Warriors, Giants win at home, back in series . . . Unger stars in Moose Jaw . . . Vancouver PP strikes twice

The WHL’s Tuesday schedule featured two Game 3s that resulted in two home WHLplayoffs2022teams getting back into their playoff series. . . . In Moose Jaw, the Warriors got past the Winnipeg Ice, 3-2, while, in Langley, B.C., the Vancouver Giants beat the Kamloops Blazers, also by a 3-2 count. . . . The Ice and Blazers hold 2-1 leads in those conference semifinals. . . .

The Wednesday schedule features three games with one team, the Red Deer Rebels, facing elimination. They trail the Edmonton Oil Kings, 3-0. . . . The Ice is back in Moose Jaw tonight, while the host Portland Winterhawks hit the ice with a 2-0 lead over the Seattle Thunderbirds.

——

TUESDAY IN THE WHL:

Eastern Conference

In Moose Jaw, the No. 4 Warriors erased a 1-0 deficit with three straight goals MooseJaw2and went on to beat the No. 1 Winnipeg Ice, 3-2. . . . The Ice leads the series, 2-1, with Game 4 in Moose Jaw tonight. . . . Game 5 is scheduled to be played in Winnipeg on Friday. . . . Last night, the Warriors got 38 saves from G Jackson Unger, who was making his first WHL playoff start. Unger, who turned 17 on Jan. 13, is a Calgarian who got into 18 regular-season games. He has played in all three games of this series, coming on in relief of starter Carl Tetachuk in each of the first two. . . . F Zach Benson (7) gave the Ice a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 3:37 of the first period. . . . The Warriors tied it when F Jagger Firkus (4) scored at 7:48 of the second, and took control with third-period goals from F Eric Alarie (2), who is from Winnipeg, at 3:12, and F Calder Anderson (2), shorthanded, at 9:42. . . . The Ice made things interesting when F Jack Finley (5) got it to within a goal at 19:00. . . . Winnipeg was 1-for-6 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 0-for-2. . . . The Warriors dodged a bullet in the second period when F Robert Baco was ejected with a charging major. . . . The Ice got 28 saves from G Daniel Hauser.

——

Western Conference

In Langley, B.C., D Alex Cotton broke a 2-2 tie late in the third period as the No. Vancouver8 Vancouver Giants beat the No. 2 Kamloops Blazers, 3-2. . . . The Blazers lead the series, 2-1, with Game 4 in Langley on Thursday night. They’ll play Game 5 in Kamloops on Friday. . . . This was the Blazers’ first loss in seven games in these playoffs. . . . F Justin Lies (1) put Vancouver out front at 11:55 of the first period. . . . F Fraser Minten (4) got Kamloops even at 9:45 of the second period. . . . Vancouver went back in front at 15:55 as F Ty Thorpe (2) struck, on a PP. . . . The Blazers scored on the PP at 8:38 of the third period with F Drew Englot (3) getting the goal. . . . Cotton’s sixth playoff goal, on a PP at 16:36, stood up as the winner. . . . The Blazers thought perhaps they had scored off a wild scramble with 3.2 seconds left in the third, but the referees didn’t signal a goal and a lengthy video review didn’t produce a goal, either. . . . G Jesper Vikman earned the victory with 34 saves, five more than Dylan Garand of the Blazers. . . . The Giants were 2-for-2 on the PP; the Blazers were 1-for-6. . . . Kamloops F Caeden Bankier had his 16-game point streak come to an end. . . . Kamloops had F Luke Toporowski back in the lineup. He left early in Game 1 with an apparent shoulder injury and sat out Game 2.


Giggle


The Boston Bruins had D Charlie McAvoy back in the lineup for Game 5 of their COVIDfirst-round NHL playoff series with the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night. McAvoy had missed Game 4 on Saturday because he had been placed in COVID-19 protocol. He cleared all protocols on Monday in time to play in the game. . . . Interestingly, the Bruins won, 5-2, without him in Boston, on Saturday, then lost, 5-1, with him in the lineup last night in Raleigh. . . .

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Twins continue to play without manager Rocco Baldelli, who has been missing since before Thursday’s action after testing positive. With Baldelli out, bench coach Jayce Tingler has been managing the Twins.



Colonel


My wife, Dorothy, is preparing to take part in her ninth Kamloops Kidney Walk. . . . It will be held on June 5, but thanks to the pandemic it again will be a virtual event. . . . If you would like to sponsor her, you are able to do so right here. . . . To those of you who already have donated, you should know that Dorothy continues to be the top fund-raiser in B.C. Thank you for being on her team!

——

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.


Musk

Scattershooting on a Sunday night while watching Dean and Frank do the Christmas thing . . .

Scattershooting2

I spent some time running errands on Sunday afternoon, which means I stayed in the Tucson while Dorothy went in and out of a few stores. Why did I stay in the Tucson? So that I could listen to the CFL’s West final. It was the last game of Hall of Famer Bob Irving’s superb play-by-play career and he went out — as one might expect — by having an excellent game. . . . While he now may be official retired, he does have to be on the air at some point during the Grey Cup game’s national broadcast, doesn’t he?


Elf


It was Sunday at 5:05 p.m. PT when Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman tweeted: Canucks“Hearing tonight that Bruce Boudreau will be the next coach of the Vancouver Canucks.” . . . And the social media feeding frenzy was on. It continued for the better part of five hours until the Vancouver Canucks issued a news release at 10:30, confirming what had already been leaked, that general manager Jim Benning, assistant GM John Weisbrod, head coach Travis Green and assistant coach Nolan Baumgartner had been fired. . . . Stan Smyl now is the interim GM, with Ryan Johnson the interim assistant GM. Bruce Boudreau is the head coach, apparently signing on for the remainder of this season and 2022-23, with Scott Walker coming in as assistant coach. . . . If you think coaching is responsible for the Canucks’ woes, you really haven’t been paying attention. . . . BTW, Green is signed through next season. . . . Surely it is only a coincidence that the Canucks have been mostly dysfunctional since then-president Trevor Linden disappeared into the ether. . . . And here’s hoping the Canucks’ fans are prepared for another four- or five-year plan to be put into place because that’s where this is headed.


Denial


HEY, KID, SEAL THAT EDGE: Mike Vrabel, now the head coach of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans, played for the New England Patriots and, according to former QB Matt Cassell, was on the phone while on the way home after a game in Kansas City. Cassell wrote at NBC.com that Vrabel was saying: “We’ve got to be better at the end of the line of scrimmage on the defensive side! . . . We’ve got to set the edge in the run game! The interior guys, look, we can set up some stunts!” . . . Cassell then pointed out that Vrabel “was talking to a fellow dad — about the Pee Wee team of 7- and 8-year-olds he was coaching.”


NYET, NYET: Bill Peters, once the head coach of the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs, was fired on Tuesday by Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg. He was in his second season with the KHL team. . . . Avtomobilist signed Peters in April 2020. He had been head coach of the NHL’s Calgary Flames until resigning on Nov. 29, 2019 after he was alleged to have used racial slurs and been physically abusive with players while in the Chicago Blackhawks’ organization. . . . Avtomobilist was 14-15-5 and holding down the Western Conference’s last playoff spot when Peters was replaced by Nikolai Zavarukhin. . . . Peters, now 56, spent three seasons (2005-08) as the Chiefs’ head coach.




VIEW FROM BEANTOWN: I was watching the Detroit Red Wings and the Bruins from Boston on Tuesday night and Jack Edwards, the TV voice of the Beantowners, kept referring to F Brad Marchand as having been suspended for an “alleged” slewfoot when he took down D Oliver Ekman-Larsson of the Vancouver Canucks. And that’s when it dawned on me that Edwards really is “alleged” to be an NHL play-by-play guy. . . . Edwards wouldn’t even admit that there was a slew-foot after watching a replay, or maybe his Bruins toque had slid over his eyes.


Peanuts


HEADLINES: At AwfulAnnouncing.com — MLB insider Marcus Stroman breaks the news that he signed with the Cubs. . . . At fark.com: Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy tests positive for COVID-19, blames the officials.


PERRY TIME: “Oklahoma Sooners coach Lincoln Riley left Oklahoma to seek his fortune in California,” writes Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times, who also supplied the above Headlines, “finding about $100 million when he got there. In other words, he fared a little better than Tom Joad.”

——

One more from Perry: “Topps, Donruss and Score are scrambling to produce the first fake Antonio Brown trading card. Or is it Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson?”


HEY, UNCLE, HOW’S THAT? D Graydon Gotaas, who scored the Edmonton Oil Kings’ Teddy Bear goal on Saturday night, is the nephew of Steve Gotaas, who put up 314 points in 266 regular-season games with the Prince Albert Raiders (1983-87). Graydon, 17, scored his first Edmonton goal in his first game with the Oil Kings, who acquired him from the Raiders in October. He had been playing for his hometown Camrose Kodiaks of the AJHL.


Empty


NOTHING WRONG HERE: Here’s Ken Campbell of Hockey unfiltered after Hockey Canada issued invitations to its national junior team’s selection camp:

“Connor Bedard is not a lock to make Canada’s World Junior team, but it would be a shock if he were not on the final roster. All Canada’s coaching staff has to do is go back and look at the tapes of both Bedard and Shane Wright in last summer’s World Under-18 championship and see what those two young men did with the maple leaf on their chests. Granted, there is a big difference between being 15 and playing against 17-year-olds and being 16 and playing against 19-year-olds, but still. People keep looking at the scoring totals put up by Bedard and Wright this season and continue to ask what is wrong. Nothing is wrong. These two young men are going to be just fine.”

——

In the same piece, Campbell also dropped this gem: “Patrick Roy claims the Montreal Canadiens have nothing to lose by making him the GM. That’s some sound reasoning right there.”


WHEELING AND DEALING: If you ever wondered what the best junior hockey Raidersplayer in the world might bring in a trade, well, we found out on Wednesday. That’s when the Prince Albert Raiders dealt D Kaiden Guhle, 19, to the Edmonton Oil Kings for F Carson Latimer, 18, D Eric Johnston, 17, and as many as four draft picks — a 2021 first that originated with the Kelowna Rockets, a 2023 first, a 2022 sixth and a conditional 2025 third. . . . The deal came just four days after Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid told Jason Kerr of the Prince Albert Daily Herald that Guhle “might be, for his age, the best player in the world. He’s a special player.” . . . Do you think Habscheid really meant it, or was he just trying to drive up the price?


Waldo


NOT A POSITIVE TIME: The OHL postponed a Saturday night game that was to have had the Mississauga Steelheads visit Peterborough after a Petes player came up positive. “Our actions were to hopefully alleviate concerns,” David Branch, the OHL commissioner, told the Peterborough Examiner. “There was a positive test, the numbers we’re not disclosing and the names we’re  not disclosing, and we took the action. The player are being tested once again and we’ll see how it evolves.” . . . Earlier in the week, the OHL had to shutdown the Sudbury Wolves after 12 positive tests.


ICYMI: G Nolan Maier made his 177th regular-season appearance for the Saskatoon Blades on Saturday night in a 6-2 victory over the Ice in Winnipeg. That equalled the franchise record that he now shares with Braden Holtby (2005-09). . . .

Some shutouts are more special than others. Right, Jackson Unger? Unger, a 16-year-old from Calgary, posted his first WHL victory and shutout — he stopped 30 shots — on Friday night when the Moose Jaw Warriors beat the Rebels, 4-0, in Red Deer. This one was extra special, though, because Unger blanked the Rebels in their Teddy Bear Toss game. . . . As for the Teddy Bears, the fans tossed them late in the game after the Warriors had scored their final goal into an empty net.


NO LOVE HERE: Olen Zellweger put up six points — a goal and five assists — Everettas the Everett Silvertips beat the visiting Tri-City Americans, 8-2, on Friday night. That set a club record for most points by a defenceman in one game, breaking the mark that had been held by fan-favourite Mitch Love, who had a goal and four assists in a 5-2 victory over the Blades in Saskatoon on Nov. 6, 2004. Interestingly, Love scored his goal on the PP and added three PP assists and one on a shorthanded EN goal. That was Love’s first WHL season — he finished with nine goals and 20 assists in 59 games. . . . Zellweger, 18, came out of his six-pointer with seven goals and 19 assists in 19 games. He went into this season with 25 points, including 21 assists, in 70 career games over three seasons. . . . No, he isn’t related to Renée.


THE COACHING GAME: The SJHL’s Nipawin Hawks fired Doug Johnson, their general manager and head coach, on Saturday. Johnson, 45, who played three seasons (1993-96) with the Hawks, had been with Nipawin since March 2010. He is a three-time SJHL coach of the year and the franchise’s winningest head coach. Assistant coach Tad Kozun, a 28-year-old Nipawin native, has been named interim head coach. At the time of the firing, the Hawks were 10-12-5, and tied for third in the four-team Sherwood Division, six points out of second.


Donuts


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.

%d bloggers like this: