Winterhawks lose Lucius, drop shootout decision at home . . . Chadwick blanks Oil Kings again . . . Baumgartner a Hall of Famer

F Chaz Lucius of the Portland Winterhawks underwent shoulder surgery on PortlandMonday and his season is over. The team made the announcement on Monday afternoon. . . . “Lucius surgery was successful and he is expected to make a full recovery,” the team said in a news release. . . . Lucius, 19, put up 15 points, including five goals, in six games with the Winterhawks after having been assigned to them by the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets. He had been with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose before joining Team USA at the World Junior Championship. . . . Lucius, a first-round pick by the Jets in the NHL’s 2021 draft, scored three goals, including the OT winner, in the third-place game at the WJC as Team USA beat Sweden, 8-7. . . . Lucius was the WHL’s player of the week for Jan. 23-29, then was injured in a 4-3 OT victory over the visiting Spokane Chiefs on Jan. 29. Lucius had a goal and an assist, his goal at 19:43 of the third period forcing OT.


Here’s a look at the WHL draft picks traded away by the Seattle Thunderbirds in recent times . . .

2023: First (to Prince Albert), first (Saskatoon), second (Edmonton), third (Edmonton), fourth (Saskatoon), fourth (Kelowna, conditional), sixth (Saskatoon).

2024: First (Kelowna, conditional), second (Saskatoon), third (Prince Albert), fourth (Edmonton), sixth (Edmonton).

2025: First (Edmonton), second (Kelowna, conditional), third (Edmonton), Fourth (Edmonton), sixth (Prince Albert).

2026: First (Edmonton), second (Prince Albert), third (Saskatoon), fourth (Edmonton), fifth (Edmonton), sixth (Prince Albert, conditional).

Of course, the Thunderbirds acquired F Dylan Guenther, D Nolan Allan, F Brad Lambert, D Luke Prokop, F Colton Dach and F Kyle Crnkovic in the deals that included those picks.


Green


TUESDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

G Ethan Chadwick blocked 21 shots to lead the host Saskatoon Blades to a 4-0 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . It was Chadwick’s second shutout this season and the second of his two-season career. This season, he is 16-7-2, 2.53, .902. . . . Chadwick also shut out the Oil Kings on Nov. 12, making 21 saves in a 5-0 victory. . . . The Oil Kings have been blanked six times this season. . . . F Brandon Lisowsky (27) scored the game’s first goal and that’s all Chadwick needed. . . . F Egor Sidorov’s 30th goal, at 18:09 of the second, gave the Blades a 3-0 lead. He has 53 points in 38 games this season, after finishing last season with 35, including 23 goals, in 58 games. . . . F Conner Roulette returned to Saskatoon’s lineup after a four-game absence and drew two assists. . . . The Blades swept the four-game season series from the Oil Kings, outscoring them 19-2 in the process. . . . Saskatoon (33-12-4), which is third in the Eastern Conference, has won three in a row. . . . The Blades are to begin a tour of the B.C. Division in Kamloops on Friday night. . . .

It’s worth noting that the Oil Kings need four victories in their remaining games to avoid setting one of those records that you’d rather not be anywhere near. . . . Last season, the Oil Kings went 50-14-4 in the regular season before going on to win the Ed Chynoweth Cup as playoff champions. This season, they are 8-38-3 and are perilously close to establishing a record for the fewest victories by the defending champions. That mark belongs to the Swift Current Broncos who won the 2017-18 WHL championship and followed that up by going 11-51-6 in 2018-19. . . . The Oil Kings have 19 games remaining in their season. . . .

The Red Deer Rebels scored on their first two shootout attempts to beat the Winterhawks, 5-4, in Portland. . . . Red Deer is 3-0-0 in the U.S. Division on this trip. . . . The Winterhawks scored twice in the last four minutes of the third period to get it to OT. . . . F Kai Uchacz and F Ben King had the shootout goals. . . . Earlier, King notched his 11th and 12th goals this season; the first one was the 100th regular-season goal of his career. King, who led the WHL with 52 goals last season, scored the first five with the Swift Current Broncos and the rest with the Rebels. . . . King’s first goal tied it, 2-2, at 11:45 of the second period. His second goal, at 10:10 of the third period, gave the visitors a 4-2 lead. . . . F Josh Zakreski (8) got the Winterhawks to within a goal at 16:08, and F Kyle Chyzowski (13) tied it at 18:59 with G Dante Giannuzzi on the bench for an extra attacker. . . . F Jack O’Brien drew three assists for Portland. . . . Red Deer (35-11-4) closed to within one point of the Eastern Conference-leading Winnipeg Ice, which holds five games in hand. . . . Portland (35-10-4) is tied with the Seattle Thunderbirds atop the Western Conference. . . .

With his mother in the stands, F Ondrej Becher scored twice and added an assist as the Prince George Cougars got past the visiting Kelowna Rockets, 5-1. . . . Becher, an 18-year-old freshman from Czechia, has nine goals and 16 assists in 44 games. . . . F Chase Wheatcroft recorded three assists. . . . The Cougars scored the game’s last five goals. . . . Prince George (22-21-4) has won three in a row. It is sixth in the Western Conference, four points behind the Everett Silvertips with two games in hand. . . . Kelowna (17-27-3) had won its previous three games. It is eighth in the conference, seven points behind the Vancouver Giants and four ahead of the Victoria Royals. . . . The Cougars and Rockets will play again tonight in Prince George and make it three in a row on Friday in Kelowna.


Dad


Former WHL D Nolan Baumgartner was inducted into the AHL Hall of Fame this week. Now an assistant coach with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose, Baumgartner twice was named WHL defenceman of the year while with the Kamloops Blazers (1992-96). He also was selected as the CHL’s top defenceman for 1994-95, and helped Kamloops with two Memorial Cup titles. . . . He played in the AHL with the Portland Pirates, Norfolk Admirals, Manitoba, Philadelphia Phantoms, Iowa Stars and Chicago Wolves. He has been as assistant coach with Chicago, the Utica Comets and the Moose.



JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

The OHL’s Ottawa 67’s will be moving to Gatineau for a handful of playoff games. With The Arena at TD Place, their normal home, busy with the World men’s curling championship, from April 1-9, the 67’s will play as many as three first-round playoff games at the Slush Puppie Centre in Gatineau, Que. The 6,700-seat Slush Puppy Centre is the home of the QMJHL’s Gatineau Olympiques. . . . Interestingly, the 67’s and Olympiques are to play a home-and-home series this week, opening Thursday in Ottawa and concluding Saturday in Gatineau.


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If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Nap

Judge quashes class-action bid, but story not over . . . Saturday in WHL includes two 1-0 games . . . Stankoven keeps streak going

If you are one of those folks who believe that the pandemic is over, you should know a few things:

CovidAs of Saturday, 9 p.m. PT, the Coronavirus Resource Centre at Johns Hopkins University reports that 3,894 people died from COVID-19 in the U.S. in the past week, including 629 in the past day. . . . The total number of deaths in the U.S. is 1,111,485. . . .

In Canada, there were 201 deaths from COVID-19 in the past week, with 15 of those in the past day. That brought the total number of deaths in Canada to 50,704.

Over? Uhh, maybe not.


Rick Westhead of TSN reported on Saturday:

“Rather than approving a request from several former Canadian Hockey League CHLplayers to certify a hazing, bullying and abuse lawsuit filed three years ago against the CHL, its three major junior hockey leagues, and its teams as a class action, an Ontario judge has proposed an alternate potential path to justice.

“In a 103-page decision released late Friday, Ontario Superior Court Justice Paul Perell applauded the bravery of former CHL players, including Dan Carcillo, Garrett Taylor and Stephen Quirk, for sharing their stories in a public forum but said the case was not suitable to proceed as a class-action lawsuit. . . .

“An abused hockey player has only individual causes of action against his own team and his own leagues . . .”

According to Westhead, Perell also wrote that “bullying, harassment, hazing, and criminal conduct is pervasive amongst the teams of the WHL, the teams of the OHL, the teams of the QMJHL, and the teams of the CHL. . . . Discrete wrongdoing by the defendants was pervasive, and to the shame of the perpetrators and their enablers discrete wrongdoing has been pervasive for decades.”

The judge also wrote: “The evidence establishes that some unknown number of . . . players in the WHL, OHL, or QMJHL were hazed, bullied, assaulted, threatened, stigmatized, mocked, demeaned, derided, ridiculed, slandered, and humiliated by their teammates team staff, agents, employees, and servants of the WHL, OHL, or QMJHL.”

Westhead’s complete story is right here.


Smokey1

Smokey2There is more on the late Don (Smokey) McLeod, the WHA/NHLer from Trail, B.C., who was among the first goaltenders to use a curved stick. . . . Back in the day, Doug Soetaert, the former general manager of the WHL’s Everett Silvertips, was tending goal for the Edmonton Oil Kings, At the same time, he recalls, the WHA’s Edmonton Oilers were playing out of the Edmonton Gardens. . . . McLeod would have been playing with the Houston Aeros or Vancouver Blazers at the time. . . . “I would go over after practice and help WHA visitors as stick boy,” Soetaert tells Taking Note. “He gave me one for helping him out.” . . . Soetaert sent me photos of that particular stick. You have to admit that’s some kind of curve. . . . Soetaert played four seasons (1971-75) with the Oil Kings before going on to a pro career that included 284 regular-season NHL games.


Headline from The Beaverton (@TheBeaverton) — Financial advisors recommend buying grocery stock instead of groceries.



Shapes


SATURDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

F Luca Hauf scored twice and added two assists to lead the Edmonton Oil Kings to a 5-1 victory over the Hitmen in Calgary. . . . The Oil Kings (8-37-3) had lost their previous two games. . . . Calgary (23-18-7) has lost five in a row (0-2-3). . . . Hauf, from Krefeld, Germany, turned 19 on Jan. 11. A freshman, he has 21 points, including five goals, in 40 games. This was his first four-point game and first multi-goal outing. . . . D Jacob Hoffrogge, who went into the game with two goals and two assists, all with the Everett Silvertips, this season, had three assists for Edmonton. It was his ninth game with the Oil Kings. . . . Attendance at the afternoon game in the Saddledome was announced at 9,843, meaning the Hitmen has played in front of 27,066 in its past two home games. . . . Calgary is sixth in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of the Regina Pats. . . .

G Tyler Palmer stopped 35 shots and F Beau Courtney scored the only goal as the host Everett Silvertips got past the Seattle Thunderbirds, 1-0. . . . It was Palmer’s fourth career shutout; the first three came with the Victoria Royals. This was his 16th appearance since being acquired by Everett. . . . Courtney’s seventh goal of the season came at 18:04 of the first period. . . . Seattle was without D Jordan Gustafson and F Lucas Ciona, both with undisclosed injuries. . . . Seattle had beaten the Silvertips, 6-5 in OT, in Kent, Wash., on Friday. . . . The announced attendance of 8,249 was the Silvertips’ largest this season. . . . Everett (24-22-2) is fifth in the Western Conference, five points behind the Tri-City Americans. . . . Seattle (35-9-2) slipped back to second, one point behind the Portland Winterhawks. . . .

G Talyn Boyko stopped 51 shots to lead the host Kelowna Rockets to a 4-0 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . Boyko stopped 17, 13 and 21 shots by period. He has four career shutouts, two this season. . . . D Elias Carmichael scored Kelowna’s last two goals. Carmichael, a 19-year-old from Langley, B.C., has five goals in 40 games this season. He went into the season with seven goals in 130 games. . . . With five players out with undisclosed injuries, the Rockets dressed 10 forwards and five defencemen. . . . The injured Rockets: D John Babcock, F Andrew Cristall, F Max Graham, F Ty Hurley and D Marek Rocak. . . . The Rockets (17-26-3) have won three in a row for the first time this season. They are eighth in the Western Conference, four points ahead of the Victoria Royals. . . . The Raiders (19-27-3) went 3-2-0 on their B.C. Division trek. They go home eight points out of a playoff spot. . . .

The Medicine Hat Tigers erased a 2-0 first-period deficit as they beat the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes, 4-2. . . . F Oasiz Wiesblatt (19) scored twice for theTigers, getting them on the scoreboard at 15:24 of the first period and breaking a 2-2 tie at 2:46 of the second. . . . The teams combined for five goals in the game’s first 22:46, then didn’t score again until F Tyler MacKenzie (13) got an empty-netter at 19:16 of the third. . . . The Tigers got 35 stops from G Evan May, who posted his second WHL victory in his 16th appearance. . . . The announced attendance was 2,276. They are expecting about 7,000 fans today for a visit by F Connor Bedard and the Regina Pats. . . . Medicine Hat (20-21-8) has points in seven straight games (5-0-2) and has closed to within one point of the eighth-place Swift Current Broncos in the Eastern Conference. . . . Lethbridge (27-18-5) is fifth in the conference. . . .

The Portland Winterhawks scored the game’s last three goals to beat the visiting Tri-City Americans, 4-1. . . . It was a bounce-back victory of the Winterhawks, who had been beaten, 6-1, by the Americans in Kennewick, Wash., on Friday night. . . . G Gabe Klassen (28) snapped a 1-1 tie at 13:30 of the second period and F Aidan Litke (12) added insurance at 19:16. . . . G Dante Giannuzzi stopped 25 shots in running his numbers this season to 22-6-2, 2.94, .905. . . .  The Winterhawks remain without F Chaz Lucius and also scratched F Robbie Fromm-Delorme, both with undisclosed injuries. . . . Portland (35-10-3), which has clinched a playoff spot, had lost its previous two games. This victory moved it back atop the Western Conference, one point ahead of the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . The Americans (25-17-5) hadn’t lost in regulation time since dropping a 2-1 decision to the Chiefs in Spokane on Dec. 30. The Americans went on a 10-0-3 run after that loss. . . . Tri-City is fourth in the Western Conference. . . .

F Koehn Ziemmer scored twice and F Chase Wheatcroft set a club record as the host Prince George Cougars beat the Victoria Royals, 4-2. . . . The Cougars had won 8-1 in the first game of the weekend doubleheader on Friday night. . . . Ziemmer, who has 29 goals, gave his guys a 3-1 lead at 5:14 of the third period, then made it 4-2 at 19:50 with the empty-netter. . . . Wheatcroft scored his 30th goal of the season for a 1-0 lead at 5:13 of the first period. It was his 19th on the PP and that’s a club single-season record. He had shared the record with F Berkeley Buchko (2000-01). . . . Prince George (21-21-4) is sixth in the Western Conference, four points behind the Everett Silvertips. . . . Victoria (14-31-5) is ninth, four points behind the eighth-place Kelowna Rockets. . . . In Friday’s game, the Royals lost F Jamie Poole, their leading scorer, and F Matthew Hodson with undisclosed injuries. They already were without D  Gannon Laroque, F Brayden Schuurman and D Austin Zemlak. . . . Things don’t get any easier for the Royals as they are to play their third game in fewer than 48 hours in Kamloops today. . . .

G Ethan Chadwick stopped 34 shots to lead the host Saskatoon Blades to a 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Ice. . . . Chadwick, who turned 19 on Jan. 27, is from Saskatoon. He is 14-7-2, 2.67, .898 in his sophomore season. . . . F Jake Chiasson (13) broke a 2-2 tie at 3:21 of the third period. . . . F Connor McClennon scored both Winnipeg goals, giving him 30 this season. He has 250 career points, including 122 goals, in 220 regular-season games. . . . Saskatoon was 2-for-2 on the PP; Winnipeg was 1-for-2. . . . The Blades scratched G Austin Elliott, F Justin Liens, F Tyler Parr, F Josh Pillar, F Conner Roulette and F Jayden Wiens, all with undisclosed injuries, and D Blake Gustafson, who was ill. . . . Saskatoon plays at home today (Brandon) and Tuesday (Edmonton) before heading out on a B.C. Division tour that begins Friday in Kamloops. . . . The Blades (31-12-4) are third in the Eastern Conference, nine points behind Winnipeg (37-7-1), which had won four in a row, and four points behind the Red Deer Rebels. . . .

F Ben King scored the only goal of a shootout to give the Red Deer Rebels a 1-0 victory over the Chiefs in Spokane. . . . It was the first game in the Rebels’ U.S. Division tour. . . . The Rebels got 26 saves from G Kyle Kelsey. . . . G Dawson Cowan stopped 45 shots at the other end. . . . Red Deer (34-10-4) leads the Central Division and is three points behind the Eastern Conference-leading Winnipeg Ice. . . . The Chiefs now are 9-33-5 and have lost six in a row (0-4-2). . . .

F Logan Stankoven had a goal and two assists in running his point streak to 32 games as the Kamloops Blazers skated past the Vancouver Giants, 4-2, in Langley, B.C. . . . Stankoven was late in starting this WHL season because he was in camp with the NHL’s Dallas Stars, and he later missed some games while winning gold with Canada at the World Junior Championship. He has played in 32 games now, and has at least one point in each of them. He has 71 points, including 27 goals, in what now is the WHL’s longest active point streak. . . . F Matthew Seminoff (19) scored twice for the Blazers. . . . F Ryan Hofer got his 31st goal and added an assist for Kamloops, giving him six points in two games. He had three goals and an assist on Friday in a 6-4 victory over the visiting Prince Albert Raiders. . . . Kamloops (30-10-6) has won three in a row. The Blazers will finish atop the B.C. Division. . . . Vancouver (18-24-6) has lost four in a row. It is seventh in the conference, five points ahead of the Kelowna Rockets.


Flatearthers


The U of Calgary Dinos men’s hockey team extended its Canada West-record winning streak to 21 games with a 5-3 victory over the visiting Manitoba Bisons on Saturday. . . . The Dinos had beaten the Bisons, 5-1, on Friday.


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Soup

Bedard streaks end, as Pats win in Lethbridge . . . Hofer fills hat for Blazers . . . Suchanek, Americans keep on rolling


BEDARD
CONNOR BEDARD

THE BEDARD REPORT — F Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats had his goal and point streaks snapped on Friday night in Lethbridge, but you know that won’t matter to him because his side beat the Hurricanes, 3-2. . . . Bedard now has been blanked in two games this season — the season-opener and Friday’s game. In between, he put up 90 points in 35 games. . . . He leads the WHL in goals (44), assists (46) and points. . . . His goal-scoring streak was halted at 11 games. He scored 22 times in those 11 games. In fact, he also had 14 assists over that stretch. . . . You have to think he now is thinking about starting new streaks on Sunday in Medicine Hat against the Tigers. . . .

The longest ongoing point streak in the WHL now belongs to F Logan Stankoven of the Kamloops Blazers. He had one assist in a 6-4 victory over the visiting Prince Albert Raiders on Friday night as he ran that streak to 31 games. He has 68 points, including 26 goals, over that stretch. He has at least one point in all 30 games he has played this season.

——

The Travellin’ Bedards packed them into the Enmax Centre in Lethbridge on ReginaFriday night, with 5,378 fans showing up to watch them post a 3-2 victory over the Hurricanes. . . . According to the Enmax Centre website, it seats 5,479. . . . It was the Hurricanes’ largest crowd this season and came in their 26th home game. The announced attendance on Dec. 9, for a 5-3 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers, was 5,000. . . . On Tuesday, the Travellin’ Bedards had helped Red Deer set a single-game franchise record — 7,287 — as the Rebels won 6-5 in a shootout. . . . On Wednesday night, the Travellin’ Bedards beat the host Calgary Hitmen, 6-5 in a shootout, before 17,223 fans in the Saddledome, which has a capacity of 19,289. . . .

The Travellin’ Bedards move on to Medicine Hat for a Sunday game with the Tigers in the 7,000-seat Co-op Place. The Tigers are expected to experience their largest crowd since 5,947 showed up on Sept. 26, 2015 for the first game in the new building. The Tigers beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 5-3, that night. This season, the Tigers’ announced average attendance, through 22 homes games, is 2,207. . . . In anticipation of Sunday’s large gathering, the City of Medicine Hat has added free special bus service to Co-op Place. . . .

If the WHL playoffs started today, the Pats would be up against Red Deer in the first round. However, that could well change before the regular season ends. After Friday’s games, the Pats were seventh in the Eastern Conference, two points behind sixth-place Calgary and two ahead of the Swift Current Broncos.


Minivan


“An audit by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office of the Athletic Department at LSU,” writes Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, “discovered that the university accidentally over-paid head coach Brian Kelly by $1,001,368 in May and June of 2022. The overpayment was discovered in November and confirmed in December and arrangements have been made to recover the overpayments. There is no allegation of any sort of nefarious dooings here; it appears to have been a ‘paperwork error.’

“Here is my take on that situation: Wouldn’t it be great to be in a situation where your boss overpaid you by $1M and that mistaken overpayment did not jump out as a ‘WTF moment’ as you did whatever financial management you do?”


The other day I mentioned here about how former WHL player/GM/head coach Doug Sauter used to joke about having invented the curved goalie stick because it was easier to fish pucks out of the net with it.

Shortly thereafter, a friend sent me an obit for Don (Smokey) McLeod, who died on March 11, 2017. McLeod developed quite a following while with the WHA’s Calgary Cowboys for two seasons (1975-77). He was, according to the obit, “known for being a pioneer at playing the puck as a goaltender and one of the first netminders to use a curved stick.” . . . Mark Howe was an 18-year-old defenceman with the WHA-champion Houston Aeros in 1973-74 while McLeod was the No. 1 goaltender. “Everybody talks about how goalies like Marty Brodeur and Ron Hextall handled the puck,” Howe said, “but back in the ’70s, Smokey was every bit as good as those guys at it, and I don’t think he ever got the credit for it.” . . . McLeod was from Trail, B.C., which is how he got his nickname. He won the Memorial Cup with the Edmonton Oil Kings in the spring of 1966.


Irony


FRIDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

The Winnipeg Ice scored the game’s last two goals to beat the Wheat Kings, 7-6 in OT, in Brandon. . . . F Connor McClennon (27), who scored the game’s first goal, got the winner at 2:01 of OT. . . . F Evan Friesen (7) had pulled the Ice into a 6-6 tie at 17:05 of the third period. . . . Winnipeg (37-6-1) leads the Eastern Conference by five points over the idle Red Deer Rebels. The Ice, which has won four in a row, still holds three games in hand. . . . Brandon (19-21-7) has lost three in a row (0-1-2) and is four points out of a playoff spot. . . .

G Jackson Unger turned aside 42 shots to lead the Moose Jaw Warriors to 4-1 victory over the Oil Kings in Edmonton. . . . The Warriors scored the game’s first four goals, taking a 4-0 lead at 2:18 of the second period. . . . D Denton Mateychuk drew an assist on each of the first two goals. . . . Edmonton had a 43-27 edge in shots. . . . Moose Jaw (31-16-3) is third in the Eastern Conference, five points behind Red Deer. . . . The defending-champion Oil Kings (7-37-3) won’t be in the playoffs. . . . The Oil Kings will be in Calgary this afternoon to face the Hitmen, who didn’t play last night. . . .

F Zack Stringer, playing in his first game since Jan. 20, broke a 2-2 tie at 5:44 of the third period to give the visiting Regina Pats a 3-2 victory over his hometown Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Stringer, who didn’t start his season until Dec. 16 because of a torn Achilles tendon, had missed the Pats’ previous four games. . . . His second career game-winner was his third goal this season and came in his 118th regular-season game, the first 79 of which were played with the Hurricanes. . . . Regina (24-21-3) is seventh in the Eastern Conference, two points out of sixth and two from eighth. The Pats have points in three straight (2-0-1). . . . Lethbridge (27-17-5) is in fifth spot. . . .

In Kamloops, the Blazers scored the game’s last three goals to beat the Prince Albert Raiders, 6-4. . . . The Blazers opened up an early 2-0 lead, but had to overcome 3-2 and 4-3 deficits. . . . F Ryan Hofer led the Blazers with three goals and an assist. His third goal, No. 30 on the season, broke a 4-4 tie at 8:47 of the third period. . . . According to the Blazers, GM/head coach Shaun Clouston now has 527 coaching victories, good for eighth on the all-time list. . . . Kamloops (29-10-6) will finish atop the B.C. Division. It is eight points behind the Western Conference-leading Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . The Raiders (19-26-3) had won four in a row, including three straight in the B.C. Division. They are eight points from a playoff spot. . . .

The Kelowna Rockets erased an early 2-0 deficit with five straight goals en route to a 5-4 victory over the visiting Vancouver Giants. . . . F Gabriel Szturc (13) got the Rockets into a 3-2 lead 57 seconds into the second period. . . . F Carson Golder (20) stretched the lead at 8:35, and D Jackson DeSouza (6) got what proved the winner at 6:53 of the third. . . . The Giants made it interesting with two third-period goals, the last one, a shorthanded effort from F Jaden Lipinski (16), came at 18:38. . . . Kelowna (16-26-3) is eighth in the Western Conference, seven points behind Vancouver (18-23-6) and two ahead of Victoria. . . .

D Hudson Thornton (12), F Riley Heidt (20) and F Chase Wheatcroft (29) each had a goal and two assists as the Prince George Cougars dumped the visiting Victoria Royals, 8-1. . . . They’ll complete the doubleheader tonight in Prince George. . . . The Cougars had a 40-25 edge in shots, including 18-7 in the second period and 10-2 in the third. . . . The Cougars (20-21-4) are sixth in the Western Conference, three points behind Everett. . . . Victoria (14-30-5) is ninth, four points behind Kelowna. . . .

F Brad Lambert scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 6-5 OT victory over the Everett Silvertips in Kent, Wash. . . . There’ll be a rematch tonight in Everett. . . . Lambert’s second goal of the game and third of the season won it just 54 seconds into OT. He’s got six points in four games with Seattle. . . . D Kevin Korchinski scored his sixth goal and added three assists for Seattle. . . . F Jackson Berezowski scored twice for Everett, giving him a franchise-record 114 career regular-season goals. He had been sharing the record with F Patrick Bajkov (2013-18). . . . Seattle (35-8-2) moved back into first place in the Western Conference, one point ahead of Portland. Although it was a foregone conclusion, Seattle became the first WHL team to clinch a playoff spot this season. . . . Everett (23-23-1) is fifth in the conference, three points ahead of Prince George. . . .

The Swift Current Broncos opened a 3-0 lead and went on to a 3-1 victory over the Chiefs in Spokane. . . . The visitors took control with PP goals from F Connor Hvidston (12) and F Ty Coupland (1) in the first period. . . . Coupland, from North Vancouver, was playing in his second WHL game. He was a second-round pick in the WHL’s 2022 draft. . . . The Broncos were 2-for-8 on the PP. . . . Swift Current (23-21-3) is eighth in the Eastern Conference, two points behind Regina and three ahead of Medicine Hat. The Broncos had lost their previous four games (0-3-1). . . . Spokane (9-33-4) has lost five in a row (0-4-1) and is 13 points from a playoff spot. . . .

The Tri-City Americans scored the game’s last six goals, four of them in the third period, in beating the Portland Winterhawks, 6-1, in Kennewick, Wash. . . . They’ll stage a rematch tonight in Portland. . . . Tri-City G Tomas Suchanek stopped 28 shots in winning his 20th game this season. His last 12 decisions have all been victories. . . . The Americans got a goal and two assists from each of F Jordan Gavin (14) and F Jake Sloan (18). . . . The Winterhawks were without F Chaz Lucius for a second straight game. . . . The Americans (25-16-5) have points in 13 straight (10-0-3). They are a comfortable fourth in the Western Conference. . . . Portland (34-10-3) is one point behind conference-leading Seattle.


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

The Medicine Hat Tigers have added F Gavin McKenna to their roster for weekend games against the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes tonight and the visiting Regina Pats on Sunday. McKenna, who turned 15 on Dec. 20, is from Whitehorse. He was the first overall selection in the WHL’s 2022 draft. McKenna has played nine games with the Tigers this season and has earned six assist, four of them coming in his first WHL game. . . . This season, he has 69 points, including 34 goals in 24 games with the SAHA U18 prep team. . . .

The Red Deer Rebels revealed Friday that F Kalan Lind will be out “week-to-week” with an undisclosed injury. Lind, who turned 18 on Jan. 25, is from Shaunavon, Sask. He has 42 points, 15 of them goals, in 41 games, after finishing last season with 38 points, including 20 goals, in 61 games. He was the sixth pick in the WHL’s 2020 draft. . . . The Rebels being a U.S. Division tour tonight in Spokane.


AirSpace


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


WendyCity

The night Ed Chynoweth coached Wranglers to victory . . . Would you pay 13 grand for Bedard sweater? . . . Stankoven, Zellweger spark Blazers

The WHL’s latest available Guide and Record Book, one that was made available last season, shows Dean Chynoweth, now an assistant coach with the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, with 272 regular-season head-coaching victories from stints with the Seattle Thunderbirds and Swift Current Broncos.

EdChynoweth3
ED CHYNOWETH

What the WHL’s record book doesn’t show is that his late father, Ed, the godfather of major junior hockey, is 271 victories behind his son.

That’s because, for some reason, the record book doesn’t list Ed in its coaching statistics.

But he should be there. With one victory.

There was a time when Ed, the WHL’s long-time president, left the WHL’s Calgary office for a spot with the Calgary Wranglers as minority owner and general manager.

That brings us to Dec. 5, 1979, with the Wranglers in Medicine Hat to play the Tigers.

The score was 1-1 in the third period when F Brad Kempthorne scored for the Tigers. The Wranglers, however, were of the opinion that referee Ken Wheler shouldn’t have allowed the goal to stand.

Calgary goaltender Warren Skorodenski claimed that Kempthorne knocked the puck into the net with an arm. Doug Sauter, the Calgary head coach, agreed with his goaltender.

By the time the debate was over, Skorodenski had been given a minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, Calgary had been hit with a bench minor and Sauter had been ejected.

“Warren said the puck went in off the guy’s arms and it did,” Sauter said. “There were two guys in the crease as well.”

With Sauter gone, Chynoweth moved from the press box to the Calgary bench for what would be the only coaching appearance of his many years in the WHL.

With Chynoweth calling the shots, the Wranglers killed both minor penalties and then got a PP goal from D Jim Crosson at 9:50 for a 2-2 tie. It should be noted that the Wranglers were skating with a two-man advantage when Crosson scored.

And the Wranglers won it in OT on a PP goal from F Dan Bourbonnais, who beat G Kelly Hrudey at 5:37, after the Tigers had been called for too many men.

It may not mean anything, but the Tigers were given the only four minor penalties handed out after Chynoweth moved behind the bench.

The announced attendance was 1,948 and they watched the Wranglers win their sixth in a row and run their record to 20-5, the best in the league at the time.

The WHL book shows Sauter with 417 regular-season victories. Perhaps that figure should be 416, with Chynoweth being given credit for one.


Living


THE BEDARD REPORT: F Connor Bedard ran his point streak to 32 games with a pair of goals as his Regina Pats dumped the visiting Swift Current Broncos, 5-2,

BEDARD
CONNOR BEDARD

on Saturday night. . . . The announced attendance was 6,499, the Pats’ first sellout in the Brandt Centre this season, as Bedard Fever seems finally to have taken over Regina and area. . . . The Pats now have played 21 home games; their past four games have drawn their four largest crowds of the season. . . . Bedard was kept off the scoresheet in his first game this season — a 5-4 loss to the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors on Sept. 23 — but since has been on a tear. . . . He leads the WHL in goals (39), assists (42) and points (81), all in 33 games. . . . In five games since returning from the World Junior Championship, he has 12 goals and five assists. . . . Bedard also has scored in eight straight games, seven off the franchise record set by Dale Derkatch to open the 1982-83 season. Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post also reminds us that the Pats’ record for longest point streak is 47 games and is shared by Jock Callander and Wally Schreiber from 1981-82. . . . The Pats wore SpongeBob SquarePants-themed sweaters for this one, and they were made available via auction. Bedard’s went for $13,025. (Proceeds from the auction are going to Children’s Miracle Network.) . . . The Pats now are off for a week. They next are scheduled to play on Jan. 29 against the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Vanstone’s story from Saturday’s game is right here.



JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

The Regina Pats (aka the Travelling Bedards) are scheduled to play in Calgary on Feb. 1. Alan Caldwell (@smallatlarge) advises that “the Hitmen have opened the upper bowl. . . . The lower bowl is sold out and looks like about the first 15 rows of the upper bowl as well. Looking at 14,000-15,000 fans at this point I think. Could be a sellout by game time???” . . .

With the Travelling Bedards scheduled to meet the Tigers in Medicine Hat on Feb. 5, James Tubb (@ReporterTubb) of the Medicine Hat News advises: “. . . if you haven’t gotten a ticket . . . you should act fast.” . . . According to WHL figures, the Tigers average announced attendance is 2,211 through 21 games. Co-op Place has a listed capacity of 7,100.


Truckfire


SATURDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

The host Prince Albert Raiders scored the game’s last three goals, all in the third period, as they beat the Saskatoon Blades, 3-1. . . . On Friday night in Saskatoon, the Blades, playing as the Saskatoon Bananas as part of an annual promotion, had beaten the Raiders, 6-1. . . . Last night, the Raiders were 2-for-2 on the PP with D Landon Kosior drawing the primary assist on each of them. . . .

F Alexander Suzdalev had a goal and two assists to help the host Regina Pats to a 5-2 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . The Pats also got three assists from D Stanislav Svozil. . . . Suzdalev, a Russian freshman, has 24 goals and 33 assists in 42 games. . . . Svozil, a sophomore from Czechia, has five goals and 41 assists in 32 games. Last season, he finished with 41 points in 59 games. . . .

F Chase Wheatcroft scored in OT as the visiting Prince George Cougars got past the Edmonton Oil Kings, 4-3. . . . Wheatcroft won it with his 28th goal just 46 seconds into extra time. . . . F Koehn Ziemmer scored twice for the Cougars, giving him 26 goals on the season, including six in his past three games. . . . F Jaxsen Wiebe, who was acquired from Edmonton, drew the primary assist on the winner. . . . F Noah Boyko, who was dealt to Edmonton in the same deal, had a goal (11) and an assist. . . . The Cougars went 2-3-1 in their swing into the Central Division. . . .

F Kalan Lind’s OT goal gave the host Red Deer Rebels a 2-1 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Lind won it with his 14th goal at 0:39 of OT. . . . He has a goal in five straight games. . . . F Jayden Grubbe (12) pulled Red Deer into a 1-1 tie with a PP goal at 17:51 of the third period. . . .

The Medicine Hat Tigers got two goals from F Shane Smith as they ran their winning streak to three games with a 7-1 victory over the visiting Calgary Hitmen. . . . Smith, who turned 18 on Jan. 14, has 16 goals in his freshman season. . . . The Tigers had two players — D Kurtis Smith and D Josh Van Mulligen — score their first goals of the season in the final minute of the third period. . . .

The Kamloops Blazers erased a late 5-3 deficit and beat the visiting Tri-City Americans, 6-5, in OT. . . . F Logan Stankoven scored three times for Kamloops, including the winner at 2:47 of OT. Stankoven, who has 23 goals, forced OT with a goal at 16:47 of the third period. . . . Stankoven also had two assists, for the second five-point game in his past five games. He has four such outings in his career. . . . He also is riding a 27-game point streak. He has at least a point in every game he has played this season, totalling 23 goals and 38 assists. He and F Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats are the only two players averaging more than two points per game; Bedard is at 2.45 with Stankoven at 2.26. . . . D Olen Zellweger scored his 14th goal and added four assists for Kamloops. It was the second five-point game of his WHL career; he had one last season while with the Everett Silvertips. . . . F Ethan Ernst’s second goal of the game and 23rd of the season had given the Americans a 5-3 lead at 14:05 of the third period. . . . The Americans had won, 8-2, in Kamloops on Friday night. . . .

The Seattle Thunderbirds scored the game’s first six goals, the first three in the first period, en route to a 6-2 victory over the Everett Silvertips in Kent, Wash. . . . D Jeremy Hanzel had three assists for the winners, with F Kyle Crnkovic scoring twice (22). . . . The Thunderbirds held a 48-15 edge in shots. . . . Seattle F Brad Lambert missed his second straight home game as he works to get a visa situation straightened out. . . . Seattle is 6-0-0 against Everett this season, with a 31-10 edge in goals. . . .

F Matt Savoie scored the only goal of a shootout as the host Winnipeg Ice beat the Moose Jaw Warriors, 3-2. . . . They’ll play again today in Winnipeg. . . . F Zach Benson (25) had one of Winnipeg’s goals as he ran his point streak to 13 games. He has 11 goals and 17 assists over that stretch. . . . Moose Jaw F Atley Calvert went into this season with 18 goals in 102 career regular-season games; he scored his 26th of this season last night. . . . Ice G Daniel Hauser recorded the victory. He is 23-2-1 this season and 64-5-3 in his career. . . .

F Robbie Fromm-Delorme had two goals and an assist to help the Winterhawks to a 5-2 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes in Portland. . . . Fromm-Delorme, 20, had 15 goals and 19 assists in 38 games last season; this season, he’s got 25 goals and 29 assists in 40 outings. . . . F Gabe Klassen helped out with his 25th goal and an assist. . . . F Chaz Lucius, playing his second game with Portland, scored his first goal and added an assist. He’s got a goal and three assists in those two games. . . . The Hurricanes went 0-1-2 on a quick trip into the U.S. Division. . . .

The Spokane Chiefs scored three third-period goals and beat the visiting Victoria Royals, 6-3. . . . D Mac Gross (6) broke a 3-3 tie at 1:41 of the third period and F Cade Hayes added insurance with his eighth and ninth goals at 9:36 and 16:18. . . . F Jake Poole had a goal (24) and an assist for Victoria. He has put together a run of six straight multi-point games — one three-pointer and five deuces. . . . The Royals went 0-2-1 in a U.S. Division trip. . . .

The Vancouver Giants erased a 1-0 deficit with three goals and hung on to beat the Rockets, 4-3, in Kelowna. . . . G Brett Mirwald stopped 25 shots for the Giants, who scored two PP goals. . . . F Adam Kidd (13) scored twice for the Rockets, the second one getting them to within one at 13:20 of the third period.



If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Donate

A look back at Sobchuk’s 10-point night . . . Broncos put up sold-out sign for Bedard visit . . . Lucius set for Portland debut


Here are the first two paragraphs of something I wrote more than 36 years ago . . .

“It was Friday, Jan. 19, 1973. Across the pond in jolly old England, Prince Charles narrowly escaped a head-on crash while driving his Aston Martin through the fog-enshrouded countryside southwest of London.

“Meanwhile, at Regina’s Exhibition Stadium, a nautical mile or two from the old country, a prince of a hockey player was having a jolly good night.”

Thanks to a tweet from Kevin Shaw (@theblueliner), the go-to guy for all things Regina Pats, the memories came flashing back on Thursday night.

DennisSobchukYes, it was 50 years ago — Jan. 19, 1973 — when F Dennis Sobchuk had one of the greatest offensive nights in WHL history. That night, Sobchuk struck for 10 points, six of them goals, in an 11-3 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings before 2,284 fans at Regina’s Exhibition Stadium.

It’s worth noting that the Wheat Kings were without F Ron Chipperfield (throat infection), who was leading the league with 53 goals.

Sobchuk’s line finished with 20 points — Mike Wanchuk had a goal and five assists; Clarke Gillies had a goal and three assists. Gillies also spent some time in the penalty box, thanks to a pair of fights with Brandon D Rick Piche.

The 18-year-old Sobchuk was in his second season with the Pats. That night, his fourth goal was his 100th regular-season score. Yes, he had 100 goals in fewer than two full seasons.

“Some nights they go in easy. Other nights they don’t go in at all. Tonight, well, it was one of those real good nights,” Sobchuk told Mal Isaac of the Regina Leader-Post. “And I should have had a couple of more, especially in the third period. But I guess a guy can’t be greedy.”

The outburst came just two days after head coach Bob Turner had talked with his three top forwards, telling them “to shoot more, that’s all. Each of them has a great shot but they just don’t shoot enough. Tonight, they were really rifling them and look what happened.”

The six goals allowed Sobchuk to tie the WCHL record — the WHL then was the Western Canada Hockey League — for goals in a game that had been set two seasons previous by F Danny Spring of the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Sobchuk’s 10-point night also got him a piece of the single-game record for points, one that had been established by F Gerry Pinder of the Saskatoon Blades on March 12, 1967, and tied by F Tom Lysiak of the Medicine Hat Tigers on Dec. 30, 1971. While Pinder also had six goals and four assists in his big game, Lysiak did it with four goals and six helpers.

Sobchuk also tied the WCHL record for goals in one period — he scored five times in the second period.

Sobchuk’s night also pushed him into the WCHL scoring lead with 92 points, including 46 goals. At that point, he had two more points than Lysiak, who would go on to win his second straight scoring title, with 154 points, seven more than Sobchuk.

In his freshman season (1971-72), Sobchuk totalled 123 points, including 56 goals, in 68 games, and was named the WCHL’s rookie of the year.

He would play one more season with the Pats (1973-74), putting up 146 points, including 68 goals, in 66 game and helping Regina to a Memorial Cup title.

In three seasons with the Pats, he finished with 416 points, 191 of them goals, in 190 regular-season games. He placed fifth, second and second in the scoring race.

Sobchuk had won the Saskatchewan Amateur Junior Hockey League’s scoring title in 1970-71 when he finished with 96 points, including 56 goals, in 36 games with the Weyburn Red Wings. At that time, his WCHL rights belonged to the Estevan Bruins, who were about to move to New Westminster.

On July 7, 1971, Del Wilson, the Pats’ president and general manager, acquired Sobchuk from New Westminster, sending F Emile DeMoissac, F Wayne Dye, D Bob Hess, F Doug Lindskog and F Vic Mercredi the other way.

DeMoissac, Hess and Mercredi would be key performers for the Bruins, although all had moved on before their four-season run (1974-78) as WHL champions.

By November 1986, Sobchuk was the Pats’ assistant GM and assistant coach. One night, he and I chatted about his 10-point outing.

“Funny thing,” he recalled. “I didn’t realize it but they had a guy shadowing me that night. When the people clapped for me at the end of the game, Brandon — I talked to a few of the players in later years — they were going to push the guy who was supposed to be the shadow out there to take a bow with me.

“But it was just one of those nights. Whenever you shot the puck it went in. It was a crazy night.”

I asked Sobchuk just how big a thrill it was.

“I still have the stick,” he replied.

Two nights later, the Pats and Wheat Kings met in Brandon, with Regina skating away with a 5-4 victory. F Rick Uhrich had three goals. Sobchuk had one assist.


Number


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

The Swift Current Broncos announced on Thursday that tonight’s game against the visiting Regina Pats, aka the Travelling Bedards, is sold out. . . .

F Chaz Lucius, 19, has joined the Portland Winterhawks and is expected to make his WHL debut tonight against the visiting Victoria Royals. Lucius, who starred with Team USA at the recent World Junior Championship, had been with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose. The NHL’s Winnipeg Jets assigned him to Portland after the WJC. . . .

F Gabriel Szturc, a 19-year-old from Cesky Tesin, Czechia, was named the 28th captain of the Kelowna Rockets on Thursday, replacing Colton Dach, who was traded to the Seattle Thunderbirds earlier this month. Szturc is the first European-born captain in the Rockets’ franchise history. Four of Szturc’s first five games as captain will be against the Vancouver Giants, starting tonight in Langley, B.C., and Saturday in Kelowna. . . .

F Ben King of the Red Deer Rebels, who led the WHL with 52 goals last season, has 10 points, five of them goals, in five games this season. But he hasn’t played since suffering an undisclosed injury on Oct. 22. It seems that he may return tonight against the visiting Prince George Cougars or Saturday with the Brandon Wheat Kings in town.



WEDNESDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

D Max Wanner’s eighth goal at 0:45 of OT gave the Moose Jaw Warriors a 5-4 victory over the Blades in Saskatoon and a sweep of their home-and-home series. The Warriors had won, 3-1, at home on Tuesday. . . . The victory allowed the Warriors (28-14-2) to move into a third-place tie with the Blades (27-9-4) in the Eastern Conference. The Blades hold four games in hand. . . . F Atley Calvert led the Warriors with two goals and two assists. He has 25 goals and 25 assists in 44 games after finishing last season with 15 and 25 in 65. He went into last night’s game with 98 career points and came out with 102, all in 146 games. . . . Last night, the Blades outshot the visitors, 43-17, including 16-2 in the third period. . . . The Warriors trail Eastern Conference-leading Winnipeg (31-5-1) by five points and visit the Ice tonight and Saturday. However, the Ice holds seven — count ’em, SEVEN — games in hand. . . .

F Connor McClennon and F Zach Benson each had a goal and three assists as the Winnipeg Ice lit up the Raiders, 8-1, in Prince Albert. . . . Benson has 24 goals; McClennon has 21. . . . Ice F Connor Geekie scored his 20th goal of the season. . . . The Ice held a 39-16 edge in shots. . . .

The Medicine Hat Tigers scored three times in a six-round shootout and beat the Broncos, 5-4, in Swift Current. . . . Three second-period goals had given the Tigers a 4-2 lead, but the Broncos pulled even on third-period scores from F Josh Filmon (28) and F Connor Hvidston (9). . . . Hvidston also had two assists, and Filmon finished with two goals and a helper. . . . Latvian D Bogdans Hodass scored twice for the Tigers, giving him seven this season. . . . The Tigers (17-21-6) closed to within two points of the Broncos (20-17-2), who hold down the Eastern Conference’s last playoff spot. Those two teams are to play in Medicine Hat on Sunday. That will be the Broncos’ third game in fewer than 48 hours. . . .

The Prince George Cougars came from behind four times before finally beating the host Calgary Hitmen, 6-5. . . . With the NHL’s Flames playing host to the Colorado Avalanche in the Saddledome, the WHL game was played at the Seven Chiefs Sportsplex. . . . Prince George scored the game’s last three goals, all in the third period. F Jaxsen Wiebe (7) got the winner at 14:42, his second of the game. F Koehn Ziemmer (22) also scored twice for the winners. . . . The Cougars, who fired 21 shots in each of the last two periods, outshot the Hitmen, 51-35. . . .

F Ben Hemmerling scored twice, including in OT, and added two assists as the host Everett Silvertips beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 4-3. . . . Hemmerling’s 14th goal came at 3:36 of extra time. . . . Hemmerling, who now has had two four-point games in his WHL career, has three goals and six assists in his past four games. . . . The Tri-City Americans erased a 4-0 first-period deficit and beat the Victoria Royals, 5-4, in Kennewick, Wash. . . . F Ethan Ernst (21) scored twice for the Americans, his second goal, at 13:54 of the third period, breaking a 4-4 tie. . . . F Matthew Hodson (13) scored twice for Victoria. . . . The Americans (19-16-4) are fifth in the Western Conference, one point behind the Everett Silverips (21-19-1).


Electrician


THINKING OUT LOUD: I yearn for the days when I could look at NHL highlights and recognize teams by their uniforms. . . . David Adelman is the acting head coach of the NBA’s Denver Nuggets these days. That’s because head coach Michael Malone is away because of health and safety protocols. Yes, COVID-19 has reared its ugly head, again. Three Denver players — Bones Hyland, Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray — have spent time in protocol this season, too. And you thought the pandemic was over, didn’t you? Mask up!


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Test

Interesting night in Philly . . . Video game-playing teen off to penal colony . . . Warriors putting heat on Blades

A Tuesday night taste of the world in which we live . . .

Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) tweeted: “There is word that Flyers’ Ivan Provorov did not participate in warmups tonight because he declined to wear the team-issued Pride Night jersey celebrating the LGTBQ+ community.”

John Tortorella, the Flyers’ coach, was asked why Provorov wasn’t scratched from the game. Tortorella replied: “With Provy, he’s being true to himself and his religion.”

Provorov, who played with the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings, is from Russia. After the game, he said he respects “everyone. I respect everybody’s choices. My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion.”

That religion, he said, is Russian Orthodox.

The Flyers didn’t allow any other non-hockey questions to be directed to Provorov.

Yes, the keyboard warriors of social media were out in full force on this one, and their reactions were all over the board if you want to check them out.

Moments earlier, Jason Jay Smart (@officejjsmart), a special correspondent for the Kiev Post, had tweeted:

“RUSSIAN DYSTOPIA

“16-year-old Nikita Uvarov of Russia was sentenced to 5 years in the penal colonies.

“Crime?

“In Minecraft, an online fictional computer game, he sought to blow up the FSB building.”

According to The Guardian, a human rights lawyer said a Siberian military court found the teenager guilty of “training for terrorist activities.”

The Guardian story is right here.


And you thought the pandemic was over . . .

The men’s basketball teams from Northwestern and Iowa were to have played Covidtonight (Wednesday) in Iowa City. But . . . guess what? . . . Northwestern tweeted that the game won’t be played “due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols” within its program. . . . There were reports that Northwestern had only six players healthy enough to play. According to Big Ten rules, a school needs one coach and seven scholarship athletes in order to play.


Mattress


TUESDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

G Connor Ungar made 20 saves to help the host Moose Jaw Warriors to a 3-1 victory over the Saskatoon Blades. . . . The Blades scored the game’s first two goals and sealed the victory with an empty-netter from F Brayden Yager (20). . . . F Egor Sidorov scored for the Blades. He has five goals over his past three games. This season, he has 23 goals and 19 assists in 28 games. Last season, he totalled 23 goals and 12 assists in 58 games. . . . The Warriors and Blades will meet again tonight in Saskatoon. . . . The Warriors (27-14-2) are fourth in the Eastern Conference, one point behind the Blades (27-9-3), who hold four games in hand. . . .

In Medicine Hat, the Tigers score three first-period goals en route to a 5-2 victory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . F Oasiz Wiesblatt had three assists for the Tigers. . . . F Chase Wheatcroft had one of the Cougars’ goals, his WHL-leading 18th PP goal of season. He now shares the franchise record for PP goals in a season with F Berkeley Buchko (2000-01). . . . The Tigers (16-21-6) pulled into a tie with the idle Brandon Wheat Kings (17-20-4) for ninth in the Eastern Conference, three points behind the Swift Current Broncos (20-17-1). . . . The Tigers are to visit Swift Current tonight. . . . The Cougars are 0-2-1 on a six-game Central Division trek that continues tonight in Calgary.


Headline at The Beaverton (@TheBeaverton) — Stabbed man who got hit by 3 cars then thrown off a bridge probably died from the vaccine.



Dad


THINKING OUT LOUD: Eight NHL games on Tuesday night. Four of them involving five Canadian teams. Not one game on national TV in Canada. Oh well, at least Sportsnet didn’t saddle us with another Boston Bruins game from NESN. . . . Closest I could come to watching an NHL game? Watching Jessica Pegula, whose parents own the Buffalo Sabres, win her match at the Aussie Open. . . . Pitchers and catchers who are to play in the World Baseball Classic in March will report to training camps on Feb. 14. The tournament’s first round opens on March 8; the championship game is scheduled for march 21 in Miami. . . . MLB teams will open camps on Feb. 15 and 16.


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Bigfoot

Another WHL trade deadline here and gone . . . Seattle gets golden boy’s rights . . . Blades grab Chiasson


The WHL’s trade deadline arrived on Tuesday. Here are the trade numbers since Oct. 25:

No. of trades — 48.

No. of players traded — 83.

No. of WHL draft picks traded — 81.

No. of WHL conditional draft picks traded — 29.

Teams involved in trades — 11: Edmonton; 6: Everett, Kamloops, Kelowna, Seattle, Victoria, Winnipeg; 5: Brandon, Lethbridge, Prince George, Regina, Tri-City; 4: Portland, Prince Albert; 3: Red Deer, Spokane, Swift Current; 2: Moose Jaw; Saskatoon, Vancouver; 1: Calgary; 0: Medicine Hat.

Why did I start with Oct. 25? Because that was the day that the Seattle Thunderbirds acquired D Luke Prokop from the Edmonton Oil Kings, signalling to me that the countdown to deadline day had started.


Late Tuesday afternoon, just before the trade deadline whizzed past, the Edmonton Oil Kings announced that they had acquired the rights to F Koji SeattleGibson, 15, six conditional WHL draft picks and a fourth-round pick in the 2004 draft from the Seattle Thunderbirds for the rights to F Dylan Guenther, 19, the rights to F Jordan Ramsay, who will turn 16 on Jan. 24, and a 2023 eighth-round pick. . . . The conditional picks — a second in 2023, sixth in 2024, fourth in 2025, and first, fourth and fifth in 2026 — all hinge on the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes assigning Guenther to Seattle. . . . Guenther, a first-round pick by the Coyotes in the NHL’s 2021 draft, has three goals and eight assists in 22 games with Arizona this season. . . . He scored the OT goal on Thursday as Team Canada beat Czechia, 3-2, in the World Junior Championship final in Halifax. . . . The Oil Kings selected Guenther with the first overall pick of the WHL’s 2018 draft. He helped the Oil Kings to the WHL championship last season as they beat the Thunderbirds in the championship final. . . .

Gibson, from North Vancouver, plays for the U18 prep team at the Burnaby Winter Club. Seattle selected him in the fifth round of the WHL’s 2022 draft. . . . Ramsay, from Victoria, is with the U18 prep team at the Pacific Coast Academy. He was an eighth-round pick by the Oil Kings in the 2022 draft.


The Saskatoon Blades, perhaps the most under-appreciated team in all of the SaskatoonCHL at the moment, acquired F Jake Chiasson, 19, from the Brandon Wheat Kings for a first-round WHL draft pick in 2023, a second-rounder in 2025 and a conditional second in 2026. . . . Chiasson, from Abbotsford, B.C., was a fourth-round pick of the Edmonton Oilers in the NHL’s 2021 draft. The Wheat Kings selected him in the first round of the WHL’s 2018 draft. . . . He was in his fourth season with Brandon, having put up 30 goals and 41 assists in 141 regular-season games. . . . This season, he has 10 goals and 18 assists in 37 games. . . . From the Saskatoon news release: “Chiasson made international news earlier this winter as he and three teammates, who were driving over a bridge in Brandon, helped save the life of a distressed man.” . . . The 2023 first-round pick was Saskatoon’s and not the one the Blades acquired from Seattle in the deal that had F Brad Lambert’s rights move to the Thunderbirds. . . .

The Blades (26-6-3) are rather quietly putting together a solid season. In fact, their points percentage of .786 trails only the Winnipeg Ice (.853) and Seattle Thunderbirds (.806). . . . BTW, the Thunderbirds and Ice are to meet tonight (Wednesday) in Winnipeg.

——

In a second deal, Brandon acquired F Dawson Pasternak, 19, and a conditional fourth-round pick in an undisclosed WHL draft from the Portland Winterhawks for the rights to F Colin Frank, a sixth-rounder in 2025 and a second in 2026. . . . Pasternak, from Winnipeg, was a fourth-round pick in the WHL’s 2018 draft. This season, he has 17 points, five of them goals, in 28 games. Last season, as a freshman, he had five goals and nine assists in 34 games. . . . Pasternak had an assist on Brandon’s first goal Tuesday night as the Wheat Kings beat the visiting Thunderbirds, 4-2. . . . Frank, from Ladera Ranch, Calif., will turn 17 on March 3. He was taken by Brandon in the 2021 U.S. prospects draft. He plays for the U16 AAA Anaheim Jr. Ducks and has 34 goals and 39 assists in 45 games.

——

In a third deal, the Wheat Kings acquired F Nolan Flamand, who will turn 19 on Thursday, from the Kelowna Rockets for F Trae Johnson, 17, and two picks — a third-rounder in the 2023 WHL draft and a fifth in 2024. . . . Flamand, from Saskatoon, had four goals and 12 assists in 35 games with Kelowna this season. He was a second-round pick by Kelowna in the 2019 draft. . . . Johnson, from Martensville, Sask., had two goals and four assists in 37 games with Brandon this season. He was a second-round pick in the 2020 draft.


Just before the deadline, the Winterhawks acquired the rights to F Ozzy PortlandWiesblatt, 20, from the Prince Albert Raiders for three conditional draft picks — a first in 2025 and two seconds in 2026. . . . The picks — one of the second-round picks was acquired from Brandon earlier on Tuesday —  are conditional on Wiesblatt being assigned to Portland by the NHL’s San Jose Sharks. . . . Wiesblatt, a first-round pick by the Sharks in 2020, is with the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda with whom he has a goal and four assists in 17 games. . . . Prince Albert picked him in the second round of the WHL’s 2017 draft. He put up 179 points, including 58 goals, in 195 regular-season games with the Raiders. . . .

The Winterhawks also dealt G Donavan Bodnar and a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2024 WHL draft to the Everett Silvertips for a fourth-rounder in 2024. . . . Bodnar, from West St. Paul, Man., won’t turn 18 until Nov. 22. He was a seventh-round pick by Portland in the 2020 draft. . . . Bodnar now is playing for the Seven Oaks Raiders in the Winnipeg-based Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League. . . . Earlier this season, the Portage Terriers acquired Bodnar’s rights from the Selkirk Steelers for D Jacob Ziegler, 18. . . .

In another move, the Winterhawks traded D Nicholas Andrusiak, 18, to the Red Deer Rebels for a seventh-round pick in the 2024 WHL draft. . . . Andrusiak, from Tisdale, Sask., is with the SJHL’s Melville Millionaires, and has two goals and an assist in 20 games. He got into two games with Portland early this season.


The Prince George Cougars announced their presence on Deadline Day by PrinceGeorgeacquiring F Zac Funk, 19, from the Calgary Hitmen for F Carter MacAdams, 18, and three WHL draft picks — second-rounders in 2023 and 2024, and a fourth in 2024. . . . Funk, from Coldstream, B.C., had 13 goals and 19 assists in 33 games with the Hitmen this season. In 129 career games, he has 78 points, 39 of them goals. . . . He was a second-round pick by Calgary in the 2018 draft. . . . MacAdams, from South Surrey, B.C., was picked by the Cougars in the fourth round of the 2019 WHL draft. He has 18 goals and 30 assists in 117 regular-season games over three seasons with Prince George. This season, he has six goals and 15 assists in 36 games.


The Lethbridge Hurricanes reacquired G Jared Picklyk, 19, from the Tri-City Americans for a 10th-round pick in the WHL’s 2025 draft. The Hurricanes had traded him to the Americans for a 2024 sixth-round pick on Nov. 17, but he got into only two games with Tri-City. . . . Before that deal, he was 4-5-0, 3.50, .877 with Lethbridge this season. . . . Picklyk, from Kelowna, will report to the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos.


The Kelowna Rockets acquired D Landon Cowper, 16, from the Prince Albert Raiders for a conditional fifth-round pick in the WHL’s 2025 draft. Cowper, from Whitehorse, was a fourth-round pick by the Raiders in the 2021 draft. . . . He is playing for the U18 team at the RINK Hockey Academy in Kelowna, and has one goal and 15 assists in 18 games.


The Kamloops Blazers picked up the rights to D Daylan Weigel, 19, from the KamloopsSwift Current Broncos for a ninth-round pick in the WHL’s 2026 draft. Weigel, from Warman, Sask., is with the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos and, according to the Blazers, “will remain with the Broncos for the 2022-23 season and become an affiliate player.” . . . He has six goals and 18 assists in 31 games with Humboldt this season. . . . Weigel has played in 25 WHL games — one with the Regina Pats and 24 with Swift Current. He has six assists in those games. . . . Regina picked him in the sixth round of the WHL’s 2018 draft.


The Vancouver Giants have acquired the rights to D Ben Feenan, 18, from the Tri-City Americans for a seventh-round pick in the 2026 WHL draft. . . . Feenan, a sixth-round pick by the Americans in the 2019 draft, is from Surrey, B.C. He had three assists in 22 games this season when he left the team and joined the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs.


In the final trade before the deadline, announced more than three hours after it Reginahad passed, the Regina Pats acquired F Steel Quiring, 19, from the Everett Silvertips for a fourth-round pick in the WHL’s 2026 draft. Quiring, from Vernon, B.C., had three goals and three assists in 30 games with Everett. He also has played for the Kelowna Rockets and Calgary Hitmen. The Silvertips acquired him from the Hitmen on Sept. 30. . . . The Rockets selected him in the fifth round of the 2018 draft. . . . Alan Caldwell (@smallatlarge) pointed out on Twitter that “the Pats are Quiring’s 4th WHL team in the last  year and five days.”



JUNIOR JOTTINGS: The Edmonton Oil Kings have claimed F Loick Daigle, 20, off CHL waivers from the QMJHL’s Shawinigan Cataractes. In 108 QMJHL regular-season games, he has 24 goals and 26 assists. . . . F Brad Lambert wasn’t in Seattle’s lineup on Tuesday night in Brandon, nor was F Chaz Lucius with Portland in Prince Albert. . . . The junior B Nelson Leafs of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League announced Tuesday that Briar McNaney has signed on as their interim head coach. . . . The AJHL’s Drayton Valley Thunder have announced that Sean Brown, its general manager and head coach, has stepped down for “family reasons.” Corey Bricknell, who had been assistant GM and associate coach, has stepped in as interim GM/head coach. The Thunder (11-27-2) is eighth in the eight-team North Division.


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Phone

A quieter Monday in the WHL . . . Six more deals as deadline nears . . . Portland, Seattle add AHL assignees

As Monday disappeared over the horizon, there had been nothing in the way of WHLSunday’s craziness and with the WHL’s deadline now only hours away.

One supposes that some teams took time to count their remaining draft picks after what had transpired on Sunday.

Still, there were a handful of trades made on Monday, one of which involved a player who had been part of one of those Sunday blockbusters.

And two U.S. Division teams had players who began the season in the AHL assigned to them by the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets.

Read on . . .

——

The Swift Current Broncos were involved in a couple of trades. . . .

First, they and the Brandon Wheat Kings swapped a pair of defencemen, with SwiftCurrentMason Ward, 20, moving to the Broncos for Kayden Sadhra-Kang, 19. . . . The Wheat Kings acquired Ward from the Red Deer Rebels prior to the 2021-22 season. From Lloydminster, the 6-foot-5 Ward had four goals and six assists in 38 games with Brandon this season. . . . The 6-foot-4 Sakhra-Kang, from Richmond, B.C., was acquired by Swift Current from the Lethbridge Hurricanes early last season. In 90 games with the Broncos, he had four goals and 19 assists. . . .

The Broncos also made a deal with Everett, getting F Drew Englot, 20, from the Silvertips for F Raphael Pelletier, 20, and a second-round pick in the WHL’s 2024 draft. . . . This was the second time Englot was traded in fewer than 24 hours. On Sunday, he was part of the massive trade between the Kamloops Blazers and Everett. . . . Englot, from Candiac Sask., had three goals and 11 assists in 34 games with the Blazers this season. Kamloops had acquired him from the Regina Pats last season. . . . Pelletier, from Legal, Alta., had 37 goals and 53 assists in 162 games with the Broncos over the past four seasons. This season, he has 11 goals and 17 assists in 28 games. . . .

Ward and Englot are expected to be in the Broncos’ lineup tonight (Tuesday) when they meet the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers.

——

The Everett Silvertips acquired F Nolan Chastko, 17, from the Prince George Cougars for a conditional sixth-round selection in the WHL’s 2025 draft. . . . Chastko, from Brandon, wasn’t picked in the WHL draft. He signed with the Cougars, and has been playing with the MJHL’s Virden Oil Capitals. He has 10 goals and 14 assists in 29 games with Virden.

——

The Tri-City Americans also were involved in a couple of Monday deals. . . . They Tri-Citygot D Ethan Peters, 19, from the Edmonton Oil Kings for a second-round pick in the WHL’s 2025 draft. From Moose Jaw, Peters was in his third season with Edmonton. He recorded 28 points, including 24 assists, in 119 regular-season games. . . . Following last season, he was presented with the Daryl K. (Doc) Seaman Trophy as the WHL’s Scholastic Player of the Year. . . .

The Americans also acquired D Jackson Romeril, 17, from the Kelowna Rockets for a fourth-round pick in the 2023 draft. . . . From Calgary, the Rockets selected him in the sixth round of the 2020 draft. . . . This season, he is pointless in 13 games with Kelowna.

——

——

Edmonton was involved in another Monday exchange when it got D Jacob Hoffrogge, 19, from the Everett Silvertips for a seventh-round pick in the WHL’s 2025 draft. . . . He had two goals and two assists in 23 games with Everett this season. He also has played with the Brandon Wheat Kings.

——

The WHL’s trade deadline arrives on Tuesday. Here are the trade numbers since Oct. 25:

No. of trades — 36.

No. of players traded — 65.

No. of WHL draft picks traded — 65.

No. of WHL conditional draft picks traded — 16.

Teams involved in trades — 10: Edmonton; 6: Victoria, Winnipeg; 5: Kamloops, Seattle; 4: Everett, Kelowna, Lethbridge, Prince George, Regina; 3: Spokane, Tri-City; 2: Brandon, Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Red Deer; Swift Current; 1: Saskatoon, Vancouver; 0: Calgary, Medicine Hat, Portland.

Why did I start with Oct. 25? Because that was the day that the Seattle Thunderbirds acquired D Luke Prokop from the Edmonton Oil Kings, signalling to me that the countdown to deadline day had started.


The Seattle Thunderbirds and Portland Winterhawks each has added a player to their roster who began this season with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose. The NHL’s Winnipeg Jets assigned F Brad Lambert to Seattle and F Chaz Lucius to Portland. Neither has played since they were in the 2023 World Junior Championship in Moncton and Halifax.

Lambert, 19, had two goals and an assist in 14 games with the Moose. He had Seattleone goal in five games with Finland at the WJC. . . . Seattle acquired his WHL rights from the Saskatoon Blades on June 30 for fourth- and sixth-round picks in the WHL’s 2023 draft, a conditional first-rounder in 2023 and a conditional second-rounder in 2024. . . . With Lambert having been assigned to Saskatoon, the Blades now are in possession of those two conditional draft picks. . . . Might the Blades spend some draft capital today before the trade deadline arrives?

Lucius, 19, is a native of White Bear Lake, Minn. He had two goals and three Portlandassists in 12 games with the Moose. The Jets selected him with the 18th pick of the NHL’s 2021 draft. Portland grabbed his WHL rights in the fourth round of the 2018 bantam draft. . . . Last season, he played at the U of Minnesota, putting up 19 points, including nine goals, in 24 games. . . . Last week, he helped Team USA to a bronze medal at the WJC. He finished with seven points, five of them goals, in as many games. He had three goals, including the OT winner, as the Americans beat Sweden, 8-7, in the third-place game.

Portland and Seattle both are in the midst of East Division road trips.

Lucius is expected to join the Winterhawks once they return home. He could make his Portland debut on Jan. 20 against the visiting Victoria Royals.

Seattle general manager Bil La Forge said in a news release that his club looks “forward to getting (Lambert) in a Thunderbirds jersey soon.”


THINKING OUT LOUD: Look, I’m not a fan of the Montreal Canadiens, but those baby blue outfits they were wearing on Monday night should be sent to Mars. Sheesh, who is responsible for the Habs wearing those things instead of their traditional outfits? . . . If you were wondering, the Kamloops Blazers and Seattle Thunderbirds will meet three more times this season. They’ll play March 7 and 21 in Kent, Wash., and March 22 in Kamloops. . . . How much of the NCAA’s championship football game did you watch on Monday night? . . . Today’s WHL trade deadline arrives at 4 p.m. in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, 3 p.m. in Alberta, and 2 p.m. in B.C.



JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

In the middle of all the trading frenzy, the Erie Otters chose to fire head coach BJ Adams on Monday. Adams, who was in his second season as the head coach, had been on the Otters’ staff since 2015. . . . The Otters, who are 1-9-0 of late, are 12-20-3 and in last place in the 10-team Western Conference. . . . The plan is for assistant coaches Vince Laise and Wes Wolfe to run the team while management searches for a head coach. . . .

The junior B Nelson Leafs of the Kootenay Junior International Hockey League are believed to be poised to introduce Briar McNaney as their new head coach. He would replace Adam DiBella, who resigned this week after the league suspended him for the remainder of this season for his role in a New Year’s Eve line brawl in a game against the visiting Beaver Valley Nitehawks. . . . McNaney, 30, spent five seasons on staff with the KIJHL’s Columbia Valley Rockies; he finished last season as general manager and head coach. . . . From Kamloops, he began this season as an assistant coach with the SJHL’s Kindersley Klippers


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Trust

Hurricanes grab Swetlikoff from Chiefs . . . Rebels, Cougars swap forwards . . . Wallace now a Blazers Legend

The Lethbridge Hurricanes let the WHL’s other Eastern Conference teams know LethbridgeThursday that they are serious about this season by acquiring F Blake Swetlikoff from the Spokane Chiefs. . . . In the exchange, the rebuilding Chiefs (7-24-3) picked up the rights to F Jack Lackas and two draft picks — a second-rounder in 2026 and a fifth in 2025. . . . Swetlikoff, a 19-year-old from Regina, was a third-round selection in the 2018 WHL draft. He has 19 points, 14 of them assists, in 34 games with Spokane this season. . . . In 128 career regular-season games, he has 22 goals and 39 assists. . . . “We feel that (Swetlikoff) will help our top nine,” Lethbridge general manager Peter Anholt said in a news release. “It was a steep price for us to pay, but our team deserved to be added to with the way we’ve played this season.” . . . Swetlikoff is expected to make his Lethbridge debut on Saturday against the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . The Hurricanes (21-15-1) are sixth in the 12-team conference, having won six of their past 10 games. They are one point behind the Calgary Hitmen (20-11-4) and three in arrears of the Moose Jaw Warriors (23-13-0). . . . Lackas, who turned 16 on Dec. 26, is from Las Vegas. Lethbridge selected him in the WHL’s 2021 U.S. draft, but he is unsigned. Lackas is playing with the U16 AAA Phoenix Jr. Coyotes this season.

——

The Red Deer Rebels and Prince George Cougars swapped a pair of 17-year-old RedDeerforwards on Thursday. Ryker Singer is on his way to Red Deer, with Arjun Bawa moving to Prince George. The Cougars also got second- and seventh-round picks in the WHL’s 2023 draft in the exchange. . . . Singer, the 20th player chosen in the WHL’s 2020 draft, has three goals and six assists in 34 games this season. He is from Paradise Hills, Alta. . . . “He’s got speed, skill and good hands, and he’s a smart player,” Brent Sutter, the Rebels’ owner and general manager, told Greg Meachem of reddeerrebels.com. “It’s a trade for both teams (where) we wanted to add more speed to our team with skill, and they wanted a player who has some size.” . . . Bawa, from Richmond, B.C., had two goals and three assists in 34 games this season. Red Deer took him in the PrinceGeorgesecond round of the 2020 draft. . . . “Arjun . . . is a big physical player (who) will fit well with our forward core,” offered Mark Lamb, the Cougars’ general manager and head coach, in a news release. . . . The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Bawa is the son of Robin Bawa, a former WHLer (Kamloops Jr. Oilers, Kamloops Blazers, New Westminster Bruins, 1982-87) who went on to play 61 NHL games. He was the first player of Indian descent to play in the NHL. . . . The Rebels are scheduled to play the Raiders in Prince Albert tonight, while the Cougars are at home to the Everett Silvertips.

——

The WHL’s trade deadline arrives on Jan. 10. Here are the trade numbers since Oct. 25:

No. of trades — 27.

No. of players traded — 43.

No. of WHL draft picks traded — 47.

No. of WHL conditional draft picks traded — 9.

Teams involved in trades — 8: Edmonton; 6: Victoria; 4: Kamloops, Lethbridge, Prince George, Seattle, Winnipeg; 3: Regina, Spokane; 2: Everett, Kelowna, Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Red Deer; 1: Brandon, Saskatoon, Swift Current, Tri-City; 0: Calgary, Medicine Hat, Portland, Vancouver.

Why did I start with Oct. 25? Because that was the day that the Seattle Thunderbirds acquired D Luke Prokop from the Edmonton Oil Kings, signalling to me that the countdown to deadline day had started.


One of my favourite sports columns every year comes from the keyboard of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gene Collier. His 39th annual Trite Trophy column, in which he examines a whole lot of trite phrases from the sporting press, is right here.

It includes a whole lot of stuff like this awesome paragraph:

“And Just To Put A Button On this tribute to minor annoyances, ‘False start, offense’ is redundant. All false starts are on the offense. It’s like saying 7 a.m. in the morning, which people do Time and Time Again, even though all 7 a.m.’s are in the morning.”

Ahh, yes, one of my pet peeves . . . tonight’s game will begin at 7 p.m.

Along with the first annual golf tournament, which actually is the inaugural golf tournament.

Anyway . . . give Collier’s piece a read. I just know that you’ll enjoy it.


Mute


THINKING OUT LOUD: Is there a way to take two spoonfuls of adult cough syrup without getting it on the bottle and ending up with at least one sticky hand? . . . It’s a good thing Canada won the World Junior Championship in Halifax on Thursday night because the last thing Hockey Canada needs on its plate is another investigation. Just imagine the outcry had Canada, which led 2-0 with seven minutes remaining in the third period, lost the final to Czechia. I mean, early on in the tournament there were folks questioning Canada’s goaltending development record. . . . No, your favourite WHL team isn’t going to end up getting F Connor Bedard from the Regina Pats before next week’s trade deadline. Perhaps the Pats, with the likes of Bedard, F Tanner Howe and D Stan Svozil on their roster, should be buyers. What say you, John Paddock? . . . BTW, the Pats had F Cole Temple, the fifth overall pick in the WHL’s 2022 draft, in their lineup for their past two games. From Brandon, he is the son of former Wheat Kings F Jeff Temple. As well, Cole’s grandfather, Ted, one of hockey’s really good guys, played goal for the Wheat Kings (1967-69). . . . If you are so inclined, please think about clicking on the DONATE button over there on the right. Thank you!


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

G Jesse Sanche was backing up Dylan Ernst on Wednesday night when the Kamloops Blazers dropped a 3-2 OT decision to the visiting Everett Silvertips. Sanche, 16, is from Kelowna and was a second-round pick in the WHL’s 2021 draft, but has yet to play in a WHL game. He was on the bench because I’m guessing that Czech G Michael Schnattinger, 18, was placed on waivers following the acquisition on Tuesday of G Matthew Kieper, 18, from the Regina Pats. Kieper hadn’t yet arrived in Kamloops, thus Sanche got a prime seat for the game. . . .

During that Wednesday game, the Blazers elevated Greg (Spike) Wallace to legendary status as they put his name on one of their Legends banners and lifted it into the arena rafters. On March 7, 2012, the WHL presented Wallace with a Distinguished Service Award. The following morning, the Blazers announced that Wallace was leaving the team “by mutual agreement . . . to pursue other initiatives. The Blazers and Spike have agreed that now would be an appropriate time for (him) to . . . pursue new opportunities.” . . . Wallace had been part of the Blazers since 1984, serving as trainer and equipment manager, then later as community liaison. He was a part of three Memorial Cup champions and five WHL titles. . . . Former Blazers players Jerome Iginla and Darryl Sydor, now two of five owners of the franchise, were on hand to salute Wallace on Wednesday night.


Vultures


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


ATMfees

Taking Note’s pick as sportsmen of the year . . . Come on, folks, mask up . . . Rockets, Giants stung by WJC injuries

As another old year gives way to a new one, numerous organizations hand out end-of-year awards. That doesn’t happen at Taking Note, but if it did I would Brandonbe quick to salute Calder Anderson, Jake Chiasson, Nolan Ritchie and Ben Thornton of the Brandon Wheat Kings as this site’s sportsmen of the year. . . . In case you missed it, in the words of the Brandon Sun’s Perry Bergson, they “successfully interceded to help a distressed man who was contemplating suicide on the First Street Bridge” on the evening of Nov. 29. . . . “We’re very happy that we were able to save him and get him some help,” Thornton told Bergson, who added: “They also learned another lesson when 30 or 40 vehicles drove by without stopping in the short span they were trying to help the man. Yet they never considered leaving until the man was safe.” . . . Gentlemen, I salute you. . . . Bergson’s complete story is right here.


Let’s be honest. We are part of a society that is putting together an absolutely Covidabysmal record unless being selfish and uncaring is the objective. Really, had you told me four years ago that the time was coming when our children would by dying, when our children would be unable to get much-needed surgical procedures, when our hospital’s emergency rooms would be over-run and that society would refuse to help by doing something as simple as masking up, well, I would have told you that you were crazy. . . . But, well, here we are.

——

After avoiding COVID-19 for almost three years, it caught up with me almost five weeks ago. Ironically, I tested positive on a day when I was to have visited a pharmacy for my fifth shot. Thankfully, the boosters did what they were supposed to, leaving me with a bit of a cough and some fatigue. The strangest thing is that there have been good days followed by bad. Just when you think you’re over the rough road, it reappears. Kind of like city streets, if you know what I mean. . . . As for that fifth shot, well, it’ll have to wait until May. . . . In the meantime, I will be here as fatigue’s curtain allows.

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André Picard wrote this in The Globe and Mail last week:

“In some ways, these more recent viral challenges have distracted us from the main event: COVID-19. While we largely returned to ‘pre-pandemic’ normalcy this year, this has actually been the deadliest year yet for COVID-19; in 2022, Canada will surpass 17,000 deaths, more than the 14,642 deaths we recorded in 2020 or the 16,489 in 2021. A fifth wave of Omicron is just beginning.

“We still don’t know if SARS-CoV-2 will mutate further. We do not know if it will become seasonal, like most respiratory viruses. And we definitely do not yet have a handle on what it will mean if we suffer repeated COVID-19 infections — but it certainly won’t be good news.

“Viruses are ubiquitous, and will continue to pose new threats. We can’t live a virus-free existence, nor can we place our children and seniors in a protective bubble.

“But we also cannot hang them out to dry on a viral firing range, without any protection. We need to use the mitigation tools (vaccinations and masks) we have while we develop new ones. That’s what ‘living with COVID’ really needs to mean, moving ahead into a new year.”

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The Angus Reid Institute released results of an online survey early in December that showed of 5,013 participants 54 per cent would be prepared to mask up if it was made mandatory if COVID-19 levels increase. But only 31 per cent are wearing masks more than half the time when they are in indoor public places. Sheesh, people, that just doesn’t make any sense.

Get vaccinated and wear a mask when appropriate, like when shopping or anywhere in a crowded area. . . . Just because the politicians and health officers won’t do their part by mandating masks doesn’t mean you can’t do the right thing and be part of the solution.



Look, F Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals is not the greatest goal scorer nhl2in NHL history. So stop trying to tell me that he is. He’s still 88 behind Wayne Gretzky. Have people already forgotten just how great Gretzky was? . . . Allow me to point out that Gretzky also scored 92 goals in the WHA, which was a better league than many of those same people seem to recall. As for Gordie Howe, well he scored 801 NHL goals and another 174 in the WHA. . . . But when Ovechkin puts in No. 895, then you can call him the greatest goal scorer in NHL history. OK?

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While some hockey fans celebrate Ovechkin’s scoring accomplishments, there are those who don’t and never will go that way. Why? Because of Ovechkin’s long-time support of Russian ruler Vladimir Putin, who, of course, is responsible for the ongoing war on Ukraine. Luke Fox of Sportsnet took a look at the Ovechkin-Putin situation the other day and it really is an interesting read. That piece is right here.

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BTW, did Gretzky really have to throw mud on his legacy by jumping on the gambling gravy train?


It is every general manager’s worst nightmare . . . a top player leaves for an international assignment and then suffers a serious injury. . . . That is what has happened with the Kelowna Rockets and Vancouver Giants, each team having had a player seriously injured at the 2023 World Junior Championship. Those injuries may well have an impact on the WHL’s Western Conference playoff race from which eight teams will qualify. . . .

F Colton Dach, the Rockets’ captain, initiated a hit during a Saturday game — KelownaCanada beat Sweden, 5-1 — and left the game in obvious discomfort thanks to an injury to his right shoulder area. Dach, who turns 20 on Wednesday, has 17 points, nine of them goals, in 14 games with the Rockets this season. Earlier, he missed some time with a concussion. . . . The Rockets (12-18-3), who have lost five in a row, are eighth in the conference, seven points ahead of the Victoria Royals (8-24-4). . . .

Meanwhile, freshman F Samuel Honzek, the Vancouver Giants’ leading scorer, Vancouversuffered a skate cut to the back of his left leg on Wednesday as his Slovakian side beat the U.S., 6-3. The 18-year-old Honzek, who is expected to be out as long as six weeks, leads the Giants in assists (26) and points (43) in 31 games. . . . Vancouver (14-16-6) is tied for fourth in the conference with the Tri-City Americans, who hold two games in hand. They are one point ahead of the Everett Silvertips. . . .

The WHL’s trade deadline arrives on Jan. 10.


The Everett Silvertips and Victoria Royals swapped 19-year-old goaltenders on Dec. 28. Tyler Palmer, who had left the Royals for what the team said was WHLpersonal reasons, was dealt to Everett in exchange for Braden Holt. . . . Palmer, from Fernie, B.C., was in his second season with Victoria. He left the Royals sometime after a 7-4 loss to the visiting Portland Winterhawks on Nov. 12. . . . Holt, from Bozeman, Mont., was in his fourth season with Everett. In his first start with Victoria, he stopped 35 shots in a 3-0 victory over the host Vancouver Giants. . . . Having acquired Holt, the Royals then traded G Logan Cunningham, a 17-year-old from Sherwood Park, Alta., to the Edmonton Oil Kings for a fifth-round pick in the 2025 WHL draft. . . . After adding Cunningham to their roster, the Oil Kings dropped G Ronin Geraghty, 18. From Burnaby, B.C., he was 0-5-0, 6.48, .819 in seven games with Edmonton. . . .

Still with goaltending, the Swift Current Broncos lost starter Gage Alexander on Dec. 30 when the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks signed him to an entry-level deal and assigned him to the AHL’s San Diego Gulls. Alexander, 20, had played in 15 games for the Broncos this season, two more than Reid Dyck. Alexander was 8-5-1, 3.47, .898. . . . The Ducks had selected Alexander in the fifth round of the NHL’s 2021 draft. . . . The Broncos had acquired him from the Winnipeg Ice on July 28, giving up a third-round pick in the WHL’s 2025 draft in the exchange. . . . The move left the Broncos with Dyck, an 18-year-old from Winkler, Man., and Joey Rocha, 17, from Nanaimo, B.C., as their goaltenders. . . . Dyck, in his third season, was 4-10-0, 4.07, .880 at the time of the deal; Rocha, a freshman, had been in four games. . . .

And while we’re on the subject of goaltending, how about the run Scott Ratzlaff is on with the Seattle Thunderbirds while starter Thomas Milic is with Team Canada at the WJC? Thom Beuning, the veteran radio voice of the Thunderbirds, points out that Ratzlaff’s December looked like this: 8-0-1, 1.65, .941, with two shutouts. . . . Ratzlaff, 17, is from Irma, Alta. He was a second-round selection in the WHL’s 2020 draft. This season, the 6-foot-2, 170-pounder is 14-2-1, 2.04, .925. In 42 career appearances, he is 32-4-2, 2.31, .912. . . .

And let’s not forget about Daniel Hauser of the Winnipeg Ice. An 18-year-old from Chestermere, Alta., Hauser recorded his 20th victory of the season the other night. This season, in 22 games, he is 20-2-0, 2.36, .912. He has made 70 regular-season appearances over three seasons, going 61-5-2, 2.24, .911. Not at all shabby, eh?


The junior B Nelson Leafs and the visiting Beaver Valley Nitehawks of the kijhlKootenay International Junior Hockey League took time out from chasing a puck to exchange Happy New Year greetings as they began the second period on Saturday evening. . . . The Leafs are the team in white in the above video, and the video evidence would seem to indicate that they were first off the mark. . . . The puck now has been passed to Jeff Dubois, the KIJHL commissioner. . . . Happy New Year, Mr. Dubois.


MyWay


THINKING OUT LOUD — The best part of the World Junior Championship? That’s easy. Having the opportunity to listen to Dennis Beyak do play-by-play again. It says here that he is the best in his field even if he is semi-retired. . . . The other day, the choice was Beyak calling Slovakia and Switzerland from the WJC on TSN or Jack Edwards handling the Buffalo Sabres against his beloved Boston Bruins on Sportsnet. Sorry, Sportsnet. . . . The most annoying commercial on TV these days (pick one) — Clay Matthews for Tide, Rogers’ Wrapped in Red spots, the Subway ads featuring the Toronto Raptors’ Scottie Barnes, or the Sobeys’ family of four. . . . If you enjoy your time on this site, and even if you don’t, you may want to consider clicking on the DONATE button over there on the right side. Thanks in advance. . . . Dan Russell, the now-retired host of the long-running Vancouver-based radio show Sportstalk, release his memoir — Pleasant Good Evening: A Memoir — My 30 Wild and Turbulent Years of Sportsnet — in 2022 and now is thinking of spinning off a podcast. “My plans,” he writes on his blog, “now are to add more content to this site, especially in the audio vault. And I will update this blog from time to time. I’m also considering a podcast as my 2023 project. One that will combine what is happening today with the large archive of Sportstalk audio I have saved over the years.” If you haven’t seen his blog, it’s right here.


Here’s Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, after the final game in soccer’s World Cup: “If you watched this game and came away from it with the idea that it was not a good expenditure of your time, then you simply do not like soccer and should make a note to yourself not to waste any more time trying to appreciate the sport.” . . . Hey, he is correct!


How many WHLers do you know of, past or present, who have put together and released an album? Yes, an album of their own music. . . . F London Hoilett of the Calgary Hitmen is quite a story, having made the team prior to this season despite never having been drafted. He also is something of a musician and has his first album — Can’t Sit Still — ready for release on Jan. 10. . . . Cami Kepke of Global Calgary has more right here.


Mitts


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

A few things of note that popped up while I was away from here . . .

D Ethan Samson, the captain of the Prince George Cougars, has signed a three-year entry-level deal with the Philadelphia Flyers, who selected him in the sixth round of the NHL’s 2021 draft. Samson, 19, is from Delta, B.C. He had two goals and an assist as the Cougars beat the visiting Kamloops Blazers, 10-6, on Saturday night. This season, Samson has 11 goals and 16 assists in 28 games. . . .

The Kelowna Rockets have added former player Curtis Hamilton, 31, to their front office as assistant general manager. Yes, his father, Bruce, is the Rockets’ owner, president and general manager. There is a news release right here. . . .

Gilles Courteau, who took over as the QMJHL’s president during the 1985-86 season, will retire at the end of this season. A replacement is expected to be named in May, with Courteau staying on into 2024 to help with the transition. . . . The league has changed the name of its championship trophy from the President’s Cup to the Gilles Courteau Trophy. . . . Courteau first worked in the QMJHL office in 1977 as a statistician. . . .

The junior B Spokane Braves of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League announced that they will ice a team for the 2023-24 season. The Braves have sat out the past two KIJHL seasons for reasons related to the pandemic. . . .

Another high-end WHL forward changed teams on Dec. 31 when the Winnipeg Ice acquired Carson Latimer, 19, from the Prince Albert Raiders for F Aiden Quiring, 17, and third-round selections in the 2024 and 2025 WHL drafts. . . . Latimer, a fourth-round selection by the Ottawa Senators in the NHL’s 2021 draft, had 22 goals and 38 assists in 75 regular-season games with the Raiders. This season, he had 10 goals and 18 assists in 31 games when he was dealt. . . . Quiring, a freshman who was a third-round pick in the 2020 WHL draft, had five goals and three assists in 26 games at the time of the trade. . . .

The Tri-City Americans revealed on Dec. 30 that D Ben Feenan “has left the team for personal reasons and will join the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs.” . . . Feenan, 18, is from Surrey, B.C. He had three assists in 22 games this season, after recording six helpers in 48 games in 2021-22. . . . The Americans selected him in the sixth round of the WHL’s 2019 draft. . . .

The Americans got past the visiting Spokane Chiefs, 7-6 in OT, on New Year’s Eve. And wouldn’t you know it . . . Americans D Lukas Dragicevic didn’t pick up so much as one point, thus ending his 27-game point streak. He put up seven goals and 30 assists during that stretch.


Grinch


Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press recently wrote a piece in a newsletter about things he would change if he ruled the hockey world for a day. Here’s one item with which I completely agree:

“Severely limit betting/gambling advertisements. Heck, I might just consider an outright ban. I could tolerate them when they first began, in small doses. But it’s to the point now of being completely obnoxious. Seemingly every second commercial is for some website, and now even hosts such as Ron MacLean are routinely shilling for these services. To be clear, I’ve got absolutely nothing against gambling. If you have the means and can do it responsibly, knock your socks off. It’s the idea of having it shoved down my throat everywhere I turn that I find so offensive.”


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

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Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

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Or, for more information, visit right here.


Dinner

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