‘Canes to Calgary for 2019 playoffs? . . . Tigers hope to get back veterans . . . Spike becomes a Hall-of-Famer

A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

It turns out that the WHL’s Lethbridge Hurricanes aren’t completely pleased about having to turn their home arena — the ENMAX Centre — over to the 2019 World men’s Lethbridgecurling championship.

That event runs from March 30 through April 7, 2019, meaning the Hurricanes will have to be out of their facility for perhaps as long as two weeks, including time needed for set up and teardown.

The Hurricanes, of course, expect to be in the early days of the WHL playoffs at that time.

Doug Paisley, the Hurricanes’ president, told CJOC-FM in Lethbridge that the Hurricanes found out about the Worlds “after the fact.”

“We’re not thrilled with this (situation), but we’re dealing with it,” Paisley told CJOC-FM.

At the same time, Paisley said the Hurricanes are working with the City of Lethbridge to find another venue in which to play hockey games.

Paisley also admitted that the Hurricanes “have a blueprint to show what it will cost us to not be (in the ENMAX Centre).”

In other words, the Hurricanes are going to be wanting some financial compensation as they will have to move from their 5,479-seat home arena to a smaller venue. It also seems that should they be in the playoffs, the Hurricanes will be playing home games in another community.

“There’s nowhere else to play in Lethbridge,” Paisley told Patrick Burles of lethbridgenewsnow.com. “I mean, I just don’t think you can do that to your fans and say, ‘We’re holding a draw and only a thousand of you get to come and watch us at Nicholas Sheran (Arena).’

“Are we going to try to move to Calgary to play, would we have to go into Medicine Hat, Kootenay, depending on their schedules? There’s nowhere in (southwestern) Alberta that can accommodate even our season-ticket holders . . . there’s no rink that holds 2,200, and honestly, we need room for over 5,000.”

Last spring, the Hurricanes averaged 4,730 fans for 10 playoff games.

Burles’ story is right here.


The Medicine Hat Tigers are getting ready to — they hope— get a pair of veterans back into their lineup. . . . F Mason Shaw (knee), who has yet to play this season, is awaiting Tigers Logo Officialclearance from the medical staff of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild. . . . Shaw was injured on Sept. 10 while playing for a team of Wild prospects and subsequently underwent surgery. He has been skating for about a month. Last season, Shaw had 27 goals and 67 assists in 71 games, so having him healthy and in the lineup would be a huge boost for the Tigers as the playoffs being. . . . Meanwhile, G Jordan Hollett, who last played on Feb. 3, has been cleared by the Ottawa Senators’ medical staff to return from an undisclosed injury and may play this weekend. . . . There’s more right here from chatnewstoday.ca.


Spike Wallace, one of the most popular figures in the recent history of the Kamloops Kamloops1Blazers, will be inducted into the Kamloops Sports Hall of Fame on April 28. . . . Wallace was a long-time trainer and equipment manager with the Blazers. In his latter years with the team, he was the community and sponsorship co-ordinator. . . . Ron Robison, the WHL commissioner, presented Wallace with a Distinguished Service Award on March 7, 2012. The next morning, the Blazers announced that “by mutual agreement Spike will be leaving the team to pursue other initiatives.” . . . These days, he is a cashier in a Kamloops grocery store, and also works part time at Dolson’s Source for Sports. . . . Wallace was shown on the big screen at a recent Blazers game and the crowd responded with one of the loudest ovations heard in the Sandman Centre this season.


You will remember earlier this season when a man named Mike Gould said he would Dynamitersgive $7.5 million to the junior B Kimberley Dynamiters of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League and the Kimberley Minor Hockey Association. Gould claimed to have won a whack of money in a Euro Millions Lottery draw. . . . The Dynamiters and KMHA have yet to see any of that pledged money. . . . After making the pledge, Gould played host to a party at a Cranbrook restaurant, then paid for it with $8,000 worth of cheques that bounced due to insufficient founds. On Thursday, Gould was sentenced in a Cranbrook courtroom for fraud. He was fined $4,000, placed on probation for six months, and ordered to do 60 hours of community service. . . . Trevor Crawley of the Cranbrook Townsman has more right here.


JUST NOTES . . .

Marty Hastings of Kamloops This Week tweeted Thursday afternoon that Blazers D Joe Gatenby, 20, will join the ECHL’s Atlanta Gladiators once his WHL season ends with a game against the host Prince George Cougars on Saturday. . . . Despite the Blazers not qualifying for the playoffs, Gatenby is having a marvellous season. In 70 games, he has careers highs in goals (13), assists (46) and points (59) with one of the WHL’s lowest-scoring teams. He also is plus-16 on a team that has allowed 24 goals more than it has scored. . . .

The Prince George Cougars have had two players suspended for penalties they incurred during a 6-3 loss to the host Kelowna Rockets on Wednesday. . . . D Joel Lakusta drew a three-game sentence for a headshot major and game misconduct. The Cougars have two games remaining in their season, meaning he will sit out the first game of the 2018-19 season. . . . D Cam MacPhee got a one-game suspension after being hit with a match penalty for attempt to injure. He won’t play in Kamloops on Friday, but will be eligible to dress for the rematch in Prince George on Saturday. . . .

The Everett Silvertips have added G Blake Lyda, 15, to their roster. Lyda, a fourth-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft, played this season for the midget AAA Edmonton Canadian Athletic Club. In three earlier appearances with the Silvertips, he is 0-1-1, 3.29, .896. With the Canadians, he was 13-6-5, 2.46, .931. . . . Lyda joins Carter Hart and Dustin Wolf as goaltenders on Everett’s roster. . . .

Noah Geekie, a pitcher/outfielder from Strathclair, Man., has committed to attend Barton Community College in Great Bend, Kansas, and play baseball for the Cougars. Geekie, 17, is from Strathclair, Man., and has been playing baseball at the Okotoks Dawgs Baseball Academy. His father, Craig, is a former WHL player, while his brother, Morgan, plays for the Tri-City Americans. . . . Noah knows his way around a hockey rink, too — the Calgary Hitmen selected him in the second round of the 2015 WHL bantam draft.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

THURSDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Brandon at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Swift Current at Regina, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Seattle at Portland, 7 p.m.

Prince George at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

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

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

Victoria at Everett, 7:35 p.m.


SATURDAY (all times local):

Regina at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

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

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

Calgary at Edmonton, 7 p.m.

Red Deer at Kootenay, 7 p.m.

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

Kamloops at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

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

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

Everett at Victoria 7:05 p.m.


SUNDAY (all times local):

Edmonton at Calgary, 2 p.m.

Spokane at Portland, 5 p.m.

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

END OF REGULAR SEASON


TWEET OF THE DAY

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Weinger gets AHL deal . . . Storm’s Patterson looking to move up . . . Farkas on roll with Portland


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

F Evan Weinger of the Brandon Wheat Kings has signs a contract with the San Jose Barracuda, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s San Jose Sharks. . . . Weinger, 20, is from El Segundo, Calif., and came up through the Los Angeles Jr. Kings program. The Wheat Kings acquired him this season from the Portland Winterhawks. . . . In 244 WHL games, he has 63 goals and 76 assists. That includes this season, in which he has 26 goals and 24 assists in 57 games with Brandon. . . . Weinger will stay with the Wheat Kings for as long as their season lasts.


It would appear that Ed Patterson’s coaching days are over with the junior B Kamloops KamStormStorm of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. The Storm lost 3-2 in double OT to the visiting Revelstoke Grizzlies on Friday night, dropping the first-round playoff series, 4-2. . . . After the game, Patterson told Marty Hastings of Kamloops This Week: “I definitely think I’ve done my time here. I would like to move on to bigger and better coaching roles, if possible. I’ll have to wait and see what’s open.” . . . Patterson, 45, had two stints as the Storm’s head coach (2007-09, 2013-18). Under him, the Storm never missed the KIJHL playoffs and got to the final four times (2008, 2009, 2014, 2015). . . . Patterson played four seasons (1988-92) in the WHL, splitting time with the Seattle Thunderbirds, Swift Current Broncos and Kamloops Blazers. He was part of the Blazers’ 1992 Memorial Cup-championship team. He also has worked as an assistant coach with the Blazers (2010-13). After playing in the WHL, he went on to a pro career that included 68 games in the NHL. . . . His son, Max, is a forward with the Swift Current Broncos.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

SATURDAY:

At Moose Jaw, F Justin Almeida, who sometimes gets overlooked behind the Warriors’ two big guns, had a goal and two assists in a 5-1 victory over the Saskatoon Blades. . . . MooseJawWarriorsMoose Jaw (48-14-3) continues to lead the overall standings by one point over Swift Current. The Warriors hold one game in hand. . . . Saskatoon (31-31-3) has lost four in a row and is four  points out of a playoff spot with seven games remaining. . . . Almeida totalled 11 goals and 17 assists in 70 games split between Moose Jaw and Prince George last season. This season, in 65 games, he has 38 goals, including eight game-winners, and 49 assists, which should be enough to lift him out of the shadows being cast by F Jayden Halbgewachs, who leads the WHL with 61 goals, and F Brayden Burke, who is tied with Halbgewachs for second in the scoring race with 113 points. . . . Almeida scored the game’s first goal, on a PP, at 4:15 of the first period. . . . D Josh Brook (3) made it 2-0 at 14:27. . . . F Josh Paterson (28) scored for Saskatoon, at 15:31 of the second period. . . . The Warriors put it away with three third-period goals, from Halbgewachs, on a PP, at 10:39; F Brett Howden (23), at 11:13; and F Tristin Langan 916), shorthanded, at 16:32. . . . D Kale Clague also had two assists for the Warriors, with Howden and Halbghewachs adding one apiece. . . . Moose Jaw was 2-5 won the PP; Saskatoon was 0-2. . . . G Brody Willms earned the victory with 25 saves. . . . The Blades got 26 stops from G Nolan Maier. . . . Announced attendance: 3,398.


At Prince Albert, the Raiders ran their winning streak to six games with a 4-1 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Prince Albert (29-25-11) holds down the Eastern PrinceAlbertConference’s second wild-card spot, four points ahead of Saskatoon. Each team has seven games remaining. . . . Lethbridge (32-26-6) had won its previous three games. It is second in the Central Division, four pints behind Medicine Hat with a game in hand. . . . The Hurricanes took a 1-0 lead at 11:11 of the first period as F Dylan Cozens scored his 21st goal of the season. . . . The Raiders tied it at 12:59 of the second period as D Brayden Pachal (6) scored for the second straight game. . . . D Vojtech Budik (13) broke the tie, on a PP, at 8:51 of the third period as he, too, scored for a second straight game. . . . D Max Martin (7) added insurance at 9:49, and F Cole Fonstad, who also had an assist, got No. 20 at 12:18. . . . Prince Albert was 1-4 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-4. . . . G Ian Scott stopped 25 shots for the Raiders, six fewer than Logan Flodell of the Hurricanes. . . . The Hurricanes were without F Brad Morrison (ill). . . . The Raiders inducted long-time volunteer Roger Mayert and former D Chris Phillips into their Wall of Honour prior to the game. . . . Announced attendance: 2,043.


At Swift Current, the Broncos scored the game’s last three goals as they beat the Brandon Wheat Kings, 3-1. . . . Swift Current (46-14-6) has points in four straight games (3-0-1). It is SCBroncossecond in the overall standings, one points behind Moose Jaw. . . . Brandon (34-26-5) is fourth in the East Division, one point behind Regina. The Wheat Kings hold down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, four points ahead of Prince Albert. . . . F Linden McCorrister (16) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 5:44 of the first period. . . . The Broncos tied it on F Matteo Gennaro’s 40th goal of the season, at 12:56. . . . F Aleksi Heponiemi (27) broke the tie at 11:16 of the second period. . . . F Beck Malenstyn (14) added the empty-netter at 19:48 of the third period. . . . F Glenn Gawdin had two assists for the Broncos. He leads the WHL scoring race with 122 points. . . . There weren’t any PP opportunities in this one. The only penalties were coincidental roughing minors to Brandon F Marcus Sekundiak and F MacKenzie Wight of the Broncos at 7:17 of the first period. . . . G Stuart Skinner stopped 18 shots for Swift Current. . . . Brandon G Logan Thompson blocked 33 shots. . . . F Kaiden Elder (ill) was among the Broncos’ scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 2,890.


At Calgary, F Sam Steel scored on a breakaway in OT to give the Regina Pats a 3-2 victory over the Hitmen. . . . Regina (34-25-6) moved back into third in the East Division, one ReginaPats100point ahead of Brandon. . . . Calgary (19-35-10) went to OT for a third straight game; it lost all three. The Hitmen have lost five in a row (0-2-3). . . . The Hitmen led this one 2-0 early in the third period. . . . F Tristen Nielsen (14) made it 1-0 at 1:20 of the first period, and F Mark Kastelic (16) upped it to 2-0 at 3:18 of the third. . . . D Aaron Hyman (2) got the Pats to within a goal at 3:56. . . . F Jake Leschyshyn (16) tied the score at 11:46. . . . Steel won it with his 25th goal just 32 seconds into OT. . . . Regina got three assists from F Cam Hebig. . . . Each team was 0-2 on the PP. . . . The Pats got 23 saves from G Max Paddock. . . . Calgary G Nick Schneider stopped 31 shots. . . . Regina was playing its fourth straight road game — it is 3-1-0 — with four more to come. The Pats are out of their building because of the Tim Hortons Brier, the Canadian men’s curling championship. Regina next will play at home on March 14. . . . D Libor Hajek (ill) was among Regina’s scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 7,307.


At Medicine Hat, the Tigers opened up a 4-0 lead en route to a 6-1 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Medicine Hat (33-24-8) has points in six straight (5-0-1). It leads the Tigers Logo OfficialCentral Division, by four points over Lethbridge. . . . Red Deer (24-29-13) had won its previous three games. It is third in the Central Divison, seven points ahead of Kootenay, which has six games left. . . . F Gary Haden got the Tigers’ first goal, at 2:04 of the first period. . . . The lead grew to 4-0 on second-period goals from F Hayden Ostir (9), at 2:03; F Ryan Jevne, shorthanded, at 11:28; and Haden, who has 17 goals, at 13:28. . . . D Hunter Donohoe (3) scored for Red Deer at 16:14. . . . The Tigers put it away with third-period goals from F James Hamblin (19) and Jevne (20). . . . D David Quenneville and F Mark Rassell each had two assists for the Tigers. . . . Red Deer was 0-2 on the PP; Medicine Hat was 0-4. . . . G Michael Bullion stopped 17 shots for the Tigers. . . . Red Deer starter Riley Lamb was beaten four times on 30 shots in 33:28. Ethan Anders finished up by stopping 22 of 24 shots in 26:31. . . . D Linus Nassen (wrist) was back in the Tigers’ lineup after sitting out 26 games. . . . Announced attendance: 3,920.


At Prince George, the Victoria Royals snapped a 3-3 tie with four third-period goals as they skated to a 7-3 victory over the Cougars. . . . Victoria (36-24-6) had lost its previous VictoriaRoyalsfour games (0-3-1). It is second in the B.C. Division, four points behind Kelowna and three ahead of Vancouver. . . . Prince George (23-34-8) had won three in a row. . . . F Tyler Soy gave Victoria a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 12:02 of the first period. . . . The Cougars tied it at 15:02 as F Aaron Boyd scored his 12th goal. . . . D Scott Walford’s first goal of the season, at 17:53, gave the Royals a 2-1 lead. . . . The home team tied it 28 seconds into the second period when F Brogan O’Brien (14) scored. . . . D Jared Freadrich (12) scored, on a PP, at 10:15 to send Victoria back out front. . . . F Jackson Leppard (14) got the Cougars back into a tie at 18:03. . . . The Royals took over in the third period. . . . F Noah Gregor (27) broke the tie at 2:12, and D Kade Jensen (7) made it a two-goal game at 3:19. . . . D Chaz Reddekopp, back after missing 20 games, got his seventh goal at 11:01, and F Tarun Fizer (1) finished the scoring, on a PP, at 19:36. . . . The Royals got goals from four difference defencemen for the first time in franchise history. . . . F Matthew Phillips had three assists as he set a Chilliwack/Victoria franchise record for most points (104) in one season. F Mark Santorelli had set the previous record (101) in 2007-08. . . . ’The Royals also got two assists from each of Soy and D Matthew Smith, with Jensen getting one. . . . O’Brien and Leppard had an assist apiece for the Cougars. . . . Victoria was 3-3 on the PP; Prince George was 0-3. . . . G Dean McNabb started for Victoria. He gave up three goals on 15 shots in 38:03, before Griffen Outhouse came on to stop all nine shots he faced in 21:01. McNabb came back in for the final 56 seconds and stopped the only shot sent his way. . . . The Cougars got 29 saves from Tavin Grant. . . . F Tanner Kaspick was among Victoria’s scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 3,241.


At Langley, B.C., the Vancouver Giants clinched a playoff spot with a 5-4 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . Vancouver (33-22-9) had lost two in a row (0-1-1). The Giants, who Vancouverare third in the B.C. Division, have missed the playoffs each of the past three seasons and four of the past five seasons. . . . Kamloops (29-33-5) had won its previous two games. It is seven points from a playoff spot with only five games remaining. . . . The Blazers had beaten the visiting Giants, 5-1, on Friday night. . . . On Saturday night, the Giants opened up a 4-0 lead — they scored three times on their first five shots — and hung on for the victory. . . . D Alex Kannok Leipert (4) opened the scoring at 6:08 of the first period. . . . F Brayden Watts (16) made it 2-0, on a PP, at 14:03. . . . F Hunor Torzsok (1), at 15:20, and D Darian Skeoch (2), at 4:52 of the second period, upped it to 4-0. . . . The Blazers then struck for three goals in 3:52. . . . D Joe Gatenby, who also had three assists and was named first star, scored his 13th goal at 12:27. . . . F Jermaine Loewen (34) got Kamloops to within two goals at 15:13, and F Luc Smith (20) cut the deficit to one at 16:19. . . . F Tyler Benson (23) restored the Giants’ two-goal lead at 17:08. . . . Kamloops got back to within a goal at 7:05 of the third period when D Nolan Kneen scored his sixth goal. . . . The Giants got two assists from F Davis Koch, with Benson adding one. . . . Vancouver was 1-3 on the PP; Kamloops is 0-4. . . . G David Tendeck stopped 30 shots for the winners. . . . Kamloops starter Dylan Ferguson was beaten three times on 12 shots in the first period. Max Palaga started the second period, and gave up two goals on six shots in 17:08. Ferguson came back in and finished up by stopping all eight shots in faced in 21:14. . . . The Blazers again were without D Luke Zazula and D Montana Onyebuchi. . . . D Dylan Plouffe and F Milos Roman were among Vancouver’s scratches, as was F Owen Hardy (ill). . . . Announced attendance: 4,041.


At Everett, F Connor Dewar scored a PP goal in OT to give the Silvertips a 2-1 victory over Everettthe Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Everett (43-18-5) has won two in a row. It leads the Western Conference by eight points over Portland. . . . Seattle (30-24-10) had won its previous two games. It holds down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, seven points ahead of Kamloops. The Thunderbirds have three games in hand. . . . F Patrick Bajkov (30) gave Everett a 1-0 lead at 7:08 of the first period. . . . F Noah Philp (14) pulled Seattle even at 13:43 of the second period. . . . In the third period and OT, the Silvertips held a 27-1 edge in shots on goal. . . . They ended it at 2:57 of extra time on Dewar’s 35th goal of the season. . . . F Matt Fonteyne had two assists for Everett, with Bajkov getting one. . . . Everett was 1-5 on the PP; Seattle was 0-2. . . . G Carter Hart stopped 17 shots for Everett. He now is 28-4-4, 1.53, .950 as he closes in on his third straight goaltender-of-the-year award. . . . Announced attendance: 8,319.


At Kelowna, F Hudson Elynuik scored three times and added an assist to lead the Spokane Chiefs to a 4-2 lead over the Rockets. . . . Spokane (38-21-5) has won five in a SpokaneChiefsrow. It is third in the U.S. Division, two points behind Portland and eight ahead of Tri-City. . . . Kelowna (38-22-6) has lost four straight. It leads the B.C. Division, by four points over Victoria. . . . Elynuik, who has 27 goals, opened the scoring at 7:17 of the first period. . . . Kelowna F Carsen Twarynski (40) tied it, on a PP, at 19:27 of the second period. . . . D Ty Smith (14) gave the Chiefs a 2-1 lead at 5:01 of the third period. . . . The Rockets tied it at 13:41 on F Kole Lind’s 37th goal. . . . Elynuik broke the tie at 18:46, then added insurance at 19:44. . . . F Luke Toporowski had two assists for the winners, with Smith getting one. . . . Kelowna was 1-5 on the PP; Spokane was 0-5. . . . G Dawson Weatherill earned the victory with 22 saves. . . . G James Porter stopped 24 shots for Kelowna. . . . Announced attendance: 5,106.


At Kennewick, Wash., G Shane Farkas posted his second straight shutout in leading the Portland Winterhawks to a 5-0 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . Portland (39-20-5) Portlandhas points in five straight (4-0-1). It is second in the U.S. Division, eight points behind Everett. . . . Tri-City (32-23-9) has lost three in a row (0-2-1). It is in the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot, three points ahead of Seattle. . . . F Kieffer Bellows (35) scored the game’s first goal, at 8:55 of the first period, and F Cody Glass got the next two, at 12:43 of the first and 1:17 of the second. . . . Glass now has 33 goals. . . . F Lane Gilliss scored Portland’s other goals, at 8:33 of the second, and 2:06 of the third. He’s got six goals. . . . The Winterhawks got three assists from D Henri Jokiharju, two from D Dennis Cholowski and one from Bellows. . . . Portland was 0-2 on the PP; Tri-City was 0-3. . . . Farkas stopped 30 shots in posting his third shutout of the season. In his last four starts, he is 4-0-0 with two shutouts, having allowed three goals on 120 shots (.975). . . . G Beck Warm started for Tri-City, and gave up four goals on 25 shots in 32:54. Patrick Dea finished up, stopping 17 of 18 shots in 27:06. . . . The Winterhawks are 22-8-2 on the road. . . . Announced attendance: 4,281.


SUNDAY (all times local):

Everett vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 2 p.m.

Red Deer at Calgary, 4 p.m.

Medicine Hat vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 4 p.m.

Regina at Edmonton, 4 p.m.

Portland vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 5:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

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

MacBeth

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

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


TheCoachingGame

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


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon/Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

WEDNESDAY:

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


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


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


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


THURSDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Prince Albert at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

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

Calgary at Edmonton, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Seattle at Portland, 7 p.m.

Victoria at Prince George, 7 p.m.

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

Kelowna at Everett, 7:35 p.m.