While 16 teams were preparing to being the WHL playoffs this weekend, the Kootenay Ice were on the move.
Yes, the movers were at Western Financial Place on Friday morning, cleaning out the team’s office and its retail space. The franchise has left Cranbrook, B.C., and now is the Winnipeg Ice.
Meanwhile, the WHL office hit Ice F Peyton Krebs with a one-game suspension after he was hit with a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct in Sunday’s 5-4 victory over the visiting Red Deer Rebels.
Because that was the Ice’s final game of this season, Krebs will serve that suspension next season, meaning he will miss the team’s first regular-season game as the Winnipeg Ice.
It turns out that Todd Harkins is not going to the BCHL’s Surrey Eagles.
As my once reliable source texted on Friday: “I guess my source was wrong about Harkins.”
Yeah, I guess he was. I apologize to anyone who may have been impacted by what was written here earlier in the week. Seriously. Something like this is my worst nightmare.
St. George’s School, which is based in Vancouver, announced Friday that Harkins has been named its Head of Hockey as of April 1.
From the news release:
“Todd has an extensive background as a player, coach and general manager. He brings a wealth of both on- and off-ice experiences as well as a passion for working with student-athletes. Todd played professionally from 1990–2001 and represented the USA at the World Championships in 1992, 1995 and 1998. He has coached multiple minor hockey teams including — most recently — the bantam varsity team at the West Van Hockey Academy. Todd also was the general manager (four years) and head scout/director of player personnel (one year)” with the WHL’s Prince George Cougars.
NOTES: Seven of the WHL’s first-round series began on Friday, with only the Medicine Hat Tigers and Edmonton Oil Kings not playing. They will get started tonight in Edmonton. . . . The other seven series all will resume tonight. . . . Last night, the Saskatoon Blades won a playoff game for the first time since April 3, 2011, when they beat the Raiders, 2-1 in OT, in Prince Albert. F Matej Stransky scored the winner, at 4:24 of OT. . . . Two players — D Jake Lee of the Seattle Thunderbirds and D John Ludvig of the Portland Winterhawks — took majors and game misconducts last night, so may find themselves suspended before tonight’s schedule gets started. . . . G Griffen Outhouse of the Victoria Royals set one franchise record and tied another in a 4-0 victory over the visiting Kamloops Blazers, who were without F Connor Zary. . . . Read on. . . .
G Ian Scott turned aside 21 shots to help the Prince Albert Raiders to a 3-0 victory over the visiting Red Deer Rebels. . . . Game 2 is scheduled for tonight in Prince Albert. . . . Scott has put up four shutouts over his last six starts. He finished the regular season with eight shutouts; this was his first of the playoffs. . . . F Dante Hannoun (1) gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead at 19:28 of the first period. . . . F Ozzy Wiesblatt (1) upped it to 2-0 at 8:49 of the second period, and F Sean Montgomery (1) made it 3-0 at 16:53. . . . G Ethan Anders stopped 25 shots for Red Deer. . . . The Rebels are without D Alex Alexeyev (knee), who won’t play in this series.
F Chase Wouters scored the first OT goal of these playoffs, giving the Saskatoon Blades a 3-2 victory over the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . They’ll play the second game tonight in Saskatoon. . . . This was the first playoff game in Saskatoon since the spring of 2013, and the announced attendance was 5,193. . . . The Warriors led this one 2-0 on goals by F Kaeden Taphorn (1), at 3:03 of the second period, and F Eric Alarie (1), at 4:34. . . . Alarie, in the Moose Jaw lineup because F Brayden Tracey was scratched, scored his first WHL goal. Alarie, who turned 16 on Jan. 27, is from Winnipeg. A first-round pick, 22nd overall, in the 2018 bantam draft, he was pointless in two regular-season games with the Warriors. He played with the prep team at the Rink Hockey Academy in Winnipeg, putting up 17 goals and 29 assists in 27 games. . . . F Max Gerlach (1) got the Blades to within a goal, on a PP, at 7:21 of the second period, and F Riley McKay (1) tied it at 11:48 of the third. . . . Wouters (1) won it at 3:23 of OT. . . . Saskatoon held a 38-23 edge in shots, including 14-6 in the second period, 10-2 in the third, and 3-1 in OT. . . . G Nolan Maier stopped 21 shots for Saskatoon, 14 fewer than Moose Jaw’s Brodan Salmond. . . . Tracey, the WHL’s highest-scoring freshman, was among Moose Jaw’s scratches. Tracey, who finished with 81 points, including 36 goals, in 66 games, sat out Moose Jaw’s last two regular-season games. . . . The WHL didn’t issue any suspensions from a game-ending brouhaha involving the Swift Current Broncos and host Warriors on Saturday, so Moose Jaw had F Tristin Langan and D Josh Brook in the lineup.
D Calen Addison’s OT goal gave the host Lethbridge Hurricanes a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Game 2 is to be played tonight in Lethbridge. . . . F Mark Kastelic, who had left Calgary’s final regular-season game on Sunday after taking a hard hit into a stanchion, gave the Hitmen a 1-0 lead at 14:36 of the first period. . . . F Nick Henry (1) tied it for Lethbridge at 1:35 of the second period. . . . D Devan Klassen (1) put Calgary back out front at 3:33. . . . Lethbridge tied it when F Dylan Cozens (1) scored at 11:24 of the second period. . . . The teams played through a scoreless third period. . . . The Hurricanes got 31 saves from G Carl Tetachuk. . . . Calgary G Jack McNaughton blocked 30 shots.
The Vancouver Giants opened the second period with two goals 23 seconds apart, then scored twice more before the period ended, as they skated to a 7-1 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds in Langley, B.C. . . . Game 2 is set for tonight in Langley. . . . D Dylan Plouffe led the Giants with two goals and an assist. . . . F Milos Roman (1), on a PP, at 1:20 of the second, and F Lukas Svejkovsky (1), at 1:43, got the Giants started. . . . F Jadon Joseph (1), shorthanded, made it 3-0 at 6:47, and Plouffe got the 4-0 goal at 16:57. . . . Seattle got its goal from F Andrej Kukuca (1), at 19:57. . . . The Giants added third-period goals from F Dawson Holt (1), Plouffe, on a PP, and D Bowen Byram (1). . . . Vancouver was 2-7 on the PP; Seattle was 0-7. . . . The Giants got 27 saves from G Trent Miner. . . . Seattle starter Roddy Ross surrendered six goals on 31 shots. Cole Schwebius came on in relief to stop eight on nine shots in 15:27. . . . Seattle D Jake Lee was hit with a cross-checking major and game misconduct at 19:54 of the third period.
G Griffen Outhouse set one franchise record and tied another as he lead the Victoria Royals to a 4-0 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . They’ll go again tonight in Victoria in Game 2. . . . Outhouse, who stopped 28 shots in earning his first playoff shutout, tied the record for most career playoff victories that had been held by Coleman Vollrath (2012-16). It was Outhouse’s 21st playoff appearance, breaking Vollrath’s record of 20. . . . This was Victoria’s first shutout this season. . . . F Sean Gulka (1) opened the scoring at 6:23 of the first period, and F Carson Miller (1) made it 2-0 at 9:51 of the second period. . . . F Dino Kambeitz scored Victoria’s last two goals, at 13:17 of the second, and an empty-netter at 16:23 of the third. . . . Kamloops got 33 saves from G Dylan Garand, a 16-year-old freshman from Victoria. . . . Kamloops G Dylan Ferguson, who was injured during a 5-0 loss to the visiting Vancouver Giants on March 6, backed up Garand. Ferguson hadn’t dressed for the Blazers’ past seven games. . . . The Blazers had been 5-0-1 in their previous six games, including Tuesday’s 5-1 victory over the visiting Kelowna Rockets in a tiebreaker game that qualified them for the playoffs. . . . The Blazers scratched F Connor Zary (undisclosed). He was the team’s second-leading scorer with 67 points, including a team-leading 43 assists, in 63 games. He finished the regular season with nine points, including five goals, in his last four games, then added a goal and an assist in Tuesday’s tiebreaker victory. . . . The Royals had F Kody McDonald back in the lineup, but D Matt Smith, D Jameson Murray and D Jake Kustra were missing. F Kade Oliver (shoulder) won’t play again this season.
The host Spokane Chiefs scored three PP goals in the second period en route to a 5-2 victory over the Portland Winterhawks. . . . Game 2 is scheduled for tonight in Spokane. . . . The Chiefs erased a 1-0 first-period deficit by scoring the game’s next five goals. . . . Spokane went 3-5 on the PP; Portland was 2-8. . . . F Jake Gricius (1) gave Portland a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 11:20 of the first period. . . . Spokane took a 3-1 lead on three second-period PP goals, from F Adam Beckman (1), at 3:08; F Riley Woods (1), at 12:02; and F Jaret Anderson-Dolan (1), at 17:56. . . . F Kaden Hanas, who had three assists in 21 regular-season games, gave the Chiefs a 4-1 lead with his first WHL goal at 3:34 of the third period. . . . F Ethan McIndoe (1) upped it to 5-1 at 4:23. . . . Portland’s last goal, at 19:03, came from F Joachim Blichfeld (1). . . . The Chiefs got a solid game from G Bailey Brkin, who stopped 34 shots, 17 more than Portland’s Joel Hofer. . . . The Winterhawks lost D John Ludvig to a headshot major and game misconduct with 17.6 seconds left in the first period. F Ethan McIndoe of the Chiefs left the game after the hit, but returned early in the second period. . . . The Chiefs also lost D Nolan Reid after he was struck in the face by a stick during the first period. . . . Portland F Cody Glass (knee) didn’t make trip to Spokane. He hasn’t played since Feb. 23. . . . F Jake McGrew was among Spokane’s scratches. He had 54 points, 31 of them goals, in 61 regular-season games. McGrew had a goal and an assist in Spokane’s 10-1 victory over the visiting Tri-City Americans on Saturday. . . .
F Martin Fasko-Rudas and F Max Patterson each had a goal and two assists to lead the host Everett Silvertips to a 6-1 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . Game 2 is scheduled for tonight in Everett. . . . The Silvertips held a 33-9 edge in shots after two periods but only were leading 1-0 on the first of F Connor Dewar’s two goals, at 17:44 of the first period. . . . Dewar made it 2-0, shorthanded, at 6:54 of the third period, and Patterson increased that to 3-0 at 12:34. . . . F Nolan Yaremko (1) scored for Tri-City at 13:30. . . . Everett put it away with goals from F Zack Andrusiak (1), into an empty net, at 17:40; F Lucas Cullen (1), at 18:39; and Fasko-Rudas (1), on a PP, at 19:49. . . . Everett got three assists from D Jake Christiansen. . . . G Dustin Wolf stopped 21 shots for Everett, while Tri-City’s Beck Warm blocked 42. . . . Don Nachbaur, the third-winningest coach in WHL regular-season history, has joined Americans’ play-by-play voice Craig West to provide analysis during this series. Nachbaur put up 692 regular-season victories in stints with the Seattle Thunderbirds, Tri-City and the Spokane Chiefs.