THE BEDARD REPORT: Ho hum . . . Yes, it was another one of those nights for F Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats. . . . On Friday, he had a goal and four assists as he led his guys back from a 3-0 deficit to a 5-3 victory over the visiting Winnipeg Ice, the CHL’s No. 1-ranked team. . . . On Saturday, Bedard scored once and added three assists as he and his pals overcame a 3-1 deficit to beat the visiting Red Deer Rebels, 6-5 in OT. . . . Bedard leads the WHL in goals (59), assists (64) and points (123). . . . In 124 regular-season games, he has 251 points — 122 goals and 129 assists. . . . He has put up 32 points, including 14 goals, over his past nine games. . . . Bedard now has played in 19 games since return from the World Junior Championship; he has 32 goals and 27 assists over that stretch. . . . Next up? The Saskatoon Blades are in Regina this afternoon for what will be a third game in fewer than 48 hours for both teams.
Mike Stothers, an assistant coach with the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks who did a turn as head coach of the Moose Jaw Warriors, revealed on Saturday that he has been diagnosed with Stage 3 melanoma of the lymph nodes. He is to begin treatment, which is to involve surgery, in the near future. . . . “If I could share one simple message to all,” Stothers, 61, said. “Listen to your body. If you notice something unusual, or don’t feel like yourself, consult a doctor immediately. Please do no wait. It could be the best decision you ever make.” . . . Stothers spent three seasons with the Warriors (2011-14). The Warriors got into the third round of the playoffs in his first season, but then missed the playoffs each of the next two seasons. . . . He ended up the head coach of the Manchester Monarchs in 2014-15 and guided them to the Calder Cup as AHL champions.
CANADA WEST UPDATE: F Josh Prokop’s goal in OT gave the visiting U of Alberta Golden Bears a 5-4 victory over the Calgary Dinos on Saturday night. . . . The Golden Bears won despite coughing up a 4-0 lead as the Dinos scored four times in the third period. . . . The best-of-three Canada West final is 1-1 with the deciding game scheduled for tonight in Calgary.
If the WHL playoffs started today:
Winnipeg (1) vs. Swift Current (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. Tri-City (6)
Prince George (4) vs. Everett (5)
SATURDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:
F Conor Geekie scored three times as the Winnipeg Ice wrapped up a 10-game road trip with an 8-3 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . The Ice, which had lost its previous two games, went 8-2-0 on the trip. . . . Geekie opened the scoring with his 30th goal, at 3:01 of the first period, scored again at 13:51 of the second for a 5-1 lead, and completed his hat trick at 16:37 to put the Ice ahead 7-1. . . . Geekie has three hat tricks this season, with two of them in his past five games. . . . F Connor McClennon (41) had a goal and two assists for the winners, and F Owen Pederson had three assists. . . . Winnipeg (49-9-1) leads the Eastern Conference by 12 points over Saskatoon. . . . Brandon (23-28-8) has lost two in a row and now is five points from a playoff spot. . . .
G Joey Rocha stopped 24 shots to post his first WHL shutout as the Swift Current Broncos beat the Oil Kings, 8-0, in Edmonton. . . . Rocha, who turned 18 on Jan. 22, is a freshman from Nanaimo, B.C. . . . F Connor Hvidston (19) had two goals and an assist, and D Owen Pickering drew three assists. . . . F Josh Filmon scored his 40th goal in his 54th game this season, and D Sam Ward got his first. . . . Filmon went into this season with 25 goals in 84 games. . . . Ward, a 17-year-old from Kamloops, scored in his 26th game this season. . . . The Broncos held a 50-24 edge in shots and were 3-for-4 on the PP. . . . Swift Current (28-27-3) has won three straight. It is eighth in the Eastern Conference, two points behind Medicine Hat and three ahead of Calgary. . . . Edmonton (8-48-3) has lost 11 in a row and been outscored 70-14 in the process. . . . The Oil Kings have been blanked eight times this season. . . .
In Moose Jaw, the Warriors opened a 3-0 lead and went on to beat the Prince Albert Raiders, 5-3. . . . F Jagger Firkus (32), shorthanded, and F Eric Alarie (18) gave the hosts a 2-0 first-period lead, and D Matthew Gallant, with his first of the season, on a PP, made it 3-0 at 6:26 of the second. . . . The Raiders weren’t able to catch up, although they did get to within a goal, at 4-3, when F Evan Herman (15) scored at 12:39 of the third period. . . . Warriors F Ryder Korczak (24) iced it with the empty-netter. . . . The Warriors got 34 stops from G Jackson Unger. . . . Moose Jaw (36-22-3) had lost its previous three games. It is settling into fourth spot in the Eastern Conference, 12 points behind Saskatoon and five ahead of Lethbridge. . . . Prince Albert (25-31-3) has lost two in a row and now is six points from a playoff spot. . . .
F Alexander Suzdalev’s OT goal gave the host Regina Pats a 6-5 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Suzdalev scored his 35th goal of the season 55 seconds into extra time off a pass from F Connor Bedard, who finished with a goal, his 59th, and three assists. . . . Red Deer led this one 3-1 halfway through the second period. . . . D Stanislav Svozil (10), at 10:13 and F Riley Ginnell (7), at 11:30, got Regina even. . . . F Ben King (17) got Red Deer back in front before the period ended. . . . The Pats took their first lead on two goals from F Borya Valis (20), at 13:34 and 15:02 of the third period. . . . Red Deer F Jayden Grubbe (16) forced OT at 19:08. . . . Svozil also had three assists for a four-point evening. . . . F Kai Uchacz (46) had a goal and two assists for Red Deer, which got three assists from D Mats Lindgren, who has eight points in two games. He had a goal and four assists in a 6-3 victory in Brandon on Friday. . . . Regina (31-24-3) has won six in a row. It is sixth in the Eastern Conference, five points behind Lethbridge and four ahead of Medicine Hat. . . . Red Deer (39-17-5) has points in two straight (1-0-1). . . .
In Saskatoon, the Blades scored the game’s first five goals en route to a 5-1 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . D Charlie Wright (6) gave the Blades a first-period lead and they broke it open with three second-period goals, from F Jake Chiasson (19), F Jayden Wiens (15) and F Egor Sidorov (38). . . . Saskatoon G Ethan Chadwick stopped 19 shots to record the victory over a Lethbridge side that included his brother, Noah. . . . Saskatoon (41-13-5) has points in nine straight (8-0-1). It looks like it will be the Eastern Conference’s No. 3 seed when the playoffs open. . . . Lethbridge (32-22-6) had won its previous two games. It is fifth in the conference, five points behind Moose Jaw and five ahead of Regina. . . .
G Thomas Milic stopped 32 shots to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 5-0 victory over the Silvertips in Everett. . . . This was Milic’s fourth shutout this season and the eighth of his career. This season, he is 23-3-1, 2.06, .927. . . . F Nico Myatovic got Seattle a 2-0 lead with goals at 8:56 of the first period, via a PP, and 1:21 of the second. . . . Myatovic, an 18-year-old from Prince George, also had an assist. He has 25 goals in 58 games this season after scoring four times in 67 games last season. . . . F Reid Schaefer (26) also scored twice for Seattle. He has goals in five straight games. . . . Seattle (47-9-2) has won 12 straight games and has clinched first place in the U.S. Division for the first time since 2015-16. It also leads the Western Conference by 10 points over Kamloops. . . . Everett (30-25-3) had won its previous three games. It is tied with Tri-City for fifth in the conference, two points behind Prince George. . . .
The Kamloops Blazers clinched their fourth straight B.C. Division with a 7-2 victory over the Rockets in Kelowna. . . . The Blazers had beaten the Rockets, 8-1, in Kamloops on Friday. . . . Kamloops held a 109-50 edge in shots in the two games, including 56-28 last night. . . . The Blazers broke open a 1-1 game with six straight goals. . . . F Caedan Bankier (32) gave Kamloops a 2-1 lead, on a PP, at 16:30 of the first period, and F Connor Levis (18) made it 3-1 just 2:17 later while shorthanded. F Ryan Hofer (38), on another PP, upped it to 4-1 at 15:41. . . . D Olen Zellweger (24), with his second of the game, gave Kamloops a 5-1 edge at 19:58. . . . The Blazers got three assists from F Logan Stankoven. . . . Hofer added two assists to his goal. . . . Kamloops (40-11-6) isn’t likely to catch Seattle atop the Western Conference so, as B.C. Division champ, will be the No. 2 seed when the playoffs open. . . . Kelowna (23-33-3) is eighth in the conference, six points behind Victoria and 12 ahead of Victoria. . . .
F Adam Mechura’s PP goal in OT gave the visiting Tri-City Americans a 4-3 victory over the Portland Winterhawks. . . . F James Stefan of the Winterhawks was given a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct at 19:45 of the third period for a hit on F Ethan Ernst. Mechura’s 21st goal of the season won the game at 2:35 of OT. . . . Tri-City F Jalen Luypen (12), who also had two assists, forced OT with a PP goal at 17:39 of the third period. . . . The Americans were 2-for-5 on the PP. Portland was 0-for-2. . . . D Lukas Dragicevic (15) had a goal and two assists for the winners. . . . Tri-City (28-24-7) had lost its previous three games. It is tied with Everett for fifth in the Western Conference, two points behind Prince George. . . . Portland (36-17-6) has lost nine in a row (0-7-2) and looks to be the conference’s No. 3 seed for the first round of the playoffs. . . .
F Chase Bertholet scored 28 seconds into OT to give the Spokane Chiefs a 5-4 victory over the Cougars in Prince George. . . . The Cougars had opened the weekend doubleheader with a 5-2 victory on Friday night. . . . F Berkly Catton, who had two goals and two assists, had tied the game, 4-4, with his 19th goal at 6:44 of the third period. . . . Catton, who turned 17 on Jan. 14, was the first overall selection in the WHL’s 2021 draft. He now has 46 points in 54 games. . . . F Chase Wheatcroft (41) had given the Cougars a 4-3 lead at 5:11 of the third. . . . D Mac Gross had three assists for the Chiefs. . . . The Cougars got a goal (16) and two assists from D Ethan Samson. . . . Spokane lost F Grady Lane to a charging major and game misconduct at 19:42 of the second period. . . . Spokane (14-38-7) had lost its previous two games. . . . Prince George (30-24-5) is fourth in the Western Conference, two points ahead of Everett and Tri-City. . . .
G Brett Mirwald turned aside 34 shots to lead the Vancouver Giants to a 4-2 victory over the Royals in Victoria. . . . The Giants had doubled up on the Royals, 4-2, in Langley, B.C., on Friday. . . . Mirwald came up with 14 saves in the third period as his guys were outshot, 15-5. This season, the 19-year-old from Saskatoon is 6-8-5, 3.30, .907. . . . D Carson Haynes (3) had a goal, an empty-netter, and two assists for Vancouver. . . . The Giants won this one with three second-period goals. . . . F Skyler Bruce (12) tied it 1-1 just 56 seconds into the period. F Ty Thorpe (32) gave the Giants the lead at 13:24 and F Ty Halaburda (18) made it 3-1 at 14:46. . . . Vancouver (24-28-7) clinched a playoff spot with its third straight victory. It is seventh in the Western Conference and appears headed to a first-round meeting with Kamloops. . . . Victoria (15-39-7) has lost eight in a row (0-7-1) and is 12 points from a playoff spot with seven games remaining.
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