WHL settles Moose Jaw situation . . . Suspended Warriors could be back for playoffs . . . GM, head coach disciplined; team fined

The four players off the Moose Jaw Warriors’ roster who were suspended by the WHL last month will be eligible to return for this season’s playoffs.

The WHL announced on Friday that the four — G Connor Ungar, 21, D Max WHLWanner, 19, D Marek Howell, 16, and F Lynden Lakovic, 16 — “have been suspended for the balance” of the regular season.

As well, Jason Ripplinger, the Warriors’ general manager, and head coach Mark O’Leary each has been suspended for five games, and the Warriors have been fined $25,000.

In a news release, the WHL said the discipline follows “the completion of an independent investigation into violations of team rules and WHL Standard of Conduct policies.”

The WHL didn’t offer any specifics of the “independent investigation,” such as who conducted it or any of its parameters.

The WHL did allow that the players were suspended following an off-ice WarriorsNewincident that occurred in Edmonton where the Warriors beat the Oil Kings, 4-1, on Feb. 3. The four players were in the lineup again on Feb. 5 when the Warriors beat the Hitmen, 2-1, in Calgary. But all four were scratched from a Feb. 8 game against Edmonton in Moose Jaw.

On Feb. 11, the WHL announced that all four had been suspended “indefinitely pending an investigation . . .”

Somehow — and no one has said how it came about — the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) became involved. Earlier this week, an EPS spokesperson indicated it had determined that criminality wasn’t involved in the incident and said it wouldn’t comment further.

From the WHL’s Friday news release: “Though the conduct of the players was not found to be criminal in nature, the conduct was determined to be a violation of team and league rules including the WHL Standard of Conduct policies, as outlined in the WHL Personal Conduct Policy.”

The WHL’s Standard of Conduct covers such things as racial/derogatory comments; abuse, bullying, harassment and hazing; social media and networking; personal conduct; and diversity and inclusivity.

By the time the Warriors play their final regular-season game on March 25, the four players will have each missed 17 games.

The WHL said that before being reinstated, the players “will be required to complete further personal conduct and respect training.” Presumably that will happen before month’s end in order for them to be reinstated when the playoffs begin.

The WHL said that Ripplinger and O’Leary were disciplined because they failed “to provide the proper oversight and supervision required to ensure a safe and positive environment for players, in particular, while travelling.”

The news release didn’t state specifically why the Warriors organization had been fined $25,000.

That is believed to be the largest fine handed down by the WHL since Nov. 27, 2012, when the Portland Winterhawks were fined $200,000, stripped of a number of draft picks, and lost GM/head coach Mike Johnston to a suspension that covered the remainder of the regular season plus the playoffs for what the league called “multiple player benefit violations.”

The Warriors issued a news release on Friday, stating that the organization takes “full responsibility for the violations of team and league rules, and co-operated fully with the WHL investigation into this matter.

“With the support of the WHL, the Warriors are fully committed to learning from this incident and will take the necessary steps to improve security moving forward. Our organization will continue to support all of our players throughout this process.”

Contacted by Randy Palmer of moosejawtoday.com, Ripplinger said: “All comments or anything like that has to be directed to the Western Hockey League; we can’t comment on anything.”

The Warriors’ statement ended with: “Out of respect for the privacy of all of the parties involved, the Warriors cannot provide further details or comment on the matter.

The WHL, meanwhile, ended its news release with: “Out of respect for the privacy of all of the parties involved, the WHL cannot provide further details on the matter.”

——

So . . . you’re thinking that 17-game suspensions are rather lengthy. But you’re also wondering if there have been longer ones issued by the WHL.

Well, the longest suspension to a player that I can recall went to F Bryan Wells, then of the Regina Pats. On Jan. 27, 1985, Wells and D Mark Tinordi of the host Lethbridge Broncos became involved in a nasty stick-swinging incident. A few days later, Wells, a repeat offender, was suspended for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs, which turned out to be 31 games — 23 in the regular season and eight in the playoffs.

Tinordi, who came out of the duel with a broken finger, was a first-time offender and, as such, was suspended for nine games.

In 1970-71, F Blaine Stoughton of the Flin Flon Bombers was involved in a high-sticking incident in a game with the Medicine Hat Tigers. He later was suspended for 29 games.

If you included general managers and coaches, Portland’s Mike Johnston ended up sitting out 71 games in 2012-13 — 47 regular-season, 21 playoff and three Memorial Cup. The Winterhawks, with Travis Green running things in Johnston’s absence, won the WHL championship and got to the Memorial Cup final, where they lost 6-4 to the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads in Saskatoon.

On Oct. 14, 1981, Pat Ginnell, then the GM/head coach of the Medicine Hat Tigers, became involved with linesman Gary Patzer during a game in Lethbridge with the Broncos. Ginnell ended up serving a 36-game suspension. (The Canadian Press actually reported that the two “exchanged blows.”)

Ernie (Punch) McLean, the head coach of the New Westminster Bruins, sat out 25 games after that infamous 1977-78 brawl with visiting Portland.

I’m sure there have been other suspensions of some length, but those are the ones that came immediately to mind.


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THE BEDARD REPORT:

BEDARD
CONNOR BEDARD

Make it 61 goals in 50 games. . . . F Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats scored the game’s first goal, on a PP, at 3:50 of the the first period on Friday night, but his side ended up dropping a 5-5 OT decision to the Hurricanes in Lethbridge. . . . That goal was it for Bedard on this night as the Hurricanes and G Bryan Thomson kept him off the scoreboard for the remainder of the game. . . . The announced attendance was 5,378, for the Hurricanes’ second sellout this season. The other? On Feb. 3, when the Pats scored a 3-2 victory. . . . Bedard leads the WHL in goals (61), assists (64) and points (125). . . . The Pats will play in Medicine Hat tonight. . . .

Earlier Friday, Bedard, who is from North Vancouver, was honoured by BC Sport as its junior male athlete of the year for 2022. . . .

——

Meanwhile, the Medicine Hat Tigers have added F Gavin McKenna, who turned MedicineHat15 on Dec. 20, to their roster and he is expected to play tonight against Bedard and the Pats. . . . McKenna, who plays at the Southern Alberta Hockey Academy, is fresh off the Canada Winter Games, where he played for Yukon and set a tournament scoring record with 29 points in six games. . . . In 26 games with SAHA’s U18 prep team, he has 37 goals and 38 assists. . . . The first overall selection in the WHL’s 2022 draft, McKenna already has played 11 games with the Tigers. He has eight assists, four of them coming in his first game.


Smell


If the WHL playoffs started today:

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Winnipeg (1) vs. Swift Current/Calgary (8)

Red Deer (2) vs. Medicine Hat (7)

Saskatoon (3) vs. Regina (6)

Moose Jaw (4) vs. Lethbridge (5)

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle (1) vs. Kelowna (8)

Kamloops (2) vs. Vancouver (7)

Portland (3) vs. Tri-City (6)

Prince George (4) vs. Everett (5)

——

FRIDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

D Olen Zellweger scored twice to help the host Kamloops Blazers to a 6-3 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . Kamloops had beaten the Silvertips, 7-1, in Everett on Wednesday night. . . . Zellweger, who was acquired from Everett in January, leads all WHL defencemen with 27 goals. . . . F Matthew Seminoff had a goal (27) and two assists for Kamloops. His goal broke a 3-3 tie at 11:41 of the third period. . . . F Fraser Minten (29) had two goals and an assist for Kamloops, while F Jackson Berezowski (42) scored twice for Everett. . . . G Tyler Palmer made 47 saves for Everett, which was outshot 53-25. . . . Kamloops F Logan Stankoven missed his second straight game with an undisclosed injury, while F Daylan Kuefler remains sidelined. . . . Kamloops (43-11-6) has won four in a row and 16 of 17. . . . Everett (30-28-3) has lost four straight. It is tied with Tri-City for fifth in the Western Conference. . . .

In Kelowna, the Rockets erased a 3-1 third-period deficit and beat the Vancouver Giants, 4-3, in a shootout. . . . F Max Graham (10) got the Rockets to within 3-2 at 4:40 of the third period and F Andrew Cristall (35) tied it at 18:31 with G Jari Kykkanen on the bench for the extra attacker. . . . F Ty Thorpe (33) had put the visitors ahead 3-1 at 4:38 of the second period. . . . F Gabriel Szturc, the Rockets’ captain, was the first shooter in the circus and he scored the lone goal. . . . Kelowna F Carson Golder took a headshot major and game misconduct at 8:10 of the second period for a hit on F Samuel Honzek, who went straight to the dressing room and didn’t return. . . . Kelowna (24-34-3) had lost its previous three games. . . . Vancouver (24-28-8) had won its past three games. . . . The Rockets are eighth in the Western Conference, five points behind Vancouver. . . . Earlier Friday, the Rockets announced that F Logan Peskett had undergone season-ending shoulder surgery. Peskett, a 16-year-old freshman from North Vancouver, had three goals and two assists in 40 games. He was a sixth-round selection in the WHL’s 2021 draft. . . .

In Lethbridge, the Hurricanes forced OT with a late third-period goal and then got a goal from D Logan McCutcheon at 3:39 of extra time to beat the Regina Pats, 5-4. . . . McCutcheon’s winner was his third goal of the season. . . . D Joe Arntsen (7) forced OT with a goal at 17:38 of the third period. . . . G Bryan Thomson, who finished with 22 saves, stoned F Connor Bedard, who had scored his 61st goal to open the game, from in tight moments before McCutcheon won it. . . . Lethbridge (33-23-6) had lost its previous two games. It remains fifth in the Eastern Conference, six points ahead of Regna (31-26-4), which has lost three in a row (0-2-1). . . .

F Conner Roulette scored three times to lead the Saskatoon Blades to a 6-2 victory over the Raiders in Prince Albert. . . . Roulette, who has 24 goals, opened the scoring at 1:32 of the first period, pulled the Blades into a 2-2 tie at 15:35 and stretched their lead to 5-2 at 16:31 of the second. . . . F Jake Chiasson added a goal, his 20th, and two assists. . . . Saskatoon F Misha Volotovskii (4) scored in his return from a 13-game absence. . . . Roulette, now with 59 points in 54 games, has two hat tricks this season. His other career hat trick came on Oct. 5, 2019, in a 5-3 victory over Victoria in Kent, Wash. . . . Last season, Roulette had 24 goals in 65 games with Seattle; this season he has 24 in 54 games. Interestingly, he was credited with 199 shots on goal last season; this season, he has 127. . . . G Austin Elliott earned the victory with 24 saves. He is 8-0-1 in his last nine appearances, and 23-5-3, 2.07, .916 on the season. . . . Saskatoon (44-13-5) has points in 12 straight (11-0-1) and will be the third seed when the Eastern Conference playoffs begin. . . . Prince Albert (24-33-3) has lost four straight and is seven points from a playoff spot with seven games remaining. . . . These teams will meet again Sunday afternoon in Saskatoon. . . . Darren Steinke, the travellin’ blogger, was in Prince Albert last night. His piece is right here. . . .

The Calgary Hitmen forced OT with less than a second remaining in the third period and then got the winner from F Riley Fiddler-Schultz to beat the Rebels, 4-3, in Red Deer. . . . Calgary F Carter Yakemchuk forced OT when he scored his 16th goal, on a PP, with 0.6 seconds left in the third period. . . . The game’s first five goals all came in the first period. . . . F Sean Tschigerl (23) scored twice and added an assist for Calgary. . . . Fiddler-Schultz added two assists to his 28th goal. . . . F Kai Uchacz notched No. 48 for the Rebels. . . . Calgary (26-26-8) has points in three straight (2-0-1) and is tied with Swift Current for the Eastern Conference’s last playoff spot. . . . Red Deer (40-17-6) has points in four straight (2-0-2). It has clinched first place in the Central Division and will be the No. 2 seed when the first round begins. . . . The same two teams will meet up again this afternoon, this time in Calgary. . . .

The Seattle Thunderbirds scored the game’s last three goals, all in the last 8:11 of the third period, to beat the Tri-City Americans, 6-3, in Kent, Wash. . . . F Reese Belton (12) pulled the visitors into a 3-3 tie at 1:59 of the third period. . . . F Lucas Ciona (27) put Seattle back out front at 11:49 and F Jared Davidson completed a hat trick with two insurance goals, at 13:41 and 18:25, the last one into an empty net. . . . Davidson, who has 38 goals, also had an assist. . . . F Brad Lambert had a goal (13) and two assists for Seattle. . . . Seattle (49-9-3) has points in 15 straight games (14-0-1). It leads the Western Conference by nine points over Kamloops, which has eight games remaining. . . . Tri-City (28-26-7) has lost two in a row. . . .

In Spokane, the Portland Winterhawks scored the game’s last four goals to beat the Chiefs, 5-2. . . . F Cade Hayes (19) gave Spokane a 2-1 lead at 10:33 of the second period. . . . F Robbie Fromm-Delorme (30) got Portland even with his first of two goals at 16:08. . . . F Josh Zakreski (9) scored the eventual winner at 12:30. . . . The Winterhawks got 30 saves from G Jan Špunar, an 18-year-old Czechia freshman who now is 15-6-2, 2.71, .904. . . . . Portland (38-17-6) has points in three straight (2-0-1). It is a comfortable third in the Western Conference. . . . Spokane (14-39-7) won’t be in the playoffs this season. . . .

The Moose Jaw Warriors erased a 3-0 first-period deficit as they beat the host Swift Current Broncos, 4-3, in a game that featured a 12-round shootout. . . . The Warriors went into the game needing one point to clinch a playoff spot. . . . The Broncos held a 3-0 lead when F Clarke Caswell (9) scored at 17:19 of the first period. . . . The Warriors tied it on F Atley Calvert’s 36th goal at 19:36 of the second period. . . . F Josh Hoekstra won it for the Warriors in the shootout. . . . The Warriors got 40 stops from G Jackson Unger. . . . Moose Jaw (37-22-3) has won two in a row. It appears headed for a fourth-place finish in the Eastern Conference. . . . Swift Current (28-29-4) has lost three straight (0-2-1). It is tied with Calgary for the conference’s last playoff spot. . . . They Broncos and Warriors are scheduled to meet again tonight, this time in Moose Jaw. . . .

The Prince George Cougars got two goals from each of three players en route to an 8-3 victory over the Royals in Victoria. . . . The weekend doubleheader will conclude tonight in Victoria. . . . F Zac Funk (20), F Cayden Glover (5) and F Ondrej Becher (16) each scored twice. Funk also had an assist. . . . Prince George erased a 1-0 first-period deficit with three goals, the first two in the span of 46 seconds, as it took control. . . . Prince George (32-24-5) has points in four straight (3-0-1). It is fourth in the Eastern Conference, six points ahead of Everett and Tri-City. . . . Victoria (15-40-7) has lost nine in a row (0-8-1) and has been eliminated from playoff contention. . . .

F Ty Nash’s 20th goal of the season, at 3:08 of OT, gave the Winnipeg Ice a 5-4 victory over the Edmonton Ice. . . . F Zack Ostapchuk (25) scored twice for the Ice, which got a goal and two assists from F Matt Savoie (35) and three assists from F Connor McClennon. . . . F Josh Medernach (4) gave the Ice a 4-2 lead 35 seconds into the third period. . . . The Oil Kings tied it on goals from F Rilen Kovacevic (15), at 3:11, and F Mason Finley (11), at 10:08. . . . The Oil Kings lost F Dawson Seitz to a boarding major and game misconduct at 7:41 of the first period. . . . Edmonton F Treycen Wuttunee returned to the lineup for the first time since Feb. 28 when he had a fight with the 20-year-old Ostapchuk. . . . Winnipeg (51-9-1) has won three in a row. It leads the WHL in victories and points (101). . . . Edmonton (9-48-4) has points in two straight (1-0-1).


Piper


A note from Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon:

“Earlier this week, there was a headline on a report at CBSSports.com that read: ‘Katie Ledecky’s nine-year winning streak on US soil snapped by Summer McIntosh.’ . . .

“Katie Ledecky is a swimmer. She had a nine-year winning streak in US water but not on US soil.”


Nigerian


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.


Burrito

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Demek returns in Kamloops win . . . Playoff preview in Prince George? . . . Seattle really rolling now

Happy birthday to Brian Pellerin, an assistant coach with the Portland Winterhawks. He not only knows where Old Drinnan Town is, he likely has been there.


Jack Todd, in the Montreal Gazette: “It’s been 73 years since a Canadian won alpine world championships gold in the women’s slalom. Quebec City’s Laurence St-Germain did it Saturday, beating the great Mikaela Shiffrin in the process — and chances are you didn’t hear about it because our sports networks were busy fawning over Tiger Woods or the Maple Leafs.”

——

Two more notes from Todd, whose complete column is right here:

“At least it’s not hard to locate Theo Fleury. You can find him at the corner of Ignorance and Misinformation pretty much any day of the week. . . .

“We need more of Cheryl Pounder between periods on the TSN Canadiens telecasts. Pounder is superb. Unlike most broadcasters of the ‘unbelievable’ school, Pounder actually tells you things you didn’t know and avoids belabouring the obvious.”



THINKING OUT LOUD:

Might the Winnipeg Ice be forced by the WHL to vacate their home arena, which seats about 1,600, for a larger venue, perhaps in Brandon or Regina, should it make a deep playoff run? All in the interests of TV and atmosphere, of course. . . . Why are WHL pooh-bahs and the Ice owners so reluctant to sit down in front of media folks and answer a few questions? . . . If the WHL was to get a team into Penticton how great would the rivalry be between the Kelowna Rockets and the Peaches? . . . With all of these junior hockey teams wearing ‘special’ sweaters at various times during a season and then making them available at auction, I’m wondering how many are purchased by Mom and Dad? . . . Sign of the times: The Regina Pats had 20 players in uniform on Sunday afternoon with only four of them wearing sweaters with numbers below 20. . . . Just wondering but is Darryl Sutter’s best-before-date almost here with the Calgary Flames?


Fireplace



If the WHL playoffs started today:

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Winnipeg (1) vs. Medicine Hat (8)

Red Deer (2) vs. Calgary (7)

Saskatoon (3) vs. Regina (6)

Moose Jaw (4) vs. Lethbridge (5)

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle (1) vs. Kelowna (8)

Kamloops (2) vs. Vancouver (7)

Portland (3) vs. Prince George (6)

Tri-City (4) vs. Everett (5)


MONDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

F Sloan Stanick scored one of those between-the-legs goals at 1:05 of OT to give the Prince Albert Raiders a 4-3 victory over the Wheat Kings in Brandon. . . . Stanick, who has 18 goals, is from Rapid City, which is about three slap shots north of Brandon. . . . The Raiders overcame 2-0 and 3-1 deficits. . . . F Keaton Sorensen had three assists for the winners. . . . F Evan Herman (14) scored twice, the second goal pulling the Raiders into a 3-3 tie at 11:54 of the third period. Herman, a 20-year-old from The Pas, Man., was playing in his 200th regular-season game, all with the Raiders. . . . F Nolan Ritchie scored his 20th goal and added an assist for Brandon. . . . Prince Albert (23-28-3) has won four straight and is 11th in the Eastern Conference, six points from a playoff spot. . . . Brandon (22-24-8) is 10th, three points out of eighth. . . . Perry Bergson of the Brandon Sun points out that “Brandon is 0-8 in games decided in OT; this could be the first season in the Internet era (it doesn’t) win an overtime game.” . . .

The Kamloops Blazers, playing their third game in four days, unleashed a 60-shot attack in beating the Oil Kings, 7-3, in Edmonton. . . . The winners got two goals from each of F Dylan Sydor (10) and F Daylan Kuefler (30). . . . Kamloops scored the game’s last three goals. . . . D Olen Zellweger had a goal and two assists for the winners. He has nine goals and 22 assists in 16 games since being acquired from Everett. . . . F Noah Boyko (15) had two PP goals for the Oil Kings. . . . Kamloops F Logan Stankoven, who had a 35-game point streak snapped in Sunday’s 4-1 victory over the host Calgary Hitmen, was blanked for a second straight game. . . . F Jakub Demek, 19, made his Kamloops debut. He hadn’t played since undergoing shoulder surgery after he played for Slovakia in the World Junior Championship that was held in Edmonton in August. Last season, he had 54 points, including 20 goals, in 55 games with the WHL-champion Oil Kings. In trading him to Kamloops on Nov. 14, Edmonton acquired a first-round 2023 WHL draft pick that originated with Regina, a conditional 2024 second-round pick, a conditional third-rounder in 2026 and a fourth-rounder in 2026. . . . F Shea Van Olm, another player Kamloops acquired from Edmonton, was scratched after apparently being injured in Calgary. . . . Kamloops (36-10-6) has won nine in row and will finish atop the B.C. Division. . . . Edmonton (8-43-3) has lost six straight games. . . .

F Adam Kydd scored once and drew two assists to lead the host Kelowna Rockets to a 3-1 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . Kydd’s 17th goal, at 17:02 of the second period, broke a 1-1 tie and stood up as the winner. . . . D Marek Rocak, a 16-year-old freshman from Czechia, scored his first WHL goal 45 seconds later to provide insurance. He has one goal and one assist in nine games. . . . Kelowna (20-30-3) has won three in a row. It is eighth in the Western Conference, five points behind Vancouver. . . . Tri-City (26-21-7) is fourth, two points ahead of Everett. . . .

F Zac Funk scored in the seventh round of a shootout to give the Prince George Cougars a 1-0 victory over the visiting Portland Winterhawks in what may well have been a first-round playoff preview. . . . Funk was one of three skaters to score in the shootout. . . . Through OT, the Cougars got 31 saves from G Tyler Brennan, while G Dante Giannuzzi stopped 30 for Portland. This was Brennan’s first shutout this season and the sixth of his career. Giannuzzi has two this season and five in his career. . . These teams will meet in Prince George again tonight. . . . Prince George (25-23-4) had lost its previous two games. It is sixth, three points behind Everett. . . . Portland (36-13-5) has lost four in a row (0-3-1) and now trials U.S. Division-leading Seattle by nine points. . . .

F Brendan Lee’s two goals helped the Medicine Hat Tigers to a 4-1 victory over the Rebels in Red Deer. . . . Lee, who has 24 goals, gave his guys a 1-0 lead just 45 seconds into the game. He added an empty-netter at 19:02 of the third period. . . . The Tigers outshot the Rebels, 27-17, including 13-5 in the first period when they scored twice. . . . Red Deer lost D Christoffer Sedoff to a headshot major and game misconduct at 7:24 of the first period. . . . Medicine Hat (23-22-9) has points in three straight (2-0-1). It is tied with Regina and Calgary for sixth in the Eastern Conference. . . . Red Deer (37-14-4) lead the Central Division by 12 points over Lethbridge. . . .

In Regina, the Pats scored the game’s last three goals as they beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 4-2. . . . F Braxton Whitehead (8) got Regina into a 2-2 tie with a PP goal at 18:42 of the second period. . . . F Tanner Howe (26) snapped the tie just 16 seconds into the third period and F Zane Rowan (4) added insurance at 10:26. . . . D Stanislav Svozil (7) had a goal and an assist for the Pats in his 100th regular-season game. The sophomore from Czechia has 57 points in 41 games this season. In those 100 games, he has earned 98 points, including 81 helpers. . . . The announced attendance was 6,499, the fourth time in the Pats’ past five games that it has been a sellout crowd. . . . BTW, F Connor Bedard had two assists for the Pats. . . . Regina (26-24-3) is tied with Calgary and Medicine Hat for sixth in the Eastern Conference. . . . Lethbridge (30-19-6) had points in its previous four games (3-0-1). It is fifth in the conference, three points behind Moose Jaw. . . .

F Owen Pederson broke a 2-2 tie at 12:29 of the third period and the Winnipeg Ice sent on to a 4-2 victory over the host Swift Current Broncos. . . . Pederson’s PP goal stood up as the winner, and he added insurance at 19:03 with an empty-netter, his 29th goal of the season. Pederson, 20, also had an assist. He has 64 points in 50 games this season, after putting up 43 points, 17 of them goals in 50 games last season. . . . Winnipeg (44-7-1) has won seven straight games and leads the Eastern Conference by 11 points over Red Deer and Saskatoon. . . . Swift Current (25-25-3) has lost three in a row and is two points out of the playoffs. . . .

F Ty Thorpe scored had a goal and two assists as the Vancouver Giants beat the Spokane Chiefs, 4-3 in OT, in Langley, B.C. . . . Thorpe’s 28th goal won it at 4:16 of OT. . . . F Samuel Honzek, in his second game after returning from an injury suffered at the World Junior Championship, scored twice for Vancouver. He’s got 19 goals this season. . . . Honzek’s second goal, at 19:41 of the second period, gave the Giants a 3-2 lead. . . . Spokane tied it at 10:41 of the third when D Mac Gross scored his eighth goal, this one while shorthanded. . . . Vancouver (21-26-6) had lost its previous two games. It is settling into seventh in the Western Conference, now six points behind Prince George and five ahead of Kelowna. . . . Spokane (11-36-7) has lost two in a row (0-1-1). . . .

T Tomas Milic stopped 26 shots for his third shutout of the season as the Seattle Thunderbirds dumped the Royals, 7-0, in Victoria. . . . The Thunderbirds had beaten the Royals, 8-1, in Kent, Wash., on Saturday night. And they’ll meet each other again tonight in Victoria. . . . Milic has seven career shutouts in 84 appearances over parts of four seasons. This season, he is 21-3-1, 2.18, .922. . . . F Gracyn Sawchyn (17) led Seatte’s offence with two goals and an assist. . . . F Brad Lambert had two assists. He’s got 19 points, 10 of them assists, in 12 games with Seattle. . . . D Kevin Korchinski also had two assists, pushing him over the point-per-game mark for his career. He now has 132 points, 121 of them assists, in 131 regular-season games. . . . F Colton Dach added a goal and an assist, and now has four points in two games since making his Seattle debut on Saturday. . . . F Jared Davidson scored his 32nd goal as he reached the 200-point mark, including 93 goals, in his 243rd regular-season game over five seasons. . . . Seattle (42-9-2) has won seven in a row and is pulling away atop the Western Conference. . . . Victoria (15-35-6) has lost three straight and now is seven points from a playoff spot.


Memories are made of this . . .


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.


Password

Another WHL trade deadline here and gone . . . Seattle gets golden boy’s rights . . . Blades grab Chiasson


The WHL’s trade deadline arrived on Tuesday. Here are the trade numbers since Oct. 25:

No. of trades — 48.

No. of players traded — 83.

No. of WHL draft picks traded — 81.

No. of WHL conditional draft picks traded — 29.

Teams involved in trades — 11: Edmonton; 6: Everett, Kamloops, Kelowna, Seattle, Victoria, Winnipeg; 5: Brandon, Lethbridge, Prince George, Regina, Tri-City; 4: Portland, Prince Albert; 3: Red Deer, Spokane, Swift Current; 2: Moose Jaw; Saskatoon, Vancouver; 1: Calgary; 0: Medicine Hat.

Why did I start with Oct. 25? Because that was the day that the Seattle Thunderbirds acquired D Luke Prokop from the Edmonton Oil Kings, signalling to me that the countdown to deadline day had started.


Late Tuesday afternoon, just before the trade deadline whizzed past, the Edmonton Oil Kings announced that they had acquired the rights to F Koji SeattleGibson, 15, six conditional WHL draft picks and a fourth-round pick in the 2004 draft from the Seattle Thunderbirds for the rights to F Dylan Guenther, 19, the rights to F Jordan Ramsay, who will turn 16 on Jan. 24, and a 2023 eighth-round pick. . . . The conditional picks — a second in 2023, sixth in 2024, fourth in 2025, and first, fourth and fifth in 2026 — all hinge on the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes assigning Guenther to Seattle. . . . Guenther, a first-round pick by the Coyotes in the NHL’s 2021 draft, has three goals and eight assists in 22 games with Arizona this season. . . . He scored the OT goal on Thursday as Team Canada beat Czechia, 3-2, in the World Junior Championship final in Halifax. . . . The Oil Kings selected Guenther with the first overall pick of the WHL’s 2018 draft. He helped the Oil Kings to the WHL championship last season as they beat the Thunderbirds in the championship final. . . .

Gibson, from North Vancouver, plays for the U18 prep team at the Burnaby Winter Club. Seattle selected him in the fifth round of the WHL’s 2022 draft. . . . Ramsay, from Victoria, is with the U18 prep team at the Pacific Coast Academy. He was an eighth-round pick by the Oil Kings in the 2022 draft.


The Saskatoon Blades, perhaps the most under-appreciated team in all of the SaskatoonCHL at the moment, acquired F Jake Chiasson, 19, from the Brandon Wheat Kings for a first-round WHL draft pick in 2023, a second-rounder in 2025 and a conditional second in 2026. . . . Chiasson, from Abbotsford, B.C., was a fourth-round pick of the Edmonton Oilers in the NHL’s 2021 draft. The Wheat Kings selected him in the first round of the WHL’s 2018 draft. . . . He was in his fourth season with Brandon, having put up 30 goals and 41 assists in 141 regular-season games. . . . This season, he has 10 goals and 18 assists in 37 games. . . . From the Saskatoon news release: “Chiasson made international news earlier this winter as he and three teammates, who were driving over a bridge in Brandon, helped save the life of a distressed man.” . . . The 2023 first-round pick was Saskatoon’s and not the one the Blades acquired from Seattle in the deal that had F Brad Lambert’s rights move to the Thunderbirds. . . .

The Blades (26-6-3) are rather quietly putting together a solid season. In fact, their points percentage of .786 trails only the Winnipeg Ice (.853) and Seattle Thunderbirds (.806). . . . BTW, the Thunderbirds and Ice are to meet tonight (Wednesday) in Winnipeg.

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In a second deal, Brandon acquired F Dawson Pasternak, 19, and a conditional fourth-round pick in an undisclosed WHL draft from the Portland Winterhawks for the rights to F Colin Frank, a sixth-rounder in 2025 and a second in 2026. . . . Pasternak, from Winnipeg, was a fourth-round pick in the WHL’s 2018 draft. This season, he has 17 points, five of them goals, in 28 games. Last season, as a freshman, he had five goals and nine assists in 34 games. . . . Pasternak had an assist on Brandon’s first goal Tuesday night as the Wheat Kings beat the visiting Thunderbirds, 4-2. . . . Frank, from Ladera Ranch, Calif., will turn 17 on March 3. He was taken by Brandon in the 2021 U.S. prospects draft. He plays for the U16 AAA Anaheim Jr. Ducks and has 34 goals and 39 assists in 45 games.

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In a third deal, the Wheat Kings acquired F Nolan Flamand, who will turn 19 on Thursday, from the Kelowna Rockets for F Trae Johnson, 17, and two picks — a third-rounder in the 2023 WHL draft and a fifth in 2024. . . . Flamand, from Saskatoon, had four goals and 12 assists in 35 games with Kelowna this season. He was a second-round pick by Kelowna in the 2019 draft. . . . Johnson, from Martensville, Sask., had two goals and four assists in 37 games with Brandon this season. He was a second-round pick in the 2020 draft.


Just before the deadline, the Winterhawks acquired the rights to F Ozzy PortlandWiesblatt, 20, from the Prince Albert Raiders for three conditional draft picks — a first in 2025 and two seconds in 2026. . . . The picks — one of the second-round picks was acquired from Brandon earlier on Tuesday —  are conditional on Wiesblatt being assigned to Portland by the NHL’s San Jose Sharks. . . . Wiesblatt, a first-round pick by the Sharks in 2020, is with the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda with whom he has a goal and four assists in 17 games. . . . Prince Albert picked him in the second round of the WHL’s 2017 draft. He put up 179 points, including 58 goals, in 195 regular-season games with the Raiders. . . .

The Winterhawks also dealt G Donavan Bodnar and a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2024 WHL draft to the Everett Silvertips for a fourth-rounder in 2024. . . . Bodnar, from West St. Paul, Man., won’t turn 18 until Nov. 22. He was a seventh-round pick by Portland in the 2020 draft. . . . Bodnar now is playing for the Seven Oaks Raiders in the Winnipeg-based Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League. . . . Earlier this season, the Portage Terriers acquired Bodnar’s rights from the Selkirk Steelers for D Jacob Ziegler, 18. . . .

In another move, the Winterhawks traded D Nicholas Andrusiak, 18, to the Red Deer Rebels for a seventh-round pick in the 2024 WHL draft. . . . Andrusiak, from Tisdale, Sask., is with the SJHL’s Melville Millionaires, and has two goals and an assist in 20 games. He got into two games with Portland early this season.


The Prince George Cougars announced their presence on Deadline Day by PrinceGeorgeacquiring F Zac Funk, 19, from the Calgary Hitmen for F Carter MacAdams, 18, and three WHL draft picks — second-rounders in 2023 and 2024, and a fourth in 2024. . . . Funk, from Coldstream, B.C., had 13 goals and 19 assists in 33 games with the Hitmen this season. In 129 career games, he has 78 points, 39 of them goals. . . . He was a second-round pick by Calgary in the 2018 draft. . . . MacAdams, from South Surrey, B.C., was picked by the Cougars in the fourth round of the 2019 WHL draft. He has 18 goals and 30 assists in 117 regular-season games over three seasons with Prince George. This season, he has six goals and 15 assists in 36 games.


The Lethbridge Hurricanes reacquired G Jared Picklyk, 19, from the Tri-City Americans for a 10th-round pick in the WHL’s 2025 draft. The Hurricanes had traded him to the Americans for a 2024 sixth-round pick on Nov. 17, but he got into only two games with Tri-City. . . . Before that deal, he was 4-5-0, 3.50, .877 with Lethbridge this season. . . . Picklyk, from Kelowna, will report to the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos.


The Kelowna Rockets acquired D Landon Cowper, 16, from the Prince Albert Raiders for a conditional fifth-round pick in the WHL’s 2025 draft. Cowper, from Whitehorse, was a fourth-round pick by the Raiders in the 2021 draft. . . . He is playing for the U18 team at the RINK Hockey Academy in Kelowna, and has one goal and 15 assists in 18 games.


The Kamloops Blazers picked up the rights to D Daylan Weigel, 19, from the KamloopsSwift Current Broncos for a ninth-round pick in the WHL’s 2026 draft. Weigel, from Warman, Sask., is with the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos and, according to the Blazers, “will remain with the Broncos for the 2022-23 season and become an affiliate player.” . . . He has six goals and 18 assists in 31 games with Humboldt this season. . . . Weigel has played in 25 WHL games — one with the Regina Pats and 24 with Swift Current. He has six assists in those games. . . . Regina picked him in the sixth round of the WHL’s 2018 draft.


The Vancouver Giants have acquired the rights to D Ben Feenan, 18, from the Tri-City Americans for a seventh-round pick in the 2026 WHL draft. . . . Feenan, a sixth-round pick by the Americans in the 2019 draft, is from Surrey, B.C. He had three assists in 22 games this season when he left the team and joined the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs.


In the final trade before the deadline, announced more than three hours after it Reginahad passed, the Regina Pats acquired F Steel Quiring, 19, from the Everett Silvertips for a fourth-round pick in the WHL’s 2026 draft. Quiring, from Vernon, B.C., had three goals and three assists in 30 games with Everett. He also has played for the Kelowna Rockets and Calgary Hitmen. The Silvertips acquired him from the Hitmen on Sept. 30. . . . The Rockets selected him in the fifth round of the 2018 draft. . . . Alan Caldwell (@smallatlarge) pointed out on Twitter that “the Pats are Quiring’s 4th WHL team in the last  year and five days.”



JUNIOR JOTTINGS: The Edmonton Oil Kings have claimed F Loick Daigle, 20, off CHL waivers from the QMJHL’s Shawinigan Cataractes. In 108 QMJHL regular-season games, he has 24 goals and 26 assists. . . . F Brad Lambert wasn’t in Seattle’s lineup on Tuesday night in Brandon, nor was F Chaz Lucius with Portland in Prince Albert. . . . The junior B Nelson Leafs of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League announced Tuesday that Briar McNaney has signed on as their interim head coach. . . . The AJHL’s Drayton Valley Thunder have announced that Sean Brown, its general manager and head coach, has stepped down for “family reasons.” Corey Bricknell, who had been assistant GM and associate coach, has stepped in as interim GM/head coach. The Thunder (11-27-2) is eighth in the eight-team North Division.


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

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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

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Or, for more information, visit right here.


Phone

Storm wins KIJHL’s long game . . . Heidt sparks Cougars in front of large crowd . . . Big crowd in Saskatoon for Blades victory . . . Hitmen run winning streak to seven

Mask


KamStormnewThe junior B Kamloops Storm scored twice in the shootout to defeat the Columbia Valley Rockies, 5-4, in a Kootenay International Junior Hockey League game that began on Friday night and finished Sunday afternoon in Invermere, B.C. . . . The Storm and Rockies were tied, 1-1, with 1:05 left in the third period on Friday when an ammonia alarm sounded in the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena. . . . They weren’t able to finish the game that night. With both teams scheduled to play Saturday, the KIJHL chose to have the Storm, which travelled to Creston and beat the Thunder Cats, 5-4 in OT, return to Invermere to finish up on Sunday. . . . Repairs were made to the refrigeration plant in time for the Rockies to drop a 4-1 decision to the Kimberley Dynamiters on Saturday. . . . On Sunday, Kamloops got shootout goals from F Jake Phillips-Watts and F Evan Douglas, with F Keenan Ingram counting for the Rockies. . . . If you’re wondering, the KIJHL picked up any extra expenses incurred by the Storm during their extra time on the road.



SUNDAY IN THE WHL:

The host Prince George Cougars scored five first-period goals and went on to PrinceGeorgebeat the Vancouver Giants, 6-4. . . . The Cougars (10-9-0) had lost their previous two games, including a 5-4 setback at the hands of the visiting Giants on Saturday night. . . . Vancouver (7-8-4) had been 3-0-1 in its previous four games. . . . The Giants actually led this one 2-0 before it was five minutes old. But the Cougars counted five times before the first period ended, two of them from F Riley Heidt, to take control. . . . Heidt (10) completed his hat trick at 17:01 of the second period for a 6-2 lead. . . . Vancouver got a goal and an assist from F Samuel Honzek (12) in the third period to get within two. . . . The Giants, who had five shots on goal in the first period and four in the second, held a 13-0 edge in the third. . . . The announced attendance was 4,821, the Cougars’ largest home crowd this season. They announced 4,463 on Saturday. . . . Those are the two largest crowds in the CN Centre since Feb. 17, 2020, when the Cougars dropped a 4-2 decision to the Red Deer Rebels before a crowd that was announced at 5,971. . . .

The Saskatoon Blades scored the game’s first three goals en route to a 5-2 Saskatoonvictory over the visiting Regina Pats. . . . The Blades (14-4-0) have won three in a row. . . . The Pats (9-9-2) had points in three straight (2-0-1) before this one. . . . The Pats were playing their fourth game in five days and third in fewer than 48 hours. This also was the first outing in a 10-game road trip that will taken them into the B.C. Division. . . . F Jayden Wiens (5) scored two PP goals for Saskatoon. . . . F Connor Bedard ran his point streak to 19 games with a goal (18) and an assist. . . . The Pats had D Corbin Vaughan back in the lineup after he completed his second four-game suspension since Oct. 13. . . . Attendance was announced at 7,868, the largest in Saskatoon since 9,188 showed up to watch the Blades beat the Prince Albert Raiders, 3-2, on March 15, 2019. . . .

In Everett, the Calgary Hitmen scored the game’s last four goals to beat the CalgarySilvertips, 6-3. . . . Calgary (10-4-2) has won seven in a row, including the first two games of a U.S. Division tour. . . . Everett (12-6-0) had a four-game winning streak snapped. . . . Everett took a 3-2 lead into the third period. . . . F Zac Funk pulled Calgary even at 1:01, then gave his mates a 4-3 lead with his fourth goal of the season, on a PP, at 2:24. . . . D Tyson Galloway (3) scored once and added two assists for Calgary as he figured in each of the last three goals.


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Eyes


Headline at The Beaverton (@TheBeaverton) — Elon Musk suspended from Twitter for impersonating competent businessman.


CNN



Shark


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.


Fox

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