Cutler, Royals boot Blazers from playoffs. . . . Game slowed by two broken panes of glass. . . . Hitmen, Hurricanes to play Game 7 tonight


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D Jesse Dudas (Lethbridge, Prince George, Swift Current, Regina, 2003-09) has signed a two-year contract with Jegesmedvék Miskolc (Hungary, Slovakia Extraliga). This season, with MAC Újbuda Budapest (Hungary, Slovakia Extraliga), he had 11 goals and 28 assists in 51 games. He was an alternate captain. . . .

D Nick Walters (Everett, Brandon, 2010-13) has signed a one-year contract extension with the Kassel Huskies (Germany, DEL). This season, he had one goal and seven assists in 48 games.


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F Nolan Yaremko, who played out his junior eligibility with the Tri-City Americans, has signed an ATO with the AHL’s Stockton Heat. Yaremko, from Spirit River, Alta., had 67 goals and 92 assists in 278 games over four regular seasons with the Americans. . . . This season, the Americans’ captain had 28 goals and 38 assists in 68 games.


D Jett Woo of the Moose Jaw Warriors has joined the Utica Comets, the AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks. They selected Woo in the second round of the NHL’s 2018 draft and have signed him to a contract. . . . This season, he had 12 goals and 54 assists in 62 games.


The QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads, the host team for the 2019 Memorial Cup, staved off elimination on Monday night as they beat the visiting Quebec Remparts, 6-1. . . . The first-round series is tied, 3-3, with Game 7 set for tonight in Halifax. . . . The Mooseheads (49-15-4) finished atop the Eastern Conference; the Remparts (27-28-13) wound up eighth.


Scott Barney has signed a three-year contract as the general manager and head coach of the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos. He began this season as an assistant coach with the Broncos, then was named interim head coach when the organization and Nathan Oystrick parted company.


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NOTES: The Calgary Hitmen will be in Lethbridge tonight for Game 7 of their first-round series with the Hurricanes. . . . Lethbridge forced a final game with a 7-6 OT victory in Calgary on Sunday. . . . With the world men’s curling championship in the Enmax Centre, tonight’s game will be played in the Nicholas Sheran Arena, the home of the U of Lethbridge Pronghorns women’s and men’s hockey teams. . . . The Hitmen won Game 5, 6-5, in that building on Friday night. . . .

In Monday’s only playoff game, the visiting Victoria Royals beat the Kamloops Blazers, 4-1, to win the series, 4-2. . . . The Royals, who finished second in the B.C. Division, will meet the Vancouver Giants, who wound up on top of the Western Conference, in the second round. That series will open with games in Langley, B.C., on Friday and Saturday. . . . In the regular season, the Giants were 6-2-2 in the season series; the Royals were 4-4-2. . . . Last season, the Royals took out the Giants in seven games in a first-round series. . . .

Steve Ewen of Postmedia reports that F Justin Sourdif was on the ice wearing a non-contact sweater on Monday as the Vancouver Giants practised. Sourdif hasn’t played since being injured in Game 1 of Vancouver’s six-game victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Vancouver F Aidan Barfoot, who also was injured against Seattle, is doubtful for the weekend.

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MONDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The Victoria Royals scored three second-period goals en route to a 4-1 victory over the host Kamloops Blazers. . . . The Royals won the series, 4-2, and will open the second-VictoriaRoyalsround against the Vancouver Giants in Langley, B.C., on Friday night. . . . The burning question going into Game 6 was: Who will start in goal for the Blazers? Veteran Dylan Ferguson, 20, had started Game 5 in Victoria on Saturday, but it was Dylan Garand who finished what was a 6-3 Royals victory. . . . When Game 6 began, Garand, a 16-year-old freshman, was in goal. . . . There was a sellout crowd (5,876) on hand for this one, but, as things turned out, they didn’t get many reasons to cheer. . . .

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FIRST PERIOD: After the Blazers opened in a rush and carried much of the play, everything came screeching to a halt. . . . There was a 25-minute delay at 4:14 of the first period as a pane of glass shattered just inside the Victoria blue line on the penalty box side of the ice. Victoria F Logan Doust hit Kamloops F Connor Zary and the heel of Doust’s stick appeared to strike the glass, at which point it crumbled like yesterday’s toast. . . . Victoria got the game’s first goal at 12:05 by forcing a turnover high in the Kamloops zone. That allowed F Brandon Cutler (2) to gain some room and he was able to snap a quick shot past Kamloops G Dylan Garand. At that point, the Blazers held a 6-3 edge in shots. . . . The Blazers’ best chance came a few seconds later as F Zane Franklin came free on the left side, but Victoria G Griffen Outhouse got across and made a great save with his right pad. . . . Kamloops finished with an 11-3 edge in shots. . . . The Blazers were 0-2 on the PP, getting three shots on back-to-back opportunities. . . . Victoria was 0-1.

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SECOND PERIOD: The Royals scored on their second shot of the period to go up 2-0 as Cutler (3) got his stick on a point shot by D Jake Kustra and tipped it through Garand’s legs at 5:57. The Royals were on their second PP of the game at the time with Kamloops D Sean Strange off with one of those dreaded delay-of-game (puck over glass) penalties. . . . At that point, Kamloops had outshot Victoria, 14-5. . . .

Believe it or not, the second period featured a 20-minute delay as another pane of glass exploded after Victoria F Sean Gulka and Kamloops F Jermaine Loewen came together just above the hash marks in the Victoria zone on the penalty box side of the ice. Strangely enough, they didn’t even hit the pane that shattered, but rather one beside it. This one fell apart at 10:43. . . .

Franklin was whistled for cross-checking at 13:11 — he was behind Victoria’s net while the puck on its way out of the zone — and the Royals scored on the PP, as D Ralph Jarratt (1) beat Garand with a wrist shot from the top of the right circle. . . . Kamloops was leading on the shot clock, 16-7, at that point. . . .

Victoria was awarded a penalty shot at 18:10 after F Tarun Fizur picked Kamloops D Luke Zazula’s pocket at the Royals’ blue line and headed in alone, only to be hooked from behind by F Kobe Mohr. Garand came up with a glove save and you know that the fans were hoping that would give the Blazers a lift. . . .

However, Victoria F Dino Kambeitz hit F Carson Miller (4) with a centring pass and he jammed the puck through Garand for a 4-0 lead with 12.3 seconds remaining. Kambeitz had passed the puck through Kamloops D Quinn Schmiemann and, after the goal, looked back at the home team’s player and said something. Schmiemann went right at Kambeitz behind the Blazers net and was hit with a roughing minor. . . . That put Victoria on the PP to open the third period.

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THIRD PERIOD: The Blazers began the period with Ferguson in goal. He took over from Garand, who was beaten four times on 13 shots. . . . Outhouse denied Kamloops F Connor Zary on two point-blank opportunities, one on a quick shot from the slot, at 4:50, and the other on a backhand, at 5:40. . . . The Blazers finally got on the scoreboard at 14:18 as F Orrin Centazzo (1), the trailer, took a pass from Mohr and whipped it past Outhouse. . . . For a moment the fans could see a glimmer of light. . . . But Mohr took a boarding penalty at 14:57 and F Josh Pillar went off for slashing at 15:45 and the Kamloops dream was over. . . . The Royals were 2-7 on the PP; the Blazers were 0-2. . . . Outhouse finished with 34 saves. . . . Ferguson stopped all 10 shots he faced. . . .

JUST NOTES: After the handshakes, and with almost all the players off the ice, all four on-ice officials skated over and shook hands with Kamloops F Jermaine Loewen, who played his final WHL game. Loewen is one of the great stories in WHL history; if you aren’t familiar with it, Google is a wonderful friend. . . . As good as Outhouse played in the series, D Scott Walford was the Royals’ series MVP in my eyes. He is their maestro back there, and he ran the show through six games with various defencemen moving in and out of the lineup every game. . . . 

Victoria D Jameson Murray left the ice gingerly at 11:10 of the second period. He played a couple of shifts before the period’s end, but wasn’t on the Royals’ bench for the third period. . . . The Royals had D Matthew Smith back after he missed Games 4 and 5. . . . Jarratt played in his 43rd career playoff game with Victoria, two shy of the franchise record that is held by F Tyler Soy (2012-18). . . .

The Royals were without F Tanner Sidaway, who was suspended for one game for a hit on Zary at 11:48 of the third period in Game 5. Zary wasn’t injured on the play. Sidaway was given a minor penalty for charging. Sidaway had a goal and two assists in the first five games of the series. . . . Victoria also is without F Kody McDonald, who was hit with an indefinite suspension for a stick-swinging incident in Game 4. As well, F Kaid Oliver (shoulder) is out for the remainder of the season.


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Cougars’ Lamb doesn’t plan to coach. . . . Leschyshyn hat trick sparks Lethbridge win. . . . J-Train carries Blazers past Royals

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It appears that the Prince George Cougars will be hiring a head coach before the start of PrinceGeorgethe 2019-20 WHL season. General manager Mark Lamb has been the interim head coach since firing Richard Matvichuk on Feb. 6. . . . “That’s not the plan to come back,” Lamb has told Ted Clarke of the Prince George Citizen. “I’m interim head coach since I took over and that’s still what I am. There’s going to be a search for it, I haven’t put a lot of thought into it yet.” . . . “Obviously when you’re in a situation like this,” Lamb added, “people kind of know, so I’ve gotten a lot of resumes already. I just wanted to concentrate on finishing the year strong and I think that’s what we did.” . . . The Cougars, who missed the playoffs, finished 3-11-2 under Lamb, after going 16-30-6 under Matvichuk. . . . Clarke’s complete story is right here.


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SATURDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

NOTES: After home teams went 7-0 on opening night, they were only 4-4 on Saturday, with one visiting team — the Kamloops Blazers — winning in OT. . . . The Lethbridge Hurricanes’ 4-1 victory over the visiting Calgary Hitmen featured a line brawl late in the third period. . . . The Prince Albert Raiders got huge games from their two Belarusians as they took a 2-0 lead over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Three players were suspended by the WHL after Friday’s games. F Kobe Mohr of the Kamloops Blazers, D John Ludvig of the Portland Winterhawks and D Jake Lee of the Seattle Thunderbirds didn’t play last night. . . . F Brett Leason of the Prince Albert Raiders may be looking at a suspension after taking a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct last night.


F Aliaksei Protas and D Sergio Sapego, the Prince Albert Raiders’ Belarusian connection, PrinceAlbertcombined for six points — each had two goals and an assist — to lead them to a 6-4 victory over the visiting Red Deer Rebels. . . . The Raiders lead the series, 2-0, with Games 3 and 4 in Red Deer on Tuesday and Wednesday. . . . Protas scored the game’s first goal, at 6:08 of the first period, and Sapego made it 2-0, on a PP, at 8:32. . . . F Chris Douglas (1) pulled the Rebels to within a goal, on a PP, at 14:55, only to have Sapego (2) get that one back at 16:19. . . . F Dante Hannoun drew an assist on each of Prince Albert’s first three goals. . . . The Raiders lost F Brett Leason to a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct at 3:50 of the second period. F Cam Hausinger, the subject of the check, wasn’t injured. . . . Red Deer F Brandon Hagel scored a PP goal at 8:00 and then tied the game at 9:00, just 10 seconds after the major expired. . . . The Raiders took control by scoring the next three goals. . . . D Brayden Pachal (1) broke the tie at 11:14. . . . Protas (2) made it 5-3 at 2:08 of the third period. . . . F Ozzy Wiesblatt (2) upped the lead to 6-3 at 7:47. . . . Hagel (3) completed his hat trick, on a PP, at 10:24. . . . Red Deer was 3-5 on the PP; Prince Albert was 1-5. . . . G Ian Scott stopped 19 shots for the Raiders, six fewer than Red Deer’s Ethan Anders, whose night’s work included a stop on D Jeremy Masella on a penalty shot at 14:27 of the second period. The Raiders were ahead 4-3 at the time.


F Max Gerlach scored twice to help the host Saskatoon Blades to a 3-1 victory over the SaskatoonMoose Jaw Warriors. . . . The Blades lead the series, 2-0, with the teams headed to Moose Jaw for games on Tuesday and Wednesday. . . . Gerlach, who has three goals in the first two games, gave the Blades a 1-0 lead at 11:55 of the second period. . . . F Carson Denomie (1) pulled the Warriors into a tie, on a PP, at 5:07 of the third period. . . . Gerlach snapped the tie at 10:05, and F Kirby Dash (1) added the empty-netter at 19:24. . . . D Dawson Davidson had two assists as he was in on both of Gerlach’s goals. . . . Moose Jaw was 1-3 on the PP; Saskatoon was 0-2. . . . Saskatoon outshot Moose Jaw, 30-22, including 13-5 in the third period. . . . The Blades got 21 stops from G Nolan Maier. . . . The Warriors, who started Brodan Salmond on goal in the opener, switched to Adam Evanoff for Game 2. He finished with 27 saves.


F Jake Leschyshyn stuck for three straight goals to lead the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 4-Lethbridge1 victory over the visiting Calgary Hitmen. . . . The Hurricanes lead the series, 2-0, as the teams head to Calgary for Games 3 and 4 on Tuesday and Thursday. . . . Nick Henry (2) got Lethbridge started with a goal just 25 seconds into the game. . . . Leschyshyn made it 2-0, on a PP, at 12:16, and then upped it to 3-0 at 19:13. . . . Leschyshyn scored his third goal of the game, and of the series, on another PP, at 8:57 of the third. That was his first playoff hat trick. . . . D Dakota Krebs (1) got Calgary’s goal, on a PP, at 11:28 of the third period. . . . The Hurricanes acquired Leschyshyn and Henry, who also had an assist, from the Regina Pats in a deal earlier in the season. . . . While Lethbridge was 2-4 on the PP, Calgary went 0-7. . . . G Carl Tetachuk blocked 32 shots to record the victory over Jack McNaughton, who made 28 saves. . . . There was a multi-fight situation at 19:44 of the third period — officials handed out 86 penalty minutes, 49 to Lethbridge — so there just might be some discipline forthcoming. . . . D Devan Klassen and D Layne Toder of the Hitmen, along with Lethbridge D Nolan Jones, F Scott Mahovlich and F Jackson Shepard all received fighting majors and game misconducts.


G Mads Søgaard stopped 49 shots, 23 of them in the second period, to lead the Medicine Tigers Logo OfficialHat Tigers to a 2-1 victory over the Oil Kings in Edmonton. . . . This was the opener in this series, with Game 2 set for Edmonton tonight. . . . F James Hamblin (1) got Medicine Hat in front, while shorthanded, at 4:18 of the second period, and F Hayden Ostir (1) made it 2-0 at 13:20. . . . F Josh Williams (1) got Edmonton’s goal at 17:58 of the third period. . . . Edmonton was 0-3 on the PP; Medicine Hat was 0-1. . . . The Oil Kings got 25 saves from G Dylan Myskiw. . . . Edmonton had closed out the regular season on an 11-game winning streak.


G Roddy Ross, who didn’t finish Game 1, stopped 39 shots as his Seattle Thunderbirds Seattledumped the Vancouver Giants, 4-1, in Langley B.C. . . . The series is tied with Games 3 and 4 in Kent, Wash., on Tuesday and Wednesday. . . . The Giants had won the opener, 7-1, on Friday. . . . Last night, Seattle took a 2-0 lead on first-period goals from F Sean Richards (1), at 4:38, and D Simon Kubicek (1), on a PP, at 15:09. . . . F Jadon Joseph (2) got Vancouver on the scoreboard, on a PP, at 18:10. . . . The Thunderbirds got third-period insurance from F Andrej Kukuca (2), at 4:33, and F Nolan Volcan (1), into an empty net, at 17:58. . . . Volcan also had two assists. . . . Ross stopped 28 shots over the last two periods. . . . Vancouver was 1-4 on the PP; Seattle was 1-2. . . . The Giants got 24 saves from G Trent Miner. . . . Seattle was without D Jake Lee, who drew a TBD suspension for a cross-checking major and game misconduct in Game 1. Vancouver F Justin Sourdif, who took that hit, didn’t play last night.


The Portland Winterhawks scored four times in the third period and beat the host PortlandSpokane Chiefs, 5-3. . . . The series is tied, 1-1, as it heads to Portland for games on Tuesday and Wednesday. . . . Last night, Spokane took a 2-0 lead on goals from F Jaret Anderson-Dolan (2), at 6:19 of the first period, and F Luc Smith (1), at 13:19 of the second. . . . Portland responded with the next four goals. . . . F Josh Paterson (1) scored at 15:25 of the second period, and F Lane Gilliss (1) tied it at 8:11. . . . Paterson (2) gave Portland the lead at 9:51 and F Mason Mannek made it 4-2 at 12:37. . . . Spokane F Adam Beckman (2) pulled the Chiefs to within a goal at 17:26, only to have Portland D Matt Quigley (1) get the empty-netter just 19 seconds later. . . . G Joel Hofer stopped 23 shots for Portland, seven fewer than Spokane’s Bailey Brkin. . . . The two teams combined for 13 PPs in Game 1; there weren’t any — not one — in Game 2. . . . Referees Steve Papp and Ward Pateman didn’t call any penalties. Zero. Zilch. Nada! . . . According to a news release from the Winterhawks, it was the first time in the team’s “43-year history both teams were held without a power-play chance.” . . . Portland was without D John Ludvig, who was suspended for two games after taking a headshot major and game misconduct in Game 1. F Ethan McIndoe of the Chiefs, who was hit by Ludvig, wasn’t injured on the play. . . . Spokane’s scratches included D Nolan Reid, who took a stick to the face early in Game 1, and F Luke Toporowski, who had an assist in the opener.


The Everett Silvertips erased a 1-0 deficit with four straight goals and then hung on for 4-Everett3 victory over the visiting Tri-City Americans. . . . Everett leads the series, 2-0. . . . They’ll play Games 3 and in Kennewick, Wash., on Wednesday and Thursday. . . . F Krystof Hrabik (1) gave the Americans a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 10:51 of the first period. . . . F Martin Fasko-Rudas (2) got Everett into a tie, on a PP, at 17:15. . . . D Jake Christiansen (1) gave the Silvertips the lead at 9:02 of the second period and F Gage Goncalves (1) stretched it to 3-1 just 19 seconds later. . . . F Robbie Holmes (1) made it 4-1 at 18:28. . . . The Americans got to within a goal on third-period scores from F Nolan Yaremko (2), shorthanded, at 2:36, and D Aaron Hyman (1), on a PP, at 18:58. . . . Christiansen also had an assist, and now has a goal and four helpers in the first two games. . . . Tri-City was 2-7 on the PP; Everett was 1-6. . . . Referees Mike Campbell and Dexter Rasmussen handed out 140 minutes in penalties, 76 to Everett. . . . That final total included 90 minutes worth of misconducts. . . . G Dustin Wolf stopped 28 shots for the Silvertips, seven fewer than the American’s Beck Warm. . . . Everett F Connor Dewar, who didn’t finish Game 1, was scratched from Game 2.


F Jermaine Loewen scored on a rebound in OT to give the Kamloops Blazers a 4-3 victory Kamloops1over the Royals in Victoria. . . . The series is tied, 1-1, with Games 3 and 4 scheduled for Kamloops on Tuesday and Wednesday. . . . Loewen’s winner came as he followed F Martin Lang to the Victoria net. Lang had cut in from the left side and tried to stuff in the winner, but the puck ended up laying loose in the crease for Loewen at 5:14 of OT. . . . The Blazers had scored on their first two shots of the game, F Kyrell Sopotyk (1) finding the range at 5:21 of the first period, and F Brodi Stuart (1) making it 2-0 at 7:06. . . . The Royals tied it on second-period PP goals from F Kody McDonald (1), at 2:53, and F Carson Miller (2), at 9:15. . . . Sopotyk (2) gave Blazers the lead, on a PP, at 3:54 of the third period, with McDonald (2) tying it at 4:11. . . . Victoria was 2-4 on the PP; Kamloops was 1-2. . . . The Blazers were outshot 41-31 through three periods, but had a 4-1 edge in OT. . . . Kamloops got 39 saves from G Dylan Ferguson, who was playing his first game since leaving a 5-0 loss to the visiting Vancouver Giants on March 6 with an undisclosed injury. . . . Victoria G Griffen Outhouse, who had been 6-0-0 against the Blazers this season, turned aside 31 shots. . . . The Blazers scratched F Connor Zary for a second straight game. . . . Kamloops was without F Kobe Mohr, who was hit with a two-game suspension “for action at Victoria” in Game 1, according to the WHL website. It seems that Mohr’s stick came in contact with a linesman during that game. The Blazers claimed that the Royals filed for supplemental discipline; however, the Royals say they didn’t. . . . The Royals appear to be running into more injury problems. . . . They dressed seven defencemen — including APs Noah Lamb and Carson Golder — after scratching D Mitchell Prowse, who had played in Game 1. . . . In Game 2, the Royals mostly went with four defencemen — Lamb, Scott Walford, Ralph Jarratt and Rene Aquilon. D Jameson Murray, scratched from Game 1, was on the bench but didn’t play a shift. Jarratt, who has had an injury-plagued season, appeared to suffer a shoulder injury as Kamloops scored its third goal of the game. . . . Victoria F D-Jay Jerome played a couple of first-period shifts, but that was about all until he was out on a PP in OT. . . . Kamloops killed off that penalty, then won the game a couple of minutes later.


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Kamloops dumps visiting Kelowna in tiebreaker. . . . Two shorthanded goals in 28 seconds seal deal. . . . Blazers go to playoffs; Rockets go home

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The Kamloops Blazers scored two goals in 28 seconds on the same third-period penalty kill en route to a 5-1 victory over the visiting Kelowna Rockets in the seventh tiebreaker game in WHL history on Tuesday night. . . . With the victory, the Blazers move into the playoffs. They will open against the Royals in Victoria on Friday. . . . Last night was only the second time in the seven tiebreakers that the home team has won. . . .

Kamloops had taken a 2-1 lead in the third period when Blazers F Ryley Appelt was Kamloops1penalized for tripping at 8:16. . . . F Connor Zary got an early jump off the Kamloops bench during a change, allowing him to get to the back of the Kelowna net in a hurry. He stripped the puck from G Roman Basran, came out the back side and stuffed it home for a 3-1 lead at 8:44. . . . A short time later, Kamloops F Brodi Stuart avoided an attempt by Basran to get a hip into him behind the net, skated out and scored for a 4-1 lead at 10:12. . . . The Rockets, whose offence pretty much dried up late in the season, weren’t able to get back in this one. . . . F Jermaine Loewen got the Blazers’ last goal, into an empty net. . . .

The Blazers dominated the first period, especially the first 12 or 13 minutes, and held a 17-7 edge in shots. Only Kelowna G Roman Basran, a post and a crossbar kept the Blazers off the scoreboard. . . . Kamloops D Jackson Caller drilled a post from the point at 9:00; F Connory Zary glanced a bad-angle flip off the crossbar two minutes later. . . . Kamloops G Dylan Garand had his moments later, especially stoning F Alex Swetlikoff from the doorstep. . . .

Kelowna pushed back in the second, but Kamloops got the game’s first goal at 4:11, just six seconds after Rockets F Dallon Wilton was penalized for interference for a hit on D KelownaRocketsJeff Faith. Zary pulled the face-off win back to F Kyrell Sopotyk on the point. He ripped a wrist shot past Basran’s blocker, off a post and in. . . . The officials went to video review at 7:38 after the Blazers crashed the Kelowna net, but whatever had happened was ruled no goal. . . . The Rockets tied it at 7:56 when D Kaedan Korczak got to a shoot-in along the right boards, and slipped a pass to F Mark Liwiski. His quick backhand seemed to surprise Garand and got past him for the equalizer. . . . The Blazers thought they might have scored at 13:14 when the puck bounced off the back boards, over top of the net and into the Kelowna crease area. However, it was ruled that Kamloops F Logan Stankoven had come in contact with the puck with a high stick. . . . Kelowna got its first PP at 15:26 after Faith was hit with an interference penalty for a hit on F Nolan Foote. Other than Foote hitting a post early, the Rockets really didn’t threaten. . . . Kelowna outshot Kamloops, 13-7, in that period. . . .

The Blazers broke the 1-1 tie at 6:10 of the third period when Kelowna D Dalton Gally went down early in an attempt to cut off a pass, only to have Blazers F Kobe Mohr toedrag around him and snap a shot past Basran from the high slot. . . . Then came Zary’s shorthanded goal, followed by a Mohr penalty shot on which Basran was able to get his five-hole closed in time to prevent a goal. . . . It was left for Stuart to get his shorthanded goal and for Loewen to add the empty-netter. . . .

Garand, a 16-year-old freshman from Victoria, made his seventh straight start in the absence of the injured Dylan Ferguson. The Blazers are 6-0-1 over that stretch. . . . Garand finished with 27 saves in this one. . . . Ferguson skated with the Blazers on Monday, but wasn’t dressed last night. The burning question in Kamloops until Friday night will be this: Does Garand get to start his first playoff game in his hometown if Ferguson is healthy? . . . G Danton Belluk, whose WHL rights belong to the Everett Silvertips, remains with the Blazers on an emergency basis. He backed up Garand last night. . . .

Basran, who kept the Rockets from getting blown out in the first period, self-destructed in the third when he gave up the two shorthanded goals. He was beaten four times on 34 shots in 50:12. James Porter came on to finish up after the Blazers’ fourth goal. He stopped all five shots he faced. . . .

As expected, each team added a first-round 2018 bantam draft pick to its lineup. Stankoven, who won the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League scoring title with the Kamloops-based Thompson Blazers, was in the Kamloops lineup. F Trevor Wong, from the major midget Greater Vancouver Canadians, played for the Rockets. . . . Stankoven was the fifth-overall pick in that draft; Wong was taken with the 18th selection. . . .

Attendance was announced at 5,876, and there weren’t many empty seats. It was the Blazers’ second announced sellout of the season. On Feb. 18, the Blazers beat the visiting Tri-City Americans, 3-1, on Family Day. The announced crowed that day also was 5,876, but there were about 1,000 empty seats. . . .

While the Blazers head for Victoria, the Rockets’ season has ended. This means that the host team for the 2020 Memorial Cup won’t appear in this spring’s playoffs. . . . The Rockets fired head coach Jason Smith after a 4-10-0 start. They hired Adam Foote to replace him and went 24-22-8, plus last night’s loss, with him in control. . . .

The WHL’s draft lottery is scheduled to be held today (Wednesday). As one of six non-playoff teams, the Rockets will be participants. The six lottery teams, with regular-season points in parenthesis, are the Swift Current Broncos (28), Winnipeg Ice (36), Regina Pats (42), Prince George Cougars (46), Kelowna Rockets (64) and Brandon Wheat Kings (70). . . . A team is able to move up only two spots in the lottery, so one of those first three teams will own the first pick. However, the Cougars hold Swift Current’s selection, and the Saskatoon Blades own Regina’s pick. . . . When the draft is held on May 2 in Red Deer, the Blazers will hold the seventh selection.

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There have been seven tiebreakers in WHL history . . .

2018-19: Kelowna 1 at Kamloops 5.

2015-16: Edmonton Oil Kings 6 at Medicine Hat Tigers 4.

2013-14: Prince Albert Raiders 5 at Red Deer Rebels 3.

2008-09: Edmonton Oil Kings 2 at Prince Albert Raiders 1 (OT).

1989-90: Brandon Wheat Kings 4 at Swift Current Broncos 5.

1983-84: Calgary Wranglers 8 at Saskatoon Blades 7 (OT).

1980-81: Spokane Flyers 10 at New Westminster Bruins 9 (OT).

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You may recall that on Feb. 15 the OHL announced that the Niagara IceDogs had been ohlfined $250,000 and also had two first-round draft picks taken away for recruiting violations. . . . Rick Westhead of TSN reported Tuesday that all of this had to do with a player emailing David Branch, the OHL commissioner, to say that the IceDogs had promised to pay him $10,000 for each season he played with them, and then reneged on the deal. . . . As Westhead reported: “A law firm hired by the Ontario Hockey League concluded that the Niagara IceDogs breached the league’s player recruitment rules by entering into a secret ‘side deal’ with a former player, according to a court decision obtained by TSN.” . . . Westhead’s story is right here.


The Prince George Cougars have signed D Ethan Samson to a WHL contract. He was a third-round selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. From North Delta, B.C., he played this season with the Delta Hockey Academy’s Elite 15 team. In 33 games, he had seven goals and 17 assists.



The Brandon Wheat Kings have signed D Logen Hammett to a WHL contract. From Regina, Hammett will turn 16 on April 3. This season, with the midget AAA Regina Pat Canadians, he had four goals and 19 assists in 40 games. The Wheat Kings selected him in the fifth round of the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft.


F Rieger Lorenz, a likely first-round selection in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft, announced via Twitter on Tuesday that he has committed to the U of Denver Pioneers. Lorenz, who will turn 15 on March 30, is from Calgary. He had 11 goals and 25 assists in 30 games with the Edge School’s bantam prep team this season. . . . Lorenz is the fourth high-end bantam draft prospect to announce a commitment to the NCAA route in the last while, following F Matt Savoie (Denver), D Mats Lindgren (Michigan) and F Connor Levis (Michigan).


F Tanner Nagel, who finished up his WHL career with the Swift Current Broncos on Saturday, made his pro debut on Tuesday night with the ECHL’s Utah Grizzlies. . . . Nagel was pointless in a 4-3 loss to the visiting Rapid City Rush. . . . With the Broncos, Nagel had 13 goals and 10 assists in 65 games.


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Tiebreaker Tuesday in Kamloops; Blazers, Rockets in play-in game. . . . Might Warriors’ Langan, Brooks be suspended? . . . Oil Kings win Central flag


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The Kamloops Blazers and Kelowna Rockets have had so much fun this WHL regular whlseason that they’re going to take it to one more game.

On Saturday night, the Blazers scored a 4-2 victory over the Cougars in Prince George, to finish at 28-32-8, good for 64 points.

Meanwhile, in Kelowna, the Rockets went to overtime to beat the Vancouver Giants, 3-2. That left Kelowna at 28-32-8, with 64 points.

The results left the Blazers and Rockets tied for third place in the B.C. Division. The WHL’s rules call for a tiebreaker game whenever teams tie for a final playoff spot. In this instance, the Tri-City Americans and Seattle Thunderbirds have wrapped up the Western Conference’s two wild-card spots. So the B.C. Division’s third playoff spot is the last one up for grabs.

The Blazers and Rockets will decide it on Tuesday in Kamloops, starting at 7 p.m.

Why Kamloops? The first tiebreaker in deciding is regular-season victories. Each team has 28 of those. The second tiebreaker is most points in the season series between the teams. The Blazers won that, 13-10. They were 6-3-1; the Rockets were 4-4-2.

It’s worth noting that the tiebreaker game will played as though it is a playoff game. That means if the teams are tied after three periods, there will be a 15-minute intermission, followed by 20-minute sudden-death overtime periods until a winner is decided.

The winner of Tuesday’s game will meet the Victoria Royals in the first round. That series is to open with games in Victoria on Friday and Saturday.

This will be the seventh tiebreaker in WHL history. Here’s a look at the first six, courtesy of whl.ca (you will note that the visiting team won five of the six):

2015-16: Edmonton Oil Kings 6 at Medicine Hat Tigers 4.

2013-14: Prince Albert Raiders 5 at Red Deer Rebels 3.

2008-09: Edmonton Oil Kings 2 at Prince Albert Raiders 1 (OT).

1989-90: Brandon Wheat Kings 4 at Swift Current Broncos 5.

1983-84: Calgary Wranglers 8 at Saskatoon Blades 7 (OT).

1980-81: Spokane Flyers 10 at New Westminster Bruins 9 (OT).


Kevin Acheson, the WHL’s Dean of Discipline, will be watching some video and talking to people after a brouhaha at the end of the Moose Jaw Warriors’ 6-0 victory over the whlvisiting Swift Current Broncos on Saturday night.

With a 5-0 lead late and time winding down on the third period, Tim Hunter, the Warriors’ head coach, had his top guns on the ice, presumably in an attempt to get a scoring title for F Tristin Langan.

Langan already had two goals and an assist, moving him into a tie with F Joachim Blichfeld of the Portland Winterhawks atop the WHL’s scoring race, each with 113 points.

The Warriors scored their sixth goal — it went to D Daemon Hunt after video review — at 19:59 of the third period.

A brouhaha broke out at the final buzzer, and Langan ended up with a fighting major and game misconduct, while D Josh Brook was hit with a double spearing minor and a misconduct.

Langan and Brook both are repeat offenders in the eyes of the WHL. Brook served a one-game suspension for a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct in October. Langan sat out a one-game suspension for a game misconduct he incurred during a game on Feb. 2. In that one, he was given a minor for leaving the penalty box, a fighting major and a game misconduct, all at 20:00 of the third period. The suspension is believed to have been for leaving the penalty box.

On top of that, this was Langan’s third game misconduct of the season. According to WHL rules, “When a player receives his third game misconduct during the season for a combination of any major and game misconduct penalties (for which suspensions have not previously been applied), he shall receive a one-game suspension. For each subsequent game misconduct, the suspension shall be increased accordingly.”

The Warriors, who finished third in the East Division, will open a first-round best-of-seven series against the second-place Blades in Saskatoon on Friday.


The Vancouver Canucks have signed D Jett Woo of the Moose Jaw Warriors to a three-year entry-level NHL contract. . . . Woo, 18, went into Saturday with 12 goals and 50 assists in 61 games this season. . . . From Winnipeg, Woo was a second-round pick by the Canucks in the NHL’s 2018 draft. . . . The Warriors selected him fourth overall in the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft. . . . In 177 regular-season WHL games, he has 110 points, including 84 assists.


SATURDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The Edmonton Oil Kings used four second-period goals as the stepping stone to a 6-1 EdmontonOilKingsvictory over the visiting Calgary Hitmen. . . . Edmonton (41-18-8) has won 10 in a row. . . . Calgary (36-25-6) has lost three straight. . . . The outcome set in stone two more playoff series. The Oil Kings, who clinched the Central Division title, will face the Medicine Hat Tigers, the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card team, in the first round. At the same time, the Hitmen, third-place finishers in the division, will go up against the second-place Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Edmonton is 6-0-1 in the season series; Calgary is 1-5-1. . . . They’ll meet again this afternoon in Calgary. . . . F Mark Kastelic (47) gave the Hitmen a 1-0 lead at 7:30 of the first period. . . . However, the Oil Kings took over in the second period, getting goals from F Vince Loschiavo (35), on a PP, at 1:00; F Josh Williams (14), at 7:51; F Scott Atkinson, at 8:49; and F Jake Neighbours (10), at 19:44. . . . D Conner McDonald (19) and Atkinson (15) added third-period goals. . . . Edmonton G Dylan Myskiw stopped 21 shots. He now is 28-11-5, 2.53, .914.


G Roddy Ross blocked 45 shots and F Noah Philp scored twice to help the Seattle SeattleThunderbirds to a 5-2 victory over the Portland Winterhawks in Kent, Wash. . . . Seattle (30-29-8), which will meet the Vancouver Giants in the first round, has won two in a row. . . . Portland (40-21-6) has slipped to third in the U.S. Division, one point behind the Spokane Chiefs. . . . Portland is 8-3-0 in the season series; Seattle is 3-6-2. . . . They’ll wrap it up today in Portland. . . . Philp gave Seattle a 1-0 lead at 4:38 of the first period. . . . F Noah Volcan (27) made it 2-0 with his 100th career goal 14 seconds into the second period. . . . Seattle went ahead 3-0 when F Matthew Wedman (40) scored, on a PP, 32 seconds into the third. . . . Portland got to within a goal as D Jared Freadrich (14) struck, on a PP, at 5:47, and F Josh Paterson (24) scored at 11:09. . . . Philp, who also had an assist, added his 26th goal at 15:12 and D Owen Williams (6) got an empty-netter at 18:37. . . . F Joachim Blichfeld of the Winterhawks had 11 shots on goal, but couldn’t score. He finished with one assist, giving him 113 points. With one game to play, he is tied with F Tristin Langan of the Moose Jaw Warriors for the WHL scoring lead. . . . Portland F Reece Newkirk had a busy night with two assists, five shots on goal, a minor penalty, a misconduct and a game misconduct. . . . Ross, a January addition to Seattle’s roster, is 16-5-3, 2.76, .919. . . . G Shane Farkas blocked 33 shots for Portland. . . . The Winterhawks had F Seth Jarvis and D Matt Quigley back in uniform, but F Cody Glass and D John Ludvig remain out.


G Brodan Salmond earned the shutout and F Tristin Langan scored twice as the host MooseJawWarriorsMoose Jaw Warriors beat the Swift Current Broncos, 6-0. . . . Moose Jaw (40-20-8) has won three in a row. It will meet the Blades in a first-round series that opens Friday in Saskatoon. . . . Swift Current (11-51-6), the WHL’s defending champion, finished with the league’s poorest record. The Broncos were blanked four times in their last seven games. All told, they were shut out 10 times in 68 games. . . . Salmond, who finished with 22 saves, has two shutouts this season and five in his career. . . . Langan finished with two goals, giving him 53, and an assist. . . . The Warriors also got goals from F Carson Denomie (8), F Justin Almeida (33), F Kjell Kjemhus (3) and D Daemon Hunt (7). . . . Almeida also had two assists. . . . Langan finished with 113 points and is tied with F Joachim Blichfeld of the Portland Winterhawks for the WHL scoring lead. Blichfeld and the Winterhawks are at home to the Seattle Thunderbirds today. . . . Blichfeld and Langan lead the league in goals (53). . . . Almeida is third in the scoring race, with 111 points. He is No. 1 in assists, with 78. . . . The Warriors were without F Brayden Tracey, who is likely to be named the WHL’s top rookie, for a second straight game. . . . Dean Brockman, the Broncos’ head coach, missed his club’s last three games as he was on a scouting junket. Assistant coach Brandin Cote went 1-2-0 in his absence.


F Noah Gregor scored twice to help the host Prince Albert Raiders to a 3-1 victory over PrinceAlbertthe Saskatoon Blades. . . . Prince Albert (54-10-4) finished with the WHL’s best record. It will meet the Red Deer Rebels in the first round of playoffs. . . . Saskatoon (45-15-8) had won its previous eight games. It will face the Moose Jaw Warriors in the first round. . . . F Sean Montgomery, playing in his franchise-record 345th regular-season game with the Raiders, gave his guys a 1-0 lead with his 29th goal, at 8:05 of the first period. . . . Gregor, who has 43 goals, upped that to 3-0 at 10:23 of the first, on a PP, and 17:12 of the second, while shorthanded. . . . F Max Gerlach (42) scored for Saskatoon at 16:04 of the third period. . . . G Ian Scott stopped 24 shots to earn the victory. He finished 38-8-3, 1.83, .932. . . . G Dorrin Luding stopped 29 shots for the Blades. . . . Prince Albert was 1-8 on the PP; Saskatoon was 0-6. . . . D Alex Ozar, who is from Prince Albert, took the warmup with the Blades but was scratched. A fifth-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft, he played for the midget AAA Prince Albert Mintos. . . . At the same time, the Raiders had F Cohner Saleski, who is from Saskatoon in their lineup. The 17th overall pick in the 2017 draft, he also played for the Mintos. . . . The Raiders scratched F Dante Hannoun for a second straight game, along with F Justin Nachbaur.


The Kamloops Blazers scored the game’s last three goals — all in the last six minutes of Kamloops1the third period — to beat the Cougars, 4-2, in Prince George. . . . Kamloops (28-32-8) is points in six straight (5-0-1). After 68 games, it is tied with the Kelowna Rockets for third place in the B.C. Division. The Blazers and Rockets will meet Tuesday in Kamloops with the victor getting the division’s last playoff spot. . . . Prince George (19-41-8) had won its previous two games, including a 5-4 OT victory in Kamloops on Friday night. . . . Kamloops won the season series, 7-0-2; Prince George was 2-6-1. . . . Last night, F Kobe Mohr (9) gave Kamloops a 1-0 lead at 8:48 of the second period. . . . Prince George went ahead 2-1 on goals from F Vladislav Mikhalchuk (25), at 11:50 of the second, and D Cole Moberg (13), shorthanded, at 14:39 of the third. . . . F Jermaine Loewen tied it 15 seconds later, and F Connor Zary (24) snapped the tie, shorthanded, at 17:15. . . . Loewen (28) iced it with the empty-netter at 19:11. . . . Zary also had two assists. . . . With G Dylan Ferguson out, G Dylan Garand made his sixth straight start for the Blazers and stopped 29 shots. . . . G Taylor Gauthier stopped 21 shots for the Cougars.


F Adam Beckman scored three times and added an assist as the host Spokane Chiefs SpokaneChiefsdumped the Tri-City Americans, 10-1. . . . Spokane (40-21-7) has won three in a row. It moved past Portland and into second in the U.S. Division, one point ahead of the Winterhawks. Portland has one game remaining; it is at home to the Seattle Thunderbirds today. . . . Spokane and Portland will play in the first round of playoffs, but home-ice advantage won’t be decided until today’s game. . . . Tri-City (34-28-6) has lost five straight (0-3-2). It will meet the Everett Silvertips in the first round of the playoffs. . . . In the Spokane/Tri-City season series, each team was 6-5-1. . . . Beckman, a 17-year-old freshman from Saskatoon, finished with 62 points, including 32 goals, in 68 games. . . . F Bear Hughes, playing in his second WHL game, scored his first two goals fro the Chiefs. Hughes, who is from Post Falls, Idaho, had made his WHL debut on Friday night. He spent this season with the junior B Spokane Braves. . . . Spokane also got goals from D Nolan Reid (17), F Ethan McIndoe (16), F Luc Smith (28), F Cordel Larson (7) and F Jake McGrew (31). . . . F Nolan Yaremko (28) scored for Tri-City, while shorthanded, in the first period. . . . Spokane F Eli Zummack had three assists, while McIndoe added two assists to his goal. . . . G Bailey Brkin stopped 19 shots for the Chiefs. . . . Freshman Talyn Boyko went the distance for the Americans, allowing 10 goals on 47 shots.


F Mark Liwiski’s goal in OT gave the Kelowna Rockets a 3-2 victory over the visiting KelownaRocketsVancouver Giants. . . . Kelowna (28-32-8) had lost its previous four games (0-2-2). . . . Vancouver (48-15-5) has points in four straight (3-0-1). . . . Vancouver finished atop the Western Conference and will meet the Seattle Thunderbirds in a first-round series. . . . Kelowna is tied with Kamloops for third place in the B.C. Division. They will meet in a game in Kamloops on Tuesday, with the winner advancing to the playoffs and the loser going home. . . . Vancouver went 7-0-2 in the season series; Kelowna was 2-7-0. . . . F Justin Sourdif (23) gave Vancouver a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 12:46 of the first period. . . . Kelowna tied it at 14:06 as D Cayde Augustine (2) scored. . . . The Rockets took a 2-1 lead at 15:29 of the second period on a goal by F Alex Swetlikoff (6). . . . Giants F Jadon Joseph (22) forced OT with a goal at 19:27 of the third period. . . . Liwiski, in his second game since serving a three-game suspension, won it with his 11th goal, at 3:40 of extra time. . . . Kelowna got 19 saves from G Roman Basran. . . . G David Tendeck stopped 32 shots for the Giants. . . . The Giants, who clinched first place in the Western Conference on Friday night, scratched D Bowen Byram, F Davis Koch, D Dylan Plouffe and D Seth Bafaro. . . . The Rockets were without D Lassi Thomson for a third straight game.


F Martin Fasko-Rudas scored three times to help the host Everett Silvertips to a 5-1 Everettvictory over the Victoria Royals. . . . Everett (47-16-5) had lost three in a row (0-2-1). It finished atop the U.S. Division and will face the Tri-City Americans in the first round of the playoffs. . . . Victoria (34-30-4) will face the Kamloops Blazers or Kelowna Rockets in the first round. . . . Everett went 2-1-1 in the season series; Victoria was 2-2-0. . . . Fasko-Rudas, who finished with 15 goals, scored his first career hat trick as Everett opened up a 5-0 lead. . . . F Dawson Butt (9) and F Jalen Price (7) also scored for the Silvertips. . . . F D-Day Jerome (23) had Victoria’s only goal. . . . G Max Palaga stopped 18 shots for Everett. . . . Victoria got 39 stops from G Brock Gould. . . . Victoria dressed 16 skaters after scratching D Mitchell Prowse, D Jameson Murray, D Scott Walford, D Matt Smith, F Sean Gulka, F Kody McDonald, D Jake Kustra and F Kaid Oliver. . . . F Connor Dewar, F Bryce Kindopp, F Zack Andrusiak and D Wyatte Wylie were among Everett’s scratches. The Silvertips went with 17 skaters.


F Luca Burzan’s shootout goal gave the Brandon Wheat Kings a 5-4 victory over the BrandonWKregularvisiting Regina Pats in a game between two teams that won’t be in the playoffs. . . . Brandon (31-29-8) had lost its previous five games. . . . Regina (19-45-4) won the season series, 4-2-2; Brandon was 4-4-0. . . . The Wheat Kings took a 2-0 lead on goals from D Braydyn Chizen (3), at 0:19 of the first period, and F Linden McCorrister (14), shorthanded, at 5:58. . . . F Carter Massier (5) got Regina’s first  goal at 11:45. . . . Brandon F Connor Gutenberg (16) restored the two-goal lead at 11:45 of the second period. He also had three assists for his first career four-point game. . . . F Ty Kolle pulled Regina even with goals at 17:33 of the second and 4:41 of the third, the latter via a PP. He’s got 16 goals. . . . F Ben McCartney (21) put Brandon back out front at 12:34, only to have Regina F Austin Pratt (25) tie it at 16:30. . . . Burzan won it in the fifth round of the shootout. . . . Kolle had a three-point out as he also had an assist. . . . Brandon got 34 stops from G Ethan Kruger. . . . G Max Paddock stopped 38 shots for the Pats.


F Nick Henry scored two goals to help the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 3-2 victory over the LethbridgeTigers in Medicine Hat. . . . Lethbridge (40-18-10) has won eight in a row. . . . Medicine Hat (35-27-6) had won its previous three games. . . . Lethbridge will face the Calgary Hitmen in the first round of the playoffs, while Medicine Hat is to meet the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Lethbridge won the season series, 7-1-2; Medicine Hat was 3-7-0. . . . F Brett Kemp (33) gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 17:48 of the first period. . . . Lethbridge scored the next three goals. . . . Henry, who finished with 29 goals, scored at 19:39 of the first and 5:58 of the second. . . . F Jake Elmer’s 39th goal, shorthanded, gave the Hurricanes a 3-1 lead at 10:55. . . . F Ryan Jevne (32) got the Tigers to within a goal at 14:24 of the third period. . . . G Bryan Thomson made 29 saves for the Hurricanes. . . . The Tigers got 29 saves from G Jordan Hollett. . . . Medicine Hat scratched D Dylan MacPherson and F James Hamblin. . . . D Igor Merezhko was among Lethbridge’s scratches.


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Rebels give Sutter victory No. 500. . . . Almeida gets NHL deal, then leads Warriors to win. . . . Blazers closing in on Rockets


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Brent Sutter, the owner, general manager and head coach of the Red Deer Rebels, is the newest member of the WHL’s 500 club.

Sutter recorded his 500th regular-season victory as a WHL head coach on Saturday night whlwhen the Rebels dumped the visiting Kootenay Ice, 8-4.

It was only fitting that Sutter should reach the milestone on Country and Western Night at the Centrium. From Viking, Alta., Sutter and his brothers are just as comfortable on the ranch as they are in the arena.

“I never thought about it until I came off and they told me to go back on the bench,” Sutter told Greg Meachem of reddeerrebels.com. “I don’t know. Just been around a long time. It’s really that at the end of the day.”

Sutter, 56, went into this season with 468 regular-season coaching victories, and the Rebels now are (32-25-6). However, Sutter missed one victory this season while on a father-son junket with the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks. His son, Brandon, plays for the Canucks, although he is injured right now.

If you are wondering, that victory was credited to assistant coach Brad Flynn.

Sutter is in his 20th season as the Rebels’ owner and general manager,  and his 15th as head coach. He started in 1999-2000 and was there through 2006-07. He then had stints as head coach with the NHL’s New Jersey Devils and Calgary Flames. Sutter was back in Red Deer for the 2012-13 season, and he replaced head coach Jesse Wallin on Nov. 14, 2012.

Sutter is ninth on the WHL’s all-time list.

Sutter is the second WHL coach to reach 500 victories this season. Marc Habscheid, the head coach of the Prince Albert Raiders, got there on Feb. 9 with a 6-5 victory over the host Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Habscheid, who now is at 508, celebrated by taking his club to a Dairy Queen in Lethbridge before heading home to Prince Albert.

Taking Note pointed that out to Sutter via text last night and asked how he planned to celebrate. His response was: “Haha . . . McDonald’s.”

In all likelihood, the next WHL head coach to get to 500 victories will be Shaun Clouston. He has 389 victories as he puts the wraps on his ninth regular-season as the Tigers’ head coach.

——

Here’s a look at the 23 WHL head coaches who have more than 300 regular-season victories to their credit after Saturday’s games:

1. Don Hay (Kamloops, Tri-City, Vancouver) 750

2. Ken Hodge (Edmonton, Portland), 742

3. Don Nachbaur (Seattle, Tri-City, Spokane) 692

4. Lorne Molleken (Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Regina, Vancouver) 626

5. Mike Williamson (Portland, Calgary, Tri-City) 572

6. Ernie McLean (Estevan, New Westminster) 548

7. Pat Ginnell (Flin Flon, Victoria, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, New Westminster) 518

8. Marc Habscheid (Kamloops, Kelowna, Chilliwack, Victoria, Prince Albert) 508

9. Brent Sutter (Red Deer) 500

10. Peter Anholt (Prince Albert, Seattle, Red Deer, Kelowna, Lethbridge) 466

    Jack Shupe (Medicine Hat, Victoria) 466

12. Kelly McCrimmon (Brandon) 465

      Dean Clark (Calgary, Brandon, Kamloops, Prince George) 465

14. Bob Lowes (Seattle, Brandon, Regina) 453

15. Doug Sauter (Calgary, Medicine Hat, Regina, Brandon) 417

16. Marcel Comeau (Calgary, Saskatoon, Tacoma, Kelowna) 411

17. Bryan Maxwell (Medicine Hat, Spokane, Lethbridge) 397

18. Shaun Clouston (Tri-City, Medicine Hat) 389

19. Mike Johnston (Portland) 354

20. Graham James (Moose Jaw, Swift Current, Calgary) 349

21. Bob Loucks (Lethbridge, Tri-City, Medicine Hat) 340

22. Willie Desjardins (Saskatoon, Medicine Hat) 333

23. Kevin Constantine (Everett) 326


F Justin Almeida of the Moose Jaw Warriors has signed a three-year entry-level contract NHLwith the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins. He was a fifth-round selection by Pittsburgh in the NHL’s 2018 draft. . . . Almeida, who turned 20 on Feb. 6, is from Kitimat, B.C. . . . He has 100 points, including a WHL-leading 70 assists, in 60 games. . . . In 252 career regular-season games, he has 232 points, including 146 assists. . . . The Prince George Cougars selected Almeida with the fifth-overall pick in the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft. They traded him to Moose Jaw on Jan. 5, 2017, in a deal that had F Nikita Popugaev go to the Cougars. The Warriors also got F Yan Khomenko and two bantam draft picks — a second-rounder in 2018 and a fifth in 2017.


The Seattle Thunderbirds were without freshman F Andrej Kukuca on Saturday night as they entertained the Everett Silvertips in Kent, Wash. . . . Kukuca, a 19-year-old Slovakian freshman, returned to his home country in order to write an exam. He has 54 points, including 25 goals, in 57 games this season. . . . I don’t remember this kind of thing happening in previous seasons, but the Kootenay Ice is without D Martin Bodak and the Vancouver Giants are without F Milos Roman for the same reason.


SATURDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

F Justin Almeida, who signed an NHL contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier in the MooseJawWarriorsday, scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Moose Jaw Warriors to a 6-1 victory over the visiting Regina Pats. . . . Moose Jaw (36-19-8) has won two in a row. The Warriors will finish third in the East Division and open a first-round series against the Blades in Saskatoon on March 22. . . . Regina (18-44-3) has lost six straight. . . . Moose Jaw won the season series with Regina, 7-1-0. . . . Almeida got the Warriors started, on a PP, at 3:25 of the first period, and F Brayden Tracey made it 2-0 at 11:51. . . . Moose Jaw went ahead 3-0 at 11:46 of the second period on a goal from F Daniil Stepanov, who had gone 18 games without a point. . . . Tracey (35) made it 4-0 at 1:27 of the third period. . . . F Garrett Wright (7) got Regina’s goal at 9:40. . . . Almeida’s 30th goal, into an empty net at 17:17, gave him 100 points this season, the third WHLer to get there. . . . F Luke Ormsby (8) got the Warriors’ final goal at 17:52. . . . D Jett Woo had three assists for the Warriors, while Tracey added an assist for a three-point game. . . . Moose Jaw was 2-6 on the PP; Regina was 0-2.


The Saskatoon Blades broke open a scoreless game with three second-period goals and Saskatoonwent on to a 6-1 victory over the visiting Swift Current Broncos. . . . Saskatoon (43-14-8) has won five straight games. It will finish second in the East Division and meet the Moose Jaw Warriors in the first round. Games 1 and 2 are to be played in Saskatoon on March 22 and 23. . . . Swift Current (10-48-6) has lost 17 in a row (0-14-3). The Broncos completed a seven-game road trip at 0-6-1 and were outscored 48-10 in the process. . . . Saskatoon took the season series, 7-0-1; Swift Current was 1-7-0. . . . Saskatoon got started when F Tristen Robins (9) scored, on a PP, at 6:43 of the second period. . . . F Kristian Roykas Marthinsen (13), at 7:34, and F Ryan Hughes, at 19:15, made it 3-0. . . . Hughes made it 4-0 with his 29th goal just seven seconds into the third period. . . . D Dawson Davidson (12) made it 5-0 at 6:59. . . . The Broncos, without a goal in nine straight periods, finally scored at 12:41 when F Matthew Culling got his 11th. That ended the Broncos’ goal drought at 209 minutes. . . . F Kirby Dach (25) got Saskatoon’s last goal at 17:40. . . . The Blades got three assists from F Eric Florchuk. . . . G Dorrin Luding earned the victory with 16 saves. . . . Broncos D Matthew Stanley totalled 32 penalty minutes — one minor, two misconducts and a game misconduct — as he twice tried to instigate a fight. . . . Things don’t get any easier for the Broncos, who are to entertain the Prince Albert Raiders this afternoon. The Broncos played twice in Prince Albert this week, losing 6-0 and 8-0.


F Taylor Ross scored his club’s first three goals and added an assist to lead the Lethbridge LethbridgeHurricanes to a 7-4 victory over the visiting Calgary Hitmen. . . . Lethbridge (38-17-10) has won six in a row. It now sits atop the Central Division standings, two points ahead of the idle Edmonton Oil Kings. Lethbridge has two games remaining; Edmonton has four left. . . . Calgary (36-24-6) has lost two in a row. It appears headed to a third-place finish in the Central Division. . . . Lethbridge won the season series, 5-1-0. . . . F Sean Tschigerl gave the Hitmen a 1-0 lead with his first career WHL goal at 11:12 of the first period. . . . Ross then struck for his second career hat trick, getting goals at 14:23 and 19:49 of the first period, and 1:16 of the second. He’s now got 35 goals. . . . The Hurricanes went ahead 5-1 on goals from F Jackson Shepard (5), at 7:18, and F Jake Elmer (38), at 11:08. . . . F Riley Fiddler-Schultz (3) scored for the Hitmen, shorthanded, at 9:33 of the third period. . . . F Jordy Bellerive, who has 32 goals, struck twice for Lethbridge, at 11:57 and 13:29, before F James Malm (34) and D Vladislav Yeryomenko (7) scored PP goals for Calgary. . . . Bellerive finished with five points, as he also had three assists. . . . Elmer ran his point streak to 16 games with a goal and an assist, while Lethbridge F Dylan Cozens had three assists and is on a 14-game point streak.


F Brandon Hagel scored once and added three assists in leading the host Red Deer Rebels Red Deerto an 8-4 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Red Deer (33-25-6) has won two in a row. It is tied with the Medicine Hat Tigers for the Eastern Conference’s two wild-card spots, four points ahead of the Brandon Wheat Kings, who have three games remaining. . . . Kootenay (12-43-10) has lost four in a row. . . . With one game remaining, Red Deer is 5-0-0 in the season series; Kootenay is 0-3-2. . . The Rebels jumped out to an early 3-0 first-period lead on a goal from F Cam Hausinger (19) and two from F Reese Johnson, who has 24. Johnson’s first goal was shorthanded; the second one came via the PP. He also had an assist for a three-point night. . . . Kootenay F Nolan Orzeck (3) made it 3-1 at 13:24. . . . The Rebels went up 5-1 on second-period goals from D Chad Leslie (1), at 2:14, and F Jeff de Wit (25), at 4:55. . . . F Jaeger White (27), at 7:18, and F Connor McClennon (13), at 10:16, on a PP, got the Ice to within two goals. . . . F Zak Smith (12) restored Red Deer’s three-goal lead at 14:42, only to have F Jakin Smallwood (13) get one back for the Ice, on a PP, at 15:33. . . . Hagel got his 40th goal, on a PP, at 19:34, and F Josh Tarzwell (10) closed out the scoring at 17:43 of the third period. . . . McLennon added two assists to his goal. . . . Red Deer was 2-4 on the PP; Kootenay was 2-5. . . . The Rebels were without D Alex Alexeyev, who appeared to suffer a knee injury in the third period of Friday’s 5-3 victory over the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Red Deer lost F Alex Morozoff to a boarding major and game misconduct at 8:55 of the second period. . . . Brent Sutter, Red Deer’s owner, general manager and head coach, earned his 500th regular-season WHL coaching victory with this one.


F Ryan Jevne’s two goals and an assist helped the host Medicine Hat Tigers to a 4-2 Tigers Logo Officialvictory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Medicine Hat (33-26-6) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). It is tied with the Red Deer Rebels for the Eastern Conference’s two wild-card spots, four points up on the Wheat Kings. . . . Brandon (30-27-8) has lost three straight. It is four points from a playoff spot with three games left to play. . . . The teams split the season series, 2-2-0. . . . Brandon went 1-4-1 on a six-game Central Division swing. . . . Jevne gave his guys a 1-0 lead with a PP goal at 16:16 of the first period, only to have Brandon F Stelio Mattheos (43) tie it 28 seconds later. . . . F Ryan Chyzowski (24) gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead at 7:53 of the second period, and Jevne’s 30th goal, shorthanded, made it 3-1 at 12:53. . . . The Wheat Kings got back to within a goal at 13:22 when D Chad Nychuk (3) scored on a PP, his second goal in two games. . . . Medicine Hat got insurance from F Hayden Ostir (11) at 13:33 of the third period. . . . The Tigers were 1-7 on the PP; Brandon was 1-2. . . . Medicine Hat got 28 saves from G Mads Søgaard. . . . Brandon G Jiri Patera made 30 stops. . . . F Cole Sillinger, who has played three road games with the Tigers, played his first WHL game in Medicine Hat. The son of former NHLer Mike Sillinger, Cole had two assists in those first three games.


F Jermaine Loewen broke a 1-1 tie in the third period to give the Kamloops Blazers a 2-1 Kamloops1victory over the Rockets in Kelowna. . . . Kamloops (25-32-7) has won two in a row. . . . Kelowna (27-31-7) had points in each of its previous three games (1-0-2). . . . The Rockets are third in the B.C. Division, four points ahead of the Blazers. Kelowna has three games remaining — at home to Spokane, then a home-and-home with Vancouver. Kamloops has four to play — at home to Spokane, Victoria and Prince George, and one in Prince George. . . . On Friday, the Blazers beat the visiting Rockets, 2-1, in a shootout. . . . Kamloops went 6-3-1 in the season series; Kelowna wound up 4-4-2. . . . F Kyrell Sopotyk (11) gave the Blazers a 1-0 lead at 6:00 of the second period. . . . Kelowna got even at 13:04 when F Kyle Topping (22) scored. . . . Loewen won it with his 25th goal, at 9:01 of the third period. . . . Kamloops D Montana Onyebuchi took the game’s only penalty, a roughing minor at 8:25 of the first period. . . . The Blazers got 27 saves from G Dylan Garand. . . . The Blazers remain without G Dylan Ferguson, so have Rayce Ramsay on the bench. He plays for the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos, who are to begin their playoff run on Friday night. . . . G Roman Basran blocked 27 shots for Kelowna. . . . The Rockets were without D Lassi Thomson, who left Friday’s game after taking a hit from Loewen. . . . Kelowna F Mark Liwiski sat out the second of a three-game suspension.


The Prince George Cougars ended a 13-game home-ice losing skid with a 5-2 victory over PrinceGeorgethe Portland Winterhawks. . . . Prince George (18-40-8) had lost its past six games (0-5-1). . . . Portland (39-20-6) had beaten the Cougars, 3-2, on Friday night. Portland is second in the U.S. Division, three points ahead of the Spokane Chiefs. Portland and Spokane will meet in the first round, but home-ice advantage has yet to be decided. . . . The Cougars hadn’t won at home since beating the Kelowna Rockets, 4-0, on Jan. 12. . . . Portland won the season series, 3-1-0. . . . D Clay Hanus (7) gave the Winterhawks a 1-0 victory at 3:22 of the second period. . . . The Cougars got the game’s next four goals, from D Austin Crossley (3), at 8:31 of the second period; F Vladislav Mikalchuk (22), on a PP, at 5:20 of the third; F Connor Bowie (3), at 12:25; and F Josh Maser, on a PP, at 14:32. . . . F Cross Hanas (8) scored for Portland at 15:48, before Maser got his 30th, into an empty net, at 18:58. . . . Prince George was 2-4 on the PP; Portland was 0-4. . . . The Cougars had a season-high 49 shots on goal. . . . Prince George got 37 saves from G Taylor Gauthier. . . . The Winterhawks again were without F Cody Glass, F Seth Jarvis, D Matt Quigley and D John Ludvig, all of whom are injured.


F Nolan Volcan scored twice and G Roddy Ross blocked 46 shots to help the Seattle SeattleThunderbirds to a 2-1 victory over the Everett Silvertips in Kent, Wash. . . . Seattle (28-28-8) has points in seven straight games (5-0-2). . . . Everett (46-15-4) had points in its previous eight games (7-0-1) and had won five in a row. . . . Everett finished the season series, 7-2-1; Seattle was 3-5-2. . . . Volcan gave Seattle a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 9:34 of the second period. . . . F Robbie Holmes (12) got Everett into a 1-1 tie at 14:37. . . . Volcan broke the tie with his 23rd goal, at 17:39 of the third period. . . . D Simon Kubicek drew an assist on each of Volcan’s goals. . . . Ross was stellar as his guys were outshot 47-20, including 16-3 in the first period. . . . Seattle was 1-1 on the PP; Everett was 0-3. . . . Everett G Dustin Wolf stopped 18 shots. . . . Seattle D Jarret Tyszka left in the second period after being struck in the face by a shot off the stick of Everett F Bryce Kindopp. . . . F Max Patterson was among Everett’s scratches with an undisclosed injury.


F Adam Beckman scored twice and added two assists to lead the host Spokane Chiefs to a SpokaneChiefs6-1 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . Spokane (37-20-7) has won two in a row. It is third in the U.S. Divsion, but now is three points points behind the Portland Winterhawks. Spokane has four games remaining, while Portland has three. . . . Victoria (33-28-4) has lost three straight. It will finish second in the B.C. Division. . . . Spokane won the season series, 3-1-0. . . . First-period goals by F Ethan McIndoe (14), at 1:59, and Beckman, at 7:23, got the Chiefs started. . . . Victoria cut into the lead at 7:06 of the second period when F Brandon Cutler (12) scored. . . . The Chiefs closed it out with goals from F Jaret Anderson-Dolan (17), Beckman (29), on a PP, D Filip Kral (9), who also had two assists, and D Ty Smith (7). . . . Beckman, a 17-year-old freshman from Saskatoon, has 56 points, including 29 goals, in 64 games. . . . Anderson-Dolan now has goals in seven straight games. . . . The Chiefs got 21 saves from G Bailey Brkin. . . . Victoria F Kaid Oliver is awaiting shoulder surgery and won’t play again this season. Oliver, who last played on Feb. 23, leads the Royals in goals (27) and points (49). . . . The Royals also are without D Matthew Smith, F Kody McDonald, F Tyus Gent, F Sean Gulka and D Jake Kustra, all of whom are injured.


D Bowen Byram set a WHL record with another OT goal as the Vancouver Giants beat the VancouverTri-City Americans, 4-3, in Kennewick, Wash. . . . Vancouver (46-15-4) now is tied with the Everett Silvertips atop the Western Conference. Each team has three games remaining. . . . Tri-City (34-26-5) is going to finish in the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot. . . . Vancouver went 4-0-0 in the season series; Tri-City was 0-2-2. . . . Byram scored his sixth OT goal of the season at 2:28 of extra time. That is one more OT goal than F Deven Sideroff scored with the 2016-17 Kamloops Blazers and F Eric Fehr had with the 2004-05 Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . The Giants led this one 3-0 late in the second period. They got goals from F Tristen Nielsen (14), at 4:59 of the first period; F Davis Koch (28), at 18:32; and F Justin Sourdif (21), at 6:22 of the second. . . . The Americans roared back, getting two goals from F Parker AuCoin (40), at 16:39 of the second and 7:00 of the third, and F Krystof Hrabik (19), at 18:11 of the third period. . . . Vancouver G David Tendeck stopped 30 shots, eight fewer than Tri-City’s Beck Warm.


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Morrisseau’s season ends early . . . Warriors complete near-perfect trip . . . Volcan, Glass unable to finish as Portland beats Seattle


MacBeth

F Ivan Roháč (Kamloops, 2006-08) signed a contract for the rest of this season with Sande (Germany, Regionalliga). Roháč last played with Humenné (Slovakia, 1. Liga) in 2015-16 when he had one assist in one game. In 2014-2015 with Liptovský Mikuláš (Slovakia, Extraliga), he had nine goals and 16 assists in 35 games. . . .

F Ondřej Najman (Spokane, 2016-17) a signed one-year contract extension with Mladá Boleslav (Czech Republic, Extraliga). In 31 games, he has one goal and three assists in 31 games. In eight games while on loan to Slavia Prague (Czech Republic, 1. Liga), he had three goals and one assist. . . .

F Pavel Kousal (Spokane, 2016-17) signed a one-year contract extension with Mladá Boleslav (Czech Republic, Extraliga). He has four assists in 28 games. On loan to Slovan Ústí nad Labem (Czech Republic, 1. Liga), he had four goals in eight games. . . .

F Dávid Šoltés (Prince George, 2013-15) has been traded by Košice to Banská Bystrica (both Slovakia, Extraliga) for Ján Sýkora. With Košice, Šoltés had seven goals and eight assists in 31 games. . . .

D Stefan Warg (Seattle, Prince Albert, 2008-10) has been traded by Malmö to Örebro (both Sweden, SHL) for Marcus Björk. After the trade, Warg signed a contract extension through the 2021-22 season wth Örebro. With Malmö, he had six assists in 33 games. . . .
D Tomáš Slovák (Kelowna, 2001-03) signed a contract for the rest of this season with Košice (Slovakia, Extraliga) after requesting and receiving his release from Jegesmedvék Miskolc (Hungary, Slovakia Extraliga). He had one goal and three assists in 39 games.


ThisThat

F Koby Morrisseau of the Regina Pats has had a second season end because of Patsconcussion-related issues. Morrisseau last played on Oct. 28 when he was injured in a game against the Swift Current Broncos. . . . John Paddock, the Pats’ general manager, told Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post: “He’s symptom-free but there have just been too many times. He needs to take a break. He needs to take the risk out of the equation.” . . . In 2016-17, his freshman season in the WHL, Morrisseau, then with the Spokane Chiefs, twice was diagnosed with two concussions and didn’t play after Dec. 13. . . . Spokane had selected him with the ninth-overall pick of the 2015 bantam draft. . . . Harder’s story is right here.


Nakehko Lamothe, a player with the MacEwan U Griffins, died in Calgary following a Friday night game against the SAIT Trojans. Lamothe wasn’t feeling well after the game and was taken to Foothills Hospital where he died. He was 23. . . . A cause of death hasn’t been released. . . . Lamothe, from the Bigstone Cree Nation in Alberta, was a fourth-round selection by the Spokane Chiefs in the WHL’s 2010 bantam draft. However, he never played with the Chiefs. . . . He was in his third season with the Griffins. . . . There is more on this story right here.


A former Dauphin Kings defenceman comes home . . .


Jamie Corbett is the new general manager and head coach of the MJHL’s OCN Blizzard. Corbett, from Headingley, Man., replaces Matt Summers. According to a news release from the team, “There were multiple reasons Summers couldn’t continue, among them the inability to legally work in Canada and failure to acquire basic certifications . . .” Corbett is a former assistant coach with the MJHL’s Swan Valley Stampeders, who most recently was coaching the midget AAA Interlake Lightning. . . . Summers, 32, is from Savage, Minn. He was in his first season with the Blizzard. He also played for the Blizzard (2003-06).


SATURDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The host Brandon Wheat Kings scored twice in a shootout to beat the Regina Pats, 3-2. . . . BrandonWKregularBrandon (20-19-6) is two points behind the Calgary Hitmen, who hold down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . Regina (13-33-3) had beaten the visiting Wheat Kings, 4-0, on Friday night. . . . D Kyle Walker gave Regina a 1-0 lead at 3:53 of the first period. . . . F Connor Gutenberg (11) tied it, on a PP, at 6:02. . . . F Cole Reinhardt (15) put Brandon ahead at 4:11 of the second period. . . . Walker tied it with his second goal of the game, at 16:35 of the third period. Walker’s first two goals of the season came in his 46th game of the season — 32 with Regina after 14 with the Everett Silvertips. Last season, he had one goal in 50 games with the Silvertips. . . . Brandon won it when its first two shooters — F Ben McCartney and F Stelio Mattheos — both scored. . . . G Dean McNabb stopped 26 shots for the Pats, five fewer than Brandon’s Ethan Kruger. . . . The Wheat Kings scratched G Jiri Patera, who left Friday’s game with an apparent leg injury. They didn’t list a backup goaltender.


The Swift Current Broncos erased a 4-2 third-period deficit and beat the host Saskatoon SCBroncosBlades, 5-4 in OT. . . . Swift Current (10-34-3) had lost its previous four games. . . . Saskatoon (29-13-7) had won three in a row. It is second in the East Division, three points ahead of the Moose Jaw Warriors, who hold three games in hand. . . . One night earlier, the Blades posted a 5-2 victory in Swift Current. . . . The Blades are 5-0-1 in the season series. . . . F Gary Haden, who scored four times on Friday, opened the scoring for Saskatoon with his 21st of the season at 0:38 of the first period. . . . F Tanner Nagel tied it at 3:27. . . . D Dawson Davidson (9), on a PP, gave the home side the lead at 19:01. . . . F Ethan O’Rourke (8) ran his goal streak to four games with the Broncos’ first shorthanded goal of the season, at 6:04 of the second period. . . . The Blades went ahead 4-2 on second-period goals from F Eric Florchuk (15), on a PP, at 9:44, and F Cyle McNabb (5), at 17:12. McNabb has four goals in six games with the Blades since being acquired from the Kootenay Ice. . . . Nagel (10) got the Broncos to within a goal, on a PP, at 15:21 of the third. . . . F Owen Blocker tied it with his third goal of the season, at 18:25. . . . The Broncos won it when F Joona Kiviniemi (12) scored with 3.4 seconds left in OT. . . . Swift Current got 48 saves out of G Riley Lamb, including 16 in the third period five in OT. . . . McNabb had one goal and two assists in 34 games with Vancouver, when the Giants dealt  him to Kootenay. He had one assists in three games with the Ice when he was moved to Saskatoon. . . . The Broncos scratched D Matthew Stanley and F Carter Chorney, both of whom were ill.


F Justin Almeida scored twice and added an assist to lead the Moose Jaw Warriors to a 3-MooseJawWarriors1 victory over the Tigers in Medicine Hat. . . . Moose Jaw (27-11-8) has points in seven straight games, as it completed its road trip at 6-0-1. It is third in the East Divison, three points behind the Saskatoon Blades. . . . Medicine Hat had points in each of its previous six games (5-0-1). It now is tied for the second in the Central Division, along with the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Almeida gave the Warriors a 1-0 lead at 7:46 of the first period, and F Brayden Tracey (19) made it 2-0, on a PP, at 16:45 of the second. . . . The Tigers got to within a goal at 7:35 of the third period as F Baxter Anderson (3) scored. . . . Almeida, who has 18 goals, iced it with an empty-netter at 19:06. . . . The Warriors got 26 saves from G Brodan Salmond, while Medicine Hat’s Jordan Hollett stopped 25 shots.


The host Red Deer Rebels scored the game’s last four goals and beat the Prince George Red DeerCougars, 5-1. . . . Red Deer (28-15-3) now is atop the Central Division by one point. . . . Prince George (16-26-2) has lost six in a row (0-4-2) and is four points out of a playoff spot. . . . F Arshdeep Bains (5) put Red Deer ahead at 4:23 of the first period, only to have Prince George’s Josh Curtis (8) tie it at 11:14. . . . F Brandon Hagel broke the tie at 13:12 of the second period, and F Cam Hausinger (16), who also had two assists,  made it 3-1 at 18:35. . . . The Rebels put it away with third-period goals from Hagel (30) and F Brett Davis (15). . . . Hagel  has 74 points in 45 games. He is one shy of his career high in goals from 2016-17 when he scored 31 times in 65 games. . . . Hagel also had a penalty shot in the second period but was unsuccessful. . . . F Josh Maser of the Cougars sat out the second of a three-game suspension.


F Noah Gregor scored three times to lead the Prince Albert Raiders to a 7-3 victory over PrinceAlbertthe Kootenay Ice in Cranbrook, B.C. . . . Prince Albert (41-6-2) went 4-1-1 on a road swing into B.C. It leads the overall standings by 12 points over the Everett Silvertips. . . . Kootenay (10-31-8) has lost three in a row (0-2-1). . . . Gregor, 20, has 30 goals for the first time in his WHL career. . . . This season, Gregor has 30 goals and 33 assists in 44 games. In 238 career regular-season games, he has 268 points, including 116 goals. . . . The Raiders took a quick 2-0 lead on goals from F Dante Hannoun, at 0:58, and F Parker Kelly (23), shorthanded, at 4:02. . . . F Brad Ginnell (11) pulled the Ice to within a goal at 9:32. . . . Gregor got that one back 12 seconds into the second period. . . . F Jakin Smallwood (8) scored, shorthanded, for the ice at 7:30, but the Raiders blew it open with the next four goals — with Gregor getting two, one of them shorthanded. The others came from F Spencer Moe (7), who also had two assists, and Hannoun (24), who had one assist. . . . F Connor McClennon (6) had the Ice’s last goal. . . . Kelly added three assists for his second career four-point game. . . . Interestingly, Kootenay was 0-3 on the PP and Prince Albert was 0-2, but the Raiders scored twice while shorthanded and the Ice did it once. . . . Ice F Jaeger White, 20, played in his 200th regular-season game — 68 with Lethbridge, 13 with Brandon, three with Everett, 68 with Medicine Hat and 48 with Kootenay.


The Kamloops Blazers scored two shootout goals to beat the visiting Victoria Royals, 3-2. . Kamloops1. . Kamloops (19-24-3) has won four in a row. It now is in possession of the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, but also is just one point behind the third-place Kelowna Rockets in the B.C. Division. . . . Victoria (24-20-2) is second in the B.C. Division, eight points ahead of Kelowna. . . . Should Kamloops finish third in the division, it likely would set up a first-round series with Victoria, which leads the season series, 5-1-1. . . . F Jermaine Loewen gave the Blazers a 1-0 lead at 1:15 of the first period. . . . The Royals took a 2-1 lead on goals from D Scott Walford (7), on a PP at 17:40 of the second period, and D Ralph Jarratt (4), at 0:32 of the third. . . . Loewen tied it with 45.3 seconds left in the third period, tapping in a loose puck that was in the crease after a shot by F Zane Franklin. . . . The Blazers got shootout goals from F Connor Zary and Franklin to win it. . . . Kamloops G Dylan Ferguson, who was terrific in a 3-0 victory over the visiting Spokane Chiefs on Friday, was sharp again, this time with 33 saves. . . . BTW, Friday’s shutout was the first on home ice in Ferguson’s career. . . . Victoria G Brock Gould stopped 30 shots. . . . The Blazers remain without D Luke Zazula (shutout) and D Quinn Schmiemann (concussion).


D Bowen Byram broke a 1-1 tie at 14:00 of the third period as the Vancouver Giants beat Vancouverthe Rockets, 2-1, in Kelowna. . . . Vancouver (31-12-2) has won eight in a row. It leads the B.C. Division by 14 points over Victoria. . . . Kelowna (19-24-4) has lost two straight. It is third in the B.C. Division, now just one point ahead of Kamloops, which has a game in hand. . . . The Giants are 4-0-0 against the Rockets this season, including 3-0-0 in Kelowna. . . . D Dallas Hines (6) gave Vancouver a 1-0 lead at 3:14 of the first period. . . . F Nolan Foote (25) got Kelowna into a tie 15 seconds into the second period. . . . Byram’s 17th goal, on a PP, stood up as the winner. . . . Vancouver G Trent Miner stopped 18 shots and earned the secondary assist on the winning goal. . . . Kelowna got 37 stops from G Roman Basran. . . . F Brayden Watts (ill) was among Vancouver’s scratches. . . . The two teams will play again today in Langley, B.C.


F Seth Jarvis scored on a penalty shot in OT to give the Portland Winterhawks a 3-2 Portlandvictory over the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Portland (29-13-5) has won two in a row. It leads the season series, 5-2-0; Seattle is 2-4-1. . . . Portland is a comfortable second in the U.S. Division, nine points behind Everett and 10 in front of Tri-City and Spokane. . . . Seattle (17-22-6) has lost two straight (0-1-1) and now is one point out of a wild-card spot. . . . Both teams lost key forwards to injury. Seattle F Nolan Volcan left in the second period with an apparent arm or wrist injury, while Portland F Cody Glass was helped off the ice in the third period, unable to put any weight on his left leg. . . . The Winterhawks had taken a 2-0 lead on goals from F Lane Gilliss (10), at 16:48 of the first period, and F Robbie Fromm-Delorme (3), at 16:41 of the second. . . . Seattle tied it with two goals in the last 20 seconds of the third period, D Simon Kubicek (8) scoring at 19:40 and F Matthew Wedman (19) at 19:58. . . . Jarvis won it with his 13th goal, on a penalty shot, at 2:19 of OT. . . . According to Andy Kemper, the Winterhawks’ historian, the last Portland player to win an OT game on a penalty shot was D Caleb Jones on Dec. 27, 2015 against the Tri-City Americans. The host Winterhawks won that one, 5-4, when Jones scored at 2:19 of OT. Yes, Jarvis also scored at 2:19. . . . Portland had a 41-23 edge in shots. It was 35-11 after two periods. . . . Seattle G Cole Schwebius finished with 38 saves, 17 more than Portland’s Joel Hofer.


G Beck Warm stopped 47 shots to lead the Tri-City Americans to a 3-1 victory over the tri-citySpokane Chiefs in Kennewick, Wash. . . . Tri-City (25-18-3) had lost two in a row. It moved into a tie for third with Spokane in the U.S. Division. . . . Spokane (24-17-5) has lost five in a row (0-4-1). It had been beaten 3-0 by the Blazers in Kamloops on Friday night. . . . The Chiefs got the game’s first goal, from F Adam Beckman (19), at 15:59 of the first period. . . . F Sasha Mutala (12) tied it at 6:45 of the second period, and F Riley Sawchuk (15) broke the tie at 17:09. . . . Tri-City F Kyle Olson (15) added insurance at 16:03 of the third. . . . Spokane had a 48-31 edge in shots, including 19-8 in the first period and 17-6 in the third.


The Everett Silvertips set a franchise record with six second-period goals en route to a 9-Everett1 victory over the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Everett (35-12-2) has won two straight and now leads the U.S. Division by 11 points over Portland. . . . Lethbridge (25-14-8) had won its previous two games. The Hurricanes are tied for second in the Central Division, with Medicine and Edmonton, one point behind Red Deer. . . . Lethbridge completes its three-game U.S. tour with a game today in Portland, its third game in fewer than 48 hours. . . . The Silvertips jumped into a 5-0 lead before the second period was half over, as they got two goals from F Zack Andrusiak and singles from D Artyom Minulin (1), F Connor Dewar (31) and F Reece Vitelli (6). . . . F Justin Hall (3) scored for Lethbridge at 9:38 of the second. . . . Andrusiak, who has 34 goals, completed his sixth career hat trick — his fourth this season — at 12:47. It was his first three-goal game with Everett, which acquired him from the Seattle Thunderbirds on Jan. 1. . . . F Bryce Kindopp and D Gianni Fairbrother (7) also scored before the period ended, giving the Silvertips a franchise record for the most goals in one period. The Silvertips had scored five goals in a period on four occasions, most recently on Dec. 27, 2017, in an 11-0 victory over the Giants in Victoria. . . . Kindopp completed the scoring with his 25th goal at 0:14 of the third period. . . . Everett was 5-9 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-3. . . . Everett tied the franchise record for most PP goals in one game. . . . Andrusiak also had an assist, for a four-point night, while Kindopp added an assist to his two goals, Dewar also had two assists as well as the goal, and D Jake Christiansen had three assists. . . . G Bryan Thomson got the start for Lethbridge, his first since being added to the roster after Liam Hughes left the Hurricanes earlier in the week. Thomson, a 16-year-old from Moose Jaw, had been playing for the midget AAA Notre Dame Hounds in Wilcox, Sask. . . . Thomson finished with 28 saves on 32 shots, with Carl Tetachuk playing most of the second period and stopping 14 of 19. . . . Everett got 25 saves from G Dustin Wolf.


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Kennedy makes move away from advocacy centre . . . Raiders’ Gunville dies at 48 . . . Richards gets eight-game sentence

MacBeth

F Hampus Gustafsson (Regina, Brandon, 2009-11) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Frisk Asker (Norway, GET-Ligaen) after requesting and receiving his release from Stjernen Fredrikstad (Norway, GET-Ligaen). With Stjernen, he had nine goals and 13 assists in 21 games, and he was the team captain. . . . Gustafsson’s contract with Frisk Asker has an option for two additional seasons.


ThisThat

After 23 years of advocating on behalf of victims of abuse, Sheldon Kennedy revealed on Tuesday that he is stepping aside from the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre in Calgary.

“From first introducing the idea of a Child Advocacy Centre to our Chief of Police in 2010,” Kennedy wrote, “to opening the Calgary Child Advocacy Centre in 2012 and having it renamed the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre in 2013, I further stepped up that important work through my volunteer commitment to the SKCAC. I now understand that my name on the building really meant a personal responsibility for the day-to-day practice, the wellness of our front-line workers, the satisfaction of our donors and volunteers, and the proper treatment of the victims we serve. This has been a very rewarding eight years of my life and, at the same time, it has taken its toll.

“For the past several months I have had ongoing and emotional conversations with my family and close friends. They have been a great support and, through this process, I have decided to remove my name from the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre.

“I always preach to others that, first and foremost, they need to take care of their own mental health and find balance in their lives. I now need to take my own advice.”

Kennedy’s complete news release is right here.

Kennedy, now 49, played three seasons with the Swift Current Broncos, surviving the bus crash on Dec. 30, 1986, in which four of his teammates died, then helping the team to the 1989 Memorial Cup championship. During his time with the Broncos, he was sexually abused by the team’s general manager and head coach, Graham James.

Kennedy, who grew up in Elkhorn, Man., has spent the past few years criss-crossing the country, and also making appearances in the United States, as he worked tirelessly for his cause.

During that time, he also co-founded the Respect Group, a company that specializes in providing education on how to prevent bullying and abuse, and all that accompanies that, in the sports world, schools and the work place.

I have written this before and I will do so again and again. But it’s time for the WHL to strike an award in Kennedy’s name and to present it to those who have at one time or another been involved with the league and then gone on to make a difference elsewhere in life.

Kennedy has set that bar awfully high, however such an award wouldn’t have to be handed out on an annual basis, but rather presented when there was deemed to be a worthy recipient.

To understand the impact Kennedy has had one need only to search Twitter, which was inundated with testimonials on Tuesday.


Ron Gunville, the Prince Albert Raiders’ director of player personnel, died in hospital in his hometown of Prince Albert on Tuesday afternoon. Gunville, who had been battling cancer, was 48.

Mike Fraser, in his first season as the Everett Silvertips’ head scout, got to know Gunville PrinceAlbertwhile working with the Brandon Wheat Kings.

“I really liked him a lot,” Fraser told Taking Note. “He was a great scout but an even better human being and family man.”

Gunville, a defenceman in his playing days, played two seasons in the WHL. He was with the Raiders in 1988-89, then started 1989-90 with the Raiders but finished with the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

He began his WHL scouting career with the Prince George Cougars (2009-13), before going to work with the Raiders prior to 2013-14. He was a scout for two seasons, then the head scout in 2015-16. When Dale Derkatch left to join the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, Gunville replaced him as the Raiders’ director of player personnel.

“The best parts of my day were spent with Ron either in our office or on the phone,” Curtis Hunt, the Raiders’ general manager, said in a news release. “We shared the same passion and vision to build an outstanding program from the ground up.”


F Sean Richards of the Everett Silvertips was slapped with an eight-game suspension on Tuesday after he took a boarding major and game misconduct on Saturday against the whlhost Seattle Thunderbirds.

Richards drew the stiff suspension because, according to the WHL website, Seattle D Loeden Schaufler “was injured on the play” and “the player is a repeat offender.”

Schaufler is listed on the WHL’s weekly report as being out week-to-week with an upper-body injury.

Richards drew the longest WHL suspension since Nov. 4, 2016, when D Sam Ruopp of the Prince George Cougars was given eight games after becoming involved in a one-man fight during a game against the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers two nights earlier.

Richards sat out Sunday’s 2-0 victory over the visiting Spokane Chiefs. He will be eligible to return on Jan. 6 against the visiting Kamloops Blazers. In between he will sit out two more games against Spokane, two against the Tri-City Americans, and singletons with the Vancouver Giants, Seattle Thunderbirds and Prince George.

Richards, who is scheduled to turn 20 on Saturday, drew a five-game suspension earlier this season after taking a headshot major and game misconduct in a game against Seattle on Oct. 5. He also drew two suspensions last season — a four-gamer for a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct against Seattle, and a deuce for a match penalty in a game against the Swift Current Broncos.

This season, in 27 games, Richards has 10 goals and eight assists.

The Silvertips also are without F Akash Bains and F Martin Fasko-Rudas, a pair of veterans who are out with undisclosed injuries. Both of them may return sometime in the next week.

Meanwhile, F Jermaine Loewen of the Kamloops Blazers has been suspended for three games after taking a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct in a game against the host Edmonton Oil Kings on Saturday. Loewen didn’t play in Sunday’s 6-3 loss to the Hitmen in Calgary. He also missed last night’s game in Red Deer and won’t play tonight in Medicine Hat. He will be eligible to return Friday in Cranbrook against the Kootenay Ice.

This was the second time this season that Loewen, the Blazers’ captain, has been suspended. He got four games for a headshot major and game misconduct against the visiting Portland Winterhawks on Oct. 5.


If you’re wondering how the Kelowna Rockets and assistant coach Travis Crickard ended up going in different directions last week, Glen Erickson shed some light on the subject KelownaRocketson Tuesday.

Crickard was in his fifth season with the Rockets, and had helped them win the Ed Chynoweth Cup in the spring of 2015.

When Bruce Hamilton, the Rockets’ president and general manager, hired Adam Foote to replace the fired Jason Smith on Nov. 30, it turns out that he gave the new coach the freedom to make changes.

“One of the things Adam wanted was the ability to change the coaches if he wanted and I agreed to that,” Hamilton told Erickson, who writes for the Kelowna Daily Courier and dubnetwork.ca. “The only thing I did say is you’ve got to spend some time with them first.”

Foote is the fourth Kelowna head coach under which Crickard and Kris Mallette, the other assistant, have worked. They started under Dan Lambert, and also worked with Brad Ralph and Smith.

Mallette also is into his fifth season with the Rockets, but his contract will expire at season’s end.

Erickson also reported that there is speculation in Kelowna that former Rockets defenceman and captain Josh Gorges may be in line to join the staff.

“The local product and veteran of 800-plus National Hockey League games has been highly visible at home games this season and has been on the ice at practices,” Erickson wrote.

As for Hamilton, he obviously knows that Gorges is around.

“Josh is only three or four months into retirement (as a player),” Hamilton told Erickson. “I don’t want to ask him to do something that he isn’t ready to do. Adam really likes him, but we’re not in a rush to hire anybody right now.”

Erickson’s piece for The Daily Courier is right here.


The Regina Pats, with a couple of regulars on the shelf, have added D Sam McGinley, 16, to their roster. McGinley was a fifth-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. From Calgary, he has five goals and 10 assists in 19 games with the Edge School’s prep team in his hometown. . . . The Pats are without D Ryker Evans and D Brady Pouteau, both of whom are out with undisclosed injuries.


With G Ian Scott in camp with Canada’s national junior team, the Prince Albert Raiders have added G Brett Balas, 17, to their roster. . . . The Raiders also are without F Brett Leason, who is in Canada’s camp, and F Aliaksei Protas and D Sergei Sapego, both of whom are with Belarus at the IIHF World Junior Championship (Division I Group A) in Fussen, Germany. . . . So the Raiders have added F Tyson Laventure, 15, to their roster. . . . Balas, a third-round selection in the 2016 WHL bantam draft, is playing with the AJHL’s Calgary Canucks. . . . Laventure, from Lloydminster, Alta., was a second-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft. He is playing with the Edmonton-OHA prep team and has 18 goals and 25 assists in 22 games. . . . The Raiders are scheduled to play host to the Edmonton Oil Kings tonight.


According to the WHL’s weekly roster report, D Jacson Alexander of the Edmonton Oil EdmontonOilKingsKings won’t play again this season due to an undisclosed injury. Alexander, 17, was a first-round selection by the Swift Current Broncos in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. . . . The Oil Kings acquired him from the Broncos in a trade on Aug. 21. . . . Last season, Alexander had one goal and four assists in 32 regular-season games with the Broncos, then added one assist in 26 playoff games. This season, he had three goals and two assists in 15 games. He last played on Oct. 26.


The Lethbridge Hurricanes have signed F Chase Wheatcroft and D Rylan Thiessen to WHL contracts. . . . Wheatcroft, 16, is a list player who was in the Hurricanes’ camp in August. This season, he has 12 goals and eight assists in 21 games with the midget AAA Calgary Royals. . . . Thiessen,17, also is a list player. The Brandonite has eight goals and 15 assists in 19 games with the midget AAA Brandon Wheat Kings.


COUNTDOWN TO DEADLINE

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

Tuesday’s action:

No. of trades: 0.

Players: 0.

Bantam draft picks: 0.

Conditional draft picks: 0.

——

Total deals (since Nov. 26):

No. of trades: 12.

Players: 33.

Bantam draft picks: 21.

Conditional draft picks: 4.

(Note: On Nov. 30, Kelowna traded F Jack Cowell, 19, to Kootenay for a third-round selection in the 2020 bantam draft. Cowell chose not to report and the deal was voided, so isn’t included in these totals.)


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TUESDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

F Gary Haden scored four times, including the game’s last three goals, and added an Saskatoonassist to lead the host Saskatoon Blades to a 6-3 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Saskatoon (20-10-3) has won three in a row. . . . The last time the Blades won 20 games quicker during one season was 2011-12 when they were 20-11-1 after 32 games. (Thanks to Les Lazaruk, the Blades’ radio voice, for that gem.) . . . Edmonton (16-12-5) had points in each of its previous three games (2-0-1). . . . Haden enjoyed his first career hat trick and his first five-point game. . . . According to the WHL (@TheWHL), it was the first four-goal game for a Blades player since Oct. 6, 2013, when F Nathan Burns did it against the Regina Pats. . . . D Matthew Robertson (5) pulled the visitors into a 3-3 tie at 11:10 of the second period. . . . Haden, who has 12 goals, broke the tied at 8:11 of the third, added insurance at 12:04 and put it away at 12:25. . . . Haden, 19, has 11 goals and 10 assists in 20 games with the Blades, after opening the season with a goal and two assists in nine games with the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . F Brett Kemp scored his 20th goal of the season for the Oil Kings. He has 20 in 33 games; last season, he finished with 17 in 69.


The Kelowna Rockets struck three times on the PP en route to a 3-1 victory over the Kootenay Ice in Cranbrook, B.C. . . . Kelowna (15-15-2) has points in five straight (4-0-1). . . . This was the first of a four-game road trip for the Rockets, who also will stop in Lethbridge, Calgary and Medicine Hat before breaking for Christmas. . . . Kootenay (7-21-6) has lost 12 straight (0-9-3). . . . The Rockets, who were 3-4 on the PP, got two goals from F Leif Mattson. . . . He made it 1-0 at 5:26 of the first period and 3-1 at 2:46 of the second. He’s got 14 goals. . . . F Kyle Topping (13) gave Kelowna a 2-0 lead at 11:50 of the first. . . . Kootenay got its goal from F Cole Muir (7), at 1:31 of the second period. . . . Kelowna finished 3-4 on the PP.


The Red Deer Rebels built a 2-0 lead and hung on for a 2-1 victory over the visiting Red DeerKamloops Blazers. . . . The Rebels (20-9-2) have points in four straight. . . . The Blazers (12-13-3) have lost three in a row (0-2-1), all of them on a Central Division trip. . . . F Reese Johnson (14) gave Red Deer a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 16:27 of the first period. . . . F Alex Morozoff (6) upped that to 2-0 at 15:06 of the second. . . . F Brodi Stuart (8) scored for Kamloops at 7:14 of the third. . . . Red Deer was 1-9 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-3. . . . G Dylan Ferguson stopped 41 shots for Kamloops, 10 more than Red Deer’s Ethan Anders. . . . The Blazers, already without F Jermaine Loewen who is two games into a three-game suspension, lost F Zane Franklin at 12:14 of the first period when he was given a boarding major and game misconduct for a hit on D Alex Alexeyev, who left the game and didn’t return. In fact, he was taken to hospital, but an update on his condition wasn’t available after the game. . . . Alexeyev also is on the selection-camp roster for the Russian team that is to play in the 2019 World Junior Championship.


F Zack Andrusiak struck for five points with F Nolan Volcan adding four, including three Seattlegoals, as the Seattle Thunderbirds beat the Prince George Cougars, 6-5, in Kent, Wash. . . . Seattle improved to 11-14-3. . . . The Cougars (11-17-3) have lost three in a row. . . . F Vladislav Mikhalchuk gave the Cougars a 3-1 lead at 16:34 of the first period. . . . The Thunderbirds scored the game’s next four goals. . . . Volcan’s first goal, at 17:39, got the Thunderbirds to within a goal. . . . D Jarret Tyszka (1) tied it 47 seconds into the second period. . . . Volcan gave Seattle the lead at 1:57, and Andrusiak, who has 21 goals, stretched the lead, on a PP, at 9:50. . . . Mikhalchuk (11), who also had an assist, cut Prince George’s deficit to one at 13:01, only to have Volcan complete his second career hat trick, on a PP, at 9:25. . . . F Josh Maser (10) got the Cougars’ last goal, at 18:00. . . . Andrusiak finished with two goals, giving him 21, and three assists for his first five-point game after four four-pointers. . . . Volcan’s night included his 200th regular-season point. He now has 203 points, including 83 goals, in 291 games.


The host Victoria Royals erased a 2-0 deficit with five straight goals and went on to a 7-4 VictoriaRoyalsvictory over the Portland Winterhawks. . . . Victoria (14-12-1) had lost four in a row (0-3-1). . . . Portland (18-11-2) had a four-game winning streak end. . . . F Cross Hanas and F Joachim Blichfeld (27) gave Portland a 2-0 lead before the first period was 11 minutes old. . . . The Royals scored three times before the period ended, with F Tarun Fizer, F Brandon Cutler (6) and D Ralph Jarratt (3) finding the range. . . . F Dante Hannoun and Fizer added goals early in the second period for a 5-2 lead. . . . F Mason Mannek (8) got the Winterhawks to within two at 15:49, only to have the Royals strike twice more. . . . Fizer, who scored twice in 45 games last season, completed his first career hat trick with his seventh goal at 17:48. . . . Hannoun later added his 12th goal, with Hanas (5) scoring again for Portland. . . . D Scott Walford drew four assists for the Royals, with Hannoun adding two assists for a four-point night, too. . . . They’ll do it all over again tonight in Victoria.


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