‘Tips get Patterson from Broncos . . . Warriors add two forwards . . . WHL has seven on camp roster


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COUNTDOWN TO DEADLINE

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

Monday’s action

No. of trades: 3.

Players: 4.

Bantam draft picks: 3.

Conditional draft picks: 0.

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Total deals (since Nov. 26):

No. of trades: 8.

Players: 21.

Bantam draft picks: 18.

Conditional draft picks: 3.


The Everett Silvertips have acquired F Max Patterson from the Swift Current Broncos for F Dawson Springer, 16, and a fourth-round selection in the 2020 WHL bantam draft.

Patterson, from Kamloops, is the third member of the Broncos’ championship team from Everettlast season now on Everett’s roster, along with D Artyom Minulin and D Sahvan Khaira, both of whom are 20 years of age.

The Broncos beat the Silvertips in six games in last spring’s WHL final. This season, the  Broncos have the 22-team WHL’s poorest record (4-21-2), while the Silvertips lead the U.S. Division, at 22-7-1.

The 6-foot-4, 200-pound Patterson will turn 19 on Dec. 27. He is the son of former WHL/NHL F Ed Patterson.

Max was selected by the Kootenay Ice in the fourth round of the 2014 bantam draft. He had 15 goals and 10 assists in 127 games with the Ice, before being dealt to the Broncos on Sept. 10, 2017, for G Bailey Brkin and a fifth-rounder in the 2018 bantam draft.

Last season, Patterson had nine goals and 15 assists in 72 games. He had five goals and SCBroncostwo assists in 26 playoff games. This season, he had eight goals and 11 assists in 27 games.

With his size, Patterson will give the Silvertips more grit along the boards and on the forecheck, and more net-front presence in the offensive zone.

Springer, from Yorkton, Sask., was listed by Everett last month. He was in the Brandon Wheat Kings’ training camp prior to the 2017-18 season.

Springer is playing for the midget AAA Prince Albert Mintos and is tied for the league lead with 18 goals. In 21 games, he has put up 25 points

Last season, Springer had 35 goals and 16 assists in 36 games with the midget AA Melville Millionaires.


The Moose Jaw Warriors were involved in two trades on Monday, acquiring F Luke Ormsby, 19, from the Everett Silvertips and getting F Kjell Kjemhus, 17, from the Prince MooseJawWarriorsGeorge Cougars.

In exchange for Ormsby, who is from Everett, the Warriors gave up a sixth-round selection in the 2022 bantam draft.

The Warriors gave up a seventh-round pick in the 2020 bantam draft for Kjemhus. The pick originally belonged to the Seattle Thunderbirds.

This season, Ormsby has three goals and three assists in 25 games. In 150 regular-season games, he has 11 goals and 13 assists. He was a ninth-round selection by Seattle in the 2014 bantam draft. The Silvertips acquired him from the Thunderbirds on Nov. 2, 2017, for a ninth-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft.

Kjemhus, from Grande Prairie, Alta., was a fourth-round selection by the Regina Pats in the 2016 bantam draft. He was dealt to Prince George in January in a deal that had F Jesse Gabrielle, then 20, join the Pats.

This season, Kjemhus had two assists in five games with the Cougars and had been a frequent healthy scratch. In 36 career games, six of them with Regina, had has two goals and four assists.


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Seven WHL players were among the 34 invitees by Hockey Canada to the selection camp for the country’s national junior team.

The WHL contingent includes F Jaret Anderson-Dolan of the Spokane Chiefs, who is Canadasidelined with a broken wrist and may not have medical clearance in time for the selection camp.

Also on the camp roster are G Ian Scott and F Brett Leason of the Prince Albert Raiders, D Calen Addison of the Lethbridge Hurricanes, D Josh Brook of the Moose Jaw Warriors, Spokane D Ty Smith and F Cody Glass of the Portland Winterhawks.

The roster, which is right here, includes 14 players from the OHL, eight from the QMJHL, seven from NCAA teams and one from the NHL. F Gabe Vilardi is with the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings but is expected to be assigned to the camp.

The roster features three goaltenders, 12 defenceman and 19 forwards.

The selection camp is to run Dec. 11-14 at the Q Centre, the home of the BCHL’s Victoria Grizzlies.

The 2019 World Junior Championship runs from Dec. 26 through Jan. 5 in Victoria and Vancouver.

NOTES: Finland’s selection camp roster includes D Lassi Thomson of the Kelowna Rockets. He is one of 10 defencemen on the roster. . . . Finland’s roster also includes F Aleksi Heponiemi, who played the past two seasons with the Swift Current Broncos but now is with Kärpät in Finland’s top pro league. Heponiemi, 19, put up 204 points, including 148 assists, over two seasons with the Broncos. He has six goals and 16 assists in 25 games with Kärpät. . . . Jiri Patera of the Brandon Wheat Kings is one of three goaltenders on Czech Republic’s selection camp roster. Also listed are D Filip Kral of Spokane, D Libor Zabransky of Kelowna and F Krystof Hrabik of the Tri-City Americans. D Daniel Bukac also is on the roster. He played two seasons with Brandon, and now is with the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs.

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At least three WHL players will be playing in the IIHF World Junior Championship (Division 1 Group A) that begins Sunday and runs through Dec. 15 in Fussen Germany.

F Aliaksei Protas and D Sergei Sapego of the Prince Albert Raiders will play for Belarus, while F Kristian Roykas-Marthinsen of the Saskatoon Blades is to be in Norway’s lineup.

The Division I Group A tournament features the national junior teams from Austria, Belarus, France, Germany, Latvia and Norway. The winner of the tournament will be promoted to play with the big boys in the 2020 World Junior Championship.

All three players are expected to miss six games, but should be back by Dec. 27 when both teams return from the Christmas break for a game in Saskatoon.



Veteran NHL assistant coach Rick Wilson, who spent eight seasons on the coaching staff of the Prince Albert Raiders, is joining the Philadelphia Flyers. Wilson, 68, is from Prince Albert. . . . He was an assistant coach with the Raiders for six seasons (1980-86) and the head coach for two seasons. . . . He then went on to an NHL career that has included stints with the New York Islanders, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota North Stars, Dallas Stars, Tampa Bay Lightning, Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues. He actually had two stints with Dallas — 1993-2009 and last season. . . . With the Flyers, he will fill the void created by last week’s firing of Gord Murphy. Wilson be working under head coach Dave Hakstol, a former U of North Dakota head coach. Wilson played at UND and also spent two seasons (1978-80) there as an assistant coach. . . . The Wilson signing was first reported by Brad E. Schlossman of the Grand Forks, N.D., Herald.


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Surgery likely for Anderson-Dolan . . . Hurricanes’ prospect going NCAA route . . . WHL opens series with victory


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F Jaret Anderson-Dolan of the Spokane Chiefs wasn’t listed on the most-recent WHL roster report, which was released on Oct. 30.

After the host Chiefs beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 4-1, later that night, Kevin Dudley of SpokaneChiefsthe Spokane Spokesman-Review reported that the Chiefs “were without Jaret Anderson-Dolan, who missed the game for undisclosed reasons.”

When Anderson-Dolan didn’t play in a 6-2 loss to the visiting Spokane Chiefs on Saturday, it was reported that he was out with an upper-body injury.

It all became clear on Monday afternoon when TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the king of hockey insiders, reported via Twitter that Anderson-Dolan has a broken bone in one wrist and is in Los Angeles where it is anticipated that he will undergo surgery.

Anderson-Dolan, 19, was selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the second round of the NHL’s 2017 draft. He started this season with the Kings and have one assist in five games when he was returned to the Chiefs on Oct. 22.

He got into two games with the Chiefs and scored twice.

Assuming Anderson-Dolan undergoes surgery, he would be out up to two months, Canada’s national junior team is scheduled to open its selection camp in Victoria on Dec. 10. The 2019 World Junior Championships is scheduled to being in Vancouver and Victoria on Dec. 26.


F Carson Dyck of Lethbridge has committed to Penn State where he will play for the Nittany Lions starting in the 2020-21 season. Dyck, 17, is playing with the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers. . . . He was a second-round selection by the Swift Current Broncos in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. . . . On Jan. 9, the Broncos dealt his rights and a third-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft to the Lethbridge Hurricanes for F Ryley Lindgren, then 20, and a sixth-round selection in the 2018 bantam draft. . . . Carson is the son of Michael Dyck, the first-year head coach of the Vancouver Giants.


The Swift Current Broncos have signed F Ian Briscoe, 19, and added him to their roster. Briscoe, from Winnipeg, had three assists in 25 games with the Seattle Thunderbirds last season. He also played with the MJHL’s Dauphin Kings, putting up six goals and nine assists in 17 games. . . . The Thunderbirds selected Briscoe in the fifth round of the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft. . . . In 2016-17, he had two goals in 20 games with Seattle. . . . Briscoe could make his debut with the Broncos against the host Prince Albert Raiders on Friday.


F Connor Gutenberg of the Brandon Wheat Kings has been suspended for one game after he was hit with a charging major and game misconduct during a 4-3 loss to the host Kelowna Rockets on Saturday. . . . Gutenberg was tossed after a hit on Kelowna F Leif Mattson in the neutral zone. . . . The teams were 3-3 when Gutenberg was penalized at 15:57 of the third period. Kelowna F Kyle Topping snapped the tie at 18:50, with the Rockets on the PP.


Willie Desjardins spent his first full day as head coach of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings on Monday. If you are wondering how it went, Jon Rosen of lakingsinsider.com has a comprehensive look right here. This is good stuff!


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F Jordy Bellerive of the Lethbridge Hurricanes scored the winning goal as Team WHL opened the CIBC Canada Russia Series with a 2-1 victory in Kamloops. . . . Game 2 will be canadarussia2017played tonight in Langley, B.C., before the spotlight shifts to the OHL. . . . F Dylan Cozens, who also plays for the Hurricanes, gave the WHL a 1-0 lead at 14:00 of the first period. Cozens is expected to be an early selection in the NHL’s 2019 draft. . . . The Russians tied it just 26 seconds later when F Pavel Shen scored. Shen, whose NHL rights belong to the Boston Bruins, was named the Russian’s player of the game. . . . Bellerive’s goal, at 10:31 of the third period, broke the 1-1 tie. Bellerive has signed with the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins. . . . G Ian Scott of the Prince Albert Raiders stopped 27 shots for the WHL. His NHL rights belong to the Toronto Maple Leafs. . . . Russian G Daniil Tarasov, whose NHL rights belong to the Columbus Blue Jackets, wasn’t as busy as Scott, with 21 saves, but he made several top-notch stops. . . . F Justin Almeida of the Moose Jaw Warriors left the game early in the first period — he took a bit of a cross-check to the back from Russian D Alexander Lyakhov — and didn’t return. . . . F Cody Glass of the Portland Winterhawks, who was selected as the WHL’s player of game, grabbed for his right knee after going awkwardly into the end boards late in the third period. He finished the shift, but looked to be in some discomfort at the bench as time wound down.


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Broncos, Pats pay price of going all-in . . . Rockets get Wong signed . . . Leason and Raiders continue to dominate

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Is it too early to wonder if it is worth it for a major junior hockey team to really — make that really, really, really — go all-in as it attempts to win a championship?

Is it worth it even if that team wins the championship?

What about the host team for the Memorial Cup tournament? Is it worth it for that team to do the same thing?

Yes, this is all about the Swift Current Broncos and Regina Pats.

The Broncos, of course, wheeled and dealed their way to the 2017-18 WHL SCBroncoschampionship. As one observer told Taking Note the other day, “They sold the farm, animals, crop and the dirt.”

And now the Broncos are paying the price. After dropping a 4-1 decision to the visiting Everett Silvertips on Saturday night, they are 1-13-0 and have lost six in a row. They are 0-4-0 at home; they are 1-9-0 on the road, the only victory a 3-2 shootout triumph over the Wheat Kings in Brandon on Oct. 13.

Surely, the Broncos won’t challenge the WHL record for fewest victories in a season, but early indications are that they will be hard-pressed to win 20 games. That is the number of victories posted by the 2010-11 Calgary Hitmen, to date the fewest in one season by a defending champion. (The 1998-99 Portland Winterhawks are No. 2, with 23.)

Meanwhile, the Pats, who lost in the Memorial Cup final last spring, were 6-2 losers to Patsthe Raiders in Prince Albert last night. The Pats are 3-11-0 and have lost five straight games. They are 0-8-0 at home and 3-3-0 on the road.

The Pats and Broncos have met once this season, with Regina posting a 6-5 victory in Swift Current on Oct. 5.

They will play Game 2 of the six-game season series in Regina today, with the teams having a combined 4-24-0 record.

Of course, the question remains as to just how long the Broncos and Pats will pay for all the moves leading into last season’s playoffs?

The Saskatoon Blades went all-in as they prepared for their role as the host team for the 2013 Memorial Cup. Some people will tell you that the franchise still is in the process of recovering.


The Kelowna Rockets announced the signing of F Trevor Wong on Saturday, hours before they met up with the visiting Prince George Cougars. Wong, 15, made his WHL debut in KelownaRocketsthat game. . . . From Vancouver, the 5-foot-8, 135-pound Wong was selected by Kelowna with the 18th overall pick in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. Many observers felt he would have been selected sooner had he not made a verbal commitment to attend the U of Denver and play for the Pioneers starting in 2020-21. . . . Last season, Wong had 64 goals and 77 assists in 30 games with the bantam varsity team at St. George’s School in Vancouver. . . . This season, he has four goals and seven assists in 10 games with the major midget Greater Vancouver Canadians. . . .

With Wong signed, you can bet that the Rockets, who will be the host team for the 2020 Memorial Cup, will turn their attention to attempting to sign F Ethan Bowen, who was a second-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft. . . . The 6-foot-2, 160-pound Bowen, 16, is from Chilliwack and is playing in his hometown for the BCHL’s Chiefs. He went into last night with six goals and five assists in 11 games. . . . Bowen has made a verbal commitment to the U of North Dakota Fighting Hawks for 2020-21. . . . His older brother, Ryan, began this season with Kelowna but was released as the Rockets got down to the league-mandated maximum of three 20-year-olds.


No one in the WHL is having a better season than F Brett Leason of the Prince Albert Raiders. Leason, a 19-year-old Calgarian, had a goal and an assist, both in the first period, as the host Raiders beat the Regina Pats, 6-2, on Saturday night. That put him at 34 points in 16 games, breaking his career high of 33 from last season when he had one goal in 12 games with the Tri-City Americans and 32 points, 15 of them goals, in 54 games with the Raiders. . . . This season, Leason leads the WHL in goals (15), assists (19) and points (34). . . .

The Raiders acquired Leason from the Americans on Oct. 26, 2017, giving up a third-round selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. That pick had originated with the Americans, who traded it to the Raiders as part of a deal in which G Rylan Parenteau moved to Tri-City. . . . In 2016-17, as a freshman, Leason had eight goals and 10 assists with the Americans, who picked him in the third round of the 2014 bantam draft.


SATURDAY NIGHT NOTES:

The Prince Albert Raiders ran their winning streak to eight games as they bounced the PrinceAlbertvisiting Regina Pats, 6-2. . . . Prince Albert scored the game’s first six goals as it improved to 15-1-0. . . . Regina (3-11-0) has lost five in a row. . . . The Raiders’ last two goals both were of the shorthanded variety, from F Eric Pearce (2) and F Jakob Brook (4). Brook drew an assist on Pearce’s goal and, yes, Pearce had an assist on Brook’s tally. Those goals came 2:58 apart midway through the second period. . . . Prince Albert got 19 saves from G Ian Scott, who now is 13-1-0, 1.57, .943.


F Connor Dewar scored two goals and added two assists in leading the Everett Silvertips Everettto a 4-1 victory over the Broncos in Swift Current. . . . Everett (10-5-0) has won three in a row; it went 4-2-0 on its East Division tour. . . . The Broncos (1-13-0) have lost six in a row. . . . This was the first meeting between these two franchises since last season’ WHL championship final. The Broncos won that best-of-seven series in six games. . . . Dewar, Everett’s captain, was playing his first game after serving a four-game suspension. He opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal at 2:15 of the first period. . . . F Tanner Nagel (3) pulled the Broncos even at 11:43. . . . D Gianni Fairbrother (1) of the Silvertips broke the tie with another shorthanded goal, at 16:54 of the second period. . . . Dewar scored his 10th goal of the season, on a PP, 15 seconds into the third period.


F Trey Fix-Wolansky had a goal and two assists as the host Edmonton Oil Kings scored a EdmontonOilKings5-2 victory over the Saskatoon Blades. . . . The Oil Kings (8-7-1) have won three in a row. . . . The Blades (8-5-2) have lost three straight (0-2-1). . . . Edmonton took control with the game’s first three goals. . . . F Quinn Benjafield got the first two, scoring on a PP at 18:33 of the first period and shorthanded at 5:16 of the second. He’s got five goals. . . . Fix-Wolansky got his 10th goal into an empty net at 19:06 of the third period. He has 28 points in 16 games this season, including four goals and six assists over his past four games. His 28 points trail only the 34 of F Brett Leason of the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . F Gary Haden, who was acquired Thursday from the Medicine Hat Tigers, scored both Saskatoon goals, the first while shorthanded. He’s got three goals this season. . . . D Keegan Slaney, the 20th overall pick in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft, made his WHL debut with the Oil Kings. From Airdrie, Alta., he has six assists in 11 games with the Edge School prep team in Calgary this season.


The Moose Jaw Warriors erased a 3-0 deficit and got past the host Medicine Hat Tigers, 4-MooseJawWarriors3, in a shootout. . . . The Warriors (6-4-3) had lost their previous two games (0-1-1). . . . The Tigers (8-6-2) have points in three straight (2-0-1). . . . F Tristin Langan won this one with the only goal of the shootout. He was the second shooter in the third round. . . . F Brayden Tracey (4) pulled the Warriors into a 3-3 tie at 19:41 of the third period. . . . F Jaxon Steele (2) had given Medicine Hat a 3-0 lead at 2:25 of the third. . . . F Tate Popple (3) got Moose Jaw started at 4:39, and D Josh Brook (5) got the Warriors to within a goal at 12:13. . . . Moose Jaw took the game’s only two penalties — both minors.


F Nolan Foote scored on a PP just 43 seconds into OT to give the host Kelowna Rockets a KelownaRockets4-3 victory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . The Rockets (6-10-0) have won two in a row. . . . The Cougars (5-6-3) have lost three straight (0-1-2). . . . Foote was back in the Rockets’ lineup after a brief absence. This was his first game with his father, Adam, as the Rockets’ head coach. The senior Foote is 2-0-0 as a WHL head coach since taking over from the fired Jason Smith on Tuesday. . . . F Kyle Topping (6) had given the hosts a 3-2 lead, on a PP, at 1:08 of the third period. . . . D Ryan Schoettler (3) got the Cougars into a tie at 4:52.


F Jermaine Loewen scored three goals to lead the Kamloops Blazers to a 6-2 victory over Kamloops1the Winterhawks in Portland. . . . The Blazers (5-6-1) are on their first three-game winning streak of the season. . . . The Winterhawks (7-5-1) have lost two in a row. . . . The same teams will play again today in Portland as they conclude their season series. The Winterhawks won twice in Kamloops early in October. . . . Loewen was playing his second game after serving a four-game suspension for a high hit on Portland D Matthew Quigley in a 5-3 loss to the visiting Winterhawks on Oct. 5. Loewen returned Friday with a goal and an assist in a 7-2 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds in Kent, Wash. That was Loewen’s first game as team captain; he was named captain while he was suspended. . . . F Joachim Blickfeld (10) gave Portland a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 6:20 of the first period. . . . The Blazers scored the next four goals, three of them before the first period ended. . . . Loewen scored PP goals at 8:19 of the first period and 2:10 of the second, the latter providing a 4-1 lead. He completed his first career hat trick at 5:17 of the third. . . . Kamloops F Connor Zary had a goal, his fifth, and an assist, giving him six points over two games. . . . Portland lost D Jared Freadrich to a cross-checking major and game misconduct at 18:40 of the first period.


The Tri-City Americans erased 2-0 and 3-2 deficits in beating the Chiefs, 5-3, in Spokane. . tri-city. . The Americans (9-4-0) have won five straight. . . . The Chiefs slipped to 7-4-3. . . . F Jaret Anderson-Dolan’s second goal of the game, on a PP, at 7:39 of the third period gave the home team a 3-2 lead. . . . F Sasha Mutala (3) scored a PP goal to pull Tri-City even at 9:59, and F Isaac Johnson (6) got what proved to be the winner at 15:32. . . . F Nolan Yaremko (10), who also had two assists, got the empty-netter. . . . Anderson-Dolan’s goals were his first of this season and came in his second game since being returned by the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings.


The Seattle Thunderbirds got 41 saves from G Liam Hughes as they skated to a 5-1 Seattlevictory over the Vancouver Giants in Langley, B.C. . . . The Thunderbirds (7-3-2) had lost their previous three games (0-2-1). . . . The Giants (10-3-2) had points in their previous two (1-0-1). . . . The Giants had 17 shots in each of the last two periods but could only muster one goal, that from F Milos Roman (6) at 4:36 of the third period. . . . Seattle jumped out to a 4-0 lead on two goals in each of the first two periods. The outburst featured F Noah Philp’s ninth goal of the season, two from F Matthew Wedman, who has five, and F Samuel Huo’s first of the season.


F Kaid Oliver scored twice to help the host Victoria Royals to a 3-1 victory over the VictoriaRoyalsBrandon Wheat Kings. . . . The Royals (9-3-0) had lost their previous two games. . . . The Wheat Kings (6-3-4) have lost four in a row (0-2-2). Brandon now is 1-1-1 on a seven-game road swing that continues today against the Vancouver Giants in Langley, B.C. . . . F Stelio Mattheos (13) put Brandon ahead 1-0, on a PP, at 14:50 of the first period. . . . Oliver, who has nine goals, tied it at 19:53 of the first, then broke the tie at 9:46 of the third. . . . Victoria D Ralph Jarratt (2) got the empty-netter while shorthanded. . . . G Griffen Outhouse stopped 28 shots for the Royals. He returned after missing some time with an undisclosed injury. It’s believed that he tweaked something during practice nine or 10 days ago. . . . The Royals are without F Dante Hannoun, a key offensive contributor, as well as F Phillip Schultz, a freshman import from Denmark, and F Logan Doust, all out with undisclosed injuries.


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Branch prepping to lobby Ontario gov’t . . . Reid, Brkin spark Chiefs . . . Franklin, Zary lead Blazers’ comeback


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F Gilbert Brulé (Vancouver, 2002-06) has signed a contract for the rest of the season with Sibir Novosibirsk (Russia, KHL). Last season, he had one assist in six games with Traktor Chelyabinsk (Russia, KHL) 6 GP, 0+1, and 17 goals and 19 assists in 47 games with Kunlun Red Star Beijing (China, KHL). He led Kunlun Red Star in goals and points. . . .

F/D Curt Gogol (Kelowna, Saskatoon, Chilliwack, 2007-11) has been released by mutual agreement by Manglerud (Norway, GET-Ligaen). He had one goal in six games. Earlier this season, he had one assist in four games with Kalmar (Sweden, Division 1).


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Rick Westhead of TSN reported Friday that David Branch, the OHL commissioner, “has registered as a provincial government lobbyist, a move signalling the league is renewing ohlefforts to argue its players should not be paid at least minimum wage.” . . . Branch doubles as the president of the CHL, the umbrella under which the OHL, WHL and QMJHL operate. . . . Westhead also reported that, according to Ontario’s lobbyist registry, Branch and Toronto-based lawyer Robert Bayne, who also registered as a lobbyist, “plan to meet with Ministry of Labour officials and other members of Queen’s Park to discuss the player wage issue.” . . . To date, seven provinces — B.C., Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan — have passed legislation that exempts major junior hockey teams from minimum wage legislation. Michigan and Washington State also have done so. . . . All of this is ongoing while a class-action lawsuit continues, asking that OHL and WHL players be paid a minimum wage. . . . Westhead’s complete story is right here.

The move by Branch to register as a lobbyist recalls a story written two years ago by Ian Mulgrew of the Vancouver Sun. It carried this headline: WHL being back-checked for whlpossibly violating lobby law. . . . Mulgrew wrote: “The Western Hockey League did not register as a lobbyist before leaning on B.C.’s cabinet to exempt major junior players form the minimum wage, the provincial watchdog says.” . . . Records showed that Ron Robison, the WHL commissioner, began working the back-channels of the then-Liberal government in March 2015. “The direct lobbying effort worked — cabinet quietly passed an order-in-council on Feb. 15, 2016 granting the league the exemption,” Mulgrew wrote. . . . Erin Beatty, the communications director for the B.C. Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists, told Mulgrew at the time that the regulator now is “acting on the potential incident of non-compliance in this case.” . . . Robison told Mulgrew that the WHL didn’t spent a whole lot of time lobbying “and it was certainly not 100 hours. We were not required to register as a lobbyist.” . . . It’s not known what the outcome of the regulator’s investigation was, and it very well may have quietly disappeared when B.C. elected an NDP government. . . . Mulgrew’s piece from two years ago is right here.


The Prince Albert Raiders have returned D Nolan Allan, 15, to the midget AAA Saskatoon Blazers. From Davidson, Sask., he was the third-overall selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. He was pointless in two games with the Raiders.


FRIDAY NIGHT NOTES:

D Wyatt Wylie scord 21 seconds into OT to give the Everett Silvertips a 2-1 victory over Everettthe Warriors in Moose Jaw. . . . Everett (9-5-0) is 3-2-0 on its East Division trek. . . . The Warriors (5-3-3) have lost two in a row. . . . F Tristin Langan (10) gave the hosts a 1-0 lead at 15:33 of the first period. . . . D Sahvan Khaira (3) pulled Everett even at 16:47 of the second period. . . . Wylie won it with his third goal of the season. . . . G Dustin Wolf stopped 21 shots for the winners. . . . Everett F Connor Dewar sat out as he completed a four-game suspension. He’s eligible to return tonight as the Silvertips wrap up their eastern swing in Swift Current.


The Medicine Hat Tigers scored four times in the span of 5:59 of the second period en Tigers Logo Officialroute to a 8-5 victory over the host Regina Pats. . . . The Tigers (8-6-1) have won two in a row. . . . The Pats (3-10-0) have lost four straight. They now are 0-8-0 on home ice. . . . The Tigers got two goals and an assist from each of F James Hamblin, who has nine goals, and F Ryan Chyzowski, who has five. . . . F Duncan Pierce (3) gave Regina a 3-2 lead at 8:56 of the second period. . . . The Tigers scored the game’s next five goals, including one from F Logan Christensen (2), who was acquired Wednesday from the Saskatoon Blades. . . . Medicine Hat was 4-for-6 on the PP. . . . According to the online scoresheet, the Pats won 54 of the game’s 75 faceoffs. . . . F Cole Sillinger made his WHL debut for the Tigers. From Regina, he is the son of former NHL/WHL F Mike Sillinger. Cole was the 11th-overall pick in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. He plays for the midget AAA Regina Pats Canadians.


F Alex Morozoff scored in OT to give the host Red Deer Rebels a 4-3 victory over the Red DeerSaskatoon Blades. . . . The Rebels improved to 9-4-1. . . . The Blades (8-4-2) have lost two in a row (0-1-1). . . . Morozoff won it with his second goal of the season, at 1:21 of extra time. . . . F Jeff de Wit (8) gave Red Deer a 3-1 lead at 11:01 of the second period. . . . The Blades tied it on third-period goals from D Brandon Schuldaus (2) and F Kirby Dach (8), the latter at 17:55. Schuldaus also had two assists. . . . F Brandon Hagel (12) had two goals for Red Deer. . . . The Rebels had a 48-26 edge in shots. . . . F Gary Haden, acquired Thursday by the Blades from the Medicine Hat Tigers, was pointless in his Saskatoon debut. . . . This was the third game between these teams this month, which each holding serve on home ice. They’ll complete the season series in Saskatoon on March 3. . . . Brent Sutter, the Rebels’ GM/head coach, was back behind the bench after missing two games while spending time with the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks  on a road trip that included fathers. Sutter’s son, Brandon, plays for the Canucks.


F Zachary Cox broke a 6-6 tie at 13:26 of the third period as the visiting Lethbridge LethbridgeHurricanes beat the Calgary Hitmen, 7-6. . . . Lethbridge (7-4-3) has points in six straight (4-0-2). . . . Calgary (4-8-2) has lost two in a row. . . . The Hurricanes snapped a 2-2 tie with three goals in a span of 4:10 early in the second period. . . . The Hitmen tied it, 5-5, on F Mark Kastelic’s second goal of the game and 12th of the season at 6:29 of the third. . . . F Jadon Joseph (6) gave Lethbridge a 6-5 lead at 7:31, only to have Calgary F Kaden Elder (6) tie it at 10:29. . . . Cox won it with his third goal of the season. . . . D Igor Merezhko had three assists for the winners, with F Logan Barlage adding a goal, his seventh, and two assists. . . . Kastelic also had two assists for a four-point night, and Elder finished with two goals and an assist. . . . The Hitmen lost F Josh Prokop to a spearing major and game misconduct at 14:18 of the third period. . . .


The Edmonton Oil Kings built a 7-0 second-period lead and went on to a 7-2 victory over EdmontonOilKingsthe Kootenay Ice in Cranbrook, B.C. . . . The Oil Kings (7-7-1) have won two in a row. . . . The Ice slipped to 4-6-3. . . . Edmonton had beaten visiting Kootenay 6-3 on Sunday. . . . Last night, the Oil Kings took control on first-period goals from D Conner McDonald (4), F Scott Atkinson (4) and F Liam Keeler (2). . . . The visitors added four more in the second period and coasted from there. . . . G Dylan Myskiw stopped 39 shots for the Oil Kings. . . . G Sebastian Cossa, who has yet to play this season due to an undisclosed injury, was on the bench backing up Myskiw. . . . The Ice had G Jesse Makaj back in the lineup after he was scratched for one game. He came on in relief of starter Duncan McGovern and stopped six of seven shots in 27:06.


D Nolan Reid had a goal and two assists to lead the host Spokane Chiefs to a 4-1 victory SpokaneChiefsover the Portland Winterhawks. . . . The Chiefs (7-3-3) had lost their previous two games (0-1-1). . . . The Winterhawks (7-4-1) had won their previous two games. . . . Spokane G Bailey Brkin stopped 36 shots. . . . The Chiefs got out to a 3-0 lead, getting first-period goals from F Carter Chorney (4) and F Eli Zummack (6), shorthanded, and a second-period tally from F Adam Beckman (7), on a PP. . . . F Joachim Blichfeld (9) got Portland’s goal 42 seconds into the third period. . . . Reid (2) iced it at 14:29. . . . Spokane F Jaret Anderson-Dolan was pointless in his first game after being returned by the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings. . . . G Dante Giannuzzi made his first WHL start for Portland by stopping 18 shots.


F Zane Franklin scored three times as the Kamloops Blazers erased an early 2-0 deficit Kamloops1and went on to beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 7-2, in Kent, Wash. . . . The Blazers (4-6-1) have won two in a row after a seven-game losing skid (0-6-1). . . . Kamloops hadn’t scored seven or more goals in a game since Feb. 21, 2017 when they beat the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings, 7-0. They last scored seven or more goals on the road on Dec. 17, 2016, in an 8-1 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . The Thunderbirds (6-3-2) have lost three straight (0-2-1). . . . Seattle got off to a 2-0 lead on PP goals 50 seconds apart in the first period. . . . D Nolan Kneen, who scored his first two goals of the season, got Kamloops on the board at 11:47 of the first period. . . . F Jermaine Loewen (3), playing his first game after serving a four-game suspension, tied it at 7:25 of the second. . . . Franklin then scored twice to give the Blazers a 4-2 lead heading to the third. He completed his second career hat trick with his 10th goal at 6:04 of the third. . . . Kamloops F Connor Zary had two goals, giving him four, and two assists, for his first career four-pointer. A sophomore, Zary went into the game with a goal and three assists in eight games. . . . The Blazers now head for Portland and a Saturday-Sunday doubleheader with the Winterhawks. Portland swept two games in Kamloops — 7-3 and 5-3 — on Oct. 3 and 5.


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Winds of change blow through Kelowna . . . Foote set to replace Smith . . . Taphorn twins are on the move


MacBeth

D Michael Fora (Kamloops, 2014-15) has rejoined Ambrì-Piotta (Switzerland, NL A) after clearing unconditional NHL waivers on Saturday. This season, he was pointless in one game with the Charlotte Checkers (AHL). Last season, he was an alternate captain with Ambrì-Piotta and put up six goals and 21 assists in 50 games. . . . Fora signed a three-year extension through 2020-21 with Ambrì-Piotta in December with an out-clause allowing him to sign with an NHL team. He exercised the clause to sign with Carolina Hurricanes (NHL) in June. . . . Carolina wanted to assign Fora from Charlotte to the Florida Everblades (ECHL), but Fora wanted to return to Switzerland instead of reporting to Florida. Carolina and Fora mutually agreed to terminate his contract.


With Jason Smith having been fired as the head coach of the Kelowna Rockets, you likely are wondering who’s up next?

John Shannon of Sportsnet, who is friends with Bruce Hamilton, the Rockets’ president and general manager, tweeted Monday night that it will be Adam Foote. He will be the franchise’s fifth head coach in six seasons.

In all likelihood, Foote will be the Rockets’ head coach in the 2020 Memorial Cup, an event that will be played in Kelowna.

KelownaRockets

Earlier Monday, Hamilton told a media scrum in Kelowna that he had “a couple of guys that I’ve zeroed in on and I’ll probably have a good idea by (Tuesday). I’m dealing with a couple people and hopefully by (Tuesday) we’ll have somebody in place. Whether they’ll be here or not by then, time will tell.”

A new head coach, Hamilton said, doesn’t necessarily have to have junior experience.

“I think that’s really important but I don’t think that’s everything,” he said. “At the end of the day it’s all about communication with these guys today. If you can’t communicate with them, then you’re not going to get them to play for you.”

If Foote doesn’t get to Kelowna before tonight, assistant coaches Travis Crickard and Kris Mallette will run the bench against the visiting Swift Current Broncos.

Foote, 47, played three seasons with the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds — he was a rugged defenceman — before going on to an NHL career that included 1,154 regular season games and 170 more in the playoffs.

However, Foote doesn’t have any coaching experience, although he has been a development consultant with the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche. He also was the director of player development a year ago with Canada’s entry in the Spengler Cup.

Foote’s son Nolan, a defenceman who will turn 20 on Dec. 13, played three seasons with the Rockets and now is a first-year pro with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch. The Tampa Bay Lightning selected him 14th overall in the NHL’s 2017 draft.

Cal’s younger brother, Nolan, who turns 18 on Nov. 29, is in his third season with the Rockets. A forward, he has seven goals and five assists in 12 games. Last season, he finished with 13 goals and 27 assists in 50 games. He is eligible for the NHL’s 2019 draft and it is anticipated that he will be an early selection.

——

Despite winning 88 games in his first two regular seasons as the head coach of the Kelowna Rockets, Jason Smith was fired on Monday.

The Rockets, who were 45-22-5 two seasons ago and 43-22-7 last season, are 4-10-0 after going 2-1-0 on a three-game weekend swing in which they twice beat the Victoria Royals (8-2 and 5-1) before losing to the Vancouver Giants (3-1).

The Rockets reached the third round of post-season play in Smith’s first season, but were swept by the Tri-City Americans in the first round last spring.

Smith was in the final season of a three-year contract. Assistant coaches Travis Crickard and Kris Mallette also are in the final seasons of their contracts.

“Any time that you are doing something like this, there’s no fun attached to it at all,” Bruce Hamilton, the Rockets’ president and general manager, told the media on Monday afternoon, “and yet, at the end of the day, how this hockey club does sits on my shoulders and this isn’t a decision, nor something that I just thought of this morning. It’s been on my mind now for a few weeks. I just felt that we were getting to a point where a decision needed to be made. . . .”

Hamilton admitted that he had been thinking about making a change for some time, but because the Rockets will be the host team for the 2020 Memorial Cup he wanted to make sure he does the right thing.

“I didn’t just make my mind up on Friday night,” he said. “I made my mind up a while ago, but it’s working to find somebody that is going to be the replacement.

“If you’re going to make a change, we’re better off making the change now than waiting until the end of the (season) and starting over. Whoever is going to coach the team from here on in, I’ve got to believe is going to be the coach next (season) and that’s probably a good thing from our perspective. . . .”

Smith’s replacement will be charged with changing things in the dressing room and making sure that the Rockets become harder to play against, especially at home.

“One of the things that has concerned me now, for a while,” Hamilton explained, “has been we . . . had a culture in our dressing room for many years here through the Ryan Huska era, that everybody coming into Kelowna to play us knew that they were going to have their hands full.

“I just have sensed the last couple of years for sure . . . probably more than that, that it started to leave the room. . . . that a lot of the time is based on the characters you have in the room and that’s on me, that’s not on the coach. It’s my job to get the players here.

“I really hope the person that we bring in is going to bring a little bit of character back in there somehow.”

Hamilton also wants to see more discipline from his team, which has been at the top of the penalty tables in recent times.

“We’re not a tough team,” Hamilton said. “We’re just taking a lot of foolish, lazy penalties and that’s got to change.”

This is only the second time in franchise history that Kelowna has changed coaches in mid-season. In 1999-2000, Hamilton moved out Garth Malarchuk on Nov. 14, 1999, and brought in Marc Habscheid.

Habscheid stayed through 2003-04, finishing his run when the Rockets won the Memorial Cup as the host team.

Jeff Truitt, who had been on Habscheid’s staff, was promoted to head coach and lasted three seasons.

Ryan Huska, who had been a Kelowna assistant coach, was up next. He stayed for seven seasons, before joining the Calgary Flames’ organization and turning things over to assistant coach Dan Lambert.

The Rockets won the WHL title under Lambert in 2014-15, but he joined the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres after that season, at which point Hamilton hired Brad Ralph. That was the first time since Hamilton brought in Habscheid that someone from outside the organization was hired as head coach.

Ralph lasted just one season, despite going 48-20-4 and getting into the third round of the playoffs.

Smith was hired to replace Ralph, lost in the third round in the spring of 2017, and was ousted in the first round last spring. There won’t be another go-round for him in Kelowna.

Late last week, Smith was named as an assistant coach with the WHL team that will play in the CIBC Canada-Russia series on Nov. 5 and 6.

What is apparent through Hamilton’s move is that he didn’t feel comfortable having Smith take the Rockets into a Memorial Cup season. Doing that would have meant signing Smith to a new contract, likely for another two or three seasons.

“I want to be real fair to Jason here,” Hamilton said. “The talent is part of it. He was doing the best he could with what he had.

“And yet when I’m looking forward to the Memorial Cup next (season), whoever coaches this team, I need to get them to get the group together and we need to decide who’s going to be here and who’s not going to be here when we finish this season.”

Hamilton was adamant that the firing of Smith didn’t have anything to do with the Rockets’ attendance, which after six home games is down 494 per game from the same point last season.

“The move today has got nothing to do with that,” Hamilton said. “Trust me.”


The Moose Jaw Warriors have acquired the Taphorn twins — Kaedan and Keenan — MooseJawWarriorsfrom the Kootenay Ice. In return for the Taphorns, 18, the Ice got F Nick Bowman, 18, and a sixth-round selection in the WHL’s 2021 bantam draft. . . . The Taphorn brothers are from Yorkton, Sask., so this deal gets them closer to home. Keenan was a second-round pick by the Ice in the 2015 bantam draft, with Kaedan going to the Vancouver Giants in the third round. . . . Kaedan has 11 goals and 13 assists in 123 career games, while Keenan has 11 goals and 21 assists in 142 games. This season, Kaedan has a goal and two assists in 11 games, while Keenan has one of each in 11 games. . . . Bowman, who is from Sherwood Park, Alta., was a sixth-round pick by the Edmonton Oil Kings in the 2015 bantam draft. He has 13 goals and 14 assists in 127 career regular-season games. Last season, he had six goals and six assists in 56 games with Edmonton. This season, he had one assist in 10 games with the Warriors. . . . The Warriors acquired him from Edmonton, along with a sixth-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft, in exchange for F Vince Loschiavo, 20, on May 3. . . .

The Warriors are at home to the Prince Albert Raiders on Wednesday night. That same evening, the Ice will play host to the Brandon Wheat Kings.


The Tri-City Americans have acquired F Wil Kushniryk, 18, from the Kelowna Rockets tri-cityfor a conditional fifth-round selection in the 2020 WHL bantam draft. . . . The 6-foot-5, 205-pound Kushniryk is from Chilliwack, B.C. . . . Last season, as a freshman, Kushniryk had two goals and three assists in 51 games with the Rockets. This season, he was pointless in four games. . . . “Wil is a big guy with WHL experience,” Bob Tory, the Americans’ general manager, said in a news release. “He skates very well and will add depth to our forward group. With the long-term injury to Paycen Bjorklund we felt it was necessary to add a veteran forward.”


MONDAY NIGHT NOTES:

The U of Lethbridge Pronghorns will retire the late Brock Hirsche’s number (10) on Friday night, prior to a Canada West game against the visiting Calgary Dinos. Hirsche, a former captain of the Pronghorns, died on April 8 after a battle with testicular cancer. From Lethbridge, Hirsche returned to his hometown to play for the Pronghorns after spending four seasons with the WHL’s Prince George Cougars. . . . The news release announcing this is right here.


F Jaret Anderson-Dolan has been returned to the Spokane Chiefs by the NHL’s Los SpokaneChiefsAngeles Kings. Anderson-Dolan, a second-round pick by the Kings in the NHL’s 2017 draft, had one assist in five games with the Kings. In 212 regular-season games with the Chiefs, he has 93 goals and 100 assists. Last season, he had 40 goals and 51 assists, and was named to the Western Conference’s first all-star team. . . . Anderson-Dolan already has been added to Team WHL for its two-game part of the CIBC Canada-Russia series. Game 1 is scheduled for Nov. 5 in Kamloops, with Game 2 the next night in Langley, B.C. . . . Anderson-Dolan is expected to be in the Chiefs’ lineup on Friday when they entertain the Portland Winterhawks.


D Bobby Russell of the Spokane Chiefs has been suspended for one game after taking a cross-checking major and game misconduct in an 8-2 loss to the host Prince Albert Raiders on Saturday night. He won’t play Friday against the visiting Portland Winterhawks.


The Prince Albert Raiders have brought in D Nolan Allan, the third-overall selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. He could make his WHL debut tonight against the visiting Everett Silvertips. From Davidson, Sask., Allan has six goals and five assists in 12 games with the midget AAA Saskatoon Blazers.


The Lethbridge Hurricanes have dropped F Hayden Clayton, 18, from their roster. He is expected to join the AJHL’s Whitecourt Wolverines. He was pointless in four games with the Hurricanes this season. The same thing happened a year, as he went pointless in four games before being dropped and joining the Wolverines.


D Jayden Lee, a 17-year-old from North Vancouver, has committed to Quinnipiac U for the 2020-21 season. Last season, he had one goal and four assists in 29 games with the BCHL’s Langley Rivermen. This season, with the BCHL’s Powell River Kings, he had a goal and five assists in 15 games. . . . Lee was a 10th-round pick by the Kelowna Rockets in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft.


Mitchell Kirkup has returned to the MJHL’s Swan Valley Stampeders as their director of scouting. Kirkup, who is a former Stampeders player and scout, also is a longtime scout with the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs.


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WHL and Cherry promoting organ donation again . . . Blades, Giants add defencemen . . . Minulin soon to rejoin Broncos


ThisThat

WHLKidney

The WHL revealed on Sept. 20 that it will partner with RE/MAX of Western Canada again this season for the second annual WHL Suits Up with Don Cherry to Promote Organ Donation. On Tuesday, the WHL released the full details of the promotion.

Last season, it raised $265,500 that, according to a WHL news release, represents “the largest public awareness and fundraising campaign in the history of the Kidney Foundation of Canada.”

According to the news release: “From January through March 2019, all 17 WHL clubs in Canadian markets will play host to their very own themed games, complete with a variety of special promotions for fans in attendance. A total of 1,000 limited second edition Don Cherry bobbleheads will be distributed to fans in attendance. . . .

“During the 2018-19 regular season, WHL teams will sport their own unique and specially designed Don Cherry-themed uniforms on a designated game night. This season, players will sport uniforms emblazoned with fun nicknames as opposed to traditional surnames across their shoulders. Fans will have the opportunity to bid on the limited-edition jerseys, with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to local chapters of the Kidney Foundation of Canada. In addition to game-worn uniforms, fans will have the chance to bid on one Don Cherry-autographed jersey in each participating WHL market.”

Why is Don Cherry involved? Because his son, Tim, and daughter, Cindy, are well aware of kidney disease and the impact it can have on a family. Tim, then 13, received a kidney from Cindy in 1978.

Here are the dates for the WHL games:

Saturday, January 19 – Edmonton Oil Kings.

Friday, January 25 – Red Deer Rebels.

Friday, February 1 – Kamloops Blazers, Moose Jaw Warriors.

Saturday, February 2 – Prince Albert Raiders.

Friday, February 15 – Regina Pats, Vancouver Giants.

Saturday, February 16 – Brandon Wheat Kings.

Friday, February 22 – Lethbridge Hurricanes, Swift Current Broncos.

Friday, March 1 – Kootenay Ice.

Saturday, March 2 – Victoria Royals.

Sunday, March 3 – Calgary Hitmen.

Friday, March 8 – Prince George Cougars.

Saturday, March 9 – Kelowna Rockets, Medicine Hat Tigers, Saskatoon Blades.

For more info or to sign up to be an organ donor, please visit CanadaDonates.ca.

The complete WHL news release is right here.


The Saskatoon Blades, with two defencemen down and an opening for a 20-year-old, have acquired veteran D Brandon Schuldhaus from the Moose Jaw Warriors.

The Blades gave up a fifth-round selection in the 2019 WHL bantam draft and a second-round pick in 2020. Both picks originated with the Blades; they have two other second-rounders in 2020, from the Regina Pats and Swift Current Broncos.

The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Schuldhaus is joining his fourth WHL team, having also played for Moose Jaw, the Red Deer Rebels and Seattle Thunderbirds. He was a fifth-round pick by Seattle in the 2013 bantam draft. . . . In 189 regular-season games, he has 12 goals and 35 assists.

The Warriors acquired Schuldhaus and a fourth-round pick in the 2020 bantam draft from Red Deer on Jan. 5, sending second-round selections in the 2019 and 2020 drafts to Red Deer.

This season, he was pointless in one game with Moose Jaw after missing the first three games of the regular season as he served a suspension left over from last season’s playoffs.

Born in Houston, Texas, Schuldhaus is a dual citizen of Canada and the U.S. . . . His grandfather, George Kirkwood, is from Edmonton and played for the Oil Kings (1955-57) when they were a junior A team.

The Blades opened an Alberta road swing with a 5-4 loss in Red Deer on Tuesday night. Saskatoon was without D Seth Bafaro and D Jackson Caller, both out with undisclosed injuries.

Schuldhaus is expected to make his Blades’ debut in Edmonton against the Oil Kings on Wednesday.

Saskatoon had room for a 20-year-old after F Brad Goethals left the team. Schuldhaus joins F Max Gerlach and D Dawson Davidson as Saskatoon’s 20s.

Meanwhile, the trading of Schuldhaus allowed the Warriors to get down to three 20s — D Dalton Hamaliuk, F Tristin Lang and G Brodan Salmond.



The Prince Albert Raiders received an upgrade to their offence on Tuesday when the NHL’s San Jose Sharks sent F Noah Gregor, 20, back to the WHL. . . . The Sharks selected PrinceAlberthim in the fourth round of the NHL’s 2016 NHL draft and have signed him to a three-year entry-level deal. . . . Gregor, from Beaumont, Alta., had been in camp with the Sharks’ AHL affiliate, the San Jose Barracuda. . . . The Raiders acquired Gregor from the Victoria Royals on July 25 for a conditional third-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft and a conditional fourth-rounder in 2021. The conditions are triggered by point totals and games played. The Royals could end up with none, one or both picks depending on how Gregor does this season. . . . The Royals selected him in the third round of the 2013 bantam draft, later dealt him to the Warriors, then re-acquired him. . . . He split last season between Victoria and the Moose Jaw Warriors, totalling 29 goals and 36 assists in 60 games. In 194 career regular-season games, he has 205 points, including 86 goals. . . . Gregor also has played in 28 playoff games, recording 11 goals and 12 assists. . . . The Raiders open a Central Division swing tonight (Wednesday) in Medicine Hat and should have Gregor in their lineup against the Tigers.


Feel free to scoot on over to my Twitter timeline (@gdrinnan) and vote on a 2020 Memorial Cup-related poll that I posted on Tuesday night.


D Artyom Minulin, a 20-year-old Russian, is on his way back to the Swift Current Broncos after having had off-season shoulder surgery.

Minulin flew into Edmonton on Tuesday. He will travel to Calgary to do the necessary SCBroncosimmigration-related stuff, then rejoin the Broncos so that their medical team can check him over and determine how close he is to returning to action.

He has played three seasons with the Broncos, putting up 26 goals and 100 assists in 206 games. Last season, he had 13 goals and 30 assists in 64 regular-season games, then added a goal and seven assists in 20 playoff games.

When Minulin is added to the active roster, the Broncos will be carrying four 20-year-olds — the others are F Andrew Fyten, F Tanner Nagel and D Matthew Stanley — and three imports, the other two being freshman Finnish forwards Joona Kiviniemi and D Roope Pynnonen.

When Minulin does return, the Broncos will have 10 days to make a decision on their 20s. They also would have to get down to two imports by moving Minulin or releasing one of the other two. The window to trade first-year imports doesn’t open until Dec. 15.

The Broncos moved out a 20-year-old on Tuesday when the Vancouver Giants, who Vancouveracquired D Ty Ettinger, 18, from the Brandon Wheat Kings on Monday, added D Ryan Pouliot, 20, off waivers.

The Giants have three defencemen sidelined with injuries — Matt Barberis (undisclosed, indefinite), Baily Dhaliwal (shoulder, four weeks) and Joel Sexsmith (undisclosed, day-to-day).

Pouliot was born in Ottawa, but played some minor hockey in B.C.’s Lower Mainland, with the North Shore and Burnaby winter clubs. . . . The Broncos had claimed him on waivers from the Kootenay Ice during the off-season. . . . In 172 regular-season games — 14 with the Red Deer Rebels, 155 with Kootenay and three with the Broncos — he has three goals and 27 assists. . . . The Saskatoon Blades selected him in the 11th round of the WHL’s 2013 bantam draft.

Pouliot is expected to be in the Giants’ lineup tonight (Wednesday) when they meet the Rockets in Kelowna.

The Giants now have four 20-year-olds on their roster — Pouliot, Barberis, F Jared Dmytriw and F Davis Koch. Once Barberis returns, they will have 10 days to get down to three.


Stan Butler, the director of hockey operations and head coach of the OHL’s North Bay Battalion, has taken a medical leave while he deals with an undisclosed health issue. . . . Butler wasn’t behind the team’s bench on Sunday when they dropped a 6-1 decision to the Generals in Oshawa. . . . Adam Dennis, the assistant general manager and assistant coach, will handle the director of hockey operations’ duties, while Scott Wray, an assistant coach, will look after the coaching side of things. . . . Butler, the fourth-winningest head coach in OHL history, is into his 21st season with the Battalion. He spent one season (1996-97) as head coach of the WHL’s Prince George Cougars.


TUESDAY NIGHT NOTES:

The Red Deer Rebels (4-2-0) ran their winning streak to four games by erasing a 2-0 first-Red Deerperiod deficits en route to a 5-4 victory over the Saskatoon Blades. . . . The Blades have lost two in a row after opening the season with three straight victories. . . . The game featured two PP goals by each team. . . . F Jeff de Wit scored twice for Red Deer. He’s got five goals in six games; he finished last season with 11 goals in 43 games split among the Regina Pats, Kootenay Ice and Victoria Royals. . . . Red Deer D Alex Alexeyev had two assists to run his point streak to six games.


The WHL’s weekly roster report is right here.


F Jaret Anderson-Dolan, who spent the past three seasons with the Spokane Chiefs, remains on the roster of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings as they prepare to open the regular season on Friday against the visiting San Jose Sharks. . . . Anderson-Dolan, 19, was a second-round pick by the Kings in the NHL’s 2017 draft. . . . From Calgary, he had 91 points, including 40 goals, with the Chiefs last season. In 212 regular-season games, he has 193 points, including 100 assists. . . . He has signed with the Kings, so is able to play nine games before the first year of his contract kicks in. . . . The Kings will be without F Dustin Brown (broken finger, four-to-six weeks), which may have opened the door for Anderson-Dolan to claim a roster spot. . . . The last two spots on the Kings’ 22-man roster went to Anderson-Dolan and F Austin Wagner, 21, a speedster who played four seasons (2013-17) with the Regina Pats.


The Regina Pats have signed D Jake Johnson, 15, who was a 10th-round selection in the 2018 WHL bantam draft. From Scottsdale, Ariz., he played the past two seasons with the bantam Phoenix Jr. Coyotes. This season, he is expected to play with the Jr. Coyotes U15 in the T1EHL.


Feel free to click on the DONATE button over there on the right and add to the Taking Note coffee fund. One person helped us out on Tuesday and we thank him for that.


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Ex-players point fingers at WHL . . . Raiders shock Broncos, move into playoff spot . . . Andrusiak sparks Seattle’s key victory

A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

The WHL came under fire from two former players who appeared in front of Oregon’s Senate Committee on Workforce on Tuesday, reports TSN’s Rick Westhead. The Portland whlWinterhawks are seeking an exemption from the state’s minimum wage legislation. At a hearing on that subject, former WHL players Tyler Maxwell and James McEwan argued, according to Westhead, that “the WHL is a professional league and its teams are for-profit businesses.” . . . Maxwell played four seasons (2008-12) in the WHL, the first three-plus with the Everett Silvertips and the last 47 games with the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Maxwell, Westhead wrote, told the committee “that he was given excellent school grades in exchange for autographed pucks, and was refused an X-ray for days and forced to play in games after breaking a kneecap.” . . . Maxwell said he played with the injury for seven games. “I was still scoring so they didn’t care what shape I was in,” he said. . . . As for McEwan, according to Westhead, he testified “that he has navigated bankruptcy and battled depression without the support of his former teams or the WHL.” McEwan played two seasons each with the Kelowna Rockets and Seattle Thunderbirds, fighting at least 72 times over four seasons (2004-08). . . . Ron Robison, the WHL commissioner, informed the Oregon State Senate via letter that it is reviewing “the statements with the WHL clubs concerned.”

Westhead’s complete story is right here.

Maxwell’s testimony is right here.


Other than a 20-minute delay at one point, the Vancouver Giants made it over the Coquihalla Highway to Kamloops in good shape on Friday.

But shortly after they arrived at the Sandman Centre, the Highway from Hell was shut Vancouverdown in both directions due to an accident.

Then, early in the first period of the Giants’ game with the Blazers, came word that the highway likely wouldn’t be open again until at least midnight.

During the warmup and the early minutes of the first period, Derek Holloway, the Giants’ bus driver, was glued to his phone and also getting highway updates from a friendly blogger seated next to him. Holloway also was in close contact with Giants general manager Glen Hanlon, who hadn’t travelled with the team.

The highway has been closed on numerous occasions of late due to accidents, and upon hearing that it wasn’t likely to reopen before midnight, Hanlon quickly gave Holloway the OK to park the bus and for the Giants to spend the night in a hotel.

The Giants and Blazers will both be on the Coquihalla today, though, as they are scheduled to play in Langley tonight.


F Liam Stewart, who played four seasons with the Spokane Chiefs, has had his 2017-18 ended by a concussion. The 23-year-old Stewart, who has been playing for the Guildford Flames of the Elite Ice Hockey League, had been sidelined for almost two months due to the brain injury. He posted on Twitter that he “tried coming back against Sheffield but the symptoms came right back.” . . . The result, he wrote, is that “I’ve decided to do what’s best for my health and well-being and hang up my skates for the rest of the season.” . . . He had 12 goals and 11 assists in 35 games with the Flames. . . . Stewart’s decision means that he won’t be playing for Great Britain at the IIHF World Chamionship, Division 1 Group A, in Budapest, Hungary, April 22-28.


Stan Butler, the head coach of the North Bay Battalion, joined the OHL’s 700-victory club on Friday with a 2-1 victory over the host Mississauga Steelheads. . . . Butler has 630 victories with the Battalion (Brampton and North Bay) and 70 with the Oshawa Generals. He also spent one season in the WHL, with the Prince George Cougars, winning 28 games in 1996-97.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Regina at Medicine Hat

Brandon at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

FRIDAY:

At Swift Current, the Prince Albert Raiders scored twice in a shootout to beat the Broncos, 5-4. . . . Prince Albert (28-25-11) has won five straight and now holds down the PrinceAlbertEastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, two points ahead of Saskatoon. . . . Swift Current (45-14-6) has points in three straight (2-0-1). It is second in the overall standings, one point behind Moose Jaw. . . . The Broncos actually led this one 4-1 midway through the second period. . . . The home side took a 2-0 first-period lead on goals from F Kaden Elder (14), on a PP, at 3:49, and F Giorgio Estephan, at 14:45. . . . D Sergio Sapego (3) got the visitors on the scoreboard at 4:07 of the second period. . . . The Broncos took a 4-1 lead right after that, on goals from F Matteo Gennaro (39), at 5:38, and Estephan (30) at 6:52. . . . D Brayden Pachal (5) cut the Prince Albert deficit to a pair at 13:36. . . . The Raiders tied it on third-period goals from D Vojtech Budik (12), on a PP, at 16:29, and F Jordy Stallard (41), at 18:54, with the extra attacker on the ice. . . . Gennaro scored in the shootout to give the Broncos a 1-0 lead, but the Raiders won it on goals from F Regan Nagy and F Parker Kelly. . . . Stallard added two assists to his goal for the Raiders, with F Cole Fonstad also getting two assists and Sapego one. . . . F Aleksi Heponiemi had two assists for the Broncos, with Gennaro getting one. . . . Prince Albert was 2-6 on the PP; Swift Current was 1-5. . . . G Ian Scott started for the Raiders, but he left after giving up three goals on 13 shots in 25:38. Curtis Meger finished up by stopping 22 of 23 shots in 38:21. . . . G Stuart Skinner made 34 saves for the Broncos. . . . Announced attendance: 2,890.


At Saskatoon, F Jake Elmer scored the game’s last two goals as the Lethbridge Hurricanes beat the Blades, 5-3. . . . Lethbridge (32-25-6) has won three straight. It is second in the LethbridgeCentral Division, two points behind Medicine Hat. . . . Saskatoon (31-30-3) has lost three in a row. It is two points from a playoff spot. . . . F Braylon Shmyr (34) gave the Blades a 1-0 lead at 9:58 of the first period. . . . F Taylor Ross, who now has 20 goals, scored two second-period goals, at 0:49 and 2:11, to give Lethbridge a 2-1 edge. . . . F Bradly Goethals (15) got Saskatoon back even at 9:42. . . . F Jordy Bellerive (44) scored shorthanded at 7:32 of the third period to put the Hurricanes ahead. . . . F Eric Florchuk (14) got the Blades back into a tie at 10:26. . . . Elmer snapped the tie at 14:11, then added an empty-netter at 18:51. He now has 17 goals. . . . The Hurricanes got two assists from D Calen Addison, with Elmer and Bellerive adding one each. . . . Goethals added an assist to his goal. . . . Lethbridge was 1-3 on the PP; Saskatoon was 0-6. . . . G Logan Flodell stopped 43 shots to earn the victory. . . . The Blades got 27 stops from G Nolan Maier. . . . D Dawson Davidson was back in Saskatoon’s lineup after a brief absence. . . . Announced attendance: 3,988.


At Brandon, F Ty Lewis scored three times to lead the Wheat Kings to a 4-2 victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . Brandon (34-25-5) moved into third in the East Division, one BrandonWKregularpoint ahead of Regina. . . . Moose Jaw (47-14-3) leads the overall standings, by one point over Swift Current. . . . Lewis opened the scoring, on a PP, at 7:48 of the first period. . . . F Stelio Mattheos (38), who assisted on that first goal, made it 2-0 at 11:33. . . . Lewis added his second goal at 14:51. . . . F Barrett Sheen (5) scored for Moose Jaw at 15:30 of the first and F Justin Almeida (37) got the visitors to within a goal, on a PP, at 9:35 of the third. . . . Lewis completed his hat trick at 12:49. He’s got 39 goals. He also has seven goals over his past three games. . . . Brandon was 1-2 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 1-5. . . . G Logan Thompson was outstanding for Brandon, with 41 saves. . . . G Brody Willms was beaten twice on six shots in 11:33, before he was replaced by Adam Evanoff, who went 46:39 and turned aside 13 of 15 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 3,656.


At Edmonton, F Colton Kehler scored 18 seconds into OT to give the Oil Kings a 4-3 victor over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Edmonton (19-37-8) had lost its previous five games (0-4-1). It is last in the Eastern Conference, one point behind Calgary. . . . Calgary (19-35-9) has lost four straight (0-2-2). . . . Calgary led this one 3-0 in the second period. . . . F Zach Huber (1) got it started at 11:16 of the first period. The Hitmen then got second-period goals from F Jake Kryski (15), at 1:20, and F Jakob Stukel (32), at 4:25. . . . Edmonton F Trey Fix-Wolansky (28) got the comeback started, shorthanded, at 9:09 of the second. . . . F Kobe Mohr (9) pulled the Oil Kings to within a goal, on a PP, at 2:17 of the third period. . . . F Tomas Soustal (18) tied it at 19:25. . . . Kehler won it on a PP with his 27th goal of the season. . . . The Hitmen had a chance to go ahead 4-2 at 18:56 of the third period when F Luke Coleman was awarded a penalty. But he wasn’t able to score. . . . Edmonton was 2-6 on the PP; Calgary was 0-2. . . . The Oil Kings got 26 stops from G Josh Dechaine. . . . G Nick Schneider stopped 25 shots for Calgary. . . . Earlier in the day, the Oil Kings announced that they have added F Jake Neighbours to their roster for the remainder of the season, but he was a scratch from this one. From Airdrie, Alta., he was the fourth overall selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. This season, he had 26 goals and 31 assists in 33 games with the midget AAA Calgary Buffaloes. In three earlier games with the Oil Kings, he had one assist. . . . Announced attendance: 10,431.


At Red Deer, F Mason McCarty scored the only goal of a shootout to give the Rebels a 5-4 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Red Deer (24-28-13) had won three in a row. It is third Red Deerin the Central Division and now leads Kootenay (25-37-4) by seven points. The Ice, with six games left, has lost seven in a row (0-6-1). . . . Red Deer took a 1-0 lead when F Alex Morozoff (6) scored, on a PP, at 8:30 of the first period. . . . F Colton Kroeker (13) tied it at 10:59. . . . Red Deer took a 3-1 lead on second-period goals from McCarty (35), at 3:52, and F Reese Johnson (21), at 14:16. . . . The Ice tied it as F Michael King (8) scored at 16:23 of the second and F Colton Veloso (24) found the range any 15:29 of the third. . . . F Chris Douglas (9) put Red Deer out front, 4-3, at 16:43, only to have F Brett Davis (24) pull Kootenay even at 19:02. . . . The Rebels got two assists from F Brandon Hagel and one from McCarty. . . . F Peyton Krebs had two assists for the Ice. . . . Red Deer was 1-3 on the PP; Kootenay was 0-2. . . . G Riley Lamb recorded the victory with 27 saves. . . . Kootenay got 13 stops from Matt Berlin. . . . Red Deer was credited with two shots in the third period and three in OT. . . . The Rebels were without D Alex Alexeyev (hand), who left in the third period of their previous game and didn’t return. He could be gone for up to six weeks. . . . Announced attendance: 4,324.


Blazers2
It was Organ Donor Awareness Night in Kamloops, with the Blazers wearing Don Cherry-themed outfits. Head coach Don Hay got in the spirit of the night, too, and wore the No. 15 sweater.

At Kamloops, F Luc Smith scored twice to help the Blazers to a 5-1 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Kamloops (29-32-5) has won two in a row but remains six points Kamloops1from a playoff spot. . . . Vancouver (32-22-9) had points in each of its previous two games (1-0-1). It is third in the B.C. Division, three points behind Victoria. . . . F Ryley Appelt (4) gave the Blazers a 1-0 lead at 7:08 of the first period, and F Connor Zary; (8) made it 2-0, on a PP, at 5:42 of the second period. . . . Smith upped it to 3-0 at 0:40 of the third period. . . . Vancouver got its goal from F Ty Ronning  (55) at 7:34. . . . Smith (19) scored at 13:05 of the third, and D Brady Reagan (2) closed it out at 15:07. . . . F Jermaine Loewen had two assists for the winners, and Smith and Reagan each added one. . . . Kamloops was 1-4 on the PP; Vancouver was 0-1. . . . The Blazers got 30 saves from G Dylan Ferguson, who was sharp again. . . . G David Tendeck stopped 31 shots at the other end. . . . Kamloops continues to play without D Luke Zazula, whose return this season is in doubt. They also scratched D Montana Onyebuchi. . . . The Giants continue to play without D Dylan Plouffe, F Owen Hardy and F Milos Roman. . . . Announced attendance: 3,479.


At Portland, F Zack Andrusiak, who had two goals and two assists in regulation time, scored a shootout goal that gave the Seattle Thunderbirds a 5-4 victory over the SeattleWinterhawks. . . . Seattle (30-24-9) has won two in a row to remain six points ahead of Kamloops in the chase for the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot. The Thunderbirds hold three games in hand. . . . Portland (38-20-5) has points in four straight (3-0-1). It is second in the U.S. Division, two points ahead of Spokane. . . . Andrusiak gave Seattle a 1-0 lead at 14:27 of the first period, but Portland F Ty Kolle (6) tied it at 17:17. . . . Seattle took a 3-1 lead with the only goals of the second period, from Andrusiak (29), at 2:13, and F Donovan Neuls (21), at 8:19. . . . The Winterhawks grabbed a 4-3 third-period leads on goals from F Cody Glass (31), on a PP, at 9:47; F Joachim Blichfeld (22), at 9:53; and F Ryan Hughes (15), at 12:31. . . . Seattle forced OT when F Noah Philp (13) scored at 15:58. . . . Andrusiak and Philp scored shootout goals for Seattle, with Glass scoring for Portland. . . . Philp also had two assists, with Neuls getting one. . . . Philp has 45 points, including 13 goals, in 63 games with Seattle this season. In 132 games with Kootenay, prior to this season, he had 41 points, 14 of them goals. . . . Andrusiak has 63 points, including 29 goals, in 63 games. He went into this season with six goals and five assists in 67 games — 52 with Seattle, eight with Prince Albert and seven with Tri-City. . . . Portland got two assists from D Henri Jokiharju and one from Glass. . . . The Winterhawks were 1-1 on the PP; Seattle was 0-3. . . . G Liam Hughes stopped 36 shots through OT for Seattle. . . . The Winterhawks got 29 saves from G Cole Kehler. He started after watching G Shane Farkas go the distance in the previous three games. . . . Seattle had F Sami Moilanen back in the lineup after a 14-game absence. . . . Announced attendance: 6,124.


At Prince George, D Ryan Schoettler’s goal in OT gave the Cougars a 2-1 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . Prince George (23-33-8) has won three straight games. . . . Victoria (35-PrinceGeorge24-6) has lost four in a row (0-3-1), but the loser point was enough for it to clinch a playoff spot for the seventh consecutive season — or each season since the franchise relocated from Chilliwack. It is second in the B.C. Division, six points behind Kelowna. . . . Prince George D Joel Lakusta (8) scored the game’s first goal, on a PP, at 5:00 of the third period. . . . Victoria tied it at 8:07 when F Noah Gregor scored his 26th goal, on a PP. . . . Schoettler won it with his seventh goal of the season, at 4:04 of extra time. . . . Victoria had F Tyler Soy and F Matthew Phillips back in the lineup, after both sat out Wednesday’s 5-1 loss in Kamloops. . . . Phillips drew an assist on Gregor’s goal, giving him 101 points this season. That ties the Chilliwack/Victoria franchise record that was set by F Mark Santorelli in 2007-08. . . . Victoria was 1-4 on the PP; Prince George was 1-9. . . . The Cougars got 32 saves from G Taylor Gauthier. . . . At the other end, G Griffen Outhouse, who also sat out the game in Kamloops, stopped 36 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 4,035.


At Kennewick, Wash., F Jaret Anderson-Dolan’s goal in OT gave the Spokane Chiefs a 5-4 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . Spokane (37-21-5) has won four in a row. It is SpokaneChiefsthird in the U.S. Division, six points ahead of Tri-City. . . . Tri-City (32-22-9) has lost two straight (0-1-1). . . . Spokane jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals from F Ethan McIndoe (21), on a PP, at 9:03 of the first period. . . . D Dalton Hamaliuk (4) upped it to 2-0 just 36 seconds later. . . . The Americans scored the next three goals, with F Jordan Topping (36) counting at 12:29, F Morgan Geekie (24) scoring at 19:10, and D Dylan Coghlan (17) adding the third goal at 5:00 of the second period. . . . The Chiefs tied it on D Filip Kral’s seventh goal, on a PP, at 17:24. . . . Tri-City F Morgan Geekie (25) gave his guys the lead 50 seconds into the third period. . . . Spokane F Jake McGrew (17) tied it at 5:35. . . . Anderson-Dolan won it with his 35th goal at 3:51 of OT. . . . D Nolan Reid and F Hudson Elynuik each had two assists for the Chiefs, with Anderson-Dolan adding one. . . . Topping added an assist to his goal. . . . Spokane was 2-5 on the PP; Tri-City was 0-2. . . . G Dawson Weatherill stopped 36 shots for the Chiefs, three more than Tai-City’s Patrick Dea. . . . Announced attendance: 4,345.


At Everett, the Silvertips scored the game’s last four goals to beat the Kelowna Rockets, 4-2. . . . Everett (42-18-5) leads the Western Conference standings, by seven points over EverettKelowna. . . . Kelowna (38-21-6) has lost three in a row. . . . The Rockets led 2-0 on goals from F Carsen Twarynski (39), at 12:51 of the first period, and F Kole Lind (36), at 5:17 of the second. . . . F Matt Fonteyne (32) scored Everett’s first goal at 18:41. . . . The Silvertips tied it on F Patrick Bajkov’s 29th goal at 11:39 of the third period. . . . Everett F Connor Dewar broke the tie at 16:51, then added insurance with his 34th goal, on a PP, at 19:11. . . . F Garrett Pilon drew two assists for Everett, with Fonteyne getting one. . . . Bajkov’s goal was the 108th of his career and gave him the franchise record. That’s one more than F Tyler Maxwell scored with Everett. . . . The Silvertips were 1-4 on the PP; the Rockets were 0-1. . . . G Carter Hart recorded a 22-save victory. . . . G Brodan Salmond stopped 36 shots for the Rockets. . . . Announced attendance: 5,778.


SATURDAY (all times local):

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Brandon at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Regina at Calgary,  7 p.m.

Red Deer at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.

Victoria at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Kamloops vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7 p.m.

Seattle at Everett, 7:05 p.m.

Spokane at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Portland vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY