Scattershooting: Hawks, Bruins all even in SJHL final . . . Gotta love D.J. Kennington’s car . . . Broncos and Warriors to decide it tonight

Scattershooting


The SJHL’s championship final is all even after the host Nipawin Hawks posted a 4-1 victory over the Estevan Bruins before 1,122 fans on Sunday night. . . . The Bruins had SJHLwon the opener, 5-2, in Nipawin on Saturday night. . . . Last night, F Adam Beckman led the Hawks with two goals, his first two of the playoffs. Beckman, a fifth-round selection by the Spokane Chiefs in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft, played this season for the midget AAA Battlefords Stars. . . . Beckman has played three playoff games with the Hawks. He had one goal and one assist in the only regular-season game he played with Nipawin. . . . The Hawks also got two goals from F Logan Casavant, who has six in the playoffs. . . . F Arthur Miller had Estevan’s lone goal, his seventh. . . . The teams combined to take 24 minors. . . . Nipawin got 23 saves from G Declan Hobbs, while Estevan’s Bo Didur stopped 34 shots. . . . They’ll play the next two games in Estevan on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, with a fifth game back in Nipawin on Friday night.


The Estevan Bruins climbed on their bus Friday and headed for Nipawin, where they were scheduled to start the SJHL’s championship final against the Hawks on Saturday night. En route, the Hawks made a stop — they spent 30 minutes at the site where the Humboldt Broncos’ bus crashed into a big rig on the afternoon of April 6. . . . Chris Lewgood, the Bruins’ general manager and head coach, told Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post that stop was “the first step for a lot of the guys toward closure.” . . . The Bruins went on to win Game 1, 5-2. . . . Vanstone has more on the Bruins right here.


More from Vanstone:

“The Humboldt Broncos went into overtime and, as a result, so did two thoughtful employees at the Domo C-Store (in Nipawin).

“Just as March 30 was becoming March 31, a weary band of Broncos walked into a convenience store near the southern outskirts of Nipawin.

“Earlier that evening, the host Hawks had outlasted Humboldt 3-2 to open a best-of-seven SJHL semi-final. Michael Grant had scored the winner for Nipawin at 2:33 of the second overtime session.

Due to the marathon contest, the Broncos did not arrive at the Domo C-Store until just before midnight — closing time, in other words.

Four Humboldt players barely beat the buzzer, arriving at 11:59 p.m. With the team bus parked outside, the rest of the Broncos trickled in.”

The rest of the story, which is right here, is well worth your time.



If they put this beauty — it’s D.J. Kennington’s Castrol Edge Dodge — on toy shelves as a die-cast car, I really wonder how many thousands would be sold . . .


The Moose Jaw Warriors and Swift Current Broncos will decide their second-round WHL series tonight (Monday) when they meet for a seventh game. . . . The Warriors forced Game 7 with a 3-2 victory in triple OT in Swift Current on Saturday night. Moose Jaw got 58 saves from G Brody Willms, with F Jayden Halbgewachs, the WHL’s leading sniper in the regular season, scoring the winner, on a PP, 74 seconds into the third period. . . . The Broncos had a 1-0 lead and a 28-9 edge in shots through two periods, then took a 2-0 lead at 3:35 of the third period. . . . G Stuart Skinner stopped 35 shots for the Broncos. . . . The winner of Game 7 will meet the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference final. . . . Darren Steinke, the travelling blogger, was at Game 6 and writes about it right here.


When I was a youngster, oh, how I loved my table hockey game, the one with the metal players, all of whom played for the Montreal Canadiens or the Toronto Maple Leafs. Hey, there weren’t any other options with my game. . . . It turns out that the likeness for those players actually had a model. As Tom Hawthorn writes in The Globe and Mail, the likeness was that of Dick Gamble, a long-time pro hockey player who died on March 22. . . . Hawthorn’s obituary for Gamble is right here.

Eastern Conference matchups set . . . Halbgewachs reaches 70 in loss . . . Glass latest to get to 100 points

MacBeth

D Renat Mamashev (Moose Jaw, 2000-01), D Shaone Morrisonn (Kamloops, 1999-2002) and three other players with Admiral Vladivostok (Russia, KHL) have had their contracts terminated and have been declared unrestricted free agents by the KHL. In announcing the terminations, the KHL said: “The basis for the decision was the debt of the hockey club ‘Admiral’ to the players on wages for more than two months.” . . . Morrisonn had one goal and six assists in 29 games with Admiral. This season, with Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod (Russia, KHL), Mamashev had two goals and one assist in 18 games. With Sarov (Russia, Vysshaya Liga), he had two goals and 11 assists in nine games. He signed with Admiral on Nov. 24, and had one goal and three assists in 19 games. . . . If you were wondering about Admiral’s salary levels, the total players’ salaries for this season was US$6.4 million plus US$1.6 million in bonus money. That total of US$8.0 million is the third-lowest in the KHL. . . . The top paying team in the KHL was SKA St. Petersburg at US$39.3 million in salaries and US$6.0 million in bonuses, for a total of US$45.3 million. . . . The lowest-paying team was Dinamo Riga at US$5.1 million in salaries and US$600,000 in bonuses, for a total of US$5.7 million.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

So . . . what’s left to be decided as the WHL regular season heads into its final two days?

Not much.

Let’s start with the Eastern Conference, where the playoff matchups all have been decided.

The Moose Jaw Warriors will lead the WHL in victories. They have clinched the Scotty whlMunro Memorial Trophy as regular-season champions, meaning they also won the Eastern Conference and East Division pennants. They will meet the Prince Albert Raiders in the first round of the playoffs with that series opening Friday night in Moose Jaw. . . . The Raiders will finish in the conference’s second wild-card spot.

The Swift Current Broncos will finish second in the overall standings, the Eastern Conference and the East Division. They will open the playoffs at home against the third-place Regina Pats, who will be host team in the 2018 Memorial Cup tournament. The Pats beat the visiting Broncos, 3-2 in OT, in a penalty-filled game on Friday night. They will meet again tonight, this time in Swift Current, before opening that first-round series in Regina on Friday.

The Medicine Hat Tigers, who won their second straight Central Division pennant, will face the Brandon Wheat Kings in the first round. The Wheat Kings will finish in possession of the conference’s first wild-card spot. That series is to open Friday in Medicine Hat. The Wheat Kings will play their home games in Dauphin, Man., because the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair will be in their home arena. Last season, the Tigers swept the Wheat Kings from a first-round series.

The other Eastern Conference series will have the Lethbridge Hurricanes, who will finish second in the Central Division, face the third-place Red Deer Rebels. They will open in Lethbridge on Friday.

As for the Saskatoon Blades, Kootenay Ice, Calgary Hitmen and Edmonton Oil Kings, well, they’ll have to buy tickets to watch playoff hockey.

——

Meanwhile, in the Western Conference . . .

The combatants in one series, that involving the Victoria Royals and Vancouver Giants, now are known.

But that’s it.

The Everett Silvertips lead the conference with 97 points, four more than the Portland Winterhawks. Everett will wrap up its season in Victoria tonight. The Winterhawks are at home to Seattle tonight, then will entertain Spokane on Sunday.

The first tiebreaker is regular-season victories — Everett has 46, with Portland at 44. The second tiebreaker is points in games between the teams and if it comes down to that the Winterhawks have the edge, 11-10. Portland is 5-4-1; Everett is 5-5-0.

The second-place finisher will meet the Spokane Chiefs or Tri-City Americans. The third-place Chiefs hold a one-point edge over the Americans. They will meet tonight in Kennewick, Wash. On Sunday, the Chiefs visit Portland, while the Americans entertain the Seattle Thunderbirds, who are locked into the conference’s second wild-card spot.

The Kelowna Rockets will finish atop the B.C. Division for the seventh time in franchise history. They will meet Spokane or Tri-City, whichever team finishes in the conference’s first wild-card spot.

The second-place Royals and third-place Giants will open their first-round series in Victoria on Friday.

The conference’s other two teams, the Kamloops Blazers and Prince George Cougars, will wrap up their seasons in the northern city tonight. They are in next-season country.


It is almost 23 years since Ed O’Bannon led the UCLA Bruins to the NCAA Division I men’s national basketball title. After helping the Bruins beat Arkansas in the final, he would go on to a pro career, then spent five years involved in a lawsuit against the NCAA, one that asked for student-athletes to be able to control the use of their likenesses in such things as video games. . . . If you haven’t yet read O’Bannon’s book — Court Justice: The Inside Story of My Battle Against the NCAA — you should consider giving it a look. . . . In the meantime, William C. Rhoden talks with O’Bannon and the result is right here.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

FRIDAY:

At Moose Jaw, F Stelio Mattheos scored in OT to give the Brandon Wheat Kings a 6-5 victory the Warriors. . . . Moose Jaw (52-15-4) had won three in a row. . . . Brandon (39-27-BrandonWKregular5) has won two straight. . . . Moose Jaw is 5-2-0 in the season series; Brandon is 2-5-0. They will play again tonight, this time in Brandon. . . . F Linden McCorrister (20) put Brandon in front 1-0 at 2:15 of the first period, only to have F Tristyn DeRoose (4) tie it at 3:13. . . . The Wheat Kings took a 3-1 lead on goals from F Caiden Daley (7), at 7:24, and Mattheos, at 15:42. . . . The Warriors tied it on two PP goals from F Jayden Halbgewachs. He got No. 69 at 17:42 of the first and No. 70 at 9:35 of the second period. He is the first WHLer to score 70 goals in a season since F Pavel Brendl of the Calgary Hitmen in 1998-99. Halbgewachs now shares the Warriors’ single-season record with F Blair Atcheynum, who got to 70 in 1988-89. Halbgewachs leads the WHL points derby with 128, three more than Swift Current F Glenn Gawdin. . . . F Cole Reinhardt (19) gave Brandon a 4-3 lead at 14:31. . . . The Warriors pulled even at 1:29 of the third period as F Tanner Jeannot (38) scored. . . . F Connor Gutenberg (18) gave the Wheat Kings a 5-4 lead, on a PP, at 9:25. . . . The Warriors forced OT when F Justin Almeida (43) scored at 19:59. . . . Mattheos won it with his 43rd goal at 1:17 of OT. . . . Daley also had two assists for Brandon — he actually had all three points in the first period. . . . Brandon also got two assists from F Luka Burzan, with Mattheos, Reinhardt and McCorrister getting one each. . . . F Brett Howden drew four assists for Moose Jaw, with Halbgewachs and Almeida getting one each. . . . Moose Jaw was 2-5 on the PP; Brandon was 1-2. . . . G Dylan Myskiw made his fourth straight start for Brandon and stopped 26 shots. . . . G Brody Willms stopped 26 shots for the Warriors. . . . The Warriors were without F Brayden Burke for a sixth straight game, while D Brandon Schuldaus and D Dmitri Zaitsev missed their third consecutive games, and D Kale Clague also was scratched. F Barrett Sheen served Game 3 of a four-game suspension. . . . G Logan Thompson again was among Brandon’s scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 3,817.


At Regina, F Nick Henry’s OT goal gave the Pats a 3-2 victory over the Swift Current Broncos in a penalty-filled game. . . . Regina (40-25-6) has won seven in a row. . . . Swift ReginaPats100Current (47-18-6) has lost four straight. . . . The Broncos hold a 4-1-0 edge in the season series, with the teams meeting again tonight, this time in Swift Current. . . . They then will begin preparing to meet in a first-round playoff series, with the Broncos holding home-ice advantage. . . . F Matteo Gennaro (42) gave the Broncos a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 3:33 of the second period. . . . The Pats took a 2-1 lead on second-period goals from F Sam Steel (33), on a PP, at 5:12, and F Jared Legien (22), at 14:06. . . . D Artyom Minulin (13) got the Broncos into a 2-=2 tie, on a PP, at 12:58 of the third period. . . . The Pats got two assists from F Matt Bradley. . . . Minulin and Gawdin also had an assist each for the visitors. . . . Swift Current was 2-8 on the PP; Regina was 1-4. . . . Swift Current took 61 of the game’s 119 penalty minutes. . . . The Pats got 31 saves from G Max Paddock, while the Broncos’ Joel Hofer turned aside 29. . . . G Ryan Kubic was back on the Pats’ bench, backing up Paddock. . . . F Cam Hebig and F Koby Morrisseau were among Regina’s scratches. . . . Regina’s lineup sheet listed veteran WHL G Kyle Dumba as an AP. . . . Swift Current had F Glenn Gawdin back after he missed three games with an illness, while F Tyler Steenbergen was back after a one-game absence. . . . Gawdin picked up one assist to run his point streak to 27 games. Teammate Aleksi Heponiemi had the league’s longest streak this season when he went 28 games. . . . Swift Current F Andrew Fyten took a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct for a hit on Regina D Libor Hajek, who wasn’t injured on the play. . . . Broncos F Tanner Nagel didn’t play as he served the second game of a three-game suspension. . . . Announced attendance: 6,484.


At Prince Albert, the Saskatoon Blades scored two third-period goals to beat the Raiders, 2-1. . . . Saskatoon (34-33-4) has won two in a row. . . . The Raiders (32-26-13) had points in Saskatooneach of their previous 11 games (9-0-2). . . . With the teams to play in Saskatoon tonight, the Blades are 5-1-1 in the season series; the Raiders are 2-5-0. . . . F Parker Kelly (29) gave the home team a 1-0 lead with a shorthanded goal at 19:31 of the first period. . . . The Blades tied it at 14:37 of the third period as F Max Gerlach scored No. 32 on a PP. . . . F Chase Wouters (18) won it with a PP goal at 18:19. . . . Saskatoon was 2-5 on the PP; Prince Albert was 0-5. . . . G Tyler Brown earned the victory with 24 saves. . . . G Ian Scott stopped 20 shots for the Raiders. . . . D Zack Hayes of the Raiders was a healthy scratch as he missed his first game this season. They continue to play without F Brett Leason (undisclosed injury). . . . Marc Habscheid, the Raiders’ head coach, felt the Blades’ play left a bit to be desired. “They came out and they were chippy all game. Play hard, but don’t play stupid — that was stupid,” Habscheid told Jeff D’Andrea of of paNOW.“I mean, they were out there, they got nothing to play for. Play hard but play with class, too.” . . . That story is right here. . . . Announced attendance: 3,033.


At Red Deer, F Gillian Kohler scored twice to help the Kootenay Ice to a 6-2 victory over the Rebels. . . . Kootenay (26-38-7) had lost its previous 11 games (0-7-4). . . . Red Deer (27-Kootenaynew31-13) had won its past three games. . . . Kootenay is 4-1-1 in the season series; Red Deer is 2-3-1. They’ll complete it tonight in Cranbrook, B.C. . . . Red Deer’s loss means it will finish third in the Central Division and open the playoffs in Lethbridge with the Hurricanes holding home-ice advantage. . . . The Ice grabbed a 2-0 lead on first-period goals from F Alex Baer (29), at 5:29, and F Colton Kroeker (15), on a PP, at 19:59. . . . F Brandon Cutler (6) got the Rebels on the scoreboard, at 12:06 of the second period. . . . Kohler restored the two-goal lead at 13:02. . . . F Mason McCarty (38) pulled the Rebels back to within a goal at 14:34. . . . The Ice responded with the game’s last three goals, from F Keenan Taphorn (7), on a PP, at 17:37; Kohler (8), on a PP, at 9:07 of the third period; and F Peyton Krebs (17), into an empty net, at 13:22. . . . D Martin Bodak and F Brett Davis each had three assists for the winners, with F Colton Veloso getting one, and Kroeker, Krebs and Kohler adding one apiece. . . . Kootenay was 3-5 on the PP; Red Deer was 0-3. . . . The Ice got 26 stops from G Matt Berlin. . . . G Riley Lamb surrendered five goals on 36 shots in 56:25 for Red Deer. Ethan Anders stopped the two shots he faced in 3:18. . . . Announced attendance: 5,205.


At Lethbridge, the Medicine Hat Tigers scored two goals late in the third period and beat the Hurricanes, 4-2. . . . Medicine Hat (36-27-8) had lost its previous two games. . . . Tigers Logo OfficialLethbridge (32-33-6) has dropped eight in a row. . . . Despite the loss, the Hurricanes clinched second in the Central Division and will have home-ice advantage in a first-round series with Red Deer. . . . Each team is 3-3-0 in the season series. They’ll finish it tonight in Medicine Hat. . . . D Calen Addison (11) gave Lethbridge a 1-0 lead at 4:26 of the second period. . . . Medicine Hat tied it at 12:13 as F Josh Williams (11) scored. . . . F Bryan Lockner (14) gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead 16 seconds into the third period. . . . F Jordy Bellerive (45) tied it at 11:41. . . . F Ryan Chyzowski (21) broke the tie for the Tigers at 17:23, and F Tyler Preziuso (15) got the empty-netter at 18:38. . . . D Cole Clayton had two assists for the winners, with Preziuso and Chyzowski each getting one. . . . Addison added an assist for Lethbridge. . . . Medicine Hat was 0-3 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-6. . . . G Michael Bullion stopped 28 shots for Medicine Hat. . . . The Hurricanes got 35 saves from G Logan Flodell. . . . F Mark Rassell was among Medicine Hat’s scratches, ending a stretch of 208 straight games. . . . D Linus Nassen (ill) also was among the Tigers’ scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 5,203.


At Portland, G Cody Glass scored three times and added two assists to lead the Winterhawks to an 8-3 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Portland (44-21-5) has Portlandwon two in a row. . . . Seattle (33-27-10) will finish in the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . The Winterhawks lead the season series 8-0-3; the Thunderbirds are 3-7-1. They will conclude the series in Kent, Wash., tonight. . . . F Nolan Volcan gave Seattle a 1-0 lead with his 32nd goal at 17:44 of the first period. . . . The Winterhawks took control with four second-period goals. . . . D Henri Jokiharju (11) got it started at 4:46, and Glass, on a PP, gave Portland the lead at 10:01. . . . F Keiffer Bellows scored his 40th goal at 13:21, and Glass made it 4-1 at 16:14. . . . Portland F Skyler McKenzie (46) upped the lead to 5-1 at 3:47 of the third period. That was his 100th career goal. . . . Seattle F Sami Moilanen (22) scored at 9:18, but Portland added three more — from F Reece Newkirk (8), D Brendan De Jong (6) and Glass. . . . F Samuel Huo (3) got Seattle’s final goal. . . . Glass now has 100 points, including 37 goals, in 62 games. . . . D Clay Hanus, F Ryan Hughes and Bellows each had two assists for Portland, with Jokiharju and McKenzie adding one apiece. . . . Portland was 1-2 on the PP; Seattle was 0-5. . . . G Cole Kehler earned the victory with 24 saves. . . . Seattle starter Liam Hughes stopped 34 of 41 shots in 53:06, with Dorrin Luding coming on to stop one of two shots in 6:54. . . . Announced attendance: 9,676.


At Kamloops, G Isaiah DiLaura blocked 51 shots to lead the Prince George Cougars to a 4-2 victory over the Blazers. . . . Prince George (24-38-9) had lost its previous six games (0-5-PrinceGeorge1). . . . Kamloops (29-37-5) has lost five in a row. . . . The Blazers hold a 5-3-1 edge in the season series; the Cougars are 4-5-0. They’ll wrap it up tonight in Prince George. . . . F Jermaine Loewen (36) gave the Blazers a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 3:49 of the first period. . . . The Cougars promptly scored three times on their first five shots. . . . F Max Kryski tied the score, on a PP, at 7:43, and D Rhett Rhinehart (3) gave the visitors the lead, at 11:28. . . . Kryski (8) upped the lead to 3-1 at 14:45, and D Austin Crossley (4) made it 4-1 at 9:07 of the second period. . . . F Connor Zary (9) scored the Blazers’ other goal, at 10:50 of the third period. . . . F Ilijah Colina had two assists for Prince George, as did F Jared Bethune. . . . Loewen added an assist to his goal for Kamloops. . . . Prince George was 1-1 on the PP; Kamloops was 1-5. . . . DiLaura played 58:40, missing 1:20 in the first period after the blade fell out of his right skate. Taylor Gauthier came off the bench to stop the only shot he faced in 1:20. . . . Kamloops G Dylan Ferguson stopped 25 shots. . . . The Blazers again scratched D Luke Zazula and D Montana Onyebuchi. . . . The Cougars were without D Cam MacPhee, who served a one-game suspension, and D Joel Lakusta, who sat out the first game of a three-game sentence. . . . F Nick Chyzowski, the Blazers’ captain, played in his 342nd regular-season game, passing F C.J. Stretch and moving into second place on the franchise’s career list, behind only F Brendan Ranford (348). . . . Announced attendance: 4,253. . . . The Blazers finished 1-9-2 in home games when the announced attendance was greater than 4,000.


At Spokane, the Tri-City Americans ran their winning streak to five as they beat the Chiefs, 2-1. . . . Tri-City (37-24-9) is fourth in the U.S. Division, one point behind the Chiefs. TriCity30. . . Spokane (39-25-6) has lost four in a row (0-3-1). . . . The Chiefs lead the season series 6-3-2, with the Americans at 5-2-4. Each team has 14 points, so maybe the season series is tied? They will finish the series tonight in Kennewick, Wash. . . . F Michael Rasmussen (30) put the visitors ahead, on a PP, at 8:40 of the second period. . . . D Juuso Valimaki (14) upped it to 2-0 just 54 seconds into the third period. . . . Spokane F Eli Zummack (15) got his guys to within a goal, on a PP, at 8:44. . . . Rasmussen and Valimaki had one assist each. . . . The Americans were 1-4 on the PP; the Chiefs were 1-5. . . . G Patrick Dea got the victory with 36 saves, eight more than Spokane’s Bailey Brkin. . . . F Kailer Yamamoto was among Spokane’s scratches. The Chiefs continue to play without F Zach Fischer. . . . . . . Announced attendance: 8,934.


At Langley, B.C., F Carsen Twarynski scored the game’s first two goals to help the Kelowna Rockets to a 5-2 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Kelowna (42-22-7) has KelownaRocketspoint in five straight games (4-0-1). . . . Vancouver (36-26-9) will finish third in the B.C. Division, and will open a first-round series in Victoria on Friday. . . . The Rockets hold a 4-2-1 edge in the season series; the Giants are 3-3-1. The teams will meet again tonight, this time in Kelowna. . . . Twarynski, who has 45 goals, scored a shorthanded goal at 10:40 of the first period, then made it 2-0, on a PP, at 13:14. . . . D Gordie Ballhorn (6) upped it to 3-0 at 18:31. . . . F Ty Ronning got the Giants to within two goals with No. 61 at 8:40 of the second period. . . . The Rockets went ahead 4-1 at 10:28 of the third period as F Kyle Topping got his 20th goal. . . . F Brayden Watts (17) scored for Vancouver at 17:38. . . . Topping got the empty-netter, at 18:35. . . . Kelowna was 1-5 on the PP; Vancouver was 0-7. . . . G Brodan Salmond stopped 37 shots for Kelowna, 16 more than Vancouver’s Trent Miner. . . . F Kole Lind, F Cal Foote, D Nolan Foote and F Dillon Dube were among Kelowna’s scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 4,624.


At Everett, F Luke Ormsby got the winner in the third period as the Silvertips beat the Victoria Royals, 3-2. . . . Everett (46-20-5) had lost its previous two games. . . . Victoria (39-Everett26-6) had won its previous two games. . . . The Royals did clinch second in the B.C. Division when Vancouver dropped a 5-2 decision to visiting Kelowna. Vancouver will visit Victoria in a first-round opener on Friday. . . . Everett D Wyatte Wylie (6) scored the game’s first goal, at 9:34 of the first period. . . . Victoria F Dante Hannoun (25) tied it at 18:33. . . . Everett went ahead again at 14:36 of the second period as F Garrett Pilon (34) scored a PP goal. . . . Victoria tied it again, this time on F Noah Gregor’s 29th goal, at 2:48 of the third period. . . . Ormsby’s second goal of the season, at 4:50, stood up as the winner. . . . D Ondrej Vala had two assists for Everett. . . . F Patrick Bajkov of the Silvertips drew an assist on Pilon’s goal to tie F Zach Hamill’s franchise record for career assists (175). . . . Everett was 1-3 on the PP; Victoria was 0-4. . . . G Carter Hart stopped 20 shots for the Silvertips. . . . The Royals got 41 stops from G Griffen Outhouse. . . . Victoria F Lane Zablocki left at 1:39 of the first period with a boarding major and game misconduct for a hit on F Martin Fasko-Rudas. . . . Announced attendance: 8,377.


SATURDAY (all times local):

Regina at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Prince Albert at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Calgary at Edmonton, 7 p.m.

Red Deer at Kootenay, 7 p.m.

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

Kamloops at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Portland vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 6:05 p.m.

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

Everett at Victoria 7:05 p.m.

——

SUNDAY (all times local):

Edmonton at Calgary, 2 p.m.

Spokane at Portland, 5 p.m.

Seattle vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 5:05 p.m

END OF REGULAR SEASON


TWEET OF THE DAY

 

Kelowna forward gets NHL deal . . . Halbgewachs moves into scoring lead . . . Kehler, Winterhawks blank Silvertips

A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

F Carsen Twarynski of the Kelowna Rockets has signed a three-year entry-level contract KelownaRocketswith the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers. Twarynski, 20, was a third-round selection by the Flyers in the NHL’s 2016 draft. . . . From St. Alberta, Alta., he has 43 goals, 17 of them via the PP, and 27 assists in ?? games this season. His previous career highs were 20 goals and 45 points. . . . Twarynski has appeared in the Flyers’ past two development camps, and has played in one game in each of the past two preseasons. . . . The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder wasn’t selected in the WHL bantam draft. He has played in 255 regular-season WHL games, the first 161 with the Calgary Hitmen. He has 86 goals and 94 assists in those 255 games. . . . With the Rockets, he has 50 goals and 42 assists in 94 games.


The Kootenay Ice has added three players to its roster — F Eli Lieffers, who will turn 18 Kootenaynewon March 26; F Blake Allan, 16; and D Jordan Chudley, 16. . . . Lieffers was a fourth-round pick in the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft. He had five goals and seven assists in 15 games with the midget AAA Saskatoon Contacts this season. . . . Allan was a third-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. This season, he had 10 goals and 23 assists in 42 games with the midget AAA Saskatoon Blazers. . . . Chudley was a fourth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. From Souris, Man., he played for the midget AAA Southwest Cougars, putting up two goals and nine assists in 42 games. . . . All three played in Sunday’s 4-3 OT loss to the Oil Kings in Edmonton. Allan, in fact, scored his first WHL goal.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

SUNDAY:

At Moose Jaw, F Jayden Halbgewachs had a goal and two assists to take over the WHL scoring lead as the Warriors dumped the Brandon Wheat Kings, 5-3. . . . Moose Jaw (51-MooseJawWarriors15-3) has won two straight and now leads the overall standings by five points over Swift Current. Each team has three games remaining. . . . Brandon (37-27-5) had won its previous three games. It holds down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, four points ahead of Prince Albert. . . . With two games left in the season series, Moose Jaw is 5-1-0; Brandon is 1-5-0. . . . Both teams played three games in fewer than 48 hours, with each going 2-1-0. . . . The Warriors took a 2-0 first-period lead on two goals from F Vince Loschiavo (19), at 14:24 and 16:47. . . . Brandon tied it on goals F Gunnar Wegleitner (10), at 10:39 of the second period, and F Rylan Bettens (7), at 5:56 of the third. . . . Halbgewachs broke the tie with his WHL-leading 68th goal, at 6:12, only to have Brandon F Caiden Daley (6) tie it at 13:09. . . . F Ryan Peckford (20) gave Moose Jaw a 4-3 lead at 15:07, and F Tanner Jeannot (37) got the empty-netter at 19:07. . . . Halbgewachs assisted on each of the last two goals. He now has 125 points, one more than F Glenn Gawdin of Swift Current. . . . Moose Jaw got two assists from F Brett Howden and one from Jeannot. . . . The Warriors were 0-1 on the PP; the Wheat Kings were 0-2. . . . G Brody Willms earned the victory with 18 saves, two fewer than Brandon’s Dylan Myskiw. . . . F Brayden Burke was among Moose Jaw’s scratches for a fourth game in a row. The Warriors also were without D Brandon Schuldhaus and D Dmitri Zaitsev, both of whom were injured during a 4-2 victory over visiting Swift Current on Saturday. . . . With the two defencemen out, the Warriors brought in D Matt Sanders from the midget AAA Calgary Buffaloes. . . . Also missing from Moose Jaw’s lineup was F Barrett Sheen, who has been given a TBD misconduct after he took a charging major and game misconduct for a hit on Swift Current F Tyler Steenbergen on Saturday. . . . The Wheat Kings scratched G Logan Thompson. . . . Announced attendance: 3,326.


At Victoria, the Royals erased a 3-2 deficit with two third-period goals to beat the Prince George Cougars, 4-3. . . . Victoria (39-25-6) has won two in row, having beat the visiting VictoriaRoyalsCougars, 4-3 in OT, on Friday night. Yes, the Cougars had a day off on Saturday in Victoria. . . . The Royals are second in the B.C. Division, three points behind Kelowna. Victoria has two games remaining. . . . Prince George (23-37-9) has lost five in a row (0-4-1). . . . Victoria went 5-2-1 in the season series; Prince George was 3-3-2. . . . F Aaron Boyd (13) gave the Cougars a 1-0 lead just 15 seconds into Sunday’s game. . . . The Royals took a 2-1 lead on goals from F Tarun Fizer (2), at 2:36, and F Matthew Phillips, on a PP, at 13:53. . . . The Cougars tied it at 17:14 on D Joel Lakusta’s ninth goal. . . . The visitors went ahead 3-2 at 19:02 of the second period when F Jackson Leppard (15) counted on a PP. . . . Victoria F Igor Martynov (18) tied it at 8:09, and Phillips (47) got the winner, on a PP, at 13:08. . . . The Royals got two assists from F Tyler Soy, who set a franchise record for games played (321), one more than D Ryan Gagnon (2012-17). . . . F Jared Bethune and F Brogan O’Brien each had two assists for the Cougars. . . . Victoria was 2-2 on the PP; Prince George was 1-3. . . . The Royals got 33 saves from G Griffen Outhouse, who won his franchise-record 35th game of the season. That broke the record he set last season. . . . G Tavin Grant stopped 30 shots for the Cougars. . . . Victoria has scored 284 goals this season, breaking the franchise record of 281 (2015-16). . . . Announced attendance: 5,815.


At Edmonton, D Wyatt McLeod scored in OT to give the Oil Kings a 4-3 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Edmonton (20-41-8) had lost its previous four games. . . . Kootenay (25-EdmontonOilKings38-6) has lost 10 in a row (0-7-3). . . . Edmonton won the season series, 4-1-1; Kootenay was 2-3-1. . . . The Oil Kings got the game’s first goal when D Conner McDonald (9) scored at 8:42 of the first period. . . . F Blake Allan (1) tied it at 12:40, and D Martin Bodak (7) gave the Ice the lead at 4:31 of the second period. . . . The Oil Kings went ahead 3-2 as F Trey Fix-Wolansky (30) and F Brett Kemp (16), on a PP, scored at 11:43 and 19:03. . . . The visitors forced OT as F Cameron Hausinger (19) tied the score at 19:33 of the third period. . . . McLeod won it with his second goal of the season. . . . Edmonton was 1-1 on the PP; Kootenay was 0-4. . . . The Oil Kings got 36 saves from G Josh Dechaine. . . . G Duncan McGovern stopped 25 shots for Kootenay. . . . Announced attendance: 10,533.


At Portland, G Cole Kehler recorded the shutout as the Winterhawks skated to a 2-0 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . Portland (43-21-5) is second in the Western PortlandConference standings, four points behind Everett (44-19-5), which had won its previous three games. . . . Each team has three games remaining. . . . Portland went 5-4-1 in the season series; Everett was 5-5-0. . . . Everett was playing for the third time in fewer than 48 hours. It went 2-1-0. . . . Kehler turned aside 28 shots in posting his fourth shutout this season and the sixth of this career. This season, he is 29-15-5, 2.72, .910. . . . The Winterhawks moved out front, 1-0, when D Brendan De Jong (5) scored at 10:06 of the first period. . . . The home side made it 2-0 at 13:54 of the third period on D Henri Jokiharju’s 10th goal, on a PP. . . . F Cody Glass had two assists for Portland. . . . The Winterhawks were 1-3 on the PP; the Silvertips were 0-5. . . . G Carter Hart stopped 29 shots for Everett. This season, he is 29-5-4, 1.55, .950. Three of his regulation-time losses have been to Portland. . . . Everett was without D Ondrej Vala, who drew a TBD suspension after he was tossed from a Saturday game with a cross-checking major and game misconduct following a hit on Seattle F Zack Andrusiak. . . . Portland scratched F Alex Overhardt (ill) and then lost F Lukus MacKenzie to what appeared to be an arm or wrist injury in the first period. . . . Announced attendance: 8,263.


At Kennewick, Wash., the Tri-City Americans broke a 2-2 tie with two second-period goals 23 seconds apart and went on to a 4-3 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Tri-City (36-TriCity3024-9) has won two in a row. It looks destined to finish in the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot. . . . Vancouver (34-25-9) is third in the B.C. Division, five points behind Victoria with three games to play. . . . Tri-City won three of four games between the teams this season. . . . D Jake Bean (10) gave the Americans a 1-0 lead at 14:27 of the first period. . . . F Ty Ronning pulled Vancouver even at 16:40. . . . Ronning had been ejected from a Saturday game with a clipping major and game misconduct, but the WHL obviously chose not to issue a suspension. . . . The Americans went ahead 2-1 on F Morgan Geekie’s 28th goal, at 17:31. . . . Ronning scored again — he’s got 59 — at 0:32 of the second period, this one on a PP. . . . The Americans moved into a 4-2 lead on two quick goals from F Michael Rasmussen (28) and F Riley Sawchuk (14), at 17:41 and 18:04. . . . F James Malm (19) got Vancouver’s third goal, at 18:16 of the third period. . . . D Anthony Bishop had two assists for Tri-City. . . . The Giants got two assists from F Davis Koch and one from Ronning. . . . Vancouver was 1-4 on the PP; Tri-City was 0-4. . . . Tri-City G Patrick Dea stopped 37 shots, one more than Vancouver’s David Tendeck. . . . Both teams were playing their third game in fewer than 48 hours. The Giants lost 6-2 to the host Americans on Friday, then moved on to Spokane where they beat the Chiefs, 6-5 in shootout, on Saturday. Then it was on the bus and back to Kennewick for this one. . . . The Americans won 6-2 in Portland on Saturday, so had a 3-0-0). . . . Dan O’Connor, the radio voice of the Giants, called his 500th WHL game. He is in his first season after having worked with the Prince George Cougars. . . . Announced attendance: 3,030.


MONDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


TUESDAY (all times local):

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Brandon 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Edmonton, 7 p.m.

Calgary at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.

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


TWEET OF THE DAY

Halbgewachs sparks Warriors . . . Portland’s McKenzie fills hat in P.G. . . . Chiefs get split in Victoria

MacBeth
F Ian McDonald (Tri-City, 2000-06) has signed a one-year contract extension with Selb (Germany, Oberliga). He has 19 goals and 42 assists in 33 games. He started the season with Gherdëina Selva Val Gardena (Italy, Alps HL), with nine goals and 10 assists in 15 games. He signed with Selb on Nov. 13. . . .

F Brett Breitkreuz (Kelowna, Edmonton, Vancouver, 2006-10) has signed a one-year contract extension with Löwen Frankfurt (Germany, DEL2). This season, he had 22 goals and 18 assists in 51 games.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

The WHL, it would seem, blundered into a landscape strewn with Lego pieces and garden rakes when it tried to get Oregon politicians to exempt the Portland Winterhawks from minimum-wage legislation. As Ken Campbell of The Hockey News points out, what followed was “a public relations disaster.”

Campbell continues:

“But so much of this story over the past year or so has not looked good for those who operate major junior hockey teams. The WHL and Winterhawks thought they would be able to breeze legislation through the way they had in Washington, Michigan and several provinces that would presumably buttress them against a class action lawsuit that is demanding minimum wage and back pay for junior hockey players. Until they got to Oregon, junior hockey had found lawmakers who were only too happy to carry their water and keep them in business. British Columbia exempted the WHL from its Employment Standards Act two years ago with little consultation and a fair bit of support from owners of WHL teams, three of whom donated to the ruling Liberal party in B.C. in recent years.”

Of course, this story is nowhere near its end and it’s all going to be worth watching.

Campbell’s latest on this situation is right here.


TheCoachingGame

Luke Pierce, who spent the past two seasons (2015-17) as head coach of the Kootenay Ice, is in PyeongChang for the Paralympic Games as an assistant coach with Canada’s sledge hockey team. . . . Pierce was dismissed as the Ice’s head coach while the franchise was going through an ownership change. . . . Brad McLeod of the Cranbrook Townsman reports that Pierce “has served as an assistant coach with Hockey Canada for the men’s national (sledge) team since September.” . . . Ken Babey is the team’s head coach. Canada opens play at the Paralympics on Saturday against Sweden. . . . McLeod’s story is right here.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

WEDNESDAY:

At Moose Jaw, F Jayden Halbgewachs scored three times and added two assists to lead the Warriors to a 6-2 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Moose Jaw (49-14-3) has MooseJawWarriorswon two straight. It leads the overall standings with 101 points, one more than Swift Current. . . . Lethbridge (32-28-6) has lost three in a row. It is second in the Central Division, six points behind Medicine Hat. . . . Halbgewachs now has a WHL-leading 64 goals. Not since 1998-99 has a player scored more than 64 goals in a season. Calgary F Pavel Brendl led the WHL with 73 goals that season. F Sergei Varlamov scored 66 times for Swift Current in 1997-98, and F Ronald Petrovicky of Regina scored 64 times in 1997-98. . . . D Brandon Schuldaus (8) gave Moose Jaw a 1-0 lead 37 seconds into the game. . . . Halbgewachs made it 2-0, on a PP, at 4:07. . . . F Taylor Ross (21) scored for Lethbridge, on a PP, at 6:49, but F Justin Almeida (39) got that one back, while shorthanded, just 11 seconds later. . . . The Hurricanes got back to within a goal at 8:38 of the second period when F Dylan Cozens (22) scored while shorthanded. . . . Halbgewachs added another PP goal, at 9:56. . . . F Brett Howden (24) upped Moose Jaw’s lead to 5-2, on a PP, at 2:39 of the third period. . . . Halbgewachs completed his hat trick at 16:56. . . . The Warriors got two assists from each of F Tristin Langan and D Josh Brook, and one each from Almeida and Howden. . . . Moose Jaw was 3-6 on the PP; Lethbridge was 1-4. . . . The Warriors got 27 saves from G Brody Willms. . . . G Logan Flodell stopped 33 shots for the Hurricanes. . . . The Warriors scratched F Brayden Burke, who is fourth in the WHL’s scoring race, with an undisclosed injury. . . . Announced attendance: 3,054.


At Prince Albert, the Raiders erased a 2-1 deficit to beat the Edmonton Oil Kings, 4-2. . . . Prince Albert (30-25-11) has won seven in a row. It holds down the Eastern Conference’s PrinceAlbertsecond wild-card spot, four points behind Brandon and four ahead of Saskatoon. . . . Edmonton (19-40-8) has lost three in a row. . . . The Oil Kings took a 1-0 lead on a goal from F David Kope (12) at 1:15 of the first period. . . . F Regan Nagy (24) pulled the Raiders even at 10:50. . . . F Colton Kehler (29) put the visitors back on top at 17:00. . . . F Curtis Miske (23) tied it for the Raiders at 1:22 of the second period. . . . The Raiders went ahead 14 seconds later as D Max Martin scored his eighth goal of the season. . . . F Parker Kelly (28) added insurance at 13:21 of the third period. . . . F Cole Fonstad had two assists for the Raiders. . . . Edmonton was 0-1 on the PP; Prince Albert was 0-2. . . . G Ian Scott stopped 13 shots for the home side. . . . Edmonton G Josh Dechaine turned aside 26 shots. . . . F Trey Fix-Wolansky was among Edmonton’s scratches as he sat out a one-game WHL suspension. . . . Announced attendance: 1,991.


At Swift Current, F Aleksi Heponiemi scored once and added two assists to lead the Broncos to a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Swift Current (47-14-6) has points in SCBroncosfive straight (4-0-1). It is second in the overall standings, one point behind Moose Jaw. . . . Calgary (20-36-10) has points in its previous four games (1-0-3). . . . F Jakob Stukel gave the Hitmen a 1-0 lead at 19:46 of the first period. . . . The Broncos went ahead 2-1 on second-period goals from F Tyler Steenbergen (45), at 1:20, and F Glenn Gawdin (56), on a PP, at 17:41. . . . F Tristen Nielsen (15) got the Hitmen into a 2-2 tie, on a PP, at 19:57. . . . Heponiemi won it with his 28th goal at 2:19 of the third period. . . . Gawdin added an assist to his goal. He leads the WHL with 124 points, six more than Moose Jaw F Jayden Halbgewachs. . . . Calgary was 1-2 on the PP; Swift Current was 1-6. . . . The Broncos got 26 saves from G Stuart Skinner. . . . G Nick Schneider of the Hitmen stopped 35 shots as he made his 200th regular-season appearance — nine with Regina, 133 with Medicine Hat and 58 with Calgary. . . . Announced attendance: 2,890.


At Prince George, F Skyler McKenzie scored three times and added an assist as the Portland Winterhawks dumped the Cougars, 7-1. . . . Portland (42-20-5) has points in eight Portlandstraight games (7-0-1). It is second in the U.S. Division, four points behind Everett. . . . Prince George (23-36-8) has lost three in a row. . . . F Connor Bowie gave the Cougars a 1-0 lead at 2:32 of the first period with his first WHL goal. It came in his seventh game. He was selected by Portland in the seventh round of the 2016 bantam draft. The Cougars acquired him in a deal in January. . . . D Henri Jokiharju (9) got Portland even at 8:30. . . . McKenzie scored the game’s next two goals, one on a PP and the other while shorthanded, at 10:33 and 13:36 of the second period. . . . McKenzie completed his hat trick with the game’s last goal, at 16:29 of the third period. He has 45 goals, three more than he scored last season. . . . F Lukus MacKenzie (2), F Lane Gilliss (7) and F Kieffer Bellows (39) also scored for Portland. . . . F Cody Glass had three assists, with Gilliss and Jokiharju getting one apiece. . . . Portland was 1-5 on the PP; Prince George was 0-1. . . . G Cole Kehler recorded the victory with 18 saves. . . . F Taylor Gauthier started for the home team and allowed six goals on 31 shots in 44:00. Isaiah DiLaura finished up by stopped 21 of 22 shots in 16:00. . . . On Tuesday, the Winterhawks beat the host Cougars, 4-3. . . . Announced attendance: 2,596.


At Kelowna, F Tyler Benson scored in OT to give the Vancouver Giants a 4-3 victory over the Rockets. . . . Vancouver (34-23-9) is third in the B.C. Division, three points behind VancouverVictoria. The Giants have two games in hand. . . . Kelowna (38-22-7) has lost five in a row (0-4-1). It leads the B.C. Division, by three points over Victoria. . . . According to Steve Ewen of Post media, the Giants had lost 26 straight games in Kelowna going into this one. . . . F Erik Gardiner (7) put the Rockets in front at 2:19 of the first period. . . . Vancouver went in front on goals from F Owen Hardy (11), at 7:44, and F Ty Ronning (56), at 1:31 of the second period. . . . The Rockets took a 3-2 lead on two PP goals from F Carsen Twarynski, at 6:33 and 19:12. He’s got 42 goals. . . . D Alex Kannok Leipert (5) got Vancouver into a 3-3 tie at 16:22. . . . Benson won it with his 24th goal, at 3:56 of OT. . . . F Brayden Watts had two assists for Vancouver. . . . The Rockets got two assists from F Kole Lind. . . . Kelowna was 2-4 on the PP; Vancouver was 1-2. . . . G David Tendeck stopped 35 shots for the Giants. . . . G James Porter turned aside 32 shots for the Rockets. . . . Announced attendance: 4,723.


At Victoria, the Spokane Chiefs scored four third-period goals to defeat the Royals, 5-2. . . . Spokane (39-22-5) is third in the U.S. Division, six points behind Portland. . . . Victoria (37-SpokaneChiefs25-6) had points its previous three games (2-0-1). It is second in the B.C. Division, three points behind Kelowna and three ahead of Vancouver. . . . One night earlier, the Royals beat the visiting Chiefs, 7-3. . . . F Luke Toporowski (10) gave Spokane a 1-0 lead at 7:58 of the first period. . . . Victoria F Tyler Soy tied it, on a PP, at 14:47. . . . The Chiefs took a 3-1 on third-period goals from F Kailer Yamamoto (21), on a PP, at 7:58, and F Eli Zummack, at 10:05. . . . Soy (35) got the Royals to within a goal, while shorthanded, at 16:02. . . . Zummack (14) and F Hudson Elynuik (29) added empty-netters. . . . Elynuik added two assists to his goal. D Ty Smith also had two assists for the Chiefs, with Toporowski and Zummack each getting one. . . . Each team was 1-4 on the PP. . . . The Chiefs got 27 saves from G Dawson Weatherill. . . . The Royals got 26 stops from G Griffen Outhouse. . . . Announced attendance: 4,831.


THURSDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Moose Jaw at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Swift Current at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Calgary at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Regina vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.

Red Deer at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

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

Kelowna at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

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

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

Spokane vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:35 p.m.

That’s 60 for Halbgewachs . . . Rebels stretch lead over Ice . . . Blazers romp as Royals scratch top forwards . . . Cougars sweep Rockets

MacBeth

D William Wrenn (Portland, 2010-12) has been assigned on loan by Sport Vaasa to Lukko Rauma (both Finland, Liiga) for the rest of this season. He had three goals and five assists in 25 games. Sport cannot make the playoffs, while Lukko is in eighth place with four games left in the regular season. The top 10 make the playoffs. . . . Wrenn started the season with Dinamo Riga (Latvia, KHL), and had one assist in 21 games. He was released on Oct. 27 by mutual agreement, and signed a contract for the rest of this season with Sport on Nov. 27. . . .

F Rihards Bukarts (Brandon, Portland, 2013-16) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Eisbären Berlin (Germany, DEL) after being released by mutual agreement from Dinamo Riga (Latvia, KHL). He had one goal in 14 games. Dinamo has one game left in the regular season, and won’t make the playoffs. . . . Eisbären has two regular-season games left after tonight and are in third place. . . . Bukarts started the season with Zlín (Czech Republic, Extraliga), and had two goals and two assists in 17 games. He signed with Dinamo Riga on Nov. 23.


TheCoachingGame

The University of Alaska-Anchorage announced on Wednesday that it won’t renew the contract of head coach Matt Thomas. . . . Thomas spent five seasons as head coach of the Seawolves, going 48-105-21 overall, including 39-92-27 in the WCHA. This season, the Seawolves went 4-26-4. . . . Before joining the Seawolves, Thomas spent nine seasons coaching in the ECHL, including four-plus seasons with the Stockton Thunder. In the ECHL, he was 342-225-80. . . . Thomas is from Mississauga, Ont.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon/Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

WEDNESDAY:

At Cranbrook, B.C., F Jayden Halbgewachs scored his 60th goal of the season to help the Moose Jaw Warriors to a 5-2 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Moose Jaw (47-13-3) leads MooseJawWarriorsthe overall standings by two points over Swift Current. The Warriors have one game in hand. . . . Kootenay (25-37-3) has lost six in a row. The Ice, with seven games remaining, is fourth in the Central Division, six points behind Red Deer. . . . F Vince Loschiavo (17), who was acquired from the Ice earlier in the season, gave the Warriors a 1-0 lead at 13:23 of the first period. . . . D Brandon Schuldaus (7) upped it to 2-0 at 19:55. . . . Halbgewachs got No. 60, on a PP, 52 seconds into the second period. He is the first WHLer to get to 60 since 2014-15 when F Oliver Bjorkstrand scored 63 for Portland. . . . F Alec Baer (26) got the Ice on the scoreboard, on a PP, at 7:41. . . . The Warriors got third-period goals from F Justin Almeida (36), on a PP, at 0:34, and D Kale Clague (11), at 4:50. . . . F Cole Muir (2) scored the Ice’s second goal, at 5:15. . . . The Warriors got two assists each from F Brayden Burke, F Tristin Langan and F Brett Howden, with Halbgewachs and Loschiavo getting one apiece. . . . Moose Jaw was 2-5 on the PP; Kootenay was 1-7. . . . G Adam Evanoff earned the victory with 23 saves, one more than the Ice’s Duncan McGovern. . . . Announced attendance: 2,088.


At Red Deer, F Reese Johnson scored a PP goal at 2:12 of OT to give the Rebels a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Red Deer (23-28-13) has won two in a row. It has Red Deerplayed in a WHL-high 20 OT games. . . . The Rebels are third in the Central Division, nine points behind Lethbridge, which clinched a playoff spot with Kootenay’s loss to visiting Moose Jaw. . . . Calgary (19-35-8) has lost three in a row. . . . With one game remaining in the season series, Calgary is 3-1-2); Red Deer also is 3-1-2. . . . The Rebels took a 2-0 first-period lead on goals from F Mason McCarty (34), at 9:10, and F Chris Douglas (8), on a PP, at 14:07. . . . Calgary tied it as F Riley Stotts (15) scored at 6:39 of the second period, and F Conner Chaulk got his 15th at 14:57 of the third. . . . Johnson won it with his 20th goal of the season. . . . The Rebels got three assists from D Jacob Herauf, and Johnson got one. . . . Red Deer was 2-5 on the PP; Calgary was 0-1. . . . The Rebels got 18 stops from G Riley Lamb. . . . Calgary G Nick Schneider blocked 35 shots. . . . D Alex Alexeyev of the Rebels left the game in the third period with an undisclosed injury and didn’t return. . . . Announced attendance: 3,546.


At Kamloops, the Blazers scored four second-period goals en route to a 5-1 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . Kamloops (28-32-5) had lost its previous three games. It is six points from a playoff spot with seven games remaining. Seattle, which holds down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, has three games in hand on the Blazers. . . . Victoria (35-24-5) has lost three in a row as it heads for Prince George and a Friday-Saturday doubleheader. It is second in the B.C. Division, seven points behind Kelowna. . . . Victoria won the season series, 6-2-0; Kamloops was 2-5-1. . . . F Connor Zary (7) gave Kamloops a 1-0 lead at 11:38 of the first period. . . . That lead became 4-0 on second-period goals from F Nick Chyzowski (20), on a PP, at 9:18; F Brodi Stuart (15), on another PP, at 10:33; and F Ryley Appelt (3), at 12:03. . . . Victoria F Andrei Grishakov (19) made it 4-1 at 12:56, only to have Blazers F Jermaine Loewen (33) get that one back at 16:42. . . . D Joe Gatenby had two assists for Kamloops, with Zary adding one. . . . Kamloops was 2-4 on the PP; Victoria was 0-4. . . . G Dylan Ferguson stopped 24 shots for the Blazers, while Victoria’s Dean McNabb turned aside 35. . . . The game featured two penalty shots, neither of which was successful. Victoria F Dante Hannoun lost control of the puck on his attempt, at 9:59 of the second period. Kamloops F Quinn Benjafield got stuff by McNabb on a deke attempt, at 17:30 of the third period. . . . The Royals scratched F Matthew Phillips and F Tyler Soy, who have combined for 180 points. Neither player was listed as injured on Tuesday’s WHL roster report. Both took part in Wednesday’s morning skate. Head coach Dan Price told the Victoria Times Colonist that “it’s nothing major” with either player. . . . Both played in Victoria’s last game, a 3-2 loss to visiting Portland on Saturday night. . . . This likely would have been the last appearance in Kamloops for both players. Soy is 20 and in his final season; Phillips, 19, has signed with the NHL’s Calgary Flames and likely will start next season with the AHL’s Stockton Heat. . . . Referee Brett Iverson and linesman Nathan Van Oosten, both of whom worked the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, are back on home soil and returned to their WHL duties with this game. . . . Dan Courneyea, who works with the Blazers’ off-ice crew, also worked the Winter Games and was back in time for this one. . . . Announced attendance: 3,596.


At Prince George, the Cougars erased a 3-0 first-period lead and beat the Kelowna Rockets, 7-6. . . . Prince George (22-33-8) has won two in a row. . . . Kelowna (38-20-6) leads PrinceGeorgethe B.C. Division, by seven points over Victoria. . . . The Cougars had beaten the visiting Rockets, 4-1, on Tuesday night. . . . Prince George last won back-to-back games on Dec. 2 and 5, when they beat visiting Vancouver, 6-2, and Kootenay, 3-1. . . . Kelowna leads the season series, 5-2-0); Prince George is 2-3-2. They will meet once more, on March 14 in Kelowna. . . . Kelowna F Kole Lind scored the game’s first three goals — at 5:40, 7:10 and, on a PP, 15:59. He’s got 35 goals. . . . That was his third hat trick of the season. . . . F Ilijah Colina scored the Cougars’ first goal, at 17:16. . . . F Conner Bruggen-Cate (18) gave the visitors a 4-1 lead at 6:37 of the second period. . . . The Cougars tied it on goals from F Aaron Boyd (11), at 11:47, and F Brogan O’Brien (12), at 14:45, and F Jared Bethune (21), at 6:05 of the third period. . . . Kelowna went back in front when F Erik Gardiner (6) scored at 11:40. . . . D Austin Crossley (3) got the home side even, 5-5, at 11:56. . . . F Jackson Leppard (14) gave the Cougars a 6-5 lead at 15:45, only to have D Cal Foote (17) get the Rockets back on even footing at 16:34. . . . Colina won it with his 10th goal, on a PP, at 19:42. . . . The Cougars got two assists from each of D Joel Lakusta, Leppard, F Josh Curtis, and F Josh Maser, with Bethune and O’Brien each getting one. . . . F Dillon Dube drew three assists for Kelowna, with D Gordie Ballhorn earning two, and Foote and Lind each getting one. . . . Kelowna was 1-3 on the PP; Prince George was 1-5. . . . Announced attendance: 2,545.


THURSDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Prince Albert at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Calgary at Edmonton, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Seattle at Portland, 7 p.m.

Victoria at Prince George, 7 p.m.

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

Kelowna at Everett, 7:35 p.m.

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

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

DAN’S DIARY . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

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

——

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


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


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

MONDAY:

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


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


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


TUESDAY (all times local):

Kootenay at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.

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

Everett at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

Warriors first to clinch playoff spot . . . Dach just what Blades ordered . . . Ronning breaks 50, beats Winterhawks


MacBeth

F Colin Long (Kelowna, 2005-09) has signed a one-year extension with Gherdëina Selva Gardena (Italy, Alps HL). This season, he has four goals and 11 assists in 11 games. His season was cut short due to a “serious knee injury” suffered in a game against Sterzing on Dec. 26.


DAN’S DIARY . . .

Dan Courneyea, one of the Kamloops Blazers’ off-ice officials, is at the Olympic Winter OlylogoGames in PyeongChang. He flew out of Kamloops on Friday, and saw his first game action on Wednesday.

He reports:

“Just finished the Slovakia vs Olympic Athletes of Russia game (kind doesn’t sound right).

“Russia played an incredible game but Slovakia decided to play smarter and got the win (3-2).

“Brett Iverson did the game.”

Iverson is a veteran WHL referee.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

Max Wutzke, a defenceman with the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks, is recovering in hospital in Coquitlam after taking a hit from behind during a game against the host Coquitlam Express on Feb. 7.

Wutzke, a 19-year-old from Calgary, left the game at 1:55 of the first period.

He has since had surgery on a broken femur and is looking at likely another two weeks in hospital. Troy Mick, the Silverbacks’ president, told Taking Note that there Wutzke had to deal with some “complications from surgery.” Wutzke has had four operations on that femur.

Mick added that Wutzke faces a long road back, but “they say his career isn’t over.”

This season, his second with Salmon Arm, Wutzke has a goal and nine assists in 51 games.

D Lucas Wong of the Express drew a match penalty on the play and has since been suspended for six games.


The AJHL’s Canmore Eagles announced Wednesday that Jeremy Reich, their assistant general manager/assistant coach, has resigned “to pursue other career aspirations” in the area of firefighting. . . . Reich had been on the Eagles’ coaching staff since 2012, after finishing his playing career in Germany. . . . Reich, 39, and Andrew Milne, the Eagles’ GM and head coach, played together in the WHL with the Swift Current Broncos in 1998-99. . . . Reich split 335 regular-season games between the Seattle Thunderbirds and Swift Current (1995-2000).


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

And don’t forget that the domain name here is greggdrinnan.com.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw

Regina at Medicine Hat

Brandon at Swift Current

Kootenay at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

WEDNESDAY:

At Regina, the Moose Jaw Warriors became the first WHL team this season to clinch a playoff spot as they beat the Pats, 6-3. . . . Moose Jaw (43-9-3) has won four straight. It MooseJawWarriorsleads the overall standings by three points over Swift Current. The Warriors have three games in hand. . . . Regina (29-24-6) is 1-1-1 in its past three games. It holds down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot. It also is fourth in the East Division, one point behind Brandon. . . . The Pats and Warriors will meet twice more this week — in Moose Jaw on Friday, then back in Regina on Sunday. They will complete the season series on Feb. 24 in Moose Jaw. . . . The Warriors lead the season series, 5-0-0; Regina is 0-4-1. . . . D Brandon Schuldhaus gave the Warriors a 1-0 lead at 6:53 of the first period. . . . Regina took a 2-1 lead on goals from F Cam Hebig (39), at 12:57 of the first, and F Sam Steel (22), on a PP, at 1:41 of the second period. . . . The visitors took control by scoring the next four goals, three of them in the second period. . . . F Tanner Jeannot got it started, on a PP, at 9:52, with Schuldaus (6) making it 3-2 at 10:15, and F Jayden Halbgewachs upping it to 4-2 at 10:35. Jeannot added his 35th goal, at 6:30, for a 5-2 lead. . . . D Josh Mahura (19), on a PP, scored for the Pats at 8:01. . . . Halbgewachs closed out the scoring with his WHL-leading 53rd goal at 18:54. . . . Halbgewachs added two assists to his two goals, while Jeannot had one helper. F Brett Howden helped out the winners with two assists, with Schuldaus getting one. . . . Schuldaus didn’t have a goal in 37 games with Red Deer this season before being dealt to Moose Jaw. Since then, he has six goals and four assists in 14 games. . . . F Matt Bradley drew three assists for Regina. Steel and Mahura each had one. . . . Regina was 2-5 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 1-5. . . . G Brody Willms earned the victory with 33 saves, three more than Regina’s Max Paddock. . . . The Warriors continue to play without D Jett Woo and F Barrett Sheen. . . . Announced attendance: 6,047.


At Swift Current, F Tyler Steenbergen broke a 2-2 tie at 11:06 of the third period to help the Broncos to a 4-2 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Swift Current (41-13-4) SCBroncoshas won five straight. It is second in the overall standings, three points behind Moose Jaw, which holds three games in hand. . . . Brandon (30-21-5) has lost two in a row. It is third in the East Division, one point ahead of Regina. . . . Steenbergen, who scored the goal that gave Canada the 2018 World Junior Championship, got his seventh game-winner this season and the 22nd of his WHL career. . . . D Colby Sissons (12) gave the home team a 1-0 lead at 11:18 of the first period. . . . Brandon F Ty Lewis (30) tied it at 9:15 of the second period. . . . The Broncos went back out front at 9:46 as F Kole Gable (6) scored. . . . The Wheat Kings tied it 2-2 as F Rylan Bettens (4) scored at 13:27. . . . Steenbergen broke the tie with his 40th goal, at 11:06 of the third period, and F Glenn Gawdin (49) add the empty-netter at 19:49. . . . Gawdin and Steenbergen added two assists each. . . . Gawdin leads the WHL scoring race with 107 points, five more than Moose Jaw F Brayden Burke. . . . Swift Current was 0-2 on the PP; Brandon was 0-3. . . . G Stuart Skinner stopped 31 shots for the Broncos. . . . Brandon got 29 stops from G Dylan Myskiw. . . . F Stelio Mattheos (UB) was among Brandon’s scratches, while D Chase Hartje (ill) and D Schael Higson (ill) also sat this one out. . . . Brandon F Baron Thompson served the final game of a four-game suspension. . . . Announced attendance: 2,734.


At Calgary, D Dylan Coghlan drew three assists to lead the Tri-City Americans to a 4-3 victory over the Hitmen. . . . Tri-City (29-19-8) has won two in a row. It holds down the TriCity30Western Conference’s first wild-card spot. It also is fourth in the U.S. Division, one point behind Spokane. . . . Calgary (17-32-7) had won its previous game. . . . The Americans opened a three-game dip into the Central Division with a 6-3 victory in Lethbridge on Tuesday. Tri-City will meet the host Kootenay Ice on Friday. . . . F Luke Coleman (13) got Calgary on the scoreboard first, at 8:34 of the first period. . . . Former Hitmen D Jake Bean (9) pulled Tri-City even, on a PP, at 16:59. . . . F Michael; Rasmussen (22) gave the Americans the lead, on a PP, at 19:54. . . . D Dakota Krebs (3), who went to Calgary in the Bean deal, tied it at 11:17 of the second period, only to have Tri-City F Jordan Topping (32) scored just seven seconds later. . . . F Parker AuCoin (15), who also had an assist, upped the lead to 4-2, shorthanded, at 13:03. . . . F Tristen Nielsen (12) got the Hitmen to within a goal at 3:11 of the third period. . . . Coleman added an assist for Calgary. . . . Tri-City was 2-4 on the PP; Calgary was 0-6. . . . G Beck Warm earned the victory with 36 saves. . . . Calgary got 21 stops from Nick Schneider. . . . Announced attendance: 5,213.


At Cranbrook, B.C., F Kirby Dach returned after a one-game injury-related absence to score on goal and set up two others as his Saskatoon Blades got past the Kootenay Ice, 3-Saskatoon2. . . . Saskatoon (29-26-3) has won three in a row. It now has won 30 games, one more than it won all of last season. The Blades also have 12 road victories, one more than last season. . . . Saskatoon holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, six points ahead of Prince Albert. . . . Kootenay (24-31-3) has lost three straight. It is tied with Red Deer for third in the Central Division. . . . The Blades took a 2-0 lead on PP goals from Dach (5), at 9:25 of the first period, and D Dawson Davidson (9), at 4:16 of the second. . . . The Ice tied it on goals from F Colton Veloso (20), on a PP, at 14:25 of the second and F Brett Davis (21), shorthanded, at 13:33 of the third. . . . At 17:12, Dach set up F Michael Farren (8) for the game-winner. . . . Farren also had an assist. . . . Davis added an assist to his goal for the Ice. . . . Saskatoon was 2-7 on the PP; Kootenay was 1-5. . . . G Nolan Maier stopped 25 shots for the Blades, one more than the Ice’s Matt Berlin. . . . The Ice scratched D Jonathan Smart (undisclosed injury), who wasn’t listed on Tuesday’s injury report, while they remain without injured F Keenan Taphorn (UB). . . . Kootenay added F Connor McClennon, the second overall selection in the 2017 bantam draft, to their roster on Tuesday, but he was a healthy scratch from this one. . . . The Blades were en route to Cranbrook on Tuesday when they had to stop for the night in Pincher Creek, Alta., due to high winds and deteriorating driving conditions. They left Pincher Creek on Wednesday and proceeded with no problems, arriving in Cranbrook at 11 a.m. “Winds were down significantly and plows and sanding trucks had been out overnight,” Les Lazaruk, the radio voice of the Blades, told Taking Note. “The highway actually opened at 10 (Tuesday night), but no sense going at that point.” . . . Announced attendance: 2,022.


At Portland, F Ty Ronning scored Nos. 50 and 51, and G David Tendeck made 49 saves, leading the Vancouver Giants to a 4-2 victory over the Winterhawks. . . . Vancouver (30-Vancouver18-8) is third in the B.C. Division, five points behind Kelowna and Victoria. . . . Portland (35-19-4) had won its previous five games. It is second in the U.S. Division, two points behind Everett. . . . F Dawson Holt (10) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 1:30 of the first period. . . . Portland went ahead 2-1 on second-period goals from F Reece Newkirk (5), at 2:49, and F Ryan Hughes (12), on a PP, at 17:02. . . . Ronning became the first player in Giants to get to 50 when he scored at 10:25 of the third period. He broke the tie with No. 51, at 17:32. . . . F Brayden Watts (13) got the empty-netter at 19:30, off a pass from Ronning. . . . D Bowen Byram had two assists for the Giants. . . . Portland was 1-4 on the PP; Vancouver was 0-2. . . . Tendeck stopped all 18 shots Portland fired his way in the third period. He had turned aside 19 shots in the second. . . . G Cole Kehler made 15 saves for Portland. . . . The Giants scratched four defencemen — Dylan Plouffe, Matt Barberis, Darion Skeoch and Alex Kannok Leipert, all of whom are injured. . . . They also are without F Milos Roman (ankle) and F Owen Hardy (ill). . . . D Joel Sexsmith, a first-round selection by the Swift Current Broncos in the 2017 WHL bantam draft, made his debut with the Giants. . . . Announced attendance: 3,025.


At Spokane, F Kailer Yamamoto broke a 2-2 tie scoring on a deflection at 19:32 of the third period to give the Chiefs a 3-2 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . Spokane (31-SpokaneChiefs20-5) is third in the U.S. Division, seven points back of Portland. . . . Kamloops (26-27-4) has lost two straight and remains six points out of a playoff spot. . . . D Joe Gatenby (12) put Kamloops ahead 1-0 at 3:26 of the first period. . . . Spokane F Eli Zummack (11) tied it at 10:32. . . . F Jake McGrew (14) gave the Chiefs a lead, on a PP, at 14:35. . . . The Blazers tied it at 14:06 of the third period on F Jackson Shepard’s eighth goal. . . . Yamamoto won it with his 14th goal. . . . The Chiefs got two assists from D Tyson Helgesen. . . . Yamamoto also had an assist. He now has 34 points, including 12 goals, in 14 games since returning to the Chiefs from the WJC. . . . F Orrin Centazzo had two assists for Kamloops. . . . Spokane was 1-5 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-3. . . . G Dawson Weatherill made 29 saves for the Chiefs, while the Blazers got 24 saves from G Dylan Ferguson. . . . The Blazers again were without D Luke Zazula and F Luc Smith, both of whom are injured. . . . Blazers head coach Don Hay turned 64 on Tuesday, celebrating with a taco or two in Spokane, as you can see from the above tweet. . . . Announced attendance: 3,526.


At Kelowna, the Red Deer Rebels scored the game’s last three goals, all in the third period, as they skated to a 4-1 victory over the Rockets. . . . Red Deer (19-26-13) has won Red Deertwo in a row and now is tied with Kootenay for third in the Central Division. . . . Kelowna (34-18-5) has points in its previous two games (1-0-1). It is tied with Victoria for top spot in the B.C. Division, but the Rockets hold two games in hand. . . . The Rebels won despite being outshot 11-1 in the first period and 15-7 in the second. . . . F Josh Tarzwell (8) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 2:19 of the first period. . . . F Kyle Topping (19) tied it at 10:10 of the third period. . . . Rebels F Brandon Hagel (10) broke the tie at 11:08. . . . F Reese Johnson (19) upped it to 3-1, on a PP, at 13:21. . . . F Mason McCarty (30) got the empty-netter at 19:00. . . . D Dawson Barteaux had two assists for the winners, with Johnson adding one. . . . Red Deer was 1-2 on the PP; Kelowna was 1-6. . . . G Riley Lamb was terrific for the Rebels, finishing with 36 saves. . . . The Rockets got 14 stops from G Brodan Salmond. . . . G James Porter Jr., who left a Monday game with an apparent injury, was on Kelowna’s bench in a backup role. . . . Kelowna scratched F Kole Lind, who took a stiff check from Victoria D Ralph Jarratt on Monday afternoon. . . . Announced attendance: 4,526.


At Victoria, Tomas Soustal scored in the third round of a shootout to give the Edmonton Oil Kings a 7-6 victory over the Royals. . . . Edmonton (17-32-7) has won three straight. . . . EdmontonOilKingsVictoria (34-21-4) has lost two in a row. It is tied with Kelowna for first place in the B.C. Division. . . . F Tyler Soy (30) gave the Royals a 1-0 lead at 1:02 of the first period. . . . Edmonton went up 2-1 on goals from F Trey Fix-Wolansky (24), on a PP, at 6:36 and F David Kope (10), at 7:54. . . . F Matthew Phillips (43) tied it at 8:33. . . . F Davis Murray (1) put Edmonton back into the lead at 14:15, and Victoria F Tanner Kaspick wrapped up a six-goal period by tying it at 17:35. . . . D Brayden Gorda (1) gave Edmonton a 4-3 lead at 2:44 of the second period, only to have Victoria D Kade Jensen (5) equalize at 9:52. . . . Soustal put the Oil Kings back out front at 14:09. . . . Kaspick (22) tied it, again, at 2:51, but Soustal (15) gave the visitors a 6-5 lead at 16:29. . . . The Royals forced OT when F Noah Gregor got his 22nd goal with 57.3 seconds left in the regulation time. . . . F Brett Kemp, D Matthew Robertson and F Nick Bowman head two assists each for Edmonton, with Soustal, Fix-Wolansky and Murray each getting one. . . . Victoria got two assists from each of D Mitchell Prowse and Soy, with Phillips, Kaspick, Jensen and Gregor adding one apiece. . . . Royals F Dante Hannoun picked up one assist, for his 200th career point. . . . Edmonton was 1-2 on the PP; Victoria was 1-6. . . . G Josh Dechaine stopped 32 shots for the Oil Kings. . . . With G Griffen Outhouse scratched — no, he wasn’t listed on Tuesday’s injury report — the Royals added G Joel Grzybowski to their roster from the SJHL’s Battlefords North Stars. He was acquired from the Saskatoon Blades earlier in the season. . . . Grzybowski, 18, started, as he made his seventh WHL appearance, the first six of which were with Saskatoon last season. He stopped 21 shots. . . . F Ty Yoder, 15, made his WHL debut with the Royals. From Tofield, Alta., he was a fifth-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft. He has 38 goals and 21 assists in 29 games with the Northern Alberta Elite 15s of the CSSHL. . . . D Ralph Jarratt was among Victoria’s scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 3,791.


THURSDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Regina at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Brandon at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Tri-City vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.

Kelowna at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Red Deer at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

Edmonton vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7:30 p.m.

Everett vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:35 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

Hockey loses writing legend . . . It’s twins for the Hurricanes . . . Halbgewachs is first sniper to 50 . . . Bellerive, Topping, Volcan fill their hats

A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

Many observers are in agreement that the newspaper business is headed for an abyss.

If that, indeed, is the case, it is a tragedy that generations to come won’t ever enjoy the thrill of waiting for their daily newspaper to be delivered in order to read the likes of Red Fisher, who died Friday at the age of 91.

When I was a youngster, I delivered the Winnipeg Tribune. It arrived in our town via a train, which came in three nights a week. That meant I delivered two papers at a time. First, though, I would camp under a street light and read Jack Matheson. Later, in the mid-1970s, I was fortunate enough to spend five years working for Matty, which is how I came to meet the legendary Jim Coleman, who was the national columnist for Southam, which owned a number of Canada’s major dailies.

Coleman was one of the greats, and so was Fisher.

Back in the day, newspapers entered into exchanges with other newspapers. We would send you a copy of our product; you would reciprocate. That’s how I came to read Fisher on a regular basis.

As Michael Farber, no slouch himself, wrote on Friday for the Montreal Gazette, Fisher’s “career touched seven decades.” Think about that for a moment or two.

Think about this, too — the first Montreal Canadiens game that Fisher covered, as Farber pointed out, “was the Richard Riot, that singular marriage of hockey, sociology and, ultimately, mythology that has marked Quebec for generations.”

Take a minute today and think about Fisher and all that he stood for as a journalist who was there when teams and writers travelled via train and was still writing when Twitter arrived.

He really did see it all, and he wrote it all, too.

Do yourself a favour at some point today. Pour yourself a cup of tea or coffee, and read Farber’s story celebrating the life and career of Red Fisher. It is right here.


I continue to hear from people wondering if I’m back writing again, or if it’s all over. So please don’t be afraid to tell your friends and neighbours that I’m back up and pass along the address. Thank you.


Danny Flynn made his debut as a WHL head coach on Friday night as the host Portland Winterhawks dropped a 5-3 decision to the Swift Current Broncos.

With Mike Johnston, Portland’s general manager and head coach, on a scouting trip, PortlandFlynn took over. Johnston, who apparently was at the bantam AAA John Reid Memorial tournament in St. Albert, Alta., on Friday,

is expected to rejoin the Winterhawks back for tonight’s game in Langley, B.C., against the Vancouver Giants.

Of course, it’s not like Flynn doesn’t have any experience as a head coach. For starters, he was in the Memorial Cup last season as head coach of the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs. He also has been head coach of the OHL’s Belleville Bulls and Soo Greyhounds, and the QMJHL’s Moncton Wildcats.

Flynn and Johnston both are from Dartmouth, N.S., which had a lot to do with Flynn’s joining the Winterhawks as an assistant coach prior to this season.

Evan Richardson, the play-by-play voice of the Winterhawks, pointed out via Twitter that Flynn is the fourth person to serve as a head coach in all three major junior leagues, joining Mike Kelly (Brandon, Windsor/North Bay, Saint John), Ron Harris (Spokane, Windsor, Saint-Jean) and Joe Canale (Medicine Hat, Sarnia, Shawinigan/Chicoutimi/Beauport/Sherbrooke).


The Lethbridge Hurricanes have signed twin brothers Adam and Justin Hall, both of whom were selected in the 2016 WHL bantam draft. . . . The twins, 16, are from Edmonton. Justin was a seventh-round selection; Adam was taken in the eighth round. . . . This season, they are playing for the midget AAA CAC Edmonton Canadians. Justin has 10 goals and eight assists in 27 games, while Adam has seven goals and 13 assists in 27 games.

While there have been a number of brother acts in the WHL, twins are a whole lot rarer. Of course, the Taphorn brothers — Kaeden and Keenan — are with the Kootenay Ice. The 17-year-olds are from Yorkton, Sask.

Know of any other twin acts? Email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com.


Hartley Miller, in his weekly Hart Attack column, wonders if winning is enough to draw hockey fans to an arena these days. He notes that the Prince George Spruce Kings are in the hunt for first overall in the BCHL, but their attendance is off about 10 per cent over last season and is the poorest it has been since 2010-11. . . . Miller points out, too, that the Spruce Kings are running a “Friday night promotion where they practically give away their product.” If you go to Save-On-Food, you are able to purchase the Friday Family Special — four tickets, including two adult, four soft drinks and four popcorn for $19.72. The regular price would be $68. . . . Now that’s a promotion. . . . Miller’s column is right here.


On Thursday, Jim Matheson, the Hockey Hall-of-Famer who covers the Edmonton Oilers for Postmedia, tweeted that he has been hearing that the annual Young Stars preseason tournament in Penticton, B.C., might be done.

The 2017 tournament was the eighth annual, but according to Matheson “many NHL scouts” have been saying that it “was disappointing for (the) calibre of kids taking part.”

However, Andrew Jakubeit, a former WHL on-ice official who now is the mayor of Penticton, told infonews.ca that all of this is news to him.

Jakubeit, who also is the event’s chairman, said that “we are still working with the (Vancouver) Canucks to finalize the details of the Young Stars tournament. It is our intention to host the event again this year.”


If you would like to contact Taking Note with information, have a question or just feel like commenting on something, feel free to send an email to greggdrinnan@gmail.com. I’m also on Twitter (@gdrinnan).


If you enjoy stopping by here, and even if you don’t, feel free to make a donation to the cause by visiting my old site, taking note.ca, and clicking on the DONATE button. Thank you, in advance.


Scoreboard

FRIDAY:

At Regina, F Jayden Halbgewachs scored twice, giving him 50 goals in 47 games, to lead the Moose Jaw Warriors to a 5-3 victory over the Pats. . . . Moose Jaw (37-7-3) has won MooseJawWarriorstwo in a row and continues to lead the overall standings by eight points over Swift Current. . . . Regina (24-20-4) had points in each of its previous five games (4-0-1). It holds down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot. . . . The Warriors took control with four first-period goals, two of them via the PP, as they outshot their hosts, 22-8. . . . Halbgewachs got it started, on a PP, at 5:46. . . . F Vince Loschiavo (14) made it 2-0 at 7:30, and D Dmitri Zaitsev (5) scored, on a PP, at 14:37. . . . F Tanner Jeannot (32) upped it to 4-0 at 19:34. . . . F Jesse Gabrielle (4) scored for Regina, on a PP, at 5:59 of the second period, but the Warriors got that one back when Halbgewachs got No. 50 at 3:35 of the third. . . . Halbgewachs joins F Theo Fleury and Kent Hayes as the only players in Warriors history to enjoy two 50-goal seasons. Halbgewachs finished last season with 50 goals in 71 games. Fleury had 61 in 1986-87 and 68 the following season. Hayes had 56 goals in 1984-85 and 50 in 1985-86. . . . The Pats’ last two goals came from D Josh Mahura, who has 16, at 8:53 and 19:09. . . . F Brayden Burke and D Kale Clague each had two assists for the Warriors, with Loschiavo adding one. . . . Mahura also had an assist to go with his two goals. . . . Moose Jaw was 2-3 on the PP; Regina was 2-4. . . . G Brody Willms earned the victory with 42 saves, 21 of them in the third period when his guys were outshot 23-5. . . . G Ryan Kubic stopped 32 shots for the Pats. . . . F Jake Leschyshyn was among Regina’s scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 6,484.


At Calgary, G Dylan Ferguson turned aside 32 shots to lead the Kamloops Blazers to a 2-1 Kamloops1victory over the Hitmen. . . . Kamloops (19-23-3) had lost its previous three games. It is eight points out of a playoff spot. . . . Calgary (14-26-6) is 13 points out of a playoff spot. . . . Don Hay of the Blazers now has 739 regular-season victories as a WHL head coach, three short of the all-time record that has belonged to Ken Hodge since the end of the 1992-93 season. . . . Ferguson was particularly busy in the third period when he stopped 19 shots. . . . The Blazers got their goals in the second period, from F Luc Smith (12), at 17:29, and F Quinn Benjafield (13), at 18:54. . . . D Vladislav Yeryomenko (11) scored for Calgary, on a PP, at 16:58 of the third period. . . . Calgary was 1-4 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-5. . . . The Hitmen got 34 stops from G Nick Schneider. . . . Announced attendance: 6,196.


At Red Deer, D Vojtech Budik scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Prince PrinceAlbertAlbert Raiders to a 5-1 victory over the Rebels. . . . Prince Albert (17-20-8) is five points behind Saskatoon, which holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . Red Deer (10-24-11) has lost 12 in a row (0-6-6) and has fallen into the league’s basement. . . . Budik, who has six goals, scored at 1:50 and 11:00, the latter via the PP, of the first period, then drew an assist on D Jeremy Masella’s fourth goal at 16:01. . . . F Jordy Stallard (31) made it 4-0, on a PP, at 4:55 of the second period. . . . D Alex Alexeyev (6) scored for Red Deer, on a PP, at 19:06. . . . The Raiders got their last goal from F Parker Kelly (19), shorthanded, at 7:00 of the third period. . . . Kelly also drew two assists. . . . The Raiders were 2-3 on the PP; the Rebels were 1-5. . . . Prince Albert got 29 saves from G Ian Scott. . . . Red Deer starter Ethan Anders allowed two goals on seven shots in 11:00. Riley Lamb came on in relief to stop 24 of 27 shots in 49:00. . . . Announced attendance: 3,987.


At Cranbrook, B.C., F Brendan Semchuk and F Colton Kehler each scored two first-period goals to get the Edmonton Oil Kings started towards a 5-1 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . EdmontonOilKings. . Edmonton (13-26-6) had lost its previous two games. . . . Kootenay (20-23-3), which opened a seven-game homestand, had won its past two games. It is third in the Central Division, five points behind Lethbridge. . . . Semchuk opened the scoring at 3:37 with his first goal since being acquired from Vancouver at the trade deadline. . . . Kehler, who has 20 goals, made it 3-0 with goals at 4:27 and 8:19, the latter via the PP. . . . Semchuk got his 10th goal at 14:54. . . . F Sebastian Streu (6) got the Ice’s goal, on a PP, at 4:43 of the second period. . . . Edmonton F Carter Souch (2) closed out the scoring at 13:49. . . . F Tomas Soustal had two assists for Edmonton, with Kehler adding one. . . . The Oil Kings were 1-2 on the PP; the Ice was 1-6. . . . Edmonton got 43 saves from G Todd Scott, 20 of those in the second period. . . . G Matt Berlin allowed five goals on 19 shots in his first start for the Ice since being acquired from Seattle at the trade deadline. He hadn’t played since Dec. 29 due to an undisclosed injury. . . . Announced attendance: 2,431.


At Portland, F Aleksi Heponiemi had three assists as he ran his point streak to 26 games in the Swift Current Broncos’ 5-3 victory over the Winterhawks. . . . Swift Current (33-10-SCBroncos3) has points in eight straight (7-0-1) and is 2-0-0 on its U.S. Division trek. The Broncos are second in the overall standings, eight points behind Moose Jaw. . . . Portland (26-15-4) has lost three in a row (0-2-1). It is second in the U.S. Division, two points behind Everett. . . . G Giorgio Estephan (20) gave the Broncos a 1-0 lead at 4:45 of the first period. That was the 300th regular-season point of his career. He later added two assists and now has 302 points in 301 games, the first 297 of those with Lethbridge. . . . F Skyler McKenzie (35) got Portland into a 1-1 tie at 14:11. He’s got five goals in his past three games and 14 goals in 13 games. . . . D Colby Sissons put the Broncos back out front at 7:50 of the second period, only to have F Alex Overheard (11) tie it, on a PP, at 15:20. . . . The Broncos took a 4-2 lead on third-period goals from F Beck Malenstyn (4), at 1:05, and Sissons (11), on a PP, at 11:21. . . . Portland F Joachim Blichfeld (15) cut into the lead at 17:55, but the Broncos iced it on an empty-netter from F Tanner Nagel (5) at 19:56. . . . Portland got two assists from D Dennis Cholowski, with Blichfeld and McKenzie adding one each. . . . Each team was 1-3 on the PP. . . . The Broncos got 34 saves from G Stuart Skinner. At the other end, Cole Kehler blocked 21 shots. . . . Cody Glass, Kieffer Bellows and Ryan Hughes (ill) were Portland’s scratches, each of them a top-six forward. . . . Portland did get back F Lane Gilliss and F Jake Gracious from injury-related absences. . . . The Winterhawks have added F Jaydon Dureau to their roster. An eighth-round selection in the 2016 bantam draft, Dureau has 27 goals and 31 assists in 28 games with the midget AAA Regina Pat Canadians this season. . . . Still, Portland only has 10 healthy forwards on its roster, so Dureau slotted in on Portland’s fourth line with defencemen John Ludvig and Conor MacEachern. Yes, the Winterhawks are running short of forwards, which may have something to do with GM/head coach Mike Johnston missing this game while on a scouting/recruiting assignment. . . . F Matteo Gennaro was among Swift Current’s scratches after having a run-in with a goal post during the Broncos’ 3-2 OT victory over the host Tri-City Americans on Wednesday. . . . Announced attendance: 5,300.


At Prince George, F Jordy Bellerive scored three times to help the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 6-2 victory over the Cougars. . . . Lethbridge (22-19-4) has points in six straight (5-0-1). LethbridgeIt is second in the Central Divison, four points behind Medicine Hat. . . . Prince George (17-23-7) has lost three in a row and is eight points from a playoff spot. . . . Bellerive, who has a career-high 29 goals in 44 games, picked up his first WHL hat trick. He scored 27 goals in 70 games last season. This season, he also career highs in assists (34) and points (63). . . . F Owen Blocker (2) gave Lethbridge a 1-0 lead at 5:32 of the first period. . . . The Cougars tied it at 8:14 as F Josh Curtis scored. . . . The Hurricanes scored the next three goals, all in the second period. . . . Bellerive scored at 1:46, with F Brad Morrison (16) counting at 4:08 and F Jake Elmer (13) at 4:33. . . . Morrison, who also had an assist, is from Prince George and played the first 260 regular-season games of his WHL career with the Cougars. They traded him to Vancouver prior to the start of this season, and he dealt to Lethbridge earlier this month. . . . Curtis (7) cut into the lead at 14:46. . . . Bellerive completed his hat trick with goals at 15:20 of the second period and 17:09 of the third. . . . Lethbridge got three assists from D Igor Merezhko. . . . D Joel Lakusta had two assists for the Cougars. . . . Lethbridge was 0-4 on the PP; Prince George was 0-5. . . . G Logan Flodell earned the victory with 22 saves. . . . G Taylor Gauthier started for the Cougars. He gave up four goals on 13 shots in 24:33 before being lifted in favour of Isaiah DiLaura, who stopped 13 of 15 shots in 35:27. . . . Announced attendance: 5,138.


At Kennewick, Wash., F Jordan Topping completed a three-goal night with a PP goal in OT to give the Tri-City Americans a 4-3 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . .Tri-City TriCity30(23-16-6) had lost its previous five games (0-4-1). It and Seattle are tied for third in the U.S. Division, four points behind Portland. . . . Brandon (28-13-4) has lost three straight (0-1-2) and is 0-1-1 on its swing into the U.S. Division. Still, the Wheat Kings are third in the overall standings. . . . The Americans took a 2-0 lead on first-period goals from Topping, on a PP, at 10:07, and F Isaac Johnson (12) at 11:26. . . . The Wheat Kings tied it on PP goals from F Baron Thompson (13) at 3:01 of the second period and F Stelio Mattheos (31) at 7:19 of the third. . . . Topping put Tri-City back out front at 12:28. . . . Brandon forced OT when F Evan Weinger (20) scored at 19:18 with the extra attacker on the ice. . . . Topping won it with his 26th goal at 2:49 of extra time. . . . Tri-City got three assists from D Dylan Coghlan and two from F Morgan Geekie. . . . F Ty Lewis had two helpers for Brandon, with Mattheos and Thompson getting one each. . . . Brandon was 2-2 on the PP; Tri-City was 2-3. . . . The Americans got 35 saves from G Patrick Dea, who was making his 150th regular-season appearance. . . . G Dylan Myskiw stopped 32 shots for Brandon. . . . The Americans had F Max James back from a four-game absence, the first three of which were due to a WHL suspension, but remain without D Juuso Valimaki, F Michael Rasmussen, F Kyle Olson and D Roman Kalinichenko. Rasmussen, who had pre-Christmas wrist surgery, is back skating, but he’s wearing a non-contact sweater and isn’t shooting the puck especially hard. . . . Earlier in the day, the Wheat Kings named D James Shearer, who is from Brandon, as the team captain. He takes over from F Tanner Kaspick, who was traded to the Victoria Royals on Jan. 10. . . . Announced attendance: 3,463.


At Langley, B.C., F Tanner Kaspick scored in the sixth round of a shootout to give the Victoria Royals a 4-3 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Victoria (27-16-4) has won VictoriaRoyalsfour straight and is second in the B.C. Divison, one point behind Kelowna and one ahead of Vancouver. . . . Vancouver (25-14-7) has points in 10 straight (7-0-3). . . . F Ty Ronning gave the Giants a 1-0 lead at 5:23 of the first period. . . . Victoria went ahead 2-1 on goals from F Dante Hannoun (19), on a PP, at 17:20 of the first and F Jeff de Wit (9), at 4:48 of the second. . . . Ronning, who has 42 goals, tied it at 11:11. . . . Victoria went back out front at 1:00 of the third period on F Tyler Soy’s 21st goal. . . . The Giants tied it again on D Dylan Plouffe’s eighth goal, at 7:51. . . . F Tyler Benson and F Owen Hardy each had two assists for Vancouver. . . . Victoria was 1-2 on the PP; Vancouver was 0-2. . . . G Griffen Outhouse stopped 40 shots through OT for the Royals. At the other end, David Tendeck made 22 saves. . . . The Giants remain without Slovakian F Milos Roman, who last played on Jan. 9. He has eight goals and 21 assists in 34 games. On Friday, the CHL announced that Roman, a freshman, won’t be playing in the Top Prospects Game on Thursday in Guelph. He was replaced by F Liam Foudy of the OHL’s London Knights. . . . The Giants did have D Darian Skeoch in the lineup after he sat since Jan. 9 with an undisclosed injury. . . . Announced attendance: 3,637.


At Kent, Wash., F Nolan Volcan scored three goals to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 7-2 victory over the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Seattle (23-16-6) has won three in a row and is Seattletied with Tri-City for third in the U.S. Division. . . . Kelowna (28-14-3) leads the Western Conference by one point over Victoria and Everett. . . . Seattle scored the game’s first three goals. F Zack Andrusiak (20) got it started 59 seconds into the first period. Volcan made it 2-0 at 8:01. . . . F Noah Philp (9) upped it to 3-0 at 6:07 of the second period. . . . F Dillon Dube (20) got the Rockets on the scoreboard, on a PP, at 10:20. . . . The Thunderbirds reply with three more goals, from Volcan, at 12:00, D Turner Ottenbreit (6), at 13:40, and F Blake Bargar (9), at 6:43 of the third period. . . . F Conner Bruggen-Cate (13) got Kelowna’s second goal at 10:34. . . . Volcan, who has 23 goals, completed his hat trick, on a PP, at 17:33. . . . Seattle got three assists from each of D Jarret Tyszka and F Sami Moilanen. . . . The Thunderbirds were 2-6 on the PP; Kelowna was 1-4. . . . G Dorrin Luding blocked 27 shots for Seattle. . . . The Rockets opened with G Brodan Salmond, who was beaten five times on 16 shots in 33:40. Cole Tisdale, 15, came on in his WHL debut and stopped 15 of 17 shots in 26:20. . . . Announced attendance: 6,057.


SATURDAY (all times local):

Regina at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Kamloops at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Prince Albert at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.

Lethbridge at Prince George, 7 p.m.

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

Victoria at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Brandon at Everett, 7:05 p.m.

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

Tri-City at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

This actually was from Thursday, but it holds up with the Tigers not playing on Friday . . .

Friday in the WHL: Warriors romp; so do Broncos . . . Kubic big in Regina . . . Winterhawks roll on road

MacBeth

D Cam Barker (Medicine Hat, 2001-06) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Langnau (Switzerland, NL A) after obtaining his release from Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia, KHL). He had two goals and eight assists in 37 games with Slovan this season. Slovan has seven games left in the regular season and was mathematically eliminated from the playoffs on Wednesday.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

The Lethbridge Hurricanes have signed F Michael Horon, 16, whose rights they acquired from the Everett Silvertips on Wednesday. From Lethbridge, Horon has nine goals and 13 assists in 24 games with the midget AAA Hurricanes. . . . The Hurricanes gave up a sixth-round pick in the 2019 WHL bantam draft for Horon. He was a ninth-round pick by Everett in the 2016 bantam draft.


F Kyle Bettens, 16, has committed to attending Bemidji State and playing hockey for the Beavers. This season, he has 23 goals and 28 assists in 32 games with the midget AAA Winnipeg Wild. He also has three assists in one game with the MJHL’s Steinbach Pistons. . . . He is the younger brother of D Rylan Bettens of the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Brandon selected Kyle in the fourth round of the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft.


The Red Deer Rebels have brought in F Zak Smith, 16, from the MJHL’s Neepawa Natives for the weekend. Smith, from Austin, Man., has eight goals and seven assists in 32 games with Neepawa. . . . The 6-foot-2 Smith is an undrafted list player.


When the Prince George Cougars traded D Jonas Harkins, 17, to the Regina Pats as part of PrinceGeorgea multi-player deal this week, you may have wondered how that all went down. Well, it seems that Cougars GM Todd Harkins, who happens to be Jonas’s father, was under pressure from his wife, Kirsten, and from Newport Sports at the time. In a revealing interview, Harkins, who is in the last year of a four-year contract, also talked about what it was like having sons on his team’s roster. Hint: It wasn’t easy. . . . There’s lots more from Hartley Miller right here.


Mike Sarada, an assistant coach with the bantam AA Estevan TS&M Bruins, was killed Monday when he got out of his car on Highway 39 north of Estevan and was struck by a big rig. Sarada, who lived in Midale, Sask., was driving to a Bruins’ practice when the accident occurred. . . . There’s more right here.


A hotel in Squamish, B.C., has filed a lawsuit asking for compensation for what it claims was more than $200,000 in damages caused by a hockey team in February 2016. Named in the lawsuit are the Abbotsford Minor Hockey Association, a team representative and 60 unidentified players and parents. According to a Canada Press story, “A notice of civil claim says water from a damaged line leaked into the hallway and down an elevator hoistway after an ice machine was allegedly kicked or pushed by one or more players, causing damages to the structure and contents of the hotel.” . . . There’s more on the story right here.


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Scoreboard

FRIDAY:

At Moose Jaw, F Brett Howden returned to the Warriors’ lineup with three goals and two assists as they skated to an 8-2 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . The Warriors MooseJawWarriorsalso got three goals and two assists from F Jayden Halbgewachs. . . . The Warriors (35-6-3) have points in 10 straight (9-0-1). They continue to lead the overall standings by 10 points over Swift Current. . . . The Oil Kings (12-25-6) were coming off OT victories in Brandon and Regina. . . . Howden, in his first game since winning gold with Team Canada at the WJC in Buffalo, opened the scoring at 13:27 of the first period. . . . F Branden Klatt (2) made it 2-0 at 15:37, with Howden upping it to 3-0 at 16:21. . . . Halbgewachs scored his first of three 34 seconds into the second period. . . . Edmonton got its first goal from F Colton Kehler at 1:36. . . . Moose Jaw responded with the next three goals — from F Justin Almeida (26), Howden, who has 16 goals, and Halbgewachs. That goal was the 100th of Howden’s career. He has played 220 games, and also has 227 assists. . . . Kehler, who has 18 goals, scored again for Edmonton in the third period, before Halbgewachs completed his hat trick with his WHL-leading 47th goal at 4:38. He’s played 44 games. Last season, he finished with 50 goals in 71 games. . . . Halbgewachs now has 84 points, one fewer than teammate Brayden Burke, who leads the WHL scoring derby. Burke had one assist in this game. . . . Moose Jaw got three assists from F Ryan Peckford. . . . F Brett Kemp had two assists for Edmonton. . . . Moose Jaw was 0-2 on the PP; Edmonton was 0-3. . . . G Adam Evanoff stopped 17 shots for the Warriors. . . . Edmonton starter Josch Dechaine was beaten five times on 12 shots in 24:35. Todd Scott came on in relief, making his Oil Kings debut by stopping 24 of 27 shots in 35:25. He had been acquired from the Vancouver Giants. . . . Howden and Halbgewachs each was plus-6. D Kale Clague, in his first game with the Warriors, had one assist and was plus-4. He came over from the Brandon Wheat Kings on Wednesday. . . . Announced attendance: 3,639.


At Prince Albert, the Raiders, who had guaranteed victory, dropped a 4-0 decision to the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Even with the loss the Raiders distributed vouchers to fans SCBroncosthat could be returned for free tickets to tonight’s game against the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . The Broncos (30-10-3) have points in five straight (4-0-1). They are second in the overall standings. . . . The Raiders (15-19-8) have lost two in a row and are seven points out of a playoff spot. . . . G Stuart Skinner, who was acquired from the Lethbridge Hurricanes this week, stopped 29 shots in his Broncos debut. He has four shutouts this season and 11 in his career. . . . F Glenn Gawdin had two goals and an assist for the Broncos. He opened the scoring at 8:03 of the first period and closed it out with his 34th goal at 17:26 of the third period. . . . F Kaden Elder (12) and D Colby Sissons (9) also scored. . . . F Tyler Steenbergen had one assist in his first game back after he scored Canada’s gold medal-winning goal at the WJC. . . . The Raiders got 21 stops from G Ian Scott. . . . Swift Current was 0-2 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 0-4. . . . Announced attendance: 1,916.


At Regina, G Ryan Kubic stopped a career-high 47 shots in his Pats debut to spark his ReginaPats100guys to a 3-1 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Kubic was acquired from the Saskatoon Blades at the trade deadline. . . . Regina (22-19-4) has points in three straight (2-0-1). It holds down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, three points ahead of Saskatoon. . . . The Tigers (23-17-3) lead the Central Division by eight points over Lethbridge. . . . D Josh Mahura gave Regina a 1-0 lead at 12:03 of the first period. . . . The forwards tied it at 6:37 of the second period on F Mark Rassell’s 35th goal. . . . F Cam Hebig (31), who came over from the Blades with Kubic, scored at 3:48 of the third period and that goal stood up as the winner. . . . F Sam Steel (15) got the empty-netter at 19:53 of the third period. . . . Mahura and Bradley each had an assist. . . . The Tigers got 28 saves from G Jordan Hollett. . . . Announced attendance: 6,033.


At Brandon, G Logan Thompson stopped 28 shots to help the Wheat Kings to a 4-1 victory BrandonWKregularover the Calgary Hitmen. . . . The Wheat Kings (28-12-2) have points in four straight (3-0-1). They are third in the overall standings, five points behind Swift Current. . . . The Hitmen (13-24-6) have lost three in a row. . . . The Wheat Kings took a 2-0 lead on first-period goals from D Zach Wytinck (4), at 3:59, and F Caiden Daley (5), at 7:27. . . . F Connor Gutenberg (13) made it 3-0 at 6:03 of the third period. . . . Calgary F Vladislav Yeryomenko (9) scored Calgary’s goal, on a PP, at 8:28. . . . F Linden McCorrister (13) got Brandon’s last goal at 13:29. . . . Dailey and Wytinck added an assist each. . . . G Nick Schneider stopped 36 shots for the Hitmen. . . . D Chase Hartje and F Luka Burzan made their Brandon debuts after being acquired from Moose Jaw. Burzan had an assist. . . . Calgary was 1-3 on the PP; Brandon was 0-6. . . . Announced attendance: 3,825.


At Red Deer, F Logan Barlage broke a 3-3 tie with two third-period goals as the Lethbridge Hurricanes beat the Rebels, 6-4. . . . Lethbridge (19-19-3) has won two in a Lethbridgerow. It is second in the Central Division, two points ahead of Kootenay. . . . The Rebels (10-23-10) have lost 10 straight (0-5-5). . . . Barlage had one goal in 38 games with the Swift Current Broncos this season. The fourth-overall selection in the 2016 bantam draft, he was part of a multi-player swap on Tuesday. That night, Barlage scored the shootout winner as the Hurricanes beat the visiting Rebels, 5-4. . . . Last night, D Colin Paradis (2) gave Red Deer the lead 26 seconds into the game. . . . F Brad Morrison (14) tied it at 2:57. . . . The Rebels took a 3-1 lead before the period ended, on goals from F Grayson Pawlenchuk (14), at 16:27, and F Reese Johnson (16), at 17:48. . . . The Hurricanes tied it on two second-period PP goals, from F Jordy Bellerive (25), at 11:56, and F Taylor Ross (11), at 16:51. . . . Earlier in the day, Bellerive was name the Hurricanes’ new captain, taking over from Giorgio Estephan, who now is with the Broncos. . . . Barlage snapped the tie with goals at 8:54 and 12:02 of the third. . . . F Mason McCarty (21) got Red Deer to within a goal at 13:23, but F Dylan Cozens (13) got it back at 18:51. . . . Bellerive and Morrision also had two assists each, with Ross and Cozens each adding one. . . . Lethbridge was 2-5 on the PP; Red Deer was 0-3. . . . F Kristian Reichel had two assists for Red Deer, with Pawlenchuk, McCarty and Paradis getting one each. . . . Red Deer F Brandon Hagel had one assist in his first game since Dec. 1. . . . G Logan Flodell earned the victory with 23 saves, two fewer than Riley Lamb of the Rebels. . . . Announced attendance: 4,179.


At Spokane, G Bailey Brkin made his Chiefs debut with 36 saves as they beat the Prince George Cougars, 6-2. . . . Spokane (22-18-3) had lost its previous three games. It holds SpokaneChiefsdown the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . Prince George (16-20-7) is seven points out of a playoff spot. . . . Brkin was acquired from the Kootenay Ice on Tuesday, although the Chiefs said at the time he was “expected to report to the AJHL’s Brooks Bandits.” . . . Spokane F Kailer Yamamoto, in his return from a stint with the U.S. at the WJC, opened the scoring at 1:11 of the first period. . . . The Chiefs went ahead 3-0 on goals from F Jake McGrew, at 4:39,a nd F Riley Woods (19), at 9:27. . . . F Liam Ryan (1) got the visitors on the scoreboard at 14:10 and F Aaron Boyd (8) pulled them to within a goal, while shorthanded, at 0:26 of the second period. . . . But the Chiefs took back control with two second-period goals, from McGrew (8), on a PP, at 5:11, and F Jaret Anderson-Dolan (24), while shorthanded, at 17:49. . . . F Ethan McIndoe (11) added a third-period goal for the Chiefs. . . . Anderson-Dolan added two assists to his goal, with Elynuik also getting two, and McIndoe and Yamamoto one each. . . . F Ilijah Colina had an assist for the Cougars in his first game since moving over from Portland. . . . Spokane was 1-5 on the PP; Prince George was 0-7. . . . G Taylor Gauthier stopped 22 shots for the Cougars. . . . Announced attendance: 4,354.


At Kennewick, Wash., the Portland Winterhawks, with all hands on deck, skated to a 5-1 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . Portland (25-13-3) has won three straight and is Portlandback atop the U.S. Division, one point ahead of Everett. . . . Tri-City (22-14-5) has lost two in a row. It is third in the U.S. Division, three points behind Everett. . . . The Winterhawks welcomed back F Kieffer Bellows, D Henri Jokiharju and F Joachim Blichfeld, all of whom had played in the WJC. They also had D Dennis Cholowski in the lineup after the was acquired from the Prince George Cougars on Wednesday. As well, D Keoni Texeira, the captain, returned after last playing on Dec. 12. . . . The Americans had D Jake Bean in their lineup for the first time since getting him from the Calgary Hitmen, But the Americans are without D Juuso Valimaki, F Michael Rasmussen, F Morgan Geekie and F Kyle Olson, all of whom are injured. . . . The Winterhawks scored the game’s first five goals, three of them coming in the second period after a scoreless opening 20 minutes. . . . Bellows, who has 21 goals, scored twice, with F Alex Overhardt (10), Jokiharju (8) and F Lukus MacKenzie (1) adding one each. . . . MacKenzie was acquired Wednesday from the Red Deer Rebels. He had been scoreless in 30 games split between Red Deer and the Saskatoon Blades this season. . . . Tri-City got its goal from F Isaac Johnson (10) on a third-period PP. . . . D Matthew Quigley, F Skyler McKenzie and Blichfeld each had two assists for Portland, with Overhardt getting one. . . . Portland was 1-4 on the PP; Tri-City was 1-5. . . . G Cole Kehler stopped 28 shots for Portland. . . . Tri-City starter Beck Warm allowed three goals on 27 shots in 34:56. Patrick Dea finished up by stopping 11 of 13 shots in 25:04. . . . Announced attendance: 3,911.


At Victoria, F Dante Hannoun scored twice before the first period was three minutes old and the Royals went on to a 6-5 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . Victoria (24-16-4) VictoriaRoyalsis third in the B.C. Division, two points behind Vancouver. . . . Kamloops (18-21-3) is seven points out of a playoff spot. . . . Hannoun, who has 16 goals, scored at 1:21 and 2:32 of the first period. . . . F Jermaine Loewen got Kamloops started at 5:39. . . . F Igor Martynov (13) restored Victoria’s two-goal lead at 14:37. . . . The Blazers tied it on second-period goals from F Orrin Centazzo (7), at 4:13, and F Carson Denomie (6), at 10:36. . . . D Mitchell Prowse (2) gave Victoria a 4-3 lead 57 seconds into the third period, and F Jeff de Wit (6) scored, on a PP, at 2:30. . . . F Luc Smith (10) got Kamloops back to within a goal, on a PP, at 12:00, only to have F Tanner Kaspick (13) get it back at 19:16. . . . Loewen (17) added his second goal of the game, on another PP, at 19:40. . . . The Royals got two assists from F Matthew Phillips, with Kaspick adding one to his goal in his first game since moving over from the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . F Tyler Soy had one assist to set the Chilliwack/Victoria franchise record for career assists, with 152. He had shared the record with F Brandon Magee. . . . D Joe Gatenby had two assists for Kamloops, with Loewen and Smith adding one each. . . . Kamloops was 2-4 on the PP; Victoria was 2-5. . . . G Griffen Outhouse made 23 saves for Victoria, while Dylan Ferguson stopped 40 shots at the other end. . . . Victoria F Lane Zablocki left at 7:39 of the first period with a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct. . . . D Luke Zazula was among the Blazers’ scratches. He was attending a family funeral, but should be back for tonight’s rematch. . . . Announced attendance: 4,790.


At Kent, Wash., the Kelowna Rockets scored four PP goals as they beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 6-2. . . . Kelowna (27-12-3) has won three in a row and now leads the B.C. KelownaRocketsDivision by three points over Vancovuer. . . . Seattle (20-15-6) had points in each of its previous nine games (7-0-2). It holds down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . The Rockets scored the game’s first five goals to lead 5-0 before the third period was half over. . . . They got first-period PP goals from F Carsen Twarynski and Jack Cowell (8), then added second-period scores from F Colum McGauley (2) and F Leif Mattson (12). . . . Twarynski (29) scored again in the third period, before F Dillon Hamaliuk (8) and D Austin Strand (14) scored for Seattle. . . . Mattson (13) got the empty-netter at 18:12 of the third period. Actually, he was awarded a goal after Strand threw his stick at the puck while trying to thwart a breakaway on the open net. . . . The Rockets got three assists from D Cal Foote, two from F Kyle Topping, and one from Mattson. . . . Hamaliuk added an assist to his goal. . . . Kelowna was 4-8 on the PP; Seattle was 0-5. . . . G James Porter Jr. earned the victory with 21 saves. . . . Liam Hughes stopped 37 shots for the Thunderbirds. . . . Kelowna F Dillon Dube (ill) didn’t play. . . . Announced attendance: 4,259.


SATURDAY (all times local):

Moose Jaw at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Calgary at Regina, 7 p.m.

Edmonton at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat at Brandon 7:30 p.m.

Kootenay at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Seattle at Portland, 6 p.m.

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

Everett at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.

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

Kamloops at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

Americans’ Valimaki on shelf . . . Winning debut for McDonald in P.A. . . . No stopping Blades or Giants

MacBeth

F Chase Witala (Prince George, 2010-16) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Žilina (Slovakia, Extraliga). This season, he had three goals and seven assists with the Atlanta Gladiators (ECHL), and was pointless in five games with the Norfolk Admirals (ECHL).


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

The Tri-City Americans, already without F Michael Rasmussen for up to eight weeks, are going to have to play without D Juuso Valimaki for the next while.

Valimaki has been with the Finnish national junior team at the World Junior TriCity30Championship in Buffalo.

The 19-year-old Valimaki is in his third season with the Americans. The Calgary Flames selected him in the first round of the NHL’s 2017 draft.

Wes Gilbertson, who covers the Flames for Postmedia, tweeted Saturday evening that Valimaki “was playing through injury” at the WJC.

Valimaki went from Buffalo to Calgary where he was examined by the Flames’ medical staff. According to Gilbertson, any injury isn’t major, but is enough to keep Valimaki on the shelf for “likely . . . a couple of weeks.”

Valimaki has five goals and 15 assists in 19 games with Tri-City, but missed five games between Nov. 18 and Dec. 8 with an undisclosed injury. He returned to play three games and then left to join Finland’s national junior team.

Of course, when Valimaki does return, he will get to skate with D Jake Bean, one of the WHL’s top players, who was acquired from the Calgary Hitmen last night.

Rasmussen, meanwhile, had surgery before Christmas to repair a damaged wrist. A first-round pick by the Detroit Red Wings in the NHL’s 2017 draft, he has 31 points, including 16 goals, in 22 games this season. However, he didn’t play between Nov. 18 and Dec. 2, then came back to play five games. He last played on Dec. 16.


The Prince Albert Raiders got down to three 20-year-olds on Saturday by releasing F Devon Skoleski. The move became necessary after the Raiders acquired F Regan Nagy, 20, from the Victoria Royals earlier in the week. . . . From St. Adolphe, Man., Skoleski had eight goals and nine assists in 38 games this season, his third in the WHL. He played the previous two seasons with the Everett Silvertips. In 169 regular-season games, he has 31 goals and 39 assists. . . . The move leaves the Raiders with Nagy, F Curtis Miske and F Jordy Stallard as their 20-year-old players.


The Kootenay Ice has signed D Benjamin Zloty, who was a sixth-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. From Calgary, he has three goals and six assists in 11 games with the midget AAA Calgary Royals this season. . . . The Ice now has signed seven of the 10 players it selected in the 2017 bantam draft.


Scoreboard

SATURDAY:

At Prince Albert, F Kody McDonald, acquired in a trade earlier in the day, scored in OT to give the Raiders a 2-1 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . The Raiders (15-17-8) have PrinceAlbertpoints in three straight (2-0-1). They now are five points out of a wild-card playoff spot. . . . The Rebels (10-21-9) have lost seven straight (0-3-4). . . . The Raiders had D Vojtech Budik back after his stint with Czech Republic at the World Junior Championship and he opened the scoring with his third goal of the season, 48 seconds into the second period. . . . That goal came after a first period in which the home side held a 17-0 edge in shots. . . . F Reese Johnson (13) pulled the Rebels even at 19:33 of the second. . . . McDonald won it at 1:08 of extra time with his 20th goal of the season. . . . Budik earned an assist on the winner. . . . Prince Albert was 0-2 on the PP; Red Deer was 0-3. . . . G Curtis Meger earned the victory with 18 saves. . . . Red Deer got 33 saves from G Ethan Anders. . . . Both teams will make it three games in fewer than 48 hours today as they hit the road — the Rebels will play in Swift Current, while the Raiders are in Regina. . . . Announced attendance: 1,901.


At Swift Current, the Broncos broke a 2-2 tie with two third-period goals and beat the Regina Pats, 4-2. . . . Swift Current (28-10-3) has points in three straight (2-0-1). The SCBroncosBroncos are second in the overall standings, 10 points behind Moose Jaw and six ahead of Brandon. . . . Regina (20-19-3) had won its previous four games. The Pats hold down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, five points ahead of Prince Albert. . . . The Broncos took a 2-0 lead on first-period goals from F Kaden Elder, at 9:34, and F Matteo Gennaro, at 11:42. . . . Regina tied it in the second period as F Bryan Lockner (6) scored, on a PP, at 4:41 and F Nick Henry (7) counted at 18:46. . . . Gennaro (26) broke the tie at 15:15 of the third period and Elder (11) added insurance at 18:31. . . . D Josh Mahura had two assists for the Pats. . . . Regina was 1-4 on the PP; Swift Current was 0-3. . . . The Broncos got 33 saves from G Logan Flodell. . . . Regina starter Tyler Brown allowed two goals on 11 shots in 11:45 before being relieved by Jacob Wassermann, who made his WHL debut by stopping 15 of 17 shots in 48:15. Wassermann, who plays for the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos, is on the Pats’ roster while G Max Paddock is sidelined. . . . F Austin Pratt, acquired earlier in the day from Red Deer, was in the Pats’ lineup. However, F Jesse Gabrielle and D Jonas Harkins, who came over to Regina from Prince George on Friday, didn’t play. . . . D Artyom Minulin played for the Broncos after returning from the World Junior Championship where he played for Russia. . . . Announced attendance: 2,284.


At Saskatoon, the Blades ran their winning streak to seven games with a 4-2 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . The Blades (21-17-3) now have won 10 of their past 11 games. They Saskatoonare in the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, two points ahead of Regina. . . . The Ice (18-21-3) has lost five in a row, going 0-4-1 as it played five games in six nights. This also was its eight game in 11 nights since the end of the Christmas break. Kootenay remains second in the Central Division, two points ahead of Lethbridge. . . . F Gage Ramsay, who went into the game with two goals this season, got his guys off to a quick start by scoring twice in the first period, at 3:07 and 12:46. . . . F Josh Paterson (20) made it 3-0 at 17:13. . . . Saskatoon F Cam Hebig (30) upped the lead to 4-0 at 8:33 of the third period. . . . The Ice got two late third-period goals from F Keenan Taphorn (4), at 15:48, and F Brett Davis (11), at 18:44. . . . Ramsay added an assist to his two goals, while Hebig had two helpers. . . . D Zachary Patrick had two assists for the Ice. . . . Kootenay was 0-1 on the PP; Saskatoon was 0-2. . . . Saskatoon G Nolan Maier stopped 27 shots. He’s got 10 victories in his past 10 starts. . . . Kootenay starter Bailey Brkin was beaten three times on 17 shots in the first period. Duncan McGovern finished up by stopping 14 of 15 shots in 38:51. . . . This was the first meeting of four between these teams this season. . . . D Libor Hajek, who played so well for Slovakia at the World Junior Championship, was back in the Blades’ lineup. . . . The Blades will make it three games in fewer than 48 hours when they meet the Wheat Kings in Brandon today. The Wheat Kings were idle last night. . . . Announced attendance: 3,241.


At Edmonton, F Jayden Halbgewachs, the WHL’s top sniper, scored twice to help the Moose Jaw Warriors to a 7-2 victory over the Oil Kings. . . . Moose Jaw (33-6-3) has points MooseJawWarriorsin eight straight (7-0-1) and is 10 points clear atop the overall standings. . . . The Oil Kings (10-24-6) have lost three in a row (0-2-1). . . . The Warriors jumped out front 2-0 on first-period goals form F Tanner Jeannot (31) and Halbgewachs, at 5:05 and 10:32. . . . Edmonton tied it before the period ended on PP goals from F Davis Koch (18) and F Trey Fix-Wolansky (17). . . . The Warriors scored the game’s last five goals. . . . F Luka Burzan (6) broke the tie at 12:00 of the second period, and F Justin Almeida added insurance at 17:18. . . . Almeida (24) scored again at 2:14, Halbgewachs (44) got his second of the game, while shorthanded, at 14:25, and F Tate Popple (4) finished the scoring at 17:32. . . . F Brayden Burke, who leads the WHL points race, had three assists. . . . Fix-Wolansky and Koch each had an assist for Edmonton. . . . The Oil Kings were 2-7 on the PP; the Warriors were 1-4. . . . The Warriors got 16 saves from G Brody Willms, while Edmonton’s Josh Dechaine stopped 25 shots. . . . Moose Jaw lost D Matthew Benson to a headshot major and game misconduct at 3:23 of the third period. . . . The Oil Kings were without F Colton Kehler, who served a one-game suspension after a slew-footing incident in Medicine Hat on Friday night. . . . Announced attendance: 7,375.


At Lethbridge, F Andrew Fyten scored Calgary’s first two goals and the Hitmen went on to a 6-1 victory over the Hurricanes. . . . Calgary (13-21-6) has won four straight from CalgaryLethbridge and leads the season series, 4-2-0. Calgary is fourth in the Central Division, five points behind Lethbridge. . . . Lethbridge (17-19-3) has lost two in a row. It is 2-3-1 in the series with Calgary. The Hurricanes are third in the division, two points behind Kootenay with three games in hand. . . . Fyten gave his guys a 1-0 lead at 5:38 of the first period. . . . Lethbridge F Jordy Bellerive (24) tied it at 15:05 with his seventh goal in six games. . . . Fyten (6) put the Hitmen back out front at 17:34. . . . The visitors took control with three second-period goals, from F Luke Coleman (8), at 1:34; D Jameson Murray (1), at 6:34; and F Riley Stotts (9), at 8:53. . . . F Cael Zimmerman (4) closed out the scoring, on a PP, at 19:19 of the third period. . . . James and F Jake Kryski each had two assists for Calgary, with Coleman and Stotts each adding one. . . . The Hitmen were 1-4 on the PP; the Hurricanes were 0-3. . . . Calgary G Nick Schneider stopped 37 shots. . . . The Hurricanes started G Stuart Skinner, who allowed five goals on 17 shots in 28:53. . . . Reece Klassen played the final 31:07, stopping 16 of 17 shots. . . . Calgary F Jakob Stukel came up short on a second-period penalty shot. . . . The Hitmen will play their third game of the weekend today when they entertain the Kelowna Rockets, who didn’t play last night. . . . Announced attendance: 3,773.


At Medicine Hat, the Vancouver Giants scored the game’s last two goals to beat the Tigers, 5-3. . . . Vancouver (23-14-5) has points in six straight (5-0-1) and has won six straight road Vancouvergames. The Giants, who have missed the playoffs each of the previous three seasons, are tied with Kelowna for first place in the B.C. Division. . . . Medicine Hat (22-16-3) had been 3-0-1 in its previous four games. It leads the Central Division by eight points over Kootenay. . . . F Tyler Preziuso (11) scored a shorthanded goal at 2:08 of the first period to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. . . . F Dawson Holt pulled the visitors even at 6:51. . . . The Tigers went back out front when F Ryan Chyzowski (14) scored, on a PP, at 2:53 of the second period. . . . Vancouver pulled even again just 55 seconds later when F Brad Morrison (11) scored. . . . The Giants took their first lead at 8:27 as F Brayden Watts (12) scored while shorthanded. . . . Medicine Hat tied it at 9:53 when F Gary Haden (10) scored while on the PP. . . . The Giants won it with two third-period goals. . . . F Ty Ronning (36) broke the tie, on a PP, at 5:38, and Holt (6) provided insurance with his second goal of the game at 11:36. . . . Morrison and Watts had an assist each for Vancouver. . . . Chyzowski added an assist to his goal, too. . . . Medicine Hat was 2-7 on the PP; Vancouver was 1-4. . . . G Todd Scott stopped 23 shots for the Giants, two fewer than Medicine Hat’s Jordan Hollett. . . . F Ryan Jevne of the Tigers completed a three-game suspension by sitting out this one. . . . Announced attendance: 3,353.


At Kamloops, the Victoria Royals erased a 3-0 first-period deficit and beat the Blazers, 5-4 in OT. . . . Victoria (23-15-4) has won two in a row and is third in the B.C. Division, one VictoriaRoyalspoint behind Kelowna and Vancouver. . . . Kamloops (17-19-3) now is eights points out of a playoff spot. . . . The Blazers got first-period goals from F Nick Chyzowski (13), at 0:51; F Garrett Pilon (18), who ended a six-game drought, at 4:44; and F Travis Walton, with his first goal in his 21st game, at 19:08. . . . F Tyler Soy (18) got Victoria on the scoreboard at 14:52 of the second period, but D Joe Gatenby (9) got it back for Kamloops just 1:07 later. . . . The Royals got to within two goals at 16:52 as F Dino Kambeitz scored his ninth goal. . . . D Jared Freadrich (9) made it 4-3, on a Victoria PP, at 10:12, and F Matthew Phillips (30), who was the game’s best player and also had two assists, tied it at 14:36. . . . The game ended on the first shot of OT at 0:23. Soy won a puck battle deep in the Royals’ zone, and rifled the puck up ice to send Phillips and D Chaz Reddekopp in 2-on-1. Phillips made the pass to give Reddekopp a look at an open net and he didn’t miss for his fifth goal of the season. . . . Soy and Reddekopp also had an assist each. . . . The Blazers got two assists from D Nolan Kneen and one each from Pilon and Gatenby. . . . Victoria was 1-3 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-3. . . . G Griffen Outhouse stopped 32 shots to record the victory over Dylan Ferguson, who made 30 saves. . . . The Blazers had F Justin Sigrist back after his time with Switzerland at the World Junior Championship. . . . F Jeff de Wit, who finished Friday’s 5-0 victory over visiting Everett, was among Victoria’s scratches. . . . The Royals left immediately after the game for Everett where they are scheduled to play the Silvertips today. . . . Announced attendance: 4,740.


At Prince George, F Parker AuCoin scored two third-period goals to force OT then got the only goal of a shootout as the Tri-City Americans, who had trailed 4-1, came back to beat TriCity30the Cougars, 6-5. . . . Tri-City (21-12-5) had lost its previous two games. It is third in the U.S. Division, one point behind Everett. . . . Prince George (15-18-7) has points in four straight (2-0-2) and is tied with Kamloops, eight points out of a playoff spot. . . . F Jared Bethune, who had scored three times in the Cougars’ 4-3 victory on Friday night, got his 13th goal at 7:32 of the first period for a 1-0 lead. . . . F Aaron Boyd (7) made it 2-0 at 8:51. . . . F Sasha Mutala (5) cut into the deficit, on a PP, at 16:40. . . . The Cougars went ahead 4-0 with a pair of second-period PP goals just 1:31 apart — F Jackson Leppard (9) scored at 11:24 and D Dennis Cholowski (13) followed up at 12:55. . . . The Americans got to within a goal by scoring twice before the period ended, as F Jordan Topping (20) scored at 13:11 and F Max James got his sixth goal at 15:55. . . . The Cougars went ahead 5-3 at 3:30 of the third period when F Max Kryski got the third goal of his freshman season. . . . The Americans tied it on a pair of AuCoin PP goals, at 10:41 and 12:16. He’s got 10 goals. . . . AuCoin, the shootout’s first shooter, scored and his goal held up as the winner. . . . The Americans got two assists from each of D Mitchell Brown and Topping, with James getting one. . . . Leppard and D Joel Lakusta had two assists apiece for the Cougars, with Cholowski and Bethune adding one each. . . . Lakusta, who went into his third season with three goals and 16 assists in 104 games, has four goals and 16 helpers in 40 games this season. He has recorded six assists in his past four games. . . . Tri-City was 3-5 on the PP; Prince George was 2-4. . . . G Beck Warm stopped 38 shots for the Americans, and that included a save on F Josh Curtis on a penalty shot at 1:19 of OT. . . . The Cougars got 34 saves from G Tavin Grant. . . . Newly acquired F Kjell Kjemhus, who came over from Regina, and D Rhett Rhinehart (Prince Albert) made their Prince George debuts. . . . The Americans were fined $250 on Saturday for a “warm-up violation” prior to Friday’s game. . . . Tri-City will complete a three-game weekend today in Kamloops. . . . Announced attendance: 2,841.


At Everett, F Jake Gricius scored at 19:21 of the third period to give the Portland Winterhawks a 4-3 victory over the Silvertips. . . . Portland (23-13-3) had lost its previous Portlandthree games (0-1-2). The victory lifted it past Everett and into first place in the U.S. Division. . . . Everett (23-16-2) has lost two straight. . . . Portland scored the game’s first three goals. . . . Gricius opened the scoring at 17:41 of the first period, and F Ryan Hughes (6) made it 2-0 just 17 seconds later. . . . F Ilijah Colina (3) upped the lead to 3-0, on a PP, at 1:39 of the second period. . . . Everett tied it with the next three goals, all via the PP. . . . F Wyatte Wylie (3) made it 3-1 at 8:11 of the second period. . . . F Matt Fonteyne made it a one-goal game, at 9:49, then tied it with his 20th goal, at 7:59 of the third period. . . . The teams appeared headed to OT when Gricius won it with his ninth goal of the season. . . . F Mason Mannek had two assists for the Winterhawks. . . . Everett got two assists from each of D Kevin Davis and F Patrick Bajkov. . . . Everett was 3-5 on the PP; Portland was 1-2. . . . G Cole Kehler stopped 36 shots for the Winterhawks, two more than Everett’s Dustin Wolf. . . . The Silvertips brought in D Dylan Anderson from the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League, but he wasn’t in the lineup. Anderson, 15, was a fourth-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft. . . . Announced attendance: 7,019.


At Kent, Wash., F Donovan Neuls scored twice and added an assist as the Seattle Thunderbirds dumped the Spokane Chiefs, 4-1. . . . Seattle (20-14-5) has points in eight Seattlestraight (7-0-1). . . . Spokane (21-16-3) is tied with Seattle for fourth in the U.S. Division, two points behind Tri-City. Seattle and Spokane hold down the Western Conference’s two wild-card spots. . . . Neuls opened the scoring at 18:10 of the first period. . . . Seattle D Jarret Tyska (6) made it 2-0 at 6:36 of the second period. . . . F Jaret Anderson-Dolan (22) scored for Spokane at 12:44 of the second period. . . . Neuls (13) restored the two-goal lead, on a PP, at 16:05. . . . Seattle F Matthew Wedman (7) stretched the lead, on another PP, at 5:54 of the third period. . . . F Zack Andrusiak and D Turner Ottenbreit each had two assists for the winners. . . . Andrusiak, 19, went into this season with six goals and five assists in 67 games. This season, he has 18 goals and 20 assists in 39 games. . . . Seattle was 2-5 on the PP; Spokane was 0-6. . . . G Liam Hughes earned the victory with 39 saves, 10 more than Spokane’s Dawson Weatherill. . . . Announced attendance: 5,180.


SUNDAY (all times local):

Saskatoon at Brandon, 4 p.m.

Red Deer at Swift Current, 4 p.m.

Prince Albert at Regina, 4 p.m.

Kelowna at Calgary 4 p.m.

Victoria at Everett, 4:05 p.m.

Tri-City at Kamloops, 5 p.m.


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