A look back at Sobchuk’s 10-point night . . . Broncos put up sold-out sign for Bedard visit . . . Lucius set for Portland debut


Here are the first two paragraphs of something I wrote more than 36 years ago . . .

“It was Friday, Jan. 19, 1973. Across the pond in jolly old England, Prince Charles narrowly escaped a head-on crash while driving his Aston Martin through the fog-enshrouded countryside southwest of London.

“Meanwhile, at Regina’s Exhibition Stadium, a nautical mile or two from the old country, a prince of a hockey player was having a jolly good night.”

Thanks to a tweet from Kevin Shaw (@theblueliner), the go-to guy for all things Regina Pats, the memories came flashing back on Thursday night.

DennisSobchukYes, it was 50 years ago — Jan. 19, 1973 — when F Dennis Sobchuk had one of the greatest offensive nights in WHL history. That night, Sobchuk struck for 10 points, six of them goals, in an 11-3 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings before 2,284 fans at Regina’s Exhibition Stadium.

It’s worth noting that the Wheat Kings were without F Ron Chipperfield (throat infection), who was leading the league with 53 goals.

Sobchuk’s line finished with 20 points — Mike Wanchuk had a goal and five assists; Clarke Gillies had a goal and three assists. Gillies also spent some time in the penalty box, thanks to a pair of fights with Brandon D Rick Piche.

The 18-year-old Sobchuk was in his second season with the Pats. That night, his fourth goal was his 100th regular-season score. Yes, he had 100 goals in fewer than two full seasons.

“Some nights they go in easy. Other nights they don’t go in at all. Tonight, well, it was one of those real good nights,” Sobchuk told Mal Isaac of the Regina Leader-Post. “And I should have had a couple of more, especially in the third period. But I guess a guy can’t be greedy.”

The outburst came just two days after head coach Bob Turner had talked with his three top forwards, telling them “to shoot more, that’s all. Each of them has a great shot but they just don’t shoot enough. Tonight, they were really rifling them and look what happened.”

The six goals allowed Sobchuk to tie the WCHL record — the WHL then was the Western Canada Hockey League — for goals in a game that had been set two seasons previous by F Danny Spring of the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Sobchuk’s 10-point night also got him a piece of the single-game record for points, one that had been established by F Gerry Pinder of the Saskatoon Blades on March 12, 1967, and tied by F Tom Lysiak of the Medicine Hat Tigers on Dec. 30, 1971. While Pinder also had six goals and four assists in his big game, Lysiak did it with four goals and six helpers.

Sobchuk also tied the WCHL record for goals in one period — he scored five times in the second period.

Sobchuk’s night also pushed him into the WCHL scoring lead with 92 points, including 46 goals. At that point, he had two more points than Lysiak, who would go on to win his second straight scoring title, with 154 points, seven more than Sobchuk.

In his freshman season (1971-72), Sobchuk totalled 123 points, including 56 goals, in 68 games, and was named the WCHL’s rookie of the year.

He would play one more season with the Pats (1973-74), putting up 146 points, including 68 goals, in 66 game and helping Regina to a Memorial Cup title.

In three seasons with the Pats, he finished with 416 points, 191 of them goals, in 190 regular-season games. He placed fifth, second and second in the scoring race.

Sobchuk had won the Saskatchewan Amateur Junior Hockey League’s scoring title in 1970-71 when he finished with 96 points, including 56 goals, in 36 games with the Weyburn Red Wings. At that time, his WCHL rights belonged to the Estevan Bruins, who were about to move to New Westminster.

On July 7, 1971, Del Wilson, the Pats’ president and general manager, acquired Sobchuk from New Westminster, sending F Emile DeMoissac, F Wayne Dye, D Bob Hess, F Doug Lindskog and F Vic Mercredi the other way.

DeMoissac, Hess and Mercredi would be key performers for the Bruins, although all had moved on before their four-season run (1974-78) as WHL champions.

By November 1986, Sobchuk was the Pats’ assistant GM and assistant coach. One night, he and I chatted about his 10-point outing.

“Funny thing,” he recalled. “I didn’t realize it but they had a guy shadowing me that night. When the people clapped for me at the end of the game, Brandon — I talked to a few of the players in later years — they were going to push the guy who was supposed to be the shadow out there to take a bow with me.

“But it was just one of those nights. Whenever you shot the puck it went in. It was a crazy night.”

I asked Sobchuk just how big a thrill it was.

“I still have the stick,” he replied.

Two nights later, the Pats and Wheat Kings met in Brandon, with Regina skating away with a 5-4 victory. F Rick Uhrich had three goals. Sobchuk had one assist.


Number


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

The Swift Current Broncos announced on Thursday that tonight’s game against the visiting Regina Pats, aka the Travelling Bedards, is sold out. . . .

F Chaz Lucius, 19, has joined the Portland Winterhawks and is expected to make his WHL debut tonight against the visiting Victoria Royals. Lucius, who starred with Team USA at the recent World Junior Championship, had been with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose. The NHL’s Winnipeg Jets assigned him to Portland after the WJC. . . .

F Gabriel Szturc, a 19-year-old from Cesky Tesin, Czechia, was named the 28th captain of the Kelowna Rockets on Thursday, replacing Colton Dach, who was traded to the Seattle Thunderbirds earlier this month. Szturc is the first European-born captain in the Rockets’ franchise history. Four of Szturc’s first five games as captain will be against the Vancouver Giants, starting tonight in Langley, B.C., and Saturday in Kelowna. . . .

F Ben King of the Red Deer Rebels, who led the WHL with 52 goals last season, has 10 points, five of them goals, in five games this season. But he hasn’t played since suffering an undisclosed injury on Oct. 22. It seems that he may return tonight against the visiting Prince George Cougars or Saturday with the Brandon Wheat Kings in town.



WEDNESDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

D Max Wanner’s eighth goal at 0:45 of OT gave the Moose Jaw Warriors a 5-4 victory over the Blades in Saskatoon and a sweep of their home-and-home series. The Warriors had won, 3-1, at home on Tuesday. . . . The victory allowed the Warriors (28-14-2) to move into a third-place tie with the Blades (27-9-4) in the Eastern Conference. The Blades hold four games in hand. . . . F Atley Calvert led the Warriors with two goals and two assists. He has 25 goals and 25 assists in 44 games after finishing last season with 15 and 25 in 65. He went into last night’s game with 98 career points and came out with 102, all in 146 games. . . . Last night, the Blades outshot the visitors, 43-17, including 16-2 in the third period. . . . The Warriors trail Eastern Conference-leading Winnipeg (31-5-1) by five points and visit the Ice tonight and Saturday. However, the Ice holds seven — count ’em, SEVEN — games in hand. . . .

F Connor McClennon and F Zach Benson each had a goal and three assists as the Winnipeg Ice lit up the Raiders, 8-1, in Prince Albert. . . . Benson has 24 goals; McClennon has 21. . . . Ice F Connor Geekie scored his 20th goal of the season. . . . The Ice held a 39-16 edge in shots. . . .

The Medicine Hat Tigers scored three times in a six-round shootout and beat the Broncos, 5-4, in Swift Current. . . . Three second-period goals had given the Tigers a 4-2 lead, but the Broncos pulled even on third-period scores from F Josh Filmon (28) and F Connor Hvidston (9). . . . Hvidston also had two assists, and Filmon finished with two goals and a helper. . . . Latvian D Bogdans Hodass scored twice for the Tigers, giving him seven this season. . . . The Tigers (17-21-6) closed to within two points of the Broncos (20-17-2), who hold down the Eastern Conference’s last playoff spot. Those two teams are to play in Medicine Hat on Sunday. That will be the Broncos’ third game in fewer than 48 hours. . . .

The Prince George Cougars came from behind four times before finally beating the host Calgary Hitmen, 6-5. . . . With the NHL’s Flames playing host to the Colorado Avalanche in the Saddledome, the WHL game was played at the Seven Chiefs Sportsplex. . . . Prince George scored the game’s last three goals, all in the third period. F Jaxsen Wiebe (7) got the winner at 14:42, his second of the game. F Koehn Ziemmer (22) also scored twice for the winners. . . . The Cougars, who fired 21 shots in each of the last two periods, outshot the Hitmen, 51-35. . . .

F Ben Hemmerling scored twice, including in OT, and added two assists as the host Everett Silvertips beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 4-3. . . . Hemmerling’s 14th goal came at 3:36 of extra time. . . . Hemmerling, who now has had two four-point games in his WHL career, has three goals and six assists in his past four games. . . . The Tri-City Americans erased a 4-0 first-period deficit and beat the Victoria Royals, 5-4, in Kennewick, Wash. . . . F Ethan Ernst (21) scored twice for the Americans, his second goal, at 13:54 of the third period, breaking a 4-4 tie. . . . F Matthew Hodson (13) scored twice for Victoria. . . . The Americans (19-16-4) are fifth in the Western Conference, one point behind the Everett Silverips (21-19-1).


Electrician


THINKING OUT LOUD: I yearn for the days when I could look at NHL highlights and recognize teams by their uniforms. . . . David Adelman is the acting head coach of the NBA’s Denver Nuggets these days. That’s because head coach Michael Malone is away because of health and safety protocols. Yes, COVID-19 has reared its ugly head, again. Three Denver players — Bones Hyland, Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray — have spent time in protocol this season, too. And you thought the pandemic was over, didn’t you? Mask up!


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Test

Ice freezes out streaking Rebels . . . Thunderbirds add Prokop to roster . . . Dreger: Everett’s Williams to be Canada’s head coach at WJC

Two WHL teams on lengthy winning streaks clashed at the Wayne Fleming Arena in Winnipeg on Tuesday night. . . . When it was all over, the Winnipeg Ice WinnipegIcehad beaten Red Deer, 3-1, halting the Rebels’ 15-game season-opening winning streak. . . . While the Rebels broke the franchise record for longest winning streak — the 2001-02 club won 14 in a row in mid-season — they fell short of the WHL record for longest winning streak to open a season. The 1967-68 Estevan Bruins opened with 22 straight victories. . . . The Ice (16-1-0) now has won 11 in a row. . . . D Ben Zloty gave the Ice a 1-0 lead, on the PP, at 8:21 of the first period. . . . F Skyler Bruce upped it to 2-0 at 13:50 of the second period, and F Matthew Savoie scored shorthanded for a 3-0 lead 13 seconds into the third period. . . . F Carson Birnie got Red Deer’s goal, at 12:52 of the third. . . . The Ice had a 29-21 edge in shots. . . . Winnipeg was 1-7 on the PP; Red Deer was 0-6. . . . G Daniel Hauser stopped 20 shots for the Ice. He is 12-0-0 (2.24, .922) this season, and 53-3-2 (2.20, .913) for his career. . . . The announced attendance was 1,411. . . . The same two teams are to meet again tonight in Winnipeg. . . .

D Max Wanner had two goals and two assists to lead the host Moose Jaw Warriors to a 7-2 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Wanner had missed the Warriors’ previous two games. . . . The Warriors improved to 10-6-0, while the Oil Kings now are 2-13-1. . . . F Atley Calvert helped the winners with a goal and two assists. . . . F Jaxsen Wiebe, who is from Moose Jaw, had both Edmonton goals. . . .

F Hayden Pakkala broke a 1-1 tie with a PP goal at 15:35 of the third period and the visiting Prince Albert Raiders went on to a 3-1 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . The Raiders got a goal and two assists from F Sloan Stanick and two assists from F Niall Crocker. . . . F Carson Latimer put it away with an empty-netter. . . . The Raiders (5-11-2) had lost their previous two games. . . . The Tigers (4-9-3) have lost six in a row (0-4-2).


ID


D Luke Prokop is back in the WHL for his 20-year-old season. The Seattle Thunderbirds announced on Tuesday that Prokop has been added to their roster Seattleafter being sent to them by the NHL’s Nashville Predators. . . . “This is a huge addition for our team,” Bill La Forge, Seattle’s general manager, said in a news release. “Luke’s combination of size and talent greatly boosts our defensive core. Acquiring his rights was important to us and we will be thrilled to see him in a Thunderbirds jersey soon.” . . . The Thunderbirds are scheduled to visit the Kamloops Blazers tonight. The Thunderbirds didn’t indicate whether Prokop would in the lineup. . . . A third-round pick by Nashville in the NHL’s 2020 draft, Prokop had been with the ECHL’s Norfolk Admirals. He had one goal in eight ECHL games. . . . Last season, the 6-foot-6, 220-pounder put up 10 goals and 23 assists in 55 games with the Edmonton Oil Kings, then had four goals and 12 assists in a 19-game run to a WHL title. . . . He began his WHL career with the Calgary Hitmen, playing 153 games with them, scoring eight goals and adding 35 assists. . . . The Thunderbirds acquired his WHL rights from the Oil Kings on Oct. 25, giving up three draft picks in the exchange — a 2025 first-rounder and third-rounders in 2023 and 2025. According to a Seattle news release at the time, “All draft picks are conditional on Prokop returning to the WHL.” . . . The Thunderbirds are 10-3-0, having lost two in a row. They are in the U.S. Division chase, trailing the Portland Winterhawks (11-1-2) and Everett Silvertips (11-5-0).



JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

You will recall reading here earlier about the AJHL’s Sherwood Park Crusaders having been in a multi-vehicle accident near Ponoka on Saturday as they were en route to a game in Blackfalds. . . . The Crusaders were singing the praises of their bus driver. . . . It turns out his name is Robert Gingrich. “He did a tremendous job keeping us safe,” Evan McFeeters, the Crusaders’ associate general manager and head coach, told Taking Note on Tuesday. “We will be forever grateful for him.” . . . Great job, Robert. Thanks for all you and the other bussies do in these days of nasty and often quickly changing weather. . . .

The Red Deer Rebels have signed 2006-born D Derek Thurston to a WHL contract. He was a sixth-round selection in the WHL’s 2021 draft. Thurston, from Delta, B.C., is playing this season with the U18AAA Delta Academy team. . . . His father, Brent, played with the Victoria Cougars and Spokane Chiefs. He was with the Chiefs when they won the 1991 Memorial Cup. . . . Brent has another son, Trevor, who has played with the Kamloops Blazers, Lethbridge Hurricanes and Prince Albert Raiders. Trevor, a 20-year-old defenceman, now is with the QMJHL’s Cape Breton Eagles. . . .

With the Portland Winterhawks at 11-1-2, Andy Kemper, their historian, notes that it is the eighth time in franchise history they have put up 11 victories through 14 games. “But,” he adds, “it is the most games played with only one regulation loss — previous was 11 GP in 1982-83 and 1985-86).” . . . Kemper also notes that Portland’s 24 points is the most in team history through 14 games played. . . .

There is ample speculation as to whether the Regina Pats will trade F Connor Bedard and, if they are to do that, just how much of a bounty will they get in return. I don’t think he’ll be on the move, only because I don’t know how the Pats would sell it to their fans. . . . But if a deal is going to happen this season, it means that Bedard may have only two home games remaining in his Pats career — tonight against the Edmonton Oil Kings and Saturday against the Red Deer Rebels. . . . After playing the Rebels, the Pats hit the road for 10 straight, including a five-game SRO tour of the B.C. Division. . . . Regina won’t play at home again until Dec. 10, by which time Bedard will be in camp with Canada’s national junior team as it prepares for the 2023 World Junior Championship. . . . The WJC wraps up on Jan. 5; the WHL trade deadline arrives on Jan. 10. . . . BTW, the Canadian team’s coaching staff is expected to be announced this morning. Darren Dreger of TSN reported last night that Dennis Williams of the Everett Silvertips will be Canada’s head coach.


Notme


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


TheTalk

Clippers go along with BCHL and put coaches on leave pending investigation; two assistants run bench in win; interim staff to be installed


Most times the action in a junior hockey league is on the ice with one team playing another. But these days in the BCHL it’s league versus team in the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

Or is it?

Let’s recap . . .

The BCHL informed players on the Nanaimo Clippers via email on Tuesday that Darren Naylor, the vice-president, general manager, head coach and director of hockey operations, and Colin Birkas, the associate GM and associate coach, had been placed on administrative leave while a league-appointed independent investigator reviewed “allegations of Code of Conduct breaches.” . . .

With the Clippers next scheduled to play last night (Friday) against the host NanaimoPowell River Kings, the league told the players that it would put another coach in place in order to keep their season going. . . .

On Thursday, the Clippers, Naylor and Birkas received a temporary injunction from a BC Supreme Court justice after filing a lawsuit that also asked for damages from the BCHL. . . . However, Naylor and Birkas weren’t on the Clippers’ bench for a 6-4 victory over the Kings last night. Instead, assistants Ken McPhalen and Bob Foglietta did the coaching. . . . The teams are to play again tonight in Powell River. . . .

On Friday night, the BCHL issued a statement via email, saying that the Clippers “without notice to the BCHL” had “made an ex parte injunction application and obtained a court order restraining the BCHL from placing the coaches on leave. The BCHL will be applying to have the order set aside.” . . .

The Clippers are owned by Wes Mussio, whose bio on the team website says he is a personal injury/estate litigation lawyer and the managing partner and founder of Mussio Goodman Law. . . .

Victoria-based CHEK News reported Friday that “a notice of civil claim was filed . . . by Clippers Hockey Limited Partnership, Naylor and Birkas, arguing that the league acted ‘erroneously and in a high-handed manner’ in issuing the suspensions when no allegations have been proven, irreparably damaging the coaches’ reputations and putting the team’s season in jeopardy because there are no alternate coaches to take over.” . . .

According to CHEK News, “The lawsuit indicates that the Nanaimo Clippers organization conducted its own internal investigation into the allegations after being alerted to the BCHL investigation at the start of the season in October 2021 and found no wrongdoing.” . . . The Clippers, including the two coaches, “argued that the complainants who first brought forward the allegations were mostly disgruntled former employees and former billet parents ‘who have significant motivation to lie, exaggerate and attack without evidence in support as they had a falling out with the coaches before leaving the Clippers organizations.’ ”

The CHEK News story is right here.

But, wait, there’s more . . .

Shortly after Friday’s game ended, the Clippers issued a statement that was signed by Mussio.

According to the statement, the Clippers have decided to “place their coaching staff on temporary leave to allow the BCHL to complete their internal investigation process. . . .

“We stand with our players and will allow them to continue the push for the conference title without any further distractions. An interim coaching staff will be implemented forthwith while the BCHL also has a chance to investigate the allegations to their satisfaction.”

So . . . it would seem that takes the whole mess out of the courts and back into the BCHL’s boardroom.

Stay tuned. . . .


Change


G Kelton Pyne benefited from F Connor Bedard’s five-point night as the host ReginaRegina Pats beat the Calgary Hitmen, 5-0, on Friday night. Pyne, 16, was making his second appearance with the Pats, whose two regular goaltenders are sidelined with concussions. He stopped 24 shots in posting his first victory. . . . Bedard scored three times, giving him 28 on the season. He has 52 points in 35 games, including 28 in his last 11 outings. . . . Don’t be sleeping on Regina F Tanner Howe, either. Howe, who turned 16 on Nov. 28, had two assists. He’s got 38 points, including 22 assists, in 37 games. . . . If you track such things, Regina assistant coach Brad Herauf earned his first WHL head-coaching victory as he filled in for an ailing John Paddock. . . .

G Taylor Gauthier of the Portland Winterhawks had his shutout streak halted at Portland251:11 in an 8 -1 victory over the Chiefs in Spokane. While Gauthier set a franchise record for longest shutout streak, he fell short of the record (265:13) set by Chris Worthy of the Flin Flon Bombers in 1967-68. . . . F Cross Hanas scored three times for Portland, once on a penalty shot. He has six goals and 11 assists over his past six games. . . . According to the Winterhawks, Mike Johnston made his 700th regular-season appearance behind their bench. The WHL record (1,411) is held by Ken Hodge, who coached the original Edmonton Oil Kings and the Winterhawks. . . . The Chiefs and Winterhawks are in a stretch of five straight games against each other; Portland has won the first three — 7-3, 9-0 and 8-1. . . . The game was Ryan Smith’s first as Spokane’s head coach after he took over from Adam Maglio on Thursday. . . .

G Nolan Maier of the Saskatoon Blades stopped 29 shots in a 4-1 victory over the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes. That was the 112th regular-season victory of his career, eight shy of the WHL record that is shared by Tyson Sexsmith (Vancouver Giants, 2004-09) and Corey Hirsch (Kamloops Blazers, 1988-92). . . .

G Sebastian Cossa turned aside 21 shots as the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings beat the Red Deer Rebels, 4-0. The Rebels could have closed to within four points of the Central Division-leading Oil Kings, but instead fell eight points off the pace. . . . Cossa leads the WHL with five shutouts this season. He has 13 in 84 career appearances. . . .

The Kamloops Blazers, beaten 4-3 by visiting Tri-City on Wednesday, scored Kamloopsfour times in the first period en route to a 6-1 victory over the Americans. F Luke Toporowski scored twice and added two assists, while linemate Logan Stankoven ran his point streak to 15 games with two goals and a helper. . . . Toporowski has 13 goals and seven assists in 11 games since being acquired from the Spokane Chiefs. . . . Stankoven, who has 63 points in 36 games, has 34 points in that 15-game tear. . . . BTW, a Kamloopsian contacted me with a friendly reminder for the four Tri-City players who were in a downtown Tim Hortons sans face masks on Friday morning: There is mask mandate in B.C. that takes in all public indoor settings. Hey, guys, not a good look to be wearing team colours and not abiding by provincial mandates. . . .

In other games . . . D Max Wanner (4), F Jagger Firkus (27) and D Daemon Hunt (13) each had a goal and assist to lead the host Moose Jaw Warriors to a 3-1 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . F Connor Hvidston’s sixth goal, at 2:36 of OT, gave the Swift Current Broncos a 4-3 victory over the Wheat Kings in Brandon. . . . F Pavel Novak scored the only goal of the shootout as the host Kelowna Rockets beat Everett, 4-3, snapping the Silvertips’ eight-game winning streak in the process. Czech freshman Gabriel Szturc scored his eight goal for the Rockets, this one was special because his parents were in the stands. . . . F Ty Thorpe scored twice to lead the Vancouver Giants to a 4-1 victory over the Cougars in Prince George. The Giants had had their previous two games postponed due to some positive tests within the organization. . . . The Seattle Thunderbirds scored the game’s last six goals — two each from F Lukas Svejkovsky and Reid Schaefer — as they beat the Royals 6-1 in Victoria.


Scrabble


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Dinos

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