An Ontario Superior Court judge in Hamilton ruled last month that documents related to the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs and unauthorized contracts with players would be unsealed on Friday. They were, and TSN’s Rick Westhead has gone over those documents.
According to Westhead:
“The Ontario Hockey League’s Niagara IceDogs agreed to unauthorized side contracts with the families of two players — one of whom is still in the OHL — and likely had similarly secret and unsanctioned deals with a number of European players, according to an investigation into the team’s recruiting practices.”
Westhead provides a lot of details in this piece, which is particularly damning because the OHL, as he puts it, “is embroiled in a class-action lawsuit filed by a group of current and former players demanding they be paid minimum wage.”
The IceDogs are owned by Denise and Bill Burke.
“In connection with that case, Denise Burke testified in a Nov. 14, 2015, affidavit that while her OHL team brought in an average of $2.7 million, it still lost money.
“Seven months before the IceDogs purportedly signed a secret deal with the (Liam) Ham family, Denise Burke said that it would be ‘catastrophic’ if the IceDogs had to pay players.”
At that time, Denise Burke testified: “We knew that we wouldn’t become rich owning a team, but seeing as this is our only business, we have always hoped that we would at least be able to break even and at least make more money than we spend, otherwise sooner or later the ‘Bank of Burke’ will run dry.”
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The Regina Pats have acquired F Drew Englot, 16, from the Lethbridge Hurricanes for a fourth-round selection in the 2022 WHL bantam draft. Englot, who is from Candiac, Sask., was picked by the Hurricanes in the fourth round of the 2017 bantam draft. . . . He has played the past two seasons withthe midget AAA Notre Dame Hounds, who have won back-to-back league titles. This season he had 21 goals and 20 assists in 43 regular-season games.
Two former WHL coaches were fired by the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers on Monday as they juggled their staff after the hiring of Alain Vigneault as head coach. . . . Kris Knoblauch and Rick Wilson both were dismissed. . . . Knoblauch, 40, had been with the Flyers for two seasons. He began his coaching career as an assistant with the Prince Albert Raiders in 2006-07. He then spent five seasons with the Kootenay Ice, the last two as head coach. He also spent four-plus seasons as head coach of the OHL’s Erie Otters. . . . Wilson, 68, joined the Flyers this season, on Dec. 4. He has been an NHL coach, mostly as an assistant since 1988-89. He spent eight seasons (1980-88) on Prince Albert’s staff, the last two as head coach.
Dave Andrews will retire after spending one more season as the president and CEO of the American Hockey League. Andrews, a former head coach of the WHL’s Victoria Cougars, told the AHL’s board of governors on Monday that he is going to retire as of June 30, 2020. He is completing his 25th season as AHL president. . . . Andrews was the Cougars’ head coach for all of 1982-83 and part of 1983-84, when he was replaced by Les Calder. He later spent seven seasons as the director of hockey operations with the Nova Scotia/Cape Breton Oilers, then the Edmonton Oilers’ AHL affiliate.
The OHL’s Ottawa 67’s had their 14-game playoff winning streak come to an end on Monday as they were beaten 7-2 by the Storm in Guelph. The 67’s, who were outshot 36-20, lead the OHL championship series, 2-1. . . . They’ll play Game 4 in Guelph on Wednesday. . . . The 67’s had swept their first three series and then opened the final with two victories. . . . Ottawa G Mikey DiPietro, who suffered what is believed to have been a high ankle sprain in Game 2, wasn’t in uniform for this one. . . .
In the QMJHL, the visiting Rouyn-Noranda Huskies dumped the Halifax Mooseheads, 5-2, to take a 2-1 lead in the championship final. . . . They’ll play again tonight in Halifax. . . . Both teams will play in the Memorial Cup because the Mooseheads are the host team. The tournament is to run from May 17 through May 26.
Mike Reagan has signed a new contract as general manager and head coach of the SJHL’s Flin Flon Bombers. This deal will take him through the 2020-21 season. . . . Reagan has been with the Bombers for 12 seasons, winning at least 30 games in six of them. The Bombers have been in the playoffs in each of those 12 seasons. . . . There is a news release right here.
Cam Basarab is the new head coach of the Trail-based Kootenay Ice of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League. He started this season as an assistant coach with the junior B Campbell River Storm of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League. He was moved up to head coach in November and then replaced on Jan. 23. . . . Basarab also was a video coach with the WHL’s Lethbridge Hurricanes for the previous two seasons. . . . Basarab takes over from Kris Boyce, the head coach for the past three seasons.
F Liam Stewart, who played four seasons (2011-15) with the Spokane Chiefs, has signed on with the SkyCity Stampede of the New Zealand Hockey League. Stewart, born in Great Britain, has a New Zealand passport through his mother, ex-model Rachel Hunter, so won’t be classified as an import. . . . The Stampede, which plays out of Queenstown, is to open the season on May 31 against the Dunedin Thunder. . . . He was to have played this season with the Sheffield Steelers of the Elite Ice Hockey League in Great Britain, but was sidelined by a concussion. . . . Stewart’s father is rock musician Rod Stewart.
NOTES: The WHL final for the Ed Chynoweth Cup resumes tonight (Tuesday) with thePrince Albert Raiders and Vancouver Gains meeting at the Langley, B.C., Events Centre. . . . The series is tied, 1-1. . . . They’ll play again Wednesday and Friday in Langley. . . . The $64,000 question going into Game 3 is whether Prince Albert D Max Martin will play. He left Game 2 in the second period after falling awkwardly into the end boards and appearing to injure a shoulder. . . . Martin is key part of the Raiders’ back end. He had 41 points, including 35 assists, in 59 regular-season games, and has seven assists in 18 playoff games. . . . Here’s Darren Steinke of Stanks’ Sermon explaining the Raiders’ options: “If (Martin) doesn’t play that will likely shake up the Raiders normally locked-in defensive pairings of Martin with Sergei Sapego, captain Brayden Pachal with Zack Hayes, and Jeremy Masella with Kaiden Guhle.” . . . If Martin doesn’t dress, the Raiders likely will insert D Loeden Schaufler into what will be his fifth game of these playoffs.
Steve Ewen of Postmedia takes a look right here at Marc Habscheid, the Raiders’ head coach, who has learned to change with the times.
Hey @Sportsnet you have 5 friggin channels. You have THREE @CHLHockey finals going on right now and ZERO Canadian Nhl teams in playoffs. Stop showing the same one Nhl game on all 5 damn channels and show some of the best Jr hockey in the world. For the love of god PLEASE!!!!!!
They showed up for a funeral at Western Financial Place in Cranbrook on Sunday afternoon. But, in the end, it was a celebration of life and of what used to be, of three WHL championships and the Memorial Cup title that put the city in hockey’s spotlight in 2002.
The Kootenay Ice played its final game in Cranbrook on Sunday, beating the Red Deer Rebels, 5-4, and there were more than 2,600 fans in the pews to witness it.
The franchise had been in Cranbrook for 21 seasons, most of them full of smiles, chuckles and success.
This season, however, has been more heartbreak than anything else. It began with rumours and speculation, with fans in a state of denial. That all ended in January when Ron Robison, the WHL commissioner, and Ice owners Greg Fettes and Matt Cockell, who is the president and general manager, admitted that, yes, the Ice would be moving to Winnipeg upon the conclusion of this season.
That day came on Sunday.
Here are some notes from a few fans who were in the arena, not only for the final game, but for a lot of games over the team’s time in the city:
From one fan . . .
“What a game and what a finish for the Kootenay Ice . . . An emotional game in many respects — 2,654 in attendance — for one of the largest walk-up attended games. Fans were lined up at the ticket window until halfway through the first period. . . .These fans came to watch the last game and were supportive of the Ice the whole game. The Rebels, with four of their key players left at home, capitalized on Ice penalties — including the captain, Peyton Krebs, taking a major for boarding early in the first and being ejected from the game (deservedly so, I must add) — and then other penalties to the Ice giving the Rebels many chances.
“It was a hard-fought game, back and forth, with the Ice scoring late in the third, breaking a tie and winning, 5-4.
“Fans cheered throughout, and all were on their feet for the last three minutes of the game, the Rebels having pulled their goalie . . . the Ice being called for a penalty with 10 seconds left . . . the referees adding 4.5 seconds to the clock and then the clock goes for an additional 27 seconds instead of just 14.5 seconds until a scrum at the end resulted in the whistle finally being blown and the referees called the game as ended and giving the Ice the win. . . .
“The crowd stayed around and watched a long stick salute by the Ice players, who came up from the dressing room to sign autographs and talk to fans, to talk about how they are going to miss Cranbrook, their billet families, the weather and the fans.
“The crowd remained to meet with the players . . . probably close to 50 per cent stayed. There were many fans in tears uttering less flattering comments about the owners and noting they should have been upfront with us when they arrived.”
Here’s how another fan viewed it all . . .
“There was one group of season-ticket holders, who sit below the CIBC signs. They watched kids juggle signs reading ‘GO ICE GO.’ After the kids were done, the adults stood up with individual signs that read ‘GONE ICE GONE.’ . . .
“Cam Hausinger, who was traded to Red Deer along with Brett Davis earlier in the season, came upstairs after the game and before our players got there to say hi to everyone and sign autographs. He said he misses everyone in Cranbrook. . . .
“There were tears among the fans and the hosts, and talk of getting the same seats when we hopefully get another hockey team in the arena. . . . We had four young hockey players from the university team in Castlegar (the BCIHL’s Selkirk Saints) sitting beside us who there specifically checking everything out. . . .
“As the game ended most people never moved from the stands as if they couldn’t bring themselves to believe it was all over. . . .
“As I was getting autographs I couldn’t help but admire these young men who took the time to sign everything from hockey pucks, to hats, to shirts to programs. Peyton Krebs, who didn’t play the whole game, stood there having his picture taken, talking to even the smallest little one and thanking all the people for supporting the team. . . .
“It was a very class act by the whole team with the exception of Matt Cockell, who never left the box. Some of the stuff that happened over the last couple of games . . . with the awards ceremony, most seasons they set up a table on ice and did the presentations there. This time, they didn’t do that . . . just had people who were doing the presentations standing in the alleyway by the bench. . . .
“On Sunday, they had teachers and other people, who have contributed to helping the players, on the ice for a round of applause before the game. Also we had two players who were finishing as 20-year-olds, and the coach, James Patrick, gave them their gifts, not the GM or Mr. Fettes. Not that Mr. Fettes has put in an appearance in Cranbrook since the media circus began.”
From another fan:
“The second and third stars were the two 20-year-olds. As a final slap in the face, the first star was the Kootenay Ice fans, which brought about an audible groan from the crowd. Nuff said!”
The last 30 seconds in @WHLKootenayICE history, highlighted by an epic scorekeeping fail. Watch what happens after the stoppage with 10.4 left! Confusion reigns supreme then the game is called 😂 pic.twitter.com/Y41oVbgyct
"…and allow for the opportunity to have a game like this where the community can come and celebrate 21 years of support and great history and have a chance to be together as a community." (2/2) #WHL#Cranbrook
The WHL’s 21-year history in Cranbrook, B.C., ended on Sunday as the Kootenay Ice skated to a 5-4 victory over the Red Deer Rebels.
If you’re late to this situation, the Ice is relocating to Winnipeg and will spend at least the next two seasons playing out of the 1,400-seat Wayne Fleming Arena on the campus of the U of Manitoba while it awaits construction of a new facility. . . .
The Ice, which ended a six-game losing skid with Sunday’s victory, finished 13-45-10. Kootenay has missed the playoffs for a fourth straight season. . . .
Before the game, a fan emailed this: “At 4 pm the ticket lineup for the final game is the full length of the building.” . . . The announced attendance at the last WHL game in 4-264-seat Western Financial Place was 2,684.
Heckler at the @WHLKootenayICE after the ref missed a pretty obvious call: "You'll never ref another game in this town!" 😉
“The fans continued to turn out to support the PLAYERS who were caught in a terrible situation through no fault of their own,” John Hudak, the marketing director of the now-defunct Green Bay Committee, told Taking Note via email. “Make no mistake, there were very few fans that were supporting this ownership and to the credit of the fans they turned out to support the players and the good name of the City of Cranbrook and its hockey history. It could have been ugly but the people of Cranbrook took the high road.”
The Green Bay Committee was formed early in the season to help owners Greg Fettes and Matt Cockell sell tickets and sponsorships. After selling what it said was $50,000 worth, the committee disbanded in mid-November because of what it said was a lack of co-operation and support from the owners.
Prior to that point, there had been ample speculation that the owners, who are from Winnipeg, planned to move the franchise to the Manitoba capital. When the Green Bay Committee went public about the lack of support it had received, the pieces started to fall into place.
“The vibe in the arena today was a testament to the people of Cranbrook,” continued Hudak, who is running for a spot on city council in a May 11 by-election. “They were respectful of the ownership. They got behind the players and the players reciprocated by not rolling over.”
The game ended with the clock showing 27.7 seconds still to play. But that was only because the timekeeper inadvertently hit the wrong button, something that caused the clock to count up rather than down.
“It was almost as if he didn’t want to see the game end,” Hudak noted. “In all seriousness, he has run the clock for more than 20 years . . . he won’t live this one down for the rest of his days!”
This isn’t the first time in recent history that a WHL team has relocated. After the 2010-11 season, the Chilliwack Bruins, who had been sold, left the Lower Mainland city after five seasons and opened up shop in Victoria as the Royals. . . .
Ice F Peyton Krebs, a sure-fire first-round selection in June’s NHL draft, didn’t finish the first period. He was ejected at 11:57 with a boarding major and game misconduct for a hit on F Jacob Herauf, who later returned to the game. Should Krebs be suspended, he will serve his suspension to open the 2019-20 regular season . . . unless he cracks the roster of the NHL team that selects him, that is.
F Joachim Blichfeld of the Portland Winterhawks earned an assist with 1.1 seconds left in the third period of a 6-5 loss to the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds on Sunday, and that was enough to give him the WHL scoring title. . . . He finished with 114 points, one more than F Tristin Langan of the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . Blichfeld had 53 goals and 61 assists in 68 games; Langan was at 53 and 60 in 67 games. . . . Had they ended up tied, they would have shared the title. . . . In 1987-88, Theo Fleury of the Warriors and Joe Sakic of the Swift Current Broncos tied at the top, each with 160 points. Sakic was named the scoring champion on the basis of more goals, 78-68. . . .
Blichfeld and Langan led the league in goals, with six more than F Mark Kastelic of the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Moose Jaw F Justin Almeida was tops in assists (78), well ahead of F Trey Fix-Wolansky of the Edmonton Oil Kings and F Nick Henry of the Lethbridge Hurricanes, who tied at 65. . . . Kastelic had a WHL-leading 24 PP goals. . . . Moose Jaw D Jett Woo was No. 1 in PP assists, with 33. . . . Lethbridge F Jake Elmer led in shorthanded goals, with seven. . . . Edmonton F Vince Loschiavo and two Warriors — F Brayden Tracey and Langan — tied for the lead in game-winning goals, each with 11. . . .
Tracey was the WHL’s top-scoring freshman, leading in goals (36), assists (45) and points (81). . . .
Among goaltenders, Dustin Wolf of the Everett Silvertips was tops in GAA (1.69), save percentage (.936) and victories (41). . . . Ian Scott of the Prince Albert Raiders was second in all three categories — 1.83, .932 and 38. . . . Scott was No. 1 in shutouts (8), one more than Wolf. . . .
Josh Brook of the Warriors and Dawson Davidson of the Saskatoon Blades led all defenceman in points, each with 75, four more than Bowen Byram of the Vancouver Giants. . . . Byram led in goals (26), while Davison and Ty Smith of the Spokane Chiefs were tops in assists (62).
The U of New Brunswick Varsity Reds won the Canadian university (U Sports) championship on Sunday, beating the Alberta Golden Bears, 4-2, in Lethbridge. . . . The Golden Bears went into the tournament as the top-ranked of the eight teams; UNB was ranked No. 2. . . . In the final, UNB got goals from Samuel Dove-McFalls, Oliver Cooper, Kris Bennett and Mark Rassell, the latter a former Medicine Hat Tigers sniper. . . . Steve Owre and Brandon Magee, both ex-WHLers, replied for the Golden Bears. Owre also played in Medicine Hat; Magee played for the Chilliwack Bruins/Victoria Royas. . . . G Alex Dubeau stopped 32 shots for the winners. . . . Alberta got 27 saves from Zach Sawchenko, who played in the WHL with the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . The Golden Bears lost F Luke Philp, the Canadian university player of the year, to an undisclosed injury in the first period. . . . UNB now has won eight national titles. . . . Each of the past seven titles has been won by UNB (2017, 2016 and 2013) or Alberta (2018, 2015 and 2014).
F Vince Loschiavo scored twice to lead the Edmonton Oil Kings to a 3-1 victory over the Hitmen in Calgary. . . . Edmonton (42-18-8) closed out the regular-season on an 11-game winning streak that tied a franchise record. It had been done on three previous occasions, most recently in 2013-14. . . . Calgary (36-26-6) has lost four in a row. . . . The Oil Kings finished atop the Central Division and will open the playoffs against the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . The third-place Hitmen will meet the Lethbridge Hurricanes, who wound up second, in the first round. . . . Edmonton won the season series, 7-0-1; Calgary was 1-6-1. . . . F Riley Fiddler-Schultz (4) gave Calgary a 1-0 lead at 10:07 of the first period. . . . Loschiavo tied it at 7:14 of the second period, then gave his guys the lead at 10:47 with his 37th goal of the season, on a PP. That also turned into his 11th game-winner this season, a franchise record. . . . Edmonton F Jake Neighbours (11) wrapped up the scoring with an empty-netter, at 19:35 of the third period. . . . G Todd Scott stopped 25 shots for Edmonton. . . . Calgary got 33 saves from G Carl Stankowski.
F Michael Milne broke a 4-4 tie in the third period as the Kootenay Ice closed out its history in Cranbrook, B.C., with a 5-4 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . The Ice (13-45-10), which is relocating to Winnipeg, snapped a six-game losing streak. Kootenay has missed the playoffs for a fourth straight season. . . . Red Deer (33-29-6) has lost four in a row. The Rebels, who finished in the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, will meet the Prince Albert Raiders, the WHL’s top regular-season team, in the first round. . . . F Jaeger White (28) put the Ice in front 1-0 at 6:48 of the first period. . . . The Rebels responded with three straight goals — from F Cam Hausinger, on a PP, at 12:20; F Brett Davis (20), on a PP, at 14:46; and Hausinger (21), on yet another PP, at 0:19 of the second period. . . . The Rebels acquired Hausinger and Davis, who also had two assists, from the Ice earlier this season. . . . The Ice came back with the next three goals, in the span of 1:45 early in the second. . . . F Nolan Orzeck (4) got it started at 3:01. F Holden Kodak (3) tied the score at 3:56. F Connor McClennon (14) gave the Ice a 4-3 lead at 4:46. . . . The Rebels tied it at 17:40 when F Jordan Borysiuk, an AP, scored his first goal. He was playing in his seventh WHL game, but his first this season. . . . Milne, a 16-year-old freshman from Abbotsford, B.C., broke the tie with his third goal at 14:16 of the third period. . . . Red Deer was 3-4 on the PP; Kootenay was 0-3. . . . G Curtis Meger earned the victory with 25 saves, one fewer than Red Deer’s Byron Fancy. . . . The Ice lost F Peyton Krebs to a boarding major and game misconduct at 11:57 of the first period. . . . The Rebels scratched G Ethan Anders, D Dawson Barteaux, F Jeff de Wit, F Reese Johnson, F Josh Tarzwell and F Brandon Hagel. . . . They also dressed four APs — G Eric Ward, F Jordan Borysiuk, F Ethan Rowland and F Jace Isley. . . . F Austin Schellenberg, who suffered an undisclosed injury on Friday, was among the Ice’s scratches.
The Seattle Thunderbirds erased a 4-3 deficit with three straight goals and beat the Winterhawks, 6-5, in Portland to bring down the curtain on the WHL’s 2018-19 regular season. . . . Seattle (31-29-8) has won three in a row. As the Western Conference’s second wild-card entry, it will go up against the conference-champion Vancouver Giants in the first round of the playoffs. . . . Portland (40-22-6) has lost two in a row. It finished third in the U.S. Division, one point behind the Spokane Chiefs, who won 10 of their final 12 games. Those two teams will meet in the first round with Spokane having home-ice advantage. . . . Portland went 8-4-0 in the season series; Seattle was 4-6-2. . . . Last night, Portland took an early 2-0 lead on goals from F Reece Newkirk (23), on a PP, at 1:47, and F Jake Gricius (27), at 5:35. . . . Seattle scored the next three goals. . . . F Jared Davidson (2) scored at 19:32, with F Kai Uchacz getting his first WHL goal at 13:03. D Simon Kubicek (9) gave Seattle a 3-2 lead, on a PP, at 15:14. . . . Uchacz, 15, was the 10th-overall selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. . . . The Winterhawks tied it 42 seconds later as D Clay Hanus (8) scored. . . . Again, Seattle scored three in a row, this time to take a 6-4 lead. . . . F Brecon Wood (4) tied it at 4:27 of the second. . . . F Sean Richards (16) gave the Thunderbirds a 5-4 lead, on a PP, at 4:30 of the third, and D Jarret Tyszka (8) made it 6-4 at 8:00. . . . D Jared Freadrich (15) of Portland got the game’s final goal, on a PP, with 1.1 seconds left in the third period. . . . Portland F Joachim Blichfeld drew an assist on Freadrich’s goal for his only point of the game. That gave him 114 points on the season, enough to win the WHL scoring title by one point over F Tristin Langan of the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . F Andrej Kukuca had three assists for Seattle. . . . Freadrich added two assists to his goal, for his fifth career three-point outing. . . . Seattle got 40 saves from G Cole Schwebius, while Portland’s Joel Hofer stopped 27 shots. . . . The Winterhawks scratched F Cody Glass (knee) for an eighth straight game. They say the plan is for him to be back in time for Friday’s playoff opener, but, hey, it’s that time of year when you can’t believe anything you might hear about injuries. . . . F Matthew Wedman, F Noah Philp and F Nolan Volcan, Seattle’s top three scorers, all were scratched.
#WHL SEA/POR: @SeattleTbirds finish the season with 6 wins in 7 contests as Jarret Tyszka's marker holds up as the game winner. 8th overall marker matches total from last year and gives him 25 for regular season career. His assist 2:30 earlier boosted him to 100 career points.
Wednesday was the last day of the regular season in Finland’s Liiga. . . . F Malte Strömwall (Tri-City, 2011-13), playing for KooKoo Kouvola, finished the season leading the league in goals and points. In 52 games, he put up 57 points, including 30 goals. . . . Strömwall is the first player from KooKoo to win either title. He also is the first points leader in 31 years and the first goal leader in 24 years from a team that missed the playoffs. KooKoo finished in 13th place. . . . F Aleksi Heponiemi (Swift Current, 2016-18), playing for Kärpät Oulu, led all Liiga rookies in assists (30) and points (46), in 50 games. . . . Heponiemi led his team in points, tied for the lead in assists for first-place Kärpät, finished in 12th place overall in points & 13th place overall in assists.
Dave (Radar) Horning was in Cranbrook for the Kootenay Ice’s first WHL game, and he’ll be there Sunday for the last one. . . . Horning is the equipment manager for the Red Deer Rebels, and he worked his 2,000th game on Tuesday night. . . . Byron Hackett of the Red Deer Advocate has more on one of the WHL’s good guys right here.
F Tristan Zandee has made a commitment to the Colorado College Tigers. Zandee, 15, is from Chestermere, Alta., and was a second-round selection by the Calgary Hitmen in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. . . . Zandee made the announcement via Twitter on Thursday evening. . . . He had 20 goals and 14 assists in 32 games with the midget Airdrie CFR Bisons this season. He also was pointless in one game with the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints.
The Kootenay Ice’s first home game? On Sept. 26, 1998, F Jarret Stoll had two goals and two assists to lead the Ice to a 6-3 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . D Steve McCarthy, F Andy Penny, F Kyle Wanvig and F Mike Green also scored for Kootenay. . . . Red Deer goals came from F Kevin Marsh, with two, and F Shawn McNeil. . . . G Clayton Pool stopped 38 shots for the Ice. . . . Dustin Schwartz and Shane Bendera combined for 26 saves for the Rebels.
As we approach our final two games in Cranbrook, we would like to thank all ICE fans for their tremendous support for 21 years.
The Kootenay Ice is to entertain the Medicine Hat Tigers tonight in Cranbrook, B.C., and the Red Deer Rebels come calling on Sunday.
After that game, the curtain will drop on 21 seasons of the WHL in the Kootenays.
Owners Greg Fettes and Matt Cockell are taking the Ice to Winnipeg, choosing to leave Cranbrook’s 4,264-seat Western Financial Place to spend at least two seasons in the U of Manitoba’s Wayne Fleming Arena, which right now has about 1,400 seats, as they await construction of a new facility.
The Ice (12-44-10) is in the process of missing the playoffs for a fourth straight season. Last season, its first under the ownership of Fettes and Cockell, it finished 27-38-7.
In other words, Elmer is as young a junior hockey free agent as you can get. Had he been born a day later, Jan. 1, 1999, he would have been draft eligible this year. He’s eligible to sign a three-year entry-level NHL contract.
The Spokane Chiefs have added F Bear Hughes, a 17-year-old native of Post Falls, Idaho, to their roster. . . . Hughes, who signed a WHL contract in January, spent this season with the junior B Spokane Braves of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. He led the team with 66 points, including 41 goals, and was named the league’s top rookie. . . . In the playoffs, he added six goals and four assists in seven games. . . . Hughes is the second player off the Braves to have been added to the Chiefs’ roster this week. G Campbell Arnold, who turned 17 on Jan. 2, is from Nanaimo, B.C. He was a second-round pick by the Chiefs in the 2017 WHL bantam draft.
In case of the scenario of a Kamloops-Kelowna tie in points at end of reg season, there would be a one-game play-in game Tuesday night in Kamloops.
The MJHL’s Neepawa Natives have signed Craig Anderson as head scout and assistant general manager, while adding Kori Pearson as director of U,S. scouting. . . . Both are former Neepawa players. . . . Anderson, from Brandon, played two seasons (1993-95) with the Natives, then played for the Brandon U Bobcats. . . . Anderson served in a similar capacity with the MJHL’s Winkler Flyers when Ken Pearson was the GM/head coach there. Pearson now is the Natives’ GM/head coach. . . . Kori Pearson played three seasons (1993-96) with the Natives, then played with Dakota College in Bottineau, N.D., and Concordia, Minn., College. He now is an assistant coach with the East Ridge Raptors of the Minnesota High School Hockey League, while living in Cottage Grove, Minn. He also worked under Ken Pearson as Winkler’s director of U.S. scouting.
G Patrik Bartošák (Red Deer, 2011-14) has signed a contract beginning next season with Třinec (Czech Republic, Extraliga). This season, in 45 games with Vítkovice Ostrava (Czech Republic, Extraliga), he was 25-17-3, 2.20, .935, with one shutout. He led the league in save percentage. . . . http://iSport.czreports that with the Třinec contract, Bartošák will make 700,000 Czech crowns (~$31,000 US) a month; 30,000 crowns (~$1,300 US) for each standing point; and 90,000 crowns (~$4,000 US) for each regulation win. . . . Czech Extraliga awards three points for a win in regulation, two points for an overtime or shootout win, one point for an overtime or shootout loss, and no points for a loss in regulation. . . .
F Spencer Machacek (Vancouver, 2005-08) has signed a one-year contract extension with Grizzlys Wolfsburg (Germany, DEL). He has 18 goals and 13 assists in 49 games. . . .
F Johannes Salmonsson (Spokane, 2005-06) has signed a two-year contract extension with Timrå (Sweden, SHL). He has three goals and 15 assists in 31 games.
The NHL’s Minnesota Wild has signed F Connor Dewar of the Everett Silvertips to a three-year entry-level contract. . . . Dewar, from The Pas, Man., was a third-round pick by the Wild in the NHL’s 2018 draft. The 19-year-old is the Silvertips’ captain. . . . This season, Dewar has career highs in assists (41) and points (75), in 54 games. He has 34 goals, four shy of his career high. . . . In 265 regular-season games, Dewar has 97 goals and 94 assists. . . . He has added 14 goals and 15 assists in 41 playoff games. . . . Everett selected him in the fifth round of the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft.
F Mark Liwiski of the Kelowna Rockets has drawn a TBD suspension after taking a boarding major and game misconduct during a 4-3 victory over the visiting Portland Winterhawks on Sunday. . . . Portland F Seth Jarvis, who absorbed the hit from Liwiski, isn’t shown as being injured on the WHL’s weekly roster report that was issued on Tuesday. . . . Kelowna’s next game is scheduled for Friday against the Blazers in Kamloops. The teams also will meet on Saturday in Kelowna. . . . The Winterhawks are to meet the Cougars in Prince George on Friday and Saturday nights.
Ryely McKinstry was selected by the Vancouver Giants in the second round, 23rd overall, of the 2013 WHL bantam draft. A defenceman from Calgary, he played 43 games with the Giants — two in 2013-14, 30 in 2014-15 and 11 in 2015-16. . . . He didn’t play at all in 2016-17. . . . He had to leave hockey behind after playing one game with the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers last season. . . . Yes, he was forced out of the game by concussions. Eight of them, by his count. . . . McKinstry has written a detailed account of what he’s been through and it’s all right here.
#WHL SAS/MJ: @BladesHockey Brandon Schuldhaus scores twice 11:00 apart to reach 75 career points. 3rd 2-goal game of career doing so twice last year as a member of the Warriors. 4 of 7 goals this season against most recent former squad (Moose Jaw).
D Brandon Schuldhaus scored twice to help the visiting Saskatoon Blades to a 4-2 victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . Saskatoon (42-14-8) has won five in a row. . . . The Blades won for the 12th time in 13 games and clinched second place in the process. That gives them home-ice advantage in what almost certainly will be a first-round series with the Warriors. . . . Moose Jaw (25-19-8) is third in the East Division, 14 points behind the Blades with six games remaining. . . . F Tristin Langan (48) gave the Warriors a 1-0 lead just 56 seconds into the game. . . . Schuldhaus, who has seven goals, tied the game at 15:02, then put his guys out front at 6:24 of the second period. . . . F Justin Almeida (27) got the Warriors into a 2-2 tie, while shorthanded, at 11:55. . . . Blades D Dawson Davidson broke the tie with his 11th goal, on a PP, at 12:15. . . . F Kirby Dach (24) iced it at 19:17. . . . G Nolan Maier earned the victory with 26 saves. . . . G Brodan Salmond also stopped 26 shots for the Warriors.
G Ian Scott turned aside 24 shots to help the Prince Albert Raiders to a 6-0 victory over the visiting Swift Current Broncos. . . . With the victory, Prince Albert (51-9-4) clinched the Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy that goes to the WHL team with the best regular-season record. The only other time in franchise history when the Raiders had the league’s best record was in their Memorial Cup-winning season of 1984-85. . . . The Raiders’ first-round playoff opponent hasn’t yet been decided. . . . Swift Current (10-46-6), the WHL’s defending champion, has lost 15 games in a row (0-12-3). . . . The Raiders and Broncos will meet again Friday in Prince Albert and Sunday in Swift Current. The Broncos also will meet the Blades in Saskatoon on Saturday. . . . Scott put up his sixth shutout of the season and the ninth of his career. He has tied the franchise’s single-season record and shares it with Luke Siemens (2012-13) and Rejean Beauchemin (2003-04). . . . D Sergei Sapego (9) got the Raiders started at 5:30 of the first period. . . . F Dante Hannoun (29) made it 2-0 at 7:00 and the Raiders never were threatened. . . . F Justin Nachbaur, who turned 19 on Monday, added two goals, giving him 18, with F Aliaksei Protas (11) and F Eric Pearce (7) also scoring. . . . Hannoun also had two assists. . . . The Ice got 33 stops from G Riley Lamb. . . . The Raiders had D Max Martin back after he sat out six games, while F Parker Kelly returned after serving a three-game suspension.
G Jiri Patera put up his first WHL shutout as the Brandon Wheat Kings dumped the Kootenay Ice, 7-0, in Cranbrook, B.C. . . . Brandon (30-24-8) had lost its previous three games (0-2-1). The Wheat Kings moved into a tie with the Red Deer Rebels for the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . Kootenay (12-42-10) has lost three in a row. It has been blanked five times this season, with three of them coming on home ice. . . . The Ice has two homes games remaining, on March 15 and 17, before it leaves Cranbrook for Winnipeg. . . . Patera, an 18-year-old freshman from Praha, Czech Republic, stopped 29 shots. He is 22-15-5, 3.20, .910. . . . The Wheat Kings got two goals from each of F Baron Thompson and F Luka Burzan. . . . Thompson, who has eight goals, made it 1-0 at 9:11 of the first period. . . . Burzan, who has 37 goals, upped it to 2-0 at 16:06. . . . F Ridley Greig (14), F Stelio Mattheos (41) and F Connor Gutenberg (15) also scored for Brandon, which is 1-1-1 on a six-game trip through the Central Division while the Tim Hortons Brier — the Canadian men’s curling championship — is being played in its home arena. . . . Burzan added an assist for a three-point game. . . . Kootenay D Martin Bodak has played his final WHL game. He is returning to his native Slovakia to write a mandatory high school exam, so will miss the Ice’s final four games. . . . Bodak, 20, put up 11 goals and 14 assists in 58 games this season. In 117 regular-season games over two seasons, he had 18 goals and 38 assists.
The Everett Silvertips erased a 1-0 deficit with three third-period goals and beat the host Spokane Chiefs, 3-1. . . . Everett (45-14-4) has points in seven straight games (6-0-1). It leads the Western Conference by two points over Vancouver, but the Giants have one game in hand. While Everett is idle tonight, the Giants are to meet the Blazers in Kamloops. . . . Spokane (35-20-7) had points in each of its past six games (5-0-1). It is third in the U.S. Division, five points behind the Portland Winterhawks. . . . F Jaret Anderson-Dolan (15) gave the Chiefs a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 8:40 of the second period. He has goals in five straight games. . . . D Ronan Seeley got the Silvertips even with his first career WHL goal, at 1:38 of the third period. . . . F Dawson Butt (8) broke the tie at 3:33, and F Reece Vitelli (10) added insurance at 16:03. . . . Seeley, the 20th overall pick in the 2017 bantam draft, scored in his 48th career game, all of them this season. . . . Everett got 24 saves from G Dawson Wolf, who won for the 40th time this season. He now is 40-13-3, 1.71, .936. . . . G Bailey Brkin turned aside 24 shots for the Chiefs.
Forgot to mention earlier because Gallagher scored while we were discussing it, but a classy touch by @DieterRuehle to play the 90210 theme during an early-game stoppage.
F Jesse Gabrielle’s season might be over, sidelined by what he says is his third concussion of the season.
Gabrielle suffered the first concussion this season while with the AHL’s Providence Bruins. He began the regular season with the ECHL’s Atlanta Gladiators, but was injured after playing 25 games. He came back with the Wichita Thunder, but suffered a third concussion in January.
Gabrielle, 21, finished last season with the WHL’s Regina Pats. He also played in the WHL with the Brandon Wheat Kings and Prince George Cougars.
In conversation with Hartley Miller for his Cat Scan podcast, Gabrielle said that he has been advised to shut it down for this season.
“Head injuries nowadays are a big deal and they need to be taken serious care of. I’ve had three concussions this season. It’s something that definitely shouldn’t be taken lightly. You have to make sure you rest and don’t come back before it’s properly healed.”
As for brain injuries in the WHL, Gabrielle, a native of Moosomin, Sask., offered: “I had one diagnosed but I know that . . . I probably had three guaranteed in the WHL. But I didn’t really say anything.”
He remembers having one in his draft season, 2014-15, and not saying anything.
“It’s my draft year and I tried skating through it, I guess . . . I didn’t really want anyone to know that I had a concussion at the time.”
He remembers being hit by D Ivan Provorov of the Brandon Wheat Kings.
“Provorov lined me up,” Gabrielle said. “I don’t think it was a dirty hit; it just really jarred me. I didn’t want to say anything. You don’t want to be out a week or two with a concussion in your draft year. It’s something that players probably hide more than they should. I’m fresh out of the league but I’m pretty sure it’s the same thing now. Guys weren’t saying anything when I was in the league, that’s for sure.”
Asked what he’s dealing with now as he tries to recover from this third concussion, Gabrielle replied: “It’s annoying . . . it’s really tough. Some days are worse than others. For me, it’s a lot of pain behind the eyes . . . a lot of pressure behind the eyes. . . . sensitivity to light. Screens, TV,even a sunny day. It’s tough to go outside sometimes.
“You’re alone a lot of the time. Our team is on the road and I stayed back just because I don’t really want to be doing too much activity.”
Gabrielle pointed out that a brain injury isn’t like a lot of other hockey injuries.
“It’s not like a shoulder where you can tape it up and go play,” he said. “You don’t really know how it’s healing up. You’re just going day by day. It’s kind of a frustrating experience . . . because one day you can be feeling really good. You try biking and you want to poke your eyes out because the pressure behind your eyes is so intense.”
He also mentioned having migraines and having to go into a dark room to deal with those.
In dealing with this latest brain injury, he also noticed something else one day.
“It happened three times in a day . . . one of the scarier days since got my third concussion,” he said. “I was in mid-conversation with someone and I would just forget what I was saying.
“It’s not something to be taken lightly. If you’re a player with a history of concussions or think you might have one, be safe about it. Don’t risk your brain. You only have one.”
The Prince Albert Raiders inducted Donn Clark, a former player, general manager and head coach, into their Wall of Honour on Friday night prior to a game against the Red Deer Rebels.
Unfortunately, Clark wasn’t able to attend.
“He’s at the final stages of battling cancer, and he’s done it proudly,” Kerry Clark, one of the three brothers to have played in the WHL, told Trevor Redden of panow.com. “He’s held his head high and he’s never complained. Every battle, he’s hit it head first all the time and that’s just the way he is.” . . . Redden’s story is right here.
With Donn unable to attend, Wendel, the third of the brothers, represented him in Prince Albert.
The NHL’s Colorado Avalanche has signed F Nick Henry of the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a three-year entry-level contract. . . . Henry, from Portage la Prairie, Man., was selected by Colorado in the fourth round of the NHL’s 2017 draft. . . . Henry, 19, has 24 goals and 59 assists in 62 games this season. He played the first 25 games with the Regina Pats, before being dealt to the Hurricanes. In Lethbridge, he has nine goals and 34 assists in 37 games. . . . The Everett Silvertips selected him in the third round of the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft, but later dealt him to Regina.
Yikes. The Manitoba Junior Hockey League just dropped the hammer on Boissevain's Brayden Billaney, who plays for the Portage Terriers. The repeat offender gets an 18-game suspension for a hit on Feb. 24 against Winkler. The video is from the online broadcast. #MJHLpic.twitter.com/yY25SBPIxQ
The Spokane Chiefs have signed D Hendrik De Klerk, 16, to a WHL contract. He was a seventh-round pick in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. . . . From Swift Current, De Klerk had six goals and 31 assists in 44 games as a freshman with the midget AAA Swift Current Legionnaires.
F Kaden Bohlsen of the USHL’s Fargo Force has made a commitment to attend the U of Nebraska-Omaha and play for the Mavericks starting in 2020-21. Bohlsen, from Willmar, Minn., turned 18 on Jan. 10. He started this season with the USHL’s Des Moines Buccaneers, putting up six goals and seven assists in 25 games. With the Force, he has three goals and an assist in 17 games. . . . He was a ninth-round selection by the Regina Pats in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft.
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G Carl Tetachuk stopped 35 shots to help the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 5-0 victory over the Warriors in Moose Jaw. . . . Lethbridge (34-18-10) has won two in a row. It is second in the Central Division, two points behind the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Moose Jaw (34-18-8) has lost two straight and is destined to finish third in the East Division. . . . Tetachuk’s second career shutout came six days after the first one. . . . The Hurricanes opened a 1-0 lead at 6:59 of the first period as F Jake Elmer ran his goal-scoring streak to 11 games with a shorthanded marker. . . . F Jake Leschyshyn (35) made it 2-0 just 43 seconds into the third period, and F Jackson Shepard (4) upped it to 3-0 at 15:53. . . . F Nick Henry, who signed a three-year contract with the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche earlier in the day, had a goal, his 25th, and an assist. . . . F Dylan Cozens (31) also scored. . . . Elmer and Leschyshyn each had two assists. . . . The Warriors had F Kaeden Taphorn back in the lineup after a 10-game absence.
The Prince Albert Raiders closed to within one point of clinching the Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy with a 2-1 shootout victory over the visiting Red Deer Rebels. . . . With one more point, Prince Albert (50-8-4) will wrap up first place overall. The Raiders last won 50 games in 1991-92 when they finished 50-20 with two ties. The franchise record for victories in a season is 58, set in 1984-85. . . . The Raiders have points in five straight (4-0-1). . . . Red Deer (31-24-6) has points in three straight (2-0-1). It is fourth in the Central Division, four points behind the Calgary Hitmen. Red Deer also holds the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, one point ahead of the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . F Noah Gregor (38) gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 9:29 of the third period. . . . Red Deer tied it at 14:21 as F Brandon Hagel (38) scored the 100th regular-season goal of his career. . . . In the shootout, the Raiders got goals from Gregor, F Dante Hannoun and F Brett Leason, with F Cam Hausinger scoring for the Rebels. . . . G Ian Scott earned the victory with 23 saves. . . . Red Deer got 39 saves from G Ethan Anders. . . . The Raiders were without D Max Martin for a fifth straight game. . . . Prince Albert F Parker Kelly sat out the second game of a three-game suspension.
G Nolan Maier turned aside 19 shots to help the host Saskatoon Blades to a 4-0 victory over the Regina Pats. . . . Saskatoon (40-14-8) has won three in a row. The Blades have won 40 games for the first time since they finished 2012-13 at 44-22-6. That also is the last time they qualified for the playoffs prior to this season. . . . The Blades are going to finish second in the East Division and meet the third-place Moose Jaw Warriors in the first round. . . . Regina (18-41-3) has lost three straight. . . . Saskatoon is 5-1-0 in the season series; Regina is 1-4-1. . . . Maier has three shutouts this season and five in his career. . . . Saskatoon got first-period goals from F Eric Florchuk (21), shorthanded at 2:10, and F Max Gerlach (38), at 19:46. . . . F Ryan Hughes (27) and F Kyle Crnkovic (11) added second-period scores. . . . G Dean McNabb stopped 31 shots for Regina.
F Riley Stotts scored in OT to give the Calgary Hitmen a 3-2 victory over the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Calgary (33-22-6) has points in four straight (3-0-1). It is third in the Central Division, six points behind the Lethbridge Hurricanes and four ahead of the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Brandon (29-23-8) has lost two in a row (0-1-1). It is one point behind the Medicine Hat Tigers, who are in possession of the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card berth. . . . The Hitmen got the game’s first goal, from F James Malm (28), at 3:48 of the second period. . . . Brandon went ahead 2-1 on goals from F Connor Gutenberg (14), at 8:03, and F Caiden Daley (7), at 14:23. . . . Calgary forced OT on F Mark Kastelic’s 44th goal, on a PP, at 7:59 of the third period. . . . Stotts won it with his 19th goal, at 2:09 of extra time. . . . G Jack McNaughton recorded the victory with 19 saves, 20 fewer than Brandon’s Jiri Patera.
F Connor McClennon scored twice as the Kootenay Ice beat the Swift Current Broncos, 5-3, in Cranbrook, B.C. . . . The Ice (12-39-10) had lost its previous nine games (0-7-2). . . . The Broncos now have lost 13 straight (0-11-2). . . . These two teams have combined for 13 regulation-time victories in 120 regular-season games — nine by the Ice and four by the Broncos. . . . F Brandon Machado (4) gave the Ice a 1-0 lead at 2:44 of the first period. . . . The Broncos tied it at 2:49 of the second period on F Matthew Culling’s 10th goal. . . . The Ice responded with the next three goals — from F Jaeger White (26), at 4:44 of the second period, F Brad Ginnell (15), at 16:31, and McClennon, at 1:49 of the third. . . . Swift Current got to within a goal as F Carter Chorney (14) scored at 7:41 and F Eric Houk (3) counted at 10:43. . . . McClennon iced it with an empty-netter at 18:08. He’s got 11 goals. . . . The Ice got 24 saves from G Jesse Makaj. . . . G Isaac Poulter stopped 43 shots for the Broncos. . . . The Ice has four home games left in Cranbrook before it relocates to Winnipeg.
F Trey Fix-Wolansky, who was playing in his 200th regular-season game, scored twice to help the host Edmonton Oil Kings to a 4-2 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Edmonton (36-18-8) has won five in a row. It is atop the Central Division, two points ahead of the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Medicine Hat (31-25-5) has lost seven in a row. It is in the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, one point behind the Red Deer Rebels and one ahead of the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Edmonton is 5-0-1 in the season series; Medicine Hat is 1-3-2. . . . D Matthew Robertson (7) gave the home boys a 1-0 lead at 8:08 of the first period. . . . The Tigers tied it at 9:38 of the second as F Ryan Chyzowski (21) scored on a PP. . . . Fix-Wolansky snapped the tie at 12:05 and F Vince Loschiavo (30) made it 3-1 at 13:22. . . . F Hayden Ostir (10) pulled Medicine Hat to within a goal at 7:27 of the third period. . . . Fix-Wolansky iced it with his 33rd goal, an empty-netter, at 19:51. . . . G Dylan Myskiw earned the victory with 31 saves, 10 fewer than the Tigers’ Mads Søgaard. . . . With F Ryan Jevne, F Brett Kemp and F Elijah Brown all out, the Tigers had F Caleb Willms, 17, and F Noah Danielson, 16,in their lineup. Willms, from the midget AAA Airdrie CFR Bisons, played one game with the Tigers earlier in the season. Danielson, a fourth-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft, made his WHL debut. He plays for the midget AAA Red Deer Chiefs.
G Roddy Ross stopped 42 shots and F Noah Philp had a goal and two assists to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 6-4 victory over the Blazers in Kamloops. . . . Seattle (25-28-7) has points in three straight (2-0-1). . . . Kamloops (23-30-6) now is five points from a playoff spot. . . . This game was one of those four-pointers. Had Kamloops won, the Blazers would have been one point behind Seattle, which holds down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, with a game in hand. Instead, the Blazers fell five points off the pace. . . . Kamloops also is fourth in the B.C. Division, five points behind the Kelowna Rockets. The Blazers do have two games in hand. . . . Over the next eight days, the Blazers will play three times against the Vancouver Giants and twice against the Rockets. . . . Seattle scurried home after last night’s game because it has to face the host Everett Silvertips tonight. Everett was at home to the Tri-City Americans on Friday. . . . Seattle jumped out front 2-0 on first-period goals from F Matthew Wedman, at 8:02, and Philp (22), at 10:30. . . . F Kobe Mohr (7) got Kamloops’ first goal at 13:18. . . . Wedman upped Seattle’s lead to 3-1 withhis 35th goal, at 3:25 of the second period. . . . The Blazers tied it on goals from F Josh Pillar (6), on a PP, at 11:41, and F Orrin Centazzo (16), at 12:19. . . . Seattle went back in front at 14:04, on a PP, as F Andrej Kukuca (24) scored. . . . F Connor Zary (19) brought Kamloops even again at 18:25. . . . F Henri Rypinski (6) broke the tie for Seattle, on a PP, at 6:46, and F Nolan Volcan (21) added insurance at 10:03. . . . Wedman now is riding an 11-game point streak, while Philp is on a 10-game tear. . . . Kamloops had a season-high 46 shots on goal, while surrendering 31. . . . D Simon Kubicek returned to Seattle’s lineup after not having played since Feb. 8. . . . Seattle D Cade McNelly served the second game of a four-game suspension. . . . The Blazers had F Ryley Appelt back for the first time since Jan. 27.
G Bailey Brkin turned aside 50 shots to lead the Spokane Chiefs to a 5-2 victory over the Winterhawks in Portland. . . . Spokane (34-19-7) has points in five straight (4-0-1). It is third in the West Division, six points ahead of the Tri-City Americans. . . . Portland (37-18-6) is second, five points up on the Chiefs, who have a game in hand. . . . Spokane went 3-2-1 in the season series; the Winterhawks were 3-3-0. . . . The Chiefs took control with the game’s first four goals. . . . F Jake McGrew (25) got it started, on a PP, at 6:04 of the first period. . . . F Luke Toporowski (19) scored at 10:02 of the second and F Riley Woods, who also had two assists, scored his 29th at 17:00. . . . F Jaret Anderson-Dolan (13) made it 4-0 at 1:24 of the third period. . . . D John Ludvig (5) scored for Portland at 2:25, but F Eli Zummack (15) got that one back for Spokane, on a PP, at 10:50. . . . F Joachim Blichfeld (52) got Portland’s last goal, on a PP, at 18:48. . . . The Winterhawks had an 18-9 edge in shots in the first period, and it was 21-7 in the third. The Chiefs had the edge, 19-13, in the second. . . . Spokane D Filip Kral had three assists. . . . The Winterhawks had D Brendan De Jong back after he missed six games, but they scratched F Cody Glass.
F Milos Roman scored once and added three assists as his Vancouver Giants dumped the Kelowna Rockets, 7-4, in Langley, B.C. . . . Vancouver (42-14-4) has points in four straight (3-0-1). The Giants will finish atop the B.C. Division, and they are two points behind the Everett Silvertips, who lead the Western Conference. . . . Kelowna (26-30-5) had won its previous two games. It is third in the B.C. Division, five points ahead of the Kamloops Blazers, who have two games in hand. . . . Vancouver leads the season series, 6-0-1; Kelowna is 1-6-0. . . . Roman enjoyed the second four-point game of his career. . . . The Rockets actually held a 4-3 lead early in the second period before surrendering the game’s last four goals. . . . F Nolan Foote gave Kelowna a 1-0 lead at 1:44 of the first period. . . . D Nicholas Draffin tied it with his first WHL goal at 2:54. . . . Kelowna went back out front at 3:12 as F Mark Liwiski (10) scored. . . . Vancouver D Dallas Hines (8) tied it at 11:16. . . . Foote (33) gave Kelowna a 3-2 lead at 16:45. . . . The Giants pulled even, again, at 1:15 of the second period as D Alex Kannok Leipert (3) scored. . . . The Rockets took their fourth lead of the game at 4:47 as F Alex Swetlikoff (4) scored. . . . It was all Giants after that. . . . F Jadon Joseph (18) tied it at 12:24, and Roman’s 24th goal, on a PP, gave Vancouver a 5-4 lead at 14:33. . . . D Davis Koch (25), who also had two assists, and F Tristen Nielsen (11) added insurance before the third period ended. . . . Joseph also added two assists to his goal. . . . Vancouver G David Tendeck stopped 35 shots. . . . F Dawson Holt returned to Vancouver’s lineup after missing 14 games.
F Kody McDonald scored twice and added an assist to lead the host Victoria Royals to a 4-3 victory over his first WHL team, the Prince George Cougars. . . . Victoria (32-25-4) has points in three straight (2-0-1). It is headed for a second-place finish in the B.C. Division. . . . Prince George (17-38-8) has lost four in a row (0-3-1). . . . Victoria went 7-1-0 in the season series; Prince George was 1-5-2. . . . McDonald got the scoring started at 3:47 of the first period, and F Phillip Schultz (16) made it 2-0 at 6:16. . . . F Josh Maser (27) got the Cougars to within a goal, on a PP, at 11:20. . . . Victoria F Tarun Fizer, celebrating his 18th birthday, made it 3-1, on a PP, at 16:03. . . . McDonald got the lead to 4-1 with his 20th goal at 4:26 of the second period. . . . The Cougars got close on third-period goals from Matej Taman (8), at 2:05, and F Reid Perepeluk (2), at 19:26. . . . McDonald played 232 regular-season games over parts of five seasons (2013-18) with the Cougars. . . . The Royals got 32 saves from G Griffen Outshouse. . . . The Cougars have added F Liam Ryan, who turned 19 on Jan. 2, to their roster after his BCHL team, the Surrey Eagles, had its season end. Ryan, from New Westminster, B.C., had five goals and four assists in 22 games with the Eagles. The Cougars selected him in the seventh round of the 2015 bantam draft. Ryan didn’t play in this one. . . . The Royals are without F Kaid Oliver, who is listed as week-to-week with an undisclosed injury. He leads them in goals (27) and points (49).
G Bryce Kindopp scored with 48.6 seconds left in the third period as the Everett Silvertips overcame a career-high 60-save effort by G Beck Warm in beating the visiting Tri-City Americans, 2-1. . . . Everett (43-14-4) has points in five straight (4-0-1). It leads the U.S. Division by 10 points over the Portland Winterhawks. Everett also leads the Western Conference, by two points over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Tri-City (33-24-3) has lost three in a row. It is fourth in the U.S. Division, six points behind the Spokane Chiefs. The Americans do hold down the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot. . . . The Silvertips lead the season series, 4-3-0. . . . Everett unleashed a season-high 62 shots, which is the most shots the Americans have allowed in a game this season. . . . The Americans took a 1-0 lead when F Nolan Yaremko (24) scored at 7:25 of the first period. . . . F Zack Andrusiak (38) got Everett into a tie when he scored at 9:40 of the third period, on the team’s 57th shot. . . . Kindopp, who drew an assist on Andrusiak’s goal, won it with his 37th goal of the season. . . . Everett G Dustin Wolf stopped 21 shots in winning his 38th game of the season, a franchise record. The previous record of 37 was set by Leland Irving in 2005-06. . . . This season, Wolf is 38-13-3, 1.75, .934. . . . The Silvertips had F Connor Dewar and F Dawson Butt back in the lineup.
Western Financial Place, the home of the WHL’s Kootenay Ice, is expected to open its doors this morning after it was closed Wednesday morning when ammonia was detected in the room that houses its ice plant.
Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services arrived on scene after an automatic alarm went off at 9 a.m.
Scott Driver, the acting director of CFES told Summit 107, a Cranbrook radio station: “The ammonia plant in the building is where the detection alarm went off. So we all responded according to our City’s Ammonia Alarm Plan and everything seems to be going as planned . . . we’re hopeful that the building will be up and running soon.”
The building was evacuated and there weren’t any reports of injuries.
Refrigeration technicians, who are based in Alberta, were called and arrived on Wednesday afternoon. According to the City, they “were able to safely resolve the ammonia leak early Wednesday evening.”
You can bet there is a heightened awareness about this type of thing after three men were killed when an ammonia leak in Memorial Arena in Fernie, B.C., killed three men on Oct, 17. 2017.
The Ice, which will relocate to Winnipeg once its regular season ends on March 17, is scheduled to play at home on Friday and Saturday nights, against the Swift Current Broncos and Calgary Hitmen, respectively.
On Saturday night, the Ice is scheduled to honour former captain Jarret Stoll by making him the first inductee into its Hall of Fame. If you’re new here, yes, the organization is opening a hall of fame on its way out of Cranbrook.
Connor Dewar and Dawson Butt are cleared for this weekend against Tri-Ciru according to @WHLsilvertips general manager Garry Davidson.
The Spokane Chiefs have signed F Reed Jacobson to a WHL contract. Jacobson, 16, was a sixth-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. From Swift Current, the 5-foot-9, 160-pounder plays for the Swift Current Legionnaires of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League. This season, he put 26 goals and 29 assists in 44 regular-season games. . . . In 2017-18, he had 14 goals and 14 assists in 41 games as a freshman with the Legionnaires.
The junior B Delisle Chiefs of the Prairie Junior Hockey League are having a pretty good season. They finished the regular season at 38-1-1, tying the league record for most victories in a 40-game season. The 2015-16 Saskatoon Quakers finished 38-2-0. . . . The Chiefs’ 77 points also broke the PJHL record for points in a season (76) that had been set by the 2015-16 Quakers.
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F Carson Focht scored four times and F Kaden Elder added three goals of his own as the host Calgary Hitmen dumped the Swift Current Broncos, 9-3. . . . Calgary (32-22-6) has points in three straight (2-0-1). It is third in the Central Division, six points behind the Lethbridge Hurricanes and three in front of the Medicine Hat Tigers and Red Deer Rebels. . . . Swift Currrent (10-44-5) has lost 12 in a row (0-10-2). . . . This game started at noon as it was Calgary’s third annual Telus Be Brave Anti-Bullying game. . . . The Broncos had taken part in the Edmonton’s Hockey Game on Tuesday, with the Oil Kings winning, 11-1. . . . On Wednesday, Focht made it 1-0 at 4:06 of the first period, and Broncos F Carter Chorney (13) tied it at 5:05. . . . The Hitmen then went ahead 3-1 on goals from Elder, at 6:59, and Focht, at 14:11. . . . D Connor Horning (7) got the Broncos back to within a goal at 17:50. . . . Calgary broke it open with four straight second-period goals, in a span of 6:57. . . . Focht scored 29 seconds into the period, with Elder counting at 2:46, F Luke Coleman (20) scoring at 3:47, and F James Malm (27), at 7:26. . . . Elder (27) and Focht (20) rounded out Calgary’s scoring with third-period PP goals. . . . F Matthew Culling (9) had the Broncos’ other goal. . . . Focht enjoyed the first four-goal game of his WHL career. He has 52 points, including 32 assists, in 60 games this season. . . . Elder, who was acquired from the Broncos on Sept. 27, for a third-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft, recorded his first hat trick. He has 56 points, 29 of them assists, in 61 games. . . . Calgary F Josh Prokop recorded four assists, giving him his first WHL four-point outing. He has 24 points, 18 of them assists, in 57 games. . . . The Hitmen also got three assists from D Vladislav Yeryomenko, while Malm added two assists to his goal. . . . Chorney had three points for the Broncos, as he also had two assists. . . . Calgary enjoyed a 32-14 edge in shots on goal. . . . The announced attendance was 15,084. . . . Calgary F Mark Kastelic completed his two-game suspension by sitting out this one. . . . The Hitmen list F Hunter Campbell and F Jake Kryski as being out indefinitely, with F Cael Zimmerman out week-to-week.
#WHL LET/PA: @WHLHurricanes Jake Elmer becomes first player since A. Heponiemi and T. Ronning had concurrent 11-game goal streaks in Oct. / Nov. 2017 to hit double-digits of consecutive games with a goal. Equals game and wins it in overtime :20 in. Fastest since 11/20/16, Wong
F Jake Elmer ran his goal-scoring streak to 10 games as he scored the last two goals to give the Lethbridge Hurricanes a 5-4 OT victory over the Raiders in Prince Albert. . . . Lethbridge (33-18-10) is second in the Central Division, two points behind the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Prince Albert (49-8-4) has points in four straight (3-0-1). It leads the overall standings by 14 points over the Everett Silvertips, who have eight games remaining. . . . Elmer, who also had an assist, tied the game 4-4 at 17:43 of the third period, then he won it 20 seconds into OT with his 34th goal of the season. . . . His 10-game goal streak is the longest in the WHL this season. The record? F Cliff Ronning of the New Westminster scored 27 goals in an 18-game run from Nov. 6 through Dec. 15, 1984. . . .Lethbridge opened a 2-0 lead on first-period goals from F Dylan Cozens, at 11:09, and F Logan Barlage (15), at 11:22. . . . The Raiders tied it on PP goals from F Cole Fonstad (28), at 15:03 of the first, and F Justin Nachbaur (16), at 3:37 of the second. . . . Cozens (30) put the visitors back in front at 4:48. . . . F Spencer Moe (8) got the Raiders even at 11:56, and D Kaiden Guhle (3) gave the home boys the lead at 10:45 of the third. . . . All that did was set the stage for Elmer’s heroics. . . . . The Raiders were 2-5 on the PP; the Hurricanes were 0-5. . . . Cozens added an assist to his two goals. . . . Fonstad also had three points as he added a pair of assists to his goal. . . . G Carl Tetachuk stopped 25 shots for the Hurricanes, two more than Ian Scott of the Raiders. . . . F Parker Kelly of the Raiders began serving a three-game suspension by missing this one. . . . F Evan Herman, who signed with the Raiders on Tuesday, made his WHL debut.
#WHL RD/REG: A pair of goals for @Rebelshockey Ethan Sakowich who doubles goal total on the season paces the team to the "W". 3 goals in the last 3 games after registering 4 in first 194 career games. Team improves back to ,500 (3-3) in games that he scores.
The Red Deer Rebels broke open a 1-1 game with three straight goals en route to a 5-2 victory over the Pats in Regina. . . . Red Deer (31-24-5) has won two straight after ending a five-game skid. It is tied with the Medicine Hat Tigers for the Eastern Conference’s two wild-card spots, two points ahead of the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Regina (18-40-3) has lost two in a row. It has lost 40 times in regulation time for the first time since 2004-05. . . . D Alex Alexeyev (10) gave the Rebels a 1-0 lead at 10:28 of the first period. . . . Regina tied it at 14:46 on a goal by F Cole Dubinsky (4). . . . Red Deer D Ethan Sakowich scored his third and fourth goals, at 19:18 of the first period and 0:55 of the second for a 3-1 lead, and F Brett Davis upped it to 4-1 at 6:03. . . . D Brady Pouteau (5) scored a PP goal for Regina at 16:45 of the third period. . . . Rebels F Brandon Hagel (37) got the empty-netter at 17:50. . . . G Ethan Anders stopped 32 shots to earn the victory over Max Paddock, who made 22 saves.
#WHL TC/KAM: @blazerhockey Orrin Centazzo racks up both markers in squeaking out in the 1-goal win and matches career total goals coming into the season with 15. Fifth time registering 2 goals this campaign and 2nd against Tri-City. All 6 goals in 2019 have been on home ice.
F Orrin Centazzo scored twice to help the Kamloops Blazers beat the visiting Tri-City Americans, 2-1. . . . Kamloops (23-29-6) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). It is three points behind the Seattle Thunderbirds, who hold down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot. The Thunderbirds are scheduled to play in Kamloops on Friday. . . . The Blazers also are fourth in the B.C. Division, five points behind the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Tri-City (33-23-3) has lost two in a row. It holds down the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot and is fourth in the U.S. Division, four points behind the Spokane Chiefs. . . . Centazzo, who has 15 goals, scored on a PP at 5:44 of the first period, then made it 2-0 at 2:55 of the second. . . . The Americans cut into the lead when F Sasha Mutala (17) scored, on a PP, at 15:48. . . . The Blazers got 25 saves from G Dylan Ferguson, who continued his fine play. He had to be good in this one, though, because Tri-City G Beck Warm, who has started 53 of his club’s 58 games, played as fine a game as these old eyes have seen in some time. A left toe save on Kamloops F Jermaine Loewen late in the second period was the kind that can provide a shooter with a month’s worth of nightmares. . . . Warm finished with 43 stops. . . . Warm leads WHL goaltenders in games played (55), minutes played (3,251) and saves (1,716). He is 31-21-2, 2.86, .917. . . . F Blake Stevenson, who turned 18 on Jan. 12, was back in Tri-City’s lineup after not playing since Jan. 8. A freshman from Calgary, he has eight goals and six assists in 32 games.
Announced attendance: 3,407. 2,000 may be generous for the actual crowd tonight. #Kamloops#WHL
F Jaret Anderson-Dolan scored twice and added three assists to lead the visiting Spokane Chiefs to a 7-1 victory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . Spokane (33-19-7) has points in four straight (3-0-1). The Chiefs clinched a playoff spot with the victory. They are third in the U.S. Division, four points ahead of the Tri-City Americans. . . . Prince George (17-37-8) has lost three in a row (0-2-1). This loss eliminated the Cougars from the playoff chase — they have six games remaining and are 13 points in arrears of the Seattle Thunderbirds, who hold the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . The Cougars also have lost a club record 12 straight home games. . . . The Chiefs had beaten the host Cougars, 4-3 in OT, on Tuesday night with Anderson-Dolan scoring the winner at 3:58 of extra time. . . . The Cougars are 1-7-2 since general manager Mark Lamb went behind the bench in place of fired head coach Richard Matvichuk. . . . Spokane took control of this one with four first-period goals, from F Luke Toporowski (18), at 0:18; D Bobby Russell (5), at 9:04; F Connor Gabruch (3), at 16:59; and D Nolan Reid (14), shorthanded, at 19:28. . . . F Josh Maser (26) scored, on a PP, for the Cougars just 24 seconds into the second period. . . . Spokane answered that with two PP goals from Anderson-Dolan, who has 12 goals this season, and one from F Luc Smith (27). . . . Anderson-Dolan, who missed a chunk of the early season with a broken wrist, has 31 points in 24 games. . . . Spokane was 2-6 on the PP; Prince George was 1-8. . . . Anderson-Dolan had his second career five-point game; this was the sixth time he has had at least four points in a game. . . . Smith added two assists to his goal, with D Ty Smith helping out with three assists. . . .G Bailey Brkin earned the victory with 27 saves. . . . The Cougars were able to dress only 16 skaters. F Ethan Browne and D Cole Moberg, both of whom are injured, were scratched, as was D Ryan Schoettler (flu).
Correct. This is new this season, with the goal of creating a more intimate, exciting fan experience! https://t.co/j68VEkx01n