Awards, bantam draft off to Red Deer . . . Broncos win showdown with Warriors . . . Visiting Raiders bury Hurricanes


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

A tip of the Taking Note cap to the WHL for moving its awards show and the bantam draft to Red Deer for at least the next three years. . . . This year, the awards will be handed out on May 2, with the bantam draft on May 3, with both taking place at the Sheraton Hotel. . . . The more the WHL is able to spread its annual events around, the better for all involved. . . . Now it’s about the annual meeting that seems to have settled into secrecy in Vancouver, and that annual gather on Super Bowl weekend in Las Vegas. If only the WHL pooh-bahs would move those around, too.


The Kootenay Ice has added D Anson McMaster, 15, to its roster. McMaster, from Siksika Nation, Alta., was a second-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. This season, he had 13 assists in 35 games with the midget AAA Okotoks Oilers.


Noah Geekie’s father, Craig, played four seasons in the WHL, playing with the Brandon Wheat Kings and Spokane Chiefs. Noah’s brother, Morgan, is in his third season with the Tri-City Americans and was a third-round pick by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2017 NHL draft. Noah was selected by the Calgary Hitmen in the second round of the 2015 bantam draft. . . . With all that hockey in the family, why has Noah turned to baseball? Bob Elliott of the Canadian Baseball Network has Noah’s story right here, and it involves a fastball that improved by 12 miles per hour, now touching on 87.


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


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

WEDNESDAY:

At Portland, the Kamloops Blazers scored three second-period goals and went on to score a 3-1 victory over the Winterhawks. . . . Kamloops (27-29-5) had lost its previous five Kamloops1games (0-4-1). It now is six points from a playoff spot with 11 games to play. . . . Portland (35-20-4) has lost two in a row. It is second in the U.S. Division three points ahead of Spokane. . . . The Blazers won the season series, 3-1-0. . . . F Cody Glass (28) gave Portland a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 7:00 of the first period. . . . Kamloops F Jermaine Loewen tied it, on a PP, at 4:28 of the second period and F Nick Chyzowski (17) put the visitors ahead, on a PP, at 19:01. . . . Loewen (31) provided insurance 47 seconds later. . . . D Joe Gatenby had two assists for Kamloops. . . . Portland F Skyler McKenzie picked up his 200th career point when he drew an assist on his club’s first goal. . . . Kamloops was 2-5 on the PP; Portland was 1-4. . . . G Dylan Ferguson stopped 30 shots to earn the victory. . . . G Cole Kehler started for Portland and surrendered three goals on 22 shots through two periods. Shane Farkas played the third period, stopping all four shots he faced. . . . The Blazers were without D Luke Zazula and F Luc Smith for a seventh straight game. . . . Announced attendance: 5,589.


At Swift Current, D Artyom Minulin drew three assists to help the Broncos to a 4-2 victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . Swift Current (43-13-5) has points in eight SCBroncosstraight (7-0-1). . . . Moose Jaw (44-12-3) and Swift Current are tied atop the overall standings, with the Warriors holding two games in hand. . . . I don’t know who is leading the season series, but Swift Current is 4-3-0 and Moose Jaw is 3-2-2. . . . The Broncos took a 1-0 lead when F Aleksi Heponiemi (26) scored, on a PP, at 9:00 of the first period. . . . F Tanner Jeannot (36) pulled Moose Jaw even, on a PP, at 19:25. . . . The Broncos went ahead 3-1 on goals from F Max Patterson (9), at 12:26 of the second period, and F Beck Malenstyn (11), shorthanded, at 7:07 of the third. . . . F Jayden Halbgewachs (57) got the Warriors to within one, on a PP, at 7:29. . . . Swift Current got insurance from D Colby Sissons (13), on a PP, at 16:32. . . . The Broncos got two assists from F Giorgio Estephan, with Heponiemi and Sissons each getting one. . . . D Kale Clague and F Brayden Burke each had two assists for the Warriors. . . . Broncos G Glenn Gawdin had one assist for his 300th career point. It came in his 305th game, all with the Broncos. . . . He leads the WHL in scoring this season, with 112 points, six more than Burke. . . . Swift Current was 2-4 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 2-6. . . . The Broncos got 37 saves from G Stuart Skinner, who posted his 100th regular-season victory. The first 88 of those came with Lethbridge. He is 12-3-1, 2.43, .925 since being acquired by the Broncos. . . . Moose Jaw’s Brody Willms stopped 21 shots. . . . The Warriors were without F Barrett Sheen and D Jett Woo, both of whom are suspended. . . . Announced attendance: 2,890.


At Calgary, F Jake Kryski and F Jakob Stukel each had a goal and two assists as the Hitmen bounced the Red Deer Rebels, 6-4. . . . Calgary (18-33-7) had lost its previous two Calgarygames. . . . Red Deer (21-27-13) had won its previous four games. It is third in the Central Division, two points ahead of Kootenay. Red Deer has a game in hand. . . . F Mason McCarty gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 5:07 of the first period. . . . Calgary scored the next three goals. . . . Stukel (28) tied it at 9:16. F Tristen Nielsen (13) gave Calgary a 2-1 lead at 4:27 of the second period, with F Luke Coleman (14) making it 3-1 at 10:42. . . . The Rebels came back with three straight goals. . . . F Brandon Hagel (11) scored, shorthanded, at 18:20, with McCarty (33) getting his second goal, just 1:05 later. . . . F Kristian Reichel (28) gave the Rebels a 4-3 edge 32 seconds into the third period. . . . Kryski (11) got Calgary into a tie at 2:04, with D Vladislav Yeryomenko (12) giving the Hitmen a 5-4 lead at 9:42. . . . F Riley Stotts (13) provided the insurance at 18:59. . . . D Egor Zamula had two assists for Calgary, with Yeryomenko and Stotts each getting one. . . . Red Deer got two assists from each of F Grayson Pawlenchuk and D Carson Sass. . . . Red Deer was 0-1 on the PP; Calgary was 0-2. . . . G Nick Schneider blocked 19 shots to earn the victory. . . . Red Deer starter Riley Lamb allowed three goals on 19 shots in 30:42. Ethan Anders came on to stop eight of 10 shots in 29:03. . . . Announced attendance: 4,706.


At Lethbridge, the Prince Albert Raiders took control with six straight goals en route to an 8-2 victory over the Hurricanes. . . . Prince Albert (24-25-11) had lost its previous two PrinceAlbertgames. It now is six points out of a playoff spot. . . . Lethbridge (29-25-6) had won three straight. It is second in the Central Division, three points behind Medicine Hat and with a game in hand. . . . F Brett Leason (13) put the visitors ahead 1-0 at 0:16 of the first period and F Sean Montgomery (12) made it 2-0 at 2:53. . . . F Jadon Joseph (8) got Lethbridge on the scoreboard at 14:34. . . . F Justin Nachbaur (8) started the six-goal onslaught at 18:58. . . . The Raiders got second-period goals from F Curtis Miske (20), at 7:54; F Cole Fonstad (18), 14:51; and F Kody McDonald (30), at 4:35; with third-period scores coming from F Sean Montgomery (13), at 4:54, and D Sergei Sapego (2), on a PP, at 6:50. . . . F Keltie Jeri-Leon (7) got Lethbridge’s last goal. . . . Fonstad added two assists to his goal, with Leason, Sapego, Montgomery, McDonald and Nachbaur each getting one. . . . Joseph had an assist for Lethbridge. . . . Prince Albert was 1-5 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-7. . . . The Raiders got 35 stops from G Ian Scott. . . . The Hurricanes started Reece Klassen, who gave up seven goals on 27 shots in 44:54. Logan Flodell finished up, stopping six of seven shots in 15:06. . . . The Raiders took 72 of the game’s 140 penalty minutes. That total included 10 misconducts late in the game. . . . The Raiders had D Vojtech Budik back after a one-game absence. . . . The Hurricanes were without D Calen Addison as he served a one-game suspension. . . . Announced attendance: 3,036.


At Kennewick, Wash., F Jordan Topping scored twice to help the Tri-City Americans to a 4-2 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Tri-City (30-21-8) had lost its previous two TriCity30games. It holds down the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot, and is fourth in the U.S. Division, three points behind Spokane. . . . Seattle (28-22-9) has lost two in a row. It is in possession of the conference’s second wild-card spot, three points behind Tri-City. . . . Tri-City is 5-2-1 in the season series; Seattle is 3-3-2. . . . Topping opened the scoring at 10:56 of the first period. . . . The Thunderbirds tied it 18 seconds into the second period when D Austin Strand got No. 20. . . . F Nolan Yaremko (18) gave the Americans a 2-1 lead at 2:29. . . . The Thunderbirds tied it at 5:31 when D Jarret Tyszka (8) scored. . . . Topping (34) snapped the tie at 9:51. . . . F Michael Rasmussen (23), who also had an assist, upped the lead to 4-2, on a PP, at 19:54. . . . Tri-City was 1-3 on the PP; Seattle was 0-3. . . . G Patrick Dea earned the victory with 26 saves. . . . Seattle G Liam Hughes stopped 41 shots. . . . With F Blake Bargar and Sami Moilanen injured, the Thunderbirds again have added F Payton Mount, who turned 16 on Monday, and F Graeme Bryks, who turns 17 today, to their roster. Mount, from Victoria, plays at the Delta Hockey Academy. He was a first-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft. This was his fourth game with Seattle this season. Bryks, an eighth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft, plays for the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints. This was his fifth game with Seattle this season. . . . Announced attendance: 2,547.


THURSDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Edmonton at Calgary, 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.

Brandon at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Prince Albert at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Seattle at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

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

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

Regina at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Portland at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

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


TWEET OF THE DAY

Lowes is Hall of Famer . . . Kehler wins duel with Hart as ‘Hawks win . . . Topping fills hat in rout of Royals . . . Anders blanks Blades

MacBeth

F Eric Johansson (Tri-City, 1997-2002) has been released by Val Pusteria Brunico (Italy, Alps HL). He had eight goals and 18 assists in 31 games. . . .

F Jiří Cetkovský (Calgary, 2002-03) has signed a contract for the rest of the season with Prostějov (Czech Republic, 1. Liga) after being released by Nové Zámky (Slovakia, Extraliga). He had five goals and eight assists in 38 games. . . .

D Richard Nedomlel (Swift Current, 2010-13) has been assigned on loan by Sparta Prague (Czech Republic, Extraliga) to Mladá Boleslav (Czech Republic, Extraliga) for the rest of this season. He had two assists in 34 games. . . .

D Tomáš Voráček (Prince Albert, 2007-09) has signed a contract the for rest of this season with Sparta Prague (Czech Republic, Extraliga) after obtaining his release from Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia, KHL). He had three assists in 53 games. . . .

F Lukáš Vantuch (Calgary, Lethbridge, 2005-07) has been assigned on loan by Liberec (Czech Republic, Extraliga) to Chomutov (Czech Republic, Extraliga) for the rest of the season. He had two assists in 29 games. He also had one goal and two assists in three games while on loan to Benátky nad Jizerou (Czech Republic, 1. Liga).


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

Bob Lowes, a former WHL player and coach, was inducted into the U of Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame on Wednesday night. After completing his WHL playing career (Prince Albert, Regina, 1982-84), Lowes played four seasons (1985-89) with the U of Manitoba Bisons. . . . He later worked in the WHL as an assistant coach with the Regina Pats and Seattle Thunderbirds, then as a head coach with the Brandon Wheat Kings and Regina. . . . These days, he is the assistant director of player personnel with the NHL’s top team, the Vegas Golden Knights.


If you like what you get here, please consider clicking on the DONATE button over there to the right and helping the cause.

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

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Enjoy!


Scoreboard

WEDNESDAY:

At Regina, the Pats unleashed a 60-shot barrage as they skated to a 4-1 victory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . The Pats (26-22-5) had lost their previous two games. They are ReginaPats100fourth in the East Division, four points behind Brandon. Regina also holds down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, four points ahead of Saskatoon. . . . The Cougars (18-26-8) are 0-3-1 on an East Division swing. They are 13 points out of a playoff spot. . . . The Pats held a 24-7 edge in first-period shots, but came out tied 1-1. F Jesse Gabrielle (7) scored for the Pats, on a PP, at 1:20, with F Jared Bethune (17) scoring, while shorthanded, for the Cougars at 7:57. . . . Regina took control with second-period goals from F Sam Steel, at 4:15, and F Matt Bradley (30), at 11:17. . . . F Cam Hebig (35) stretched the lead to 4-1, shorthanded, at 1:35 of the third period. . . . F Emil Oksanen had two assists for Regina, with Steel adding one. . . . G Max Paddock stopped 29 shots for Regina. . . . Prince George got 56 saves from G Taylor Gauthier. . . . The Cougars lost F Vladislav Mikhalchuk at 6:11 of the second period with a headshot major and game misconduct. . . . Announced attendance: 5,426.


At Saskatoon, G Ethan Anders posted his first WHL shutout as the Red Deer Rebels beat Red Deerthe Blades, 2-0. . . . Red Deer (14-25-12) has points in five straight (4-0-1) and is fourth in the Central Division, nine points behind Kootenay. . . . Saskatoon (25-24-3) had won its previous two games. It holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, three points ahead of Prince Albert. The Raiders hold two games in hand. . . . D Jacob Herauf (2) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 1:49 of the first period. . . . F Josh Tarzwell (6) got the empty-netter at 18:53 of the third period. . . . Anders, a 17-year-old freshman from Regina, stopped 33 shots. He is 8-14-6, 2.95, .910. . . . The Blades got 24 stops from G Tyler Brown. . . . F Kirby Dach (ill) was among Saskatoon’s scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 2,821.


At Cranbrook, B.C., the Edmonton Oil Kings scored the game’s first two goals and went on to a 5-2 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Edmonton (14-29-7) had lost its previous four EdmontonOilKingsgames (0-3-1). . . . The Ice (23-24-3) had won three in a row. It is third in the Central Division, three points behind Lethbridge. . . . F Trey Fix-Wolansky (21) got Edmonton started at 19:25 of the first period and F Tomas Soustal (13) made it 2-0 just 27 seconds into the second period. . . . Ice F Brett Davis scored a PP goal at 14:03. . . . The Oil Kings got that one back on a PP as F Nick Bowman (5) scored at 1:50 of the third period. . . . Davis (18) scored again at 5:06, but the Oil Kings put it away on goals from F Brett Kemp (12), at 9:47, and F Colton Kehler (23), into an empty net, at 19:06. . . . The Oil Kings got two assists from F Brendan Semchuk, with Soustal and Fix-Wolansky adding one each. . . . The Ice got two assists from D Jonathan Smart. He’s got three goals and 13 assists, including his 50th career assist, in 27 games with the Ice since moving over from Regina. . . . Edmonton was 1-4 on the PP; Kootenay was 1-7. . . . G Todd Scott earned the victory with 30 saves, 10 more than Kootenay’s Duncan McGovern. . . . Announced attendance: 2,112.


At Kamloops, D Luke Zazula broke a 1-1 tie at 2:02 of the third period and the Blazers went on to a 3-1 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Kamloops (24-24-3), which has Kamloops1won six of seven, is six points from a playoff spot. . . . Medicine Hat (26-21-6) has lost two in a row. It leads the Central Division by six points over Lethbridge. . . . F Luc Smith (16) gave Kamloops a 1-0 lead at 15:30 of the first period, using a baseball swing to bang in a goal-mouth rebound. . . . Medicine Hat tied it when F Elijah Brown (2) scored, on a PP, at 16:23 of the second period. . . . Zazula broke the tie with his third goal. . . . F Jermaine Loewen (24) provided insurance when he tipped in a point shot by D Montana Onyebuchi at 8:15 of the third period. . . . F Carson Denomie had two assists for Kamloops, with Loewen getting one. . . . Medicine Hat was 1-2 on the PP; Kamloops was 1-4. . . . G Dylan Ferguson was solid for the Blazers, with 36 saves, four more than Medicine Hat’s Michael Bullion. . . . F Ryan Chyzowski of the Tigers took a headshot major and game misconduct on Tuesday in Kelowna. Sometime on Wednesday that was changed to an interference major and it didn’t draw a suspension, so he was in the lineup in his hometown. In all liklihood, it also was the final meeting between the Chyzowski brothers. Nick, 20, is in his final season with the Blazers. . . . Announced attendance: 3,321.


At Portland, F Cody Glass and F Kieffer Bellows returned to the Winterhawks’ lineup with five points in a 3-0 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . Portland (30-17-4) has won Portlandtwo in a row. It is second in the U.S. Division, three points behind Everett. . . . Everett (32-17-3) had points in each of its previous 10 games (9-0-1). The Silvertips are second in the Western Conference, one point behind Kelowna. . . . Bellows, who has 24 goals, scored at 11:11 and 13:18 of the third period. . . . F Skyler McKenzie (38) added an empty-netter at 18:51. . . . Glass, who missed six games with a hip injury, had three assists, with McKenzie adding one. . . . Bellows (hand) had sat out seven games. . . . G Cole Kehler stopped 21 shots in recording his third shutout this season and the fifth of his career. . . . Everett got 39 saves from Carter Hart, including 20 in the second period when the Winterhawks held a 20-5 edge. . . . Announced attendance: 3,938.


At Langley, B.C., F Ty Ronning scored twice to help the Vancouver Giants to a 4-1 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Vancouver (26-16-8) had lost its previous four games (0-2-2). VancouverThe Giants are third in the B.C. Division, four points behind Victoria. . . . Calgary (15-29-6) is 0-3-0 on a B.C. Division swing that began with two losses in Victoria. . . . Vancouver got out to a 1-0 lead at 9:59 of the first period on a goal by F Davis Koch (19). . . . F Tyler Popowich (5) made it 2-0 at 4:38 of the second period. . . . Ronning, who is second in the league with 44 goals, made it 3-0 at 11:22 of the second and 4-1 at 18:50 of the third. . . . Calgary got its goal from F Jakob Stukel (24) at 4:05 of the third. . . . F Tyler Benson had two assists for the winners. . . . Each team was 0-4 on the PP. . . . Vancouver G David Tendeck stopped 27 shots, three fewer than Calgary’s Nick Schneider. . . . F Justin Sourdif, the third-overall selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft, was in the Giants’ lineup. He was pointless in an earlier game with them. He plays for the Valley West Hawks of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League. . . . D Darian Skeoch was among Vancouver’s scratches, and the Giants still are without F Milos Roman. . . . Announced attendance: 2,624.


At Kennewick, Wash., F Jordan Topping scored three goals before the game was half over to lead the Tri-City Americans to a 7-1 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . Tri-City (26-16-TriCity307) has points in six straight (4-0-2). It is third in the U.S. Division, five points behind Portland and one ahead of Seattle. . . . Victoria (30-18-4) had won its previous three games. It is second in the B.C. Division, four points behind Kelowna. . . . Topping, who has 29 goals, got the game’s first two scores, at 2:30 and 5:05 of the first period. . . . He completed the hat trick at 7:22 of the second period, giving his guys a 5-0 lead. . . . That was Topping’s sixth career hat trick, and he now has 100 career goals in 220 games. This season, he has 29 goals and 29 assists in 49 games. . . . F Isaac Johnson (14) and F Michael Rasmussen (19) also had first-period goals for the Americans. . . . F Morgan Geekie (18), who also had three assists, added a second-period PP goal for a 6-0 lead. . . . Victoria F Jared Freadrich (11), on a PP, scored for Victoria at 2:37 of the third period. . . . Tri-City F Nolan Yaremko (16), on a PP, rounded out the scoring at 9:40. . . . The Americans got three assists from D Dylan Coghlan, two from Rasmussen, with Yaremko and Johnson each getting one. . . . Tri-City was 3-6 on the PP; Victoria was 1-3. . . . G Beck Warm stopped 28 shots for the Americans. . . . Victoria started Griffen Outhouse was beaten six times on 31 shots through 40 minutes. Dean McNabb finished up by stopping five of six shots in the third period. . . . F Tanner Kaspick, with six goals, four of them game-winners, in eight games since being acquired from Brandon, was among Victoria’s scratches. . . . D Juuso Valimaki was back in Tri-City’s lineup for the first time since Dec. 13. Between injuries and playing for Finland at the WJC, he has played in only 19 WHL games this season. . . . Announced attendance: 2,421.


THURSDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Red Deer at Moose Jay, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Prince George at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Swift Current at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

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

Everett at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

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

Medicine Hat at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

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


TWEET OF THE DAY

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

A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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


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


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Scoreboard

FRIDAY:

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


SATURDAY (all times local):

Regina at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Kamloops at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

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

Lethbridge at Prince George, 7 p.m.

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

Victoria at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Brandon at Everett, 7:05 p.m.

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

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


TWEET OF THE DAY

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