Scattershooting on a Sunday: No welcome back Carter . . . Kamloops adds a scout . . . DD Train is rolling now


Scattershooting

Here’s Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle: “Former NFL running back Ricky Williams, who once took a break from smoking weed to swear to me that he was done smoking weed, is selling his own line of weed products, ‘Real Wellness by Ricky Williams.’  I hope it’s better than the line of baloney he used to sell.”


On the subject of weed and footballers, you don’t suppose the Saskatchewan Roughriders released Duron Carter because he had become too much of a distraction, do you? That being the case, the move should have been made weeks, if not months, ago.

Carter received an absolute discharge on June 21 in Winnipeg after pleading guilty to possession of marijuana-laced cookies — they also featured chocolate chips — following his arrest at the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport on Nov. 25 in November.

He also has pleaded not guilty to another possession charge, this one stemming from an arrest at Saskatoon’s John G. Diefenbaker International Airport on Feb. 1. That case is scheduled to go to trial on Dec. 3.

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For any football fans expecting an honest explanation from the brass as to why the Roughriders dumped Carter, well, forget it. Chris Jones is the top dog there — actually, he is the vice-president of football operations, general manager, head coach and defensive co-ordinator — and the team’s playbook carries the title ‘My Way or the Highway.’ Jones also isn’t alone in footballdom in operating under a cone of silence. I mean, are you still expecting New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick to explain why he didn’t use defensive back Malcolm Butler in Super Bowl LII?

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If you’re interested in an overview of the situation involving the Roughriders and Carter, Ian Hamilton, the senior reporter at riderville.com, has a good look right here.


The Kamloops Blazers have added Jason Pashelka to their scouting staff. Pashelka, from Kamloops1Calgary, spent 11 seasons scouting with the Portland Winterhawks, so has a connection to Matt Bardsley, the Blazers’ new general manager. Bardsley had been in the Winterhawks’ organization since 1999 before signing on with the Blazers. . . . Pashelka spent the past two seasons scouting southern Alberta for the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . Earlier, the Blazers lost scout Mark Blair, who left after 11 seasons with them. He since has joined the scouting staff in Moose Jaw.


“Estaban Loaiza, who made over $40 million as a Major League pitcher, faces life in prison for attempting to sell $500,000 in cocaine near a San Diego school,” tweets comedy writer Alex Kaseberg. “Experts say this is the stupidest thing attempted since IHOP changed its name to International House of Burgers.”

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Kaseberg, again: “In Florida, a police helicopter filmed a fleeing woman who stole a car being herded by cows toward the police. Authorities do not consider this a full-blown Florida incident as she was not carrying an alligator under her arm at the time.”


The Kamloops Broncos dropped a 42-0 decision to the Vancouver Island Raiders in a junior football game played in Nanaimo on Saturday night. Judging from the above tweet, the Broncos had some issues with their punting game.


The Las Vegas Aces, a team in the WNBA, spent 24 hours en route to Washington, D.C., for a recent game with the Mystics. When they didn’t arrive in Washington until five hours before the scheduled game time, they chose not to play “for health and safety reasons.” . . . Seriously. . . . Under similar circumstances, how many junior hockey games wouldn’t get played over the course of a season? . . . The WNBA later forfeited that game to the Mystics.



“The Dallas Cowboys welcomed Randy Gregory to camp after he had been suspended by the NFL for a year due to substance abuse violations,” notes Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon. “This is merely the latest in a series of suspensions for the same reason. A couple of weeks ago, Jerry Jones said without any modifiers that if one of the Cowboys did not stand on the sidelines for the national anthem, that player would not play for the Cowboys. So, a serial drug abuser is OK, but . . .”


Brian Elder is the new head scout for the MJHL’s Virden Oil Capitals. Elder, who played three seasons (1994-97 ) tending goal with the Brandon Wheat Kings, lives and teaches school in Souris, Man. He spent the previous four seasons as a scout with the Oil Capitals. . . . Jamie Hodson, the Oil Capitals’ director of business and hockey operations, also is a former Wheat Kings goaltender (1997-2001).


The DD Train has started to roll. Dorothy, my wife of 46 years, had a kidney transplant on Sept. 23, 2013. This year, on Sept. 23, she will take part in her fifth straight Kamloops Kidney Walk. If you would like to support her with a donation, you may do so right here. As of last night, she was among the top-10 fundraisers in B.C. Yes, we are rather proud of her in these parts.


“Give Trump credit,” writes Janice Hough (leftcoastsportsbabe.com). “Before this year, almost nobody cared what the SCORES were for preseason football, let alone what players were doing during the anthem.”

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Hough, again: “The San Francisco 49ers now say there isn’t anything they can do about the intense sun and heat faced by fans on the east side of Levi’s Stadium. But they will lower the price of bottled water from $6 to $2 so fans can stay hydrated. That’s the NFL equivalent of ‘thoughts and prayers’.”


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Parneta moves into GM’s office in Vancouver . . . Rockets release an import . . . Season ends for WHL champions

MacBeth

F Vladimír Sičák (Medicine Hat, 1998-2000) signed a one-year contract extension with Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic, Extraliga). An alternate captain, he had four goals and 18 assists in 49 games. Karlovy Vary was in 1. Liga this season and won promotion to Extraliga for next season. . . .

D Patrik Maier (Kamloops, Moose Jaw, 2014-16) signed a one-year contract extension with Liberec (Czech Republic, Extraliga). This season, he was pointless in 20 games. He had six assists in 41 games while on loan to Benátky nad Jizerou (Czech Republic, 1. Liga).


ThisThat

The Vancouver Giants introduced Barclay Parneta as their general manager on Wednesday morning. Parneta, 47, takes over from Glen Hanlon, who left the Giants earlier this month after two seasons as GM. . . . The Giants’ news release is right here. . . . Steve Ewen, who covers the Giants for Postmedia, has a piece right here.


The Kelowna Rockets have released Czech F Marek Skrvne, who turns 19 on Aug. 6, after KelownaRocketsjust one season. He had four goals and nine assists in 69 games as a freshman last season. . . . The Rockets will make one selection in the CHL’s 2018 import draft, as Czech D Libor Zabransky, 18, will return for a second season. . . . “Marek did nothing to cause the direction we are headed except for the fact that I think we need a defenceman back there as we are trying to build a team for 2020,” Bruce Hamilton, the Rockets’ owner, president and general manager, told Regan Bartel, the team’s radio voice. . . . The Rockets are preparing to bid on the 2020 Memorial Cup. . . . According to the WHL Guide, the import draft will be held on June 26 or 27.


The men who own the Regina Pats are going to take at least a $2-million bath on the 2018 ReginaPats100Memorial Cup, which is being played in their city. Not only that, but they aren’t at all surprised; in fact, they expected it. . . . They ended up handing the CHL a $3-million hosting fee and another $650,000 to cover some expenses. . . . “If every seat had been sold for the Eagles concert — part of the gala opening ceremony at Mosaic Stadium — and for every game of the tournament, the owners would still have been staring at a seven-figure shortfall,” writes Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post. . . . You have to wonder what’s going on in the world of major junior hockey when one of the CHL’s partners is forced into taking this kind of bath? . . . Vanstone’s piece is right here and it more than adequately explains the financial situation surrounding this Memorial Cup.


The Memorial Cup schedule (all times local):

Game 1, Friday – Regina 3, Hamilton 2 (5,678)

Game 2, Saturday – Acadie-Bathurst 4, Swift Current 3 (OT) (6,237)

Game 3, Sunday – Acadie-Bathurst 8, Regina 6 (5,832)

Game 4, Monday – Hamilton 2, Swift Current 1 (5,820)

Game 5, Tuesday – Hamilton 3, Acadie-Bathurst 2 (6,072)

Game 6, Wednesday – Regina 6, Swift Current 5 (6,484)

Thursday — Day off.

Friday’s Semifinal – Regina vs. Hamilton, 8 p.m.

Sunday’s Final — Acadie-Bathurst vs. Regina/Hamilton winner, 5 p.m.


Speculation has been running wild in Edmonton regarding the likelihood that the NHL’s Oilers will add Glen Gulutzan and Trent Yawney to head coach Todd McLellan’s coaching staff. . . . Gulutzan was fired as head coach of the Calgary Flames after the season, while Yawney was let go by the Anaheim Ducks. . . . The Oilers have room for one more assistant coach and those same speculators are betting on Manny Viveiros, the director of hockey operations and head coach of the WHL’s Swift Current Broncos. The Broncos won the WHL’s playoff championship, but went 0-3 at the Memorial Cup, bowing out Wednesday night with a 6-5 loss to the host Regina Pats.


TheCoachingGame

Clint Mylymok has signed on with the NAHL’s Maryland Black Bears as the first general manager and head coach in the franchise’s history. He had been the GM/head coach of the SJHL’s Notre Dame Hounds for the previous four seasons. The Hounds play out of the Athol Murray College of Notre Dame in Wilcox, Sask. . . . The Black Bears will play out of Odenton, Maryland, using the Piney Orchard Ice Arena as their home base. It once was a training centre for the NHL’s Washington Capitals.


Geoff Grimwood has resigned as general manager and head coach of the SJHL’s Kindersley Klippers. Grimwood spent three seasons with the Klippers. He had been an assistant coach with the WHL’s Victoria Royals for three seasons (2012-15) before signing on with Kindersley.

Partnership between WHL, Kidney Foundation pays off . . . Pats’ owners expect $2-million loss on Memorial Cup . . . Former NHL ref remembers Flin Flon

MacBeth

D Connor Cox (Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Everett, 2008-13) signed a one-year contract with the Dundee Stars (Scotland, UK Elite). This season, with the U of Saskatchewan (Canada West), he had one goal and eight assists in 20 games. . . .

F Mário Bližňák (Vancouver, 2005-08) signed a one-year contract with Dukla Trenčín (Slovakia, Extraliga). This season, with Liberec (Czech Republic, Extraliga), he had two goals and two assists in 24 games. On loan to Benátky nad Jizerou (Czech Republic,1. Liga), he was pointless in one game. . . .

F Milan Bartovič (Brandon, Tri-City, 1999-2001) signed a one-year contract with Dukla Trenčín (Slovakia, Extraliga). This season, with Liberec (Czech Republic, Extraliga), he had one goal and one assist in 19 games. On loan to Vítkovice Ostrava (Czech Republic, Extraliga), he had one goal and four assists in 18 games. . . .

F Pavel Padakin (Calgary, Regina, 2012-15) has been traded by Sochi (Russia, KHL) to Ak Bars Kazan (Russia, KHL) for Dmitri Arkhipov and monetary compensation. With Sochi this season, Padakin had nine goals and a team-high 22 assists in 53 games. . . .

F Martin Erat (Saskatoon, Red Deer, 1999-2001) signed a one-year contract extension with Brno (Czech Republic, Extraliga). in 49 games, he had 12 goals and 34 assists. An alternate captain, he led his team in assists in points. He was second in the league in assists and fifth in scoring. . . .

G Ty Rimmer (Brandon, Prince George, Tri-City, Lethbridge, 2009-13) signed a one-year contract with Kitzbühel (Austria, Alps HL). This season, in 42 games with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (ECHL), he was 14-23-1-1, 3.91,.898. . . .

F Brett Ferguson (Red Deer, 2008-11) signed a two-year contract extension with Guildford Flames (England, UK Elite). In 48 games, he had 18 goals and 38 assists.


Scattershooting

The WHL announced Monday at the Memorial Cup in Regina that $265,500 was raised through the RE/MAX Presents: WHL Suits Up with Don Cherry to Promote Organ Donation campaign. . . . The WHL’s 17 Canadian teams each played host to an event during the regular season. . . . The money was raised through various initiatives, including the auctioning of sweaters that resembled Cherry’s suit jackets. . . . From the WHL news release: “The $265,500 raised is the Kidney Foundation of Canada’s largest public awareness and fundraising campaign for organ donation.” . . . The Cherry family has been a huge supporter of the Kidney Foundation for years. Tim, Cherry’s son, received a kidney from his sister, Cindy, in 1979. . . . If you are interested in signing up as an organ donor, please visit CanadaDonates.ca. . . . There wasn’t any mention in the news release about whether the WHL will be involved in the campaign again next season, but here’s hoping.


Who was the scheduling wizard who scheduled Game 5 of the Stanley Cup series between the Vegas Golden Knights and Winnipeg Jets for Sunday afternoon on the first long weekend of summer? No, I didn’t watch. I was driving, so caught the game on XM.


Early on Sunday, there were social media notices that plenty of seats were available for that day’s Memorial Cup game in Regina, between the Pats and the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, starting at $75 plus fees. For junior hockey?


The Kelowna Rockets have signed F Ethan Ernst, a native of Weyburn, Sask., who turned 16 on Jan. 26. He was a third-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. . . . This season, he had 15 goals and 20 assists in 41 games with the midget AAA Notre Dame Hounds.


Hockey fans may not be aware that retired NHL referee Kerry Fraser first made his mark in the WHL, and it all started with a game in Flin Flon. Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post spoke with Fraser about that and other WHL stories. It’s all right here.


Rick Wilson, a former WHL coach, has decided to retire, ending a coaching career that began with two seasons (1978-79) at his alma mater, the U of North Dakota. He then spent eight seasons with his hometown Prince Albert Raiders, six as an assistant coach and the last two as head coach. . . . Wilson, 67, worked as an assistant coach with the NHL’s New York Islanders, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota North Stars, Tampa Bay Lightning, Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues. But most of his career was spent with the Dallas Stars, which is where he finished up this season.


The Memorial Cup schedule (all times local):

Game 1, Friday – Regina 3, Hamilton 2 (5,678)

Game 2, Saturday – Acadie-Bathurst 4, Swift Current 3 (OT) (6,237)

Game 3, Sunday – Acadie-Bathurst 8, Regina 6 (5,832)

Game 4, Monday – Hamilton 2, Swift Current 1 (5,820)

Game 5, Tuesday – Acadie-Bathurst vs. Hamilton, 8 p.m.

Game 6, Wednesday – Regina vs. Swift Current, 8 p.m.

Tiebreaker (if necessary) – Thursday, 6 p.m.

Semifinal – Friday, May 25, 8 p.m.

Final — Sunday, May 27, 5 p.m.


The Medicine Hat Tigers have signed F Kadyn Chabot, 16, to a WHL contract. Chabot, from Lethbridge, had 13 goals and 22 assists in 32 games with the midget AAA Lethbridge Hurricanes this season. . . . He was a sixth-round selection by the Tigers in the 2017 bantam draft.


So here’s the deal. . . . The owners of the Regina Pats paid $3.65 million to the CHL for the right to play host to the 2018 Memorial Cup and celebrate the event’s 100th anniversary. . . . Shaun Semple, who is part of the ownership group and chairman of the tournament’s organizing committee, says they expect to lose about $2 million. . . . Alex Soloducha of CBC News has more right here.


Darren Steinke, the travellin’ blogger, was at the Memorial Cup on Monday as the OHL-champion Hamilton Bulldogs got past the WHL-champion Swift Current Broncos, 2-1. Steinke has a game story and some info on Bob Ridley, the voice of the Medicine Hat Tigers, right here.


The 1980 Memorial Cup, which started in Brandon and finished in Regina, was the messiest in the event’s history. You may recall that it featured questions about whether one team threw a game that eliminated the WHL-champion Pats; it also featured at least one chicken-throwing incident. . . . I know that I never will forget the sight of a reporter with a Regina radio station sporting a Pats cap and asking Mike Keenan, the head coach of the Peterborough Petes, questions about what had happened. Daniel Nugent-Bowman has produced an oral history of that tournament and it’s all right here.


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Royals “definitely in” on 2020 Memorial Cup . . . Bajkov fills hat as Everett wins Game 3 . . . Bo knows it’s Game 7 in SJHL

Scattershooting

If there was doubt in your mind about the Victoria Royals and the 2020 Memorial Cup, you can forget it. They’re in.

“We’re 100 per cent, definitely in,” Cam Hope, the Royals’ president and general VictoriaRoyalsmanager, told Cleve Dheensaw of the Victoria Times Colonist late last week.

The Kamloops Blazers and Kelowna Rockets also are all-in on this one, with both having held news conferences to announce their intentions. The Royals haven’t gone that far yet, but they will.

“We have let the Western Hockey League know we are bidding,” Hope told Dheensaw, adding that there isn’t any rush to hold a news conference because the WHL’s deadline to file an expression of interest is June 1 and bids won’t be heard until Oct. 3.

“The deadline for the expression of interest is not until later in the summer,” Hope said. “We have been (working) quietly behind the scenes. There will be a time to be louder.”

Dheensaw’s complete story is right here.


In Kennewick, Wash., the Everett Silvertips broke open a 4-4 game with four third-period goals in the span of 4:50 and went on to an 8-4 victory over the Tri-City Americans before Everettan announced crowd of 3,268 in Game 3 of the WHL’s best-of-seven Western Conference final. . . . Everett leads the series, 2-1. . . . The visitors got three goals from F Patrick Bajkov, who snapped the 4-4 tie at 6:54 of the third period, then made it 6-4 at 9:21. . . . The Americans had tied the score 4-4 on third-period goals from F Isaac Johnson, at 0:47, and F Michael Rasmussen, at 1:45. . . . Tri-City scored its first two goals via the PP and now is 17-33 with the man advantage through 11 playoff games. . . . Things got a bit heated early in the third period with the head coaches — Everett’s Dennis Williams and Tri-City’s Mike Williamson — exchanging greetings at the benches. . . . The series won’t resume until Thursday because Kennewick’s Toyota Center is playing host to Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story Onstage on Wednesday night. . . .

Meanwhile, the Eastern Conference final is set to continue tonight (Tuesday) in Lethbridge with the Swift Current Broncos holding a 2-0 edge over the Hurricanes. . . . The Broncos lost D Artyom Minulin and F Glenn Gawdin to injuries in the first two games. It’s playoffs, so their status for Game 3 isn’t known.


G Bo Didur stopped 36 shots on Sunday leading, leading the host Estevan Bruins to a 4-0 victory over the Nipawin Hawks in Game 6 of the SJHL’s championship final for the SJHLCanalta Cup. The best-of-seven series is 3-3 and will be decided Tuesday night in Nipawin. Game time is 7:30 p.m. . . . That, considering all that has transpired over the past two-plus weeks, is the only way this could end, isn’t it? . . . F Jake Fletcher, the Bruins’ captain, had a goal, his 10th of the playoffs, and two assists. Fletcher has 20 points, one behind playoff co-leaders Kaelan Holt of Estevan, who is the son of former Swift Current Broncos star Todd Holt, and Nipawin’s Brandan Arnold. Kaelan Holt had two assists on Sunday. . . . Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post was in Estevan and did up this piece right here on Didur, who is into the final games of his junior hockey career. . . . The winner of Tuesday’s game will meet the MJHL-champion Steinbach Pistons for the ANAVET Cup and a berth in the Royal Bank Cup.


The other day, a woman changed her mind about singing the U.S. national anthem at a Reno Aces’ baseball game when she was told she couldn’t bring her gun along with her. As Jim Barach of WCHS-TV in Charleston, W.Va., noted: “Apparently they got her name off the wrong list of sopranos.”


The MJHL’s Dauphin Kings have signed Doug Hedley as their general manager and head coach. Hedley, a former Kings head coach, spent the past two seasons with the MJHL’s OCN Blizzard. . . . Hedley has been behind the Kings’ bench for 358 games, going 217-116-17-8. According to a Kings’ news release, he is “second behind Marlin Murray (556) in all-time regular-season games coached and second in wins as a Kings coach.”. . . . With Dauphin, Hedley takes over from Mitch Giguere, an assistant coach who had been working as the interim GM/head coach after Marc Berry was fired on Nov. 19. . . . This season, the Kings finished 14-44-1-1, good for 10th in the 11-team league.



Dwight Perry, in the Seattle Times: “The Metropolitan King County Council approved a ban on vaping and chewing tobacco in sports facilities — particularly the Mariners’ Safeco Field — effective May 19. In other words, Skoal’s out for the summer.”


MacBeth

F Tyler Spurgeon (Kelowna, 2001-06) has signed a one-year extension with Innsbruck (Austria, Erste Bank Liga). The team captain, he had 18 goals and 31 assists in 54 games this season. . . .

F Jordan Hickmott (Medicine Hat, Prince Albert, Edmonton, 2005-11) has signed a one-year contract with the Linz Black Wings (Austria, Erste Bank Liga). This season, with Villach (Austria, Erste Bank Liga), he had 20 goals and 22 assists in 51 games. He led his club in goals and points. . . .

F Justin Feser (Tri-City, 2008-13) has signed a one-year contract with the Fischtown Pinguins Bremerhaven (Germany, DEL). This season, with the Krefeld Pinguine (Germany, DEL), he had 14 goals and 12 assists in 44 games. . . .

F T.J. Mulock (Vancouver, Regina, Kamloops, 2002-03, 2005-06) has signed a one-year contract with the Straubing Tigers (Germany, DEL). This season, with Cologne Haie (Germany, DEL), he had two goals and seven assists in 46 games. He is a dual German-Canadian citizen.

Scattershooting: Hawks, Bruins all even in SJHL final . . . Gotta love D.J. Kennington’s car . . . Broncos and Warriors to decide it tonight

Scattershooting


The SJHL’s championship final is all even after the host Nipawin Hawks posted a 4-1 victory over the Estevan Bruins before 1,122 fans on Sunday night. . . . The Bruins had SJHLwon the opener, 5-2, in Nipawin on Saturday night. . . . Last night, F Adam Beckman led the Hawks with two goals, his first two of the playoffs. Beckman, a fifth-round selection by the Spokane Chiefs in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft, played this season for the midget AAA Battlefords Stars. . . . Beckman has played three playoff games with the Hawks. He had one goal and one assist in the only regular-season game he played with Nipawin. . . . The Hawks also got two goals from F Logan Casavant, who has six in the playoffs. . . . F Arthur Miller had Estevan’s lone goal, his seventh. . . . The teams combined to take 24 minors. . . . Nipawin got 23 saves from G Declan Hobbs, while Estevan’s Bo Didur stopped 34 shots. . . . They’ll play the next two games in Estevan on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, with a fifth game back in Nipawin on Friday night.


The Estevan Bruins climbed on their bus Friday and headed for Nipawin, where they were scheduled to start the SJHL’s championship final against the Hawks on Saturday night. En route, the Hawks made a stop — they spent 30 minutes at the site where the Humboldt Broncos’ bus crashed into a big rig on the afternoon of April 6. . . . Chris Lewgood, the Bruins’ general manager and head coach, told Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post that stop was “the first step for a lot of the guys toward closure.” . . . The Bruins went on to win Game 1, 5-2. . . . Vanstone has more on the Bruins right here.


More from Vanstone:

“The Humboldt Broncos went into overtime and, as a result, so did two thoughtful employees at the Domo C-Store (in Nipawin).

“Just as March 30 was becoming March 31, a weary band of Broncos walked into a convenience store near the southern outskirts of Nipawin.

“Earlier that evening, the host Hawks had outlasted Humboldt 3-2 to open a best-of-seven SJHL semi-final. Michael Grant had scored the winner for Nipawin at 2:33 of the second overtime session.

Due to the marathon contest, the Broncos did not arrive at the Domo C-Store until just before midnight — closing time, in other words.

Four Humboldt players barely beat the buzzer, arriving at 11:59 p.m. With the team bus parked outside, the rest of the Broncos trickled in.”

The rest of the story, which is right here, is well worth your time.



If they put this beauty — it’s D.J. Kennington’s Castrol Edge Dodge — on toy shelves as a die-cast car, I really wonder how many thousands would be sold . . .


The Moose Jaw Warriors and Swift Current Broncos will decide their second-round WHL series tonight (Monday) when they meet for a seventh game. . . . The Warriors forced Game 7 with a 3-2 victory in triple OT in Swift Current on Saturday night. Moose Jaw got 58 saves from G Brody Willms, with F Jayden Halbgewachs, the WHL’s leading sniper in the regular season, scoring the winner, on a PP, 74 seconds into the third period. . . . The Broncos had a 1-0 lead and a 28-9 edge in shots through two periods, then took a 2-0 lead at 3:35 of the third period. . . . G Stuart Skinner stopped 35 shots for the Broncos. . . . The winner of Game 7 will meet the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference final. . . . Darren Steinke, the travelling blogger, was at Game 6 and writes about it right here.


When I was a youngster, oh, how I loved my table hockey game, the one with the metal players, all of whom played for the Montreal Canadiens or the Toronto Maple Leafs. Hey, there weren’t any other options with my game. . . . It turns out that the likeness for those players actually had a model. As Tom Hawthorn writes in The Globe and Mail, the likeness was that of Dick Gamble, a long-time pro hockey player who died on March 22. . . . Hawthorn’s obituary for Gamble is right here.

Scattershooting: Ex-player starts Hockey Gives Blood . . . Bruins win emotional opener . . . Holick signs with Yale

Scattershooting


Stu Middleton was playing for the junior B Revelstoke Grizzlies in 2000-01 when his father was killed in a car accident in the Rogers Pass while en route to a game. Since then, Middleton has been wanting to do something with his father’s memory in mind. Following the tragedy involving the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos, Middleton hooked up with some former teammates and now a project is underway. It involves the Canadian Blood Services Partners for Life Program and a website — hockeygivesblood.ca. . . . If you are with a team or league, you will want to check this out and you also will want to make this a full-time part of your program. . . . Pam Cowan of the Regina Leader-Post has more right here.



The SJHL issued its players-of-the-week news release on Friday. . . . If you haven’t yet read the news release, it’s right here and it is well worth your time.


When there are tragedies such as the one involving the Humboldt Broncos, major media outlets often send in long-form writers who will attempt to capture the atmosphere in the community. Sports Illustrated assigned Greg Bishop to the story. . . . The top reads: “An unthinkable tragedy struck Humboldt when a bus crash killed 16 members of the Broncos junior hockey team. As the small city recovers, it doesn’t want to be defined by the crash; it wants to be defined by how its heartbroken community responds.” . . . If you haven’t seen it, Bishop’s piece is right here.

Meanwhile, The Globe and Mail gave the assignment to Marty Klinkenberg, who writes that these days “there is no normal” in Humbolt. His piece is right here.


The Estevan Bruins opened the SJHL’s best-of-seven championship final with a 5-2 victory over the Hawks in Nipawin on Saturday night before a sellout crowd of 1,199 fans. They’ll play Game 2 tonight (Sunday) in Nipawin. . . . The Bruins put the game away with two late empty-net goals. . . . This was the first game for both teams since the Humboldt Broncos’ bus crashed en route to Nipawin for a playoff game on April 6. . . . Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post was in Nipawin and filed two pieces. His game story is right here, while a piece looking at the overall scene is right here.



Meanwhile, there is quite a story being written in the AJHL where the Spruce Grove Saints have taken a 2-0 lead over the Okotoks Oilers in the best-of-seven championship final. . . . On Saturday night, the visiting Saints got an OT goal from F Chris Van Os-Shaw, who played the previous two seasons with the Humboldt Broncos, to beat the Oilers, 3-2. That was his second goal of the game. The Saints had tied the game on goal from F Josh Harris with 47 seconds left in the third period. . . . Van Os-Shaw, a 20-year-old from Regina, is ticketed for Minnesota State-Mankato next season. . . . One night earlier, Van Os-Shaw, the AJHL’s regular-season MVP, scored on a penalty shot and drew an assist on Harris’s OT winner in a 4-3 victory. . . . They’ll play Games 3 and 4 in Spruce Grove on Monday and Tuesday nights.



TheCoachingGame

Mark Holick is back in the coaching game, this time in Canada. He has been named head coach of the Yale Hockey Academy’s midget prep team and the director of the midget programs. According to a news release, Holick “will also be working with students this off-season on skill development and will be assisting with student recruitment.” . . . Holick has extensive coaching experience, including more than six seasons as a WHL head coach. . . . Most recently, he spent more than one season as the head coach of Pustertal/Val Pusteria, an Italian entry in the Alps Hockey League. . . . The Yale Hockey Academy is located in Abbotsford, B.C.


The AJHL’s Olds Grizzlys have signed Garry VanHereweghe to a two-year deal as general manager and associate coach, while removing the interim head coach tag from Joe Murphy, who also got a two-year deal. . . . The Grizzlys finished last in the South Division, at 18-37-5, this season, and head coach Adam Redmond and Doug Hergenhein, the director of player personnel and head coach left late in the season. Murphy, who had been associate coach and assistant GM, was named interim head coach at that time. . . . VanHereweghe had been the vice-president of hockey operations with the AJHL’s Canmore Eagles.


The junior B Ridge Meadow Flames of the Pacific Junior Hockey League have signed Derek Bedard as their new general manager, replacing Jamie Fiset, who has joined the Valley West Hawks of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League. Fiset, who had been with the Flames through 12 seasons, starting as the goaltending coach, will be the Hawks’ general manager. . . . The Flames also announced that Bayne Ryshak will return as head coach.


The junior B Osoyoos Coyotes of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League need a new head coach after Ken Law’s contract wasn’t renewed. The Coyotes have been in Osoyoos for eight years, and Law had been there from the beginning. Owner Randy Bedard told Richard McGuire of the Osoyoos Times that “it’s just sometimes you know when it’s time to make a change. You get that feeling where it’s time to freshen up.” . . . Law told McGuire: “I was planning on coming back and was negotiating my contract. Randy just said that he decided to change things up. These things happen.” . . . This season, the Coyotes finished 32-11-2, with two ties, leaving them atop the Okanagan Division, nine points ahead of the Kelowna Chiefs. Osoyoos dropped the Okanagan/Shuswap Conference final in seven games to the Revelstoke Grizzlies. . . . McGuire’s story is right here.

Lazaruk, no Phantom, sings for charity . . . Everett, Seattle gets hot, hot, hot . . . Blazers, Rockets ends in kerfuffle

MacBeth

F Brandon Segal (Calgary, 1999-2004) has signed a one-year contract extension with the Nuremberg Ice Tigers (Germany, DEL). He has 12 goals and 14 assists in 49 games this season.


DAN’S DIARY . . .

Dan Courneyea, a member of the Kamloops Blazers’ off-ice crew, is in Pyeong Chang, where he has been working at men’s hockey games in the Olympic Winter Games. Yes, he Olylogowas part of the off-ice crew that handled Team OAR’s 4-3 OT victory over Germany. He also has been letting us know how things are going. On Saturday, he sent this . . .

“Well, after plenty of heartbreaking plays, it was truly sad to see the end results of both Team Canada’s meaningful games. Both teams worked hard but got away from the true Canadian style of physical crash and bang play. They tried to play that finesse style, which led to their defeat.

“We Canadians don’t play that way!

“There won’t be any North American on-ice officials doing the gold medal game.

“Both referee Brett Iverson and linesman Nathan Van Oosten will be working the Blazers game on Wednesday.”


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

Les Lazaruk, the veteran radio voice of the Saskatoon Blades, took his game to a different level on Friday night.

With the Blades at home to the Regina Pats, Lazaruk got things started by singing O Canada. Yes, he did.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be too much video of it kicking around the Internet, other than the link that is supplied in the above tweet.

Lazaruk did this as a fund-raiser in support of Pink Day for the Saskatchewan Red Cross.

If you aren interested in donating, you are able to do so right here.

Mike Priestner, the Blades’ owner, has agreed to match every penny that is donated.


Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post takes time out of his busy schedule to interview sporting personalities in a light and personal fashion. His most recent subject was John Paddock, the general manager and head coach of the Regina Pats. Paddock, as always, is worth listening to as he recounts a lot about his NHL days. . . . It’s all 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

SATURDAY:

At Kent, Wash., the Everett Silvertips scored the game’s last two goals to beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 2-1. . . . Everett (41-17-5) has points in 11 straight (9-0-2). It leads the EverettWestern Conference by five points over Kelowna. . . . Seattle (28-24-9) has lost four in a row. It holds down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, by six points over Kamloops. . . . Everett is 4-2-2 in the season series; Seattle is 4-3-1. . . . F Nolan Volcan (26) put Seattle ahead 1-0 at 14:18 of the first period. . . . F Connor Dewar (32) tied it at 11:35 of the second period. . . . G Garrett Pilon (31) broke the tie at 2:44 of the third period. . . . Dewar also had an assist. . . . Seattle was 0-1 on the PP; Everett was 0-4. . . . G Carter Hart recorded the victory with 23 saves. . . . Seattle got 37 stops from G Liam Hughes. . . . Announced attendance: 5,452.


At Red Deer, the Rebels overcame a 3-1 third-period deficit and beat the Swift Current Broncos, 5-3. . . . Red Deer (22-28-13) had lost its previous two games. It is third in the Red DeerCentral Division, six points behind Lethbridge. . . . Swift Current (43-14-5) had points in each of its previous eight games (7-0-1). It is second in the overall standings, two points behind Moose Jaw, which holds two games in hand. . . . F Brandon Hagel (12) gave the home side a 1-0 lead at 1:28 of the second period. . . . The Broncos responded with three goals. . . . F Giorgio Estephan (27) scored at 2:39 of the second period, and F Matteo Gennaro (37) put the visitors ahead at 15:26. . . . F Glenn Gawdin (52) ran his point streak to 21 games, giving the Broncos a 3-1 lead at 7:03 of the third period. . . . The Rebels then tied it on two goals from F Grayson Pawlenchuk, who has 18, at 9:05 and 15:53. . . . F Chris Douglas (7) broke the tie at 16:50, and F Kristian Reichel (29) got the empty-netter, at 19:18. . . . The Rebels got two assists from F Mason McCarty, with Hagel adding one. . . . F Tyler Steenbergen had two assists for the Broncos. . . . Gawdin has 20 goals and 20 assists in his 21-game point streak. . . . Swift Current was 0-1 on the PP; Red Deer was 0-2. . . . G Riley Lamb stopped 28 shots for the Rebels, one more than Swift Current’s Joel Hofer. . . . Announced attendance: 4,735.


At Moose Jaw, the Warriors jumped out to a 3-0 lead and held on for a 3-2 victory over the Regina Pats. . . . Moose Jaw (45-12-3) has tied its franchise record for victories in a MooseJawWarriorsseason that was set in 2011-12. It leads the overall standings, by two points over Swift Current. . . . Regina (33-25-6) had won its previous four games. It is third in the East Division, three points ahead of Brandon. . . . Moose Jaw is 6-2-0 in the season series; Regina is 2-5-1. . . . Head coach Tim Hunter posted the 138th regular-season victory, moving to No. 1 on the Warriors’ career list. He had been sharing the record with Al Tuer. . . . F Tristin Langan (14) gave the home side a 1-0 lead at 6:50 of the first period, with F Justin Almeida (34) adding another, on a PP, at 14:25. . . . F Jayden Halbgewachs made it 3-0 with his WHL-leading 58th goal, at 12:15 of the second period. . . . F Jesse Gabrielle (11) got Regina on the scoreboard at 17:39. . . . F Robbie Holmes (15) pulled the Pats to within one at 7:28 of the third period. . . . Moose Jaw was 1-2 on the PP; Regina was 0-2. . . . G Brody Willms earned the victory with 28 stops. . . . The Pats got 23 saves from G Max Paddock. . . . D Jett Woo served the second of a three-game suspension, while D Dmitri Zaitsev (ill) also was among the scratches. . . . The Warriors have added D Daemon Hunt, 15, to their roster for the weekend. He was a first-round pick in the 2017 WHL bantam draft. Hunt has 40 points, including 36 assists, in 40 games with the midget AAA Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Regina D Liam Schioler completed a two-game suspension by sitting out this one. . . . Announced attendance: 4,701.


At Edmonton, F Parker Kelly scored the only goal of the third period to give the Prince Albert Raiders a 5-4 victory over the Oil Kings. . . . Prince Albert (26-25-11) has won three PrinceAlbertin a row. It is two points behind Saskatoon, which holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. Each team has 10 games remaining. . . . Edmonton (18-35-8) has lost three straight (0-2-1). . . . The Oil Kings had an early 2-0 lead on first-period goals from F Trey Fix-Wolansky (26), at 1:44, and D Conner McDonald (6), on a PP, at 5:47. . . . The Raiders took a 3-2 second-period lead on goals from D Vojtech Budik (10), on a PP, at 5:18; F Curtis Miske (21), at 5:52; and F Brett Leason, at 6:39. . . . Edmonton got back into a tie when D Wyatt McLeod scored his first WHL goal at 7:07. . . . Leason, who has goals in six straight games, broke that tie with his 16th goal at 12:04. . . . F David Kope (11) pulled the Oil Kings into a 4-4 tie at 18:34. . . . Kelly, playing in his 200th regular-season game, won it with his 26th goal, at 8:35 of the third period. . . . F Kody McDonald and F Regan Nagy each had two assists for the winners, with Kelly and Miske adding one each. . . . Fix-Wolansky had two assists and Kope one for Edmonton. . . . The Oil Kings were 2-4 on the PP; the Raiders were 1-7. . . . Prince Albert got 25 stops from G Ian Scott. . . . G Josh Dechaine made 26 saves for Edmonton. . . . Announced attendance: 9,723.


At Spokane, F Kailer (Yammi) Yamamoto had a goal and two assists and F Jaret (JAD) Anderson-Dolan had three assists to lead the Chiefs to a 5-3 victory over the Kootenay SpokaneChiefsIce. . . . Spokane (35-21-5) has won two in a row. It is third in the U.S. Division, three points behind Portland. . . . Kootenay (25-36-3) has lost five straight. It is fourth in the Central Division, four points behind Red Deer. . . . As part of the night’s promotion, the Chiefs had nicknames on the backs of their jerseys. Those nicknames are included in the lineup in the above tweet. . . . The Chiefs took a 1-0 lead at 4:55 of the first period on a goal from F Milos (Fafs) Fafrak. . . . F Gillian Kohler (6) tied it for the Ice, at 9:10. . . . The Chiefs went out front 3-1 before the period ended, on goals from F Ethan (Dewey) McIndoe (20) and Yamamoto (18), shorthanded, at 19:06. . . . F Colton Veloso scored for the Ice at 2:10 of the second period, but the home team went up 5-2 on goals from F Jake (McGruber) McGrew (16), at 8:25 of the second, and D Ty (Smitty) Smith (13), at 3:38 of the third. . . . Veloso (23) got the Ice’s final goal, at 14:25. . . . The Chiefs also got two assists from F Riley (Woodsy) Woods, with McGrew and Fafrak each getting one. . . . Kootenay was 1-2 on the PP; Spokane was 0-2. . . . The Chiefs got 12 stops from G Dawson (Weatherman) Weatherill. . . . G Matt Berlin stopped 31 shots for the Ice. . . . Announced attendance: 8,352.


At Kennewick, Wash., the Tri-City Americans scored three first-period goals in the span of 2:34 and went on to a 6-1 victory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . Tri-City (32-21-8) TriCity30has won three in a row. It holds down the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot and is fourth in the U.S. Division, three points behind Spokane. . . . Prince George (20-33-8) has lost three straight. . . . The Americans took control with three goals in the span of 2:34 early in the first period. . . . F Jordan Topping (35) got it started at 4:11, with D Juuso Valimaki making it 2-0 at 4:51 and F Paycen Bjorklund (2) adding another at 6:45. . . . The Americans went ahead 5-0 before the period ended, as Valimaki scored at 11:41 and F Parker AuCoin (17) counted at 19:20. . . . Valimaki completed his second career hat trick with his 11th goal at 10:18 of the second period. . . . The Cougars got their goal from D Ryan Schoettler (6) at 17:42. . . . D Anthony Bishop drew three assists for Tri-City, with F Isaac Johnson and F Nolan Yaremko each getting two. . . . Each team was 0-3 on the PP. . . . G Beck Warm stopped 19 shots for the Americans. . . . The Cougars started G Isaiah DiLaura, who gave up five goals on 14 shots in the first period. Tavin Grant played the last two periods, stopping 15 of 16 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 5,406.


At Victoria, F Cody Glass, who also had two assists, broke a 2-2 tie at 16:56 of the third period to give the Portland Winterhawks a 3-2 victory over the Royals. . . . Portland (37-Portland20-4) has won two in a row, having beaten the host Royals, 2-1, on Friday. The Winterhawks have clinched a playoff spot. They are second in the U.S. Division, nine points behind Everett. . . . Victoria (35-23-5) has lost two straight. It is second in the B.C. Division, seven points behind Kelowna and five ahead of Vancouver. . . . The Winterhawks went ahead 1-0 at 3:50 of the first period when F Kieffer Bellows scored on a PP. . . . Victoria F Noah Gregor got that one back, on a PP, at 17:08. . . . Bellows (32) gave the visitors a 2-1 lead 54 seconds into the second period, only to have Gregor (25) tie it, on a PP, at 6:28. . . . Glass got the winner, his 29th goal this season, on a PP. . . . The Winterhawks got three assists from D Dennis Cholowski. . . . Glass now has 200 career points in 190 regular-season games. . . . F Dante Hannoun had two assists for Victoria. . . . F Matthew Phillips of the Royals had his point streak snapped at 22 games. . . . Victoria was 2-4 on the PP; Portland was 2-6. . . . G Shane Farkas earned the victory with 21 saves. He also went the distance for Portland on Friday. . . . The Royals got 39 saves from G Griffen Outhouse. . . . Announced attendance: 7,006.


At Kelowna, the Rockets scored the game’s last two goals to beat the Kamloops Blazers, 6-5. . . . Kelowna (38-18-6) has points in five straight (4-0-1). It is second in the Western KelownaRocketsConference, five points behind Everett. . . . Kamloops (27-31-5) has lost two in a row. It is six points out of a playoff spot with nine games remaining. . . . Kelowna is 6-0-0) in the season series; Kamloops is 0-5-1. . . . The Rockets actually led this one 3-0, before giving up four goals in a span of 5:57 in the second period. . . . F Dillon Dube, who has 31 goals, scored for Kelowna at 10:51 and 18:46 of the first period, the latter coming via a PP. . . . F Conner Bruggen-Cate (17) made it 3-0, on another PP, at 5:36 of the second period. . . . F Jermaine Loewen (32) got the Blazers’ comeback started at 11:04. F Luc Smith (17), back after a two-week absence, made it 3-2 at 11:25, and F Nick Chyzowski (19) tied it, on a PP, at 14:25. D Nolan Kneen (5) gave Kamloops the lead, at 17:01. . . . The Rockets tied it at 12:50 of the third period as F Leif Mattson scored while shorthanded. . . . Kamloops F Orrin Centazzo (10) gave Kamloops a 5-4 lead, on a PP, at 13:11. . . . The Rockets tied it at 13:40 as F Carsen Twarynski (38) struck, on a PP, then took the lead at 17:47 on Mattson’s 21st goal of the season. . . . The Rockets got two assists from each of D Gordie Ballhorn and F Kole Lind, with Dube and Brutten-Cate adding one apiece. . . . Loewen had two assists for Kamloops, as did Kneen and F Quinn Benjafield. . . . Loewen went into this season with 14 goals and 18 assists in 170 games. This season, he has developed into one of the WHL’s top power forwards, with 32 goals and 24 assists in 57 games. . . . Kelowna was 3-6 on the PP; Kamloops was 2-6. . . . The Rockets got 23 saves from G Brodan Salmond, while G Dylan Ferguson stopped 31 shots at the other end. . . . The Rockets took 62 of the game’s 120 penalty minutes. Eight game misconducts, including one to Salmond, were handed out following a kerfuffle at the final buzzer. . . . Announced attendance: 5,324.


At Medicine Hat, F Cole Reinhardt’s overtime goal gave the Brandon Wheat Kings a 4-3 victor over the Tigers. . . . Brandon (32-24-5) had lost its previous two games. It is fourth BrandonWKregularin the East Division, three points behind Regina. The Wheat Kings hold down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, four points up on Saskatoon. . . . Medicine Hat (31-24-8) is 3-0-1 in its past four games. It leads the Central Division, by four points over Lethbridge. . . . The Wheat Kings got off to a 1-0 lead at 8:44 on a goal by F Stelio Mattheos (37). . . . F Ryan Jevne (17) tied it for the Tigers, on a PP, at 17:31. . . . After a scoreless second period, the Wheat Kings went ahead 3-1 on goals from Reinhardt, at 4:43, and F Evan Weinger (26), shorthanded, at 11:19. . . . D David Quenneville (26) scored at 15:02 to get the Tigers to within a goal. . . . The home team tied it with 38.2 seconds left and the extra attacker on the ice when F Mark Rassell (46) scored the 100th regular-season goal of his career. . . .  Reinhardt scored his 15th goal of the season to win it at 1:06 of OT. . . . Mattheos added two assists to his goal. . . . Quenneville also had two assists, with Rassell and Jevne adding one each. . . . Medicine Hat was 1-4 on the PP; Brandon was 0-1. . . . The Wheat Kings got 31 saves from G Dylan Myskiw. . . . With G Michael Bullion ill, the Tigers gave Kaeden Lane his first WHL start, and he responded with 10 saves. Lane, 16, is from Burnaby, B.C. He plays for the Burnaby Winter Club’s prep team in the CSSHL. . . . Announced attendance: 3,226.


SUNDAY (all times local):

Moose Jaw at Saskatoon, 2:05 p.m.

Brandon at Calgary, 4 p.m.

Swift Current at Edmonton, 4 p.m.

Spokane at Everett, 4:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY