Ammonia leak repaired in Ice’s home arena. . . . Elmer runs goal streak to 10 games in win. . . . Chiefs lock up playoff spot

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Western Financial Place, the home of the WHL’s Kootenay Ice, is expected to open its doors this morning after it was closed Wednesday morning when ammonia was detected in the room that houses its ice plant.

Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services arrived on scene after an automatic alarm went off at 9 a.m.

Scott Driver, the acting director of CFES told Summit 107, a Cranbrook radio station: “The ammonia plant in the building is where the detection alarm went off. So we all responded according to our City’s Ammonia Alarm Plan and everything seems to be going as planned . . . we’re hopeful that the building will be up and running soon.”

The building was evacuated and there weren’t any reports of injuries.

Refrigeration technicians, who are based in Alberta, were called and arrived on Wednesday afternoon. According to the City, they “were able to safely resolve the ammonia leak early Wednesday evening.”

You can bet there is a heightened awareness about this type of thing after three men were killed when an ammonia leak in Memorial Arena in Fernie, B.C., killed three men on Oct, 17. 2017.

The Ice, which will relocate to Winnipeg once its regular season ends on March 17, is scheduled to play at home on Friday and Saturday nights, against the Swift Current Broncos and Calgary Hitmen, respectively.

On Saturday night, the Ice is scheduled to honour former captain Jarret Stoll by making him the first inductee into its Hall of Fame. If you’re new here, yes, the organization is opening a hall of fame on its way out of Cranbrook.



The Spokane Chiefs have signed F Reed Jacobson to a WHL contract. Jacobson, 16, was a sixth-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. From Swift Current, the 5-foot-9, 160-pounder plays for the Swift Current Legionnaires of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League. This season, he put 26 goals and 29 assists in 44 regular-season games. . . . In 2017-18, he had 14 goals and 14 assists in 41 games as a freshman with the Legionnaires.


The junior B Delisle Chiefs of the Prairie Junior Hockey League are having a pretty good season. They finished the regular season at 38-1-1, tying the league record for most victories in a 40-game season. The 2015-16 Saskatoon Quakers finished 38-2-0. . . . The Chiefs’ 77 points also broke the PJHL record for points in a season (76) that had been set by the 2015-16 Quakers.


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WEDNESDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

F Carson Focht scored four times and F Kaden Elder added three goals of his own as the Calgaryhost Calgary Hitmen dumped the Swift Current Broncos, 9-3. . . . Calgary (32-22-6) has points in three straight (2-0-1). It is third in the Central Division, six points behind the Lethbridge Hurricanes and three in front of the Medicine Hat Tigers and Red Deer Rebels. . . . Swift Currrent (10-44-5) has lost 12 in a row (0-10-2). . . . This game started at noon as it was Calgary’s third annual Telus Be Brave Anti-Bullying game. . . . The Broncos had taken part in the Edmonton’s Hockey Game on Tuesday, with the Oil Kings winning, 11-1. . . . On Wednesday, Focht made it 1-0 at 4:06 of the first period, and Broncos F Carter Chorney (13) tied it at 5:05. . . . The Hitmen then went ahead 3-1 on goals from Elder, at 6:59, and Focht, at 14:11. . . . D Connor Horning (7) got the Broncos back to within a goal at 17:50. . . . Calgary broke it open with four straight second-period goals, in a span of 6:57. . . . Focht scored 29 seconds into the period, with Elder counting at 2:46, F Luke Coleman (20) scoring at 3:47, and F James Malm (27), at 7:26. . . . Elder (27) and Focht (20) rounded out Calgary’s scoring with third-period PP goals. . . . F Matthew Culling (9) had the Broncos’ other goal. . . . Focht enjoyed the first four-goal game of his WHL career. He has 52 points, including 32 assists, in 60 games this season. . . . Elder, who was acquired from the Broncos on Sept. 27, for a third-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft, recorded his first hat trick. He has 56 points, 29 of them assists, in 61 games. . . . Calgary F Josh Prokop recorded four assists, giving him his first WHL four-point outing. He has 24 points, 18 of them assists, in 57 games. . . . The Hitmen also got three assists from D Vladislav Yeryomenko, while Malm added two assists to his goal. . . . Chorney had three points for the Broncos, as he also had two assists. . . . Calgary enjoyed a 32-14 edge in shots on goal. . . . The announced attendance was 15,084. . . . Calgary F Mark Kastelic completed his two-game suspension by sitting out this one. . . . The Hitmen list F Hunter Campbell and F Jake Kryski as being out indefinitely, with F Cael Zimmerman out week-to-week.


F Jake Elmer ran his goal-scoring streak to 10 games as he scored the last two goals to Lethbridgegive the Lethbridge Hurricanes a 5-4 OT victory over the Raiders in Prince Albert. . . . Lethbridge (33-18-10) is second in the Central Division, two points behind the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Prince Albert (49-8-4) has points in four straight (3-0-1). It leads the overall standings by 14 points over the Everett Silvertips, who have eight games remaining. . . . Elmer, who also had an assist, tied the game 4-4 at 17:43 of the third period, then he won it 20 seconds into OT with his 34th goal of the season. . . . His 10-game goal streak is the longest in the WHL this season. The record? F Cliff Ronning of the New Westminster scored 27 goals in an 18-game run from Nov. 6 through Dec. 15, 1984. . . .Lethbridge opened a 2-0 lead on first-period goals from F Dylan Cozens, at 11:09, and F Logan Barlage (15), at 11:22. . . . The Raiders tied it on PP goals from F Cole Fonstad (28), at 15:03 of the first, and F Justin Nachbaur (16), at 3:37 of the second. . . . Cozens (30) put the visitors back in front at 4:48. . . . F Spencer Moe (8) got the Raiders even at 11:56, and D Kaiden Guhle (3) gave the home boys the lead at 10:45 of the third. . . . All that did was set the stage for Elmer’s heroics. . . . . The Raiders were 2-5 on the PP; the Hurricanes were 0-5. . . . Cozens added an assist to his two goals. . . . Fonstad also had three points as he added a pair of assists to his goal. . . . G Carl Tetachuk stopped 25 shots for the Hurricanes, two more than Ian Scott of the Raiders. . . . F Parker Kelly of the Raiders began serving a three-game suspension by missing this one. . . . F Evan Herman, who signed with the Raiders on Tuesday, made his WHL debut.


The Red Deer Rebels broke open a 1-1 game with three straight goals en route to a 5-2 Red Deervictory over the Pats in Regina. . . . Red Deer (31-24-5) has won two straight after ending a five-game skid. It is tied with the Medicine Hat Tigers for the Eastern Conference’s two wild-card spots, two points ahead of the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Regina (18-40-3) has lost two in a row. It has lost 40 times in regulation time for the first time since 2004-05. . . . D Alex Alexeyev (10) gave the Rebels a 1-0 lead at 10:28 of the first period. . . . Regina tied it at 14:46 on a goal by F Cole Dubinsky (4). . . . Red Deer D Ethan Sakowich scored his third and fourth goals, at 19:18 of the first period and 0:55 of the second for a 3-1 lead, and F Brett Davis upped it to 4-1 at 6:03. . . . D Brady Pouteau (5) scored a PP goal for Regina at 16:45 of the third period. . . . Rebels F Brandon Hagel (37) got the empty-netter at 17:50. . . . G Ethan Anders stopped 32 shots to earn the victory over Max Paddock, who made 22 saves.


F Orrin Centazzo scored twice to help the Kamloops Blazers beat the visiting Tri-City Kamloops1Americans, 2-1. . . . Kamloops (23-29-6) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). It is three points behind the Seattle Thunderbirds, who hold down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot. The Thunderbirds are scheduled to play in Kamloops on Friday. . . . The Blazers also are fourth in the B.C. Division, five points behind the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Tri-City (33-23-3) has lost two in a row. It holds down the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot and is fourth in the U.S. Division, four points behind the Spokane Chiefs. . . . Centazzo, who has 15 goals, scored on a PP at 5:44 of the first period, then made it 2-0 at 2:55 of the second. . . . The Americans cut into the lead when F Sasha Mutala (17) scored, on a PP, at 15:48. . . . The Blazers got 25 saves from G Dylan Ferguson, who continued his fine play. He had to be good in this one, though, because Tri-City G Beck Warm, who has started 53 of his club’s 58 games, played as fine a game as these old eyes have seen in some time. A left toe save on Kamloops F Jermaine Loewen late in the second period was the kind that can provide a shooter with a month’s worth of nightmares. . . . Warm finished with 43 stops. . . . Warm leads WHL goaltenders in games played (55), minutes played (3,251) and saves (1,716). He is 31-21-2, 2.86, .917. . . . F Blake Stevenson, who turned 18 on Jan. 12, was back in Tri-City’s lineup after not playing since Jan. 8. A freshman from Calgary, he has eight goals and six assists in 32 games.


F Jaret Anderson-Dolan scored twice and added three assists to lead the visiting Spokane SpokaneChiefsChiefs to a 7-1 victory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . Spokane (33-19-7) has points in four straight (3-0-1). The Chiefs clinched a playoff spot with the victory. They are third in the U.S. Division, four points ahead of the Tri-City Americans. . . . Prince George (17-37-8) has lost three in a row (0-2-1). This loss eliminated the Cougars from the playoff chase — they have six games remaining and are 13 points in arrears of the Seattle Thunderbirds, who hold the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . The Cougars also have lost a club record 12 straight home games. . . . The Chiefs had beaten the host Cougars, 4-3 in OT, on Tuesday night with Anderson-Dolan scoring the winner at 3:58 of extra time. . . . The Cougars are 1-7-2 since general manager Mark Lamb went behind the bench in place of fired head coach Richard Matvichuk. . . . Spokane took control of this one with four first-period goals, from F Luke Toporowski (18), at 0:18; D Bobby Russell (5), at 9:04; F Connor Gabruch (3), at 16:59; and D Nolan Reid (14), shorthanded, at 19:28. . . . F Josh Maser (26) scored, on a PP, for the Cougars just 24 seconds into the second period. . . . Spokane answered that with two PP goals from Anderson-Dolan, who has 12 goals this season, and one from F Luc Smith (27). . . . Anderson-Dolan, who missed a chunk of the early season with a broken wrist, has 31 points in 24 games. . . . Spokane was 2-6 on the PP; Prince George was 1-8. . . . Anderson-Dolan had his second career five-point game; this was the sixth time he has had at least four points in a game. . . . Smith added two assists to his goal, with D Ty Smith helping out with three assists. . . .  G Bailey Brkin earned the victory with 27 saves. . . . The Cougars were able to dress only 16 skaters. F Ethan Browne and D Cole Moberg, both of whom are injured, were scratched, as was D Ryan Schoettler (flu).


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Fettes: No announcement pending . . . Raiders get back on winning track . . . Tyszka returns to Seattle lineup


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While Thursday was the day for speculation, Friday was for denials.

On Thursday, you’ll recall, the Winnipeg Free Press reported that, according to its sources, Greg Fettes and Matt Cockell, the owners of the WHL’s Cranbrook-based KootenaynewKootenay Ice, would announce on Monday that the franchise is to be relocated to the Manitoba capital in time for next season.

On Friday, Fettes and the WHL issued denials.

According to a story by Bradley Jones and David Opinko of Cranbrook radio station Summit 107FM, Fettes said: “I’m saying there’s no announcement on Monday or anything pending.”

The Free Press also was able to reach Fettes.

“I’m saying there’s no announcement on Monday or anything pending,” Fettes told the newspaper, which added that “Fettes was not willing to discuss his plans for the team . . .”

Meanwhile, the WHL emailed a statement to Summit 107 that was identical to one that was issued in October:

“The WHL is very pleased with the commitment Greg Fettes and his ownership group has made to Cranbrook and the Kootenay region since acquiring the ICE franchise in 2017.

“The WHL is looking forward to the Kootenay ICE continuing to operate this season in Cranbrook.

“The WHL Commissioner continues to monitor the situation in Kootenay very closely and reports to the Board of Governors as required on any new developments. The discussions which take place on WHL franchises are internal and will remain confidential. With respect to the Kootenay ICE franchise, there is nothing new to report at this time.”

While it appears that nothing is imminent in terms of a relocation announcement, the Ice is expected to move to Winnipeg and play out of an arena at the U of Manitoba until a new facility is completed on the southwest side of Winnipeg.

Speculation about a move intensified a month ago when the Green Bay Committee called it quits, citing a lack of co-operation from the Ice’s ownership. The Green Bay Committee had hoped to help the Ice through the selling of sponsorships and tickets.

In a Nov. 13 email to Cockell, the committee wrote that “the absence of active engagement by you and Greg with our committee has become a major issue in our community. We believe that this failure has become the biggest obstacle in our ability to achieve a highly successful sales campaign and to create an effective steering committee.

“As a result, we are terminating our Green Bay Committee effective immediately. However, we will consider re-activating our committee if you provide us with a real commitment that you and Greg are prepared to immediately join us and work with us, as partners, and have no plans to move ‘Our ICE’ from Cranbrook.”


COUNTDOWN TO DEADLINE

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

Friday’s action:

No. of trades: 0.

Players: 0.

Bantam draft picks: 0.

Conditional draft picks: 0.

——

Total deals (since Nov. 26):

No. of trades: 10.

Players: 31.

Bantam draft picks: 18.

Conditional draft picks: 4.

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


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D Anthony Bishop, 20, has joined the BCHL’s West Kelowna Warriors. Bishop split 174 regular-season WHL games among the Saskatoon Blades, Victoria Royals, Seattle Thunderbirds and Tri-City Americans. Bishop, from Kelowna, lost out when the Americans acquired D Aaron Hyman from the Regina Pats, a move that left Tri-City with four 20s, one over the maximum. . . . Bishop was placed on waivers and there weren’t any takers. . . . Last season, he had one assist in four games with Victoria and 15 assists in 62 games with Tri-City. . . . Injuries limited him to only two games with the Americans this season.


FRIDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The Prince Albert Raiders scored the game’s first five goals and went on to a 5-2 victory PrinceAlbertover the Wheat Kings in Brandon. . . . Prince Albert (27-1-1) has points in 21 straight games (20-0-1). The Raiders were coming off a 3-2 shootout loss in Swift Current on Tuesday. . . . Brandon (14-8-6) had won its previous four games. . . . F Eric Pearce (3) got the Raiders started at 3:35 of the first period. . . . The Raiders outshot their hosts 22-7 in the second period and scored four more times, with F Sean Montgomery (12), F Cole Fonstad (8), F Noah Gregor (13) and F Ozzy Wiesblatt (6) finding the range. Fonstad, Gregor and Wiesblatt are linemates. . . . F Connor Gutenberg (8) got Brandon on the scoreboard at 19:47 of the second, and F Ben McCartney (7) added a shorthanded score at 18:14 of the third. . . . Brandon lost F Cole Reinhardt to a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct for a hit on D Brayden Pachal at 16:47 of the third period. . . .  Montgomery’s goal gave him 30 points in 29 games; last season, he finished with 29 in 72. . . . F Brett Leason of the Raiders was held to one assist, but that was enough for him to run his point streak to 29 games. . . . He also moved back into the WHL scoring lead, his 62 points one more than F Trey Fix-Wolansky of the idle Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Raiders G Donovan Buskey, who normally backs up Ian Scott, stopped 24 shots and now is 5-0-0. . . . The same teams will meet again tonight in Prince Albert.


The Moose Jaw Warriors erased a 2-0 first-period deficit to beat the Blades, 3-2, in MooseJawWarriorsSaskatoon. . . . Moose Jaw (16-6-5) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). . . . Saskatoon (17-10-3) had points in each of its previous three games (2-0-1). . . . The Warriors pulled into a second-place tie with the Blades in the East Division. Moose Jaw holds three games in hand. . . . F Eric Florchuk (9), at 4:31, and F Josh Paterson (8), at 9:29, gave the Blades the first-period lead. . . . F Luke Ormsby (5) pulled the Warriors to within a goal at 12:28 of the first period. . . . F Tristin Langan (20) tied it, on a PP, at 15:41 of the second. . . . F Brayden Tracey (10) broke the tie, on another PP, at 9:37 of the third. . . . Moose Jaw was 2-3 on the PP; Saskatoon was 0-5. . . . The Blades had a 35-25 edge in shots, including 14-5 in the third period. . . . Langan also had two assists, as did Moose Jaw D Jett Woo, who has six points over his past two games. . . . G Brodan Salmond, in his first appearance since Nov. 23, stopped 33 shots to earn the victory. . . . Ormsby has goals in three straight games — one with the Everett Silvertips and two since being dealt to the Warriors. . . . The same teams will play again tonight in Moose Jaw. . . . Darren Steinke, the travellin’ blogger, was at Friday’s game and his piece is right here.


F Josh Prokop broke a 2-2 tie at 19:37 of the third period to give the host Calgary Hitmen Calgarya 3-2 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Calgary (13-14-3) has won three in a row. . . . The Broncos (5-22-2) were coming off a 3-2 shootout victory over the visiting Prince Albert Raiders on Tuesday. . . . Last night, Calgary led in shots, 45-13, including 14-2 in the second period and 20-7 in the third. G Isaac Poulter stopped 42 shots for Swift Current. . . . F Ethan O’Rourke (1) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 14:39 of the second period. . . . F Riley Stotts (8) tied it for Calgary at 16:01. . . . The Broncos went back out front when F Joona Kiviniemi (6) scored at 8:01 of the third. . . . Calgary D Egor Zamula (5) tied it at 8:42, and Prokop won it with his sixth goal.


F Brett Davis scored the lone goal of a shootout as the host Red Deer Rebels beat the Red DeerRegina Pats, 4-3. . . . Red Deer (18-9-2) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). . . . Regina (8-21-1) has lost seven in a row. . . . The Rebels overcame a 3-1 deficit with two goals in the last half of the third period. . . . F Brandon Hagel (19) had given the Rebels a 1-0 lead at 18:26 of the first period. . . . The Pats roared back with the next three goals. . . . F Austin Pratt (12) and F Sergei Alkhimov (6) scored in the second period, and F Scott Mahovlich (4) made it 3-1 at 1:12 of the third period. . . . F Cam Hausinger (9), in his first game since coming over with Davis in a deal with the Kootenay Ice, cut Red Deer’s deficit to one goal, at 11:49. . . . F Alex Morozoff (5) tied it at 17:07. . . . Red Deer won 48 of the game’s 71 faceoffs. . . . Davis was the first shooter in the shootout’s second round.


 

G Roman Basran stopped 16 shots to help the Kelowna Rockets to a 2-0 victory over the KelownaRocketsvisiting Victoria Royals. . . . Kelowna (14-15-2) has points in four straight (3-0-1). The Rockets are second in the B.C. Division, four points ahead of Victoria and the idle Kamloops Blazers. . . . Victoria (13-12-0), which has six games in hand on Kelowna, has lost three in a row. . . . F Lane Zablocki, a 20-year-old who was acquired from Victoria prior to the season, scored his third goal of the season at 8:31 of the third period. . . . The Rockets gave up a seventh-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft and a fourth-rounder in 2021 to get Zablocki from the Royals on Sept. 28. . . . F Nolan Foote (18) added an empty-netter, on a PP, at 19:00. . . . Basran posted his first shutout of the season and the second of his career. . . . G Griffen Outhouse, Victoria’s workhorse, returned from a three-game absence to stop 30 shots. . . . Royals F Tanner Sidaway, who didn’t finish a 3-2 loss to the Blazers in Kamloops on Wednesday, was in Victoria’s lineup. . . . If you’re wondering, the Rockets are 10-5-2 under head coach Adam Foote, who replaced Jason Smith (4-10-0) on Oct. 23.


F Jake Gricius drew three assists in leading the host Portland Winterhawks to a 5-2 Portlandvictory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . The Winterhawks (17-10-2) have won three in a row. . . . The Cougars (11-15-3) are back in Portland again tonight. . . . Gricius enjoyed the first three-assist game of his career. He has three three-point games, two of them this season. . . . The Winterhawks took control with the game’s first three goals. . . . F Joachim Blickheld (26) got it started on a PP at 14:52 of the first period. . . . F Seth Jarvis (5), on another PP, made it 2-0 at 16:51. . . . F Robbie Fromm-Delorme (2) upped it to 3-0 at 2:58 of the second. . . . F Josh Maser (9) pulled the Cougars to within two goals, on a PP, at 8:54. . . . F Cody Glass (12) restored the three-goal lead while Portland was two-men short, at 11:06, and D John Ludvig (2) made it 5-1 at 17:34. . . . F Vladislav Mikhalchuk (9) got Prince George’s other goal, at 18:09 of the third. . . . Portland was 2-2 on the PP; Prince George was 2-8. . . . The Cougars were without F Jackson Leppard, who served a one-game WHL-issued suspension for a game misconduct he incurred at the end of a 5-3 victory over the visiting Victoria Royals on Dec. 2. . . . Portland D Brendan De Jong left late in the second period and didn’t return.


F Luc Smith and F Riley Woods each scored twice and added an assist to lead the host SpokaneChiefsSpokane Chiefs to a 6-2 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . The Chiefs (15-10-4) had lost their previous three games (0-2-1). . . . The Hurricanes (15-9-5) had points in seven straight (6-0-1). . . . F Eli Zummack had a career-high four assists for the Chiefs. It also was the first four-point game of his career, and it came in his 137th game. . . . Zummack was in on the game’s first three goals — two of them by Smith, who has 11 goals, and one from F Jake McGrew (8). . . . Woods, who has 23 goals, made it 4-0 at 4:05 of the second period. . . . Lethbridge cut the deficit in half on second-period goals by D Igor Merezhko (1) and F Jackson Shepard (2). . . . Spokane put it was on goals from Woods and F Cordel Larson (3) in the latter half of the third period. . . . The Chiefs were 3-4 on the PP; the Hurricanes were 1-3.


The Seattle Thunderbirds outshot their hosts 43-22 in skating to a 4-1 victory over the Tri-SeattleCity Americans in Kennewick, Wash. . . . Seattle (10-13-3) is fifth in the U.S. Division, seven points behind Tri-City (14-12-2). . . . Seattle G Cole Schwebius stopped 21 shots in recording his first WHL victory. In five appearances, the 17-year-old from Kelowna is 1-2-1, 2.62, .915. . . . F Zack Andrusiak (19) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead just 14 seconds into the game. . . . F Nolan Yaremko (13) tied it, on a PP, at 9:55 of the second. . . . The Thunderbirds won it with three third-period goals, from F Dillon Hamaliuk (9), at 1:42; D Simon Kubicek (7), at 11:24; and F Matthew Wedman (9), into an empty net, at 17:39. . . . D Jarret Tyszka was in Seattle’s lineup for the first time this season. Tyszka, 19, is one of the WHL’s best defenders, but hadn’t played since suffering a concussion while in camp with the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens on Sept. 9.


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Winterhawks, Hurricanes make roster moves . . . OHL hands out 15-game suspension . . . Hitmen get OT victory on road

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My laptop is in the shop for a checkup, so I’m on a backup with a horrid keyboard. Apologies for a short report tonight, and note that I don’t plan on writing on Thursday . . . unless the computer doctor calls sometime during the day.


The Portland Winterhawks have released F Rylan Bettens, 18, who had been acquired from the Brandon Wheat Kings on Sept. 27 for an undisclosed conditional selection in the WHL’s 2021 bantam draft. Bettens was pointless in four games with the Winterhawks. Over the previous two seasons, he totalled 11 goals and eight assists in 113 games with the Wheat Kings. . . . His departure leaves Portland with 13 forwards.


The Lethbridge Hurricanes’ experiment with an import goaltender didn’t last long. G Akira Schmid, 18, has been waived and is expected to join the NAHL’s Corpus Christi IceRays. Schmid, from Switzerland, got into one game with the Hurricanes,7.43, .741. . . . He was selected by the New Jersey Devils in the fifth round of the NHL’s 2018 draft. . . . Having waived Schmid, the Hurricanes will go with sophomore Reece Klassen, 19, and freshman Carl Tetachuk, 17, as their two goaltenders. . . . The Hurricanes still have two imports in veteran D Igor Merezhko, who is from Ukraine, and freshman D Danila Palivka of Belarus.


The Tri-City Americans have signed D Ian Ferguson, 16, to a WHL contract. Ferguson was born in Chatham, Ont., but now lives in Missouri, Texas, and plays for the U-16 Dallas Stars. After eight games, he had one goal and one assist. Last season, he had three goals and nine assists in 36 games with the U-16 Stars.


The OHL has suspended F Cameron Hough of the Kingston Frontenacs for 15 games after he was involved in a hit that resulted in D Brendan Kischnick of the visiting Erie Otters ending up in hospital on Friday. . . . Hough was given a cross-checking major and game misconduct on the play in question. . . . If you haven’t seen it, there’s video right here.
The WHL, meanwhile, handed out three suspensions on Wednesday, each of them for infractions in Tuesday games. . . . D Matthew Stanley of the Swift Current Broncos got two games for being involved in a one-man fight during a 6-2 loss to the Vancouver Giants in Langley, B.C. . . . Broncos F Alec Zawatsky drew a one-game suspension after taking a cross-checking major and game misconduct in the same game. He cross-checked Vancouver D Bowen Byram on the play in question. . . . D Dallas Hines of the Kootenay Ice was suspended for two games after taking a cross-checking major and game misconduct during a 6-3 loss to the Hurricanes in Lethbridge.


WEDNESDAY NIGHT NOTES:

G Bailey Brkin blocked 35 shots to help the visiting Spokane Chiefs to a 4-0 victory over the Regina Pats. . . . That was Brkin’s first shutout this season and the second of his career. . . . F Adam Beckman (6) had two goals for the Chiefs, who are 3-1-0 on their East Division trek. . . . The Chiefs next are scheduled to play Friday in Saskatoon. . . . The Chiefs (6-2-2) now lead the U.S. Division by one point over the Seattle Thunderbirds (6-1-1), who have played two fewer games. . . . The Pats slipped to 3-7-0.


F Josh Prokop scored twice, the second one in OT, and added an assist as the Calgary Hitmen got past the host Saskatoon Blades, 5-4. . . . Calgary(2-6-2) erased a 2-0 deficit with four straight goals only to have the Blades tie it in the second half of the third period on goals from F Josh Paterson (3), on a PP, and D Brandon Schuldaus (1), the latter scoring at 18:27. . . . Prokop, who has three goals in nine games since leaving the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers, won it at 2:31 of extra time. . . . D Dawson Davidson had a goal and two assists for Saskatoon (7-3-1). He’s got four goals and 14 assists in 11 games. . . . Saskatoon F Brady Nicholas took a kneeing major and game misconduct at 13:37 of the first period for a hit on Calgary D Vladislav Yeryomenko, who missed a few shifts but returned to finish the game.


F Dante Hannoun had a goal and three assists to lead the host Victoria Royals to a 5-2 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Hannoun’s fifth goal of the season, at 19:24 of the first period, on a PP, gave the Royals (8-1-0) a 3-1 lead and proved to be the winner. . . . F Kaid Oliver added his sixth goal and two assists for the winners. . . . G Brock Gould stopped 10 shots in his first start for the Royals. . . . G Griffen Outhouse started, and finished, each of Victoria’s first eight games. . . . Gould, 17, is from Colorado Springs, Colo. He was an eighth-round pick by the Royals in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. . . . The Broncos (1-9-0) were outshot 35-12 just one night after being outshot 71-16 in a 6-2 loss to the Vancouver Giants in Langley, B.C.

Hitmen put together brother act . . . Broncos bring back Blocker . . . Hair cut in Kelowna

MacBeth

F Ryon Moser (Lethbridge, Swift Current, 2008-13) signed a one-year contract with Freiburg (Germany, DEL2). Last season, with the University of Lethbridge (Canada West, U Sports), he had five goals and 10 assists in 28 games. Moser has dual German-Canadian citizenship so he doesn’t count as an import. . . .

F T.J. Foster (Edmonton, 2008-13) has been released by Sport Vaasa (Finland, Liiga) after an unsuccessful tryout. Foster signed a one-year contract with Sport in March but the contract had a tryout clause through the end of September. He was pointless in one game this season. . . .

F Dustin Boyd (Moose Jaw, 2002-06) has been released by mutual agreement by Dynamo Moscow (Russia, KHL). He was pointless in five games this season.


ThisThat

The Calgary Hitmen scored something of a coup on Wednesday as they announced the signing of F Josh Prokop, 18, who had been with the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers. . . . Prokop, Calgaryfrom Edmonton, had made a commitment on Nov. 17 to attend Ohio State next season and play for the Buckeyes. . . . Prokop, who will play among Calgary’s top six forwards, was a fifth-round selection by the Swift Current Broncos in the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft. The Hitmen acquired his rights from the Broncos on Nov. 25 in a deal in which Calgary also got F Conner Chaulk, D Dom Schmiemann, F Riley Stotts, G Ethan Hein and a second-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft. In exchange, the Broncos got F Matteo Gennaro, F Beck Malenstyn and a fifth-round selection in the 2018 bantam draft. . . . Last season, Prokop had 21 goals and 15 assists in 48 games with the Vipers. He battled shoulder injuries last season, starting when he was hit from behind on Nov. 25. Then, in January, Prokop suffered a shoulder injury with four seconds left in a January game in Trail, had surgery and didn’t play again last season. This season, he had one goal and four assists in six games. . . . In Calgary, Prokop will get to be teammates with his younger brother, Luke, who is in his freshman season. . . . The last brother act to play with the Hitmen? Travis and Taylor Sanheim (2014-16). . . . The Hitmen next play Friday when they meet the Rebels in Red Deer.

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The Swift Current Broncos have acquired F Owen Blocker, 18, from the Lethbridge SCBroncosHurricanes for an eighth-round selection in the 2019 WHL bantam draft. . . . Blocker, a second-round pick by the Broncos in the 2015 bantam draft, was sent to the Hurricanes on Jan. 9 as part of the deal in which G Stuart Skinner, F Giorgio Estephan and F Tanner Nagel landed in Swift Current. . . . From Oakbank, Man., Blocker totalled two goals and five assists in 58 games last season. He added three assists in 16 playoff games with Lethbridge. . . . The deal came one day after the Broncos claimed D Matthew Stanley, 20, on waivers from the Hurricanes. Stanley also was part of that Jan. 9 exchange, moving from Swift Current to Lethbridge.


The Kelowna Rockets got their roster down to 23 players on Wednesday by releasing KelownaRocketssophomore D Kelvin Hair, an 18-year-old from North Vancouver. He was a sixth-round pick by the Rockets in the 2015 WHL bantam draft. . . . Last season, he was pointless in 30 games with Kelowna. . . . The Rockets now are carrying two goaltenders, seven defencemen and 14 forwards. . . . Later on Wednesday, the Rockets fell to 0-3-0 after dropping a 4-2 decision to the visiting Prince George Cougars.


Head coach Dave Matsos won’t be working the bench this weekend as his Hamilton HamiltonBulldogs resume the OHL’s regular season. Matsos collapsed late in a 4-2 victory over the host Barrie Colts on Saturday and was taken to hospital by ambulance. He has since been released and spent time with players and staff on Tuesday. However, he won’t be returning to the bench while he rests and undergoes further testing. . . . In his absence, assistant coach Vince Laise will take over as head coach, with help from Ron Wilson, also an assistant coach, and Patrick Jarrett, who is an assistant coach/video coach. . . . The Bulldogs are scheduled to meet the Petes in Peterborough on Saturday, then return home to face the Ottawa 67’s on Sunday.

On Wednesday, Teri Pecoskie of the Hamilton Spectator reported that Matsos had been felled by “a seizure brought on by severe dehydration and a virus.”

According to Pecoskie, Shelly Boudah, Matsos’s sister, “posted the diagnosis on her Facebook page.”

Boudah also posted that her brother was “on his feet, eating and feeling pretty good.”

Pecoskie’s piece is right here.


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