Oil Kings a hurtin’ bunch . . . Youngster commits to Michigan . . . Chiefs’ Smith lights up Cougars

A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

The Edmonton Oil Kings started one of those weekends — three games in fewer than 48 hours — on Friday night, and they went in with nine injured players, according to the EdmontonOilKingsWHL’s weekly roster report. That report also fails to include G Travis Child and F Andrei Pavlenko, neither of whom will play again this season. . . . Of the nine players listed, all are shown as being out at least one week, although G Boston Bilous, who is listed as being out a week due to illness, backed up Friday night. . . . As a result, the Oil Kings have added F Matthew Culling, F Raphael Pelletier and D Logan Dowhaniuk to their roster. . . . Culling, 16, is from Regina and was a 10th-round selection in the 2016 WHL bantam draft. He plays for the midget AAA Regina Pat Canadians, and got into four earlier games with the Oil Kings. . . . Pelletier, from St. Albert, Alta., plays for the Northern Alberta Elite 15s. He was a third-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft. Pelletier got into two games with the Oil Kings earlier this season. . . . Dowhaniuk, from Sherwood Park, Alta., was a second-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft, and got into two WHL games earlier in the season. He plays for the OHA Edmonton prep team.


F Connor Levis of Vancouver has committed to the U of Michigan, where he will play for the Wolverines starting in 2022-23. Levis, 5-foot-10 and 140 pounds, plays for the bantam varsity team at St. George’s School in Vancouver. This season, Levis has 42 goals and 46 assists in 29 games. . . . Levis is 13 years of age — he will turn 14 on Oct. 5 — so hasn’t yet been through a WHL bantam draft.


If you have a tip or just want to chat, email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com. You are able to follow me on Twitter at @gdrinnan.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon 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

At Calgary, F Jake Kryski scored twice to lead the Hitmen to a 4-1 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Calgary (19-33-7) has won two in a row. It is 11th in the Central CalgaryDivision, one point ahead of Edmonton. . . . The Oil Kings (18-34-8) had points in their previous two games (1-0-1). . . . F Carson Focht (10) gave Calgary at 1-0 lead at 11:56 of the first period. . . . Kryski made it 2-0, on a PP, at 1:22 of the second period. . . . F Tomas Soustal (17) scored for Edmonton at 4:29. . . . Kryski (13) got that one back at 6:02. . . . F Jakob Stukel (29), who also had two assists, got Calgary’s final goal, at 17:03. . . . The Hitmen got two assists from F Riley Stotts, while Kryski also added an assist. . . . Calgary was 1-3 on the PP; Edmonton was 0-4. . . . G Nick Schneider stopped 14 shots for the Hitmen. . . . At the other end, G Josh Dechaine turned aside 22 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 8,984.


At Cranbrook, B.C., the Medicine Hat Tigers scored the game’s last two goals and beat the Kootenay Ice, 3-2. . . . Medicine Hat (31-24-7) has won three in a row. It leads the Central Tigers Logo OfficialDivision by three points over Lethbridge. . . . Kootenay (25-35-3) has lost four in a row. It is fourth in the Central Division, two points behind Red Deer. . . . F Gary Haden (15) gave  the Tigers a 1-0 lead at 1:53 of the first period. . . . The Ice took a 2-0 lead on goals from F Alec Baer (25), at 10:24 of the first period, and F Brad Ginnell (8), on a PP, at 17:18 of the second period. . . . D Cole Clayton (2) pulled the Tigers even at 18:23. . . . D David Quenneville (25) broke the tie, on a PP, at 9:00 of the third period. . . . F Jaeger White had two assists for the winners. . . . Medicine Hat was 1-3 on the PP; Kootenay was 1-6 on the PP. . . . The Tigers got 32 saves from G Michael Bullion. . . . G Duncan McGovern stopped 33 shots for the Ice. . . . The game’s start was delayed more than 90 minutes after the Tigers were late getting to Cranbrook. Their trip was delayed more than two hours by an accident in the Crowsnest Pass. . . . F Connor McClennon played in his fourth game with the Ice. He was the second overall selection in the 2017 WHL bantam draft. . . . The Tigers again were without G Jordan Hollett, D Joel Craven, D Kristians Rubins, D Linus Nassen, F Hayden Ostir and F Mason Shaw. They also scratched F Dawson Heathcote. . . . Announced attendance: 2,279.


At Lethbridge, F Jordy Bellerive had a goal and two assists to help the Hurricanes to a 7-2 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Lethbridge (30-25-6) is second in the Central LethbridgeDivision, three points behind Medicine Hat. . . . Brandon (31-24-5) has lost two in a row. It is fourth in the East Division, five points behind Regina. The Wheat Kings hold down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, two points ahead of Saskatoon. . . . F Brad Morrison gave the home team a 1-0 lead at 10:34 of the first period, and F Dylan Cozens (19) made it 2-0 at 12:39. Both goals came via the PP. . . . F Connor Gutenberg (17) got Brandon on the scoreboard at 2:20 of the second period. . . . Lethbridge scored the next five goals. . . . F Logan Barlage (6) and Morrison (25) struck on the PP, with other goals coming from Bellerive (43), F Egor Zudilov (6) and F Taylor Ross (17). . . . F Rylan Bettens (6) had Brandon’s other goal, on a PP. . . . D Calen Addison drew three assists for the winners, with F Jake Elmer and F Jadon Joseph getting two each, and Barlage one. . . . Lethbridge was 4-4 on the PP; Brandon was 1-5. . . . The Hurricanes got 29 stops from G Logan Flodell. . . . The Wheat Kings started G Logan Thompson, who was beaten five times on 32 shots through two periods. Dylan Myskiw finished up, stopping six of eight shots in the third period. . . . The Wheat Kings were without F Ty Lewis, but had D Daniel Bukac and D Chase Hartje back in the lineup. They also added F Ridly Greig to their roster, allowing him to play in his hometown. He was a first-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. . . . Announced attendance: 3,436.


At Red Deer, F Brett Leason broke a 2-2 tie at 19:16 of the second period and the Prince Albert Raiders went on to a 3-2 victory over the Rebels. . . . Prince Albert (25-25-11) has PrinceAlbertwon two in a row. It is four points out of a playoff spot. . . . Red Deer (21-28-13) has lost two straight. It is third in the Central Division, two points ahead of Kootenay. . . . The Raiders took a 2-0 first-period lead on goals from F Kody McDonald (31), at 0:14, and F Jordy Stallard (39), at 17:02. . . . The Rebels pulled even on second-period goals from F Alex Morozoff (5), at 3:02, and F Josh Tarzwell (9), on a PP, at 17:38. . . . Leason’s 14th goal stood up as the winner and ran his goal-scoring streak to five games. . . . D Vojtech Budik had two assists for the Raiders, with McDonald adding one. . . . Red Deer was 1-8 on the PP; Prince Albert was 0-1. . . . G Ian Scott earned the victory with 29 saves. . . . Ethan Anders stopped 20 shots for Red Deer. . . . F Jordan Borysiuk made his WHL debut with the Rebels. Borysiuk, 16, was a third-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. He is from Mannville, Alta., and plays for the midget AAA Lloydminster Bobcats. . . . Announced attendance: 4,428.


At Kelowna, F Kole Lind broke a 4-4 tie late in the third period to give the Rockets a 5-4 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Kelowna (37-18-6) has points in four straight KelownaRockets(3-0-1). It leads the B.C. Division by five points over Victoria. . . . Seattle (28-23-9) has lost three in a row. It holds down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, five points behind Tri-City and six ahead of Kamloops. . . . The Thunderbirds took a 2-0 lead on first-period goals from F Donovan Neuls (20), at 7:26, and F Dillon Hamaliuk (14), at 11:35. . . . The Rockets scored the next four goals. . . . D Cal Foote (16) started it 19 seconds into the second period. . . . F Dillon Dube (30) tied the score at 2:13. . . . F Leif Mattson (19) gave Kelowna the lead, on a PP, at 2:46 of the third period, and D Kaedan Korczak (3) made it 4-2 at 7:13. . . . Seattle tied it on goals 29 seconds apart from F Matthew Wedman (15), at 14:46, and F Zack Andrusiak (24), at 15:15. . . . Lind, in his first game since Feb. 12, won it with his 32nd goal, at 18:39. . . . Mattson added two assists to his goal, with Dube and Korczak getting one each. . . . F Nolan Volcan and Hamaliuk each had two assists for Seattle, with Wedman adding one. . . . Kelowna was 2-3 on the PP; Seattle was 0-4. . . . The Rockets got 23 saves from G Brodan Salmond. . . . Seattle G Dorrin Luding stopped 24 shots. . . . D Reece Harsch returned to Seattle’s lineup after a 19-game absence. . . . Announced attendance: 4,859.


At Spokane, D Ty Smith, who is likely to be the first WHLer selected in the NHL’s 2018 draft, had two goals and five assists as the Chiefs whipped the Prince George Cougars, 9-SpokaneChiefs2. . . . Spokane (34-21-5) is third in the B.C. Division, three points behind Portland. . . . Prince George (20-32-8) has lost two in a row. . . . Spokane scored the game’s first six goals — two in the first period and four in the second. . . . Smith, who has 12 goals, scored 12 seconds into the second period and again at 4:02, giving the Chiefs leads of 3-0 and 4-0. . . . F Kailer Yamamoto (17), F Milos Fafrak (7), F Luke Toporowski (9), D Dalton Hamaliuk (3), F Carter Chorney (2), F Ethan McIndoe (19) and D Jeff Faith (5) also scored for Spokane. . . . The Chiefs got three assists from F Jaret Anderson-Dolan, two each from McIndoe and Yamamoto, and one apiece from Hamaliuk, Fafrak and Toporowski. . . . F Brogan O’Brien (11) and F Aaron Boyd (10) scored for the Cougars, who got two assists from F Josh Maser. . . . Spokane was 0-1 on the PP; Prince George was 0-2. . . . The Chiefs got 32 saves from G Dawson Weatherill. . . . The Cougars started G Tavin Grant, who was beaten six times on 28 shots through two periods. Isaiah DiLaura played the third period, allowing three goals on six shots. . . . Announced attendance: 7,906.


At Kennewick, Wash., the Tri-City Americans got out to a 2-0 lead and went on to a 4-2 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . Tri-City (31-21-8) has won two straight. It is fourth TriCity30in the U.S. Divison, three points behind Spokane. . . . Kamloops (27-30-5) is six points from a playoff spot. . . . F Michael Rasmussen (24) opened the scoring at 16:16 of the first period, and F Nolan Yaremko (19) upped it to 2-0 at 3:51 of the second. . . . F Nick Chyzowski (18) got the Blazers to within a goal, on a PP, at 1:00 of the third period. . . . Tri-City D Juuso Valimaki (8) restored the two-goal lead at 1:54. . . . F Brodi Stuart (14) pulled Kamloops back to within a goal at 17:04, only to have F Parker AuCoin (16) get the empty-netter at 18:55. . . . Rasmussen also had an assist. . . . The Blazers got two assists from F Quinn Benjafield. . . . Kamloops was 1-4 on the PP; Tri-City was 0-2. . . . G Patrick Dea stopped 31 shots for the Americans, five fewer than Dylan Ferguson of the Blazers. . . . The Americans remain without D Roman Kalinichenko and F Kyle Olson. . . . Kamloops continues to play without D Luke Zazula and F Luc Smith. . . . Announced attendance: 3,168.

At Saskatoon, the Regina Pats erased a 4-0 deficit and went on to beat the Blades, 7-5. . . . Regina (33-24-6) has won four in a row. It is third in the East Division, five points ahead ReginaPats100of Brandon. . . . Saskatoon (31-28-3) had won its previous two games. It holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, two points behind Brandon and four ahead of Prince Albert. . . . F Kirby Dach (6) gave the Blades a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 3:37 of the first period. . . . D Seth Bafaro (3) made it 2-0 at 16:49, and F Eric Florchuk (13) upped it to 3-0, on a PP, at 17:43. . . . The Blades took a 4-0 lead at 7:47 of the second period as F Gage Ramsay got his fifth goal. . . . The Pats tied it with four quick goals. . . . F Cam Hebig (40) got it started, on a PP, at 16:33, with F Koby Morrisseau (3) making it 4-2 at 18:08. . . . F Robbie Holmes (14) got Regina to within a goal 58 seconds into the third period, and F Matt Bradley tied it at 3:43. . . . F Chase Wouters (17) gave the Blades a 5-4 lead at 4:08, but the Pats scored the last three goals. . . . F Sam Steel (24) tied it at 7:23 and F Jared Legien (21) gave the Pat their first lead at 17:26. . . . Bradley (37) added the empty-netter at 19:43. . . . The Pats got two assists from each of F Emil Oskanen, Steel and Hebig, with Bradley getting one. . . . Steel had three points in his 250th regular-season game. He now has 325 points, including 211 assists. . . . F Max Gerlach had two assists for Saskatoon, with Dach and Bafaro each getting one. . . . Saskatoon was 2-5 on the PP; Regina was 1-5. . . . G Jacob Wasserman made his first WHL start for Regina and finished with 23 stops. . . . The Blades got 29 saves from G Nolan Maier. . . . Saskatoon was without D Dawson Davidson, who is out with an undisclosed injury. . . . Regina was without F Jesse Gabrielle, who completed a two-game suspension, and D Liam Schioler, who served the first of a two-game suspension. . . . With Schioler out, the Pats have added D Marco Creta to their roster from the MJHL’s Virden Oil Capitals. . . . Announced attendance: 3,982.


At Victoria, G Shane Farkas stopped 29 shots to lead the Portland Winterhawks to a 2-1 victory over the Royals. . . . Portland (36-20-4) had lost its previous two games. It is second Portlandin the U.S. Division, three points ahead of Spokane. . . . Victoria (35-22-5) is second in the B.C. Divison, five points behind Kelowna. . . . The Winterhawks got second-period goals from F Alex Overheard (14), at 13:43, and F Kieffer Bellows (30), at 18:44. . . . F Noah Gregor (23) scored the Royals’ goal, on a PP, at 18:10 of the third period. . . . Royals F Matthew Phillips picked up an assist to reach 100 points, including 44 goals. He is the first skater in Royals history to enjoy a 100-point season. . . . He also ran his point streak to 22 games. . . . Victoria was 1-4 on the PP; Portland was 0-4. . . . The Royals got 35 saves from G Griffen Outhouse. . . . Victoria D Chaz Reddekopp, who hasn’t played since Jan. 13, took the warmup but then was scratched. . . . Announced attendance: 5,527.


At Langley, B.C., F Martin Fasko-Rudas broke a 1-1 tie at 12:16 of the second period and the Everett Silvertips went on to a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Everett (40-Everett17-5) has points in 10 straight (8-0-2). It leads the Western Conference by five points over Kelowna. . . . Vancouver (31-21-8) has lost three in a row. It is third in the B.C. Division, five points behind Victoria. . . . F Connor Dewar (31) scored, on a PP, to give Everett a 1-0 lead at 1:54 of the second period. . . . Vancouver F Davis Koch (21) tied it at 10:54. . . . Fasko-Rudas won it with his sixth goal of the season, at 12:16. . . . Everett got two assists from each of F Matt Fonteyne and F Garrett Pilon. . . . Everett was 1-1 on the PP; Vancouver was 0-4. . . . The Silvertips got 29 saves from G Carter Hart. The game’s first star, Hart now is 25-4-4, 1.55, .951. . . . Vancouver G David Tendeck blocked 26 shots. . . . The Giants scratched D Dylan Plouffe, D Matt Barberis and F Milos Roman, who are injured, and F Owen Hardy (ill). . . . Announced attendance: 2,536.


SATURDAY (all times local):

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

Swift Current at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Regina at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Prince Albert at Edmonton, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.

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

Portland at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

Kamloops at Kelowna 7:05 p.m.

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


TWEET OF THE DAY

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Seattle goaltender won’t play this season . . . Warriors back alone on top . . . Pats, Blades earn some breathing room

Dan
An inside look at the Gangneung Hockey Centre, which apparently will be dismantled once the Olympic Winter Games are over. (Photo: Dan Courneyea)

DAN’S DIARY . . .

Dan Courneyea, who is part of the Kamloops Blazers’ off-ice crew of officials, is working men’s hockey games at the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. He has been keeping Taking Note readers up to date, too. . . . He has some notes from Monday, which is OlylogoTuesday over there:

“This building (Gangneung Hockey Centre) was built solely for these Olympics. There never were any games played on the ice until the Olympics started. Once the Olympics and Paralympics have finished, they allegedly are tearing this building down. No call for more ice in South Korea. It’s a nice building.”

In looking ahead to the Canadian men’s team and its next game against OAR, he notes:

“The OAR (Olympic Athletes from Russia) have a talented men’s team, it’s whether or not they can play as a team?”

Courneyea, like most everyone else, also is looking forward to the women’s gold medal game, which will be, yes, a rematch between Canada and the U.S.

“Looks like Team Canada has been built to skate with Team USA,” he writes. “The gold medal game should be a good one. Team Canada has the right group to score, skate, check and win.”

Two years ago, Courneyea was part of the off-ice crew that worked the IIHF Women’s World Championship in Kamloops.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

In one of the notes that Dan Courneyea sent to Taking Note from PyeongChang, he mentioned that the sweaters worn by the men’s hockey players all contain computer chips that are being used to track various statistics. . . . Stephen Whyno of The Associated Press takes a look at all of this in an intriguing story that is right here. . . . It turns out that NHL players aren’t all that enthusiastic about a lot of this stuff.

——

It should come as no surprise to WHL fans to learn that G Carl Stankowski won’t play at Seattleall this season. Stankowski, who took over as Seattle’s No. 1 goaltender and led the Thunderbirds to the 2017-18 WHL championship, hasn’t played, nor will he. What is surprising is what Stankowski has gone through over the last few months. Andy Eide of 710 ESPN Seattle posted an all-encompassing story on Monday that mentions a torn labrum in his right hip, a herniated disc, and a rare autoimmune disease. . . . For more, take a look at Eide’s complete story right here.


If you have a tip or just want to chat, email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com. You are able to follow me on Twitter at @gdrinnan.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon 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

MONDAY:

At Brandon, the Moose Jaw Warriors scored three first-period goals and went on to beat the Wheat Kings, 6-3. . . . Moose Jaw (44-11-3) had lost its previous two games. It now MooseJawWarriorsleads the overall standings by two points over Swift Current. The Warriors have two games in hand. . . . Brandon (31-23-5) is fourth in the East Division, three points behind Regina. The Wheat Kings hold down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, four points ahead of Saskatoon. . . . Moose Jaw’s first goals came from F Brett Howden (22), at 7:09; F Jayden Halbgewachs (56), at 9:02; and F Justin Almeida, at 13:47. . . . F Connor Gutenberg (16) got Brandon’s first goal, on a PP, at 6:28 of the second period. . . . The Warriors scored twice before the period ended. Almeida (33) scored while shorthanded at 7:50 and F Brayden Burke, back after missing two games, got his 29th, on a PP, at 13:50. . . . D James Shearer (2) and D Braden Schneider (1) scored third-period PP goals for Brandon. . . . F Tristyn DeRoose (3) got Moose Jaw’s final goal. . . . The Warriors got two assists from each of D Josh Brook and Halbgewachs, with Burke adding one. . . . Halbgewachs, the WHL’s leading goal scorer, and Burke have 104 points apiece, seven points behind Swift Current F Glenn Gawdin, who leads the league. . . . F Stelio Mattheos, who had missed four games, returned to Brandon’s lineup and drew two assists. . . . Brandon was 3-4 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 1-3. . . . G Adam Evanoff stopped 21 shots for the Warriors. . . . The Wheat Kings got 33 saves from G Logan Thompson. . . . D Jonathon Lambos, who turned 17 on Jan. 14, made his WHL debut with the Wheat Kings. He was acquired from Victoria in a deadline deal that had F Tanner Kaspick join the Royals. Lambos, from Winnipeg, was a third-round pick by the Royals in the 2016 bantam draft. He has four goals and 20 assists in 33 games with the Winnipeg-based Rink Hockey Academy prep team. . . . Moose Jaw lost D Jett Woo to a headshot major and game misconduct at 3:10 of the second period. Brandon F Ty Lewis was helped to the dressing room after the play. . . . The Warriors were without F Barrett Sheen, who drew a TBD suspension, for his part in a brouhaha at the end of Sunday’s 4-2 loss in Regina. Sheen was playing in his second game after serving a five-game suspension. . . . The Warriors are 4-0-0 against the Wheat Kings this season. Moose Jaw has 14 games remaining, while Brandon has 13 yet to play. They will meet four more times. . . . Announced attendance: 4,040.


At Prince Albert, the Regina Pats scored two first-period goals en route to a 3-1 victory over the Raiders. . . . Regina (32-24-6) has won three in a row. It is third in the East ReginaPats100Division, three points ahead of Brandon. . . . Prince Albert (23-25-11) has lost two straight. It is eight points out of a playoff spot with 13 games remaining. . . . F Nick Henry gave Regina a 1-0 lead at 7:23 of the opening period, and F Jared Legien (20) added to the lead at 15:17. . . . F Brett Leason (12) got Prince Albert’s goal at 13:54 of the second period. . . . Regina F Matt Bradley (35) got the empty-netter at 19:26 of the third period. He also had an assist. . . . The Pats were 0-2 on the PP; the Raiders were 0-3. . . . Regina got a big game from G Max Paddock, with 37 saves. With G Ryan Kubic injured, Paddock made his sixth straight start. . . . G Ian Scott blocked 21 shots for the Raiders. . . . F Kody McDonald of the Raiders left at 8:49 of the first period after taking a hit from Regina D Liam Schioler, who was given a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct. However, McDonald returned in the second period. . . . Raiders D Vojtech Budik took the pregame warmup but didn’t play. . . . Regina was without F Jesse Gabrielle, who drew a TBD suspension for his part in a kerfuffle at the third-period buzzer of the Pats’ 4-2 victory over visiting Moose Jaw on Sunday. . . . “It was an ugly win,” John Paddock, Regina’s general manager and head coach, told Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post. “It’s not totally unexpected to have the emotional level down (after three straight games against the Moose Jaw Warriors). We played seven games in 11 days so that’s a factor as well. That’s probably a bigger factor than the emotional level dropping down. Max was really good. Sometimes your goalie has to steal a game just like once in a while top players find a way to score enough goals to win. The penalty killing was really good and he was really good along with it.” . . . Harder’s story is right here. . . . Announced attendance: 2,256.


At Edmonton, D Jake Kustra scored in OT to give the Saskatoon Blades a 3-2 victory over the Oil Kings. . . . Saskatoon (31-27-3) has won two in a row. It holds down the Eastern SaskatoonConference’s second wild-card spot, but now is only two points behind Brandon. . . . Edmonton (18-34-7) is two points ahead of Calgary in the scrap to avoid the Eastern Conference basement. . . . The Blades held a late 2-0 lead on goals from F Braylon Shmyr (32), at 18:02 of the second period, and F Chase Wouters (16), shorthanded, at 7:20 of the third. . . . The Oil Kings got to within a goal when F Kobe Mohr (8) scored at 11:58. . . . The home team tied it at 16:44 when F Trey Fix-Wolansky (25) scored on a PP. . . . Kustra won it with his fourth goal of the season, at 1:37 of OT. He has six career goals in 149 games, and two of them have been game-winners — both this season. . . . Shmyr and Wouters each had an assist for the Blades. . . . Edmonton was 1-5 on the PP; Saskatoon was 0-4. . . . Saskatoon G Nolan Maier stopped 15 shots as the Oil Kings struggled to generate offence. . . . Edmonton starter Todd Scott stopped 18 of 20 shots in 47:20. He was injured on the play on which Wouters scored and had to leave the game. Josh Dechaine came on to stop two of three shots in 14:17. . . . Announced attendance: 9,913.


TUESDAY (all times local):

Kootenay at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.

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

Everett at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

Scattershooting on a Sunday . . . Pats take two from Warriors . . . Shmyr sparks Blades . . . Rebels roar through B.C.

Scattershooting

Will the Brandon Wheat Kings make the playoffs? . . . The Brandon Wheat Kings were third in the WHL’s overall standings, behind Moose Jaw and Swift Current, when the trade deadline arrived. Brandon’s brass chose to sell, and today the Wheaties are 10th in the overall standings. More importantly, they hold down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, four points ahead of Saskatoon and 10 up on Prince Albert. So, yes, the Wheat Kings should be in the playoffs when they get here.


Headline at SportsPickle.com: Montreal Canadiens request to become NHL expansion team in hopes of becoming as good as Vegas Golden Nights.


How much green is it worth for a head coach to make a post-game visit to the referees’ room? . . . You know the WHL is in the stretch run and that the heat is on when a head coach checks in with the on-ice officials after a game. As I understand it, that happened on Saturday night. I’m thinking it might be worth $500. . . . We should find out early this week.


Have the Regina Pats found themselves? . . . The Pats, the host team for the 2018 Memorial Cup, have undergone something of a makeover since this season started. For a lot of the season, they have been wandering around like a thirsty man in a desert. But they took two in a row from Moose Jaw on the weekend, something that has to give Regina fans some hope. . . . It’s now looking like the Pats’ first-round matchup — against Moose Jaw or Swift Current — should be an Ed Whalen special, a ring-a-ding-dong-dandy.


A big hello to the readers of this blog who are at the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. There were nine of you visiting here on Saturday — although that may have been Sunday where you are. . . . Thanks, too, to the readers who are vacationing in Mexico. Keep cool!


I’m wondering why Canadian skip Rachel Homan didn’t cross-check — cross-brush? — the Danish skip the other day? But, then, that wouldn’t have been very Canadian, eh?


Yes, Larry Walker should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame. So . . . why haven’t the voters put him in there? Walker summed it up when he told TSN Radio in Montreal: “No needles went in my ass. I played the game clean, but I played in the ballpark, and it’s almost like Coors Field is my PED.”


Steve Simmons, a columnist with Postmedia, went to great lengths in a recent piece to point out that Willie Desjardins, the head coach of Canada’s men’s hockey team, isn’t at all like Mike Babcock. As Homer Simpson would say: “Doh!” . . . “The best coaches,” Simmons has observed, “exude a certain arrogance, a certain confidence: Desjardins has yet to demonstrate any of these skills.” . . . Hey, Willie is Willie, and he isn’t about to change now. . . . The Olympics aren’t yet near an end and Simmons already has done hatchet jobs on mixed curling and Desjardins. One more and he gets a tin medal.


Wouldn’t it be something if the NRA and its puppet Republicans got taken to the woodshed by the U.S.’s high school students?


You can’t make the playoffs in the first nine games of a WHL season. But the Kamloops Blazers are in the process of proving that you can miss them by starting 0-9-0. That’s how the Blazers started this season and that early damage is proving to be too much to undo.


After the New York Yankees acquired quarterback Russell Wilson from the Texas Rangers, Seattle Times decker Brett Miller noted: “Imagine how the Jets and Giants feel, knowing that the Yankees have the best QB in New York.”


Dwight Perry, in the Seattle Times: “Fired Arkansas football coach Bret Bielema will receive 37 monthly installments of $322,567.57 through Dec. 31, 2020 as called for his in buyout, the Hogs’ support foundation announced. Final score: Greenbacks $11,935,000, Razorbacks 0.”


MacBeth

F Zane Jones (Chilliwack/Victoria, Calgary, Everett, Lethbridge, Vancouver, 2010-15) has signed a contract for the 2018 season with the Newcastle North Stars (Australia, AIHL). He is playing for Sollentuna (Sweden, Division Division 1), where he has 16 goals and five assists in 28 games. . . . Jones played for Newcastle last summer, scoring 12 goals and adding six assists in 16 games. . . . The AIHL begins its regular season on April 21 and it ends on Aug. 26. The sudden-death semifinals are Sept. 1 and the league final is Sept. 2.


Dan

DAN’S DIARY . . .

Dan Courneyea, who is part of the Kamloops Blazers’ off-ice crew of officials, is working men’s hockey games at the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. He has been keeping Taking Note readers up to date, too. Here is his latest note:

“As expected, the Games are a success. The events are getting large numbers of Olylogospectators from around the world.

“The hockey has been interesting, to say the least. No clear team has the advantage, yet those weaker teams are making each game interesting.

“When the Korean team hits the ice, the building is electric. The venue is sold out and the fans, not being as knowledgeable of the sport, get really excited when Team Korea charges down ice. (There are a lot of knowledgeable fans which is nice to see.)

“Now the real hockey competition begins. The playoff brackets are set and it’s time to see who comes out on top.”


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon 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

SUNDAY:

At Regina, the Pats scored two third-period goals and beat the Moose Jaw Warriors, 4-2. . . . Regina (31-24-6) has won two in a row. It moved back into third in the East Division, one ReginaPats100point ahead of Brandon. . . . Moose Jaw (43-11-3) has lost two in a row. It is tied with Swift Current atop the overall standings. The Warriors have three games in hand. . . . This was the third time these teams met in five days. Moose Jaw won 6-3 in Regina on Wednesday; Regina won 5-3 in Moose Jaw on Friday. . . . On Sunday, F Jayden Halbgewachs (55) gave the Warriors a 1-0 lead on a PP, at 8:59 of the first period. . . . The Pats went ahead 2-1 on second-period goals from F Emil Oksanen (15), at 6:31, and F Sam Steel (23), at 9:31. . . . The Warriors tied it when F Brett Howden (21) scored at 19:44. . . . Pats D Cale Fleury (11), who had two assists, snapped the tie at 8:49 of the third period. . . . Regina F Matt Bradley (34) added insurance at 10:38. . . . Halbgewachs, the WHL’s leading sniper, also had an assist, giving him 101 points in 57 games. Last season, he finished with 101 points, including 50 goals, in 71 games. . . . He joins teammate Brayden Burke in the 100-point club. Burke, who sat out a third straight game, has 102 points. The last time the Warriors had two 100-point men in the same season was 1984-85 (F Kent Hayes and F Mark MacKay). . . . Halbgewachs is the first Moose Jaw skater with back-to-back 50 goal seasons since Hayes (84-86) and F Theo Fleury (1986-88). . . . Moose Jaw was 1-4 on the PP; Regina was 0-4. . . . The Pats got 21 saves from G Max Paddock, including a first-period stop on Halbgewachs on a penalty shot. . . . Moose Jaw G Brody Willms blocked 22 shots. . . . Prior to the game, the Pats honoured Jock Callander by retiring his number (15). If you were watching on TV, that was Kevin Gallant, a former play-by-play voice of the Pats, handling the emcee duties from ice level. . . . Announced attendance: 6,484.


At Calgary, F Braylon Shmyr scored three goals to lead the Saskatoon Blades to a 5-1 victory over the Hitmen. . . . Saskatoon (30-27-3) holds down the Eastern Conference’s Saskatoonsecond wild-card spot, four points behind Brandon and six points ahead of Prince Albert. . . . Calgary (17-33-7) has lost two in a row. . . . Shmyr scored the game’s first two goals — at 5:51 of the first period and 5:18 of the second, the latter on a PP. . . . F Jakob Stukel (27) got Calgary’s goal at 14:09 of the third period. . . . F Max Gerlach (27), F Bradly Goethals (14) and Shmyr (31) had third-period goals for Saskatoon. . . . Shmyr has two hat tricks this season and five in his career. . . . Gerlach also had an assist. . . . Saskatoon was 1-3 on the PP; Calgary was 0-4. . . . G Nolan Maier stopped 32 shots to earn the victory. . . . The Hitmen got 25 saves from G Nick Schneider. . . . Saskatoon is 2-1-0 on a four-game swing into the Central Division that concludes Monday afternoon in Edmonton. . . . Announced attendance: 8,455.


At Cranbrook, B.C., F Jordy Bellerive broke open a scoreless game 16 seconds into the second period and the Lethbridge Hurricanes went on to a 4-1 victory over the Kootenay LethbridgeIce. . . . Lethbridge (29-24-6) has won three in a row. It is second in the Central Division, one point behind Medicine Hat. . . . Kootenay (25-33-3) has lost two straight. It is fourth in the Central Division, two points behind Red Deer. . . . Lethbridge beat visiting Kootenay, 5-2, on Saturday night. . . . The Hurricanes went 3-0-0 in playing three games in fewer than 48 hours. . . . The Ice also played three times in fewer than 48 hours, going 1-2-0. . . . On Sunday, Bellerive opened the scoring with his 42nd goal. . . . D Ty Prefontaine (5) made it 2-0 at 2:06. . . . The Ice got its goal from F Colton Veloso (21), on a PP, at 7:37. . . . The visitors put it away with third-period goals from F Brad Morrison (23), at 18:06, and F Taylor Ross (16), into an empty net, at 18:26. . . . Bellerive also had an assist. . . . Kootenay was 1-5 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-1. . . . The Hurricanes got 38 saves from a solid Reece Klassen. . . . G Duncan McGovern made 20 saves for the Ice. . . . Kootenay played without D Martin Bodak, who got a one-game suspension after he took a kneeing major and game misconduct on Saturday night. . . . The Hurricanes lost D Calen Addison to a headshot major and game misconduct at 6:25 of the second period. . . . D Tate Olson of the Hurricanes played in his 300th regular-season game. . . . Announced attendance: 2,608.


At Langley, B.C., F Brandon Cutler scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Red Deer Rebels to a 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Red Deer (21-26-13) has won Red Deerfour in a row and now is in sole possession of third place in the Central Division. It is two points ahead of Kootenay. Red Deer has 12 games remaining, Kootenay 11. . . . Vancouver (31-20-8) has lost two straight. It went 2-2-0 in playing four times in five days. The Giants are third in the B.C. Division, five points behind Victoria. . . . F Dawson Holt (11) gave the Giants a 1-0 lead, shorthanded, at 17:32 of the first period. . . . Red Deer tied it on a goal by F Kristian Reichel at 6:34 of the second period. . . . Cutler broke the tie at 11:48, then gave his guys a 3-1 lead at 3:49 of the third period. Cutler, who turned 18 on Jan. 4, has five goals this season. . . . F Jared Dmytriw (13) got the Giants to within a goal at 5:19. . . . Reichel (27) added insurance at 11:35. . . . Red Deer got two assists from F Brandon Hagel. . . . Vancouver was 0-1 on the PP; Red Deer was 0-3. . . . G Riley Lamb stopped 39 shots in winning for the seventh straight time for Red Deer. . . . The Giants got 37 saves from G David Tendeck. . . . The Giants played three games in fewer than 48 hours, going 1-2-0. They lost 4-3 in Victoria on Saturday night, while the Rebels were enjoying a night off in Vancouver. . . . The Rebels, who are 11-1-2 in their past 14 games, went 4-0-0 on a four-game trek into B.C., winning in Prince George, Kelowna and Victoria prior to Sunday’s game. . . . The Giants welcomed back D Darian Skeoch, who had been out since Feb. 3, but remain without D Dylan Plouffe, D Matt Barberis, D Alex Kannok Leipert and F Milos Roman, all of whom are hurt, and F Owen Hardy (ill). . . . Announced attendance: 3,769.


At Everett, G Dustin Wolf stopped 20 shots to help the Silvertips to a 4-0 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . Everett (38-17-5) has points in eight straight (6-0-2). It leads the EverettWestern Conference, by five points over Kelowna. . . . Kamloops (26-29-5) has lost five in a row (0-4-1). It has 12 games remaining and is eight points out of a playoff spot. . . . Wolf recorded the fourth shutout of his freshman season. It came in his 17th appearance. . . . Wolf’s partner, Carter Hart, has seven shutouts. . . . F Martin Fasko-Rudas (5) opened the scoring at 11:05 of the first period. He also had two assists for his first career three-point game. . . . D Jake Christiansen (6) upped it to 2-0, on a PP, at 2:28 of the second period. . . . The Silvertips closed it out with PP goals from F Patrick Bajkov (28) and F Bryce Kindopp (18). . . . F Matt Fonteyne had two assists, with Bajkov adding one. . . . Everett D Kevin Davis, 20, played in his 335th regular-season game, tying him for top spot on the franchise’s list with F Shane Harper (2005-10). Davis is from Kamloops. . . . Everett was 3-7 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-2. . . . The Blazers got 38 saves from G Max Palaga. . . . Both teams played three games in fewer than 48 hours. The Blazers played at home Friday and Saturday, then rode the bus to Everett for the Sunday afternoon game. . . . The Silvertips went home-and-home with Seattle so didn’t have quite the same travel. . . . Kamloops went 0-2-1 in the three games; Everett was 2-0-1). . . . This was the first meeting of the season between these teams since the trade deadline, when the Blazers dealt F Garrett Pilon and D Ondrej Vala to the Silvertips for D Montana Onyebuchi, F Orrin Centazzo, two prospects and three bantam draft picks. . . . Onyebuchi was in the penalty box for two Everett goals; Centazzo was in stir for one. . . . Kamloops was without D Nolan Kneen, who drew a one-game suspension after taking a kneeing major and game misconduct in Saturday’s 7-6 shootout loss to visiting Prince George. . . . Announced attendance: 4,417.


At Kent, Wash., F Kailer Yamamoto had two goals and an assist to help the Spokane Chiefs to a 5-1 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Spokane (33-20-5) has won three SpokaneChiefsin a row. It is third in the U.S. Division, three points behind Portland. . . . Seattle (28-21-9) has points in each of its previous two games (1-0-1). It holds down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, one point behind Tri-City. . . . F Hudson Elynuik (24) got the Thunderbirds started with a shorthanded goal, at 16:40 of the first period. . . . D Nolan Reid (12) made it 2-0 at 17:51. . . . Yamamoto upped it to 3-0, on a PP, at 17:01 of the second period. . . . D Austin Strand (19) got Seattle’s goal at 18:01. . . . F Jaret Anderson-Dolan (34) and Yamamoto (16) added third-period goals for the Chiefs. . . . Anderson-Dolan and Reid added an assist each. . . . Yamamoto has 14 goals and 23 assists in 16 games since Jan. 12. . . . Spokane was 1-2 on the PP; Seattle was 0-2. . . . The Chiefs got 25 saves from G Dawson Weatherill. . . . G Liam Hughes stopped 26 shots for Seattle. . . . Seattle went 1-1-1) in playing three games in fewer than 48 hours. . . . Strand left in the first period after taking a stick to the face. He returned in the second period wearing a cage. . . . Seattle F Blake Bargar left in the second period and didn’t return. . . . Announced attendance: 5,099. . . . Andy Eide of 710 ESPN in Seattle has a gamer right here.


MONDAY (all times local):

Moose Jaw at Brandon, 2:30 p.m.

Regina at Prince Albert, 4 p.m.

Saskatoon at Edmonton, 4 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

Blazers honour winningest coach . . . Van Dorp a Hall of Famer . . . Pats into third in division . . . Seattle coach unhappy

A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

Don Hay, the winningest head coach in WHL history, was honoured in Kamloops on Friday night, prior to the Blazers’ game against the Kelowna Rockets.

Hay moved into No. 1 on the all-time regular-season coaching list on Jan. 27 when the Kamloops1Blazers beat the host Portland Winterhawks, 4-2. That left Hay with 743 victories, one more than Ken Hodge, who retired from the Winterhawks after the 1992-93 season.

Hay’s Blazers dropped a 2-1 decision to the Rockets, leaving him at 746 victories.

Hay also holds the WHL record for most career playoff victories (108).

(Interestingly, Hay is No. 2 on the Blazers’ list of regular-season coaching victories. He has (281) victories with Kamloops, second to Ken Hitchcock’s 287.)

On Thursday, the Blazers posted a letter from Hay on their website. In that letter, Hay wrote that he is “honoured to have had the opportunity to become the winningest coach in the history of the WHL.”

He continued: “I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the Western Hockey League as a player back in 1972. At the time, I would not have expected it to lead me where it has.”

That complete letter is right here. It includes most of what Hay had to say as he greeted his family, those gathered to honour him and the fans.

Among those on hand to honour Hay in what was a terrific ceremony were family members, along with Fred Seymour, the chief of the Tk’emlups Indian Band; Ken Christian, the mayor of Kamloops; Don Moores, the Blazers’ president and CEO; and Ron Robison, the WHL commissioner.

Among those featured in video tributes were Hitchcock, Tom Renney, Ryan Huska, Jarome Iginla, Mike Johnston, Brendan Gallagher, Ron Toigo, Tom Gaglardi, Ken Hodge and Bob Brown.

None of the Blazers five owners was in attendance, although Gaglardi and Iginla were on the big screen in video tributes.

The last time Robison was in Kamloops to honour a member of the Blazers organization? That was on March 7, 2012, when he presented Spike Wallace with a Distinguished Service Award. The next morning, the Blazers announced that “by mutual agreement Spike will be leaving the team to pursue other initiatives.” Wallace now is a cashier at a local grocery story.

Somehow I doubt that Hay will be bagging groceries anytime soon.


Wayne Van Dorp, who played two seasons with the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds, will be among the inductees into the Burnaby Sports Hall of Fame on Feb. 22. He played one season (1978-79) with the BCJHL’s Bellingham Blazers, before spending the next two with the Thunderbirds. He had 30 goals, 43 assists and 437 penalty minutes in 131 games. . . . Van Dorp went on to a pro career that included 125 NHL games. He won a Stanley Cup with the Edmonton Oilers in 1987. . . . Among the items available in a silent auction that night will be a Carey Price-autographed Montreal Canadiens sweater. . . . The banquet is to be held at the Burnaby Firefighters’ banquet hall, Metrotown.


If you have a tip or just want to chat, email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com. You are able to follow me on Twitter at @gdrinnan.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Kootenay at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

FRIDAY:

At Moose Jaw, the Regina Pats broke a 2-2 tie with three goals early in the third period and went on to beat the Warriors, 5-3. . . . Regina (30-24-6) has moved into third place in ReginaPats100the East Division, one point ahead of Brandon, which has three games in hand. . . . Moose Jaw (43-10-3) had won its previous three games. It now leads the overall standings by one point over Swift Current, with the Warriors having three games in hand. . . . The Warriors beat the host Pats, 6-3, on Wednesday night; they’ll meet again Sunday in Regina, too, when the Pats will retire the No. 15 in honour of Jock Callander. . . . Moose Jaw leads the season series, 5-1-0; Regina is 1-4-1. . . . F Jayden Halbgewachs gave the Warriors a 1-0 lead with his WHL-leading 54th goal, at 15:06 of the first period. . . . Regina took a 2-1 lead on second-period goals from F Nick Henry (10), on a PP, at 0:57, and F Jesse Gabrielle (10), at 11:21. . . . Moose Jaw tied it at 19:55 when F Vince Loschiavo (16) scored, on a PP. . . . Regina took control with three quick goals to start the third period. . . . F Emil Oksanen (14) broke the tie, on a PP, at 3:59. . . . D Josh Mahura, who has 21 goals, then scored twice, at 6:12 and 7:34. . . . F Justin Almeida (31) got Moose Jaw’s final goal, on a PP, at 19:49. . . . Regina got two assists from F Sam Steel, with Mahura adding one. . . . F Brett Howden had three assists for the Warriors, with D Kale Clague getting two. . . . Moose Jaw was 2-3 on the PP; Regina was 2-4. . . . G Max Paddock recorded the victory with 25 saves, six fewer than Moose Jaw’s Brody Willms. . . . Regina G Ryan Kubic has missed four straight games and the Regina Leader-Post reports that he “may be suffering from a concussion.” . . . The Pats had F Koby Morriseau back after a 14-game absence. . . . D Jett Woo was back with the Warriors, after missing eight games. As well, F Barrett Sheen returned after completing a five-game suspension. . . . F Brayden Burke, who is second in the WHL scoring race, was among Moose Jaw’s scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 4,613.


At Prince Albert, the Raiders got out to an early 2-0 lead and went on to a 5-2 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Prince Albert (23-23-11) had lost its previous three games. PrinceAlbertIt is four points behind Saskatoon, which holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . Brandon (30-22-5) has lost three in a row and has slipped out of third place in the East Division. It now has the conference’s first wild-card spot, one point behind Regina and four ahead of Saskatoon. . . . Prince Albert is 2-1-1 in the season series; Brandon is 2-2-0. . . . F Brett Leason (10) got the Raiders going at 2:04, and F Regan Nagy (23) made it 2-0 at 6:47. . . . D Schael Higson (3) got Brandon on the scoreboard at 15:54. . . . After a scoreless second period, D Zack Hayes (3) restored the Raiders’ two-goal lead at 3:01 of the third period. . . . F Ty Lewis (31) got the Wheat Kings back to within a goal at 3:24. . . . D Vojtech Budik (9) gave the Raiders a 4-2 lead at 6:54, and F Kody McDonald (29) added another goal, at 15:44. . . . F Parker Kelly had two assists for the Raiders. . . . Brandon was 0-2 on the PP; Prince Albert was 0-4. . . . G Curtis Meger stopped 18 shots for the Raiders, while Brandon’s Logan Thompson turned aside 34 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 1,903.


At Swift Current, the Broncos scored four times in the first period and went on to a 6-2 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Swift Current (42-13-4) has won six in a row. It SCBroncosclinched a playoff berth with this victory. The Broncos also pulled to within one point of Moose Jaw, which leads the overall standings. The Warriors still hold three games in hand. . . . Medicine Hat (28-24-7) has lost two straight. It leads the Central Division by three points over Lethbridge, which has two games in hand. . . . F Tyler Steenbergen (41) got the Broncos started at 10:00. F Giorgio Estephan (26) followed at 14:43, with F Beck Malenstyn scoring, on a PP, ta 15:35. . . . Broncos F Glenn Gawdin made it 4-0 at 17:19, on a PP, with his 50th goal of the season. F Aleksi Heponiemi earned an assist on the goal, his third of the period, giving him 100 points. . . . F Matteo Gennaro (36) and Malenstyn (10) upped the lead to 6-0 in the second period. . . . The Tigers got third-period goals from F Ryan Jevne (14) and F Henry Rybinski (2). . . . Heponiemi finished with four assists, with D Artyom Minulin and Esterphan each getting two. Gawdin and Steenbergen each had one. . . . Gawdin leads the WHL scoring race, with 109 points, seven more than Moose Jaw F Brayden Burke and eight more than Heponiemi. . . . Swift Current was 2-2 on the PP; Medicine Hat was 0-3. . . . G Stuart Skinner stopped 37 shots for the Broncos. . . . Medicine Hat starter Michael Bullion was beaten six times on 15 shots in 32:24. Kaeden Lane, 16, finished up, stopping all 18 shots he faced in 27:36. . . . With G Jordan Hollett injured, the Tigers have added Lane, 16, to their roster. Lane is 16-1-0, 1.44, .946 with the Burnaby Winter Club prep team in the CSSHL. . . . The Tigers scratched three defencemen — Joel Craven, Kristians Rubins and Linus Nassen — then lost D Dylan MccPherson to injury during the game. . . . Medicine Hat also was without F Hayden Ostir, F Baxter Anderson and F Mason Shaw. . . . Announced attendance: 2,890.


At Lethbridge, the Hurricanes struck four times in the first period en route to a 5-4 victory over the Saskatoon Blades. . . . Letbridge (27-24-6) is second in the Central LethbridgeDivision, three points behind Medicine Hat. . . . Saskatoon (29-27-3) had won its previous three games. It holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, four points ahead of Prince Albert. . . . The Hurricanes started 18 seconds into this one when F Jordy Bellerive (39) scored. . . . F Dylan Cozens made it 2-0 just 61 seconds later. . . . D Matthew Stanley and D Calen Addison (8) added goals before the game was six minutes old. . . . Saskatoon got two goals before the first period ended, from D Logan Christensen (4), at 11:19, and D Evan Fiala (6), at 13:49. . . . F Eric Florchuk (12) got Saskatoon to within one at 0:47 of the third period. . . . Stanley, playing in his 109th game, got his second career goal and second of the game at 5:37, restoring Lethbridge’s two-goal edge. . . . F Braylon Shmyr (28) got Saskatoon back to within a goal at 19:54. . . . Stanley and Cozens each added an assist for Lethbridge. . . . The Blades got two assists from each of Fiala and F Michael Darren, with Shmyr and Florchuk adding one apiece. . . . Saskatoon was 1-4 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-2. . . . G Logan Flodell blocked 35 shots to earn the victory. . . . Saskatoon starter Tyler Brown gave up four goals on eight shots in 5:02. Nolan Maier came on to finish up and was beaten once on 10 shots in 54:58. . . . Lethbridge F Jadon Joseph left the game in the third period. . . . Announced attendance: 4,918.


At Cranbrook, B.C., the Kootenay Ice scored the game’s last three goals and beat the Tri-City Americans, 5-2. . . . Kootenay (25-31-3) had lost its previous three games. It is third in Kootenaynewthe Central Division, seven points behind Lethbridge. . . Tri-City (29-20-8) had won two in a row. It is in possession of the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot and is fourth in the U. S. Division, a point behind Spokane. . . . F Morgan Geekie gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 3:42 of the first period. . . . The home team went ahead 2-1 on goals from F Gillian Kohler (4), at 16:51 of the first, and F Kaeden Taphorn (5), at 6:44 of the second. . . . Geekie (23) tied it at 9:38. . . . Ice F Cameron Hausinger (17) snapped the tie, on a PP, at 11:20 of the second period. . . . F Peyton Krebs (16) added insurance, at 4:44 of the third period, and F Brett Davis (22) finished the scoring at 16:21. . . . Krebs and Davis each had an assist. . . . F Jordan Topping and F Michael Rasmussen each had two assists in the loss. . . . Kootenay was 1-3 on the PP; Tri-City was 0-3. . . . The Ice got 19 saves from G Duncan McGovern. . . . Tri-City G Beck Warm blocked 32 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 2,577.


At Kamloops, F Dillon Dube scored twice to lead the Kelowna Rockets to a 2-1 victory over the Blazers. . . . Kelowna (35-18-5) leads the B.C. Division by two points over Victoria. KelownaRockets. . . Kamloops (26-28-4) has lost three in a row, and is seven points out of a playoff spot. . . . Dube, who has 27 goals, opened the scoring at 4:15 of the first period. . . . Kamloops D Montana Onyebuchi (4) tied it at 6:48. . . . Dude snapped the tie at 12:02 of the second period. . . . D Cal Foote had two assists for the Rockets. . . . Kelowna was 1-2 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-4. . . . G Brodan Salmond stopped 28 shots for Kelowna, while Dylan Ferguson of the Blazers stopped 25. . . . These teams hadn’t met since Dec. 29. . . . Kelowna leads the season series, 5-0-0, with three games left; the Blazers are 0-4-1. . . . F Liam Kindree returned to Kelowna’s lineup after sitting out 20 games. . . . Kamloops was without D Luke Zazula and F Luc Smith for a third straight game. . . . The Rockets remain without F Kole Lind and F Nolan Foote. . . . The Blazers are at home to the Prince George Cougars tonight, then have to get to Everett for a Sunday afternoon date with the Silvertips. . . . Announced attendance: 4,113.


At Victoria, F Chris Douglas broke a 3-3 tie at 12:41 of the third period as the Red Deer Rebels beat the Royals, 4-3. . . . Red Deer (20-26-13) has won three in a row. It remains tied Red Deerwith Kootenay for third in the Central Division. . . . Victoria (34-21-5) has lost three straight (0-2-1). It is second in the B.C. Division, two points behind Kelowna. . . . F Matthew Phillips (44) gave Victoria a 1-0 lead at 14:14 of the first period. . . . The Rebels scored the next three goals. . . . F Kristian Reichel (25) struck, on a PP, at 18:43. . . . F Mason McCarty (31) made it 2-1 at 9:56 of the second period and F Brandon Cutler (3) stretched the lead at 11:30. . . . D Kade Jensen (6) got the Royals to within one at 19:52, and F Lane Zablocki (13) tied it, on a PP, at 5:16 of the third. . . . Douglas won it with his sixth goal of the season. . . . Phillips ran his franchise-record point streak to 20 games, during which time he has 37 points. . . . Victoria was 1-3 on the PP; Red Deer was 1-4. . . . G Riley Lamb stopped 33 shots for Red Deer. . . . The Royals got 23 saves from Dean McNabb. . . . The Royals scratched G Griffen Outhouse for a second straight game. . . . Announced attendance: 4,217.


At Langley, B.C., the Vancouver Giants got out to an early 2-0 lead and went on to beat the Edmonton Oil Kings, 2-1. . . . Vancouver (31-18-8) has won two in a row. The Giants are Vancouverthird in the B.C. Division, three points behind Victoria. . . . Edmonton (17-33-7) had won its previous three games. . . . F Tyler Benson (20) got the home team out to a 1-0 lead 14 seconds into the game. . . . F Brayden Watts (14) made it 2-0, on a PP, at 3:02. . . . The Oil Kings cut the deficit to one goal when F Brett Kemp (14) scored at 1:05 of the second period. . . . Benson also had an assist. . . . Vancouver was 1-4 on the PP; Edmonton was 0-2. . . . The Giants got 30 saves from G David Tendeck, while G Josh Dechaine stopped 21 shots for Edmonton. . . . The Giants again scratched D Dylan Plouffe, D Matt Barberis, D Darian Skeoch and D Alex Kannok Leipert, all of whom are hurt, and F Owen Hardy (ill). . . . Announced attendance: 3,484.


At Kent, Wash., F Bryce Kindopp’s OT goal gave the Everett Silvertips a 4-3 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Everett (37-17-4) has points in six straight (5-0-1). It leads Everettthe Western Conference by four points over Portland. . . . Seattle (27-20-9) has lost four in a row (0-2-2). It holds down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, three points behind Tri-City. . . . Each team is 3-2-1 in the season series. . . . Everett grabbed a 2-0 first-period leads on goals from F Garrett Pilon, on a PP, at 2:35, and D Kevin Davis (8), at 14:10. . . . F Matthew Wedman (14) got Seattle’s first goal, at 18:59. . . . Pilon (28) restored Everett’s two-goal edge at 2:57 of the second period. . . . Seattle tied it on third-period goals from D Austin Strand (18), on a PP, at 1:12, and D Turner Ottenbreit (8), at 10:06. . . . Kindopp (17) won it at 1:56 of extra time. . . . Everett got two assists from Riley Sutter and one from Davis. . . . Ottenbreit and Strand had an assist each for Seattle. . . . The Thunderbirds were 2-2 on the PP; the Silvertips were 1-5. . . . G Carter Hart recorded the victory with 30 saves. He now has 108 regular-season victories, which is an Everett franchise record, one more than Leland Irving (2003-08). . . . G Liam Hughes stopped 38 shots for Seattle. . . . Everett F Sean Richards took a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct at 16:46 of the second period for a hit on Seattle D Jarret Tyszka. The ensuing brouhaha resulted in 79 penalty minutes being doled out. . . . Seattle head coach Matt O’Dette wasn’t impressed with the work of referees Sean Raphael and Mike Langin. “They had no idea who got the 10s,” O’Dette told Andy Eide of ESPN radio in Seattle. “We lost all our guys that were on the ice and somehow (Patrick) Bajkov and (Matt) Fonteyne, two of their best players, managed to stay on the ice, which is ridiculous. We ended up with four 10s, they ended with one and I don’t understand how that can possibly happen. In the heat of the moment they had no idea what was going on, who had the 10s and who didn’t. We had a key power play and we didn’t have a whole unit and they had their top penalty-killers because they somehow got to stay in the game.” . . . Eide’s complete story is right here. . . . Announced attendance: 6,409.


SATURDAY (all times local):

Prince Albert at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Kootenay at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Swift Current at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.

Prince George at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Edmonton at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Vancouver at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

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

Seattle at Everett, 7:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

Doing some scattershooting . . . Giants salute their bus driver . . . Pats to retire No. 15

Scattershooting

If you haven’t noticed, the Kootenay Ice and Red Deer Rebels are tied for third place in the WHL’s Central Division, each with 51 points. Each team has 14 games remaining. This being the era of the loser point, it’s worth noting that the Ice (24-31-3) has five more victories and five more losses than the Rebels (19-26-13), who have 10 more loser points. In this instance, it’s all about those loser points.


Whichever team loses the race to third in the Central Division likely will miss the playoffs. That’s because the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot is 10 points away.


The Moose Jaw Warriors (42-9-3) lead the overall standings by three points over the Swift Current Broncos (41-13-4). However, the Warriors have four games in hand. If you’re wondering, those teams only have two games remaining with each other — Wednesday at Swift Current and March 10 in Moose Jaw. . . . Five of Moose Jaw’s remaining 18 games will be played against the Brandon Wheat Kings.


It‘s good to see former Brandon D Dwayne Gylywoychuk working the bench with the Canada’s women’s team at the Olympic Winter Games. He’s an assistant coach, and if you catch a glimpse of him you’ll see why his nickname is Chewy. I still can’t believe he doesn’t have an endorsement from Double Bubble.


Here’s Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle:

“If Tom Brady can be at the top of his game at 40, why not a rebuilt Tiger Woods at 42? There’s just too much accumulated golf knowledge, hunger and battle savvy packed into that bad-ass, free-safety body for Tiger to fade away. Plus, Woods never gets sacked, so to speak.”


One of the interesting things to happen this week has been the tweets from Mr. T — remember him? — professing to a new-found love for curling. This has led to speculation on social media that curling’s pooh-bahs will change the name of the T-line to the Mr. T line.


Former MLB pitcher Jim Deshaies, who now provides analysis on Chicago Cubs’ telecasts, remembers a time when the late Oscar Gamble saw pitcher Nolan Ryan’s name on a marquee in Anaheim and said: “Ooh, boy . . . 0-for-4 and no fractured skull is a good day.”


Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, points out: “The last ‘Really Good’ QB for the NY Jets may in fact have been Joe Willie Namath. To put that in perspective, he is six months older than I am; and when I was in high school, they were able to teach all of World History in four days.”


Those international hockey games between the American and Canadian women’s teams certainly have a lot of body contact for a game in which bodychecking is against the rules. . . . I got a personal introduction to that rivalry two years ago when the IIHF Women’s World Championship was decided in Kamloops. It only seems to have grown hotter since then.


MacBeth

D Austin Madaisky (Calgary, Kamloops, 2008-12) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Leksand (Sweden, Allsvenskan) after receiving his release from the Straubing Tigers (Germany DEL). He had five goals and eight assists in 45 games with Straubing this season.


DAN’S DIARY . . .

Dan Courneyea, one of the Kamloops Blazers’ off-ice officials, is at the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. With the men’s hockey competition having started, he is a busy man.

Early Thursday (Pacific time), he reported . . .

“A day at the exciting last game of the day. Korea vs Czech Republic. The Czech won 2-1, Olylogobut the big thing was what happened inside the game building, actually. We’re in South Korea in an ice rink and who comes in — nope, not him — but a singing and dancing choir from North Korea. WOW is all I had to say.

“Hockey is interesting without the NHL. Anyone can win this tournament.”

Later Thursday — it was well into Friday in PyeongChang — Courneyea worked the men’s game between Slovakia and the U.S.

“I’m now supervising the upstairs crew,” he wrote, “Ed (Petrullo) from Seattle was moved downstairs onto scorekeepers row. You might see him on TV. He’s at centre ice level right above the large snowflake on the boards.

“The atmosphere in here is great.”

Petrullo is an off-ice official with the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds.

Courneyea added:

“We are doing training for the local Koreans who came to work and will move on to the Paralympics.

“We originally came to do one job but our experience has over-ridden that. We also didn’t want to cut out those locals who have been training and working for this time. That was our group’s consensus when the four of us came in on the first day.”

As for the men’s tournament, he wrote:

“This is ANYONE’S tournament. No clear winners!”

It’s worth noting, too, he wrote, that the sweaters players are wearing in these Olympics, “have chips to track all the on-ice stats.”

If you weren’t watching, Team USA beat the Slovakians, 2-1.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

A tip of the Taking Note cap to the players on the Vancouver Giants for something they did after their 4-2 victory over the Winterhawks in Portland on Wednesday night.

Many junior teams have something that goes to a player of the game. In the Giants’ case, Vancouverit is a replica of a WWE championship belt.

Jess Rubenstein is the prospect editor for the Blueshirt Bulletin, and keeps close tabs on New York Rangers’ prospects, including Giants F Cliff Ronning.

All Ronning did in Portland was score twice — Nos. 50 and 51. In the process, he became the first player in franchise history to score 50 times on one season. No, he didn’t get the replica WWE belt.

Rubenstein was at the game and sent along a couple of notes after the game:

“The belt was given to bus driver Derek Holloway. He was wearing the belt with a giant-sized smile as he supervised the postgame loading.

“It was a huge win for the Giants players but they honoured their driver for his 600th road game. Hockey truly is special.

“It was truly a classy move by the players to honour the guy who gets them from place to place. The rest of the world doesn’t know how important these drivers are, so it was great to see the Giants do that for Holloway.”


The Regina Pats will honour Jock Callander by retiring his number (15) prior to a game against the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors on Sunday. . . . Callander played four seasons ReginaPats100(1978-82) with the Pats, totalling 368 points, 158 of them goals, in 201 games. In franchise history, he is sixth in points, tied for seventh in goals, and sixth in assists (210). . . . In 1981-82, Callander led the WHL in scoring, with 190 points in 71 games. . . . Callander, who is from Regina, went on to a pro career that included a Stanley Cup title with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992. . . . He also played 1,054 games in the now-defunct International Hockey League. He finished with 1,242 points, and that’s No. 1 in IHL history. . . . The last Regina player to wear No. 15 was F Braydon Buziak, who was traded to the Victoria Royals earlier this season.

Other numbers retired by the Pats — 1. Ed Staniowski; 7. Jordan Eberle; 8. Brad Hornung; 9. Clark Gillies; 12. Doug Wickenheiser; 14. Dennis Sobchuk; 16. Dale Derkatch/Mike Sillinger; 17. Bill Hicke.


If you like what you see here, please consider clicking on the DONATE button over there to the right and helping the cause.

If you have a tip or just want to chat, email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com. You are able to follow me on Twitter at @gdrinnan.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw

Regina at Medicine Hat

Brandon at Swift Current

Kootenay at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

THURSDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Regina at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Brandon at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Tri-City vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.

Kelowna at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Red Deer at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

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

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


TWEET OF THE DAY

McIntyre, former WHLer, dies at 48 . . . Burke, Gawdin century men . . . Hart equals career shutout record . . . Big night for two Chiefs

SeoulAirport
Dan Courneyea of the Kamloops Blazers’ off-ice crew arrived at the airport in Seoul en route to the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. (Photo: Dan Courneyea)

DAN’S DIARY . . .

Dan Courneyea, who heads up the Kamloops Blazers’ off-ice crew of officials left Friday for PyeongChang and the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, where he’ll be working the hockey competitions.

He arrived in Seoul on Saturday — well, it was Sunday there — and then took a high-speed train to PyeongChang. En route, he sent along this note:

“Well . . . the time change is definitely something! It’s 17 hours, so it was Sunday when we got here. Temp is -7/c but windy and I mean cold. Feels like -20/c with a wind blowing in your face. Looks like everything is set up nicely and the Korean people are very friendly.”


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

Ken McIntyre, who was involved in a 10-player trade during the WHL’s 1986-87 season, has died.

McIntyre, 48, was found unresponsive at an intersection in Minot, N.D., on Wednesday afternoon. A passer-by spotted him, initiated CPR and called 9-1-1.

According to The Associated Press, police in Minot say “medical conditions” caused his death. The police released that information after an autopsy was completed on Friday.

According to AP, police responded to the call on Wednesday. “The man was taken to the hospital,” AP reported, “where he was pronounced dead a short time later.”

McIntyre, a native of Regina, had been living in Minot.

He was in his second season with the Pats when he was traded to the Seattle Thunderbirds. Joining McIntyre on the way west were F Brent Fedyk, F Garnet Kazuik, D Gerald Bzdel and F Kevin Kowalchuk. In return, the Pats acquired F Craig Endean, F Ray Savard, F Erin Ginnell, F Grant Chorney and the rights to F Frank Kovacs, who was 15 and playing bantam AA in his hometown of Regina.

After finishing that season with Seattle, McIntyre played with the Moose Jaw Warriors in 1987-88. In 167 regular-season games, he had  20 goals and 28 assists, along with 288 penalty minutes.

Someone who knew McIntyre told Taking Note that he was “a world traveller” who at one time was teaching English in Cambodia.

After being away from Regina for a number of years McIntyre returned to help care for his ill father until his death. While in Regina, McIntyre spent a lot of time with former teammate Brad Hornung at the Wascana Rehabilitation Centre and they renewed their friendship.

“He was a fun guy,” Terry Hornung, Brad’s mother, told Taking Note, “and everyone who knew him liked him. We will all miss him.”


If you like what you see here, please consider clicking on the DONATE button over there to the right and helping the cause.

If you have a tip or just want to chat, email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com. You are able to follow me on Twitter at @gdrinnan.

And don’t forget that the domain name here is greggdrinnan.com.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw

Regina at Medicine Hat

Brandon at Swift Current

Kootenay at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Victoria

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Kelowna


Scoreboard

SATURDAY:

At Edmonton, F Trey Fix-Wolansky scored a late goal to give the Oil Kings a 4-3 victory EdmontonOilKingsover the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Edmonton (15-32-7) had lost its previous three games. . . . Red Deer (17-26-13) had points in each of its previous nine games (7-0-2). It is fourth in the Central Division, four points behind Kootenay. . . . Interestingly, Fix-Wolansky had been ejected from the Oil Kings’ 7-2 loss in Red Deer on Friday night, thanks to a cross-checking major and game misconduct at 8:42 of the first period. Obviously, the WHL office didn’t feel it was a suspendible offence, so he played on Saturday. . . . Fix-Wolansky scored the winning goal with 7.6 seconds left in the third period, one second after an Edmonton PP had expired. He got his 23rd goal of the season by kicking the puck into the net from about five feet above the top of the Red Deer crease. The goal wouldn’t have counted last season, but the WHL changed the rule to allow pucks to be kicked in, as long as the kicker isn’t in the goal crease. . . . The Rebels had tied the game 3-3 at 18:21 when F Reese Johnson (18) scored while shorthanded. . . . Edmonton F Liam Keeler (3) opened the scoring at 3:45 of the second period with a shorthanded goal. . . . The other six goals all were scored in the third period. . . . Red Deer took a 2-1 lead on goals from F Austin Schellenberg (2), at 3:34, and F Brandon Cutler (2), at 3:57. . . . The Oil Kings went ahead 3-2 on goals from F David Kope (9), at 6:40, and F Colton Kehler (24), on a PP, at 8:52. . . . D Conner McDonald had two assists for Edmonton, with Kehler and Fix-Wolansky each getting one. . . . Johnson also had an assist for Red Deer. . . . Edmonton was 1-3 on the PP; Red Deer was 0-5. . . . The Oil Kings got 29 saves from G Josh Dechaine. . . . Red Deer G Ethan Anders stopped 18 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 11,317.


At Moose Jaw, the Warriors scored three times in the first period and went on to a 6-0 MooseJawWarriorsvictory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Moose Jaw (42-9-3) has won three in a row. It leads the overall standings by five points over Swift Current. . . . The Warriors have equalled their victory total from last season when they finished 42-21-9. The franchise record for victories in a season (45) is from 2011-12, when they went 45-19-8. . . . Kootenay (24-29-3) is third in the Central Division, five points behind Lethbridge. . . . G Brody Willms stopped 15 shots for his second shutout in as many nights. He blanked visiting Lethbridge 2-0 on Friday. Willms has four shutouts this season and five in his career. . . . F Brayden Burke opened the scoring at 7:47 of the first period as he became the first player in all of the CHL to reach 100 points. He later added a second goal, giving him 28, and an assist, pushing his total to 102 points. . . . D Dmitri Zaltsev (6) upped Moose Jaw’s lead to 2-0 at 18:30, and F Brett Howden made it 3-0 at 19:32. . . . Howden later added a second goal, giving him 20, and D Brandon Schuldaus (4) also scored. . . . The Warriors got two assists from each of D Kale Clague and Zaitsev, with Howden and Schuldhaus adding one each. . . . Moose Jaw was 1-4 on the PP; Kootenay was 0-2. . . . The Ice got 28 saves from G Matt Berlin. . . . Announced attendance: 3,309.


At Regina, the Pats broke a 1-1 tie with three straight goals as they skated to a 4-2 victory ReginaPats100over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Regina (29-23-5) is fourth in the East Division, two points behind Brandon. . . . Lethbridge (25-23-6) has lost two in a row. It is second in the Central Division, seven points behind Medicine Hat. . . . D Libor Hajek (11) gave Regina a 1-0 lead at 4:04 of the first period. . . . F Logan Barlage (4) tied it, on a PP, at 17:55. . . . Regina took control on goals from F Matt Bradley (32), at 2:23 of the second period, and F Sam Steel (21), on a PP, at 15:09. D Cale Fleury (10) made it 4-1, shorthanded, at 3:17 of the third period. . . . F Brad Morrison (18) got Lethbridge’s second goal, on a PP, at 19:46. . . . F Jake Leschyshyn had two assists for Regina, with Fleury, Steel and Hajek adding one each. . . . Lethbridge was 2-7 on the PP; Regina was 1-10. . . . G Max Paddock earned the victory with 33 saves. . . . Lethbridge G Logan Flodell, who is from Regina, stopped 30 shots on his 21st birthday. . . . The Pats scratched G Ryan Kubic, so brought in G Jacob Wasserman from the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos as the backup. . . . Regina also was without F Jared Legien, who was a recent healthy scratch for a couple of games. . . . Announced attendance: 6,484.


At Swift Current, the Broncos scored the game’s first four goals and went on to a 5-2 SCBroncosvictory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Swift Current (39-13-4) has won three in a row. It is second in the overall standings, five points behind Moose Jaw. . . . Brandon (30-20-5) is third in the East Division, two points ahead of Regina. . . . F Glenn Gawdin of the Broncos, playing in his 300th game, drew an assist on the game’s first goal, making him the second WHLer this season to get to 100 points. He followed Moose Jaw F Brayden Burke by about 20 minutes. . . . Gawdin later scored his club’s fourth goal, his 47th, while shorthanded. . . . F Tyler Steenbergen (38) opened the scoring at 19:09 of the first period. . . . F Matteo Gennaro upped it to 2-0, on a PP, at 15:34 of the second, and F Beck Malenstyn (8) made it 3-0 at 19:20. . . . Brandon made it interesting on third-period goals from F Jonny Hooker (3), at 5:39, and F Ty Lewis (29), shorthanded, at 11:47. . . . Gennaro concluded the scoring with his 35th goal, at 18:27. . . . F Aleksi Heponiemi had two assists for the Broncos. . . . Swift Current was 1-5 on the PP; Brandon was 0-4. . . . G Joel Hofer stopped 22 shots for the Broncos, three fewer than Brandon’s Logan Thompson. . . . Announced attendance: 2,890.


At Saskatoon, the Blades erased a 3-2 deficit with four third-period goals as they beat the SaskatoonPrince Albert Raiders, 6-3. . . . Saskatoon (27-26-3) holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, two points ahead of the Raiders (22-22-11). . . . Jeff D’Andrea of panow.com points out that the Raiders have lost 14 in a row in Saskatoon. . . . The Blades took a 1-0 lead at 7:44 of the first period when F Michael Farren (7) scored. . . . F Parker Kelly (25) tied it 36 seconds later. . . . F Josh Paterson (26) scored, on a PP, at 16:39 to give the Blades a 2-1 lead. . . . The visitors went ahead 3-2 on a pair of second-period goals from F Jordy Stallard (36), at 11:35 and 16:49, the latter via a PP. . . . The Blades owned the third period. . . . D Logan Christensen (2) tied it at 9:15 and F Bradly Goethals put Saskatoon in front at 10:32. . . . F Braylon Shmyr (27) added insurance at 15:37. . . . Goethals, who has 13 goals, got the empty-netter at 19:57. . . . Shmyr and F Eric Florchuk each had two assists for the winners, with Christensen getting one. . . . Saskatoon was 1-3 on the PP; Prince Albert was 1-5. . . . The Blades got 29 stops from G Nolan Maier. . . . G Ian Scott stopped 24 shots for the Raiders. . . . Prince Albert lost Kelly to a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct at 18:27 of the first period for a hit on Saskatoon F Kirby Dach, who left the game and didn’t return. . . . The Blades and their fans celebrated the 30th anniversary of the opening of their arena. . . . Announced attendance: 4,444.


At Everett, G Carter Hart tied the WHL’s career shutout record as the Silvertips beat the EverettVancouver Giants, 5-0. . . . Everett (35-17-4) has points in four straight (3-0-1). It leads the Western Conference by two points over Portland and Victoria. . . . Vancouver (29-18-8) is third in the B.C. Division, five points behind Kelowna. . . . Hart stopped 23 shots in putting up his seventh shutout of the season and the 26th of his career. He now shares the career record with Tyson Sexsmith (2004-09). . . . Hart has 26 shutouts in 178 regular-season appearances. Sexsmith did it in 179 appearances, the first one with Medicine Hat and the rest with Vancouver. . . . Hart also won for the 107th time with Everett, tying Leland Irving’s career franchise record. . . . F Ethan O’Rourke (6) opened the scoring, getting his first goal since coming over from Prince George last night, at 11:34 of the second period. . . . F Sean Richards (19) made it 2-0 at 14:12. . . . Everett got third-period goals from F Matt Fonteyne (31), D Ian Walker (1) and F Bryce Kindopp (16). . . . F Patrick Bajkov helped out with two assists, with O’Rourke, Richards and Fonteyne each getting one. . . . Vancouver was 0-4 on the PP; Everett was 0-5. . . . Vancouver G David Tendeck surrendered four goals on 42 shots in 45:38. Trent Miner finished up, stopping seven of eight shots in 14:22. . . . Everett D Kevin Davis played in his 331st regular-season game. F Shane Harper (2005-10) holds the franchise record, at 335. . . . Announced attendance: 5,982.


At Prince George, F Jermaine Loewen had two goals and two assists to lead the Kamloops Kamloops1Blazers to a 4-2 victory over the Cougars. . . . Kamloops (26-25-4) had beaten the host Cougars, 3-2, on Friday night, winning on Loewen’s goal at 19:20 of the third period. The Blazers are six points out of a playoff spot. . . . Prince George (19-29-8) has lost three in a row and now trails Kamloops by 10 points. . . . Loewen, who has 28 goals, opened the scoring at 7:17 of the first period. . . . The Cougars took a 2-1 lead on second-period goals from F Jackson Leppard (12), on a PP, at 12:34, and F Kjell Kjemhus (2), at 16:13. . . . Kamloops tied it when F Travis Walton (3) scored at 6:59 of the third period. . . . F Orrin Centazzo (9) broke the tie at 16:47, and Loewen adding insurance at 18:48. . . . F Connor Zary had two assists for the Blazers. . . . Loewen’s career highs going into this season were six goals and 11 assists from last season. This season, he has 47 points, 28 of them goals, in 49 games. . . . Prince George was 1-3 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-1. . . . G Dylan Ferguson stopped 30 shots for Kamloops, one more than Prince George’s Isaiah DiLaura. . . . Kamloops D Joe Gatenby played in his 300th regular-season game. . . . The Blazers dressed 17 skaters, one under the maximum, because F/D Tylor Ludwar was serving a one-game suspension after he took a kneeing major and misconduct on Friday, and F Luc Smith and D Luke Zazula are nursing injuries. . . . Announced attendance: 2,645.


At Kent, Wash., the Portland Winterhawks broke open a scoreless game with three Portlandsecond-period goals and went on to a 4-1 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Portland (34-18-4) has won four in a row. It is second in the U.S. Division, two points behind Everett. . . . Seattle (27-19-9) had points in each of its previous three games (1-0-2). It is tied with Tri-City for the Western Conference’s two wild-card spots. . . . The teams will turn around and play in Portland on Sunday, the third game in fewer than 48 hours for both clubs. . . . F Cody Glass (27) got Portland started, on a PP, just seven seconds into the second period. . . . D Keoni Texeira (8) made it 2-0 at 8:37, and F Ryan Hughes (10) upped it to 3-0 at 13:11. . . . Seattle got its goal from F Graeme Bryks (1) at 4:40 of the third period. . . . Bryks, who turned 17 on Jan. 22, is from Edmonton. He was an eighth-round pick in the 2016 WHL bantam draft. He was playing in his third WHL game, but his first since Oct. 7. Bryks is up from the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints. . . . F Skyler McKenzie (41) got the empty-netter for Portland at 18:43. . . . Hughes and Texeira each had an assist for Portland. . . . Portland was 1-4 on the PP; Seattle was 0-3. . . . The Winterhawks got 28 saves from G Cole Kehler, while Seattle’s Liam Hughes made 24 saves. . . . Announced attendance: 6,058.


At Kennewick, Wash., F Jaret Anderson-Dolan and F Kailer Yamamoto had five points SpokaneChiefsapiece as the Spokane Chiefs beat the Tri-City Americans, 6-3. . . . Spokane (30-19-5) has points in 10 straight (8-0-2). It is third in the U.S. Division, seven points behind Portland. . . . Tri-City (27-19-8) has lost four in a row (0-3-1). It is tied with Seattle, three points behind Spokane. . . . Anderson-Dolan finished with three goals and two assists, with Yamamoto scoring once and adding four helpers. F Ethan McIndoe, the third member of that line, had a goal and two assists. . . . Anderson-Dolan, who has 32 goals, gave his guys the lead at 6:01 of the first period. . . . The Americans took a 2-1 lead before the period ended, thanks to goals from F Michael Rasmussen (20), on a PP, at 15:19, and F Morgan Geekie (21), at 18:12. . . . Spokane got the next three goals, the first two via the PP. . . . D Ty Smith (9) tied the score at 7:29 of the second period, and McIndoe (17) gave the Chiefs the lead just 24 seconds later. . . . Anderson-Dolan made it 4-2 at 8:48 of the third period. . . . Tri-City D Juuso Valimaki (6) got his mates to within a goal, at 9:34. . . . Yamamoto (12) got that one back at 12:46, and Anderson-Dolan completed the hat trick with an empty-netter, at 19:15. . . . Smith added two assists to his goal. . . . Geekie had an assist for Tri-City. . . . In 12 games since returning to the Chiefs from the WJC, Yamamoto has 30 points, including 20 assists. . . . Spokane was 2-5 on the PP; Tri-City was 1-5. . . . G Dawson Weatherill stopped 25 shots for Spokane. . . . G Beck Warm blocked 14 shots for Tri-City. . . . Announced attendance: 5,011.


At Victoria, F Tanner Kaspick scored at 2:22 of OT to give the Royals a 4-3 victory over the VictoriaRoyalsKelowna Rockets. . . . Victoria (34-19-4) had beaten the visiting Rockets 6-1 on Friday. It now leads the B.C. Division by one point over Kelowna. . . . Kelowna (33-17-5) is five points ahead of Vancouver. . . . These same two teams will play again Monday afternoon, this time in Kelowna. . . . Last night, the Royals got two goals from each of Kaspick and F Noah Gregor, both of them mid-season additions by GM Cam Hope. . . . Gregor gave the home team a 1-0 lead at 3:52 of the first period. . . . Kelowna went ahead 2-1 on goals from F Kole Lind, at 8:36, and D Cal Foote (14), at 13:18. . . . Kaspick tied it at 17:44 of the second period. . . . F Conner Bruggen-Cate (16) put Kelowna back out front at 8:22 of the third period. . . . Gregor tied it with his 20th goal, on a PP, at 10:19. . . . Kaspick won it with his 20th goal, on a PP, in OT. . . . Kaspick has scored eight goals in 11 games with the Royals, and he has five game-winners. . . . Royals F Matthew Phillips drew one assist, giving him 91 points this season. That ties the Victoria franchise record for points in a single-season (F Alex Forsberg, 2015-16). F Mark Santorelli holds the Chilliwack/Victoria franchise record (101 points, 2007-08). . . . F Dante Hannoun had two assists for the Royals, with Gregor and Kaspick adding one each. . . . Foote had an assist for Kelowna. . . . Kelowna was 1-1 on the PP; Victoria was 2-6. . . . G Griffen Outhouse earned the victory with 33 saves. . . . G James Porter Jr. stopped 34 shots for Kelowna. . . . Announced attendance: 5,874.


SUNDAY (all times local):

Medicine Hat at Calgary, 2 p.m.

Swift Current at Prince Albert, 4 p.m.

Regina at Saskatoon, 4:05 p.m.

Seattle at Portland, 5 p.m.

Everett at Spokane, 5:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

Paddock: Pats will play their best . . . Chico’s the man for Cougars . . . Tigers’ Shaw back on blades . . . Storm’s days numbered in Kamloops?


MacBeth

D Stefan Warg (Seattle, Prince Albert, 2008-10) has signed a two-year contract extension with Malmö (Sweden, SHL). This season, he has two goals and 10 assists in 44 games, while averaging 16:39 ice time per game.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

The situation staring the Regina Pats squarely in the face is the elephant in the WHL’s room at the moment.

The Pats, as you are aware, will be the host team for the Memorial Cup when it opens in May.

You also will be aware that they got off to a horrendous start this season, and have ReginaPats100known for some time that they won’t finish first or second in the East Division, the Moose Jaw Warriors (40-9-3) and Swift Current Broncos (37-13-4) simply being too far ahead. The Pats (28-22-5) trail the Warriors by 22 points and the Broncos by 17.

For a while, the third-place Brandon Wheat Kings (29-19-5) had a healthy lead, too, but that was before they turned into sellers at the trade deadline. Since then, they have gone 2-7-3 and now resemble a middle-of-the-pack squad rather than one that was running third in the overall standings.

Going into weekend games, then, the Pats are two points behind the Wheat Kings.

And there’s the rub. . . .

The third-place finisher in the East Division will play No. 2 in the opening round of the playoffs, which is likely to be Swift Current.

Finish fourth and chances are you will be the first wild-card team, meaning a first-round date with the first-place team in the Central Division, either the Medicine Hat Tigers or Lethbridge Hurricanes.

The injury-riddled Tigers have a five-point edge on the hard-charging Hurricanes.

You don’t have to be a rocket surgeon to know which is the easiest route.

Just don’t suggest to John Paddock, the Pats’ general manager and head coach, that maybe, well, just maybe . . . you know . . .

“There’s a lot of hypotheticals,” he told Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post.“One, be careful what you might wish for. Two, you can’t step on the ice as a player and you can’t go behind the bench as a coach without trying to win the game. It’s really just a joke (to suggest otherwise). You can’t go out and not play your best. . . .

“We’re not going to catch those top two teams. I’ve known that since October. But we’re going to have to play one or both at some point (in the playoffs). You want to play good and we also know we’re going to play in May and nobody else does. It’s very important to be playing better and better as the season goes on.”

Harder’s complete story is right here.


Chico Dhanjal worked his 700th WHL game with the Prince George Cougars on Jan. 31 while the team was on its East Division swing. A native of Saskatoon, the Cougars’ equipment manager celebrated 700 games during a game against the Pats in Regina.

Dhanjal, who seems to wear a perpetual smile, started with the Cougars in 2008-09, after working with the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos. He has degrees in kinesiology and psychology from the U of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.

The Cougars signed him to a three-year extension on Nov. 24, 2016.


The access ShoWare Centre in Kent, Wash., home of the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds, lost US$361,861 in 2017, up from a loss of $155,268 the previous year. But, as Steve Hunter of the Kent Reporter writes, city officials are “confident that the numbers show better days are ahead” for the facility. . . . Hunter’s story is right here.


F Mason Shaw, who has yet to play for the Medicine Hat Tigers this season, skated on Thursday for the first time at home since he suffered a knee injury in early September.

Shaw suffered a torn ACL while playing for the Minnesota Wild’s rookie team at an NHL Tigers Logo Officialpreseason tournament in Traverse City, Mich. He subsequently underwent surgery and only recently was cleared to resume skating.

CHAT News reported yesterday that Mason was wearing a non-contact jersey as he “skated several laps . . . by himself. It’s the first time he’s been on skates at his home rink, and the first time he was in full equipment since September.”

Shaw, 19, isn’t likely to play in the regular season, but hopes to be cleared for game action in time for the start of the playoffs.

It would be huge for the Tigers to get him back for playoff action. Last season, he finished with 27 goals and 67 assists in 71 games, then added 12 assists in 11 playoff games.

The Tigers (27-22-7) go into the weekend atop the Central Division, five points ahead of the Lethbridge Hurricanes (25-21-6), who hold four games in hand.

Medicine Hat is really banged up, and is 3-4-3 in its last 10 games, while Lethbridge is 5-2-3.

The Tigers will play home-and-home with the Calgary Hitmen (16-30-7) this weekend, opening tonight (Friday) in Medicine Hat and finishing Sunday afternoon in Calgary.

The Hurricanes are in Moose Jaw tonight and Regina on Saturday.


There is an interesting hockey story unfolding in Quesnel, B.C., where a group has been trying to land a junior B franchise, preferably in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.

The West Fraser Centre will be home to a pair of games tonight (Kamloops Storm vs. 100 KamStormMile House Wranglers) and Saturday (Kamloops Storm vs. Myles Mattila and his Kelowna Chiefs in a game that also will promote mental health awareness).

Matt Kolle, the Storm’s assistant GM, is part of Parallel Sports Group, which has been working to bring junior B hockey to Quesnel. The KIJHL has twice rejected Quesnel-based expansion applications.

Kolle has told Melanie Law of the Quesnel Observer that the group now is looking at the possible relocation of an existing franchise. In that vein, Kolle told Law that the Storm’s management team has spent the past while reviewing its financial picture.

“In the next few weeks,” Kolle said, “we’ll know where Kamloops’ team stands. And (Parallel Sports Group) has also been having conversations with other (KIJHL) teams in financial strain that might be better off in Quesnel.

“It has always been something we would consider, but we wanted to see how the expansion bid would play out first.”

The Storm, owned by Barry Dewar, has played in Kamloops since relocating from Osoyoos, B.C., prior to the 2006-07 season.

Law’s complete story is right here.


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IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Regina at Medicine Hat

Brandon at Swift Current

Kootenay at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Spokane at Kelowna

Tri-City at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

THURSDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Lethbridge at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Regina, 7 p.m.

Prince Albert at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Edmonton at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

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

Kamloops at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Tri-City at Portland, 7 p.m.

Kelowna at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

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

Spokane at Everett, 7:35 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY