Blazers honour winningest coach . . . Van Dorp a Hall of Famer . . . Pats into third in division . . . Seattle coach unhappy

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 Kamloops1Blazers 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 …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Kootenay at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

FRIDAY:

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 ReginaPats100the 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. PrinceAlbertIt 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 SCBroncosclinched 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 LethbridgeDivision, 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 Kootenaynewthe 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. KelownaRockets. . . 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 Red Deerwith 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 Vancouverthird 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 Everettthe 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.


TWEET OF THE DAY

Winterhawks ask for minimum-wage break . . . Steel leads Pats to win . . . Chiefs, Weatherill blank Giants

A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

The Portland Winterhawks have asked state lawmakers for an exemption from any PortlandOregon law that requires employers to pay at least minimum wage to employees.

Katie Shepherd of the Willamette Week reports that the Winterhawks have asked the state government “for a custom-made law that would allow the team to continue not paying its players.”

Oregon’s minimum wage is $11.25 per hour.

According to Shepherd, Tim Bernasek, an attorney representing the Winterhawks, wrote to the Oregon House Judiciary Committee that “without an exemption for amateur athletes under Oregon law, the Portland Winterhawks will be forced to either declare bankruptcy or relocate.”

A class-action lawsuit asking the courts to force CHL teams to pay minimum wage to players is underway in Canada. The WHL’s five U.S. teams have been ruled exempt from that lawsuit, but the plaintiffs have appealed.

Obviously, the Winterhawks aren’t waiting for the outcome of that appeal.

Shepherd reports that the Winterhawks “asked the Oregon Legislature to change the law in 2017. The Senate approved the Winterhawks’ proposal, but the House rejected it as too broad.

“So the team is trying again. Lawmakers expect the new bill will pass.”

Shepherd’s complete story is right here.


F Mason Shaw of the Medicine Hat Tigers has been cleared to return to skating. Shaw has Tigers Logo Officialbeen in Minneapolis, where the Minnesota Wild’s medical staff gave him a going over. He suffered a knee injury that needed surgery while with the Wild’s rookie team at a preseason NHL tournament on Sept. 10. . . . “I’m very excited,” Shaw told CHAT News Today. “I came down here looking for that news, and to be able to leave Minnesota knowing I can come back on skates is something I’m looking forward to, and it’s a long time coming. It’s time to get some skates on.” . . . There isn’t a timetable for his return but he hopes to be back in time for the playoffs. . . . Last season, Shaw, a fourth-round pick by the Wild in the 2017 bantam draft, had 27 goals and 67 assists in 71 games.


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Another set of twins has been added to our list to those who played together in the WHL.

Jeremy and Joshua Schappert, now 29, were with the Seattle Thunderbirds. Jeremy whlplayed five seasons (2005-10) with the Thunderbirds; Joshua was there from 2005-07 and for 23 games in 2007-08.

Twins who played together . . .

Darren and Trevor Kruger, Swift Current (1987-89)

Bob and Ted McAneeley, Edmonton (Calgary Buffaloes, 1966-67; Edmonton Oil Kings, 1968-69)

Trevor and Troy Pohl, Portland (1986-88)

Jeremy and Joshua Schappert, Seattle (2005-08)

Rich and Ron Sutter, Lethbridge Broncos (1980-83)

Kaeden and Keenan Taphorn, Kootenay (active)

——

Twins who played but not together . . .

Connor and Curtis Honey, Seattle, Brandon (2011-14)

Kris and Ryan Russell, Medicine Hat and Kootenay (2003-07)

Beck and Will Warm, Tri-City and Edmonton (active)

——

Officials who are twins and work together . . .

Chad and Cody Huseby, linesmen from Red Deer (active)


Scoreboard

WEDNESDAY:

At Regina, F Sam Steel drew five assists to lead the Pats to a 7-3 victory over the Saskatoon Blades. . . . Regina (25-20-5) holds down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-ReginaPats100card spot, six points ahead of the Blades. . . . Saskatoon (23-23-3) is four points ahead of Prince Albert, which holds two games in hand. . . . Including in Steel’s night was his 300th career regular-season point. Steel now has 303 points, including 196 assists, in 237 games. . . . Earlier in the game, Regina F Cam Hebig got point No. 200. The first 193 points of Hebig’s WHL career came with the Blades, who dealt him to Regina earlier this month. . . . D Josh Mahura (17), who also had three assists, gave the Pats a 1-0 lead at 2:39 of the first period. . . . Saskatoon F Chase Wouters (14) tied it at 8:30. . . . Regina took control with the game’s next four goals. D Libor Hajek (9), an acquisition from the Blades, gave the Pats a 2-1 lead at 12:21. . . . F Nick Henry (8) upped it to 3-1 at 4:43 of the second period, and F Jesse Gabrielle (6) scored, on a PP, at 10:51. . . . F Jared Legien (18) made it 5-1, on another PP, at 14:29. . . . Saskatoon then got two goals from F Max Gerlach, who has 22 this season. He made it 5-2 at 19:15, then 5-3 just 32 seconds into the third period. . . . Hebig iced it with his 33rd and 34th goals, the latter shorthanded, at 1:13 and 12:31. . . . Hajek and Hebig also had an assist each. . . . D Jake Kustra had two assists for Saskatoon. . . . Regina was 3-6 on the PP; Saskatoon was 1-7. . . . G Ryan Kubic, who started the season with Saskatoon, stopped 26 shots for Regina. At the other end, G Tyler Brown, who began the season with the Pats, blocked 38 shots for the Blades. . . . The Blades hold a 4-2-0 edge in the season series, but it isn’t that lopsided because the Pats are 2-2-2. That means the Blades have eight points and the Pats have six. Ahh, the loser point is a glorious thing, isn’t it? . . . Saskatoon, which beat the Pats 4-3 in OT in Saskatoon on Saturday, was missing F Eric Florchuk, who is at the Top Prospects Game. . . . The Pats continue to be without F Jake Leschyshyn. . . . The Blades lost D Evan Fiala to a cross-checking major and game misconduct at 14:29 of the second period for a hit on Steel, who wasn’t injured. . . . Announced attendance: 5,454.


At Edmonton, D Kristians Rubins scored in OT to give the Medicine Hat Tigers a 4-3 victory over the Oil Kings. . . . Medicine Hat (25-19-5) had lost its previous four games (0-Tigers Logo Official2-2). The Tigers lead the Central Division by six points over Lethbridge. . . . Edmonton (13-27-7) has lost two straight (0-1-1). . . . The Oil Kings took a 1-0 lead when F Colton Kehler (22) scored, on a PP, at 14:39 of the first period. . . . The Tigers scored the next three goals, all in the second period. F Ryan Jevne (12) got a PP score at 13:03. D Dalton Gally made it 2-1 with his first goal, at 18:34. F Josh Williams (6) upped it to 3-1 at 18:45. . . . The Oil Kings tied it on third-period goals from F David Kope (7), at 11:54, and F Tomas Soustal (12), at 14:32. . . . D Matthew Robertson assisted on both of those Edmonton goals. . . . Rubins won it at 1:03 of OT. He has five goals, three of them winners with two of those coming in OT. . . . F Ryan Chyzowski had two assists for the Tigers, with Jevne adding one. . . . Edmonton was 1-2 on the PP; Medicine Hat was 1-5. . . . G Jordan Hollett stopped 27 shots for Medicine Hat, including a stop on Soustal on a penalty shot at 3:30 of the third period. . . . G Josh Dechaine stopped 36 shots for the Oil Kings. . . . Announced attendance: 6,008.


At Lethbridge, F Kole Lind had four points, including the OT winner on a breakaway, as the Kelowna Rockets beat the Hurricanes, 4-3. . . . Kelowna (30-14-3) has won two in a KelownaRocketsrow. It leads the Western Conference by a point over Everett. . . . Lethbridge (22-21-5) has lost three straight (0-2-1). It is second in the Central Division, four points ahead of Kootenay. . . . D Kaedan Korczak (2) gave Kelowna a 1-0 lead 20 seconds into the second period. . . . Lethbridge F Jadon Joseph (5) tied it 12 seconds later. . . . Lind, who finished with two goals and two assists, put the visitors out front, on a PP, at 10:02. . . . The home team took a 3-2 lead on goals from F Jordy Bellerive (31), at 18:14 of the second, and D Igor Merezhko (4), at 14:00 of the third period. . . . Kelowna F Carsen Twarynski (31) forced OT when he scored at 19:22. . . . Lind won it at 4:33 of OT. . . . Kelowna had a 6-1 edge in OT shots. . . . F Nolan Foote had two assists for the winners, with Twarynski adding one. . . . F Zane Franklin had two assists for Lethbridge and Joseph had one. . . . A tip of the Taking Note hat to Kelowna head coach Jason Smith for giving the start to G Cole Tisdale. The 15-year-old is from Lethbridge so got to make his second career WHL start in his hometown where he began the season with the minor midget AAA Hurricanes. He is with the Rockets due to injuries to James Porter and Roman Basran. . . . Tisdale earned the victory with 25 saves. . . . Lethbridge G Reece Klassen stopped 45 shots. . . . Kelowna was 1-2 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-2. . . . The Hurricanes were without D Calen Addison for a second straight game. He’s at the Top Prospects Game. . . . Lethbridge also is without injured forwards Dylan Cozens and Taylor Ross. Before being injured, they were on the Hurricanes’ top line, along with Logan Barlage. . . . Announced attendance: 3,974.


At Langley, B.C., G Dawson Weatherill stopped 31 shots and F Kailer Yamamoto had two goals as the Spokane Chiefs beat the Vancouver Giants, 5-0. . . . Spokane (26-19-3) opened SpokaneChiefsa seven-game stretch of road games by winning its fourth straight. The Chiefs are fourth in the U.S. Division, one point behind Seattle and two ahead of Tri-City. Spokane and Tri-City hold down the Western Conference’s two wild-card berths. . . . Vancouver (25-16-7) has lost three in a row (0-2-1). It is third in the B.C. Division, one point behind Victoria. . . . Weatherill, an 18-year-old sophomore from  Red Deer, has two career shutouts, both of them coming this season. . . . F Zach Fischer (21) got the Chiefs’ offence started at 1:03 of the first period. . . . Yamamoto, who has eight goals, scored 59 seconds into the second period and again at 3:10. The second goal came with the Chiefs shorthanded. . . . Yamamoto has seven goals and 10 assists in a seven-game point streak. He has put together seven straight multi-point games. . . . F Luke Toporowski (4) and F Hudson Elynuik (23), who also had two assists, had Spokane’s other goals. . . . Elynuik now has 201 career points, 125 of them assists. . . . Vancouver starter David Tendeck stopped 23 of 27 shots through two periods. Trent Miner came on to play the third period. In his WHL debut, he stopped 14 of 15 shots in 20 minutes. . . . Each team was 0-6 on the power play. . . . Spokane was missing D Ty Smith, who is at the Top Prospects Game. . . . The Giants are without F Milos Roman, who has been seen with a walking boot on one foot. . . . Announced attendance: 2,579.


THURSDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Prince George at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Edmonton at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

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

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

Portland at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

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

Seattle at Everett, 7:35 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

WHL’s Saturday roundup: A quick look at 11 games . . . Big night for Giants in Langley . . . Who is the KHL’s King of Hat Tricks?

MacBeth

F Petr Šenkeřík (Kootenay, Prince George, 2009-10) has been assigned on loan by Slovan Ústí nad Labem (Czech Republic, 1. Liga) to Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic, 1. Liga) for the rest of this season. This season, he had three assists in 12 games with Vsetín (Czech Republic, 1. Liga), and two goals and two assists in nine games with Labem.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

It was on Jan. 6, 2014, when the announcement was made that the Kamloops Daily News was soon to be buried.

Employees worked their final shift on Friday, Jan. 10.

Since then, former employees have gathered once a year to renew acquaintance. We did just that on Saturday, which is why the night’s WHL games weren’t rounded up here on Sunday morning.

It’s always a good time when we gather. In a lot of instances, it’s the one time a year when we see each other so there is a lot of catching up to do. What was interesting this time is that there wasn’t a lot of reminiscing about our days at the newspaper. Instead, it was more about catching up with each other and discussing current events.

If you aren’t familiar with Kamloops, you should know that the city demolished The Daily News building late in 2017. The site now is a paved parking lot. Yes, they paved paradise . . .

You may be aware that the city had paid $4.8 million for the building. Yes, that’s one pricey parking lot.

While I am not about to pontificate on the newspaper industry, there is one thing that often is overlooked with the death of a smaller community’s newspaper. That is this: There no longer is a daily chronicle — a daily diary, if you will — of the area’s history. You can’t overestimate the impact of that loss.


Anyway . . . here are some notes from Saturday and short recaps of the night’s WHL games . . .

At Prince Albert, F Kody McDonald’s 21st goal, on a PP at 7:55 of the third period, stood up as the winner as the Raiders beat the Moose Jaw Warriors, 4-3. . . . The Raiders had lost 4-0 to the visiting Swift Current Broncos on ‘Guaranteed Win Night’ just 24 hours earlier. The Warriors lead the overall standings by eight points over the Broncos. . . . F Jordy Stallard had goals No. 28 and 29 for the Raiders. . . . F Brayden Burke, the WHL’s scoring leader, had two assists for Moose Jaw. . . . The Warriors had been 9-0-1 in their previous 10 games.


At Regina, D Josh Mahura had a career high five points as the Pats skated to an 8-2 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Mahura had a goal and four assists, and was a plus-6. . . . The Pats have points in four straight (3-0-1); the Hitmen have lost four in a row. . . . Four other Pats — F Sam Steel, F Jesse Gabrielle, F Jared Legien and D Cale Fleury — had three-point nights. . . . Announced attendance: 6,217.


At Swift Current, the Broncos got goals from nine different players as they whipped the Edmonton Oil Kings, 9-1, before a sellout crowd. . . . Before the game, the Broncos saluted D Artyom Minulin (Russia), F Aleksi Heponiemi (Finland) and F Tyler Steenbergen (Canada), all of whom played in the WJC. . . . The Broncos have points in six straight (5-0-1). . . . The Broncos have gone over 2,100 in season-ticket sales, with quite an upsurge since Wednesday’s trade deadline. That means they will be giving away one 2018-19 season-ticket at each of their final 10 home games. . . . Announced attendance: 2,879.


At Brandon, F Ryan Jevne’s goal at 1:02 of OT gave the Medicine Hat Tigers a 4-3 victory over the Wheat Kings. . . . The Tigers overcame 2-0 and 3-2 deficits, with F Gary Haden forcing OT with a PP goal at 7:42 of the third period. . . . Brandon has points in five straight (3-0-2). . . . Announced attendance: 3,721.


At Lethbridge, F Dylan Cozens scored three times and added an assist as the Hurricanes dumped the Kootenay Ice, 5-2. . . . From Whitehorse, Cozens, who will turn 17 on Feb. 9, has 16 goals and 19 assists in 37 games as a freshman. . . . F Logan Barlage had two assists for Lethbridge, giving him four points, including two goals, in three games — all victories — since being acquired from Swift Current. He also has a shootout winner. . . .  The Ice has lost six in a row (0-5-1). . . . Announced attendance: 3,651.


At Red Deer, the Saskatoon Blades scored the game’s last three goals and beat the Rebels, 3-2 in OT. . . . F Josh Paterson tied it with his 21st goal, at 18:17 of the third period, and F Max Gerlach won it at 1:21 of OT. . . . Gerlach, who drew the primary assist on Paterson’s goal, was acquired from Medicine Hat at the deadline. . . . D Dawson Davidson and F Eric Florchuk, two other acquisitions, had the assists on the winner. . . . The Rebels have lost 11 straight games but have loser points in six of those games (0-5-6). . . . Announced attendance: 4,301.


At Portland, the Winterhawks skated to 3-0 and 5-2 leads en route to a 5-4 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Portland F Skyler McKenzie scored twice, giving him 31, including one on a shorthanded penalty shot. . . . F Kieffer Bellows had three assists for Portland, which has won four in a row. . . . Seattle, which has lost three straight (0-2-1), got two goals from F Dillon Hamaliuk, who has 10. . . . Announced attendance: 8,622.


At Langley, B.C., F James Malm broke a 2-2 tie at 8:35 of the third period as the Vancouver Giants beat the Kelowna Rockets, 3-2. . . . The game drew the largest crowd for a Giants Vancouverhome game since the franchise moved from Pacific Coliseum to the Langley Events Centre prior to last season. . . . Malm, who also had an assist, has 17 goals. . . . F Ty Ronning scored his 40th goal of the season for Vancouver, which has points in nine straight (7-0-2). . . . The Rockets had won their previous three games. . . . The victory lifted the Giants to within one point of the Western Conference-leading Rockets. . . . Announced attendance: 4,753.

Before the game, the Giants announced that they have played D Bailey Dhaliwal on the long-term injury list. He will miss the remainder of this season. . . . The Giants also announced that they have added F Hunor Torzsok, who will turn 18 on Feb. 1, to their roster for the remainder of the season. Torzsok was born in Budapest, Hungary but has played his minor hockey in Canada so is not an import. The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder had seven goals and eight assists in 15 games with the major midget Valley West Hawks this season, and three goals in 10 games with the BCHL’s Nanaimo Clippers.


At Spokane, F Garrett Pilon scored three times to lead the Everett Silvertips to a 5-2 victory over the Chiefs. . . . Pilon, who has 21 goals, was playing his second game since being acquired from the Kamloops Blazers on Jan. 7. . . . F Matt Fonteyne had Everett’s other two goals, giving him 24. . . . G Carter Hart earned the victory with 31 saves in his first appearance since returning from winning gold with Canada at the WJC. . . . Everett has won three in a row. . . . Announced attendance: 6,541.


At Kennewick, Wash., the Prince George Cougars scored three second-period goals and went on to a 5-2 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . F Jared Bethune scored his 15th goal, into an empty net, and added two assists for the Cougars. . . . The Americans were without seven — yes, seven! — of their top-end players — D Juuso Valimaki, F Michael Rasmussen, F Max James, F Nolan Yaremko, F Kyle Olson, F Morgan Geekie and D Roman Kalinichenko. James is serving a suspension; the others are injured. . . . “Never seen anything like it,” Bob Tory, the Americans’ GM, told Taking Note. . . . The Americans have lost three in a row. . . . Announced attendance: 3,704.


At Victoria, F Dante Hannoun’s second goal of the game, at 16:29 of the third period, gave the Royals a 5-4 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . The visitors led 3-0 before the first period was 11 minutes old and never trailed until Hannoun scored his second goal. . . . He’s got 18 goals, nine of them in seven games against Kamloops. . . . F Jeff de Wit, who came up short on a second-period penalty shot, also scored twice for Victoria, giving him eight goals. . . . The Royals were without F Lane Zablocki, who served a one-game suspension from a checking-from-behind major he took the previous night. . . . Announced attendance: 6,786.


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).


If you enjoy stopping by here, and even if you don’t, feel free to make a donation to the cause by visiting my old site, taking note.ca, and clicking on the DONATE button. Thank you, in advance.


SUNDAY (all times local):

Medicine Hat at Moose Jaw, 4 p.m.

Saskatoon vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 4:05 p.m.

Everett at Portland, 5 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

If you were wondering about former Kootenay Ice sniper Nigel Dawes . . . he is the KHL’s King of Hat Tricks.

Empty seats in Buffalo. What the heck happened? . . . WHL returns to action tonight with 11 games. A preview

Well, the 2018 World Junior Championship is through one day. Day 1 in Buffalo featured two routs, a pair of close games and a whole lot of empty seats.

Yes, it would appear that attendance — or lack of same — is going to be a big story at the BuffaloWJC for a second straight year . . . or have you forgotten what happened in Toronto and Montreal a year ago?

“There might have been 2,000 folks in the KeyBank Center stands to see the Czech Republic’s upset of Russia in the opener,” writes Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News. “Canada got better as its 4-2 victory over Finland went along in a game played in front of maybe 8,000 fans. Team USA battered Denmark in front of a pathetic house of maybe 5,000 — and officials closed the 300 level and offered fans comp seats down below. Which had to make folks who paid for that level super-duper happy about the extra money they shelled out.

“Organizers have to be choking on their hot chocolate after the intimate gatherings that entered the building. The Canada-Russia game played here on Dec. 26, 2010 drew a sellout crowd of 18,690. The US-Finland game that day drew 14,093.  So what the heck happened Tuesday?”

In his column, that is right here, Harrington goes on to detail what he thinks happened, and it doesn’t portend well for the rest of the tournament.

Following the 2017 WJC, Harrington wrote a column that warned of what might happen if . . .

After Team USA won the gold medal, Harrington wrote: “But the bigger story should serve as a cautionary tale for the Sabres, USA Hockey and the International Ice Hockey Federation, which seems bent on squeezing every dollar out of this tournament it can. The Saskatoons, Halifaxes and Grand Forkses of the world need no longer apply because the IIHF clearly want big cities, big dollars.

“That led to embarrassing scenes of empty seats all over the Air Canada Centre in Toronto during the opening rounds and in the Bell Centre in Montreal up through the semifinals. The problem here is simple: Price point, price point, price point.

“And packages, packages, packages.”

That column from almost a year ago is right here.


The WHL swings back into action tonight (Wednesday) after a Christmas break that began following games of Dec. 17.

Of course, that also means that the annual trade moratorium has been lifted, and you whlcan expect the dealing to resume anytime and to run through Jan. 10, when the trade deadline arrives.

Since Nov. 13, the WHL’s 22 teams have combined to make 13 trades involving 25 players, 14 bantam draft picks and three conditional bantam picks.

Tonight, there are 11 games on the schedule; yes, all 22 teams are to play. It’s worth noting that 26 of the WHL’s best players won’t be playing, at least not in the WHL; that’s because they are with various teams at the World Junior Championship in Buffalo.

Here’s a brief look at tonight’s schedule (all times local):

REGINA (16-17-3) at BRANDON (24-8-1), 7 p.m. — The Pats are without F Sam Steel, while the Wheat Kings won’t have D Kale Clague. Both are with Team Canada in Buffalo. . . . Brandon has won nine of its past 10 games and is third in the East Division, 14 points ahead of Regina, which is to be the host team for the 2018 Memorial Cup but hasn’t yet played much like a contender. The Pats, who hold down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, have lost four in a row (0-3-1) and are 3-6-1 in their past 10. . . . Regina isn’t expected to have D Josh Mahura in the lineup after he was cut by Team Canada for a second time on Tuesday. Mahura had been dropped after Canada’s selection camp, but then was brought back as insurance in case D Dante Fabbro couldn’t answer the bell. Fabbro was pronounced OK to play on Tuesday, so Mahura was released. Again. He has flown home to Edmonton and the Pats have given him some family time. Whether he returns for the rematch with Brandon in Regina on Thursday remains to be seen.


PRINCE ALBERT (13-14-7) at SASKATOON (15-17-3), 7:05 p.m. — The Raiders and Blades are tied for the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, each with 33 points. . . . The Raiders are 3-4-3 in their past 10 outings; the Blades are 5-5-0. . . . Saskatoon is 1-0-1 in the season series; Prince Albert is 1-1-0. . . . Prince Albert is missing D Voytech Budik (Czech Republic), while the Blades are without D Libor Hajek (Czech Republic). Interestingly, the two formed one defensive pair as the Czech got past Russia, 5-4, in Buffalo yesterday. . . . These teams will play again Thursday, this time in Prince Albert.


MOOSE JAW (27-6-2) at SWIFT CURRENT (25-7-2), 7 p.m. — The Warriors have the WHL’s best record, with the Broncos second, just four points in arrears. . . . Tim Hunter, Moose Jaw’s head coach, is with Team Canada in Buffalo as an assistant coach, meaning that assistant coach Mark O’Leary is in charge. . . . Warriors F Brett Howden (Canada) also is in Buffalo.while the Broncos have three players there — D Artyom Minulin (Russia), F Tyler Steenbergen (Canada), F Aleksi Heponiemi (Finland). . . . The Warriors are 2-1-1 in the season series; the Broncos are 2-2-0. . . . They’ll continue the series on Thursday in Moose Jaw.


EDMONTON (7-22-4) at RED DEER (10-18-6), p.m. — The Oil Kings have lost four in a row (0-3-1) and are 2-6-2 in their past 10 outings. They own the WHL’s poorest record and are 15 points out of a playoff spot. . . . The Rebels have points in three straight (1-0-2) and in six of 10 (1-4-5). However, they are seven points away from a playoff spot. . . . Rebels F Brandon Hagel, 19, has 23 points, including 16 assists, in 27 games but has sat out the past six games with an undisclosed injury. . . . Red Deer F Kristian Reichel (Czech Republic) is in Buffalo, but D Alex Alexeyev, 18, should be back after he was released Tuesday by the Russian junior team. . . . F Arshdeep Bains, who turns 17 on Jan. 9, remains with the Rebels after playing two games with them prior to the break. When he joined the Rebels, he was leading the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League in scoring, with 57 points, 41 of them assists, in 22 games with the Valley West Hawks. . . . These teams haven’t met since the Rebels opened the regular-season with a doubleheader sweep (7-3, 5-3). . . . They’ll play again Thursday, this time in Edmonton.


CALGARY (10-18-5) vs. KOOTENAY (15-17-2), at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m. — The Ice is tied with Lethbridge for second in the Central Division, six points behind Medicine Hat. Kootenay has points in three straight (2-0-1) and is 5-4-1 in its past 10 games. . . . The Hitmen are 11th in the 12-team Eastern Conference. They have lost two in a row (0-1-1) and are 4-5-1 in their past 10. . . . This will the third straight game in which these teams have played each other. They close out the pre-Christmas schedule with a home-and-home series, Kootenay winning them both — 5-1 at home on Dec. 16 and 4-3 in OT on Dec. 17. . . . And guess what? Yes, they’ll make it four in a row on Thursday in Calgary. . . . The Hitmen are without their best player in D Jake Bean, who is with Canada in Buffalo, and D Vladislav Yeryomenko (Belarus). . . . Kootenay D Martin Bodak is with Slovakia.


LETHBRIDGE (15-16-2) at MEDICINE HAT (18-14-2), 7 p.m. — Each of these teams won its last game before the break. . . . Lethbridge is 5-4-1 in its past 10 and has closed to within six points of the Central Division-leading Tigers, who are 3-5-2 over their past 10. . . . The Hurricanes lead the season series 2-1-0, but the teams haven’t met since Oct. 22. . . . Medicine Hat F Mark Russell has three goals and three assists in the three games against Lethbridge. . . . Tigers F Mason Shaw, who put up 27 goals and 67 assists in 71 games last season, has yet to play this season after suffering a knee injury while with the Minnesota Wild’s entry at an NHL rookie tournament in Traverse City, Mich. . . . The Tigers also are waiting for freshman F Josh Williams to recover from a collarbone injury suffered during a practice at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge almost two months ago. . . . The Hurricanes have lost F Ryan Vandervlis, 19, for the rest of the season with shoulder woes. He had 19 points, 11 of them goals, in 19 games. Lethbridge GM Peter Anholt acquired F Lane Zablocki, 19, from Red Deer in the hopes that he can fill the void created by Vandervlis’s absence. Zablocki, who had 19 points in 31 games with Red Deer this season, has one assist in two games with Lethbridge. . . . The Hurricanes and Tigers will resume hostilities on Thursday in Lethbridge.


TRI-CITY (18-10-3) vs. PORTLAND (21-11-1), 7 p.m. — The Americans have won three in a row and are 5-4-1 over their past 10 games. . . . The Winterhawks (21-11-1) have lost two in a row and have stumbled of late — they are 2-7-1 in their past 10. . . . It all leaves Portland second in the U.S. Division, one point behind Everett and four ahead of the Americans. . . . Tri-City is without D Juuso Valimaki (Finland), while Portland is missing F Joachim Blichfeld (Denmark), F Kieffer Bellows (U.S.) and D Henri Jokiharju (Finland). . . . The host Winterhawks beat the Americans 5-2 on Nov. 11 in the only previous meeting between these teams this season. . . . They’ll meet again Friday in Kennewick, Wash.


EVERETT (21-13-2) vs. VANCOUVER (18-13-4), at Langley, B.C., 7 p.m. — The Silvertips won their last two pre-Christmas games and nine of their past 10. That streak has lifted them to the top of the Western Conference, one point ahead of Portland, Kelowna and Victoria. . . . The Giants are the WHL’s hottest team, having won six in a row and eight of 10. They are third in the B.C. Division, three points behind Kelowna and Victoria. . . . Vancouver will be missing F Milos Roman (Slovakia), who leads all WHL freshmen with 29 points. . . . Everett is without Carter Hart, the WHL’s top goaltender, who started for Canada in its 4-2 victory over Finland in Buffalo on Tuesday. In his absence, freshman Dustin Wolf, a 16-year-old from Tustin, Calif., will get the bulk of the work. A fifth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft, he is 5-2-0, 2.00, .942 this season. . . . The Giants return from the break to play Everett twice (they’ll meet again Friday, this time in Everett), and then return to Langley for a doubleheader with Prince George. Vancouver then will journey into Alberta for three games in four nights (Edmonton, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat), before travelling to Prince George for games on Jan. 9 and 10. . . . Yes, that stretch of nine games in 15 days may end up defining the Giants’ season.


PRINCE GEORGE (12-17-5) at VICTORIA (20-13-3), 7:05 p.m. — The Cougars have lost three in a row and are 3-6-1 in their past 10, as they have slid into the Western Conference cellar, four points behind Kamloops. . . . Victoria also has lost its last three, and is 3-5-2 in its past 10. But it is tied for first with Kelowna in the B.C. Division, and is only one point out of the Western Conference lead. . . . The Cougars will stay in Victoria for a game on Thursday night, then travel to Langley, B.C., for games with Vancouver on Saturday and Monday, before heading home for a weekend doubleheader against Tri-City and a Jan. 9-10 double-dip with visiting Vancouver. . . . F Vladislav Mikhalchuk of the Cougars is in Buffalo with Belarus. . . . The Royals are missing F Ivan Martynov, who also is with Belarus. . . . F Tyler Soy, who is six assists away from owning the Victoria/Chilliwack franchise record for career assists, left the last game before Christmas with an apparent shoulder injury. There has been no word on his status since then. . . . Victoria has been playing without F Regan Nagy (finger) and F Dante Hannoun (ill). Both are key offensive performers. . . . This is the sixth straight season in which these teams have returned from Christmas to play twice in Victoria. The Royals are 8-1-1 in the previous 10 meetings.


KAMLOOPS (16-17-1) at KELOWNA (20-11-3), 7:05 p.m. — The Blazers last their last game before the break and are 5-4-1 in their past 10 games. More importantly, they are 16-8-1 since opening the season with a nine-game losing skid. They are fourth in the B.C. Division, seven points behind Vancouver, and are just one point shy of the Western Conference’s second wild-card playoff berth. . . . The Rockets have won two in a row and seven of 10. Kelowna is one point out of the Western Conference lead and tied with Victoria atop the B.C. Division. . . . The Blazers lost two players to the WJC — D Ondrej Vala is with Czech Republic and freshman F Justin Sigrist is with Switzerland. . . . With Vala gone, the Blazers have added D Quinn Schmiemann from the midget AAA Notre Dame Hounds of Wilcox, Sask. . . . The Rockets are without D Cal Foote and F Dillon Dube, both of whom are with Canada. . . . Kelowna is 2-0-0 in the season series, but the teams haven’t met since opening weekend when the Rockets posted 8-2 and 5-1 victories. . . . The Rockets will play in Kamloops on Friday night. . . . Kamloops head coach Don Hay needs six regular-season victories to equal the WHL career record of 742, held by the retired Ken Hodge.


SEATTLE (15-14-4) at SPOKANE (18-13-3), 7:05 p.m. — The defending-champion Thunderbirds surged a bit going into Christmas as they won their last two games to finish a 10-game stretch at 4-4-2. They hold down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . The Chiefs lost their last game prior to the break — 10-3 to the visiting Thunderbirds — but have won six of 10. . . . These teams will meet again on Friday, this time in Kent, Wash., meaning they will have played each other in three straight games. . . . They are 1-1-0 in the season series, the Chiefs having posted a 9-2 home-ice victory on Dec. 9. . . . Spokane has two players at the WJC — F Kailer Yamamoto (U.S.) and D Filip Kral (Czech Republic). . . . Seattle F Sami Moilanen was among the last players released by Finland.


Tweet of the day


Scoreboard

TUESDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


WEDNESDAY (all times local):

Regina at Brandon, 7 p.m.

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

Moose Jaw at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Edmonton at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

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

Lethbridge at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.

Tri-City at Portland, 7 p.m.

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

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

Kamloops at Kelowna 7:05 p.m.

Seattle at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.


THURSDAY (all times local):

Saskatoon at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Brandon at Regina, 7 p.m.

Swift Current at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Calgary, 7 p.m.

Red Deer at Edmonton, 7 p.m.

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