Have Rockets lost key d-man to Iles? . . . Kelowna, Seattle cut major trade. . . . Hitmen acquire Woo from Warriors. . . . Ice makes big noise in bantam draft


MacBeth

F Dylan Stanley (Tri-City, 2000-05) has signed a one-year contract extension with Feldkirch (Austria, Alps HL). This season, he had 18 goals and 39 assists in 40 games. He led the team in assists and was second in points. He was second in the league in assists and fifth in points. . . . Stanley also was the team’s skills coach and director of player development for the Feldkirch minor hockey program this season and will continue in those roles next season. . . .

F Brett Breitkreuz (Kelowna, Edmonton, Vancouver, 2006-10) has signed a one-year contract with the Bietigheim Steelers (Germany, DEL2). This season, with Löwen Frankfurt (Germany, DEL2), he had 16 goals and 17 assists in 42 games. Next season will be his 10th in Germany. He holds dual German-Canadian citizenship. . . .

G Chet Pickard (Tri-City, 2005-09) signed a two-year contract with Grizzlys Wolfsburg (Germany, DEL). This season, with Adler Mannheim (Germany, DEL), he was 19-4-0, 1.96, .914, with three shutouts, in 24 games. He was second in the league in GAA and sixth in save percentage. He holds dual German-Canadian citizenship.


ThisThat

Part I: Some trades and odds and ends from the WHL’s bantam draft. . . .

I would suggest that the biggest news came from the camp of the Kelowna Rockets, and it didn’t have anything to do with a deal that was struck with the Seattle Thunderbirds.

Rather, it involved Finnish D Lassi Thomson.

In fact, there are reports that Ilves of Finland’s top pro league has a deal with Thomson that includes an option for him to stay through the 2021-22 season.

Bruce Hamilton, the Rockets’ president and general manager, had this to say in a news KelownaRocketsrelease: “We’re aware of the report that was released today. We were somewhat surprised; however, Lassi has always been under contract to Ilves as they had to release him to play for us this season. We look forward to the NHL draft (in) June. We are hopeful that whichever NHL team drafts him and his club team Ilves decides that playing for the Rockets is in his best interest.”

Hamilton also told Regan Bartel, the Rockets’ radio voice: “Once he is picked, the NHL team will have input on where he goes anyways. I think the NHL team will want to see him play in North America so they see him as much as they want. They can have their developmental people with him and have him playing on a North American ice sheet.”

Thomson, who had a one-year contract to play over here, was the Western Conference nominee as rookie of the year after a season in which he put up 17 goals and 24 assists in 63 games. You can bet the Rockets were looking to him to run their first PP unit as they prepare to be the host team for the 2020 Memorial Cup.

From Tampere, Finland, Thomson won’t turn 19 until Sept. 24.

At home, he played in the Ilves system for four seasons — U-16, U-18 and U-20 — before joining the Rockets.

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Meanwhile, the Rockets made a splash on draft day by cutting a major trade with the Thunderbirds. . . . Kelowna acquired D Jake Lee, F Dillon Hamaliuk and G Cole SeattleSchwebius, giving up F Conner Bruggen-Cate, the 10th-overall pick in the 2019 bantam draft — the Rockets had acquired it earlier in the day from the Brandon Wheat Kings — a second-round pick in 2021 and Kelowna’s first-rounder in 2022. . . . The Rockets didn’t make the playoffs this season and are in the early days of a massive rebuild as they attempt to get competitive for a season that will end with them as the host team for the 2020 Memorial Cup. . . .

Lee, who is to turn 18 on July 13, is from Sherwood Park, Alta. He was the 18th-overall pick in the 2016 bantam draft. This season, his second in Seattle, he put up three goals and 21 assists in 67 games. . . . Hamaliuk, who will turn 19 on Oct. 30, is from Leduc, Alta. He was a sixth-round pick in the 2015 bantam draft. His season was ended by injury after 31 games, as he finished with 11 goals and 15 assists. . . . Schwebius, a 10th-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft, is from Kelowna. This season, he was 5-8-2, 3.89, .886 in 17 games with Seattle. . . .

Schwebius, 18, leaves the Rockets with three goaltenders on their roster, joining Roman Basran, who is to turn 18 on July 26, and James Porter, 19. This season, Basra was 20-19-4, 2.79, .906 in 51 games; Porter went 8-13-4, 3.32, .899 in 30 appearances.

Bruggen-Cate, who is heading into his 20-year-old season, is from Langley, B.C. He has played three seasons in Kelowna, totalling 26 goals and 46 assists in 200 games. Kelowna selected him in the sixth round of the 2014 bantam draft.

Seattle’s 20-year-old group now includes Bruggen-Cate, F Jaxan Kaluski, Slovakian F Andrej Kukuca, D Jarret Tyszka and F Matthew Wedman,


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Seattle, having dealt Schwebius to Kelowna, turned around and acquired G Blake Lyda of Edmonton from the Everett Silvertips for a third-round pick in the 2021 bantam draft. . . . That selection had originated with Everett, moving to Seattle in a Jan. 1 deal that had F Zack Andrusiak move to the Silvertips. . . . Lyda, who will turn 17 on May 21, was a fourth-round pick by Everett in the 2017 bantam draft. He was with the midget AAA Edmonton CAC Canadians, although he missed much of the season due to injury. . . . Right now, Lyda and Roddy Ross, who is to turn 19 on July 4, are the top two goaltenders on Seattle’s depth chart.


Kelowna acquired the 10th-overall pick, along with the WHL rights to D Sean Comrie, BrandonWKregularfrom Brandon for the fifth-overall pick in the 2019 bantam draft. . . . Comrie, 19, is from Edmonton. The Wheat Kings selected him in the second round of the 2015 bantam draft. Comrie was a freshman this season with the U of Denver Pioneers, after playing two seasons with the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints. This season, he had seven goals and 27 assists in 34 games. . . . The deal left Brandon with the fifth and sixth selections, the first time it held two top six picks since 2013 when it took F Nolan Patrick fourth overall and D Kale Clague with the sixth pick. . . . This time, the Wheat Kings took F Nate Danielson of Red Deer with the fifth selection and F Tyson Zimmer of Russell, Man., in the six hole. . . . Danielson had 26 goals and 33 assists in 29 games with the bantam AAA Rebels this season, while Zimmer had 22 goals and 30 assists in 26 games with a bantam team at the OHA in Penticton.


The Winnipeg Ice acquired the third-overall selection and D Reece Harsch, 20, from the wpgiceSaskatoon Blades for four draft picks — the ninth- and 24th-overall picks in the 2019 bantam draft, as well as a 2020 second-round pick and a fifth in 2021. . . . That ninth-overall pick and the second-round selection in 2020 originated with the Red Deer Rebels; the fifth started with the Blades and was dealt to the Ice for F Cyle McNabb in January. . . . The Ice then cut a deal with the Prince George Cougars, giving up the third-overall pick and a third in 2020 that originated with the Moose Jaw Warriors for the second-overall selection in 2019. . . . Winnipeg selected F Matt Savoie of St. Albert, Alta., with the first pick, and then took F Conor Geekie of Strathclair, Man., with the second selection. . . . Savoie has made a verbal commitment to the U of Denver Pioneers starting with the 2021-22 season. His brother, Carter, was the AJHL’s rookie of the year with the Sherwood Park Crusaders. He has committed to the Pioneers for the 2020-21 season. . . . Interestingly, the Ice recently acquired Carter’s WHL rights from the Regina Pats. . . . The Ice brought the Savoies to Winnipeg in mid-April to show them around and seriously begin their sales pitch. . . . Geekie’s father, Craig, played in the WHL with the Brandon Wheat Kings and Spokane Chiefs (1991-94). Conor’s brother Morgan played three seasons (2015-18) with the Tri-City Americans, while another brother, Noah, was a second-round pick by the Calgary Hitmen in 2015 but has chosen to pursue a career in baseball. . . . Harsch, from Grande Prairie, Alta., was acquired by the Blades from the Seattle Thunderbirds this season. He totalled four goals and 16 assists in 57 regular-season games. In three full WHL seasons he has 17 goals and 40 assists in 178 games. He was a part of the Seattle team that won the Ed Chynoweth Cup two years ago.

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In the fourth round, Winnipeg grabbed F Rieger Lorenz of Calgary. He had 11 goals and 25 assists with the bantam prep team at the Edge School in Calgary this season. . . . Lorenz has committed to the U of Denver Pioneers for the 2022-23 season.

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Winnipeg also made a deal with the Tri-City Americans in which the Ice acquired F Isaac Johnson, 20. . . . Winnipeg gave up a fourth-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft in the exchange. That pick originated with Spokane, moving to the Ice in a deal made in June in which D Bobby Russell went to the Chiefs. . . . From Andover, Minn., Johnson had 12 goals and 20 assists in 31 games with the Americans this season when he left the team and apparently retired. At the time, Bob Tory, the Americans’ general manager, told Taking Note that Johnson had retired for personal reasons. . . . In 2017-18, Johnson had 17 goals and 31 assists in 68 games with the Americans. . . . The Ice roster now includes three 20-year-olds — Johnson, F Davis Murray and D Chase Hartje.


The Kamloops Blazers had two first-round selections for the first time in franchise  Kamloops1history. They took D Mats Lindgren out of the Burnaby Winter Club with the seventh-overall selection, then picked F Connor Levis of the St. George’s Academy in Vancouver with the 20th pick. . . . Both players have committed to the U of Michigan Wolverines for 2022-23. . . . Lindgren’s father, Mats, is a former NHLer. . . . In 2016, the Blazers used the 15th-overall pick on F Massimo Rizzo, who just completed his second season with the BCHL’s Penticton Vees and has committed to the U of North Dakota Fighting Hawks. . . . In 2017, the Blazers took F Josh Pillar with the 14th selection. In 2018, they grabbed F Logan Stankoven with the fifth pick. . . . Pillar showed dramatic improvement with the Blazers as this season wore on, while Stankoven lit up the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League with the Kamloops-based Thompson Blazers and will be a big part of the Kamloops scene over the next few seasons.


Before the draft got started, the Calgary Hitmen made a huge splash by acquiring Jett CalgaryWoo, one of the WHL top defencemen, from the Moose Jaw Warriors in exchange for D Vladislav Yeryomenko, F Ryder Korczak, the 11th-overall pick in the 2019 draft and a second-rounder in 2021. . . . Woo, the fourth-overall pick in the 2015 draft, was a second-round selection by the Vancouver Canucks in the NHL’s 2018 draft. He has signed a three-year entry-level deal with Vancouver. . . . From Winnipeg, Woo is to turn 19 on July 27. He just completed his third season with Moose Jaw, and has 114 points, including 26 goals, in 178 games. This season, he finished with 12 goals and 54 assists in 62 games. . . .

“This was our No. 1 priority in getting a puck moving defenceman,” Jeff Chynoweth, Calgary’s general manager, said in a news release. “To add a player of his calibre, one of the top scoring defencemen in the WHL, a player who plays hard at both ends, is huge for our club.

“He’s a legitimate No. 1 defender and to get him for a whole season instead of after the trade deadline is an added bonus.”

The deal also signals that the Hitmen have their eyes on the prize for 2019-20 and won’t be content just being one of the players.

Yeryomenko, 20, is from Mishutki, Belarus. He was a fifth-round pick by the Nashville MooseJawWarriorsPredators in the NHL’s 2018 draft but has yet to sign a pro deal. This season, his third with Calgary, he had seven goals and 26 assists in 33 games. In 188 regular-season games, he has 26 goals and 72 assists.

The Warriors have two other Belarusians on their roster — F Yegor Buyalski, 18, and F Daniil Stepanov, 18.

There have been rumblings that the rule involving 20-year-old import players may be about to change, perhaps with the removal of the two-spot designation. It could be that a team will be allowed to have three imports on its roster, if one of them is a 20-year-old. This deal may signal that Moose Jaw general manager Alan Millar is expecting that rule to be changed.

Korczak, who is to turn 17 on Sept. 23, is from Yorkton, Sask. The younger brother of Kelowna Rockets D Kaedan Korczak, he had eight goals and seven assists in 50 games as a freshman with the Hitmen.


The Vancouver Giants didn’t have a first-round pick, and took D Joshua Niedermayer, a Vancouverson of former WHL/NHL D Scott Niedermayer, with the 30th overall selection. A native of Newport Beach, Calif., Joshua had 10 goals and 12 assists in 27 games with the bantam prep team at OHA in Penticton, B.C. . . . His brother, Jackson, 18, is a forward with the BCHL’s Penticton Vees and has committed to Arizona State U and the Sun Devils for 2021-22. . . . Jackson was a fifth-round pick by the Calgary Hitmen in the 2016 bantam draft. . . .

The Giants used their second pick in the draft, No. 43, to take F Bowden Singleton of Calgary. He had 42 goals and 24 assists in 29 games with the Northern Alberta Xtreme bantam prep team, but has committed to the U of North Dakota Fighting Hawks for 2022-23. . . .

In the fifth round, the Giants took F Colton Langkow of Scottsdale, Ariz. His father, Daymond, played four seasons (1992-96) with the Tri-City Americans while an uncle, Scott, spent three seasons (1992-95) tending goal for the Portland Winterhawks.


JUST NOTES: Kamloops took G Dylan Ernst from the Weyburn, Sask., bantam AA Red Wings with the 28th overall pick. He was the first goaltender taken in the draft. Dylan’s brother Ethan, 17, just finished his freshman season with the Kelowna Rockets. After Dylan was drafted, their mother, Bonnie, tweeted: “It’s hard enough to watch him in net, let alone playing against his brother. And that many times.” . . .

The Blazers used a seventh-round pick to take F Nash Bamford of Lacombe, Alta. He had eight goals and 12 assists in 33 games with the bantam AAA Red Deer Rebels. His father is country music star Gord Bamford, who was born in Australia and raised in Canada. He has 26 CCMA awards to his credit. . . .

The Everett Silvertips took F Austin Roest of Vernon, B.C., in the third round. His father, Stacy, played four seasons (1991-95) with the Medicine Hat Tigers and now is the director of player development with the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning. . . .

The Moose Jaw Warriors selected D Carson Brisson of Edmonton in the fifth round. He had 18 goals and 19 assists in 32 games with the minor midget Leduc Oil Kings this season. He has committed to the U of Denver Pioneers for 2023-24. . . .

The Seattle Thunderbirds used an eighth-round pick to take F Cruz Lucius of Grant, Minn. He played this season with the U-15 team at Gentry Academy, putting up nine goals and 32 assists in 13 games. He has committed to the U of Minnesota Gophers for 2022-23. . . . His brother, Chaz, was taken in the fourth round a year ago by the Portland Winterhawks. Chaz is poised to enter the U.S. National Team Development Program after putting up 39 goals and 23 assists in 13 games with the U-15 team at Gentry Academy. He is committed to Minnesota for 2021-22.

If you know of any other hockey bloodlines from the draft or have any tidbits you would like to share, email Taking Note at greggdrinnan@gmail.com.

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CHL, WHL facing another lawsuit . . . Kaluski has career night vs. Raiders . . . Silvertips within five points of top spot


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MacBeth

D Tomáš Kundrátek (Medicine Hat, 2008-10) has exercised the out clause in his contract with Třinec (Czech Republic, Extraliga) and signed a contract for the rest of this season with Davos (Switzerland, NL A). Kundrátek started this season with Kunlun Red Star Beijing (China, KHL), earning three assists in 25 games. He signed with Třinec on Dec. 5, and had one goal and one assist in six games.

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ThisThat

“Notice of a class-action lawsuit against the Canadian Hockey League, Hockey Canada and the Western Hockey League has been filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia,” reports Gord Holder of the Ottawa Citizen, “claiming the leagues failed to enforce protocols for handling concussions and failed to provide players, parents and billet families with relevant health information about concussions.

“The representative plaintiff for the claim, filed Wednesday, is James Johnathon McEwan, a 31-year-old native of Kelowna, B.C., who played an enforcer’s role during four WHL seasons between 2004 and 2008.”

McEwan, now 31, played with the Seattle Thunderbirds and Kelowna Rockets, spending two seasons with each team.

Holder’s complete story is right here.

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The Tri-City Americans have dropped F Isaac Johnson, who will turn 20 on Jan. 19, from tri-citytheir roster. Johnson, from Andover, Minn., was a point-a-game player, with 12 goals and 20 assists in 31 games. He was their fifth-leading scorer, with 32 points. . . . According to Bob Tory, the Americans’ general manager, Johnson has retired for personal reasons. . . . Last season, as a freshman, he had 17 goals and 31 assists in 68 games. . . . Before joining the Americans, he played with the USHL’s Des Moines Buccaneers, recording 14 goals and 14 assists in 47 games. . . . Johnson last played for the Americans in a 3-2 victory over the visiting Everett Silvertips on Friday. He was scratched from a 4-1 loss in Everett on Saturday and didn’t play in Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to the visiting Prince George Cougars.

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Josh Horton of the Everett Herald has reported that F Peter Melcher has been waived by the Everett Silvertips and wasn’t claimed by any of the CHL’s teams. Melcher, 17, is a native of Czech Republic, although he played in Slovakia for the four seasons prior to this one. . . . The Silvertips selected him in the CHL’s 2018 import draft. He played for Slovakia in the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in August, then attended Everett’s training camp. However, he was injured (concussion, neck) during the preseason and hasn’t played since. . . . Melcher will be eligible to re-enter the CHL’s 2019 import draft.

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The Kelowna Rockets have deleted F Jack Cowell, 19, allowing him to join the Fort Garry/Fort Rouge Twins of the Winnipeg-based Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League. . . . Cowell, who is from Winnipeg, had two goals and three assists in 26 games with the Rockets this season. On Dec. 1, he was traded to the Kootenay Ice for a third-round selection in the 2020 WHL bantam draft. However, he refused to report to the Ice and the trade was voided. . . . In 182 regular-season WHL games, all with Kelowna, he had 18 goals and 38 assists.

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WEDNESDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The Calgary Hitmen scored three shootout goals and beat the Warriors, 3-2 in Moose Jaw. Calgary. . . Calgary (20-16-4) has won five in a row. It is fifth in the Central Division, three points behind the Medicine Hat Tigers. The Hitmen also hold down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, six points ahead of the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Moose Jaw (21-9-7) has lost two straight. It is settling into third place in the East Division, eight points behind the Saskatoon Blades and 11 ahead of Brandon. . . . F Tristin Langan (31) gave Moose Jaw a 1-0 lead at 5:07 of the second period. . . . F kaden Elder (17) tied it at 16:23. . . . Moose Jaw went ahead 2-1 as F Keenan Taphorn (10) scored at 8:16 of the third. . . . Calgary D Dakota Krebs forced OT with his fourth goal, at 17:25. . . . F Justin Almeida and F Brayden Tracey scored for the Warriors in the four-round shootout, but the Hitmen got goals from F James Malm, F Carson Focht and F Josh Prokop to win it. . . . G Jack McNaughton stopped 33 shots for Calgary, two fewer than Moose Jaw’s Adam Evanoff. . . . Head coach Tim Hunter was back behind the Warriors’ bench after his stint with Canada’s national junior team. Under associate coach Mark O’Leary, the Warriors were 6-2-1. . . . The Warriors were without F Tate Popple (undisclosed injury) for a third game.

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F Jaxan Kaluski, playing in his 100th regular-season game, scored three times times to Seattlelead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 4-1 victory over the Raiders in Prince Albert. . . . Seattle (13-21-4) is 2-2-0 on its six-game East Division trip. The Thunderbirds are last in the Western Conference, but have closed to within three points of the Kamloops Blazers, who hold down the second wild-card berth. . . . Prince Albert (35-5-1) now is 18-3-0 on home ice. It also has lost three of its past five games, including three of four at home. The Raiders still lead the East Division by 14 points over the Saskatoon Blades. But their lead atop the overall standings is down to five points over the Everett Silvertips. . . . Kaluski, a 19-year-old from Lloydminster, Alta., scored his first WHL hat trick. He went into the game with two goals in 37 outings, then scored three times in 37:06. . . . Last season, he scored three times — twice in 22 games with the Moose Jaw Warriors and once in 24 games with Seattle. Going into last night, he had five goals in 99 career regular-season games. . . . Kaluski opened the scoring at 1:23 of the second period. . . . D Jeremy Masella (2) tied it at 2:08. . . . Kaluski then gave his guys a 3-1 lead with goals at 7:54 and 17:06. . . . F Matthew Wedman (14) clinched it with an empty-netter at 19:44. . . . Seattle got 32 saves from G Roddy Ross, who is 2-0-0 since being added to the roster from the AJHL’s Camrose Kodiaks on Jan. 1. . . . Seattle D Cade McNelly was eligible to return from a three-game suspension but was scratched.

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The Portland Winterhawks scored the game’s first three goals and went on to a 5-2 Portlandvictory over the host Regina Pats. . . . Portland (25-11-5) has won six in a row and has points in 10 straight (6-0-3). It also is 4-0-0 on its six-game East Division trip. The Winterhawks are second in the U.S. Division, 11 points behind the Everett Silvertips. . . . Regina (12-28-2) has lost five in a row (0-4-1). . . . Portland got that 3-0 lead on goals from F Jake Gricius (18), at 8:15 of the first period, D Clay Hanus (5), at 19:40, and F Joachim Blichfeld, with his WHL-leading 38th, at 0:56 of the second. . . . F Austin Pratt (16) cut Regina’s deficit to two, at 18:42. . . . Portland D Jared Freadrich (6) restored the three-goal lead at 2:51 of the third period. . . . D Liam Schioler (4) pulled Regina back to within two at 8:15. . . . F Jaydon Dureau (10) put it away with the empty-netter, at 17:44. . . . Gricius also had two assists for the fifth three-point night of his career. . . . Portland G Shane Farkas stopped 24 shots as he made his 39th start of the season. . . . G Joel Hofer, acquired earlier in the day from the Swift Current Broncos for six WHL bantam draft picks, wasn’t in Portland’s lineup. . . . The Winterhawks had D Matthew Quigley back from a suspension, but again were without D Brendan De Jong (concussion). . . . With G Max Paddock ill, Matthew Pesenti, a 17-year-old who plays for the midget AAA Saskatoon Blazers, was on Regina’s bench in support of Dean McNabb, who made 30 saves.

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F Zak Smith broke a 2-2 tie in the third period to give the visiting Red Deer Rebels a 3-2 Red Deervictory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Red Deer (23-13-3) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). The Rebels are tied for second with the Edmonton Oil Kings in the Central Division, three points behind the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Swift Current slipped to 8-29-3. . . . F Carter Chorney (11) gave the Broncos a 1-0 lead at 1:56 of the first period. . . . Red Deer went ahead on goals from D Dawson Barteaux (5), on a PP, at 9:19, and F Brandon Hagel (23), at 8:15 of the second. . . . F Joona Kiviniemi (11) tied it at 9:18 of the third period. . . . Smith broke the tie at 13:02 with his eighth goal of the season. . . . Red Deer had a 37-23 edge in shots, including 14-5 in the second period. . . . G Riley Lamb, signed by the Broncos earlier in the day and added to the roster from the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers, was on the bench as Isaac Poulter stopped 34 shots. . . . The Rebels had D Alex Alexeyev back in the lineup after he played for Russia at the WJC. In fact, he is the only WHL player who can lay claim to having won a medal at this year’s tournament after Russia finished third. . . . F Kye Buchanan, 17, made his WHL debut with the Broncos. They added him to their roster from the midget AAA St. Albert Raiders on Saturday. . . . F Tyler Lees, acquired Monday from the Victoria Royals, wasn’t in Swift Current’s lineup.

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F Jake Elmer’s goal late in the third period gave the Lethbridge Hurricanes a 3-2 victory Lethbridgeover the visiting Kootenay Ice. . . . Lethbridge (22-10-8) has points in six straight (4-0-2) and now leads the Central Division by three points over the Red Deer Rebels and Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Kootenay (8-28-7) has lost eight in a row (0-7-1). . . . The Ice went ahead 1-0 at 4:19 of the first period as F Connor McClennon scored his fifth goal of the season. . . . Lethbridge went ahead 2-1 on goals from F Dylan Cozens (24), at 7:13, and F Jordy Bellerive (21), at 12:26. . . . Bellerive has points in 11 straight games, totalling 10 goals and 11 assists over that stretch. On the season, he has 21 goals and 31 assists in 40 games. . . . Elmer’s 19th goal, at 16:33, won it. . . . The Hurricanes outshot the Ice, 54-22, including 24-12 in the first period and 23-4 in the third. . . . Kootenay G Jesse Makaj made 51 saves. . . . G Curtis Meger, signed earlier in the day, was on the Ice bench as the backup.

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F Bryce Kindopp’s two goals helped the visiting Everett Silvertips to a 4-2 victory over the EverettKelowna Rockets. . . . Everett (32-8-2) has won three in a row. The Silvertips lead the U.S. Division by 11 points over the Portland Winterhawks. . . . Kelowna (17-19-4) has lost three straight (0-2-1). It is third in the B.C. Division, five points behind the Victoria Royals and five ahead of the Kamloops Blazers. . . . The Rockets went ahead 1-0 at 2:57 of the first period on a PP goal by D Lassi Thomson. . . . Kindopp tied it at 19:49. . . . Everett F Connor Dewar (29) broke the tie, on a PP, at 9:44 of the second period. . . . Thomson pulled the Rockets even with his ninth goal, at 19:58. . . . The Silvertips won it with two third-period goals. . . . Kindopp (21) broke the tie at 11:56, and D Gianni Fairbrother (6) got the empty-netter at 19:50. . . . Dewar also had two assists. . . . G James Porter stopped 40 shots for the Rockets, who were outshot 44-24, including 17-6 in the second period. . . .  Everett G Dustin Wolf earned the victory. He now is 28-8-1, 1.81, .929. . . . D Schael Higson, acquired earlier in the day from the Brandon Wheat Kings, was in Kelowna’s lineup.

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The Spokane Chiefs scored two PP goals on as many opportunities as they doubled the SpokaneChiefsvisiting Prince George Cougars, 4-2. . . . Spokane (23-13-4) has won three in a row and is third in the U.S. Division, seven points behind the Portland Winterhawks and six ahead of the Tri-City Americans. . . . Prince George (14-22-3) had won its previous two games. This was the last game of the Cougars’ road trip from hell, and they finished 3-8-0. They are two points behind the Kamloops Blazers, who hold down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . The Cougars last played at home on Dec. 2. They will entertain the Kelowna Rockets on Friday and Saturday. . . . Last night, the Chiefs went ahead 2-0 on first-period PP goals from D Nolan Reid (6) and D Ty Smith (4). . . . D Joel Lakusta (5) cut the deficit to a goal 31 seconds into the second period. . . . F Luc Smith (17) gave Spokane a 3-1 lead at 12:56 of the third period. . . . F Josh Maser (13) scored for the Cougars at 18:50. . . . F Jake McGrew (17) got the empty-netter for Spokane at 19:48. . . . Spokane was credited with winning 34 of the game’s 52 faceoffs.

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F Kody McDonald scored twice as the Victoria Royals beat the visiting Kamloops Blazers, VictoriaRoyals5-3. . . . Victoria (21-15-1) has won three in a row. This was the Royals’ first home game since Dec. 15. They were out of their home arena because some of the WJC was being played there. . . . The Royals are second in the B.C. Division, seven points behind the Vancouver Giants. . . . Kamloops (15-20-3) has lost two straight and is in possession of the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, nine points behind the Tri-City Americans. . . . Kamloops is 0-10-1 in its last 11 road games. That follows a 6-1-0 run on the road. . . . McDonald scored his first goals for Victoria after coming over from the Prince Albert Raiders on Jan. 3. . . . The Royals took control by scoring the game’s first four goals. They led 4-0 early in the third period. . . . D Jameson Murray (2) got it started at 11:19 of the first period, and McDonald upped it to 2-0 at 17:57. . . . McDonald’s eighth goal of the season, on a PP, increased the lead to 3-0 at 10:23 of the second. . . . F Brandon Cutler (10) made it 4-0 at 8:00 of the third. . . . F Martin Lang (8) got the Blazes on the scoreboard at 12:05, only to have F Phillip Schultz (7) get that one back, on a PP, at 15:43. . . . F Kyrell Sopotyk (6) and F Zane Franklin (20) rounded out the Blazers’ scoring. . . . Franklin, an off-season acquisition from the Lethbridge Hurricanes, has 40 points in 38 games. Last season, he finished with 38 points 14 of them goals, in 67 games. . . . The Blazers and Royals will meet again Friday in Victoria.

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Rockets, Crickard part company . . . Raiders complete sweep of Wheaties . . . Americans beat ‘Canes in wild one


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The Kelowna Rockets and assistant coach Travis Crickard “have mutually parted ways,” KelownaRocketsaccording to a news release issued by the team late Saturday afternoon. . . . Crickard was in his fifth season with the Rockets. In his first season (2014-15) as an assistant coach and goaltending coach, the Rockets won the Ed Chynoweth Cup. . . . Kris Mallette, the Rockets’ other assistant coach, also is in his fifth season. . . . The Rockets didn’t refer to hiring another assistant, but perhaps Adam Foote, who took over as head coach on Oct. 23, will be looking for someone with whom he is familiar.


COUNTDOWN TO DEADLINE

(WHL trade deadline: Jan. 10, 3 p.m. MT)

Saturday’s action:

No. of trades: 0.

Players: 0.

Bantam draft picks: 0.

Conditional draft picks: 0.

——

Total deals (since Nov. 26):

No. of trades: 10.

Players: 31.

Bantam draft picks: 18.

Conditional draft picks: 4.

(Note: On Nov. 30, Kelowna traded F Jack Cowell, 19, to Kootenay for a third-round selection in the 2020 bantam draft. Cowell chose not to report and the deal was voided, so isn’t included in these totals.)


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SATURDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The Saskatoon Blades scored four times in the second period en route to a 5-2 victory Saskatoonover the Warriors in Moose Jaw. . . . Saskatoon (18-10-3) had lost 3-2 to the visiting Warriors on Friday. . . . Moose Jaw (16-7-5) had points in its previous two games (1-0-1). . . . The teams had been tied for second in the East Division going in, although Moose Jaw does have three games in hand. . . . F Keenan Taphorn (8) gave the Warriors at 2-1 lead at 17:34 of the first period. . . . The Blades responded with four second-period goals, from F Zach Huber (6), at 8:24; D Brandon Schuldhaus (4), at 10:58; F Gary Haden (8), at 11:14; and F Josh Paterson (9), at 15:57. . . . F Tristin Langan (21) scored Moose Jaw’s last goal, on a PP, at 6:36 of the third. . . . F Riley McKay scored his fifth goal for Saskatoon in his 31st game. Last seaosn, he finished with four goals in 62 games for the Spokane Chiefs. . . . G Dorrin Luding blocked 28 shots to record the victory. He is 4-2-1, 2.57, .927, with two victories in Moose Jaw. He had 24 saves in a 5-2 victory on Nov. 2. . . . Saskatoon took the game’s only minor penalty. . . . Tim Hunter, the Warriors’ head coach, now is off to join Canada’s national junior team, along with D Josh Brook. Hunter is Canada’s head coach. On-ice work begins Tuesday in Victoria. . . . The Blades are at home to the East Division-leading Raiders today in what will be the third game in fewer than 48 hours for both teams.


F Brett Leason ran his point streak to 30 games as the host Prince Albert Raiders beat the PrinceAlbertBrandon Wheat Kings, 5-2. . . . Prince Albert (28-1-1) now has points in 22 straight games (21-0-1). The Raiders are 14-0-0 at home. . . . Brandon (14-9-6) has lost two in a row. . . . The Raiders had won, 5-2, in Brandon on Friday night. . . . Leason drew an assist on the Raiders’ third goal, a PP score, and another one on their final goal, and now has at least one point in each game the team has played this season. The WHL record (56 games) was set by Raiders F Jeff Nelson in 1990-91. . . . The Raiders erased a 1-0 deficit with three goals on 24 second-period shots. . . . F Cole Fonstad tied it at 14:31, F Kody McDonald (6) gave the home side a 2-1 lead at 15:11 and F Sean Montgomery, on a PP, provided a 3-1 lead. . . . Montgomery has 13 goals in 30 games. He had 12 goals in 2015-16, 13 in 2016-17, and 12 last season. . . . F Luka Burzan (18) pulled Brandon to within a goal at 16:50 of the second. . . . Fonstad (10) got that one back at 1:56 of the third and F Noah Gregor, who also had two assists, made it 5-2 with his 14th goal at 14:30. That was the 100th regular-season goal of his career. . . . Brandon G Jiri Patera stopped 42 shots, three more than the Raiders’ Ian Scott. . . . The Wheat Kings were without F Cole Reinhardt as he served a one-game suspension for a boarding major and game misconduct that he incurred on Friday night. . . . F Bode Hagan, a 16-year-old from Alsike, Alta., made his Brandon debut. He was an eighth-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft. This season, he has five goals and 27 assists in 18 games with the Edmonton-OHA prep team. . . . Darren Steinke, the travellin’ blogger, was at the game and filed this piece right here.


F Trey Fix-Wolansky scored 30 seconds into OT to give the Edmonton Oil Kings a 3-2 EdmontonOilKingsvictory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . The Oil Kings (16-11-5) have points in three straight (2-0-1). . . . The Blazers have points in four straight (4-0-1). . . . F Jalen Luypen gave Edmonton a 1-0 lead with the Teddy Bear goal at 13:28 of the second period. The goal came on Edmonton’s 29th shot as the Oil Kings struggled to solve Kamloops G Dylan Ferguson, who was back after a three-game absence. . . . F Orrin Centazzo (9) tied it 1-1 at 18:41. . . . F Carter Souch gave Edmonton a 2-1 lead at 15:50 of the third period, only to have the Blazers tie it when F Martin Lang (5) scored with 12.7 seconds left in the period. . . . Fix-Wolansky won it with his 21st goal. . . . Ferguson finished with 37 saves. . . . Kamloops F Jermaine Loewen was ejected with a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct at 8:07 of the second period. Earlier this season, he served a four-game suspension for a headshot on Portland Winterhawks D Matthew Quigley in an Oct. 5 game.


F Ryan Jevne scored twice to help the host Medicine Hat Tigers to a 4-2 victory over the Tigers Logo OfficialRegina Pats. . . . Medicine Hat (15-14-3) has won two in a row. . . . The Pats (8-22-1) have lost eight straight (0-7-1). . . . F Jadon Joseph (12) gave Regina a 1-0 lead at 1:33 of the first period. . . . The Tigers went ahead 2-1 on goals from F James Hamblin (15), shorthanded, at 19:11 of the second and Jevne at 1:50 of the third. . . . F Sergei Alkhimov (7) tied it at 8:25. . . . The Tigers won it with goals 1:16 apart. F Logan Christensen (3) broke the tie at 13:38 and Jevne (14) added insurance at 14:54. . . . The Pats got 42 saves from G Dean McNabb. . . . Medicine Hat G Mads Sogaard stopped 23 shots and earned his second WHL assist in three games. . . . Regina F Riley Krane was unsuccessful on a second-period penalty shot with his side leading, 1-0.


The line of Brandon Hagel, Cam Hausinger and Brett Davis combined for 11 points in Red Deerleading the Red Deer Rebels to a 6-2 victory over the visiting Swift Current Broncos. . . . The Rebels (19-9-2) have points in three straight (2-0-1). . . . The Broncos (5-23-2) have lost two in a row. . . . The Rebels held a 40-23 edge in shots, including 20-4 in the third period. . . . Hagel, who has 21 goals, scored twice and added two assists for the 12th four-point game of his career. . . . Davis scored his 10th goal and added three assists, and Hausinger scored twice, giving him 11, and added an assist. . . . Davis and Hausinger were acquired on Nov. 30 from the Kootenay Ice. . . . Red Deer grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first period before F Alec Zawatsky (9) scored, on a PP, for the Broncos. . . . The Rebels promptly put it away with the next three goals — two from Hausinger and one from Davis. . . . Davis has three goals and five assists in four games with Red Deer, while Hausinger has three goals and an assist in two games.


G Shane Farkas stopped 22 shots to help the host Portland Winterhawks to a 3-0 victory Portlandover the Prince George Cougars. . . . Portland (18-10-2) has won four in a row, outscoring opponents 26-6 in the process. . . . Prince George (11-16-3) has lost two straight. . . . On Friday, the Winterhawks beat the visiting Cougars, 5-2. . . . Farkas has two shutouts this season and five in his career. . . . F Jake Gricius (14) opened the scoring at 16:38 of the first period. . . . F Ryan Hughes (10), on a PP, made it 2-0 at 13:40 of the second and F Jaydon Dureau (6) finished the scoring at 19:35. . . . Portland F Cody Glass had an assist to run his point streak to 16 games. He has eight goals and 26 assists over that stretch. . . . The Cougars were 0-6 on the PP. . . . The Winterhawks were without D Brendan De Jong, who didn’t finish Friday’s game. . . . F Jackson Leppard was back in the Cougars’ lineup after serving a one-game suspension.


G Dustin Wolf blocked 43 shots to lead the Everett Silvertips to a 2-1 victory over the EverettSeattle Thunderbirds in Kent, Wash. . . . Everett (24-7-1) has points in 10 straight (9-0-1). . . . The Thunderbirds now are 10-14-3. . . . The Silvertips are 3-0-0 in the season series. . . . This season, Wolf is 22-7-1, 1.90, .926. . . . F Sean Richards, who later was tossed from the game, opened the scoring at 16:25 of the first period. He’s got 10 goals. . . . F Nolan Volcan (7) pulled Seattle into a tie at 3:59 of the second. . . . F Max Patterson (9) won it when he scored on a breakaway at 7:46 of the third. That was Patterson’s first goal in his second game since being acquired from the Swift Current Broncos on Dec. 3. . . . Seattle was 0-2 on the PP; Everett was 0-1. . . . Richards was hit with a boarding major and game misconduct at 10:10 of the second period after a hit on D Loeden Schaufler. . . . This season, Richards already has served a five-game suspension for a headshot major against Seattle on Oct. 5. Last season, he drew a four-game sentence for a checking-from-behind major against Seattle on Feb. 16, two games after he took a match penalty against Swift Current on Jan. 21, and one game for a headshot major against Regina on Nov. 19.


F Eli Zummack scored in OT to give the host Spokane Chiefs a 4-3 victory over the SpokaneChiefsKootenay Ice. . . . The Chiefs (16-10-4) have won two in a row. . . . The Ice (7-20-6) has lost 11 straight (0-8-3). . . . F Peyton Krebs (12) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 10:23 of the first period. Krebs also had two assists. He now has 35 points in 29 games. . . . Spokane D Bobby Russell, who was acquired from the Ice on June 25, scored the Teddy Bear goal at 2:05 of the second period. It was his third goal of the season. . . . F Jaeger White (12), who also had two assists, gave the Ice a 2-1 lead, on a PP, at 11:06. . . . Spokane went ahead 3-2 on third-period goals from F Luc Smith (12), at 0:31 of the third period, and F Cordel Larson (5), at 3:13. . . . Kootenay tied it when F Brad Ginnell (6) struck with 8.6 seconds left in the third period. . . . Zummack won it with his ninth goal at 2:35 of extra time. He’s got a goal and five assists over his past two games.


F Isaac Johnson’s OT goal ended a wild affair and gave the Tri-City Americans an 8-7 tri-cityvictory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Tri-City (15-12-2) had lost its previous five games (0-3-2). . . . Lethbridge (15-9-6) has lost two in a row (0-1-1). . . . The Americans ended up in OT despite having scored five second-period goals, three of them on the PP. . . . The teams combined for 15 goals on 87 shots, with 44 of those from the Americans, who went 3-6 on the PP. . . . Tri-City held a 7-4 lead after F Parker AuCoin (16) scored at 13:54 of the third period. . . . F Jake Elmer cut Lethbridge’s deficit to two at 14:22, and F Taylor Ross (17) made it a one-goal game just 37 seconds later. . . . Elmer completed a hat trick with his 15th goal at 17:49 to force OT. . . . Johnson won it with his 12th goal, at 1:10 of OT. . . . The Americans got for assists from F Krystof Hrabik, with F Nolan Yaremko scoring twice, giving him 15, and adding an assist. F Kyle Olson (6), AuCoin and D Aaron Hyman (7) each had a goal and two assists. . . . Olson’s score, on a PP at 1:39 of the second, was the Teddy Bear goal. . . . Elmer also had two assists, for a five-point night, while Ross added three assists to his goal, and F Dylan Cozens scored his 16th goal and had two assists. . . . Interestingly, both starting goaltenders went the distance. . . . Tri-City’s Beck Warm finished with 36 saves, one fewer than Lethbridge’s Reece Klassen. . . . There were 59 faceoffs in the game, with 14 of those following goals.


F Jared Dmytriw’s OT goal gave the Vancouver Giants a 2-1 victory over the visiting VancouverVictoria Royals. . . . Vancouver (21-6-2) has won seven straight. . . . Victoria (13-12-1) has lost four in a row (0-3-1). . . . The Giants, who normally play in the Langley Events Centre, moved this one to their former home, Pacific Coliseum, for the Teddy Bear toss. . . . F Tarun Fizer (4) gave the Royals a 1-0 lead at 13:29 of the third period. . . . Just when it looked like the Giants might get blanked in a Teddy Bear game, D Bowen Byram (9) tied the game at 18:41. . . . It was Byram’s second straight Teddy Bear goal. . . . Dmytriw, the Giants captain and a former Royals skater, won it with his seventh goal at 3:02 of OT. Dmytriw also had the primary assist on Byram’s goal. . . . The Giants got 25 saves from G David Tendeck. . . . Victoria G Griffen Outhouse stopped 36 shots. . . . The Royals went 1-3-1 on a five-game road trip that ended with this game. They were outscored 13-11 in the five games. . . . D Ralph Jarratt was back for a second straight game with the Royals. . . . With F Dawson Holt injured, the Giants had F Krz Plummer in the lineup. Plummer, 16, is from Whitecourt, Alta., and has nine goals and 15 assists in 21 games at the Delta, B.C., Hockey Academy. A third-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft, Plummer was pointless in one game with the Giants last season.


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Veteran forward off Tigers’ roster . . . Royals still perfect after seven games . . . Broncos get first win, head west


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Following a 4-1 victory by the Medicine Hat Tigers over the visiting Prince George Tigers Logo OfficialCougars on Friday, Ryan McCracken of the Medicine Hat Tigers tweeted: “Tigers not commenting on the status of Gary Haden, who was scratched from tonight’s game.” . . . Prior to Saturday’s game, in which Medicine Hat beat the visiting Kootenay Ice, 4-3 in a shootout, McCracken reported that “Haden is no longer on the (Tigers’) roster.” . . . After the game, Shaun Clouston, the Tigers’ general manager and head coach, told McCracken that Haden’s absence will be addressed on Monday. . . . Haden, 19, is from Airdrie, Alta., who was a ninth-round selection by the Regina Pats in the 2014 WHL bantam draft. . . . This season, he had one goal and two assists in nine games. Last season, he had 17 goals and 25 assists in 70 games. . . . In 115 career regular-season games, he has 25 goals and 28 assists.


Please feel free to click on the DONATE button over there on the right and make a donation to the Taking Note cause. . . . One regular reader who did just that wrote: “Definitely the best source of info for junior hockey, and really enjoy the writing. It’s one of my first visits every morning.”


SATURDAY NIGHT NOTES:

F Kaid Oliver scored with 25 seconds left in OT to give the host Victoria Royals a 3-2 VictoriaRoyalsvictory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . The Royals are 7-0-0 overall, including 5-0-0 at home. All seven victories have come against B.C. Division opponents. . . . The Giants (7-1-1) have points in six straight (5-0-1). . . . Oliver (6) finished with two goals and an assist. . . . F Brandon Cutler (3) gave Victoria a 2-1 lead at 13:08 of the second period. . . . F Milos Roman (3) scored on a PP at 3:36 of the third period to tie it 2-2. . . . The same teams will play in Victoria again today, 3:05 p.m.


G Joel Hofer stopped 53 shots through OT and his Swift Current Broncos went on to win SCBroncosfor the first time this season, beating the host Brandon Wheat Kings, 3-2 in a shootout. . . . The Broncos got shootout goals from F Alec Zawatsky and F Max Patterson. . . . Swift Current improved to 1-7-0. . . . The Wheat Kings (5-0-2) have yet to lose in regulation time. . . . F Stelio Mattheos (7) had both Brandon goals. . . . D Garrett Sambrook, acquired from Brandon earlier in the week, was in the Broncos’ lineup. . . . After the game, the Broncos boarded their bus and headed west. They next are scheduled to play on Tuesday in Langley, B.C., against the Vancouver Giants. . . . The Broncos will play all five B.C. Division teams on the trip, covering it in eight days. Interestingly, they will go Kamloops-Prince George-Kelowna, playing the last three games of the swing in five nights. Most teams on a B.C. Division trek play in Kelowna and Kamloops on back-to-back nights, then finish in Prince George two nights later.


F Brett Leason had a goal and an assist as the Prince Albert scored a 2-1 victory over the visiting Red Deer Rebels. . . . Leason’s goal, his seventh, broke a 1-1 tie five minutes into the third period. . . . He now is riding a 10-game point streak, with seven goals and 12 assists over that stretch. Last season, he had one goal in 12 games with the Tri-City Americans, then added 15 goals and 17 assists in 54 games after being dealt to the Raiders. . . . The Rebels had been 5-0-1 in their previous six games. . . . The Raiders (9-1-0) are to play in Saskatoon on Sunday afternoon. The Blades are 7-2-0 and have won four in a row.


F Daemon Hunt had two goals and an assist to help the host Moose Jaw Warriors to a 4-3 MooseJawWarriorsvictory over the Spokane Chiefs. . . . The Chiefs had points in their previous six games (4-0-2). They are 1-1-0 on their East Division trip. . . . The Warriors have points in six straight (4-0-2). . . . Hunt, 16, is from Brandon. He was a first-round pick in the 2017 WHL bantam draft. . . . Hunt’s first WHL goal gave the Warriors a 3-2 lead, on a PP, at 4:17 of the third period. His second goal broke a 3-3 tie at 11:49. . . . D Ty Smith scored twice for Spokane, his first goals this season. . . . The Warriors lost D Josh Brook to a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct for a hit on Spokane F Ethan McIndoe at 6:02 of the third period.


D Jake Lee had four assists — giving him seven in two games — as the Seattle Thunderbirds dumped the Edmonton Oil Kings, 7-3, in Kent, Wash. . . . F Noah Philp had two goals and an assist for Seattle. Philp had never scored more than once in a game before scoring four times on Wednesday. . . . F Dillon Hamaliuk had a goal and two assists for Seattle, and has points in all seven games this season. He’s got 15 points, including six goals. . . . Seattle is 3-0-1 in its past four games. . . . The Oil Kings went 0-5-0 in a five-game U.S. Division trip. Overall, they have lost seven in a row (0-6-1). . . . Edmonton D Conner McDonald played in his 200th regular-season game.


The Everett Silvertips scored five PP goals as they beat the visiting Kamloops Blazers, 7-2. . . . The Silvertips, who had a 57-20 edge in shots, held a 3-1 lead when Kamloops F Riley EverettAppelt was given a headshot major and game misconduct at 13:34 of the second period. Everett blew it open with three goals on the ensuing PP. . . . Kamloops F Jermaine Loewen sat out Game 3 of a four-game suspension. He won’t play Friday against the visiting Swift Current Broncos, and may be joined by Appelt and D Montana Onyebuchi on the sideline. Onyebuchi was given an interference minor, misconduct and game misconduct at 6:43 of the third period, and may be hearing from the WHL office. . . . F Riley Sutter (4) had two goals and an assist for Everett, with D Jake Christiansen drawing three assists. . . . Everett F Dawson Butt scored for a second straight game. He finished last season with one goal and two assists in 45 games. This season, he has three points, two of them goals, in five games. . . . The Blazers’ losing streak has reached seven (0-6-1) after they opened the season with two victories. . . . The Silvertips, who beat the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings, 5-3, on Friday, are scheduled to visit the Portland Winterhawks today, 5 p.m. That will be Everett’s third game in fewer than 48 hours; the Winterhawks haven’t played since dropping the visiting Oil Kings, 8-2, on Wednesday.


The Prince George Cougars scored three shootout goals and beat the Hurricanes, 6-5, in PrinceGeorgeLethbridge. . . . D Cole Moberg (2) of the Cougars forced OT with a goal at 15:26 of the third period. . . . Prince George then outscored the hosts 3-2 in the shootout to snap a four-game losing skid. . . .  Moberg got the winner, breaking a 2-2 tie in the third round of the shootout. . . . G Isaiah DiLaura stopped 49 shots for the Cougars. . . . F Josh Curtis (3) had two goals and an assist for the visitors. . . . Prince George lost F Mike MacLean to a boarding major and game misconduct at 6:54 of the second period. . . . The Cougars, who lost 4-1 to the Tigers in Medicine Hat on Friday, are to meet the Kootenay Ice in Cranbrook, B.C., this afternoon for their third game in fewer than 48 hours.


F Ryan Jevne scored in the sixth round of a shootout to give the host Medicine Hat Tigers a 4-3 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Goals from ex-Tigers F Jaeger White (3) and F Jakin Smallwood (1) had given the Ice a 3-2 lead midway through the third period. . . . The Tigers forced OT when F Ryan Chyowski (3) scored at 15:59. . . . F Tyler Preziuso drew three assists for Medicine Hat. . . . The Ice, which lost 3-2 to the visiting Regina Pats on Friday night, is at home to the Prince George Cougars this afternoon. That will be Kootenay’s third game in fewer than 48 hours.


The Tri-City Americans scored the game’s last two goals and beat the Rockets, 5-4, in tri-cityKelowna. . . . F Riley Sawchuk (4) tied the game, 4-4, with his second goal of the game, at 14:35 of the third period, and F Isaac Johnson (5) snapped the tie, on a PP, just 27 seconds later. Johnson finished with two goals and an assist. . . . The Rockets (2-9-0) are 0-6-0 on home ice. . . . Kelowna had beaten the Americans, 3-2, in Kennewick, Wash., on Friday. . . . G Talyn Boyko stopped 24 shots in his first WHL start for the Americans. The 6-foot-6 Boyko, who is from Drumheller, Alta., will turn 16 on Nov. 16. Tri-City selected him in the third round of the 2017 bantam draft. . . . F Michael Farren, acquired on Thursday from the Saskatoon Blades, was pointless in his debut with the Rockets.


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Goodbye 2017; hello 2018 . . . Royals’ Phillips get NHL deal . . . Red-hot Halbgewachs helps Warriors sweep Wheaties

HappyNewYear

Happy New Year to everyone who stops by to visit this site. May you and yours have a tremendous 2018 full of good food, good friends and safe travels.


Happy New Year to all of those members of the Vegas Golden Knights’ front office and coaching staff with ties to the WHL. Enjoy your run as part of what is perhaps the biggest story in hockey today. . . . That would be folks like Kelly McCrimmon, Murray Craven, Vaughn Karpan, Bob Lowes, Kelly Kisio, Ryan McGill, Mike Kelly, Ryan Craig, Jim McKenzie, Erin Ginnell and Bruno Campese. . . . Gentlemen, I don’t know what you will do for an encore, but here’s to a 2018 that is better for you than 2017, if that’s possible. . . .


Happy New Year to Willie Desjardins, Dave King and the rest of Team Canada as the program continues preparations for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Feb. 9-25. . . . Canada won the Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland, taking the championship game 3-0 over Switzerland on New Year’s Eve. . . . The Canadian roster included ex-WHL players like F Curtis Hamilton, F Zach Boychuk, D Jeff Schultz, D Victor Bartley and G Barry Brust, along with video coach Tyler Dietrich and therapist Jeff Thorburn. . . . Canada will open the Winter Games against Switzerland on Feb. 15. . . . Canada is likely to announce its Olympic roster on or about Jan. 11. . . .


Happy New Year to Derek Holloway and the many bus drivers throughout junior hockey. The highways in B.C. have been a mess for much of the past two weeks, and have been no treat across the Prairies, either. No one in any profession does a better job than these drivers, who do so much to keep the teams safe.


Happy New Year to the WHL’s on-ice officials. A lot of people forget that you often are driving the same highways and byways as the afore-mentioned bus drivers. Safe travels and be careful out there. Oh, and remember that despite what your ears sometimes tell you, the fans really do love you.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

F Matthew Phillips of the Victoria Royals signed a three-year entry-level contract with VictoriaRoyalsthe NHL’s Calgary Flames on Sunday. . . . The Royals’ captain, Phillips, 19, is from Calgary. He was selected by the Flames in the sixth round of the NHL’s 2016 draft. . . . This season, he has 28 goals and 31 assists in 39 games. . . . In 183 regular-season games, all with the Royals, the 5-foot-7, 155-pounder has 228 points, including 116 goals. That includes last season, when he finished with 50 goals and 40 assists in 70 games. . . . How did Phillips celebrate his good news? He and his teammates were in Kamloops, where they are to meet the Blazers in a New Year’s Day matinee.


Shaun Clouston, the general manager and head coach of the Medicine Hat Tigers, set a franchise record on Saturday night in a 4-3 OT victory over the visiting Red Deer Rebels.

Clouston now has 324 regular-season coaching victories with the Tigers, one more than Willie Desjardins.

Here’s a look at the 22 WHL head coaches who have more than 300 regular-season victories to their credit (includes games of Dec. 31):

1. Ken Hodge (Edmonton, Portland), 742

2. Don Hay (Kamloops, Tri-City, Vancouver) 736

3. Don Nachbaur (Seattle, Tri-City, Spokane) 692

4. Lorne Molleken (Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Regina) 626

5. Mike Williamson (Portland, Calgary, Tri-City) 554

6. Ernie McLean (Estevan, New Westminster) 548

7. Pat Ginnell (Flin Flon, Victoria, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, New Westminster) 518

8. Peter Anholt (Prince Albert, Seattle, Red Deer, Kelowna, Lethbridge) 466

    Jack Shupe (Medicine Hat, Victoria) 466

10. Dean Clark (Calgary, Brandon, Kamloops, Prince George) 465

11. Kelly McCrimmon (Brandon) 456

12. Bob Lowes (Seattle, Brandon, Regina) 453

13. Brent Sutter (Red Deer) 451

14. Marc Habscheid (Kamloops, Kelowna, Chilliwack, Victoria, Prince Albert) 437

15. Doug Sauter (Calgary, Medicine Hat, Regina, Brandon) 417

16. Marcel Comeau (Calgary, Saskatoon, Tacoma, Kelowna) 411

17. Bryan Maxwell (Medicine Hat, Spokane, Lethbridge) 397

18. Graham James (Moose Jaw, Swift Current, Calgary) 349

19. Shaun Clouston (Tri-City, Medicine Hat) 340

      Bob Loucks (Lethbridge, Tri-City, Medicine Hat) 340

21. Willie Desjardins (Saskatoon, Medicine Hat) 333

22. Kevin Constantine (Everett) 326


NanaimoNewsNOW has been taking a look back at the top stories in that Vancouver Island city from 2016. The staff has decided that No. 3 on the list belongs to the referendum that was held on whether the city would be allowed to borrow $80 million for a waterfront events centre. That facility was to include an arena that would be home to a WHL franchise. . . . Voter turnout was 35.3 per cent and 80 per cent of those voted against the proposal. . . . According to this piece right here, “At the meeting following referendum day, several councillors offered apologies. Coun. Jerry Hong apologized for heated social media exchanges. Others said it was the Western Hockey League applying pressure (that) led to a rushed process.” . . . Whatever the reason, this has to have been one of the biggest stories involving the WHL in 2016, if only because it delivered a crushing blow to the league’s dream of having a second franchise on Vancouver Island.


For your reading enjoyment, right here is Dave Barry of the Miami Herald with a look at the year that was 2017, especially in the American political arena. America, I don’t know how you got here from there, but, well, who better than Barry to sum it all up. Prepare two cups of copy and enjoy!


Scoreboard

SUNDAY:

At Moose Jaw, the Warriors scored three times on the PP, needing only 24 seconds to do it, en route to a 6-2 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . The Warriors (30-6-3) have MooseJawWarriorspoints in five straight games (4-0-1). . . . The Wheat Kings (25-11-1) have lost three in a row. . . . The Warriors had beaten the host Wheat Kings, 7-4, on Saturday afternoon. . . . Moose Jaw is atop the overall standings, nine points ahead of Swift Current and 12 ahead of Brandon. . . . F Jayden Halbgewachs led the Warriors with two goals and three assists. He’s got a CHL-leading 40 goals in 39 games. F Aaron Luchuk of the Barrie Colts leads the OHL with 31 goals in 36 games, while F Alex Barre-Boulet of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada is tops in the QMJHL with 31 in 34. . . . F Brayden Burke of the Warriors had a goal and two assists, giving him a WHL-leading 77 points. . . . Burke went over 300 regular-season points during the game and now has 302 points, including 229 assists, in 214 games. . . . Halbgewachs, who has seven goals and seven assists in his past five games, gave the Warriors a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 15:04 of the first period. . . . F Stelio Mattheos (28) pulled Brandon even at 17:56. . . . Halbgewachs put the Warriors back out front, on another PP, at 10:47 of the second period. . . . The home team went ahead 4-1 on goals from Burke (19), on a PP, at 13:39, and F Tristin Langan, shorthanded, at 1:59 of the third period. . . . F Evan Weinger (18) scored for Brandon at 5:07, but the Warriors put it away on goals from Langan (8), at 6:59, and F Tanner Jeannot (28), at 15:16. . . . F Justin Almeida had two assists for Moose Jaw, giving him six helpers in the two-game series. . . . Jeannot added an assist to his goal. . . . The Warriors were 3-6 on the PP; the Wheat Kings were 0-5. . . . Halbgewachs’ goals came 10 and six seconds into PP opportunities, and Burke’s goal took eight seconds. . . . The Warriors got 25 saves from G Brody Willms, while Brandon’s Logan Thompson stopped 38 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 4,021.


At Kennewick, Wash., the Tri-City Americans erased a 3-1 deficit with three second-period goals, en route to a 4-3 victory over the Spokane Chiefs. . . . The Americans (20-10-TriCity305) have points in seven straight (5-0-2). They are tied for third in the U.S. Division, two points behind Portland with two games in hand. . . . The Chiefs (20-15-3) are two points behind the Americans. . . . The Chiefs had beaten the visiting Americans, 4-3 in OT, on Saturday night. . . . F Isaac Johnson’s ninth goal of the season, on a PP, broke a 3-3 tie at 12:44 of the second period. . . . F Riley Sawchuk had given the Americans a 1-0 lead at 12:07 of the first period. . . . The visitors moved out front 3-1 on goals from F Jake McGrew (6), at 13:09, F Eli Zummack (10), on a PP, at 13:55, and F Zach Fischer (17), at 19:03. . . . D Dylan Coghlan (12) got Tri-City to within one, on a PP, at 5:19 of the second period. . . . F Nolan Yaremko (11) tied the game at 9:30. . . . F Jordan Topping recorded three assists for the winners, with F Kyle Olson getting two. Coghlan and Johnson added one each. . . . Tri-City was 2-4 on the PP; Spokane was 1-4. . . . The Americans got 43 saves from G Patrick Dea. . . . Spokane starter Dawson Weatherill allowed four goals on 13 shots in 32:44. Donovan Buskey came on in relief to stop all 13 shots he faced in 24:40. . . . Announced attendance: 6,011.


At Portland, F Noah Philp scored the WHL’s final goal of 2017. It came in a shootout and gave the Seattle Thunderbirds a 4-3 victory over the Winterhawks. . . . Seattle, the WHL’s Seattlereigning champion, improved to 18-14-5 and has points in six straight games (5-0-1). Seattle holds down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, two points behind Tri-City and Spokane. . . . The Winterhawks (22-12-3) have points in three straight (1-0-2) and are second in the U.S. Division, one point behind Everett with two games in hand. . . . On Saturday night, the host Thunderbirds beat the Winterhawks, 4-3 in OT. . . . In the season series, Seattle is 2-2-0; Portland is 2-0-2. . . . These two teams will meet each other eight more times this season. . . . Last night, F Skyler McKenzie (27) gave the home side a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 2:22 of the second period. . . . Seattle took a 2-1 lead on goals 37 seconds apart from D Reece Harsch (8), at 7:31, and F Nikita Malukhin (4), at 8:08. . . . F Reece Newkirk (2) got Portland into a 2-2 tie at 14:05. . . . F Matthew Wedman gave Seattle a 3-2 lead at 16:57 of the third period. . . . Portland F Ryan Hughes (5) forced OT at 19:02. . . . Philp, Seattle’s first shooter, won it with the only goal of the shootout. . . . D Turner Ottenbreit had two assists for Seattle. . . . Portland got two assists from F Cody Glass, who returned from a one-game absence due to a leg injury. . . . Seattle was 1-3 on the PP; Portland was 1-4. . . . Seattle G Liam Hughes stopped 33 shots, six more than Portland’s Cole Kehler. . . . Announced attendance: 10,568.


MONDAY (all times local):

Swift Current at Saskatoon, 2 p.m.

Calgary at Edmonton, 2 p.m.

Victoria at Kamloops, 2 p.m.

Prince George vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 2 p.m.

Medicine Hat vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 4 p.m.

Prince Albert at Regina, 7 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY


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