Lazaruk’s WHL tour makes 40th stop . . . Lies and Bell both out of hospital . . . Ice, Winterhawks win first-place battles


The Saskatoon Blades visited the Calgary Hitmen for a Saturday matinee that was played in the Tsuu’tina Seven Chiefs Sportsplex. . . . I would hope the in-house DJ, if there was one, played some I’ve Been Everywhere, perhaps by Johnny Cash, in honour of Les Lazaruk, the long-time radio voice of the Blades. . . . Before the game, he tweeted: “By my foggy memory count, (it’s) the 40th building I’ve called WHL regular-season and/or playoff games from.” . . . When I asked him which building was first, he said: “Agridome in Regina.” The date! Sept. 23, 1994. . . . He has provided a list that shows Saskatoon’s SaskTel Centre and the 39 others, from east to west:

Three in Winnipeg

Brandon

Regina

Two in Moose Jaw

Prince Albert

Swift Current

Two in Medicine Hat

Lethbridge

Two in Calgary

Red Deer

Three in Edmonton

Two in Cranbrook

Two in Prince George

Kamloops

Two in Kelowna

Chilliwack

Two in Vancouver

Victoria

Two in Spokane

Tri-City

Everett

Three in Seattle

Tacoma

Two in Portland

And how many other people can say that they have been in each of those hockey facilities?

The time has come for the WHL to present Lazaruk with the Bob Ridley Award and for the folks in Saskatoon to name the SaskTel Centre’s broadcast booth in his honour.


So . . . you want to be a hockey player, do you? Well, you best buy some good luggage. . . . Let’s take a look at the career of F Lane Pederson, a Saskatoon native who spent three seasons (2014-17) in the WHL. . . . The NHL’s Vancouver Canucks recalled Pederson a few weeks ago from their AHL affiliate, the Abbotsford Canucks. They placed him on waivers on Friday, and he played in Vancouver’s 5-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets later that evening. On Saturday, those same Blue Jackets claimed him off waivers. . . . Despite being only 25 years of age, Columbus will be Pederson’s 11th team since he first played in the WHL. He played with the Seattle Thunderbirds, Red Deer Rebels and Swift Current Broncos in the WHL, then made AHL stops with the Tucson Roadrunners, San Jose Barracuda, Chicago Wolves and Abbotsford. In the NHL, he now has belonged to the Arizona Coyotes, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver and Columbus. . . . This season alone, he has been with the Wolves, Abbotsford, Vancouver and now Columbus. And there still is lots of season to be played.



F Justin Lies of the Saskatoon Blades, who left a Friday game against the host WHLRed Deer Rebels on a stretcher, was released from hospital early Saturday and rejoined his teammates in Calgary where they were playing the Hitmen. He was on the bus for the trip home after the game and is expected to be out a couple of weeks. . . Lies, 19, was injured at 5:29 of the second period. Red Deer F Carson Birnie was given an interference major and game misconduct on the play. . . . Birnie wasn’t suspended on Saturday and was in the lineup as the Rebels dropped a 5-1 decision to the visiting Winnipeg Ice. . . .

F Parker Bell of the Tri-City Americans also was released from hospital after being injured during a Friday night game with the visiting Everett Silvertips. Bell, 19, took a hit from Everett F Andrew Petruk, who was given a charging major and game misconduct. . . . On Saturday, the Americans tweeted that Bell “was taken to the hospital last night and released after undergoing testing. He is at home resting.” . . . Petruk has been suspended for three games. He began serving that suspension as the Americans played host to the Spokane Chiefs last night.


G Cody Creasy of the junior B Kamloops Storm of the Kootenay International KamStormnewJunior Hockey League saw a goaltender’s dream come to fruition on Friday night. Yes, he scored a goal. . . . Creasy, a 19-year-old from Brandon, hit the empty neat with two seconds left in the third period, icing a 5-2 victory over the visiting Summerland Steam. . . . Check out the second tweet below because there can’t be anything better than a goaltender’s Mom tweeting about her son having scored a goal. . . . One other note about Creasy’s night in the crease. Larry Read, a well-known Kamloopsian, is the British Columbia Cattlemen’s Association’s communications manager by day and usually handles the Storm play-by-play for home games. But he wasn’t able to attend Friday’s game. As he told Taking Note: “I miss one game and the goalie scores. Just my luck! Haha. . . .” In Read’s absence, Kris Armstrong, who usually is the colour guy, handled the play-by-play and he flew solo. You can bet that he won’t forget this one. . . . BTW, this is the 6-foot-3, 190-pound Creasy’s second season with the Storm. Last season, he was 9-3-0, 1.45, .938 in 15 appearances. This season, in 20 games, he is 10-6-0, 2.16, .915.


Debt


SATURDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

The top two teams in the Eastern Conference met in Red Deer and the Winnipeg Ice dropped the Rebels, 5-1. . . . The victory allowed the Ice (34-6-1) to move back into first place, one point ahead of the Rebels (32-10-4). Winnipeg still holds five games in hand. . . . D Carson Lambos drew four assists for the winners, who opened up a 4-0 lead in the second period. . . . D Karter Prosofsky’s first goal of the season and his fourth in 112 career games stood up as the winner. . . .

The Western Conference’s top two teams met in Kent, Wash., where the Portland Winterhawks dumped the Seattle Thunderbirds, 5-2. . . . The Winterhawks (33-8-3) now lead the conference by one point over the Thunderbirds (33-8-2). Seattle has one game in hand. . . . F Chaz Lucius had a goal and two assists for Portland, picking up three points for a third straight game. He has played five games with the Winterhawks since being assigned to them by the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets — he had been with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose — and has at least two points in each outing. All told, he now has four goals and nine assists. . . . D Luca Cagnoni (12) scored twice for Portland. . . . Each team took two minor penalties and went 0-for-2 on the PP. . . . The Winterhawks got 36 saves from D Dante Giannuzzi, who now is 20-5-2, 2.97, .904. . . .

F Egor Sidorov’s OT goal gave the Saskatoon Blades a 3-2 victory over the host Calgary Hitmen. . . . Sidorov scored his 27th goal at 2:30 of extra time. . . . F Carter Yakemchuk (6) had pulled the Hitmen into a tie at 18:52 of the third period with his second goal of the game. . . . The Blades held a 45-26 edge in shots, including 7-1 in OT. . . . Saskatoon (29-11-4) is fourth in the Eastern Conference, one point behind the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . .

F Jagger Firkus scored 40 seconds into OT to give the host Moose Jaw Warriors a 3-2 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Firkus, whose winner came via the PP, has 24 goals this season. . . . The Warriors were 2-for-3 on the PP. The Tigers were 0-for-6. . . . Moose Jaw F Martin Rysavy (4) tied the score 2-2 at 15:45 of the third period. . . . G Connor Ungar of the Warriors ran his record to 25-6-3, 2.61, .924 with 34 saves. . . . The Warriors (30-15-3) are third in the Eastern Conference, six points out of first place. . . .

F Ben Hemmerling scored his third OT winner of the month as the host Everett Silvertips got past the Swift Current Broncos, 4-3. . . . Hemmerling, who has 16 goals, also had two assists. . . . His winner came at 1:10 of OT. . . . F Austin Roest (16) also had a goal and two helpers for the winners. . . . F Jackson Berezowski, Everett’s 20-year-old captain, scored his 29th goal of this season in his 250th career regular-season game. He has 205 points, including 111 goals. . . . The Broncos are 0-1-1 in their five-game tour of the U.S. Division. . . . The Silvertips (23-21-1) are fifth in the Western Conference, two points behind the Tri-City Americans. . . . The Broncos (22-19-3) are seventh in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of the idle Regina Pats, who are at home to Medicine Hat today. . . .

The Prince Albert Raiders opened a trek through the B.C. Division with a 4-1 victory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . The Raiders scored the game’s last four goals, the final two from F Evan Herman (9). . . . G Max Hildebrand blocked 28 shots to earn the victory. . . . The Cougars (19-21-4) are tied with the Vancouver Giants for sixth place in the Western Conference. . . .

G Braden Holt turned aside 35 shots to lead the Victoria Royals to a 3-2 victory over the visiting Kamloops Blazers. . . . The visitors had posted a 7-4 victory on Friday night. . . . Holt is 7-2-2, 2.89, .913 since the Royals acquired him from the Everett Silvertips. . . . He had 13 victories with Everett, so this one was No. 20 on the season. . . . F Jake Poole (26) gave the Royals a 3-1 lead at 7:03 of the third period. He also had an assist. . . . Victoria F Teydon Trembecky (6) ran his goal streak to four games. . . . Kamloops F Logan Stankoven had one assist, running his point streak to 29 games. Yes, he has at least a point in every game in which he has played this season. He has 65 points, including 25 goals, in that stretch. . . .  Kamloops (27-10-6) is third in the Western Conference, but leads the B.C. Division by 18 points so is all but certain to be the conference’s No. 2 seed when the playoffs start. . . . Victoria (14-28-5) is tied with the Kelowna Rockets for the conference’s eight and final playoff spot. One of those two teams is going to be left on the outside of the postseason tournament. . . .

The Tri-City Americans took a 5-0 lead into the second period and went to post a 6-2 victory over the Spokane Chiefs in Kennewick, Wash. . . . Tri-City was 3-for-4 on the PP and also had a shorthanded goal. . . . Lukas Dragicevic of the Americans, who leads all WHL defencemen in goals and points (55), had two goals (13) and an assist. Dragicevic and Denton Mateychuk of the Moose Jaw Warriors lead all defencemen in assists (42). . . . Tri-City (22-16-5) is fourth in the Western Conference, two points ahead of Everett. . . .

F Gabriel Szturc, Kelowna’s new captain, had a goal and two assists to lead the host Rockets to a 5-1 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . One night earlier, in Langley, B.C., the Giants had beaten the Rockets, 3-1. . . . Szturc’s 12th goal, at 8:21 of the second period, broke a 1-1 tie. . . . F Carson Golder (19) finished Kelowna’s scoring with three third-period goals. He also had one assist. . . . Kelowna (15-26-3) is tied with Victoria for eighth in the Western Conference. They are nine points behind Vancouver and Prince George.


Taxes


JUST NOTES:

G Matt Berlin, who played in the WHL (2015-18) with the Spokane Chiefs, Seattle Thunderbirds and Kootenay Ice, made his NHL debut with the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night. Berlin was backing up starter Jack Campbell and head coach Jay Woodcroft, in a wonderful moment, sent him in for the final 2:26 of a 7-3 victory over the visiting Chicago Blackhawks. . . . The Oilers had signed Berlin to an amateur tryout because Stuart Skinner was ailing and unable to play. Berlin, 25, now is with the U of Alberta Golden Bears. He is 4-0-1, 2.57, .892. . . . BTW, Berlin stopped the only shot he faced. . . .

Carl Stankowski, another former WHL goaltender, stopped 25 shots on Saturday as the U of Calgary Dinos beat the Mount Royal Cougars, 4-0. . . . The Dinos ran their Canada West-record winning streak to 19 games. They had set the record on Friday night.


StarWars


Dave Albright, a key member of the 1989 Grey Cup-winning Saskatchewan Roughriders, died Thursday in Redondo Beach, Calif., one day after his 63rd birthday. . . . The Roughriders were 9-9 in the CFL’s 1989 regular season and, after beating the Calgary Stampeders, advanced to meet the Edmonton Eskimos in the West Division final. Early in the second quarter, Albright returned a fumble 62 yards for a touchdown, a play that sparked the Roughriders to a 32-21 victory over the 16-2 Eskimos. . . . Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post has more on Albright right here.


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Moon

The long farewell drags to an end in Vancouver . . . Hitmen finally solve Rebels. . . . Royals romp in Kelowna

THINKING OUT LOUD:

Considering the way outgoing head coach Bruce Boudreau was hung out to dry by the Vancouver Canucks’ ownership/management over the past while was there anything more tone-deaf than the above tweet posted anywhere on social media over the weekend? I mean, is that embarrassing, or what? . . .

Of course, it could be that the Canucks simply are so far past being embarrassed that they no longer can see it when it slaps them right in the face. . . .

Wouldn’t you like to know what NHL boss Gary Bettman thinks of the way the Canucks’ ownership/management handled Boudreau’s firing? . . .

Did Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin really open Sunday’s news conference by saying: “As of this morning, I decided to do a coaching change here with the Vancouver Canucks.”????? . . .

Do Canucks’ fans realize that this retooling is going to go on and on and on and on . . . kind of like Days of Our Lives? . . .

If all those Canucks’ season-ticket holders who have said over the past while that they won’t be renewing their tickets stick to their guns, how many empty seats will there be next season? . . .

Rick Tocchet? Really? . . . His contract takes him through the 2023-24 season and, according to Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) pays him in the “$2.75 million per year range.” . . . Really? . . . The Canucks are believed to be paying Travis Green something like $2,750,000 not to coach this season, and now they also are paying Boudreau to do the same. . . . That’s a lot of coin tied up in head coaches. . . . Boudreau was being paid $2.5 million for this season. . . .

Why not let Boudreau finish out this season and then dip into the AHL and hire Mitch Love, now the head coach of the Calgary Wranglers? Ahh, I forgot. Jim Rutherford, who runs the Canucks, would rather dip into the old boys’ club. . . .

Please give me one good reason why a quality free-agent player would want to sign with the Canucks knowing how this situation was allowed to drag on and on. . . . And let’s not forget that we now will move on to the Bo Horvat saga. . . .

Adam Foote, one of the Canucks’ new assistant coaches, was the head coach of the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets in 2019-20, a season that was to have ended with them playing host to the Memorial Cup. Of course, the tournament was cancelled due to the pandemic. Before that happened, though, Foote had been fired. The Rockets were 24-26-4 when owner/general manager Bruce Hamilton fired Foote whose son, Nolan, was the team captain at the time. . . .

J.D. Burke, the editor in chief at eprinkside.com, sums up the whole sad Canucks’ story right here. It’s a good read and touches on a whole lot.


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

The Spokane Chiefs announced an attendance of 8,649 for their Saturday night game, a 6-3 victory over the Victoria Royals. That’s the largest crowd at a game in Spokane since Feb. 29, 2020 when 10,259 were in the house to watch the Chiefs beat the Tri-City Americans, 4-3, in a shootout. . . . Less than two weeks later, the remainder of the season was postponed because of the pandemic. . . . 

Interestingly, two teams that likely won’t make the playoffs are leading the WHL in attendance. According to figures based on announced attendance and compiled by the WHL, the defending-champion Edmonton Oil Kings’ average crowd is 5,531, with the Spokane Chiefs second at 5,281. . . . The Oil Kings are 31 points out of an Eastern Conference playoff spot; the Chiefs are 10 points off the pace in the Western Conference. . . .

There will be one WHL game tonight, with Spokane visiting the Portland Winterhawks, and then nothing until Friday night. That’s because the Top Prospects Game is scheduled to be played at the Langley Events Centre, the home of the Vancouver Giants, on Wednesday night.


SUNDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

The host Swift Current Broncos erased a 3-1 third-period deficit and beat the Medicine Hat Tigers, 4-3, in OT. . . . F Josh Davies (13) won it at 1:29 of extra time. He also drew an assist on F Connor Hvidston’s 10th goal that tied it at 17:36 of the third. . . . The Broncos are tied for seventh with the Regina Pats in the Eastern Conference, three points ahead of the Brandon Wheat Kings and Medicine Hat. . . .

In Calgary, the Hitmen scored the game’s last three goals and beat the Red Deer Rebels, 4-2. . . . The Hitmen had lost four in a row, while the Rebels had won five straight. Calgary also had been 0-3-2 against the Rebels this season. . . . F Sean Tschigerl’s 13th goal, at 18:11 of the second period, on a PP, broke a 2-2 tie. . . . The Hitmen are sixth in the Eastern Conference, three points behind the Lethbridge Hurricanes with two games in hand. . . . The Rebels lead the Central Division by 13 points over the Hurricanes. . . .

G Carson Bjarnson stopped 19 shots for his third shutout this season as the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings beat the Edmonton Oil Kings, 2-0. . . . Bjarnson, a 17-year-old sophomore from Carberry, Man., which is located just east of Brandon, is 17-13-2, 2.84, .913 this season. . . . F Nate Danielson had a goal (23) and an assist. He’s now got 56 points in 44 games. Last season, he finished with 57 points, 23 of them goals, in 53 games. . . . Brandon is three points out of a playoff spot. . . .

The Victoria Royals, playing their third game in as many cities in fewer than 48 hours, went into Kelowna and beat the Rockets, 5-1. . . . The Royals dropped a 7-6 decision in OT to the Portland Winterhawks on Friday and then were beaten, 6-3, by the Spokane Chiefs on Saturday. . . . Last night, Victoria held a 31-14 edge in shots. . . . F Jake Poole, a 20-year-old who was acquired from the Rockets on Oct. 4 for an eighth-round pick in the WHL’s 2024 draft, scored his 25th goal for Victoria. He now has 14 points, four of them goals, in a seven-game point streak. . . . The Royals pulled into a tie with the Rockets for the Western Conference’s last playoff spot. Kelowna holds three games in hand. . . .

The Winnipeg Ice scored two PP goals and two others while shorthanded en route to a 6-0 victory over the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . The Ice swept the two-game series, having won 3-2 in a shootout on Saturday night. . . . F Ty Nash (16) and F Connor McClennon (22) had the PP goals, with F Matt Savoie (18) and F Owen Pederson (19) scoring while shorthanded. . . . G Mason Beaupit blocked 20 shots for his first shutout this season and second of his career. . . . The Ice moved back atop the Eastern Conference standings, one point ahead of Red Deer. Winnipeg holds five games in hand. . . . The Warriors are fourth, one point behind the Saskatoon Blades, who have four games in hand.


IFFYLUBE


Brad Brown, who a few years back covered the Swift Current Broncos for the ReginaPrairie Post, now is the publisher of the award-winning Quad Town Forum, a weekly newspaper in an area a few slapshots outside Regina. He was part of a sold-out crowd that watched the host Pats beat the Broncos, 5-2, on Saturday night and offered these thoughts on his Twitter account (@saskawhat):

  1. Swift did a good job defending (Connor Bedard) in the 1st but Bedard (first time seeing him play) more than lived up to the hype (2G, 1A + many A+ looks) by game’s end. Looked like a man among boys & didn’t shy away physically either.
  2. Capitals prospect Suzdalev was next best player on the ice. Rocket of a shot.
  3. No points for the local (Candiac) fella but Drew Englot was engaged physically all night.
  4. Game could have easily gone the other way if not for netminding wizardry from Pats goalie Drew Sim.
  5. I know attendance was strong the last four games but if Regina Pats lose $ this year they have no one to blame but themselves. Over $130 for 2 marginal seats + mediocre supper & popcorn for dad + kiddo. Coulda drove almost halfway to Disneyland for less. Lesson learned.

School


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


TP

Bedard, Pats keep on rolling . . . Rockets face interesting schedule . . . Look back at WHL’s weekend


BEDARD
CONNOR BEDARD

THE LEGEND CONTINUES TO GROW: F Connor Bedard scored Regina’s last two goals as the Pats beat the visiting Portland Winterhawks, 4-3, on Saturday night. . . . Bedard has 36 goals this season and is on a 30-game point streak. . . . The Pats have won three in a row since Bedard returned from his dominating performance with Team Canada at the World Junior Championship. In those three victories, Bedard has nine goals and four assists — a six-point game, a five-pointer and Saturday’s deuce. . . . Despite missing 11 games while at the WJC, Bedard leads the WHL in goals (36), assists (41) and points (77). He holds a 15-point lead over F Andrew Cristall of the Kelowna Rockets in the points derby. Cristall has missed Kelowna’s last three games with an undisclosed injury. . . . Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post tells us that Bedard’s 30-game point streak is “17 short of the team record, set by Jock Callander and Wally Schreiber during the 1981-82 season.” . . . Vanstone also informs us that Bedard “is on pace to become the first Pat to score 50 goals in 50 or fewer games since Dale Derkatch in 1983-84.” Derkatch scored Nos. 50 and 51 in his 49th game that season. . . . The Pats are off until the weekend when they go home-and-home with the Swift Current Broncos, playing Friday on the road and Saturday in Regina. . . . The Broncos (20-17-1) are eighth in the Eastern Conference, three points behind Regina. The Broncos hold four games in hand.


From the Department of Read It and Weep, a piece that hits the nail squarely on the head . . .


The Kelowna Rockets, who are fighting for their playoff lives, are two games into an eight-game stretch during which they will play only two teams — the Victoria Royals and Vancouver Giants.

Going into this week, it really is looking as though one of the Rockets or Royals Kelownawill finish eighth in the Western Conference, with the other team left out of the playoffs. The Rockets (13-23-3) are eighth now, one point ahead of the Royals (12-25-4). The Prince George Cougars (17-18-4) and the Giants (16-19-6) are tied for sixth, nine points ahead of the Rockets.

Five of the Rockets’ next eight games are against the Giants, so one would have to think Kelowna needs to beat Vancouver at least four times to have a chance at moving up in the standings.

As for the Royals, well, they are 7-2-1 in their past 10 games after sweeping a weekend series from the visiting Rockets, winning 4-0 on Friday and 6-3 on Saturday.

Next up for the Rockets is a home-and-home with the Giants, playing Friday in Langley, B.C., and Saturday in Kelowna. The Royals, who are to play the Winterhawks in Portland on Friday and the Chiefs in Spokane on Saturday, will be in Kelowna on Sunday as each team plays its third game in fewer than 48 hours.

The Rockets and Giants then will play three in a row — Jan. 27 in Langley, and Jan. 28 and Feb. 3 in Kelowna.

One positive for the Rockets is that they won’t play any mid-week games during that stretch, so head coach Kris Mallette and his staff will have lots of practice time, something coaches really treasure.


THEDAD


Jack Todd in the Montreal Gazette, with a few words on the Montreal Canadiens’ baby blues:

“Supposedly a nod to the late, great Montreal Expos, the reverse-retro jerseys are a bland, boring, soulless cash grab, a blue-on-blue nightmare that is more reminiscent of the Toronto Argonauts than Nos Amours. Canadiens fans agree on something once a century, and this is it: everyone hates those kiddie pyjamas.”

Todd also points out that the Canadiens have worn the baby blues four times and are 0-4, so perhaps they won’t last long. They are next scheduled to be worn on Thursday for a visit by the Florida Panthers.

——

Here’s Todd, again, with something that I can get behind: “We’re 100 per cent behind Connor McDavid. The shootout is a farce, while 3-on-3 overtime is the most exciting thing since skate sharpeners. Ten minutes of 3-on-3, then in the unlikely event no one has scored, it’s a tie.”



JUNIOR JOTTINGS: F Jack Bakker, whose WHL rights moved from Kamloops to the Everett Silvertips in the Jan. 8 deal in which D Olen Zellweger and F Ryan Hofer went to the Blazers, has committed to the BCHL’s Penticton Vees for 2023-24. Bakker, 15, is from White Rock, B.C., and plays on the U18 prep team at the Delta Hockey Academy. Kamloops selected him in the third round of the WHL’s 2022 draft. . . .

F Ozzy Wiesblatt, 20, played for the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda on Saturday night, meaning he won’t be joining the Portland Winterhawks, who had acquired his rights from the Prince Albert Raiders on Tuesday. Mike Johnston, the Winterhawks’ vice-president, general manager and head coach, explained to Joshua Critzer (@jjcritzer) that Wiesblatt could only end up in Portland if he didn’t play another AHL game after Jan. 10. . . . Wiesblatt was a first-round selection by the San Jose Sharks in the NHL’s 2020 draft. . . . Had Wiesblatt ended up in Portland, the Raiders would have receive three draft picks from the Winterhawks — a first in 2025 and two seconds in 2026. . . .

The BCHL’s Penticton Vees ran their home record to 16-0-0 on Saturday with a 5-3 victory over the Cowichan Valley Capitals before an announced crowd of 3,628. . . . Also on Saturday, the Wenatchee Wild drew an announced crowd of 3,521 as they dropped a 4-1 decision to the Prince George Spruce Kings. . . .

The SJHL’s Battlefords North Stars suffered their first regulation-time loss of the season on Saturday night as they were beaten, 5-0, by the Bruins in Estevan. That left the North Stars’ record at 33-1-3. . . . G Jackson Miller stopped 30 shots to earn the shutout, while F Keagon Little scored twice.


Callback


SUNDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

F Cole Shepard scored two goals 70 seconds apart in the first period to lead the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 4-1 victory over the Hitmen in Calgary. . . . Lethbridge was playing its third game in fewer than 48 hours; it picked up five points by going 2-0-1 in those games. . . . Shepard, who sat out Saturday’s 2-1 OT loss to the visiting Red Deer Rebels with a one-game suspension, has 15 goals. . . . G Bryan Thomson blocked 38 shots to earn the victory. Thomson, who made 50 appearances last season, was playing in his fifth game this season. The start of his season was delayed by surgery to repair an undisclosed injury. . . .

In Langley, B.C., the Tri-City Americans scored the game’s first seven goals, five of them in the second period, en route to a 7-3 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . F Jalen Luypen had a goal (4) and two assists for the Americans. . . . G Tomas Suchanek stopped 18 shots in his first appearance with the Americans since returning from the World Junior Championship where he backstopped Czechia to a silver medal.

——

SATURDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

The Moose Jaw Warriors scored four second-period goals and got 39 saves from G Connor Ungar as they beat the host Brandon Wheat Kings, 4-3. Ungar is 21-5-2, 2.64, .924 this season. . . . In Edmonton, D Terrell Goldsmith’s third goal of the season, at 2:16 of OT, gave the Prince Albert Raiders a 4-3 victory over the Oil Kings. The offensively challenged Oil Kings were held to three, six, five and two shots, by period. . . .

F Jackson Berezowski had two goals and an assist as the hometown Everett Silvertips got past the Tri-City Americans, 3-2, in OT. . . . F Austin Roest’s 25th goal, at 1:39 of extra time won it. . . . Roest has three goals and seven assists over his past three games. . . . Berezowski, the team captain, has 28 goals. In his past three games, he has put up eight goals and four assists, surpassing the 200-point career mark in the process. He now has 204 points, 110 of them goals, in 245 regular-season games. . . . D Hunter Mayo (14) scored at 4:55 of OT to give the Red Deer Rebels a 2-1 victory over the host Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . .

F Alexander Suzdalev scored once (23) and added an assist as the Regina Pats beat the visiting Portland Winterhawks, 4-3. . . . Portland finished its East Division swing at 2-4-0. . . . Suzdalev has 53 points in 40 games. . . . Could it be that Regina and area has caught Bedard Fever? The Pats have drawn their three largest crowds of the season to their past three games — 4,761, 5,651 and 5,403. In 20 home games, only one other crowd has been more than 4,000, and that was 4,336 on opening night. . . . The Winterhawks thought they had tied the game late in the third period, but the goal was disallowed by the on-ice officials. Portland fans were upset that the play didn’t go to video review, but goaltender interference isn’t something that can go upstairs for review in the WHL. . . . From Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post: “With (G Dante) Giannuzzi pulled for an extra attacker, Portland appeared to score the game-tying goal with 17 seconds left. But, after lengthy deliberations, the goal was disallowed when the ruling was made that Portland’s Kyle Chyzowski interfered with Pats netminder Drew Sim. Chyzowski received at least a nudge from Pats defenceman Luke Bateman before colliding with Sim, but the goal was waved off.”

F Egor Sidorov scored three times and linemate Trevor Wong had a goal and two assists as the Saskatoon Blades beat the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds, 4-2. Sidorov, a sophomore from Belarus, has four career hat-tricks, three of them this season. He has 22 goals; Wong has 15. . . . Seattle went 3-3-0 on its East Division swing. . . . G Reid Dyck stopped 29 shots, including a third-period penalty shot, to help the Broncos to a 4-3 victory over the Prince George Cougars in Swift Current. . . .

F Matthew Hodson scored twice and added an assist as the host Victoria Royals doubled the Kelowna Rockets, 6-3, to sweep their weekend series. The Royals had won, 4-0, on Friday. The Rockets have lost six in a row on the road. Hodson, who scored three goals in 39 games last season, has 11 in 38 outings this season. . . . The Royals scratched D Gannon Laroque, who played Friday, and F Brayden Schuurman, who left Friday’s game after the first period. F Alex Thacker, who last played on Dec. 17, took the warmup but didn’t dress. . . . The sweep allowed the ninth-place Royals (12-25-4) to close to within one point of the Rockets (13-23-3), who hold down the Western Conference’s last playoff spot. . . .

In Winnipeg, F Connor McClennon scored three times, giving him 19, to lead the Ice to an 8-3 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. The visitors led 2-0 before the game was five minutes old. . . . F Ryan Hofer scored twice (26) and F Logan Stankoven drew three assists as the Kamloops Blazers beat the visiting Spokane Chiefs, 5-2. Hofer has three goals in two games with the Blazers since being acquired from Everett. G Matthew Kieper stopped 22 shots in his first appearance for Kamloops since being acquired from Regina on Jan. 3.



THINKING OUT LOUD: Just a reminder that Geoffrey Brandow (@GeoffreyBrandow) is a must follow on Twitter for major junior hockey fans. . . . You watch QB Brock Purdy of the San Francisco 49ers and you realize how important it can be to be in the right place at the right time to find success. . . . It wasn’t long after the Los Angeles Chargers had coughed up a 27-0 lead and lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday that their fans had Sean Payton replacing Brandon Staley as head coach. And how many jobs will Payton be rumoured for before he finally picks one? . . . There is a lot of chatter that has the Vancouver Canucks on the verge of firing head coach Bruce Boudreau and replacing him with Rick Tocchet. Just a thought, but maybe the Canucks should try doing things right for a change — let Boudreau finish out the season and then see who’s available. And maybe, just maybe, think about handing a blank cheque to Barry Krotz. Or maybe call Sean Payton. . . . ICYMI, QB Nathan Rourke, who lit up the CFL with the B.C. Lions before suffering a foot injury last season, says he is going to sign with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars. What an exciting time this must be for him as he gets the opportunity to live out his dream . . . You don’t like Tom Brady and you despise the Dallas Cowboys. So what are you going to do tonight?


COVID


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Missing

Bedard keeps adding to legend, has 11 points in two games . . . Lambert scores in Seattle debut . . . Rebels complete sweep of Oil Kings

Like Paul Bunyan and Pecos Bill, the legend of Connor Bedard continues to grow.

On Friday night in Regina, Bedard ran his two-game total to 11 points as the ReginaPats beat the Saskatoon Blades, 7-4.

On Sunday, in his first game back after helping Canada win gold at the World Junior Championship, Bedard had four goals and two assists as the Pats beat the visiting Calgary Hitmen, 6-2.

Last night, he struck for three goals — his sixth WHL hat trick — and two assists to lead Regina past Saskatoon.

Bedard, the No. 1-ranked North American skater on NHL Central Scouting’s rating that were released Friday, also went over 200 career points. He now has 203 points — 87 goals and 106 assists — in 107 career regular-season games.

Keep in mind that he won’t turn 18 until July 17.

(Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post was at Friday’s game and filed this story.)

This season, Bedard has 75 points, 34 of them goals, in 30 games. He is tied for the WHL lead in goals, with F Kai Uchacz of the Red Deer Rebels, and leads the league in assists and points. All this despite having missed 11 games while with the Canadian national junior team.

Oh, he also ran his point streak to 29 games. He actually was blanked in his first game of the season, but has at least a point in every game since then.

With 11 points in his two most-recent games, Bedard now will prepare to face the Portland Winterhawks in Regina tonight.


You would like to think that referee Kyle Rehman — yes, a product of the WHL’s officiating ranks — ended up on whatever kind of carpet the NHL has for its officials after his decision to flat-out ignore a sucker-punch to the head during a game on Thursday night.

Look, the Vancouver Canucks bring enough on themselves without getting stiffed by the stripes.

In this one, the Canucks were visiting the Tampa Bay Lightning. The home team had a 5-3 lead late in the third period. But the Canucks closed to within one at 17:52 while on a PP and with their goaltender on the bench.

Then, during a stoppage with 41 seconds remaining in the period, there was a gathering at the Tampa Bay net. After play had been halted, Lightning defenceman Mikhail Sergachev clearly drilled an unsuspecting Vancouver F Connor Garland on the chin. Tampa Bay players were upset that Garland had tried to poke free a puck being held by G Andrei Vasilevskiy.

If you watch the video, you will see Rehman enter from the left. He was right there and didn’t make a call. Thus, the Canucks didn’t get a PP and ended up losing, 5-4.

On Friday, Sergachev, in the first season of an eight-year, US$68-million, was fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under the CBA.

As for Rehman, well, the NHL — a league that pretends to be serious about eliminating head shots from its games — isn’t at all transparent when it comes to its officials so we may never know if he was disciplined.


Santa


John Matisz has taken a look at the trade deadlines that the three major junior hockey leagues recently manoeuvred their way through. There is lots here, including the WHL not allowing teams to trade draft picks that are more than four years away. . . . Give the piece a read right here.


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

The SJHL’s Battlefords North Stars still haven’t been beaten in regulation time. They ran their record to 33-0-3 with a 6-1 victory over the host Weyburn Red Wings on Friday night, after beating the Notre Dame Hounds 9-6 in Wilcox, Sask., on Thursday. The North Stars are to meet the Bruins in Estevan tonight.


NoSee


FRIDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

F Brad Lambert scored in his debut with Seattle and was named the game’s first star as the Thunderbirds skated to a 3-2 victory over the Raiders in Prince Albert. Lambert, who had been with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose, was assigned to Seattle by the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday. He started on the right side with LW Reid Schaefer and C Jared Davidson. . . . In Moose Jaw, G Connor Ungar won his 20th game this season by stopping 42 shots to lead the Warriors to a 4-2 victory over the Portland Winterhawks. . . . Seattle is 3-2-0 on an East Division trip that winds up tonight in Saskatoon. . . . Portland is 2-3-0 on its eastern swing and will wrap it up tonight in Regina. . . .

D Stanislav Svozil returned to Regina’s lineup and had four assists in a 7-4 victory over the visiting Saskatoon Blades. He was playing his first game after having captained Czechia to a silver medal at the World Junior Championship. . . . G Rhett Stoesser blocked 34 shots to lead the host Red Deer Rebels to a 4-1 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. The season series is over now, and Red Deer won all nine games. . . . Andrew Peard, the Oil Kings’ radio voice, notes that F Loick Daigle, 20, who was claimed off CHL waivers this week, became the first Quebec born-and-raised player to play for the team in modern franchise history. Daigle scored Edmonton’s lone goal. . . .

F Tyson Laventure’s 13th goal of the season, just 47 seconds into OT, gave the Lethbridge Hurricanes a 4-3 victory over the visiting Prince George Cougars. F Blake Swetlikoff, who was acquired from Spokane prior to the trade deadline, had four assists. . . . F Carter MacAdams had a goal (7) and an assist in his game with Calgary after coming over from Prince George at the deadline and the Hitmen beat the visiting Swift Current Broncos, 6-3. The Broncos had three Wards — D Mason Ward, D Sam Ward and F Matt Ward in their lineup. “With all three of them in the lineup tonight, I may have to go strictly with first names for the Wards,” tweeted Craig Beauchemin, the Broncos’ radio voice. . . .

D Olen Zellweger (12) and F Ryan Hofer (24), both whom were acquired by Kamloops from Everett on Tuesday, scored in the first period and the Blazers went on to beat the host Silvertips, 6-3. . . . Everett got two goals (26) and an assist from F Jackson Berezowski, who had four goals and two assists in a 9-3 victory over host Spokane on Wednesday. . . . G Braden Holt turned aside 29 shots to lead the host Victoria Royals to a 4-0 victory over the Kelowna Rockets. Holt is 4-0-1, 1.57, .951 since coming over from Everett on Dec. 27. . . . F Robin Sapoušek, an 18-year-old Czech, made his WHL debut with the Royals. . . .

F Hunter St. Martin had a goal (3) and two late assists as the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers beat the Brandon Wheat Kings, 4-3. F Dallon Mellon (10) tied the game at 12:45 of the third period and F Cayden Lindstrom (10) got the winner at 16:59. . . . F Chase Bertholet scored twice (18), one on the PP and the other while shorthanded, to help the Spokane Chiefs to a 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Giants in Langley, B.C. F Ty Thorpe, the Giants’ new captain, scored twice (23). He was named captain after F Zach Ostapchuk was dealt to the Winnipeg Ice.


Canary


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Wednesday

Taking Note’s pick as sportsmen of the year . . . Come on, folks, mask up . . . Rockets, Giants stung by WJC injuries

As another old year gives way to a new one, numerous organizations hand out end-of-year awards. That doesn’t happen at Taking Note, but if it did I would Brandonbe quick to salute Calder Anderson, Jake Chiasson, Nolan Ritchie and Ben Thornton of the Brandon Wheat Kings as this site’s sportsmen of the year. . . . In case you missed it, in the words of the Brandon Sun’s Perry Bergson, they “successfully interceded to help a distressed man who was contemplating suicide on the First Street Bridge” on the evening of Nov. 29. . . . “We’re very happy that we were able to save him and get him some help,” Thornton told Bergson, who added: “They also learned another lesson when 30 or 40 vehicles drove by without stopping in the short span they were trying to help the man. Yet they never considered leaving until the man was safe.” . . . Gentlemen, I salute you. . . . Bergson’s complete story is right here.


Let’s be honest. We are part of a society that is putting together an absolutely Covidabysmal record unless being selfish and uncaring is the objective. Really, had you told me four years ago that the time was coming when our children would by dying, when our children would be unable to get much-needed surgical procedures, when our hospital’s emergency rooms would be over-run and that society would refuse to help by doing something as simple as masking up, well, I would have told you that you were crazy. . . . But, well, here we are.

——

After avoiding COVID-19 for almost three years, it caught up with me almost five weeks ago. Ironically, I tested positive on a day when I was to have visited a pharmacy for my fifth shot. Thankfully, the boosters did what they were supposed to, leaving me with a bit of a cough and some fatigue. The strangest thing is that there have been good days followed by bad. Just when you think you’re over the rough road, it reappears. Kind of like city streets, if you know what I mean. . . . As for that fifth shot, well, it’ll have to wait until May. . . . In the meantime, I will be here as fatigue’s curtain allows.

——

André Picard wrote this in The Globe and Mail last week:

“In some ways, these more recent viral challenges have distracted us from the main event: COVID-19. While we largely returned to ‘pre-pandemic’ normalcy this year, this has actually been the deadliest year yet for COVID-19; in 2022, Canada will surpass 17,000 deaths, more than the 14,642 deaths we recorded in 2020 or the 16,489 in 2021. A fifth wave of Omicron is just beginning.

“We still don’t know if SARS-CoV-2 will mutate further. We do not know if it will become seasonal, like most respiratory viruses. And we definitely do not yet have a handle on what it will mean if we suffer repeated COVID-19 infections — but it certainly won’t be good news.

“Viruses are ubiquitous, and will continue to pose new threats. We can’t live a virus-free existence, nor can we place our children and seniors in a protective bubble.

“But we also cannot hang them out to dry on a viral firing range, without any protection. We need to use the mitigation tools (vaccinations and masks) we have while we develop new ones. That’s what ‘living with COVID’ really needs to mean, moving ahead into a new year.”

——

The Angus Reid Institute released results of an online survey early in December that showed of 5,013 participants 54 per cent would be prepared to mask up if it was made mandatory if COVID-19 levels increase. But only 31 per cent are wearing masks more than half the time when they are in indoor public places. Sheesh, people, that just doesn’t make any sense.

Get vaccinated and wear a mask when appropriate, like when shopping or anywhere in a crowded area. . . . Just because the politicians and health officers won’t do their part by mandating masks doesn’t mean you can’t do the right thing and be part of the solution.



Look, F Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals is not the greatest goal scorer nhl2in NHL history. So stop trying to tell me that he is. He’s still 88 behind Wayne Gretzky. Have people already forgotten just how great Gretzky was? . . . Allow me to point out that Gretzky also scored 92 goals in the WHA, which was a better league than many of those same people seem to recall. As for Gordie Howe, well he scored 801 NHL goals and another 174 in the WHA. . . . But when Ovechkin puts in No. 895, then you can call him the greatest goal scorer in NHL history. OK?

——

While some hockey fans celebrate Ovechkin’s scoring accomplishments, there are those who don’t and never will go that way. Why? Because of Ovechkin’s long-time support of Russian ruler Vladimir Putin, who, of course, is responsible for the ongoing war on Ukraine. Luke Fox of Sportsnet took a look at the Ovechkin-Putin situation the other day and it really is an interesting read. That piece is right here.

——

BTW, did Gretzky really have to throw mud on his legacy by jumping on the gambling gravy train?


It is every general manager’s worst nightmare . . . a top player leaves for an international assignment and then suffers a serious injury. . . . That is what has happened with the Kelowna Rockets and Vancouver Giants, each team having had a player seriously injured at the 2023 World Junior Championship. Those injuries may well have an impact on the WHL’s Western Conference playoff race from which eight teams will qualify. . . .

F Colton Dach, the Rockets’ captain, initiated a hit during a Saturday game — KelownaCanada beat Sweden, 5-1 — and left the game in obvious discomfort thanks to an injury to his right shoulder area. Dach, who turns 20 on Wednesday, has 17 points, nine of them goals, in 14 games with the Rockets this season. Earlier, he missed some time with a concussion. . . . The Rockets (12-18-3), who have lost five in a row, are eighth in the conference, seven points ahead of the Victoria Royals (8-24-4). . . .

Meanwhile, freshman F Samuel Honzek, the Vancouver Giants’ leading scorer, Vancouversuffered a skate cut to the back of his left leg on Wednesday as his Slovakian side beat the U.S., 6-3. The 18-year-old Honzek, who is expected to be out as long as six weeks, leads the Giants in assists (26) and points (43) in 31 games. . . . Vancouver (14-16-6) is tied for fourth in the conference with the Tri-City Americans, who hold two games in hand. They are one point ahead of the Everett Silvertips. . . .

The WHL’s trade deadline arrives on Jan. 10.


The Everett Silvertips and Victoria Royals swapped 19-year-old goaltenders on Dec. 28. Tyler Palmer, who had left the Royals for what the team said was WHLpersonal reasons, was dealt to Everett in exchange for Braden Holt. . . . Palmer, from Fernie, B.C., was in his second season with Victoria. He left the Royals sometime after a 7-4 loss to the visiting Portland Winterhawks on Nov. 12. . . . Holt, from Bozeman, Mont., was in his fourth season with Everett. In his first start with Victoria, he stopped 35 shots in a 3-0 victory over the host Vancouver Giants. . . . Having acquired Holt, the Royals then traded G Logan Cunningham, a 17-year-old from Sherwood Park, Alta., to the Edmonton Oil Kings for a fifth-round pick in the 2025 WHL draft. . . . After adding Cunningham to their roster, the Oil Kings dropped G Ronin Geraghty, 18. From Burnaby, B.C., he was 0-5-0, 6.48, .819 in seven games with Edmonton. . . .

Still with goaltending, the Swift Current Broncos lost starter Gage Alexander on Dec. 30 when the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks signed him to an entry-level deal and assigned him to the AHL’s San Diego Gulls. Alexander, 20, had played in 15 games for the Broncos this season, two more than Reid Dyck. Alexander was 8-5-1, 3.47, .898. . . . The Ducks had selected Alexander in the fifth round of the NHL’s 2021 draft. . . . The Broncos had acquired him from the Winnipeg Ice on July 28, giving up a third-round pick in the WHL’s 2025 draft in the exchange. . . . The move left the Broncos with Dyck, an 18-year-old from Winkler, Man., and Joey Rocha, 17, from Nanaimo, B.C., as their goaltenders. . . . Dyck, in his third season, was 4-10-0, 4.07, .880 at the time of the deal; Rocha, a freshman, had been in four games. . . .

And while we’re on the subject of goaltending, how about the run Scott Ratzlaff is on with the Seattle Thunderbirds while starter Thomas Milic is with Team Canada at the WJC? Thom Beuning, the veteran radio voice of the Thunderbirds, points out that Ratzlaff’s December looked like this: 8-0-1, 1.65, .941, with two shutouts. . . . Ratzlaff, 17, is from Irma, Alta. He was a second-round selection in the WHL’s 2020 draft. This season, the 6-foot-2, 170-pounder is 14-2-1, 2.04, .925. In 42 career appearances, he is 32-4-2, 2.31, .912. . . .

And let’s not forget about Daniel Hauser of the Winnipeg Ice. An 18-year-old from Chestermere, Alta., Hauser recorded his 20th victory of the season the other night. This season, in 22 games, he is 20-2-0, 2.36, .912. He has made 70 regular-season appearances over three seasons, going 61-5-2, 2.24, .911. Not at all shabby, eh?


The junior B Nelson Leafs and the visiting Beaver Valley Nitehawks of the kijhlKootenay International Junior Hockey League took time out from chasing a puck to exchange Happy New Year greetings as they began the second period on Saturday evening. . . . The Leafs are the team in white in the above video, and the video evidence would seem to indicate that they were first off the mark. . . . The puck now has been passed to Jeff Dubois, the KIJHL commissioner. . . . Happy New Year, Mr. Dubois.


MyWay


THINKING OUT LOUD — The best part of the World Junior Championship? That’s easy. Having the opportunity to listen to Dennis Beyak do play-by-play again. It says here that he is the best in his field even if he is semi-retired. . . . The other day, the choice was Beyak calling Slovakia and Switzerland from the WJC on TSN or Jack Edwards handling the Buffalo Sabres against his beloved Boston Bruins on Sportsnet. Sorry, Sportsnet. . . . The most annoying commercial on TV these days (pick one) — Clay Matthews for Tide, Rogers’ Wrapped in Red spots, the Subway ads featuring the Toronto Raptors’ Scottie Barnes, or the Sobeys’ family of four. . . . If you enjoy your time on this site, and even if you don’t, you may want to consider clicking on the DONATE button over there on the right side. Thanks in advance. . . . Dan Russell, the now-retired host of the long-running Vancouver-based radio show Sportstalk, release his memoir — Pleasant Good Evening: A Memoir — My 30 Wild and Turbulent Years of Sportsnet — in 2022 and now is thinking of spinning off a podcast. “My plans,” he writes on his blog, “now are to add more content to this site, especially in the audio vault. And I will update this blog from time to time. I’m also considering a podcast as my 2023 project. One that will combine what is happening today with the large archive of Sportstalk audio I have saved over the years.” If you haven’t seen his blog, it’s right here.


Here’s Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, after the final game in soccer’s World Cup: “If you watched this game and came away from it with the idea that it was not a good expenditure of your time, then you simply do not like soccer and should make a note to yourself not to waste any more time trying to appreciate the sport.” . . . Hey, he is correct!


How many WHLers do you know of, past or present, who have put together and released an album? Yes, an album of their own music. . . . F London Hoilett of the Calgary Hitmen is quite a story, having made the team prior to this season despite never having been drafted. He also is something of a musician and has his first album — Can’t Sit Still — ready for release on Jan. 10. . . . Cami Kepke of Global Calgary has more right here.


Mitts


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

A few things of note that popped up while I was away from here . . .

D Ethan Samson, the captain of the Prince George Cougars, has signed a three-year entry-level deal with the Philadelphia Flyers, who selected him in the sixth round of the NHL’s 2021 draft. Samson, 19, is from Delta, B.C. He had two goals and an assist as the Cougars beat the visiting Kamloops Blazers, 10-6, on Saturday night. This season, Samson has 11 goals and 16 assists in 28 games. . . .

The Kelowna Rockets have added former player Curtis Hamilton, 31, to their front office as assistant general manager. Yes, his father, Bruce, is the Rockets’ owner, president and general manager. There is a news release right here. . . .

Gilles Courteau, who took over as the QMJHL’s president during the 1985-86 season, will retire at the end of this season. A replacement is expected to be named in May, with Courteau staying on into 2024 to help with the transition. . . . The league has changed the name of its championship trophy from the President’s Cup to the Gilles Courteau Trophy. . . . Courteau first worked in the QMJHL office in 1977 as a statistician. . . .

The junior B Spokane Braves of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League announced that they will ice a team for the 2023-24 season. The Braves have sat out the past two KIJHL seasons for reasons related to the pandemic. . . .

Another high-end WHL forward changed teams on Dec. 31 when the Winnipeg Ice acquired Carson Latimer, 19, from the Prince Albert Raiders for F Aiden Quiring, 17, and third-round selections in the 2024 and 2025 WHL drafts. . . . Latimer, a fourth-round selection by the Ottawa Senators in the NHL’s 2021 draft, had 22 goals and 38 assists in 75 regular-season games with the Raiders. This season, he had 10 goals and 18 assists in 31 games when he was dealt. . . . Quiring, a freshman who was a third-round pick in the 2020 WHL draft, had five goals and three assists in 26 games at the time of the trade. . . .

The Tri-City Americans revealed on Dec. 30 that D Ben Feenan “has left the team for personal reasons and will join the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs.” . . . Feenan, 18, is from Surrey, B.C. He had three assists in 22 games this season, after recording six helpers in 48 games in 2021-22. . . . The Americans selected him in the sixth round of the WHL’s 2019 draft. . . .

The Americans got past the visiting Spokane Chiefs, 7-6 in OT, on New Year’s Eve. And wouldn’t you know it . . . Americans D Lukas Dragicevic didn’t pick up so much as one point, thus ending his 27-game point streak. He put up seven goals and 30 assists during that stretch.


Grinch


Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press recently wrote a piece in a newsletter about things he would change if he ruled the hockey world for a day. Here’s one item with which I completely agree:

“Severely limit betting/gambling advertisements. Heck, I might just consider an outright ban. I could tolerate them when they first began, in small doses. But it’s to the point now of being completely obnoxious. Seemingly every second commercial is for some website, and now even hosts such as Ron MacLean are routinely shilling for these services. To be clear, I’ve got absolutely nothing against gambling. If you have the means and can do it responsibly, knock your socks off. It’s the idea of having it shoved down my throat everywhere I turn that I find so offensive.”


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Dinner

Hit by a positive test after almost three years . . . Sold out in Kelowna, or not? . . . Pats, Warriors both win in B.C.

I am going to try and explain what it’s like for someone who is Covidimmunocompromised to navigate through a society filled with politicians, health officials and fellow citizens who couldn’t care less about them, and, furthermore, don’t mind letting them know how they feel just by their inaction.

There are hundreds of thousands of people walking around today who are immunocompromised. Solid organ transplant recipients, cancer patients, people on various kinds of medication . . . the list goes on.

And you wouldn’t know it just by walking past one of them. There is no scarlet “I” on their foreheads. For the most part, they look just like ‘normal’ people.

If you think that number is an exaggeration, consider that the National Kidney Foundation, an American organization, tweeted on Monday that “24,670 people received a kidney transplant in 2021.”

If you do the math it works out to 68 such procedures carried out every single day in the U.S.

I don’t know what the number was for Canada, but I can tell you that, according to BC Transplant, there were 529 organ transplants carried out in this province in 2021, including 340 kidneys, 97 livers, 66 lungs and 22 hearts.

Through Oct. 31, the numbers for 2022 were 242 kidneys, 90 livers, 45 lungs and 20 hearts.

All of the recipients take anti-rejection drugs that prevent their systems from rejecting the foreign body that has been surgically implanted into their bodies. In order to do that, some of those medications work to suppress the immune system.

This is a round-about way to tell you that Dorothy, my wife of 50 years, tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday morning. It’s been more than nine years since she underwent a kidney transplant, so we knew to be careful from the moment COVID hit the fan. We had avoided the bullet for almost three years. She has had five vaccinations; I am to get my fifth this week. We have had our flu shots. We have had our first Shingrix vaccinations. We have been avoiding large crowds. We have been masking up when going for groceries or being anywhere with other people, most of whom, of course, now are unmasked.

For the first couple of years of this pandemic, we ordered our groceries online. We didn’t go into restaurants, choosing drive-thru or pickup instead. We didn’t have guests into our home. We didn’t travel.

Last spring, we loosened up a bit. We decided that we had to live at least a bit. So, on rare occasion, we went inside a couple of our favourite eateries, masking up to go in and unmasking to eat/drink. We brought the Kamloops Kidney Support Group back together for monthly gatherings. We went back to in-person grocery shopping, always wearing masks, of course. Dorothy went back to one of the loves of her life — playing the piano once a week for the residents of a care home.

But, still, it got her, and we haven’t any idea how or when.

Thankfully the scientific and medical communities are there for us. After an exchange of phone calls with staff at Royal Inland Hospital on Tuesday, Dorothy underwent her first infusion of anti-bodies via IV on Wednesday morning. She will be back for a second one on Thursday and a final one on Friday.

By Wednesday afternoon, she was feeling somewhat better. The pounding headache that was there on Tuesday was receding. But the coughing, sneezing and stuffiness still was hanging around.

After she is up and about, hopefully at some point after Friday, we’ll see how things go. We will have to decide whether we want to wade back into the great unmasked community. What about going back into restaurants? What about the much-discussed long COVID, something that is as real as the nose on your face?

As for the anti-vaxxers and the anti-maskers, here’s hoping that your immune systems never go away on you. Here’s hoping that you never need a solid organ transplant. Because if you do you are in for a horrible feeling of loneliness when it hits you that you are expendable to a whole of people out there.

You will find out what it feels like to hear politicians and medical officials “recommend’ the wearing of facemasks rather than mandating it. It will dawn on you that the almighty dollar is more important than the lives of a bunch of people with wonky immune systems or a whole lot of senior citizens.

Yes, you really will find out, and it will sting.

And all of this was/is so avoidable. Mask up. Get vaccinated. Wash your hands.

Please!



TUESDAY IN THE WHL:

It would appear that F Connor Bedard’s I Can Sell Out the B.C. Division Arenas ReginaTour experienced its first non-sellout in Kelowna. The Pats beat the Rockets, 6-5 in OT, before an announced crowd of 6,407. There were plenty of references on social media to it being a sellout crowd; however, Prospera Place, on its website, lists its capacity for hockey at 6,886. . . . The fans who were in attendance saw F Alexander Suzdalev win it for the Pats with a PP goal at 3:07 of Prospera 2OT. . . . The Pats (12-11-2) have won three in a row, all in the B.C. Division. . . . The Rockets (9-10-2) have lost two straight (0-1-1). . . Suzdalev, who has 14 goals, scored twice and added two assists. . . . Bedard kept his point streak alive with the primary assist on the winning goal. That ran his streak to 24 games. . . . Regina D Stanislav Svozil helped out with four assists. . . . The Rockets got two goals and two assists from F Andrew Cristall (18), who is riding a 12-game point streak. D Caden Price (3) had a goal and two assists, and F Gabriel Szturc had three assists. . . . D Tanner Brown, who is from Kelowna, gave Regina a 5-4 lead with his first goal of the season at 17:32 of the third period. . . . Cristall tied it on a 5-on-3 PP with the goaltender pulled for an extra attacker at 19:08. . . . The Rockets were without F Adam Kydd, 20, who is expected to miss up to six weeks with a fractured foot. He has 11 goals and 12 assists in 20 games this season. . . . The Pats are to face the Blazers in Kamloops tonight and then conclude their B.C. swing against the Prince George Cougars on Friday. . . .

D Denton Mateychuk enjoyed a five-point night as the Moose Jaw Warriors beat the Royals, 8-3, in Victoria. . . . The Warriors (16-9-0) have won three in a row. WarriorsNewThey are 3-1-0 on a B.C. Division swing that wraps up tonight with a game against the Vancouver Giants in Langley, B.C. . . . The Royals (3-18-3) have lost nine straight (0-8-1). . . . F Brayden Schuurman (4) gave the Royals a 1-0 lead just 49 seconds into the first period. The Warriors scored the next seven goals. . . . Mateychuk scored his sixth goal and added four assists, leaving him with 25 points in 21 games. . . . F Atley Calvert (12) scored twice and D Max Wanner had three assists for Moose Jaw. . . . Warriors F Jagger Firkus scored his 15th goal as he ran his point streak to 18 games. . . . Victoria F Marcus Almquist has left to join Denmark’s team that is preparing for the IIHF Division I World Junior tournament in Asker, Norway, Dec. 11-17. . . . The Royals also are without veteran G Tyler Palmer, who is on personal leave with his family.


Lego


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

Ryan Kuwabara is the new head coach of the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs. . . . Jeff Angelidis had been serving as interim head coach since the firing of Daniel Fitzgerald on Nov. 14. Angelidis will stay on as an assistant coach under Kuwabara. . . . There is a news release right here.


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Democracy

Bedard tour sure to sell out B.C. arenas . . . Wheat Kings make coaching change . . . Oil Kings still wheeling, dealing

F Connor Bedard’s I Can Sell Out the B.C. Division Arenas Tour will wrap up with Reginaa game against the Prince George Cougars on Friday night.

Taking Note was told that as of late Monday afternoon there were fewer than 100 tickets remaining for the game that will be played in the 5,971-seat CN Centre. Through 12 home games, the Cougars’ average announced attendance is 2,551.

A sellout in Prince George will mean that Bedard and his Regina Pats will have sold out all five games on their B.C. Division swing.

The trip opened Friday in Langley, B.C., with a 3-0 victory over the Vancouver Giants. The announced attendance was 5,276, the largest crowd for a Giants’ home game since they left the Pacific Coliseum for the Langley Events Centre prior to the 2016-17 season. Going into Friday night, the Giants’ average announced attendance through nine home games had been 3,017.

One night later, Bedard and his travelling show went into Victoria and dumped the Royals, 9-5, before an announced crowd of 7,006. That was the largest crowd in Victoria since Feb. 22, 2020, when 7,006 fans watched the Royals beat the Kelowna Rockets, 4-3 in OT. . . . The Royals had been averaging an announced attendance of 2,956 through 11 home games prior to Saturday’s game.

The Pats are to meet the Rockets in Kelowna tonight in 6,886-seat Prospera Place. Through 11 home games, the Rockets’ average announced attendance has been 4,021.

On Wednesday, Bedard and his mates will face the Blazers in Kamloops’ 5,464-seat Sandman Centre. Through 10 home games, the Blazers, the host team for the 2023 Memorial Cup, have average an announced attendance of 4,650 fans.

If the five B.C. Division teams aren’t prepared to offer up a cut of their gate receipts to Bedard, they should at least present him with keys to their arenas. Or coupons good for free meals whenever he should happen to visit their cities. He should never have to pay for a meal again in any of those communities.

That’s the least they could do to show their appreciation.

Right?

BTW, Bedard has three goals and two assists through the first two games of his trek through B.C. However, he has been overshadowed somewhat by F Tanner Howe, who turned 17 — yes, 17!!! — on Monday. Howe scored five times and added two assists in those two games, and was named the WHL’s player of the week on Monday.


The Brandon Wheat Kings became the first of the WHL’s 22 teams to make a coaching change this season when they fired head coach Don MacGillivray on BrandonMonday morning. . . . Marty Murray, who is in his first season as the team’s general manager, has taken over behind the bench. . . . This is the first firing in Brandon since Kelly McCrimmon announced on Sept. 8, 2020, that he had sold the franchise to the J&G Group of Companies, under Jared Jacobson. . . .

MacGillivray, 57, had been with the Wheat Kings since signing on as an assistant coach prior to the 2016-17 season. . . . He was working on a contract that is to run through 2023-24. . . . This season, the Wheat Kings are last in the six-team East Division, at 8-15-2, after being swept in a weekend doubleheader by the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes — 4-3 on Friday and 6-4 on Saturday. . . .

Since taking over as head coach on Nov. 24, 2020, prior to the pandemic-forced developmental season, MacGillivray had a 61-47-9 record. He replaced Dave Lowry, who left for the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets. . . . Before joining the Wheat Kings, MacGillivray spent five seasons as the GM/head coach of the MJHL’s Winnipeg Blues. . . . He also worked as the head coach of the MJHL’s St. James Canadians (1989-91), Southeast Blades (1992-93), and Neepawa Natives (1993-96); the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders (1996-98), the MJHL’s Portage Terriers (1998-2006) and the U of Manitoba Bisons (2006-09). . . .

Murray played four seasons (1991-95) with the Wheat Kings, putting up 392 points, including 260 assists, in 264 games. His time there included 114- and 128-point seasons. He has head-coaching experience from his time in the NAHL and USHL. He was the GM/head coach of the NAHL’s Minot Minotauros from 2011-20 and then spent two seasons with the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede. . . .

Mark Derlago and Del Pedrick, the Wheat Kings’ assistant coaches, remain on the coaching staff. . . .

The Wheat Kings, who have lost two in a row and are 2-7-1 in their past 10 outings, will be at home to the Prince Albert Raiders on Friday and the Swift Current Broncos on Saturday.


Umbrella


THE TRADING PLACE:

At 2:30 p.m. PT, Alan Caldwell (@smallatlarge) tweeted: “Will the last member of the 2021-22 Oil Kings to leave please turn out the lights? 18 players got a Edmontonpoint for the Oil Kings in the 2022 playoffs. Only 3 of them are still on the team today after the Golder trade. (Dowhaniuk, Wiebe, Seitz).”

At 3:10 p.m. PT, he followed up with: “This tweet was accurate for 37 minutes. Wiebe is gone now.”

Yes, the Edmonton Oil Kings, the WHL’s defending champions, made two more trades on Monday afternoon.

They started by sending F Carson Golder, a 20-year-old who also can play on Kelownathe back end, and a third-round selection in the WHL’s 2023 draft to the Kelowna Rockets for F Riley Kovacevic, 18.

It wasn’t long after that when Edmonton dealt F Jaxsen Wiebe, 20, and a conditional eighth-round pick in the 2026 WHL draft to the Prince George Cougars for F Noah Boyko, 20, a third-round pick in the 2023 draft and a conditional third-rounder in the 2026 draft.

This season, Golder, who is from Smithers, B.C., has eight goals and seven assists in 24 games. Last season, he scored three goals and added nine assists in 46 regular-season games, then scored three times and set up five others in 16 playoff games in helping the Oil Kings win the WHL championship. . . . Kovacevic, from Kelowna, has five goals and four assists in 20 games this season. Last season, he recorded three goals and four assists in 49 games. The Rockets selected him in the 10th round of the WHL’s 2019 draft. . . .

Meanwhile, the Cougars traded Boyko, who was acquired from the Saskatoon Blades for a fourth-round pick in the 2022 draft on May 19. From Fort PrinceGeorgeSaskatchewan, Alta., Boyko had five goals and five assists in 23 games with the Cougars. He was a first-round selection by the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the 2017 bantam draft. In 198 career regular-season games, he has 94 points, including 48 goals. . . . Wiebe, from Moose Jaw, has three goals and one assist in six games with Edmonton this season. He is six games into a seven-game suspension that was handed down after he, a repeat offender, took a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct in Saskatoon on Nov. 12. Earlier, he sat out four games after being suspended following a knee-on-knee hit on Saskatoon F Josh Pillar. . . . In 130 regular-season games, the first 73 with the Red Deer Rebels, Wiebe has 60 points, 22 of them goals. Last season, he finished with 10 goals and 26 assists in 41 games, then added two goals and six assists in 13 playoff games. He also had three goals and one assist in three games at the Memorial Cup. . . . Obviously, he brings more edge to the game than does Boyko, and that would seem to be what the Cougars want. . . .

After all this, the Oil Kings are left with two 20-year-olds — Boyko and D Logan Dowhaniuk. Their roster also includes only one 19-year-old — D Ethan Peters. . . . The Rockets now have three 20-year-olds on their roster, with Golder joining F Adam Kydd and G Talyn Boyko. . . . And the Cougars also have three — Wiebe, F Cole Dubinsky, who was acquired from the Regina Pats on Nov. 4, and F Chase Wheatcroft, who came over in a June 10 deal with the Winnipeg Ice.

——

On Monday night, the Victoria Royals announced that they had acquired G VictoriaRoyalsNicholas Cristiano, 18, from the Kelowna Rockets for a fifth-round selection in the 2023 WHL draft. . . . With veteran G Tyler Palmer, 19, not having played since Nov. 12, the Royals needed a goaltender to pair with Logan Cunningham, 17. . . . Cristiano, from Langley, B.C., started this season with the Rockets — he was 0-1-0, 2.61, .879 — before being released and joining the BCHL’s West Kelowna Warriors. In three games with the Warriors, he was 1-2-0, 4.42, .867. . . . According to Dan Price, the Royals’ general manager and head coach, Palmer is “on personal leave and with his family.” . . . Palmer, who is 3-10-3, 4.22, .876 this season, is from Fernie, B.C. . . . The Royals (3-17-3) are scheduled to entertain the Moose Jaw Warriors (15-9-0) tonight.

——

Since Oct. 25, the WHL has featured 16 trades involving 27 players, 33 draft picks and six conditional picks.


Gate


With the Edmonton Oil Kings in rebuilding mode just months after winning the WHL championship, Guy Flaming (@TPS_Guy) tweeted the records last week of the four teams who appeared in the 2022 Memorial Cup tournament that was won by the host Saint John Sea Dogs. I have updated their records going into tonight’s games:

Edmonton, 4-20-1, last in six-team division.

Hamilton Bulldogs, 9-10-1, fourth in five-team division.

Shawinigan Cataractes, 11-12-2, last in four-team division.

Saint John Sea Dogs, 6-15-1, last in six-team division.


Ticket packages for the 2023 Memorial Cup tournament that is scheduled to be held in Kamloops are to go on sale Thursday through Ticketmaster. . . . According to a news release, one tournament package covering eight games plus a possible tiebreaker will set you back “$600 plus GST and applicable fees.” . . . The tournament is to run from May 26 through June 4. . . . There is more info, along with a tournament schedule, right here.


I have referred to Andrei Lupandin and his family a couple of times over the past few days. You will recall that Lupandin, who spent four seasons with the Brandon Wheat Kings, his wife and their two sons have left Ukraine and now are in Saskatoon hoping to get a fresh start. . . . Jim Matheson of Postmedia takes a really good look right here at Lupandin and the situation in which he and his family find themselves.


Pets


A couple of tweets about a former WHL player from The MacBeth Report (@MacBethReport):

“Antti Boman (Kamloops, 1991-1992) refereed his 800th Liiga (Finland) game on Friday evening. He is the third referee in Liiga history to reach the 800-game mark and is first among active referees. Timo Favorin is the leader with 1,000 games and Jari Levonen is second at 979.

Boman is in his 15th season as a referee in Liiga, Finland’s top pro league. He ended his playing career in 2004-05 with Frisk Asker (Norway, GET-Ligaen). He also played in Germany, France, Sweden, and Scotland, in addition to Finland and the WHL.”

Boman played one game with the Kamloops Blazers in 1991-92. He didn’t record a point.


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Pizza

Victoria fans doff hats for Bedard . . . Howe’s six-pack sparks Pats . . . Firkus, Warriors stun Rockets with late goal

F Connor Bedard’s I Can Sell Out the B.C. Division Arenas Tour made its second stop on Saturday night, this one in Victoria. How’d it go? Well, his team won, he scored three goals and some fans threw hats onto the ice. And when is the last time that happened for a visiting player?

Anyway, the Pats (11-11-2) won the game, 9-5, and now are 2-0-0 in the B.C. ReginaDivision. . . . The Royals (3-17-3) have lost eight straight (0-7-1). . . . The announced attendance was 7,006. That is the largest crowd in Victoria since Feb. 22, 2020, when 7,006 fans watched the Royals beat the Kelowna Rockets, 4-3 in OT. . . .

Bedard, F Tanner Howe and D Stanislav Svozil combined for 14 points. . . . Howe, a Prince Albert native who will turn 17 on Monday, scored four times and added two assists. This season, he has 33 points, 15 of them goals, in 23 games. In 87 games over his 16- and 17-year-old seasons, he has 102 points, including 42 goals. . . . Svozil, a sophomore from Prerov, Czech Republic, had a goal and three assists. He has four goals and 20 assists in 21 games this season. . . .

As for Bedard, well, he scored three times — the second time he has done that this season and the fourth time in two seasons — and added an assist as he extended his point streak to 23 games. He leads the WHL in goals (22), assists (31) and points (53). His leads are four, five and 14, respectively. . . . In 101 career regular-season games, Bedard has 181 points, 85 of them goals. . . .

The Royals actually led this game 2-1 at 14:51 of the first period. The Pats scored the next six goals — three by Bedard, two by Howe and one by Svozil. . . . F Jake Poole (13) had a goal and two assists for Victoria, which ws 4-5 on the PP, with F Alex Thacker adding three assists. . . .

The Bedard tour continues with stops in Kelowna on Tuesday and Kamloops on Wednesday. . . . Yes, both building will be sold out. . . . Perhaps the B.C. Division teams could kick back 10 per cent of the gate to Berard?

——

ELSEWHERE IN THE WHL ON SATURDAY NIGHT:

F Tyson Laventure scored three times to lead the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 6-Lethbridge4 victory over the Wheat Kings in Brandon. . . . The Hurricanes swept the weekend doubleheader, having won 4-3 in Brandon on Friday. . . . Lethbridge (14-10-1) has won two in a row. . . . The Hurricanes are 3-1-0 on a six-game swing that continues Friday in Kennewick, Wash., against the Tri-City Americans. . . . Brandon (8-15-2) has lost two straight. . . . Brent Kisio, the Hurricanes’ head coach, posted his 249th regular-season victory, all of them with Lethbridge. According to Dustin Forbes, the Hurricanes’ radio voice, Kisio is 40th coach in WHL history to get to 250. . . . Laventure, who has eight goals, opened and closed the scoring, and his second goal, at 6:35 of the second period, provided a 4-1 lead and proved the winner. He completed his first WHL hat trick with an empty-netter. . . . F Jett Jones had three assists for the winners. . . .

F Jagger Firkus scored the winner with 18 seconds left in the third period as the WarriorsNewMoose Jaw Warriors beat the Rockets, 4-3, in Kelowna. . . . The Warriors (15-9-0) have won two in a row. . . . The Rockets now are 9-10-1. . . . Firkus (14) had two goals and two assists as he ran his point streak to 17 games. . . . Larry Fisher (@LarryFisher_KDC) pointed out that Firkus and the goaltender he beat, Jari Kykkanen, were U15 teammates in Lloydminster, Alta., for two seasons. . . . F Brayden Yager (13) added two goals and an assist — he set up the winner with a terrific pass on a PP — for Moose Jaw. . . . Moose Jaw had a 3-1 lead until F Andrew Cristall (16) and F Colton Dach (7) got Kelowna even in the latter half of the third period. . . . The Warriors were 3-5 on the PP. . . .

F Riley Fiddler-Schultz’s three-point night sparked the Calgary Hitmen to a 5-Calgary2 victory over the Tigers in Medicine Hat. . . . The Hitmen now are 12-6-3. . . . The Tigers (8-11-5) had won their previous two games. . . . Calgary erased a 1-0 deficit with three second-period goals — from F Zac Funk (7), F Sean Tschigerl (5) and F David Adaszynski (2). . . . Fiddler-Schultz’s 13th goal came with the man advantage as the Hitmen were 3-8 on the PP. . . . The Tigers were 0-6. . . .

F Caedan Bankier broke a 1-1 tie early in the second period and the Kamloops KamloopsBlazers went on to beat the Cougars, 4-1, in Prince George. . . . The Blazers (11-5-4) moved into a tie atop the B.C. Division with the Cougars (13-10-0), who had won their previous four games. Kamloops holds three games in hand. . . . Bankier’s 14th goal of the season came at 4:11 of the second period, and F Fraser Minten (7) added insurance, on a PP, at 8:02. . . . Bankier got his second goal of the game, shorthanded, just 40 seconds into the third period. . . . Kamloops F Logan Stankoven now is on a 16-game scoring streak after drawing one assist. . . . The Blazers got 34 stops from G Dylan Ernst, who is 10-4-2, 2.29, .922 this season. . . .

In Red Deer, the Rebels scored the first six goals en route to a 6-1 victory over RedDeerthe Prince Albert Raiders. . . . Red Deer (17-4-3) has lost its previous three games (0-1-2). . . . The Raiders (9-13-2) had a four-game winning streak snapped. . . . F Kai Uchacz (18) had a goal and two assists. . . . F Arjun Bawa scored his first WHL goal for the Rebels. He is the son of Robin Bawa, who played in the WHL with the Kamloops Junior Oilers, Kamloops Blazers and New Westminster Bruins. Robin was the first person of Indian descent to play in the NHL. He split 61 games between the Washington Capitals, Vancouver Canucks, San Jose Sharks and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. . . . Prince Albert is 1-1-0 on a five-game road trip that continues today in Medicine Hat as the Raiders play their third game in fewer than 48 hours. . . .

F Egor Sidorov struck for three goals as the Saskatoon Blades got past the Saskatoonvisiting Winnipeg Ice, 5-2. . . . The Blades (16-5-0) gained a measure of revenge on the Ice, which had beaten them, 6-3, in Saskatoon on Friday. . . . The Ice (22-3-0) had won its previous two games. . . . Sidorov completed his hat trick with the game’s last two goals, at 13:11 and 16:24 of the third period. . . . F Trevor Wong had three assists for Saskatoon. . . . Ice F Ty Nash (12) scored the game’s first goal; he has goals in five straight. . . . Sidorov, now with 12 goals, has played in only 10 games this season. He also has nine assists. . . . The Blades held Pride Night for this one, thus the sharp sweaters in the above tweet. . . .

In Swift Current, the Broncos scored the game’s last two goals to beat the SwiftCurrentEdmonton Oil Kings, 5-3. . . . The Broncos (11-11-0) had beaten the visiting Oil Kings, 5-2, on Friday. . . . The Oil Kings (4-20-1) have lost three in a row. The Oil Kings, the WHL’s defending champions, lost 18 games (50-14-4) all of last season. . . . Edmonton overcame one-goal deficits on three occasions, but couldn’t do it a fourth time. . . . F Josh Filmon (12) broke a 3-3 tie at 13:07 of the third period, and F Mathew Ward (12) added insurance at 18:06. . . .

F Parker Bell had two goals to lead the Tri-City Americans to a 4-2 victory over Tri-Citythe Spokane Chiefs in Kennewick, Wash. . . . The Americans (9-13-0) had lost their previous two games. . . . The Chiefs (4-15-1) have lost four games. . . . F Carter Streek (6) has goals in three straight after giving Spokane a 1-0 lead at 2:53 of the first period. . . . The Americans scored the next four goals, two of them from Bell (8). . . . Tri-City D Lukas Dragicevic had an assist as he ran his point streak to 15 games.


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

The BCHL’s Penticton Vees now are 23-0-0 this season after posting a 4-2 victory over the Kings in Powell River on Saturday night. . . . The Vees went 9-0-0 in November. . . . They are scheduled to entertain the West Kelowna Warriors on Dec. 3 and then travel to Wenatchee, Wash., for a Dec. 9 date with the Wild.


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Lowbridge

Sim overshadows Bedard in Pats’ victory . . . Warriors hang on to win in Kamloops . . . Thunderbirds slow down Portland express

A reminder that former WHLer Andrei Lupandin and his family have left their native Ukraine and are in Saskatoon hoping to start a new life after losing their home in the ongoing Russian onslaught.

Lupandin, 44, and his wife and two sons arrived in Saskatoon “with little more than a hockey bag and one suitcase for the family of four,” according to a GoFundMe page that is up and running.

“They have no work and need to start over. We are raising funds to help them with buying essentials, saving money to live and for future accommodations and household items.”

That GoFundMe page is right here.



FRIDAY IN THE WHL:

F Connor Bedard’s I Can Sell Out the B.C. Division Arenas Tour got started in Langley, B.C., as his Regina Pats beat the Vancouver Giants, 3-0, before an Reginaannounced crowd of 5,276. . . . That is the largest crowd for a Giants’ home game in the Langley Events Centre since they moved there to start the 2016-17 season. . . . The Pats (10-11-2) had lost their previous three games. . . . The Giants now are 8-10-4. . . . G Drew Sim was huge for the Pats, kicking out 47 shots to record his second shutout this season and the third of his career. Sim, 19, was a third-round pick by the Giants in the WHL’s 2018 draft. His first 11 WHL appearances were with the Giants. . . . Vancouver dealt him to Regina on Oct. 21, 13, 2021, for a conditional fourth-rounder in 2024. . . . Bedard, who takes his tour on to Victoria to meet the Royals tonight, was playing in his 100th regular-season game. He had one assist as his point streak reached 22 games. He was blanked in the season’s first game and hasn’t been shut out since then. . . . Bedard leads the WHL in goals (19), assists (30) and points (49). . . . Bedard is from North Vancouver, and this was his first WHL game on the Lower Mainland of B.C. . . . F Borya Valis (10), who had missed the last two games, got Regina’s first goal, on a PP, at 12:47 of the first period. . . . F Riley Ginnell, 20, made his Regina debut after being acquired from the Moose Jaw Warriors earlier in the week. . . .

The visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes scored three PP goals en route to a 4-3 Lethbridgevictory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Lethbridge improved to 13-10-1. It is 1-2 on a six-game road trip. . . . The Wheat Kings are 8-14-2. . . . These teams will play in Brandon again tonight. . . . The Wheat Kings took a 2-1 lead into the second period, but the Hurricanes scored the next three goals. . . . F Tyson Laventure (5) had two goals and an assist for the winners, with D Logan McCutcheon (1) chipping in a goal and two assists. . . . Lethbridge was 3-4 on the PP; Brandon was 2-5. . . . The Hurricanes got 37 stops from G Harrison Meneghin. . . .

In Calgary, F Sloan Stanick and F Keaton Sorensen each had four points to help PrinceAlbertthe Prince Albert Raiders to a 4-2 victory over the Hitmen. . . . The Raiders (9-12-2) have won four in a row. . . . The Hitmen (11-6-3) had points in each of their previous two games (1-0-1). . . . After F Zac Funk (6) gave Calgary a 2-1 lead 48 seconds into the second period, the Raiders scored the game’s last four goals. . . . Sorensen (11) had two goals and two assists, with Stanick drawing four assists. . . . Raiders F Evan Herman, the team’s captain, scored his fifth goal this season — it was the 50th of his career — and added two assists. . . . The Raiders got 32 stops from G Tikhon Chaika. . . .

The Kelowna Rockets struck three times in the second period and went on to Kelownabeat the Silvertips, 4-2, in Everett. . . . Kelowna improved to 9-9-1; the Silvertips, who had been 0-3-1 in their previous four games, now are 12-9-1. . . . F Colton Dach (6), Kelowna’s captain, broke a 2-2 tie at 17:24 of the second period. He also had an assist. . . . F Max Graham (2) iced it with an empty-netter. . . . Kelowna D Jackson DeSouza had two assists and now is on a four-game point streak, with seven points over that stretch. He went into this season with one goal and 10 assists in 70 games. This season, he has three goals and five assists in 17 games, with all eight points having come over the past five games. . . . Everett F Jackson Berezowski, who hadn’t played since Nov. 4 as he missed six games, scored his 13th goal. . . .

The Moose Jaw Warriors scored the game’s first three goals, two via the PP, and WarriorsNewhung on to beat the Blazers, 3-2, in Kamloops. . . . The Warriors (14-9-0) are 1-1-0 on this seven-game road swing. . . . The Blazers (10-5-4) had points in each of their previous five games (3-0-2). . . . F Brayden Yager (11) had a goal and an assist for the Warriors, the goal giving them a 3-0 lead at 13:52 of the second period. . . . F Jagger Firkus of the Warriors ran his point streak to 16 games with an assist. . . . Kamloops F Logan Stankoven (14) scored 45 seconds into the third period and later added an assist to extend his point streak to 15 games; he has hit the scoresheet in each game in which he has played this season. . . . The Warriors got a big game from G Connor Ungar, who made 36 stops. . . .

The Medicine Hat Tigers scored three times in the shootout to beat the Rebels, MedicineHat3-2, in Red Deer. . . . The Tigers (8-10-5) have won two straight. . . . The Rebels (16-4-3) have lost three in a row (16-4-3). . . . F Kai Uchacz (17) scored while shorthanded to give Red Deer a 2-1 lead at 2:26 of the second period. . . . F Brendan Lee got the Tigers even with his 14th goal at 15:39 of the third. . . . Lee, who also had an assist, has goals in six straight games, putting in eight over that stretch. He also scored Medicine Hat’s first goal in the shootout. . . . The Tigers had a 42-31 edge in shots. . . .

In Saskatoon, the Winnipeg Ice broke a 1-1 tie with three straight goals en route Saskatoonto a 5-3 victory over the Blades. . . . The Ice (22-2-0) has won two in a row. . . . The Blades (15-5-0) had a four-game winning streak snapped. . . . The will have a rematch tonight, also in Saskatoon. . . . F Ty Nash (11) gave the Ice a 4-1 lead at 4:16 of the third period. He has goals in five straight games. . . . The Blades got PP goals from F Josh Pillar (4) and F Justin Lies (4) to get within a goal, but weren’t able to equalize. . . . The Ice got a goal and two assists from D Ben Zloty (6), while F Connor McClennon had three assists. . . . Zloty, 20, has 28 points in 24 games this season. . . . G Daniel Hauser made 30 saves to earn the victory. This season, he is 16-0-0, 2.43, .914. In his career, he is a remarkable 57-3-2. . . . F Zach Benson was one of the Ice’s scratches. . . .

The Seattle Thunderbirds have points in six straight games after beating the SeattlePortland Winterhawks, 6-1, in Kent, Wash. . . . The Thunderbirds (15-3-1) are 5-0-1 in their past six games. . . . The Winterhawks (17-3-1) had points in each of their previous 12 games (10-0-2) and had won nine in a row. . . . F Kyle Crnkovic (10) led Seattle with a shorthanded goal and two assists. . . . The only goal of the first period came from Seattle D Nolan Allan. He has five on the season, but this was his first with Seattle since being acquired from the Prince Albert Raiders on Nov. 16. . . . Seattle outshot Portland, 35-21, including 24-7 through two periods. . . . The Winterhawks had F Jack O’Brien and F Robbie Fromm-Delorme back after one-game absences. Joshua Critzer (@jjcritzer) tweeted that “both are wearing full shields/fish bowls due to coming off illness.” . . . The Thunderbirds remain without injured D Luke Prokop. . . .

F Josh Davies scored the game’s first three goals to lead the host Swift Current SwiftCurrentBroncos to a 5-2 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . The Broncos (10-11-0) had lost their previous two games. . . . The Oil Kings (4-19-1) have lost two in a row. . . . The same teams will meet again tonight, also in Swift Current. . . . Davies, who has eight goals, scored twice while shorthanded — at 14:02 of the first period and 9:39 of the second — to complete his first WHL hat trick in his 106th game.


Looters


THE TRADING PLACE:

The Regina Pats skated at the Langley Events Centre on Thursday in advance of their Friday night game against the Vancouver Giants. Afterwards, John Paddock, the Pats’ senior vice-president of hockey operations, general manager and head coach, met with the media. Of course, he was asked about the possibility of trading highly touted F Connor Bedard. Paddock’s response: “That’s a stupid question. That’s my response. There’s only one place where that’s come out of all year and that’s in B.C.” . . . You will note that he didn’t say “NO!” Could it be that the Pats are keeping open all of their options? . . . Hey, John, any chance of your trading Tanner Howe? . . .

The Brandon Wheat Kings have acquired F Anthony Wilson, 17, and D Luke Shipley, 18, from the Victoria Royals for F Teydon Trembecky, 17, and three WHL draft picks — a third-rounder in 2023 that originally belonged to the Red Deer Rebels, a fifth in 2024 and a fourth in 2026. . . . Wilson, a third-rounder selection in the 2020 WHL draft, had nine goals and nine assists in 81 games with the Royals. He is from Swift Current. . . . Shipley was a sixth-round pick in the 2019 draft. From Powell River, B.C., he had four goals and 18 assists in 105 games with Victoria. . . . Trembecky, a third-round pick by Brandon in the 2020 draft, is from Strathcona, Alta. He had two assists in 24 games with the Wheat Kings. . . . 

Since Oct. 25, WHL teams have combined on 13 trades involving 22 players, 30 draft picks and four conditional picks. . . . Only the Calgary Hitmen, Everett Silvertips, Kelowna Rockets, Medicine Hat Tigers, Portland Winterhawks and  Vancouver Giants haven’t made at least one deal in the past month.


Spotted


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

The Regina Pats got down to three 20-year-olds by releasing F Jakob Brook. He is expected to join the MJHL’s Dauphin Kings. . . . The Pats had indicated in Tuesday’s WHL roster report that they had dropped Brook. But there wasn’t an announcement until Thursday. . . . A second-round pick by the Prince Albert Raiders in the WHL’s 2017 draft, Brook had three assists in seven games this season. In 164 career regular-season games, split between the Pats and Raiders, he put up 14 goals and 23 assists. . . . Brook’s brother, Aidan, 19, also is on Dauphin’s roster. Aidan has WHL experience with the Medicine Hat Tigers (24 games) and Prince George Cougars (11). . . .

F Max Streule, a sophomore from Zurich, Switzerland, has cleared WHL waivers and has left the Winnipeg Ice for the QMJHL’s Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. Streule, 19, had two goals and nine assists in 52 games last season; this season, he was pointless in six games. . . . Streule’s departure leaves F Vladislav Shilo, who is from Minsk, Belarus, as the Ice’s lone import. . . .

G Ève Gascon, who made history last season as the third female to play in a QMJHL regular-season game, with the Gatineau Olympiques, has committed to play NCAA hockey for the U of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. . . .

The BCHL’s Penticton Vees ran their season-opening winning streak to 22 games on Friday, as they dumped the host Alberni Valley Bulldogs, 7-1. . . . The Vees are to travel to Powell River to meet the Kings tonight. . . .

Meanwhile, we shouldn’t be ignoring the SJHL’s Battlefords North Stars, who have opened the season by playing 23 games without a regulation-time loss. . . . They will take a 20-0-3 record into their next game, against the visiting Notre Dame Hounds on Dec. 2.


Freedom


THINKING OUT LOUD — Just how big is the NFL in the world of TV and sports. Well, you may have noticed that the NHL didn’t have even one game scheduled for Thursday, which was American Thanksgiving and featured three NFL games. One of those games — New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys — averaged 42 million viewers on FOX-TV. It now is the most-watched NFL regular-season game in history. . . . I never cease to be amazed by the number of people on the sidelines of a football game in the U.S., be it NFL or NCAA. Does each one of those people have a particular responsibility, or are they just there? . . . Mask up whenever the situation calls for it. Those people with suppressed immune systems will thank you for it.


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Breakfast

Recovering Leonard could use some $$ help . . . Ice victory streak at 15 . . . Winterhawks are rolling, too

Seth Leonard played games in six WHL seasons (1998-2004), spending time with the Kelowna Rockets (133 games) and Prince Albert Raiders (166). In his final season, he struck for 50 goals and added 40 assists in 72 games with the Raiders.

Now he could use some help from the hockey world.

Gina Ratcliffe, a family friend, has started a GoFundMe after Leonard was in a car accident near his hometown of Nakusp, B.C.

Leonard, writes Ratcliffe, “was on his way to Nakusp to pick up his daughter when he was in an bad accident due to the road conditions.”

According to Ratcliffe, Leonard’s back was broken “in three different spots.” He was taken to Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, where he underwent surgery. He now will be returning home to begin his recover.

Leonard’s girlfriend, Brittany, has taken time off work and there is no indication as to when Leonard will be able to return to work. Yes, they now find themselves in a financial pinch.

If you are able to help that GoFundMe is right here.


Headline at fark.com — Former FIFA boss says giving the World Cup to Qatar was a mistake. It sure took a long time for that check to clear.


SATURDAY IN THE WHL:

F Evan Herman, the Prince Albert Raiders’ new captain, scored twice and added PrinceAlbertan assist in a 5-4 victory over the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . The Raiders (8-12-2) have won three straight. . . . The Tigers (6-10-5) had points in each of their previous four games (2-0-2). . . . Herman, who has four goals this season, was named captain after the Raiders dealt D Nolan Allan to the Seattle Thunderbirds on Wednesday. . . . F Sloan Stanick (6) also scored twice and had an assist for the winners. His second goal broke a 3-3 tie at 10:56 of the third period and Herman made it 5-3 at 16:53. . . . The Raiders were 2-11 on the PP; the Tigers were 1-5. . . .

G Connor Ungar turned aside 33 shots to lead the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors to WarriorsNewa 6-0 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . The Warriors (13-8-0) have won two in a row. They beat the Broncos 5-4 in Moose Jaw on Friday night. . . . Swift Current (9-11-0) has lost two straight. . . . Ungar, a 20-year-old from Calgary, posted his first shutout of this season and the third of his career. . . . F Brayden Yager’s 10th goal, a shorthanded effort at 3:25 of the first period, stood up as the winner. . . . F Jagger Firkus scored once as he ran his scoring streak to 14 games. He has 10 goals and 10 assist over that stretch. . . . The Warriors are carrying four 20-year-olds, and D Cole Jordan was the odd-man out for a second straight game. The Warriors had Ungar, F Ryder Korczak, who had two assists, and F Riley Ginnell, who had one helper, in the lineup. . . .

The Edmonton Oil Kings won their second straight game, beating the EdmontonHurricanes, 4-2, in Lethbridge. . . . Edmonton now is 4-17-1. . . . The Hurricanes (11-9-1) had points in their previous seven games (6-0-1). . . . Trailing 2-1 with fewer than seven minutes remaining in the third period, the Oil Kings scored three times in 6:05, with the winner coming from F Marshall Finnie (4) at 19:42. . . . Finnie is from Lethbridge. . . . F Carson Golder, who has seven goals, figured in Edmonton’s last three goals, scoring twice and assisting on Finnie’s score. . . . The Oil Kings are without F Jaxsen Wiebe, who is serving a seven-game suspension. . . .

F Ryan McCleary struck late in OT to give the host Portland Winterhawks a 3-2 Portlandvictory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . The Winterhawks (16-1-2) have points in 10 straight (9-0-1). . . . The Blazers (9-4-4) have points in four in a row (2-0-2). Kamloops is 0-3 in OT this season. . . . Portland is 3-0-0 against Kamloops this season, winning twice in OT. . . . Kamloops took a 2-0 first-period lead on goals from F Matthew Seminoff (7) and F Daylan Kuefler (9), the latter on a PP. . . . F Marcus Nguyen (8) scored for Portland, on a PP, at 19:41. . . . D Luca Cagnoni (8) got the home team even at 2:30 of the second period. . . . McCleary’s fourth goal ended it at 4:45 of OT. . . . G Michael Schnattinger made his first start for the Blazers since Oct. 22 and he was just fine, with 41 stops. . . . It was a battle of Czech goaltenders, with Jan Špunar stopping 32 shots for Portland. . . . Portland scratched F Kyle Chyzowski after he suffered an undisclosed injury late in Friday’s 4-1 victory over visiting Everett. . . . Kamloops F Logan Stankoven drew an assist on the first goal as he ran his point streak to 13 games. He has 27 points, 12 of them goals, in that streak. . . .

The Brandon Wheat Kings snapped a four-game losing streak with a 4-2 Brandonvictory over the Rebels in Red Deer. . . . The Wheat Kings (8-13-2) went 1-4-0 on a five-game road trip. . . . Red Deer (16-4-2) had points in each of its previous two games (1-0-1). . . . Brandon erased a 2-1 deficit with the game’s last three goals. . . . F Nolan Ritchie (9) tied it at 16:48 of the second period, on a PP, and F Nate Danielson (11) scored the next two goals, at 11:29 and 18:44 of the third, the latter into an empty net. . . . Red Deer F Jace Isley, who scored his 13th goal, was ejected at 13:45 of the second period with a major penalty for interference on a goaltender. . . . The Wheat Kings got 40 saves from G Nick Jones, an 18-year-old from Calgary who recorded his first WHL victory and was chosen as the game’s first star. A fifth-round pick in the WHL’s 2019 draft, he was 0-1-0 last season and began this season with five straight losses. . . . 

F Gracyn Sawchyn’s goal in OT gave the Seattle Thunderbirds a 2-1 victory over Seattlethe Everett Silvertips in Kent, Wash. . . . Seattle (13-3-1) has points in four straight (3-0-1). . . . Everett (12-7-1) has lost three in a row (0-2-1). . . . This was Everett’s first visit to Kent this season. In the other meeting between these teams, in Everett, the Thunderbirds rang up an 11-3 victory. . . . F Roan Woodward (2) gave Everett a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 4:52 of the second period. . . . F Kyle Crnkovic (8) got Seattle even, on a PP, at 8:19 of the third. . . . Sawchyn’s fifth goal of the season won it at 2:04 of extra time. . . . The Thunderbirds had D Nolan Allan, who was acquired this week from the Prince Albert Raiders, and D Kevin Korchinski paired together and in the starting lineup. Both are first-round NHL draft selections of the Chicago Blackhawks and both are from Saskatoon. . . .

The Calgary Hitmen unleashed a 60-shot attack in skating to a 6-2 victory over Calgarythe host Spokane Chiefs. . . . The Hitmen (11-5-3) had lost their previous two games (0-1-1). They went 3-1-1 on a U.S. Division swing. . . . The Chiefs (4-13-1) have lost two in a row. . . . Calgary held an 18-9 edge in shots in the first period and 29-8 in the second. . . . D Grayden Siepmann  (6) and F Carson Wetsch (4) each had a goal and two assists for the Hitmen. . . . G Dawson Cowan, a recent acquisition from the Winnipeg Ice, got his first start for Spokane. He went the distance, making 54 stops. . . .

In Winnipeg, the Ice erased a 1-0 deficit with four second-period goals and WinnipegIcewent on to beat the Regina Pats, 5-2. . . . Winnipeg (20-1-0) has won 15 in a row. . . . Regina (9-11-2) has lost three straight. . . . The Pats are 0-3-0 on their 10-game road trip that picks up Friday in Langley, B.C., against the Vancouver Giants. . . . After F Connor McClennon (16), playing in his 200th regular-season game, got the Ice even at 1-1 at 2:51 of the second, F Zach Benson (13) scored twice for a two-goal lead. His first goal game while shorthanded; the second came via the PP. . . . Benson also had two assists for a four-point outing. . . . Regina F Connor Bedard had two assists in extending his point streak to 21 games. He leads the WHL in goals (19), assists (29) and points (48). . . . G Mason Beaupit, acquired last week from the Spokane Chiefs, made his first start for the Ice. G Daniel Hauser, who is 14-0-0 this season, was scratched. . . . According to the online game sheet, the Ice didn’t dress a backup goaltender. . . . The Pats lost F Jaxsin Vaughan to a boarding major and game misconduct at 8:34 of the second period. . . .

The visiting Prince George Cougars ran their winning streak to three games PrinceGeorgewith a 5-2 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . The Cougars now are 12-9-0. . . . The Royals (3-16-3) have lost seven in a row (0-6-1). . . . The Cougars had cruised to a 10-3 victory in Victoria on Friday night. . . . F Cole Reschny’s first WHL goal pulled Victoria into a 2-2 tie at 15:17 of the second period. . . . But the Cougars, who got two goals from F Cole Dubinsky (8), scored the next three goals — in a span of 2:48 before the period ended. . . . Things got a bit heated in the game’s final minute with the officials handing out 132 penalty minutes, including 12 fighting majors and six game misconducts. . . . Cougars F Koehn Ziemmer extended  his scoring streak to 13 games with an assist. He has 23 points, 10 of them goals, in that stretch. . . . Cougars D Hudson Thornton also had an assist and now is on a 13-game streak. He has five goals and 18 assists in that time. . . .

In Kelowna, the Rockets scored the game’s last four goals as they beat the Tri-KelownaCity Americans, 5-3. . . . Kelowna (8-8-1) has won two in a row. . . . The Americans are 8-12-0. . . . The Americans held a 3-1 lead early in the second period but couldn’t hold it. . . . D Jackson DeSouza’s second goal of the game — and second of the season — got the Rockets to within one at 3:47 of the second. They were shorthanded at the time. . . . F Adam Kydd (9) tied it at 9:57, and F Andrew Cristall (15) broke the tie at 7:18 of the third. . . . Kydd (10) added an empty-netter. . . . F Gabriel Szturc had three assists for Kelowna, as did Cristall. . . . The Americans got a goal and two assists from F Ethan Ernst, who was acquired from the Rockets early last season. He has career highs in goals (13), assists (14) and points (27) in just 19 games. . . . Tri-City D Lukas Dragicevic ran his point streak to 14 games with two assists. He has 22 points, 18 of them assists, in that streak. . . . The Rockets lost F Colton Dach, their captain, to a headshot major and game misconduct at 19:00 of the second period.


YardSale


IT’S NOT OVER — From The New York Times: “John Kerry, the United States special envoy for climate change, has tested positive for Covid-19, a State Department spokeswoman said, a development that will sideline him at a crucial moment in the waning hours of negotiations at United Nations climate talks. Mr. Kerry, 78, tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday morning and worked from his hotel all day, said his spokeswoman, Whitney Smith, who described Mr. Kerry’s condition as ‘mild.’ ” . . . Kerry is at the COP27 conference in Sharm el-Sheikh Egypt.


Moonshine


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

Marty Williamson, the head coach of the Barrie Colts, picked up his 500th OHL regular-season victory on Saturday night, a 3-2 OT triumph over the visiting Sarnia Sting. . . . The retired Brian Kilrea is atop the victory list, with 1,194. . . .

Apologies to the BCHL’s Penticton Vees. They have won so many games in a row to open this season that I am unable to keep up. Yes, I shortchanged them by one here on Friday night, when they actually extended that streak to 19 games. . . . And, on Saturday night, they made it 20 in a row with a 4-1 victory over the visiting Prince George Spruce Kings. . . . The Vees are 12-0-0 on home ice. . . . Next up for the Vees? The Salmon Arm Silverbacks (11-7-1) will be in town on Wednesday, then it’s off to visit the Alberni Valley Bulldogs (Friday) and Powell River Kings (Saturday). . . . If anyone knows the BCHL record for consecutive victories to open a season, please email me at greggdrinnan.gmail.com. Thank you! . . .

F Jadon Joseph of the U of Calgary Dinos set a Canada West record for fastest three goals in one game on Saturday in a 5-2 victory over the Trinity Western Spartans in Langley, B.C. . . . Joseph actually red-shirted with the Spartans last season before transferring to Calgary over the summer. . . . With Calgary leading 2-1 in the second period when Joseph struck at 13:29, 14”13 and 15:05. . . . Three goals in 1:36 smashed the previous record of 5:17 that had been held by F Connor Rankin of the Mount Royal U Cougars since 2016. . . . Joseph, 23, played four seasons in the WHL, spending time with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, Regina Pats, Vancouver Giants, Moose Jaw Warriors, Kelowna Rockets and Tri-City Americans. . . . The Dinos have won nine games in a row.


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Fajita

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