Scattershooting on a Sunday with thoughts of Lennon and Breslin . . . Maier, Blades stop Leason and Raiders . . . Wolf howls against Chiefs

Scattershooting

The Edmonton Oilers’ roster may include the player some observers consider to be the best in the world, Connor McDavid, but they still are offensively challenged. When the visiting Calgary Flames beat the Columbus Blue Jackets, 9-6, on Tuesday, they scored as many goals in one game as the Oilers had scored in their previous five outings. . . . Of course, the Oilers beat the visiting Flames, 1-0, on Sunday night. If you don’t give up any goals, chances are you’ll win every time.



While it’s great to see Seattle be awarded an NHL franchise — yes, for US $650 million — you really have to wonder why the NHL won’t go into Quebec City, don’t you?


John Lennon was murdered on Dec. 8, 1980. If you haven’t read the column written by the late Jimmy Breslin, you have cheated yourself. It’s a classic and it’s right here.


F Tyler Steenbergen scored the Teddy Bear goal for the Swift Current Broncos last season, then later scored the goal that won gold for Team Canada at the 2018 World Junior Championship. This season, he’s with the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners. He scored their Teddy Bear goal on Saturday night.


Headline at TheOnion.com: Should the NFL prohibit players from appearing in hotel security footage?



“The U.S. Postal Service, in honor of former President George H.W. Bush’s funeral, suspended regular mail deliveries Wednesday,” writes Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “The Pistons apparently forgot and mailed it in anyway, getting outscored in every quarter in a 115-92 loss to the Bucks.”


A note from RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com: “Head coach Jay Gruden said exiled QB Colin Kaepernick wasn’t a good option for Washington. I’ll say! The poster boy for minority injustice in America playing for a team called the Redskins?”


Here’s a groaner from Currie: “Barbara Streisand’s two Coton de Tulear pooches are both clones of her previous pet, Samantha. If Elvis were alive, he’d say “You ain’t nothing but a cloned dog.”


ThisThat.

Maybe F Brett Leason and the Prince Albert Raiders are human after all.

G Nolan Maier stopped 32 shots on Sunday to lead the Saskatoon Blades to a 1-0 victory PrinceAlbertover the visiting Raiders, handing Prince Albert, the CHL’s top-ranked team, its first regulation-time loss of this season.

The Raiders (28-2-1) went into the game with one other regulation loss; they were beaten 4-3 by the Rebels in Red Deer on Oct. 6. They also suffered a 3-2 shootout setback at the hands of the Broncos in Swift Current on Dec. 4.

When Sunday’s game ended, the Raiders still led the East Division by 16 points over the Blades. Still, the Saskatoon players had reason to like their performance.

 “This is huge,” Maier told blogger Darren Steinke. “We were talking about it before in the room saying that this was a statement game to be heard around the whole league.

The 17-year-old goaltender also helped bring an end to Leason’s 30-game point streak. Yes, Leason had recorded at least one point in each of his club’s first 30 games. He put up 28 goals — he leads the league in goals — and 36 assists during that stretch, and his 64 points have him atop the WHL scoring race, by two points over F Trey Fix-Wolansky of the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Leason’s lead isn’t likely to last, though, as he now is on his way to Victoria and the selection camp for Canada’s national junior team. Should he earn a spot on that team, he would miss at least nine of the Raiders’ games.


You can’t accuse the Portland Winterhawks Booster Club of not thinking big.

The club already is planning for the 2020-21 season when all signs point towards it Portlandmaking the East Division swing with its favourite team.

How avid are club members? Even with barely any planning done, the bus was already two-thirds full.

No, fans aren’t going to ride a bus all the way to the Prairies. Rather, they will fly to Regina, stay in the Saskatchewan capital and take a bus from there to games in other cities.

“The cost is estimated to be $2,400 to $3,500, including flight, bus, game ticket(s) and hotel,” Stuart Kemp, the club’s president, told Taking Note in an email. “There is no other WHL booster club that can do this . . .

“So far, enough have committed to go on the swing based on current costs, that the planning for the trip is in full-swing mode. Currently, we are close to having a waiting list as the trip is nearly sold out!”


“It was a sham all along,” writes Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun. “That’s the bitter conclusion supporters of the Western Hockey League’s Kootenay Ice have come to as the Kootenaynewjunior franchise is poised to move to Winnipeg.

“At first, John Hudak wanted to believe in Winnipeggers Greg Fettes and Matt Cockell, who purchased the Ice a year and a half ago.

“But Hudak, a retired RCMP officer who spearheaded a local drive to save the team, says it turns out he was banging his head against the wall.”

Friesen’s complete column — it carries the headline: WHL move to Winnipeg ‘a done deal’ — is right here.

——

Meanwhile, Ian Cobb, the owner/editor of e-KNOW.ca, has provided an overview of things from the perspective of a hockey fan in the Kootenays. He suggests that it’s time for the fans in the area to start attending games in large numbers. . . . Cobb’s piece is right here.


Let’s be honest. The WHL’s playoff format stinks to high heaven. So, too, does the NHL’s, which is identical.

Here’s Larry Brooks of the New York Post:

“Imagine Wimbledon every year matching up the top two seeds in each half of the draw in the second round. Imagine the World Cup placing the four most powerful squads in the same group. Imagine March Madness placing the top four seeds in the country in the same region.

While you’re at it, you may as well imagine there’s no heaven, because it’s easy if you try to imagine the NHL cutting off its own knees by matching up its best teams in the first or second round of the playoffs in a made-for-marketing scheme, because that is exactly what Sixth Avenue and its band of clueless co-conspirators on the Board do year after year after year.”

As you read this, just substitute NHL with WHL and go from there.

The complete column is right here.


G Kyle Dumba got his first taste of junior hockey in 2013-14 when he played one game with each of the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen and the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers.

Since then he has had stints with the AJHL’s Calgary Mustangs, the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers, Everett Silvertips and Regina Pats, and the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks, Surrey Eagles and Victoria Grizzlies.

The 20-year-old Calgarian made his 106th junior appearance on Saturday night and recorded his first shutout. He’s with the Grizzlies now, sparked by his 43 saves, they beat one of his former teams, Salmon Arm, 2-0.


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: 10.

Players: 31.

Bantam draft picks: 18.

Conditional draft picks: 4.

(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.)


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.


SUNDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

G Nolan Maier stopped 32 shots and F Tristen Robins scored the game’s only goal as the Saskatoonhost Saskatoon Blades beat the Prince Albert Raiders, 1-0. . . . The Blades (19-10-3) have won two straight. . . . The Raiders (28-2-1) had been 21-0-1 in their previous 22 games. This was their first regulation loss this season. . . . This was the third game in fewer than 48 hours for both of these teams and each went 2-1-0. . . . The Raiders had won the first two meetings with the Blades — 4-1 in Prince Albert and 6-2 in Saskatoon on Sept. 30 and Oct. 14, respectively. . . . Maier posted his second shutout of the season and the fourth of his career. This season, he is 15-8-2, 2.70, .912. . . . Robins’ goal, his fifth of the season, came at 5:14 of the second period and also was the Teddy Bear goal. . . . Raiders F Brett Leason had his 30-game point streak come to an end, despite having five shots on goal. . . . Leason and G Ian Scott, who stopped 26 shots, will be on the ice in Victoria on Tuesday as the selection camp opens for Canada’s national junior team. . . . When the Raiders next play, on Wednesday against the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings, they will be missing Scott, Leason, F Aliaksei Protas and D Sergei Sapego. The latter two are with the Belarus national junior team at the IIHF World Junior Championship (Division I Group A) in Fussen, Germany. . . . Darren Steinke, the travellin’ blogger, was at home Sunday for his third game in fewer than 48 hours, too, and his post is right here.


The Calgary Hitmen broke a 2-2 second-period tie with four goals in a span of 4:02 en Calgaryroute to a 6-3 victory over the visiting Kamloops Blazers. . . . Calgary (14-14-3) has won four straight. . . . The Blazers (12-12-3) had points in each of their previous four games (3-0-1). . . . Kamloops now is 0-1-1 on a six-game Central Division trek. . . . Calgary went ahead 1-0 at 4:18 of the first period when F Kaden Elder (12) scored the Teddy Bear goal. . . . F Martin Lang (6), who also had two assists, pulled Kamloops even at 1:42 of the second period, but F Jake Kryski (14) got that one back, on a PP, at 4:11. . . . F Kyrell Sopotyk (4) got the Blazers back into a tie, on a PP, at 10:31. . . . It was all Calgary after that, with F James Malm (15) counting at 10:47, F Tye Carriere (3) at 11:13, and D Egor Zamula scoring twice, at 12:34 and 13:49. . . . Zamula, who has seven goals, enjoyed the first multi-goal game of his WHL career. . . . Kamloops F Zane Franklin (17) closed out the scoring at 13:55 of the third period. . . . Zamula, who also had an assist, enjoyed the first multi-goal game of his career. . . . Calgary F Riley Stotts had three assists. He’s got a goal and seven assists over his past three games. . . . The Blazers were without F Jermaine Loewen and F Kobe Mohr, both of whom were suspended by the WHL earlier in the day. Loewen drew a TBD suspension after taking a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct in a 3-2 OT loss to the Oil Kings in Edmonton on Saturday, while Mohr got one game under supplemental discipline from the same game.


G Dustin Wolf stopped 21 shots to help the host Everett Silvertips to a 2-0 victory over the EverettSpokane Chiefs. . . . Everett (25-7-1) now has points in 11 straight (10-0-1). . . . Spokane (16-11-4) had won its previous two games. . . . Everett leads the Western Conference by seven points over the idle Vancouver Giants (21-6-2), who have four games in hand. . . . Everett is atop the U.S. Division by 13 points over the Portland Winterhawks (18-10-2), who hold three games in hand. . . . This season, Wolf, a 17-year-old sophomore, is 23-7-1, 1.84, .928. He has three shutouts this season and seven in his career. . . . The shutout yesterday lowered his career GAA to 1.99 in 51 appearances, 31 of them this season. . . . F Bryce Kindopp scored both goals, at 14:34 and 19:48 of the third period. The second one was into an empty net. He’s got 13 goals. . . . Spokane got 38 saves from G Bailey Brkin. . . . The Chiefs were playing their third game in fewer than 48 hours. They went 2-1-0. They also were in their fourth game in five nights. They were 2-2-0 in those four games, with the other loss also at the hands of the Silvertips, 4-2 in Everett on Wednesday. . . . The Silvertips were without F Sean Richards, who drew a TBA suspension after he took a boarding major and game misconduct on Saturday night against the Seattle Thunderbirds. Richards hit D Loeden Schaufler at 10:10 of the second period; Schaufler left the game and didn’t return. . . . The Silvertips also were without F Martin Fasko-Rudas, who has missed two straight games.

Advertisements

Fettes: No announcement pending . . . Raiders get back on winning track . . . Tyszka returns to Seattle lineup


ThisThat

While Thursday was the day for speculation, Friday was for denials.

On Thursday, you’ll recall, the Winnipeg Free Press reported that, according to its sources, Greg Fettes and Matt Cockell, the owners of the WHL’s Cranbrook-based KootenaynewKootenay Ice, would announce on Monday that the franchise is to be relocated to the Manitoba capital in time for next season.

On Friday, Fettes and the WHL issued denials.

According to a story by Bradley Jones and David Opinko of Cranbrook radio station Summit 107FM, Fettes said: “I’m saying there’s no announcement on Monday or anything pending.”

The Free Press also was able to reach Fettes.

“I’m saying there’s no announcement on Monday or anything pending,” Fettes told the newspaper, which added that “Fettes was not willing to discuss his plans for the team . . .”

Meanwhile, the WHL emailed a statement to Summit 107 that was identical to one that was issued in October:

“The WHL is very pleased with the commitment Greg Fettes and his ownership group has made to Cranbrook and the Kootenay region since acquiring the ICE franchise in 2017.

“The WHL is looking forward to the Kootenay ICE continuing to operate this season in Cranbrook.

“The WHL Commissioner continues to monitor the situation in Kootenay very closely and reports to the Board of Governors as required on any new developments. The discussions which take place on WHL franchises are internal and will remain confidential. With respect to the Kootenay ICE franchise, there is nothing new to report at this time.”

While it appears that nothing is imminent in terms of a relocation announcement, the Ice is expected to move to Winnipeg and play out of an arena at the U of Manitoba until a new facility is completed on the southwest side of Winnipeg.

Speculation about a move intensified a month ago when the Green Bay Committee called it quits, citing a lack of co-operation from the Ice’s ownership. The Green Bay Committee had hoped to help the Ice through the selling of sponsorships and tickets.

In a Nov. 13 email to Cockell, the committee wrote that “the absence of active engagement by you and Greg with our committee has become a major issue in our community. We believe that this failure has become the biggest obstacle in our ability to achieve a highly successful sales campaign and to create an effective steering committee.

“As a result, we are terminating our Green Bay Committee effective immediately. However, we will consider re-activating our committee if you provide us with a real commitment that you and Greg are prepared to immediately join us and work with us, as partners, and have no plans to move ‘Our ICE’ from Cranbrook.”


COUNTDOWN TO DEADLINE

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

Friday’s action:

No. of trades: 0.

Players: 0.

Bantam draft picks: 0.

Conditional draft picks: 0.

——

Total deals (since Nov. 26):

No. of trades: 10.

Players: 31.

Bantam draft picks: 18.

Conditional draft picks: 4.

(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.)


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.


D Anthony Bishop, 20, has joined the BCHL’s West Kelowna Warriors. Bishop split 174 regular-season WHL games among the Saskatoon Blades, Victoria Royals, Seattle Thunderbirds and Tri-City Americans. Bishop, from Kelowna, lost out when the Americans acquired D Aaron Hyman from the Regina Pats, a move that left Tri-City with four 20s, one over the maximum. . . . Bishop was placed on waivers and there weren’t any takers. . . . Last season, he had one assist in four games with Victoria and 15 assists in 62 games with Tri-City. . . . Injuries limited him to only two games with the Americans this season.


FRIDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The Prince Albert Raiders scored the game’s first five goals and went on to a 5-2 victory PrinceAlbertover the Wheat Kings in Brandon. . . . Prince Albert (27-1-1) has points in 21 straight games (20-0-1). The Raiders were coming off a 3-2 shootout loss in Swift Current on Tuesday. . . . Brandon (14-8-6) had won its previous four games. . . . F Eric Pearce (3) got the Raiders started at 3:35 of the first period. . . . The Raiders outshot their hosts 22-7 in the second period and scored four more times, with F Sean Montgomery (12), F Cole Fonstad (8), F Noah Gregor (13) and F Ozzy Wiesblatt (6) finding the range. Fonstad, Gregor and Wiesblatt are linemates. . . . F Connor Gutenberg (8) got Brandon on the scoreboard at 19:47 of the second, and F Ben McCartney (7) added a shorthanded score at 18:14 of the third. . . . Brandon lost F Cole Reinhardt to a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct for a hit on D Brayden Pachal at 16:47 of the third period. . . .  Montgomery’s goal gave him 30 points in 29 games; last season, he finished with 29 in 72. . . . F Brett Leason of the Raiders was held to one assist, but that was enough for him to run his point streak to 29 games. . . . He also moved back into the WHL scoring lead, his 62 points one more than F Trey Fix-Wolansky of the idle Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Raiders G Donovan Buskey, who normally backs up Ian Scott, stopped 24 shots and now is 5-0-0. . . . The same teams will meet again tonight in Prince Albert.


The Moose Jaw Warriors erased a 2-0 first-period deficit to beat the Blades, 3-2, in MooseJawWarriorsSaskatoon. . . . Moose Jaw (16-6-5) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). . . . Saskatoon (17-10-3) had points in each of its previous three games (2-0-1). . . . The Warriors pulled into a second-place tie with the Blades in the East Division. Moose Jaw holds three games in hand. . . . F Eric Florchuk (9), at 4:31, and F Josh Paterson (8), at 9:29, gave the Blades the first-period lead. . . . F Luke Ormsby (5) pulled the Warriors to within a goal at 12:28 of the first period. . . . F Tristin Langan (20) tied it, on a PP, at 15:41 of the second. . . . F Brayden Tracey (10) broke the tie, on another PP, at 9:37 of the third. . . . Moose Jaw was 2-3 on the PP; Saskatoon was 0-5. . . . The Blades had a 35-25 edge in shots, including 14-5 in the third period. . . . Langan also had two assists, as did Moose Jaw D Jett Woo, who has six points over his past two games. . . . G Brodan Salmond, in his first appearance since Nov. 23, stopped 33 shots to earn the victory. . . . Ormsby has goals in three straight games — one with the Everett Silvertips and two since being dealt to the Warriors. . . . The same teams will play again tonight in Moose Jaw. . . . Darren Steinke, the travellin’ blogger, was at Friday’s game and his piece is right here.


F Josh Prokop broke a 2-2 tie at 19:37 of the third period to give the host Calgary Hitmen Calgarya 3-2 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Calgary (13-14-3) has won three in a row. . . . The Broncos (5-22-2) were coming off a 3-2 shootout victory over the visiting Prince Albert Raiders on Tuesday. . . . Last night, Calgary led in shots, 45-13, including 14-2 in the second period and 20-7 in the third. G Isaac Poulter stopped 42 shots for Swift Current. . . . F Ethan O’Rourke (1) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 14:39 of the second period. . . . F Riley Stotts (8) tied it for Calgary at 16:01. . . . The Broncos went back out front when F Joona Kiviniemi (6) scored at 8:01 of the third. . . . Calgary D Egor Zamula (5) tied it at 8:42, and Prokop won it with his sixth goal.


F Brett Davis scored the lone goal of a shootout as the host Red Deer Rebels beat the Red DeerRegina Pats, 4-3. . . . Red Deer (18-9-2) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). . . . Regina (8-21-1) has lost seven in a row. . . . The Rebels overcame a 3-1 deficit with two goals in the last half of the third period. . . . F Brandon Hagel (19) had given the Rebels a 1-0 lead at 18:26 of the first period. . . . The Pats roared back with the next three goals. . . . F Austin Pratt (12) and F Sergei Alkhimov (6) scored in the second period, and F Scott Mahovlich (4) made it 3-1 at 1:12 of the third period. . . . F Cam Hausinger (9), in his first game since coming over with Davis in a deal with the Kootenay Ice, cut Red Deer’s deficit to one goal, at 11:49. . . . F Alex Morozoff (5) tied it at 17:07. . . . Red Deer won 48 of the game’s 71 faceoffs. . . . Davis was the first shooter in the shootout’s second round.


 

G Roman Basran stopped 16 shots to help the Kelowna Rockets to a 2-0 victory over the KelownaRocketsvisiting Victoria Royals. . . . Kelowna (14-15-2) has points in four straight (3-0-1). The Rockets are second in the B.C. Division, four points ahead of Victoria and the idle Kamloops Blazers. . . . Victoria (13-12-0), which has six games in hand on Kelowna, has lost three in a row. . . . F Lane Zablocki, a 20-year-old who was acquired from Victoria prior to the season, scored his third goal of the season at 8:31 of the third period. . . . The Rockets gave up a seventh-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft and a fourth-rounder in 2021 to get Zablocki from the Royals on Sept. 28. . . . F Nolan Foote (18) added an empty-netter, on a PP, at 19:00. . . . Basran posted his first shutout of the season and the second of his career. . . . G Griffen Outhouse, Victoria’s workhorse, returned from a three-game absence to stop 30 shots. . . . Royals F Tanner Sidaway, who didn’t finish a 3-2 loss to the Blazers in Kamloops on Wednesday, was in Victoria’s lineup. . . . If you’re wondering, the Rockets are 10-5-2 under head coach Adam Foote, who replaced Jason Smith (4-10-0) on Oct. 23.


F Jake Gricius drew three assists in leading the host Portland Winterhawks to a 5-2 Portlandvictory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . The Winterhawks (17-10-2) have won three in a row. . . . The Cougars (11-15-3) are back in Portland again tonight. . . . Gricius enjoyed the first three-assist game of his career. He has three three-point games, two of them this season. . . . The Winterhawks took control with the game’s first three goals. . . . F Joachim Blickheld (26) got it started on a PP at 14:52 of the first period. . . . F Seth Jarvis (5), on another PP, made it 2-0 at 16:51. . . . F Robbie Fromm-Delorme (2) upped it to 3-0 at 2:58 of the second. . . . F Josh Maser (9) pulled the Cougars to within two goals, on a PP, at 8:54. . . . F Cody Glass (12) restored the three-goal lead while Portland was two-men short, at 11:06, and D John Ludvig (2) made it 5-1 at 17:34. . . . F Vladislav Mikhalchuk (9) got Prince George’s other goal, at 18:09 of the third. . . . Portland was 2-2 on the PP; Prince George was 2-8. . . . The Cougars were without F Jackson Leppard, who served a one-game WHL-issued suspension for a game misconduct he incurred at the end of a 5-3 victory over the visiting Victoria Royals on Dec. 2. . . . Portland D Brendan De Jong left late in the second period and didn’t return.


F Luc Smith and F Riley Woods each scored twice and added an assist to lead the host SpokaneChiefsSpokane Chiefs to a 6-2 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . The Chiefs (15-10-4) had lost their previous three games (0-2-1). . . . The Hurricanes (15-9-5) had points in seven straight (6-0-1). . . . F Eli Zummack had a career-high four assists for the Chiefs. It also was the first four-point game of his career, and it came in his 137th game. . . . Zummack was in on the game’s first three goals — two of them by Smith, who has 11 goals, and one from F Jake McGrew (8). . . . Woods, who has 23 goals, made it 4-0 at 4:05 of the second period. . . . Lethbridge cut the deficit in half on second-period goals by D Igor Merezhko (1) and F Jackson Shepard (2). . . . Spokane put it was on goals from Woods and F Cordel Larson (3) in the latter half of the third period. . . . The Chiefs were 3-4 on the PP; the Hurricanes were 1-3.


The Seattle Thunderbirds outshot their hosts 43-22 in skating to a 4-1 victory over the Tri-SeattleCity Americans in Kennewick, Wash. . . . Seattle (10-13-3) is fifth in the U.S. Division, seven points behind Tri-City (14-12-2). . . . Seattle G Cole Schwebius stopped 21 shots in recording his first WHL victory. In five appearances, the 17-year-old from Kelowna is 1-2-1, 2.62, .915. . . . F Zack Andrusiak (19) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead just 14 seconds into the game. . . . F Nolan Yaremko (13) tied it, on a PP, at 9:55 of the second. . . . The Thunderbirds won it with three third-period goals, from F Dillon Hamaliuk (9), at 1:42; D Simon Kubicek (7), at 11:24; and F Matthew Wedman (9), into an empty net, at 17:39. . . . D Jarret Tyszka was in Seattle’s lineup for the first time this season. Tyszka, 19, is one of the WHL’s best defenders, but hadn’t played since suffering a concussion while in camp with the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens on Sept. 9.


Tweetoftheday

Report: Ice announcement coming Monday . . . Rockets, Hurricanes make deal . . . Søgaard, Alexeyev get WJC opportunities


ThisThat

The Winnipeg Free Press is reporting that the worst fears of Kootenay-based WHL fans will be made official on Monday.

In a story carrying the bylines of Jeff Hamilton and Mike Sawatzky, the newspaper is Kootenaynewreporting that “the owners of the Kootenay Ice are preparing to announce Monday they are moving their Western Hockey League franchise to Winnipeg in time for the 2019-20 season, league sources have told the Free Press.”

The WHL franchise will play out of the Wayne Fleming Arena on the U of Manitoba campus for likely two seasons while a new arena is being built in the Manitoba capital’s southwest corner.

The Free Press also reports that Ice owners Greg Fettes and Matt Cockell, who is the president and general manager, “have not commented publicly on news reports and WHL commissioner Rob Robison has not made himself available for an interview on the subject.”

The Free Press story is right here.


COUNTDOWN TO DEADLINE

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

Thursday’s action:

No. of trades: 1.

Players: 1.

Bantam draft picks: 1.

Conditional draft picks: 0.

——

Total deals (since Nov. 26):

No. of trades: 10.

Players: 31.

Bantam draft picks: 18.

Conditional draft picks: 4.

(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.)

——

The Kelowna Rockets have acquired the WHL rights to F Alex Swetlikoff from the Lethbridge Hurricanes for a fourth-round selection in the 2022 bantam draft.

Swetlikoff, a 17-year-old from Kelowna, has committed to the U of Denver for the 2020-21 KelownaRocketsseason. He was a third-round pick by the Seattle Thunderbirds in the 2016 bantam draft. Seattle traded his rights to Lethbridge on May 3, getting back D Kirby Proctor, who is from Okotoks, Alta. He is with the USHL’s Des Moines Buccaneers, and has committed to attend the U of Nebraska-Omaha for 2020-21.

This season, the 6-foot-2, 180-pound Swetlikoff is playing with the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers, with whom he has eight goals and 12 assists in 27 games. He will play for Canada West at the World Junior Challenge that opens this weekend in Bonnyville, Alta.

The Rockets will be the host team for the 2020 Memorial Cup, so you can bet that will be a major selling point as the organization works to recruit Swetlikoff.


The Medicine Hat Tigers have dropped F Dawson Heathcote from their roster. He is expected to join the junior B Nanaimo Buccaneers of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League. . . . Heathcote, 18, is from Nanaimo. . . . Last season, as a freshman with the Tigers, he had six goals and three assists in 47 games. This season, he had two assists in 27 games. . . . Heathcote was a seventh-round pick by the Tigers in the 2015 WHL bantam draft.


Two more WHLers are on national junior team selection-camp rosters. . . . G Mads Søgaard of the Medicine Hat Tigers will attend Denmark’s selection camp, while D Alex Alexeyev will be in camp with the Russian national junior team. . . . Søgaard is to join the Danish team after the Tigers game against the visiting Kelowna Rockets on Dec. 15. Should he make the Danish team, he could miss as many as six of the Tigers’ games after the Christmas break. . . . The 2019 World Junior Championship is to open in Vancouver and Victoria on Dec. 26.


F Spencer Gerth of the Trinity Western Spartans is on the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League’s Young Stars’ roster that will play against Kazakhstan’s national junior team on Dec. 17. . . . Gerth, 20, played the previous three seasons in the WHL, with the Everett Silvertips and Victoria Royals. . . . This season, he has two goals and five assists in 11 games. . . .  The Young Stars will be part of a College Hockey Showcase that also is to include U of Victoria, with the three games at the Langley Events Centre. . . . Kazakhstan is scheduled to meet the Victoria on Dec. 11 and Trinity Western on Dec. 13, then will play the Young Stars on Dec. 17. All three games are to start at 7 p.m., and will be streamed at hockeytv.com. . . . Kazakhstan opens the 2019 World Junior Championship against Finland in Victoria on Dec. 27.

As part of the Kazakhstan visit, organizers are holding Hockey Day in Langley on Dec. 10. From a news release: “The Kazakhstan . . . team will be partnering with BC Hockey to host a Hockey Day in Langley event that will allow local minor hockey teams and academies an opportunity to meet the Kazakhstan team and take part in a skills competition. Coaches will also have a chance to meet and learn from some international-level coaches.” . . . For more info, email Barret Kropf at barret.kropf@twu.ca.



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.


Tweetoftheday

Deal between Ice, Rockets voided . . . Fix-Wolansky, Woo trying to prove point? . . . Silvertips double up on Chiefs


MacBeth

G Barry Brust (Spokane, Calgary, 2000-04) has been released by Kunlun Red Star Beijing (China, KHL). In nine games, he was 4-3-1, 3.11, .895. . . .

D Tomáš Kundrátek (Medicine Hat, 2008-10) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Třinec (Czech Republic, Extraliga) after requesting and receiving his release from Kunlun Red Star Beijing (China, KHL). He had three assists in 25 games while averaging 20:05 TOI. . . .

D Marek Hrbas (Edmonton, Kamloops, 2010-13) a signed contract for the rest of this season with Amur Khabarovsk (Russia, KHL) after obtaining his release from Vítkovice Ostrava (Czech Republic, Extraliga). He had one goal and three assists in 22 games with Vítkovice this season.


ThisThat

Taking Note has been told that a Nov. 30 trade between the Kelowna Rockets and Kootenay Ice has been stamped null and void.

On Nov. 30, the Rockets traded F Jack Cowell, a 19-year-old from Winnipeg, to the Ice for Kootenaynewa third-round pick in the 2020 WHL bantam draft.

Cowell, however, chose not to report. Rather, Taking Note was told Wednesday night that he has gone home to Winnipeg.

As a result, although nothing has been announced by the league or either team, the trade has been voided and, in fact, has been removed from the transaction page on the WHL’s website.

The Ice was at home to the Lethbridge Hurricanes last night. There was no mention of Cowell anywhere in the Ice’s digital pre-game notes package.

This season, Cowell had two goals and three assists in 26 games. In 182 career games with Kelowna, he had 18 goals and 38 assists.


In the lead up to Hockey Canada naming the selection-camp roster for its national junior team, many observers of the WHL anticipated that F Trey Fix-Wolansky of the Edmonton Oil Kings and D Jett Woo of the Moose Jaw Warriors would be on the list.

However, their names were conspicuous by their absence when the camp roster was revealed on Monday.

Judging by their performances on Wednesday night, both players are using the snubs for motivation.

Fix-Wolansky had a goal and three assists to lead the host Oil Kings to a 6-1 victory over the Regina Pats. Meanwhile, in Moose Jaw, Woo had a goal and three assists in the Warriors’ 6-5 OT loss to the Medicine Hat Tigers.

Fix-Wolansky, who has six four-point games to his credit, moved back into a tie for the WHL scoring lead. He and F Brett Leason of the Prince Albert Raiders have 61 points apiece. Leason leads the WHL in goals (28); Fix-Wolansky has a WHL-leading 41 assists in 31 games.

This was Woo’s first career four-point outing. He’s got five goals and 15 assists in 22 games.

Woo was a second-round pick by the Vancouver Canucks in the NHL’s 2018 draft. The Columbus Blue-Jackets took Fix-Wolansky in the seventh round.


COUNTDOWN TO DEADLINE

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

Wednesday’s action

No. of trades: 0.

Players: 0.

Bantam draft picks: 0.

Conditional draft picks: 0.

——

Total deals (since Nov. 26):

No. of trades: 9.

Players: 30.

Bantam draft picks: 17.

Conditional draft picks: 4.

(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.)


Jeremy Fraser of the Cape Breton Post wrote an interesting piece this week about American players in the CHL. . . . It seems that QMJHL teams are struggling to attract Americans, especially from the New England area. . . . Using rosters as of Monday afternoon, Fraser reported that the QMJHL’s 18 teams had only seven American players on rosters. . . . The 20-team OHL, Don Cherry’s favourite junior league, was home to 52 American players at that point, while the WHL’s 22 teams had 37 on rosters as of Monday. . . . Fraser’s complete story is right here.


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.


WEDNESDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

F Ryan Jevne’s second goal of the game gave the Medicine Hat Tigers a 6-5 OT victory Tigers Logo Officialover the Warriors in Moose Jaw. . . . Medicine Hat improved to 14-14-3. . . . Moose Jaw (15-7-4) has lost two in a row. . . . D Jett Woo had a goal, his fifth, and three assists for the Warriors. . . . D Joel Craven, playing only his third game after being out since Oct. 19, scored his first goal of the season for the Tigers. . . . F James Hamblin (14) gave the Tigers a 5-3 lead, on a PP, at 16:10 of the second period. . . . D Josh Brook (9) got Moose Jaw to within a goal, on a PP, at 18:08. . . . F Keennan Taphorn (7) pulled the Warriors into a tie at 4:01 of the third. . . . Jevne, who has 12 goals, won it on a PP at 1:16 of OT. He also had an assist. . . . D Daniel Baker scored his first career goal and added two assists for the Tigers. A 17-year-old freshman from Edmonton, Baker’s first goal and first multi-point night came in his 42nd game, 31 of them this season. . . . F Ryan Chyzowski had three assists for Medicine Hat. . . . Warriors F Tristin Langan scored his 19th goal and added an assist as he played his 200th regular-season game. . . . F Kjell Kjemhus, who was acquired this week from the Prince George Cougars, and F Luke Ormsby, who came over from the Everett Silvertips, both made their Moose Jaw debuts. . . . They started on a line with F Tate Popple, who was back after a one-game absence. . . . Ormsby’s fourth goal of the season, at 19:44 of the first period, cut into the Tigers’ 3-1 lead. . . . Medicine Hat, which held a 46-45 edge in shots, was 2-3 on the PP. The Warriors were 3-4.


The host Edmonton Oil Kings scored the game’s last six goals as they beat the Regina Pats, EdmontonOilKings6-1. . . . Edmonton (15-11-5) had lost its previous five games (0-3-2). . . . Regina (8-21-0) has lost six in a row. . . . F Riley Krane (4) gave the Pats a 1-0 lead at 8:00 of the first period. . . . But it was all Oil Kings after that point. . . . F Trey Fix Wolansky, who also had three assists, tied it with his 20th goal at 19:47. . . . F Dylan Guenther, the first overall selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft, broke the tie with his first career goal at 5:47, on a PP. Guenther scored in his third game; he also played on Nov. 2 and 3. . . . Guenther, from Edmonton, has 20 goals and 18 assists in 18 games with the Northern Alberta X-Treme prep team. . . . The Oil Kings were 3-5 on the PP. . . . F Vince Loschiavo scored his 13th goal and added two assists. . . . The Oil Kings were without F Vladimir Alistrov and F Andrei Pavlenko, both of whom are with the Belarusian team at the IIHF World Junior Championship (Division 1 Group A) that opens Sunday in Fussen, Germany. . . . Regina F Sebastian Streu also is there as he hopes to crack Germany’s roster.


F Dylan Cozens scored in OT to give the Lethbridge Hurricanes a 3-2 victory over the LethbridgeKootenay Ice in Cranbrook, B.C. . . . Lethbridge (15-8-5) has points in seven straight (6-0-1). . . . Kootenay (7-20-5) has lost 10 in a row (0-8-2). . . . The visitors took a 1-0 lead when D Alex Cotton (2) scored at 8:24 of the first period. . . . The Ice went in front on second-period goals from F Cole Muir (6) and F Jakin Smallwood (2). . . . F Jake Leschyshyn (18) got Lethbridge into a tie at 16:28 of the second. . . . Cozens won it with his 15th goal at 1:17 of extra time. . . . Leschyshyn also drew the primary assist on the winner. . . . The Hurricanes got 28 saves from G Reece Klassen, eight fewer than the Ice’s Jesse Makaj. . . . The Ice is without F Connor McClennon, who has one foot in a walking boot.


F Josh Pillar broke a 2-2 tie at 8:53 of the third period as the host Kamloops Blazers beat Kamloops1the Victoria Royals, 3-2. . . . Kamloops (12-11-2) has won three in a row, all at home where it is 5-6-1 after starting 2-6-1. . . . Victoria (13-11-0) has lost two in a row. . . . The Blazers overcame a 2-0 deficit to win this one. . . . Victoria led 2-0 on first-period goals from F D-Jay Jerome (12) and F Phillip Schultz (5). . . . F Kyrell Sopotyk (3) got the Blazers on the scoreboard at 7:07 of the second period. . . . F Jermaine Loewen (11) tied it, on a PP, at 8:53 of the third period. . . . Sopotyk set up the winner with a pass off a spin-o-rama in tight that Pillar was able to tuck into the net. . . . Kamloops lost F Jeff Faith to a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct for a hit on Victoria F Dante Hannoun after Pillar’s goal. . . . Moments after Pillar scored, Hannoun shoved him into the boards. Faith then came in and hit Hannoun from behind. . . . Kamloops was 1-6 on the PP; Victoria was 0-5, including a two-man advantage for 1:51. . . . The game featured a battle of two young goaltenders. With starters Griffen Outhouse (Victoria) and Dylan Ferguson (Kamloops) injured, Brock Gould, who turns 17 on Dec. 11, and Dylan Garand, 16, were the starters. . . . Garand, who is from Victoria, stopped 19 shots, while Gould turned aside 26. . . . Ferguson sat out a third straight game since being injured during a 3-1 loss to the Chiefs in Spokane on Nov. 24, while Outhouse also has missed three in a row. . . . Garand has won five straight starts and now is 5-1-1, 2.41, .912. . . . After the game, the Blazers returned G Rayce Ramsay to the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos, signalling that Ferguson is ready to return. . . . The Royals also continue to play without D Ralph Jarratt, who has gotten into only 11 games. For this one, they also scratched F Igor Martynov, who is in Fussen, Germany, with the Belarussian team that will play in the IIHF World Junior Championship (Division I Group) that begins Sunday in Fussen, Germany. Martynov snapped an 18-game goal-less drought in a 5-1 victory over the Cougars in Prince George on Saturday, then was blanked in a 5-3 loss on Sunday. . . . Victoria F Tanner Sidaway left the game in the last minute of the second period after falling awkwardly into the boards while killing a penalty. He looked to injury his left shoulder and crawled off the ice. . . . The Blazers won’t play at home again until Dec. 28. In the meantime, they’ll play six games in eight days on a Central Division trip that opens in Edmonton on Saturday.


The Kelowna Rockets scored the only two goals of a shootout to beat the visiting Tri-City KelownaRocketsAmericans, 4-3. . . . Kelowna (13-15-2) has points in three straight (2-0-1). . . . Tri-City has lost four in a row (0-2-2). . . . The Rockets held a 3-0 lead late in the second period on goals from F Erik Gardiner (5) and F Liam Kindree (6) in the first period, and F Nolan Foote (17), at 1:54 of the second. . . . The Americans got back into it with two PP goals from F Parker AuCoin, at 19:56 of the second and 8:53 of the third. He’s got 15 goals. . . . D Aaron Hyman (6) forced OT with a goal at 17:24. . . . That was Hyman’s first goal with the Americans, who acquired him from the Regina Pats. . . . Kelowna held a 3-1 edge in OT shots. . . . Kelowna shot first in the shootout and got goals from Foote and F Leif Mattson, their second and third shooters. . . . Tri-City was 2-7 on the PP; Kelowna was 0-2. . . .The Rockets got 28 saves from G James Porter. . . . G Talyn Boyko, who turned 16 on Nov. 16, made his second career start for the Americans. He made 24 saves. Boyko was a third-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft.


In Everett, the Silvertips built a 3-0 lead en route to a 4-2 victory over the Spokane Chiefs. Everett. . . Everett (23-7-1) has points in nine straight (8-0-1) and has closed to within six points of the Prince Albert Raiders (26-1-1), who lead the overall standings. The Raiders do hold three games in hand. . . . Spokane (14-10-4) has lost three straight (0-2-1). . . . The Silvertips grabbed a 3-0 lead on goals from F Jackson Berezowski (5), at 17:33 of the first period, and F Bryce Kindopp (11), at 1:47 of the second, and D Jake Christiansen (7), on a PP, at 14:48. . . . The Chiefs made it interesting with third-period PP goals from Ethan McIndoe (8), at 0:48, and F Riley Woods (21), at 9:26. . . . F Sean Richards (9) gave Everett some breathing room with an empty-netter, at 18:25. . . . F Max Patterson, acquired this week from the Swift Current Broncos, made his Everett debut and drew an assist on Berezowski’s goal. . . . G Dustin Wolf stopped 25 shots for Everett. He now is 21-7-1, 1.93, .923. . . . The Silvertips lost F Martin Fasko-Rudas aat 15:31 of the first period after he was hit in the neutral zone by Spokane F Egor Arbuzov, who was penalized for interference. . . . Former NHL D Kevin Bieksa took part in the ceremonial faceoff. He has been skating with the Silvertips as he prepares to play for Canada at the Spengler Cup that begins on Dec. 26 in Davos, Switzerland.


Tweetoftheday

Dorothy, friends say thank you . . . Broncos trade with Chiefs, then shock Raiders . . . Another big OHL trade

ICU
Dorothy was among four transplant recipients and a kidney donor who stopped by the ICU at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops on Tuesday to say thanks. The organs on the black t-shirts indicate who got what. Included in the photo are Mike Grandbois, who was a single-lung recipient 21 years ago; Abby Farnsworth, 17, who received a heart when she was four; and Tony Maidment, who received a new liver last year. You all know Dorothy, who got a kidney on Sept. 23, 2013. Glenn Ferro, back row at far right, is a kidney donor.

Allow me to interrupt the hockey stuff to tell you how Dorothy and I spent part of our Tuesday afternoon.

BC Transplant, according to its website, “oversees all aspects of organ donation and transplant across BC and manages the BC Organ Donor Registry.”

It also helps folks who have been involved in transplants say thanks to a whole lot of

Ambulance
The Fab Five finished their Thank You Tour with a stop at the B.C. Ambulance Service depot in Kamloops.

people who are awfully important to us, and that’s what we did yesterday afternoon.

There were four transplant recipients (heart, kidney, liver and single lung) and a kidney donor in the group that said thank you to the good people of the ER, ICU and OR at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, and with the B.C. Ambulance Service.

BC Transplant calls it Operation Popcorn, as our Fab Five presented those good people with boxes full of bags of tasty popcorn, just in time for the Christmas season.

While we were at RIH, one of the department managers shared a letter from BC Transplant that had arrived earlier in the day. Things got a bit misty as he read the letter, informing us and staff that after a recent death at RIH, two patients had each received a kidney.

I can tell you that the many friends who have supported Dorothy when she takes part in the annual Kamloops Kidney Walk were in our thoughts today.

Thank you for being there. You, too, are a big part of our journey.


ThisThat

COUNTDOWN TO DEADLINE

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

Tuesday’s action

No. of trades: 1.

Players: 5.

Bantam draft picks: 0.

Conditional draft picks: 1.

——

Totals since Nov. 26:

No. of trades: 10.

Players: 31.

Bantam draft picks: 18.

Conditional draft picks: 4.


The Spokane Chiefs and Swift Current Broncos shuffled five players and a conditional bantam draft pick in Tuesday’s only trade.

The Chiefs acquired veteran D Noah King, 19, G Matthew Davis, 17, and a conditional SpokaneChiefsfifth-round selection in the WHL’s 2021 bantam draft from the Broncos for F Carter Chorney, 17, F Kye Buchanan, 17, and D Devin Aubin, 15.

Neither Davis, Buchanan nor Aubin has signed a WHL contract.

King, a Winnipegger, was in his second season with the Broncos, who selected him in the 10th round of the 2014 bantam draft. The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder played on three championship-winning teams in minor hockey in Winnipeg, then helped the Broncos to the WHL title last spring. This season, he has two goals and four assists in 25 games. Last year, he totalled five assists in 65 games, then added one goal in 26 playoff games.

The Chiefs are about to lose D Ty Smith (Canada) and D Filip Kral (Czech Republic), with both on selection camp rosters for national junior teams. King, who size and a heavy presence in their zone, and his experience will help the Chiefs get through this part of the schedule.

Davis, a list player from Calgary, is playing with the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints. In 17 appearances this season, he is 1.70 and .925.

Chorney, from Sherwood Park, Alta., waived his no-trade clause, which is how he could SCBroncosbe included in this deal. He was a second-round pick by the Chiefs in the 2016 bantam draft. He had eight goals and four assists in 27 games with the Chiefs this season. Last season, as a freshman, he had two goals in 41 games.

Buchanan, a list player from Lethbridge, has a late-2001 birth date. He has four goals and three assists in 12 games with the midget AAA St. Albert, Alta., Raiders, He also has played four games with the AJHL’s Lloydminster Bobcats, earning one assist.

Aubin, 15, is from Falher, Alta. The Chiefs grabbed him in the fourth round of the 2018 bantam draft. This season, he has two goals and one assist with the midget AAA Grande Prairie Storm. Last season, he was named the Alberta Major Bantam League’s top defenceman when he had nine goals and two assists in 19 games with the bantam AAA Storm.


Let’s be honest. The WHL still has some catching up to do because when it comes to monster trades the OHL rules.

On Tuesday, the Windsor Spitfires and Ottawa 67’s got together and swapped what could ohlturn out to be 11 pieces, including Michael DiPietro, who is likely to be the starting goaltender for Canada’s national junior team at the 2019 World Junior Championship.

The 67’s have a 22-3-4 record, the best mark in the OHL. They lead the Eastern Conference by 12 points over the Sudbury Wolves. DiPietro, who is from Amherstburg, which is near Windsor, is 2.32, .920 this season, both career bests. He was a third-round pick by Vancouver in the NHL’s 2017 draft and has signed with Vancouver.

Here’s the deal in its entirety . . .

To Ottawa:

G Michael DiPietro.

Windsor’s fourth-round pick in 2020.

Kingston’s second-round pick in 2024.

To Windsor:

F Egor Afanasyev, a 17-year-old Russian who is eligible for the NHL’s 2019 draft. He has 11 goals and 15 assists in 19 games with the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks and has committed to Michigan State for next season.

Ottawa’s second-round pick in 2019.

London’s second-round pick in 2021.

Ottawa’s second-round pick in 2022.

Ottawa’s second-round pick in 2023.

Ottawa’s second-round pick in 2021 (conditional).

Ottawa’s third-round pick in 2021 (conditional).

Ottawa’s third-round pick in 2022 (conditional).

The conditional picks all are tied into whether Afanasyev ever plays for the Spitfires.


It’s worth pointing out that F Jack Cowell, who was acquired by Kootenay from the KootenaynewKelowna Rockets on Friday, apparently has yet to join the Ice.

Cowell, 19, is from Winnipeg. The Ice gave up a third-round selection in the 2020 bantam draft in trading for him.

But while Cowell has been removed from the Rockets’ roster, his name is nowhere to be found on the Ice’s roster.

Cowell, a list player, was in his third season with the Rockets. This season, he had two goals and three assists in 26 games. In 182 career games, all with Kelowna, he had 18 goals and 38 assists.


Geoffrey Brandow, the man with all the numbers when it comes to major junior hockey, posted a tweet the other day that compared this season’s Prince Albert Raiders with the 2003-04 London Knights, each after 27 games.

The Raiders were 26-1-0; the Knights were 26-0-1 (the 1 was a tie).

The Raiders GF/GA: 134-48; the Knights, 124-51.

The Raiders’ top scorer was Brett Leason, 27-33—60; the Knights had Corey Perry, 20-38—58.

Brandow had the Raiders’ top defenceman as Sergie Sapego; the Knights’ as Danny Syvret.

Just for purposes of discussion, I took a look at the 1978-79 Brandon Wheat Kings, who lost only five games during the 72-game regular season.

After 27 games, they were 23-0-4. I wasn’t able to find their GF/GA totals, but TBird Tidbits came through for us with this: “After 27 games, the 1978-79 Wheat Kings were 23-0-4 with a ridiculous 212 goals for to just 73 against.”

F Brian Propp was 42-48—90. The team’s best defenceman was Brad McCrimmon.

BTW, you are able to follow Brandow on Twitter: @GeoffreyBrandow.


The Kamloops Blazers have dropped D Devan Harrison, 18, from their roster and he is Kamloops1expected to join the SJHL’s Estevan Bruins. Harrison, from Dysart, Sask., was selected by the Blazers in the second round of the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft. . . . In 62 career games, he has one goal and four assists. This season, he has one assist in eight games, and has been a healthy scratch on a regular basis of late. . . . This move leaves the Blazers with six defencemen on their roster. However, Jeff Faith, who was acquired last week from the Spokane Chiefs in a deal that had F Luc Smith go the other way, is a defenceman by trade who has been playing up front this season.


File this one under a picture being worth 1,000 words . . .


Further to the note that appeared here yesterday involving WHL players at the IIHF World Junior Championship (Division I Group A) that opens Sunday in Fussen, Germany . . . The Edmonton Oil Kings have two forwards — Vladimir Alistrov and Andrei Pavlenko — on the selection-camp roster of the Belarussian national junior team. They weren’t included in the note here yesterday that also had F Aliaksei Protas of the Prince Albert Raiders and D Sergei Sapego of the Prince Albert Raiders on that same roster. Both players obviously are on the way to Germany as neither played for the Raiders last night in Swift Current. . . . Also missing from yesterday’s note was F Sebastian Streu of the Regina Pats. He is on Germany’s selection-camp roster. . . . The tournament runs from Sunday through Dec. 15. . . . F Kristian Roykas-Marthinsen of the Saskatoon Blades is on Norway’s roster. . . . The tournament features the national junior teams from Austria, Belarus, France, Germany, Latvia and Norway.


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.


TUESDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

G Jiri Patera turned aside 40 shots to lead the Brandon Wheat Kings to a 4-1 victory over BrandonWKregularthe visiting Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Brandon (14-7-6) has won four in a row, outscoring the opposition 19-5 in the process. . . . Medicine Hat slipped to 13-14-3. . . . F Luka Burzan (17) gave Brandon a 1-0 lead at 18:47 of the first period. . . . F Ryan Chyzowski (11) pulled the Tigers into a tie at 14:03 of the second. . . . Brandon F Stelio Mattheos (23) broke the tie at 16:41. . . . The Wheat Kings put it away with third-period goals from F Linden McCorrister (9) and F Ben McCartney (6), the latter into an empty net. . . . The Tigers got 42 saves from G Mads Søgaard. . . . Brandon won 41 of the game’s 65 faceoffs.


In a game that proved why they play the game, the host Swift Current Broncos, with the SCBroncosWHL’s poorest record, scored a 3-2 shootout victory over the Prince Albert Raiders, who boast the best record. . . . The Broncos (5-22-2), had lost their previous three games. . . . The Raiders (26-1-1) had won 19 in a row. . . . The Broncos now are 2-1 in shootouts. This was only the second time this season the Raiders had gone to OT, and their first time in a shootout. . . . Swift Current, as you might expect, got a huge game from G Josh Hofer, who blocked 52 shots through OT and was perfect in the shootout. . . . The Raiders outshot the Broncos 12-10, 17-6, 21-6 and 4-1 by period. . . . F Tanner Nagel (4) gave the hosts a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 7:01 of the first period. . . . F Brett Leason scored his WHL-leading 28th goal at 9:59 for a 1-1 tie. He ran his point streak to 28 games with the goal. . . . D Brayden Pachal (7) put the Raiders ahead, 201, at 11:05 of the third period. . . . Broncos F Ethan Regnier (5), who is from Prince Albert, forced OT with a goal at 18:16. . . . Regnier, the first shooter of the third round, scored the shootout’s only goal. . . . Regnier also had an assist on Leason’s goal. . . . Broncos D Matthew Stanley left and didn’t return following a first-period collision with Regnier. . . . The Raiders were without F Aliaksei Protas and D Sergei Sapego, both of whom are on the selection-camp roster for the Belarusian national junior team that will play in the World Junior Championship (Division I Group A) that opens Sunday in Fussen, Germany.


Tweetoftheday

Ice, Rebels make 11-piece trade . . . Officiating has Brockman upset . . . Dewar gives Everett another victory

MacBeth

D Colton Jobke (Kelowna, Regina, 2009-13) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Ingolstadt (Germany, DEL) after a successful tryout. He had two goals and an assist in 22 games. He had been signed in July to a tryout contract that ran through Nov. 30.


ThisThat

COUNTDOWN TO DEADLINE

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

No. of trades: 6.

Players: 17.

Bantam draft picks: 15.

Conditional draft picks: 3.


Does this mean the next move is up to the Edmonton Oil Kings?

On Thursday, the Lethbridge Hurricanes acquired F Nick Henry and F Jake Leschyshyn, both 19, from the Regina Pats in a monster deal.

On Friday, the Red Deer Rebels picked up F Brett Davis and F Cam Hausinger, both 19, Red Deerfrom the Kootenay Ice, who acquired four players and as many as five bantam draft picks in the exchange.

Going into Friday’s games, the Rebels (16-8-1) led the Central Division by one point over the Oil Kings (14-10-4) despite having lost three straight. Red Deer was six points ahead of Lethbridge (11-8-5).

It would seem that the trading puck now is in Edmonton’s possession.

On Friday, here’s what went down between Red Deer and Kootenay . . .

The Rebels acquired . . .

  • F Cam Hausinger, 19
  • F Brett Davis, 19

The Ice acquired . . .

  • F River Fahey, 17
  • F Austin Schellenberg, 18
  • F Justin Svenson, 17
  • F Chase Bertholet, 15
  • 2019 first-round bantam draft pick
  • 2019 third-round bantam draft pick
  • 2019 sixth-round bantam draft pick
  • 2020 second-round bantam draft pick
  • 2022 conditional third-round bantam draft pick.

——

While not all-stars, Davis and Hausinger are experienced players who will score a bit and provide terrific depth to the Rebels’ forward ranks.

The Ice, meanwhile, add two more Manitoba prospects in advance of what is anticipated Kootenaynewwill be a move to Winnipeg before the 2019-20 season.

Davis, from Oakbank, Man., was selected by the Dallas Stars in the sixth round of the 2017 NHL draft, but has yet to sign. In 211 regular-season WHL games — 85 with Lethbridge and 126 with Kootenay — he has 55 goals and 65 assists. This season, he has seven goals and 12 assists in 24 games. Lethbridge selected him in the fourth round of the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft.

Like Davis, Hausinger, who is injured at the moment, is in his fourth WHL season. In 216 games, he has 42 goals and 44 assists. From Anchorage, he was a seventh-round pick by the Saskatoon Blades in the 2014 bantam draft. He played 78 games with the Blades before being dealt to the Rebels early in the 2016-17 season. Hausinger was in his second season with the Ice. This season, he has eight goals and nine assists in 17 games.

Fahey, from Campbell River, B.C., was a fourth-round pick by the Rebels in the 2016 bantam draft. He has one assist in 21 games after putting up one goal and two assists in 26 games with the Rebels last season.

Schellenberg is in his second season with the Rebels, and has one goal and five assists in 19 games. Last season, Schellenberg, a list player from Grande Prairie, Alta., had two goals and one assist in 46 games.

Svenson, from Ile Des Chenes, Man., has six goals and five assists in 15 games with the MJHL’s Swan Valley Stampeders. He was a third-round pick by the Rebels in the 2016 bantam draft. He is pointless in 19 games with the Rebels, 18 of them last season.

Bertholet was a fifth-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft. From Thompson, Man., he has five goals and 11 assists in 21 games with the midget AAA Prince Albert Mintos.

——

Later on Friday, the Kootenay Ice acquired F Jack Cowell, 19, from the Kelowna Rockets for a third-round selection in the 2020 bantam draft.

Cowell, a list player, had two goals and three assists in 26 games with the Rockets. In 156 career games with Kelowna, he had 16 goals and 35 assists.

With all signs pointing to the Ice relocating to Winnipeg before another season gets here, it’s worth noting that Cowell is from the Manitoba capital.


It seems that there are issues in the USA-Central Hockey League, a junior league that popped up in Texas over the summer and was to have included at least four teams.

Zach Duncan of the Wichita Falls Times Record News reported that the Wichita Falls Force had to postpone a Friday game against the host Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees because of problems with a bus company.

Duncan also reported that the Texas Lawmen, one of those four teams, had announced via its Facebook page that it was folding.

According to that page, “The three players that were left have decided to pursue other options in other leagues. . . . Earlier this week, the coaching staff resigned.”

It turns out that the Lawmen and Killer Bees played a game last week, but it was 3-on-3 due to a shortage of players. The Lawmen apparently had only four skaters.

Interestingly, the Force’s first head coach, Misko Antisin, resigned on Oct. 13 and was replaced by Troy Mick, who was the USA-CHL’s president. However, it could be that Mick no longer is with the Force or the league.

“USA-CHL president Troy Mick, who was heavily involved in the league’s day-to-day operations and station in Wichita Falls,” Duncan wrote, “hasn’t been heard from in weeks.”

Spies tell Taking Note that Mick, who is no stranger to B.C. hockey circles, was spotted on Tuesday at a BCHL game game in the home arena of the West Kelowna Warriors, who beat the Langley Rivermen, 4-3. Yes, he was seen chatting up Warriors’ owner Kim Dobranski.


“Todd Ewen was posthumously diagnosed earlier this year by a Boston University neuropathologist with the brain-withering disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a development that contradicts the findings of a Toronto doctor two years ago that the former National Hockey League player didn’t have the disease,” writes Rick Westhead of TSN.

“Ewen, who fought his way through a dozen NHL seasons, battled depression, anxiety and memory loss for the last 20 years of his life. He was certain he had CTE. On Sept. 19, 2015, he killed himself in the basement of his family’s home in St. Louis.”

Before playing in the NHL, Ewen fought his way through three WHL seasons with the New Westminster Bruins, recording 771 penalty minutes in 187 games.

In the NHL, Ewen had 1,914 penalty minutes in 518 games.

Ewen’s widow, Kelli, has gone public in demanding that the NHL “stand up and admit that CTE is real, that CTE exists . . .”

Westhead’s story is right here.


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.


FRIDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

G Ethan Kruger stopped 29 shots to help the host Brandon Wheat Kings to a 5-1 victory BrandonWKregularover the Regina Pats. . . . Brandon (12-7-6) has won two in a row. . . . Regina (8-18-0) has lost three straight. . . . The Pats ended a seven-game road swing with this one. The trek included a trek through the B.C. Division. All told, they went (1-5-0). . . . The Pats won’t have much time to do laundry, though, as they are at home to the Prince Albert Raiders tonight. . . . In six appearances, Kruger, a freshman from Sherwood Park, Alta., is 3-1-2, 2.95, .910. . . . F Linden McCorrister (5) gave Brandon a 2-1 lead at 10:14 of the first period. . . . F Luka Burzan (16) made it 3-1, on a PP, at 6:21 of the second. . . . F Ty Kolle (8) scored Regina’s goal, his first with the Pats since coming over in a Thursday deal with the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . F Jadon Joseph, the other player Regina got in that deal, drew an assist in his Pats debut. . . . F Brett Clayton, acquired from the Tri-City Americans on Monday, also was in the Pats’ lineup for the first time. . . . The Pats headed home to play the Prince Albert Raiders tonight, while the Wheat Kings are off to Swift Current where they will meet the Broncos tonight.


The Moose Jaw Warriors scored the game’s last three goals as they beat the host MooseJawWarriorsEdmonton Oil Kings, 3-1. . . . Moose Jaw (14-5-4) has points in nine straight (8-0-1). . . . Edmonton (14-11-4) has lost four in a row (0-3-1). . . . F Brett Kemp (18) gave Edmonton a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 15:17 of the first period. . . . Freshman F Brayden Tracey (9) got Moose Jaw even at 10:55 of the second and F Yegor Buyalski (5) snapped the tie at 13:22. . . . F Justin Almeida (5) provided the insurance at 2:57 of the third period. . . . The Warriors got 35 saves from G Adam Evanoff, including 14 in each of the last two periods. . . . Edmonton G Todd Scott was in uniform for the first time this season as he backed up Dylan Myskiw, who finished with 19 saves. . . . F Peyton McKenzie, 16, made  his debut with the Warriors and drew the primary assist on Buyalski’s goal. A third-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft, McKenzie plays for the Edmonton-OHA prep team. . . . The Warriors are in Red Deer tonight, while the Oil Kings face the Hitmen in Calgary.


F Zach Cox broke a 1-1 tie at 14:28 of the second period and the Lethbridge Hurricanes Lethbridgewent on to a 3-1 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Lethbridge (12-8-5) has points in four straight (3-0-1). . . . Swift Current (4-20-2) has lost two in a row. . . . F Justin Hall (1) gave Lethbridge a 1-0 lead with his first WHL score, at 4:07 of the second period. . . . F Max Patterson (8) tied it at 11:54. . . . Cox’s ninth goal turned into the winner. . . . F Jake Elmer (12) added insurance at 6:38 of the third. . . . F Nick Henry and F Jake Leschyshyn, who were acquired Wednesday from the Regina Pats, made their Lethbridge debuts on a line with F Jordy Bellerive, the team captain. . . . Leschyshyn drew an assist on Hall’s Teddy Bear goal. . . . Broncos F Alec Zawatsky, who drew an assist on their goal, didn’t finish the game. . . . Dean Brockman, the Broncos’ GM/head coach, wasn’t pleased about the officiating and likely will be making a contribution to the WHL office’s Christmas fund. After the game, Shawn Mullin, the Broncos’ radio voice, tweeted this from Brockman: “I didn’t like the way the game was called at all. It was awful. The third goal . . . I’m not sure what you’re looking at. When your team is battling the way it is and there’s some missed and non-calls . . . to me that’s really not acceptable. The third goal (Broncos G Joel Hofer) gets knocked into the net. It’s hard to make a save when you’re getting planted . . . we just hope the vision is little a bit broader in the next couple games.” . . . The Broncos headed home after the game to face the Brandon Wheat Kings tonight. . . . The Hurricanes are in Medicine Hat tonight.


The host Red Deer Rebels scored the game’s first five goals en route to a 6-2 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Red Deer (17-8-1) had lost its previous three games. . . . Calgary (10-14-3) had points in its previous three games (2-0-1). The Hitmen finished 4-2-1 on a seven-game road trip. They will entertain the Edmonton Oil Kings tonight. . . . F Jeff de Wit, F Brandon Hagel and F Chris Douglas each scored twice for Red Deer. . . . De Wit now has 19 goals, with Hagel, who also had an assist, at 17 and Douglas at eight. . . . De Wit left in the third period with an undisclosed injury. . . . F Luke Coleman (8) and F Mark Kastelic (22) scored for Calgary to get the Hitmen to within three, at 5-2, in the third period. . . . Calgary had a 45-23 edge in shots, as Red Deer G Ethan Anders stopped 43 shots. . . . The Rebels had D Alex Alexeyev back in their lineup after a two-game absence. . . . The Rebels are at home again tonight, this time against Moose Jaw. . . . The Hitmen also will play at home as they meet Edmonton.


D Quinn Schmiemann scored in OT to give the Kamloops Blazers a 3-2 victory over the Kamloops1visiting Saskatoon Blades. . . . Kamloops improved to 10-11-2. It now is 1-4-2 in one-goal games. . . . The Blades (16-9-3) are 2-1-1 in their trip through the B.C. Division. . . . Saskatoon led this one 2-0 in the second period on goals from D Emil Malysjev (1) and F Max Gerlach (17), the latter on a PP. . . . F Jermaine Loewen (9), back after a two-game absence, scored Kamloops’ first goal, at 15:45 of the second period, and F Connor Zary (6) tied it on a breakaway at 9:15 of the third. . . . Schmiemann (2) won it at 1:29 of OT, beating Saskatoon G Nolan Maier with a quick shot under the cross-bar from the right wing. . . . G Dylan Ferguson was among the Blazers’ scratches. He was injured in a goal-mouth collision during a game in Spokane on Nov. 24. With Ferguson out, Royce Ramsay of the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos was backing up Dylan Garand, who finished with 23 saves. . . . D Jackson Caller and F Jeff Faith, acquired in deals on Monday, were in the Blazers’ lineup. . . . D Nolan Kneen, who went to Saskatoon in the deal that had Caller land in his hometown, played his third game with the Blades. . . . With East Division teams playing in B.C. only once every two seasons, this was Blades D Dawson Davidson’s first game in Kamloops since the Blazers dealt him to the Regina Pats on Dec. 27, 2016. The Blades got him from the Pats on Jan. 8. . . . This game featured an interesting coaching matchup in that the head coaches — Mitch Love of Saskatoon and Serge Lajoie of Kamloops — are in their first seasons and were the last two candidates on the Blades’ shortlist during the off-season. . . . After the game, the Blades ate at Frankly Coffee and then it was off to Kelowna where they will meet the Rockets tonight. . . . The Blazers will be at home against the Seattle Thunderbirds tonight.


F Andrej Kukuca broke a 4-4 tie in the third period and the Seattle Thunderbirds went on Seattleto a 7-4 victory over the Kootenay Ice in Kent, Wash. . . . The Thunderbirds (9-12-3) had lost three in a row and were 1-8-1 in their last 10. . . . The Ice (7-18-4) have lost seven straight (0-6-1). . . . F Peyton Krebs, who scored three times for the Kootenay, erased a two-goal deficit by scoring at 8:38 of the second period and 3:41 of the third. Krebs completed his first WHL hat trick with a PP goal. Krebs is seen as a likely first-round selection in the NHL’s 2019 draft and he put on a show for the scouts in the house. . . . Kukuca gave Seattle a 5-4 lead with his sixth goal at 4:49. . . . F Zack Andrusiak’s 18th goal, his third of the night, upped the lead to 6-4 at 9:50, and F Tyler Carpendale (2) added more insurance at 14:17. . . . Andrusiak, who has four career hat tricks, has goals in seven straight games, including six over his past two games. He also had an assist for a four-point evening. . . . The Ice got three assists from F Brad Ginnell. . . . Seattle F Noah Philp, back after a nine-game absence, scored his 10th goal and added an assist. . . . The Thunderbirds boarded their bus after the game and headed for Kamloops where they will meet the Blazers tonight. . . . The Ice will move on to Everett and a game against the Silvertips tonight.


F Leif Mattson scored in OT to give the Kelowna Rockets a 3-2 victory over the Tri-City KelownaRocketsAmericans in Kennewick, Wash. . . . Kelowna (12-15-1) had lost its previous two games. . . . Tri-City (13-9-1) had won its previous two outings. . . . F Kyle Olson (5) gave Tri-City a 1-0 lead at 16:00 of the first period. . . . Mattson tied it at 5:58 of the second period and F Kyle Crosby (4) gave the visitors a 2-1 lead at 15:39. . . . Tri-City F Krystof Hrabik (8) pulled his guys even with 10.2 seconds left in the third period. . . . Mattson won it with his 11th goal just 20 seconds into extra time. . . . The Rockets lost F Ted Brennan to a checking-from-major and game misconduct for a hit on D Bryan McAndrews at 5:53 of the first period. . . . The Rockets headed home after the game because they are to play the travelling Saskatoon Blades tonight. . . . The Americans also are on the road today. They’ll face the Vancouver Giants at the Pacific Coliseum.


F Connor Dewar scored in OT to give the host Everett Silvertips a 5-4 victory over the EverettSpokane Chiefs. . . . Everett (21-7-1) has points in seven straight (6-0-1). The Silvertips went 11-2-1 in November. . . . Spokane (14-8-4) has point four straight (3-0-1). . . . The Chiefs held a 3-1 lead early in the third period but weren’t able to hold it. . . . D Filip Kral (2) gave Spokane that 3-1 lead, on a PP, at 4:38 of the third. . . . The Silvertips responded with three straight goals to take a 4-3 lead. . . . D Wyatte Wylie (6) scored at 10:23. F Akash Bains (5) tied it at 13:26. F Martin Fasko-Rudas (8) put Everett ahead at 17:33. . . . The Chiefs forced OT when F Ethan McIndoe (7) scored with 15.2 seconds left in the third. . . . Dewar’s 23rd goal won it 53 seconds into OT. . . . The Chiefs were 3-6 on the PP. . . . The Silvertips are at home tonight to the Kootenay Ice. . . . The Chiefs are off to Portland for a date tonight with the Winterhawks.


Tweetoftheday

‘Canes, Pats make monster deal . . . Savoies to ask for exceptional status . . . Warriors’ veteran goes home


MacBeth

F Marek Viedenský (Prince George, Saskatoon, 2008-11) has been released by mutual agreement by Třinec (Czech Republic, Extraliga). He was pointless in four games. In an interview with http://Sport.sk , Viedenský disclosed that he has a lower-body injury, the extent of which has not yet been determined. Viedenský felt it was best to terminate the contract while he and doctors try to determine the proper cause of action for his injury.


ThisThat

Well, it didn’t take long to get an answer to a question that was posed here earlier in the week.

After the Kamloops Blazers made two trades that involved four players and four bantam Lethbridgedraft picks, I speculated as to what impact the WHL’s new trade regulations might have on the marketplace.

“Who knows?” I wrote. “Maybe we’ll see trades like the one in the OHL last week in which one team gave up two players and got back two players and 11 — count ’em, 11 — draft picks.”

We didn’t quite get to 11 on Thursday, but the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Regina Pats did swap four players and a possible seven bantam draft picks.

Here are the details. . . .

Lethbridge acquired Regina’s top two forwards — Nick Henry and Jake Leschyshyn, both of whom are 19.

In return, Regina gets F Jadon Joseph, 19, F Ty Kolle, 18, five bantam draft picks and two conditional picks:

  • Lethbridge’s first-round selection in 2019;
  • Lethbridge’s third-round selection in 2019;
  • Swift Current’s eighth-round selection in 2019;
  • Swift Current’s first-round selection in 2020; and,
  • Lethbridge’s fourth-round selection in 2022
  • Should either Henry or Leschyshyn return for a 20-year-old season, the Pats will receive a conditional bantam draft pick. One of the conditional picks is a third-rounder in the 2021 draft, with the other a third-rounder in 2022.

The Pats, of course, sold the acreage over the previous two seasons in order to load up Patsfor the 2018 Memorial Cup tournament for which they were the host team.

Now they have the WHL’s second-poorest record (8-17-0) and are looking well down the road, thus the hunger for draft picks.

The Hurricanes, meanwhile, are all-in. At the moment, they are 11-8-5 and third in the Central Division, five points behind the Edmonton Oil Kings (14-10-4) and six in arrears of the Red Deer Rebels (16-8-1).

A year ago, the Hurricanes were sellers, a move that allowed general manager Peter Anholt to use some of the acquired assets in the deal with the Pats.

One of the interesting things about Anholt’s decision to shove all of his chips into the middle of the table is that the Hurricanes — let’s assume they make the playoffs — are going to have to vacate the 5,479-seat ENMAX Centre for a time early in the playoffs to make room for the 2019 World men’s curling championship. It is scheduled for March 30 through April 7.

Anholt has said that while displaced the Hurricanes will play in the Nicholas Sheran Ice Centre, which, according to the City of Lethbridge website, has a seating capacity of 978. He has yet to lay out plans as to how the Hurricanes will accommodate fans. The City is in the process of opening negotiations with the Hurricanes regarding compensation for their having to vacate their home arena.

It could be, then, that Anholt sees a deep playoff run as vitally important to the community-owned franchise and its financial outlook.

Anholt was one of a number of general managers to at least chat with John Paddock, the Pats’ general manager, about the availability of Henry and Leschyshyn.

Anholt took things one step further and headed west on a scouting trip. He watched the Pats beat the Blazers, 3-2, in Kamloops on Nov. 20. In fact, Anholt and Paddock were seen conversing in a Kamloops restaurant early that afternoon.

Henry, Leschyshyn and D Aaron Hyman, who was traded by Paddock to the Tri-City Americans earlier in the week, were the Pats’ best players in Kamloops.

Anholt also was in Kelowna on Nov. 21 when the Pats lost, 3-2, to the Rockets.

Joseph, from Sherwood Park, Alta., was a fifth-round pick by the Hurricanes in the 2014 bantam draft. This season, he has 10 goals and nine assists in 23 games. In 144 career games, he has 22 goals and 44 assists.

Kolle, from Kamloops, was acquired by Lethbridge from the Portland Winterhawks on Oct. 4 for a fifth-rounder pick in the 2019 bantam draft. Portland had selected him in the fourth round of the 2015 bantam draft. In 94 career games, he has 14 goals and 15 assists. This season, he put up seven goals and four assists in 17 games with Lethbridge, after recording one assist in four games with Portland.

The two big fish, of course, are Henry and Leschyshyn.

Leschyshyn, the son of former NHLer Curtis Leschyshyn, was the Pats’ captain. Jake was a second-round pick by the Vegas Golden Knights in the NHL’s 2017 draft. He has signed an NHL contract. The Red Deer Rebels selected him sixth overall in the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft. On Jan. 5, 2015, he was traded to Regina as part of a deal in which F Connor Gay moved to the Rebels, who were to be the host team for the 2015 Memorial Cup.

This season, Leschyshyn has 16 goals and 16 assists in 32 games. In 213 career regular-season games, all with Regina, he has 61 goals and 70 assists.

Henry, from Portage la Prairie, Man., was selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the fourth round of the NHL’s 2017 draft. He has yet to sign an NHL deal.

The Everett Silvertips had taken him in the third round of the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft, but hadn’t signed him; in fact, he had committed to the Western Michigan U Broncos. Henry was the 2015-16 MJHL rookie of the year with the Portage Terriers when he was traded to the Pats, who signed him on Sept. 1, 2016. This season, he has 15 goals and 25 assists in 40 games. In 150 games over three seasons, he has 150 points, including 64 goals.

The Hurricanes will play three games in fewer than 48 hours this weekend, as they entertain Swift Current tonight, then visit Medicine Hat on Saturday, before playing host to Red Deer on Sunday.

The Pats also will play three games in fewer than 48 hours. They are to visit Brandon tonight, then play host to Prince Albert on Saturday and Medicine Hat on Sunday.


I spent 17 years attending Regina Pats’ games and had numerous conversations with Bill White, who died Saturday. He was 90. Condolences to his family and friends.


Hockey Canada  hasn’t had to deal with a player applying for exceptional status in order to play regularly in the WHL as a 15-year-old.

It seems that is about to change.

Scott Savoie, the father of Matt Savoie, who is to turn 15 on Jan. 1, told Dhiren Mahiban of sportingnews.com that “we’ll put in for it and then we’ll go through the draft . . . if it’s a perfect fit for him, then we’ll probably let him go. If it’s not, we might defer for a year and kind of wait and see, and see where that takes us.”

The Savoies are from St. Albert, Alta. Matt, 5-foot-9 and 165 pounds, plays for the Northern Alberta X-Treme prep team. In 20 games, he’s put up 22 goals and 26 assists. Last season, with the bantam prep team, he finished with 97 points, including 28 goals, in 30 games.

In normal circumstances, a draft-eligible player would go through the WHL bantam draft. If he is selected, he is eligible to play up to five games in the upcoming season so long as his club team still is playing. Once his club team has concluded its season that player would be eligible to join the WHL team.

Exceptional status would allow a player, in this case Savoie, to play regularly as a 15-year-old.

It’s worth noting that exceptional status doesn’t make any allocation for playing junior A; in other words, it’s major junior or back to minor hockey. The Savoies have already applied to Hockey Canada in the hopes that Matt would be cleared to play in the AJHL, but that was denied.

The WHL holds a draft lottery in advance of its annual bantam draft; it includes the six non-playoff teams. At the moment, the six teams outside playoff position are the Swift Current Broncos, Regina Pats, Kootenay Ice, Calgary Hitmen, Kamloops Blazers and Seattle Thunderbirds.

Interestingly, the Prince George Cougars have Swift Current’s first-round 2019 selection, while the Saskatoon Blades have Regina’s.

The deadline to apply to Hockey Canada for exceptional status arrives on Saturday.

In the past, Hockey Canada has granted exceptional status to five players — Joe Veleno in the QMJHL, and Connor McDavid, Aaron Ekblad, John Tavares and Sean Day in the OHL.

Mahiban’s story is right here.


The Calgary Hitmen lost G Carl Stankowski to an ankle injury early in the week, so had Calgaryplanned to recall G Matt Armitage from the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks at least for the weekend. . . . It turns out that Armitage was injured on Wednesday night in a 4-3 OT loss to the visiting Langley Rivermen. Armitage went the distance, stopping 45 shots in 63:34, but apparently was injured at some point. . . . The Hitmen now are bringing in Brayden Peters, 16, from the midget AAA Lethbridge Hurricanes. Calgary selected him in the fifth round of the 2017 WHL bantam draft. He is 8-2-0, 1.76, .929 with the Hurricanes. . . . With Stankowski out, the bulk of the goaltending load will fall to Jack McNaughton, a 17-year-old freshman from Calgary. To date, he has made 12 appearances, going 4-6-1, 3.35, .890. . . . The Hitmen will play three games in fewer than 48 hours this weekend. They are in Red Deer tonight before returning home to face Edmonton on Saturday and Moose Jaw on Sunday.


When Moose Jaw beat the Kootenay Ice, 3-1, in Cranbrook on Wednesday night, the Warriors were without one of their leading scorers.

It turns out that F Ryan Peckford, 19, had left the team on Monday.

Peckford, from Stony Plain, Alta., was a second-round selection by the Victoria Royals in MooseJawWarriorsthe WHL’s 2014 bantam draft. On Dec. 11, the Warriors dealt F Noah Gregor and an eighth-round 2018 bantam draft pick to the Royals for Peckford and a fourth-rounder in 2018.

This season, Peckford had eight goals and eight assists in 20 games, his 16 points the fifth-highest on the Moose Jaw roster.

Alan Millar, the Warriors’ general manager, told Marc Smith of discovermoosejaw.com:

“Ryan came in to meet with me first thing Monday morning and expressed at that time that he wasn’t having fun playing the game any longer, it wasn’t fun to come to the rink and he’d lost some passion for the game.

“He’s a good kid, he’s a talented player, we’re certainly disappointed, but at the end of the day, if your heart’s not in it, these young guys have to make difficult decisions and Ryan has certainly made one, and we’ll see if anything changes with his time at home and away from the game.”

Millar added that while Peckford’s decision caught the Warriors off-guard, “there’s a bit of a of trend . . . our league is dealing with a number of young guys (who), for whatever reason, have decided to move on and leave their teams and I don’t think you can pinpoint any specific reason other than each person is different.”

F Peyton McKenzie, a 16-year-old from Sherwood Park, Alta., has joined the Warriors from the Edmonton-OHA prep team. He is expected to stay with the Warriors through the weekend.

Moose Jaw is to visit the Edmonton Oil Kings tonight for the first of three games in fewer than 48 hours. The Warriors will be in Red Deer on Saturday and in Calgary on Sunday.

Smith’s complete story is right here.




D Sam Huston, who left the Kootenay Ice earlier in the season, has joined the MJHL’s Portage Terriers.

Huston, 19, is from Brandon. He had one assist in two games with the Terriers in 2015-16, while he was playing with the midget AAA Brandon Wheat Kings. This season, he has a goal and two assists in three games with Portage.

The Ice selected him in the ninth round of the 2014 bantam draft. In 119 regular-season games, he put up four goals and 13 assists.


The story that started when former NHLer Daniel Carrillo detailed life as a first-year ohlplayer with the OHL’s Sarnia Sting continues to grow legs. On Thursday, David Branch, the OHL commissioner, told CBC Sports that his league “failed” Carcillo and “the other players involved.” Branch called Carcillo’s revelations “shocking.” . . . “You know,” Branch said, “I don’t know how else to put it.” . . . This story isn’t likely to go away anytime soon as more and more former junior hockey players are revealing incidents from the past. . . . James Strashin of CBC Sports has the latest story right here.

Meanwhile, John Chidley-Hill of The Canadian Press, who conducted the original interview with Carcillo, has spoken with more former Sarnia players about what went on with the Sting. . . .  That piece is right here.


F Harrison Blaisdell, who committed to North Dakota on April 28, 2016, has signed his letter of intent. Blaisdell, 17, is a native of Regina. His father, Mike, played six games with the Regina Pats in 1977-78, then spent 1978-79 at the U of Wisconsin. He played one game with the Badgers in 1979-80 before returning to the Pats, where he put up 109 points, 71 of them goals, in 63 games. . . . Harrison is in his second season with the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs. This season, he has 19 goals and 18 assists in 30 games. . . . He was a second-round pick by the Vancouver Giants in the who’s 2016 bantam draft.


D Cam York has committed to the U of Michigan Wolverines in time for next season. York, 17, is from Anaheim Hills, Calif., and plays with the U.S. national U-18 team in USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program. . . . The Red Deer Rebels selected him in the ninth round of the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft.


F Grant Silianoff has committed to the U of Notre Dame Fighting Irish for next season. Silianoff, 17, is from Edina, Minn. In 19 games with the USHL’s Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, he has six goals and five assists. . . . The Saskatoon Blades picked him in the ninth round of the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft.


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.


The SJHL’s Melville Millionaires have fired general manager and head coach Devin Windle. . . . Assistant coach Kyle Adams was named interim GM/head coach. . . . Windle was in his third season with Melville. . . . The Millionaires are 8-16-4, good for a third-place tie with the Weyburn Red Wings in the four-team Viterra Division.


Tweetoftheday