Kamloops dumps visiting Kelowna in tiebreaker. . . . Two shorthanded goals in 28 seconds seal deal. . . . Blazers go to playoffs; Rockets go home

ThisThat

The Kamloops Blazers scored two goals in 28 seconds on the same third-period penalty kill en route to a 5-1 victory over the visiting Kelowna Rockets in the seventh tiebreaker game in WHL history on Tuesday night. . . . With the victory, the Blazers move into the playoffs. They will open against the Royals in Victoria on Friday. . . . Last night was only the second time in the seven tiebreakers that the home team has won. . . .

Kamloops had taken a 2-1 lead in the third period when Blazers F Ryley Appelt was Kamloops1penalized for tripping at 8:16. . . . F Connor Zary got an early jump off the Kamloops bench during a change, allowing him to get to the back of the Kelowna net in a hurry. He stripped the puck from G Roman Basran, came out the back side and stuffed it home for a 3-1 lead at 8:44. . . . A short time later, Kamloops F Brodi Stuart avoided an attempt by Basran to get a hip into him behind the net, skated out and scored for a 4-1 lead at 10:12. . . . The Rockets, whose offence pretty much dried up late in the season, weren’t able to get back in this one. . . . F Jermaine Loewen got the Blazers’ last goal, into an empty net. . . .

The Blazers dominated the first period, especially the first 12 or 13 minutes, and held a 17-7 edge in shots. Only Kelowna G Roman Basran, a post and a crossbar kept the Blazers off the scoreboard. . . . Kamloops D Jackson Caller drilled a post from the point at 9:00; F Connory Zary glanced a bad-angle flip off the crossbar two minutes later. . . . Kamloops G Dylan Garand had his moments later, especially stoning F Alex Swetlikoff from the doorstep. . . .

Kelowna pushed back in the second, but Kamloops got the game’s first goal at 4:11, just six seconds after Rockets F Dallon Wilton was penalized for interference for a hit on D KelownaRocketsJeff Faith. Zary pulled the face-off win back to F Kyrell Sopotyk on the point. He ripped a wrist shot past Basran’s blocker, off a post and in. . . . The officials went to video review at 7:38 after the Blazers crashed the Kelowna net, but whatever had happened was ruled no goal. . . . The Rockets tied it at 7:56 when D Kaedan Korczak got to a shoot-in along the right boards, and slipped a pass to F Mark Liwiski. His quick backhand seemed to surprise Garand and got past him for the equalizer. . . . The Blazers thought they might have scored at 13:14 when the puck bounced off the back boards, over top of the net and into the Kelowna crease area. However, it was ruled that Kamloops F Logan Stankoven had come in contact with the puck with a high stick. . . . Kelowna got its first PP at 15:26 after Faith was hit with an interference penalty for a hit on F Nolan Foote. Other than Foote hitting a post early, the Rockets really didn’t threaten. . . . Kelowna outshot Kamloops, 13-7, in that period. . . .

The Blazers broke the 1-1 tie at 6:10 of the third period when Kelowna D Dalton Gally went down early in an attempt to cut off a pass, only to have Blazers F Kobe Mohr toedrag around him and snap a shot past Basran from the high slot. . . . Then came Zary’s shorthanded goal, followed by a Mohr penalty shot on which Basran was able to get his five-hole closed in time to prevent a goal. . . . It was left for Stuart to get his shorthanded goal and for Loewen to add the empty-netter. . . .

Garand, a 16-year-old freshman from Victoria, made his seventh straight start in the absence of the injured Dylan Ferguson. The Blazers are 6-0-1 over that stretch. . . . Garand finished with 27 saves in this one. . . . Ferguson skated with the Blazers on Monday, but wasn’t dressed last night. The burning question in Kamloops until Friday night will be this: Does Garand get to start his first playoff game in his hometown if Ferguson is healthy? . . . G Danton Belluk, whose WHL rights belong to the Everett Silvertips, remains with the Blazers on an emergency basis. He backed up Garand last night. . . .

Basran, who kept the Rockets from getting blown out in the first period, self-destructed in the third when he gave up the two shorthanded goals. He was beaten four times on 34 shots in 50:12. James Porter came on to finish up after the Blazers’ fourth goal. He stopped all five shots he faced. . . .

As expected, each team added a first-round 2018 bantam draft pick to its lineup. Stankoven, who won the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League scoring title with the Kamloops-based Thompson Blazers, was in the Kamloops lineup. F Trevor Wong, from the major midget Greater Vancouver Canadians, played for the Rockets. . . . Stankoven was the fifth-overall pick in that draft; Wong was taken with the 18th selection. . . .

Attendance was announced at 5,876, and there weren’t many empty seats. It was the Blazers’ second announced sellout of the season. On Feb. 18, the Blazers beat the visiting Tri-City Americans, 3-1, on Family Day. The announced crowed that day also was 5,876, but there were about 1,000 empty seats. . . .

While the Blazers head for Victoria, the Rockets’ season has ended. This means that the host team for the 2020 Memorial Cup won’t appear in this spring’s playoffs. . . . The Rockets fired head coach Jason Smith after a 4-10-0 start. They hired Adam Foote to replace him and went 24-22-8, plus last night’s loss, with him in control. . . .

The WHL’s draft lottery is scheduled to be held today (Wednesday). As one of six non-playoff teams, the Rockets will be participants. The six lottery teams, with regular-season points in parenthesis, are the Swift Current Broncos (28), Winnipeg Ice (36), Regina Pats (42), Prince George Cougars (46), Kelowna Rockets (64) and Brandon Wheat Kings (70). . . . A team is able to move up only two spots in the lottery, so one of those first three teams will own the first pick. However, the Cougars hold Swift Current’s selection, and the Saskatoon Blades own Regina’s pick. . . . When the draft is held on May 2 in Red Deer, the Blazers will hold the seventh selection.

——

There have been seven tiebreakers in WHL history . . .

2018-19: Kelowna 1 at Kamloops 5.

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).

——


You may recall that on Feb. 15 the OHL announced that the Niagara IceDogs had been ohlfined $250,000 and also had two first-round draft picks taken away for recruiting violations. . . . Rick Westhead of TSN reported Tuesday that all of this had to do with a player emailing David Branch, the OHL commissioner, to say that the IceDogs had promised to pay him $10,000 for each season he played with them, and then reneged on the deal. . . . As Westhead reported: “A law firm hired by the Ontario Hockey League concluded that the Niagara IceDogs breached the league’s player recruitment rules by entering into a secret ‘side deal’ with a former player, according to a court decision obtained by TSN.” . . . Westhead’s story is right here.


The Prince George Cougars have signed D Ethan Samson to a WHL contract. He was a third-round selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. From North Delta, B.C., he played this season with the Delta Hockey Academy’s Elite 15 team. In 33 games, he had seven goals and 17 assists.



The Brandon Wheat Kings have signed D Logen Hammett to a WHL contract. From Regina, Hammett will turn 16 on April 3. This season, with the midget AAA Regina Pat Canadians, he had four goals and 19 assists in 40 games. The Wheat Kings selected him in the fifth round of the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft.


F Rieger Lorenz, a likely first-round selection in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft, announced via Twitter on Tuesday that he has committed to the U of Denver Pioneers. Lorenz, who will turn 15 on March 30, is from Calgary. He had 11 goals and 25 assists in 30 games with the Edge School’s bantam prep team this season. . . . Lorenz is the fourth high-end bantam draft prospect to announce a commitment to the NCAA route in the last while, following F Matt Savoie (Denver), D Mats Lindgren (Michigan) and F Connor Levis (Michigan).


F Tanner Nagel, who finished up his WHL career with the Swift Current Broncos on Saturday, made his pro debut on Tuesday night with the ECHL’s Utah Grizzlies. . . . Nagel was pointless in a 4-3 loss to the visiting Rapid City Rush. . . . With the Broncos, Nagel had 13 goals and 10 assists in 65 games.


Tweetoftheday

Advertisements

Raiders stay perfect on home ice . . . Chiefs shoot way past Silvertips . . . Winterhawks get split in Victoria

Let’s begin our annual Christmas countdown with The Boss. It’s Bruce Springsteen with Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town . . . It’s right here.


MacBeth

F Chris Francis (Portland, 2006-10) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with MEC Halle (Germany, Oberliga) after his release by the Tulsa Oilers (ECHL) on Dec. 4. This season, he had one goal and one assist in 10 games with Tulsa. . . .

F Mike Aviani (Spokane, 2009-14) signed a contract for the rest of this season with the Herning Blue Fox (Denmark, Metal Ligaen) after requesting and receiving his release from Medveščak Zagreb (Croatia, Erste Bank Liga). With Medveščak this season, he had four goals and seven assists in 23 games. . . . Medveščak Zagreb is in financial difficulty after losing its main sponsor. Marcel Rodman, assistant coach and VP of hockey operations, resigned on Dec. 5, then GM/head coach Aaron Fox and assistant coach Carter Beston-Will resigned on Dec. 10, and five players in addition to Aviani have obtained their releases from the club in the last two weeks.



COUNTDOWN TO DEADLINE

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

Wednesday’s action:

No. of trades: 0.

Players: 0.

Bantam draft picks: 0.

Conditional draft picks: 0.

——

Total deals (since Nov. 26):

No. of trades: 12.

Players: 33.

Bantam draft picks: 21.

Conditional draft picks: 4.

(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.)



If you stop off here and enjoy what you see — or even if you don’t — feel free to click on the DONATE button over there on the right and make a contribution. Thanks in advance.


WEDNESDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

F Cole Fonstad scored on a quick shot from the left faceoff dot in OT to give the host PrinceAlbertPrince Albert Raiders a 6-5 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Prince Albert (29-2-1) now is 15-0-0 at home. . . . Edmonton (16-12-6) has lost two in a row (0-1-1). . . . F Noah Gregor scored twice to give the Raiders a 2-1 lead early in the second period. He’s got 16 goals. . . . The Oil Kings then got goals 50 seconds apart from F Carter Such (6) and F Jake Neighbours (7) to take a 3-2 lead in the period’s second half. . . . F Parker Kelly (14) pulled the Raiders into a tie at 11:18, only to have Edmonton take a 4-3 lead on a goal by F David Kope (5) at 15:34. . . . Prince Albert tied it when D Max Martin (5), who also had two assists, scored at 11:55 of the third period, then took the lead as F Carson Miller (9) scored at 12:28. . . . Edmonton F Vince Loschiavo (14) forced OT when he scored with 6.6 seconds left in the third. . . . Fonstad won it with his 11th goal at 3:00 of OT. . . . Prince Albert was 2-6 on the PP; Edmonton was 2-7. . . . Oil Kings F Trey Fix-Wolansky was held to one assist. He now shares the WHL scoring lead with Prince Albert F Brett Leason, each with 64 points. Season is in Victoria with Canada’s national junior team. . . . Gregor added an assist to his two goals, with Fonstad adding two assists to his singleton. . . . Edmonton got a goal and two assists from D Conner McDonald. He’s got seven goals. . . . The Raiders were without G Ian Scott and Leason, both of whom are with the Canadian junior team, and D Sergei Sapego and F Aliaksei Protas, who are with Belarus at the IIHF World Junior Championship (Division I Group A) in Fussen, Germany. The Oil Kings also have two players on the Belarusian roster — F Vladimir Alistrov and F Andrei Pavlenko.


The Swift Current Broncos erased 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to beat the visiting Regina Pats, 4-3. SCBroncos. . . Swift Current (6-23-2) had lost its previous two games. . . . Regina (8-23-1) has lost nine in a row (0-8-1). . . . The Pats had won the first three meetings with the Broncos. . . . F Scott Mahovlich (5) and F Brett Clayton (3) gave the Pats a 2-0 first-period lead. . . . F Andrew Fyten got the Broncos to within a goal, on a PP, at 5:46 of the second period. . . . The Pats went ahead 3-1 when F Riley Krane (5) scored at 8:39. . . . Fyten (8) made it 3-2 at 13:43. . . . In the third period, F Joona Kiviniemi (7) got the home side into a 3-3 tie, at 11:18, and F Tanner Nagel (5) won it at 16:44. . . . G Joel Hofer stopped 36 shots for the Broncos. Hofer is 4-17-2, 4.03, .902. . . . The Pats had F Robbie Holmes back after he missed 17 games with an undisclosed injury. . . . F Sam McGinley, who joined the Pats Wednesday, picked up an assist in his WHL debut. He was a fifth-round pick by the Pats in the 2017 bantam draft.


The Lethbridge Hurricanes scored the game’s first five goals and went on to beat the Lethbridgevisiting Kelowna Rockets, 5-1. . . . Lethbridge (16-9-6) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). . . . Kelowna (15-16-2) had points in each of its previous five (4-0-1). . . . F Zachary Cox (10) got the home side started at 2:16 of the first period, and F Jake Leschyshyn (20) made it 2-0, shorthanded, at 14:05. . . . F Jake Elmer (16), in the second period, and F Jordy Bellerive (13) and F Taylor Ross (18) added third-period goals. . . . F Liam Kindree (7) scored, on a PP, for Kelowna at 13:39 of the third. . . . Kelowna was 1-7 on the PP, while Lethbridge was 0-3. . . . The Hurricanes won 43 of the game’s 67 faceoffs.


F Ryan Jevne scored twice for a third straight game to help the Medicine Hat Tigers to a Tigers Logo Official4-2 victory over the visiting Kamloops Blazers. . . . The Tigers (16-14-3) have won three in a row. . . . The Blazers (12-14-3) have lost four straight (0-3-1), all on a Central Division trip. . . . Jevne opened the scoring at 5:38 of the first period. . . . F Tyler Preziuso (13) made it 2-0 at 12:21. . . . Jevne, who has 16 goals, scored shorthanded at 4:35 of the second period for a 3-0 lead. . . . The Blazers made it interesting late in the second as F Connor Zary (7) scored at 15;14, and F Brodi Stuart (9) made it 3-2 at 17:59. . . . The Tigers got insurance from D Daniel Baker (2) at 6:04 of the third. . . . G Mads Søgaard earned the victory with 36 saves. . . . Blazers F Jermaine Loewen served Game 2 of a three-game suspension. . . . Kamloops F Zane Franklin wasn’t suspended after taking a boarding major and game misconduct for a hit from behind on Red Deer D Alex Alexeyev on Tuesday night. Alexeyev was taken to hospital but, according to Greg Meachem of reddeerrebels.com, X-rays and a CAT scan were negative. Alexeyev, who is to join the Russian national junior team on Saturday, is listed as day-to-day and may play against visiting Medicine Hat on Friday.


D Nolan Reid and F Jake McGrew scored in a shootout to give the host Spokane Chiefs a SpokaneChiefs4-3 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . Spokane improved to 17-11-4. . . . Everett (25-7-2) now has points in 12 straight (10-0-2). . . . The Silvertips had won their previous nine games in regulation. . . . Everett was 3-4 on the PP; Spokane was 2-5. . . . F Connor Dewar (24) gave the Silvertips a 1-0 lead at 3:50 of the first period, and F Luc Smith (13) tied it, on a PP, at 19:50. . . . F Max Patterson (10) put Everett ahead at 5:23 of the second period. . . . Spokane went ahead 3-2 on second-period goals from F Luke Toporowski (9), on a PP, at 8:28 and F Adam Beckman (14) at 9:24. . . . F Bryce Kindopp (14) tied it 3-3 at 14:02. . . . The Chiefs got 43 saves from G Bailey Brkin. . . . F Akash Bains returned to Everett’s lineup after a three-game absence. . . . Everett F Sean Richards sat out the second of an eight-game suspension.


F Joachim Blichfeld scored twice and added two assists to lead the Portland Winterhawks Portlandto a 7-2 victory over the Royals in Victoria. . . . Portland (19-11-2) has dropped a 7-4 decision in Victoria on Tuesday. . . . Victoria (14-13-1) had points in its previous two games (1-0-1). . . . Last night, the Royals actually jumped out to a 2-0 first-period lead on goals from F Ty Yoder, with his first WHL score, and D Scott Walford (3). . . . F Ryan Hughes got Portland started at 5:34 of the second period and F Seth Jarvis tied it at 6:37. . . . Hughes, who also had an assist, put Portland ahead with his 12th goal, on a PP, at 13:19, and Blichfeld made it 4-2, shorthanded, at 17:32. . . . The visitors iced it with third-period goals from F Jaydon Dureau (7), F Reece Newkirk (17) and Blichfeld (29), with the last two coming via the PP. . . . Portland was 3-4 on the PP. . . . Blichfeld now leads the WHL in goals (29), one more than F Brett Leason of the Prince Albert Raiders, who is in camp with Canada’s national junior team. . . . Blichfeld also has 61 points, just three off the league lead. . . . Newkirk added two assists to his goal, with F Jake Gricius picking up three assists. . . . F Tyson Kozak made his WHL debut with Portland, and he was on the No. 1 line, between Hughes and Blichfeld. A sixth-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft, the native of Souris, Man., has 14 goals and 23 assists in 20 games with the midget AAA Southwest Cougars of the Manitoba Midget Hockey League. . . . Souris also is the hometown of Everett Silvertips GM Garry Davidson. . . . Just sayin’. . . . D Jake Kustra, who was acquired by the Royals from the Saskatoon Blades on Tuesday, has yet to play for Victoria.


Tweetoftheday

Historic night for Warriors . . . Tigers win Central Division again . . . Raiders get last playoff spot


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

The Vancouver Giants are almost certain to finish third in the B.C. Division and likely will meet the Victoria Royals in the first round.

Vancouver is third in the B.C. Division, five points behind the Royals. The Giants have Vancouverthree games remaining, but appear likely to finish the regular season without G David Tendeck.

Glen Hanlon, the Giants’ general manager, told Steve Ewen of Postmedia that Tendeck will miss at least two games with an undisclosed injury. The Giants have three games remaining — they are at home to the Kelowna Rockets and Friday and finish up in the Little Apple on Saturday.

I would bet that Tendeck misses all three games, as the Giants try to get him ready for their playoff opener, likely on March 23 in Victoria.

That means the Giants will ride G Trent Miner, who turned 17 on Feb. 5, to the finish line. From Brandon, he was a first-round pick in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. In six games with the Giants, he is 2-2-0, 4.10, .888.


The Spokane Chiefs have added G Bailey Brkin, 18, to their roster. They acquired his SpokaneChiefsWHL rights from the Kootenay Ice on Jan. 8, giving up an eight-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft. He finished this season with the AJHL’s Lloydminster Bobcats, getting into 11 games and going 5-4-1 (the 1 was a tie), 2.68, .929. In four games with the Chiefs, he was 3-1-0, 2.51, .921. . . .

Meanwhile, the Chiefs have signed F Sean Gulka, 18, to a WHL contract and have added him to their roster for the remainder of the season. The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder is from Langley, B.C. He had 12 goals and 13 assists in 50 games with the BCHL’s Langley Rivermen this season. . . . Gulka was a ninth-round pick by the Victoria Royals in the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft. The Chiefs acquired him from the Royals on Nov. 22 for a sixth-round selection in the 2018 bantam draft.


JUST NOTES . . .

The Portland Winterhawks have said that F Lukus McKenzie will be out day-to-day after leaving a game on Sunday with an apparent injury to his right arm or wrist. The Winterhawks next are scheduled to play on Friday against visiting Seattle. . . .

F Tanner Nagel of the Swift Current Broncos has been suspended for three games for something that occurred in a game at Moose Jaw on Saturday — Warriors D Dmitri Zaitsev was injured on the play in question and didn’t return to the game. Nagel, who wasn’t penalized on the play in question, was suspended under supplemental discipline so won’t play again in the regular season as the Broncos have only three games remaining. . . .

There will be pro hockey in St. John’s, Nfld., again next season with the news that the ECHL has granted an expansion franchise to Dean MacDonald. The team, which doesn’t yet have a nickname, will be affiliated with the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs. . . . The ECHL also is losing two teams — the Quad City Mallards are folding, while the Colorado Eagles are moving up to the AHL. . . . Robin Short of the St. John’s Telegram has lots more right here. . . .

F Ryan McBeath of the midget AAA Red Deer Optimist Chiefs was killed in a car accident on Tuesday morning. McBeath, 17, died just south east of Red Deer when McBeath’s vehicle hit a tanker trunk. McBeath, from Olds, Alta., was the lone occupant of his vehicle. . . . According to rdnewsnow.com, “Cpl. Curtis Peters (of Three Hills RCMP) said there was thick fog in the area at the time of the crash which may have contributed to the cause of the accident. Environment Canada issued a fog advisory for the area earlier in the morning.” . . . McBeath had 16 goals and 15 assists in 35 games with the Chiefs this season. He also got into two games with the AJHL’s Drumheller Dragons, scoring twice and adding an assist.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

TUESDAY:

At Moose Jaw, the Warriors clinched their first Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy as regular-season champions with a 2-1 shootout victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . MooseJawWarriorsMoose Jaw (52-15-3) has won three in a row. It also wrapped up its fourth East Division title. . . . Prince Albert (32-25-12) had won its previous nine games. It is in the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, and clinched a playoff berth when Saskatoon lost in Brandon. That was the final playoff spot that had yet to be decided. . . . The Raiders now are five points behind Brandon, which is in possession of the first wild-card spot. Prince Albert has three games remaining. . . . Should the standings remain as they are, the Warriors and Raiders would meet in the first round of the playoffs, a series that likely would open in Moose Jaw on March 23. . . . The Warriors won the season series, 5-2-1; the Raiders were 3-4-1. . . . F Nikita Krivokrasov (3) gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead at 3:21 of the first period. . . . F Vince Loschiavo got the Warriors into a tie with his 19th goal, just 34 seconds later. . . . There wasn’t any further scoring until the shootout. F Brett Howden and F Jayden Halbgewachs, Moose Jaw’s first shooters, both scored, while Prince Albert’s first two were blanked. . . . Each team was 0-4 on the PP. . . . G Brody Willms earned his 37th victory of the season with 27 saves. He now holds the franchise’s single-season record for victories, one more than Thomas Heemskerk (2010-11). . . . The Raiders got 36 saves from G Ian Scott. . . . The Warriors were without three injured players — F Brayden Burke, who has missed five games, and D Brandon Schuldaus and D Dmitri Zaitsev, both of whom sat out a second straight game after being injured on Saturday. . . . Moose Jaw F Barrett Sheen’s suspension for a Saturday night charging major and game misconduct — he hit Swift Current F Tyler Steenbergen — was set at four games by the WHL on Tuesday. He served the first game on Sunday, so won’t play again in the regular season, but will be eligible to return for the first game of the playoffs. . . . The Raiders continue to play without F Brett Leason. . . . Announced attendance: 3,349.


At Brandon, the Wheat Kings posted a 5-3 victory over Saskatoon, a loss that eliminated the Blades from the playoff picture for a fifth straight season. . . . Brandon (38-27-5) holds BrandonWKregulardown the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot. It is fourth in the East Division, one point behind Regina. . . . Saskatoon (32-33-4) has lost three in a row (0-2-1). . . . The Wheat Kings won the season series, 6-2-0. . . . D Logan Christensen (5) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 7:38 of the first period. . . . Brandon took a 2-1 lead on goals from F Linden McCorrister (19), at 9:09, and F Marcus Sekundiak (4), at 5:50 of the second period. . . . The Blades tied it at 11:26 as F Max Gerlach got No. 29. . . . But the Wheat Kings scored the next two goals, as D Schael Higson (5) counted at 13:44, then F Ty Lewis (43) scored at 6:59 of the third period. . . . The Blades got back to within a goal at 12:39, courtesy of F Eric Florchuk (16). . . . Brandon got an insurance goal from F Evan Weinger (30) at 14:07. . . . Higson, Lewis and Weinger each had an assist for Brandon. . . . The Blades got two assists from F Kirby Dach, and one apiece from Florchuk and Gerlach. . . . Saskatoon was 0-1 on the PP; Brandon was 0-4. . . . With G Logan Thompson still out, Brandon started G Dylan Myskiw, and he stopped 40 shots. . . . The Blades got 23 saves from G Nolan Maier. . . . Announced attendance: 4,715.


At Edmonton, the Oil Kings exploded for five goals in the third period and went to beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 5-1. . . . Edmonton (21-41-8) has won two in a row. . . . EdmontonOilKingsLethbridge (32-31-6) has lost six straight. It will finish second in the Central Division and meet Red Deer in the first round of the playoffs. Home-ice advantage has yet to be decided. Lethbridge, which entertains Red Deer tonight, is five points ahead of the Rebels with each team having three games remaining. . . . Lethbridge went 3-2-1 in the season series with Edmonton, which finished 3-3-0. . . . F Jadon Joseph (9) gave Lethbridge a 1-0 lead at 5:48 of the first period. . . . F Colton Kehler (31) got Edmonton into a 1-1 tie, on a PP, at 2:09 of the second period, and F Nick Bowman (6) put it in front at 7:23. . . . D Conner McDonald upped the lead to 3-1, on a PP, at 14:50, and F Tomas Soustal (20) added another PP score at 16:08. . . . F Trey Fix-Wolansky (31), who also had three assists, put a cap on the five-goal outburst at 18:48. . . . Edmonton was 3-4 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-5. . . . The Oil Kings got 26 stops from G Josh Dechaine. . . . G Logan Flodell turned aside 30 shots for the Hurricanes. . . . Announced attendance: 6,468.


At Medicine Hat, the Calgary Hitmen scored three times in the third period and beat the CalgaryTigers, 3-1. . . . Calgary (22-36-11) has points in three straight games (2-0-1). . . . Despite the loss, Medicine Hat (35-27-8), which has lost two straight, clinched the Central Division pennant for a second straight season as second-place Lethbridge lost in Edmonton. . . . Calgary and Medicine Hat each was 3-2-1 in the season series. . . . The Tigers took a 1-0 lead when D Dylan MacPherson (4) scored 12 seconds into the third period. . . . F Tristen Nielsen (19) got Calgary into a tie at 6:41, and F Riley Stotts (17) put it in front, on a PP, at 13:01. . . . F Conner Chaulk (16) added the empty-netter at 19:29. . . . F Carson Focht had two assists for Calgary, as did D Vladislav Yeryomenko. . . . Calgary was 1-4 on the PP; Medicine Hat was 0-5. . . . Calgary G Nick Schneider stopped 36 shots, 14 more than Michael Bullion of the Tigers. . . . Announced attendance: 2,899.


At Kennewick, Wash., the Tri-City Americans erased a 2-1 deficit with the game’s last three goals and beat the Everett Silvertips, 4-2. . . . Tri-City (36-24-9) has won four in a TriCity30row. It holds down the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot, seven points ahead of Seattle, which has four games remaining. The Americans are fourth in the U.S. Division, three points behind Spokane. . . . Everett (45-20-5) has lost two straight. It leads the Western Conference by four points over Portland, which has three games left. . . . Everett is 5-2-1 in the season series; Tri-City is 3-5-0. . . . D Jake Bean (11) gave Tri-City a 1-0 lead at 18:23 of the first period. . . . F Matt Fonteyne (34) tied it, on a PP, at 2:52, and F Garrett Pilon (33) gave the visitors the lead, on another PP, at 9:03. . . . The Americans tied it at 10:45 as F Michael Rasmussen got No. 29, and took a 3-2 lead at 15:10 on F Morgan Geekie’s 29th goal. . . . F Riley Sawchuk (15) made it 4-2 at 18:46 of the third period. . . . The Americans got two assists from F Sasha Mutala, with Bean and Geekie each getting one. . . . D Kevin Davis had two assists for Everett. . . . The Silvertips were 2-2 on the PP; the Americans were 0-1. . . . The Americans got 33 saves from G Patrick Dea. . . . G Carter Hart stopped 20 shots for Everett. . . . F Patrick Bajkov drew an assist on Everett’s second goal, setting a club record for most points in a season (94) in the process. He had been sharing the mark with F Zach Hamill (2006-07) and F Josh Winquist (2013-14). . . . Everett was without D Ondrej Vala, who completed a two-game suspension for a cross-checking major and game misconduct during a game against Seattle in Kent, Wash., on Saturday. . . . Announced attendance: 2,799.


WEDNESDAY (all times local):

Prince Albert at Regina, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Calgary, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Prince George at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Seattle at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.


THURSDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Brandon at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Swift Current at Regina, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Seattle at Portland, 7 p.m.

Prince George at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Tri-City at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.

Kelowna vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7:30 p.m.

Victoria at Everett, 7:35 p.m.


SATURDAY (all times local):

Regina at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Prince Albert at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Calgary at Edmonton, 7 p.m.

Red Deer at Kootenay, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.

Kamloops at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Portland vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 6:05 p.m.

Spokane vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.

Everett at Victoria 7:05 p.m.


SUNDAY (all times local):

Edmonton at Calgary, 2 p.m.

Spokane at Portland, 5 p.m.

Seattle vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 5:05 p.m

END OF REGULAR SEASON


TWEET OF THE DAY

Charges stayed with death of agent . . . Three WHL players suspended . . . AJHL’s Thunder signs GM/head coach

MacBeth

F Jaedon Descheneau (Kootenay, 2011-16) has been assigned on loan by Thurgau (Switzerland, NL B) to Davos (Switzerland, NL A) for the rest of this season. In 41 games, he had 18 goals and 32 assists for Thurgau, leading the team in assists and points. He was fifth in league scoring. . . . Thurgau lost Game 6 of the NL B quarterfinals 4-1 at home to Olten on Sunday. Descheneau led his team in scoring with nine points, including four goals. . . . Meanwhile, Davos leads a best-of-seven NL A quarterfinal series against Biel-Bienne, 1-0. Game 2 is today (Tuesday) in Davos.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

Stacey McAlpine, a former player agent who was charged of defrauding former NHL players Dany Heatley and Chris Phillips, died on March 5 in Winnipeg. As a result, the charge have been stayed. . . . A death notice in Saturday’s Winnipeg Free Press stated that McAlpine, 54, had “passed away peacefully in his sleep, at home.” . . . Kevin Rollason of the Free Press has more right here.


D Ondrej Vala of the Everett Silvertips has drawn a two-game suspension after taking a cross-checking major and game misconduct for a hit on F Zack Andrusiak of the host whlSeattle Thunderbirds on Saturday night. Vala sat out Everett’s 2-0 loss in Portland on Sunday, and he will miss tonight’s game in Kennewick, Wash., against the Sri-City Americans. . . .

F Tanner Nagel of the Swift Current Broncos will begin to serve a TBD suspension by missing Wednesday’s game against the visiting Saskatoon Blades. Nagel was suspended under supplementary discipline for something that occurred during Saturday’s 4-2 loss to the Warriors in Moose Jaw. . . .

As of Monday night, the WHL hadn’t set the length of the suspension to Moose Jaw F Barrett Sheen after he took a charging major and game misconduct for a hit on Swift Current F Tyler Steenbergen on Saturday. . . . Sheen missed Sunday’s 5-3 victory over the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings, and he isn’t likely to play tonight against the visiting Prince Albert Raiders. . . . This is Sheen’s third suspension this season. He sat out five games after taking a headshot major and game misconduct in Medicine Hat on Jan. 27, then drew a two-game sentence for, according to the WHL website, “actions at conclusion of game at Regina on Feb. 18.”


TheCoachingGame

Eric Thurston is the new general manager and head coach of the AJHL’s Drayton Valley Thunder. . . . Thurston, 54, spent 1994-2011 on staff with the U of Alberta Golden Bears, the last four as head coach. He also has coached in the Hungarian National Ice Hockey Federation’s programs. This season, Thurston was coaching at OHA Edmonton. . . . As a player, Thurston played 206 games with the WHL’s Victoria Cougars (1981-84), then spent one season with the Golden Bears, before spending five seasons in Europe. . . . The Thunder didn’t make the playoffs this season, finishing 17-40-3. . . . Last week, general manager Joey Bouchard, head coach Ryan Rechner, Jason Nicholetts, the director of player development, and head scout Travis Gibson all resigned.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

MONDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


TUESDAY (all times local):

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Brandon 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Edmonton, 7 p.m.

Calgary at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.

Everett vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.


WEDNESDAY (all times local):

Prince Albert at Regina, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Calgary, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Prince George at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Seattle at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.


THURSDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Brandon at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Swift Current at Regina, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Seattle at Portland, 7 p.m.

Prince George at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Tri-City at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.

Kelowna vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7:30 p.m.

Victoria at Everett, 7:35 p.m.


SATURDAY (all times local):

Regina at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Prince Albert at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Calgary at Edmonton, 7 p.m.

Red Deer at Kootenay, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.

Kamloops at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Portland vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 6:05 p.m.

Spokane vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.

Everett at Victoria 7:05 p.m.


SUNDAY (all times local):

Edmonton at Calgary, 2 p.m.

Spokane at Portland, 5 p.m.

Seattle vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 5:05 p.m

END OF REGULAR SEASON


TWEET OF THE DAY

Tuesday’s WHL deals: If Broncos weren’t all-in before, they are now . . . Hurricanes land Barlage . . . Three other deals, too

WHEELING AND DEALING …

NUMBER OF TRADES (since Nov. 13): 41

PLAYERS: 78

BANTAM DRAFT PICKS: 49

CONDITONAL BANTAM DRAFT PICKS: 8

THE DEADLINE: Wednesday, Jan. 10 (2 p.m. PT, 3 p.m. MT, 4 p.m. CT)


THE DEAL: The Swift Current Broncos acquired F Giorgio Estephan, 20, F Tanner Nagel, 19, and G Stuart Skinner, 19, from the Swift Current Broncos for F Logan Barlage, 16, F Owen Blocker, 17, D Matthew Stanley, 19, G Logan Flodell, 20, first- and third-round selections in the 2020 WHL bantam draft and a conditional second-round pick in 2021.

THE NUMBERS: Estephan, the Hurricanes’ captain, put up 297 points, including 119 SCBroncosgoals, in 297 regular-season games with Lethbridge. This season, he had 58 points, including 18 goals, in 39 games. . . . Estephan is fifth on the Hurricanes’ career list for games played (297), tied for seventh in points (297), nine in goals (119) and fourth in assists (178). . . . Last season, he finished with 35 goals and 54 assists in 68 games, then added 11 goals and 13 helpers in 18 playoff games. . . . Nagel was acquired from the Portland Winterhawks on Sept. 16, 2016. He has played 107 games with Lethbridge, recording 13 goals and 11 assists. This season, Nagel has three goals and five assists in 35 games. . . . Skinner made 182 appearances with the Hurricanes, going 88-66-13, 3.30, .907. He is first in franchise history in four career categories — games played (182), minutes played (9,885), saves (5,318) and victories (88). . . .

The 6-foot-4, 200-pound Barlage has one goal and six assists in 37 games with the Broncos this season. Last season, he had 37 goals and 39 assists in 44 games with the midget AAA Prince Albert Mintos. In 2015-16, his draft season, Barlage put up 60 goals and 65 assists in 30 games with the bantam AA Humboldt Broncos. . . . Blocker, 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, has one goal in 27 games this season. In 71 career games, he has one goal and one assist. . . . In 40 games this season, the 6-foot-1, 180-pound. . . . This season, Stanley has four assists in 40 games. In 91 career games, he has five assists. . . . Flodell made 35 appearances with the Broncos this season, going 24-8-3, 3.07, .913 with three shutouts. The Broncos acquired him from the Saskatoon Blades earlier in the season.

THE INFO: The Broncos now have five first-round selections from the 2013 bantam draft Lethbridgeon their roster — D Josh Anderson (Prince George), F Tyler Steenbergen (their own pick), Skinner, F Beck Malenstyn (Calgary) and F Kaden Elder (Seattle). However, the Broncos have traded away all of their first-rounders from 2014 through 2020 — D Dominic Schmiemann, 2014 (Calgary), F Riley Stotts, 2015 (Calgary), Barlage, and D Joel Sexsmith, 2017 (Vancouver). . . . The Broncos did get a 2019 first-round pick from Vancouver for the rights to Sexsmith. . . . Estephan, from Edmonton, was the fourth-overall selection in the 2012 bantam draft. He was a sixth-round pick by the Buffalo Sabres in the NHL’s 2015 draft, but was never signed. . . . Nagel, who turns 20 on Jan. 27, is from Mossbank, Sask., but pretty much grew up in Swift Current. He was an alternate captain with the Hurricanes. . . . Lethbridge selected Skinner in the first round of the 2013 bantam draft. The Edmonton Oilers picked him in the third round of the NHL’s 2017 draft. He has yet to sign a pro contract. . . .

The Broncos selected Barlage, who is from Humboldt, Sask., with the fourth overall pick in the 2016 bantam draft. He will turn 17 on Friday and is eligible for the NHL’s 2019 draft. . . . In 2013-14, with a peewee AA team in Humboldt, Barlage had 274 points, including 175 goals, in 56 games. . . . From Oakbank, Man., Blocker was selected by the Broncos in the second round of the 2015 bantam draft. . . . The Broncos picked Stanley in the 12th round of the 2013 bantam draft. He’s from Balmoral, Man. . . . Flodell, from Regina, was a third-round pick by the Seattle Thunderbirds in the 2012 bantam draft. Last season, with Saskatoon, he was an Eastern Conference second-team all-star.

WHY: Swift Current’s braintrust apparently felt it was one rung below Moose Jaw — at the time of the deal, the Warriors led the overall standings by eight points over the Broncos — and chose to try and do something about it. So the Broncos struck in a big way, but the price was steep. You have to think they know that’s the way it would be when Manny Viveiros, their director of hockey operations and head coach, first inquired about getting both Estephan and Skinner. . . . At the same time, the Hurricanes were eager to get their hands on Barlage. As Lethbridge GM Peter Anholt said in a news release: “To be able to get Barlage in the trade was the key to this move. He’s a big, young guy who has a lot of potential and we think he will be a real good player who will be an important piece to us now and (in the) future.”


THE DEAL: The Swift Current Broncos acquired F Andrew Fyten, 19, from the Calgary Hitmen for the rights to D Ethan Martini, 17, or a conditional third-round selection in the 2020 WHL bantam draft.

THE NUMBERS: Fyten had six goals and 10 assists in 40 games with the Hitmen this Calgaryseason. In 155 career games, all with Calgary, the 6-foot-1, 190-pounder has 14 goals and 21 assists. . . . Martini is in his second BCHL season with his hometown Trail Smoke Eaters after playing at the Edge School in Calgary. He has six assists in 40 games this season. Last season, he had a goal and four assists in 58 games.

THE INFO: From Sundre, Alta., Fyten was a fifth-round pick by the Everett Silvertips in the 2013 bantam draft. He was dealt to Calgary on May 8, 2015, for a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . The Broncos selected Martini in the third round of the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft. Under the terms of the deal, if he doesn’t sign with Calgary, the Hitmen will get that third-round pick in the 2020 bantam draft.

WHY: The Broncos added some depth and some grit to their forward group, while the Hitmen get to take a shot at recruiting Martini, who has been a pretty solid junior A defender.


THE DEAL: The Medicine Hat Tigers acquired F Elijah Brown, who turned 18 on Jan. 5, from the Seattle Thunderbirds for a second-round pick in the 2018 WHL bantam draft Tigers Logo Officialand a conditional third-round pick in 2019.

THE NUMBERS: Brown had six goals and 14 assists in 80 games with Seattle. He had a goal and an assist in two games in 2015-16 and four goals and nine assists in 64 games last season. This season, he had a goal and four assists in 14 games when he chose to go home.

THE INFO: The Thunderbirds selected Brown, who is from Edmonton, in the first round of the 2015 bantam draft. . . . He had been on Seattle’s suspended list since Nov. 1 when he chose to leave the club due to what he felt was a lack of playing time. . . . Medicine Hat assistant coach Bobby Fox and Brown were together on Team Alberta at the Western Canada U-16 Challenge Cup in 2015.

WHY: The Tigers get to add a former first-rounder who has some upside to their roster, while the Thunderbirds get a couple of assets for someone who didn’t fit with them.


THE DEAL: The Prince George Cougars acquired D Cameron MacPhee, 18, from the PrinceGeorgeMedicine Hat Tigers for a seventh-round pick in the 2018 WHL bantam draft.

THE NUMBERS: The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder, who is from Edmonton, had one goal in 20 games with the Tigers this season. Last season, he had one assist in 16 games.

THE INFO: The Tigers had dropped MacPhee from their roster in November, saying that he had gone home to deal with a personal matter.

WHY: The Cougars didn’t pay a whole lot to get a half-season look at someone who could spend the next two seasons with them. . . . The Tigers add a draft pick for a player who wasn’t coming back to them.