Habscheid: It was open season on our goaltender. . . . Lauer: We need to do more of that. . . . Cozens helps Canada stay unbeaten


MacBeth

F Todd Fiddler (Medicine Hat, Prince Albert, Spokane, Moose Jaw, Prince George, 2009-14) has signed a one-year contract with Neuilly-sur-Marne (France, Division 1). This season, with the Rosetown Red Wings (Allan Cup Hockey West), he had three goals and six assists in 10 games.


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OK. The WHL’s Eastern Conference final officially became a series after Game 2. The Edmonton Oil Kings tied the series, 1-1, with a 4-3 OT victory over the Raiders in Prince EdChynowethCupAlbert on Saturday night.

When the game was over, Marc Habscheid, the Raiders’ veteran head coach, pointed out what he felt were some deficiencies in the work of referees Mike Langin and Steve Papp when it came to protecting his goaltender, Ian Scott, from on-rushing Oil Kings.

Brad Lauer, the Oil Kings’ first-year head coach, said his guys need to get to the Prince Albert crease even more than they did in Game 2.

“One thing that concerned me a little bit was it was open season on our goaltender,” Habscheid told reporters. “We depend on the officials to defend our goaltender, because we have no recourse anymore these days. He was getting bumped and stuck and ran all game. We expect them to take care of that and they didn’t. That was real disappointing.”

As for Lauer, he said:

“Their (defencemen) do a really good job getting into (you). They box you out early and they tie you up. We found it really tough in Game 1 to get in front of the net. . . . We had to find ways to get to him and make things difficult for him. We did it a couple times. Did we do it enough? I don’t think so. We need to do more of that and create that second or third opportunity. If we do that, we’ll be okay.”

Jeff D’Andrea of panow.com has a story right here.

Derek Van Diest of Postmedia has a game story right here.

The series resumes with Games 3 and 4 in Edmonton on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.




The Western Conference final also will continue with games on Tuesday and Wednesday nights as the Vancouver Giants take a 2-0 lead over the Chiefs into Spokane. . . . The Chiefs have lost two games in a row for the first time since mid-February when they lost three in a row — 5-4 to the Giants in Langley, B.C., 7-5 to the Tri-City Americans in Kennewick, Wash., and 4-3 in OT to the visiting Kelowna Rockets. . . . After those losses, Spokane closed out the regular season on a 10-2-0 run, then opened the playoffs by going 8-2 before losing twice to the Giants. . . .

A key in this series may well be the status of Spokane F Luc Smith, who left Game 1 early in the first period with an apparent ankle injury. Here’s Kevin Dudley of the Spokane Spokesman-Review after Game 2: “The Chiefs were without forward Luc Smith, who was hurt early in Game 1. (Spokane head coach Dan) Lambert said there is no update and they are waiting for Smith to see the team doctors. Smith was walking with a visible limp outside the Spokane dressing room.”


Team Canada ran its record to 3-0 at the IIHF U-18 World Championship by whipping CanadaBelarus, 11-1, on Sunday in Umea, Sweden. . . . F Dylan Cozens (Lethbridge Hurricanes) led Canada with two goals and three assists, with F Peyton Krebs (Winnipeg Ice) adding a goal and an assist. F Connor Zary (Kamloops Blazers) and D Braden Schneider (Brandon Wheat Kings) each scored once. F Daemon Hunt and F Brayden Tracey, both of the Moose Jaw Warriors, each had an assist. . . . G Nolan Maier (Saskatoon Blades) stopped 41 shots in his first start of the tournament. . . . Belarus now is 2-1. . . . Canada is next scheduled to play on Tuesday against Czech Republic. . . .

In Sunday’s other Group A game, Czech Republic improved to 2-1 with a 4-2 victory over Finland (0-3). . . . In Group B, Team USA went to 3-0 with a 6-3 victory over Russia (2-1), and Sweden went to 2-1 with a 5-1 victory over Slovakia (0-3). . . .

On Monday, Switzerland (0-2) is to meet Belarus in a Group A game, while, in Group B, Latvia (0-2) will meet Slovakia (0-3).

The tournament, in Umea and Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, runs through April 28.


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Blazers, Lajoie go their separate ways. . . . Broncos taking games to the Internet. . . . Giants sweep way into conference final

MacBeth

D Sena Acolatse (Seattle, Saskatoon, Prince George, 2006-11) has signed a one-year contract extension with the Straubing Tigers (Germany, DEL). This season, he had 11 assists in 46 games. . . .

F Cody Almond (Kelowna, 2005-09) has signed a three-year contract with Lausanne (Switzerland, NL). This season, with Genève-Servette (Switzerland, NL), he had 12 goals and 17 assists in 40 games. Almond is a dual Swiss-Canadian citizen, and has played the past seven seasons in Geneva.


ThisThat

The Kamloops Blazers announced late Thursday afternoon that they and head coach Serge Lajoie “have mutually parted ways.” Lajoie had replaced Don Hay as the team’s head coach prior to this season.

The four-paragraph news release didn’t mention assistant coach Dan Kordic, who came Kamloops1to the Blazers from the U of Alberta Golden Bears with Lajoie. They had helped the Golden Bears win the U Sports national title for 2017-18.

Jon Keen, the Blazers’ broadcaster, later tweeted that Kordic “has been retained.”

Lajoie, a defenceman in his playing days, got into seven games with the Blazers in 1986-87. He went on to play five seasons (1988-93) with the Golden Bears, where he played under head coach Billy Moores for four of those seasons. Interestingly, Moores is a former WHL coach, having spent one season (1985-86) as the general manager and head coach of the Regina Pats. Moores is the older brother of Don Moores, who has been the Blazers’ president and chief operating officer for almost three years.

Matt Bardsley, who just completed his first season as the Blazers’ general manager, explained things this way to Marty Hastings of Kamloops This Week, who shared all of it on his Twitter account (@MarTheReporter):

“We had some reviews, discussing with Serge, talked about some things, both sides, and we came to the conclusion that I think a little bit was the fit. Might not have been the right fit for us and maybe for him.

“I think, even for Serge, being away from family played possibly a part of it. It’s tough for coaches, for anybody, when you’re away from family all year long.”

Lajoie’s family — wife Kelly and children Isabella and Marc — stayed in the Edmonton area. Isabella is finishing up Grade 12, while Marc, a first-round selection by the Tri-City Americans in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft, spent this season playing for the Northern Alberta X-Treme prep team.

“I missed out on so much, in terms of my daughter’s accomplishments, my son’s accomplishments,” Lajoie told Hastings. “I would have loved to have been able to see his first WHL game. You sit down with your family and think — is this really worth it? It would not have been fair to the Blazers.”

In explaining his side of the decision, Lajoie said:

“I’m very comfortable with it. Both the Blazers and myself, totally on the same page. It was an evaluation that I made at the end of the year. I wanted to make sure I took some time at the end of the season to see if really this is something I could continue and commit the time and effort necessary to help continue to push the Blazers forward. Family was a big part in this decision. We came to an understanding, the Blazers and myself. Now is the right time to part ways and move on to the next opportunity.”

This season, the Blazers went 28-32-8, good enough for a third-place tie with the Kelowna Rockets in the B.C. Division. The Blazers then beat the visiting Rockets, 5-1, in a tiebreaker that propelled them into the first round of the playoffs, where they were beaten in six games by the Victoria Royals.

The writing may have been on the wall for the Blazers as early as Feb. 12 when they added co-owner Darryl Sydor as a full-time assistant coach. Sydor, who had moved back to Kamloops prior to this season, had been at most of the team’s home games, watching from the press box. After Feb. 12, he was behind the bench for all but a couple of games.

In a season-ending interview with Hastings, majority owner Tom Gaglardi said that Lajoie had a long-term contract. Asked if Lajoie would be back as head coach, Gaglardi told Hastings: “I suspect so. He’s got a long-term contract and we haven’t had any conversation about anything other than that.”

Gaglardi went on to praise Sydor’s contribution to the team and to the coaching staff. Asked if Sydor has “what it takes to be a head coach,” Gaglardi replied: “I’ve got to think so, if that’s what he wants to do.”

On Thursday, when Hastings asked Bardsley if Sydor would be the next head coach, the GM responded:

“We talked to Darryl and I think we’re comfortable Darryl is going to come back as a coach, At what capacity, we have to discuss that. Is it the head coach? We haven’t even discussed that. We’d like to have Darryl back as a coach.”

Despite the optics, Lajoie told Hastings that he didn’t see Sydor’s presence as any kind of threat. I recommend that you check out Hastings’ timeline on Twitter (@MarTheReporter) for more comments from Bardsley and Lajoie, along with a few quotes from Gaglardi.

The Blazers have completed 12 seasons under the ownership of Gaglardi, Sydor, Shane Doan, Jarome Iginla and Mark Recchi. The next hire will be the 11th full-time or interim head coach since they purchased the franchise.

In those 12 seasons, the Blazers have missed the playoffs four times, reached the Western Conference final once, gotten into the second round on one other occasion, and been bounced in the first round six times.

BlazersCoaches

The above chart is from the Blazers’ website. One asterisk indicates that he was replaced in mid-season; two asterisks indicates an interim head coach.


There are some nasty allegations being made by followers of the Prince Albert Raiders who journeyed to Saskatoon on Wednesday for Game 4 between their favourite club and PrinceAlbertthe Blades. Fans are claiming they had beer and macaroni thrown at them in the SaskTel Centre. . . . “I could feel something on the back of my neck, something really hard,” Raiders fan Matt Herbert told Jeff D’Andrea of paNOW.com. “We discovered it was macaroni later, but they were just pelting it down on us. Next thing you know, I could feel some beer coming down my back. The guy beside me was soaked.” . . . The macaroni had been given to fans as part of a promotion. . . . D’Andrea wrote: “The Blades did not wish to comment on the record. The SaskTel Centre did not respond to multiple requests for comment. The Raiders issued a response. . . . In it, they confirm that they’ve been told the occurrence is being examined by SaskTel Centre, and they hope nothing like this repeats itself for Game 5 Friday at the Art Hauser Centre.” . . . D’Andrea’s complete story is right here. . . . The Blades won Game 4, 4-1, to tie the series, 2-2. . . . Game 6 is scheduled for Saskatoon on Sunday.


The Swift Current Broncos are taking their game broadcasts to the Internet. After being SCBroncoson The Eagle 94.1 since the late 1980s, the Broncos announced on Thursday that they are beginning “a new era of audio content production and distribution.” . . . According to the news release, “This will include streaming game-day broadcasts, podcasts and interviews that will provide Broncos Nation with leading in-depth coverage and access that we believe our fans will truly appreciate. . . . Further details are set to be released at a future date that is considerate of the parties involved and after a proper process has been completed.”


The Red Deer Rebels have signed D Blake Gustafson to a WHL contract. Gustafson, who will turn 17 on May 21, played this season with the midget AAA Sherwood Park Kings. He had four goals and one assists in 38 regular-season and playoff games. Gustafson was a 10th-round pick by the Rebels in the 2017 bantam draft.


There is an interesting story developing in the OHL where the Windsor Spitfires seem ohlabout to be sold, perhaps for as much as $12.8 million. According to reports, Dr. Azim Parekh is negotiating a deal that will end with him buying the Spitfires from a group that includes Warren Rychel and Bob Boughner. On Saturday, the Spitfires selected D Isa Parekh in the fifth round of the OHL draft. On Wednesday, the OHL held its U-18 draft, and the Spitfires, with the fifth overall pick, took D Aydin Parekh. . . . Yes, they both are sons of Dr. Parekh. . . . Dave Jewell of The Hockey Writers has a whole lot more on this story right here.


The SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers have signed Mat Hehr, their general manager and head coach, to a two-year contract extension. Hehr, 30, joined the Terriers as an assistant coach for 2016-17, then took over as head coach on Nov. 15, 2017. So he just completed his first season as the full-time head coach.


The BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs have promoted Brad Rihela to assistant general manager and associate coach. Rihela, 29, spent last season as their director of player personnel and assistant coach. . . . Before joining the Chiefs, Rihela spent three seasons at the Yale Hockey Academy in Abbotsford, B.C., coach in the bantam prep program. . . . In Chilliwack, Rihela will be working with Brian Maloney, the general manager of hockey and building operations and head coach.


EdChynowethCup

NOTES: The Vancouver Giants advanced to the Western Conference final by beating the host Victoria Royals, 6-1, in Thursday’s only WHL playoff game. The Giants, last in the conference final in 2010, swept the series, 4-0, and now await the winner of the series between the Everett Silvertips and Spokane Chiefs. . . . That series will open in Langley, B.C., with games on April 19 and 20. . . .

The Chiefs lead that series, 3-0, and have a chance to wrap it up at home tonight. . . .

The other series also resumes tonight, with the Saskatoon Blades in Prince Albert to meet the Raiders. The Blades won, 4-1, on Wednesday night in Saskatoon to tie that series, 2-2. . . . Game 6 will be played Sunday in Saskatoon and, as of late Thursday afternoon, the lower bowl in the SaskTel Centre, with 6,000 seats, was sold out. . . . The winner of that series will meet the Edmonton Oil Kings in the Eastern Conference final. They completed a sweep of the Hitmen with a 6-0 victory in Calgary on Wednesday night.

——

THURSDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The Vancouver Giants are into the Western Conference final after beating the Royals, 6-1, Vancouverin Victoria. . . . The Giants swept the series and will meet either the Everett Silvertips or Spokane Chiefs in the conference final. The Giants, who finished atop the conference standings, will have the home-ice advantage, so the series will begin with two games in Langley, B.C., on April 19 and 20. . . . Last night, the Giants took control with three first-period goals, from F Lukas Svejkovsky (3), at 10:04; D Bowen Byram (4), at 16:19; and D Dallas Hines (3), at 16:37. . . . F Owen Hardy (3) made it 4-0 at 9:39 of the second period, before F D-Jay Jerome (2) got Victoria’s lone goal at 11:58. . . . F Brayden Watts (3) and F Jared Dmytriw (4) had the Giants’ other goals, both in the third period. . . . Dmytriw, who played the first three seasons (2014-17) with the Royals, also had two assists. He also is Vancouver’s captain. . . . Vancouver was 1-1 on the PP; Victoria was 0-1. . . . G David Tendeck stopped 17 shots for Vancouver, while G Griffen Outhouse completed his WHL career with a 27-save effort. . . . The Giants held a 157-63 edge in shots in the series, but, because of Outhouse’s superb play, needed OT to win Games 3 and 4. . . . Victoria D Ralph Jarratt, who missed Game 3, was back in the lineup. Royals F Phillip Schultz, who left Game 3 in OT with an apparent injury to his left arm, also was in the lineup. . . . F Kaid Oliver, the Royals’ leading scorer in the regular season, missed all of the playoffs with a shoulder injury. F Kody McDonald, who has used up his junior eligibility, completed a six-game suspension by sitting last night, while D Jake Kustra sat out the second of a two-game suspension. F Tanner Sidaway missed all of this series with a hand injury.


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Scattershooting on a doink-doink NFL Sunday . . . ‘Canes move to top of division . . . Miner digging second shutout

Scattershooting


Thanks to friend Jack Finarelli (aka The Sports Curmudgeon) for passing along the link to Gene Collier’s annual Trite Trophy-related column in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. . . . This is the 35th annual and Collier starts it with this:

“Some in our cherished audience might find it unfathomable that the Trite Trophy has been around for 35 years, but all I need for confirmation is to Look In The Mirror, where the ravages delivered by three-and-half decades of cliché wrangling are mercilessly evident.

“It’s Not A Good Look.”

It seems that Collier isn’t much of a hockey guy, so “good stick,” “compete level” and “200-foot player” didn’t make the cut.

What did make it is all right here. Enjoy!


“I’m not saying Houston Rockets star James Harden travels a lot,” writes RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com. “He just plays basketball like it’s a good walk spoiled.”

——

One more from Currie: “World Chess champion Magnus Carlsen is reportedly a major celebrity at home in Norway. And good news ladies, he isn’t married — although he has been mated.



When the Kootenay Ice visits Brandon on Jan. 18, the Wheat Kings are holding a promotion involving the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Surely it’s only a coincidence that the Ice, who appear headed to Winnipeg after this season, will provide the opposition on that particular night. . . . World-class marketing, or trolling?


If you haven’t already done it, you need to make Patti Dawn Swansson’s blog — The River City Renegade — a regular part of your Sunday morning.

Here’s a snippet from the latest posting:

“The Lord of Loud, Donald S. Cherry, weighed in on Canada’s demise at the world junior tourney during the Coachless Corner segment of HNIC, suggesting that our guys were beaten as payback for running up the score (14-zip) vs. Denmark. ‘You don’t beat them down like that or you pay the price,’ he said. ‘I’ve said it before, the hockey gods will get you or karma will get you.’ If karma has anything to say about it, Grapes will be wearing nothing but a loin cloth in his next life as punishment for those gawdawful suits he exposes us to on Saturday nights.”

It’s all right here.



A note from Brad Dickson on the topic of social media: “If Albert Einstein posted his brand new Theory of Relativity on Facebook it’d probably receive about 3 or 4 ‘likes’. If he then posted a photo of the Einsteins with the family dog it’d get 400 ‘likes’.”



When I worked at the Winnipeg Tribune in the mid-1970s, Bob Picken was The Voice. . . . These days, writes Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun, “The Voice remains unmistakable, if a little weaker than it was in its prime.” . . . Picken was diagnosed with terminal cancer in September. “I will live out my days as best they are and I will be very grateful for what God has given me,” the man we all know as Pick says. . . . Friesen’s piece is right here. If you read one thing on the Internet today, this should be it. . . . Farewell, Pick!


“Los Angeles Chargers guard Forrest Lamp gave each of his teammates — drum roll, please — lamps for Christmas,” notes Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “Unfortunately for the Green Bay Packers, teammate Davon House didn’t think of it first.”


shoes


After some people noticed that Kendall Jenner was missing from the Kardashian Christmas photo, comedy writer Alex Kaseberg noted: “And we thought things couldn’t get worse than with the government shutdown.”


If you didn’t notice, things were a big soap opera-ish with the Pittsburgh Steelers down the stretch. As tight end Jesse James told Penn Live: “Ah man, we are — Kardashians.”



ThisThat

There’s nothing like a good sporting rivalry and it seems that things are very much alive with the Prince Albert Raiders and Saskatoon Blades.

The Raiders, the top-ranked team in the 60-team CHL, beat the visiting Blades, 5-2, on whlSaturday night.

After the game, Marc Habscheid, the Raiders’ head coach, gave Saskatoon general manager Colin Priestner an assist.

Habscheid said that Priestner, according to Jeff D’Andrea of panow.com, “has gone around saying that the Blades are the superior team over the Raiders, after the Blades’ recent trades.”

Habscheid told D’Andrea: “They added a little bit of motivation to us. It got back to us that their general manager . . . they’ve added some players and now he thinks they’re better than us. That added to our motivation, so thanks for that.”

When contacted by Taking Note, Priestner issued a blanket denial, and said he was shocked when he first heard Habscheid’s comments on the pregame show on Saskatoon radio station 98 COOL FM.

“I have no idea what the hell he is talking about,” the Blades’ GM said. “I’ve never once thought that let alone uttered it. I’ve also never heard a head coach mock another team’s GM on their own radio station out of the blue. It was kind of bizarre when I heard it driving to the game in PA. With the incredible roster his GM (Curtis Hunt) has given him, he really shouldn’t need to make up fake statements from me to get any wins.”

The Raiders (35-4-1) have the WHL’s best record. The Blades (24-12-5) are second in the East Division, 18 points behind the Raiders.

Prince Albert leads the eight-game season series, 5-1-0; the Blades are 1-4-1.

Unfortunately, these teams aren’t scheduled to meet again until March 15 and 16, the final weekend of the regular season, when they will play a home-and-home series.


Shaun Clouston, the general manager and head coach of the Medicine Hat Tigers, added Tigers Logo Officialsome clarity to the injury situation involving a couple of his forwards on Sunday.

Clouston told Ryan McCracken of the Medicine Hat News that F Ryan Chyzowski suffered a skate cut near on knee on will be see a doctor today. Chyzowski was injured during a 4-3 loss to the host Calgary Hitmen on Saturday.

Clouston also told McCracken that F Hayden Ostir, who suffered a knee injury during a 5-3 victory over the visiting Kootenay Ice on Friday, is likely to be gone longer than Chyzowski.

The Tigers have two home games scheduled for the weekend — Friday against the Regina Pats and Saturday against the Edmonton Oil Kings.


If you enjoy what you see here, feel free to click on the DONATE button over there on the right and contribute to the cause. Thank you, in advance, and stay safe out there.


SUNDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The Lethbridge Hurricanes moved into first place in the Central Division with a 5-2 Lethbridgevictory over the Oil Kings in Edmonton. . . . Lethbridge (21-10-8) has points in five straight (3-0-2). . . . Edmonton (21-14-7) has lost two in a row. . . . The Hurricanes have a one-point lead over the second-place Oil Kings, with the Red Deer Rebels and Medicine Hat Tigers three points off the pace. . . . Lethbridge won 47 of 69 faceoffs while being outshot, 41-26. . . . F Jalen Luypen (5) gave the Oil Kings a 1-0 lead at 3:25 of the second period. . . . The Hurricanes responded with three goals before the period ended, from F Dylan Cozens (23), on a PP, at 5:57; F Logan Barlage (10), at 8:23; and F Taylor Ross (23), at 16:06. . . . D Conner McDonald (9) pulled the home side to within a goal, on a PP, at 1:10 of the third. . . . Lethbridge responded with two more goals, from F Noah Boyko (4), on a PP, at 12:07, and F Jordy Bellerive (20), at 18:04. . . . Cozens also had two assists. . . . The Hurricanes got a big game out of G Liam Hughes, who finished with 39 stops.


F Andrej Kukuca and F Noah Philp each had two goals as the Seattle Thunderbirds Seattledoubled the host Regina Pats, 6-3. . . . Seattle (12-20-4) had lost its previous seven games (0-6-1), and now is 1-1-0 on a six-game East Division swing. It is five points away from a playoff spot now. . . . Regina (12-27-2) has lost four in a row (0-3-1). . . . The Thunderbirds outshot the Pats, 47-22, including 20-4 in the first period and 16-6 in the third. . . . Kukuca, in his first game since playing for Slovakia at the WJC, opened the scoring at 7:34 of the second period. . . . F Robbie Holmes (9) tied it, on a PP, at 9:04. . . . F Matt Wedman (12) put Seattle back in front at 12:09. . . . Regina tied it, again, when F Sebastian Streu (2) scored, on a PP, at 18:30. . . . Seattle then outscored its hosts 4-1 in the third period. . . . Philp, who also had an assist, made it 3-2 at 1:54, only to have Regina F Riley Krane (8) tie it, on another PP, at 4:16. . . . The Thunderbirds then got two PP goals — from D Jarret Tyszka, at 8:59, and Kukuca (9), at 13:12. . . . Philp, who has 15 goals, completed the scoring at 17:52. . . . Regina got 41 saves from G Dean McNabb. . . . The Pats were playing their third game in fewer than 48 hours, having lost 2-1 in OT in Saskatoon on Friday and 1-0 in Swift Current on Saturday. . . . G Roddy Ross, 18, made his first start for Seattle and earned the victory with 19 saves. He had signed with Seattle on Tuesday after playing with the AJHL’s Camrose Kodiaks. . . . F Henry Rybinski, who had an assist, and F Michael Horon, both 17, made their Seattle debuts. Rybinski was acquired from the Medicine Hat Tigers on Friday, while Horon joined the Thunderbirds last week from the midget AAA Lethbridge Hurricanes. Seattle acquired him from the WHL’s Hurricanes on Wednesday. . . . Among Seattle’s scratches were D Cade McNelly (suspended), F Sean Richards (suspended), F Dillon Hamaliuk, who won’t play again this season, and D Loeden Schaufler.


The host Saskatoon Blades scored the game’s last three goals and beat the Brandon SaskatoonWheat Kings, 5-2. . . . Saskatoon (25-12-5) is second in the East Division, seven points ahead of the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . Brandon (16-15-6) now is four points from a playoff spot. . . . The Blades were playing their third game in fewer than 48 hours. They beat the visiting Regina Pats 2-1 in OT on Friday, then were beaten 5-2 by the Raiders in Prince Albert on Saturday. . . . F Ben McCartney (9) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead 53 seconds into the game. . . . The Blades went ahead 2-1 on goals from F Max Gerlach (24), at 3:52, and D Reece Harsch (3), at 7:30. That was Harsch’s first goal since being acquired from the Seattle Thunderbirds on Wednesday. This was his third game with the Blades. . . . F Luka Burzan (23) tied it, on a PP, at 19:16. . . . Saskatoon F Josh Paterson (13) broke the tie, on a PP, at 3:27 of the second period. . . . The Blades iced it with two third-period goals from F Zach Huber (8), at 7:45, and D Emil Malysjev (2), into an empty net, at 19:26. . . . The Blades were credited with winning 39 of 55 faceoffs. . . . Brandon lost F Baron Thompson to a headshot major and game misconduct at 13:59 of the second period. Saskatoon D Majid Kaddoura, who took the head, left for repairs but returned to finish the game. . . . Brandon scratched  F Linden McCorrister, meaning the Wheat Kings were without any 20-year-olds. . . . The Blades again were without F Kiby Dach and D Nolan Kneen, both out with undisclosed injuries.


G Trent Miner stopped 24 shots to help the Vancouver Giants to a 6-0 victory over the VancouverKootenay Ice in Cranbrook, B.C. . . . Vancouver (24-12-2) had lost its previous four games. It finished a six-game Central Division trip at 2-4-0, and leads the B.C. Division by nine points over the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Kootenay (8-27-7) has lost seven in a row (0-6-1). . . . The Ice went 0-3-0 in playing three games in fewer than 48 hours. . . . F Milos Roman (17) gave the Giants a 1-0 lead at 4:11 of the first period and that’s all the visitors would need. . . . They also got goals from F Brayden Watts (9), F Jadon Joseph (13), F Dawson Holt (6), F Lukas Svejkovsky (4) and D Dallas Hines (5). . . . Hines, who was acquired from the Ice on Friday, scored the game’s last goal, on a PP, at 19:37 of the third period. . . . Trent posted his second career shutout, both of them coming this season. He is 11-3-1, 1.84, .933, in 16 appearances.


G Max Palaga turned aside 37 shots as the Everett Silvertips defeated the visiting EverettKamloops Blazers, 5-1. . . . Everett (31-8-2) has won two in a row; it also has won 11 straight on home ice. The Silvertips lead the Western Conference by 13 points over the Portland Winterhawks. . . . Kamloops (15-19-3) is fourth in the B.C. Division, five points behind the Kelowna Rockets. The Blazers hold down the Western Conference’s second-wild card spot, four points ahead of the Prince George Cougars. . . . Palaga, who is from Kamloops, spent last season with the Blazers, who released him prior to this season and later dealt him to Everett for a sixth-round selection in the 2020 WHL bantam draft. In seven appearances with the Silvertips, Palaga, 18, is 4-0-1, 1.56, .950. . . . The Silvertips scored the game’s first five goals, getting snipes from F Zack Andrusiak (29), D Wyatte Wylie (7), F Connor Dewar (28), F Conrad Mitchell (1) and D Gianni Fairbrother (5). . . . Mitchell’s first WHL goal came in his 26th game. He is a 17-year-old freshman from Thorsby, Alta. . . . F Max Patterson, who also is from Kamloops, had two assists. . . . F Brodi Stuart (12) scored for Kamloops at 13:48 of the third period. . . . The Blazers lost 4-1 to the Chiefs in Spokane on Friday, then beat the visiting Kelowna Rockets 4-1 on Saturday, Kamloops was back on its bus right after that game in order to get to Everett for this game, which started at 4 p.m. . . . Everett also was playing its third game in fewer than 48 hours, having split a home-and-home with the Tri-City Americans on Friday and Saturday nights, losing the first one 3-2 in Kennewick, Wash., and then winning 4-1 at home. . . . Everett swept the season series with Kamloops, outscoring the Blazers, 23-6 in the process. In the four games, Everett was 11-20 on the PP and 11-12 on the penalty kill. . . . The way things are shaping up, these teams could very well meet in the first round of the playoffs.


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Great Scott! Raiders goalie turns sniper as mates run win streak to 12 . . . Blichfeld, Glass (again) lead ‘Hawks . . . Giants romp past Pats

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Ian Scott of the Prince Albert Raiders became the eighth goaltender in WHL history to score a goal when he notched an empty-netter in a 3-1 victory over the visiting Tri-City Americans on Friday night.

On Wednesday, in a 2-0 victory over the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers, Scott had taken a shot at an empty net, only to have the puck hit the scoreclock in the Art Hauser Centre.

Given another opportunity two nights later, Scott made no mistake.

“He made a liar out of me. I thought it’d be tough in this building,” Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid told Jeff D’Andrea of panow.com. “He got good wood on that one, he hammered it and it went in. Last time it was a two-goal lead, and that time it was one, so I’m glad he hit the net or it would have been a faceoff in our end again. Good for him.”

Scott told D’Andrea: “I mentioned to Habby, maybe I not go so high, just kind of a bullet down the middle. I guess it worked out. I thought it was going to get picked off. It was a pretty congested middle . . . got lucky.”

D’Andrea’s complete story is right here.

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Here’s a look at the other seven goaltenders who have WHL goals to their credit, in chronological order . . .

Nov. 29, 1989 — Olaf Kolzig, Tri-City Americans 5, Seattle Thunderbirds 2, at Kennewick, Wash. He grabbed a Seattle clearance behind his net and lofted a wrist shot the length of the ice and just inside the left post.

“That was the coolest thing, for sure,” Kolzig, who also had an assist, told Annie Fowler when she looked back six years ago.“Ron Hextall was my idol. He was the first to score. Up to that point, I hadn’t been having a good season. I got back from Washington (Capitals training camp) with a bad attitude. My save percentage and goals against weren’t worth anything at that point.

“They had pulled their goalie, and we were up 4-2. The puck went behind the net. I went back to get it, and I want to say I lifted it 20 feet in the air, but it was about three feet. By the time it was halfway down the ice, it started to curl, and it just went inside the post.”

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Jan. 3, 1991 — Chris Osgood of the host Medicine Hat Tigers scored in a 4-2 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. Like Kolzig before him, Osgood fired the puck the length of the ice for his goal.
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Dec. 29, 1992 — Jeff Calvert came on in relief for the Tacoma Rockets and scored a goal and added an assist as they erased a 4-0 deficit to beat the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors, 6-4.

Calvert, who is from Moose Jaw, had taken over for starter Todd MacDonald at 9:30 of the first period with Tacoma trailing, 3-0.

Former Tacoma defenceman Dallas Thompson once told me: “I would bet he was the only goalie in history to score in a game he never started.”

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March 28, 1994 — Jason Clague of the Red Deer Rebels was credited with the winning goal in a 4-2 victory over the host Lethbridge Hurricanes. He is the only WHL goaltender to have scored a goal during a playoff game.

“It will likely get more humorous every time I tell the story, but I think the main thing for us tonight was winning the game,” Clague told Cameron Yoos of the Lethbridge Herald.

Yoos described the goal:

Clague’s historic marker came in the third period with Red Deer clinging to a 2-1 lead, its first lead in the series. On a delayed penalty call, Hurricanes goaltender Slan Matwijiw began skating to the bench for an extra attacker while teammate Dominic Pittis handled the puck behind the Rebels’ goal. Pittis spoiled Ivan Vologjaninov cruising through the slot and fed a pass lo the middle. Vologjaninov wound up for a one-time slapshot, but fanned on the puck, which then slid the length of the ice into the open goal.”

Matwijiw told Yoos: “It was kind of a sick feeling.”

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March 5, 2004 — Jordan McLaughlin of the Prince George Cougars scored at 19:05 of the third period in a 4-1 victory over the host Vancouver Giants.

“This is definitely a career highlight for me,” McLaughlin said. “Every time a team pulls their goalie, the possibility of scoring is in the back of your mind. We had a two-goal lead and the puck was dumped perfectly into me, so I saw it as a perfect opportunity.”

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Feb. 1, 2014 — Chris Driedger of the Calgary Hitmen was credited with a goal in a 5-2 loss to the Kootenay Ice in Cranbrook, B.C.

Driedger was awarded the game’s first goal, at 5:45 of the first period, when, during a delayed penalty against Calgary F Jake Virtanen, Ice G Mackenzie Skapski headed to the bench for the extra attacker. Kootenay D Jagger Dirk whipped the puck around the boards to F Zach Franko, who attempted a pass to the point. However, the puck zipped past F Jaedon Descheneau, who had come of the bench as the extra attacker, and into the vacated net. Dreidger had made the save that led to Dirk getting the rebound. As the last Calgary player to touch the puck, Driedger was given the goal.

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March 19, 2016 — Stuart Skinner of the Lethbridge Hurricanes gave his side an 8-3 lead in what would be a 9-3 victory over the host Medicine Hat Tigers.

“It was funny because before the period I (said) ‘If they pull their goalie, give me the puck,’ ” Skinner told Dale Woodard of the Lethbridge Herald. “Surprisingly enough, they dumped it in and I had an open chance. I got it over everyone and somehow it went it. So I’m pretty excited. I definitely felt good when it was in the air and when it went in it was a feeling I can’t really describe right now. It was a really exciting moment. I have shivers going through my whole body, so it’s really cool.”


“In moving on Thursday to free owners of the OHL from treating their employees as such ohlunder law,” writes Cathal Kelly of The Globe and Mail, “Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s government congratulated itself on ‘protecting the long-term sustainability of local junior teams.’

“The government’s news release on the matter referred to its support of ‘the People Protecting Amateur Hockey,’ which would be a pretty good name for a secessionist group of Saskatchewan freedom fighters.

“The upshot here is that Ontario Hockey League players are excluded from the Employment Standards Act. They exist legally under the slippery formulation of ‘student athletics.’ ”

Kelly’s complete column is right here.


Byron Hackett of the Red Deer Advocate has joined the club advocating the death of the loser point, at least in the WHL. . . . The column that gained him admittance into the club is right here.


If you stop off here and enjoy what you see — or even if you don’t — feel free to click on the DONATE button over there on the right and make a contribution. Thanks in advance.


FRIDAY NIGHT HIGHLIGHTS:

F Ridley Greig had a goal and two assists to lead the host Brandon Wheat Kings to a 4-1 BrandonWKregularvictory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Brandon (10-4-6) has points in three straight (2-0-1). . . . Medicine Hat (9-11-3) has lost five in a row (0-4-1). . . . The home team took control with two first-period goals, from Greig (3) and F Linden McCorrister (4). . . . F Baxter Anderson (1) scored for the Tigers at 1:34 of the second period. . . . Brandon F Ben McCartney, who has four goals, put it away with a pair of third-period scores, Greig assisting on both of them. . . . Greig was playing his first game since returning from the U-17 World Hockey Challenge. Greig, 16, is from Lethbridge. He was the eighth-overall pick in the 2017 WHL bantam draft. This season, he has three goals and seven assists in 15 games. . . . G Ethan Kruger stopped 34 shots to earn the victory in his fourth appearance of the season. He is 2-0-2, 2.69, .915. . . . The Wheat Kings held a 53-35 edge in shots, including 26-7 in the first period. . . . G Jordan Hollett went the distance for the Tigers. . . . D Schael Higson, who hasn’t played for Brandon since Oct. 16, is back skating so could be nearing a return. He had 12 points, nine of them assists, in eight games when he went out.


G Ian Scott scored a goal and stopped 24 shots to help the Prince Albert Raiders to a 3-1 PrinceAlbertvictory over the visiting Tri-City Americans. . . . The Raiders (19-1-0) have won 12 in a row. . . . The Americans (12-7-0) are 7-3-0 on an 11-game road trip. They are 2-3-0 in the East Division. . . . On Wednesday night, Scott had taken a shot at an empty net, only to have the puck strike the scoreboard (see above tweet). In a similar play last night, Scott reached the promised land for goaltenders. . . . F Krystof Hrabik (6) gave the Americans a 1-0 lead at 1:11 of the third period. . . . D Sergei Sapego (6) tied it, on a PP, at 5:44. The Raiders claimed Sapego, who is from Belarus, on waivers from the Americans last season. . . . Raiders F Brett Leason drew an assist on Sapego’s goal to run his point streak to 20 games. . . . D Brayden Pachal (2) broke the tie at 7:06 and Scott added the insurance at 19:44. . . . This season, Scott is 16-1-0, 1.47, .947.


G Ethan Anders stopped 28 shots to lead the host Red Deer Rebels to a 7-0 victory over Red Deerthe Kelowna Rockets. . . . Red Deer (14-5-1) has won three in a row. . . . The Rockets (8-13-1) have lost four in a row (0-3-1) and are 1-3-1 on a six-game road trip. This was the third time they have been blanked this season and the second time in four games. . . . Anders has two shutouts this season and three in his career. This season, he is 12-4-1, 2.80, .922. . . . F Brandon Hagel (14) got the Rebels started with a shorthanded goal at 11:03 of the first period. Hagel also had two assists. . . . The Rebels got goals from seven different players, including F Dallon Melin (1) and F Jeff de Wit (13). . . . Red Deer was 2-4 on the PP and also scored twice while shorthanded.


G Jack McNaughton turned aside 19 shots as the Calgary Hitmen skated to a 5-0 victory Calgaryover the Kootenay Ice in Cranbrook, B.C. . . . The Hitmen (7-12-2) have won two in a row. . . . The Ice is 7-13-3. . . . This was the Ice’s first home game since the Green Bay Committee, which had been struck in an attempt to sell tickets and sponsorships to aid the team, ceased operations on Tuesday. The committee cited a lack of engagement by the Ice’s ownership for the decision. . . . The announced attendance was 2,395 as they honoured the Cranbrook Colts, a team that started out in junior B and moved to junior A before folding when the Ice arrived in 1998. . . . McNaughton, a 17-year-old freshman from Calgary, posted his first WHL shutout in his 10th appearance. . . . F Ryder Korczak, who went into the game with two goals, scored twice for Calgary, opening the scoring at 6:26 of the first period and closing it at 19:49 of the third. . . . F Jake Kryski had a goal, his 10th, and an assist in his 299th regular-season game. . . . Calgary had a 42-19 edge in shots, including 19-5 in the third period.


F Taylor Ross scored in the fifth round of the shootout to give the host Lethbridge LethbridgeHurricanes a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Lethbridge improved to 9-6-4. . . . Edmonton (13-7-3) has points in 10 straight (8-0-2). . . . The Oil Kings thought they had won it at 1:38 of OT when they believed that F Trey Fix-Wolansky had scored. In fact, the Oil Kings left the Ice in celebration, but had to return when it was ruled no goal. . . . Edmonton took a 2-0 lead on second-period goals from F Vince Loschiavo (11), on a PP, and F Jalen Luypen (3). . . . F Jake Elmer got Lethbridge to within a goal at 4:32 of the third period, and Ross tied it at 18:52, with G Reece Klassen on the bench for the extra attacker. . . . Klassen finished with 35 saves. . . . The Oil Kings gave G Dylan Myskiw his sixth straight start and he responded with 29 saves. They also have returned G Sebastian Cossa, who turns 16 on Nov. 21, to the midget AAA Fort Saskatchewan Rangers.


F Joachim Blickheld struck for three goals and added an assist to help the Portland PortlandWinterhawks to a 5-2 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . The Silvertips had beaten the visiting Winterhawks, 3-2 in a shootout, on Wednesday night. . . . Portland (13-6-2) has points in seven straight (6-0-1). . . . Everett (15-7-0) had won its previous five games. . . . F Jake Gricius (10) scored, on a PP, to give the Winterhawks a 1-0 lead at 3:40 of the first period. . . . F Jalen Price (3) tied it at 8:04. . . . Blichfeld scored the game’s next three goals, giving him a WHL-leading 20 snipes. He scored once in each period — at 10:09 of the first, 18:58 of the second and 3:05 of the third. . . . Blichfeld now has 43 points in 21 games and trails only Edmonton F Trey Fix-Wolansky in the scoring race. Fix-Wolansky has 46 points. . . . F Cody Glass had three assists for Portland. He has 38 points, 31 of them assists, in 18 games. . . . Glass is on an eight-game point streak, with 18 points, including 15 assists, in that stretch. . . . Everett F Connor Dewar had an 11-game point streak snapped. He put up 12 goals and nine assists over that time.


D Nolan Reid scored twice as the Spokane Chiefs doubled the visiting Seattle SpokaneChiefsThunderbirds, 4-2. . . . The Chiefs (11-7-3) have won three in a row. . . . The Thunderbirds ((7-9-2) have lost seven straight (0-6-1). . . . F Carter Chorney (8) got the Chiefs started at 11:13 of the first period, with F Zack Andrusiak (9) scoring shorthanded at 2:52 of the second for Seattle. . . . Reid, who has five goals, broke the tie at 1:26 of the third period and F Adam Beckman (9) provided the Chiefs with a 3-1 lead at 10:50. . . . Seattle F Tyler Carpendale (1) and Reid, with an empty-netter, traded goals down the stretch. . . . The Chiefs remain without injured F Jake McGrew.


F Milos Roman scored twice and added an assist, while F Davis Koch had three assists, Vancouverhelping the Vancouver Giants to a 10-4 victory over the Regina Pats in Langley, B.C. . . . Vancouver improved to 14-4-2, while the Pats (7-14-0) lost their second in a row. . . . The Giants took control with the game’s first four goals, all in the first 15 minutes. . . . Roman now has 10 goals. . . . F Tristen Nielsen scored twice for Vancouver his first goals since coming over from the Calgary Hitmen in a deal that had F James Malm go the other way. . . . F Yannik Valenti also had two Vancouver goals, giving him four. . . . F Nick Henry had three goals and an assist for Regina, with F Jake Leschyshyn getting a goal and two assists. Henry has 11 goals; Leschyshyn has 14. . . . Vancouver outshot Regina, 45-28, including 19-10 in the first period and 17-8 in the second. . . . The Pats were without F Logan Nijhoff, who served a one-game suspension after he took a boarding major and game misconduct during a 5-2 loss to the host Kootenay Ice on Tuesday.


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