Americans add veteran forward … Blazers trim roster by one … Quite a story from Kimberley

The Brandon Wheat Kings are the next participants in the organ donor awareness program in which the WHL’s 17 Canadian teams are taking part. They will be wearing special edition Don Cherry sweaters on Friday when they entertain the Vancouver Giants. Yes, the sweaters will be auctioned off, with proceeds to the Kidney Foundation.

Here’s a look at the teams that haven’t yet had their nights: Brandon Wheat Kings, Oct. 20; Lethbridge Hurricanes, Oct. 27; Calgary Hitmen, Oct. 28; Edmonton Oil Kings and Kamloops Blazers, March 2; Medicine Hat Tigers, Prince George Cougars and Swift Current Broncos, March 3; Victoria Royals, March 9; and Kelowna Rockets, Red Deer Rebels and Saskatoon Blades, March 10.


The Tri-City Americans have added D Brett Clayton, who will turn 18 on Nov. 22, to their roster. Clayton, from Abbotsford, B.C., has played in 87 WHL regular-season games, all with the Portland Winterhawks. The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder has three goals and five assists in those 87 games. He was pointless in one game with the Winterhawks this season, but was dropped from their roster late in September. He also was dropped from Portland’s protected list, and the Americans added him. . . . The Americans are looking for some forward depth as they have some guys nicked up and may lose two forwards to the U-17 World Hockey Challenge next month.

The Americans also revealed via Twitter that Olaf Kolzig, a former WHL/NHL goaltender who owns a piece of the Tri-City franchise, will help out in an assistant-coaching role for the next three games. The Americans are at home to the Kelowna Rockets tonight (Tuesday).


The Kamloops Blazers dropped veteran F Erik Miller, 18, from their roster on Monday. He is expected to join the AJHL’s Sherwood Park Crusaders. . . . Miller, who is from Sherwood Park, was a third-round pick by the Blazers in the 2014 bantam draft. . . . This season, he had one assist in seven games, but had been a healthy scratch on four occasions. In 100 regular-season games, he put up six goals and eight assists. . . . Kamloops now is carrying 24 players, including eight defencemen and 14 forwards.


D David Quenneville of the Medicine Hat Tigers picked up his 100th career assist recently; actually, he now has 103 assists. In 187 regular-season games, he has put up 148 points. He and his brothers, John and Peter, both of whom now are playing professionally, have combined for 471 points. . . . Having seen that in a tweet from Perry Bergson of the Brandon Sun, I got to wondering how many points the six Sutter brothers — Darryl, Brian, Brent, Duane, Rich and Ron — put up in their WHL careers. The answer is an even 1,000, including 457 goals, in a combined 775 regular-season games.


The Edmonton Oil Kings revealed via Twitter on Monday afternoon that F Tyson Gruninger “is no longer with the team and has decided to pursue other hockey opportunities.” . . . Gruninger, 19, is from Drayton Valley, Alta. He had 10 goals and 12 assists in 119 regular-season games, all with the Oil Kings. He had one assist in eight games this season. Last season, he had three goals and five assists in 34 games.


The Victoria Royals have signed F Alex Bolshakov, 15, to a WHL contract. From Auburn, Wash., Bolshakov was an undrafted free agent. Last season, Bolshakov had 36 goals and 16 assists in 36 games with the Seattle Sno-Kings U-14 Junior Thunderbirds of the Pacific Coast Bantam Hockey League. This season, he is playing for the Everett Jr. Silvertips Elite U-16s in the North American Prospect Hockey League.


Neate Sager, a veteran junior hockey observer, has been writing a weekly CHL notebook for sportsnet.ca. This week, Sager checks in with F Tyler Steenbergen of the Swift Current Broncos, who leads the WHL in goals (16) and is tied for the points lead. He and F Ty Lewis of the Brandon Wheat Kings have 25 points each. . . . There’s that and more right here.


When the Seattle Thunderbirds beat the visiting Vancouver Giants a week ago, Dan and Lindsey Leckelt were in the ShoWare Center in Kent, Wash., and they were more than interested spectators. They are the new owners of the Thunderbirds, the reigning WHL champions. . . . Andy Eide of 710 ESPN Seattle chatted with them and his story is right here.


Ken Dryden’s latest book — Game Change: The Life and Death of Steve Montador and the Future of Hockey — is scheduled to hit book stores today. Bob McKenzie, TSN Hockey Insider, has read the book and offers up a review right here. . . . However, McKenzie offers up a whole lot more, explaining how he once was a loud voice for the “anti-concussion, anti-head hit bandwagon in hockey,” and how he basically became battle-fatigued. . . . This is good stuff, some real inside stuff from the original Insider.


There were about 700 fans in the Kimberley Civic Centre on Friday night. They were there to watch the junior B Dynamiters face the Grand Forks Border Bruins in a Kootenay International Junior Hockey League game. They got the game and a whole lot more. Prior to the game, Mike Gould, who was born in Cranbrook and raised in Kimberley, pledged $7.5 million to minor hockey in Kimberley, including the Dynamiters. The 38-year-old Gould told The Canadian Press that he won a EuroMillions lottery in 2008, although he wouldn’t say how much he won. These days, he works at investing his money. . . . The CP story is right here.

Carolyn Grant of the Kimberley Bulletin has a story right here that was filed on Saturday morning.

Josh Lockhart, who blogs about the Dynamiters, posted this piece right here.


I haven’t had a favourite NBA team in recent years, but that has changed over the last while. Yes, I have become a fan of the San Antonio Spurs. More accurately, I have become a big fan of Gregg Popovich, their head coach, and it isn’t because of his first name. . . . It’s because Popovich does things like this right here.


If you like what you see here, or even if you don’t, you may want to consider donating to the cause. Should you choose to help out, simply click on the DONATE button in the upper right corner of this page and away you go. Thank you!


MONDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


TUESDAY (all times local):

Moose Jaw vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

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


If you would like to contact Taking Note with information, have a question or just feel like commenting on something, feel free to send an email to greggdrinnan@gmail.com. I’m also on Twitter (@gdrinnan).


Mondays with Murray: It Could Happen Only in Hollywood

OCTOBER 16, 1988, SPORTS

Copyright 1988/THE TIMES MIRROR COMPANY

JIM MURRAY

It Could Happen Only in Hollywood

   Well, you can believe that if you want to.

   As for me, I know a Warner Bros. movie when I see one. I’ve been around this town long enough to spot a hokey movie script.

   I mean, this is Rambo IV, right? That was Sylvester Stallone who came out of the dugout in the ninth inning of Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. That wasn’t a real player?

   Believe this one and you’ll think Superman is a documentary.

   The country is never going to buy it. This is the thing Hollywood does best. But it never happens in real life. In real life, the hero pops up in this situation. In an Italian movie, he dies. He doesn’t hit a last-minute home run with two outs and two strikes and the best relief pitcher in baseball throwing. This is John Wayne saving the fort stuff. Errol Flynn taking the Burma Road.

  A guy who can hardly walk hits a ball where he doesn’t have to. A few minutes before, he’s sitting in a tub of ice like a broken-down racehorse.

   Kirk Gibson is the biggest bargain since Alaska. He should be on crutches — or at least a cane. He wasn’t even introduced to the World Series crowd in the pre-game ceremonies. He wasn’t even in the dugout till the game got dramatic. Some people were surprised he was in uniform.

Some were surprised he was upright.

   The odds against his hitting a home run in this situation were about the odds of winning a lottery. The manager was just milking the situation, trying to keep the crowd from walking out early. No one seriously expected a guy with two unhinged knees to get a hit, never mind the hit.

   Here was the situation: The Oakland Athletics, who are less a team than a packet of mastodons, baseball’s answer to a massed artillery attack, had the game all but won, ahead by one with two out, one on.

   Somehow, a quartet of Dodgers pitchers had held this mass of muscle to four measly runs. The Dodgers had somehow pasted together three. They got two of them when Mickey (Himself) Hatcher, who may be himself a figment of the sound stages, hit his second home run of the year.

   Oakland got back four when Jose Canseco hit his 46th homer of the year.

   So, the score was 4-3, favor of Oakland. Two were out, the crowd was streaming out, the traffic jam was starting, when pinch-hitter Mike Davis drew a walk.

   Out of the dugout came Our Hero. Tom Mix, Frank Merriwell, the Gipper never had a better part.

   The wonder was, they didn’t have to carry him up there. There should have been a star in the East or lightning playing around his forehead the way this postseason has been going for Kirk Gibson. He had posted the most devastating .154 average in the history of playoffs (his slugging average is .800) this fall. Every hit he gets wins a game. Three out of three of them have been home runs.

   A World Series crowd doesn’t know much about baseball. But a Hollywood crowd knows all about happy endings. They know an MGM finish when they scent one, too. They began to holler and scream.

   You wanted to say, “OK, nice touch,” to the manager, Tommy Lasorda, but you wanted to tell the crowd, “Grow up! This isn’t Disneyland.”

   On the mound, Oakland pitcher Dennis Eckersley didn’t believe in fairy tales or Horatio Alger Jr. dime novel plots, either. Neither did Oakland Manager Tony La Russa.

   If they did, they would have walked Kirk Gibson. Even when the count went to 3 and 2, they were putting their money on logic, reason, percentages.

   Hah!

   Eckersley threw a here-hit-this! pitch.

   If you saw Sands of Iwo Jima, Hondo or even Singing In the Rain, you know what happened. When last seen the ball was headed to the moon.

   Fadeout. Up the music. Roll the credits. The guys in the white hats win again. The big bad rustlers from Oakland, the hit men, the seat-breakers, had to stand there helplessly while the good guys won again.

   It had everything but a schoolmarm and a dog. Or Gibson riding slowly off into the sunset.

   You knew it would happen. A movie is nine reels of disaster and calamity befalling the star. But the last act finds him getting fanned into consciousness by his horse and led by Rin Tin Tin to where the outlaw has his fiancee and he rescues her in the nick of time, the ninth inning, so to speak.

    It’s the way we do things here in Hollywood. You have to figure that’s what happened. Somewhere out there, the screenwriter in the sky brought in this ending where the hero takes a called Strike 3 while everybody cries. Or he pops up to the pitcher. But somewhere out there, C.B. or L.B. takes a disgusted look and says, “You call this a picture! What’s this dreck! Take it back and write me something for Doug Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, something that’ll sell in Dubuque. When I want a three-handkerchief picture I’ll remake Camille.”

   Well, look at it this way: You got a better explanation for what happened at Dodger Stadium on Saturday night? You believe it, do you?!

   Nah!! 

Reprinted with permission by the Los Angeles Times.

Jim Murray Memorial Foundation, P.O. Box 60753, Pasadena, CA 91116

—————

What is the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation? 

  The Jim Murray Memorial Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, established in 1999 to perpetuate the Jim Murray legacy, and his love for and dedication to his extraordinary career in journalism. Since 1999, JMMF has granted 104 $5,000 scholarships to outstanding journalism students. Success of the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation’s efforts depends heavily on the contributions from generous individuals, organizations, corporations, and volunteers who align themselves with the mission and values of the JMMF.

Like us on Facebook, and visit the JMMF website, www.jimmurrayfoundation.org

Wheat Kings, Winterhawks keep on winning … Tri-City d-man day-to-day … Pats win in OT


F Mason Wilgosh (Tri-City, 2007-12) has signed a one-year contract with Corona Brașov (Romania, Erste Liga). Last season, as an alternate captain with the Edinburgh Capitals (Scotland, UK Elite), he had 11 goals and 24 assists in 52 games. Wilgosh was with the Florida Everblades (ECHL) but was released on Oct. 9, before the start of the regular season. He had been pointless in one exhibition game.


D Keoni Texeira of the Portland Winterhawks was handed a two-game suspension on Sunday for a hit on F Kole Lind of the visiting Kelowna Rockets on Saturday night. You are able to see the hit in the above tweet.

Andy Kemper, the Winterhawks’ play-by-play voice, tweeted that the suspension would end Texeira’s consecutive games played streak at 220, 20 games short of the franchise record held by D Troy Rutkowski.

Regan Bartel, the veteran radio voice of the Rockets, was at Saturday’s game — of course he was — and offered up this on his blog at reganbartel.blogspot.com:

“Here is my (opinion) on the Keoni Texeira hit on Kole Lind. It can’t happen. Now that we have more information than ever before on what hits to the head can do, hockey must make changes to the way it is played.

“Indeed it has. We are a gentler game, built more on speed. The way the game is officiated has made it better and, more importantly, safer.

“My belief is Texeira can’t step up and make that hit on Lind, like (Kelowna defenceman) James Hilsendager can’t make contact the way he did against Prince George Cougars forward Kody McDonald last weekend.

“Trust me, I love open ice hits. I am somewhat old school in my approach to the game, but WHL defencemen, specifically, need to learn that even though an opponent is vulnerable that hit can’t be made with the likelihood of it being a check to the head.

“In the old days, it was ‘tough titty’ if you had your head down. Those days are over.”

Bartel is exactly right. Sorry, dinosaurs, but the days of defencemen lurking near their blueline, then stepping into the neutral zone and drilling an unsuspecting forward are over, even if there isn’t contact with the head.

Those defencemen need to remember, though, that it’s OK to drop the gloves and pop the opposing forward a few times in the head.


D Juuso Valimaki of the Tri-City Americans was scratched from Saturday’s game, a 5-2 come-from-behind victory over the host Spokane Chiefs in which the visitors scored five third-period goals. . . . It turns out that Valimaki was ill and is being listed as day-to-day. . . . The Americans next play Tuesday when they entertain the Kelowna Rockets. . . . The Americans completed a five-game road swing with the victory in Spokane. Tri-City went 3-2-0 on the swing.


The Prince George Cougars, who were swept by the visiting Kamloops Blazers in a weekend series, will play their next seven games on the road. . . . The Cougars (3-5-2) dropped a pair of 4-1 decisions to the Blazers, who headed north having lost their first nine games this season. . . . The Cougars will make stops in Edmonton, Red Deer, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Portland and Everett on this trip. . . . Prince George next plays at home on Nov. 10 and 11 when the Everett Silvertips stop in for a doubleheader.


Regan Bartel, the aforementioned radio voice of the Kelowna Rockets, spent part of his weekend in Portland, where Danny Flynn is on the Winterhawks’ coaching staff. Bartel found time in his no doubt hectic schedule to interview Flynn, who is a veteran major junior coach with experience in the OHL and QMJHL. This is a solid five minutes. For example, I wasn’t aware until listening to this interview that QMJHL teams are permitted to fly in the playoffs.


D Shane Collins, 20, was waived by the Prince George Cougars, picked up by the OHL’s Barrie Colts and traded to the London Knights. He made his London debut against the host Windsor Spitfires on Thursday. . . . What did he think of his first look at the OHL from ice level. “I think there’s a little more open ice here,” Collins told Ryan Pyette of the London Free Press. “A second more to make a play than the chip-and-chase, rigid hockey you see out West. Here, it’s pretty fun.”


If you like what you see here, you may want to consider donating to the cause. Should you choose to help out, simply click on the DONATE button in the upper right corner of this page and away you go. Thank you!


SUNDAY:

At Brandon, F Schael Higson scored at 1:32 of OT to give the Wheat Kings a 6-5 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . With the Swift Current Broncos’ winning streak having ended at eight games on Saturday night, the Wheat Kings (7-2-1) are the hottest thing on the Prairies — this was their sixth straight victory. . . . The Wheat Kings had beaten the visiting Raiders 5-2 on Saturday night. . . . The Raiders (3-4-2), who lost 2-1 in OT to the visiting Regina Pats on Friday night, were playing their third game in fewer than 48 hours. . . . On Sunday, the Wheat Kings overcame 4-2 and 5-3 deficits as they scored the game’s last three goals. . . . F Sean Montgomery gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead just 50 seconds after the opening faceoff. . . . Brandon took a 2-1 lead with PP goals from F Tanner Kaspick (3), at 11:05, and D Kale Clague (7), at 15:50. . . . F Cole Fonstad got the Raiders into a tie at 17:11. . . . Montgomery (3), at 0:49 of the second period, and F Curtis Miske (2), on a PP, at 3:25 of the third gave the visitors a 4-2 edge. . . . Brandon F Ben McCartney (1) cut into that at 3:41, but Fonstad (5) got it back at 10:45. . . . Brandon F Gunnar Wegleitner (6) scored at 11:57 and F Ty Lewis tied it, on a PP, at 14:35. . . . Higson won it with his first goal of the season. . . . Wegleitner went into this season with one goal in 55 games — 43 with the Everett Silvertips and 12 with the Victoria Royals. Now he has one goal in each of his past six games. . . . Brandon got three assists from F Stelio Mattheos, two from Lewis and one each from Clague, Kaspick and Wegleitner. . . . D Max Martin earned two assists for the Raiders, with Miske and Fonstad each getting one. . . . Brandon was 3-6 on the PP; Prince Albert was 1-5. . . . The Wheat Kings got 20 stops from G Dylan Myskiw, while Prince Albert’s Curtis Meger blocked 25. . . . Announced attendance: 3,222.


At Calgary, the Lethbridge Hurricanes scored the game’s last three goals and beat the Hitmen, 3-1. . . . The Hurricanes (4-4-0) had lost their previous two games. . . . The Hitmen (3-6-1) had won their previous two games, both on the road. . . . Calgary took a 1-0 lead when F Jakob Stukel (6) scored at 3:22 of the first period. . . . F Giorgio Estephan (4) tied it, on a PP, at 7:08 of the second period, and F Jordy Bellerive (4) gave the visitors the lead, on another PP, at 8:17 of the third. . . . F Zane Franklin (2) iced it with the empty-netter at 18:47. . . . Bellerive and Estephan added an assist each. . . . Lethbridge was 2-7 on the PP; Calgary was 0-4. . . . G Stuart Skinner made 30 saves for the winners. . . . The Hitmen got 34 stops from G Nick Schneider. . . . Lethbridge opens a seven-game homestand on Friday with the Swift Current Broncos in town. . . . Announced attendance: 5,936.


At Regina, F Emil Oksanen’s PP goal at 1:00 of OT gave the Pats a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . D Conner McDonald (2) put the visitors out front, on a PP, at 5:07 of the second period. . . . Regina F Matt Bradley (9) tied it at 16:14. . . . The Oil Kings got that one right back as F Davis Koch (5) counted at 17:12. . . . F Sam Steel (4) scored for Regina, on a PP, at 11:20 of the third period and that goal forced OT. . . . Oksanen, the WHL’s highest-scoring freshman, won it with his ninth goal. It came with the Oil Kings serving a penalty for too many men. . . . D Josh Mahura had three assists for the Pats and Bradley had two. Steel added one to his goal. . . . Bradley is riding a 10-game point streak. . . . Edmonton got two assists from F Tomas Soustal. . . . Regina (5-4-1) was 2-4 on the PP; Edmonton (4-6-1) was 1-4. . . . G Tyler Brown stopped 24 shots to record the victory. . . . Edmonton G Boston Bilous made 27 saves. . . . Edmonton was playing its fourth road game in five nights; it went (1-2-1). . . . Regina D Liam Schioler returned after serving a two-game suspension. . . . Announced attendance: 6,484.


At Portland, F Kieffer Bellows and F Skyler McKenzie each had two goals and an assist as the Winterhawks dumped the Kelowna Rockets, 8-2. . . . It was the third game in six days for the Winterhawks (8-1-0), who have won six straight. . . . The Rockets (4-2-3) were playing their third game in fewer than 48 hours. They lost 4-3 at home to Calgary on Friday, then dropped a 5-4 OT decision in Portland on Saturday. . . . Kelowna now moves on to Kennewick, Wash., for a Tuesday night clash with the Tri-City Americans. The Rockets then return home to face the Winterhawks on Friday and Saturday nights. . . . On Sunday, the home team led 3-0 and 6-0 at the intermissions. . . . McKenzie has 10 goals now, while Bellows has six. . . . F Mason Mannek (2), F Jake Gricius (2), F Ilijah Colina (1) and F Joachim Blichfeld (3) also scored for Portland. . . . The Rockets got goals from D Gordie Ballhorn (1) and F Conner Bruggen-Cale (2). . . . F Ty Kolle had three assists for Portland and Blichfeld had one. . . . The Winterhawks were 3-5 on the PP; the Rockets were 2-8. . . . G Shane Farkas picked up the victory with 28 saves. . . . Kelowna starter Brodan Salmond surrendered three goals on 13 shots in the first period. James Porter played the last two periods, stopping 20 of 25 shots. . . . The Winterhawks were without D Keoni Texeira and D Brendan De Jong, both of whom are serving suspensions. . . . With those two out, D Nick Cicek, a 17-year-old freshman from Winnipeg, played in his first WHL game. He was a seventh-round selection in the 2015 WHL bantam draft. . . . Announced attendance: 3,024.


MONDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


TUESDAY (all times local):

Moose Jaw vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

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


If you would like to contact Taking Note with information, have a question or just feel like commenting on something, feel free to send an email to greggdrinnan@gmail.com. I’m also on Twitter (@gdrinnan).


A statistical headache, for sure … Dryden has right idea; is anyone listening? … Oil Kings end Broncos’ run


Here’s one for old friend Dan Russell.

In the waning minutes of Friday night, a news release arrived from the Victoria Royals. Part of it dealt with the team having been involved in setting a franchise record as it dropped an 8-6 decision to the Chiefs in Spokane earlier in the evening.

According to the news release, the 14 combined goals set a single-game record, breaking the previous mark of 13 from Dec. 17, 2014, when the Royals lost 7-6 in a shootout to the host Everett Silvertips.

This is just one more example of how the shootout has come to bastardize statistics.

You see, there were three goals scored in the shootout that night in Everett. So why does only one of them count? Why wasn’t Everett given credit for an 8-7 victory? After all, there were 15 goals scored. How is it that we can just completely ignore two of them?

Shouldn’t Victoria’s franchise record for combined goals in a single game be 15, which would mean Friday’s game fell one goal short?

Just thinking about all this gives me a headache.


Ken Dryden believes that he has incurred two concussions during his lifetime. He has written about that for The Globe and Mail, along with a few other concussion-related thoughts. One of those thoughts deals with eliminating concussions by getting rid of headshots.

Dryden hits the nail on the head with a sledge hammer when he writes:

“Here is where we start. Here is where we focus. The issue isn’t whether a hit is intentional or accidental, whether a player’s head is up or down, targeted or not, whether the hit comes from a shoulder, an elbow or a fist. The brain doesn’t distinguish. It is about the hit, period. It is about the player being hit, not the hitter; the effect, not the cause.

“So, at the core of every decision made about concussions is a singular understanding: No hits to the head – no excuses.”

Please. To the people who are responsible for how the WHL game is played . . . please. You can start by no longer allowing teenagers to punch each other in the face. Please.

Dryden’s complete essay, and it’s worth the read, is right here.


If you like what you see here, you may want to consider donating to the cause. Should you choose to help out, simply click on the DONATE button in the upper right corner of this page and away you go. Thank you!


SATURDAY:

At Brandon, the Wheat Kings ran their winning streak to five games with a 5-3 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . The Wheat Kings (6-2-1) jumped out to a 3-0 first-period lead on goals from F Connor Gutenberg (3), F Ty Lewis (5) and F Evan Weinger (1) and were never headed. . . . F Jordy Stallard, who is from Brandon, scored two second-period goals for the Raiders (3-4-1), at 10:21 and 15:20. He’s got five goals. . . . F Stelio Mattheos (9), on a PP, scored for Brandon at 17:36 of the second, and F Gunnar Wegleitner (5) added more insurance at 5:00 of the third period. . . . The Raiders got their final goal from F Cole Fonstad (3) at 12:04. Fonstad also had two assists. . . . F Tanner Kaspick had three assists for Brandon, with Mattheos and Lewis adding one each. . . . Brandon was 2-2 on the PP; Prince Albert was 2-3. . . . G Logan Thompson earned the victory with 25 stops, two fewer than Curtis Meger of the Raiders. . . . The Raiders were without D Brayden Pachal, who was serving the second of a three-game suspension. . . . Announced attendance: 3,870.


At Cranbrook, B.C., the Kootenay Ice scored the game’s last three goals, all in the third period, and beat the Everett Silvertips, 5-3. . . . The Ice (3-5-1) had lost its previous four games. . . . F Jeff de Wit (3) scored the game’s first and last goals. He gave the Ice a 1-0 lead at 5:58 of the first period, then got the empty-netter at 18:59 of the third. . . . D Jake Christiansen (1) tied it for Everett, on a PP, at 16:46 of the second period. . . . F Colton Veloso (2) gave the home team a 2-1 lead at 17:28. . . . Everett took a 3-2 lead on third-period goals from F Patrick Bajkov (4), at 1:07 of the third period, and F Riley Sutter (7), at 6:59. . . . F Michael King (3) tied it at 10:51 and F Vince Loschiavo (3) broke the deadlock at 13:02. . . . Sutter added an assist to his goal. . . . Kootenay was 0-2 on the PP; Everett was 1-6. . . . Kootenay got 37 saves from G Bailey Brkin. At the other end, Dorrin Luding turned aside 27 shots. . . . The Silvertips have played 11 games this season; this was the first time that they didn’t score either one or four goals. . . . The Silvertips (4-7-0) concluded a nine-game road trip with this game. They went (3-6-0) on a swing that started with games in Kelowna, Kennewick, Wash., and Spokane, then went through the Central Division. . . . The good news is that the trip accounted for 25 per cent of Everett’s entire road schedule. . . . Announced attendance: 2,457.


At Moose Jaw, F Jayden Halbgewachs scored 52 seconds into OT as the Warriors beat the Vancouver Giants, 4-3. . . . Halbgewachs won it with his sixth goal of the season. . . . F Brett Howden drew the primary assist, his third helper of the game. He now has 200 points, including 113 assists, in 205 regular-season games. . . . F Brayden Watts, who played 97 games with Moose Jaw before being dealt to Vancouver last season, gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 1:11 of the first period. . . . The Warriors scored the next three goals. D Jett Woo (4) tied it at 12:26. . . . F Justin Almeida (5) gave the home side a 2-1 lead at 2:57 of the second and F Brayden Burke (5) stretched the lead, on a PP, at 10:24. . . . The Giants tied it before the period ended as Watts (6) counted at 12:09 and D Dylan Plouffe scored at 18:35. . . . Watts has six goals in eight games, after totalling seven in 70 last season. . . . Halbgewachs also had two assists, with Woo adding one. . . . The Giants got two assists from F Milos Roman. . . . The Warriors (7-1-0) were 1-4 on the PP; Vancouver (2-4-2) was 0-2. . . . The Giants lost 1-0 in Swift Current on Friday to open their East Division swing. . . . Moose Jaw got 23 saves from G Brody Willms, while Todd Scott blocked 28 shots at the other end. . . . The Warriors completed a seven-game homestand with the victory. They went 6-1-0. They have played only once on the road. . . . James Gallo, the radio voice of the Warriors, called his 800th WHL game. . . . Announced attendance: 3,461.


At Red Deer, F Cam Hebig broke a 1-1 tie at 11:10 of the third period and the Saskatoon Blades went on to a 4-1 victory over the Rebels. . . . F Braylon Shmyr (7) gave the Blades a 1-0 lead on a PP, at 2:51 of the first period. . . . Red Deer tied it 51 seconds into the third period when F Grayson Pawlenchuk (6) scored. . . . Hebig won it with his fifth. . . . F Chase Wouters (2) added insurance at 14:17 and D Libor Hajek (2) made it 4-1 at 18:30. . . . Saskatoon got two assists from F Bradly Goethals and one each from Hebig, Hajek and Shmyr. . . . Saskatoon (3-5-0) was 1-6 on the PP; Red Deer (5-4-0) was 0-5. . . . G Ryan Kubic stopped 27 shots for the Blades. . . . The Rebels got 34 saves from G Ethan Anders. . . . This was the start of a six-game homestand for the Rebels. . . . Announced attendance: 4,669.


At Swift Current, F Brett Kemp scored with 18.3 seconds left in the third period to give the Edmonton Oil Kings a 4-3 victory over the Broncos. . . . Kemp’s second goal of the game, and fourth of the season, ended Swift Current’s perfect start to the season. The Broncos now are 8-1-0; the Oil Kings, who score three times in the third period, are 4-6-0. . . . F Glenn Gawdin (7) gave the Broncos a 1-0 lead at 13:33 of the first period. . . . Kemp tied it with a shorthanded goal at 19:47. . . . The Broncos responded with two second period goals. F Aleksi Heponiemi (5) broke the tie at 13:03, and D Colby Sissons (4) made it 3-1, on a PP, at 18:49. . . . Edmonton F Davis Koch (4) cut the deficit to one, on a PP, at 12:54, and F Kobe Mohr (4) tied it at 15:00. . . . Kemp and Mohr each added an assist. . . . The Broncos got three assists from F Tyler Steenbergen, who leads the WHL with 16 goals. He also leads the WHL with 25 points. . . . Gawdin and Heponiemi each had an assist. . . . Edmonton was 1-3 on the PP; Swift Current was 1-4. . . . G Travis Child, who played 75 games with the Broncos before being dealt to Brandon last season, stopped 19 shots for Edmonton. . . . The Broncos got 31 stops from G Joel Hofer. . . . Announced attendance: 2,463. . . . A note from Geoffrey Brandow (@GeoffreyBrandow): When Swift Current beat the visiting Vancouver Giants 1-0 on Friday night, it was the first time the Broncos had won by that score since Oct. 11, 2010, when they beat the visiting Kootenay Ice in a shootout. The last time the Broncos won 1-0 in regulation was on Dec. 7, 2007, in Cranbrook.


At Portland, F Skyler McKenzie scored his eighth goal of the season, 24 seconds into OT to give the Winterhawks their fifth straight victory, a 5-4 triumph over the Kelowna Rockets. . . . The Winterhawks (7-1-0) got a goal and two assists from F Joachim Blichfeld, all in the first period. He had missed the previous five games with a concussion. . . . The hosts opened a 3-0 first-period lead on goals from Blichfeld (2), F Kieffer Bellows (4) and D Henri Jokiharju (4). The first two of those came via the PP. . . . The Rockets tied it with the next three goals. . . . F Carsen Twarynski scored, on a PP, at 6:21 of the second, and F Erik Gardiner (3) counted at 15:28 of the second. . . . F Kyle Topping pulled Kelowna even at 4:44 of the third period. . . . Portland went back in front at 7:44 of the third period when F Brad Ginnell (3) scored on a PP. . . . Twarynski (3) forced OT at 15:20. . . . F Cody Glass, F Alex Overhardt and Jokiharju each had two assists, with Bellows adding one. . . . The Rockets got two assists from F Dillon Dube and one each from Topping and Gardiner. . . . Portland was 3-4 on the PP; Kelowna (4-2-2) was 1-4. . . . G Cole Kehler earned the victory with 29 stops, five fewer than Kelowna’s James Porter, who made his second WHL start. . . . Regan Bartel, the radio voice of the Rockets, points out that Porter, from Bonner’s Ferry, Idaho, is the third American-born goaltender to play for Kelowna. He joins Adam Brown (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Mark Guggenberger (Richfield, Minn.) in that exclusive club. . . . Bartel also noted that the Rockets are 8-0-2 in their last 10 regular-season visits to Portland. . . . Kelowna went to OT for the third time in four games. . . . Portland D Keoni Texeira was given a headshot major and game misconduct for a hit on Kelowna F Kole Lind at 5:43 of the second period. Lind was back during the resulting PP. . . . Portland D Brendan De Jong sat out the second of a three-game suspension. . . . The Winterhawks also are without F Ryan Hughes, who had surgery to repair a broken leg after being injured on Tuesday. . . . These two teams will play in Portland again today (Sunday), then meet in Kelowna on Friday and Saturday. They will have completed their four-game season series in the span of eight nights. . . . Announced attendance: 4,647.


At Prince George, the Kamloops Blazers, who lost their first nine games this season, now are riding a two-game winning streak, having beaten the Cougars, 4-1. . . . The Blazers (2-9-0) had beaten the host Cougars 4-1 on Friday night to end their season-opening skid. . . . The Cougars now are 3-5-2. . . . F Luc Smith (2) opened the scoring for Kamloops at 1:36 of the first period. . . . D Dennis Cholowski (4) tied it, on a PP, at 14:25. . . . Kamloops broke the tie with two goals in the final 18 seconds of the second period. F Nick Chyzowski (3) scored at 19:42 and D Ondrej Vala (2) followed up with a goal at 19:57. . . . The visitors got insurance from F Connor Zary (3) at 17:42 of the third period. . . . F Jermaine Loewen had two assists for Kamloops. . . . The Cougars were 1-4 on the PP; the Blazers were 0-5. . . . G Dylan Ferguson stopped 17 shots for Kamloops, which outshot its hosts 13-1 in the second period and 8-4 in the third. . . . The Cougars got 30 saves from G Taylor Gauthier. . . . Kamloops took out veteran F Quinn Benjafield (undisclosed injury) and brought back Swiss freshman F Justin Sigrist, who was a healthy scratch on Friday. . . . Announced attendance: 2,874.


At Spokane, the Tri-City Americans erased a 2-0 deficit with five third-period goals and beat the Chiefs, 5-2. . . . F Jaret Anderson-Dolan (3) and D Filip Kral (1) scored for Spokane in the game’s first eight minutes. . . . The Americans tied it on goals from F Morgan Geekie, at 1:52 of the third period, and F Connor Bouchard (2), at 3:15. . . . Geekie (3) broke the tie at 4:44. . . . F Michael Rasmussen (4) found the range at 8:01, and F Sasha Mutual (1) rounded out the scoring at 10:29. . . . Rasmussen and F Jordan Topping each had two assists for the winners. . . . The Americans (5-4-0) were 0-4 on the PP; the Chiefs (5-5-0) were 1-3. . . . Tri-City G Beck Warm made 26 stops. . . . The Chiefs opened with Dawson Weatherill, who surrendered five goals on 25 shots in 50:29. Donovan Buskey came on in relief to stop all five shots he faced, in 9:31. . . . Rasmussen lost some blood when he was struck in the face by a deflected puck in the second period. After some medical attention and a change of sweaters, Rasmussen returned to action. . . . The Americans were without F Maxwell James, 20, who served Game 2 of a four-game suspension. With him suspended, the Americans could only dress two 20s, and they went with G Patrick Dea, who backed up, and Topping. . . . That meant Russian F Vladislav Lukin, 20, who reappeared on Tri-City’s roster on Thursday, didn’t play. . . . The Americans also scratched D Juusu Valimaki, so their only import was freshman D Roman Kalinichenko. . . . Chiefs F Rykr Cole sat out the second of a three-game suspension. . . . Announced attendance: 7,411.


At Kent, Wash., F Tyler Soy had a goal and three assists to lead the Victoria Royals to a 6-1 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Soy, 20, has four goals and nine assists in five games since returning from the AHL’s San Diego Gulls. . . . Seattle actually scored the game’s first goal last night, with F Nolan Volcan (2) finding the range at 6:17 of the first period. . . . F Matthew Phillips (9) scored the next two goals, at 11:07 and 19:33, as the Royals took a 2-1 lead. . . . Phillips has 24 points in a 10-game streak. . . . The Royals later got goals from F Jared Legien (4), F Regan Nagy (9), who also had an assist, Soy and D Jared Freadrich (2). . . . Victoria (8-1-1) was 3-8 on the PP; Seattle (4-3-1) was 0-4. . . . Victoria starter Griffen Outhouse stopped 26 of 27 shots in 51:18. Dean McNabb finished up, stopping five shots in 8:42. . . . The Thunderbirds got 24 saves from G Matt Berlin. . . . TBird Tidbits reported prior to the game that Seattle had won its last nine regular-season games with Victoria. The Royals last won on March 2, 2015. . . . Victoria D Scott Walford had one assist. He has at least an assist in five straight games. . . . Seattle D Turner Ottenbreit served Game 5 of a six-game suspension. He will miss Friday’s visit by the Moose Jaw Warriors, and will be eligible to return on Saturday in Everett. . . . Announced attendance: 4,055.


SUNDAY (all times local):

Prince Albert at Brandon, 4 p.m.

Lethbridge at Calgary, 4 p.m.

Edmonton at Regina, 4 p.m.

Kelowna at Portland, 5 p.m.


If you would like to contact Taking Note with information, have a question or just feel like commenting on something, feel free to send an email to greggdrinnan@gmail.com. I’m also on Twitter (@gdrinnan).


Import returns to Americans … Ex-Pats co-owner dies at 78 … Broncos still perfect … Blazers get victory


F Tyler Redenbach (Prince George, Swift Current, Lethbridge, 2001-05) has signed a one-year contract with Liberec (Czech Republic, Extraliga). Redenbach was released by mutual agreement by Tappara Tampere (Finland, Liiga) earlier on Friday. He had one goal in 10 games. . . . Liberec needed help at centre after what the club says is a “long-term injury” to F Mário Bližňák (Vancouver, 2005-08).


The Tri-City Americans have three imports on their roster again as F Vladislav Lukin, 20, has returned from a brief stint in the pro game.

Lukin, from Ufa, Russia, was in the Americans’ training camp, but left to join the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage. On Oct. 2, the Rampage sent him to the ECHL’s Colorado Eagles. They released him on Tuesday.

Lukin has played three seasons with the Americans. Last season, he had 26 goals and 32 assists in 63 games. In 183 career regular-season games, he has 54 goals and 64 assists.

Lukin’s return presents the Americans with some roster challenges.

As a 20-year-old and an import, he is a two-spotter.

He joins F Jordan Topping, F Maxwell James and G Patrick Dea in giving the Americans four 20-year-olds, one over the maximum allowed.

The Americans also have two other imports — veteran Finnish D Juuso Valimaki and freshman Russian D Roman Kalinichenko — so, if they keep Lukin, one of those two will have to go.

Interestingly, the Americans had another import on their roster — freshman Belarusian D Sergei Sapego — but placed him on waivers earlier in the week. He was claimed by the Prince Albert Raiders.


Ted Knight, a former co-owner of the Regina Pats, died from cancer on Friday morning. He was 78. . . . Knight, along with Huddy Bell, Bill Hicke, Jack Nicolle and Morley Gusway, purchased the Pats in 1986. They later sold the franchise in 1995, the WHL ultimately purchasing it and then selling it to Diane and Russ Parker of Calgary. . . . Knight also was the long-time president of the Regina-based Knight Automotive Group. . . . A funeral service is scheduled for Tuesday, 2 p.m., at the Centre of the Arts in Regina. . . . A complete obituary is right here.


The Kelowna Rockets have added F Kyle Crosbie, 16, to their roster, at least for the weekend. Crosbie, from Didsbury, Alta., was an eighth-round selection in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. . . . This season, he put up a goal and four assists with the EDGE School’s prep team in Calgary. Last season, he had 12 goals and 18 assists in 28 games with EDGE’s Elite 15 side.


The Edmonton Oil Kings have signed F Tyler Horstmann and F Jalen Luypen to WHL contracts. . . . Horstmann, from Richmond, B.C., was a fourth-round pick in the 2017 WHL bantam draft. This season, he has four assists in six games with the Greater Vancouver Canadians of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League. Last season, he had 16 goals and 12 assists in 30 games with the Delta Hockey Academy’s bantam prep team. . . . The Oil Kings selected Luypen, from Kelowna, in the ninth round of the 2017 bantam draft. He has three goals and three assists with the Okanagan Hockey Academy prep team in Penticton, B.C. Last season, with the OHA’s bantam prep team, he had 21 goals and 17 assists in 30 games.


Curling Canada announced Friday that the 2019 Tim Hortons Brier will be held in Brandon, running from March 2-10. That means the Wheat Kings will spend most of the 2018-19 regular-season’s final four weeks on the road.


F Austin Wong, 17, has committed to attend Harvard University and play for the Crimson. Wong, the younger brother of former Lethbridge Hurricanes star Tyler Wong, was an 11th-round pick by the Kootenay Ice in the 2015 WHL bantam draft. . . . The Ice dealt his rights to the Hurricanes on Aug. 22, getting back D Tyler Strath, 17, and a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft. . . . Austin Wong was in training camp with the Hurricanes. . . . Strath and Wong are teammates with the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers. . . . Wong, who is from Cochrane, Alta., has four goals and four assists in eight games. Strath has two assists in four games.


F Nigel Dawes is burning through the early days of the KHL regular season, running at a goal-a-game pace. Dawes, 32, has scored 18 times the season’s first 18 games. But Dawes, who is from Winnipeg and played four seasons (2001-05) with the WHL’s Kootenay Ice, won’t be playing for Canada at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. He is in his seventh season with Astana Barys and has been a citizen  of Kazakhstan for two years and doesn’t have any regrets. . . . Tim Wharnsby of cbc.ca has more right here.


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I guess it says something about the days in which we live that The Associated Press now runs a regular feature that it calls NOT REAL NEWS. . . . Makes you wonder what’s next.


FRIDAY:

In Swift Current, G Logan Flodell earned the shutout and, yes, F Tyler Steenbergen scored the goal as the Broncos beat the Vancouver Giants, 1-0. . . . The Broncos ran their record to 8-0-0; they are the only one of the WHL’s 22 teams not have been beaten in regulation time. . . . Flodell stopped 37 shots in posting his first shutout this season and the seventh of his career. He stopped 17 shots in the first period and 13 in the third. . . . Steenbergen scored his WHL-leading 16th goal at 11:54 of the second period. He has goals in seven straight games, having only not scored in the season-opener. . . . Swift Current was 0-3 on the PP; Vancouver (2-4-1) was 0-1. . . . The Giants got 30 saves from G David Tendeck. . . . The Giants opened a six-game East Division swing with this game. They’ll play tonight in Moose Jaw. . . . This was a return to Swift Current for Dean Chynoweth, the Giants’ associate coach. Chynoweth, in his first season with the Giants, spent five seasons (2004-09) with the Broncos as their general manager and head coach. . . . The Broncos are at home to the Edmonton Oil Kings tonight. . . . Announced attendance: 2,263.


At Lethbridge, the Everett Silvertips erased a 3-2 deficit with two third-period goals as they beat the Hurricanes, 4-3. . . . F Bryce Kindopp, with his second goal of the game and the season, pulled Everett into a 3-3 tie at 5:59. . . . F Riley Sutter, with his second goal of the game and sixth of the season, snapped the tie at 16:18. . . . The Hurricanes erased a 2-0 first-period deficit with three second-period PP goals. . . . Kindopp and Sutter had given Everett a 2-0 lead with goals at 0:59 and 18:44 of the first period. . . . The Hurricanes scored the only goals of the second period, with F Jordy Bellerive counting at 3:58, F Dylan Cozens (4) scoring at 15:02 and Bellerive (3) providing the 3-2 lead at 18:29. . . . The Silvertips got two assists from F Connor Dewar and one from Sutter. . . . F Giorgio Estephan drew two assists for Lethbridge, with Bellerive getting one. . . . Lethbridge was 3-5 on the PP; Everett was 0-5. . . . D Dorrin Luding stopped 29 shots to earn the victory over Stuart Skinner, who made 32 saves. . . . The Silvertips had G Blake Lyda, a 15-year-old from Edmonton backing up. Lyda was a fourth-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft and is playing for the minor midget AAA CAC Canadians in his hometown. . . . Everett scratched three goaltenders — Connor Hart (mononucleosis), Dustin Wolf (undisclosed injury) and Kyle Dumba, who has been released. Dumba, 19, was released earlier in the month by the Kamloops Blazers, then added by the Silvertips after Hart was diagnosed. Dumba started Wednesday’s 4-2 loss in Medicine, but lasted only 2:02 as he surrendered two goals on three shots. . . . The Silvertips (4-6-0) snapped a three-game losing skid with the victory. . . . Everett has scored four times in seven of its 10 games; it has scored once in each of the other three games. . . . The Hurricanes slipped to 3-4-0. . . . The Silvertips wrap up a nine-game road trip tonight in Cranbrook, B.C., against the Kootenay Ice. To this point, the Silvertips are 3-5-0 on the swing. . . . Announced attendance: 3,335.


At Prince Albert, D Josh Mahura scored at 1:55 of OT as the Regina Pats beat the Raiders, 2-1. . . . That was Mahura’s third goal of the season. . . . Freshman F Emil Oksanen gave Regina a 1-0 lead with his eighth goal, at 19:01 of the second period. . . . The Raiders tied it when F Spencer Moe (2) scored at 2:18 of the third period. . . . F Matt Bradley had two assists for Regina, which now is 4-4-1. . . . The Raiders are 3-3-1. . . . The Pats were 0-4 on the PP; the Raiders were 0-3. . . . Regina G Tyler Brown stopped 25 shots, six fewer than Prince Albert’s Curtis Meger, who was making his fifth straight start. Nicholas Sanders, who has been out with an undisclosed injury, returned as the backup. Veteran G Ian Scott still is out with an undisclosed injury. . . . The Raiders have returned G Brett Balas, 16, to the midget AAA Calgary Flames. . . . D Brayden Pachal was among the Raiders’ scratches as he sat out the first of a three-game suspension. . . . Regina D Liam Schioler sat this one out as he served the second of a two-game suspension. . . . The Raiders hit the road right after the game and headed for Brandon where they will play the Wheat Kings tonight and Sunday. Yes, it’s one of those three games-in-fewer-than-48-hour weekends for Prince Albert. . . . Announced attendance: 2,008.


At Medicine Hat, the Tigers struck five times on the PP and beat the Saskatoon Blades, 5-2. . . . Tigers F Mark Rassell (9) broke a 2-2 tie at 17:37 of the second period. . . . D David Quenneville (2) had given the home boys a 1-0 lead at 6:11 of the first period. . . . Saskatoon D Jackson Caller, in his 81st WHL game, tied it with his first career goal, at 15:10. . . . The Tigers went back out front at 9:14 of the second period when F James Hamblin (1) scored. . . . The Blades tied it as F Josh Paterson (1) scored, on a PP, at 11:37. . . . Medicine Hat put it away with third-period goals from F Josh Williams (2), at 1:34, and D Kristians Rubins (1), at 6:20. . . . Quenneville also had three assists, as did D Linus Nassen, while Hamblin and Rassell each had one. . . . Medicine Hat (5-3-0) was 5-7 on the PP; Saskatoon (2-5-0) was 1-3. . . . G Jordan Hollett earned the victory with 26 saves, six fewer than Saskatoon’s Ryan Kubic. . . . The Tigers played again without F Max Gerlach (facial injuries) and F Jaeger White (undisclosed injury). . . . Among Saskatoon’s scratches were F Logan Christensen, who suffered an undisclosed injury in practice earlier in the week, and F Kirby Dach, who didn’t make the trip after taking a hit from behind in Regina on Saturday. Regina D Liam Schioler drew a two-game suspension for the hit. . . . Announced attendance: 3,301.


At Prince George, the Kamloops Blazers halted their season-opening franchise-record nine-game losing streak by beating the Cougars, 4-1. . . . The Cougars (3-4-2) scored the game’s first goal, but the Blazers (1-9-0) got the next four to win it. . . . The home team scored first with F Kody McDonald (8) getting the goal at 8:30 of the first period. . . . The Blazers took control with three PP goals. . . . F Garrett Pilon (4) was given credit for a goal that tied it at 19:17 of the first period, although that may be changed to F Connor Zary for his second goal of the season. . . . Zary gave Kamloops the lead, only its second this season, at 3:49 of the second period. . . . F Brodi Stuart (3) added insurance at 9:23 of the third period. . . . F Jermaine Loewen (1) got the empty-netter at 18:59. . . . Pilon also had two assists, while Zary added one. . . . Kamloops was 3-6 on the PP; Prince George was 0-5. . . . G Dylan Ferguson blocked 24 shots for the Blazers, while the Cougars’ Taylor Gauthier stopped 17. . . . The Blazers had Loewen (head) back in the lineup after a six-game absence. . . . Freshman F Justin Sigrist, who is from Switzerland, was among the Blazers’ scratches. He has a goal and two assists in nine games. . . . The Cougars were without injured defencemen Josh Anderson and Jonas Harkins. . . . Announced attendance: 3,374.


At Kelowna, the Calgary Hitmen got out to a 3-1 lead in the second period and hung on for a 4-3 victory over the Rockets. . . . F Mark Kastelic (2) got Calgary started at 4:36 of the first period, only to have Kelowna F Nolan Foote (2) tie it at 10:33. . . . F Hunter Campbell (2), at 11:14, and F Jakob Stukel (5), at 13:26, provided Calgary with the 3-1 lead. . . . The Rockets twice cut the deficit to one but couldn’t equalize. . . . F Kyle Topping (3) got it to 3-2 at 14:57. . . . The Hitmen got back the two-goal lead when F Cael Zimmerman, a 16-year-old from Englefeld, Sask., scored his first WHL goal at 11:49 of the third period. . . . The Rockets got back to within a goal, again, at 13:39 when F Jack Cowell (4) counted, on a PP. . . . Topping and F Kole Lind each had two assists for Kelowna. . . . Calgary (3-5-1) was 0-5 on the PP; Kelowna (4-2-1) was 1-6. . . . G Nick Schneider stopped 31 shots for the visitors, with Brodan Salmond turning aside 22 for the Rockets. . . . This was the first of four games in five nights for the Rockets, who play tonight (Saturday) and Sunday in Portland. . . . The Hitmen concluded a three-game B.C. Division road trip. They were 2-1-0, having lost 7-1 in Prince George and won 4-2 in Kamloops. . . . Announced attendance: 5,221.


At Spokane, F Jake McGrew scored three times to help the Chiefs to an 8-6 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . The Royals (7-1-1) suffered their first regulation loss of the season. . . . The Chiefs are 5-4-0. . . . McGrew, an 18-year-old from Orange, Calif., sat out all of last season with a knee injury suffered in training camp. He was selected by the San Jose Sharks in the sixth round of the NHL’s 2017 draft. . . . Last night, McGrew, who now has four goals, was playing in his fourth game. . . . The Chiefs fell behind 1-0 early in the first period, but took control with the next four scores in a six-goal first period. . . . F Regan Nagy (8), on a PP, put the Royals ahead at 4:14. . . . The Chiefs then got goals from McGrew (2), F Riley Woods (5), F Eli Zummack (3) and F Hayden Ostir (2) to take a 4-1 lead. . . . F Eric Florchuk (2) pulled the Royals to within two goals at 13:35. . . . F Jaret Anderson-Dolan (2) stretched Spokane’s lead at 3:02 of the second period, but Victoria D Chaz Reddekopp (2) got that one back at 4:11. . . . McGrew’s second goal upped the home side’s lead to 6-3 at 6:34. . . . F Matthew Phillips (7) scored for the Royals at 19:35. . . . The Chiefs iced it by taking an 8-4 lead on goals from Ostir and McGrew, at 1:43 and 3:13 of the third period. . . . Florchuk, shorthanded, and F Tyler Soy (3) closed out the scoring for Victoria at 8:15 and 15:26. . . . The Chiefs got two assists from each of F Ethan McIndoe, D Ty Smith and Anderson-Dolan, with Zummack getting one. . . . Phillips and Soy each had two assists for the Royals. Nagy had one. . . . Czech D Filip Kral picked up an assist for the Chiefs in his first WHL game. . . . Spokane was 2-6 on the PP; Victoria was 1-4. . . . G Dawson Weatherill turned aside 20 shots for the Chiefs. . . . Victoria starter Griffen Outhouse was beaten seven times on 29 shots in 41:43. Dean McNabb finished up with 10 saves on 11 shots in 16:40. . . . The Chiefs had scored 32 goals in their first eight games. . . . Spokane F Rykr Cole began serving a three-game suspension after taking a boarding major and game misconduct in Portland on Tuesday. He hit Winterhawks F Ryan Hughes, who has since undergone surgery for a broken leg. . . . Announced attendance: 4,013.


SATURDAY (all times local):

Prince Albert at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Everett vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Edmonton at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Kelowna at Portland, 6 p.m.

Kamloops at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Tri-City at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.

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


If you would like to contact Taking Note with information, have a question or just feel like commenting on something, feel free to send an email to greggdrinnan@gmail.com. I’m also on Twitter (@gdrinnan).


Scattershooting: Blazers in a hole … Portland forward has surgery … McCarty sparks Rebels

With the Kamloops Blazers at 0-7-0 and playing host to the Seattle Thunderbirds on Sunday, Earl Seitz of CFJC-TV spotted Peter Anholt, the general manager of the Lethbridge Hurricanes, in the house. Do you suppose Anholt was in Kamloops because he likes the food at Señor Froggy, or was he the first WHL vulture to start circling?


On Wednesday, as the Blazers fell to 0-9-0 with a 4-2 loss to visiting Calgary, Seitz pointed out via Twitter that “all the Calgary brass are here — VP Mike Moore, GM Jeff Chynoweth, Dir. of Player Personnel Dallas Thompson.” Were they watching their own club, or was it a case of more vultures circling Kamloops?


BTW, the announced attendance in Kamloops on Wednesday was 3,123, the fourth-smallest regular-season crowd in the history of what now is the Sandman Centre. The arena opened for the 1992-93 season.


Over the previous 11 seasons, all played under the present wild-card format, it took between 54 and 80 points to grab the Western Conference’s last playoff spot. The Blazers have 63 games remaining as they begin a doubleheader weekend against the host Prince George Cougars tonight. The good news is that Kamloops is only six points out of a playoff spot right now. The bad news is that the Blazers likely are going to have to play at least .500 hockey the rest of the way if they are to get into the playoffs.


Yes, the Chicago Cubs’ victory over the Washington Nationals last night seemingly took a week to play. But, come on . . . is there anything better in the world of sports than MLB playoffs?


ICYMI . . . the Toronto Blue Jays, who stumbled through an abysmal 2017 season, fired a reported 23 employees this week. None of the departed were players. The fired included Mike Frostad, an assistant trainer who had been in the organization for 22 years. According to Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star, the Blue Jays fired employees “from various departments on the business side.” . . . Despite not making the playoffs, the Blue Jays drew 3.2 million fans, the fifth-highest total in MLB.


Hey, Sportsnet, I think if you tried really hard you could provide us with a few more promos for your hockey (read: NHL) coverage. . . . At the same time, I must note that I haven’t seen the “mount-ayn” building couple in a while, so that’s good.


One of the things that makes the MLB playoffs so watchable, at least this month, is that the TV rights holders are satisfied with two-man telecast crews. Oh, and analysts Ron Darling and John Smoltz are terrific.


Recently, a blue-chip football recruit said he would sign with Ohio State if he got 100,000 retweets. Brad Rock of the Deseret News in Salt Lake City responded: “Remember football’s simpler days when all it took was a couple of boosters to buy a kid a car?”


Portland F Ryan Hughes will be out indefinitely after having surgery to repair what a Winterhawks insider tells Taking Note was a “broken leg.”

Hughes was injured on Tuesday night when he was hit by F Rykr Cole of the visiting Spokane Chiefs at 7:08 of the first period. You are able to watch the incident in the video that is included in the above tweet.

Cole was given a boarding major and game misconduct at the time.

On Wednesday, the WHL suspended Cole for three games.

The Winterhawks won the game, 3-0, an outcome you know they would gladly reverse if they were able to keep Hughes in their lineup.

An 18-year-old from Edmonton, the 5-foot-9 Hughes had four goals and three assists in seven games this season. Last season, he finished with 27 goals and 30 assists in 70 games. As a freshman in 2015-16, Hughes played in 71 games, scoring three times and adding 10 assists.

The Winterhawks’ next four games all are against the Kelowna Rockets — Saturday and Sunday in Portland and Oct. 20 and 21 in the Little Apple. Those teams won’t meet again in this regular season.


D Josh Anderson of the Prince George Cougars suffered a separated shoulder on Friday night during a 7-6 OT loss to the visiting Kelowna Rockets. Anderson, 19, could be out for up to eight weeks. . . . The Cougars also are without D Jonas Harkins, 16, for a couple of weeks with an undisclosed injury. . . . Because of the injuries, and the fact that they released D Shane Collins in order to get down to three 20-year-olds, the Cougars brought in D Peter Kope, 17, from the AJHL’s Camrose Kodiaks. Kope played in Tuesday’s 7-1 victory over the visiting Calgary Hitmen.


Rudy Poeschek, a former WHL and NHL enforcer, is scheduled to be back in a Kamloops court room on Dec. 7 where he will face charges of breaching probation and failing to appear. Poeschek was to have appeared on June 2 but didn’t show. A warrant was issued and later was re-arrested. . . . Poeschek, 51, played for the WHL’s Kamloops Jr. Oilers and Kamloops Blazers (1983-87) before going on to a pro career that included 364 NHL games. . . . Tim Petruk of Kamloops This Week has more on Poeschek and  his situation right here.


The OHL’s London Knights have added D Shane Collins, 20, to their roster. He was waived by the Prince George Cougars on Tuesday as each WHL team declared a maximum of three 20-year-olds. Collins was in his fourth season with the Cougars when he was waived. He actually was claimed by the OHL’s Barrie Colts, who dealt him to the Knights for a 14th-round selection in the OHL’s annual draft. . . . From Rosetown, Sask., he put up five goals and 34 assists in 186 regular-season WHL games, all with Prince George. . . . His arrival in London leaves the Knights with four 20-year-olds, so there will be another move coming there in the near future. . . . Collins made his OHL debut last night — he was minus-2 with one shot — as the Knights dropped a 3-1 decision to the host Windsor Spitfires.


Rob Daum, a former WHL coach, is back in the game having taken over as the head coach of the Iserlohn Roosters of Germany’s DEL. Daum, 59, replaces Jari Pasanen, who was fired last week. . . . Daum has coaching experience in Europe, having spent six seasons as the head coach of the Austrian club EHC Linz. He also has been on the coaching staff of the Austrian national team. . . . A native of Churchbridge, Sask., he spent six seasons as a WHL coach, two each with the Prince Albert Raiders, Swift Current Broncos and Lethbridge Hurricanes. He also spent 10 seasons as the head coach of the U of Alberta Golden Bears, then was in the Edmonton Oilers’ organization for five seasons.


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Dave Lozo of sports.vice.com was in Las Vegas for the Golden Knights’ first game. Yes, he witnessed the pregame ceremony. “But sadly,” he wrote, “doing nothing has become one of the final stages in our national ritual of grief after mass shootings. Gun violence has become so commonplace that even gestures like the one in Vegas by pro sports teams have become normal. The blueprint is always the same — tragedy, a moment of silence, a symbolic gesture, some distracting sports, and then we move on without having had any discussion about gun violence or having using the event to foster any real change when we so desperately need it. The game grabs the headlines. The tragedy recedes.” . . . Lozo, I am guessing, wrote what a lot of people have been thinking, and his piece is right here.


THURSDAY:

At Moose Jaw, G Adam Evanoff stopped 40 shots for his first WHL victory as the Warriors beat the Edmonton Oil Kings, 4-2. . . . A 17-year-old from Penticton, B.C., Evanoff, a 10th-round pick in the 2015 WHL bantam draft, played in 10 exhibition games over the past three training camps, but this was his first regular-season appearance. . . . F Noah Gregson had two goals and an assist for the winners. . . . The Warriors (6-1-0) scored the game’s first three goals. . . . Gregor, who has five goals, made it 1-0 at 10:58 of the first period. . . . D Oleg Sosunov, the 6-foot-8 Russian freshman, scored his fourth goal at 12:20 of the second period for a 2-0 edge. . . . Gregor upped it to 3-0 at 14:12. . . . The Oil Kings made it interesting on goals from F Colton Kehler (4), at 14:31 of the seocnd, and F Kobe Mohr (3), at 14:12 of the third. . . . The Warriors iced it when F Tanner Jeannot (2) scored at 17:17. . . . The Warriors got three assists from F Brayden Burke, with Jeannot getting one. . . . Kehler added an assist to his goal. . . . Moose Jaw was 0-2 on the PP; Edmonton (3-6-0) was 0-3. . . . The Oil Kings got 28 saves from G Travis Child. . . . Announced attendance: 3,028.


At Cranbrook, B.C., F Mason McCarty struck for three goals and added an assist to lead the Red Deer Rebels to a 5-4 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . McCarty, a 20-year-old from Blackie, Alta., played five games for the Rebels in 2013-14 and nine in 2014-15. He then was traded to the Saskatoon Blades, who dealt him back to Red Deer last summer. Last season, he had career highs in goals (21) and assists (16) in 45 games. . . .  McCarty started this season with goals in five straight games. He then went two games without a goal before erupting last night. . . . After five career two-goal games, this was McCarthy’s first three-goal outing. . . . The Rebels opened a 3-0 lead on a goal from F Reese Johnson (4) and two from McCarty, the first on a PP. . . . The Ice was never able to catch up. It got to within a goal when F Vince Loschiavo (2) and F Colton Veloso (1) scored in the first three minutes of the second period. . . . F Kristian Reichel (4) restored Red Deer’s two-goal lead, on a PP, at 6:35 of the third period. . . . The Ice got back to within a goal on F Alex Baer’s third of the season, at 9:09. . . . McCarty completed his hat trick at 17:51. . . . Ice F Colton Kroeker (3) closed out the scoring at 19:53. . . . F Brandon Hagel had three assists for the Rebels, and F Grayson Pawlenchuk had two. . . . Baer had one assist for the Ice. . . . Red Deer (5-3-0) was 2-3 on the PP; Kootenay (2-5-1) was 0-3. . . . G Lasse Petersen stopped 30 shots for the Rebels, five more than Kootenay’s Kurtis Chapman. . . . The Ice was without D Cale Fleury, who completed a three-game suspension, but had D Martin Bodak after an illness kept him out of two games. Loschiavo also returned. He had been a healthy scratch on Saturday when the Ice dropped a 5-2 decision to the host Swift Current Broncos. . . . Announced attendance: 2,238.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Vancouver at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Everett at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Regina at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.

Kamloops at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Calgary at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Victoria at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.


If you would like to contact Taking Note with information, have a question or just feel like commenting on something, feel free to send an email to greggdrinnan@gmail.com. I’m also on Twitter (@gdrinnan).


Americans end Royals’ run … Wheat Kings win fourth straight … Blazers’ losing skid hits nine


The Swift Current Broncos now are the WHL’s only unbeaten team. The Broncos have won their seven games of this regular season and will go after victory No. 8 when they entertain the Vancouver Giants on Friday night.

The Victoria Royals were running neck-and-neck with the Broncos until Wednesday night when they dropped a 5-4 OT decision to the visiting Tri-City Americans. One night earlier, the Royals had thumped the Americans, 8-2.

The Royals are scheduled to visit the Spokane Chiefs on Friday night and the Seattle Thunderbirds on Saturday night.

When the CHL rankings were released this week, the Royals were on the top rung, with the Broncos at No. 2.


F Zach Fischer remained on the Medicine Hat Tigers’ suspended list on Wednesday after leaving the team on Sunday.

Fischer, 20, had 34 goals and 29 assists in 62 games last season, then was selected by the Calgary Flames in the fifth round of the NHL’s 2017 draft.

On Tuesday, Shaun Clouston, the Tigers’ general manager and head coach, told reporters: “We spent a lot of time on Sunday talking with him, talking with his agent, trying to get to the bottom of it. He didn’t give us any specifics, so if there’s any specifics, it’ll have to come from Zach.”

On Wednesday, Fischer tweeted a brief statement that really didn’t shed any light on why he chose to leave Medicine Hat.

“Over the past 48 hours,” Fischer wrote, “there have been many different opinions on why I left. I want to make it clear this was a personal decision and not a reflection on the Tigers, or the coaching staff. There is no one to blame. I have my reasons for change. Medicine Hat and the fans will forever have a special place in my heart. I wish Shaun and the staff well and look forward to moving on.”


The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!! Yes, winter must be almost upon us because it’s almost time for the annual CIBC Canada-Russia series.

The touring Russian side and Team WHL will play in Moose Jaw on Nov. 6 and in Swift Current on Nov. 7. These will be the first two games in the series that also will have games played in Owen Sound (Nov. 9), Sudbury (Nov. 13), Charlottetown (Nov. 14) and Moncton (Nov. 16).

The WHL has announced the bench staffs for Team WHL and it’s no surprise that Tim Hunter of the Moose Jaw Warriors will be the head coach because he also is an assistant coach with Canada’s national junior team.

Hunter will be assisted by John Paddock, the general manager and head coach of the Regina Pats, along with Manny Viveiros, who is the director of player personnel and head coach with the Swift Current Broncos.

Swift Current’s Jamie LeBlanc will work as the head athletic therapist, with Greg Mayer of the Pats helping him. Tanner Arnold, the Warriors’ equipment manager, will fill that role with Team WHL.

The WHL news release is right here.


The 2018 U-17 World Hockey Challenge will be played in New Brunswick — in Saint John and Quispamsis — from Nov. 3-10, 2018. The tournament features three Canadian teams and five international entries. . . . The 2017 tournament is to be held in the B.C. communities of Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, Nov. 5-11.


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The WHL suspended two players for a total of seven games on Wednesday, running the October total to seven players and 19 games.

The latest players to be suspended are F Maxwell James of the Tri-City Americans and F Rykr Cole of the Spokane Chiefs.

James drew a four-game sentence after taking a headshot major and game misconduct against the host Victoria Royals on Tuesday night. James hit Victoria F Tarun Fizer, who didn’t return to the game and wasn’t in the lineup for last night’s rematch in Victoria. James began serving the suspension last night.

Cole was suspended after taking a boarding major and game misconduct for a hit on F Ryan Hughes of the Winterhawks in Portland on Tuesday night. Hughes didn’t return to the game.


WEDNESDAY:

At Brandon, the Wheat Kings ran their winning streak to four games with a 5-2 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . The Wheat Kings (5-2-1), who had beaten the host Oil Kings 7-3 on Friday night, opened up a 3-0 first-period lead en route to victory. . . . F Connor Gutenberg (2) got it started at 8:26 of the first period, with F Caiden Daley (1) upping the lead at 11:55. . . . F Stelio Mattheos (8), on a PP, made it 3-0 at 14:57. . . . The Oil Kings made things interesting with goals from D Ethan Cap (1), on a PP, at 16:32 of the first period and D Matthew Robertson (3) at 2:17 of the second. . . . Brandon D Kale Clague (6) restored the two-goal lead, on a PP, at 9:06. . . . F Gunnar Wegleitner (4) iced it by running his goal-scoring streak to four games at 11:17 of the third period. . . . Wegleitner went into this season with one goal in 55 games — 43 with the Everett Silvertips and 12 with the Victoria Royals. . . . Brandon got three assists from F Ty Lewis, with Clague and Mattheos each earning one. . . . Brandon was 2-7 on the PP; Edmonton (3-5-0) was 0-5. . . . G Logan Thompson earned the victory with 19 saves. At the other end, Josh Dechaine stopped 29 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 2,940.


At Medicine Hat, F Mark Rassell scored two goals to help the Tigers to a 5-4 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . The Tigers opened up a 2-0 lead early in the first period, then exchanged goals until time ran out. . . . D David Quenneville (1), at 1:33, and F Dawson Heathcote (1), at 2:02, staked the home side to that 2-0 edge. . . . F Matt Fonteyne (6) got the Silvertips to within one at 19:47, only to have F Tyler Preziuso (2) restore the two-goal lead just 12 seconds later. . . . Everett made it 3-2 when F Patrick Bajkov (3) scored, on a PP, at 9:58 of the second period. . . . Rassell, who has eight goals, stretched the lead again, at 12:27. . . . F Brandson Hein (1) scored for Everett at 13:50. . . . Rassell gave the Tigers a 5-3 lead, on a PP, at 4:56 of the third period. . . . D Montana Onyebuchi (1) pulled the visitors back to within a goal at 14:26. . . . The Tigers got two assists from each of F Henry Rybinski, F Ryan Chyzowski and F Gary Haden, while Quenneville had one. . . . Bajkov and Fonteyne had an assist each for the Silvertips. . . . Medicine Hat (4-3-0) was 1-3 on the PP; Everett (3-6-0) was 1-4. . . . G Michael Bullion stopped 30 shots for the winners. . . . G Kyle Dumba made his first start with Everett, but was gone after allowing two goals on three shots in 2:02. Dorring Luding finished up by stopping 28 of 31 shots in 56:45. . . . Everett has two games left in a nine-game road trip that concludes with games in Lethbridge on Friday and Cranbrook on Saturday. . . . The Silvertips are 2-5-0 on the trip. . . . The Tigers were without F Max Gerlach, who has facial injuries after being hit with a stick, and F Jaeger White (undisclosed injury). . . . D Kyle Walker, a 17-year-old from Leduc, Alta., made his Everett debut after suffering a broken collarbone during training camp. . . . Announced attendance: 3,247.


At Regina, linemates Cam Hebig and Braylon Shmyr each had four points to lead the Saskatoon Blades to a 6-4 victory over the Pats. . . . Four nights earlier, the Pats had beaten the visiting Blades, 7-3. . . . Hebig finished with two goals and two assists, while Shmyr had a goal and three assists. F Bradly Goethals, the third member of the Blades’ top line, added a goal and an assist. . . . The Blades escaped from the first period with a 4-3 lead, on goals from D Libor Hajek (1), Hebig, D Seth Bafaro (1) and Shmyr (6). . . . F Sam Steel (3), D Josh Mahura (2) and F Matt Bradley (8), who also had an assist, replied for Regina. . . . Goethals (3) gave the Blades a 5-3 at 5:03 of the second period. . . . Regina F George King (3) pulled his guys to within a goal at 17:17. . . . Saskatoon got insurance when Hebig (4) scored an empty-netter at 19:40. . . . Saskatoon (2-4-0) was 1-3 on the PP; Regina (3-4-1) was 0-2. . . . G Ryan Kubic stopped 27 shots for the Blades in his return from an undisclosed injury. With Kubic back, the Blades returned G Nolan Maier to the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers. . . . Regina starter Max Paddock allowed five goals on 14 shots in 25:03. Tyler Brown came on in relief to stop all 12 shots he faced in 33:59. . . . Announced attendance: 5,273.


At Kamloops, the Calgary Hitmen unleashed a 56-shot attack in skating to a 4-2 victory over the Blazers. . . . The Hitmen (2-5-1) ended a five-game losing skid. . . . The Blazers (0-9-0) remain the only club in the 60-team CHL without at least one point. They will visit the Prince George Cougars for games on Friday and Saturday nights. . . . F Andrew Fyten (2) gave Calgary a 1-0 lead at 3:09 of the opening period. . . . Kamloops F Luc Smith (1) tied it at 7:28 of the second period. . . . Calgary, which had lost 7-1 to the host Prince George Cougars on Tuesday night, scored the next three goals. . . . F Luke Coleman (2) counted at 7:51 of the second, with F Jakob Stukel (4) scoring at 8:59. F Hunter Campbell (1) made it 4-1 at 10:22 of the third period. . . . F Quinn Benjafield (1) scored at 14:55 to get Kamloops to within two goals. . . . F Matteo Gennaro had two assists for Calgary, with Stukel and Hunter adding one each. . . . Each team was 0-5 on the PP. . . . G Nick Schneider earned the victory with 30 saves. . . . The Blazers got 52 saves from G Dylan Ferguson. . . . The Hitmen have won eight of their last nine games against Kamloops. . . . Announced attendance: 3,123.


At Victoria, D Dylan Coghlan scored at 1:12 of OT to give the Tri-CityAmericans a 5-4 victory over the Royals in a game that featured six third-period goals. . . . Tri-City F Michael Rasmussen (3) tied the game, on a PP, at 18:57 of the third period. . . . Coghlan won it on another PP when he scored his fourth goal of the season. . . . Coghlan and F Jordan Topping had the assists on Rasmussen’s goals; Rasmussen and Topping had assists on the winner. . . . The Americans, who had lost 8-2 in Victoria one night earlier, improved to 4-4-0. . . . The Royals now are 7-0-1. . . . Coghlan had opened the scoring at 6:18 of the first period. . . . The Royals took a 2-1 lead on goals from F Matthew Phillips (6), on a PP, at 12:04 of the second period and F Regan Nagy, shorthanded, at 3:31 of the third. . . . Topping (5) tied it, on a PP, at 4:53. . . . Nagy (7), on a PP, restored Victoria’s lead at 6:54. . . . The Americans tied it when F Connor Bouchard (1) scored at 11:23, only to have Victoria go back out front at 12:26 when F Igor Martynov (4) scored. . . . F Morgan Geekie had two assists for the winners. . . . The Royals got two assists from each of F Dante Hannoun and F Tyler Soy. . . . Tri-City was 3-7 on the PP; Victoria was 2-5. . . . The Americans got 23 saves from G Beck Warm. . . . Victoria’s Griffen Outhouse stopped 41 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 4,811.


THURSDAY (all times local):

Edmonton at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Red Deer vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.


If you would like to contact Taking Note with information, have a question or just feel like commenting on something, feel free to send an email to greggdrinnan@gmail.com. I’m also on Twitter (@gdrinnan).


Teams clear up 20-year-old situations … Pats, Ice swing deal … Raiders add an import

Leland Mack, a familiar face in minor hockey circles on the Lower Mainland of B.C., also scouts for the Seattle Thunderbirds. As you can see from the above tweet, he has received his 2016-17 WHL championship ring from the Thunderbirds.

I posted a tweet here earlier showing the Pittsburgh Penguins’ scouting staff as they were presented with their 2016-17 Stanley Cup rings. Wayne Meier, who is one of Pittsburgh’s amateur scouts and who knows his way around arenas in Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest, is one of those scouts and has been with the Penguins for a few years. He was kind enough to send along a photo of his three Stanley Cup rings, which makes for a nice collection.


F Jaroslav Kristek (Tri-City, 1998-2000) has signed a one-year contract with Brest (France, Division 1). Last season, with Tychy (Poland, PHL), he had 14 goals and 15 assists in 35 games. . . .

F Tayler Thompson (Prince George, 2010-12) has been released by Brest (France, Division 1) at his request for personal reasons. He was pointless in three games. . . .

The KHL playing rights to F Vladimir Bobylyov (Vancouver, Victoria, 2014-17) have been traded by Spartak Moscow to Salavat Yulaev Ufa (both Russia) for Stepan Khripunov. Bobylyov was recalled by the Toronto Marlies (AHL) from the Orlando Solar Bears (ECHL) on Saturday. Last season, he had one goal and two assists in 20 games with Spartak Moscow (Russia, KHL); one goal and one assist in three games with Khimik Voskresensk (Russia, Vysshaya Liga); and nine goals and 27 assists in 38 games with the WHL’s Victoria Royals.


The Massey twins of Regina have their own YouTube channel and are soon to feature Les Lazaruk, the long-time radio voice of the Saskatoon Blades. In fact, the Blades are in Regina tonight (Wednesday) and at some point Lazaruk will be interviewed by the Massey brothers. . . . They are looking for audience participation and would like you to send questions for them to ask Lazaruk to questions@themasseys.ca. . . . Requests must be in by noon. . . . The YouTube channel is located right here.


The WHL’s 20-year-old deadline came and went on Tuesday afternoon, with a few teams making moves. For the uninitiated, WHL teams are permitted to keep a maximum of three 20-year-olds on their active roster.

The Portland Winterhawks got down to three 20s by trading F Evan Weinger to the Brandon Wheat Kings for a third-round selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft.

Weinger, from Los Angeles, is in his fourth WHL season. Last season, he had 20 goals and 18 assists in 62 games with Portland. In 187 career games, he has 89 points, including 37 goals. He was a 13th-round selection by the Winterhawks in the WHL’s 2012 bantam draft.

The trade leaves Portland with G Cole Kehler, D Keoni Texeira and F Alex Overhardt as its 20s.

Weinger’s acquisition leaves the Wheat Kings with four 20s, the others being G Logan Thompson, D Kade Jensen and D James Shearer. However, Shearer is on Brandon’s injury list and isn’t expected to return until perhaps late November, so the Wheat Kings won’t have to worry about getting down to three until his return.

Weinger is expected to make his Brandon debut tonight against the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings.

In Medicine Hat, the Tigers revealed that F Zach Fischer had left the club on Sunday and asked to be traded. That left them with G Michael Bullion, F Mark Rassell and Latvian D Kristians Rubins as their 20s.

Fischer, from Lloydminster, Alta., had 34 goals and 29 assists in 62 games with the Tigers last season. This season, he had one goal in three games. In 154 career games, all with Medicine Hat, he put up 47 goals and 40 assists.

“We spent a lot of time on Sunday talking with him, talking with his agent, trying to get to the bottom of it,” Shaun Clouston, the Tigers’ general manager and head coach, told reporters.“He didn’t give us any specifics, so if there’s any specifics, it’ll have to come from Zach.”

Fischer, who now is on the Tigers’ suspended list, was a fifth-round selection by the Calgary Flames in the NHL’s 2017 draft.

In Swift Current, the Broncos waived F Arthur Miller, choosing to keep G Logan Flodell, G Glenn Gawdin and F Conner Chaulk. Miller, from Regina, had two assists in two games this season. In 106 regular-season games, he had nine goals and 15 assists.

The Prince George Cougars also went into the day with four 20s. There wasn’t anything official announced, but D Shane Collins wasn’t in their lineup last night against the visiting Calgary Hitmen. So it would seem the Cougars chose to go with F Aaron Boyd, F Jared Bethune and F Brogan O’Brien.

As well, the Seattle Thunderbirds placed F Tyler Adams on their injured list. He is scheduled for hip surgery so won’t be back anytime soon. The Thunderbirds are left with F Donovan Neuls, D Turner Ottenbreit and D Austin Strand as their 20s.


The Kootenay Ice has acquired F Jeff de Wit, 19, from the Regina Pats in exchange for F Tanner Sidaway, 18, and a seventh-round selection in the 2018 bantam draft. . . . Sidaway, a sophomore from Victoria, has two goals and six assists in 65 games with the Ice last season. This season, he has a goal and an assist in five games. . . . The Pats acquired de Wit, who is from Red Deer, from the Red Deer Rebels in January. He had five goals and six assists in 37 regular-season games with the Pats. De Wit, a first-round selection by Red Deer in the 2013 bantam draft, has 20 goals and 33 assists in 211 regular-season games.


The Prince Albert Raiders have claimed D Sergei Sapego, a freshman from Vitebsk, Belarus, off waivers from the Tri-City Americans. Sapego, 18, had two assists in three games with the Americans. He played for Belarus in the 2017 IIHF U-18 World Championship in April, recording a goal and an assist in seven games. He joins veteran D Vojtech Budik, who is from Czech Republic, as the Raiders’ import players.

Having acquired Sapego, the Raiders dropped D Tyler Lowe, 17, from their roster. Lowe, who got into one game with the Raiders, is expected to join the AJHL’s Drumheller Dragons. The Raiders selected Lowe, who is from Calgary, in the third round of the 2015 bantam draft.

The Americans found themselves with three import players, one over the limit, when D Juuso Valimaki returned from the camp of the NHL’s Calgary Flames, thus the decision to place Sapego on waivers. The other import is Russian D Roman Kalinichenko, who is in his first WHL season.


Almost three weeks ago, there was talk that the Vancouver Giants would have F Tyler Benson back with them in time for their East Division road swing this season. Well, the Giants open that trip against the Swift Current Broncos on Friday and it appears they will have to wait until they get home before seeing Benson again. Benson, who has been plagued by injuries for the previous two seasons, remains with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers where he is working with their medical staff in an attempt to return from off-season surgery for a sports hernia. . . . Steve Ewen of Postmedia reports that once Benson does return to the Giants, he will practise for at least a week before getting into a game. . . . Benson, 19, has played in 63 games over the past two seasons. The Oilers selected him in the second round of the 2016 NHL draft and have signed him to a three-year entry-level contract. . . . Ewen’s complete story is right here.


Ryan Flaherty of Global TV reports that the Saskatoon Blades will be without F Logan Christensen for up to eight weeks. He suffered an undisclosed injury during a Monday practice. . . . Christensen, 18, is in his third season with the Blades. He is pointless in five games, after putting up 11 goals and 16 assists in 27 games last season.


F Elan Bar-Lev-Wise, a 16-year-old from Vancouver, B.C., has committed to play next season for the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers. He was a sixth-round pick by the Victoria Royals in the 2016 WHL bantam draft. . . . Last season, he had six goals and 10 assists in 19 games with Burnaby Winter Club’s prep team. He is captaining that team this season and has three goals and eight assists in seven games.


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The WHL handed out eight games in suspensions on Tuesday.

D Brendan de Jong of the Portland Winterhawks drew a three-game suspension for a cross-checking major and game misconduct he took on Sunday against the visiting Spokane Chiefs. He hit Chiefs D Jeff Faith, who missed some time before returning in the third period.

F Brayden Pachal of the Prince Albert Raiders was suspended for three games after taking a slashing major and game misconduct on Saturday in Medicine Hat. F Max Gerlach of the Tigers is expected to miss a game or two as he recovers from some facial damage.

D Liam Schioler of the Regina Pats will sit for two games after drawing a suspension under supplemental discipline. He delivered a hit from behind on Saskatoon F Kirby Dach in Regina at 10:46 of the first period on Saturday. Schioler was given a minor penalty at the time. Dach will miss at least three games as he won’t accompany the Blades on a three-game road trip that begins tonight in Regina.


TUESDAY:

At Red Deer, G Grayson Pawlenchuk broke a 1-1 tie at 9:21 of the second period and the Rebels went on to a 4-1 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . F Lane Zablocki (1) gave the home side a 1-0 lead at 1:27 of the first period. . . . Everett tied it when F Orrin Centazzo (2) scored at 4:16 of the second period. . . . After Pawlenchuk scored, F Kristian Reichel (3) added insurance at 18:12. . . . Red Deer F Jared Dmytriw (2) completed the scoring at 18:28 of the third period. . . . Pawlenchuk, who has five goals, also had an assist, as did Reichel and Zablocki. . . . Red Deer (4-3-0) was 1-5 on the PP; Everett (3-5-0) was 0-6. . . . The Rebels got 28 saves from G Ethan Anders, who posted his first WHL victory. Anders, 17, is from Regina. . . . Everett’s Dorrin Luding blocked 32 shots. . . . The Rebels had lost their previous three games. . . . The Silvertips are six games into a nine-game road trip. They are 2-4-0. . . . D Kevin Davis (ill) was among Everett’s scratches. He played in all 72 games last season. . . . Announced attendance: 3,977.


At Swift Current, F Tyler Steenbergen scored two more goals as the Broncos ran their season-opening record to 7-0-0 with a 6-2 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Steenbergen, who now has 15 goals, opened the scoring on a PP at 15:06 of the first period. . . . Lethbridge took a 2-1 lead on goals from F Giorgio Estephan (3), on a PP, at 17:24 of the first, and D Calen Addison (2), on another PP, at 5:46 of the second period. . . . Addison was credited with 10 shots on goal. . . . The Broncos then scored five unanswered goals. . . . F Kaden Elder (3) tied it, shorthanded, at 14:02. . . . F Riley Stotts (2) broke the tie, on a PP, at 5:48 of the third. . . . F Aleksi Heponiemi (4) added insurance at 7:38, and F Max Patterson (1) scored at 12:35. . . . Steenbergen scored an empty-netter at 19:42. . . . The Broncos got three assists from D Artyom Minulin and two from F Conner Chaulk, while Elder and Stotts each had one. . . . Swift Current was 2-9 on the PP; Lethbridge (3-3-0) was 2-7. . . . G Logan Flodell earned the victory with 45 saves. . . . Lethbridge’s Stuart Skinner stopped 28 shots. . . . The game experienced a brief delay at 1:43 of the third period due to an electrical problem in the arena. Both teams were sent to their dressing rooms at the time. . . . Announced attendance: 2,121.


At Prince George, F Kody McDonald scored three goals to help the Cougars to a 7-1 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . This was the second hat trick of McDonald’s WHL career. McDonald, who has six goals, also scored three times on Jan. 12, 2016, in a 6-2 victory over the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . After a scoreless opening period, the Cougars took a 3-0 lead on second-period goals from McDonald, at 1:08, F Vladislav Mikhalchuk (3), at 2:43, and F Jared Bethune, shorthanded, at 12:15. . . . F Matteo Gennaro (3) scored, on a PP, for Calgary at 14:37. . . . Prince George got that one back when F Josh Maser (3) scored at 19:54. . . . The home side put it away with two goals form McDonald and one from F Aaron Boyd (2) in the third period. . . . Boyd’s goal also was shorthanded. . . . Bethune added two assists to his goal and Boyd had one. . . . Prince George (3-3-2) was 1-5 on the PP; Calgary (1-5-1) was 1-4. . . . G Taylor Gauthier stopped 16 shots to earn his first victory. Gauthier, 16, is from Calgary. He was a first-round pick by the Cougars in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . Calgary starter Nick Schneider surrendered four goals on 18 shots through two periods. Matthew Armitage played the third period and stopped 13 of 16 shots. . . . There was a clash of brothers in this one as veteran F Jake Kryski, 19, of the Hitmen played against his younger brother Max, a 17-year-old freshman. Max recorded one assist, while Jake was blanked. . . . D Peter Kope was in the Cougars’ lineup after being brought in from the AJHL’s Camrose Kodiaks. The Cougars lost D Josh Anderson and D Jonas Harkins to undisclosed injuries in weekend games. . . . Announced attendance: 2,577.


At Portland, Cole Kehler, the reigning CHL goaltender of the week, stopped 43 shots as the Winterhawks beat the Spokane Chiefs, 3-0. . . . These teams met three times in five nights with the Winterhawks sweeping. They won the first two, 6-1 and 7-2. . . . F Kieffer Bellows (3) scored Portland’s first goal, at 6:40 of the first period. . . . F Alex Overhardt (3) scored while shorthanded at 11:10 of the second period. . . . F Brad Ginnell (2) closed out the scoring at 14:32 of the third period. . . . F Skyler McKenzie had two assists. . . . Portland (6-1-0) was 0-2 on the PP; Spokane (4-4-0) was 0-5. . . . Kehler has one shutout this season and three in his career. . . . The Chiefs got 37 saves from G Dawson Weatherill. . . . Spokane lost F Rykr Cole at 7:08 of the first period when he took a boarding major and game misconduct for a hit on Portland F Ryan Hughes. . . . Portland is four games into an eight-game stretch in which it played Spokane three times in five nights and Seattle once, and now will see the Kelowna Rockets four times in eight days. Yes, Portland’s next four games all are against Kelowna. . . . F Joachim Blichfeld (concussion) and D Brendan De Jong (suspended) were among Portland’s scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 2,621.


At Victoria, F Matthew Phillips and F Regan Nagy each scored twice as the Royals skated to an 8-2 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . The Royals (7-0-0) and Americans (3-4-0) are scheduled to meet again Wednesday night in Victoria. . . . The Royals led this one 3-0 before the game was seven minutes old. . . . F Ryan Peckford (7) got it started just 10 seconds after the first puck was dropped. . . . Phillips, who has five goals, made it 2-0 at 2:43, and F Jared Legien (3) scored, on a PP, at 6:40. . . . The Americans got a PP goal from F Jordan Topping (4) at 14:06. . . . However, the Royals opened the second period with two goals — from F Dino Kambeitz (2), at 7:36, and Phillips shorthanded, at 9:34 — to take control. . . . D Dylan Coghlan (2) also scored for the Americans. . . . F Tyler Soy (2) and Nagy, with two, finished Victoria’s scoring. Nagy has five goals. . . . The Americans were 2-3 on the PP; the Royals were 2-7. . . . Victoria G Griffen Outhouse stopped 18 of 20 shots in 50:51, before Dean McNabb came on for the final 9:09. He stopped all six shots he faced. . . . Tri-City starter Patrick Dea allowed seven goals on 25 shots over two periods. Beck Warm played the third, stopping 11 of 12 shots. . . . The Americans lost F Maxwell James to a headshot major and game misconduct at 10:51 of the third period. . . . Announced attendance: 4,103.


At Kent, Wash., the Seattle Thunderbirds scored twice in a shootout to beat the Vancouver Giants, 3-2. . . . F Ty Ronning, the first shooter, gave Vancouver a 1-0 lead in the shootout. Seattle tied it when F Noah Philp, its third shooter, found the mark, and won it the next round when F Zack Andrusiak scored. . . . In regulation time, F Sami Moilanen (8) gave Seattle a 1-0 lead at 1:50 of the first period. . . . Vancouver tied it at 3:47 when F Brayden Watts (4) scored. . . . The Thunderbirds went ahead 2-1 as D Austin Strand (4) counted on the PP at 12:50 of the second period. . . . The Giants tied it again, at 19:22, as F Brad Morrison (2) scored. . . . Seattle (4-2-1) was 1-5 on the PP; Vancouver (2-3-1) was 0-4. . . . G Liam Hughes blocked 33 shots for Seattle, 10 more than Vancouver’s Todd Scott. . . . Announced attendance: 4,008.


WEDNESDAY (all times local):

Edmonton at Brandon, 7 p.m.

Everett at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Regina, 7 p.m.

Calgary at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Tri-City at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.


If you would like to contact Taking Note with information, have a question or just feel like commenting on something, feel free to send an email to greggdrinnan@gmail.com. I’m also on Twitter (@gdrinnan).


Some Pats fans react to ticket prices … Wheaties complete Alberta sweep … Broncos win battle of unbeaten

Congrats to Wayne Meier, a Pittsburgh Penguins scout who has spent a lot of years in and around WHL arenas. That’s him to the right of the Stanley Cup. Congrats, too, to Colin Alexander, who spent a few years with the Seattle Thunderbirds. He is sixth from the left edge, right behind GM Jim Rutherford.


The Kamloops Blazers lost a forward and added one on Sunday morning. . . . Nic Holowko, 20, has left the Blazers in order to pursue his education at Simon Fraser U, which is located in his hometown of Burnaby, B.C. . . . Holowko had three goals and an assist in seven games this season. In 208 regular-season games, split between the Seattle Thunderbirds, Prince Albert Raiders and Kamloops, he put up 21 goals and 32 assists. . . . The Blazers acquired Holowko from the Raiders last season, for a sixth-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft. . . . Holowko’s departure leaves the Blazers with three 20-year-olds. They added D Brady Reagan on Saturday after he was waived by the Calgary Hitmen. He joined D Joe Gatenby and F Nick Chyzowski as the 20s.

Meanwhile, the Blazers acquired F Keltie Jeri-Leon, 17, from the Tri-City Americans for a seventh-round selection in the 2018 WHL bantam draft. Last season, the West Kelowna, B.C., native had two goals and an assist in 45 games as a 16-year-old with the Americans. This season, he is pointless in two games. The Americans selected him in the fifth round of the 2015 bantam draft.

The Blazers now are carrying 25 players, including eight defencemen and 15 forwards.


With the WHL’s 20-year-old deadline arriving on Tuesday, here are the teams who were carrying four as of Sunday night:

Medicine Hat Tigers — G Michael Bullion, F Zach Fischer, F Mark Rassell. D Kristians Rubins (Latvia) two-spotter.

Portland Winterhawks — G Cole Kehler, F Alex Overhardt, D Keoni Texeira, F Evan Weinger. (Weinger was scratched last night against visiting Spokane.)

Prince George Cougars — F Aaron Boyd, F Jared Bethune, D Shane Collins, F Brogan O’Brien.

Swift Current Broncos — F Conner Chaulk, G Logan Flodell, F Glenn Gawdin, F Arthur Miller. (Miller was scratched last night in Moose Jaw.)


Some notes courtesy Geoffrey Brandow (@GeoffreyBrandow) following Saturday games:

Brandon D Kade Jensen had three assists in the Wheat Kings’ 5-2 victory over the host Red Deer Rebels. Last season, he totalled four assists in 32 games with the Wheat Kings, with just one coming after Feb. 1. . . .

F Aleksi Heponiemi had a goal and three assists to help the Swift Current Broncos to a 5-2 victory over the visiting Kootenay Ice on Saturday. It was his fourth straight four-point outing. A sophomore, he d 30 goals and 73 assists in 77 regular-season games after Saturday. . . . Brandow points out that after Saturday games “there have been 542 players participate in a WHL game this season. Of those,408 (75.3 per cent) had yet to record four points.” . . .

Prince Albert F Jordy Stallard had six points, including five assists, in the Raiders’ 6-1 victory over the host Medicine Hat Tigers. The last Prince Albert skater with five assists in a game? F Justin Maylan on Jan. 25, 2012, in a 6-5 loss in Medicine Hat. . . .

Portland beat the host Seattle Thunderbirds, 10-5, marking the first time the Winterhawks had scored in double digits since 2013-14 when they did it three times (10-4 against visiting Seattle on Sept. 28; 10-2 against visiting Seattle on Nov. 12; and 10-3 against the host Tri-City Americans on Feb. 7).


Fans in Regina are learning just what it’s going to cost if they want to attend the outdoor games at Mosaic Stadium on Feb. 17 and 18, and the Memorial Cup in May.

Regarding the outdoor package, which includes a WHL/NHL alumni game and a WHL game between the Pats and Moose Jaw Warriors, there were a few posts on social media like this one from a fan who has two season-tickets:

“From what I can see they’re making you buy both outdoor games . . . for $116.88 each. My 2 tickets would end up being $467.50 for the 2 games.”

Someone else wrote:

“They remember this is junior hockey? I just bought tickets to see the Oliers for less then that on the lower level. That is just crazy!!”

One more:

“Are you kidding me??????? I’m not paying over $400 to go to the game with my 2 season tickets. I’m not paying anywhere near $100 / a ticket to see either of those games. If they were looking for $20 fee for the Pats game for season ticket holders I’d be fine with it.”

There also was this:

“The way I see it, if you don’t like the price then don’t go. Pats fans should be more concerned about the product on the ice than a price of a ticket because right now this team is nowheres near a Memorial Cup contender.”

Meanwhile, a reader of this blog who is from Regina has told me that information he received indicates that the organizing committee behind the Memorial Cup will charge “$1,000 as the approximate” ticket price to take part in all events, meaning all games and the events surrounding the games.

At the same time, a ticket package just for the games will set you back $834.75 if purchased through “the Hockey Junkies offer from the CHL.”

Communication received by the source from the organizing committee reads: “We are wholly aware that the pricing outlined is higher than previous events — however, this pricing is what has been proposed and approved at the CHL level and will be the price point for the event.”

As the source put it:

“I guess the CHL never got the message from Windsor with all the empty seats and figured the way to fix the problem is to raise the prices.”

You may recall that empty seats at the 2017 Memorial Cup tournament in Windsor became something of a story and resulted in writing like this right here, which is from pensionplanpuppets.com:

“I did some math here, and the cheapest adult season-ticket package with the (Windsor) Spitfires costs $425. That’s 34 games, so it breaks down to $12.50 per ticket, great price for anyone who can afford seasons seats.

“The cheapest walk up for the playoffs was $20. That’s average for the OHL, and 20 bucks is what most people would expect for a regular-season game, some of the bigger arenas or popular teams can reach $30, but that’s where most places top out.

“There are limited $50-tickets available, but you need a special promo code to get that discount, so it’s not available to everyone.

So, the cheapest season-tickets are $425. The cheapest full tournament package, for nine games, is $672.35 after tax, or $74.71 per ticket versus $12.50. A jump of 600% for the same seat.”

Do the math, Windsor vs. Regina, and you will find that a Regina package ($834.75) will cost at least $160 more than a Windsor package.

It will be interesting to see if Regina has enough deep-pocketed hockey fans to support these events.


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SUNDAY:

At Calgary, F Baron Thompson scored twice to help the Brandon Wheat Kings to a 5-3 victory over the Hitmen. . . . The Wheat Kings swept three games in Alberta, having won Friday in Edmonton (7-3) and Saturday in Red Deer (5-2). . . . Thompson enjoyed the first two-goal game of his career as he scored his first goals this season. Last season, he had three goals in 47 games. . . . The Wheat Kings scored the game’s first four goals. . . . G Gunnar Wegleitner (3) scored for a third straight game, at 4:31 of the first period. . . . D Kade Jensen (1) made it 2-0 at 10:03, with F Ty Lewis (4) upping it to 3-0 at 11:30. . . . Thompson got his first goal at 2:48 of the second period. . . . F Jakob Stukel (3) got Calgary to within three goals at 6:17 of the third period, but Thompson got that one back just 1:25 later. . . . Calgary F Matteo Gennaro, who has five goals, completed the scoring with a pair, at 18:28 and 19:10, both on the PP. . . . Lewis and D Kale Clague each had two assists for Brandon, with Wegleitner getting one. . . . The Hitmen got two assists from D Jake Bean. . . . Brandon (4-2-1) was 0-3 on the PP; Calgary (1-4-1) was 2-7. . . . G Logan Thompson stopped 38 shots for Brandon, including all 20 he faced in the second period. . . . The Hitmen got 20 stops from G Nick Schneider. . . . Announced attendance: Not available.


At Edmonton, F Trey Fix-Wolansky scored twice and added an assist, while newly acquired F Tomas Soustal had three assists as the Oil Kings beat the Everett Silvertips, 5-1. . . . The Oil Kings opened up a 4-0 lead, scoring three times in the first period and once in the third. . . . F Davis Koch (3), Fix-Wolansky and D Conner McDonald (1) provided the home team with a 3-0 lead. . . . Fix-Wolansky (6) upped that to 4-0 at 4:19 of the third period. . . . D Kevin Davis (2) scored for Everett at 8:53, giving him goals in two straight games. . . . F Brett Kemp (2) had Edmonton’s other goal, at 18:32. . . . Soustal, a 20-year-old Czech, was acquired last week from the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Edmonton (3-4-0) was 1-7 on the PP; Everett (3-4-0) was 0-4. . . . G Josh Dechaine earned the victory with 22 stops, seven more than Everett’s Dorrin Luding. . . . The Silvertips are five games into a nine-game road trip that includes six games in the Central Division. They are (2-3-0) on the swing, including (1-1-0) in Alberta. . . . Announced attendance: 5,098.


At Moose Jaw, the Swift Current Broncos won the battle of the Eastern Division unbeaten teams, getting past the Warriors, 4-3. . . . The Broncos broke a 1-1 first-period tie with the only two goals of the second period and took it from there. . . . F Aleksi Heponiemi (3) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 4:42 of the first period. . . . F Jayden Halbgewachs (5) got Moose Jaw even at 15:22. . . . The Warriors took a 3-1 lead on second-period scores from F Tyler Steenbergen (13), at 2:05, and D Sahvan Khaira (1), at 12:26. . . . F Noah Gregor (3) scored to get Moose Jaw to within one at 3:49, but the Broncos got that one back from F Conner Chaulk (2), at 11:13. . . . The Warriors halved the deficit at 16:18 when D Jett Woo (3) scored. . . . The Broncos got five points from their hot line, as Glenn Gawdin had two assists and Heponiemi added an assist to his goal. Steenbergen had the one goal. . . . The Broncos (6-0-0) were 0-4 on the PP; the Warriors (5-1-0) were 0-5. . . . Swift Current got 31 stops from G Logan Flodell, while Moose Jaw’s Brody Willms turned aside 25 shots. . . . The Warriors lost F Noah Gregor at 12:57 of the third period when he was given a misconduct for a mouthguard violation. . . . Announced attendance: 3,103.


At Kamloops, the Seattle Thunderbirds scored four goals on 15 shots to beat the Blazers, 4-3, handing the home team its eighth straight loss to open the season. . . . The Blazers’ franchise record for most losses to start a season had been six, from 2015-16. Kamloops next plays on Wednesday when it’s at home to the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Seattle (3-2-1) had lost 10-5 to the visiting Portland Winterhawks on Saturday, then rode the bus to Kamloops for this one. It showed in the latter part of the third period as the Thunderbirds’ legs disappeared. . . . When F Jackson Shepard (2) gave the Blazers a 1-0 lead at 5:35 of the first period, it marked the first time this season that Kamloops enjoyed a lead. That lasted 6:07 until Seattle F Noah Philp (2) tied it. . . . The Thunderbirds took at the lead when D Austin Strand (3) scored, on a PP, at 1:52 of the second period. . . . Kamloops F Brodi Stuart (2) tied it at 7:02, only to have Seattle D Reece Harsch (2) scored 52 seconds later. . . . The Blazers tied it again, just 30 seconds later, as F Nick Chyzowski (2) counted. . . . The Thunderbirds got the game’s final goal, and the winner, at 11:32 of the second from F Sami Moilanen (7), on a PP. . . . The visitors got two assists from D Jarret Tyszka, with Strand and Philp adding one each. . . . Seattle was 2-4 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-5. . . . Seattle G Matt Berlin stopped 32 shots to earn the victory. . . . The Blazers got 11 saves from Max Balaga, a Kamloops native who was making his second start. . . . Palaga is believed to be the first Kamloops native to tend goal for the franchise since Grey Hollomay played five games with the Jr. Oilers in 1981-82. (A tip of the hat to Earl Seitz of CFJC-TV and hockey fan Mitch Williams on that one). . . . Announced attendance: 3,293.


At Portland, F Ryan Hughes and F Skyler McKenzie each scored twice as the Winterhawks skated to a 7-2 victory over the Spokane Chiefs. . . . The Winterhawks, who beat the host Seattle Thunderbirds 10-5 on Saturday, have outscored the opposition 36-17 in six games. They now are 5-1-0. . . . Spokane now is 4-3-0. . . . McKenzie, who has seven goals, opened the scoring at 5:09 of the first period and D Keoni Texeira (4) made it 2-0 just 55 seconds later. . . . Spokane F Riley Woods (4) pulled his guys to within one with a goal at 10:50. . . . Portland scored the next five goals, the first four in the second period as it took control. . . . D Conor MacEachern (2) had a goal and two assists for the Winterhawks. Last season, he finished with six points, including one goal, in 52 games. In 2015-16, his freshman season, he had two goals in 46 games. . . . The Winterhawks also got a goal from D Henri Jokiharju (3). . . . F Ty Kolle and F Cody Glass had two assists each for the winners. . . . F Eli Zummack (2) had Spokane’s other goal. . . . Portland was 1-3 on the PP; Spokane was 0-3. . . . G Cole Kehler earned the victory with 22 saves. . . . Spokane starter Donovan Buskey surrendered five goals on 22 shots in 28:56. Dawson Weatherill finished up, stopping 19 of 21 shots in 31:04. . . . Portland lost D Brandon De Jong to a cross-checking major and game misconduct for a hit on Chiefs D Jeff Faith at 9:51 of the second period. Faith eventually returned to finish the game. . . . Announced attendance: 4,495.


MONDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


TUESDAY (all times local):

Everett at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Calgary at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Spokane at Portland, 7 p.m.

Tri-City at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

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


If you would like to contact Taking Note with information, have a question or just feel like commenting on something, feel free to send an email to greggdrinnan@gmail.com. I’m also on Twitter (@gdrinnan).


Blazers add fourth 20-year-old … Steenbergen snipes two more … Winterhawks light up T-Birds


G Mac Carruth (Portland, 2009-13) has signed a one-year contract with Fehérvár AV19 Székesfehérvár (Hungary, Erste Bank Liga). Last season, with the Rockford IceHogs (AHL), he was 5-11-5, 3.64, .879 in 24 games.


You can add the Kamloops Blazers to the list of WHL teams that has four 20-year-olds on its roster, meaning it must make a move to get down to three by Tuesday. . . . The Blazers, who have lost their first seven games this season, have claimed D Brady Reagan, 20, on waivers from the Calgary Hitmen. The High River, Alta., native was released by the Hitmen as they got down to three 20-year-olds. His arrival in Kamloops leaves the Blazers with four, as Reagan joins F Nick Chyzowski, the team captain, D Joe Gatenby and F Nic Holowko. . . . The WHL deadline for teams to declare three such players arrives on Tuesday. . . . The Blazers next play today (Sunday) when they entertain the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Reagan was a second-round selection by the Regina Pats in the 2012 WHL bantam draft. He also has played with the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . In 235 regular-season games, he has 15 goals and 44 assists. Last season, he had one goal and four assists in 18 games with Lethbridge, then recorded six goals and 16 assists in 50 games with Calgary.


With the WHL’s 20-year-old deadline arriving on Tuesday, here are the teams who were carrying four as of Saturday night:

Kamloops Blazers — F Nick Chyzowski, D Joe Gatenby, F Nic Holowko, D Brady Reagan.

Medicine Hat Tigers — G Michael Bullion, F Zach Fischer, F Mark Rassell. D Kristians Rubins (Latvia) two-spotter. (Bullion was scratched last night against Prince Albert.)

Portland Winterhawks — G Cole Kehler, F Alex Overhardt, D Keoni Texeira, F Evan Weinger. (Weinger was scratched last night against host Seattle.)

Prince George Cougars — F Aaron Boyd, F Jared Bethune, D Shane Collins, F Brogan O’Brien. (Boyd was scratched last night against Kelowna.)

Swift Current Broncos — F Conner Chaulk, G Logan Flodell, F Glenn Gawdin, F Arthur Miller. (Chaulk was scratched last night against Kootenay.)


One might think the odds are pretty good that the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers soon will return F Kailer Yamamoto to the Spokane Chiefs. A native of Spokane, Yamamoto, 19, was a first-round pick by the Oilers in the NHL’s 2017 draft.

Yamamoto made his regular-season NHL debut in the Oilers’ season-opener, a 3-0 victory over the Flames in Calgary on Wednesday. He played 6 minutes 33 seconds over 10 shifts.

On Saturday, when the Oilers played the Canucks in Vancouver, Yamamoto was a healthy scratch.

Developments like that would seem to indicate that Yamamoto will be back in Spokane before long. One things is for sure: Nothing we have seen to this point would make one think the Oilers are prepared to play him in 10 games and burn the first year of his entry-level contract.

Meanwhile, two other WHL-eligible players remain in the NHL.

F Nolan Patrick, the second-overall pick in the 2017 draft, is taking a regular shift with the Philadelphia Flyers, who opened the season on the West Coast. If Patrick, 19, isn’t on the Flyers’ roster, he must be returned to the Brandon Wheat Kings, something that doesn’t seem likely at this point. He played 13:30 on Wednesday against the San Jose Sharks and 14:20 one night later against the Los Angeles Kings, taking 18 shifts in each game.

Patrick picked up his first NHL point, an assist, on Saturday night, as he set up D Ivan Provorov, who also played in Brandon, for the Flyers’ first goal in what would be a 3-2 OT victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Patrick played 13:49 over 18 shifts.

The other player still with an NHL team is F Tyler Benson, who also is with the Oilers. He is expected to be returned to the Vancouver Giants at some point this month. Benson continues to recover from offseason surgery for a sports hernia.


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SATURDAY:

At Regina, F Emil Oksanen and F Matt Bradley each had two goals and two assists as the Pats dumped the Saskatoon Blades, 7-3. . . . Regina took control with four first-period goals, two from Oskanen, who has seven in his freshman season. . . . He scored the game’s first goal, at 3:27, and the Pats added three PP goals before the period ended. F Sam Steel (2), F Jake Leschyshyn (1) and Oksanen scored with the man advantage for a 4-0 lead. . . . F Braylon Shmyr got the Blades on the scoreboard 14 seconds into the second period. . . . Bradley, who also has seven goals, scored at 3:47 of the second period and again at 16:24 of the third. In between, Saskatoon got goals from Shmyr (5) and F Cam Hebig (2), who also had two assists. Shmyr added an assist to his two goals. . . . Regina F Jeff de Wit (1) scored a PP goal at 17:50. . . . Regina D Dawson Davidson had two assists, with Steel and Leschyshyn each getting one. . . . Leschyshyn was playing in his second game in two nights after returning from knee surgery that cut short his 2016-17 season. . . . Regina (3-3-1) was 4-10 on the PP; Saskatoon (1-4-0) was 1-6. . . . The Pats got 18 saves from G Max Paddock. . . . Saskatoon G Nolan Maier, 16, made the first start of his WHL career and blocked 34 shots. . . . Saskatoon D Evan Fiala played in his 200th regular-season game, a milestone Hebig reached on Friday night. . . . Shmyr’s PP at 9:51 of the second period was Saskatoon first in 16 opportunities this season. . . . Blades F Kirby Dach was a question mark before game. He started, but took a check from behind from Regina D Liam Schioler midway through the first period and didn’t finish the game. . . . Announced attendance: 6,179.


At Red Deer, D Kale Clague scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Brandon Wheat Kings to a 5-2 victory over the Rebels. . . . Clague now has five goals this season, with all of the coming in the last two games. He scored three times on Friday in a 7-3 victory over the host Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Clague, 19, is in his fourth season with Brandon. His single-season career-high in goals is six in 71 games in 2015-16. Last season, he had five goals in 48 games. . . . F Gunnar Wegleitner (2) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 7:13 of the first period. . . . Red Deer tied it when F Austin Pratt (2) scored at 1:30 of the second period. . . . Clague broke the tie at 6:22 of the second, and F Stelio Mattheos (7) upped the lead to 3-1, on a PP, at 10:19. He has six PP goals this season. . . . The Rebels got back to within a goal when F Chris Douglas (1) counted at 16:25. . . . Clague got that one back at 18:23, and F Marcus Sekundiak (1) provided more insurance at 9:00 of the third period. . . . D Kade Jensen, Clague’s partner on the back end, had three assists for Brandon, with F Ty Lewis adding a pair. . . . Brandon (3-2-1) was 1-3 on the PP; Red Deer (3-3-0) was 0-5. . . . The Wheat Kings got 31 stops from G Dylan Myskiw, who was making his first start since coming over from the Victoria Royals. . . . Red Deer starter Lasse Petersen surrendered three goals on 15 shots in 30:19. Ethan Anders came on to finish up, stopping nine of 11 shots in 29:40. . . . The Rebels, who opened the season with three victories, have lost three in a row. . . . Announced attendance: 4,705.


At Swift Current, F Tyler Steenbergen, coming off back-to-back four-goal games, scored the game’s first two goals and the Broncos went on to a 5-2 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Steenbergen has a WHL-leading 12 goals, all of them coming in his last four games. Last season, when he was the WHL co-leader with 51 goals, Steenbergen’s hottest four-game stretch covered Feb. 1-10 when he struck eight times. . . . From Sylvan Lake, Alta., the Broncos selected him in the first round of the WHL’s 2013 bantam draft. The Arizona Coyotes picked him in the fifth round of the NHL’s 2017 draft, but he has yet to sign. . . . In his first three seasons with the Broncos, Steenbergen scored five goals in 72 games, 20 in 67, and 51 in 72. . . . Last night, Steenbergen scored at 13:03 of the first period and 35 seconds into the second. . . . D Colby Sissons (3) scored on a PP at 10:44 for a 3-0 lead. . . . The Ice got to within two goals as F Tanner Sidaway (1) scored at 13:14. . . . F Glenn Gawdin (6), who reached 200 career points on Friday, scored on a PP at 3:34 of the third for a 4-1 lead, and F Aleksi Heponiemi (2) made it 5-1 at 9:30. . . . F Brett Davis (2) got the Ice’s final goal at 15:01. . . . Heponiemi also had three assists, while Gawdin had one. . . . Steenbergen now has 18 points, while Heponiemi has 15 and Gawdin 14. Add it up and that line has 49 points, 20 of them goals, in five games. The Broncos have scored 28 goals. . . . Sissons added two assists to his goal. . . . G Logan Flodell earned the victory with 20 saves, nine fewer than the Ice’s Bailey Brkin. . . . The Broncos (5-0-0) were 2-5 on the PP; the Ice (2-4-1) was 0-3. . . . The Broncos opened the season with four straight road games, so this was their home-opener. . . . Ice D Cale Fleury sat out the second of a three-game suspension. . . . Swift Current will visit the 5-0-0 Moose Jaw Warriors in a battle of the unbeaten this afternoon. . . . Announced attendance: 2,865.


At Medicine Hat, F Jordy Stallard had a goal and five assists to lead the Prince Albert Raiders to a 6-1 victory over the Tigers. . . . A 20-year-old from Brandon, Stallard has 11 points, three of them goals, in six games. . . . Stallard (3) gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead at 14:12 of the first period. . . . The home team tied it seven seconds into the second period when F Mark Rassell (6) scored on a PP. . . . The visitors then scored five straight goals to win going away. . . . F Cole Fonstad (2) broke the tie at 2:08 of the second period, and D Zack Hayes (1) stretched the lead at 12:38. . . . D Max Martin (2) and F Parker Kelly, with two, completed the scoring. Kelly has five goals. . . . Fonstad added two assists, with Parker getting one. . . . The Raiders (3-3-0) were 2-2 on the PP; the Tigers (3-3-0) were 1-4. . . . G Curtis Meger earned the victory with 25 saves. . . . Medicine Hat starter Jordan Hollett blocked 14 of 19 shots in 49:00. Duncan McGovern came on in relief to stop one of two shots in 11:00. . . . Raiders F Brayden Pachal left at 11:22 of the second period with a slashing major and game misconduct after hitting Tigers F Max Gerlach. Gerlach, who lost a tooth in the incident, was bleeding heavily when he left the ice. He returned for the third period wearing a full cage. . . . Announced attendance: 3,531.


At Prince George, the Kelowna Rockets scored late in the third period and then again in OT, this time beating the Cougars, 4-3. . . . On Friday night, F Kole Lind tied the game, 6-6, at 16:27 of the third period and won it at 2:38 of OT. . . . Last night, D Konrad Belcourt tied it with his first career goal at 18:22 of the third period and F Dillon Dube won it at 4:17 of extra time. . . . Dude finished with a goal, his third, and three assists. . . . This was Belcourt’s 50th regular-season game. Last season, he had one assist in 50 games. . . . Lind (7), on a PP, and F Carsen Twarynski (1) gave the Rockets a 2-0 lead as they scored at 11:51 of the first period and 8:27 of the second. . . . The home boys opened the third period with three goals, as F Brogan O’Brien (1), shorthanded, scored at 3:03, F Jackson Leppard (3) tied the game at 9:57 and D Dennis Cholowski (3) gave them the lead at 12:55, on a PP. . . . Twarynski added an assist to his goal. . . . F Kody McDonald had two assists for the Cougars, with Cholowski earning one. . . . The Rockets (4-1-1) are 3-0-0 on the road. . . . The Cougars are 2-3-2. . . . Each team was 1-5 on the PP. . . . G James Porter was big for the Rockets, stopping 42 shots, including 25 in the second period. . . . At the other end, Tavin Grant blocked 19. . . . The Rockets were without D James Hilsendager, who sat out a one-game suspension he incurred after taking a charging major and game misconduct on Friday night. . . . Announced attendance: 2,839.


At Langley, B.C., the Tri-City Americans broke a 2-2 tie with a pair of third-period goals and went on to beat the Vancouver Giants, 4-3. . . . F Milos Roman (2) got the Giants started at 11:49 of the second period, only to have the Americans take the lead on goals from F Parker AuCoin (2), at 17:42, and F Jordan Topping (3), at 1:30 of the third period. . . . F Cyle McNabb (2) tied it for the Giants at 6:31. . . . Americans F Michael Rasmussen (2) scored a PP goal at 7:21 and F Maxwell James (3) scored shorthanded, at 18:53, for a 4-2 lead. . . . Vancouver F Brendan Semchuk (1) scored on the PP at 19:24. . . . Topping and Rasmussen each had one assist. . . . Vancouver got two assists from D Dylan Plouffe. . . . One night earlier, the Giants had dumped the Americans, 6-3. . . . Tri-City now is 3-3-0; Vancouver is 2-3-0. . . . Americans G Patrick Dea stopped 31 shots as he recorded his 50th regular-season victory. . . . Vancouver got 33 stops from Todd Scott. . . . Announced attendance: 3,146.


At Kent, Wash., D Henrik Jokiharju scored two goals and added two assists to help the Portland Winterhawks to a 10-5 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . The Winterhawks erased an early 1-0 deficit — Seattle F Zack Andrusiak (2) scored at 1:37 of the first period — with four straight goals, three of them in the opening period. . . . D Keoni Texeira (3), F Skyler McKenzie (4), F Ryan Hughes (2) and Jokiharju had those goals for Portland. . . . F Sami Moilanen (5) pulled Seattle to within two goals at 2:38 of the second period, on a PP, but the Winterhawks took control with the next three goals, from F Jake Gricius (1), Jokiharju (2) and McKenzie. . . . F Ty Kolle (2) and F Mason Mannek (1) also scored for Portland. . . . Seattle’s other goals came from F Matthew Wedman (1), Moilanen (6) and F Blake Bargar (1). . . . Portland got two assists from each of Glass and F Lane Gilliss, while McKenzie had one. . . . D Jarret Tyszka had two assists for Seattle. . . . Portland (4-1-0) was 1-2 on the PP; Seattle (2-2-1) was 2-3. . . . G Shane Farkas blocked 23 shots for Portland. . . . Seattle starter Matt Berlin gave up six goals on 20 shots in 24:30. Liam Hughes came off the bench to stop 15 of 19 shots in 35:30. . . . The Thunderbirds were without D Turner Ottenbreit, who served the second of a six-game suspension for a hit on Portland F Joachim Blichfeld on Sept. 30. Blichfeld, who was diagnosed with a concussion, has yet to return to action. . . . Ottenbreit will be eligible to return on Oct. 22 when the Thunderbirds visit the Everett Silvertips. He will miss today’s game in Kamloops, as well as home games against Vancouver, Victoria and Moose Jaw. . . . Announced attendance: 4,059.


SUNDAY (all times local):

Brandon at Calgary, 4 p.m.

Everett at Edmonton, 4 p.m.

Swift Current at Moose Jaw, 4 p.m.

Seattle at Kamloops, 5 p.m.

Spokane at Portland, 5 p.m.


MONDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


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