The Vancouver Giants were without F Samuel Honzek on Saturday night as they lost 6-0 to the Blazers in Kamloops. Honzek, who has 42 points, including 21 goals, in 40 games, was injured in Friday’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Rockets in Kelowna. . . . F Carson Golder was ejected with a headshot major for the hit on Honzek. . . . Steve Ewen of Postmedia reported late Friday that Honzek was returning to Giants’ headquarters in Ladner, B.C., “for evaluation” as the team went on to Kamloops. Ewen also reported “there have been 13 players receive suspensions this season resulting from checking-to-head majors.” . . . Honzek was playing in his ninth game since returning from a badly cut leg that he incurred while playing for Slovakia at the World Junior Championship. . . . He is expected to be a first-round selection in the NHL’s 2023 draft.
The Swift Current Broncos were to have met the Warriors in Moose Jaw on Saturday night. However, some nasty weather stormed across southern Saskatchewan and forced the game’s postponement. It is hoped that the teams will be able to play today in Moose Jaw. . . . On Friday night, in Swift Current, the Warriors erased a 3-0 deficit in beating the Broncos, 4-3 in a shootout. . . . The Warriors (37-22-3) go into tonight’s rematch having won two straight. . . . The Broncos (28-29-4) have lost three in a row (0-2-1) and are scrapping for a playoff spot.
If the WHL playoffs started today:
Winnipeg (1) vs. Swift Current/Calgary/Brandon (8)
Red Deer (2) vs. Medicine Hat (7)
Saskatoon (3) vs. Regina (6)
Moose Jaw (4) vs. Lethbridge (5)
Seattle (1) vs. Kelowna (8)
Kamloops (2) vs. Vancouver (7)
Portland (3) vs. Everett (6)
Prince George (4) vs. Tri-City (5)
SATURDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:
The Brandon Wheat Kings scored the game’s last six goals to skate away with a 10-2 victory over the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . F Noah Boyko (16) got Edmonton to within two, at 4-2, at 3:19 of the third period. . . . But the Wheat Kings scored two quick goals, from F Dawson Pasternak (14), at 3:51, and F Rylen Roersma (18), at 5:30, and school was out. . . . Pasternak and Roersma each scored twice and added an assist. . . . F Joby Baumuller, the 12th overall selection in the WHL’s 2022 draft, scored his first WHL goal for Brandon. A 15-year-old from Wilcox, Sask., he was playing in his fifth game. . . . The Oil Kings were without F Dawson Seitz, who drew a TBD suspension after taking a boarding major and game misconduct on Friday in Winnipeg. . . . Brandon (26-28-8) has won three in a row and is tied with Swift Current and Calgary for the Eastern Conference’s last playoff spot. . . . Edmonton now is 9-49-4. . . .
F Andrew Basha scored four goals and G Beckett Langkow recorded the shutout as the host Medicine Hat Tigers dumped the Regina Pats, 7-0. . . . Langkow stopped 17 shots, including just one in the second period, as he posted his first career shutout in his 78th appearance. . . . Medicine Hat outshot Regina, 40-17, including 18-1 in the second period. . . . Basha, who has 19 goals, went into the game with a pair of two-goal games in 108 career games. Last season, the 17-year-old sophomore from Calgary, had five goals and nine assists in 48 games. This season, he has 55 points in 61 games. . . . The Tigers had a 1-0 lead going into the second period, and Basha scored the next three goals. He finished his four-goal night at 19:05 of the third period. . . . D Bogdans Hodass had three assists. . . . F Gavin McKenna, the first selection in the WHL’s 2022 draft, scored his first goal with the Tigers. He has a goal and eight assists in 12 games. . . . Medicine Hat (27-26-9) had lost its previous two games. It is seventh in the Eastern Conference, three points behind Regina and three ahead of Swift Current, Calgary and Brandon. . . . Regina (31-27-4) has lost four in a row (0-3-1). . . .
F Jhett Larson scored three times to lead the Red Deer Rebels to a 9-0 victory over the Hitmen in Calgary. . . . Larson ran his goal total to 18 with his first career hat trick. . . . G Kyle Kelsey stopped 25 shots to record the third shutout of his freshman season. Kelsey, who turned 19 on Jan. 22, is 19-11-5, 2.76, .904. . . . The Rebels, who held a 57-25 edge in shots, scored four times in the first period and five in the second. . . . Red Deer was 5-for-7 on the PP. . . . D Mats Lindgren added a goal (11) and two assists. . . . F Kai Uchacz scored his 49th at 3:34 of the first period and it stood up as the winner. . . . Red Deer (41-17-6) has points in five straight (3-0-2). It has clinched the Central Division title. . . . Calgary (26-27-8) had points in each of its previous three games (2-0-1). It is tied with Swift Current and Brandon for eight in the Eastern Conference. . . .
The Seattle Thunderbirds won their 50th game, the second time they have accomplished that in franchise history, beating the Everett Silvertips, 5-1, in Kent, Wash. . . . Seattle also reached the 50-victory plateau in 1989-90 when it finished 52-17-3 — that would be three ties, of course. . . . D Jeremy Hanzel (12) scored twice for Seattle, the first one, on a PP at 6:12 of the third period, breaking a 1-1 tie. . . . Hanzel also had an assist. . . . F Dylan Guenther (7) and F Brad Lambert (14) each had a goal and an assist. . . . F Jackson Berezowski (43) had Everett’s goal, a shorthanded tally. . . . Seattle G Thomas Milic earned the victory with 14 saves. He’s 24-3-2, 2.02, .928 this season. . . . Seattle held a 47-15 edge in shots. . . . Seattle (50-9-3) has points in 16 straight games (15-0-1). It also is tied with idle Winnipeg atop the overall standings, each with 103 points. . . . Everett (30-29-3) has lost five in a row. It is sixth in the Western Conference, two points behind Tri-City. . . .
G Matthew Kieper recorded the shutout as the host Kamloops Blazers dumped the Vancouver Giants, 6-0. . . . Kieper, who was acquired from Regina earlier this season, finished with 25 saves for his first shutout this season and the second of his career. . . . The game included two second-period penalty shots. Vancouver F Ethan Semeniuk came up short at 10:08. Kamloops F Connor Levis ran his goal streak to six games when he scored at 13:44 for a 4-0 lead. . . . Levis later scored again, giving him 23 this season. He also is riding a six-game goal-scoring streak, with seven goals in that time. . . . F Emmitt Finnie had a goal (6) and two assists. A 17-year-old from Lethbridge, he had six assists in 48 games last season. This season, he’s got 25 points in 57 games. . . . Kamloops held a 44-26 edge in shots, including 25-4 in the first period. . . . Kamloops (44-11-6) has won six in a row and 17 of 18. It has wrapped up the B.C. Division title. . . . Vancouver (24-29-8) had points in each of its previous four games (3-0-1). The Giants are seventh in the Western Conference, three points ahead of Kelowna. . . .
The Kelowna Rockets scored a PP goal in OT to beat the Chiefs, 5-4, in Spokane. . . . F Cade Hayes emerged from a scuffle at the end of the third period with the only major penalty and game misconduct. Kelowna F Gabriel Szturc (21) won the game at 2:24 of OT. . . . Before that, the Rockets had coughed up a 4-0 lead as the Chiefs forced extra time when F Berkly Catton (20) scored at 17:58 of the third period. . . . Szturc, the Rockets’ captain, finished with two goals and two assists. . . . The Rockets were without F Carson Golder, who has been hit with a TBD suspension after he took a headshot major and game misconduct against visiting Vancouver on Friday night. . . . Kelowna (25-34-3) has won two in a row and clinched a playoff spot in the process. It is eighth in the Western Conference, three points behind Vancouver. . . Spokane (14-39-8) has lost two straight. . . .
F Reece Belton’s penalty shot goal gave the Tri-City Americans a 3-2 OT victory over the Portland Winterhawks in Kennewick, Wash. . . . The Americans thought they had won seconds earlier, only to have the goal disallowed. As Pucklandia’s Chad Balcom (@hawkeyblog) tweeted: “Never seen that one before — the Winterhawks were down the tunnel & in the room, LONG huddle of refs, no replay, & the OT winner was overturned. We play on in Kennewick.” . . . According to Nick Marek, Portland’s play-by-play voice, the goal was disallowed because of a quick whistle. “The accidental whistle is what disallowed the initial goal by (Adam) Mechura. The ref whistle killed the play.” . . . Belton, who had been slashed from behind while on a breakaway, then won it with his 14th goal of the season at 1:08 of OT. . . . Tri-City had taken a 2-0 lead into the third period on goals from Belton, on a PP, and Mechura (23). D Lukas Dragicevic assisted on both goals. . . . Portland tied it on third-period goals from F Marcus Nguyen (22), shorthanded at 10:47, and F Luke Schelter (6), at 14:48. . . . The Americans got 47 saves from G Tomas Suchanek. . . . Tri-City (29-26-7) had lost its previous two games. It moved into fourth in the Western Conference, two points ahead of Everett. . . . Portland (38-17-7) has points in four straight (2-0-2) and will be the conference’s No. 3 seed when the playoffs begin. . . .
F Koehn Ziemmer and F Carlin Dezainde each scored twice as the Prince George Cougars doubled the Royals, 6-3, in Victoria. . . . The Cougars swept the doubleheader, having won 8-3 on Friday. . . . Ziemmer, who has 35 goals, got the Cougars started at 5:44 of the first period, and F Chase Wheatcroft (44) made it 2-0 at 11:48. . . . The Royals got a goal from F Riley Gannon (17) at 13:06, but the Cougars scored the next four. . . . Dezainde has seven goals this season. . . . Wheatcroft, 20, also had two assists. He is up to 96 points in 62 games. He went into this season with 82 points, including 31 goals, in 137 games split between Lethbridge and Winnipeg. . . . F Alex Thacker had a goal (8) and two assists for Victoria. . . . Prince George (33-24-5) has points in five straight (4-0-1). It is fourth in the Western Conference. . . . Victoria (15-41-7) has lost 10 in a row (0-9-1).
THINKING OUT LOUD: Has anyone been able to figure out what Hyundai is trying to accomplish with that WAH advertising campaign? And isn’t it about time for it to be retired? . . . Sheesh, Sportsnet, I hope NESN is paying you for the TV time those Bruins’ telecasts take up on your networks. I mean, if you’re paying for them, they’re stealing your money. . . . Would you like some good news? Old friend Roy MacGregor has a new book coming out on Aug. 1 — Paper Trails: From the Backwoods to the Front Page, a Life in Stories. I, for one, can’t wait. . . . If you’re like me, you’re wondering if F Connor Bedard of the Regina finally is running on empty. For all that he has accomplished this season, he won’t turn 18 until July 17.
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Living Kidney Donor Program
St. Paul’s Hospital
6A Providence Building
1081 Burrard Street
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Toll free: 1-877-922-9822
Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney
Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre
Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street
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604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182
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