Scattershooting on a quiet Sunday . . . Snoop Dogg in the broadcast booth . . . Oil Kings back on top . . . Giants stretch lead

Scattershooting

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If your favourite hockey team holds a Country Night and you don’t hear even one Merle Haggard tune, well, it ain’t a real Country Night.

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This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Seattle Pilots, an MLB team that didn’t have much of a history, at least not in Seattle. Now, in case you haven’t noticed, the Seattle Mariners have made a boat-load of offseason moves. As Darren Rawie, a Mariners fan, noted via Twitter: “And with all the offseason moves, the Mariners have blessed us with our third expansion team.”

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joggers

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“An Oklahoma woman is facing fines up to $2,400 after she bragged about killing a deer out of season on the dating app Bumble,” reports Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “The potential suitor she was trying to impress turned out to be McIntosh County game warden Cannon Harrison.”

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If you were wondering, and even if you weren’t, the Kootenay Kountdown is into Day 26.

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Ever wonder what a fired football coach does with all of those clothes that feature his former team’s logo? According to Perry: “A bunch of Dirk Koetter’s Buccaneers apparel — complete with his name on the iron-on labels — was discovered at a Tampa Goodwill store less than a week after he was fired as the NFL team’s head coach.”

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billposters

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A trio of headlines after Chicago Bears kicker Cody Parkey’s double-double-doing allowed the Philadelphia Eagles to win that playoff game:

Philadelphia Inquirer — Still upright.

Chicago Tribune — Post mortem.

Philadelphia Daily News — Clanks for the memory!

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After North Carolina fired Larry Fedora, the football team’s head coach, and sent him on his way with a $12-million buyout, Bob Molinaro of the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot noted: “What a deal. But colleges don’t have enough money to pay athletes.”

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If you haven’t seen/heard it yet, Snoop Dogg was in the house in Los Angeles on Saturday night as the Kings met the Pittsburgh Penguins. He took time to drop by the broadcast move and even engaged in a little play-by-play. As he said when his stint was over: ”I’m the host with the most.” . . . It’s all right here.

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pot

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ThisThat

According to a tweet from Mikaël Lalancette of TVA Sports, the QMJHL’s MonctonqmjhlWildcats are expected to introduce John Torchetti as their new general manager and head coach this week. . . . Torchetti will replace Darren Rumble, who was fired as head coach on Tuesday. . . . Torchetti has some history as Moncton’s head coach, having been there for the 2006-07 season. . . . Torchetti, 54, has extensive coaching experience, including stints with the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks, Atlanta Thrashers, Minnesota Wild and Detroit Red Wings. . . . Rumble, once an assistant coach with the Seattle Thunderbirds, was in his sixth season as the Wildcats’ head coach. With him gone, assistant coach Josh Hepditch has been the interim head coach.

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G Lucas Mills of the Trinity Western Spartans set a B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League record for career shutouts on Saturday in a 4-0 victory over the Vancouver Island Mariners at the Langley Events Centre. . . . Mills, from Abbotsford, B.C., is in his fourth season with the Spartans. . . . He had shared the shutout record with Andrew Parent of the Simon Fraser U Clan. . . . Mills, who has two shutouts this season, also is the BCIHL’s career leader in GAA (1.76) and save percentage (.936).

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SUNDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

G Riley Lamb blocked 47 shots to lead the Swift Current Broncos to a 4-2 victory over the SCBroncosvisiting Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Swift Current (9-30-3) had lost its previous two games. The Broncos remain in the WHL’s cellar but now are only two points shy of the Kootenay Ice. . . . Brandon (17-18-6) is six points away from a playoff spot. . . . It was the third game in fewer than 48 hours for Brandon, which went 1-2-0. . . . Lamb was making his first WHL appearance since March 16 when he was with the Red Deer Rebels. He spent most of this season with the SJHL’s Weyburn Red Wings, who traded him to the Yorkton Terriers on Jan. 2. The Broncos, having sent G Joel Hofer to the Portland Winterhawks, signed Lamb on Thursday. . . . Lamb, 20, is from Rivers, Man., which is about 30 km northwest of Brandon. . . . The Wheat Kings held a 49-24 edge in shots, including 20-7 in the second period and 16-5 in the third. . . . F Ian Briscoe scored his first goal of the season at 8:10 of the first period to give the Broncos a 1-0 lead. This was his 24th game this season. Last season, he failed to score in 25 games with the Seattle Thunderbirds, and had two goals in 20 games with them in 2016-17. . . . D Zach Wytinck (3) pulled Brandon even at 12:37. . . . The Broncos went back in front when F Ethan O’Rourke (4) scored, on a PP, at 17:31. . . . The Wheat Kings tied it at 10:34 of the second period when F Luka Burzan (25) scored, on a PP. . . . Broncos D Alex Moar (2) broke the tie, on a PP, at 12:33. . . . F Tanner Nagel (7) added insurance at 8:45 of the third period. . . . Dutertre in the above tweet would be Scott Dutertre, one of the Broncos’ assistant coaches. Dean, of course, is Dean Brockman, the Broncos’ director of hockey operations and head coach.

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The Edmonton Oil Kings moved into first place in the Central Division with a 4-1 victory EdmontonOilKingsover the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Edmonton (24-14-7) has won three in a row. . . . Lethbridge (23-12-8) trails Edmonton by one point although the Hurricanes hold two games in hand. . . . Edmonton is 4-1-1 in the season series; Lethbridge is 2-4-0. . . . F Liam Keeler gave the Oil Kings a 2-0 lead as he had the first multi-goal game of his career. Keeler, who has eight goals, scored at 11:43 and 14:21 of the first period. . . . F Vince Lochiavo (21) made it 3-0 at 5:41 of the second, and F Trey Fix-Wolansky (25) upped it to 4-0, on a PP, at 3:33 of the third. . . . Fix-Wolansky also had two assists. . . . F Jake Elmer (20) scored for Lethbridge, on a PP, at 8:02 of the third. . . . Fix-Wolansky leads the WHL in assists (38) and is second in points (75), behind F Joachim Blichfeld of the Portland Winterhawks, who has 79. . . . Edmonton got 31 saves from G Todd Scott, while Liam Hughes stopped 29 shots for Lethbridge. . . . This was the third meeting in eight days between these teams. The Hurricanes won, 5-2, in Edmonton Jan. 6. The Oil Kings then went into Lethbridge and won, 5-1, on Friday. . . . Both teams were playing for a third time in fewer than 48 hours — Lethbridge went 1-2-0); Edmonton was 3-0-0. . . . The Oil Kings remain without F Quinn Benjafield and D Matt Robertson.

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F Davis Koch scored one goal and added two assists to lead the Vancouver Giants to a 3-2 Vancouvervictory over the visiting Victoria Royals. . . . Vancouver (26-12-2) has won three in a row. . . . The Giants lead the B.C. Division by nine points over the Royals. . . . Victoria (22-17-1) has lost two straight. . . . Victoria went 1-2-0 in playing three times in fewer than 48 hours. . . . Vancouver is 4-2-1 in the season series; Victoria is 3-3-1. . . . D Bowen Byram, coming off a five-point night in a 7-4 victory over visiting Kamloops on Saturday, gave the Giants a 1-0 lead with his 13th goal at 9:34 of the first period. . . . F Tristen Nielsen (6) made it 2-0 at 12:25 of the second. . . . D Jameson Murray (3) cut the lead in half at 14:12. . . . Koch (13) made it 3-1 at 13:12 of the third. . . . D Scott Walford (5) got Victoria back to within a goal, on a PP, at 16:59. . . . Koch has two goals and four assists in his past two games, and two goals and six assists over three games. . . . Nielsen also had two assists and has back-to-back three-point outings. . . . Byram now has 39 points, 26 of them assists, in 40 games.

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Wrapping up Deadline Day . . . Teams close with 11 deals involving 16 players . . . Raiders involved in three trades

tradewire

THE DEADLINE IS GONE

(WHL trade deadline: Thursday, 3 p.m. MT)

Thursday’s action:

No. of trades: 11.

Players: 16.

Bantam draft picks: 10.

Conditional draft picks: 4.

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Total deals (since Nov. 26):

No. of trades: 44.

Players: 77.

Bantam draft picks: 63.

Conditional draft picks: 15.

(Note: On Nov. 30, Kelowna traded F Jack Cowell, 19, to Kootenay for a third-round selection in the 2020 bantam draft. Cowell chose not to report and the deal was voided, so isn’t included in these totals.)

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The Prince Albert Raiders did some last-minute shopping on Thursday as the WHL’s annual trade deadline passed us by.

The Raiders completed three deals, all before noon their time, after which management PrinceAlbertpresumable went snow golfing.

In all, the Raiders added three depth players — a goaltender, a defenceman and a forward.

The Raiders added G Boston Bilous, 17, from the Edmonton Oil Kings, giving up a conditional sixth-round selection in the 2022 WHL bantam draft.

Bilous, from Langley, B.C., was a fourth-round pick by the Oil Kings in the 2016 bantam draft. At the time, he had committed to the U of Denver Pioneers, but later changed his mind and signed with the Oil Kings.

The 6-foot-3, 175-pounder appeared in 10 games for Edmonton this season, going 3-4-1, 3.56, .859. Last season, he was 0-10-1, 4.72, .838.

Bilous has been hampered by injuries, missing two weeks in early November. He returned to play two games, but now hasn’t been in a game since Nov. 24.

Last season, he also missed couple of weeks in November, returned for three games and then was out until late February.

Bilous is eligible for the NHL’s 2019 draft and, in fact, is on NHL Central Scouting’s watch list where he is projected as a potential late-round selection.

After making the deal, the Raiders had three goaltenders on their roster — Bilous, starter Ian Scott and Donovan Buskey, who was acquired from the Spokane Chiefs on Aug. 31 for a sixth-round pick in the 2020 bantam draft.

Later in the day, Prince Albert dropped Buskey from its roster. He is expected to join the BCHL’s Trail Smoke Eaters.

Scott, 20, is 24-4-1, 1.73, .939. Buskey, who is to turn 19 on Jan. 29, had gotten into 11 games, going 9-1-0, 3.15, .870.

While the Raiders may be looking for some competition at the backup position, they also are looking to next season when Scott no longer will be part of their organization. It could be that a change in scenery will help Bilous kick the injury thing and get things back on track. After all, in his bantam draft season he was the CSSHL’s top goaltender while player at the Delta Hockey Academy.

Bilous’s departure leaves the Oil Kings with veterans Dylan Myskiw, 19, and Todd Scott, 18, as their goaltenders.

Earlier in the day, the Raiders acquired D Loeden Schaufler, 18, from the Seattle Thunderbirds for an eighth-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft.

From De Winton, Alta., Schaufler was a third-round selection by the Kootenay Ice in the 2015 bantam draft.

The Ice dealt him to Seattle on Oct. 9, along with a conditional ninth-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft, for F Eric Fawkes, 17, a Winnipegger who is with the MJHL’s Winkler Flyers and has committed to RPI (Rensselaer Polytech Institute) for 2020-21.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Schaufler has eight assists in 57 regular-season games, 37 of them with the Ice, including 32 last season. This season, he had two assists in 20 games with Seattle.

Schaufler only recently returned to action after being injured on Dec. 8 when he was on the receiving end of a hit by F Sean Richards, then of the Everett Silvertips. Richard drew a boarding major and game misconduct on the play and subsequently was suspended for eight games. While serving that suspension, he found himself traded to Seattle in a deal that had F Zack Andrusiak go to Everett. Schaufler returned to the lineup on Jan. 4 against the Wheat Kings in Brandon.

Later in the day, the Raiders dropped D Lane Kirk, 18, from their roster. Kirk, from Swan River, Man., was a fifth-round pick by the Raiders in the 2015 bantam draft. However, he has been injured and has yet to play this season. He now is expected to join the MJHL’s Swan Valley Stampeders, who play out of Swan River.

The Raiders began the day by sending F Quinn Olson, 17, to the Calgary Hitmen for F Bryce Bader, 17. The teams also swapped conditional sixth-round bantam draft picks — the year wasn’t revealed — in the deal.

From Sherwood Park, Alta., Bader, 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, has played 14 games with Calgarythe Hitmen over three seasons. This season, he has four goals in 10 games, with three of them coming over his past three games. Bader was injured in Calgary’s final exhibition game  and didn’t get back into game action until Nov. 9. He played the previous two seasons with the midget AAA Sherwood Park Kings, putting up 21 goals 23 assists in 58 games.

The Hitmen selected him in the second round of the 2016 bantam draft.

The Raiders selected Olson, who is from Calgary, in the sixth round of that same draft. The 5-foot-10, 155-pounder has committed to the U of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs for 2020-21, and has played the past two seasons with the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers. This season, he has 17 goals and 25 assists in 35 games; last season, he put up 14 goals and 39 assists in 53 games.

The Raiders are back on home ice, where they have lost three of their last four games, against the Portland Winterhawks tonight.

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The Tri-City Americans acquired F Samuel Huo, 17, from the Seattle Thunderbirds for a conditional fifth-round selection in the WHL’s 2020 bantam draft.

A 6-foot-4, 185-pounder from Richmond, B.C., was added to Seattle’s protected list in 2017.

This season, Huo has three goals and six assists in 34 games. Last season, as a freshman, he had three goals and three assists in 67 games.

“Samuel is a young, experienced forward with good upside,” Tri-City general manager Bob Tory said in a news release. “After the departure of Isaac Johnson and recent injuries we felt it was necessary to add another forward to our roster.”

Tory told Taking Note on Wednesday night that Johnson, who had been a point-a-game player this season, has retired for personal reasons.

Huo is expected to be in the Americans’ lineup on Friday night when they visit the Everett Silvertips.

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The Saskatoon Blades acquired F Ryan Hughes, 19, from the Saskatoon Blades for F Josh SaskatoonPaterson, 19, and two bantam draft picks — a second-rounder in 2020 and a fourth-rounder in 2021. . . . The second-round pick originally belonged to the Swift Current Broncos. They sent it and a fifth-rounder in 2019 to the Blades for G Logan Flodell on Sept. 20, 2017.

The 5-foot-8, 155-pound Hughes, who is from Edmonton and was listed by Portland, has played 223 regular-season games with the Winterhawks, putting up 64 goals and 87 assists. This season, Hughes has 17 goals and 23 assists in 36 games.

The Blades selected the 6-foot-2, 205-pound Paterson, who also is from Edmonton, in the second round of the 2014 bantam draft. He has played 246 regular-season games with Saskatoon, totalling 74 goals and 64 assists. This season, Paterson, an alternate captain, has 14 goals and 18 assists in 41 games.

The Winterhawks and Blades are in second place in their respective divisions, Portland Portlandtrailing the Everett Silvertips by 11 points in the U.S. Division and Saskatoon 14 points in arrears of the Prince Albert Raiders in the East Division.

The Winterhawks obviously feel they need more size in order to get to Everett’s level, while Blades’ management is of the opinion that they must have more speed and offence in order to compete with Prince Albert.

Portland also is able to add a couple of bantam draft picks in this deal, one day after sending six selections to the Broncos for G Joel Hofer.

The Blades are to entertain the Calgary Hitmen on Friday night. On Saturday night, the Winterhawks, who play in Prince Albert on Friday, will visit Saskatoon.

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The Moose Jaw Warriors have acquired F Carson Denomie, 18, from the Kamloops MooseJawWarriorsBlazers for a seventh-round selection in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft.

The 6-foot-0, 195-pound Denomie is from Regina. The Blazers selected him in the fifth round of the 2015 bantam draft.

This season, he has one goal and three assists in 36 games. Last season, he recorded six goals and 13 assists in 66 games.

In 2016-17, Denomie helped the midget AAA Regina Pat Canadians to a league championship, putting up 16 goals and 30 assists in 44 regular-season games.

The trade was made while the Blazers were in Victoria, where they are to meet the Royals on Friday night after dropping a 5-3 decision on Wednesday.

Interestingly, the Warriors will be in Kamloops to meet the Blazers on Tuesday.

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Moose Jaw and Swift Current got together on a buzzer-beater, with the Warriors landing F Alec Zawatsky, 19, in exchange for F Tyler Smithies, 18, and two bantam draft picks — a fourth-rounder in 2020 and a fifth in 2021.

Zawatsky, from Yorkton, led the Broncos in goals (13) and points (26), in 39 games. Last season, he had three goals and five assists in 43 games with the Saskatoon Blades, under head coach Dean Brockman. After the Blades fired Brockman, he ended up joining the Broncos and he found a spot for Zawatsky on the roster.

Smithies, from Beaumont, Alta., has two goals and an assist in 19 games with the Warriors this season. Last season, he had a goal and four assists in 36 games.

The Warriors are at home to the Seattle Thunderbirds on Friday night, while the Broncos will entertain the Thunderbirds on Saturday.

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The Kootenay Ice have acquired D Chase Hartje, 19, from the Brandon Wheat Kings for a Kootenaynewthird-round selection in the 2019 WHL bantam draft. The pick originally belonged to the Red Deer Rebels.

Hartje, from Bemidji, Minn. has four goals and eight assists in 35 games with Brandon this season. Last season, he had 17 assists in 31 games with the Moose Jaw Warriors, then added three goals and five assists in 27 games with the Wheat Kings.

This was the second deadline day in a row on which Hartje changed teams. A year ago, Moose Jaw dealt him to Brandon as part of the trade in which the Warriors landed D Kale Clague and the Wheat Kings got F Luka Burzan.

The Ice next plays Saturday when it visits the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

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The Vancouver Giants added D Nic Draffin, 17, from the Red Deer Rebels in exchange for a seventh-round selection in the 2021 WHL bantam draft.

Michael Dyck, the Giants’ first-year head coach, is most familiar with Draffin, having Vancouvercoached him bantam AAA and midget AAA in Lethbridge. While there, Draffin also was teammates with D Bowen Byram, who now stars for Vancouver.

This season, Draffin has one goal and four assists in 35 games with the AJHL’s Calgary Mustangs.

The Rebels selected Draffin in the third-round of the 2016 bantam draft.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Draffin, who is from Lethbridge, is expected to join the Giants in time for home games against the Kamloops Blazers on Saturday and Victoria Royals on Sunday.

After Alan Caldwell posted the above tweet, the Kelowna Rockets claimed D Matt Barberis, 20, on waivers from the Giants, then released F Lane Zablocki, 20, who has joined the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers.

Barberis, from Surrey, B.C., has played only nine games this season due to injury. This KelownaRocketswould have been his fourth full season with the Giants; in the previous three, he played 49, 48 and 56 games. In 168 regular-season games, he has 21 goals and 64 assists. The Giants selected him with the 20th overall pick of the 2013 bantam draft.

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Barberis joins D Dalton Gally and D Schael Higson as 20-year-olds on Kelowna’s roster.

Bruce Hamilton, the Rockets’ general manager, said in a news release that Barberis has medical clearance to play, but “he probably won’t play until next weekend.”

Zablocki had four goals and eight assists in 22 games with the Rockets, who acquired him from the Victoria Royals on Sept. 28, giving up a seventh-round bantam draft pick in 2019 and a fourth-rounder in 2021. He has 62 goals and 72 assists in 223 career regular-season WHL games.

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In a one-for-one exchange that was made right before the trading deadline, the Medicine Tigers Logo OfficialHat Tigers sent F Josh Williams, 17, to the Edmonton Oil Kings for F Brett Kemp, 18.

Williams, who has been selected to play in the Top Prospects Game in Red Deer on Jan. 23, has nine goals and

Williams, from Langley, B.C., was selected by the Tigers with the fifth-overall pick in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder has nine goals and 12 assists in 41 games this season, after putting up 11 goals and nine assists in 47 games last season. He had five goals and an EdmontonOilKingsassist in five games with Canada’s U-18 team at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Red Deer and Edmonton in August.

Kemp, from Yorkton, Sask., was selected by the Everett Silvertips in the second round of the 2015 bantam draft. The Oil Kings acquired Kemp and F Graham Millar, along with a 2018 first-round bantam draft pick from Everett on Jan. 4, 2017, for D Aaron Irving and a seventh-rounder in the 2017 draft.

The 6-foot-1, 160-pound Kemp has 43 goals and 46 assists in 146 regular-season games, all but 17 of them with Edmonton. This season, he has 22 goals and 17 assists in 40 games. He had been the Oil Kings’ second-leading point producer.

Kemp is expected to be in the Tigers’ lineup on Friday against the visiting Regina Pats, while Williams should be Edmonton’s lineup when it visits the Lethbridge Hurricanes. On Saturday, the Tigers are at home to the Oil Kings, meaning Kemp and Williams will be going up against their former teammates.

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The Everett Silvertips added size to their roster, and they hope they got some offence, Everetttoo, with the acquisition of F Robbie Holmes, 19, from the Regina Pats.

In exchange for the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Holmes, from Sherwood Park, Alta., the Pats get F Sloan Stanick, 15, who hasn’t signed a WHL contract, and two WHL bantam draft picks — a second-rounder in 2020 and a sixth in 2022.

An 11th-round pick in the 2014 bantam draft, Holmes has 29 goals and 27 assists in 148 regular-season games with Regina. This season, he has nine goals and seven assists in 24 games.

Stanick, from Rapid City, Man., was selected by Everett in the seventh round of the 2018 bantam draft.

This season, he has 12 goals and 12 assists in 31 games with the Yellowhead Chiefs of the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League. Last season, with the bantam AAA Chiefs, he finished with 28 goals and 31 assists in 36 games.

Stanick’s twin brother, Slade, also plays for the midget AAA Chiefs. Slade is on Everett’s protected list.

The Silvertips are at home to the Tri-City Americans on Friday night.

Portland pays price for goaltender . . . Brandon, Kelowna swap d-men . . . Kootenay adds two players

COUNTDOWN TO DEADLINE

(WHL trade deadline: Thursday, 3 p.m. MT)

Wednesday’s action:

No. of trades: 3.

Players: 4.

Bantam draft picks: 8.

Conditional draft picks: 0.

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Total deals (since Nov. 26):

No. of trades: 33.

Players: 61.

Bantam draft picks: 53.

Conditional draft picks: 11.

(Note: On Nov. 30, Kelowna traded F Jack Cowell, 19, to Kootenay for a third-round selection in the 2020 bantam draft. Cowell chose not to report and the deal was voided, so isn’t included in these totals.)

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Who knew the price for a goaltender with 14 career regular-season victories would be so high?

The Portland Winterhawks have acquired G Joel Hofer, 18, from the Swift Current PortlandBroncos, but they had to give up six WHL bantam draft picks, including two first-rounders, in exchange.

Obviously not content with his goaltending, Mike Johnston, the Winterhawks’ vice-president, general manager and head coach, surrendered first-round picks in the 2019 and 2021 bantam drafts, along with a third-rounder in 2019, and second-, fourth and fifth-rounders in 2020.

According to Shaun Mullin, the Broncos’ radio voice, the 2019 third-round pick originally belonged to the Kootenay Ice, while the fifth-rounder in 2020 originated with the Everett Silvertips.

Hofer, a Winnipegger, was a second-round selection by the St. Louis Blues in the NHL’s 2018 draft. He has yet to sign an NHL contract. Chances are that he will be in the WHL next season, too.

Hofer’s career numbers are 14-24-5, 3.55, .907.

Last season, as a WHL freshman, he got into 19 games, going 8-3-2, 2.61, .914. He made only two playoff appearances (2.60, .875), playing just 46 minutes as the Broncos won the WHL championship.

Hofer started last season backing up Logan Flodell and finished it behind Stuart Skinner after the Broncos were involved in a deadline deal with the Lethbridge Hurricanes that included a swap of goaltenders.

This season, playing on the team with the WHL’s poorest record, Hofer is 6-21-3, 4.02, .904. It is that last figure, considering that he has faced more shots than any other WHL goaltender this season, that would seem to have  caught Johnston’s attention.

The Winterhawks have used two goaltenders — sophomore Shane Farkas, 19, and freshman Dante Giannuzzi, 16 — this season. Farkas, from Penticton, B.C., is 23-9-5, 2.88, .900 in 38 games, with Giannuzzi, who is from Winnipeg, at 1-2-0, 4.09, .833 in four appearances. Combined, they have a 2.97 GAA and a .897 save percentage.

Last week, the Winterhawks added G Evan Fradette, 17, to their roster from the midget AAA St. Albert Raiders. He just backstopped the team to the championship at the Mac’s midget tournament in Calgary. A fifth-round pick by Portland in the 2016 bantam draft, he hasn’t yet gotten into a game with the Winterhawks, who are on their East Division swing.

The Winterhawks opened that swing in Swift Current on Friday, beating Hofer four times on 47 shots in a 5-3 victory.

Portland took a 3-0-0 record on the trip into Wednesday night’s game with the Regina Pats. The Winterhawks also will stop in Prince Albert on Friday and Saskatoon on Saturday before heading home to face the Everett Silvertips on Jan. 19.

From a Portland perspective, this deal is all about the Winterhawks trying to get to the same level as the Silvertips. Going into Wednesday games, Everett (31-8-2) leads the U.S. Division by 11 points over Portland (24-11-5).

With the likes of forwards Cody Glass and Joachim Blichfeld in their final seasons with the Winterhawks, Johnston no doubt feels that it’s now or never.

The Broncos, meanwhile, are looking two, three and four seasons down the road. Their SCBroncoscupboard got stripped bare a year ago as Emanuel Viveiros, then the director of player personnel and head coach, loaded up for what turned into a successful championship run.

To fill the vacancy created by Hofer’s departure, the Broncos signed Riley Lamb, a 20-year-old who has played this season with the SJHL’s Weyburn Red Wings and Yorkton Terriers.

A native of Rivers, Man., Lamb actually was traded by the Red Wings to the Terriers on Jan. 2. In the deal, Yorkton gave up G Ben Laidlaw and the junior A rights to D Parker Gavlas, 19, who is with the Edmonton Oil Kings, and D Christian Riemer, 18, who is with Swift Current.

In 26 games with Weyburn, Lamb was 9-13-3, 3.43, .912. In three games with Yorkton, he was 1-2-0, 3.38, .889. Combined, he was 10-15-3, 3.43, .910.

Lamb spent the previous two seasons with the Red Deer Rebels, going 27-23-13 in 73 appearances.

In Swift Current, Lamb will partner with freshmen Isaac Poulter, a 17-year-old from Winnipeg, who was a sixth-round selection by the Broncos in the 2016 bantam draft.

Lamb joins F Tanner Nagel and D Matt Stanley as Swift Current’s three 20-year-old players.

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The Brandon Wheat Kings have traded D Schael Higson, who was dropped from their BrandonWKregularroster last week, to the Kelowna Rockets for D Braydyn Chizen and a fifth-round selection in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft.

Both players are 20 years of age.

Higson, a 6-foot-1, 220-pounder from Grande Prairie, Alta., has 79 points, including 18 goals, in 282 regular-season games, 90 of them with the Saskatoon Blades and 192 with Brandon. This season, he had three goals and 14 assists in 20 games when he was a healthy scratch prior to game in Moose Jaw against the Warriors. He then KelownaRocketswas dropped from Brandon’s roster.

The 6-foot-7, 205-pound Chizen is from St. Albert, Alta. He was a ninth-round pick by the Rockets in the 2013 WHL draft, and was a seventh-round selection by the Minnesota Wild in the NHL’s 2016 draft. However, the Wild never signed him and he now is a free agent.

In 211 regular-season games with the Rockets, he recorded 11 goals and 23 assists.

The Wheat Kings still have room for another 20-year-old, with only Chizen and F Linden McCorrister on their roster.

In Kelowna, Higson joins F Lane Zablocki and D Dalton Gally as the 20s.

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The Kootenay Ice has acquired D Brenden Kwiatkowski, 18, from the Moose Jaw KootenaynewWarriors for a ninth-round selection in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft.

Kwiatkowski, from Grande Prairie, Alta., had one assist in 22 games with the Warriors last season. This season, he has two assists in 14 games.

Meanwhile, the Ice has signed G Curtis Meger, 20, who had been with the AJHL’s Lloydminster Bobcats.

From Regina, Meger got into 27 games with the Prince Albert Raiders last season, going 8-10-6, 3.43, .886.

This season, with Lloydminster, he was 4-14-0, 4.02, .892.

With the Ice, he joins veteran Duncan McGovern, 18, and freshman Jesse Makaj, 17, in the goaltending department. Going into Wednesday’s game in Lethbridge against the Hurricanes, McGovern was 6-15-2, 4.81, .868, with Makaj at 2-12-5, 4.23, .881. Each of them had appeared in 23 games.

The Ice had room for a 20-year-old after trading D Dallas Hines to the Vancouver Giants. Meger joins F Jaeger White and D Martin Bodak as the Ice’s 20-year-olds.

Prior to Wednesday, the Ice, with the WHL’s second-poorest record and surrounded by speculation about what is expected to be a move to Winnipeg at season’s end, has used 41 players. That, of course, will rise to 43 once Kwiatkowski and Meger appear in a game.

Cougars to be more ‘assertive’ with schedule making . . . Portland still unbeaten in East . . . Gauthier blanks Americans




MacBeth

F Tomáš Plíhal (Kootenay, 2001-03) signed a contract for the rest of this season with Landshut (Germany, Oberliga South) after requesting and receiving his release from Jablonec nad Nisou (Czech Republic, 2. Liga). He had 14 goals and 20 assists in 23 games.


ThisThat

Andy Beesley is the vice-president of business with the Prince George Cougars. A few days before Christmas, he sat down with Hartley Miller of 94.3 The Goat, a Prince George radio station, and they combined for an episode of the CatScan podcast. . . . If you have ever wondered about what goes into running the business end of a major junior franchise you will want to give this a listen. It’s 50 minutes of Beesley being honest in answering questions about ticket prices, attendance, scheduling, turning games into events, the survival of the WHL in Prince George, and even how he came to change his lifestyle and lose 100 pounds. . . .

One thing I found particularly interesting is that Beesley said the Cougars’ organization has changed its thought process and no longer will look for the one big score.

“We would love to win a Memorial Cup, but we just want to make the playoffs regularly,” he told Miller, “and that’s part of the path that the hockey side of the business is on now. We’ve changed our model a bit to aim for more of a consistent team year by year, rather than selling the farm and just having couple of studs that come in and then you cross your fingers and pay the price for the next five years. We’ve done away with that model.”

The Cougars are scheduled to entertain the Prince George Cougars on Friday night, more than five weeks after their most-recent home game. Between home games, they will have played 11 times on the road and taken the Christmas break.

Beesley promised the Cougars’ fans “that’s not going to happen again . . . we’re not going to put up with that again.”

He added that he, team president John Pateman, co-owner Eric Brown and general manager Mark Lamb “have all talked together and agreed that we need to do a far better job of not just giving input to our schedules but standing up for what the Prince George Cougars need. . . . we are going to be a lot more assertive and make sure we don’t have another six-week gap because we don’t think it’s fair to fans and it’s not fair to our business either.”

There’s lots of interesting stuff in the 50 minutes and it’s all right here.

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KOOTENAY KOUNTDOWN

All signs point to the Kootenay Ice packing up and moving to Winnipeg before another season gets here. However, no one from the Ice or the WHL office has had much, if 21anything to say about all the speculation.

However, Ron Robison, the WHL commissioner, did appear with host Dean Millard on TSN Radio (1260) in Edmonton on Dec. 19.

Asked about the situation, Robison responded in part that “we’ll be very soon making an announcement as to what the future of that franchise is.”

We now are into our 21st day since Robison made that statement, and there has yet to be an announcement of any kind.


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Allow me to apologize to Gino De Paoli, the play-by-play voice of the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers. It was his tweet that tipped me off to an item on G Nick Sanders that I used here yesterday. I meant to credit De Paoli, but it didn’t get done, and for that I offer up an apology. Sorry about that, Gino.

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The Prince George Cougars have signed F Blake Eastman, 15, to a WHL contract. He was a second-round selection in the 2018 bantam draft. . . . From Ardrossan, Alta., Eastman is playing for the Elite 15 team at OHA Edmonton, where he has 17 goals and eight assists in 21 games.

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The Spokane Chiefs have returned D Graham Sward to the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League. Sward, 15, was the 17th overall selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. . . . Sward played one game with the Chiefs and scored his first goal as they beat the Ice, 8-4, in Cranbrook, B.C., on Sunday.

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The Swift Current Broncos have released F Quinton Waitzner, 18, who was a ninth-round selection in the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft. . . . From Victoria, he had two assists in 34 games this season, after finishing last season with one goal in 43 games. He also was pointless in five games in 2016-17. . . . Before joining the Broncos, he played for the junior B Saanich Braves.

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The Prince Albert Raiders have returned G Brett Balas, 17, to the AJHL’s Calgary Canucks. From Calgary, he was a third-round pick by the Raiders in the WHl’s 2016 bantam draft. . . . Balas was brought in by the Raiders to fill the roster spot created with starter Ian Scott with Team Canada at the WJC. . . . Balas got into two games with Prince Albert, going 2-0-0, 2.56, .871. One of the victories was in relief of starter Donovan Buskey.

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TUESDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The Portland Winterhawks erased an early 2-0 deficit with four straight goals en route to Portlanda 4-3 victory over the Wheat Kings in Brandon. . . . Portland (24-11-5) has points in nine straight (6-0-3), and is 3-0-0 on its East Division swing. . . . Brandon (16-16-6) has lost two in a row. . . . F Ben McCartney (11) gave Brandon a 2-0 lead with goals at 1:14 and 3:45 of the first period. . . . The Winterhawks tied it before the period ended on goals from F Michal Kvasnica (7) and F Seth Jarvis (10). . . . F Jaydon Dureau (9) broke the tie at 14:39 of the second period. . . . F Joachim Blichfeld upped Portland’s lead to 4-2, shorthanded, at 10:03 of the third period. He leads the WHL in goals (37) and points (76). . . D Braden Schneider (5) got the Wheat Kings to within a goal at 14:53. . . . Portland had a 51-35 edge in shots, including 22-9 in the first period. . . . Brandon G Jiri Patera blocked 47 shots, 15 more than Portland’s Shane Farkas. . . . Portland D Nick Cicek, an 18-year-old freshman from Winnipeg, had one assist in his first 16 games. He had one assist last night, and now is on a six-game point streak, with nine helpers in that stretch. . . . Portland had F Cody Glass back in the lineup after his stint with Canada’s national junior team. He was held off the scoresheet. . . . The Winterhawks were without D Matthew Quigley (suspended) and D Brendan De Jong (concussion).

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F Kyle Crnkovic had a goal and two assists to lead the host Saskatoon Blades to a 4-3 Saskatoonvictory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Saskatoon (25-12-5) has won two in a row. . . . Seattle (12-21-4) is 1-2-0 on its East Division trip. . . . Crnkovic, a 16-year-old from Chestermere, Alta., was the 10th-overall selection in the 2017 bantam draft. In 27 games, he has four goals and nine assists, with three goals and six assists having come in his past nine games. Yes, this was his first multi-point WHL game. . . . D Zach Ashton, who moved from Saskatoon to Seattle in a deal last week, gave the Thunderbirds a 1-0 lead with his first WHL goal, at 6:35 of the first period. The goal came in his 14th WHL game, the third with Seattle. . . . Crnkovic tied it at 15:24, and F Josh Paterson (14) gave the Blades the lead, on a PP, at 17:30. . . . Seattle F Nolan Volcan, playing in his 300th regular-season game, tied it with his 15th goal, at 19:24. . . . The Thunderbirds went ahead 3-2 when F Matthew Wedman (13) accord at 4:36 of the second period. . . . Saskatoon reclaimed the lead before the period ended, on goals from F Chase Wouters (8), at 13:49, and F Eric Florchuk (11), at 17:20. . . . Volcan, 20, is from Edmonton. He was a second-round pick by Seattle in the 2013 bantam draft. He has 213 points, including 88 goals, in those 300 regular-regular-season games. . . . F Cyle McNabb, acquired Monday from the Kootenay Ice, wasn’t in Saskatoon’s lineup. . . . The Blades remain without F Kirby Each and D Nolan Kneen. . . . F Sean Richards was in Seattle’s lineup for the first time since being acquired last week from the Everett Silvertips. He had to complete an eight-game WHL suspension before suiting up with the Thunderbirds. . . . Seattle was without D Cade McNelly, who completed a three-game suspension.

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G Taylor Gauthier blocked 36 shots to lead the Prince George Cougars to a 1-0 victory PrinceGeorgeover the Tri-City Americans in Kennewick, Wash. . . . Prince George (14-21-3) has won two in a row. The Cougars are 3-7-0 on an 11-game swing that began with a doubleheader in Portland on Dec. 7 and 8, and included the Christmas break. The trip wraps up tonight against the Spokane Chiefs, then the Cougars have to hustle home for games with the Kelowna Rockets on Friday and Saturday nights. . . . Tri-City (20-15-2) has lost two straight. . . . Last night, Cougars F Ethan Browne scored the game’s only goal, his sixth, at 16:05 of the second period. . . . Gauthier, a 17-year-old sophomore from Calgary, was the ninth-overall selection in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. He has two shutouts in his career both of them this season. This season, he is 10-14-2, 3.08, .904. . . . Tri-City got 28 stops from G Beck Warm.

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Tweetoftheday

Ice acknowledges Vopat’s release . . . Two deals as deadline nears . . . Ex-Seattle assistant coach fired


ThisThat

There is nothing on the Kootenay Ice’s website, nor is there anything on its Twitter account.

But the WHL team apparently has acknowledged that, yes, it did dismiss assistant coach KootenaynewRoman Vopat for “breaches of team policy.”

Jessica Dempsey, the sports editor at the Cranbrook Daily Townsman, reported Monday afternoon that the team had issued a statement.

According to Dempsey, the statement read:

“Roman was a part-time resource for our coaches on home game days and was released from his consulting agreement based in breaches of team policy, including our social media policy and his consulting agreement,” 

Taking Note was told Sunday morning that Vopat had been dismissed late last week after he was critical of Tim Hunter, the head coach of Canada’s national team at the World Junior Championship, on social media.

If you missed the piece I posted on Sunday about Vopat’s dismissal, just scroll down here until you find it.


tradewire

COUNTDOWN TO DEADLINE

(WHL trade deadline: Thursday, 3 p.m. MT)

Monday’s action:

No. of trades: 2.

Players: 3.

Bantam draft picks: 1.

Conditional draft picks: 1.

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Total deals (since Nov. 26):

No. of trades: 30.

Players: 57.

Bantam draft picks: 45.

Conditional draft picks: 11.

(Note: On Nov. 30, Kelowna traded F Jack Cowell, 19, to Kootenay for a third-round selection in the 2020 bantam draft. Cowell chose not to report and the deal was voided, so isn’t included in these totals.)

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The Kootenay Ice has acquired F Brandon Machado, 18, and a fifth-round selection in the Saskatoon2021 WHL bantam draft from the Saskatoon for F Cyle McNabb, 18. . . .

It appears that this trade was sparked because McNabb wanted out.

“While it was certainly not our intention to move Cyle when acquiring him, after conversations with him, this was determined to be in the best interest of the player,” Matt Cockell, the Ice’s president and general manager, said in a news release. . . .

Machado, from Airdrie, Alta., was a fifth-round pick by the Blades in the 2015 bantam draft. . . . This season, he has two goals and an assist in 35 games. In 97 career regular-season games, he has three goals and four assists. . . . The Ice next is scheduled to play on Wednesday against the Hurricanes in Lethbridge. . . .

McNabb, from Winnipeg, is on the move for the second time in less than a week. The Ice acquired him from the Vancouver Giants on Friday for D Dallas Hines, 20. . . . McNabb had a goal and seven assists in 61 games with Vancouver last season. This season, he had one goal and two assists in 34 games with the Giants. He was Kootenay property long enough to get into three games on the weekend, recording one assist. . . . McNabb and Blades F Tristen Robins were teammates at the Rink Hockey Academy in Winnipeg in 2016-17. . . . McNabb is expected to be in Saskatoon’s lineup on Friday against the visiting Calgary Hitmen. . . .

In the meantime, Saskatoon has added F Braden Plaschewsky, 16, to its roster and he is to make his WHL debut in tonight’s game against the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds. Plaschewsky, from Calgary, was a second-round selection in the 2017 bantam draft. He has four goals and nine assists in 26 games with the midget AAA Calgary Buffaloes.

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The Swift Current Broncos have acquired F Tyler Lees, 18, from the Victoria Royals for a SCBroncosconditional ninth-round selection in the WHL’s 2021 bantam draft. . . . This season, Lees has one goal and two assists in 27 games with Victoria. . . . Lees, from Regina, was a fifth-round pick by the Saskatoon Blades in the 2015 bantam draft. . . . In 2016-17, he had one goal in seven games with the Blades. Last season, he had two goals and an assist in 32 games with Saskatoon. . . . The Blades traded him to Victoria on July 19 for a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2019 draft. . . .

Dean Brockman, the Broncos’ director of hockey operations and head coach, was the Blades’ head coach when Lees was on their roster. So there will be some familiarity there. . . .

As Shawn Mullin, the radio voice of the Broncos, tweeted, Lees played for the 2016-17 Regina Pats Canadians who won the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League championship. F Matthew Culling and F Eric Houk, both of whom are on the Broncos’ roster, also were on that Regina team. . . .

The Broncos are next scheduled to play on Wednesday against the visiting Red Deer Rebels.


The Kootenay Ice has returned D Carson Lambos to the midget prep team at the Rink Hockey Academy in Winnipeg. Lambos, who is from Winnipeg, was the second-overall selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. . . . Lambos, who will turn 16 on Jan. 14, was pointless in three games with the Ice. . . . In 12 games with RHA, he has nine goals and eight assist.


G Nick Sanders has decided to retire from hockey. Sanders, 20, was with the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers. . . . From Calgary, Sanders was a sixth-round pick by the Tri-City Americans in the WHL’s 2013 bantam draft. . . . He made 23 appearances with the Americans in 2015-16, then was traded to the Prince Albert Raiders early in 2016-17. He had hip issues with the Raiders and ended up having surgery. The was later dealt to the Calgary Hitmen and was in their training camp prior to this season. . . . He played two games with the AJHL’s Lloydminster Bobcats and 15 with the Oilers this season.


The QMJHL’s Moncton Wildcats have fired head coach Darren Rumble. He was in his sixth season as their head coach. . . . Rumble, who was in the final season of his contract, was fired despite the Wildcats being 24-13-5 and tied for fifth in the 18-team league. So what happened? They had won only five of their previous 17 games and were 3-4-3 in their past 10, and owner Robert K. Irving had seen enough. . . . The Wildcats were 180-169-33 in regular-season games under Rumble. They got as far as the semifinals in 2014-15 and 2015-16, and reached the second round last season. . . . Josh Hepditch, in his second season as an assistant coach, was named interim head coach. . . . Rumble, 49, spent two seasons (2011-13) as an assistant coach with the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds.


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KIBIHT award in memory of Herold . . . Farkas, Hofer pitch shutouts . . . Centazzo beats Rockets with late penalty shot

ThisThat

The Kamloops International Bantam Ice Hockey Tournament wraps up today in Kamloops.

In 2016, Adam Herold, then of the Balgonie, Sask., Prairie Storm, was the tournament’s top defenceman and a first-team all-star. Later that year, he was selected by the Prince Albert Raiders in the second round of the WHL bantam draft.

Herold spent last season with the midget AAA Regina Pats Canadians — he was the team captain — then was added to the roster of the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos in the playoffs.

Herold was one of those killed on April 6 in the bus crash involving the Broncos. He was six days from his 17th birthday.

On Saturday night, prior to a WHL game between the Kelowna Rockets and host Kamloops Blazers, KIBIHT introduced an award in Herold’s honour. The award is to go annually to a player who overcomes adversity with leadership and dedication to the game of hockey.

The first recipient, Rylan Davis of the NorthEast BC Bantam Zone Trackers, was presented with the award and took part in a ceremonial faceoff.


The U of Saskatchewan Huskies women’s hockey team held its 11th annual Play for a Cure game on Friday night as they played host to the Calgary Dinos. . . . G Jessica Vance stopped 11 shots in posting her 13th career shutout as the Huskies won, 3-0. . . . But this one was special . . . really special. . . . You see, the Huskies were honouring Jessica’s mother, Liane, who is taking treatment for cancer. . . . Liane, of course, is married to Bruce Vance, who also is a cancer survivor. Bruce, one of the good guys, worked for the Prince Albert Raiders for a few years not that long ago. . . . Darren Steinke was there on Friday night and posted this piece right here on his blog.


The Swift Current Broncos have signed F Kye Buchanan, 17, to a WHL contract and SCBroncosimmediately added him to their roster for the remainder of this season. Buchanan is fresh off helping the midget AAA St. Albert Raiders to a championship at the Mac’s tournament in Calgary. . . . From Lethbridge, Buchanan had seven goals and four assists in 16 games with the Raiders. He also had one assist in four games with the AJHL’s Lloydminster Bobcats. . . . The Broncos acquired him from the Spokane Chiefs on Dec. 4, along with F Carter Chorney and D Devin Aubin. Going the other way were D Noah King, G Matthew Davis and a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2021 WHL bantam draft.


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SATURDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The Calgary Hitmen erased a 2-1 second-period deficit en route to a 4-3 victory over the Calgaryvisiting Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Calgary (19-16-4) has won four straight, all on home ice. It holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, four points ahead of the idle Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Medicine Hat (22-16-3) had won its previous five games. It is tied for third in the Central Division with the Red Deer Rebels. . . . The Tigers and Hitmen both played Friday night, then were back on the ice for this one, which started at 1:30 p.m. MT, as it was televised by Sportsnet. . . . F Jake Kryski (19) gave Calgary a 1-0 lead at 4:12 of the first period. . . . The Tigers took a 2-1 lead on goals from F Logan Christensen (4), at 7:52 of the first, and F Tyler Preziuso (16), at 6:40 of the second. . . . The Hitmen took over with three straight goals, from F Bryce  Bader (4), at 12:34; F Luke Coleman (11), at 12:45; and F Carson Focht (10), at 11:02 of the third. . . . F Ryan Jevne (20) got the Tigers to within a goal at 18:45. . . . Jevne has 20 goals in 41 games this season; last season, he totalled 20 goals in 69 games. . . . Calgary got 33 stops from G Jack McNaughton, who now is 13-9-2, 3.24, .889. The 17-year-old freshman has won his last four starts and nine of his past 12. . . . Medicine Hat F James Hamblin had two assists as he ran his point streak to 11 games. He has 10 goals and seven assists over that stretch. . . . The Tigers lost F Ryan Chyzowski to an undisclosed injury in the first period. They already were without F Bryan Lockner (concussion) and F Hayden Ostir (knee). . . . Earlier in the day, the Tigers added F Nick McCarry to their roster as an AP. He was in the lineup for this one. McCarry, 17, is a list player from Calgary who was pointless in two games with the Tigers last season. This season, he has seven goals and seven assists in 30 games with the AJHL’s Fort McMurray Oil Barons.


G Shane Farkas stopped 23 shots to help the Portland Winterhawks to a 6-0 victory over Portlandthe Warriors in Moose Jaw. . . . Portland (23-11-5) has points in eight straight (5-0-3) and is second in the U.S. Division, three points ahead of the Spokane Chiefs. . . . The Winterhawks are 2-0-0 on their East Division swing. . . . Moose Jaw (21-9-6) had points in each of its previous six games (5-0-1). The Warriors are third in the East Division, five points behind Saskatoon but with five games in hand on the Blades. . . . The Warriors were blanked for the first time this season. . . . Portland held a 38-23 edge in shots. . . . Portland took control with four first-period goals, from F Reece Newkirk (18), who is from Moose Jaw, F Jake Gricius (17), F Lane Gilliss (9) and D Clay Hanus (4). . . . F Seth Jarvis (9) and F Joachim Blichfeld (36) also scored for Portland. . . . Blichfeld leads the WHL in goals and points (75). . . . The Winterhawks got three assists from D Nick Cicek. . . . Farkas has three shutouts this season and six in his career. . . . The Warriors lost D Matthew Benson to a kneeing major and game misconduct for a hit on Portland F Ryan Hughes at 6:46 of the second period. . . . G Evan Fradette was on Portland’s bench, backing up Farkas. Fradette was added to the roster earlier in the week from the midget AAA St. Albert Raiders. . . . The Winterhawks were without D Matthew Quigley, who served Game 3 of a four-game suspension; D Brendan De Jong (concussion); and F Cody Glass, who has yet to return after playing for Canada at the WJC. . . . Glass is expected to play Tuesday when the Winterhawks are in Brandon. . . . F Ryan Poehling of Team USA was named the WJC’s most valuable player even though his side dropped a 3-2 decision to Finland in Saturday’s final in Vancouver. Poehling, who turned 20 on Thursday, attends St. Cloud State and is on Portland’s protected list. He was a first-round selection by the Montreal Canadiens in the NHL’s 2017 draft.


F Noah Gregor scored twice and added an assist as the Prince Albert Raiders beat the PrinceAlbertvisiting Saskatoon Blades, 5-2. . . . Prince Albert (35-4-1) had lost its previous two home games. It now is 18-2-0 on home ice. . . . The Raiders lead the East Division by 18 points over Saskatoon (24-12-5), which had a three-game winning streak halted. . . . F Cole Fonstad (14) and F Justin Nachbaur (10) gave the Raiders a 2-0 lead before the first period was eight minutes old. . . . F Gary Haden (15) got the Blades on the scoreboard at 4:27 of the second period. . . . The Raiders stretched their lead to 4-1 on goals from Gregor, on a PP, at 12:25 of the second, and F Parker Kelly (18), at 11:55 of the third. . . . D Dawson Davidson (8) got Saskatoon to within two goals at 17:28. . . . Gregor (26) iced it at 18:28. He now has 56 points, including 30 assists, in 35 games. . . . Fonstad added two assists to his goal. . . . G Ian Scott stopped 19 shots to earn the victory. . . . The Blades scratched F Kirby Dach and D Nolan Kneen with undisclosed injuries.


G Joel Hofer came up with 46 saves to lead the host Swift Current Broncos to a 1-0 victory SCBroncosover the Regina Pats. . . . Swift Current (8-28-3) had lost its previous four games (0-3-1). . . . Regina (12-26-2) has lost three straight (0-2-1). . . . The Broncos have had the WHL’s poorest record from the get-go. They now are four points behind the Kootenay Ice and seven in back of Regina and the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . F Carter Chorney (10) scored the game’s lone goal, finding the mark at 10:31 of the first period, on a PP. . . . Despite his won-loss record (6-21-3), Hofer is having a tremendous season with a 4.02 GAA and a .904 save percentage. . . . Hofer, who has two career shutouts, has faced 1,257 shots this season, and that’s 150 more than any other WHL goaltender. . . . The St. Louis Blues have to love what they’re seeing from Hofer this season. They selected the 18-year-old Winnipegger in the fourth round of the 2018 NHL draft. . . . G Max Paddock stopped 23 shots for Regina. . . . The Broncos finished the game with nine forwards after Tanner Nagel and Ben King left with undisclosed injuries.


F Kody McDonald’s shootout goal gave the Victoria Royals a 3-2 victory over the Rebels in VictoriaRoyalsRed Deer. . . . Victoria (20-15-1) has won two in a row. It went 4-2-0 on its Central Division trip. It is second in the B.C. Division, seven points behind the Vancouver Giants and three ahead of the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Red Deer (22-13-3) has lost two in a row and is tied for third with the Medicine Hat Tigers in the Central Division. . . . The Rebels took a 1-0 lead into the second period on a goal from F Oleg Zaytsev (7), at 14:13. . . . The Royals got second-period goals from F Jameson Murray (1), at 7:12, and F Kaid Oliver (18), shorthanded, at 9:56, to take a 2-1 lead. . . . F Brett Davis (12) got Red Deer into a 2-2 tie just 19 seconds into the third period. . . . F Igor Martynov gave Victoria a 1-0 lead in the first round of the shootout, with F Brandon Hagel tying it in the second round. McDonald, who was acquired from the Prince Albert Raiders in a trade on Thursday, won it in the fifth round. . . . The Royals got 32 saves from G Griffen Outhouse, while Byron Fancy stopped 34 for Red Deer. . . . Veteran D Ralph Jarratt was back in Victoria’s lineup and played in his 250th regular-season game. After not playing since Nov. 2, he got into games on Dec. 7 and 11, but hadn’t played since then. He now has played 14 games this season.


D Ty Smith drew four assists as the Spokane Chiefs skated to an 8-4 victory over the SpokaneChiefsKootenay Ice in Cranbrook, B.C. . . . Spokane (22-13-4) has won two straight and remains third in the U.S. Division, three points behind the Portland Winterhawks. . . . Kootenay (8-26-7) has lost six in a row (0-5-1). . . . The Chiefs took a 2-0 lead on goals from D Noah King (4), at 7:02 of the first period, and F Luke Toporowski (13), at 8:24. . . . The Ice cut the deficit in half when F Cole Muir (10) scored at 14:50. . . . The Chiefs put it away by scoring the next four goals — by F Jake McGrew, F Jaret Anderson-Dolan (3), F Ethan McIndoe (9) and F Luc Smith (6). . . . Smith was in on four the Chiefs’ first five goals. . . . F Graham Sward, the 17th overall selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft, scored his first WHL goal in his first game for Spokane. . . . McGrew added a second goal, his 16th. . . . F Peyton Krebs (14), F Owen Pederson (3) and D Zach Patrick (2) also scored for the Ice, who got to within 7-4 late in the third period. . . . F Riley Woods, who had an assist in a 4-1 victory over the visiting Kamloops Blazers on Friday night, was among the Chiefs’ scratches.


F Orrin Centazzo scored on a penalty shot with 1:20 left in the third period to give the Kamloops1Kamloops Blazers a 4-3 victory over the visiting Kelowna Rockets. . . . Kamloops (15-18-3) is fourth in the B.C. Division, five point behind Kelowna but with three games in hand. . . . Kelowna (17-18-4) had points in each of its previous four games (2-0-2). . . . Centazzo was hooked on a breakaway, so was awarded a penalty shot. . . . It was his second goal of the game. . . . The Rockets held leads of 1-0 and 3-2 but weren’t able to put it away. They were 2-6 on the PP, including two 5-on-3s; Kamloops was 2-4. . . . F Kyle Topping (15) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead 47 seconds after the opening faceoff. . . . Centazzo, at 19:37, and F Martin Lang (7), on a PP at 2:26 of the second period, gave Kamloops a 2-1 lead. . . . The Rockets went in front on goals from F Nolan Foote (20), at 8:55, on a PP, and F Leif Mattson (17), at 17:42. . . . Blazers F Josh Pillar (5) tied it at 10:07 of the third period, on a PP, and Centazzo won it with his 11th goal of the season, going forehand-backhand and upstairs to beat G Roman Basran, who was stellar with 28 saves, five more than Dylan Ferguson of Kamloops. . . . Kelowna now is 13-1-2 when leading after two periods. . . . The Blazers, who lost 4-1 in Spokane on Friday night, left immediately after the game for Everett, where they are to meet the Silvertips today in a game that is to start at 4 p.m.


The Everett Silvertips scored the game’s last three goals to beat the visiting Tri-City EverettAmericans, 4-1. . . . Everett (30-8-2), which has won 10 straight at home, leads the U.S. Division by 11 points over the Portland Winterhawks. . . . Tri-City (20-14-2) had won its previous two games. It is fourth in the U.S. Division, six points behind the Spokane Chiefs. The Americans hold down the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot, nine points ahead of the Kamloops Blazers. . . . F Jalen Price (4) gave Everett a 1-0 lead at 5:46 of the first period. . . . Tri-City pulled even at 4:13 of the second period when F Sasha Mutala (9) scored. . . . Everett F Connor Dewar (27) snapped the tie at 18:11, and F Max Patterson (11) added insurance at 8:35 of the third period. . . . F Bryce Kindopp (19) rounded out the scoring at 19:19 with an empty-netter while on a PP. . . . F Justyn Gurney, who was added to Everett’s roster from the BCHL’s Surrey Eagles earlier in the week, had two assists. He now has three of them in three games. . . . Everett outshot the Americans, 39-22, including 18-4 in the first period.


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McNabb, Pats stun Raiders in P.A. . . . McNaughton, Hitmen pull blank job . . . Garand leads Blazers to victory


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If you missed it Sunday night, Switzerland was awarded two penalty shots on one play 2019wjcduring a game against Russia at the World Junior Championship. F Marco Lehmann of Switzerland was hacked down on a breakaway, got up to continue the play, and was brought down again. While Lehmann took the first penalty shot, the Swiss had F Philipp Kurashev take the second one. Neither one was successful. . . . Kurashev, who is in his third season with the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts, is the son of Konstantin Kurashev, who played for Russia in the 1981 and 1982 WJC. Konstantin has been coaching in Switzerland since 1998.


D Matthew Quigley of the Portland Winterhawks has drawn a TBD suspension after whltaking a kneeing major and game misconduct during at 3:30 of the second period of an 8-6 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds in Kent, Wash., on Saturday night. Seattle F Dillon Hamaliuk was injured on the play and didn’t return to the game. . . . Quigley won’t be in Portland’s lineup when they play host to Seattle tonight.

F Riley Sawchuk of the Tri-City Americans was given a one-game suspension after he took a game misconduct at 17:08 of the third period of a 2-1 loss to the Chiefs in Spokane. No reason for the game misconduct was provided by the WHL. . . . He won’t play in tonight’s rematch in Kennewick, Wash. . . .

Kevin Acheson, the WHL’s new sheriff, has handed out seven suspensions from the 28 games that teams have played since the Christmas break ended on Dec. 27.


COUNTDOWN TO DEADLINE

(WHL trade deadline: Jan. 10, 3 p.m. MT)

Sunday’s action:

No. of trades: 0.

Players: 0.

Bantam draft picks: 0.

Conditional draft picks: 0.

——

Total deals (since Nov. 26):

No. of trades: 15.

Players: 31.

Bantam draft picks: 24.

Conditional draft picks: 9.

(Note: On Nov. 30, Kelowna traded F Jack Cowell, 19, to Kootenay for a third-round selection in the 2020 bantam draft. Cowell chose not to report and the deal was voided, so isn’t included in these totals.)


WHL players at the World Junior Championship:

Brandon — G Jiri Patera (Czech Republic).

Medicine Hat — G Mads Sogaard (Denmark).

Moose Jaw — D Josh Brook (Canada).

Portland — F Cody Glass (Canada).

Prince Albert — G Ian Scott, F Brett Leason (Canada).

Red Deer — D Alex Alexeyev (Russia).

Seattle — F Andrej Kukuca (Slovakia).

Spokane — F Jared Anderson-Dolan, D Ty Smith (Canada); D Filip Kral (Czech Republic).

Tri-City — F Krystof Hrabik (Czech Republic).

Vancouver — F Milos Roman (Slovakia).

Victoria — F Phillip Schultz (Denmark).

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SUNDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The Moose Jaw Warriors snapped a 1-1 tie with five straight goals and went on to a 6-2 MooseJawWarriorsvictory over the Wheat Kings in Brandon. . . . The Warriors (19-8-6) have points in four straight (3-0-1). They are third in the East Division, eight points ahead of Brandon. . . . The Wheat Kings (15-13-6) have lost three in a row, all since played resumed after Christmas, and six of seven. They now are tied with the Calgary Hitmen for the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot. . . . The Warriors are scheduled to entertain the Wheat Kings tonight. This will be the fourth game in five nights for both teams. . . . F Justin Almeida scored twice for Moose Jaw, giving him 11 goals. He made it 1-0 just 23 seconds into the game. . . . Brandon F Nolan Ritchie tied it at 3:32 with his first WHL goal. . . . The visitors scored twice before the period ended — D Jett Woo (7) and F Tristin Langan (27) found the range — and then got later goals from F Kaeden Taphorn (4), Almeida, and F Tate Popple (8), who is from Brandon. . . . D Braden Schneider (4) had Brandon’s other goal, at 10:06 of the third period. . . . The Warriors held a 40-29 edge in shots, including 19-8 in the first period. In its three-game losing skid, Brandon had been outshot 46-16 and outscored 6-1 in first periods. . . . Brandon F Stelio Mattheos sat out the second of a three-game suspension.


G Dean McNabb turned aside 43 shots to lead the Regina Pats to a 2-1 victory over the PatsRaiders in Prince Albert. . . . Regina (12-24-1) has won three in a row, but still is 11 points away from a playoff spot. . . . Prince Albert (33-3-1) had won its previous five games; it also had been 17-0-0 at home. . . . The Raiders lead the overall standings by seven points over the idle Everett Silvertips (29-7-2). . . . F Logan Nijhoff (3) gave Regina a 1-0 lead just 18 seconds after the opening faceoff. . . . D Liam Schioler (2) upped the lead to 2-0 at 8:01. . . . F Noah Gregor (24) scored for the Raiders at 12:37. . . . Gregor has 10 goals and four assists over his past six games. . . . This one was McNabb’s show, though, as the Raiders outshot the Pats 14-7, 13-4 and 17-2 by period. . . . The Raiders won 47 of the game’s 63 faceoffs. . . . The Pats had D Brady Pouteau and F Robbie Holmes back in the lineup after both served one-game WHL suspensions.


F Kirby Dach and F Chase Wouters each had a goal and two assists as the Saskatoon SaskatoonBlades dumped the Broncos 9-3 in Swift Current. . . . Saskatoon (22-11-5) had lost its previous three games (0-1-2). It is second in the East Division, five points ahead of Moose Jaw, which has five games in hand. . . . The Broncos had points in each of their previous two games (1-0-1). . . . These two teams hadn’t met since the season’s opening weekend, when the Blades won 2-1 in Swift Current and 8-0 in Saskatoon. They’ll meet again Tuesday afternoon, this time in Saskatoon. . . . The Blades had a 47-15 edge in shots — 16-4, 19-8 and 12-3 by period. . . . F Kristian Roykas Marthinsen (10) gave the Blades a 1-0 lead 11 seconds in, and F Max Gerlach (21) made it 2-0 at 5:43. . . . The Blades weren’t headed after that. . . . D Majid Kaddoura, a freshman from Chestermere, Alta., scored his first WHL goal for the Blades in his 17th game. . . . Dach, who has 15 goals, ran his career point total to 101, including 28 goals, in 109 games. . . . Wouters has six goals. . . . D Billy Sowa, a freshman from Calgary, scored his first career goal for Swift Current. It came in his 26th game. . . . Broncos F Matt Culling ran his goal streak to five games. He has seven goals on the season, with one in each of those five games. . . . Saskatoon D Brandon Schuldaus served a one-game suspension after he took a kneeing major a game misconduct on Friday in Prince Albert. . . . The game was played on the 32nd anniversary of a bus accident in which four Broncos were killed while on the way to Regina for a game with the Pats.


G Jack McNaughton stopped 25 shots to lead the host Calgary Hitmen to a 4-0 victory over Calgarythe Vancouver Giants. . . . Calgary (16-16-4) had lost its previous three games (0-2-1), but now is tied with the Brandon Wheat Kings for the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . Vancouver (23-9-2) has won its previous two games. It now is 1-1-0 on a six-game swing through the Central Division. The Giants lead the B.C. Division by 11 points over the Kelowna Rockets, and Vancouver holds three games in hand. . . . F Riley Stotts opened the scoring at 3:30 of the first period, and F Jake Kryski made it 2-0, on a PP, at 6:44. . . . F Mark Kastelic (26) added more insurance at 5:29 of the second period. . . . Stotts, who has 12 goals, closed out the scoring at 4:48 of the third. . . . F James Malm, who was acquired by Calgary from Vancouver on Oct. 31, drew four assists. He has 23 points, including 17 assists, in 21 games with Calgary. He had put up nine goals and six assists in 13 games with Vancouver at the time of the trade. . . . With G Carl Stankowski sidelined, the Hitmen had brought in Matt Armitage from the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks to back up McNaughton, a 17-year-old freshman from Calgary. Armitage has since been returned to Salmon Arm, so the Hitmen had Brayden Peters of the midget AAA Lethbridge Hurricanes on the bench. Earlier in the day, he had stopped 14 shots to record the shutout as the Hurricanes scored a 7-0 victory over the Brampton, Ont., 45’s at the Mac’s tournament in Calgary.


The Edmonton Oil Kings scored four times in the third period and beat the visiting Red EdmontonOilKingsDeer Rebels, 5-4. . . . Edmonton (20-12-7) has points in six straight (4-0-2) and now leads the Central Division by two points over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Red Deer (21-12-2) had beaten the Oil Kings, 2-1 in a shootout, on Saturday night at home. The Rebels are third in the division, one point behind Lethbridge. . . . Last night, it was the third game in fewer than 48 hours for both teams. Red Deer went (1-2-0); Edmonton was (2-0-1). . . . F Jake Neighbours (8) gave the Oil Kings a 1-0 lead at 2:21 of the first period. . . . Red Deer scored the only three goals of the second period, with F Oleg Zaytsev (6), D Dawson Barteaux (3) and F Reese Johnson, on a PP, finding the range. . . . F Andrei Pavlenko (7) got Edmonton to within a goal at 2:25 of the third period, but Johnson restored the two-goal lead with his 16th goal, at 3:20. . . . Edmonton pulled even on two goals from F Trey Fix-Wolansky, at 4:52 and 8:52. He’s got 23 goals. . . . He drew an assist on the winner, too which went to F Vince Loschiavo (17), on a PP, at 13:30. . . . Johnson also had an assist for Red Deer, giving him a three-point game. . . . Red Deer had a 17-4 edge in second-period shots, but Edmonton was ahead 17-8 in the third.


F Ryan Jevne scored in the fourth round of a shootout to give the Medicine Hat Tigers a 5-Tigers Logo Official4 victory over the Hurricanes in Lethbridge. . . . Medicine Hat (20-15-3) has won three in a row. It is fourth in the Central Division, one point behind Red Deer, which has three games in hand. . . . Lethbridge (19-11-6) is second in the division, two points behind Edmonton and with three games in hand. . . . Medicine Hat and Lethbridge were playing for the third time in fewer than 48 hours. The Tigers went (3-0-0); the Hurricanes were (1-1-1). . . . The Hurricanes led 4-2 after third-period goals from F Dylan Cozens (21) at 2:07, and F Jake Leschyshyn (25), on a PP, at 2:54. . . . D Joel Craven (3) cut the Tigers’ deficit to one at 11:40, and F Elijah Brown (5) tied it, on a PP, at 17:58. . . . F Jordy Bellerive scored for Lethbridge in the first round of the shootout, but Medicine Hat tied it when F Josh Williams scored in the second round, and then won it on Jevne’s goal. . . . Craven scored twice for the Tigers. He has four goals in 53 career games, 20 of them this season.


G Dylan Garand stopped 35 shots to lead the Kamloops Blazers to a 2-1 victory over the Kamloops1visiting Prince George Cougars. . . . The Blazers (14-17-3) were playing for the third time in fewer than 48 hours, after splitting a home-and-home series with the Kelowna Rockets, winning 3-2 in a shootout and then dropping a 2-1 decision on the road. Kamloops is fourth in the B.C. Division, four points behind the Victoria Royals, who have two games in hand. The Blazers also hold down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, four points ahead of Prince George. . . . The Cougars (12-21-3) have lost two in a row; they are 1-7-0 on an 11-game road trip. . . . The Cougars were playing their third game in fewer than 48 hours after beating the host Seattle Thunderbirds 2-1 on Friday, then dropping a 6-1 decision to the Silvertips in Everett on Saturday. . . . The Cougars headed home after last night’s game, then will drive to Kelowna on Thursday for a Friday night engagement with the Rockets. They will hang out in the Okanagan for a couple of days after that, before heading to Kennewick, Wash., to play the Tri-City Americans on Jan. 8 and then it’s on to Spokane for a date with the Chiefs on Jan. 9. . . . The Cougars then will hustle home because they are to play host to the Rockets on Jan. 11 and 12, their first games in the CN Centre since Dec. 2. . . . D Montana Onyebuchi (3) gave Kamloops a 1-0 lead at 16:12 of the first period, and F Brodi Stuart (11) made it 2-0 at 8:53 of the second. . . . F Josh Maser (12) had the Cougars’ goal, on a PP, at 17:51 of the third. . . . Garand was especially strong in the third period when his guys were outshot 19-4. . . . The Blazers had D Joonas Sillanpaa back after a one-game injury-related absence. . . . The Cougars were able to dress only 19 players, including five defencemen. Then they lost F Ilijah Colina to an undisclosed injury during the game and G Taylor Gauthier left after becoming ill. He had stopped 20 of 22 shots through two periods. Isaiah DiLaura came on to play the third period and stopped four shots.


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