Did anything go wrong in Prince George? . . . Sask. Hockey Hall gets new name . . . Arena now bears Kennedy’s name


MacBeth

F Jozef Balej (Portland, 1999-2002) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Freiburg (Germany, DEL2). He was released by Žilina (Slovakia, Extraliga) on Tuesday. The team captain, he had three goals and eight assists in 31 games. . . . Freiburg now has five imports on its roster but is allowed to dress only four per game. The four other imports are d-men Radek Havel and Antti Kauppila, and forwards Brad McGowan, and Josef Mikyska. . . .

F Kris Versteeg (Lethbridge, Kamloops, Red Deer, 2002-06) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Växjö (Sweden, SHL) after obtaining his release from Avangard Omsk (Russia, KHL). In 11 games, he had three goals and five assists. He left Avangard in late October and returned to Canada. . . .

F Tim Bozon (Kamloops, Kootenay, 2011-15) has signed a two-year contract extension with Genève-Servette (Switzerland, NL A). He has three goals and seven assists in 35 games.


ThisThat

Richard Matvichuk, in the final season of a three-year contract and with a new general manager looking over his shoulder, was going to have to win the WHL championship PrinceGeorgethis season in order to earn a new contract as the head coach of the Prince George Cougars.

Of course, that was never going to happen, what with the Cougars in a rebuilding mode.

So . . . with the team eight points from a playoff spot and only 16 games left to play, general manager Mark Lamb fired Matvichuk following a 4-3 overtime loss to the visiting Vancouver Giants on Wednesday night.

The Giants, at 35-13-3, are atop the B.C. Division, 35 points ahead of the Cougars (16-30-6), who have lost 11 straight games (0-8-3).

Lamb, who spent seven seasons (2009-16) as the GM/head coach of the Swift Current Broncos, has taken over as head coach and will be in that role tonight when the Cougars meet the Rockets in Kelowna.

He will be joined behind the bench by associate coach Steve O’Rourke and Nick Drazenovic, who has been moved up from director of player development to assistant coach, at least for the rest of this season.

If you’re wondering why things went south in Prince George this season, it may have had something to do with the schedule. As bad as 16-30-6 may sound now, the Cougars were 11-14-3 as they began an insane 11-game road trip that was interrupted by the Christmas break and included three separate jaunts into the U.S. Division. They went 3-8-0 on that trip, came home and beat Kelowna twice, and are 0-8-3 since those victories.

Team management has since gone on the record as saying it will never again accept such goofy scheduling.

Matvichuk, a 46-year-old native of Edmonton, will find another coaching job. After all, he was the ECHL’s reigning coach of the year when he left the Missouri Mavericks to sign with the Cougars on June 2, 2016. The Mavericks had finished with the ECHL’s best regular-season record (52-15-5) in 2015-16.

In Matvichuk’s first season in Prince George, the Cougars went 45-21-6 to finish atop the B.C. Division, a first for the franchise since it relocated from Victoria for the 1994-95 season.

You may recall that the Cougars went all-in that season. On Nov. 18, 2016, they acquired D Brendan Guhle from the Prince Albert Raiders in exchange for two players, as well as first- and third-round bantam draft picks. Then, on Jan. 5, 2017, the Cougars got Russian F Nikita Popugaev from the Moose Jaw Warriors for two players, including F Justin Almeida, and a couple of bantam draft picks. Popugaev gave the Cougars 25 points, nine of them goals, in 44 games over two seasons before going home 13 games into last season. Almeida has produced 184 points, 71 of them goals, in 150 games with the Warriors.

It turned out for naught as the Cougars lost a first-round playoff series, 4-2, to the Portland Winterhawks.

Last season, the Cougars were sellers — they unloaded the likes of F Kody McDonald, D Josh Anderson and D Dennis Cholowski — as they wound up 24-38-10, leaving them fifth in the B.C. Division and 20 points from a playoff spot.

Somewhere in all of this, the Cougars’ ownership group decided to make a u-turn in regard to its philosophy. Henceforth, the goal won’t be to aim for a single-season splash, to get caught up in what some people still see as the cyclical nature of major junior hockey. Rather, the owners decided that the Cougars are going to build through the draft with the goal of having a team that makes the playoffs on an annual basis. Make the playoffs, the thinking now is, and let the chips fall where they may.

Unfortunately, none of that does Matvichuk any good because he’s gone.

Remember, too, that hockey teams go through coaches these days the way   a Dairy Queen outlet goes through ice cream.

The Cougars are the second of the WHL’s 22 teams to make a coaching change this season. Kelowna was 4-10-0 when Jason Smith was fired and replaced by Adam Foote. The Rockets are 17-16-5 under Foote.

After last season, eight WHL teams changed head coaches. Seven teams, including the Cougars, also brought in new general managers.

The Cougars decided not to renew Todd Harkins’ contract after last season. He had been in the organization for four seasons, the first one as head scout and director of player personnel, the last one as general manager.

It was Harkins who hired Matvichuk.

With Lamb coming in and Matvichuk into the last year of his contract, many observers thought they could see the writing on the wall. Late on Wednesday night, their eyesight was proven to be 20/20.

Lamb signed a four-year contract with the Cougars, and now he gets to hire his own head coach. Or maybe he puts himself into the position on a permanent basis. His last stint as a head coach, with the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners, didn’t end the way he would have liked when he was dismissed after one season (2016-17).

Unless Lamb, 54, is one of those rare people who is able to shake free from the coaching bug, he may have a desire to give it another go with the hope that at some point he will be able to walk away on his terms.


F Ilijah Colina left the Prince George Cougars last week.

At the time, the Cougars said that Colina, a 19-year-old from North Delta, B.C., who was in his third WHL season, had gone home for “personal reasons.”

In a tweet (above) that was posted on Thursday evening, Colina’s mother, Carrie, has shed some light on her son’s departure.

The next time you attend a junior hockey game, take a minute to think about the stress the players face, almost all of them living away from home as they chase a dream, with some of them starting to realize that that’s all it is — a dream.

In 151 regular-season games, 68 with the Cougars and 83 with the Portland Winterhawks, Colina has 18 goals and 37 assists.


An update on F Cody Glass of the Portland Winterhawks, who has been rehabbing a knee injury, from Vince Sapienza, a sports reporter with FOX 5 in Las Vegas:


The Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame has undergone a name change after receiving a $500,000 donation from the family of the late Ted Knight, a former co-owner of the saskhallRegina Pats.

It has been renamed the Ted Knight Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame.

From a news release:

“Ted Knight’s children — Tracey, Kevin and Kyle — wanted to honour their father’s name and his love for the game of hockey. Through this title sponsorship of the Hall, the Ted Knight Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame will remain a hub for hockey in the province and honour those individuals who have made a lasting impression on Saskatchewan hockey.”

Knight, who was born in Selkirk, Man., in 1939, played for the Winnipeg Braves when they won the 1958 Memorial Cup.

In 1986, Knight, Bill Hicke, Morley Gusway, Jack Nichol and Huddy Bell bought the Regina Pats. Knight was part of that ownership group for 10 years.

Knight, along with sons Kevin and Kyle, owned the Knight Automotive Group. It started with Crestview Chrysler Dodge in Regina and now has 15 dealerships in the three Prairie provinces.

Knight died on Oct. 13, 2017, at the age of 78.

The Hall of Fame is located in the Credit Union I-Plex, the home arena of the Swift Current Broncos.


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Hamilton plays big in Calgary . . . Ex-WHL player commits to U of North Dakota . . . Psst! Wanna win a funeral?


MacBeth

F Ryan Harrison (Prince Albert, Medicine Hat, Everett, 2007-13) signed a one-year contract with Jegesmedvék Miskolc (Hungary, Slovakia Extraliga). Last season, with the Colorado Eagles (ECHL), he had 13 goals and 21 assists in 63 games. . . .

F Edgars Kulda (Edmonton, 2012-15) signed a tryout contract with Zlín (Czech Republic, Extraliga). Last season, with Dinamo Riga (Latvia, KHL), he had one goal in 31 games. . . .

F Kyle Chipchura (Prince Albert, 2001-06) signed a one-year contract with Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia, KHL). Last season, with Kunlun Red Star Beijing (China, KHL), he had five goals and six assists in 56 games. . . .

F Tim Bozon (Kamloops, Kootenay, 2011-15) signed a one-year plus option contract with Genève-Servette (Switzerland, NL A). Last season, with Kloten (Switzerland, NL A), he had seven goals and five assists in 44 games.


ThisThat

Steve Hamilton is back in the WHL, less than two months after leaving, this time as head coach of the Calgary Hitmen. The former Edmonton Oil Kings coach was introduced as Calgarythe 10th head coach in Calgary’s history on Tuesday morning.

The length of Hamilton’s contract wasn’t revealed, although it is a multi-year deal.

Hamilton replaces Dallas Ferguson, who left the Hitmen on June 26 after one season on staff. Ferguson cited family reasons in leaving Calgary. He has since surfaced as an assistant coach with the U of Denver Pioneers.

Hamilton, 44, spent the previous eight seasons with the Oil Kings, four as an assistant coach and the last four as head coach. He helped the Oil Kings twice win the Ed Chynoweth Cup as WHL champions (2012, 2014) and to a Memorial Cup title in 2014.

Hamilton and assistant coach Ryan Marsh were fired by the Oil Kings on May 29. Marsh has since signed on as an assistant coach with the Saskatoon Blades.


With the Calgary Hitmen having hired Steve Hamilton as head coach, it means that eight of the WHL’s 22 teams will open the new season with head coaches who weren’t there when last season began.

To refresh your memory, here’s a look at the new guys, with the former head coaches in parentheses:

Calgary Hitmen — Steve Hamilton (Dallas Ferguson, assistant coach, U of Denver Pioneers).

Edmonton Oil Kings — Brad Lauer (Steve Hamilton, head coach, Calgary Hitmen).

Kamloops Blazers — Serge Lajoie (Don Hay, now an advisor with the Blazers).

Regina Pats — Dave Struch (John Paddock, remains general manager).

Saskatoon Blades — Mitch Love (Dean Brockman, director of hockey operations and head coach, Swift Current Broncos).

Swift Current Broncos — Dean Brockman (Manny Viveiros, assistant coach, Edmonton Oilers).

Tri-City Americans — Kelly Buchberger (Mike Williamson).

Vancouver Giants — Michael Dyck (Jason McKee).

Of those eight coaches, four — Hamilton, Struch, Love and Brockman — were working in the WHL last season.


The Medicine Hat Tigers made official Tuesday what you’ve been reading about here for RyanSmitha couple of days — they have added Ryan Smith to their coaching staff. . . . Smith, 44, spent the past three seasons as associate coach with the Swift Current Broncos, helping them win the Ed Chynoweth Cup as WHL champions last season. He left the Broncos after Dean Brockman was named director of hockey operations and head coach. . . . With the Tigers, Smith fills the void created when assistant coach Bobby Fox was named director of player personnel to replace Carter Sears.


After one season with the Vancouver Giants, Dean Chynoweth has signed on as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes. . . . Chynoweth, 49, was the associate coach with the Giants last season, after not coaching in 2016-17. . . . Prior to that, he was the head coach of the Colorado Avalanche affiliates in Cleveland and San Antonio for four seasons (2012-16). . . . He was an assistant coach with the New York Islanders for three seasons (2009-12). . . . He has other WHL experience, having coached the Seattle Thunderbirds (2000-04) and Swift Current Broncos (2004-09). He was also the general manager in Swift Current. . . . In Carolina, Chynoweth will be working with head coach Rod Brind’Amour and assistant coach Jeff Daniels.


F Murphy Stratton, who played 45 games with the Calgary Hitmen in 2016-17, has committed to the U of North Dakota Fighting Hawks. . . . Stratton, from Los Angeles, will turn 19 on Oct. 3. Last season, he had 16 goals and 37 assists in 54 games with the BCHL’s Wenatchee Wild. . . . But, wait, doesn’t he lose his NCAA eligibility after playing in the WHL? . . . “NCAA bylaws mandate that playing a single game in the WHL will lead to, at a minimum, a loss of one full year of eligibility,” writes Brad Elliott Schlossman of the Grand Forks, N.D., Herald. . . . According to Schlossman, Stratton now has committed to UND and been told by the NCAA that the penalty for those 45 WHL games will be “one year and seven games.” . . . The plan is to spend another season with Wenatchee and then join UND for 2019-20, although he won’t be able to play until the eight game of the 2020-21 season. . . . Stratton was selected by the Hitmen in the eighth round of the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft. He had one goal and three assists in those 45 WHL games. . . . Schlossman’s story is right here.


The Victoria HarbourCats of baseball’s West Coast League are at home to the Corvallis Knights tonight (Wednesday). But the game almost will be secondary to the promotion, harbourcatsand isn’t that often the case in minor league baseball, which is something to which major junior hockey teams should be paying more attention. . . . You see, they are giving away a funeral package at tonight’s game. Yes, they are. . . . Jim Swanson, the former sports editor of the Prince George Citizen, now is the HarbourCats’ managing partner. . . . “He’s the one who came up with the idea of holding a prize draw for a funeral package,” writes Jack Knox, the Victoria Times Colonist’s terrific columnist. “Actually, he borrowed the notion (or, more accurately, stole it like Ricky Henderson) after googling weird and wonderful promotions when he became the team’s general manager in 2014.” . . . As Knox points out, though, there also is a serious side to Swanson’s idea. “When Swanson’s uncle drowned off Salt Spring Island a year and a half ago, the grieving family had the additional burden of figuring out what to do in the absence of a will or other arrangements. “He did not have his affairs in order,” Swanson says. So, the draw (fans just have to fill out an entry form at the game) is a gentle (or not so gentle) reminder to prepare for what, ready or not, awaits us all.” . . . Still, this is a promotion that fits right in what all the wonderful and whacky things that go on in minor league baseball. . . . Knox’s column is right here.



I was fortunate enough to get into the newspaper business when there really were ink-stained wretches on the job. I worked two years at the Brandon Sun before the computer-age came along. By the time computers arrived, I was at the Winnipeg Tribune. Yes, there were veteran newspaper people there who thought computers were just a passing fad. . . . Anyway, back in the day it really was a different era, one that was full of characters. . . . The Los Angeles Times is in the process of moving its offices and Bryan Curtis of The Ringer recently took a tour of the old place and offers up some memories of what used to be. It’s all right here.


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Injuries becoming major story . . . Rebels stun host Warriors . . . Raiders pull within point of Blades

MacBeth

F Tim Bozon (Kamloops, Kootenay, 2011-15) has signed a one-year extension with Kloten (Switzerland, NL A). He has five goals and five assists in 41 games.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

With the start of the WHL’s playoffs staring at us from the horizon, it might be time to start paying close attention to injuries.

These days, the WHL injury list is littered with the names of prominent players, players whlwho will be major contributors in the playoffs if healthy.

But will they be healthy? Only time will tell.

In the meantime, here’s a look at a few players who were among the missing on Friday night . . .

F Dylan Cozens, Lethbridge Hurricanes — The team says he is out week-to-week. He last played on Jan. 19. He was playing on a productive line, alongside Taylor Ross and Logan Barlage when he went down.

F Aleksi Heponiemi, Swift Current Broncos — When he was scratched from a Jan. 30 game against visiting Prince George, Shawn Mullin, the Broncos’ radio voice, tweeted that it was an “apparently minor” injury. . . . Heponiemi didn’t play Friday night, and isn’t expected to play tonight in Cranbrook against Kootenay. . . . He’s got 93 points in 39 games. . . . Is it time for Broncos’ supporters to start sweating?

D Roman Kalinichenko, Tri-City Americans — He last played on Jan. 10, but I think he originally was injured two games before that, on Jan. 6 in Prince George. The teams says he will be out another three weeks. A freshman from Moscow, he’s a key part of their back end.

F Tanner Kaspick, Victoria Royals — He scored six goals — four of them game-winners — in his first eight games after being acquired from Brandon. He wasn’t listed on Tuesday’s WHL roster report, but didn’t play Wednesday against host Tri-City and was scratched again last night.

F Kyle Olson, Tri-City Americans — He had 57 points, including 20 goals, last season. This season, he hasn’t played since Jan. 3.

G James Porter, Kelowna Rockets — He last played on Jan. 13 and was listed on Tuesday as being out day-to-day. When he went out, he was 18-7-2, 3.34, .897. If he isn’t available, the Rockets are left with 15-year-old Cole Tisdale to back up Brodan Salmond.

D David Quenneville, Medicine Hat Tigers — He played in a 3-1 loss in Kamloops on Wednesday. He apparently suffered a shoulder injury, so was scratched Friday in Kelowna. Quenneville leads all WHL defencemen in goals (21) and points (59).

D Chaz Reddekopp, Victoria Royals — The 6-foot-4, 230-pounder last played on Jan. 13, and will be out at least four more weeks. The Royals need a healthy Reddekopp back there if they are to play deep into the spring.

F Milos Roman, Vancouver Giants — The Slovakian freshman has 29 points in 34 games, but hasn’t played since Jan. 9. When he went out It was thought he wouldn’t be gone long, but then he surfaced wearing a walking boot on one foot.

F Mason Shaw, Medicine Hat Tigers — He hasn’t played all season thanks to a knee injury suffered with the Minnesota Wild’s rookie team. He put up 94 points last season, so is an impact player and would be a huge addition to the lineup should he return in time for the first round. . . . Counting Quenneville and Shaw, the Tigers have six regulars out with injuries, five of them listed as being out at least two weeks.

G Carl Stankowski, Seattle Thunderbirds — After going 16-2-2, 2.50, .911 in 20 playoff games last season as the Thunderbirds won the Ed Chynoweth Cup, Stankowski hasn’t played a game this season. Obviously, the Thunderbirds aren’t counting on him to return, but what a story it would be.

D Jett Woo, Moose Jaw Warriors — When he missed his first game, on Jan. 21 in Saskatoon, it was said that he was being rested. He now has missed five games, so this obviously is a serious injury. Now he’s listed as week-to-week.

Keep in mind that this list doesn’t include the number of frontline players who have recently returned from injuries, like F Michael Rasmussen and D Juuso Valimaki of Tri-City, F Jake Leschyshyn of Regina, F Kieffer Bellows and F Cody Glass of Portland, F Regan Nagy of Prince Albert, G Liam Hughes of Seattle, F Noah Gregor of Victoria and on and on.

The way this season has gone, when the playoffs start, health, or lack of same, is going to be a major story.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY . . .

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw

Regina at Medicine Hat

Brandon at Swift Current

Kootenay at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Spokane at Kelowna

Tri-City at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


The home arena of the Brandon Wheat Kings will be renamed Westoba Place, effective Feb. 19. Westoba Credit Union Ltd. has signed on as the title sponsor. . . . The arena had been known as Westman Communications Group Place but the Westman Communications Group chose not to renew its 10-year agreement with the Keystone Centre.


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Scoreboard

FRIDAY:

At Moose Jaw, F Brandon Hagel broke a 1-1 tie at 9:46 of the third period as the Red Deer Rebels beat the Warriors, 3-1. . . . Red Deer (15-25-12) has points in six straight (5-0-1). The Red DeerRebels are fourth in the Central Division, seven points behind Kootenay. The teams will meet three more times this season. . . . Moose Jaw (39-9-3) has lost two in a row. It leads the overall standings by five points over Swift Current. The Warriors hold two games in hand. . . . F Chris Douglas (4) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 14:46 of the first period. . . . D Josh Brook (2) pulled the Warriors even at 13:19 of the second period. . . . Hagel snapped the tie with his eighth goal of the season. . . . F Kristian Reichel (20) iced it with the empty-netter at 18:24 of the third period. . . . Each team was 0-2 on the PP. . . . G Riley Lamb stopped 32 shots for the winners. . . . Moose Jaw got 25 saves from Brody Willms. . . . The Warriors were without F Barrett Sheen, who served Game 1 of a five-game suspension. . . . Announced attendance: 3,619.


At Prince Albert, F Parker Kelly scored two first-period goals to get the Raiders started to a 5-2 victory over the Saskatoon Blades. . . . Prince Albert (21-20-10) has points in seven PrinceAlbertstraight (5-0-2). It is one point behind Saskatoon, which holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . Saskatoon (25-25-3) has lost two in a row. . . . Kelly, who has 23 goals, scored at 1:32 and again at 13:14. . . . F Logan Christensen (1) got the Blades on the scoreboard at 17:52. . . . The Raiders went ahead 3-1 on F Brett Leason’s eighth goal, at 8:52 of the second period, then made it 4-1 when F Curtis Miske (18) scored at 10:24. . . . Saskatoon F Eric Florchuk (11) got the Blades to within two at 14:06, but F Cole Fonstad (16) restored the home team’s three-goal edge at 16:43, on a PP. . . . Leason wasn’t able to score on a second-period penalty shot. . . . The Raiders got two assists from F Jordy Stallard, with Fonstad getting one. . . . Prince Albert was 1-7 on the PP; Saskatoon was 0-2. . . . G Ian Scott stopped 19 shots to earn the victory over Nolan Maier, who made 34 saves. . . . Maier went into the game with a 3-0-0 record against Prince Albert. . . . Saskatoon had F Kirby Dash back in the lineup after a one-game absence. . . . Announced attendance: 2,357.


At Brandon, the Prince George Cougars scored two third-period goals to beat the Wheat Kings, 3-2. . . . Prince George (19-26-8) is 1-3-1 on its East Division swing. . . . Brandon (28-PrinceGeorge18-5) has lost nine in a row (0-6-3). It is third in the East Division, 15 points behind Swift Current and four ahead of Regina. Brandon has two games in hand on Regina. . . . F Evan Weinger (24) gave the Wheat Kings a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 3:52 of the first period. . . . F Ilijah Colina tied it at 4:35 of the second period. . . . Brandon went back out front when F Linden McCorrister (15) scored at 10:33. . . . F Jared Bethune (18) tied it for the Cougars, while shorthanded, at 7:54 of the third period. . . . Colina won it with his seventh goal, at 17:37. . . . Bethune and F Ethan Browne each had two assists for the winners. . . . Brandon was 1-3 on the PP; Prince George was 0-2. . . . G Isaiah DiLaura stopped 28 shots for the Cougars. . . . Brandon got 29 saves from G Logan Thompson. . . . The Cougars were without F Vladislav Mikhalchuk, who was hit with a TBD suspension after taking a headshot major and game misconduct during a 4-1 loss in Regina on Wednesday. . . . Announced attendance: 4,085.


At Lethbridge, the Hurricanes scored three PP goals en route to a 5-2 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Lethbridge (24-21-6) has points in four straight (2-0-2). It is Lethbridgesecond in the Central Division, five points behind Medicine Hat. . . . Swift Current (36-13-4) had won its previous three games. It is second in the overall standings, five points behind Moose Jaw. . . . This was the first meeting between these teams since Jan. 9 when they competed a deal in which six players changed uniforms, F Giorgio Estephan and G Stuart Skinner going to the Broncos, with F Logan Barlage, F Owen Blocker, G Logan Flodell and D Matthew Stanley moving to Lethbridge. . . . Last night, the Hurricanes got out to a 4-0 lead, thanks to three PP goals. . . . D Igor Merezhko (5) got it started at 5:40 of the first period. Then came the three PP goals, from F Jordy Bellerive (34), at 17:55; D Tate Olson (2), at 3:27 of the second period; and F Keltie Jeri-Leon (6), at 16:02. . . . The Broncos got third-period goals from Estephan (24), at 1:21, and F Glenn Gawdin (41), at 16:25, before Lethbridge D Ty Prefontaine (4) got the empty-netter at 18:00. . . . F Brad Morrison and F Zane Franklin each had two assists for Lethbridge, with Merezhko and Olson adding one apiece. . . . Estephan also had an assist. . . . Lethbridge was 3-5 on the PP; Swift Current was 1-3. . . . Flodell earned the victory with 40 saves, nine more than Skinner. . . .  Announced attendance: 4,893.


At Cranbrook, B.C., F Kailer Yamamoto and F Jaret Anderson-Dolan totalled nine points to lead the Spokane Chiefs to a 5-3 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Spokane (27-19-5) has SpokaneChiefspoints in seven straight (5-0-2). It holds down the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot, one point ahead of Seattle. The Chiefs also are fourth in the U.S. Division, two points behind Tri-City. . . . Kootenay (23-25-3) had lost two in a row. It is third in the Central Division, five points behind Lethbridge. . . . The Chiefs scored the only goals of the third period, Anderson-Dolan (28) breaking a 3-3 tie, on a PP, at 3:55, and F Luke Toporowski (6) getting an empty-netter at 18:52. . . . F Peyton Krebs (14) gave the Ice a 1-0 lead at 1:41 of the first period, only to have D Ty Smith (8) pull Spokane even at 3:14. . . . Kootenay went back out front as D Martin Bodak (6) scored, on a PP, at 10:24. . . . F Jake McGrew (13) tied it at 14:30. . . . The Chiefs took their first lead on Yamamoto’s 10th goal, on a PP, at 11:55 of the second period. . . . The Ice pulled into a tie on F Colton Veloso’s 17th goal, at 16:11. . . . Yamamoto finished with a goal and four assists for his first career five-point game; Anderson-Dolan had a goal and three helpers, the fourth time in his career that he has had four points in a game. . . . Smith added two assists to his goal. . . . The Ice got two assists from F Colton Croeker and one from Bodak. . . . Spokane was 2-5 on the PP; Kootenay was 1-3. . . . G Dawson Weatherill stopped 14 shots for Spokane, 15 fewer than Kootenay’s Matt Berlin. . . . Yamamoto has points in 11 straight games. Over that stretch, he has nine goals and 18 assists. For the season, he has 36 points, including 26 assists, in 22 games. . . . Anderson-Dolan has 28 goals and 35 assists in 49 games. . . . Announced attendance: 2,290.


At Kelowna, the Everett Silvertips opened up a 3-0 lead with three PP goals and went on to a 3-2 victory over the Rockets. . . . Everett (33-17-3) moved into first place in the EverettWestern Conference, one point ahead of Kelowna (32-15-4), which had points in each of its previous five games (4-0-1). Kelowna leads the B.C. Division by two points over Victoria; the Rockets hold two games in hand. . . . F Patrick Bajkov (24) gave Everett a 1-0 lead at 19:49 of the first period. Bajkov’s goal gave him 263 career points and the franchise record, one more than F Zach Hamill. . . . F Connor Dewar (28) made it 2-0 at 10:08 of the second period, and F Bryce Kindopp (15) upped it to 3-0 at 8:32. . . . F Kyle Topping (18), at 9:00 of the third period, and F Carsen Twarynski (33), at 18:34, scored for the Rockets. . . . Everett got two assists from D Kevin Davis, with Bajkov adding one. . . . F Kole Lind set up both Kelowna goals. . . . Everett was 3-5 on the PP; Kelowna was 0-3. . . . The Silvertips got 29 saves from G Carter Hart, while Brodan Salmon stopped 24 shots at the other end. . . . Hart now is 20-4-2, 1.55, .952. . . . Announced attendance: 5,230.


At Kennewick, Wash., the Tri-City Americans scored three times in the last five minutes of the third period and beat the Portland Winterhawks, 6-3. . . . Tri-City (27-16-7) has TriCity30points in seven straight (5-0-2). It is third in the U.S. Division, three points behind Portland. . . . Portland (30-18-4) had won its previous two games. It is second in the U.S. Division, five points behind Everett. . . . This game featured seven first-round NHL draft picks — F Kieffer Bellows, D Dennis Cholowski, F Cody Glass and D Henri Jokiharju of Portland, and D Jake Bean, F Michael Rasmussen and D Juuso Valimaki of Tri-City. They combined for five points. . . . F Jordan Topping’s 30th goal gave the Americans a 1-0 lead at 5:19 of the first period. . . . The Winterhawks went ahead 2-1 on goals from F Reece Newkirk, at 16:06, and F Skyler McKenzie (39), on a PP, at 8:42 of the second period. . . . Goals from F Sasha Mutual (8), at 13:14, and F Isaac Johnson 915), at 18:48, gave the home team a 3-2 lead. . . . Newkirk, who has four goals, got his second of the game at 9:17 of the third period for a 3-3 tie. . . . Tri-City F Morgan Geekie (19) broke the tie at 15;36, and F Riley Sawchuk iced it with goals at 16:54 and 19:18, the last into an empty net. He’s got 10 goals. . . . Geekie and Johnson each had an assist. . . . Portland was 1-4 on the PP; Tri-City was 0-6. . . . The Americans got a big game from G Patrick Dea, who stopped 29 shots, 19 of them in the first period. . . . Portland G Cole Kehler made 23 stops. . . . Portland F Joachim Blichfeld missed this one as he completed a two-game suspension. . . . Announced attendance: 3,687.


At Victoria, F Noah Gregor scored in OT to give the Royals a 4-3 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Victoria (31-18-4) is second in the B.C. Division, two points behind VictoriaRoyalsKelowna. . . . Medicine Hat (26-21-7) is 0-2-1 in three games in the B.C. Division. It leads the Central Division by five points over Lethbridge. . . . The Royals grabbed a 2-0 lead on first-period goals from F Matthew Phillips (36), at 6:28, and D Kade Jensen (4), at 7:37. . . . The Tigers tied it on two goals from F James Hamblin, who has 18 goals. He scored on a PP at 11:14 of the first period and at 6:28 of the second. . . . Medicine Hat took a 3-2 lead when D Kristians Rubins scored at 12:36. . . . The Royals tied it at 18:41 of the third period on F Tyler Soy’s 24th goal. . . . Gregor won it 51 seconds into OT with his 18th goal. . . . Soy also had two assists, with Jensen and Phillips adding one each. . . . D Dylan MacPherson had two assists for the Tigers. . . . Medicine Hat was 1-3 on the PP; Victoria was 0-2. . . . G Dean McNabb stopped 27 shots to record the victory. . . . The Tigers got 25 saves from Jordan Hollett. . . . Announced attendance: 6,055.


At Langley, B.C., the Vancouver Giants scored the game’s last three goals as they beat the Calgary Hitmen, 4-2. . . . Vancouver (27-16-8) has points in three straight (2-0-1). It is third Vancouverin the B.C. Division, four points behind Victoria. . . . Calgary (15-30-6) is 0-4-0 on a BC. Division tour that continues tonight in Kamloops. . . . D Bowen Byram gave the home team a 1-0 lead at 6:43 of the first period, only to have Calgary take a 2-1 lead on goals from F Luke Coleman (12), at 7:19, and F Tristen Nielsen (10), at 8:03. . . . Vancouver F Ty Ronning scored the next two goals, at 5:35 and 10:10 of the second period, to give his guys a 3-2 lead. . . . Ronning has 46 goals this season; the franchise record (48) was set by F Evander Kane in 2008-09. . . . Byram (5) added a PP goal at 12:18. . . . F Brayden Watts had three assists for the Giants, with D Matt Barberis adding two, and Byram getting one. . . . Vancouver was 3-5 on the PP; Calgary was 0-8. . . . G Trent Miner, in his first WHL start, stopped 31 shots for the Giants. . . . Calgary got 36 stops from G Nick Schneider. . . . Announced attendance: 3,246.


SATURDAY (all times local):

Prince George at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Prince Albert at Regina, 7 p.m.

Red Deer at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Swift Current vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.

Edmonton at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Tri-City at Portland, 6 p.m.

Calgary at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7 p.m.

Kelowna at Everett, 7:05 p.m.

Victoria vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:05 p.m.