Oil Kings, Chiefs struggle on ice, not at gate . . . Bedard wins WHL Triple Crown . . . Tigers grab last playoff spot


The Edmonton Oil Kings and Spokane Chiefs had the two poorest records during this WHL regular season.

But that didn’t stop the fans from showing up.

The Oil Kings played their final regular-season home game on Saturday at EdmontonRogers Place before an announced crowd of 14,781, the largest gathering in Edmonton this season.

According to figures compiled by the WHL, that lifted the Oil Kings’ average attendance to 6,223, the highest in the 22-team league.

Yes, indeed, the Oil Kings may have been last in the standings — they won only nine of 68 games — but they were No. 1 at the gate.

The Chiefs, meanwhile, completed their home schedule on Saturday night Spokanebefore a sold-out crowd of 10,541. That increased their average attendance to 5,842 and allowed them to pass the Everett Silvertips (5,840) and move into the No. 2 slot.

The Chiefs finished 10th in the 10-team Western Conference, winning 15 games.

Last season, Everett was No. 1 in average attendance, at 5,341, with Edmonton (5,198) in second spot and Spokane (4,419) in fourth.

With one game left to be played this season — Edmonton is to visit the Calgary Hitmen this afternoon — the WHL’s average attendance is 3,872, up from 3,205 in 2021-22.

How much of that do you think is due to the presence of F Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats, especially after he returned from the World Junior Championship?


THE BEDARD REPORT: F Connor Bedard scored his 71st goal of the season on Saturday night, but his Regina Pats dropped a 5-3 decision to the visiting Prince Albert Raiders. . . . The game was played in front of a sellout crowd of 6,499. It was Regina’s sixth sellout of the season, all of them since Jan. 21. . . . Bedard won the WHL’s Triple Crown, leading in goals (71), assists (72) and points (143), all in 57 games. However, he finished with just one point, last night’s goal, over three games. . . . He won the points title by 36 over F Chase Wheatcroft of the Prince George Cougars, and finished 21 goals ahead of F Kai Uchacz of the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Prince George F Riley Heidt was one assist behind Bedard, with D Ben Zloty of the Winnipeg Ice three behind.


Microwave


If the WHL playoffs started today (x-locked in):

EASTERN CONFERENCE

x-Winnipeg (1) vs. Medicine Hat (8)

x-Red Deer (2) vs. Calgary (7)

x-Saskatoon (3) vs. Regina (6)

x-Moose Jaw (4) vs. Lethbridge (5)

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

x-Seattle (1) vs. Kelowna (8)

x-Kamloops (2) vs. Vancouver (7)

x-Portland (3) vs. Everett (6)

x-Prince George (4) vs. Tri-City (5)

(NOTE:There are excellent playoff previews available on the WHL’s website.)

——

SATURDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

The Medicine Hat Tigers grabbed the WHL’s last available playoff spot with a 4-3 victory over the visiting Swift Current Broncos. . . . The Broncos grabbed a 2-0 lead before the game was nine minutes old — on goals from F Connor Hvidston (21) and F Josh Davies (20), the latter on a PP — but the Tigers stormed back with the next four goals. . . . F Tyler McKenzie (18) got them on the scoreboard 14 seconds into the second period, and F Oasiz Wiesblatt (26) tied it, on a PP, at 7:52, . . . F Dallon Melin (16), celebrating his 21st birthday, gave the Tigers their first lead, on a PP, at 15:35. . . . D Cayden Lindstrom (19) upped the lead to 4-2 at 6:00 of the third period. . . . F Josh Filmon pulled the Broncos to within a goal with his 47th at 10:26. . . . F Gavin McKenna drew two primary assists for the Tigers. The 15-year-old — he won’t turn 16 until Dec. 20 — finished with 17 points, 13 of them assists, in 16 games. He was the first overall selection in the WHL’s 2022 draft. . . . Medicine Hat (30-29-9) will face the Winnipeg Ice, who finished atop the overall standings, in the first round. . . . Swift Current (31-33-4) will miss the playoffs for the third time since winning the 2017-18 championship. They didn’t qualify in 2019 or 2022, and there weren’t any playoffs in 2020 or 2021. . . .

F Carter Yakemchuk scored twice to lead the Calgary Hitmen to a 3-2 victory over the Oil Kings in Edmonton. . . . With the victory, the Hitmen locked themselves into seventh place in the Eastern Conference. That means a first-round meeting with the No. 2 Red Deer Rebels. . . . Yakemchuk, with 19 goals, gave Calgary a 2-1 edge at 6:39 of the third period, then broke a 2-2 tie, on a PP, at 14:22. . . . The Hitmen lost D Keagan Slaney to a charging major and game misconduct at 9:05 of the third period. . . . Calgary (31-28-8) has won four straight games. It last met Red Deer in the playoffs in 2016, when the Rebels won in five games. . . . Edmonton (9-54-4) has lost seven in a row (0-6-1). The Oil Kings will set a dubious WHL record for the fewest victories by a defending champion. That record (11) had been held by the Swift Current Broncos, who won the 2017-18 WHL championship and then went 11-51-6 in 2018-19. . . . The Oil Kings and Hitmen will conclude the WHL’s regular season this afternoon in Calgary. . . .

F Conor Geekie scored three times and added two assists as the Winnipeg Ice beat the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings, 5-3. . . . Geekie finished with 35 goals, while F Connor McClennon, who scored the Ice’s other two goals, scored 46. . . . D Jonas Wood helped out with three assists for Winnipeg. . . . Winnipeg (57-10-1) finished atop the overall standings. . . . Brandon (26-33-9) went 18-17-7 after general manager Marty Murray replaced Don MacGillivray as head coach. . . . The Wheat Kings, the lone WHL team to make a coaching change during this season, finished 10th in the Eastern Conference. . . .

The Calvert brothers, who are from Moose Jaw, each scored as the Saskatoon Blades posted a 6-3 victory over the Warriors. . . . F Rowan Calvert scored his fourth goal for the Blades and it proved the winner. His brother, Atley, had two goals and an assist for the Warriors, giving him 40 scores on the season. Their father, Jeff, played five seasons as a goaltender in the WHL, two with the Warriors and three with the Tacoma Rockets. . . . You can bet that Rowan and Atlee’s grandfather, the late Bob Calvert, a longtime member of the Warriors’ board, was looking down and grinning from ear to ear. . . . On Feb. 11, the WHL announced that four Warriors — G Connor Ungar, D Max Wanner, D Marek Howell and F Lynden Lakovic — had been suspended pending an investigation into potential violations of WHL’s policies of conduct. Those players later were suspended for the duration of the regular season — they sat out 17 games — and now are eligible to return, assuming they completed personal conduct and respect training as requested by the league. . . . Saskatoon (48-15-5) enjoyed a 100-point season for the fifth time in franchise history, and the Blades have been in the league since the start (1966-67) . . . Moose Jaw (41-24-3) had won its previous two games. . . .

The Red Deer Rebels scored four second-period goals en route to a 5-1 victory over the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . G Koen Cleaver made his debut with the Hurricanes, managing to keep the game scoreless through a first period in which they were outshot, 19-1. . . . By game’s end, the shot advantage was 39-12. . . . F Kalan Lind (16) and D Hunter Mayo (18) each had a goal and an assist for the Rebels. . . . Red Deer (43-19-6) had lost its previous two games. . . . Lethbridge finished at 36-26-6. . . .

F Sloan Stanick scored three times to lead the Prince Albert Raiders to a 5-3 victory over the Pats in Regina. . . . Stanick (31) scored two second-period goals, the second one while shorthanded, as the Raiders took a 3-0 lead. . . . He completed his second career hat trick at 4:15 of the third period, giving the visitors a 4-1 edge. . . . Stanick, a 19-year-old from Rapid City, Man., ws acquired from the Pats early last season. He finished this season with 64 points in 67 games. . . . F Tanner Howe, who won’t turn 18 until Nov. 28, scored his 36th goal. He finished with 85 points in 67 games, and has 156 points in 139 career games. . . . Prince Albert (28-37-3) had lots its previous three games. . . . Regina (34-30-4) has lost two in a row. . . .

The Portland Winterhawks scored the game’s last three goals to beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 3-1, in Kent, Wash. . . . F Dylan Guenther (13) gave Seattle a 1-0 lead at 4:06 of the first period. . . . Portland got second-period goals from F Luke Schelter (8) and F Josh Zakreski (13) and a third-period empty-netter from D Ryan McCleary (13). . . . Portland (40-20-8) had lost its previous four games (0-3-1). . . . Seattle (54-11-3) finished atop the Western Conference. . . .

F Koehn Ziemmer and F Chase Wheatcroft scored shootout goals to give the host Prince George Cougars a 3-2 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . Cougars D Hudson Thornton scored his 23rd goal, setting a franchise record for goals by a defenceman in one season. Dustin Byfuglien scored 22 times in 2004-05. . . . G Tyler Brennan stopped 43 shots as the Cougars were outshot, 45-17, including 6-0 in OT. . . . G Jesse Sanche, who turned 17 on March 19, made his WHL debut with the Blazers. He now lives in Kelowna, but grew up in Kamloops. Sanche was a second-round pick in the WHL’s 2021 draft. . . . Kamloops (48-13-7) has lost two in a row. . . . Prince George (37-24-7) goes into the playoffs having put up points in 11 straight (8-0-3). . . .

The Kelowna Rockets scored the game’s first four goals and then hung on for a 5-4 victory over the visiting Vancouver Giants. . . . F Gabriel Szturc (24) scored twice for Kelowna, the second one, at 13:11 of the second period, providing that 4-0 lead. . . . A pair of goals 26 seconds apart from F Skyler Bruce (15) and F Ty Halaburda (21) got the Giants to within a goal, at 4-3, at 14:25 of the third period. . . . F Turner McMillen (9) restored Kelowna’s two-goal lead at 18:23, with D Colton Roberts (3) getting the Giants back to within a goal at 19:20. . . . Kelowna (27-37-4) had lost its previous four games (0-3-1). . . . Vancouver (28-32-8) had won two in a row. . . .


D Lukas Dragicevic scored the only goal of a five-round shootout to give the Tri-City Americans a 2-1 victory over the Chiefs in Spokane. . . . F Kooper Gizowski (11) gave the Chiefs a 1-0 lead at 8:28 of the first period. . . . F Parker Bell (25) got the Americans even at 16:39 of the second. . . . Tri-City (34-26-8) has points in six straight (5-0-1). . . . Spokane finished at 15-42-10. Its 40 points is the lowest in franchise history, beneath the 47 earned by the 1998-99 club. . . .

F Raphael Pelletier scored the only goal of a shootout to give the Everett Silvertips a 4-3 victory over the Royals in Victoria. . . . The Royals had erased 2-1 and 3-2 deficits to force extra time on F Matthew Hodson’s 17th goal at 18:52 of the third period. . . . F Jackson Berezowski scored his 48th goal, shorthanded, to set an Everett single-season franchise record. F Josh Winquist had scored 17 goals in 2013-14. . . . Everett (33-32-3) had lost its previous two games. . . . Victoria (17-43-8) finished with points in three straight (2-0-1).



Mike


It’s that time of year again. Yes, the 2023 Kamloops Kidney Walk is almost upon us.

This year, we’re back to walking outdoors, and we’ll be hitting the trail at McDonald Park on June 4.

My wife, Dorothy, who in September will celebrate 10 years as a transplant recipient, is once again taking part. And, yes, she is fund-raising and would love for you to be part of her team.

If you are so inclined, you may make a donation right here. Thank you so much, in advance.

——

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.


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Broncos, Warriors clash postponed . . . Basha, Tigers bash Pats . . . T-Birds, Blazers rollin’, rollin’, rollin’


The Vancouver Giants were without F Samuel Honzek on Saturday night as they Vancouverlost 6-0 to the Blazers in Kamloops. Honzek, who has 42 points, including 21 goals, in 40 games, was injured in Friday’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Rockets in Kelowna. . . . F Carson Golder was ejected with a headshot major for the hit on Honzek. . . . Steve Ewen of Postmedia reported late Friday that Honzek was returning to Giants’ headquarters in Ladner, B.C., “for evaluation” as the team went on to Kamloops. Ewen also reported “there have been 13 players receive suspensions this season resulting from checking-to-head majors.” . . . Honzek was playing in his ninth game since returning from a badly cut leg that he incurred while playing for Slovakia at the World Junior Championship. . . . He is expected to be a first-round selection in the NHL’s 2023 draft.



The Swift Current Broncos were to have met the Warriors in Moose Jaw on Saturday night. However, some nasty weather stormed across southern Saskatchewan and forced the game’s postponement. It is hoped that the teams will be able to play today in Moose Jaw. . . . On Friday night, in Swift Current, the Warriors erased a 3-0 deficit in beating the Broncos, 4-3 in a shootout. . . . The Warriors (37-22-3) go into tonight’s rematch having won two straight. . . . The Broncos (28-29-4) have lost three in a row (0-2-1) and are scrapping for a playoff spot.


Pecans


If the WHL playoffs started today:

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Winnipeg (1) vs. Swift Current/Calgary/Brandon (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. Everett (6)

Prince George (4) vs. Tri-City (5)

——

SATURDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

The Brandon Wheat Kings scored the game’s last six goals to skate away with a 10-2 victory over the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . F Noah Boyko (16) got Edmonton to within two, at 4-2, at 3:19 of the third period. . . . But the Wheat Kings scored two quick goals, from F Dawson Pasternak (14), at 3:51, and F Rylen Roersma (18), at 5:30, and school was out. . . . Pasternak and Roersma each scored twice and added an assist. . . . F Joby Baumuller, the 12th overall selection in the WHL’s 2022 draft, scored his first WHL goal for Brandon. A 15-year-old from Wilcox, Sask., he was playing in his fifth game. . . . The Oil Kings were without F Dawson Seitz, who drew a TBD suspension after taking a boarding major and game misconduct on Friday in Winnipeg. . . . Brandon (26-28-8) has won three in a row and is tied with Swift Current and Calgary for the Eastern Conference’s last playoff spot. . . . Edmonton now is 9-49-4. . . .

F Andrew Basha scored four goals and G Beckett Langkow recorded the shutout as the host Medicine Hat Tigers dumped the Regina Pats, 7-0. . . . Langkow stopped 17 shots, including just one in the second period, as he posted his first career shutout in his 78th appearance. . . . Medicine Hat outshot Regina, 40-17, including 18-1 in the second period. . . . Basha, who has 19 goals, went into the game with a pair of two-goal games in 108 career games. Last season, the 17-year-old sophomore from Calgary, had five goals and nine assists in 48 games. This season, he has 55 points in 61 games. . . . The Tigers had a 1-0 lead going into the second period, and Basha scored the next three goals. He finished his four-goal night at 19:05 of the third period. . . . D Bogdans Hodass had three assists. . . . F Gavin McKenna, the first selection in the WHL’s 2022 draft, scored his first goal with the Tigers. He has a goal and eight assists in 12 games. . . . Medicine Hat (27-26-9) had lost its previous two games. It is seventh in the Eastern Conference, three points behind Regina and three ahead of Swift Current, Calgary and Brandon. . . . Regina (31-27-4) has lost four in a row (0-3-1). . . .

F Jhett Larson scored three times to lead the Red Deer Rebels to a 9-0 victory over the Hitmen in Calgary. . . . Larson ran his goal total to 18 with his first career hat trick. . . . G Kyle Kelsey stopped 25 shots to record the third shutout of his freshman season. Kelsey, who turned 19 on Jan. 22, is 19-11-5, 2.76, .904. . . . The Rebels, who held a 57-25 edge in shots, scored four times in the first period and five in the second. . . . Red Deer was 5-for-7 on the PP. . . . D Mats Lindgren added a goal (11) and two assists. . . . F Kai Uchacz scored his 49th at 3:34 of the first period and it stood up as the winner. . . . Red Deer (41-17-6) has points in five straight (3-0-2). It has clinched the Central Division title. . . . Calgary (26-27-8) had points in each of its previous three games (2-0-1). It is tied with Swift Current and Brandon for eight in the Eastern Conference. . . .

The Seattle Thunderbirds won their 50th game, the second time they have accomplished that in franchise history, beating the Everett Silvertips, 5-1, in Kent, Wash. . . . Seattle also reached the 50-victory plateau in 1989-90 when it finished 52-17-3 — that would be three ties, of course. . . . D Jeremy Hanzel (12) scored twice for Seattle, the first one, on a PP at 6:12 of the third period, breaking a 1-1 tie. . . . Hanzel also had an assist. . . . F Dylan Guenther (7) and F Brad Lambert (14) each had a goal and an assist. . . . F Jackson Berezowski (43) had Everett’s goal, a shorthanded tally. . . . Seattle G Thomas Milic earned the victory with 14 saves. He’s 24-3-2, 2.02, .928 this season. . . . Seattle held a 47-15 edge in shots. . . . Seattle (50-9-3) has points in 16 straight games (15-0-1). It also is tied with idle Winnipeg atop the overall standings, each with 103 points. . . . Everett (30-29-3) has lost five in a row. It is sixth in the Western Conference, two points behind Tri-City. . . .

G Matthew Kieper recorded the shutout as the host Kamloops Blazers dumped the Vancouver Giants, 6-0. . . . Kieper, who was acquired from Regina earlier this season, finished with 25 saves for his first shutout this season and the second of his career. . . . The game included two second-period penalty shots. Vancouver F Ethan Semeniuk came up short at 10:08. Kamloops F Connor Levis ran his goal streak to six games when he scored at 13:44 for a 4-0 lead. . . . Levis later scored again, giving him 23 this season. He also is riding a six-game goal-scoring streak, with seven goals in that time. . . . F Emmitt Finnie had a goal (6) and two assists. A 17-year-old from Lethbridge, he had six assists in 48 games last season. This season, he’s got 25 points in 57 games. . . . Kamloops held a 44-26 edge in shots, including 25-4 in the first period. . . . Kamloops (44-11-6) has won six in a row and 17 of 18. It has wrapped up the B.C. Division title. . . . Vancouver (24-29-8) had points in each of its previous four games (3-0-1). The Giants are seventh in the Western Conference, three points ahead of Kelowna. . . .

The Kelowna Rockets scored a PP goal in OT to beat the Chiefs, 5-4, in Spokane. . . . F Cade Hayes emerged from a scuffle at the end of the third period with the only major penalty and game misconduct. Kelowna F Gabriel Szturc (21) won the game at 2:24 of OT. . . . Before that, the Rockets had coughed up a 4-0 lead as the Chiefs forced extra time when F Berkly Catton (20) scored at 17:58 of the third period. . . . Szturc, the Rockets’ captain, finished with two goals and two assists. . . . The Rockets were without F Carson Golder, who has been hit with a TBD suspension after he took a headshot major and game misconduct against visiting Vancouver on Friday night. . . . Kelowna (25-34-3) has won two in a row and clinched a playoff spot in the process. It is eighth in the Western Conference, three points behind Vancouver. . . Spokane (14-39-8) has lost two straight. . . .

F Reece Belton’s penalty shot goal gave the Tri-City Americans a 3-2 OT victory over the Portland Winterhawks in Kennewick, Wash. . . . The Americans thought they had won seconds earlier, only to have the goal disallowed. As Pucklandia’s Chad Balcom (@hawkeyblog) tweeted: “Never seen that one before — the Winterhawks were down the tunnel & in the room, LONG huddle of refs, no replay, & the OT winner was overturned. We play on in Kennewick.” . . . According to Nick Marek, Portland’s play-by-play voice, the goal was disallowed because of a quick whistle. “The accidental whistle is what disallowed the initial goal by (Adam) Mechura. The ref whistle killed the play.” . . . Belton, who had been slashed from behind while on a breakaway, then won it with his 14th goal of the season at 1:08 of OT. . . . Tri-City had taken a 2-0 lead into the third period on goals from Belton, on a PP, and Mechura (23). D Lukas Dragicevic assisted on both goals. . . . Portland tied it on third-period goals from F Marcus Nguyen (22), shorthanded at 10:47, and F Luke Schelter (6), at 14:48. . . . The Americans got 47 saves from G Tomas Suchanek. . . . Tri-City (29-26-7) had lost its previous two games. It moved into fourth in the Western Conference, two points ahead of Everett. . . . Portland (38-17-7) has points in four straight (2-0-2) and will be the conference’s No. 3 seed when the playoffs begin. . . .

F Koehn Ziemmer and F Carlin Dezainde each scored twice as the Prince George Cougars doubled the Royals, 6-3, in Victoria. . . . The Cougars swept the doubleheader, having won 8-3 on Friday. . . . Ziemmer, who has 35 goals, got the Cougars started at 5:44 of the first period, and F Chase Wheatcroft (44) made it 2-0 at 11:48. . . . The Royals got a goal from F Riley Gannon (17) at 13:06, but the Cougars scored the next four. . . . Dezainde has seven goals this season. . . . Wheatcroft, 20, also had two assists. He is up to 96 points in 62 games. He went into this season with 82 points, including 31 goals, in 137 games split between Lethbridge and Winnipeg. . . . F Alex Thacker had a goal (8) and two assists for Victoria. . . . Prince George (33-24-5) has points in five straight (4-0-1). It is fourth in the Western Conference. . . . Victoria (15-41-7) has lost 10 in a row (0-9-1).


——

THINKING OUT LOUD: Has anyone been able to figure out what Hyundai is trying to accomplish with that WAH advertising campaign? And isn’t it about time for it to be retired? . . . Sheesh, Sportsnet, I hope NESN is paying you for the TV time those Bruins’ telecasts take up on your networks. I mean, if you’re paying for them, they’re stealing your money. . . . Would you like some good news? Old friend Roy MacGregor has a new book coming out on Aug. 1 — Paper Trails: From the Backwoods to the Front Page, a Life in Stories. I, for one, can’t wait. . . . If you’re like me, you’re wondering if F Connor Bedard of the Regina finally is running on empty. For all that he has accomplished this season, he won’t turn 18 until July 17.


Oreo


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.


Time

WHL settles Moose Jaw situation . . . Suspended Warriors could be back for playoffs . . . GM, head coach disciplined; team fined

The four players off the Moose Jaw Warriors’ roster who were suspended by the WHL last month will be eligible to return for this season’s playoffs.

The WHL announced on Friday that the four — G Connor Ungar, 21, D Max WHLWanner, 19, D Marek Howell, 16, and F Lynden Lakovic, 16 — “have been suspended for the balance” of the regular season.

As well, Jason Ripplinger, the Warriors’ general manager, and head coach Mark O’Leary each has been suspended for five games, and the Warriors have been fined $25,000.

In a news release, the WHL said the discipline follows “the completion of an independent investigation into violations of team rules and WHL Standard of Conduct policies.”

The WHL didn’t offer any specifics of the “independent investigation,” such as who conducted it or any of its parameters.

The WHL did allow that the players were suspended following an off-ice WarriorsNewincident that occurred in Edmonton where the Warriors beat the Oil Kings, 4-1, on Feb. 3. The four players were in the lineup again on Feb. 5 when the Warriors beat the Hitmen, 2-1, in Calgary. But all four were scratched from a Feb. 8 game against Edmonton in Moose Jaw.

On Feb. 11, the WHL announced that all four had been suspended “indefinitely pending an investigation . . .”

Somehow — and no one has said how it came about — the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) became involved. Earlier this week, an EPS spokesperson indicated it had determined that criminality wasn’t involved in the incident and said it wouldn’t comment further.

From the WHL’s Friday news release: “Though the conduct of the players was not found to be criminal in nature, the conduct was determined to be a violation of team and league rules including the WHL Standard of Conduct policies, as outlined in the WHL Personal Conduct Policy.”

The WHL’s Standard of Conduct covers such things as racial/derogatory comments; abuse, bullying, harassment and hazing; social media and networking; personal conduct; and diversity and inclusivity.

By the time the Warriors play their final regular-season game on March 25, the four players will have each missed 17 games.

The WHL said that before being reinstated, the players “will be required to complete further personal conduct and respect training.” Presumably that will happen before month’s end in order for them to be reinstated when the playoffs begin.

The WHL said that Ripplinger and O’Leary were disciplined because they failed “to provide the proper oversight and supervision required to ensure a safe and positive environment for players, in particular, while travelling.”

The news release didn’t state specifically why the Warriors organization had been fined $25,000.

That is believed to be the largest fine handed down by the WHL since Nov. 27, 2012, when the Portland Winterhawks were fined $200,000, stripped of a number of draft picks, and lost GM/head coach Mike Johnston to a suspension that covered the remainder of the regular season plus the playoffs for what the league called “multiple player benefit violations.”

The Warriors issued a news release on Friday, stating that the organization takes “full responsibility for the violations of team and league rules, and co-operated fully with the WHL investigation into this matter.

“With the support of the WHL, the Warriors are fully committed to learning from this incident and will take the necessary steps to improve security moving forward. Our organization will continue to support all of our players throughout this process.”

Contacted by Randy Palmer of moosejawtoday.com, Ripplinger said: “All comments or anything like that has to be directed to the Western Hockey League; we can’t comment on anything.”

The Warriors’ statement ended with: “Out of respect for the privacy of all of the parties involved, the Warriors cannot provide further details or comment on the matter.

The WHL, meanwhile, ended its news release with: “Out of respect for the privacy of all of the parties involved, the WHL cannot provide further details on the matter.”

——

So . . . you’re thinking that 17-game suspensions are rather lengthy. But you’re also wondering if there have been longer ones issued by the WHL.

Well, the longest suspension to a player that I can recall went to F Bryan Wells, then of the Regina Pats. On Jan. 27, 1985, Wells and D Mark Tinordi of the host Lethbridge Broncos became involved in a nasty stick-swinging incident. A few days later, Wells, a repeat offender, was suspended for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs, which turned out to be 31 games — 23 in the regular season and eight in the playoffs.

Tinordi, who came out of the duel with a broken finger, was a first-time offender and, as such, was suspended for nine games.

In 1970-71, F Blaine Stoughton of the Flin Flon Bombers was involved in a high-sticking incident in a game with the Medicine Hat Tigers. He later was suspended for 29 games.

If you included general managers and coaches, Portland’s Mike Johnston ended up sitting out 71 games in 2012-13 — 47 regular-season, 21 playoff and three Memorial Cup. The Winterhawks, with Travis Green running things in Johnston’s absence, won the WHL championship and got to the Memorial Cup final, where they lost 6-4 to the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads in Saskatoon.

On Oct. 14, 1981, Pat Ginnell, then the GM/head coach of the Medicine Hat Tigers, became involved with linesman Gary Patzer during a game in Lethbridge with the Broncos. Ginnell ended up serving a 36-game suspension. (The Canadian Press actually reported that the two “exchanged blows.”)

Ernie (Punch) McLean, the head coach of the New Westminster Bruins, sat out 25 games after that infamous 1977-78 brawl with visiting Portland.

I’m sure there have been other suspensions of some length, but those are the ones that came immediately to mind.


Follow


THE BEDARD REPORT:

BEDARD
CONNOR BEDARD

Make it 61 goals in 50 games. . . . F Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats scored the game’s first goal, on a PP, at 3:50 of the the first period on Friday night, but his side ended up dropping a 5-5 OT decision to the Hurricanes in Lethbridge. . . . That goal was it for Bedard on this night as the Hurricanes and G Bryan Thomson kept him off the scoreboard for the remainder of the game. . . . The announced attendance was 5,378, for the Hurricanes’ second sellout this season. The other? On Feb. 3, when the Pats scored a 3-2 victory. . . . Bedard leads the WHL in goals (61), assists (64) and points (125). . . . The Pats will play in Medicine Hat tonight. . . .

Earlier Friday, Bedard, who is from North Vancouver, was honoured by BC Sport as its junior male athlete of the year for 2022. . . .

——

Meanwhile, the Medicine Hat Tigers have added F Gavin McKenna, who turned MedicineHat15 on Dec. 20, to their roster and he is expected to play tonight against Bedard and the Pats. . . . McKenna, who plays at the Southern Alberta Hockey Academy, is fresh off the Canada Winter Games, where he played for Yukon and set a tournament scoring record with 29 points in six games. . . . In 26 games with SAHA’s U18 prep team, he has 37 goals and 38 assists. . . . The first overall selection in the WHL’s 2022 draft, McKenna already has played 11 games with the Tigers. He has eight assists, four of them coming in his first game.


Smell


If the WHL playoffs started today:

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Winnipeg (1) vs. Swift Current/Calgary (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:

D Olen Zellweger scored twice to help the host Kamloops Blazers to a 6-3 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . Kamloops had beaten the Silvertips, 7-1, in Everett on Wednesday night. . . . Zellweger, who was acquired from Everett in January, leads all WHL defencemen with 27 goals. . . . F Matthew Seminoff had a goal (27) and two assists for Kamloops. His goal broke a 3-3 tie at 11:41 of the third period. . . . F Fraser Minten (29) had two goals and an assist for Kamloops, while F Jackson Berezowski (42) scored twice for Everett. . . . G Tyler Palmer made 47 saves for Everett, which was outshot 53-25. . . . Kamloops F Logan Stankoven missed his second straight game with an undisclosed injury, while F Daylan Kuefler remains sidelined. . . . Kamloops (43-11-6) has won four in a row and 16 of 17. . . . Everett (30-28-3) has lost four straight. It is tied with Tri-City for fifth in the Western Conference. . . .

In Kelowna, the Rockets erased a 3-1 third-period deficit and beat the Vancouver Giants, 4-3, in a shootout. . . . F Max Graham (10) got the Rockets to within 3-2 at 4:40 of the third period and F Andrew Cristall (35) tied it at 18:31 with G Jari Kykkanen on the bench for the extra attacker. . . . F Ty Thorpe (33) had put the visitors ahead 3-1 at 4:38 of the second period. . . . F Gabriel Szturc, the Rockets’ captain, was the first shooter in the circus and he scored the lone goal. . . . Kelowna F Carson Golder took a headshot major and game misconduct at 8:10 of the second period for a hit on F Samuel Honzek, who went straight to the dressing room and didn’t return. . . . Kelowna (24-34-3) had lost its previous three games. . . . Vancouver (24-28-8) had won its past three games. . . . The Rockets are eighth in the Western Conference, five points behind Vancouver. . . . Earlier Friday, the Rockets announced that F Logan Peskett had undergone season-ending shoulder surgery. Peskett, a 16-year-old freshman from North Vancouver, had three goals and two assists in 40 games. He was a sixth-round selection in the WHL’s 2021 draft. . . .

In Lethbridge, the Hurricanes forced OT with a late third-period goal and then got a goal from D Logan McCutcheon at 3:39 of extra time to beat the Regina Pats, 5-4. . . . McCutcheon’s winner was his third goal of the season. . . . D Joe Arntsen (7) forced OT with a goal at 17:38 of the third period. . . . G Bryan Thomson, who finished with 22 saves, stoned F Connor Bedard, who had scored his 61st goal to open the game, from in tight moments before McCutcheon won it. . . . Lethbridge (33-23-6) had lost its previous two games. It remains fifth in the Eastern Conference, six points ahead of Regna (31-26-4), which has lost three in a row (0-2-1). . . .

F Conner Roulette scored three times to lead the Saskatoon Blades to a 6-2 victory over the Raiders in Prince Albert. . . . Roulette, who has 24 goals, opened the scoring at 1:32 of the first period, pulled the Blades into a 2-2 tie at 15:35 and stretched their lead to 5-2 at 16:31 of the second. . . . F Jake Chiasson added a goal, his 20th, and two assists. . . . Saskatoon F Misha Volotovskii (4) scored in his return from a 13-game absence. . . . Roulette, now with 59 points in 54 games, has two hat tricks this season. His other career hat trick came on Oct. 5, 2019, in a 5-3 victory over Victoria in Kent, Wash. . . . Last season, Roulette had 24 goals in 65 games with Seattle; this season he has 24 in 54 games. Interestingly, he was credited with 199 shots on goal last season; this season, he has 127. . . . G Austin Elliott earned the victory with 24 saves. He is 8-0-1 in his last nine appearances, and 23-5-3, 2.07, .916 on the season. . . . Saskatoon (44-13-5) has points in 12 straight (11-0-1) and will be the third seed when the Eastern Conference playoffs begin. . . . Prince Albert (24-33-3) has lost four straight and is seven points from a playoff spot with seven games remaining. . . . These teams will meet again Sunday afternoon in Saskatoon. . . . Darren Steinke, the travellin’ blogger, was in Prince Albert last night. His piece is right here. . . .

The Calgary Hitmen forced OT with less than a second remaining in the third period and then got the winner from F Riley Fiddler-Schultz to beat the Rebels, 4-3, in Red Deer. . . . Calgary F Carter Yakemchuk forced OT when he scored his 16th goal, on a PP, with 0.6 seconds left in the third period. . . . The game’s first five goals all came in the first period. . . . F Sean Tschigerl (23) scored twice and added an assist for Calgary. . . . Fiddler-Schultz added two assists to his 28th goal. . . . F Kai Uchacz notched No. 48 for the Rebels. . . . Calgary (26-26-8) has points in three straight (2-0-1) and is tied with Swift Current for the Eastern Conference’s last playoff spot. . . . Red Deer (40-17-6) has points in four straight (2-0-2). It has clinched first place in the Central Division and will be the No. 2 seed when the first round begins. . . . The same two teams will meet up again this afternoon, this time in Calgary. . . .

The Seattle Thunderbirds scored the game’s last three goals, all in the last 8:11 of the third period, to beat the Tri-City Americans, 6-3, in Kent, Wash. . . . F Reese Belton (12) pulled the visitors into a 3-3 tie at 1:59 of the third period. . . . F Lucas Ciona (27) put Seattle back out front at 11:49 and F Jared Davidson completed a hat trick with two insurance goals, at 13:41 and 18:25, the last one into an empty net. . . . Davidson, who has 38 goals, also had an assist. . . . F Brad Lambert had a goal (13) and two assists for Seattle. . . . Seattle (49-9-3) has points in 15 straight games (14-0-1). It leads the Western Conference by nine points over Kamloops, which has eight games remaining. . . . Tri-City (28-26-7) has lost two in a row. . . .

In Spokane, the Portland Winterhawks scored the game’s last four goals to beat the Chiefs, 5-2. . . . F Cade Hayes (19) gave Spokane a 2-1 lead at 10:33 of the second period. . . . F Robbie Fromm-Delorme (30) got Portland even with his first of two goals at 16:08. . . . F Josh Zakreski (9) scored the eventual winner at 12:30. . . . The Winterhawks got 30 saves from G Jan Špunar, an 18-year-old Czechia freshman who now is 15-6-2, 2.71, .904. . . . . Portland (38-17-6) has points in three straight (2-0-1). It is a comfortable third in the Western Conference. . . . Spokane (14-39-7) won’t be in the playoffs this season. . . .

The Moose Jaw Warriors erased a 3-0 first-period deficit as they beat the host Swift Current Broncos, 4-3, in a game that featured a 12-round shootout. . . . The Warriors went into the game needing one point to clinch a playoff spot. . . . The Broncos held a 3-0 lead when F Clarke Caswell (9) scored at 17:19 of the first period. . . . The Warriors tied it on F Atley Calvert’s 36th goal at 19:36 of the second period. . . . F Josh Hoekstra won it for the Warriors in the shootout. . . . The Warriors got 40 stops from G Jackson Unger. . . . Moose Jaw (37-22-3) has won two in a row. It appears headed for a fourth-place finish in the Eastern Conference. . . . Swift Current (28-29-4) has lost three straight (0-2-1). It is tied with Calgary for the conference’s last playoff spot. . . . They Broncos and Warriors are scheduled to meet again tonight, this time in Moose Jaw. . . .

The Prince George Cougars got two goals from each of three players en route to an 8-3 victory over the Royals in Victoria. . . . The weekend doubleheader will conclude tonight in Victoria. . . . F Zac Funk (20), F Cayden Glover (5) and F Ondrej Becher (16) each scored twice. Funk also had an assist. . . . Prince George erased a 1-0 first-period deficit with three goals, the first two in the span of 46 seconds, as it took control. . . . Prince George (32-24-5) has points in four straight (3-0-1). It is fourth in the Eastern Conference, six points ahead of Everett and Tri-City. . . . Victoria (15-40-7) has lost nine in a row (0-8-1) and has been eliminated from playoff contention. . . .

F Ty Nash’s 20th goal of the season, at 3:08 of OT, gave the Winnipeg Ice a 5-4 victory over the Edmonton Ice. . . . F Zack Ostapchuk (25) scored twice for the Ice, which got a goal and two assists from F Matt Savoie (35) and three assists from F Connor McClennon. . . . F Josh Medernach (4) gave the Ice a 4-2 lead 35 seconds into the third period. . . . The Oil Kings tied it on goals from F Rilen Kovacevic (15), at 3:11, and F Mason Finley (11), at 10:08. . . . The Oil Kings lost F Dawson Seitz to a boarding major and game misconduct at 7:41 of the first period. . . . Edmonton F Treycen Wuttunee returned to the lineup for the first time since Feb. 28 when he had a fight with the 20-year-old Ostapchuk. . . . Winnipeg (51-9-1) has won three in a row. It leads the WHL in victories and points (101). . . . Edmonton (9-48-4) has points in two straight (1-0-1).


Piper


A note from Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon:

“Earlier this week, there was a headline on a report at CBSSports.com that read: ‘Katie Ledecky’s nine-year winning streak on US soil snapped by Summer McIntosh.’ . . .

“Katie Ledecky is a swimmer. She had a nine-year winning streak in US water but not on US soil.”


Nigerian


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.


Burrito

Bedard streaks end, as Pats win in Lethbridge . . . Hofer fills hat for Blazers . . . Suchanek, Americans keep on rolling


BEDARD
CONNOR BEDARD

THE BEDARD REPORT — F Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats had his goal and point streaks snapped on Friday night in Lethbridge, but you know that won’t matter to him because his side beat the Hurricanes, 3-2. . . . Bedard now has been blanked in two games this season — the season-opener and Friday’s game. In between, he put up 90 points in 35 games. . . . He leads the WHL in goals (44), assists (46) and points. . . . His goal-scoring streak was halted at 11 games. He scored 22 times in those 11 games. In fact, he also had 14 assists over that stretch. . . . You have to think he now is thinking about starting new streaks on Sunday in Medicine Hat against the Tigers. . . .

The longest ongoing point streak in the WHL now belongs to F Logan Stankoven of the Kamloops Blazers. He had one assist in a 6-4 victory over the visiting Prince Albert Raiders on Friday night as he ran that streak to 31 games. He has 68 points, including 26 goals, over that stretch. He has at least one point in all 30 games he has played this season.

——

The Travellin’ Bedards packed them into the Enmax Centre in Lethbridge on ReginaFriday night, with 5,378 fans showing up to watch them post a 3-2 victory over the Hurricanes. . . . According to the Enmax Centre website, it seats 5,479. . . . It was the Hurricanes’ largest crowd this season and came in their 26th home game. The announced attendance on Dec. 9, for a 5-3 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers, was 5,000. . . . On Tuesday, the Travellin’ Bedards had helped Red Deer set a single-game franchise record — 7,287 — as the Rebels won 6-5 in a shootout. . . . On Wednesday night, the Travellin’ Bedards beat the host Calgary Hitmen, 6-5 in a shootout, before 17,223 fans in the Saddledome, which has a capacity of 19,289. . . .

The Travellin’ Bedards move on to Medicine Hat for a Sunday game with the Tigers in the 7,000-seat Co-op Place. The Tigers are expected to experience their largest crowd since 5,947 showed up on Sept. 26, 2015 for the first game in the new building. The Tigers beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 5-3, that night. This season, the Tigers’ announced average attendance, through 22 homes games, is 2,207. . . . In anticipation of Sunday’s large gathering, the City of Medicine Hat has added free special bus service to Co-op Place. . . .

If the WHL playoffs started today, the Pats would be up against Red Deer in the first round. However, that could well change before the regular season ends. After Friday’s games, the Pats were seventh in the Eastern Conference, two points behind sixth-place Calgary and two ahead of the Swift Current Broncos.


Minivan


“An audit by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office of the Athletic Department at LSU,” writes Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, “discovered that the university accidentally over-paid head coach Brian Kelly by $1,001,368 in May and June of 2022. The overpayment was discovered in November and confirmed in December and arrangements have been made to recover the overpayments. There is no allegation of any sort of nefarious dooings here; it appears to have been a ‘paperwork error.’

“Here is my take on that situation: Wouldn’t it be great to be in a situation where your boss overpaid you by $1M and that mistaken overpayment did not jump out as a ‘WTF moment’ as you did whatever financial management you do?”


The other day I mentioned here about how former WHL player/GM/head coach Doug Sauter used to joke about having invented the curved goalie stick because it was easier to fish pucks out of the net with it.

Shortly thereafter, a friend sent me an obit for Don (Smokey) McLeod, who died on March 11, 2017. McLeod developed quite a following while with the WHA’s Calgary Cowboys for two seasons (1975-77). He was, according to the obit, “known for being a pioneer at playing the puck as a goaltender and one of the first netminders to use a curved stick.” . . . Mark Howe was an 18-year-old defenceman with the WHA-champion Houston Aeros in 1973-74 while McLeod was the No. 1 goaltender. “Everybody talks about how goalies like Marty Brodeur and Ron Hextall handled the puck,” Howe said, “but back in the ’70s, Smokey was every bit as good as those guys at it, and I don’t think he ever got the credit for it.” . . . McLeod was from Trail, B.C., which is how he got his nickname. He won the Memorial Cup with the Edmonton Oil Kings in the spring of 1966.


Irony


FRIDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

The Winnipeg Ice scored the game’s last two goals to beat the Wheat Kings, 7-6 in OT, in Brandon. . . . F Connor McClennon (27), who scored the game’s first goal, got the winner at 2:01 of OT. . . . F Evan Friesen (7) had pulled the Ice into a 6-6 tie at 17:05 of the third period. . . . Winnipeg (37-6-1) leads the Eastern Conference by five points over the idle Red Deer Rebels. The Ice, which has won four in a row, still holds three games in hand. . . . Brandon (19-21-7) has lost three in a row (0-1-2) and is four points out of a playoff spot. . . .

G Jackson Unger turned aside 42 shots to lead the Moose Jaw Warriors to 4-1 victory over the Oil Kings in Edmonton. . . . The Warriors scored the game’s first four goals, taking a 4-0 lead at 2:18 of the second period. . . . D Denton Mateychuk drew an assist on each of the first two goals. . . . Edmonton had a 43-27 edge in shots. . . . Moose Jaw (31-16-3) is third in the Eastern Conference, five points behind Red Deer. . . . The defending-champion Oil Kings (7-37-3) won’t be in the playoffs. . . . The Oil Kings will be in Calgary this afternoon to face the Hitmen, who didn’t play last night. . . .

F Zack Stringer, playing in his first game since Jan. 20, broke a 2-2 tie at 5:44 of the third period to give the visiting Regina Pats a 3-2 victory over his hometown Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Stringer, who didn’t start his season until Dec. 16 because of a torn Achilles tendon, had missed the Pats’ previous four games. . . . His second career game-winner was his third goal this season and came in his 118th regular-season game, the first 79 of which were played with the Hurricanes. . . . Regina (24-21-3) is seventh in the Eastern Conference, two points out of sixth and two from eighth. The Pats have points in three straight (2-0-1). . . . Lethbridge (27-17-5) is in fifth spot. . . .

In Kamloops, the Blazers scored the game’s last three goals to beat the Prince Albert Raiders, 6-4. . . . The Blazers opened up an early 2-0 lead, but had to overcome 3-2 and 4-3 deficits. . . . F Ryan Hofer led the Blazers with three goals and an assist. His third goal, No. 30 on the season, broke a 4-4 tie at 8:47 of the third period. . . . According to the Blazers, GM/head coach Shaun Clouston now has 527 coaching victories, good for eighth on the all-time list. . . . Kamloops (29-10-6) will finish atop the B.C. Division. It is eight points behind the Western Conference-leading Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . The Raiders (19-26-3) had won four in a row, including three straight in the B.C. Division. They are eight points from a playoff spot. . . .

The Kelowna Rockets erased an early 2-0 deficit with five straight goals en route to a 5-4 victory over the visiting Vancouver Giants. . . . F Gabriel Szturc (13) got the Rockets into a 3-2 lead 57 seconds into the second period. . . . F Carson Golder (20) stretched the lead at 8:35, and D Jackson DeSouza (6) got what proved the winner at 6:53 of the third. . . . The Giants made it interesting with two third-period goals, the last one, a shorthanded effort from F Jaden Lipinski (16), came at 18:38. . . . Kelowna (16-26-3) is eighth in the Western Conference, seven points behind Vancouver (18-23-6) and two ahead of Victoria. . . .

D Hudson Thornton (12), F Riley Heidt (20) and F Chase Wheatcroft (29) each had a goal and two assists as the Prince George Cougars dumped the visiting Victoria Royals, 8-1. . . . They’ll complete the doubleheader tonight in Prince George. . . . The Cougars had a 40-25 edge in shots, including 18-7 in the second period and 10-2 in the third. . . . The Cougars (20-21-4) are sixth in the Western Conference, three points behind Everett. . . . Victoria (14-30-5) is ninth, four points behind Kelowna. . . .

F Brad Lambert scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 6-5 OT victory over the Everett Silvertips in Kent, Wash. . . . There’ll be a rematch tonight in Everett. . . . Lambert’s second goal of the game and third of the season won it just 54 seconds into OT. He’s got six points in four games with Seattle. . . . D Kevin Korchinski scored his sixth goal and added three assists for Seattle. . . . F Jackson Berezowski scored twice for Everett, giving him a franchise-record 114 career regular-season goals. He had been sharing the record with F Patrick Bajkov (2013-18). . . . Seattle (35-8-2) moved back into first place in the Western Conference, one point ahead of Portland. Although it was a foregone conclusion, Seattle became the first WHL team to clinch a playoff spot this season. . . . Everett (23-23-1) is fifth in the conference, three points ahead of Prince George. . . .

The Swift Current Broncos opened a 3-0 lead and went on to a 3-1 victory over the Chiefs in Spokane. . . . The visitors took control with PP goals from F Connor Hvidston (12) and F Ty Coupland (1) in the first period. . . . Coupland, from North Vancouver, was playing in his second WHL game. He was a second-round pick in the WHL’s 2022 draft. . . . The Broncos were 2-for-8 on the PP. . . . Swift Current (23-21-3) is eighth in the Eastern Conference, two points behind Regina and three ahead of Medicine Hat. The Broncos had lost their previous four games (0-3-1). . . . Spokane (9-33-4) has lost five in a row (0-4-1) and is 13 points from a playoff spot. . . .

The Tri-City Americans scored the game’s last six goals, four of them in the third period, in beating the Portland Winterhawks, 6-1, in Kennewick, Wash. . . . They’ll stage a rematch tonight in Portland. . . . Tri-City G Tomas Suchanek stopped 28 shots in winning his 20th game this season. His last 12 decisions have all been victories. . . . The Americans got a goal and two assists from each of F Jordan Gavin (14) and F Jake Sloan (18). . . . The Winterhawks were without F Chaz Lucius for a second straight game. . . . The Americans (25-16-5) have points in 13 straight (10-0-3). They are a comfortable fourth in the Western Conference. . . . Portland (34-10-3) is one point behind conference-leading Seattle.


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

The Medicine Hat Tigers have added F Gavin McKenna to their roster for weekend games against the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes tonight and the visiting Regina Pats on Sunday. McKenna, who turned 15 on Dec. 20, is from Whitehorse. He was the first overall selection in the WHL’s 2022 draft. McKenna has played nine games with the Tigers this season and has earned six assist, four of them coming in his first WHL game. . . . This season, he has 69 points, including 34 goals in 24 games with the SAHA U18 prep team. . . .

The Red Deer Rebels revealed Friday that F Kalan Lind will be out “week-to-week” with an undisclosed injury. Lind, who turned 18 on Jan. 25, is from Shaunavon, Sask. He has 42 points, 15 of them goals, in 41 games, after finishing last season with 38 points, including 20 goals, in 61 games. He was the sixth pick in the WHL’s 2020 draft. . . . The Rebels being a U.S. Division tour tonight in Spokane.


AirSpace


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.


WendyCity

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

A look back at Sobchuk’s 10-point night . . . Broncos put up sold-out sign for Bedard visit . . . Lucius set for Portland debut


Here are the first two paragraphs of something I wrote more than 36 years ago . . .

“It was Friday, Jan. 19, 1973. Across the pond in jolly old England, Prince Charles narrowly escaped a head-on crash while driving his Aston Martin through the fog-enshrouded countryside southwest of London.

“Meanwhile, at Regina’s Exhibition Stadium, a nautical mile or two from the old country, a prince of a hockey player was having a jolly good night.”

Thanks to a tweet from Kevin Shaw (@theblueliner), the go-to guy for all things Regina Pats, the memories came flashing back on Thursday night.

DennisSobchukYes, it was 50 years ago — Jan. 19, 1973 — when F Dennis Sobchuk had one of the greatest offensive nights in WHL history. That night, Sobchuk struck for 10 points, six of them goals, in an 11-3 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings before 2,284 fans at Regina’s Exhibition Stadium.

It’s worth noting that the Wheat Kings were without F Ron Chipperfield (throat infection), who was leading the league with 53 goals.

Sobchuk’s line finished with 20 points — Mike Wanchuk had a goal and five assists; Clarke Gillies had a goal and three assists. Gillies also spent some time in the penalty box, thanks to a pair of fights with Brandon D Rick Piche.

The 18-year-old Sobchuk was in his second season with the Pats. That night, his fourth goal was his 100th regular-season score. Yes, he had 100 goals in fewer than two full seasons.

“Some nights they go in easy. Other nights they don’t go in at all. Tonight, well, it was one of those real good nights,” Sobchuk told Mal Isaac of the Regina Leader-Post. “And I should have had a couple of more, especially in the third period. But I guess a guy can’t be greedy.”

The outburst came just two days after head coach Bob Turner had talked with his three top forwards, telling them “to shoot more, that’s all. Each of them has a great shot but they just don’t shoot enough. Tonight, they were really rifling them and look what happened.”

The six goals allowed Sobchuk to tie the WCHL record — the WHL then was the Western Canada Hockey League — for goals in a game that had been set two seasons previous by F Danny Spring of the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Sobchuk’s 10-point night also got him a piece of the single-game record for points, one that had been established by F Gerry Pinder of the Saskatoon Blades on March 12, 1967, and tied by F Tom Lysiak of the Medicine Hat Tigers on Dec. 30, 1971. While Pinder also had six goals and four assists in his big game, Lysiak did it with four goals and six helpers.

Sobchuk also tied the WCHL record for goals in one period — he scored five times in the second period.

Sobchuk’s night also pushed him into the WCHL scoring lead with 92 points, including 46 goals. At that point, he had two more points than Lysiak, who would go on to win his second straight scoring title, with 154 points, seven more than Sobchuk.

In his freshman season (1971-72), Sobchuk totalled 123 points, including 56 goals, in 68 games, and was named the WCHL’s rookie of the year.

He would play one more season with the Pats (1973-74), putting up 146 points, including 68 goals, in 66 game and helping Regina to a Memorial Cup title.

In three seasons with the Pats, he finished with 416 points, 191 of them goals, in 190 regular-season games. He placed fifth, second and second in the scoring race.

Sobchuk had won the Saskatchewan Amateur Junior Hockey League’s scoring title in 1970-71 when he finished with 96 points, including 56 goals, in 36 games with the Weyburn Red Wings. At that time, his WCHL rights belonged to the Estevan Bruins, who were about to move to New Westminster.

On July 7, 1971, Del Wilson, the Pats’ president and general manager, acquired Sobchuk from New Westminster, sending F Emile DeMoissac, F Wayne Dye, D Bob Hess, F Doug Lindskog and F Vic Mercredi the other way.

DeMoissac, Hess and Mercredi would be key performers for the Bruins, although all had moved on before their four-season run (1974-78) as WHL champions.

By November 1986, Sobchuk was the Pats’ assistant GM and assistant coach. One night, he and I chatted about his 10-point outing.

“Funny thing,” he recalled. “I didn’t realize it but they had a guy shadowing me that night. When the people clapped for me at the end of the game, Brandon — I talked to a few of the players in later years — they were going to push the guy who was supposed to be the shadow out there to take a bow with me.

“But it was just one of those nights. Whenever you shot the puck it went in. It was a crazy night.”

I asked Sobchuk just how big a thrill it was.

“I still have the stick,” he replied.

Two nights later, the Pats and Wheat Kings met in Brandon, with Regina skating away with a 5-4 victory. F Rick Uhrich had three goals. Sobchuk had one assist.


Number


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

The Swift Current Broncos announced on Thursday that tonight’s game against the visiting Regina Pats, aka the Travelling Bedards, is sold out. . . .

F Chaz Lucius, 19, has joined the Portland Winterhawks and is expected to make his WHL debut tonight against the visiting Victoria Royals. Lucius, who starred with Team USA at the recent World Junior Championship, had been with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose. The NHL’s Winnipeg Jets assigned him to Portland after the WJC. . . .

F Gabriel Szturc, a 19-year-old from Cesky Tesin, Czechia, was named the 28th captain of the Kelowna Rockets on Thursday, replacing Colton Dach, who was traded to the Seattle Thunderbirds earlier this month. Szturc is the first European-born captain in the Rockets’ franchise history. Four of Szturc’s first five games as captain will be against the Vancouver Giants, starting tonight in Langley, B.C., and Saturday in Kelowna. . . .

F Ben King of the Red Deer Rebels, who led the WHL with 52 goals last season, has 10 points, five of them goals, in five games this season. But he hasn’t played since suffering an undisclosed injury on Oct. 22. It seems that he may return tonight against the visiting Prince George Cougars or Saturday with the Brandon Wheat Kings in town.



WEDNESDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

D Max Wanner’s eighth goal at 0:45 of OT gave the Moose Jaw Warriors a 5-4 victory over the Blades in Saskatoon and a sweep of their home-and-home series. The Warriors had won, 3-1, at home on Tuesday. . . . The victory allowed the Warriors (28-14-2) to move into a third-place tie with the Blades (27-9-4) in the Eastern Conference. The Blades hold four games in hand. . . . F Atley Calvert led the Warriors with two goals and two assists. He has 25 goals and 25 assists in 44 games after finishing last season with 15 and 25 in 65. He went into last night’s game with 98 career points and came out with 102, all in 146 games. . . . Last night, the Blades outshot the visitors, 43-17, including 16-2 in the third period. . . . The Warriors trail Eastern Conference-leading Winnipeg (31-5-1) by five points and visit the Ice tonight and Saturday. However, the Ice holds seven — count ’em, SEVEN — games in hand. . . .

F Connor McClennon and F Zach Benson each had a goal and three assists as the Winnipeg Ice lit up the Raiders, 8-1, in Prince Albert. . . . Benson has 24 goals; McClennon has 21. . . . Ice F Connor Geekie scored his 20th goal of the season. . . . The Ice held a 39-16 edge in shots. . . .

The Medicine Hat Tigers scored three times in a six-round shootout and beat the Broncos, 5-4, in Swift Current. . . . Three second-period goals had given the Tigers a 4-2 lead, but the Broncos pulled even on third-period scores from F Josh Filmon (28) and F Connor Hvidston (9). . . . Hvidston also had two assists, and Filmon finished with two goals and a helper. . . . Latvian D Bogdans Hodass scored twice for the Tigers, giving him seven this season. . . . The Tigers (17-21-6) closed to within two points of the Broncos (20-17-2), who hold down the Eastern Conference’s last playoff spot. Those two teams are to play in Medicine Hat on Sunday. That will be the Broncos’ third game in fewer than 48 hours. . . .

The Prince George Cougars came from behind four times before finally beating the host Calgary Hitmen, 6-5. . . . With the NHL’s Flames playing host to the Colorado Avalanche in the Saddledome, the WHL game was played at the Seven Chiefs Sportsplex. . . . Prince George scored the game’s last three goals, all in the third period. F Jaxsen Wiebe (7) got the winner at 14:42, his second of the game. F Koehn Ziemmer (22) also scored twice for the winners. . . . The Cougars, who fired 21 shots in each of the last two periods, outshot the Hitmen, 51-35. . . .

F Ben Hemmerling scored twice, including in OT, and added two assists as the host Everett Silvertips beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 4-3. . . . Hemmerling’s 14th goal came at 3:36 of extra time. . . . Hemmerling, who now has had two four-point games in his WHL career, has three goals and six assists in his past four games. . . . The Tri-City Americans erased a 4-0 first-period deficit and beat the Victoria Royals, 5-4, in Kennewick, Wash. . . . F Ethan Ernst (21) scored twice for the Americans, his second goal, at 13:54 of the third period, breaking a 4-4 tie. . . . F Matthew Hodson (13) scored twice for Victoria. . . . The Americans (19-16-4) are fifth in the Western Conference, one point behind the Everett Silverips (21-19-1).


Electrician


THINKING OUT LOUD: I yearn for the days when I could look at NHL highlights and recognize teams by their uniforms. . . . David Adelman is the acting head coach of the NBA’s Denver Nuggets these days. That’s because head coach Michael Malone is away because of health and safety protocols. Yes, COVID-19 has reared its ugly head, again. Three Denver players — Bones Hyland, Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray — have spent time in protocol this season, too. And you thought the pandemic was over, didn’t you? Mask up!


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.


Test

OHL investigating alleged anti-Russian slur . . . Iran makes mark on international stage . . . Gauthier continues big week with Winterhawks

Rick Westhead of TSN tweeted on Friday afternoon that “a Russian player on the OHL’s North Bay Battalion (one of two Russians on NB) was allegedly targeted during Thursday game with an anti-Russian slur by at least one Sudbry Wolves player, North Bay GM Adam Dennis confirms. Dennis says OHL is investigating and conducting interviews.”

Shortly after, Dan Milstein, a Ukraine-born hockey agent, tweeted: “Disturbing news . . . I confirm Rick Westhead’s report that my teenage Russian-born client on OHL North Bay Battalion was targeted with Anti-Russian slur at (Thursday’s) game.”


It is because of information like this that I subscribe to Hockey Unfiltered with Ken Campbell:

“Iran has a national hockey team that is currently playing in the Division IV World Championship in Kyrgyzstan. Their backup goalie’s name is Oveis Hassanzadeh Moghadam Tabalvandani. Their first-line left winger is Mohammadmatin Ghaharzadehmahabadi and manning the blueline is Abbas Dehghanimohammadabadi. Despite a spirited effort, Iran lost 13-1 to the host country in its international hockey debut before beating Singapore 5-2 on Friday.”

Seriously, while Campbell did have that in a Friday piece, he also reported this:

“The Canadian Hockey League could be doing a major about-face when it comes to having players from Russia and Belarus included in its 2022 import draft. A source close to the situation said the CHL was prepared this week to announce that players from those two countries would be barred from the draft this year as a response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“But there was significant pushback from some owners on the proposal, which led the CHL to delay making an announcement. It’s believed they will continue deliberating and will have a decision by the end of this month. There are 24 Russians and 13 Belarusians playing in the Ontario, Western and Quebec Leagues this season. The OHL has the majority of Russian players this season, with 15 on rosters. There is only one player from Ukraine in the entire CHL this season, Barrie Colts defenseman and Vegas Golden Knights prospect Artur Cholach.”

You are able to check out Campbell’s work right here.


The Lethbridge Hurricanes are on the road for six games because the Brier, the Canadian men’s curling championship, has taken over the ENMAX Centre. . . . The Hurricanes met the Wheat Kings in Brandon on Friday night, losing 6-3, and also will make stops in Regina, Prince Albert, Saskatoon, Regina (again) and Moose Jaw before returning home to face the Pats on March 16.


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. . . . A huge thank you to those who already have joined Dorothy’s team. Much appreciated!


Richard Doerksen’s name first shows up in a WHL Guide prior to the 1978-79 season. He is listed, quite simply, as statistician. I am pretty sure he kept the WHL stats with pencil and paper in those days. . . . Anyway, Doerksen, now the WHL’s vice-president, hockey, was Hartley Miller’s latest guest on Cat Scan. They chatted about the past two seasons, scheduling and rescheduling and a whole lot more. . . . It’s a 30-minute listen and it’s all right here.


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

F Nolan Ritchie, playing in his 100th regular-season game, had three goals and an assist to lead the host Brandon Wheat Kings to a 6-3 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Friday night. . . . Brandon F Jake Chiasson had a goal and an assist in what was his first game this season. He underwent shoulder surgery after being injured while at an Edmonton Oilers rookie camp in September. The Oilers selected him in the fourth round of the NHL’s 2021 draft. . . .

F Connor Bedard had one assist to run his point streak to 14 games as the Regina Pats dropped a 3-2 decision to the visiting Red Deer Rebels, who have won seven in a row. . . . F Jake Neighbours of the Edmonton Oil Kings also is riding a 14-game streak, but he is out week-to-week with an undisclosed injury. . . . Bedard has 29 points, including 16 assists, in his past 14 games, while Neighbours has 23 points, 10 of them goals. . . .

Dan O’Connor, the radio voice of the Vancouver Giants, called the play of his 700th WHL game on Friday night in Langley, B.C. The Giants lost 4-3 in OT to the Kamloops Blazers as F Daylan Kuefler tied the game at 19:31 of the third period and won it at 4:43 of extra time. O’Connor also has done play-by-play with the Prince George Cougars. . . .

The Edmonton Oil Kings clinched a playoff spot by scoring the game’s last five goals in a 7-2 victory over the visiting Calgary Hitmen. . . . In Kelowna, F Gabriel Szturc’s 12th goal, at 1:29 of OT, gave the Rockets a 5-4 victory over the Victoria Royals who took a 4-2 lead into the last 10 minutes of the third period. Kelowna has won nine of 10 from Victoria. . . . In Prince George, the Spokane Chiefs scored the last three goals and beat the Cougars, 4-3. F Graham Sward (8) broke a 3-3 tie 37 seconds into the third period. The Cougars are 2-13-1 in their past 16 outings. . . .

F Jakin Smallwood scored his 20th goal of the season with 0.7 showing on the clock as the visiting Winnipeg Ice got past the Saskatoon Blades, 4-3, in OT. F Jack Finley (17) had pulled Winnipeg even with a PP goal at 17:15 of the third period. . . . F Ozzy Wiesblatt scored his 10th goal and added two assists as the Prince Albert Raiders escaped from Moose Jaw with a 5-3 victory over the Warriors. . . . The Seattle Thunderbirds scored once in each period as they beat the Tri-City Americans, 3-1, in Kennewick Wash. . . .

G Taylor Gauthier, who signed a three-year free-agent deal with the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins earlier in the week, stopped 47 shots as the Portland Winterhawks beat the Silvertips, 4-2, in Everett. Portland scored the game’s last four goals. Gauthier is 14-1-0, 1.66, .945 since being acquired from the Prince George Cougars. The Winterhawks have taken four straight from the Silvertips and now trail the U.S. Division leaders by five points. . . .

Russian F Ivan Miroshnichenko, a potential top 10 selection in the NHL’s 2022 draft, has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and the Russian Hockey Federation has said he will be taking time away from the game. “At the moment,” the federation said in a tweet, “he is receiving medical treatment in Germany and might miss the entirety of next season.” Miroshnichenko, 18, had 16 points, including 10 goals, in 31 games with the VHL’s Omskie Krylia club. He captained the Russian team at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup last summer, putting up four goals and five assists in five games.


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.

——


Kids

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