Scattershooting: Kelowna favoured as 2020 MC host? . . . Broncos, Silvertips take early leads . . . Wild takes BCHL title to U.S.


Bruce Hamilton, the president and general manager of the Kelowna Rockets, announced Thursday that his organization, in conjunction with the city, Tourism Kelowna and KelownaRocketsProspera Place, officially is in the bidding to play host to the 2020 Memorial Cup.

The Rockets last played host to the four-team tournament in 2004, when they won it all. That season, the Rockets, under head coach Marc Habscheid, lost a seven-game Western Conference final to the Kevin Constantine-coached Everett Silvertips, who were in their first WHL season. The Silvertips then were swept from the championship final by the Medicine Hat Tigers.

What makes the Rockets’ decision to enter the 2020 fray so interesting is that it means officials from three of the five B.C. Division teams say they are preparing bids for the 2020 tournament.

Kamloops1The Kamloops Blazers announced on Nov. 9 that they will be in the chase, while the Victoria Royals also are expected to bid.

In November, I asked Cam Hope, the Royals’ president and general manager, if his organization is interested in playing host to the 2020 Memorial Cup and he gave me a one-word answer: “Absolutely.”

Around the same time, Hope told the Victoria Times Colonist that “we intend to bid for the 2020 Memorial Cup.”

Victoria and Vancouver will be the host cities for the 2019 World Junior Championship, VictoriaRoyalsand Hope sees a link between a successful WJC and the 2020 Memorial Cup. You can bet that ticket sales from the WJC will be a big part of Victoria’s bid presentation.

Any one of the other 19 WHL teams has until June 1 to make an expression of interest. Those who are still interested will make their bid presentations at a board of governors’ meeting in Calgary on Oct. 3. Following the presentations, the governors will vote and a host team/city will be revealed at the conclusion of the meeting.

At this early date, I would suggest that the Rockets are the favourites, for at least three reasons. Firstly, the 2004 tournament was a fabulous show and really raised the bar for future Memorial Cups. Second, the Rockets, with super scout Lorne Frey on staff, have a history of icing competitive teams. Third, Hamilton, who also is the chairman of the WHL’s board of governors, carries a lot of weight at the executive level.

The Royals could upset the applecart, though, because as nice as Kelowna is in May, who wouldn’t want to spend a couple of weeks in Victoria at that time of year? They also have a recent history of being competitive, and Hope showed in January that he isn’t afraid to roll the dice at the trade deadline. It didn’t work this time, with the injury bug perhaps playing a role, but he definitely showed a willingness to pull the trigger.

Kamloops is the underdog in this three-horse race, having missed the playoffs in two of the past four seasons, and having lost out in the first round in the other two. The Blazers are rebuilding, witness their January deal with Everett in which Kamloops dealt two veterans — F Garrett Pilon and D Ondrej Vala — for two roster players in F Orrin Centazzo and D Montana Onyebuchi, two 2002-born prospects and two 2019 bantam draft picks.

By Oct. 3, however, the 2018-19 season won’t be nearly far enough along to give the voting governors a handle on the bidding teams’ expected level of competitiveness for 2019-20. That means it will be up to each team to convince the governors with a thorough scouting report.

In the end, of course, it may come down to money, meaning the team that guarantees the largest profit — and we’re talking a few million Canadian dollars here — may win the bid.

That being the case, Tom Gaglardi, the Blazers’ majority owner, could use some of his family money to guarantee the profit, a move that just might give Kamloops an edge.

The 2018 Memorial Cup is to be held in Regina, with the 2019 tournament in Halifax.

BTW, the Blazers revealed their 2018-19 season-ticket prices this week, with premium tickets going for $657, adult for $582, senior for $478, and youth/student for $403. The premium price is up $16 from last season, with the other three each having gone up by $15. . . . The WHL, of course, is reducing its regular-season schedule from 72 to 68 games, meaning that increase is for two fewer home games than in 2017-18.

The WHL has 22 teams. What might be the over-under for the number of teams to increase season-ticket prices?

The WHL’s conference finals began on Friday night, with the host Swift Current Broncos whlskating to a 3-2 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes, and the Everett Silvertips getting past the visiting Tri-City Americans, also 3-2. . . . Game 2 in each series will be played in the same venue tonight. . . . When this season began, who had those four teams in the conference finals? . . . In Swift Current, G Stuart Skinner stopped 38 shots and F Aleksi Heponiemi broke a 2-2 tie at 11:11 of the third period. In 29 career playoff games, he has one goal and 27 assists. . . . Artyom Minulin didn’t finish the game for the Broncos, but head coach Manny Viveiros told Shawn Mullin, the team’s radio voice, that the third-year Russian defenceman has “a touch of the flu.” . . . In Everett, G Carter Hart stopped 24 shots and F Garrett Pilon scored twice for the Silvertips. . . . F Morgan Geekie had one of the Americans’ goals, meaning he has at least one goal in each of the club’s nine playoff games this season. Tri-City went into the game with an 8-0 record in these playoffs. . . . Everett now has won five straight games.

Please note that final is singular, so it is the Western Conference final and the other series is the Eastern Conference final. The next round will be the WHL final. OK?

The SJHL final continued Friday night, with the Nipawin Hawks beating the visiting Estevan Bruins, 3-1, to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven final for the Canalta Cup. They’ll play Game 6 in Estevan on Sunday. . . . The Bruins got the game’s first goal, from F Michael McChesney at 2:24 of the first period, but weren’t able to get another one past G Declan Hobbs. D Josh McDougall pulled the Hawks even at 10:17, and F Chad McCartney got what proved to be the winner at 1:33 of the second period. D Gage Misskey also scored for Nipawin, at 19:55 of the second. . . .

In the MJHL, the Steinbach Pistons hold a 3-2 lead over the Virden Oil Capitals, who are scheduled to play host to Game 6 tonight. The Oil Capitals won the first two games in the series, only to have the Pistons roar back with three straight victories, including 4-0 in Virden on Monday and 7-1 in Steinbach on Thursday. . . . The MJHL and SJHL winners will meet for the ANAVET Cup, with a berth in the Royal Bank Cup on the line. That tournament opens in Chilliwack, B.C., on May 12. . . .

In the BCHL, the Wenatchee, Wash., Wild wrapped up its first championship on Thursday, beating the visiting Prince George Spruce Kings, 3-0, to win the Fred Page Cup in front of 3,845 fans in the Toyota Town Center. The Wild is in its third season in the BCHL. Wenatchee is the first American team to win the BCHL title since the Bellingham Blazers in 1979. . . . The Wild next will face the AJHL-champion Spruce Grove Saints, starting in Wenatchee with games on Friday, April 27, and Saturday, April 28. The winner of that series will advance to the Royal Bank Cup in Chilliwack. . . . The Saints won the AJHL title on Friday, beating the host Okotoks Oilers, 3-2, to take the Inter Pipeline Cup final, 4-1.

If you’re wondering how Wenatchee and Spruce Grove will handle the travel, here’s an excerpt from an AJHL news release:

“If one team sweeps the first two games (in Wenatchee), the remainder of the series will be played in Spruce Grove. If the teams split the opening two games, Game 3 will be played in Wenatchee before the series switches to Spruce Grove for the remainder of the series.”

Assistant coach Ian Herbers’ three-year contract with the Edmonton Oilers is soon to Saskatoonexpire. He took a three-year sabbatical from the U of Alberta Golden Bears — he had been their head coach — to sign with the Oilers. Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal reports right here that Herbers, should his deal with the Oilers not be renewed, could be headed back to the Golden Bears. . . . Matheson also reports that Serge Lajoie, who replaced Herbers at the U of A, “has interviewed for the vacant (head-coaching) job with the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades, which sounds like he’s being proactive (in case) Herbers moves back to the Bears.” . . . The Blades are looking for a head coach after firing Dean Brockman at the end of the regular season.

USA Hockey announced Friday that David Quinn will be head coach of its junior team that will play in the 2019 World Junior Championship in Vancouver and Victoria, Dec. 26 through Jan. 5. . . . Quinn just completed his fourth season as the head coach of the Boston University Terriers. . . . Quinn’s assistant coaches with Team USA will be Mike Hastings of Minnesota State-Mankato, David Lassonde of Dartmouth and Steve Miller of Ohio State.

The Delta Hockey Academy has added a pair of former WHLers to its coaching staff. Milan Dragicevic takes over the Bantam Prep White team, while Rick Lanz will coach the U15 team. . . . Dragicevic played with the Regina Pats, New Westminster Bruins, Tri-City Americans, Spokane Chiefs and Victoria Cougars (1986-90), and later spent four seasons as an assistant coach with the Americans and two (2000-02) as the Vancouver Giants’ head coach. He also spent 12 seasons as the head coach of the UBC Thunderbirds. . . . Lanz was on the Americans’ coaching staff for one season (1997-98).

If you’re young and thinking about a career as a play-by-play man, the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks may have a spot for you. They are looking for someone to handle play-by-play and to manage their social media accounts. . . . There’s more right here.

You see it before NHL games — a player seated on a bench cracks open a small packet, waves it under his nose and grimaces, and you know he’s ready. But what is that all about, and is it performance-enhancing? . . . The incomparable Roy MacGregor of The Globe and Mail checks it out in an entertaining read that is right here.

Lazaruk, no Phantom, sings for charity . . . Everett, Seattle gets hot, hot, hot . . . Blazers, Rockets ends in kerfuffle


F Brandon Segal (Calgary, 1999-2004) has signed a one-year contract extension with the Nuremberg Ice Tigers (Germany, DEL). He has 12 goals and 14 assists in 49 games this season.


Dan Courneyea, a member of the Kamloops Blazers’ off-ice crew, is in Pyeong Chang, where he has been working at men’s hockey games in the Olympic Winter Games. Yes, he Olylogowas part of the off-ice crew that handled Team OAR’s 4-3 OT victory over Germany. He also has been letting us know how things are going. On Saturday, he sent this . . .

“Well, after plenty of heartbreaking plays, it was truly sad to see the end results of both Team Canada’s meaningful games. Both teams worked hard but got away from the true Canadian style of physical crash and bang play. They tried to play that finesse style, which led to their defeat.

“We Canadians don’t play that way!

“There won’t be any North American on-ice officials doing the gold medal game.

“Both referee Brett Iverson and linesman Nathan Van Oosten will be working the Blazers game on Wednesday.”


Les Lazaruk, the veteran radio voice of the Saskatoon Blades, took his game to a different level on Friday night.

With the Blades at home to the Regina Pats, Lazaruk got things started by singing O Canada. Yes, he did.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be too much video of it kicking around the Internet, other than the link that is supplied in the above tweet.

Lazaruk did this as a fund-raiser in support of Pink Day for the Saskatchewan Red Cross.

If you aren interested in donating, you are able to do so right here.

Mike Priestner, the Blades’ owner, has agreed to match every penny that is donated.

Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post takes time out of his busy schedule to interview sporting personalities in a light and personal fashion. His most recent subject was John Paddock, the general manager and head coach of the Regina Pats. Paddock, as always, is worth listening to as he recounts a lot about his NHL days. . . . It’s all right here.

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



Saskatoon at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge



Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria



At Kent, Wash., the Everett Silvertips scored the game’s last two goals to beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 2-1. . . . Everett (41-17-5) has points in 11 straight (9-0-2). It leads the EverettWestern Conference by five points over Kelowna. . . . Seattle (28-24-9) has lost four in a row. It holds down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, by six points over Kamloops. . . . Everett is 4-2-2 in the season series; Seattle is 4-3-1. . . . F Nolan Volcan (26) put Seattle ahead 1-0 at 14:18 of the first period. . . . F Connor Dewar (32) tied it at 11:35 of the second period. . . . G Garrett Pilon (31) broke the tie at 2:44 of the third period. . . . Dewar also had an assist. . . . Seattle was 0-1 on the PP; Everett was 0-4. . . . G Carter Hart recorded the victory with 23 saves. . . . Seattle got 37 stops from G Liam Hughes. . . . Announced attendance: 5,452.

At Red Deer, the Rebels overcame a 3-1 third-period deficit and beat the Swift Current Broncos, 5-3. . . . Red Deer (22-28-13) had lost its previous two games. It is third in the Red DeerCentral Division, six points behind Lethbridge. . . . Swift Current (43-14-5) had points in each of its previous eight games (7-0-1). It is second in the overall standings, two points behind Moose Jaw, which holds two games in hand. . . . F Brandon Hagel (12) gave the home side a 1-0 lead at 1:28 of the second period. . . . The Broncos responded with three goals. . . . F Giorgio Estephan (27) scored at 2:39 of the second period, and F Matteo Gennaro (37) put the visitors ahead at 15:26. . . . F Glenn Gawdin (52) ran his point streak to 21 games, giving the Broncos a 3-1 lead at 7:03 of the third period. . . . The Rebels then tied it on two goals from F Grayson Pawlenchuk, who has 18, at 9:05 and 15:53. . . . F Chris Douglas (7) broke the tie at 16:50, and F Kristian Reichel (29) got the empty-netter, at 19:18. . . . The Rebels got two assists from F Mason McCarty, with Hagel adding one. . . . F Tyler Steenbergen had two assists for the Broncos. . . . Gawdin has 20 goals and 20 assists in his 21-game point streak. . . . Swift Current was 0-1 on the PP; Red Deer was 0-2. . . . G Riley Lamb stopped 28 shots for the Rebels, one more than Swift Current’s Joel Hofer. . . . Announced attendance: 4,735.

At Moose Jaw, the Warriors jumped out to a 3-0 lead and held on for a 3-2 victory over the Regina Pats. . . . Moose Jaw (45-12-3) has tied its franchise record for victories in a MooseJawWarriorsseason that was set in 2011-12. It leads the overall standings, by two points over Swift Current. . . . Regina (33-25-6) had won its previous four games. It is third in the East Division, three points ahead of Brandon. . . . Moose Jaw is 6-2-0 in the season series; Regina is 2-5-1. . . . Head coach Tim Hunter posted the 138th regular-season victory, moving to No. 1 on the Warriors’ career list. He had been sharing the record with Al Tuer. . . . F Tristin Langan (14) gave the home side a 1-0 lead at 6:50 of the first period, with F Justin Almeida (34) adding another, on a PP, at 14:25. . . . F Jayden Halbgewachs made it 3-0 with his WHL-leading 58th goal, at 12:15 of the second period. . . . F Jesse Gabrielle (11) got Regina on the scoreboard at 17:39. . . . F Robbie Holmes (15) pulled the Pats to within one at 7:28 of the third period. . . . Moose Jaw was 1-2 on the PP; Regina was 0-2. . . . G Brody Willms earned the victory with 28 stops. . . . The Pats got 23 saves from G Max Paddock. . . . D Jett Woo served the second of a three-game suspension, while D Dmitri Zaitsev (ill) also was among the scratches. . . . The Warriors have added D Daemon Hunt, 15, to their roster for the weekend. He was a first-round pick in the 2017 WHL bantam draft. Hunt has 40 points, including 36 assists, in 40 games with the midget AAA Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Regina D Liam Schioler completed a two-game suspension by sitting out this one. . . . Announced attendance: 4,701.

At Edmonton, F Parker Kelly scored the only goal of the third period to give the Prince Albert Raiders a 5-4 victory over the Oil Kings. . . . Prince Albert (26-25-11) has won three PrinceAlbertin a row. It is two points behind Saskatoon, which holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. Each team has 10 games remaining. . . . Edmonton (18-35-8) has lost three straight (0-2-1). . . . The Oil Kings had an early 2-0 lead on first-period goals from F Trey Fix-Wolansky (26), at 1:44, and D Conner McDonald (6), on a PP, at 5:47. . . . The Raiders took a 3-2 second-period lead on goals from D Vojtech Budik (10), on a PP, at 5:18; F Curtis Miske (21), at 5:52; and F Brett Leason, at 6:39. . . . Edmonton got back into a tie when D Wyatt McLeod scored his first WHL goal at 7:07. . . . Leason, who has goals in six straight games, broke that tie with his 16th goal at 12:04. . . . F David Kope (11) pulled the Oil Kings into a 4-4 tie at 18:34. . . . Kelly, playing in his 200th regular-season game, won it with his 26th goal, at 8:35 of the third period. . . . F Kody McDonald and F Regan Nagy each had two assists for the winners, with Kelly and Miske adding one each. . . . Fix-Wolansky had two assists and Kope one for Edmonton. . . . The Oil Kings were 2-4 on the PP; the Raiders were 1-7. . . . Prince Albert got 25 stops from G Ian Scott. . . . G Josh Dechaine made 26 saves for Edmonton. . . . Announced attendance: 9,723.

At Spokane, F Kailer (Yammi) Yamamoto had a goal and two assists and F Jaret (JAD) Anderson-Dolan had three assists to lead the Chiefs to a 5-3 victory over the Kootenay SpokaneChiefsIce. . . . Spokane (35-21-5) has won two in a row. It is third in the U.S. Division, three points behind Portland. . . . Kootenay (25-36-3) has lost five straight. It is fourth in the Central Division, four points behind Red Deer. . . . As part of the night’s promotion, the Chiefs had nicknames on the backs of their jerseys. Those nicknames are included in the lineup in the above tweet. . . . The Chiefs took a 1-0 lead at 4:55 of the first period on a goal from F Milos (Fafs) Fafrak. . . . F Gillian Kohler (6) tied it for the Ice, at 9:10. . . . The Chiefs went out front 3-1 before the period ended, on goals from F Ethan (Dewey) McIndoe (20) and Yamamoto (18), shorthanded, at 19:06. . . . F Colton Veloso scored for the Ice at 2:10 of the second period, but the home team went up 5-2 on goals from F Jake (McGruber) McGrew (16), at 8:25 of the second, and D Ty (Smitty) Smith (13), at 3:38 of the third. . . . Veloso (23) got the Ice’s final goal, at 14:25. . . . The Chiefs also got two assists from F Riley (Woodsy) Woods, with McGrew and Fafrak each getting one. . . . Kootenay was 1-2 on the PP; Spokane was 0-2. . . . The Chiefs got 12 stops from G Dawson (Weatherman) Weatherill. . . . G Matt Berlin stopped 31 shots for the Ice. . . . Announced attendance: 8,352.

At Kennewick, Wash., the Tri-City Americans scored three first-period goals in the span of 2:34 and went on to a 6-1 victory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . Tri-City (32-21-8) TriCity30has won three in a row. It holds down the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot and is fourth in the U.S. Division, three points behind Spokane. . . . Prince George (20-33-8) has lost three straight. . . . The Americans took control with three goals in the span of 2:34 early in the first period. . . . F Jordan Topping (35) got it started at 4:11, with D Juuso Valimaki making it 2-0 at 4:51 and F Paycen Bjorklund (2) adding another at 6:45. . . . The Americans went ahead 5-0 before the period ended, as Valimaki scored at 11:41 and F Parker AuCoin (17) counted at 19:20. . . . Valimaki completed his second career hat trick with his 11th goal at 10:18 of the second period. . . . The Cougars got their goal from D Ryan Schoettler (6) at 17:42. . . . D Anthony Bishop drew three assists for Tri-City, with F Isaac Johnson and F Nolan Yaremko each getting two. . . . Each team was 0-3 on the PP. . . . G Beck Warm stopped 19 shots for the Americans. . . . The Cougars started G Isaiah DiLaura, who gave up five goals on 14 shots in the first period. Tavin Grant played the last two periods, stopping 15 of 16 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 5,406.

At Victoria, F Cody Glass, who also had two assists, broke a 2-2 tie at 16:56 of the third period to give the Portland Winterhawks a 3-2 victory over the Royals. . . . Portland (37-Portland20-4) has won two in a row, having beaten the host Royals, 2-1, on Friday. The Winterhawks have clinched a playoff spot. They are second in the U.S. Division, nine points behind Everett. . . . Victoria (35-23-5) has lost two straight. It is second in the B.C. Division, seven points behind Kelowna and five ahead of Vancouver. . . . The Winterhawks went ahead 1-0 at 3:50 of the first period when F Kieffer Bellows scored on a PP. . . . Victoria F Noah Gregor got that one back, on a PP, at 17:08. . . . Bellows (32) gave the visitors a 2-1 lead 54 seconds into the second period, only to have Gregor (25) tie it, on a PP, at 6:28. . . . Glass got the winner, his 29th goal this season, on a PP. . . . The Winterhawks got three assists from D Dennis Cholowski. . . . Glass now has 200 career points in 190 regular-season games. . . . F Dante Hannoun had two assists for Victoria. . . . F Matthew Phillips of the Royals had his point streak snapped at 22 games. . . . Victoria was 2-4 on the PP; Portland was 2-6. . . . G Shane Farkas earned the victory with 21 saves. He also went the distance for Portland on Friday. . . . The Royals got 39 saves from G Griffen Outhouse. . . . Announced attendance: 7,006.

At Kelowna, the Rockets scored the game’s last two goals to beat the Kamloops Blazers, 6-5. . . . Kelowna (38-18-6) has points in five straight (4-0-1). It is second in the Western KelownaRocketsConference, five points behind Everett. . . . Kamloops (27-31-5) has lost two in a row. It is six points out of a playoff spot with nine games remaining. . . . Kelowna is 6-0-0) in the season series; Kamloops is 0-5-1. . . . The Rockets actually led this one 3-0, before giving up four goals in a span of 5:57 in the second period. . . . F Dillon Dube, who has 31 goals, scored for Kelowna at 10:51 and 18:46 of the first period, the latter coming via a PP. . . . F Conner Bruggen-Cate (17) made it 3-0, on another PP, at 5:36 of the second period. . . . F Jermaine Loewen (32) got the Blazers’ comeback started at 11:04. F Luc Smith (17), back after a two-week absence, made it 3-2 at 11:25, and F Nick Chyzowski (19) tied it, on a PP, at 14:25. D Nolan Kneen (5) gave Kamloops the lead, at 17:01. . . . The Rockets tied it at 12:50 of the third period as F Leif Mattson scored while shorthanded. . . . Kamloops F Orrin Centazzo (10) gave Kamloops a 5-4 lead, on a PP, at 13:11. . . . The Rockets tied it at 13:40 as F Carsen Twarynski (38) struck, on a PP, then took the lead at 17:47 on Mattson’s 21st goal of the season. . . . The Rockets got two assists from each of D Gordie Ballhorn and F Kole Lind, with Dube and Brutten-Cate adding one apiece. . . . Loewen had two assists for Kamloops, as did Kneen and F Quinn Benjafield. . . . Loewen went into this season with 14 goals and 18 assists in 170 games. This season, he has developed into one of the WHL’s top power forwards, with 32 goals and 24 assists in 57 games. . . . Kelowna was 3-6 on the PP; Kamloops was 2-6. . . . The Rockets got 23 saves from G Brodan Salmond, while G Dylan Ferguson stopped 31 shots at the other end. . . . The Rockets took 62 of the game’s 120 penalty minutes. Eight game misconducts, including one to Salmond, were handed out following a kerfuffle at the final buzzer. . . . Announced attendance: 5,324.

At Medicine Hat, F Cole Reinhardt’s overtime goal gave the Brandon Wheat Kings a 4-3 victor over the Tigers. . . . Brandon (32-24-5) had lost its previous two games. It is fourth BrandonWKregularin the East Division, three points behind Regina. The Wheat Kings hold down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, four points up on Saskatoon. . . . Medicine Hat (31-24-8) is 3-0-1 in its past four games. It leads the Central Division, by four points over Lethbridge. . . . The Wheat Kings got off to a 1-0 lead at 8:44 on a goal by F Stelio Mattheos (37). . . . F Ryan Jevne (17) tied it for the Tigers, on a PP, at 17:31. . . . After a scoreless second period, the Wheat Kings went ahead 3-1 on goals from Reinhardt, at 4:43, and F Evan Weinger (26), shorthanded, at 11:19. . . . D David Quenneville (26) scored at 15:02 to get the Tigers to within a goal. . . . The home team tied it with 38.2 seconds left and the extra attacker on the ice when F Mark Rassell (46) scored the 100th regular-season goal of his career. . . .  Reinhardt scored his 15th goal of the season to win it at 1:06 of OT. . . . Mattheos added two assists to his goal. . . . Quenneville also had two assists, with Rassell and Jevne adding one each. . . . Medicine Hat was 1-4 on the PP; Brandon was 0-1. . . . The Wheat Kings got 31 saves from G Dylan Myskiw. . . . With G Michael Bullion ill, the Tigers gave Kaeden Lane his first WHL start, and he responded with 10 saves. Lane, 16, is from Burnaby, B.C. He plays for the Burnaby Winter Club’s prep team in the CSSHL. . . . Announced attendance: 3,226.

SUNDAY (all times local):

Moose Jaw at Saskatoon, 2:05 p.m.

Brandon at Calgary, 4 p.m.

Swift Current at Edmonton, 4 p.m.

Spokane at Everett, 4:05 p.m.


Quenneville reaches milestone . . . Rockets hang on to beat Cougars . . . Silvertips clinch 15th straight playoff berth


F Pavel Brendl (Calgary, 1998-2001) has been released by Wings Arlanda (Sweden, Division 1). He had five goals and three assists in 12 games.


The WHL’s department of discipline was busy on Tuesday.

F Sean Richards of the Everett Silvertips was hit with a four-game suspension after he whltook a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct against the host Seattle Thunderbirds on Friday. He already has sat out three games.

Jesse Gabrielle of the Regina Pats and Barrett Sheen of the Moose Jaw Warriors got two games each for their part in a kerfuffle at the end of a game in Regina on Sunday. . . . Both players have one game remaining.

Two other players drew TBD suspensions.

D Liam Schioler of the Pats took a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct in Prince Albert on Monday after a hit on Raiders F Kody McDonald, who returned to the game.

D Jett Woo of the Warriors left Monday’s game in Brandon with a headshot major and game misconduct for a hit on Wheat Kings F Ty Lewis.

D Austin Chorney, 17, of the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks has committed to Ohio State and the Buckeyes. Chorney, from Calgary, split last season between the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs and the Silverbacks. This season, he has six goals and three assists in 46 games. . . . He was a second-round pick by the Moose Jaw Warriors in the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft.

G Ty Taylor, 18, of the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers has committed play next season for the U of New Hampshire Wildcats. This season, Taylor, from Richmond, B.C., is 22-5-3, 1.83, .932, with seven shutouts. . . . Taylor’s WHL rights moved from the Prince George Cougars to the Portland Winterhawks at the Jan. 10 trade deadline.

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



Saskatoon at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge



Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria



At Medicine Hat, David Quenneville became the first defenceman in franchise history to get to 200 points as the Tigers beat the Kootenay Ice, 3-1. . . . Medicine Hat (30-24-7) has Tigers Logo Officialwon two in a row. It leads the Central Division by three points over Lethbridge, which has two games in hand. . . . Kootenay (25-34-3) has lost three in a row. It is fourth in the Central Division, two points behind Red Deer, which holds two games in hand. . . . The Tigers and Ice will meet again Friday, this time in Cranbrook, B.C. . . . F Brett Davis (23) gave the Ice a 1-0 lead with a shorthanded goal at 9:59 of the first period. . . . The Tigers tied it when F Tyler Preziuso (13) scored at 14:22 of the second period, then took the lead at 14:10 of the third on F Bryan Lockner’s 12th goal. . . . Quenneville got his 24th goal, and the 200th point of his career, into an empty net at 19:42. . . . He’s got 200 points, including 67 goals, in 240 games. . . . This season, Quenneville leads all WHL defencemen in goals and points (66). . . . Each team took one minor penalty, and each team was 0-1 on the PP. . . . G Michael Bullion stopped 19 shots for the Tigers. . . . The Ice got 29 saves from G Matt Berlin. . . . The Tigers remain without G Jorden Hollett, D Joel Craven, D Kristians Rubins, F Hayden Ostir, F Baxter Anderson, F Mason Shaw and D Linus Nassen, all out with injuries. . . . Announced attendance: 2,904.

At Kelowna, the Rockets scored four goals before the first period was 11 minutes old and went on to beat the Prince George Cougars, 6-5. . . . Kelowna (36-18-6) has points in three KelownaRocketsstraight (2-0-1). The Rockets lead the B.C. Division by three points over Victoria. . . . The Cougars (20-31-8) are fifth in B.C., nine points behind Kamloops. . . . F Dillon Dube got the Rockets started 49 seconds into the first period. . . . F Carsen Twarynski added goals at 5:04 and 5:35, for a 3-0 lead. He’s got 37 goals. . . . F Jackson Leppard (13) scored for the Cougars, on a PP, at 10:13, but F Liam Kindree (8) got that one back for the Rockets just 46 seconds later. . . . Prince George F Vladislav Mikhalchuk (13) closed out a six-goal first period at 14:45. . . . Dube (29) upped the Rockets’ lead to 5-2 at 12:09 of the second period, and F Erik Gardiner (4) made it 6-2 at 14:30. . . . Prince George made it interesting with three third-period goals, from D Ryan Schoettler (5), at 6:12; D Rhett Rhinehart (1), at 9:00; and F Jared Bethune (20), shorthanded, at 15:54. . . . The Rockets got two assists from each of Lindree and D Cal Foote, and one from Dube. . . . Leppard, Bethune and Mikhalchuk each had an assist for Prince George. . . . The Cougars were 1-2 on the PP; the Rockets were 1-6. . . . G Brodan Salmon stopped 32 shots for Kelowna. . . . G Tavin Grant started for the Cougars and was beaten three times on six shots in 5:35. Taylor Gauthier came on to stop 20 of 23 shots in 35:39, before Grant came back in to stop all eight shots he faced in 17:41. . . . The Rockets remain without D James Hilsendager, F Nolan Foote and F Kole Lind, all with upper-body injuries. . . . Lind was shown on Tuesday’s WHL roster report as having returned from injury, but that obviously has yet to happen. . . . F Tyson Phare made his WHL debut with the Cougars. From Maple Ridge, B.C., he was a first-round selection by the Cougars in the 2017 bantam draft. He has 20 goals and 15 assists in 25 games with the Yale Hockey Academy prep team. . . . Announced attendance: 4,349.

At Spokane, F Garrett Pilon scored a pair of second-period goals to help the Everett Silvertips to a 4-1 victory over the Chiefs. . . . Everett (39-17-5) has points in nine straight Everett(7-0-2) and clinched a playoff spot with the victory. Everett is in its 15th WHL season and has been in the playoffs in each one. . . . The Silvertips lead the Western Conference by five points over Kelowna. . . . Spokane (33-21-5) had won three in a row. It is third in the U.S. Division, three points behind Portland. . . . Pilon opened the scoring 31 seconds into the second period. . . . F Riley Sutter (24) made it 2-0, on a PP, at 12:13, and Pilon, who has 30 goals, upped it to 3-0 at 14:17. . . . F Eli Zummack (12) scored for Spokane at 17:11. . . . F Connor Dewar (30) got the game’s last goal at 13:21, off an assist from Pilon. . . . Dewar had an assist on Pilon’s first goal. . . . Everett was 1-1 on the PP; Spokane was 0-2. . . . G Carter Hart blocked 28 shots for the winners, while Spokane’s Dawson Weatherill, who had won each of his previous seven appearances, made 30 saves. . . . Everett D Kevin Davis played in his 336th regular-season game, passing F Shane Harper taking over the franchise record. . . . Davis has 165 points, including 141 assists, in those games. . . . Announced attendance: 4,469.

WEDNESDAY (all times local):

Kamloops at Portland, 7 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Red Deer at Calgary, 7 p.m.

Prince Albert at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

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


Saturday night in the WHL: Hat tricks, loser points and improbable comebacks


The Brandon Sun reports that the naming rights deal for the home of the Wheat Kings will last for eight years. The Keystone Centre and Westoba Credit Union announced the deal on Friday, with the new name — Westoba Place — to come into play on Feb. 19. . . . “As part of the deal,” The Sun’s Jillian Austin reported, “Westoba renewed its long-term sponsorship of Westoba Agricultural Centre of Excellence, which has been in place for 10 years. The new contract covers both facilities at a value of approximately $2 million over the eight-year term.” . . . The arena had been Westman Communications Group Place for the past 10 years.

This is the second facility that is home to a WHL franchise to undergo a name change this season. In December, Xfinity Arena, the home of the Everett Silvertips, was renamed Angel of the Winds Arena. Naming rights, worth US$3.4 million over 10 years, were purchased by the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians, which owns the Angel of the Winds casino and resort.

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Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Regina at Medicine Hat

Brandon at Swift Current

Kootenay at Lethbridge



Seattle at Everett

Spokane at Kelowna

Tri-City at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria

Well, that was a wild Saturday in the WHL. . . . Four players had three-goal games. . . . Four teams got loser points. . . . One goaltender earned his first WHL victory. . . . Three teams trailing late in the third period scored improbable victories. Another, Prince Albert, almost did. . . . Lethbridge, down 2-0, got three goals from its captain late in the third period and won. . . . Calgary, down 5-2 late, got the first goals of the season from two players and went on to win in Kamloops. . . . Victoria, losing 2-0, came back to beat Seattle in Kent, Wash. . . . Junior hockey. . . . There’s nothing quite like it.



At Moose Jaw, F Justin Almeida scored his 30th goal and added two assists as the Warriors beat the Prince George Cougars, 4-1. . . . Moose Jaw (40-9-3) had lost its previous MooseJawWarriorstwo games. It leads the overall standings by five points over Swift Current. . . . Prince George (19-27-8) went 1-4-1 on its swing through the East Division. . . . F Brayden Burke (25) scored the game’s first goal for Moose Jaw, at 17:26 of the first period. . . . Almeida, who was acquired from the Cougars in a deal last season, made it 2-0, on a PP, at 14:34 of the second period. . . . F Tate Popple (6) stretched the lead to 3-0 at 10:43 of the third period, and D Brandon Schuldaus (3) made it 4-0 at 12:37. . . . The Cougars got their goal from F Josh Maser (23), on a PP, at 16:50 of the third. . . . Almeida has 72 points in 52 games this season. He went into the season with 13 goals and 21 assists in 120 games. . . . Prince George was 1-3 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 1-7. . . . The Warriors got 22 saves from G Adam Evanoff. . . . Prince George G Taylor Gauthier, 16, who stopped 56 shots in a 4-1 loss in Regina on Wednesday, turned aside 44 shots in this one. . . . D Vladislav Mikhalchuk of the Cougars completed a two-game suspension by sitting out this one. . . . Announced attendance: 3,218.

At Regina, F Cam Hebig scored with 46.5 seconds left in OT to give the Pats a 5-4 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . Regina (27-22-5) has won two in a row and is back to ReginaPats100.500. It is fourth in the East Division, four points behind Brandon. The Pats also hold down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, six points ahead of Prince Albert and Saskatoon. . . . Prince Albert (21-20-11) had points in each of its previous seven games (5-0-2). The loser point moved the Raiders into a tie with Saskatoon for the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. Prince Albert has 11 loser points and Saskatoon has three. Might that be the difference between making the playoffs and missing out? . . . The Pats actually held a 4-1 lead more than halfway through the third period. . . . F Emil Oksanen (13) and F Sam Steel put the home team ahead with goals at 4:22 and 5:14 of the second period. . . . F Brett Leason (9) got the Raiders on the scoreboard at 5:26. . . . Steel, who also had two assists, got his 20th goal, on a PP, at 8:06, and D Josh Mahura (18) made it 4-1, on another PP, at 16:17. . . . The Raiders tied it with three late goals. . . . F Regan Nagy (22) got it started at 12:30 of the third period, and F Parker Kelly (24) got the Raiders to within a goal at 12:45. . . . F Kody McDonald (26) pulled the visitors even with 37.2 seconds left in the third period. . . . Hebig, who was acquired from Saskatoon at the trade deadline, won it with his 36th goal. He also had two assists. He has six goals and eight assists in 10 games with Regina. . . . Mahura added an assist to his goal. . . . Regina was 2-4 on the PP; Prince Albert was 0-6. . . . G Ryan Kubic stopped 33 shots for the Pats, two fewer than Ian Scott of the Raiders. . . . Announced attendance: 6,484.

At Brandon, F Stelio Mattheos scored his third goal of the game in OT to give the Wheat Kings a 4-3 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Brandon (29-18-5) had lost its previous BrandonWKregularnine games (0-6-3). It is third in the East Division, 15 points behind Swift Current. . . . Red Deer (15-25-13) has points in seven straight (5-0-2). It is fourth in the Central Division, six points behind Kootenay. . . . The Rebels completed a stretch in which they played six games in eight nights in three provinces. . . . Mattheos opened the scoring at 11:19 of the second period. . . . F Alex Morozoff tied it, on a PP, at 13:37. . . . Mattheos put Brandon ahead 2-1, on a PP, at 19:54. . . . Morozoff (4) tied it again, at 2:21 of the third period. . . . F Josh Tarzwell (7) gave Red Deer the lead, on a PP, at 7:12. . . . Brandon D Chase Hartje tied it 3-3 with his first WHL goal, at 16:21. It came in his 42nd game. . . . Mattheos, who had an assist on Hartje’s goal, won it with his 36th goal, at 0:55 of OT. . . . Red Deer thought it had won earlier in OT, but a potential goal by F Kristian Reichel was wiped out when officials ruled that there was goaltender interference on the play. . . . “That’s a tough one,” Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter told Greg Meachem of “You’d better be 100 per cent right that’s what you’re calling because there’s no video on that, it’s not like the NHL. I didn’t agree with the call. It’s one thing to say the goalie was interfered with . . . the other thing is (Brandon Hagel) tries to make the play and, yes, the goalie does get pushed in, but he has no chance at all of getting the rebound because he’s already down from trying to make the initial save. Any contact made was very minimal. It’s just frustrating when you feel like you had the game won. It’s tough to get a call like that go against you.” . . . F Ty Lewis had two assists for Brandon. . . . Red Deer was 2-4 on the PP; Brandon was 1-4. . . . The Wheat Kings got 33 saves from G Logan Thompson. . . . Red Deer G Ethan Anders stopped 20 shots. . . . The Wheat Kings lost F Baron Thompson to a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct at 3:40 of the third period. D Colin Paradis, who was hit on the play, went to the dressing room. . . . Announced attendance: 3,712.

At Cranbrook, B.C., F Glenn Gawdin struck for three goals to help the Swift Current Broncos to a 5-3 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Swift Current (37-13-4) is second in the SCBroncosoverall standings, five points behind Moose Jaw. . . . Kootenay (23-26-3) has lost three in a row. It is third in the Central Division, seven points behind Lethbridge. . . . F Brett Davis gave the Ice a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 5:10 of the first period. . . . D Artyom Minulin (11) tied it, on a PP, at 11:55. . . . Gawdin put the visitors in front at 13:23, only to have Ice F Alec Baer (21) tie it at 14:34. . . . Davis (20) scored a PP goal at 4:46 of the second period to give Kootenay a 3-2 lead. . . . Gawdin tied it at 19:11 of the second period, then completed his hat trick at 10:09 of the third period. He’s got 44 goals. . . . F Matteo Gennaro (33) added insurance at 10:45. . . . The Broncos got four assists from D Colby Sissons, with Minulin, Gawdin and Gennaro adding one each. . . . Baer had an assist for the Ice. . . . Kootenay was 2-7 on the PP; Swift Current was 1-5. . . . G Stuart Skinner stopped 36 shots for the Broncos, who were outshot 21-9 in the first period. . . . Kootenay G Duncan McGovern allowed three shots on 26 shots in 46:44. Matt Berlin finished up, giving up one goal on eight shots in 8:22. . . . McGovern was ejected with a match penalty for attempt to injury at 10:05 of the third period following Gawdin’s third goal. Gawdin was given a double minor spearing at the same time. . . . Gawdin is riding a 13-game point streak, with 24 points in that stretch. He has 97 points, second to Moose Jaw F Brayden Burke, who leads the scoring race with 98. . . . The Broncos again were without D Sahvan Khaira, F Kaden Elder and F Aleksi Heponiemi. . . . Announced attendance: 2,391.

At Lethbridge, F Jordy Bellerive scored three times in the third period to lead the LethbridgeHurricanes to a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Lethbridge (25-21-6) has points in five straight (3-0-2). It is second in the Central Division, three points behind Medicine Hat. The Hurricanes have three games in hand. . . . Edmonton (14-30-7) is 3-6-1 in its past 10. . . . The Oil Kings led 2-0 late in the third period on goals from F Brett Kemp (13), at 15:28 of the first, and F Trey Fix-Wolansky (22), at 5:36 of the second. . . . Bellerive won it with three goals in 3:44, the first and third ones on the PP. He cut the deficit to one at 15:16, tied the game at 17:15, and won it with his 37th goal at 19:00. . . . F Brad Morrison drew assists on the two PP goals. . . . Lethbridge was 2-6 on the PP; Edmonton was 0-3. . . . G Reece Klassen recorded the victory with 25 saves. . . . G Todd Scott stopped 27 shots for the Oil Kings. . . . Announced attendance: 3,361.

At Portland, F Kieffer Bellows scored twice, leading the Winterhawks to a 3-2 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . Portland (31-18-4) is second in the U.S. Division, five Portlandpoints behind Everett and five ahead of Tri-City. . . . Tri-City (27-17-7) had points in each of its previous seven games (5-0-2). . . . On Friday night, the Americans beat the visiting Winterhawks, 6-3. They will play in Portland again on Friday. . . . Last night, D Dylan Coghlan (16) gave the Americans a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 5:36 of the first period. . . . Bellows tied it, on a PP, at 10:19. . . . F Ryan Hughes (8) gave the home team a 2-1 lead at 14:49. . . . Bellows, who has 26 goals, stretched the lead to 3-1 at 9:34 of the third period. . . . Tri-City F Isaac Johnson (16), who also had an assist, made it a one-goal game at 15:57. . . . F Cody Glass had two assists for Portland. . . . The Winterhawks were 1-4 on the PP; the Americans were 1-5. . . . G Shane Farkas stopped 29 shots for Portland, while Tri-City’s Patrick Dea blocked 36. . . . With F Joachim Blichfeld back from a two-game suspension, the Winterhawks had all hands on deck. . . . Announced attendance: 9,879.

At Kamloops, the Calgary Hitmen scored the only two goals of a shootout and beat the Blazers, 6-5. . . . Calgary (16-30-6) had lost its previous four games — two in Victoria and Calgarytwo in Langley, B.C., against Vancouver. . . . Kamloops (24-24-4) is seven points from a playoff spot. . . . Calgary actually held a 2-0 lead in this one, then trailed 5-2 late in the third period. . . . F Jakob Stukel and F Mark Kastelic (15), on a PP, scored for Calgary at 5:17 and 16:06 of the second period. . . . The Blazers seemingly took control with five straight goals, the last four of them in the third period. . . . F Jermaine Loewen (25) started it at 17:03 of the second. . . . In the third, the Blazers got goals from F Nick Chyzowski, at 4:47; D Joe Gatenby (11), on a PP, at 9:09; Chyzowski (15), at 11:50; and F Ryley Appelt (1), at 14:56. . . . The Hitmen got back into it when two players — F Dakota Krebs and F Egor Zamula — scored their first goals this season. Krebs struck at 15:21, with Zamula scoring on a PP at 17:37. . . . With G Matt Armitage on the bench for the extra attacker, Stukel tied it with his 26th goal of the season with 52.5 seconds left in regulation time. . . . Calgary got shootout goals from F Jake Kryski and F Carson Focht to win it, both scoring on dekes to the backhand. Interestingly, Kryski, who spent time with the Blazers, was booed when he skated to centre ice before taking his shot. . . . Calgary got three assists from F Tristen Nielsen, with Kastelic getting one. . . . F Luc Smith had two assists for Kamloops, with Gatenby, Loewen and Chyzowski each getting one. . . . Calgary was 2-4 on the PP; Kamloops was 1-3. . . . The Hitmen got 36 stops from Armitage, who posted his first WHL victory in his 14th appearance. He’s 1-6-0. . . . The Hitmen chose to rest Nick Schneider, who had started 46 of their first 51 games. . . . G Dylan Ferguson stopped 30 shots for Kamloops. . . . Announced attendance: 5,012.

At Langley, B.C., D Alex Kannok Leipert broke a 4-4 tie at 16:54 of the third period as the Vancouver Giants beat the Medicine Hat Tigers, 5-4. . . . Vancouver (28-16-8) has points in Vancouverfour straight (3-0-1). It is third in the B.C. Division, four points out of first. . . . Medicine Hat (26-22-7) has lost four in a row (0-3-1). It leads the Central Division by three points over Lethbridge. . . . F Tyler Popowich (6) put Vancouver ahead 1-0 at 13:07 of the first period. . . . D Dalton Gally (2) tied it at 5:17 of the second period. . . . The Giants took a 3-1 lead on goals from D Bowen Byram (6), at 8:47, and F Ty Ronning (47), at 9:33. . . . The Tigers came right back and tied it as F Gary Haden (13) scored at 16:11 and F Elijah Brown (3) counted at 18:09. . . . The Giants went back out front at 9:00 of the third period on F Dawson Holt’s ninth goal, but Medicine Hat pulled even at 10:12 when D Dylan MacPherson got his third goal. . . . Kannok Leipert won it with his third goal of the season. . . . Vancouver got two assists from each of F James Malm, F Tyler Benson and F Brayden Watts, with Ronning and Holt adding one each. . . . Ronning’s two points left him with 200 for his career. . . . Medicine Hat was 0-2 on the PP. . . . The Giants took the game’s only two minor penalties, so their PP unit didn’t get off the bench. . . . G David Tendeck blocked 38 shots for Vancouver. . . . G Jordan Hollett started for the Tigers and stopped 15 of 17 shots in 24:53. Michael Bullion came on to stop 19 of 22 shots in 34:21. Hollett went to the dressing room with 5:39 left in the second period with an apparent injury to his right leg. . . . D David Quenneville was back in Medicine Hat’s lineup after a one-game absence. . . . Announced attendance: 3,887.

At Everett, F Patrick Bajkov scored three times and added two assists to lead the Silvertips to an 8-2 victory over the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Everett (34-17-3) has won two in Everetta row. It leads the Western Conference by three points over Kelowna and Victoria. . . . Kelowna (32-16-4) has lost two straight. It is tied with Victoria atop the B.C. Division, but the Rockets hold two games in hand. . . . Everett scored the game’s last five goals to win going away. . . . Bajkov got the game’s first goal, on a PP, 45 seconds into the first period. . . . D Cal Foote tied it 14 seconds later. . . . Everett took a 3-1 lead on goals from D Kevin Davis (7), at 11:51 of the first, and F Garrett Pilon, at 2:19 of the second. . . . Foote (13) got his guys to within a goal at 5:39 but that was all for the Rockets. . . . F Riley Sutter (21) stretched Everett’s lead to 4-2 at 10:57. . . . Bajkov then scored twice, giving him the hat trick and 27 goals. . . . Pilon (25) and F Martin Fasko-Rudas (3) finished Everett’s scoring. . . . Bajkov now has 269 career points, including 106 goals. Earlier, he broke F Zach Hamill’s franchise record for career points. Now he is one goal shy of tying F Tyler Maxwell’s career record for goals. . . . Pilon and F Sean Richards had two assists each for the winners, with Davis adding one. . . . Everett was 2-5 on the PP; Kelowna was 0-2. . . . The Silvertips got 23 saves from G Carter Hart. . . . Kelowna starter Cole Tisdale surrendered five goals on 31 shots through two periods. Brodan Salmond stopped eight of 11 shots in the third period. . . . Announced attendance: 6,758.

At Kent, Wash., the Victoria Royals scored the game’s last three goals to beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 3-2, in OT. . . . Victoria (32-18-4) has won two in a row. It went 4-0-0 against VictoriaRoyalsSeattle this season. . . . Seattle (26-18-7) has lost two straight (0-1-1). It is tied with Seattle for fourth in the U.S. Division, two points behind Tri-City. Seattle and Spokane also are tied for the Western Conference’s two wild-card spots. . . . The Thunderbirds led 2-0 on goals from F Matthew Wedman (12), on a PP, at 8:25 of the first period, and D Austin Strand (17), at 16:36 of the second. . . . F Matthew Phillips cut into the deficit at 14:43 of the third period, and F Jeff de Wit (10) tied the score at 15:59. . . . Phillips (38) won it at 4:22 of OT, scoring while his side was shorthanded. He’s got three OT goals this season. . . . Phillips ran his point streak to 14 games. He’s got 10 goals and 16 assists in that time. . . . F Tyler Soy drew the primary assist on the winner, giving him 300 career regular-season points in 306 games. He is the first player in franchise history with 300 points. Soy also has 139 goals, one shy of the franchise record held by F Ryan Howse. . . . Seattle was 1-8 on the PP; Victoria was 0-7. . . . G Griffen Outhouse stopped 38 shots for Victoria, seven more than Seattle’s Liam Hughes. . . . Announced attendance: 5,356.

SUNDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.

MONDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.

TUESDAY (all times local):

Regina at Brandon, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Tri-City vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:05 p.m.


WHL’s Saturday roundup: A quick look at 11 games . . . Big night for Giants in Langley . . . Who is the KHL’s King of Hat Tricks?


F Petr Šenkeřík (Kootenay, Prince George, 2009-10) has been assigned on loan by Slovan Ústí nad Labem (Czech Republic, 1. Liga) to Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic, 1. Liga) for the rest of this season. This season, he had three assists in 12 games with Vsetín (Czech Republic, 1. Liga), and two goals and two assists in nine games with Labem.


It was on Jan. 6, 2014, when the announcement was made that the Kamloops Daily News was soon to be buried.

Employees worked their final shift on Friday, Jan. 10.

Since then, former employees have gathered once a year to renew acquaintance. We did just that on Saturday, which is why the night’s WHL games weren’t rounded up here on Sunday morning.

It’s always a good time when we gather. In a lot of instances, it’s the one time a year when we see each other so there is a lot of catching up to do. What was interesting this time is that there wasn’t a lot of reminiscing about our days at the newspaper. Instead, it was more about catching up with each other and discussing current events.

If you aren’t familiar with Kamloops, you should know that the city demolished The Daily News building late in 2017. The site now is a paved parking lot. Yes, they paved paradise . . .

You may be aware that the city had paid $4.8 million for the building. Yes, that’s one pricey parking lot.

While I am not about to pontificate on the newspaper industry, there is one thing that often is overlooked with the death of a smaller community’s newspaper. That is this: There no longer is a daily chronicle — a daily diary, if you will — of the area’s history. You can’t overestimate the impact of that loss.

Anyway . . . here are some notes from Saturday and short recaps of the night’s WHL games . . .

At Prince Albert, F Kody McDonald’s 21st goal, on a PP at 7:55 of the third period, stood up as the winner as the Raiders beat the Moose Jaw Warriors, 4-3. . . . The Raiders had lost 4-0 to the visiting Swift Current Broncos on ‘Guaranteed Win Night’ just 24 hours earlier. The Warriors lead the overall standings by eight points over the Broncos. . . . F Jordy Stallard had goals No. 28 and 29 for the Raiders. . . . F Brayden Burke, the WHL’s scoring leader, had two assists for Moose Jaw. . . . The Warriors had been 9-0-1 in their previous 10 games.

At Regina, D Josh Mahura had a career high five points as the Pats skated to an 8-2 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Mahura had a goal and four assists, and was a plus-6. . . . The Pats have points in four straight (3-0-1); the Hitmen have lost four in a row. . . . Four other Pats — F Sam Steel, F Jesse Gabrielle, F Jared Legien and D Cale Fleury — had three-point nights. . . . Announced attendance: 6,217.

At Swift Current, the Broncos got goals from nine different players as they whipped the Edmonton Oil Kings, 9-1, before a sellout crowd. . . . Before the game, the Broncos saluted D Artyom Minulin (Russia), F Aleksi Heponiemi (Finland) and F Tyler Steenbergen (Canada), all of whom played in the WJC. . . . The Broncos have points in six straight (5-0-1). . . . The Broncos have gone over 2,100 in season-ticket sales, with quite an upsurge since Wednesday’s trade deadline. That means they will be giving away one 2018-19 season-ticket at each of their final 10 home games. . . . Announced attendance: 2,879.

At Brandon, F Ryan Jevne’s goal at 1:02 of OT gave the Medicine Hat Tigers a 4-3 victory over the Wheat Kings. . . . The Tigers overcame 2-0 and 3-2 deficits, with F Gary Haden forcing OT with a PP goal at 7:42 of the third period. . . . Brandon has points in five straight (3-0-2). . . . Announced attendance: 3,721.

At Lethbridge, F Dylan Cozens scored three times and added an assist as the Hurricanes dumped the Kootenay Ice, 5-2. . . . From Whitehorse, Cozens, who will turn 17 on Feb. 9, has 16 goals and 19 assists in 37 games as a freshman. . . . F Logan Barlage had two assists for Lethbridge, giving him four points, including two goals, in three games — all victories — since being acquired from Swift Current. He also has a shootout winner. . . .  The Ice has lost six in a row (0-5-1). . . . Announced attendance: 3,651.

At Red Deer, the Saskatoon Blades scored the game’s last three goals and beat the Rebels, 3-2 in OT. . . . F Josh Paterson tied it with his 21st goal, at 18:17 of the third period, and F Max Gerlach won it at 1:21 of OT. . . . Gerlach, who drew the primary assist on Paterson’s goal, was acquired from Medicine Hat at the deadline. . . . D Dawson Davidson and F Eric Florchuk, two other acquisitions, had the assists on the winner. . . . The Rebels have lost 11 straight games but have loser points in six of those games (0-5-6). . . . Announced attendance: 4,301.

At Portland, the Winterhawks skated to 3-0 and 5-2 leads en route to a 5-4 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Portland F Skyler McKenzie scored twice, giving him 31, including one on a shorthanded penalty shot. . . . F Kieffer Bellows had three assists for Portland, which has won four in a row. . . . Seattle, which has lost three straight (0-2-1), got two goals from F Dillon Hamaliuk, who has 10. . . . Announced attendance: 8,622.

At Langley, B.C., F James Malm broke a 2-2 tie at 8:35 of the third period as the Vancouver Giants beat the Kelowna Rockets, 3-2. . . . The game drew the largest crowd for a Giants Vancouverhome game since the franchise moved from Pacific Coliseum to the Langley Events Centre prior to last season. . . . Malm, who also had an assist, has 17 goals. . . . F Ty Ronning scored his 40th goal of the season for Vancouver, which has points in nine straight (7-0-2). . . . The Rockets had won their previous three games. . . . The victory lifted the Giants to within one point of the Western Conference-leading Rockets. . . . Announced attendance: 4,753.

Before the game, the Giants announced that they have played D Bailey Dhaliwal on the long-term injury list. He will miss the remainder of this season. . . . The Giants also announced that they have added F Hunor Torzsok, who will turn 18 on Feb. 1, to their roster for the remainder of the season. Torzsok was born in Budapest, Hungary but has played his minor hockey in Canada so is not an import. The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder had seven goals and eight assists in 15 games with the major midget Valley West Hawks this season, and three goals in 10 games with the BCHL’s Nanaimo Clippers.

At Spokane, F Garrett Pilon scored three times to lead the Everett Silvertips to a 5-2 victory over the Chiefs. . . . Pilon, who has 21 goals, was playing his second game since being acquired from the Kamloops Blazers on Jan. 7. . . . F Matt Fonteyne had Everett’s other two goals, giving him 24. . . . G Carter Hart earned the victory with 31 saves in his first appearance since returning from winning gold with Canada at the WJC. . . . Everett has won three in a row. . . . Announced attendance: 6,541.

At Kennewick, Wash., the Prince George Cougars scored three second-period goals and went on to a 5-2 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . F Jared Bethune scored his 15th goal, into an empty net, and added two assists for the Cougars. . . . The Americans were without seven — yes, seven! — of their top-end players — D Juuso Valimaki, F Michael Rasmussen, F Max James, F Nolan Yaremko, F Kyle Olson, F Morgan Geekie and D Roman Kalinichenko. James is serving a suspension; the others are injured. . . . “Never seen anything like it,” Bob Tory, the Americans’ GM, told Taking Note. . . . The Americans have lost three in a row. . . . Announced attendance: 3,704.

At Victoria, F Dante Hannoun’s second goal of the game, at 16:29 of the third period, gave the Royals a 5-4 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . The visitors led 3-0 before the first period was 11 minutes old and never trailed until Hannoun scored his second goal. . . . He’s got 18 goals, nine of them in seven games against Kamloops. . . . F Jeff de Wit, who came up short on a second-period penalty shot, also scored twice for Victoria, giving him eight goals. . . . The Royals were without F Lane Zablocki, who served a one-game suspension from a checking-from-behind major he took the previous night. . . . Announced attendance: 6,786.

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SUNDAY (all times local):

Medicine Hat at Moose Jaw, 4 p.m.

Saskatoon vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 4:05 p.m.

Everett at Portland, 5 p.m.


If you were wondering about former Kootenay Ice sniper Nigel Dawes . . . he is the KHL’s King of Hat Tricks.

Sunday’s WHL trade: Blazers, Silvertips swap six players, two picks. . . . Everett adds two veterans


NUMBER OF TRADES (since Nov. 13): 26




THE DEADLINE: Wednesday, Jan. 10 (2 p.m. PT, 3 p.m. MT, 4 p.m. CT)

THE DEAL: The Everett Silvertips acquired F Garrett Pilon, 19, and D Ondrej Vala, 19, from the Kamloops Blazers for F Orrin Centazzo, 17,  D Montana Onyebuchi, 17, F Kalen Ukrainetz, 15, F Nathanael Hinds, 15, and first- and fourth-round selections in the 2019 bantam draft.

THE NUMBERS: Pilon, 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds, led the Blazers in goals (17), assists (25) and points (42) in 38 games this season. The 5-foot-11, 185-pounder has 177 points, Everettincluding 53 goals, in 177 career regular-season games. . . . This season, Vala, 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds, has seven goals and 13 assists in 31 games. In 163 career games, he has recorded 21 goals and 45 assists. . . . The 5-foot-8, 160-pound Centazzo has six goals and five assists in 40 games this season. In 81 career games, he has 10 goals and 10 assists. . . . Onyebuchi, 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, is a right-hand shot who has three goals and seven assists in 38 games this season. . . . The 5-foot-9, 150-pound Ukrainetz is playing for the Tisdale Trojans of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League. He has 11 goals and 10 assists in 29 games this season. . . . The 5-foot-10, 160-pound Hinds has seven goals and 15 assists in 28 games with the midget AAA Winnipeg Bruins this season.

THE INFO: Pilon is the son of former WHL/NHL D  Rich Pilon. Garrett, an alternate Kamloops1captain with Kamloops, was selected by the Washington Capitals in the third round of the 2016 NHL draft and has signed with them. He was born in Mineola, N.Y., and played minor hockey in Saskatoon. . . . Vala, who is from Pardubice, Czech Republic, is in his third WHL season. He has just returned from representing his country at the World Junior Championship in Buffalo. He also played for Czech Republic in the 2017 WJC. Vala wasn’t selected in the NHL draft, but has signed as a free agent with the Dallas Stars. . . . Centazzo, from Marwayne, Alta., played bantam and midget hockey in Lloydminster, Alta. He was a fifth-round pick by Everett in the 2015 bantam draft. . . . Onyebuchi, from Dugald, Man., was selected by Everett in the third round of the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft. . . . From Wynyard, Sask., Ukrainetz was selected by Everett in the ninth round of the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. In 2016-17, he had 26 goals and 24 assists in 30 games with the bantam AA Humboldt, Sask., Broncos. . . . Hinds, from Winnipeg, was a third-round pick by Everett in that same draft. The 5-foot-10, 160-pounder has seven goals and 15 assists in 28 games with the midget AAA Winnipeg Bruins this season. Last season, Hinds put up 24 goals and 31 assists with the bantam AAA Winnipeg Warriors.

WHY: Everett, with the best goaltender in junior hockey in Carter Hart on its roster, is in the race for top spot in the Western Conference and hopes this gives it a leg up on the likes of the Kelowna Rockets, Portland Winterhawks and Tri-City Americans, the latter of whom added all-star D Jake Bean from the Calgary Hitmen on Saturday night. . . . Pilon is an under-appreciated player who plays both ends of the ice. Everett also had an opening for an import, so Vala joins Slovakian F Martin Fasko-Rudas, who is in his first season. . . . The Blazers have said that they will bid to be the host team for the 2020 Memorial Cup. This is the first step towards gathering assets that will allow them to build a competitive team for 1919-20.

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