Who’s favoured as 2020 Memorial Cup host? . . . Tigers add d-men . . . Giants get Ettinger from Wheat Kings


ThisThat

The WHL’s board of governors will gather in Calgary on Wednesday and one of the things on the agenda will be to hear bids from three teams/cities wanting to play host to the 2020 Memorial Cup.

The Kamloops Blazers, Kelowna Rockets and Lethbridge Hurricanes will make their presentations in that order.

Each team will be allotted 15 minutes — five to show a video and 10 for a presentation — after which governors will have 15 minutes to ask questions.

Some thoughts as Taking Note sees it . . .

KELOWNA — The Rockets last played host to the four-team tournament in 2004 and they KelownaRocketsput on a tremendous show, icing the cake by winning the whole thing. . . . Who wouldn’t want to spend 10 days in May in Kelowna? . . . Bruce Hamilton, the Rockets’ president and general manager, is the chairman of the WHL’s board of governors. He is the most-powerful person in the WHL and don’t discount that as a factor. . . . Including standing room, Prospera Place, which opened in 1999, has room for 6,286 fans. . . . The Rockets are off to a slow start (1-4-0) but history shows that they are more likely to be a contender than a pretender come next season. . . . Odds: 1-1.

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LETHBRIDGE — Lethbridge has never been home to the Memorial Cup tournament. . . . LethbridgeThe Hurricanes, under general manager Peter Anholt and Terry Huisman, the general manager of business operations, have made a remarkable turnaround. After the 2014-15 season, the Hurricanes had missed the playoffs for six straight seasons and lost more than $1.25 million. Ron Robison, the WHL commissioner, was urging shareholders to sell the franchise to private interests. Today, the Hurricanes have reached two straight Eastern Conference finals and shown more than $1 million in profits over those two seasons. . . . On the ice, the future looks bright, led by forwards Dylan Cozens and Logan Barlage, two of the WHL’s best young players. . . . The ENMAX Centre, which opened in 1974 but has undergone recent upgrades, has a capacity of 5,479. . . . Odds: 2-1.

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KAMLOOPS — The Blazers played host to the 1995 tournament, which they won, giving Kamloops1them three Memorial Cup titles in four years. The 2020 tournament will be the 25th anniversary of the third one. . . . Tom Gaglardi and Co. are into their 11th season as the franchise’s owners and have yet to show they can build a winner. That won’t help their cause with the BoG. Neither will the ham-handed fashion in which the retirement/dismissal of Don Hay was handled in May. . . . The Blazers’ new braintrust — headed up by GM Matt Bardsley and head coach Serge Lajoie — hasn’t had time to prove itself. . . . Kamloops, the Tournament Capital of Canada, has a wonderful history of playing host to events like the Brier, the Canada Games and the IIHF World Women’s Championship, something that should hold the bid in good stead. . . . The Sandman Centre had 5,464 seats before some were removed in order to put loge seating in the upper deck on one side. That new seating, in itself, will be an attraction. Unfortunately, the Sandman Centre doesn’t include an on-site restaurant like Prospera Place and the ENMAX Centre. . . . Odds: 5-1.

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THE INTANGIBLE — At the end of the day, money talks . . . and that could be the case MemCup2020again on Wednesday in Calgary. When the WHL’s board of governors votes on a host team/city for the 2020 Memorial Cup, it could easily decide to go with the bid that includes the highest guaranteed profit — teams all get a cut of the profit. If it comes to that, Kamloops may have an edge because the Gaglardi family has more chips than the Kelowna or Lethbridge owners. . . . Earlier this year, Canadian Business estimated the net worth of the Gaglardi family, through Northland Properties, at $3.92 billion, up 10.4 per cent from 2017. . . . Tom Gaglardi owns the NHL’s Dallas Stars and is the majority owner of the Blazers. Might he be interested in attempting to buy the hosting rights for the 2020 Memorial Cup?


The Medicine Hat Tigers have added two 20-year-olds to their roster after learning Tigers Logo OfficialMonday that they will be getting back defencemen Dylan MacPherson and Linus Nassen. Both players had been in camp with the NHL’s Florida Panthers before being assigned to the AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds. . . . MacPherson, from Redcliff, Alta., has played two seasons with the Tigers, putting up four goals and 18 assists in 124 regular-season games. . . . Nassen, from Sweden, was a third-round pick by the Panthers in the NHL’s 2016 draft. Last season, his first in the WHL, had had one goal and 25 assists in 44 games. . . . With those two in town, the Tigers have four 20-year-olds on their roster, the other two being F Ryan Jevne and D Dalton Gally. . . . As an import, Nassen would be a two-spotter should the Tigers keep him. His arrival won’t affect the Tigers’ import situation as freshmen G Mads Sogaard is their only other European player.


The Vancouver Giants, having lost D Bailey Dhaliwal to a shoulder injury and D Matt VancouverBarberis and D Joel Sexsmith to undisclosed injuries, have acquired D Ty Ettinger from the Brandon Wheat Kings for a seventh-round selection in the WHL’s 2020 bantam draft. . . . Steve Ewen of Postmedia reports that Dhaliwal, 19, who has a history of shoulder problems, could be out for six weeks. . . . Ettinger, 18, is from Ardrossan, Alta. He was dropped from Brandon’s roster late last week. The Wheat Kings selected him in the fifth round of the 2015 bantam draft. . . . Last season, as a freshman, he had two goals and five assists in 45 games with Brandon. This season, he was pointless in one game. . . . As Ewen tweeted: “You’d think the Giants would have good intel on Ettinger, since scouting director Daryl Anning is the father of Wheat Kings head coach David Anning.” . . . Ettinger skated with the Giants on Monday afternoon and could make his debut with Vancouver on Wednesday against the Rockets in Kelowna.


With F Brad Goethals, 20, having left the Saskatoon Blades of his own accord, the club has room for a 20-year-old to join F Max Gerlach and D Dawson Davidson. . . . Goethals’ departure also leaves the Blades with 13 forwards, when they might prefer to carry 14. . . . Goethals was a prolific scorer during two seasons with the midget AAA Eastman Selects (129 points, including 73 goals, in 83 games), but wasn’t able to replicate that in the WHL. He had three goals and three assists in 23 games with the Everett Silvertips in 2016-17, and followed that up with 15 goals and 17 assists in 69 games with the Blades last season. . . . This season, he had one goal in three games with Saskatoon.


Stan Butler wasn’t behind the bench when the North Bay Battalion dropped a 7-5 OHL ohldecision to the host Oshawa Generals on Sunday night. According to the North Bay Nugget, Butler, the Battalion’s director of hockey operations and head coach since 1998-99, said before the game that he plans to take time “to try to get some things sorted out.” Butler, 62, apparently met with Oshawa’s club doctor before deciding not to go behind the bench on Sunday. . . . Butler was behind the bench on Saturday night for a 6-1 loss to the Niagara IceDogs in St. Catharines. . . . In Butler’s absence, assistant coaches Scott Wray and Adam Dennis ran the bench. . . . Butler is the fourth-winningest head coaching OHL history, his 703 victories trailing Brian Kilrea (1,194), Bert Templeton (907) and Dale Hunter (728). . . . Butler spent one season (1996-97) in the WHL, as the head coach of the Prince George Cougars.



MONDAY NIGHT NOTES:

The Prince Albert Raiders have dropped F Nikita Krivokrasov, who will turn 18 on Dec. 23, from their roster. From Westminster, Colo., he is the son of former NHLer Sergei Krivokrasov. . . . Nikita was pointless in two games with the Raiders in 2016-17, and had three goals in 34 games last season. . . . He didn’t dress for any of the Raiders’ first five games the season.

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The Regina Pats are down to two goaltenders after dropping Matthew Pesenti, 17, from their roster. He is expected to return for a third season with the midget AAA Saskatoon Blazers. . . . The Pats now are left with two 18-year-old goaltenders — returnee Max Paddock and Dean McNabb, who was acquired from the Victoria Royals on Sept. 24. . . . Paddock has started all four games as the Pats have started 0-4-0. McNabb has gotten into one game since joining Regina.

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A pair of WHLers drew three-game suspensions on Monday. . . . F Tristen Nielsen of the Calgary Hitmen was suspended after taking a boarding major and game misconduct during a game against the visiting Red Deer Rebels on Sunday. . . . F Cade McNelly was disciplined after becoming involved in what the WHL refers to as a “one-man fight” during a Saturday night game against the Winterhawks in Portland.

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Hey, Lane Lambert and Ross Mahoney . . . I can see you smiling all the way from Kamloops. Congratulations!

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The Calgary Flames revealed Monday that D Juusu Valimaki, 19, will open the NHL season on their roster. Valimaki, from Finland, will turn 20 on Oct. 6. The Flames selected him in the first round, 16th overall, of the NHL’s 2017 draft. . . . Valimaki played the past three seasons with the Tri-City Americans. Last season, he had 14 goals and 31 assists in 43 games. In 159 career regular-season games, he recorded 40 goals and 98 assists. . . . The Flames also have F Dillon Dube, 20, on their roster. Dube, from Golden, B.C., was a second-round pick in the 2016 NHL draft. He spent the past four seasons with the Kelowna Rockets, putting up 232 points, including 101 goals, in 203 regular-season games. Last season, he finished with 38 goals and 46 assists in 43 games. . . .

George Johnson of calgaryflames.com has more right here.


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If you are a WHL fan and are on Twitter, you should be following Geoffrey Brandow (@GeoffreyBrandow). He regularly tweets interesting notes and stats involving WHL teams and players, such as this one from Sunday night:


Tweetoftheday

Giants sign import draft pick . . . Everett forward gets NHL deal . . . Seattle in, Kamloops out of playoff picture

A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

The Vancouver Giants have signed F Yannik Valenti, who is from Bad Tolz, Germany, to a VancouverWHL contact. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound Valenti, who won’t turn 18 until Sept. 24, was selected by the Giants in the 2017 CHL import draft. Vancouver played with one import all season, rather than the maximum of two, and thus was able to maintain Valenti’s WHL rights. . . . This season, Valenti played for Jungadler Mannheim’s U-19 team, putting up 34 goals and 18 assists in 36 games. Last season, he had 20 goals and 23 assists in 40 games with that team. This season, he also played four games with Adler Mannheim in the DEL and two with the EC Kassel Huskies of DEL-2.


F Patrick Bajkov of the Everett Silvertips has signed a three-year entry-level contract with the NHL’s Florida Panthers. Bajkov, 20, is from Nanaimo, B.C. He was a sixth-round selection by Everett in the WHL’s 2012 bantam draft, but never was drafted by an NHL team. . . . He went into this weekend with 30 goals and 61 assists in 67 games. . . . In 337 regular-season games, he has 109 goals and 170 assists with the Silvertips. He is the franchise’s career leader in goals and points, and is second in assists and games played.


Nolan Graham, an assistant coach at RPI, is in intensive care in an Albany, N.Y., hospital after being struck by a vehicle on Tuesday. . . . The 38-year-old is believed to have suffered a fractured skull and brain injuries. . . . Graham, from Nanaimo, B.C., played two seasons (1997-99) with the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs, before going on to spend four seasons at RPI. After a brief pro career, he turned to coaching and was in the BCHL for four seasons — three as an assistant coach with the Nanaimo Clippers and one (2009-10) as GM/head coach of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. . . . There is more on Graham, including the link to a GoFundMe page, right here.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

FRIDAY:

At Prince Albert, the Raiders ran their winning streak to eight games by dumping the Moose Jaw Warriors, 6-4. . . . Prince Albert (31-25-11) is in possession of the Eastern PrinceAlbertConference’s second wild-card spot, four points behind Brandon and five ahead of Saskatoon. . . . Moose Jaw (49-15-3) had won its previous two games. It leads the overall standings, by one point over Swift Current. . . . The Warriors lead the season series, 4-2-1; the Raiders are 3-4-0. . . . F Cole Fonstad (21) gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead at 11:37 of the first period, and F Kody McDonald made it 2-0 at 4:17 of the second. . . . F Brendan Klatt (3) got the Warriors on the scoreboard at 8:13. . . . McDonald’s 34th goal, at 10:28, restored the Raiders’ two-goal lead, and F Jordy Stallard (42) stretched it to three, on a PP, at 13:29. . . . F Jayden Halbgewachs got the Warriors to within two at 15:55, but the home team got that one back at 18:15 as F Curtis Miske scored. . . . Miske made it 6-2 with his 25th goal, while shorthanded, at 1:48 of the third period. . . . The Warriors closed to within two as F Justin Almeida got his 40th at 6:41, and Halbgewachs (66) counted, on a PP, at 13:23. . . . Fonstad also had two assists for the Raiders. Last season, as a freshman, Fonstad had 11 goals and 15 assists in 26 games. This season, he has 72 points, including 51 assists, in 67 games. . . . F Parker Kelly also had two assists for the winners, and Stallard added one. . . . Halbgewachs and Almeida each had an assist for Moose Jaw. . . . Halbgewachs now has 135 regular-season goals with the Warriors, moving past F Brayden Point into second on the franchise’s career list. F Theo Fleury is No. 1, at 201. . . . Prince Albert was 1-2 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 1-3. . . . G Ian Scott earned the victory with 21 saves, four more than Moose Jaw’s Adam Evanoff. . . . Prince Albert F Regan Nagy was unsuccessful on a third-period penalty shot. . . . The Warriors were without F Brayden Burke for a second straight game, while the Raiders scratched F Brett Leason, who didn’t finish a 4-2 victory over visiting Edmonton on Wednesday. . . . . Announced attendance: 2,324.


At Brandon, F Evan Weinger scored three times to lead the Wheat Kings to a 6-3 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Brandon (36-26-5) has won two in a row. It is fourth BrandonWKregularin the East Division, three points behind Regina. The Wheat Kings hold down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot. . . . Swift Current (47-15-6) had points in each of its previous five games (4-0-1). It is second in the overall standings, one point behind Moose Jaw. . . . The Broncos won the season series with Brandon, 4-2-2; the Wheat Kings were (4-4-0). . . . The Broncos went up 2-0 on first-period goals from F Kaden Elder (15), at 2:47, and F Beck Malnestyn (15), shorthanded, at 8:48. . . . Brandon tied it in the second period when F Cole Reinhardt (17) and Weinger scored, at 12:29 and 13:36. . . . F Tyler Steenbergen’s 46th goal and 100th point gave the visitors a 3-2 edge at 17:06. . . . Weinger tied it at 19:00. . . . F Ty Lewis (42) shot Brandon into a 4-3 lead, on a PP, at 12:09 of the third period. . . . F Linden McCorrister (17) provided insurance at 12:35, and Weinger completed the hat trick — he’s got 29 goals — into an empty net at 18:00. . . . D Braden Schneider andF Stelio Mattheos had two assists each for Brandon, with Lewis getting one. . . . The Broncos now have three 100-point men — F Glenn Gawdin and F Aleksi Heponiemi are the others. The last team to have three such players was the Portland Winterhawks in 2012-13 — F Brendan Leipsic and F Nic Petan, each 120, andF Ty Rattie, 110. . . . Swift Current was 1-2 on the PP; Brandon was 1-5. . . . G Logan Thompson started for Brandon and stopped 21 of 24 shots. He left with an apparent leg injury after the second period. Dylan Myskiw came on to stop all five shots he faced in the third period. . . . The Broncos got 27 stops from G Stuart Skinner. . . . Gawdin (ill), the WHL scoring leader, was among Swift Current’s scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 4,240.


At Saskatoon, F Tristen Nielsen scored his third goal of the game in OT to give the Calgary Hitmen a 5-4 victory over the Blades. . . . Calgary (21-36-10) finished 2-2-0 in the season Calgaryseries. . . . Saskatoon (32-31-4) is five points from a playoff spot with five games remaining. . . . The Blades went 2-1-1 in the season series. . . . F Gage Ramsay (6) gave the home side a 1-0 lead at 1:48 of the first period. . . . Nielsen, who has 18 goals, tied it at 2:38. . . . The Blades went ahead 3-1 on goals from F Josh Paterson (30), who was playing in his 200th game, at 11:39, and D Mark Rubinchik (3), at 13:57. . . . Calgary tied it on two shorthanded goals on the same Sasktoon power-play, with F Mark Kastelic (18) scoring at 15:26, and Nielsen at 16:37. . . . F Braylon Shmyr (36) gave the Blades a 4-3 lead 41 seconds into the third period. . . . Calgary tied it at 8:35 on a goal from F Carson Focht (12). . . . Nielsen, who also had an assist, won it at 1:58 of overtime as he completed his first career WHL hat trick. . . . Calgary got three assists from D Egor Zamula and two from Focht. . . . F Chase Wouters and F Max Gerlach each had two helpers for the Blades, with Patterson, Shmyr and Ramsay adding one apiece. . . . Saskatoon was 0-1 on the PP; Calgary was 0-2. . . . Calgary got 20 saves from G Nick Schneider. . . . G Nolan Maier, in his eighth straight start for Saskatoon, stopped 30 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 3,579. . . . Darren Steinke was in the building and blogged about it right there.


At Cranbrook, F Sam Steel scored his second goal of the game in OT to give the Regina Pats a 2-1 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Regina (37-25-6) has won four in a row. It is ReginaPats100third in the East Division, three points ahead of Brandon. . . . Kootenay (25-38-5) has lost nine in a row (0-7-2). It is fourth in the Central Division, eight points behind Red Deer with only four games remaining. . . . Regina finished the season series, 3-1-0; Kootenay was 1-2-1. . . . Steel gave the Pats a 1-0 lead at 17:25 of the second period. . . . The Ice tied it at 11:09 of the third period as F Cameron Hausinger got his 19th goal. . . . Steel won it with his 30th goal of the season, just 31 seconds into extra time. . . . Regina was 0-2 on the PP; Kootenay was 0-4. . . . The Pats got 19 saves from G Max Paddock. . . . G Duncan McGovern stopped 32 shots for the home team. . . . The Pats are 6-1-0 in a stretch of eight straight road games that concludes tonight in Lethbridge. The Pats have been out of the Brandt Centre while the Tim Hortons Brier (the Canadian men’s curling championship) is held. It is to conclude on Sunday. . . . Announced attendance: 2,642.


At Lethbridge, the Red Deer Rebels scored the game’s last four goals and beat the Hurricanes, 4-1. . . . Red Deer (25-30-13) had lost its previous two games. It is third in the Red DeerCentral Division, seven points behind Lethbridge and eight in front of Kootenay. . . . Lethbridge (32-29-6) has lost four straight. It is second in the division, eight points behind Medicine Hat. . . . The Hurricanes are 4-1-0 in the season series; the Rebels are 1-2-2. . . . D Calen Addison’s ninth goal, at 13:38 of the first period, gave the home side a 1-0 edge. . . . F Kristian Reichel (30) tied it at 17:01. . . . F Brandon Hagel (14) scored a shorthanded goal at 3:42 of the second period to give Red Deer its first lead. . . . Red Deer F Mason McCarty put it away with two third-period goals, at 13:28, on a PP, and at 18:32, into an empty net. He’s got 37 goals. . . . Hagel also had two assists, with McCarty adding one. . . . Red Deer was 1-5 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-4. . . . The Rebels got 26 saves from G Riley Lamb. At the other end, Logan Flodell blocked 22. . . . Announced attendance: 4,933.


At Medicine Hat, D David Quenneville drew four assists to help the Tigers to a 6-4 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Medicine Hat (35-25-8) leads the Central Division, by Tigers Logo Officialeight points over Lethbridge. . . . Edmonton (19-41-8) has lost four in a row. . . . The The Tigers won the season series, 6-0-0; the Oil Kings were 0-4-2). . . . Tigers F Mark Rassell became the WHL’s fourth 50-goal man this season when he opened the scoring at 2:46 of the first period. . . . The Oil Kings tied it at 7:45 on F David Kope’s 13th goal. . . . Medicine Hat went ahead 3-1 on goals from F Ryan Chyzowski (20), on a PP, at 8:39 and F Elijah Brown (8), at 16:36. . . . D Ethan Cap (5) pulled the visitors to within a goal at 9:08 of the second period, but F Jaeger White (10) got that one back at 11:41. . . . The Oil Kings tied it on goals from F Colton Kehler (30), at 15:53 of the second, and D Conner McDonald (8), at 10:41 of the third. . . . Medicine Hat F Josh Williams (10) gave his side a 5-4 lead, on a PP, at 13:33, and F James Hamblin (21) added a PP goal at 15:09. . . . Brown and D Linus Nassen had two assists each for the winners, with Chyzowski getting one. . . . Hope had one assist for Edmonton. . . . The Tigers were 3-6 on the PP; the Oil Kings were 0-1. . . . G Michael Bullion stopped 27 shots for Medicine Hat. . . . Edmonton G Todd Scott, who last played on Feb. 19, turned aside 24 shots. . . . D Joel Craven was in Medicine Hat’s lineup for the first time since Jan. 27. . . . Announced attendance: 3,311.


At Kamloops, the Kelowna Rockets skated to a workmanlike 4-2 victory over the Blazers to snap a five-game losing skid. . . . Kelowna (39-22-7) had been 0-4-1 in its previous five KelownaRocketsgames. It leads the B.C. Division, by three points over Victoria. . . . Kamloops (29-34-5) has lost two straight and has been eliminated from the playoff picture. It is 11 points out of a playoff berth with only four games remaining. . . . The Rockets are 7-0-0 in the season series; the Blazers are 0-6-1. They’ll finish the series tonight in Kelowna. . . . The Blazers got off to a tough start when they turned the puck over high in the Kelowna zone while on the PP. Rockets F Marek Skvrne grabbed the puck and went in alone to scored his third goal of the season, at 5:59 of the first period. . . . F Carsen Twarynski made it 2-0 with his 43rd goal — he has goals in four straight games — at 6:59 of the second period. . . . F Orrin Centazzo gave Blazers fans some hope when he scored his 11th goal on a penalty shot at 9:12. . . . The Rockets restored their two-goal lead at 12:18 as F Dillon Dube (33) sniped on a PP. . . . Kelowna F Kole Lind added his 38th goal at 17:30 of the third period. . . . Kamloops got a PP goal from D Nolan Kneen (7) at 19:53. . . . F Kyle Topping had two assists for Kelowna, and Dube, who was playing in his 200th game, had one. . . . Kelowna was 1-7 on the PP; Kamloops was 1-4. . . . The Rockets got 36 saves from G Brodan Salmond, while Dylan Ferguson of the Blazers blocked 34 shots. . . . The Blazers scratched D Luke Zazula, whose season appears to be over, and D Montana Onyebuchi. . . . Announced attendance: 3,652.


At Kennewick, Wash., the Tri-City Americans erased a 1-0 lead with five straight goals en route to a 6-2 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Tri-City (33-24-9) had lost its TriCity30previous four games (0-3-1). It holds down the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot, one point ahead of Seattle. . . . Vancouver (34-24-9) is third in the B.C. Division, five points behind Victoria. . . . The Giants will play in Spokane tonight, then travel back to Kennewick for a Sunday rematch with the Americans. . . . Last night, Vancouver went ahead 1-0 when F Ty Ronning scored his 57th goal at 2:12 of the first period. . . . The Americans responded with three goals in the last four minutes of the period — from F Morgan Geekie (27), on a PP, at 16:05; F Jordan Topping (37), at 17:52; and F Sasha Mutala, at 18:18. . . . Tri-City F Nolan Yaremko’s 20th goal, at 18:10 of the second period, made it 4-1, and Mutala’s 11th goal stretched the lead to 5-1 at 6:59 of the third period. . . . D Dylan Plouffe (9) got Vancouver’s second goal, on a PP, at 11:48. . . . D Juuso Valimaki (12) scored Tri-City’s final goal, at 17:45. . . . Geekie and F Michael Rasmussen each had two assists for the winners, with Mutala, Topping and Valimaki adding one each. . . . Vancouver was 2-3 on the PP; Tri-City was 1-5. . . . G Patrick Dea earned the victory with 27 saves. . . . G David Tendeck stopped 34 shots for Vancouver. . . . F Milos Roman (ankle) returned to the Giants’ lineup for the first time since Jan. 9. He had eight goals and 21 assists in 34 games when he went out with the injury. . . . Announced attendance: 3,613.


At Victoria, F Tanner Kaspick’s second goal, this one in OT, gave the Royals a 4-3 victory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . Victoria (38-25-6) is second in the B.C. Division, three VictoriaRoyalspoints behind Kelowna. . . . Prince George (23-36-9) has lost four in a row (0-3-1). . . . The Royals lead the season series, 4-2-1; the Cougars are 3-2-2. . . . They’ll play again Sunday afternoon in Victoria. . . . The Royals took a 2-0 lead on goals from F Dante Hannoun (24), at 10:55 of the first period, and Kaspick, at 4:55 of the second. . . . The Cougars scored the next three goals. . . . F Reid Perepeluk scored his first WHL goal, at 19:30 of the second period, to get it started. . . . D Rhett Rhinehart (2) tied the score at 3:58 of the third period, and F Josh Maser’s 28th goal, at 7:19, gave the visitors a 3-2 lead. . . . Victoria F Tyler Soy (36) forced OT at 17:03 of the third period. . . . Kaspick’s 25th goal of the season won it at 2:39 of OT. . . . Kaspick has nine game-winners this season — six in 22 games with Victoria and three in 35 games with Brandon. . . . F Matthew Phillips and Hannoun each drew two assists for Victoria, with Soy getting one. . . . F Aaron Boyd had two assists for the Cougars. . . . Prince George was 0-1 on the PP; Victoria was 0-3. . . . G Dean McNabb started for Victoria and stopped 30 of 33 shots in 47:19. Griffen Outhouse finished up, stopping all five shots he faced in 15:20. . . . The Cougars got 39 stops from G Tavin Grant. . . . Announced attendance: 6,629.


At Kent, Wash., the Seattle Thunderbirds erased a 2-1 deficit to beat the Spokane Chiefs, 4-2. . . . Seattle (32-25-10), the WHL’s defending champion, has clinched a playoff spot. It Seattleholds down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . Spokane (39-23-5) is third in the U.S. Division, six points behind Portland. . . . Seattle leads the season series, 4-2-1; Spokane is 3-4-0. . . . D Filip Kral (8) put the Chiefs out front 1-0 at 2:14 of the first period. . . . Seattle tied it at 17:04 on a PP goal from F Zack Andrusiak. . . . The visitors went ahead 2-1 when F Riley Woods (22) scored, on a PP, at 2:28 of the second period. . . . Andrusiak (33) tied it at 8:49. . . . D Austin Strand scored Seattle’s last two goals, giving it a 3-2 lead at 6:16 of the third period, then adding insurance, on a PP, at 15:05. He has 23 goals. . . . Seattle got three assists from F Nolan Volcan and two from F Donovan Neuls. . . . Woods had one assists for the Chiefs. . . . Seattle was 2-2 on the PP; Spokane was 1-3. . . . G Liam Hughes stopped 25 shots for Seattle. . . . Spokane G Donovan Buskey stopped 18 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 5,317.


SATURDAY (all times local):

Swift Current at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Calgary at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Brandon at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Regina at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Tri-City at Portland, 6 p.m.

Kamloops at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

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

Vancouver at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

A Punch for Team Canada? . . . Hitmen welcome Nielsen back . . . Flodell stones Blazers . . . Neuls leads Thunderbirds

A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

Could Ernie (Punch) McLean help out as an assistant coach with Team Canada at the 2019 World Junior Championship that is to be shared between Victoria and Vancouver?

Hey, why not?

McLean told Rick Dhaliwal of NEWS 1130 and Sportsnet 650 in Vancouver that, according to Dhaliwal, he “is planning to apply . . . because it is being held in Vancouver.”

“The worse thing they can say is no,” McLean told Dhaliwal. “I want to help these kids.”

McLean has WJC experience, having been Team Canada’s coach in 1978 (Montreal) and 1979 (Sweden). Canada wound up third in Montreal and fifth in Sweden.

McLean, 85, is the fifth-winningest coach in WHL regular-season, having run the Esteven Bruins and New Westminster Bruins.


D Kade Jensen of the Victoria Royals will sit for four games after taking a cross-checking whlmajor and game misconduct at the end of a 5-4 victory over the visiting Kamloops Blazers on Saturday night. Jensen hit Kamloops D Luke Zazula during the play in question. . . . On Dec. 10, Jensen drew a three-game suspension after taking a kneeing major and game misconduct during a game with the host Prince George Cougars. . . . He also drew one- and two-game suspensions in 2015-16. . . . Jensen will miss tonight’s game in Portland and also will sit out games against host Vancouver (Friday and Jan. 26) and in Kelowna on Saturday. . . . The Royals are third in the B.C. Division, three points behind Kelowna and two behind Vancouver.


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Scoreboard

TUESDAY:

At Calgary, F Tristen Nielsen returned from a 20-game absence to help the Hitmen to a 6-5 victory over the Saskatoon Blades. . . . Calgary (14-25-6) had lost its previous four Calgarygames. The Hitmen are fourth in the Central Division, seven points behind Kootenay. . . . Saskatoon (22-21-3) has lost two in a row and holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . Nielsen, who was out with a wrist injury, had a goal and an assist. He also came up short on a second-period penalty shot. . . . F Braylon Shmyr gave the visitors a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 3:34 of the first period. . . . F Riley Stotts (11) got Calgary into a tie, at 13:16. . . . The Blades went back out front when F Brandon Machado scored his first WHL goal, at 3:28 of the second period. . . . Calgary took a 3-2 lead on second-period goals from F Jakob Stukel (21), at 4:08, and Nielsen (8), at 11:26. . . . Shmyr (24) got Saskatoon back into a tie, on a PP, at 15:49. . . . Calgary took control with the next three goals. . . . D Vladislav Yeryomenko (10) counted, on a PP, at 17:38 of the second. F Hunter Campbell (4) added a goal at 9:20 of the third period, and F Jake Kryski (10) made it 6-3 at 10:02. . . . Saskatoon made it interesting when F Chase Wouters (12) scored, on a PP, at 13:21, and F Max Gerlach got his 20th goal, at 16:53. . . . Kryski and Stotts each had two assists for Calgary, with Stukel adding one. . . . The Blades got three assists from D Jackson Caller, two from Wouters, and one from Shmyr. . . . Saskatoon was 3-5 on the PP; Calgary was 1-4. . . . Calgary got 22 stops from G Nick Schneider. At the other end, Nolan Maier made 23 saves. . . . F Mark Kastelic was among Calgary’s scratches, while Saskatoon scratched D Mark Rubinchik. Both have undisclosed injuries. . . . All told, the two teams combined to scratch nine injured players. . . . Announced attendance: 4,868.


At Kamloops, G Logan Flodell stopped 37 shots to lead the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 4-2 victory over the Blazers. . . . Lethbridge (21-19-3) has won four in a row. It is second in Lethbridgethe Central Division, seven points behind Medicine Hat. . . . Kamloops (18-23-3) has lost three in a row and is eight points out of a playoff spot. . . . Lethbridge got out to a 3-0 lead on goals from F Taylor Ross (13), at 1:23 of the first period, F Brad Morrison (15), at 17:45, and F Zane Franklin, at 12:36 of the second period. . . . Morrison’s goal was the 100th of his career. . . . Kamloops got close on two third-period goals from F Jermaine Loewen, at 12:06 and 9:21, the latter on a PP. . . . Loewen has 20 goals in 38 games this season. He went into the season with 14 goals in 170 games. He also has five goals over his past three games. . . . Franklin put it away with his second goal of the game, and 13th of the season, into an empty net at 18:38. . . . Franklin added an assist to his two goals, with Morrison adding two assists to his one score. . . . Lethbridge also got two assists from F Jordy Bellerive. . . . Kamloops was 1-4 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-2. . . . Flodell’s evening included one particular 10-bell save in the third period, when he got across and caught a puck with his blocker hand, taking what appeared to be a sure goal away from F Quinn Benjafield. . . . The Blazers got 24 saves from G Dylan Ferguson. . . . Announced attendance: 3,472.


At Prince George, F Donovan Neuls scored twice to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 5-2 victory over the Cougars. . . . Seattle (21-16-6) had lost its previous three games (0-2-1). It Seattlenow holds down the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot, one point ahead of Spokane. . . . Add a victory to the above tweet that was posted before the game. . . . Prince George (17-21-7) is fourth in the B.C. Division, six points out of a playoff spot. . . . F Max Kryski (4) gave the home side a 1-0 lead at 7:08 of the first period. . . . Seattle took control by scoring the next four goals. . . . F Donovan Neuls tied it at 8:37, with F Nolan Volcan (19) giving Seattle the lead at 19:29. . . . D Austin Strand (15) added insurance at 8:26 of the second period and Neuls (16) scored at 9:00. . . . F Jackson Leppard (11) got Prince George’s other goal, on a PP, at 18:30. . . . F Blake Bargar (8) got Seattle’s last goal, into an empty net, at 18:54. . . . Strand added an assist to his goal. . . . Volcan’s goal has him with 45 points in 43 games, one more than he had in 64 games last season. . . . Prince George was 1-4 on the PP; Seattle was 0-3. . . . G Dorrin Luding, who is from Prince George, earned the victory, with 28 saves. . . . The Cougars got 29 saves from G Tavin Grant. . . . With G Liam Hughes out with an undisclosed injury, Seattle brought in Cole Schwebius, 16, to back up Luding. From Kelowna, Schwebius plays for the major midget Okanagan Rockets. Seattle selected him in the 10th round of the 2016 bantam draft. . . . Before the game, the Cougars added F Edge Lambert, 16, to their roster. He was a seventh-round selection in the 2016 bantam draft. This season, he has 13 goals and 13 assists in 28 games with his hometown midget AAA Grande Prairie Storm. . . . Lambert didn’t play last night, but is expected to be in the lineup in tonight’s rematch. . . . Announced attendance: 2,474.


WEDNESDAY (all times local):

Regina at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.

Victoria at Portland, 7 p.m.

Seattle at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Brandon at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.

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