Comings, goings and happenings . . . and now back to baseball and The Border

If you’re wondering where I’ve been, well, I’ve been right here. I am taking some time away from writing, just taking a break. . . . I also have cracked open The Border, the third book in author Don Winslow’s terrific trilogy about, yes, the U.S.-Mexico border and a whole lot more. So I have been spending some time with Art Keller (hey, Google is your friend). . . . If you haven’t read the trilogy, start with The Dogs of War, then move on to The Cartel. After that you’ll be ready for The Border. . . . A warning though — this stuff is gritty. . . .

Some stuff has happened over the last few days, so what follows is a summary. No, I’m not back on a daily basis. Not yet. . . . You see, I’m only halfway through The Border. . . .


MacBeth

F Radim Valchar (Portland, Lethbridge, 2007-10) has signed a one-year contract extension with Csíkszereda Miercurea Ciuc (Romania, Erste Liga). Last season, he put up 42 goals and 43 assists in 61 games. He was tied for the league lead in goals and was second in points. . . .

D Brenden Kichton (Spokane, 2008-13) has signed a one-year contract with the Vienna Capitals (Austria, Erste Bank Liga). Last season, with SaiPa Lappeenranta (Finland, Liiga), he had eight goals and 15 assists in 46 games. . . .

F Lukáš Králík (Victoria, 2011-12) has signed a one-year contract with Nový Jičín (Czech Republic, 2. Liga). Last season, in 28 games with Draci Šumperk (Czech Republic, 2. Liga), he had seven goals and four assists. . . .

D Matt Pufahl (Red Deer, Saskatoon, Everett, 2010-14) has signed a one-year contract with the Glasgow Clan (Scotland, UK Elite). Last season, with the Utah Grizzlies (ECHL), he had one assist in six games. He also had one goal and one assist in 26 games with Zvolen (Slovakia, Extraliga). . . . The Glasgow press release states that Pufahl will enrol in the MBA program at Glasgow Caledonian University while playing for the Clan. . . .

F Wacey Rabbit (Saskatoon, Vancouver, 2001-07) has signed a one-year contract with Corona Brașov (Romania, Erste Liga). Last season, with the Jacksonville IceMen (ECHL), he had 29 goals and 31 assists in 70 games. He led the team in goals and points, and was tied for the lead in assists. . . .

F Michael Burns (Edmonton, Vancouver, 2007-12) has signed a try-out contract with the Hannover Indians (Germany, Oberliga Nord). He didn’t play last season. In summer 2018, with the Sydney Bears (Australia, AIHL), he had five goals and five assists in nine games. He holds dual German-Canadian citizenship. . . .

F Kevin King (Kootenay, 2006-11) has signed a one-year contract with Cortina (Italy, Alps HL). Last season, in 45 games with the Guildford Flames (England, UK Elite), he had five goals and 13 assists. . . .

F Austin Carroll (Victoria, 2011-15) has signed a one-year contract with the Kassel Huskies (Germany, DEL2). Last season, with the Utah Grizzlies (ECHL), he had 15 goals and 20 assists in 45 games. On loan to the Manitoba Moose (AHL), he had one goal in seven games. . . .

F Michal Řepík (Vancouver, 2005-08) has signed a one-year contract with Sparta Prague (Czech Republic, Extraliga). Last season, with Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia, KHL), he had 10 goals and 11 assists in 42 games; he was an alternate captain. . . . He was traded to Vityaz Podolsk (Russia, KHL) on Dec. 26, and had five goals and four assists in 19 games. . . .

F Jim O’Brien (Seattle, 2007-09) has signed a one-year contract with the Nuremberg Ice Tigers (Germany, DEL). Last season, with the Belleville Senators (AHL), he had one goal and two assists in 11 games. . . .

F R.J. Reed (Vancouver, Prince Albert, 2010-11) has signed a one-year contract with Diez-Limburg (Germany, Regionalliga West). Last season, with the Nijmegen Devils (Netherlands, BeNeLiga), he had 33 goals and 17 assists in 19 games. He led the team in goals and was second in points. He was third in the league in goals. . . .

D Brendan Mikkelson (Portland, Vancouver, 2003-07) has signed a one-year contract with Red Bull Salzburg (Austria, Erste Bank Liga). Last season, in 47 games with Adler Mannheim (Germany, DEL), he had six goals and eight assists in 47 games.


ThisThat

The Kamloops Blazers have signed Shaun Clouston as their head coach, replacing Serge Lajoie who was one-and-done. Clouston arrives in Kamloops after spending 16 seasons with the Medicine Hat Tigers. He was dismissed as general manager and head coach on Kamloops1May 30 so that the Tigers could bring back Willie Desjardins to fill both roles. . . . The Blazers also named co-owner Darryl Sydor an associate coach. He was named an assistant coach on Feb. 12. . . .

A tip of the Taking Note fedora to Clouston for not ducking questions about what happened in Medicine Hat. The Tigers announced his departure in a three-paragraph news release in which the team said they and Clouston “have parted ways.” . . . Clouston told reporters in Kamloops on Wednesday that he was in shock — he likened it to a “punch in the stomach” — when the Tigers dumped him. . . .

The Blazers didn’t announce any terms of their contract with Clouston, but you have to think it is at least four years in length. After all, they originally offered Kyle Gustafson a four-year deal, only to have him choose to remain with the Portland Winterhawks as associate coach and assistant GM. The offer to Gustafson was made before Clouston’s time ran out in The Hat. . . .

What makes things interesting in Kamloops is Sydor’s presence as associate coach. He also is one of the team’s five co-owners and hasn’t hidden his desire to be a WHL head coach. Sydor has never been a head coach, but has ample experience as an NHL assistant coach, having worked with the Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues. . . .

With the Blazers having hired Clouston, it leaves the Brandon Wheat Kings, Prince George Cougars and Spokane Chiefs as the only WHL teams still searching for head coaches. . . . The NHL’s Edmonton Oilers have a announced the hiring of Jim Playfair as an associate coach under head coach Dave Tippett. There continues to be speculation that Mark Lamb, presently the Cougars’ general manager, could be joining the Oilers as an assistant coach. He has a long history with Tippett.


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A couple of notes from Postmedia’s Jim Matheson:

“Connor McDavid’s junior coach Kris Knoblauch lost out for the Columbus farm team head job in Cleveland to Mike Eaves. . . . Hearing Los Angeles head coach Todd McLellan would have hired his other Oilers assistant Manny Viveiros, but there’s only room for two assistants for budgetary reasons. Viveiros is very much in running for an assistant’s job in Ottawa, though. No surprise Trent Yawney, who’ll look after L.A.’s defence, is joining McLellan again.”



I watched most of the Minnesota Twins’ 17-inning victory over the visiting Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night. One night later, Dick Bremer, the TV play-by-play voice of the Twins, passed along some interesting numbers. In a nine-inning game, he said, MLB teams will go through between six and 18 dozen baseballs. On Tuesday, in a game that included 487 pitches, they used up 27 dozen baseballs. . . . That’s a lot of souvenirs!


Shawn Mullin, the radio voice of the Swift Current Broncos for the past nine seasons, will be the new play-by-play voice of the OHL’s Peterborough Petes, according to Mike Davies of the Peterborough Examiner. . . . According to Davies, Mullin will replace Rob Snoek of Extra 90.5FM. Snoek told Davies that he won’t be back and that “it wasn’t my decision.” . . . Davies’ story is right here.


The Lethbridge Hurricanes have acquired F D-Jay Jerome, 20, from the Victoria Royals Lethbridgefor a pair of unspecified conditional bantam draft picks, one in 2021 and the other in 2022. Jerome is from Lethbridge. . . . Other 20-year-olds on Lethbridge’s roster include D Koletrane Wilson, D Ty Prefontaine, F Scott Mahovlich and F Zach Cox. F Jake Leschyshyn, F Jordy Bellerive and F Nick Henry also are 1999-born players, but are likely to begin their pro careers in the fall. . . .

The Royals also lost D Jake Kustra, 20, on waivers to the Swift Current Broncos. Kustra played under Broncos head coach Dean Brockman when both were with the Saskatoon VictoriaRoyalsBlades. . . . With Kustra, the Broncos have three 20-year-olds on their roster, the others being F Ian Briscoe and F Ethan O’Rourke. . . .

Having trade away Jerome and placed Kustra on waivers, Victoria has six 20s on its roster — D Will Warm, who was acquired from the Edmonton Oil Kings on June 13, Belarusian F Igor Martynov, F Tanner Sidaway, who is from Victoria, D Jameson Murray, D Scott Walford and G Shane Farkas, an offseason acquisition from the Portland Winterhawks. . . .

Meanwhile, the Broncos have signed F Mat Ward to a WHL contract. From Kamloops, he was the 14th overall pick in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft.


The Edmonton Oil Kings have waived F Zach Russell, 20. He got into 36 games with them last season. Earlier, the Oil Kings had dealt D Will Warm, 20, to the Victoria Royals. . . . The Oil Kings are left with four 20s on their roster — F Riley Sawchuk, who was acquired from the Tri-City Americans on May 16, G Dylan Myskiw, D Conner McDonald and D Parker Gavlas. . . . F Trey Fix-Wolansky also is 20, but is likely to begin his pro career in the Columbus Blue Jackets’ organization.


Bart


An interesting note from Bob Molinaro of the Hampton Roads Virginian Pilot: “Bob Molinaro in the Hampton-Roads Virginian-Pilot: “Forbes has put out another list of the highest-paid athletes. It’s the usual dull cluster of dollar signs and numbers, but with one amusing twist. Strictly by salary, Tom Brady ranks fifth on the list — among Boston athletes alone. The top paid Beantown jock is Celtics guard Kyrie Irving, followed by teammates Gordon Hayward and Al Horford. Red Sox left-hander David Price slips into fourth place. Not taken into account is the cash value of six Super Bowl rings.”


The Kamloops Blazers are down to three 20-year-olds with F Travis Walton having cleared WHL waivers and signed with the BCHL’s Nanaimo Clippers. . . . Walton had nine goals and nine assists in 48 regular-season games over three seasons with the Blazers. . . . The 20s remaining on the Blazers’ roster are F Zane Franklin, F Kobe Mohr and D Jackson Caller. . . .

Meanwhile, the Blazers announced Thursday that they have signed Colin (Toledo) Robinson, their trainer, to a contract extension. The length of the extension wasn’t revealed. . . . Robinson has been with the Blazers since then GM/head coach Dean Clark signed him in 2005. Robinson is prepping for his 25th WHL season, having also worked for the Swift Current Broncos and Vancouver Giants.


The Prince Albert Raiders named Curt Brownlee as their director of player personnel. He has been with the Raiders since 2011 when he signed on as a scout. He takes over from the late Ron Gunville, who died in December.


There is zero chance of the Tampa Bay Rays splitting their American League seasons between the Florida city and Montreal. None. Zilch. Nada. . . . This is simply a cheap way for the Rays to try and pressure their way to a new ballpark in Tampa.


If you’re wondering about the costs of operating a junior A hockey team, consider this from Michael Reeve of radio station Q101.1 from the AGM of the BCHL’s Merritt Centennials:

“Beth Nadeau, the team’s treasurer, provided an update on last (season’s) financials. While the team’s expenses came in at approximately the same amount as last (season), this (season’s) revenue was down close to $23,000. All of that resulted in the team losing $95,644.68 last (season), up from a loss of $75,329.99 the season before.”

Meanwhile, the MJHL’s Swan Valley Stampeders held their AGM on Wednesday night and reported a deficit of $6,402.95. The Stampeders had a long playoff run or it would have been a lot worse. . . . For more, check out Benny Walchuk’s blog right here.


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Gaglardi ‘suspects’ Lajoie will be back. . . . Habscheid, Love in war of the words. . . . Ice, assistant coach go separate ways


MacBeth

F Aaron Gagnon (Seattle, 2001-07) has signed a one-year contract extension with Langnau (Switzerland, NL). This season, he had 14 goals and 14 assists in 39 games.


ThisThat

It seems that a lot of folks who follow the WHL are wondering about the coaching situation with the Kamloops Blazers. Specifically, they want to know if Serge Lajoie will be back for a second season as the head coach.

You will be aware that the Blazers went 28-32-8 this season, then beat the Kelowna Kamloops1Rockets in a tiebreaker to get into the playoffs, where they were beaten in six games by the Victoria Royals in a spirited first-round series.

Let’s break down the Blazers’ season a little bit.

Darryl Sydor, one of the franchise’s five owners, was named a full-time assistant coach on Feb. 12. A former Blazers defenceman who went on to play and coach in the NHL, Sydor is a two-time Stanley Cup winner and also won a Memorial Cup.

When the Blazers made that announcement, they were 20-27-5. With Sydor officially on board, they finished the regular-season 8-5-3, won that tiebreaker, then went 2-4 in the playoffs.

So, all told, they were 11-9-3 after the Sydor announcement.

Which brings us to an interview that Marty Hastings of Kamloops This Week did with Tom Gaglardi, the Blazers’ majority owner. Here are three questions and answers:

Hastings: Will Serge be the head coach to start next season?

Gaglardi: I suspect so. He’s got a long-term contract and we haven’t had any conversation about anything other than that. We’re very happy with where we are. We had a great finish to the year and we’re excited about next season, but this week is just a week to lick our wounds. This is a series (vs. Victoria) we truly thought we could win.

Hastings: What do you think assistant coach Darryl Sydor brought to the team?

Gaglardi: Darryl really understands what it takes to win and what a successful bench feels like. He’s been a long-time player and had success at the junior level, had success at the NHL level, won a couple of Stanley Cups. He knows what benches need. I think he was really instrumental in figuring out what his role could be to help. Sometimes you’ve got a coach that’s a hard coach and the kids need to be brought up and built back, and Darryl really understands the ying and yang, the methods, and figured out a role that he could help in. He really worked hard to make sure the kids believed they could actually get the job done. He perhaps brought something to the staff that was missing. Darryl is a tremendous guy and I was thrilled when he agreed to join full-time and come on board and he made a difference.

Hastings: Does Darryl have what it takes to be a head coach here or somewhere else?

Gaglardi: I’ve got to think so, if that’s what he wants to do. He’s come home and I think he’d like to be involved in some way. We’ve had lots of talks around this for a long time. What this blossoms into, I’m not sure. He’s a tremendous guy and we’d love to have him involved. He’s got kids playing competitive hockey. I’m not sure where he’s going to be, in terms of level of commitment next year, whether he’s ready to step in and take on some sort of full-time role again with the club. I’m not sure. He did make a big difference to us down the stretch.

That complete interview is right here.

I don’t have any idea what the future holds here. I do know that in the 12 seasons under the ownership of Gaglardi, Sydor, Shane Doan, Jarome Iginla and Mark Recchi, the Blazers have gotten out of the first round twice, been a first-round casualty six times, and have missed the playoffs on four occasions.

Lajoie is the 10th head coach or interim head coach, including Guy Charron on two occasions, this franchise has employed over those 12 seasons.


It’s ‘Game On’ in the Eastern Conference seminal between the Prince Albert Raiders and Saskatoon Blades.

The series resumes tonight in Saskatoon, with the Raiders holding a 2-0 lead. Game 3 will be televised by Sportsnet.

Other than the quotes in the above tweets, Ryan Flaherty of Global TV in Saskatoon also Saskatoontweeted this quote from Blades head coach Mitch Love:

“There was four head-whipping incidents (Sunday) night, three of which led to penalties on our side, by their players. So is that embellishment? I don’t know. Is it? I hope they’re getting their necks fixed over there today.”

You’ll recall that prior to the series Marc Habscheid, the Raiders’ head coach, offered up PrinceAlbertthese thoughts to Darren Zary of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix:

“They embellish. That’s what they do. They led the league in drawing minors. It’s known around (the league) that they do that. Hopefully, that stops because it’s not a good thing. You look at a guy like Kirby Dach. He’s a good player. I met the young man at the Prospects game. A great kid, awesome kid and really great player. He doesn’t need to embellish. He’s better than that. He’s a good enough player. He doesn’t need to that.”

As Zary reports in a story posted on Monday evening, Love went so far as to suggest that the WHL office needs to be paying more attention to player safety.

“I really chose not to say too much about it up until this point,” Zary quotes Love as having said, “but after watching two games in which I felt there were several incidents — especially (Sunday night’s) hockey game where there was a lot of contact towards players’ heads — I know our league stresses player safety, so I think the real story here is how people have turned a blind eye to that kind of thing, based on comments that were made previously, prior to the start of the series.”

Zary’s story is right here.

And, in case you missed it, here’s some video of Habscheid off the Sportsnet telecast early in Game 2 on Saturday night. . . .


The Winnipeg Ice revealed via Twitter on Monday that the organization and assistant coach Gord Burnett “have agreed to part ways.” Burnett, a native of Regina, just completed his fourth season on the Ice’s coaching staff. . . . According to the Ice’s website, its coaching staff now comprises head coach James Patrick and associate coach Jon Klemm. . . . Patrick, from Winnipeg, and Klemm, who is from Cranbrook, have been with the Ice through two seasons.


F Kyle Olson of the Tri-City Americans has joined the San Diego Gulls, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks, on an ATO. From Calgary, Olson was selected by the Ducks in the fourth round of the NHL’s 2017 draft. He hasn’t signed an NHL contract. . . . This season, Olson, who turned 20 on March 22, had 21 goals and 49 assists in 62 games with the Americans.


The Edmonton Oil Kings have signed D Matt Smith to a WHL contract. An Edmonton native, Smith was a third-round selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. . . . He played this season with the midget AAA Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., Rangers, recording two goals and 10 assists in 41 regular-season and playoff games.


Rick Westhead of TSN filed another story regarding the minimum-wage lawsuit on Monday, and this one really involves the WHL.

“A fight is unfolding in the Western Hockey League minimum-wage class-action lawsuit over the privacy of current and former players who pursue a claim against the league for minimum wage, back pay and overtime,” Westhead writes.

“A year and a half after an Alberta judge certified a minimum-wage lawsuit against the WHL, lawyers for the plaintiffs and the league are now battling over how to notify those players about their right to proceed with a case or, if they choose, withdraw from the litigation.

“The two sides will appear at a hearing in Calgary on Monday to make arguments about the notice the players will be given regarding the lawsuit.”

The complete story is right here.

Westhead also mentioned that “the CHL and its three leagues have been battling minimum-wage lawsuits for the past five years.”

It is hard to fathom that it already has been that long. Wouldn’t you like to know how much money the WHL has spent on legal fees over that time?


F Joachim Blichfeld of the Portland Winterhawks will play for Denmark’s national men’s team in a pair of exhibition games against visiting Finland this week. The games are scheduled for Thursday in Aalborg and Saturday in Vojens. . . . The Danish team, under head coach Heinz Ehlers, dropped eight players from its training camp after weekend workouts. . . . Blichfeld, who won the WHL scoring championship with 114 points in 68 games this season, is hoping to earn a spot on the national men’s A team that will play in the IIHF World Championship in the Slovakian cities of Bratislava and Košice, from May 10 through May 26.


Kevin Kaminski is the new general manager and head coach of the SJHL’s La Ronge Ice larongeWolves. Kaminski, who is from Churchbridge, Sask., signed a three-year contract. . . . Kaminski, 50, spent three seasons (1986-89) with the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades before going on to a pro career that included 139 games in the NHL. . . . For the past three seasons, he has been the head coach of the Western States Hockey League’s Fresno Monsters. . . . The Ice Wolves also announced that Gaelan Patterson, another former Blades skater, will be turning, but as associate GM and associate coach. Patterson finished the season as the team’s interim head coach after the firing of Evan Vossen. . . . The team also said that Travis Hegland will be returning as athletic therapist and trainer.


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NOTES: D Jake Kustra of the Victoria Royals has been suspended for two games after taking a cross-checking major and game misconduct for a hit on F Jared Dmytriw of the DisciplineVancouver Giants at 2:54 of the second period on Saturday. That was in Game 2 of the series. The Giants won, 2-1 in OT, and hold a 2-0 leading going into Game 3 tonight in Victoria. . . .

Meanwhile, the Giants have been fined $750 for, according to the WHL website, “actions of player at end of game” on Saturday night. There was a bit of a brouhaha after Vancouver F Tristen Nielsen scored the game-winner at 3:29 of OT. G Griffen Outhouse of Victoria came out of it with a roughing minor, while Giants D Alex Kannok Leipert was hit with a roughing minor and a game misconduct. I would think it’s safe to assume that he is the “player” in question. . . .

In these playoffs, the WHL’s Dept. of Discipline now has issued 13 suspensions totalling 30 games, and handed out six fines worth a total of $4,250. . . . In all of last season’s playoffs, there were six players suspended for a total of 12 games, and two fines meted out worth $1,250. . . .

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After a quiet Monday night, there are three second-round games on the schedule tonight. . . .

As mentioned, the Vancouver Giants hold a 2-0 lead as they play Game 3 against the Royals in Victoria. The Royals obviously will be without D Jake Kustra, while F Kody McDonald serves the fifth of a six-game suspension. . . . Victoria D Ralph Jarratt left late in Game 3 with an apparent injury to his left shoulder or arm and didn’t return. . . . The Giants are expected to again be without F Aidan Barfoot, who was injured in the first round. . . .

——

In Calgary, the Edmonton Oil Kings, with a 2-0 lead, will meet the Hitmen as the Battle of Alberta resumes. . . . Here’s a note from Derek Van Diest of the Edmonton Sun involving the first two games:

“Two games and two won face-offs have ended up the back of the Hitmen net so far in the series.

“The Oil Kings won 3-2 in overtime Saturday after (Mark) Kastelic won a clean draw in his own zone and pulled it back through the legs of an unsuspecting (goaltender Jack) McNaughton and off the goal post. Jake Neighbours was then first to the rebound and knocked it into the net for the game-winner.

“On Sunday, Carson Focht pulled one back from the same face-off circle past McNaughton and into the net to give the Oil Kings a 2-1 lead in the second period.”

As Calgary head coach Steve Hamilton told Van Diest: “It’s not everyday you win two faceoffs and shoot two pucks into your own net in two games. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that. That was a bid odd, but it was probably par for the course, too.”

——

The Prince Albert Raiders, with a 2-0 lead, venture into Saskatoon to meet the Blades in a game that will be televised by Sportsnet, which also showed the first two games of the series. . . . With the two head coaches firmly involved in a war of the words, it will be interesting to see the attendance in the SaskTel Centre tonight.

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The other second-round series, between the Everett Silvertips and Spokane Chiefs, is to resume on Wednesday. The Chiefs went into Everett and won twice, so they take a 2-0 lead on to home ice. The next three games, if necessary, are scheduled for Spokane because the Cirque du Soleil is in the Angels of the Wind Arena in Everett through Sunday.


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Silence not golden in Cranbrook . . . Royals get d-man from Blades . . . Farewell to a great Canadian

MacBeth

D Logan Pyett (Regina, 2003-08) signed a contract for the rest of this season with KooKoo Kouvola (Finland, Liiga). This season, he had one assist in 10 games with the Hershey Bears (AHL). He was released by Hershey on Friday.


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The silence emanating from Cranbrook, B.C., the home, at least for now, of the Kootenay Ice has gone beyond deafening to embarrassing for the WHL.

If it wasn’t already, Gregory Strong, a writer with The Canadian Press, turned this into a Kootenaynewnational story on Monday by filing a story that was written after speaking with Vancouver-based Tom Mayenknecht, who is described as “a marketing communications executive and sport business commentator,” and Richard Powers, a sports marketing specialist who is an associate professor at the U of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.

The story deals with whether a relocated WHL franchise would be able to make a go of it in the Manitoba capital, which also is home to NHL and AHL franchises.

Powers offers the opinion that “I just don’t see how it can be financially viable,” while Mayenknecht seems to think that hard work and a sound marking strategy just might make it work.

“They’ll have to be very aggressive with their pricing in terms of really making it a family entertainment opportunity and price it a heck of a lot lower than the Jets and even the Moose,” Mayenknecht told Strong.

When Strong approached the WHL for comment, he got the same spiel that the league first issued in October, one that includes this sentence: “The WHL is looking forward to the Kootenay Ice continuing to operate this season in Cranbrook.”

Strong also pointed out that “a message left with team president and general manager Matt Cockell wasn’t immediately returned.”

Strong’s complete story is right here.

In Cranbrook, meanwhile, the folks would like someone to say something . . . anything.


The Victoria Royals have acquired D Jake Kustra, 19, and a seventh-round selection in the VictoriaRoyalsWHL’s 2019 bantam draft from the Saskatoon Blades for a fourth-rounder in 2019.

The seventh-round pick is being returned to its original owner. The Blades had acquired it from the Royals in exchange for F Tyler Lees, 18, on July 19.

Kustra, 19, has been on the shelf since Oct. 14 and has played in only 10 games this season. But he apparently is close to a return, which would have left the Blades with nine healthy defencemen.

This season, the native of Yorkton, Sask., has one assist in 10 games. In 169 career regular-season games, all with the Blades, he has six goals and 25 assists. He was a second-round pick by Saskatoon in the 2014 bantam draft.

Kustra now becomes one of eight defencemen on Victoria’s roster.

The Royals are at home to the Portland Winterhawks tonight and Wednesday. . . . The Blades are to entertain the Edmonton Oil Kings tonight.

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The Red Deer Rebels have acquired G Eric Ward, 17, from the Seattle Thunderbirds for a seventh-round selection in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft. Ward is 5-4-3, 3.42, .907 with the midget AAA Edmonton CAC Canadians this season. . . . Ward, who wasn’t selected in the bantam draft, is from Edmonton and will remain with the Canadians.

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COUNTDOWN TO DEADLINE

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

Monday’s action:

No. of trades: 2.

Players: 2.

Bantam draft picks: 3.

Conditional draft picks: 0.

——

Total deals (since Nov. 26):

No. of trades: 12.

Players: 33.

Bantam draft picks: 21.

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.)


The Brandon Wheat Kings have added G Connor Ungar, 16, to their roster with starter Jiri Patera in the selection camp of the Czech Republic’s national junior team. . . . Ungar, from Calgary, plays for the Northern Alberta X-Treme prep team (2.24, .916). . . . With Patera away, freshman Ethan Kruger, 17, will take over the Wheat Kings’ starter’s role. In six appearances this season, he is 3-1-2, 2.95, .910.


As you no doubt are aware, F Brett Leason of the Prince Albert Raiders had his season-opening point streak snapped at 30 games in a 1-0 loss to the Blades in Saskatoon on Sunday.

In the tweet above, you will find a list of CHL point streaks, starting with the 1997-98 season.

The top three point streaks in WHL history are right here . . .

56 — Jeff Nelson, Prince Albert, Oct. 24, 1990 through March 6, 1991 (108 points).

47 — Jock Callander, Regina Pats, Oct. 30, 1981 through Feb. 23, 1982 (141 points).

     — Wally Schreiber, Regina Pats, Oct. 20, 1981 through Feb. 23, 1982 (99 points).

45 — Jim Benning, Portland Winter Hawks, Dec. 4, 1980 through March 25, 1981 (95 points).

The longest current streak in the WHL is a 16-gamer by F Cody Glass of the Portland Winterhawks. However, he is going to have to wait before attempting to extend it as he is in camp with Canada’s national junior team in Victoria.


It used to be that the champion of junior hockey in Western Canada was presented with the Abbott Cup following the conclusion of a best-of-seven series. Over time, however, we found ourselves with junior A and major junior leagues; the Abbott Cup, which was named in honour of war hero Lyman (Hick) Abbott, was relegated to the junior A ranks and soon went to the winner of a single game. (Every year, around Nov. 11, I post a feature-length story here that details the heroics of Hick Abbott and how a Regina-born gentleman Lyman Potts came to be named after him.)

One day, during my 12-year stint as the sports editor at the Regina Leader-Post, I received a letter from Potts, who was concerned that the Abbott Cup wasn’t being treated with the respect its namesake warranted, and suggested that he would like to see the trophy retired to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Thus began a campaign that could involve Potts, former Leader-Post sports editor Tom (Scotty) Melville and me. . . . It didn’t happen overnight but, in time, the Abbott Cup was retired to the Hockey Hall of Fame and, later on, Abbott would be inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame.

As I would come to find out, Potts was a giant himself; in fact, as The Globe and Mail pointed out on Monday, he “was a founding father of Canada’s music industry.” He was, for example, the push behind Gordon Lightfoot’s first recording session. Potts also was a giant of the Canadian radio industry.

My friend Lyman Potts died on Sunday. He was 102.

If you would like to know more about this great Canadian, Fred Langan has the story right here.


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Tweetoftheday

Seattle goaltender won’t play this season . . . Warriors back alone on top . . . Pats, Blades earn some breathing room

Dan
An inside look at the Gangneung Hockey Centre, which apparently will be dismantled once the Olympic Winter Games are over. (Photo: Dan Courneyea)

DAN’S DIARY . . .

Dan Courneyea, who is part of the Kamloops Blazers’ off-ice crew of officials, is working men’s hockey games at the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. He has been keeping Taking Note readers up to date, too. . . . He has some notes from Monday, which is OlylogoTuesday over there:

“This building (Gangneung Hockey Centre) was built solely for these Olympics. There never were any games played on the ice until the Olympics started. Once the Olympics and Paralympics have finished, they allegedly are tearing this building down. No call for more ice in South Korea. It’s a nice building.”

In looking ahead to the Canadian men’s team and its next game against OAR, he notes:

“The OAR (Olympic Athletes from Russia) have a talented men’s team, it’s whether or not they can play as a team?”

Courneyea, like most everyone else, also is looking forward to the women’s gold medal game, which will be, yes, a rematch between Canada and the U.S.

“Looks like Team Canada has been built to skate with Team USA,” he writes. “The gold medal game should be a good one. Team Canada has the right group to score, skate, check and win.”

Two years ago, Courneyea was part of the off-ice crew that worked the IIHF Women’s World Championship in Kamloops.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

In one of the notes that Dan Courneyea sent to Taking Note from PyeongChang, he mentioned that the sweaters worn by the men’s hockey players all contain computer chips that are being used to track various statistics. . . . Stephen Whyno of The Associated Press takes a look at all of this in an intriguing story that is right here. . . . It turns out that NHL players aren’t all that enthusiastic about a lot of this stuff.

——

It should come as no surprise to WHL fans to learn that G Carl Stankowski won’t play at Seattleall this season. Stankowski, who took over as Seattle’s No. 1 goaltender and led the Thunderbirds to the 2017-18 WHL championship, hasn’t played, nor will he. What is surprising is what Stankowski has gone through over the last few months. Andy Eide of 710 ESPN Seattle posted an all-encompassing story on Monday that mentions a torn labrum in his right hip, a herniated disc, and a rare autoimmune disease. . . . For more, take a look at Eide’s complete story right here.


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


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon 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

MONDAY:

At Brandon, the Moose Jaw Warriors scored three first-period goals and went on to beat the Wheat Kings, 6-3. . . . Moose Jaw (44-11-3) had lost its previous two games. It now MooseJawWarriorsleads the overall standings by two points over Swift Current. The Warriors have two games in hand. . . . Brandon (31-23-5) is fourth in the East Division, three points behind Regina. The Wheat Kings hold down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, four points ahead of Saskatoon. . . . Moose Jaw’s first goals came from F Brett Howden (22), at 7:09; F Jayden Halbgewachs (56), at 9:02; and F Justin Almeida, at 13:47. . . . F Connor Gutenberg (16) got Brandon’s first goal, on a PP, at 6:28 of the second period. . . . The Warriors scored twice before the period ended. Almeida (33) scored while shorthanded at 7:50 and F Brayden Burke, back after missing two games, got his 29th, on a PP, at 13:50. . . . D James Shearer (2) and D Braden Schneider (1) scored third-period PP goals for Brandon. . . . F Tristyn DeRoose (3) got Moose Jaw’s final goal. . . . The Warriors got two assists from each of D Josh Brook and Halbgewachs, with Burke adding one. . . . Halbgewachs, the WHL’s leading goal scorer, and Burke have 104 points apiece, seven points behind Swift Current F Glenn Gawdin, who leads the league. . . . F Stelio Mattheos, who had missed four games, returned to Brandon’s lineup and drew two assists. . . . Brandon was 3-4 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 1-3. . . . G Adam Evanoff stopped 21 shots for the Warriors. . . . The Wheat Kings got 33 saves from G Logan Thompson. . . . D Jonathon Lambos, who turned 17 on Jan. 14, made his WHL debut with the Wheat Kings. He was acquired from Victoria in a deadline deal that had F Tanner Kaspick join the Royals. Lambos, from Winnipeg, was a third-round pick by the Royals in the 2016 bantam draft. He has four goals and 20 assists in 33 games with the Winnipeg-based Rink Hockey Academy prep team. . . . Moose Jaw lost D Jett Woo to a headshot major and game misconduct at 3:10 of the second period. Brandon F Ty Lewis was helped to the dressing room after the play. . . . The Warriors were without F Barrett Sheen, who drew a TBD suspension, for his part in a brouhaha at the end of Sunday’s 4-2 loss in Regina. Sheen was playing in his second game after serving a five-game suspension. . . . The Warriors are 4-0-0 against the Wheat Kings this season. Moose Jaw has 14 games remaining, while Brandon has 13 yet to play. They will meet four more times. . . . Announced attendance: 4,040.


At Prince Albert, the Regina Pats scored two first-period goals en route to a 3-1 victory over the Raiders. . . . Regina (32-24-6) has won three in a row. It is third in the East ReginaPats100Division, three points ahead of Brandon. . . . Prince Albert (23-25-11) has lost two straight. It is eight points out of a playoff spot with 13 games remaining. . . . F Nick Henry gave Regina a 1-0 lead at 7:23 of the opening period, and F Jared Legien (20) added to the lead at 15:17. . . . F Brett Leason (12) got Prince Albert’s goal at 13:54 of the second period. . . . Regina F Matt Bradley (35) got the empty-netter at 19:26 of the third period. He also had an assist. . . . The Pats were 0-2 on the PP; the Raiders were 0-3. . . . Regina got a big game from G Max Paddock, with 37 saves. With G Ryan Kubic injured, Paddock made his sixth straight start. . . . G Ian Scott blocked 21 shots for the Raiders. . . . F Kody McDonald of the Raiders left at 8:49 of the first period after taking a hit from Regina D Liam Schioler, who was given a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct. However, McDonald returned in the second period. . . . Raiders D Vojtech Budik took the pregame warmup but didn’t play. . . . Regina was without F Jesse Gabrielle, who drew a TBD suspension for his part in a kerfuffle at the third-period buzzer of the Pats’ 4-2 victory over visiting Moose Jaw on Sunday. . . . “It was an ugly win,” John Paddock, Regina’s general manager and head coach, told Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post. “It’s not totally unexpected to have the emotional level down (after three straight games against the Moose Jaw Warriors). We played seven games in 11 days so that’s a factor as well. That’s probably a bigger factor than the emotional level dropping down. Max was really good. Sometimes your goalie has to steal a game just like once in a while top players find a way to score enough goals to win. The penalty killing was really good and he was really good along with it.” . . . Harder’s story is right here. . . . Announced attendance: 2,256.


At Edmonton, D Jake Kustra scored in OT to give the Saskatoon Blades a 3-2 victory over the Oil Kings. . . . Saskatoon (31-27-3) has won two in a row. It holds down the Eastern SaskatoonConference’s second wild-card spot, but now is only two points behind Brandon. . . . Edmonton (18-34-7) is two points ahead of Calgary in the scrap to avoid the Eastern Conference basement. . . . The Blades held a late 2-0 lead on goals from F Braylon Shmyr (32), at 18:02 of the second period, and F Chase Wouters (16), shorthanded, at 7:20 of the third. . . . The Oil Kings got to within a goal when F Kobe Mohr (8) scored at 11:58. . . . The home team tied it at 16:44 when F Trey Fix-Wolansky (25) scored on a PP. . . . Kustra won it with his fourth goal of the season, at 1:37 of OT. He has six career goals in 149 games, and two of them have been game-winners — both this season. . . . Shmyr and Wouters each had an assist for the Blades. . . . Edmonton was 1-5 on the PP; Saskatoon was 0-4. . . . Saskatoon G Nolan Maier stopped 15 shots as the Oil Kings struggled to generate offence. . . . Edmonton starter Todd Scott stopped 18 of 20 shots in 47:20. He was injured on the play on which Wouters scored and had to leave the game. Josh Dechaine came on to stop two of three shots in 14:17. . . . Announced attendance: 9,913.


TUESDAY (all times local):

Kootenay at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.

Prince George at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Everett at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

O Canada! Steenbergen is our hero . . . Blades’ winning streak reaches six . . . Giants keep rolling on the road

MacBeth

F Pavel Brendl (Calgary, 1998-2001) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Wings Arlanda (Sweden, Division 1). Brendl didn’t play last season. In 2015-16, he had 19 goals and 10 assists in 46 games with Skalica (Slovakia, Extraliga), and three goals and three assists in six games with Zvolen (Slovakia, Extraliga) 6.


A LITTLE OF THIS …

With D Linus Nassen on the shelf, the Medicine Hat Tigers had D Eric Van Impe make his WHL debut on Friday night against the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings.

Van Impe is the son of former WHL D Darren Van Impe (Prince Albert, Red Deer, 1990-Tigers Logo Official94).

The Tigers acquired Eric from Spokane, along with F Hayden Ostir, and a second-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft, on Oct. 19, sending F Zach Fischer to the Chiefs.

Van Impe, a second-round pick by the Chiefs in the 2016 bantam draft, has eight goals and 13 assists in 21 games with the midget AAA Calgary Northstars. Last season, he had five goals and 10 assists in 34 games with the Northstars.

CHAT News Today reports that Nassen, a freshman from Sweden, will miss up to eight weeks with a broken radial bone near one wrist. CHAT also reports that Ostir is week-to-week with a broken hand.

The Tigers are still waiting to get F Mason Shaw back after he suffered a knee injury that required surgery while with the NHL-Minnesota Wild’s entry in a preseason tournament.

F Josh Williams, who suffered a broken collarbone at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge, returned to the Medicine Hat lineup last night.


The Red Deer Rebels, who likely aren’t going to be in the playoffs in the spring, continued Red Deerto get younger on Friday when they added F Alex Morozoff, 16, to their roster. . . . Morozoff, from Saskatoon, was a seventh-round selection by the Rebels in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . This season, he had 15 goals and 10 assists in 27 games with the midget AAA Saskatoon Contacts. Last season, he finished with five goals and 11 assists in 44 games with the Contacts. . . . Morozoff made his WHL debut in his hometown last night, scoring once in a 3-2 loss to the Blades.


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Tyler Steenbergen of the Swift Current Broncos, Canada’s 13th forward for most of the World Junior Championship, broke a 1-1 tie at 18:20 of the third period as his guys won Canadagold with a 3-1 victory over Sweden on Friday night in Buffalo. . . . Steenbergen’s winner came as he skated to the left side of the Swedish goal with his stick on the ice and redirected a hard pass from D Conor Timmins past G Filip Gustavsson. . . . When Steenbergen left for Team Canada’s selection camp early in December, he had 35 goals in 27 games with the Broncos. . . . G Carter Hart stopped 35 shots in posting his eighth WJC career victory. He now shares the Team Canada record for career victories with Jimmy Waite and Stephane Fiset. . . . Team Canada included eight WHL players — D Jake Bean (Calgary), D Kale Clague (Brandon), F Dillon Dube (Kelowna), D Cal Foote (Kelowna), Hart, F Brett Howden (Moose Jaw), F Sam Steel (Regina) and Steenbergen — along with assistant coach Tim Hunter (Moose Jaw), athletic therapist Brian Cheeseman (Edmonton) and video coach Tim O’Donovan (Kamloops). . . . Brad McEwen, a familiar face in WHL arenas for a lot of years, played a key part, too, as Hockey Canada’s head scout. . . . In the video above, that’s Clague celebrating with this family. That’s his father, Jason, to the left. He is a former WHL goaltender. . . .

D Cale Makar, who is in his first season at UMass-Amherst, may have been Canada’s top defenceman in the tournament. He finished with three goals and five assists in the seven games. . . . A 19-year-old from Calgary, Makar was selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the fourth round of the NHL’s 2017 draft. . . . The Medicine Hat Tigers picked Makar in the eighth round of the WHL’s 2013 bantam draft, but he chose to play for the AJHL’s Brooks Bandits and then take the NCAA route. . . . It’s interesting that Brad McEwen, now Hockey Canada’s head scout, was Medicine Hat’s assistant GM and director of scouting when the Tigers drafted Makar. . . . A former Tigers scout told Taking Note last night that “Makar being on the Canadian team has Brad McEwen’s fingerprints all over it. . . . We had hoped he would come over to the WHL, but it never happened. . . . Brad has spent many years scouting in the Dub and obviously drew on some of that knowledge in putting the different pieces together on this team.” . . .

F Kieffer Bellows of the Portland Winterhawks scoredtwice as the U.S. beat Czech Republic, 9-3, in the third-place game at the World Junior Championship in Buffalo on Friday. That left Bellows with nine goals in the tournament — one of them came in a shootout, and the IIHF credits scorers with those goals. That is the most goals scored by an American in any one WJC, breaking the record that had been set by Jeremy Roenick at the 1989 tournament in Anchorage. In that event, Roenick had eight goals and eight assists in seven games as the U.S. finished fifth.

It’s worth noting that F Kailer Yamamoto of the Spokane Chiefs played in Friday’s game, despite having to be helped off the ice near the end of Thursday’s 4-2 loss to Sweden in a semifinal game. In the dying seconds, Swedish F Oskar Steen slashed Yamamoto behind the right knee. Yamamoto went down in a heap and teammates had to help him to the dressing room. In Friday’s pregame warmup, Yamamoto appeared to be favouring the leg, but as time went on — and he got warmed up — he looked to be playing at top speed.

Steen received a warning from the IIHF disciplinary committee and played in the championship game later in the evening.

Meanwhile, reports indicate that F Joachim Blichfeld of the Winterhawks, who played for Denmark at the WJC, wasn’t seriously injured when he was checked into the boards and struck his head. Blichfeld, who missed some games earlier in the season with a concussion, was stretchered off the ice and taken to hospital for tests.

Kevin Kurz, who covers the NHL’s San Jose Sharks for @TheAthleticSF, tweeted that a Sharks spokesman had told him there was “nothing serious” and that Blichfeld would “rest for a bit” and be back with Portland soon.

Blichfeld was selected by the Sharks in the seventh round of the NHL’s 2016 draft and signed an NHL contract on Dec. 28.


THE COACHING GAME …

The OHL’s Peterborough Petes fired head coach Jody Hull on Friday and replaced him with assistant Andrew Verner, at least on an interim basis. . . . At the time of the move, the Petes were 16-20-3, good for fourth place in the East Division and sixth place in the Eastern Conference. . . . Hull took over as interim head coach on Dec. 20, 2012, and had the interim tag removed on Feb. 14, 2013. His regular-season record with the Petes is 167-147-30. . . . Hull played for the Petes (1985-88) before going on to a 16-year pro career. . . . Verner is in his third season as an assistant coach with the Petes. He had been the team’s goaltending coach for two seasons (2013-15), and also played for the Petes (1989-92).


Scoreboard

FRIDAY:

At Prince Albert, F Regan Nagy, in his first game with the Raiders, scored twice in a 7-3 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Nagy, who hadn’t played since Nov. 28 because of a PrinceAlbertfinger injury, was acquired from the Victoria Royals earlier in the week. . . . The Raiders (14-17-8) had lost their previous five games (0-4-1). They are seven points out of a playoff spot. . . . The Ice (18-20-3) has lost four in a row (0-3-1). It finishes a stretch of five games in six nights tonight in Saskatoon. Kootenay is second in the Central Division, eight points behind Medicine Hat. . . . F Jordy Stallard (27) gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead 34 seconds into the first period. . . . Ice F Colton Veloso tied it at 1:25. . . . The Raiders took control with the next four goals. . . . D Brayden Pachal broke the tie at 9:36, with F Brett Leason (7) scoring, shorthanded, at 7:30 of the second period. . . . F Parker Kelly (17) upped the lead to 4-1 at 1:05 of the third period. . . . Pachal (4) got his second goal of the game at 2:37. He has three of his four goals in his past two games. . . . Veloso (14), on a PP, and D Jonathan Smart (5), shorthanded, added third-period goals for the Ice. . . . Nagy got the game’s last two goals, at 14:59 and 19:57. . . . Stallard added an assist to his goal. . . . The Ice got two assists from F Peyton Krebs. . . . The Ice was 1-5 on the PP; the Raiders were 0-1. . . . G Ian Scott earned the victory with 21 saves. . . . Kootenay starter Duncan McGovern was beaten three times on 14 shots in 11:14. Bailey Brkin came on to finish up and stopped 12 of 16 shots. . . . D Jeremy Masella, acquired by the Raiders from Victoria on Thursday, had one assist. . . . Announced attendance: 1,882.


At Saskatoon, D Jake Kustra broke a 2-2 tie at 10:35 of the third period as Blades beat the Red Deer Rebels, 3-2. . . . Saskatoon (20-17-3) has won six straight games and is tied with SaskatoonRegina for the Eastern Conference’s two wild-card spots. . . . The Rebels (10-21-8) have lost six in a row (0-3-3). . . . F Braylon Shmyr (20) put the home side ahead 1-0 at 19:19 of the first period. Shmyr, who drew the primary assist on the winner, has goals in five straight games. He also is on a six-game multi-point tear during which time he has six goals and 11 assists. . . . The Rebels took a 2-1 lead on second-period goals from F Reese Johnson (12), at 8:44, and F Alex Morozoff (1), on a PP, at 13:51. From Saskatoon, Morozoff was making his WHL debut. . . . F Bradly Goethals (9) pulled the Blades even at 16:42. . . . Kustra won it with his second goal of the season. It was his fourth goal in 128 career games. . . . Red Deer was 1-2 on the PP; Saskatoon was 0-1. . . . G Nolan Maier stopped 22 shots for the Blades, two fewer than Red Deer’s Riley Lamb. . . . F Mason McCarty (ill) was among Red Deer’s scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 3,169.


At Brandon, F Ty Lewis scored in OT to give the Wheat Kings a 3-2 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Brandon (26-12-1) had lost its previous four games. . . . Swift Current BrandonWKregular(27-11-2) is second in the overall standings, four points ahead of Brandon. . . . F Matteo Gennaro scored twice for the visitors, giving him 24 goals. He gave his guys a 1-0 lead at 16:53 of the first period. . . . After Brandon F Baron Thompson (11) tied it, at 6:27 of the second period, Gennaro put his boys out front again, at 7:10 of the third. . . . F Evan Weinger (19), on a PP, tied it for Brandon at 9:31. . . . Lewis won it with his 21st goal of the season at 3:32 of extra time. . . . Weinger had the lone assist on the winner. . . . F Max Patterson had two assists for the Broncos. . . . Brandon was 1-4 on the PP; Swift Current was 0-1. . . . The Wheat Kings got 24 saves from G Logan Thompson. . . . Logan Flodell stopped 32 shots for the Broncos. . . . Announced attendance: 3,351.


At Calgary, the Moose Jaw Warriors jumped out to a 4-0 lead and went on to a 5-3 victory over the Hitmen. . . . Moose Jaw (32-6-3) has points in seven straight games (6-0-1) and MooseJawWarriorsleads the overall standings by 10 points over Swift Current. . . . Calgary (12-21-6) is 13 points out of a playoff spot. . . . The Warriors scored two goals in each of the first two periods. . . . F Jayden Halbgewachs (42) got it started while shorthanded, at 9:35 of the first and F Tanner Jeannot upped it to 2-0 at 17:47. . . . D Dmitri Zaitsev (3) scored on a PP at 7:33 of the second and Jeannot (30) made it 4-0 at 15:17. . . . F Riley Stotts got Calgary’s first goal, on a PP, at 11:58 of the third period. . . . Moose Jaw F Vince Loschiavo (13) got that one back at 14:33. . . . Stotts (8) and D Layne Toder, with his first WHL goal, scored for Calgary before the period ended. . . . The Warriors got two assists from F Tristin Langan and one each from Loschiavo, Zaitsev, Jeannot and Halbgewachs. . . . Moose Jaw F Brayden Burke, the WHL scoring leader, was held pointless. . . . Toder also had an assist for Calgary. . . . Calgary was 1-4 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 1-5. . . . G Adam Evanoff started and stopped all 18 shots he faced in 45:53 for Moose Jaw, before giving way to Brady Willms, who was beaten three times on five shots in 14:07. Evanoff went to the dressing room with trainer Brooke Kosolofski after taking a blow to the head. . . . Calgary starter Nick Schneider was beaten four times on 31 shots through two periods. Matthew Armitage stopped 10 of 11 shots in the third period. . . . Announced attendance: 5,435.


At Lethbridge, F Tyler Benson scored twice to help the Vancouver Giants to a 5-2 victory over the Hurricanes. . . . The Giants (22-14-5) are 4-0-1 in their past five games. They also Vancouverhave won five straight on the road. They are second in the B.C. Division, two points behind Kelowna. . . . Lethbridge (17-18-3) had points in its previous three games (2-0-1). It is third in the Central Division, two points behind Kootenay. . . . F Jordy Bellerive (23) gave Lethbridge a 1-0 lead at 8:02 of the first period. . . . D Alex Kannok Leipert (2) tied it at 15:56. . . . Benson gave the visitors their first lead at 4:30 of the second period. . . . G Giorgio Estephan (18) tied it at 5:50. . . . Benson (17) snapped that tie at 6:29, with F Ty Ronning (35) adding insurance at 3:39 of the third period, on a PP. . . . F Jared Dmytriw (11) got the empty-netter, on a  PP, at 17:31. . . . Ronning, D Darian Skeoch and F Brayden Watts each had two assists for the winners. . . . Bellerive also had an assist for Lethbridge. . . . Vancouver was 2-6 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-5. . . . The Giants got 33 saves from G David Tendeck. . . . G Stuart Skinner blocked 21 shots for the Hurricanes. . . . F Cole Shepard, a second-round pick by the Giants in the 2017 bantam draft, made his BCHL debut with the Penticton Vees last night. From West Vancouver, B.C., has has 10 goals and 25 assists in 23 games with the Delta Hockey Academy’s CSSHL prep team. . . . Announced attendance: 3,475.


At Medicine Hat, F Max Gerlach had two goals and an assist to help the Tigers to a 5-1 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Medicine Hat (22-15-3) has points in four Tigers Logo Officialstraight games (3-0-1). It leads the Central Division by eight points over Kootenay. . . . Edmonton (10-23-6) had points in each of its previous six games (3-0-3). . . . Gerlach opened the scoring, on a PP, at 8:28 of the first period, and F Baxter Anderson (1) made it 2-0 at 5:05 of the second. Anderson, 17, had one goal in six games last season. He’s got a goal and three assists in 27 games this season. . . . D David Quenneville (17) made it 3-0, on a PP, 46 seconds into the third period. . . . F David Kope (6) scored while shorthanded for Edmonton, at 2:57 of the third period. . . . F Mark Rassell (34) and Gerlach (16) scored for the Tigers before the period ended. . . . D Kristians Rubins had two assists for the winners, with Gerlach, Rassell and Quenneville adding one apiece. . . . The Tigers were 2-8 on the PP; the Oil Kings were 0-6. . . . G Michael Bullion earned the victory with 19 saves, two fewer than Edmonton’s Josh Dechaine. . . . The Oil Kings lost F Colton Kehler at 18:45 of the second period with a match penalty for attempt to injury after he slew-footed D Dylan MacPherson of the Tigers. . . . Freshman F Josh Williams, 16, was back in Medicine Hat’s lineup for the first time since Oct. 28. He had four goals in 14 games when he suffered a broken collarbone at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge. He was the fifth-overall selection in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . D Logan Dowhaniuk, 15, made his WHL debut for the Oil Kings. From Sherwood Park, Alta., he was a second-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft. . . . Announced attendance: 3,059.


At Prince George, F Jared Bethune scored three times to lead the Cougars to a 4-3 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . The Cougars (15-18-6) have points in three straight (2-0-PrinceGeorge1). They are tied with Kamloops for fourth in the B.C. Division, seven points out of a playoff spot. . . . The Americans (20-12-5) have lost two in a row. They are third in the U.S. Division, two points behind Portland. . . . Bethune, who has 12 goals, gave the home side a 2-0 first-period lead with goals at 14:42, on a PP, at 16:51. . . . F Nolan Yaremko (13) pulled the Americans to within a goal at 1:41 of the second period. . . . F Josh Maser (16) got that one back for Prince George at 11:58. . . . Bethune completed the hat trick, his second in the WHL, with a PP goal at 6:40 of the third period. . . . The Americans made it interesting with goals from F Sasha Mutala (4), on a PP, at 9:46, and F Riley Sawchuk (5), at 19:00. . . . Maser, D Dennis Cholowski and D Joel Lakusta each had two assists for Prince George. . . . Mutala added an assist to his goal. . . . The Cougars were 2-3 on the PP; the Americans were 1-5. . . . G Tavin Grant stopped 34 shots for the Cougars. . . . The Americans got 16 saves from G Patrick Dea. . . . F Kody McDonald was among Prince George’s scratches. He was in the lineup but then was a late scratch. . . . Announced attendance: 2,855.


At Kelowna, the Seattle Thunderbirds scored the game’s last three goals and beat the Rockets, 6-4. . . . Seattle (19-14-5) has points in seven straight games (6-0-1). It holds down Seattlethe Western Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . Kelowna (24-12-3) had won its previous six games. It has also won 13 in a row at home. The Rockets lead the Western Conference by two points over Vancouver. . . . Seattle D Aaron Hyman, back after being out since Dec. 1 with an undisclosed injury, scored his first goal of the season — and fourth in 134 career games — at 1:36 of the opening period. . . . F Dillon Hamaliuk (7) made it 2-0 at 13:52. . . . F Leif Mattson (11) got Kelowna on the scoreboard at 16:11. . . . Seattle got that one back when F Donovan Neuls scored, on a PP, at 7:23 of the second period. . . . The Rockets took a 4-3 lead on second-period goals from D Gordie Ballhorn (3), on a PP, at 8:25; F Kyle Topping (15), at 10:10; and F Carsen Twarynski (27), at 17:16. . . . Seattle pulled even as Neuls (11) got his second goal of the game, at 18:19. . . . F Nolan Volcan scored his 17th goal at 8:59 of the third period to give Seattle a 5-4 lead. . . . D Austin Strand (13) upped it to 6-4 at 12:09. . . . Volcan, in his fourth season with Seattle, had 16 goals in each of his previous two seasons. . . . Seattle got two assists from each of D Jarret Tyszka, F Zack Andrusiak and F Matthew Wedman. . . . F Nolan Foote had two helpers for Kelowna. . . . F Sami Moilanen had an assist in his return to Seattle’s lineup. He hadn’t played since leaving in December to try and crack the roster of Finland’s national junior team. . . . Seattle was 1-1 on the PP; Kelowna was 1-7. . . . G Liam Hughes earned the victory with 26 saves, five more than Kelowna’s James Porter Jr. . . . Announced attendance: 5,230.


At Spokane, F Hudson Elynuik and F Jaret Anderson-Dolan each had two goals as the Chiefs whipped the Portland Winterhawks, 9-3. . . . Spokane (21-15-3) is tied with Tri-City SpokaneChiefsfor third in the U.S. Division, but the Americans hold four games in hand. . . . Portland (22-13-3) had been 1-0-2 in its previous three games. It is second in the U.S. Division, one point behind Everett. . . . The Chiefs took control of this one with three first-period goals, from F Ethan McIndoe (10), on a PP, at 5:55; D Tyson Helgesen (5), at 9:11; and Anderson-Dolan, at 19:07. . . . F Jake Gricius (7) scored Portland’s first goal, at 4:26 of the second period. . . . Spokane F Zach Fischer (18) restored the three-goal lead, on a PP, at 8:32. . . . Portland F Cody Glass (23) scored at 11:23. . . . The Chiefs put it away with the next three goals, from F Jake McGrew (7) and two from Elynuik, who now has 21 goals. . . . F Skyler McKenzie (28) had Portland’s last goal. . . . Anderson-Dolan (21), on a PP, and D Luke Gallagher (1) rounded out Spokane’s scoring. . . . The Chiefs got three assists from F Eli Zummack, two from each of D Nolan Reid and D Ty Smith, and one each from Helgesen, McGrew and Elynuik. . . . Spokane was 3-4 on the PP; Portland was 0-2. . . . G Dawson Weatherill made 16 saves for the Chiefs, while Portland’s Cole Kehler stopped 41 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 5,042.


At Victoria, G Griffen Outhouse tied a franchise record as the Royals blanked the Everett Silvertips, 5-0. . . . Outhouse had 10 career shutouts, tying the Chilliwack/Victoria VictoriaRoyalsfranchise record that he now shares with Lucas Gore. . . . Victoria (22-15-4) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). It is third in the B.C. Division, one point behind Vancouver. . . . Everett (23-15-2) leads the U.S. Division, by one point over Portland. . . . Outhouse stopped 38 shots in recording his second shutout of this season. . . . The Royals got goals from three recently acquired players. . . . F Braydon Buziak (3), who came over from Regina, made it 1-0 at 16:05 of the second period. . . . F Jeff de Wit (5), acquired from Kootenay, increased the lead to 2-0 just 17 seconds into the third period. . . . F Andrei Grishakov (12), who was acquired from Calgary, scored the game’s last goal, at 17:40. . . . F Dante Hannoun (14) and F Matthew Phillips (29) also scored. . . . F Kaid Oliver had two assists, with Buziak, Phillips and Hannoun each getting one. . . . Victoria was 0-2 on the PP; Everett was 0-3 on the PP. . . . Everett starter Dustin Wolf allowed four goals on 22 shots in 51:18, beefier Danton Belluk came on to stop two of three shots in 8:42. . . . Announced attendance: 5,207.


SATURDAY (all times local):

Red Deer at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Regina at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Saskatoon 7:05 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Edmonton 7 p.m.

Calgary at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.

Victoria at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Tri-City at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Portland at Everett, 7:05 p.m.

Spokane vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash. 7:05 p.m.


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