High Noon for Hannoun, Raiders. . . . Mid-season acquisition scores OT winner. . . . Prince Albert rules WHL for first time since 1985


F Riley Holzapfel (Moose Jaw, 2004-08) has signed a one-year contract extension with the Vienna Capitals (Austria, Erste Bank Liga). This season, in 53 games, he had 19 goals and a team-leading 34 assists. . . .

F Spencer Edwards (Red Deer, Seattle, Moose Jaw, 2006-11) has signed a  one-year contract extension with Amiens (France, Ligue Magnus). This season, he had nine goals and 17 assists in 44 games. . . .

D Tomáš Slovák (Kelowna, 2001-03) has signed a one-year contract extension with Košice (Slovakia, Extraliga). This season, he had four assists in eight games. He started this season with Jegesmedvék Miscolc (Hungary, Slovakia Extraliga), putting up one goal and three assists in 39 games. . . .

F Tomáš Hričina (Regina, 2008-10) has signed a one-year contract extension with Košice (Slovakia, Extraliga). This season, he had eight goals and seven assists in 49 games. . . .

F Oliver Jokeľ (Swift Current, 2008-09) has signed a one-year contract extension with Košice (Slovakia, Extraliga). This season, he had three goals in 15 games. On loan to Humenné (Slovakia, 1. Liga), he had 12 goals and 14 assists in 31 games. . . .

F Keegan Dansereau (Calgary, Swift Current, 2003-09) has signed a one-year contract with Dunaújváros (Hungary, Erste Liga). This season, with MAC Újbuda Budapest (Hungary, Slovakia Extraliga), he had nine goals and 30 assists in 56 games. He was second on the team in assists. . . .

F Zach McPhee (Tri-City, Everett, Kootenay, 2010-14) has signed a one-year contract with Trollhättan (Sweden, Division 2). This season, with U of Regina (USports, Canada West), he had four goals and three assists in 27 games. . . .

F Rihards Bukarts (Brandon, Portland, 2013-16) has signed a one-year contract with Düsseldorf (Germany, DEL). This season, with the Schwenninger Wild Wings (Germany, DEL), he had nine goals and 13 assists in 42 games. . . .

F Mike Aviani (Spokane, 2009-14) has signed a one-year contract with Nice (France, Ligue Magnus). This season, with Medveščak Zagreb (Croatia, Erste Bank Liga), he had four goals and seven assists in 23 games. He also had three goals and four assists in 15 games with the Herning Blue Fox (Denmark, Metal Ligaen). . . .

F Cain Franson (Vancouver, 2010-14) has signed a one-year contract with Amiens (France, Ligue Magnus). This season, with U of Calgary (USports, Canada West), he had six goals and seven assists in 15 games. . . .

D Craig Schira (Regina, Vancouver, 2003-09) has signed a two-year contract extension with Rögle Ängelholm (Sweden, SHL). This season, he was the team captain, and had two goals and 12 assists in 41 games.


It wasn’t the running of the bulls in Prince Albert, but . . .

The Prince Albert Raiders won the Ed Chynoweth Cup on Monday night, beating the PrinceAlbertvisiting Vancouver Giants, 3-2 in OT, in Game 7 of the WHL’s championship series. . . . It’s the second time in league history that the title has been won in an overtime period in Game 7. . . . F Noah Gregor, with two goals in regulation time, and F Dante Hannoun, with the winner in OT, scored for the Raiders. Both players are 20, meaning they are in their final seasons of junior hockey. . . . Both players were acquired from the Victoria Royals. . . . The Raiders acquired Hannoun, along with fourth- and eighth-round selections in the 2019 bantam draft, on Jan. 3, giving up F Kody McDonald, F Carson Miller and a third-round pick in the 2020 draft in the exchange. . . . Gregor, who has signed with the NHL’s San Jose Sharks, was acquired on July 25 for “conditional compensation,” whatever that is. . . .

As for the first time that Game 7 was decided in OT, it happened in 2007 and, yes, it involved the Giants. Vancouver had taken a 3-2 lead in the series with the Medicine Hat Tigers as G Tyson Sexsmith put up three shutouts — 1-0, 4-0 and 3-0. . . . The last two games were played in Medicine Hat. The Tigers won Game 6, 4-3, then took Game 7, 3-2, when F Brennan Bosch scored at 7:26 of the second OT period. . . . The Giants were the host team for the 2007 Memorial Cup and — wouldn’t you know it — they beat the Tigers, 3-1, in the final.

The Prince Albert Raiders, who won the Ed Chynoweth Cup as WHL champions on CHLMonday night, will open the Memorial Cup on Friday night in Halifax.

The Raiders will meet the host Mooseheads, who lost the QMJHL final in six games to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.

The Huskies will play their first Memorial Cup game on Saturday against the OHL-champion Guelph Storm. Guelph took out the Ottawa 67’s in six games in the OHL final.

The Mooseheads and Storm will meet on Sunday, with the Huskies and Raiders playing on Monday.

The Storm and Raiders are scheduled to play on May 21, with the round-robin concluding on May 22 with the Mooseheads meeting the Huskies.

If a tiebreaker is necessary, it will be played on May 23, and the semifinal is scheduled for May 24.

The tournament wraps up with the championship game on May 26.

The WHL has won the Memorial Cup once in the past 10 tournaments. That was in 2014 when the Edmonton Oil Kings won the championship. Prior to that, the WHL had won five the previous eight tournaments.

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NOTES: The Prince Albert Raiders have won their first WHL championship since 1985 when, in just their third season in the league, they went on to win the Memorial Cup under head coach Terry Simpson. . . . Curtis Hunt, the Raiders’ general manager, was a defenceman on that championship team. . . .

This was the third straight season in which the Ed Chynoweth Cup was won in Saskatchewan. Two seasons ago, the Seattle Thunderbirds beat the Regina Pats in six games, winning Game 6 in Regina. Last season, the Swift Current Broncos won it at home, beating the visiting Everett Silvertips in Game 6. . . . This is the second season in a row that the champion of the 22-team WHL is a community-owned team. There are four of those in the WHL, the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Moose Jaw Warriors being the other two. . . .

The captains of the Raiders and Giants both are from Saskatchewan and were teammates with the Victoria Royals. Raiders D Brayden Pachal, 19, is from Estevan. He was a freshman with the Royals in 2015-16, then was dealt to the Raiders the next season. Giants F Jared Dmytriw, 20, is from Craven. He was with the Royals for two full seasons (2014-16) before being dealt to the Red Deer Rebels and then to Vancouver last season. . . .

Marc Habscheid, the Raiders’ head coach, now has posted 74 WHL playoff victories during his career behind the bench. That is seventh in WHL history, behind Don Hay (108), Ken Hodge (101), Ernie McLean (87), Kelly McCrimmon and Pat Ginnell (80), and Brent Sutter (79). . . . During the regular season, Habscheid became the eighth WHL head coach to get to 500 victories. . . . Habscheid now has won two titles as a head coach; he also won with the 2002-03 Kelowna Rockets. . . .

The Raiders, who were 28-4-2 at home in the regular season, finished the playoffs at 9-3. . . . The Giants, who were 22-9-3 on the road in the regular season, were 7-4 in the playoffs. . . .

Bowen Byram of the Giants became the first defenceman in WHL history to win the playoff scoring race. He finished with 26 points, one more than F Brett Leason of the Raiders. Prince Albert forwards Dante Hannoun and Noah Gregor, who combined on the winning goal in OT of Game 7, each had 24. . . . Hannoun led in goals (14), one more than Gregor, while Byram was tops in assists (18), two more than teammate Davis Koch. . . .

Hannoun had five goals and four assists in the seven-game final. After three games, he had three goals and four assists. So the Giants held him to two goals over the final four games, but he still was able to score the biggest goal of the season. . . .

This was the 12th time that the WHL championship has been decided in Game 7, and the road team has only won one of those games. That was in 2014 when the Edmonton Oil Kings beat the Winterhawks, 4-2, in Portland to win the Ed Chynoweth Cup.



F Dante Hannoun’s OT goal gave the Prince Albert Raiders a 3-2 victory over the visiting Vancouver Giants in Game 7 of the WHL final for the Ed Chynoweth Cup. . . . The Raiders, PrinceAlbertwho hadn’t lost three straight games all season, had led the series 3-1 before dropping two straight games. . . . Hannoun, a mid-season acquisition from the Victoria Royals, won it with 1:35 left in the first OT period. F Noah Gregor, who had the Raiders’ two goals in regulation, had the puck on the left side and sent a terrific pass to Hannoun, who was open off the right side of the Vancouver net. He didn’t miss the open side. . . . Vancouver F Milos Roman, who had gone 12 games without a goal, opened the scoring at 4:45 of the second period. D Bowen Byram skated down the left side of the offensive zone and hit Roman with a great pass for Roman’s third goal of the playoffs. . . . Gregor (12) pulled the Raiders even at 14:57, beating G David Tendeck through a screen from the slot. . . . Gregor (13) gave the Raiders a 2-1 lead at 4:25 of the third period, scoring from the left side. . . . F Parker Kelly drew an assist on each of Gregor’s goals. Kelly had five two-point games in the final — twice scoring two goals and three times setting up a pair. . . . Roman got the Giants back even at 8:30, scoring on a rebound while on the PP. . . . Raiders F Brett Leason was penalized for delay of game — the dreaded puck-over-glass penalty — at 14:27 of OT, but the Raiders were able to kill it off. That set the stage for Hannoun. . . . The Raiders got 24 saves from G Ian Scott. He led all playoff goaltenders in victories (16), GAA (1.96), save percentage (.925) and shutouts (5). He was named the playoff MVP. . . . G David Tendeck stopped 37 shots for Vancouver. He finished the playoffs at 11-5, 2.38, .918. . . . The Giants were 1-4 on the PP; the Raiders were 0-1. . . . The referees were Chris Crich and Jeff Ingram, with Chad Huseby and Tarrington Wyonzek on the lines.


Wilson heads up Victoria’s 2020 Memorial Cup bid . . . Ex-WHLer has court date in Prince Albert . . . Fire threatens eagles’ nest


F Tomáš Vincour (Edmonton, Vancouver, 2007-2010) signed a two-year contract with Hradec Králové (Czech Republic, Extraliga). Last season, he had 10 goals and 10 assists in 39 games with Brno (Czech Republic, Extraliga). . . .

D Mark Louis (Brandon, Red Deer, 2003-08) signed a one-year contract extension with the Cardiff Devils (Wales, UK Elite). Last season, he had two assists in 30 games. Louis is spending this summer in Cardiff completing his MBA. . . .

F Sami Sandell (Brandon, 2004-06) signed a a tryout contract with Davos (Switzerland, NL A). Last season, with Ilves Tampere (Finland, Liiga), he had 16 goals and 32 assists in 53 games. An alternate captain, he led the team in assists and points. . . .

F Rihards Bukarts (Brandon, Portland, 2013-16) signed a one-year contract with the Schwenninger Wild Wings (Germany, DEL). Last season, he had two goals and two assists in 17 games with Zlín (Czech Republic, Extraliga); one goal in 14 games with Dinamo Riga (Latvia, KHL); and one assists in two games with the Eisbären Berlin (Germany, DEL).


The wheels are in motion in Victoria as the Royals prepare to bid on being the host team for the 2020 Memorial Cup. . . . The Royals announced this week that businessman John VictoriaRoyalsWilson will chair the bid committee, with Darren Parker, who is the Royals’ senior vice president of sales and marketing, the vice chair. . . . Wilson, a Victoria native, is the president and CEO of The Wilson’s Group, which, according to a Royals’ news release, “serves as Vancouver Island’s largest charter transportation company, and has been in operation since 1962.” . . . He is involved in the ownership groups for the BCHL’s Victoria Grizzlies and the junior B Peninsula Panthers. He also is part of the group that owns baseball’s Victoria HarbourCats, the perennial leaders in attendance in the West Coast League. . . . Parker, meanwhile, has been with the Royals since the franchise relocated from Chilliwack over the summer of 2011. . . . The Kamloops Blazers, Kelowna Rockets and Lethbridge Hurricanes also have said they will involved in the bidding for the 2020 Memorial Cup. Organizations and cities will present their bids at a board of governors’ meeting in Calgary on Oct. 3. The host city is scheduled to be revealed at the end of that meeting.

There is an interesting sidebar involved with the fire that broke on Shuswap Road in Kamloops on Thursday. A tree that was near the fire on Thursday has a bald eagle’s nest on its top. Right now, that nest is home to a pair of chicks. . . . Firefighters were able to keep the flames away from it on Thursday. On Friday evening, with high winds having arrived as was forecast, the fire blew back and, as you can see from the below tweet, Kamloops firefighters were again working to save the tree, the next and the chicks.

Barkley Swenson, who played 150 regular-season WHL games over four seasons (1990-94), will be back in a Prince Albert court room on Aug. 2 after being charged with possession of stolen property, obstructing a peace officer, attempting to evade police, dangerous driving and being unlawfully at large while on an undertaking. . . . Swenson, 44, was in court on Thursday, according to Charlene Tebbutt of panow.com, represented himself and was released on bail. . . . Swenson was arrested following an incident on June 24. . . . He played 80 regular-season WHL games with the Prince Albert Raiders and 70 with the Tacoma Rockets. In all, he had 35 goals, 50 assists and 251 penalty minutes. . . . Tebbutt’s story is right here. . . . An earlier story from panow.com is right here.

Tyson Ramsey has signed on as an assistant coach with the MJHL’s Virden Oil Capitals. . . . Ramsey, who is from Brandon, spent the past seven seasons with the midget AAA Brandon Wheat Kings, three as an assistant coach and the last four as head coach. . . . Last season, he also was the head coach of the bantam AAA Westman Wildcats female team. . . . He has scouted for the Moose Jaw Warriors for the past three seasons. . . . With the Oil Capitals, Ramsey will work alongside GM/head coach Troy Leslie.


That’s 60 for Halbgewachs . . . Rebels stretch lead over Ice . . . Blazers romp as Royals scratch top forwards . . . Cougars sweep Rockets


D William Wrenn (Portland, 2010-12) has been assigned on loan by Sport Vaasa to Lukko Rauma (both Finland, Liiga) for the rest of this season. He had three goals and five assists in 25 games. Sport cannot make the playoffs, while Lukko is in eighth place with four games left in the regular season. The top 10 make the playoffs. . . . Wrenn started the season with Dinamo Riga (Latvia, KHL), and had one assist in 21 games. He was released on Oct. 27 by mutual agreement, and signed a contract for the rest of this season with Sport on Nov. 27. . . .

F Rihards Bukarts (Brandon, Portland, 2013-16) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Eisbären Berlin (Germany, DEL) after being released by mutual agreement from Dinamo Riga (Latvia, KHL). He had one goal in 14 games. Dinamo has one game left in the regular season, and won’t make the playoffs. . . . Eisbären has two regular-season games left after tonight and are in third place. . . . Bukarts started the season with Zlín (Czech Republic, Extraliga), and had two goals and two assists in 17 games. He signed with Dinamo Riga on Nov. 23.


The University of Alaska-Anchorage announced on Wednesday that it won’t renew the contract of head coach Matt Thomas. . . . Thomas spent five seasons as head coach of the Seawolves, going 48-105-21 overall, including 39-92-27 in the WCHA. This season, the Seawolves went 4-26-4. . . . Before joining the Seawolves, Thomas spent nine seasons coaching in the ECHL, including four-plus seasons with the Stockton Thunder. In the ECHL, he was 342-225-80. . . . Thomas is from Mississauga, Ont.



Saskatoon/Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge



Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria



At Cranbrook, B.C., F Jayden Halbgewachs scored his 60th goal of the season to help the Moose Jaw Warriors to a 5-2 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Moose Jaw (47-13-3) leads MooseJawWarriorsthe overall standings by two points over Swift Current. The Warriors have one game in hand. . . . Kootenay (25-37-3) has lost six in a row. The Ice, with seven games remaining, is fourth in the Central Division, six points behind Red Deer. . . . F Vince Loschiavo (17), who was acquired from the Ice earlier in the season, gave the Warriors a 1-0 lead at 13:23 of the first period. . . . D Brandon Schuldaus (7) upped it to 2-0 at 19:55. . . . Halbgewachs got No. 60, on a PP, 52 seconds into the second period. He is the first WHLer to get to 60 since 2014-15 when F Oliver Bjorkstrand scored 63 for Portland. . . . F Alec Baer (26) got the Ice on the scoreboard, on a PP, at 7:41. . . . The Warriors got third-period goals from F Justin Almeida (36), on a PP, at 0:34, and D Kale Clague (11), at 4:50. . . . F Cole Muir (2) scored the Ice’s second goal, at 5:15. . . . The Warriors got two assists each from F Brayden Burke, F Tristin Langan and F Brett Howden, with Halbgewachs and Loschiavo getting one apiece. . . . Moose Jaw was 2-5 on the PP; Kootenay was 1-7. . . . G Adam Evanoff earned the victory with 23 saves, one more than the Ice’s Duncan McGovern. . . . Announced attendance: 2,088.

At Red Deer, F Reese Johnson scored a PP goal at 2:12 of OT to give the Rebels a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Red Deer (23-28-13) has won two in a row. It has Red Deerplayed in a WHL-high 20 OT games. . . . The Rebels are third in the Central Division, nine points behind Lethbridge, which clinched a playoff spot with Kootenay’s loss to visiting Moose Jaw. . . . Calgary (19-35-8) has lost three in a row. . . . With one game remaining in the season series, Calgary is 3-1-2); Red Deer also is 3-1-2. . . . The Rebels took a 2-0 first-period lead on goals from F Mason McCarty (34), at 9:10, and F Chris Douglas (8), on a PP, at 14:07. . . . Calgary tied it as F Riley Stotts (15) scored at 6:39 of the second period, and F Conner Chaulk got his 15th at 14:57 of the third. . . . Johnson won it with his 20th goal of the season. . . . The Rebels got three assists from D Jacob Herauf, and Johnson got one. . . . Red Deer was 2-5 on the PP; Calgary was 0-1. . . . The Rebels got 18 stops from G Riley Lamb. . . . Calgary G Nick Schneider blocked 35 shots. . . . D Alex Alexeyev of the Rebels left the game in the third period with an undisclosed injury and didn’t return. . . . Announced attendance: 3,546.

At Kamloops, the Blazers scored four second-period goals en route to a 5-1 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . Kamloops (28-32-5) had lost its previous three games. It is six points from a playoff spot with seven games remaining. Seattle, which holds down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, has three games in hand on the Blazers. . . . Victoria (35-24-5) has lost three in a row as it heads for Prince George and a Friday-Saturday doubleheader. It is second in the B.C. Division, seven points behind Kelowna. . . . Victoria won the season series, 6-2-0; Kamloops was 2-5-1. . . . F Connor Zary (7) gave Kamloops a 1-0 lead at 11:38 of the first period. . . . That lead became 4-0 on second-period goals from F Nick Chyzowski (20), on a PP, at 9:18; F Brodi Stuart (15), on another PP, at 10:33; and F Ryley Appelt (3), at 12:03. . . . Victoria F Andrei Grishakov (19) made it 4-1 at 12:56, only to have Blazers F Jermaine Loewen (33) get that one back at 16:42. . . . D Joe Gatenby had two assists for Kamloops, with Zary adding one. . . . Kamloops was 2-4 on the PP; Victoria was 0-4. . . . G Dylan Ferguson stopped 24 shots for the Blazers, while Victoria’s Dean McNabb turned aside 35. . . . The game featured two penalty shots, neither of which was successful. Victoria F Dante Hannoun lost control of the puck on his attempt, at 9:59 of the second period. Kamloops F Quinn Benjafield got stuff by McNabb on a deke attempt, at 17:30 of the third period. . . . The Royals scratched F Matthew Phillips and F Tyler Soy, who have combined for 180 points. Neither player was listed as injured on Tuesday’s WHL roster report. Both took part in Wednesday’s morning skate. Head coach Dan Price told the Victoria Times Colonist that “it’s nothing major” with either player. . . . Both played in Victoria’s last game, a 3-2 loss to visiting Portland on Saturday night. . . . This likely would have been the last appearance in Kamloops for both players. Soy is 20 and in his final season; Phillips, 19, has signed with the NHL’s Calgary Flames and likely will start next season with the AHL’s Stockton Heat. . . . Referee Brett Iverson and linesman Nathan Van Oosten, both of whom worked the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, are back on home soil and returned to their WHL duties with this game. . . . Dan Courneyea, who works with the Blazers’ off-ice crew, also worked the Winter Games and was back in time for this one. . . . Announced attendance: 3,596.

At Prince George, the Cougars erased a 3-0 first-period lead and beat the Kelowna Rockets, 7-6. . . . Prince George (22-33-8) has won two in a row. . . . Kelowna (38-20-6) leads PrinceGeorgethe B.C. Division, by seven points over Victoria. . . . The Cougars had beaten the visiting Rockets, 4-1, on Tuesday night. . . . Prince George last won back-to-back games on Dec. 2 and 5, when they beat visiting Vancouver, 6-2, and Kootenay, 3-1. . . . Kelowna leads the season series, 5-2-0); Prince George is 2-3-2. They will meet once more, on March 14 in Kelowna. . . . Kelowna F Kole Lind scored the game’s first three goals — at 5:40, 7:10 and, on a PP, 15:59. He’s got 35 goals. . . . That was his third hat trick of the season. . . . F Ilijah Colina scored the Cougars’ first goal, at 17:16. . . . F Conner Bruggen-Cate (18) gave the visitors a 4-1 lead at 6:37 of the second period. . . . The Cougars tied it on goals from F Aaron Boyd (11), at 11:47, and F Brogan O’Brien (12), at 14:45, and F Jared Bethune (21), at 6:05 of the third period. . . . Kelowna went back in front when F Erik Gardiner (6) scored at 11:40. . . . D Austin Crossley (3) got the home side even, 5-5, at 11:56. . . . F Jackson Leppard (14) gave the Cougars a 6-5 lead at 15:45, only to have D Cal Foote (17) get the Rockets back on even footing at 16:34. . . . Colina won it with his 10th goal, on a PP, at 19:42. . . . The Cougars got two assists from each of D Joel Lakusta, Leppard, F Josh Curtis, and F Josh Maser, with Bethune and O’Brien each getting one. . . . F Dillon Dube drew three assists for Kelowna, with D Gordie Ballhorn earning two, and Foote and Lind each getting one. . . . Kelowna was 1-3 on the PP; Prince George was 1-5. . . . Announced attendance: 2,545.

THURSDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.

FRIDAY (all times local):

Prince Albert at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

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

Calgary at Edmonton, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Seattle at Portland, 7 p.m.

Victoria at Prince George, 7 p.m.

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

Kelowna at Everett, 7:35 p.m.

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