Ice freezes out streaking Rebels . . . Thunderbirds add Prokop to roster . . . Dreger: Everett’s Williams to be Canada’s head coach at WJC

Two WHL teams on lengthy winning streaks clashed at the Wayne Fleming Arena in Winnipeg on Tuesday night. . . . When it was all over, the Winnipeg Ice WinnipegIcehad beaten Red Deer, 3-1, halting the Rebels’ 15-game season-opening winning streak. . . . While the Rebels broke the franchise record for longest winning streak — the 2001-02 club won 14 in a row in mid-season — they fell short of the WHL record for longest winning streak to open a season. The 1967-68 Estevan Bruins opened with 22 straight victories. . . . The Ice (16-1-0) now has won 11 in a row. . . . D Ben Zloty gave the Ice a 1-0 lead, on the PP, at 8:21 of the first period. . . . F Skyler Bruce upped it to 2-0 at 13:50 of the second period, and F Matthew Savoie scored shorthanded for a 3-0 lead 13 seconds into the third period. . . . F Carson Birnie got Red Deer’s goal, at 12:52 of the third. . . . The Ice had a 29-21 edge in shots. . . . Winnipeg was 1-7 on the PP; Red Deer was 0-6. . . . G Daniel Hauser stopped 20 shots for the Ice. He is 12-0-0 (2.24, .922) this season, and 53-3-2 (2.20, .913) for his career. . . . The announced attendance was 1,411. . . . The same two teams are to meet again tonight in Winnipeg. . . .

D Max Wanner had two goals and two assists to lead the host Moose Jaw Warriors to a 7-2 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Wanner had missed the Warriors’ previous two games. . . . The Warriors improved to 10-6-0, while the Oil Kings now are 2-13-1. . . . F Atley Calvert helped the winners with a goal and two assists. . . . F Jaxsen Wiebe, who is from Moose Jaw, had both Edmonton goals. . . .

F Hayden Pakkala broke a 1-1 tie with a PP goal at 15:35 of the third period and the visiting Prince Albert Raiders went on to a 3-1 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . The Raiders got a goal and two assists from F Sloan Stanick and two assists from F Niall Crocker. . . . F Carson Latimer put it away with an empty-netter. . . . The Raiders (5-11-2) had lost their previous two games. . . . The Tigers (4-9-3) have lost six in a row (0-4-2).


ID


D Luke Prokop is back in the WHL for his 20-year-old season. The Seattle Thunderbirds announced on Tuesday that Prokop has been added to their roster Seattleafter being sent to them by the NHL’s Nashville Predators. . . . “This is a huge addition for our team,” Bill La Forge, Seattle’s general manager, said in a news release. “Luke’s combination of size and talent greatly boosts our defensive core. Acquiring his rights was important to us and we will be thrilled to see him in a Thunderbirds jersey soon.” . . . The Thunderbirds are scheduled to visit the Kamloops Blazers tonight. The Thunderbirds didn’t indicate whether Prokop would in the lineup. . . . A third-round pick by Nashville in the NHL’s 2020 draft, Prokop had been with the ECHL’s Norfolk Admirals. He had one goal in eight ECHL games. . . . Last season, the 6-foot-6, 220-pounder put up 10 goals and 23 assists in 55 games with the Edmonton Oil Kings, then had four goals and 12 assists in a 19-game run to a WHL title. . . . He began his WHL career with the Calgary Hitmen, playing 153 games with them, scoring eight goals and adding 35 assists. . . . The Thunderbirds acquired his WHL rights from the Oil Kings on Oct. 25, giving up three draft picks in the exchange — a 2025 first-rounder and third-rounders in 2023 and 2025. According to a Seattle news release at the time, “All draft picks are conditional on Prokop returning to the WHL.” . . . The Thunderbirds are 10-3-0, having lost two in a row. They are in the U.S. Division chase, trailing the Portland Winterhawks (11-1-2) and Everett Silvertips (11-5-0).



JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

You will recall reading here earlier about the AJHL’s Sherwood Park Crusaders having been in a multi-vehicle accident near Ponoka on Saturday as they were en route to a game in Blackfalds. . . . The Crusaders were singing the praises of their bus driver. . . . It turns out his name is Robert Gingrich. “He did a tremendous job keeping us safe,” Evan McFeeters, the Crusaders’ associate general manager and head coach, told Taking Note on Tuesday. “We will be forever grateful for him.” . . . Great job, Robert. Thanks for all you and the other bussies do in these days of nasty and often quickly changing weather. . . .

The Red Deer Rebels have signed 2006-born D Derek Thurston to a WHL contract. He was a sixth-round selection in the WHL’s 2021 draft. Thurston, from Delta, B.C., is playing this season with the U18AAA Delta Academy team. . . . His father, Brent, played with the Victoria Cougars and Spokane Chiefs. He was with the Chiefs when they won the 1991 Memorial Cup. . . . Brent has another son, Trevor, who has played with the Kamloops Blazers, Lethbridge Hurricanes and Prince Albert Raiders. Trevor, a 20-year-old defenceman, now is with the QMJHL’s Cape Breton Eagles. . . .

With the Portland Winterhawks at 11-1-2, Andy Kemper, their historian, notes that it is the eighth time in franchise history they have put up 11 victories through 14 games. “But,” he adds, “it is the most games played with only one regulation loss — previous was 11 GP in 1982-83 and 1985-86).” . . . Kemper also notes that Portland’s 24 points is the most in team history through 14 games played. . . .

There is ample speculation as to whether the Regina Pats will trade F Connor Bedard and, if they are to do that, just how much of a bounty will they get in return. I don’t think he’ll be on the move, only because I don’t know how the Pats would sell it to their fans. . . . But if a deal is going to happen this season, it means that Bedard may have only two home games remaining in his Pats career — tonight against the Edmonton Oil Kings and Saturday against the Red Deer Rebels. . . . After playing the Rebels, the Pats hit the road for 10 straight, including a five-game SRO tour of the B.C. Division. . . . Regina won’t play at home again until Dec. 10, by which time Bedard will be in camp with Canada’s national junior team as it prepares for the 2023 World Junior Championship. . . . The WJC wraps up on Jan. 5; the WHL trade deadline arrives on Jan. 10. . . . BTW, the Canadian team’s coaching staff is expected to be announced this morning. Darren Dreger of TSN reported last night that Dennis Williams of the Everett Silvertips will be Canada’s head coach.


Notme


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.


TheTalk

Crusaders, Rebels loving their bus drivers . . . Red Deer, Winnipeg set for Manitoba doubleheader . . . Winterhawks, Chiefs share 15 goals

Players and personnel with the AJHL’s Sherwood Park Crusaders are crediting their bus driver with keeping them out of harm’s way when they were involved SherwoodParkin a multi-vehicle accident on Saturday afternoon.

The Crusaders had played in Olds on Friday night and were en route to Blackfalds for a Saturday night date with the Bulldogs.

The Crusaders didn’t make it as they ended up among numerous vehicles involved in accidents on No. 2 Highway south of Edmonton.

Things were fine until visibly turned sour south of Ponoka and the road iced up.

“We rolled up on a massive pile-up where our bus driver just told everyone to hold on,” Evan McFeeters, the Crusaders’ associate general manager and head coach, told Adam Lachacz of CTV News Edmonton. “He did an incredible job of keeping us safe and upright, weaving through the mayhem in front of us.

“We saw it all . . . cars doing 360s smashing into each other, semis jackknifing, but our bus driver is the hero of the day for us.

“Keeping us upright when we hit the ditch and avoiding collisions along the way till we finally came to a stop.”

(Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to learn the bus driver’s name, just that his first name is Robert. So, Robert, well done!)

There weren’t any injuries to anyone on the Crusaders’ bus.

Eventually, school buses were sent from Ponoka and the team ended up spending the night in the Ponoka Centennial Centre. They returned to Sherwood Park on a different bus on Sunday afternoon.

Lachacz’s complete story is right here.


Inclement weather resulting in horrendous driving conditions prevented two WHL teams from getting home following Saturday night games. . . . The Saskatoon Blades beat the host Brandon Wheat Kings, 4-1, and then headed for home along the Trans-Canada Highway. They got as far as Moosomin, before pulling in for the night. The Blades finally arrived home on Sunday at 4:30 p.m.

At the same time, the Swift Current Broncos, who had beaten the Pats, 5-2, in Regina, chose not to even try to get home after the game, hunkering down in a local hotel instead.


Boss


The junior B Castlegar Rebels of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey CastlegarLeague were in the middle of it all, too, because driving conditions in B.C.’s Interior have been horrendous for a few days now. After playing in Kamloops on Friday night and 100 Mile House on Saturday night, the Rebels arrived home on Sunday and tweeted: “Special thanks to our bus driver Craig Luke for his great work in snowy road conditions.”


How poor were driving conditions in the Regina area. Kevin Gallant made the 45-minute drive from Regina to Moose Jaw for the Saturday night game between the Warriors and Red Deer Rebels. His son, Matthew, is a sophomore defenceman with the Warriors.

When Kevin arrived home after the game, here’s what he wrote on Facebook:

“Made it home, drove 40 kilometres an hour sometimes 30 kilometres an hour. About a 90-minute drive. . . . I will never do another drive like that again, not used to it. Got behind a vehicle and did the slow drive, sometimes no visibility, looked like a few cars in ditch.”

Been there, done that! But I only did it once. When I was with the Regina Leader-Post, I once headed for Moose Jaw for a Saturday night game. Things were fine on the way there. But it was ugly going back with snow and more snow and wind and more wind. I was fortunate to tuck in behind a big rig and follow the taillights all the way to Regina.

Yes, that was a lesson learned.


Bass


Meanwhile, in Kamloops and area, we had a dump of snow late Thursday and into Friday. But it didn’t stick around too long. Then it snowed some more and, yes, there is more in the forecast. People here like to giggle about what goes on in Vancouver on the odd occasion when it snows there. But, truth be told, things are no better in Kamloops on the occasion of that first snowfall. The Sahali and Aberdeen areas have some steep hills that always seem to turn messy when things get slippery. And this time it wasn’t any different. Then, of course, there is the Coquihalla Highway that always seems to end up being shut down a time or three in one or both directions. Such has been the case for the past two or three days, and we now are left to see what Monday brings.

This weekend, however, seems to have brought some ugliness with it.

There is a twitter account — Kamscan (@Kamscan) — whose operator monitors road conditions. On Sunday, the account featured these tweets:

“And the entitled are showing their colours . . . just passed a plow truck on the right and gave the operator the finger.”

“Operator was mentioning vehicles were right on his ass. Guess some can lose the time and deductible on their windshields.”

“And a second one just passed him and probably touched the tip of the plow.”

“Yesterday a plow operator had stuff thrown at him as he was passing a trucker who had hit the ditch.”


ProduceBag


The WHL has eight mid-week games on its upcoming schedule and two stand WHLout among all the rest. Those two games will feature the Red Deer Rebels in Winnipeg to face the Ice on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. . . . The Rebels are on a franchise-record 15-game winning streak. Yes, they have won their first 15 games — the WHL record of 22 is held by the 1967-68 Estevan Bruins. . . . Meanwhile, all the Ice, which has won 10 straight, has done is go 15-1-0, despite opening with 13 consecutive road games. . . . Red Deer’s freshman goaltenders have some pretty fine numbers — Rhett Stoesser is 5-0-0, 1.40, .934, while Kyle Kelsey is 10-0-0, 1.80, .935. . . . Veteran Daniel Hauser of the Ice goes into the doubleheader at 11-0-0, 2.35, .920. His running mate, freshman Dawson Cowan, is 3-1-0, 2.52, .901.


SUNDAY IN THE WHL:

The Portland Winterhawks opened an early 4-0 lead — thanks to three PP goals — and then had to go to a shootout to beat the visiting Spokane Chiefs, 8-7. . . . PortlandF Jack O’Brien’s second goal of the game gave Portland that 4-0 lead at 13:28 of the first period. . . . Spokane F Ty Cheveldayoff tied it, 7-7, at 19:25 of the third period. It was his third goal of the game and seventh of the season. It also was the second multi-goal game of his 92-game WHL career; he had a two-goal outing last season. . . . Portland got shootout goals from F Marcus Nguyen and D Luca Cagnoni, with F Raegan Wiles counting for Spokane. . . . F Gabe Klassen had a goal and three assists for Portland. . . . The Chiefs got two goals and two assists from Wiles and a goal and three helpers from F Blake Swetlikoff. . . . The Winterhawks (11-1-2) moved into sole possession of first place in the Western Conference, two points ahead of the Everett Silvertips (11-5-0). Portland has points in six straight games (4-0-2). . . . The Chiefs (3-10-1) have lost eight in a row (0-7-1).


THINKING OUT LOUD — If you were watching the CFL game from Vancouver on Sunday, were you wondering how much pride Dave Dickenson, the Calgary Stampeders’ head coach, had to swallow before getting QB Bo Levi Mitchell into the game? And if Dickenson was going to send him in to open the fourth quarter, why didn’t he make the change at halftime? . . . One other thing about Mitchell: How do you think he’ll look in Saskatchewan Roughriders’ colours? . . . The Boston Bruins tried to right a wrong on Sunday night. We are left to wonder how long it will be before the stink goes away and they are able to patch the giant hole that has been left in their credibility. . . . The Prince George Cougars (9-7-0) have won three in a row and woke up Sunday morning atop the B.C. Division. They will visit the Kelowna Rockets on Wednesday, then head home for a Saturday-Sunday doubleheader with the Vancouver Giants. Have to wonder if this early success will create some interest in Cougartown?


Call


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.


Fish

T-Birds stare down elimination for a sixth time . . . Road warriors win in Edmonton . . . Game 6 set for Monday

And one more makes six . . .

The Seattle Thunderbirds, facing elimination for the sixth time in these EdCupplayoffs, got past the host Edmonton Oil Kings, 3-2, on Saturday night. The Oil Kings lead the WHL’s best-of-seven championship final for the Ed Chynoweth Cup, 3-2.

The Thunderbirds will face elimination for a seventh time on Monday when the teams meet for Game 6 in Edmonton. The Thunderbirds will be designated as the home team, so will have the last change. Seattle’s home arena in Kent, Wash., has been unavailable because of graduation ceremonies, so the series is following a 2-2-3 format with the last three games to be played in Edmonton. A seventh game, if needed, would be played there on Tuesday night.

The series winner will advance to the four-team Memorial Cup tournament that is to be played in Saint John, N.B., June 20-29.

The Thunderbirds, the Western Conference’s No. 4 seed, overcame a 3-1 deficit to beat the No. 3 Portland Winterhawks, then trailed the No. 2 Kamloops Blazers, 3-2, before winning that series. In the process, Seattle became the only team in WHL history to win two Game 7s on the road in the same postseason.

In other words, these Thunderbirds are quite familiar with being in this position.

Last night, the Thunderbirds erased a 1-0 first-period deficit — F Josh Williams Seattle(4) scored for Edmonton at 6:25 — with the game’s next three goals.

F Conner Roulette (5) tied the score at 2:13 of the second period and F Matt Rempe (8) gave the Thunderbirds the lead, on a PP, at 8:51. F Lucas Ciona (9) upped the lead to 3-1 at 2:21 of the third period.

F Carson Golden (3) pulled the Oil Kings to within a goal at 9:14 of the third period, but that’s as close as the home team could get.

Both goaltenders were terrific, with Seattle’s Thomas Milic finishing with 28 saves, three fewer than Edmonton’s Sebastian Cossa.

Seattle was 1-for-5 on the PP; Edmonton was 0-for-6.

The Oil Kings scratched F Dylan Guenther, who last played in Game 3. He didn’t finish that one due to an undisclosed injury. . . . Seattle D Tyrel Bauer, the team captain, sat out the first game of a two-game suspension. He was suspended for a first-period hit on F Brendan Kuny in Game 3. Kuny isn’t likely to play again in the series. . . . The Thunderbirds had F Henrik Rybinski back in their lineup. He hadn’t played since Game 1.

——

In the QMJHL, the Shawinigan Cataractes won their first Presidents Cup on Saturday, beating the host Charlottetown Islanders, 4-3 in OT. . . . Shawinigan won the best-of-seven final, 4-1. . . . The Islanders led 3-1 before the second period was six minutes old, but Shawinigan came back to score the game’s last three goals. . . . F Olivier Nadeau made it 3-2 on a PP at 12:50 of the second period. . . . F Pierrick Dubé scored the game’s last two goals, tying the score at 10:38 of the third period and winning it just 41 seconds into OT. . . . Dubé scored 12 goals in the playoffs. . . .

The OHL’s championship final will continue today (Sunday) with the host Hamilton Bulldogs entertaining the Windsor Spitfires. The series is tied, 2-2. Game 6 is to be played in Windsor on Monday.


Messages


THE COACHING GAME: Evan McFeeters has signed on as the new head coach of the AJHL’s Sherwood Park Crusaders. He joins the Crusaders after two seasons as an assistant coach with the AJHL’s Brooks Bandits, who won the Centennial Cup as junior A champions last month in Estevan, Sask. Before joining the Bandits, McFeeters spent five seasons with the AJHL’s Canmore Eagles as assistant general manager and assistant coach. In Sherwood Park, he replaces Jeff Woywitka, who was fired as head coach and assistant GM in April. Woywitka had taken over for the fired Adam Manah in November.


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.


Pizza

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