Blades win first playoff game since 2011. . . . Addison gets OT goal for Lethbridge. . . . Record night for Outhouse in Victoria

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While 16 teams were preparing to being the WHL playoffs this weekend, the Kootenay Ice were on the move.

Yes, the movers were at Western Financial Place on Friday morning, cleaning out the team’s office and its retail space. The franchise has left Cranbrook, B.C., and now is the Winnipeg Ice.

Meanwhile, the WHL office hit Ice F Peyton Krebs with a one-game suspension after he was hit with a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct in Sunday’s 5-4 victory over the visiting Red Deer Rebels.

Because that was the Ice’s final game of this season, Krebs will serve that suspension next season, meaning he will miss the team’s first regular-season game as the Winnipeg Ice.


It turns out that Todd Harkins is not going to the BCHL’s Surrey Eagles.

As my once reliable source texted on Friday: “I guess my source was wrong about Harkins.”

Yeah, I guess he was. I apologize to anyone who may have been impacted by what was written here earlier in the week. Seriously. Something like this is my worst nightmare.

St. George’s School, which is based in Vancouver, announced Friday that Harkins has been named its Head of Hockey as of April 1.

From the news release:

“Todd has an extensive background as a player, coach and general manager. He brings a wealth of both on- and off-ice experiences as well as a passion for working with student-athletes. Todd played professionally from 1990–2001 and represented the USA at the World Championships in 1992, 1995 and 1998. He has coached multiple minor hockey teams including — most recently — the bantam varsity team at the West Van Hockey Academy. Todd also was the general manager (four years) and head scout/director of player personnel (one year)” with the WHL’s Prince George Cougars.


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FRIDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

NOTES: Seven of the WHL’s first-round series began on Friday, with only the Medicine Hat Tigers and Edmonton Oil Kings not playing. They will get started tonight in Edmonton. . . . The other seven series all will resume tonight. . . . Last night, the Saskatoon Blades won a playoff game for the first time since April 3, 2011, when they beat the Raiders, 2-1 in OT, in Prince Albert. F Matej Stransky scored the winner, at 4:24 of OT. . . . Two players — D Jake Lee of the Seattle Thunderbirds and D John Ludvig of the Portland Winterhawks — took majors and game misconducts last night, so may find themselves suspended before tonight’s schedule gets started. . . . G Griffen Outhouse of the Victoria Royals set one franchise record and tied another in a 4-0 victory over the visiting Kamloops Blazers, who were without F Connor Zary. . . . Read on. . . .

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G Ian Scott turned aside 21 shots to help the Prince Albert Raiders to a 3-0 victory over PrinceAlbertthe visiting Red Deer Rebels. . . . Game 2 is scheduled for tonight in Prince Albert. . . . Scott has put up four shutouts over his last six starts. He finished the regular season with eight shutouts; this was his first of the playoffs. . . . F Dante Hannoun (1) gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead at 19:28 of the first period. . . . F Ozzy Wiesblatt (1) upped it to 2-0 at 8:49 of the second period, and F Sean Montgomery (1) made it 3-0 at 16:53. . . . G Ethan Anders stopped 25 shots for Red Deer. . . . The Rebels are without D Alex Alexeyev (knee), who won’t play in this series.


F Chase Wouters scored the first OT goal of these playoffs, giving the Saskatoon Blades a Saskatoon3-2 victory over the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . They’ll play the second game tonight in Saskatoon. . . . This was the first playoff game in Saskatoon since the spring of 2013, and the announced attendance was 5,193. . . . The Warriors led this one 2-0 on goals by F Kaeden Taphorn (1), at 3:03 of the second period, and F Eric Alarie (1), at 4:34. . . . Alarie, in the Moose Jaw lineup because F Brayden Tracey was scratched, scored his first WHL goal. Alarie, who turned 16 on Jan. 27, is from Winnipeg. A first-round pick, 22nd overall, in the 2018 bantam draft, he was pointless in two regular-season games with the Warriors. He played with the prep team at the Rink Hockey Academy in Winnipeg, putting up 17 goals and 29 assists in 27 games. . . . F Max Gerlach (1) got the Blades to within a goal, on a PP, at 7:21 of the second period, and F Riley McKay (1) tied it at 11:48 of the third. . . . Wouters (1) won it at 3:23 of OT. . . . Saskatoon held a 38-23 edge in shots, including 14-6 in the second period, 10-2 in the third, and 3-1 in OT. . . . G Nolan Maier stopped 21 shots for Saskatoon, 14 fewer than Moose Jaw’s Brodan Salmond. . . . Tracey, the WHL’s highest-scoring freshman, was among Moose Jaw’s scratches. Tracey, who finished with 81 points, including 36 goals, in 66 games, sat out Moose Jaw’s last two regular-season games. . . . The WHL didn’t issue any suspensions from a game-ending brouhaha involving the Swift Current Broncos and host Warriors on Saturday, so Moose Jaw had F Tristin Langan and D Josh Brook in the lineup.


D Calen Addison’s OT goal gave the host Lethbridge Hurricanes a 3-2 victory over the LethbridgeCalgary Hitmen. . . . Game 2 is to be played tonight in Lethbridge. . . . F Mark Kastelic, who had left Calgary’s final regular-season game on Sunday after taking a hard hit into a stanchion, gave the Hitmen a 1-0 lead at 14:36 of the first period. . . . F Nick Henry (1) tied it for Lethbridge at 1:35 of the second period. . . . D Devan Klassen (1) put Calgary back out front at 3:33. . . . Lethbridge tied it when F Dylan Cozens (1) scored at 11:24 of the second period. . . . The teams played through a scoreless third period. . . . The Hurricanes got 31 saves from G Carl Tetachuk. . . . Calgary G Jack McNaughton blocked 30 shots.


The Vancouver Giants opened the second period with two goals 23 seconds apart, then Vancouverscored twice more before the period ended, as they skated to a 7-1 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds in Langley, B.C. . . . Game 2 is set for tonight in Langley. . . . D Dylan Plouffe led the Giants with two goals and an assist. . . . F Milos Roman (1), on a PP, at 1:20 of the second, and F Lukas Svejkovsky (1), at 1:43, got the Giants started. . . . F Jadon Joseph (1), shorthanded, made it 3-0 at 6:47, and Plouffe got the 4-0 goal at 16:57. . . . Seattle got its goal from F Andrej Kukuca (1), at 19:57. . . . The Giants added third-period goals from F Dawson Holt (1), Plouffe, on a PP, and D Bowen Byram (1). . . . Vancouver was 2-7 on the PP; Seattle was 0-7. . . . The Giants got 27 saves from G Trent Miner. . . . Seattle starter Roddy Ross surrendered six goals on 31 shots. Cole Schwebius came on in relief to stop eight on nine shots in 15:27. . . . Seattle D Jake Lee was hit with a cross-checking major and game misconduct at 19:54 of the third period.


G Griffen Outhouse set one franchise record and tied another as he lead the Victoria VictoriaRoyalsRoyals to a 4-0 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . They’ll go again tonight in Victoria in Game 2. . . . Outhouse, who stopped 28 shots in earning his first playoff shutout, tied the record for most career playoff victories that had been held by Coleman Vollrath (2012-16). It was Outhouse’s 21st playoff appearance, breaking Vollrath’s record of 20. . . . This was Victoria’s first shutout this season. . . . F Sean Gulka (1) opened the scoring at 6:23 of the first period, and F Carson Miller (1) made it 2-0 at 9:51 of the second period. . . . F Dino Kambeitz scored Victoria’s last two goals, at 13:17 of the second, and an empty-netter at 16:23 of the third. . . . Kamloops got 33 saves from G Dylan Garand, a 16-year-old freshman from Victoria. . . . Kamloops G Dylan Ferguson, who was injured during a 5-0 loss to the visiting Vancouver Giants on March 6, backed up Garand. Ferguson hadn’t dressed for the Blazers’ past seven games. . . . The Blazers had been 5-0-1 in their previous six games, including Tuesday’s 5-1 victory over the visiting Kelowna Rockets in a tiebreaker game that qualified them for the playoffs. . . . The Blazers scratched F Connor Zary (undisclosed). He was the team’s second-leading scorer with 67 points, including a team-leading 43 assists, in 63 games. He finished the regular season with nine points, including five goals, in his last four games, then added a goal and an assist in Tuesday’s tiebreaker victory. . . . The Royals had F Kody McDonald back in the lineup, but D Matt Smith, D Jameson Murray and D Jake Kustra were missing. F Kade Oliver (shoulder) won’t play again this season.


The host Spokane Chiefs scored three PP goals in the second period en route to a 5-2 SpokaneChiefsvictory over the Portland Winterhawks. . . . Game 2 is scheduled for tonight in Spokane. . . . The Chiefs erased a 1-0 first-period deficit by scoring the game’s next five goals. . . . Spokane went 3-5 on the PP; Portland was 2-8. . . . F Jake Gricius (1) gave Portland a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 11:20 of the first period. . . . Spokane took a 3-1 lead on three second-period PP goals, from F Adam Beckman (1), at 3:08; F Riley Woods (1), at 12:02; and F Jaret Anderson-Dolan (1), at 17:56. . . . F Kaden Hanas, who had three assists in 21 regular-season games, gave the Chiefs a 4-1 lead with his first WHL goal at 3:34 of the third period. . . . F Ethan McIndoe (1) upped it to 5-1 at 4:23. . . . Portland’s last goal, at 19:03, came from F Joachim Blichfeld (1). . . . The Chiefs got a solid game from G Bailey Brkin, who stopped 34 shots, 17 more than Portland’s Joel Hofer. . . . The Winterhawks lost D John Ludvig to a headshot major and game misconduct with 17.6 seconds left in the first period. F Ethan McIndoe of the Chiefs left the game after the hit, but returned early in the second period. . . . The Chiefs also lost D Nolan Reid after he was struck in the face by a stick during the first period. . . . Portland F Cody Glass (knee) didn’t make trip to Spokane. He hasn’t played since Feb. 23. . . . F Jake McGrew was among Spokane’s scratches. He had 54 points, 31 of them goals, in 61 regular-season games. McGrew had a goal and an assist in Spokane’s 10-1 victory over the visiting Tri-City Americans on Saturday. . . .


F Martin Fasko-Rudas and F Max Patterson each had a goal and two assists to lead the Everetthost Everett Silvertips to a 6-1 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . Game 2 is scheduled for tonight in Everett. . . . The Silvertips held a 33-9 edge in shots after two periods but only were leading 1-0 on the first of F Connor Dewar’s two goals, at 17:44 of the first period. . . . Dewar made it 2-0, shorthanded, at 6:54 of the third period, and Patterson increased that to 3-0 at 12:34. . . . F Nolan Yaremko (1) scored for Tri-City at 13:30. . . . Everett put it away with goals from F Zack Andrusiak (1), into an empty net, at 17:40; F Lucas Cullen (1), at 18:39; and Fasko-Rudas (1), on a PP, at 19:49. . . . Everett got three assists from D Jake Christiansen. . . . G Dustin Wolf stopped 21 shots for Everett, while Tri-City’s Beck Warm blocked 42. . . . Don Nachbaur, the third-winningest coach in WHL regular-season history, has joined Americans’ play-by-play voice Craig West to provide analysis during this series. Nachbaur put up 692 regular-season victories in stints with the Seattle Thunderbirds, Tri-City and the Spokane Chiefs.


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A few odds, ends and numbers as WHL playoffs arrive. . . . Road to Ed Chynoweth Cup starts tonight. . . . Hofer, Mattheos get NHL deals


MacBeth

F James Wright (Vancouver, 2005-10) and Linköping (Sweden, SHL) have mutually agreed not to pick up the option year on his contract for next season. This season, he had five goals and six assists in 44 games.


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EdChynowethCupSome odds and ends as we prepare for the opening of the run to the Ed Chynoweth Cup . . .

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Red Deer Rebels vs. Prince Albert Raiders — This one features the two most-recent members of the WHL’s 500 Club. Brent Sutter, the head coach of the Rebels, and Raiders’ head coach Marc Habscheid both reached the 500-victory mark this season. . . . Red Deer (33-29-6) will be without D Alex Alexeyev. With him in the lineup, the Rebels would be facing a tough task in the Raiders (54-10-4). Without him, Sutter will feel as though he has one hand tied behind his back. . . . These teams have faced each other once since the trade deadline, with the host Raiders winning 2-1 in a shootout on March 1. . . . They open with games in Prince Albert tonight and Saturday.

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Medicine Hat Tigers vs. Edmonton Oil Kings — In four games since the trade deadline, Edmonton (42-18-8) is 3-0-1 against the Tigers. . . . Edmonton G Dylan Myskiw is 5-0-1, 1.79, .940 against Medicine Hat this season. . . . Medicine Hat (35-27-6) will need a gigantic effort from 6-foot-7 G Mads Søgaard, who is 0-2-2, 3.47, .909 in games against the Oil Kings. . . . Edmonton put a bow on the regular season by winning its final 11 games. . . . They’ll play Saturday and Sunday in Edmonton.

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Moose Jaw Warriors vs. Saskatoon Blades — The Blades (45-15-8) last appeared in the playoffs in 2013, the season in which they went all-in as the host team for the Memorial Cup. Since then, they have undergone an ownership change and a massive rebuilding operation, and now, having clinched a playoff spot, the energy seems to be back in the city. . . . The Blades are 3-0-0 against the Warriors — including 4-2 and 5-3 victories this month — since the trade deadline, with a 15-6 edge in goals. . . . Saskatoon G Nolan Maier is 3-1-0, 2.26, .907 against Moose Jaw. . . . The Warriors (40-20-8) are the only team with two 100-point men — F Tristin Langan had 113, and F Justin Almeida 111. . . . The Blades outscored the Warriors, 259-234. . . . Games 1 and 2 are scheduled for Saskatoon tonight and Saturday.

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Calgary Hitmen vs. Lethbridge Hurricanes — These teams have met twice since the trade deadline, with the Hurricanes posting 7-4 and 6-2 home-ice victories. . . . Lethbridge (40-18-10) closed in a rush, winning nine of its last 10 games, and opens the playoffs on an eight-game winning streak. Calgary (36-26-6), which has lost four in a row, went 6-4-0 down the stretch. . . . The Hitmen need to find an answer for Lethbridge F Jordy Bellerive, who lit them up for seven goals and six assists in six games. . . . Lethbridge G Carl Tetachuk (24-9-2, 2.88, .909) took the reins and ran with them after G Liam Hughes left the club. . . . Only Prince Albert (307) scored more goals than Lethbridge (268). . . . Games 1 and 2 will be played in Lethbridge tonight and Saturday.

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WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle Thunderbirds vs. Vancouver Giants — They split the season series, 2-2-0, but have only met once since Jan. 10 — the visiting Giants won 5-1 on March 12. . . . The Giants (48-15-5) had the WHL’s second-best record; the Thunderbirds (31-29-8) were 17th. . . . Both teams closed well, the Giants going 8-1-1, the Thunderbirds 7-1-2. . . . No one WHL player had a bigger impact after Jan. 10 than Seattle G Roddy Ross, who went 16-5-3, 2.76, .919 after moving up from the AJHL’s Camrose Kodiaks. . . . As for the Giants, the doubters want to see how much they benefited from playing in a weak B.C. Division. . . . This series opens with games in Langley, B.C., tonight and Saturday.

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Tri-City Americans vs. Everett Silvertips — Is this the battle of the goaltenders? Dustin Wolf of the Silvertips went 41-15-4, 1.69, .936. The Americans’ Beck Warm was 32-23-5, 2.94, .916. Wolf played one more minute than Warm — 3,615-3,614 — but faced 607 fewer shots. That’s a huge disparity on a per-game basis. . . . These teams have met five times since the trade deadline, with Everett going 4-1-0, but the victories were by scores of 4-1, 2-0, 2-1 and 3-0. . . . The Silvertips (47-16-5) remain without F Riley Sutter, one of the league’s top faceoff men. . . . The Americans (34-28-6) are without freshman F Blake Stevenson, whose season was ended by an undisclosed injury. . . . They’ll play tonight and Saturday in Everett.

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Portland Winterhawks vs. Spokane Chiefs — Down the stretch, the Winterhawks missed D John Ludvig and F Cody Glass, both of whom were injured. Glass was limited to 38 games this season, missing a bunch because of a knee injury, finished with 15 goals and 54 assists. He and WHL scoring champion Joachim Blichfeld (68-53-61—114) form a deadly combination when they’re together. . . . Portland needs Ludvig and Glass back if it is to make a deep run. . . . Spokane has firepower with F Riley Woods, D Ty Smith, F Eli Zummack and F Jaret Anderson-Dolan all scoring at better than a point per game. Freshman F Adam Beckman put up 32 goals and 30 assists in playing all 68 games. . . . Spokane (40-21-7) finished second in the U.S. Division, one point ahead of Portland (40-22-6). Should we read anything into the fact that Portland was 1-0-0 against Kootenay, while Spokane was 5-0-0 against the Ice? . . . In three games since the trade deadline, Spokane went 2-1-0, outscoring Portland, 17-10. . . . They open with games tonight and Saturday in Spokane.

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Kamloops Blazers vs. Victoria Royals — The Blazers (28-32-8) are in because they beat the visiting Kelowna Rockets, 5-1, in a tiebreaker on Tuesday. . . . The Royals (34-30-4) ran into injuries and rested players down the stretch. F Kaid Oliver, who led them in goals (27) and points (49), had his season ended by a shoulder injury. F Kody McDonald (concussion) hasn’t played since March 2. . . . A lot of fans thought the Blazers were done when G Dylan Ferguson, 20, went down during a 5-0 loss to visiting Vancouver on March 6. But freshman Dylan Garand, a 16-year-old from Vancouver, stepped in and went 6-0-1, 1.54, .943. He has given up 11 goals in those seven starts, with five of them coming in a 5-4 OT loss to the visiting Prince George Cougars. . . . Ferguson, who is from Lantzville, which is on Vancouver Island, has been cleared to play again. . . . Victoria G Griffen Outhouse is 5-0-0, 2-10, .936 against Kamloops this season. . . . They’ve met four times since the trade deadline, with Kamloops going 3-1-0. The Blazers won the last three games, including an 8-0 home-ice victory on March 13 in which the Royals scratched nine players. . . . This series opens with games in Victoria tonight and Saturday.


Two more WHLers, both from Winnipeg, have signed three-year entry-level NHL NHLcontracts — G Joel Hofer of the Portland Winterhawks with the St. Louis Blues and F Stelio Mattheos of the Brandon Wheat Kings with the Carolina Hurricanes. . . .

The Blues selected Hofer in the fourth round of the NHL’s 2018 draft. . . . The Winterhawks acquired Hofer, 18, from the Swift Current Broncos on Jan. 9, giving up six bantam draft picks, including first-rounders in 2019 and 2021. With Portland, he is 9-8-0, .318, .911, with two shutouts, in 18 appearances. . . . In 30 games with the rebuilding Broncos, he was 6-21-3, 4.02, .904, with one shutout. . . . In 67 career regular-season games, Hofer is 23-32-5, 3.45, .908, with four shutouts. . . . The Winterhawks, who finished third in the U.S. Division, open a first-round playoff series against the second-place Chiefs in Spokane tonight. . . .

Mattheos, 19, was a third-round pick by Carolina in the 2017 NHL draft. This season, he had 44 goals and 52 assists in ?? games. In 253 career regular-season games, he has 278 points, including 127 goals. . . . The Wheat Kings selected Mattheos with the first-overall pick of the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft. . . . With Brandon out of the WHL’s playoff picture, Mattheos, the Wheat Kings’ captain, had reported to the Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers.


The Calgary Hitmen have added F Sean Tschigerl to their roster. Tschigerl, who will turn 16 on April 11, spent the season with the prep team at OHA Edmonton. He had 21 goals and 26 assists in 28 games, and also had one goal in eight games with the Hitmen. . . . Calgary selected him with the fourth-overall pick of the 2018 bantam draft.


The Medicine Hat Tigers have added Cole Sillinger to their roster for the playoffs. He spent this season with the midget AAA Regina Pat Canadians, whose season came to an end this week. . . . Sillinger was saluted as the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League’s top forward, rookie of the year and most valuable player. Oh, he also led the league in scoring with 76 points, including 31 goals, in 39 games. . . . A son of former WHL/NHL F Mike Sillinger, Cole was selected with the 11th-overall pick of the 2018 bantam draft. He has two assists in four games with the Tigers.


The Spokane Chiefs have added D Michael Ladyman, 17, to their roster. The Regina Pats selected him in the fifth round of the 2016 bantam draft. . . . He already has played 22 games with the Chiefs this season, recording two assists. In 26 games with the MJHL’s Winnipeg Blues, he put up four goals and 24 assists.


If you’re a regular here, you will be aware that the OHL has disciplined the Niagara ohlIceDogs for being in violation of recruitment regulations. The IceDogs have been fined $150,000 and lost a first-round draft pick. . . . This comes a few years after the Windsor Spitfires were fined $400,000 and lost five draft picks for, yes, being in violation of recruitment regulations. . . .

“Well, now, isn’t that interesting?” writes Ken Campbell of The Hockey News. “The OHL, along with its partners in the QMJHL and WHL, have been spending the past couple of years convincing the public that many of their teams are mom-and-pop operations that would not survive without the help of ‘student-athletes’ and that to pay them any more than poverty wages would put some of their teams in peril. They’re fighting a class action lawsuit with everything they have and in many cases have successfully lobbied lawmakers to accommodate their needs when it comes to rewriting labor laws. All the while, they’re waving the flag that this beautiful Canadian institution of junior hockey is threatened if its owners are forced to pay players.”

Campbell’s complete piece is right here.


Shawn Martin has signed on as general manager and head coach of the AJHL’s Whitecourt Wolverines. For the past two seasons, Martin, who is from Wainwright, Alta., has been the Wolverines’ assistant GM and assistant coach. . . . He also has worked with three other AJHL teams — the St. Albert Steel, Grande Prairie Storm and Sherwood Park Crusaders. He also spent four seasons as GM and head coach of the SJHL’s La Ronge Ice Wolves. . . . Martin had been the Wolverines’ interim GM/head coach since Feb. 8 when Gord Thibodeau left after three years with the organization.


Danton Danielson is the new head coach of the Prince Albert Mintos of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League. Danielson takes over from long-time coach Ken Morrison, who left the position after this season ended. . . . Danielson is coaching the bantam AA Saskatoon Outlaws, who are involved in playoffs at the moment.


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Tiebreaker Tuesday in Kamloops; Blazers, Rockets in play-in game. . . . Might Warriors’ Langan, Brooks be suspended? . . . Oil Kings win Central flag


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The Kamloops Blazers and Kelowna Rockets have had so much fun this WHL regular whlseason that they’re going to take it to one more game.

On Saturday night, the Blazers scored a 4-2 victory over the Cougars in Prince George, to finish at 28-32-8, good for 64 points.

Meanwhile, in Kelowna, the Rockets went to overtime to beat the Vancouver Giants, 3-2. That left Kelowna at 28-32-8, with 64 points.

The results left the Blazers and Rockets tied for third place in the B.C. Division. The WHL’s rules call for a tiebreaker game whenever teams tie for a final playoff spot. In this instance, the Tri-City Americans and Seattle Thunderbirds have wrapped up the Western Conference’s two wild-card spots. So the B.C. Division’s third playoff spot is the last one up for grabs.

The Blazers and Rockets will decide it on Tuesday in Kamloops, starting at 7 p.m.

Why Kamloops? The first tiebreaker in deciding is regular-season victories. Each team has 28 of those. The second tiebreaker is most points in the season series between the teams. The Blazers won that, 13-10. They were 6-3-1; the Rockets were 4-4-2.

It’s worth noting that the tiebreaker game will played as though it is a playoff game. That means if the teams are tied after three periods, there will be a 15-minute intermission, followed by 20-minute sudden-death overtime periods until a winner is decided.

The winner of Tuesday’s game will meet the Victoria Royals in the first round. That series is to open with games in Victoria on Friday and Saturday.

This will be the seventh tiebreaker in WHL history. Here’s a look at the first six, courtesy of whl.ca (you will note that the visiting team won five of the six):

2015-16: Edmonton Oil Kings 6 at Medicine Hat Tigers 4.

2013-14: Prince Albert Raiders 5 at Red Deer Rebels 3.

2008-09: Edmonton Oil Kings 2 at Prince Albert Raiders 1 (OT).

1989-90: Brandon Wheat Kings 4 at Swift Current Broncos 5.

1983-84: Calgary Wranglers 8 at Saskatoon Blades 7 (OT).

1980-81: Spokane Flyers 10 at New Westminster Bruins 9 (OT).


Kevin Acheson, the WHL’s Dean of Discipline, will be watching some video and talking to people after a brouhaha at the end of the Moose Jaw Warriors’ 6-0 victory over the whlvisiting Swift Current Broncos on Saturday night.

With a 5-0 lead late and time winding down on the third period, Tim Hunter, the Warriors’ head coach, had his top guns on the ice, presumably in an attempt to get a scoring title for F Tristin Langan.

Langan already had two goals and an assist, moving him into a tie with F Joachim Blichfeld of the Portland Winterhawks atop the WHL’s scoring race, each with 113 points.

The Warriors scored their sixth goal — it went to D Daemon Hunt after video review — at 19:59 of the third period.

A brouhaha broke out at the final buzzer, and Langan ended up with a fighting major and game misconduct, while D Josh Brook was hit with a double spearing minor and a misconduct.

Langan and Brook both are repeat offenders in the eyes of the WHL. Brook served a one-game suspension for a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct in October. Langan sat out a one-game suspension for a game misconduct he incurred during a game on Feb. 2. In that one, he was given a minor for leaving the penalty box, a fighting major and a game misconduct, all at 20:00 of the third period. The suspension is believed to have been for leaving the penalty box.

On top of that, this was Langan’s third game misconduct of the season. According to WHL rules, “When a player receives his third game misconduct during the season for a combination of any major and game misconduct penalties (for which suspensions have not previously been applied), he shall receive a one-game suspension. For each subsequent game misconduct, the suspension shall be increased accordingly.”

The Warriors, who finished third in the East Division, will open a first-round best-of-seven series against the second-place Blades in Saskatoon on Friday.


The Vancouver Canucks have signed D Jett Woo of the Moose Jaw Warriors to a three-year entry-level NHL contract. . . . Woo, 18, went into Saturday with 12 goals and 50 assists in 61 games this season. . . . From Winnipeg, Woo was a second-round pick by the Canucks in the NHL’s 2018 draft. . . . The Warriors selected him fourth overall in the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft. . . . In 177 regular-season WHL games, he has 110 points, including 84 assists.


SATURDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The Edmonton Oil Kings used four second-period goals as the stepping stone to a 6-1 EdmontonOilKingsvictory over the visiting Calgary Hitmen. . . . Edmonton (41-18-8) has won 10 in a row. . . . Calgary (36-25-6) has lost three straight. . . . The outcome set in stone two more playoff series. The Oil Kings, who clinched the Central Division title, will face the Medicine Hat Tigers, the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card team, in the first round. At the same time, the Hitmen, third-place finishers in the division, will go up against the second-place Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Edmonton is 6-0-1 in the season series; Calgary is 1-5-1. . . . They’ll meet again this afternoon in Calgary. . . . F Mark Kastelic (47) gave the Hitmen a 1-0 lead at 7:30 of the first period. . . . However, the Oil Kings took over in the second period, getting goals from F Vince Loschiavo (35), on a PP, at 1:00; F Josh Williams (14), at 7:51; F Scott Atkinson, at 8:49; and F Jake Neighbours (10), at 19:44. . . . D Conner McDonald (19) and Atkinson (15) added third-period goals. . . . Edmonton G Dylan Myskiw stopped 21 shots. He now is 28-11-5, 2.53, .914.


G Roddy Ross blocked 45 shots and F Noah Philp scored twice to help the Seattle SeattleThunderbirds to a 5-2 victory over the Portland Winterhawks in Kent, Wash. . . . Seattle (30-29-8), which will meet the Vancouver Giants in the first round, has won two in a row. . . . Portland (40-21-6) has slipped to third in the U.S. Division, one point behind the Spokane Chiefs. . . . Portland is 8-3-0 in the season series; Seattle is 3-6-2. . . . They’ll wrap it up today in Portland. . . . Philp gave Seattle a 1-0 lead at 4:38 of the first period. . . . F Noah Volcan (27) made it 2-0 with his 100th career goal 14 seconds into the second period. . . . Seattle went ahead 3-0 when F Matthew Wedman (40) scored, on a PP, 32 seconds into the third. . . . Portland got to within a goal as D Jared Freadrich (14) struck, on a PP, at 5:47, and F Josh Paterson (24) scored at 11:09. . . . Philp, who also had an assist, added his 26th goal at 15:12 and D Owen Williams (6) got an empty-netter at 18:37. . . . F Joachim Blichfeld of the Winterhawks had 11 shots on goal, but couldn’t score. He finished with one assist, giving him 113 points. With one game to play, he is tied with F Tristin Langan of the Moose Jaw Warriors for the WHL scoring lead. . . . Portland F Reece Newkirk had a busy night with two assists, five shots on goal, a minor penalty, a misconduct and a game misconduct. . . . Ross, a January addition to Seattle’s roster, is 16-5-3, 2.76, .919. . . . G Shane Farkas blocked 33 shots for Portland. . . . The Winterhawks had F Seth Jarvis and D Matt Quigley back in uniform, but F Cody Glass and D John Ludvig remain out.


G Brodan Salmond earned the shutout and F Tristin Langan scored twice as the host MooseJawWarriorsMoose Jaw Warriors beat the Swift Current Broncos, 6-0. . . . Moose Jaw (40-20-8) has won three in a row. It will meet the Blades in a first-round series that opens Friday in Saskatoon. . . . Swift Current (11-51-6), the WHL’s defending champion, finished with the league’s poorest record. The Broncos were blanked four times in their last seven games. All told, they were shut out 10 times in 68 games. . . . Salmond, who finished with 22 saves, has two shutouts this season and five in his career. . . . Langan finished with two goals, giving him 53, and an assist. . . . The Warriors also got goals from F Carson Denomie (8), F Justin Almeida (33), F Kjell Kjemhus (3) and D Daemon Hunt (7). . . . Almeida also had two assists. . . . Langan finished with 113 points and is tied with F Joachim Blichfeld of the Portland Winterhawks for the WHL scoring lead. Blichfeld and the Winterhawks are at home to the Seattle Thunderbirds today. . . . Blichfeld and Langan lead the league in goals (53). . . . Almeida is third in the scoring race, with 111 points. He is No. 1 in assists, with 78. . . . The Warriors were without F Brayden Tracey, who is likely to be named the WHL’s top rookie, for a second straight game. . . . Dean Brockman, the Broncos’ head coach, missed his club’s last three games as he was on a scouting junket. Assistant coach Brandin Cote went 1-2-0 in his absence.


F Noah Gregor scored twice to help the host Prince Albert Raiders to a 3-1 victory over PrinceAlbertthe Saskatoon Blades. . . . Prince Albert (54-10-4) finished with the WHL’s best record. It will meet the Red Deer Rebels in the first round of playoffs. . . . Saskatoon (45-15-8) had won its previous eight games. It will face the Moose Jaw Warriors in the first round. . . . F Sean Montgomery, playing in his franchise-record 345th regular-season game with the Raiders, gave his guys a 1-0 lead with his 29th goal, at 8:05 of the first period. . . . Gregor, who has 43 goals, upped that to 3-0 at 10:23 of the first, on a PP, and 17:12 of the second, while shorthanded. . . . F Max Gerlach (42) scored for Saskatoon at 16:04 of the third period. . . . G Ian Scott stopped 24 shots to earn the victory. He finished 38-8-3, 1.83, .932. . . . G Dorrin Luding stopped 29 shots for the Blades. . . . Prince Albert was 1-8 on the PP; Saskatoon was 0-6. . . . D Alex Ozar, who is from Prince Albert, took the warmup with the Blades but was scratched. A fifth-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft, he played for the midget AAA Prince Albert Mintos. . . . At the same time, the Raiders had F Cohner Saleski, who is from Saskatoon in their lineup. The 17th overall pick in the 2017 draft, he also played for the Mintos. . . . The Raiders scratched F Dante Hannoun for a second straight game, along with F Justin Nachbaur.


The Kamloops Blazers scored the game’s last three goals — all in the last six minutes of Kamloops1the third period — to beat the Cougars, 4-2, in Prince George. . . . Kamloops (28-32-8) is points in six straight (5-0-1). After 68 games, it is tied with the Kelowna Rockets for third place in the B.C. Division. The Blazers and Rockets will meet Tuesday in Kamloops with the victor getting the division’s last playoff spot. . . . Prince George (19-41-8) had won its previous two games, including a 5-4 OT victory in Kamloops on Friday night. . . . Kamloops won the season series, 7-0-2; Prince George was 2-6-1. . . . Last night, F Kobe Mohr (9) gave Kamloops a 1-0 lead at 8:48 of the second period. . . . Prince George went ahead 2-1 on goals from F Vladislav Mikhalchuk (25), at 11:50 of the second, and D Cole Moberg (13), shorthanded, at 14:39 of the third. . . . F Jermaine Loewen tied it 15 seconds later, and F Connor Zary (24) snapped the tie, shorthanded, at 17:15. . . . Loewen (28) iced it with the empty-netter at 19:11. . . . Zary also had two assists. . . . With G Dylan Ferguson out, G Dylan Garand made his sixth straight start for the Blazers and stopped 29 shots. . . . G Taylor Gauthier stopped 21 shots for the Cougars.


F Adam Beckman scored three times and added an assist as the host Spokane Chiefs SpokaneChiefsdumped the Tri-City Americans, 10-1. . . . Spokane (40-21-7) has won three in a row. It moved past Portland and into second in the U.S. Division, one point ahead of the Winterhawks. Portland has one game remaining; it is at home to the Seattle Thunderbirds today. . . . Spokane and Portland will play in the first round of playoffs, but home-ice advantage won’t be decided until today’s game. . . . Tri-City (34-28-6) has lost five straight (0-3-2). It will meet the Everett Silvertips in the first round of the playoffs. . . . In the Spokane/Tri-City season series, each team was 6-5-1. . . . Beckman, a 17-year-old freshman from Saskatoon, finished with 62 points, including 32 goals, in 68 games. . . . F Bear Hughes, playing in his second WHL game, scored his first two goals fro the Chiefs. Hughes, who is from Post Falls, Idaho, had made his WHL debut on Friday night. He spent this season with the junior B Spokane Braves. . . . Spokane also got goals from D Nolan Reid (17), F Ethan McIndoe (16), F Luc Smith (28), F Cordel Larson (7) and F Jake McGrew (31). . . . F Nolan Yaremko (28) scored for Tri-City, while shorthanded, in the first period. . . . Spokane F Eli Zummack had three assists, while McIndoe added two assists to his goal. . . . G Bailey Brkin stopped 19 shots for the Chiefs. . . . Freshman Talyn Boyko went the distance for the Americans, allowing 10 goals on 47 shots.


F Mark Liwiski’s goal in OT gave the Kelowna Rockets a 3-2 victory over the visiting KelownaRocketsVancouver Giants. . . . Kelowna (28-32-8) had lost its previous four games (0-2-2). . . . Vancouver (48-15-5) has points in four straight (3-0-1). . . . Vancouver finished atop the Western Conference and will meet the Seattle Thunderbirds in a first-round series. . . . Kelowna is tied with Kamloops for third place in the B.C. Division. They will meet in a game in Kamloops on Tuesday, with the winner advancing to the playoffs and the loser going home. . . . Vancouver went 7-0-2 in the season series; Kelowna was 2-7-0. . . . F Justin Sourdif (23) gave Vancouver a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 12:46 of the first period. . . . Kelowna tied it at 14:06 as D Cayde Augustine (2) scored. . . . The Rockets took a 2-1 lead at 15:29 of the second period on a goal by F Alex Swetlikoff (6). . . . Giants F Jadon Joseph (22) forced OT with a goal at 19:27 of the third period. . . . Liwiski, in his second game since serving a three-game suspension, won it with his 11th goal, at 3:40 of extra time. . . . Kelowna got 19 saves from G Roman Basran. . . . G David Tendeck stopped 32 shots for the Giants. . . . The Giants, who clinched first place in the Western Conference on Friday night, scratched D Bowen Byram, F Davis Koch, D Dylan Plouffe and D Seth Bafaro. . . . The Rockets were without D Lassi Thomson for a third straight game.


F Martin Fasko-Rudas scored three times to help the host Everett Silvertips to a 5-1 Everettvictory over the Victoria Royals. . . . Everett (47-16-5) had lost three in a row (0-2-1). It finished atop the U.S. Division and will face the Tri-City Americans in the first round of the playoffs. . . . Victoria (34-30-4) will face the Kamloops Blazers or Kelowna Rockets in the first round. . . . Everett went 2-1-1 in the season series; Victoria was 2-2-0. . . . Fasko-Rudas, who finished with 15 goals, scored his first career hat trick as Everett opened up a 5-0 lead. . . . F Dawson Butt (9) and F Jalen Price (7) also scored for the Silvertips. . . . F D-Day Jerome (23) had Victoria’s only goal. . . . G Max Palaga stopped 18 shots for Everett. . . . Victoria got 39 stops from G Brock Gould. . . . Victoria dressed 16 skaters after scratching D Mitchell Prowse, D Jameson Murray, D Scott Walford, D Matt Smith, F Sean Gulka, F Kody McDonald, D Jake Kustra and F Kaid Oliver. . . . F Connor Dewar, F Bryce Kindopp, F Zack Andrusiak and D Wyatte Wylie were among Everett’s scratches. The Silvertips went with 17 skaters.


F Luca Burzan’s shootout goal gave the Brandon Wheat Kings a 5-4 victory over the BrandonWKregularvisiting Regina Pats in a game between two teams that won’t be in the playoffs. . . . Brandon (31-29-8) had lost its previous five games. . . . Regina (19-45-4) won the season series, 4-2-2; Brandon was 4-4-0. . . . The Wheat Kings took a 2-0 lead on goals from D Braydyn Chizen (3), at 0:19 of the first period, and F Linden McCorrister (14), shorthanded, at 5:58. . . . F Carter Massier (5) got Regina’s first  goal at 11:45. . . . Brandon F Connor Gutenberg (16) restored the two-goal lead at 11:45 of the second period. He also had three assists for his first career four-point game. . . . F Ty Kolle pulled Regina even with goals at 17:33 of the second and 4:41 of the third, the latter via a PP. He’s got 16 goals. . . . F Ben McCartney (21) put Brandon back out front at 12:34, only to have Regina F Austin Pratt (25) tie it at 16:30. . . . Burzan won it in the fifth round of the shootout. . . . Kolle had a three-point out as he also had an assist. . . . Brandon got 34 stops from G Ethan Kruger. . . . G Max Paddock stopped 38 shots for the Pats.


F Nick Henry scored two goals to help the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 3-2 victory over the LethbridgeTigers in Medicine Hat. . . . Lethbridge (40-18-10) has won eight in a row. . . . Medicine Hat (35-27-6) had won its previous three games. . . . Lethbridge will face the Calgary Hitmen in the first round of the playoffs, while Medicine Hat is to meet the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Lethbridge won the season series, 7-1-2; Medicine Hat was 3-7-0. . . . F Brett Kemp (33) gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 17:48 of the first period. . . . Lethbridge scored the next three goals. . . . Henry, who finished with 29 goals, scored at 19:39 of the first and 5:58 of the second. . . . F Jake Elmer’s 39th goal, shorthanded, gave the Hurricanes a 3-1 lead at 10:55. . . . F Ryan Jevne (32) got the Tigers to within a goal at 14:24 of the third period. . . . G Bryan Thomson made 29 saves for the Hurricanes. . . . The Tigers got 29 saves from G Jordan Hollett. . . . Medicine Hat scratched D Dylan MacPherson and F James Hamblin. . . . D Igor Merezhko was among Lethbridge’s scratches.


Tweetoftheday

It’s a big day in Allan, Sask. . . . No playoffs for Wheaties. . . . Blazers, Rockets all even in third. . . . Giants clinch conference flag

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This is going to be a great day in Allan, Sask. That’s because the folks there are in the HumboldtBroncosmiddle of their winter festival, and they will be taking time to rename the local arena in honour of the late Logan Schatz, who was the captain of the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos. The Allan and District Communiplex is to be renamed the Logan Schatz Memorial Arena. . . . Allan is located about 60 km southeast of Saskatoon. . . . Schatz, a native of Allan, was finishing up his fourth season with the Broncos when he was killed in the April 6 bus crash. . . . The dedication ceremony also will involved the unveiling of signage inside and outside the arena. Angie Rolheiser of northeastnow.com writes that the “signs were made by Humboldt Collegiate Institute industrial arts teacher Brian Hinz, who also taught Logan while he attended HCI.” . . . It is only fitting that there will be a hockey game in the Logan Schatz Memorial Arena tonight, with the Allan Senior Flames meeting the Kinistino Tigers in Game 2 of a Wheatland Hockey League playoff series. . . . Rolheiser’s story is right here.


There is an interesting conundrum in Kamloops where the Blazers ran out of goaltenders and had one on their bench Friday night whose WHL rights belong to the Everett Silvertips.

This all started on March 6 when Kamloops starter Dylan Ferguson, 20, was injured Kamloops1during a 5-0 loss to the visiting Vancouver Giants.

The Blazers immediately brought in Rayce Ramsay, who turned 18 on Jan. 3, from the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos to back up Dylan Garand. In Ferguson’s absence Garand, a 16-year-old freshman from Victoria, made his fifth straight start last night as the Blazers lost, 5-4 in OT, to the visiting Prince George Cougars.

Ramsay was on the bench for the first four of those starts, but he couldn’t make it five because he had to return to Humboldt as the Broncos started a playoff series in Estevan against the Bruins last night. Ramsay made 29 saves as the Broncos opened with a 4-1 victory.

In the end, the Blazers were able to add G Danton Belluk to their roster as an emergency backup, getting him, with the WHL’s approval, on loan from the Silvertips. Under emergency conditions, Belluk will only be able to play should Garand be injured.

Belluk, 17, is from Lorette, Man. A 10th-round pick of the Silvertips in the 2016 bantam draft, he spent this season with the midget AAA Eastman Selects. Last season, he got into two games with the Silvertips.


Two WHL veteran forwards signed three-year entry-level NHL contracts on Friday.

Trey Fix-Wolansky, the captain of the Edmonton Oil Kings, signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets, who selected him in the seventh round of the NHL’s 2018 draft. Fix-Wolansky, 19, has 101 points, including 37 goals, in 63 games. He has single-season career highs in goals, assists and points. . . . From Edmonton, he has 244 points, including 151 assists, in 204 career regular-season WHL games over three seasons, all with the Oil Kings. . . . He wasn’t selected in the WHL bantam draft. . . .

Jake Elmer, an undrafted free agent, signed with the New York Rangers. He has 38 goals and 41 assists in 67 games. Elmer, who turned 20 on Dec. 31, is from Calgary. The Regina Pats selected him in the sixth round of the WHL’s 2013 bantam draft. . . . They dealt him to the Kootenay Ice and he later was moved to the Hurricanes. Last season, he finished with 18 goals and 19 assists in 70 games with Lethbridge. . . . In 203 career regular-season games, he has 63 goals and 69 assists.


If you have attended a WHL game or a show at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops, you may have seen Freda and/or Howard Brown. Both of them have been heavily involved with the volunteers and security at the arena; Freda also looked after the media and scouts in the press box for a number of years. . . . Freda now is dealing with kidney disease — she started dialysis earlier this month — and is hoping that a transplant is in her future. Howard has proven to be a match, and he now is going through the testing process to see if he can be the donor. . . . With Thursday having been World Kidney Day, they told their story to CFJC-TV in Kamloops, and it’s all right here. There is a story here, as well as video.


The Trinity Western Spartans won their second straight BCIHL championship on Friday TWUnight, beating the Vancouver Island Mariners, 9-1, in Aldergrove, B.C., to sweep the best-of-three series. . . . The Spartans are the first team to successfully defend its BCIHL championship since the Castlegar, B.C.-based Selkirk College Saints won in 2014-15 and 2015-16. . . . TWU finished the regular season at 18-5-0, then went 4-0 in the playoffs. Over the past two seasons, the Spartans’ combined record is 47-8-1. . . . TWU has applied for admission to Canada West in time for the 2020-21 season. A decision is expected later this year.


Darren Granger started in the hockey business as the assistant equipment manager with the Brandon Wheat Kings. That was about 25 years ago. He now has been in the NHL since 1992, first with the Vancouver Canucks as their assistant equipment manager. Since 2006, he has been the head equipment manager for the Los Angeles Kings. . . . Curtis Zupke of the Los Angeles Times has more on Granger right here.


FRIDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The Brandon Wheat Kings had their playoff hopes come to an end as they were beaten, Pats5-4, by the host Regina Pats. . . . Regina (19-45-3) had lost its previous seven games. . . . Brandon (30-29-8) has lost five in a row. The Wheat Kings are four points away from a playoff spot but have only one game remaining. . . . The same teams will play again tonight, this time in Brandon. . . . Regina is 4-2-1 in the season series; Brandon is 3-4-0. . . . The Pats won this one with three goals in the span of 1:31 in the third period. . . . Regina D Liam Schioler (5) tied the score, 3-3, at 9:13 of the third period. . . . D Brett Clayton (5) broke the tie at 9:47. . . . F Sergei Alkhimov (13) upped Regina’s lead to 5-3 at 10:44. . . . F Luka Burzan (40) got the Wheaties to within a goal at 11:40 but they weren’t able to get even. . . . Brandon F Ben McCartney shot wide on a penalty shot at 15:43 of the third period. . . . F Cole Reinhardt (22) and Burzan had given Brandon a 2-0 first-period lead. . . . F Cole Dubinsky (5), on a PP, and Alkhimov got Regina even in the second period, and Brandon D Braydyn Chizen (2) gave his guys a 3-2 lead at 1:12 of the third. . . . G Dean McNabb stopped 34 shots for Regina. . . . The Wheat Kings got 39 stops from G Jiri Patera.


F Vladislav Mikhalchuk scored in OT to give the Prince George Cougars a 5-4 victory over PrinceGeorgethe Blazers in Kamloops. . . . Prince George (19-40-8) has won two in a row. . . . Kamloops (27-32-8) has points in five straight (4-0-1). It is tied with the Kelowna Rockets for third place in the B.C. Division. If they are tied after tonight’s games, they will meet in a sudden-death play-in game in Kamloops on Tuesday night. . . . They Blazers and Cougars will play again tonight, this time in Prince George. . . . Kamloops is 6-0-2 in the season series; Prince George is 2-5-1. . . . The Cougars erased a 2-1 deficit with three goals in the first half of the third period. Mikhalchuk tied the game at 1:11; F Josh Curtis (13) gave the Cougars the lead at 6:51; and F Mike MacLean came out of the penalty to score his fifth goal of the season on a breakaway at 9:50. . . . F Kyrell Sopotyk (13) got Kamloops to within a goal, on a PP, at 13:39, and F Connor Zary (23) tied it from a scramble at 19:04 with G Dylan Garand on the bench for the extra attacker. . . . The Blazers held possession for most of the OT, but got a bit too fancy in the offensive zone and gave up a 2-on-1 with Mikhalchuk and Curtis going the other way. Mikhalchuk ended it with his 24th goal of the season. . . . D Rhett Rhinehart (5) scored Prince George’s first goal, with F Kobe Mohr (8) and F Ryley Appelt (5) giving Kamloops a 2-1 lead. . . . Mikhalchuk finished with two goals and two assists, while Curtis added two assists to his goal. . . . Zary also had three points, as he, too, had two helpers. . . . The Cougars got 26 saves from G Taylor Gauthier. . . . Garand stopped 24 shots for Kamloops. . . . The Blazers scratched D Joonas Sillanpää, their Finnish freshman, for a third straight game.


F Max Gerlach broke a 2-2 tie in the third period to give the Saskatoon Blades a 3-2 Saskatoonvictory over the visiting Prince Albert Raiders. . . . Saskatoon (45-14-8) has won eight in a row, and 14 of 15. It also has won nine in a row on home ice. The Blades will finish second in the East Division. They open a first-round series against the Moose Jaw Warriors on March 22 in Saskatoon. . . . Prince Albert (53-10-4) had won its previous three games. The Raiders will finish atop the Eastern Conference and meet the Red Deer Rebels, the second wild-card team, in the first round. . . . Season series: Prince Albert, 5-2-0; Saskatoon, 2-4-1. . . . These two teams will play tonight in Prince Albert. . . . F Parker Kelly (35) gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead at 1:21 of the first period. . . . The Blades went ahead 2-1 on goals from D Brandon Schuldhaus (8), at 5:44, and F Ryan Hughes (30), on a PP, at 0:37 of the second period. . . . F Noah Gregor (41) got the visitors into a 2-2 tie, on a PP, at 4:49 of the third period. . . . Gerlach won it with his 41st goal, on a PP, at 7:17. . . . G Nolan Maier stopped 28 shots for the Blades. . . . Prince Albert G Ian Scott, who stopped 29 shots, went into the game riding three straight shutouts. His shutout streak ended at a franchise-record 185:44 when Schuldhaus scored. The Raiders’ previous record (128:32) had been set by G Craig Hordal in 1995-96. . . . Saskatoon D Dawson Davidson played in his 300th regular-season game. . . . The Raiders’ scratches included F Dante Hannoun.


F Jake Leschyshyn scored three times to help the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 4-3 victory Lethbridgeover the host Red Deer Rebels. . . . Lethbridge (39-18-10) has won seven in a row. It is tied with the Edmonton Oil Kings for top spot in the Central Division. The Oil Kings will go home-and-home with the Calgary Hitmen this afternoon and Sunday afternoon. The Hurricanes will meet the Tigers in Medicine Hat tonight. . . . Red Deer (33-28-6) has lost three straight. Despite the loss, the Rebels clinched the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot when the Brandon Wheat Kings lost. Red Deer will meet the conference-champion Prince Albert Raiders in the first round. . . . Lethbridge won the season series, 4-1-1; Red Deer was 2-3-1. . . . F Dylan Cozens (34) and Leschyshyn, on a PP, gave the Hurricanes a 2-0 lead with goals 30 seconds apart in the first period. . . . The Rebels tied it on two goals from F Reese Johnson, at 9:13 of the first period and 5:18 of the second. . . . Leschyshyn put the Hurricanes back out front at 12:58. . . . Johnson completed his third hat trick of the season by scoring his 27th goal at 13:41. . . . Leschyshyn’s 40th goal, at 4:15 of the third period, stood up as the winner. He’s got three career hat tricks; this was his first with Lethbridge, which acquired him from the Regina Pats this season. . . . G Carl Tetachuk earned the victory with 27 saves, two fewer than Red Deer’s Ethan Anders.


The Moose Jaw Warriors set a franchise record for most road victories in a season with a MooseJawWarriors6-1 victory over the Broncos in Swift Currrent. . . . Moose Jaw (39-20-8) has won two in a row. It will finish third in the East Division and meet the Saskatoon Blades in a first-round playoff series. . . . The Warriors won 24 road games this season, one more than last season’s team. . . . Swift Current (11-50-6) will travel to Moose Jaw tonight. . . . Season series: Moose Jaw, 4-0-1; Swift Current, 1-3-1. . . . The Warriors got two goals and two assists from F Justin Almeida, who now has 108 points, including 76 assists. Almeida, who has had 12 career games with at least four points, leads the WHL in assists and is third in points, four points behind Portland Winterhawks F Joachim Blichfeld and two behind teammate Tristin Langan, who had one assist. . . . The Warriors also got goals from F Carson Denomie (7), F Keenan Taphorn (15), F Daniil Stepanov (8) and D Josh Brook (16). . . . Almeida and Stepanov each scored while shorthanded. . . . F Brayden Tracey was among Moose Jaw’s scratches.


Shivers
After being open for 690 Kootenay Ice games, Shivers concession stand will end its run when the team leaves for Winnipeg after Sunday’s game. “Thank you Kootenay Ice and hockey fans,” reads the sign. “Shivers opened on Sept 12, 2001. Since opening we have served you for 690 Kootenay Ice hockey games.” It is signed: “Ramona and Staff.”

F Ryan Jevne scored once and added two assists to lead the Medicine Hat Tigers to a 5-2 Tigers Logo Officialvictory over the Kootenay Ice in Cranbrook. . . . Medicine Hat (35-26-6) has won three in a row. With the victory, it clinched the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot. The Tigers will play the Central Division champion, either the Edmonton Oil Kings or Lethbridge Hurricanes, in the first round. . . . Kootenay (12-45-10) has lost six in a row. . . . The Tigers won the season series, 5-1-0; the Ice was 1-4-1. . . . F Tyler Preziuso (21), Jevne (31) and F Ryan Chyzowski (27), on a PP, gave the Tigers a 3-0 lead in the first period. . . . D Linus Nassen (7) made it 4-0 at 12:58 of the second. . . . D Marco Creta (4) and F Holden Kodak (2) scored for the Ice in the third period, before F Brett Kemp (32) got an empty-netter for Medicine Hat. . . . Ice G Jesse Makaj stopped 51 shots, 22 more than the Tigers’ Mads Sogaard. . . . Kootenay F Austin Schellenberg left in the first period with an undisclosed injury and didn’t return. . . . The Ice brought in D Anson McMaster, 16, for the final two games of the season. A second-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft, he had been with the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers. . . . The Ice has one home game remaining, Sunday afternoon against the Red Deer Rebels, and its stay in Cranbrook will be over. The franchise is relocating to Winnipeg.


The Victoria Royals got 35 saves from G Griffen Outhouse and two shootout goals to beat VictoriaRoyalsthe visiting Everett Silvertips, 3-2. . . . Victoria (34-29-4) had lost its previous four games. It will finish second in the B.C. Division and meet with the Kamloops Blazers or Kelowna Rockets in the first round. . . . Everett (46-16-5) has lost three in a row (0-4-1). It will finish atop the U.S. Division, and will see the Tri-City Americans in the first round. . . . Victoria is 2-1-0 in the season series; Everett is 1-1-1. . . . These two teams will meet again tonight in Everett. . . . Last night, F Connor Dewar (36) gave Everett a 1-0 lead at 1:15 of the first period, only to have Victoria F Brandon Cutler tie it 17 seconds later. . . . Everett went ahead 2-1 as F Martin Fasko-Rudas (12) scored at 8:59 of the second period. . . . Cutler tied it with his 14th goal of the season, just 57 seconds later. . . . Victoria got shootout goals from D Ralph Jarratt and F Igor Martynov, with F Bryce Kindopp the only Everett shooter to score. . . . G Dustin Wolf stopped 28 shots for the Silvertips. . . . F Lucas Cullen, 19, who spent his season with the BCHL’s West Kelowna Warriors, made his Everett debut. . . . The Royals scratched D Mitchell Prowse, D Jameson Murray, D Matt Smith, F Tyus Gent, F Kody McDonald, D Jake Kustra and F Kaid Oliver. . . . They had 16 skaters dressed, including two APs — D Kaden Reinders and D Noah Lamb.


F Jake McGrew enjoyed his third career hat trick to lead the Spokane Chiefs to a 5-3 SpokaneChiefsvictory over the Tri-City Americans in Kennewick, Wash. . . . Spokane (39-21-7) has won two in a row. It is third in the U.S. Division, one point behind the Portland Winterhawks. The Chiefs have one game remaining. The Winterhawks will play the Seattle Thunderbirds tonight and again Sunday. . . . Portland and Spokane will be first-round opponents. . . . Tri-City (34-27-6) has lost four straight (0-2-2). It will be the Western Conference’s first wild-card team and will meet the Everett Silvertips in the first round. . . . Season series: Tri-City, 6-4-1; Spokane, 5-5-1. . . . The Chiefs and Americans will play again tonight, this time in Spokane. . . . McGrew, on a PP, and D Roman Kalinichenko (2) gave the Chiefs an early 2-0 lead. . . . F Parker AuCoin, who scored 21 goals last season, got his 42nd of this season for the Americans at 13:34 of the opening period. He also had two assists in this one. . . . McGrew added his second goal at 19:15. . . . Chiefs F Luke Toporowski gave his guys a 3-2 lead at 13:18 of the second period. . . . Tri-City F Krystof Hrabik (21) tied it, on a PP, at 2:35 of the third. . . . Spokane D Filip Kral (10) broke the tie at 18:12, and McGrew completed his hat trick by scoring his 30th goal into an empty net at 19:03. . . . The Chiefs got 25 saves from G Reece Klassen, while Tri-City’s Talyn Boyko blocked 39 shots. . . . The Chiefs scratched F Jaret Anderson-Dolan, F Riley Woods, D Ty Smith and F Eli Zummack. F Bear Hughes, who played this season with the junior B Spokane Braves, made his WHL debut.


D Dylan Plouffe scored a late PP goal to give the Vancouver Giants a 2-1 victory over the VancouverKelowna Rockets in Langley, B.C. . . . Vancouver (48-15-4) has won three in a row. With the victory, the Giants clinched first place in the Western Conference and will meet the Seattle Thunderbirds in the first round. . . . Kelowna (27-32-8) has lost four in a row (0-2-2). It is tied for third with the Kamloops Blazers in the B.C. Division. Each team has one game remaining — the Rockets will entertain the Giants tonight, while the Blazers are playing the Cougars in Prince George. . . . Should the Blazers and Rockets end up tied for third place, a sudden-death play-in game will be held in Kamloops on Tuesday night. . . . Vancouver is 7-0-1 in the season series with Kelowna, which is 1-7-0. . . . D Alex Kannok Leipert (5) gave Vancouver a 1-0 lead at 3:36 of the second period. . . . Kelowna F Kyle Crosby (7) tied it at 11:01. . . . Plouffe won it with his eighth goal of the season, at 16:50 of the third period. . . . The Giants got 17 stops from G Trent Miner. . . . Kelowna G Roman Basran stopped 29 shots. . . . Vancouver was 1-1 on the PP; Kelowna was 0-1. . . . The Rockets continue to play without D Lassi Thomson (concussion).


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Rebels’ Radar reaches milestone. . . . Ice’s run in Kootenays almost over. . . . Chiefs add a Bear to their roster

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Wednesday was the last day of the regular season in Finland’s Liiga. . . . F Malte Strömwall (Tri-City, 2011-13), playing for KooKoo Kouvola, finished the season leading the league in goals and points. In 52 games, he put up 57 points, including 30 goals. . . . Strömwall is the first player from KooKoo to win either title. He also is the first points leader in 31 years and the first goal leader in 24 years from a team that missed the playoffs. KooKoo finished in 13th place. . . . F Aleksi Heponiemi (Swift Current, 2016-18), playing for Kärpät Oulu, led all Liiga rookies in assists (30) and points (46), in 50 games. . . . Heponiemi led his team in points, tied for the lead in assists for first-place Kärpät, finished in 12th place overall in points & 13th place overall in assists.


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Dave (Radar) Horning was in Cranbrook for the Kootenay Ice’s first WHL game, and he’ll be there Sunday for the last one. . . . Horning is the equipment manager for the Red Deer Rebels, and he worked his 2,000th game on Tuesday night. . . . Byron Hackett of the Red Deer Advocate has more on one of the WHL’s good guys right here.


F Tristan Zandee has made a commitment to the Colorado College Tigers. Zandee, 15, is from Chestermere, Alta., and was a second-round selection by the Calgary Hitmen in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. . . . Zandee made the announcement via Twitter on Thursday evening. . . . He had 20 goals and 14 assists in 32 games with the midget Airdrie CFR Bisons this season. He also was pointless in one game with the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints.


The Kootenay Ice’s first home game? On Sept. 26, 1998, F Jarret Stoll had two goals and two assists to lead the Ice to a 6-3 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . D Steve McCarthy, F Andy Penny, F Kyle Wanvig and F Mike Green also scored for Kootenay. . . . Red Deer goals came from F Kevin Marsh, with two, and F Shawn McNeil. . . . G Clayton Pool stopped 38 shots for the Ice. . . . Dustin Schwartz and Shane Bendera combined for 26 saves for the Rebels.

——

The Kootenay Ice is to entertain the Medicine Hat Tigers tonight in Cranbrook, B.C., and the Red Deer Rebels come calling on Sunday.

After that game, the curtain will drop on 21 seasons of the WHL in the Kootenays.

Owners Greg Fettes and Matt Cockell are taking the Ice to Winnipeg, choosing to leave Cranbrook’s 4,264-seat Western Financial Place to spend at least two seasons in the U of Manitoba’s Wayne Fleming Arena, which right now has about 1,400 seats, as they await construction of a new facility.

The Ice (12-44-10) is in the process of missing the playoffs for a fourth straight season. Last season, its first under the ownership of Fettes and Cockell, it finished 27-38-7.



The Spokane Chiefs have added F Bear Hughes, a 17-year-old native of Post Falls, Idaho, SpokaneChiefsto their roster. . . . Hughes, who signed a WHL contract in January, spent this season with the junior B Spokane Braves of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. He led the team with 66 points, including 41 goals, and was named the league’s top rookie. . . . In the playoffs, he added six goals and four assists in seven games. . . . Hughes is the second player off the Braves to have been added to the Chiefs’ roster this week. G Campbell Arnold, who turned 17 on Jan. 2, is from Nanaimo, B.C. He was a second-round pick by the Chiefs in the 2017 WHL bantam draft.



The MJHL’s Neepawa Natives have signed Craig Anderson as head scout and assistant Neepawageneral manager, while adding Kori Pearson as director of U,S. scouting. . . . Both are former Neepawa players. . . . Anderson, from Brandon, played two seasons (1993-95) with the Natives, then played for the Brandon U Bobcats. . . . Anderson served in a similar capacity with the MJHL’s Winkler Flyers when Ken Pearson was the GM/head coach there. Pearson now is the Natives’ GM/head coach. . . . Kori Pearson played three seasons (1993-96) with the Natives, then played with Dakota College in Bottineau, N.D., and Concordia, Minn., College. He now is an assistant coach with the East Ridge Raptors of the Minnesota High School Hockey League, while living in Cottage Grove, Minn. He also worked under Ken Pearson as Winkler’s director of U.S. scouting.


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Tigers, Thunderbirds grab playoff spots. . . .Wheaties’ hopes rather dim. . . . Blazers now one point behind Rockets

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As was suggested might happen here earlier in the week, the Everett Silvertips have Everettadded F Lucas Cullen, 19, to their roster. . . . Cullen spent the season with the BCHL’s West Kelowna Warriors, putting up 50 points, including 26 goals, in 49 regular-season games, then adding seven goals and three assists in seven playoff games. . . . Cullen is from Kelowna. The Calgary Hitmen selected him in the fifth round of the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft. He played 48 games with them over three seasons, scoring four times and adding five assists.


D Ty Mueller announced via Twitter that he has made a commitment to the U of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks starting with the 2021-22 season. Mueller, who turned 16 on Feb. 26, is from Cochrane, Alta. He played this season with the midget AAA Airdrie CFR Bisons, putting up 10 goals and 24 assists in 34 games. . . . He also had one goal in two games with the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers. . . . Mueller was selected by the Prince George Cougars in the third round of the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft.


D Tyler Bates of the Calgary-based Edge School midget prep team, has committed to the Colorado College Tigers for the 2021-22 season. . . . Bates, 16, was picked by the Medicine Hat Tigers in the 11th round of the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. . . . This season, he had two goals and 26 assists in 35 games with Edge School. He also had three assists in four games with the AJHL’s Brooks Bandits.


The MJHL’s Winkler Flyers are looking for a head coach after announcing that they won’t Winklerbe renewing Steve Mullin’s contract. Mullin spent six seasons as an assistant coach with the Flyers, then took over as head coach prior to this season when Ken Pearson stepped aside to focus on his general manager’s duties. The Flyers and Pearson parted company on Feb. 19, he since has been named GM and head coach of the MJHL’s Neepawa Natives. . . . This season, the Flyers finished 23-32-5 and missed the playoffs for the first time since the spring of 1981. . . . Jeff Jeanson has taken over the general manager’s duties.


The midget AAA Prince Albert Mintos are looking for a new head coach following the resignation of Ken Morrison. This season, Morrison drew a seven-game suspension following Game 1 of the playoffs. According to Jeff D’Andrea of panow.com, Morrison became involved in an argument with the on-ice officials after the game. “Morrison received two games for the argument itself against the officials,” D’Andrea wrote, “four games for being a repeat offender, and another game for the misconduct coming within the last 10 minutes of the game.” . . . The Mintos’ season ended on Sunday as they lost a best-of-five series in five games to the Saskatoon Blazers. . . . Assistant coach Bryan Swystun ran the Mintos’ bench in Morrison’s absence. . . . Morrison played four seasons (1982-86) in the WHL — the first three plus 15 games with the Prince Albert Raiders and the last 57 games with the Kamloops Blazers. In his final season, he scored 83 goals in 72 games, including 69 in 57 games with Kamloops. That season, he finished with 150 points.


A GoFundMe page has been launched in an attempt to help Lyle Frank and his mother.

Here’s what is on the page:

“Lyle came to the West Kootenays as a 19-year-old junior hockey player. He played his career for the junior B Beaver Valley Nitehawks of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, and loved the area and people so much that he made the Kootenays his home.

“He has coached minor hockey, plays commercial league hockey and got an apprenticeship at Curlew Refrigeration because of his tremendous work ethic. Just last week, Lyle, who will be 24 on April 8, donated a kidney. He initially hoped he would be a match for his Mom, but when he wasn’t he still decided to donate.

“Lyle and his Mom will be off work for the next few months recovering. If you can find it in your heart to help this extraordinary young man, please donate to or give a cash donation at the Smokies games and BV Nitehawks games.”

The GoFundMe page is right here.

Lyle played for the KIJHL-champion Nitehawks in 2013-14 and through 2015-16. He gave a kidney through the Kidney Paired Donation (KPD) program, where he donates one, but only if his mother gets one from someone else in the program.

Here’s wishing the best to both of them. And, yes, Lyle is a hero!

There’s more on the KPD program right here.


WEDNESDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The Moose Jaw Warriors struck for the game’s first three goals en route to a 6-2 victory MooseJawWarriorsover the Wheat Kings in Brandon. . . . Moose Jaw (38-20-8) will finish third in the East Division and meet the Saskatoon Blades in a first-round series. . . . Brandon (30-28-8) has lost four in a row. It is four points from a playoff spot with only two games remaining. . . . Moose Jaw won the season series, 5-3-1; Brandon was 4-4-1. . . . Moose Jaw went ahead 3-0 on first-period goals from F Yegor Buyalski (6), at 3:46; F Brayden Tracey (36), at 12:56; and F Tristin Langan (51), on a PP, at 14:30. . . . The Wheat Kings got to within a goal as F Stelio Mattheos (44) scored, at 14:54 of the first period, and F Caiden Daley (9) counted at 1:41 of the third. . . . The Warriors put it away with the game’s last three goals, the final two into an empty net. . . . F Daemon Hunt (6), who is from Brandon, added insurance at 5:53. . . . D Dalton Hamaliuk and F Cameron Sterling (1) got the empty-netters. . . . Moose Jaw got 29 saves from G Adam Evanoff. . . . G Jiri Patera stopped 25 shots for Brandon. . . . Tracey was unsuccessful on a first-period penalty shot with his guys ahead, 2-0.


G Isaac Poulter stopped 33 shots to lead the Swift Current Broncos to a 2-0 victory over the Pats in Regina. . . . Swift Current (11-49-6) had lost its previous 18 games (0-15-3). This was the Broncos’ fifth regulation-time victory this season. . . . Regina (18-45-3) has lost six in a row. . . . The Pats’ loss means the bottom three teams in the final standings will be Regina, the Kootenay Ice and Swift Current. Those are the three teams that will have a shot at the first pick in the 2019 bantam draft, but the Prince George Cougars hold the Broncos’ pick and the Saskatoon Blades own Regina’s selection. When the draft lottery is held, it will feature the six non-playoff teams, but a team is only allowed to move up two spots. . . . Swift Current and Regina split the season series, 3-3-0. . . . Poulter, a 17-year-old freshman from Winnipeg, posted his first career shutout. He is 3-20-1, 4.25, .891. . . . F Joona Kiviniemi (6) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 12:38 of the first period, and F Ethan O’Rourke (11) iced it, on a PP, at 18:27 of the third period. . . . G Max Paddock stopped 31 shots for Regina. . . . Broncos F Tanner Nagel was in the lineup despite having been hit with a charging major and game misconduct during this club’s last game, a 6-0 loss to the visiting Prince Albert Raiders on Sunday. It would seem the WHL didn’t deem the infraction to have been all that serious. . . . D Alex Moar and F Owen Blocker won’t play again this season for the Broncos, who had F Dawson Springer in the lineup for his second WHL game. Springer played this season with the midget AAA Prince Albert Mintos, whose season has ended. . . . Regina, which dressed only 16 skaters, was without F Duncan Pierce and F Logan Nijhoff, neither of whom is likely to play again this season. . . . If you keep track of such things, note that Swift Current head coach Dean Brockman wasn’t at this one. He was away on a scouting trip, so assistant coach Brandin Cote, a Swift Current native, recorded his first WHL coaching victory. (A tip of the Taking Note fedora to Shawn Mullin for that last note.)


F Brett Kemp scored three times and added an assist to lead the Medicine Hat Tigers to a Tigers Logo Official7-4 victory over the visiting Red Deer Rebels. . . . Medicine Hat (34-26-6) has won two in a row and has clinched a wild-card playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. . . . Red Deer (33-27-6) has lost two straight. It holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, two points behind Medicine Hat and four ahead of Brandon, which has two games remaining. . . . Medicine Hat won the season series, 6-0-0. . . . F Jeff de Wit (17) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 7:48 of the first period, only to have F James Hamblin (33) tie it at 8:04. . . . F Zak Smith (13) put Red Deer back out front 57 seconds into the second period. . . . The Tigers took control with the next three goals, in a span of 3:29, from F Ryan Chyzowski, at 3:19, and two from Kemp, on a PP at 4:20 and at 6:48. . . . F Josh Tarzwell (11) got the Rebels to within a goal at 11:35. . . . Chyzowski (26) restored the two-goal lead, on a PP, at 12:59, and Kemp (31) completed his first career WHL hat trick at 7:26 of the third period. . . . F Brandon Hagel (41), who also had two assists, got Red Deer’s fourth goal, at 9:03. . . . F Logan Christenssen (7) finished Medicine Hat’s scoring at 13:07. . . . Hamblin and Chyzowski added two assists apiece. . . . Medicine Hat F Elijah Brown, who was injured in a Feb. 28 practice, was back in the lineup. . . . Red Deer F Alex Morozov sat out as he completed a two-game suspension. . . . The Rebels, of course, are without D Alex Alexeyev (knee). . . . Medicine Hat scratched F Bryan Lockner (ill).


F Brodi Stuart scored once and added four assists as the host Kamloops Blazers coasted Kamloops1to an 8-0 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . Kamloops (27-32-7) has won four in a row. The Blazers are fourth in the B.C. Division, one point behind the Kelowna Rockets, who got a loser point last night. Kamloops will play home-and-home with the fifth-place Prince George Cougars on Friday and Saturday, while the Rockets finish with a home-and-home set with the first-place Vancouver Giants. . . . The third-place finisher will open a first-round series in Victoria on March 22. . . . Victoria (33-29-4) has lost four straight. . . . Victoria won the season series, 5-3-1; Kamloops was 4-5-0. The Blazers won the last three games in the series. . . . Stuart went into the game with 19 goals and 14 assists in 65 games, then enjoyed his first career five-point outing. He now has 20 goals and 18 assists. . . . The Blazers took a 1-0 lead into the second period on Stuart’s goal at 12:51 of the first period. Kamloops then put it away with five second-period goals. . . . F Josh Pillar finished with his seventh goals and three assists, while F Zane Franklin had two goals, giving him 28. . . . F Jermaine Loewen (26), who also had two assists, F Connor Zary (28), F Kyrell Sopotyk (12) and F Ryley Appelt (4) also scored. . . . G Dylan Garand, 16, made his fourth straight start for the Blazers, who have won all four of those games. Garand, a freshman from Victoria, is starting because Dylan Ferguson was injured in a 6-0 loss the visiting Vancouver Giants on March 6. . . . On the season, Garand, who stopped 22 shots, is 10-7-2, 2.89, .904 with one shutout. . . . Victoria dressed 15 skaters, three under the maximum, and that included D Kaden Reinders and D Noah Lamb, both of whom are APs. The Royals scratched nine skaters — D Ralph Jarratt, D Jameson Murray, D Scott Walford, D Matt Smith, F Tyus Gent, F Sean Gulka, F Kody McDonald, D Jake Kustra and F Kaid Oliver.


F Owen Williams scored off a 2-on-1 at 1:32 of OT to give the Seattle Thunderbirds a 6-5 Seattlevictory over the Tri-City Americans in Kennewick, Wash. . . . Seattle (29-29-8) has clinched the Western Conference’s second wild-card berth, meaning all five U.S. Division teams will be in the playoffs for a second straight season. The Thunderbirds will play the conference’s top seed, either the Vancouver Giants or Everett Silvertips, in the first round. Seattle will open that series on the road on March 22. . . . Tri-City (34-26-6) has lost two in a row (0-1-1). It will finish in the conference’s first wild-card spot. . . . Seattle went 4-2-2 in the season series; Tri-City was 4-3-1. . . . The Thunderbirds held a 4-2 lead eight minutes into the third period, then watched as the Americans scored three times to take the lead. . . . Seattle forced OT at 16:04 when F Nolan Volcan completed a hat trick with his 26th goal. . . . F Nolan Yaremko had given the Americans a 1-0 lead 31 seconds into the second period. . . . Yes, the first period was scoreless. . . . Seattle took a 2-1 lead on goals from Volcan, at 3:53, and F Matthew Wedman, on a PP, at 13:09. . . . Tri-City tied it at 15:02 when F Krystof Hrabik got No. 20. . . . Seattle took the 4-2 lead as Wedman (39) scored, on a PP, at 0:28 of the third period, and Volcan counted at 4:59. . . . Tri-City went ahead 5-4 on goals from F Parker AuCoin (41), on a PP, at 8:18; F Sasha Mutala (20), at 9:15; and Yaremko (27), on a PP, at 15:23. . . . The Thunderbirds got four assists from F Henri Rybinski. He’s got seven goals and 24 assists in 31 games since being acquired from the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Wedman added one assist to his two goals. . . . The Americans got two assists from each of Hrabik and AuCoin, with Yaremko getting one.


F Jaret Anderson-Dolan, who has scored in nine straight games, snapped 34 seconds into SpokaneChiefsOT to give the Spokane Chiefs a 6-5 victory over the Rockets in Kelowna. . . . Spokane (38-21-7) is third in the U.S. Division, three points behind the Portland Winterhawks, each with two games remaining. . . . Spokane will finish home-and-home with the Tri-City Americans, while Portland goes home-and-home with the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Kelowna (26-32-8) has lost three in a row (0-1-2) and now is only one point ahead of the fourth-place Kamloops Blazers in the B.C. Division, each with two games remaining. . . . The Chiefs went 3-0-1 in the season series; the Rockets finished 1-2-1. . . . Spokane led this one 5-2 with fewer than 10 minutes left in the third period. . . . F Nolan Foote (36) got Kelowna to within two goals at 10:49. . . . The Rockets tied it on goals from D Kaedan Korczak (4), at 17:31, and F Kyle Topping (23), on a PP, at 19:20. . . . The Chiefs got the game’s first goal at 0:12 of the first period when F Jack Finley, who is from Kelowna, scored his ninth goal. . . . Foote tied it at 3:54. . . . Anderson-Dolan, who has 20 goals, gave Spokane a 2-1 lead at 8:39, and F Luke Toporowski (20) added to the lead at 17:26. . . . F Ethan McIndoe (15) made it 4-1 at 3:11 of the second period. . . . F Michael Farren (3) scored for Kelowna at 1:58 of the third, only to have D Nolan Reid (16) reply for the Chiefs at 10:03. . . . Anderson-Dolan now shares the club record for longest goal-scoring streak with F Adam Helewka (2014-15), F Marian Cesar (1997-98), F Brent Gilchrist (1986-87) and F Terry Perkins (1985-86). . . . Korczak added three assists to his goal, while Foote had an assist so finished with three points. . . . F Luc Smith and D Filip Kral were among Spokane’s scratches. . . . The Rockets are without D Lassi Thomson, who is in concussion protocol. He hasn’t played since taking a hit from Kamloops F Jermaine Loewen in the Blazers’ 2-1 shootout victory on home ice on Friday night. . . . Kelowna also was without F Mark Liwiski, as he completed a three-game suspension.


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Rebels give Sutter victory No. 500. . . . Almeida gets NHL deal, then leads Warriors to win. . . . Blazers closing in on Rockets


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Brent Sutter, the owner, general manager and head coach of the Red Deer Rebels, is the newest member of the WHL’s 500 club.

Sutter recorded his 500th regular-season victory as a WHL head coach on Saturday night whlwhen the Rebels dumped the visiting Kootenay Ice, 8-4.

It was only fitting that Sutter should reach the milestone on Country and Western Night at the Centrium. From Viking, Alta., Sutter and his brothers are just as comfortable on the ranch as they are in the arena.

“I never thought about it until I came off and they told me to go back on the bench,” Sutter told Greg Meachem of reddeerrebels.com. “I don’t know. Just been around a long time. It’s really that at the end of the day.”

Sutter, 56, went into this season with 468 regular-season coaching victories, and the Rebels now are (32-25-6). However, Sutter missed one victory this season while on a father-son junket with the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks. His son, Brandon, plays for the Canucks, although he is injured right now.

If you are wondering, that victory was credited to assistant coach Brad Flynn.

Sutter is in his 20th season as the Rebels’ owner and general manager,  and his 15th as head coach. He started in 1999-2000 and was there through 2006-07. He then had stints as head coach with the NHL’s New Jersey Devils and Calgary Flames. Sutter was back in Red Deer for the 2012-13 season, and he replaced head coach Jesse Wallin on Nov. 14, 2012.

Sutter is ninth on the WHL’s all-time list.

Sutter is the second WHL coach to reach 500 victories this season. Marc Habscheid, the head coach of the Prince Albert Raiders, got there on Feb. 9 with a 6-5 victory over the host Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Habscheid, who now is at 508, celebrated by taking his club to a Dairy Queen in Lethbridge before heading home to Prince Albert.

Taking Note pointed that out to Sutter via text last night and asked how he planned to celebrate. His response was: “Haha . . . McDonald’s.”

In all likelihood, the next WHL head coach to get to 500 victories will be Shaun Clouston. He has 389 victories as he puts the wraps on his ninth regular-season as the Tigers’ head coach.

——

Here’s a look at the 23 WHL head coaches who have more than 300 regular-season victories to their credit after Saturday’s games:

1. Don Hay (Kamloops, Tri-City, Vancouver) 750

2. Ken Hodge (Edmonton, Portland), 742

3. Don Nachbaur (Seattle, Tri-City, Spokane) 692

4. Lorne Molleken (Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Regina, Vancouver) 626

5. Mike Williamson (Portland, Calgary, Tri-City) 572

6. Ernie McLean (Estevan, New Westminster) 548

7. Pat Ginnell (Flin Flon, Victoria, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, New Westminster) 518

8. Marc Habscheid (Kamloops, Kelowna, Chilliwack, Victoria, Prince Albert) 508

9. Brent Sutter (Red Deer) 500

10. Peter Anholt (Prince Albert, Seattle, Red Deer, Kelowna, Lethbridge) 466

    Jack Shupe (Medicine Hat, Victoria) 466

12. Kelly McCrimmon (Brandon) 465

      Dean Clark (Calgary, Brandon, Kamloops, Prince George) 465

14. Bob Lowes (Seattle, Brandon, Regina) 453

15. Doug Sauter (Calgary, Medicine Hat, Regina, Brandon) 417

16. Marcel Comeau (Calgary, Saskatoon, Tacoma, Kelowna) 411

17. Bryan Maxwell (Medicine Hat, Spokane, Lethbridge) 397

18. Shaun Clouston (Tri-City, Medicine Hat) 389

19. Mike Johnston (Portland) 354

20. Graham James (Moose Jaw, Swift Current, Calgary) 349

21. Bob Loucks (Lethbridge, Tri-City, Medicine Hat) 340

22. Willie Desjardins (Saskatoon, Medicine Hat) 333

23. Kevin Constantine (Everett) 326


F Justin Almeida of the Moose Jaw Warriors has signed a three-year entry-level contract NHLwith the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins. He was a fifth-round selection by Pittsburgh in the NHL’s 2018 draft. . . . Almeida, who turned 20 on Feb. 6, is from Kitimat, B.C. . . . He has 100 points, including a WHL-leading 70 assists, in 60 games. . . . In 252 career regular-season games, he has 232 points, including 146 assists. . . . The Prince George Cougars selected Almeida with the fifth-overall pick in the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft. They traded him to Moose Jaw on Jan. 5, 2017, in a deal that had F Nikita Popugaev go to the Cougars. The Warriors also got F Yan Khomenko and two bantam draft picks — a second-rounder in 2018 and a fifth in 2017.


The Seattle Thunderbirds were without freshman F Andrej Kukuca on Saturday night as they entertained the Everett Silvertips in Kent, Wash. . . . Kukuca, a 19-year-old Slovakian freshman, returned to his home country in order to write an exam. He has 54 points, including 25 goals, in 57 games this season. . . . I don’t remember this kind of thing happening in previous seasons, but the Kootenay Ice is without D Martin Bodak and the Vancouver Giants are without F Milos Roman for the same reason.


SATURDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

F Justin Almeida, who signed an NHL contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier in the MooseJawWarriorsday, scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Moose Jaw Warriors to a 6-1 victory over the visiting Regina Pats. . . . Moose Jaw (36-19-8) has won two in a row. The Warriors will finish third in the East Division and open a first-round series against the Blades in Saskatoon on March 22. . . . Regina (18-44-3) has lost six straight. . . . Moose Jaw won the season series with Regina, 7-1-0. . . . Almeida got the Warriors started, on a PP, at 3:25 of the first period, and F Brayden Tracey made it 2-0 at 11:51. . . . Moose Jaw went ahead 3-0 at 11:46 of the second period on a goal from F Daniil Stepanov, who had gone 18 games without a point. . . . Tracey (35) made it 4-0 at 1:27 of the third period. . . . F Garrett Wright (7) got Regina’s goal at 9:40. . . . Almeida’s 30th goal, into an empty net at 17:17, gave him 100 points this season, the third WHLer to get there. . . . F Luke Ormsby (8) got the Warriors’ final goal at 17:52. . . . D Jett Woo had three assists for the Warriors, while Tracey added an assist for a three-point game. . . . Moose Jaw was 2-6 on the PP; Regina was 0-2.


The Saskatoon Blades broke open a scoreless game with three second-period goals and Saskatoonwent on to a 6-1 victory over the visiting Swift Current Broncos. . . . Saskatoon (43-14-8) has won five straight games. It will finish second in the East Division and meet the Moose Jaw Warriors in the first round. Games 1 and 2 are to be played in Saskatoon on March 22 and 23. . . . Swift Current (10-48-6) has lost 17 in a row (0-14-3). The Broncos completed a seven-game road trip at 0-6-1 and were outscored 48-10 in the process. . . . Saskatoon took the season series, 7-0-1; Swift Current was 1-7-0. . . . Saskatoon got started when F Tristen Robins (9) scored, on a PP, at 6:43 of the second period. . . . F Kristian Roykas Marthinsen (13), at 7:34, and F Ryan Hughes, at 19:15, made it 3-0. . . . Hughes made it 4-0 with his 29th goal just seven seconds into the third period. . . . D Dawson Davidson (12) made it 5-0 at 6:59. . . . The Broncos, without a goal in nine straight periods, finally scored at 12:41 when F Matthew Culling got his 11th. That ended the Broncos’ goal drought at 209 minutes. . . . F Kirby Dach (25) got Saskatoon’s last goal at 17:40. . . . The Blades got three assists from F Eric Florchuk. . . . G Dorrin Luding earned the victory with 16 saves. . . . Broncos D Matthew Stanley totalled 32 penalty minutes — one minor, two misconducts and a game misconduct — as he twice tried to instigate a fight. . . . Things don’t get any easier for the Broncos, who are to entertain the Prince Albert Raiders this afternoon. The Broncos played twice in Prince Albert this week, losing 6-0 and 8-0.


F Taylor Ross scored his club’s first three goals and added an assist to lead the Lethbridge LethbridgeHurricanes to a 7-4 victory over the visiting Calgary Hitmen. . . . Lethbridge (38-17-10) has won six in a row. It now sits atop the Central Division standings, two points ahead of the idle Edmonton Oil Kings. Lethbridge has two games remaining; Edmonton has four left. . . . Calgary (36-24-6) has lost two in a row. It appears headed to a third-place finish in the Central Division. . . . Lethbridge won the season series, 5-1-0. . . . F Sean Tschigerl gave the Hitmen a 1-0 lead with his first career WHL goal at 11:12 of the first period. . . . Ross then struck for his second career hat trick, getting goals at 14:23 and 19:49 of the first period, and 1:16 of the second. He’s now got 35 goals. . . . The Hurricanes went ahead 5-1 on goals from F Jackson Shepard (5), at 7:18, and F Jake Elmer (38), at 11:08. . . . F Riley Fiddler-Schultz (3) scored for the Hitmen, shorthanded, at 9:33 of the third period. . . . F Jordy Bellerive, who has 32 goals, struck twice for Lethbridge, at 11:57 and 13:29, before F James Malm (34) and D Vladislav Yeryomenko (7) scored PP goals for Calgary. . . . Bellerive finished with five points, as he also had three assists. . . . Elmer ran his point streak to 16 games with a goal and an assist, while Lethbridge F Dylan Cozens had three assists and is on a 14-game point streak.


F Brandon Hagel scored once and added three assists in leading the host Red Deer Rebels Red Deerto an 8-4 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Red Deer (33-25-6) has won two in a row. It is tied with the Medicine Hat Tigers for the Eastern Conference’s two wild-card spots, four points ahead of the Brandon Wheat Kings, who have three games remaining. . . . Kootenay (12-43-10) has lost four in a row. . . . With one game remaining, Red Deer is 5-0-0 in the season series; Kootenay is 0-3-2. . . The Rebels jumped out to an early 3-0 first-period lead on a goal from F Cam Hausinger (19) and two from F Reese Johnson, who has 24. Johnson’s first goal was shorthanded; the second one came via the PP. He also had an assist for a three-point night. . . . Kootenay F Nolan Orzeck (3) made it 3-1 at 13:24. . . . The Rebels went up 5-1 on second-period goals from D Chad Leslie (1), at 2:14, and F Jeff de Wit (25), at 4:55. . . . F Jaeger White (27), at 7:18, and F Connor McClennon (13), at 10:16, on a PP, got the Ice to within two goals. . . . F Zak Smith (12) restored Red Deer’s three-goal lead at 14:42, only to have F Jakin Smallwood (13) get one back for the Ice, on a PP, at 15:33. . . . Hagel got his 40th goal, on a PP, at 19:34, and F Josh Tarzwell (10) closed out the scoring at 17:43 of the third period. . . . McLennon added two assists to his goal. . . . Red Deer was 2-4 on the PP; Kootenay was 2-5. . . . The Rebels were without D Alex Alexeyev, who appeared to suffer a knee injury in the third period of Friday’s 5-3 victory over the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Red Deer lost F Alex Morozoff to a boarding major and game misconduct at 8:55 of the second period. . . . Brent Sutter, Red Deer’s owner, general manager and head coach, earned his 500th regular-season WHL coaching victory with this one.


F Ryan Jevne’s two goals and an assist helped the host Medicine Hat Tigers to a 4-2 Tigers Logo Officialvictory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Medicine Hat (33-26-6) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). It is tied with the Red Deer Rebels for the Eastern Conference’s two wild-card spots, four points up on the Wheat Kings. . . . Brandon (30-27-8) has lost three straight. It is four points from a playoff spot with three games left to play. . . . The teams split the season series, 2-2-0. . . . Brandon went 1-4-1 on a six-game Central Division swing. . . . Jevne gave his guys a 1-0 lead with a PP goal at 16:16 of the first period, only to have Brandon F Stelio Mattheos (43) tie it 28 seconds later. . . . F Ryan Chyzowski (24) gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead at 7:53 of the second period, and Jevne’s 30th goal, shorthanded, made it 3-1 at 12:53. . . . The Wheat Kings got back to within a goal at 13:22 when D Chad Nychuk (3) scored on a PP, his second goal in two games. . . . Medicine Hat got insurance from F Hayden Ostir (11) at 13:33 of the third period. . . . The Tigers were 1-7 on the PP; Brandon was 1-2. . . . Medicine Hat got 28 saves from G Mads Søgaard. . . . Brandon G Jiri Patera made 30 stops. . . . F Cole Sillinger, who has played three road games with the Tigers, played his first WHL game in Medicine Hat. The son of former NHLer Mike Sillinger, Cole had two assists in those first three games.


F Jermaine Loewen broke a 1-1 tie in the third period to give the Kamloops Blazers a 2-1 Kamloops1victory over the Rockets in Kelowna. . . . Kamloops (25-32-7) has won two in a row. . . . Kelowna (27-31-7) had points in each of its previous three games (1-0-2). . . . The Rockets are third in the B.C. Division, four points ahead of the Blazers. Kelowna has three games remaining — at home to Spokane, then a home-and-home with Vancouver. Kamloops has four to play — at home to Spokane, Victoria and Prince George, and one in Prince George. . . . On Friday, the Blazers beat the visiting Rockets, 2-1, in a shootout. . . . Kamloops went 6-3-1 in the season series; Kelowna wound up 4-4-2. . . . F Kyrell Sopotyk (11) gave the Blazers a 1-0 lead at 6:00 of the second period. . . . Kelowna got even at 13:04 when F Kyle Topping (22) scored. . . . Loewen won it with his 25th goal, at 9:01 of the third period. . . . Kamloops D Montana Onyebuchi took the game’s only penalty, a roughing minor at 8:25 of the first period. . . . The Blazers got 27 saves from G Dylan Garand. . . . The Blazers remain without G Dylan Ferguson, so have Rayce Ramsay on the bench. He plays for the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos, who are to begin their playoff run on Friday night. . . . G Roman Basran blocked 27 shots for Kelowna. . . . The Rockets were without D Lassi Thomson, who left Friday’s game after taking a hit from Loewen. . . . Kelowna F Mark Liwiski sat out the second of a three-game suspension.


The Prince George Cougars ended a 13-game home-ice losing skid with a 5-2 victory over PrinceGeorgethe Portland Winterhawks. . . . Prince George (18-40-8) had lost its past six games (0-5-1). . . . Portland (39-20-6) had beaten the Cougars, 3-2, on Friday night. Portland is second in the U.S. Division, three points ahead of the Spokane Chiefs. Portland and Spokane will meet in the first round, but home-ice advantage has yet to be decided. . . . The Cougars hadn’t won at home since beating the Kelowna Rockets, 4-0, on Jan. 12. . . . Portland won the season series, 3-1-0. . . . D Clay Hanus (7) gave the Winterhawks a 1-0 victory at 3:22 of the second period. . . . The Cougars got the game’s next four goals, from D Austin Crossley (3), at 8:31 of the second period; F Vladislav Mikalchuk (22), on a PP, at 5:20 of the third; F Connor Bowie (3), at 12:25; and F Josh Maser, on a PP, at 14:32. . . . F Cross Hanas (8) scored for Portland at 15:48, before Maser got his 30th, into an empty net, at 18:58. . . . Prince George was 2-4 on the PP; Portland was 0-4. . . . The Cougars had a season-high 49 shots on goal. . . . Prince George got 37 saves from G Taylor Gauthier. . . . The Winterhawks again were without F Cody Glass, F Seth Jarvis, D Matt Quigley and D John Ludvig, all of whom are injured.


F Nolan Volcan scored twice and G Roddy Ross blocked 46 shots to help the Seattle SeattleThunderbirds to a 2-1 victory over the Everett Silvertips in Kent, Wash. . . . Seattle (28-28-8) has points in seven straight games (5-0-2). . . . Everett (46-15-4) had points in its previous eight games (7-0-1) and had won five in a row. . . . Everett finished the season series, 7-2-1; Seattle was 3-5-2. . . . Volcan gave Seattle a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 9:34 of the second period. . . . F Robbie Holmes (12) got Everett into a 1-1 tie at 14:37. . . . Volcan broke the tie with his 23rd goal, at 17:39 of the third period. . . . D Simon Kubicek drew an assist on each of Volcan’s goals. . . . Ross was stellar as his guys were outshot 47-20, including 16-3 in the first period. . . . Seattle was 1-1 on the PP; Everett was 0-3. . . . Everett G Dustin Wolf stopped 18 shots. . . . Seattle D Jarret Tyszka left in the second period after being struck in the face by a shot off the stick of Everett F Bryce Kindopp. . . . F Max Patterson was among Everett’s scratches with an undisclosed injury.


F Adam Beckman scored twice and added two assists to lead the host Spokane Chiefs to a SpokaneChiefs6-1 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . Spokane (37-20-7) has won two in a row. It is third in the U.S. Divsion, but now is three points points behind the Portland Winterhawks. Spokane has four games remaining, while Portland has three. . . . Victoria (33-28-4) has lost three straight. It will finish second in the B.C. Division. . . . Spokane won the season series, 3-1-0. . . . First-period goals by F Ethan McIndoe (14), at 1:59, and Beckman, at 7:23, got the Chiefs started. . . . Victoria cut into the lead at 7:06 of the second period when F Brandon Cutler (12) scored. . . . The Chiefs closed it out with goals from F Jaret Anderson-Dolan (17), Beckman (29), on a PP, D Filip Kral (9), who also had two assists, and D Ty Smith (7). . . . Beckman, a 17-year-old freshman from Saskatoon, has 56 points, including 29 goals, in 64 games. . . . Anderson-Dolan now has goals in seven straight games. . . . The Chiefs got 21 saves from G Bailey Brkin. . . . Victoria F Kaid Oliver is awaiting shoulder surgery and won’t play again this season. Oliver, who last played on Feb. 23, leads the Royals in goals (27) and points (49). . . . The Royals also are without D Matthew Smith, F Kody McDonald, F Tyus Gent, F Sean Gulka and D Jake Kustra, all of whom are injured.


D Bowen Byram set a WHL record with another OT goal as the Vancouver Giants beat the VancouverTri-City Americans, 4-3, in Kennewick, Wash. . . . Vancouver (46-15-4) now is tied with the Everett Silvertips atop the Western Conference. Each team has three games remaining. . . . Tri-City (34-26-5) is going to finish in the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot. . . . Vancouver went 4-0-0 in the season series; Tri-City was 0-2-2. . . . Byram scored his sixth OT goal of the season at 2:28 of extra time. That is one more OT goal than F Deven Sideroff scored with the 2016-17 Kamloops Blazers and F Eric Fehr had with the 2004-05 Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . The Giants led this one 3-0 late in the second period. They got goals from F Tristen Nielsen (14), at 4:59 of the first period; F Davis Koch (28), at 18:32; and F Justin Sourdif (21), at 6:22 of the second. . . . The Americans roared back, getting two goals from F Parker AuCoin (40), at 16:39 of the second and 7:00 of the third, and F Krystof Hrabik (19), at 18:11 of the third period. . . . Vancouver G David Tendeck stopped 30 shots, eight fewer than Tri-City’s Beck Warm.


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