Sim overshadows Bedard in Pats’ victory . . . Warriors hang on to win in Kamloops . . . Thunderbirds slow down Portland express

A reminder that former WHLer Andrei Lupandin and his family have left their native Ukraine and are in Saskatoon hoping to start a new life after losing their home in the ongoing Russian onslaught.

Lupandin, 44, and his wife and two sons arrived in Saskatoon “with little more than a hockey bag and one suitcase for the family of four,” according to a GoFundMe page that is up and running.

“They have no work and need to start over. We are raising funds to help them with buying essentials, saving money to live and for future accommodations and household items.”

That GoFundMe page is right here.



FRIDAY IN THE WHL:

F Connor Bedard’s I Can Sell Out the B.C. Division Arenas Tour got started in Langley, B.C., as his Regina Pats beat the Vancouver Giants, 3-0, before an Reginaannounced crowd of 5,276. . . . That is the largest crowd for a Giants’ home game in the Langley Events Centre since they moved there to start the 2016-17 season. . . . The Pats (10-11-2) had lost their previous three games. . . . The Giants now are 8-10-4. . . . G Drew Sim was huge for the Pats, kicking out 47 shots to record his second shutout this season and the third of his career. Sim, 19, was a third-round pick by the Giants in the WHL’s 2018 draft. His first 11 WHL appearances were with the Giants. . . . Vancouver dealt him to Regina on Oct. 21, 13, 2021, for a conditional fourth-rounder in 2024. . . . Bedard, who takes his tour on to Victoria to meet the Royals tonight, was playing in his 100th regular-season game. He had one assist as his point streak reached 22 games. He was blanked in the season’s first game and hasn’t been shut out since then. . . . Bedard leads the WHL in goals (19), assists (30) and points (49). . . . Bedard is from North Vancouver, and this was his first WHL game on the Lower Mainland of B.C. . . . F Borya Valis (10), who had missed the last two games, got Regina’s first goal, on a PP, at 12:47 of the first period. . . . F Riley Ginnell, 20, made his Regina debut after being acquired from the Moose Jaw Warriors earlier in the week. . . .

The visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes scored three PP goals en route to a 4-3 Lethbridgevictory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Lethbridge improved to 13-10-1. It is 1-2 on a six-game road trip. . . . The Wheat Kings are 8-14-2. . . . These teams will play in Brandon again tonight. . . . The Wheat Kings took a 2-1 lead into the second period, but the Hurricanes scored the next three goals. . . . F Tyson Laventure (5) had two goals and an assist for the winners, with D Logan McCutcheon (1) chipping in a goal and two assists. . . . Lethbridge was 3-4 on the PP; Brandon was 2-5. . . . The Hurricanes got 37 stops from G Harrison Meneghin. . . .

In Calgary, F Sloan Stanick and F Keaton Sorensen each had four points to help PrinceAlbertthe Prince Albert Raiders to a 4-2 victory over the Hitmen. . . . The Raiders (9-12-2) have won four in a row. . . . The Hitmen (11-6-3) had points in each of their previous two games (1-0-1). . . . After F Zac Funk (6) gave Calgary a 2-1 lead 48 seconds into the second period, the Raiders scored the game’s last four goals. . . . Sorensen (11) had two goals and two assists, with Stanick drawing four assists. . . . Raiders F Evan Herman, the team’s captain, scored his fifth goal this season — it was the 50th of his career — and added two assists. . . . The Raiders got 32 stops from G Tikhon Chaika. . . .

The Kelowna Rockets struck three times in the second period and went on to Kelownabeat the Silvertips, 4-2, in Everett. . . . Kelowna improved to 9-9-1; the Silvertips, who had been 0-3-1 in their previous four games, now are 12-9-1. . . . F Colton Dach (6), Kelowna’s captain, broke a 2-2 tie at 17:24 of the second period. He also had an assist. . . . F Max Graham (2) iced it with an empty-netter. . . . Kelowna D Jackson DeSouza had two assists and now is on a four-game point streak, with seven points over that stretch. He went into this season with one goal and 10 assists in 70 games. This season, he has three goals and five assists in 17 games, with all eight points having come over the past five games. . . . Everett F Jackson Berezowski, who hadn’t played since Nov. 4 as he missed six games, scored his 13th goal. . . .

The Moose Jaw Warriors scored the game’s first three goals, two via the PP, and WarriorsNewhung on to beat the Blazers, 3-2, in Kamloops. . . . The Warriors (14-9-0) are 1-1-0 on this seven-game road swing. . . . The Blazers (10-5-4) had points in each of their previous five games (3-0-2). . . . F Brayden Yager (11) had a goal and an assist for the Warriors, the goal giving them a 3-0 lead at 13:52 of the second period. . . . F Jagger Firkus of the Warriors ran his point streak to 16 games with an assist. . . . Kamloops F Logan Stankoven (14) scored 45 seconds into the third period and later added an assist to extend his point streak to 15 games; he has hit the scoresheet in each game in which he has played this season. . . . The Warriors got a big game from G Connor Ungar, who made 36 stops. . . .

The Medicine Hat Tigers scored three times in the shootout to beat the Rebels, MedicineHat3-2, in Red Deer. . . . The Tigers (8-10-5) have won two straight. . . . The Rebels (16-4-3) have lost three in a row (16-4-3). . . . F Kai Uchacz (17) scored while shorthanded to give Red Deer a 2-1 lead at 2:26 of the second period. . . . F Brendan Lee got the Tigers even with his 14th goal at 15:39 of the third. . . . Lee, who also had an assist, has goals in six straight games, putting in eight over that stretch. He also scored Medicine Hat’s first goal in the shootout. . . . The Tigers had a 42-31 edge in shots. . . .

In Saskatoon, the Winnipeg Ice broke a 1-1 tie with three straight goals en route Saskatoonto a 5-3 victory over the Blades. . . . The Ice (22-2-0) has won two in a row. . . . The Blades (15-5-0) had a four-game winning streak snapped. . . . The will have a rematch tonight, also in Saskatoon. . . . F Ty Nash (11) gave the Ice a 4-1 lead at 4:16 of the third period. He has goals in five straight games. . . . The Blades got PP goals from F Josh Pillar (4) and F Justin Lies (4) to get within a goal, but weren’t able to equalize. . . . The Ice got a goal and two assists from D Ben Zloty (6), while F Connor McClennon had three assists. . . . Zloty, 20, has 28 points in 24 games this season. . . . G Daniel Hauser made 30 saves to earn the victory. This season, he is 16-0-0, 2.43, .914. In his career, he is a remarkable 57-3-2. . . . F Zach Benson was one of the Ice’s scratches. . . .

The Seattle Thunderbirds have points in six straight games after beating the SeattlePortland Winterhawks, 6-1, in Kent, Wash. . . . The Thunderbirds (15-3-1) are 5-0-1 in their past six games. . . . The Winterhawks (17-3-1) had points in each of their previous 12 games (10-0-2) and had won nine in a row. . . . F Kyle Crnkovic (10) led Seattle with a shorthanded goal and two assists. . . . The only goal of the first period came from Seattle D Nolan Allan. He has five on the season, but this was his first with Seattle since being acquired from the Prince Albert Raiders on Nov. 16. . . . Seattle outshot Portland, 35-21, including 24-7 through two periods. . . . The Winterhawks had F Jack O’Brien and F Robbie Fromm-Delorme back after one-game absences. Joshua Critzer (@jjcritzer) tweeted that “both are wearing full shields/fish bowls due to coming off illness.” . . . The Thunderbirds remain without injured D Luke Prokop. . . .

F Josh Davies scored the game’s first three goals to lead the host Swift Current SwiftCurrentBroncos to a 5-2 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . The Broncos (10-11-0) had lost their previous two games. . . . The Oil Kings (4-19-1) have lost two in a row. . . . The same teams will meet again tonight, also in Swift Current. . . . Davies, who has eight goals, scored twice while shorthanded — at 14:02 of the first period and 9:39 of the second — to complete his first WHL hat trick in his 106th game.


Looters


THE TRADING PLACE:

The Regina Pats skated at the Langley Events Centre on Thursday in advance of their Friday night game against the Vancouver Giants. Afterwards, John Paddock, the Pats’ senior vice-president of hockey operations, general manager and head coach, met with the media. Of course, he was asked about the possibility of trading highly touted F Connor Bedard. Paddock’s response: “That’s a stupid question. That’s my response. There’s only one place where that’s come out of all year and that’s in B.C.” . . . You will note that he didn’t say “NO!” Could it be that the Pats are keeping open all of their options? . . . Hey, John, any chance of your trading Tanner Howe? . . .

The Brandon Wheat Kings have acquired F Anthony Wilson, 17, and D Luke Shipley, 18, from the Victoria Royals for F Teydon Trembecky, 17, and three WHL draft picks — a third-rounder in 2023 that originally belonged to the Red Deer Rebels, a fifth in 2024 and a fourth in 2026. . . . Wilson, a third-rounder selection in the 2020 WHL draft, had nine goals and nine assists in 81 games with the Royals. He is from Swift Current. . . . Shipley was a sixth-round pick in the 2019 draft. From Powell River, B.C., he had four goals and 18 assists in 105 games with Victoria. . . . Trembecky, a third-round pick by Brandon in the 2020 draft, is from Strathcona, Alta. He had two assists in 24 games with the Wheat Kings. . . . 

Since Oct. 25, WHL teams have combined on 13 trades involving 22 players, 30 draft picks and four conditional picks. . . . Only the Calgary Hitmen, Everett Silvertips, Kelowna Rockets, Medicine Hat Tigers, Portland Winterhawks and  Vancouver Giants haven’t made at least one deal in the past month.


Spotted


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

The Regina Pats got down to three 20-year-olds by releasing F Jakob Brook. He is expected to join the MJHL’s Dauphin Kings. . . . The Pats had indicated in Tuesday’s WHL roster report that they had dropped Brook. But there wasn’t an announcement until Thursday. . . . A second-round pick by the Prince Albert Raiders in the WHL’s 2017 draft, Brook had three assists in seven games this season. In 164 career regular-season games, split between the Pats and Raiders, he put up 14 goals and 23 assists. . . . Brook’s brother, Aidan, 19, also is on Dauphin’s roster. Aidan has WHL experience with the Medicine Hat Tigers (24 games) and Prince George Cougars (11). . . .

F Max Streule, a sophomore from Zurich, Switzerland, has cleared WHL waivers and has left the Winnipeg Ice for the QMJHL’s Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. Streule, 19, had two goals and nine assists in 52 games last season; this season, he was pointless in six games. . . . Streule’s departure leaves F Vladislav Shilo, who is from Minsk, Belarus, as the Ice’s lone import. . . .

G Ève Gascon, who made history last season as the third female to play in a QMJHL regular-season game, with the Gatineau Olympiques, has committed to play NCAA hockey for the U of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. . . .

The BCHL’s Penticton Vees ran their season-opening winning streak to 22 games on Friday, as they dumped the host Alberni Valley Bulldogs, 7-1. . . . The Vees are to travel to Powell River to meet the Kings tonight. . . .

Meanwhile, we shouldn’t be ignoring the SJHL’s Battlefords North Stars, who have opened the season by playing 23 games without a regulation-time loss. . . . They will take a 20-0-3 record into their next game, against the visiting Notre Dame Hounds on Dec. 2.


Freedom


THINKING OUT LOUD — Just how big is the NFL in the world of TV and sports. Well, you may have noticed that the NHL didn’t have even one game scheduled for Thursday, which was American Thanksgiving and featured three NFL games. One of those games — New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys — averaged 42 million viewers on FOX-TV. It now is the most-watched NFL regular-season game in history. . . . I never cease to be amazed by the number of people on the sidelines of a football game in the U.S., be it NFL or NCAA. Does each one of those people have a particular responsibility, or are they just there? . . . Mask up whenever the situation calls for it. Those people with suppressed immune systems will thank you for it.


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.


Breakfast

Ex-WHLer, family leave Ukraine for Saskatoon . . . Are you able to help them? . . . Hurricanes halt Ice’s 15-game tear

If you have been a follower of the WHL for a few seasons, the name Andrei Lupandin should ring a bell.

A native of Kharkov, Ukraine, he played four seasons (1995-99) with the Brandon Wheat Kings, putting up 159 points, 56 of them goals, in 239 regular-season games. He also had 23 points, including 17 assists, in 43 playoff games. He then went on to a pro career that had him play in the IHL, WCHL, CHL, ECHL, AHL and UHL. Lupandin wrapped up his career after playing six seasons in Belarus and three more in Ukraine.

After that, Lupandin, now 44, returned to Kharkov where he and his wife, Antonina, started a family. They have two boys — Ilya, 14, and Denys, 12.

Unfortunately, their home became a casualty of the Russian war on Ukraine. With the boys unable to attend school, the Lupandins chose to leave everything behind and move to Saskatoon in the hopes of getting a new start.

A GoFundMe page now is up and running in the hopes of raising some money to help the family get that start.

On the GoFundMe page, it explains: “They escaped to Slovakia and made the decision to start a new life in Canada, leaving family, friends and their life behind. They have moved to Saskatoon due to the large Ukrainian population, (arriving) with little more than a hockey bag and one suitcase for the family of four.

“They have no work and need to start over. We are raising funds to help them with buying essentials, saving money to live and for future accommodations and household items.”

Also from that page: “As they left Slovakia to come to Canada, Andrei’s father died. Andrei wasn’t able to go say goodbye. Now he has no family remaining in the Ukraine and wants to make a better life for his boys.

“Please consider supporting this strong and brave family as they try to make Canada their home.”

That GoFundMe page is right here.


Juggler


The WHL’s Dept. of Discipline added $1,500 to its Christmas shopping fund following a Saturday night skirmish between the visiting Prince George Cougars WHLand Victoria Royals. Each organization was fined $500 for a “multiple fight situation” that broke out as the final buzzer sounded. As well, the Royals were fined an additional $500 for “instigator in last five minutes” of the game. F Alex Edwards of the Royals drew the only suspension out of the incident; he will miss one game for being the instigator in the game’s last five minutes. . . .

Elsewhere, three players got one-game sentences out of penalties issued in Saturday games. . . . F Colton Dach of the Kelowna Rockets will sit out after taking a headshot major and game misconduct against the visiting Tri-City Americans. . . . F Jace Isley was suspended after taking a goaltender interference major and game misconduct against the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . D Sam McGinley of the Swift Current Broncos will miss a game after taking a game misconduct against the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors.


Nose


The Moose Jaw Warriors got down to three 20-year-olds on Monday by trading F Riley Ginnell to the Regina Pats for a fifth-round selection in the WHL’s 2026 Reginadraft. . . . Ginnell had one goal and two assists in 14 games with the Warriors this season. They acquired him from the Brandon Wheat Kings on Oct. 11 for a fifth-rounder in 2024. In 113 regular-season games over four seasons with Brandon, he had 21 goals and 26 assists. Last season, he had single-season highs in goals (14), assists (20) and points (34). . . . Ginnell’s father, Erin, is a former WHLer who played with the Swift Current Broncos, Calgary Wranglers, New Westminster Bruins, Seattle Thunderbirds and Regina Pats. He played in 27 games with the Pats in 1986-87, putting up 10 goals and 12 assists. . . . Erin is in his seventh season as an amateur scout with the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights. . . . Riley’s grandfather, Pat, was a the WHL’s coach of the year in four different seasons. . . .

The Warriors found themselves with four 20-year-olds, one over the maximum, when the New York Rangers returned F Ryder Korczak last week. By moving Ginnell, the Warriors have chosen to go with Korczak, D Cole Jordan and G Connor Ungar. . . . Ginnell joins F Jakob Brook, D Luke Bateman and D Tanner Brown as Regina’s 20-year-olds. With four on the roster, another move can be expected here. The Pats are two games into a 10-game road trip, and Ginnell is expected to join them in time for a game against the Vancouver Giants in Langley, B.C., on Friday. . . .

If you were wondering, there have been 11 trades since Oct. 25 with teams moving 18 players, 26 draft picks and three conditional draft picks.



TUESDAY IN THE WHL:

The Lethbridge Hurricanes rode a pair of first-period goals to a 2-1 victory over Lethbridgethe host Winnipeg Ice. . . . Lethbridge improved to 12-9-1 as it ended Winnipeg’s 15-game winning streak. The Ice now is 20-2-0. . . . Winnipeg is 8-1-0 at home; Lethbridge is 5-5-0 on the road. . . . F Tristan Zandee (2) scored on a PP at 6:14 of the opening period, and F Tyson Zimmer (5) made it 2-0 at 18:20. . . . F Brayden Edwards had the primary assist on each of those goals. . . . F Ty Nash, who was acquired by the Ice from Lethbridge earlier this season, scored his ninth goal of the season, at 1:28 of the third period, to get the home side to within a goal. . . . G Harrison Meneghin, the game’s first star, turned aside 36 shots. . . . The Ice, which was outshot 19-10 in the first period, got 37 stops form Mason Beaupit. . . . Ice F Conor Geekie extended his point streak to 12 games with an assist. . . . These same teams will play again tonight in Winnipeg.


D Steven Holtz of the Michigan Wolverines was hospitalized and on a ventilator last week as a virus made its way through some team members. He now has been released from hospital, and was at practice on Tuesday. However, head coach Brandon Naurato said Holtz has a ways to go before he’s back on the ice. . . . There’s more right here from collegehockeynews.com.


Suitcase


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.


LoanShark

Evason: ‘He’s from Manitoba. Right?’ . . . Ice completes doubleheader sweep of Rebels . . . Four WHLers enjoy five-point nights

There was a rather funny moment during Wednesday night’s NHL game Wildbetween the visiting Minnesota Wild and Anaheim Ducks. . . . Wild F Connor Dewar, a product of the Everett Silvertips who is a native of The Pas, Man., got into a second-period scrap with D Nathan Beaulieu. . . . A few minutes later, Darren Pang, who was the TNT reporter at ice level, chatted with Wild head coach Dean Evason. “Young kid fighting, too . . . gotta like that,” Pang said. . . . Evason, who wears intensity like a fitted suit, smiled as much as he ever does during a game and replied: “He’s from Manitoba. Right?” . . . Evason, former WHL player and coach, was born in Flin Flon and grew up in Brandon. . . . Dewar let set up former WHL D Matt Dumba for what turned out to be the game-winner in a feisty 4-1 victory.


THE WHL ON WEDNESDAY . . .

The Winnipeg Ice ran their winning streak to 12 games with a 7-4 victory over WinnipegIcethe visiting Red Deer Rebels. . . . The Rebels arrived in Winnipeg riding a season-opening 15-game winning streak. The Ice beat them, 3-1, on Tuesday, then completed the doubleheader sweep last night. . . . While Winnipeg improved to 17-1-0, Red Deer now is 15-2-0. . . . The Ice took control early, scoring four times before the first period was 16 minutes old. . . . The Ice, which was 4-5 on the PP, got two goals and three assists from F Owen Pederson, two and two from F Connor McClennon, and two and one from Skyler Bruce. . . . Pederson, who enjoyed his first career five-point night, has nine goals and 19 assists in 18 games. . . .

F Borya Valis scored three times and added an assist, and F Connor Bedard had five points in leading the host Regina Pats to a 7-4 victory over the Edmonton ReginaOil Kings. . . . F Marshall Finnie pulled Edmonton into a 2-2 tie at 10:51 of the second period, but Regina scored the next five goals with Bedard scoring once and setting up three others. He finished with a goal and four assists in running his point streak to 16 games. . . . This was Bedard’s second five-pointer in three games; he has three goals and nine assists in the three games. He also had two five-point outings last season. . . . Bedard leads the WHL in assists (22) and points (36). His 14 goals are one behind the leaders (F Kai Uchacz of the Red Deer Rebels and F Koehn Ziemmer of the Prince George Cougars). . . . Valis, an 18-year-old sophomore from Boulder, Colo., enjoyed his first career hat trick and his first four-point outing. He has eight goals and seven assists in 15 games. . . . Edmonton F Luca Hauf, an 18-year-old freshman from Krefeld, Germany, had had goal and two assists. . . . The Pats improved to 8-8-1; Edmonton now is 2-14-1. . . . F Zane Rowan, an 18-year-old from Torrence, Calif., was back in Regina’s lineup after not playing since Sept. 29. . . . F Zack Shantz, 17, made his Regina debut after being acquired from the Prince George Cougars in a Nov. 4 deal that had F Cole Dubinsky, 20, go the other way. . . .

In Lethbridge, the Hurricanes scored the game’s first two goals and hung on for Lethbridgea 2-1 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . The Hurricanes (9-8-1) have points in five straight (4-0-1). . . . The Raiders (4-12-2) have lost three in a row. . . . Lethbridge got goals from F Tyson Laventure and D Joe Arntsen, the latter providing a 2-0 lead at 6:12 of the third period. . . . C Carson Latimer got the Raiders to within a goal at 16:57. . . . G Harrison Meneghin stopped 21 shots for Lethbridge. . . .

F Reid Schaefer’s 14th goal of the season, at 1:24 of OT, gave the Seattle SeattleThunderbirds a 2-1 victory over the Blazers in Kamloops. . . . F Caedan Bankier had given the Blazers a 1-0 lead at 18:26 of the first period. . . . F Sam Popowich pulled Seattle even with a shorthanded goal at 1:19 of the second. . . . Seattle (11-3-0) had lost its previous two games. . . . Kamloops (7-4-3) has lost two in a row. . . . Kamloops F Logan Stankoven drew an assist to run his point streak to 10 games. He has 21 points, 10 of them goals, in that stretch. . . . G Thomas Milic stopped 38 shots for the visitors, including a stop on a Stankoven penalty shot attempt in OT. . . . D Luke Prokop, 20, who was added to Seattle’s roster on Tuesday, was in the starting lineup, but the Thunderbirds remain without F Jared Davidson. . . .

F Adam Kydd scored three times and added two assists to help the Kelowna KelownaRockets to a wild 8-6 victory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . It was the first WHL three-goal game — and first five-pointer, too — for Kydd, who has eight goals. . . . F Andrew Cristall drew five assists for the Rockets, who held leads of 1-0, 2-0, 2-1, 3-1, 4-3, 5-3, 6-5, 7-6 and, finally, 8-6. . . . F Rilen Kovacevic snapped a 6-6 tie at 16:44 of the third period and F Colton Dach added the empty-netter, his second goal of the game. . . . Cristall has 27 points, including 11 goals, in 14 games this season. This was his second five-point outing; he had two goals and three assists in an 8-4 victory over the visiting Vancouver Giants on April 9. . . . F Riley Heidt had four assists for the Cougars, who got two goals and an assist from each of F Chase Wheatcroft and F Koehn Ziemmer. . . . Kelowna (6-7-1) has won two in a row; Prince George (9-8-0) had a three-game winning streak ended. . . . F Cole Dubinsky, 20, who was acquired from Regina on Nov. 4, was in the Cougars’ lineup for the first time. He scored once and added an assist.


Sewer


Allen Lazard, a receiver with the NFL’s Green Bay Packers, suffered a shoulder injury in a game with the Washington Commanders this season. He explains the feeling: “A pop, a crack — snap, crackle, pop. Three Rice Krispies men showed up, too. Not the good kind. All three of them.”


Dennis Williams, the head coach of the Everett Silvertips, will be the head coach HockeyCanadaof Team Canada at the 2023 World Junior Championship. . . . The tournament is to open on Dec. 26 in Halifax and Moncton. . . . Williams was an assistant coach on the 2022 Canadian team that won a gold medal in Edmonton. . . . Canada’s assistant coaches will be Stephane Julien of the QMJHL’s Sherbrooke Phoenix, Brent Kisio of the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Alan Legant of the OHL’s Sarnia Sting. . . . Kelly Guard of the Prince Albert Raiders will serve as the goaltending consultant. . . . While Hockey Canada hasn’t yet announced a selection camp roster, that camp is scheduled to be held in Moncton, from Dec. 9-12.


Congratulations to California voters for a couple of decisions they made on Tuesday. Here’s Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle:

“Two California ballot props that would have legalized and expanded sports wagering went down in flames.

Our lovable state remained the largest market in America closed to legal sports betting. We overwhelmingly rejected the promised riches that would have come from allowing casinos and racetracks to offer in-person sports betting (Prop. 26), and from allowing online and mobile sports betting for adults (Prop. 27). For some reason, we don’t trust people in the gambling industry when they say, ‘Trust us.’ ”


“The Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant — who called for coach Steve Nash’s ouster last summer — said he was ‘shocked’ when Nash was fired last week,” notes Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “Somewhere, Steve Urkel is giggling.”


Morgue


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

The Kamloops Blazers have acquired 2004-born F Shea Van Olm from the Edmonton Oil Kings for a conditional seventh-round selection in the WHL’s 2024 draft. . . . Van Olm, from Calgary, was a fourth-round pick by the Oil Kings in the 2019 draft. This season, he has two goals and an assist in 16 games. . . . In 74 games over three seasons, Van Olm had 10 goals and seven assists with Edmonton. . . . Van Olm didn’t play for the Blazers last night against the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds. . . .

The Vancouver Giants have made an adjustment to their 20-year-old situation. They have signed D Dylan Anderson, while releasing D Tom Cadieux, who had been one of their alternate captains. . . . Anderson, from Langley, B.C., started this season with the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks after spending three seasons with the Everett Silvertips. . . . He totalled five goals and 26 assists in 143 regular-season games with Everett. Last season, he put up three goals and 17 assists in 62 games. . . . Cadieux, from Saskatoon, also has played with the Tri-City Americans and Regina Pats. In 179 regular-season games, he has six goals and 27 assists. This season, in 11 games, he earned three assists. . . . The Giants had acquired Cadieux from Regina on Jan. 17, surrendering a 2022 fifth-round WHL draft pick and a third in 2023. . . .

G Keegan Maddocks, 19, has joined the BCHL’s Trail Smoke Eaters. He had been with the Winnipeg Ice before being released on Oct. 27. . . . Maddocks also has made WHL stops with the Victoria Royals and Kamloops Blazers. . . .

If you were wondering, the BCHL’s Penticton Vees, who are 16-0-0 to open the season, next are scheduled to play Friday when the Vernon Vipers (7-7-2) are to visit. On Saturday, the Vees are to face the host Trail Smoke Eaters (7-8-1). . . . It’s worth noting that the Vees closed out last season by winning their last 16 playoff games. . . . Yes, Penticton has won its last 32 games.


Keith


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.


Unsub

Rebels (12-0-0) actually chasing Estevan record (22-0-0) . . . Ice get defenceman from Chiefs . . . Cougars hand Thunderbirds first loss

Estevan
The 1967-68 Estevan Bruins opened the Western Canada Junior Hockey League — now WHL — season by going 22-0-0. (Photo: icehockey.fandom.com)

Something had been nagging at me amid all the chatter about the Red Deer Rebels and their run at the WHL record for most victories to start a season.

The Rebels got to 12-0-0 on Friday night with a 4-0 blanking of the visiting Vancouver Giants. It was reported in various places, including right here, that the Rebels had tied a WHL record that had been set by the 1988-89 Swift Current Broncos. (The Rebels will go for No. 13 on Sunday afternoon when they face the 1-11-1 Oil Kings in Edmonton.)

But even as I referenced the Rebels’ streak there was something buzzing in the back of my mind . . .

Then I saw a Saturday morning tweet from Lucas Punkari of the Brandon Sun that had the Estevan Bruins as holders of that record, and it all fell into place. I had written about that very thing less than a year ago.

Yes, the Bruins won 22 straight games to open the 1967-68 season, the second EstevanBruinsin the existence of what now is the WHL.

The Bruins of general manager Roderick Neil (Scotty) Munro and head coach Ernie (Punch) McLean got to 22-0-0 by going into Swift Current and beating the Broncos, 9-6, on Dec. 10, 1967.

The interesting thing about that game is that Estevan G Gord Kopp suffered a broken nose and a bad facial cut in the pregame warmup. Teams carried only one goaltender in those days, which likely is why Kopp went ahead and started the game. In fact, he played through the second period before having to bow out.

F Jim Harrison, perhaps the Bruins’ best player and one of the league’s top skaters, had scored three goals through two periods, but that didn’t keep him from taking over for Kopp. With Harrison in goal, the Bruins outscored the Broncos, 3-2. Unfortunately, the number of saves he made has been lost to history.

As I wrote almost a year ago, “When is the last time a WHL player — or any junior player for that matter — had a hat trick and played goal in the same game?”

And so it was that the Bruins ran their season-opening record to 22-0-0, with a game against the host Saskatoon Blades next on the schedule.

“You have to concede the Bruins win No. 23 tonight when they take on the Blades in Saskatoon,” wrote Ron Campbell in that day’s Regina Leader-Post as he looked ahead to the Dec. 12 game. The Blades were 6-12-3 at the time.

You guessed it . . . the Blades won, 4-3, bringing the Bruins’ streak to a halt in front of 1,410 fans.

Kopp wasn’t able to answer the bell, so the Bruins started Ed Dyck, a 17-year-old from the junior B North Battleford Beaver-Bruins. Harrison and D Dale Hoganson gave Estevan a 2-0 first-period lead, with F Orest Kindrachuk pulling the Blades to within one before the period ended.

F Ron Fairbrother got Saskatoon into a 2-2 tie with the only goal of the second period, then gave his guys a 3-2 lead at 5:46 of the third. F Greg Polis scored for Estevan at 6:18, only to have F Jim Nicholls score what proved to be the winner, at 10:59.

“Young Dyck, playing in his first junior A game, was remarkably calm and had little chance on the four shots that beat him,” Jack Cook of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix reported.

The Bruins went on to finish the regular season at 45-13-2, good for second place, seven points behind the Flin Flon Bombers (47-8-5). Harrison, the only player in WHL history to score three goals and play goal in the same game, was named the league’s MVP.

Estevan swept a best-of-seven first-round series from the Winnipeg Jets, then took out the Moose Jaw Canucks in five games, winning four and tying another.

The Bruins finished their unbeaten run to the championship by beating the Bombers, 4-0 with a tie. At this point, the Bruins were riding a 23-game unbeaten streak.

Estevan followed that by ousting the Fort William, Ont., Westfort Hurricanes, 4-1, and then sweeping the Penticton Broncos, 4-0, to qualify for the Memorial Cup.

In those days, the Memorial Cup was an East vs. West affair featuring two teams in a best-of-seven series. In this case, it was two teams affiliated with the NHL’s Boston Bruins — Estevan and the Niagara Falls Flyers. They played one game (Game 2) in the Montreal Forum and the other four in Niagara Falls’ Memorial Arena. The Flyers won the series, 4-1.

Interestingly, the Flyers wore Montreal Jr. Canadiens’ uniforms for the first two games and those belonging to the St. Catharines Teepees in the final three. That’s because the Estevan and Niagara Falls kits were identical, other than the logo.

Harrison, meanwhile, wasn’t able to do much in the five games. It seems that he suffered a broken hand in the final minute of Game 1. There was a brawl behind the Estevan net and he got into it with a fan, who turned out to be the father of Niagara Falls D Rick Thompson.

In an essay on the 1968 series, I wrote: “Harrison, who was already in the penalty box, tangled with a fan. The gentleman happened to be Thompson’s father. And, according to one report, Mr. Thompson ‘left the arena battered and bleeding.’ The fan was also reported to be stripped to the waist.”

Munro, for his part, pointed a finger at the fans, saying they “are nothing but animals.”

Ahh, those were the days!

——

BTW, the Bruins beat the visiting Weyburn Red Wings, 5-1, for their 20th straight victory on Dec. 5, 1967. The next day, The Leader-Post reported: “The Bruins moved one step closer to the all-time junior hockey win streak mark set at 25 by the now-defunct Portage Terriers of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League in 1942.”



I saw this in Elliotte Friedman’s latest 32 Thoughts: “Growing complaint among fans who gamble: changes to shots on goal well after initially awarded. You’d be surprised at the number of people who comb these odds much more carefully than I comb my hair. If you’re going to take gambling money, you’ve got to make sure the changes are minimal.”

Yes, fans, this is where we’re at with gambling having become so pervasive.

BTW, Friedman also wrote that he no longer is going to be producing one of these 32 columns per week during the season.

“My initial thought,” he explained, “is to write a little more often (maybe two-to-three times per week), but shorter. You might get 32 Thoughts, but in smaller bunches. Hopefully, you find it a fair trade-off. I’m open to ideas.”

His latest 32 Thoughts is right here.


Notice


If there were any doubts about the Winnipeg Ice’s goal this season, they were erased early Saturday evening when it was announced that D Graham Sward WinnipegIcewas on his way to the Manitoba capital from the Spokane Chiefs.

Yes, the Ice’s management badly wants to have its team in Kamloops in May.

In the exchange, the Ice surrendered D Jaren Brinson, 18, and four WHL draft picks — a first-rounder in 2023, a third in 2025 and second and fourth-rounders in 2026.

Sward, 19, is from Abbotsford, B.C. He has 14 goals and 52 assists in 132 games with the Chiefs. Last season, he put up 10 goals and 33 assists in 57 games. This season, he has four assists in eight games.

Sward was a fifth-round pick by the Nashville Predators in the NHL’s 2022 draft. The Chiefs selected him in the first round of the WHL’s 2018 draft.

Brinson, from Airdrie, Alta., was a second-round pick by the Prince George Cougars in the WHL’s 2019 draft. He had two goals and seven assists in 72 games with the Cougars. This season, in 13 games with the Ice, he has a goal and three assists.

The Ice may have the best top six forward group in the WHL, if not in the entire CHL. Sward allows them to upgrade their back end in a big way.

Winnipeg opened this season with 13 straight road games and went 12-1-0. The Ice finally were able to hold its home-opener on Saturday and it moved to 13-1-0 with a 4-3 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. This was the first of 10 straight home games for the Ice.

The Ice, now 3-0-0 against Brandon this season, got goals from F Conor Geekie (9), F Ty Nash (5), F Zach Benson (7) and F Owen Peterson (7). The Ice already has nine players with at least 10 points each, including three with 19, while four have at least seven goals.


Bears


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

The Seattle Thunderbirds fell from the ranks of the unbeaten on Saturday night as they dropped a 4-1 decision to the Cougars in Prince George. The Thunderbirds had opened the season with nine straight victories. . . . F Riley Heidt scored twice for the Cougars (6-6-0), giving them leads of 1-0 and 2-1. . . . F Jared Davidson had Seattle’s goal. He is riding a five-game goal streak. . . . These teams will complete their tripleheader in Kent, Wash., on Tuesday. . . .

The Tri-City Americans skated out of Moose Jaw with a 6-2 victory over the Warriors. The Americans have won four in a row since getting drubbed twice at home — 11-3 by the Medicine Hat Tigers on Oct. 12 and 7-1 by the Kamloops Blazers two nights later. . . . The Warriors had a four-game winning streak come to an end. . . .

The Everett Silvertips beat the Pats, 3-2, in Regina as F Austin Roest broke a 2-2 tie at 18:41 of the third period. . . . Roest has 10 goals, as does teammate Jackson Berezowski, who also scored once. . . . F Connor Bedard of the Pats had a goal and an assist to run his points streak to 13 games. He won’t turn 18 until July 17, but leads the WHL in goals (11), assists (13), points (24) and shots (84). . . . The Pats (6-7-1) have lost four in a row. . . .

D Kyle Masters enjoyed his second straight three-point game with a goal and two assists as the Kamloops Blazers dropped the host Spokane Chiefs, 7-1. . . . The Blazers are 3-0-0 against Spokane this season, having outscored the Chiefs, 16-4. . . . Masters also had a goal and two assists on Friday as the Blazers beat the Chiefs, 5-1, in Kamloops. He went into Friday having played 118 regular-season games, the first 109 with the Red Deer Rebels, without a three-pointer. . . . F Logan Stankoven scored twice, and now has 19 points, including 10 goals, in eight games. He leads the WHL in points-per-game (2.38). Last season, Stankoven finished with 104 points in 59 games; he led the WHL in points-per-game (1.76). . . .

D Carter Sotheran’s first WHL goal, at 17:13 of the third period, snapped a 3-3 tie and the host Portland Winterhawks went on to a 5-3 victory over the Kelowna Rockets. . . . The Winterhawks held a 36-9 edge in shots through two periods with the teams even at 2-2. . . . At game’s end, Portland had outshot the visitors, 47-15. . . . Sotheran, 17, is from Sanford, Man., which has a population of about 900. He has a goal and six assists in 10 games. He was a fifth-round pick in the WHL’s 2020 draft. . . . The Rockets were without D Noah Dorey, who drew a one-game suspension for his slew-footing major in Friday’s contest. . . .

F Mathew Ward’s sixth goal of the season, at 17:51 of the third period, gave the visiting Swift Current  Broncos a 5-4 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . Ward, who played his 100th regular-season game last night, has six goals and nine assists in 12 games this season. . . .

In Lethbridge, the Saskatoon Blades had a seven-game winning streak snapped as they were beaten, 2-1, by the Hurricanes. . . . The victory skein lifted the Blades’ record to 10-3-0. . . . Lethbridge, which got 29 stops from G Harrison Meneghin, led 2-0 after one period. . . .

F Jake Poole struck for three goals — his second hat trick in four games — to lead the Victoria Royals to a 4-3 OT victory over the Tigers in Medicine Hat. . . . Poole’s eighth goal of the season won it at 1:28 of OT. . . . Poole, 20, was acquired from the Kelowna Rockets earlier in the month and has seven goals and four assists in 11 games with the Royals. . . .

In the BCHL, the host Penticton Vees ran their record to 14-0-0 with a 9-3 victory over the Trail Smoke Eaters. The Vees are scheduled to play their next three games at home against the Prince George Spruce Kings (Friday), Wenatchee Wild (Saturday) and Vernon Vipers (Nov. 11).


Parrot



THINKING OUT LOUD — If you’re like me, you’re wondering why the Seattle Kraken have F Shane Wright on their roster. Wright, 18, was the fourth-overall selection in the NHL’s 2022 draft after two seasons with the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs. He has one assist in five NHL games, but has been scratched five times. The Kraken played at home three times this week — Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday — and Wright, with grandparents visiting for the week, was scratched from each game. Because he’s 18, he has to play in the NHL or be returned to Kingston. Hey, those are the rules. . . . I strongly suggest that it’s time to retire the cliche “teamwork makes the dream work.” Thank you. . . . There are some things in the sporting world that just shouldn’t be allowed. One of those is the Toronto Maple Leafs wearing black uniforms. . . . I’m still trying to understand why Wayne Gretzky is doing gambling commercials. Any ideas? . . . The Edmonton Oilers beat the Calgary Flames, 3-2, last night in the latest edition of the Battle of Alberta. Who knows why but the NHL schedule has these teams meeting only once more this season.


Heartfelt condolences to Stewart Kemp, the longtime president of the Portland Winterhawks Booster Club, on the death of his wife, Cathy Schave Kemp, late Saturday afternoon. . . . If you are so inclined, there is a GoFundMe set up right here that will help with the expenses.


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.


bed

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