Dorothy’s Kidney Walk page has started to pick up speed, thanks in large part to hockey people like an NHL head coach whose team clinched a playoff spot on Sunday. He took time out from whatever celebrating they were doing to help out. Like a former WHL play-by-play voice who was quick to climb on board. Like a long-time acquaintance who once worked in the front office of a WHL team and who might still hold that job had the team not picked up and moved east. . . . If you’re new here, Dorothy, my wife of going on 51 years, is preparing to take part in her 10th Kamloops Kidney Walk on June 4. She underwent a kidney transplant in September 2013 and it’s an understatement to say it was a life-changing experience. . . . Since then, she has worked hard to give back, including co-founding the Kamloops Kidney Support Group that gathers for breakfast twice a month. . . . If you have been impacted by kidney disease and would like to join us, shoot me an email at greggdrinnan@gmail. com. . . . If you would like to support Dorothy’s Kidney Walk fund-raising, you are able to do that right here.
The WHL heads into a fifth straight night of playoff hockey tonight (Tuesday) after a two-game Monday.
Last night, the Red Deer Rebels posted a 4-2 victory over the Hitmen in Calgary to take a 2-1 lead in that series. And, in Everett, the Portland Winterhawks won their third straight game over the Silvertips, taking this one 6-1.
Tonight, the top-seeded Winnipeg Ice will be trying to go up 3-0 over the No. 8 Tigers when they meet in Medicine Hat. The Tigers will be without D Rhett Parsons as he serves a one-game suspension for a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct he took in Game 2 in Winnipeg on Saturday.
In Regina, the No. 6 Pats will be looking for a third straight victory over the No. 3 Saskatoon Blades, following 6-1 and 6-5 (OT) triumphs on the road. The Blades will be trying, again, to slow down F Connor Bedard, who has eight points in the first two games. Heard from a friend who is taking his son, the latter having been pleading for the opportunity to watch Bedard. So the friend coughed up $100 for two tickets.
In Lethbridge, the No. 4 Moose Jaw Warriors take a 2-0 lead into Game 3 with the No. 5 Hurricanes. If they are to prolong this series, the Hurricanes are going to have to find a way to solve G Connor Ungar, who came back from a 17-game suspension to go 2-0, 0.75, .973.
There also are three games in the Pacific Time Zone.
In Kelowna, the Seattle Thunderbirds, the Western Conference’s top seed, hold a 2-0 lead over the No. 8 Rockets going into Game 3 in Kelowna. G Jari Kykkanen kept the Rockets in each of the first two games, stopping 80 of 86 shots, but they were outscored 5-0 in third periods as they dropped 3-2 and 4-1 decisions.
The No. 2 Kamloops Blazers, the host team for the 2023 Memorial Cup, have dominated the No. 7 Vancouver Giants through two games and will be looking for a third straight victory in Langley, B.C. Through two games, the Blazers, with F Logan Stankoven putting up eight points, have outscored the Giants, 14-1.
And, in Kennewick, Wash., the No. 4 Prince George Cougars and No. 5 Tri-City Americans are 1-1 going into a third game. They’re using a 2-3-2 format to cut back on possible travel, so will be staying put for games on Wednesday and Friday.
MONDAY IN THE WHL PLAYOFFS:
Red Deer (2) at Calgary (7) — F Kai Uchacz scored twice and added an assist to help the Red Deer Rebels to a 4-2 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . The Rebels hold a 2-1 lead with Game 4 on Wednesday in Calgary. A fifth game is scheduled for Red Deer on Friday. . . . F Carson Wetsch (1) opened the scoring for Calgary at 13:42 of the first period. . . . The Rebels scored the next three goals. D Matteo Fabrizi (1) tied it at 16:07 and Uchacz gave Red Deer the lead just 49 seconds later. . . . F Frantisek Formanek (2) made it 3-1 at 0:46 of the second. . . . F Carter MacAdams (1) pulled Calgary to within a goal, on a PP, at 3:56. . . . Uchacz scored his third goal of the series into an empty net at 19:23 of the third period. . . . G Kyle Kelsey earned the victory with 36 saves, six fewer than Calgary’s Brayden Peters. . . . F Ben King, who led the WHL with 52 goals in 2021-22, was back in Red Deer’s lineup after being out since March 18. . . . The Hitmen were without F Riley Fiddler-Schultz, who didn’t finish Game 2 because of an undisclosed injury. . . . D Keagan Slaney and F Maxim Muranov returned to Calgary’s lineup after serving suspensions, while F Craig Armstrong of Red Deer completed two-game suspension by sitting out Game 3.
Portland (3) at Everett (6) — The Portland Winterhawks scored three second-period goals en route to a 6-1 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . The Winterhawks lead the series, 3-0. . . . These teams get three days off now — a Paw Patrol show has the Angel Of The Winds Arena booked — so Game 4 is scheduled for Friday. . . . F Kyle Chyzowski (2) and F James Stefan (3) each scored twice for Portland, which led 1-0 and 4-0 at the intermissions. . . . Portland F Josh Zakreski had two assists for the second time in the three games. He has had three two-point outings in his past four games; he had three in 67 regular-season games. . . . Portland G Jan Špunar stopped 38 shots. He had his shutout streak snapped at 120:18 when F Jackson Berezowski (2) scored at 17:07 of the third period. . . . Everett F Caden Zaplitny was ejected with a major for interference at 3:22 of the first period following a hit on Portland F Jack O’Brien, who wasn’t injured.
The SJHL’s Melville Millionaires announced Monday that assistant coach Daven Smith “will be parting ways” with the organization “and will not return for the 2023-24 season.” . . . Smith spent the past two seasons on Melville’s coaching staff. . . .
Trevor Georgie, the president and general manager of the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs, has been named president and CEO of JSM Sports Entertainment. JSMSE is an investment and holding company, and owns the Sea Dogs. . . . Georgie will continue as the Sea Dog’s president, with a new general manager to be named in the near future. He had been the Sea Dogs’ GM since 2016.
THINKING OUT LOUD — The Baltimore Orioles beat the Texas Rangers, 2-0, in two hours 18 minutes on Monday. With game times like that it won’t be long before the beer vendors are crying, well, in their beer. . . . Going into Monday games, the average MLB game had lasted 2:38, down from 3:09 a year ago. . . . The NCAA women’s basketball final on Sunday averaged 9.9 million TV viewers on ABC and ESPN2, peaking at 12.6 million. From Sports Media Watch: “Sunday’s audience exceeded every game of last year’s NBA playoffs except for the NBA Finals, every game of last year’s Major League Baseball postseason except for the World Series, every NASCAR race since 2017 (including the Daytona 500) and every NHL game in more than 50 years (including the Stanley Cup final).” . . . In Seattle, the Kraken have played 75 games this season without losing four in a row. The Mariners are five games into their season and have lost the last four.
If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:
Living Kidney Donor Program
St. Paul’s Hospital
6A Providence Building
1081 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6
Toll free: 1-877-922-9822
Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney
Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre
Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9
604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182
Or, for more information, visit right here.