A LITTLE OF THIS . . .
The Brandon Sun reports that the naming rights deal for the home of the Wheat Kings will last for eight years. The Keystone Centre and Westoba Credit Union announced the deal on Friday, with the new name — Westoba Place — to come into play on Feb. 19. . . . “As part of the deal,” The Sun’s Jillian Austin reported, “Westoba renewed its long-term sponsorship of Westoba Agricultural Centre of Excellence, which has been in place for 10 years. The new contract covers both facilities at a value of approximately $2 million over the eight-year term.” . . . The arena had been Westman Communications Group Place for the past 10 years.
This is the second facility that is home to a WHL franchise to undergo a name change this season. In December, Xfinity Arena, the home of the Everett Silvertips, was renamed Angel of the Winds Arena. Naming rights, worth US$3.4 million over 10 years, were purchased by the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians, which owns the Angel of the Winds casino and resort.
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IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY . . .
Prince Albert at Moose Jaw
Regina at Medicine Hat
Brandon at Swift Current
Kootenay at Lethbridge
Seattle at Everett
Spokane at Kelowna
Tri-City at Portland
Vancouver at Victoria
Well, that was a wild Saturday in the WHL. . . . Four players had three-goal games. . . . Four teams got loser points. . . . One goaltender earned his first WHL victory. . . . Three teams trailing late in the third period scored improbable victories. Another, Prince Albert, almost did. . . . Lethbridge, down 2-0, got three goals from its captain late in the third period and won. . . . Calgary, down 5-2 late, got the first goals of the season from two players and went on to win in Kamloops. . . . Victoria, losing 2-0, came back to beat Seattle in Kent, Wash. . . . Junior hockey. . . . There’s nothing quite like it.
At Moose Jaw, F Justin Almeida scored his 30th goal and added two assists as the Warriors beat the Prince George Cougars, 4-1. . . . Moose Jaw (40-9-3) had lost its previous two games. It leads the overall standings by five points over Swift Current. . . . Prince George (19-27-8) went 1-4-1 on its swing through the East Division. . . . F Brayden Burke (25) scored the game’s first goal for Moose Jaw, at 17:26 of the first period. . . . Almeida, who was acquired from the Cougars in a deal last season, made it 2-0, on a PP, at 14:34 of the second period. . . . F Tate Popple (6) stretched the lead to 3-0 at 10:43 of the third period, and D Brandon Schuldaus (3) made it 4-0 at 12:37. . . . The Cougars got their goal from F Josh Maser (23), on a PP, at 16:50 of the third. . . . Almeida has 72 points in 52 games this season. He went into the season with 13 goals and 21 assists in 120 games. . . . Prince George was 1-3 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 1-7. . . . The Warriors got 22 saves from G Adam Evanoff. . . . Prince George G Taylor Gauthier, 16, who stopped 56 shots in a 4-1 loss in Regina on Wednesday, turned aside 44 shots in this one. . . . D Vladislav Mikhalchuk of the Cougars completed a two-game suspension by sitting out this one. . . . Announced attendance: 3,218.
At Regina, F Cam Hebig scored with 46.5 seconds left in OT to give the Pats a 5-4 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . Regina (27-22-5) has won two in a row and is back to .500. It is fourth in the East Division, four points behind Brandon. The Pats also hold down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, six points ahead of Prince Albert and Saskatoon. . . . Prince Albert (21-20-11) had points in each of its previous seven games (5-0-2). The loser point moved the Raiders into a tie with Saskatoon for the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. Prince Albert has 11 loser points and Saskatoon has three. Might that be the difference between making the playoffs and missing out? . . . The Pats actually held a 4-1 lead more than halfway through the third period. . . . F Emil Oksanen (13) and F Sam Steel put the home team ahead with goals at 4:22 and 5:14 of the second period. . . . F Brett Leason (9) got the Raiders on the scoreboard at 5:26. . . . Steel, who also had two assists, got his 20th goal, on a PP, at 8:06, and D Josh Mahura (18) made it 4-1, on another PP, at 16:17. . . . The Raiders tied it with three late goals. . . . F Regan Nagy (22) got it started at 12:30 of the third period, and F Parker Kelly (24) got the Raiders to within a goal at 12:45. . . . F Kody McDonald (26) pulled the visitors even with 37.2 seconds left in the third period. . . . Hebig, who was acquired from Saskatoon at the trade deadline, won it with his 36th goal. He also had two assists. He has six goals and eight assists in 10 games with Regina. . . . Mahura added an assist to his goal. . . . Regina was 2-4 on the PP; Prince Albert was 0-6. . . . G Ryan Kubic stopped 33 shots for the Pats, two fewer than Ian Scott of the Raiders. . . . Announced attendance: 6,484.
At Brandon, F Stelio Mattheos scored his third goal of the game in OT to give the Wheat Kings a 4-3 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Brandon (29-18-5) had lost its previous nine games (0-6-3). It is third in the East Division, 15 points behind Swift Current. . . . Red Deer (15-25-13) has points in seven straight (5-0-2). It is fourth in the Central Division, six points behind Kootenay. . . . The Rebels completed a stretch in which they played six games in eight nights in three provinces. . . . Mattheos opened the scoring at 11:19 of the second period. . . . F Alex Morozoff tied it, on a PP, at 13:37. . . . Mattheos put Brandon ahead 2-1, on a PP, at 19:54. . . . Morozoff (4) tied it again, at 2:21 of the third period. . . . F Josh Tarzwell (7) gave Red Deer the lead, on a PP, at 7:12. . . . Brandon D Chase Hartje tied it 3-3 with his first WHL goal, at 16:21. It came in his 42nd game. . . . Mattheos, who had an assist on Hartje’s goal, won it with his 36th goal, at 0:55 of OT. . . . Red Deer thought it had won earlier in OT, but a potential goal by F Kristian Reichel was wiped out when officials ruled that there was goaltender interference on the play. . . . “That’s a tough one,” Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter told Greg Meachem of reddeerrebels.com. “You’d better be 100 per cent right that’s what you’re calling because there’s no video on that, it’s not like the NHL. I didn’t agree with the call. It’s one thing to say the goalie was interfered with . . . the other thing is (Brandon Hagel) tries to make the play and, yes, the goalie does get pushed in, but he has no chance at all of getting the rebound because he’s already down from trying to make the initial save. Any contact made was very minimal. It’s just frustrating when you feel like you had the game won. It’s tough to get a call like that go against you.” . . . F Ty Lewis had two assists for Brandon. . . . Red Deer was 2-4 on the PP; Brandon was 1-4. . . . The Wheat Kings got 33 saves from G Logan Thompson. . . . Red Deer G Ethan Anders stopped 20 shots. . . . The Wheat Kings lost F Baron Thompson to a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct at 3:40 of the third period. D Colin Paradis, who was hit on the play, went to the dressing room. . . . Announced attendance: 3,712.
At Cranbrook, B.C., F Glenn Gawdin struck for three goals to help the Swift Current Broncos to a 5-3 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Swift Current (37-13-4) is second in the overall standings, five points behind Moose Jaw. . . . Kootenay (23-26-3) has lost three in a row. It is third in the Central Division, seven points behind Lethbridge. . . . F Brett Davis gave the Ice a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 5:10 of the first period. . . . D Artyom Minulin (11) tied it, on a PP, at 11:55. . . . Gawdin put the visitors in front at 13:23, only to have Ice F Alec Baer (21) tie it at 14:34. . . . Davis (20) scored a PP goal at 4:46 of the second period to give Kootenay a 3-2 lead. . . . Gawdin tied it at 19:11 of the second period, then completed his hat trick at 10:09 of the third period. He’s got 44 goals. . . . F Matteo Gennaro (33) added insurance at 10:45. . . . The Broncos got four assists from D Colby Sissons, with Minulin, Gawdin and Gennaro adding one each. . . . Baer had an assist for the Ice. . . . Kootenay was 2-7 on the PP; Swift Current was 1-5. . . . G Stuart Skinner stopped 36 shots for the Broncos, who were outshot 21-9 in the first period. . . . Kootenay G Duncan McGovern allowed three shots on 26 shots in 46:44. Matt Berlin finished up, giving up one goal on eight shots in 8:22. . . . McGovern was ejected with a match penalty for attempt to injury at 10:05 of the third period following Gawdin’s third goal. Gawdin was given a double minor spearing at the same time. . . . Gawdin is riding a 13-game point streak, with 24 points in that stretch. He has 97 points, second to Moose Jaw F Brayden Burke, who leads the scoring race with 98. . . . The Broncos again were without D Sahvan Khaira, F Kaden Elder and F Aleksi Heponiemi. . . . Announced attendance: 2,391.
At Lethbridge, F Jordy Bellerive scored three times in the third period to lead the Hurricanes to a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Lethbridge (25-21-6) has points in five straight (3-0-2). It is second in the Central Division, three points behind Medicine Hat. The Hurricanes have three games in hand. . . . Edmonton (14-30-7) is 3-6-1 in its past 10. . . . The Oil Kings led 2-0 late in the third period on goals from F Brett Kemp (13), at 15:28 of the first, and F Trey Fix-Wolansky (22), at 5:36 of the second. . . . Bellerive won it with three goals in 3:44, the first and third ones on the PP. He cut the deficit to one at 15:16, tied the game at 17:15, and won it with his 37th goal at 19:00. . . . F Brad Morrison drew assists on the two PP goals. . . . Lethbridge was 2-6 on the PP; Edmonton was 0-3. . . . G Reece Klassen recorded the victory with 25 saves. . . . G Todd Scott stopped 27 shots for the Oil Kings. . . . Announced attendance: 3,361.
At Portland, F Kieffer Bellows scored twice, leading the Winterhawks to a 3-2 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . Portland (31-18-4) is second in the U.S. Division, five points behind Everett and five ahead of Tri-City. . . . Tri-City (27-17-7) had points in each of its previous seven games (5-0-2). . . . On Friday night, the Americans beat the visiting Winterhawks, 6-3. They will play in Portland again on Friday. . . . Last night, D Dylan Coghlan (16) gave the Americans a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 5:36 of the first period. . . . Bellows tied it, on a PP, at 10:19. . . . F Ryan Hughes (8) gave the home team a 2-1 lead at 14:49. . . . Bellows, who has 26 goals, stretched the lead to 3-1 at 9:34 of the third period. . . . Tri-City F Isaac Johnson (16), who also had an assist, made it a one-goal game at 15:57. . . . F Cody Glass had two assists for Portland. . . . The Winterhawks were 1-4 on the PP; the Americans were 1-5. . . . G Shane Farkas stopped 29 shots for Portland, while Tri-City’s Patrick Dea blocked 36. . . . With F Joachim Blichfeld back from a two-game suspension, the Winterhawks had all hands on deck. . . . Announced attendance: 9,879.
At Kamloops, the Calgary Hitmen scored the only two goals of a shootout and beat the Blazers, 6-5. . . . Calgary (16-30-6) had lost its previous four games — two in Victoria and two in Langley, B.C., against Vancouver. . . . Kamloops (24-24-4) is seven points from a playoff spot. . . . Calgary actually held a 2-0 lead in this one, then trailed 5-2 late in the third period. . . . F Jakob Stukel and F Mark Kastelic (15), on a PP, scored for Calgary at 5:17 and 16:06 of the second period. . . . The Blazers seemingly took control with five straight goals, the last four of them in the third period. . . . F Jermaine Loewen (25) started it at 17:03 of the second. . . . In the third, the Blazers got goals from F Nick Chyzowski, at 4:47; D Joe Gatenby (11), on a PP, at 9:09; Chyzowski (15), at 11:50; and F Ryley Appelt (1), at 14:56. . . . The Hitmen got back into it when two players — F Dakota Krebs and F Egor Zamula — scored their first goals this season. Krebs struck at 15:21, with Zamula scoring on a PP at 17:37. . . . With G Matt Armitage on the bench for the extra attacker, Stukel tied it with his 26th goal of the season with 52.5 seconds left in regulation time. . . . Calgary got shootout goals from F Jake Kryski and F Carson Focht to win it, both scoring on dekes to the backhand. Interestingly, Kryski, who spent time with the Blazers, was booed when he skated to centre ice before taking his shot. . . . Calgary got three assists from F Tristen Nielsen, with Kastelic getting one. . . . F Luc Smith had two assists for Kamloops, with Gatenby, Loewen and Chyzowski each getting one. . . . Calgary was 2-4 on the PP; Kamloops was 1-3. . . . The Hitmen got 36 stops from Armitage, who posted his first WHL victory in his 14th appearance. He’s 1-6-0. . . . The Hitmen chose to rest Nick Schneider, who had started 46 of their first 51 games. . . . G Dylan Ferguson stopped 30 shots for Kamloops. . . . Announced attendance: 5,012.
At Langley, B.C., D Alex Kannok Leipert broke a 4-4 tie at 16:54 of the third period as the Vancouver Giants beat the Medicine Hat Tigers, 5-4. . . . Vancouver (28-16-8) has points in four straight (3-0-1). It is third in the B.C. Division, four points out of first. . . . Medicine Hat (26-22-7) has lost four in a row (0-3-1). It leads the Central Division by three points over Lethbridge. . . . F Tyler Popowich (6) put Vancouver ahead 1-0 at 13:07 of the first period. . . . D Dalton Gally (2) tied it at 5:17 of the second period. . . . The Giants took a 3-1 lead on goals from D Bowen Byram (6), at 8:47, and F Ty Ronning (47), at 9:33. . . . The Tigers came right back and tied it as F Gary Haden (13) scored at 16:11 and F Elijah Brown (3) counted at 18:09. . . . The Giants went back out front at 9:00 of the third period on F Dawson Holt’s ninth goal, but Medicine Hat pulled even at 10:12 when D Dylan MacPherson got his third goal. . . . Kannok Leipert won it with his third goal of the season. . . . Vancouver got two assists from each of F James Malm, F Tyler Benson and F Brayden Watts, with Ronning and Holt adding one each. . . . Ronning’s two points left him with 200 for his career. . . . Medicine Hat was 0-2 on the PP. . . . The Giants took the game’s only two minor penalties, so their PP unit didn’t get off the bench. . . . G David Tendeck blocked 38 shots for Vancouver. . . . G Jordan Hollett started for the Tigers and stopped 15 of 17 shots in 24:53. Michael Bullion came on to stop 19 of 22 shots in 34:21. Hollett went to the dressing room with 5:39 left in the second period with an apparent injury to his right leg. . . . D David Quenneville was back in Medicine Hat’s lineup after a one-game absence. . . . Announced attendance: 3,887.
At Everett, F Patrick Bajkov scored three times and added two assists to lead the Silvertips to an 8-2 victory over the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Everett (34-17-3) has won two in a row. It leads the Western Conference by three points over Kelowna and Victoria. . . . Kelowna (32-16-4) has lost two straight. It is tied with Victoria atop the B.C. Division, but the Rockets hold two games in hand. . . . Everett scored the game’s last five goals to win going away. . . . Bajkov got the game’s first goal, on a PP, 45 seconds into the first period. . . . D Cal Foote tied it 14 seconds later. . . . Everett took a 3-1 lead on goals from D Kevin Davis (7), at 11:51 of the first, and F Garrett Pilon, at 2:19 of the second. . . . Foote (13) got his guys to within a goal at 5:39 but that was all for the Rockets. . . . F Riley Sutter (21) stretched Everett’s lead to 4-2 at 10:57. . . . Bajkov then scored twice, giving him the hat trick and 27 goals. . . . Pilon (25) and F Martin Fasko-Rudas (3) finished Everett’s scoring. . . . Bajkov now has 269 career points, including 106 goals. Earlier, he broke F Zach Hamill’s franchise record for career points. Now he is one goal shy of tying F Tyler Maxwell’s career record for goals. . . . Pilon and F Sean Richards had two assists each for the winners, with Davis adding one. . . . Everett was 2-5 on the PP; Kelowna was 0-2. . . . The Silvertips got 23 saves from G Carter Hart. . . . Kelowna starter Cole Tisdale surrendered five goals on 31 shots through two periods. Brodan Salmond stopped eight of 11 shots in the third period. . . . Announced attendance: 6,758.
At Kent, Wash., the Victoria Royals scored the game’s last three goals to beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 3-2, in OT. . . . Victoria (32-18-4) has won two in a row. It went 4-0-0 against Seattle this season. . . . Seattle (26-18-7) has lost two straight (0-1-1). It is tied with Seattle for fourth in the U.S. Division, two points behind Tri-City. Seattle and Spokane also are tied for the Western Conference’s two wild-card spots. . . . The Thunderbirds led 2-0 on goals from F Matthew Wedman (12), on a PP, at 8:25 of the first period, and D Austin Strand (17), at 16:36 of the second. . . . F Matthew Phillips cut into the deficit at 14:43 of the third period, and F Jeff de Wit (10) tied the score at 15:59. . . . Phillips (38) won it at 4:22 of OT, scoring while his side was shorthanded. He’s got three OT goals this season. . . . Phillips ran his point streak to 14 games. He’s got 10 goals and 16 assists in that time. . . . F Tyler Soy drew the primary assist on the winner, giving him 300 career regular-season points in 306 games. He is the first player in franchise history with 300 points. Soy also has 139 goals, one shy of the franchise record held by F Ryan Howse. . . . Seattle was 1-8 on the PP; Victoria was 0-7. . . . G Griffen Outhouse stopped 38 shots for Victoria, seven more than Seattle’s Liam Hughes. . . . Announced attendance: 5,356.
SUNDAY (all times local):
No Games Scheduled.
MONDAY (all times local):
No Games Scheduled.
TUESDAY (all times local):
Regina at Brandon, 7 p.m.
Kootenay at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.
Tri-City vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:05 p.m.
TWEET OF THE DAY