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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Captain Kastelic leads Hitmen to win . . . Warm maintains perfect shootout mark . . . Dewar’s six points spark Silvertips

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SATURDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

F Brett Leason broke a 3-3 tie late in the third period as the host Prince Albert Raiders PrinceAlbertbeat the Moose Jaw Warriors, 4-3. . . . Prince Albert (42-7-2) leads the East Division by 18 points over the Saskatoon Blades. . . . Moose Jaw (28-12-8) had points in each of its previous eight games (7-0-1). It is third in the East Division, four points behind Saskatoon but with three games in hand. . . . F Cole Fonstad (21) gave the home side a 1-0 lead at 4:34 of the first period, with Moose Jaw D Josh Brook (10) tying it, on a PP, at 19:40. . . . Prince Albert went back in front at 4:50 of the second period as F Sean Montgomery (21) scored. . . . The Warriors tied it again, this time on a goal from F Brayden Tracey (23), on a PP, at 15:31. . . . The Raiders took the lead at 16:04 on a goal by D Kaiden Guhle (2). . . . Again, Moose Jaw tied it, this time on F Justin Almeida’s 20th goal of the season, on a PP, at 15:45 of the third period. . . . Leason won it at 17:35, with his 32nd goal of the season. He has nine game-winners this season. . . . In 43 games, he now has 75 points. He went into this season with 51 points, including 24 goals, in 135 games. . . . D Jett Woo drew three assists for the Warriors. . . . The Warriors were 3-5 on the PP; the Raiders were 0-6. . . . G Ian Scott stopped 28 shots for the Raiders, bouncing back after not finishing a 6-3 loss to the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings on Friday. . . . The Warriors got 31 saves from G Brodan Salmond. . . . Looking at the online scoresheet, Moose Jaw F Tristin Langan appears to have been given a minor penalty for leaving the penalty box and entering into a fight at the game’s final buzzer. If so, he likely will be hearing from Kevin Acheson, the WHL’s sheriff.


F Trey Fix-Wolansky scored in OT to give the Edmonton Oil Kings a 4-3 victory over the EdmontonOilKingsBlades in Saskatoon. . . . Edmonton (29-15-8) has won four in a row. It beat the Raiders in Prince Albert, 6-3, on Friday night. The Oil Kings lead the Central Division by four points over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Saskatoon (30-13-8) has points in six straight (4-0-2) and is second in the East Division four points ahead of the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . F Gary Haden gave Saskatoon a 1-0 lead at 3:46 of the first period. . . . Edmonton took a 2-1 lead before the period ended, on goals from F Conner McDonald, at 15:29, and F Vladimir Alistrov (8), at 17:42. . . . Haden got the Blades into a tie, with his 25th goal, at 15:42 of the second period. A 19-year-old from Airdrie, Alta., Haden has goals in four straight games. In fact, he has nine goals over that stretch. This season, he has 48 points in 47 games. He also has scored eight times against the Oil Kings this season. . . . F Max Gerlach (29) gave the Blades a 3-2 lead, on a PP, at 11:54 of the third period. . . . McDonald’s 16th goal, on a PP, got Edmonton back into a tie at 16:51. . . . McDonald, 19, has 35 points in 52 games this season. He has back-to-back two-goal games, and has scored twice in three of his past four games. In a six-game point streak, he has put up 10 points, seven of them goals. . . . Fix-Wolansky, who scored twice in Prince Albert on Friday, won this one 30 seconds into OT. It was his 28th goal of the season. He now has 81 points in 50 games. . . . The Oil Kings again were without D Matthew Robertson, but they did get F Jake Neighbours back after a 12-game absence. However, he left at 8:33 of the third period with a boarding major and game misconduct. . . . Edmonton F Quinn Benjafield celebrated his 21st birthday by playing in his 300th game. He picked up the primary assist on McDonald’s game-tying goal in the third period. Benjafield has 165 points, including 62 goals, in those 300 games. He played the first 261 of those with the Kamloops Blazers. . . . The Oil Kings got 38 saves from G Dylan Myskiw, while Nolan Maier stopped 31 shots for the Blades.


F Mark Kastelic had two goals and an assist as the Calgary Hitmen got past the Rebels, 5-Calgary1, in Red Deer. . . . Calgary (26-19-5) has points in six straight (5-0-1) and holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. The Hitmen also are fifth in the Central Division, but only three points out of third. . . . Red Deer (28-18-3) has lost three in a row. It is fourth in the Central Division, two points ahead of Calgary and one behind the third-place Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Red Deer won the season series, 6-2-0; the Hitmen were 2-5-1. . . . The Hitmen erased a 1-0 deficit with four second-period goals. . . . D Dawson Barteaux (6) gave Red Deer a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 12:12 of the first period. . . . Calgary took control in the second period on goals by Kastelic, on a PP, at 3:07; F Carson Focht (15), at 8:09; F Kaden Elder (20), at 9:27; and Kastelic, on another PP, at 15:19. . . . Kastelic, Calgary’s captain, now has 36 goals. . . . F James Malm (21) got Calgary’s last goal at 8:24 of the third period. . . . Kastelic, a 19-year-old from Phoenix, has 10 points, including six goals, over his past four games. He has career highs in goals and points (58), in 50 games. He also has equalled a career-high in assists (22). . . . Elder also had two assists for a three-point outing. . . . Calgary held a 38-24 edge in shots, including 15-6 in the first period and 14-4 in the third. . . . The Hitmen got 23 saves from G Jack McNaughton, 10 fewer than Red Deer’s Byron Fancy. . . . The Hitmen lost D Dakota Krebs at 5:36 of the first period when, according to Greg Meachem of reddeerrebels.com, he was “knocked out by (Jeff) de Wit in a first-period scrap.” Krebs didn’t return to the game.


F Jordy Bellerive had a goal and two assists to lead the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 4-2 Lethbridgevictory over the visiting Swift Current Broncos. . . . Lethbridge (27-15-8) has won two straight. It is second in the Central Division, four points behind the Edmonton Oil Kings and two ahead of the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Swift Current (10-37-3) has lost three in a row. The franchise record for fewest victories in a season is 14, from 1968-69 when teams played a 60-game regular season. That season, the Broncos finished 14-44 with two ties. . . . D Danila Palivko (2) scored shorthanded, at 7:03 of the first period, as the home team took a 1-0 lead. . . . The Broncos tied it at 13:48 when F Ethan Regnier (8) scored on a penalty shot. . . . Lethbridge took control with the next three goals. Bellerive (24) got it started at 15:53, and F Noah Book (5) made it 3-1, on a PP, at 19:27. . . . D Calen Addison (8) gave the Hurricanes a 4-1 lead at 14:15 of the second period. . . . D Connor Horning (5) got the Broncos’ second goal, at 16:31 of the second. . . . G Riley Lamb gave the Broncos a chance to win, with 41 saves. . . . At the other end, Carl Tetachuk stopped 15 shots. . . . Bellerive, coming off severe burns suffered in an off-season incident, now has 62 points, including 38 assists, in 50 games.


G Mads Søgaard stopped 16 shots to help the host Medicine Hat Tigers to a 5-0 victory Tigers Logo Officialover the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Medicine Hat (28-18-4) had lost its previous two games. It is third in the Central Division, two points behind the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Brandon (22-20-7) had points in each of its past four games (3-0-1). It now is six points out of a wild-card playoff spot. . . . The Tigers took control with three first-period goals. . . . F James Hamblin (25) made it 1-0 at 3:46. . . . F Logan Christensen (6) upped it to 2-0 at 6:52. . . . F Brett Kemp (26), on a PP, made it 3-0 at 11:54. . . . The Tigers’ fourth goal, from F Ryan Jevne (22) at 5:10 of the second period, had assists from Hamblin and F Ryan Chyzowski. That was Hamblin’s 100th career assist, with Chyzowski picking up his 100th career point. . . . F Elijah Brown (10) accounted for the game’s final goal, at 5;58 of the third period. . . . The 6-foot-7 Søgaard, an 18-year-old freshman from Denmark, has two shutouts this season. He is 12-4-4, 2.31, .931.


D Lassi Thomson’s OT goal gave the Kelowna Rockets a 2-1 victory over the visiting KelownaRocketsKamloops Blazers. . . . Kelowna (21-25-5) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). It is third in the B.C. Division, six points behind the Victoria Royals and two ahead of the Blazer. . . . Kamloops (20-25-5) has points in three straight (1-0-2). It is in possession of the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, one point ahead of the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . With four games left in the season series, the Blazes are 4-1-1; the Rockets are 2-3-1. . . . Each team had one of its top prospects in the lineup, the Blazers dressing F Logan Stankoven, the fifth overall pick in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft, for a fifth game, while the Rockets used F Trevor Wong, the 18th pick in that draft, in his fourth game. . . . Wong scored his first career goal, on a PP, at 3:25 of the third period to give Kelowna a 1-0 lead. . . . F Jermaine Loewen (19) got Kamloops into a 1-1 tie at 7:29. . . . Thomson (12) won it, on a PP, at 4:14 of OT. . . . The Rockets had the only three shots of extra time. . . . Kelowna was 2-5 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-1. . . . Wong’s goal came after Kamloops D Montana Onyebuchi was hit with a major and game misconduct for being involved in a one-man fight. . . . Kamloops got 22 saves from G Dylan Ferguson, who is 5-0-2 in his last seven starts. . . . G Roman Basran stopped 17 shots for the Rockets. . . . Kelowna F Mark Liwiski sat this one out for what the WHL calls “an accumulation of kneeing penalties” this season. . . . Kamloops D Jeff Faith missed this one as he completed a two-game suspension.


F Jake Gricius scored in the third round of a shootout to give the Portland Winterhawks a Portland6-5 victory over the visiting Spokane Chiefs. . . . Portland (32-14-5) has won two in a row. It is second in the U.S. Division, seven points behind the Everett Silvertips. . . . Spokane (26-17-6) had won its previous two games. It is third in the U.S. Division, 11 points behind Portland and three ahead of the Tri-City Americans. . . . On Wednesday night in Spokane, the Chiefs beat the Winterhawks, 7-2. . . . Last night, the Chiefs overcame 3-1 and 5-3 deficits to earn a point. . . . D Nolan Reid gave the Chiefs a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 3:18 of the first period. . . . Portland got the next three goals, from F Lane Gilliss (12), at 4:32; D Jared Freadrich (8), at 19:15; and D John Ludvig (3), at 0:20 of the second period. . . . Spokane tied it on goals from D Egor Arbuzov (3), at 12:54, and Reid (11), at 14:55. . . . The Winterhawks took their second two-goal lead as F Cross Hanas (7) scored, on a PP, at 16:32, and D Matthew Quigley (1) counted at 5:58 of the third period. . . . F Adam Beckman (22), at 9:11, and D Filip Kral (6), at 11:28, got the Chiefs into a 5-5 tie. . . . Spokane F Jaret Anderson-Dolan and Portland F Reece Newkirk exchanged shootout goals before Gricius, the second shooter in the third round, won it. . . . Hanas added two assists to his goal, for his first three-point night, while Beckman and Kral added two assists each for the Chiefs. . . . The Winterhawks lost F Joachim Blichfeld, who leads the WHL in goals and points, to an interference major and game misconduct for a hit on Spokane D Ty Smith at 9:59 of the first period. Smith left and didn’t return to the game.


D Dylan Plouffe had a goal and two assists, and F Milos Roman scored twice, leading the VancouverVancouver Giants to a 4-2 victory over the Prince George Cougars in Langley, B.C. . . . Vancouver (33-13-3) leads the B.C. Division by 16 points over the Victoria Royals. . . . Prince George (16-29-5) has lost nine in a row (0-7-2) and is eight points out of a playoff spot. . . . Roman scored on a PP at 3:15 to give Vancouver a 1-0 lead. . . . D Cole Moberg (10) got the Cougars even at 11:13. . . . Plouffe (5) put the Giants back out front at 11:35 of the second period. . . . F Josh Maser (19) pulled the visitors back into a tie, on a PP, at 19:57. . . . F Justin Sourdif (13) broke the tie at 14:51 of the third period, and Roman (20) added insurance with the empty-netter at 19:13. . . . D Nic Draffin made his debut with the Giants. A 17-year-old from Lethbridge, he had a goal and four assists in 35 games with the AJHL’s Calgary Mustangs before joining the Giants. A third-round pick by Red Deer in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft, the Giants acquired him from the Rebels on Jan. 10 for a seventh-round pick in the 2021 draft. . . . This was the first of four games in eight days, including three in a row, between these teams. The Giants will be in Prince George for games on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the Cougars heading to Langley for a game on Feb. 10. . . . On their way home from Prince George, the Giants will stop for a Wednesday night game with the Kamloops Blazers. The Giants, who play four times in Kamloops this season, made their first visit there the previous Wednesday.


G Beck Warm recorded his seventh shootout victory of the season — in as many tri-cityopportunities — as the Tri-City Americans got past the host Victoria Royals, 2-1. . . . Tri-City (26-19-3) is safely ensconced in the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, and is fourth in the U.S. Division, three points behind the Spokane Chiefs. . . . Victoria (25-20-3) has points in four straight (2-0-2). It is second in the B.C. Division, six points ahead of the Kelowna Rockets. . . . The Americans took a 1-0 lead at 10:23 of the first period as F Parker AuCoin (26) scored on a PP. . . . The Royals tied it at 13:22 when F Phillip Schultz (8) scored. . . . F Nolan Yaremko and F Kyle Olson had shootout goals for Tri-City, with D-Jay Jerome getting the Royals’ only score. . . . Warm finished with 33 saves, 10 more than Victoria’s Griffen Outhouse. . . . On Friday night, Victoria beat the visiting Americans, 5-2.


F Connor Dewar scored four goals and added two assists as the Everett Silvertips beat the Everettvisiting Seattle Thunderbirds, 7-2. . . . Everett (37-12-2) has won three in a row. It leads the U.S. Division by seven points over the Portland Winterhawks. . . . Seattle (19-24-6) has lost two straight, both of them to the Silvertips. The Thunderbirds now are one point out of the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . Dewar, who has two career hat tricks, enjoyed his first four-goal and six-point outing. . . . Dewar now has a career-high 70 points in 47 games. He finished last season with 68 points in 68 games. . . . Dewar fell one point shy of the Everett franchise record for points in a game. It is shared by F Zach Hamill and F Dan Gendur from a 9-0 victory over the Winterhawks in Portland on Jan. 26, 2007. They each had three goals and four assists. . . . Everett has had players score hat tricks in three straight games. F Zack Andrusiak did it on Jan. 26, in a 9-1 victory over the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes, and F Bryce Kindopp, who billets with Dewar, had three goals in a 5-2 victory over host Seattle on Friday night. . . . The Silvertips scored the game’s first four goals, three of them from Dewar, who broke open a scoreless game at 19:30 of the first period. . . . D Jake Christiansen (9) had Everett’s other goal in that outburst. He finished with a goal and three assists for his first career four-point game. . . . F Andrew Kukuca (14) got Seattle on the scoreboard at 17:42 of the second period, but Everett opened the third period with three goals, two of them on the PP. . . . Dewar, who has 35 goals, got his fourth, with F Bryce Kindopp (29) and D Wyatte Wylie (8) adding one each. . . . F Keltie Jeri-Leon (7) had Seattle’s other goal. . . . Everett got three assists from F Gage Goncalves in his first multi-point game. . . . Everett was 3-9 on the PP; Seattle was 0-2. . . . Seattle took 74 of the game’s 106 penalty minutes.


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Report: Ice to be part of ‘ambitious development’ plan in Winnipeg . . . Giants stun Chiefs with comeback . . . Porter, Rockets win in Everett


MacBeth

Curt Fraser (Victoria Cougars, 1974-78) has been named the new head coach of Kunlun Red Star Beijing (China, KHL) after the club fired head coach Jussi Tapola. Fraser was an assistant coach with the Dallas Stars (NHL) for the past six seasons. . . .

F Blair Jones (Red Deer, Moose Jaw, 2002-06) has been released by Sparta Prague (Czech Republic, Extraliga) after an unsuccessful tryout. He had one goal in six games. He had signed with Sparta on Dec. 27 for the rest of this season with a one-month tryout clause. . . .

F Björn Svensson (Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, 2003-06) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with IK Pantern Malmö (Sweden, Allsvenskan). He was released by Medveščak Zagreb (Croatia, Erste Bank Liga) on Jan. 14, after putting up five goals and 15 assists in 35 games. . . .

G Ty Rimmer (Brandon, Prince George, Tri-City, Lethbridge, 2009-13) has been released by Kitzbühel (Austria, Alps HL) for personal reasons. In 29 games, he was 3.39, .920, with three shutouts. . . .

F Garrett Festerling (Portland, Regina, 2003-07) has signed a two-year contract beginning next season with Grizzlys Wolfsburg (Germany, DEL). This season, with Adler Mannheim (Germany, DEL), he had 10 goals and 13 assists in 39 games. . . .

D Neil Manning (Vancouver, 2006-12) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with the Kassel Huskies (Germany, DEL) after obtaining his release from the Rockford IceHogs (AHL). He was pointless in three games with Rockford, and had two goals and 15 assists in 30 games with the Indy Fuel (ECHL).


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KOOTENAY KOUNTDOWN

There has been ample speculation over the last while that the Kootenay Ice will be 31relocating to Winnipeg upon the conclusion of this WHL season.

Ron Robison, the WHL commissioner, appeared on TSN Radio 1260 in Edmonton with host Dean Millard. At that time, Millard asked Robison about the Ice’s future.

Robison responded in part that “we’ll be very soon making an announcement as to what the future of that franchise is.”

That was 31 days ago. WHL fans have yet to hear from the Ice or the league office.

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The relocation of the Kootenay Ice “is expected to trigger an ambitious development plan with the operation of the major junior hockey team as its centrepiece,” the Winnipeg KootenaynewFree Press reports.

According to the newspaper, the Ice’s owners — Greg Fettes and Matt Cockell — and other investors “are in the midst of implementing a strategy that will see Winnipeg receive among the largest-ever private investments for the game’s development in Canada. The project is also said to include at least 20 acres of sports, recreational and commercial expansion.”

The newspaper also reports that the group has plans to buy the Winnipeg Blues, the last remaining MJHL franchise in the Manitoba capital, and to have them play out of the new facility.

The story also includes this: “The WHL did not respond when asked for comment.”

The Free Press story, reported by Jeff Hamilton and Mike Sawatzky, is right here.


The Calgary Hitmen have added G Brayden Peters, 16, to their roster. Peters, from Taber, had been playing with the midget AAA Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . He was a fifth-round selection by Calgary in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. . . . With G Carl Stankowski still out with an ankle injury, Peters will back up Jack McNaughton. . . . Peters will fill the roster spot created when Ethan Hein, 16, was returned to the midget AAA Swift Current Legionnaires after spending some time backing up McNaughton.


F Jackson Niedermayer, the 17-year-old son of former WHL/NHL D Scott Niedermayer, has committed to the Arizona State U Sun Devils for the 2021-22 season. . . . Jackson was born in Newport Beach, Calif. He is in his first season with the BCHL’s Penticton Vees, and has two goals and four assists in 36 games. . . . Niedermayer was selected by the Calgary Hitmen in the fifth round of the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. . . . Scott played three seasons (1989-92) with the Kamloops Blazers and also owned a chunk of the Kootenay Ice.


G Matt Davis of the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints has committed to the U of Denver Pioneers for the 2021-22 season. . . . Davis, 17, is from Calgary. . . . With the Saints, he is 16-5, with one tie, 1.95, .917. . . . The Spokane Chiefs acquired D Noah King, Davis and a conditional fifth-round selection in the 2021 WHL bantam draft from the Swift Current Broncos for F Carter Chorney, D Devin Aubin and F Kye Buchanan.


G Mikey DiPietro of the Ottawa 67’s set the OHL career shutout record on Friday night as he stopped 15 shots in a 4-0 victory over the visiting Peterborough Petes. . . . DiPietro, whose NHL rights belong to the Vancouver Canucks, now has 17 career shutouts, one more than Tom McCollum, who played for the Guelph Storm and Brampton Battalion (2006-09). . . . Ottawa acquired DiPietro, 19, from the Windsor Spitfires on Dec. 4.


FRIDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

F Ridly Greig scored in OT to give the host Brandon Wheat Kings a 5-4 victory over the BrandonWKregularKootenay Ice. . . . Brandon (18-18-6) is four points from a wild-card playoff spot. . . . Kootenay (10-29-8) had won its previous two games, both of them on the road. . . . D Braden Schneider (6) gave Brandon a 1-0 lead at 10:56 of the first period. . . . The Ice took a 2-1 lead on second-period goals from F Brad Ginnell (10), at 1:13, and D Chase Hartje (5), on a PP, at 6:18. Hartje, 19, played his first game against Brandon since the Wheat Kings dealt him to the Ice at the trade deadline. . . . The Wheat Kings went ahead 3-2 on goals from F Cole Reinhardt, at 6:44, and F Luka Burzan (26), at 12:09. . . . Kootenay got the next two goals to take a 4-3 lead. F Jaeger White (18) counted, on a PP, at 13:03, and F Davis Murray (8) scored at 3:20 of the third. . . . Reinhardt’s 11th goal, via a PP, tied it 10:54, and Greig won it with his ninth goal, at 1:56 of OT. . . . G Jiri Patera stopped 37 shots for Brandon, five more than Kootenay’s Jesse Makaj. . . . Brandon F Stelio Mattheos had four points — all assists — for the sixth time in his WHL career. It was his first four-assist game. . . . The Wheat Kings promoted this game as Winnipeg Blue Bomber Night and QB Matt Nichols was on hand to greet fans and sign autographs. The Ice, of course, is expected to relocate to Winnipeg upon the conclusion of this season. . . . The teams will meet again tonight in Brandon. . . . The Ice was without F Connor McClennon, 16, who left Wednesday’s 4-3 victory over the Pats in Regina about eight minutes into the third period after absorbing a big hit in the neutral zone. The second-overall pick in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft has five goals and 10 assists in 26 games. . . . McClennon missed 12 games earlier with an undisclosed injury and had only returned to action on Jan. 4. . . . The Ice brought in D Carson Lambos, who turned 16 on Jan. 14, for the weekend. This was his fourth game of this season with the Ice. Lambos, the second-overall pick in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft, is from Winnipeg.


The Saskatoon Blades scored the game’s first three goals and the last three en route to a Saskatoon6-2 victory over the visiting Regina Pats. . . . Saskatoon (27-13-6) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). The Blades are second in the East Division, five points ahead of Moose Jaw. . . . Regina (12-32-2) has lost nine straight (0-8-1). . . . These two teams will meet again tonight, this time in Regina. . . . F Max Gerlach (27) gave the Blades a 1-0 lead at 9:29 of the first period, and F Ryan Hughes (19) upped it to 2-0 just 20 seconds later. . . . F Kirby Dach (18) made it 3-0 at 4:29 of the second period. . . . The Pats got to within a goal on second-period scores by F Cole Dubinsky (2), at 14:08, and F Austin Pratt (17), at 17:56. . . . The Blades put it away with third-period goals from F Riley McKay (8), on a PP, at 1:16; F Chase Wouters (9), at 7:41; and F Cyle McNabb (2), at 19:08. . . . Saskatoon outshot the visitors, 34-17. . . . The Blades got three assists from D Dawson Davidson, who now has 46 points, including 38 assists, in 46 games. He finished last season with 43 points in 69 games — 43 with Regina and 26 with Saskatoon. . . . Regina G Max Paddock (ill) remains out, although he did skate on Friday morning. As a result, Matthew Pesenti remains with the team, backing up Dean McNabb. . . . The temperature in Saskatoon as game time approached was minus-23 C, so the Blades’ merchandise store offered 23 per cent off all toques and mitts.


F James Hamblin and F Corson Hopwo each scored once and added an assist to lead the Tigers Logo OfficialMedicine Hat Tigers to a 3-1 victory over the Broncos in Swift Current. . . . Medicine Hat (25-16-4) has points in four straight (3-0-1) and is tied with Lethbridge for third in the Central Division, just two points from top spot. . . . Swift Current (9-32-3) has lost two in a row. . . . They’ll play again tonight, this time in Medicine Hat. . . . The Tigers scored the game’s first three goals. . . . Hamblin (21) stuck while shorthanded at 6:35 of the second period, and F Corson Hopwo (3) made it 2-0 at 10:15. . . . D Trevor Longo (4) made it 3-0 at 9:26 of the third period. . . . F Ethan O’Rourke (5) got the Broncos’ goal at 10:29. . . . The Tigers held a 46-24 edge in shots and won 36 of the game’s 60 faceoffs. . . . Each team took one minor penalty. . . . G Riley Lamb stopped 43 shots for the Broncos, 20 more than the Tigers’ Jordan Hollett. . . . With G Mads Sogaard sideline with a hip problem, the Tigers had Garin Bjorklund backing up starter Jordan Hollett. Sogaard was injured in Wednesday’s 4-3 shootout victory over the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings. Bjorklund, 16, is from Calgary where he plays for midget AAA Buffaloes. He was the 21st-overall selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft, and made two earlier appearances with the Tigers this season. . . . F Tyler Lees made his debut with the Broncos. He came over in a trade with the Victoria Royals on Jan. 7.


G Ethan Anders stopped 35 shots to lead the Red Deer Rebels to a 3-1 victory over the Red DeerHurricanes in Lethbridge. . . . Red Deer (26-13-3) has points in five straight (4-0-1). It is second in the Central Division, one point behind Edmonton and one ahead of Lethbridge and Medicine Hat. . . . Lethbridge (23-13-8) has lost two in a row. . . . They will do it all over again tonight, this time in Red Deer. . . . Red Deer took a 1-0 lead on F Jeff de Wit’s 23rd goal, at 19:27 of the first period. . . . F Jordy Bellerive (23), in his 250th regular-season game, tied it, at 13:18 of the second period. . . . Red Deer F Chris Douglas (12) broke the tie, on a PP, at 17:29. . . . F Cam Hausinger (15) added insurance with the empty-empty-netter at 19:33 of the third period. . . . F Jett Jones made his WHL debut with the Hurricanes. Jones, 16, is from Olds, Alta., and plays for the midget AAA Airdrie CFR Bisons for whom he has nine goals and 17 assists in 29 games.


The Prince Albert Raiders scored the game’s last three goals and went on to a 4-1 victory PrinceAlbertover the Blazers in Kamloops. . . . Prince Albert (39-5-1) has won four in a row, including two straight on this tour of the B.C. Division. . . . Last season, the Raiders finished with 38 victories and 77 points, so have already surpassed both of those totals. . . . The Raiders are 19-2-1 on the road. They lead the East Division by 19 points over Saskatoon. . . . Kamloops (15-24-3) has lost six in a row and is two points away from a wild-card playoff berth. . . . F Brett Leason (31) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead just 28 seconds into the game. . . . Kamloops D Jackson Caller (3) tied it at 5:53. . . . F Ozzy Wiesblatt (10) broke the tie at 14:53. . . . The Raiders put it away with two third-period goals — F Dante Hannoun (21) scored at 1:00 and F Justin Nachbaur got his 12th at 15:40. . . . G Boston Bilous, who was acquired by Prince Albert from the Edmonton Oil Kings on Jan. 10, stopped 29 shots in his debut with the Raiders. In fact, he hadn’t played since Nov. 24 when he was with the Oil Kings. . . . Kamloops G Dylan Garand made 22 saves in a stellar effort. . . . Kamloops F/D Jeff Faith served Game 4 of a five-game WHL suspension. . . . Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid played for the Kamloops Jr. Oilers — he had seven goals and 16 assists in six games in 1982-83 — and went 85-43-16 in two seasons (1997-99) as the Blazers’ head coach. . . . The Blazers left for Prince George immediately after the game. They’ll play the Cougars there tonight and again Sunday afternoon. Yes, that’s another case of a team playing three games in fewer than 48 hours.


The Vancouver Giants overcame an early 3-0 deficit and beat the host Spokane Chiefs, 6-Vancouver4. . . . Vancouver (28-12-2) has won five in a row and leads the B.C. Division by 13 points over Victoria. . . . Spokane (24-14-4) had won its previous four games. It is third in the U.S. Division, five points behind Portland. . . . Spokane got three PP goals in the first half of the first period, the first two from F Luc Smith, who has 20 goals, and the other from D Nolan Reid (8). . . . F Tristen Nielsen (7) started Vancouver’s comeback at 18:33 of the first. . . . The Giants took a 4-3 lead on second-period goals from F Jared Dmytriw, at 1:52; D Seth Bafaro (5), at 6:11; and Dmytriw (10), at 8:40. . . . Spokane D Filip Kral (5) tied it at 4:12 of the third period. . . . Vancouver F Davis Koch (15) snapped the tie at 11:11, and F Justin Soudif (11) added the empty-netter at 19:21. . . . Nielsen also had an assist, and now has three goals and seven assists over his past four games. . . . Koch, who has goals in four straight games, added an assist too, and now has 12 points over his past five games. . . . The Giants got three assists from F Dawson Holt.


The Tri-City Americans got the only two goals of the shootout to beat the Seattle tri-cityThunderbirds, 3-2, in Kennewick, Wash. . . . Tri-City (22-16-3) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). It is fourth in the U.S. Division, five points behind Spokane. . . . Seattle (15-21-5) has points in four straight (3-0-1). . . . F Riley Sawchuk (14) gave the home side a 1-0 lead at 3:06 of the second period. . . . The Thunderbirds took a 2-1 lead on second-period goals from F Payton Mount (4), on a PP, at 13:22, and F Noah Philp (16), at 17:41. . . . F Parker AuCoin (24) pulled the Americans even at 8:41 of the third period. . . . F Nolan Yaremko and AuCoin scored in the shootout. . . . The Americans got 39 saves from G Beck Warm.


F Tristin Langan scored three times and G Adam Evanoff stopped 28 shots to lead the MooseJawWarriorsvisiting Moose Jaw Warriors to a 4-0 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . Moose Jaw (24-11-7) has won three in a row, all in the B.C. Division. It is third in the East Division, five points behind Saskatoon but with four games in hand on the Blades. . . . Victoria (22-18-1) has lost three straight. It is second in the B.C. Division, five points ahead of Kelowna and with three games in hand on the Rockets. . . . While Evanoff was earning his first WHL shutout, Langan was recording his fifth WHL hat trick. . . . Evanoff stopped 13 shots in the first period, while his mates were mustering only four shots at the other end. . . . Langan got all of his goals in the second period, scoring at 9:27, 13:54 and 17:57, with the latter coming on a PP. . . . F Keenan Taphorn (11) had the game’s last goal, at 3:08 of the third period. . . . Langan, who finished last season with 42 points, including 16 goals, in 70 games, now has 74 points, including 36 goals, in 42 games. . . . F Justin Almeida drew an assist on each of Langan’s goals. . . . Each team took two minor penalties. . . . The Royals welcomed back two players who had been injured. F Sean Gulka last played on Dec. 15; F Logan Doust hadn’t played since Jan. 4.


G James Porter blocked 40 shots to lead the Kelowna Rockets to a 2-0 victory over the KelownaRocketsSilvertips in Everett. . . . Kelowna (18-22-4) had lost its previous six games (0-5-1). It is third in the B.C. Division, five points behind Victoria. . . . Everett (33-10-2) leads the U.S. Division by 11 points over Portland, which has two games in hand. . . . Porter’s night work included 19 saves in the second period and 13 in the third. . . . He has one shutout this season and four in his career. . . . The last time the Rockets recorded a shutout in Everett? On Nov. 28, 2003, G Kelly Guard stopped 13 shots in a 1-0 victory. . . . F Michael Farren (2) scored the game’s first goal, at 3:07 of the second period, and F Mark Liwiski (3) made it 2-0 at 10:56. . . . Farren, who was acquired from the Saskatoon Blades earlier in the season, scored his first goal with the Rockets in his 26th game. . . . Liwiski, who played 10 games with Everett last season, has three goals and four assists in 40 games with the Rockets this season. . . . D Matt Barberis, 20, made his debut with the Rockets. Acquired on waivers from the Vancouver Giants on Jan. 10, Barberis has had injury woes and hadn’t played since Nov. 18. In fact, this was only his 10th game of this season. . . . D Gianni Fairbrother (ill) was among Everett’s scratches.


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Rockets lose forward to retirement . . . Warriors win second game in B.C. . . . Red-hot Byram sparks Giants’ victory

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The Kelowna Rockets announced on Wednesday morning that F Erik Gardiner has retired.

Gardiner, an alternate captain, was in his third season with the Rockets. The Regina Pats KelownaRocketsselected him in the second round of the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft.

The Rockets acquired Gardiner and D James Hilsendager from Regina on Nov. 30, 2016, for D Jonathan Smart.

This season, Gardiner had five goals and 18 assists in 39 games. In 114 career regular-season games — four with Regina and 110 with Kelowna — he had 16 goals and 35 assists.

Gardiner, 19, is from Humboldt. He played minor hockey in the Saskatchewan community and also played 25 games with the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos in 2016-17. Yes, he lost friends in the April 6 crash involving the Broncos’ bus.

“Due to health and personal reasons, I thought it was time to step away,” Gardiner said in a news release. “I want to focus on different things and take care of myself.”

Gardiner was limited to 31 games in 2017-18, losing a chunk in the middle of the season after being struck on the head while blocking a shot during a 4-3 OT victory over the visiting Tri-City Americans on Oct. 27. The impact of the shot actually broke his visor, but Gardiner returned and drew the primary assist on the winning goal.

Here’s what Regan Bartel, the Rockets’ radio voice, wrote on his blog at the time:

“With many in the building gasping as Gardiner went down in considerable pain and the replay was shown on the video screen, Gardiner took off his helmet, rubbed his head a few times before eventually making his way to his feet. Surprisingly, Gardiner stayed in the game, blocked another key shot on an Americans’ power play in overtime and then set up Carsen Twarynski for the game winner.”

One night later, Gardiner was in the lineup again, picking up two primary assists in a 4-2 victory over the Prince George Cougars in Kelowna.

However, he didn’t play again until Feb. 9 as he tried to overcome post-concussion symptoms.

In mid-April, Gardiner spoke about his Humboldt connections with Larry Fisher of the Kelowna Daily Courier. That story is right here.

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The GSL Group, which owns the WHL’s Victoria Royals, has purchased the Delta Hockey Academy from the Delta, B.C., School District, for $1. The academy is based out of Planet Ice in North Delta, a facility owned by the GSL Group, which was founded by Graham Lee. . . . Sandor Gyarmati of the Delta Optimist has the story right here.

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The junior B North Okanagan Knights of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, who play out of Armstrong, B.C., have signed Dean McAmmond as their head coach, replacing the fired John Van Horlick. . . . Van Horlick was dismissed last week, with assistant coaches Liam Mconie and Graham Watkins running the team for a bit. They remain on staff to work with McAmmond, a former WHL and NHL forward. Joey Guerra also remains on staff. . . . Dallas Keller, the Knights’ general manager, told the Vernon Morning Star that Van Horlick will be staying with the organization as a scout and consultant. . . . That story is right here.

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WEDNESDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The Kootenay Ice erased a 2-1 deficit with three straight goals en route to a 4-3 victory Kootenaynewover the Pats in Regina. . . . Kootenay (10-29-7) has won two in a row. Of its 10 victories, six are on home ice and four came in Saskatchewan. With the victory, the Ice moved ahead of the Pats by one point. . . . The Ice went into Tuesday’s game in Swift Current, where it beat the Broncos, 2-0, having won twice since Nov. 1. . . . Regina (12-31-2) has lost eight straight (0-7-1). . . . D Brady Poteau (2) gave the Pats a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 2:03 of the first period. . . . The Ice tied it on a goal by F Austin Schellenberg (3) at 12:08. . . . The Pats went back in front at 1:58 of the second period as F Sebastian Streu (5) scored, on a PP. . . . The Ice took a 4-2 lead on goals from F Jakin Smallwood (6), on a PP, at 4:32; D Valtteri Kakkonen (1), at 11:09; and F Davis Murray (7), at 1:38 of the third. . . . Regina F Duncan Pierce (6) made  it a one-goal game at 6:11 but the Pats weren’t able to get another goal. . . . Kakkonen, a freshman from Finland, scored his first goal in his 36th game. . . . Regina was 2-9 on the PP; Kootenay was 1-5. . . . The Ice got 26 saves from G Curtis Meger, who was making his first appearance since joining the team from the AJHL’s Lloydminster Bobcats. Meger, 20, is from Regina. Last season, he got into 27 games with the Prince Albert Raiders, going 8-10-6, 3.43, .886. . . . The Ice scratched F Jaeger White, who may have been injured while blocking a shot late in Tuesday’s 2-0 victory over the Broncos in Swift Current. White scored the game’s first goal and added an assist in that victory.

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F James Hamblin’s shootout goal gave the host Medicine Hat Tigers a 4-3 victory over the Tigers Logo OfficialEdmonton Oil Kings. . . . Medicine Hat (24-16-4) has points in three straight (2-0-1). . . . Edmonton (24-14-8) has points in four straight and now is atop the Central Division by two points over idle Lethbridge. . . . Edmonton leads the season series, 3-0-1; Medicine Hat is 1-1-2. Yes, three of the four games have gone to extra time. . . . The Tigers are fourth in the Central Division, one point out of third. . . . D Ethan Cap (5) gave Edmonton a 1-0 lead at 5:19 of the first period, with the Tigers tying it on a goal by F Corson Hopwo (2), at 10:43. . . . D Wyatt McLeod (3) put the Oil Kings back in front at 19:57. . . . The Tigers tied it, again, at 4:35 of the third as F Ryan Jevne got his 21st goal. . . . Edmonton went in front, again, at 12:45 as F Josh Williams (10) scored, on a PP. That was his first goal with Edmonton since coming over from Medicine Hat in a Jan. 10 deal. . . . The Tigers forced OT when F Ryan Chyzowski (15) struck with 34.3 seconds left in regulation time. Chyzowski hadn’t played since Jan. 5 when he suffered a skate cut near a knee. . . . Hamblin, who had two assists, was the first shooter in the shootout and the only one to score. . . . Each team took one minor penalty. . . . The Tigers lost G Mads Søgaard with 5:16 left in the second period. He left after being involved in a collision with Jevne. . . . The Tigers were trailing 2-1 at the time. Jordan Hollett came on to stop 12 of 13 shots and record the victory. . . . D Matthew Robertson returned for the Oil Kings. He hadn’t played since Dec. 29.

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The Moose Jaw Warriors scored the game’s last five goals and beat the Rockets, 5-1, in MooseJawWarriorsKelowna. . . . Moose Jaw (23-11-7) has won two in a row as it has opened its B.C. Division trek with back-to-back victories. It is third in the East Division, five points behind idle Saskatoon and with four games in hand on the Blades. . . . Kelowna (17-22-4) has lost six in a row (0-5-1). It is third in the B.C. Division, three points ahead of Prince George. . . . Last season, the Rockets finished atop the B.C. Division, at 43-22-7, so have already equalled that loss total. . . . Things aren’t about to get any easier for the Rockets, either, as they are scheduled to meet the Silvertips in Everett on Friday, then hurry home to face the Prince Albert Raiders on Saturday. . . . The Warriors won the faceoff battle, 37-22. . . . F Carson Denomie (2) got the Warriors started at 4:08 of the first period. It was his first goal since Moose Jaw acquired him from Kamloops last week. . . . F Justin Almeida (14) made it 2-0, on a PP, at 15:08 of the second period. . . . D Jett Woo (8) upped it to 3-0 at 19:36. . . . The Warriors got third-period goals from F Drae Gardiner (1) and F Daniil Stepanov (5) before F Kyle Topping (16) scored for the Rockets. . . . D Josh Brook drew three assists, giving him five in the first two games of the B.C. Division trip. He has nine goals and 35 assists in 32 games. . . . G Brodan Salmond earned the victory with 18 saves. He spent the previous two seasons with the Rockets, but was released over the summer. This season, he is 13-4-4, 2.84, .900. . . . Kelowna’s lone scratch was D Matt Barberis, who has yet to play since being acquired from the Vancouver Giants. With the departures of D Libor Zabransky (released) and F Erik Gardiner (retired), the Rockets have only 21 players on their roster.

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The Prince Albert Raiders broke a 2-2 tie with four goals en route to a 6-2 victory over the PrinceAlbertCougars in Prince George. . . . The Raiders (38-5-1) have won three in a row and lead the East Division by 19 points over Saskatoon. This was the start of a B.C. Division tour that continues Friday in Kamloops. . . . The Cougars (16-23-3) had won their previous two games. They hold down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, a point ahead of idle Seattle. . . . The Raiders took a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals from F Sean Montgomery (19) and F Parker Kelly (21). . . . The Cougars tied it on goals from F Jackson Leppard (9), at 16:46 of the first period, and F Mike MacLean (4), at 2:40 of the second. . . . Prince Albert F Aliaksei Protas (8) snapped the tie, on a PP, at 10:51. . . . The visitors put it away with three third-period goals, from F Cole Fonstad (17), F Justin Nachbaur (11) and F Noah Gregor (27). . . . G Taylor Gauthier, making his seventh straight start for the Cougars, stopped 43 shots. . . . The Raiders got 23 stops from G Ian Scott, who now is 26-4-1, 1.78, .937. . . . F Ilijah Colina returned to the Cougars’ lineup after last playing on Dec. 30.

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D Bowen Byram’s goal in OT gave the Vancouver Giants a 5-4 victory over the Tri-City VancouverAmericans in Kennewick, Wash. . . . Vancouver (27-12-2) has won four in a row and leads the B.C. Division by 11 points over idle Victoria. . . . Tri-City (21-16-3) has lost two straight. It holds down the Western Conference’s first wild-card berth. . . . The Americans jumped out to a 2-0 first-period lead on goals from F Riley Sawchuk (13) and F Sasha Mutala (11). . . . Vancouver went ahead 3-2 on second-period goals from F Jadon Joseph, F Davis Koch (14) and D Bowen Byram. . . . F Kyle Olson (11) got Tri-City into a 3-3 tie at 14:59. . . . Joseph gave Vancouver a 4-3 lead with his 15th goal with 0.6 left in the second. . . . The Americans tied it at 1:56 of the third period when F Parker AuCoin (23) scored on a penalty shot. . . . Byram, who also had an assist, won it with his 15th goal of the season, at 2:39 of OT. . . . Byram has points in seven straight games, with six goals and eight assists over that stretch. In 41 games, he now has 15 goals and 27 assists. . . . Joseph added an assist to his two goals, while Koch had two assists and now has three straight three-point outings. He has 14 goals and 30 assists in 41 games.

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KIBIHT award in memory of Herold . . . Farkas, Hofer pitch shutouts . . . Centazzo beats Rockets with late penalty shot

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The Kamloops International Bantam Ice Hockey Tournament wraps up today in Kamloops.

In 2016, Adam Herold, then of the Balgonie, Sask., Prairie Storm, was the tournament’s top defenceman and a first-team all-star. Later that year, he was selected by the Prince Albert Raiders in the second round of the WHL bantam draft.

Herold spent last season with the midget AAA Regina Pats Canadians — he was the team captain — then was added to the roster of the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos in the playoffs.

Herold was one of those killed on April 6 in the bus crash involving the Broncos. He was six days from his 17th birthday.

On Saturday night, prior to a WHL game between the Kelowna Rockets and host Kamloops Blazers, KIBIHT introduced an award in Herold’s honour. The award is to go annually to a player who overcomes adversity with leadership and dedication to the game of hockey.

The first recipient, Rylan Davis of the NorthEast BC Bantam Zone Trackers, was presented with the award and took part in a ceremonial faceoff.


The U of Saskatchewan Huskies women’s hockey team held its 11th annual Play for a Cure game on Friday night as they played host to the Calgary Dinos. . . . G Jessica Vance stopped 11 shots in posting her 13th career shutout as the Huskies won, 3-0. . . . But this one was special . . . really special. . . . You see, the Huskies were honouring Jessica’s mother, Liane, who is taking treatment for cancer. . . . Liane, of course, is married to Bruce Vance, who also is a cancer survivor. Bruce, one of the good guys, worked for the Prince Albert Raiders for a few years not that long ago. . . . Darren Steinke was there on Friday night and posted this piece right here on his blog.


The Swift Current Broncos have signed F Kye Buchanan, 17, to a WHL contract and SCBroncosimmediately added him to their roster for the remainder of this season. Buchanan is fresh off helping the midget AAA St. Albert Raiders to a championship at the Mac’s tournament in Calgary. . . . From Lethbridge, Buchanan had seven goals and four assists in 16 games with the Raiders. He also had one assist in four games with the AJHL’s Lloydminster Bobcats. . . . The Broncos acquired him from the Spokane Chiefs on Dec. 4, along with F Carter Chorney and D Devin Aubin. Going the other way were D Noah King, G Matthew Davis and a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2021 WHL bantam draft.


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SATURDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The Calgary Hitmen erased a 2-1 second-period deficit en route to a 4-3 victory over the Calgaryvisiting Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Calgary (19-16-4) has won four straight, all on home ice. It holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, four points ahead of the idle Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Medicine Hat (22-16-3) had won its previous five games. It is tied for third in the Central Division with the Red Deer Rebels. . . . The Tigers and Hitmen both played Friday night, then were back on the ice for this one, which started at 1:30 p.m. MT, as it was televised by Sportsnet. . . . F Jake Kryski (19) gave Calgary a 1-0 lead at 4:12 of the first period. . . . The Tigers took a 2-1 lead on goals from F Logan Christensen (4), at 7:52 of the first, and F Tyler Preziuso (16), at 6:40 of the second. . . . The Hitmen took over with three straight goals, from F Bryce  Bader (4), at 12:34; F Luke Coleman (11), at 12:45; and F Carson Focht (10), at 11:02 of the third. . . . F Ryan Jevne (20) got the Tigers to within a goal at 18:45. . . . Jevne has 20 goals in 41 games this season; last season, he totalled 20 goals in 69 games. . . . Calgary got 33 stops from G Jack McNaughton, who now is 13-9-2, 3.24, .889. The 17-year-old freshman has won his last four starts and nine of his past 12. . . . Medicine Hat F James Hamblin had two assists as he ran his point streak to 11 games. He has 10 goals and seven assists over that stretch. . . . The Tigers lost F Ryan Chyzowski to an undisclosed injury in the first period. They already were without F Bryan Lockner (concussion) and F Hayden Ostir (knee). . . . Earlier in the day, the Tigers added F Nick McCarry to their roster as an AP. He was in the lineup for this one. McCarry, 17, is a list player from Calgary who was pointless in two games with the Tigers last season. This season, he has seven goals and seven assists in 30 games with the AJHL’s Fort McMurray Oil Barons.


G Shane Farkas stopped 23 shots to help the Portland Winterhawks to a 6-0 victory over Portlandthe Warriors in Moose Jaw. . . . Portland (23-11-5) has points in eight straight (5-0-3) and is second in the U.S. Division, three points ahead of the Spokane Chiefs. . . . The Winterhawks are 2-0-0 on their East Division swing. . . . Moose Jaw (21-9-6) had points in each of its previous six games (5-0-1). The Warriors are third in the East Division, five points behind Saskatoon but with five games in hand on the Blades. . . . The Warriors were blanked for the first time this season. . . . Portland held a 38-23 edge in shots. . . . Portland took control with four first-period goals, from F Reece Newkirk (18), who is from Moose Jaw, F Jake Gricius (17), F Lane Gilliss (9) and D Clay Hanus (4). . . . F Seth Jarvis (9) and F Joachim Blichfeld (36) also scored for Portland. . . . Blichfeld leads the WHL in goals and points (75). . . . The Winterhawks got three assists from D Nick Cicek. . . . Farkas has three shutouts this season and six in his career. . . . The Warriors lost D Matthew Benson to a kneeing major and game misconduct for a hit on Portland F Ryan Hughes at 6:46 of the second period. . . . G Evan Fradette was on Portland’s bench, backing up Farkas. Fradette was added to the roster earlier in the week from the midget AAA St. Albert Raiders. . . . The Winterhawks were without D Matthew Quigley, who served Game 3 of a four-game suspension; D Brendan De Jong (concussion); and F Cody Glass, who has yet to return after playing for Canada at the WJC. . . . Glass is expected to play Tuesday when the Winterhawks are in Brandon. . . . F Ryan Poehling of Team USA was named the WJC’s most valuable player even though his side dropped a 3-2 decision to Finland in Saturday’s final in Vancouver. Poehling, who turned 20 on Thursday, attends St. Cloud State and is on Portland’s protected list. He was a first-round selection by the Montreal Canadiens in the NHL’s 2017 draft.


F Noah Gregor scored twice and added an assist as the Prince Albert Raiders beat the PrinceAlbertvisiting Saskatoon Blades, 5-2. . . . Prince Albert (35-4-1) had lost its previous two home games. It now is 18-2-0 on home ice. . . . The Raiders lead the East Division by 18 points over Saskatoon (24-12-5), which had a three-game winning streak halted. . . . F Cole Fonstad (14) and F Justin Nachbaur (10) gave the Raiders a 2-0 lead before the first period was eight minutes old. . . . F Gary Haden (15) got the Blades on the scoreboard at 4:27 of the second period. . . . The Raiders stretched their lead to 4-1 on goals from Gregor, on a PP, at 12:25 of the second, and F Parker Kelly (18), at 11:55 of the third. . . . D Dawson Davidson (8) got Saskatoon to within two goals at 17:28. . . . Gregor (26) iced it at 18:28. He now has 56 points, including 30 assists, in 35 games. . . . Fonstad added two assists to his goal. . . . G Ian Scott stopped 19 shots to earn the victory. . . . The Blades scratched F Kirby Dach and D Nolan Kneen with undisclosed injuries.


G Joel Hofer came up with 46 saves to lead the host Swift Current Broncos to a 1-0 victory SCBroncosover the Regina Pats. . . . Swift Current (8-28-3) had lost its previous four games (0-3-1). . . . Regina (12-26-2) has lost three straight (0-2-1). . . . The Broncos have had the WHL’s poorest record from the get-go. They now are four points behind the Kootenay Ice and seven in back of Regina and the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . F Carter Chorney (10) scored the game’s lone goal, finding the mark at 10:31 of the first period, on a PP. . . . Despite his won-loss record (6-21-3), Hofer is having a tremendous season with a 4.02 GAA and a .904 save percentage. . . . Hofer, who has two career shutouts, has faced 1,257 shots this season, and that’s 150 more than any other WHL goaltender. . . . The St. Louis Blues have to love what they’re seeing from Hofer this season. They selected the 18-year-old Winnipegger in the fourth round of the 2018 NHL draft. . . . G Max Paddock stopped 23 shots for Regina. . . . The Broncos finished the game with nine forwards after Tanner Nagel and Ben King left with undisclosed injuries.


F Kody McDonald’s shootout goal gave the Victoria Royals a 3-2 victory over the Rebels in VictoriaRoyalsRed Deer. . . . Victoria (20-15-1) has won two in a row. It went 4-2-0 on its Central Division trip. It is second in the B.C. Division, seven points behind the Vancouver Giants and three ahead of the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Red Deer (22-13-3) has lost two in a row and is tied for third with the Medicine Hat Tigers in the Central Division. . . . The Rebels took a 1-0 lead into the second period on a goal from F Oleg Zaytsev (7), at 14:13. . . . The Royals got second-period goals from F Jameson Murray (1), at 7:12, and F Kaid Oliver (18), shorthanded, at 9:56, to take a 2-1 lead. . . . F Brett Davis (12) got Red Deer into a 2-2 tie just 19 seconds into the third period. . . . F Igor Martynov gave Victoria a 1-0 lead in the first round of the shootout, with F Brandon Hagel tying it in the second round. McDonald, who was acquired from the Prince Albert Raiders in a trade on Thursday, won it in the fifth round. . . . The Royals got 32 saves from G Griffen Outhouse, while Byron Fancy stopped 34 for Red Deer. . . . Veteran D Ralph Jarratt was back in Victoria’s lineup and played in his 250th regular-season game. After not playing since Nov. 2, he got into games on Dec. 7 and 11, but hadn’t played since then. He now has played 14 games this season.


D Ty Smith drew four assists as the Spokane Chiefs skated to an 8-4 victory over the SpokaneChiefsKootenay Ice in Cranbrook, B.C. . . . Spokane (22-13-4) has won two straight and remains third in the U.S. Division, three points behind the Portland Winterhawks. . . . Kootenay (8-26-7) has lost six in a row (0-5-1). . . . The Chiefs took a 2-0 lead on goals from D Noah King (4), at 7:02 of the first period, and F Luke Toporowski (13), at 8:24. . . . The Ice cut the deficit in half when F Cole Muir (10) scored at 14:50. . . . The Chiefs put it away by scoring the next four goals — by F Jake McGrew, F Jaret Anderson-Dolan (3), F Ethan McIndoe (9) and F Luc Smith (6). . . . Smith was in on four the Chiefs’ first five goals. . . . F Graham Sward, the 17th overall selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft, scored his first WHL goal in his first game for Spokane. . . . McGrew added a second goal, his 16th. . . . F Peyton Krebs (14), F Owen Pederson (3) and D Zach Patrick (2) also scored for the Ice, who got to within 7-4 late in the third period. . . . F Riley Woods, who had an assist in a 4-1 victory over the visiting Kamloops Blazers on Friday night, was among the Chiefs’ scratches.


F Orrin Centazzo scored on a penalty shot with 1:20 left in the third period to give the Kamloops1Kamloops Blazers a 4-3 victory over the visiting Kelowna Rockets. . . . Kamloops (15-18-3) is fourth in the B.C. Division, five point behind Kelowna but with three games in hand. . . . Kelowna (17-18-4) had points in each of its previous four games (2-0-2). . . . Centazzo was hooked on a breakaway, so was awarded a penalty shot. . . . It was his second goal of the game. . . . The Rockets held leads of 1-0 and 3-2 but weren’t able to put it away. They were 2-6 on the PP, including two 5-on-3s; Kamloops was 2-4. . . . F Kyle Topping (15) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead 47 seconds after the opening faceoff. . . . Centazzo, at 19:37, and F Martin Lang (7), on a PP at 2:26 of the second period, gave Kamloops a 2-1 lead. . . . The Rockets went in front on goals from F Nolan Foote (20), at 8:55, on a PP, and F Leif Mattson (17), at 17:42. . . . Blazers F Josh Pillar (5) tied it at 10:07 of the third period, on a PP, and Centazzo won it with his 11th goal of the season, going forehand-backhand and upstairs to beat G Roman Basran, who was stellar with 28 saves, five more than Dylan Ferguson of Kamloops. . . . Kelowna now is 13-1-2 when leading after two periods. . . . The Blazers, who lost 4-1 in Spokane on Friday night, left immediately after the game for Everett, where they are to meet the Silvertips today in a game that is to start at 4 p.m.


The Everett Silvertips scored the game’s last three goals to beat the visiting Tri-City EverettAmericans, 4-1. . . . Everett (30-8-2), which has won 10 straight at home, leads the U.S. Division by 11 points over the Portland Winterhawks. . . . Tri-City (20-14-2) had won its previous two games. It is fourth in the U.S. Division, six points behind the Spokane Chiefs. The Americans hold down the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot, nine points ahead of the Kamloops Blazers. . . . F Jalen Price (4) gave Everett a 1-0 lead at 5:46 of the first period. . . . Tri-City pulled even at 4:13 of the second period when F Sasha Mutala (9) scored. . . . Everett F Connor Dewar (27) snapped the tie at 18:11, and F Max Patterson (11) added insurance at 8:35 of the third period. . . . F Bryce Kindopp (19) rounded out the scoring at 19:19 with an empty-netter while on a PP. . . . F Justyn Gurney, who was added to Everett’s roster from the BCHL’s Surrey Eagles earlier in the week, had two assists. He now has three of them in three games. . . . Everett outshot the Americans, 39-22, including 18-4 in the first period.


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Brandon hopes to deal veteran d-man . . . McClennon nearly ready to return . . . Rebels pull victory out of the fire


MacBeth

D Ty Wishart (Prince George, Moose Jaw, 2004-08) has been released by Pardubice (Czech Republic, Extraliga). He had four goals and three assists in 27 games.


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The Brandon Wheat Kings have dropped D Schael Higson, 20, from their roster and are BrandonWKregularhoping to trade him before the Jan. 10 deadline. . . . Higson, from Grande Prairie, Alta., has three goals and 14 assists in 20 games this season. . . .

The first indication that something was happening with Higson came on Monday prior to Brandon’s 3-1 loss to the Warriors in Moose Jaw. Higson was scratched and, prior to the game, Brandon Crowe, the radio voice of the Wheat Kings, tweeted that he had been told Higson’s absence was a “coach’s decision . . . he did not make the trip.” . . . 

In his fifth WHL season, Highson has played 90 regular-season games with the Saskatoon Blades and 192 with the Wheat Kings. In those 282 games, he has 18 goals and 61 assists. . . . Higson’s departure leaves Brandon with one 20-year-old on its roster — F Linden McCorrister.

The Wheat Kings, who have lost four in a row and seven of 10, are at home to the Seattle Thunderbirds on Friday night. The skid has knocked the Wheat Kings out of a playoff spot; they had held the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, but now trail the Calgary Hitmen by two points. Brandon has two games in hand. . . . The Wheat Kings are fourth in the East Division, 10 points behind the third-place Moose Jaw Warriors.


D Matthew Quigley of the Portland Winterhawks has been suspended for four games whlafter taking a kneeing major and game misconduct during a game against the Seattle Thunderbirds in Kent, Wash., on Saturday. Quigley hit F Dillon Hamaliuk on the play. Hamaliuk was injured and isn’t expected to play again this season. . . . Quigley sat out Sunday’s rematch in Portland, and will miss road games Friday (Swift Current), Saturday (Moose Jaw) and Tuesday (Brandon) before being eligible to return on Jan. 9 in Regina. . . .

Meanwhile, Seattle D Cade McNelly drew a three-game suspension after taking a cross-checking major and game misconduct for a hit on F Michal Kvasnica in Portland on Monday. . . .

As well, Seattle F Matthew Wedman has a TBD suspension after taking a kneeing major and game misconduct for a hit on F Jake Gricius in that Monday game. Gricius left the game and didn’t return. However, he is with the Winterhawks on their Central Division and is expected to play Friday in Swift Current.


The Seattle Thunderbirds have added F Mike Horon to their roster. Horon, 17, was acquired from the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Tuesday. From Lethbridge, he was playing for the midget AAA Lethbridge Hurricanes and was leading the Alberta Midget Hockey League in scoring, with 50 points, including 25 goals, in 21 games. . . . Seattle got Horon, F Keltie Jeri-Leon, 18, and a 2019 fourth-round bantam draft pick from Lethbridge for G Liam Hughes, 19, and an eighth-round pick in the 2019 draft. . . . The Thunderbirds are to open an East Division swing in Brandon on Friday night.


The Spokane Chiefs have added D Graham Sward, 15, to their roster. He was Spokane’s first-round selection, 17th overall, in the 2018 bantam draft. . . . Sward, from Abbotsford, B.C., has five goals and 12 assists in 19 games with the major midget Fraser Valley Thunderbirds. . . . He will be available to play with the Chiefs on Friday against the visiting Kamloops Blazers and on Saturday in Cranbrook, B.C., against the Kootenay Ice.


F Connor McClennon, who was the second overall selection in the 2017 bantam draft, Kootenaynewappears to be close to returning to the Kootenay Ice’s lineup. . . . McClennon, 16, hasn’t played since suffering an undisclosed injury on Nov. 24 in a 5-1 loss to the visiting Prince Albert Raiders. . . . McClennon, who has four goals and eight assists in 19 games, was a full participant in the Ice’s practice on Wednesday. . . . Kootenay will play three games in fewer than 48 hours this weekend. It is to meet the Tigers in Medicine Hat on Friday, then return to Cranbrook, B.C., to face the Spokane Chiefs on Saturday and the Vancouver Giants on Sunday. . . . The Ice (8-24-7) has lost four in a row (0-3-1) and is 1-6-3 in its last 10 outings. Kootenay is 15 points away from the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot.


The Everett Silvertips have added F Justyn Gurney to their roster. Gurney, 18, has been playing with the BCHL’s Surrey Eagles. The 6-foot-2, 285-pounder has six goals and seven assists in 23 games. . . . He has previous WHL experience, having totalled three goals and five assists in 86 games. . . . He played 85 games over two seasons (2016-18) with the Calgary Hitmen, who selected him in the sixth round of the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft. . . . Earlier this season, he got into one game with the Regina Pats. . . . The Silvertips placed him on their protected list on Dec. 13. . . . The Silvertips are to visit the Tri-City Americans on Friday night.


F Jared Legien’s latest WHL stint has come to an end. Legien, 20, left the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers last week to join the Vancouver Giants. He played three games with the Giants, putting up a goal and two assists. . . . All three points came in his first game with Vancouver, a 6-0 victory over the Rebels in Red Deer on Friday. . . . On Wednedsay, the Terriers tweeted that “Legien is returning to the orange and black” and is expected to be in Yorkton’s lineup on Friday against the visiting Flin Flon Bombers. . . . Before joining the Giants, Legien had 28 goals and 24 assists in 32 games with the Terriers. . . . Legien, who was selected by the Kootenay Ice with the ninth pick of the 2013 bantam draft, has 28 goals and 34 assists in 148 regular-season WHL games split among the Ice, Victoria Royals, Regina Pats and the Vancouver.


The Portland Winterhawks have signed F Dawson Pasternak, 15, a Winnipegger who is playing in the Sioux Falls, S.D., Power program with the U-16 team. . . . Pasternak leads the Power in goals (13) and points (37) in 32 games. . . . Pasternak was a fourth-round selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. . . . Prior to this season, Pasternak was a defenceman with the bantam AAA Winnipeg Hawks.


The Prince Albert Raiders have signed F Cole Nagy, 17, to a WHL contract. Nagy, who is from Saskatoon, is in his second season with the midget AAA Saskatoon Blazers. Last season, he had eight goals and seven assists in 37 games. . . . This season, the 6-foot-4, 190-pound Nagy is leading the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League in scoring, with 49 points, including 21 goals, in 32 games. . . . Nagy was a sixth-round pick by the Moose Jaw Warriors in the 2016 bantam draft.


The Prince George Cougars have added F Craig Armstrong, 15, to their roster. From PrinceGeorgeAirdrie, Alta., he was the Cougars’ first selection, ninth overall, in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. Armstrong is playing for the Edge School Mountaineers’ midget prep team, and has 11 goals and 12 assists in 23 games. . . . Armstrong will help fill a spot on the roster that was created when F Ilijah Colina suffered an undisclosed injury during a 2-1 loss to the Blazers in Kamloops on Sunday. He is out week-to-week. . . . The Cougars are to meet the Rockets in Kelowna on Friday night, before completing an 11-game road trip against the Tri-City Americans on Tuesday and the Spokane Chiefs on Wednesday.


The SJHL’s Weyburn Red Wings have removed the ‘interim’ from head coach Kyle Haines’ title. . . . Haines moved up from assistant coach following the firing of Wes Rudy on Dec. 15. . . . The Red Wings now have decided that Haines, 31, who played three seasons (2005-08) there, will be the head coach, at least through the end of this season. . . . This is Haines’ first season as a coach. Last season, he played for the SPHL’s Pensacola Ice Flyers.


WHL players at the World Junior Championship:

Brandon — G Jiri Patera (Czech Republic).

Medicine Hat — G Mads Sogaard (Denmark).

Moose Jaw — D Josh Brook (Canada).

Portland — F Cody Glass (Canada).

Prince Albert — G Ian Scott, F Brett Leason (Canada).

Red Deer — D Alex Alexeyev (Russia).

Seattle — F Andrej Kukuca (Slovakia).

Spokane — F Jared Anderson-Dolan, D Ty Smith (Canada); D Filip Kral (Czech Republic).

Tri-City — F Krystof Hrabik (Czech Republic).

Vancouver — F Milos Roman (Slovakia).

Victoria — F Phillip Schultz (Denmark).


WEDNESDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

F James Hamblin scored twice and added an assist to help the Medicine Hat Tigers to a 4-Tigers Logo Official3 victory over the visiting Vancouver Giants. . . . The Tigers (21-15-3) have won four in a row. They are fourth in the Central Division, one point behind the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Red Deer Rebels. . . . The Giants (23-11-2) have lost three straight. They are 1-3-0 on a six-game Central Division trip. Vancouver leads the B.C. Division by 11 points over the Victoria Royals and Kelowna Rockets. . . . Hamblin gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead at 15:13 of the first period. . . . The Giants took a 2-0 lead on second-period goals from F Davis Koch (11), at 1:07, and F Justin Sourdif (8), just 22 seconds later. . . . Hamblin tied it with his 23rd goal of the season, at 14:45. . . . F Elijah Brown (6) put Medicine Hat in front 3-2 at 15:18, and D Hayden Ostir (8) upped the lead to 4-2, on a PP, at 8:48 of the third. . . . F Lukas Svejkovsky (3) got the Giants to within a goal at 11:39. . . . The Tigers won 41 of the game’s 60 faceoffs. . . . G Jordan Hollett, who was playing in his 100th WHL game, stopped 29 shots to earn the victory. . . . The Tigers were without F Bryan Lockner, who, according to Ryan McCracken of the Medicine Hat News, “hit his head on the ice in a fight Sunday.” After the game, McCracken confirmed that Lockner is in concussion protocol.


F Cam Hausinger’s shootout goal gave the Red Deer Rebels a 5-4 victory over the visiting Red DeerLethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Red Deer (22-12-2) is tied with Lethbridge (19-10-8) for second in the Central Division, three points behind the idle Edmonton Oil Kings (21-12-7). . . . Lethbridge has points in three straight (1-0-2). . . . The Rebels forced OT with two goals in the last two minutes of the third period. . . . F Reese Johnson (17) was credited with the first of those goals after Lethbridge D Ty Prefontaine inadvertently scored an own-goal at 18:05. . . . Rebels F Brandon Hagel (23) tied it, on a PP, with 6.6 seconds left in the period. . . . Both goals came with G Ethan Anderson the bench for the extra attacker. . . . The Hurricanes led 2-0 in the first period on goals from F Jake Leschyshyn (25), at 3:48, and D Calen Addison (7), at 10:12. . . . F Jeff de Wit (21) cut the Rebels deficit to one at 10:58. . . . F Dylan Cozens (22) restored the two-goal lead 51 seconds into the second period. . . . Hagel got his guys back to within a goal at 17:08. . . . F Taylor Ross (21) gave the Hurricanes a 4-2 lead at 5:59 of the third period. . . . F Jordy Bellerive gave Lethbridge a 1-0 lead in the shootout, but the Rebels won it on goals from Hagel, who also had an assist, and Hausinger. . . . Leschyshyn’s goal, the 70th of his career, left him with 150 points in 226 games. . . . F Nick Henry had three assists for Lethbridge, with the first one being the 100th of his career. He has 169 points, 102 of them assists, in 163 games. . . . Anders finished with 28 saves. . . . G Liam Hughes, who was acquired from the Seattle Thunderbirds on Tuesday, stopped 26 shots in his Lethbridge debut.


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Winterhawks, Cougars make a deal . . . Molleken back in coaching game . . . Raiders stay perfect on home ice . . . Americans win in OT once again

Guess how Dorothy and I spent part of our Friday? File it under the best laid plans. . . . We decided to take the Trans-Canada Highway (No. 1) rather than the Coquihalla simply because we felt that with snow in the forecast the odds were greater of avoiding accidents. . . . Then it started to snow. . . . We were about 10 kilometres south of Boston Bar, so turned around and found a restaurant, which helped us kill the couple of hours we were stuck there. . . . In the end, though, we did get where we were going — through the snow, slush, sleet, rain and fog — and the granddaughter is terrific. . . . If you’re travelling, slow down, take your time and stay safe.


MacBeth

F Michal Poletín (Regina, 2009-10) has been assigned on loan by Zlín to Vítkovice Ostrava (both Czech Republic, Extraliga) for the rest of this season. With Zlín, he had three goals and five assists in 28 games. . . .

F Michal Řepík (Vancouver, 2005-08) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Vityaz Podolsk (Russia, KHL) after requesting and receiving his release from Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia, KHL). An alternate captain with Slovan, he had 10 goals and 11 assists in 42 games. . . .

G Barry Brust (Spokane, Calgary, 2000-04) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod (Russia, KHL). He was released by Kunlun Red Star Beijing (China, KHL) on Dec. 5. In nine games with Kunlun, he was 4-3-1, 3.11, .895. . . .

F Levko Koper (Spokane, 2006-11) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Banská Bystrica (Slovakia, Extraliga). He had been released by Innsbruck (Austria, Erste Bank Liga) on Dec. 15 after scoring four goals and adding four assists in 27 games. . . .

F Matěj Stránský (Saskatoon, 2010-13) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Mora (Sweden, SHL) after obtaining his release from Severstal Cherepovets (Russia, KHL). He had three goals and three assists in 17 games. . . .

F Blair Jones (Red Deer, Moose Jaw, 2003-06) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Sparta Prague (Czech Republic, Extraliga). Last season, he had eight goals and 10 assists in 32 games with Kölner Haie (Cologne) (Germany, DEL). . . .

F Robin Kovář (Vancouver, Regina, 2001-04) has been released by mutual agreement by Budapest (Hungary, Erste Liga). He had five assists in eight games. . . .

F Jared Aulin (Kamloops, 1997-2002) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with the Straubing Tigers (Germany, DEL) after obtaining his release from Rapperswil-Jona (Switzerland, NL A). He had four assists in 19 games.


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COUNTDOWN TO DEADLINE

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

Friday’s action:

No. of trades: 1.

Players: 1.

Bantam draft picks: 1.

Conditional draft picks: 3.

——

Total deals (since Nov. 26):

No. of trades: 15.

Players: 31.

Bantam draft picks: 24.

Conditional draft picks: 9.

(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 Portland Winterhawks have acquired the WHL rights to F Bobby Brink, 17, from the PortlandPrince George Cougars in exchange for a seventh-round selection in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft. . . . There also are a few conditions to this deal: Should the Winterhawks sign Brink, the Cougars will get a second-round pick in the 2021 bantam draft. If he is on Portland’s roster before Jan. 10, Prince George will get an additional pick, this one a fourth-rounder in 2021. As well, if Brink is on the Winterhawks’ roster on or before Oct. 10, the Cougars will also get a sixth-round pick in 2021. . . . Brink, from Excelsior, Minn., is playing with the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers. Going into Friday’s games, he was second in the USHL scoring race, with 33 points, including 15 goals, in 19 games. . . . He has been committed to the U of Denver Pioneers since Jan. 31, 2017.


Lorne Molleken is back in the coaching game. Molleken, the fourth-winningest regular-season coach in WHL history, has been named the head coach of the Prairie Hockey Academy’s Elite 15s for the remainder of this season. . . . Molleken, a native of Regina, will be on the ice with his new team when it practises on Thursday in preparation for playing host to the Prairie Classic (Jan. 4-6). The PHA is based in Caronport, Sask. . . . PHA had fired Rodney MacPhee, the head coach of the Elite 15s when the season began, late in October. Kevin Watson stepped in as interim head coach until Molleken was hired. . . . Molleken put up 626 regular-season victories in stints with the Moose Jaw Warriors, Saskatoon Blades, Regina Pats and Vancouver Giants. He was fired by the Giants with two games left in the 2015-16 season.


Nathan Oystrick and the Humboldt Broncos have parted company. Oystrick, 36, took over as the SJHL team’s general manager and head coach in July, just three months after a bus accident had claimed the lives of 16 people, including GM/head coach Darcy Haugan. . . . The Broncos announced the move in a statement on the team’s website that was headlined ‘Humboldt Broncos part ways with Head Coach and General Manager Nathan Oystrick.’ . . . Assistant coach Scott Barney has been named the interim head coach for the remainder of the season. . . . Alex MacPherson of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix has more right here.


WHL players at the World Junior Championship:

Brandon — G Jiri Patera (Czech Republic).

Medicine Hat — G Mads Sogaard (Denmark).

Moose Jaw — D Josh Brook (Canada).

Portland — F Cody Glass (Canada).

Prince Albert — G Ian Scott, F Brett Leason (Canada).

Red Deer — D Alex Alexeyev (Russia).

Seattle — F Andrej Kukuca (Slovakia).

Spokane — F Jared Anderson-Dolan, D Ty Smith (Canada); D Filip Kral (Czech Republic).

Tri-City — F Krystof Hrabik (Czech Republic).

Vancouver — F Milos Roman (Slovakia).

Victoria — F Phillip Schultz (Denmark).


FRIDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The host Prince Albert Raiders scored the game’s last three goals and beat the Saskatoon PrinceAlbertBlades, 4-2. . . . Prince Albert (33-2-1) has won five in a row and is 17-0-0 at home. . . . Saskatoon (21-11-5) had points in each of its previous six games (4-0-2). . . . The Raiders are 4-1-0 in the season series. . . . On Thursday night, the Raiders won in Saskatoon, 4-3 in OT. . . . F Kristian Roykas Marthinsen (9) gave the Blades a 2-1 lead at 16:23 of the first period. . . . F Noah Gregor (23) tied it with his second goal of the game, and fourth in two nights, at 19:39 of the second period. . . . F Aliaksei Protas (7) snapped the tie at 10:33 of the third, and F Cole Fonstad (12) added insurance at 19:50 with the empty-netter. . . . Gregor also had an assist for his second straight three-point night. . . . The Raiders won 45 of 68 faceoffs. . . . Saskatoon D Brandon Schuldhaus was tossed at 8:51 of the first period with a kneeing major and game misconduct. D Max Martin, who absorbed the hit, returned for the second period and finished the game. . . . The Raiders are 5-0-0 without G Ian Scott and F Brett Leason, who are with Team Canada at the WJC.


The Regina Pats jumped out to a 2-0 lead and went on to a 3-2 victory over the visiting PatsBrandon Wheat Kings. . . . The Pats (11-24-1) have won two in a row, both of them over the Wheat Kings. One night earlier, Regina won, 3-2, in Brandon. . . . The Wheat Kings (15-12-6) have lost two straight. . . . F Garrett Wright (2), at 12:01 of the first period, and F Austin Pratt (14), at 9:09 of the second, staked Regina to a 2-0 lead. . . . Brandon D Cole Reinhardt (7) made it 2-1 at 13:56. . . . F Logan Nijhoff (2) restored Regina’s two-goal lead at 11:34 of the third. . . . F Luka Burzan (19) got Brandon back to within a goal at 17:19. . . . Regina held a 38-20 edge in shots and won 35 of 59 faceoffs. . . . Brandon was without F Stelio Mattheos, who leads it in goals, assists and points, after he was suspended for three games after taking a match penalty for intent to injury in Thursday’s game. Mattheos drew the penalty after retaliating against Pats D Brady Pouteau, who drew a TBD suspension under supplemental discipline. . . . Regina F Robbie Holmes sat out a one-game suspension. He was ejected from Thursday’s game with a cross-checking major and game misconduct for hit on F Connor Gutenberg, who wasn’t injured.


F Tristin Langan scored the game’s last two goals as the Moose Jaw Warriors skated to a MooseJawWarriors4-3 OT victory over the Broncos in Swift Current. . . . The Warriors (18-8-6) have points in three straight (2-0-1). . . . The Broncos (7-25-3) had beaten the Warriors, 4-3 in OT, in Moose Jaw on Thursday. . . . Last night, the Broncos held a 2-0 lead only to have the Warriors tie it on goals from F Daemon Hunt (4), at 19:41 of the first period, and F Justin Almeida (9), at 0:41 of the second. . . . F Matthew Culling (6) gave the Broncos a 3-2 lead at 10:31 of the second period. . . . Langan, who has 26 goals, tied it at 15:40 of the second, then won it, on a PP, at 2:36 of OT. . . . Culling has goals in four straight games and in five of his past six games. . . . Almeida added two assists to his goal, while Langan had one. . . . The Warriors won 41 of 69 faceoffs. . . . Broncos G Joel Hofer stopped 35 shots. . . . The Broncos had Finnish F Joona Kiviniemi back in the lineup, but Finnish D Roope Pynnonen was scratched. Both missed Thursday’s game due to travel delays.


The Edmonton Oil Kings scored four times in the first half of the second period en route EdmontonOilKingsto a 7-3 victory over the visiting Calgary Hitmen. . . . Edmonton (19-12-6) has points in four straight (3-0-1). The victory lifted the Oil Kings into first place in the Central Division, two points ahead of the Red Deer Rebels and Lethbridge Hurricanes, both of whom were beaten at home. . . . Calgary (15-16-4) has lost three in a row (0-2-1). . . . F Vladimir Alistrov (5), F Zach Russell (1), F Andrei Pavlenko (6) and F Andrew Fyten (10) scored for Edmonton between 1:58 and 9:12 of the second period. . . . Russell, a 19-year-old from Calgary, scored his first goal in his 11th game with Edmonton. He had played 40 games with the Brandon Wheat Kings in 2016-17 and one last season. . . . F Mark Kastelic scored twice for Calgary, giving him 25 goals. He had a career-high 23 last season.


F Dante Hannoun scored four goals and added an assist to lead the Victoria Royals to a 6-VictoriaRoyals2 victory over the Hurricanes in Lethbridge. . . . Victoria (17-13-1) has won three in a row. With the WJC in their home arena, the Royals are on the road. They’ll play in each of the six Central Division cities over nine nights. . . . Lethbridge (18-10-6) had points in each of its previous four games (3-0-1). . . . Hannoun, who is gunning for his fourth straight season with at least 25 goals, now has 17. . . . This was Hannoun’s first four-goal game after two hat-tricks. . . . Hannoun is the fourth player in franchise history to enjoy a four-goal game, after F Tyler Soy (2016-17), F Brandon Magee (2012-13) and F Kevin Sundher (2011-12). . . . F Tarun Fizun added a goal, his ninth, and two assists for the Royals, who held period leads of 2-1 and 5-2. . . . The Royals got 30 saves from G Brock Gould, who normally backs up Griffen Outhouse.


F James Hamblin scored twice to help the Medicine Hat Tigers to a 4-1 victory over the Tigers Logo Officialvisiting Kootenay Ice. . . . Medicine Hat improved to 18-15-3, while Kootenay now is 8-23-6. . . . F Ryan Jevne (17), at 7:03 of the first period, and Hamblin, on a PP, at 4:27 of the second, gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead. . . . D Martin Bodak (7) got the Ice’s goal at 19:15. . . . Hamblin upped the lead to 3-1 with his 19th goal, at 7:44 of the third, and F Ryan Chyzowski (12) got the empty-netter at 17:36. . . . The Ice won 36 of 60 faceoffs. . . . F Elijah Brown was back in Medicine Hat’s lineup for the first time since Nov. 13. . . . D Jonathan Smart, 19, who reportedly didn’t return to the Ice after the Christmas break, wasn’t in Kootenay’s lineup.


G David Tendeck stopped 28 shots to lead the visiting Vancouver Giants to a 6-0 victory Vancouverover the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Vancouver (23-8-2) has won two straight. . . . Red Deer (20-11-2) has lost two in a row. . . . Tendeck stopped 25 shots through two periods, then the Giants outshot their hosts, 18-3, in the third. . . . The Giants scored twice in the second period and added four in the third. . . . F Tristen Nielsen had a goal, his fourth, and two assists, as did F Jared Legien, 20, who was playing his first game with Vancouver after joining the team from the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers. . . . Vancouver also had D Landon Fuller, 18, of the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers in its lineup. . . . Tendeck has two shutouts this season and five in his career. . . . With the WJC in Vancouver, the B.C. Division-leading Giants are on a six-game Central Division trek. They will play six games in 10 nights. . . . F Brett Davis (ill) was among Red Deer’s scratches.


F Zane Franklin scored the game’s last two goals to give the host Kamloops Blazers a 3-2 Kamloops1victory over the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Kamloops (13-16-3) had lost six in a row (0-5-1), all in the Central Division before Christmas. . . . Kelowna (16-17-3) will play host to the Blazers tonight. . . . F Lane Zablocki (4) gave the Rockets a 1-0 lead at 18:50 of the second period. . . . F Brodi Stuart (10) got Kamloops even, while shorthanded, at 7:23 of the third. . . . D Kaedan Korczak (3) restored Kelowna’s lead, on a PP, at 15:26. . . . Franklin got Kamloops into a 2-2 tie, on a PP and with G Dylan Ferguson on the bench for the extra attacker, at 18:54 of the third. . . . Franklin’s 19th goal of the season won it at 4:18 of OT. . . . Ferguson won it with 36 saves. . . . F Alex Swetlikoff, who had been with the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers, made his debut with his hometown Rockets.


F Parker AuCoin’s OT goal gave the visiting Tri-City Americans a 3-2 victory over the tri-cityPortland Winterhawks. . . . Tri-City (18-12-2) has won four in a row, each of them in OT. . . . Portland (19-11-5) has points in four straight (1-0-3). . . . This was the third straight game between these teams and the Americans won each one in OT. . . . Before Christmas, the Americans won twice in OT — 3-2 in Kennewick, Wash., and 4-3 in Portland. . . . Tri-City won the first meeting of the season between the teams, 6-5 in a shootout, at home on Sept. 28. . . . After last night, they will meet four more times. . . . The Americans began their four-game OT winning streak by beating the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes, 8-7, on Dec. 8. . . . De Jong had given the Winterhawks a 1-0 lead with his fifth goal, on a PP, at 8:04 of the first period. . . . F Sasha Mutala (8) tied it, on a PP, at 17:27. . . . F Blake Stevenson (6) gave the Americans a 2-1 lead at 6:08 of the second. . . . The Winterhawks tied it when F Ryan Hughes (14) scored at 16:38. . . . AuCoin won it with his 18th goal, at 1:17 of OT. . . . Tri-City G Beck Warm stopped 33 shots. . . . Portland was left with four defencemen after Brendan De Jong left with an undisclosed injury in the first period, and John Ludvig was given a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct at 15:01 of the second.


The Prince George Cougars scored once in each of the last two periods and hung on for a PrinceGeorge2-1 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds in Kent, Wash. . . . Prince George (12-19-3) had lost its previous five games. The Cougars are six-games into an 11-game road trip from hell. They last played at home on Dec. 2, and won’t play there again until Jan. 11. They went 0-5-0 to open the trek, and will continue it tonight in Everett and Sunday in Kamloops. The Cougars will go home to do laundry, then play in Kelowna on Jan. 4. They then will spend a couple of days in the Okanagan before visiting the Tri-City Americans on Jan. 8 and the Spokane Chiefs on Jan. 9. . . . Seattle (11-17-4) has lost four straight (0-3-1). . . . F Vladislav Mikhalchuk (13) gave the Cougars a 1-0 lead at 1:04 of the second period. . . . F Josh Maser (11) made it 2-0 at 10:38 of the third. . . . F Payton Mount (3) got Seattle’s goal at 13:12. . . . G Taylor Gauthier stopped 29 shots to earn the victory.


F Connor Dewar scored twice to lead the visiting Everett Silvertips to a 3-1 victory over Everettthe Spokane Chiefs. . . . Everett (28-7-2) has points in 15 straight (13-0-2). . . . Spokane (9-12-4) had won its previous three games. It also had won seven in a row at home. . . . F Jack Finley (5) gave the Chiefs a 1-0 lead at 18:19 of the first period. . . . F Gage Goncalves (1) got Everett even at 1:21 of the second. His first WHL goal came in his 37th game, 36 of them this season. . . . Dewar put the visitors out front, on a PP, at 14:01, and he put it away with an empty-netter at 18:21 of the third. . . . Dewar has 26 goals this season. . . . Everett held a 43-15 edge in shots, including 19-2 in the second and 12-3 in the third. . . . Everett remains without F Sean Richards, who is serving an eight-game suspension. After this one, he has three left — tonight (Saturday) against visiting Prince George, and a home-and home with the Tri-City Americans on Jan. 4 and 5. He will be eligible to return on Jan. 6 against the visiting Kamloops Blazers. . . . The Chiefs are without D Spokane Bobby Russell as he serves a two-game suspension. He also will sit tonight against the visiting Tri-City Americans. . . . The Chiefs also are missing F Jaret Anderson-Dolan and D Ty Smith, both of whom are with Team Canada at the WJC, and D Filip Kral, who is playing for Czech Republic.


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