What lies ahead for WHL GMs? . . . Hitmen adding goalie with Stankowski out . . . Watson remembers McGeough


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While the WHL’s trading deadline doesn’t arrive until Jan. 10, the 22 general managers know that it really is closer than that because of the Christmas moratorium that runs from Dec. 15 through Dec. 26.

At the same time, the 2018-19 regular-season is about one-third completed, and that’s whlenough for each general manager to have a pretty good idea how things are shaping up — with his team and how it stacks up against the competition.

For some of them then, there isn’t any sense waiting until January. That’s why general manager Matt Bardsley of the Kamloops Blazers made two deals on Monday.

This season’s arm’s race isn’t expected to be anything close to what went on a year ago. Back then, you may recall, things started to heat up on Nov. 13 when the Regina Pats acquired D Cale Fleury from the Kootenay Ice for D Jonathan Smart, F Cole Muir and two 2018 bantam draft picks — a second and a sixth.

Twelve days later, the Calgary Hitmen shipped F Matteo Gennaro, F Beck Malenstyn and a 2018 fifth-rounder to the Swift Current Broncos for five players — F Conner Chaulk, G Ethan Hein, F Josh Prokop, D Dom Schmiemann and F Riley Stotts — and a 2018 second-rounder.

From that point on, the WHL experienced its silliest silly season yet. In fact, before this season arrived, the WHL rewrote the regulations that govern trades. Now there are restrictions on the trading of 15-, 16- and 17-year-olds players.

Because of the new rules, it’s going to be interesting to see what transpires between now and Jan. 10.

On Monday, Bardsley traded away two players — a 20-year-old and a 19-year-old — and got back two players, one 20 and the other 19, and four bantam draft picks.

“You’re not allowed to trade a signed 15- or 16-year-old and the 17-year-olds have to agree to a trade,” Bardsley told Earl Seitz of CFJC-TV in Kamloops. “So you have a pretty small group of 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds that you’re allowed to trade.

“Last (season), with all those major trades, a lot of them included signed 15- and 16-year-olds. (Now) teams are going to have to make up it with the draft picks . . . so whether we use those to select a player or use those drafts to acquire a player — it gives some options of what you can do to improve your team.”   

Who knows? Maybe we’ll see trades like the one in the OHL last week in which one team gave up two players and got back two players and 11 — count ‘em, 11 — draft picks.


F Cam Hausinger and F Connor McClennon, both of whom were injured on Saturday Kootenaynewnight in a 5-1 loss to the visiting Prince Albert Raiders, didn’t practice with the Kootenay Ice on Tuesday, indicating they won’t play tonight against the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . However, F Peyton Krebs, who has missed four games, and D Valtteri Kakkonen, a Finnish freshman who has sat out five games, were on the ice Tuesday. . . . On the WHL’s weekly roster report, McClennon is listed as being out four-to-six weeks, with Hausinger out week-to-week. . . . Also on Tuesday, the Ice brought in F Skyler Bruce and F James Form. If both players make their WHL debuts tonight that will give the Ice 12 available forwards. . . . Bruce, 15, has 16 goals and 18 assists in 19 games with the Winnipeg-based Rink Hockey Academy Elite 15s. He was a second-round pick in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. . . . Form, 16, is from Saskatoon where he plays for the midget AAA Blazers. He has seven goals and four assists in seven games. The Ice selected him in the third round of the 2017 bantam draft. . . . If Bruce and Form play tonight, they will become the 34th and 35th players to have suited up for the Ice this season. The Ice (7-16-4) is seven points away from the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot.


The Calgary Hitmen are listing G Carl Stankowski as being out week-to-week with a Calgarylower-body injury. . . . As you no doubt are aware, Stankowski, then 16, came off the bench to backstop the Seattle Thunderbirds to the WHL title in the spring of 2017. He didn’t play at all last season due to injuries, including hip-related woes, and illness, then was acquired by the Hitmen during the off-season. . . . Stankowski went the distance in Calgary’s second-last game, stopping 24 shots in a 5-2 victory over the Thunderbirds in Kent, Wash., on Friday night. . . . This season, Stankowski is 6-6-2, 3.72, .879. . . . With Stankowski out, freshman Jack McNaughton will take over the starter’s role. In 12 appearances, he is 4-6-1, 3.35, .890. . . . G Matt Armitage, who was with the Hitmen earlier in the season and has been playing with the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks, will join Calgary for three weekend games. . . . The Hitmen, who just came off a U.S. Division trip on which they went 3-1-1, are next scheduled to play on Friday when they visit the Red Deer Rebels.


Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post filed a piece on Tuesday that began like this:

“At an altitude of 38,000 feet, Brad Watson expressed his appreciation for a late, great friend who was always so down-to-earth.

“While flying from Denver to Detroit, Watson wrote a tribute to a fellow Regina-born NHL referee — Mick McGeough — and, upon landing, kindly shares the heartfelt sentiments with us.”

It’s all right here, and it’s the best tribute to McGeough that I’ve read since his death, at 62, last week.


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Simon Black, an assistant professor of labour studies at Brock U in St. Catharines, Ont., writes in the Toronto Star:

“Major junior hockey is big business. Everyone from coaches to Zamboni drivers to concession stand workers gets paid and protected under labour laws. Everyone, that is, but the players.”

Some of what he writes involves the CHL claim that major junior players are amateur student athletes.

However, as Black points out, “There’s also legal precedent dispelling the amateur myth. Hearing a case about whether the Brandon Wheat Kings should pay employment insurance and Canada Pension Plan assessments, the Tax Court of Canada ruled in 2000 that the relationship between club and players is indeed one of employer-employee.”

Simon’s complete piece is right here.


F Nick Bowman, who left the Kootenay Ice earlier in the month, has joined the AJHL’s Sherwood Park Crusaders. Bowman, 18, is from Sherwood Park. . . . He was a sixth-round selection by the Edmonton Oil Kings in the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft. He had 13 goals and 13 assists in 117 games with the Oil Kings when they dealt him to the Moose Jaw Warriors prior to this season. . . . After recording one assist in 10 games with Moose Jaw, he was traded to the Ice on Oct. 22, along with a sixth-round pick in the 2021 bantam draft, for F Kaeden Taphorn and his twin brother, Keenan, also a forward. . . . After scoring twice in 10 games with the Ice, Bowman chose to leave the club.


Brad Moran, who won a WHL scoring title while with the Calgary Hitmen, has been promoted from assistant coach to head coach of the AJHL’s Calgary Canucks. He takes over form Darryl Olsen, who was fired on Nov. 22. . . . Moran, 39, is from Abbotsford, B.C. He spent five seasons with the Hitmen. He totalled 450 points, including 204 goals, in 357 regular-season games. Moran won the WHL’s 1999-2000 scoring title, with 120 points. . . . The Canucks are 4-22-1, 20 points out of fifth-place in the AJHL’s Viterra South Division.


TUESDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The Prince Albert Raiders ran their winning streak to 17 with a 4-3 victory over the PrinceAlbertRebels in Red Deer. . . . The Raiders (24-1-0) are 2-1-0 against the Rebels, having lost 4-3 in Red Deer on Oct. 6 and won 2-1 at home on Oct. 13. . . . Prince Albert set a franchise record with its seventh straight road victory. It had shared the record with the 1985-86 team. . . . The Rebels (16-7-1) have lost two in a row. . . . The visitors jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals from F Spencer Moe (4), at 2:59 of the first period, and F Parker Kelly (11), at 4:11. . . . D Ethan Sakowich (1) scored for Red Deer at 5:27, but F Cole Fonstad (7) got that one back for the Raiders at 9:07. . . . F Zak Smith (4) pulled the Rebels to with a goal at 9:43 of the second period. . . . F Brett Leason scored his WHL-leading 26th goal, on a PP, at 14:27, to restore Prince Albert’s two-goal lead. . . . F Jeff de Wit (16) counted on a PP, with G Byron Fancy on the bench for the extra attacker, at 19:01 of the third period for Red Deer’s third goal. . . . D Sergei Sapego had three assists for the winners. . . . Leason ran his point streak to 25 games — yes, every game this season — with an assist on Kelly’s goal. . . . Leason leads the WHL in goals and points (56). . . . Leason went into this season with 24 goals and 27 assists in 135 regular-season games. . . . The Raiders were 1-2 on the PP; the Rebels were 1-7. . . . Sakowich’s goal was his fourth in 161 career regular-season games. He didn’t score in 72 games last season; in fact, his last goal came in a 6-1 victory over the visiting Kootenay Ice on March 11, 2017. . . . The Rebels were without their best defenceman, Russian Alex Alexeyev, who is out with an undisclosed injury. . . . The Raiders are back at it tonight when they meet the Oil Kings in Edmonton. This will be the first meeting of the season between these teams.


The Tri-City Americans erased a 2-1 deficit with the game’s last four goals and beat the tri-cityPrince George Cougars, 5-2, in Kennewick, Wash. . . . Tri-City (14-9-0) has won two in a row. . . . Prince George (10-12-3) has lost two straight. . . . F Vladislav Mikhalchuk (6) scored his second goal of the game, on a PP, at 4:09 of the second period to give the visitors a 2-1 lead. . . . F Isaac Johnson (9) tied the score, on a PP, at 9:51, and F Krystof Hrabik (7) snapped the tie at 18:42. . . . Tri-City put it away with third-period goals from F Sasha Mutala (6), at 6:00, and D Mitchell Brown (3), into an empty net, at 18:02. . . . G Beck Warm stopped 39 shots for the Americans. . . . D Aaron Hyman, who was acquired Monday from the Regina Pats, was in Tri-City’s starting lineup. He had one assist and it came on a PP. . . . The Americans lost F Kyle Olson to a cross-checking major and game misconduct at 19:19 of the first period.


F Davis Koch figured in three of the game’s last four goals to lead the Vancouver Giants to Vancouvera 5-3 victory over the Saskatoon Blades in Langley, B.C. . . . The Giants (17-6-2) have won three straight. . . . The Blades are 1-1-0 on a B.C. Division tour that continues tonight in Victoria. . . . Saskatoon scored all three of its goals in the game’s first 10 minutes, F Max Gerlach (16) giving it a 3-1 lead at 9:56. . . . Koch scored, on a PP, at 1:49 of the second period to get the Giants to within a goal. . . . F Aidan Barfoot (1), playing in his third game of the season and first since Sept. 22, tied it at 3:51. . . . F Milos Roman (13) gave Vancouver a 4-3 lead, on a PP, at 3:21 of the third period. . . . Koch scored his eighth goal into an empty net at 19:46. . . . Koch has 13 points, including five goals, in a six-game point streak. . . . D Nolan Kneen, who was acquired Monday from the Kamloops Blazers, made his Saskatoon debut.


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Hockey world mourns McGeough’s death . . . Raiders, Leason take aim at WHL records . . . Silvertips win on late goal


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Former WHL/NHL referee Mick McGeough died Friday night in a Regina hospital after his family had made the decision earlier to take him off life support. McGeough, who had suffered a stroke on Sunday, was 62.

McGeough brought a tremendous amount of personality, character and energy to every game in which he worked. And he worked a lot of games, including 1,146 in the NHL.

Kevin Muench, the WHL’s senior director of officiating, is from Moose Jaw and knew McGeough for a long time. Muench told the Regina Leader-Post:

“There will never be another Mick McGeough. He was one of a kind, on the ice and off the ice.

“Mick was an entertainer. He was like the Eddie Shack of officials. He was energized and flamboyant on the ice, and a great story-teller off the ice.

“Wherever you saw Mick, he was the centre of attention. Whether it was lunch at training camp or out for a beer after playing ball or golf, everybody wanted to sit at Mick’s table. You were guaranteed to hear some great stories.

“And he never told a story the same way twice. It got better and more embellished every time he told it! That was Mick.”

Muench told The Leader-Post that his last memory of McGeough was from the 2018 Memorial Cup in Regina.

“He invited a bunch of us old friends to his hotel room after a game one night,” Muench said. “We had a drink and ordered some pizza, and sat around and listened to Mick tell stories until tears were running down our cheeks with laughter. That is how it always was with Mick.

“His family, his friends, the hockey world, and the officiating world, we will all miss the enthusiasm he brought to life and to our great game of hockey.”

The Leader-Post’s story is right here.

Mark Spector of Sportsnet has a piece on McGeough right here.


OK, the onslaught on the WHL record book by the Prince Albert Raiders and F Brett Leason is getting serious.

The Raiders, now 24-1-0, got a goal and two assists from Leason in winning their 15th PrinceAlbertstraight game on Saturday night, beating the Kootenay Ice, 5-1, in Cranbrook, B.C.

In the process, the Raiders broke the franchise record for longest winning streak that had been set by the 1985-86 club. That edition of the Raiders, who were in their fourth season in the WHL, finished second in the Eastern Division (it was a two-division league then), at 52-17 with three ties.

If you’re wondering, the WHL record for longest winning streak in one season is 22 and is held by the 1967-78 Estevan Bruins. The Victoria Cougars actually won 24 straight from Feb. 6 1981, to Oct. 9, 1981, so that one was in overlapping seasons.

The 1978-79 Brandon Wheat Kings hold the record for longest unbeaten streak in one season, at 29 games. There were ties in those days. Remember? In overlapping the seasons, the Wheat Kings actually rattled off a 49-game unbeaten streak, from Feb. 11, 1978 through Dec. 7, 1978.

According to the Raiders’ website, they also tied the franchise record for consecutive road victories in a single season (6). They now share the record with that 1985-86 team.

Meanwhile, Leason extended his point streak to 24 games with the game’s first goal, at 13:34 of the first period. The WHL record for longest point streak was set at 56 by F Jeff Nelson of the Raiders in 1990-91.

Leason may have set a record for longest point streak to start a season, his 24-game heater breaking the mark that had been held by F Jeremy Reich of the Broncos to start the 1999-2000 season. Reich had the longest such streak since 1996-97, which is as far back as the WHL’s online statistics go.

The Raiders are next scheduled to play on Tuesday when they meet the Rebels in Red Deer. The Rebels beat the Raiders, 4-3, in Red Deer on Oct. 6.


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Brad Lukowich, a former WHL player and coach, is the new head coach of the Dallas Warriors. . . . The Warriors, according to their website, “were created to give our disabled U.S. military veterans a way to rehab through an amazing outlet. . . . The Warriors are highly active throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.” . . . A defenceman, Lukowich played three seasons with the Kamloops Blazers (1993-96) and was part of two Memorial Cup-championship teams. He also won two Stanley Cups in an NHL career that included 658 regular-season games. Lukowich also is a two-time Stanley Cup winner. He was an assistant coach with the Lethbridge Hurricanes in 2013-14. . . . The Warriors’ website is right here.


SATURDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

F Brayden Tracey took a penalty in OT and then he scored the winning goal, giving the MooseJawWarriorshost Moose Jaw Warriors a 3-2 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Moose Jaw (12-5-4) has points in seven straight (6-0-1). . . . Lethbridge (11-8-5) has points in three straight (2-0-1). . . . Both teams played the previous night, with the Hurricanes arriving in Moose from Brandon at around 3 a.m. This game started at 2:30 p.m. . . . Tracey, 17, was a first-round pick in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. . . . Tracey was penalized for tripping at 1:01 of OT, then scored his eighth goal of the season at 3:40 to end the game. He also had an assist, and now has eight goals and 14 helpers in 21 games. . . . The teams played through two scoreless periods. . . . F Tristin Langan (18), who also had two assists, gave the home side a 1-0 lead at 1:57 of the third period. . . . The visitors went ahead 2-1 on goals from F Taylor Ross (13), at 4:57, and F Keltie Jeri-Leon (5), at 9:53. . . . The Warriors tied it at 14:44 when D Josh Brook (7) scored on a PP. . . . Brook ran his point streak to seven games. He has two goals and 12 assists over that stretch. . . . Langan is riding an eight-game point streak, with eight goals and 11 assists over those games. . . . The Warriors won 40 of the game’s 64 faceoffs. . . . Lethbridge was without F Jadon Joseph, who drew a one-game suspension for a one-man fight in Friday’s 7-3 victory over the host Brandon Wheat Kings.


F Max Patterson scored at 12:26 of the second period and the goal stood up as the winner SCBroncosas the Swift Current Broncos got past the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings, 3-2. . . . The Broncos (4-18-2) had lost their previous five games (0-4-1). . . . The Oil Kings (14-9-4) had points in their previous two games (1-0-1). . . . The Broncos went into the game last in the Eastern Conference, 24 points behind the third-place Oil Kings. . . . The Broncos had taken a 2-0 lead on goals from F Andrew Fyten (5), at 19:46 of the first period, and F Ben King (5), on a PP, at 3:53 of the second. . . . The Oil Kings tied it with second-period goals 2:01 apart by F Brett Kemp (17) and D Ethan Cap (3), the latter on a PP. . . . Patterson, the son of former Seattle/Swift Current/Kamloops F Ed Patterson, scored his seventh goal at 12:26, just 15 seconds after Cap’s goal. . . . The Broncos got 29 saves, 14 of them in the third period, from G Isaac Poulter.


The Prince Albert Raiders set a franchise record with their 16th consecutive victory as PrinceAlbertthey bounced the Kootenay Ice, 5-1, in Cranbrook, B.C. . . . The Raiders (24-1-0) broke the franchise record for longest winning streak that had been set by the 1995-96 club. . . . The Ice (7-16-4) has lost five in a row (0-4-1). . . . Prince Albert held a 57-23 edge in shots. . . . Raiders F Brett Leason extended his point streak to 24 games with the game’s first goal, at 13:34 of the first period. Leason, who leads the WHL in goals (25), also had two assists. He also leads the WHL in points (54), two more than F Trey Fix-Wolansky of the Edmonton Oil Kings, who had one assist in a 3-2 loss to the Broncos in Swift Current. . . . F Ozzy Wiesblatt (4), F Parker Kelly (10), F Noah Gregor (11) and D Brayden Pachal (5) also scored for the Raiders, who built a 4-0 lead. . . . F Michael Milne scored his first WHL goal for the Ice. The 16-year-old from Abbotsford, B.C., scored in his fifth career game, all of them this season. . . . G Donovan Buskey stopped 22 shots for the Raiders in his fourth appearance this season. . . . The Ice, already without F Peyton Krebs, lost F Cam Hausinger and F Connor McClennon. . . . Hausinger, while on his knees, appeared to take a punch to the back of the heat. He went straight to the dressing room and missed the final 47 minutes. . . . McClennon, the second-overall pick in the 2017 bantam draft, left in the second period after going awkwardly, left skate first, into the boards. He, too, went right to the room and didn’t play the final 23 minutes. . . . Without Krebs, Hausinger and McClennon, the Ice is down to nine healthy forwards.


F Bryan Lockner and F Tyler Preziuso each had two goals to lead the Medicine Hat Tigers Tigers Logo Officialto a 7-3 victory over the Rebels in Red Deer. . . . Medicine Hat (11-12-3) will play host to the Rebels on Wednesday night. . . . Red Deer (16-6-1) had won its previous five games. The Rebels are to entertain the Prince Albert Raiders on Tuesday. . . . The Tigers erased 2-0 and 3-2 deficits, and scored the game’s last five goals. . . . F Chris Douglas (6) gave the Rebels a 3-2 edge at 6:01 of the second period. . . . Preziuso, who has 10 goals, tied it at 14:13, and Lockner, who has seven, snapped the tie at 17:38. . . . F James Hamblin (10) added insurance, on a PP, at 18:46. . . . Third-period goals from Preziuso and D Trevor Longo (2) put it away. . . . Hamblin also had two assists, while Lockner added one for a three-point outing. . . . Lockner’s first career multi-goal game came in his 156th regular-season game.


The host Portland Winterhawks grabbed a 3-1 lead early in the second period and went Portlandon to a 4-3 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . The Winterhawks (14-8-2) had lost their previous two games. . . . The Thunderbirds (8-12-3) have lost three in a row. . . . F Reece Newkirk (14) gave the Winterhawks a 1-0 lead, shorthanded, at 7:23 of the first period. . . . F Zack Andrusiak, who scored all three Seattle goals, tied it, on a PP, at 7:43. . . . The Winterhawks got two quick goals, albeit in different periods, to take that 3-1 lead. F Jaydon Dureau (3) counted at 18:58 of the first period and F Cody Glass (9) sniped, on a PP, just 28 seconds into the second. . . . Andrusiak got the Thunderbirds to within a goal at 5:05, but F Mason Mannek (7) got that one back for Portland at 18:43. . . . Andrusiak’s 15th goal of the season, at 19:15 of the third period, completed his third career hat trick. He also has goals in six straight games. . . . Glass ran his point streak to 11 games — he’s got five goals and 17 assists over that stretch. . . . Portland outshot Seattle, 45-18, including 22-6 in the first period. The Thunderbirds bot 41 stops from G Liam Hughes.


The Saskatoon Blades scored the game’s last four goals and beat the Cougars, 4-1, in SaskatoonPrince George. . . . Saskatoon (15-8-2) opened a B.C. Division tour with the game. . . . Prince George slipped to 10-11-3. . . . F Mike MacLean (3) gave Cougars a 1-0 lead at 2:04 of the first period. . . . Saskatoon F Max Gerlach (15) tied it, on a PP, at 3:45 and D Seth Bafaro (3) broke the tie at 19:37. . . . The Blades put it away with third-period goals from F Eric Florchuk (8) and F Kristian Roykas Marthinsen (7). . . . Saskatoon got 21 stops from G Nolan Maier. He now is 13-6-1, 2.68, .914. . . . The Blades will continue their B.C. Division tour in Langley, B.C., the home of the Vancouver Giants, on Tuesday and in Victoria on Wednesday.


Freshman F Adam Beckman scored twice to help the host Spokane Chiefs to a 3-1 victory SpokaneChiefsover the Kamloops Blazers. . . . Spokane (13-8-3) has won two in a row. . . . Kamloops now is 9-11-2. . . . The Blazers are 7-5-0 on the road — they went into this one having won six of their last seven away from home— but only 2-6-1 at home. They will entertain the Saskatoon Blades on Friday and the Seattle Thunderbirds on Saturday. . . . Beckman opened the scoring at 15:45 of the second period, with F Luke Toporowski (8) making it 2-0, shorthanded, at 18:26. . . . F Brodi Stuart (7) scored for Kamloops, on a PP, at 12:09 of the third period. . . . Beckman closed out the scoring with his 12th goal, into an empty net, at 18:58. He leads all first-year players in goals. . . . F Eli Zummack drew three assists for the Chiefs. . . . G Bailey Brkin stopped 17 shots for Spokane. . . . Kamloops starter Dylan Ferguson left after two periods, having turned aside 19 of 21 shots. Dylan Garand came on in relief and stopped all five shots he faced in 18:53. . . . F Jermaine Loewen, the Blazers’ captain, sat out his second straight game.


The Tri-City Americans scored twice in the shootout and beat the Calgary Hitmen, 3-2, in tri-cityKennewick, Wash. . . . The Americans (13-9-0) had lost three in a row. . . . The Hitmen (10-13-3) have points in three straight (2-0-1). They went 3-1-1 on their U.S. Division trek. . . . Calgary scored the game’s first two goals — F Riley Stotts (7), at 13:02 of the first period, and F Carson Focht (6), on a PP, at 4:12 of the second. . . . F Blake Stevenson (4) got the Americans to within a goal at 8:59 of the third period, and F Sasha Mutala (5) forced OT at 18:36. . . . The Americans got shootout goals from F Kyle Olson and F Isaac Johnson, while the Hitmen weren’t able to beat G Beck Warm, who stopped 38 shots through OT.


The Vancouver Giants built up a 4-0 lead en route to a 4-1 victory over the Victoria Royals Vancouverin Langley, B.C. . . . The Giants (16-6-2) have won two in a row. . . . The Royals (12-8-0) have lost two straight. . . . F Milos Roman (12), on a PP, F Davis Koch (6), F Jared Dmytriw (5), shorthanded, and F Justin Sourdif (6) have the Giants a 4-0 lead, the latter scoring at 11:09 of the third period. . . . F Tanner Sidaway (3) scored for the Royals at 16:17 of the third. . . . Koch, who has six goals and 17 assists in 24 games, has three goals and seven assists in a five-game point streak. . . . Koch’s goal was his 200th career regular-season point. It came in his 277th game. . . . G Trent Miner stopped 24 shots for the Giants. . . . G David Tendeck was on the Vancouver bench after a one-game absence.


F Connor Dewar scored twice, the second goal coming with 53.7 seconds left in the third Everettperiod, to give the host Everett Silvertips a 2-1 victory over the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Everett (18-7-1) has points in four straight (3-0-1). . . . Kelowna (11-14-1) had won its previous three games. . . . The Silvertips held a 42-18 edge in shots, including 16-5 in the first period and 19-7 in the third. The Rockets got 40 stops from G James Porter. . . . Dewar got the game’s first goal at 6:43 of the second period. . . . Kelowna F Kyle Topping (11) tied the score at 8:37 of the third period, on a PP. . . . Dewar won it with his 20th goal at 19:06. . . . Everett G Dustin Wolf stopped 17 shots, improving to 17-7-1, 1.84, .924. . . . The Silvertips lost D Gianni Fairbrother at 12:09 of the first period as he was hit with a headshot major and game misconduct. . . . Kelowna D Braydyn Chizen was back after a one-game absence. . . . Everett has won each of the past six games with Kelowna and is 10-0-3 in the last 13 meetings.


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McGeough, ex-referee, dies at 62 . . . Cozens, Addison blow through Brandon . . . Raiders run victory streak to 15


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D Alexei Platonov (Medicine Hat, 2015-16) has been assigned on loan by Lada Togliatti (Russia, Vysshaya Liga) to Cheboksary (Russia, Pervenstvo Vysshaya Liga). Platonov was injured during the exhibition season and hasn’t played in the regular season. Last season, he had one goal and two assists in 24 games with Toros Neftekamsk (Russia, Vysshaya Liga). . . .

G Andrei Makarov (Saskatoon, 2011-13) has been claimed on waivers by Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg (Russia, KHL) from Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk (Russia, KHL). This season, with Nizhnekamsk, he got into six games and was 1-3-1, 2.64, .897. In seven games with CSK VSS Samara (Russia, Vysshaya Liga), he was 3-2-2, 1.95 GAA, .913.


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Former WHL/NHL referee Mick McGeough died Friday night in a Regina hospital. . . . His family revealed earlier in the day that he was to be taken off life support. McGeough, 62, had suffered a stroke on Sunday. . . . According to the Regina Leader-Post, McGeough’s family “made the announcement Friday — one day after a GoFundMe page was set up to assist with medical expenses.” . . . The Leader-Post story, which was written early on Friday and includes a link to a GoFundMe page, is right here.


G Ian Scott of the Prince Albert Raiders is on quite a run.

Consider . . .

On Nov. 14, Scott stopped 43 shots in posting a 2-0 shutout over the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers, perhaps missing an empty-net goal when his attempt to fire the puck the length of the ice struck the scoreclock.

On Nov. 16, Scott scored an empty-net goal in a 3-1 victory over the visiting Tri-City Americans.

On Nov. 17, Scott blocked 26 shots in a 6-0 beating of the Wheat Kings in Brandon.

On Nov. 20, Scott and the Raiders dumped the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes, 5-1.

Last night, Scott stopped 26 shots and had an assist as the Raiders beat the Tigers, 7-3, in Medicine Hat. In earning the assist, his first of the season (and third of his career), Scott corralled the puck behind his goal and fired it off the left boards and right on to the stick of F Brett Leason. The WHL’s leading scorer went in shorthanded and scored, giving the Raiders a 4-0 lead.

This season, Scott is 19-1-0, 1.45, .948.

Scott, 20, is from Calgary. His NHL rights belong to the Toronto Maple Leafs, who selected him in the fourth round of the NHL’s 2017 draft.


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The Nelson Daily has dubbed it “Twitter-Gate.” That would be the sniping that went on following a Kootenay International Junior Hockey League game between the Nelson Leafs and the host Spokane Braves on Sunday. . . . In a story that is right here, The Daily reports that Larry Martel, the KIJHL president, has told both teams to cut it out. . . . The good news for Spokane hockey fans is that the two teams will close out November on Friday at Eagles Ice Arena. Game time is 7 p.m.

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Former WHL D Jonas Harkins has joined the junior B North Van Wolf Pack of the Pacific Junior Hockey League. Harkins, who will turn 18 on Dec. 26, made his debut with the Wolf Pack on Wednesday night. A native of North Vancouver, he played 34 WHL games over four seasons with the Prince George Cougars and Regina Pats.


FRIDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

F Dylan Cozens scored three goals and set up three others, and D Calen Addison drew Lethbridgefive assists, as the Hurricanes skated to an 8-4 victory over the Wheat Kings in Brandon. . . . Lethbridge (11-8-4) has won two straight. The victory moved it into a tie with Brandon in the Eastern Conference standings. . . . The Wheat Kings (10-7-6) have lost three in a row. . . . The Hurricanes were 5-6 on the PP. . . . F Jordy Bellerive (10), who also had two assists, gave Lethbridge a 2-1 lead at 8:13 of the first period, and Cozens upped it to 3-1, on a PP, at 18:04. Cozens made it 4-1 on another PP at 4:06 of the second and the Hurricanes were in control. . . . Cozens enjoyed the first six-point game of his career, and had his third hat trick. This season, Cozens has 30 points, including 12 goals, in 23 games. . . . Addison has four goals and 21 assists in 23 games. . . . Addison, who is from Brandon, had a five-point night last season when he recorded five assists in a 7-2 victory over the Oil Kings in Edmonton. . . . F Ty Kolle scored twice for Lethbridge, giving him seven goals and four assists since being acquired from the Portland Winterhawks. . . . Brandon got two goals from F Stelio Mattheos, who has 21. . . . G Jiri Patera of the Wheat Kings was pulled for the first time in his freshman season. It came in his 19th start. He gave up three goals on 16 shots in the first period. . . . Brandon had D Schael Higson in the lineup for the first time since Oct. 16, but D Braden Schneider remains sidelined.


F Tristin Langan scored his second goal of the game in OT to give the host Moose Jaw MooseJawWarriorsWarriors a 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Moose Jaw (11-5-4) has points in six straight (5-0-1). . . . Edmonton now is 14-8-4. . . . The teams exchanged goals until the Warriors scored the last two. . . . F Kaeden Taphorn (2) tied it 3-3 at 15:55 of the third period. It was his first goal in seven games with the Warriors since coming over in a deal with the Kootenay Ice. . . . Langan, who also had an assist, won it with his 17th goal, at 3:08 of OT. . . . The Warriors got three assists from D Josh Brook. . . . F Justin Almeida returned to Moose Jaw’s lineup after missing four games with an undisclosed injury suffered in Game 1 of the CIBC Canada Russia Series. He had a goal, his fourth, and the primary assist on Langan’s winner. . . . F Trey Fix-Wolansky scored his 15th goal 22 seconds into the first period and added two assists. . . . Edmonton was 1-4 on the PP; Moose Jaw’s unit wasn’t given even one opportunity. . . . F Andrei Pavlenko, a freshman from Belarus, as back after sitting out since Nov. 12. . . . This game actually featured four players from Belarus — Pavlenko and F Vladimir Alistrov of the Oil Kings, and F Yegor Buyalski and F Daniil Stepanov of the Warriors. . . . The Warriors will be on the ice again this afternoon as they meet the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes in a game that is to be televised by Sportsnet. Game time is 2:30 p.m. (1:30 p.m. MT, 12:30 p.m. PT). The Hurricanes beat the Wheat Kings, 8-4, in Brandon last night.


F Brandon Hagel’s late goal gave the Red Deer Rebels a 3-2 victory over the Kootenay Ice Red Deerin Cranbrook, B.C. . . . The Rebels (16-5-1) have won five in a row. They are 4-0-0 against the Ice this season, having won three times by one goal. . . . The Ice (7-15-4) has lost four straight (0-3-1). . . . The Rebels took a 2-0 lead on first-period goals from D Dawson Barteaux (2), on a PP, and F Jeff de Wit (15). . . . The Ice tied it on two goals from F Cam Hausinger, who has eight. He scored at 15:07 of the first, on a PP, and 5:46 of the third. . . . Nagel, who also had an assist, won it with his 15th of the year, at 19:10. . . . D Alex Alexeyev and F Reese Johnson each had two assists for the Rebels. . . . The Ice remains without F Peyton Krebs.


F Brett Leason had two goals and two assists to help the Prince Albert Raiders to their PrinceAlbert15th consecutive victory, this one by a 7-3 count over the Tigers in Medicine Hat. . . . The Raiders now are 22-1-0. . . . The 15-game victory streak has tied a franchise record set in 1985-86. Next up for the Raiders? They’re in Cranbrook, B.C., tonight to meet the Kootenay Ice. . . . The Tigers slipped to 10-12-3. . . . The Raiders won the season series, 4-0-0, outscoring the Tigers, 19-7. . . . Leason ran his point streak to 23 games — yes, he has at least a point in every game this season — when he gave his guys a 2-0 lead at 9:22 of the first period. . . . His second goal, at 1:30 of the second period, came while shorthanded and gave his club a 4-0 lead. The Raiders now have scored a WHL-leading 15 shorthanded goals; the Red Deer Rebels are next with seven. . . . The Tigers came back to get within a goal, at 4-3, on a goal from F Ryan Jevne (7) at 7:50 of the third period. . . . The Raiders put it away with three goals in a span of 1:26 later in the period. . . . F Parker Kelly scored twice for the winners, giving him nine. . . . Leason leads the WHL in goals (24) and is tied with Edmonton F Trey Fix-Wolansky for the points lead, each with 51. . . . Tigers D Joel Craven missed his 13th straight game with concussion-like symptoms, while F Elijah Brown (shoulder) also is out.


The host Kelowna Rockets scored the game’s first two goals and went on to beat the KelownaRocketsVictoria Royals, 3-1. . . . Kelowna (11-13-1) has won three in a row. . . . Victoria (12-7-0) had won its previous two games. . . . F Kyle Topping (10) gave Kelowna a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 10:47 of the second period. . . . The Rockets nursed that lead until 14:05 of the third when F Liam Kindree (5) made it 2-0. . . . F Kaid Oliver (14) got the Royals to within one at 18:18. . . . F Leif Mattson (9) gave the Rockets some insurance at 19:53. . . . Kelowna got 23 saves from G Roman Basran. . . . Victoria G Griffen Outhouse, who stopped 26 shots, set a franchise record by playing in his 166th game. He had shared the record with Coleman Vollrath (2012-16). . . . The Royals had F Dante Hannoun back in the lineup, but D Ralph Jarratt remains out. . . . D Braydyn Chizen was among Kelowna’s scratches.


The Prince George Cougars scored the game’s first two goals and the last two as they beat PrinceGeorgethe visiting Regina Pats, 5-3. . . . The Cougars (10-10-3) had lost their previous two games. . . . The Pats (8-17-0) have lost two in a row. . . . The Pats went 1-5-0 on their road swing, including 1-4-0 in the B.C. Division. . . . F Jackson Leppard (5) got the home side off to a 1-0 lead with a shorthanded score at 5:58 of the first period. . . . D Joel Lakuska (4) made it 2-0 at 11:40. . . . F Josh Maser (7) gave the Cougars a 3-1 lead at 2:32 of the second period. . . . The Pats got even on F Nick Henry’s three goals, in a span of 6:59 in the second period. It was the third hat trick of his career and the second in eight days. Henry also scored three times on Nov. 16 in a 10-4 loss to the Vancouver Giants in Langley, B.C. . . . Henry’s 15th goal tied the game at 7:41 of the second. . . . Prince George F Ethan Browne (5) broke the tie, on a PP, at 11:57 of the second. . . . F Josh Curtis (6) got the empty-netter at 19:01. . . . Prince George G Isaiah DiLaura stopped 30 shots. . . . The Pats lost F Marco Creta to a boarding major and game misconduct at 9:30 of the second period. . . . Regina F Jake Leschyshyn had his 12-game point streak snapped.


G Carl Stankowski stopped 24 shots for the Calgary Hitmen in his return to Kent, Wash., Calgaryas they beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 5-2. . . . The Hitmen (10-13-2) have won two in a row in the U.S. Division. They are 4-1-0 on a road trip that wraps up tonight in Kennewick, Wash., against the Tri-City Americans. . . . The Thunderbirds (8-11-3) have lost two straight. . . . “I’ve had this game marked on my calendar for a long time,” Stankowski told Alex Medina of hitmenhockey.com before the game. “I’m pretty anxious to go there and play against some of my old teammates. It’s going to be really fun and exciting to go back in that barn. It’ll bring back a lot of great memories. I want to win that game really bad.” . . . Stankowski, then 16, was Seattle’s starting goaltender in the playoffs as they won the WHL championship in the spring of 2017. After getting into only seven regular-season games, he went 16-4, 2.50, .911 in the playoffs after starter Rylan Toth was injured. . . . Stankowski ran into injury and health issues, and didn’t play last season, then was dealt to Calgary over the summer. . . . With the Hitmen, he now is 6-6-2, 3.72, .879. . . . The Hitmen got two goals from each of F Mark Kastelic, who has 21, and F Luke Coleman, who has seven. . . . Kastelic’s two goals, one on a PP, and one from F Carson Focht (5), at 1:59 of the second period, gave the visitors a 3-0 lead. . . . Seattle got to within a goal as F Matthew Wedman (8) scored, shorthanded, at 7:55 of the second period and F Zack Andrusiak (12) found the range at 10:05 of the third. . . . But F Luke Coleman put it away with two empty-netters, giving him seven goals. . . . Calgary was 1-2 on the PP and 7-7 on the PK. . . . Andrusiak has goals in five straight games.


The Kamloops Blazers scored the game’s last four goals and beat the Tri-City Americans, Kamloops15-1, in Kennewick, Wash. . . . The Blazers (9-10-2), who are only 2-6-1 at home, now are 7-4-0 on the road where they have won six of their last seven. . . . The Americans (12-9-0) have lost three straight. . . . The Americans last played at home on Oct. 19. They then went on an 11-game road trip on which they were 7-4-0. . . . F Orrin Centazzo scored the Blazers’ first two goals, giving them a 1-0 lead at 8:50 of the first period and a 2-1 edge, on a PP, at 4:12 of the second. He’s got six goals. . . . D Montana Onyebuchi (2) had a goal and an assist for Kamloops, with F Zane Franklin and F Luc Smith each getting two assists. . . . The game featured the Schmiemann brothers playing against each other — Dom with the Americans and Quinn with the Blazers. Quinn’s first WHL goal gave the Blazers a 4-1 lead at 14:51 of the second. The goal came in his 20th WHL game, 17 of them this season. . . . Kamloops got 34 stops from G Dylan Ferguson. . . . F Jermaine Loewen, the team captain, was among the Blazers’ scratches. He apparently was ill.


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Habscheid, Sutter moving on up . . . Rybinski takes Express to BCHL . . . McGeough and family needing help


MacBeth

F Jack Walker (Victoria, 2012-17) has been released by the Aalborg Pirates (Denmark, Metal Ligaen). He had one goal and one assist in 16 games.


ThisThat

With the Prince Albert Raiders gotten off to such a terrific start, head coach Marc Habscheid has moved from 13th to ninth on the list of the WHL’s winningest regular-season coaches.

When this season began, Habscheid had 456 victories as a WHL head coach. With the whlRaiders at 21-1-0, Habscheid has vaulted into ninth place, passing Peter Anholt, Jack Shupe, Kelly McCrimmon and Dean Clark, none of whom is still coaching. Anholt, however, will have the opportunity to improve on his 466 victories when he goes behind the Lethbridge Hurricanes’ bench when head coach Brent Kisio joins Canada’s national junior team in December. Kisio will be an assistant coach under head coach Tim Hunter of the Moose Jaw Warriors.

Meanwhile, Brent Sutter, the owner, general manager and head coach of the Red Deer Rebels, has closed to within 18 victories of 500. The Rebels are 15-5-1, but Sutter wasn’t with them for one of those victories; instead, he was on a father-son trip with his son, Brandon, and the Vancouver Canucks.

Here’s a look at the 23 WHL head coaches who have more than 300 regular-season victories to their credit (includes games of Nov. 21):

1. Don Hay (Kamloops, Tri-City, Vancouver) 750

2. Ken Hodge (Edmonton, Portland), 742

3. Don Nachbaur (Seattle, Tri-City, Spokane) 692

4. Lorne Molleken (Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Regina) 626

5. Mike Williamson (Portland, Calgary, Tri-City) 572

6. Ernie McLean (Estevan, New Westminster) 548

7. Pat Ginnell (Flin Flon, Victoria, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, New Westminster) 518

8. Brent Sutter (Red Deer) 482

9. Marc Habscheid (Kamloops, Kelowna, Chilliwack, Victoria, Prince Albert) 477

10. Peter Anholt (Prince Albert, Seattle, Red Deer, Kelowna, Lethbridge) 466

       Jack Shupe (Medicine Hat, Victoria) 466

12. Kelly McCrimmon (Brandon) 465

      Dean Clark (Calgary, Brandon, Kamloops, Prince George) 465

14. Bob Lowes (Seattle, Brandon, Regina) 453

15. Doug Sauter (Calgary, Medicine Hat, Regina, Brandon) 417

16. Marcel Comeau (Calgary, Saskatoon, Tacoma, Kelowna) 411

17. Bryan Maxwell (Medicine Hat, Spokane, Lethbridge) 397

18. Shaun Clouston (Tri-City, Medicine Hat) 366

19. Graham James (Moose Jaw, Swift Current, Calgary) 349

20. Bob Loucks (Lethbridge, Tri-City, Medicine Hat) 340

21. Willie Desjardins (Saskatoon, Medicine Hat) 333

22. Mike Johnston (Portland) 328

23. Kevin Constantine (Everett) 326



With the WHL schedule having taken Thursday off, perhaps to celebrate American Thanksgiving, here’s a look at what the first-round playoff matchups would be had the regular-season ended yesterday . . . Yes, it doesn’t mean much because teams haven’t played an equal number of games, but, hey, it’s food for thought. . . .

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Prince Albert (21-1-0) vs. Medicine Hat (10-11-3)

Red Deer (15-5-1) vs. Moose Jaw (10-5-4)

Edmonton (14-8-3) vs. Lethbridge (10-8-4)

Saskatoon (14-8-2) vs. Brandon (10-6-6)

Out: Calgary (9-13-2), Kootenay (7-14-4), Regina (8-16-0), Swift Current (3-18-2). . . . Calgary is three points out of a playoff spot, while Kootenay is five back, Regina seven and Swift Current 15.

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WESTERN CONFERENCE

Everett (17-7-1) vs. Kelowna (10-13-1)

Vancouver (15-6-2) vs. Tri-City (12-8-0)

Portland (13-8-2) vs. Spokane (12-8-3)

Victoria (12-6-0) vs. Prince George (9-10-3)

Out: Seattle (8-10-3), Kamloops (8-10-2). . . . Seattle is two points out of a wild-card playoff spot, while Kamloops is three points back.


Ask any long-time observer about the best referees in the history of the WHL and Mick McGeough will be in the conversation. McGeough, from Regina, went on to show his outsized personality during a lengthy career in the NHL, too. . . . McGeough has run into some health difficulties this week, and he and his family need help from the hockey world and beyond. . . . There is a GoFundMe page right here.


F Henry Rybinski, who has asked the Medicine Hat Tigers to trade him, has joined the BCHL’s Coquitlam Express. Rybinski, 17, is from Vancouver. Last season, he had three goals and nine assists in 63 games with the Tigers, who picked him in the second round of the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. This season, he had one goal and four assists in five games. . . . . . . The Tigers revealed on Nov. 1 that Rybinski had asked to be traded and no longer was with the team. Rybinski was wanting more playing time, something the Tigers said they weren’t able to provide because he was behind veteran centres James Hamblin and Ryan Chyzowski on their roster.


The Kootenay Ice has brought back D Anson McMaster, 16, for another look. McMaster, from Siksika, Alta., was a second-round pick by the Ice in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. . . . He is pointless in three games with the Ice this season. . . . In 12 games with the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers, he has two goals and seven assists.


The Vancouver Giants have dropped F Hunor Torzsok from their roster. He is expected to end up with a junior A team. Torzsok, 18, had one assist in eight games. Last season, he had one goal and one assist in 25 games with Vancouver. He also played 10 games with the BCHL’s Nanaimo Clippers last season, scoring three goals.


TheCoachingGame

The SJHL’s Melfort Mustangs have signed general manager and head coach Trevor Blevins to an extension that runs through the 2021-22 season. He took over as the Mustangs’ head coach during the 2013-14 season. They won the SJHL title in 2015 and 2016. . . . This season, the Mustangs have the league’s second-best record, at 17-6-1.


The AJHL’s Calgary Canucks have fired Darryl Olsen, who had been their general manager and head coach. He had been with the Canucks since August 2017, and had been head coach since November 2017. He was named GM and head coach on April 5. . . . According to a text from Gino De Paoli (@GDP_PXP), it “looks like assistants Brad Moran and Tyson Avery will take over for the time being.” . . . The Canucks are 2-22-1, and in last played in the eight-team Viterra South Division.


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