Royals “definitely in” on 2020 Memorial Cup . . . Bajkov fills hat as Everett wins Game 3 . . . Bo knows it’s Game 7 in SJHL

Scattershooting

If there was doubt in your mind about the Victoria Royals and the 2020 Memorial Cup, you can forget it. They’re in.

“We’re 100 per cent, definitely in,” Cam Hope, the Royals’ president and general VictoriaRoyalsmanager, told Cleve Dheensaw of the Victoria Times Colonist late last week.

The Kamloops Blazers and Kelowna Rockets also are all-in on this one, with both having held news conferences to announce their intentions. The Royals haven’t gone that far yet, but they will.

“We have let the Western Hockey League know we are bidding,” Hope told Dheensaw, adding that there isn’t any rush to hold a news conference because the WHL’s deadline to file an expression of interest is June 1 and bids won’t be heard until Oct. 3.

“The deadline for the expression of interest is not until later in the summer,” Hope said. “We have been (working) quietly behind the scenes. There will be a time to be louder.”

Dheensaw’s complete story is right here.


In Kennewick, Wash., the Everett Silvertips broke open a 4-4 game with four third-period goals in the span of 4:50 and went on to an 8-4 victory over the Tri-City Americans before Everettan announced crowd of 3,268 in Game 3 of the WHL’s best-of-seven Western Conference final. . . . Everett leads the series, 2-1. . . . The visitors got three goals from F Patrick Bajkov, who snapped the 4-4 tie at 6:54 of the third period, then made it 6-4 at 9:21. . . . The Americans had tied the score 4-4 on third-period goals from F Isaac Johnson, at 0:47, and F Michael Rasmussen, at 1:45. . . . Tri-City scored its first two goals via the PP and now is 17-33 with the man advantage through 11 playoff games. . . . Things got a bit heated early in the third period with the head coaches — Everett’s Dennis Williams and Tri-City’s Mike Williamson — exchanging greetings at the benches. . . . The series won’t resume until Thursday because Kennewick’s Toyota Center is playing host to Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story Onstage on Wednesday night. . . .

Meanwhile, the Eastern Conference final is set to continue tonight (Tuesday) in Lethbridge with the Swift Current Broncos holding a 2-0 edge over the Hurricanes. . . . The Broncos lost D Artyom Minulin and F Glenn Gawdin to injuries in the first two games. It’s playoffs, so their status for Game 3 isn’t known.


G Bo Didur stopped 36 shots on Sunday leading, leading the host Estevan Bruins to a 4-0 victory over the Nipawin Hawks in Game 6 of the SJHL’s championship final for the SJHLCanalta Cup. The best-of-seven series is 3-3 and will be decided Tuesday night in Nipawin. Game time is 7:30 p.m. . . . That, considering all that has transpired over the past two-plus weeks, is the only way this could end, isn’t it? . . . F Jake Fletcher, the Bruins’ captain, had a goal, his 10th of the playoffs, and two assists. Fletcher has 20 points, one behind playoff co-leaders Kaelan Holt of Estevan, who is the son of former Swift Current Broncos star Todd Holt, and Nipawin’s Brandan Arnold. Kaelan Holt had two assists on Sunday. . . . Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post was in Estevan and did up this piece right here on Didur, who is into the final games of his junior hockey career. . . . The winner of Tuesday’s game will meet the MJHL-champion Steinbach Pistons for the ANAVET Cup and a berth in the Royal Bank Cup.


The other day, a woman changed her mind about singing the U.S. national anthem at a Reno Aces’ baseball game when she was told she couldn’t bring her gun along with her. As Jim Barach of WCHS-TV in Charleston, W.Va., noted: “Apparently they got her name off the wrong list of sopranos.”


The MJHL’s Dauphin Kings have signed Doug Hedley as their general manager and head coach. Hedley, a former Kings head coach, spent the past two seasons with the MJHL’s OCN Blizzard. . . . Hedley has been behind the Kings’ bench for 358 games, going 217-116-17-8. According to a Kings’ news release, he is “second behind Marlin Murray (556) in all-time regular-season games coached and second in wins as a Kings coach.”. . . . With Dauphin, Hedley takes over from Mitch Giguere, an assistant coach who had been working as the interim GM/head coach after Marc Berry was fired on Nov. 19. . . . This season, the Kings finished 14-44-1-1, good for 10th in the 11-team league.



Dwight Perry, in the Seattle Times: “The Metropolitan King County Council approved a ban on vaping and chewing tobacco in sports facilities — particularly the Mariners’ Safeco Field — effective May 19. In other words, Skoal’s out for the summer.”


MacBeth

F Tyler Spurgeon (Kelowna, 2001-06) has signed a one-year extension with Innsbruck (Austria, Erste Bank Liga). The team captain, he had 18 goals and 31 assists in 54 games this season. . . .

F Jordan Hickmott (Medicine Hat, Prince Albert, Edmonton, 2005-11) has signed a one-year contract with the Linz Black Wings (Austria, Erste Bank Liga). This season, with Villach (Austria, Erste Bank Liga), he had 20 goals and 22 assists in 51 games. He led his club in goals and points. . . .

F Justin Feser (Tri-City, 2008-13) has signed a one-year contract with the Fischtown Pinguins Bremerhaven (Germany, DEL). This season, with the Krefeld Pinguine (Germany, DEL), he had 14 goals and 12 assists in 44 games. . . .

F T.J. Mulock (Vancouver, Regina, Kamloops, 2002-03, 2005-06) has signed a one-year contract with the Straubing Tigers (Germany, DEL). This season, with Cologne Haie (Germany, DEL), he had two goals and seven assists in 46 games. He is a dual German-Canadian citizen.

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Playoff matchups all set . . . Record night for Bajkov . . . Gerlach fills his hat . . . Burzan sinks ex-mates . . . McGovern votes for shutout


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

The WHL’s regular season will reach a conclusion today with three games, none of which will have any bearing on the final standings.

The final matchups were finalized on Saturday night, so the first round of the playoffs will look like this . . .

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw: The Warriors, who finished atop the overall standings, open at home Friday against the Raiders, who wound up in the conference’s second wild-card spot.

Brandon at Medicine Hat: The Central Division-winning Tigers start at home on Friday against the Wheat Kings, who finished in the conference’s first wild-card spot. Brandon will morph into the Dauphin Wheat Kings as its home games will be played in Dauphin, Man.

Regina at Swift Current: The Broncos, who ended up second in the East Division, draw the third-place Pats in the first round. They’ll get started in Swift Current on Friday.

Red Deer at Lethbridge: The Hurricanes placed second in the Central Division and will start at home against the third-place Rebels on Friday.

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett: The Silvertips finished first in the Western Conference, so they also led the U.S. Division. They will clash with the arch-rival Seattle Thunderbirds, who ended up in the conference’s second wild-card spot. That series opens Friday in Everett. . . . The Thunderbirds will close out their regular season today in Kennewick, Wash., against the Tri-City Americans.

Tri-City at Kelowna: The Rockets won the B.C. Division, so will play the first wild-card team, which is the Americans. This will be the first series to get rolling as it starts Thursday in Kelowna.

Spokane at Portland: The Winterhawks placed second in the U.S. Division and will open at home on Saturday against the third-place Chiefs. They also will play this evening in Portland to wrap up their regular-season schedules.

Vancouver at Victoria: The Royals are the B.C. Division’s second-place team, so they draw the third-place Giants in a first round that is scheduled to open Friday in Victoria.


Scoreboard

SATURDAY:

At Brandon, the Wheat Kings erased a 4-0 deficit and beat the Moose Jaw Warriors, 5-4 in a shootout. . . . Brandon (40-27-5) has won three in a row. It will meet the Medicine Hat BrandonWKregularTigers in the first round of the playoffs. . . . Moose Jaw (52-15-5) has points in five straight (3-0-2). The Warriors will go up against the Prince Albert Raiders in the opening round. . . . Moose Jaw went 5-2-1 in the season series; Brandon was 3-5-0. . . . The Warriors led 4-0 halfway through the second period. They got two first-period goals from F Branden Klatt, who has seven, and one from F Tanner Jeannot in first period and another at 6:17 of the second. The fourth goal, scored while shorthanded, was Jeannot’s 40th of the season. . . . F Evan Weinger (31) started Brandon’s comeback at 11:42 of the second. . . . F Luka Burzan, who came over from Moose Jaw in January, made it 4-2 at 13:49. . . . F Ty Lewis (44) scored, on a PP, at 7:36 of the third period to get the home boys to within one. That goal also gave him 100 points this season. . . . Burzan’s second goal, and 15th of the season, tied the score at 18:53. . . . Burzan then scored in the sixth round of the shootout to beat his former team. . . . Brandon got two assists from F Connor Gutenberg, with Lewis adding one. . . . Moose Jaw F Brayden Tracey picked up two first-period assists for his first WHL points. Tracey, from Calgary, was playing in his fifth game. He was a first-round selection in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . F Brett Howden also had two assists for Moose Jaw. . . . F Jayden Halbgewachs of the Warriors wasn’t able to score — he was stopped on two overtime breakaways — so finished the season with 70 goals, which means he shares the franchise’s single-season record with F Blair Atcheynum (1988-89). . . . Halbgewachs finished with 129 points, so he will lead the WHL in goals and points this season. . . . Brandon was 1-5 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 0-2. . . . G Dylan Myskiw stopped 17 shots for Brandon. . . . At the other end, Adam Evanoff made 30 saves. . . . G Logan Thompson again was among Brandon’s scratches. . . . Moose Jaw F Brayden Burke missed his seventh straight game. D Brandon Schuldaus and D Dmitri Zaitsev missed their fourth consecutive games, and D Kale Clague sat out his second straight game. F Barrett Sheen completed a four-game suspension . . . Announced attendance: 5,621.


At Swift Current, F Tyler Steenbergen scored in OT to give the Broncos a 3-2 victory over the Regina Pats. . . . Swift Current (48-18-6) had lost its previous four games (0-3-1). . . . SCBroncosRegina (40-25-7) finished with points in its last eight games (7-0-1). . . . These teams will meet in the first round of the playoffs, starting Friday in Swift Current. . . . The Broncos won the season series, 5-0-1. The Pats were 1-4-1. . . . D Aaron Hyman (3) gave Regina a 1-0 lead at 17:51 of the first period. . . . The Broncos tied it as F Kaden Elder (18) scored at 18:57. . . . The Pats went back out front at 12:27 of the second period when F Jared Legien (23) scored, on a PP. . . . The Broncos tied it again at 14:45 with F Beck Malenstyn (17) finding the range. . . . Steenbergen, who also had an assist, won it with No. 47, at 0:32 of OT. . . . Regina was 1-4 on the PP; Swift Current was 0-4. . . . The Broncos got 30 saves from G Stuart Skinner, while Regina’s Ryan Kubic stopped 31. . . . Swift Current F Glenn Gawdin returned from an illness-related injury on Friday night in Regina, but was scratched from this one. . . . The Broncos also were missing F Tanner Nagel, who completed a three-game suspension, and F Andrew Fyten, who drew a TBD suspension for a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct — he hit Regina D Libor Hajek — during Friday’s game. . . . Among Regina’s scratches were G Max Paddock, Hajek, D Josh Mahura, F Sam Steel, F Koby Morrisseau and F Cam Hebig. . . . The game was delayed in the third period after Regina F Matt Bradley broke a pane of glass. Presumably the WHL will be launching a thorough investigation in the interest of player safety to see why the glass was repaired with tape and not replaced. . . . Announced attendance: 2,890.


At Saskatoon, F Max Gerlach scored three times to lead the Blades to a 5-4 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . Saskatoon (35-33-4) won its last three games but didn’t Saskatoonmake the playoffs. . . . Prince Albert (32-27-13) has lost four in a row (0-2-2). It will finish in the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot and meet the first-place Moose Jaw Warriors in the first round. . . . The Blades won the season series with Prince Albert, 6-1-1; Prince Albert went 2-6-0. . . . Gerlach, who finished with 35 goals, got the Blades on the scoreboard at 8:48 of the first period. . . . The Raiders tied it on F Spencer Moe’s ninth goal, at 16:45. . . . Saskatoon then rattled off three straight goals. D Mark Rubinchik (4) scored at 17:45, with Gerlach scoring at 18:49 and then completing the hat trick, on a PP, at 9:21 of the second period. . . . F Curtis Miske (27) got the Raiders to within one at 10:46, but D Evan Fiala (7) got an empty-netter for Saskatoon at 17:09. . . . Prince Albert made it interesting as D Sergei Sapego scored twice, at 18:12 and 19:19. He finished with four goals this season. . . . The Blades got two assists from F Kirby Dach and one from Rubinchik. . . . D Max Martin had two assists for the Raiders. . . . Saskatoon was 1-3 on the PP; Prince Albert was 0-3. . . . G Curtis Meger stopped 27 shots for the Raiders, four fewer than Saskatoon’s Tyler Brown. . . . Blades F Braylon Shmyr, 20, played in his 300th regular-season game — the first 138 with Brandon and the last 172 with Saskatoon. He finished with 111 goals and 129 assists. . . . F Cohner Saleski, who is from Saskatoon, made his WHL debut with Prince Albert. He was first-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. . . . The Raiders were without D Vojtech Budik, D Braydon Pachal, F Parker Kelly (suspended) and F Brett Leason (undisclosed injury). . . . Kelly drew a one-game suspension after taking a spearing major — on Dach — and game misconduct on Friday night. . . . Announced attendance: 9,624.


At Cranbrook, B.C., G Dustin McGovern turned aside 19 shots to lead the Kootenay Ice to a 5-0 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Kootenay (27-38-7) finished with points in its Kootenaynewlast five games (2-0-3). The Ice missed the playoffs. . . . Red Deer (27-32-13) lost its last two games. It will meet the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the first round. . . . Kootenay went 5-1-1 against Red Deer; the Rebels were 2-4-1. . . . In their final game, the Ice’s three 20-year-olds combined for the game’s first goal on their first shift — with Colton Veloso (25) getting the goal, on assists from F Colton Kroeker and F Alex Baer. . . . The Ice got two goals from F Cam Hausinger, who finished with 21, F Kaeden Taphorn (6), shorthanded, and Baer, who got his 30th. . . . Kootenay was 1-5 on the PP; Red Deer was 0-3. . . . McGovern’s two shutouts this season are the first two of his career. . . . Red Deer got 41 saves from G Ethan Anders. . . . F Mason McCarty and F Kristian Reichel were among Red Deer’s scratches. . . . Announced attendance: Unavailable.


At Medicine Hat, the Lethbridge Hurricanes scored the game’s last three goals and beat the Tigers, 3-2. . . . Lethbridge (33-33-6) snapped an eight-game losing streak. Lethbridge Lethbridgefinished second in the Central Division and will open at home against the third-place Red Deer Rebels in the first round of the playoffs on Friday. . . . Medicine Hat (36-28-8), which finished atop the Central Division, is to play the Brandon Wheat Kings in the first round. . . . Lethbridge went 4-3-0 in the season series with Medicine Hat. . . . The Tigers took a 2-0 lead on two goals from F Tyler Preziuso, at 0:25 of the first period and shorthanded at 1:03 of the second. He has 17 goals. . . . F Zachary Cox (2) got Lethbridge to within a goal at 8:11 of the second period, and F Jordy Bellerive (46) tied it at 17:19. . . . F Logan Barlage (7) got what stood up as the winner at 1:14 of the third period. . . . Lethbridge was 0-2 on the PP; Medicine Hat was 0-3. . . . G Logan Flodell earned the victory with 33 stops. . . . G Jordan Hollett, who last played on Feb. 3, started for the Tigers and made 20 saves. He had missed 15 games. . . . F Mark Rassell and D Linus Nassen were scratched by Medicine Hat, each missing a second straight game. . . . Announced attendance: 4,046.


At Edmonton, F Jake Kryski had a goal and two assists to help the Calgary Hitmen to a 7-1 victory over the Oil Kings. . . . Calgary (24-36-11) has points in five straight (4-0-1). . . . CalgaryEdmonton (21-42-8) had won its previous two games. . . . The teams will meet again today, this time in Calgary. . . . The Hitmen took control with three first-period goals and another in the last minute of the second. . . . F Jakob Stukel started it, on a PP, at 7:55, with D Dom Schmiemann (1) making it 2-0 one minute later. . . . F Mark Kastelic upped it to 3-0 at 19:43. . . . F Luke Coleman (15) made it 4-0 at 19:21 of the second period. . . . Edmonton got its goal from F David Kope (14) at 4:47 of the third period. . . . Kastelic (23), on a PP, Stukel (37) and Kryski (16) finished Calgary’s scoring. . . . The Hitmen got two assists from each of F Hunter Campbell and F Riley Stotts. . . . Calgary was 2-9 on the PP; Edmonton was 0-1. . . . G Matthew Armitage stopped 27 shots for Calgary. . . . Edmonton starter Josh Dechaine gave up three goals on 15 shots in the first period. Boston Bilous finished up, stopping 22 of 26 shots in 40:00. . . . Announced attendance: 15,271.


At Kent, Wash., the Seattle Thunderbirds opened up a 3-0 lead en route to a 5-1 victory over the Portland Winterhawks. . . . Seattle (34-27-10) will finish in the Western SeattleConference’s second wild-card spot and will face the first-place Everett Silvertips in the first round. . . . Portland (44-22-5) had won its previous two games. It will finish second in the U.S. Division. . . . The Winterhawks won the season series with Seattle, 8-1-3; the Thunderbirds were 4-7-1, but this was the first time the Thunderbirds beat the Winterhawks in regulation time. . . . Seattle’s first three goals all came from defencemen. . . . Reece Harsch (10) got the first one, at 3:41 of the first period, with Austin Strand (25) scoring, on a PP, at 15:50. Turner Ottenbreit (9) made it 3-0 at 15:53 of the second period. . . . D Henri Jokiharju (12) scored Portland’s goal, on a PP, at 11:37 of the third period. . . . F Zack Andrusiak (35), on a PP, and F Donovan Neuls (22) had Seattle’s other goals. . . . F Matthew Wedman and Neuls each had two assists for Seattle, with Andrusiak, Ottenbreit and Strand getting one apiece. . . . Seattle was 2-9 on the PP; Portland was 1-6. . . . G Liam Hughes stopped 27 shots to earn the victory. . . . Portland G Cole Kehler blocked 25 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 6,160.


At Prince George, F Nick Chyzowski, playing his final WHL game, scored in a shootout to give the Kamloops Blazers a 6-5 victory over the Cougars. . . . Kamloops (30-37-5) had lost Kamloops1its previous five games. . . . Prince George finished 29-37-6. . . . Neither team made the playoffs. . . . The Blazers went 6-3-1 in the season series; the Cougars were 4-5-1. . . . F Brogan o’Brien, playing on St. Patrick’s Day, gave the Cougars a 1-0 lead at 6:10 of the first period. . . . The Blazers went ahead 2-0 on goals from F Brodi Stuart 916), at 3:37 of the second period, and D Devan Harrison (1), at 4:42. . . . The Cougars went ahead 3-2 on second-period goals from F Reid Perepeluk (2), at 6:31, and F Connor Bowie (2), at 10:38. . . . The Blazers took a 5-3 lead with three goals before the period ended, from F Connor Zary, at 11:39, F Luc Smith (21), at 15:31, and Zary (11), on a PP, at 19:33. . . . D Cam MacPhee, back from a one-game suspension, got the Cougars to within one at 19:56. . . . O’Brien tied it 5-5 with his 17th goal at 12:56 of the third period. . . . Zary and Chyzowski both scored in the shootout, while the Cougars were blanked. . . . Prince George was 1-3 on the PP; Kamloops was 1-5. . . . G Max Palaga stopped 29 shots for Kamloops, two fewer than Taylor Gauthier of the Cougars. . . . Kamloops D Brady Reagan played in his 300th regular-season game. . . . The Blazers again scratched D Luke Zazula and D Montana Onyebuchi. . . . Cougars D Joel Lakusta sat out the second game of a three-game sentence. His suspension will carry over to next season. . . . Announced attendance: 5,106.


At Kennewick, Wash., the Spokane Chiefs built a 3-1 lead and hung on to beat the Tri-City Americans, 4-3. . . . Spokane (40-25-6) had lost its previous four games (0-3-1). It will SpokaneChiefsfinish third in the U.S. Division and meet the second-place Portland Winterhawks in the first round of the playoffs. . . . Tri-City (37-25-9) had a five-game winning streak snapped. It will finish in the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot and meet the Kelowna Rockets, who won the B.C. Division, in the first round. . . . The Chiefs won the season series with the Americans, 7-3-2; the Americans were 5-3-4. . . . F Jaret Anderson-Dolan gave the Chiefs a 1-0 lead when he scored No. 40, on a PP, at 17:14 of the first period. . . . Tri-City F Jordan Topping (38) tied it, on a PP, at 10:35 of the second. . . . F Riley Woods (25) put the Chiefs out front just nine seconds later, and D Filip Kral (9) upped the lead to 3-1 at 19:10. . . . Tri-City F Michael Rasmussen (31) scored at 13:21 to make it a one-goal lead, but Chiefs F Jake McGrew (18) got that one back at 18:24. . . . F Morgan Geekie’s 30th goal, at 19:24, moved the Americans back to within a goal before time ran out. . . . The Chiefs got two assists from F Eli Zummack and one each from McGrew, Woods and Kral. . . . D Juuso Valimaki had two helpers for Tri-City, with one each going to Geekie and Topping. . . . Tri-City was 1-1 on the PP; Spokane was 1-4. . . . G Bailey Brkin earned the victory with 18 saves. . . . At the other end, Beck Warm blocked 25 shots. . . . Spokane F Kailer Yamamoto was scratched for a second straight game. . . . Announced attendance: 5,003.


At Kelowna, F Leif Mattson and F Dillon Dube each had two goals and two assists as the Rockets romped to an 8-1 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Kelowna (43-22-7) KelownaRocketsfinished with points in six straight games (5-0-1). It will face the Tri-City Americans in the first round. . . . Vancouver (36-27-9) has lost two straight as it goes into a first-round series with the Victoria Royals. . . . The Rockets went 5-2-1 in the season series with the Giants, who were 3-4-1. . . . Kelowna scored the game’s first three goals, from D Libor Zabransky (2), at 14:43 of the first period, Mattson, at 6:16 of the second period, and Dube, at 10:50. . . . F Milos Roman (10) scored Vancouver’s goal at 16:03. . . . D Gordie Ballhorn (7), F Kyle Topping (22), Dube (38), Mattson (25) and F Kole Lind finished Kelowna’s scoring. . . . Dube hit the 100-goal mark for his career in the process. . . . The Rockets also got two assists from each of F Liam Kindree and F Marek Skvrne, with Topping, Lind and Ballhorn getting one apiece. . . . Kelowna was 1-1 on the PP; Vancouver was 0-2. . . . G James Porter stopped 21 shots for Kelowna, while Vancouver’s Trent Miner stopped 36. . . . The Giants scratched their two best forwards — Tyler Benson and Ty Ronning — along with F Brayden Watts and D Bowen Byram, among others. . . . Kelowna sat F Carsen Twarynski. . . . Announced attendance: 5,759.


At Victoria, F Patrick Bajkov scored three times and added a record-setting assist as the Everett Silvertips whipped the Royals, 8-1. . . . Everett (47-20-5) has won two in a row. . . . VictoriaRoyalsVictoria (39-27-6) has lost two straight. . . . The Silvertips, who clinched the franchise’s sixth U.S. Division flag, will finish atop the Western Conference and meet the Seattle Thunderbirds in the first round. . . . Victoria, second in the B.C. Division, will face the Vancouver Giants. . . . Bajkov drew an assist on his club’s eighth goal to set a franchise record for career assists, with 176, one more than F Zach Hamill. . . . Bajkov’s four-point night also left him with 100 points, 33, of them goals, the first time in franchise history that an Everett skater has reached the century mark. . . . F Bryce Kindopp (24) and F Connor Dewar (38) had two goals each for Everett, with F Matt Fonteyne (35), who had four assists, adding one. . . . F Matthew Phillips (48) scored for the Royals, at 5:55 of the second period. . . . Everett D Kevin Davis had three assists, and Dewar had one. . . . Everett was 3-6 on the PP; Victoria was 1-5. . . . Everett G Carter Hart, who will be named the WHL’s top goaltender for a third straight season, finished 31-6-4, 1.60, .947. He also put up seven shutouts, giving him 26 in his career. That tied Tyson Sexsmith, who played for Vancouver, for the WHL’s career record. . . . G Kelly Guard holds the WHL record for lowest single-season GAA (1.56), set with the Kelowna Rockets in 2003-04. . . . Last night, Hart stopped 13 of 14 shots over 40 minutes, before Dustin Wolf came on to finish up, stopping all five shots he faced in the third period. . . . The Royals got 26 stops from G Dean McNabb. . . . D Scott Walford was among Victoria’s scratches. He left Friday’s game with an apparent arm injury. . . . Victoria F Lane Zablocki drew a TBD suspension after taking a boarding major — he hit Everett F Martin Fasko-Rudas — and game misconduct in the first period of Friday’s game. . . . Fasko-Rudas was scratched from Saturday’s game. . . . Announced attendance: 7,006.


SUNDAY (all times local):

Edmonton at Calgary, 2 p.m.

Spokane at Portland, 5 p.m.

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

END OF REGULAR SEASON


TWEET OF THE DAY

Giants sign import draft pick . . . Everett forward gets NHL deal . . . Seattle in, Kamloops out of playoff picture

A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

The Vancouver Giants have signed F Yannik Valenti, who is from Bad Tolz, Germany, to a VancouverWHL contact. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound Valenti, who won’t turn 18 until Sept. 24, was selected by the Giants in the 2017 CHL import draft. Vancouver played with one import all season, rather than the maximum of two, and thus was able to maintain Valenti’s WHL rights. . . . This season, Valenti played for Jungadler Mannheim’s U-19 team, putting up 34 goals and 18 assists in 36 games. Last season, he had 20 goals and 23 assists in 40 games with that team. This season, he also played four games with Adler Mannheim in the DEL and two with the EC Kassel Huskies of DEL-2.


F Patrick Bajkov of the Everett Silvertips has signed a three-year entry-level contract with the NHL’s Florida Panthers. Bajkov, 20, is from Nanaimo, B.C. He was a sixth-round selection by Everett in the WHL’s 2012 bantam draft, but never was drafted by an NHL team. . . . He went into this weekend with 30 goals and 61 assists in 67 games. . . . In 337 regular-season games, he has 109 goals and 170 assists with the Silvertips. He is the franchise’s career leader in goals and points, and is second in assists and games played.


Nolan Graham, an assistant coach at RPI, is in intensive care in an Albany, N.Y., hospital after being struck by a vehicle on Tuesday. . . . The 38-year-old is believed to have suffered a fractured skull and brain injuries. . . . Graham, from Nanaimo, B.C., played two seasons (1997-99) with the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs, before going on to spend four seasons at RPI. After a brief pro career, he turned to coaching and was in the BCHL for four seasons — three as an assistant coach with the Nanaimo Clippers and one (2009-10) as GM/head coach of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. . . . There is more on Graham, including the link to a GoFundMe page, right here.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

FRIDAY:

At Prince Albert, the Raiders ran their winning streak to eight games by dumping the Moose Jaw Warriors, 6-4. . . . Prince Albert (31-25-11) is in possession of the Eastern PrinceAlbertConference’s second wild-card spot, four points behind Brandon and five ahead of Saskatoon. . . . Moose Jaw (49-15-3) had won its previous two games. It leads the overall standings, by one point over Swift Current. . . . The Warriors lead the season series, 4-2-1; the Raiders are 3-4-0. . . . F Cole Fonstad (21) gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead at 11:37 of the first period, and F Kody McDonald made it 2-0 at 4:17 of the second. . . . F Brendan Klatt (3) got the Warriors on the scoreboard at 8:13. . . . McDonald’s 34th goal, at 10:28, restored the Raiders’ two-goal lead, and F Jordy Stallard (42) stretched it to three, on a PP, at 13:29. . . . F Jayden Halbgewachs got the Warriors to within two at 15:55, but the home team got that one back at 18:15 as F Curtis Miske scored. . . . Miske made it 6-2 with his 25th goal, while shorthanded, at 1:48 of the third period. . . . The Warriors closed to within two as F Justin Almeida got his 40th at 6:41, and Halbgewachs (66) counted, on a PP, at 13:23. . . . Fonstad also had two assists for the Raiders. Last season, as a freshman, Fonstad had 11 goals and 15 assists in 26 games. This season, he has 72 points, including 51 assists, in 67 games. . . . F Parker Kelly also had two assists for the winners, and Stallard added one. . . . Halbgewachs and Almeida each had an assist for Moose Jaw. . . . Halbgewachs now has 135 regular-season goals with the Warriors, moving past F Brayden Point into second on the franchise’s career list. F Theo Fleury is No. 1, at 201. . . . Prince Albert was 1-2 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 1-3. . . . G Ian Scott earned the victory with 21 saves, four more than Moose Jaw’s Adam Evanoff. . . . Prince Albert F Regan Nagy was unsuccessful on a third-period penalty shot. . . . The Warriors were without F Brayden Burke for a second straight game, while the Raiders scratched F Brett Leason, who didn’t finish a 4-2 victory over visiting Edmonton on Wednesday. . . . . Announced attendance: 2,324.


At Brandon, F Evan Weinger scored three times to lead the Wheat Kings to a 6-3 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Brandon (36-26-5) has won two in a row. It is fourth BrandonWKregularin the East Division, three points behind Regina. The Wheat Kings hold down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot. . . . Swift Current (47-15-6) had points in each of its previous five games (4-0-1). It is second in the overall standings, one point behind Moose Jaw. . . . The Broncos won the season series with Brandon, 4-2-2; the Wheat Kings were (4-4-0). . . . The Broncos went up 2-0 on first-period goals from F Kaden Elder (15), at 2:47, and F Beck Malnestyn (15), shorthanded, at 8:48. . . . Brandon tied it in the second period when F Cole Reinhardt (17) and Weinger scored, at 12:29 and 13:36. . . . F Tyler Steenbergen’s 46th goal and 100th point gave the visitors a 3-2 edge at 17:06. . . . Weinger tied it at 19:00. . . . F Ty Lewis (42) shot Brandon into a 4-3 lead, on a PP, at 12:09 of the third period. . . . F Linden McCorrister (17) provided insurance at 12:35, and Weinger completed the hat trick — he’s got 29 goals — into an empty net at 18:00. . . . D Braden Schneider andF Stelio Mattheos had two assists each for Brandon, with Lewis getting one. . . . The Broncos now have three 100-point men — F Glenn Gawdin and F Aleksi Heponiemi are the others. The last team to have three such players was the Portland Winterhawks in 2012-13 — F Brendan Leipsic and F Nic Petan, each 120, andF Ty Rattie, 110. . . . Swift Current was 1-2 on the PP; Brandon was 1-5. . . . G Logan Thompson started for Brandon and stopped 21 of 24 shots. He left with an apparent leg injury after the second period. Dylan Myskiw came on to stop all five shots he faced in the third period. . . . The Broncos got 27 stops from G Stuart Skinner. . . . Gawdin (ill), the WHL scoring leader, was among Swift Current’s scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 4,240.


At Saskatoon, F Tristen Nielsen scored his third goal of the game in OT to give the Calgary Hitmen a 5-4 victory over the Blades. . . . Calgary (21-36-10) finished 2-2-0 in the season Calgaryseries. . . . Saskatoon (32-31-4) is five points from a playoff spot with five games remaining. . . . The Blades went 2-1-1 in the season series. . . . F Gage Ramsay (6) gave the home side a 1-0 lead at 1:48 of the first period. . . . Nielsen, who has 18 goals, tied it at 2:38. . . . The Blades went ahead 3-1 on goals from F Josh Paterson (30), who was playing in his 200th game, at 11:39, and D Mark Rubinchik (3), at 13:57. . . . Calgary tied it on two shorthanded goals on the same Sasktoon power-play, with F Mark Kastelic (18) scoring at 15:26, and Nielsen at 16:37. . . . F Braylon Shmyr (36) gave the Blades a 4-3 lead 41 seconds into the third period. . . . Calgary tied it at 8:35 on a goal from F Carson Focht (12). . . . Nielsen, who also had an assist, won it at 1:58 of overtime as he completed his first career WHL hat trick. . . . Calgary got three assists from D Egor Zamula and two from Focht. . . . F Chase Wouters and F Max Gerlach each had two helpers for the Blades, with Patterson, Shmyr and Ramsay adding one apiece. . . . Saskatoon was 0-1 on the PP; Calgary was 0-2. . . . Calgary got 20 saves from G Nick Schneider. . . . G Nolan Maier, in his eighth straight start for Saskatoon, stopped 30 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 3,579. . . . Darren Steinke was in the building and blogged about it right there.


At Cranbrook, F Sam Steel scored his second goal of the game in OT to give the Regina Pats a 2-1 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Regina (37-25-6) has won four in a row. It is ReginaPats100third in the East Division, three points ahead of Brandon. . . . Kootenay (25-38-5) has lost nine in a row (0-7-2). It is fourth in the Central Division, eight points behind Red Deer with only four games remaining. . . . Regina finished the season series, 3-1-0; Kootenay was 1-2-1. . . . Steel gave the Pats a 1-0 lead at 17:25 of the second period. . . . The Ice tied it at 11:09 of the third period as F Cameron Hausinger got his 19th goal. . . . Steel won it with his 30th goal of the season, just 31 seconds into extra time. . . . Regina was 0-2 on the PP; Kootenay was 0-4. . . . The Pats got 19 saves from G Max Paddock. . . . G Duncan McGovern stopped 32 shots for the home team. . . . The Pats are 6-1-0 in a stretch of eight straight road games that concludes tonight in Lethbridge. The Pats have been out of the Brandt Centre while the Tim Hortons Brier (the Canadian men’s curling championship) is held. It is to conclude on Sunday. . . . Announced attendance: 2,642.


At Lethbridge, the Red Deer Rebels scored the game’s last four goals and beat the Hurricanes, 4-1. . . . Red Deer (25-30-13) had lost its previous two games. It is third in the Red DeerCentral Division, seven points behind Lethbridge and eight in front of Kootenay. . . . Lethbridge (32-29-6) has lost four straight. It is second in the division, eight points behind Medicine Hat. . . . The Hurricanes are 4-1-0 in the season series; the Rebels are 1-2-2. . . . D Calen Addison’s ninth goal, at 13:38 of the first period, gave the home side a 1-0 edge. . . . F Kristian Reichel (30) tied it at 17:01. . . . F Brandon Hagel (14) scored a shorthanded goal at 3:42 of the second period to give Red Deer its first lead. . . . Red Deer F Mason McCarty put it away with two third-period goals, at 13:28, on a PP, and at 18:32, into an empty net. He’s got 37 goals. . . . Hagel also had two assists, with McCarty adding one. . . . Red Deer was 1-5 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-4. . . . The Rebels got 26 saves from G Riley Lamb. At the other end, Logan Flodell blocked 22. . . . Announced attendance: 4,933.


At Medicine Hat, D David Quenneville drew four assists to help the Tigers to a 6-4 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Medicine Hat (35-25-8) leads the Central Division, by Tigers Logo Officialeight points over Lethbridge. . . . Edmonton (19-41-8) has lost four in a row. . . . The The Tigers won the season series, 6-0-0; the Oil Kings were 0-4-2). . . . Tigers F Mark Rassell became the WHL’s fourth 50-goal man this season when he opened the scoring at 2:46 of the first period. . . . The Oil Kings tied it at 7:45 on F David Kope’s 13th goal. . . . Medicine Hat went ahead 3-1 on goals from F Ryan Chyzowski (20), on a PP, at 8:39 and F Elijah Brown (8), at 16:36. . . . D Ethan Cap (5) pulled the visitors to within a goal at 9:08 of the second period, but F Jaeger White (10) got that one back at 11:41. . . . The Oil Kings tied it on goals from F Colton Kehler (30), at 15:53 of the second, and D Conner McDonald (8), at 10:41 of the third. . . . Medicine Hat F Josh Williams (10) gave his side a 5-4 lead, on a PP, at 13:33, and F James Hamblin (21) added a PP goal at 15:09. . . . Brown and D Linus Nassen had two assists each for the winners, with Chyzowski getting one. . . . Hope had one assist for Edmonton. . . . The Tigers were 3-6 on the PP; the Oil Kings were 0-1. . . . G Michael Bullion stopped 27 shots for Medicine Hat. . . . Edmonton G Todd Scott, who last played on Feb. 19, turned aside 24 shots. . . . D Joel Craven was in Medicine Hat’s lineup for the first time since Jan. 27. . . . Announced attendance: 3,311.


At Kamloops, the Kelowna Rockets skated to a workmanlike 4-2 victory over the Blazers to snap a five-game losing skid. . . . Kelowna (39-22-7) had been 0-4-1 in its previous five KelownaRocketsgames. It leads the B.C. Division, by three points over Victoria. . . . Kamloops (29-34-5) has lost two straight and has been eliminated from the playoff picture. It is 11 points out of a playoff berth with only four games remaining. . . . The Rockets are 7-0-0 in the season series; the Blazers are 0-6-1. They’ll finish the series tonight in Kelowna. . . . The Blazers got off to a tough start when they turned the puck over high in the Kelowna zone while on the PP. Rockets F Marek Skvrne grabbed the puck and went in alone to scored his third goal of the season, at 5:59 of the first period. . . . F Carsen Twarynski made it 2-0 with his 43rd goal — he has goals in four straight games — at 6:59 of the second period. . . . F Orrin Centazzo gave Blazers fans some hope when he scored his 11th goal on a penalty shot at 9:12. . . . The Rockets restored their two-goal lead at 12:18 as F Dillon Dube (33) sniped on a PP. . . . Kelowna F Kole Lind added his 38th goal at 17:30 of the third period. . . . Kamloops got a PP goal from D Nolan Kneen (7) at 19:53. . . . F Kyle Topping had two assists for Kelowna, and Dube, who was playing in his 200th game, had one. . . . Kelowna was 1-7 on the PP; Kamloops was 1-4. . . . The Rockets got 36 saves from G Brodan Salmond, while Dylan Ferguson of the Blazers blocked 34 shots. . . . The Blazers scratched D Luke Zazula, whose season appears to be over, and D Montana Onyebuchi. . . . Announced attendance: 3,652.


At Kennewick, Wash., the Tri-City Americans erased a 1-0 lead with five straight goals en route to a 6-2 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Tri-City (33-24-9) had lost its TriCity30previous four games (0-3-1). It holds down the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot, one point ahead of Seattle. . . . Vancouver (34-24-9) is third in the B.C. Division, five points behind Victoria. . . . The Giants will play in Spokane tonight, then travel back to Kennewick for a Sunday rematch with the Americans. . . . Last night, Vancouver went ahead 1-0 when F Ty Ronning scored his 57th goal at 2:12 of the first period. . . . The Americans responded with three goals in the last four minutes of the period — from F Morgan Geekie (27), on a PP, at 16:05; F Jordan Topping (37), at 17:52; and F Sasha Mutala, at 18:18. . . . Tri-City F Nolan Yaremko’s 20th goal, at 18:10 of the second period, made it 4-1, and Mutala’s 11th goal stretched the lead to 5-1 at 6:59 of the third period. . . . D Dylan Plouffe (9) got Vancouver’s second goal, on a PP, at 11:48. . . . D Juuso Valimaki (12) scored Tri-City’s final goal, at 17:45. . . . Geekie and F Michael Rasmussen each had two assists for the winners, with Mutala, Topping and Valimaki adding one each. . . . Vancouver was 2-3 on the PP; Tri-City was 1-5. . . . G Patrick Dea earned the victory with 27 saves. . . . G David Tendeck stopped 34 shots for Vancouver. . . . F Milos Roman (ankle) returned to the Giants’ lineup for the first time since Jan. 9. He had eight goals and 21 assists in 34 games when he went out with the injury. . . . Announced attendance: 3,613.


At Victoria, F Tanner Kaspick’s second goal, this one in OT, gave the Royals a 4-3 victory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . Victoria (38-25-6) is second in the B.C. Division, three VictoriaRoyalspoints behind Kelowna. . . . Prince George (23-36-9) has lost four in a row (0-3-1). . . . The Royals lead the season series, 4-2-1; the Cougars are 3-2-2. . . . They’ll play again Sunday afternoon in Victoria. . . . The Royals took a 2-0 lead on goals from F Dante Hannoun (24), at 10:55 of the first period, and Kaspick, at 4:55 of the second. . . . The Cougars scored the next three goals. . . . F Reid Perepeluk scored his first WHL goal, at 19:30 of the second period, to get it started. . . . D Rhett Rhinehart (2) tied the score at 3:58 of the third period, and F Josh Maser’s 28th goal, at 7:19, gave the visitors a 3-2 lead. . . . Victoria F Tyler Soy (36) forced OT at 17:03 of the third period. . . . Kaspick’s 25th goal of the season won it at 2:39 of OT. . . . Kaspick has nine game-winners this season — six in 22 games with Victoria and three in 35 games with Brandon. . . . F Matthew Phillips and Hannoun each drew two assists for Victoria, with Soy getting one. . . . F Aaron Boyd had two assists for the Cougars. . . . Prince George was 0-1 on the PP; Victoria was 0-3. . . . G Dean McNabb started for Victoria and stopped 30 of 33 shots in 47:19. Griffen Outhouse finished up, stopping all five shots he faced in 15:20. . . . The Cougars got 39 stops from G Tavin Grant. . . . Announced attendance: 6,629.


At Kent, Wash., the Seattle Thunderbirds erased a 2-1 deficit to beat the Spokane Chiefs, 4-2. . . . Seattle (32-25-10), the WHL’s defending champion, has clinched a playoff spot. It Seattleholds down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . Spokane (39-23-5) is third in the U.S. Division, six points behind Portland. . . . Seattle leads the season series, 4-2-1; Spokane is 3-4-0. . . . D Filip Kral (8) put the Chiefs out front 1-0 at 2:14 of the first period. . . . Seattle tied it at 17:04 on a PP goal from F Zack Andrusiak. . . . The visitors went ahead 2-1 when F Riley Woods (22) scored, on a PP, at 2:28 of the second period. . . . Andrusiak (33) tied it at 8:49. . . . D Austin Strand scored Seattle’s last two goals, giving it a 3-2 lead at 6:16 of the third period, then adding insurance, on a PP, at 15:05. He has 23 goals. . . . Seattle got three assists from F Nolan Volcan and two from F Donovan Neuls. . . . Woods had one assists for the Chiefs. . . . Seattle was 2-2 on the PP; Spokane was 1-3. . . . G Liam Hughes stopped 25 shots for Seattle. . . . Spokane G Donovan Buskey stopped 18 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 5,317.


SATURDAY (all times local):

Swift Current at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Calgary at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Brandon at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Regina at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Tri-City at Portland, 6 p.m.

Kamloops at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Everett vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:05 p.m.

Vancouver at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

Ex-players point fingers at WHL . . . Raiders shock Broncos, move into playoff spot . . . Andrusiak sparks Seattle’s key victory

A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

The WHL came under fire from two former players who appeared in front of Oregon’s Senate Committee on Workforce on Tuesday, reports TSN’s Rick Westhead. The Portland whlWinterhawks are seeking an exemption from the state’s minimum wage legislation. At a hearing on that subject, former WHL players Tyler Maxwell and James McEwan argued, according to Westhead, that “the WHL is a professional league and its teams are for-profit businesses.” . . . Maxwell played four seasons (2008-12) in the WHL, the first three-plus with the Everett Silvertips and the last 47 games with the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Maxwell, Westhead wrote, told the committee “that he was given excellent school grades in exchange for autographed pucks, and was refused an X-ray for days and forced to play in games after breaking a kneecap.” . . . Maxwell said he played with the injury for seven games. “I was still scoring so they didn’t care what shape I was in,” he said. . . . As for McEwan, according to Westhead, he testified “that he has navigated bankruptcy and battled depression without the support of his former teams or the WHL.” McEwan played two seasons each with the Kelowna Rockets and Seattle Thunderbirds, fighting at least 72 times over four seasons (2004-08). . . . Ron Robison, the WHL commissioner, informed the Oregon State Senate via letter that it is reviewing “the statements with the WHL clubs concerned.”

Westhead’s complete story is right here.

Maxwell’s testimony is right here.


Other than a 20-minute delay at one point, the Vancouver Giants made it over the Coquihalla Highway to Kamloops in good shape on Friday.

But shortly after they arrived at the Sandman Centre, the Highway from Hell was shut Vancouverdown in both directions due to an accident.

Then, early in the first period of the Giants’ game with the Blazers, came word that the highway likely wouldn’t be open again until at least midnight.

During the warmup and the early minutes of the first period, Derek Holloway, the Giants’ bus driver, was glued to his phone and also getting highway updates from a friendly blogger seated next to him. Holloway also was in close contact with Giants general manager Glen Hanlon, who hadn’t travelled with the team.

The highway has been closed on numerous occasions of late due to accidents, and upon hearing that it wasn’t likely to reopen before midnight, Hanlon quickly gave Holloway the OK to park the bus and for the Giants to spend the night in a hotel.

The Giants and Blazers will both be on the Coquihalla today, though, as they are scheduled to play in Langley tonight.


F Liam Stewart, who played four seasons with the Spokane Chiefs, has had his 2017-18 ended by a concussion. The 23-year-old Stewart, who has been playing for the Guildford Flames of the Elite Ice Hockey League, had been sidelined for almost two months due to the brain injury. He posted on Twitter that he “tried coming back against Sheffield but the symptoms came right back.” . . . The result, he wrote, is that “I’ve decided to do what’s best for my health and well-being and hang up my skates for the rest of the season.” . . . He had 12 goals and 11 assists in 35 games with the Flames. . . . Stewart’s decision means that he won’t be playing for Great Britain at the IIHF World Chamionship, Division 1 Group A, in Budapest, Hungary, April 22-28.


Stan Butler, the head coach of the North Bay Battalion, joined the OHL’s 700-victory club on Friday with a 2-1 victory over the host Mississauga Steelheads. . . . Butler has 630 victories with the Battalion (Brampton and North Bay) and 70 with the Oshawa Generals. He also spent one season in the WHL, with the Prince George Cougars, winning 28 games in 1996-97.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Regina at Medicine Hat

Brandon at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

FRIDAY:

At Swift Current, the Prince Albert Raiders scored twice in a shootout to beat the Broncos, 5-4. . . . Prince Albert (28-25-11) has won five straight and now holds down the PrinceAlbertEastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, two points ahead of Saskatoon. . . . Swift Current (45-14-6) has points in three straight (2-0-1). It is second in the overall standings, one point behind Moose Jaw. . . . The Broncos actually led this one 4-1 midway through the second period. . . . The home side took a 2-0 first-period lead on goals from F Kaden Elder (14), on a PP, at 3:49, and F Giorgio Estephan, at 14:45. . . . D Sergio Sapego (3) got the visitors on the scoreboard at 4:07 of the second period. . . . The Broncos took a 4-1 lead right after that, on goals from F Matteo Gennaro (39), at 5:38, and Estephan (30) at 6:52. . . . D Brayden Pachal (5) cut the Prince Albert deficit to a pair at 13:36. . . . The Raiders tied it on third-period goals from D Vojtech Budik (12), on a PP, at 16:29, and F Jordy Stallard (41), at 18:54, with the extra attacker on the ice. . . . Gennaro scored in the shootout to give the Broncos a 1-0 lead, but the Raiders won it on goals from F Regan Nagy and F Parker Kelly. . . . Stallard added two assists to his goal for the Raiders, with F Cole Fonstad also getting two assists and Sapego one. . . . F Aleksi Heponiemi had two assists for the Broncos, with Gennaro getting one. . . . Prince Albert was 2-6 on the PP; Swift Current was 1-5. . . . G Ian Scott started for the Raiders, but he left after giving up three goals on 13 shots in 25:38. Curtis Meger finished up by stopping 22 of 23 shots in 38:21. . . . G Stuart Skinner made 34 saves for the Broncos. . . . Announced attendance: 2,890.


At Saskatoon, F Jake Elmer scored the game’s last two goals as the Lethbridge Hurricanes beat the Blades, 5-3. . . . Lethbridge (32-25-6) has won three straight. It is second in the LethbridgeCentral Division, two points behind Medicine Hat. . . . Saskatoon (31-30-3) has lost three in a row. It is two points from a playoff spot. . . . F Braylon Shmyr (34) gave the Blades a 1-0 lead at 9:58 of the first period. . . . F Taylor Ross, who now has 20 goals, scored two second-period goals, at 0:49 and 2:11, to give Lethbridge a 2-1 edge. . . . F Bradly Goethals (15) got Saskatoon back even at 9:42. . . . F Jordy Bellerive (44) scored shorthanded at 7:32 of the third period to put the Hurricanes ahead. . . . F Eric Florchuk (14) got the Blades back into a tie at 10:26. . . . Elmer snapped the tie at 14:11, then added an empty-netter at 18:51. He now has 17 goals. . . . The Hurricanes got two assists from D Calen Addison, with Elmer and Bellerive adding one each. . . . Goethals added an assist to his goal. . . . Lethbridge was 1-3 on the PP; Saskatoon was 0-6. . . . G Logan Flodell stopped 43 shots to earn the victory. . . . The Blades got 27 stops from G Nolan Maier. . . . D Dawson Davidson was back in Saskatoon’s lineup after a brief absence. . . . Announced attendance: 3,988.


At Brandon, F Ty Lewis scored three times to lead the Wheat Kings to a 4-2 victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . Brandon (34-25-5) moved into third in the East Division, one BrandonWKregularpoint ahead of Regina. . . . Moose Jaw (47-14-3) leads the overall standings, by one point over Swift Current. . . . Lewis opened the scoring, on a PP, at 7:48 of the first period. . . . F Stelio Mattheos (38), who assisted on that first goal, made it 2-0 at 11:33. . . . Lewis added his second goal at 14:51. . . . F Barrett Sheen (5) scored for Moose Jaw at 15:30 of the first and F Justin Almeida (37) got the visitors to within a goal, on a PP, at 9:35 of the third. . . . Lewis completed his hat trick at 12:49. He’s got 39 goals. He also has seven goals over his past three games. . . . Brandon was 1-2 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 1-5. . . . G Logan Thompson was outstanding for Brandon, with 41 saves. . . . G Brody Willms was beaten twice on six shots in 11:33, before he was replaced by Adam Evanoff, who went 46:39 and turned aside 13 of 15 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 3,656.


At Edmonton, F Colton Kehler scored 18 seconds into OT to give the Oil Kings a 4-3 victor over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Edmonton (19-37-8) had lost its previous five games (0-4-1). It is last in the Eastern Conference, one point behind Calgary. . . . Calgary (19-35-9) has lost four straight (0-2-2). . . . Calgary led this one 3-0 in the second period. . . . F Zach Huber (1) got it started at 11:16 of the first period. The Hitmen then got second-period goals from F Jake Kryski (15), at 1:20, and F Jakob Stukel (32), at 4:25. . . . Edmonton F Trey Fix-Wolansky (28) got the comeback started, shorthanded, at 9:09 of the second. . . . F Kobe Mohr (9) pulled the Oil Kings to within a goal, on a PP, at 2:17 of the third period. . . . F Tomas Soustal (18) tied it at 19:25. . . . Kehler won it on a PP with his 27th goal of the season. . . . The Hitmen had a chance to go ahead 4-2 at 18:56 of the third period when F Luke Coleman was awarded a penalty. But he wasn’t able to score. . . . Edmonton was 2-6 on the PP; Calgary was 0-2. . . . The Oil Kings got 26 stops from G Josh Dechaine. . . . G Nick Schneider stopped 25 shots for Calgary. . . . Earlier in the day, the Oil Kings announced that they have added F Jake Neighbours to their roster for the remainder of the season, but he was a scratch from this one. From Airdrie, Alta., he was the fourth overall selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. This season, he had 26 goals and 31 assists in 33 games with the midget AAA Calgary Buffaloes. In three earlier games with the Oil Kings, he had one assist. . . . Announced attendance: 10,431.


At Red Deer, F Mason McCarty scored the only goal of a shootout to give the Rebels a 5-4 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Red Deer (24-28-13) had won three in a row. It is third Red Deerin the Central Division and now leads Kootenay (25-37-4) by seven points. The Ice, with six games left, has lost seven in a row (0-6-1). . . . Red Deer took a 1-0 lead when F Alex Morozoff (6) scored, on a PP, at 8:30 of the first period. . . . F Colton Kroeker (13) tied it at 10:59. . . . Red Deer took a 3-1 lead on second-period goals from McCarty (35), at 3:52, and F Reese Johnson (21), at 14:16. . . . The Ice tied it as F Michael King (8) scored at 16:23 of the second and F Colton Veloso (24) found the range any 15:29 of the third. . . . F Chris Douglas (9) put Red Deer out front, 4-3, at 16:43, only to have F Brett Davis (24) pull Kootenay even at 19:02. . . . The Rebels got two assists from F Brandon Hagel and one from McCarty. . . . F Peyton Krebs had two assists for the Ice. . . . Red Deer was 1-3 on the PP; Kootenay was 0-2. . . . G Riley Lamb recorded the victory with 27 saves. . . . Kootenay got 13 stops from Matt Berlin. . . . Red Deer was credited with two shots in the third period and three in OT. . . . The Rebels were without D Alex Alexeyev (hand), who left in the third period of their previous game and didn’t return. He could be gone for up to six weeks. . . . Announced attendance: 4,324.


Blazers2
It was Organ Donor Awareness Night in Kamloops, with the Blazers wearing Don Cherry-themed outfits. Head coach Don Hay got in the spirit of the night, too, and wore the No. 15 sweater.

At Kamloops, F Luc Smith scored twice to help the Blazers to a 5-1 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Kamloops (29-32-5) has won two in a row but remains six points Kamloops1from a playoff spot. . . . Vancouver (32-22-9) had points in each of its previous two games (1-0-1). It is third in the B.C. Division, three points behind Victoria. . . . F Ryley Appelt (4) gave the Blazers a 1-0 lead at 7:08 of the first period, and F Connor Zary; (8) made it 2-0, on a PP, at 5:42 of the second period. . . . Smith upped it to 3-0 at 0:40 of the third period. . . . Vancouver got its goal from F Ty Ronning  (55) at 7:34. . . . Smith (19) scored at 13:05 of the third, and D Brady Reagan (2) closed it out at 15:07. . . . F Jermaine Loewen had two assists for the winners, and Smith and Reagan each added one. . . . Kamloops was 1-4 on the PP; Vancouver was 0-1. . . . The Blazers got 30 saves from G Dylan Ferguson, who was sharp again. . . . G David Tendeck stopped 31 shots at the other end. . . . Kamloops continues to play without D Luke Zazula, whose return this season is in doubt. They also scratched D Montana Onyebuchi. . . . The Giants continue to play without D Dylan Plouffe, F Owen Hardy and F Milos Roman. . . . Announced attendance: 3,479.


At Portland, F Zack Andrusiak, who had two goals and two assists in regulation time, scored a shootout goal that gave the Seattle Thunderbirds a 5-4 victory over the SeattleWinterhawks. . . . Seattle (30-24-9) has won two in a row to remain six points ahead of Kamloops in the chase for the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot. The Thunderbirds hold three games in hand. . . . Portland (38-20-5) has points in four straight (3-0-1). It is second in the U.S. Division, two points ahead of Spokane. . . . Andrusiak gave Seattle a 1-0 lead at 14:27 of the first period, but Portland F Ty Kolle (6) tied it at 17:17. . . . Seattle took a 3-1 lead with the only goals of the second period, from Andrusiak (29), at 2:13, and F Donovan Neuls (21), at 8:19. . . . The Winterhawks grabbed a 4-3 third-period leads on goals from F Cody Glass (31), on a PP, at 9:47; F Joachim Blichfeld (22), at 9:53; and F Ryan Hughes (15), at 12:31. . . . Seattle forced OT when F Noah Philp (13) scored at 15:58. . . . Andrusiak and Philp scored shootout goals for Seattle, with Glass scoring for Portland. . . . Philp also had two assists, with Neuls getting one. . . . Philp has 45 points, including 13 goals, in 63 games with Seattle this season. In 132 games with Kootenay, prior to this season, he had 41 points, 14 of them goals. . . . Andrusiak has 63 points, including 29 goals, in 63 games. He went into this season with six goals and five assists in 67 games — 52 with Seattle, eight with Prince Albert and seven with Tri-City. . . . Portland got two assists from D Henri Jokiharju and one from Glass. . . . The Winterhawks were 1-1 on the PP; Seattle was 0-3. . . . G Liam Hughes stopped 36 shots through OT for Seattle. . . . The Winterhawks got 29 saves from G Cole Kehler. He started after watching G Shane Farkas go the distance in the previous three games. . . . Seattle had F Sami Moilanen back in the lineup after a 14-game absence. . . . Announced attendance: 6,124.


At Prince George, D Ryan Schoettler’s goal in OT gave the Cougars a 2-1 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . Prince George (23-33-8) has won three straight games. . . . Victoria (35-PrinceGeorge24-6) has lost four in a row (0-3-1), but the loser point was enough for it to clinch a playoff spot for the seventh consecutive season — or each season since the franchise relocated from Chilliwack. It is second in the B.C. Division, six points behind Kelowna. . . . Prince George D Joel Lakusta (8) scored the game’s first goal, on a PP, at 5:00 of the third period. . . . Victoria tied it at 8:07 when F Noah Gregor scored his 26th goal, on a PP. . . . Schoettler won it with his seventh goal of the season, at 4:04 of extra time. . . . Victoria had F Tyler Soy and F Matthew Phillips back in the lineup, after both sat out Wednesday’s 5-1 loss in Kamloops. . . . Phillips drew an assist on Gregor’s goal, giving him 101 points this season. That ties the Chilliwack/Victoria franchise record that was set by F Mark Santorelli in 2007-08. . . . Victoria was 1-4 on the PP; Prince George was 1-9. . . . The Cougars got 32 saves from G Taylor Gauthier. . . . At the other end, G Griffen Outhouse, who also sat out the game in Kamloops, stopped 36 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 4,035.


At Kennewick, Wash., F Jaret Anderson-Dolan’s goal in OT gave the Spokane Chiefs a 5-4 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . Spokane (37-21-5) has won four in a row. It is SpokaneChiefsthird in the U.S. Division, six points ahead of Tri-City. . . . Tri-City (32-22-9) has lost two straight (0-1-1). . . . Spokane jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals from F Ethan McIndoe (21), on a PP, at 9:03 of the first period. . . . D Dalton Hamaliuk (4) upped it to 2-0 just 36 seconds later. . . . The Americans scored the next three goals, with F Jordan Topping (36) counting at 12:29, F Morgan Geekie (24) scoring at 19:10, and D Dylan Coghlan (17) adding the third goal at 5:00 of the second period. . . . The Chiefs tied it on D Filip Kral’s seventh goal, on a PP, at 17:24. . . . Tri-City F Morgan Geekie (25) gave his guys the lead 50 seconds into the third period. . . . Spokane F Jake McGrew (17) tied it at 5:35. . . . Anderson-Dolan won it with his 35th goal at 3:51 of OT. . . . D Nolan Reid and F Hudson Elynuik each had two assists for the Chiefs, with Anderson-Dolan adding one. . . . Topping added an assist to his goal. . . . Spokane was 2-5 on the PP; Tri-City was 0-2. . . . G Dawson Weatherill stopped 36 shots for the Chiefs, three more than Tai-City’s Patrick Dea. . . . Announced attendance: 4,345.


At Everett, the Silvertips scored the game’s last four goals to beat the Kelowna Rockets, 4-2. . . . Everett (42-18-5) leads the Western Conference standings, by seven points over EverettKelowna. . . . Kelowna (38-21-6) has lost three in a row. . . . The Rockets led 2-0 on goals from F Carsen Twarynski (39), at 12:51 of the first period, and F Kole Lind (36), at 5:17 of the second. . . . F Matt Fonteyne (32) scored Everett’s first goal at 18:41. . . . The Silvertips tied it on F Patrick Bajkov’s 29th goal at 11:39 of the third period. . . . Everett F Connor Dewar broke the tie at 16:51, then added insurance with his 34th goal, on a PP, at 19:11. . . . F Garrett Pilon drew two assists for Everett, with Fonteyne getting one. . . . Bajkov’s goal was the 108th of his career and gave him the franchise record. That’s one more than F Tyler Maxwell scored with Everett. . . . The Silvertips were 1-4 on the PP; the Rockets were 0-1. . . . G Carter Hart recorded a 22-save victory. . . . G Brodan Salmond stopped 36 shots for the Rockets. . . . Announced attendance: 5,778.


SATURDAY (all times local):

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Brandon at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Regina at Calgary,  7 p.m.

Red Deer at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.

Victoria at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Kamloops vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7 p.m.

Seattle at Everett, 7:05 p.m.

Spokane at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

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


TWEET OF THE DAY

Saturday night in the WHL: Hat tricks, loser points and improbable comebacks

A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

The Brandon Sun reports that the naming rights deal for the home of the Wheat Kings will last for eight years. The Keystone Centre and Westoba Credit Union announced the deal on Friday, with the new name — Westoba Place — to come into play on Feb. 19. . . . “As part of the deal,” The Sun’s Jillian Austin reported, “Westoba renewed its long-term sponsorship of Westoba Agricultural Centre of Excellence, which has been in place for 10 years. The new contract covers both facilities at a value of approximately $2 million over the eight-year term.” . . . The arena had been Westman Communications Group Place for the past 10 years.

This is the second facility that is home to a WHL franchise to undergo a name change this season. In December, Xfinity Arena, the home of the Everett Silvertips, was renamed Angel of the Winds Arena. Naming rights, worth US$3.4 million over 10 years, were purchased by the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians, which owns the Angel of the Winds casino and resort.


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IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY . . .

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Regina at Medicine Hat

Brandon at Swift Current

Kootenay at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Spokane at Kelowna

Tri-City at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Well, that was a wild Saturday in the WHL. . . . Four players had three-goal games. . . . Four teams got loser points. . . . One goaltender earned his first WHL victory. . . . Three teams trailing late in the third period scored improbable victories. Another, Prince Albert, almost did. . . . Lethbridge, down 2-0, got three goals from its captain late in the third period and won. . . . Calgary, down 5-2 late, got the first goals of the season from two players and went on to win in Kamloops. . . . Victoria, losing 2-0, came back to beat Seattle in Kent, Wash. . . . Junior hockey. . . . There’s nothing quite like it.


Scoreboard

SATURDAY:

At Moose Jaw, F Justin Almeida scored his 30th goal and added two assists as the Warriors beat the Prince George Cougars, 4-1. . . . Moose Jaw (40-9-3) had lost its previous MooseJawWarriorstwo games. It leads the overall standings by five points over Swift Current. . . . Prince George (19-27-8) went 1-4-1 on its swing through the East Division. . . . F Brayden Burke (25) scored the game’s first goal for Moose Jaw, at 17:26 of the first period. . . . Almeida, who was acquired from the Cougars in a deal last season, made it 2-0, on a PP, at 14:34 of the second period. . . . F Tate Popple (6) stretched the lead to 3-0 at 10:43 of the third period, and D Brandon Schuldaus (3) made it 4-0 at 12:37. . . . The Cougars got their goal from F Josh Maser (23), on a PP, at 16:50 of the third. . . . Almeida has 72 points in 52 games this season. He went into the season with 13 goals and 21 assists in 120 games. . . . Prince George was 1-3 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 1-7. . . . The Warriors got 22 saves from G Adam Evanoff. . . . Prince George G Taylor Gauthier, 16, who stopped 56 shots in a 4-1 loss in Regina on Wednesday, turned aside 44 shots in this one. . . . D Vladislav Mikhalchuk of the Cougars completed a two-game suspension by sitting out this one. . . . Announced attendance: 3,218.


At Regina, F Cam Hebig scored with 46.5 seconds left in OT to give the Pats a 5-4 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . Regina (27-22-5) has won two in a row and is back to ReginaPats100.500. It is fourth in the East Division, four points behind Brandon. The Pats also hold down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, six points ahead of Prince Albert and Saskatoon. . . . Prince Albert (21-20-11) had points in each of its previous seven games (5-0-2). The loser point moved the Raiders into a tie with Saskatoon for the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. Prince Albert has 11 loser points and Saskatoon has three. Might that be the difference between making the playoffs and missing out? . . . The Pats actually held a 4-1 lead more than halfway through the third period. . . . F Emil Oksanen (13) and F Sam Steel put the home team ahead with goals at 4:22 and 5:14 of the second period. . . . F Brett Leason (9) got the Raiders on the scoreboard at 5:26. . . . Steel, who also had two assists, got his 20th goal, on a PP, at 8:06, and D Josh Mahura (18) made it 4-1, on another PP, at 16:17. . . . The Raiders tied it with three late goals. . . . F Regan Nagy (22) got it started at 12:30 of the third period, and F Parker Kelly (24) got the Raiders to within a goal at 12:45. . . . F Kody McDonald (26) pulled the visitors even with 37.2 seconds left in the third period. . . . Hebig, who was acquired from Saskatoon at the trade deadline, won it with his 36th goal. He also had two assists. He has six goals and eight assists in 10 games with Regina. . . . Mahura added an assist to his goal. . . . Regina was 2-4 on the PP; Prince Albert was 0-6. . . . G Ryan Kubic stopped 33 shots for the Pats, two fewer than Ian Scott of the Raiders. . . . Announced attendance: 6,484.


At Brandon, F Stelio Mattheos scored his third goal of the game in OT to give the Wheat Kings a 4-3 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Brandon (29-18-5) had lost its previous BrandonWKregularnine games (0-6-3). It is third in the East Division, 15 points behind Swift Current. . . . Red Deer (15-25-13) has points in seven straight (5-0-2). It is fourth in the Central Division, six points behind Kootenay. . . . The Rebels completed a stretch in which they played six games in eight nights in three provinces. . . . Mattheos opened the scoring at 11:19 of the second period. . . . F Alex Morozoff tied it, on a PP, at 13:37. . . . Mattheos put Brandon ahead 2-1, on a PP, at 19:54. . . . Morozoff (4) tied it again, at 2:21 of the third period. . . . F Josh Tarzwell (7) gave Red Deer the lead, on a PP, at 7:12. . . . Brandon D Chase Hartje tied it 3-3 with his first WHL goal, at 16:21. It came in his 42nd game. . . . Mattheos, who had an assist on Hartje’s goal, won it with his 36th goal, at 0:55 of OT. . . . Red Deer thought it had won earlier in OT, but a potential goal by F Kristian Reichel was wiped out when officials ruled that there was goaltender interference on the play. . . . “That’s a tough one,” Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter told Greg Meachem of reddeerrebels.com. “You’d better be 100 per cent right that’s what you’re calling because there’s no video on that, it’s not like the NHL. I didn’t agree with the call. It’s one thing to say the goalie was interfered with . . . the other thing is (Brandon Hagel) tries to make the play and, yes, the goalie does get pushed in, but he has no chance at all of getting the rebound because he’s already down from trying to make the initial save. Any contact made was very minimal. It’s just frustrating when you feel like you had the game won. It’s tough to get a call like that go against you.” . . . F Ty Lewis had two assists for Brandon. . . . Red Deer was 2-4 on the PP; Brandon was 1-4. . . . The Wheat Kings got 33 saves from G Logan Thompson. . . . Red Deer G Ethan Anders stopped 20 shots. . . . The Wheat Kings lost F Baron Thompson to a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct at 3:40 of the third period. D Colin Paradis, who was hit on the play, went to the dressing room. . . . Announced attendance: 3,712.


At Cranbrook, B.C., F Glenn Gawdin struck for three goals to help the Swift Current Broncos to a 5-3 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Swift Current (37-13-4) is second in the SCBroncosoverall standings, five points behind Moose Jaw. . . . Kootenay (23-26-3) has lost three in a row. It is third in the Central Division, seven points behind Lethbridge. . . . F Brett Davis gave the Ice a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 5:10 of the first period. . . . D Artyom Minulin (11) tied it, on a PP, at 11:55. . . . Gawdin put the visitors in front at 13:23, only to have Ice F Alec Baer (21) tie it at 14:34. . . . Davis (20) scored a PP goal at 4:46 of the second period to give Kootenay a 3-2 lead. . . . Gawdin tied it at 19:11 of the second period, then completed his hat trick at 10:09 of the third period. He’s got 44 goals. . . . F Matteo Gennaro (33) added insurance at 10:45. . . . The Broncos got four assists from D Colby Sissons, with Minulin, Gawdin and Gennaro adding one each. . . . Baer had an assist for the Ice. . . . Kootenay was 2-7 on the PP; Swift Current was 1-5. . . . G Stuart Skinner stopped 36 shots for the Broncos, who were outshot 21-9 in the first period. . . . Kootenay G Duncan McGovern allowed three shots on 26 shots in 46:44. Matt Berlin finished up, giving up one goal on eight shots in 8:22. . . . McGovern was ejected with a match penalty for attempt to injury at 10:05 of the third period following Gawdin’s third goal. Gawdin was given a double minor spearing at the same time. . . . Gawdin is riding a 13-game point streak, with 24 points in that stretch. He has 97 points, second to Moose Jaw F Brayden Burke, who leads the scoring race with 98. . . . The Broncos again were without D Sahvan Khaira, F Kaden Elder and F Aleksi Heponiemi. . . . Announced attendance: 2,391.


At Lethbridge, F Jordy Bellerive scored three times in the third period to lead the LethbridgeHurricanes to a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Lethbridge (25-21-6) has points in five straight (3-0-2). It is second in the Central Division, three points behind Medicine Hat. The Hurricanes have three games in hand. . . . Edmonton (14-30-7) is 3-6-1 in its past 10. . . . The Oil Kings led 2-0 late in the third period on goals from F Brett Kemp (13), at 15:28 of the first, and F Trey Fix-Wolansky (22), at 5:36 of the second. . . . Bellerive won it with three goals in 3:44, the first and third ones on the PP. He cut the deficit to one at 15:16, tied the game at 17:15, and won it with his 37th goal at 19:00. . . . F Brad Morrison drew assists on the two PP goals. . . . Lethbridge was 2-6 on the PP; Edmonton was 0-3. . . . G Reece Klassen recorded the victory with 25 saves. . . . G Todd Scott stopped 27 shots for the Oil Kings. . . . Announced attendance: 3,361.


At Portland, F Kieffer Bellows scored twice, leading the Winterhawks to a 3-2 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . Portland (31-18-4) is second in the U.S. Division, five Portlandpoints behind Everett and five ahead of Tri-City. . . . Tri-City (27-17-7) had points in each of its previous seven games (5-0-2). . . . On Friday night, the Americans beat the visiting Winterhawks, 6-3. They will play in Portland again on Friday. . . . Last night, D Dylan Coghlan (16) gave the Americans a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 5:36 of the first period. . . . Bellows tied it, on a PP, at 10:19. . . . F Ryan Hughes (8) gave the home team a 2-1 lead at 14:49. . . . Bellows, who has 26 goals, stretched the lead to 3-1 at 9:34 of the third period. . . . Tri-City F Isaac Johnson (16), who also had an assist, made it a one-goal game at 15:57. . . . F Cody Glass had two assists for Portland. . . . The Winterhawks were 1-4 on the PP; the Americans were 1-5. . . . G Shane Farkas stopped 29 shots for Portland, while Tri-City’s Patrick Dea blocked 36. . . . With F Joachim Blichfeld back from a two-game suspension, the Winterhawks had all hands on deck. . . . Announced attendance: 9,879.


At Kamloops, the Calgary Hitmen scored the only two goals of a shootout and beat the Blazers, 6-5. . . . Calgary (16-30-6) had lost its previous four games — two in Victoria and Calgarytwo in Langley, B.C., against Vancouver. . . . Kamloops (24-24-4) is seven points from a playoff spot. . . . Calgary actually held a 2-0 lead in this one, then trailed 5-2 late in the third period. . . . F Jakob Stukel and F Mark Kastelic (15), on a PP, scored for Calgary at 5:17 and 16:06 of the second period. . . . The Blazers seemingly took control with five straight goals, the last four of them in the third period. . . . F Jermaine Loewen (25) started it at 17:03 of the second. . . . In the third, the Blazers got goals from F Nick Chyzowski, at 4:47; D Joe Gatenby (11), on a PP, at 9:09; Chyzowski (15), at 11:50; and F Ryley Appelt (1), at 14:56. . . . The Hitmen got back into it when two players — F Dakota Krebs and F Egor Zamula — scored their first goals this season. Krebs struck at 15:21, with Zamula scoring on a PP at 17:37. . . . With G Matt Armitage on the bench for the extra attacker, Stukel tied it with his 26th goal of the season with 52.5 seconds left in regulation time. . . . Calgary got shootout goals from F Jake Kryski and F Carson Focht to win it, both scoring on dekes to the backhand. Interestingly, Kryski, who spent time with the Blazers, was booed when he skated to centre ice before taking his shot. . . . Calgary got three assists from F Tristen Nielsen, with Kastelic getting one. . . . F Luc Smith had two assists for Kamloops, with Gatenby, Loewen and Chyzowski each getting one. . . . Calgary was 2-4 on the PP; Kamloops was 1-3. . . . The Hitmen got 36 stops from Armitage, who posted his first WHL victory in his 14th appearance. He’s 1-6-0. . . . The Hitmen chose to rest Nick Schneider, who had started 46 of their first 51 games. . . . G Dylan Ferguson stopped 30 shots for Kamloops. . . . Announced attendance: 5,012.


At Langley, B.C., D Alex Kannok Leipert broke a 4-4 tie at 16:54 of the third period as the Vancouver Giants beat the Medicine Hat Tigers, 5-4. . . . Vancouver (28-16-8) has points in Vancouverfour straight (3-0-1). It is third in the B.C. Division, four points out of first. . . . Medicine Hat (26-22-7) has lost four in a row (0-3-1). It leads the Central Division by three points over Lethbridge. . . . F Tyler Popowich (6) put Vancouver ahead 1-0 at 13:07 of the first period. . . . D Dalton Gally (2) tied it at 5:17 of the second period. . . . The Giants took a 3-1 lead on goals from D Bowen Byram (6), at 8:47, and F Ty Ronning (47), at 9:33. . . . The Tigers came right back and tied it as F Gary Haden (13) scored at 16:11 and F Elijah Brown (3) counted at 18:09. . . . The Giants went back out front at 9:00 of the third period on F Dawson Holt’s ninth goal, but Medicine Hat pulled even at 10:12 when D Dylan MacPherson got his third goal. . . . Kannok Leipert won it with his third goal of the season. . . . Vancouver got two assists from each of F James Malm, F Tyler Benson and F Brayden Watts, with Ronning and Holt adding one each. . . . Ronning’s two points left him with 200 for his career. . . . Medicine Hat was 0-2 on the PP. . . . The Giants took the game’s only two minor penalties, so their PP unit didn’t get off the bench. . . . G David Tendeck blocked 38 shots for Vancouver. . . . G Jordan Hollett started for the Tigers and stopped 15 of 17 shots in 24:53. Michael Bullion came on to stop 19 of 22 shots in 34:21. Hollett went to the dressing room with 5:39 left in the second period with an apparent injury to his right leg. . . . D David Quenneville was back in Medicine Hat’s lineup after a one-game absence. . . . Announced attendance: 3,887.


At Everett, F Patrick Bajkov scored three times and added two assists to lead the Silvertips to an 8-2 victory over the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Everett (34-17-3) has won two in Everetta row. It leads the Western Conference by three points over Kelowna and Victoria. . . . Kelowna (32-16-4) has lost two straight. It is tied with Victoria atop the B.C. Division, but the Rockets hold two games in hand. . . . Everett scored the game’s last five goals to win going away. . . . Bajkov got the game’s first goal, on a PP, 45 seconds into the first period. . . . D Cal Foote tied it 14 seconds later. . . . Everett took a 3-1 lead on goals from D Kevin Davis (7), at 11:51 of the first, and F Garrett Pilon, at 2:19 of the second. . . . Foote (13) got his guys to within a goal at 5:39 but that was all for the Rockets. . . . F Riley Sutter (21) stretched Everett’s lead to 4-2 at 10:57. . . . Bajkov then scored twice, giving him the hat trick and 27 goals. . . . Pilon (25) and F Martin Fasko-Rudas (3) finished Everett’s scoring. . . . Bajkov now has 269 career points, including 106 goals. Earlier, he broke F Zach Hamill’s franchise record for career points. Now he is one goal shy of tying F Tyler Maxwell’s career record for goals. . . . Pilon and F Sean Richards had two assists each for the winners, with Davis adding one. . . . Everett was 2-5 on the PP; Kelowna was 0-2. . . . The Silvertips got 23 saves from G Carter Hart. . . . Kelowna starter Cole Tisdale surrendered five goals on 31 shots through two periods. Brodan Salmond stopped eight of 11 shots in the third period. . . . Announced attendance: 6,758.


At Kent, Wash., the Victoria Royals scored the game’s last three goals to beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 3-2, in OT. . . . Victoria (32-18-4) has won two in a row. It went 4-0-0 against VictoriaRoyalsSeattle this season. . . . Seattle (26-18-7) has lost two straight (0-1-1). It is tied with Seattle for fourth in the U.S. Division, two points behind Tri-City. Seattle and Spokane also are tied for the Western Conference’s two wild-card spots. . . . The Thunderbirds led 2-0 on goals from F Matthew Wedman (12), on a PP, at 8:25 of the first period, and D Austin Strand (17), at 16:36 of the second. . . . F Matthew Phillips cut into the deficit at 14:43 of the third period, and F Jeff de Wit (10) tied the score at 15:59. . . . Phillips (38) won it at 4:22 of OT, scoring while his side was shorthanded. He’s got three OT goals this season. . . . Phillips ran his point streak to 14 games. He’s got 10 goals and 16 assists in that time. . . . F Tyler Soy drew the primary assist on the winner, giving him 300 career regular-season points in 306 games. He is the first player in franchise history with 300 points. Soy also has 139 goals, one shy of the franchise record held by F Ryan Howse. . . . Seattle was 1-8 on the PP; Victoria was 0-7. . . . G Griffen Outhouse stopped 38 shots for Victoria, seven more than Seattle’s Liam Hughes. . . . Announced attendance: 5,356.


SUNDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


MONDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


TUESDAY (all times local):

Regina at Brandon, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Tri-City vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

Injuries becoming major story . . . Rebels stun host Warriors . . . Raiders pull within point of Blades

MacBeth

F Tim Bozon (Kamloops, Kootenay, 2011-15) has signed a one-year extension with Kloten (Switzerland, NL A). He has five goals and five assists in 41 games.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

With the start of the WHL’s playoffs staring at us from the horizon, it might be time to start paying close attention to injuries.

These days, the WHL injury list is littered with the names of prominent players, players whlwho will be major contributors in the playoffs if healthy.

But will they be healthy? Only time will tell.

In the meantime, here’s a look at a few players who were among the missing on Friday night . . .

F Dylan Cozens, Lethbridge Hurricanes — The team says he is out week-to-week. He last played on Jan. 19. He was playing on a productive line, alongside Taylor Ross and Logan Barlage when he went down.

F Aleksi Heponiemi, Swift Current Broncos — When he was scratched from a Jan. 30 game against visiting Prince George, Shawn Mullin, the Broncos’ radio voice, tweeted that it was an “apparently minor” injury. . . . Heponiemi didn’t play Friday night, and isn’t expected to play tonight in Cranbrook against Kootenay. . . . He’s got 93 points in 39 games. . . . Is it time for Broncos’ supporters to start sweating?

D Roman Kalinichenko, Tri-City Americans — He last played on Jan. 10, but I think he originally was injured two games before that, on Jan. 6 in Prince George. The teams says he will be out another three weeks. A freshman from Moscow, he’s a key part of their back end.

F Tanner Kaspick, Victoria Royals — He scored six goals — four of them game-winners — in his first eight games after being acquired from Brandon. He wasn’t listed on Tuesday’s WHL roster report, but didn’t play Wednesday against host Tri-City and was scratched again last night.

F Kyle Olson, Tri-City Americans — He had 57 points, including 20 goals, last season. This season, he hasn’t played since Jan. 3.

G James Porter, Kelowna Rockets — He last played on Jan. 13 and was listed on Tuesday as being out day-to-day. When he went out, he was 18-7-2, 3.34, .897. If he isn’t available, the Rockets are left with 15-year-old Cole Tisdale to back up Brodan Salmond.

D David Quenneville, Medicine Hat Tigers — He played in a 3-1 loss in Kamloops on Wednesday. He apparently suffered a shoulder injury, so was scratched Friday in Kelowna. Quenneville leads all WHL defencemen in goals (21) and points (59).

D Chaz Reddekopp, Victoria Royals — The 6-foot-4, 230-pounder last played on Jan. 13, and will be out at least four more weeks. The Royals need a healthy Reddekopp back there if they are to play deep into the spring.

F Milos Roman, Vancouver Giants — The Slovakian freshman has 29 points in 34 games, but hasn’t played since Jan. 9. When he went out It was thought he wouldn’t be gone long, but then he surfaced wearing a walking boot on one foot.

F Mason Shaw, Medicine Hat Tigers — He hasn’t played all season thanks to a knee injury suffered with the Minnesota Wild’s rookie team. He put up 94 points last season, so is an impact player and would be a huge addition to the lineup should he return in time for the first round. . . . Counting Quenneville and Shaw, the Tigers have six regulars out with injuries, five of them listed as being out at least two weeks.

G Carl Stankowski, Seattle Thunderbirds — After going 16-2-2, 2.50, .911 in 20 playoff games last season as the Thunderbirds won the Ed Chynoweth Cup, Stankowski hasn’t played a game this season. Obviously, the Thunderbirds aren’t counting on him to return, but what a story it would be.

D Jett Woo, Moose Jaw Warriors — When he missed his first game, on Jan. 21 in Saskatoon, it was said that he was being rested. He now has missed five games, so this obviously is a serious injury. Now he’s listed as week-to-week.

Keep in mind that this list doesn’t include the number of frontline players who have recently returned from injuries, like F Michael Rasmussen and D Juuso Valimaki of Tri-City, F Jake Leschyshyn of Regina, F Kieffer Bellows and F Cody Glass of Portland, F Regan Nagy of Prince Albert, G Liam Hughes of Seattle, F Noah Gregor of Victoria and on and on.

The way this season has gone, when the playoffs start, health, or lack of same, is going to be a major story.


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

Spokane at Kelowna

Tri-City at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


The home arena of the Brandon Wheat Kings will be renamed Westoba Place, effective Feb. 19. Westoba Credit Union Ltd. has signed on as the title sponsor. . . . The arena had been known as Westman Communications Group Place but the Westman Communications Group chose not to renew its 10-year agreement with the Keystone Centre.


Please consider clicking on the DONATE button over there to the right and helping the cause.

If you have a tip, email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com.


Scoreboard

FRIDAY:

At Moose Jaw, F Brandon Hagel broke a 1-1 tie at 9:46 of the third period as the Red Deer Rebels beat the Warriors, 3-1. . . . Red Deer (15-25-12) has points in six straight (5-0-1). The Red DeerRebels are fourth in the Central Division, seven points behind Kootenay. The teams will meet three more times this season. . . . Moose Jaw (39-9-3) has lost two in a row. It leads the overall standings by five points over Swift Current. The Warriors hold two games in hand. . . . F Chris Douglas (4) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 14:46 of the first period. . . . D Josh Brook (2) pulled the Warriors even at 13:19 of the second period. . . . Hagel snapped the tie with his eighth goal of the season. . . . F Kristian Reichel (20) iced it with the empty-netter at 18:24 of the third period. . . . Each team was 0-2 on the PP. . . . G Riley Lamb stopped 32 shots for the winners. . . . Moose Jaw got 25 saves from Brody Willms. . . . The Warriors were without F Barrett Sheen, who served Game 1 of a five-game suspension. . . . Announced attendance: 3,619.


At Prince Albert, F Parker Kelly scored two first-period goals to get the Raiders started to a 5-2 victory over the Saskatoon Blades. . . . Prince Albert (21-20-10) has points in seven PrinceAlbertstraight (5-0-2). It is one point behind Saskatoon, which holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . Saskatoon (25-25-3) has lost two in a row. . . . Kelly, who has 23 goals, scored at 1:32 and again at 13:14. . . . F Logan Christensen (1) got the Blades on the scoreboard at 17:52. . . . The Raiders went ahead 3-1 on F Brett Leason’s eighth goal, at 8:52 of the second period, then made it 4-1 when F Curtis Miske (18) scored at 10:24. . . . Saskatoon F Eric Florchuk (11) got the Blades to within two at 14:06, but F Cole Fonstad (16) restored the home team’s three-goal edge at 16:43, on a PP. . . . Leason wasn’t able to score on a second-period penalty shot. . . . The Raiders got two assists from F Jordy Stallard, with Fonstad getting one. . . . Prince Albert was 1-7 on the PP; Saskatoon was 0-2. . . . G Ian Scott stopped 19 shots to earn the victory over Nolan Maier, who made 34 saves. . . . Maier went into the game with a 3-0-0 record against Prince Albert. . . . Saskatoon had F Kirby Dash back in the lineup after a one-game absence. . . . Announced attendance: 2,357.


At Brandon, the Prince George Cougars scored two third-period goals to beat the Wheat Kings, 3-2. . . . Prince George (19-26-8) is 1-3-1 on its East Division swing. . . . Brandon (28-PrinceGeorge18-5) has lost nine in a row (0-6-3). It is third in the East Division, 15 points behind Swift Current and four ahead of Regina. Brandon has two games in hand on Regina. . . . F Evan Weinger (24) gave the Wheat Kings a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 3:52 of the first period. . . . F Ilijah Colina tied it at 4:35 of the second period. . . . Brandon went back out front when F Linden McCorrister (15) scored at 10:33. . . . F Jared Bethune (18) tied it for the Cougars, while shorthanded, at 7:54 of the third period. . . . Colina won it with his seventh goal, at 17:37. . . . Bethune and F Ethan Browne each had two assists for the winners. . . . Brandon was 1-3 on the PP; Prince George was 0-2. . . . G Isaiah DiLaura stopped 28 shots for the Cougars. . . . Brandon got 29 saves from G Logan Thompson. . . . The Cougars were without F Vladislav Mikhalchuk, who was hit with a TBD suspension after taking a headshot major and game misconduct during a 4-1 loss in Regina on Wednesday. . . . Announced attendance: 4,085.


At Lethbridge, the Hurricanes scored three PP goals en route to a 5-2 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Lethbridge (24-21-6) has points in four straight (2-0-2). It is Lethbridgesecond in the Central Division, five points behind Medicine Hat. . . . Swift Current (36-13-4) had won its previous three games. It is second in the overall standings, five points behind Moose Jaw. . . . This was the first meeting between these teams since Jan. 9 when they competed a deal in which six players changed uniforms, F Giorgio Estephan and G Stuart Skinner going to the Broncos, with F Logan Barlage, F Owen Blocker, G Logan Flodell and D Matthew Stanley moving to Lethbridge. . . . Last night, the Hurricanes got out to a 4-0 lead, thanks to three PP goals. . . . D Igor Merezhko (5) got it started at 5:40 of the first period. Then came the three PP goals, from F Jordy Bellerive (34), at 17:55; D Tate Olson (2), at 3:27 of the second period; and F Keltie Jeri-Leon (6), at 16:02. . . . The Broncos got third-period goals from Estephan (24), at 1:21, and F Glenn Gawdin (41), at 16:25, before Lethbridge D Ty Prefontaine (4) got the empty-netter at 18:00. . . . F Brad Morrison and F Zane Franklin each had two assists for Lethbridge, with Merezhko and Olson adding one apiece. . . . Estephan also had an assist. . . . Lethbridge was 3-5 on the PP; Swift Current was 1-3. . . . Flodell earned the victory with 40 saves, nine more than Skinner. . . .  Announced attendance: 4,893.


At Cranbrook, B.C., F Kailer Yamamoto and F Jaret Anderson-Dolan totalled nine points to lead the Spokane Chiefs to a 5-3 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Spokane (27-19-5) has SpokaneChiefspoints in seven straight (5-0-2). It holds down the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot, one point ahead of Seattle. The Chiefs also are fourth in the U.S. Division, two points behind Tri-City. . . . Kootenay (23-25-3) had lost two in a row. It is third in the Central Division, five points behind Lethbridge. . . . The Chiefs scored the only goals of the third period, Anderson-Dolan (28) breaking a 3-3 tie, on a PP, at 3:55, and F Luke Toporowski (6) getting an empty-netter at 18:52. . . . F Peyton Krebs (14) gave the Ice a 1-0 lead at 1:41 of the first period, only to have D Ty Smith (8) pull Spokane even at 3:14. . . . Kootenay went back out front as D Martin Bodak (6) scored, on a PP, at 10:24. . . . F Jake McGrew (13) tied it at 14:30. . . . The Chiefs took their first lead on Yamamoto’s 10th goal, on a PP, at 11:55 of the second period. . . . The Ice pulled into a tie on F Colton Veloso’s 17th goal, at 16:11. . . . Yamamoto finished with a goal and four assists for his first career five-point game; Anderson-Dolan had a goal and three helpers, the fourth time in his career that he has had four points in a game. . . . Smith added two assists to his goal. . . . The Ice got two assists from F Colton Croeker and one from Bodak. . . . Spokane was 2-5 on the PP; Kootenay was 1-3. . . . G Dawson Weatherill stopped 14 shots for Spokane, 15 fewer than Kootenay’s Matt Berlin. . . . Yamamoto has points in 11 straight games. Over that stretch, he has nine goals and 18 assists. For the season, he has 36 points, including 26 assists, in 22 games. . . . Anderson-Dolan has 28 goals and 35 assists in 49 games. . . . Announced attendance: 2,290.


At Kelowna, the Everett Silvertips opened up a 3-0 lead with three PP goals and went on to a 3-2 victory over the Rockets. . . . Everett (33-17-3) moved into first place in the EverettWestern Conference, one point ahead of Kelowna (32-15-4), which had points in each of its previous five games (4-0-1). Kelowna leads the B.C. Division by two points over Victoria; the Rockets hold two games in hand. . . . F Patrick Bajkov (24) gave Everett a 1-0 lead at 19:49 of the first period. Bajkov’s goal gave him 263 career points and the franchise record, one more than F Zach Hamill. . . . F Connor Dewar (28) made it 2-0 at 10:08 of the second period, and F Bryce Kindopp (15) upped it to 3-0 at 8:32. . . . F Kyle Topping (18), at 9:00 of the third period, and F Carsen Twarynski (33), at 18:34, scored for the Rockets. . . . Everett got two assists from D Kevin Davis, with Bajkov adding one. . . . F Kole Lind set up both Kelowna goals. . . . Everett was 3-5 on the PP; Kelowna was 0-3. . . . The Silvertips got 29 saves from G Carter Hart, while Brodan Salmon stopped 24 shots at the other end. . . . Hart now is 20-4-2, 1.55, .952. . . . Announced attendance: 5,230.


At Kennewick, Wash., the Tri-City Americans scored three times in the last five minutes of the third period and beat the Portland Winterhawks, 6-3. . . . Tri-City (27-16-7) has TriCity30points in seven straight (5-0-2). It is third in the U.S. Division, three points behind Portland. . . . Portland (30-18-4) had won its previous two games. It is second in the U.S. Division, five points behind Everett. . . . This game featured seven first-round NHL draft picks — F Kieffer Bellows, D Dennis Cholowski, F Cody Glass and D Henri Jokiharju of Portland, and D Jake Bean, F Michael Rasmussen and D Juuso Valimaki of Tri-City. They combined for five points. . . . F Jordan Topping’s 30th goal gave the Americans a 1-0 lead at 5:19 of the first period. . . . The Winterhawks went ahead 2-1 on goals from F Reece Newkirk, at 16:06, and F Skyler McKenzie (39), on a PP, at 8:42 of the second period. . . . Goals from F Sasha Mutual (8), at 13:14, and F Isaac Johnson 915), at 18:48, gave the home team a 3-2 lead. . . . Newkirk, who has four goals, got his second of the game at 9:17 of the third period for a 3-3 tie. . . . Tri-City F Morgan Geekie (19) broke the tie at 15;36, and F Riley Sawchuk iced it with goals at 16:54 and 19:18, the last into an empty net. He’s got 10 goals. . . . Geekie and Johnson each had an assist. . . . Portland was 1-4 on the PP; Tri-City was 0-6. . . . The Americans got a big game from G Patrick Dea, who stopped 29 shots, 19 of them in the first period. . . . Portland G Cole Kehler made 23 stops. . . . Portland F Joachim Blichfeld missed this one as he completed a two-game suspension. . . . Announced attendance: 3,687.


At Victoria, F Noah Gregor scored in OT to give the Royals a 4-3 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Victoria (31-18-4) is second in the B.C. Division, two points behind VictoriaRoyalsKelowna. . . . Medicine Hat (26-21-7) is 0-2-1 in three games in the B.C. Division. It leads the Central Division by five points over Lethbridge. . . . The Royals grabbed a 2-0 lead on first-period goals from F Matthew Phillips (36), at 6:28, and D Kade Jensen (4), at 7:37. . . . The Tigers tied it on two goals from F James Hamblin, who has 18 goals. He scored on a PP at 11:14 of the first period and at 6:28 of the second. . . . Medicine Hat took a 3-2 lead when D Kristians Rubins scored at 12:36. . . . The Royals tied it at 18:41 of the third period on F Tyler Soy’s 24th goal. . . . Gregor won it 51 seconds into OT with his 18th goal. . . . Soy also had two assists, with Jensen and Phillips adding one each. . . . D Dylan MacPherson had two assists for the Tigers. . . . Medicine Hat was 1-3 on the PP; Victoria was 0-2. . . . G Dean McNabb stopped 27 shots to record the victory. . . . The Tigers got 25 saves from Jordan Hollett. . . . Announced attendance: 6,055.


At Langley, B.C., the Vancouver Giants scored the game’s last three goals as they beat the Calgary Hitmen, 4-2. . . . Vancouver (27-16-8) has points in three straight (2-0-1). It is third Vancouverin the B.C. Division, four points behind Victoria. . . . Calgary (15-30-6) is 0-4-0 on a BC. Division tour that continues tonight in Kamloops. . . . D Bowen Byram gave the home team a 1-0 lead at 6:43 of the first period, only to have Calgary take a 2-1 lead on goals from F Luke Coleman (12), at 7:19, and F Tristen Nielsen (10), at 8:03. . . . Vancouver F Ty Ronning scored the next two goals, at 5:35 and 10:10 of the second period, to give his guys a 3-2 lead. . . . Ronning has 46 goals this season; the franchise record (48) was set by F Evander Kane in 2008-09. . . . Byram (5) added a PP goal at 12:18. . . . F Brayden Watts had three assists for the Giants, with D Matt Barberis adding two, and Byram getting one. . . . Vancouver was 3-5 on the PP; Calgary was 0-8. . . . G Trent Miner, in his first WHL start, stopped 31 shots for the Giants. . . . Calgary got 36 stops from G Nick Schneider. . . . Announced attendance: 3,246.


SATURDAY (all times local):

Prince George at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Prince Albert at Regina, 7 p.m.

Red Deer at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Swift Current vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.

Edmonton at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Tri-City at Portland, 6 p.m.

Calgary at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7 p.m.

Kelowna at Everett, 7:05 p.m.

Victoria vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:05 p.m.

Wheat Kings end Blades’ run . . . Heponiemi returns in big way . . . Silvertips back on top in U.S.

A LITTLE OF THIS …

Tim Hunter, the head coach of the Moose Jaw Warriors, wasn’t back with the team in time to work the bench on Saturday night as they beat the host Edmonton Oil Kings, 7-2.

Hunter spent most of the past month as an assistant coach with the Canadian national MooseJawWarriorsjunior team that won the World Junior Championship in Buffalo. He is expected back on the bench Wednesday when the Warriors are scheduled to play host to the Hitmen.

In his absence, assistant coach Mark O’Leary served as head coach.

With O’Leary in charge, the Warriors went 8-1-1, losing 5-2 to the visiting Kamloops Blazers on Dec. 15 and dropping a 5-4 shootout decision to the host Swift Current Broncos on Dec. 27.

Since that loss, the Warriors have posted six straight regulation-time victories. They now lead the WHL’s overall standings by eight points over Swift Current.

Of course, Hunter also worked as an assistant coach with Team Canada last season. While he was away, O’Leary took over and the Warriors were 7-3-2 with him in charge.

In two stints as acting head coach, then, O’Leary is 15-4-3, which is rather good in any league.


The Medicine Hat Tigers have added D Trevor Longo, 17, to their roster. From North Vancouver, B.C., Longo was a sixth-round pick in the 2015 bantam draft. He was pointless in four games with the Tigers earlier this season, and has three assists in 17 games with the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

Meanwhile, the Kootenay Ice has returned F Holden Kodak, 16, to the Yale Hockey Academy where is plays for the midget prep team in the CSSHL. From Cloverdale, B.C., he was an 11th-round pick by the Portland Winterhawks in the 2016 bantam draft. Kodak was pointless in two games with the Ice.


F Wyatt Sloboshan, who spent the past three-plus seasons in the WHL, has been added the roster of the BCHL’s Penticton Vees. Sloboshan, 20, didn’t return to the Regina Pats after the Christmas break. . . . Sloboshan, from Vanscoy, Sask., had four goals and 11 assists in 36 games with Regina this season. . . . He also has played with the Saskatoon Blades — he was their captain when last season started — and the Spokane Chiefs. The Swift Current Broncos selected him in the third round of the 2012 bantam draft, although he never played for them. . . . in 219 regular-season WHL games, he has 44 goals and 77 assists.


Scoreboard

SUNDAY:

At Brandon, the Wheat Kings scored twice in the last two minutes of the third period to beat the Saskatoon Blades, 5-3. . . . Brandon (27-12-1) has won two in a row. It is third in BrandonWKregularthe East Division, and the overall standings, six points behind Swift Current. . . . Saskatoon (21-18-3) had won its previous seven games and 10 of 11. It is tied with Regina for the Eastern Conference’s two wild-card playoff spots. . . . Brandon went out front 1-0 when F Ty Lewis scored, while shorthanded, at 9:58 of the first period. . . . F Braylon Shmyr (21) pulled Saskatoon into a tie at 17:56. . . . However, the Wheat Kings scored twice in the period’s last 90 seconds to take a 3-1 lead. F Connor Gutenberg (12) scored at 18:30 and F Tanner Kaspick (12) followed at 19:13. . . . The Blades fought back and tied it on two goals from F Chase Wouters, at 15:42 of the second and 11:12 of the third. He’s got 10 goals. . . . Lewis broke the tie with his 23rd goal of the season at 18:04, and F Stelio Mattheos (29) got the empty-netter at 18:51. . . . The Wheat Kings got two assists from F Evan Weinger and one each from Mattheos, Lewis and Kaspick. . . . D Jackson Caller had three assists for Saskatoon and Shmyr had one. . . . Saskatoon was 0-1 on the PP; Brandon was 0-5. . . . G Logan Thompson stopped 15 shots to earn the victory over Ryan Kubic, who turned aside 25 shots. . . . Kubic was making his first appearance since Dec. 16. . . . The Blades, who were outshot 12-3 in the third period, were playing their third game in fewer than 48 hours, including a 4-2 victory over visiting Kootenay on Saturday. The Wheat Kings didn’t play on Saturday. . . . Saskatoon D Libor Hajek didn’t make the trek to Brandon, the coaching staff no doubt deciding to give him some rest. He played for Czech Republic at the WJC and was back in Saskatoon in time to play in Saturday’s victory over Kootenay. . . . Announced attendance: 3,051.


At Swift Current, F Aleksi Heponiemi had four points, all via the PP, as the Broncos beat the Red Deer Rebels, 5-1. . . . Swift Current (29-10-3) is 3-0-1 in its past four games. It SCBroncosremains second in the overall standings, eight points behind Moose Jaw. . . . Red Deer (10-22-9) has lost eight in a row (0-4-4). . . . The Broncos didn’t have F Tyler Steenbergen, the hero of Canada’s victory at the World Junior Championship, back in their lineup, but Heponiemi returned from his stint with Finland to score once and set up three otyhers. . . . He opened the scoring at 5:14 of the first period. . . . F Kristian Reichel (15), in his first game since playing for Czech Republic at the WJC, scored for Red Deer, on a PP, at 7:55. . . . F Matteo Gennaro broke the tie, scoring twice, at 8:21 and 15:07. He’s got 28 goals and has scored twice in three straight games. He has 14 goals and 15 assists in 17 games since moving over from Calgary. . . . Broncos D Artyom Minulin scored his club’s other two goals, at 18:56 of the first period and 6:11 of the third. He’s got seven goals. . . . D Colby Sissons drew three assists for the winners, with F Glenn Gawdin getting two and Gennaro one. . . . The Broncos were 4-6 on the PP; the Rebels were 1-5. . . . G Joel Hofer stopped 19 shots for the Broncos. . . . Red Deer starter Riley Lamb surrendered four goals on 17 shots in the first period. Ethan Anders played the final two periods, stopping 13 of 14 shots. . . . The Rebels were playing their third game in three cities in fewer than 48 hours. They went 0-2-1. . . . The Broncos went 2-0-1 in their three-game weekend, with the first game on the road and the last two at home. . . . Announced attendance: 2,557.


At Regina, the Pats scored 37 seconds into the game and then added three third-period goals to beat the Prince Albert Raiders, 4-1. . . . Regina (21-19-3) and Saskatoon are tied ReginaPats100for the Eastern Conference’s two wild-card playoff berths. . . . Prince Albert (15-18-8) had points in its previous three games (2-0-1). The Raiders are seven points behind Regina and Saskatoon. . . . F Robbie Holmes (10) scored Regina’s first goal. . . . In the third period, the Pats opened up a 4-0 lead on goals from F Jake Leschyshyn, at 3:12; F Bryan Lockner (7), at 9:56; and Leschychyn (14), into an empty net, at 13:32. Yes, 13:32. . . . F Parker Kelly (18) scored Prince Albert’s goal, on a PP, at 17:08. . . . Leschyshyn added an assist to his two goals. . . . Prince Albert was 1-6 on the PP; Regina was 0-6. . . . G Tyler Brown stopped 28 shots for the winners, seven fewer than the Raiders’ Ian Scott. . . . The Raiders were playing their third game in fewer than 48 hours. The first two games were played at home. . . . F Jesse Gabrielle, acquired by Regina from Prince George on Friday, officially has been assigned to the Pats by the NHL’s Boston Bruins, but he didn’t play on Sunday. . . . Announced attendance: 6,310.


At Calgary, F Marek Skvrne broke a 1-1 tie at 10:42 of the third period as the Kelowna Rockets beat the Hitmen, 3-1. . . . Kelowna (25-12-3) leads the Western Conference by two KelownaRocketspoints over Vancouver. . . . Calgary now is 13-22-6. . . . F Mark Kastelic (14) gave the Hitmen a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 10:54 of the first period. . . . D James Hilsendager (6), on a PP, got the Rockets into a 1-1 tie at 16:32 of the second period. . . . Skvrne, a freshman from Czech Republic, scored his second goal of the season and it proved to be the winner. He now has two goals and an assist in 37 games. . . . Kelowna F Conner Bruggen-Cate (9) got the empty-netter, at 19:45. . . . Calgary was 1-4 on the PP; Kelowna was 1-8. . . . The Rockets got 21 saves from G Roman Basran. . . . G Matthew Armitage stopped 27 shots at the other end. . . . The Hitmen went 1-2-0 in playing three games in fewer than 48 hours. . . . F Carson Focht and F Dakota Krebs, who were part of a Saturday trade in which D Jake Bean went to the Tri-City Americans, both were in Calgary’s lineup. . . . Announced attendance: 8,687.


At Everett, F Patrick Bajkov had a goal and four assists to lead the Silvertips to a 9-4 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . Everett (24-16-2) had lost its previous two games. It Everettmoved back into first place in the U.S. Division, one point ahead of Portland and Tri-City. . . . Victoria (23-16-4) had won its past two games. It is third in the B.C. Division, a point behind Vancouver. . . . Everett got out to a 2-0 lead on first-period goals from F Connor Dewar at 0:24 and F Bryce Kindopp at 11:40. . . . The Royals tied it as D Jared Freadrich (10) scored, on a PP, at 12:30, and D Chaz Reddekopp (6) counted 52 seconds into the second period. . . . F Kyle Walker’s first goal, at 7:10, put Everett back out front, but Victoria F tyler Soy (19) tied it, shorthanded, at 10:12. . . . The Silvertips then scored the next six goals, with Kindopp (13), F Sean Richards (16) and Dewar (16) making it 6-3 before the second period ended. . . . F Matt Fonteyne added two third-period goals — he’s got 22 — and Bakjov got No. 21. All three of those goals came via the PP. . . . F Andrei Grishakov (13) scored Victoria’s last goal, on a PP. . . . Bajkov’s goal was the 100th of his career. He is in his fifth season with Everett; the goal came in game No. 312. . . . Everett got three assists from D Kevin Davis, two each from Fonteyne and D Wyatte Wylie, and one from Richards. . . . Reddekopp, Freadrich and Soy had an assist each for Victoria. . . . Soy’s assist was the 151st of his career, tying the Victoria/Chilliwack record that had been set by F Brandon Magee. . . . The Royals took 91 of the game’s 136 penalty minutes. . . . Everett was 5-9 on the PP; Victoria was 2-6. . . . G Dustin Wolf earned the victory with 30 saves. . . . The Victoria duo of starter Dean McNabb and Griffen Outhouse combined to stop 50 of 59 shots. . . . Both teams were playing their third game in fewer than 48 hours. The Royals played at home Friday and in Kamloops on Saturday, while the Silvertips were in Victoria and then at home. The Royals, who beat visiting Everett 5-0 on Friday, went 2-0-0, while the Silvertips were 1-2-0. . . . Announced attendance: 3,958.


At Kamloops, F Parker AuCoin had a goal and two assists as the Tri-City Americans skated to a 4-1 victory over the Blazers. . . . Tri-City (22-12-5) has won two in a row. It is TriCity30tied with Portland for second in the U.S. Division, one point behind Everett. . . . Kamloops (17-20-3) is 1-1-1 in its last three and now is eight points out of a playoff spot. The Blazers were playing their first game without F Garrett Pilon, their leading scorer, who was traded, along with D Ondrej Vala, to Everett earlier in the day. . . . The Americans got out to a 3-0 lead. . . . AuCoin (11) opened the scoring, on a PP, at 9:42 of the first period. . . . D Tyler Jette, playing in his first WHL game, made it 2-0 at 5:03 of the second period, and F Jordan Topping (21) upped it to 3-0, on a PP, at 14:56. . . . F Quinn Benjafield (11) scored for Kamloops at 18:22. . . . F Sasha Mutala (6) iced it with an empty-netter at 19:32. . . . Tri-City F Max James, 20, had two assists and was the game’s second star. He is from Kamloops and this likely was the last WHL game he will play in his hometown as the Americans aren’t scheduled there again this season. . . . Tri-City was 2-4 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-5. . . . G Patrick Dea stopped 32 shots for the Americans, while the Blazers got 23 stops from Dylan Ferguson. . . . The Americans completed a three-game weekend that began with two games in Prince George. They wound up 2-1-0. . . . The Americans were without F Kyle Olson (hamstring), F Morgan Geekie, who took a high hit on Saturday in Prince George, D Juuso Valimaki (undisclosed injury), F Michael Rasmussen (wrist) and D Jake Bean, who was acquired Saturday from Calgary, so brought in D Tom Cadieux, 15, and Jette, 19. . . . Cadieux, from Saskatoon, was a second-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft. He has three goals and eight assists in 20 games with the midget AAA Saskatoon Blazers. . . . Jette, from Farmington, Minn., was with the Americans in training camp prior to 2016-17 but suffered a concussion and sat out the season. He recently returned to playing, now with the AJHL’s Sherwood Park Crusaders with whom he has one assist in four games. . . . Announced attendance: 3,215.


MONDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


TWEET OF THE DAY

They celebrated memories in Vernon, B.C., on Saturday night as the BCHL’s Vipers and Prince George Spruce Kings played the final hockey game in the Civic Centre. The 80-year-old facility is scheduled for demolition. . . . That’s old friend Mark Ferner, the Vipers’ director of hockey operations and head coach, looking every bit the part of Toe Blake in the tweet below.