F Connor Bedard and he didn’t disappoint — he scored twice, becoming the first WHLer to 50 goals this season, and added two assists. . . . Prince Albert (21-28-3) is eight points out of a playoff spot. . . . Regina (25-23-3) is tied with Swift Current and Calgary for sixth in the Eastern Conference. . . .

The Spokane Chiefs scored four times in a shootout as they beat the host Everett Silvertips, 4-3. . . . The teams combined for seven goals in the five-round shootout. . . . Everett held a 3-0 lead halfway through the third period, only to have Spokane strike three times in 4:46 in the second half. . . . F Berkly Catton (16) keyed the comeback with a goal and two assists. The first overall selection in the 2021 WHL draft has 40 points in 47 games. . . . F Cade Hayes (16) had two goals for Spokane, forcing OT at 15:22. . . . Spokane (11-35-6) has points in three straight (2-0-1). . . . Everett (27-23-3) is tied for fourth with Tri-City. . . .

F Blake Swetlikoff scored two second-period goals to help the host Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 3-1 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Swetlikoff, who has 11 goals, broke a 1-1 tie at 1:29 and added insurance at 10:40. . . . Hurricanes G Bryan Thomson, coming off back-to-back shutouts, stopped 30 shots. . . . Lethbridge (30-18-6) has points in four straight (3-0-1) and is fifth in the Eastern Conference, three points behind Moose Jaw. . . . Brandon (21-24-7) is 10th, four points from a playoff spot. . . .

The Winnipeg Ice struck five times in the first period en route to a 7-1 victory over the Warriors in Moose Jaw. . . . The Ice got goals from five different players in that period, the scores coming in a span of 11:38. . . . Winnipeg got points from 15 players but no one had more than two. . . . Ice D Ben Zloty, a sixth-round pick in the WHL’s 2017 draft, scored his 10th goal. He now has 63 points in 49 games. He finished last season with 64 points, eight of them goals, in 62 games. . . . The Warriors lost F Robert Baco to a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct at 8:17 of the third period. . . . Winnipeg (42-7-1) now leads the Eastern Conference by nine points over Red Deer and Saskatoon. Red Deer leads the Central Division so would be the No. 2 seed. . . . Moose Jaw (33-18-3) is fourth in the conference, three points ahead of Lethbridge. . . .

The Kamloops Blazers coughed up 3-0 and 4-1 leads before coming back to beat the Rebels, 7-4, in Red Deer. . . . Kamloops has won seven in a row. . . . With the Scotties Tournament of Hearts — aka the Canadian women’s curling championship — in their home arena, the Blazers won’t play in Kamloops again until March 3. The Scotties began Friday and runs through Feb. 26. . . . The Blazers broke a 4-4 tie with a pair of PP goals early in the third period. . . . D Kyle Masters, who was acquired along with a first-round WHL draft pick from Red Deer in a deal that had D Mats Lindgren go the other way, got his ninth goal at 2:38 and F Daylan Kuefler (27) added insurance at 4:26. . . . D Olen Zellweger had a goal (18) and three assists for the winners, with F Connor Levis adding a goal (14) and two helpers. . . . Kamloops was 4-for-5 on the PP; Red Deer was 1-for-2. . . . Blazers F Logan Stankoven had three assists as he ran his point streak to 35 games, tying F Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats for the longest point streak this season. Stankoven, with 79 points in 35 games, has at least a point in every game he has played this season. . . . The Blazers held a 42-27 edge in shots, including 21-4 in the first period after which they led 3-0. . . . Kamloops (34-10-6) leads the B.C. Division by 22 points over Prince George. . . . Red Deer (36-13-4) leads the Central Division by 10 points over Lethbridge. . . .

F Dylan Guenther opened and closed the scoring as the Seattle Thunderbirds beat the Tri-City Americans, 4-3 in OT, in Kennewick, Wash. . . . Guenther won it with his third goal of the season at 4:10 of OT. . . . He also had an assist, giving him a three-point outing. He’s got seven points in four games since being assigned by the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes. . . . Seattle got a goal (8) and an assist from F Brad Lambert, who has 16 points in 10 games since the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets sent him to the Thunderbirds. He has a goal in five straight games. . . . Tri-City F Jordan Gavin, who won’t turn 17 until Nov. 13, had a goal and two assists. He’s got 42 points, 15 of them goals, in 46 games. . . . D Lukas Dragicevic had two PP assists for the Americans. . . . Seattle (40-9-2) has won five in a row. It leads the Western Conference by six points over Portland. . . . Tri-City (25-20-7) has lost six in a row (0-4-2). It is tied with Everett for fourth in the conference. . . .

The Saskatoon Blades opened a 5-0 first-period lead en route to a 6-4 victory over the Royals in Victoria. . . . The Blades are 3-1-0 on their tour through the B.C. Division. They’ll head for home after facing the Vancouver Giants in Langley, B.C., tonight. . . . F Trevor Wong (20) scored two of those early goals — one on the PP and one while shorthanded — as the Blades struck five times in a span of 12:48. . . . F Egor Sidorov (33) had two goals and two assists for the Blades, with F Conner Roulette adding a goal (20) and two helpers. . . . F Jake Poole, the Royals’ leading scorer, had two goals (29) after not having played since Feb. 3. . . . Saskatoon (36-13-4) is second in the East Division, nine points behind Winnipeg. . . . Victoria (15-33-6) is ninth in the Western Conference. The Royals are three points out of a playoff spot and their next three games are against the conference-leading Seattle Thunderbirds. In their only meeting to date, Seattle put up a 3-0 shutout.



JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

F Josh Pillar of the Saskatoon Blades had his NHL rights dealt from the Minnesota Wild to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday night. Pillar, who turned 21 on Feb. 14, is from Warman, Sask. He was a fourth-round pick by the Wild in the NHL’s 2021 draft. This season, he has four goals and eight assists in 12 games, but only returned to game action last night after being out since Nov. 26 with an undisclosed injury. . . .

The Moose Jaw Warriors honoured two former defencemen — Paul Dyck and Kevin Masters — this week by inducting them into the organizations Hall of Fame. . . . Dyck played from 1989-91; Masters from 1988-92. . . . They were saluted at a dinner on Thursday night and then were honoured Friday night as the Warriors played host to the Winnipeg Ice. . . . Brent Parker, who as the general manager of the Regina Pats may have tossed more than a little gasoline onto what was a fierce rivalry back in the day, was in attendance. In fact, he won the 50-50 draw and immediately gave half of it to the Warriors’ education fund. . . . I have it on good authority that there more than a few laughs were heard when Parker was announced as the winner. . . .

The Portland Winterhawks will add F Randy Heath, F Cam Neely, F Grant Sasser and F Ken Yaremchuk to their Hall of Fame on March 18. All four played on the 1983-champion Winterhawks. . . . Portland also will retire Neely’s No. 21. That will be the first number to have been retired by the Winterhawks. . . . The Seattle Thunderbirds are scheduled to provide the opposition on March 18.


Jelly


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.


Water

All is quiet in Moose Jaw; police are unable to comment . . . Keller maintains hot hand for Blades . . . Lambert sparks Thunderbirds


There doesn’t appear to be anything new — at least, nothing for public consumption — in the situation involving the four players off the Moose Jaw WarriorsNewWarriors’ roster who have been suspended indefinitely by the WHL.

The four players — D Marek Howell, 16; F Lynden Lakovic, who turned 16 on Dec. 12; D Maximus Wanner, 19; and G Connor Ungar, 21 — are shown on the WHL’s discipline page as having been suspended “tbd for standard of conduct violation.”

When the WHL announced the suspensions on Saturday, via a one-sentence news release. It stated that the players were suspended “pending an investigation into possible violations of team rules and the WHL Standard of Conduct policies.”

The WHL didn’t indicate who would be conducting such an investigation, whether an investigation is underway, or whether there was a time element involved.

Nor did the league indicate whether there is any police involvement.

Katie Strang of The Athletic reported on Monday that a Moose Jaw Police Service spokesperson confirmed they “have been made aware” of a situation involving players with the team but aren’t able to comment further at this time.

The four players all played in a 2-1 victory over the host Calgary Hitmen on Feb. 5, then were scratched on Wednesday as the Warriors beat the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings, 6-3. The night the suspensions were announced, the Warriors dropped an 8-4 decision to the Pats in Regina.

The Warriors next are scheduled to play on Friday against the visiting Winnipeg Ice.

Moose Jaw (33-17-3) is fourth in the Eastern Conference, five points behind the Saskatoon Blades and seven ahead of the Lethbridge Hurricanes.


——


While enjoying their annual Super Bowl retreat in Las Vegas, the WHL’s board WHLof governors honoured Kelly McCrimmon by presenting him with a Governors Award. From a news release: The award “is presented annually to an individual who, through their outstanding hockey and overall contributions to the game, has impacted on the growth and development of the WHL.” McCrimmon, now the general manager of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, was a long-time owner, general manager and head coach of the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . The governors also took time out from their time at the slot machines to honour former Spokane Chiefs general manager Tim Speltz. Speltz was named as the recipient of last year’s Governors Award. However, scheduling issues due primarily to the pandemic prevented the award from being presented to Speltz prior to Monday. Speltz, the Chiefs’ GM for 26 seasons, now is the GM of the Henderson Silver Knights, the Golden Knights’ AHL affiliate.



Monopoly


TUESDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

The Swift Current struck four times in the third period en route to posting a 7-5 victory over the Wheat Kings in Brandon. . . . The Wheat Kings took a 4-3 lead into the third period, but the Broncos took a 5-4 lead on two goals from F Brad Birnie (14), at 0:32 and 3:47. . . . F Connor Hvidston (14), who also had two assists, and F Josh Filmon (33) stretched the lead at 8:33 and 12:34. . . . Swift Current was 2-for-2 on the PP and had a shorthanded goal. . . . Brandon was 3-for-6 on the PP. . . . Brandon got two goals from F Brett Hyland (26) and a goal (25) and two assists from F Nate Danielson. . . . Swift Current (25-22-3) is tied with the Regina Pats (25-22-3) and Calgary Hitmen (23-22-7) for sixth in the Eastern Conference. . . . Brandon (21-23-7) is 10th, four points from a playoff spot. . . .

The Saskatoon Blades snapped a 1-1 tie with three goals early in the third period as they skated to a ?? victory over the Cougars in Prince George. . . . F Jordan Keller pulled the Blades into a 1-1 tie with a PP goal at 17:23 of the second period, then snapped the tie with his 13th goal at 2:26 of the third period. . . . D Spencer Shugrue’s first goal of the season and third in 140 games increased the lead at 2:51, and D Charlie Wright (5) added another at 4:35. . . . Keller also had an assist for the first three-point game of his freshman season. He has three two-goal games in his last five outings. . . . F Egor Sidorov scored his 31st goal — giving the Blades four goals in 5:46 — and also had two assists. . . . F Chase Wheatcroft of the Cougars drew one assist to run his point streak to 14 games. . . . The Blades are 2-1-0 in a B.C. Division tour that continues Friday night in Victoria. Interestingly, Saskatoon is the only East Division team that made its Prince George visit in the middle of the road trip; the others either began or ended their trip against the Cougars. . . . Saskatoon (35-13-4) is third in the Eastern Conference, five points ahead of the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . Prince George (24-23-4) is sixth in the Western Conference, four points behind the Tri-City Americans. . . . BTW, McBride has a population of about 600 people, so that’s an awfully good showing in support of Blades D Tanner Molendyk. . . .

F Brad Lambert had a goal and two assists as the Seattle Thunderbirds dumped the Tri-City Americans, 4-2, in Kent, Wash. . . . In nine games since joining the Thunderbirds from the AHL’s Manitoba Moose, Lambert has seven goals and seven assists. He has a goal in each of his last four games. . . . F Lucas Ciona (23) scored Seattle’s last two goals, proving a 3-0 lead at 14:18 of the second period and making it 4-2 with an empty-netter at 19:44 of the third. . . . F Ethan Ernst (30) and F Adam Mechura (18) got the Americans to within a goal by scoring at 16:30 and 18:51 of the third. . . . Seattle (39-9-2) has won four in a row. It now leads the Western Conference by four points over the Portland Winterhawks. . . . Tri-City (25-20-6) has lost five straight (0-4-1). It is tied with the Everett Silvertips (27-22-2) for fourth in the conference.


Lions


From the Ghostrider News blog that follows the junior B Kootenay International Junior Hockey League:

“With an amusing 1,350 penalty minutes the Kelowna Chiefs won the coveted KIJHL colouring books; they also finished dead last with 16 points. Clearly in a large city where there are almost as many players as protesters recruiting should be easy; there might even be a ‘convoy’ of players to choose from . . . but the owner, Jason Tansem, made himself the GM . . . What does that tell you?

Tansem joins a long list of owners who have dabbled in the occult or whatever it is coaches do. Friend of the blog Lee Stone, who coached the Campbell River Storm to Cyclone Taylor and Keystone Cups along with three VIJHL championships, lost his coaching job recently when a new owner came in and meddled as GM.”

——

The junior B Campbell River Storm of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League announced Monday that it has “parted ways” with Lee Stone, its general manager and head coach. . . . “He has been an integral part of every success this team has experienced from 2013-23,” the team said in a social media post. According to the team, Stone had a 373-113-32 record over nine seasons. . . . This season, the Storm is 31-11-2, good for second place in the six-team North Division. . . . On Tuesday, Stone posted on social media that “the timing of this decision by a new ownership interest was unfortunate and reflects ongoing changes to the club’s direction that I could no longer support.”


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.


VanGogh

Lazaruk’s WHL tour makes 40th stop . . . Lies and Bell both out of hospital . . . Ice, Winterhawks win first-place battles


The Saskatoon Blades visited the Calgary Hitmen for a Saturday matinee that was played in the Tsuu’tina Seven Chiefs Sportsplex. . . . I would hope the in-house DJ, if there was one, played some I’ve Been Everywhere, perhaps by Johnny Cash, in honour of Les Lazaruk, the long-time radio voice of the Blades. . . . Before the game, he tweeted: “By my foggy memory count, (it’s) the 40th building I’ve called WHL regular-season and/or playoff games from.” . . . When I asked him which building was first, he said: “Agridome in Regina.” The date! Sept. 23, 1994. . . . He has provided a list that shows Saskatoon’s SaskTel Centre and the 39 others, from east to west:

Three in Winnipeg

Brandon

Regina

Two in Moose Jaw

Prince Albert

Swift Current

Two in Medicine Hat

Lethbridge

Two in Calgary

Red Deer

Three in Edmonton

Two in Cranbrook

Two in Prince George

Kamloops

Two in Kelowna

Chilliwack

Two in Vancouver

Victoria

Two in Spokane

Tri-City

Everett

Three in Seattle

Tacoma

Two in Portland

And how many other people can say that they have been in each of those hockey facilities?

The time has come for the WHL to present Lazaruk with the Bob Ridley Award and for the folks in Saskatoon to name the SaskTel Centre’s broadcast booth in his honour.


So . . . you want to be a hockey player, do you? Well, you best buy some good luggage. . . . Let’s take a look at the career of F Lane Pederson, a Saskatoon native who spent three seasons (2014-17) in the WHL. . . . The NHL’s Vancouver Canucks recalled Pederson a few weeks ago from their AHL affiliate, the Abbotsford Canucks. They placed him on waivers on Friday, and he played in Vancouver’s 5-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets later that evening. On Saturday, those same Blue Jackets claimed him off waivers. . . . Despite being only 25 years of age, Columbus will be Pederson’s 11th team since he first played in the WHL. He played with the Seattle Thunderbirds, Red Deer Rebels and Swift Current Broncos in the WHL, then made AHL stops with the Tucson Roadrunners, San Jose Barracuda, Chicago Wolves and Abbotsford. In the NHL, he now has belonged to the Arizona Coyotes, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver and Columbus. . . . This season alone, he has been with the Wolves, Abbotsford, Vancouver and now Columbus. And there still is lots of season to be played.



F Justin Lies of the Saskatoon Blades, who left a Friday game against the host WHLRed Deer Rebels on a stretcher, was released from hospital early Saturday and rejoined his teammates in Calgary where they were playing the Hitmen. He was on the bus for the trip home after the game and is expected to be out a couple of weeks. . . Lies, 19, was injured at 5:29 of the second period. Red Deer F Carson Birnie was given an interference major and game misconduct on the play. . . . Birnie wasn’t suspended on Saturday and was in the lineup as the Rebels dropped a 5-1 decision to the visiting Winnipeg Ice. . . .

F Parker Bell of the Tri-City Americans also was released from hospital after being injured during a Friday night game with the visiting Everett Silvertips. Bell, 19, took a hit from Everett F Andrew Petruk, who was given a charging major and game misconduct. . . . On Saturday, the Americans tweeted that Bell “was taken to the hospital last night and released after undergoing testing. He is at home resting.” . . . Petruk has been suspended for three games. He began serving that suspension as the Americans played host to the Spokane Chiefs last night.


G Cody Creasy of the junior B Kamloops Storm of the Kootenay International KamStormnewJunior Hockey League saw a goaltender’s dream come to fruition on Friday night. Yes, he scored a goal. . . . Creasy, a 19-year-old from Brandon, hit the empty neat with two seconds left in the third period, icing a 5-2 victory over the visiting Summerland Steam. . . . Check out the second tweet below because there can’t be anything better than a goaltender’s Mom tweeting about her son having scored a goal. . . . One other note about Creasy’s night in the crease. Larry Read, a well-known Kamloopsian, is the British Columbia Cattlemen’s Association’s communications manager by day and usually handles the Storm play-by-play for home games. But he wasn’t able to attend Friday’s game. As he told Taking Note: “I miss one game and the goalie scores. Just my luck! Haha. . . .” In Read’s absence, Kris Armstrong, who usually is the colour guy, handled the play-by-play and he flew solo. You can bet that he won’t forget this one. . . . BTW, this is the 6-foot-3, 190-pound Creasy’s second season with the Storm. Last season, he was 9-3-0, 1.45, .938 in 15 appearances. This season, in 20 games, he is 10-6-0, 2.16, .915.


Debt


SATURDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

The top two teams in the Eastern Conference met in Red Deer and the Winnipeg Ice dropped the Rebels, 5-1. . . . The victory allowed the Ice (34-6-1) to move back into first place, one point ahead of the Rebels (32-10-4). Winnipeg still holds five games in hand. . . . D Carson Lambos drew four assists for the winners, who opened up a 4-0 lead in the second period. . . . D Karter Prosofsky’s first goal of the season and his fourth in 112 career games stood up as the winner. . . .

The Western Conference’s top two teams met in Kent, Wash., where the Portland Winterhawks dumped the Seattle Thunderbirds, 5-2. . . . The Winterhawks (33-8-3) now lead the conference by one point over the Thunderbirds (33-8-2). Seattle has one game in hand. . . . F Chaz Lucius had a goal and two assists for Portland, picking up three points for a third straight game. He has played five games with the Winterhawks since being assigned to them by the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets — he had been with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose — and has at least two points in each outing. All told, he now has four goals and nine assists. . . . D Luca Cagnoni (12) scored twice for Portland. . . . Each team took two minor penalties and went 0-for-2 on the PP. . . . The Winterhawks got 36 saves from D Dante Giannuzzi, who now is 20-5-2, 2.97, .904. . . .

F Egor Sidorov’s OT goal gave the Saskatoon Blades a 3-2 victory over the host Calgary Hitmen. . . . Sidorov scored his 27th goal at 2:30 of extra time. . . . F Carter Yakemchuk (6) had pulled the Hitmen into a tie at 18:52 of the third period with his second goal of the game. . . . The Blades held a 45-26 edge in shots, including 7-1 in OT. . . . Saskatoon (29-11-4) is fourth in the Eastern Conference, one point behind the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . .

F Jagger Firkus scored 40 seconds into OT to give the host Moose Jaw Warriors a 3-2 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Firkus, whose winner came via the PP, has 24 goals this season. . . . The Warriors were 2-for-3 on the PP. The Tigers were 0-for-6. . . . Moose Jaw F Martin Rysavy (4) tied the score 2-2 at 15:45 of the third period. . . . G Connor Ungar of the Warriors ran his record to 25-6-3, 2.61, .924 with 34 saves. . . . The Warriors (30-15-3) are third in the Eastern Conference, six points out of first place. . . .

F Ben Hemmerling scored his third OT winner of the month as the host Everett Silvertips got past the Swift Current Broncos, 4-3. . . . Hemmerling, who has 16 goals, also had two assists. . . . His winner came at 1:10 of OT. . . . F Austin Roest (16) also had a goal and two helpers for the winners. . . . F Jackson Berezowski, Everett’s 20-year-old captain, scored his 29th goal of this season in his 250th career regular-season game. He has 205 points, including 111 goals. . . . The Broncos are 0-1-1 in their five-game tour of the U.S. Division. . . . The Silvertips (23-21-1) are fifth in the Western Conference, two points behind the Tri-City Americans. . . . The Broncos (22-19-3) are seventh in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of the idle Regina Pats, who are at home to Medicine Hat today. . . .

The Prince Albert Raiders opened a trek through the B.C. Division with a 4-1 victory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . The Raiders scored the game’s last four goals, the final two from F Evan Herman (9). . . . G Max Hildebrand blocked 28 shots to earn the victory. . . . The Cougars (19-21-4) are tied with the Vancouver Giants for sixth place in the Western Conference. . . .

G Braden Holt turned aside 35 shots to lead the Victoria Royals to a 3-2 victory over the visiting Kamloops Blazers. . . . The visitors had posted a 7-4 victory on Friday night. . . . Holt is 7-2-2, 2.89, .913 since the Royals acquired him from the Everett Silvertips. . . . He had 13 victories with Everett, so this one was No. 20 on the season. . . . F Jake Poole (26) gave the Royals a 3-1 lead at 7:03 of the third period. He also had an assist. . . . Victoria F Teydon Trembecky (6) ran his goal streak to four games. . . . Kamloops F Logan Stankoven had one assist, running his point streak to 29 games. Yes, he has at least a point in every game in which he has played this season. He has 65 points, including 25 goals, in that stretch. . . .  Kamloops (27-10-6) is third in the Western Conference, but leads the B.C. Division by 18 points so is all but certain to be the conference’s No. 2 seed when the playoffs start. . . . Victoria (14-28-5) is tied with the Kelowna Rockets for the conference’s eight and final playoff spot. One of those two teams is going to be left on the outside of the postseason tournament. . . .

The Tri-City Americans took a 5-0 lead into the second period and went to post a 6-2 victory over the Spokane Chiefs in Kennewick, Wash. . . . Tri-City was 3-for-4 on the PP and also had a shorthanded goal. . . . Lukas Dragicevic of the Americans, who leads all WHL defencemen in goals and points (55), had two goals (13) and an assist. Dragicevic and Denton Mateychuk of the Moose Jaw Warriors lead all defencemen in assists (42). . . . Tri-City (22-16-5) is fourth in the Western Conference, two points ahead of Everett. . . .

F Gabriel Szturc, Kelowna’s new captain, had a goal and two assists to lead the host Rockets to a 5-1 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . One night earlier, in Langley, B.C., the Giants had beaten the Rockets, 3-1. . . . Szturc’s 12th goal, at 8:21 of the second period, broke a 1-1 tie. . . . F Carson Golder (19) finished Kelowna’s scoring with three third-period goals. He also had one assist. . . . Kelowna (15-26-3) is tied with Victoria for eighth in the Western Conference. They are nine points behind Vancouver and Prince George.


Taxes


JUST NOTES:

G Matt Berlin, who played in the WHL (2015-18) with the Spokane Chiefs, Seattle Thunderbirds and Kootenay Ice, made his NHL debut with the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night. Berlin was backing up starter Jack Campbell and head coach Jay Woodcroft, in a wonderful moment, sent him in for the final 2:26 of a 7-3 victory over the visiting Chicago Blackhawks. . . . The Oilers had signed Berlin to an amateur tryout because Stuart Skinner was ailing and unable to play. Berlin, 25, now is with the U of Alberta Golden Bears. He is 4-0-1, 2.57, .892. . . . BTW, Berlin stopped the only shot he faced. . . .

Carl Stankowski, another former WHL goaltender, stopped 25 shots on Saturday as the U of Calgary Dinos beat the Mount Royal Cougars, 4-0. . . . The Dinos ran their Canada West-record winning streak to 19 games. They had set the record on Friday night.


StarWars


Dave Albright, a key member of the 1989 Grey Cup-winning Saskatchewan Roughriders, died Thursday in Redondo Beach, Calif., one day after his 63rd birthday. . . . The Roughriders were 9-9 in the CFL’s 1989 regular season and, after beating the Calgary Stampeders, advanced to meet the Edmonton Eskimos in the West Division final. Early in the second quarter, Albright returned a fumble 62 yards for a touchdown, a play that sparked the Roughriders to a 32-21 victory over the 16-2 Eskimos. . . . Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post has more on Albright right here.


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.


Moon

Bedard, Pats keep on rolling . . . Rockets face interesting schedule . . . Look back at WHL’s weekend


BEDARD
CONNOR BEDARD

THE LEGEND CONTINUES TO GROW: F Connor Bedard scored Regina’s last two goals as the Pats beat the visiting Portland Winterhawks, 4-3, on Saturday night. . . . Bedard has 36 goals this season and is on a 30-game point streak. . . . The Pats have won three in a row since Bedard returned from his dominating performance with Team Canada at the World Junior Championship. In those three victories, Bedard has nine goals and four assists — a six-point game, a five-pointer and Saturday’s deuce. . . . Despite missing 11 games while at the WJC, Bedard leads the WHL in goals (36), assists (41) and points (77). He holds a 15-point lead over F Andrew Cristall of the Kelowna Rockets in the points derby. Cristall has missed Kelowna’s last three games with an undisclosed injury. . . . Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post tells us that Bedard’s 30-game point streak is “17 short of the team record, set by Jock Callander and Wally Schreiber during the 1981-82 season.” . . . Vanstone also informs us that Bedard “is on pace to become the first Pat to score 50 goals in 50 or fewer games since Dale Derkatch in 1983-84.” Derkatch scored Nos. 50 and 51 in his 49th game that season. . . . The Pats are off until the weekend when they go home-and-home with the Swift Current Broncos, playing Friday on the road and Saturday in Regina. . . . The Broncos (20-17-1) are eighth in the Eastern Conference, three points behind Regina. The Broncos hold four games in hand.


From the Department of Read It and Weep, a piece that hits the nail squarely on the head . . .


The Kelowna Rockets, who are fighting for their playoff lives, are two games into an eight-game stretch during which they will play only two teams — the Victoria Royals and Vancouver Giants.

Going into this week, it really is looking as though one of the Rockets or Royals Kelownawill finish eighth in the Western Conference, with the other team left out of the playoffs. The Rockets (13-23-3) are eighth now, one point ahead of the Royals (12-25-4). The Prince George Cougars (17-18-4) and the Giants (16-19-6) are tied for sixth, nine points ahead of the Rockets.

Five of the Rockets’ next eight games are against the Giants, so one would have to think Kelowna needs to beat Vancouver at least four times to have a chance at moving up in the standings.

As for the Royals, well, they are 7-2-1 in their past 10 games after sweeping a weekend series from the visiting Rockets, winning 4-0 on Friday and 6-3 on Saturday.

Next up for the Rockets is a home-and-home with the Giants, playing Friday in Langley, B.C., and Saturday in Kelowna. The Royals, who are to play the Winterhawks in Portland on Friday and the Chiefs in Spokane on Saturday, will be in Kelowna on Sunday as each team plays its third game in fewer than 48 hours.

The Rockets and Giants then will play three in a row — Jan. 27 in Langley, and Jan. 28 and Feb. 3 in Kelowna.

One positive for the Rockets is that they won’t play any mid-week games during that stretch, so head coach Kris Mallette and his staff will have lots of practice time, something coaches really treasure.


THEDAD


Jack Todd in the Montreal Gazette, with a few words on the Montreal Canadiens’ baby blues:

“Supposedly a nod to the late, great Montreal Expos, the reverse-retro jerseys are a bland, boring, soulless cash grab, a blue-on-blue nightmare that is more reminiscent of the Toronto Argonauts than Nos Amours. Canadiens fans agree on something once a century, and this is it: everyone hates those kiddie pyjamas.”

Todd also points out that the Canadiens have worn the baby blues four times and are 0-4, so perhaps they won’t last long. They are next scheduled to be worn on Thursday for a visit by the Florida Panthers.

——

Here’s Todd, again, with something that I can get behind: “We’re 100 per cent behind Connor McDavid. The shootout is a farce, while 3-on-3 overtime is the most exciting thing since skate sharpeners. Ten minutes of 3-on-3, then in the unlikely event no one has scored, it’s a tie.”



JUNIOR JOTTINGS: F Jack Bakker, whose WHL rights moved from Kamloops to the Everett Silvertips in the Jan. 8 deal in which D Olen Zellweger and F Ryan Hofer went to the Blazers, has committed to the BCHL’s Penticton Vees for 2023-24. Bakker, 15, is from White Rock, B.C., and plays on the U18 prep team at the Delta Hockey Academy. Kamloops selected him in the third round of the WHL’s 2022 draft. . . .

F Ozzy Wiesblatt, 20, played for the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda on Saturday night, meaning he won’t be joining the Portland Winterhawks, who had acquired his rights from the Prince Albert Raiders on Tuesday. Mike Johnston, the Winterhawks’ vice-president, general manager and head coach, explained to Joshua Critzer (@jjcritzer) that Wiesblatt could only end up in Portland if he didn’t play another AHL game after Jan. 10. . . . Wiesblatt was a first-round selection by the San Jose Sharks in the NHL’s 2020 draft. . . . Had Wiesblatt ended up in Portland, the Raiders would have receive three draft picks from the Winterhawks — a first in 2025 and two seconds in 2026. . . .

The BCHL’s Penticton Vees ran their home record to 16-0-0 on Saturday with a 5-3 victory over the Cowichan Valley Capitals before an announced crowd of 3,628. . . . Also on Saturday, the Wenatchee Wild drew an announced crowd of 3,521 as they dropped a 4-1 decision to the Prince George Spruce Kings. . . .

The SJHL’s Battlefords North Stars suffered their first regulation-time loss of the season on Saturday night as they were beaten, 5-0, by the Bruins in Estevan. That left the North Stars’ record at 33-1-3. . . . G Jackson Miller stopped 30 shots to earn the shutout, while F Keagon Little scored twice.


Callback


SUNDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

F Cole Shepard scored two goals 70 seconds apart in the first period to lead the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 4-1 victory over the Hitmen in Calgary. . . . Lethbridge was playing its third game in fewer than 48 hours; it picked up five points by going 2-0-1 in those games. . . . Shepard, who sat out Saturday’s 2-1 OT loss to the visiting Red Deer Rebels with a one-game suspension, has 15 goals. . . . G Bryan Thomson blocked 38 shots to earn the victory. Thomson, who made 50 appearances last season, was playing in his fifth game this season. The start of his season was delayed by surgery to repair an undisclosed injury. . . .

In Langley, B.C., the Tri-City Americans scored the game’s first seven goals, five of them in the second period, en route to a 7-3 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . F Jalen Luypen had a goal (4) and two assists for the Americans. . . . G Tomas Suchanek stopped 18 shots in his first appearance with the Americans since returning from the World Junior Championship where he backstopped Czechia to a silver medal.

——

SATURDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

The Moose Jaw Warriors scored four second-period goals and got 39 saves from G Connor Ungar as they beat the host Brandon Wheat Kings, 4-3. Ungar is 21-5-2, 2.64, .924 this season. . . . In Edmonton, D Terrell Goldsmith’s third goal of the season, at 2:16 of OT, gave the Prince Albert Raiders a 4-3 victory over the Oil Kings. The offensively challenged Oil Kings were held to three, six, five and two shots, by period. . . .

F Jackson Berezowski had two goals and an assist as the hometown Everett Silvertips got past the Tri-City Americans, 3-2, in OT. . . . F Austin Roest’s 25th goal, at 1:39 of extra time won it. . . . Roest has three goals and seven assists over his past three games. . . . Berezowski, the team captain, has 28 goals. In his past three games, he has put up eight goals and four assists, surpassing the 200-point career mark in the process. He now has 204 points, 110 of them goals, in 245 regular-season games. . . . D Hunter Mayo (14) scored at 4:55 of OT to give the Red Deer Rebels a 2-1 victory over the host Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . .

F Alexander Suzdalev scored once (23) and added an assist as the Regina Pats beat the visiting Portland Winterhawks, 4-3. . . . Portland finished its East Division swing at 2-4-0. . . . Suzdalev has 53 points in 40 games. . . . Could it be that Regina and area has caught Bedard Fever? The Pats have drawn their three largest crowds of the season to their past three games — 4,761, 5,651 and 5,403. In 20 home games, only one other crowd has been more than 4,000, and that was 4,336 on opening night. . . . The Winterhawks thought they had tied the game late in the third period, but the goal was disallowed by the on-ice officials. Portland fans were upset that the play didn’t go to video review, but goaltender interference isn’t something that can go upstairs for review in the WHL. . . . From Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post: “With (G Dante) Giannuzzi pulled for an extra attacker, Portland appeared to score the game-tying goal with 17 seconds left. But, after lengthy deliberations, the goal was disallowed when the ruling was made that Portland’s Kyle Chyzowski interfered with Pats netminder Drew Sim. Chyzowski received at least a nudge from Pats defenceman Luke Bateman before colliding with Sim, but the goal was waved off.”

F Egor Sidorov scored three times and linemate Trevor Wong had a goal and two assists as the Saskatoon Blades beat the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds, 4-2. Sidorov, a sophomore from Belarus, has four career hat-tricks, three of them this season. He has 22 goals; Wong has 15. . . . Seattle went 3-3-0 on its East Division swing. . . . G Reid Dyck stopped 29 shots, including a third-period penalty shot, to help the Broncos to a 4-3 victory over the Prince George Cougars in Swift Current. . . .

F Matthew Hodson scored twice and added an assist as the host Victoria Royals doubled the Kelowna Rockets, 6-3, to sweep their weekend series. The Royals had won, 4-0, on Friday. The Rockets have lost six in a row on the road. Hodson, who scored three goals in 39 games last season, has 11 in 38 outings this season. . . . The Royals scratched D Gannon Laroque, who played Friday, and F Brayden Schuurman, who left Friday’s game after the first period. F Alex Thacker, who last played on Dec. 17, took the warmup but didn’t dress. . . . The sweep allowed the ninth-place Royals (12-25-4) to close to within one point of the Rockets (13-23-3), who hold down the Western Conference’s last playoff spot. . . .

In Winnipeg, F Connor McClennon scored three times, giving him 19, to lead the Ice to an 8-3 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. The visitors led 2-0 before the game was five minutes old. . . . F Ryan Hofer scored twice (26) and F Logan Stankoven drew three assists as the Kamloops Blazers beat the visiting Spokane Chiefs, 5-2. Hofer has three goals in two games with the Blazers since being acquired from Everett. G Matthew Kieper stopped 22 shots in his first appearance for Kamloops since being acquired from Regina on Jan. 3.



THINKING OUT LOUD: Just a reminder that Geoffrey Brandow (@GeoffreyBrandow) is a must follow on Twitter for major junior hockey fans. . . . You watch QB Brock Purdy of the San Francisco 49ers and you realize how important it can be to be in the right place at the right time to find success. . . . It wasn’t long after the Los Angeles Chargers had coughed up a 27-0 lead and lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday that their fans had Sean Payton replacing Brandon Staley as head coach. And how many jobs will Payton be rumoured for before he finally picks one? . . . There is a lot of chatter that has the Vancouver Canucks on the verge of firing head coach Bruce Boudreau and replacing him with Rick Tocchet. Just a thought, but maybe the Canucks should try doing things right for a change — let Boudreau finish out the season and then see who’s available. And maybe, just maybe, think about handing a blank cheque to Barry Krotz. Or maybe call Sean Payton. . . . ICYMI, QB Nathan Rourke, who lit up the CFL with the B.C. Lions before suffering a foot injury last season, says he is going to sign with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars. What an exciting time this must be for him as he gets the opportunity to live out his dream . . . You don’t like Tom Brady and you despise the Dallas Cowboys. So what are you going to do tonight?


COVID


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.


Missing

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

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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

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Or, for more information, visit right here.


Pearls Before Swine
Pearls Before Swine
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