Scattershooting on a Monday evening while wondering how many ex-WHLers have been Saran-wrapped to pillars . . .

Scattershooting


Patti Dawn Swansson, aka The River City Renegade, has written a piece involving former Spokane Chiefs player/assistant coach Kevin Sawyer. It has to do with a hazing incident that Sawyer says occurred with the Chiefs early in the 2005-06 season.

At that time, Sawyer was an assistant coach with the Chiefs; Jared Spurgeon was a freshman defenceman who hadn’t yet had his 16th birthday.

“Sawyer, for those who haven’t been introduced, is a former hockey goon and coach who now wears rose-tinted glasses and prattles on endlessly about the do-no-wrong Winnipeg Jets on TSN3,” Swansson writes, “and he attained unparalleled standards in stupidity by sharing his ‘favourite’ Jared Spurgeon story on Saturday.

“ ‘He was a 15-year-old . . . two months into the season we Saran-wrapped him to a pillar in the arena, about six feet up in the air. He was tiny. He looked like he was 12. So smart,’ Sawyer informed viewers.

“Seriously. Sawyer engaged in the boys-will-be-boys hazing of a 15-year-old kid while an assistant coach with the Spokane Chiefs and now, in today’s climate of zero tolerance and retro-punishment for bullying, he’s bragging about it on TV?

What part of ‘you have the right to remain silent’ does he not understand?”

Spurgeon, an Edmonton native, played five seasons (2005-10) with the Chiefs. He now is into his 10th season with NHL’s Minnesota Wild.

Sawyer was an assistant coach with the Chiefs from 2004-06, and again in 2013-14.

Bill Peters was the Chiefs’ first-year head coach in 2005-06 when the incident of which Sawyer spoke would have taken place.

This kind of behaviour, and worse, was rather commonplace in the WHL back in the day, which, when you think about it, wasn’t that long ago. There are a lot of former players out there, like Sawyer, who don’t see anything wrong with this kind of thing. Because it happened to them, the seem to think, it should happen to even today’s first-year players.

In fact, the way some of them see it, those who play hockey at the junior level have become a lot softer due to the elimination of hazing and the decrease in the number of fights.

I fail to understand how Saran-wrapping someone to a post, stuffing naked teenagers into a bus washroom and cranking up the heat, making those same players run up and down the aisle in a bus while whacking them in the area of the genitals with various items such as coat hangers, urinating on teammates while they sit naked in a shower, or shaving a young player’s genitals and painting the area with shoe polish had anything to do with someone’s degree of toughness. And, no, not everyone enjoyed it; in fact, there are players out there who lost their love for the game after being hazed.

Anyway . . . Swansson’s complete piece is right here.


If you haven’t yet read about the Russian people who thought their boys had won yesterday’s WJC final because they were watching a game from another year, well, Check out the thread on Slava Malamud’s tweet . . .


It wasn’t long after Canada had wrapped up its 4-3 championship game victory over Russia at the World Junior Championship on Sunday that Hockey Canada posted a message to social media: Get your gold medal-winning merchandise here.

Just wondering, but how much of the money from the merch goes to the players?


The 2021 World Junior Championship is scheduled for Edmonton and Red Deer. Canada, of course, will play its games in Edmonton where the arena is almost three times larger than the Centrium in Red Deer.

Ken Campbell of The Hockey News has looked at some numbers and determined that based on the prices being charged for ticket packages, the tournament “has the potential to generate about $38 million in revenues before it sells a single advertisement, corporate sponsorship package or replica sweater.”

In a column that is right here, he suggests the time has come to pay the players — not just the Canadian players, but all of the players.


Reese Kettler, 19, suffered a catastrophic injury while playing for the St. Vital Victorias of the Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League in Winnipeg on Dec. 19. He was left with four fractured vertebrae and is paralyzed from the chest down. . . . His father, Trevor, has told Winnipeg radio station CJOB that the family is taking things one day at a time. “We’re celebrating the small victories as they occur,” Trevor said. . . . There is a whole lot more right here, including a link to a GoFundMe page.


Don Larsen, who threw the only perfect game in World Series history, died on New Year’s Day. He was 90. . . . Larsen’s perfect game came while he was with the New York Yankees in the 1956 World Series. . . . But there was more, a whole lot more, to Larsen than his right arm. It was outfielder Mickey Mantle who once referred to Larsen as “easily the greatest drinker I’ve known, and I’ve known some pretty good ones in my time.”

Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle reminisced about Larsen:

“In 1956, the Yankees were startled to learn that Larsen had a secret marriage. In July ’55 he had left his wife, Vivian, only three months after she had given birth. According to the Society for American Baseball Research, ‘Don insisted that the marriage be kept secret; he was marrying her only for the sake of the child. He left her with no intention of returning because he was not ready to settle down.’

“Such matters do not remain private for long. In October ’56, Vivian filed a complaint over Larsen’s failure to pay child support. A judge had ruled that Larsen’s World Series share was at risk of being seized by the Bronx Supreme Court — and there was a court order at his locker on the day he took the mound at Yankee Stadium for Game 5 of the World Series.

“Rattled? Not exactly. Larsen pitched the only perfect game in Series history. Up in the press box, New York Daily News writer Joe Trimble experienced a bit of a freeze, unable to find the appropriate beginning to his story. As the story goes, legendary colleague Dick Young leaned over and typed these words into Trimble’s typewriter: ‘The imperfect man pitched a perfect game.’ ”

I happened to stumble across a rebroadcast of Game 5 from the 1956 World Series on MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM on Sunday afternoon. Oh my, what a treat to be able to spend some time listening to Mel Allen and Vin Scully.



Referee Mike Dean booked Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho during a recent 1-0 loss to Southampton. “I clearly deserved the yellow card, as I was rude,” Mourinho told reporters. “But I was rude to an idiot.”



General manager Alan Millar announced Monday afternoon that the Moose Jaw Warriors have fired head coach Tim Hunter. The Warriors are 2-15-1 since they last won MooseJawWarriorstwo straight games on Nov. 8 and 9. . . . Hunter, 59, was in his sixth season with the Warriors. In his first season, the Warriors went 32-35-5. This season, they are 11-22-2 and 15 points out of a playoff spot. In between, he never had a losing regular season, but wasn’t able to get past the second round of playoffs. Hunter had a 189-134-33 regular-season record in Moose Jaw. . . . Mark O’Leary, who had been the associate coach, is the new head coach. . . . O’Leary, a 34-year-old native of Owen Sound, Ont., is in his seventh season with the Warriors. . . . Millar is in his 10th season with the Warriors. He was the director of hockey operations for two seasons before being named general manager. Millar said that he chose to make a decision now because Hunter was in the last year of his contract and a new one wasn’t going to be offered. . . . Hunter leaves as the winningest coach, with those 189 victories, and second in games coached (356). . . . O’Leary takes over with a 24-6-5 record, having filled in while Hunter fulfilled Hockey Canada commitments, including a stint as head coach of the national junior team just one year ago. . . . The Warriors, who are scheduled to entertain the Edmonton Oil Kings on Wednesday, are the first WHL team to make a coaching change during this season.


“Maddon’s Post — the Wrigleyville restaurant co-owned by Joe Maddon — closed after just seven months in business and just three months after Maddon was fired as Cubs manager,” reports Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “Repeat customers figured something was amiss when the bar ran out of relief pitchers.”

——

One more from Perry: “Useful household hint making the rounds on the internet — ‘Remember, every time the Cleveland Browns fire a head coach, you should change the air filter in your furnace.’ ”



JUST NOTES: Just wondering but how long before there is a t-shirt available the front of which is that TV camera with a gold medal hanging from it? . . . Having survived another year of pre- and post-Christmas shopping and a Sunday afternoon trek to Costco, I have reached the conclusion that it is time for big box stores to make shoppers hand over their phones before entering. That is sure to cut down on the near mid-aisle collisions involving those who make sudden stops to check/use their phones. . . . It appears that Dan Lambert, a former player and coach, has survived something of a coaching purge in Nashville where the Predators dumped head coach Peter Laviolette and associate coach Kevin McCarthy, himself a former WHLer, on Monday. Lambert spent the past two seasons as head coach of the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs before signing with Nashville over the summer. . . . Thanks to Gary Bettman and the NHL’s regional telecasts, four of the TSN channels available in my home were blacked out on Monday evening. Yeah, that’s the way to market your game.

Mallette staying on Rockets’ staff. . . . Raiders, Oil Kings even after Game 4. . . . Holt everything! Giants have 3-1 edge


MacBeth

F Lauris Dārziņš (Kelowna, 2004-06) has signed a one-year contract extension with Dinamo Riga (Latvia, KHL). This season, in 62 games, he had 18 goals and 26 assists. The team captain, he averaged 18:29 TOI per game. . . .

F Justin Kirsch (Calgary, Moose Jaw, 2009-13) has signed a one-year contract with the Kassel Huskies (Germany, DEL2). This season, with Heilbronn (Germany, DEL2), he had 29 goals and 31 assists in 52 games.


ThisThat

The Kelowna Rockets have signed assistant coach Kris Mallette to an extension that runs KelownaRocketsthrough the 2020-21 season. Mallette’s contract was to have expired at the end of this season.

Mallette, 40, has been on the Rockets’ coaching staff since the 2014-15 season.

A defenceman, he played four seasons in the WHL (Kelowna, Moose Jaw Warriors, 1996-2000), before going on to a nine-year pro career. He has been coaching since 2010-11 when he was an assistant coach with the junior B North Okanagan Knights of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.

With the Rockets, he works alongside head coach Adam Foote, who is preparing for his first full season with Kelowna.


For what it’s worth, Kris Mallette, who has signed a two-year extension with the Kelowna Rockets, was on my list of the ‘next ones’ — high-end candidates for head-coaching positions in the WHL or elsewhere.

Mallette just finished his fifth season on the Rockets’ coaching staff, and he obviously likes it just fine right where he is. Of course, re-signing with the Rockets means he’ll get whlto coach in the 2020 Memorial Cup, what with Kelowna being the host team.

At the moment, the Kamloops Blazers are the only one of the WHL’s 22 teams not to have a head coach under contract. They and head coach Serge Lajoie went their separate ways on April11, after just one season together.

Many hockey people are assuming that co-owner Darryl Sydor will be the Blazers’ next head coach, and that the feeling will prevail until/unless the team announces otherwise. Sydor was named a full-time assistant coach on Feb. 12.

In the meantime, Mallette is just one of a number of WHL assistant coaches who would seem ready to step up.

Jeff Truitt, 53, is a former Kelowna head coach who now is an assistant under Marc Habscheid with the Prince Albert Raiders. Before moving to the Raiders, he spent five-plus seasons on the Red Deer Rebels’ coaching staff.

Kyle Gustafson, 38, has been on staff with the Portland Winterhawks since 2003-04 and is more than ready to be a head coach. He has been with the Winterhawks in good times (a WHL title in 2013) and bad (11 victories in 2007-08). You can bet that he has learned the business and the game while working with the likes of Ken Hodge, Mike Johnston, Travis Green and Don Hay.

Ryan Marsh, 44, is a former WHL player (Tri-City, 1992-95), who has been in the coaching game since 2003-04 when he signed on as an assistant coach with the AJHL’s Fort Saskatchewan Traders. He later spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the U of Alberta Golden Bears and four with the Edmonton Oil Kings. He just completed his first season as the Saskatoon Blades’ associate coach.

Scott Burt, 42, is another former WHL player (Seattle, Swift Current, Edmonton, Red Deer, 1994-98) and now is in his fifth season on the Spokane Chiefs’ coaching staff. He spent the last three seasons of a 13-year pro career as the captain of the ECHL’s Alaska Aces and then began his coaching career by spending two seasons with them.

Luke Pierce, 35, is in his first season as an assistant coach with the Edmonton Oil Kings, but may be ready for a second stint as a WHL head coach. He spent five-plus seasons in his hometown as general manager/head coach of the BCHL’s Merritt Centennials before spending two seasons as head coach of the faltering Kootenay Ice. When looking at Pierce’s background, you can’t discount that fact he spent five seasons playing at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ont.

Mark O’Leary, 34, just completed his seventh season as an assistant coach with the Moose Jaw Warriors. From Owen Sound, Ont., he played in the OHL with the Mississauga IceDogs and Guelph Storm (2003-06), before playing professionally for five seasons.

Brian Pellerin, 49, has been coaching since 2002-03 when he was a playing assistant coach with the CHL’s Amarillo Gorillas. He went on to spend four seasons (2004-08) as an assistant coach with the Portland Winterhawks and now has been the Tri-City Americans’ associate coach for five seasons. As a player, he spent four seasons (1987-91) with the Prince Albert Raiders.

Of course, let’s not forget that there are some really experienced head coaches who just may be available, too.

Don Hay, 65, the guy with more regular-season and playoff victories than any head coach in WHL history, isn’t retired. He spent this season as an assistant coach in Portland and you can bet that he wants to keep on coaching.

Don Nachbaur, 60, is the third-winningest regular-season head coach in WHL history. He has worked as the head coach of the Seattle Thunderbirds, Tri-City Americans and Spokane Chiefs. He signed on with the Los Angeles Kings as an assistant coach after the 2016-17 season. His posting in L.A. lasted a season and a bit; he was fired when the Kings dumped head coach John Stevens on Nov. 4. This spring, Nachbaur provided analysis on broadcasts of Tri-City playoff games.

The Kings also hired Dave Lowry, 54, as an assistant coach prior to the 2017-18 season after he had been the head coach of the Victoria Royals for five seasons. Lowry was dismissed by the Kings on April 17 after Todd McLellan was hired as head coach.

Steve Konowalchuk, 46, was the Seattle Thunderbirds’ head coach for six seasons, guiding them to a WHL title in 2016-17. He was then hired as an assistant coach by the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks, a job that lasted one season.  He now is an amateur scout with the New York Rangers. But, hey, maybe he’s got the coaching bug, again.

There also are other men out there with previous WHL playing and/or coaching experience who might be worth another shot, like Mark Ferner, the director of hockey operations and head coach with the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers; Mike Vandekamp, the GM and head coach of the BCHL’s Cowichan Capitals; Jason Becker, who has completed three seasons as an assistant coach with the BCHL’s Penticton Vees; Ryan Papaioannou, the GM and head coach of the AJHL-champion Brooks Bandits; Andrew Milne, the GM and head coach of the AJHL’s Canmore Eagles; Paul Dyck, the general manager, director of hockey operations and head coach of the MJHL’s Steinbach Pistons. . . .

Of course, in this day and age, there also are former WHL coaches like Mark Holick and Enio Sacilotto who now are coaching at hockey academies.

So . . . if your favourite WHL team ends up changing coaches, there are a lot of capable coaches out there.



The Selkirk College Saints, who play in the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League out of Castelgar, B.C., are looking for a new head coach. Brent Heaven, the head coach for the past four seasons, “is leaving to pursue other interests,” according to a news release. . . . Under Heaven, the Saints went 62-25-0-10 and won the BCIHL championship in 2016. . . . There’s more on Heaven and the Saints right here.


EdChynowethCup

NOTES: The four remaining WHL teams all were in action on Wednesday night, and they’ll be back on the ice Friday night after changing venues. . . .

The Prince Albert Raiders beat the Oil Kings, 2-1, in Edmonton to tie the Eastern Conference final, 2-2. They’ll be in Prince Albert for Game 5 on Friday night, then return to Edmonton and play Game 6 on Sunday afternoon. . . .

This was the 68th playoff victory of Prince Albert head coach Marc Habscheid’s WHL career. He had been tied with Willie Desjardins and Don Nachbaur, but now is seventh on the all-time list. . . . Ahead of Habscheid on the list are Don Hay, 108; Ken Hodge, 101; Ernie (Punch) McLean, 87; Kelly McCrimmon and Pat Ginnell, each 80; and Brent Sutter, 79. . . . (If you don’t recognize him, that’s Ginnell to the left of Medicine Hat Tigers play-by-play voice Bob Ridley in the tweet at the top of this post.) . . .

In Spokane, the Vancouver Giants erased a 2-0 third-period deficit and beat the Chiefs, 4-3 in OT. Vancouver leads the Western Conference final, 3-1, with Game 5 in Langley, B.C., on Friday night.

——

WEDNESDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The Prince Albert Raiders scored the game’s first two goals and hung on for a 2-1 victory PrinceAlbertover the Oil Kings in Edmonton. . . . That tied the Eastern Conference final at 2-2 with Game 5 in Prince Albert on Friday night. . . . F Brett Leason (4) gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead with his first goal of the series at 13:01 of the second period. . . . F Noah Gregor (6), off a nifty pass from F Ozzy Wiesblatt, made it 2-0 at 2:13 of the third period. . . . D Wyatt McLeod (4) got the Oil Kings to within a goal at 13:54 of the third period, but they weren’t able to equalize. . . . G Ian Scott stopped 25 shots for the Raiders. In these playoffs, he now is 10-4, 1.96, .924. . . . G Dylan Myskiw stopped 25 shots for Edmonton. . . . To refresh, the Raiders won 1-0 at home in Game 1, with the Oil Kings winning Game 2, 4-3 in OT. In Edmonton, the Oil Kings won 5-1 and then dropped a 2-1 decision last night. . . . Had the Raiders lost Game 4 it would have marked their first three-game losing skid of the season.


F Dawson Holt’s OT goal gave the Vancouver Giants a 4-3 victory over the Chiefs in VancouverSpokane and a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference final. . . . The Giants get their first chance to wrap it up on Friday in Langley B.C. . . . Last night, the Chiefs skated to a 2-0 lead on a pair of goals from F Adam Beckman (7, 8), at 18:38 of the first period and 10:06 of the second. . . . The Giants, outshot 26-13 through two periods, began the comeback when F Jadon Joseph (7) scored on a delayed penalty at 4:26 of the third period. . . . D Bowen Byram (6) tied it, on a PP, at 9:11, and F Brayden Watts (4) gave the Giants the lead at 10:04. . . . Chiefs F Riley Woods (7) forced OT when he scored at 16:25. . . . Holt won it with his fifth goal of the playoffs at 7:07 of OT. . . . F Davis Koch and F Milos Roman each had two assists for Vancouver, and Byram added one assist to his goal. Byram and his defence partner, Alex Kannok Leipert, drew the assists on the winner. . . . Vancouver was 1-2 on the PP; Spokane was 0-1. . . . The Giants got 28 saves from G David Tendeck, while Spokane G Bailey Brkin blocked 26 shots. . . . The Chiefs were without F Luc Smith, who hasn’t played since the early moments of Game 1. Last night, he was behind the bench in a coaching role. . . . Spokane also scratched D Filip Kral, who left Game 3 after taking a hit from Giants F Justin Sourdif in the first period. Kral returned in the second period and finished the game, but obviously wasn’t able to play last night. . . . With Kral out, D Egor Arbuzov got into the lineup. . . . Vancouver remains without F Adian Barfoot, who hasn’t played since being injured in Game 4 of a first-round series with the Seattle Thunderbirds.


Tweetoftheday

Memorial Cup-winning coach on move . . . Two WHL coaches get U-17 postings. . . . Lambert joins Trotz with Isles


MacBeth

D/F Curt Gogol (Kelowna, Saskatoon, Chilliwack, 2007-11) signed a one-year contract with Fehérvári Titánok Székesfehérvár (Hungary, Erste Liga). Last season, he was pointless in one game with Rubin Tyumen (Russia, Vysshaya Liga), and had three goals and three assists in 27 games with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (ECHL). . . .

F Taylor Stefishen (Prince George, 2010-11) signed a one-year contract with UTE Budapest (Hungary, Erste Liga). Last season, he had one assist in four games with the Edinburgh Capitals (Scotland, UK Elite), and eight goals and 16 assists in 56 games with the Atlanta Gladiators (ECHL).


ThisThat

Mario Pouliot, who guided the QMJHL’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan to its first Memorial Cup title in May, has left the team to become general manager and head coach of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. Pouliot, 54, had been the Titan’s head coach since 2014. . . . The Huskies had an opening after Gilles Bouchard left to work as an assistant coach with the Syracuse Crunch, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning.


Andre Tourigny has taken over from Gilles Bouchard as head coach of the Canadian team that will play in the Hlinka Gretzky Cup next month in Edmonton and Red Deer. . . . Bouchard has signed on as an assistant coach with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch. . . . Tourigny is preparing for his second season as vice-president of hockey operations and head coach of the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s. . . . Tourigny’s assistant coaches are Mitch Love, the head coach of the Saskatoon Blades, and Ryan Oulahen, the head coach of the OHL’s Flint Firebirds. . . . The Gretzky Hlinka Cup runs Aug. 6-11.


Two WHL coaches were among the nine coaches named to Canada’s U-17 teams that will play in the World Hockey Challenge in Saint John and Quispamsis, N.B., Nov. 3-10. . . . Dennis Williams, the head coach of the Everett Silvertips, was named the head coach of Team Canada Black, while Mark O’Leary, an assistant coach with the Moose Jaw Warriors, is an assistant coach with Team Canada Red. . . . Brett Gibson of the Queen’s U Gaels was named head coach Team Canada White, with Louis Robitaille of the QMJHL’s Victoriaville Tigres the head coach of Team Canada Red.


Hockey Canada has invited 40 players to its World Junior Showcase in Kamloops, July 28 through Aug. 4. The news release is right here.


Lane Lambert, a former WHL player and coach, is moving to the NHL’s New York Islanders, where he will be back with head coach Barry Trotz. Krotz left the Washington Capitals after winning the Stanley Cup and then signed with the Islanders. Lambert had been an assistant in Washington for the past four seasons. . . . The two also worked together in Nashville when Trotz was the Predators’ head coach. . . . Lambert, 53, played two seasons (1981-83) with the Saskatoon Blades. He has coached in the WHL with the Moose Jaw Warriors and Prince George Cougars.


F Jackson Niedermayer of Newport Beach, Calif., will be joining the BCHL’s Penticton Vees for the 2018-19 season. Niedermayer, 17, is the son of Scott Niedermayer, a Hall-of-Fame NHL defenceman who played ?? seasons with the Kamloops Blazers. . . . Jackson played the past two seasons with the U-16 Anaheim Jr. Ducks. Last season, he had 23 goals and 19 assists in 34 games. . . . There’s more on this story right here.


Former NHL D Joe Cirella is leaving the OHL’s Soo Greyhounds to work as an assistant coach with the Stockton Heat, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Calgary Flames. Cirella had been with the Greyhounds for six seasons, the first one as an assistant coach and the last five as associate coach.


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Wheat Kings end Blades’ run . . . Heponiemi returns in big way . . . Silvertips back on top in U.S.

A LITTLE OF THIS …

Tim Hunter, the head coach of the Moose Jaw Warriors, wasn’t back with the team in time to work the bench on Saturday night as they beat the host Edmonton Oil Kings, 7-2.

Hunter spent most of the past month as an assistant coach with the Canadian national MooseJawWarriorsjunior team that won the World Junior Championship in Buffalo. He is expected back on the bench Wednesday when the Warriors are scheduled to play host to the Hitmen.

In his absence, assistant coach Mark O’Leary served as head coach.

With O’Leary in charge, the Warriors went 8-1-1, losing 5-2 to the visiting Kamloops Blazers on Dec. 15 and dropping a 5-4 shootout decision to the host Swift Current Broncos on Dec. 27.

Since that loss, the Warriors have posted six straight regulation-time victories. They now lead the WHL’s overall standings by eight points over Swift Current.

Of course, Hunter also worked as an assistant coach with Team Canada last season. While he was away, O’Leary took over and the Warriors were 7-3-2 with him in charge.

In two stints as acting head coach, then, O’Leary is 15-4-3, which is rather good in any league.


The Medicine Hat Tigers have added D Trevor Longo, 17, to their roster. From North Vancouver, B.C., Longo was a sixth-round pick in the 2015 bantam draft. He was pointless in four games with the Tigers earlier this season, and has three assists in 17 games with the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

Meanwhile, the Kootenay Ice has returned F Holden Kodak, 16, to the Yale Hockey Academy where is plays for the midget prep team in the CSSHL. From Cloverdale, B.C., he was an 11th-round pick by the Portland Winterhawks in the 2016 bantam draft. Kodak was pointless in two games with the Ice.


F Wyatt Sloboshan, who spent the past three-plus seasons in the WHL, has been added the roster of the BCHL’s Penticton Vees. Sloboshan, 20, didn’t return to the Regina Pats after the Christmas break. . . . Sloboshan, from Vanscoy, Sask., had four goals and 11 assists in 36 games with Regina this season. . . . He also has played with the Saskatoon Blades — he was their captain when last season started — and the Spokane Chiefs. The Swift Current Broncos selected him in the third round of the 2012 bantam draft, although he never played for them. . . . in 219 regular-season WHL games, he has 44 goals and 77 assists.


Scoreboard

SUNDAY:

At Brandon, the Wheat Kings scored twice in the last two minutes of the third period to beat the Saskatoon Blades, 5-3. . . . Brandon (27-12-1) has won two in a row. It is third in BrandonWKregularthe East Division, and the overall standings, six points behind Swift Current. . . . Saskatoon (21-18-3) had won its previous seven games and 10 of 11. It is tied with Regina for the Eastern Conference’s two wild-card playoff spots. . . . Brandon went out front 1-0 when F Ty Lewis scored, while shorthanded, at 9:58 of the first period. . . . F Braylon Shmyr (21) pulled Saskatoon into a tie at 17:56. . . . However, the Wheat Kings scored twice in the period’s last 90 seconds to take a 3-1 lead. F Connor Gutenberg (12) scored at 18:30 and F Tanner Kaspick (12) followed at 19:13. . . . The Blades fought back and tied it on two goals from F Chase Wouters, at 15:42 of the second and 11:12 of the third. He’s got 10 goals. . . . Lewis broke the tie with his 23rd goal of the season at 18:04, and F Stelio Mattheos (29) got the empty-netter at 18:51. . . . The Wheat Kings got two assists from F Evan Weinger and one each from Mattheos, Lewis and Kaspick. . . . D Jackson Caller had three assists for Saskatoon and Shmyr had one. . . . Saskatoon was 0-1 on the PP; Brandon was 0-5. . . . G Logan Thompson stopped 15 shots to earn the victory over Ryan Kubic, who turned aside 25 shots. . . . Kubic was making his first appearance since Dec. 16. . . . The Blades, who were outshot 12-3 in the third period, were playing their third game in fewer than 48 hours, including a 4-2 victory over visiting Kootenay on Saturday. The Wheat Kings didn’t play on Saturday. . . . Saskatoon D Libor Hajek didn’t make the trek to Brandon, the coaching staff no doubt deciding to give him some rest. He played for Czech Republic at the WJC and was back in Saskatoon in time to play in Saturday’s victory over Kootenay. . . . Announced attendance: 3,051.


At Swift Current, F Aleksi Heponiemi had four points, all via the PP, as the Broncos beat the Red Deer Rebels, 5-1. . . . Swift Current (29-10-3) is 3-0-1 in its past four games. It SCBroncosremains second in the overall standings, eight points behind Moose Jaw. . . . Red Deer (10-22-9) has lost eight in a row (0-4-4). . . . The Broncos didn’t have F Tyler Steenbergen, the hero of Canada’s victory at the World Junior Championship, back in their lineup, but Heponiemi returned from his stint with Finland to score once and set up three otyhers. . . . He opened the scoring at 5:14 of the first period. . . . F Kristian Reichel (15), in his first game since playing for Czech Republic at the WJC, scored for Red Deer, on a PP, at 7:55. . . . F Matteo Gennaro broke the tie, scoring twice, at 8:21 and 15:07. He’s got 28 goals and has scored twice in three straight games. He has 14 goals and 15 assists in 17 games since moving over from Calgary. . . . Broncos D Artyom Minulin scored his club’s other two goals, at 18:56 of the first period and 6:11 of the third. He’s got seven goals. . . . D Colby Sissons drew three assists for the winners, with F Glenn Gawdin getting two and Gennaro one. . . . The Broncos were 4-6 on the PP; the Rebels were 1-5. . . . G Joel Hofer stopped 19 shots for the Broncos. . . . Red Deer starter Riley Lamb surrendered four goals on 17 shots in the first period. Ethan Anders played the final two periods, stopping 13 of 14 shots. . . . The Rebels were playing their third game in three cities in fewer than 48 hours. They went 0-2-1. . . . The Broncos went 2-0-1 in their three-game weekend, with the first game on the road and the last two at home. . . . Announced attendance: 2,557.


At Regina, the Pats scored 37 seconds into the game and then added three third-period goals to beat the Prince Albert Raiders, 4-1. . . . Regina (21-19-3) and Saskatoon are tied ReginaPats100for the Eastern Conference’s two wild-card playoff berths. . . . Prince Albert (15-18-8) had points in its previous three games (2-0-1). The Raiders are seven points behind Regina and Saskatoon. . . . F Robbie Holmes (10) scored Regina’s first goal. . . . In the third period, the Pats opened up a 4-0 lead on goals from F Jake Leschyshyn, at 3:12; F Bryan Lockner (7), at 9:56; and Leschychyn (14), into an empty net, at 13:32. Yes, 13:32. . . . F Parker Kelly (18) scored Prince Albert’s goal, on a PP, at 17:08. . . . Leschyshyn added an assist to his two goals. . . . Prince Albert was 1-6 on the PP; Regina was 0-6. . . . G Tyler Brown stopped 28 shots for the winners, seven fewer than the Raiders’ Ian Scott. . . . The Raiders were playing their third game in fewer than 48 hours. The first two games were played at home. . . . F Jesse Gabrielle, acquired by Regina from Prince George on Friday, officially has been assigned to the Pats by the NHL’s Boston Bruins, but he didn’t play on Sunday. . . . Announced attendance: 6,310.


At Calgary, F Marek Skvrne broke a 1-1 tie at 10:42 of the third period as the Kelowna Rockets beat the Hitmen, 3-1. . . . Kelowna (25-12-3) leads the Western Conference by two KelownaRocketspoints over Vancouver. . . . Calgary now is 13-22-6. . . . F Mark Kastelic (14) gave the Hitmen a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 10:54 of the first period. . . . D James Hilsendager (6), on a PP, got the Rockets into a 1-1 tie at 16:32 of the second period. . . . Skvrne, a freshman from Czech Republic, scored his second goal of the season and it proved to be the winner. He now has two goals and an assist in 37 games. . . . Kelowna F Conner Bruggen-Cate (9) got the empty-netter, at 19:45. . . . Calgary was 1-4 on the PP; Kelowna was 1-8. . . . The Rockets got 21 saves from G Roman Basran. . . . G Matthew Armitage stopped 27 shots at the other end. . . . The Hitmen went 1-2-0 in playing three games in fewer than 48 hours. . . . F Carson Focht and F Dakota Krebs, who were part of a Saturday trade in which D Jake Bean went to the Tri-City Americans, both were in Calgary’s lineup. . . . Announced attendance: 8,687.


At Everett, F Patrick Bajkov had a goal and four assists to lead the Silvertips to a 9-4 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . Everett (24-16-2) had lost its previous two games. It Everettmoved back into first place in the U.S. Division, one point ahead of Portland and Tri-City. . . . Victoria (23-16-4) had won its past two games. It is third in the B.C. Division, a point behind Vancouver. . . . Everett got out to a 2-0 lead on first-period goals from F Connor Dewar at 0:24 and F Bryce Kindopp at 11:40. . . . The Royals tied it as D Jared Freadrich (10) scored, on a PP, at 12:30, and D Chaz Reddekopp (6) counted 52 seconds into the second period. . . . F Kyle Walker’s first goal, at 7:10, put Everett back out front, but Victoria F tyler Soy (19) tied it, shorthanded, at 10:12. . . . The Silvertips then scored the next six goals, with Kindopp (13), F Sean Richards (16) and Dewar (16) making it 6-3 before the second period ended. . . . F Matt Fonteyne added two third-period goals — he’s got 22 — and Bakjov got No. 21. All three of those goals came via the PP. . . . F Andrei Grishakov (13) scored Victoria’s last goal, on a PP. . . . Bajkov’s goal was the 100th of his career. He is in his fifth season with Everett; the goal came in game No. 312. . . . Everett got three assists from D Kevin Davis, two each from Fonteyne and D Wyatte Wylie, and one from Richards. . . . Reddekopp, Freadrich and Soy had an assist each for Victoria. . . . Soy’s assist was the 151st of his career, tying the Victoria/Chilliwack record that had been set by F Brandon Magee. . . . The Royals took 91 of the game’s 136 penalty minutes. . . . Everett was 5-9 on the PP; Victoria was 2-6. . . . G Dustin Wolf earned the victory with 30 saves. . . . The Victoria duo of starter Dean McNabb and Griffen Outhouse combined to stop 50 of 59 shots. . . . Both teams were playing their third game in fewer than 48 hours. The Royals played at home Friday and in Kamloops on Saturday, while the Silvertips were in Victoria and then at home. The Royals, who beat visiting Everett 5-0 on Friday, went 2-0-0, while the Silvertips were 1-2-0. . . . Announced attendance: 3,958.


At Kamloops, F Parker AuCoin had a goal and two assists as the Tri-City Americans skated to a 4-1 victory over the Blazers. . . . Tri-City (22-12-5) has won two in a row. It is TriCity30tied with Portland for second in the U.S. Division, one point behind Everett. . . . Kamloops (17-20-3) is 1-1-1 in its last three and now is eight points out of a playoff spot. The Blazers were playing their first game without F Garrett Pilon, their leading scorer, who was traded, along with D Ondrej Vala, to Everett earlier in the day. . . . The Americans got out to a 3-0 lead. . . . AuCoin (11) opened the scoring, on a PP, at 9:42 of the first period. . . . D Tyler Jette, playing in his first WHL game, made it 2-0 at 5:03 of the second period, and F Jordan Topping (21) upped it to 3-0, on a PP, at 14:56. . . . F Quinn Benjafield (11) scored for Kamloops at 18:22. . . . F Sasha Mutala (6) iced it with an empty-netter at 19:32. . . . Tri-City F Max James, 20, had two assists and was the game’s second star. He is from Kamloops and this likely was the last WHL game he will play in his hometown as the Americans aren’t scheduled there again this season. . . . Tri-City was 2-4 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-5. . . . G Patrick Dea stopped 32 shots for the Americans, while the Blazers got 23 stops from Dylan Ferguson. . . . The Americans completed a three-game weekend that began with two games in Prince George. They wound up 2-1-0. . . . The Americans were without F Kyle Olson (hamstring), F Morgan Geekie, who took a high hit on Saturday in Prince George, D Juuso Valimaki (undisclosed injury), F Michael Rasmussen (wrist) and D Jake Bean, who was acquired Saturday from Calgary, so brought in D Tom Cadieux, 15, and Jette, 19. . . . Cadieux, from Saskatoon, was a second-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft. He has three goals and eight assists in 20 games with the midget AAA Saskatoon Blazers. . . . Jette, from Farmington, Minn., was with the Americans in training camp prior to 2016-17 but suffered a concussion and sat out the season. He recently returned to playing, now with the AJHL’s Sherwood Park Crusaders with whom he has one assist in four games. . . . Announced attendance: 3,215.


MONDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


TWEET OF THE DAY

They celebrated memories in Vernon, B.C., on Saturday night as the BCHL’s Vipers and Prince George Spruce Kings played the final hockey game in the Civic Centre. The 80-year-old facility is scheduled for demolition. . . . That’s old friend Mark Ferner, the Vipers’ director of hockey operations and head coach, looking every bit the part of Toe Blake in the tweet below.