Saturday in the WHL: Jeannot’s hat trick sparks Warriors … Silvertips can’t solve Berlin’s wall … Ronning streak reaches 10 games … Buskey blanks Raiders


F Josh Nicholls (Saskatoon, 2008-13) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Storhamar (Norway, GET-Ligaen). He started the season with Litvínov (Czech Republic, Extraliga), where he had two assists in eight games. He was released by mutual agreement on Oct. 26.


F Nolan Patrick played his 11th NHL game on Saturday afternoon, with his Philadelphia Flyers dropping a 5-4 OT decision to the visiting Calgary Flames.

Patrick, in his second game back after missing nine with a concussion, scored his second goal of the season — that’s it in the above tweet. He now has two goals and two assists.

Patrick spent the previous three seasons with the Brandon Wheat Kings, although he missed a good chunk of last season with a sports hernia that later required surgery.

If there ever was any doubt about whether Patrick, 19, would be sent back to the Wheat Kings it likely has been erased now that he has passed the 10-game mark. That means the first season of his three-year entry-level contract has kicked into action.


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SATURDAY:

At Swift Current, G Joel Hofer stopped 44 shots, three of those in a shootout, as the Broncos beat the Calgary Hitmen, 2-1. . . . The Broncos (15-4-1) have won two straight. . . . The Hitmen (6-13-4) have lost six in a row (0-3-3). . . . F Tyler Steenbergen, the WHL’s leading sniper, won it with the shootout’s only goal. He was the second shooter in a shootout that went three rounds. . . . D Sahvan Khaira (3) gave the Broncos a 1-0 lead at 7:00 of the second period. . . . Calgary tied it on F Jake Kryski’s fourth goal, on a PP, at 13:43 of the third period. . . . Broncos F Aleksi Heponiemi drew one assist and took over the WHL scoring lead with 52 points, one more than Steenbergen. . . . Calgary was 1-5 on the PP; Swift Current was 0-2. . . . Hofer, a 17-year-old freshman from Winnipeg, has made four appearances this season. He is 2-1-0, 2.05, .939. . . . G Nick Schneider stopped 24 shots for Calgary. . . . Calgary F Matteo Gennaro was scratched for a second straight game. . . . The Broncos were without Manny Viveiros, their director of player personnel and head coach, who is further west on a scouting junket. He spent Friday night in Kelowna watching the Rockets and Lethbridge Hurricanes. Last night, he was spotted in Kent, Wash., where the Seattle Thunderbirds and Everett Silvertips were meeting. . . . Associate coach Ryan Smith was in charge of the Swift Current bench for a second straight game and now has two WHL coaching victories. . . . When it was suggested to one Broncos insider that Viveiros may be an NFL fan and could be in Seattle for Monday Night Football — the Atlanta Falcons will meet the Seahawks — the response was: “Oh, maybe. I think he’s a Falcons fan.” . . . The Broncos are to play in Brandon this afternoon, their third game in three different cities in fewer than 48 hours. . . . Announced attendance: 2,464.


At Moose Jaw, F Tanner Jeannot scored three times to lead the Warriors to a 6-3 victory over the Saskatoon Blades. . . . Moose Jaw (18-5-0) has won two in a row and remains atop the overall standings. The Warriors have won six straight at home where they are 10-1-0. . . . Saskatoon (8-12-1) has lost two in a row. . . . Moose Jaw F Brayden Burke, who got his 200th career assist on Friday night, scored the game’s first goal in what was his 200th regular-season game. His ninth goal of this season came off a breakaway at 1:34 of the first period. . . . Burke finished with two goals and two assists. . . . Saskatoon D Libor Hajek (6) tied it at 3:22 and the visitors took the lead as F Michael Farren (2) scored, on a PP, at 12:49. . . . Jeannot got his first goal at 18:13. . . . F Josh Paterson (6) shot Saskatoon back into the lead at 10:12 of the second period. . . . The Warriors scored the game’s last four goals. . . . F Jayden Halbgewachs got No. 20, on a PP, at 15:14 of the second. . . . The winners put it away with three goals late in the third period. Jeannot, who has 16 goals, scored at 15:16 and 17:34 of the third period to complete his second hat trick this season and the third of his career, and Burke got his 10th into an empty net at 19:12. . . . The Warriors got four assists from F Justin Almeida, with Halbgewachs adding one. . . . Hajek had two assists for Saskatoon. . . . The Blades were 2-3 on the PP; the Warriors were 1-3. . . . Moose Jaw G Brody Willms stopped 28 shots, three fewer than Saskatoon’s Ryan Kubic. . . . The Warriors remain without D Josh Brook, D Matthew Benson, D Jett Wood and F Brett Howden. . . . Saskatoon D Seth Bafaro completed a four-game suspension by missing this one. . . . Announced attendance: 3,243.


At Red Deer, the Kootenay Ice scored the game’s last three goals to beat the Rebels, 3-1. . . . Kootenay (10-12-1) had beaten the Rebels 4-3 in Cranbrook, B.C., on Friday night. . . . Red Deer (9-14-1) has lost three in a row. . . . The Rebels were playing their first home game after a 1-6-0 road trip. . . . F Mason McCarty (12) have the home team a 1-0 lead at 1:33 of the second period. . . . The Ice tied it at 9:13 when F Alec Baer (8) scored, then took the lead at 10:08 on F Colton Veloso’s seventh goal. . . . F Peyton Krebs (4) added insurance, on a PP, at 17:21. . . . Kootenay was 1-5 on the PP; Red Deer was 0-2. . . . G Duncan McGovern earned the victory with 23 saves, 10 fewer than Red Deer’s Ethan Anders. . . . Announced attendance: 5,412.


At Portland, the Winterhawks ran their winning streak to five games as they beat the Regina Pats, 3-1. . . . The Winterhawks (15-5-0) now head out on a six-game road trip that opens Tuesday against the Kootenay Ice in Cranbrook, B.C. . . . The Pats (12-9-2) opened an eight-game road trip with this one. They won’t play at home again until Dec. 8. . . . F Cody Glass gave Portland a 1-0 lead with his 11th goal, at 3:46 of the first period. . . . Regina F Sam Steel (7) tied it at 8:53. . . . F Skyler McKenzie (16) broke the tie, on a PP, at 12:19. . . . F Kieffer Bellows (15) finished it with an empty-netter at 19:46 of the third period. . . . Glass and McKenzie each had an assist. . . . In his last six games, Glass has five two-point outings. . . . Bellows came up short on a third-period penalty shot with his guys leading 2-1. . . Portland was 1-3 on the PP; Regina was 0-1. . . . The Winterhawks got 27 stops from G Cole Kehler, who now is 13-2-1, 1.94, .940. . . . G Tyler Brown stopped 28 shots for Regina. . . . Announced attendance: 5,148.


At Prince George, F Jared Bethune broke a 3-3 tie at 2:33 of the third period as the Cougars beat the Oil Kings, 4-3. . . . The Cougars (9-9-4) have won three straight. . . . The Oil Kings (5-15-2) have lost nine in a row. Edmonton went 0-5-0 on a five-game trip into the B.C. Division that included back-to-back losses in Prince George. . . . Last night, F Tomas Soustal (6) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 6:41 of the first period. . . . The home side came back with three straight goals. . . . F Brogan O’Brien (7) scored at 7:34, and F Ethan O’Rourke (4) made it 2-1 just 40 seconds later. . . . Bethune’s shorthanded goal, at 1:48 of the second period, stretched the lead to two. . . . Edmonton forged a tie with a pair of second-period goals, from F Colton Kehler (8), on a PP, at 2:40, and F Liam Keeler, with his first WHL goal, at 6:00. . . . Bethune won it with his sixth goal of the season. . . . Edmonton was 1-4 on the PP; Prince George was 0-5. . . . G Tavin Grant turned aside 27 shots to earn the victory over Boston Bilous, who stopped 20 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 4,893.


At Kamloops, F Quinn Benjafield had a goal and three assists to lead the Blazers to a 5-2 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Kamloops (9-13-0) has won two in a row and now is 9-4-0 since opening the season with nine straight losses. . . . The Hurricanes (7-12-1) have lost eight in a row (0-7-1). . . . The Blazers took a 2-0 lead on goals from D Ondrej Vala (6) at 5:28 of the first period and F Nick Chyzowski at 4:49 of the second. . . . F Tanner Nagel (2) cut into the deficit for Lethbridge at 10:08. That was his first goal since Oct. 6. . . . F Jordy Bellerive (10) pulled the Hurricanes into a tie at 2:54 of the third period. . . . F Brodi Stuart (7) broke the tie at 15:11, with Benjafield (7) adding insurance at 18:09, and Chyzowski getting the empty-netter at 19:39. . . . Benjafield now has seven points, five of them assists, in his past two games and 11 points in his past five games. . . . F Garrett Pilon had two assists for Kamloops, with Stuart adding one. . . . Pilon has put up three goals and 15 assists over his past eight games. . . . The Hurricanes were 1-3 on the PP; the Blazers were 0-3 just one night after they scored five PP goals in a 6-2 victory over the visiting Vancouver Giants. . . . G Dylan Ferguson stopped 25 shots to earn the victory over Stuart Skinner, who made 25 saves. . . . Kamloops F Jermaine Loewen had one assist, but his goal streak ended at six games. . . . The Hurricanes are 0-2-0 on a six-game road trip that continues Tuesday in Victoria. . . . With Ferguson back from his stint with the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, the Blazers have returned G Dylan Garand, 15, to the Delta Hockey Academy. . . . Announced attendance: 4,879.


At Vancouver, F Ty Ronning ran his goal streak to 10 games as the Giants beat the Kelowna Rockets, 6-1. . . . Vancouver now is 10-9-4. . . . Kelowna (12-7-3) had won its previous four games. . . . Ronning has 23 goals in 23 games this season. His father, Cliff, owns the WHL record for the longest goal-scoring streak having sniped in 18 straight with the New Westminster Bruins in 1984-85. . . . The Giants opened up a 2-0 lead with two quick first-period PP goals. F Brad Morrison (7) scored at 10:09, and F Tyler Benson added a second goal, at 11:38. . . . Vancouver finished the period with two more goals, in 1:09, as Ronning scored at 18:05 and F Tyler Popowich got his fourth at 19:14. . . . It was 5-0 when F James Malm (11) scored at 1:32 of the second period. . . . F Marek Skvrne’s first WHL goal, on a PP, got the Rockets on the scoreboard at 6:18 of the third period. . . . Benson (6), who also had an assist, completed the scoring at 15:39. . . . Malm added two assists to his goal, with Morrison getting one. . . . Vancouver was 2-2 on the PP; Kelowna was 1-3. . . . G David Tendeck made 26 saves for the winners. Rockets F Kyle Topping wasn’t able to beat him on a third-period penalty shot. . . . Kelowna starter James Porter allowed four goals on 18 shots through one period. Roman Basran came on in relief to stop 17 of 19 shots in 39:14. . . . F Justin Sourdif, the third-overall selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft, made his WHL debut with the Giants. From Surrey, B.C., Sourdif plays for the major midget Valley West Hawks. As a 15-year-old, he’s got 23 points, including seven goals, in 11 games. . . . The Giants are without D Bailey Dhaliwal. Steve Ewen of Postmedia reported Saturday that “Dhaliwal said . . . that it’s a shoulder injury that could require season-ending surgery. He also had shoulder trouble last (season).” . . . Vancouver F Dawson Holt sat out his sixth straight game. . . . The Giants also were without F Owen Hardy, who suffered an injury to his left leg in the first period of a 6-2 loss in Kamloops on Friday. . . . The Rockets were without F Kole Lind (strep throat) for a second game. F Dillon Dube and F Nolan Foote, both of whom played in Friday’s 7-4 victory over visiting Lethbridge, also were scratched. . . . Lind and Dube are Kelowna’s top two scorers. . . . Announced attendance: 3.587.


At Spokane, G Donovan Buskey stopped 13 shots to help the Chiefs to a 7-0 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . The Chiefs now are 11-8-3. . . . The Raiders (9-10-3) have lost three in a row. They went 2-4-0 on a six-game road trip. . . . Buskey, 17, is a freshman from Vancouver, who got into four games last season. This was his fifth appearance this season. He is 2-2-0, 3.89, .868. . . . F Hudson Elynuik (12) and D Dalton Hamaliuk (1) gave the Chiefs a 2-0 first-period lead. . . . D Nolan Reid’s 10th goal upped it to 3-0 in the second. . . . Spokane put it away with four third-period goals, two from Zach Fischer (7) and singletons from D Tyson Helgesen (3) and F Luke Toporowski (1). That was Toporowski’s first WHL goal; it came in his 13th game. . . . Toporowski’s older brother, Jake, a defenceman who retired earlier this season, didn’t score in 100 regular-season games. Their father, Kerry, had 12 goals in 130 games as a hard-nosed defenceman with the Chiefs (1989-91). . . . Elynuik also had three assists for his 10th multi-point game in 22 outings this season. . . . F Eli Zummack and F Jake McGrew each had two assists, with Toporowski and Fischer adding one each. . . . Spokane was 1-2 on the PP; Prince Albert was 0-1. . . . G Ian Scott stopped 41 shots for the Raiders. . . . Announced attendance: 6,039.


At Kennewick, Wash., the Victoria Royals erased a 2-0 deficit with seven straight goals as they skated to a 7-3 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . Victoria (16-7-1) has won two straight. . . . The Americans (13-6-2) are 7-1-0 at home. They had been the last of the WHL’s 22 teams not have suffered a regulation loss on home ice. . . . F Morgan Geekie, on a PP, and F Nolan Yaremko (6) gave the Americans a 2-0 lead with goals at 12:51 and 13:43 of the first period. . . . F Matthew Phillips cut into that lead at 14:17, then tied it with his 18th goal of the season at 4:27 of the second period. . . . F Jared Legien (10) broke the tie at 7:09 and the Royals broke it open with three goals in 2:26 later in the period. F Igor Martynov (7), F Dante Hannoun (12) and F Ryan Peckford (13) scored at 13:53, 15:41 and 16:19. . . . F Regan Nagy (18) gave Victoria a 7-1 lead at 5:14 of the third period. . . . Geekie (9) got his second of the game, on a PP, at 9:41. . . . Hannoun added two assists to his goal, with F Kaid Oliver also getting a pair of helpers. Peckford, Phillips and Legien added one each. . . . The Americans got two assists from D Juuso Valimaki and one from Yaremko. . . . Tri-City was 2-4 on the PP; Victoria was 0-3. . . . The Royals got 25 saves from G Griffen Outhouse. . . . The Americans started Patrick Dea, who was beaten six times on 27 shots over two periods. Beck Warm played the third, stopping four of five shots. . . . Announced attendance: 3,879.


At Kent, Wash., G Matt Berlin stopped 27 shots to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 2-0 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . Seattle (10-9-2) has lost its previous five games (0-4-1). . . . Everett (10-11-2), which had beaten visiting Seattle 3-2 on Friday night, had points in each of is past four games (3-0-1). . . . Berlin earned his first shutout of this season and the second of his career. . . . F Nolan Volcan scored both of Seattle’s goals, both of them in the third period. Volcan, with 10 goals, scored at 10:25 and then added an empty-netter at 19:54. . . . Volcan also scored both of Seattle’s goals on Friday. . . . Everett got 27 stops from G Dustin Wolf. . . . Each team was 0-4 on the PP. . . . Seattle F Tyler Carpendale took a spearing major Friday and sat out a one-game suspension last night. . . . Everett F Luke Ormsby, who was acquired from Seattle earlier in the season, was ejected with a match penalty for attempt to injury (kicking) at 11:59 of the first period. . . . Announced attendance: 5,018.


SUNDAY (all times local):

Swift Current at Brandon, 4 p.m.

Regina at Everett, 4:05 p.m.


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Banged-up Warriors drop host Broncos … Ferguson gets real taste of NHL … Rassell hat trick sparks Tigers

F Adam Řehák (Medicine Hat, 2011-12) has been released by Invicta Dynamos Gillingham (England, English National Division 1) by mutual agreement. He had six goals and two assists in eight games.


The Moose Jaw Warriors are a bit banged up — they scratched seven skaters from Tuesday night’s game against the host Swift Current Broncos.

That’s why the Warriors brought in D Daemon Hunt, 15, D Matthew Sanders, 16, and D Drae Gardiner, 16.

Hunt, from Brandon, was a first-round pick in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. He had one assist in two earlier games with the Warriors. Hunt has 12 assists in 11 games with the midget AAA Brandon Wheat Kings.

Sanders and Gardiner are from Calgary and play for the midget AAA Calgary Buffaloes. Sanders, a fifth-round selection in the 2016 bantam draft, has one goal and eight assists in 14 games. Gardiner, an eighth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft, has a goal and six assists in 13 games.

Hunt and Gardiner were in Moose Jaw’s lineup last night in Swift Current, while Sanders was a healthy scratch.

The Warriors are missing four defencemen. They have been playing without Josh Brook and Dmitri Zaitsev, then lost Jett Woo and Matthew Benson to undisclosed injuries during a 3-1 victory over the visiting Regina Pats on Sunday.

Brook and Woo are out week-to-week, with Zaitsev listed as day-to-day, and Benson as TBD.

With the three additions, the Warriors now have 11 defencemen on their roster.


With F Kirby Dach having returned from the U-17 World Hockey Challenge, the Saskatoon Blades have sent F Logan Doust, 16, back to the major midget Vancouver-Northwest Giants. . . . Doust, a ninth-round selection in the 2016 WHL bantam draft, was pointless in three games with the Blades.

Meanwhile, the Blades will be without D Seth Bafaro for their next three games as he completes a four-game WHL suspension. With him out of the lineup, they will keep D Randen Schmidt, 17, on their roster until Bafaro is eligible to return. Things will be re-evaluated at that point. Schmidt was brought in from the midget AAA Regina Pat Canadians.


The Kamloops Blazers are likely to be without G Dylan Ferguson again tonight as they play host to the Prince George Cougars.

Ferguson became the fifth goaltender to play for the expansion Vegas Golden Knights this NHL season as he entered in the third period of an 8-2 loss to the host Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night.

Ferguson left Kamloops on Oct. 30 to join the Golden Knights under the emergency recall rule. The Golden Knights have three goaltenders, including starter Marc-Andre Fleury (concussion), on the injured list.

When last night’s game started, Ferguson was on the bench backing up Maxime Lagace again. That marked Ferguson’s seventh game as the Golden Knights’ No. 2 goaltender.

Ferguson, 19, replaced Lagace with the Oilers holding a 7-2 lead in the third period. Ferguson stopped one of two shots in 9:14, giving up a PP goal to F Mark Letestu at 15:38.

Vegas next is scheduled to play on Thursday against the host Vancouver Canucks. Ferguson is from Lantzville, which is on Vancouver Island.

The Blazers start a stretch of three games in four nights tonight. They are scheduled to entertain the Vancouver Giants on Friday night and the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Saturday.

With Ferguson gone, the Blazers have been using freshman Max Palaga, a 17-year-old native of Kamloops, and Dylan Garand, 15, who plays at the Delta Hockey Academy.

The Blazers (7-12-0) are 3-1-0 since Ferguson left to join the Golden Knights.


The junior B Surrey Knights of the Pacific Junior Hockey League haven’t won a game in two years. It all adds up to an 84-game losing streak. . . . David Ebner of The Globe and Mail takes a look right here at how things got to this state.


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D Trevor Longo, who was released by the Medicine Hat Tigers, has joined the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks. Longo, from North Vancouver, B.C., was a sixth-round pick by the Tigers in the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft. This season, he was pointless in four games with the Tigers. . . .

The Lethbridge Hurricanes have dropped F Jayden Davis from their roster, and he has returned to the SJHL’s Estevan Bruins. Davis, who turned 18 on Tuesday, is from Alameda, Sask. He had one goal in 11 games with the Hurricanes. Last season, he had five goals and 16 assists in 45 games with the Bruins.


TUESDAY:

At Brandon, F Ty Lewis scored 27 seconds into OT to give the Wheat Kings a 6-5 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Brandon (12-6-1) has won three in a row. . . . Calgary (6-11-3) has lost three straight (0-1-2). . . . This was the first of four games in five nights for the Hitmen. . . . The Wheat Kings scored the game’s last three goals as they never once held the lead before Lewis scored his 10th goal of the season. . . . Calgary held a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from F Jakob Stukel, at 4:54 of the first period, and D Jake Bean (3), at 6:25 of the second. . . . Brandon pulled even on second-period scores by F Baron Thompson (4), at 7:12, and F Stelio Mattheos, at 10:56. . . . The Hitmen went back out front by two as F Tristen Nielsen scored at 2:49 of the third period and Stukel (10) got his second, at 3:53. . . . F Connor Gutenberg (4) scored shorthanded, at 5:59, as the Wheat Kings crawled back to within a goal. . . . But the Hitmen went back out front by two as Nielsen (6) scored, at 8:01. . . . Mattheos (13) cut the deficit to one at 12:07, and F Linden McCorrister (6) forced OT with a PP goal, at 18:31. . . . D Kale Clague had four assists for Brandon; he was in on two of the last three goals. . . . McCorrister added two assists, with Lewis, Gutenberg and Thompson adding one each. . . . The Hitmen got two assists from D Vladislav Yeryomenko. . . . Brandon was 1-2 on the PP; Calgary was 0-4. . . . G Logan Thompson earned the victory with 32 stops, 15 more than Calgary’s Nick Schneider. . . . Announced attendance: 3,443.


At Swift Current, F Jayden Halbgewachs scored three times and added two assists to lead the Moose Jaw Warriors to a 7-4 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . The Warriors (16-4-0) have won six in a row and nine of 10. They are riding high atop the WHL’s overall standings. They also lead the second-place Broncos by five points in the East Division. The Broncos hold two games in hand. . . . The Broncos (13-4-1) had won their previous three games. . . . Moose Jaw, which scratched seven skaters, was 4-6 on the PP; the Broncos were 1-2. . . . F Logan Foster (2) gave the Broncos a 1-0 lead at 5:33 of the first period. . . . F Barrett Sheen (3), acquired Monday from the Kootenay Ice, pulled his new club even at 6:36. . . . The Warriors went ahead at 10:25 on a PP score by F Noah Gregor (10). . . . The Broncos tied it at 11:13 on a goal from F Tyler Steenbergen. . . . The Warriors took a two-goal lead on PP goals from Halbgewachs, at 17:50 of the first, and F Justin Almedia, at 0:12 of the second period. . . . F Aleksi Heponiemi (15) got the Broncos to within a goal, on a PP, at 4:04, but Almeida (11) got that one back at 12:47. . . . Steenbergen got his WHL-leading 28th goal at 19:25. . . . The Warriors put it away on two third-period goals from Halbgewachs, the first on a PP at 8:33 and the second at 16:22. . . . Almeida also had two assists, as did F Tanner Jeannot. F Brayden Burke had four assists for Moose Jaw, and Gregor had one. . . . Almeida has 11 goals in 20 games this season. Last season, he totalled 11 goals in 70 games — he had four goals in 37 games with the Prince George Cougars, then added seven in 33 games after being dealt to Moose Jaw. . . . F Glenn Gawdin had two assists for the Broncos, with Steenbergen and Heponiemi each getting one. That meant that the Broncos’ hot line totalled seven points. . . . Steenbergen leads the WHL scoring race with 49 points, one more than Heponiemi and nine more than Gawdin. . . . The Warriors got 23 saves from G Brody Willms. At the other end, Logan Flodell stopped 34 shots. . . . D Artyom Minulin was among the Broncos’ scratches. . . . The Warriors scratched D Jett Woo, D Josh Brook, F Tyler Smithies, F Brecon Wood, F Brett Howden, who missed his third straight game, D Matthew Benson and D Dmitri Zaitsev. . . . Announced attendance: 2,129.


At Medicine Hat, F Mark Rassell scored three times to lead the Tigers to a 4-1 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . The Tigers (12-6-0) have won five in a row. . . . The Ice (8-12-1) has lost four straight. . . . The Ice was playing its first game since it traded away D Cale Fleury, the team captain, and veteran F Barrett Sheen on Monday. F Cole Muir, who was acquired from the Regina Pats in the Fleury deal, was in the Ice’s lineup, but D Jonathan Smart wasn’t. . . . Medicine Hat took a 3-0 lead on a first-period goal from F Ryan Jevne (5), at 11:20, and two from Rassell, at 13:52 and 16:54, the latter on a penalty shot. . . . F Sebastian Streu (2) scored the Ice’s goal at 19:57. . . . Rassell, who has 20 goals, completed his first hat trick of this season, and the second of his career, at 13:01 of the third period. He now has eight goals in his past four games. . . . The Tigers were 0-2 on the PP; the Ice was 0-1. . . . G Jordan Hollett earned the victory with 30 saves. . . . G Duncan McGovern, acquired by the Ice from the Tigers on Oct. 23, started for Kootenay and made 24 saves. . . . In each of its last three games, the Tigers have faced a goaltender who used to play for them. On the weekend, they twice beat G Nick Schneider and the Calgary Hitmen. . . . The Tigers scratched F James Hamblin (knee) for a second straight game. . . . The Ice remains without veteran forwards Jeff de Wit and Colton Kroeker. . . . Announced attendance: 3,058.


At Kelowna, the Rockets scored twice in the game’s first five minutes en route to a 5-2 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Kelowna (11-6-3) has won three in a row and now trails the B.C. Division-leading Victoria Royals by four points. Kelowna has two games in hand. . . . The Oil Kings (5-13-2) have lost seven straight. . . . Edm is 0-3-0 on a swing through the B.C. Division that will wrap up with a doubleheader in Prince George on Friday and Saturday. When the trip ends, the Oil Kings will have played five games in four B.C. Division cities, missing only Kamloops. But they will have driven through Kamloops twice. . . . F Dillon Dube scored 25 seconds into the first period and F Kyle Topping (8) made it 2-0 at 4:22. . . . The Oil Kings got to within a goal at 10:49 when F Trey Fix-Wolansky (9) counted. . . . Dube (10) got that one back at 12:59. . . . F Davis Koch (8) scored for the visitors at 8:21 of the second period. . . . The Rockets put it away on two third-period goals from F Carsen Twarynski, at 0:18 and 19:18, the latter into an empty net. . . . The Rockets got two assists from F Liam Kindree, who has a goal and six assists over his past four games. Dube and Twarynski each added an assist. . . . Fix-Wolansky and Koch each had an assist for the visitors. . . . Kelowna was 0-2 on the PP; Edmonton was 1-5. . . . G James Porter stopped 21 shots for Kelowna. With G Brodan Salmond (knee) out for up to six weeks, the Rockets had Roman Basran backing up for this one. He plays for the major midget Okanagan Rockets, who play out of Kelowna. Basran, 16, was a third-round pick by Kelowna in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . G Travis Child stopped 24 shots for Edmonton. . . . The game marked a return to Kelowna for F Tomas Soustal, who was dealt to the Oil Kings on Oct. 3. He had one assist. . . . Announced attendance: 4,326.


At Kent, Wash., the Prince Albert Raiders scored the game’s last three goals and beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 6-4. . . . The Raiders (9-7-3) are 2-1-0 on a six-game road trip. This was the start of a stretch of four games in five nights in four different cities. . . . The Thunderbirds (9-8-2) have lost four in a row (0-3-1). . . . The game featured five goals on special teams, three of them shorties, two of those by the Raiders. . . . F Spencer Moe (4) put the visitors ahead 1-0 at 5:11 of the first period. . . . D Austin Strand tied it, on a PP, at 8:27. He’s got 10 goals this season, nine of them on the PP. . . . The Raiders took a 3-1 lead on goals from F Brett Season (3), shorthanded, at 9:31, and F Parker Kelly (11), at 12:00. . . . Seattle scored the next three goals to take a 4-3 lead. . . . F Zack Andrusiak (8) scored, on a PP, at 14:53. D Turner Ottenbreit got his fourth goal while shorthanded, at 0:40 of the second period. . . . D Jarret Tyszka (1) broke the 3-3 tie at 14:14. . . . F Curtis Miske got Prince Albert back into a tie 16 seconds into the third period. . . . F Jordy Stallard (15) broke the tie at 14:48. . . . Miske (6) iced it with a shorthanded empty-netter at 19:25. . . . Stallard, who also had an assist, is riding a 12-game point streak. He’s got 22 points, including 12 goals, over that stretch. . . . Stallard has his 15 goals in 19 games. Last season, he totalled 14 goals in 40 games. He had eight goals in 32 games with the Calgary Hitmen, then added six goals in eight games after being dealt to the Raiders. A shoulder injury shortened his season. . . . Miske and Leason added an assist each. . . . F Noah Philp and F Nolan Volcan each had two assists for Seattle. . . . The Thunderbirds were 2-8 on the PP; the Raiders were 0-4. . . . In their last two games, the Raiders have allowed seven PP goals on 20 opportunities. Six of those PP goals have come on 5-on-3s. . . . Each of the goaltenders — Prince Albert’s Ian Scott and Seattle’s Matt Berlin — stopped 26 shots. . . . Seattle F Donovan Neuls left in the second period after apparently suffering a cut to one hand when he was slashed. He returned in the third period but was having problems holding his stick. . . . F Sami Moilanen was among Seattle’s scratches. He didn’t finish Saturday’s 4-2 loss to the visiting Kamloops Blazers. . . . Announced attendance: 4,526.


At Victoria, G Riley Lamb stopped 28 shots in his first start of the season and his Red Deer Rebels scored a 5-3 victory over the Royals. . . . Red Deer (9-11-1) had lost is previous six games (0-5-1). . . . Victoria (14-7-1) has lost two in a row and now is 8-2-1 at home. . . . Lamb suffered a broken thumb in training camp. He made his first appearance this season on Saturday when he came on in relief during a 5-2 loss to the Rockets in Kelowna. . . . Last night, the Rebels got off to a 2-0 lead on second-period goals from F Austin Pratt (6), at 3:02, and F Kristian Reichel (8), at 4:38. . . . The Royals then took a 3-2 lead, getting goals from F Matthew Phillips (16), at 10:13 of the second, F Jared Legien (9), at 2:04 of the third period, and F Regan Nagy (17), on a PP, at 5:15. . . . Red Deer won it with three goals in 6:55. . . . F Mason McCarty (11) tied the score at 12:18, and F Reese Johnson (6) broke the tie, at 14:52. . . . F Lane Zablocki (7) got the empty-netter, at 19:13. . . . D Alex Alexeyev, McCarty and Pratt each had two assists for the winners. . . . Red Deer was 0-2 on the PP; Victoria was 1-5. . . . The Royals got 25 saves from G Dean McNabb. . . . The Rebels are 1-4-0 on a seven-game trek that actually began in Regina and will continue in Vancouver on Wednesday and end in Cranbrook on Friday. . . . Announced attendance: 4,337.


WEDNESDAY (all times local):

Calgary at Regina, 7 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Red Deer vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7 p.m.

Prince George at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Prince Albert at Everett, 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).


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).


Warriors sweep two from Pats … Giants escape with win over Oil Kings … Winterhawks power past Raiders

F Ian McDonald (Tri-City, 2000-06) has been released by Gherdëina Selva Val Gardena (Italy, Alps HL) by mutual agreement. He had nine goals and 10 assists in 15 games. . . .

F Colin Long (Kelowna, 2005-09) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Gherdëina Selva Val Gardena (Italy, Alps HL). Last season, he had 10 goals and a team-high 32 assists in 29 games with Asiago (Italy, Alps HL). He was third in the league in assists.


Richard Matvichuk, the head coach of the Prince George Cougars, watched his guys drop a 4-0 decision to the visiting Everett Silvertips on Saturday night.

After the game came the explosion.

“It wasn’t good,” Matvichuk said. “It was frustrating. Our 20-year-olds and our 19-year-olds did not want to play the game and they tried to take shortcuts and that’s why we weren’t successful.”

That is one of the quotes from Hartley Miller’s blog site at myprincegeorgenow.com.

The Cougars’ games are heard on 94.3 The Goat — Miller is the analyst — and Matvichuk told the post-game show that had he been a fan he would have headed home with the locals down 4-0 after 40 minutes.

“It was awful,” Matvichuk continued. “We didn’t have any work ethic. They wanted it more, they played harder, they finished more checks, and they put pucks in the right area. We were soft; we wouldn’t finish checks. We swung away. We didn’t want to get traffic in front of their net. They didn’t beat us, we beat ourselves.”

The Cougars had beaten the visiting Silvertips 4-3 in OT on Friday night.

Prince George next plays on Wednesday when it travels to Kamloops to meet the Blazers, who are 7-12-0, but have won seven of their past 10 games after an 0-9-0 start.

The Cougars (6-9-4) are fourth in the B.C. Division, two points ahead of the Blazers. Prince George is two points out of the Western Conference’s second wild-card playoff spot.


James McEwan spent four seasons (2004-08) in the WHL, two with the Seattle Thunderbirds and two with the Kelowna Rockets.

It’s fair to say that the Kelowna native was one of the last hired guns.

In two seasons with the Thunderbirds, he had two goals, three assists and 245 penalty minutes.

In two seasons with the Rockets, he recorded five goals, seven assists and 295 penalty minutes in 105 games.

These days, he is back in Kelowna, his hockey-playing days behind him, and he says it’s time for fighting to be eliminated from hockey.

He told Jeremy Allingham of CBC News that he has gone through the drugs and the alcohol, the depression and the suicidal thoughts.

“Fighting is linked with CTE and it’s caused suicides, it’s causing mental illness,” McEwan told Allingham. “It was a direct link to, I believe, my own trauma and challenges which put me to the edge, very close to taking my own life multiple times.

“Knowing what we know now, when you’re cheering and supporting these fights, you’re also cheering and supporting the things that have helped cause suicides of guys like Rick Rypien, Wade Belak, Steve Montador and many others.”

Allingham’s complete piece is right here.


If you are wondering where the KHL is headed, well, this piece right here is for you. Patrick Conway, who runs Conway’s Russian Hockey Blog, turned over his space to Tomáš Vorčák, who use the opportunity to write in length on the “KHL’s new development plan for the next few seasons . . . which represents a significant change of philosophy from the way the league used to operate.”


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


SUNDAY:

At Moose Jaw, the Warriors completed a weekend sweep of the Regina Pats with a 3-1 victory. . . . The Warriors (15-4-0) have won five in a row and have moved into first place atop the overall standings, a point ahead of the idle Victoria Royals (14-6-1). . . . The Pats (11-8-2) have lost two in a row. They went into Friday just two points behind the Warriors, but now trail by six with the Warriors holding two games in hand. . . . F Jayden Halbgewachs (14) gave the Warriors a 1-0 lead at 3:46 of the first period. Halbgewachs is from White City, which is located just east of Regina. He had a goal and an assist on Sunday, after scoring twice in Friday’s 3-2 victory in Regina. . . . F Bryan Lockner (3) pulled the Pats even at 13:44 of the first period. . . . F Noah Gregor (9) broke the tie at 13:07 of the second period and F Tanner Jeannot (11) added the insurance at 18:47 of the third. . . . Moose Jaw was 0-4 on the PP; Regina was 0-2. . . . G Brody Willms stopped 23 shots for the Warriors, while Regina’s Tyler Brown blocked 43. . . . The Warriors went into the game without two front-end defencemen in Josh Brook and Dmitri Zaitsev. Then they watched as Jett Woo and Matthew Benson failed to finish the game due to injury, something that left them with only four defencemen. . . . The Warriors also were without F Brett Howden for a second straight game. He suffered an undisclosed injury while playing for Team WHL against the Russians in Swift Current on Tuesday. . . . Announced attendance: 4,005.


At Langley, B.C., the Edmonton Oil Kings scored the only six goals of the third period, but it wasn’t enough — SERIOUSLY! — as they dropped an 8-7 decision to the Vancouver Giants. . . . You are free to wonder which team’s coaching staff slept better after this one. . . . The Giants (8-8-4), who were playing their third game in fewer than 48 hours (2-0-1), have points in four straight (3-0-1). . . . The Oil Kings (5-12-2) have lost six in a row. . . . The Giants got three goals and a pair of assists from F James Malm, who now has eight goals. Last season, Malm finished with 20 goals and 31 assists in 69 games. He had four points, including two goals, in a 5-3 victory over the visiting Victoria Royals on March 14. That was one of his five two-goal games last season. . . . Malm got the scoring started at 2:15 of the first period, with F Brendan Semchuk (6), on a PP, scoring at 7:18 and F Ty Ronning (19) finding the range on another PP, at 13:08. . . . F Ty Gerla scored Edmonton’s first goal, at 18:40. . . . The Giants broke it open — or thought they did — with five second-period goals, from F Milos Roman (6), D Matt Barberis (3), Malm F Tyler Popowich (3) and Malm, again. . . . In the third period, the Giants scored six times in a span of 8:47, starting with F Davis Koch goal at 11:07. . . . F Tomas Soustal (5), F David Kope (2), Koch (7), F Trey Fix-Wolansky (8) and F Colton Kehler (7) also scored to get the Giants to within a goal at the end. Kehler’s goal came at 19:54. . . . The Giants got three assists from F Tyler Benson, two from F Tyler Ho, and one each from Popowich and Roman. . . . Benson, who has four goals and five assists in seven games, played in all three weekend games. . . . Soustal added four assists to his goal, while D Conner McDonald had three and Koch two. Fix-Wolansky added one assist to his goal. . . . Ronning has goals in seven straight games. His father, Cliff, holds the WHL record for longest such streak. He totalled 27 goals in an 18-game streak for the New Westminster Bruins in 1984-85, from Nov. 6 through Dec. 15. . . . Vancouver was 4-6 on the PP; Edmonton was 2-5. . . . Vancouver G Todd Scott blocked 29 shots. . . . Edmonton starter Boston Bilous, who is from Langley, was beaten three times on 11 shots in 13:08. Travis Child came on to stop 20 of 25 shots in 45:54. . . . Announced attendance: 3,689.


At Portland, the Portland Winterhawks scored five PP goals, four of them on 5-on-3s, en route to a 6-1 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . The Winterhawks (14-4-0) have won five in a row and lead the U.S. Division by two points over the Tri-City Americans (12-5-2). . . . The Raiders are 8-7-3. . . . F Jordy Stallard (14) of the Raiders scored the game’s first goal, on a PP, at 3:42 of the opening period. Stallard is riding an 11-game point streak, with 20 points, including 11 goals, over that time. . . . D Henri Jokiharju (6) got Portland even, on a PP, at 5:32 of the second period, with F Brad Ginnell breaking the tie at 14:32. . . . The Winterhawks added four third-period goals, three of them coming via the PP. . . . F Cody Glass scored twice, giving him 10, with F Skyler McKenzie (15) and Ginnell (5) adding the others. . . . Jokiharju and F Joachim Blichfeld each had two assists for Portland. . . . The Winterhawks were 5-12 on the PP; the Raiders were 1-5. . . . The Raiders took the game’s last 11 penalties — 10 minors and a misconduct — all coming between 5:58 and 17:50. . . . G Cole Kehler stopped 28 shots for Portland. . . . The Raiders got 28 saves from G Curtis Meger. . . . Announced attendance: 5,536.


MONDAY (all times local):

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).

Royals prepping bid for 2020 Memorial Cup … Broncos’ line tearing it up … Elynuik sparks Chiefs


F Roman Tománek (Calgary, Seattle, 2004-06) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Mulhouse (France, Ligue Magnus) after being released from a tryout contract with Bayreuth (Germany, DEL2). This season, he had one assist in 13 games with Freiburg (Germany, DEL2).


Now there are two.

The Victoria Royals have confirmed that they are interested in playing host to the 2020 Memorial Cup.

On Thursday, after the Kamloops Blazers announced their intention of making a bid, Cam Hope, the Royals’ president and general manager, told Taking Note that his club “absolutely” was interested.

Hope since has told the Victoria Times Colonist that “we intend to bid for the 2020 Memorial Cup.”

Victoria will be involved in the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship as a co-host with Vancouver and the Giants.

On Friday, Hope told The Times Colonist’s Cleve Dheensaw: “We see a lot of natural crossover between the two events, for sure. Our ticket sales for the world junior championship have been brisk. Our building will be full.”

Hope added “that will be meaningful” when the WHL selects the host city for the 2020 Memorial Cup, something that is expected to happen in October 2018.

The Royals are expected to have more to say about their bid early in 2018.

“Victoria offers the entire package the hockey world is looking for in a Memorial Cup,” Hope told Dheensaw. “It has a deep and rich hockey history, an international airport, knowledge of hosting major sporting events, and is one of the leading tourist destinations in Canada.”

Dheensaw’s story is right here.


It was written in this space yesterday that Dylan Garand was the first goaltender to play for the Kamloops Blazers in his 15-year-old season since Devon Dubnyk in 2001-02.

It turns out that was in error.

Jon Keen, the Blazers’ radio voice, points out that Garand is the first since James Priestner on Feb. 23, 2007. On that night, Priestner went the distance in Kamloops as the Blazers, who had built up a 4-0 lead, lost 6-5 in OT to the Chilliwack Bruins. (Hey, remember them?)

F Dillon Johnstone forced OT in that one, scoring his seventh goal of the season, on a PP, at 19:30 of the third period. F Josh Aspenlind won the game 46 seconds into OT, scoring his third goal of the game and 20th of the season.

That was Priestner’s only appearance of the season with Kamloops.

Little did we know that Priestner was writing music during his WHL goaltending days. He now is the found and lead singer for The Lunas.

Give their first single — Until I’m Dead — a listen right here.


If you are a follower of the WHL you know that there frequently are scoring changes made following games, often, in fact, the next day. Such was the case after the Swift Current Broncos beat the host Saskatoon Blades, 6-4, on Friday night. . . . The original on-line scoresheet showed F Aleksi Heponiemi and F Tyler Steenbergen of the Broncos each with a goal and two assists. . . . However, there later were changes made. In the end, then, Heponiemi ended up with a goal and four — yes, four — assists, while Steenbergen would up with a goal and three assists. . . . When you went to bed on Friday night, Steenbergen led the WHL scoring race with 41 points, one more than Heponiemi. . . . When you woke up Saturday, they were tied at 42. . . . Now you know how that happened.

On Saturday night, Heponiemi, Steenbergen and Glenn Gawdin, the third member of that line, combined for 11 points in a 6-0 victory over the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . When you went to bed, Heponiemi and Steenbergen remained tied for the scoring lead, each with 46 points. . . . But who knows whether it’ll be that way when you arise.

BTW, Gawdin is third in the scoring race, with 38 points. At least, he was last night.


According to a Saturday night tweet from Western Elite Hockey Prospects (@WEHPscout), F Trevor Wong, who was projected as an early pick in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft, “has committed to the University of Denver.” . . . As WEHP put it: “Big blow to the WHL and the draft in general.” . . . Wong, from Vancouver, won’t turn 15 until May 4. He is playing for the bantam varsity team at St. George’s School, and has 61 points, including 26 goals, in 10 games.


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SATURDAY:

At Swift Current, the Broncos’ hot line struck three times in the first period and that set the tone for what turned into a 6-0 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . The Broncos (13-3-1), who have won two in a row, got 36 saves — 20 of them in the third period — from G Logan Flodell, who posted his third shutout this season and the ninth of his career. He has three shutouts in each of three straight seasons. . . . The Hurricanes (7-10-1) have dropped six in a row (0-5-1). . . . F Tyler Steenbergen, F Aleksi Heponiemi and F Glenn Gawdin, who form the WHL’s highest-scoring forward unit, combined for 11 points. Steenbergen had two goals and two assists, Heponiemi had a goal and three assists, and Gawdin scored twice and added an assist. . . . Heponiemi got it all started with his 14th goal, just 12 seconds into the game. . . . Steenbergen, who leads the WHL with 26 goals, made it 2-0, on a PP, at 15:01, and Gawdin upped it to 3-0, on another PP, just 22 seconds later. . . . Gawdin (14) added another PP goal in the second period, with F Kaden Elder (5) and Steenbergen scoring in the third. . . . D Colby Sissons helped out with two assists. . . . Heponiemi has played in 17 games and has at least four points in seven of them. He is on a nine-game goal and point streak, having scored 10 goals and totalled 26 points in that time. He has nine points in his past two games. . . . Steenbergen has six games in which he has had at least four points. . . . Gawdin has at least one point in nine straight games, totalling 22 points over that stretch. . . . The Hurricanes got 18 saves from G Reece Klassen. . . . The Broncos were 3-4 on the PP; the Hurricanes were 0-3. . . . Announced attendance: 2,480.


At Brandon, G Logan Thompson blocked 36 shots to lead the Wheat Kings to a 3-1 victory over the Saskatoon Blades. . . . Brandon (11-6-1) has won two in a row. . . . Saskatoon (7-10-1) has lost two straight. . . . The Wheat Kings got a goal and an assist from F Baron Thompson. He opened the scoring with his third goal, on a PP, at 15:24 of the second period. . . . F Stelio Matheos (11) gave the home boys a 2-0 lead at 13:45 of the third period. . . . D Jake Kustra (1) got the Blades to within a goal at 18:45, only to have F Evan Weinger (2) put it away with an empty-netter at 19:59. . . . Brandon was 1-5 on the PP; Saskatoon was 0-3. . . . G Ryan Kubic stopped 21 shots for the Blades. . . . Sophomore D Garrett Sambrook was back in Brandon’s lineup for the first time since Oct. 15. . . . The Wheat Kings were without F Tanner Kaspick, who served a one-game suspension left over from the Team WHL-Russia game on Tuesday night in Swift Current. He was ejected from that game for a headshot on Russia D Alex Alexeyev. . . . The Blades were without F Seth Bafaro, who drew a TBD suspension for a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct on Friday night against the visiting Swift Current Broncos. He hit F Kaden Elder, who was back in the Broncos’ lineup Saturday night. . . . D Randen Schmidt made his WHL debut for the Blades. Schmidt, 17, plays for the midget AAA Regina Pat Canadians. Les Lazaruk, the radio voice of the Blades, points out that Schmidt is the 996th player — and 878th skater — to suit up for the Blades. . . . Announced attendance: 4,804.


At Cranbrook, B.C., the Spokane Chiefs eased a 2-0 deficit two shorthanded goals on the same penalty and went on to score a 5-4 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . The Chiefs (10-7-3) have points in three straight games (2-0-1). . . . The Ice (8-11-1) has lost three in a row. . . . Despite being outshot 22-5 in the first period, the Ice emerged with a 1-0 goal as F Cameron Hausinger scored at 18:58. He made it 2-0 with his fourth goal of the season, at 4:05 of the second period. . . . With F Carter Chorney serving a checking-from-behind minor, the Chiefs tied it on shorthanded goals from F Jaret Anderson-Dolan (8), at 4:51, and F Hudson Elynuik (11), at 5:59. . . . F Zach Fischer (5) gave the visitors their first lead at 11:44. . . . The Ice moved into a tie at 15:42 when D Ryan Pouliot (1) scored at 15:42. . . . Spokane D Nolan Reid, who has nine goals, scored the next two goals — at 0:42 and 11:21 of the third period — as his guys took a 5-3 lead. . . . Ice F Alec Baer (7) cut the deficit to one at 18:19. . . . Elynuik had four assists for a huge five-point night, while Anderson-Dolan andD Ty Smith each had two helpers. . . . Spokane was 1-4 on the PP; Kootenay was 0-4. . . . G Dawson Weatherill earned the victory with 23 stops, 11 fewer than Kootenay’s Kurtis Chapman. . . . The Ice is without veteran forwards Colton Kroeker, Vince Loschiavo and Jeff de Wit, all out with undisclosed injuries. . . . Announced attendance: 2,428.


At Medicine Hat, F Max Gerlach scored his second goal of the game with 6.5 seconds left in OT to give the Tigers a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Medicine Hat (12-6-0), which won 4-2 in Calgary on Friday night, has won three in a row. . . . Calgary (6-11-2) has lost two straight. . . . Gerlach, who now has six goals, hadn’t scored since Sept. 30. He suffered a severe facial injury on Oct. 7 and didn’t play again until Oct. 27. This was his sixth game back in the lineup. . . . The Hitmen took a 1-0 lead when F Jake Kryski (2) scored at 1:19 of the first period. . . . The Tigers went ahead 2-1 as F Jaeger White (2) scored his second goal in two games, at 5:43, and Gerlach counted at 16:42. . . . D Jake Bean (2) pulled Calgary even, on a PP, at 19:19. . . . The Tigers went back out front at 5:04 of the second on a PP goal from F Mark Rassell (17), who also had an assist. . . . Calgary F Jakob Stukel forced OT with his eighth goal just 32 seconds into the third period. . . . Calgary got two assists from each of F Mark Kastelic and F Matteo Gennaro. . . . The Tigers were 1-2 on the PP; the Hitmen were 1-4. . . . Medicine Hat G Michael Bullion stopped 36 shots, four more than Calgary’s Nick Schneider. . . . Veteran F James Hamblin was among the Tigers’ scratches after injuring a knee on Friday night. . . . Announced attendance: 3,970.


At Portland, F Joachim Blichfeld scored twice and added an assist to help the Winterhawks to a 5-2 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . The Winterhawks (13-4-0) have won four in a row. . . . The Americans (12-5-2) had points in each of their previous 11 games (9-0-2). . . . The Winterhawks took a 2-0 lead on goals from Blichfeld, at 4:01 of the second period, and F Skyler McKenzie (14), at 12:49. . . . F Maxwell James (2) scored for Tri-City, on a PP, at 14:32, but Portland got that one back 22 seconds into the third period when Blichfeld (5) scored, on a PP. . . . F Morgan Geekie (6) pulled the Americans to within a goal at 9:14. . . . The Winterhawks iced it with two empty-netters, from D Keoni Texeira (5) and F Kieffer Bellows (14). . . . Bellows and F Cody Glass each had two assists for Portland. . . . The Winterhawks got 39 saves from G Cole Kehler, while Patrick Dea stopped 44 shots at the other end. . . . Sophomore F Brad Ginnell returned to Portland’s lineup for the first time since Oct. 20. . . . Announced attendance: 9,479.


At Prince George, G Carter Hart stopped 28 shots to earn his first shutout of the season as the Everett Silvertips beat the Cougars, 4-0. . . . Everett (8-10-2) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). . . . Prince George (6-9-4) had beaten the Silvertips 4-3 in a shootout on Friday night. . . . Hart, who has played in 155 games, now has 20 career regular-season WHL shutouts. He is tied for third on the WHL career list, with Justin Pogge (Calgary, Prince George, 2003-06, 151 games) and Dustin Slade (Kamloops, Brandon, Regina, Vancouver, 2002-07, 132 games). That is one behind Bryan Bridges (Seattle, Kootenay, 2001-06, 213 games) and Leland Irving (Everett, 2003-08, 195 games). The record (26) belongs to Tyson Sexsmith (Vancouver, 2005-09, 179 games). . . F Matt Fonteyne )10) scored the game’s first goal, at 15:44 of the first period. He drew an assist on the second goal, a PP score, from D Kevin Davis (3), at 0:22 of the second period. Before that goal, Everett’s PP had been 0-21, while the Cougars’ penalty killers were 39-39 since Oct. 13. . . . F Riley Sutter (8), who also had an assist, and F Sean Richards (7) added second-period goals. . . . Everett was 1-2 on the PP; Prince George was 0-2. . . . G Tavin Grant allowed four goals on 31 shots through two periods for the Cougars, with Isaiah DiLaura stopping all five shots he faced in the third period. . . . Announced attendance: 3,389.


At Kelowna, the Rockets scored two PP goals in the game’s first five minutes and went on to a 5-2 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Kelowna (10-6-3) has won five straight home games. . . . Red Deer (8-11-1) has lost six in a row (0-5-1). . . . F Dillon Dude (8), at 1:54, and F Liam Kindree (2), at 4:56, staked Kelowna to that 2-0 lead. . . . F Jared Dmytriw (6) got the Rebels to within a goal at 6:58, but the Rockets pulled away with three second-period goals. . . . D James Hilsendager (2) scored on a PP, at 8:41, with D Braydyn Chizen (1) scoring at 9:07, and F Kole Lind (11) counting at 6:39. . . . The game’s last goal came from Red Deer D Carson Sass (1), at 6:39 of the third period. . . . F Leif Mattson, who went into the game with goals in six of his previous seven games, had two assists. Kindree, Chizen, Lind and Hilsendager had one assist each. . . . Kelowna was 3-6 on the PP; Red Deer was 0-5. . . . G James Porter stopped 27 shots for the Rockets. . . . The Rockets scratched G Brodan Salmond and Larry Fisher of the Kelowna Daily Courier reports that the sophomore will be out up to six weeks with a knee injury. They had Ethan Hunt backing up for the second time in two nights. Hunt, 18, is playing with the junior B Kelowna Chiefs of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. . . . Red Deer starter Ethan Anders was beaten three times on 13 shots in 28:41. Riley Lamb, who suffered a broken thumb in training camp, made his first appearance of the regular season, stopping 17 of 19 shots in 31:19. . . . Announced attendance: 5,008.


At Langley, B.C., F Ty Ronning scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Vancouver Giants to a 4-1 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . The Giants (7-8-4) have points in three straight (2-0-1). . . . The Royals (14-5-1) had won their previous two games. . . . This was the fifth of 10 meetings between these teams this season, with the Royals having won each of the first four. . . . Ronning, who has 18 goals, opened the scoring at 13:03 of the first period. . . . F Igor Martynov (6) tied it at 15:08. . . . F James Malm (5) broke the tie at 8:13 of the second period. . . . The Giants put it away with third-period goals from F Brad Morrison, on a PP, at 4:36, and Ronning, into an empty net, at 19:50. . . . D Dylan Plouffe had three assists for Vancouver, with Morrison adding one. . . . Vancouver was 1-5 on the PP; Victoria was 0-4. . . . The Giants got 37 saves from G David Tendeck. . . . G Griffen Outhouse stopped 23 shots for the Royals. . . . Announced attendance: 3,474.


At Kent, Wash., F Garrett Pilon drew three assists as the Kamloops Blazers scored a 4-2 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . The Blazers (7-12-0) have won two in a row and are 7-3-0 since starting 0-9-0. The victory allowed the Blazers to move out of the 22-team league’s basement for the first time this season. They now are tied with the Calgary Hitmen, two points ahead of the idle Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . The Thunderbirds (9-7-2) have lost three in a row (0-2-1). . . . The Blazers scored twice in the game’s first five minutes, with F Nick Chyzowski (5) scoring on a PP at 1:30 and D Ondrej Vala (4) counting at 4:58. . . . The Thunderbirds tied it on second-period goals from F Blake Bargar (4), at 3:42, and F Nolan Volcan (6), on a PP, at 5:19. . . . Kamloops F Quinn Benjafield (4) broke the tie at 15:31 of the second period. . . . F Jermaine Loewen (8) ran his goal streak to four games with an empty-netter at 19:31. . . . Vala also had an assist. . . . Kamloops was 1-3 on the PP; Seattle was 1-4. . . . G Max Palaga stopped 24 shots to get the victory over Liam Hughes, who made 28 saves. . . . Seattle F Sami Moilanen left early in the first period with an undisclosed injury. He leads the Thunderbirds with 11 goals. . . . Announced attendance: 5,052.


SUNDAY (all times local):

Regina at Moose Jaw, 4 p.m.

Edmonton vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 4 p.m.

Prince Albert at Portland, 5 p.m.


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


Ice chills Wheat Kings … Stallard leads Raiders past Broncos … Everett has its Hart back

F Lukáš Vartovník (Everett, 2006-08) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Poprad (Slovakia, Extraliga). This season, he had 10 goals and 10 assists in 13 games with Spišská Nová Ves (Slovakia, 1. Liga), and three goals and one assist in six games while on loan to Poprad.


A tip of the hat to the MJHL’s Waywayseecappo Wolverines, who will honour Braden Pettinger tonight (Saturday) when they play host to the Steinbach Pistons. . . . Pettinger got into 14 games with Steinbach, then played 108 games with the Wolverines before being traded to the Portage Terriers. On Nov. 12, 2015, in his first game with the Terriers, Pettinger suffered a catastrophic injury. . . . Pettinger, 22, is from Elgin, Man. . . . The Wolverines note: “Braden continues with his long recovery and we will honour (his) courageous battle in a pre-game ceremony.” . . . Pettinger and his family are scheduled to be in attendance.


F Alec Zawatsky made his WHL debut with the Saskatoon Blades against the host Medicine Hat Tigers on Friday night. Earlier this week, I made reference to Zawatsky having driven from Estevan to Lethbridge through a snowstorm in order to get to Lethbridge in time to practise with the Blades on Thursday morning. . . . As it turns out, that’s not how it happened. . . . Zawatsky, who played for the SJHL’s Notre Dame Hounds against the Bruins in Estevan, rode the bus back to Wilcox, Sask. He later flew from Regina to Calgary, and then drove to Lethbridge. . . . Apologies to all involved, but especially to Notre Dame head coach Clint Mylymok, who you have to know would never put a young player into a situation that would involve such a travel predicament.


The Portland Winterhawks have signed G Dante Giannuzzi to a WHL contract. From Winnipeg, Giannuzzi was a fifth-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. . . . He is playing this season in Winnipeg with the Rink Hockey Academy Elite 15s, and is 1.35, .953 with one shutout in five appearances.


The Seattle Thunderbirds have signed G Eric Ward to a WHL contract. Ward, who is from Edmonton, signed prior to the Thunderbirds’ 3-1 victory over the host Oil Kings on Thursday night. . . . Ward, 16, is playing for the midget AAA CAC Canadians in Edmonton.


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FRIDAY:

At Brandon, the Kootenay Ice struck four times in fewer than 10 minutes in the first period en route to a 4-2 victory over the Wheat Kings. . . . The Ice improved to 8-8-1. . . . The Wheat Kings (9-6-1) have lost three in a row. . . . F Sebastian Streu (1) got the visitors started at 8:26 of the first period, with F Michael King (4) making it 2-0 at 14:00. . . . F Kaeden Taphorn (1), who also had an assist, upped the lead to 3-0 at 16:44, and D Cale Fleury (6) made it 4-0 at 18:03. . . . The Wheat Kings got a PP goal from F Ty Lewis (9) at 18:58 of the first period, and D Ty Ettinger (1) got Brandon to within two goals at 11:55 of the second. . . . Brandon was 1-2 on the PP; Kootenay was 1-6. . . . G Duncan McGovern, in his first start with the Ice since being acquired from the Medicine Hat Tigers, stopped 33 shots. . . . Brandon starter Logan Thompson surrendered four goals on 15 shots in the first period. Dylan Myskiw played the last two periods, stopping all 12 shots he faced. . . . The same two teams will play in Brandon again tonight. . . . Announced attendance: 3,616.


At Regina, the Pats scored the game’s last three goals, all via the PP, and beat the Red Deer Rebels, 4-3. . . . Regina (11-6-2) has points in four straight (3-0-1). . . . The Rebels (8-8-1) have lost three in a row (0-2-1). . . . Red Deer got the game’s first two goals, from F Austin Pratt (4), at 9:24 of the first period, and F Kristian Reichel (6), shorthanded, at 16:47. . . . D Josh Mahura got the Pats on the scoreboard at 18:51. . . . F Jack Flaman (6), who also had an assist, restored Red Deer’s two-goal lead at 1:34 of the second period. . . . D Jonathan Smart (2) pulled the Pats to within a goal at 9:17 of the second and Mahura (7) tied it at 15:36. . . . F Matt Bradley (14) snapped the tie at 9:44 of the third period. . . . F Wyatt Sloboshan had two assists for Regina, with Smart adding one to his goal. . . . The Pats were 3-7 on the PP; the Rebels were 0-4. . . . G Tyler Brown earned the victory with 25 saves. . . . At the other end, G Ethan Anders, who is from Regina, blocked 44 shots. . . . F Lukus MacKenzie, required Thursday from the Saskatoon Blades, made his Red Deer debut. . . . Regina F Nick Henry (shoulder), who has yet to play this season, has returned to practising but didn’t dress for this one. . . . The Pats have dropped D Parker Gavlas, 18, from their roster. He is expected to join the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers. Gavlas, from Saskatoon, was pointless in seven games with Regina. . . . Announced attendance: 6,484.


At Lethbridge, the Calgary Hitmen broke a 2-2 tie with three straight goals as they skated to a 6-3 victory over the Hurricanes. . . . The Hitmen (5-10-1) had lost their previous three games. . . . The Hurricanes (7-7-1) have lost three in a row (0-2-1). . . . The Hurricanes closed out a seven-game homestand in which they finished 3-3-1. . . . F Jordy Bellerive, back after a one-game absence, scored his eighth goal for a 1-0 Lethbridge lead 27 seconds in to the game. . . . Calgary took a 2-1 lead on goals from F Matteo Gennaro (11), at 7:56 of the first period, and F Orca Wiesblatt (1), at 14:04. . . . Lethbridge tied it at 16:32 as F Jake Elmer (1) scored. . . . Calgary got the next three goals, from F Andrei Grishakov (5), at 3:19 of the second, and F Tristen Nielsen, who scored twice, at 16:10 of the second and 6:10 of the third. He’s got four goals. . . . F Giorgio Estephan (6), on a PP, got the home side to within two at 12:30, but Calgary D Vladislav Yeryomenko (4) got the empty-netter at 18:33. . . . The Hitmen got two assists from F Luke Coleman, with Grishakov and Yeryomenko adding one each. . . . Lethbridge was 1-2 on the PP; Calgary was 0-2. . . . G Nick Schneider stopped 34 shots for Calgary, nine more than Lethbridge’s Stuart Skinner. . . . Lethbridge had F Zane Franklin and Bellerive back after they sat out one game due to illness. . . . These teams will meet again tonight, this time in Calgary. . . . Announced attendance: 3,363.


At Prince Albert, F Jordy Stallard scored three straight goals to lead the Raiders to a 5-1 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . The Raiders improved to 7-5-3, while the Broncos, who are 6-1-1 on the road, are left at 10-3-1. . . . Prince Albert took a 1-0 lead when F Justin Nachbaur, who is from Cross Lake, Man., scored his first WHL goal — and point — at 3:57 of the first period. He was playing in his 11th game. . . . Stallard, who has 12 goals, then struck for three in a row, the last two coming via the PP. The 20-year-old scored at 5:00 and 16:31 of the first period, and completed his first WHL hat trick at 10:01 of the second. . . . F Aleksi Heponiemi (11) scored for the Broncos, on a PP, at 14:41. He’s got goals in six straight games. . . . The Raiders got that one back at 17:27, on a PP, from F Sean Montgomery (5). . . . F Cole Fonstad had two assists for the winners. . . . The Raiders were 3-6 on the PP; the Broncos were 1-3. . . . Prince Albert G Ian Scott stopped 30 shots. . . . The Broncos started G Logan Flodell, who allowed five goals on 26 shots in two periods. Joel Hofer finished up by stopping 12 third-period shots. . . . Of the game’s 19 minor penalties, 12 were for roughing. . . . Announced attendance: 2,049.


At Medicine Hat, the Tigers erased a 1-0 deficit with seven straight goals as they dumped the Saskatoon Blades, 7-2. . . . The Tigers (9-6-0) had lost their previous two games. . . . The Blades (6-8-1) had won three in a row. . . . F Josh Paterson (4) gave Saskatoon a 1-0 lead at 4:36 of the first period. . . . F Gary Haden (4) tied it at 6:59 and F Tyler Preziuso (5) gave the Tigers the lead at 19:16. . . . The Tigers gook control with three second-period goals, two from D David Quenneville, who has seven goals, and one from Ryan Chyzowski (7). . . . F James Hamblin (4) and D Dylan MacPherson (2) also scored for the winners. . . . F Cam Hebig (13) had Saskatoon’s other goal. He also had an assist. . . . Medicine Hat got three assists from D Linus Nassen, two each from D Kristians Rubins, Preziuso and F Ryan Jevne, and one from Hamblin. . . . Medicine Hat was 2-5 on the PP; Saskatoon was 1-2. . . . The Tigers got 20 stops from G Jordan Hollett. . . . The Blades opened with G Ryan Kubic, who was beaten five times on 28 shots through two periods. Joel Grzybowski played the third period, stopping 10 of 12 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 3,029.


At Spokane, F Kieffer Bellows scored a pair of PP goals to help the Portland Winterhawks to a 4-1 victory over the Chiefs. . . . The Winterhawks (11-4-0), who have won two in a row, scored the game’s last four goals. . . . The Chiefs (8-7-2) have lost three straight (0-2-1). . . . The Chiefs took a 1-0 lead at 9:53 on a goal from F Jaret Anderson-Dolan (5). . . . D Matthew Quigley (2) tied it for Portland at 11:18. . . . Bellows, who has 12 goals and points in 10 straight games, broke the tie at 14:46 and stretched the lead at 19:38. . . . Portland F Cody Glass (8) closed out the scoring at 15:14 of the third period. . . . The Winterhawks got two assists from each of D Henri Jokiharju and F Skyler McKenzie, with Glass getting one. . . . Portland was 2-5 on the PP; Spokane was 0-4. . . . G Cole Kehler turned aside 47 shots to earn the victory over Dawson Weatherill, who made 30 saves for Spokane. . . . F Kailer Yamamoto, who played the past three seasons with the Chiefs, was a healthy scratch last night by the Edmonton Oilers, who beat the visiting New Jersey Devils, 6-3. Signs seem to indicate that Yamamoto soon will be returned to the Chiefs. . . . Announced attendance: 4,419.


At Langley, B.C., F Jermaine Loewen’s PP goal with 16.4 seconds left in the third period gave the Kamloops Blazers a 5-4 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . The Blazers (5-11-0) have won two in a row and five of their last seven games. . . . The Giants (5-8-3) have lost four in a row (0-3-1). . . . F Quinn Benjafield (3) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 5:15 of the first period. . . . The Giants took a 2-1 lead on goals from F Brad Morrison, at 10:23, on a PP, and F Dawson Holt (2), at 11:32. . . . Kamloops took a 4-2 lead with the next three goals, all in the second period, from F Luc Smith (3), at 1:29, F Garrett Pilon (6), at 4:14, and Loewen, at 11:13. . . . The Giants tied it in the third period on goals from Morrison (4), at 12:53, and F Ty Ronning (13), at 17:30. . . . Loewen won it with his fourth goal of the season. . . . F Brodi Stuart had two assists for Kamloops, with Pilon, Smith and Loewen each getting one. . . . The Giants got two assists from each of F Milos Roman and Ronning, with Morrision adding one. . . . Morrison had three points but was serving a slashing penalty when the Blazers got the winner. . . . Kamloops was 1-3 on the PP; Vancouver was 1-4. . . . Kamloops G Max Palaga stopped 23 shots to earn his first WHL victory. Dylan Ferguson, the Blazers’ No. 1 goalie, is with the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights on emergency recall. . . . The Giants got 17 saves from G David Tendeck. . . . The Giants are without D Darian Skeoch, who served the third of a four-game suspension, and D Bowen Byram, who is at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge. . . . The rematch is scheduled for tonight in Kamloops. . . . Announced attendance: 3,368.


At Victoria, F Leif Mattson broke a 2-2 tie at 16:50 of the third period and the Kelowna Rockets went on to a 4-2 victory over the Royals. . . . Kelowna (8-5-3) has points in five straight (4-0-1). . . . Victoria (12-5-1) had won its previous two games. . . . F Jared Legien (8) gave the Royals a 1-0 lead 24 seconds into the first period. . . . Kelowna tied it when F Dillon Dube scored, on a PP, at 14:03. . . . Victoria went back out front on F Dante Hannoun’s 10th goal, on a PP, at 17:10. . . . D Cal Foote (5) got Kelowna back into a tie, on another PP, at 17:53 of the second period. . . . Mattson got the winner, his fourth goal in five games. . . . Dube (7) iced it with the empty-netter at 19:30 of the third period. . . . F Kole Lind had two assists for Kelowna, with Foote and Dube each getting one. . . . Kelowna was 2-3 on the PP; Victoria was 1-7. . . . Kelowna G James Porter earned the victory with 25 saves. . . . Victoria G Griffen Outhouse stopped 34 shots. . . . Kelowna F Carsen Twarynski was ejected with a boarding major at 9:53 of the third period. . . . F Matthew Phillips of the Royals had his point streak snapped at 17 games. He had 34 points, including 15 goals, over that stretch. . . . The same teams will play in Victoria again tonight. . . . Announced attendance: 4,616.


At Everett, F Patrick Bajkov broke a 1-1 tie at 18:38 of the third period as the Silvertips got past the Prince George Cougars, 3-1. . . . The Silvertips (7-9-1) have won three in a row. . . . The Cougars (5-8-4) have lost three straight. This game marked the end of a seven-game road run for the Cougars. They went 2-3-2. . . . F Orrin Centazzo (3) gave Everett a 1-0 lead at 3:48 of the first period. . . . The Cougars tied it at 13:33 of the second period on a goal from F Josh Maser (6). . . . Bajkov snapped the tie with his ninth goal. . . . F Connor Dewar (10) got the empty-netter at 19:32 of the third period. . . . Dewar also had an assist. . . . The Cougars were 0-2 on the PP; the Silvertips were 0-8. . . . Everett G Carter Hart, the WHL’s goaltender of the year each of the past two seasons, stopped 23 shots. He was back in Everett’s lineup for the first time since Sept. 30 after being sidelined by mononucleosis. The Silvertips now are carrying three goaltenders — they had Dustin Wolf, 16, backing up last night, with Dorrin Luding, 18, scratched. . . . The Cougars got 47 stops from G Tavin Grant. . . . F Luke Ormsby, who was acquired Thursday from the Seattle Thunderbirds, made his Everett debut. . . . The Cougars made it official on Friday, announcing that they have added F Pavel Azhgirei, 17, who is from Belarus. He was waived by the Silvertips and was in the lineup against them last night. . . . Azhgirei and Cougars F Vladislav Mikhalchuk were teammates on the U-17 Belarusian national team that won the Mac’s tournament in Calgary last season. . . . The Cougars had F Jackson Leppard back after a two-game absence with an undisclosed injury, while F Aaron Boyd sat out a second straight game. . . . Cougars D Josh Anderson (shoulder) is back skating but now has missed 10 games. . . . These teams will meet again next weekend as the Silvertips visit Prince George for a Friday-Saturday doubleheader. . . . Announced attendance: 3,579.


SATURDAY (all times local):

Kootenay at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Lethbridge at Calgary, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Edmonton, 7 p.m.

Red Deer at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

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

Kelowna at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

Vancouver at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

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

Portland at Everett, 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 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).


Outdoor games at Safeco Field? … Living with tragedy in Renfrew, Ont. … Blazers goalie in NYC

If you’re watching the World Series, here’s hoping you have access to Fox-TV because analyst John Smoltz is good. Really good.


Larry Brooks of the New York Post related this anecdote in a Sunday column:

So Antti Raanta, the former Rangers netminder now with Arizona, was talking about adjusting to life in the desert.

“It takes a little time to get used to the weather and remind yourself that you’re not on vacation,” said Raanta. “But everything has been good.

“Except maybe for the scorpions my wife saw in our bedroom.”


I ran into the effervescent Guy Charron while doing some shopping the other day. He’s looking good. In fact, he hasn’t looked this good since before he dipped his toe in the WHL coaching pool with the Kamloops Blazers.


Here’s Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle with a first-person baseball tale:

That was cute when the Dodgers sent Vin Scully to the mound for the ceremonial first pitch before Game 2 of the World Series, and then Vinny summoned Fernando Valenzuela to do the job. Reminded me of the 2010 Series, Giants at Texas. In the press box there was a line for the men’s room. I completed my stand-up business, turned and saw that the on-deck man was Juan Marichal. I tapped my right arm with my left hand and said, “Juan, I’m bringing you in for relief.”

No, he didn’t laugh.


Here’s Ostler, again:

The NFL blew it.

The recent meeting between 11 team owners and 12 players at NFL headquarters in New York, called to discuss player protests during the national anthem, would have been more exciting had it been smartly marketed.

First of all, give it a name: “Sons of Bitches vs. Sons of Riches.”

Then, for god’s sake, televise it. From the ESPN account of the showdown, it was a lot more exciting than half the football games.


And one from Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News:

As Dave Roberts of the Dodgers, who at one point in this World Series used 17 pitchers in 20 innings, went through eight relief pitchers in Game 2, I kept hearing the voice of my Hall of Fame friend Bill Madden inside my head.

Mr. Madden, from the first time I sat down next to him in a press box, has always talked about “the endless search for the guy who doesn’t have it.”

That’s what we saw in Game 2, exactly.


Wonder Woman and I made another successful return trip over the Coquihalla last weekend — successful in that we survived it. On the return trip, I deliberately set the cruise control at 120 — if you’ve never been there, that is the speed limit — and there were times when I thought I was standing still. (To our American friends, that would kilometres per hour.) I also would swear that Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. passed us a time or two.


Headline at TheKicker.com: Adam Silver approves huge order for Warriors vs. Cavaliers 2018 NFL Finals shirts.


Dilly! Dilly!!


F Roman Tománek (Calgary, Seattle, 2004-06) has been released by mutual agreement by Freiburg (Germany, DEL2). He had one assist in 13 games.


The WHL has had teams involved in two outdoor games to date, with another one scheduled for this season.

Now a source has told Taking Note that the WHL is looking into the possibility of playing two games at Safeco Field in Seattle early in 2019.

The WHL’s first outdoor game took place at Avista Stadium in Spokane on Jan. 15, 2011, with the Chiefs beating the Kootenay Ice 11-2 before 7,075 fans.

On Feb. 21, 2011, there were 20,888 fans at McMahon Stadium in Calgary as the Hitmen dropped a 3-2 decision to the Regina Pats.

This season, the Regina Pats will entertain the Moose Jaw Warriors at 30,048-seat Mosaic Stadium on Feb. 18.

The source told Taking Note that outdoor games at Safeco Field would feature the Seattle Thunderbirds, who play out of Kent, Wash., and Everett Silvertips playing one game each.

Safeco Field, the home of the Seattle Mariners, seats 47,943 for baseball.

It could be that outdoor games in Seattle would be a big deal to hockey fans who follow teams in the WHL’s U.S. Division. There regularly is grumbling from many of those fans because their favourite teams have, for whatever reason, been left out in the cold when it comes to having their communities play host to such things as the Memorial Cup, Canada-Russia games or the Top Prospects Game.


The junior B Renfrew, Ont., Timberwolves and their fans are trying to heal as they deal with the aftermath of a weekend single-vehicle accident in which two players were killed and two others injured.

One of the players, Brandon Hanniman, 18, was pronounced dead at the scene early Saturday morning. A second player, Alex Paquette, 18, died in hospital Saturday afternoon.

Two other teammates, Jake McGrimmon and Ben Scheuneman, both 18, were injured in the accident and remain in hospital. Scheuneman is in critical condition.

The Timberwolves play in the Central Canada Hockey League Tier 2.

A report from cbc.ca says police believe alcohol played a role in the accident and that three of the players weren’t wearing seatbelts. That report is right here. . . .

There is more right here from the Ottawa Citizen.

Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen writes:

“It adds up to a hockey parent’s worst nightmare. Under-aged drinking. Teenaged drivers. An open road and a car’s willing throttle after midnight. Boys being boys and blowing off what should be a reflex habit: buckling up when getting into a car.

“Teenage independence can come at a horrible cost.”

Scanlan’s column is right here.


D Artyom Minulin of the Swift Current Broncos and D Alex Alexeyev of the Red Deer Rebels are on the roster of the Russian team that will play against Team WHL in the annual CIBC Canada-Russia series. Games are scheduled for Monday in Moose Jaw and Tuesday in Swift Current. . . . Minulin, in his third season with the Broncos, has 10 points, including three goals, in 13 games. In 155 career regular-season games, he has 16 goals and 77 assists. . . . Alexeyev has seven assists in six games with the Rebels this season. Last season, as a freshman, he had four goals and 17 assists in 21 games. His 2016-17 season was cut short by a knee injury. This season, he has recently returned from a shoulder injury.


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G Dylan Ferguson of the Kamloops Blazers had a front-row seat Tuesday night as the visiting Vegas Golden Knights lost, 6-4, to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

Ferguson, 19, was on the Golden Knights’ bench as their backup goaltender after being summoned under emergency recall follows. The Golden Knights have three injured goaltenders on their roster.

Ferguson backed up Maxime Lagace, who made his NHL debut on Monday night, entering what would be a 6-3 loss to the New York Islanders after starter Oscar Dansk left with an injury.

Ferguson got the call on Monday, at about 6 p.m. He caught a flight to Vancouver, then took a redeye flight to Toronto where he made a connection to New York City. He arrived there at 11 a.m., and joined the Golden Knights at their hotel.

Vegas is scheduled to continue its road trip against the Boston Bruins on Thursday, the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday and the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday.

The Blazers, meanwhile, will go home-and-home with the Vancouver Giants this weekend, playing Friday in Langley, B.C., and in Kamloops on Saturday.

Max Palaga, a 17-year-old from Kamloops, is expected to start both games. He has made four appearances this season, going 0-2-0, 3.89, .853.

Dylan Garand, 15, is expected to be backing up Palaga. Garand, from Victoria, was a third-round selection in the 2017 bantam draft. He is attending the Delta Hockey Academy and playing for the prep team in the CSSHL.


F Nick Henry of the Regina Pats is almost ready to return after having off-season shoulder surgery. Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post reports right here that Henry, who had 81 points, including 35 goals, in 72 games as a freshman last season, might play Friday agains the visiting Red Deer Rebels. . . .

The Vancouver Giants have dropped D Austin King-Cunningham from their roster, and he has joined the SJHL’s Estevan Bruins. King-Cunningham, 17, is from Pilot Butte, Sask. He was pointless in four games with the Giants. . . . Steve Ewen of Postmedia reported that King-Cunningham left the Giants “over a lack of playing time after the East Division road trip.” . . . Last season, he had three goals and eight assists in 33 games with the midget AAA Battlefords Stars, and one assist in three games with the Giants. . . .

The Edmonton Oil Kings have named F Colton Kehler as the 11th captain in the franchise’s modern history. Kehler is in his third season with the Oil Kings. Kehler, 20, has six goals and five assists in 15 games this season. He was a seventh-round selection by Edmonton in the 2012 bantam draft. . . .

Team USA will hold its pre-tournament training camp in Columbus, Ohio, Dec. 15-19 as it prepares to defend its gold medal at the World Junior Hockey championship that is to open in Buffalo on Dec. 26. . . . Team USA will play two exhibition games — against Belarus, in Jamestown, N.Y., on Dec. 20, and against Sweden, in Erie, Penn., on Dec. 22.


The SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers have fired general manager/head coach Casey O’Brien. . . . Assistant coach Mat Hehr was named interim GM/head coach. . . . O’Brien was in his second season as the Terriers’ GM/head coach, after spending five seasons as an assistant coach. . . . The Terriers were 3-12-2 and in fourth place in the Viterra Division — 11th overall — at the time of the firing. The Terriers also are the SJHL’s most-penalized team. . . . The move came two weeks after O’Brien’s wife, Laura, suffered two heart attacks while undergoing routine bloodwork. She is said to be recovering nicely. . . . Dave Baron, the team president, told Stefanie Davis of Yorkton This Week that “the timing was just so terrible, but we have to put the team first. We felt it had to be done.” . . . Davis’s story is right here.


Cliff Ronning, a former WHL star and the father of Vancouver Giants F Ty Ronning, has been added to the coaching staff of the KHL’s Kunlun Red Star.

Mike Keenan, the team’s GM and head coach, announced Tuesday that Ronning will be the team’s development coach.

Here’s Keenan:

“He takes on responsibilities of skill development throughout the organization at various levels. He’s got a great NHL background and experience as a player, also he did a superb job for us last summer in Vancouver where we had evaluation camps.

“He brings more experience to our staff dealing with the KHL, VHL and MHL teams as well as our academy in Toronto and I think that his skills and his ability to communicate with younger players will be invaluable to the organization.

“Another part of his responsibility will be scouting the Vancouver area. There are thousands of Chinese descendants playing in this area, it’s a very populated Chinese hockey program and he’s got a good handle on the players in that community.”


TUESDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


WEDNESDAY (all times local):

Saskatoon at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Seattle at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Regina, 7 p.m.

Prince George at Portland, 7 p.m.

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


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


Tweet of the day

Blazers lose goalie to NHL … Oil Kings, Blades do deal … Popugaev signs in Moscow

F Nikita Popugaev (Moose Jaw, Prince George, 2015-18) signed a two-year, three-way contract with CSKA Moscow (Russia, KHL). This season, he had two goals and five assists in 13 games with the Prince George Cougars (WHL). The three-way part of the contract is with CSKA Moscow, its farm club Zvezda Chekhov (Russia, Vysshaya Lisa) and its junior club Krasnaya Armiya Moscow (Russia, MHL).


The Kamloops Blazers have lost G Dylan Ferguson to the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights on emergency recall. Ferguson, 19, left Kamloops on Monday night and is to meet up with the Golden Knights in New York.

Ferguson was selected by the Dallas Stars in the seventh round of the NHL’s 2017 draft. He was then dealt to Vegas in a swap that had D Marc Methot go the other way. Ferguson attended the Golden Knights’ development, rookie and main camps, then signed a three-year entry-level contract.

This season, with the Blazers, Ferguson is 4-9-0, 4.05, .878. Last season, he finished 16-10-2, 2.74, .922.

The Golden Knights have lost three goaltenders to injury.

Marc-Andre Fleury suffered a concussion on Oct. 13, with Malcolm Subban going down with a lower-body injury on Oct. 21. Last night, G Oscar Dansk was injured in the second period as Vegas dropped a 6-3 decision — it’s first regulation-time loss of its inaugural season — to the host New York Islanders on Monday night.

Maxime Lagace made his NHL debut after Dansk left.

Ferguson is the fifth goaltender under contract to Vegas, which is scheduled to play the Rangers tonight (Tuesday).

Losing Ferguson leaves the Blazers with freshman Max Palaga, a 17-year-old Kamloops native, who will start Friday in Vancouver against the Giants. The teams are to meet again on Saturday, this time in Kamloops.

Kamloops will bring in Dylan Garand, 15, to back up Palaga. Garand, from Victoria, was a third-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft. He is playing for the Delta Hockey Academy prep team in the CSSHL.


F Kailer Yamamoto was back among Edmonton’s top six forwards as the Oilers practised on Monday. Yamamoto, who still could be returned to the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs, was skating alongside Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Milan Lucic, while also working on one PP unit. . . . Yamamoto has played in seven games and head coach Todd McLellan hasn’t committed to whether he wants to keep the 19-year-old through 10 games. . . . “There’s a chance that can happen,” McLellan said Monday, according to Paul Gazzola of EdmontonOilers.com. “Thresholds are much more of the business side of the game. The cap, the management, the contracts, the future. We have to coach the team and we’re going to try to put the guys on the ice that give us the best chance of winning.” . . . Yamamoto has been scratched from the Oilers’ past two games. The Oilers (3-6-1) are scheduled to entertain the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday.


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The Edmonton Oil Kings have acquired D Jantzen Leslie, 18, from the Saskatoon Blades for a conditional eighth-round selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. . . . The Oil Kings were looking to add a defenceman due to a sudden shortage. Jordan Dawson, 19, left the team on Sunday, according to the team, “to pursue other hockey opportunities.” Matthew Robertson, 16, is about to leave to play at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge. Wyatt McLeod, 17, is injured. . . . Without those three, Leslie’s arrival will give the Oil Kings six defencemen. . . . The Blades acquired Leslie, who is from Lloydminster, Alta., from the Everett Silvertips two years ago. The Silvertips had selected him in the first round of the 2014 bantam draft. . . . In 82 career regular-season games, he has five assists.


F Nikita Popugaev, who is to turn 19 on Nov. 20, has signed a two-year contract with CSKA Moscow of the KHL. . . . As you will have noted in The MacBeth Report, Popugaev signed a three-way deal and he could end up with CSKA Moscow’s junior affiliate. . . . Popugaev had been with the Prince George Cougars, who announced Thursday that he had returned to Moscow “for personal reasons.” . . . A fourth-round pick by the New Jersey Devils in the NHL’s 2017 draft, the 6-foot-6, 205-pound Popugaev was acquired by the Cougars from the Moose Jaw Warriors in January for two players and two bantam draft picks. . . . However, after putting up 22 goals and 29 assists in 40 games with the Warriors, he had only seven goals and 11 assists in 31 games with Prince George. This season, Popugaev had two goals and five assists in 13 games with the Cougars.


F Luke Ormsby has left the Seattle Thunderbirds and is expected to join the BCHL’s Wenatchee Wild. “We are releasing him,” Seattle GM Russ Farwell said in a statement. “It was a mutual decision.” . . . Ormsby, 18, is from Monroe, Wash. He was a ninth-round pick by Seattle in the 2014 bantam draft. . . . This season, he was pointless in 11 games with the Thunderbirds. Last season, as a freshman, he six goals and five assists in 65 games. He added one assist in 13 playoff games as the Thunderbirds won the WHL championship.


A source with knowledge of the situation has told Taking Note that Radio NL in Kamloops has bought out sports director Rick (The Bear) Wile as it begins a move that will put less emphasis on its sports coverage. . . . Wile’s departure leaves Jon Keen as a one-man sports department. . . . “They are cutting sports time, too,” the source told Taking Note. “When Keen’s not there, a news guy will read (sports).” . . . Radio NL has long held the play-by-play rights for the Blazers. Keen is in his eighth season as the team’s radio voice, calling home and away regular-season and playoff games. . . . Wile had been at Radio NL for more than 38 years and had been involved in the station’s coverage of the WHL and the Blazers since the franchise landed in Kamloops in 1981 as the Junior Oilers. . . . He was inducted into the Kamloops Sports Hall of Fame last spring.


Craig West, the veteran play-by-play voice of the Tri-City Americans, drives to most, if not all, of the team’s road games. That was the case last weekend when the Americans played in Kelowna on Friday night and in Kamloops on Saturday.

Whenever the Americans visit, West always parks himself next to me in the press box and we have an enjoyable pre-game chat. That was the case on Saturday, with Earl Seitz of CFJC-TV, another long-time WHL observer, stopping by, too.

On Monday, West posted this on his Facebook page:

“A bit of irony on Saturday night. Before the game in Kamloops, sat with Gregg Drinnan and Earl Seitz discussing driving to all the games. Never an issue . . . until midnight in Princeton, B.C., with the world’s best car . . . 2011 Toyota RAV 4. Final score: Westy 1, Bambi 0. Car at Sonshine Collision currently with Russell Wood and friends and in good hands. Car priest on call with the car in ICU. Ready for last rites. . . . But happy to say the car’s engine not harmed and made it home without issue.”

West posted again later, once he received a damage estimate: “Damage over $9,100.”

When West plays hockey, if you aren’t aware, he is a goaltender. So you are free to wonder how it was that Bambi didn’t go through his legs.

The Americans are next scheduled to play on the road on Saturday against the Spokane Chiefs. We await news of what West will be driving to that game.


The Saskatoon Blades are bringing in F Logan Doust, 16, as some insurance with F Kirby Each at the U17 World Hockey Challenge. Doust, a ninth-round pick in the 2015 bantam draft, is from North Vancouver, B.C. He got into five exhibition games with the Blades and now is with the major midget Vancouver-Northwest Giants . . .

The Kootenay Ice has returned D Nolan Orzeck, 16, to the midget AAA Calgary Northstars. The Ice had some injury issues on the back end going into weekend games and brough Orzeck in as insurance. However, he didn’t get into any games. He was a fourth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft.


D Darian Skeoch of the Vancouver Giants has been suspended for four games by the WHL under supplemental discipline. Sketch missed a weekend doubleheader in Victoria against the Royals and will sit out a home-and-home series with the Kamloops Blazers on Friday and Saturday. They will play in Langley, B.C., on Friday and in Kamloops on Saturday. . . .  The WHL didn’t release any particulars involving the suspension, but it’s believed to have involved a hit on F Jackson Leppard of the Prince George Cougars early in the third period on Friday night in Langley. Leppard was scratched from Prince George’s game in Kelowna on Saturday night. . . . The Giants also will be without D Bowen Byram, 16, who is expected to miss at least five games will at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge. He was the third-overall pick in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft.


MONDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


TUESDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


WEDNESDAY (all times local):

Saskatoon at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Seattle at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Regina, 7 p.m.

Prince George at Portland, 7 p.m.

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


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


Davidson, Smart spark Pats … Wolf howls in Portland … Phillips king for Royals … Zack attack quiets Hurricanes


G Riku Helenius (Seattle, 2007-08) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Ilves Tampere (Finland, Liiga). This season, with KalPa Kuopio (Finland, Liiga), he was 0-4-0, 2.80, .899 in four games as an injury replacement. . . .

F Chris St. Jacques (Medicine Hat, 1999-2004) has signed a six-week contract with Bad Tölz (Germany, DEL2) as an injury replacement. Last season, he had nine goals and 21 assists in 24 games with Füchse Duisburg (Germany, Oberliga), and one goal and four assists in 11 games with Eispiraten Crimmitschau (Germany, DEL2).


F Nolan Patrick and F Kailer Yamamoto, the two 19-year-old WHL products still in the NHL, didn’t have a good week in terms of playing time.

Patrick, who played the past three seasons with the Brandon Wheat Kings, has missed two straight games with an “upper-body injury” that may be a concussion. He left Tuesday’s game with the Anaheim Ducks in the second period after taking a hit in a corner during which his head bounced sharply off the glass.

Patrick practised on Wednesday and was expected to play Thursday against the Ottawa Senators. But he was scratched from that game and also from Saturday’s 4-2 victory over the host Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Flyers are scheduled to entertain the Arizona Coyotes tonight (Monday).

Patrick, the second overall selection in the NHL’s 2017 draft, has a goal and two assists in nine games.

Meanwhile, Yamamoto, a product of the Spokane Chiefs, has three assists in seven games with the Edmonton Oilers.

However, he didn’t play in Edmonton’s 5-2 loss to the visiting Washington Capitals on Saturday night. He has been a healthy scratch from two straight games now.

The Oilers don’t play again until Wednesday when they meet the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins.

If Yamamoto gets into a 10th game, the first year of his three-year entry-level contract kicks in.


The Edmonton Oil Kings dropped a 5-3 decision to the visiting Regina Pats on Sunday, then announced that D Jordan Dawson “is no longer with the team and has decided to pursue other hockey opportunities.” . . . From Delta, B.C., Dawson, 19, was one of eight defencemen on Edmonton’s roster. He was a fourth-round selection by the Oil Kings in the 2013 bantam draft. . . . This season, he missed time with an undisclosed “upper-body” injury and had played in only two of Edmonton’s 15 games. He was pointless in those two games. In 66 career regular-season games, he had two goals and four assists. . . . Dawson’s departure leaves Edmonton with only two 19-year-olds on its roster.


The horror flick Jigsaw was No. 1 at the box office in Canada and the U.S. on the weekend. It will have brought in an estimated US$16.3 million when the counting is done. It is the eighth instalment of the Saw movies. . . . Why do I mention this here. Because Jigsaw was co-produced by former WHLer Oren Koules, who also produced its predecessors. Koules played three seasons (1979-82) in the WHL, playing with the Portland Winter Hawks, Great Falls Americans, Medicine Hat Tigers, Spokane Flyers, Calgary Wranglers and Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . There’s more on this weekend at the box office right here.


Rob Manfred, the commissioner of Major League Baseball, suspended Yuri Gurriel of the Houston Astros for five regular-season games following his racist actions directed at Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher You Darvish during the third game of the World Series. At first blush, I thought that Manfred’s actions weren’t nearly harsh enough. . . . But then I realized that had Gurriel been suspended for World Series games it wouldn’t have cost him any money and, besides, an appealed would have been filed on his behalf and he would have played while awaiting resolution. . . . And then I read the column written by Thomas Boswell of The Washington Post, who was in Houston. . . . That column is right here.


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SUNDAY:

At Edmonton, D Dawson Davidson had a goal and three assists, and D Jonathan Smart drew four assists, as the Regina Pats skated to a 5-3 victory over the Oil Kings. . . . Regina (9-6-2) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). . . . The Oil Kings (5-8-2) have lost two in a row. . . . The teams were tied 2-2 after one period, but Regina took control with three PP goals in the second half of the middle period. Davidson scored one of those goals and was in on the other two; Smart drew assists on each of them. . . . F Bryan Lockner (2) gave the Pats a 1-0 lead at 7:26 of the first period, with Edmonton F Nick Bowman (3) equalizing at 19:00, on a PP. . . . F Matt Bradley (13) gave Regina a 2-1 lead just five seconds later, with F Tomas Soustal (3), on another PP, tying it at 19:58. . . . Yes, there were three goals scored in the final minute of the opening period. . . . The Pats took over with this second-period PP goals from Davidson (4), at 10:16, F Braydon Buziak (2), at 14:49, and F Wyatt Sloboshan (3), at 17:42. . . . F David Kope, with his first WHL goal, scored for Edmonton at 6:28 of the third period. . . . Sloboshan also had an assist. . . . The Pats acquired Davidson and Smart in trades last season, Davidson from the Kamloops Blazers and Smart from the Kelowna Rockets. This was the first career four-point game for each of them. . . . Davidson has two goals and five assists in his past two games. . . . D Conner McDonald had two assists for Edmonton. . . . Regina was 3-5 on the PP; Edmonton was 2-5. . . . G Max Paddock stopped 37 shots for Regina. . . . G Travis Child allowed four goals on 20 shots in 36:23, while reliever Boston Bilous surrendered one goal on 10 shots. . . . Child started but left for 3:37 at 7:08 of the second period after being shaken up. Bilous came on, but Child returned at 10:45. However, Bilous finished up by playing the third period. . . . Regina was without F Sam Steel, the reigning WHL scoring champion, for a second straight game. He is sidelined with an undisclosed injury. . . . The Pats were playing their third game in a third city in fewer than 48 hours. They went (1-1-1). . . . Regina also finished a four-game swing at 2-1-1. The Pats were on the road because Skate Canada was in the Brandt Centre. . . . Announced attendance: 5,730.


At Cranbrook, B.C., D Cale Fleury scored his second goal of the game at 2:27 of OT to give the Kootenay Ice a 5-4 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . The Ice (7-7-1) has won two in a row. . . . The Rebels (8-6-1) found themselves in OT for the third time in fewer than 48 hours. They had won the previous two games, both on home ice. . . . Fleury, who has five goals, gave his guys a 1-0 lead at 1:09 of the first period. . . . Red Deer tied it at 8:00 when F Chris Douglas (2) scored. . . . The Ice scored the next two goals, with F Cameron Hausinger (2) finding the range at 10:56 of the first and F Colton Kroeker (7) counting at 6:53 of the second. . . . The Rebels bounced back with three straight goals to take a 4-3 lead. . . . F Kristian Reichel (5) scored at 12:20 of the second period, with F Austin Pratt (4) making it 3-3 at 14:24. . . . F Reese Johnson (5) gave Red Deer the lead at 17:39 of the third period. . . . Ice F Alex Baer (4) forced OT when he scored on a PP at 18:09. . . . Kroeker drew assists on each of the last two goals, while Baer also was in on the winner. . . . Kroeker ended up with three assists, while Baer and F Keenan Taphorn finished with two assists each, and Hausinger had one. . . . The Rebels got three assists from D Brandon Schuldhaus and two from D Alex Alexeyev. . . . Kootenay was 1-4 on the PP; Red Deer was 0-2. . . . G Kurtis Chapman stopped 22 shots for the winners, with Byron Fancy also making 22 saves for the Rebels. . . . Fancy, a 16-year-old from Claresholm, Alta., was making his first appearance of the season and the second of his career. He was a second-round pick in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. The Rebels added Fancy last week from the midget AAA Lethbridge Hurricanes and plan on keeping him until G Riley Lamb (thumb) is cleared to return. . . . Announced attendance: 2,300.


At Victoria, F Matthew Phillips’ shorthanded goal at 8:10 of the third period was the difference as the Royals beat the Vancouver Giants, 4-3. . . . The Royals (12-4-1) have won two in a row. They had beat the visiting Giants, 6-5, on Saturday with Phillips getting the shootout winner. . . . Victoria is 8-0-0 inside the B.C. Division and leads the WHL’s overall standings by three points over the idle Moose Jaw Warriors (11-4-0). . . . The Giants (5-7-3) have lost three in a row (0-2-1). This was their third game in fewer than 48 hours. They went 0-2-1. . . . D Matt Barberis (2) got Vancouver on the scoreboard first, at 9:56 of the first period. . . . Phillips, who has 15 goals, tied it at 4:30 of the second period. . . . F Ty Ronning (12) put Vancouver back in front just 15 seconds later. . . . The Royals took the lead on goals from F Ryan Peckford (9), on a PP, at 7:49, and F Regan Nagy (16), at 18:34. Nagy has six goals over his past four games. . . . F Milos Roman (5) got the Giants back into a tie at 2:23 of the third period. . . . Phillips ran his point streak to 17 games; yes, he has at least one point in each of Victoria’s games this season. . . . F Tyler Soy and F Dante Hannoun each had two assists for the winners. . . . The Royals have a CHL-leading seven shorthanded goals. . . . The Giants got two assists from F Brad Morrison and one each from Ronning and Roman. . . . F Tyler Benson played his second game in three nights for the Giants, after last playing on Jan. 2. He was held pointless but had seven shots on goal. . . . Victoria was 1-5 on the PP; Vancouver was 0-7. . . . G Dean McNabb came up with 32 saves in earning his second WHL victory. . . . The Giants got 20 saves from G Todd Scott. . . . Vancouver was without D Darian Skeoch, who has missed two games while serving a TBD suspension that came out of a game against the visiting Prince George Cougars on Friday night. . . . Announced attendance: 4,337.


At Lethbridge, F Zack Andrusiak scored three goals and added an assist to help the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 7-4 victory over the Hurricanes. . . . The Thunderbirds (7-5-1) have won two in a row. They were playing their third game in as many cities in fewer than 48 hours. They went 2-1-0. . . . The Hurricanes (7-6-0) had won their previous three games. . . . Seattle erased a 2-1 deficit with five straight goals, four of them in the second period. . . . F Ryan Vandervlis gave the home side a 1-0 lead at 1:33 of the first period, but F Nolan Volcan (3) tied it 1:59 later. . . . F Josh Tarzwell (1) put the Hurricanes back into the lead at 9:24. . . . Seattle took over with the four second-period goals, from F Donovan Neuls (3), at 1:07, F Sami Moilanen (10), at 2:36, and two from Andrusiak, at 12:37 and 16:04. . . . D Turner Ottenbreit (1), on a PP, gave the visitors a 6-1 lead at 6:24 of the third period. . . . The Hurricanes gave their fans something to cheer about with goals from F Giorgio Estephan (5), on a PP, at 9:36, and Vandervlis (5), at 18:09. . . . Andrusiak completed his hat trick, on a PP, at 19:22. This was his first three-goal and four-point game. . . . He has six goals and five assists in 13 games this season. He went into the season with six goals and five assists in 67 regular-season games — 52 with Seattle, eight with the Prince Albert Raiders and seven with the Tri-City Americans. . . . Seattle got two assists from each of D Austin Strand and D Jarret Tyszka, with Ottenbreit and Moilanen adding one each. . . . D Tate Olson and F Egor Zudilov had two assists each for Lethbridge and Estephan added one. . . . Seattle was 3-4 on the PP; Lethbridge was 1-3. . . . G Liam Hughes stopped 17 shots for Seattle, eight fewer than Lethbridge’s Reece Klassen, who was making his first start. . . . Announced attendance: 3,343.


At Portland, G Dustin Wolf stopped 44 shots as he recorded his second WHL victory in his second start, this one by a 3-2 count over the Winterhawks. . . . The Silvertips (6-9-1), who won 3-1 behind Wolf in Kamloops on Friday night, have won two straight. . . . The Winterhawks (9-4-0) have lost three in a row. . . . Wolf, a 16-year-old from Tustin Calif., was a fifth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. The 5-foot-11, 150-pounder had off-season surgery on both hips so his start to this season was somewhat delayed. . . . The Silvertips won this one when F Patrick Bajkov scored his seventh goal of the season at 19:31 of the third period. . . . F Lane Gilliss (1) gave the Winterhawks a 1-0 lead at 2:02 of the first period. . . . The Silvertips took a 2-1 lead on goals from F Matt Fonteyne (9), at 7:42, and Bajkov, at 11:39. . . . Portland tied it when F Kieffer Bellows (10) scored at 9:38 of the third period. . . . F Sean Richards had two assists for the winners. . . . Everett was 0-4 on the PP; Portland was 0-3. . . . The Winterhawks got 23 saves from G Cole Kehler. . . . Announced attendance: 3,600.


MONDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.

——

TUESDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


WEDNESDAY (all times local):

Saskatoon at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Seattle at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Regina, 7 p.m.

Prince George at Portland, 7 p.m.

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


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