Broncos, Silvertips to meet for WHL title . . . Estephan keys Swift Current win . . . Davis caps Everett’s amazing comeback

The Swift Current Broncos and Everett Silvertips will meet in the WHL’s championship final for the Ed Chynoweth Cup. The best-of-seven series will be played in a 2-3-2 format, opening in Swift Current with games on Friday and Saturday nights. They’ll play in Everett on May 8, May 9 and, if necessary, May 11. If needed, Games 6 and 7 would be played in Swift Current on May 13 and May 14.

The Broncos haven’t been in the WHL final since 1993 when they got past the Portland Winter Hawks — yes, the nickname was two words back in the day — in seven games.

The Broncos beat the host Lethbridge Hurricanes, 5-1, on Monday night to win the best-SCBroncosof-seven Eastern Conference final, 4-2. . . . The Hurricanes went into the game with an 8-0 record at home in these playoffs. They also had scored at least five goals in seven of those victories. . . . The Broncos now are 5-5 on the road. . . . Last night, the Broncos erased a 1-0 deficit with three second-period goals in a span of 96 seconds. F Matteo Gennaro tied it 1-1 at 6:33; F Alexi Heponiemi made it 2-1 at 7:02 and F Beck Malenstyn upped it to 3-1 at 8:09. . . . Former Hurricanes captain Giorgio Estephan gave Lethbridge fans something to remember him by with a PP goal for a 4-1 lead at 2:12 of the third period. . . . Broncos G Stuart Skinner finished with 33 saves, 19 of them in the first period when his guys were outshot, 20-2.

In Kennewick, Wash., the Silvertips erased a 5-2 third-period deficit to beat the Tri-City Americans, 6-5 in OT. Everett won the Western Conference final, 4-2. . . . Everett last Everettreached the championship final in 2004, its first season in the WHL, when it was swept by the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . D Kevin Davis (3) won it with his second goal of the game, at 5:58 of OT. Davis, who turned 21 on March 14, was playing in his 401st game with the Silvertips — 347 regular-season games and 54 in the playoffs. Yes, he went into the game with two goals in his previous 53 playoff games. . . . Everett is 7-0 on the road in these playoffs. . . . Tri-City had trailed 2-1 before scoring four straight goals, the last one, by F Jordan Topping (4) at 8:52 of the third period. . . . F Connor Dewar (9) started the Everett comeback at 9:52. Davis (2) pulled his guys to within one at 13:53, and F Garrett Pilon (11) tied it at 14:29. . . . Pilon had left the game at 17:30 of the first period after taking a hit from behind from Tri-City F Michael Rasmussen. However, Pilon returned for the second period. . . . Tri-City D Juuso Valimaki, who had two goals in a 5-2 victory in Game 5 on Saturday, had four assists in Game 6 as he figured in each of his club’s first four scores. . . . G Carter Hart stopped 18 shots for Everett. . . . Tri-City G Patrick Dea made 31 saves, 18 of them in the first period when his guys were outshot 20-4. . . . Announced attendance was 3,033.


The OHL announced Monday that it had suspended F Givani Smith of the Kitchener Rangers for two games after he made an “inappropriate gesture” at the end of Sunday’s 4-3 victory over the visiting Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. . . . Kitchener won the game in OT to tie the best-of-seven series, 3-3. Smith had a goal and two assists in the victory. . . . The teams played Game 7 on Monday night in the Soo, with the Greyhounds winning, 4-3 in double OT, to advance to the championship final against the Hamilton Bulldogs. . . . Smith, who turned 20 on Feb. 27, sat out last night. He was a second-round selection by the Detroit Red Wings in the NHL’s 2016 draft. . . . The OHL final is scheduled to open Thursday in the Soo.


With Ian Herbers officially having returned to his post as head coach with the U of Alberta Golden Bears, it means that Serge Lajoie is looking for work. Herbers spent the last three years on sabbatical as he worked as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers. With him gone, Lajoie took over as the Golden Bears’ head coach and won the 2018 USports championship. . . . It’s an open secret that Lajoie has talked with the Saskatoon Blades about their head-coaching vacancy. The Blades are looking to replace Dean Brockman, who was fired at season’s end. . . . Jason Hills of Postmedia reports that Lajoie also has talked with the Red Deer Rebels, who have an opening after they and associate coach Jeff Truitt chose to part company.


Erik Largen is the new head coach at the U of Alaska-Fairbanks. Largen, 31, spent the previous two seasons with the Nanooks as an assistant coach. He now is the youngest head coach in NCAA Division I hockey ranks. . . . Largen takes over from Lance West, who had been the interim head coach for the 2017-18 season after Dallas Ferguson left to take over as head coach of the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen. . . . College Hockey News has more on this story right here.


MacBeth

D Mitch Versteeg (Lethbridge, 2006-09) signed a one-year extension with Nitra (Slovakia, Extraliga). He had three goals and seven assists in 49 games. . . .

F Jesse Mychan (Everett, Tri-City, 2011-13) signed a one-year contract with Nitra (Slovakia, Extraliga). This season, he had two assists in five games with Innsbruck (Austria, Erste Bank Liga), and 14 goals and 11 assists in 43 games with the Colorado Eagles (ECHL). . . .

D Jim Vandermeer (Red Deer, 1997-2001) signed a one-year contract extension with the Belfast Giants (Northern Ireland, UK Elite). As a player/assistant coach, he had seven goals and 16 assists in 33 games this season. . . .

F Spencer Edwards (Red Deer, Seattle, Moose Jaw, 2006-11) signed a one-year contract with Amiens (France, Ligue Magnus). This season, he had 20 goals and 22 assists in 44 games with Bordeaux (France, Ligue Magnus).


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Warriors, Raiders set for first round . . . Ronning gets No. 60 in win . . . Rockets win seventh B.C. Division flag

A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

The 2019 World men’s curling championship will be played at the ENMAX Centre in Lethbridge, running from March 30 through April 7. That means that the Lethbridge Hurricanes will have to take their show somewhere else should they be in the playoffs at that time. . . . The World women’s curling championship was played in the same facility in 2012. The Hurricanes co-operated that spring by not making the playoffs.


Two goaltenders with ties to the WHL will be inducted into the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame this year. Grant Fuhr and Mike Vernon are among the class of 2018 that officially will be inducted on July 22 in Canmore. . . . Fuhr, who won five Stanley Cups with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, played for the Victoria Cougars (1979-81). Vernon, a two-time Stanley Cup winner, once each with the Calgary Flames and Detroit Red Wings, played for the Calgary Wranglers (1980-83). Vernon also was with the Portland Winterhawks as they won the 1983 Memorial Cup. A roster addition, he ended up as the tournament MVP. . . . Also to be inducted are broadcaster Ron MacLean and long-time hockey coach Wally Kozak, who spent one season (1986-87) as the Wranglers’ head coach.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

WEDNESDAY:

At Regina, F Jesse Gabrielle scored the lone goal of a shootout to give the Pats a 3-2 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . Regina (39-25-6) has won six in a row. The Pats ReginaPats100are third in the East Division, three points ahead of Brandon with each having two games remaining. . . . Prince Albert (32-25-13) has points in 11 straight (9-0-2). The loss means the Raiders will finish in the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot and will meet the Moose Jaw Warriors in the first round of playoffs. . . . Regina was 8-0-0 in the season series; Prince Albert was 0-4-4. . . . F Jordy Stallard (44) gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead at 11:16 of the first period. . . . Regina tied it at 4:51 of the second period as F Sam Steel got No. 32. . . . The Raiders went ahead 2-1 at 11:24 on F Regan Nagy’s 25th goal. . . . Regina F Cam Hebig (41) tied it, shorthanded, at 11:51. . . . Gabrielle, the shootout’s second shooter, scored the only goal of the skills competition. . . . Prince Albert was 0-3 on the PP; Regina was 0-4. . . . The Pats got 31 saves from G Max Paddock, who continues to be the starter with Ryan Kubic injured. On the season, Paddock is 18-7-2, 2.94, .902. . . . The Raiders got 33 stops from G Curtis Meger. . . . Announced attendance: 6,484.


At Swift Current, F Max Gerlach scored twice, giving him three straight 30-goal seasons, as the Saskatoon Blades dumped the Broncos, 5-2. . . . Saskatoon (33-33-4) had lost it Saskatoonprevious three games (0-2-1) as it fell out of playoff contention. . . . Swift Current (47-17-6) has lost three in a row (0-3-0). It will finish second in the East Division and meet either Regina or Brandon in the first round. . . . Saskatoon went 4-3-1 in the season series; Swift Current was 4-4-0. . . . F Kirby Dach, who also had three assists, got the Blades started as he scored his seventh goal at 19:45 of the first period. . . . F Braylon Shmyr (37) made it 2-0 at 4:47 of the second period. . . . The home side tied it on second-period goals from F Kaden Elder (17), at 5:32, and F Matteo Gennaro (41), on a PP, at 12:38. . . . F Michael Farren (11) broke the tie, on a PP, at 19:51. . . . Gerlach, who has 31 goals, scored twice in the third period, at 1:14 and 7:02, the latter on a PP. . . . Gerlach had 30 goals as a freshman in 2015-16 with Medicine Hat, then added 34 goals last season. This season, he had 16 goals in 35 games when Medicine Hat dealt him to Saskatoon. He has 15 goals in 28 games with the Blades. . . . D Dawson Davidson drew two assists for Saskatoon, with Gerlach getting one. . . . Saskatoon was 2-4 on the PP; Swift Current was 1-3. . . . G Tyler Brown stopped 42 shots for the Blades. At the other end, G Stuart Skinner made 22 saves. . . . The Broncos were without F Glenn Gawdin, who now has missed three games with an illness; F Tyler Steenbergen, who took a nasty hit from Moose Jaw F Barrett Sheen on Saturday; and F Tanner Nagel, who sat out the first game of a three-game suspension. . . . D Zach Ashton, 16, made his WHL debut with the Blades. A third-round pick in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft, he played the past two seasons with the midget AAA Calgary Buffaloes. . . . Announced attendance: 2,890.


At Calgary, the Hitmen scored three shootout goals to beat the Kootenay Ice, 3-2. . . . Calgary (23-36-11) has won four in a row (3-0-1) and moved into a tie with the Ice for Calgary10th spot in the Eastern Conference. . . . Kootenay (25-38-7) has lost 11 in a row (0-7-4). . . . Kootenay won the season series, 5-1-1; Calgary finished 2-3-2. . . . The Ice got out to a 1-0 lead as F Brett Davis (25) scored at 10:13 of the first period. . . . Calgary took a 2-1 lead on second-period goals from F Mark Kastelic (21), at 1:17, and F Riley Stotts (18), at 2:41. . . . Kootenay F Alec Baer (28) tied it, on a PP, at 2:37 of the third period. . . . D Martin Bodak had two assists for the Ice. . . . F Jake Kryski, Stotts and F Jakob Stukel scored shootout goals for Calgary, with Davis the lone Ice shooter to score. . . . Kootenay was 1-2 on the PP; Calgary was 0-1. . . . Matthew Armitage stopped 25 shots for the Hitmen. . . . G Jesse Makaj made his first career start for the Ice, and made 29 saves. He was a second-round selection in the 2016 WHL bantam draft. This season, he played for the major midget Greater Vancouver Canadians. . . . Announced attendance: 6,849.


At Red Deer, F Kristian Reichel scored twice and added two assists to help the Rebels to a 5-2 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . This was a meeting of two teams that will Red Deerclash in the first round of the playoffs. The only thing left to decide is who has home-ice advantage. . . . Red Deer (27-30-13) is third in the Central Division, three points behind Lethbridge (32-32-6), which has lost seven in a row. Each team has two games left to play. . . . Lethbridge went 4-2-0 in the season series; Red Deer was 2-2-2. . . . Reichel opened the scoring at 12:45 of the first period, with F Josh Tarzwell (10) making it 2-0, on a PP, at 1:04 of the second period. . . . Lethbridge F Zane Franklin (14) cut into the lead, on a PP, at 5:52. . . . The Rebels got the next two goals, from Reichel (34), on a PP, at 14:33, and F Brandon Hagel (18), at 3:37 of the third. . . . F Jake Elmer (18) got the visitors to within two at 6:40. . . . F Reese Johnson (23) scored Red Deer’s final goal, at 16:07. . . . Red Deer got two assists from F Mason McCarty, with Hagel and Tarzwell each getting one. . . . Red Deer was 2-5 on the PP; Lethbridge was 1-2. . . . G Riley Lamb earned the victory with 32 stops, 12 more than Reece Klassen of the Hurricanes. . . . D Tate Olson and F Dylan Cozens were among Lethbridge’s scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 3,858.

At Kamloops, F Ty Ronning scored his 60th goal of the season as his Vancouver Giants skated to a 4-1 victory over the Blazers. . . . Vancouver (36-25-9) is third in the B.C. VancouverDivision, three points behind Victoria with each team having two games remaining. . . . Kamloops (29-36-5) has lost four straight. . . . Vancouver won the season series, 5-3-0. . . . F Jermaine Loewen (35) gave the home team a 1-0 lead at 11:51, but it wouldn’t score again. . . . F Davis Koch (22) got the Giants even, at 15:13, and Ronning got No. 60 at 1:13 of the second period. That turned into his ninth game-winner of the season, tying him for the team lead with F James Malm. . . . F Milos Roman (9) scored on a PP at 4:00 to stretch Vancouver’s lead to 3-1. . . . Roman hadn’t scored since Dec. 1, but this was only his ninth game since then, thanks to playing for Slovakia at the World Junior Championship and an ankle injury. . . . F Tyler Benson (27) got the empty-netter at 19:46. . . . Malm finished with two assists, with Benson and Koch adding one apiece. . . . Vancouver was 1-5 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-3. . . . G Trent Miner was shaky on the Blazers’ lone goal, but finished with 39 saves in a strong outing. He was named the game’s first star. . . . G Dylan Ferguson stopped 30 shots for Kamloops. . . . The Giants are without G David Tendeck, who may not play again until the playoffs begin. . . . Also among the Giants’ scratches were D Dylan Plouffe and D Matt Barberis. . . . Bill Wilms, the analyst on Giants’ radio broadcasts, worked his 2,000 WHL game. . . . Announced attendance: 4,050. . . . This was the 10th time the announced attendance in Kamloops has been at least 4,000. The Blazers are 1-8-2 in those games.


At Kelowna, the Rockets scored five times in the third period to beat the Prince George Cougars, 6-3. . . . Kelowna (41-22-7) has points in four straight (3-0-1). With the victory, it KelownaRocketswrapped up the seventh B.C. Division title in franchise history. . . . Prince George (23-38-9) has lost six in a row (0-5-1). . . . Kelowna won the season series, 6-2-0; Prince George was 2-4-2. . . . F Aaron Boyd (14) gave the Cougars a 1-0 lead at 13:30 of the first period. . . . Kelowna F Nolan Foote (13), who had missed 17 games with an undisclosed injury, tied it at 17:07. . . . F Brogan O’Brien (15) gave the visitors a 2-1 lead at 17:45 of the second period and they took that into the third period. . . . The Rockets tied it at 0:23 as D Kaedan Korczak scored his fourth goal. . . . D Cal Foote snapped the tie at 6:08, and F Dillon Dube (35) upped it to 4-2 at 14:00. . . . Foote (19) added a second goal at 14:29, and D Braydyn Chizen (6) counted at 16:27. . . . D Ryan Schoettler (8) scored for the Cougars at 17:56, on a PP. . . . The Rockets got two assists from each of F Kole Lind and F Leif Mattson, with Nolan Foote, Cal Foote and Dube getting one apiece. . . . O’Brien added an assist for the Cougars. . . . Prince George was 1-4 on the PP; Kelowna was 0-8. . . . The Cougars took 62 of the game’s 114 penalty minutes. . . . Kelowna G James Porter stopped 15 shots. . . . The Cougars got 44 saves from G Taylor Gauthier. . . . The Cougars had two players ejected at 8:41 of the third period. D Joel Lakusta took a headshot major and game misconduct, while D Cam MacPhee was hit with a match penalty for attempt to injure. . . . At one point early in the third period, according to the Prince George Citizen, Prince George Richard Matvichuk let referees Mark Pearce and Colin Watt know his feelings by waving a white towel. . . . Prior to the game, Regan Bartel, the radio voice of the Rockets, tweeted: “My good friend Bob Tory, GM of the Americans, is in the house to do some pre-scouting on a possible opening round matchup.” . . . Announced attendance: 4,561.


At Spokane, the Seattle Thunderbirds broke a 3-3 tie with three second-period goals to beat the Chiefs, 6-3. . . . Seattle (33-26-10) holds down the Western Conference’s second Seattlewild-card spot, five points behind Tri-City with three games to play. . . . Spokane (39-24-6) has lost three in a row (0-2-1). . . . The Spokane loss means that Portland, which is second in the U.S. Division, has clinched home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. . . . Seattle went 5-2-1 in the season series; Spokane was 3-5-0. . . . Spokane jumped out to a 1-0 lead when F Jaret Anderson-Dolan scored at 3:30 of the first period. . . . Seattle scored three times before the period ended. F Sami Moilanen, who has 21 goals, scored twice, at 8:59 and 12:19, and F Samuel Huo (2) found the range at 13:38. . . . The Chiefs climbed into a 3-3 tie on PP goals from F Hudson Elynuik (31), at 19:50, and Anderson-Dolan (39), at 2:04 of the second period. . . . Seattle D Jake Lee (4) broke the tie at 3:29, and F Matthew Wedman (17) made it 5-3 at 13:15. Seattle got its last goal from F Zack Andrusiak (34) at 15:20. . . . F Nolan Volcan had two assists for Seattle, with Moilanen and Andrusiak adding one each. . . . The Chiefs got two assists from each of F Kailer Yamamoto and F Ethan McIndoe. . . . Spokane was 2-5 on the PP; Seattle was 0-1. . . . Seattle G Liam Hughes stopped 37 shots. . . . Spokane starter Dawson Weatherill allowed four goals on 12 shots in 23:29 before Bailey Brkin came on to finish up, giving up two goals on 17 shots in 36:31. Brkin was added to the Chiefs’ roster this week after playing with the AJHL’s Lloydminster Bobcats. . . . Announced attendance: 4,734.


THURSDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Brandon at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Swift Current at Regina, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Seattle at Portland, 7 p.m.

Prince George at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Tri-City at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.

Kelowna vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7:30 p.m.

Victoria at Everett, 7:35 p.m.


SATURDAY (all times local):

Regina at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Prince Albert at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Calgary at Edmonton, 7 p.m.

Red Deer at Kootenay, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.

Kamloops at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Portland vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 6:05 p.m.

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

Everett at Victoria 7:05 p.m.


SUNDAY (all times local):

Edmonton at Calgary, 2 p.m.

Spokane at Portland, 5 p.m.

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

END OF REGULAR SEASON


TWEET OF THE DAY

Warriors win battle of East titans . . . Rebels are in; Ice is out . . . Raiders’ run reaches nine

MacBeth

F Geordie Wudrick (Swift Current, Kelowna, 2005-11) has signed a one-season contract with the Sydney Ice Dogs (Australia, AIHL). This season, he played for the Berlin Blues (Germany, Regionalliga Ost). In eight games, he had a team-high 12 goals, along with seven assists. The AIHL regular season starts on April 21. . . . Wudrick holds the single-season points record in AIHL with 91 and the single-season goal record (44) in 28 games. He set those in 2015 with the Newcastle North Stars. Wudrick played the last two AIHL seasons with CBR Brave Canberra.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

The Victoria Royals had their Organ Donor Awareness Night on Friday when they entertained the Prince George Cougars.

You can bet it was a special night for the Soy family.

Tyler, of course, is 20 and in his final season with the Royals. His mother, Sandy, had a VictoriaRoyalskidney transplant in November 2010 after suffering complete kidney failure due to complications from lupus in 2004. She spent six years doing peritoneal dialysis, hooking up to a machine called a cycler every night and using it to do a fluid exchange to get the toxins out of her body.

When you do PD, you get a truckload of supplies every four weeks, all of which must be stored in your home.

Five years ago, Sandy’s husband, Michael, told me: “We became used to the routine . . . Tyler had to grow up very fast . . . as he carried boxes, re-filled supplies and watched every night as his mom connected to a machine that kept her alive . . .“

In the end, Sandy received a kidney through what was then the Living Donor Paired Exchange registry — it now is the Kidney Paired Donation program. In that process, Michael donated a kidney to an anonymous recipient, with Sandy getting a kidney from an anonymous donor.

“It showed me how strong they are,” Tyler told me of his parents after a game in Kamloops in January 2013. “For my dad to give up one of his kidneys so my mom could get one is really special.”

You likely are aware that my wife, Dorothy, underwent a kidney transplant, too. That was on Sept. 23, 2013. It came through the Living Donor Exchange registry, too, after she had spent four years on peritoneal dialysis.

In the middle of all this, we reached out to Sandy and she was a big help as we travelled down a similar road to the one with which she was so familiar.

Her day was made that much more special when Tyler scored the tying goal at 17:03 of the third period before the Royals won the game in overtime.

You can see more right here.

I hope that stories like this will help you understand why the involvement of the WHL and its 17 Canadian teams — along with RE/MAX — in this Organ Donor Awareness promotion is so important to so many people.


Look, I love to read. I always seem to have four or five books on the go, and often think there aren’t enough hours in the day to allow me to read as much as I would like to do. Yes, the need for sleep often gets in the way, too. . . . I’m also a baseball fan, and happen to think that Ichiro Suzuki is one of the most-intriguing personalities to have appeared in MLB over the past few years. . . . On Saturday, thanks to Twitter, I came upon a simply brilliant essay on Ichiro, who “is haunted by the life he can’t escape.”  It was written by Wright Thompson and it’s right here. My, but this is so good!


Once you have read the piece on Ichiro, pour another cup of Sunday morning coffee and dig into this essay right here. Written by Roy MacGregor of The Globe and Mail, it is headlined ‘When NHL rinks outlast their usefulness’, and deals with the situations surrounding the NHL’s Calgary Flames and Ottawa Senators and their home arenas.


Allistair Chapman, 25, is “a Calgary man accused of running a prolific multimillion-dollar, city-based international drug cartel — one investigators believe linked to both Mexican narcotics rings and a brazen 2017 double homicide,” reports Bryan Passifiume of Postmedia. . . . Chapman also is a former junior hockey player who was selected by the Swift Current Broncos in the fifth round of the WHL’s 2007 bantam draft. He never played in the WHL, topping out with a couple of stints in the AJHL. . . . Passifiume’s complete story is right here.



IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

SATURDAY:

At Moose Jaw, F Branden Klatt scored twice to help the Warriors to a 4-2 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Moose Jaw (50-15-3) leads the overall standings by three points MooseJawWarriorsover the Broncos. . . . Swift Current (47-16-6) has lost two in a row and has three games remaining. . . . The Warriors went 4-2-2 in the season series; the Broncos were 4-4-0. . . . The Warriors have won 50 games for the first time in franchise history. The previous record of 45 victories was set in 2011-12, when they finished atop the East Division and then bowed out in the conference final. . . . Klatt, who is from Moose Jaw, went into the game with 11 goals in 179 regular-season WHL games. This season, he now has five goals and eight assists in 65 games. . . . Klatt opened the scoring at 5:00 of the first period and F Jayden Halbgewachs made it 2-0, on a PP, at 16:20. He has a WHL-high 67 goals. . . . F Justin Almeida (41), who also had two assists, gave the Warriors a 3-0 lead at 7:36 of the second period. . . . F Kaden Elder (16) got Swift Current’s first goal at 2:02 of the third period. . . . Klatt got that one back at 11:03. . . . The Broncos’ second goal came from F Beck Malenstyn (16), on a PP, at 17:53. . . . F Tristin Langan had two assists for the Warriors. . . . F Aleksi Heponiemi had two assists for the Broncos. . . . Swift Current was 1-5 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 1-8. . . . The Warriors got 21 saves from G Brody Willms. . . . G Stuart Skinner started for the Broncos and was beaten three times on 21 shots in 27:36. Joel Hofer finished up by stopping 17 of 18 shots in 31:00. . . . The Warriors took 57 of the game’s 107 penalty minutes. . . . Moose Jaw F Barrett Sheen was tossed with a charging major and game misconduct at 4:59 of the third period. . . . The Broncos lost F Giorgio Estephan for a few shifts after he was struck in the ice by an errant puck in the first period. . . . Also in that first period, the Warriors lost D Brandon Schuldaus and D Dmitri Zaitsev to undisclosed injuries. . . . The Warriors were without F Brayden Burke for a third straight game. . . . Swift Current F Glenn Gawdin, the WHL’s leading scorer, is ill and missed his second game in as many nights, as did freshman D Jacson Alexander. . . . Gawdin has 124 points, two more than Halbgewachs and seven more than Heponiemi. Burke is fourth, with 113. . . . Announced attendance: 4,765.


At Prince Albert, D Brayden Pachal scored in OT to give the Raiders their ninth straight victory, this one 4-3 over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Prince Albert (32-25-11) holds down the PrinceAlbertEastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, seven points ahead of Saskatoon, which has four games remaining. . . . Calgary (21-36-11) is 1-0-1 in its past two games. It had won 5-4 in OT in Saskatoon on Friday night. . . . The Hitmen took a 1-0 lead at 13:46 of the first period as F Mark Kastelic scored. . . . The Raiders tied it at 1:27 of the second period as F Jordy Stallard scored No. 43. . . . F Carson Focht (13) gave the Hitmen a 2-1 lead at 16:13. . . . The Raiders went out front 3-2 on third-period goals from D Vojtech Budik (14), on a PP, at 5:51, and F Cutis Miske (26), at 6:38. Miske also had two assists. . . . Kastelic forced OT with his 20th goal, on a PP, at 9:02. . . . Pachal won it at 4:09 of OT when he scored his seventh goal of the season. . . . Stallard also had two assists, as he finished the night with 201 regular-season points in 234 games. This season, he has 43 goals and 46 assists in 68 games. . . . The Hitmen got two assists from F Tristen Nielsen. . . . Each team was 1-3 on the PP. . . . G Ian Scott earned the victory with 20 saves. . . . Calgary G Matthew Armitage was busier, with 40 saves. The Raiders held a 26-2 edge in shots in the third period. . . . Prince Albert’s franchise record for longest winning streak is 15 games, from 1985-86. . . . Announced attendance: 2,326.


At Saskatoon, the Brandon Wheat Kings clinched a playoff spot with a 4-2 victory over the Blades. . . . Brandon (37-26-5) has won three in a row. It is fourth in the East Division, BrandonWKregularthree points behind Regina. The Wheat Kings also hold down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, four points ahead of Prince Albert. . . . Brandon will play its first-round home games in Dauphin, Man., because the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair will be in Westoba Place at the same time. . . . Saskatoon (32-32-4) is seven points from a playoff spot with four games to play. . . . Brandon leads the season series, 5-2-0; the Blades are 2-5-0. . . . Last night, the Wheat Kings got the game’s first two goals, from F Stelio Mattheos (41), at 19:13 of the first period and F Linden McCorrister (18), at 9:38 of the second. . . . F Michael Farren (10) got the Blades to within a goal at 12:58. . . . Brandon F Luka Burzan (13) restored the two-goal lead at 15:27. . . . F Josh Paterson’s 31st goal, on a PP, left Saskatoon trailing by one at 6:47 of the third period. . . . F Cole Reinhardt (18) got the empty-netter for Brandon at 19:42. . . . McCorrister and Reinhardt each had an assist. . . . Saskatoon was 1-5 on the PP; Brandon was 0-4. . . . G Dylan Myskiw stopped 29 shots for the Wheat Kings. . . . G Nolan Maier stopped 12 shots for the Blades in his ninth straight start. . . . G Logan Thompson was among Brandon’s scratches. He left Friday’s 6-3 victory over visiting Swift Current after two periods because of an apparent leg injury. . . . The Wheat Kings had Ethan Kruger, 16, backing up Myskiw. He was a fifth-round pick in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. Kruger, from Sherwood Park, Alta., played this season with the midget AAA Sherwood Park Kings. . . . Announced attendance: 5,826.


At Lethbridge, the Regina Pats opened up a 4-0 lead en route to a 5-3 victory over the Hurricanes. . . . Regina (38-25-6) has won five in a row. It is third in the East Division, ReginaPats100three points ahead of Brandon. . . . Lethbridge (32-30-6) has lost five straight. It is second in the Central Division, eight points behind Medicine Hat and five ahead of Red Deer. . . . F Koby Morrisseau (6) opened the scoring at 3:29 of the first period, with F Jesse Gabrielle (13) making it 2-0, on a PP, at 8:48. . . . F Nick Henry (13) scored at 1:20 of the second, and F Robbie Holmes (16) made it 4-0 at 9:55. . . . The Hurricanes got to within a goal as F Brad Morrison scored at 14:35 of the second; D Calen Addison (10) counted two minutes later; and Morrison added another, his 27th, at 17:18 of the third. . . . Regina F Sam Steel (31) iced it with an empty-netter at 19:04. . . . Gabrielle added two assists to his goal. . . . D Igor Merezhko had two assists for Lethbridge. . . . Regina was 1-2 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-2. . . . There weren’t any penalties issued after the first period. . . . G Max Paddock stopped 27 shots for Regina. . . . Lethbridge got 38 stops from G Reece Klassen. . . . Regina went 7-1-0 on an eight-game road trip. The Pats were away from home because the Tim Hortons Brier (the Canadian men’s curling championship) is being contested in the Brandt Centre. . . . Announced attendance: 4,234.


At Red Deer, F Brandon Hagel scored three times to lead the Rebels to a 5-2 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Red Deer (26-30-13) clinched a playoff spot in the Central Red DeerDivision, meaning the idle Kootenay Ice (25-38-5) was eliminated. . . . “You look back to Jan. 24, we were 12 points out of a playoff spot and to accomplish what we accomplished says a lot about the kids inside the room,” Brent Sutter, the Rebels’ general manager and head coach, told Greg Meachem of redddeerrebels.com. “It was about just staying with it and believing as a group that we can have some success if we play the game the right way.” . . . Medicine Hat (35-26-8) continues to lead the Central Division, by eight points over Lethbridge. . . . The Rebels, with three games left, are five points behind the Hurricanes. . . . Red Deer went 3-2-1 in the season series; Medicine Hat was 3-3-0. . . . D Kristians Rubins (7) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 5:37 of the first period. . . . Hagel tied it at 6:05. . . . The Tigers went ahead 2-1 at 3:42 of the second period on F Bryan Lockner’s 13th goal. . . . The Rebels scored the game’s last four goals, all in the third period. . . . F Kristian Reichel tied the score at 2:39, and Hagel gave his guys the lead, on a PP, at 15:50. . . . Reichel, who has 32 goals, scored on another PP, at 19:08, and Hagel who has 17 goals, completed his hat trick into an empty net, at 19:21. . . . F Mason McCarty had two assists for the Rebels, with Hagel adding one for a four-point night. . . . Red Deer was 2-3 on the PP; Medicine Hat was 1-4. . . . G Ethan Anders earned the victory with 34 saves, seven more than Medicine Hat’s Michael Bullion. . . . D Joel Craven, who returned to Medicine Hat’s lineup on Friday after being out since Jan. 27, was scratched from this one. . . . During the game the Rebels revealed that “we raised $22,000 in support of @kidneycanada organizations through tonight’s jersey auction.” . . . Announced attendance: 6,100. . . . Meachem’s story is right here.


At Portland, G Patrick Dea stopped 38 shots to lead the Tri-City Americans to a 6-2 victory over the Winterhawks. . . . Tri-City (34-24-9) has won two straight. It is fourth in the U.S. TriCity30Division, six points behind Spokane. The Americans hold the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot, three points ahead of Seattle with each team having five games remaining. . . . Portland (42-21-5) had points in each of its previous eight games (7-0-1). The Winterhawks are second in the U.S. Division, six points behind Everett. . . . Portland went 7-3-0 in the season series; Tri-City was 3-6-1. . . . Tri-City got out to a 2-0 first-period lead on goals from F Michael Rasmussen, on a PP, at 15:00, and D Juuso Valimaki (13), at 18:26. . . . Portland F Alex Overheard (15) but into the lead 27 seconds into the second period, but the Americans got the next three goals. . . . F Isaac Johnson got his 17th at 7:39. . . . Rasmussen (27) got another PP goal at 1:40 of the third period, and former Winterhawks F Brett Clayton (4) scored at 4:55. . . . F Joachim Blichfeld (24) got Portland’s second goal at 10:27. . . . F Riley Sawchuk (13) scored Tri-City’s final goal at 17:17, into an empty net. . . . Tri-City got three assists from F Morgan Geekie and two each from F Sasha Mutala, for his first three-point game, and Valimaki. . . . Overhardt added an assist to his goal. . . . Tri-City was 2-3 on the PP; Portland was 0-2. . . . Dea got off to a great start with 18 saves in the first period. . . . Portland starter Shane Farkas surrendered five goals on 23 shots in 44:55. Cole Kehler came on to stop all five shots he faced in 14:35. . . . Prior to the game, the Winterhawks the 1998 Memorial Cup-winning team, and inducted D Andrew Ference, F Marian Hossa, F Brenden Morrow and F Todd Robinson into their Hall of Fame. . . . Announced attendance: 8,463.


At Kelowna, G James Porter stopped 18 shots to help the Rockets to a 4-0 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . Kelowna (40-22-7) has points in three straight (2-0-1). It leads the KelownaRocketsB.C. Division, by five points over Victoria. . . . Kamloops (29-35-5) has lost three in a row. It was eliminated from the playoff chase when it lost, 4-2, to the visiting Rockets on Friday. . . . The Rockets have won 40 games for a sixth straight season. . . . Kelowna went 8-0-0 in the season series; Kamloops was 0-7-1. . . . F Leif Mattson gave the Rockets a 1-0 lead at 13:28 of the first period. . . . D Gordie Ballhorn (5) upped that to 2-0 at 14:30. . . . Mattson’s 23rd goal, shorthanded, made it 3-0 at 9:46 of the third period, and F Dillon Dube (34) rounded out the scoring at 11:05. . . . Dube and Ballhorn also had an assist each. . . . Kelowna was 0-3 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-7. . . . Porter, a freshman from Bonners Ferry, Idaho, has three shutouts this season. . . . The Blazers got 27 saves from G Max Palaga. Kelowna F Liam Kindree wasn’t able to beat Palaga on a second-period penalty shot. . . . The Blazers scratched G Dylan Ferguson, who appeared to injury his right hip in a goal-mouth collision at 14:22 of the second period on Friday night. He stayed in and was able to finish the game, but there were times when he appeared to be favouring his right side. . . . Announced attendance: 5,607.


At Kent, Wash., F Bryce Kindopp scored twice to lead the Everett Silvertips to a 3-2 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Everett (45-18-5) has won four in a row. It leads Everettthe Western Conference, by six points over Portland. . . . Seattle (32-26-10) had won its previous two games. It holds the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, three points behind Tri-City. . . . Everett went 6-2-2 in the season series; Seattle was 4-4-2. . . . Everett got first-period goals from F Matt Fonteyne (33), on a PP, at 3:41, and Kindopp, at 13:38, to go up 2-0. . . . F Nolan Volcan (31) scored for Seattle, on a PP, at 11:03 of the second period. . . . Kindopp (22) gave Everett a two-goal lead at 15:02 of the third period. . . . Seattle D Austin Strand (24) made it a one-goal game at 17:56. . . . F Donovan Neuls had two assists for Seattle. . . . Everett F Patrick Bajkov drew an assist on Fonteyne’s goal. Bajkov now has 93 points, tying him with F Zach Hamill (2006-07) and F Josh Winquist (2013-14) for the franchise’s single-season record. . . . Each team was 1-2 on the PP. . . . G Carter Hart stopped 33 shots for Everett. He is 28-4-4, 1.54, .950 this season. . . . Seattle G Liam Hughes turned aside 34 shots. . . . Everett D Ondrej Vala was given a cross-checking major and game misconduct for a hit on Seattle F Zack Andrusiak at 19:29 of the second period. Andrusiak returned to the game in the third period. . . . Announced attendance: 6,039.


At Spokane, F Dawson Holt scored the only goal of a shootout to give the Vancouver Giants a 6-5 victory over the Chiefs. . . . Vancouver (35-24-9) is third in the B.C. Division, Vancouverthree points behind Victoria. . . . Spokane (39-23-6) has lost two in a row (0-1-1). It is third in the U.S. Division, five points behind Portland. . . . The Chiefs took a 1-0 lead at 11:43 of the first period on a goal by F Jake McGrew (17). . . . Vancouver F Aidan Barfoot (5) tied it at 12:16. . . . F Jaret Anderson-Dolan (37) put the Chiefs back in front, on a PP, at 16:28. . . . The Giants tied it when F Tyler Benson scored at 12:27 of the second period. . . . But the Chiefs went back out front at 15:14 when F Hudson Elynuik scored No. 30. . . . F Riley Woods gave Spokane a two-goal lead, on a PP, at 4:58 of the third period. . . . Holt (12) pulled the Giants back to within a goal, at 4-3, on a PP, at 11:31, only to have Woods (24) restore the two-goal margin at 12:43. . . . The Giants then got two PP goals to force OT. F Tyler Popowich (8) scored at 14:26, and Benson (26) followed at 17:39. . . . Holt won it with a second-round goal in the shootout. . . . Vancouver was 3-5 on the PP; Spokane was 2-6. . . . G Trent Miner stopped 29 shots for the Giants. . . . The Chiefs got 24 stops from G Dawson Weatherill. . . . Vancouver F Ty Ronning left the game with a clipping major and game misconduct for a hit on Spokane F Ethan McIndoe at 2:42 of the third period. . . . The Chiefs continue to play without injured F Zach Fischer. . . . The Giants scratched F Milos Roman, who had played Friday night in a 6-3 loss to the host Tri-City Americans for the first time since Jan. 9. He had been out with an ankle injury. . . . Announced attendance: 10,508.


SUNDAY (all times local):

Brandon at Moose Jaw, 4 p.m.

Prince George at Victoria, 2:05 p.m.

Kootenay at Edmonton, 4 p.m.

Everett at Portland, 5 p.m.

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


TWEET OF THE DAY

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

A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

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


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


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


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

FRIDAY:

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


SATURDAY (all times local):

Swift Current at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Calgary at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Brandon at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Regina at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Tri-City at Portland, 6 p.m.

Kamloops at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

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

Vancouver at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

Scattershooting on a quiet Thursday . . . Organ donors front and centre . . . Four teams with special games this weekend

Scattershooting

Firstly, a huge thank you to the WHL and its 17 Canadian teams for all they have done and are doing in helping to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation.

If you’re a regular here, you know how much this means to me because of my wife, Dorothy, having received a kidney more than four years ago. She helped out with the selling of 200 mini-helmets on Friday when the Kamloops Blazers did their part and wore the Don Cherry-themed sweaters. It’s worth noting that while there Dorothy was approached by three different women who have been kidney donors. As Dorothy says, “Donors are the real heroes.”

On Thursday, she volunteered at a World Kidney Day function that was arranged by nursing students from Thompson Rivers University.

If you are interested in how she is doing, there’s more right here, including video that appeared on CFJC-TV today.

Don’t forget that four WHL teams — the Kelowna Rockets, Red Deer Rebels, Saskatoon Blades and Victoria Royals — will hold their Organ Donor Awareness Nights this weekend.


You are aware that the WHL season is into its final 11 days, but are you aware there hasn’t been an in-season coaching change for a second straight season? In fact, the last in-season coaching change occurred in 2015-16 when Lorne Molleken was dismissed as the head coach of the Vancouver Giants. Of course, that happened with just two games left in the season so likely shouldn’t count.


When you pay attention to a television event like the Super Bowl or the Oscars while also keeping an eye on a computer, you are left to wonder what all the closet comedians did before Twitter.


Hey, Ichiro is going to be back with the Seattle Mariners this season. What better place for him to finish up his hall-of-fame career.


Next season’s WHL schedule will have each team play 68 games, down four from recent seasons. That means each team will play two fewer home games. . . . There are 22 teams in the WHL. With season-ticket renewals on the way to fans, what is the over-under for the number of teams that will have lowered their prices?


Oh, here’s a note that just arrived from a fan who has received his renewal offer from his favourite team:

“ ‘More money for less product’ is not a good marketing tool. I’m not sure what they’re thinking, charging more money for fewer games when attendance is down in nearly all WHL markets this season. I still maintain it’s a great deal for the price you pay vs. the quality of the hockey, but I’m much more than a casual fan and they’re obviously having challenges getting people to games.”


If you are on Twitter and haven’t seen it, I would suggest you visit Slava Malamud’s account at @SlavaMalamud and read his 21-take analysis of the KHL and how this season’s championship has been pre-determined. The whole explanation is gold. . . . None of that will be news to The MacBeth Report, who has been keeping me filled in on Putin’s pals and their roles in the KHL for a while now.


Whenever I watch curling on TSN, I am left thinking that Russ Howard may be the best analyst on TV today. Any sport. Any channel. Any stream. The chemistry between Cheryl Bernard, Vic Rauter and Howard is rarely heard in a three-person broadcast team.


Watching Brendan Leipsic score in OT and draw two assists for Vancouver on Monday night had me wondering: How long before the Canucks acquire Ty Rattie from the Edmonton Oilers? Rattie was a pure sniper when he was with the Portland Winterhawks, but really hasn’t been able to find an NHL home. Vancouver head coach Travis Green had Rattie in Portland and knows what he can do, just like he knows all about Leipsic, another Portland product.


If the WHL playoffs started today, one first-round series would feature the Portland Winterhawks and Spokane Chiefs. On Thursday, Dylan Bumbarger (@dylandb) tweeted: “Series starts in Portland even if the Winterhawks don’t have home ice because Spokane is hosting NCAA regional women’s basketball.”


If you aren’t a fan of the Boston Bruins, don’t ever watch one of their games on NESN on a full stomach. Why not? Well, there are broadcasters who leave you wondering what game they’re watching, and then there is Jack Edwards, whose work is slanted beyond comprehension. How slanted? If he has a vote for the Lady Byng Trophy, you can bet he’s writing in Brad Marchand’s name.



TheCoachingGame

The MJHL’s Waywayseecappo Wolverines have signed Taylor Harnett, their general manager and head coach, to what the club called a “multi-year contract extension.” . . . Harnett joined the team in November after first-year coach Arnie Caplan was dismissed following a 1-16-1 start. The Wolverines finished the season with an 8-48-4 record. They didn’t make the playoffs as they had the 11-team league’s poorest record.


The AJHL’s Olds Grizzlys have released Adam Redmond, their general manager and head coach, and Doug Hergenhein, who was the head scout and director of player personnel. . . . Redmond was an associate coach with the AJHL’s Calgary Canucks before signing with Olds prior to this season. . . . The Grizzlys finished 18-37-5, placing eighth in the eight-team Viterra South Division. . . . Hergenhein was in his first season with Olds.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

THURSDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Moose Jaw at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Swift Current at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Calgary at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Regina vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.

Red Deer at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Edmonton at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.

Kelowna at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

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

Prince George at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

Spokane vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:35 p.m.

Golden boy gets NHL deal . . . Thompson, Wheaties blank ‘Canes . . . Royals stop streaking Chiefs

A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

F Tyler Steenbergen of the Swift Current Broncos has signed a three-year entry-level SCBroncoscontract with the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes. They selected him in the fifth round of the NHL’s 2017 draft. . . . Steenbergen, who turned 20 on Jan. 7, is from Red Deer. The Broncos selected him in the first round of the WHL’s 2013 bantam draft. . . . Last season, he put up 41 goals and 39 assists in 72 games. He has followed that up with 44 goals and 54 assists in 51 games this season. . . . Steenbergen also scored the winning goal with 1:40 left in the third period as Canada won the 2018 World Junior Championship with a 2-1 victory over Sweden in Buffalo on Jan. 5.


The Regina Pats have signed F Carter Massier and G Matthew Pesenti, both 16, to WHL contracts. . . . Massier, from Peace River, Alta., is a list player who played for the midget AAA Grande Prairie Storm, putting up 20 goals and 19 assists in 35 games. . . . Pesenti, also a list player, will turn 17 on Saturday. He was 9-14-0, 3.35, .900 with the midget AAA Saskatoon Blazers. Pesenti was on the Pats’ bench in Medicine Hat on Tuesday night backing up Max Paddock with Ryan Kubic injured.


JUST NOTES . . .

G Rayce Ramsay, who turned 17 on Jan. 3, is practising with the Kamloops Blazers this week. A list player from Saskatoon, he was 15-14-0, 2.83, .910 with the midge AAA Saskatoon Contacts this season. . . .

The Red Deer Rebels have added F Zak Smith, 16, to their roster. This season, he had 22 points, including 11 goals, in 46 games with the MJHL’s Neepawa Natives. . . . Smith, from Austin, Man., played in six games with the Rebels earlier in the season.


TheCoachingGame

The AJHL’s Drayton Valley Thunder is looking for a head coach after Ryan Rechner posted on Twitter on Monday night that “I regret to inform you I’ve resigned effective immediately.” . . . According to Laine Mitchell of rdnewsnow.com, “There have been five Thunder coaches leave the team since the 2015-16 season.” . . . Rechner took over from Kyle Adams as head coach in November after the Thunder started the season with three wins in 21 games. . . . The Thunder went on to finish 17-40-3. . . . Jason Nicholetts, the team’s director of player development, also has resigned. He also tweeted on Monday night, saying that “I have chosen to resign my position with the organization effective immediately.” . . . There also is speculation that general manager Joey Bouchard also is leaving. However, Mitchell reported that Monte Waronek, the franchise’s president and governor, “was unable to confirm if he was or not.” . . . On Tuesday afternoon, head scout Travis Gibson revealed that he, too, had resigned.

Mitchell’s piece is right here.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

TUESDAY:

At Brandon, F Ty Lewis and F Stelio Mattheos joined the 40-goal club and G Logan Thompson put up the shutout as the Wheat Kings dumped the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 6-BrandonWKregular0. . . . Brandon (35-26-5) is fourth in the East Division, three points behind Regina. The Wheat Kings hold down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, six points ahead of Prince Albert. . . . Lethbridge (32-27-6) has lost two in a row. It is second in the Central Division, six points behind Medicine Hat. The Hurricanes have two games in hand. . . . Mattheos opened the scoring, on a PP, at 6:45 of the first period. . . . F Luka Burzan (12) upped it to 2-0 at 14:14, and Lewis made it 3-0 at 19:33. . . . Mattheos got his 40th goal, on a PP, at 3:35 of the second period, with Lewis getting No. 41, on another PP, at 16:41. . . . D Chase Hartje (3) scored Brandon’s last goal, at 16:42 of the third period. . . . Lewis also had two assists for a four-point night, while Mattheos added one helper. . . . The Wheat Kings also got two assists from each of F Rylan Bettens, F Linden McCorrister and F Cole Reinhardt. . . . Brandon was 3-6 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-8. . . . Thompson stopped 32 shots in recording his third shutout of the season and the fourth of his career. . . . Lethbridge starter Logan Flodell was beaten three times on nine shots in the first period. Reece Klassen played the final 40 minutes, giving up three goals on 24 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 3,312.


At Saskatoon, the Blades gave up a 3-0 lead before coming back to beat the Edmonton Oil Kings, 6-5. . . . Saskatoon (32-31-3) had lost its previous four games. It is two points behind SaskatoonPrince Albert, which holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. The Raiders have a game in hand. . . . Edmonton (19-39-8) has lost two in a row. . . . The Blades got that 3-0 lead on goals from F Michael Darren (9), on a PP, at 6:17 of the first period; F Eric Florchuk (15), on another PP, at 15:00; and D Dawson Davidson (10), who also had three assists, at 0:56 of the second period. . . . Edmonton tied it by scoring three times in 3:37 in the second period. . . . F Kobe Mohr (11) got it started at 5:36. F Carter Souch (4) got the visitors to within a goal, on a PP, at 6:59. F Brett Kemp (15) tied it at 9:13. . . . However, the Blades scored twice before the period ended, with F Max Gerlach (28) counting, on a PP, at 15:37, and F Josh Paterson getting his 39th at 17:44. . . . D Conner McDonald (7) scored for Edmonton at 9:54 of the third period, but Saskatoon F Braylon Shmyr (35) got that one back, on another PP, at 12:39. . . . F Colton Kehler (28) of the Oil Kings closed out the scoring at 19:43. . . . The Blades got three assists from F Kirby Dach, two from Gerlach, and one each from Shmyr and Farren. . . . Soustal had two assists for Edmonton, giving him 100 for his career, and Kemp had one. . . . Saskatoon was 4-7 on the PP; Edmonton was 1-5. . . . The Blades got 26 stops from G Nolan Maier. . . . G Boston Bilous stopped 30 shots for Edmonton. . . . Announced attendance: 3,379.

At Medicine Hat, the Regina Pats scored the game’s last three goals to beat the Tigers, 6-3. . . . Regina (36-25-6) has won three in a row. It is third in the East Division, three points ReginaPats100ahead of Brandon. . . . Medicine Hat (34-25-8) had points in each of its previous seven games (6-0-1). It leads the Central Division, by six points over Lethbridge. . . . F Jesse Gabrielle (12) opened the scoring for Regina at 2:05 of the first period. If you’re wondering, the Pats had 89 entrants in their contest and each person is eligible for a cap. . . . Medicine Hat went ahead 2-1 on goals from F Tyler Preziuso (14), at 7:00, and F Henry Rybinski (3) just 56 seconds later. . . . F Koby Morrisseau pulled Regina even at 19:45. . . . F Emil Oksanen (16) gave Regina a 3-2 lead, on a PP, at 4:12 of the second period. . . . F Mark Rassell (49) tied it again at 17:43. . . . Regina won it with three late third-period goals, from D Libor Hajek (12), on a PP, at 15:17; Morrisseau (5), at 15:52; and D Josh Mahura (22), on a PP, at 17:18. . . . Gabrielle, Oksanen, Mahura and Hajek each had an assist for Regina. . . . The Pats were 3-3 on the PP; the Tigers were 0-2. . . . G Max Paddock earned the victory with 24 saves. . . . G Michael Bullion stopped 23 shots for Medicine Hat. . . . Phil Andrews, the radio voice of the Pats, called his 500th WHL game. . . . Announced attendance: 2,878.


At Prince George, F Ty Kolle broke a 3-3 tie late in the third period as the Portland Winterhawks beat the Cougars, 4-3. . . . Portland (41-20-5) has points in seven straight Portlandgames (6-0-1). It is second in the U.S. Division, six points behind Everett. . . . Prince George (23-35-8) has lost two in a row. . . . The visitors got out to a 2-0 lead on goals from F Joachim Blichfeld (23), at 13:53 of the first period, and F Reece Newkirk (7), at 19:03. . . . The Cougars got even on two quick second-period goals from F Josh Maser (27), at 17:13, and F Ethan Browne (1), at 17:31. . . . F Skyler McKenzie (42) gave the Winterhawks a 3-2 lead at 2:19 of the third period. . . . The Cougars tied it at 3:10 when former Portland F Ilijah Colina (11) scored. . . . Kolle won it with his seventh goal of the season, at 16:53. . . . D Dennis Cholowski, who was acquired from the Cougars in January, had two assists for Portland and was named the game’s first star. . . . Browne added an assist to his first WHL goal for the Cougars. . . . Each team was 0-3 on the PP. . . . The Winterhawks got 20 stops from G Cole Kehler. . . . G Taylor Gauthier made 39 saves for the Cougars. . . . They’ll play again tonight in Prince George. . . . Announced attendance: 2,278.


At Kent, Wash., the Seattle Thunderbirds scored the game’s first four goals and then hung on for a 4-3 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . Seattle (31-25-10) had lost its previous Seattletwo games (0-1-1). It holds down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, nine points ahead of Kamloops, which has five games remaining. Seattle also is fifth in the U.S. Division, one point behind Tri-City. . . . Tri-City (32-24-9) has lost four in a row (0-3-1). . . . D Austin Strand (21) scored Seattle’s first goal, at 5:19 of the first period. . . . F Zack Andrusiak (31) made it 2-0, on a PP, at 4:31 of the second period, and F Nolan Volcan (30) upped it to 3-0, on a PP, at 9:15. . . . F Matthew Wedman (16) scored Seattle’s fourth goal at 1:00 of the third period. . . . Tri-City’s first goal came from F Morgan Geekie (26), on a PP, at 5:25. . . . F Michael Rasmussen (25) got the Americans to within two goals, on a PP, at 6:19, and F Sasha Mutala (9) made it a one-goal game at 15:31. . . . Volcan added an assist to his goal. . . . The Americans got two assists from each of F Jordan Topping and D Dylan Coghlan. . . . Tri-City was 2-5 on the PP; Seattle was 2-7. . . . Seattle got a big game from G Liam Hughes, who made 40 saves. . . . G Patrick Tea stopped 29 shots for the Americans. . . . Announced attendance: 4,353.


At Victoria, the Royals broke a 3-3 tie with four third-period goals and beat the Spokane Chiefs, 7-3. . . . Victoria (37-24-6) has points in three straight (2-0-1). It is second in the B.C. VictoriaRoyalsDivision, two points behind Kelowna, which has a game in hand. . . . Spokane (38-22-5) had a five-game winning streak snapped. It is third in the U. S. Division, six points behind Portland and eight ahead of Tri-City. . . . The Royals scored the only goals of the first period, from F Braydon Buziak (5), at 3:14, and F Dante Hannoun (23), on a PP, at 6:54. . . . F Hudson Elynuik (28) got Spokane’s first goal, at 11:48 of the second period. . . . F Noah Gregor (28) restored Victoria’s two-goal edge at 16:08. . . . The Chiefs pulled even on goals from F Jaret Anderson-Dolan (36), at 19:39 of the second, and F Kailer Yamamoto (20), at 4:22 of the third period. . . . D Scott Walford gave Victoria a 4-3 lead at 4:46, and F Matthew Phillips (45) added insurance, on a PP, at 10:05. . . . The Royals got an empty-netter from F Tanner Kaspick (23), at 17:29. . . . F Jeff de Wit (11) finished the scoring at 18:48. . . . De Wit, who also had an assist, was playing in his first game since Feb. 7. . . . Kaspick and F Tanner Soy had two assists each for the winners, with Phillips, Hannoun and Gregor adding one each. . . . Yamamoto and Anderson-Dolan each had an assist for Spokane. . . . Victoria was 2-5 on the PP; Spokane was 0-4. . . . G Griffen Outhouse stopped 28 shots for the Royals. In the process, he took over top spot on the franchise list for career victories. He now has 85, one more than Coleman Vollrath (2012-16). . . . The Chiefs got 16 saves from G Dawson Weatherill. . . . They’ll do it all over again tonight in Victoria. . . . Announced attendance: 3,651.


WEDNESDAY (all times local):

Lethbridge at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Edmonton at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Calgary at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Portland at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Spokane at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

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

A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

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

Westhead’s complete story is right here.

Maxwell’s testimony is right here.


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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Regina at Medicine Hat

Brandon at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

FRIDAY:

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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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


SATURDAY (all times local):

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Brandon at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Regina at Calgary,  7 p.m.

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

Victoria at Prince George, 7 p.m.

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

Seattle at Everett, 7:05 p.m.

Spokane at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

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


TWEET OF THE DAY