Scattershooting and channel surfing … MJHL coach puts up 500th win … Ferguson returning to Blazers … Broncos captain gets NHL deal

Ahh, this will be a glorious Thursday night. There are five TSN channels and Gary Bettman’s NHL has games on four of them.

Let’s watch the Arizona Coyotes against the Canadiens in Montreal. Maybe we’ll see how it is that the Coyotes have opened without a regulation victory in about 100 games. . . . Whoops! Blacked out.

Well, let’s move on to the next channel where the Winnipeg Jets are entertaining the Philadelphia Flyers. Let’s watch as F Nolan Patrick returns to the Flyers’ lineup after missing nine games with a concussion, and he does it in his hometown. . . . Whoops! Blacked out.

Oh well, there’s always the next channel where the New Jersey Devils are visiting the Toronto Maple Leafs. These aren’t your father’s Devils, you know. They don’t trap. Rather, they fly around the ice with the purpose of scoring goals. This one could be fun. . . . Whoops! Blacked out.

And it’s on to the fourth TSN channel, where the Pittsburgh Penguins are visiting the Ottawa Senators. Hey, it’s always fun to watch Sid Who Used To Be A Kid. . . . But not tonight. You guess it. Blacked out.

Thanks, Mr. Bettman.


What about that fifth TSN channel. Yes, it’s on to the NFL where the Tennessee Titans are visiting the Pittsburgh Steelers. . . . Thanks again, Mr. Bettman. You’re really doing a good job of selling the, uhh, NFL.


Brent Sutter, the owner, general manager and head coach of the Red Deer Rebels, remembers when his off-season training spot was a barn in which there was a heavy bag, a speed bag, some weights and a couple of bikes. Last summer, he did Pilates. Why? Because he wanted to experience what his players were doing. It’s all part of an attempt to cut down on injuries by improving flexibility and core strength.


When this WHL season began, Don Hay, now with the Kamloops Blazers, had 720 WHL head-coaching regular-season victories, meaning he needed 23 more to break Ken Hodge’s career record of 742. The Blazers have won seven of their first 20 games, meaning they are on pace for 25 victories this season.


Hey, there’s an NHL game on one of Sportsnet’s umpteen channels. It’s the St. Louis Blues in Edmonton against the Oilers. Always fun to watch McDavid and Draisaitl, even if we have to put up with Sportsnet’s computer-generated ads plastered all over the glass. . . . Oh wait. It’s blacked out.


After the Carolina Panthers dealt wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin to the Buffalo Bills, quarterback Cam Newton offered this analysis: “Yeah, we just lost a great player, but the Titanic still has to go.” . . . To which Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times responded: “Considering it’s Carolina’s less-than-stellar aerial game, shouldn’t it be the Hindenburg?”


“Twitter has increased the number of characters allowed per tweet from 140 to 280,” notes blogger Tony Chong of Richmond, B.C. “So isn’t that considered an email?” 


Hey, we found another NHL game on Sportsnet as the Vegas Golden Knights visit the Vancouver Canucks. Ahh, no blackout. Might check it out after the football game. Or earlier, if it’s a blowout.


By now you are aware that Dylan Ferguson of the Kamloops Blazers has been the Golden Knights’ backup goaltender since Oct. 30. He has been responsible for more publicity for Kamloops and the Blazers over the past couple of weeks than was generated when J-Lo, Morgan Freeman and Robert Redford were in the area to film An Unfinished Life.


Don’t discount the Vancouver Giants in the WHL’s Western Conference this season. The key, of course, is that F Tyler Benson has to stay healthy, something that hasn’t happened in either of the past two seasons. With Benson, head coach Jason McKee’s guys have two terrific forward lines. If the goaltending holds up, the Giants could make some noise.



Congratulations to Ken Pearson, the head coach of the MJHL’s Winkler Flyers.

KEN PEARSON

When the Flyers beat the host Steinbach Pistons 3-2 in OT on Wednesday night, Pearson chalked up his 500th regular-season victory as an MJHL head coach.

Pearson has made more than a handful of stops during his coaching career, including stints with the Neepawa Natives, Prince Albert Raiders, Brooks Bandits, Winnipeg South Blues and Battlefords North Stars. He has scouted for the Tri-City Americans and NHL Central Scouting.

All told, Pearson is in his 12th season behind the Flyers’ bench.

Pearson’s 500 regular-season victories are third on the MJHL’s all-time list, behind Doug Stokes (670) and Don MacGillivray (669). In the MJHL, Stokes coached the Kildonan North Stars, Winnipeg South Blues, Dauphin Kings, Selkirk Steelers and Winnipeg Saints. MacGillivray, now an assistant coach with the Brandon Wheat Kings, coached with the St. James Canadians, Southeast Blades, Neepawa Natives, Portage Terriers, Winnipeg South Blues and Winnipeg Blues.

Pearson’s Flyers go into this weekend at 16-6-0, tied for second in the 11-team league with the OCN Blizzard (15-5-2). Both teams are one point behind Steinbach (16-4-1).


The Calgary Flames have signed F Glenn Gawdin, the captain of the Swift Current Broncos, to a three-year entry-level NHL contract. Gawdin, 20, was selected by the St. Louis Blues in the 2015 NHL draft, but wasn’t signed by them. He was eligible for the 2017 draft, but wasn’t selected. Gawdin, from Richmond, B.C., was in the Flames’ training camp prior to this season as a free agent. . . . This season, Gawdin has 40 points, including 14 goals, in 18 games and his third in the WHL scoring race, behind line mates Tyler Steenbergen, who has 49 points, and Aleksi Heponiemo (48). . . . Gawdin was the fifth overall selection in the WHL’s 2012 bantam draft. In 263 games with the Broncos, he has 228 points, including 84 goals.


Taylor Shire, who works in TV at Global Regina, tweeted on Thursday: “Tickets for the Regina Pats outdoor game at Mosaic Stadium will range from $149, $219 or $319 per seat. They also have standing room only for $75. Includes Sat and Sun games.”

Among the replies to that tweet:

“Wow, those are some big numbers. Out of my price range so I won’t be joining the regiment for this game.”

“Does this include a signed Jordan Eberle jersey, beer, hand warmers and a hot dog?”

“For a dub game give your head a shake Regina.”

Meanwhile, on Dec. 17, the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s are going to face the QMJHL’s Gatineau Olympiques at The Stadium at TD Place, the home of the CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks.

A general admission ticket will set you back $15, with reserved seats going for $20 each. Those prices include all taxes and surcharges, along with transportation to the game.


F Josh Prokop revealed via Twitter on Thursday that he has made a commitment to attend Ohio State and play hockey for the Buckeyes. Prokop, 17, is from Edmonton. He was a fifth-round selection by the Swift Current Broncos in the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft. This season, Prokop has 14 points, eight of them goals, in 25 games with the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers. . . . Last season, he put up a CSSHL-leading 57 points, including 29 goals, in 30 games with the Northern Alberta X-Treme.


The Vegas Golden Knights flew out of Vancouver and headed home late Thursday night after posting a 5-2 victory over the Canucks.

Yes, G Dylan Ferguson of the Kamloops Blazers wasn’t on the plane and is to return to Kamloops today (Friday).

Ferguson, 19, was on the bench for an eighth straight game in support of starter Maxime Lagace last night. Ferguson had made his NHL debut during Tuesday’s 8-2 loss to the Oilers in Edmonton. He played 9:14 and stopped one of the two shots he faced.

Ferguson is from Lantzville, which is on Vancouver Island, so you know he had some supporters in the crowd last night. But they had to be content with watching him in the pregame warmup.

The Golden Knights have three goaltenders out with injuries, although one of them, Malcom Subban, has returned to practice. Subban, who was in Vancouver yesterday and watched the game from the press box, seems  ready to return, at least in a backup role. Starter Marc-Andre Fleury (concussion) and Oscar Dansk, who was injured on Oct. 30 and whose injury resulted in the phone call to Ferguson, also are injured.

The Golden Knights are next scheduled to play on Sunday against the visiting Los Angeles Kings.

Ferguson will rejoin the Blazers in time for two weekend home games, with the Vancouver Giants in town tonight and the Lethbridge Hurricanes following on Saturday.

The Blazers were 3-2-0 while Ferguson was with Vegas. Max Palaga, 17, who has been backing up Ferguson, made three starts, while Dylan Garand, a 15-year-old from the Delta Hockey Academy, was 1-1-0 in his two starts.


The political scene the U.S. is in upheaval due to, among other things, an investigation into whether Russia, under President Vladimir Putin, had its hands in the 2016 election. A short time ago, F Alex Ovechkin, the Washington Capitals’ starry Russian, waded into the mess by creating something that he, or somebody, has dubbed “Putin’s Team.” . . . So just what is that all about? And why would Ovechkin get involved in something like that at this particular point in time? . . . Matt Flegenheimer of The New York Times takes a look 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!


D Montana Onyebuchi of the Everett Silvertips won’t play tonight against the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds as he serves a one-game WHL suspension. That comes after he took a charging major and game misconduct during a 2-0 victory over the visiting Prince Albert Raiders on Wednesday night.


Colin Birkas is out as head coach of the AJHL’s Calgary Canucks, and has been replaced, at least on an interim basis, by Darryl Olsen. . . . Birkas had been head coach since Aug. 11. He replaced James Poole, who resigned earlier in the summer after one season in the position. . . . Birkas had coached junior A in Ontario before signing with the Canucks. . . . A Calgarian, Olsen stepped up from assistant coach to take over as head coach of the AJHL’s Drumheller Dragons late last season. . . . The Canucks are 10-12-1 and in fifth place in the eight-team Viterra AJHL South.


What does a fired coach do with his time when there isn’t hockey? Here’s Casey O’Brien, who was dismissed by the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers on Oct. 31 . . .


THURSDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Calgary at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Brandon at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Swift Current at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.

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

Edmonton at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

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

Victoria at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.

Seattle at Everett, 7:35 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).


Ferguson still in NHL … Delay of game? What delay of game? … Hart ties franchise record

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The Vegas Golden Knights had three goaltenders on the ice when they practised at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Wednesday morning and, yes, one of them was Dylan Ferguson of the Kamloops Blazers.

Ferguson, 19, has been with the Golden Knights since being recalled under emergency conditions on Oct. 30.

Ferguson, who is from Lantzville, which is on Vancouver Islander, made his NHL debut on Tuesday night during an 8-2 loss to the host Edmonton Oilers. He came on in relief of Maxime Lagace to stop one of two shots in 9:14 of playing time.

The Golden Knights are scheduled to play the host Canucks tonight, and chances are that Ferguson will be backing up Lagace for an eighth straight game.

There was speculation earlier Wednesday that Lagace had been injured in Edmonton, but that chatter seemed to fade away after he joined Ferguson on the ice yesterday morning.

G Malcolm Subban, one of the team’s three injured goaltenders, also was on the ice, his first appearance in almost a month. He has been out since Oct. 22 when he was injured while stretching to make a save. Also on the shelf are veteran starter Marc-Andre Fleury (concussion), who has resumed skating, and Oscar Dansk.

Gary Lawless of the Golden Knights has more on Ferguson right here.

Ed Willes of Postmedia wrote about Ferguson on Thursday, too. That piece is right here.

The Blazers are at home to the Vancouver Giants on Friday night and the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Saturday. If Ferguson isn’t back, the Blazers will continue to go with two freshmen goaltenders — Max Palaga, 17,  and Dylan Garand, 15.


There was an interesting sequence of events during the Prince George Cougars’ 5-4 victory over the host Kamloops Blazers on Wednesday night.

The Cougars were clinging to a 4-3 lead at 8:55 of the third period when they cleared the puck into the Kamloops zone from the neutral zone. As G Dylan Garand of the Blazers gloved the puck on the fly, referee Bryan Bourdon, stationed to Garand’s right, yelled at the goaltender to move it.

With forecheckers closing in, Garand hung on to the puck. Bourdon whistled play dead, pointed at Garand and then pointed to the penalty box. It seemed that the referee had called Garand for delay of game.

However, something happened on the way to the penalty box and the call wasn’t made.

Asked later what happened, Richard Matvichuk, the Cougars’ head coach, shrugged and said: “I don’t know.”

Then, at 15:16, a near-identical play occurred, this time in the Prince George zone. The Blazers, still trailing 4-3, dumped the puck at Cougars G Tavin Grant from the neutral zone. He played the puck with his stick and pulled it into his glove.

Nick Panter, the other referee, immediately signalled a penalty and hit Grant for delay of game. This time, the call stuck.

While killing that penalty, the Cougars got a goal from F Kody McDonald at 16:38 and it stood up as the game-winner.

But how did one goaltender get penalized and not the other? What happened to the apparent delay-of-game call on Garand?

“I don’t know,” Matvichuk reiterated.

Matvichuk, who is in his second season with the Cougars, was of the opinion that neither goaltender should have been penalized.

“As much as we’re trying to speed the game up, these kids are under so much pressure,” he said. “It’s a hockey game. If a goalie freezes the puck, he freezes the puck. It is what it is.

“I understand there are times when we try to speed the game up, but we have to remember these guys are here to develop and try to get to the next level.

“What happens if one of those kids puts the puck down, on either side, and shoots it into somebody and they score? He gets into trouble, that’s what happens.”


The Portland Winterhawks went shopping on Tuesday night. Yes, they did.

It was their fifth annual ‘Shop With a Hawk’ event in which the players go Christmas shopping with children from the Boys and Girls Clubs, all thinks to the club’s booster club, Fred Meyer and the Sunshine Division.

Thanks to the Winterhawks Booster Club each child had $100 with which to shop, and they were shown around the Hollywood Fred Meyer store by the players.

It’s worth noting that over the five years the booster club has donated more than $15,000 and it has helped more than 125 children.


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!


The Kootenay Ice has returned F Connor McClennon, 15, to the Northern Alberta X-Treme prep team that plays in the CSSHL. McClennon, who is from Wainwright, Alta., was the second overall selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. He was pointless in two games with the Ice. . . .

D Brendan O’Reilly, a veteran of 153 games over four seasons with the Tri-City Americans, has joined the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs. O’Reilly, 20, is from Southlake, Texas. He lost his roster spot with the Americans when they had to get down to three 20-year-olds. He then joined the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs, putting up a goal and three assists in 13 games.


The SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers announced Wednesday that they have named Mat Hehr as their general manager and head coach. He had been serving as interim GM/head coach since the club fired Casey O’Brien on Oct. 31. . . . Hehr had been an assistant coach under O’Brien, who was in his second season as GM and head coach. O’Brien had been with the Terriers since 2011 . . . Hehr joined the Terriers in November 2016 after being on staff with the La Ronge Ice Wolves. . . . The Terriers were 3-12-0 when O’Brien was dismissed. They went into Wednesday at 3-16-2.


WEDNESDAY:

At Regina, F Nick Henry had a goal and an assist in his third game after off-season shoulder surgery, leading the Pats to a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . The Pats (12-8-2) had lost their previous two games. . . . The Hitmen (11-9-2) have lost three in a row. . . . F Emil Oksanen (11) gave Regina a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 2:52 of the first period. . . . Calgary tied it on a PP at 7:20 when F Matteo Bennaro got No. 13. . . . Regina went out front 3-1 on goals from F Sam Steel (6), at 11:18 of the first period, and F Matt Bradley (16), at 11:30 of the second. . . . Calgary got back to wishin one at 12:03 as F Tristen Nielsen (6) scored. . . . Henry (1) restored the two-goal lead 15 seconds into the third period. . . . F Luke Coleman (5) pulled Calgary back to within a goal, on a PP, at 10:42. . . . Steel also had an assist. . . . Calgary got two assists from each of D Jake Bean and D Vladislav Yeryomenko. . . . The Hitmen were 2-4 on the PP; the Pats were 1-4. . . . G Max Paddock earned the victory with 25 saves. . . . At the other end, Nick Schneider stopped 36 shots. . . . D Cale Fleury, who was acquired by Regina from the Kootenay Ice on Monday, made his Pats debut. He was plus-1 with three shots on goal. . . . Announced attendance: 5,754.


At Saskatoon, D Evan Fiala’s goal at 18:48 of the third period broke a 4-4 tie as the Blades beat the Moose Jaw Warriors, 5-4. . . . Saskatoon (8-10-1) had lost two straight. . . . The Warriors (16-5-0) had a six-game winning streak snapped. They continue to lead the overall standings by three points over the idle Victoria Royals. . . . The teams were tied 2-2 after the first period. . . . F Noah Gregor (11), at 0:57, and F Justin Almeida (11), shorthanded at 15:44, counted for the visitors, with F Alec Zawatsky, with his first WHL goal, at 1:47, and F Caleb Fantillo (4), at 17:53, replying for the home boys. . . . Saskatoon went up 4-2 on second-period goals from F Braylon Shmyr (9), at 3:14, and F Gage Ramsay (2), at 7:45. . . . The Warriors came right back and tied it. F Tanner Jeannot (12) counted at 17:31 of the second, then F Daemon Hunt, a 15-year-old, scored his first WHL goal at 8:39 of the third period. . . . Fiala won it with his first goal of the season. . . . F Cam Hebig and D Libor Hajek each had two assists for the Blades. . . . The Warriors got two assists from F Jayden Halbgewachs and one from Gregor. . . . Saskatoon was 0-4 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 0-3. . . . The Blades got 34 saves from G Ryan Kubic. . . . Moose Jaw G Brody Willms blocked 46 shots as the Blades unleashed a season-high 51 shots. . . . D Matt Sanders made his WHL debut with the Warriors. Sanders, 16, was a fifth-round selection in the 2016 WHL bantam draft. He is the younger brother of G Nick Sanders, who was released by the Prince Albert Raiders on Oct. 27 and now is with the AJHL’s Lloydminster Bobcats. . . . Included in the Warriors scratches were D Josh Brook, D Jett Wood, D Matthew Benson, D Dmitri Zaitsev and F Brett Howden, all key contributors and all injured. . . . Announced attendance: 2,745.


At Langley, B.C., F Tyler Benson drew three assists to lead the Vancouver Giants to a 4-2 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . The Giants (9-8-4) have points in five straight games (4-0-1). . . . The Rebels (9-12-1) are 1-5-0 on a seven-game road trip that ends Friday in Cranbrook, B.C. . . . F James Malm gave Vancouver a 1-0 lead at 7:48 of the first period. . . . Red Deer took a 2-1 lead on goals from F Kristian Reichel (9), at 19:30 of the first, and F Brandon Cutler (1), at 6:17 of the second. . . . Vancouver F Brayden Watts (8) tied it at 12:53. . . . Malm, who has 10 goals, broke the deadlock at 12:04. He’s got six goals over his past three games. . . . F Ty Ronning scored his 20th goal of the season into an empty net at 19:29. He’s got 20 goals in 21 games. He also has scored in eight straight games. That’s 10 games shy of the WHL record that belongs to his father, Cliff, who did it with the 1984-85 New Westminster Bruins. . . . Benson has six assists over his past two games. In the eight games he has played this season, he has four goals and eight assists. . . . Vancouver was 1-2 on the PP; Red Deer was 0-2. . . . G David Tendeck stopped 31 shots for the winners, four more than Red Deer’s Ethan Anders. . . . Announced attendance: 2,277.


At Kamloops, the Prince George Cougars built up a 3-0 lead and hung on to beat the Blazers, 5-4. . . . The Cougars (7-9-4) moved four points ahead of the fifth-place Blazers in the B.C. Division. . . . The Blazers (7-13-0) had won their previous two games. . . . The visitors got first-period goals from F Ethan O’Rourke, at 4:18, D Cole Moberg, at 7:56, and O’Rourke again, at 15:19. . . . O’Rourke went into the game with two career goals in 39 games. . . . Moberg, who also had an assist, scored his first goal this season, in his 19th game. He scored once in four games last season. . . . D Chance Adrian earned assists on the last two of those goals, his first career points coming in his 13th game. . . . F Jermaine Loewen got the Blazers on the scoreboard at 6:13 of the second period. Loewen has scored in five straight games. He has nine goals in 14 games this season. In three previous seasons, he totalled 14 goals in 170 games. . . . F Brogan O’Brien, perhaps the best player on the ice in this one, scored his fourth goal at 12:24 of the second for a 4-1 lead. . . . Kamloops got to within a goal on scores from F Quinn Benjafield (5), at 18:32 of the second, and F Nick Chyzowski (6), on a PP, at 4:20 of the third. . . . F Kody McDonald (11) stretched the lead to two with a shorthanded goal at 16:38. . . . The Blazers got back to within a goal when F Garrett Pilon (8) scored with 46.9 seconds left. . . . The Blazers got two assists from Pilon and one each from Loewen and Chyzowski. . . . Kamloops was 1-5 on the PP; Prince George was 0-5. . . . G Tavin Grant stopped 27 shots to earn the victory. . . . While Grant, 19, was in Kamloops with the Cougars, his junior A rights were changing teams with the BCHL’s Prince George Spruce Kings having acquired them from the CCHL’s Carleton Place Canadians. . . . The Blazers got 33 saves from G Dylan Garand, 15, who made his second career WHL start. . . . F Connor Zary and F Carson Denomie were among the Blazers’ scratches. Both players were injured in Saturday’s 4-2 victory over the host Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Announced attendance: 3,405.


At Everett, G Carter Hart stopped 25 shuts and tied a franchise record with his 21st career shutout as the Silvertips beat the Prince Albert Raiders, 2-0. . . . The Silvertips (9-10-2) have points in three straight games (2-0-1). . . . The Raiders (9-8-3) are 2-2-0 on a six-game trip that continues in Kennewick, Wash., and Spokane on Friday and Saturday nights. . . . Hart, who tied the career record held by Leland Irving, has put up back-to-back shutouts. He has two shutouts this season. . . . F Sean Richards (8) scored the game’s first goal, at 6:08 of the second period. He’s got goals in four straight games. . . . F Patrick Bajkov (10) got the game’s other goal, at 14:27 of the third period. Bajkov now has 216 career points, tying him with F Joshua Winquist for second spot on the franchise list. F Zach Hamill is No. 1, at 262 points. . . . D Kevin Davis had two assists. . . . Prince Albert was 0-3 on the PP; Everett was 0-8. . . . The Raiders have been shorthanded 28 times over their past three games. In Portland on Sunday, the Winterhawks were 5-12 on the PP in a 6-1 victory over the Raiders. On Tuesday, the Raiders beat host Seattle 6-4 despite the Thunderbirds going 2-8 on the PP. . . . G Ian Scott stopped 40 shots for the Raiders. . . . The Silvertips lost D Montana Onyebuchi at 13:16 of the first period with a charging major and game misconduct for a hit on F Carson Miller. Onyebuchi then was was involved in a fight with D Cody Paivarinta. There was leakage. . . . Announced attendance: 2,864.


THURSDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Calgary at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Brandon at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Swift Current at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.

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

Edmonton at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

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

Victoria at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.

Seattle at Everett, 7:35 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).


Pats add veteran d-man from Ice … Saskatoon, Kootenay move goalies … Warriors add some size, grit

F Rihards Burkarts (Brandon, Portland, 2013-16) has been released by mutual agreement by Zlín (Czech Republic, Extraliga). He had two goals and two assists in 17 games. . . .

F Ian McDonald (Tri-City, 2000-06) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Selb (Germany, Oberliga) after his release by mutual agreement by Gherdëina Selva Val Gardena (Italy, Alps HL) on Sunday. He had nine goals and 10 assists in 15 games with Gherdëina this season. 


When you are the host team for the next Memorial Cup, tradition dictates that your roster is in a constant state of flux prior to the Jan. 10 trade deadline.

The Regina Pats, the host team for the 2018 Memorial Cup, continued down that road on Monday when they sent a potential five assets to the Kootenay Ice, getting back veteran D Cale Fleury, who is to turn 19 on Sunday, in the exchange.

Going to the Ice: D Jonathan Smart, 18; F Cole Muir, 16; and two or three bantam draft picks — a second-rounder in 2018, a sixth in 2018 and an undisclosed conditional pick in 2019 or 2020. The latter likely is conditional on Fleury playing in the WHL as a 20-year-old.

Originally, the second-round pick belonged to the Medicine Hat Tigers. It moved to Regina in a deal that had G Jordan Hollett move to the Tigers on May 23. In exchange for Hollett, 18, the Pats got F Matt Bradley, 20, the second-round pick and a fifth-rounder in 2019.

The sixth-round pick actually goes back to the Ice after having been sent to Regina for G Kurtis Chapman, who was released by Kootenay on Monday.

Fleury, the Ice’s captain since January, is from Carlyle, Sask. The Ice selected him in the fourth round of the 2013 bantam draft. The Montreal Canadiens picked him in the third round of the NHL’s 2017 draft. His older brother, Haydn, played in the WHL with the Red Deer Rebels and now is a defenceman with the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes.

Cale is in his fourth WHL season, all of them with Kootenay. In 218 regular-season games, he put up 86 points, including 26 goals. Last season, he had 11 goals and 27 assists in 70 games.

Smart, from Kelowna, was a first-round selection by the Kelowna Rockets in the 2014 bantam draft. He is the son of former WHLer Jason Smart, and his grandfather, Russ, is a long-time WHL scout.

This season, Jonathan has 12 points, including two goals, in 21 games. In 132 regular-season games, he has 47 points, seven of them goals.

The Pats acquired Smart from Kelowna last season, sending D James Hilsendager and F Erik Gardiner to the Rockets.

Muir, from Vista, Man., is in his first WHL season and has one assist in 12 games. The Pats selected him in the second round of the 2016 bantam draft. Last season, he had 16 goals and 16 assists in 40 games with the midget AAA Yellowhead Chiefs in Manitoba.


John Paddock, the Pats’ general manager and head coach, pulled the trigger on the trade with Kootenay after the Pats were swept by the rival Moose Jaw Warriors in a Friday-Sunday doubleheader.

The Warriors won 3-2 in Regina on Friday, then returned home and won 3-1, on Sunday. When the games were done, the Pats were six points behind the Eastern Conference-leading Warriors, who also are atop the WHL’s overall standings.

After Sunday’s game, Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post wrote:

“There were rumblings on the weekend that the Pats — and perhaps the Warriors as well — were close to making a significant trade. Paddock wouldn’t tip his hand, but he did say there won’t be a knee-jerk reaction based solely on two lacklustre games.”

Paddock also told Harder:

“That’s the last thing on my mind. With the (trade) deadline (on Jan. 10), different guys have different ideas of when they want to do things. We have different things that we’re working on all the time to tweak some things.”

Obviously, Paddock is wanting to tweak his defence, and you have to wonder if he won’t make another deal down the road to bring in a high-end defenceman. As Jan. 10 nears and the non-contenders start auctioning off assets, there could be an all-star defenceman or two come available. Paddock, you can bet, will be first in line with his shopping cart.


The Moose Jaw Warriors got bigger and stronger up front on Monday when they acquired F Barrett Sheen, 19, from the Kootenay Ice for a fifth-round selection in the 2018 bantam draft.

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Sheen, from Airdrie, Alta., has two goals, five assists and 51 penalty minutes in 18 games this season. Last season, he totalled eight goals, 10 assists and 159 penalty minutes in 55 games with the Ice. (The WHL credits Sheen with 129 penalty minutes; the league doesn’t include misconducts or game misconducts in its individual penalty totals.)

In 2015-16, Sheen had four goals and eight assists in 46 games with the Lethbridge Hurricanes.


The Saskatoon Blades have made a switch with their goaltenders, dropping Joel Grzybowski, 18, and adding Nolan Maier, 16. . . . Grzbowski, from Hafford, Sask., was an 11th-round selection in the 2014 bantam draft. This season, in five appearances, he was 0-1-0, 4.20, .843. He is expected to join the SJHL’s Battlefords North Stars. . . . Maier, from Yorkton, Sask., was a second-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. He has been playing with the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers, where he is 1-5-1, 5.15, .897. . . . The plan now is for Maier to spend the remainder of the season in Saskatoon backing up Ryan Kubic, 19.


The Kootenay Ice dropped G Kurtis Chapman, 19, from its roster on Monday. He is expected to join the AJHL’s Calgary Mustangs. Chapman, who was acquired from the Regina Pats on Sept. 13, was 4-5-0, 3.91, .880 with the Ice this season. . . . The Ice now is carrying two goaltenders — Bailey Brkin, 18, who came over from the Swift Current Broncos, and Duncan McGovern, 17, who was acquired from the Medicine Hat Tigers.


The Everett Silvertips, who it seems once looked at playing a game on the deck of an aircraft carrier, would be interested in playing an outdoor game at Seattle’s Safeco Field. However, Zoran Rajcic, the COO of CSH International, Inc., which owns the Silvertips, has told Jesse Geleynse of the Everett Herald that nothing is in the works at this moment. . . . “Is there an interest level? Absolutely,” Rajcic said. “I wouldn’t say ‘no’ to that. But we haven’t done anything (about it).” . . . Craig Herkimer, the president of KevaWorks, an event-management and promotions company based in California, has expressed an interest in being involved. He told Geleynse, via email: “Nothing has been confirmed, but many people in the sports community are interested in bringing this kind of event to the area.” . . . Geleynse’s piece is right here.


The KHL is on a scheduled break these days, allowing players to leave their teams to take part in various international competitions. Patrick Conway has taken advantage of the situation to write about the KHL’s teams and attendance. It’s interesting stuff and it’s all right here. . . . You are free to read it and then wonder how these teams are able to pay the salaries they do when attendance numbers don’t seem to be awfully healthy.


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!


F Seth Bafaro of the Saskatoon Blades has been suspended for four games after he took a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct during a 6-4 loss to the visiting Swift Current Broncos on Friday. Bafaro has already missed one game, the Blades’ 3-1 loss to the host Brandon Wheat Kings on Saturday.


MONDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


TUESDAY (All times local):

Calgary at Brandon, 7 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.

Edmonton at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

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

Red Deer 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).


Rebels’ Lamb almost ready for return … Ferguson still with Vegas … A couple of bus tales


The Red Deer Rebels will board their bus today and head out on a five-game road trip that opens with a game against the Kamloops Blazers on Friday.

At some point during the trip, G Riley Lamb, 19, will make his first start of the season. Lamb, a sophomore, suffered a broken thumb late in training camp and hasn’t played since; in fact, he only returned to practice this week.

While Lamb was gone, the Rebels went with freshman Ethan Anders, 17, and veteran Lasse Petersen, 20, as their goaltenders, then released Petersen in juggling their 20-year-old situation, and brought in Byron Fancy, 16.

With Lamb returning to practice, Fancy has been returned to the midget AAA Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Meanwhile, Greg Meachem of reddeerrebels.com also reports that F Chase Lowry, 17, has gone home rather than report to the AJHL’s Olds Grizzlys. The Rebels had released Lowry on Oct. 27 after finding a spot for him with Olds.

“I’ve always wondered that if kids don’t have the passion to play, why are they playing?” Brent Sutter, the Rebels, owner, general manager and head coach, told Meachem. “As you advance you just fall further and further down the ladder. He was at the bottom trying to climb up but he didn’t want to put the work and commitment into it that was necessary to be a player.

“He decided to go a different direction and we wish him all the best doing it.”

Lowry, a third-round selection in the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft, is from the Edmonton area. Last season, he had 14 goals and 14 assists in 34 games with the midget AAA Sherwood Park Kings.

“It bothers you when players have the talent and skill set like he has,” Sutter added, “but (you) can’t get him to make that push to get better. Then when they decide they’re going to quit it just tells you why you couldn’t get it out of him.

“You live by your DNA a lot of the time and obviously he didn’t have that heart and character to push to be a player at this level.”

Meachem’s story is right here.


With G Dylan Ferguson still in the NHL with the Vegas Golden Knights, the Kamloops Blazers have added G Dylan Garand, 15, to their roster for a second time.

Garand, a third-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft, is from Victoria and plays for the midget prep team at the Delta Hockey Academy.

The Golden Knights brought Ferguson in on Oct. 30 as an emergency recall as they have three goaltenders on the injury list. He backed up Maxime Lagace for the last five games of a six-game road swing. The Golden Knights flew home from Montreal on Tuesday night and Ferguson accompanied them.

The Golden Knights are scheduled to entertain the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night, then visit the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday and the Vancouver Canucks on Nov. 16.

Vegas G Marc-Andre Fleury was back at practice on Wednesday for the first time since suffering a concussion on Oct. 13. Oscar Dansk, who was hurt on Oct. 30, remains out, as does Malcolm Subban, who was injured on Oct. 21.

G Max Palaga, a 17-year-old Kamloops native, has started both of the Blazers games in Ferguson’s absence. Garand relieved him during a 5-4 loss to the visiting Vancouver Giants on Saturday and played well, stopping 12 of 13 shots in 34:08.


The Edmonton Oil Kings will be hoping the road trip that began Wednesday only gets better as it moves along. The Oil Kings headed west yesterday — they are scheduled to play the Victoria Royals on Friday — but had only been on the road a short time when there were issues with the bus. As you can see, Corey Graham, their play-by-play voice, was on the bus. About an hour later, he tweeted again, this time writing: “And we’re back!! #rolling.”

Meanwhile, there is another bus-related junior hockey story, but this one likely won’t have a happy ending, at least not for a bus. The photo in the tweet below shows the bus belonging to the BCHL’s Powell River Kings on a big hook, and that’s never a good thing.

If you check out that tweet, you will note that a GoFundMe page has been started in the hopes of raising enough money to help the Kings purchase a new bus.


The Kootenay Ice has added F Connor McLennon, 15, to its roster and he is expected to make his WHL debut on Friday against the visiting Prince Albert Raiders. . . . McLennon was the second overall selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. . . . From Wainwright, Alta., he has 19 points in 12 games with the Northern Alberta X-Treme prep team in the CSSHL. . . . The Ice’s roster now is at 26 players, including eight defencemen and 15 forwards.


F Nic Holowko, 20, who started this season with the Kamloops Blazers, has been involved in a BCHL trade, his rights moving from the Prince George Spruce Kings to the Coquitlam Express. Holowko had three goals and an assist in seven games with the Blazers. He left the team early in October, with a news release stating that he had decided “to utilize his WHL scholarship and pursue his education at Simon Fraser University in his hometown of Burnaby, B.C.” . . . The Spruce Kings acquired F Blake Hayward, 19, in exchange for Holowko. . . . Meanwhile, the Spruce Kings have sent F Reid Perepeluk, 17, to the junior B Kamloops Storm. He started the season with the Prince George Cougars. Perepeluk was pointless in four games with the Cougars and also went without a point in three games with the Spruce Kings. Last season, he had nine goals and 27 assists in 34 games with the midget AAA Cariboo Cougars.


F Jeff Stewart, 19, has signed a letter of intent to attend Colgate U and play for the Raiders in Hamilton, N.Y., next season. Stewart was a sixth-round selection by the Kelowna Rockets in the 2013 WHL bantam draft. . . . He is from Surrey, B.C., and is in his third season with the BCHL’s Surrey Eagles. This season, he has three goals and nine assists in 21 games. Last season, he finished with 16 goals and 20 assists in 48 games.


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!


Ryan Rechner is the new head coach of the AJHL’s Drayton Valley Thunder. He replaces Kyle Adams, who was fired on Sunday with the Thunder at 3-18-0. . . . Adams had been hired in June. . . . Rechner resigned as the associate coach with the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints in order to make the move to the Thunder. . . . Assistant coach Derek Wiest had been named interim head coach on Sunday.


WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Medicine Hat at Calgary, 7 p.m.

Prince Albert vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.

Spokane at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Regina, 7 p.m.

Swift Current at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Red Deer at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Everett at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Edmonton at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

Vancouver at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Tri-City vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:35 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).


Russians storm back, earn split with WHL … Blazers waiting on Vegas … Cougars trim d-man

At Swift Current, Team Russia scored the game’s last four goals and beat Team WHL, 4-3, in the second game of the annual CIBC Canada-Russia series. . . . Team WHL had posted a 7-0 victory in Moose Jaw on Monday night. . . . Last night, Team WHL opened up a 3-0 lead on three PP goals — one from F Dillon Dube (Kelowna Rockets), at 1:27 of the first period, and two from D David Quenneville (Medicine Hat Tigers), at 6:17 and 8:33 of the second period. . . . As the second period passed the 16-minute mark, Team WHL had outscored the visitors, 10-0, in the series. . . . F Mikhail Maltsev scored Russia’s first goal at 16:22 of the second. He later snapped a 3-3 tie, shorthanded, at 12:06 of the third period. . . . In between those goals, D Artyom Maltsev and F Andrey Altybarmakyan scored, at 10:07 and 12:06. . . . Dube also had two assists, while F Sam Steel (Regina Pats) had three helpers. . . . Team WHL was 3-6 on the PP; Russia was 0-2. . . . The Russians got 29 saves from G Mikhail Berdin, including a penalty shot by F Kole Lind (Kelowna). That came in the second period with Team WHL ahead, 3-0. . . . Stuart Skinner (Lethbridghe Hurricanes) stopped 29 shots at the other end, 17 of those coming in the first period. . . . F Tanner Kaspick of the Brandon Wheat Kings was ejected with a headshot major for a first-period headshot on D Alex Alexeyev, who plays for the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels. Alexeyev wasn’t injured on the play. . . . Announced attendance: 2,890. . . .

Team WHL added two players to its roster earlier Tuesday — F Jake Leschyshyn of the Regina Pats and D Colby Sissons of the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Leschyshyn replaced F Brett Howden of the Moose Jaw Warriors, who left Monday’s game in the third period with an undisclosed injury. Leschyshyn, a second-round pick by the Vegas Golden Knights in the NHL’s 2017 draft, has four goals and five assists in 14 games this season. His 2016-17 season was cut short by a knee injury that also cost him the start of this season. . . . Sissons took the spot vacated by D Josh Mahura of the Pats, who finished Monday’s game but suffered an undisclosed injury so wasn’t able to answer the bell for Game 2. Sissons, who has signed with the NHL’s New Jersey Devils, has four goals and 14 assists in 15 games this season. . . .

The Canada-Russia series will continue with Games 3 and 4 in the OHL cities of Owen Sound and Sudbury on Thursday and Monday, respectively. It will conclude in the QMJHL with games in Charlottetown (Nov. 14) and Moncton (Nov. 16).


G Dylan Ferguson of the Kamloops Blazers spent his fifth game on the bench with the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night, this time in Montreal. The Golden Knights completed a six-game road trip with a 3-2 loss to the Canadiens.

Ferguson has been with the Golden Knights under emergency recall rules, backing up Maxime Lagace, with three other goaltenders injured.

The Golden Knights flew home to Las Vegas following last night’s game and it’s believed that Ferguson was on the flight.

The Golden Knights are next scheduled to play on Friday when they entertain the Winnipeg Jets.

The Blazers also are scheduled to play Friday, with the visiting Red Deer Rebels to provide the opposition. Kamloops then will travel to Kent, Wash., for a Saturday date with the Seattle Thunderbirds.

If Ferguson isn’t returned to Kamloops before Friday, the Blazers likely would start Max Palaga. But they would have to bring in a second goaltender; Dylan Garand, 15, who was in Kamloops last weekend, has returned to the midget prep team at the Delta Hockey Academy.

Meanwhile, the Blazers will hold a news conference on Thursday morning for what is being termed an “organizational announcement.” According to the team, majority owner Tom Gaglardi will be present. Also expected to be in attendance are Don Moores, the Blazers’ chief operating officer; Norm Daley, the chairman of the team’s advisory board; and Ken Christian, the newly elected mayor of Kamloops.


The Prince George Cougars have dropped D Peter Kope, 18, from their roster and he is expected to return to the AJHL’s Camrose Kodiaks. A fifth-round pick in the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft, Kope had one assist in five games with the Cougars. . . . The Cougars now are carrying 25 players, including seven defencemen and 15 forwards. . . . They will be at home to the Everett Silvertips this weekend for a Friday-Saturday doubleheader.


Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet posted his weekly 31 Thoughts on Tuesday morning, and it’s loaded with great insight into the three-team NHL deal that involved the Colorado Avalanche, Nashville Predators and Ottawa Senators. . . . That piece is right here.


Elliotte Friedman’s latest 31 Thoughts includes this:

“Regular readers of this blog know I keep a Nov. 1 stat. Since 2005-06, six of 48 teams that were at least four points out after games played on that date came back to make the playoffs (This excludes lockout-shortened 2012-13). There were no contenders last season, as the late start from the World Cup put nobody in that position. This year, six will try and beat the odds: Arizona, Buffalo, Edmonton, Florida, Minnesota and Montreal.”

While it’s comparing apples to oranges, there are three WHL teams who are at least four points out a playoff spot right now.

In the Eastern Conference, the Calgary Hitmen (6-10-1) are four points from the second wild-card spot, with the Edmonton Oil Kings (5-10-2) five points back. Calgary and Edmonton also are four and five points, respectively, from third place in the conference.

In the Western Conference, the Kamloops Blazers (5-12-0) are five points from third place in the B.C. Division and also five points away from the conference’s second wild-card spot.


The last item in Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts deals with the death this week of Sarah Stevenson. She died on Tuesday, a day after being diagnosed with Neisseria Meningitidis. That is the same disease that hit F Tim Bozon, then with the WHL’s Kootenay Ice, early in 2014. He spent a month in a Saskatoon hospital, part of it in a medically induced coma. Bozon, now 23 years of age, now played for EHC Kloten in Switzerland’s NL A.


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!


TUESDAY:

Russia 4, WHL 3, at Swift Current.


WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


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).


Yamamoto back with Chiefs … Team WHL whips Russia … Silvertips suspend pair


F Kailer Yamamoto is back with the Spokane Chiefs. The NHL’s Edmonton Oilers returned Yamamoto, 19, who is from Spokane, to the Chiefs on Monday morning.

Yamamoto, the 22nd overall selection in the NHL’s 2017 draft, got into nine games with the Oilers, recording three assists, and was a healthy scratch from three others.

Had Yamamoto played a 10th NHL game, the first year of his three-year entry-level contract would have kicked in.

Yamamoto is a huge addition to the Chiefs, as he put up 101 points, including 42 goals, in 65 games last season.

While Yamamoto was in Edmonton, the Chiefs acquired F Zach Fischer, 20, from the Medicine Hat Tigers. Both are right wingers, as a rule, so the Chiefs now have some firepower from that some.

Combine those two with F Jaret Anderson-Dolan, F Hudson Elynuik and D Ty Smith, who is a potential first-round selection in the 2018 NHL draft, and the Chiefs are almost certain to cause some excitement in the U.S. Division.

The Chiefs are next scheduled to play on Friday when they visit the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Having Yamamoto back in the WHL also is big for USA Hockey’s national junior team, especially with the 2018 World Junior Championship to be decided in Buffalo.

At last year’s tournament, in Montreal and Toronto, Yamamoto put up 14 points, seven of them goals, in nine games. It could be that the Team USA coaching staff puts Yamamoto back on a line with Logan Brown of the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires and Casey Mittelstadt, who plays at the U of Minnesota.

The Buffalo Sabres selected Mittelstadt with the eighth overall pick in the NHL’s 2017 draft, while the Ottawa Senators took Brown with the 11th pick.


Team WHL opened the CIBC Canada-Russia series in Moose Jaw on Monday night by whipping the touring Russian side, 7-0. . . . They’ll play again tonight (Tuesday) in Swift Current. . . . F Kole Lind of the Kelowna Rockets, the only player on Team WHL who is from Saskatchewan, led the way with a pair of goals and an assist. . . . Lind is from Shaunavon. . . . Team WHL, which held period leads of 1-0 and 5-0, got its other goals from F Brett Howden (Moose Jaw), F Matthew Phillips (Victoria), F Tyler Steenbergen (Swift Current), F Cody Glass (Portland) and F Dillon Dube (Kelowna). . . . G Carter Hart (Everett) blocked 20 shots to record the shutout. He was sharp, especially in the first period when he made three or four Grade A saves. Hart played two games with Everett and then was out for more than a month after being diagnosed with mononucleosis. He has played two games with the Silvertips since being cleared to return. Hart is the favourite to be Team Canada’s starting goaltender in Buffalo and he didn’t do anything to change that last night. . . . The Calgary Hitmen got a scare at 11:41 of the second period when D Jake Bean left after blocking a shot. He took the shot off his left ankle and it appeared to cross over and ding his right ankle, as well. As he left the ice, with the assistant of athletic therapist Greg Mayer (Regina), Bean wasn’t able to put any weight on his left foot. However, Bean was back on the ice for the third period. . . . In the third period, Howden took a hard hit and left for the dressing room. He didn’t return. Marc Smith (@MarcSmith18) tweeted later: “There was no update on Howden post-game. He wasn’t available to the media.” . . . F Michael Rasmussen (Tri-City) and F Jaret Anderson-Dolan are without their equipment, which hadn’t made it to Moose Jaw by game time. So they played in new skates and different equipment, something that isn’t an easy thing to do. . . . An attendance figure wasn’t provided on the on-line scoresheet, but there were a lot of empty red seats visible during Sportsnet’s telecast..


You’re a junior hockey fan and you’re starting to get excited about the approaching 2018 World Junior Championship. Bob McKenzie of TSN was in Moose Jaw on Monday for the opening of the CIBC Canada-Russia series, and he spent part of his day writing about the selection process for the team that will represent Canada starting Dec. 26 in Buffalo. That piece is right here.


G Dylan Ferguson of the Kamloops Blazers was still in the NHL on Monday night, serving as the backup for the Vegas Golden Knights during a 4-3 shootout loss to the host Toronto Maple Leafs. . . . Ferguson has been with the Knights on emergency recall for a week, and also backed up G Maxime Lagace for road games against the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators. The Golden Knights wrap up this road trip tonight (Tuesday) in Montreal against the Canadiens. . . . The Blazers no doubt are hoping that Ferguson will be returned after that game. Kamloops next plays Friday against the visiting Red Deer Rebels. . . . The Blazers brought G Dylan Garand, 15, in late last week to back up Max Palaga. Garand, from Victoria, has returned to the Delta Hockey Academy’s midget prep team. He got into one game and acquitted himself well, coming on in relied and stopping 12 of 13 shots in 34:08 in a 5-4 loss to the visiting Vancouver Giants on Saturday night.


The Calgary Hitmen have dropped F Matt Dorsey, 18 from their roster, and he is expected to join the BCHL’s Wenatchee Wild. Dorsey, who is from Wenatchee, was a third-round selection by Calgary in the 2014 bantam draft. However, his progress has been hampered by knee problems. . . . Dorsey had three goals and three assists in 34 games last season, but had yet to get into a game this season. . . . The Hitmen now are carrying 23 players, including 14 forwards and seven defencemen.


The Everett Silvertips’ roster is down to 22 after two forwards — Ethan Browne and Mark Liwiski — were placed on the team’s suspended list. . . . Garry Davidson, the Silvertips’ general manager, explained in a news release that “Liwiski has been found to be in clear violation of team policy. As a result, he has been placed on team suspension, and has returned home indefinitely. We make it very clear that actions he decided upon will not be tolerated and the resulting consequences serve as firm boundary to maintain the culture we have established, and take seriously.” . . . Liwiski, 16, is from Dauphin, Man. He was a third-round pick in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. He was pointless in 10 games with Everett after putting up 25 goals and 29 assists in 37 games with the midget AAA Parkland Rangers last season. . . . Meanwhile, Davidson said that Browne “has been placed on suspension as he has clarified his wishes to return home to the Edmonton area.” . . . Browne, 16, is from Sherwood Park, Alta. He was a first-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. He had one assist in eight games with Everett this season. Last season, he had nine goals and 20 assists in 27 games with the midget AAA Sherwood Park Kings.


Stan Wilson, who spent eight seasons (1982-90) as the Prince Albert Raiders’ equipment manager, worked his 2,000th NHL game on Monday night. Wilson, who is from Melfort, Sask., is the Arizona Coyotes’ head equipment manager. . . . He was part of the Raiders’ Memorial Cup-championship team in 1984-85. Wilson left the Raiders after the 1989-90 season to join the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets as their equipment manager. Of course, the Jets moved to Phoenix after the 1995-96 season, meaning Wilson has been with the same organization since 1990-91. . . . He also has been part of two IIHF World Championship-winning Canadian teams — in 2003 and 2007.


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!


The AJHL’s Drayton Valley Thunder fired head coach Kyle Adams on Sunday, with assistant coach Derek Wiest moving up to interim head coach. . . . The Thunder, at 3-18-0, is last in the eight team Viterra North. That also is the AJHL’s poorest record. . . . It has been outscored 106-42. . . . Last season, the Thunder was 17-39-4. Adams was hired in June after spending three seasons on staff with the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs. . . . In Drayton Valley, he took over from Jesse Dorrans, who resigned in May while citing personal reasons. . . . Joey Bouchard remains the Thunder’s general manager.


MONDAY:

Team WHL 7, Russia 0, at Moose Jaw.


TUESDAY (all times local):

Russia vs. Team WHL, Swift Current, 7 p.m.


WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


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, while watching NFL … Loewen brings power game … Everett down two forwards … Coaching change in MJHL

While watching an NFL game on CTV on Sunday afternoon, the realization struck me — it isn’t the NFL on CTV; rather, it’s a series of NFL commercials aired between CTV promos.


After Tiger Woods pleaded guilty to reckless driving the other day, RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com noted: “His short game hasn’t been much, either.”


TV options on Sunday included taped telecasts on Sportsnet channels of three NHL games that were played on Saturday night. At the same time, the game between the host Edmonton Oilers and Detroit Red Wings was not available in my area “due to regional restrictions.” . . . So it was another day of watching NFL games.


Dwight Perry, in the Seattle Times: “The chartered plane carrying the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder last Saturday landed in Chicago with its nose cone completely caved in — the result of an apparent collision with a bird. Here’s guessing it was a blocking fowl.”


Here’s Perry, again: “The New Jersey Devils boast the world’s largest high-def scoreboard/video screen — the equivalent of 1,300 50-inch TVs. It’s so immense, fans say, that on replays you can almost see the puck.”


A tip of the hat to the WHL and its decision to take five days off while many of its top players take part in the CIBC Canada-Russia series, and a number of its best young players are at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John B.C.


That’s right. The next scheduled WHL games are to be played on Friday.


Bill Wilms, a veteran WHL observer and broadcaster, took time out from his duties as the analyst on Vancouver Giants’ broadcasts to visit with me and to proffer an idea on Saturday night. It is time, he suggested, to take some of the hitting out of hockey. As he pointed out, those big open-ice hits, especially where a defender steps up into the neutral zone and unloads on an unsuspecting opponent, don’t accomplish much of anything, other than to oftentimes injure the opponent and result in a suspension to the hitter. . . . It’s hard to argue with that line of thinking, especially because intimidation really isn’t a factor in this day and age, and when so many of the changes in today’s game are aimed at improving player safety. Of course, if it really was about player safety, especially at the WHL level, those in power would act to get fighting out of the game, wouldn’t they?


Still, one look at the WHL’s weekly roster report and the names of all the injured players is enough to have me agreeing with Wilms. The talent pool isn’t deep enough to withstand the number of injuries in the game today, and any move to lessen those should be looked at in all seriousness.


Headline at SportsPickle.com: John Calipari lands Amazon headquarters.


ICYMI, the New York Islanders beat the visiting Colorado Avalanche, 6-4, on Sunday, with F Mathew Barzal earning five assists, two of them on the PP. And a whole lot of Seattle Thunderbirds nodded and said: “I’ve seen that show before.”


Yes, this has turned into a frustrating season for the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers, who have but five victories to show for their first 17 games.

And, yes, they are 1-7-0 at home following a 5-4 setback at the hands of the Vancouver Giants on Saturday night.

But here’s a word of warning to the Blazers’ opponents: Beware of No. 32.

Jermaine Loewen, 19, is into his fourth season in Kamloops and perhaps it all has come together for him, allowing him to become a real power forward.

Loewen went into this season with 32 points, 14 of them goals, in 171 regular-season games. He began this season by going pointless in three games, and then sat out six games with an undisclosed injury.

After enjoying back-to-back two-goal games against the Giants on the weekend, he now has six goals and four assists in 11 games this season.

Until recent times, Loewen, who is listed as 6-foot-2 and 221 pounds, played in the Blazers’ bottom six forwards. Of late, though, he has been patrolling the left side with the team’s most-gifted offensive forward — veteran Garrett Pilon, 19.

In the past, you never could question Loewen’s desire, his fearlessness or his emotional investment in games. However, he sometimes let that emotion get the better of him, something that often resulted in undisciplined play and bad penalties.

Of course, you also have to remember that Loewen, a formidably strong skater who often doesn’t realize his own strength, was late to the game, having been adopted by Tara and Stan Loewen out of an orphanage in May Pen, Jamaica, and taken to Arborg, Man., where he was introduced to hockey at the age of 10. (If you aren’t familiar with Jermaine’s story, check out this story right here. It was written by Marty Hastings of Kamloops This Week.)

Of late, it looks as though Loewen is putting it all together — kind of like the Rubik’s Cube has fallen into place. He was the Blazers’ best player on Saturday; in fact, you could make a case for his having been the most dominant player on the ice. He has a wicked snap shot and loves to use it off the rush. He knows the importance of getting to the net and causing mayhem. He loves to retrieve a loose puck deep in the offensive zone and drive to the net. All of that, and more, was on display Saturday, especially in the third period when he scored twice to get Kamloops back into the game.

Now it’s only a matter of Loewen getting consistent, of his being able to dominate every shift of every game. If/when that happens, NHL scouts will be marking Blazers’ games on their calendars.


The Everett Silvertips’ roster is down two forwards.

F Mark Liwiski has been suspended indefinitely, while F Ethan Browne has left the team and returned home.

Liwiski was suspended after being in violation of an unspecified team rule or rules.

After a 3-1 loss to the visiting Portland Winterhawks on Saturday, Everett head coach Dennis Williams told Jesse Geleynse of the Everett Herald:

“It’s something that again in probably a week’s time we’ll sit down as a staff, with (general manager) Garry (Davidson) being on the road, and discuss what are the next steps we’re going to take with everything.”

Davidson, like a lot of WHL general managers and scouts, is watching the U-17 World Hockey Challenge in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, B.C.

Liwiski, 16, was a third-round selection in the 2016 WHL bantam draft. He was pointless in 10 games with Everett.

Meanwhile, Browne, a first-round selection in the 2016 bantam draft, is at home in Sherwood Park, Alta. According to Williams, Browne told him on Friday “that he wanted to take some time and so we’ve granted that. He wanted to go back home, so that was something he wanted to do. That came (as) kind of a surprise on Friday, but there’s nothing we can do. He wanted to go home and clear his mind, and try to get refocused.”

Browne has one assist in eight games with the Silvertips.


You may recall reading here recently that a number of rings that belonged to the late Ed Chynoweth, the longtime WHL and Edmonton/Kootenay Ice executive, are up for auction at Classic Auctions.

As of Sunday afternoon, there had been a goodly amount of action on all 13 of the rings that were made available by the Chynoweth family, with bids running from $440 to $977.

If you have been wondering why these items have been made available to fans and collectors, it turns out that it was Ed’s wish.

Dean Chynoweth, now the associate coach with the WHL’s Vancouver Giants, told me Saturday night that his father had told his family not to hang on to things just because they had been his. They have there memories and that’s enough.

There aren’t any collectors in the family, and it turns out that there is a lot of memorabilia. Thus the decision was made to get involved with Classic Auctions, a move that will take a lot of interesting memorabilia out of closets and into the hockey community.

In the near future, there will be more from the Chynoweth collection, including sweaters and photos, made available.

If you’re interested, you can check out the rings right here.


A source told Taking Note recently that the WHL is exploring the possibility of holding a pair of outdoor games early in 2019 at Safeco Field, the home of baseball’s Seattle Mariners. . . . Russ Farwell, the general manager of the Seattle Thunderbirds, has told Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times that there was some preliminary work done on such a project more than three years ago. “It wasn’t out of the question, (the Mariners) would do it if you could pay the freight,” Farwell told Baker. “We just weren’t able to take it on at that time. But it’s something we’ll look at, and I think we’ll explore again.” . . . Baker’s story is right here.


A tip of the cap to the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers, who had Zach Roe, sons Lennon and Louis, and a few other family members on hand for a presentation prior to a Saturday night game. Tara Roe, Zach’s wife, was among the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Oct. 1. Zach played in the WHL with the Regina Pats. . . . There is a photo and more right here.


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Paul McLean has taken over as the head coach of the MJHL’s Waywayseecappo Wolverines. McLean, who had been the assistant general manager/assistant coach, replaces Arnie Caplan, who had been in his first season as the general manager and head coach. . . . The Wolverines were 1-16-1 when the move was made on Friday. . . . In McLean’s first two games as head coach, the Wolverines lost 9-1 and 6-0 to the visiting Steinbach Pistons on Saturday and Sunday. . . . Caplan was hired in May, taking over from Barry Butler after a 14-42-4 season. . . . The franchise is into its 19th season but has only had a winning season on two occasions.


SUNDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


MONDAY (all times local):

Russia vs. Team WHL, Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.


TUESDAY (all times local):

Russia vs. Team WHL, Swift Current, 7 p.m.


WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


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).

Rebels deal for some grit … Silvertips add local flavour … T-Birds hot on road

F Roman Tománek (Calgary, Seattle, 2004-06) has signed a two-game tryout contract with Beyreuth (Germany, DEL2). He was released by mutual agreement by Freiburg (Germany, DEL2) on Tuesday, after recording one assist in 13 games.


The Red Deer Rebels have acquired F Lukus MacKenzie, 18, from the Saskatoon Blades for a fourth-round selection in the 2018 WHL bantam draft.

MacKenzie, who was a late scratch from the Blades’ 2-1 OT victory over the host Lethbridge Hurricanes on Wednesday night, has four assists in 13 games this season.

MacKenzie, from Calgary, was a third-round selection by the Blades in the 2014 bantam draft. In 121 regular-season games, he has eight goals and 16 assists.

At 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, MacKenzie will bring some physical play and an edge to the Rebels’ forward ranks.

The deal was announced Thursday morning, less than 12 hours after the Rebels dropped a 4-2 decision to the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds, a game that was followed by an epic rant from Brent Sutter, Red Deer’s general manager and head coach.

The Rebels gave up a 2-1 third-period lead, with the winning goal, by Seattle F Donovan Neuls, coming with the home team on its fifth straight PP.

Sutter didn’t hold back after the game. He told reporters that the difference was “bad coaching.“

He continued:

“Playing those guys in the third period, our so-called best players. . . . They were terrible tonight and I shouldn’t have had them on the ice in the third period. I shouldn’t have had them on the power play in the last four minutes. That’s my fault.

“It’s unacceptable. (Brandon) Hagel was terrible tonight, (Lane) Zablocki was awful.

“Our older players didn’t play like they need to play and when you have that, when your best players aren’t your best players and they’re your worst players, you struggle. And you put other players in situations that they probably struggle in, too.”

Greg Meachem of reddeerrebels.com has more right here.


Having dealt F Lukus MacKenzie to the Red Deer Rebels, the Saskatoon Blades added F Alec Zawatsky to their roster.

Zawatsky, 18, had two goals and two assists in five games with the BCHL’s Cowichan Capitals, then was dealt to the SJHL’s Notre Dame Hounds. He had nine goals and 10 assists in 13 games with the Hounds.

Zawatsky, who is from Yorkton, Sask., practised with the Blades in Lethbridge on Thursday.

Zawatsky is expected to make his WHL debut tonight against the host Medicine Hat Tigers.

His father, Ed, played four seasons (1987-91) at Colorado College before going on to a pro career that included nine seasons in Germany. He also has coached the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers and now scouts for the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks.


The Everett Silvertips have acquired F Luke Ormsby, 18, from the Seattle Thunderbirds for a ninth-round selection in the 2018 WHL bantam draft.

Ormsby was born in Port Angeles, Wash., and has lived in Everett and Bellingham. He also played in Everett’s minor hockey ranks.

“We’re excited to welcome an individual like Luke to the Silvertips family, who brings proven experience at this level and a is homegrown player as well,” Garry Davidson, Everett’s general manager, said in a news release.“His hard work, beginning in Everett Youth Hockey, gave him the necessary tools to improve each year and reach the WHL level. He gets around the ice very well, and shows up to play with emotion and intensity.”

This season, Ormsby was pointless in 11 games with Seattle. Last season, he had six goals and five assists in 11 regular-season games, then added one assist in 13 playoff games.

The Thunderbirds selected him in the ninth round of the 2014 WHL bantam draft.

Ormsby had left the Thunderbirds on Monday and was to have joined the BCHL’s Wenatchee Wild.

At the time, Seattle general manager Russ Farwell said: “He is going to Wenatchee to play. We are releasing him. It was a mutual decision.”


F Kalen Szeto, who turned 15 on Oct. 12, has committed to attend Yale U and play for the Bulldogs, starting with the 2020-21 season. . . . He was a fifth-round selection by the Saskatoon Blades in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. . . . This season, Szeto, who is from Vancouver, has four goals and 10 assists in 10 games with the Burnaby Winter Club Prep team in the CSSHL. . . . Last season, he had 97 goals and 81 assists in 67 games with the BWC’s bantam A1-T1 side.


F Zach Michaelis of Elk River, Minn., has committed to attend the u of Nebraska-Omaha and play for the Mavericks starting with the 2021-22 season. He turned 15 on May 30. . . . Michaelis was a fourth-round selection by the Prince George Cougars in the 2017 bantam draft. . . . Last season, Michaelis played for a bantam team at Shattuck St. Mary’s in Faribault, Minn. This season, he is playing at Elk River High School and with the U-15 Minnesota Blades.


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F Lucas Cullen has joined the BCHL’s West Kelowna Warriors. Cullen, 18, is from Kelowna. He left the Calgary Hitmen on Oct. 24 to pursue other hockey opportunities. He had one assist in seven games this season. Last season, Cullen had four goals and four assists in 37 games. The Hitmen selected him in the fifth round of the 2014 bantam draft. . . .

The Medicine Hat Tigers have dropped D Trevor Longo, 17, from their roster. Long, from North Vancouver, B.C., was pointless in four games. Last season, he had 11 goals and 26 assists in 40 games with the major midget Vancouver-Northwest Giants, and was pointless in two games with the BCHL’s Langley Rivermen. . . . The Tigers selected him in the sixth round of the 2015 bantam draft. . . .

With D Braden Schneider at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge, the Brandon Wheat Kings have added D Neithan Salame to their roster. Salame, 16, is expected to make his WHL debut tonight against the visiting Kootenay Ice. From Edmonton, he was a seventh-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. This season, he has three goals and nine assists in 10 games with the midget AAA Edmonton-Knights of Columbus Pats.


THURSDAY:

At Edmonton, F Zack Andrusiak broke a 1-1 tie at 15:14 of the third period as the Seattle Thunderbirds skated to a 3-1 victory over the Oil Kings. . . . The Thunderbirds (9-5-1), who were playing their fifth game in seven nights, have won four in a  row. They are 5-1-0 on a seven-game road trip that wraps up Saturday night against the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . The Oil Kings (5-9-2) have lost three straight. . . . Seattle broke a scoreless tie at 11:26 of the second period when D Austin Strand scored on a PP. That was his ninth goal this season, eight of which have come via the PP. . . . D Jantzen Leslie, acquired earlier in the week from the Saskatoon Blades, was in the Oil Kings’ lineup and scored his first goal at 6:47 of the third period. He was playing in his 83rd career regular-season game — 10 with Everett, 72 with Saskatoon and one with Edmonton. . . . Andrusiak snapped the tie with his seventh goal of the season. . . . F Nolan Volcan (5), who is from Edmonton, iced it with an empty-netter at 19:38. . . . Seattle was 1-3 on the PP; Edmonton was 0-5. . . . Seattle G Matt Berlin, who is from Edmonton, stopped 30 shots. . . . Edmonton G Boston Bilous turned aside 16 shots. . . . With G Travis Child out with an undisclosed injury, Edmonton had G Josh Dechaine backing up Bilous. Dechaine, 19, got into 17 games with the Oil Kings last season and two this season. He now plays for the AJHL’s Sherwood Park Crusaders. . . . Tyrel Bauer, a second-round selection in the 2017 bantam draft, made his WHL debut with the Thunderbirds. From Cochrane, Alta., he plays for the midget AAA Airdrie CFR Bisons. . . . Announced attendance: 5,572.


At Moose Jaw, the Warriors erased a 2-1 deficit with four goals in the second half of the third period — the last three in 35 seconds — to beat the Prince Albert Raiders, 5-2. . . . The Warriors (12-4-0) have won two in a row. . . . The Raiders (6-5-3) had points in each of their previous five games (3-0-2). . . . F Brett Leason (2) gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead at 5:31 of the first period. That was his first goal in two games since being acquired from the Tri-City Americans. . . . F Luka Burzan (2) pulled the Warriors even, on a PP, at 19:43. . . . Prince Albert went back out front when F Devon Skoleski (6) scored at 8:32 of the second period. . . . F Brayden Burke (7) tied it, on a PP, at 11:14 and F Jayden Halbgewachs snapped the tie at 16:06. . . . F Tanner Jeannot (10) provided Moose Jaw with some insurance at 16:22 and Halbgewachs (10) finished the scoring at 16:41. . . . The Warriors got three assists from F Brett Howden and two each from D Chase Hartje and Burke. . . . Moose Jaw was 2-5 on the PP; Prince Albert was 0-3. . . . G Brody Willms earned the victory with 24 saves. . . . At the other end, Curtis Meger stopped 37 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 3,209.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Kootenay at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Red Deer at Regina, 7 p.m.

Calgary at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Swift Current at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

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

Portland at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.

Kamloops vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7:30 p.m.

Kelowna at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

Prince George at Everett, 7:35 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).


Hitmen add forward … Rebels drop two skaters … Kubic big for Blades … Jeannot sparks Warriors

The Calgary Hitmen have signed F Orca Wiesblatt, 17, who is from Calgary. He was in Calgary’s lineup on Friday night as it dropped a 5-4 decision to the host Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . He had been playing with the AJHL’s Brooks Bandits, where he had six goals and five assists in 16 games. . . . Last season, he had six goals and six assists in 30 games with the Bandits. . . . Interestingly, on Oct. 6, 2016, the Bandits announced that Wiesblatt had committed to attend the U of Vermont where he would play for the Catamounts. . . . The Hitmen added him to their protected list last week. . . . Calgary has two forwards — Matt Dorsey and Beck Malenstyn — out with long-term injuries, so adding Wiesblatt will help it get through the next while. . . .  Wiesblatt’s brother Ocean, 18, also plays in Brooks and has committed to Vermont. . . . A third brother, Ozzy, 15, plays for the midget AAA Calgary Buffaloes. He was a second-round pick by the Prince Albert Raiders in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. . . . A fourth brother, Oasiz, 13, plays for the bantam AAA Calgary Bisons. . . . Their parents, Kimberly White and Art Wiesblatt, have been deaf from birth. Their boys aren’t hearing impaired.


The Red Deer Rebels have dropped F Chase Lowry, 17, from their roster. He is expected to play for the AJHL’s Olds Grizzlys. Lowry, from Edmonton, was a third-round selection in the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft. He was pointless in two games with the Rebels this season. . . . Later Friday, the Rebels revealed that F Dawson Martin, 19, had been released. He is expected to join a junior A team in the near future. Martin, from Winnipeg, was a second-round selection by the Calgary Hitmen in the 2013 bantam draft. He put up 12 goals and 14 assists in 127 regular-season WHL games. Last season, he had 10 goals and six assists in 65 games with the Rebels. Martin hasn’t played this season due to an undisclosed injury.


The Edmonton Oil Kings have signed F Matthew Culling, 16, who was a 10th-round selection in the 2016 bantam draft. This season, he played 10 games with the midget AAA Regina Pat Canadians, putting up nine goals and five assists. Last season, he had five goals and 19 assists in 43 games with the Pat Canadians.


Evan Richardson is the new play-by-play voice of the Portland Winterhawks. He has signed on as media relations and broadcast manager. Richardson has worked as a writer at TSN, and also called the play of the U of Toronto Varsity Blues men’s and women’s hockey games. . . . The Winterhawks apparently have had Richardson lined up since sometime in September but it took until now to get the paperwork done. . . . Andy Kemper, who has been handling play-by-play duties since Todd Vrooman left the organization in August, will return to providing analysis on home broadcasts.


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FRIDAY:

At Cranbrook, B.C., G Kurtis Chapman stopped 37 shots to lead the Kootenay Ice to a 4-2 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . The Ice improved to 6-7-1, while the Thunderbirds now are 5-5-1. . . . F Zack Andrusiak (3) opened the scoring for Seattle, at 14:08 of the first period. . . . The Ice took a 3-1 lead on second-period goals from F Vince Lischiavo (5), who was playing his 200th regular-season game, at 0:56; F Colton Kroeker (6), at 2:43; and F Peyton Krebs (3), at 18:57. . . . D Austin Strand (6) pulled Seattle to within a goal, on a PP, at 14:24. All six of his goals have come via the PP. . . . Ice F Cameron Hausinger (1) got the empty-netter at 19:08. . . . The Thunderbirds got two assists from D Reece Harsch. . . . Seattle was 1-4 on the PP; Kootenay was 0-2. . . . Seattle G Matt Berlin blocked 27 shots. . . . G Duncan McGovern, who was acquired by the Ice earlier in the week from the Medicine Hat Tigers, was backing up Chapman. . . . D Jarret Tysza and D Aaron Hyman were among Seattle’s scratches, both out with undisclosed injuries. . . . Announced attendance: 2,329.


At Red Deer, F Jared Dmytriw scored at 3:39 of OT to give the Rebels a 4-3 victory over the Spokane Chiefs. . . . The Rebels (7-6-0) had lost their previous two games. . . . The Chiefs (8-6-2) have lost two in a row (0-1-1). . . . Red Deer didn’t lead until Dmytriw won it with his third goal of the season. . . . Rebels F Brandon Hagel (5) forced OT when he scored with 38.9 seconds left in the third period. G Ethan Anders was on the bench for the extra attacker at the time. . . . F Hudson Elynuik gave the Chiefs a 2-0 lead with goals at 4:30 and 14:02 of the first period. He’s got 10 goals this season. . . . The Rebels pulled even on two PP goals from F Lane Zablocki, who has five scores. He counted at 19:42 of the first period and 4:57 of the third. . . . Spokane D Nolan Reid (7) gave his guys a 3-2 lead at 13:32 of the third. He’s got goals in six straight games. Reid went into the season with eight goals in 192 career games. . . . Hagel also had an assist. . . . Red Deer was 2-6 on the PP; Spokane was 0-6. . . . Anders started for the Rebels and made 25 saves. The Rebels put G Lasse Petersen, 20, on waivers Thursday in order to make room for F Jack Flaman. With G Riley Lamb (broken thumb) not yet ready to return, the Rebels brought in G Byron Fancy from the midget AAA Lethbridge Hurricanes. Fancy, 16, was a second-round selection in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . The Chiefs got 29 stops from G Dawson Weatherill. . . . The Rebels had D Alex Alexeyev back from a shoulder injury. He hadn’t played since being injured on Sept. 29. He drew an assist on the winning goal. . . . Czech D Filip Kral was among Spokane’s scratches. He has two goals and six assists in his first seven WHL games. . . . Announced attendance: 4,118.


At Prince Albert, F Parker Kelly scored twice to help the Raiders to a 4-1 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . The Raiders (6-4-3) have points in five straight (3-0-2). . . . The Wheat Kings (9-4-1) had won their previous two games. . . . The Raiders scored the first four goals. . . . F Jordy Stallard (9), who also had an assist, got it started at 1:05 of the first period, with Kelly counting at 12:14. . . . Kelly (10) scored again, at 2:05 of the second, and F Devon Skoleski (5) added another goal at 10:50. . . . F Tanner Kaspick (5) scored for Brandon at 11:12. . . . Prince Albert was 1-2 on the PP; Brandon was 0-3. . . . G Ian Scott stopped 34 shots to record the victory over Dylan Myskiw, who made 15 saves. . . . F Brett Leason, acquired this week from the Tri-City Americans, made his Prince Albert debut. . . . Announced attendance: 1,891.


At Lethbridge, F Ryan Vandervlis broke a 4-4 tie at 13:16 of the third period as the Hurricanes beat the Calgary Hitmen, 5-4. . . . The Hurricanes (7-5-0) have won three in a row. . . . The Hitmen (4-9-1) have lost two straight. . . . Vandervlis won it with his third goal. . . . F Egor Zudilov gave Lethbridge a 1-0 lead at 2:46 of the first period. . . . The Hitmen went ahead on PP goals from D Vladislav Yeryomenko (2), at 8:45, and F Matteo Gennaro, at 10:35. . . . F Jordy Bellerive (7) pulled the Hurricanes into a tie at 14:47. . . . Gennaro added his 10th goal, at 15:48, only to have D Calen Addison (3) tie it at 16:20. . . . After a six-goal first period, the second period was scoreless. . . . Zudilov’s third goal of the season, at 8:02 of the third period, gave Lethbridge a 4-3 edge. . . . F Andrei Grishakov (4) knotted it for Calgary at 10:38. . . . Vandervlis won it with his third goal of the season. . . . The Hurricanes got three assists from D Brady Pouteau and two from F Jake Elmer, with Addison and Bellerive each adding one. . . . F Mark Kastelic and D Jake Bean each had two assists for Calgary, with Yeryomenko getting one. . . . Calgary was 2-4 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-6. . . . G Stuart Skinner earned the victory with 30 saves, two fewer than Calgary’s Matthew Armitage. . . . Calgary lost F Andrew Fyten to a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct at 13:48 of the third period for a hit on F Tanner Nagel. . . . Announced attendance: 3,544.


At Swift Current, G Ryan Kubic stopped 33 shots, including a pair of third-period penalty shots, and F Cam Hebig had three goals as the Saskatoon Blades got past the Broncos, 4-3. . . . The Blades (4-7-1) had lost their previous three games (0-2-1). . . . The Broncos (9-2-1) had points in their previous two games (1-0-1). . . . F Aleksi Heponiemi (9) scored on a breakaway while the teams were playing four-on-four at 14:07 of the first period. . . . Hebig then scored three straight second-period goals — at 2:45, 12:47, on a PP, and 16:26 — for a 3-1 lead. That was Hebig’s first WHL hat trick; he was playing in his 208th game. . . . F Tyler Lees (1) upped that to 4-1 at 5:51 of the third period. . . . Broncos F Glenn Gawdin (9) cut into the lead at 6:03 and D Artyom Minulin (2) made it a one-goal game at 9:53. . . . F Kole Gable, at 14:23, and Heponiemi, at 17:27, were awarded penalty shots in the third period but couldn’t beat Kubic. . . . F Bradly Goethals had two assists for the Blades. . . . D Colby Sissons did the same for the Broncos. . . . Les Lazaruk, the veteran radio voice of the Blades, pointed out before the game that the Broncos big line of Heponiemi, Gawdin and Tyler Steenbergen had scored 37 of the team’s 52 goals and earned 88 of 144 scoring points. . . . They combined for two goals and two assists in this one. . . . Swift Current was 1-2 on the PP; Saskatoon was 1-4. . . . The Broncos got 29 saves from G Logan Flodell. . . . Interestingly, Flodell and Kubic were traded for each other just before this season got started. . . . Announced attendance: 2,132.


At Medicine Hat, F Tanner Jeannot scored four times and added an assist as the Moose Jaw Warriors wrapped up a seven-game road trip with a 9-1 victory over the Tigers. . . . The Warriors (11-4-0), who lost the first two games of the trip, finished 4-3-0. They opened the swing with a pair of one-goal losses. . . . The Tigers (8-5-0) had won their previous two games. . . . D Oleg Sosunov (6) and F Justin Almeida (9) gave the Warriors a 2-0 lead with goals at 6:58 and 14:18 of the first period. . . . F Mark Rassell (12) got the Tigers to within a goal just 13 seconds later. . . . The Warriors took control with two more goals before the first period ended. . . . Jeannot, who has eight goals, got a shorthanded goal at 6:01 of the second period. He scored again at 18:26, completed the hat trick at 11:18 of the third period, on a PP, and got his fourth at 13:45. . . . Jeannot, 20, has 18 points in 15 games. He has one other hat trick in his career, having scored three times in a 9-3 victory over the visiting Tigers on Jan. 31, 2016. . . . F Justin Almeida finished with a goal and three assists, with F Jayden Halbgewachs getting his eighth goal and drawing two assists. F Brayden Burke helped out with three assists. F Brett Howden (9) scored twice. . . . The Warriors were 1-2 on the PP; the Tigers were 0-4. . . . Moose Jaw got 34 saves from G Brody Willms. . . . Michael Bullion stopped 14 shots for Medicine Hat. . . . The Warriors lost F Tristin Langan with a boarding major and game misconduct for a hit on D Linus Nassen at 18:43 of the second period. . . . F Noah Gregor was back in the Moose Jaw lineup after missing two games with an undisclosed injury. He had one assist. . . . The Tigers had F Max Gerlach back in their lineup for the first time since Oct. 7 when a stick to the face caused serious facial damage. D Brayden Pachal of the Prince Albert Raiders served a three-game suspension for the slashing major. . . . Announced attendance: 3,146.


At Kamloops, G Dustin Wolf made 38 saves in his first career start to help the Everett Silvertips to a 3-1 victory over the Blazers. . . . The Silvertips (5-9-1) had lost their past four games (0-3-1). . . . The Blazers (3-11-0) have lost two in a row and are 0-6-0 at home. . . . Wolf, 16, is from Tustin, Calif., and was a fifth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. He had been out after having off-season surgery on both hips, something that seems to be happening to young goaltenders with more-and-more frequency. . . . His bid for a shutout came to an end at 16:19 of the second period when D Ondrej Vala (3) got a point shot through him. . . . The Silvertips scored the game’s first three goals, with F Connor Dewar getting the first two, both via the PP. Dewar, who has nine goals, scored at 16:12 of the first period and 1:58 of the second. . . . F Bryce Kindopp (4) made it 3-0 at 5:47 of the second. . . . Wolf also earned his first WHL assist, on Dewar’s first goal. . . . Everett was 2-5 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-3. . . . G Dylan Ferguson stopped 23 shots for Kamloops. . . . Everett D Kevin Davis, who is from Kamloops, had an 11-game point streak end. He put up 16 points over that stretch, including two assists in each of his previous three games. . . . Everett G Carter Hart, the WHL’s goaltender of the year each of the past two seasons, was scratched. In fact, he didn’t travel with his teammates. He has been out with mononucleosis but returned to practice this week. . . . Announced attendance: 3,275.


At Kelowna, F Carsen Twarynski scored at 3:28 of OT as the Rockets beat the Tri-City Americans, 4-3. . . . Kelowna (6-5-2) has won two in a row. . . . Tri-City (9-4-1) has points in seven straight (6-0-1). . . . Rockets F Leif Mattson (2) forced OT with a goal at 17:44 of the third period. . . . Twarynski won it with his eighth goal, on a PP. It was his second goal of the game. He also had an assist. . . . F Parker AuCoin, who has six goals, scored twice for the Americans. His shorthanded goal opened the scoring at 7:45 of the first period. His second goal, on a PP, tied the score 2-2 at 2:47 of the third period. . . . In between, the Rockets got goals from F Dillon Dube, at 10:28 of the first period, and Twarynski at 19:10 of the second. . . . F Nolan Yaremko (3) gave the Americans a 3-2 lead at 7:09 of the third period. . . . D Gordie Ballhorn had two assists for the winners, with Dube and Mattson getting one each. . . . Tri-City was 1-4 on the PP; Kelowna was 1-5. . . . G James Porter stopped 28 shots for Kelowna, five fewer than Tri-City’s Patrick Dea. . . . Tri-City F Michael Rasmussen, who wasn’t listed on Tuesday’s WHL roster report, sat this one out. . . . Announced attendance: 4,539.


At Langley, B.C., G Tavin Grant backstopped the Prince George Cougars to a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . The Cougars (5-5-4) have points in each of their past four games (2-0-2). . . . The Giants are 5-6-2. . . . Grant finished with 32 saves, including a stop on F Ty Running on a breakaway late in the third period. . . . D Ryan Schoettler and D Dennis Cholowski, who is from Langley, each had a goal and an assist for the winners. . . . Schoettler scored his first goal of the season at 9:24 of the first period. . . . Cholowski made it 2-0 at 11:46 of the second. . . . F Tyler Benson, playing his first game since Jan. 2, got Vancouver’s goal, at 15:06 of the third period. . . . Vancouver was 0-3 on the PP; Prince George was 0-4. . . . G Todd Scott blocked 27 shots for the Giants. . . . F Matthew Mosher, acquired this week from the Saskatoon Blades, was in the Cougars’ lineup. . . . Announced attendance: 3,668.


SATURDAY (all times local):

Seattle at Calgary, 7 p.m.

Regina at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Brandon at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Tri-City at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

Prince George at Kelowna, 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).


Is there WHL team wanting out? … Three teams move goaltenders … Kent council OK’s sale


F Malte Strömwall (Tri-City, 2011-13) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with KooKoo Kouvola (Finland, Liiga). This season, Strömwall had one goal and one assist with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (ECHL). He cleared NHL waivers and had his contract with the New York Rangers terminated. . . .

D Martin Gernát (Edmonton, 2011-13) has signed a two-game contract with Presov (Czech Republic, 1. Liga). He hasn’t played this season. Last season, he had three goals and nine assists in 41 games with Sparta Prague (Czech Republic, Extraliga). He was released by Sparta at his request in July.


OK, start the rumour mill.

Is there a WHL team that is wanting to move, perhaps to Surrey, B.C.?

A story by Trevor Beggs at surreynowleader.com this week indicates that Inde Sumal, a Surrey investment banker, has a group in place that would like to build an arena, one that would seat up to 10,000 people, in the B.C. city.

Sumal told Beggs that his group “has a team looking to relocate.” Sumal chose not to provide further details about that team.

Of course, everything is in the preliminary stages — really preliminary stages — so who knows if this ever will come to fruition. But while discussions continue, you are free to speculate.

Beggs’s story is right here.


The Prince Albert Raiders’ roster is at 23 players after they dropped two players on Thursday. . . . F Brock Sottile, 18, is expected to join the AJHL’s Lloydminster Bobcats. The native of Scottsdale, Ariz., had one assist in 10 games with the Raiders this season. The Raiders acquired him from the Spokane Chiefs on Sept. 19 for a conditional eight-round selection in the 2018 bantam draft. . . . G Nicholas Sanders, 19, also was released from the Raiders’ roster but hasn’t decided on his future plans. From Calgary, Sanders was acquired last season from the Tri-City Americans. This season, he was 0-1-1, 4.89, .854 with the Raiders. In 67 career appearances, 38 of them with the Raiders, he is 19-22-6, 3.61, .890. . . . Sanders’ departure means the Raiders will go with veteran G Ian Scott, 18, and freshman Curtis Meger, a 19-year-old from Regina. This season, Scott, who recently returned from injury, is 2-1-0, 2.92, .905, while Meger is 3-2-2, 3.46, .881. . . . The Raiders now are carrying two goaltenders, eight defencemen and 13 forwards. That latter number includes F Brett Leason, 18, who was acquired Wednesday night from the Tri-City Americans.


The Red Deer Rebels have added F Jack Flaman, 20, to their roster, while dropping G Lasse Petersen, 20.

Flaman started the season with the Vancouver Giants, but lost out their when they got down to the maximum of three 20-year-olds. He was then added by the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

However, the Hurricanes acquired D Tate Olson, 20, from the Prince George Cougars and he returned from a shoulder injury to play on Wednesday night. As a result, Flaman was placed on waivers by the Hurricanes, who are going with Olson, D Brennan Riddle and F Giorgio Estephan as their 20-year-olds.

Flaman, from Vibank, Sask., had four goals and two assists in seven games with the Hurricanes. Last season, he had 15 goals and seven assists in 71 games with the Giants. He also has played with the Portland Winterhawks.

Petersen, who also has made WHL stops in Spokane, Calgary and Everett, is an interesting story. He is from Herning, Denmark, but isn’t classified as an import under CHL rules because his father is Canadian, meaning Lasse had dual citizenship.

This season, he was 4-2-0, 3.97, .876 in seven appearances with the Rebels. Last season, he got into 40 games with them, going 16-16-4, 3.25, .896.

His career regular-season numbers are 33-25-5, 3.20, .893.

His departure leaves the Rebels with two goaltenders — Riley Lamb, 19, who hasn’t played this season due to a broken thumb, and freshman Ethan Anders, 17. On this week’s WHL roster report, released Tuesday, Lamb is shown as being out week-to-week.

That being the case, and who are we not to trust the roster report, Brent Sutter, the Rebels’ general manager and head coach, must have another move involving a goaltender ready for sometime today (Friday). After all, the Rebels are scheduled to entertain the Spokane Chiefs tonight.


The Everett Silvertips got down to three goaltenders on Thursday by releasing Blake Lyda, a 15-year-old who will return to the minor midget AAA CAC Canadians in his hometown of Edmonton. A fourth-round selection in the 2017 WHL bantam draft, Lyda was brought into Everett to back up Dorrin Luding, 18, with veteran Carter Hart (mononucleosis) and Dustin Wolf (undisclosed injury) out of action. . . . Hart, 19, and Wolf, 16, are back at practice now, so Lyda is back to the Canadians. . . . Luding and Wolf are in their first WHL seasons, while Hart has been the WHL’s goaltender of the year for each of the past two seasons. . . . The Silvertips (4-9-1) are in Kamloops tonight to meet the Blazers (3-10-0) and then will be in Portland on Sunday.


The Kootenay Ice has brought in D Nolan Orzeck, 16, from the midget AAA Calgary Northstars as its roster has been thinned at the back end by injuries. Orzeck, from Calgary, was a fourth-round selection in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. He has a goal and three assists in eight games with the Northstars. . . . The Ice, with D Zachary Patrick and D Loeden Schaufler out with undisclosed injuries, dressed five defencemen on Tuesday as it dropped a 6-3 decision to the Regina Pats.


City council in Kent, Wash., has voted to approve the transfer of ownership of the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds. Council’s approval was needed as part of the team’s 30-year lease that covers playing in the ShoWare Center. . . . Steve Hunter of the Kent Reporter reports that Russ Farwell, the Thunderbirds’ longtime general manager and one of the franchise’s eight co-owners, “decided it was time to sell the team.” . . . The Thunderbirds, the reigning WHL champions, now are owned by Dan and Lindsey Leckelt. . . . Hunter’s story is right here.


If you are going to be in Saskatoon on Nov. 2, you will want to be at Prairieland Park at 11:30 a.m. It’s the ninth annual Off the Leash Luncheon, which benefits the U of Saskatchewan Huskies men’s hockey team, and the guest speaker will be Brendan Shanahan, the president and governor of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs. If you haven’t noticed, Thursday night’s loss to the Carolina Hurricanes aside, the Leafs have morphed into one of the early-season favourites to win the Stanley Cup, something that Shanahan may, or may not, address. . . . Shanahan may also have a few stories about Leafs head coach Mike Babcock, who is something of a favourite in Saskatoon where he spent a lot of his childhood. . . . Kelly Taylor, a popular Saskatoon comedian, is back for a return engagement as the emcee. . . . There’s more info right here.


Eddie Riehl lost his herd of cattle, the whole thing, in a wildfire near Medicine Hat on Oct. 17. He tried to save some of the cattle and now is in a Calgary hospital recovering from burns. Riehl, 74, has had surgery and skin grafts and has a long road ahead of him. . . . He is the father of Kevin Riehl, who played four seasons with the Medicine Hat Tigers (1988-92) and enjoyed a pair of 100-point seasons. . . . Shawn Logan of the Calgary Sun has more right here.


If you watched Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday night, you may still be wondering exactly what it was that you saw. Well, Jayson Stark, one of this generation’s pre-eminent baseball writers, has taken an exquisite look at everything that happened, and it’s all right here.


Norman Lloyd saw his first World Series game on Oct. 2, 1926. Yes, he watched Babe Ruth. Lloyd, an actor, was back at the World Series on Wednesday night in Los Angeles, three weeks before his 103rd birthday. . . . Keith Olbermann, a fan of history, baseball and otherwise, has more for ESPN 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!


THURSDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

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

Spokane at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Brandon at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Calgary at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.

Everett at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

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

Prince George vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7:30 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).