A LITTLE OF THIS . . .
Many observers are in agreement that the newspaper business is headed for an abyss.
If that, indeed, is the case, it is a tragedy that generations to come won’t ever enjoy the thrill of waiting for their daily newspaper to be delivered in order to read the likes of Red Fisher, who died Friday at the age of 91.
When I was a youngster, I delivered the Winnipeg Tribune. It arrived in our town via a train, which came in three nights a week. That meant I delivered two papers at a time. First, though, I would camp under a street light and read Jack Matheson. Later, in the mid-1970s, I was fortunate enough to spend five years working for Matty, which is how I came to meet the legendary Jim Coleman, who was the national columnist for Southam, which owned a number of Canada’s major dailies.
Coleman was one of the greats, and so was Fisher.
Back in the day, newspapers entered into exchanges with other newspapers. We would send you a copy of our product; you would reciprocate. That’s how I came to read Fisher on a regular basis.
As Michael Farber, no slouch himself, wrote on Friday for the Montreal Gazette, Fisher’s “career touched seven decades.” Think about that for a moment or two.
Think about this, too — the first Montreal Canadiens game that Fisher covered, as Farber pointed out, “was the Richard Riot, that singular marriage of hockey, sociology and, ultimately, mythology that has marked Quebec for generations.”
Take a minute today and think about Fisher and all that he stood for as a journalist who was there when teams and writers travelled via train and was still writing when Twitter arrived.
He really did see it all, and he wrote it all, too.
Do yourself a favour at some point today. Pour yourself a cup of tea or coffee, and read Farber’s story celebrating the life and career of Red Fisher. It is right here.
I continue to hear from people wondering if I’m back writing again, or if it’s all over. So please don’t be afraid to tell your friends and neighbours that I’m back up and pass along the address. Thank you.
Danny Flynn made his debut as a WHL head coach on Friday night as the host Portland Winterhawks dropped a 5-3 decision to the Swift Current Broncos.
With Mike Johnston, Portland’s general manager and head coach, on a scouting trip, Flynn took over. Johnston, who apparently was at the bantam AAA John Reid Memorial tournament in St. Albert, Alta., on Friday,
is expected to rejoin the Winterhawks back for tonight’s game in Langley, B.C., against the Vancouver Giants.
Of course, it’s not like Flynn doesn’t have any experience as a head coach. For starters, he was in the Memorial Cup last season as head coach of the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs. He also has been head coach of the OHL’s Belleville Bulls and Soo Greyhounds, and the QMJHL’s Moncton Wildcats.
Flynn and Johnston both are from Dartmouth, N.S., which had a lot to do with Flynn’s joining the Winterhawks as an assistant coach prior to this season.
Evan Richardson, the play-by-play voice of the Winterhawks, pointed out via Twitter that Flynn is the fourth person to serve as a head coach in all three major junior leagues, joining Mike Kelly (Brandon, Windsor/North Bay, Saint John), Ron Harris (Spokane, Windsor, Saint-Jean) and Joe Canale (Medicine Hat, Sarnia, Shawinigan/Chicoutimi/Beauport/Sherbrooke).
The Lethbridge Hurricanes have signed twin brothers Adam and Justin Hall, both of whom were selected in the 2016 WHL bantam draft. . . . The twins, 16, are from Edmonton. Justin was a seventh-round selection; Adam was taken in the eighth round. . . . This season, they are playing for the midget AAA CAC Edmonton Canadians. Justin has 10 goals and eight assists in 27 games, while Adam has seven goals and 13 assists in 27 games.
While there have been a number of brother acts in the WHL, twins are a whole lot rarer. Of course, the Taphorn brothers — Kaeden and Keenan — are with the Kootenay Ice. The 17-year-olds are from Yorkton, Sask.
Know of any other twin acts? Email me at email@example.com.
Hartley Miller, in his weekly Hart Attack column, wonders if winning is enough to draw hockey fans to an arena these days. He notes that the Prince George Spruce Kings are in the hunt for first overall in the BCHL, but their attendance is off about 10 per cent over last season and is the poorest it has been since 2010-11. . . . Miller points out, too, that the Spruce Kings are running a “Friday night promotion where they practically give away their product.” If you go to Save-On-Food, you are able to purchase the Friday Family Special — four tickets, including two adult, four soft drinks and four popcorn for $19.72. The regular price would be $68. . . . Now that’s a promotion. . . . Miller’s column is right here.
On Thursday, Jim Matheson, the Hockey Hall-of-Famer who covers the Edmonton Oilers for Postmedia, tweeted that he has been hearing that the annual Young Stars preseason tournament in Penticton, B.C., might be done.
The 2017 tournament was the eighth annual, but according to Matheson “many NHL scouts” have been saying that it “was disappointing for (the) calibre of kids taking part.”
However, Andrew Jakubeit, a former WHL on-ice official who now is the mayor of Penticton, told infonews.ca that all of this is news to him.
Jakubeit, who also is the event’s chairman, said that “we are still working with the (Vancouver) Canucks to finalize the details of the Young Stars tournament. It is our intention to host the event again this year.”
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At Regina, F Jayden Halbgewachs scored twice, giving him 50 goals in 47 games, to lead the Moose Jaw Warriors to a 5-3 victory over the Pats. . . . Moose Jaw (37-7-3) has won two in a row and continues to lead the overall standings by eight points over Swift Current. . . . Regina (24-20-4) had points in each of its previous five games (4-0-1). It holds down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot. . . . The Warriors took control with four first-period goals, two of them via the PP, as they outshot their hosts, 22-8. . . . Halbgewachs got it started, on a PP, at 5:46. . . . F Vince Loschiavo (14) made it 2-0 at 7:30, and D Dmitri Zaitsev (5) scored, on a PP, at 14:37. . . . F Tanner Jeannot (32) upped it to 4-0 at 19:34. . . . F Jesse Gabrielle (4) scored for Regina, on a PP, at 5:59 of the second period, but the Warriors got that one back when Halbgewachs got No. 50 at 3:35 of the third. . . . Halbgewachs joins F Theo Fleury and Kent Hayes as the only players in Warriors history to enjoy two 50-goal seasons. Halbgewachs finished last season with 50 goals in 71 games. Fleury had 61 in 1986-87 and 68 the following season. Hayes had 56 goals in 1984-85 and 50 in 1985-86. . . . The Pats’ last two goals came from D Josh Mahura, who has 16, at 8:53 and 19:09. . . . F Brayden Burke and D Kale Clague each had two assists for the Warriors, with Loschiavo adding one. . . . Mahura also had an assist to go with his two goals. . . . Moose Jaw was 2-3 on the PP; Regina was 2-4. . . . G Brody Willms earned the victory with 42 saves, 21 of them in the third period when his guys were outshot 23-5. . . . G Ryan Kubic stopped 32 shots for the Pats. . . . F Jake Leschyshyn was among Regina’s scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 6,484.
At Calgary, G Dylan Ferguson turned aside 32 shots to lead the Kamloops Blazers to a 2-1 victory over the Hitmen. . . . Kamloops (19-23-3) had lost its previous three games. It is eight points out of a playoff spot. . . . Calgary (14-26-6) is 13 points out of a playoff spot. . . . Don Hay of the Blazers now has 739 regular-season victories as a WHL head coach, three short of the all-time record that has belonged to Ken Hodge since the end of the 1992-93 season. . . . Ferguson was particularly busy in the third period when he stopped 19 shots. . . . The Blazers got their goals in the second period, from F Luc Smith (12), at 17:29, and F Quinn Benjafield (13), at 18:54. . . . D Vladislav Yeryomenko (11) scored for Calgary, on a PP, at 16:58 of the third period. . . . Calgary was 1-4 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-5. . . . The Hitmen got 34 stops from G Nick Schneider. . . . Announced attendance: 6,196.
At Red Deer, D Vojtech Budik scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Prince Albert Raiders to a 5-1 victory over the Rebels. . . . Prince Albert (17-20-8) is five points behind Saskatoon, which holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . Red Deer (10-24-11) has lost 12 in a row (0-6-6) and has fallen into the league’s basement. . . . Budik, who has six goals, scored at 1:50 and 11:00, the latter via the PP, of the first period, then drew an assist on D Jeremy Masella’s fourth goal at 16:01. . . . F Jordy Stallard (31) made it 4-0, on a PP, at 4:55 of the second period. . . . D Alex Alexeyev (6) scored for Red Deer, on a PP, at 19:06. . . . The Raiders got their last goal from F Parker Kelly (19), shorthanded, at 7:00 of the third period. . . . Kelly also drew two assists. . . . The Raiders were 2-3 on the PP; the Rebels were 1-5. . . . Prince Albert got 29 saves from G Ian Scott. . . . Red Deer starter Ethan Anders allowed two goals on seven shots in 11:00. Riley Lamb came on in relief to stop 24 of 27 shots in 49:00. . . . Announced attendance: 3,987.
At Cranbrook, B.C., F Brendan Semchuk and F Colton Kehler each scored two first-period goals to get the Edmonton Oil Kings started towards a 5-1 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Edmonton (13-26-6) had lost its previous two games. . . . Kootenay (20-23-3), which opened a seven-game homestand, had won its past two games. It is third in the Central Division, five points behind Lethbridge. . . . Semchuk opened the scoring at 3:37 with his first goal since being acquired from Vancouver at the trade deadline. . . . Kehler, who has 20 goals, made it 3-0 with goals at 4:27 and 8:19, the latter via the PP. . . . Semchuk got his 10th goal at 14:54. . . . F Sebastian Streu (6) got the Ice’s goal, on a PP, at 4:43 of the second period. . . . Edmonton F Carter Souch (2) closed out the scoring at 13:49. . . . F Tomas Soustal had two assists for Edmonton, with Kehler adding one. . . . The Oil Kings were 1-2 on the PP; the Ice was 1-6. . . . Edmonton got 43 saves from G Todd Scott, 20 of those in the second period. . . . G Matt Berlin allowed five goals on 19 shots in his first start for the Ice since being acquired from Seattle at the trade deadline. He hadn’t played since Dec. 29 due to an undisclosed injury. . . . Announced attendance: 2,431.
At Portland, F Aleksi Heponiemi had three assists as he ran his point streak to 26 games in the Swift Current Broncos’ 5-3 victory over the Winterhawks. . . . Swift Current (33-10-3) has points in eight straight (7-0-1) and is 2-0-0 on its U.S. Division trek. The Broncos are second in the overall standings, eight points behind Moose Jaw. . . . Portland (26-15-4) has lost three in a row (0-2-1). It is second in the U.S. Division, two points behind Everett. . . . G Giorgio Estephan (20) gave the Broncos a 1-0 lead at 4:45 of the first period. That was the 300th regular-season point of his career. He later added two assists and now has 302 points in 301 games, the first 297 of those with Lethbridge. . . . F Skyler McKenzie (35) got Portland into a 1-1 tie at 14:11. He’s got five goals in his past three games and 14 goals in 13 games. . . . D Colby Sissons put the Broncos back out front at 7:50 of the second period, only to have F Alex Overheard (11) tie it, on a PP, at 15:20. . . . The Broncos took a 4-2 lead on third-period goals from F Beck Malenstyn (4), at 1:05, and Sissons (11), on a PP, at 11:21. . . . Portland F Joachim Blichfeld (15) cut into the lead at 17:55, but the Broncos iced it on an empty-netter from F Tanner Nagel (5) at 19:56. . . . Portland got two assists from D Dennis Cholowski, with Blichfeld and McKenzie adding one each. . . . Each team was 1-3 on the PP. . . . The Broncos got 34 saves from G Stuart Skinner. At the other end, Cole Kehler blocked 21 shots. . . . Cody Glass, Kieffer Bellows and Ryan Hughes (ill) were Portland’s scratches, each of them a top-six forward. . . . Portland did get back F Lane Gilliss and F Jake Gracious from injury-related absences. . . . The Winterhawks have added F Jaydon Dureau to their roster. An eighth-round selection in the 2016 bantam draft, Dureau has 27 goals and 31 assists in 28 games with the midget AAA Regina Pat Canadians this season. . . . Still, Portland only has 10 healthy forwards on its roster, so Dureau slotted in on Portland’s fourth line with defencemen John Ludvig and Conor MacEachern. Yes, the Winterhawks are running short of forwards, which may have something to do with GM/head coach Mike Johnston missing this game while on a scouting/recruiting assignment. . . . F Matteo Gennaro was among Swift Current’s scratches after having a run-in with a goal post during the Broncos’ 3-2 OT victory over the host Tri-City Americans on Wednesday. . . . Announced attendance: 5,300.
At Prince George, F Jordy Bellerive scored three times to help the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 6-2 victory over the Cougars. . . . Lethbridge (22-19-4) has points in six straight (5-0-1). It is second in the Central Divison, four points behind Medicine Hat. . . . Prince George (17-23-7) has lost three in a row and is eight points from a playoff spot. . . . Bellerive, who has a career-high 29 goals in 44 games, picked up his first WHL hat trick. He scored 27 goals in 70 games last season. This season, he also career highs in assists (34) and points (63). . . . F Owen Blocker (2) gave Lethbridge a 1-0 lead at 5:32 of the first period. . . . The Cougars tied it at 8:14 as F Josh Curtis scored. . . . The Hurricanes scored the next three goals, all in the second period. . . . Bellerive scored at 1:46, with F Brad Morrison (16) counting at 4:08 and F Jake Elmer (13) at 4:33. . . . Morrison, who also had an assist, is from Prince George and played the first 260 regular-season games of his WHL career with the Cougars. They traded him to Vancouver prior to the start of this season, and he dealt to Lethbridge earlier this month. . . . Curtis (7) cut into the lead at 14:46. . . . Bellerive completed his hat trick with goals at 15:20 of the second period and 17:09 of the third. . . . Lethbridge got three assists from D Igor Merezhko. . . . D Joel Lakusta had two assists for the Cougars. . . . Lethbridge was 0-4 on the PP; Prince George was 0-5. . . . G Logan Flodell earned the victory with 22 saves. . . . G Taylor Gauthier started for the Cougars. He gave up four goals on 13 shots in 24:33 before being lifted in favour of Isaiah DiLaura, who stopped 13 of 15 shots in 35:27. . . . Announced attendance: 5,138.
At Kennewick, Wash., F Jordan Topping completed a three-goal night with a PP goal in OT to give the Tri-City Americans a 4-3 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . .Tri-City (23-16-6) had lost its previous five games (0-4-1). It and Seattle are tied for third in the U.S. Division, four points behind Portland. . . . Brandon (28-13-4) has lost three straight (0-1-2) and is 0-1-1 on its swing into the U.S. Division. Still, the Wheat Kings are third in the overall standings. . . . The Americans took a 2-0 lead on first-period goals from Topping, on a PP, at 10:07, and F Isaac Johnson (12) at 11:26. . . . The Wheat Kings tied it on PP goals from F Baron Thompson (13) at 3:01 of the second period and F Stelio Mattheos (31) at 7:19 of the third. . . . Topping put Tri-City back out front at 12:28. . . . Brandon forced OT when F Evan Weinger (20) scored at 19:18 with the extra attacker on the ice. . . . Topping won it with his 26th goal at 2:49 of extra time. . . . Tri-City got three assists from D Dylan Coghlan and two from F Morgan Geekie. . . . F Ty Lewis had two helpers for Brandon, with Mattheos and Thompson getting one each. . . . Brandon was 2-2 on the PP; Tri-City was 2-3. . . . The Americans got 35 saves from G Patrick Dea, who was making his 150th regular-season appearance. . . . G Dylan Myskiw stopped 32 shots for Brandon. . . . The Americans had F Max James back from a four-game absence, the first three of which were due to a WHL suspension, but remain without D Juuso Valimaki, F Michael Rasmussen, F Kyle Olson and D Roman Kalinichenko. Rasmussen, who had pre-Christmas wrist surgery, is back skating, but he’s wearing a non-contact sweater and isn’t shooting the puck especially hard. . . . Earlier in the day, the Wheat Kings named D James Shearer, who is from Brandon, as the team captain. He takes over from F Tanner Kaspick, who was traded to the Victoria Royals on Jan. 10. . . . Announced attendance: 3,463.
At Langley, B.C., F Tanner Kaspick scored in the sixth round of a shootout to give the Victoria Royals a 4-3 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Victoria (27-16-4) has won four straight and is second in the B.C. Divison, one point behind Kelowna and one ahead of Vancouver. . . . Vancouver (25-14-7) has points in 10 straight (7-0-3). . . . F Ty Ronning gave the Giants a 1-0 lead at 5:23 of the first period. . . . Victoria went ahead 2-1 on goals from F Dante Hannoun (19), on a PP, at 17:20 of the first and F Jeff de Wit (9), at 4:48 of the second. . . . Ronning, who has 42 goals, tied it at 11:11. . . . Victoria went back out front at 1:00 of the third period on F Tyler Soy’s 21st goal. . . . The Giants tied it again on D Dylan Plouffe’s eighth goal, at 7:51. . . . F Tyler Benson and F Owen Hardy each had two assists for Vancouver. . . . Victoria was 1-2 on the PP; Vancouver was 0-2. . . . G Griffen Outhouse stopped 40 shots through OT for the Royals. At the other end, David Tendeck made 22 saves. . . . The Giants remain without Slovakian F Milos Roman, who last played on Jan. 9. He has eight goals and 21 assists in 34 games. On Friday, the CHL announced that Roman, a freshman, won’t be playing in the Top Prospects Game on Thursday in Guelph. He was replaced by F Liam Foudy of the OHL’s London Knights. . . . The Giants did have D Darian Skeoch in the lineup after he sat since Jan. 9 with an undisclosed injury. . . . Announced attendance: 3,637.
At Kent, Wash., F Nolan Volcan scored three goals to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 7-2 victory over the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Seattle (23-16-6) has won three in a row and is tied with Tri-City for third in the U.S. Division. . . . Kelowna (28-14-3) leads the Western Conference by one point over Victoria and Everett. . . . Seattle scored the game’s first three goals. F Zack Andrusiak (20) got it started 59 seconds into the first period. Volcan made it 2-0 at 8:01. . . . F Noah Philp (9) upped it to 3-0 at 6:07 of the second period. . . . F Dillon Dube (20) got the Rockets on the scoreboard, on a PP, at 10:20. . . . The Thunderbirds reply with three more goals, from Volcan, at 12:00, D Turner Ottenbreit (6), at 13:40, and F Blake Bargar (9), at 6:43 of the third period. . . . F Conner Bruggen-Cate (13) got Kelowna’s second goal at 10:34. . . . Volcan, who has 23 goals, completed his hat trick, on a PP, at 17:33. . . . Seattle got three assists from each of D Jarret Tyszka and F Sami Moilanen. . . . The Thunderbirds were 2-6 on the PP; Kelowna was 1-4. . . . G Dorrin Luding blocked 27 shots for Seattle. . . . The Rockets opened with G Brodan Salmond, who was beaten five times on 16 shots in 33:40. Cole Tisdale, 15, came on in his WHL debut and stopped 15 of 17 shots in 26:20. . . . Announced attendance: 6,057.
SATURDAY (all times local):
Regina at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.
Kamloops at Red Deer, 7 p.m.
Prince Albert at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.
Lethbridge at Prince George, 7 p.m.
Portland vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7 p.m.
Victoria at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.
Brandon at Everett, 7:05 p.m.
Swift Current vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:05 p.m.
Tri-City at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.
TWEET OF THE DAY
This actually was from Thursday, but it holds up with the Tigers not playing on Friday . . .
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