Latest on minimum-wage lawsuit front. . . . Battles of B.C., Saskatchewan open tonight. . . . Other two series begin Saturday

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There was news on the minimum-wage battleground between former major junior players and the OHL on Thursday.

“The Ontario Hockey League will be forced to defend allegations of conspiracy, ohlnegligence and breach of contract after a three-judge panel in Ontario reinstated those claims against the league in its legal battle against former players over minimum wage,” writes Rick Westhead of TSN. “The judgment, released late Wednesday by three Ontario Divisional Court judges, comes after an Ontario Superior Court judge dismissed those claims against the OHL in April, 2017. Lawyers for the former players appealed that decision.

“The judges on Wednesday also rejected an OHL appeal that asked for the case to be stripped of class-action status. As a class action, current and former players going back to the 2012-13 season automatically become plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Players will now have the option to opt out of the litigation.

“The judges also ordered the OHL to immediately pay roughly $500,000 worth of legal fees to the plaintiffs, in addition to another $700,000 in legal fees that must be paid if the OHL loses the lawsuit.”

Westhead’s complete story is right here.


F Nick Henry and F Jake Leschyshyn, both of the Lethbridge Hurricanes, have moved on Lethbridgeto pro teams. . . . Henry, who will turn 20 on July 4, has joined the Colorado Eagles, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, while Leschyshyn now is with the Chicago Wolves, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights. . . . Henry, a fourth-round pick in the NHL’s 2017 draft, has signed with the Avalanche. He had 29 goals and 65 assists in 69 games this season. . . . Leschyshyn, who turned 20 on March 10, was a second-round pick by Vegas in the NHL’s 2017 draft. He has signed an NHL contract. This season, he had 40 goals and 41 assists in 68 games. . . . The Hurricanes acquired Henry and Leschyshyn from the Regina Pats in an early-season trade.


The Spokane Chiefs have signed F Blake Swetlikoff to a WHL contract. The 15-year-old from Regina was a third-round selection in the 2018 bantam draft after putting up 32 goals and 40 assists in 31 games with the bantam AA Regina Monarchs. . . . This season, he had 10 goals and 19 assists in 40 games for the midget AAA Regina Pat Canadians.


Whenever someone writes a WHL-related newspaper column that includes a mention of Bobby (The Brain) Heeney, well, you just know it has to be a good read. Ed Willes of Postmedia has that column right here and, while it’s more to do with Michael Dyck and Jamie Heard of the Vancouver Giants, there is a mention of Heeney. Oh, and Kelly Handy, a football player who once played for the Regina Pats, gets a mention too. Enjoy!


The junior B Osoyoos Coyotes of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League made it official on Thursday . . . Dean Maynard is their general manager and head coach. Maynard had been interim head coach since the firing of Mark Chase in January. . . . Maynard will be joined by assistant coaches Brandon Watson and David Gordon, while Tyler Liebel is on board doing work on skills instruction player development and video. Mitch Fritz will be involved with player selection and development.



The SJHL’s Melville Millionaires have signed Kyle Adams to a two-year contract as general manager and head coach. Adams signed on as an assistant coach prior to this season, then was named interim GM and head coach following the firing of Devin Windle on Nov. 29.


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The WHL playoffs resume tonight with second-round series beginning on two fronts. . . . The other two series will open on Saturday night. . . . In each instance, if the outcome of the season series means anything, these all should be short series. . . . But, hey, it’s the playoffs and it’s junior hockey. . . .

The Battle of Saskatchewan opens in Prince Albert as the Raiders meet the Saskatoon Blades. . . . The Raiders (54-10-4) won the Scotty Munro Trophy as the WHL’s regular-season champions. . . . The Blades were second to the Raiders in the East Division at 45-15-8. . . . Prince Albert was 6-2-0 in the season series; Saskatoon was 2-5-1. . . . They have only met twice since the trade deadline. The Blades won, 3-2, at home on March 15; the Raiders on, 3-1 in Prince Albert the next night. . . . Saskatoon is in the playoffs for the first time since the spring of 2013. . . . The first three games of this series will be televised by Sportsnet, with host Rob Faulds, play caller RJ Broadhead and analyst Sam Cosentino. . . .

Marc Habscheid, the Raiders’ head coach, played for the Blades back in the day. This season, he recorded his 500th regular-season coaching victory. He also understands that he is in the entertainment business as much as he is in the hockey business. That’s one of the reasons he says things like this:

“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.”

That was Habscheid chatting with Darren Zary of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. The complete story is right here.

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The Battle of B.C. begins in Langley, B.C., with the Vancouver Giants playing host to the Victoria Royals. . . . Vancouver (48-15-5) finished atop the Western Conference. . . . Victoria (34-30-4) was second in the B.C. Division, 29 points behind the Giants. . . . Vancouver won the season series, 6-2-2; Victoria was 4-4-2. . . . They played each other four times after the trade deadline. Vancouver won at home, 3-2 and 4-0, on Jan. 13 and Feb. 22. Victoria won, 5-4 in a shootout, at home on Feb. 23, then lost 2-1 on Feb. 24. Yes, they played each other three times in as many days. . . .

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The Battle of Alberta will open on Saturday with the Calgary Hitmen in Edmonton to meet the Oil Kings. . . . Edmonton (42-18-8) finished atop the Central Division, with Calgary (36-26-6) 14 points in arrears. . . . The Oil Kings won the season series, 7-0-1; the Hitmen were 1-6-1. . . . They have met four times since the trade deadline, with Edmonton winning all four of them — 3-2 and 6-1 in Edmonton, 5-1 and 3-1 in Calgary. . . . Edmonton G Dylan Myskiw went 6-0-0, 2.00, .935 in six games against Calgary. . . . Steve Hamilton, Calgary’s head coach, was fired by the Oil Kings after last season. He spent eight seasons in Edmonton, the last four as head coach.

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The Battle of Washington also gets started on Saturday as the Everett Silvertips play host to the Spokane Chiefs. . . . Everett (47-16-5) finished second in the Western Conference and first in the U.S. Division, 12 points ahead of Spokane (40-21-7). . . . Everett won the season series, 6-0-2; Spokane was 2-5-1. . . . However, they have played only once since the Jan. 10 trade deadline. The Silvertips skated to a 3-1 victory in Spokane on March 5. . . . If the Chiefs are to win, they are going to have to solve Everett G Dustin Wolf, who went 6-0-1, 1.75, .929 against them.

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NOTES: F Logan Barlage of the Lethbridge Hurricanes has been given a two-game suspension after taking a slashing major and game misconduct at the end of a first-round playoff game against the visiting Calgary Hitmen on Tuesday. Barlage slashed Calgary F Carson Focht right off a faceoff as the Hitmen closed out a 4-2 victory in Game 7. Barlage will have to sit out the first two games of the 2019-20 regular season. . . .

Focht, who scored twice in Calgary’s Game 7 victory, fell to the ice after the slash, clutching an arm. We won’t know whether he is injured until lineups are posted prior to Game 1 in Edmonton on Saturday. . . .

D Bowen Byram, who missed a couple of Vancouver practices this week, is expected to be in the Giants’ lineup tonight for Game 1 with the visiting Victoria Royals.


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Who would you start in goal? . . . Hurricanes, Hitmen going to Game 7. . . . Oil Kings take care of Tigers in 6

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G Leland Irving (Everett, 2003-08) signed a one-year extension with Bolzano (Italy, Erste Bank Liga). This season, in 45 games, he was 2.50 and .921. He was third in the league in GAA and second in save percentage.


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The Victoria Royals are in Kamloops tonight with a chance to wrap up their first-round series with the Blazers. A 6-3 victory in Victoria on Saturday left the Royals with a 3-2 edge in the best-of-seven series.

According to Blazers broadcaster Jon Keen, this will be the eighth time the Blazers will Kamloops1have been one loss from having either their playoff hopes or their season come to an end.

So . . . if you’re Kamloops head coach Serge Lajoie who do you start in goal tonight? Your choices are Dylan Ferguson 20, who started but didn’t finish on Saturday, or Dylan Garand, 16.

In this series, Ferguson is 2-2, 3.56, .876 in four appearances, all starts. He has turned aside 92 of 105 shots.

Garand is 0-1, 2.18, .933 — he has stopped 42 of 45 shots — in two appearances.

In the regular season, Ferguson, who has signed with the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, was the unquestioned starter, finishing 17-24-5, 3.01, .908 in 49 appearances. However, he was injured on March 6 and Garand — he went 11-7-3, 2.94, .902 in 27 regular-season appearances — was spectacular as the go-to down the stretch.

In the last six regular-season games, with Ferguson unable to even dress as the backup, when a regulation loss would have ended the Blazers’ playoff hopes, Garand went 5-0-1, 1.63, .939.

Garand also went the distance in the tiebreaker, stopping 27 shots as the Blazers beat the visiting Kelowna Rockets, 5-1, to get into the first round.

So . . . if you’re Kamloops head coach Serge Lajoie who do you tap on the shoulder tonight?

As an aside, the Blazers have added G Rayce Ramsay to their roster. He has been with the team previously, most recently as Garand’s backup for part of the time while Ferguson was injured. Ramsay spent this season with the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos, whose season ended with a Game 7 loss to the host Estevan Bruins on Tuesday.


If was a year ago when Kelly Sowatsky took a sign with her to a Pittsburgh Penguins’ home game. She was in desperate need of a kidney transplant and had decided it might not hurt to get her message out there. . . . In the end, the sign paid off, and how it all came about is quite a story. . . . Ryan McGee, a senior writer at ESPN, has it all right here.


F Cam Recchi and F Coalson Walford each had a goal and an assist as the Notre Dame Hounds won the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League championship with a 4-1 victory over the visiting Saskatoon Blazers. . . . The Hounds won the best-of-five final, 3-1. . . . Recchi, 17, is the son of former WHL star Mark Recchi, who is a Hockey Hall of Famer and also a part-owner of the Kamloops Blazers. . . . The Hounds will join the Brandon Wheat Kings, Thunder Bay Kings and the host Tisdale Trojans in the Telus Cup’s western regional tournament starting Thursday.


Matt Hughes is the new head coach of the Okanagan Hockey Academy’s female prep team. He spent the past two seasons as the general manager and head coach of the BCHL’s Alberni Valley Bulldogs.


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NOTES: There is one WHL game on the playoff schedule tonight, with the Victoria Royals in Kamloops to face the Blazers. The Royals won, 6-3, in Victoria on Saturday night to move into a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series. . . . Game 7, if needed, would be played in Victoria on Wednesday night. . . . The winner of this series will face the Vancouver Giants in the second round. That series is to open in Langley, B.C., on Friday. . . .

The Calgary Hitmen and Lethbridge Hurricanes are going to a Game 7. The Hurricanes skated to a 7-6 OT victory in Calgary on Sunday in a game that featured six third-period goals, including one with 33 seconds left in regulation time. . . .

In Sunday’s other game, the Edmonton Oil Kings beat the Tigers, 4-3 in OT, in Medicine Hat to win that series, 4-2. . . . The Oil Kings now await the winner of the series between Calgary and Lethbridge. . . . This was the third spring in a row that the Tigers’ season was ended by an OT goal. . . . Last season, F Linden McCorrister’s goal at 10:37 of OT gave the host Brandon Wheat Kings a 4-3 victory over the Tigers in Game 6 of a first-round series. . . . In 2017, F Tyler Wong’s shorthanded goal at 3:03 of OT gave the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes a 5-4 victory over the Tigers in Game 7 of a second-round series. . . .

Darren Steinke, who worked at the Medicine Hat News not that long ago, tweets that Bob Ridley, the voice of the Tigers, called his 3,935th game on Sunday. . . . With road teams winning twice on Sunday, the home teams now are 21-20 in the first round. . . .

F Phillip Schultz scored three times for the host Victoria Royals in Saturday’s 6-3 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. A freshman from Germany, he is the first import in Royals history to enjoy a playoff hat trick. . . . He also is the fourth Royals player with a playoff hat trick, after F Tyler Soy (2018), F Brandon Magee (2015) and F Jamie Crooks (2012). . . .

The dates for one second-round Western Conference series have been announced. . . . Everett and Spokane Chiefs will use a 2-3-2 format because Cirque du Soleil will take over the Silvertips’ home arena for a few days. The series will open in Everett on Saturday and Sunday, then move to Spokane for games on April 10 and 12 and, if necessary, April 13. The last two games, if needed, would be played in Everett on April 15 and 17. . . . Everett finished on top of the U.S. Division, at 47-16-5, with Spokane second, at 40-21-7. The Silvertips won the season series, 6-0-2; the Chiefs were 2-5-1. . . . They have met once since the Jan. 10 trade deadline — Everett won, 3-1, in Spokane on March 5. . . .

Meanwhile, the Prince Albert Raiders and Saskatoon Blades are looking on with interest after sweeping their first-round series. They’ll being the second round with games in Prince Albert on Friday and Sunday, with Games 3 and 4 in Saskatoon on April 9 and 10. If needed, Game 5 would be played in Prince Albert on April 12, with Game 6 in Saskatoon on April 14, and Game 7 back in Prince Albert on April 16. . . . Prince Albert went 54-10-4 to finish atop the overall standings; Saskatoon was second in the East Division, at 45-15-8. . . . The Raiders were 6-2-0 in the season series; the Blades were 2-5-1. . . . They have met twice since the trade deadline — Saskatoon won, 3-2, at home on March 15; the Raiders won, 3-1, at home the next night.

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SUNDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The Lethbridge Hurricanes, who were 33 seconds from having their season end, got a Lethbridgegoal from F Taylor Ross at 3:57 of OT to earn a wild 7-6 victory over the host Calgary Hitmen. . . . The series is tied, 3-3, with Game 7 set for the Nicholas Sheran Arena in Lethbridge on Tuesday night. You will recall that the world men’s curling championship is being decided in the Enmax Centre, so the Hurricanes are playing home games in the arena that is home to the U of L Pronghorns women’s and men’s teams. . . . On Sunday, the Hurricanes jumped out to an early 3-1 lead but weren’t able to hold it. . . . F Kaden Elder (1) gave Calgary a 1-0 lead at 1:00 of the first period. . . . Lethbridge responded with three quick goals from F Zachary Cox (1), at 2:08; F Dylan Cozens (4), at 3:08; and F Jordy Bellerive (2), on a PP, at 6:32. . . . Calgary pulled even on goals from F Cael Zimmerman (2), on a PP, at 12:53, and D Devan Klassen (2), at 5:42 of the second period. . . . F Nick Henry (4) put Lethbridge back in front, on a PP, at 2:57 of the third period. . . . Calgary tied it when F Ryder Korczak (2) scored at 11:12. . . . F Jake Leschyshyn (6) gave Lethbridge a 5-4 lead, on a PP, at 11:47. . . . Calgary went ahead 6-5 on goals from F James Malm (2), at 13:05, and F Mark Kastelic (4), at 17:37. . . . With the Hitmen seemingly on the verge of winning the series, Lethbridge D Calen Addison, who also had three assists, scored his second goal of the series at 19:27. . . . Ross, a 34-goal man in the regular season, won it with his first goal of the series. . . . Leschyshyn also had three assists, with Zimmerman chipping in two. . . . Lethbridge was 3-4 on the PP; Calgary was 1-4. . . . The Hurricanes got 27 stops from G Carl Tetachuk, while G Jack McNaughton stopped 34 shots for Calgary. . . . Calgary had a 3-2 edge in OT shots.


F Vince Loschiavo scored at 2:43 of OT as the Edmonton Oil Kings beat the Tigers, 4-3, in EdmontonOilKingsMedicine Hat. . . . Edmonton won the series, 4-2, and will play either the Calgary Hitmen or Lethbridge Hurricanes in the second round. That series likely will open on Friday night in Edmonton. . . . The Oil Kings won on Sunday by scoring the game’s last three goals. . . . F Trey Fix-Wolansky (3) put Edmonton out front at 4:09 of the first period. . . . The Tigers took a 3-1 lead on goals from F Corson Hopwo (1), at 5:54 of the first; F James Hamblin (4), at 7:14 of the second; and Hamblin (5), on a PP, at 7:41. . . . D Wyatt McLeod (1) scored at 8:06 to get the Oil Kings to within a goal, and D Conner McDonald (1) tied it 31 seconds into the third period. . . . Loschiavo’s fourth goal of the series, off a pass from Fix-Wolansky, won it at 2:43 of extra time. . . . Medicine Hat was 1-3 on the PP; Edmonton was 0-1. . . . Edmonton held a 37-29 edge in shots, including 10-5 in the third period and 3-1 in OT. . . . The Oil Kings got 26 saves from G Todd Scott, while G Mads Søgaard stopped 33 shots for the Tigers.


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Cougars’ Lamb doesn’t plan to coach. . . . Leschyshyn hat trick sparks Lethbridge win. . . . J-Train carries Blazers past Royals

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It appears that the Prince George Cougars will be hiring a head coach before the start of PrinceGeorgethe 2019-20 WHL season. General manager Mark Lamb has been the interim head coach since firing Richard Matvichuk on Feb. 6. . . . “That’s not the plan to come back,” Lamb has told Ted Clarke of the Prince George Citizen. “I’m interim head coach since I took over and that’s still what I am. There’s going to be a search for it, I haven’t put a lot of thought into it yet.” . . . “Obviously when you’re in a situation like this,” Lamb added, “people kind of know, so I’ve gotten a lot of resumes already. I just wanted to concentrate on finishing the year strong and I think that’s what we did.” . . . The Cougars, who missed the playoffs, finished 3-11-2 under Lamb, after going 16-30-6 under Matvichuk. . . . Clarke’s complete story is right here.


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SATURDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

NOTES: After home teams went 7-0 on opening night, they were only 4-4 on Saturday, with one visiting team — the Kamloops Blazers — winning in OT. . . . The Lethbridge Hurricanes’ 4-1 victory over the visiting Calgary Hitmen featured a line brawl late in the third period. . . . The Prince Albert Raiders got huge games from their two Belarusians as they took a 2-0 lead over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Three players were suspended by the WHL after Friday’s games. F Kobe Mohr of the Kamloops Blazers, D John Ludvig of the Portland Winterhawks and D Jake Lee of the Seattle Thunderbirds didn’t play last night. . . . F Brett Leason of the Prince Albert Raiders may be looking at a suspension after taking a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct last night.


F Aliaksei Protas and D Sergio Sapego, the Prince Albert Raiders’ Belarusian connection, PrinceAlbertcombined for six points — each had two goals and an assist — to lead them to a 6-4 victory over the visiting Red Deer Rebels. . . . The Raiders lead the series, 2-0, with Games 3 and 4 in Red Deer on Tuesday and Wednesday. . . . Protas scored the game’s first goal, at 6:08 of the first period, and Sapego made it 2-0, on a PP, at 8:32. . . . F Chris Douglas (1) pulled the Rebels to within a goal, on a PP, at 14:55, only to have Sapego (2) get that one back at 16:19. . . . F Dante Hannoun drew an assist on each of Prince Albert’s first three goals. . . . The Raiders lost F Brett Leason to a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct at 3:50 of the second period. F Cam Hausinger, the subject of the check, wasn’t injured. . . . Red Deer F Brandon Hagel scored a PP goal at 8:00 and then tied the game at 9:00, just 10 seconds after the major expired. . . . The Raiders took control by scoring the next three goals. . . . D Brayden Pachal (1) broke the tie at 11:14. . . . Protas (2) made it 5-3 at 2:08 of the third period. . . . F Ozzy Wiesblatt (2) upped the lead to 6-3 at 7:47. . . . Hagel (3) completed his hat trick, on a PP, at 10:24. . . . Red Deer was 3-5 on the PP; Prince Albert was 1-5. . . . G Ian Scott stopped 19 shots for the Raiders, six fewer than Red Deer’s Ethan Anders, whose night’s work included a stop on D Jeremy Masella on a penalty shot at 14:27 of the second period. The Raiders were ahead 4-3 at the time.


F Max Gerlach scored twice to help the host Saskatoon Blades to a 3-1 victory over the SaskatoonMoose Jaw Warriors. . . . The Blades lead the series, 2-0, with the teams headed to Moose Jaw for games on Tuesday and Wednesday. . . . Gerlach, who has three goals in the first two games, gave the Blades a 1-0 lead at 11:55 of the second period. . . . F Carson Denomie (1) pulled the Warriors into a tie, on a PP, at 5:07 of the third period. . . . Gerlach snapped the tie at 10:05, and F Kirby Dash (1) added the empty-netter at 19:24. . . . D Dawson Davidson had two assists as he was in on both of Gerlach’s goals. . . . Moose Jaw was 1-3 on the PP; Saskatoon was 0-2. . . . Saskatoon outshot Moose Jaw, 30-22, including 13-5 in the third period. . . . The Blades got 21 stops from G Nolan Maier. . . . The Warriors, who started Brodan Salmond on goal in the opener, switched to Adam Evanoff for Game 2. He finished with 27 saves.


F Jake Leschyshyn stuck for three straight goals to lead the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 4-Lethbridge1 victory over the visiting Calgary Hitmen. . . . The Hurricanes lead the series, 2-0, as the teams head to Calgary for Games 3 and 4 on Tuesday and Thursday. . . . Nick Henry (2) got Lethbridge started with a goal just 25 seconds into the game. . . . Leschyshyn made it 2-0, on a PP, at 12:16, and then upped it to 3-0 at 19:13. . . . Leschyshyn scored his third goal of the game, and of the series, on another PP, at 8:57 of the third. That was his first playoff hat trick. . . . D Dakota Krebs (1) got Calgary’s goal, on a PP, at 11:28 of the third period. . . . The Hurricanes acquired Leschyshyn and Henry, who also had an assist, from the Regina Pats in a deal earlier in the season. . . . While Lethbridge was 2-4 on the PP, Calgary went 0-7. . . . G Carl Tetachuk blocked 32 shots to record the victory over Jack McNaughton, who made 28 saves. . . . There was a multi-fight situation at 19:44 of the third period — officials handed out 86 penalty minutes, 49 to Lethbridge — so there just might be some discipline forthcoming. . . . D Devan Klassen and D Layne Toder of the Hitmen, along with Lethbridge D Nolan Jones, F Scott Mahovlich and F Jackson Shepard all received fighting majors and game misconducts.


G Mads Søgaard stopped 49 shots, 23 of them in the second period, to lead the Medicine Tigers Logo OfficialHat Tigers to a 2-1 victory over the Oil Kings in Edmonton. . . . This was the opener in this series, with Game 2 set for Edmonton tonight. . . . F James Hamblin (1) got Medicine Hat in front, while shorthanded, at 4:18 of the second period, and F Hayden Ostir (1) made it 2-0 at 13:20. . . . F Josh Williams (1) got Edmonton’s goal at 17:58 of the third period. . . . Edmonton was 0-3 on the PP; Medicine Hat was 0-1. . . . The Oil Kings got 25 saves from G Dylan Myskiw. . . . Edmonton had closed out the regular season on an 11-game winning streak.


G Roddy Ross, who didn’t finish Game 1, stopped 39 shots as his Seattle Thunderbirds Seattledumped the Vancouver Giants, 4-1, in Langley B.C. . . . The series is tied with Games 3 and 4 in Kent, Wash., on Tuesday and Wednesday. . . . The Giants had won the opener, 7-1, on Friday. . . . Last night, Seattle took a 2-0 lead on first-period goals from F Sean Richards (1), at 4:38, and D Simon Kubicek (1), on a PP, at 15:09. . . . F Jadon Joseph (2) got Vancouver on the scoreboard, on a PP, at 18:10. . . . The Thunderbirds got third-period insurance from F Andrej Kukuca (2), at 4:33, and F Nolan Volcan (1), into an empty net, at 17:58. . . . Volcan also had two assists. . . . Ross stopped 28 shots over the last two periods. . . . Vancouver was 1-4 on the PP; Seattle was 1-2. . . . The Giants got 24 saves from G Trent Miner. . . . Seattle was without D Jake Lee, who drew a TBD suspension for a cross-checking major and game misconduct in Game 1. Vancouver F Justin Sourdif, who took that hit, didn’t play last night.


The Portland Winterhawks scored four times in the third period and beat the host PortlandSpokane Chiefs, 5-3. . . . The series is tied, 1-1, as it heads to Portland for games on Tuesday and Wednesday. . . . Last night, Spokane took a 2-0 lead on goals from F Jaret Anderson-Dolan (2), at 6:19 of the first period, and F Luc Smith (1), at 13:19 of the second. . . . Portland responded with the next four goals. . . . F Josh Paterson (1) scored at 15:25 of the second period, and F Lane Gilliss (1) tied it at 8:11. . . . Paterson (2) gave Portland the lead at 9:51 and F Mason Mannek made it 4-2 at 12:37. . . . Spokane F Adam Beckman (2) pulled the Chiefs to within a goal at 17:26, only to have Portland D Matt Quigley (1) get the empty-netter just 19 seconds later. . . . G Joel Hofer stopped 23 shots for Portland, seven fewer than Spokane’s Bailey Brkin. . . . The two teams combined for 13 PPs in Game 1; there weren’t any — not one — in Game 2. . . . Referees Steve Papp and Ward Pateman didn’t call any penalties. Zero. Zilch. Nada! . . . According to a news release from the Winterhawks, it was the first time in the team’s “43-year history both teams were held without a power-play chance.” . . . Portland was without D John Ludvig, who was suspended for two games after taking a headshot major and game misconduct in Game 1. F Ethan McIndoe of the Chiefs, who was hit by Ludvig, wasn’t injured on the play. . . . Spokane’s scratches included D Nolan Reid, who took a stick to the face early in Game 1, and F Luke Toporowski, who had an assist in the opener.


The Everett Silvertips erased a 1-0 deficit with four straight goals and then hung on for 4-Everett3 victory over the visiting Tri-City Americans. . . . Everett leads the series, 2-0. . . . They’ll play Games 3 and in Kennewick, Wash., on Wednesday and Thursday. . . . F Krystof Hrabik (1) gave the Americans a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 10:51 of the first period. . . . F Martin Fasko-Rudas (2) got Everett into a tie, on a PP, at 17:15. . . . D Jake Christiansen (1) gave the Silvertips the lead at 9:02 of the second period and F Gage Goncalves (1) stretched it to 3-1 just 19 seconds later. . . . F Robbie Holmes (1) made it 4-1 at 18:28. . . . The Americans got to within a goal on third-period scores from F Nolan Yaremko (2), shorthanded, at 2:36, and D Aaron Hyman (1), on a PP, at 18:58. . . . Christiansen also had an assist, and now has a goal and four helpers in the first two games. . . . Tri-City was 2-7 on the PP; Everett was 1-6. . . . Referees Mike Campbell and Dexter Rasmussen handed out 140 minutes in penalties, 76 to Everett. . . . That final total included 90 minutes worth of misconducts. . . . G Dustin Wolf stopped 28 shots for the Silvertips, seven fewer than the American’s Beck Warm. . . . Everett F Connor Dewar, who didn’t finish Game 1, was scratched from Game 2.


F Jermaine Loewen scored on a rebound in OT to give the Kamloops Blazers a 4-3 victory Kamloops1over the Royals in Victoria. . . . The series is tied, 1-1, with Games 3 and 4 scheduled for Kamloops on Tuesday and Wednesday. . . . Loewen’s winner came as he followed F Martin Lang to the Victoria net. Lang had cut in from the left side and tried to stuff in the winner, but the puck ended up laying loose in the crease for Loewen at 5:14 of OT. . . . The Blazers had scored on their first two shots of the game, F Kyrell Sopotyk (1) finding the range at 5:21 of the first period, and F Brodi Stuart (1) making it 2-0 at 7:06. . . . The Royals tied it on second-period PP goals from F Kody McDonald (1), at 2:53, and F Carson Miller (2), at 9:15. . . . Sopotyk (2) gave Blazers the lead, on a PP, at 3:54 of the third period, with McDonald (2) tying it at 4:11. . . . Victoria was 2-4 on the PP; Kamloops was 1-2. . . . The Blazers were outshot 41-31 through three periods, but had a 4-1 edge in OT. . . . Kamloops got 39 saves from G Dylan Ferguson, who was playing his first game since leaving a 5-0 loss to the visiting Vancouver Giants on March 6 with an undisclosed injury. . . . Victoria G Griffen Outhouse, who had been 6-0-0 against the Blazers this season, turned aside 31 shots. . . . The Blazers scratched F Connor Zary for a second straight game. . . . Kamloops was without F Kobe Mohr, who was hit with a two-game suspension “for action at Victoria” in Game 1, according to the WHL website. It seems that Mohr’s stick came in contact with a linesman during that game. The Blazers claimed that the Royals filed for supplemental discipline; however, the Royals say they didn’t. . . . The Royals appear to be running into more injury problems. . . . They dressed seven defencemen — including APs Noah Lamb and Carson Golder — after scratching D Mitchell Prowse, who had played in Game 1. . . . In Game 2, the Royals mostly went with four defencemen — Lamb, Scott Walford, Ralph Jarratt and Rene Aquilon. D Jameson Murray, scratched from Game 1, was on the bench but didn’t play a shift. Jarratt, who has had an injury-plagued season, appeared to suffer a shoulder injury as Kamloops scored its third goal of the game. . . . Victoria F D-Jay Jerome played a couple of first-period shifts, but that was about all until he was out on a PP in OT. . . . Kamloops killed off that penalty, then won the game a couple of minutes later.


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It’s a big day in Allan, Sask. . . . No playoffs for Wheaties. . . . Blazers, Rockets all even in third. . . . Giants clinch conference flag

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This is going to be a great day in Allan, Sask. That’s because the folks there are in the HumboldtBroncosmiddle of their winter festival, and they will be taking time to rename the local arena in honour of the late Logan Schatz, who was the captain of the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos. The Allan and District Communiplex is to be renamed the Logan Schatz Memorial Arena. . . . Allan is located about 60 km southeast of Saskatoon. . . . Schatz, a native of Allan, was finishing up his fourth season with the Broncos when he was killed in the April 6 bus crash. . . . The dedication ceremony also will involved the unveiling of signage inside and outside the arena. Angie Rolheiser of northeastnow.com writes that the “signs were made by Humboldt Collegiate Institute industrial arts teacher Brian Hinz, who also taught Logan while he attended HCI.” . . . It is only fitting that there will be a hockey game in the Logan Schatz Memorial Arena tonight, with the Allan Senior Flames meeting the Kinistino Tigers in Game 2 of a Wheatland Hockey League playoff series. . . . Rolheiser’s story is right here.


There is an interesting conundrum in Kamloops where the Blazers ran out of goaltenders and had one on their bench Friday night whose WHL rights belong to the Everett Silvertips.

This all started on March 6 when Kamloops starter Dylan Ferguson, 20, was injured Kamloops1during a 5-0 loss to the visiting Vancouver Giants.

The Blazers immediately brought in Rayce Ramsay, who turned 18 on Jan. 3, from the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos to back up Dylan Garand. In Ferguson’s absence Garand, a 16-year-old freshman from Victoria, made his fifth straight start last night as the Blazers lost, 5-4 in OT, to the visiting Prince George Cougars.

Ramsay was on the bench for the first four of those starts, but he couldn’t make it five because he had to return to Humboldt as the Broncos started a playoff series in Estevan against the Bruins last night. Ramsay made 29 saves as the Broncos opened with a 4-1 victory.

In the end, the Blazers were able to add G Danton Belluk to their roster as an emergency backup, getting him, with the WHL’s approval, on loan from the Silvertips. Under emergency conditions, Belluk will only be able to play should Garand be injured.

Belluk, 17, is from Lorette, Man. A 10th-round pick of the Silvertips in the 2016 bantam draft, he spent this season with the midget AAA Eastman Selects. Last season, he got into two games with the Silvertips.


Two WHL veteran forwards signed three-year entry-level NHL contracts on Friday.

Trey Fix-Wolansky, the captain of the Edmonton Oil Kings, signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets, who selected him in the seventh round of the NHL’s 2018 draft. Fix-Wolansky, 19, has 101 points, including 37 goals, in 63 games. He has single-season career highs in goals, assists and points. . . . From Edmonton, he has 244 points, including 151 assists, in 204 career regular-season WHL games over three seasons, all with the Oil Kings. . . . He wasn’t selected in the WHL bantam draft. . . .

Jake Elmer, an undrafted free agent, signed with the New York Rangers. He has 38 goals and 41 assists in 67 games. Elmer, who turned 20 on Dec. 31, is from Calgary. The Regina Pats selected him in the sixth round of the WHL’s 2013 bantam draft. . . . They dealt him to the Kootenay Ice and he later was moved to the Hurricanes. Last season, he finished with 18 goals and 19 assists in 70 games with Lethbridge. . . . In 203 career regular-season games, he has 63 goals and 69 assists.


If you have attended a WHL game or a show at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops, you may have seen Freda and/or Howard Brown. Both of them have been heavily involved with the volunteers and security at the arena; Freda also looked after the media and scouts in the press box for a number of years. . . . Freda now is dealing with kidney disease — she started dialysis earlier this month — and is hoping that a transplant is in her future. Howard has proven to be a match, and he now is going through the testing process to see if he can be the donor. . . . With Thursday having been World Kidney Day, they told their story to CFJC-TV in Kamloops, and it’s all right here. There is a story here, as well as video.


The Trinity Western Spartans won their second straight BCIHL championship on Friday TWUnight, beating the Vancouver Island Mariners, 9-1, in Aldergrove, B.C., to sweep the best-of-three series. . . . The Spartans are the first team to successfully defend its BCIHL championship since the Castlegar, B.C.-based Selkirk College Saints won in 2014-15 and 2015-16. . . . TWU finished the regular season at 18-5-0, then went 4-0 in the playoffs. Over the past two seasons, the Spartans’ combined record is 47-8-1. . . . TWU has applied for admission to Canada West in time for the 2020-21 season. A decision is expected later this year.


Darren Granger started in the hockey business as the assistant equipment manager with the Brandon Wheat Kings. That was about 25 years ago. He now has been in the NHL since 1992, first with the Vancouver Canucks as their assistant equipment manager. Since 2006, he has been the head equipment manager for the Los Angeles Kings. . . . Curtis Zupke of the Los Angeles Times has more on Granger right here.


FRIDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The Brandon Wheat Kings had their playoff hopes come to an end as they were beaten, Pats5-4, by the host Regina Pats. . . . Regina (19-45-3) had lost its previous seven games. . . . Brandon (30-29-8) has lost five in a row. The Wheat Kings are four points away from a playoff spot but have only one game remaining. . . . The same teams will play again tonight, this time in Brandon. . . . Regina is 4-2-1 in the season series; Brandon is 3-4-0. . . . The Pats won this one with three goals in the span of 1:31 in the third period. . . . Regina D Liam Schioler (5) tied the score, 3-3, at 9:13 of the third period. . . . D Brett Clayton (5) broke the tie at 9:47. . . . F Sergei Alkhimov (13) upped Regina’s lead to 5-3 at 10:44. . . . F Luka Burzan (40) got the Wheaties to within a goal at 11:40 but they weren’t able to get even. . . . Brandon F Ben McCartney shot wide on a penalty shot at 15:43 of the third period. . . . F Cole Reinhardt (22) and Burzan had given Brandon a 2-0 first-period lead. . . . F Cole Dubinsky (5), on a PP, and Alkhimov got Regina even in the second period, and Brandon D Braydyn Chizen (2) gave his guys a 3-2 lead at 1:12 of the third. . . . G Dean McNabb stopped 34 shots for Regina. . . . The Wheat Kings got 39 stops from G Jiri Patera.


F Vladislav Mikhalchuk scored in OT to give the Prince George Cougars a 5-4 victory over PrinceGeorgethe Blazers in Kamloops. . . . Prince George (19-40-8) has won two in a row. . . . Kamloops (27-32-8) has points in five straight (4-0-1). It is tied with the Kelowna Rockets for third place in the B.C. Division. If they are tied after tonight’s games, they will meet in a sudden-death play-in game in Kamloops on Tuesday night. . . . They Blazers and Cougars will play again tonight, this time in Prince George. . . . Kamloops is 6-0-2 in the season series; Prince George is 2-5-1. . . . The Cougars erased a 2-1 deficit with three goals in the first half of the third period. Mikhalchuk tied the game at 1:11; F Josh Curtis (13) gave the Cougars the lead at 6:51; and F Mike MacLean came out of the penalty to score his fifth goal of the season on a breakaway at 9:50. . . . F Kyrell Sopotyk (13) got Kamloops to within a goal, on a PP, at 13:39, and F Connor Zary (23) tied it from a scramble at 19:04 with G Dylan Garand on the bench for the extra attacker. . . . The Blazers held possession for most of the OT, but got a bit too fancy in the offensive zone and gave up a 2-on-1 with Mikhalchuk and Curtis going the other way. Mikhalchuk ended it with his 24th goal of the season. . . . D Rhett Rhinehart (5) scored Prince George’s first goal, with F Kobe Mohr (8) and F Ryley Appelt (5) giving Kamloops a 2-1 lead. . . . Mikhalchuk finished with two goals and two assists, while Curtis added two assists to his goal. . . . Zary also had three points, as he, too, had two helpers. . . . The Cougars got 26 saves from G Taylor Gauthier. . . . Garand stopped 24 shots for Kamloops. . . . The Blazers scratched D Joonas Sillanpää, their Finnish freshman, for a third straight game.


F Max Gerlach broke a 2-2 tie in the third period to give the Saskatoon Blades a 3-2 Saskatoonvictory over the visiting Prince Albert Raiders. . . . Saskatoon (45-14-8) has won eight in a row, and 14 of 15. It also has won nine in a row on home ice. The Blades will finish second in the East Division. They open a first-round series against the Moose Jaw Warriors on March 22 in Saskatoon. . . . Prince Albert (53-10-4) had won its previous three games. The Raiders will finish atop the Eastern Conference and meet the Red Deer Rebels, the second wild-card team, in the first round. . . . Season series: Prince Albert, 5-2-0; Saskatoon, 2-4-1. . . . These two teams will play tonight in Prince Albert. . . . F Parker Kelly (35) gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead at 1:21 of the first period. . . . The Blades went ahead 2-1 on goals from D Brandon Schuldhaus (8), at 5:44, and F Ryan Hughes (30), on a PP, at 0:37 of the second period. . . . F Noah Gregor (41) got the visitors into a 2-2 tie, on a PP, at 4:49 of the third period. . . . Gerlach won it with his 41st goal, on a PP, at 7:17. . . . G Nolan Maier stopped 28 shots for the Blades. . . . Prince Albert G Ian Scott, who stopped 29 shots, went into the game riding three straight shutouts. His shutout streak ended at a franchise-record 185:44 when Schuldhaus scored. The Raiders’ previous record (128:32) had been set by G Craig Hordal in 1995-96. . . . Saskatoon D Dawson Davidson played in his 300th regular-season game. . . . The Raiders’ scratches included F Dante Hannoun.


F Jake Leschyshyn scored three times to help the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 4-3 victory Lethbridgeover the host Red Deer Rebels. . . . Lethbridge (39-18-10) has won seven in a row. It is tied with the Edmonton Oil Kings for top spot in the Central Division. The Oil Kings will go home-and-home with the Calgary Hitmen this afternoon and Sunday afternoon. The Hurricanes will meet the Tigers in Medicine Hat tonight. . . . Red Deer (33-28-6) has lost three straight. Despite the loss, the Rebels clinched the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot when the Brandon Wheat Kings lost. Red Deer will meet the conference-champion Prince Albert Raiders in the first round. . . . Lethbridge won the season series, 4-1-1; Red Deer was 2-3-1. . . . F Dylan Cozens (34) and Leschyshyn, on a PP, gave the Hurricanes a 2-0 lead with goals 30 seconds apart in the first period. . . . The Rebels tied it on two goals from F Reese Johnson, at 9:13 of the first period and 5:18 of the second. . . . Leschyshyn put the Hurricanes back out front at 12:58. . . . Johnson completed his third hat trick of the season by scoring his 27th goal at 13:41. . . . Leschyshyn’s 40th goal, at 4:15 of the third period, stood up as the winner. He’s got three career hat tricks; this was his first with Lethbridge, which acquired him from the Regina Pats this season. . . . G Carl Tetachuk earned the victory with 27 saves, two fewer than Red Deer’s Ethan Anders.


The Moose Jaw Warriors set a franchise record for most road victories in a season with a MooseJawWarriors6-1 victory over the Broncos in Swift Currrent. . . . Moose Jaw (39-20-8) has won two in a row. It will finish third in the East Division and meet the Saskatoon Blades in a first-round playoff series. . . . The Warriors won 24 road games this season, one more than last season’s team. . . . Swift Current (11-50-6) will travel to Moose Jaw tonight. . . . Season series: Moose Jaw, 4-0-1; Swift Current, 1-3-1. . . . The Warriors got two goals and two assists from F Justin Almeida, who now has 108 points, including 76 assists. Almeida, who has had 12 career games with at least four points, leads the WHL in assists and is third in points, four points behind Portland Winterhawks F Joachim Blichfeld and two behind teammate Tristin Langan, who had one assist. . . . The Warriors also got goals from F Carson Denomie (7), F Keenan Taphorn (15), F Daniil Stepanov (8) and D Josh Brook (16). . . . Almeida and Stepanov each scored while shorthanded. . . . F Brayden Tracey was among Moose Jaw’s scratches.


Shivers
After being open for 690 Kootenay Ice games, Shivers concession stand will end its run when the team leaves for Winnipeg after Sunday’s game. “Thank you Kootenay Ice and hockey fans,” reads the sign. “Shivers opened on Sept 12, 2001. Since opening we have served you for 690 Kootenay Ice hockey games.” It is signed: “Ramona and Staff.”

F Ryan Jevne scored once and added two assists to lead the Medicine Hat Tigers to a 5-2 Tigers Logo Officialvictory over the Kootenay Ice in Cranbrook. . . . Medicine Hat (35-26-6) has won three in a row. With the victory, it clinched the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot. The Tigers will play the Central Division champion, either the Edmonton Oil Kings or Lethbridge Hurricanes, in the first round. . . . Kootenay (12-45-10) has lost six in a row. . . . The Tigers won the season series, 5-1-0; the Ice was 1-4-1. . . . F Tyler Preziuso (21), Jevne (31) and F Ryan Chyzowski (27), on a PP, gave the Tigers a 3-0 lead in the first period. . . . D Linus Nassen (7) made it 4-0 at 12:58 of the second. . . . D Marco Creta (4) and F Holden Kodak (2) scored for the Ice in the third period, before F Brett Kemp (32) got an empty-netter for Medicine Hat. . . . Ice G Jesse Makaj stopped 51 shots, 22 more than the Tigers’ Mads Sogaard. . . . Kootenay F Austin Schellenberg left in the first period with an undisclosed injury and didn’t return. . . . The Ice brought in D Anson McMaster, 16, for the final two games of the season. A second-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft, he had been with the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers. . . . The Ice has one home game remaining, Sunday afternoon against the Red Deer Rebels, and its stay in Cranbrook will be over. The franchise is relocating to Winnipeg.


The Victoria Royals got 35 saves from G Griffen Outhouse and two shootout goals to beat VictoriaRoyalsthe visiting Everett Silvertips, 3-2. . . . Victoria (34-29-4) had lost its previous four games. It will finish second in the B.C. Division and meet with the Kamloops Blazers or Kelowna Rockets in the first round. . . . Everett (46-16-5) has lost three in a row (0-4-1). It will finish atop the U.S. Division, and will see the Tri-City Americans in the first round. . . . Victoria is 2-1-0 in the season series; Everett is 1-1-1. . . . These two teams will meet again tonight in Everett. . . . Last night, F Connor Dewar (36) gave Everett a 1-0 lead at 1:15 of the first period, only to have Victoria F Brandon Cutler tie it 17 seconds later. . . . Everett went ahead 2-1 as F Martin Fasko-Rudas (12) scored at 8:59 of the second period. . . . Cutler tied it with his 14th goal of the season, just 57 seconds later. . . . Victoria got shootout goals from D Ralph Jarratt and F Igor Martynov, with F Bryce Kindopp the only Everett shooter to score. . . . G Dustin Wolf stopped 28 shots for the Silvertips. . . . F Lucas Cullen, 19, who spent his season with the BCHL’s West Kelowna Warriors, made his Everett debut. . . . The Royals scratched D Mitchell Prowse, D Jameson Murray, D Matt Smith, F Tyus Gent, F Kody McDonald, D Jake Kustra and F Kaid Oliver. . . . They had 16 skaters dressed, including two APs — D Kaden Reinders and D Noah Lamb.


F Jake McGrew enjoyed his third career hat trick to lead the Spokane Chiefs to a 5-3 SpokaneChiefsvictory over the Tri-City Americans in Kennewick, Wash. . . . Spokane (39-21-7) has won two in a row. It is third in the U.S. Division, one point behind the Portland Winterhawks. The Chiefs have one game remaining. The Winterhawks will play the Seattle Thunderbirds tonight and again Sunday. . . . Portland and Spokane will be first-round opponents. . . . Tri-City (34-27-6) has lost four straight (0-2-2). It will be the Western Conference’s first wild-card team and will meet the Everett Silvertips in the first round. . . . Season series: Tri-City, 6-4-1; Spokane, 5-5-1. . . . The Chiefs and Americans will play again tonight, this time in Spokane. . . . McGrew, on a PP, and D Roman Kalinichenko (2) gave the Chiefs an early 2-0 lead. . . . F Parker AuCoin, who scored 21 goals last season, got his 42nd of this season for the Americans at 13:34 of the opening period. He also had two assists in this one. . . . McGrew added his second goal at 19:15. . . . Chiefs F Luke Toporowski gave his guys a 3-2 lead at 13:18 of the second period. . . . Tri-City F Krystof Hrabik (21) tied it, on a PP, at 2:35 of the third. . . . Spokane D Filip Kral (10) broke the tie at 18:12, and McGrew completed his hat trick by scoring his 30th goal into an empty net at 19:03. . . . The Chiefs got 25 saves from G Reece Klassen, while Tri-City’s Talyn Boyko blocked 39 shots. . . . The Chiefs scratched F Jaret Anderson-Dolan, F Riley Woods, D Ty Smith and F Eli Zummack. F Bear Hughes, who played this season with the junior B Spokane Braves, made his WHL debut.


D Dylan Plouffe scored a late PP goal to give the Vancouver Giants a 2-1 victory over the VancouverKelowna Rockets in Langley, B.C. . . . Vancouver (48-15-4) has won three in a row. With the victory, the Giants clinched first place in the Western Conference and will meet the Seattle Thunderbirds in the first round. . . . Kelowna (27-32-8) has lost four in a row (0-2-2). It is tied for third with the Kamloops Blazers in the B.C. Division. Each team has one game remaining — the Rockets will entertain the Giants tonight, while the Blazers are playing the Cougars in Prince George. . . . Should the Blazers and Rockets end up tied for third place, a sudden-death play-in game will be held in Kamloops on Tuesday night. . . . Vancouver is 7-0-1 in the season series with Kelowna, which is 1-7-0. . . . D Alex Kannok Leipert (5) gave Vancouver a 1-0 lead at 3:36 of the second period. . . . Kelowna F Kyle Crosby (7) tied it at 11:01. . . . Plouffe won it with his eighth goal of the season, at 16:50 of the third period. . . . The Giants got 17 stops from G Trent Miner. . . . Kelowna G Roman Basran stopped 29 shots. . . . Vancouver was 1-1 on the PP; Kelowna was 0-1. . . . The Rockets continue to play without D Lassi Thomson (concussion).


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Red Deer captain gets NHL deal. . . . Focht scores hat trick for third time in five games. . . . Byram goal sets franchise record for Giants


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The QMJHL’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies beat the host Shawinigan Cataractes 8-3 on Wednesday night, running their winning streak to 25 games. That ties the CHL record that was set by the QMJHL’s 1973-74 Sorel Éperviers and equalled by the 1983-84 Kitchener Rangers. The 1995-96 Hull Olympiques and the 2012-13 London Knights won 24 in a row. . . . The WHL record (22) is held by the 1967-68 Estevan Bruins.


F Reese Johnson, the captain of the Red Deer Rebels, has signed a three-year entry-level contract with the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks. . . . This season, the 20-year-old Saskatoon native has 22 goals and 23 assists in 62 games. He has single-season career highs in assists and points. . . . In 182 career regular-season games, he has 50 goals and 42 assists. . . . Johnson wasn’t selected in either the WHL bantam draft or the NHL draft.


The MJHL’s Neepawa Natives are in need of a general manager and head coach following the decision by Dustin Howden not to ask for a new contract. . . . Howden, 33, is from Deloraine, a community south of Brandon. He told Chris Jaster of the Brandon Sun: “I just feel it’s time for someone else to take the program to the next step.” . . . Howden has been with the Natives since 2014-15 when he was an assistant coach. He took over as head coach prior to 2016-17, and added the GM’s duties in time for this season. . . . This season, the Natives finished 9-43-8, which left them last in the 11-team league.



WEDNESDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

F Jake Elmer ran his goal-scoring streak to 13 games as he helped the Lethbridge LethbridgeHurricanes to a 4-1 victory over the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Lethbridge (36-18-10) has won four in a row, and now has clinched a playoff spot. It also has moved into a tie with the Edmonton Oil Kings atop the Central Division. Edmonton holds a game in hand. . . . Brandon (30-25-8) is 1-2-1 on a six-game trek through the Central Division. The Wheat Kings are tied with the Red Deer Rebels for the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . Lethbridge won the season series, 3-1-0. . . . Elmer opened the scoring at 5:36 of the second period, while shorthanded. He’s got 37 goals this season, and leads the WHL with six shorthanded snipes. . . . The longest goal-scoring streak in WHL history occurred from Nov. 6 through Dec. 15, 1984, as F Cliff Ronning of the New Westminster Bruins struck 27 times over 18 games. . . . The Hurricanes’ record (16 games) belongs to F Jason Ruff (Jan. 16 through Feb. 27, 1991). Ruff had 20 goals over that stretch. . . . F Jake Leschyshyn, who has 37 goals, gave his guys a 3-0 lead when he scored at 7:35 and 19:44, the latter on a PP. . . . F Zack Stringer’s first WHL goal, at 10:16 of the third period, made it 4-0. Stringer’s first goal came in his fourth game. He also had an assist, and now has three points. A 15-year-old from Lethbridge, Stringer, the eighth-overall selection in the 2018 bantam draft, had 14 goals and 27 assists in 30 games with the midget AAA Hurricanes this season. . . . F Luka Burzan (38) scored Brandon’s goal, at 11:09 of the third period. . . . G Carl Tetachuk stopped 27 shots to earn the victory. . . . F Scott Mahovlich was back in Lethbridge’s lineup after having left the club on Feb. 13 to deal with a “family emergency.” He missed 10 games.


The Calgary Hitmen struck for four goals in the first period — three of them by F Carson CalgaryFocht — and then needed OT to beat the host Medicine Hat Tigers, 6-5. . . . Calgary (36-22-6) has points in seven straight games (6-0-1). It is third in the Central Division, four points behind the Edmonton Oil Kings and Lethbridge Hurricanes. Three of Calgary’s last four games are against the Oil Kings. . . . Medicine Hat (32-25-6) holds down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, two points ahead of the Red Deer Rebels and Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Calgary won the season series, 5-1-0. . . . Focht gave his guys a 2-0 lead with goals at 2:52, on the PP, and 3:53 of the first period. . . . F Ryan Chyzowski (23) got the Tigers on the scoreboard at 11:44. . . . F James Malm, on a PP, increased Calgary’s lead to 3-1 at 15:46 and Focht completed his third career hat trick — all three in the past five games — at 19:59. He’s got 26 goals, 10 of them in those past five games. . . . The Tigers followed with the next four goals to take a 5-4 lead. . . . F Ryan Jevne, who last played on Feb. 16, scored at 1:37 of the second period, and FCorson Hopwo made it 4-3 at 10:01. . . . The Tigers pulled even on D Trevor Longo’s fifth goal, at 7:58 of the third period, and went ahead at 11:07 when Jevne got his 28th goal, on a PP. . . . Malm forced OT with his 33rd goal at 16:18. . . . Calgary won it at 3:41 of OT when D Vladislav Yeryomenko notched his sixth goal of the season. . . . The Hitmen were 3-4 on the PP; the Tigers were 1-4. . . . Focht also had an assist for the fourth four-point game of his career. . . . Malm added an assist to his two goals. . . . Jevne added an assist to his two goals, while Longo had two helpers. . . . G Jack McNaughton stopped 37 shots for the Hitmen. . . . The Tigers also had F Brett Kemp back in their lineup. He had been out since Feb. 22.


G Trent Miner stopped 16 shots and D Bowen Byram set a single-season franchise record Vancouveras the Vancouver Giants dumped the Blazers, 5-0, in Kamloops. . . . Vancouver (45-14-4) has points in seven straight games (6-0-1). It is tied with the Everett Silvertips atop the Western Conference, each with five games remaining. . . . Kamloops (23-32-7) has lost four in a row (0-3-1). With six games to play, it is fourth in the B.C. Division, seven points behind the Kelowna Rockets. Kamloops and Kelowna will go home-and-home on Friday and Saturday. . . . The Blazers also are seven points behind the Seattle Thunderbirds, who hold down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . This was the third game in a row between these teams — the Giants won all three, one of them in OT. . . . Vancouver won the season series, 8-0-0; Kamloops was 0-5-3. . . . Miner posted his third shutout of the season. He is 23-4-2, 1.94, .926. . . . F Jadon Joseph scored twice for the Giants, opening the scoring 34 seconds into the second period and closing it with his 20th goal, on a PP, at 16:47 of the third. . . . In between, the Giants got goals from F Davis Koch (27), F Justin Sourdif (20) and Byram. . . . Byram’s goal was his 25th of the season and set a single-season franchise record for goals by a defenceman. The previous record was set by Kevin Connauton in 2009-10. . . . F Milos Roman had three assists. The Giants are about to lose Roman for a handful of games. Like Kootenay Ice D Martin Bodak, he will be returning to his native Slovakia to write a mandatory exam. . . . Kamloops G Dylan Ferguson left at 1:37 of the second period. He was slow getting up after some goal-mouth action at 1:20, and actually needed to lean on  his stick in order to get to his feet. Seventeen seconds later, he left the game, unable to put any weight on one leg. . . . Ferguson stopped 10 of 11 shots in 21:37. Dylan Garand came on in relief and turned aside 17 of 21. . . . The Giants enjoyed a 32-16 edge in shots, including 14-2 in the second period when they began to take control. . . .  Vancouver was 3-5 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-5. . . . Vancouver had F Krz Plummer in their lineup. Plummer, who turns 17 on Feb. 13, was a third-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft. This was his fifth WHL game, four of them this season.


The Tri-City Americans scored the game’s last three goals and beat the Victoria Royals, 6-tri-city3, in Kennewick, Wash. . . . Tri-City (34-25-4) had lost five in a row (0-4-1). The Americans, who are in possession of the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot, have clinched a playoff spot. . . . Victoria (33-26-4) had points in each of its past four games (3-0-1). It is headed to a second-place finish in the B.C. Division. . . . F Phillip Schultz (19) put Victoria ahead 55 seconds into the game. . . . F Paycen Bjorklund (5) tied it at 4:12. . . . Victoria went ahead again just 27 seconds later as F Carson Miller (14) scored. . . . The Americans tied it at 17:10 when D Dom Schmiemann (3) scored. . . . F Riley Sawchuk, who finished with two goals and an assist, put the Americans out front at 4:00 of the second period. . . . Victoria pulled even at 16:51 on F D-Jay Jerome’s 22nd goal. . . . Tri-City F Sasha Mutala (19) broke the tie at 18:08, and Sawchuk added insurance with his 20th goal, on a PP, at 13:54 of the third period. . . . Tri-City D Mitchell Brown (4) added the empty-netter at 18:58. . . . G Beck Warm stopped 20 shots for Tri-City, six fewer than Victoria’s Brock Gould. . . . D Ralph Jarratt, D Scott Walford and F Kody McDonald were among Victoria’s scratches.


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Rebels stuck in Hood River, game postponed 24 hours . . . Hurricanes announce Plan B details . . . Gerlach burns former club


MacBeth

D Dalton Yorke (Kelowna, Prince Albert, Tri-City, 2012-17) has signed a one-year contract extension with Löwen Frankfurt (Germany, DEL2). In 46 games, he has one goal and 11 assists. Yorke is a dual German-Canadian citizen. . . . Frankfurt GM Franz-David Fritzmeier: “Dalton has developed very well this season. He has made a big leap forward and has become an important cornerstone of our defence. We are pleased that we were able to extend the contract with him at an early stage.” . . .

F Pavel Brendl (Calgary, 1998-2001) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Kopla Joensuu (Finland, Division 2). Last season, he had five goals and three assists in 12 games with Arlanda (Sweden, Division 1).


ThisThat

The Red Deer Rebels spent much of Wednesday in Hood River, Ore., tweeting with the hashtag #stuckinhoodriver.

It sounds so much like a rock tune. In fact, the only thing missing was CCR.

With apologies to John Fogerty . . .

“I rode in on the Greyhound

“I’ll be walkin’ out if I go

“I was just passin’ through

“Must be seven months or more

“Ran out of time and money

“Looks like they took my friends

“Oh, Lord, I’m stuck in Hood River again.”

The Rebels opened a five-game road swing through the U.S. Division with a 4-3 OT loss to Red Deerthe Chiefs in Spokane on Tuesday night. They tried on Wednesday to get to Everett for a date that night with the Silvertips but they got stopped by what the Pacific Northwest locals have labelled snomageddon.

Red Deer wasn’t able to take the usual way, which would have had them on I-90 via the Snoqualmie Pass. But that route was closed due to the poor driving conditions.

Instead, the Rebels tried to go south via Yakima and Kennewick, then west to Portland, and north to Everett. They got as far as Hood River on I-84 before running into more road closures.

So . . . there they were, stuck in Hood River, an hour east of Portland, which is 200 miles south of Everett. Keep in mind, too, that the traffic conditions in the Seattle area aren’t especially conducive to quick travel at the best of times.

All of this resulted in the WHL postponing Wednedsay’s game for 24 hours. The Rebels and Silvertips now are scheduled to play in Everett tonight.

All because Red Deer got #stuckinhoodriver.

“The man from the magazine

“Said I was on my way

“Somewhere I lost connections

“Ran out of songs to play

“I came into town, a one-night stand

“Looks like my plans fell through

“Oh, Lord, stuck in Hood River again.”

The Oregon Department of Transportation reopened the westbound lanes of I-84 last night at 7:30. That, of course, was far too late for the Rebels to make it to Everett by game time. However, the Rebels were able to get to Everett last night.

The rescheduling means that the Silvertips will play five games in six nights, four of them on the road. After playing Red Deer, they will have to get to Kelowna for a Friday night date with the Rockets, then head back home to visit the Seattle Thunderbirds on Saturday. On Sunday, Everett will head to Prince George for a Monday-Tuesday doubleheader with the Cougars. Oh, and the Monday game is to start at 2 p.m.

The Rebels will visit the Thunderbirds on Friday, the Portland Winterhawks on Saturday and the Tri-City Americans on Tuesday, before heading back to Alberta for a Feb. 22 date with the host Edmonton Oil Kings.


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The Lethbridge Hurricanes have made it official. With the World Men’s Curling LethbridgeChampionship in the 5,479-seat ENMAX Centre, March 30 through April 7, they will be playing some playoff games, as needed, in Nicholas Sheran Arena.

According to a news release, there will be 1,176 spots available for as many as three first-round playoff games. They will be distributed through a lottery process to fans who purchase playoff ticket packages.

From that news release: “Those who are not selected in the playoff package draw, as well as other interested community members, are invited to attend a free family-friendly community event to watch the games on the big screen, eat and drink, and enjoy some great family programming and giveaways.”

The WHL playoffs are scheduled to open on March 22. Nicholas Sheran Arena is home to the U of Lethbridge Pronghorns women’s and men’s hockey teams.

The complete news release is right here. It contains all the information you need to know and more.


WEDNESDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The host Brandon Wheat Kings scored four times in the third period en route to a 5-2 BrandonWKregularvictory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Brandon (24-22-7) is six points from a wild-card spot. . . . Edmonton (30-17-8) leads the Central Division by one point over the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . D Conner McDonald gave Edmonton a 1-0 lead at 17:37 of the first period. McDonald’s goal was his 17th of the season, tying the franchise’s single-season record for defencemen that was set by Cody Corbett in 2013-14. . . . F Ben McCartney (16) got Brandon even at 1:55 of the second period. . . . F Vince Loschiavo (24) provided the Oil Kings with a 2-1 edge at 17:25. . . . Brandon followed that with four third-period goals, from F Linden McCorrister (13), shorthanded, at 0:26; F Luka Burzan (31), at 6:30; F Stelio Mattheos (34), at 13:01; and F Connor Gutenberg (13), into an empty net, at 19:43. . . . Mattheos also had two assists. . . . Brandon G Jiri Patera stopped 36 shots, 19 more than Edmonton’s Dylan Myskiw.


F Parker Kelly scored twice to lead the Prince Albert Raiders to a 3-1 victory over the PrinceAlbertBroncos in Swift Current. . . . Prince Albert (46-7-2) has won five in a row. It leads the Eastern Conference by 16 points over the Saskatoon Blades. . . . Swift Current (10-39-4) has lost six straight (0-5-1). . . . F Dante Hannoun (26), who also had two assists, gave the Raiders the lead, on a PP, at 2:24 of the second period and Kelly doubled it at 5:33. . . . F Joona Kiviniemi (14) scored for the Broncos, on a PP, at 2:49 of the third period. . . . Kelly iced it with his 27th goal at 15:23 of the third period. . . . The Raiders had  43-16 edge in shots — 13-5, 17-7 and 13-4 by period. . . . G Isaac Poulter made 40 saves for the Broncos. . . . G Boston Bilous stopped 15 shots for the Raiders. . . . The Raiders were without G Ian Scott, F Brett Leason and F Sean Montgomery. Scott and Leason both are injured; Montgomery, who had played in 155 consecutive games, is ill. . . . The Raiders had F Justin Nachbaur back from a three-game suspension. . . . Prince Albert had F Cole Nagy, 17, make his WHL debut with them. He plays for the midget AAA Saskatoon Blazers. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound Nagy was a sixth-round pick by the Moose Jaw Warriors in the 2016 bantam draft. He signed with the Raiders on Jan. 2. 


The two Jakes — Elmer and Leschyshyn — scored two goals each and added an assist to Lethbridgelead the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 6-2 victory over the visiting Calgary Hitmen. . . . Lethbridge (28-16-10) had lost its previous three games (0-1-2). It is third in the Central Division, one point behind the Medicine Hat Tigers and two in arrears of the first-place Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Calgary (28-21-5) and Red Deer are tied for fourth in the Central Division; they also are tied for the Eastern Conference’s two wild-card spots. . . . Lethbridge is 5-1-0 in the season series with Calgary. . . . The Hurricanes completed a six-game homestand with a 3-1-2 record. . . . The Hurricanes took control early as they scored five times on 16 first-period shots. . . . Elmer opened the scoring at 2:50 of the first period, and Leschyshyn made it 2-0 at 7:05. . . . F Riley Stotts (18) pulled Calgary to within one at 9:35. . . . Elmer upped the lead to 3-1 with his 24th goal, shorthanded, at 15:36; F Jordy Bellerive (25) made it 4-1, at 16:37; and F Taylor Ross (26) got the fifth goal, at 17:11. . . . F Ryder Korczak (6) had Calgary’s other goal, at 9:03 of the second period. . . . Leschyshyn wrapped up the scoring with his 33rd goal, at 6:36 of the third period. . . . G Carl Tetachuk earned the victory with 36 saves. . . . The Hurricanes were without F Scott Mahovlich, who has left the team “to be with family after a family emergency,” according to a news release. General manager Peter Anholt said in the news release that Mahovlich, 19, “has returned home to be with family for whatever length of time that he requires.” Mahovlich is from Abbotsford, B.C.


F Max Gerlach, who began his career with Medicine Hat, scored two goals to help the SaskatoonSaskatoon Blades to a 6-3 victory over the host Tigers. . . . Saskatoon (35-13-8) has points in 11 straight games (9-0-2). It is second in the East Division, 10 points ahead of the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . Medicine Hat (31-19-5) had points in each of its previous five games (4-0-1). It is second in the Central Division, one point behind the Edmonton Oil Kings and one ahead of the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . The home side had a 1-0 lead at 2:44 of the first period on a PP goal by F James Hamblin (31). . . . Gerlach tied it, on a PP, at 15:28, and F Ryan Hughes (21) gave the Blades a 2-1 lead, on another PP, at 9:10 of the second period. . . . Gerlach upped the lead to 3-1 with his 35th goal, at 12:47. . . . Gerlach, 20, played the first 180 regular-season games of his WHL career with the Tigers. According to Ryan McCracken of the Medicine Hat News, Gerlach, after his first goal, “shrugged off the lack of support from his former fans and joked, ‘I built this place’ as he returned to Saskatoon’s bench.” His first WHL goal was the first goal scored in the Canalta Centre. It came on Sept. 26, 2015, with the Tigers beating the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 5-3. . . . Last night, Gerlach’s second goal tied his career high. He scored 16 goals in 35 games with the Tigers last season, and added 19 in 30 with the Blades after being dealt to Saskatoon. . . . He also is on a career-high 12-game point streak, with 21 points in that stretch. . . . And one other Gerlach note. According to Les Lazaruk, the radio voice of the Blades, Gerlach’s goal was the 15,000th in franchise history. . . . Lazaruk also pointed out that this was the first time since Jan. 8 that the Blades didn’t score the game’s first goal. They had gone up 1-0 in 12 straight games. . . . F Nick McCarry (2) got the Tigers to within a goal at 15:41, but F Eric Florchuk (18) got that one back at 19:38. . . . The Blades got insurance from F Tristen Robins (8), at 1:52 of the third period, and F Chase Wouters (13), shorthanded, at 3:52. . . . F Ryan Jevne (14) scored Medicine Hat’s last goal, on a PP, at 16:22. . . . Saskatoon D Dawson Davidson had three assists. Davidson is riding a 14-game point streak, with 24 points in that time. . . . Davidson has 64 points, 54 of them assists, in 56 games. His 54 assists are second in the WHL to F Trey Fix-Wolansky of the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . The Blades scratched F Kirby Dach for a third straight game after he was struck in the throat by a puck. . . . Saskatoon also is without D Aidan De La Gorgendiere, who last played on Feb. 2 when he took a hit from D Jake Neighbours of the Edmonton Oil Kings, who now is three games into a four-game suspension. . . . The Tigers were without D Linus Nassen and D Joel Craven, while F Hayden Ostir remains out.


The Kamloops Blazers scored the game’s first four goals as they skated to a 6-1 victory Kamloops1over the visiting Victoria Royals. . . . Kamloops (21-27-5) had lost its past three games (0-2-1). It is one point behind the Seattle Thunderbirds, who hold down the Western Conference’s second wild-card berth. Kamloops also is fourth in the B.C. Division, four points behind the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Victoria (27-23-3) is second in the B.C. Division, six points ahead of the Kelowna Rockets. . . . The Royals are 5-2-1 in the season series; the Blazers are 3-5-0. . . . Kamloops had scored three goals on 71 shots in going 0-2-1 in its previous three games. In this one, the Blazers erupted for four goals on 13 shots in the first period. . . . F Connor Zary accounted for the game’s first two scores, at 3:58 and 11:42, with the first one shorthanded. . . . F Zane Franklin (25) made it 3-0 at 18:48, and F Brodi Stuart (15) upped it to 4-0 with 3.3 seconds left. . . . F Phillip Schultz (13) got a PP goal for Victoria at 3:20 of the second period. . . . F Jermaine Loewen (21), who also had two assists, counted the Blazers’ second shorthanded goal of the game, at 4:34 of the third period. . . . Zary, who has 16 goals, completed his first WHL hat trick at 13:45 of the third period. . . . Zary, a second-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft, has a late birth date so isn’t eligible for the NHL draft until 2020. He now has 48 points in 48 games. . . . G Dylan Ferguson stopped 36 shots for the Blazers. . . . With F Martin Lang and F Ryley Appelt both out, the Blazers dressed 17 skaters, one under the maximum. . . . D Montana Onyebuchi was back in the Blazers’ lineup after serving a two-game suspension and he had two assists. . . . Darryl Sydor, one of the Blazers’ five owners, made his WHL coaching debut behind the team’s bench. He was named a full-time assistant on Tuesday.


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Colina cites personal reasons in leaving P.G. . . . Tracey, Warriors rolling . . . Oil Kings win in P.A. . . . Farkas, Klassen record shutouts

Ice4
On Friday night, the Kootenay Ice played its first home game since the WHL and the team’s owners announced on Tuesday that the franchise will be relocating to Winnipeg at the end of this season. Scroll down for more photos from the game in Cranbrook, which the Ice won, 3-2, over the Swift Current Broncos.

MacBeth

F Roberts Lipsbergs (Seattle, 2012-15) has been recalled by Dinamo Riga (Latvia, KHL) from Liepaja (Latvia, Optibet Liga). With Dinamo, he was pointless in 15 games. He had four goals and seven assists in 14 games with Liepaja. . . .

F Juraj Bezúch (Lethbridge, 2011-12) has been traded by Hradec Králove (Czech Republic, Extraliga) to Dukla Jihlava (Czech Republic, 1. Liga) for Petr Štindl. With Hradec Králove, Bezúch had three goals and four assists in 30 games. On loan to Slavia Prague (Czech Republic, 1. Liga), he had two goals and two assists in three games. . . .

F Roman Pšurný (Medicine Hat, 2004-06) has been assigned on loan to Brno (Czech Republic Extraliga) by Přerov (Czech Republic, 1. Liga). In 45 games, he had 11 goals and 25 assists with Přerov. He is eligible to play the rest of this season with both clubs. . . .

D Jordan Rowley (Kamloops, Prince Albert, 2005-11) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Pelicans Lahti (Finland, Liiga) after requesting and receiving his release from Bolzano (Italy, Erste Bank Liga) on Thursday. In 24 games, he had one goal and four assists. He played last season for Pelicans, recording two goals and seven assists in 45 games.


ThisThat

F Ilijah Colina has left the Prince George Cougars for what the teams says is “personal PrinceGeorgereasons.” . . . In a news release, the team says Colina’s decision is “fully supported by the Cougars organization.” . . . This season, Colina, who turns 19 on Feb. 18, has six goals and six assists in 39 games. From North Delta, B.C., he has 55 points, including 18 goals, in 151 career regular-season games. He played 83 games with the Portland Winterhawks, before being acquired by the Cougars. Colina was part of a Jan. 10, 2018 deal in which Portland got D Dennis Cholowski and the rights to G Ty Taylor. The Cougars landed Colina and F Connor Bowie, along with a 2020 first-round bantam draft pick, second-rounders in 2018 and 2019, a third-rounder in 2020, and a conditional sixth-rounder in 2019. . . .

With Colina gone, the Cougars have added F Craig Armstrong to their roster. Armstrong, from Airdrie, Alta., was the ninth overall selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft.. He plays at the Edge school in Calgary, where he has 12 goals and 13 assists in 24 games with the prep team. . . . Armstrong was with the Cougars on Friday night in Kamloops, but didn’t play against the Blazers.


FRIDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

F Brayden Tracey scored the game’s first three goals and later added an assist to lead the MooseJawWarriorsMoose Jaw Warriors to a 6-1 victory over the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Moose Jaw (28-11-8) has points in eight straight (7-0-1). The Warriors are third in the East Division, three points behind the Saskatoon Blades with three games in hand. . . . This was Moose Jaw’s first home game after a seven-game road swing (6-0-1), and the Warriors now will play their next five games away from home. . . . Medicine Hat (27-18-4) has lost two in a row. The Tigers are fourth in the Central Division, one point behind the Red Deer Rebels. Medicine Hat also holds down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, three points ahead of the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Tracey, a 17-year-old freshman from Calgary, was the 21st-overall selection in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. This season, he has 51 points, including 22 goals, in 47 games. This was his second hat trick of the season. . . . Tracey opened the scoring at 8:52 of the first period, then completed his hat trick in the second period with goals at 4:57 and 8:40. . . . F Keenan Taphorn (12), F Kjell Kjemhus (1) and F Justin Almeida (19) also scored for Moose Jaw. . . . F Ryan Chyzowski (16) scored the Tigers’ goal, at 10:36 of the third period. . . . Kjemhus got his first goal in 22 games with the Warriors after coming over in a deal with the Prince George Cougars. . . . G Adam Evanoff stopped 33 shots for the Warriors. . . . The Tigers had F Cole Sillinger in their lineup for the third time this season. Sillinger, 15, is from Regina. He was the 11th-overall pick in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft.


F Trey Fix-Wolansky and D Conner McDonald each scored twice to help the Edmonton EdmontonOilKingsOil Kings to a 6-3 victory over the Raiders in Prince Albert. . . . Edmonton (28-15-8) has won three in a row and now leads the Central Division by four points over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Prince Albert (41-7-2) now is 20-4-0 at home. The lead the East Division by 17 points over the Saskatoon Blades. This was the Raiders’ first home game since Jan. 12. They were 4-1-1 on a road swing in the interim. . . . F Cole Fonstad gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead at 12:41 of the first period. . . . Edmonton took a 2-1 lead on second-period goals from F Jalen Luypen (7), at 7:59, and McDonald, at 9:13. . . . Fonstad tied it with his 20th goal, at 16:28, and D Brayden Pachal (13) gave the Raiders a 3-2 lead at 17:49. . . . Edmonton took control with the next four goals, two of them late in the second, and both from Fix-Wolansky, at 18:25, on a PP, and 19:21. He’s got 27 goals. . . . McDonald added his 14th goal at 5:09 of the third and F Vince Loschiavo, who was playing in his 301st regular-season game, got his 22nd goal into an empty net at 16:36. . . . Edmonton got 39 saved from G Todd Scott. . . . The Oil Kings sent Prince Albert starter Ian Scott to the bench after scoring five times on 27 shots in 45:09. . . . D Matthew Robertson was among Edmonton’s scratches.


F Gary Haden scored twice as the Saskatoon Blades skated to a 3-1 victory over the Pats Saskatoonin Regina. . . . Saskatoon (30-13-8) has points in five straight (4-0-1). it is second in the East Division, three points ahead of the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . Regina (13-35-3) has lost three in a row (0-2-1). . . . Saskatoon had a 17-3 edge in shots in the first period but only F Max Gerlach (28) was able to beat Regina G Max Paddock. . . . Haden made it 2-0 at 7:35 of the second period. . . . The Pats outshot the visitors 22-14 in the second period and got one goal, that from F Sergei Alkhimov (11), at 15:31. . . . Haden iced it with an empty-netter at 19:59 of the third. He’s got 23 goals. . . . G Nolan Maier stopped 34 shots for the Blades, five fewer than Paddock. . . . D Ryker Evans was back in Regina’s lineup after missing 23 games, but the Pats were without G Dean McNabb and F Duncan Pierce. . . . With McNabb, out, Regina had Carter Woodside backing up Paddock. Woodside, who plays with the midget AAA Prince Albert Mintos, was a sixth-round pick by the Kootenay Ice in the 2016 WHL bantam draft. Regina acquired him from Kootenay on Aug. 20, giving up a conditional eighth-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft. . . . F Cole Dubinsky of the Pats began serving a four-game suspension for a kneeing major and game misconduct he incurred on Tuesday in Calgary. F Hunter Campbell of the Hitmen, who was on the receiving end, was scratched from last night’s game in Calgary.


F Luka Burzan scored in OT to give the Brandon Wheat Kings a 6-5 victory over the centsCalgary Centennials (aka the Calgary Hitmen) in a game played at the Calgary Corral. . . . Brandon (22-19-7) has points in four straight (3-0-1). It is four points behind Calgary, which holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . Calgary (25-19-5) has lost three in a row (0-1-2). . . . Calgary took a 1-0 lead as F Tye Carriere (5) scored at 1:53 of the first period. . . . Brandon F Caiden Daley (4) tied it 15 seconds later. . . . F Stelio Mattheos (31) gave Brandon a 2-1 lead, on a PP, at 5:58 of the second period. . . . Calgary followed with goals from F Luke Coleman, on a PP, at 6:37, and F Mark Kastelic, at 15:15. . . . The Wheat Kings tied it when F Connor Gutenberg (12) scored, on a PP, at 17:17. . . . Kastelic (34), who also had an assist, put the Centennials ahead, on a PP, at 1:08 of the third period. . . . Brandon then took the lead on two goals from F Ben McCartney, who has 15, at 2:21 and 14:15. . . . Coleman forced OT when he scored his 17th goal at 18:18. . . . Burzan won it with his 29th goal just 16 seconds into OT. . . . Mattheos added two assists to his goal, including the only helper on the winner. . . . Brandon got three assists from D Zach Wytinck, with McCartney adding one to his brace of goals. . . . Both teams are without their starting goaltenders, Brandon’s Jiri Patera with a leg injury and Calgary’s Carl Stankowski with an ankle problem. . . . The Wheat Kings got 27 saves from Ethan Kruger, with Jack McNaughton stopping 32 shots for Calgary. . . . The Wheat Kings were without D Braydyn Chizen, who is two games into a four-game suspension for a headshot major he took Tuesday in Edmonton.


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There were messages for the players as the Kootenay Ice played its first home game since a move to to Winnipeg was made official on Tuesday . . .
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. . . and there was a message to the many billet families who have taken in players over the 21 seasons in which the Ice has called Cranbrook home . . .
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. . . and, yes, there was a message for the owners of the Ice, too.

F Jaeger White broke a 2-2 tie late in the third period to give the Winnipeg Ice (aka KootenaynewKootenay Ice) a 3-2 victory in Cranbrook, B.C. . . . The Ice (11-32-8) has lost its previous four games (0-3-1). . . . The Broncos (10-36-3) have lost two in a row. . . . The Ice took a 1-0 lead when F Connor McClennon scored at 9:12 of the first period. . . . F Owen Blocker (4) pulled the Broncos even at 15:10, and D Christian Riemer (1) gave the visitors a 2-1 lead at 12:10 of the second. . . . Riemer, an 18-year-old freshman from Regina, got his first goal in his 38th game of the season. . . . McLennon (8) tied it at 8:18 of the third period, and White got the winner at 19:08. He’s got 21 goals this season. . . . G Jesse Makaj stopped 24 shots for the Ice, four fewer than the Broncos’ Isaac Poulter. . . . F Tanner Nagel, the team captain, was among the Broncos’ scratches. . . . The was the Ice’s first home game since the WHL announced on Tuesday that the franchise will relocate to Winnipeg when this season ends.


F Jake Leschyshyn, F Nick Henry and D Igor Merezhko each scored twice to lead the LethbridgeLethbridge Hurricanes to a 6-2 victory over the visiting Red Deer Rebels. . . . Lethbridge (26-15-8) had lost its previous two games. It is second in the Central Division, four points behind the Edmonton Oil Kings and one ahead of the Rebels. . . . Red Deer (28-17-3) has lost two straight. . . . Leschyshyn and Henry, mid-season acquisitions from the Regina Pats, made it 2-0 with goals at 5:39 and 16:49 of the first period. . . . F Josh Tarzwell (7) scored for Red Deer at 2:03 of the second. . . . Leschyshyn (29) scored again at 5:20, with Henry (20) counting at 9:46. . . . F Oleg Zaytsev (9) got Red Deer closer at 14:57. . . . Merezhko, who now has three goals, iced it with third-period goals at 3:12 and 14:40, the latter a shorthanded empty-netter. . . . Henry also had an assist for a three-point outing. . . . Lethbridge was 2-4 on the PP; Red Deer was 0-6. . . . Rebels F Brandon Hagel went to the dressing favouring a hand after a scrap with Lethbridge F Jordy Bellerive at 6:43 of the second period, but he later returned. . . . G Carl Tetachuk stopped 26 shots to earn the victory.


F Kyrell Sopotyk scored twice, the second one into an empty net, to help the host Kamloops1Kamloops Blazers to a 4-1 victory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . Kamloops (20-25-4) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). The Blazers are tied with the Seattle Thunderbirds for the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot. Kamloops also is fourth in the B.C. Division, one point behind the Kelowna Rockets. The Blazers and Rockets are to meet in Kelowna tonight. . . . Prince George (16-28-5) has lost eight straight (0-6-2) and now trails Kamloops by seven points. . . . Sopotyk gave Kamloops a 1-0 lead at 9:35 of the first period, with F Orrin Centazzo (13) upping it to 2-0 at 19:35. . . . F Vladislav Mikhalchuk (18) scored for the Cougars, on a PP, at 3:09 of the second period. . . . F Brodi Stuart (14) got that one back for Kamloops at 10:31 of the third period. . . . Sopotyk, who has nine goals, got the empty-netter at 18:34. . . . The Cougars were 1-5 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-4. . . . Both goaltenders were sharp, with Dylan Ferguson making 26 saves for Kamloops and Taylor Gauthier stopping 40 for the Cougars. . . . The Blazers had D Quinn Schmiemann back after a four-game absence. He was injured on Jan. 20 on a hit by Prince George F Josh Maser, who was given a three-game suspension under supplemental discipline. . . . Kamloops was without D Jeff Faith, who drew a two-game suspension for a kneeing major and game misconduct against the visiting Vancouver Giants on Wednesday night. . . . F Logan Stankoven, the fifth-overall pick in the 2018 bantam draft, played his fourth game of the season with Kamloops. He didn’t pick up any points, but the Cougars took two minor penalties on him.


G Shane Farkas stopped 24 shots and F Reece Newkirk had two goals as the Portland PortlandWinterhawks dumped the visiting Vancouver Giants, 3-0. . . . Portland (31-14-5) is second in the U.S. Division, seven points behind the Everett Silvertips. . . . Vancouver (32-13-3) had points in each of its previous 10 games (9-0-1). It leads the B.C. Division by 15 points over the Victoria Royals. . . . Portland is 3-0-0 against Vancouver this season. . . . F Joachim Blichfeld scored the game’s first goal, his WHL-leading 43rd, at 8:48 of the second period. . . . Newkirk made it 2-0 at 4:42 of the third, and added an empty-netter, his 20th goal of the season, at 19:16. . . . Blichfeld also had an assist. He leads the WHL in points, with 90, nine more than F Tristin Langan of the Moose Jaw Warriors. Blichfeld’s 43 goals are five more than Langan.


F Zack Andrusiak scored a goal and added three assists as the visiting Everett Silvertips Everettbeat his old team, the Seattle Thunderbirds, 5-2, in Kent, Wash. . . . Everett (36-12-2) has won three in a row. It leads the U.S. Division by seven points over the Portland Winterhawks. . . . Seattle (19-23-6) had points in each of its previous three games (2-0-1). The Thunderbirds are tied with the Kamloops Blazers for the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . The Silvertips and Thunderbirds will meet again tonight, this time in Everett. . . . The Silvertips are 5-0-0 in the season series. . . . Everett acquired Andrusiak from Seattle in a Jan. 1 deal that included F Sean Richards going the other way. . . . F Andrej Kukuca (13) gave Seattle a 1-0 lead at 14:51 of the second period. . . . Everett took a 3-1 lead on three PP goals from F Bryce Kindopp — at 16:37 of the second period and 0:26 and 6:42 of the third. . . . Kindopp, who has 28 goals, enjoyed his first career hat trick. . . . F Matthew Wedman (23) got Seattle to within a goal, on a PP, at 8:11. . . . F Dawson Butt (7), at 14:11, and Andrusiak (35), at 15:23, put it away. . . . Everett was 3-5 on the PP; Seattle was 1-5. . . . G Dustin Wolf earned the victory with 29 saves. . . . Seattle remains without F Nolan Volcan, the team captain. . . . The Thunderbirds had F Kai Uchacz in their lineup for the first time. A 15-year-old from De Winton, Alta., Uchacz was the 10th-overall selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. He has 15 goals and 15 assists in 26 games with the midget AAA Okotoks Oilers. Uchacz will return to Okotoks after weekend games.


G Reece Klassen stopped 25 shots and F Adam Beckman had two goals as the host SpokaneChiefsSpokane Chiefs beat the Kelowna Rockets, 4-0. . . . Spokane (26-17-5) has won two in a row. It is third in the U.S. Division, 10 points behind the Portland Winterhawks and and four ahead of the Tri-City Americans. . . . Kelowna (20-25-5) had points in each of its previous two games (1-0-1). It is third in the B.C. Division, seven points behind the Victoria Royals and one ahead of the Kamloops Blazers, who are to visit Kelowna tonight. . . . The Rockets have been blanked five times this season. . . . Klassen, who was acquired from the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Jan. 2, posted his first career shutout. It came in his fourth appearance with the Chiefs. . . . F Jake McGrew (21) scored the game’s first goal, at 8:02 of the first period, with Beckman making it 2-0 at 15:55 of the second. . . . D Nolan Reid (9) upped it to 3-0 at 1:54 of the third period. . . . Beckman, a 17-year-old freshman from Saskatoon, rounded out the scoring with his 21st goal at 3:50. A fifth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft, he’s got 39 points in 48 games. . . . Kelowna G James Porter stopped 13 of 15 shots, but left with an apparent injury after giving up the second goal. Roman Basran finished up, stopping 15 of 17 shots in 23:11.


The Victoria Royals grabbed a 3-1 first-period lead and went on to a 5-2 victory over the VictoriaRoyalsvisiting Tri-City Americans. . . . Victoria (25-20-2) is second in the B.C. Division, seven points ahead of the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Tri-City (25-19-3) holds down the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot. It also is fourth in the U.S. Division, four points behind the Spokane Chiefs. . . . Victoria went ahead 1-0 at 2:58 of the first period on a goal by F Igor Martynov (8), only to have the Americans tie it at 10:50 when F Krystof Hrabik (11) scored. . . . D Ralph Jarratt gave (5) Victoria a 2-1 lead, on a PP, at 15:07, and F Logan Doust (3) made it 3-1 at 17:55. . . . Tri-City got to within a goal at 7:32 of the third period as F Kyle Olson (16) scored on a PP. . . . The Royals locked it up on goals from F D-Jay Jerome (19), at 8:35, and F Tarun Fizer (11), into an empty net, at 15:51. . . . Victoria had D Jake Kustra back in the lineup after he had been out since Jan. 10. . . . These teams meet again tonight in Victoria.


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