Hurricanes bank more than $400,000 . . . Winterhawks, Ice, Blades trim rosters . . . Ex-WHLer joins coaching ranks


MacBeth

G Andrei Makarov (Saskatoon, 2011-13) has cleared KHL waivers and been assigned by Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk (Russia, KHL) to CSK VVS Samara (Russia, Vysshaya Liga). This season, with Nizhnekamsk, he got into one game playing 33 minutes and allowing three goals on 14 shots, for a 5.36 GAA and a.786 SP.


ThisThat

The Lethbridge Hurricanes reported to shareholders on Monday that they made a profit Lethbridgeof $422,443 in 2017-18. . . . That was down from the $737,710 profit the previous season. However, the 2017-18 financials included a payment of $167,000 to the City of Lethbridge that was due after improvements were made to their home arena. . . . The Hurricanes lost out in the Eastern Conference final in each of the past two seasons. . . . There was other interesting item to come out of the annual meeting. The Hurricanes will be out of their arena early in the playoffs next spring, what with the World men’s curling championship in the ENMAX Centre from March 30 through April 7. General manager Peter Anholt told shareholders that the tentative plan is for the team to play early home playoff games, if necessary, in the Nicolas Sheran Arena. . . . According to the City of Lethbridge’s website, the Nicolas Sheran Ice Centre has a seating capacity of 978. It is home to the U of Lethbridge Pronghorns women’s and men’s hockey teams. . . . “We’ve talked to a lot of other teams that have moved from their venue to another venue outside of their city, and it doesn’t work,” Anholt said. “We’ve got the Nicolas Sheran. It’s not perfect, there’s going to be some unhappy fans and unhappy advertisers, but we’ll deal with it.” . . . Aaron Mahoney of lethbridgenewsnow.com has more right here. . . . Interestingly, Mahoney reported that the Hurricanes didn’t make as much in 2017-18 as the previous season, despite “an increase in ticket sales by $30,000.”


The Portland Winterhawks appear to have gotten down to three 20-year-olds by releasPortlanding F Connor Barley, who no longer appears on their roster. Barley, from St. Andrews, Man., played last season with the MJHL’s Selkirk Steelers, putting up 35 goals and 32 assists in 58 games. . . . His departure leaves the Winterhawks with D Brendan De Jong, just back from a stint in camp with the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, F Conor MacEachern and D Jared Freadrich as the three 20s. . . . The Winterhawks also got down to two goaltenders — sophomore Shane Farkas, who turns 19 on Dec. 1, and freshman Dante Giannuzzi, 16 — by releasing Evan Fradette, a 17-year-old from St. Albert, Alta., who was a fifth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . Giannuzzi, from Winnipeg, was a fifth-round selection in the 2017 draft.


The Kootenay Ice dropped three veteran skaters from their roster on Monday, leaving it Kootenaynewwith 26 players on its roster, including two goaltenders and 10 defencemen. . . . F Gunnar Wegleitner, 20, F Sebastian Streu, who turns 19 on Nov. 22, and F Eli Lieffers, 18, all were released. . . . The Ice had acquired Wegleitner from the Brandon Wheat Kings on July 20 for a conditional sixth-round selection in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft. From Vancouver, he has also played for the Everett Silvertips and Victoria royals. In 112 regular-season games, he has 11 goals and nine assists. . . . From Neuwied, Germany, Streu had nine goals and three assists in 54 games as a freshman last season. He has dual Canadian/German citizenship so wasn’t classified as an import. . . . From Saskatoon, Lieffers was fourth-round pick by the Ice in the 2015 bantam draft. He had one goal and one assist in 11 games over three seasons with the Ice. Lieffers was pointless in two games with the Ice last season. . . . Two of the 10 defenceman on Kootenay’s roster are imports — veteran Martin Bodak, a Slovakian who will turn 20 on Nov. 28, and Finnish freshman Valtteri Kakkonen. The Ice also has sophomore F Gilian Kohler, who is from Biel, Switzerland, on its roster.


The Saskatoon Blades are down to two goaltenders after returning G Koen MacInnes, 16, Saskatoonto the Burnaby Winter Club where he is expected to play for the Burnaby Winter Club’s midget prep team. A second-round pick in the 2017 WHL bantam draft, MacInnes started three exhibition games and went 3-0-0, 2.27, .929. . . . His departure leaves the Blades, as expected, with Nolan Maier, 17, atop the depth chart and Dorrin Luding, 19, as the backup, at least to open the regular season. . . . The Blades also dropped F Braden Plaschewsky, 16, from their roster. A second-round pick in that 2017 bantam draft, he is expected to play for the midget AAA Calgary Buffaloes. He had two goals in six exhibition games with the Blades. . . . Saskatoon is carrying 26 players, including two goaltenders and nine defencemen.


Among the players making their way back to WHL teams from NHL camps on Monday — D Vladislav Yeryomenko to the Calgary Hitmen from the Nashville Predators; G Liam Hughes to the Seattle Thunderbirds from the Philadelphia Flyers; F Brett Davis to the Kootenay Ice from the Dallas Stars; and D Wyatte Wylie to the Everett Silvertips from Philadelphia. . . . Yeryomenko was a fifth-round pick by Nashville in the NHL’s 2018 draft. . . . Hughes was on an amateur tryout with the Flyers. . . . Dallas selected Davis in the sixth round of the 2017 NHL draft. . . . The Flyers grabbed Wylie in the fifth round of the 2018 NHL draft.


Logan Proulx, who played two-plus seasons in the WHL, has joined the junior B Fairview, Alta., Flyers of the North West Junior Hockey League as an assistant coach. A defenceman, Proulx, who is from Trail, B.C., played 137 games over three seasons (2007-10) with the Edmonton Oil Kings, putting up nine goals and 13 assists.


You will recall mention here late last week of the junior B Kamloops Storm of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League after they incurred a one-year suspension to owner Barry Dewar, a 20-game suspension to a head coach who wasn’t really the head coach, and a $10,000 fine, all for tampering. . . . Now comes word that Jassi Sangha, the club’s real head coach, has been suspended for a game after playing an ineligible player in a 4-3 loss to the visiting Princeton Posse on Saturday. . . . Larry Martel, the KIJHL’s first-year president, told Kamloops This Week that it was a clerical era. . . . KTW’s piece is right here.


If you would like to support my wife, Dorothy, as she celebrates the fifth anniversary of her kidney transplant by taking part in the 2018 Kamloops Kidney Walk — a walk, I should point out, that she is helping to organize — you may do so right here. You might even be the person to push her total over $3,000. Thank you!


Tweetoftheday

Advertisements

Vegas assigns goalie to Brandon . . . Blades add Labelle to front office . . . Storm brewing in Kamloops


MacBeth

D Keaton Ellerby (Kamloops, Moose Jaw, 2004-08) signed a one-year contract with the Iserlohn Roosters (Germany, DEL). Last season, he had six assists in 42 games with Mora (Sweden, SHL).


ThisThat

The NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights have assigned Czech G Jiri Patera, 19, to the Brandon BrandonWKregularWheat Kings, which leaves them with three goaltenders on their roster. . . . Patera, 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, was selected by Vegas in the sixth round of the 2017 NHL draft. He played last season with the USHL’s Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. . . . With the CHL lifting its ban on import goaltenders prior to its 2018 import draft, the Wheat Kings selected Patera. . . . Of course, Kelly McCrimmon, the Golden Knights’ assistant general manager, owns the Wheat Kings. . . . Also on Brandon’s roster are veteran Dylan Myskiw, 19, and freshman Ethan Kruger, who will turn 17 on Sept. 27. Kruger, from Sherwood Park, Alta., was a fifth-round selection in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . While the WHL website shows Patera as having been born on Feb. 16, 2000, he actually was born on Feb. 24, 1999.


The Saskatoon Blades have added Xavier Labelle, 18, to their front office as a hockey Saskatoonoperations assistant. Labelle played the past two seasons with the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos and is a survivor of the April 6 bus crash. . . . From a Blades news release: “Following the accident, Xavier spent a considerable amount of time in the hospital recovering from his injuries, which included a fractured skull and concussion, internal bleeding, approximately 20 broken bones (including 13 in his spine), plus nerve damage affecting his legs and left arm.” . . . From Saskatoon, he continues to rehab in his hometown. . . . Labelle attended the Blades’ training camp on three occasions and also was on their protected list at one time.


The WHL has signed Zach Hodder as its manager, player development. According to a news release, he will be “responsible to lead the WHL player recruitment and development programs.” . . . From North Delta, B.C., Hodder, 25, played 128 WHL regular-season games over five seasons (2009-14), splitting time between the Vancouver Giants, Saskatoon Blades, Prince Albert Raiders, Medicine Hat Tigers and Moose Jaw Warriors. He went on to use his WHL education policy to attend BCIT and Royal Roads U.


If there is a bigger mess in hockey today than that involving the Kootenay International KamStormJunior Hockey League and the Kamloops Storm, well, I can’t imagine it. . . . “It’s a great city and it’s a great hockey market and it’s just a bit of a mess right now,” KIJHL president Larry Martel told Marty Hastings of Kamloops This Week.“All franchises go up and down. Right now, we’re in a low point in that city.” . . . This is a story that involves charges of tampering, $10,000 in fines, a one-year suspension to one individual, a head coach who has been suspended for 20 games, except, well, it doesn’t seem that he really is the head coach. . . . It seems that someone else was named the head coach so that he could take the hit instead of the real head coach. Got that?. . . . Oh, it’s all enough to give you a headache. . . . Check out Hastings’ complete story right here.


If you would like to support my wife, Dorothy, as she celebrates the fifth anniversary of her kidney transplant by taking part in the 2018 Kamloops Kidney Walk — a walk, I should point out, that she is helping to organize — you may do so right here. Thank you!


Tweetoftheday

OHL adjusts rule on trading of draft picks . . . Seattle adds d-man from Kootenay . . . Kitchener’s profit tops $400G


MacBeth

F Travis Ewanyk (Edmonton, 2008-13) signed a one-year contract with the Krefeld Pinguine (Germany, DEL) after a successful tryout. Last season, he had 13 goals and 16 assists in 60 games with the Wichita Thunder (ECHL). Ewanyk holds dual German-Canadian citizenship. . . .

F Konstantin Panov (Kamloops, 1998-2001) signed a one-year contract with SC Csíkszereda Miercurea-Ciuc (Romania, Erste Liga). Last season, he had two goals and one assist in 43 games with Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia, KHL). He was the team captain. . . .

F Tomáš Slovák (Kelowna, 2001-03) signed a one-year contract with DVTK Jegesmedvék Miskolc (Hungary, Slovakia Extraliga). Last season, with Piráti Chomutov (Czech Republic, Extraliga), he had three goals and eight assists in 48 games. . . . Jegesmedvék’ head coach is Glen Hanlon (Brandon, 1974-77; assistant coach Vancouver 2011-13; GM Vancouver 2016-18). . . . Slovák, in the Jegesmedvék news release: “I’ve been working with Glen Hanlon earlier on the Slovakian team, knowing each other, knowing what to expect.” Hanlon was the head coach of the Slovakian national team when Slovák played for the team in 2009-10.


ThisThat

The OHL issued a news release on Wednesday, passing along information from the board of governors’ annual meeting.

For starters, the league is instituting a rule that will limit the trading of draft choices in ohlwhat it calls the OHL Priority Selection. Whereas this used to be wide open, the OHL wants to get to where teams are able to trade draft picks a maximum of four years away.

Starting on Sept. 1, according to the news release, “teams will be allowed to trade draft choices a maximum of six years into the future, transitioning to five years prior to the commencement of the 2020 OHL Priority Selection and four years prior to the 2021 OHL Priority Selection. At the conclusion of the phase-in period, league policy will stipulate that OHL teams may only trade a draft choice four years into the future.”

The OHL news release is right here.


The Seattle Thunderbirds have acquired D Payton McIsaac from the Kootenay Ice for a Seattleninth-round selection in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft. . . . McIsaac, who will turn 18 on Dec. 26, is from Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. He was a second-round pick by the Saskatoon Blades in the 2015 bantam draft. . . . He had one assist in 10 games with the Blades in 2015-16, then was pointless in one game with Saskatoon in each of the past two seasons. . . . It’s believed that the Blades dropped McIsaac from their list sometime after Christmas and the Ice added him. . . . On July 13, his Canadian junior A rights were dealt by the AJHL’s Sherwood Park Crusaders to the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos.

Meanwhile, the Thunderbirds signed F Matthew Rempe, who had been added to their protected list on May 11, 2017. From Calgary, Rempe, 16, spent last season with the Okanagan Hockey Academy Elite 15s, putting up six goals and seven assists in 35 games. . . . According to a news release from the Thunderbirds, Rempe’s “older twin sisters, Steph and Alley, both play at Brown University in the NCAA.” As Seattle GM Bil La Forge said: “It is exciting he chose us to develop as a hockey player and to take advantage of the WHL scholarship program.”


A flash from the past . . . Dan Weaver of the Spokane Spokesman-Review on the retirement of Kerry Toporowski:


The Portland Winterhawks have signed F Tyson Kozak, 15, who was a sixth-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. Kozan, who will turn 16 on Dec. 29, is from Souris, Man. Last season, he had 10 goals and 25 assists in 44 games with the midget AAA Southwest Cougars. . . . Kozak is expected to make his WHL debut this weekend at an exhibition tournament in Everett.


The Victoria Royals have signed D Carson Golder, who is from Terrace, B.C., and was added to the team’s protected list in June. Golder, who will turn 16 on Oct. 29, played last season with the Pursuit of Excellence Elite 15s, putting up eight goals and nine assists in 34 games. He added one goal and two assists in eight games with POE’s midget prep team.



The Regina Pats have signed F Cale Sanders, 16, and D Steven Zonneveld, 17, both of Patswhom were free-agent invitees to training camp, to WHL contracts. . . . Sanders, from Claresholm, Alta., played last season with the Calgary-based Edge School Elite 15s, putting up 19 goals and 29 assists in 36 games. . . . Zonneveld, from Calgary, had seven goals and 11 assists in 35 games with the midget AAA Calgary Flames. . . . Both players are with the Pats and could see action during an exhibition tournament in Regina this weekend.



The OHL’s Kitchener Rangers got to Game 7 of a conference final before being eliminated from last season’s playoffs. While they didn’t win a championship, they won big at the bank, as they showed a profit of $432,080 for their 2018 fiscal year. It was the 23rd straight season that the franchise has shown a profit, but, as Josh Brown of the Waterloo Region Record writes, “the club hasn’t seen a profit this high since it made about $550K in 2011-12.” . . . Brown’s story is right here and it’s definitely worth a read, just to see where the profits are going.


Dorothy, my wife of 46 years, will celebrate the fifth anniversary of her kidney transplant by taking part in the 2018 Kamloops Kidney Walk. If you would like to support her with a donation — and she is closing in on $2,000 — you are able to do so right here.


The junior B Kamloops Storm of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League have KamStormshaken things up a bit, what with Ed Patterson choosing not to return after five seasons as head coach. . . . All told, Patterson worked as the Storm’s head coach for seven seasons, as he also ran the bench from 2007-09. . . . Former Storm F Jassi Sangha is the new head coach, while majority owner Barry Dewar, who had been the general manager, has stepped back, allowing assistant GM Matt Kolle to take over as GM. . . . Sangha, 30, played two seasons (2006-08) for the Storm and also spent three seasons (2009-12) with the now-defunct Thompson Rivers U Wolfpack. . . . Andrew Fisher, who also played at TRU with Sangha, is the assistant coach, with another one yet to be named, while former WHL G Lucas Gore (Chilliwack Bruins, 2008-11) will handle the goaltenders. . . . Marty Hastings of Kamloops This Week has the complete Storm story right here. . . . And if you’re like me, you’re wondering how it is that Patterson didn’t end up with a WHL job.


Murray Nystrom has signed on as the 10th head coach in the history of the U of Lethbridge Pronghorns program. . . . Nystrom was the head coach of the St. Catharines, Ont.,-based Brock Badgers for 18 years, going 191-227-18-39 and making the playoffs on 14 occasions. . . . Nystrom left the Brock program in July 2017. . . . In Lethbridge, he will take over from Spiros Anastas, who left the Pronghorns earlier this month to sign on as head coach of the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays.


Tweetoftheday

Weinger gets AHL deal . . . Storm’s Patterson looking to move up . . . Farkas on roll with Portland


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

F Evan Weinger of the Brandon Wheat Kings has signs a contract with the San Jose Barracuda, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s San Jose Sharks. . . . Weinger, 20, is from El Segundo, Calif., and came up through the Los Angeles Jr. Kings program. The Wheat Kings acquired him this season from the Portland Winterhawks. . . . In 244 WHL games, he has 63 goals and 76 assists. That includes this season, in which he has 26 goals and 24 assists in 57 games with Brandon. . . . Weinger will stay with the Wheat Kings for as long as their season lasts.


It would appear that Ed Patterson’s coaching days are over with the junior B Kamloops KamStormStorm of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. The Storm lost 3-2 in double OT to the visiting Revelstoke Grizzlies on Friday night, dropping the first-round playoff series, 4-2. . . . After the game, Patterson told Marty Hastings of Kamloops This Week: “I definitely think I’ve done my time here. I would like to move on to bigger and better coaching roles, if possible. I’ll have to wait and see what’s open.” . . . Patterson, 45, had two stints as the Storm’s head coach (2007-09, 2013-18). Under him, the Storm never missed the KIJHL playoffs and got to the final four times (2008, 2009, 2014, 2015). . . . Patterson played four seasons (1988-92) in the WHL, splitting time with the Seattle Thunderbirds, Swift Current Broncos and Kamloops Blazers. He was part of the Blazers’ 1992 Memorial Cup-championship team. He also has worked as an assistant coach with the Blazers (2010-13). After playing in the WHL, he went on to a pro career that included 68 games in the NHL. . . . His son, Max, is a forward with the Swift Current Broncos.


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

SATURDAY:

At Moose Jaw, F Justin Almeida, who sometimes gets overlooked behind the Warriors’ two big guns, had a goal and two assists in a 5-1 victory over the Saskatoon Blades. . . . MooseJawWarriorsMoose Jaw (48-14-3) continues to lead the overall standings by one point over Swift Current. The Warriors hold one game in hand. . . . Saskatoon (31-31-3) has lost four in a row and is four  points out of a playoff spot with seven games remaining. . . . Almeida totalled 11 goals and 17 assists in 70 games split between Moose Jaw and Prince George last season. This season, in 65 games, he has 38 goals, including eight game-winners, and 49 assists, which should be enough to lift him out of the shadows being cast by F Jayden Halbgewachs, who leads the WHL with 61 goals, and F Brayden Burke, who is tied with Halbgewachs for second in the scoring race with 113 points. . . . Almeida scored the game’s first goal, on a PP, at 4:15 of the first period. . . . D Josh Brook (3) made it 2-0 at 14:27. . . . F Josh Paterson (28) scored for Saskatoon, at 15:31 of the second period. . . . The Warriors put it away with three third-period goals, from Halbgewachs, on a PP, at 10:39; F Brett Howden (23), at 11:13; and F Tristin Langan 916), shorthanded, at 16:32. . . . D Kale Clague also had two assists for the Warriors, with Howden and Halbghewachs adding one apiece. . . . Moose Jaw was 2-5 won the PP; Saskatoon was 0-2. . . . G Brody Willms earned the victory with 25 saves. . . . The Blades got 26 stops from G Nolan Maier. . . . Announced attendance: 3,398.


At Prince Albert, the Raiders ran their winning streak to six games with a 4-1 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Prince Albert (29-25-11) holds down the Eastern PrinceAlbertConference’s second wild-card spot, four points ahead of Saskatoon. Each team has seven games remaining. . . . Lethbridge (32-26-6) had won its previous three games. It is second in the Central Division, four pints behind Medicine Hat with a game in hand. . . . The Hurricanes took a 1-0 lead at 11:11 of the first period as F Dylan Cozens scored his 21st goal of the season. . . . The Raiders tied it at 12:59 of the second period as D Brayden Pachal (6) scored for the second straight game. . . . D Vojtech Budik (13) broke the tie, on a PP, at 8:51 of the third period as he, too, scored for a second straight game. . . . D Max Martin (7) added insurance at 9:49, and F Cole Fonstad, who also had an assist, got No. 20 at 12:18. . . . Prince Albert was 1-4 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-4. . . . G Ian Scott stopped 25 shots for the Raiders, six fewer than Logan Flodell of the Hurricanes. . . . The Hurricanes were without F Brad Morrison (ill). . . . The Raiders inducted long-time volunteer Roger Mayert and former D Chris Phillips into their Wall of Honour prior to the game. . . . Announced attendance: 2,043.


At Swift Current, the Broncos scored the game’s last three goals as they beat the Brandon Wheat Kings, 3-1. . . . Swift Current (46-14-6) has points in four straight games (3-0-1). It is SCBroncossecond in the overall standings, one points behind Moose Jaw. . . . Brandon (34-26-5) is fourth in the East Division, one point behind Regina. The Wheat Kings hold down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, four points ahead of Prince Albert. . . . F Linden McCorrister (16) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 5:44 of the first period. . . . The Broncos tied it on F Matteo Gennaro’s 40th goal of the season, at 12:56. . . . F Aleksi Heponiemi (27) broke the tie at 11:16 of the second period. . . . F Beck Malenstyn (14) added the empty-netter at 19:48 of the third period. . . . F Glenn Gawdin had two assists for the Broncos. He leads the WHL scoring race with 122 points. . . . There weren’t any PP opportunities in this one. The only penalties were coincidental roughing minors to Brandon F Marcus Sekundiak and F MacKenzie Wight of the Broncos at 7:17 of the first period. . . . G Stuart Skinner stopped 18 shots for Swift Current. . . . Brandon G Logan Thompson blocked 33 shots. . . . F Kaiden Elder (ill) was among the Broncos’ scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 2,890.


At Calgary, F Sam Steel scored on a breakaway in OT to give the Regina Pats a 3-2 victory over the Hitmen. . . . Regina (34-25-6) moved back into third in the East Division, one ReginaPats100point ahead of Brandon. . . . Calgary (19-35-10) went to OT for a third straight game; it lost all three. The Hitmen have lost five in a row (0-2-3). . . . The Hitmen led this one 2-0 early in the third period. . . . F Tristen Nielsen (14) made it 1-0 at 1:20 of the first period, and F Mark Kastelic (16) upped it to 2-0 at 3:18 of the third. . . . D Aaron Hyman (2) got the Pats to within a goal at 3:56. . . . F Jake Leschyshyn (16) tied the score at 11:46. . . . Steel won it with his 25th goal just 32 seconds into OT. . . . Regina got three assists from F Cam Hebig. . . . Each team was 0-2 on the PP. . . . The Pats got 23 saves from G Max Paddock. . . . Calgary G Nick Schneider stopped 31 shots. . . . Regina was playing its fourth straight road game — it is 3-1-0 — with four more to come. The Pats are out of their building because of the Tim Hortons Brier, the Canadian men’s curling championship. Regina next will play at home on March 14. . . . D Libor Hajek (ill) was among Regina’s scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 7,307.


At Medicine Hat, the Tigers opened up a 4-0 lead en route to a 6-1 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Medicine Hat (33-24-8) has points in six straight (5-0-1). It leads the Tigers Logo OfficialCentral Division, by four points over Lethbridge. . . . Red Deer (24-29-13) had won its previous three games. It is third in the Central Divison, seven points ahead of Kootenay, which has six games left. . . . F Gary Haden got the Tigers’ first goal, at 2:04 of the first period. . . . The lead grew to 4-0 on second-period goals from F Hayden Ostir (9), at 2:03; F Ryan Jevne, shorthanded, at 11:28; and Haden, who has 17 goals, at 13:28. . . . D Hunter Donohoe (3) scored for Red Deer at 16:14. . . . The Tigers put it away with third-period goals from F James Hamblin (19) and Jevne (20). . . . D David Quenneville and F Mark Rassell each had two assists for the Tigers. . . . Red Deer was 0-2 on the PP; Medicine Hat was 0-4. . . . G Michael Bullion stopped 17 shots for the Tigers. . . . Red Deer starter Riley Lamb was beaten four times on 30 shots in 33:28. Ethan Anders finished up by stopping 22 of 24 shots in 26:31. . . . D Linus Nassen (wrist) was back in the Tigers’ lineup after sitting out 26 games. . . . Announced attendance: 3,920.


At Prince George, the Victoria Royals snapped a 3-3 tie with four third-period goals as they skated to a 7-3 victory over the Cougars. . . . Victoria (36-24-6) had lost its previous VictoriaRoyalsfour games (0-3-1). It is second in the B.C. Division, four points behind Kelowna and three ahead of Vancouver. . . . Prince George (23-34-8) had won three in a row. . . . F Tyler Soy gave Victoria a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 12:02 of the first period. . . . The Cougars tied it at 15:02 as F Aaron Boyd scored his 12th goal. . . . D Scott Walford’s first goal of the season, at 17:53, gave the Royals a 2-1 lead. . . . The home team tied it 28 seconds into the second period when F Brogan O’Brien (14) scored. . . . D Jared Freadrich (12) scored, on a PP, at 10:15 to send Victoria back out front. . . . F Jackson Leppard (14) got the Cougars back into a tie at 18:03. . . . The Royals took over in the third period. . . . F Noah Gregor (27) broke the tie at 2:12, and D Kade Jensen (7) made it a two-goal game at 3:19. . . . D Chaz Reddekopp, back after missing 20 games, got his seventh goal at 11:01, and F Tarun Fizer (1) finished the scoring, on a PP, at 19:36. . . . The Royals got goals from four difference defencemen for the first time in franchise history. . . . F Matthew Phillips had three assists as he set a Chilliwack/Victoria franchise record for most points (104) in one season. F Mark Santorelli had set the previous record (101) in 2007-08. . . . ’The Royals also got two assists from each of Soy and D Matthew Smith, with Jensen getting one. . . . O’Brien and Leppard had an assist apiece for the Cougars. . . . Victoria was 3-3 on the PP; Prince George was 0-3. . . . G Dean McNabb started for Victoria. He gave up three goals on 15 shots in 38:03, before Griffen Outhouse came on to stop all nine shots he faced in 21:01. McNabb came back in for the final 56 seconds and stopped the only shot sent his way. . . . The Cougars got 29 saves from Tavin Grant. . . . F Tanner Kaspick was among Victoria’s scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 3,241.


At Langley, B.C., the Vancouver Giants clinched a playoff spot with a 5-4 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . Vancouver (33-22-9) had lost two in a row (0-1-1). The Giants, who Vancouverare third in the B.C. Division, have missed the playoffs each of the past three seasons and four of the past five seasons. . . . Kamloops (29-33-5) had won its previous two games. It is seven points from a playoff spot with only five games remaining. . . . The Blazers had beaten the visiting Giants, 5-1, on Friday night. . . . On Saturday night, the Giants opened up a 4-0 lead — they scored three times on their first five shots — and hung on for the victory. . . . D Alex Kannok Leipert (4) opened the scoring at 6:08 of the first period. . . . F Brayden Watts (16) made it 2-0, on a PP, at 14:03. . . . F Hunor Torzsok (1), at 15:20, and D Darian Skeoch (2), at 4:52 of the second period, upped it to 4-0. . . . The Blazers then struck for three goals in 3:52. . . . D Joe Gatenby, who also had three assists and was named first star, scored his 13th goal at 12:27. . . . F Jermaine Loewen (34) got Kamloops to within two goals at 15:13, and F Luc Smith (20) cut the deficit to one at 16:19. . . . F Tyler Benson (23) restored the Giants’ two-goal lead at 17:08. . . . Kamloops got back to within a goal at 7:05 of the third period when D Nolan Kneen scored his sixth goal. . . . The Giants got two assists from F Davis Koch, with Benson adding one. . . . Vancouver was 1-3 on the PP; Kamloops is 0-4. . . . G David Tendeck stopped 30 shots for the winners. . . . Kamloops starter Dylan Ferguson was beaten three times on 12 shots in the first period. Max Palaga started the second period, and gave up two goals on six shots in 17:08. Ferguson came back in and finished up by stopping all eight shots in faced in 21:14. . . . The Blazers again were without D Luke Zazula and D Montana Onyebuchi. . . . D Dylan Plouffe and F Milos Roman were among Vancouver’s scratches, as was F Owen Hardy (ill). . . . Announced attendance: 4,041.


At Everett, F Connor Dewar scored a PP goal in OT to give the Silvertips a 2-1 victory over Everettthe Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Everett (43-18-5) has won two in a row. It leads the Western Conference by eight points over Portland. . . . Seattle (30-24-10) had won its previous two games. It holds down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, seven points ahead of Kamloops. The Thunderbirds have three games in hand. . . . F Patrick Bajkov (30) gave Everett a 1-0 lead at 7:08 of the first period. . . . F Noah Philp (14) pulled Seattle even at 13:43 of the second period. . . . In the third period and OT, the Silvertips held a 27-1 edge in shots on goal. . . . They ended it at 2:57 of extra time on Dewar’s 35th goal of the season. . . . F Matt Fonteyne had two assists for Everett, with Bajkov getting one. . . . Everett was 1-5 on the PP; Seattle was 0-2. . . . G Carter Hart stopped 17 shots for Everett. He now is 28-4-4, 1.53, .950 as he closes in on his third straight goaltender-of-the-year award. . . . Announced attendance: 8,319.


At Kelowna, F Hudson Elynuik scored three times and added an assist to lead the Spokane Chiefs to a 4-2 lead over the Rockets. . . . Spokane (38-21-5) has won five in a SpokaneChiefsrow. It is third in the U.S. Division, two points behind Portland and eight ahead of Tri-City. . . . Kelowna (38-22-6) has lost four straight. It leads the B.C. Division, by four points over Victoria. . . . Elynuik, who has 27 goals, opened the scoring at 7:17 of the first period. . . . Kelowna F Carsen Twarynski (40) tied it, on a PP, at 19:27 of the second period. . . . D Ty Smith (14) gave the Chiefs a 2-1 lead at 5:01 of the third period. . . . The Rockets tied it at 13:41 on F Kole Lind’s 37th goal. . . . Elynuik broke the tie at 18:46, then added insurance at 19:44. . . . F Luke Toporowski had two assists for the winners, with Smith getting one. . . . Kelowna was 1-5 on the PP; Spokane was 0-5. . . . G Dawson Weatherill earned the victory with 22 saves. . . . G James Porter stopped 24 shots for Kelowna. . . . Announced attendance: 5,106.


At Kennewick, Wash., G Shane Farkas posted his second straight shutout in leading the Portland Winterhawks to a 5-0 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . Portland (39-20-5) Portlandhas points in five straight (4-0-1). It is second in the U.S. Division, eight points behind Everett. . . . Tri-City (32-23-9) has lost three in a row (0-2-1). It is in the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot, three points ahead of Seattle. . . . F Kieffer Bellows (35) scored the game’s first goal, at 8:55 of the first period, and F Cody Glass got the next two, at 12:43 of the first and 1:17 of the second. . . . Glass now has 33 goals. . . . F Lane Gilliss scored Portland’s other goals, at 8:33 of the second, and 2:06 of the third. He’s got six goals. . . . The Winterhawks got three assists from D Henri Jokiharju, two from D Dennis Cholowski and one from Bellows. . . . Portland was 0-2 on the PP; Tri-City was 0-3. . . . Farkas stopped 30 shots in posting his third shutout of the season. In his last four starts, he is 4-0-0 with two shutouts, having allowed three goals on 120 shots (.975). . . . G Beck Warm started for Tri-City, and gave up four goals on 25 shots in 32:54. Patrick Dea finished up, stopping 17 of 18 shots in 27:06. . . . The Winterhawks are 22-8-2 on the road. . . . Announced attendance: 4,281.


SUNDAY (all times local):

Everett vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 2 p.m.

Red Deer at Calgary, 4 p.m.

Medicine Hat vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 4 p.m.

Regina at Edmonton, 4 p.m.

Portland vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 5:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

Paddock: Pats will play their best . . . Chico’s the man for Cougars . . . Tigers’ Shaw back on blades . . . Storm’s days numbered in Kamloops?


MacBeth

D Stefan Warg (Seattle, Prince Albert, 2008-10) has signed a two-year contract extension with Malmö (Sweden, SHL). This season, he has two goals and 10 assists in 44 games, while averaging 16:39 ice time per game.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

The situation staring the Regina Pats squarely in the face is the elephant in the WHL’s room at the moment.

The Pats, as you are aware, will be the host team for the Memorial Cup when it opens in May.

You also will be aware that they got off to a horrendous start this season, and have ReginaPats100known for some time that they won’t finish first or second in the East Division, the Moose Jaw Warriors (40-9-3) and Swift Current Broncos (37-13-4) simply being too far ahead. The Pats (28-22-5) trail the Warriors by 22 points and the Broncos by 17.

For a while, the third-place Brandon Wheat Kings (29-19-5) had a healthy lead, too, but that was before they turned into sellers at the trade deadline. Since then, they have gone 2-7-3 and now resemble a middle-of-the-pack squad rather than one that was running third in the overall standings.

Going into weekend games, then, the Pats are two points behind the Wheat Kings.

And there’s the rub. . . .

The third-place finisher in the East Division will play No. 2 in the opening round of the playoffs, which is likely to be Swift Current.

Finish fourth and chances are you will be the first wild-card team, meaning a first-round date with the first-place team in the Central Division, either the Medicine Hat Tigers or Lethbridge Hurricanes.

The injury-riddled Tigers have a five-point edge on the hard-charging Hurricanes.

You don’t have to be a rocket surgeon to know which is the easiest route.

Just don’t suggest to John Paddock, the Pats’ general manager and head coach, that maybe, well, just maybe . . . you know . . .

“There’s a lot of hypotheticals,” he told Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post.“One, be careful what you might wish for. Two, you can’t step on the ice as a player and you can’t go behind the bench as a coach without trying to win the game. It’s really just a joke (to suggest otherwise). You can’t go out and not play your best. . . .

“We’re not going to catch those top two teams. I’ve known that since October. But we’re going to have to play one or both at some point (in the playoffs). You want to play good and we also know we’re going to play in May and nobody else does. It’s very important to be playing better and better as the season goes on.”

Harder’s complete story is right here.


Chico Dhanjal worked his 700th WHL game with the Prince George Cougars on Jan. 31 while the team was on its East Division swing. A native of Saskatoon, the Cougars’ equipment manager celebrated 700 games during a game against the Pats in Regina.

Dhanjal, who seems to wear a perpetual smile, started with the Cougars in 2008-09, after working with the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos. He has degrees in kinesiology and psychology from the U of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.

The Cougars signed him to a three-year extension on Nov. 24, 2016.


The access ShoWare Centre in Kent, Wash., home of the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds, lost US$361,861 in 2017, up from a loss of $155,268 the previous year. But, as Steve Hunter of the Kent Reporter writes, city officials are “confident that the numbers show better days are ahead” for the facility. . . . Hunter’s story is right here.


F Mason Shaw, who has yet to play for the Medicine Hat Tigers this season, skated on Thursday for the first time at home since he suffered a knee injury in early September.

Shaw suffered a torn ACL while playing for the Minnesota Wild’s rookie team at an NHL Tigers Logo Officialpreseason tournament in Traverse City, Mich. He subsequently underwent surgery and only recently was cleared to resume skating.

CHAT News reported yesterday that Mason was wearing a non-contact jersey as he “skated several laps . . . by himself. It’s the first time he’s been on skates at his home rink, and the first time he was in full equipment since September.”

Shaw, 19, isn’t likely to play in the regular season, but hopes to be cleared for game action in time for the start of the playoffs.

It would be huge for the Tigers to get him back for playoff action. Last season, he finished with 27 goals and 67 assists in 71 games, then added 12 assists in 11 playoff games.

The Tigers (27-22-7) go into the weekend atop the Central Division, five points ahead of the Lethbridge Hurricanes (25-21-6), who hold four games in hand.

Medicine Hat is really banged up, and is 3-4-3 in its last 10 games, while Lethbridge is 5-2-3.

The Tigers will play home-and-home with the Calgary Hitmen (16-30-7) this weekend, opening tonight (Friday) in Medicine Hat and finishing Sunday afternoon in Calgary.

The Hurricanes are in Moose Jaw tonight and Regina on Saturday.


There is an interesting hockey story unfolding in Quesnel, B.C., where a group has been trying to land a junior B franchise, preferably in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.

The West Fraser Centre will be home to a pair of games tonight (Kamloops Storm vs. 100 KamStormMile House Wranglers) and Saturday (Kamloops Storm vs. Myles Mattila and his Kelowna Chiefs in a game that also will promote mental health awareness).

Matt Kolle, the Storm’s assistant GM, is part of Parallel Sports Group, which has been working to bring junior B hockey to Quesnel. The KIJHL has twice rejected Quesnel-based expansion applications.

Kolle has told Melanie Law of the Quesnel Observer that the group now is looking at the possible relocation of an existing franchise. In that vein, Kolle told Law that the Storm’s management team has spent the past while reviewing its financial picture.

“In the next few weeks,” Kolle said, “we’ll know where Kamloops’ team stands. And (Parallel Sports Group) has also been having conversations with other (KIJHL) teams in financial strain that might be better off in Quesnel.

“It has always been something we would consider, but we wanted to see how the expansion bid would play out first.”

The Storm, owned by Barry Dewar, has played in Kamloops since relocating from Osoyoos, B.C., prior to the 2006-07 season.

Law’s complete story is right here.


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


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Regina at Medicine Hat

Brandon at Swift Current

Kootenay at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Spokane at Kelowna

Tri-City at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

THURSDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Lethbridge at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Regina, 7 p.m.

Prince Albert at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Edmonton at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

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

Kamloops at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Tri-City at Portland, 7 p.m.

Kelowna at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

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

Spokane at Everett, 7:35 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY