A LITTLE OF THIS . . .
Don Hay, the winningest head coach in WHL history, was honoured in Kamloops on Friday night, prior to the Blazers’ game against the Kelowna Rockets.
Hay moved into No. 1 on the all-time regular-season coaching list on Jan. 27 when the Blazers beat the host Portland Winterhawks, 4-2. That left Hay with 743 victories, one more than Ken Hodge, who retired from the Winterhawks after the 1992-93 season.
Hay’s Blazers dropped a 2-1 decision to the Rockets, leaving him at 746 victories.
Hay also holds the WHL record for most career playoff victories (108).
(Interestingly, Hay is No. 2 on the Blazers’ list of regular-season coaching victories. He has (281) victories with Kamloops, second to Ken Hitchcock’s 287.)
On Thursday, the Blazers posted a letter from Hay on their website. In that letter, Hay wrote that he is “honoured to have had the opportunity to become the winningest coach in the history of the WHL.”
He continued: “I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the Western Hockey League as a player back in 1972. At the time, I would not have expected it to lead me where it has.”
That complete letter is right here. It includes most of what Hay had to say as he greeted his family, those gathered to honour him and the fans.
Among those on hand to honour Hay in what was a terrific ceremony were family members, along with Fred Seymour, the chief of the Tk’emlups Indian Band; Ken Christian, the mayor of Kamloops; Don Moores, the Blazers’ president and CEO; and Ron Robison, the WHL commissioner.
Among those featured in video tributes were Hitchcock, Tom Renney, Ryan Huska, Jarome Iginla, Mike Johnston, Brendan Gallagher, Ron Toigo, Tom Gaglardi, Ken Hodge and Bob Brown.
None of the Blazers five owners was in attendance, although Gaglardi and Iginla were on the big screen in video tributes.
The last time Robison was in Kamloops to honour a member of the Blazers organization? That was on March 7, 2012, when he presented Spike Wallace with a Distinguished Service Award. The next morning, the Blazers announced that “by mutual agreement Spike will be leaving the team to pursue other initiatives.” Wallace now is a cashier at a local grocery story.
Somehow I doubt that Hay will be bagging groceries anytime soon.
Wayne Van Dorp, who played two seasons with the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds, will be among the inductees into the Burnaby Sports Hall of Fame on Feb. 22. He played one season (1978-79) with the BCJHL’s Bellingham Blazers, before spending the next two with the Thunderbirds. He had 30 goals, 43 assists and 437 penalty minutes in 131 games. . . . Van Dorp went on to a pro career that included 125 NHL games. He won a Stanley Cup with the Edmonton Oilers in 1987. . . . Among the items available in a silent auction that night will be a Carey Price-autographed Montreal Canadiens sweater. . . . The banquet is to be held at the Burnaby Firefighters’ banquet hall, Metrotown.
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IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …
Saskatoon at Moose Jaw
Brandon at Medicine Hat
Regina at Swift Current
Kootenay at Lethbridge
Seattle at Everett
Tri-City at Kelowna
Spokane at Portland
Vancouver at Victoria
At Moose Jaw, the Regina Pats broke a 2-2 tie with three goals early in the third period and went on to beat the Warriors, 5-3. . . . Regina (30-24-6) has moved into third place in the East Division, one point ahead of Brandon, which has three games in hand. . . . Moose Jaw (43-10-3) had won its previous three games. It now leads the overall standings by one point over Swift Current, with the Warriors having three games in hand. . . . The Warriors beat the host Pats, 6-3, on Wednesday night; they’ll meet again Sunday in Regina, too, when the Pats will retire the No. 15 in honour of Jock Callander. . . . Moose Jaw leads the season series, 5-1-0; Regina is 1-4-1. . . . F Jayden Halbgewachs gave the Warriors a 1-0 lead with his WHL-leading 54th goal, at 15:06 of the first period. . . . Regina took a 2-1 lead on second-period goals from F Nick Henry (10), on a PP, at 0:57, and F Jesse Gabrielle (10), at 11:21. . . . Moose Jaw tied it at 19:55 when F Vince Loschiavo (16) scored, on a PP. . . . Regina took control with three quick goals to start the third period. . . . F Emil Oksanen (14) broke the tie, on a PP, at 3:59. . . . D Josh Mahura, who has 21 goals, then scored twice, at 6:12 and 7:34. . . . F Justin Almeida (31) got Moose Jaw’s final goal, on a PP, at 19:49. . . . Regina got two assists from F Sam Steel, with Mahura adding one. . . . F Brett Howden had three assists for the Warriors, with D Kale Clague getting two. . . . Moose Jaw was 2-3 on the PP; Regina was 2-4. . . . G Max Paddock recorded the victory with 25 saves, six fewer than Moose Jaw’s Brody Willms. . . . Regina G Ryan Kubic has missed four straight games and the Regina Leader-Post reports that he “may be suffering from a concussion.” . . . The Pats had F Koby Morriseau back after a 14-game absence. . . . D Jett Woo was back with the Warriors, after missing eight games. As well, F Barrett Sheen returned after completing a five-game suspension. . . . F Brayden Burke, who is second in the WHL scoring race, was among Moose Jaw’s scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 4,613.
At Prince Albert, the Raiders got out to an early 2-0 lead and went on to a 5-2 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Prince Albert (23-23-11) had lost its previous three games. It is four points behind Saskatoon, which holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . Brandon (30-22-5) has lost three in a row and has slipped out of third place in the East Division. It now has the conference’s first wild-card spot, one point behind Regina and four ahead of Saskatoon. . . . Prince Albert is 2-1-1 in the season series; Brandon is 2-2-0. . . . F Brett Leason (10) got the Raiders going at 2:04, and F Regan Nagy (23) made it 2-0 at 6:47. . . . D Schael Higson (3) got Brandon on the scoreboard at 15:54. . . . After a scoreless second period, D Zack Hayes (3) restored the Raiders’ two-goal lead at 3:01 of the third period. . . . F Ty Lewis (31) got the Wheat Kings back to within a goal at 3:24. . . . D Vojtech Budik (9) gave the Raiders a 4-2 lead at 6:54, and F Kody McDonald (29) added another goal, at 15:44. . . . F Parker Kelly had two assists for the Raiders. . . . Brandon was 0-2 on the PP; Prince Albert was 0-4. . . . G Curtis Meger stopped 18 shots for the Raiders, while Brandon’s Logan Thompson turned aside 34 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 1,903.
At Swift Current, the Broncos scored four times in the first period and went on to a 6-2 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Swift Current (42-13-4) has won six in a row. It clinched a playoff berth with this victory. The Broncos also pulled to within one point of Moose Jaw, which leads the overall standings. The Warriors still hold three games in hand. . . . Medicine Hat (28-24-7) has lost two straight. It leads the Central Division by three points over Lethbridge, which has two games in hand. . . . F Tyler Steenbergen (41) got the Broncos started at 10:00. F Giorgio Estephan (26) followed at 14:43, with F Beck Malenstyn scoring, on a PP, ta 15:35. . . . Broncos F Glenn Gawdin made it 4-0 at 17:19, on a PP, with his 50th goal of the season. F Aleksi Heponiemi earned an assist on the goal, his third of the period, giving him 100 points. . . . F Matteo Gennaro (36) and Malenstyn (10) upped the lead to 6-0 in the second period. . . . The Tigers got third-period goals from F Ryan Jevne (14) and F Henry Rybinski (2). . . . Heponiemi finished with four assists, with D Artyom Minulin and Esterphan each getting two. Gawdin and Steenbergen each had one. . . . Gawdin leads the WHL scoring race, with 109 points, seven more than Moose Jaw F Brayden Burke and eight more than Heponiemi. . . . Swift Current was 2-2 on the PP; Medicine Hat was 0-3. . . . G Stuart Skinner stopped 37 shots for the Broncos. . . . Medicine Hat starter Michael Bullion was beaten six times on 15 shots in 32:24. Kaeden Lane, 16, finished up, stopping all 18 shots he faced in 27:36. . . . With G Jordan Hollett injured, the Tigers have added Lane, 16, to their roster. Lane is 16-1-0, 1.44, .946 with the Burnaby Winter Club prep team in the CSSHL. . . . The Tigers scratched three defencemen — Joel Craven, Kristians Rubins and Linus Nassen — then lost D Dylan MccPherson to injury during the game. . . . Medicine Hat also was without F Hayden Ostir, F Baxter Anderson and F Mason Shaw. . . . Announced attendance: 2,890.
At Lethbridge, the Hurricanes struck four times in the first period en route to a 5-4 victory over the Saskatoon Blades. . . . Letbridge (27-24-6) is second in the Central Division, three points behind Medicine Hat. . . . Saskatoon (29-27-3) had won its previous three games. It holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, four points ahead of Prince Albert. . . . The Hurricanes started 18 seconds into this one when F Jordy Bellerive (39) scored. . . . F Dylan Cozens made it 2-0 just 61 seconds later. . . . D Matthew Stanley and D Calen Addison (8) added goals before the game was six minutes old. . . . Saskatoon got two goals before the first period ended, from D Logan Christensen (4), at 11:19, and D Evan Fiala (6), at 13:49. . . . F Eric Florchuk (12) got Saskatoon to within one at 0:47 of the third period. . . . Stanley, playing in his 109th game, got his second career goal and second of the game at 5:37, restoring Lethbridge’s two-goal edge. . . . F Braylon Shmyr (28) got Saskatoon back to within a goal at 19:54. . . . Stanley and Cozens each added an assist for Lethbridge. . . . The Blades got two assists from each of Fiala and F Michael Darren, with Shmyr and Florchuk adding one apiece. . . . Saskatoon was 1-4 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-2. . . . G Logan Flodell blocked 35 shots to earn the victory. . . . Saskatoon starter Tyler Brown gave up four goals on eight shots in 5:02. Nolan Maier came on to finish up and was beaten once on 10 shots in 54:58. . . . Lethbridge F Jadon Joseph left the game in the third period. . . . Announced attendance: 4,918.
At Cranbrook, B.C., the Kootenay Ice scored the game’s last three goals and beat the Tri-City Americans, 5-2. . . . Kootenay (25-31-3) had lost its previous three games. It is third in the Central Division, seven points behind Lethbridge. . . Tri-City (29-20-8) had won two in a row. It is in possession of the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot and is fourth in the U. S. Division, a point behind Spokane. . . . F Morgan Geekie gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 3:42 of the first period. . . . The home team went ahead 2-1 on goals from F Gillian Kohler (4), at 16:51 of the first, and F Kaeden Taphorn (5), at 6:44 of the second. . . . Geekie (23) tied it at 9:38. . . . Ice F Cameron Hausinger (17) snapped the tie, on a PP, at 11:20 of the second period. . . . F Peyton Krebs (16) added insurance, at 4:44 of the third period, and F Brett Davis (22) finished the scoring at 16:21. . . . Krebs and Davis each had an assist. . . . F Jordan Topping and F Michael Rasmussen each had two assists in the loss. . . . Kootenay was 1-3 on the PP; Tri-City was 0-3. . . . The Ice got 19 saves from G Duncan McGovern. . . . Tri-City G Beck Warm blocked 32 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 2,577.
At Kamloops, F Dillon Dube scored twice to lead the Kelowna Rockets to a 2-1 victory over the Blazers. . . . Kelowna (35-18-5) leads the B.C. Division by two points over Victoria. . . . Kamloops (26-28-4) has lost three in a row, and is seven points out of a playoff spot. . . . Dube, who has 27 goals, opened the scoring at 4:15 of the first period. . . . Kamloops D Montana Onyebuchi (4) tied it at 6:48. . . . Dude snapped the tie at 12:02 of the second period. . . . D Cal Foote had two assists for the Rockets. . . . Kelowna was 1-2 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-4. . . . G Brodan Salmond stopped 28 shots for Kelowna, while Dylan Ferguson of the Blazers stopped 25. . . . These teams hadn’t met since Dec. 29. . . . Kelowna leads the season series, 5-0-0, with three games left; the Blazers are 0-4-1. . . . F Liam Kindree returned to Kelowna’s lineup after sitting out 20 games. . . . Kamloops was without D Luke Zazula and F Luc Smith for a third straight game. . . . The Rockets remain without F Kole Lind and F Nolan Foote. . . . The Blazers are at home to the Prince George Cougars tonight, then have to get to Everett for a Sunday afternoon date with the Silvertips. . . . Announced attendance: 4,113.
At Victoria, F Chris Douglas broke a 3-3 tie at 12:41 of the third period as the Red Deer Rebels beat the Royals, 4-3. . . . Red Deer (20-26-13) has won three in a row. It remains tied with Kootenay for third in the Central Division. . . . Victoria (34-21-5) has lost three straight (0-2-1). It is second in the B.C. Division, two points behind Kelowna. . . . F Matthew Phillips (44) gave Victoria a 1-0 lead at 14:14 of the first period. . . . The Rebels scored the next three goals. . . . F Kristian Reichel (25) struck, on a PP, at 18:43. . . . F Mason McCarty (31) made it 2-1 at 9:56 of the second period and F Brandon Cutler (3) stretched the lead at 11:30. . . . D Kade Jensen (6) got the Royals to within one at 19:52, and F Lane Zablocki (13) tied it, on a PP, at 5:16 of the third. . . . Douglas won it with his sixth goal of the season. . . . Phillips ran his franchise-record point streak to 20 games, during which time he has 37 points. . . . Victoria was 1-3 on the PP; Red Deer was 1-4. . . . G Riley Lamb stopped 33 shots for Red Deer. . . . The Royals got 23 saves from Dean McNabb. . . . The Royals scratched G Griffen Outhouse for a second straight game. . . . Announced attendance: 4,217.
At Langley, B.C., the Vancouver Giants got out to an early 2-0 lead and went on to beat the Edmonton Oil Kings, 2-1. . . . Vancouver (31-18-8) has won two in a row. The Giants are third in the B.C. Division, three points behind Victoria. . . . Edmonton (17-33-7) had won its previous three games. . . . F Tyler Benson (20) got the home team out to a 1-0 lead 14 seconds into the game. . . . F Brayden Watts (14) made it 2-0, on a PP, at 3:02. . . . The Oil Kings cut the deficit to one goal when F Brett Kemp (14) scored at 1:05 of the second period. . . . Benson also had an assist. . . . Vancouver was 1-4 on the PP; Edmonton was 0-2. . . . The Giants got 30 saves from G David Tendeck, while G Josh Dechaine stopped 21 shots for Edmonton. . . . The Giants again scratched D Dylan Plouffe, D Matt Barberis, D Darian Skeoch and D Alex Kannok Leipert, all of whom are hurt, and F Owen Hardy (ill). . . . Announced attendance: 3,484.
At Kent, Wash., F Bryce Kindopp’s OT goal gave the Everett Silvertips a 4-3 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Everett (37-17-4) has points in six straight (5-0-1). It leads the Western Conference by four points over Portland. . . . Seattle (27-20-9) has lost four in a row (0-2-2). It holds down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, three points behind Tri-City. . . . Each team is 3-2-1 in the season series. . . . Everett grabbed a 2-0 first-period leads on goals from F Garrett Pilon, on a PP, at 2:35, and D Kevin Davis (8), at 14:10. . . . F Matthew Wedman (14) got Seattle’s first goal, at 18:59. . . . Pilon (28) restored Everett’s two-goal edge at 2:57 of the second period. . . . Seattle tied it on third-period goals from D Austin Strand (18), on a PP, at 1:12, and D Turner Ottenbreit (8), at 10:06. . . . Kindopp (17) won it at 1:56 of extra time. . . . Everett got two assists from Riley Sutter and one from Davis. . . . Ottenbreit and Strand had an assist each for Seattle. . . . The Thunderbirds were 2-2 on the PP; the Silvertips were 1-5. . . . G Carter Hart recorded the victory with 30 saves. He now has 108 regular-season victories, which is an Everett franchise record, one more than Leland Irving (2003-08). . . . G Liam Hughes stopped 38 shots for Seattle. . . . Everett F Sean Richards took a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct at 16:46 of the second period for a hit on Seattle D Jarret Tyszka. The ensuing brouhaha resulted in 79 penalty minutes being doled out. . . . Seattle head coach Matt O’Dette wasn’t impressed with the work of referees Sean Raphael and Mike Langin. “They had no idea who got the 10s,” O’Dette told Andy Eide of ESPN radio in Seattle. “We lost all our guys that were on the ice and somehow (Patrick) Bajkov and (Matt) Fonteyne, two of their best players, managed to stay on the ice, which is ridiculous. We ended up with four 10s, they ended with one and I don’t understand how that can possibly happen. In the heat of the moment they had no idea what was going on, who had the 10s and who didn’t. We had a key power play and we didn’t have a whole unit and they had their top penalty-killers because they somehow got to stay in the game.” . . . Eide’s complete story is right here. . . . Announced attendance: 6,409.
SATURDAY (all times local):
Prince Albert at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Kootenay at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.
Swift Current at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.
Prince George at Kamloops, 7 p.m.
Edmonton at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.
Vancouver at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.
Tri-City at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.
Seattle at Everett, 7:05 p.m.