Maier, Blades put up another shutout. . . . ‘Sudden Death’ Byram does it again. . . . Rockets, T-Birds stretch leads on Blazers


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Upon further review . . .

In response to a piece that appeared here yesterday about the WHL record for most whlvictories by one team in a 68-game regular season, a reader responds:

“While there was obviously no shootout in 1971-72, teams did play a 10-minute sudden-death overtime to break tie games. The vast majority of overtime games were decided as there were only 10 ties in the entire season.

“It appears that Calgary had 46 regulation victories in 1971-72, the same number that Prince Albert has this season. Overtime games were far fewer in those days, of course, when double-digit game scores were a regular thing.”

The Calgary Centennials finished the 1971-72 season with a record of 49-16-3. This season, the Prince Albert Raiders, who have five games remaining, are 50-9-4, with three OT victories and one in a shootout.

So . . . let’s just say that the 1980-81 Victoria Cougars hold the single-season record for most victories (60) and leave it at that.


F Alec Reid of the QMJHL’s Blainville-Boisbriand Armada died on Sunday morning of qmjhlcomplications related to epilepsy. He was 18.

A freshman in the QMJHL, he had two goals and three assists in 26 games with the Drummondville Voltigeurs to start the season, then was pointless in 11 games with the Armada following a January trade.

From a QMJHL news release:

“Reid had been closely monitored by a doctor and a neurologist due to epilepsy for quite some time. Over the course of the past few weeks, the Armada had been working in close collaboration with his physicians because of recent epilepsy seizures. Due to concerns over his condition, Reid hadn’t played since February 19, 2019.”


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SUNDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

G Nolan Maier put up his second straight shutout as the Saskatoon Blades beat the Red SaskatoonDeer Rebels, 1-0. . . . Saskatoon (41-14-8) has won four in a row. It will finish second in the East Division. . . . Red Deer (31-25-6) had points in each of its previous three games (2-0-1). It remains in possession of the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, one point behind the Medicine Hat Tigers and two ahead of the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Maier stopped 17 shots in recording his fourth shutout of the season and sixth of his career. On Friday, Maier made 19 saves in a 4-0 victory over the Pats in Regina. . . . This season, Maier is 33-10-6, 2.66, .909. . . . The Blades held a 33-17 edge in shots, including 10-0 in the third period. . . . F Cyle McNabb (7) scored the game’s lone goal, at 6:37 of the second period. . . . Saskatoon was 0-4 on the PP; Red Deer was 0-3. . . . The Rebels got 32 saves from G Ethan Anders.


F Carson Focht struck for three goals to lead the Calgary Hitmen to a 6-2 victory over the Calgaryvisiting Kootenay Ice. . . . Calgary (35-22-6) has points in six straight (5-0-1). It is third in the Central Division, four points behind the Lethbridge Hurricanes and six behind the Edmonton Oil Kings. The Hitmen have five games remaining, with three of them against the Oil Kings. . . . Kootenay (12-41-10) has lost two in a row. . . . On Friday, in Cranbrook, B.C., the Hitmen beat the Ice, 5-2. . . . On Sunday, Focht opened the scoring, on a PP, at 2:16 of the first period. . . . The Ice tied it at 10:19 when F Connor McClennon (12) scored on a PP. . . . The Hitmen took control with the next three goals. . . . F Ryder Korczak (8) counted, on a PP, at 18:07, before second-period goals from F Josh Prokop, at 5:17, and Focht, at 8:19. . . . D Martin Bodak (11) scored for the visitors at 10:14. . . . Calgary iced it with third-period goals from Prokop (9), at 4:28, and Focht (23), shorthanded, at 16:03. . . . Calgary was 2-4 on the PP; Kootenay was 1-8. . . . The Hitmen got 36 saves from G Carl Stankowski. . . . Focht has been on a tear of late, with 16 points, including seven goals, on a six-game point streak. He had a four-goal game on Feb. 27 as the Hitmen beat the visiting Swift Current Broncos, 9-3. He now has 58 points in 63 games. . . . Calgary went 3-0-0 in playing three times in fewer than 48 hours over the weekend. The Ice went 1-2-0 in doing the same thing.


D Bowen Byram scored in OT for the fifth time this season, this one giving the Vancouver VancouverGiants a 5-4 victory over the Kamloops Blazers in Langley, B.C. . . . Vancouver (44-14-4) has points in six straight (5-0-1). It is tied with the Everett Silvertips, who also are 44-14-4, atop the Western Conference. . . . Kamloops (23-31-7) has lost three in a row (0-2-1). . . . Things couldn’t have gone much worse for the Blazers this weekend as they try to catch either the Kelowna Rockets or Seattle Thunderbirds for a playoff spot. On Saturday, the Blazers lost, 5-4 in regulation to the visiting Giants, while the Thunderbirds and Rockets both lost in OT, so picked up loser points. Last night, with the Blazers getting a loser point, Kelowna and Seattle both posted regulation-time victories. . . . The Blazers are fourth in the B.C. Division, now seven points behind the Rockets. Kamloops also is seven points behind Seattle, which holds down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . The Giants and Blazers will play again in Kamloops on Wednesday. . . . On Sunday, F Milos Roman gave the Giants a 1-0 lead at 9:39 of the first period. . . . The Blazers promptly took a 2-1 lead on goals from F Jerzy Orchard (1), at 10:33, and F Brodi Stuart, on a PP, at 19:00. . . . The Giants went up 3-2 as F Tristen Nielsen (13) scored, at 1:56 of the second period, and D Dylan Plouffe (6) counted, on a PP, at 3:28 of the third. . . . Stuart (19), who is from Langley, tied it, on a PP, at 7:42. . . . Roman (27) put the Giants ahead, again, at 17:02, on a PP. . . . The Blazers forced OT when F Jermaine Loewen (24) scored at 18:01. . . . Byram won it 29 seconds into extra time. . . . Byram’s 24th goal of the season tied the franchise’s single-season record for goals by a defenceman that was set by Kevin Connauton in 2009-10. . . . Byram, who also had two assists, now has 66 points in 62 games. Eight of his goals have been game-winners. . . . Byram’s fifth OT winner of the season tied the WHL record that was set by F Eric Fehr of the Brandon Wheat Kings in 2004-05 and equalled by Kamloops F Deven Sideroff in 2016-17. . . . Roman added two assists to his brace of goals, giving him the third four-point game of his career. On Friday night, he had a goal and three assists in a 7-4 victory over the visiting Kelowna Rockets. Roman now has 56 points in 56 games this season. . . . The Blazers got three assists from F Luke Zazula. . . . The Giants got 22 stops from G David Tendeck, four fewer than the Blazers’ Dylan Garand. . . . Vancouver was 2-3 on the PP; Kamloops was 2-4. . . . D Jackson Caller was out of Kamloops’ lineup after needing some dental work after being struck in the face by a puck on Saturday night. . . . Both teams were playing their third game in fewer than 48 hours — the Giants went 3-0-0; the Blazers finished 0-2-1.


F Dallon Wilton broke a 3-3 tie at 14:13 of the third period to give the host Kelowna KelownaRocketsRockets a 4-3 victory over the Portland Winterhawks. . . . Kelowna (27-30-6) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). . . . Portland (38-19-6) is headed to a second-place finish in the U.S. Division. With Portland’s loss, the Everett Silvertips clinched first place in the division for the seventh time in the franchise’s 16-season history. . . . On Saturday, the Winterhawks beat the host Rockets, 2-1, in OT. . . . Kelowna held a 2-0 first-period lead on goals by F Ted Brennan (2), at 6:00, and F Leif Mattson (22), at 7:13. . . . F Josh Patterson (22) got the Winterhawks to within a goal at 12:39 of the second. . . . Kelowna went up 3-1 at 1:53 of the third period on a PP goal by D Lassi Thomson (17). . . . Portland tied it on PP goals from F Jake Gricius (24), at 7:26, and D Brendan De Jong (7), at 13:58. . . . Wilton won it with his fourth goal of the season. . . . Portland outshot Kelowna, 30-19, including 13-7 in the first period. . . . Kelowna G Roman Basran stopped 27 shots, 12 more than Portland’s Shane Farkas. . . . Portland was 2-4 on the PP; Kelowna was 1-2. . . . Kelowna lost F Mark Liwiski to a boarding major and game misconduct at 2:07 of the third period. . . . The Winterhawks were without F Cody Glass again, but had De Jong back in the lineup. . . . Kelowna went 1-1-1 in playing three times in fewer than 48 hours. Portland did the same thing and was 1-2-0.


F Matthew Wedman scored twice and added an assist, while F Noah Philp drew three Seattleassists, leading the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 6-3 victory over the Tri-City Americans in Kent, Wash. . . . Seattle (26-28-8) has points in five straight (3-0-2). . . . Tri-City (33-25-4) has lost five in a row (0-4-1). . . . F Sasha Mutala (18) gave the Americans a 1-0 lead at 4:07 of the first period. . . . Seattle scored the game’s next three goals. . . . Wedman got it started, on a PP, at 13:20. . . . F Andrej Kukuca (25) broke the tie, at 4:22 of the second period, and F Brecon Wood (3) made it 3-1 at 7:56. . . . The Americans got to within a goal when F Krystof Hrabik (18) scored, on a PP, at 13:17. . . . The Thunderbirds responded with three more goals, from Wedman (37), on a PP, at 17:07; F Graeme Bryks (1), at 2:58 of the third period; and F Henri Rybinski (7), just seven seconds later. . . . Tri-City’s final goal came from F Parker AuCoin (38), on a PP, at 7:30. . . . Tri-City was 2-6 on the PP; Seattle was 2-7. . . . Seattle went 2-0-1 in playing three times in fewer than 48 hours on the weekend. Tri-City did the same thing and went 0-2-1.


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Ex-WHLer talks about concussion battle. . . . Raiders one point from clinching top spot. . . . Kindopp spoils Warm’s amazing game

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F Jesse Gabrielle’s season might be over, sidelined by what he says is his third concussion of the season.

Gabrielle suffered the first concussion this season while with the AHL’s Providence Bruins. He began the regular season with the ECHL’s Atlanta Gladiators, but was injured after playing 25 games. He came back with the Wichita Thunder, but suffered a third concussion in January.

Gabrielle, 21, finished last season with the WHL’s Regina Pats. He also played in the WHL with the Brandon Wheat Kings and Prince George Cougars.

In conversation with Hartley Miller for his Cat Scan podcast, Gabrielle said that he has been advised to shut it down for this season.

“Head injuries nowadays are a big deal and they need to be taken serious care of. I’ve had three concussions this season. It’s something that definitely shouldn’t be taken lightly. You have to make sure you rest and don’t come back before it’s properly healed.”

As for brain injuries in the WHL, Gabrielle, a native of Moosomin, Sask., offered: “I had one diagnosed but I know that . . . I probably had three guaranteed in the WHL. But I didn’t really say anything.”

He remembers having one in his draft season, 2014-15, and not saying anything.

“It’s my draft year and I tried skating through it, I guess . . . I didn’t really want anyone to know that I had a concussion at the time.”

He remembers being hit by D Ivan Provorov of the Brandon Wheat Kings.

“Provorov lined me up,” Gabrielle said. “I don’t think it was a dirty hit; it just really jarred me. I didn’t want to say anything. You don’t want to be out a week or two with a concussion in your draft year. It’s something that players probably hide more than they should. I’m fresh out of the league but I’m pretty sure it’s the same thing now. Guys weren’t saying anything when I was in the league, that’s for sure.”

Asked what he’s dealing with now as he tries to recover from this third concussion, Gabrielle replied: “It’s annoying . . . it’s really tough. Some days are worse than others. For me, it’s a lot of pain behind the eyes . . . a lot of pressure behind the eyes. . . . sensitivity to light. Screens, TV,  even a sunny day. It’s tough to go outside sometimes.

“You’re alone a lot of the time. Our team is on the road and I stayed back just because I don’t really want to be doing too much activity.”

Gabrielle pointed out that a brain injury isn’t like a lot of other hockey injuries.

“It’s not like a shoulder where you can tape it up and go play,” he said. “You don’t really know how it’s healing up. You’re just going day by day. It’s kind of a frustrating experience . . . because one day you can be feeling really good. You try biking and you want to poke your eyes out because the pressure behind your eyes is so intense.”

He also mentioned having migraines and having to go into a dark room to deal with those.

In dealing with this latest brain injury, he also noticed something else one day.

“It happened three times in a day . . . one of the scarier days since got my third concussion,” he said. “I was in mid-conversation with someone and I would just forget what I was saying.

“It’s not something to be taken lightly. If you’re a player with a history of concussions or think you might have one, be safe about it. Don’t risk your brain. You only have one.”

The complete podcast is right here.


The Prince Albert Raiders inducted Donn Clark, a former player, general manager and head coach, into their Wall of Honour on Friday night prior to a game against the Red Deer Rebels.

Unfortunately, Clark wasn’t able to attend.

“He’s at the final stages of battling cancer, and he’s done it proudly,” Kerry Clark, one of the three brothers to have played in the WHL, told Trevor Redden of panow.com. “He’s held his head high and he’s never complained. Every battle, he’s hit it head first all the time and that’s just the way he is.” . . . Redden’s story is right here.

With Donn unable to attend, Wendel, the third of the brothers, represented him in Prince Albert.


The NHL’s Colorado Avalanche has signed F Nick Henry of the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a three-year entry-level contract. . . . Henry, from Portage la Prairie, Man., was selected by Colorado in the fourth round of the NHL’s 2017 draft. . . . Henry, 19, has 24 goals and 59 assists in 62 games this season. He played the first 25 games with the Regina Pats, before being dealt to the Hurricanes. In Lethbridge, he has nine goals and 34 assists in 37 games. . . . The Everett Silvertips selected him in the third round of the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft, but later dealt him to Regina.



The Spokane Chiefs have signed D Hendrik De Klerk, 16, to a WHL contract. He was a seventh-round pick in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. . . . From Swift Current, De Klerk had six goals and 31 assists in 44 games as a freshman with the midget AAA Swift Current Legionnaires.


F Kaden Bohlsen of the USHL’s Fargo Force has made a commitment to attend the U of Nebraska-Omaha and play for the Mavericks starting in 2020-21. Bohlsen, from Willmar, Minn., turned 18 on Jan. 10. He started this season with the USHL’s Des Moines Buccaneers, putting up six goals and seven assists in 25 games. With the Force, he has three goals and an assist in 17 games. . . . He was a ninth-round selection by the Regina Pats in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft.


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FRIDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

G Carl Tetachuk stopped 35 shots to help the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 5-0 victory over Lethbridgethe Warriors in Moose Jaw. . . . Lethbridge (34-18-10) has won two in a row. It is second in the Central Division, two points behind the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Moose Jaw (34-18-8) has lost two straight and is destined to finish third in the East Division. . . . Tetachuk’s second career shutout came six days after the first one. . . . The Hurricanes opened a 1-0 lead at 6:59 of the first period as F Jake Elmer ran his goal-scoring streak to 11 games with a shorthanded marker. . . . F Jake Leschyshyn (35) made it 2-0 just 43 seconds into the third period, and F Jackson Shepard (4) upped it to 3-0 at 15:53. . . . F Nick Henry, who signed a three-year contract with the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche earlier in the day, had a goal, his 25th, and an assist. . . . F Dylan Cozens (31) also scored. . . . Elmer and Leschyshyn each had two assists. . . . The Warriors had F Kaeden Taphorn back in the lineup after a 10-game absence.


The Prince Albert Raiders closed to within one point of clinching the Scotty Munro PrinceAlbertMemorial Trophy with a 2-1 shootout victory over the visiting Red Deer Rebels. . . . With one more point, Prince Albert (50-8-4) will wrap up first place overall. The Raiders last won 50 games in 1991-92 when they finished 50-20 with two ties. The franchise record for victories in a season is 58, set in 1984-85. . . . The Raiders have points in five straight (4-0-1). . . . Red Deer (31-24-6) has points in three straight (2-0-1). It is fourth in the Central Division, four points behind the Calgary Hitmen. Red Deer also holds the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, one point ahead of the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . F Noah Gregor (38) gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 9:29 of the third period. . . . Red Deer tied it at 14:21 as F Brandon Hagel (38) scored the 100th regular-season goal of his career. . . . In the shootout, the Raiders got goals from Gregor, F Dante Hannoun and F Brett Leason, with F Cam Hausinger scoring for the Rebels. . . . G Ian Scott earned the victory with 23 saves. . . . Red Deer got 39 saves from G Ethan Anders. . . . The Raiders were without D Max Martin for a fifth straight game. . . . Prince Albert F Parker Kelly sat out the second game of a three-game suspension.


G Nolan Maier turned aside 19 shots to help the host Saskatoon Blades to a 4-0 victory Saskatoonover the Regina Pats. . . . Saskatoon (40-14-8) has won three in a row. The Blades have won 40 games for the first time since they finished 2012-13 at 44-22-6. That also is the last time they qualified for the playoffs prior to this season. . . . The Blades are going to finish second in the East Division and meet the third-place Moose Jaw Warriors in the first round. . . . Regina (18-41-3) has lost three straight. . . . Saskatoon is 5-1-0 in the season series; Regina is 1-4-1. . . . Maier has three shutouts this season and five in his career. . . . Saskatoon got first-period goals from F Eric Florchuk (21), shorthanded at 2:10, and F Max Gerlach (38), at 19:46. . . . F Ryan Hughes (27) and F Kyle Crnkovic (11) added second-period scores. . . . G Dean McNabb stopped 31 shots for Regina.


F Riley Stotts scored in OT to give the Calgary Hitmen a 3-2 victory over the visiting CalgaryBrandon Wheat Kings. . . . Calgary (33-22-6) has points in four straight (3-0-1). It is third in the Central Division, six points behind the Lethbridge Hurricanes and four ahead of the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Brandon (29-23-8) has lost two in a row (0-1-1). It is one point behind the Medicine Hat Tigers, who are in possession of the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card berth. . . . The Hitmen got the game’s first goal, from F James Malm (28), at 3:48 of the second period. . . . Brandon went ahead 2-1 on goals from F Connor Gutenberg (14), at 8:03, and F Caiden Daley (7), at 14:23. . . . Calgary forced OT on F Mark Kastelic’s 44th goal, on a PP, at 7:59 of the third period. . . . Stotts won it with his 19th goal, at 2:09 of extra time. . . . G Jack McNaughton recorded the victory with 19 saves, 20 fewer than Brandon’s Jiri Patera.


Ice
After beating the visiting Swift Current Broncos, 5-3, on Friday night, the Kootenay Ice has four home games remaining before leaving Cranbrook, B.C., for a new home in Winnipeg.

F Connor McClennon scored twice as the Kootenay Ice beat the Swift Current Broncos, 5-Kootenaynew3, in Cranbrook, B.C. . . . The Ice (12-39-10) had lost its previous nine games (0-7-2). . . . The Broncos now have lost 13 straight (0-11-2). . . . These two teams have combined for 13 regulation-time victories in 120 regular-season games — nine by the Ice and four by the Broncos. . . . F Brandon Machado (4) gave the Ice a 1-0 lead at 2:44 of the first period. . . . The Broncos tied it at 2:49 of the second period on F Matthew Culling’s 10th goal. . . . The Ice responded with the next three goals — from F Jaeger White (26), at 4:44 of the second period, F Brad Ginnell (15), at 16:31, and McClennon, at 1:49 of the third. . . . Swift Current got to within a goal as F Carter Chorney (14) scored at 7:41 and F Eric Houk (3) counted at 10:43. . . . McClennon iced it with an empty-netter at 18:08. He’s got 11 goals. . . . The Ice got 24 saves from G Jesse Makaj. . . . G Isaac Poulter stopped 43 shots for the Broncos. . . . The Ice has four home games left in Cranbrook before it relocates to Winnipeg.


F Trey Fix-Wolansky, who was playing in his 200th regular-season game, scored twice to EdmontonOilKingshelp the host Edmonton Oil Kings to a 4-2 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Edmonton (36-18-8) has won five in a row. It is atop the Central Division, two points ahead of the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Medicine Hat (31-25-5) has lost seven in a row. It is in the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, one point behind the Red Deer Rebels and one ahead of the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Edmonton is 5-0-1 in the season series; Medicine Hat is 1-3-2. . . . D Matthew Robertson (7) gave the home boys a 1-0 lead at 8:08 of the first period. . . . The Tigers tied it at 9:38 of the second as F Ryan Chyzowski (21) scored on a PP. . . . Fix-Wolansky snapped the tie at 12:05 and F Vince Loschiavo (30) made it 3-1 at 13:22. . . . F Hayden Ostir (10) pulled Medicine Hat to within a goal at 7:27 of the third period. . . . Fix-Wolansky iced it with his 33rd goal, an empty-netter, at 19:51. . . . G Dylan Myskiw earned the victory with 31 saves, 10 fewer than the Tigers’ Mads Søgaard. . . . With F Ryan Jevne, F Brett Kemp and F Elijah Brown all out, the Tigers had F Caleb Willms, 17, and F Noah Danielson, 16,  in their lineup. Willms, from the midget AAA Airdrie CFR Bisons, played one game with the Tigers earlier in the season. Danielson, a fourth-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft, made his WHL debut. He plays for the midget AAA Red Deer Chiefs.


G Roddy Ross stopped 42 shots and F Noah Philp had a goal and two assists to lead the SeattleSeattle Thunderbirds to a 6-4 victory over the Blazers in Kamloops. . . . Seattle (25-28-7) has points in three straight (2-0-1). . . . Kamloops (23-30-6) now is five points from a playoff spot. . . . This game was one of those four-pointers. Had Kamloops won, the Blazers would have been one point behind Seattle, which holds down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, with a game in hand. Instead, the Blazers fell five points off the pace. . . . Kamloops also is fourth in the B.C. Division, five points behind the Kelowna Rockets. The Blazers do have two games in hand. . . . Over the next eight days, the Blazers will play three times against the Vancouver Giants and twice against the Rockets. . . . Seattle scurried home after last night’s game because it has to face the host Everett Silvertips tonight. Everett was at home to the Tri-City Americans on Friday. . . . Seattle jumped out front 2-0 on first-period goals from F Matthew Wedman, at 8:02, and Philp (22), at 10:30. . . . F Kobe Mohr (7) got Kamloops’ first goal at 13:18. . . . Wedman upped Seattle’s lead to 3-1 with  his 35th goal, at 3:25 of the second period. . . . The Blazers tied it on goals from F Josh Pillar (6), on a PP, at 11:41, and F Orrin Centazzo (16), at 12:19. . . . Seattle went back in front at 14:04, on a PP, as F Andrej Kukuca (24) scored. . . . F Connor Zary (19) brought Kamloops even again at 18:25. . . . F Henri Rypinski (6) broke the tie for Seattle, on a PP, at 6:46, and F Nolan Volcan (21) added insurance at 10:03. . . . Wedman now is riding an 11-game point streak, while Philp is on a 10-game tear. . . . Kamloops had a season-high 46 shots on goal, while surrendering 31. . . . D Simon Kubicek returned to Seattle’s lineup after not having played since Feb. 8. . . . Seattle D Cade McNelly served the second game of a four-game suspension. . . . The Blazers had F Ryley Appelt back for the first time since Jan. 27.


G Bailey Brkin turned aside 50 shots to lead the Spokane Chiefs to a 5-2 victory over the SpokaneChiefsWinterhawks in Portland. . . . Spokane (34-19-7) has points in five straight (4-0-1). It is third in the West Division, six points ahead of the Tri-City Americans. . . . Portland (37-18-6) is second, five points up on the Chiefs, who have a game in hand. . . . Spokane went 3-2-1 in the season series; the Winterhawks were 3-3-0. . . . The Chiefs took control with the game’s first four goals. . . . F Jake McGrew (25) got it started, on a PP, at 6:04 of the first period. . . . F Luke Toporowski (19) scored at 10:02 of the second and F Riley Woods, who also had two assists, scored his 29th at 17:00. . . . F Jaret Anderson-Dolan (13) made it 4-0 at 1:24 of the third period. . . . D John Ludvig (5) scored for Portland at 2:25, but F Eli Zummack (15) got that one back for Spokane, on a PP, at 10:50. . . . F Joachim Blichfeld (52) got Portland’s last goal, on a PP, at 18:48. . . . The Winterhawks had an 18-9 edge in shots in the first period, and it was 21-7 in the third. The Chiefs had the edge, 19-13, in the second. . . . Spokane D Filip Kral had three assists. . . . The Winterhawks had D Brendan De Jong back after he missed six games, but they scratched F Cody Glass.


F Milos Roman scored once and added three assists as his Vancouver Giants dumped the VancouverKelowna Rockets, 7-4, in Langley, B.C. . . . Vancouver (42-14-4) has points in four straight (3-0-1). The Giants will finish atop the B.C. Division, and they are two points behind the Everett Silvertips, who lead the Western Conference. . . . Kelowna (26-30-5) had won its previous two games. It is third in the B.C. Division, five points ahead of the Kamloops Blazers, who have two games in hand. . . . Vancouver leads the season series, 6-0-1; Kelowna is 1-6-0. . . . Roman enjoyed the second four-point game of his career. . . . The Rockets actually held a 4-3 lead early in the second period before surrendering the game’s last four goals. . . . F Nolan Foote gave Kelowna a 1-0 lead at 1:44 of the first period. . . . D Nicholas Draffin tied it with his first WHL goal at 2:54. . . . Kelowna went back out front at 3:12 as F Mark Liwiski (10) scored. . . . Vancouver D Dallas Hines (8) tied it at 11:16. . . . Foote (33) gave Kelowna a 3-2 lead at 16:45. . . . The Giants pulled even, again, at 1:15 of the second period as D Alex Kannok Leipert (3) scored. . . . The Rockets took their fourth lead of the game at 4:47 as F Alex Swetlikoff (4) scored. . . . It was all Giants after that. . . . F Jadon Joseph (18) tied it at 12:24, and Roman’s 24th goal, on a PP, gave Vancouver a 5-4 lead at 14:33. . . . D Davis Koch (25), who also had two assists, and F Tristen Nielsen (11) added insurance before the third period ended. . . . Joseph also added two assists to his goal. . . . Vancouver G David Tendeck stopped 35 shots. . . . F Dawson Holt returned to Vancouver’s lineup after missing 14 games.


F Kody McDonald scored twice and added an assist to lead the host Victoria Royals to a 4-VictoriaRoyals3 victory over his first WHL team, the Prince George Cougars. . . . Victoria (32-25-4) has points in three straight (2-0-1). It is headed for a second-place finish in the B.C. Division. . . . Prince George (17-38-8) has lost four in a row (0-3-1). . . . Victoria went 7-1-0 in the season series; Prince George was 1-5-2. . . . McDonald got the scoring started at 3:47 of the first period, and F Phillip Schultz (16) made it 2-0 at 6:16. . . . F Josh Maser (27) got the Cougars to within a goal, on a PP, at 11:20. . . . Victoria F Tarun Fizer, celebrating his 18th birthday, made it 3-1, on a PP, at 16:03. . . . McDonald got the lead to 4-1 with his 20th goal at 4:26 of the second period. . . . The Cougars got close on third-period goals from Matej Taman (8), at 2:05, and F Reid Perepeluk (2), at 19:26. . . . McDonald played 232 regular-season games over parts of five seasons (2013-18) with the Cougars. . . . The Royals got 32 saves from G Griffen Outshouse. . . . The Cougars have added F Liam Ryan, who turned 19 on Jan. 2, to their roster after his BCHL team, the Surrey Eagles, had its season end. Ryan, from New Westminster, B.C., had five goals and four assists in 22 games with the Eagles. The Cougars selected him in the seventh round of the 2015 bantam draft. Ryan didn’t play in this one. . . . The Royals are without F Kaid Oliver, who is listed as week-to-week with an undisclosed injury. He leads them in goals (27) and points (49).


G Bryce Kindopp scored with 48.6 seconds left in the third period as the Everett Silvertips Everettovercame a career-high 60-save effort by G Beck Warm in beating the visiting Tri-City Americans, 2-1. . . . Everett (43-14-4) has points in five straight (4-0-1). It leads the U.S. Division by 10 points over the Portland Winterhawks. Everett also leads the Western Conference, by two points over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Tri-City (33-24-3) has lost three in a row. It is fourth in the U.S. Division, six points behind the Spokane Chiefs. The Americans do hold down the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot. . . . The Silvertips lead the season series, 4-3-0. . . . Everett unleashed a season-high 62 shots, which is the most shots the Americans have allowed in a game this season. . . . The Americans took a 1-0 lead when F Nolan Yaremko (24) scored at 7:25 of the first period. . . . F Zack Andrusiak (38) got Everett into a tie when he scored at 9:40 of the third period, on the team’s 57th shot. . . . Kindopp, who drew an assist on Andrusiak’s goal, won it with his 37th goal of the season. . . . Everett G Dustin Wolf stopped 21 shots in winning his 38th game of the season, a franchise record. The previous record of 37 was set by Leland Irving in 2005-06. . . . This season, Wolf is 38-13-3, 1.75, .934. . . . The Silvertips had F Connor Dewar and F Dawson Butt back in the lineup.


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Scattershooting on a Sunday with thoughts of Lennon and Breslin . . . Maier, Blades stop Leason and Raiders . . . Wolf howls against Chiefs

Scattershooting

The Edmonton Oilers’ roster may include the player some observers consider to be the best in the world, Connor McDavid, but they still are offensively challenged. When the visiting Calgary Flames beat the Columbus Blue Jackets, 9-6, on Tuesday, they scored as many goals in one game as the Oilers had scored in their previous five outings. . . . Of course, the Oilers beat the visiting Flames, 1-0, on Sunday night. If you don’t give up any goals, chances are you’ll win every time.



While it’s great to see Seattle be awarded an NHL franchise — yes, for US $650 million — you really have to wonder why the NHL won’t go into Quebec City, don’t you?


John Lennon was murdered on Dec. 8, 1980. If you haven’t read the column written by the late Jimmy Breslin, you have cheated yourself. It’s a classic and it’s right here.


F Tyler Steenbergen scored the Teddy Bear goal for the Swift Current Broncos last season, then later scored the goal that won gold for Team Canada at the 2018 World Junior Championship. This season, he’s with the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners. He scored their Teddy Bear goal on Saturday night.


Headline at TheOnion.com: Should the NFL prohibit players from appearing in hotel security footage?



“The U.S. Postal Service, in honor of former President George H.W. Bush’s funeral, suspended regular mail deliveries Wednesday,” writes Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “The Pistons apparently forgot and mailed it in anyway, getting outscored in every quarter in a 115-92 loss to the Bucks.”


A note from RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com: “Head coach Jay Gruden said exiled QB Colin Kaepernick wasn’t a good option for Washington. I’ll say! The poster boy for minority injustice in America playing for a team called the Redskins?”


Here’s a groaner from Currie: “Barbara Streisand’s two Coton de Tulear pooches are both clones of her previous pet, Samantha. If Elvis were alive, he’d say “You ain’t nothing but a cloned dog.”


ThisThat.

Maybe F Brett Leason and the Prince Albert Raiders are human after all.

G Nolan Maier stopped 32 shots on Sunday to lead the Saskatoon Blades to a 1-0 victory PrinceAlbertover the visiting Raiders, handing Prince Albert, the CHL’s top-ranked team, its first regulation-time loss of this season.

The Raiders (28-2-1) went into the game with one other regulation loss; they were beaten 4-3 by the Rebels in Red Deer on Oct. 6. They also suffered a 3-2 shootout setback at the hands of the Broncos in Swift Current on Dec. 4.

When Sunday’s game ended, the Raiders still led the East Division by 16 points over the Blades. Still, the Saskatoon players had reason to like their performance.

 “This is huge,” Maier told blogger Darren Steinke. “We were talking about it before in the room saying that this was a statement game to be heard around the whole league.

The 17-year-old goaltender also helped bring an end to Leason’s 30-game point streak. Yes, Leason had recorded at least one point in each of his club’s first 30 games. He put up 28 goals — he leads the league in goals — and 36 assists during that stretch, and his 64 points have him atop the WHL scoring race, by two points over F Trey Fix-Wolansky of the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Leason’s lead isn’t likely to last, though, as he now is on his way to Victoria and the selection camp for Canada’s national junior team. Should he earn a spot on that team, he would miss at least nine of the Raiders’ games.


You can’t accuse the Portland Winterhawks Booster Club of not thinking big.

The club already is planning for the 2020-21 season when all signs point towards it Portlandmaking the East Division swing with its favourite team.

How avid are club members? Even with barely any planning done, the bus was already two-thirds full.

No, fans aren’t going to ride a bus all the way to the Prairies. Rather, they will fly to Regina, stay in the Saskatchewan capital and take a bus from there to games in other cities.

“The cost is estimated to be $2,400 to $3,500, including flight, bus, game ticket(s) and hotel,” Stuart Kemp, the club’s president, told Taking Note in an email. “There is no other WHL booster club that can do this . . .

“So far, enough have committed to go on the swing based on current costs, that the planning for the trip is in full-swing mode. Currently, we are close to having a waiting list as the trip is nearly sold out!”


“It was a sham all along,” writes Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun. “That’s the bitter conclusion supporters of the Western Hockey League’s Kootenay Ice have come to as the Kootenaynewjunior franchise is poised to move to Winnipeg.

“At first, John Hudak wanted to believe in Winnipeggers Greg Fettes and Matt Cockell, who purchased the Ice a year and a half ago.

“But Hudak, a retired RCMP officer who spearheaded a local drive to save the team, says it turns out he was banging his head against the wall.”

Friesen’s complete column — it carries the headline: WHL move to Winnipeg ‘a done deal’ — is right here.

——

Meanwhile, Ian Cobb, the owner/editor of e-KNOW.ca, has provided an overview of things from the perspective of a hockey fan in the Kootenays. He suggests that it’s time for the fans in the area to start attending games in large numbers. . . . Cobb’s piece is right here.


Let’s be honest. The WHL’s playoff format stinks to high heaven. So, too, does the NHL’s, which is identical.

Here’s Larry Brooks of the New York Post:

“Imagine Wimbledon every year matching up the top two seeds in each half of the draw in the second round. Imagine the World Cup placing the four most powerful squads in the same group. Imagine March Madness placing the top four seeds in the country in the same region.

While you’re at it, you may as well imagine there’s no heaven, because it’s easy if you try to imagine the NHL cutting off its own knees by matching up its best teams in the first or second round of the playoffs in a made-for-marketing scheme, because that is exactly what Sixth Avenue and its band of clueless co-conspirators on the Board do year after year after year.”

As you read this, just substitute NHL with WHL and go from there.

The complete column is right here.


G Kyle Dumba got his first taste of junior hockey in 2013-14 when he played one game with each of the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen and the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers.

Since then he has had stints with the AJHL’s Calgary Mustangs, the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers, Everett Silvertips and Regina Pats, and the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks, Surrey Eagles and Victoria Grizzlies.

The 20-year-old Calgarian made his 106th junior appearance on Saturday night and recorded his first shutout. He’s with the Grizzlies now, sparked by his 43 saves, they beat one of his former teams, Salmon Arm, 2-0.


COUNTDOWN TO DEADLINE

(WHL trade deadline: Jan. 10, 3 p.m. MT)

Sunday’s action:

No. of trades: 0.

Players: 0.

Bantam draft picks: 0.

Conditional draft picks: 0.

——

Total deals (since Nov. 26):

No. of trades: 10.

Players: 31.

Bantam draft picks: 18.

Conditional draft picks: 4.

(Note: On Nov. 30, Kelowna traded F Jack Cowell, 19, to Kootenay for a third-round selection in the 2020 bantam draft. Cowell chose not to report and the deal was voided, so isn’t included in these totals.)


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SUNDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

G Nolan Maier stopped 32 shots and F Tristen Robins scored the game’s only goal as the Saskatoonhost Saskatoon Blades beat the Prince Albert Raiders, 1-0. . . . The Blades (19-10-3) have won two straight. . . . The Raiders (28-2-1) had been 21-0-1 in their previous 22 games. This was their first regulation loss this season. . . . This was the third game in fewer than 48 hours for both of these teams and each went 2-1-0. . . . The Raiders had won the first two meetings with the Blades — 4-1 in Prince Albert and 6-2 in Saskatoon on Sept. 30 and Oct. 14, respectively. . . . Maier posted his second shutout of the season and the fourth of his career. This season, he is 15-8-2, 2.70, .912. . . . Robins’ goal, his fifth of the season, came at 5:14 of the second period and also was the Teddy Bear goal. . . . Raiders F Brett Leason had his 30-game point streak come to an end, despite having five shots on goal. . . . Leason and G Ian Scott, who stopped 26 shots, will be on the ice in Victoria on Tuesday as the selection camp opens for Canada’s national junior team. . . . When the Raiders next play, on Wednesday against the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings, they will be missing Scott, Leason, F Aliaksei Protas and D Sergei Sapego. The latter two are with the Belarus national junior team at the IIHF World Junior Championship (Division I Group A) in Fussen, Germany. . . . Darren Steinke, the travellin’ blogger, was at home Sunday for his third game in fewer than 48 hours, too, and his post is right here.


The Calgary Hitmen broke a 2-2 second-period tie with four goals in a span of 4:02 en Calgaryroute to a 6-3 victory over the visiting Kamloops Blazers. . . . Calgary (14-14-3) has won four straight. . . . The Blazers (12-12-3) had points in each of their previous four games (3-0-1). . . . Kamloops now is 0-1-1 on a six-game Central Division trek. . . . Calgary went ahead 1-0 at 4:18 of the first period when F Kaden Elder (12) scored the Teddy Bear goal. . . . F Martin Lang (6), who also had two assists, pulled Kamloops even at 1:42 of the second period, but F Jake Kryski (14) got that one back, on a PP, at 4:11. . . . F Kyrell Sopotyk (4) got the Blazers back into a tie, on a PP, at 10:31. . . . It was all Calgary after that, with F James Malm (15) counting at 10:47, F Tye Carriere (3) at 11:13, and D Egor Zamula scoring twice, at 12:34 and 13:49. . . . Zamula, who has seven goals, enjoyed the first multi-goal game of his WHL career. . . . Kamloops F Zane Franklin (17) closed out the scoring at 13:55 of the third period. . . . Zamula, who also had an assist, enjoyed the first multi-goal game of his career. . . . Calgary F Riley Stotts had three assists. He’s got a goal and seven assists over his past three games. . . . The Blazers were without F Jermaine Loewen and F Kobe Mohr, both of whom were suspended by the WHL earlier in the day. Loewen drew a TBD suspension after taking a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct in a 3-2 OT loss to the Oil Kings in Edmonton on Saturday, while Mohr got one game under supplemental discipline from the same game.


G Dustin Wolf stopped 21 shots to help the host Everett Silvertips to a 2-0 victory over the EverettSpokane Chiefs. . . . Everett (25-7-1) now has points in 11 straight (10-0-1). . . . Spokane (16-11-4) had won its previous two games. . . . Everett leads the Western Conference by seven points over the idle Vancouver Giants (21-6-2), who have four games in hand. . . . Everett is atop the U.S. Division by 13 points over the Portland Winterhawks (18-10-2), who hold three games in hand. . . . This season, Wolf, a 17-year-old sophomore, is 23-7-1, 1.84, .928. He has three shutouts this season and seven in his career. . . . The shutout yesterday lowered his career GAA to 1.99 in 51 appearances, 31 of them this season. . . . F Bryce Kindopp scored both goals, at 14:34 and 19:48 of the third period. The second one was into an empty net. He’s got 13 goals. . . . Spokane got 38 saves from G Bailey Brkin. . . . The Chiefs were playing their third game in fewer than 48 hours. They went 2-1-0. They also were in their fourth game in five nights. They were 2-2-0 in those four games, with the other loss also at the hands of the Silvertips, 4-2 in Everett on Wednesday. . . . The Silvertips were without F Sean Richards, who drew a TBA suspension after he took a boarding major and game misconduct on Saturday night against the Seattle Thunderbirds. Richards hit D Loeden Schaufler at 10:10 of the second period; Schaufler left the game and didn’t return. . . . The Silvertips also were without F Martin Fasko-Rudas, who has missed two straight games.

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


ThisThat

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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WJC in Everett/Seattle? Why not in 2025? . . . Paddock, Farkas put up clean sheets . . . Silvertips roll past Thunderbirds


MacBeth

F Johannes Salmonsson (Spokane, 2005-06) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Timrå (Sweden, SHL). Last season, he had five goals and seven assists in 52 games with the Iserlohn Roosters (Germany, DEL).


ThisThat

As was reported earlier in the week, Team USA will stop off in Everett and Kamloops before starting play in the 2019 World Junior Championship that opens in Vancouver and 2019wjcVictoria on Dec. 26.

Team USA will hold its selection camp at the Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett from Dec. 14-18, and then will go to Kamloops for its pre-tournament camp from Dec. 19-23.

While this is big news for Kamloops, it is huge news for the Pacific Northwest. In fact, I would suggest that the World Junior Championship will be held in Everett and Seattle in 2025, that is if everything goes according to plan and Seattle has an NHL franchise at the time.

Why 2025? Because that’s the next time the tournament is scheduled to be held in the U.S.

The Silvertips are owned by Consolidated Sports Holding (CSH).

“That’s the whole underlying thing,” Zoran Rajcic, the COO of CSH, told Josh Horton of the Everett Herald, “to not only help them out in a close location to where they’re going to be for this year’s World Juniors, (but get) a chance for us to sit down with USA Hockey (to find out) if they’d consider us hosting a future World Juniors in Everettt.”

John Vanbiesbrouck, the former NHL goaltender who is in his first go-round as general manager of USA Hockey’s national junior team, told Horton:

“We’re still a ways out. But we’re also looking at the impact that Seattle is going to have on the NHL and, between Seattle and Everett, it’s certainly a possibility and something that we haven’t had on the West Coast for some time, if ever. It’s lining up to be a decent fit and hopefully we can take (a look) as it gets closer at it becoming a reality.”

Gord Miller of TSN tweeted on Feb. 12 that the IIHF has reportedly picked these host countries for the next 14 WJCs:

2019: Vancouver and Victoria.

2020: Czech Republic

2021: Canada

2022: Sweden

2023: Russia

2024: Canada

2025: U.S.

2026: Canada

2027: Finland

2028: Czech Republic

2029: Canada

2030: USA

2031: Russa

2032: Canada


There has been ample speculation that an arena will be built in Winnipeg and that it Kootenaynewwould eventually be home to the Kootenay Ice, a WHL team that presently plays in Cranbrook, B.C. . . . The Ice’s owners, Greg Fettes and Matt Cockell, both were in Winnipeg when they purchased the franchise prior to the 2016-17 season. Cockell relocated to Cranbrook, with his family, as president and general manager. . . . The Winnipeg Free Press reported recently that the Ice would move to Winnipeg, likely in time for next season, and that the team would play out of an arena on the campus of the U of Manitoba until a 5,000-seat arena, built in conjunction to the Rink Hockey Academy, was ready for use. . . . Mike Sawatzky, who has been covering this story for the Free Press, reported Saturday:

“Reeve Brad Erb, who was recently re-elected, told the Free Press this week he has not been approached by representatives of the WHL’s Kootenay Ice for approval to build an arena adjacent to the Rink Hockey Academy (RHA) on the west end of South Landing and just off McGillivray Boulevard.

“A new facility for the RHA, which is currently under construction, lies within the municipality’s boundries.”

Erb told Sawatzky: “I’ve not officially had any introduction or conversation with anyone regarding a Western Hockey League team. I’m more curious than anything about some of the rumours that are out there and whether there’s any truth to them or not. That’s kinda where we stand.”

Sawatzky’s story is right here.


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SATURDAY NIGHT HIGHLIGHTS:

F Reese Johnson’s shootout goal gave the visiting Red Deer Rebels a 4-3 victory over the Red DeerMoose Jaw Warriors. . . . Red Deer improved to 12-5-1, while Moose Jaw now is 7-5-4. . . . The Warriors erased a 3-1 deficit in the final 2:04 of the third period. . . . F Ryan Peckford (4) got Moose Jaw to within a goal at 17:56, with his second goal of the game, and F Daniil Stepanov (3) tied it at 18:26. . . . Johnson was the first shooter in the fourth round of the shootout. F Oleg Zaytsev had scored for Red Deer in the second round, with F Peckford quickly replying for the Warriors. . . . F Jeff de Wit scored his 12th goal for Red Deer as he ran his goal streak to six games. He has 12 goals in 18 games; he went into this season with 30 goals in 247 career regular-season games. Last season, de Wit finished with 11 goals in 43 games — one goal in seven games with the Regina Pats, two in 15 with the Kootenay Ice and eight in 21 with the Victoria Royals. He also had an assist last night, and now has 21 points, two shy of his career high, in 70 games, with Red Deer in 2015-16. . . . The Rebels were without D Jacob Herauf, who was injured during a 6-3 loss to the Wheat Kings in Brandon on Friday. . . . F Justin Almeida was among Moose Jaw’s scratches. He suffered an undisclosed injury while playing for Team WHL in the CIBC Canada Russia Series in Kamloops on Monday. . . . The Rebels will meet the Broncos in Swift Current this afternoon in what will be the third game in fewer than 48 hours for both teams.


G Max Paddock stopped 20 shots to record his first WHL shutout as the host Regina Pats Patsgot past the Swift Current Broncos, 2-0. . . . The Pats (7-12-0) have won three in a row and four of five. . . . The Broncos (3-16-0) had lost two in a row. They have been blanked three times this season. . . . These teams have met three times this season and the Pats have won all three. . . . F Jake Leschyshyn (13) gave Regina a 1-0 lead at 19:22 of the first period, and F Scott Mahovlich (3) got the insurance marker at 2:03 of the second. . . . Paddock’s first shutout came in his 54th regular-season appearance. This season, he is 5-10-0, 3.82, .883. . . . Among the Broncos scratches were F Owen Blocker and D Garrett Sambrook, with undisclosed injuries, and D Matthew Stanley, who is ill and missed a second straight game. . . . The Pats will play their next six games on the road; they next play at home on Dec. 1.


The Saskatoon Blades got 31 saves from G Nolan Maier as they beat the Kootenay Ice, 2-1, Saskatoonin Cranbrook, B.C. . . . The Blades (12-7-2) have won two in a row. . . . The Ice (6-11-3) has lost four straight. . . . F Gary Haden (6) opened the scoring, giving Saskatoon the lead at 8:41 of the first period. That was his fifth goal in eight games since being acquired from the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . The Ice tied it when F Cole Muir (4) scored at 18:59. . . . Saskatoon D Seth Bafaro (2) broke the tie at 4:29 of the second period. . . . Maier was named the game’s first star for the second night in a row. On Friday, he turned aside 35 shots in a 3-1 victory over the Tigers in Medicine Hat. . . . This season, Maier is 10-5-1, 2.84, .910. . . . Kootenay D Jonathan Smart played in his 200th regular-season game. A 19-year-old from Kelowna, he also has played with the Rockets (68 games) and Regina Pats (64 games).


F Brett Kemp started the scoring and he ended it as the Edmonton Oil Kings beat the host EdmontonOilKingsMedicine Hat Tigers, 4-3, in OT. . . . Edmonton (12-7-2) has points in eight straight (7-0-1). . . . Medicine Hat (9-8-3) has lost two in a row. . . . Kemp, who has 14 goals, gave Edmonton a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 9:20 of the second period and he won it at 1:11 of extra time. . . . These teams went into the third period tied 1-1. . . . D Trevor Longo’s first WHL goal gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead at 5:50. . . . The Oil Kings went ahead 3-2 on PP goals from F Vince Loschiavo (9), at 8:21, and F Andrei Pavlenko (5), at 11:19. . . . Medicine Hat forced OT when F Hayden Ostir (7) scored, on a PP, at 13:50. . . . F Trey Fix-Wolansky of the Oil Kings had two assists and moved into the lead in the WHL scoring race, He has 42 points, two more than F Brett Leason of the Prince Albert Raiders, who didn’t play last night. Fix-Wolansky has a WHL-high 30 assists.


G Shane Farkas blocked 26 shots in earning his first shutout of the season as the Portland PortlandWinterhawks beat the visiting Kelowna Rockets, 3-0. . . . Portland (11-6-1) has won four straight. . . . Kelowna (8-11-0) had won its previous four games. . . . This was the Rockets’ first loss under head coach Adam Foote, who had been 4-0-0 since replacing Jason Smith. . . . Farkas had three shutouts last season. . . . F Joachim Blickfeld (15), who was credited with 10 shots on goal, gave Portland a 1-0 lead at 3:20 of the first period. He also had two assists. . . . F Cody Glass (7) made it 2-0 at 6:43 of the second period, with F Reece Newkirk (11) putting it away at 11:04 of the third. . . . Portland finished with a 50-26 edge in shots. . . . Blichfeld has 38 points in 18 games. . . . Glass has 31 points in 15 games. . . . The same teams meet again today in Portland.


F Connor Dewar scored twice to lead the Everett Silvertips to a 5-1 victory over the EverettSeattle Thunderbirds in Kent, Wash. . . . Everett (13-6-0) has won three straight and leads the U.S. Division. . . . The Silvertips, who now have won six straight on the road, have won both meetings with the Thunderbirds this season. . . . Seattle (7-8-2) has lost five in a row. . . . Everett took control of this game in the first period, when it outshot Seattle, 18-1, and emerged with a 3-0 lead. . . . Dewar, who has 14 goals, got it started at 2:57, with F Jalen Price (1) scoring at 7:44, and D Wyatte Wylie (3) making it 3-0 at 18:19. . . . Dewar made it 4-0 at 5:59 of the third period. . . .  Everett F Akash Bains was among the scratches. He scored twice in Kamloops on Friday night before leaving with an apparent knee injury. . . . The Silvertips, 6-1 victors over the Blazers in Kamloops on Friday night, are back in Kamloops today for a 5 p.m. start.


G Trent Miner turned aside 32 shots to lead the Vancouver Giants to a 2-1 victory over Vancouverthe Prince George Cougars in Langley, B.C. . . . Vancouver (13-3-2) has won three in a row. . . . Prince George (7-8-3) had won its previous two games. . . . These teams will play again this afternoon in Langley. . . . Miner’s evening included 17 saves in the third period. . . . F Connor Bowie (1) have the Cougars a 1-0 lead at 6:10 of the first period. . . . The Giants won it with second-period goals from F Tyler Ho (1), at 11:44, and F Cyle McNabb (1), at 15:07.


D Filip Kral had a goal and two assists to help the Spokane Chiefs to a 7-2 victory over the SpokaneChiefsRoyals in Victoria. . . . The Chiefs (9-7-3) had lost three in a row. . . . The Royals (10-6-0) had beaten the visiting Chiefs, 7-5, on Friday night. . . . F Luke Toporowski (6) of the Chiefs broke a 1-1 tie on a PP, at 13:38 of the first period. . . . Kral got his first goal of the season at 18:53. . . . F Eli Zummack (7) made it 3-1 just nine seconds into the second period as the Chiefs took control. . . . Kral drew assists on the goals by Toporowski and Zummack. . . . The Chiefs finished with two empty-net goals. . . . F Jake McGrew, who played for the Chiefs on Friday, was scratched from this one. He’s got six goals and nine assists in 16 games.


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Scattershooting on Sunday . . . Petes trade one player, get nine draft picks . . . Goaltenders in WHL news . . . Schlenker’s movin’ on up

Scattershooting

“San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt named his newborn son August,” reports Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times, “in honor of his college coach at Texas, the late Augie Garrido. Just be thankful the Longhorns hired Garrido instead of Oil Can Boyd.”



Jack Finarelli, who is at sportscurmudgeon.com, had this analysis of a recent trade between the Green Bay Packer and Seattle Seahawks: “The Packers sent backup QB, Brent Hundley to the Seahawks where he will carry a clipboard for Russell Wilson instead of Aaron Rodgers. Hundley showed last season that he might someday become a journeyman QB who will not throw up on his shoes.”



College football players are being ejected when ruled to have targeted another player’s head for a helmet-to-helmet hit. In the WHL, meanwhile, teenagers are allowed to punch each other in the face and get only major penalties.



Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post, writing about the mess at Ohio State: “Read the public documents Ohio State collected in its investigation of Urban Meyer and you will never again be able to view him as anything but boneless.”

The complete column is right here. After reading it you will never look at a plucked chicken the same way again.


Surely it is only a coincidence that Chris Jones, the vice-president of football operations, general manager, head coach and defensive co-ordinator, and his Saskatchewan Roughriders are 3-0 since ridding themselves of Duron (The Distraction) Carter. Right?


Here’s Janice Hough, who can be found at leftcoastsportsbabe.com: “Bottled water has an expiration date?! So what happens when it expires?”



With Air Canada and WestJet having increased the fees to check bags, perhaps it’s time people flew in the baggage compartment and the bags were strapped into the seats.


MacBeth

F Kris Versteeg (Lethbridge, Kamloops, Red Deer, 2002-06) signed a one-year contract with Avangard Omsk (Russia, KHL). Last season, he had three goals and five assists in 24 games with the Calgary Flames (NHL). . . .

F Ryan Hollweg (Medicine Hat, 1999-2004) has been released by Plzeň (Czech Republic, Extraliga) by mutual agreement due to “long-term health problems.” Hollweg signed a one-year extension with Plzeň in April. Last season, he had two goals and two assists in 41 games.


ThisThat

When the OHL held what it calls its priority selection — most of us call it a draft — the Peterborough Petes selected F Will Cuylle in the first round.

Cuylle, who played last season with the minor midget AAA Toronto Marlboros, and his ohlfamily had told the Petes that he wouldn’t report if they selected him. The Petes rolled the dice and took him anyway, then tried to convince him to report.

When that failed, they traded him to the Windsor Spitfires on Friday in a deal that resulted in the Petes acquiring nine draft picks. Yes, NINE!

Here are the particulars from a Petes news release:

In the deal, Peterborough acquires one first-round pick, four second-round picks, three third-round picks, and one fifth-round pick, as follows:

  • Kingston’s 2nd round pick in 2019
  • Kingston’s 3rd round pick in 2020
  • Windsor’s 5th round pick in 2020
  • Windsor’s 3rd round pick in 2021
  • Barrie’s 2nd round pick in 2022
  • Windsor’s 3rd round in 2023
  • Kitchener’s 2nd round pick in 2024* (conditional)
  • 1st round pick (5th overall) in 2019 (OHL Compensatory Pick)
  • 2nd round pick (end of round) in 2019 (OHL Compensatory Pick)

* Should Windsor acquire a 2nd round pick in 2020 or 2021, Peterborough will receive that pick and return Kitchener’s 2nd round pick in 2024.

The Petes also will receive the 5th overall pick and the last pick in the 2nd round of the 2019 OHL Priority Selection as compensation from the Ontario Hockey League.

——

In the OHL, if a team’s first-round selection doesn’t report to training camp he is considered to be a “defected” player and the team will get a compensatory pick if it trades the player prior to Sept. 15. The drafting team also gets a second-round pick if the player in question was a top five pick.

——

With the restrictions that the WHL apparently has placed on the trading of young players, we are left to wonder if we will start to see these kinds of deals happen in the WHL.

(ICYMI, I wrote about those restrictions right here.)

When a team is loading up because it is to play host to a Memorial Cup, will it be prepared to trade away six or seven bantam draft picks in order to land a star player who just might put that team over the top?


Chris Schlenker, a former WHL player and on-ice official, has been promoted by the NHL and will be a full-time referee this season.

Schlenker, 34, worked in the AHL and NHL last season.

From Medicine Hat, he played four seasons (2001-05) in the WHL, playing two-plus seasons with the Regina Pats and one-plus with the Prince Albert Raiders.

He also spent 10 years as a member of the Medicine Hat Police Service.

There is more on Schlenker right here, from scoutingtherefs.com.


The Prince Albert Raiders have added G Donovan Buskey, 18, from the Spokane Chiefs in PrinceAlbertexchange for a sixth-round selection in the WHL’s 2020 bantam draft.

Buskey, from Vancouver, was a third-round pick by the Chiefs in the 2015 bantam draft. Last season, he was 10-10-0, 3.56, .871, with one shutout, in 22 appearances with the Spokane.

Adding Buskey adds to the Raiders’ goaltending depth and could figure in the 20-year-old decision-making process as the start of the regular season grows near.

Ian Scott, 19, who will go to camp with the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, is No. 1 on the depth chart. Curtis Meger, 20, and Brett Balas, 17, also are on the Raiders’ roster.

The other 20-year-olds on the roster are F Kody McDonald and F Sean Montgomery. They also hold the WHL rights to F Noah Gregor, 20, who could end up with the San Jose Barracuda, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s San Jose Sharks. The Raiders acquired Gregor’s rights from the Victoria Royals earlier in the summer.



The Prince George Cougars will open the regular season with Isaiah DiLaura, 18, and Taylor Gauthier, 17, as their goaltenders.

Gauthier is atop the depth chart. Last season, he was 8-18-3, 3.96, .885. This summer, he PrinceGeorgeplayed with the Canadian U-18 team that won the Hlinka Gretzky Cup. In fact, Gauthier, from Calgary, was the winning goaltender in the final, coming on with his side down 2-0 and stopping 16 shots as Canada beat Sweden, 6-2.

The 10th overall selection in the 2016 bantam draft, Gauthier was 8-18-3, 3.96, .885 last season.

DiLaura, from Elko New Market, Minn., was 3-3-2, 3.94, .888, in 14 appearances.

The third goaltender on their roster at the moment is Tyler Brennan, a first-round selection in the 2018 bantam draft who won’t turn 15 until Sept. 27. From Winnipeg, he will return to the Rink Hockey Academy and play for the midget prep team.

Ted Clarke of the Prince George Citizen has more right here.


Because of injuries, the Edmonton Oil Kings used five goaltenders last season as they went 22-42-8 and missed the playoffs.

This season, with exhibition games just having started, they already are down to three EdmontonOilKingsand one of those, Sebastian Cossa, won’t turn 16 until Nov. 21.

Chances are that the Oil Kings, under first-year head coach Brad Lauer, will open the regular season with Todd Scott, 18, who was acquired last season from the Vancouver Giants, and Boston Bilous, 17, a fourth-round selection in the 2016 bantam draft, as their goaltenders.

Scott, from Albertville, Minn., was 4-5-0, 3.89, .883 after joining the Oil Kings last season. He had been 8-7-4, 4.11, .869 with the Giants when they sent him east.

Bilous, from Langley, B.C., got into 16 games and went 0-10-1, 4.72, .838.

Cossa, from Fort McMurray, Alta., was a second-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft. Last season, he played for the midget AAA Fort Saskatchewan Rangers, going 3.37, .915 in 19 games. In seven playoff games, he was 2.28, .943.

With the three young goaltenders, Lauer told Derek Van Diest of Postmedia that age won’t have much to do with which two make the roster.

“They’re all young, so I don’t think the age part of it comes into play,” Later said. “It’s going to be how you’re playing that comes into play. I know we’ll be good defensively and responsible so, for me, goaltending is going to be how the exhibition seasons goes and how they develop through that.”

Van Diest’s complete story is right here.


The Saskatoon Blades are down to three goaltenders after releasing Cameron Beson, 16, who is from Grande Prairie, Alta. He has been in two Blades’ training camps now, and Saskatoonhas been placed on their protected list.

Sophomore Nolan Maier, a 17-year-old from Yorkton, is the Blades’ starter after going 23-17-2, 3.31, .895 in 43 appearances last season. He spent part of his summer winning gold with Canada’s U-18 team at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, going 3.12, .872 in four games.

The other two goaltenders on the roster are Dorrin Luding, 19, of Prince George, and Koen MacInnes, a 16-year-old from Burnaby, B.C.

The Blades re-acquired Luding on June 21, getting him from the Seattle Thunderbirds on June 21 for a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2020 bantam draft. Saskatoon had selected him in the third round of the 2014 bantam draft.

Last season, Luding got into 11 games with the Everett Silvertips (3-6-0, 3.64, .891) and 17 with Seattle (6-9-1, 3.81, .881). In 30 career games, he is 9-15-1, 3.75, .886.

Saskatoon picked MacInnes in the second round of the 2017 bantam draft. Last season, he played with the Burnaby Winter Club’s Elite 15s, going 2.36, .926 in 17 regular-season games.

The Blades have opened the exhibition season by going 3-0-0.


The Brandon Wheat Kings, who wrapped up training camp with their intrasquad game BrandonWKregularon Sunday, also are down to three goaltenders after releasing Connor Ungar, 16.

That leaves the Wheat Kings with Ethan Kruger, Dylan Myskiw and Jiri Patera as the remaining goaltenders.

Myskiw, 19, got into 22 games with Brandon last season, going 11-5-2, 3.41, .887. He spent the season backing up Logan Thompson, who was playing out his eligibility.

Patera, 19, is from Praha, Czech Republic. He played last season with the USHL’s Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, after the Vegas Golden Knights selected him in the sixth round of the NHL’s 2017 draft. He has yet to sign a pro contract, and will leave later this week to attend the Golden Knights’ camp.

Kruger, who turns 17 on Sept. 27, is from Sherwood Park, Alta. He was a fifth-round selection in the 2016 bantam draft. Last season, he played with the midget AAA Sherwood Park Kings.


F Ryan Vandervlis of the Lethbridge Hurricanes, who was badly burned during an incident involving a firepit on June 15, is back home after being released from a Calgary hospital on Friday.

Vandervlis, 20, suffered burns to as much as 60 per cent of his body and spent four weeks in a medically induced coma. For the last part of his hospital stay, he was in the burn unit at Foothills Hospital.

Two other hockey players — Jordy Bellerive and Matt Alfaro — were injured in the incident that took place at the home of former Hurricanes captain Tyler Wong near Calgary. Bellerive, the Hurricanes’ captain, is in camp with his club. Alfaro will be going into his second season with the U of Calgary Dinos.

Bellerive scored twice, including the OT winner, as Lethbridge opened its exhibition season with a 5-4 victory over the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers on Friday night.



The junior B Creston Valley Thunder Cats found themselves without a general manager and head coach earlier this week when Brad Tobin left to join the BCHL’s Surrey Eagles as an assistant coach. . . . Tobin, 29, worked as an assistant with the Eagles for six seasons (2010-16) before leaving to join the Thunder Cats. . . . In Surrey, Tobin will work alongside Peter Schaefer, who took over as head coach on Aug. 28 following the departure of Brandon West. . . . One week before Tobin handed in his resignation, the Thunder Cats lost assistant coach Carter Duffin, who left to join the KIJHL’s Castlegar Rebels. . . . Earlier, Jeff Wagner, another Creston assistant coach, joined the Fernie Ghostriders as GM and head coach. After he left, Tobin hired Duffin, who had been with the SJHL’s Estevan Bruins, as an assistant coach.


G Kyle Dumba, 20, had his junior A rights swapped this week when the Nanaimo Clippers acquired them from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, who got back D Sam MacBean, 20. . . . Dumba, who has split 41 career regular-season WHL games between the Calgary Hitmen, Kamloops Blazers and Everett Silvertips, is in camp with the Regina Pats. He finished last season on the Pats’ roster, but didn’t get into any regular-season games. Last season, he also got into 30 regular-season and three playoff games with Salmon Arm.


Karablog
Kara is answering the phone and taking pledges as her grandma, Dorothy Drinnan, prepares for her fifth straight Kamloops Kidney Walk on Sept. 23. (Todd Drinnan photo)

Dorothy, my wife of 46 years, will celebrate the fifth anniversary of her kidney transplant by taking part in the 2018 Kamloops Kidney Walk. If you would like to support her with a donation — and she is closing in on $2,000 — you are able to do so right here.


Tweetoftheday

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.


If you like what you see 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.


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