THE BEDARD REPORT: F Connor Bedard, who is on track to win the Bobby Clarke Trophy as the WHL’s leading scorer, had a goal and two assists on Saturday night as the host Regina Pats doubled the Brandon Wheat Kings, 6-3. . . . Bedard drew assists on two PP goals that allowed his guys to erase a 3-1 deficit in the second period. . . . He later added his 54th goal of the season into an empty net. . . . Barring any scoring changes, Bedard leads the WHL in goals (54), assists (60) and points (114) in 45 games. He now is averaging 2.53 points per game this season. . . . Regina has 12 regular-season games remaining. . . . Since having a 35-game point streak snapped, Bedard has put up 24 points, including 10 goals, in eight games. . . . Bedard now will enjoy a few days off before the Pats play three home games in fewer than 48 hours next weekend. They’ll face the Winnipeg Ice on Friday, the Red Deer Rebels on Saturday and the Saskatoon Blades on Sunday. . . .
BTW, that attendance record that was set in Brandon on Friday night. Uhh . . . forget it. . . . You may recall that the Travellin’ Bedards were in Brandon and the attendance was announced as 5,954 and that was said to be a single-game attendance record for the Wheat Kings in Westoba Place. . . . Well, upon further review. . . . it turns out that there was an announced attendance of 6,042 for a March 13, 2010 game in which the Wheat Kings beat the Pats, 3-1. And, on March 10, 2010, there was an announced attendance of 6,022 as the Wheat Kings beat the Moose Jaw Warriors, 8-2. . . . Here’s hoping the printer hadn’t started running off copies of a new record book. . . . BTW, according to the Keystone Centre’s website, Westoba Place has 5,102 seats. So I’m guessing that the higher attendance figures include standing room and seating in private suites.
With MLB teams having started playing exhibition games, here’s a note from Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News: “Rangers-Royals and Padres-Mariners were both played at right around two-and-a-half hours on Friday, in case you were wondering about the new pitch clock.” . . . Which, I’m thinking, is all well and good, but how do the TV people get in all of the commercials if the games are going to be that much shorter? . . . BTW, there were 17 games played Saturday in spring training; the average time was two hours 37 minutes.
One more from Lupica: “I keep asking this question about Aaron Rodgers coming out of that darkness retreat: If he saw his shadow, did that mean six more weeks of winter?”
CANADA WEST UPDATE: The U of Calgary Dinos advanced to the Canada West men’s hockey final with a 6-1 victory over the visiting Saskatchewan Huskies on Saturday night. The Dinos won the best—of-three series, 2-1. Last night, F Max Patterson scored twice for the winners. . . . In the other semifinal, the Alberta Golden Bears tied the series, 1-1, with a 4-3 victory over the UBC Thunderbirds in Edmonton. F Jakin Smallwood got the winner on a PP at 18:21 of the third period. The Thunderbirds had won their previous 18 games. They’ll decide things tonight in Edmonton.
The Edmonton Oil Kings announced Saturday that three players — F Luca Hauf, F Nathan Pilling and D Vojtech Port — will miss the remainder of this season due to undisclosed injuries. . . . Hauf, who turned 19 on Jan. 11, is from Krefeld, Germany. He had 21 points, including five goals, in 45 games. . . . Pilling, 18, is from Calgary and in his second WHL season. He was acquired from the Moose Jaw Warriors, for whom he had 10 points, including seven goals, in 23 games. With Edmonton, he recorded 13 points, 10 of them goals, in 35 games. He is the grandson of former Oil Kings player/coach Gregg Pilling, who played for the 1963 Memorial Cup champions. . . . Port, 17, is from Jilhlava, Czechia. He had 17 points, four of them goals, in 48 games after coming over from the Red Deer Rebels early in the season. . . . The Oil Kings, the WHL’s defending champions, are 8-44-3, which is the 22-team league’s poorest record. With Hauf and Port, both freshmen, out for the duration the Oil Kings will finish the season without any import players. They have 13 games remaining, including a date with the visiting Winnipeg Ice today.
Headline at The Beaverton (@TheBeaverton): Vancouver considers buying a second snowplow
If the WHL playoffs started today:
Winnipeg (1) vs. Swift Current/Calgary (8)
Red Deer (2) vs. Medicine Hat (7)
Saskatoon (3) vs. Regina (6)
Moose Jaw (4) vs. Lethbridge (5)
Seattle (1) vs. Kelowna (8)
Kamloops (2) vs. Vancouver (7)
Portland (3) vs. Everett (6)
Tri-City (4) vs. Prince George (5)
SATURDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:
F Logan Wormald broke a 3-3 tie late in the third period to give the Lethbridge Hurricanes a 4-3 victory over the Hitmen in Calgary. . . . Wormald’s 21st goal came at 17:48 of the third period. . . . The Hitmen had overcome a 3-1 deficit to tie the game on goals from F Sean Tschigerl (19), shorthanded, at 18:39 of the second period and F Carter Yakemchuk (14), at 5:07 of the third. . . . That was Yakemchuk’s second goal of the day. . . . Lethbridge (31-21-6) had lost its previous three games. It is fifth in the Eastern Conference and appears headed for a first-round showdown with Moose Jaw. . . . Calgary (24-26-7) has lost three in a row and is tied with Swift Current for eighth in the conference, two points out of seventh and four from sixth. . . .
The Medicine Hat Tigers erased a 1-0 deficit with four straight goals en route to a 7-3 victory over the visiting Kamloops Blazers, who came in riding an 11-game winning streak. . . . The game marked a return to Medicine Hat for Shaun Clouston, the Blazers’ general manager and head coach. Before signing with Kamloops, he spent 16 seasons with the Tigers. . . . F Andrew Basha led the Tigers with two goals (14) and an assist. . . . Tigers F Brett Calhoon scored his first WHL goal in his eighth game. A native of Oliver, B.C., he turned 18 on Jan. 10. . . . D Olen Zellweger scored twice (22) and added an assist for Kamloops. . . . F Caedan Banker scored his 30th goal of the season for the Blazers. . . . Medicine Hat (24-23-9) is seventh in the Eastern Conference, two points behind Regina and two in front of Swift Current and Calgary. . . . Kamloops (38-11-6) went 5-1-0 in a swing through the Central Division. . . .
The Saskatoon Blades scored the game’s first three goals, all in the first period, and went on to beat the Raiders, 3-1, in Prince Albert. . . . The Blades had clinched a playoff spot earlier in the day when the Lethbridge Hurricanes beat the host Calgary Hitmen, 4-3. . . . The Raiders had beaten the Blades, 6-5 in OT, in Saskatoon on Friday night. . . . Last night, the Blades got three goals in 7:58 as they took control in the opening period. F Jayden Wiens (13), at 11:23, F Brandon Lisowsky (29), at 14:01, and F Jake Chiasson (18), at 18:21, supplied the offence. The first and third goals came via the PP. . . . The Raiders are without G Tikhon Chaika, who has an undisclosed injury. G Cooper Anderson, 15, is in from the U17AAA South Island Royals from Victoria to back up Max Hildebrand. . . . Saskatoon (38-13-5) has points in six straight (5-0-1) and is third in the Eastern Conference, eight points ahead of Moose Jaw. . . . Prince Albert (24-29-3) had won its previous five games. It is four points from a playoff spot with 12 games remaining. . . . Darren Steinke was at this game and has a recap right here. . . .
G Kyle Kelsey turned aside 29 shots to help the Red Deer Rebels to a 5-1 victory over the visiting Kelowna Rockets. . . . The Rebels clinched a playoff spot while their game was being played; they got in when the Brandon Wheat Kings were beaten by the Pats in Regina. . . . The Rebels took control with three first-period goals before F Jace Isley made it 4-0 with his 26th goal at 3:31 of the second. . . . Kelsey, a freshman from Maple Ridge, B.C., who turned 19 on Jan. 22, is 18-9-4, 2.61, .911 this season. . . . Red Deer (38-15-4) had lost two in a row. It leads the Central Division by 12 points over Lethbridge. . . . Kelowna (21-31-3) had a four-game winning streak snapped. It is eighth in the Western Conference, four points behind Vancouver and eight ahead of Victoria. . . .
F Alexander Suzdalev scored three times and added an assist to lead the Regina Pats to a 6-3 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . The Pats had beaten the Wheat Kings, 4-3, in Brandon on Friday night. . . . Suzdalev, who has 34 goals, opened the scoring last night at 5:18 of the first period. . . . His second goal gave the Pats a 4-3 lead at 16:37 of the second period, then he made it 5-3 at 8:20 of the third. That was his first WHL hat trick. This season, the freshman from Khabarovsk, Russia, has 75 points in 54 games. . . . D Stanislav Svozil added a goal (9) and two assists for Regina, as did F Connor Bedard (54). . . . Each team was without one player thanks to suspensions issued after a post-game melee in Brandon on Friday night. Brandon F Matt Henry and Regina F Jaxsin Vaughan both drew TBD suspensions. . . . Regina (29-24-3) has won four in a row and is sixth in the Eastern Conference. . . . Brandon (22-26-8) has lost three straight (0-2-1). It is three points from a playoff spot. . . .
The Seattle Thunderbirds scored the game’s last four goals to beat the Portland Winterhawks, 4-1, in Kent, Wash. . . . F Marcus Nguyen (19) scored while shorthanded to give Portland a 1-0 lead at 3:56 of the first period. . . . F Reid Schaefer (23) tied it on a PP at 6:12 of the second period. . . . D Jeremy Hanzel (9) gave Seattle the lead at 2:12 of the third and F Tij Iginla (6) added insurance just 44 seconds later. . . . Iginla has goals in three of his last four games. . . . Seattle got 29 saves from G Thomas Milic, who is 22-3-1, 2.14, .924 this season. . . . Seattle (45-9-2) has won 10 straight and leads the U.S. Division by 15 points over Portland (36-16-5), which has lost seven in a row (0-6-1). . . .
D Raegan Wiles broke a 2-2 tie early in the third period to help the host Spokane Chiefs to a 4-2 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . Wiles scored his eighth goal of the season just 55 seconds into the final period. . . . F Jalen Luypen (11) had pulled the Americans into a 2-2 tie at 8:28 of the second period. . . . F Cade Hayes (17) got the empty-netter for Spokane. . . . Spokane (13-36-7) has points in three straight (2-0-1). . . . Tri-City (27-23-7) has lost two in a row. It is fourth in the Western Conference, but just one point ahead of Prince George, which holds two games in hand. . . .
G Reid Dyck stopped 31 shots to lead the Broncos to a 4-0 victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors in Swift Current. . . . Dyck, who turned 19 on Jan. 20, is from Winkler, Man. He has two career shutouts, both this season. Last night’s shutout came in his 61st career appearance. . . . F Caleb Wyrostok (20) scored the Broncos’ first two goals and added an assist. . . . The other two goals, both empty-netters, came from F Josh Filmon, who now has 37. . . . Swift Current (26-27-3) had lost its previous five games. It is tied with Calgary for eighth in the Eastern Conference. . . . Moose Jaw (35-20-3) had won its past two outings. It is settling into fourth in the conference. . . .
F Jesse Heslop scored the winner as the Everett Silvertips got past the Vancouver Giants, 3-1, in Langley, B.C. . . . The victory allowed the Silvertips to clinch a playoff spot. They joined the WHL for the 2003-04 season and have never missed the playoffs. . . . Heslop’s eighth goal of the season, at 17:53 of the third period, broke a 1-1 tie. . . . D Aidan Sutter (5) added the empty-netter. . . . F Caden Zaplitny (10) gave Everett a 1-0 lead at 6:38 of the second period, with F Ty Thorpe’s 30th goal getting the Giants even at 11:16. . . . Everett (28-24-3) had lost its previous three games (0-2-1). It is sixth in the Western Conference, one point behind Prince George and two in back of Tri-City. . . . Vancouver (21-27-7) is seventh, four points ahead of Kelowna. . . .
F Chase Wheatcroft’s third goal of the game gave the Prince George Cougars a 6-5 OT victory over the Royals in Victoria. . . . Wheatcroft, who has 39 goals, scored his side’s last three goals. He got the Cougars into a 4-4 tie, on a PP, at 11:11 of the third period, then tied it 5-5 at 16:28. He won it at 3:13 of OT. . . . Wheatcroft, 20, went into this season with 82 points, including 31 goals, in 137 games split between the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Winnipeg Ice. This season, he has 82 points, 39 of them goals, in 55 games. . . . After eight two-goal games this season, this was Wheatcroft’s first three-goal outing. He has five goals and two assists in his past two games. . . . D Ethan Samson (14) and D Hudson Thornton (15) each had a goal and two assists for the winners, who trailed 4-1 11 minutes into the second period. . . . D Justin Kupke (7) scored twice for the Royals. . . . Prince George (28-23-4), which has clinched a playoff spot, has won four in a row and is fifth in the Western Conference, one point behind Tri-City. . . . Victoria (15-36-7) has lost five straight and is eight points from a playoff spot with nine games remaining.
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