Scattershooting on a Wednesday, after watching lightning hit Tampa Bay’s outhouse. . . .

Scattershooting

“Arizona beat the Dodgers on March 29 in the longest regular-season game in Dodger Stadium history — 6 hours, 5 minutes and 13 innings,” reports Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “L.A. fans were so confused that, after leaving early in the seventh inning as usual, they came back twice more so they could leave again in the 10th and 12th.”



The defending NHL champion Washington Capitals and their captain Alex Ovechkin visited the White House,” reports RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com. “Afterwards, President Trump denied any involvement with the Russian.”


A couple of Robservations from Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post . . .

Pet peeve: References to someone setting a “new record.” The “new” is unnecessary.

Another pet peeve: Media types who make a statement and then expect an interviewee to answer. Some of the worst offenders are veteran reporters. How difficult is it to ask a question?



ICYMI, Earvin Johnson has resigned as the president of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, or, as Vancouver comedian Torben Rolfsen noted, “Magic lived up to his name — by disappearing.”


“I’m so old,” writes Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe, “I remember when the Clippers were Los Angeles’s dysfunctional NBA franchise.”


Headline at The Onion: Engineers Unveil New Driverless Car Capable Of Committing Hit-And-Run.

——

Headline at Fark.com: Hapless Mariners can’t even get a rebuilding year right.

——

Headline at SportsPickle.com: Will Trent Richardson and Johnny Manziel have to wait 5 years to be inducted into the AAF Hall of Fame?


It was Thursday afternoon in Kamloops when two stories broke.

First came this one, with the lead from Kamloops This Week:

“Stormy Daniels is coming to Kamloops.

“The award-winning porn actress who wrote a tell-all book about her encounter with U.S. President Donald Trump — and the ensuing $130,000 payment he made to her — will be at The Duchess, 377 Tranquille Rd., on June 2 for a meet-and-greet event, according to her website.”

That was followed by this from the local WHL team: “The Kamloops Blazers have announced that the hockey club and head coach Serge Lajoie have mutually parted ways.”

Which one do you think created more buzz in the city that used to be known as Little Montreal?

——

James Miller, in the Kelowna Daily Courier: “Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran needs to immediately impose economic sanctions on the City of Kamloops. First, Kamloops ends the Kelowna Rockets’ season in a single-game showdown for the final berth in the Western Hockey League playoffs. Next, they secured the biggest book tour of 2019 — Stormy Daniels. How are these things possible?”


Dorothy and I spent Monday on the road. We went from Kamloops to Salmon Arm, then over to Vernon, down to Kelowna, and back to Kamloops. A couple of observations: There are no speed limits on the highways we travelled. Those signs with numbers on them on the sides of those highways? They aren’t even guidelines. . . . There seem to be a lot of drivers who make a right or left turn onto a highway assuming that oncoming track will see them and slow down. How many times does one of those drivers do this before finding themselves in a wreck?



“Just think,” notes comedian Argus Hamilton, “if they send Lori Loughlin up the river, her daughter can row her there.”


The WHL, which has requested that a number of its team’s landlords install new glass, boards and scoreclocks at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars, may want to think about requesting indoor fishing pools stocked with bass, too. After all, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic on the Tennessee River drew 153,809 fans over three days in March.


“Last time LeBron missed the playoffs was in 2005,” notes Bleacher Report. “That year . . . Netflix was delivering DVDs. . . . Apple didn’t have an iPhone. . . . YouTube was founded. . . . Aubrey Graham wasn’t Drake yet; he was Jimmy Brooks on Degrassi.”


From the Twitter account of Brad Dickson (@brad_dickson): “You complain about the Nebraska football team going 4-8 last season? If the Nebraska Legislature were a football team its record would be 1-11 yet you re-elect almost all the same people to it every time.”

——

One more from Dickson: “The Dept of Homeland Security Chief just ‘retired.’ I won’t speculate on how she plans to fund her retirement but somebody just put 9 million pairs of confiscated nail clippers up for sale on eBay.”


I really liked Patti Dawn Swansson’s take on Tiger Woods, The Masters, and what a lot of folks were calling the greatest comeback in the history of the universe. Here’s Swansson . . .

You want to talk about comebacks? Okay.

  • Try golfer Ben Hogan, who lost an argument with a Greyhound bus in 1949 and suffered a double fracture to his pelvis, a fractured collar bone, a fractured left ankle, a chipped rib, near-fatal blood clots, lifelong circulation problems, and required blood transfusions. He won the U.S. Open the following year, and another five Grand Slam tournaments after that.
  • Try Muhammad Ali, banned from boxing for 3½ years due to the political climate of the day, then returning to win the heavyweight title.
  • Try Monica Seles, stabbed in the back with a nine-inch knife by a crazed Steffi Graf fan during a tennis match, disappearing for more than two years due to depression and the fear of another attack by a man who never spent a day in jail, then returning to win the Australian Open.
  • Try Mario Lemieux, who won a battle with cancer and returned to the NHL to win multiple scoring titles.
  • Try driver Niki Lauda, hauled out of a fire-engulfed car and his head and face burnt to a crisp, then returning to win the Formula 1 driving title one year later and again five years after his first retirement.

Woods battled back from self-inflicted public humiliation and numerous physical challenges that could have ended his career, but nothing life-threatening. His is a terrific story, to be sure. But the greatest comeback ever? Not even close.

The entire column is right here and, as usual, it goes down well with morning coffee.

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WHL’s War of the Words continues. . . . Blades skate back into series. . . . Oil Kings, Giants win in OT, go ahead 3-0

MacBeth

D Blake Orban (Vancouver, Edmonton, 2010-15) has signed a one-year contract with MAC Újbuda Budapest (Hungary, Slovakia Extraliga). This season, with the U of Lethbridge (USports, Canada West), he had one goal and five assists in 25 games.


ThisThat

OK. Let’s review . . .

Marc Habscheid, the head coach of the Prince Albert Raiders and one of eight men with more than 500 regular-season WHL victories, got his club’s second-round series with whlSaskatoon really going by accusing the Blades of doing more diving than members of the Saskatoon Diving Club.

Mitch Love, the Blades’ first-year head coach, waited until after the second game and, with his club trailing 2-0, suggested that the Raiders’ players dish out more headshots than competitors with the Prince Albert Boxing Club.

Love, though, went a step further and suggested that the WHL, a league whose pooh-bahs love to talk about the importance of player safety, has “turned a blind eye to that kind of thing . . .”

Love added that he had expressed his concerns to the WHL, but “it falls on deaf ears, and here we are.”

That brings us to Game 3, which was played Tuesday night in Saskatoon.

Prior to the game, it was Habscheid’s turn to fire a volley in the WHL’s latest War of the Words.

“This is all fun and games, but it comes to a bigger issue,” Habscheid told Trevor Redden of panow.com for a story that is right here. “The fact that he’s questioning the integrity of our league about player safety, that crosses the line. I did not think that was an appropriate comment.”

You will remember that it was Habscheid — aka Mark (The Entertainer) Habscheid — who started all this.

Yesterday, he told Redden that it’s all gamesmanship.

“That’s just a weak ploy to try to change the narrative,” Habscheid said. “He’ll probably start yelling at me from his bench, too, just to add to it . . . so whatever, we don’t care.”

For the record, Love wasn’t seen yelling at Habscheid as the Blades skated to a 1-0 victory last night.

——

With Habscheid and Love both having mentioned the importance of player safety, allow me to point out a thing or two.

The WHL issued a news release on March 28 announcing that F Sean Richards of the Seattle Thunderbirds had been suspended indefinitely.

Richards had taken a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct in a game the previous night.

In that news release, Ron Robison, the WHL commissioner, was quoted thusly: “Player safety is the first priority for the WHL at all times.”

That quote was recycled last week when the WHL announced that Richards’ suspension had been set at eight games.

One on-line dictionary defines hypocrisy like this: “The practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behaviour does not conform.”

A league that condones fighting simply cannot trumpet the importance of player safety.

A league that continues to hand out measly two-game suspensions for checking-from-behind fouls and headshots cannot trumpet the importance of player safety. It just can’t.

After D Jake Lee of the Thunderbirds drew a two-game suspension

for a hit from behind on Vancouver F Justin Sourdif in Game 1 of a first-round series, Giants head coach Michael Dyck told Steve Ewen of Postmedia:

“I played with Brad Hornung. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it. It was the same type of play. The only thing that saved Justin Sourdif was the net. It’s a terrible play. He (Lee) is a young guy. But somebody has to teach him. All two games is … I don’t know.

“It’s one of the worst plays in hockey. It had nothing to do with making a play. It’s emotion. I understand that. But you have to learn.”

Dyck, as I mentioned here after he was fined $1,000 for his comments, is right. But is anyone listening?

The time has long since passed by for the WHL to ban fighting and to issue suspensions to those who choose to engage in fisticuffs.

And it’s time for the WHL to get serious about suspensions for headshots and checks from behind. No more of this two-game stuff. Let coaches and players know that such a foul means a player could sit for a month.

Yes, start with 10 games, and then the league can puff out its chest and tell people that player safety is a priority in the WHL.

And when it comes to the neanderthals who continue to insist that hockey needs fighting, well, . . .

Patti Dawn Swanson, aka The River City Renegade, blogged about ‘the code’ the other day:

“You hit me with a cheap shot — or hit me legally but too hard for my liking — and I now must knock your block off. If not me, one of my guard dogs will take care of business. Might not do it immediately. Might not do it that same night. Might have to wait a year. But someone is coming after you and you better not turn tail when challenged. You want the respect of friend, foe and fan? Only way is to ‘man up.’ That’s the ‘code.’

Well, the ‘code’ is stupid and so are hockey players for following it.”

She’s right and that piece is right here.


It seems that the Swift Current Broncos no longer have a radio rights holder.

Shawn Mullin, the Broncos’ play-by-play voice for the past nine seasons, indicated in a SCBroncosTuesday afternoon tweet that talks on a new agreement have broken down between the Broncos and The Eagle 94.1

“Despite what I believe were the best intentions on all sides,” Mullin tweeted, “the Broncos and the radio station have been unable to reach an agreement to continue our broadcasts.”

Mullin, who is from Ottawa, moved to Swift Current after four seasons as the radio voice of the BCHL’s Trail Smoke Eaters.

Regan Bartel, who calls the Kelowna Rockets’ games, and Jon Keen, the Kamloops Blazers’ broadcaster, both are former Swift Current play-by-play voices.


EdChynowethCup

NOTES: There were three second-round games on Tuesday night, and there will be three more tonight. The difference is that there is one team facing elimination tonight. . . .

Last night, the Edmonton Oil Kings went into Calgary and beat the Hitmen, 2-1 in OT. That means the Oil Kings can move into the Eastern Conference final with a victory over the host Hitmen tonight. . . .

In Saskatoon, the Blades rode the goaltending of Nolan Maier to a 1-0 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. Still, the Raiders hold a 2-1 lead going into Game 4 in ’Toontown tonight. . . .

In Victoria, the Vancouver Giants beat the Royals, 5-4 in OT, and now lead that series, 3-0. Game 4 is scheduled for Victoria on Thursday night. . . .

The Everett Silvertips and Spokane Chiefs didn’t play last night. Their series resumes tonight in Spokane with the Chiefs holding a 2-0 lead. Remember that this series is following a 2-3-2 format because Cirque du Soleil is in Everett’s Angels of the Wind Arena through Sunday.

——

TUESDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

G Nolan Maier stopped 26 shots to lead the Saskatoon Blades to a 1-0 victory over the Saskatoonvisiting Prince Albert Raiders. . . . The Raiders lead the series, 2-1, with Game 4 in Saskatoon tonight. . . . The teams will be back in Prince Albert for Game 5 on Friday night. . . . This was only the second time the Raiders have been blanked this season and Maier has been the goaltender both times. On Dec. 9, he stopped 32 shots in a 1-0 victory in Saskatoon. F Tristen Robins scored the only goal, at 5:14 of the second period. . . . Last night, the game’s lone goal came from F Kirby Dach (5), who was able to fight off a check, reach into the crease and backhand a loose puck into the net at 4:21 of the first period. . . . The Raiders came within inches of equalizing in the dying seconds when F Sean Montgomery had a redirection go off the right post. . . . Prince Albert G Ian Scott also was stellar, with 26 saves. . . . Despite the ongoing verbiage from the head coaches, the game included only five minor penalties. The Blades were 0-2 on the PP; the Raiders were 0-1.


D Wyatt McLeod scored from the left point to give the Edmonton Oil Kings a 2-1 victory EdmontonOilKingsover the Hitmen in Calgary. . . . Edmonton holds a 3-0 lead in the series and gets its first chance to close it out tonight in Calgary. . . . F Zach Russell (1) gave Edmonton a 1-0 lead at 7:57 of the second period. . . . The Oil Kings nursed that lead into the last three minutes of the third period when they were hit with back-to-back minor penalties. . . . Calgary scored on the ensuing 5-on-3 advantage, with F Mark Kastelic getting his sixth goal, at 18:53, to force OT. That goal came one second before the first minor was to expire. . . . McLeod won it with his second goal of these playoffs, at 2:46 of OT. Russell had the lone assist on the winner. . . . Calgary was 1-5 on the PP; Edmonton was 0-5. . . . According to the online scoresheet, Calgary was 38-19 on faceoffs, with Kastelic going 20-10. . . . G Dylan Myskiw blocked 24 shots for the Oil Kings. . . . The Hitmen got 27 saves from G Jack McNaughton. . . . The Hitmen had F Jake Kryski back in their lineup. He had been out since Jan. 11 with an undisclosed injury.


F Owen Hardy’s second goal of the night, this one in OT, gave the Vancouver Giants a 5-4 Vancouvervictory over the Royals in Victoria. . . . The Giants, with a 3-0 lead in the series, will have the opportunity to end it in Game 4 on Thursday in Victoria. . . . Last night, Vancouver went ahead 1-0 at 3:32 of the first period when F Jared Dmytriw, a former Royals skater, scored his second goal of the playoffs. . . .  The Royals responded with goals from F Sean Gulka (2), at 9:10, and F Igor Martynov (2), on a PP, at 19:31. . . . F Milos Roman (2) tied it for Vancouver, on a PP, at 3:44 of the second period. . . . D Mitchell Prowse (1) put Victoria back in front at 13:06 on the Royals’ first shot of the period. . . . That lead lasted until Hardy (1) scored 14 seconds into the third period. . . . The Royals went back out front at 10:15 on a goal from F Carson Miller (5). . . . The Giants forced OT when D Alex Kannok Leipert (2) scored at 15:40. . . . Hardy, who had nine goals in 64 regular-season games, won it with his second goal of the game — and of the playoffs — at 13:34 of OT. He’s from Nanaimo, so no doubt had some familiar faces in the crowd, too. . . . Vancouver was 1-2 on the PP; Victoria was 1-3. . . . Vancouver held a 28-9 edge in shots through two periods. An interested observer told Taking Note that “of the Royals’ nine shots, three have gone in and two were clearing attempts from their own end of the ice that hit the net.” . . . In the end, the count was 57-20, including 15-5 in OT. . . . Vancouver G Trent Miner stopped 16 shots, but the story was Victoria G Griffen Outhouse and his 52 stops. . . . In the three games, the Giants hold a 124-45 edge in shots, but are only ahead 10-5 in goals. . . . Vancouver won Game 2, 2-1 in OT. . . . The Giants were without F Aidan Barfoot, who was injured in the first round and has yet to play in this series. . . . D Ralph Jarratt, who didn’t finish Game 2, was among Victoria’s scratches. The Royals also were without F Tanner Sidaway for a third straight game, while F Kody McDonald served the fifth of a six-game suspension. As well, D Jake Kustra began serving a two-game suspension. . . . With their lineup depleted by injuries and suspensions, the Royals had two APs in the lineup — D Noah Lamb and F Alex Bolshakov. . . . On top of all that, the Royals may have lost F Phillip Schultz, who has two goals and seven assists in nine playoff games, with some sort of arm injury. About a minute before the game ended, Schultz went hard into the boards at the Vancouver bench. The gate was open and he hit an edge of the boards. Schultz dropped his gloves and stick and appeared to be in serious pain as he went to the dressing room.


Tweetoftheday

Ice acquires Savoie, the elder. . . . WHL firms up a pair of indefinite suspensions. . . . Minor illness keeps Byram off ice


MacBeth

F Travis Ewanyk (Edmonton, 2008-13) has signed a one-year contract extension with Krefeld Pinguine (Germany, DEL). This season, he had two goals and five assists in 40 games. . . .

G Ville Kolppanen (Lethbridge, 2009-10) has signed a one-year-plus-option year contract with Ilves Tampere (Finland, Liiga). This season, with Rögle Ängelholm (Sweden, SEL), he was 6-10-1, 2.30, .916 in 18 games as the backup to Just Pogge (Prince George, Calgary, 2003-06). . . .

F Richard Mueller (Brandon, Saskatoon, Calgary, 1998-2003) has signed a one-year contract extension with the Kassel Huskies (Germany, DEL2). An alternate captain this season he had 26 goals and 25 assists in 52 games. He led the Huskies in goals, assists and points. Next season will be his 16th in Germany. . . .

D Jonathan Harty (Everett, 2004-08) has signed a one-year contract extension with Fehérvár AV19 Székesfehérvár (Hungary, Erste Bank Liga). This season, he had five goals and 13 assists in 52 games.


The Winnipeg Ice has acquired the WHL rights to F Carter Savoie, who turned 17 on Jan. 23, from the Regina Pats in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft and wpgiceconditional second- and third-round picks — the year or years undisclosed.

Those conditional picks will depend on if/when Savoie should sign with the Ice.

This has led to speculation that the Ice will select F Matt Savoie, Carter’s younger brother, with the first pick of the 2019 draft when it is held in Red Deer on May 2. The Ice also holds the ninth selection in the first round.

The Savoie brothers are from St. Albert, Alta., and both have committed to the U of Denver, Carter for the 2020-21 season and Matt, who turned 15 on Jan. 1, for 2021-22.

The Pats selected Carter in the ninth round of the 2017 bantam draft. He is playing with the AJHL’s Sherwood Park Crusaders, having put up 31 goals and 42 assists in 58 regular-season games. The Crusaders are alive in the playoffs, and he has two goals and eight assists in 10 games.

Matt played this season with the Northern Alberta X-Treme prep team, scoring 31 goals and adding 40 assists in 31 games. In five playoff games, he had three goals and nine assists.

The Savoie family applied to Hockey Canada during the season in the hopes of gaining exceptional status for Matt, something that would allow him to spend 2019-20 on a WHL roster. Under present rules, a 15-year-old player is limited to five games — except under emergency conditions — while his club team’s season is alive. Although there has yet to be an official announcement from Hockey Canada, there have been reports that the family’s request has been denied.


Matt Cockell, the president and general manager of the Winnipeg Ice — formerly the KootenaynewKootenay Ice — did a question-and-answer session with the Winnipeg Sun’s Ted Wyman the other day. . . . Patti Dawn Swansson, who blogs as The River City Renegade, spent a goodly number of years covering junior and pro hockey in Winnipeg so is quite familiar with the puck scene in the Manitoba capital. She responded to one of Cockell’s answers at her blog.

At one point, Cockell told Wyman: “At the end of the day, the passion for hockey is really what’s exciting about Winnipeg. When you look across Canada, there really isn’t another city that embraces hockey the way Winnipeg does. We really believe it’s the hockey capital of Canada.”

To which, Swansson wrote: “Whoa boy. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that Good Ol’ Hometown has already let one NHL franchise get away (no, it wasn’t Gary Bettman’s fault) and two Western Hockey League outfits. Pegtown is the ‘hockey capital of Canada’ like Pierre’s boy Justin is a man of all the people. And that’s coming from someone born and raised in River City, someone who recalls seeing a lot of empty seats in the old barn on Maroons Road. Yes, I realize that Cockell is going to say all the right things in order to sell his freshly minted WHL franchise to the rabble, but I’m not sure that faux flattery is the way to go about it. Peggers are hockey wise, they aren’t rubes.”

Wyman’s complete 21 questions with Cockell is right here.

If you are/were an Ice fan, who lives in the Cranbrook area, you shouldn’t read this. It might be bad for your health, especially the part where Cockell responds to a question about “what do you say to the hockey fans of Cranbrook?”

Cockell’s response: “We’ve had a lot of dialogue with them. I lived there right through to our last game. What our message has been in dialogue is that everybody did everything they possibly could, including the business community in Cranbrook, the fans in that community and our ownership group. We did everything we could to see if there was a sustainable opportunity there. It’s unfortunate that we weren’t able to get there, but at the end of the day we made a decision and we tried to be as honest as we could. It’s hard and yet, we need to focus now on what we’re doing moving forward and that’s really exciting.”

Some of that will be news to the Green Bay Committee, won’t it?


Chances are that F Logan Barlage of the Lethbridge Hurricanes will miss a game or two when the 2019-20 season opens, thanks to the slashing major and game misconduct that he was hit with as Tuesday’s game with the visiting Calgary Hitmen came to a close. . . . Barlage slashed Calgary F Carson Focht, who scored twice in Calgary’s 4-2 victory in Game 7 of the first-round series. . . . If you watch the video in the tweet below, you also will see the Lethbridge right winger break the stick of the Calgary left winger with a slash.


F Parker AuCoin, who played out his junior eligibility with the Tri-City Americans this season, has signed on with the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears. This season, he had 42 goals and 42 assists in 68 games with the Americans. . . . In 262 regular-season WHL games over four seasons, he has 88 goals and 92 assists. . . . From St. Albert, Alta., he was the 15th-overall pick in the WHL’s 2013 bantam draft.


Dave Struch, the head coach of the Regina Pats, will be an assistant coach with the Canadian team that will compete in the 2019 IIHF U18 World Championship in Örnsköldsvik and Umeå, Sweden, April 18 through 28. . . . Brett Gibson, the head coach at Queen’s U for 13 seasons, will be the U18 team’s head coach. . . . The other assistant coach will be Serge Aubin, who most recently was the head coach of the ZSC Lions in Switzerland’s NL A. . . . Adam Brown of the Kelowna Rockets will be the U18 team’s goaltending consultant.


EdChynowethCup

NOTES: The Victoria Royals will be without F Kody McDonald for the first four games of their second-round series with the Vancouver Giants. McDonald had been under an indefinite suspension after being hit with a match penalty for a stick-swinging incident during Game 4 of their first-round series against the Blazers in Kamloops on March 27. The WHL announced Wednesday that the suspension has been set at six games. He has four games remaining on it. . . .

The WHL also announced that the indefinite suspension to F Sean Richards of the Seattle Thunderbirds has been set at eight games. He took a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct for a hit on Vancouver F Aidan Barfoot in Game 4 of their first-round series on March 27. Richards, 20, missed the last two games of the series, so has six games remaining. He doesn’t have any junior eligibility remaining. According to the WHL, Richards “will be required to serve the remaining six games of his suspension during the 2019-20 season should he continue his playing career.” . . .

Barfoot hasn’t played since being hit by Richards and isn’t expected back for the early part of the Giants’ second-round series. They open against the Victoria Royals with games in Langley, B.C., on Friday and Saturday. . . . Steve Ewen of Postmedia reported Wednesday that Vancouver D Bowen Byram didn’t skate for a second straight day. “GM Barclay Parneta says it is minor illness” and that Byram is expected to practice today and play Friday. . . . Giants F Yannik Valenti also didn’t skate Wednesday. . . .

Sportsnet will televise the first three games of the second-round series between the Prince Albert Raiders and Saskatoon Blades. . . . Games 1 and 2 are set for Friday (7 p.m. CST) and Sunday in Prince Albert (6 p.m. CST), with Game 3 in Saskatoon on Tuesday (7 p.m. CST). . . .

The Spokane Chiefs have added D Luke Gallagher, 18, to their roster as an AP. Gallagher, 18, had two assists in 22 games with the Chiefs earlier in the season. From Mead, Wash., he joined the BCHL’s Trail Smoke Eaters in January, and recorded seven assists in 15 regular-season games and one in 12 playoff games.

Scattershooting on Sunday while wondering if there are any NHL trades yet to come . . .

Scattershooting

Scattershooting on a quiet Sunday while watching The Bourne Supremacy — again — and wondering why none of the Bourne movies won an Oscar. . . .


If you’re like me, you’re wondering why the WHL couldn’t have found a way to leave franchises in Chilliwack and Cranbrook, and sold expansion franchises for Victoria and Winnipeg. . . . I don’t know what an expansion franchise would go for, but you have to think there are WHL teams that could use a chunk of $5 million or so. . . . And don’t bother me with the theory that the player pool isn’t deep enough for two more teams. That has never stopped anyone from expanding, has it?


A note from Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times: “Look who’s back, back, back in the booth. Former ESPN icon Chris Berman will be among the rotating stable of announcers calling call Red Sox games on WEEI Radio this year. Mookie ‘Gentlemen, Place Your’ Betts and Mitch ‘This Land Is’ Moreland refused comment.”

——

Here’s some 20/20 hindsight from Perry: “Marshawn Lynch should have run. Robert Kraft should have passed.”

——

Godot


Hey, NBC-TV, now that you’ve given us the Elvis All-Star Tribute, how about showing us the ’68 Comeback Special in its entirety? Please.


If you haven’t already seen it, the latest post from The River City Renegade (aka Patti Dawn Swansson) is right here. As usual, it’s good and readable, although I doubt that Nick Kypreos will check it out.


Shoelaces


Headline at SportsPickle.com: Jordan makes sure all the bad Nikes go to Duke.


Scott Ostler, in the San Francisco Chronicle: “We’re not going to know what caused Zion Williamson’s shoe to blow up until Nike recovers the black box.”

——

Here’s Ostler, with a thought on the future of Major League Baseball: “If the player-manager is an extinct breed, the next breed to vanish could be the manager-manager. We have the driverless car, next comes the manager-less ballclub. Why pay a guy to make pitching changes or defensive switches when a computer can do those things more effectively? Five years from now the manager’s primary job will be making sure the players keep the dugout tidy.”


After France recognized lightsaber duelling as a competitive sport, Jim Barach of JokesByJim.blogspot.com asked: “What next? Putting together a Quidditch team for the Olympics?” . . . Well, break-dancing may be a recognized medal sport in the 2024 Paris Olympic Summer Games, so why not?


Cold


You may have seen a puck go off the face of Carolina F Justin Williams and into the net for a Hurricanes goal the other night. That got RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com to wondering: “Is that scoring on a faceoff?”

——

Here’s Currie, again: “A final score from the Canadian women’s curling championship: P.E.I. 13; New Brunswick 12. Put it this way: they exceeded the Patriots-Rams Super Bowl total by three field goals.”


“Well,” points out Janice Hough, aka the Left Coast Sports Babe, “Kyler Murray is leaving baseball for football. If this lack of contract keeps up, maybe Bryce Harper can join him?”


I would have bet the house that Ontario skip Rachel Homan would have made one of the 10th- or 11th-end last-rock draw attempts, either of which could have won the Canadian women’s curling championship, on Sunday in Sydney, N.S. Instead, she pulled the string on both, meaning I’d be homeless tonight had the bookie taken the bet.


No, I won’t be up at 5 a.m. PT to watch NHL trade deadline day silliness. Will you?


Crows

Scattershooting while wondering why winter chose to show up in February . . . Dickson checks out MeTV . . . Bingo game turns nasty

Scattershooting

Headline of the week, and it isn’t close, from Global News in Winnipeg: Customers continue to line up at drive-thru as Winnipeg A&W burns to the ground.


Einstein


Scott Ostler, in last Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle: Today’s quiz, and I won’t give you the answer — Which celeb golfer, playing the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am several years ago, was caught illegally moving his ball in the rough and explained to his caddie: “I cheat in business, I cheat on my wife, and I cheat at golf”?



An observation from Cam Hutchinson of the Saskatoon Express: “Tim Tebow, 6-foot-3 and 245 pounds; Pat Mahomes, 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds; Donald Trump, 6-foot-3 and 243 pounds. Someone is fibbing.”


As I was watching the CFL free-agent frenzy on Tuesday, I kept asking myself: Did these teams find some sunken treasure? Did they uncover the secret of Oak Island? Did they win a lottery? What happened to the poor, poor CFL?


If you’re wondering how Jack Finarelli, the Sports Curmudgeon, spent Sunday evening, here’s a hint: “As you might guess, I will not be watching the NBA All-Star Game. I have something much more important to do on Sunday night; I plan to alphabetize all the checks I have written over the past 5 years. There is no reason to do that; it serves no purpose; yet it is more compelling than watching the NBA All-Star Game.”


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After INRIX Global Ranking rated Boston as having the worst traffic problems in in the U.S., Richmond, B.C., blogger TC Chong notes: “No wonder! There seems to be a parade, marathon or some other sideshow every month.”

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Dunkin’ Donuts Park, the home of the Eastern League’s Hartford Yard Goats, has banned peanuts and Cracker Jack due to concerns about allergies. “So,” Chong writes, “the seventh-inning stretch will call for revised lyrics: ‘Buy me some donuts and cinnamon buns.’ ”


A report from RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com: “An update on the guy arrested at New York’s JFK airport for smuggling in South American finches, prized for their birdsong. He might do time in Sing Sing.”

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Currie, again: “A friend was in Paris recently, and said the Louvre museum was so big she had trouble finding her way out. I said there must be 50 ways to leave your Louvre.”


Headline at TheOnion.com: Schnauzers rioting outside Madison Square Garden following Westminster Dog Show defeat.


By now, you are aware that the Kootenay Ice will be leaving Cranbrook, B.C., for Winnipeg once this WHL season comes to an end. Now I’m told that another B.C.-based WHL team may be on the move. The Vancouver Giants, I’m told, are seriously considering going back to Pacific Coliseum after spending three seasons in the Langley Events Centre. . . . Someone else says that Giants majority owner Ron Toigo “is making a noise. . . . Think it’s more of a negotiating ploy.”


“I spend too much time watching TV news channels CNN, Fox News and MSNBC,” Brad Dickson writes. “Lately I’ve grown so sick of the political rancor and finger-pointing that permeates these networks that I vowed to stay away and watch nothing but MeTV for one entire day. Last Thursday I viewed the classic TV network almost nonstop from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.” . . . After he was all done, Dickson posted this fabulous piece right here. Enjoy!


An excerpt from the latest filing by Patti Dawn Swansson: “Another receiver who won’t be doing his thing in Pegtown is Duron Carter, now the problem child of the B.C. Lions. ‘I am looking forward to making a fresh start on the West Coast,’ he told news snoops. By my count, Carter has had six ‘fresh’ starts in seven years: Two in Montreal and one each in Indianapolis, Saskatchewan, the Republic of Tranna and now Lotus Land. His ass-clown act lasts about as long as food on Chris Walby’s dinner plate. Carter’s hands are never the problem, of course. It’s his yap. Can’t see that changing, even if Lotus Land is the natural habitat of more flakes per capita than anywhere else in the country.” . . . It’s all right here.


“Police were called when two women, 86 and 79, came to blows over seating arrangements during Bingo night at a retirement home in Rideau Lakes, Ont.,” reports Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “Because it was Canada, both returned to action after serving five minutes for fighting.”


Bob Molinaro of the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot knows when the brand new Alliance of American Football will have arrived. “When one of its franchises can hold a city hostage over a new stadium deal,” he writes.


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Scattershooting as Ethan Hunt saves the world . . . Oil Kings back on top . . . Goodness Gricius! It’s the J and J show in Portland

Scattershooting

If you are at all familiar with Sheldon Kennedy, all-Canadian hero, and his work you may have wondered: Just how broad are his shoulders? Because the load he was carrying was huge. . . . Kennedy, you may be aware, has made the decision to step back a bit and lighten his load. . . . Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star chatted with Kennedy and filed this piece right here.


“The NBA-champion Golden State Warriors paid a visit to former President Barack Obama in D.C. during their trip to play the Washington Wizards,” reports Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “Apparently it was such a last-minute deal that there wasn’t even time to have hamburgers and pizza delivered.”



Steve Simmons, in the Toronto Sun: “Henrik Lundqvist tied Terry Sawchuk on the all-time wins list the other night, which is true but not contextually accurate. Sawchuk played in an era with tie games. He had 171 ties in his career. If every one of those games had a win/loss result, his win total would be significantly higher than what Lundqvist has accomplished here.” . . . It’s true. Thanks to the introduction of the loser point, hockey’s numbers from one era to another no longer can be compared.

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A question from Simmons: “Why do so many Canadian media members become giddy cheerleaders when Denis Shapovalov plays tennis?” . . . That brought this response from Cam Hutchinson of the Saskatoon Express: “Why do Toronto media cheerleaders get giddy when Auston Matthews farts?”



The Baseball Hall of Fame? I’ll pay attention when the doors swing open for Larry Walker. As Keith Olbermann so eloquently put it on Twitter: “And none of this Coors (Field) crap — 70 per cent of his PA weren’t at Coors.”


RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com is ready for a movie on women’s curling, and he even suggests three titles: 1. Kiss of the Slider Woman; 2. Erin Rockovich; 3. Brush, Brush Sweet Charlotte.

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“New York Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera is the first player to be unanimously voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame,” writes Currie. “Makes you wonder what gripe voters once had with Babe Ruth?”


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On Dec. 15, Postmedia columnist Terry Jones of Edmonton wrote: “For the entire calendar year, Peter Chiarelli has been a combination of the village wart carrier and village idiot. Friday night at Rogers Place, almost everywhere you looked, the Edmonton Oilers general manager appeared to be the resident genius.” That was after the Oilers won a sixth straight game. . . . How quickly things change in hockey. Chiarelli was fired during the second intermission of a 3-2 loss to the visiting Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night.


Richmond, B.C., blogger TC Chong points out that POTUS “called his buddy Robert Kraft and congratulated him and his New England Patriots for making it to the Super Bowl. He didn’t do the same for the Los Angeles Rams. So make that two non-calls involving the Rams last Sunday.”


Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle always provides an entertaining read. He has another one right here, as he writes about the jerks who are in his personal hall of fame for, if nothing else, making his job that much more fun.


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Old friend Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, signed up for an exercise class and then discovered that a requirement was that he wear loose-fitting clothing. As he noted: “If I HAD any loose-fitting clothing I wouldn’t need the bleepin’ class!”


I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again . . . If you want an entertaining read on a regular basis, check out Patti Dawn Swansson, aka The River City Renegade.

Among her latest observations . . .

“John Shannon, the sometimes smug gab guy on Sportsnet, delivered what was labeled his Power 25 — the top movers and shakers in the NHL — and he listed wet-eared Elias Pettersson of the Vancouver Canucks the sixth most-powerful person.

What Shannon failed to do was explain exactly what makes Pettersson more of a power broker than, say, Puck Pontiff Mark Chipman, co-bankroll and governor of les Jets and a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame selection committee. Perhaps Shannon will also tell us that a parish priest in Moose Jaw holds more sway with Catholics than the Pope. Or that Adam Sandler makes better movies than Steven Spielberg.

“That’s really, really dumb.”

The River City Renegade’s latest posting is right here.


If you’re wondering, and I know you were, the Kootenay Kountdown is into Day 40. . . . The other Kootenay Kountdown is at 48 days. Yes, the Ice will play its final home game in Cranbrook in 48 days.


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SUNDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The Calgary Hitmen scored the game’s first four goals en route to a 4-1 victory over the Calgaryvisiting Kootenay Ice. . . . Calgary (23-19-4) has won two in a row and is eight points from a playoff spot. . . . Kootenay (10-32-8) has lost four straight (0-3-1). . . . The home side went ahead 2-0 on first-period goals from F Kaden Elder (18), at 3:34, and F Riley Fiddler-Schultz (3), at 6:51. . . . The Hitmen went ahead 4-0 on second-period scores from F Tye Carriere (4), at 8:20, and F Hunter Campbell (3), at 12:23. . . . F Austin Schellenberg (5) scored for Kootenay at 15:25. . . . G Jack McNaughton, making his 21st straight start for Calgary, stopped 20 shots, four fewer than the Ice’s Curtis Meger.


D Conner McDonald scored twice as the host Edmonton Oil Kings beat the Prince George EdmontonOilKingsCougars, 2-1. . . . Edmonton (26-15-8) now leads the Central Division, one point ahead of the Red Deer Rebels and two up on the Medicine Hat Tigers and Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Prince George (16-27-5) has lost seven straight (0-5-2) and is five points from a playoff spot. . . . The Cougars were playing their third game in fewer than 48 hours; they went 0-3-0 and were outscored 11-3 in the process. . . . On Sunday, F Vladislav Mikhalchuk (17) gave the Cougars a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 9:51 of the first period. . . . McDonald tied it at 6:48 of the second period, then snapped the tie, on a PP, at 8:55. . . . McDonald, who has 12 goals this season, enjoyed the first two-goal game of his career. He has 31 goals in 237 career games. . . . This season, the 19-year-old McDonald, with three goals and two assists over his past three games, has 30 points in 49 games. . . . G Todd Scott stopped 27 shots for the Oil Kings, with Taylor Gauthier blocking 30 for the Cougars. . . . F Josh Maser of the Cougars completed his three-game suspension.


F Leif Mattson drew three assists in regulation time then scored the shootout winner as KelownaRocketsthe Kelowna Rockets beat the Vancouver Giants, 4-3, in Langley, B.C. . . . Kelowna (20-24-4) had lost its previous two games, including a 2-1 loss to the visiting Giants on Saturday night. The Rockets are third in the B.C. Division, six points behind the Victoria Royals and three ahead of the Kamloops Blazers. . . Vancouver (31-12-3) had one its past eight games and now has points in nine straight (8-0-1). The Giants lead the B.C. Division by 15 points over Victoria. . . . Kelowna went 1-2-0 in playing three games in fewer than 48 hours. . . . Last night, Kelowna grabbed a 3-0 lead on first-period goals from F Mark Liwiski (4), at 11:31, and F Kyle Topping, at 14:23, and a second goal from Topping, at 7:15 of the second period. Topping, who also had an assist, now has 19 goals. . . . F Justin Sourdif (12) started the Giants’ comeback at 8:20, with F Davis Koch (19) making it 3-2 at 12:19. . . . D Bowen Byram (18) pulled the Giants even at 13:11 of the third period. . . . Byram, who will be early first-round selection in the NHL’s June draft in Vancouver, now has 46 points in 46 games. . . . Mattson was the second shooter of the third round and scored the lone goal to give the Rockets the victory. . . . D Noah Dorey, who turned 16 on Jan. 21, made his WHL debut with the Rockets. From Surrey, B.C., he was a fourth-round selection in the 2018 bantam draft. He plays for the West Van Academy prep team. . . . F Liam Kindree was among Kelowna’s scratches. He didn’t finish Saturday’s game after being involved in a collision with teammate Cayde Augustine.


G Joel Hofer stopped 37 shots, 19 of them in the second period, to lead the host Portland PortlandWinterhawks to a 3-0 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Portland (30-13-5) has won three in a row. It is second in the U.S. Division, seven points behind the Everett Silvertips. . . . Lethbridge (25-15-8) has lost two straight and now is fourth in the Central Division, one point out of second and two back of first. . . . The Hurricanes were playing their third game in fewer than 48 hours. They went 1-2-0. . . . Since being acquired from the Swift Current Broncos in exchange for six bantam draft picks, Hofer is 4-1-0, 1.59, .946. . . . Lethbridge F Dylan Cozens wasn’t able to beat Hofer on a second-period penalty shot. . . . F Jake Gricius scored Portland’s first two goals, at 4:32 and 10:01 of the second period. Gricius, who has 22 goals, scored the second one while shorthanded. . . . F Seth Jarvis (14) scored the other goal, at 16:36. . . . The Winterhawks were without F Cody Glass, who was helped from the ice in the third period of Saturday’s games with an apparent injury to his left knee. . . . Glass was in attendance last night, according to a Twitter post (@kerstineLarsen) “with only one crutch, and even looks like he may be putting a little weight on that leg.”


F Matthew Wedman scored twice and added an assist to help the Seattle Thunderbirds to Seattlea 5-2 victory over the Kamloops Blazers in Kent, Wash. . . . Seattle (18-22-6) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). The Thunderbirds moved back into the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, one point ahead of Kamloops. . . . Kamloops (19-25-3) had a four-game winning streak come to an end. The Blazers are fourth in the B.C. Division, three points behind the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Seattle took a 2-0 lead on goals from F Noah Philp (19), at 6:05 of the first period, and Wedman, on a PP, just 1:21 later. . . . The Blazers got their first goal from F Zane Franklin (23), on a PP, at 10:24. . . . The Thunderbirds restored their two-goal lead in the second period on goals from D Tyrel Bauer (1), at 2:53, and Wedman, at 8:07. Wedman now has 21 goals. . . . F Connor Zary (12) got a PP goal for Kamloops at 18:13. . . . F Sean Richards (15) scored Seattle’s fifth goal at 14:33 of the third period. . . . F Henri Rybinski had three assists for Seattle. . . . Bauer, a 16-year-old freshman from Cochrane, Alta., got his first WHL goal in his 44th game. . . . Both teams were playing for the third time in fewer than 48 hours. The Blazers, who played at home on Saturday, went (2-1-0); the Thunderbirds, who were in Portland on Saturday, were (1-1-1). . . . F Nolan Volcan, Seattle’s captain, was scratched after appearing to injure an arm in Saturday’s 3-2 OT loss in Portland.


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Scattershooting on a doink-doink NFL Sunday . . . ‘Canes move to top of division . . . Miner digging second shutout

Scattershooting


Thanks to friend Jack Finarelli (aka The Sports Curmudgeon) for passing along the link to Gene Collier’s annual Trite Trophy-related column in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. . . . This is the 35th annual and Collier starts it with this:

“Some in our cherished audience might find it unfathomable that the Trite Trophy has been around for 35 years, but all I need for confirmation is to Look In The Mirror, where the ravages delivered by three-and-half decades of cliché wrangling are mercilessly evident.

“It’s Not A Good Look.”

It seems that Collier isn’t much of a hockey guy, so “good stick,” “compete level” and “200-foot player” didn’t make the cut.

What did make it is all right here. Enjoy!


“I’m not saying Houston Rockets star James Harden travels a lot,” writes RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com. “He just plays basketball like it’s a good walk spoiled.”

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One more from Currie: “World Chess champion Magnus Carlsen is reportedly a major celebrity at home in Norway. And good news ladies, he isn’t married — although he has been mated.



When the Kootenay Ice visits Brandon on Jan. 18, the Wheat Kings are holding a promotion involving the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Surely it’s only a coincidence that the Ice, who appear headed to Winnipeg after this season, will provide the opposition on that particular night. . . . World-class marketing, or trolling?


If you haven’t already done it, you need to make Patti Dawn Swansson’s blog — The River City Renegade — a regular part of your Sunday morning.

Here’s a snippet from the latest posting:

“The Lord of Loud, Donald S. Cherry, weighed in on Canada’s demise at the world junior tourney during the Coachless Corner segment of HNIC, suggesting that our guys were beaten as payback for running up the score (14-zip) vs. Denmark. ‘You don’t beat them down like that or you pay the price,’ he said. ‘I’ve said it before, the hockey gods will get you or karma will get you.’ If karma has anything to say about it, Grapes will be wearing nothing but a loin cloth in his next life as punishment for those gawdawful suits he exposes us to on Saturday nights.”

It’s all right here.



A note from Brad Dickson on the topic of social media: “If Albert Einstein posted his brand new Theory of Relativity on Facebook it’d probably receive about 3 or 4 ‘likes’. If he then posted a photo of the Einsteins with the family dog it’d get 400 ‘likes’.”



When I worked at the Winnipeg Tribune in the mid-1970s, Bob Picken was The Voice. . . . These days, writes Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun, “The Voice remains unmistakable, if a little weaker than it was in its prime.” . . . Picken was diagnosed with terminal cancer in September. “I will live out my days as best they are and I will be very grateful for what God has given me,” the man we all know as Pick says. . . . Friesen’s piece is right here. If you read one thing on the Internet today, this should be it. . . . Farewell, Pick!


“Los Angeles Chargers guard Forrest Lamp gave each of his teammates — drum roll, please — lamps for Christmas,” notes Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “Unfortunately for the Green Bay Packers, teammate Davon House didn’t think of it first.”


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After some people noticed that Kendall Jenner was missing from the Kardashian Christmas photo, comedy writer Alex Kaseberg noted: “And we thought things couldn’t get worse than with the government shutdown.”


If you didn’t notice, things were a big soap opera-ish with the Pittsburgh Steelers down the stretch. As tight end Jesse James told Penn Live: “Ah man, we are — Kardashians.”



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There’s nothing like a good sporting rivalry and it seems that things are very much alive with the Prince Albert Raiders and Saskatoon Blades.

The Raiders, the top-ranked team in the 60-team CHL, beat the visiting Blades, 5-2, on whlSaturday night.

After the game, Marc Habscheid, the Raiders’ head coach, gave Saskatoon general manager Colin Priestner an assist.

Habscheid said that Priestner, according to Jeff D’Andrea of panow.com, “has gone around saying that the Blades are the superior team over the Raiders, after the Blades’ recent trades.”

Habscheid told D’Andrea: “They added a little bit of motivation to us. It got back to us that their general manager . . . they’ve added some players and now he thinks they’re better than us. That added to our motivation, so thanks for that.”

When contacted by Taking Note, Priestner issued a blanket denial, and said he was shocked when he first heard Habscheid’s comments on the pregame show on Saskatoon radio station 98 COOL FM.

“I have no idea what the hell he is talking about,” the Blades’ GM said. “I’ve never once thought that let alone uttered it. I’ve also never heard a head coach mock another team’s GM on their own radio station out of the blue. It was kind of bizarre when I heard it driving to the game in PA. With the incredible roster his GM (Curtis Hunt) has given him, he really shouldn’t need to make up fake statements from me to get any wins.”

The Raiders (35-4-1) have the WHL’s best record. The Blades (24-12-5) are second in the East Division, 18 points behind the Raiders.

Prince Albert leads the eight-game season series, 5-1-0; the Blades are 1-4-1.

Unfortunately, these teams aren’t scheduled to meet again until March 15 and 16, the final weekend of the regular season, when they will play a home-and-home series.


Shaun Clouston, the general manager and head coach of the Medicine Hat Tigers, added Tigers Logo Officialsome clarity to the injury situation involving a couple of his forwards on Sunday.

Clouston told Ryan McCracken of the Medicine Hat News that F Ryan Chyzowski suffered a skate cut near on knee on will be see a doctor today. Chyzowski was injured during a 4-3 loss to the host Calgary Hitmen on Saturday.

Clouston also told McCracken that F Hayden Ostir, who suffered a knee injury during a 5-3 victory over the visiting Kootenay Ice on Friday, is likely to be gone longer than Chyzowski.

The Tigers have two home games scheduled for the weekend — Friday against the Regina Pats and Saturday against the Edmonton Oil Kings.


If you enjoy what you see here, feel free to click on the DONATE button over there on the right and contribute to the cause. Thank you, in advance, and stay safe out there.


SUNDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The Lethbridge Hurricanes moved into first place in the Central Division with a 5-2 Lethbridgevictory over the Oil Kings in Edmonton. . . . Lethbridge (21-10-8) has points in five straight (3-0-2). . . . Edmonton (21-14-7) has lost two in a row. . . . The Hurricanes have a one-point lead over the second-place Oil Kings, with the Red Deer Rebels and Medicine Hat Tigers three points off the pace. . . . Lethbridge won 47 of 69 faceoffs while being outshot, 41-26. . . . F Jalen Luypen (5) gave the Oil Kings a 1-0 lead at 3:25 of the second period. . . . The Hurricanes responded with three goals before the period ended, from F Dylan Cozens (23), on a PP, at 5:57; F Logan Barlage (10), at 8:23; and F Taylor Ross (23), at 16:06. . . . D Conner McDonald (9) pulled the home side to within a goal, on a PP, at 1:10 of the third. . . . Lethbridge responded with two more goals, from F Noah Boyko (4), on a PP, at 12:07, and F Jordy Bellerive (20), at 18:04. . . . Cozens also had two assists. . . . The Hurricanes got a big game out of G Liam Hughes, who finished with 39 stops.


F Andrej Kukuca and F Noah Philp each had two goals as the Seattle Thunderbirds Seattledoubled the host Regina Pats, 6-3. . . . Seattle (12-20-4) had lost its previous seven games (0-6-1), and now is 1-1-0 on a six-game East Division swing. It is five points away from a playoff spot now. . . . Regina (12-27-2) has lost four in a row (0-3-1). . . . The Thunderbirds outshot the Pats, 47-22, including 20-4 in the first period and 16-6 in the third. . . . Kukuca, in his first game since playing for Slovakia at the WJC, opened the scoring at 7:34 of the second period. . . . F Robbie Holmes (9) tied it, on a PP, at 9:04. . . . F Matt Wedman (12) put Seattle back in front at 12:09. . . . Regina tied it, again, when F Sebastian Streu (2) scored, on a PP, at 18:30. . . . Seattle then outscored its hosts 4-1 in the third period. . . . Philp, who also had an assist, made it 3-2 at 1:54, only to have Regina F Riley Krane (8) tie it, on another PP, at 4:16. . . . The Thunderbirds then got two PP goals — from D Jarret Tyszka, at 8:59, and Kukuca (9), at 13:12. . . . Philp, who has 15 goals, completed the scoring at 17:52. . . . Regina got 41 saves from G Dean McNabb. . . . The Pats were playing their third game in fewer than 48 hours, having lost 2-1 in OT in Saskatoon on Friday and 1-0 in Swift Current on Saturday. . . . G Roddy Ross, 18, made his first start for Seattle and earned the victory with 19 saves. He had signed with Seattle on Tuesday after playing with the AJHL’s Camrose Kodiaks. . . . F Henry Rybinski, who had an assist, and F Michael Horon, both 17, made their Seattle debuts. Rybinski was acquired from the Medicine Hat Tigers on Friday, while Horon joined the Thunderbirds last week from the midget AAA Lethbridge Hurricanes. Seattle acquired him from the WHL’s Hurricanes on Wednesday. . . . Among Seattle’s scratches were D Cade McNelly (suspended), F Sean Richards (suspended), F Dillon Hamaliuk, who won’t play again this season, and D Loeden Schaufler.


The host Saskatoon Blades scored the game’s last three goals and beat the Brandon SaskatoonWheat Kings, 5-2. . . . Saskatoon (25-12-5) is second in the East Division, seven points ahead of the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . Brandon (16-15-6) now is four points from a playoff spot. . . . The Blades were playing their third game in fewer than 48 hours. They beat the visiting Regina Pats 2-1 in OT on Friday, then were beaten 5-2 by the Raiders in Prince Albert on Saturday. . . . F Ben McCartney (9) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead 53 seconds into the game. . . . The Blades went ahead 2-1 on goals from F Max Gerlach (24), at 3:52, and D Reece Harsch (3), at 7:30. That was Harsch’s first goal since being acquired from the Seattle Thunderbirds on Wednesday. This was his third game with the Blades. . . . F Luka Burzan (23) tied it, on a PP, at 19:16. . . . Saskatoon F Josh Paterson (13) broke the tie, on a PP, at 3:27 of the second period. . . . The Blades iced it with two third-period goals from F Zach Huber (8), at 7:45, and D Emil Malysjev (2), into an empty net, at 19:26. . . . The Blades were credited with winning 39 of 55 faceoffs. . . . Brandon lost F Baron Thompson to a headshot major and game misconduct at 13:59 of the second period. Saskatoon D Majid Kaddoura, who took the head, left for repairs but returned to finish the game. . . . Brandon scratched  F Linden McCorrister, meaning the Wheat Kings were without any 20-year-olds. . . . The Blades again were without F Kiby Dach and D Nolan Kneen, both out with undisclosed injuries.


G Trent Miner stopped 24 shots to help the Vancouver Giants to a 6-0 victory over the VancouverKootenay Ice in Cranbrook, B.C. . . . Vancouver (24-12-2) had lost its previous four games. It finished a six-game Central Division trip at 2-4-0, and leads the B.C. Division by nine points over the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Kootenay (8-27-7) has lost seven in a row (0-6-1). . . . The Ice went 0-3-0 in playing three games in fewer than 48 hours. . . . F Milos Roman (17) gave the Giants a 1-0 lead at 4:11 of the first period and that’s all the visitors would need. . . . They also got goals from F Brayden Watts (9), F Jadon Joseph (13), F Dawson Holt (6), F Lukas Svejkovsky (4) and D Dallas Hines (5). . . . Hines, who was acquired from the Ice on Friday, scored the game’s last goal, on a PP, at 19:37 of the third period. . . . Trent posted his second career shutout, both of them coming this season. He is 11-3-1, 1.84, .933, in 16 appearances.


G Max Palaga turned aside 37 shots as the Everett Silvertips defeated the visiting EverettKamloops Blazers, 5-1. . . . Everett (31-8-2) has won two in a row; it also has won 11 straight on home ice. The Silvertips lead the Western Conference by 13 points over the Portland Winterhawks. . . . Kamloops (15-19-3) is fourth in the B.C. Division, five points behind the Kelowna Rockets. The Blazers hold down the Western Conference’s second-wild card spot, four points ahead of the Prince George Cougars. . . . Palaga, who is from Kamloops, spent last season with the Blazers, who released him prior to this season and later dealt him to Everett for a sixth-round selection in the 2020 WHL bantam draft. In seven appearances with the Silvertips, Palaga, 18, is 4-0-1, 1.56, .950. . . . The Silvertips scored the game’s first five goals, getting snipes from F Zack Andrusiak (29), D Wyatte Wylie (7), F Connor Dewar (28), F Conrad Mitchell (1) and D Gianni Fairbrother (5). . . . Mitchell’s first WHL goal came in his 26th game. He is a 17-year-old freshman from Thorsby, Alta. . . . F Max Patterson, who also is from Kamloops, had two assists. . . . F Brodi Stuart (12) scored for Kamloops at 13:48 of the third period. . . . The Blazers lost 4-1 to the Chiefs in Spokane on Friday, then beat the visiting Kelowna Rockets 4-1 on Saturday, Kamloops was back on its bus right after that game in order to get to Everett for this game, which started at 4 p.m. . . . Everett also was playing its third game in fewer than 48 hours, having split a home-and-home with the Tri-City Americans on Friday and Saturday nights, losing the first one 3-2 in Kennewick, Wash., and then winning 4-1 at home. . . . Everett swept the season series with Kamloops, outscoring the Blazers, 23-6 in the process. In the four games, Everett was 11-20 on the PP and 11-12 on the penalty kill. . . . The way things are shaping up, these teams could very well meet in the first round of the playoffs.


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