Vees set CJHL attendance record . . . Merritt billet family loses home to fire . . . Andrusiak sparks Seattle comeback

A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

The BCHL’s Penticton Vees have become the first Canadian Junior Hockey League team to average more than 3,000 fans per game over an entire season. According to a news release, the Vees averaged 3,055 fans through 28 games at the 5,000-seat South Okanagan Events Centre during the just-completed regular season. . . . According to the Vees, the largest crowd (4,342) attended on Jan. 20 against the Trail Smoke Eaters. It was Pink in the Rink night, the annual anti-bullying promotion, and no crowd was smaller than 2,585. . . . Last season, the Vees’ average attendance was 2,981. . . . I didn’t count them, but according to Wikipedia there are 132 junior A teams operating under the CJHL’s umbrella.


The BCHL’s Merritt Centennials are preparing for a first-round series with the Wenatchee Wild. But the Centennials have had more than that on their minds this week. The Culbertson family, which billets three of the Centennials, lost their home to fire early Saturday morning, and the family — and the players — are just starting to put things back together. . . . Cole Wagner of the Merritt Herald has more right here, and if you go to the bottom of the story you will find a link to a GoFundMe page.


The Red Deer Rebels have added F Ethan Rowland to their roster. Rowland , 15, was a first-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. Rowland, from Calgary, had one goal and four assists in 19 games with the midget AAA Calgary Northstars this season. . . . The Rebels are scheduled to entertain the Calgary Hitmen tonight (Wednesday).


The Kootenay Ice has added D Nolan Orzeck, who turned 17 on Feb. 20, to its roster. From Calgary, he has played three games with the Ice this season. He had four goals and 10 assists in 28 games with the midget Calgary Northstars. Orzeck was a fourth-round pick in the WHL’ s 2016 bantam draft. . . . The Ice is at home to the Moose Jaw Warriors tonight (Wednesday).


D Jake Harrison of the BCHL’s West Kelowna Warriors has committed to the U of Michigan Wolverines, starting with the 2019-20 season. . . . Harrison, 18, was a fourth-round selection by the Spokane Chiefs in the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft. This season, his third with the Warriors, he has eight goals and 25 assists in 56 games. . . . The Warriors had announced on Dec. 17 that Harrison had made a commitment to the Michigan Tech Huskies for 2019-20, but he obviously has had a change of heart.


A story by Dominic Abassi of NanaimoNewsNOW indicates that the City of Nanaimo spent more than $470,000 for its Hometown Hockey weekend on Feb. 25 and 26, 2017. . . . According to Abassi’s report, “Expenses included $184,000 for ‘misc contracted services,’ $102,000 for materials and supplies, $23,000 for ‘hospitality’ and $3,500 for travel.” . . . Abassi’s complete story is right here.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon/Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

TUESDAY:

At Calgary, F Aleksi Heponiemi drew four assists as the Swift Current Broncos dumped the Hitmen, 6-4. . . . This was Calgary’s second annual BE BRAVE Anti-Bullying Game. It SCBroncosbegan at 11 a.m. . . . Swift Current (45-14-5) has won two in a row and now is tied with Moose Jaw atop the overall standings. The Warriors hold two games in hand. . . . Calgary (19-35-7) has lost two straight. . . . The Hitmen grabbed a 2-0 lead on first-period goals from F Jakob Stukel (31), at 9:39, and F Riley Stotts (14), at 14:17. . . . F MacKenzie Wight scored Swift Current’s first goal, his first of the season, at 17:04. Originally, he was listed as a scratch, but he went in after D Sahvan Khaira left the ice during the warmup. . . . Calgary D Vladislav Yeryomenko (13) gave his guys a 3-1 lead, on a PP, at 19:19. . . . The Broncos, though, scored the next three goals to take a 4-3 lead. . . . D Jacson Alexander got his first goal, at 8:16 of the second, and F Tyler Steenbergen (44) tied it, shorthanded, at 10:55. . . . F Glenn Gawdin (55) gave the visitors their first lead, on a PP, at 3:01 of the third period. . . . F Carson Focht (11) pulled the home team back into a tie, while shorthanded, at 12:06. . . . That didn’t last long, as F Giorgio Estephan (28) scored, on a PP, to give the Broncos a 5-4 lead at 14:51. . . . F Beck Malenstyn (13) added insurance at 17:55. . . . The Broncos got three assists from D Colby Sissons, with Gawdin and Steenbergen each getting one. . . . Gawdin leads the WHL scoring race, with 119 points, nine more than Lethbridge F Brayden Burke. . . . F Jake Kryski and D Dakota Krebs each had two assists for Calgary. Stukel added one. . . . Swift Current was 2-7 on the PP; Calgary was 1-7. The game included 22 minor penalties. . . . G Stuart Skinner started for the Broncos and gave up three goals on nine shots in the first period. Joel Hofer played the last two periods, stopping 18 of 19 shots. . . . The Hitmen got 28 stops from G Nick Schneider. . . . F Tanner Nagel was among the Broncos’ scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 16,300.


At Edmonton, F Mark Rassell scored twice to help the Medicine Hat Tigers to a 5-2 victory over the Oil Kings. . . . This was the ninth annual Hockey Hooky game, so it started at Tigers Logo Official11:30 a.m. . . . Medicine Hat (32-24-8) has points in five straight (4-0-1). It leads the Central Division, by four points over Lethbridge. . . . Edmonton (18-37-8) has lost five in a row (0-4-1). . . . Medicine Hat is 5-0-0 in the season series; Edmonton is 0-3-2. . . . Rassell opened the scoring at 5:03 of the first period. . . . F Trey Fix-Wolansky (27) tied the score at 15:06, but the Tigers went back in front at 17:59 as F Jaeger White (9) scored. . . . F Carter Souch (4) pulled the home team back into a tie, on a PP, at 7:53 of the second period. . . . The Tigers scored the last three goals. . . . F Ryan Jevne (18) broke the tie at 11:30, with Rassell (48) adding insurance at 12:28. . . . F Josh Williams (8) got the game’s last goal, on a PP, at 1:15 of the third period. . . . D Dylan MacPherson had two assists for Medicine Hat. . . . The Tigers were 1-1 on the PP; the Oil Kings were 1-4. . . . G Michael Bullion stopped 34 shots to earn the victory. . . . The Oil Kings got 31 saves from G Boston Bilous. He started for the first time since Dec. 13. He played 7:18 on Sunday in his first appearance since recovering from mononucleosis. . . . The Tigers had D Kristians Rubins (wrist) back in the lineup after he hadn’t played since Feb. 3. Also back was F Hayden Ostir (hand), who last played on Dec. 9. . . . Medicine Hat still is without D Linus Nassen and D Joel Craven. . . . Announced attendance: 13,261.


At Prince Albert, F Curtis Miske had a goal and two assists to lead the Raiders to a 6-2 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Prince Albert (27-25-11) has won four in a row PrinceAlbertand now is tied with Saskatoon for the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. Should they end up tied for the last playoff spot, they would have to play a tiebreaker game. . . . Brandon (33-25-5) had won its previous two games. It is in possession of the conference’s first wild-card spot, six points ahead of Saskatoon and Prince Albert. . . . The season series? Prince Albert is 3-2-1; Brandon is 3-3-0. . . . F Ty Lewis gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 14:39 of the first period. . . . The Raiders took a 2-1 lead before period’s end as F Kody McDonald (32) tied it at 16:36, and D Vojtech Budik (11) gave his guys the lead, on a PP, at 19:46. . . . F Cole Fonstad (19) upped the Raiders’ lead to two at 1:33 of the second period. . . . Lewis (36) pulled Brandon to within a goal, at 4:46, but it was all home team after that. . . . Miske (22) scored at 18:21, with F Jordy Stallard getting his 40th just 25 seconds into the third period and D Max Martin (6) completing the scoring at 9:09. . . . Fonstad and Budik each had an assist for the Raiders. . . . Prince Albert was 1-1 on the PP; Brandon was 0-2. . . . The Raiders got 21 stops from G Ian Scott. . . . Brandon G Logan Thompson made 36 saves. . . . Announced attendance: 1,861.


At Lethbridge, the Hurricanes scored the game’s last two goals to beat the Moose Jaw Warriors, 4-3. . . . Lethbridge (31-25-6) has won two in a row. It is second in the Central LethbridgeDivision, four points behind Medicine Hat. . . . Moose Jaw (46-13-3) had won its previous two games. It is tied with Swift Current atop the overall standings. The Warriors have two games in hand. . . . The Hurricanes took a 2-0 first-period lead on goals from F Kelti Jeri-Leon (8), at 2:12, and F Taylor Ross (18), at 8:29. . . . The Warriors got to within a goal when F Tristin Langan (15) scored at 19:13 of the second period. . . . Moose Jaw then took the lead with two quick third-period goals, from D Jett Woo (9), back from a three-game suspension, at 0:30, and F Justin Almeida (35), at 1:10. . . . All told, that was three goals in 1:57 for the visitors. . . . F Egor Zudilov (10), who also had an assist, tied it for Lethbridge at 11:56. . . . F Dylan Cozens got the winner, his 20th goal of the season, at 18:26. . . . The Warriors got two assists from D Josh Brook. . . . Lethbridge was 0-2 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 0-3. . . . G Logan Flodell had a tremendous outing for the home team, finishing with 37 saves. . . . G Brody Willms stopped 16 shots for Moose Jaw. . . . Announced attendance: 4,255.


At Prince George, the Cougars erased a 1-0 deficit as they skated to a 4-1 victory over the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Kelowna (38-19-6) had points in each of its previous five games (4-0-PrinceGeorge1). It leads the B.C. Division, by seven points over Victoria. . . . Prince George (21-33-8) had lost three in a row. . . . Kelowna leads the season series, 5-2-0); Prince George is 2-3-2. . . . F Erik Gardiner (5) gave Kelowna a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 12:45 of the first period. . . . F Vladislav Mikhalchuk (14) tied it at 17:31. . . . The Cougars took control with three second-period goals — from D Austin Crossley (2), at 3:20; F Josh Maser (26), at 13:05; and D Joel Lakusta (7), on a PP, at 16:19. . . . The Cougars got two assists from each of F Brogan O’Brien and F Jared Bethune, and one from Lakusta. . . . Prince George was 1-3 on the PP; Kelowna was 1-4. . . . The Cougars got 20 saves from G Taylor Gauthier. . . . Kelowna started G Brodan Salmond, who was beaten four times on 16 shots in 36:19. James Porter came on to stop the two shots he faced in 23:51. . . . Kelowna held a 5-1 edge — yes, 5-1! — in third-period shots on goal. . . . The Rockets were without D Cal Foote, who served a one-game suspension. . . . Announced attendance: 2,273.


At Kennewick, Wash., F Ryan Hughes had five points and G Shane Farkas earned the shutout as the Portland Winterhawks blasted the Tri-City Americans, 9-0. . . . Portland Portland(38-20-4) has won three in a row. It is second in the U.S. Division, seven points behind Everett and three up on Spokane. . . . Tri-City (32-22-8) had won three straight. It holds down the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot, five points ahead of Seattle. Tri-City is fourth in the U.S. Division, five points behind Spokane. . . . Portland now has a 7-2-0 edge in the season series; Tri-City is 2-6-1. . . . Hughes, who has 14 goals, scored twice and added three assists. His third point was the 100th of his career and came in his 177th game. . . . Hughes scored his first goal at 2:32 of the first period. . . . D Keoni Texeira, who got his 100th career assist during the game, made it 2-0 at 3:46 and the rout was on. . . . F Kieffer Bellows scored twice, giving him 34, with the other goals coming from F Joachim Blichfeld (21), D Brendan De Jong (3), F Cody Glass (30) and F Reece Newkirk (6). . . . Portland got two assists from each of D Conor MacEachern and Blichfeld, with Glass, Newkirk and Texeira adding one apiece. . . . Farkas, making his third straight start, stopped 37 shots in posting his second shutout. He is 3-0-0 while stopping 87 of 90 shots in those three starts. . . . The Americans opened with G Patrick Sea, who was beaten five times on 26 shots in 34:04. Beck Warm finished up, allowing four goals on 16 shots in 25:56. . . . Portland was 1-3 on the PP; Tri-City was 0-7. . . . The Winterhawks are 21-8-2 on the road. . . . Announced attendance: 2,611.


At Kent, Wash., F Zack Andrusiak scored three times, including once in OT, to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 5-4 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Seattle (29-24-9) had Seattlelost four in a row. It holds down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, five points behind Tri-City and eight ahead of Kamloops. . . . Vancouver (32-21-9) is third in the B.C. Division, two points behind Victoria. . . . These teams played four times this season and all four games went to OT — each team finished 2-0-2. . . . The Thunderbirds trailed 4-1 halfway through the second period, then scored the game’s last four goals. . . . Andrusiak gave Seattle a 1-0 lead at 2:22 of the first period. . . . F Tyler Popowich (7) tied the scored at 16:24. . . . The Giants then got three second-period goals — from F Tyler Benson (22), shorthanded, at 2:41; F Ty Ronning (54), on a PP, at 6:01; and F James Malm (18), at 6:55. . . . F Nikita Malukhin (5) started the Seattle comeback at 13:57. . . . Andrusiak got Seattle to within a goal, at 6:11 of the third period, and F Nolan Volcan (27) tied it at 18:53. . . . Andrusiak (27) won it on a PP — Vancouver D Matt Barberis was off for delay of game — at 0:34 of OT. . . . Seattle F Donovan Neuls had four assists, with Malukhin and Volcan each getting one. . . . Benson had an assist for Vancouver. . . . Seattle was 1-4 on the PP; Vancouver was 1-1. . . . The Thunderbirds got 24 saves from G Liam Hughes. . . . Vancouver G David Tendeck turned aside 35 shots. . . . F Krz Plummer, who turned 16 on Feb. 13, made his WHL debut with the Giants. He was a third-round pick in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. Plummer has seven goals and 10 assists in 32 games with the Delta Hockey Academy prep team. . . . Announced attendance: 4,450.


WEDNESDAY (all times local):

Moose Jaw vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.

Calgary at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Victoria at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Kelowna at Prince George, 7 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

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Still no timeline for Seattle goalie . . . Ex-enforcer reaches out to Peat . . . Jette on comeback trail from concussion . . . Toigos involved in mammoth real-estate deal

Scattershooting

A little bit of snow, exactly as was called for by forecasters, and Kamloops turns into smashville. It’s as predictable as the POTUS waking up every day and entertaining us with a tweet or six. Hey, it snowed here on Tuesday and again Thursday, and it was a travelling road show both days.


Rob Vanstone, in the Regina Leader-Post:

“What is the point of fighting? It is purposeless. On (Dec. 15), for example, the Pats’ Bryce Platt and the Saskatoon Blades’ Evan Fiala squared off. It was a fight for the sake of a fight — a needless spasm of pugilism that was then replayed on the Brandt Centre’s centre-ice scoreboard. Player safety is such an obvious priority that fighting is showcased via the in-house video system. The wrong message is being transmitted.”


Derek Boogaard. Rick Rypien. Wade Belak. Matt Johnson. Steve Montador. Rudy Poeschek. Stephen Peat. Dale Purinton. . . . All were major junior hockey enforcers. All later experienced, or are experiencing, health and lifestyle issues. . . . Yes, it’s time for the WHL to outlaw fighting. Period.


On a different subject, have you flipped through the TV listings lately? Have you noticed all the Christmas moves that are available? No, I’m not referring to Home Alone, Die Hard, Elf, Miracle on 34th Street or any of those. I’m referring to the dozens of movies like Finding Santa, Christmas at Holly Lodge, Switched for Christmas, Christmas in Mississippi, etc. Hey, they’re everywhere. When did the making of such movies become such a large industry?


There’s a WHL angle here, too, because my wife, who knows such things, tells me that Candace Cameron Bure is a big star in the Christmas movie game. Yes, she is married to former WHL star Valeri Bure (Spokane Chiefs, 1991-94).


It’s college football bowl season and that’s always a fun time. Did you get to watch the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl on Tuesday? What about the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl on Thursday? I’m old enough to remember when the Holiday Bowl was, well, the Holiday Bowl. Now it’s the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl. . . . Someone has a lot of fun playing name that bowl game during the offseason.


Former WHLer Peter Soberlak (Kamloops, Swift Current, 1985-89) is in the running to be the next athletic director at Thompson Rivers U in Kamloops. He has been at TRU for 14 years and now is in the school’s phys-ed department. . . . It’s likely that either Soberlak or Curtis Atkinson will be tabbed to replace the retiring Ken Olynyk. Atkinson, the associate director of sport for Canada West, was the interim AD at the U of Regina for about 18 months starting in December 2014. His wife, Heather, is a TRU professor.


Just wondering . . . who had more failures . . . the original Steve McGarrett or Perry Mason?



Look, this is all new to me here, so please bear with me as I stumble around for a while.

But if you enter your email address over there on the right I believe that you will be notified each time I post something new on this site.

I haven’t yet been able to get a DONATE button posted here. But if you care to help the cause, please visit the old site (takingnote.ca), click on the DONATE button and do it there.


MacBeth

F Carter Proft (Brandon, Spokane, 2010-14) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with the Ravensburg Towerstars (Germany, DEL2). This season, he had two assists in 20 games with the Grizzlys Wolfsburg (Germany, DEL). He was released from a tryout contract on Dec. 19. . . .

G Ville Kolppanen (Lethbridge, 2009-10) has been assigned by Rögle Ängelholm (Sweden, SHL) to Södertälje (Sweden, Allsvenskan) on a one-game conditioning loan. Kolppanen has been out since just before the start of the season with an injury and only recently resumed training. . . .

D Sebastian Owuya (Medicine Hat, 2010-11) has been assigned on loan by Södertälje (Sweden, Allsvenskan) to Kallinge/Ronneby (Sweden, Division 1) for the remainder of this season. He was pointless in 14 games with Södertälje, and had one assist in three games while on loan to Nyköping Grypen (Sweden, Division 1).


A LITTLE OF THIS . . . SOME OF THAT . . .

Andy Eide, who follows the Seattle Thunderbirds for 710 ESPN Seattle, chatted with general manager Russ Farwell and posted a story on Thursday. . . . In the story, Farwell Seattleaddresses the situation regarding G Carl Stankowski, who, at 16, led them to a WHL championship last spring but has yet to play this season. “He’s had some complications,” Farwell told Eide. “They’re looking, he’s maybe got some other health problems. They think they’ve got it figured out. They’re hoping this week to set the treatment and then we are thinking he’s going to play, which I wasn’t sure about at one point. It’s still up in the air, we don’t know for sure so that’s part of the frustration.” . . . The one thing that is certain is that the Thunderbirds have no idea when Stankowski might return to game action. . . . Farwell also addressed the impending arrival of the NHL in Seattle: “The cost for two people to go to an NHL game you can just about have a season ticket for us. We’re talking two different price points and I think the growth in the sport will be phenomenal. As people get excited about the game, communities start to build rinks and more kids get involved. That’s the key point for us and I think we’ll see the spin off from that.” . . . Eide’s complete story is right here.


Dale Purinton has been on the same road that Stephen Peat now is travelling. Both are former WHL enforcers, with a long history of fights both there and later in the NHL. These days, Peat is believed to be living on the streets of B.C.’s Fraser Valley, and Purinton would like to help him. . . . After the CBC did a story on Peat, Purinton got in touch with folks at the broadcaster. . . . Jeremy Allingham of CBC News has more right here.


In 2015-16, D Tyler Jette of Farmington, Minn., was one of 10 finalists for Minnesota’s Mr. Hockey Award, which goes to the state’s top high school player. He also was nominated for the Reed Larson Award, which goes to the state’s top high school defenceman. On Sept. 26, 2016, Jette, then 18, signed with the Tri-City Americans. . . . He never played even one game with the Americans. So . . . what happened? . . . Jette suffered a concussion in training camp prior to last season and sat out the entire season. In fact, he didn’t play again until earlier this month when he joined the AJHL’s Sherwood Park Crusaders. He now has played in three games and has one assist. . . . “The only thing that was hampering him at all was his conditioning,” Sherwood Park head coach Adam Manah told Shane Jones of the Sherwood Park News, “which is to be expected after not playing for so long and only skating with us three or four times. He sees the ice well and moves the puck crisp and hard. All we need from him is to be a good shut-down guy. We can see there is some offensive instincts there too, but that will come in due time once he gets comfortable and gets his game rolling again.” . . . Jette no longer is listed among the prospects on the Americans’ website. . . . Jones’ story is right here.


The Kootenay Ice has signed G Gage Alexander, 15, who is from Okotoks, Alta. Alexander Kootenaynewwas a seventh-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. This season, he is 7-0-1, 1.75, .929 with the minor midget AAA Rockyview Raiders. . . . The Ice now has signed six of its 10 selections in the 2017 bantam draft — F Connor McClennon, who was taken second overall, D Anson McMaster, F James Form, G Will Gurski, F Owen Pederson and Alexander. . . . Left unsigned are D Jake Sanderson, a fourth-round pick from Calgary; D Brett Fogg of Humboldt, Sask., who was taken in the fifth round; D Benjamin Zloty, a sixth-rounder from Calgary; and F Michael Milne, who was taken in the eighth round out of the Yale Hockey Academy.


D Jake Harrison of West Kelowna, B.C., has committed to Michigan Tech for the 2019-20 season. Harrison, who is in his third season with the BCHL’s West Kelowna Warriors, was a fourth-round selection by the Spokane Chiefs in the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft. . . . In 143 regular-season BCHL games, he has 16 goals and 56 assists. This season, he has four goals and 19 assists in 35 games.


A piece of property in downtown Vancouver that is owned by Shato Holdings Ltd., which is run by brothers Peter and Ron Toigo, has sold for “a reported $245 million,” according to the Vancouver Sun. . . . The site is located on West Georgia Street and is presently home to a White Spot restaurant. . . . The property, which also includes a parking lot, was purchased by Carnival International Holdings Ltd., which, the Sun reports, “trades on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong.” . . . The Toigos also are the majority owners of the WHL’s Vancouver Giants. . . . The Sun’s complete story is right here.


Scoreboard

Dec. 18-Dec. 26:

No Games Scheduled.


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