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?
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 Munro 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 …
Prince Albert at Moose Jaw
Brandon at Medicine Hat
Regina at Swift Current
Red Deer at Lethbridge
Seattle at Everett
Tri-City at Kelowna
Spokane at Portland
Vancouver at Victoria
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 (39-27-5) 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 Current (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 each 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 (27-31-13) 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. . . . Lethbridge (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 won 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 (0-5-1). . . . 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. . . . 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 point 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 (39-26-6) 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