BEDARD UPDATE: I was told early on Sunday that a scoring change will be made that will give F Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats another assist in their 7-3 Saturday victory over the Warriors in Moose Jaw. So . . . that means the WHL scoring leader finished with three goals and three assists, giving him his second six-point game of the season. Of course, he also has nine five-point outings. . . . The added assist gave him the league lead, with 71, going into Sunday’s games. He also went into Sunday leading in goals (69) and points (140). . . .
Meanwhile, it has been pointed out that there was a glaring omission from a list of the “highest single-season goals-per-game in WHL history (minimum of 35 GP)” that appeared here late Saturday night. The list had been tweeted by StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) and I picked it up. . . . Ray Ferraro was No. 1 on the list, at 1.50, thanks to his record 108 goals in 72 games for the 1983-84 Brandon Wheat Kings. However, a long-time friend pointed out that is in error because F Bill Derlago of the Wheat Kings scored 89 times in 52 games in 1977-78, and that computes to 1.71 goals-per-game. So if you’re keeping track of such things, put Derlago at the top of that list. . . .
THE BEDARD REPORT: F Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats had a goal and an assist on Sunday in a 4-2 victory over the Blades in Saskatoon. . . . That was his 70th goal this season. He is the first Regina skater with 70 since F Dale Derkatch got there in 1983-84. Derkatch finished with 72 in 62 games that season; one season earlier, he scored 84 times in 67 games. . . . Bedard is the first WHLer with 70 goals since F Jayden Halbgewachs of the Moose Jaw Warriors finished the 2017-18 season with 70. . . . The WHL website shows Bedard leading in goals (70), assists (71) and points (141). That scoring change from Saturday’s game should show up on Monday, giving him 72 assists and 142 points. . . . The WHL last had a 140-point man in 1995-96 when three skaters got there — F Mark Deyell (Saskatoon, 159), F Frank Banham (Saskatoon, 152) and Hnat Domenichelli (Kamloops Blazers, 148). . . . Since return from leading Canada to gold at the World Junior Championship, Bedard has put up 78 points, including 43 goals, in 27 games. . . . In his past four games alone, he has nine goals and eight assists.
The U of New Brunswick Reds won the USports men’s hockey championship on Sunday, beating the Alberta Golden Bears, 3-0. . . . That means that Gardiner MacDougall, the Reds’ head coach, has won a Memorial Cup and a university championship just nine months apart. He took over as the head coach of the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs before the 2022 Memorial Cup and guided them to the tournament title. . . . G Samuel Richard, formerly of the QMJHL’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, stopped 17 shots for the Reds, with the goals coming from former OHL players Cody Morgan, Cole Mackay and Austen Keating. . . . This was MacDougall’s eighth David Johnston University Cup title, all with UNB. The Reds have won four of the last six tournaments; the 2020 and 2021 events were lost to the pandemic. . . . MacDougall, 63, has been the Red’ head coach since 2000-01.
If the WHL playoffs started today (x – locked in):
Winnipeg (1) vs. Medicine Hat (8)
Red Deer (2) vs. Calgary (7)
Saskatoon (3) vs. Regina (6)
Moose Jaw (4) vs. Lethbridge (5)
Seattle (1) vs. Kelowna (8)
Kamloops (2) vs. Vancouver (7)
x-Portland (3) vs. Everett (6)
x-Prince George (4) vs. Tri-City (5)
SUNDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:
The host Calgary Hitmen scored the game’s last three goals, all in the third period, to beat the Medicine Hat Tigers, 4-3. . . . F Oliver Talk (23) got the Hitmen to within one, at 3-2, at 5:00. . . . F Brandon Whynott (5) tied it at 5:10, and F Carson Wetsch (10) got the winner at 9:00. . . . F Gavin McKenna, the first overall selection in the WHL’s 2022 draft, had a goal (2) and an assist for Medicine Hat. His club team at the Southern Alberta Hockey Academy had its season come to an end, so he is likely to finish the season with the Tigers. He has 12 points in 13 games with the Tigers this season. . . . Calgary (29-28-8) had won, 2-0, in Medicine Hat on Saturday. The victory lifted the Hitmen into seventh in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of the Tigers. . . . Medicine Hat (28-28-9) has lost two in a row. . . . Calgary and Medicine Hat each has three games remaining. . . . The Tigers are three points ahead of Swift Current, which also has three games to play. . . .
G Kelton Pyne blocked a career-high 42 shots to lead the Regina Pats to a 4-2 victory over the Blades in Saskatoon. . . . Pyne earned his third victory of the season. . . . F Alexander Suzdalev (38) had a goal and an assist for Regina, with F Tanner Howe getting No. 34. . . . F Brandon Lisowsky (35) scored twice for Saskatoon. . . . The announced attendance was 14,768, a record for the Blades. The previous record (12,588) was from a Feb. 9, 2013 game in which the Blades dumped the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 5-2. . . . Les Lazaruk, the Blades’ longtime play-by-play voice, called his 2,100th game. . . . This may well have been a first-round playoff preview. But before that happens, the Pats are back in Saskatoon again on Friday. . . . Regina (34-38-4) is sixth in the Eastern Conference, four points behind Lethbridge and six ahead of Calgary. . . . Saskatoon (46-15-5) has won its previous two games and will be the conference’s No. 3 seed when the playoffs begin. . . .
F Chase Bertholet scored twice to help the Spokane Chiefs to a 3-2 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . Bertholet (28) gave the Chiefs a 2-0 lead with the only goals of the first period. . . . F Jackson Berezowski (44) got Everett on the board at 2:22 of the third period, only to have F Berkly Catton (22) restore the two-goal lead at 5:45. . . . Spokane (15-42-9) had lost its previous six games (0-4-2). . . . Everett (32-31-3) will finish sixth in the Western Conference and meet up with Portland in the first round. . . . They’ll open March 31 in Portland. The Winterhawks won the season series, 6-1-1; the Silvertips were 2-6-0. . . .
In Kennewick, Wash., the Tri-City Americans erased a 1-0 deficit with five straight goals as they beat the Vancouver Giants, 5-2. . . . F Jake Sloan (20) and F Adam Mechura (26) each scored twice for the Americans. . . . F Ty Thorpe (37) had a goal and an assist for the Giants; he’s got goals in four straight games. . . . F Samuel Honzek had an assist in his return to Vancouver’s lineup. He hadn’t played since taking a high hit in a game in Kelowna on March 10. . . . Tri-City (32-26-8) has points in five straight (4-0-1). The Americans will finish fifth in the Western Conference and face No. 4 Prince George in the first round. Tri-City was 3-1-0 in the season series; the Cougars were 1-2-1. . . . Vancouver (26-31-8) is seventh, four points ahead of Kelowna. The Giants have three games remaining; the Rockets have two to play, both against Vancouver. . . .
F Owen Pederson and F Zack Ostapchuk each scored twice as the host Winnipeg Ice beat the Prince Albert Raiders, 6-1. . . . Pederson, who also had an assist, has 32 goals; Ostapchuk has 29. . . . G Daniel Hauser stopped 29 shots in earning his 37th victory over the season. That’s one off the league lead held by Dylan Ernst of the Kamloops Blazers. . . . Hauser now holds the Kootenay/Winnipeg franchise record for victories in one season. The previous record (36) was set by Wyatt Hoflin with Kootenay in 2014-15. . . . The Raiders lost F Terrell Goldsmith to a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct at 10:32 of the second period. . . . This was the third meeting in six days for these two and the Ice won all three, including 4-3 in Prince Albert on Tuesday and 4-1 in Winnipeg on Saturday. . . . Winnipeg (55-9-1) has won seven straight and leads the overall standings by four points over Seattle, which has four games remaining. . . . Prince Albert slipped to 27-36-3 and won’t be in the playoffs.
Scott Ostler, in the San Francisco Chronicle: “Now Adam Silver is a faith healer? After a meeting with Ja Morant, the NBA commissioner is convinced that Morant is cool, saying, ‘Ja has also made it clear to me that he has learned from this incident.’ What about the other three (that we know of) disturbing instances involving Morant and his family and friends? Silver is like Jon Taffer in TV’s ‘Bar Rescue,’ who cures people of sloth, stupidity and alcoholism in a few hours. Keep your phone handy, Commish.”
Ostler, again: “The NBA determined that Morant, at Shotgun Willie’s club near Denver, was ‘holding a firearm in an intoxicated state.’ How that gun got intoxicated is anybody’s guess.”
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