F Ned Lukacevic (Spokane, Swift Current, 2001-06) has signed a tryout contract with Stjernen Fredrikstad (Norway, GET-Ligaen). He is due to arrive in Fredrikstad on Jan. 3. This season, with Újpesti TE Budapest (Hungary, Erste Lisa), he was pointless in two games. He was released from a tryout contract on Sept. 28.
Pats looking to trade Sloboshan
The Regina Pats have an opening for a 20-year-old following the departure of F Wyatt Sloboshan. A native of Vanscoy, Sask., Sloboshan didn’t return to the Pats after the Christmas break and his name no longer appears on Regina’s roster.
“He’s perfectly fine with it,” John Paddock, the Pats’ general manager and head coach, told Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post. “He knew the inevitable was probably going to happen. Wyatt has been a trouper. He has played super hard for us. I won’t say he was on pins and needles but I just thought this was the better way to treat him. He wants to keep playing in the league. I have some interest in him from a couple, three places. I’m hopeful that works out.”
Each WHL team is allowed to keep three 20s on its roster. Regina also is carrying G Tyler Brown and F Matt Bradley.
This season, Sloboshan had four goals and 11 assists in 36 games. Last season, he put up four goals and 12 assists in 30 games with the Saskatoon Blades, who traded him to the Spokane Chiefs on Dec. 15. He was pointless in one game with the Chiefs, before choosing not to return after Christmas.
Spokane traded him to Regina on Jan. 3, and he had seven goals and eight assists in 37 regular-season games with the Pats.
All told, he has 44 goals and 77 assists in 219 regular-season WHL games.
Sloboshan was a third-round selection by Swift Current in the 2012 WHL bantam draft, but never played for the Broncos, who dealt him to the Blades on Jan. 1, 2014.
Tuulola to return to Everett?
The Everett Silvertips may be working to get Finnish F Eetu Tuulola back in their lineup for the 2018-19 season.
Tuulola played for Everett in 2016-17, putting up 18 goals and 13 assists in 62 games. A sixth-round selection by the Calgary Flames in the 2016 NHL draft, Tuulola was loaned to Everett while under contract with HPK in Finland.
Because he was drafted off the roster of a European club, the Flames hold Tuulola’s right for four years, or until June 2020.
The Flames didn’t sign Tuulola last summer and he returned to play for HPK in Finland’s Liiga this season. A right-hand shot who can really shoot a puck, the 6-foot-2, 225-pounder has eight goals and four assists in 28 games. However, in his last six games, before joining Finland’s national team for the World Junior Championship, he had two goals and four assists and has been playing about 20 minutes per game.
That three-year contract with HPK expires following this season, at which time he would be free to sign with the Flames and perhaps rejoin the Silver-tips.
Of course, were that to happen, he would be a two-spotter — a 20-year-old import — with the Silvertips, who have him on their protected list.
Toigo says empty seats won’t be problem in 2019
The 2018 World Junior Championship is through three days in Buffalo now and the empty seats in the KeyBank Center have become a big story.
Ron Toigo, the majority owner of the Vancouver Giants, says that won’t happen when the 2019 tournament is shared between Vancouver and Victoria.
Here are three Thursday tweets from Vancouver sportscaster Rick Dhaliwal of NEWS 1130 and Sportsnet 650:
“Ron Toigo tells me the empty-seat problem in Buffalo won’t be a problem for Vancouver and Victoria at the World Juniors next year.”
“Toigo says ticket sales for Vancouver and Victoria next year (are) ‘well over 60 per cent sold.’ ”
“Toigo says Rogers Arena gave him a great deal. ‘It makes the ticket prices very affordable. Trevor Linden played a big role in helping out.”
The games scheduled for Vancouver, including both semifinals and the final, will be played in Rogers Arena, the home of the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks. Linden, who won gold with Canada at the 1988 tournament in Moscow, is the president of hockey operations with the Canucks.
Later in the day, Toigo told Steve Ewen of Postmedia that comparing this year’s tournament to next year’s is “apples and oranges.”
Ewen’s story, which also includes some ticket prices for the 2019 event, is right here.
In the OHL last night, the Son Greyhounds won their 21st consecutive game, beating the Spirit, 4-1, in Saginaw. . . . The Greyhounds are 30-3-2 and lead the West Division by 10 points over the Sarnia Sting (25-9-2), who also are second in the overall standings. . . . The Greyhounds next are scheduled to play on Friday when they are to entertain the Flint Firebirds (11-20-3).
At Prince Albert, F Josh Paterson had three goals and an assist to lead the Saskatoon Blades to a 6-4 victory over the Raiders. . . . The Blades (17-17-3) have won three straight games, including a 4-2 victory over the visiting Raiders on Wednesday night. . . . Prince Albert (13-16-7) has lost three in a row. . . . Saskatoon is tied with Regina for the Eastern Conference’s two wild-card playoff spots. They are four points ahead of the Raiders. . . . The Blades won after overcoming a 3-1 first-period deficit. . . . F Parker Kelly (15) gave the home side a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 6:33 of the first period. . . . Paterson tied it, on a PP, at 9:56. . . . F Eric Pearce (3) gave the Raiders a 2-1 lead at 16:27 and F Carson Miller (1) upped it to 3-1 at 18:46. That was Miller’s first goal since Jan. 14, when he scored twice in a 7-6 OT loss in Regina. He played only nine more games last season thanks to shoulder problems that would require surgery. . . . F Chase Wouters (8) got the Blades to within a goal at 4:12 of the second period. . . . Paterson broke the tie at 17:53, then completed his first WHL hat trick with his 16th goal of this season at 3:28 of the third period. . . . The Blades took a 5-3 lead as F Braylon Shmyr scored at 14:01. . . . F Brett Season (6) got the home team back to within a goal at 18:18, but Shmyr (17) wrapped it up with an empty-netter at 19:14. . . . Shmyr also had two assists for a four-point night, earning his 200th career regular-season point, while Wouters also had four points, including three assists. . . . Shmyr has 200 points, including 91 goals, in 265 games. . . . The Blades were 1-1 on the PP; the Raiders were 1-3. . . . G Nolan Maier stopped 38 shots for the Blades in recording his sixth straight victory, while the Raiders’ Ian Scott made 33 saves. . . . F Justin Nachbaur of the Raiders left at 8:39 of the first period with a cross-checking major and game misconduct after he drilled Saskatoon D Mark Rubinchik in the face. . . . In the third period, the Blades lost D Evan Fiala, the team captain, after he took a puck in the face. The Blades later tweeted: “The captain is OK! Quite a few stitches but no broken bones and all chiclets accounted for.” . . . Saskatoon will be without F Kirby Dach (undisclosed injury) on a week-to-week basis. He left Wednesday’s game in the first period and didn’t return. . . . Announced attendance: 2,312. . . . Darren Steinke, the travellin’ blogger, was in attendance and posted this piece right here.
At Regina, F Matt Bradley broke a 4-4 tie at 13:21 of the third period as the Pats ended a five-game losing streak with a 5-4 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Regina (17-18-3) had been 0-4-1 in its previous five games. . . . The Wheat Kings (25-9-1) had beaten the visiting Pats, 5-3, on Wednesday night. . . . Brandon is third in the overall standings, three points behind Swift Current. . . . Regina is tied with Saskatoon for the Eastern Conference’s two wild-card spots. . . . Last night, Brandon took a 2-0 lead on goals from F Ty Lewis (19), at 16:18 of the first period, and F Evan Weinger (16), at 1:30 of the second. . . . Regina took the lead with three goals in a span of 2:23 early in the second. . . . F Logan Nijhoff (2) got it started at 4:14. Nijhoff, 16, also scored Wednesday. An eighth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft, he has two goals and an assist in eight games. . . . D Cale Fleury (8) tied it, 2-2, at 5:08, on a PP, picking up his 100th career point in the process. . . . F Bryan Lockner (5) gave the Pats the lead, on another PP, at 6:37. . . . D Zach Wytinck (2) got Brandon even at 11:11, only to have F Nick Henry (5) give the home boys the lead at 17:13. . . . F Stelio Mattheos (27) got Brandon back into another tie, at 8:57 of the third period. . . . F Jake Leschyshyn and D Dawson Davidson each had two assists for Regina, with Nijhoff and Bradley each getting one. . . . Brandon got two assists from Weinger and one from Lewis. . . . Regina was 2-8 on the PP; Brandon was 0-3. . . . G Tyler Brown earned the victory with 24 saves, while Dylan Myskiw stopped 31 for Brandon. . . . The Pats had G Jacob Wasserman on the bench backing up Brown. G Max Paddock, who went the distance in Brandon on Wednesday, was scratched as he is in the concussion protocol. Wasserman was brought in from the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos. . . . Regina also had F Cole Dubinsky, who turned 15 on Dec. 4, in its lineup. From Androssan, Alta., Dubinsky plays for the CSSHL’s Delta Hockey Academy prep team. Regina selected him in the fourth round of the 2017 bantam draft. . . . F Jared Legien, acquired Wednesday from the Victoria Royals, had an assist in his Regina debut. . . . The Pats were without D Josh Mahura for a second straight game after he was released Monday by the Canadian national junior team in Buffalo. Mahura is expected to play on Monday night against visiting Prince Albert. . . . Announced attendance: 6,238.
At Moose Jaw, F Jayden Halbgewachs, who signed an NHL contract with the San Jose Sharks earlier in the day, had two goals and an assist to help the Warriors to an 8-2 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . The Warriors (28-6-3) have points in three straight (2-0-1) and are atop the overall standings, five points ahead of the Broncos (26-8-2). The Broncos had won their previous six games. . . . The Broncos had beaten the visiting Warriors 5-4 in a shootout on Wednesday. . . . Last night, the Warriors took control with three goals before the game was nine minutes old. . . . F Justin Almeida (22) made it 1-0 at 5:47, with D Dmitri Zaitsev (2) scoring at 6:36, and Halbgewachs counting at 8:49. . . . F Beck Malenstyn (1) got the Broncos on the scoreboard, on a PP, at 11:03 of the second period. . . . F Luka Burzan (5) restored Moose Jaw’s three-goal lead at 16:22. . . . The visitors got to within two goals at18:25 when F Kole Gable (3) scored. . . . The Warriors put it away with four third-period goals, from Halbgewachs, who leads all of the CHL with 37 goals, F Tristin Langan (5), D Oleg Sosunov (7) and F Vince Loschiavo (11). . . . The Warriors got two assists from each of F Tanner Jeannot and D Josh Brook, and one each from Almeida, Langan, Burzan and Zaitsev. . . . F Glenn Gawdin had two assists for the Broncos. . . . Swift Current was 1-1 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 0-4. . . . G Brody Willms stopped 28 shots for the Warriors. . . . The Broncos started G Logan Flodell, who gave up three goals on 12 shots in 8:49. Joel Hofer then came on to stop one shot in 2:38. Flodell was sent back out and finished up. In all, he stopped 37 of 45 shots. . . .Swift Current F Matteo Gennaro left in the third period after taking a hit from Moose Jaw F Barrett Sheen. . . . Announced attendance: 3,657.
At Calgary, F Brett Davis broke a 3-3 tie with a shorthanded breakaway goal at 18:10 of the third period to give the Kootenay Ice a 4-3 victory over the Hitmen. . . . The Ice (17-17-2) has won four in a row and has points in five straight (4-0-1). It is second in the Central Division four points behind Medicine Hat. . . . The Hitmen (10-19-6) have lost four in a row (0-2-2) and are 11 points out of a playoff spot. . . . These teams have met in four straight games, with the Ice winning all four of them — 5-1 at Cranbrook on Dec. 16, 4-3 in OT in Calgary on Dec. 17, 4-3 in OT on Wednesday in Cranbrook and 4-3 last night. . . . When this season began, the Hitmen had taken 16 straight victories from the Ice. . . . Kootenay now is 5-1-0 in the season series; the Hitmen are 1-3-2. . . . Last night, F Orca Wiesblatt (5) gave Calgary a 1-0 lead at 5:36 of the second period. . . . The Ice tied it when F Alec Baer (14) scored at 11:40. . . . The Hitmen went back out front when F Mark Kastelic (9) scored at 12:09. . . . The Ice tied it again, this time when F Colton Veloso scored, on a PP, at 1:53 of the third period. . . . F Luke Coleman (7) gave Calgary a 3-2 lead with a shorthanded goal at 4:27. . . . Veloso (12) tied it, on a PP, at 12:55. . . . Davis then won it with his ninth goal. . . . F Cameron Hausinger drew assists on each the Ice’s last two goals. . . . F Peyton Krebs also had two assists for the winners. . . . Kastelic added an assist to his goal. . . . Kootenay was 2-8 on the PP; Calgary was 0-4. . . . The Ice held a 38-13 edge in shots on goal. . . . Kootenay G Duncan McGovern stopped 10 shots. . . . Calgary got 34 stops from G Nick Schneider. . . . G Bailey Brkin, who missed Wednesday’s game with the flu, was backing up McGovern. . . . The game was 45 minutes late starting after the Ice encountered some travel difficulties thanks to road conditions en route to Calgary. . . . F Brad Ginnell, acquired Wednesday from the Portland Winterhawks, made his Kootenay debut in his hometown. . . . The Ice is in a stretch of eight games, two of them at home, in 11 nights. It will play in Edmonton on Saturday, to complete a run of three games in four nights. On Monday, Kootenay will entertain Medicine Hat to start a stretch of five games in six nights — yes, five in six! — that is to include stops in Lethbridge, Swift Current, Prince Albert and Saskatoon. . . . Seriously, how does someone involved in the WHL not step in and stop something like this? . . . Announced attendance: 9,034.
At Edmonton, F Trey Fix-Wolansky scored at 4:48 of OT to give the Oil Kings a 4-3 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Edmonton (9-22-4) has points in three straight games (2-0-1). It is last in the Eastern Conference, four points behind Calgary. . . . The Rebels (10-19-7) have lost three in a row (0-1-2) and are 10 points out of a playoff spot. . . . The Oil Kings had gone into Red Deer and won 3-1 on Wednesday night. . . . Last night, F Brian Harris gave Edmonton a 1-0 lead at 2:31 of the first period. . . . F Grayson Pawlenchuk (13) tied it at 14:01. . . . F David Kope (4) put Edmonton back out front at 11:59 of the second period. . . . D Dawson Barteux (1), on a PP, tied it, again, at 6:02 of the third period. His first career goal came in his 71st career game. . . . The Rebels took a 3-2 lead as F Mason McCarty (17) scored at 7:32. . . . Edmonton D Conner McDonald (3), who had three assists on Wednesday, forced OT at 11:10. . . . Fix-Wolansky won it with his 14th goal of the season. . . . McDonald and Fix-Wolansky each added an assist. . . . The Rebels got two assists from D Alex Alexeyev and one from Barteaux. . . . The Rebels were 1-4 on the PP; the Oil Kings were 0-4. . . . G Josh Dechaine earned the victory with 23 stops, one more than Red Deer’s Ethan Anders. Dechaine’s night included an OT stop on Red Deer D Brandon Schuldaus on a breakaway. . . . The Oil Kings have added D Aidan Lawson, 16, to their roster. A list player, he is from Providence, Utah, and has a goal and eight assists in 26 games with the Colorado Thunderbirds, a Tier 1 Elite team. . . . Edmonton also has added F Raphael Pelletier, 15, who was a third-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft. From St. Albert, Alta., he is playing for the CSSHL’s Northern Alberta Elite 15s. . . . Neither played last night. . . . Greg Meachem of reddeerrebels.com reported after the game that F Arshdeep Bains is staying with the Rebels for the remainder of the season. He was leading the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League in scoring with 56 points in 22 games with the Valley West Hawks. . . . Announced attendance: 8,057.
At Victoria, the Royals scored twice in the game’s first six minutes en route to a 7-1 victory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . The Royals (21-14-3) had lost their previous four games. They now are tied with Kelowna atop the B.C. Division. . . . One night earlier, the Cougars (13-18-5) had beaten the host Royals, 5-3. Prince George is fifth in the B.C. Division, three points behind Kamloops. . . . F Dino Kambeitz (8) opened the scoring, on a PP, at 5:28, and F Matthew Phillips made it 2-0 just 29 seconds later. . . . F Josh Maser (15) got the Cougars to within a goal, on a PP, at 6:50, but it was all Royals after that. . . . Phillips got his 27th goal, on a PP, before the first period ended. . . . F Spencer Gerth (3) and F Tyler Soy (15), on a PP, added second-period goals, with F Jeff de Wit (4) and D Jeremy Masella (3) scoring in the third period. . . . The Royals had de Wit, who was acquired Wednesday from Kootenay, and F Braydon Buziak, who came over from Regina, in the lineup for the first time. De Wit had a goal and an assist, with Buziak recording an assist. . . . The Royals got three assists from D Chaz Reddekopp and two each from F Dante Hannoun and D Scott Walford. . . . Victoria was 3-6 on the PP; Prince George was 1-6. . . . G Griffen Outhouse earned the victory by stopping 23 of 24 shots in 52:27. Dean McNabb played the final 7:33, stopping four shots. . . . Cougars starter Taylor Gauthier was beaten seven times on 24 shots in 46:08. Isaiah DiLaura finished up by stopping all six shots he faced in 13:52. . . . Announced attendance: 5,936.
FRIDAY (all times local):
Medicine Hat at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.
Kelowna at Kamloops, 7 p.m.
Portland vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.
Spokane vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:35 p.m.
Vancouver at Everett, 7:35 p.m.