‘Canes to Calgary for 2019 playoffs? . . . Tigers hope to get back veterans . . . Spike becomes a Hall-of-Famer

A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

It turns out that the WHL’s Lethbridge Hurricanes aren’t completely pleased about having to turn their home arena — the ENMAX Centre — over to the 2019 World men’s Lethbridgecurling championship.

That event runs from March 30 through April 7, 2019, meaning the Hurricanes will have to be out of their facility for perhaps as long as two weeks, including time needed for set up and teardown.

The Hurricanes, of course, expect to be in the early days of the WHL playoffs at that time.

Doug Paisley, the Hurricanes’ president, told CJOC-FM in Lethbridge that the Hurricanes found out about the Worlds “after the fact.”

“We’re not thrilled with this (situation), but we’re dealing with it,” Paisley told CJOC-FM.

At the same time, Paisley said the Hurricanes are working with the City of Lethbridge to find another venue in which to play hockey games.

Paisley also admitted that the Hurricanes “have a blueprint to show what it will cost us to not be (in the ENMAX Centre).”

In other words, the Hurricanes are going to be wanting some financial compensation as they will have to move from their 5,479-seat home arena to a smaller venue. It also seems that should they be in the playoffs, the Hurricanes will be playing home games in another community.

“There’s nowhere else to play in Lethbridge,” Paisley told Patrick Burles of lethbridgenewsnow.com. “I mean, I just don’t think you can do that to your fans and say, ‘We’re holding a draw and only a thousand of you get to come and watch us at Nicholas Sheran (Arena).’

“Are we going to try to move to Calgary to play, would we have to go into Medicine Hat, Kootenay, depending on their schedules? There’s nowhere in (southwestern) Alberta that can accommodate even our season-ticket holders . . . there’s no rink that holds 2,200, and honestly, we need room for over 5,000.”

Last spring, the Hurricanes averaged 4,730 fans for 10 playoff games.

Burles’ story is right here.


The Medicine Hat Tigers are getting ready to — they hope— get a pair of veterans back into their lineup. . . . F Mason Shaw (knee), who has yet to play this season, is awaiting Tigers Logo Officialclearance from the medical staff of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild. . . . Shaw was injured on Sept. 10 while playing for a team of Wild prospects and subsequently underwent surgery. He has been skating for about a month. Last season, Shaw had 27 goals and 67 assists in 71 games, so having him healthy and in the lineup would be a huge boost for the Tigers as the playoffs being. . . . Meanwhile, G Jordan Hollett, who last played on Feb. 3, has been cleared by the Ottawa Senators’ medical staff to return from an undisclosed injury and may play this weekend. . . . There’s more right here from chatnewstoday.ca.


Spike Wallace, one of the most popular figures in the recent history of the Kamloops Kamloops1Blazers, will be inducted into the Kamloops Sports Hall of Fame on April 28. . . . Wallace was a long-time trainer and equipment manager with the Blazers. In his latter years with the team, he was the community and sponsorship co-ordinator. . . . Ron Robison, the WHL commissioner, presented Wallace with a Distinguished Service Award on March 7, 2012. The next morning, the Blazers announced that “by mutual agreement Spike will be leaving the team to pursue other initiatives.” . . . These days, he is a cashier in a Kamloops grocery store, and also works part time at Dolson’s Source for Sports. . . . Wallace was shown on the big screen at a recent Blazers game and the crowd responded with one of the loudest ovations heard in the Sandman Centre this season.


You will remember earlier this season when a man named Mike Gould said he would Dynamitersgive $7.5 million to the junior B Kimberley Dynamiters of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League and the Kimberley Minor Hockey Association. Gould claimed to have won a whack of money in a Euro Millions Lottery draw. . . . The Dynamiters and KMHA have yet to see any of that pledged money. . . . After making the pledge, Gould played host to a party at a Cranbrook restaurant, then paid for it with $8,000 worth of cheques that bounced due to insufficient founds. On Thursday, Gould was sentenced in a Cranbrook courtroom for fraud. He was fined $4,000, placed on probation for six months, and ordered to do 60 hours of community service. . . . Trevor Crawley of the Cranbrook Townsman has more right here.


JUST NOTES . . .

Marty Hastings of Kamloops This Week tweeted Thursday afternoon that Blazers D Joe Gatenby, 20, will join the ECHL’s Atlanta Gladiators once his WHL season ends with a game against the host Prince George Cougars on Saturday. . . . Despite the Blazers not qualifying for the playoffs, Gatenby is having a marvellous season. In 70 games, he has careers highs in goals (13), assists (46) and points (59) with one of the WHL’s lowest-scoring teams. He also is plus-16 on a team that has allowed 24 goals more than it has scored. . . .

The Prince George Cougars have had two players suspended for penalties they incurred during a 6-3 loss to the host Kelowna Rockets on Wednesday. . . . D Joel Lakusta drew a three-game sentence for a headshot major and game misconduct. The Cougars have two games remaining in their season, meaning he will sit out the first game of the 2018-19 season. . . . D Cam MacPhee got a one-game suspension after being hit with a match penalty for attempt to injure. He won’t play in Kamloops on Friday, but will be eligible to dress for the rematch in Prince George on Saturday. . . .

The Everett Silvertips have added G Blake Lyda, 15, to their roster. Lyda, a fourth-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft, played this season for the midget AAA Edmonton Canadian Athletic Club. In three earlier appearances with the Silvertips, he is 0-1-1, 3.29, .896. With the Canadians, he was 13-6-5, 2.46, .931. . . . Lyda joins Carter Hart and Dustin Wolf as goaltenders on Everett’s roster. . . .

Noah Geekie, a pitcher/outfielder from Strathclair, Man., has committed to attend Barton Community College in Great Bend, Kansas, and play baseball for the Cougars. Geekie, 17, is from Strathclair, Man., and has been playing baseball at the Okotoks Dawgs Baseball Academy. His father, Craig, is a former WHL player, while his brother, Morgan, plays for the Tri-City Americans. . . . Noah knows his way around a hockey rink, too — the Calgary Hitmen selected him in the second round of the 2015 WHL bantam draft.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

THURSDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Brandon at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Swift Current at Regina, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Seattle at Portland, 7 p.m.

Prince George at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Tri-City at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.

Kelowna vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7:30 p.m.

Victoria at Everett, 7:35 p.m.


SATURDAY (all times local):

Regina at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Prince Albert at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Calgary at Edmonton, 7 p.m.

Red Deer at Kootenay, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.

Kamloops at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Portland vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 6:05 p.m.

Spokane vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.

Everett at Victoria 7:05 p.m.


SUNDAY (all times local):

Edmonton at Calgary, 2 p.m.

Spokane at Portland, 5 p.m.

Seattle vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 5:05 p.m

END OF REGULAR SEASON


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Awards, bantam draft off to Red Deer . . . Broncos win showdown with Warriors . . . Visiting Raiders bury Hurricanes


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

A tip of the Taking Note cap to the WHL for moving its awards show and the bantam draft to Red Deer for at least the next three years. . . . This year, the awards will be handed out on May 2, with the bantam draft on May 3, with both taking place at the Sheraton Hotel. . . . The more the WHL is able to spread its annual events around, the better for all involved. . . . Now it’s about the annual meeting that seems to have settled into secrecy in Vancouver, and that annual gather on Super Bowl weekend in Las Vegas. If only the WHL pooh-bahs would move those around, too.


The Kootenay Ice has added D Anson McMaster, 15, to its roster. McMaster, from Siksika Nation, Alta., was a second-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. This season, he had 13 assists in 35 games with the midget AAA Okotoks Oilers.


Noah Geekie’s father, Craig, played four seasons in the WHL, playing with the Brandon Wheat Kings and Spokane Chiefs. Noah’s brother, Morgan, is in his third season with the Tri-City Americans and was a third-round pick by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2017 NHL draft. Noah was selected by the Calgary Hitmen in the second round of the 2015 bantam draft. . . . With all that hockey in the family, why has Noah turned to baseball? Bob Elliott of the Canadian Baseball Network has Noah’s story right here, and it involves a fastball that improved by 12 miles per hour, now touching on 87.


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.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

WEDNESDAY:

At Portland, the Kamloops Blazers scored three second-period goals and went on to score a 3-1 victory over the Winterhawks. . . . Kamloops (27-29-5) had lost its previous five Kamloops1games (0-4-1). It now is six points from a playoff spot with 11 games to play. . . . Portland (35-20-4) has lost two in a row. It is second in the U.S. Division three points ahead of Spokane. . . . The Blazers won the season series, 3-1-0. . . . F Cody Glass (28) gave Portland a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 7:00 of the first period. . . . Kamloops F Jermaine Loewen tied it, on a PP, at 4:28 of the second period and F Nick Chyzowski (17) put the visitors ahead, on a PP, at 19:01. . . . Loewen (31) provided insurance 47 seconds later. . . . D Joe Gatenby had two assists for Kamloops. . . . Portland F Skyler McKenzie picked up his 200th career point when he drew an assist on his club’s first goal. . . . Kamloops was 2-5 on the PP; Portland was 1-4. . . . G Dylan Ferguson stopped 30 shots to earn the victory. . . . G Cole Kehler started for Portland and surrendered three goals on 22 shots through two periods. Shane Farkas played the third period, stopping all four shots he faced. . . . The Blazers were without D Luke Zazula and F Luc Smith for a seventh straight game. . . . Announced attendance: 5,589.


At Swift Current, D Artyom Minulin drew three assists to help the Broncos to a 4-2 victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . Swift Current (43-13-5) has points in eight SCBroncosstraight (7-0-1). . . . Moose Jaw (44-12-3) and Swift Current are tied atop the overall standings, with the Warriors holding two games in hand. . . . I don’t know who is leading the season series, but Swift Current is 4-3-0 and Moose Jaw is 3-2-2. . . . The Broncos took a 1-0 lead when F Aleksi Heponiemi (26) scored, on a PP, at 9:00 of the first period. . . . F Tanner Jeannot (36) pulled Moose Jaw even, on a PP, at 19:25. . . . The Broncos went ahead 3-1 on goals from F Max Patterson (9), at 12:26 of the second period, and F Beck Malenstyn (11), shorthanded, at 7:07 of the third. . . . F Jayden Halbgewachs (57) got the Warriors to within one, on a PP, at 7:29. . . . Swift Current got insurance from D Colby Sissons (13), on a PP, at 16:32. . . . The Broncos got two assists from F Giorgio Estephan, with Heponiemi and Sissons each getting one. . . . D Kale Clague and F Brayden Burke each had two assists for the Warriors. . . . Broncos G Glenn Gawdin had one assist for his 300th career point. It came in his 305th game, all with the Broncos. . . . He leads the WHL in scoring this season, with 112 points, six more than Burke. . . . Swift Current was 2-4 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 2-6. . . . The Broncos got 37 saves from G Stuart Skinner, who posted his 100th regular-season victory. The first 88 of those came with Lethbridge. He is 12-3-1, 2.43, .925 since being acquired by the Broncos. . . . Moose Jaw’s Brody Willms stopped 21 shots. . . . The Warriors were without F Barrett Sheen and D Jett Woo, both of whom are suspended. . . . Announced attendance: 2,890.


At Calgary, F Jake Kryski and F Jakob Stukel each had a goal and two assists as the Hitmen bounced the Red Deer Rebels, 6-4. . . . Calgary (18-33-7) had lost its previous two Calgarygames. . . . Red Deer (21-27-13) had won its previous four games. It is third in the Central Division, two points ahead of Kootenay. Red Deer has a game in hand. . . . F Mason McCarty gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 5:07 of the first period. . . . Calgary scored the next three goals. . . . Stukel (28) tied it at 9:16. F Tristen Nielsen (13) gave Calgary a 2-1 lead at 4:27 of the second period, with F Luke Coleman (14) making it 3-1 at 10:42. . . . The Rebels came back with three straight goals. . . . F Brandon Hagel (11) scored, shorthanded, at 18:20, with McCarty (33) getting his second goal, just 1:05 later. . . . F Kristian Reichel (28) gave the Rebels a 4-3 edge 32 seconds into the third period. . . . Kryski (11) got Calgary into a tie at 2:04, with D Vladislav Yeryomenko (12) giving the Hitmen a 5-4 lead at 9:42. . . . F Riley Stotts (13) provided the insurance at 18:59. . . . D Egor Zamula had two assists for Calgary, with Yeryomenko and Stotts each getting one. . . . Red Deer got two assists from each of F Grayson Pawlenchuk and D Carson Sass. . . . Red Deer was 0-1 on the PP; Calgary was 0-2. . . . G Nick Schneider blocked 19 shots to earn the victory. . . . Red Deer starter Riley Lamb allowed three goals on 19 shots in 30:42. Ethan Anders came on to stop eight of 10 shots in 29:03. . . . Announced attendance: 4,706.


At Lethbridge, the Prince Albert Raiders took control with six straight goals en route to an 8-2 victory over the Hurricanes. . . . Prince Albert (24-25-11) had lost its previous two PrinceAlbertgames. It now is six points out of a playoff spot. . . . Lethbridge (29-25-6) had won three straight. It is second in the Central Division, three points behind Medicine Hat and with a game in hand. . . . F Brett Leason (13) put the visitors ahead 1-0 at 0:16 of the first period and F Sean Montgomery (12) made it 2-0 at 2:53. . . . F Jadon Joseph (8) got Lethbridge on the scoreboard at 14:34. . . . F Justin Nachbaur (8) started the six-goal onslaught at 18:58. . . . The Raiders got second-period goals from F Curtis Miske (20), at 7:54; F Cole Fonstad (18), 14:51; and F Kody McDonald (30), at 4:35; with third-period scores coming from F Sean Montgomery (13), at 4:54, and D Sergei Sapego (2), on a PP, at 6:50. . . . F Keltie Jeri-Leon (7) got Lethbridge’s last goal. . . . Fonstad added two assists to his goal, with Leason, Sapego, Montgomery, McDonald and Nachbaur each getting one. . . . Joseph had an assist for Lethbridge. . . . Prince Albert was 1-5 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-7. . . . The Raiders got 35 stops from G Ian Scott. . . . The Hurricanes started Reece Klassen, who gave up seven goals on 27 shots in 44:54. Logan Flodell finished up, stopping six of seven shots in 15:06. . . . The Raiders took 72 of the game’s 140 penalty minutes. That total included 10 misconducts late in the game. . . . The Raiders had D Vojtech Budik back after a one-game absence. . . . The Hurricanes were without D Calen Addison as he served a one-game suspension. . . . Announced attendance: 3,036.


At Kennewick, Wash., F Jordan Topping scored twice to help the Tri-City Americans to a 4-2 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Tri-City (30-21-8) had lost its previous two TriCity30games. It holds down the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot, and is fourth in the U.S. Division, three points behind Spokane. . . . Seattle (28-22-9) has lost two in a row. It is in possession of the conference’s second wild-card spot, three points behind Tri-City. . . . Tri-City is 5-2-1 in the season series; Seattle is 3-3-2. . . . Topping opened the scoring at 10:56 of the first period. . . . The Thunderbirds tied it 18 seconds into the second period when D Austin Strand got No. 20. . . . F Nolan Yaremko (18) gave the Americans a 2-1 lead at 2:29. . . . The Thunderbirds tied it at 5:31 when D Jarret Tyszka (8) scored. . . . Topping (34) snapped the tie at 9:51. . . . F Michael Rasmussen (23), who also had an assist, upped the lead to 4-2, on a PP, at 19:54. . . . Tri-City was 1-3 on the PP; Seattle was 0-3. . . . G Patrick Dea earned the victory with 26 saves. . . . Seattle G Liam Hughes stopped 41 shots. . . . With F Blake Bargar and Sami Moilanen injured, the Thunderbirds again have added F Payton Mount, who turned 16 on Monday, and F Graeme Bryks, who turns 17 today, to their roster. Mount, from Victoria, plays at the Delta Hockey Academy. He was a first-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft. This was his fourth game with Seattle this season. Bryks, an eighth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft, plays for the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints. This was his fifth game with Seattle this season. . . . Announced attendance: 2,547.


THURSDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Edmonton at Calgary, 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.

Brandon at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Prince Albert at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Seattle at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Prince George at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.

Kamloops vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.

Regina at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Portland at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

Everett vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7:30 p.m.


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