McNabb, Pats stun Raiders in P.A. . . . McNaughton, Hitmen pull blank job . . . Garand leads Blazers to victory


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If you missed it Sunday night, Switzerland was awarded two penalty shots on one play 2019wjcduring a game against Russia at the World Junior Championship. F Marco Lehmann of Switzerland was hacked down on a breakaway, got up to continue the play, and was brought down again. While Lehmann took the first penalty shot, the Swiss had F Philipp Kurashev take the second one. Neither one was successful. . . . Kurashev, who is in his third season with the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts, is the son of Konstantin Kurashev, who played for Russia in the 1981 and 1982 WJC. Konstantin has been coaching in Switzerland since 1998.


D Matthew Quigley of the Portland Winterhawks has drawn a TBD suspension after whltaking a kneeing major and game misconduct during at 3:30 of the second period of an 8-6 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds in Kent, Wash., on Saturday night. Seattle F Dillon Hamaliuk was injured on the play and didn’t return to the game. . . . Quigley won’t be in Portland’s lineup when they play host to Seattle tonight.

F Riley Sawchuk of the Tri-City Americans was given a one-game suspension after he took a game misconduct at 17:08 of the third period of a 2-1 loss to the Chiefs in Spokane. No reason for the game misconduct was provided by the WHL. . . . He won’t play in tonight’s rematch in Kennewick, Wash. . . .

Kevin Acheson, the WHL’s new sheriff, has handed out seven suspensions from the 28 games that teams have played since the Christmas break ended on Dec. 27.


COUNTDOWN TO DEADLINE

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

Sunday’s action:

No. of trades: 0.

Players: 0.

Bantam draft picks: 0.

Conditional draft picks: 0.

——

Total deals (since Nov. 26):

No. of trades: 15.

Players: 31.

Bantam draft picks: 24.

Conditional draft picks: 9.

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


WHL players at the World Junior Championship:

Brandon — G Jiri Patera (Czech Republic).

Medicine Hat — G Mads Sogaard (Denmark).

Moose Jaw — D Josh Brook (Canada).

Portland — F Cody Glass (Canada).

Prince Albert — G Ian Scott, F Brett Leason (Canada).

Red Deer — D Alex Alexeyev (Russia).

Seattle — F Andrej Kukuca (Slovakia).

Spokane — F Jared Anderson-Dolan, D Ty Smith (Canada); D Filip Kral (Czech Republic).

Tri-City — F Krystof Hrabik (Czech Republic).

Vancouver — F Milos Roman (Slovakia).

Victoria — F Phillip Schultz (Denmark).

——

SUNDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The Moose Jaw Warriors snapped a 1-1 tie with five straight goals and went on to a 6-2 MooseJawWarriorsvictory over the Wheat Kings in Brandon. . . . The Warriors (19-8-6) have points in four straight (3-0-1). They are third in the East Division, eight points ahead of Brandon. . . . The Wheat Kings (15-13-6) have lost three in a row, all since played resumed after Christmas, and six of seven. They now are tied with the Calgary Hitmen for the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot. . . . The Warriors are scheduled to entertain the Wheat Kings tonight. This will be the fourth game in five nights for both teams. . . . F Justin Almeida scored twice for Moose Jaw, giving him 11 goals. He made it 1-0 just 23 seconds into the game. . . . Brandon F Nolan Ritchie tied it at 3:32 with his first WHL goal. . . . The visitors scored twice before the period ended — D Jett Woo (7) and F Tristin Langan (27) found the range — and then got later goals from F Kaeden Taphorn (4), Almeida, and F Tate Popple (8), who is from Brandon. . . . D Braden Schneider (4) had Brandon’s other goal, at 10:06 of the third period. . . . The Warriors held a 40-29 edge in shots, including 19-8 in the first period. In its three-game losing skid, Brandon had been outshot 46-16 and outscored 6-1 in first periods. . . . Brandon F Stelio Mattheos sat out the second of a three-game suspension.


G Dean McNabb turned aside 43 shots to lead the Regina Pats to a 2-1 victory over the PatsRaiders in Prince Albert. . . . Regina (12-24-1) has won three in a row, but still is 11 points away from a playoff spot. . . . Prince Albert (33-3-1) had won its previous five games; it also had been 17-0-0 at home. . . . The Raiders lead the overall standings by seven points over the idle Everett Silvertips (29-7-2). . . . F Logan Nijhoff (3) gave Regina a 1-0 lead just 18 seconds after the opening faceoff. . . . D Liam Schioler (2) upped the lead to 2-0 at 8:01. . . . F Noah Gregor (24) scored for the Raiders at 12:37. . . . Gregor has 10 goals and four assists over his past six games. . . . This one was McNabb’s show, though, as the Raiders outshot the Pats 14-7, 13-4 and 17-2 by period. . . . The Raiders won 47 of the game’s 63 faceoffs. . . . The Pats had D Brady Pouteau and F Robbie Holmes back in the lineup after both served one-game WHL suspensions.


F Kirby Dach and F Chase Wouters each had a goal and two assists as the Saskatoon SaskatoonBlades dumped the Broncos 9-3 in Swift Current. . . . Saskatoon (22-11-5) had lost its previous three games (0-1-2). It is second in the East Division, five points ahead of Moose Jaw, which has five games in hand. . . . The Broncos had points in each of their previous two games (1-0-1). . . . These two teams hadn’t met since the season’s opening weekend, when the Blades won 2-1 in Swift Current and 8-0 in Saskatoon. They’ll meet again Tuesday afternoon, this time in Saskatoon. . . . The Blades had a 47-15 edge in shots — 16-4, 19-8 and 12-3 by period. . . . F Kristian Roykas Marthinsen (10) gave the Blades a 1-0 lead 11 seconds in, and F Max Gerlach (21) made it 2-0 at 5:43. . . . The Blades weren’t headed after that. . . . D Majid Kaddoura, a freshman from Chestermere, Alta., scored his first WHL goal for the Blades in his 17th game. . . . Dach, who has 15 goals, ran his career point total to 101, including 28 goals, in 109 games. . . . Wouters has six goals. . . . D Billy Sowa, a freshman from Calgary, scored his first career goal for Swift Current. It came in his 26th game. . . . Broncos F Matt Culling ran his goal streak to five games. He has seven goals on the season, with one in each of those five games. . . . Saskatoon D Brandon Schuldaus served a one-game suspension after he took a kneeing major a game misconduct on Friday in Prince Albert. . . . The game was played on the 32nd anniversary of a bus accident in which four Broncos were killed while on the way to Regina for a game with the Pats.


G Jack McNaughton stopped 25 shots to lead the host Calgary Hitmen to a 4-0 victory over Calgarythe Vancouver Giants. . . . Calgary (16-16-4) had lost its previous three games (0-2-1), but now is tied with the Brandon Wheat Kings for the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . Vancouver (23-9-2) has won its previous two games. It now is 1-1-0 on a six-game swing through the Central Division. The Giants lead the B.C. Division by 11 points over the Kelowna Rockets, and Vancouver holds three games in hand. . . . F Riley Stotts opened the scoring at 3:30 of the first period, and F Jake Kryski made it 2-0, on a PP, at 6:44. . . . F Mark Kastelic (26) added more insurance at 5:29 of the second period. . . . Stotts, who has 12 goals, closed out the scoring at 4:48 of the third. . . . F James Malm, who was acquired by Calgary from Vancouver on Oct. 31, drew four assists. He has 23 points, including 17 assists, in 21 games with Calgary. He had put up nine goals and six assists in 13 games with Vancouver at the time of the trade. . . . With G Carl Stankowski sidelined, the Hitmen had brought in Matt Armitage from the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks to back up McNaughton, a 17-year-old freshman from Calgary. Armitage has since been returned to Salmon Arm, so the Hitmen had Brayden Peters of the midget AAA Lethbridge Hurricanes on the bench. Earlier in the day, he had stopped 14 shots to record the shutout as the Hurricanes scored a 7-0 victory over the Brampton, Ont., 45’s at the Mac’s tournament in Calgary.


The Edmonton Oil Kings scored four times in the third period and beat the visiting Red EdmontonOilKingsDeer Rebels, 5-4. . . . Edmonton (20-12-7) has points in six straight (4-0-2) and now leads the Central Division by two points over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Red Deer (21-12-2) had beaten the Oil Kings, 2-1 in a shootout, on Saturday night at home. The Rebels are third in the division, one point behind Lethbridge. . . . Last night, it was the third game in fewer than 48 hours for both teams. Red Deer went (1-2-0); Edmonton was (2-0-1). . . . F Jake Neighbours (8) gave the Oil Kings a 1-0 lead at 2:21 of the first period. . . . Red Deer scored the only three goals of the second period, with F Oleg Zaytsev (6), D Dawson Barteaux (3) and F Reese Johnson, on a PP, finding the range. . . . F Andrei Pavlenko (7) got Edmonton to within a goal at 2:25 of the third period, but Johnson restored the two-goal lead with his 16th goal, at 3:20. . . . Edmonton pulled even on two goals from F Trey Fix-Wolansky, at 4:52 and 8:52. He’s got 23 goals. . . . He drew an assist on the winner, too which went to F Vince Loschiavo (17), on a PP, at 13:30. . . . Johnson also had an assist for Red Deer, giving him a three-point game. . . . Red Deer had a 17-4 edge in second-period shots, but Edmonton was ahead 17-8 in the third.


F Ryan Jevne scored in the fourth round of a shootout to give the Medicine Hat Tigers a 5-Tigers Logo Official4 victory over the Hurricanes in Lethbridge. . . . Medicine Hat (20-15-3) has won three in a row. It is fourth in the Central Division, one point behind Red Deer, which has three games in hand. . . . Lethbridge (19-11-6) is second in the division, two points behind Edmonton and with three games in hand. . . . Medicine Hat and Lethbridge were playing for the third time in fewer than 48 hours. The Tigers went (3-0-0); the Hurricanes were (1-1-1). . . . The Hurricanes led 4-2 after third-period goals from F Dylan Cozens (21) at 2:07, and F Jake Leschyshyn (25), on a PP, at 2:54. . . . D Joel Craven (3) cut the Tigers’ deficit to one at 11:40, and F Elijah Brown (5) tied it, on a PP, at 17:58. . . . F Jordy Bellerive scored for Lethbridge in the first round of the shootout, but Medicine Hat tied it when F Josh Williams scored in the second round, and then won it on Jevne’s goal. . . . Craven scored twice for the Tigers. He has four goals in 53 career games, 20 of them this season.


G Dylan Garand stopped 35 shots to lead the Kamloops Blazers to a 2-1 victory over the Kamloops1visiting Prince George Cougars. . . . The Blazers (14-17-3) were playing for the third time in fewer than 48 hours, after splitting a home-and-home series with the Kelowna Rockets, winning 3-2 in a shootout and then dropping a 2-1 decision on the road. Kamloops is fourth in the B.C. Division, four points behind the Victoria Royals, who have two games in hand. The Blazers also hold down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, four points ahead of Prince George. . . . The Cougars (12-21-3) have lost two in a row; they are 1-7-0 on an 11-game road trip. . . . The Cougars were playing their third game in fewer than 48 hours after beating the host Seattle Thunderbirds 2-1 on Friday, then dropping a 6-1 decision to the Silvertips in Everett on Saturday. . . . The Cougars headed home after last night’s game, then will drive to Kelowna on Thursday for a Friday night engagement with the Rockets. They will hang out in the Okanagan for a couple of days after that, before heading to Kennewick, Wash., to play the Tri-City Americans on Jan. 8 and then it’s on to Spokane for a date with the Chiefs on Jan. 9. . . . The Cougars then will hustle home because they are to play host to the Rockets on Jan. 11 and 12, their first games in the CN Centre since Dec. 2. . . . D Montana Onyebuchi (3) gave Kamloops a 1-0 lead at 16:12 of the first period, and F Brodi Stuart (11) made it 2-0 at 8:53 of the second. . . . F Josh Maser (12) had the Cougars’ goal, on a PP, at 17:51 of the third. . . . Garand was especially strong in the third period when his guys were outshot 19-4. . . . The Blazers had D Joonas Sillanpaa back after a one-game injury-related absence. . . . The Cougars were able to dress only 19 players, including five defencemen. Then they lost F Ilijah Colina to an undisclosed injury during the game and G Taylor Gauthier left after becoming ill. He had stopped 20 of 22 shots through two periods. Isaiah DiLaura came on to play the third period and stopped four shots.


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Scott, Raiders run win streak to 13 . . . Kastelic sparks Hitmen in Spokane . . . Everett wins battle of division leaders

MacBeth

F Miles Koules (Medicine Hat, Portland, 2012-15) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with HIFK Helsinki (Finland, Liiga) after obtaining his release from the Cleveland Monsters (AHL). He was pointless in two games with Cleveland. . . .

G Marek Langhamer (Medicine Hat, 2012-15) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Maur Khabarovsk (Russia, KHL). This season, in eight games with Kometa Brno (Czech Republic, Extraliga), he was 2.38 and .916. . . .

D John Negrin (Kootenay, Swift Current, 2004-09) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with MAC Újbuda Budapest (Hungary, Slovakia Extraliga). Last season, with Lørenskog (Norway, GET-Ligaen), he had two goals and 13 assists in 24 games. . . .

F Zack Hamill (Everett, 2003-08) has signed a contract through Jan. 1 with Bad Nauheim (Germany, DEL2). Last season, he had 11 goals and eight assists in 27 games with Lørenskog (Norway, GET-Ligaen), and four goals and five assists in 21 games with Dukla Jihlava (Czech Republic, 1. Liga).


ThisThat

Hey, is that a quintessential Canadian photo, or what?

I saw this photo early Saturday and it about knocked me over. What a grand photograph.


The WHL’s Official Guide for 2018-19 now is available for download. You are able to find it right here.

Here are a few dates of note that you will find in the Guide . . .

Dec. 15-27 — WHL trade moratorium for roster players.

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

Jan. 23 — CHL Top Prospects Game, Red Deer.

March 22 — Start of WHL playoffs.

May 1 — WHL awards luncheon, Red Deer.

May 2 — WHL bantam draft, Red Deer.

May 17-26 — Memorial Cup, Halifax.

June 11-12 — WHL annual meeting, Kelowna.

June 21-22 — NHL draft, Vancouver.

June 26 or 27 — CHL import draft.


By now, you will be familiar with the story of the players from the Ottawa Senators who took a Uber ride and had their conversation go viral when the driver put the video online. . . . Well, there is an interesting story right here about how a lot of the online outrage that was aimed at two Postmedia newspapers turned out to be from fake Twitter accounts. . . . Yes, you may chalk this up as one more sign of the times.


If you stop off here and enjoy what you see — or even if you don’t — feel free to click on the DONATE button over there on the right and make a contribution. Thanks in advance.


SATURDAY NIGHT HIGHLIGHTS:

One night after becoming the eighth WHL goaltender to score a goal, Ian Scott stopped 26 shots to help the visiting Prince Albert Raiders to a 6-0 victory over the Brandon Wheat PrinceAlbertKings. . . . The Raiders (20-1-0) became the first CHL team to 20 victories this season as they ran their winning streak to 13 games. . . . Brandon (10-5-6) had points in each of its previous three games (2-0-1). . . . Scott has four shutouts this season and seven in his career. He didn’t put up a shutout in 50 appearances last season. He made his 18th appearance of this season last night. He now is 17-1-0, 1.39, .950. . . . The Raiders took control in the first period with a pair of PP goals. F Sean Montgomery started it at 9:34 and F Carson Miller (8) made it 2-0 at 15:44. . . . Montgomery added his second goal, and 11th of the season, on a PP in the third period. . . . D Sergei Sapego had three assists, and F Brett Leason ran his point streak to 21 games with his 19th goal and an assist. . . . The Raiders were 3-8 on the PP and got another shorthanded goal. Prince Albert has scored 22 PP goals, while surrendering one shorthanded score. At the same time, it has struck for 12 shorthanded goals while giving up just seven PP goals. . . . Brandon D Braden Schneider left in the first period and didn’t return.


The host Saskatoon Blades scored three goals in the second half of the third period to beat the Tri-City Americans, 5-3. . . . Saskatoon (14-7-2) has won four in a row. . . . Tri-City Saskatoon(12-8-0) has lost two straight. The Americans went 7-4-0 on an 11-game road trip. They finished 2-4-0 in the East Division. . . . Tri-City, which last played at home on Oct. 19, is scheduled to entertain the Kamloops Blazers on Friday. . . . D Dom Schmiemann (1) pulled the Americans into a 2-2 tie at 9:53 of the second period, and F Parker AuCoin (12) gave the visitors the lead at 10:13 of the third. . . . F Eric Florchuk got the Blades into a 3-3 tie at 13:53. . . . D Randen Schmidt’s first WHL goal, at 15:32, turned into the winner, and Florchuk added insurance with his seventh goal at 17:34. . . . Schmidt, a 18-year-old from Regina, had seven assists in 36 games with the Blades last season. This season, he has one goal and one assists in 17 games. . . . The Blades got a goal and three assists from F Kirby Dach. The second-overall pick in the 2016 bantam draft now has 13 goals and 26 assists in 23 games. He finished last season with seven goals and 39 assists in 52 games. . . . G Nolan Maier stopped 29 shots for Saskatoon. . . . Tri-City Beck Warm blocked 35 shots in his 13th straight start.


Mads Søgaard recorded his first WHL shutout as the Medicine Hat Tigers went into Swift Tigers Logo OfficialCurrent and beat the Broncos, 2-0. . . . Medicine Hat (10-11-3) had lost is previous five games (0-4-1). . . . The Tigers went 1-3-0 in playing four road games in five nights. . . . Swift Current (3-18-2) has lost five straight (0-4-1) and has been blanked in three of its last four outings. . . . Søgaard blocked 48 shots. . . . F Ryan Chyzowski scored both goals, at 8:34 and 13:47 of the first period. He’s got nine goals.


F Nolan Foote scored twice and added an assist to lead the Kelowna Rockets to a 3-1 KelownaRocketsvictory over the Oil Kings in Edmonton. . . . Kelowna (9-13-1) had lost its previous four games (0-3-1). . . . The Rockets went 2-3-1 on a six-game road trip. . . . The Oil Kings (13-8-3) had points in each of their previous 10 games (8-0-2). . . . F David Kope (4) gave the home boys a 1-0 lead at 9:11 of the first period. . . . The Rockets scored the next three goals, with F Liam Kindree (4) equalizing on a PP at 11:53. Foote, who has 13 goals, counted at 10:06 and 10:38 of the second period. . . . F Leif Mattson had three assists for Kelowna. . . . The Oil Kings held a 27-13 edge in shots. Kelowna had two, seven and four shots, by period. . . . F Zach Russell, a 19-year-old from Calgary, made his Edmonton debut. Russell played one game with the Brandon Wheat Kings last season, but spent most of it with the AJHL’s Calgary Canucks, putting up 16 goals and 20 assists in 43 games. In 2016-17, he had three goals and two assists in 40 games with Brandon.


F Tristin Langan scored twice as the Moose Jaw Warriors skated to a 3-2 victory over the Hurricanes in Lethbridge. . . . The Warriors (9-5-4) have points in four straight (3-0-1). . . . The Hurricanes are 9-7-4. . . . Langan gave the Warriors a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 18:46 of the first period. . . . F Logan Barlage (8) tied it at 1:17 of the second. . . . F Brayden Tracey (6) snapped the tie, on a PP, to put Moose Jaw ahead at 9:57. . . . Langan upped the lead to 3-1 with his 15th goal, at 10:54 of the third. . . . The Hurricanes got back to within one at 16:59 as F Zachary Cox (7) scored on a PP. . . . The Hurricanes got 38 saves from G Carl Tetachuk.


F Reese Johnson completed his hat trick in OT as the Red Deer Rebels beat the visiting KootenaynewKootenay Ice, 5-4. . . . The Rebels (15-5-1) have won four in a row. . . . The Ice (7-13-4) has lost two in a row (0-1-1). . . . Johnson, who has 13 goals, scored Red Deer’s last three goals. He broke a 2-2 tie, on a PP, at 13:21 of the second period. . . . F Connor McLennon (4) pulled the Ice back into a tie with his second goal of the game, at 16:07. He also had an assist. . . . Johnson gave Red Deer a 4-3 lead with a shorthanded score at 2:25 of the third. . . . Kootenay D Jonathan Smart (3) tied it, again, on a PP, at 3:40. . . . Johnson won it on another PP, at 2:50 of OT. . . . Red Deer was 3-4 on the PP; Kootenay was 1-2. . . . F Brandon Hagel drew four assists for the Rebels. He now has 14 goals and 23 assists in 37 games. The four-point game also put him over a point a game for his career. In 213 regular-season games, he now has 214 points. . . . F Owen Pederson scored the game’s first goal, giving the Ice a 1-0 lead at 5:01 of the first period. Pederson, 16, was brought in earlier in the day from the OHA-Edmonton prep team. This was his seventh game of the season with the Ice; the goal was his first point.


The Kamloops Blazers allowed only 14 shots on goal as they skated to a 5-1 victory over Kamloops1the Cougars in Prince George. . . . Kamloops (7-9-2) had lost its previous four games (0-3-1). . . . Prince George (9-9-3) had won two in a row. . . . The Blazers held a 36-14 edge in shots, giving up only four, four and six by period. . . . Kamloops was 3-7 on the PP. . . . F Jermaine Loewen scored twice for the Blazers, giving them 2-0 and 3-0 leads. He’s got eight goals. . . . F Zane Franklin got his 13th goal fro Kamloops. . . . F Mike MacLean (2) scored for the Cougars at 16:25 of the third period. . . . Kamloops won 39 of the game’s 59 faceoffs.


The Seattle Thunderbirds erased an early 2-0 deficit with five straight goals and went on to beat the Portland Winterhawks, 6-4, in Kent, Wash. . . . Seattle (8-9-3) had lost its Seattleprevious seven games (0-6-1). . . . Portland had points in each of its previous seven games (6-0-1). . . . F Jake Gricius, with his first of two goals, and D Clay Hanus (2) put Portland ahead before the game was eight minutes old. . . . Seattle tied it before the first period ended, as F Jared Davidson got his first WHL goal and F Samuel Huo scored his third of the season. . . . Seattle F Matthew Wedman put his guys out front, 4-2, with goals at 5:10 and 5:47 of the second period. . . . F Andrej Kukuca (5) made it 5-2 at 4:08 of the third and the writing was on the wall. . . . Gricius got the game’s last goal, his 12th, on a PP, at 19:26. . . . Wedman also had an assist for a three-point night, while teammate Nolan Volcan had three assists. . . . Seattle G Liam Hughes was busy, with 51 saves, 21 more than Portland’s Dante Giannuzzi. . . . Portland D Brendan De Jong was scratched after leaving Friday’s 5-2 victory over the visiting Everett Silvertips in the first period. De Jong went down, needed help getting off the ice and didn’t return. Mike Johnston, the Winterhawks’ GM/head coach, told Joshua Critzer of dubnetwork.ca that De Jong “got a little whiplash with his neck here. It is more of a neck injury . . .” . . . A scoring change after Friday’s game cost Portland F Cody Glass an assist. Originally credited with three, he was left with two. Upon further review, D Matthew Quigley was given the assist, giving him three in the game. Quigley went into the game with two points both assists, in 17 games. In 2016-17, as a freshman, he finished with three assists in 49 games. . . . Glass had two more assists on Saturday night.


F Mark Kastelic scored three times to lead the Calgary Hitmen to a 5-1 victory over the CalgaryChiefs in Spokane. . . . Calgary (8-12-2) has won three straight. . . . Spokane (11-8-3) had won its previous three games. . . . Kastelic gave the Hitmen a 2-0 lead with a pair of PP goals, at 14:26 of the first period and 5:20 of the second. . . . Freshman F Adam Beckman (10) scored a PP goal for the Chiefs at 17:15. . . . Kastelic got that one back as he completed his first WHL hat trick at 19:36. . . . Kastelic, 19, has 19 goals and 11 assists in 22 games. Last season, he finished with 23 goals and 22 assists in 71 games. . . . F Riley Stotts (4, 5) had Calgary’s other two goals. . . . F James Malm had three assists. He’s got two goals and seven assists in seven games since Calgary acquired him from the Vancouver Giants. On the season, he has 11 goals and 13 assists in 20 games. . . . G Carl Stankowski stopped 33 shots for the Hitmen.


F Tanner Sidaway broke a 1-1 tie late in the third period to give the Victoria Royals a 2-1 VictoriaRoyalsvictory over the visiting Regina Pats. . . . Victoria improved to 11-6-0. . . . Regina (7-15-0) has lost three in a row. The Pats are (0-2-0) on a seven-game road trip. They won’t play at home again until Dec. 1. . . . F Jake Leschyshyn (15) gave Regina a 1-0 lead at 12:57 of the first period. . . . Victoria tied it when F Kaid Oliver (13) scored, on a PP, at 17:19. . . . Sidaway, a 19-year-old from Victoria, won it at 17:15 of the third period with his second goal of the season. . . . G Griffen Outhouse stopped 17 shots to earn the victory over Max Paddock, who blocked 25. . . . The Royals continue to be without D Ralph Jarratt and F Dante Hannoun.


F Connor Dewar scored twice and added an assist to help the host Everett Silvertips to a Everett6-5 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Everett (16-7-0) leads the U.S. Division. . . . Vancouver (14-5-2) leads the B.C. Division. . . . D Jake Christiansen (6) gave Everett a 4-1 lead, on a PP, at 18:56 of the second period and this one appeared close to being over. . . . D Matt Barberis (1) scored for Vancouver, on a PP, at 10:04 of the third period, but Everett F Sean Richards (6) got that one back at 12:50. . . . F Jared Dmytriw (4), on a PP, and F Davis Koch (5) pulled the Giants to within a goal, before Dewar scored his 18th goal into an empty net at 18:03. . . . The empty-netter turned into the winner when Giants F Dawson Holt (4) scored at 18:49. . . . D Artyom Minulin had three assists for Everett. . . . Vancouver got three assists from F Milos Roman, with Dmytriw adding two assists to his goal.


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Scattershooting on Sunday, after a flat World Series . . . Will you pay to watch Phil vs. Tiger? . . . Blazers complete dominating weekend sweep

Scattershooting

Jack Finarelli, who writes daily at sportscurmudgeon.com, with a tip for all of us: “The latest news related to the Tiger Woods/Phil Mickelson challenge match that will be on pay-per-view is that the only way you will be able to see it is on pay-per-view.  The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that no tickets will be available for the event; the only folks on the course with Woods and Mickelson will be those who are there to provide the TV coverage, sponsors and guests of the sponsors.  So, just in case you were thinking of heading out to Las Vegas over Thanksgiving weekend and trying to score tix to the event at Shadow Creek Golf Club, stay home.”



The neatest statistic from this season’s World Series is this one and it isn’t close. . . . Game 3 between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Kings went 18 innings and took seven hours 20 minutes to complete on Friday night. It took longer to play that one game than it did to play the entire 1939 World Series when the New York Yankees swept the Cincinnati Reds with the four games taking a combined 7:05.



Cam Hutchinson, in the Saskatoon Express: Toronto-based Postmedia columnist Steve Simmons is at it again. “Where does Auston Matthews fit in with this question: Best wrist shot in Leafs history? I’m figuring Wendel Clark and Lanny McDonald are 1-2. Matthews has the most deceptive shot. Over time he may wind up ahead of Clark and McDonald.” Please give us a break from this crap.


Hutchinson also passes along this one . . . From the Twitter account of @wrestlingbubble: “A woman at the grocery store asked me what self-checkup meant, so I told her grocery stores are on the honour system now, and she should just pay what she thinks is fair.”



“Now,” comedy writer Alex Kaseberg says of Boston pitcher Chris Sale, “I don’t want to say Sale is skinny, but if the Red Sox wore pinstripes, he would wear a pinstripe.”


From Vancouver comedy writer Torben Rolfsen: “John Tortorella says he misses ‘the hate’ in today’s NHL. He should go on Twitter.”


The readerboard at Beerhaus Las Vegas recently carried this message: “Marty, I just got back from 2078. Canucks still haven’t won a Cup.”



RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com has a question: “With hurricanes being named after both genders, shouldn’t we call them himicanes and hericanes?”


“SI.com reports Jon Gruden is on a three-year rebuild so the Raiders win the Super Bowl in 2020,” Currie writes. “Why not use his old formula? Have Tony Dungy build the team, then take over.”



Well, that World Series was definitely a letdown. I really expected more out of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were clearly inferior to the Boston Red Sox in all areas of the game. . . . Who knew the Dodgers wouldn’t seem to get any kind of lift from the 18-inning victory in Game 3? . . . But it was only fitting that Manny (The Hustler) Machado should make the series’ last out.


SUNDAY NIGHT NOTES:

D Aaron Hyman set up three goals and was plus-4 as the host Regina Pats skated to a 7-Patsvictory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Regina (4-11-0) had lost five in a row. This was the Pats’ first victory on home ice in nine starts — yes, they are 1-8-0. . . . The Broncos (1-14-0) have lost seven in a row. They are scheduled to entertain the Kootenay Ice on Tuesday. At 0-4-0, Swift Current is the only one of the WHL’s 22 teams not to have won at home. . . . In Regina, the Pats took a 1-0 lead in the first period and stretched it to 4-0 before the second was seven minutes old. . . . F Austin Pratt and F Sergei Alkhimov each scored twice for Regina. Pratt has seven goals; Alkhimov has four. . . . Regina held a 40-22 edge in shots. . . . The Broncos are 13 points out of a playoff spot, while the Pats are seven points back. . . . Regina went 1-2-0 as it played three games in fewer than 48 hours.


F Kirby Dach scored twice and added an assist to help the Saskatoon Blades to a 5-3 Saskatoonvictory over the Hitmen in Calgary. . . . Saskatoon (9-5-1) had lost its previous three games (0-2-1). . . . Calgary (4-9-2) has lost three in a row. . . . Dach has 27 points, 10 of them goals, in 16 games. . . . The Blades had 2-1 and 3-2 leads. . . . Calgary tied it, 3-3, at 4:02 of the third period when F Zach Huber (4) scored. . . . F Kristian Røykås Marthinsen (5), a freshman from Norway, snapped the tie at 12:43 and Dach added the empty-netter at 19:50. . . . Saskatoon D Brandon Schuldaus played in his 200th regular-season game. A 20-year-old from Calgary, he has played 90 games with the Seattle Thunderbirds, 71 with the Red Deer Rebels, 28 with the Moose Jaw Warriors and 11 with the Blades. . . . Saskatoon was playing its third game in fewer than 48 hours. It went 1-1-1.


F Trey Fix-Wolansky continued to pile up the points as the host Edmonton Oil Kings EdmontonOilKingsdoubled the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 6-3. . . . Edmonton (9-7-1) has won four in a row. . . . Lethbridge (7-5-3) had points in its previous six games (4-0-2). . . . The Oil Kings went 3-0-0 in playing three times in fewer than 48 hours. . . . Fix-Wolansky finished with a goal, his 11th, and three assists. In 17 games, he has put up 32 points, including a WHL-leading 21 assists. He is second in the scoring race, three points behind F Brett Leason of the idle Prince Albert Raiders. . . . Edmonton F David Kope (2) broke a 1-1 tie at 8:05 of the first period. That was the first of five straight goals for the Oil Kings as they took control. . . . F Quinn Benjafield (7) scored twice — once while shorthanded and once on the PP — while F Jake Neighbours (5) scored twice and added an assist.


The Red Deer Rebels got out to a 6-2 lead before the second period was 12 minutes old Red Deerand went on to an 8-5 victory over the Kootenay Ice in Cranbrook, B.C. . . . The Rebels (10-4-1) have won two in a row. . . . The Ice (4-7-3) has lost two straight. . . . Red Deer F Reese Johnson scored twice early in the first period — at 1:11 and 2:29 — for a 2-0 lead. . . . The Ice pulled even when F Brad Ginnell (3), at 4:06, and F Cam Hausinger (5), at 4:42, quickly replied. . . . F Blake Sydlowski (1) put Red Deer ahead at 7:59, and the visitors took control with three second-period goals. . . . The Ice got to within 6-5 early in the third period, scoring three PP goals, but F Jeff de Wit (9) upped Red Deer’s lead to 7-5 at 10:59 and Johnson (8) completed his hat trick with an empty-netter at 19:58. . . . D Alex Alexeyev had a goal (7) and two assists for Red Deer, with F Brandon Hagel drawing three assists. . . . Ginnell added two assists to his goal. . . . The Ice had a 41-26 edge in shots. . . . The Ice has played two home games since a committee hoping to keep the franchise from moving to Winnipeg held a town hall meeting on Thursday. The announced attendance at those games was 2,208, for a 7-2 loss to the Edmonton Oil Kings, and 2,094 yesterday. . . . The Ice’s next home game is scheduled for Friday when the Oil Kings make their third and final visit of the season.


G Trent Miner stopped 37 shots through OT and wasn’t beaten in the shootout as the VancouverVancouver Giants beat the Brandon Wheat Kings, 3-2, in Langley, B.C. . . . The Giants improved to 11-3-2. . . . Brandon (6-3-5) has lost five straight (0-2-3). The Wheat Kings are 0-2-2 on a seven-game road trip that continues Tuesday in Prince George. . . . Miner is from Souris, Man., and played one season with the bantam AAA Wheat Kings and two with the midget AAA Wheat Kings. . . . This season, Miner is 4-0-1, 1.41, .953. . . . Vancouver F Brayden Watts, the last shooter in the third round, scored the only goal of the shootout. . . . Three of the game’s four ‘real’ goals came via the PP, with Vancouver getting two of those. . . . F Connor Gutenberg (5) gave Brandon a 1-0 lead at 9:01 of the first period; Vancouver F Milos Roman (7) tied it at 13:26. . . . Brandon went ahead 2-1 at 12:29 of the second as F Caiden Daley (2) scored the game’s only even-strength goal. . . . Watts  (4) tied it at 10:30 of the third. . . . The Giants won 42 of the game’s 63 faceoffs. . . . Vancouver continues to play without D Bailey Dhaliwal, D Dylan Plouffe, D Matt Barberis, D Joel Sexsmith and F James Malm, all of whom are out with injuries. The Giants play once between now and Nov. 10, so hope to have some bodies back before then.


The Kamloops Blazers completed a weekend sweep with a 5-2 victory over the host Kamloops1Portland Winterhawks. . . . Kamloops (6-6-1) has won four in a row. . . . Portland (7-6-1) has lost three straight. . . . This was the final game of the season series with each team winning twice on the road. . . . The Blazers beat the Seattle Thunderbirds 7-2 in Kent, Wash., on Friday, then won 6-2 in Portland on Saturday. . . . The Winterhawks also played three games in fewer than 48 hours, but they went 0-3-0. They lost 4-1 in Spokane on Friday. . . . Kamloops G Dylan Garand stopped 32 shots and then, like a number of other WHL players, left for the U-17 World Hockey Challenge that runs from Nov. 3 through Nov. 10 in Quispamsis and Saint, John, N.B. . . . Garand, who backs up Dylan Ferguson, is 1-1-1, 2.52, .916 in five appearances. . . . The Blazers took control with the game’s first three goals — two in the second period and one in the third. F Josh Pillar and F Kobe Mohr each had a goal and an assist. . . . The Winterhawks were without D Jared Freadrich, who drew a one-game suspension for a cross-checking major and game misconduct in Saturday’s game. He hit D Luke Zazula on the play in question.


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Trumpeting Recchi in Kamloops . . . Winnipeg report has Ice ‘months away’ from possible move . . . Lots of notes from around the WHL


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On Oct. 11, in this very space, I wrote a short piece about the Kamloops Blazers looking to put together a cheerleading team in the hopes of improving the atmosphere in their home arena, the Sandman Centre.

I ended the piece with this: “Might I be so bold as to suggest a trumpet player? If it was good enough for the Montreal Forum . . .”

I am pleased to report that on Friday at 6:17 p.m., while seated in the cozy confines of the press box, I heard a trumpeter — Jerome Lidster — break out the theme from Hockey Night in Canada.

Later, he played a darn fine O Canada!

Unfortunately, the man and his horn weren’t heard from again.

Please give us more.


The Winnipeg Free Press is reporting that “the Western Hockey League’s long-rumoured Kootenaynewreturn to Winnipeg could be only months away from coming to fruition.” . . . Veteran sports reporter Mike Sawatzky, who is familiar with the WHL having covered the Brandon Wheat Kings more than a few years ago, writes: “Owners of the WHL’s Kootenay Ice are believed to be considering a plan to move their franchise to Winnipeg in time for the start of the 2019-20 season, sources have told the Free Press.” . . . According to Sawatzky, the relocated Ice would play at the U of Manitoba’s Wayne Fleming Arena until a new 5,000-seat arena is built in conjunction with “the Rink Hockey Academy’s new training facility currently under construction at the west end of South Landing, just off McGillivray Boulevard.” . . . Sawatzky’s complete story is right here.


The Kelowna Rockets settled on their three 20-year-olds by adding F Lane Zablocki to their roster and releasing Ryan Bowen. . . . They had acquired Zablocki’s rights from the Victoria Royals on Sept. 29, giving up a conditional seventh-round selection in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft and a conditional fourth-rounder in 2021. Zablocki, who won’t turn 20 until Dec. 27, was injured at the time of the trade and didn’t get into a game until Friday night in Victoria. . . . Zablocki played for three teams last season. He had nine goals and 10 assist in 31 games with the Red Deer Rebels, two goals and four assists in nine games with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, and a goal and five assists in 25 games with Victoria. In 201 regular-season games,  he has 58 goals and 64 assists. . . . Bowen was pointless in seven games with the Rockets. He also has played with the Moose Jaw Warriors and Lethbridge. In 150 career games, he has 21 goals and 36 assists. . . . The Rockets also own the WHL rights to Bowen’s brother, Ethan, 16. Kelowna selected Ethan in the second round of the 2017 bantam draft. He has committed to the North Dakota Fighting Hawks for 2020-21 and presently is with the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs. . . . The Rockets’ other 20-year-olds are D Braydyn Chizen and D Dalton Gally.


At least three players have been released by their WHL teams. . . . The Seattle Thunderbirds have dropped D Payton McIsaac, who will turn 18 on Dec. 26, from their roster. From Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., he was pointless in four games this season. He was a second-round pick by the Saskatoon Blades in the 2015 bantam draft. He had one assist in 12 games over three seasons with the Blades. . . . The Moose Jaw Warriors have released F Brecon Wood, who is to turn 18 on Dec. 5. From Edmonton, he had one goal in seven games this season. In the previous two seasons, he had four goals and two assists in 84 games with the Warriors, who selected him in the seventh round of the 2015 bantam draft. . . . The Edmonton Oil Kings have dropped F Logan Moon, 18, from their roster. From Beaverlodge, Alta., he had yet to get into a game this season and was dropped after the team returned from its U.S. Division trip. He played last season with the AJHL’s Grande Prairie Storm. The Oil Kings selected him in the ninth round of the 2015 bantam draft.


F Lukas Sillinger, a sixth-round pick by the Regina Pats in the 2015 WHL bantam draft, has committed to attend North Dakota and play for the Fighting Hawks. From Regina, Sillinger, 18, is the son of former NHL/WHL F Mike Sillinger. . . . Lukas is in his second season with the BCHL’s Penticton Vees. This season, he has one goal and one assist in one game. Last season, he finished with seven goals and 13 assists in 56 games.


The Prince George Cougars have released F Max Kryski, 18, and he has joined the BCHL’s Trail Smoke Eaters. Kryski, from Kelowna, will remain on the Cougars’ protected list. This season, Kryski was pointless in four games with the Cougars. Last season, he had eight goals and two assists in 62 games. . . . He is a younger brother of Calgary Hitmen F Jake Kryski, 20.


The WHL’s Dept. of Discipline was busy again on Thursday as three more playes drew suspensions. . . . F Riley Bruce of the Tri-City Americans was hit with a four-game sentence under supplemental discipline for something that happened during a 5-4 loss to the host Seattle Thunderbirds on Tuesday. Unfortunately, the WHL doesn’t add explainers to suspensions such as these so fans are left to wonder what happened. . . . D Max Martin of the Prince Albert Raiders got a three-game suspension under supplemental discipline for something that happened during an 8-4 victory over the visiting Calgary Hitmen on Tuesday. Again, because the WHL doesn’t add explainers, you are free to guess at what happened. . . . F Brady Nicholas of the Saskatoon Blades has been suspended for two games after taking a kneeing major and game misconduct during a 5-4 OT loss to the visiting Hitmen on Wednesday night. He hit Calgary D Vladislav Yeryomenko, who missed a couple of shifts but came back to finish the game.


ICYMI, F Ryan Vandervlis has rejoined the Lethbridge Hurricanes as he continues to recover from horrendous burns he suffered on June 15 in a campfire explosion at a home near Calgary. Vandervlis, 20, has lost about 30 pounds and is a long ways from returning to game action, but he has come miles from when he was in a medically induced coma after the accident. . . . Lara Fominoff of lethbridgenewsnow.com has more right here.


The OHL’s Flint Firebirds introduced Eric Wellwood, 28, as their new head coach on ohlThursday. He takes over from Ryan Oulahen, who was in his third season when he resigned earlier this month. At that point, the Firebirds were 0-7-0. Then then lost two more games under interim head coach Greg Stefan. . . . Wellwood, whose NHL career was halted by injuries, was an associate coach with the Firebirds in 2016-17, under Oulahen. As a player with the Windsor Spitfires, Wellwood won two Memorial Cups. He won another as an assistant coach with the Oshawa Generals.


F Mackenzie Wight, 19, who left the Swift Current Broncos earlier this month, has joined the BCHL’s Alberni Valley Bulldogs. Wight, who is from Burnaby, B.C., was pointless in two games with the Broncos this season, after recording a goal and three assists in 55 games last season. . . . In 74 regular-season games, six with the Seattle Thunderbirds and 68 with the Broncos, he has two goals and three assists. . . . This is his second stint with the Bulldogs; he had six goals and six assists in 27 games with them in 2016-17.


We’re back after one day away. Yes, the laptop came back from a checkup; yes, it passed all the tests. . . . If you missed us, why not consider clicking on the DONATE button over there on the right and making a donation to the Taking Note cause?


FRIDAY NIGHT NOTES:

F Stelio Mattheos scored three times, the last one into an empty net, as the host Brandon BrandonWKregularWheat Kings dumped the Everett Silvertips, 5-2. . . . Everett (6-4-0), which had won three in a row, started its East Division swing with the game. . . . Mattheos now has 11 goals for Brandon (6-1-2). . . . G Jiri Patera continued his fine start for Brandon, this time with 36 stops. The Czech freshman is 6-1-1, 3.00, .919. . . . Everett F Connor Dewar was given a cross-checking major and game misconduct at 14:32 of the third period. . . . Jordin Tootoo, who played his major junior career with the Wheat Kings, announced his retirement from hockey at a pregame news conference, then took part in the ceremonial faceoff.


The Tri-City Americans erased a 2-0 deficit with four straight goals and beat the Seattle tri-cityThunderbirds, 4-2, in Kennewick, Wash. . . . Seattle (6-2-1) had points in five straight (4-0-1). . . . The Americans improved to 4-4-0. . . . F Parker AuCoin broke a 2-2 tie at 14:51 of the third period, then added the empty-netter for his sixth goal. . . . F Nolan Yaremko drew three assists for the winners. . . . The Americans will play their next 11 games on the road, starting tonight against the Thunderbirds in Kent, Wash. The road trip also includes a six-game swing through the East Division. They won’t play at home again until Nov. 23.


F Brandon Hagel scored four times to lead the visiting Red Deer Rebels to a 5-2 victory Red Deerover the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Hagel has eight goals this season. He gave the Rebels a 2-0 lead at 1:08 of the first period, made it 3-1 at 1:16 of the second, completed his fourth career hat trick at 8:04 of the second for a 4-2 lead, and rounded out the scoring with his fourth goal, at 7:25 of the third. . . . G Ethan Anders blocked 41 shots for Red Deer. . . . The Rebels (6-3-1) had lost their previous two games (0-1-1). . . . Edmonton (5-7-1) opened the season with five victories, but has gone 0-7-1 since then.


F Kirby Dach scored two goals, including the winner in OT, and added an assist to give Saskatoonthe Saskatoon Blades a 3-2 victory over the Spokane Chiefs. . . . Dach tied the game, 2-2, at 19:59 of the second period and won it with his seventh goal of the season just 37 seconds into extra time. . . . Dach, who almost certainly will be a top 10 pick in the NHL’s 2019 draft, has 22 points, including 15 assists, in 12 games. . . . The Blades (8-3-1) had lost their previous two games (0-1-1). . . . The Chiefs (6-2-3) are 3-1-1 on their East Division swing. . . . Saskatoon D Dawson Davidson ran his point streak to nine games with an assist. He has 19 points, including 15 assists, this season. . . . Saskatoon got 41 saves from G Nolan Maier.


The Portland Winterhawks scored the game’s last four goals and beat the visiting PortlandVancouver Giants, 5-3. . . . F Cody Glass (4) tied the score, 3-3, at 12:29 of the third period and F Reece Newkirk (7) have Portland its first lead at 13:39. . . . F Ryan Hughes (3) added the empty-netter. . . . Glass also added an assist, while linemate Joachim Blichfeld had two helpers. . . . F Jake Gricius scored two Portland goals in his 150th career game. . . . Portland (6-3-1) will meet the Giants again tonight, this time in Langley, B.C. . . . Vancouver (9-2-1) had points in eight straight (7-0-1). . . . The Winterhawks had D Matthew Quigley back for the first time since he was injured during a game in Kamloops on Oct. 5. Blazers F Jermaine Loewen drew a four-game suspension for the high hit, a suspension he completed Friday night.


The Calgary Hitmen opened up a 4-0 lead en route to a 5-1 victory over the Warriors in CalgaryMoose Jaw. . . . F Mark Kastelic (8) scored twice and added an assist for Calgary (3-6-2) which has won two in a row. . . . The Warriors (4-3-2) had points in each of their previous six games (4-0-2). . . . G Carl Stankowski stopped 30 shots for the Hitmen. . . . Calgary was 2-for-3 on the PP.


The Medicine Hat Tigers forced OT with two late third-period goals and then won it on a Tigers Logo Officialpenalty shot as they beat the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes, 4-3. . . . The Hurricanes had a 3-1 lead with less than two minutes left in the third period when F Tyler Preziuso (4) scored at 18:09 to get the Tigers to within a goal. . . . F Ryan Jevne (4) tied it at 19:06. . . . F James Hamblin (6) won it on a penalty shot at 4:08. . . . Tigers D Linus Nassen finished with a goal, his second, and two assists. . . . Medicine Hat (6-5-1) has won three in a row. . . . Lethbridge (4-4-3) has lost three straight (0-1-2). . . . They’ll play again tonight, this time in Lethbridge.


F Josh Pillar broke a 3-3 tie at 16:48 of the third period and the Kamloops Blazers went on Kamloops1to a 5-3 victory over the visiting Swift Current Broncos. . . . The 16-year-old Pillar, from Warman, Sask., was a first-round selection in the 2017 bantam draft. . . . F Logan Stankoven, who is from Kamloops, drew an assist, his first WHL point in his first game, on the winner. Stankoven was the fifth-overall pick in the 2018 bantam draft. He will be back with the major midget Thompson Blazers, who play out of Kamloops, for a Saturday afternoon game. . . . Kamloops had lost its previous seven games (0-6-1) after opening the season with a pair of victories. . . . The Broncos (1-10-0) have lost three in a row, all on a B.C. Division swing. They have been outshot 146-52 over those three losses. . . . Broncos F Max Patterson, who is from Kamloops, had a goal and an assist. He pulled the visitors into a 3-3 tie at 6:38 of the third period, on a PP. . . . Kamloops D Luc Zazula left in the first period after taking a hard hit against the end boards that left him woozy. He didn’t return. . . . Blazers F Jermaine Loewen sat out as he completed a four-game suspension. . . . It was Mark Recchi Hall of Fame Night as the Blazers saluted the local star who went on to win three Stanley Cups during a lengthy NHL career. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November. Recchi now is an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins and is a co-owner of the Blazers. . . . Rick Doerksen, the WHL’s vice-president, hockey, was in attendance and presented Recchi with a WHL Alumni Achievement Award during a 30-minute pregame ceremony.


D Lassi Thomson and F Liam Kindree had four-point outings as the Kelowna Rockets KelownaRocketswhipped the Royals, 8-2, in Victoria. . . . F Dante Hannoun (6) gave the Royals a 2-1 lead at 10:47 of the second period but it was all Rockets after that. . . . Thomson finished with two goals, giving him six, and two assists, with Kindree adding his second goal and three assists. . . . Kelowna (3-9-0) was 4-for-6 on the PP and 6-for-6 on the PK. . . . The Royals (8-2-0) are 6-2-0 at home. . . . The Royals scratched G Griffen Outhouse, who had started eight of the team’s first nine games. With him out, Brock Gould made his second start, stopping 16 of 22 shots in 40:51. Joel Grzybowski was brought in from the SJHL’s Battlefords North Stars to back him up and came on in the third period to stop eight of 10 shots. . . . A note from the Royals’ post-game news release points out that Gould “stopped Kelowna’s Leif Mattson on a penalty shot. Since their inaugural season in 2011-12, Victoria has had 19 penalty shots taken against it and has only allowed three goals.”


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Americans and Hitmen cut deal . . . Royals run their record to 7-0-0 . . . Anders superb as Rebels dump Raiders . . . T-Birds beat Rockets in wild one


MacBeth

F Radek Duda (Regina, Lethbridge, 1998-2000) signed a contract for the rest of this season with Piráti Chomutov (Czech Republic, Extraliga) after obtaining his release from Benátky nad Jizerou (Czech Republic, 1. Liga). This season, he had three goals and three assists in 10 games with Benátky nad Jizerou.


ThisThat

The Tri-City Americans have acquired D Dom Schmiemann, 19, from the Calgary Hitmen tri-cityfor a fourth-round selection in the 2019 WHL bantam draft and a conditional fifth-rounder in 2020. . . . “With a long-term injury to Anthony Bishop, we felt it was necessary to add a veteran defenceman,” Americans general manager Bob Tory explained in a news release. . . . The Swift Current Broncos selected Schmiemann in the first round of the 2014 bantam draft. . . . From Wilcox, Sask., he had one assist in four games this season. Last season, he put up a goal and 10 assists in 47 games with Calgary after being acquired from the Broncos. In 135 regular-season career games, he has two goals and 22 assists. . . . His younger brother Quinn, 17, is in his first season with the Kamloops Blazers. He, too, is a defenceman.


Three players were suspended by the WHL on Saturday afternoon, all for infractions committed on Friday night. . . . F Sean Richards of the Everett Silvertips and F Jermaine Loewen of the Kamloops Blazers drew TBD sentences and didn’t play last night. Both players drew headshot majors and game misconducts on Friday, Richards for a hit on D Reece Harsch of the Seattle Thunderbirds, Loewen for a hit on D Matthew Quigley of the Portland Winterhawks. Neither Harsch nor Quigley played last night. . . . Loewen’s family was in Kamloops from Arborg, Man., for the weekend, so likely got a bit more quality time with Jermaine than they had anticipated. . . . F Reid Perepeluk of the Prince George Cougars was given a one-game suspension for a charging major and game misconduct during Friday’s 5-0 loss to the visiting Vancouver Giants. He sat out last night’s rematch in Prince George.


The Moose Jaw Warriors have released F Tristyn DeRoose, 19. . . . From Ceylon, Sask., DeRoose was pointless in three games with the Warriors this season. Last season, he had four goals and three assists in 47 games. . . . The Warriors acquired DeRoose from the Vancouver Giants for a sixth-round pick in the 2020 WHL bantam draft on Sept. 12, 2017. . . . In 108 regular-season games, he has five goals and eight assists.


F Mackenzie Wight has left the Swift Current Broncos. Wight, 19, is from Burnaby, B.C. SCBroncosHe was a seventh-round selection of the Seattle Thunderbirds in the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft. . . . He was pointless in two games with the Broncos this season, after recording one goal and three assists in 55 games last season. . . . “Basically, he decided that he wanted to play closer to home,” Dean Brockman, the Broncos’ director of hockey operations and head coach, told David Zammit of swiftcurrentonline.com, “and felt he wanted to go back there, and we certainly weren’t going to stop him.” . . . In 74 career regular-season games, including six with Seattle, had had two goals and three assists.


Tyler Lowey is a former Thompson Rivers U baseball player, who dabbles in sports writing. While seated beside me in the press box as the Portland Winterhawks skated to a 5-3 victory over the host Kamloops Blazers on Friday night, he casually mentioned that he had written a story on G Carl Stankowski that would be posted at dubnetwork.ca sometime on Saturday. . . . Well, that story is right here, and it is outstanding as it outlines in minute detail exactly what Stankowski has gone through to get back on the ice and, in fact, what he goes through in order to keep on playing, now with the Calgary Hitmen.


SATURDAY NIGHT NOTES:

And then there was one . . .

When the evening began, there were two WHL teams with perfect records; there was one left standing at night’s end.

The Victoria Royals ran their record to 6-0-0 with a 2-1 victory over the Blazers in VictoriaRoyalsKamloops. This one was 1-1 when a point shot by D Mitchell Prowse changed directions off the shaft of F Dante Hannoun’s stick and beat G Dylan Garand at 9:21 of the third period. . . . Hannoun has four goals this season. . . . The Royals got 26 saves from G Griffen Outhouse, who has played every minute of all six victories. . . . Garand, a 16-year-old from Victoria, made his first start of the season, stopping 20 shots. Garand, a third-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft, made two starts last season at the age of 15. . . . Kamloops D Nolan Kneen played in his 200th regular-season game on Friday in a 5-3 loss to the visiting Portland Winterhawks. . . . The Blazers, who opened the season with a home-and-home sweep of the Kelowna Rockets, now have lost five in a row. . . . The Royals are 3-0-0 against Kamloops, having beaten the Blazers 3-2 and 6-3 in Victoria on Sept. 28 and 29. . . .

Meanwhile, in Red Deer the host Rebels ran their winning streak to five games, with a 4-3 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders, who lost for the first time in eight outings this season. . . . The Raiders held a 52-21 edge in shots on goal. . . . Red Deer G Ethan Anders stopped 49 shots. . . . Red Deer F Reese Johnson broke a 3-3 tie with his fourth goal of the season, at 17:44 of the third period. . . . F Brandon Hagel of the Rebels played in his 200th regular-season game. . . .

There is one other team that has yet to taste defeat in regulation time . . .

The Brandon Wheat Kings are 4-0-1 after scoring five second-period goals en route to a 7-BrandonWKregular3 victory over the Pats in Regina. . . . Brandon’s second-period explosion included short-handed goals 28 seconds apart from F Caiden Daley and F Lynden McCallum. . . . The Pats, last season’s Memorial Cup host team, slid to 1-5-0. . . .

Victoria has a week off to enjoy perfection before playing host to the Vancouver Giants on Oct. 13 and 14. . . . Brandon is at home to the Moose Jaw Warriors on Friday night.


F Tristin Langan scored three goals and added an assist to lead the Moose Jaw Warriors to MooseJawWarriorsa 5-4 victory over the visiting Swift Current Broncos. . . . The Broncos, the reigning WHL champions, are 0-6-0 and one of two teams in the 22-team league without a victory. The Calgary Hitmen, who were idle last night, are 0-4-1 after going 6-0-0 in the exhibition season. . . . In those six losses, they have scored 12 goals and given up 31. . . . Langan, who has five goals, scored three in a row, with the final one giving his guys a 4-1 lead 13 seconds into the third period. . . . The Broncos made it close with two goals late in the third. . . . F Justin Almeida had three assists for the winners. . . . The Broncos next play on Friday when they are at home to the Spokane Chiefs.


F Kirby Dach shot first and scored the only goal of a shootout to give the Saskatoon Blades a 3-2 victory over the Hurricanes in Lethbridge. . . . The Blades (6-2-0) were playing their fourth game in Alberta in five nights — they went 3-1-0. . . . It also was Saskatoon’s sixth game in eight nights; they went 4-2-0. . . . Saskatoon F Riley McKay (3) tied the game 2-2 at 19:57 of the second period. . . .


F Dillon Hamaliuk of the Seattle Thunderbirds ran his goal-scoring streak to five games in a 4-1 victory over the Kelowna Rockets in Kent, Wash. . . . Hamaliuk has a goal in each Seattleof his five games this season. Going back to last season, he has scored in six straight regular-season games. . . . According to Tbird Tidbits (@TBirdTidbits), Hamaliuk is believed to be the first Seattle player “to score a goal in the team’s first five games . . . since Petr Nedved” in 1989-90. . . . G Liam Hughes, back in action after sitting out one game with an undisclosed injury, stopped 44 shots for Seattle. . . . The Rockets now are 1-7-0. . . . With D Reece Harsch out after taking a high hit on Friday night, the Thunderbirds brought in D Luke Bateman, 16, from the major midget Thompson Blazers, who are based in his hometown of Kamloops. He was a fourth-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft. . . . Kelowna G Roman Basran, who stopped 28 shots, was in the thick of things for a lot of the night. He took three minor penalties in the first period — a minor for high-sticking at 7:32 and a double minor for high-sticking at 20:00 — and another in the third period (leaving the crease). . . . At 10:45 of the second period, Basran was involved in a collision that resulted in Seattle F Nolan Volcan getting ejected with a goaltender interference major and a game misconduct. . . . In the third period, Basran skated from his net well over the centre red line as players scrummed in the Seattle zone. Linesmen intercepted him before anything could happen. . . . The Thunderbirds and Rockets will meet again Wednesday, this time in Kelowna.


G Bailey Brkin stopped 28 shots to help the Spokane Chiefs to a 3-2 victory over the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . After starting with five victories, the Oil Kings have lost three in a row (0-2-1). . . . F Eli Zummack’s second goal of the season broke a 2-2 tie at 14:44 of the second period and stood up as the winner. . . .


G Jordan Hollett stopped 26 shots for the shutout as the Medicine Hat Tigers dumped the Tri-City Americans, 2-0, in Kennewick, Wash. . . . Hollett has three career shutouts, but this was his first with the Tigers. The other two came with the Regina Pats. . . . F Elijah Brown (3) scored the game’s first goal, at 12:08 of the first period. . . .


The Vancouver Giants ran their road record to 4-0-0 with a 3-2 victory over the Prince VancouverGeorge Cougars. . . . On Friday, the Giants had beaten the host Cougars, 3-0. . . . G Trent Miner stopped 33 shots last night for Vancouver. . . . The Giants took a 3-1 lead at 19:22 of the second period when D Bowen Byram (2) scored. . . . The Cougars lost F Josh Maser to a major penalty for a slewfoot on F Justin Sourdif at 0:11 of the second period. . . . The Giants have won four games in a row and have allowed only 11 goals in seven games. . . . Joey Kenward, a former radio voice of the Giants who now works for Sportsnet 650 in Vancouver, pointed out via Twitter on Saturday morning that the Giants, in their 17th season, “have posted back-to-back road shutouts for the first time in franchise history.” . . . Miner posted a 5-0 shutout over the Rockets in Kelowna on Wednesday, and David Tendeck followed that up by beating the Cougars on Friday.


The Portland Winterhawks got two goals and two assists from F Joachim Blichfeld — both goals were empty-netters — as they skated to a 4-1 victory over the Silvertips in Everett. . . . The Winterhawks (4-2-1) are 4-0-1 in their last five games. . . . Blichfeld now leads the WHL in goals (8) and points (15). He has played seven games. . . . F Seth Jarvis had given the visitors a 2-1 lead with a PP goal at 12:40 of the first period. . . . Portland played without D Matthew Quigley, who left in the first period of a Friday game in Kamloops after taking a high hit from Blazers F Jerome Loewen.


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WHL governors go with Kelowna, should have rewarded Lethbridge . . . Hay wins in return to Kamloops . . . Raiders remain perfect

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It will have come as no surprise to veteran observers on Wednesday when Ron Robison, the WHL commissioner, revealed that the league’s board of governors had voted to award the 2020 Memorial Cup to Kelowna.

The Rockets won out over competing bids from the Kamloops Blazers and Lethbridge Hurricanes. The three teams/cities presented their bids to the board earlier Wednesday in Calgary, following which the vote was held.

The Rockets were the host team in 2004 and they, along with their city, did a bang-up job. You can bet that they will do the same in 2020; Bruce Hamilton, their president and general manager, wouldn’t have it any other way.

Robison was quoted by lethbridgenewsnow.com as saying, in reference to the Rockets: “Very strong fan base, always a very competitive team, championship calibre team. And really, when it comes down to it, when you’re hosting a Memorial Cup . . . you have to be sure that that team is capable of putting together a championship team. And I think the confidence in (Hamilton) and his leadership on the hockey side was a key consideration.”

Of course, Hamilton also is the chairman of the WHL’s board of governors. Having filled the position since 2008, he is the longest-serving chairman in the league’s history. He is widely recognized as the most powerful voice in the WHL, and that is something that will hang over the Kelowna victory, at least in the minds of some.

Someone who has sat in on similar Memorial Cup bid presentations — no, not this one — told Taking Note that at the end of the day, though, only one thing matters in these situations, and that would be the money.

If that was the case here that is really too bad because the WHL’s board of governors had an opportunity to reward a member team, its city and fans for a job well done, and the board blew it.

Assuming that the Hurricanes’ presentation didn’t bomb — and it’s hard to imagine that happening in this day and age — the governors needed to use this moment to thank the City of Lethbridge and all of the Hurricanes’ supporters, including businesses and fans, for their help in hauling the franchise out of the financial muck and mire in which it found itself after not making the playoffs for six straight seasons.

The Hurricanes were more than $700,000 in debt when the 2015-16 season started, the first one under general manager Peter Anholt. They showed a profit of $167,000 that season, then followed with two trips to the Eastern Conference final and profits of $737,710 and $422,443.

Now there’s money in the bank and no fear of not being able to make a $167,000 annual payment to the city as the team’s part of renovations to the ENMAX Centre.

Rather than reward that remarkable performance — sheesh, the commissioner went to Lethbridge in the summer of 2015 and recommended that the shareholders sell to private interests — the WHL’s governors chose to thank the Hurricanes for their time with a pat on the head and send them on their way.

And that’s really too bad.

Yes, the last four times the Memorial Cup has been held in the west it has been in an Eastern Conference city — Brandon, 2010; Saskatoon, 2013; Red Deer, 2016; and Regina, 2018. Not since it was held in Vancouver in 2007 has it been played in a Western Conference city.

However, that shouldn’t have mattered, not with the opportunity that presented itself to thank a member club and city for such a tremendous effort in recent seasons.

The 2020 Memorial Cup in Kelowna will run from May 22 through May 31. The 2019 tournament is scheduled for Halifax, May 16 through May 26.

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Meanwhile, the CHL also announced Wednesday that it has a five-year deal with Kia Canada as the Memorial Cup’s title sponsor.

Mastercard, the longtime title sponsor, wasn’t mentioned during the announcement; there wasn’t even a thank you for its time in that role.

From this point forward, at least for the immediate future, the tournament will be referred to by the CHL as the Memorial Cup presented by Kia.

——

Three online Twitter polls involving the 2020 Memorial Cup all closed with Lethbridge in the lead.

Guy Flaming, the host of The Pipeline Show, asked his followers “which team/city do you hope to see get the nod?” There were 446 respondents, with Lethbridge getting 47 per cent of the votes. Kelowna followed at 34, with Kamloops at 19.

Taking Note also posted one, asking in which city the tournament would be held. There were 445 responses, with Lethbridge leading the way at 37 per cent, following by Kelowna (34) and Kamloops (28).

Dub Network asked its followers “who should hold” the event? Lethbridge drew 39 per cent of the votes from the 431 respondents, with Kelowna next at 34 and Kamloops at 27.


WEDNESDAY NIGHT NOTES:

The Portland Winterhawks scored five second-period goals en route to a 7-3 victory over the Blazers in Kamloops. The game marked the return of Portland assistant coach Don Hay to Kamloops, where he spent the previous four seasons as head coach. Hay is the winningest head coach in WHL history. . . . Portland got a goal and two assists from F Cody Glass, who has nine points in three games. . . . The Winterhawks make their final appearance of this season in Kamloops on Friday. . . .

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The Vancouver Giants put a damper on celebrations in Kelowna by beating the host Rockets, 5-0. Earlier in the day, the Rockets had been named the host team for the 2020 Memorial Cup. . . . F James Malm scored three straight goals for the Giants, giving him a league-leading seven in five games, while G Trent Miner recorded his first WHL clean sheet with 21 saves. . . .

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F Noah Gregor had two assists in his first game with Prince Albert as the Raiders beat the Tigers, 5-1, in Medicine Hat. . . . The Raiders, who got two goals and an assist from F Max Martin, now are 6-0-0; the Tigers have lost five in a row. . . . F James Hamblin of the Tigers, playing in his 200th WHL game, came up short on a first-period penalty shot. . . .

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F Kirby Dach had three points, giving him 12 in six games, as the Saskatoon Blades scored a 5-3 victory over the host Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . The Oil Kings lost for the first time in six starts this season; the Blades (4-2-0) had lost their previous two games.


Feel free to click on the DONATE button over there on the right and add to the Taking Note coffee fund.


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A special Kidney Walk for Dorothy . . . A milestone for the Blades’ voice . . . Some tidbits from opening weekend

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G Matt Hewitt (Regina, 2010-13) signed a one-year contract with Fassa Canazei (Italy, Alps HL). Last season, with University of British Columbia (Canada West, U Sports), he got into 20 games, going 12-5-2, 2.85, .920 with one shutout. . . . This summer, Hewitt played with CBR Brave Canberra (Australia, AIHL). In 26 games, he drew three assists, while going 23-2-0, 1.95, .925 with three shutouts. He led the league in wins, shutouts, GAA and SP. . . . CBR Brave won the AIHL championship, beating the Sydney Bears 4-3 in OT in the league’s Grand Final on Sept. 2 in Melbourne. . . .

F Marcel Noebels (Seattle, Portland, 2010-12) has been released from his PTO with the Boston Bruins (NHL) and will rejoin Eisbären Berlin (Germany, DEL), where he is an alternate captain for this season. Last season, he had 11 goals and 19 assists in 52 games with Eisbären. . . .

F Nikita Popugayev (Moose Jaw, Prince George, 2015-18) has been traded by CSKA Moscow to Amur Khabarovsk (both Russia, KHL) for D Denis Nedilko (1999 born, playing for Amur’s junior team, Amurskie Tigry Khabarovsk). Popugayev had two goals and one assist in three games this season with Krasnaya Armiya Moscow (Russia, MHL). . . . Krasnaya Armiya is CSKA’s junior team. MHL is Russia’s junior league.


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I’m back after being away for a few days while we put the finishing touches on the 2018 Kamloops Kidney Walk. If you hadn’t guessed, Dorothy and I were among the organizers for the Kidney Walk that was held on Sunday at McDonald Park.

Yes, it was a success! Oh, was it!!

Let me tell you a little bit about it . . .

Dorothy had her kidney transplant on Sept. 23, 2013, after almost four years of doing peritoneal dialysis, so this Kidney Walk marked the fifth anniversary of her new life.

Drinnanfamily
The Drinnan family, with the cake (donated by the North Shore Safeway) that celebrated the fifth anniversary of Dorothy’s kidney transplant.

We knew it was going to be special because our granddaughter Kara brought her parents — our son Todd and his wife, Joanna — to the Walk from their home in Burnaby.

Then, as Dorothy and I got out of our car at McDonald Park, a couple came walking in our direction. It turned out to be our best friends from Brandon — Darlene and Alan Silvius, who arrived completely unannounced. They actually had arrived in town on Saturday, but didn’t breathe a word about it. In fact, at one point, Darlene actually had sent a text to Dorothy indicating that they were in Portage la Prairie, Man., visiting with friends.

DrinnanSilvius
Darlene and Alan Silvius joined us at the Kamloops Kidney Walk on Sunday. Darlene and Dorothy have a special relationship.

Back in the day, Darlene was adamant that she would be the person to give a kidney to Dorothy. But it turned out that she wasn’t a match. Still, she refused to give up, and turned to the Kidney Paired Donation program.

So it was that five years ago she donated a kidney to a stranger in order to allow Dorothy to receive a true gift of life from someone else.

These two women have long had a strong relationship, but for the past five years they have grown even closer.

The look on Dorothy’s face when her brain finally recognized what her eyes were trying to tell her was priceless indeed.

All of you who read this blog and have donated on Dorothy’s kidney page were a big part of our day, too. In the end, Dorothy raised $3,250, which left her No. 1 in Kamloops for a fifth straight year.

Thank you all so much for your support. It really does mean a lot.

Now let’s get back to hockey . . . although it’ll be a bit spotty this week because, well, we’ve got some company to tour around.


In the meantime, here are some notes from the past few days. . . .

Old friend Les Lazaruk, who I may (or may not) have owned on the Strat-O-Matic field back in the day, opened the regular season with something of a milestone broadcast . . .


Aside from that milestone, the weekend’s biggest story may have been in Moose Jaw where the 50-50 draw at the Warriors’ home-opener on Saturday night reached $383,450.

There were two unclaimed winning pots from last season, so the carryover to this season was $166,615.

The winning ticket on Saturday was Z423428. As of Sunday morning, the jackpot apparently had yet to be claimed.

Now wouldn’t that be a carryover!


On the eve of the regular season, Trevor Crawley of the Cranbrook Daily Townsman provided this note on the Kootenay Ice:

“The current season-ticket count rests at 1,670, a drop of 247 from last year. The club had set a goal for 2,500 as part of it’s Drive to 25 campaign that kicked off in May 2017.” . . . The announced attendance at the Ice’s home-opener — a 5-3 victory over the Calgary Hitmen on Saturday — was 2,862. . . . F Connor McClennon, the second overall selection in the 2017 WHL bantam draft, scored twice for the Ice. A 16-year-old from Wainwright, Alta., he was pointless in five games with the Ice last season.


The Brandon Wheat Kings opened by sweeping a home-and-home series with the Moose BrandonWKregularJaw Warriors, winning 2-1 in the Wheat City and 4-2 on the road. . . . G Jiri Patera, a 19-year-old rookie from Praha, Czech Republic, recorded both victories. A sixth-round pick by the Vegas Golden Knights in the NHL’s 2017 draft, Patera stopped 56 of 59 shots in the two victories. . . . Patera is the first European goaltender to play for the Wheat Kings in the franchise’s 52-year history. . . . The Wheat Kings have had at least one American-born goaltender in their history — Scott Olson, from Bloomington, Minn., got into 63 games over three seasons and was a part of the 1978-79 championship team that lost only five regular-season games.


A couple of WHLers signed three-year entry-level NHL deals on the weekend. . . . D Josh Brook of the Moose Jaw Warriors signed with the Montreal Canadiens. Brook, 19, is from Roblin, Man. He was picked in the second round of the NHL’s 2017 draft. Brook scored both Moose Jaw goals as the Warriors dropped a 4-2 decision to the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings on Saturday night. . . . F Jake McGrew, a 19-year-old from Orange, Calif., signed with the San Jose Sharks after being a sixth-round pick in the 2017 NHL draft. McGrew has been with the Spokane Chiefs for two seasons, although knee problems kept him from playing in 2016-17.



The Red Deer Rebels released D Colin Paradis on Saturday in order to get down to the maximum of three 20-year-olds. . . . Releasing Paradis left them with F Brandon Hagel, F Reese Johnson, who is the team captain, and F Jeff de Wit as their 20-year-olds. . . . Paradis, from Sherwood Park, Alta., has played 194 regular-season games — the first 165 with the Moose Jaw Warriors — over four seasons.


F Owen Blocker of the Lethbridge Hurricanes left the ice on a stretcher in the first period of Saturday’s 4-2 victory over the Tigers in Medicine Hat.

According to Ryan McCracken of the Medicine Hat News, Blocker “targeted Dalton Gally Lethbridgefor a hit in the corner and went awkwardly into the boards. Blocker was taken off the ice on a stretcher after a lengthy delay and did not return.” . . . However, after being checked out at hospital and released, Blocker returned to the arena and returned to Lethbridge with his teammates after the game.

Meanwhile, the Hurricanes added G Akira Schmid to their roster on the weekend, after he was assigned by the NHL’s New Jersey Devils.

Schmid, 18, is from Nesslau, Switzerland, and was a fifth-round selection by the Devils in the NHL’s 2018 draft.

He joins Reece Klassen, a 19-year-old from Cloverdale, B.C., and Carl Tetachuk, 17, from Lethbridge, as goaltenders on the Hurricanes’ roster. Klassen went the distance in the Hurricanes’ first two games as they split a home-and-home with Medicine Hat. The Tigers won 5-2 in Lethbridge on Friday.


The Portland Winterhawks got Danish F Joachim Blichfeld, 20, back from the NHL’s San PortlandJose Sharks as the WHL regular-season opened. Blichfeld, a seventh-round pick by the Sharks in the NHL’s 2016 draft, has signed a pro contract so is eligible to play with the San Jose Barracuda, the Sharks’ AHL affiliate. . . . Blichfeld’s arrival left the Winterhawks with four 20-year-olds and three imports on their roster. . . . Blichfeld joined F Conor MacEachern, D Brendan De Jong and D Jared Freadrich as the 20-year-olds. . . . MacEachern didn’t play in a 5-3 loss to the host Seattle Thunderbirds on Saturday, while MacEachern sat out Sunday’s 3-1 loss to the Silvertips in Everett. . . .

WHL teams have until mid-October to declare a maximum of three 20-year-olds. . . . Should the Winterhawks choose to keep Blichfeld, they would have to release either Czech F Michael Kvasnica, 18, or Swiss F Dean Schwenninger. . . . Kvasnica and Schwenninger are first-year players, but teams are allowed to trade freshman imports only between Dec. 15 and the Jan. 10 trading deadline. Prior to this season, teams were permitted to trade first-year imports. . . . Schwenninger didn’t play in either of the two weekend games. . . .

D Henri Jokiharju, a 19-year-old from Finland, is in camp with the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks. He was named to the WHL-Western Conference’s second all-star team last season, and may still end up back in Portland.

Should that happen . . . well, I’m sure the Winterhawks won’t concern themselves with that until it actually does happen.


The Kelowna Rockets went 8-0-0 against the Kamloops Blazers last season. The Blazers Kamloops1showed on opening weekend that things are different now. Kamloops swept a home-and-home series, winning 4-1 at home on Friday and 3-1 in Kelowna on Saturday. . . . Serge Lajoie, the Blazers’ first-year head coach, picked up his first WHL victory on Friday and his family — wife Kelly and their children (Isabelle, 17, and Marc, 15) were there to witness it, having made the trip from their home in St. Albert, Alta. . . . “Up until (Thursday) night, I was texting with my daughter and my son and they made me believe they were both getting ready for bed and they were going to get up to go to school this morning,” Lajoie told Marty Hastings of Kamloops This Week. “It’s nice to be able to share this with them. I’m not here if it isn’t for them. I don’t lose sight of that.”


The Prince Albert Raiders opened with a two-game sweep of Regina, snapping a 15-game losing skid to the Pats with the first victory. The Raiders got started with a 7-2 victory on home ice on Friday, then travelled to Regina and beat the Pats 3-1 on Saturday. . . . The Raiders last beat the Pats on Sept. 23, 2016, when they posted a 4-3 OT victor in Regina on a goal by F Simon Stransky.


The Saskatoon Blades opened with a two-game sweep of the defending-champion Swift Current Broncos, winning 2-1 on the road and 8-0 at home, behind 17 saves from G Nolan Maier. . . . F Kirby Dach put up seven points in the two games, including three goals and two assists in Saturday’s shutout victory. . . . Only time will tell if this is a sign of things to come for the Blades, who have missed the playoffs for five straight seasons, and the Broncos, who went all-in last season in putting together the team that would win the Ed Chynoweth Cup.


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