Broncos, Silvertips to meet for WHL title . . . Estephan keys Swift Current win . . . Davis caps Everett’s amazing comeback

The Swift Current Broncos and Everett Silvertips will meet in the WHL’s championship final for the Ed Chynoweth Cup. The best-of-seven series will be played in a 2-3-2 format, opening in Swift Current with games on Friday and Saturday nights. They’ll play in Everett on May 8, May 9 and, if necessary, May 11. If needed, Games 6 and 7 would be played in Swift Current on May 13 and May 14.

The Broncos haven’t been in the WHL final since 1993 when they got past the Portland Winter Hawks — yes, the nickname was two words back in the day — in seven games.

The Broncos beat the host Lethbridge Hurricanes, 5-1, on Monday night to win the best-SCBroncosof-seven Eastern Conference final, 4-2. . . . The Hurricanes went into the game with an 8-0 record at home in these playoffs. They also had scored at least five goals in seven of those victories. . . . The Broncos now are 5-5 on the road. . . . Last night, the Broncos erased a 1-0 deficit with three second-period goals in a span of 96 seconds. F Matteo Gennaro tied it 1-1 at 6:33; F Alexi Heponiemi made it 2-1 at 7:02 and F Beck Malenstyn upped it to 3-1 at 8:09. . . . Former Hurricanes captain Giorgio Estephan gave Lethbridge fans something to remember him by with a PP goal for a 4-1 lead at 2:12 of the third period. . . . Broncos G Stuart Skinner finished with 33 saves, 19 of them in the first period when his guys were outshot, 20-2.

In Kennewick, Wash., the Silvertips erased a 5-2 third-period deficit to beat the Tri-City Americans, 6-5 in OT. Everett won the Western Conference final, 4-2. . . . Everett last Everettreached the championship final in 2004, its first season in the WHL, when it was swept by the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . D Kevin Davis (3) won it with his second goal of the game, at 5:58 of OT. Davis, who turned 21 on March 14, was playing in his 401st game with the Silvertips — 347 regular-season games and 54 in the playoffs. Yes, he went into the game with two goals in his previous 53 playoff games. . . . Everett is 7-0 on the road in these playoffs. . . . Tri-City had trailed 2-1 before scoring four straight goals, the last one, by F Jordan Topping (4) at 8:52 of the third period. . . . F Connor Dewar (9) started the Everett comeback at 9:52. Davis (2) pulled his guys to within one at 13:53, and F Garrett Pilon (11) tied it at 14:29. . . . Pilon had left the game at 17:30 of the first period after taking a hit from behind from Tri-City F Michael Rasmussen. However, Pilon returned for the second period. . . . Tri-City D Juuso Valimaki, who had two goals in a 5-2 victory in Game 5 on Saturday, had four assists in Game 6 as he figured in each of his club’s first four scores. . . . G Carter Hart stopped 18 shots for Everett. . . . Tri-City G Patrick Dea made 31 saves, 18 of them in the first period when his guys were outshot 20-4. . . . Announced attendance was 3,033.


The OHL announced Monday that it had suspended F Givani Smith of the Kitchener Rangers for two games after he made an “inappropriate gesture” at the end of Sunday’s 4-3 victory over the visiting Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. . . . Kitchener won the game in OT to tie the best-of-seven series, 3-3. Smith had a goal and two assists in the victory. . . . The teams played Game 7 on Monday night in the Soo, with the Greyhounds winning, 4-3 in double OT, to advance to the championship final against the Hamilton Bulldogs. . . . Smith, who turned 20 on Feb. 27, sat out last night. He was a second-round selection by the Detroit Red Wings in the NHL’s 2016 draft. . . . The OHL final is scheduled to open Thursday in the Soo.


With Ian Herbers officially having returned to his post as head coach with the U of Alberta Golden Bears, it means that Serge Lajoie is looking for work. Herbers spent the last three years on sabbatical as he worked as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers. With him gone, Lajoie took over as the Golden Bears’ head coach and won the 2018 USports championship. . . . It’s an open secret that Lajoie has talked with the Saskatoon Blades about their head-coaching vacancy. The Blades are looking to replace Dean Brockman, who was fired at season’s end. . . . Jason Hills of Postmedia reports that Lajoie also has talked with the Red Deer Rebels, who have an opening after they and associate coach Jeff Truitt chose to part company.


Erik Largen is the new head coach at the U of Alaska-Fairbanks. Largen, 31, spent the previous two seasons with the Nanooks as an assistant coach. He now is the youngest head coach in NCAA Division I hockey ranks. . . . Largen takes over from Lance West, who had been the interim head coach for the 2017-18 season after Dallas Ferguson left to take over as head coach of the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen. . . . College Hockey News has more on this story right here.


MacBeth

D Mitch Versteeg (Lethbridge, 2006-09) signed a one-year extension with Nitra (Slovakia, Extraliga). He had three goals and seven assists in 49 games. . . .

F Jesse Mychan (Everett, Tri-City, 2011-13) signed a one-year contract with Nitra (Slovakia, Extraliga). This season, he had two assists in five games with Innsbruck (Austria, Erste Bank Liga), and 14 goals and 11 assists in 43 games with the Colorado Eagles (ECHL). . . .

D Jim Vandermeer (Red Deer, 1997-2001) signed a one-year contract extension with the Belfast Giants (Northern Ireland, UK Elite). As a player/assistant coach, he had seven goals and 16 assists in 33 games this season. . . .

F Spencer Edwards (Red Deer, Seattle, Moose Jaw, 2006-11) signed a one-year contract with Amiens (France, Ligue Magnus). This season, he had 20 goals and 22 assists in 44 games with Bordeaux (France, Ligue Magnus).


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Broncos’ Estephan answers boo birds . . . Valimaki, Americans stayin’ alive . . . MacGregor: NHL season drags on too long

F Giorgio Estephan, who according to reports was treated rather rudely during Game 4 Lethbridgein Lethbridge on Wednesday night, answered the hooters with two goals and an assist on Saturday, leading the host Swift Current Broncos to a 4-3 victory over the Hurricanes. . . . The Broncos lead the WHL’s best-of-seven Eastern Conference final, 3-2, and have an opportunity to end it in Lethbridge on Monday when you have to think Estephan and G Stuart Skinner will again be given a huge raspberry welcome by the fans there. . . . Skinner stopped 27 shots in Game 5. . . . He and Estephan were veteran Hurricanes when they were traded to the Broncos in January. . . . Estephan, with 10 goals in these playoffs, gave his guys a 2-1 lead, on a PP, at 19:12 of the second period, then made it 4-2 at 6:41 of the third period. . . . The Hurricanes got to within a goal when D Egor Zudilov (1) scored, on a PP, at 18:59, with G Logan Flodell on the bench for an extra attacker. . . . The Broncos had D Artyom Minulin and F Glenn Gawdin, their captain, back for this one. Minulin left Game 1 with an undisclosed injury, while Gawdin was injured in Game 2. . . . Minulin and Gawdin each had one assist last night. . . . F Brad Morrison scored once for Lethbridge, giving him a WHL-leading 37 points. He has tied the franchise record for points in one playoff season that was set by F Wes Walz in 1990.


In Everett, D Juuso Valimaki scored twice to lead the Tri-City Americans to a 5-2 victory TriCity30over the Silvertips on Saturday night. . . . Everett leads the WHL’s best-of-seven Western Conference final, 3-2, and gets a second chance to wrap it up when they play Monday in Kennewick, Wash. . . . Everett F Connor Dewar (7) tied a WHL playoff record when he scored seven seconds into the game. He now shares the mark with F Trevor Linden of the Medicine Hat Tigers. He did it on April 15, 1988, as the Tigers beat the host Saskatoon Blades, 6-5. If you are wondering, the regular-season record of five seconds was set by F Dean Sexsmith of the Seattle Thunderbirds on Jan. 30, 1987, in a 7-6 victory over the visiting Victoria Cougars. . . . On Saturday, Valimaki, who has four goals, tied it at 2:29 of the second period, then gave his guys a 4-1 lead at 5:23 of the third. . . . The Americans got 35 saves from G Patrick Dea. . . . The Silvertips were without Slovkian F Martin Fasko-Rudas, who left Game 4 with an undisclosed injury. With Fasko-Rudas out, F Dawson Butt got into the lineup.


In Steinbach, Man., F Braden Purtill scored twice and G Matthew Thiessen stopped 25 Steinbachshots to help the MJHL-champion Pistons to a 3-1 victory over the SJHL-champion Nipawin Hawks on Saturday night. . . . The best-of-seven ANAVET Cup series is tied, 1-1, with the next three games scheduled for Nipawin on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday nights. . . . Last night, Nipawin took a 1-0 lead on a goal from F Logan Casavant. F Brandan Arnold drew the primary assist. Nipawin scored five goals in the first two games; Arnold has three goals and two assists. . . . Steinbach F Austin Heidemann tied it, on a PP, at 4:06 of the third period. . . . Purtill broke the tie at 10:32, then added insurance, on a PP, at 13:44. . . . Announced attendance was 1,165.


In Wenatchee, Wash., G Austin Park blocked 31 shots to lead the BCHL-champion Wild to Wenatcheea 3-0 victory over the AJHL-champion Spruce Grove Saints. . . . The Wild leads the best-of-seven Doyle Cup series, 2-0, with the remainder of the series scheduled to be played in Spruce Grove starting with games on Tuesday and Wednesday. If necessary, they’ll also play Thursday, Friday and Saturday. . . . Last night, F August Von Ungern gave the Wild a 1-0 lead at 11:29 of the third period. . . . The home team later added a pair of empty-netters, from F Jasper Weatherby and F A.J. Vanderbeck. . . . The announced attendance was 2,835.


Roy MacGregor of The Globe and Mail tackled the length of the NHL’s season in a Saturday piece that is right here.

Of the NHL playoffs, MacGregor writes: “The happiest hockey, the hockey fans enjoy by NHLfar the most, comes in the first round and sometimes in the second round, with the interest and, usually, the quality of play deteriorating steadily until the Stanley Cup is ultimately decided. What would be the climax in any other sport becomes, at best, duty to those hockey fans without a city in the final. Television numbers might still be up, but there is a profound difference between background sound and passionate cheering.”

As one would expect from MacGregor, this is a piece that hits the nail squarely on the head.

Of course, he also could have pointed his keyboard at virtually all levels of hockey because, really, the season has become pathetically long, not only for the fans, but also for so many teams and players. The calendar is going to turn to May and the WHL won’t be through the third round of its playoffs, with the championship final and the Memorial Cup still to come. It’s the same for junior A teams, whose season will conclude next month with the Royal Bank Cup in Chilliwack, B.C.

And we won’t even get into spring hockey, summer hockey and all the spring camps and tryout camps . . .

For me, it’s now baseball season. When it comes to the NHL, I will make a point of watching the Vegas Golden Knights, simply because the expansionists are the greatest story in sports right now.

I also watch the Golden Knights because I love the way they play the game, pressuring the puck all over the ice. As I watch, I wonder how many NHL teams will be scrambling to emulate this style next season.

But as the NHL playoffs drag on, so does the play, what with all of the uncalled cross-checking, holding, interference and other penalties. All that does is penalize speed and skill, something that quite likely will end up playing a role in the eventual demise of the Golden Knights.

As for the rest of the NHL playoffs . . . as for the over-hyped silliness that was the NHL draft lottery . . . as for all the rest of it . . . well, not even the presence of Brian Burke and his tired untied tie shtick in a TV studio is enough to draw me back.


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Eastern Conference matchups set . . . Halbgewachs reaches 70 in loss . . . Glass latest to get to 100 points

MacBeth

D Renat Mamashev (Moose Jaw, 2000-01), D Shaone Morrisonn (Kamloops, 1999-2002) and three other players with Admiral Vladivostok (Russia, KHL) have had their contracts terminated and have been declared unrestricted free agents by the KHL. In announcing the terminations, the KHL said: “The basis for the decision was the debt of the hockey club ‘Admiral’ to the players on wages for more than two months.” . . . Morrisonn had one goal and six assists in 29 games with Admiral. This season, with Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod (Russia, KHL), Mamashev had two goals and one assist in 18 games. With Sarov (Russia, Vysshaya Liga), he had two goals and 11 assists in nine games. He signed with Admiral on Nov. 24, and had one goal and three assists in 19 games. . . . If you were wondering about Admiral’s salary levels, the total players’ salaries for this season was US$6.4 million plus US$1.6 million in bonus money. That total of US$8.0 million is the third-lowest in the KHL. . . . The top paying team in the KHL was SKA St. Petersburg at US$39.3 million in salaries and US$6.0 million in bonuses, for a total of US$45.3 million. . . . The lowest-paying team was Dinamo Riga at US$5.1 million in salaries and US$600,000 in bonuses, for a total of US$5.7 million.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

So . . . what’s left to be decided as the WHL regular season heads into its final two days?

Not much.

Let’s start with the Eastern Conference, where the playoff matchups all have been decided.

The Moose Jaw Warriors will lead the WHL in victories. They have clinched the Scotty whlMunro Memorial Trophy as regular-season champions, meaning they also won the Eastern Conference and East Division pennants. They will meet the Prince Albert Raiders in the first round of the playoffs with that series opening Friday night in Moose Jaw. . . . The Raiders will finish in the conference’s second wild-card spot.

The Swift Current Broncos will finish second in the overall standings, the Eastern Conference and the East Division. They will open the playoffs at home against the third-place Regina Pats, who will be host team in the 2018 Memorial Cup tournament. The Pats beat the visiting Broncos, 3-2 in OT, in a penalty-filled game on Friday night. They will meet again tonight, this time in Swift Current, before opening that first-round series in Regina on Friday.

The Medicine Hat Tigers, who won their second straight Central Division pennant, will face the Brandon Wheat Kings in the first round. The Wheat Kings will finish in possession of the conference’s first wild-card spot. That series is to open Friday in Medicine Hat. The Wheat Kings will play their home games in Dauphin, Man., because the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair will be in their home arena. Last season, the Tigers swept the Wheat Kings from a first-round series.

The other Eastern Conference series will have the Lethbridge Hurricanes, who will finish second in the Central Division, face the third-place Red Deer Rebels. They will open in Lethbridge on Friday.

As for the Saskatoon Blades, Kootenay Ice, Calgary Hitmen and Edmonton Oil Kings, well, they’ll have to buy tickets to watch playoff hockey.

——

Meanwhile, in the Western Conference . . .

The combatants in one series, that involving the Victoria Royals and Vancouver Giants, now are known.

But that’s it.

The Everett Silvertips lead the conference with 97 points, four more than the Portland Winterhawks. Everett will wrap up its season in Victoria tonight. The Winterhawks are at home to Seattle tonight, then will entertain Spokane on Sunday.

The first tiebreaker is regular-season victories — Everett has 46, with Portland at 44. The second tiebreaker is points in games between the teams and if it comes down to that the Winterhawks have the edge, 11-10. Portland is 5-4-1; Everett is 5-5-0.

The second-place finisher will meet the Spokane Chiefs or Tri-City Americans. The third-place Chiefs hold a one-point edge over the Americans. They will meet tonight in Kennewick, Wash. On Sunday, the Chiefs visit Portland, while the Americans entertain the Seattle Thunderbirds, who are locked into the conference’s second wild-card spot.

The Kelowna Rockets will finish atop the B.C. Division for the seventh time in franchise history. They will meet Spokane or Tri-City, whichever team finishes in the conference’s first wild-card spot.

The second-place Royals and third-place Giants will open their first-round series in Victoria on Friday.

The conference’s other two teams, the Kamloops Blazers and Prince George Cougars, will wrap up their seasons in the northern city tonight. They are in next-season country.


It is almost 23 years since Ed O’Bannon led the UCLA Bruins to the NCAA Division I men’s national basketball title. After helping the Bruins beat Arkansas in the final, he would go on to a pro career, then spent five years involved in a lawsuit against the NCAA, one that asked for student-athletes to be able to control the use of their likenesses in such things as video games. . . . If you haven’t yet read O’Bannon’s book — Court Justice: The Inside Story of My Battle Against the NCAA — you should consider giving it a look. . . . In the meantime, William C. Rhoden talks with O’Bannon and the result is right here.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

FRIDAY:

At Moose Jaw, F Stelio Mattheos scored in OT to give the Brandon Wheat Kings a 6-5 victory the Warriors. . . . Moose Jaw (52-15-4) had won three in a row. . . . Brandon (39-27-BrandonWKregular5) has won two straight. . . . Moose Jaw is 5-2-0 in the season series; Brandon is 2-5-0. They will play again tonight, this time in Brandon. . . . F Linden McCorrister (20) put Brandon in front 1-0 at 2:15 of the first period, only to have F Tristyn DeRoose (4) tie it at 3:13. . . . The Wheat Kings took a 3-1 lead on goals from F Caiden Daley (7), at 7:24, and Mattheos, at 15:42. . . . The Warriors tied it on two PP goals from F Jayden Halbgewachs. He got No. 69 at 17:42 of the first and No. 70 at 9:35 of the second period. He is the first WHLer to score 70 goals in a season since F Pavel Brendl of the Calgary Hitmen in 1998-99. Halbgewachs now shares the Warriors’ single-season record with F Blair Atcheynum, who got to 70 in 1988-89. Halbgewachs leads the WHL points derby with 128, three more than Swift Current F Glenn Gawdin. . . . F Cole Reinhardt (19) gave Brandon a 4-3 lead at 14:31. . . . The Warriors pulled even at 1:29 of the third period as F Tanner Jeannot (38) scored. . . . F Connor Gutenberg (18) gave the Wheat Kings a 5-4 lead, on a PP, at 9:25. . . . The Warriors forced OT when F Justin Almeida (43) scored at 19:59. . . . Mattheos won it with his 43rd goal at 1:17 of OT. . . . Daley also had two assists for Brandon — he actually had all three points in the first period. . . . Brandon also got two assists from F Luka Burzan, with Mattheos, Reinhardt and McCorrister getting one each. . . . F Brett Howden drew four assists for Moose Jaw, with Halbgewachs and Almeida getting one each. . . . Moose Jaw was 2-5 on the PP; Brandon was 1-2. . . . G Dylan Myskiw made his fourth straight start for Brandon and stopped 26 shots. . . . G Brody Willms stopped 26 shots for the Warriors. . . . The Warriors were without F Brayden Burke for a sixth straight game, while D Brandon Schuldaus and D Dmitri Zaitsev missed their third consecutive games, and D Kale Clague also was scratched. F Barrett Sheen served Game 3 of a four-game suspension. . . . G Logan Thompson again was among Brandon’s scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 3,817.


At Regina, F Nick Henry’s OT goal gave the Pats a 3-2 victory over the Swift Current Broncos in a penalty-filled game. . . . Regina (40-25-6) has won seven in a row. . . . Swift ReginaPats100Current (47-18-6) has lost four straight. . . . The Broncos hold a 4-1-0 edge in the season series, with the teams meeting again tonight, this time in Swift Current. . . . They then will begin preparing to meet in a first-round playoff series, with the Broncos holding home-ice advantage. . . . F Matteo Gennaro (42) gave the Broncos a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 3:33 of the second period. . . . The Pats took a 2-1 lead on second-period goals from F Sam Steel (33), on a PP, at 5:12, and F Jared Legien (22), at 14:06. . . . D Artyom Minulin (13) got the Broncos into a 2-=2 tie, on a PP, at 12:58 of the third period. . . . The Pats got two assists from F Matt Bradley. . . . Minulin and Gawdin also had an assist each for the visitors. . . . Swift Current was 2-8 on the PP; Regina was 1-4. . . . Swift Current took 61 of the game’s 119 penalty minutes. . . . The Pats got 31 saves from G Max Paddock, while the Broncos’ Joel Hofer turned aside 29. . . . G Ryan Kubic was back on the Pats’ bench, backing up Paddock. . . . F Cam Hebig and F Koby Morrisseau were among Regina’s scratches. . . . Regina’s lineup sheet listed veteran WHL G Kyle Dumba as an AP. . . . Swift Current had F Glenn Gawdin back after he missed three games with an illness, while F Tyler Steenbergen was back after a one-game absence. . . . Gawdin picked up one assist to run his point streak to 27 games. Teammate Aleksi Heponiemi had the league’s longest streak this season when he went 28 games. . . . Swift Current F Andrew Fyten took a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct for a hit on Regina D Libor Hajek, who wasn’t injured on the play. . . . Broncos F Tanner Nagel didn’t play as he served the second game of a three-game suspension. . . . Announced attendance: 6,484.


At Prince Albert, the Saskatoon Blades scored two third-period goals to beat the Raiders, 2-1. . . . Saskatoon (34-33-4) has won two in a row. . . . The Raiders (32-26-13) had points in Saskatooneach of their previous 11 games (9-0-2). . . . With the teams to play in Saskatoon tonight, the Blades are 5-1-1 in the season series; the Raiders are 2-5-0. . . . F Parker Kelly (29) gave the home team a 1-0 lead with a shorthanded goal at 19:31 of the first period. . . . The Blades tied it at 14:37 of the third period as F Max Gerlach scored No. 32 on a PP. . . . F Chase Wouters (18) won it with a PP goal at 18:19. . . . Saskatoon was 2-5 on the PP; Prince Albert was 0-5. . . . G Tyler Brown earned the victory with 24 saves. . . . G Ian Scott stopped 20 shots for the Raiders. . . . D Zack Hayes of the Raiders was a healthy scratch as he missed his first game this season. They continue to play without F Brett Leason (undisclosed injury). . . . Marc Habscheid, the Raiders’ head coach, felt the Blades’ play left a bit to be desired. “They came out and they were chippy all game. Play hard, but don’t play stupid — that was stupid,” Habscheid told Jeff D’Andrea of of paNOW.“I mean, they were out there, they got nothing to play for. Play hard but play with class, too.” . . . That story is right here. . . . Announced attendance: 3,033.


At Red Deer, F Gillian Kohler scored twice to help the Kootenay Ice to a 6-2 victory over the Rebels. . . . Kootenay (26-38-7) had lost its previous 11 games (0-7-4). . . . Red Deer (27-Kootenaynew31-13) had won its past three games. . . . Kootenay is 4-1-1 in the season series; Red Deer is 2-3-1. They’ll complete it tonight in Cranbrook, B.C. . . . Red Deer’s loss means it will finish third in the Central Division and open the playoffs in Lethbridge with the Hurricanes holding home-ice advantage. . . . The Ice grabbed a 2-0 lead on first-period goals from F Alex Baer (29), at 5:29, and F Colton Kroeker (15), on a PP, at 19:59. . . . F Brandon Cutler (6) got the Rebels on the scoreboard, at 12:06 of the second period. . . . Kohler restored the two-goal lead at 13:02. . . . F Mason McCarty (38) pulled the Rebels back to within a goal at 14:34. . . . The Ice responded with the game’s last three goals, from F Keenan Taphorn (7), on a PP, at 17:37; Kohler (8), on a PP, at 9:07 of the third period; and F Peyton Krebs (17), into an empty net, at 13:22. . . . D Martin Bodak and F Brett Davis each had three assists for the winners, with F Colton Veloso getting one, and Kroeker, Krebs and Kohler adding one apiece. . . . Kootenay was 3-5 on the PP; Red Deer was 0-3. . . . The Ice got 26 stops from G Matt Berlin. . . . G Riley Lamb surrendered five goals on 36 shots in 56:25 for Red Deer. Ethan Anders stopped the two shots he faced in 3:18. . . . Announced attendance: 5,205.


At Lethbridge, the Medicine Hat Tigers scored two goals late in the third period and beat the Hurricanes, 4-2. . . . Medicine Hat (36-27-8) had lost its previous two games. . . . Tigers Logo OfficialLethbridge (32-33-6) has dropped eight in a row. . . . Despite the loss, the Hurricanes clinched second in the Central Division and will have home-ice advantage in a first-round series with Red Deer. . . . Each team is 3-3-0 in the season series. They’ll finish it tonight in Medicine Hat. . . . D Calen Addison (11) gave Lethbridge a 1-0 lead at 4:26 of the second period. . . . Medicine Hat tied it at 12:13 as F Josh Williams (11) scored. . . . F Bryan Lockner (14) gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead 16 seconds into the third period. . . . F Jordy Bellerive (45) tied it at 11:41. . . . F Ryan Chyzowski (21) broke the tie for the Tigers at 17:23, and F Tyler Preziuso (15) got the empty-netter at 18:38. . . . D Cole Clayton had two assists for the winners, with Preziuso and Chyzowski each getting one. . . . Addison added an assist for Lethbridge. . . . Medicine Hat was 0-3 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-6. . . . G Michael Bullion stopped 28 shots for Medicine Hat. . . . The Hurricanes got 35 saves from G Logan Flodell. . . . F Mark Rassell was among Medicine Hat’s scratches, ending a stretch of 208 straight games. . . . D Linus Nassen (ill) also was among the Tigers’ scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 5,203.


At Portland, G Cody Glass scored three times and added two assists to lead the Winterhawks to an 8-3 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Portland (44-21-5) has Portlandwon two in a row. . . . Seattle (33-27-10) will finish in the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . The Winterhawks lead the season series 8-0-3; the Thunderbirds are 3-7-1. They will conclude the series in Kent, Wash., tonight. . . . F Nolan Volcan gave Seattle a 1-0 lead with his 32nd goal at 17:44 of the first period. . . . The Winterhawks took control with four second-period goals. . . . D Henri Jokiharju (11) got it started at 4:46, and Glass, on a PP, gave Portland the lead at 10:01. . . . F Keiffer Bellows scored his 40th goal at 13:21, and Glass made it 4-1 at 16:14. . . . Portland F Skyler McKenzie (46) upped the lead to 5-1 at 3:47 of the third period. That was his 100th career goal. . . . Seattle F Sami Moilanen (22) scored at 9:18, but Portland added three more — from F Reece Newkirk (8), D Brendan De Jong (6) and Glass. . . . F Samuel Huo (3) got Seattle’s final goal. . . . Glass now has 100 points, including 37 goals, in 62 games. . . . D Clay Hanus, F Ryan Hughes and Bellows each had two assists for Portland, with Jokiharju and McKenzie adding one apiece. . . . Portland was 1-2 on the PP; Seattle was 0-5. . . . G Cole Kehler earned the victory with 24 saves. . . . Seattle starter Liam Hughes stopped 34 of 41 shots in 53:06, with Dorrin Luding coming on to stop one of two shots in 6:54. . . . Announced attendance: 9,676.


At Kamloops, G Isaiah DiLaura blocked 51 shots to lead the Prince George Cougars to a 4-2 victory over the Blazers. . . . Prince George (24-38-9) had lost its previous six games (0-5-PrinceGeorge1). . . . Kamloops (29-37-5) has lost five in a row. . . . The Blazers hold a 5-3-1 edge in the season series; the Cougars are 4-5-0. They’ll wrap it up tonight in Prince George. . . . F Jermaine Loewen (36) gave the Blazers a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 3:49 of the first period. . . . The Cougars promptly scored three times on their first five shots. . . . F Max Kryski tied the score, on a PP, at 7:43, and D Rhett Rhinehart (3) gave the visitors the lead, at 11:28. . . . Kryski (8) upped the lead to 3-1 at 14:45, and D Austin Crossley (4) made it 4-1 at 9:07 of the second period. . . . F Connor Zary (9) scored the Blazers’ other goal, at 10:50 of the third period. . . . F Ilijah Colina had two assists for Prince George, as did F Jared Bethune. . . . Loewen added an assist to his goal for Kamloops. . . . Prince George was 1-1 on the PP; Kamloops was 1-5. . . . DiLaura played 58:40, missing 1:20 in the first period after the blade fell out of his right skate. Taylor Gauthier came off the bench to stop the only shot he faced in 1:20. . . . Kamloops G Dylan Ferguson stopped 25 shots. . . . The Blazers again scratched D Luke Zazula and D Montana Onyebuchi. . . . The Cougars were without D Cam MacPhee, who served a one-game suspension, and D Joel Lakusta, who sat out the first game of a three-game sentence. . . . F Nick Chyzowski, the Blazers’ captain, played in his 342nd regular-season game, passing F C.J. Stretch and moving into second place on the franchise’s career list, behind only F Brendan Ranford (348). . . . Announced attendance: 4,253. . . . The Blazers finished 1-9-2 in home games when the announced attendance was greater than 4,000.


At Spokane, the Tri-City Americans ran their winning streak to five as they beat the Chiefs, 2-1. . . . Tri-City (37-24-9) is fourth in the U.S. Division, one point behind the Chiefs. TriCity30. . . Spokane (39-25-6) has lost four in a row (0-3-1). . . . The Chiefs lead the season series 6-3-2, with the Americans at 5-2-4. Each team has 14 points, so maybe the season series is tied? They will finish the series tonight in Kennewick, Wash. . . . F Michael Rasmussen (30) put the visitors ahead, on a PP, at 8:40 of the second period. . . . D Juuso Valimaki (14) upped it to 2-0 just 54 seconds into the third period. . . . Spokane F Eli Zummack (15) got his guys to within a goal, on a PP, at 8:44. . . . Rasmussen and Valimaki had one assist each. . . . The Americans were 1-4 on the PP; the Chiefs were 1-5. . . . G Patrick Dea got the victory with 36 saves, eight more than Spokane’s Bailey Brkin. . . . F Kailer Yamamoto was among Spokane’s scratches. The Chiefs continue to play without F Zach Fischer. . . . . . . Announced attendance: 8,934.


At Langley, B.C., F Carsen Twarynski scored the game’s first two goals to help the Kelowna Rockets to a 5-2 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Kelowna (42-22-7) has KelownaRocketspoint in five straight games (4-0-1). . . . Vancouver (36-26-9) will finish third in the B.C. Division, and will open a first-round series in Victoria on Friday. . . . The Rockets hold a 4-2-1 edge in the season series; the Giants are 3-3-1. The teams will meet again tonight, this time in Kelowna. . . . Twarynski, who has 45 goals, scored a shorthanded goal at 10:40 of the first period, then made it 2-0, on a PP, at 13:14. . . . D Gordie Ballhorn (6) upped it to 3-0 at 18:31. . . . F Ty Ronning got the Giants to within two goals with No. 61 at 8:40 of the second period. . . . The Rockets went ahead 4-1 at 10:28 of the third period as F Kyle Topping got his 20th goal. . . . F Brayden Watts (17) scored for Vancouver at 17:38. . . . Topping got the empty-netter, at 18:35. . . . Kelowna was 1-5 on the PP; Vancouver was 0-7. . . . G Brodan Salmond stopped 37 shots for Kelowna, 16 more than Vancouver’s Trent Miner. . . . F Kole Lind, F Cal Foote, D Nolan Foote and F Dillon Dube were among Kelowna’s scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 4,624.


At Everett, F Luke Ormsby got the winner in the third period as the Silvertips beat the Victoria Royals, 3-2. . . . Everett (46-20-5) had lost its previous two games. . . . Victoria (39-Everett26-6) had won its previous two games. . . . The Royals did clinch second in the B.C. Division when Vancouver dropped a 5-2 decision to visiting Kelowna. Vancouver will visit Victoria in a first-round opener on Friday. . . . Everett D Wyatte Wylie (6) scored the game’s first goal, at 9:34 of the first period. . . . Victoria F Dante Hannoun (25) tied it at 18:33. . . . Everett went ahead again at 14:36 of the second period as F Garrett Pilon (34) scored a PP goal. . . . Victoria tied it again, this time on F Noah Gregor’s 29th goal, at 2:48 of the third period. . . . Ormsby’s second goal of the season, at 4:50, stood up as the winner. . . . D Ondrej Vala had two assists for Everett. . . . F Patrick Bajkov of the Silvertips drew an assist on Pilon’s goal to tie F Zach Hamill’s franchise record for career assists (175). . . . Everett was 1-3 on the PP; Victoria was 0-4. . . . G Carter Hart stopped 20 shots for the Silvertips. . . . The Royals got 41 stops from G Griffen Outhouse. . . . Victoria F Lane Zablocki left at 1:39 of the first period with a boarding major and game misconduct for a hit on F Martin Fasko-Rudas. . . . Announced attendance: 8,377.


SATURDAY (all times local):

Regina at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

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

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

Calgary at Edmonton, 7 p.m.

Red Deer at Kootenay, 7 p.m.

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

Kamloops at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

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

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

Everett at Victoria 7:05 p.m.

——

SUNDAY (all times local):

Edmonton at Calgary, 2 p.m.

Spokane at Portland, 5 p.m.

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

END OF REGULAR SEASON


TWEET OF THE DAY

 

Lazaruk, no Phantom, sings for charity . . . Everett, Seattle gets hot, hot, hot . . . Blazers, Rockets ends in kerfuffle

MacBeth

F Brandon Segal (Calgary, 1999-2004) has signed a one-year contract extension with the Nuremberg Ice Tigers (Germany, DEL). He has 12 goals and 14 assists in 49 games this season.


DAN’S DIARY . . .

Dan Courneyea, a member of the Kamloops Blazers’ off-ice crew, is in Pyeong Chang, where he has been working at men’s hockey games in the Olympic Winter Games. Yes, he Olylogowas part of the off-ice crew that handled Team OAR’s 4-3 OT victory over Germany. He also has been letting us know how things are going. On Saturday, he sent this . . .

“Well, after plenty of heartbreaking plays, it was truly sad to see the end results of both Team Canada’s meaningful games. Both teams worked hard but got away from the true Canadian style of physical crash and bang play. They tried to play that finesse style, which led to their defeat.

“We Canadians don’t play that way!

“There won’t be any North American on-ice officials doing the gold medal game.

“Both referee Brett Iverson and linesman Nathan Van Oosten will be working the Blazers game on Wednesday.”


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

Les Lazaruk, the veteran radio voice of the Saskatoon Blades, took his game to a different level on Friday night.

With the Blades at home to the Regina Pats, Lazaruk got things started by singing O Canada. Yes, he did.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be too much video of it kicking around the Internet, other than the link that is supplied in the above tweet.

Lazaruk did this as a fund-raiser in support of Pink Day for the Saskatchewan Red Cross.

If you aren interested in donating, you are able to do so right here.

Mike Priestner, the Blades’ owner, has agreed to match every penny that is donated.


Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post takes time out of his busy schedule to interview sporting personalities in a light and personal fashion. His most recent subject was John Paddock, the general manager and head coach of the Regina Pats. Paddock, as always, is worth listening to as he recounts a lot about his NHL days. . . . It’s all right here.


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


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

SATURDAY:

At Kent, Wash., the Everett Silvertips scored the game’s last two goals to beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 2-1. . . . Everett (41-17-5) has points in 11 straight (9-0-2). It leads the EverettWestern Conference by five points over Kelowna. . . . Seattle (28-24-9) has lost four in a row. It holds down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, by six points over Kamloops. . . . Everett is 4-2-2 in the season series; Seattle is 4-3-1. . . . F Nolan Volcan (26) put Seattle ahead 1-0 at 14:18 of the first period. . . . F Connor Dewar (32) tied it at 11:35 of the second period. . . . G Garrett Pilon (31) broke the tie at 2:44 of the third period. . . . Dewar also had an assist. . . . Seattle was 0-1 on the PP; Everett was 0-4. . . . G Carter Hart recorded the victory with 23 saves. . . . Seattle got 37 stops from G Liam Hughes. . . . Announced attendance: 5,452.


At Red Deer, the Rebels overcame a 3-1 third-period deficit and beat the Swift Current Broncos, 5-3. . . . Red Deer (22-28-13) had lost its previous two games. It is third in the Red DeerCentral Division, six points behind Lethbridge. . . . Swift Current (43-14-5) had points in each of its previous eight games (7-0-1). It is second in the overall standings, two points behind Moose Jaw, which holds two games in hand. . . . F Brandon Hagel (12) gave the home side a 1-0 lead at 1:28 of the second period. . . . The Broncos responded with three goals. . . . F Giorgio Estephan (27) scored at 2:39 of the second period, and F Matteo Gennaro (37) put the visitors ahead at 15:26. . . . F Glenn Gawdin (52) ran his point streak to 21 games, giving the Broncos a 3-1 lead at 7:03 of the third period. . . . The Rebels then tied it on two goals from F Grayson Pawlenchuk, who has 18, at 9:05 and 15:53. . . . F Chris Douglas (7) broke the tie at 16:50, and F Kristian Reichel (29) got the empty-netter, at 19:18. . . . The Rebels got two assists from F Mason McCarty, with Hagel adding one. . . . F Tyler Steenbergen had two assists for the Broncos. . . . Gawdin has 20 goals and 20 assists in his 21-game point streak. . . . Swift Current was 0-1 on the PP; Red Deer was 0-2. . . . G Riley Lamb stopped 28 shots for the Rebels, one more than Swift Current’s Joel Hofer. . . . Announced attendance: 4,735.


At Moose Jaw, the Warriors jumped out to a 3-0 lead and held on for a 3-2 victory over the Regina Pats. . . . Moose Jaw (45-12-3) has tied its franchise record for victories in a MooseJawWarriorsseason that was set in 2011-12. It leads the overall standings, by two points over Swift Current. . . . Regina (33-25-6) had won its previous four games. It is third in the East Division, three points ahead of Brandon. . . . Moose Jaw is 6-2-0 in the season series; Regina is 2-5-1. . . . Head coach Tim Hunter posted the 138th regular-season victory, moving to No. 1 on the Warriors’ career list. He had been sharing the record with Al Tuer. . . . F Tristin Langan (14) gave the home side a 1-0 lead at 6:50 of the first period, with F Justin Almeida (34) adding another, on a PP, at 14:25. . . . F Jayden Halbgewachs made it 3-0 with his WHL-leading 58th goal, at 12:15 of the second period. . . . F Jesse Gabrielle (11) got Regina on the scoreboard at 17:39. . . . F Robbie Holmes (15) pulled the Pats to within one at 7:28 of the third period. . . . Moose Jaw was 1-2 on the PP; Regina was 0-2. . . . G Brody Willms earned the victory with 28 stops. . . . The Pats got 23 saves from G Max Paddock. . . . D Jett Woo served the second of a three-game suspension, while D Dmitri Zaitsev (ill) also was among the scratches. . . . The Warriors have added D Daemon Hunt, 15, to their roster for the weekend. He was a first-round pick in the 2017 WHL bantam draft. Hunt has 40 points, including 36 assists, in 40 games with the midget AAA Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Regina D Liam Schioler completed a two-game suspension by sitting out this one. . . . Announced attendance: 4,701.


At Edmonton, F Parker Kelly scored the only goal of the third period to give the Prince Albert Raiders a 5-4 victory over the Oil Kings. . . . Prince Albert (26-25-11) has won three PrinceAlbertin a row. It is two points behind Saskatoon, which holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. Each team has 10 games remaining. . . . Edmonton (18-35-8) has lost three straight (0-2-1). . . . The Oil Kings had an early 2-0 lead on first-period goals from F Trey Fix-Wolansky (26), at 1:44, and D Conner McDonald (6), on a PP, at 5:47. . . . The Raiders took a 3-2 second-period lead on goals from D Vojtech Budik (10), on a PP, at 5:18; F Curtis Miske (21), at 5:52; and F Brett Leason, at 6:39. . . . Edmonton got back into a tie when D Wyatt McLeod scored his first WHL goal at 7:07. . . . Leason, who has goals in six straight games, broke that tie with his 16th goal at 12:04. . . . F David Kope (11) pulled the Oil Kings into a 4-4 tie at 18:34. . . . Kelly, playing in his 200th regular-season game, won it with his 26th goal, at 8:35 of the third period. . . . F Kody McDonald and F Regan Nagy each had two assists for the winners, with Kelly and Miske adding one each. . . . Fix-Wolansky had two assists and Kope one for Edmonton. . . . The Oil Kings were 2-4 on the PP; the Raiders were 1-7. . . . Prince Albert got 25 stops from G Ian Scott. . . . G Josh Dechaine made 26 saves for Edmonton. . . . Announced attendance: 9,723.


At Spokane, F Kailer (Yammi) Yamamoto had a goal and two assists and F Jaret (JAD) Anderson-Dolan had three assists to lead the Chiefs to a 5-3 victory over the Kootenay SpokaneChiefsIce. . . . Spokane (35-21-5) has won two in a row. It is third in the U.S. Division, three points behind Portland. . . . Kootenay (25-36-3) has lost five straight. It is fourth in the Central Division, four points behind Red Deer. . . . As part of the night’s promotion, the Chiefs had nicknames on the backs of their jerseys. Those nicknames are included in the lineup in the above tweet. . . . The Chiefs took a 1-0 lead at 4:55 of the first period on a goal from F Milos (Fafs) Fafrak. . . . F Gillian Kohler (6) tied it for the Ice, at 9:10. . . . The Chiefs went out front 3-1 before the period ended, on goals from F Ethan (Dewey) McIndoe (20) and Yamamoto (18), shorthanded, at 19:06. . . . F Colton Veloso scored for the Ice at 2:10 of the second period, but the home team went up 5-2 on goals from F Jake (McGruber) McGrew (16), at 8:25 of the second, and D Ty (Smitty) Smith (13), at 3:38 of the third. . . . Veloso (23) got the Ice’s final goal, at 14:25. . . . The Chiefs also got two assists from F Riley (Woodsy) Woods, with McGrew and Fafrak each getting one. . . . Kootenay was 1-2 on the PP; Spokane was 0-2. . . . The Chiefs got 12 stops from G Dawson (Weatherman) Weatherill. . . . G Matt Berlin stopped 31 shots for the Ice. . . . Announced attendance: 8,352.


At Kennewick, Wash., the Tri-City Americans scored three first-period goals in the span of 2:34 and went on to a 6-1 victory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . Tri-City (32-21-8) TriCity30has won three in a row. It holds down the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot and is fourth in the U.S. Division, three points behind Spokane. . . . Prince George (20-33-8) has lost three straight. . . . The Americans took control with three goals in the span of 2:34 early in the first period. . . . F Jordan Topping (35) got it started at 4:11, with D Juuso Valimaki making it 2-0 at 4:51 and F Paycen Bjorklund (2) adding another at 6:45. . . . The Americans went ahead 5-0 before the period ended, as Valimaki scored at 11:41 and F Parker AuCoin (17) counted at 19:20. . . . Valimaki completed his second career hat trick with his 11th goal at 10:18 of the second period. . . . The Cougars got their goal from D Ryan Schoettler (6) at 17:42. . . . D Anthony Bishop drew three assists for Tri-City, with F Isaac Johnson and F Nolan Yaremko each getting two. . . . Each team was 0-3 on the PP. . . . G Beck Warm stopped 19 shots for the Americans. . . . The Cougars started G Isaiah DiLaura, who gave up five goals on 14 shots in the first period. Tavin Grant played the last two periods, stopping 15 of 16 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 5,406.


At Victoria, F Cody Glass, who also had two assists, broke a 2-2 tie at 16:56 of the third period to give the Portland Winterhawks a 3-2 victory over the Royals. . . . Portland (37-Portland20-4) has won two in a row, having beaten the host Royals, 2-1, on Friday. The Winterhawks have clinched a playoff spot. They are second in the U.S. Division, nine points behind Everett. . . . Victoria (35-23-5) has lost two straight. It is second in the B.C. Division, seven points behind Kelowna and five ahead of Vancouver. . . . The Winterhawks went ahead 1-0 at 3:50 of the first period when F Kieffer Bellows scored on a PP. . . . Victoria F Noah Gregor got that one back, on a PP, at 17:08. . . . Bellows (32) gave the visitors a 2-1 lead 54 seconds into the second period, only to have Gregor (25) tie it, on a PP, at 6:28. . . . Glass got the winner, his 29th goal this season, on a PP. . . . The Winterhawks got three assists from D Dennis Cholowski. . . . Glass now has 200 career points in 190 regular-season games. . . . F Dante Hannoun had two assists for Victoria. . . . F Matthew Phillips of the Royals had his point streak snapped at 22 games. . . . Victoria was 2-4 on the PP; Portland was 2-6. . . . G Shane Farkas earned the victory with 21 saves. He also went the distance for Portland on Friday. . . . The Royals got 39 saves from G Griffen Outhouse. . . . Announced attendance: 7,006.


At Kelowna, the Rockets scored the game’s last two goals to beat the Kamloops Blazers, 6-5. . . . Kelowna (38-18-6) has points in five straight (4-0-1). It is second in the Western KelownaRocketsConference, five points behind Everett. . . . Kamloops (27-31-5) has lost two in a row. It is six points out of a playoff spot with nine games remaining. . . . Kelowna is 6-0-0) in the season series; Kamloops is 0-5-1. . . . The Rockets actually led this one 3-0, before giving up four goals in a span of 5:57 in the second period. . . . F Dillon Dube, who has 31 goals, scored for Kelowna at 10:51 and 18:46 of the first period, the latter coming via a PP. . . . F Conner Bruggen-Cate (17) made it 3-0, on another PP, at 5:36 of the second period. . . . F Jermaine Loewen (32) got the Blazers’ comeback started at 11:04. F Luc Smith (17), back after a two-week absence, made it 3-2 at 11:25, and F Nick Chyzowski (19) tied it, on a PP, at 14:25. D Nolan Kneen (5) gave Kamloops the lead, at 17:01. . . . The Rockets tied it at 12:50 of the third period as F Leif Mattson scored while shorthanded. . . . Kamloops F Orrin Centazzo (10) gave Kamloops a 5-4 lead, on a PP, at 13:11. . . . The Rockets tied it at 13:40 as F Carsen Twarynski (38) struck, on a PP, then took the lead at 17:47 on Mattson’s 21st goal of the season. . . . The Rockets got two assists from each of D Gordie Ballhorn and F Kole Lind, with Dube and Brutten-Cate adding one apiece. . . . Loewen had two assists for Kamloops, as did Kneen and F Quinn Benjafield. . . . Loewen went into this season with 14 goals and 18 assists in 170 games. This season, he has developed into one of the WHL’s top power forwards, with 32 goals and 24 assists in 57 games. . . . Kelowna was 3-6 on the PP; Kamloops was 2-6. . . . The Rockets got 23 saves from G Brodan Salmond, while G Dylan Ferguson stopped 31 shots at the other end. . . . The Rockets took 62 of the game’s 120 penalty minutes. Eight game misconducts, including one to Salmond, were handed out following a kerfuffle at the final buzzer. . . . Announced attendance: 5,324.


At Medicine Hat, F Cole Reinhardt’s overtime goal gave the Brandon Wheat Kings a 4-3 victor over the Tigers. . . . Brandon (32-24-5) had lost its previous two games. It is fourth BrandonWKregularin the East Division, three points behind Regina. The Wheat Kings hold down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, four points up on Saskatoon. . . . Medicine Hat (31-24-8) is 3-0-1 in its past four games. It leads the Central Division, by four points over Lethbridge. . . . The Wheat Kings got off to a 1-0 lead at 8:44 on a goal by F Stelio Mattheos (37). . . . F Ryan Jevne (17) tied it for the Tigers, on a PP, at 17:31. . . . After a scoreless second period, the Wheat Kings went ahead 3-1 on goals from Reinhardt, at 4:43, and F Evan Weinger (26), shorthanded, at 11:19. . . . D David Quenneville (26) scored at 15:02 to get the Tigers to within a goal. . . . The home team tied it with 38.2 seconds left and the extra attacker on the ice when F Mark Rassell (46) scored the 100th regular-season goal of his career. . . .  Reinhardt scored his 15th goal of the season to win it at 1:06 of OT. . . . Mattheos added two assists to his goal. . . . Quenneville also had two assists, with Rassell and Jevne adding one each. . . . Medicine Hat was 1-4 on the PP; Brandon was 0-1. . . . The Wheat Kings got 31 saves from G Dylan Myskiw. . . . With G Michael Bullion ill, the Tigers gave Kaeden Lane his first WHL start, and he responded with 10 saves. Lane, 16, is from Burnaby, B.C. He plays for the Burnaby Winter Club’s prep team in the CSSHL. . . . Announced attendance: 3,226.


SUNDAY (all times local):

Moose Jaw at Saskatoon, 2:05 p.m.

Brandon at Calgary, 4 p.m.

Swift Current at Edmonton, 4 p.m.

Spokane at Everett, 4:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

Injury-riddled Giants add Sexsmith . . . Strumm, Thunder into Hall of Fame . . . Rockets, Royals pay for early scrap


MacBeth

D Martin Gernát (Edmonton, 2011-13) had his loan assignment by Košice (Slovakia, Extraliga) to Lausanne (Switzerland, NL A) extended until the end of the season. He has two goals and an assist in eight games with Lausanne. . . . The initial loan assignment was until Dec. 17 and was subsequently extended until Feb. 5. Gernát started this season with Prešov (Slovakia, 1. Liga), recording two assists in three games. He signed with Košice on Nov. 21. He was pointless in two games when he was loaned to Lausanne on Dec. 7.


DAN’S DIARY . . .

Dan Courneyea, who heads up the Kamloops Blazers’ off-ice crew of officials is at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang where he’ll be working the hockey Olylogocompetitions.

On Tuesday, with the men’s hockey less than 24 hours from starting, he reported:

“The overall atmosphere here in South Korea has been amazing. There have been many locals volunteer for the Games, even if they don’t fully understand the sport. I think it’s that they just want to be involved.

“It’s still windy but the cold temps have dropped a bit.

“The locals say this is their winter season (Feb-Oct) but there is no snow in the lower elevations (kind of reminds us of Vancouver), yet the hills are battling cold and extremely windy conditions.

“Overall, the Games are good, the events are selling out and the people are very, very friendly.”


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

With the Vancouver Giants’ defensive corps suddenly riddled by injury, D Joel Sexsmith, 15, is expected to make his WHL debut tonight (Wednesday) against the host Portland VancouverWinterhawks. . . . Steve Ewen of Postmedia tweeted updates on the Giants’ situation on Tuesday morning. . . . The Giants will be without D Darian Skeoch, D Dylan Plouffe, D Matt Barberis and perhaps D Alex Kannok Leipert. . . . The Swift Current Broncos selected Sexsmith in the first round of the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. The Broncos weren’t able to sign him and dealt him to the Giants on Jan. 7, getting back a first-round pick in the 2019 draft. . . . From Edmonton, he has two goals and 12 assists in 13 games with the Edge School Elite 15s. He also had a goal and three assists with the Northern Alberta X-Treme prep team. . . . D Parker Hendren, another AP, likely will get into his eighth game. Hendren, 16, has been playing with the midget AAA Regina Pat Canadians. He was a seventh-round pick by the Giants in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . Meanwhile, Vancouver F Milos Roman (ankle) is scheduled to skate on Friday for the first time since he last played on Jan. 9. In a perfect scenario, he then would be about two weeks from playing again.


The Las Vegas Thunder, which included former WHL executive and coach Bob Strumm, is to be inducted into the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony Thunderis scheduled for May 11 at the Orleans Arena. . . . The Thunder, owned by the father-and-son duo of Hank and Ken Stickney, was an International Hockey League franchise that played out of the Thomas & Mack Center for six seasons (1993-99). The franchise folded on April 18, 1999. . . . “I just want to firstly thank the directors and the committee for recognizing our efforts and the fact that we may have paved the way a little bit for professional hockey, what’s happening here today, which is pretty special for us and pretty special for that other pro team that’s going pretty good right now,” Strumm said during a Tuesday news conference. “We hope that we kicked the can down the road a little bit for those guys.” . . . Strumm worked in the WHL office, and also with the Billings Bighorns, Regina Pats and Spokane Chiefs, filling roles from owner to GM to head coach.


F Mitchell Callahan of the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors has been suspended for 20 games. According to a news release from the AHL, Callahan was suspended for “violating the terms of the AHL/PHPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program.” . . . Callahan will be eligible to return on April 11. . . . Callahan signed a two-year deal with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers on July 1. He had been in the Detroit Red Wings’ organization for six seasons. . . . The 26-year-old Callahan is from Whittier, Calif. He played three seasons (2008-11) with the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets.


BradHornungKenMcIntyre
BEST OF FRIENDS: Brad Hornung enjoyed visits from buddy Ken McIntyre at the Wascana Rehabilitation Centre in Regina. McIntyre, 48, died last week in Minot, N.D.

CLARIFICATION: In this space on Saturday, I wrote that Ken McIntyre, a former WHL player, had died on Feb. 7 after being “found unresponsive in a vehicle at an intersection in Minot, N.D.” . . . I have been informed that this isn’t accurate. He wasn’t in a vehicle when he was found unresponsive at a city intersection, apparently having collapsed just as he was about to walk across the street. A passer-by spotted him, initiated CPR and called 9-1-1. However, McIntyre, 48, was pronounced dead at hospital.


The Kootenay Ice has added F Connor McClennon, 15, to its roster. McClennon, from Wainwright, Alta., was the second-overall selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. . . . He has 26 goals and 41 assists in 31 games with the CSSHL’s Northern Alberta X-Treme prep team. . . . The Ice is scheduled to entertain the Saskatoon Blades tonight (Wednesday).


The Victoria Royals and Kelowna Rockets have been fined $500 apiece after two players whlbecame involved in a fight just 10 seconds into Monday’s Family Day game in the Little Apple. F Braydon Buziak of the Royals and F Kyle Pow of the Rockets drew one-game suspensions for the scrap. . . . The Rockets won the game, 5-4, but lost F Kole Lind after he took a hard hit from Victoria D Ralph Jarratt while cutting across the slot in the Royals’ zone. Bruce Hamilton, the Rockets’ general manager, told Steve Ewen of Postmedia on Monday evening that Lind will be “out for a week likely.” . . . The Rockets also lost G James Porter Jr., when he left the game after being involved in a goal-mouth collision. . . . Lind and Porter both are listed as day-to-day with undisclosed injuries. . . . “Can you imagine if the Rockets and Royals met in a playoff series?” Regan Bartel, the radio voice of the Rockets, wrote on this blog. “It would be a blood bath. These two organizations detest one another.”


THE ROSTER REPORT: The Brandon Wheat Kings are listing F Stelio Mattheos as being out “TBD” with an upper-body injury. . . . The Regina Pats show G Ryan Kubic (UB) as being out indefinitely, meaning they will continue to go with Max Paddock as their starter. G Jacob Wasserman, who was added to the roster from the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos, remains with the Pats. . . . G Carl Stankowski, who has yet to play for Seattle this season, remains out week-to-week. It’s looking more and more as though he won’t appear in a game this season. . . . The Victoria Royals list F Jeff de Wit and F D-Jay Jerome (both UB) as week-to-week, while D Chaz Reddekopp (UB) will be out another three weeks.


The Kimberley Dynamiters of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League have yet to seen a penny from Mike Gould, who pledged $7.5 million to the junior B team earlier this season. . . . However, Gould has pleaded guilty to fraud charges after he allegedly paid a tab of almost $8,000 at a Cranbrook restaurant with two cheques that were in another person’s name. . . . Gould is to be sentenced in February. CBC News reports that Gould also faces a second charge of using a forged document. . . . The CBC report is right here.


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



IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw

Regina at Medicine Hat

Brandon at Swift Current

Kootenay at Lethbridge


WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

TUESDAY:

At Lethbridge, D Juuso Valimaki scored a goal and drew two assists to lead the Tri-City Americans to a 6-3 victory over the Hurricanes. . . . Lethbridge (26-24-6) is second in the TriCity30Central Division, five points behind Medicine Hat. . . . Tri-City (28-19-8) had lost its previous four games (0-3-1). The Americans hold down the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot, two points ahead of Seattle. Tri-City is fourth in the U.S. Division, one point behind Spokane. . . . The teams alternated goals until the Americans took control with the last three scores. . . . F Riley Sawchuk gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 13:54 of the first period, only to have Lethbridge F Brad Morrison (21) tied it, on a PP, at 16:17. . . . The Americans went back out front at 3:41 of the second period when F Parker AuCoin struck, on a PP. . . . F Taylor Ross (15) got the Hurricanes even at 6:13. . . . Valimaki (7) gave Tri-City a 3-2 lead, on another PP, at 15:23. . . . F Logan Barlage (5) got the home boys back on even ground at 1:18 of the third period. . . . AuCoin (14) snapped the tie just 21 seconds later. . . . F Michael Rasmussen (21), who also had an assist, added insurance at 3:43 and Sawchuk (12) got the empty-netter at 19:10. . . . The Hurricanes got two assists from F Dylan Cozens. . . . Tri-City was 2-4 on the PP; Lethbridge was 1-2. . . . G Patrick Dea earned the victory with 27 saves. . . . The Hurricanes got 29 saves from G Reece Klassen. . . . The Americans are on a quick three-game trip into the Central Division. They will play the Calgary Hitmen tonight and the Kootenay Ice on Friday. . . . Prior to the game, the WHL presented Bob Bartlett, the Hurricanes’ director of player development, with a Distinguished Service Award. Bartlett has been around the WHL for more than 40 years, and has worked with the Lethbridge Broncos and Moose Jaw Warriors, as well as the Hurricanes. He is a member of the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame, the Alberta Hockey Hall of Game and the Lethbridge Broncos/Hurricanes Hall of Fame. . . . Announced attendance: 3,603.


WEDNESDAY:

Moose Jaw at Regina, 7 p.m.

Brandon at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Tri-City at Calgary, 7 p.m.

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

Vancouver at Portland, 7 p.m.

Kamloops at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.

Red Deer at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Edmonton at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY