Here’s your chance to join Team Dorothy . . . Blades blank Bedard in front of another full house . . . Tigers, Broncos have playoff spot on line tonight

It’s that time of year again. Yes, the 2023 Kamloops Kidney Walk is almost upon us.

This year, we’re back to walking outdoors, and we’ll be hitting the trail at McDonald Park on June 4.

My wife, Dorothy, who in September will celebrate 10 years as a transplant recipient, is once again taking part. And, yes, she is fund-raising and would love for you to be part of her team.

If you are so inclined, you may make a donation right here. Thank you so much, in advance.


THE BEDARD REPORT: F Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats was rather quiet on Friday night as his guys dropped a 3-2 decision to the Blades in Saskatoon. . . . Bedard, who had put up 17 points, including nine goals, in his previous four games, was blanked by the Blades for the fifth time in 56 games this season. . . . He still leads the WHL in goals (70), assists (72) and points (142). . . . Bedard has one game remaining in the regular season. He and the Pats will entertain the Prince Albert Raiders tonight.

——

What kind of an impact did F Connor Bedard and his Regina Pats have on the Saskatoon Blades’ final regular-season attendance figures this season? . . . Well, let us take a quick look. . . . The Travellin’ Bedards visited the Pats twice this week — putting 14,768 fans into the SaskTel Centre on Sunday and again on Friday night. Prior to those two dates, the Blades’ average attendance was 3,865. Afterwards, the number was 4,506. . . . The Blades drew 153,214 fans to 34 games. Last season, those numbers were 114,586 and 3,370. . . . This season’s average attendance, then, is up 1,136 over last season. . . . And that’s with the playoffs — yes, the Travellin’ Bedards will be playing the Blades in the first round — to come. . . . BTW, this season’s average attendance in Saskatoon is the highest it’s been since 2012-13, a season in which the Blades were the host team for the Memorial Cup tournament. That season, the Blades drew 217,447 fans to 36 games, an average of 6,040. . . . BTW, had the Blades paid Bedard 25 cents per seat filled for the Sunday and Friday games, he would have put $7,384 in his hockey bag.


Vic

I saw this photo on Facebook this week, along with this note: “I saw this car at the lights today — I think we all need to share share share — hope he finds a donor.”

The car belongs to Vic Morin, who is a friend through the Kamloops Kidney Support Group. His wife, Colleen Bruce, commented on the photo: “Thank you for taking the time and posting your picture. It is my husband that needs the kidney very desperately.”

And that is the absolute truth. So, please, “share share share” and also consider sharing a kidney.

If you are interested in at least checking out what is involved in donating a kidney, there is more info further down on this post.


Holes


Dan Tencer, the Saskatoon Blades’ director of scouting, escaped a serious car accident with only minor injuries on Wednesday night, according to Colin Priestner, the WHL team’s president and general manager.

Tencer, who is resting at home in Edmonton, was on a scouting assignment en route to a tournament when the accident occurred on Highway No. 2 in Alberta.

“Despite being hit at 120 km/h, he was pulled from the vehicle by a Good Samaritan with only minor bruises and cuts . . . a total miracle,” Priestner tweeted.

Both vehicles — Tencer’s truck and a car — were destroyed. The other driver apparently wasn’t injured, either.

“Let’s all send him our best wishes, and I know he’ll be back in the rinks before you know it because he loves it so much. He even asked me (Wednesday) night, in total shock, who was winning the Edmonton Oilers game.”

Priestner also took time to give a “shout out to all the amazing scouts who live on the road for the love of the game, their clubs and these kids trying to make it one day.”

He added: “We probably don’t tell you enough how much we appreciate what you do and the risks you take in these Canadian winters for us.”



If the WHL playoffs started today (x-locked in):

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Winnipeg (1) vs. Medicine Hat (8)

Red Deer (2) vs. Calgary (7)

x-Saskatoon (3) vs. Regina (6)

x-Moose Jaw (4) vs. Lethbridge (5)

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

x-Seattle (1) vs. Kelowna (8)

x-Kamloops (2) vs. Vancouver (7)

x-Portland (3) vs. Everett (6)

x-Prince George (4) vs. Tri-City (5)

(NOTE:There are excellent playoff previews available on the WHL’s website.)

——

FRIDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

F Zach Ostapchuk’s shootout goal gave the Winnipeg Ice a 3-2 victory over the Wheat Kings in Brandon. . . . F Dawson Pasternak (15) gave Brandon a 2-1 lead at 13:49 of the third period, but F Briley Wood (2) got Winnipeg back into a tie just five seconds later. . . . Winnipeg (56-10-1) will win the Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy for finishing atop the overall standings for a second straight season. That means the Ice will have home-ice advantage for as long as its playoff run goes. . . . Brandon (26-32-9) has lost five in a row (0-4-1) and won’t be in the playoffs. . . . These two teams will finish their regular-season schedules tonight in Winnipeg. . . .

F Trevor Wong broke a 2-2 tie at 11:10 of the third period as the Saskatoon Blades got past the visiting Regina Pats, 3-2. . . . Wong won it with his 25th goal of the season. . . . F Brandon Lisowsky (37) gave Saskatoon a 2-0 lead with goals at 17:53 of the first period and 5:19 of the second. . . . The Pats got third-period goals from F Tanner Howe (35), shorthanded, and F Sam Oremba (10). . . . Saskatoon (47-15-5) will be the Eastern Conference’s No. 3 seed when the playoffs open and will face No. 6 Regina (34-29-4). . . . The Blades won the season series, 4-2-0. . . . They will open with two games in Saskatoon, on March 31 and April 2. . . .

F Jagger Firkus scored twice to help the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors to a 5-3 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . The Raiders came back from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game with three PP goals, two of them from F Sloan Stanick (28). . . . F Ryder Korczak (28) broke the tie at 16:27 of the third period and Firkus added insurance with his 40th goal at 17:42, via the PP. . . . Moose Jaw (41-23-3) will finish fourth in the Eastern Conference and face No. 5 Lethbridge in the first round. The Warriors won the season series with the Hurricanes, 3-1-0. . . . Prince Albert (27-37-3) has lost three in a row. . . .

The Lethbridge Hurricanes built a 5-1 lead and hung on for a 6-4 victory over the visiting Red Deer Rebels. . . . D Tristen Doyle (4) gave the Hurricanes that 5-1 lead at 2:23 of the second period. . . . The Rebels got to within a goal, at 5-4, with third-period goals from F Talon Brigley (4), at 7:38, F Craig Armstrong (11), at 13:48, and F Jace Isley (30), at 14:12. . . . Lethbridge D Joe Arntsen (7) iced it with the empty-netter. . . . Earlier, Red Deer F Kai Uchacz scored his 50th goal of the season. . . . The winners got four assists from F Brayden Edwards. . . . Lethbridge (36-25-6) clinched fifth in the Eastern Conference and will meet No. 4 Moose Jaw in the first round. The Hurricanes and Warriors haven’t met in the playoffs since 1997. . . . Red Deer (42-19-6) will be the No. 2 seed but doesn’t yet know it will be playing Medicine Hat or Swift Current. . . . The Rebels and Hurricanes will meet again tonight, this time in Red Deer. . . .

The Swift Current Broncos kept alive their playoff hopes with a 3-1 victory over the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . F Caleb Wyrostok (24) scored twice, the second one coming on a shorthanded penalty shot at 12:16 of the third period for a 3-0 lead. . . . The Broncos ended up with three unassisted goals. . . . F Gavin McKenna (4) scored for the Tigers at 13:40 of the third. . . . Swift Current (31-32-4) has won three in a row. . . . Medicine Hat (29-29-9) had won its previous game. . . . They’ll play again tonight, this time in Medicine Hat. The Broncos go into the game in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, one points behind the Tigers. . . .

D Kevin Korchinski scored twice and added two assists to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 7-3 victory over the Winterhawks in Portland. . . . Korchinksi, who has 11 goals, figured in each of Seattle’s first four goals as it took a 4-1 lead in the second period. This was his third four-pointer of the season. Korchinski has 73 points, 62 of them assists, in 54 games. In his career, he now has 148 points in 145 games. . . . F Reid Schaefer (28) had a goal and two assists for Seattle. . . . F Brad Lambert scored his 17th goal. He’s got 38 points in 26 games with Seattle. . . . Seattle was 3-for-5 on the PP and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill. . . . Kyle Gustafson, Portland’s associate coach, ran the bench with GM/head coach Mike Johnston away at a family wedding. . . . Seattle (54-10-3) will finish atop the Western Conference and meet up with Kelowna in the first round. . . . Portland (39-20-8) has lost four in a row (0-3-1). . . . The Thunderbirds and Winterhawks will wrap up their regular seasons tonight in Kent, Wash. . . .

F Carlin Dezainde scored once and added two assists to help the Prince George Cougars to a 7-2 victory over the Blazers in Kamloops. . . . After F Connor Levis (27) opened the scoring for the Blazers at 1:43 of the first period, the Cougars scored six straight goals. . . . F Zac Funk scored his 26th goal of the season for Prince George. He’s got eight goals over his past eight games. . . . Prince George (36-24-7) has points in 10 straight (7-0-3). . . . Kamloops (48-13-6) has lost two in a row. . . . These two will wrap up their regular seasons tonight in Prince George. . . .

F Teague Patton scored twice and added an assist as the Victoria Royals skated out of Everett with a 6-4victory over the Silvertips. . . . The Royals opened a 3-0 lead, and the Silvertips cut it to 3-2. That’s when Patton, who has 16 goals, scored at 13:52 of the second period and 4:38 of the third. . . . F Jackson Berezowski, who also had an assist, scored three times for Everett, giving him 47 this season. That equals the single-season franchise record that was set by F Josh Winquist (2013-14). . . . Everett also got a goal (17) and three assists from F Raphael Pelletier, with F Jesse Heslop adding three assists. . . . Victoria (17-43-7) has won two in a row. . . . Everett (32-32-3) has lost two in a row. . . . These teams will meet again tonight, this time in Victoria. . . . The Royals are likely to be without F Reggie Newman, who left at 5:03 of the third period with a headshot major and game misconduct. . . .

F Reese Belton and F Jalen Luypen each scored three times for their first WHL hat tricks as the Tri-City Americans skated to a 7-4 victory over the Spokane Chiefs in Kennewick, Wash. . . . Tri-City broke a 3-3 tie with four third-period goals — two from Luypen, who has 18 goals, and two from F Reese Belton, who also has 18. . . . Belton also had two assists, with Luypen getting one. . . . F Carter Streek scored twice for the Chiefs. He’s got — you guess it! — 18 goals this season. . . . Tri-City (33-26-8) has points in six straight (5-0-1) as it prepares to meet Prince George in the first round. . . . Spokane (15-43-9) won’t be in the playoffs this time around. . . . The Americans and Chiefs will finish up tonight in Spokane. . . .

F Samuel Honzek scored twice, including the winner, as the Vancouver Giants got past the Kelowna Rockets, 3-2, in Langley, B.C. . . . The Giants overcame a 2-0 deficit with Honzek equalizing at 4:44 of the third period and then winning it with 0.5 showing on the clock. He’s got 23 goals. . . . F Kayden Longley had given the Rockets a 2-1 edge with his first WHL goal at 11:52 of the second period. Longley, a 13th-round selection in the WHL’s 2021 draft, scored in his seventh game. . . . The Rockets lost F Ty Hurley to a charging major and game misconduct at 6:28 of the third period. . . . Vancouver (28-31-8) has won two in a row. . . . Kelowna (26-37-4) has lost four straight (0-3-1). . . . The Giants and Rockets will end their regular seasons tonight in Kelowna.


Dinner


JUNIOR JOTTINGS: The 2024 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is to be played in Moncton on Jan. 24. This will be only the second time that the game will be played in Atlantic Canada (Halifax, 2013). . . .

Dave Liffiton has signed on as interim head coach of the BCHL’s Nanaimo Clippers. He will be working alongside associate coach Bob Beatty and assistant coach Tyler Gow. . . . Colin Birkas, the Clippers’ general manager and head coach, was suspended on March 17 while, according to the team, “a third-party investigation into complaints filed under Hockey Canada’s discipline and complaints policy” is undertaken. Beatty and Gow were running things until Liffiton was brought on board. . . . You may recall that Liffiton joined the Clippers as an assistant coach prior to the 2022 playoffs after then-head coach Darren Naylor and Birkas were suspended pending an investigation for alleged violations of the BCHL’s code of conduct. Birkas was reinstated, however, and coached during the playoffs. Naylor never did return, nor were results of the investigation ever released to the public. . . . The MJHL’s OCN Blizzard signed Naylor as GM/head coach in July, but he wasn’t reinstated from his suspension. So the Blizzard ended up hiring Doug Johnson, longtime GM/head coach of the SJHL’s Nipawin Hawks, as head coach and assistant GM.


THINKING OUT LOUD: Hey, Regina, Friday was one of the big days of your year. Yes, it was opening day at the Milky Way. Enjoy! . . . So two of the Staal brothers chose not to wear Pride Night sweaters for the Florida Panthers’ pregame warmup on Thursday night. And then photographic evidence was found showing Eric wearing one with the Montreal Canadiens during the 2020-21 season. Whoops! Especially when he earlier had said: “I haven’t before. I never have . . . I haven’t worn a pride jersey before.” Double whoops! . . . Once again, the NHL proves that not everyone is welcome in its world. . . . Hey, Sportsnet, Friday night without NHL hockey on any of your channels. What’s up with that? . . . Hey, TSN, you and the WHL missed the boat by not taking the Regina Pats and Saskatoon Blades playing in front of a full house and putting them on one of your channels on Friday night. Yes, I know they were available on something called TSN+, but I already pay for half-a-dozen of your channels and that’s about four too many on most nights.



If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Flush

Advertisement

Vanstone walking away from Leader-Post . . . Three more points for Bedard in another loss . . . Korchinski special for Thunderbirds

The social media hills were alive with the sound of accolades on Saturday as word circulated that Rob Vanstone has chosen to leave the Regina Leader-Post after almost 36 years of chronicling everything there is to know about the sporting scene in Regina and, indeed, all over Saskatchewan. . . . Accolades, it must be said, that are certainly well-deserved. . . . But what’s next for someone who is not yet old enough to walk off into the sunset? . . . “A new opportunity, the details of which are to be divulged soon, is to begin on Tuesday,” he wrote in one final column. . . . There aren’t words to describe the size of the hole his departure from the printed page and the newspaper’s website will leave in that area’s sporting community. Yes, he is perhaps best known for his writings on the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders. But his most important work has resulted from his love for high school sports, junior football, university sports, the so-called amateur sports, his love for all the “little people” of the sporting world. He loved nothing better than to stumble on a story in a far corner of a gymnasium and take it from there. That was Vanstone at his best. . . .

With Vanstone’s departure, you are free to wonder what’s next for what once was a wonderful sports department, one that in the 1990s featured an editor, a columnist, six reporters, three copy editor/layout people, and an agate clerk. It was nothing for coverage of a Roughriders’ home game to involve five writers. . . . Now there is one — ONE! — person left in the department. That would be Murray McCormick, who is going to be a whole lot busier than the Maytag repairman. . . .

Of course, The Leader-Post is owned by Postmedia, which seems to be sending people to the high jump almost every day. So . . . who knows? Perhaps that once terrific sports department soon is to be nothing but a memory.

And the thought of that is enough to make a grown man cry.



JUST NOTES:
Sparked by the play of F Diego Cuglietta of Kamloops, SG Cortina won the Italian Hockey League Series A last weekend with a 2-1 victory over Ritten Sport. It was a four-team round-robin series and Cortina went 3-0 to win its 17th national title, but first since 2007. . . . Cuglietta scored Cortina’s first goal in the final victory. Cortina also beat HC Meran (3-0) and the Unterland Cavaliers (3-1). . . . In Alps League play, Cuglietta put up 41 points, including 15 goals, in 30 games to lead the team. . . . Cuglietta played three seasons with the BCHL’s Merritt Centennials before going on to spend four seasons at Lake Superior State. He did time in the AHL and ECHL before joining Cortina prior to this season. . . .

From the better-late-than-never department, the WHL’s 2022-23 Guide and Record Book is available for download at whl.ca. Perhaps someone in the Calgary office will put up a link on the home page. Otherwise, go to MORE on the menu near the top of the home page, then to MEDIA INFORMATION and click on the encircled plus sign. You’ll find the link right there. Happy downloading!


Doctors


SATURDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

BEDARD
CONNOR BEDARD

THE BEDARD REPORT: F Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats added a goal and two assists to his eye-popping numbers, but his side dropped a 7-4 decision to the visiting Winnipeg Ice. . . . The goal came with the Pats shorhanded. It was his fifth shortie of the season and sixth of his career. . . . This was Bedard’s 41st game of the season; he has put up multiple points in 29 of them. . . . He now has a WHL-leading 103 points, including 51 goals. He finished last season with 100 points, 50 of them goals. . . . Since returning to the Pats after leading Canada to gold at the World Junior Championship, Bedard has scored 24 goals and added 15 assists in 13 games. . . . In 118 regular-season WHL games, he now has 231 points, including 114 goals. . . . When Bedard struck for his 50th goal of the season in his 40th game on Friday night, I forgot to mention that the WHL record for quickest to 50 is held by F Bill Derlago, who did it in 27 games — YES, 27!!! — with the Brandon Wheat Kings in 1977-78. . . .

——

In Regina, the Ice erased a 3-1 deficit with five straight goals en route to a 7-4 victory over the Pats. . . . F Evan Friesen (10) got the Ice into a 3-3 tie at 1:27 of the third period and F Matt Savoie (25) gave the visitors their first lead at 8:06. . . . F Connor Geekie (25) and F Zack Ostapchuk (19) stretched the lead to 6-3. That was Ostapchuk’s second goal; he also had an assist. . . . Savoie later put his 25th into an empty net. . . . Winnipeg (43-7-1) has won six in a row and leads the Eastern Conference by nine points. . . . Regina (25-24-3) has lost its past two and is tied with Swift Current and Medicine Hat for seventh in the conference. . . .

The Calgary Hitmen struck four times on the PP en route to a 7-2 victory over the Oil Kings in Edmonton. . . . The Hitmen finished 4-for-6 on the PP; Edmonton was 1-for-5 and gave up a shorthanded goal. . . . F Gavin Hodnett (11) gave Edmonton a 2-1 lead at 11:29 of the first period. . . . Calgary scored the last five goals. . . . F Sean Tschigerl (18) tied it on a PP at 13:07. . . . D Vojtech Husinecky’s first WHL goal, at 2:47 of the second period, stood up as the winner. Husinecky, a 17-year-old freshman from Czechia, has a goal and two assists in 28 games. . . . D Carter Yakemchuk (11) and F David Adaszynski (11) each had two goals for Calgary, with F Riley Fiddler-Schultz getting three assists. . . . Calgary (24-23-7) had lost its previous 10 games (0-7-3) and now is alone in sixth in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of Regina, Swift Current and Medicine Hat. . . . Edmonton (8-42-3) has lost five straight. . . .

The Kelowna Rockets, outshot 46-15, were able to hang on and beat the visiting Portland Winterhawks, 3-1. . . . Kelowna G Talyn Boyko was the difference. He finished with 45 saves, 16 of them in the second period when the Rockets were outshot, 16-1. . . . The Rockets scored the last three goals. . . . F Game Klassen’s 30th goal gave Portland a 1-0 lead at 13:25 of the first period. . . . F Marcus Pacheco (9) got Kelowna even with a shorthanded score at 17:29 of the second. . . . The Rockets won it on third-period goals from F Turner McMillen (7) and F Adam Kydd (16). . . . The teams combined to take 11 minors — five to Kelowna F Andrew Cristall. . . .  Kelowna (19-30-3) has won two in a row. It is eighth in the Western Conference but now is five points ahead of Victoria. . . . Portland (36-13-4) is on a three-game losing skid and now trails first-place Seattle by eight points in the conference. . . . .

F Kai Uchacz scored twice, including the winner, as the Red Deer Rebels beat the Tigers, 5-4 in OT, in Medicine Hat. . . . Red Deer has needed extra time for each of its past five victories — two in OT, three in shootouts. . . . Uchacz, who is second to F Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats in the goal department, got his 43rd goal at 3:34 of OT. . . . F Shane Smith (18) had pulled the Tigers into a 4-4 tie at 3:37 of the third period. . . . The Tigers led 3-1 midway through the second period, but surrendered the next three goals, all via the PP. . . . Red Deer was 4-for-6 on the PP; Medicine Hat was 2-for-3. . . . Red Deer (37-13-4) leads the Central Division by 12 points over Lethbridge. . . . Medicine Hat (22-22-9) is tied with Regina and Swift Current for the Eastern Conference’s eighth and final playoff spot. . . .

F Niall Crocker scored twice to help the host Prince Albert Raiders to a 5-2 victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . Crocker, who has 11 goals, gave his guys a 1-0 lead at 14:19 of the first period and closed out the scoring, on a PP, at 17:32 of the third. . . . F Ryder Ritchie helped the winners with three assists. Ritchie, a 16-year-old from Calgary, was a first-round pick in the WHL’s 2021 draft. He has 37 points, including 22 assists, in 46 games as a freshman. This was his first three-assist outing and his second three-point game. . . . Crocker’s first career two-goal game came in his 138th regular-season game. A first-rounder from 2019, the native of Delta, B.C., has 23 points in 51 games this season, after recording three goals and three assists in 64 games last season. . . . Prince Albert (22-28-3) has won three in a row and is six points from a playoff spot. . . . Moose Jaw (33-19-3) has lost three straight. It is fourth in the Eastern Conference, three points ahead of Lethbridge. . . .

The Seattle Thunderbirds scored six times in the game’s first half as they skated to an 8-1 victory over the Victoria Royals in Kent, Wash. . . . D Kevin Korchinski finished with four assists; he had three of them just 8:20 into the first period. . . . It was Korchinski’s second four-point game this season and the fourth of his career. Korchinski was selected by the Chicago Blackhawks with the seventh overall pick of the NHL’s 2022 draft. This season, he has 55 points, including 48 assists, in 39 games. He now is a point-a-game player for his career, with 130 points in 130 regular-season games. . . . F Jared Davidson (31) and F Kyle Crnkovic (27) each scored twice for Seattle. . . . F Colton Dach, who last played a WHL game on Dec. 4, made his Seattle debut and had two assists. He suffered a shoulder injury while playing for Canada at the World Junior Championship, then was traded by the Kelowna Rockets — he had been their captain — to the Thunderbirds. . . . Seattle G Scott Ratzlaff stopped 24 shots for the victory. He now is 19-6-1, 2.15, .920 this season. . . . Seattle (41-9-2) has won six straight and looks headed to a first-place finish in the Western Conference. . . . Victoria (15-34-6) has lost two in a row and is five points from a playoff spot. . . . This was the first of three straight between these teams; they’ll play again Monday and Tuesday in Victoria. . . .

The Brandon Wheat Kings scored two first-period goals and went on to a 3-1 victory over the Broncos in Swift Current. . . . F Nolan Ritchie drew assists on the first-period scores from F Nate Danielson (26) and F Calder Anderson (13). . . . Brandon was 2-for-4 on the PP; Swift Current was 0-for-4. . . . Brandon (22-24-7) had lost its previous two games. It is 10th in the Eastern Conference, but just two points from a playoff spot. . . . Swift Current (25-24-3) has lost two in a row and is tied with Regina and Medicine Hat for the conference’s last playoff spot, two points ahead of Brandon. . . .

G Tomas Suchanek blocked 39 shots to lead the Tri-City Americans to a 3-0 victory over the Spokane Chiefs in Kennewick, Wash. . . . That was Suchanek’s first shutout this season and the second of his career. This season, he is 21-11-2, 3.16, .912. . . . F Deegan McMillan’s 13th goal, at 4:45 of the first period, was all the offence Suchanek would need. . . . Tri-City (26-20-7) had lost its previous six games (0-4-2). It is fourth in the Western Conference, two points ahead of Everett. . . . Spokane (11-36-6) had points in each of its previous three games (2-0-1). . . .

Blanked for almost 50 minutes, the Saskatoon Blades scored twice late to beat the Vancouver Giants, 2-1, in Langley, B.C. . . . The Blades went 4-1-0 in the B.C. Division, the lone loss coming by a 5-2 count in Kamloops on Feb. 10. . . . F Ty Thorpe (27) returned after sitting out a week with an undisclosed injury to give the Giants a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 13:51 of the second period. . . . F Jayden Wiens (12) got the Blades even, on a PP, at 9:43 of the third and F Conner Roulette (21) won it at 13:30. . . . The Blades got 19 stops from freshman G Austin Elliott. The 18-year-old from Strathmore, Alta., who was a 12th-round pick in the WHL’s 2019 draft, is 20-5-2, 1.97, .919. . . . The Giants also had Samuel Honzek back for the first time since he left for the World Junior Championship. He suffered a skate cut to one leg while playing for Slovakia in the WJC. Honzek has 43 points, 17 of them goals, in 31 games, so his offence will help the Giants. . . . Saskatoon (37-13-4) has four straight victories. It is tied with Red Deer for second in the Eastern Conference. But the Rebels are likely to win the Central Division so will be the second seed with the Blades third, both of them behind Winnipeg. . . . Vancouver (20-26-6) is seventh in the Western Conference, six points behind Prince George and five ahead of Kelowna.


Cats


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Snoopy2

Ice responds to City of Cranbrook lawsuit . . . Portland’s McCleary had interesting night . . . Four WHL teams facing elimination tonight

The City of Cranbook filed a lawsuit claiming breach of contract in December 2020 after a WHL franchise that had been located there left for Winnipeg. Trevor Crawley of the Cranbrook Daily Townsman has discovered that the owners of the Winnipeg Ice filed a response to that lawsuit last month. . . . Of course, that response presents a different version of the facts than does Cranbrook’s lawsuit. . . . Crawley’s story is right here.



The IIHF’s 2023 World men’s hockey championship was to have been decided in St. Petersburg, Russia, from May 5-21. That won’t happen now that the IIHF announced that “out of concern for the safety and well-being of participating players, officials, media and fans, the IIHF council has decided to withdraw the hosting rights . . . from Russia . . .” . . . The decision was made during an IIHF council meeting in Zurich on Tuesday. The IIHF said it will confirm “an alternative host” during its 2022 Congress in Tampere, Finland, during the final week of the 2022 World men’s tournament. . . . From a news release: “The decision to relocate the event was taken primarily out of concern for the safety and well-being of all participating players, officials, media, and fans. As was the case with Council’s earlier decision to withdraw the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship that was to be held in Omsk and Novosibirsk, Russia, the Council expressed significant concerns over the safe freedom of movement of players and officials to, from, and within Russia.”


TUESDAY IN THE WHL:

There were six playoff games on the ice and there weren’t any surprises as the higher seed won each of the games. . . . There are six more games on tap tonight with four teams already facing elimination. The Prince Albert Raiders, Saskatoon Blades, Kelowna Rockets and Prince George Cougars trail their best-of-seven series, 3-0, as they play on home ice again tonight. . . . Here’s how things went last night. . . .

Western Conference:

In Prince George, G Taylor Gauthier stopped 28 shots in leading the No. 3 PortlandPortland Winterhawks to a 2-0 victory over the No. 6 Cougars. . . . Portland has won the first three games of the series and can end it tonight in Prince George. . . . The Winterhawks acquired Gauthier, 20, from the Cougars during the season. His first playoff shutout came in his third appearance, all of them this season with Portland. . . . F Gabe Klassen scored both of Portland’s goals — at 2:46 and 13:36 of the second period. . . . F Riley Heidt of the Cougars took a kneeing major and game misconduct for a second-period hit on D Luca Cagnoni, who wasn’t injured on the play. . . . There was something of an oddity on the play as Portland D Ryan McCleary was shown on the online game sheet as having received a game misconduct, along with an instigating minor and a major for a fight with Heidt. McCleary apparently returned to the dressing room, took off his hockey gear, put on his suit and headed up into the stands. He later was told that he hadn’t been ejected, so went back to the dressing room, put his hockey gear back on and returned to the action. The game misconduct later disappeared from the game sheet, to be replaced by misconduct. . . . D Clay Hanus and F Aidan Litke were out of Portland’s lineup, presumably with undisclosed injuries, and didn’t even make the trek north. . . .

In Kelowna, the No. 4 Seattle Thunderbirds struck for three third-period goals Seattlein the span of 1:32 and went on to beat the No. 5 Rockets, 5-1. . . . The Thunderbirds hold a 3-0 series lead going into tonight’s Game 4 in Kelowna. . . . F Jake Poole of the Rockets opened the scoring when he counted on a penalty shot at 18:22 of the first period. . . . F Reid Schaefer pulled Seattle even, on a PP, at 5:07 of the second. . . . Seattle’s offensive explosion began at 5:57 of the third period when D Kevin Korchinski scored for a 2-1 lead. . . . F Lukas Svejkovsky notched his fourth goal of the series, on a PP, at 7:12, and Korchinski added his second goal of the game — and third of the series — at 7:29. That goal also came on a PP; it was Seattle’s 10th goal with the man advantage in the three games. The Thunderbirds are 10-for-19 on the PP in the three games. . . . The two PP goals came after Kelowna F Mark Liwiski was hit with a checking-to-the-head major at 4:00 of the third period. . . . Korchinski has three goals and six assists in the series. F Jared Davidson, who had three assists, has two goals and eight assists.

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Eastern Conference:

In Prince Albert, the No. 1 Winnipeg Ice scored four first-period goals and added WinnipegIcefive more in the second en route to a 10-1 victory over the No. 8 Raiders. . . . Winnipeg leads the series 3-0 and gets its first opportunity to wrap it up tonight. . . . The Ice led 2-0 at the 7:03 mark of the first period, having scored two PP goals. . . . F Mikey Milne scored three times for the Ice, completing his hat trick with a shorthanded score at 19:15 of the second period. He also had an assist. . . . F Connor McClennon had a goal and three assists. . . . Winnipeg had a 36-19 edge in shots. . . . The Ice was 3-for-5 on the PP, and now is 7-for-12 in the three games. . . . The Raiders had Ozzy Wiesblatt back in their lineup. Wiesblatt, who had 41 points in 43 regular-season games, hadn’t played since March 12. . . . Winnipeg F Matt Savoie, who was injured in Game 1 and missed Game 2, was on the ice for the pregame warmup. Jeff D’Andrea of paNOW.com tweeted that Savoie “is visibly favouring his left leg.” Savoie ended up being a scratch. . . .

In Lethbridge, the No. 2 Edmonton Oil Kings scored the game’s first three goals Edmontonand went on to a 4-1 victory over the No. 7 Hurricanes. . . . The Oil Kings now hold a 3-0 edge and can sweep the series Thursday night in Lethbridge. . . . F Jalen Luypen had a goal and two assists for Edmonton, opening the scoring at 2:21 of the first period. . . . D Kaiden Guhle upped the lead to 2-0 at 1:56 of the second period. . . . F Carter Souch made it 3-0, on a PP, at 11:03. . . . The Hurricanes counted at 3:18 of the third period when F Yegor Klavdiev scored on a PP, but F Dylan Guenther got that one back — it was his third of the series — at 6:13. . . . G Sebastian Cossa stopped 25 shots to record the victory over Bryan Thomson, who blocked 34 shots. . . .

In Brandon, the No. 3 Red Deer Rebels got third-period goals from F Arshdeep RedDeerBains and F Ben King as they beat the No. 6 Wheat Kings, 3-1. . . . Red Deer holds a 2-1 lead now with Game 4 in Brandon tonight. They’ll be back in Red Deer for Game 5 on Friday. . . . Bains, who won the WHL scoring race, broke a 1-1 tie, on a PP, at 6:35, with King, who led the WHL in goals, adding insurance at 15:26. . . . Bains also had two assists. . . . Red Deer was 2-for-7 on the PP; Brandon was 0-for-6. . . .

In Saskatoon, F Cordel Larson scored in OT to give the No. 4 Moose Jaw MooseJawWarriors a 3-2 victory over the No. 5 Blades. . . . The Warriors lead the series 3-0 with Game 4 in Saskatoon tonight. . . . Saskatoon took a 1-0 lead at 3:20 of the first period when F Jayden Wiens scored. . . . The Warriors grabbed a 2-1 lead on goals from F Eric Alarie, at 18:15 of the first, and F Martin Rysavy, at 4:43 of the second. . . . The Blades forced OT at 19:15 of the third period when F Brandon Lisowsky scored with G Nolan Maier on the bench in favour of the extra skater. . . . Larson won it at 9:40 of extra time with his second goal of the series. (NOTE: The online game sheet credits F Atley Calvert with the winner, but it would seem a change is in the works.) . . . The Warriors got 27 saves from G Carl Tetachuk, while Maier blocked 34 for Saskatoon. . . . F Tristen Robins, Saskatoon’s captain, returned to the lineup after missing six games with an undisclosed injury.


Clown


JUNIOR JOTTINGS: The City of Revelstoke and the junior B Grizzlies of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League will play host to the 2023 Cyclone Taylor Cup tournament. The four-team event, featuring a host team and champions from the KIJHL, Pacific Junior Hockey League and Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League, is scheduled for April 13-16. This will be first time the tournament will have been played in Revelstoke. . . . Mike Leone is the new general manager and head coach of the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers. He spent the past three seasons as an assistant coach in the USA Hockey National Team Development Program. Leone takes over from Pat Mikesch, who spent eight seasons with the Gamblers. He and the organization parted company after the Gamblers missed the playoffs for the fourth time in eight seasons.


My wife, Dorothy, is preparing to take part in her ninth Kamloops Kidney Walk. . . . It will be held on June 5, but thanks to the pandemic it again will be a virtual event. . . . If you would like to sponsor her, you are able to do so right here.


Lasagna


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

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Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

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Or, for more information, visit right here.


Zombie

Giants get forward from Hurricanes. . . . Seattle signs second first-round pick. . . . QMJHL teams to meet in Memorial Cup final for only second time

MacBeth

F Taylor Vause (Swift Current, 2007-12) has signed a one-year contract extension with the Vienna Capitals (Austria, Erste Bank Liga). This season, in 49 games, he had 16 goals and 29 assists. In the playoffs, he added six goals and 14 assists in 18 games. He led the league in playoff assists and points. . . .

F Ty Morris (Swift Current, Vancouver, Red Deer, 2003-05) has signed a one-year contract extension with Peiting (Germany, Oberliga). This season, he had 19 goals and 53 assists in 47 games. He is preparing to play his 14th season in Germany.


ThisThat

The Vancouver Giants have acquired F Jackson Shepard from the Lethbridge Hurricanes Vancouverin exchange for a third-round selection in the 2021 WHL bantam draft. . . . Shepard, 19, is from North Vancouver. . . . The Kamloops Blazers selected him with the 22nd pick in the 2015 bantam draft. The Blazers dealt him to Lethbridge on July 31, getting back F Zane Franklin, 19 at the time, and a fourth-round pick in the 2020 bantam draft. . . . This season, Shepard had five goals and 17 assists in 66 games. In 181 regular-season games, he has 17 goals and 39 assists. . . . F Cole Shepard, Jackson’s younger brother, was selected by the Giants in the second round of the 2017 bantam draft. Cole, 17, just completed his first season with the BCHL’s Penticton Vees. He has committed to attend Harvard and play for the Crimson in 2021-22.


There has never been a subscription fee for this blog, but if you enjoy stopping by here, why not consider donating to the cause? Thank you very much.


Two more first-round picks from the 2019 bantam draft have signed WHL contracts. . . .

The Seattle Thunderbirds have signed D Kevin Korchinski, who was the 10th-overall selection. From Saskatoon, he had 10 goals and 37 assists in 31 regular-season games with the bantam AA Saskatoon Generals, then added five goals and five assists in five playoff games. . . . Korchinski was the second of two first-round picks by the Thunderbirds. They selected F Jordan Gustafson of Ardrossan, Alta., with the eighth pick and signed him on Wednesday. . . .

The Medicine Hat Tigers have signed F Oasiz Wiesblatt, who is from Calgary. He was the 12th-overall selection in the 2019 bantam draft. . . . Wiesblatt had 19 goals and 36 assists in 28 regular-season games with the bantam AAA Calgary Bisons this season. He added six goals and seven assists in seven playoff games. . . .

Six of the 22 first-round selections now have signed WHL contracts.


The Spokane Chiefs have signed F Grady Lane, 16, to a WHL contract. . . . Lane, from Virden, Man., was an eighth-round selection by the Chiefs in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. This season, he had five goals and seven assists in 32 games with the midget AAA Southwest Cougars. . . . Lane will attend the Chiefs’ 2019 training camp after sitting out the 2018 camp due to injury.


The two QMJHL entries — the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and Halifax Mooseheads — will 2019MCmeet in the final of the four-team Memorial Cup tournament on Sunday in Halifax. . . . The QMJHL-champion Huskies advanced to the final with a 6-4 victory over the OHL-champion Guelph Storm on Friday night. . . . The Mooseheads received a bye to the final following a 5-4 loss to the Huskies on Wednesday night. Those three teams all were 2-1 in the round-robin and the Mooseheads advanced via the tiebreaker formula. . . . The WHL-champion Prince Albert Raiders went home early after going 0-3. . . . It is perhaps only fitting that the Huskies and Mooseheads are in the final as the QMJHL is celebrating its 50th anniversary season. . . . This will be the second time in the Memorial Cup’s history that two QMJHL teams have met in the final. In 2006, the Quebec Remparts beat the host Moncton Wildcats, 6-2. . . . Last night, the Huskies and Storm were tied, 3-3, after the second period. F Felix Bibeau broke the tie, giving the Huskies a 4-3 lead at 5:20 of the third period, then made it 5-3 at 12:33. . . . Kyle Cicerella of The Canadian Press has a game story right here.


Carter Zalluski, a bantam draft pick of the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings, died on Sunday. He was 24. According to an obituary, he “passed away suddenly.” . . . The Oil Kings selected Zalluski in the eighth round of the WHL’s 2010 bantam draft. He never did play in the WHL. . . . A complete obituary is right here.


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