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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Hat tricks for Steel, Bellows as Pats, ‘Hawks win . . . Silvertips sweep the weekend . . . Hitmen bury Rebels in third

A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

F Koby Morrisseau left the Regina Pats in January following the sudden death of his father, Paul, on Jan. 12. Morrisseau missed 14 games before returning to the Pats and now is regaining his form. Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post spoke with Morrisseau and teammates, and has written a compelling story on how they all are helping a friend deal with all that goes with such a tragedy. . . . That story is right here.


Sir Roger Bannister, the first man to break the four-minute barrier in running the mile, died on Saturday at the age of 88. While in London covering the 2012 Olympic Summer Games, columnist Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle tried to duplicate that feat. The results were, umm, predictable, but, as usual with Ostler, it all made for a delicious read that is right here. . . .

If you would like to know more about Sir Roger, pick up a copy of The Miracle Mile: Stories of the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. Written by Jason Beck, curator and facility director at the BC Sports Hall of Fame, this is one of the best books I have read in recent years.


TheCoachingGame

The junior B Fernie Ghostriders of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League have told Craig Mohr, their general manager and head coach, that they “have decided to proceed in a different direction with the team.” . . . This season, the Ghostriders finished 15-28-1-3 (that’s wins, losses, ties and overtime losses), leaving them fourth in the five-team Eddie Mountain Division. . . . Fernie lost a first-round series to the Kimberley Dynamiters, 4-1. . . . Mohr was the Ghostriders’ GM and head coach through four seasons.


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

SUNDAY:

At Langley, B.C., D Kevin Davis scored twice to help the Everett Silvertips to a 6-1 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Everett (44-18-5) has won three in a row. It leads the EverettWestern Conference, by eight points over Portland. . . . Everett won the season series with Vancouver, 5-1-0. . . . Vancouver (33-23-9) is third in the B.C. Division, three points behind Victoria. . . . Both teams were playing their third game in fewer than 48 hours. The Silvertips went 3-0-0; the Giants were 1-2-0. . . . On Sunday, F Jared Dmytriw (15) gave the Giants at 1-0 lead at 13:35 of the first period. . . . The visitors scored the last six goals. . . . F Connor Dewar (36) tied it at 18:14. . . . F Bryce Kindopp (20) gave Everett the lead at 8:43 of the second period. . . . Davis added insurance at 12:25, and F Garrett Pilon (32) upped the lead to 4-1 when he scored on a penalty shot at 15:36. . . . Davis, who has 10 goals, got his second score, on a PP, at 19:59. . . . F Riley Sutter (25) scored Everett’s last goal, on a PP, at 7:35 of the third period. . . . Dewar and Pilon each added an assist. . . . Everett was 2-3 on the PP; Vancouver was 0-3. . . . The Silvertips got 28 saves and an assist from G Dustin Wolf. . . . G Trent Miner stopped 31 shots for the Giants. . . . Prior to the game, the Giants recognized bus driver Derek Holloway, who made his 600th road game last month; broadcaster Bill Wilms, who is on track to work his 2,000th Giants game on March 14 in Kamloops; and Terry Bonner, the franchise’s scouting director, who has been with the team since Day 1. . . . Announced attendance: 3,537.


At Calgary, the Hitmen exploded for six third-period goals en route to a 6-2 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Calgary (20-35-10) had lost its previous five games (0-2-3). . . . Red CalgaryDeer (24-30-13) has lost two in a row. It is third in the Central Division, seven points ahead of Kootenay. . . . Red Deer went 1-2-0) in playing three times in fewer than 48 hours. . . . The Hitmen did the same and went 1-0-2. . . . F Brandon Hagel (13) gave Red Deer a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 5:41 of the first period. . . . Red Deer went up 2-0 at 11:02 of the second period when F Reese Johnson got No. 22. . . . F Riley Stotts (16) started Calgary’s comeback, on a PP, at 5:41 of the third period. . . . F Mark Kastelic  (17) tied the score at 6:28. . . . D Dakota Krebs (4) gave the Hitmen the lead at 11:42, and F Jakob Stukel provided a two-goal lead at 13:29. . . . Stukel, who also had two assists, added his 34th goal of the season, into an empty net, at 19:32, and F Zach Huber (2) wrapped up the scoring at 19:46. . . . F Conner Chaulk had three assists for Calgary. . . . D Dawson Barteaux had two assists for Red Deer. . . . Red Deer was 1-3 on the PP; Calgary was 1-5. . . . G Matthew Armitage earned the victory with 30 saves. . . . G Ethan Anders stopped 34 shots for Red Deer. . . . Six goals-against in one period? “It’s like we were kicked right in the teeth,” Brent Sutter, the Rebels’ GM and head coach, told Greg Meachem of reddeerrebels.com. That piece is right here. . . . Announced attendance: 8,465.

——

At Cranbrook, B.C., the Medicine Hat Tigers opened up a 3-1 lead with three second-period goals and went on to beat the Kootenay Ice, 4-3. . . . Medicine Hat (34-24-8) has Tigers Logo Officialpoints in seven straight (6-0-1). It leads the Central Division by six points over Lethbridge. The Hurricanes have two games in hand. . . . Kootenay (25-38-4) has lost eight in a row (0-7-1). The Ice is fourth in the Central Division, seven points from a playoff spot with five games to play. . . . F Colton Kroeker (14) gave the Ice a 1-0 lead at 12:54 of the second period. . . . The Tigers took control on goals from F Elijah Brown (7), on a PP, at 14:29; F Ryan Chyzowski (19), at 15:21; and F Josh Williams (9), on a PP, at 19:20. . . . F Bobby Russell (1) got the Ice to within a goal at 16:12 of the third period, but F James Hamblin (20) got that one back, shorthanded, at 17:54. . . . D Jonathan Smart (6) pulled Ice to within one at 18:21. . . . F Hayden Ostir had two assists for the Tigers. . . . Medicine Hat was 2-5 on the PP; Kootenay was 0-6. . . . The Tigers got a 38-save performance from G Michael Bullion. . . . G Duncan McGovern stopped 24 shots for the Ice. . . . Announced attendance: 2,771.


At Edmonton, F Sam Steel, who is from Sherwood Park, Alta., scored three times to lead the Regina Pats to a 7-4 victory over the Oil Kings. . . . Regina (35-25-6) has won two in a ReginaPats100row. It is third in the East Division, three points ahead of Brandon. . . . Edmonton slipped to 19-38-8. . . . The Pats took a 3-0 lead on first-period goals from F Nick Henry (12), on a PP, at 11:15; F Jake Leschyshyn, on another PP, at 12:31; and Steel, shorthanded, at 19:48. . . . F Tomas Soustal (19) got Edmonton on the scoreboard, while shorthanded, at 2:24 ofd the second period. . . . Regina responded with three quick goals, with Steel scoring, on a PP, at 3:14; Leschyshyn (18) getting his second at 4:36; and D Cale Fleury (12) scoring on yet another PP at 8:51. . . . Steel (28) completed the hat trick with a third-period PP goal. . . . Edmonton got third-period goals from F Trey Fix-Wolansky (29), F Kobe Mohr (10) and D Matthew Robertson (5). . . . Regina got three assists from each of F Emil Oksanen and F Cam Hebig, two from F Matt Bradley, and one each from Fleury and Steel. . . . Hebig has had back-to-back three-assist outings. . . . Fix-Wolansky and Mohr had one each for Edmonton. . . . Regina was 5-5 on the PP; Edmonton was 1-4. . . . Regina G Ryan Kubic left after one period with an undisclosed injury. He stopped all seven shots he faced. Max Paddock finished up by stopping 17 of 21 shots over two periods. . . . The Oil Kings got 36 saves from G Josh Dechaine. . . . The Pats are 4-1-0 as they play eight straight road games because the Canadian men’s curling championship is being decided in their home arena. . . . Announced attendance: 8,297.


At Kent, Wash., F Kieffer Bellows struck for three goals to help the Portland Winterhawks to a 7-4 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Portland (40-20-5) has points in six Portlandstraight (5-0-1). . . . Seattle (30-25-10) had points in each of its previous three games (2-0-1). . . . Portland went 1-1-1 in playing three games in fewer than 48 hours, while Seattle also went 1-1-1. On Friday, the Thunderbirds beat host Portland 5-4 in a shootout. . . . According to TBird Tidbits (@TBirdTidbits), this was the first time since St. Patrick’s Day 1996 that the Winterhawks had visited the Thunderbirds on a Sunday. In 1996, Portland skated to a 5-0 victory at Key Arena. . . . The Winterhawks scored three goals in game’s first 11 minutes. . . . Bellows started it at 1:03, with F Jake Gricius (13) making it 2-0 at 5:25, and F Cody Glass, who also had three assists, upping it to 3-0 at 10:29. . . . F Mike MacLean (2) scored Seattle’s first goal, at 15:42. . . . Bellows, who has 38 goals, completed his first WHL hat trick with goals at 2:10 and 5:08 of the second period. The first one came via the PP. . . . F Nolan Volcan cut Seattle’s deficit to three goals, on a PP, at 8:06. . . . Volcan’s 29th goal, at 10:12 of third period made it a two-goal game, and F Zack Andrusiak’s 30th score cut the deficit to one at 16:41. . . . Portland got an empty-netter from F Ryan Hughes (16), at 19:13, and its final goal from D Brendan De Jong (4) at 19:41. . . . Portland got three assists from D Henri Jokiharju, who has 65 points, including 57 assists, in 56 games. He has eight assists in his past three games. . . . D Austin Strand drew three assists for Seattle. . . . Each team was 1-3 on the PP. . . . G Shane Farkas earned his eighth straight victory with 32 saves, one more than Seattle’s Dorrin Luding. . . . Mike Johnston worked his 500th regular-season game behind the Winterhawks’ bench. He is 311-160-29. . . . Announced attendance: 4,066.


MONDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


TUESDAY (all times local):

Lethbridge at Brandon, 7 p.m.

Edmonton at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Regina at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.

Portland at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Tri-City vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:05 p.m.

Spokane at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

Quenneville reaches milestone . . . Rockets hang on to beat Cougars . . . Silvertips clinch 15th straight playoff berth


MacBeth

F Pavel Brendl (Calgary, 1998-2001) has been released by Wings Arlanda (Sweden, Division 1). He had five goals and three assists in 12 games.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

The WHL’s department of discipline was busy on Tuesday.

F Sean Richards of the Everett Silvertips was hit with a four-game suspension after he whltook a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct against the host Seattle Thunderbirds on Friday. He already has sat out three games.

Jesse Gabrielle of the Regina Pats and Barrett Sheen of the Moose Jaw Warriors got two games each for their part in a kerfuffle at the end of a game in Regina on Sunday. . . . Both players have one game remaining.

Two other players drew TBD suspensions.

D Liam Schioler of the Pats took a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct in Prince Albert on Monday after a hit on Raiders F Kody McDonald, who returned to the game.

D Jett Woo of the Warriors left Monday’s game in Brandon with a headshot major and game misconduct for a hit on Wheat Kings F Ty Lewis.


D Austin Chorney, 17, of the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks has committed to Ohio State and the Buckeyes. Chorney, from Calgary, split last season between the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs and the Silverbacks. This season, he has six goals and three assists in 46 games. . . . He was a second-round pick by the Moose Jaw Warriors in the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft.


G Ty Taylor, 18, of the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers has committed play next season for the U of New Hampshire Wildcats. This season, Taylor, from Richmond, B.C., is 22-5-3, 1.83, .932, with seven shutouts. . . . Taylor’s WHL rights moved from the Prince George Cougars to the Portland Winterhawks at the Jan. 10 trade deadline.


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

TUESDAY:

At Medicine Hat, David Quenneville became the first defenceman in franchise history to get to 200 points as the Tigers beat the Kootenay Ice, 3-1. . . . Medicine Hat (30-24-7) has Tigers Logo Officialwon two in a row. It leads the Central Division by three points over Lethbridge, which has two games in hand. . . . Kootenay (25-34-3) has lost three in a row. It is fourth in the Central Division, two points behind Red Deer, which holds two games in hand. . . . The Tigers and Ice will meet again Friday, this time in Cranbrook, B.C. . . . F Brett Davis (23) gave the Ice a 1-0 lead with a shorthanded goal at 9:59 of the first period. . . . The Tigers tied it when F Tyler Preziuso (13) scored at 14:22 of the second period, then took the lead at 14:10 of the third on F Bryan Lockner’s 12th goal. . . . Quenneville got his 24th goal, and the 200th point of his career, into an empty net at 19:42. . . . He’s got 200 points, including 67 goals, in 240 games. . . . This season, Quenneville leads all WHL defencemen in goals and points (66). . . . Each team took one minor penalty, and each team was 0-1 on the PP. . . . G Michael Bullion stopped 19 shots for the Tigers. . . . The Ice got 29 saves from G Matt Berlin. . . . The Tigers remain without G Jorden Hollett, D Joel Craven, D Kristians Rubins, F Hayden Ostir, F Baxter Anderson, F Mason Shaw and D Linus Nassen, all out with injuries. . . . Announced attendance: 2,904.


At Kelowna, the Rockets scored four goals before the first period was 11 minutes old and went on to beat the Prince George Cougars, 6-5. . . . Kelowna (36-18-6) has points in three KelownaRocketsstraight (2-0-1). The Rockets lead the B.C. Division by three points over Victoria. . . . The Cougars (20-31-8) are fifth in B.C., nine points behind Kamloops. . . . F Dillon Dube got the Rockets started 49 seconds into the first period. . . . F Carsen Twarynski added goals at 5:04 and 5:35, for a 3-0 lead. He’s got 37 goals. . . . F Jackson Leppard (13) scored for the Cougars, on a PP, at 10:13, but F Liam Kindree (8) got that one back for the Rockets just 46 seconds later. . . . Prince George F Vladislav Mikhalchuk (13) closed out a six-goal first period at 14:45. . . . Dube (29) upped the Rockets’ lead to 5-2 at 12:09 of the second period, and F Erik Gardiner (4) made it 6-2 at 14:30. . . . Prince George made it interesting with three third-period goals, from D Ryan Schoettler (5), at 6:12; D Rhett Rhinehart (1), at 9:00; and F Jared Bethune (20), shorthanded, at 15:54. . . . The Rockets got two assists from each of Lindree and D Cal Foote, and one from Dube. . . . Leppard, Bethune and Mikhalchuk each had an assist for Prince George. . . . The Cougars were 1-2 on the PP; the Rockets were 1-6. . . . G Brodan Salmon stopped 32 shots for Kelowna. . . . G Tavin Grant started for the Cougars and was beaten three times on six shots in 5:35. Taylor Gauthier came on to stop 20 of 23 shots in 35:39, before Grant came back in to stop all eight shots he faced in 17:41. . . . The Rockets remain without D James Hilsendager, F Nolan Foote and F Kole Lind, all with upper-body injuries. . . . Lind was shown on Tuesday’s WHL roster report as having returned from injury, but that obviously has yet to happen. . . . F Tyson Phare made his WHL debut with the Cougars. From Maple Ridge, B.C., he was a first-round selection by the Cougars in the 2017 bantam draft. He has 20 goals and 15 assists in 25 games with the Yale Hockey Academy prep team. . . . Announced attendance: 4,349.


At Spokane, F Garrett Pilon scored a pair of second-period goals to help the Everett Silvertips to a 4-1 victory over the Chiefs. . . . Everett (39-17-5) has points in nine straight Everett(7-0-2) and clinched a playoff spot with the victory. Everett is in its 15th WHL season and has been in the playoffs in each one. . . . The Silvertips lead the Western Conference by five points over Kelowna. . . . Spokane (33-21-5) had won three in a row. It is third in the U.S. Division, three points behind Portland. . . . Pilon opened the scoring 31 seconds into the second period. . . . F Riley Sutter (24) made it 2-0, on a PP, at 12:13, and Pilon, who has 30 goals, upped it to 3-0 at 14:17. . . . F Eli Zummack (12) scored for Spokane at 17:11. . . . F Connor Dewar (30) got the game’s last goal at 13:21, off an assist from Pilon. . . . Dewar had an assist on Pilon’s first goal. . . . Everett was 1-1 on the PP; Spokane was 0-2. . . . G Carter Hart blocked 28 shots for the winners, while Spokane’s Dawson Weatherill, who had won each of his previous seven appearances, made 30 saves. . . . Everett D Kevin Davis played in his 336th regular-season game, passing F Shane Harper taking over the franchise record. . . . Davis has 165 points, including 141 assists, in those games. . . . Announced attendance: 4,469.


WEDNESDAY (all times local):

Kamloops at Portland, 7 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Red Deer at Calgary, 7 p.m.

Prince Albert at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

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


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