Blades answer Farren’s request . . . Gulka leaves Spokane . . . Blazers looking for cheerleaders


ThisThat

Michael Farren made a wish on Monday; it was granted on Thursday.

Farren, 18, was traded by the Saskatoon Blades to the Kelowna Rockets for a third-round KelownaRocketsselection in the 2020 WHL bantam draft.

Colin Priestner, the Blades’ general manager, said that Farren left the team on Monday and asked to be dealt.

“Michael texted me . . . to let me know he wasn’t satisfied with his role on the team and would be flying home to await a trade,” Priestner said in a news release. “We are disappointed in Michael’s decision, but this draft pick is an asset that allows to us to improve our team if needed in the future.”

Farren, from Surrey, B.C., was added to the Blades’ protected list in 2015 and signed a WHL contract at 16, following his first training camp. In 133 career regular-season games, he has 20 goals and 37 assists. This season, he had one goal and four assists in eight games.

The Rockets, at 1-8-0, are off to the poorest start in franchise history. They have scored only 21 goals in nine games, so are hoping that Farren will be able to provide a boost for their offence.

Kelowna will go home-and-home with the Tri-City Americans this weekend, playing tonight in Kennewick, Wash., and in the Little Apple on Saturday.

The Blades (6-2-0) are at home to the Red Deer Rebels tonight and the Prince Albert Raiders on Sunday afternoon.


F Sean Gulka, 18, has left the Spokane Chiefs and his rights have reverted to the Victoria SpokaneChiefsRoyals. . . . The Chiefs acquired Gulka from the Royals on Nov. 22, 2017, giving up, according to the WHL website, a sixth-round selection in the 2018 WHL bantam draft. According to a Chiefs’ news release, Gulka’s rights have been returned to the Royals “as per the conditions of the trade agreement.” . . . Gulka, from Langley, B.C., had one assist in four games with the Chiefs last this. This season, he had played in four games, recording one assist. . . . The Royals selected him in the ninth round of the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft.


In an attempt to add some excitement to the atmosphere in their home arena, the Sandman Centre, the Kamloops Blazers are in the process of building a cheerleader squad. . . . “We’re just trying to find new ways to liven up the energy in the building,” David Hole, the Blazers’ new ticketing and promotions co-ordinator, told Eric Thompson of kamloopsmatters.com. “The Edmonton Oilers do it, granted theirs is a bit different and they’ve been doing it for a lot longer, but it’s just more to get a new aspect of energy in the building, get the people more excited and build more of an atmosphere.” . . . Hole is looking for about a dozen participants, each of whom must be at least 14 years of age. . . . If all goes according to plan, the cheerleaders would be used as part of larger promotions, or about eight games this season. . . . Thompson’s complete story is right here. . . . Might I be so bold as to suggest a trumpet player? If it was good enough for the Montreal Forum . . .


D Ryan Pouliot, who chose not to report to the Vancouver Giants after being claimed on waivers last week, has joined the BCHL’s Powell River Kings. Pouliot, 20, was waived by the Swift Current Broncos. He had been pointless in three games. . . . Pouliot had played the previous two-plus seasons with the Kootenay Ice, recording three goals and 25 assists in 155 games. . . . Pouliot was in the Kings’ lineup Thursday night as they beat the host Prince George Spruce Kings, 5-2. . . . Tyler Kuntz, a former Vancouver assistant coach, is Powell River’s head coach.



Chris Beaudry has left his position as an assistant coach with the SJHL’s Melville Millionaires. . . . Beaudry, who was an assistant coach with the Humboldt Broncos last season, cited personal reasons in stepping down, but will help the Millionaires in an advisory capacity. . . . Beaudry wasn’t on the Broncos’ bus when it crashed on April 6; as he often did, he was in his own vehicle driving to that night’s scheduled game in Nipawin. . . . Kyle Adams, who has worked with the AJHL’s Drayton Valley Thunder and the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs, has moved into the spot vacated by Beaudry.


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Hicke, Delorme into Sask. Hockey Hall . . . Gawdin to top of points derby . . . Blades win, get breathing room

A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

The late Bill Hicke, a former player, owner, general manager and coach with the Regina Pats, will be one of the inductees into the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame in 2018. . . . The names of the inductees were revealed Saturday night in Swift Current, where the Credit Union iPlex is home to the Hall of Fame. . . . The induction dinner is scheduled for July 7 at the iPlex. . . . Also being inducted as players are Hayley Wickenheiser of Shaunavon, Sask., who won four Olympic gold medals with Canada’s women’s team; and Vancouver Canucks’ chief amateur scout Ron Delorme, who played with the Swift Current/Lethbridge Broncos before going on to a pro career. . . . The late Kelly Lovering will be inducted as a builder, with Lyle Wilhelm going in as an official. . . . Larry Johnson and the late Dennis Loeppky will be inducted in the grassroots category. . . . The 1987-88 Notre Dame Hounds, who won the Canadian junior A title, will go into the team category.


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IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw

Regina at Medicine Hat

Brandon at Swift Current

Kootenay at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Victoria

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Kelowna


Scoreboard

SUNDAY:

At Calgary, F Conner Chaulk’s second goal of the game, at 18:12 of the third period, gave the Hitmen a 5-4 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Calgary (17-31-7) had lost its Calgaryprevious two games (0-1-1). . . . Medicine Hat (28-23-7) had won its previous two games. It leads the Central Division by seven points over Lethbridge, which now holds four games in hand. . . . Medicine Hat held a 20-10 edge in first-period shots but managed only a 1-0 lead, that on a goal from D David Quenneville, at 9:41. . . . Calgary took a 2-1 lead on goals by D Dakota Krebs (2), at 5:33 of the second period, and F Carson Focht, at 6:52. . . . The Tigers came back with two goals of their own, from F Ryan Jevne, on a PP, at 9:08, and F Bryan Lockner (10), at 18:59. . . . The Hitmen took a 4-3 lead as Focht (9) scored at 7:25 and Chaulk got his first at 10:09. . . . F Mark Rassell (45) pulled the Tigers into a tie at 14:25. . . . Chaulk won it with his 13th goal of the season. . . . The Hitmen got two assists from F Luke Coleman. . . . Rassell, Lockner and Quenneville had an assist each for the Tigers. . . . Medicine Hat was 1-4 on the PP; Calgary was 0-1. . . . The Hitmen got 44 stops from G Nick Schneider. . . . Tigers G Michael Bullion, who was coming off back-to-back shutouts, turned aside 42 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 7,468.


At Prince Albert, F Glenn Gawdin had a goal and two assists to take over the WHL scoring lead as he helped the Swift Current Broncos to a 5-4 victory over the Raiders. . . . SCBroncosSwift Current (40-13-4) has won four in a row. It is second in the East Division, three points behind Moose Jaw, which has three games in hand. The Broncos last enjoyed at least 40 victories in a season in 2008-09 when they finished 41-24-7. Last season they finished 39-23-10. . . . Prince Albert (22-23-11) has lost three straight. It now is four points out of a playoff spot. . . . Both teams were playing for the third time in fewer than 48 hours. The Broncos went (3-0-0); the Raiders were (0-3-0). The Broncos had beaten the visiting Raiders 5-1 on Friday. . . . Swift Current took a 1-0 lead at 3:25 of the first period when F Andrew Fyten scored. . . . F Nikita Krivokrasov (2) tied it at 7:33. . . . Fyten (9) put the visitors back ahead at 17:41, only to have F Jordy Stallard (37) tie it, on a PP, at 19:22. . . . The Raiders took a 3-2 lead at 1:59 of the second period on a goal by F Kody McDonald. . . . The Broncos followed with three straight goals. Gawdin (48) scored, on a PP, at 4:23. D Josh Anderson (3) scored at 9:33, and F Tyler Steenbergen (39) made it 5-3 at 11:36. . . . Gawdin drew assists on each of the last two goals. . . . The Raiders tied it on goals from McDonald (28), on a PP, at 4:54, and F Cole Fonstad (17), at 13:18. . . . F Max Patterson won it with his eighth goal at 15:58. . . . Gawdin now has 104 points, two more than Moose Jaw F Brayden Burke. . . . The Broncos got two assists from F Beck Malenstyn, with Patterson and Steenbergen each getting one. . . . Stallard added two assists to his goal for the home side, with Fonstad getting one. . . . The Raiders were 2-3 on the PP; the Broncos were 1-5. . . . G Stuart Skinner stopped 23 shots for Swift Current. . . . The Raiders started G Ian Scott, who allowed five goals on 16 shots in 31:36. Curtis Meger finished up by stopping 12 of 13 shots in 26:21. . . . The Raiders were without F Parker Kelly, who drew a TBD suspension for a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct during Saturday’s 6-3 loss in Saskatoon. Each was scratched from the Blades game on Sunday. . . . F Tanner Nagel was scratched from the Broncos’ lineup after leaving Saturday’s game with an undisclosed injury. . . The Broncos are 6-1-0 in the season series; the Raiders are 1-4-2. . . . Announced attendance: 1,824.


At Saskatoon, F Michael Farren scored in the seventh round of a shootout to give the Blades a 2-1 victory over the Regina Pats. . . . Saskatoon (28-26-3) has won two in a row. It Saskatoonholds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, five points behind Regina and four ahead of Prince Albert. . . . The Blades have matched last season’s victory total when they finished 28-35-9. . . . Regina (29-23-6) is fourth in the East Division, one point behind Brandon. . . . Regina went 1-1-1 in playing three games in fewer than 48 hours. The Blades also played three times in fewer than 48 hours, going 2-1-0. . . . D Logan Christensen (3) gave the Blades a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 6:12 of the first period. . . . Regina tied it at 3:25 of the third period when F Matt Bradley (33) scored, on a PP. . . . Regina was 1-5 on the PP; Saskatoon was 1-6. . . . The Blades got 38 saves from G Nolan Maier. . . . G Max Paddock stopped 28 shots for the Pats. . . . The Pats were without G Ryan Kubic (ill) for a second straight game, so had Jacob Wasserman of the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos backing up. . . . F Kirby Dach was among Saskatoon’s scratches. He took a hit from behind from Prince Albert F Parker Kelly on Saturday night. . . . Saskatoon leads the season series, 5-2-0. Meanwhile, Regina is 2-2-3. . . . Announced attendance: 3,647.


At Portland, the Winterhawks scored three third-period goals to erase a 3-2 deficit and beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 5-3. . . . Portland (35-18-4) has won five in a row. It is Portlandsecond in the Western Conference, two points behind Everett and two ahead of Victoria. . . . Seattle (27-20-8) has lost three straight (0-2-1). It and Tri-City are tied for the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . On Saturday, the visiting Winterhawks beat the Thunderbirds, 4-1. . . . On Sunday, both teams played three games in fewer than 48 hours — Seattle went 0-2-1, while Portland was 3-0-0. . . . F Dillon Hamaliuk (13) gave the Thunderbirds a 1-0 lead at 4:48 of the first period. . . . Portland F Joachim Blichfeld tied it, shorthanded, at 13:16. . . . Seattle D Turner Ottenbreit (7) gave his guys a 2-1 lead, on a PP, at 19:11. . . . F Lane Gilliss (4) pulled Portland back into a tie at 15:30 of the second period. . . . The Thunderbirds went back out front at 19:00 when F Matthew Wedman (13) scored on a PP. . . . F Ryan Hughes (11) tied it at 8:48 of the third period, and F Alex Overheard (13) put Portland ahead, 4-3, at 13:02. . . . Blichfeld, who also had an assist, added insurance with his 20th goal, into an empty net, at 19:40. . . . Portland got two assists from each of D Dennis Cholowski and F Jake Gricius. . . . D Austin Strand had two assists for Seattle, while Ottenbreit added one to his goal. Ottenbreit, 20, has a career-high 34 points, two more than last season. Last season, he had career highs in goals (7) and assists (25). This season, he has seven goals and 27 assists. . . . Seattle was 2-4 on the PP; Portland was 0-4. . . . G Shane Farkas stopped 19 shots for Portland, while Seattle’s Dorrin Luding turned aside 31. . . . Portland is 6-0-2 in the season series; Seattle is 2-5-1. . . . Announced attendance: 6,122.


At Spokane, the Silvertips built up a 3-0 lead and hung on for a 3-2 victory over the Chiefs. . . . Everett (36-17-4) has points in five straight (4-0-1). It leads the Western EverettConference by two points over Portland. . . . Spokane (30-20-5) had points in each of its previous 10 games (8-0-2). It is third in the U.S. Division, nine points behind Portland and three ahead of Settle and Tri-City. . . . These two teams also were playing for the third time in fewer than 48 hours. Everett went 2-0-1, including a 2-1 OT loss to the visiting Chiefs on Friday. Spokane finished the hectic weekend at 2-1-0). . . . F Spencer Gerth (5) gave Everett a 1-0 lead at 17:11 of the second period, and F Riley Sutter (22) upped it to 2-0 at 19:00. . . . F Connor Dewar (29) made it 3-0 at 12:32 of the third period. . . . F Jaret Anderson-Dolan (33) got Spokane on the scoreboard, on a PP, at 13:10, and F Kailer Yamamoto (13) made it a one-goal game at 17:07. . . . Yamamoto also had an assist. . . . Spokane was 1-4 on the PP; Everett was 0-4. . . . The Silvertips got 24 stops from G Dustin Wolf. At the other end, Donovan Buskey blocked 18. . . . Everett leads the season series, 5-2-1; the Chiefs are 3-4-1. . . . Announced attendance: 5,219.


MONDAY (all times local):

Lethbridge vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 2 p.m.

Edmonton at Kamloops, 2 p.m.

Red Deer at Prince George, 2 p.m.

Victoria at Kelowna, 2:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

Giants looking to end drought . . . Tigers’ injury list grows . . . Blades back in wild-card spot

A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

The Vancouver Giants are scheduled to meet the Rockets in Kelowna tonight (Wednesday). As Steve Ewen of Postmedia reports, the Giants “haven’t won a road game Vancouveragainst the Kelowna Rockets in 25 straight tries, dating to a 4-3 triumph at Prospera Place on March 19, 2011, when their lineup featured current Montreal Canadiens stalwart Gallagher, as well as the likes of Neil Manning, Wes Vannieuwenhuizen and James Henry.” . . . Tonight’s game, then, will be a good test for a Vancouver team that is third in the B.C. Division, four points behind the Rockets and Victoria Royals. . . . Ewen also reports that Vancouver F Milos Roman has she the walking boot but there’s no timeline for his return. Roman has missed the team’s past nine games. . . . Ewen’s piece is right here. . . . The Rockets list D James Hilsendager as week-to-week, while F Nolan Foote is out up to six weeks, both with upper-body injuries. F Erik Gardiner (UB) remains week-to-week, while G James Porter (UB) is day-to-day, so might soon be back.


The Medicine Hat Tigers are showing six injured regulars, all with long-term injuries. Tigers Logo OfficialThe latest addition to the list is D Kristians Rubins (UB), who will be out up to four weeks. Also out: D Joel Craven (UB), week-to-week; G Jordan Hollett (UB), four-to-six weeks; D Linus Nassen (UB), two-to-three weeks; F Hayden Ostir (broken finger), three-to-five weeks; and F Mason Shaw (knee), indefinite. . . . The Tigers have added D Daniel Baker, 16, to their roster. He has nine goals and 17 assists in 20 games with the Alberta X-Treme prep team of the CSSHL. A second-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft, Baker was pointless in three earlier games with the Tigers. . . . With Hollett out, they will be riding G Michael Bullion, 20. The Tigers are scheduled to entertain the Edmonton Oil Kings tonight, and are expected to have Garin Bjorklund backing up Bullion. Bjorklund, 15, was a first-round selection in the 2017 bantam draft. He plays for the midget AAA Calgary Buffaloes.


The Kamloops Blazers have added F Josh Pillar to their roster, and he is expected to make his WHL debut tonight (Wednesday) against the visiting Spokane Chiefs. . . . Pillar, from Warman, Sask., will turn 16 on Feb. 14. He was a first-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. He plays for the midget AAA Prince Albert Mintos. Pillar has 20 goals and 25 assists in 39 games. . . . Pillar will be returned to the Mintos after tonight’s game.


If you like what you get here, please consider clicking on the DONATE button over there to the right and helping the cause.

If you have a tip or just want to chat, email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com. You are able to follow me on Twitter at @gdrinnan.

And don’t forget that the domain name here is greggdrinnan.com.


Jeff Hollick, over at dubnetwork.ca, has put together different sets of standings, showing how things would like with various options, such as three points for a regulation victory, two for an OT victory, one for a shootout victory and zero points for any kind of loss. . . .

Let’s be honest: The present system, with some games worth two points and others worth three, is terribly unfair.

Anyway, Hollick’s work is right here.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw

Regina at Medicine Hat

Brandon at Swift Current

Kootenay at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Spokane at Everett

Seattle at Kelowna

Tri-City at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

TUESDAY:

At Brandon, F Jesse Gabrielle and F Cam Hebig each scored twice to help the Regina Pats to a 5-2 victory over the Wheat Kings. . . . Regina (28-22-5) has won three in a row. It is ReginaPats100fourth in the East Division, but now is just two points behind Brandon (29-19-5). . . . Regina has beaten Brandon three times in a row and won the season series, 5-3-0. . . . F Marcus Sekundiak (2) gave Brandon a 1-0 lead at 2:52 of the first period. . . . Regina scored the next three goals. . . . Gabrielle, who has nine goals, scored on a PP at 12:53 of the first period, then gave his guys a 2-1 lead 50 seconds into the second. . . . F Jared Legien (19) upped it to 3-1 at 10:13. . . . F Luka Burzan (9) got Brandon to within a goal at 6:14 of the third period. . . . Hebig, who has 38 goals, put it away with goals at 15:25, on a PP, and 17:52, into an empty net. . . . F Sam Steel drew the primary assist on each of Regina’s last three goals. He now has 202 assists in 242 regular-season games. . . . Legien added an assist to his goal. . . . Regina was 2-3 on the PP; Brandon was 1-4. . . . The visitors outshot the Wheat Kings 17-9 in the first period and 21-4 in the second. . . . The Pats got 22 saves from G Max Paddock, who was playing in his hometown. . . . Brandon G Logan Thompson stopped 46 shots. . . . F Baron Thompson was among Brandon’s scratches. He drew a TBD suspension after being hit with a boarding major and game misconduct on Saturday in a 4-3 OT victory over the visiting Red Deer Rebels. . . . D Colin Paradis, who absorbed the hit from Thompson, is out indefinitely with an undisclosed injury. . . . Announced attendance: 3,424.


At Saskatoon, F Michael Farren scored twice to lead the Blades to a 5-3 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Saskatoon (26-25-3) had lost its previous two games. It now holds the SaskatoonEastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, two points ahead of Prince Albert, which holds two games in hand. . . . Kootenay (23-27-3), which opened a four-game Saskatchewan tour with this one, has lost four straight. It is third in the Central Division, seven points behind Lethbridge and six ahead of Red Deer. . . . Farren opened the scoring, on a PP, at 2:47 of the second period. . . . The Ice tied it at 5:37 when F Colton Kroeker (11) scored. . . . Farren (6) broke the tie at 7:33, and F Bradly Goethals (10) stretched the lead with a shorthanded goal at 14:13. . . . F Max Gerlach (25), who also had an assist, gave the Blades a 4-1 lead at 5:12 of the third period. . . . The Ice made it interesting on goals from F Colton Veloso (18), at 17:14, and F Peyton Krebs (15), at 18:06. . . . Saskatoon iced it when F Chase Wouters (15) got the empty-netter at 19:06. . . . Veloso added two assists for the Ice, with Krebs and Kroeker each getting one. . . . Saskatoon was 1-3 on the PP; Kootenay was 0-3. . . . G Nolan Maier earned the victory with 21 saves. Maier, who turned 17 on Jan. 10, is 17-10-1, 3.24, .902 in his freshman season. . . . G Matt Berlin stopped 29 shots for Kootenay. . . . The Ice was without G Dustin McGovern, who served a one-game suspension for a match penalty he incurred in a 6-3 loss to the visiting Swift Current Broncos on Saturday. Kootenay had Jesse Makaj backing up in this one. . . . The Ice also had F Blake Allan, 16, make his WHL debut. From Humboldt, Sask., he has nine goals and 20 assists in 36 games with the midget AAA Saskatoon Blazers. He was a third-round selection in the 2016 WHL bantam draft. . . . F Keenan Taphorn (undisclosed injury) was among Kootenay’s scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 2,861.


At Kent, Wash., F Nolan Volcan scored in the fifth round of a shootout to give the Seattle Thunderbirds a 3-2 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . Seattle (27-18-7) had lost its Seattleprevious two games (0-1-1). The victory lifted it out of a tie with Spokane and into the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot. . . . Tri-City (27-17-8) has lost two in a row (0-1-1). It is third in the U.S. Division, one point ahead of Seattle and three ahead of Spokane. . . . Tri-City leads the season series, 4-2-1; Seattle is 3-2-2. . . . F Nolan Yaremko (17) gave the Americans a 1-0 lead at 10:57 of the first period. . . . Seattle went ahead 2-1 on goals from F Donovan Neuls (19), at 13:37 of the first, and Volcan (25), shorthanded, at 14:00 of the second. . . . The Americans forced OT when F Morgan Geekie (20) scored at 18:15 of the third period. . . . Yaremko added an assist to his goal. . . . Seattle was 0-2 on the PP; Tri-City was 0-5. . . . Seattle G Liam Hughes earned the victory with 46 saves through OT and four more in the shootout. . . . The Americans got 40 saves from G Beck Warm. . . . Announced attendance: 4,152.


WEDNESDAY (all times local):

Kootenay at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Edmonton at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.

Calgary at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Spokane at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Victoria at Portland, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Kelowna 7:05 p.m.