Cozens on shelf for up to three months after thumb surgery. . . . Burnett signs to coach Blues. . . . Four more ex-WHLers get deals overseas


MacBeth

F Štěpán Novotný (Kelowna, Swift Current, 2008-11) has signed a one-year contract with Třinec (Czech Republic, Extraliga). Last season, in 33 games with Frýdek-Místek (Czech Republic, 1. Liga), he had a team-leading 22 goals and 10 assists. On loan to Třinec, he had two goals and three assists in 14 games. . . .

D Tomáš Kundrátek (Medicine Hat, 2008-10) has signed a three-year contract with Třinec (Czech Republic, Extraliga). Last season, with Kunlun Red Star Beijing (China, KHL), he had three assists in 25 games, and he was an alternate captain. He also had one goal and one assist in six games with Třinec, and one goal and three assists in 13 games with Davos (Switzerland, National). . . .

F Robin Kovář (Vancouver, Regina, 2001-04) has signed a one-year contract with the Bracknell Bees (England, National). Last season, he had five assists in eight games with Budapest (Hungary, Erste Liga), and 12 goals and 16 assists in 15 games with the Blackburn Hawks (England, National Division 1). . . .

F Trevor Cheek (Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton, 2010-13) has signed a one-year contract with Esbjerg Energy (Denmark, Metal Ligaen). Last season, with the Tucson Roadrunners (AHL), he had seven goals and three assists in 63 games.


ThisThat

It would seem that F Dylan Cozens’ participation in the Lethbridge Hurricanes’ training Lethbridgecamp is up in the air. He definitely will miss the World Junior Summer Showcase, which is scheduled for Plymouth, Mich., July 26 through Aug. 3. . . . Cozens was selected by the Buffalo Sabres with the seventh-overall pick of the NHL’s 2019 draft in Vancouver on June 21. He suffered an injury to his left thumb on June 29 when he put his hand out in an attempt to cushion the fall after absorbing a hip check during the Sabres’ development camp. Cozens left the ice immediately and it was apparent that he had been injured just by the position of the thumb. . . . Cozens underwent surgery on Wednesday and, as the tweet from the Sabres suggests, will be sidelined for up to three months. . . . The Hurricanes will open training camp in late August and are to open the regular season on Sept. 20. . . . Last season, he finished with 34 goals and 50 assists in 68 regular-season games, then added four goals and four assists in seven playoff games.


There has never been a subscription fee for this blog, but if you enjoy stopping here, why not consider donating to the cause? All that’s involved is clicking on the DONATE button over there on the right and following the instructions. Thank you very much.



Gord Burnett is the new head coach of the MJHL’s Winnipeg Blues. A Regina native, Burnett spent the past four seasons as an assistant coach with the Kootenay Ice. . . . The Ice, which has moved to Winnipeg, and Blues both are owned by 50 Below Sports + Entertainment. . . . With the Blues, Burnett replaces Billy Keane, who had been the GM/head coach for the past two seasons. . . . Taras McEwen was named the Blues’ new general manager in May.


Tweetoftheday

Advertisements

CHL, WHL facing another lawsuit . . . Kaluski has career night vs. Raiders . . . Silvertips within five points of top spot


——

MacBeth

D Tomáš Kundrátek (Medicine Hat, 2008-10) has exercised the out clause in his contract with Třinec (Czech Republic, Extraliga) and signed a contract for the rest of this season with Davos (Switzerland, NL A). Kundrátek started this season with Kunlun Red Star Beijing (China, KHL), earning three assists in 25 games. He signed with Třinec on Dec. 5, and had one goal and one assist in six games.

——

ThisThat

“Notice of a class-action lawsuit against the Canadian Hockey League, Hockey Canada and the Western Hockey League has been filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia,” reports Gord Holder of the Ottawa Citizen, “claiming the leagues failed to enforce protocols for handling concussions and failed to provide players, parents and billet families with relevant health information about concussions.

“The representative plaintiff for the claim, filed Wednesday, is James Johnathon McEwan, a 31-year-old native of Kelowna, B.C., who played an enforcer’s role during four WHL seasons between 2004 and 2008.”

McEwan, now 31, played with the Seattle Thunderbirds and Kelowna Rockets, spending two seasons with each team.

Holder’s complete story is right here.

——

The Tri-City Americans have dropped F Isaac Johnson, who will turn 20 on Jan. 19, from tri-citytheir roster. Johnson, from Andover, Minn., was a point-a-game player, with 12 goals and 20 assists in 31 games. He was their fifth-leading scorer, with 32 points. . . . According to Bob Tory, the Americans’ general manager, Johnson has retired for personal reasons. . . . Last season, as a freshman, he had 17 goals and 31 assists in 68 games. . . . Before joining the Americans, he played with the USHL’s Des Moines Buccaneers, recording 14 goals and 14 assists in 47 games. . . . Johnson last played for the Americans in a 3-2 victory over the visiting Everett Silvertips on Friday. He was scratched from a 4-1 loss in Everett on Saturday and didn’t play in Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to the visiting Prince George Cougars.

——

Josh Horton of the Everett Herald has reported that F Peter Melcher has been waived by the Everett Silvertips and wasn’t claimed by any of the CHL’s teams. Melcher, 17, is a native of Czech Republic, although he played in Slovakia for the four seasons prior to this one. . . . The Silvertips selected him in the CHL’s 2018 import draft. He played for Slovakia in the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in August, then attended Everett’s training camp. However, he was injured (concussion, neck) during the preseason and hasn’t played since. . . . Melcher will be eligible to re-enter the CHL’s 2019 import draft.

——

The Kelowna Rockets have deleted F Jack Cowell, 19, allowing him to join the Fort Garry/Fort Rouge Twins of the Winnipeg-based Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League. . . . Cowell, who is from Winnipeg, had two goals and three assists in 26 games with the Rockets this season. On Dec. 1, he was traded to the Kootenay Ice for a third-round selection in the 2020 WHL bantam draft. However, he refused to report to the Ice and the trade was voided. . . . In 182 regular-season WHL games, all with Kelowna, he had 18 goals and 38 assists.

——

Feel free to click on the DONATE button over there on the right and contribute to the cause. Thank you, in advance, and stay safe out there.

——

WEDNESDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The Calgary Hitmen scored three shootout goals and beat the Warriors, 3-2 in Moose Jaw. Calgary. . . Calgary (20-16-4) has won five in a row. It is fifth in the Central Division, three points behind the Medicine Hat Tigers. The Hitmen also hold down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, six points ahead of the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Moose Jaw (21-9-7) has lost two straight. It is settling into third place in the East Division, eight points behind the Saskatoon Blades and 11 ahead of Brandon. . . . F Tristin Langan (31) gave Moose Jaw a 1-0 lead at 5:07 of the second period. . . . F kaden Elder (17) tied it at 16:23. . . . Moose Jaw went ahead 2-1 as F Keenan Taphorn (10) scored at 8:16 of the third. . . . Calgary D Dakota Krebs forced OT with his fourth goal, at 17:25. . . . F Justin Almeida and F Brayden Tracey scored for the Warriors in the four-round shootout, but the Hitmen got goals from F James Malm, F Carson Focht and F Josh Prokop to win it. . . . G Jack McNaughton stopped 33 shots for Calgary, two fewer than Moose Jaw’s Adam Evanoff. . . . Head coach Tim Hunter was back behind the Warriors’ bench after his stint with Canada’s national junior team. Under associate coach Mark O’Leary, the Warriors were 6-2-1. . . . The Warriors were without F Tate Popple (undisclosed injury) for a third game.

——

F Jaxan Kaluski, playing in his 100th regular-season game, scored three times times to Seattlelead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 4-1 victory over the Raiders in Prince Albert. . . . Seattle (13-21-4) is 2-2-0 on its six-game East Division trip. The Thunderbirds are last in the Western Conference, but have closed to within three points of the Kamloops Blazers, who hold down the second wild-card berth. . . . Prince Albert (35-5-1) now is 18-3-0 on home ice. It also has lost three of its past five games, including three of four at home. The Raiders still lead the East Division by 14 points over the Saskatoon Blades. But their lead atop the overall standings is down to five points over the Everett Silvertips. . . . Kaluski, a 19-year-old from Lloydminster, Alta., scored his first WHL hat trick. He went into the game with two goals in 37 outings, then scored three times in 37:06. . . . Last season, he scored three times — twice in 22 games with the Moose Jaw Warriors and once in 24 games with Seattle. Going into last night, he had five goals in 99 career regular-season games. . . . Kaluski opened the scoring at 1:23 of the second period. . . . D Jeremy Masella (2) tied it at 2:08. . . . Kaluski then gave his guys a 3-1 lead with goals at 7:54 and 17:06. . . . F Matthew Wedman (14) clinched it with an empty-netter at 19:44. . . . Seattle got 32 saves from G Roddy Ross, who is 2-0-0 since being added to the roster from the AJHL’s Camrose Kodiaks on Jan. 1. . . . Seattle D Cade McNelly was eligible to return from a three-game suspension but was scratched.

——

The Portland Winterhawks scored the game’s first three goals and went on to a 5-2 Portlandvictory over the host Regina Pats. . . . Portland (25-11-5) has won six in a row and has points in 10 straight (6-0-3). It also is 4-0-0 on its six-game East Division trip. The Winterhawks are second in the U.S. Division, 11 points behind the Everett Silvertips. . . . Regina (12-28-2) has lost five in a row (0-4-1). . . . Portland got that 3-0 lead on goals from F Jake Gricius (18), at 8:15 of the first period, D Clay Hanus (5), at 19:40, and F Joachim Blichfeld, with his WHL-leading 38th, at 0:56 of the second. . . . F Austin Pratt (16) cut Regina’s deficit to two, at 18:42. . . . Portland D Jared Freadrich (6) restored the three-goal lead at 2:51 of the third period. . . . D Liam Schioler (4) pulled Regina back to within two at 8:15. . . . F Jaydon Dureau (10) put it away with the empty-netter, at 17:44. . . . Gricius also had two assists for the fifth three-point night of his career. . . . Portland G Shane Farkas stopped 24 shots as he made his 39th start of the season. . . . G Joel Hofer, acquired earlier in the day from the Swift Current Broncos for six WHL bantam draft picks, wasn’t in Portland’s lineup. . . . The Winterhawks had D Matthew Quigley back from a suspension, but again were without D Brendan De Jong (concussion). . . . With G Max Paddock ill, Matthew Pesenti, a 17-year-old who plays for the midget AAA Saskatoon Blazers, was on Regina’s bench in support of Dean McNabb, who made 30 saves.

——

F Zak Smith broke a 2-2 tie in the third period to give the visiting Red Deer Rebels a 3-2 Red Deervictory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Red Deer (23-13-3) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). The Rebels are tied for second with the Edmonton Oil Kings in the Central Division, three points behind the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Swift Current slipped to 8-29-3. . . . F Carter Chorney (11) gave the Broncos a 1-0 lead at 1:56 of the first period. . . . Red Deer went ahead on goals from D Dawson Barteaux (5), on a PP, at 9:19, and F Brandon Hagel (23), at 8:15 of the second. . . . F Joona Kiviniemi (11) tied it at 9:18 of the third period. . . . Smith broke the tie at 13:02 with his eighth goal of the season. . . . Red Deer had a 37-23 edge in shots, including 14-5 in the second period. . . . G Riley Lamb, signed by the Broncos earlier in the day and added to the roster from the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers, was on the bench as Isaac Poulter stopped 34 shots. . . . The Rebels had D Alex Alexeyev back in the lineup after he played for Russia at the WJC. In fact, he is the only WHL player who can lay claim to having won a medal at this year’s tournament after Russia finished third. . . . F Kye Buchanan, 17, made his WHL debut with the Broncos. They added him to their roster from the midget AAA St. Albert Raiders on Saturday. . . . F Tyler Lees, acquired Monday from the Victoria Royals, wasn’t in Swift Current’s lineup.

——

F Jake Elmer’s goal late in the third period gave the Lethbridge Hurricanes a 3-2 victory Lethbridgeover the visiting Kootenay Ice. . . . Lethbridge (22-10-8) has points in six straight (4-0-2) and now leads the Central Division by three points over the Red Deer Rebels and Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Kootenay (8-28-7) has lost eight in a row (0-7-1). . . . The Ice went ahead 1-0 at 4:19 of the first period as F Connor McClennon scored his fifth goal of the season. . . . Lethbridge went ahead 2-1 on goals from F Dylan Cozens (24), at 7:13, and F Jordy Bellerive (21), at 12:26. . . . Bellerive has points in 11 straight games, totalling 10 goals and 11 assists over that stretch. On the season, he has 21 goals and 31 assists in 40 games. . . . Elmer’s 19th goal, at 16:33, won it. . . . The Hurricanes outshot the Ice, 54-22, including 24-12 in the first period and 23-4 in the third. . . . Kootenay G Jesse Makaj made 51 saves. . . . G Curtis Meger, signed earlier in the day, was on the Ice bench as the backup.

——

F Bryce Kindopp’s two goals helped the visiting Everett Silvertips to a 4-2 victory over the EverettKelowna Rockets. . . . Everett (32-8-2) has won three in a row. The Silvertips lead the U.S. Division by 11 points over the Portland Winterhawks. . . . Kelowna (17-19-4) has lost three straight (0-2-1). It is third in the B.C. Division, five points behind the Victoria Royals and five ahead of the Kamloops Blazers. . . . The Rockets went ahead 1-0 at 2:57 of the first period on a PP goal by D Lassi Thomson. . . . Kindopp tied it at 19:49. . . . Everett F Connor Dewar (29) broke the tie, on a PP, at 9:44 of the second period. . . . Thomson pulled the Rockets even with his ninth goal, at 19:58. . . . The Silvertips won it with two third-period goals. . . . Kindopp (21) broke the tie at 11:56, and D Gianni Fairbrother (6) got the empty-netter at 19:50. . . . Dewar also had two assists. . . . G James Porter stopped 40 shots for the Rockets, who were outshot 44-24, including 17-6 in the second period. . . .  Everett G Dustin Wolf earned the victory. He now is 28-8-1, 1.81, .929. . . . D Schael Higson, acquired earlier in the day from the Brandon Wheat Kings, was in Kelowna’s lineup.

——

The Spokane Chiefs scored two PP goals on as many opportunities as they doubled the SpokaneChiefsvisiting Prince George Cougars, 4-2. . . . Spokane (23-13-4) has won three in a row and is third in the U.S. Division, seven points behind the Portland Winterhawks and six ahead of the Tri-City Americans. . . . Prince George (14-22-3) had won its previous two games. This was the last game of the Cougars’ road trip from hell, and they finished 3-8-0. They are two points behind the Kamloops Blazers, who hold down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . The Cougars last played at home on Dec. 2. They will entertain the Kelowna Rockets on Friday and Saturday. . . . Last night, the Chiefs went ahead 2-0 on first-period PP goals from D Nolan Reid (6) and D Ty Smith (4). . . . D Joel Lakusta (5) cut the deficit to a goal 31 seconds into the second period. . . . F Luc Smith (17) gave Spokane a 3-1 lead at 12:56 of the third period. . . . F Josh Maser (13) scored for the Cougars at 18:50. . . . F Jake McGrew (17) got the empty-netter for Spokane at 19:48. . . . Spokane was credited with winning 34 of the game’s 52 faceoffs.

——

F Kody McDonald scored twice as the Victoria Royals beat the visiting Kamloops Blazers, VictoriaRoyals5-3. . . . Victoria (21-15-1) has won three in a row. This was the Royals’ first home game since Dec. 15. They were out of their home arena because some of the WJC was being played there. . . . The Royals are second in the B.C. Division, seven points behind the Vancouver Giants. . . . Kamloops (15-20-3) has lost two straight and is in possession of the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, nine points behind the Tri-City Americans. . . . Kamloops is 0-10-1 in its last 11 road games. That follows a 6-1-0 run on the road. . . . McDonald scored his first goals for Victoria after coming over from the Prince Albert Raiders on Jan. 3. . . . The Royals took control by scoring the game’s first four goals. They led 4-0 early in the third period. . . . D Jameson Murray (2) got it started at 11:19 of the first period, and McDonald upped it to 2-0 at 17:57. . . . McDonald’s eighth goal of the season, on a PP, increased the lead to 3-0 at 10:23 of the second. . . . F Brandon Cutler (10) made it 4-0 at 8:00 of the third. . . . F Martin Lang (8) got the Blazes on the scoreboard at 12:05, only to have F Phillip Schultz (7) get that one back, on a PP, at 15:43. . . . F Kyrell Sopotyk (6) and F Zane Franklin (20) rounded out the Blazers’ scoring. . . . Franklin, an off-season acquisition from the Lethbridge Hurricanes, has 40 points in 38 games. Last season, he finished with 38 points 14 of them goals, in 67 games. . . . The Blazers and Royals will meet again Friday in Victoria.

——

Tweetoftheday

Deal between Ice, Rockets voided . . . Fix-Wolansky, Woo trying to prove point? . . . Silvertips double up on Chiefs


MacBeth

G Barry Brust (Spokane, Calgary, 2000-04) has been released by Kunlun Red Star Beijing (China, KHL). In nine games, he was 4-3-1, 3.11, .895. . . .

D Tomáš Kundrátek (Medicine Hat, 2008-10) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Třinec (Czech Republic, Extraliga) after requesting and receiving his release from Kunlun Red Star Beijing (China, KHL). He had three assists in 25 games while averaging 20:05 TOI. . . .

D Marek Hrbas (Edmonton, Kamloops, 2010-13) a signed contract for the rest of this season with Amur Khabarovsk (Russia, KHL) after obtaining his release from Vítkovice Ostrava (Czech Republic, Extraliga). He had one goal and three assists in 22 games with Vítkovice this season.


ThisThat

Taking Note has been told that a Nov. 30 trade between the Kelowna Rockets and Kootenay Ice has been stamped null and void.

On Nov. 30, the Rockets traded F Jack Cowell, a 19-year-old from Winnipeg, to the Ice for Kootenaynewa third-round pick in the 2020 WHL bantam draft.

Cowell, however, chose not to report. Rather, Taking Note was told Wednesday night that he has gone home to Winnipeg.

As a result, although nothing has been announced by the league or either team, the trade has been voided and, in fact, has been removed from the transaction page on the WHL’s website.

The Ice was at home to the Lethbridge Hurricanes last night. There was no mention of Cowell anywhere in the Ice’s digital pre-game notes package.

This season, Cowell had two goals and three assists in 26 games. In 182 career games with Kelowna, he had 18 goals and 38 assists.


In the lead up to Hockey Canada naming the selection-camp roster for its national junior team, many observers of the WHL anticipated that F Trey Fix-Wolansky of the Edmonton Oil Kings and D Jett Woo of the Moose Jaw Warriors would be on the list.

However, their names were conspicuous by their absence when the camp roster was revealed on Monday.

Judging by their performances on Wednesday night, both players are using the snubs for motivation.

Fix-Wolansky had a goal and three assists to lead the host Oil Kings to a 6-1 victory over the Regina Pats. Meanwhile, in Moose Jaw, Woo had a goal and three assists in the Warriors’ 6-5 OT loss to the Medicine Hat Tigers.

Fix-Wolansky, who has six four-point games to his credit, moved back into a tie for the WHL scoring lead. He and F Brett Leason of the Prince Albert Raiders have 61 points apiece. Leason leads the WHL in goals (28); Fix-Wolansky has a WHL-leading 41 assists in 31 games.

This was Woo’s first career four-point outing. He’s got five goals and 15 assists in 22 games.

Woo was a second-round pick by the Vancouver Canucks in the NHL’s 2018 draft. The Columbus Blue-Jackets took Fix-Wolansky in the seventh round.


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: 9.

Players: 30.

Bantam draft picks: 17.

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.)


Jeremy Fraser of the Cape Breton Post wrote an interesting piece this week about American players in the CHL. . . . It seems that QMJHL teams are struggling to attract Americans, especially from the New England area. . . . Using rosters as of Monday afternoon, Fraser reported that the QMJHL’s 18 teams had only seven American players on rosters. . . . The 20-team OHL, Don Cherry’s favourite junior league, was home to 52 American players at that point, while the WHL’s 22 teams had 37 on rosters as of Monday. . . . Fraser’s complete story is right here.


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 Ryan Jevne’s second goal of the game gave the Medicine Hat Tigers a 6-5 OT victory Tigers Logo Officialover the Warriors in Moose Jaw. . . . Medicine Hat improved to 14-14-3. . . . Moose Jaw (15-7-4) has lost two in a row. . . . D Jett Woo had a goal, his fifth, and three assists for the Warriors. . . . D Joel Craven, playing only his third game after being out since Oct. 19, scored his first goal of the season for the Tigers. . . . F James Hamblin (14) gave the Tigers a 5-3 lead, on a PP, at 16:10 of the second period. . . . D Josh Brook (9) got Moose Jaw to within a goal, on a PP, at 18:08. . . . F Keennan Taphorn (7) pulled the Warriors into a tie at 4:01 of the third. . . . Jevne, who has 12 goals, won it on a PP at 1:16 of OT. He also had an assist. . . . D Daniel Baker scored his first career goal and added two assists for the Tigers. A 17-year-old freshman from Edmonton, Baker’s first goal and first multi-point night came in his 42nd game, 31 of them this season. . . . F Ryan Chyzowski had three assists for Medicine Hat. . . . Warriors F Tristin Langan scored his 19th goal and added an assist as he played his 200th regular-season game. . . . F Kjell Kjemhus, who was acquired this week from the Prince George Cougars, and F Luke Ormsby, who came over from the Everett Silvertips, both made their Moose Jaw debuts. . . . They started on a line with F Tate Popple, who was back after a one-game absence. . . . Ormsby’s fourth goal of the season, at 19:44 of the first period, cut into the Tigers’ 3-1 lead. . . . Medicine Hat, which held a 46-45 edge in shots, was 2-3 on the PP. The Warriors were 3-4.


The host Edmonton Oil Kings scored the game’s last six goals as they beat the Regina Pats, EdmontonOilKings6-1. . . . Edmonton (15-11-5) had lost its previous five games (0-3-2). . . . Regina (8-21-0) has lost six in a row. . . . F Riley Krane (4) gave the Pats a 1-0 lead at 8:00 of the first period. . . . But it was all Oil Kings after that point. . . . F Trey Fix Wolansky, who also had three assists, tied it with his 20th goal at 19:47. . . . F Dylan Guenther, the first overall selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft, broke the tie with his first career goal at 5:47, on a PP. Guenther scored in his third game; he also played on Nov. 2 and 3. . . . Guenther, from Edmonton, has 20 goals and 18 assists in 18 games with the Northern Alberta X-Treme prep team. . . . The Oil Kings were 3-5 on the PP. . . . F Vince Loschiavo scored his 13th goal and added two assists. . . . The Oil Kings were without F Vladimir Alistrov and F Andrei Pavlenko, both of whom are with the Belarusian team at the IIHF World Junior Championship (Division 1 Group A) that opens Sunday in Fussen, Germany. . . . Regina F Sebastian Streu also is there as he hopes to crack Germany’s roster.


F Dylan Cozens scored in OT to give the Lethbridge Hurricanes a 3-2 victory over the LethbridgeKootenay Ice in Cranbrook, B.C. . . . Lethbridge (15-8-5) has points in seven straight (6-0-1). . . . Kootenay (7-20-5) has lost 10 in a row (0-8-2). . . . The visitors took a 1-0 lead when D Alex Cotton (2) scored at 8:24 of the first period. . . . The Ice went in front on second-period goals from F Cole Muir (6) and F Jakin Smallwood (2). . . . F Jake Leschyshyn (18) got Lethbridge into a tie at 16:28 of the second. . . . Cozens won it with his 15th goal at 1:17 of extra time. . . . Leschyshyn also drew the primary assist on the winner. . . . The Hurricanes got 28 saves from G Reece Klassen, eight fewer than the Ice’s Jesse Makaj. . . . The Ice is without F Connor McClennon, who has one foot in a walking boot.


F Josh Pillar broke a 2-2 tie at 8:53 of the third period as the host Kamloops Blazers beat Kamloops1the Victoria Royals, 3-2. . . . Kamloops (12-11-2) has won three in a row, all at home where it is 5-6-1 after starting 2-6-1. . . . Victoria (13-11-0) has lost two in a row. . . . The Blazers overcame a 2-0 deficit to win this one. . . . Victoria led 2-0 on first-period goals from F D-Jay Jerome (12) and F Phillip Schultz (5). . . . F Kyrell Sopotyk (3) got the Blazers on the scoreboard at 7:07 of the second period. . . . F Jermaine Loewen (11) tied it, on a PP, at 8:53 of the third period. . . . Sopotyk set up the winner with a pass off a spin-o-rama in tight that Pillar was able to tuck into the net. . . . Kamloops lost F Jeff Faith to a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct for a hit on Victoria F Dante Hannoun after Pillar’s goal. . . . Moments after Pillar scored, Hannoun shoved him into the boards. Faith then came in and hit Hannoun from behind. . . . Kamloops was 1-6 on the PP; Victoria was 0-5, including a two-man advantage for 1:51. . . . The game featured a battle of two young goaltenders. With starters Griffen Outhouse (Victoria) and Dylan Ferguson (Kamloops) injured, Brock Gould, who turns 17 on Dec. 11, and Dylan Garand, 16, were the starters. . . . Garand, who is from Victoria, stopped 19 shots, while Gould turned aside 26. . . . Ferguson sat out a third straight game since being injured during a 3-1 loss to the Chiefs in Spokane on Nov. 24, while Outhouse also has missed three in a row. . . . Garand has won five straight starts and now is 5-1-1, 2.41, .912. . . . After the game, the Blazers returned G Rayce Ramsay to the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos, signalling that Ferguson is ready to return. . . . The Royals also continue to play without D Ralph Jarratt, who has gotten into only 11 games. For this one, they also scratched F Igor Martynov, who is in Fussen, Germany, with the Belarussian team that will play in the IIHF World Junior Championship (Division I Group) that begins Sunday in Fussen, Germany. Martynov snapped an 18-game goal-less drought in a 5-1 victory over the Cougars in Prince George on Saturday, then was blanked in a 5-3 loss on Sunday. . . . Victoria F Tanner Sidaway left the game in the last minute of the second period after falling awkwardly into the boards while killing a penalty. He looked to injury his left shoulder and crawled off the ice. . . . The Blazers won’t play at home again until Dec. 28. In the meantime, they’ll play six games in eight days on a Central Division trip that opens in Edmonton on Saturday.


The Kelowna Rockets scored the only two goals of a shootout to beat the visiting Tri-City KelownaRocketsAmericans, 4-3. . . . Kelowna (13-15-2) has points in three straight (2-0-1). . . . Tri-City has lost four in a row (0-2-2). . . . The Rockets held a 3-0 lead late in the second period on goals from F Erik Gardiner (5) and F Liam Kindree (6) in the first period, and F Nolan Foote (17), at 1:54 of the second. . . . The Americans got back into it with two PP goals from F Parker AuCoin, at 19:56 of the second and 8:53 of the third. He’s got 15 goals. . . . D Aaron Hyman (6) forced OT with a goal at 17:24. . . . That was Hyman’s first goal with the Americans, who acquired him from the Regina Pats. . . . Kelowna held a 3-1 edge in OT shots. . . . Kelowna shot first in the shootout and got goals from Foote and F Leif Mattson, their second and third shooters. . . . Tri-City was 2-7 on the PP; Kelowna was 0-2. . . .The Rockets got 28 saves from G James Porter. . . . G Talyn Boyko, who turned 16 on Nov. 16, made his second career start for the Americans. He made 24 saves. Boyko was a third-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft.


In Everett, the Silvertips built a 3-0 lead en route to a 4-2 victory over the Spokane Chiefs. Everett. . . Everett (23-7-1) has points in nine straight (8-0-1) and has closed to within six points of the Prince Albert Raiders (26-1-1), who lead the overall standings. The Raiders do hold three games in hand. . . . Spokane (14-10-4) has lost three straight (0-2-1). . . . The Silvertips grabbed a 3-0 lead on goals from F Jackson Berezowski (5), at 17:33 of the first period, and F Bryce Kindopp (11), at 1:47 of the second, and D Jake Christiansen (7), on a PP, at 14:48. . . . The Chiefs made it interesting with third-period PP goals from Ethan McIndoe (8), at 0:48, and F Riley Woods (21), at 9:26. . . . F Sean Richards (9) gave Everett some breathing room with an empty-netter, at 18:25. . . . F Max Patterson, acquired this week from the Swift Current Broncos, made his Everett debut and drew an assist on Berezowski’s goal. . . . G Dustin Wolf stopped 25 shots for Everett. He now is 21-7-1, 1.93, .923. . . . The Silvertips lost F Martin Fasko-Rudas aat 15:31 of the first period after he was hit in the neutral zone by Spokane F Egor Arbuzov, who was penalized for interference. . . . Former NHL D Kevin Bieksa took part in the ceremonial faceoff. He has been skating with the Silvertips as he prepares to play for Canada at the Spengler Cup that begins on Dec. 26 in Davos, Switzerland.


Tweetoftheday

Hanlon leaving Giants . . . Blazers’ top pick gives them the word . . . Thunderbirds’ import will stay home

MacBeth

F Adam Kambeitz (Red Deer, Saskatoon, Seattle, 2008-13) a signed one-year contract with Gap (France, Ligue Magnus). This season, with the U of Calgary (Canada West), he had two goals and eight assists in 28 games. . . .

F Dominik Uher (Spokane, 2009-12) signed a two-year contract with the Fischtown Pinguins Bremerhaven (Germany, DEL). This season, with Sparta Prague (Czech Republic, Extraliga), he had three goals and three assists in 48 games. . . .

F Dustin Johner (Seattle, 1999-2004) signed a one-year contract extension with the Belfast Giants (Northern Ireland, UK Elite). He had three goals and seven assists in 19 games. . . .

D Tomáš Kundrátek (Medicine Hat, 2008-10) signed a one-year contract with Kunlun Red Star Beijing (China, KHL). This season, with Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod (Russia, KHL), he had two goals and 11 assists in 53 games. . . .

D Zack Yuen (Tri-City, 2008-13) signed a one-year two-way contract extension with Kunlun Red Star Beijing (China, KHL). He had two goals and one assist in 21 games this season. He also was pointless in eight games with KRS Heilongjiang Harbin (China, Russia Vysshaya Liga).


ThisThat

The Vancouver Giants became the third B.C. Division team searching for a general manager when they revealed on Monday that Glen Hanlon is leaving after two seasons in that role. . . . The Prince George Cougars, who didn’t bring back Todd Harkins, and Kamloops Blazers, who dumped Stu MacGregor, also are looking to hire general managers. . . . According to a Giants news release, Hanlon “has decided to pursue other opportunities.” . . . Hanlon, 61, spent two seasons (2011-13) with the Giants as an assistant coach under Don Hay before spending a couple of seasons coaching in Belarus and Switzerland. . . . Dean Chynoweth, the Giants’ associate coach, may be the leading candidate to replace Hanlon. Chynoweth, 49, spent five seasons (2004-09) as the general manager and head coach of the Swift Current Broncos. He just completed his first season with the Giants, working alongside head coach Jason McKee.


The Hamilton Bulldogs won the OHL championship on Sunday night. Here are a few paragraphs written earlier in the week by Scott Radley of the Hamilton Spectator:

When the Canadian Hockey League awarded the Memorial Cup to Regina, it cited the failings of FirstOntario Centre as the main reason why.

“At the end of the day, it was the facility that would not allow Hamilton to stay in the race,” CHL president David Branch said back then.

That may be true. Then again, the yellow-T-shirt-wearing, noise-making, atmosphere-creating, lower-bowl-filling crowd — which was 2,100 people bigger than will be at any of the Memorial Cup games at the Brandt Centre (capacity 6,500) — sure looked good and suggested the tournament really should’ve been here.

Not to mention the fact that Hamilton has a championship-calibre team that’s playing the country’s best outfit to a standstill right now. The host Regina Pats? They were eliminated from their playoffs 40 days ago.”


Here’s more from Radley:

Sure, most teams’ TV and radio announcers are homers to one degree or another. Many are employees of the team, so it’s hardly a surprise. Most keep it reasonably in check, however.

That said, is there any call in sports more finger-nails-on-a-chalkboard grating than Buck Martinez yelling “Get up, ball!” every time a Blue Jay hits a home run? It’s just one step short of running onto the field and hugging the guy as he rounds third base.


It seems that Tom Gaglardi, the majority owner of the Kamloops Blazers, didn’t give us all of the organization’s bad news when he announced the departure of four people from Kamloops1the front office on Thursday.

Jon Keen, the radio voice of the Blazers, reported Tuesday that the Blazers were told before the May 3 bantam draft that F Massimo Rizzo is “pursuing an NCAA scholarship and will not be coming to training camp in the fall.”

The Blazers selected Rizzo with the 15th overall selection of the 2016 bantam draft. This season, Rizzo had 13 goals and 25 assists in 50 games with the BCHL’s Penticton Vees. He will be back with the Vees in 2018-19.

On Thursday, Gaglardi announced the departures of general manager Stu MacGregor, head coach Don Hay, assistant coach Mike Needham and director of player personnel Matt Recchi.


The NHL’s Edmonton Oilers signed G Stuart Skinner of the Swift Current Broncos to a three-year entry-level contract on Monday. Skinner, who is from Edmonton, was a third-round selection by the Oilers in the NHL’s 2017 draft. . . . He posted a record-tying six shutouts in helping the Broncos to the WHL championship.


So . . . if you’re Eli Manning, the New York Giants’ starting quarterback, what’s it like playing in Philadelphia?

“Philly, you just gotta get used to,” Manning tells Steiner Sports. “. . . because you’re not used to seeing a nine-year-old cursing at you and talking about my mom and stuff. Once you get used to it, it’s fine. It just takes a year or two. Now (15 years later) he’s 24 and training his four-year-old to curse at me.”


The Prince Albert Raiders have signed D Nolan Allan, the third overall selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. Allan, from Davidson, Sask., had 12 goals and 32 assists in 26 games with the bantam AA Humboldt Broncos.


Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times notes that Kiyaunta Goodwin of Louisville, Ky., “is six-feet-seven, weighs 370 pounds, wears size-18 shoes, leg presses 1,000 pounds, bench presses 315, displays uncanny agility, likes art music and robotics, and has a football offer from Georgia in his pocket, according to Bleacher Report.” . . . Perry then adds: “Oh and did we mention that he’s only 14 years old and an eighth-grader?”


It appears that F Sami Moilanen won’t be back with the Seattle Thunderbirds for what Seattlewould have been his 19-year-old season. From Sipoo, Finland, Moilanen played two seasons with Seattle. He had 43 points, including 21 goals, in 70 games as a freshman, adding 16 points, seven of them goals, in 20 playoff games as the Thunderbirds won the Ed Chynoweth Cup. This season, he had 22 goals and 23 assists in 50 games as he was hampered by injuries. . . . Seattle’s second import, Russian F Nikita Malukhin, had five goals and four assists in 52 games as a freshman this season.


Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe, is a hockey fan, and as he writes: “A difference between Canadian and U.S. hockey fans — at least Canadian fans can find Winnipeg on a map?”


“Vegas Golden Knights and Tampa Bay Lightning should both do well with playoff ticket sales,” Hough notes. “As we get into mid- May, I’m guessing people in both cities will pay well for a chance to spend three hours inside out of 30-plus degree weather.”


“So the Leafs are bounced in the first round,” pens Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette, “the Raptors pull an epic choke after Drake makes an ass of himself, and the Jays get no-hit the night Stroman pitches. This Toronto 24/7 thing is entertaining.”


A note from RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com: “Reuters reports a Paris museum is offering special viewing hours to ‘naturists.’ Nudes taking in nudes? Busts before busts? Art-wise I’m not sure how to frame it.”


Currie, again: “The Toronto Raptors fired coach Dwane Casey two days after he was named NBA coach of the year.  It’s the fastest fall from grace for a Casey since the Mudville nine.”