Happy birthday to Brian Pellerin, an assistant coach with the Portland Winterhawks. He not only knows where Old Drinnan Town is, he likely has been there.
Jack Todd, in the Montreal Gazette: “It’s been 73 years since a Canadian won alpine world championships gold in the women’s slalom. Quebec City’s Laurence St-Germain did it Saturday, beating the great Mikaela Shiffrin in the process — and chances are you didn’t hear about it because our sports networks were busy fawning over Tiger Woods or the Maple Leafs.”
Two more notes from Todd, whose complete column is right here:
“At least it’s not hard to locate Theo Fleury. You can find him at the corner of Ignorance and Misinformation pretty much any day of the week. . . .
“We need more of Cheryl Pounder between periods on the TSN Canadiens telecasts. Pounder is superb. Unlike most broadcasters of the ‘unbelievable’ school, Pounder actually tells you things you didn’t know and avoids belabouring the obvious.”
THINKING OUT LOUD:
Might the Winnipeg Ice be forced by the WHL to vacate their home arena, which seats about 1,600, for a larger venue, perhaps in Brandon or Regina, should it make a deep playoff run? All in the interests of TV and atmosphere, of course. . . . Why are WHL pooh-bahs and the Ice owners so reluctant to sit down in front of media folks and answer a few questions? . . . If the WHL was to get a team into Penticton how great would the rivalry be between the Kelowna Rockets and the Peaches? . . . With all of these junior hockey teams wearing ‘special’ sweaters at various times during a season and then making them available at auction, I’m wondering how many are purchased by Mom and Dad? . . . Sign of the times: The Regina Pats had 20 players in uniform on Sunday afternoon with only four of them wearing sweaters with numbers below 20. . . . Just wondering but is Darryl Sutter’s best-before-date almost here with the Calgary Flames?
If the WHL playoffs started today:
Winnipeg (1) vs. Medicine Hat (8)
Red Deer (2) vs. Calgary (7)
Saskatoon (3) vs. Regina (6)
Moose Jaw (4) vs. Lethbridge (5)
Seattle (1) vs. Kelowna (8)
Kamloops (2) vs. Vancouver (7)
Portland (3) vs. Prince George (6)
Tri-City (4) vs. Everett (5)
MONDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:
F Sloan Stanick scored one of those between-the-legs goals at 1:05 of OT to give the Prince Albert Raiders a 4-3 victory over the Wheat Kings in Brandon. . . . Stanick, who has 18 goals, is from Rapid City, which is about three slap shots north of Brandon. . . . The Raiders overcame 2-0 and 3-1 deficits. . . . F Keaton Sorensen had three assists for the winners. . . . F Evan Herman (14) scored twice, the second goal pulling the Raiders into a 3-3 tie at 11:54 of the third period. Herman, a 20-year-old from The Pas, Man., was playing in his 200th regular-season game, all with the Raiders. . . . F Nolan Ritchie scored his 20th goal and added an assist for Brandon. . . . Prince Albert (23-28-3) has won four straight and is 11th in the Eastern Conference, six points from a playoff spot. . . . Brandon (22-24-8) is 10th, three points out of eighth. . . . Perry Bergson of the Brandon Sun points out that “Brandon is 0-8 in games decided in OT; this could be the first season in the Internet era (it doesn’t) win an overtime game.” . . .
The Kamloops Blazers, playing their third game in four days, unleashed a 60-shot attack in beating the Oil Kings, 7-3, in Edmonton. . . . The winners got two goals from each of F Dylan Sydor (10) and F Daylan Kuefler (30). . . . Kamloops scored the game’s last three goals. . . . D Olen Zellweger had a goal and two assists for the winners. He has nine goals and 22 assists in 16 games since being acquired from Everett. . . . F Noah Boyko (15) had two PP goals for the Oil Kings. . . . Kamloops F Logan Stankoven, who had a 35-game point streak snapped in Sunday’s 4-1 victory over the host Calgary Hitmen, was blanked for a second straight game. . . . F Jakub Demek, 19, made his Kamloops debut. He hadn’t played since undergoing shoulder surgery after he played for Slovakia in the World Junior Championship that was held in Edmonton in August. Last season, he had 54 points, including 20 goals, in 55 games with the WHL-champion Oil Kings. In trading him to Kamloops on Nov. 14, Edmonton acquired a first-round 2023 WHL draft pick that originated with Regina, a conditional 2024 second-round pick, a conditional third-rounder in 2026 and a fourth-rounder in 2026. . . . F Shea Van Olm, another player Kamloops acquired from Edmonton, was scratched after apparently being injured in Calgary. . . . Kamloops (36-10-6) has won nine in row and will finish atop the B.C. Division. . . . Edmonton (8-43-3) has lost six straight games. . . .
F Adam Kydd scored once and drew two assists to lead the host Kelowna Rockets to a 3-1 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . Kydd’s 17th goal, at 17:02 of the second period, broke a 1-1 tie and stood up as the winner. . . . D Marek Rocak, a 16-year-old freshman from Czechia, scored his first WHL goal 45 seconds later to provide insurance. He has one goal and one assist in nine games. . . . Kelowna (20-30-3) has won three in a row. It is eighth in the Western Conference, five points behind Vancouver. . . . Tri-City (26-21-7) is fourth, two points ahead of Everett. . . .
F Zac Funk scored in the seventh round of a shootout to give the Prince George Cougars a 1-0 victory over the visiting Portland Winterhawks in what may well have been a first-round playoff preview. . . . Funk was one of three skaters to score in the shootout. . . . Through OT, the Cougars got 31 saves from G Tyler Brennan, while G Dante Giannuzzi stopped 30 for Portland. This was Brennan’s first shutout this season and the sixth of his career. Giannuzzi has two this season and five in his career. . . These teams will meet in Prince George again tonight. . . . Prince George (25-23-4) had lost its previous two games. It is sixth, three points behind Everett. . . . Portland (36-13-5) has lost four in a row (0-3-1) and now trials U.S. Division-leading Seattle by nine points. . . .
F Brendan Lee’s two goals helped the Medicine Hat Tigers to a 4-1 victory over the Rebels in Red Deer. . . . Lee, who has 24 goals, gave his guys a 1-0 lead just 45 seconds into the game. He added an empty-netter at 19:02 of the third period. . . . The Tigers outshot the Rebels, 27-17, including 13-5 in the first period when they scored twice. . . . Red Deer lost D Christoffer Sedoff to a headshot major and game misconduct at 7:24 of the first period. . . . Medicine Hat (23-22-9) has points in three straight (2-0-1). It is tied with Regina and Calgary for sixth in the Eastern Conference. . . . Red Deer (37-14-4) lead the Central Division by 12 points over Lethbridge. . . .
In Regina, the Pats scored the game’s last three goals as they beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 4-2. . . . F Braxton Whitehead (8) got Regina into a 2-2 tie with a PP goal at 18:42 of the second period. . . . F Tanner Howe (26) snapped the tie just 16 seconds into the third period and F Zane Rowan (4) added insurance at 10:26. . . . D Stanislav Svozil (7) had a goal and an assist for the Pats in his 100th regular-season game. The sophomore from Czechia has 57 points in 41 games this season. In those 100 games, he has earned 98 points, including 81 helpers. . . . The announced attendance was 6,499, the fourth time in the Pats’ past five games that it has been a sellout crowd. . . . BTW, F Connor Bedard had two assists for the Pats. . . . Regina (26-24-3) is tied with Calgary and Medicine Hat for sixth in the Eastern Conference. . . . Lethbridge (30-19-6) had points in its previous four games (3-0-1). It is fifth in the conference, three points behind Moose Jaw. . . .
F Owen Pederson broke a 2-2 tie at 12:29 of the third period and the Winnipeg Ice sent on to a 4-2 victory over the host Swift Current Broncos. . . . Pederson’s PP goal stood up as the winner, and he added insurance at 19:03 with an empty-netter, his 29th goal of the season. Pederson, 20, also had an assist. He has 64 points in 50 games this season, after putting up 43 points, 17 of them goals in 50 games last season. . . . Winnipeg (44-7-1) has won seven straight games and leads the Eastern Conference by 11 points over Red Deer and Saskatoon. . . . Swift Current (25-25-3) has lost three in a row and is two points out of the playoffs. . . .
F Ty Thorpe scored had a goal and two assists as the Vancouver Giants beat the Spokane Chiefs, 4-3 in OT, in Langley, B.C. . . . Thorpe’s 28th goal won it at 4:16 of OT. . . . F Samuel Honzek, in his second game after returning from an injury suffered at the World Junior Championship, scored twice for Vancouver. He’s got 19 goals this season. . . . Honzek’s second goal, at 19:41 of the second period, gave the Giants a 3-2 lead. . . . Spokane tied it at 10:41 of the third when D Mac Gross scored his eighth goal, this one while shorthanded. . . . Vancouver (21-26-6) had lost its previous two games. It is settling into seventh in the Western Conference, now six points behind Prince George and five ahead of Kelowna. . . . Spokane (11-36-7) has lost two in a row (0-1-1). . . .
T Tomas Milic stopped 26 shots for his third shutout of the season as the Seattle Thunderbirds dumped the Royals, 7-0, in Victoria. . . . The Thunderbirds had beaten the Royals, 8-1, in Kent, Wash., on Saturday night. And they’ll meet each other again tonight in Victoria. . . . Milic has seven career shutouts in 84 appearances over parts of four seasons. This season, he is 21-3-1, 2.18, .922. . . . F Gracyn Sawchyn (17) led Seatte’s offence with two goals and an assist. . . . F Brad Lambert had two assists. He’s got 19 points, 10 of them assists, in 12 games with Seattle. . . . D Kevin Korchinski also had two assists, pushing him over the point-per-game mark for his career. He now has 132 points, 121 of them assists, in 131 regular-season games. . . . F Colton Dach added a goal and an assist, and now has four points in two games since making his Seattle debut on Saturday. . . . F Jared Davidson scored his 32nd goal as he reached the 200-point mark, including 93 goals, in his 243rd regular-season game over five seasons. . . . Seattle (42-9-2) has won seven in a row and is pulling away atop the Western Conference. . . . Victoria (15-35-6) has lost three straight and now is seven points from a playoff spot.
Memories are made of this . . .
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