Trader Matt strikes again … Seattle deals for goaltender … Blades settle on net pair

F Matt MacKay (Moose Jaw, Medicina Hat, Vancouver, Brandon, 2008-11) has signed a one-year contract with the Heilbronner Falken (Germany, DEL2). Last season, he had one goal and four assists in 41 games with the Augsburger Panther (Germany, DEL).



There was a time when Bob Tory, the general manager of the Tri-City Americans, was known in hockey circles as Trader Bob. Tory didn’t earn that moniker because he was afraid to make a trade.

Matt Cockell, the Kootenay Ice’s GM.

It seems, however, that the time has come to pass the moniker along to Matt Cockell, the first-year general manager of the Kootenay Ice.

Cockell and Greg Fettes purchased the Ice from the Chynoweth family, with the WHL’s board of governors approving the sale on April 27.

Cockell, a former WHL goaltender, made his first trade on May 24, acquiring G Mario Petit, 20, from the Everett Silvertips for a conditional sixth-round selection in the 2018 WHL bantam draft.

On Monday, Cockell swung his ninth trade, as he got F Alec Baer, 20, from the Lethbridge Hurricanes for F Jake Elmer, who will turn 19 on Dec. 31, and a fifth-round pick in the 2018 draft.

Here’s a look at all nine of Cockell’s swaps:

May 24 — Acquired G Mario Petit, 20, from Everett for a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft. (The Ice released Petit on Sunday.)

June 28 — Acquired F Cameron Hausingrer, 18, from the Red Deer Rebels for a fourth-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft.

July 5 — Traded G Declan Hobbs, 19, to the Spokane Chiefs for a seventh-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft.

Aug. 1 — Acquired D Jordan Henderson, 20, from the Medicine Hat Tigers for a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft.

Sept. 10 — Traded F Max Patterson, who turns 18 on Dec. 27, to the Swift Current Broncos for G Bailey Brkin, 18, and a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft.

Sept. 11 — Traded F Noah Philp, 19, to the Seattle Thunderbirds for fifth-round selections in the 2018 and 2019 bantam drafts.

Sept. 13 — Acquired G Kurtis Chapman, 19, from the Regina Pats for a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft.

Sept. 15 — Acquired F Colton Veloso, 20, from the Portland Winterhawks for a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft.

Sept. 18 — Acquired F Alec Baer, 20, from Lethbridge for F Jake Elmer, who will turn 19 on Dec. 31, and a fifth-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft.

Baer, from St. Louis Park, Minn., becomes the third 20-year-old on the Ice’s roster. He played three-plus seasons with the Vancouver Giants before being dealt to Lethbridge last season. He had 12 goals and nine assists in 30 games with Lethbridge, after putting up three goals and 15 assists in 39 games with Vancouver. In 270 career games, Baer has 56 goals and 70 assists.

Elmer, from Calgary, had seven goals and nine assists in 46 games with the Ice last season. He was a sixth-round pick by the Regina in the 2013 bantam draft, but was pointless in 20 games with the Pats over two seasons.

The Ice released Petit and Henderson on Sunday, leaving them with, at the time, two 20-year-olds in F Colton Kroeker

The Ice also released D Jordan Henderson, 20, who had been acquired from the Medicine Hat Tigers for a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft. Henderson played with three teams last season, getting into 15 games with Spokane, 20 with the Saskatoon Blades, and 26 with the Tigers. He totalled six goals and 21 assists in this 61 games.

With Petit and Henderson off the roster, the Ice was left with two 20-year-olds — F Colton Kroeker and Veloso. The acquisition of Baer leaves the Ice with the maximum three 20s, barring any future moves.

The Ice also released G Jesse Makaj, 16, from their roster on Sunday, leaving it with Chapman and Brkin as its goaltenders as it prepares to begin regular-season play on on Friday against the visiting Calgary Hitmen.

Chapman, from Airdrie, Alta., finished last season by helping the Portage Terriers to the MJHL championship. He was 2.94 and .905 in 16 regular-season games, then went 2.07 and .931 in 12 playoff games.

Brkin, from Sherwood Park, Alta., was with the AJHL’s Calgary Mustangs last season, going 5.19 and .890.

Of course, all of that could change should one of the 21 other general managers place a call to Trader Matt.

 


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With G Carl Stankowski injured and apparently a few weeks from returning, the Seattle Thunderbirds have acquired G Liam Hughes from the Edmonton Oil Kings.

In return for Hughes, an 18-year-old from Kelowna, the reigning WHL champions surrendered a fourth-round selection in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft.

Hughes played in seven games with the Oil Kings last season, all before Oct. 29 when his season was ended by an undisclosed injury. In those seven games, Hughes was 1-4-2, 3.26, .895. One season earlier, his season with the major midget Okanagan Rockets was ended in early February by a lower back injury.

The Oil Kings selected Hughes in the seventh round of the 2014 bantam draft.

With Hughes gone, the Oil Kings still have three goaltenders on their roster — veteran Travis Child, 20, who was acquired from the Brandon Wheat Kings over the summer; Josh Dechaine, 19, who is from St. Albert, Alta.; and Boston Bilous, 16, who was a fourth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. With Hughes out last season, Dechaine backed up Patrick Dea and was 3-8-0, 4.41, .876 in 17 appearances. Dea, 20, now is with the Tri-City Americans.

In Seattle, Hughes joins Matt Berlin, 19, and Cole Schwebius, 16, as the goaltenders on the roster. Berlin got into 13 games (7-2-2, 2.82, .902) with the Thunderbirds last season after moving over from the Spokane Chiefs. Schwebius is a freshman from Kelowna.

Stankowski, a 17-year-old from Calgary, took the WHL by storm last season after Seattle starter Rylan Toth was injured. In seven regular-season appearances, he was 3-0-1, 2.18, .910. He then stole the show in the playoffs, going 16-2-2, 2.50, .911 in backstopping the Thunderbirds to the WHL championship.

However, Stankowski suffered an undisclosed injury over the summer and the acquisition of Hughes would seem to indicate that the sophomore isn’t anywhere close to a return.


The Tri-City Americans are down to four 20-year-olds and two imports, with Russian F Vladislav Lukin having left for the training camp of the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage. Lukin, who has played three seasons with the Americans, had 26 goals and 32 assists in 63 games last season. In 183 regular-season games, he has 54 goals and 64 assists.

The other 20-year-olds on the roster are G Patrick Dea, F Maxwell James, D Brendan O’Reilly and F Jordan Topping.

Dea is one of two goaltenders left, with the other being sophomore Beck Warm. One would think, then, that one of the other three will be moved before the Oct. 10 deadline for each team to declare a maximum of three 20-year-olds.

The two imports in camp are Russian D Roman Kalinichenko and D Sergei Sapego, who is from Belarus. The Americans also have D Juuso Valimaki, who will turn 19 on Oct. 7, on their roster, but he is in camp with the NHL’s Calgary Flames. Should Valimaki return — and he has to play in the NHL or be sent back to the Americans — Tri-City would have two weeks to move out one import player.


The Saskatoon Blades have their roster down to 26 players, including eight defencemen and 16 forwards, after releasing three players on Monday. Gone from the roster are G Nolan Maier, 16, from Yorkton, Sask.; D Zach Ashton, 16, from Calgary; and F Cole Johnson, 19, who is from Marwayne, Alta. . . . With Maier gone, the Blades are down to two goaltenders — veteran Logan Flodell, 20, and freshman Joel Grzybowski, 18, who was an 11th-round pick in the 2014 bantam draft. . . . Maier was a second-round selection in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . Ashton was selected in the third round of the 2016 bantam draft. . . . Johnson had one assist in 20 games with the Blades last season. He also played 44 games with the Swift Current Broncos over three seasons, scoring five goals and adding six assists. . . . The Blades are carrying four 20-year-olds — Flodell, F Cam Hebig, F Braylon Shmyr and D Evan Fiala, who has been released by the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings and is on his way back to Saskatoon. With Flodell one of two goaltenders and Fiala having been named captain, it would seem that either Hebig or Shmyr will be moved when the Blades get down to the maximum of three 20s.

Meanwhile, the Blades announced plans to salute former captain Bruce Gordon at their home-opener on Friday against the Swift Current Broncos. Gordon has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and will be joined in pregame ceremonies by former teammates and friends from throughout the hockey universe. . . . Darren Steinke, the travelling blogger, was at the Blades’ news conference and writes about it right here.


The Portland Winterhawks and Seattle Thunderbirds will meet 12 teams in the WHL’s 2017-18 regular season. Nine of those games are to be televised by JOEtv, starting with a meeting in Portland on Sept. 30.

According to a news release, Ian Furness of 950 KJR/Q13 Fox News will be the play-by-play voice for most of the games.

Here’s the TV schedule:

Sept. 30, at Portland, 6 p.m.

Oct. 7, at Seattle, 6:05 p.m.

Dec. 30, at Seattle, 6:05 p.m.

Dec. 31, at Portland, 7 p.m.

Jan. 13, at Portland, 6 p.m.

Feb. 10, at Seattle, 6:05 p.m.

Feb. 11, at Portland, 5 p.m.

March 4, at Seattle, 5:05 p.m.

March 17, at Seattle, 6:05 p.m.


He loves the movie A River Runs Through It. He does the two-step and the Calgary Stampede. He runs, hikes, surfs and golfs. Dan Price also is the new head coach of the WHL’s Victoria Royals. . . . Cleve Dheensaw of the Victoria Royals provides an interesting look at Price right here.


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).


Hurricanes forward gets NHL deal … A story about recruiting … Exhibition season is over

The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed undrafted free-agent F Jordy Bellerive to a three-year entry-level NHL contract. Bellerive, who is entering his third season with the WHL’s Lethbridge Hurricanes, wasn’t selected in the NHL’s 2017 draft, but was invited to the Penguins’ camp and promptly earned a contract. . . . Playing for the Penguins at the Prospects Challenge in Buffalo, Bellerive scored three goals in one game and finished with four goals and three assists in three games. . . . Bellerive, 18, is from North Vancouver, B.C. . . . The second overall selection in the 2014 WHL bantam draft, he has 38 goals and 54 assists in 135 regular-season games. Last season, he put up 27 goals and 29 assists in 56 games. He added seven goals and seven assists in 20 playoff games as the Hurricanes reached the Eastern Conference final.


Earlier this summer, two brothers, ages 13 and 14, committed to play hockey for the U of Minnesota Gophers. NCAA athletics directors and head coaches don’t like it, but it’s doubtful that anything can be done about it. Why not? Well, as Chad Graff of the St. Paul, Minn., Pioneer Press writes: “One of rules proposals discussed at the Chicago meeting (that featured athletics directors and coaches) would ban conversations between schools and players until their sophomore year of high school, but (Minnesota head coach Don) Lucia fears that could mean college hockey missing out on some of the best players. Because even if college coaches stop recruiting bantam-level players, he said, the Canadian Hockey League will continue to.” . . . Graff has an extensive story on the issue right here.


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(last night of exhibition games):

In Crowsnest Pass, Alta., D Ryan Pouliot and G Gilian Kohler each scored twice as the Kootenay Ice dumped the Calgary Hitmen, 5-2. . . . Pouliot scored four times in the exhibition season. . . . Kohler, from Biel, Switzerland, scored his first two goals. He was selected in the CHL’s 2017 import draft. . . . Kootenay (3-3-0) was 2-5 on the PP; Calgary (2-3-0) was 1-6. . . . G Kurtis Chapman, acquired earlier in the week from the Regina Pats, stopped 25 shots for the Ice. . . . The Hitmen got 21 saves from G Connor Dochuk. . . . This was the first meeting between the Hitmen and Ice since the Kootenay franchise changed hands. Jeff Chynoweth, who was the Ice’s president and general manager, now is Calgary’s GM. . . .


In Edmonton, F Kirby Dach snapped a 1-1 tie at 16:03 of the third period to give the Saskatoon Blades a 2-1 victory over the Oil Kings. . . . F Brett Kemp gave Edmonton a 1-0 lead at 14:35 of the second period. . . . Saskatoon F Braylon Shmyr tied it, on a PP, at 17:38. . . . Dach won it with his second goal of the exhibition season. . . . Shmyr also had an assist. . . . Saskatoon (4-2-0) was 1-5 on the PP; Edmonton (0-5-0) was 0-5. . . . G Logan Flodell, one of four 20-year-olds on the Saskatoon roster, blocked 37 shots. . . . Edmonton G Travis Child stopped 20 shots. . . . Shmyr and F Cameron Hebig were the other 20s dressed by the Blades for this one. D Evan Fiala, the fourth 20-year-old, is in camp with the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings. . . . Hebig didn’t finish this one as he was tossed with a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct at 1:30 of the third period. . . .


In Moose Jaw, F Cole Reinhardt’s first goal of the exhibition season, at 1:35 of OT, gave the Brandon Wheat Kings a 2-1 victory over the Warriors. . . . Reinhardt also assisted on F Ty Ettinger’s goal at 2:09 of the first period. . . . Moose Jaw tied it on F Justin Almeida’s fourth goal, at 16:17 of the first. . . . G Logan Thompson stopped 32 shots for Brandon in his first appearance since returning from the camp of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights. . . . Moose Jaw G Brody Willms stopped 27 shots in his first appearance of the exhibition season. . . . The Wheat Kings finished 3-1-0, while the Warriors wound up at 3-2-1. . . .


In Prince Albert, the Regina Pats scored the game’s last four goals en route to a 5-1 victory over the Raiders. . . . F Duncan Pierce broke a 1-1 tie at 7:43 of the first period, with D Liam Schioler adding insurance at 7:05 and F Rayman Bassi stretching the lead at 17:41. . . . Each of that trio scored his first goal. . . . Each team was 0-2 on the PP. . . . The Pats finished the exhibition season at 3-2-1, while the Raiders were 2-3-0. . . . G Max Paddock started for the Pats and gave up one goal on eight shots in 31:25. Jacob Wassermann, acquired this week from the Vancouver Giants, finished up with 11 saves in 28:35. That included stopping F D-Jay Jerome on a third-period penalty shot. . . . Nic Sanders started for the Raiders, stopping eight of 11 shots in 31:25. Curtis Meger came on to turn aside 13 of 15 shots in 28:35. . . . The Raiders were without freshman F Justin Nachbaur, who was hit with a TBD suspension after taking a charging major and game misconduct in Regina on Friday night. . . .


In Red Deer, F Austin Pratt had two goals and an assist to lead the Rebels to a 5-2 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Pratt scored three goals in the exhibition season. . . . F Josh Williams scored twice for Medicine Hat, giving him seven goals. . . . Red Deer (4-1-0) was 1-5 on the PP; Medicine Hat (2-2-0) was 0-2. . . . The Rebels opened with G Riley Lamb, who blocked 18 of 20 shots through two periods. Lasse Petersen played the third period, stopping seven of eight shots. . . . Medicine Hat starter Michael Bullion surrendered three goals on 21 shots in 29:30. Duncan McGovern finished up with 16 saves on 18 shots in 29:28. . . .


In Kent, Wash., the Everett Silvertips built up a 5-0 lead as they defeated the host Seattle Thunderbirds, 5-1. . . . Everett got goals from five power plays, with F Connor Dewar recording two assists. . . . Everett (5-2-0) was 2-4 on the PP; Seattle (1-6-0) was 0-2. . . . Everett F Matt Fonteyne was ejected with a slashing major and game misconduct at 7:55 of the second period. . . . Everett starter Dorrin Luding was perfect, with 16 saves, in 34:07. Danton Belluk stopped six of seven shots in playing the last 25:53. . . . Seattle got 24 saves from G Cole Schwebius. . . . The Thunderbirds are without G Carl Stankowski, who played so well down the stretch and through the playoffs as they won the WHL’s 2017 championship. He suffered an undisclosed injury over the summer and is believed to be at least a month away from returning. . . .


In Kennewick, Wash., F Riley Woods and F Ethan McIndoe each had three points to help the Spokane Chiefs to a 6-2 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . Woods scored two goals, giving him three, and added an assist, with McIndoe notching his third goal and adding two assists. . . . Spokane got out to a 4-0 lead, which the Americans later trimmed to 4-3. . . . Spokane F Hayden Ostir stretched the lead with his fifth goal, on a PP, 15 seconds into the third period. . . . F Parker AuCoin scored his sixth goal, on a PP, for the Americans. . . . The Chiefs (4-1-2) were 1-5 on the PP; the Americans (4-3-1) were 1-4. . . . Spokane G Dawson Weatherill started and turned aside all 14 shots he faced in 30:32. Donovan Buskey came on to stop 11 of 13 in 29:28. . . . Tri-City G Beck Warm made 31 stops.


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 get goalie from Giants … Tigers’ Shaw set for surgery … Warriors’ d-man nursing shoulder injury

D Jesse Dudas (Lethbridge, Prince George, Swift Current, Regina, 2003-09) has signed a one-year contract with MAC Budapest (Hungary, Erste Liga). Last season, he had one goal and five assists in six games with Debrecen (Hungary, Erste Liga). He actually started the season with TPS Turku (Finland, Liiga) but injured a shoulder in the first period of the first Champions League game and didn’t play a league game. . . .

F David Hruška (Red Deer, 1995-96) has signed a “short-term” contract with Sokolov (Czech Republic, 2. Liga). Last season, he had three goals and six assists in five games with Sokolov. He also had 19 goals and 16 assists in 19 games with Wattens (Austria, Tirol Region Elite), finishing third in the league’s scoring race.


The Regina Pats have acquired G Jacob Wassermann, 17, from the Vancouver Giants for a conditional sixth-round selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft.

The deal came one day after the Pats dealt G Kurtis Chapman, 19, to the Kootenay Ice for a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft.

Wassermann will slot in as the third goaltender on Regina’s depth chart, behind veteran Tyler Brown, 20, and freshman Max Paddock, 17.

The 6-foot-5 Wassermann, from Humboldt, Sask., was an eighth-round pick by the Giants in the 2015 bantam draft. He played one exhibition game with the Giants this man, stopping 21 of 23 shots in 29 minutes against the Spokane Chiefs.

Last season, he got into 26 games with the midget AAA Saskatoon Blazers, going 10-13-0, 3.23, .902.

Wassermann will play with the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos, but the Pats know that he is close at hand should they need him.

“(Wassermann) happens to be the same age as Max,” John Paddock, Regina’s GM and head coach, told Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post. “It gives us a little bit more stability for the future. We’ll try and get a read on him. If need be, we obviously think he’s capable of filling in. He’s the No. 1 goalie with the junior A team. He’s progressing from midget to junior. That’s all good stuff.”

Wassermann’s departure leaves the Giants with three goaltenders on their roster — veterans Ryan Kubic, 19, and David Tendeck, who will turn 18 on Nov. 25, and freshman Todd Scott, 17, who is from Albertville, Minn.


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The Prince George Cougars got down to three goaltenders on Thursday as they released veteran Brock Hamm, 20. . . . “Brock has been terrific on and off the ice for us,” Cougars general manager Todd Harkins said in a; news release, “but it’s a numbers game with our 20-year-olds. We felt the timing was right to give him an opportunity to join on with another WHL team.” . . . The Cougars now have veteran Tavin Grant, 19, and two freshmen — Isaiah DiLaura, 17, and Taylor Gauthier, 16 — left as their goaltenders. Their ages might indicate that, at least right now, Grant is the starter and the other two are competing for the backup spot. . . . DiLaura, from Lakeville, Minn., is a list player who has signed with the Cougars. Gauthier, from Calgary, was a first-round selection in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. . . . With Hamm gone, the Cougars now have six 20-year-olds on their roster — F Jared Bethune, Slovakian F Radovan Bondra, F Aaron Boyd, D Shane Collins, F Brogan O’Brien and D Tate Olson. As an import, Bondra would be a two-spotter should the Cougars choose to keep him.


The Medicine Hat Tigers got the news they expected after F Mason Shaw had an MRI on his injured right knee this week. Shaw tore the ACL in the knee while playing for the Minnesota Wild at a rookie tournament in Traverse City, Mich., on Saturday. He is scheduled to have reconstructive surgery on Sept. 25.

If all goes well, Shaw, who is from Wainwright, Alta., is likely to be out for six months, which would bring him back late in the regular season or early in the playoffs.

“There are a lot of things I was looking forward to this season, obviously with the Tigers and Minnesota and possibly the world juniors,” Shaw told Ryan McCracken of the Medicine Hat News, “and being at my first camp, I didn’t want it to end in my second rookie game but it is what it is. I’ll get through it.

“I figured on the initial hit that this would be the end result, but in the days leading up to (the MRI) I was kind of hoping for the best. Now it’s time to turn the page and get ready for surgery.”

This is a huge loss for the Tigers. Shaw, who is to turn 19 on Nov. 3, put up 94 points in 71 games last season. Of the Tigers’ top five scorers, he is the only one who was on the training camp roster.

Shaw’s 2014-15 season was limited to 23 games due to an injury to his left knee.

It’s water under the bridge, but you wonder if the Tigers would have traded F Matt Bradley, who had 34 goals and 43 assists in 70 games, to the Regina Pats had the Ouija board indicated that Shaw would go down. Bradley was traded as the Tigers moved to get down in 20-year-olds.

The Tigers still have some firepower, what with F Zach Fischer (62-34-29—63), F Max Gerlach (72-34-28—62), F Mark Rassell (72-36-25—61) and D David Quenneville (49-23-36—59) on the roster.

Fischer and Rassell are two of the five 20-year-olds on the roster, joining G Michael Bullion, Latvian D Kristians Rubins, who is recovering from shoulder surgery, and D Brad Forrest.

Medicine Hat also is missing G Jordan Hollett, 18, who came down with mononucleosis early in training camp. Without Hollett, the Tigers still have three goaltenders on their roster — Bullion, Duncan McGovern, a fifth-round pick in the 2015 bantam draft out of Winnipeg, and Kaeden Lane, a Burnaby, B.C., native who will turn 16 on Oct. 10.

Hollett was acquired from Regina in the off-season deal that had Bradley go the other way.


D Josh Brook wasn’t on the ice when the Moose Jaw Warriors practised on Thursday. Brook, 18, is recovering from a shoulder injury suffered while playing for the Montreal Canadiens at a rookie tournament in Toronto. He was injured while playing against the Toronto Maple Leafs. . . . The Canadiens selected Brook in the second round of the NHL’s 2017 draft. . . . Last season, Brook had eight goals and 32 assists in 69 games with the Warriors, so he obviously is a key part of their back end. . . . The Warriors will complete their exhibition season this weekend by going home-and-home with the Brandon Wheat Kings. They’ll play in Brandon tonight (Friday) and in Moose Jaw on Saturday. . . . Marc Smith of discovermoosejaw.com reports that Brook’s “status is up in the air right now.” . . . Smith has more right here.


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).


“This has been an intriguing week for those who sometimes feel as though they’re beating their heads against the wall on the issue of concussion injuries.” . . . So writes the great Roy MacGregor of The Globe and Mail. . . . Yes, it has been intriguing and a whole lot more, and MacGregor takes a look at it all right here.


Took a stroll through Costco earlier today (Sept. 10). I don’t know what happened to September, October and some of November — perhaps I slept through them — but please allow me to be the first to wish you a Merry Christmas.


When the U.S. Open tennis tournament began, Sloane Stephens had been on tour for seven years and had career earnings of US$4,519,709. Of course, she won the tournament. For that, she put a cheque for $3.7 million into her bank account. Asked if the Open victory might provide her with motivation, Stephens replied: “Of course, girl! Did you see that cheque that lady handed me?” . . . And what’s the biggest cheque ever to have been handed to you?


Hey, Home Hardware, I think those two must have built their moun-tayne by now so it’s time to retire that commercial. Please. Mercifully.


If you’re on Twitter, give a follow to Concerned Mom (@ConcernedMom9) and prepare to have your eyes opened on Friday evenings when she pays particular injury to high school football injuries.


Well, the first two days — Thursday and Sunday — of a new NFL season weren’t much. So far, two of 13 games have been decided by seven points or fewer. . . . If anything, maybe there’s an opening or two for outcast quarterback Colin Kaepernick now. If you’re a fan of the Seattle Seahawks, perhaps you might give them a lead on an offensive lineman or two.


If you were watching Sunday night’s NFL game, between the New York Giants and host Dallas, you heard analyst Cris Collinsworth said this on the subject of Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott: “Forgive us if we just talk about him as a football player.” . . . Makes one wonder how much of Collinsworth’s script comes from the NFL office?


The 10th annual Kamloops Kidney Walk is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 24. My wife, Dorothy, will celebrate the fourth anniversary of her kidney transplant by taking part in her fourth walk. If you would like to support her with a donation, you are able to do so right here.


ICYMI, the Cleveland Indians have won 18 straight games. Think about that for a moment or two. Their starters are 16-0 with a 1.94 ERA during this run. The Indians have made this run without southpaw Andrew Miller, their best reliever, who is on the DL with right knee tendinitis.


Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Dodgers have lost 10 in a row and 15 of 16. No other team in MLB this season has lost  15 of 16 games. Gee, wasn’t it only three weeks ago when fans, at least some of them, were wondering where the Dodgers ranked on the list of the all-time great teams. (Earlier this season, Sports Illustrated had them on the cover, with this headline: BEST. TEAM. EVER?) . . . Still, the Dodgers lead the NL West by nine games and, somehow, still own the best record (92-51) in the majors.


Since moving to Los Angeles from New York in 1958, only the 1961 and 1987 Dodgers have suffered the ignominy of a 10-game losing streak. The Los Angeles Dodgers have never lost 11 in a row as they open a three-game series against the host San Francisco Giants tonight (Monday).


F Karel Hromas (Everett, 2004-06) has signed a one-year contract with Annecy (France, Ligue Magnus). Last season, with the Edinburgh Capitals (Scotland, UK Elite), he had 13 goals and 17 assists in 50 games.


The Swift Current Broncos added some size and depth to their forward ranks on Sunday by acquiring Max Patterson from the Kootenay Ice for G Bailey Brkin, 18, and a conditional fifth-round selection in the 2018 WHL bantam draft.

Patterson, who is to turn 18 on Dec. 27, is starting his third WHL season. He has two goals in three exhibition games this month. The 6-foot-5, 205-pound native of Kamloops had eight goals and seven assists in 63 games with the Ice last season. In 2015-16, as a freshman, he had seven goals and three assists in 64 games.

Patterson was a fourth-round selection by the Ice in the 2014 bantam draft. His father, Ed, is a former WHLer/NHLer who now is the head coach of the junior B Kamloops Storm of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.

With Brkin gone, the Broncos are down to two goaltenders — veteran Taz Burman and Joel Hofer, a 17-year-old freshman from Winnipeg. He was 2.86, .915 in 14 games with the Pursuit of Excellence’s midget prep team last season, and also got into 11 games with the U-18 team (3.10, .883).

The Ice, meanwhile, now has three goaltenders on its roster, with Brkin likely to compete with Jesse Makaj, a 16-year-old from Vancouver, for the backup spot behind Mario Petit, 20, who was acquired from the Everett Silvertips during the offseason.

Brkin, from Sherwood Park, Alta., was 5.19 and .890 in 42 appearances with the AJHL’s Calgary Mustangs last season. An undrafted player, he signed with the Broncos after attending training camp in 2016.


F Mason Shaw of the Medicine Hat Tigers won’t play again in the NHL rookie tournament in Traverse City, Michigan, after injuring his right knee during a game with the Minnesota Wild on Saturday.

Ryan McCracken of the Medicine Hat News tweeted Sunday that Shaw will have an MRI on Wednesday.

Michael Russo of The Athletic reported Sunday that Shaw, who will turn 19 on Nov. 3, had suffered “what appeared to be a serious” injury while playing for the Wild against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Brent Flahr, the Wild’s senior vice-president of hockey operations, told Russo that Shaw likely will return to Minneapolis to see the Wild’s orthopedist.

Last season, Shaw had 27 goals and 67 assists in 71 games with the Tigers. The Wild selected him in the fourth round of the NHL’s 2017 draft.

Shaw’s first WHL season (2014-15) was ended after just 23 games because of an injury to his left knee. In 2016-17, he put up 17 goals and 43 assists in 67 games.


SUNDAY’S SCOREBOARD:

In Langley, B.C., F Ethan O’Rourke’s goal at 4:18 of OT gave the Prince George Cougars a 4-3 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . O’Rourke also scored the game’s first goal. He and teammate Aaron Boyd scored shorthanded goals 33 seconds apart early in the first period as the Cougars grabbed the lead. . . . Victoria F Igor Martynov erased a 3-1 deficit with goals at 1:49 and 17:26 of the third period. . . . O’Rourke also had an assist. . . . Prince George (3-2-0) was 1-7 on the PP; Victoria (1-3-0) was 0-4. . . . G Taylor Gauthier started for the Cougars and stopped 10 of 11 shots in 29:59. DiLaura Isaiah finished up by stopped 15 of 17. . . . The Royals went with Hunter Arps, who blocked 34 shots in his first appearance since coming over from the Brandon Wheat Kings late last week. . . .


In Langley, B.C., the Vancouver Giants erased a 4-2 deficit with three third-period goals and beat the Everett Silvertips, 5-4. . . . F Orrin Centazzo’s third goal of the game, 31 seconds into the third period, gave the Silvertips a 4-2 lead. . . . F James Malm cut the deficit to one at 8:19, with F Aidan Barfoot tying the game at 15:47. . . . F Alex Kannok-Leipert notched the winner at 19:52. . . . Everett got a goal and three assists from F Martin Fasko-Rudas. . . . Everett (3-1-1) was 0-4 on the PP; Vancouver (5-1-0) was 0-6. . . . G Todd Scott earned the victory with 34 stops, 11 more than Everett’s Danton Belluk. . . .


In Edmonton, G Matthew Armitage blocked 32 shots to help the Calgary Hitmen to a 3-1 victory over the Oil Kings. . . . F Justin Gurney had a goal and an assist for the Hitmen, who held period leads of 1-0 and 2-0. . . . Calgary (2-2-0) was 1-7 on the PP; Edmonton (0-4-0) was 0-7. . . . The Oil Kings started G Boston Bilous and he stopped 14 of 16 shots in 29:35. Travis Child came on in relief to stop 25 of 26 shots. . . . Edmonton D Conner McDonald was tossed with a cross-checking major just 26 seconds into the game. He is likely to hear from the WHL office. . . .


In Swift Current, F Arthur Miller scored twice to help the Broncos to a 3-2 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Miller has three goals in the exhibition season. . . . F Ethan Regnier helped the Broncos with a goal and two assists. . . . Swift Current (2-3-0) was 1-6 on the PP; Lethbridge (1-3-0) was 1-7. . . . G Taz Burman stopped 38 shots to earn the victory over Bryan Thomson, who made 21 saves.


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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).


Coaches tossed as Rebels beat Ams … Porters blank Blazers … Ex-WHLer draws jail sentence


In Kennewick, Wash., F Brad Ginnell scored twice to help the Portland Winterhawks to an 8-3 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . D John Ludvig had three assists for Portland (3-2-0), which iced a young team with 11 players having left for pro camps. . . . The Ice (0-2-0) has given up 15 goals in its first two exhibition games. . . . Portland was 0-3 on the PP; Kootenay was 0-6. . . . The Winterhawks got 38 saves from G Evan Fradette, while G Jesse Makaj turned aside 21 shots for the Ice. . . .


In Kennewick, Wash., F Matthew Wedman, playing in his first game of the exhibition season, scored three times and added the shootout winner as the Seattle Thunderbirds beat the Spokane Chiefs, 7-6. . . . Wedman’s third goal, at 5:14 of the third period, gave his guys a 6-4 lead. . . . F Rykr Cole got the Chiefs to within a goal, on a PP, at 7:42, and F Milos Fafrak tied it at 18:08. . . . The Chiefs got three goals from F Taylor Ross. . . . Seattle (1-3-0) was 3-4 on the PP; Spokane (2-1-2) was 3-8. . . . The Thunderbirds got 32 stops from G Matt Berlin, while G Donovan Buskey stopped 24 for Spokane. . . . F Zack Andrusiak and Wedman scored shootout goals for the winners, while Berlin stopped both Seattle attempts. . . .


In Kennewick, Wash., the Red Deer Rebels scored the game’s last two goals and beat the Tri-City Americans, 3-2, in a penalty-riddled game. . . . F Kaden Kohle gave the Americans (3-1-1) a 2-2 lead at 7:56 of the second period. . . . Red Deer tied it when F Austin Pratt scored, on a PP, at 9:54 of the second. . . . F Austin Schellenberg’s goal at 4:25 of the third period won it. . . . Red Deer (3-0-0) was 1-5 on the PP; Tri-City was 0-8. . . . The Americans had scored 29 goals in their first four exhibition games. . . . G Riley Lamb stopped 22 shots for Red Deer, while Patrick Dea turned aside 25 for Tri-City. . . . The Americans took 86 of at least 162 penalty minutes. . . . This may have been the first ch-ch-ching game of the season as neither head coach — Brent Sutter of the Rebels and Mike Williamson of the Americans — was around at the end. . . .


In Brandon, the Wheat Kings scored three PP goals en route to a 4-2 victory over the Regina Pats. . . . The same teams will meet again Saturday night in Regina. . . . D Kade Jensen had a goal and two assists for Brandon (1-0-0). . . . The Pats (1-2-0) got a goal and an assist from F Jeff de Wit. . . . Brandon was 3-5 on the PP; Regina was 2-7. . . . G Ethan Kruger stopped 30 shots for the Wheat Kings. . . . The Pats opened with Tyler Brown, who stopped seven of 10 shots in 31:42, and closed with Kurtis Chapman, who allowed one goal on 21 shots. . . . Before the game, the Wheat Kings signed F Lynden McCallum, 17, an undrafted list player who is from Brandon. He played the past two seasons with the midget AAA Wheat Kings. Last season, he had 27 goals and 33 assists in 44 games. . . .


In Lethbridge, F Tanner Nagel scored twice and added an assist to lead the Hurricanes to a 6-3 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . The Hurricanes scored the game’s first two goals and took a 4-1 lead into the third period. . . . Swift Current (1-3-0) was 2-7 on the PP; Lethbridge (1-2-0) was 0-2. . . . The Hurricanes got 21 saves from G Adam Swan. . . . Broncos G Taz Burman stopped 33 shots. . . . They’ll play again Sunday in Swift Current. . . .


In Prince Albert, F Sean Montgomery scored two third-period goals as the Raiders beat the Saskatoon Blades, 3-2. . . . Montgomery broke a 1-1 tie at 10:25 of the third period and added another goal five minutes later. . . . F Josh Paterson got the Blades to within a goal, on a PP, at 19:05. . . . Saskatoon (2-2-0) was 2-6 on the PP; Prince Albert (1-1-0) was 0-2. . . . G Curtis Meger stopped 20 shots for the Raiders. . . . Saskatoon starter Nolan Maier gave up one goal on 18 shots in 30:04. Joel Grzybowski came off the bench to stop nine of 11 shots in 28:56. . . . The Raiders and Blades will play Saturday night in Warman, Sask. . . .


In Langley, B.C., the Vancouver Giants scored the game’s first seven goals en route to a 7-3 victory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . The Giants got three goals and an assist from F James Malm. . . . Prince George (2-1-0) was 3-3 on the PP; Vancouver (3-1-0) was 2-4. . . . The Giants started G David Tendeck, who blocked all 12 shots he faced in 29:56. Trent Miner finished up with 12 saves on 15 shots. . . . The Cougars opened with Isaiah DiLaura, who allowed five goals on 31 shots in 29:56. Brock Hamm came on to stop 12 of 14 shots. . . . Prince George scores its three PP goals in a span of 9:42 in the third period. . . .


In Kelowna, D James Hilsendager slapped home the game-winner on a PP with 30.8 seconds left in the third period as the Rockets beat the Kamloops Blazers, 1-0. . . . Kelowna (2-0-1) was 1-4 on the PP; Kamloops (1-2-0) was 0-4. . . . G Cody Porter started for Kelowna and stopped 21 shots in 32:34. James Porter finished up with 11 saves. No, they aren’t related. . . . G Max Palaga turned aside 19 shots for the Blazers. . . . The teams will meet again tonight at the McArthur Island Sport and Event Centre on Kamloops’ North Shore. . . . Earlier Friday, the Blazers announced that they have signed G Rayce Ramsay, 16, to a WHL contract. From Saskatoon, Ramsay was placed on the Blazers’ protected list in November. Last season, with the midget AAA Saskatoon Contacts, he was 12-10-0, 2.65, .923. He is expected to return to the Contacts for a second season. . . .


In Calgary, F Tristen Nielsen’s second goal of the game broke a 2-2 tie at 16:38 of the third period, giving the Hitmen a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . D Ty Gerla had two assists for Edmonton. . . . Edmonton (0-3-0) was 0-6 on the PP; Calgary (1-2-0) was 0-4. . . . G Connor Dochuk blocked 27 shots for the winners. . . . Edmonton got 16 saves on 18 shots from starter Liam Hughes, who went 29:59. Josh Dechaine allowed one goal on seven shots as he finished up. . . . The same teams will meet Sunday in Edmonton.


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The Estevan Mercury reported Friday that former WHLer Karry Biette “has pleaded guilty to a pair of charges that stem from a fatal single-vehicle collision in south Estevan in October 2015.” . . . Biette was sentenced to two years in jail after pleading guilty in Provincial Court to dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing bodily harm. . . . Charges of impaired driving causing death, impaired driving causing bodily harm and criminal negligence causing death were stayed. . . . Biette will serve his sentence at a penitentiary in Prince Albert. . . . Biette, 44, is from Estevan. He played four seasons (1990-94) with the Pats and was the team captain in 1993-94, when he had 40 goals and 61 assists in 71 games. In 259 career regular-season games, he had 101 goals and 158 assists.


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

Scattershooting about young recruits … Saturday’s exhibition roundup … Oil Kings sign pair

ICYMI, Chaz Lucius, who is 14 years of age, and his 13-year-old brother, Cruz, have made verbal commitments to play hockey for the U of Minnesota Gophers. . . . The brothers are forwards who attend, and play hockey at, the Gentry Academy in Vadnais Heights, Minn., which is located about 15 miles northeast of Minneapolis. . . . Could it be that NCAA schools are going to combat the WHL’s bantam draft by getting verbal commitments from younger and younger players?


A question from Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times: “In the spirit of who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb and what color is the White House, any guesses as to which position Arkansas State footballer Dee Liner plays?”


Maria Sharapova may be the second-best story at the U.S. Open — behind Denis Shapovalov, of course — but I still can’t watch her matches with the sound turned up.


If you had had the opportunity to be an NHLer, would you rather have been Shane Doan or Kris Draper? . . . Doan, who retired this week after a 21-year career, had estimated earnings of more than US$60 million. But he never won a Stanley Cup. . . . Draper, who played for 14 seasons, earned about US$19 million. He won four Stanley Cups.


The 29th annual World Hen Racing Championships recently were held in Great Britain. RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com checked with his sources and came up with the top five reasons folks gave for attending the event: “5. Competitors show pluck; 4. To egg on their favourite; 3. Excitement at its beak; 2. We’re off to see the gizzard; 1. It’s poultry in motion.” . . . A chicken named Cooked It won the World title. As Currie reported: “For her efforts she got a bonus serving of chicken feed — just like a CFL playoff team.”


A note from Richmond, B.C., blogger Tony Chong: “Mavis Wanczyk just won the US$758-million Powerball lottery. Congrats from her long-lost, separated-at-birth twin bro TC Wanczyk Chong here on the West Coast of Canada. (Mavis, you can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin or at Airport Arrivals when you get here.)


Kent Austin began this season as the vice-president of football operations and head coach of the CFL’s Hamilton Tigers-Cats. He fired himself as head coach the other day. Then, the Tiger-Cats got caught up in a mess when they hired Art Briles, a disgraced former head coach at Baylor, and their field. One day later, it was reported that they had worked out bad-boy quarterback Johnny Manziel. Then it was revealed that Cornell U is suing Austin for more than $100,000, all to do with his leaving while his contract as head coach still had a couple of years on it. . . . And you thought you had a bad week.


Here’s one from Cam Hutchinson of the Saskatoon Express: “Sportsnet’s Arash Madani was way out of line when he tweeted that women working for the CFL could have raised their voices to help stop the (Art) Briles hiring. Not only was that stupid to say, but as many pointed out, Madani had a working holiday in Vegas where he covered Floyd (The Women Beater) Mayweather’s win over Conor McGregor.”


Boston’s Logan Airport apparently is considering charging drivers who drop off or pick up passengers. Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe, notes: “Airlines are incensed. Mostly that they didn’t think of it first.” . . . BTW, Hough, in her other life, is a travel agent.


A tip of the hat to the two gents who stopped on Hillside Drive in Kamloops, at the Walmart exit, to help a fellow who had lost a load of plywood right in the middle of the intersection on Saturday afternoon. Well done!


If you were wondering, F Nolan Patrick is in camp with the Brandon Wheat Kings. He had a goal for Team Black, in a 7-2 scrimmage victory over Team White on Saturday afternoon. The Philadelphia Flyers took Patrick with the second pick of the NHL’s 2017 draft. Observers are keenly interested on whether he will open the season with the Flyers or be returned to the Wheat Kings. Patrick has had injury and health issues — twice-broken collarbone, two surgeries on sports hernias — and I’m betting he is back in Brandon by Remembrance Day, if not sooner.


The airport in Cranbrook re-opened Saturday after all scheduled flights had been cancelled starting Friday afternoon because of a pair of wildfires in the area. That doesn’t mean the fires are out, because they aren’t. Meanwhile, a fire started just west of Peachland in the Okanagan on Saturday afternoon. . . . Yes, this record-setting fire season just goes on and on. . . . After what was a beautiful, warm summer day, a shift in the wind brought heavy smoke back to Kamloops on Saturday evening, all of it from the Elephant Hill fire. Morning awaits! . . . Meanwhile, there are fires in northern Saskatchewan and Manitoba, with some evacuees having ended up in Saskatoon. See the Tweet of Day for some road hockey action between some of the evacuees and the Blades.


Quarterback Matt Stafford of the Detroit Lions is the highest-paid player in NFL history with his new five-year deal. Comedy writer Alex Kaseberg points out: “Or, as Floyd Mayweather calls $135 mil, four rounds.”



In Everett, the Tri-City Americans struck for nine goals for a second straight game as they beat the Portland Winterhawks, 0-3, on Saturday afternoon. . . . On Friday, the Americans had dumped the Everett Silvertips, 9-4. . . . On Saturday, the Americans got two goals from each of F Vladislav Lukin and F Parker AuCoin, with F Sasha Mutala adding a goal and two assists. Mutala, the sixth-overall pick in the 2016 bantam draft, totalled four goals and two assists in the two games. . . . Tri-City was 2-7 on the PP; Portland was 2-8. . . . G Patrick Tea stopped 27 shots for the Americans, one more than Portland’s Ethan Middendorf. . . .

In Everett, the Spokane Chiefs scored the game’s last three goals, two of them from F Hayden Ostir, in beating the Vancouver Giants, 3-1. . . . D Darian Skeoch gave the Giants a 1-0 lead with a PP goal at 4:44 of the first period. . . . Ostir tied it on a PP at 2:53 of the second and put the Chiefs out front at 11:54. . . . Spokane was 1-7 on the PP; Vancouver was 1-6. . . . The Chiefs started Donovan Buskey in goal and he stopped 10 of 11 shots in 29:58. Declan Hobbs finished up with 18 saves. . . . The Giants opened with David Tendeck, who made 17 saves on 18 shots. Jacob Wasserman came on block 21 of 23 in 28:33. . . .

In Everett, the Silvertips erased a 4-2 third-period deficit with five goals to beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 7-4. . . . Seattle broke a 2-2 tie with goals from F Donovan Neuls, on a PP, at 9:13 of the second period and F Elijah Brown, at 5:40 of the third. . . . F Dawson Butt got Everett to within one at 7:27 and F Matt Fonteyne tied it at 14:42. . . . F Connor Dewar broke the tie at 15:17. . . . D Riley Bruce, acquired earlier in the week from the Regina Pats, added insurance at 17:22. . . . Dewar iced it with an empty-netter. . . . Seattle was 2-6 on the PP; Everett was 1-4. . . . G Blake Lyda started for Everett, and stopped 14 of 17 shots in 30:32. Danton Belluk finished up with 13 saves on 14 shots. . . . G Matt Berlin went the distance for Seattle, blocking 27 shots. . . .


In Red Deer, F Ethan O’Rourke broke a 1-1 tie at 9:13 of the third period as the Prince George Cougars beat the Calgary Hitmen, 2-1. . . . F Josh Maser gave the Cougars a 1-0 lead at 6:18 of the first period. . . . F Zach Huber pulled the Hitmen even at 3:47 of the third. . . . Calgary was 1-7 on the PP; Prince George was 0-3. . . . G Isaiah DiLaura started for the Cougars and stopped all 17 shots he faced in 33:47. Taylor Gauthier finished up by stopping 13 of 14 shots. . . . Matthew Armitage went the distance in goal for Calgary, stopping 31 shots. . . . The Cougars now will spend a couple of days in Banff before heading for Langley and three exhibition games at the Events Centre. . . .

In Red Deer, the Rebels scored the game’s last three goals and beat the Edmonton Oil Kings, 3-1. . . . F Austin Schellenberg tied the score, 1-1, at 17:47 of the second period and F River Fahey gave the home team the lead at 2:51 of the third. . . . Fahey later added an empty-netter. . . . F Zak Smith had two assists for Red Deer. . . . Edmonton was 1-6 on the PP; Red Deer was 0-3. . . . Red Deer G Byron Fancy started and stopped 16 of 17 shots through two periods. Riley Lamb stopped 11 shots in the third period. . . . Edmonton starter Josh Dechaine turned aside 10 shots in 32:05. Liam Hughes finished up, stopping 16 of 18 shots. . . .


In Regina, the Moose Jaw Warriors counted the game’s last three goals in a 4-1 victory over the Regina Pats. . . . F Brett Howden broke a 1-1 tie at 19:56 of the first period and F Jayden Halbgewachs gave the visitors a 2-1 lead at 17:31 of the second. . . . Halbgewachs, Howden, F Noah Gregor and F Luka Burzan each had a goal and an assist for the winners. . . . Regina was 1-3 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 1-5. . . . G Ethan Fitzgerald started for the Warriors, stopping seven of eight shots in 30:28. Adam Evanoff finished up with 10 saves. . . . G Kurtis Chapman stopped 35 of 39 shots for Regina. . . .


In Kelowna, F Eric Florchuk scored at 3:23 of OT to give the Victoria Royals a 5-4 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . Victoria scored the game’s last three goals. . . . F Jared Legien, on a PP, got the visitors to within a goal, at 4-3, at 9:00 of the third period. . . . F Igor Martynov tied it on a penalty shot, shorthanded, at 15:27. . . . D Scott Walford had two assists for the Royals. . . . The Rockets got a goal and two assists from F Kyle Topping. . . . Kelowna was 2-7 on the PP; Victoria was 1-6. . . . Victoria G Dylan Myskiw stopped 12 of 14 shots in 30:38, with Dean McNabb coming on in relief to stop eight of 10 shots. . . . Kelowna starter Brodan Salmon was perfect — 15-for-15 — in 30:38, with Roman Basran coming on to allow five goals on 16 shots. . . .


In Taber, the Medicine Hat Tigers scored an empty-netter and beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 5-3. . . . The Tigers got two goals and two assists from each of F Josh Williams and F Mark Rassell.


There is an insatiable thirst among WHL fans for roster information as training camps and the exhibition season progress. Because of that, every one of the WHL’s 22 teams should be sending an email to Alan Caldwell whenever a roster move is made. . . . He works hard at keeping fans updated with roster information, but it isn’t easy. . . . For the teams that don’t have it, the email address is smallatlarge@gmail.com. . . . Fans are able to access what roster information that Caldwell has acquired at his blog, Small Thoughts At Large, which is right here.


The Edmonton Oil Kings have signed G Sebastian Cossa and F Logan Moon to WHL contracts. . . . Cossa, from Fort McMurray, was a second-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound Cossa played last season with the bantam AAA Fort Saskatchewan Rangers and led the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League in GAA (1.80) and save percentage (.934). He was 15-4-0 with five shutouts. Cossa was honoured as the league’s most valuable player and top goaltender as the Rangers won the AMBHL title. . . . Moon, 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds, is from Beaverlodge, Alta. The 17-year-old was a ninth-round selection by the Oil Kings in the 2015 bantam draft. Last season, with the midget AAA Grande Prairie Storm, he put up seven goals and 12 assists in 34 games.


If you have been paying attention to the online summaries from exhibition games, it is obvious that the WHL office has instructed its on-ice officials to crackdown on players who don’t properly use their mouthguards.

Hey, guys, no more using them like sticks of red licorice. OK?


David Gove had a Stanley Cup ring, a pretty good professional career and was seen as a potential head coach. But he died at 38, a drug addict who was unable to live with a troubled past. Bob Hohler of the Boston Globe takes a look right here at Gove’s story, which is headlined ‘A hockey pro dies, and the coach he said raped him is free.’


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!


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).


Exhibition season hits high gear … Warriors sign 6-foot-8 d-man … CHL issues doping suspension

FIRE REPORT:

Heavy smoke moved back into Kamloops on Thursday, as if to remind us that this summer of fire isn’t yet over. The smoke had cleared out by Friday morning, but, yes, we got the message.

In fact, officials now are saying that some of the fires could smoulder into the spring of 2018.

On Friday, the B.C. Wildfire Service reported there were 161 fires burning, with 22 of those having started on Thursday.

Since the fire season began on April 1, the BCWS has spent more than $435 million, while fires have burned through 1,080,941 hectares. The Elephant Hill fire, burning since July 7, is at 186,000 hectares.

There isn’t any rain in the forecast, so it will be a hot and dry long weekend.

Things also took a turn near Cranbrook where all scheduled flights in and out of Canadian Rockies International Airport were cancelled on Friday because of a wildfire that cropped up northeast of the city.

Earlier in the day, the provincial government extended the state of emergency through Sept. 15.


F Marek Tvrdoň (Vancouver, Kelowna, 2010-14) has signed a one-year contract with the Edinburgh Capitals (Scotland, UK Elite). Last season, with the Indy Fuel (ECHL), he had seven goals and five assists in 21 games. He also had six goals and 12 assists in 24 games with Nitra (Slovakia, Extraliga). . . .

D Sebastian Owuya (Medicine Hat, 2010-11) has signed a one-year contract with Södertälje (Sweden, Allsvenskan) after a successful tryout. Last season, he had four goals and 23 assists in 39 games with Sundsvall (Sweden, Division 1). . . .

F Ryan Hollweg (Medicine Hat, 1999-2004) has signed a one-year extension with Plzeň (Czech Republic, Extraliga). He didn’t play last year due to complications after knee surgery. According to the club, there were “infections.”. . . . In 2015-16, he had two assists in 24 games.

———

In Everett, the Vancouver Giants opened exhibition play with a 3-1 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . The Giants got a goal and an assist from each of Brendan Semchuk and Owen Hardy as they took period leads of 1-0 and 3-0 over the WHL’s defending champions. . . . Seattle was 1-9 on the PP; Vancouver was 1-6. . . . Seattle F Nikita Malukhin didn’t play in the third period after suffering an undisclosed injury. . . . Vancouver G Todd Scott started and stopped all 14 shots he saw through 29:59. Trent Miner came on to stop eight of nine shots. . . . Seattle G Cole Schwebius went the distance, with 30 saves. . . .

In Everett, D Matthew Quigley and D Clay Hanus each had three assists to lead the Portland Winterhawks to a 7-3 victory over the Spokane Chiefs. . . . The Winterhawks got two goals from F Reece Newark. . . . Spokane F Hudson Elynuik drew a kneeing major and game misconduct at 16:08 of the first period for a hit on Hanus. . . . Portland was 4-9 on the PP; Spokane was 1-4. . . . G Shane Farkas stopped 26 shots for Portland, while Spokane’s Dawson Weatherill turned aside 34. . . . D John Ludvig was in Portland’s lineup, which would indicate that he has signed a WHL contract. From Kamloops, he had five goals and 10 assists in 17 games with the junior B Kamloops Storm last season. Ludvig, 17, is the son of former NHLer Jan Ludvig (New Jersey, Buffalo, 1982-89).

In Everett, the Tri-City Americans got three goals from each of F Nolan Yaremko and F Sasha Mutala as they beat the Silvertips, 9-4. . . . The Americans got four assists from F Brett Leason, with F Morgan Geekie adding two goals and an assist. . . . F Patrick Bajkov had two goals and an assist for the Silvertips. . . . Tri-City was 1-4 on the PP; Everett was 0-4. . . . G Beck Warm went the distance for the victory, stopping 35 shots. . . . Everett G Dorrin Luding made 26 saves. . . .


In Regina, F Cameron Hebig’s shorthanded goal at 7:10 of the third period broke a 2-2 tie as the Saskatoon Blades beat the Swift Current  Broncos, 3-2. . . . F Arthur Miller had pulled the Broncos even with a PP goal just 57 seconds earlier. . . . Hebig, who missed all of last season with concussion-related issues, also had an assist. . . . Saskatoon was 1-6 on the PP; Swift Current was 1-8. . . . G Joel Grzybowski stopped 27 shots to earn the victory over Joel Hofer, who made 29 saves. . . .


In Red Deer, F Kody McDonald broke a 2-2 tie at 15:55 of the third period to give the Prince George Cougars a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . The Cougars got their other two goals from F Vladislav Mikhalchuk, a freshman from Minsk, Belarus. . . . F Jared Bethune had two assists for the winners. . . . D Conner McDonald had a goal and an assist for Edmonton, which was 2-4 on the PP. . . . Prince George was 1-4. . . . The Cougars started G Tavin Grant, who stopped all 12 shots he faced, and finished with Brock Hamm, who was 10-for-12 in 30:38. . . . Edmonton starter Travis Child stopped 16 of 17 shots in 29:22, with reliever Boston Bilous coming on to stop 11 of 13. . . .

In Red Deer, F Kristian Reichel struck for three goals to lead the Rebels to a 5-3 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Reichel, 19, is from Most, Czech Republic. He is the son of former NHLer Robert Reichel (Calgary, New York Islanders, Phoenix, Toronto, 1990-2004). . . . Red Deer D Alexander Alexeyev had two assists in what was his first game since he suffered a knee injury on Jan. 28. . . . F Brandon Hagel of the Rebels, who left the team’s Wednesday intrasquad game after taking a hit to a knee, was in the lineup and drew two assists. . . . Calgary was 0-2 on the PP; Red Deer was 1-6. . . . Red Deer G Ethan Anders allowed three goals on 18 shots over two periods, with Lasse Petersen coming on to stop nine shots in the third. . . . Calgary G Nick Schneider stopped 27 shots. . . .


In Lethbridge, F Josh Williams scored twice to help the Medicine Hat Tigers to a 4-2 victory over the Hurricanes. . . . F Henry Rybinski helped the winners with three assists. . . . Lethbridge was 1-5 on the PP; Medicine Hat was 1-5. . . . G Garin Bjorklund started for the Tigers, stopping 19 of 20 shots in 31:18. Duncan McGovern finished up, also stopping 19 of 20. . . . G Stuart Skinner went the distance for Lethbridge, making 39 saves. . . .


In Kamloops, F Erik Miller’s two goals led the Blazers to a 5-3 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . With the Sandman Centre still being used as an evacuee reception centre, the game was played at the McArthur Island Sport and Events Centre on the city’s North Shore. . . . Miller broke a 2-2 with a PP goal at 1:35 of the third period. . . . F Garrett Pilon added the home team’s fourth goal at 3:04. . . . F Jared Legien scored twice for the Royals. . . . Veteran F Quinn Benjafield of the Blazers saw his first action since suffering an undisclosed injury on the first day of training camp. . . . Victoria was 2-5 on the PP; Kamloops was 2-6. . . . G Dylan Ferguson stopped 25 shots to earn the victory. . . . Royals starter Dylan Myskiw allowed two goals on 17 shots in 30:35. Brock Gould finished up, stopping 21 of 24 shots in 29:25.


The NAHL’s Corpus Christi IceRays are working to help their corner of the world recover and rebuild after the destruction caused boy Hurricane Harvey. With that in mind, the IceRays have started the Harvey Relief Virtual Sellout.

From the website:

“The Harvey Relief Virtual Sellout is a donation-based incentive drive centered around donating funds directly helping victims and areas while providing an outlet for the people of the Coastal Bend for a specific upcoming IceRays game. The objective is to create a hub for members of the hockey community, those outside of the Coastal Bend and around the area to join efforts in assisting those in need from Hurricane Harvey.”

You are able to find more information and make a donation right here.


D Oleg Sosunov, who is from Ryazan, Russia, has signed with the WHL’s Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . He was a sixth pick by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the NHL’s 2016 draft and has signed a pro contract. Sosunov stands 6-foot-8 and weighs 235 pounds. In the photo in the tweet, he is standing next to Moose Jaw head coach Tim Hunter, who is 6-foot-2. . . . Sosunov is expected to make his Moose Jaw debut in an exhibition game today (Saturday) against the host Regina Pats.


The Medicine Hat Tigers have signed German F Mick Kohler to a WHL contract. Kohler, from Bonn, was selected in the CHL’s 2017 import draft. . . . Last season, he played for Kolner EC’s U-19 side, putting up 16 goals and 44 assists in 31 games. He also had two goals and two assists in 20 games with Dresdner Eislowen of the DEL2. . . . The Tigers also signed G Kaeden Lane, who will turn 16 on Oct. 10. A list player, he spent last season with the Burnaby Winter Club’s Elite 15 team. He was 8-3-1, 2.30, .922 and was named the division’s top goaltender.


The Regina Pats have signed D Marco Creta, 17, to a WHL contract. Creta has been in the Pats’ training camp as a free-agent invitee. From Oak Bluff, Man., he played last season with the MJHL’s Virden Oil Capitals, putting up two goals and 11 assists in 57 games.


The Edmonton Oil Kings have signed three players — D Logan Dowhaniuk,  D Aidan Lawson and F David Kope. . . . Dowhaniuk, from Camrose, Alta., was a second-round selection in the 2017 bantam draft. Last season, he had 27 goals and 29 assists in 36 games with the bantam AAA Camrose Red Wings. . . . Last season, the 6-foot-4 Lawson, 16, had 13 goals and nine assists in 15 games with the Cache Valley Wild, a Utah high school team. . . . Kope, from Edmonton, had seven goals and 14 assists in 34 games with the midget AAA Edmonton Canadians last season. He was an eighth-round pick in the 2015 WHL bantam draft.


The Prince George Cougars have signed G Isaiah DiLaura, 17, and F Brendan Boyle, 16. . . . The 6-foot-2, 200-pound DiLaura played last season at Lakeville South High School in Minnesota, going 1.89, .914 in 22 games. The Cougars selected him in the eighth round of the 2015 bantam draft. . . . DiLaura is one of four goaltenders with the Cougars, the others being Brock Hamm, 20; Tavin Grant, 19; and Taylor Gauthier, 16. . . . Boyle, from Calgary, now lives in Lake Country, B.C. He had 10 goals and 15 assists in 28 games with the Pursuit of Excellence Elite 15s last season. . . . D Cole Beamin, 16, returned to his home in Saskatoon after suffering a knee injury in training camp. Beamin, who turns 16 on Oct. 11, was a second-round selection by the Cougars in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft.


F Ethan Price, 20, has joined the USHL’s Omaha Lancers after spending the past four seasons in the WHL. . . . Omaha acquired his rights from the Lincoln Stars for a conditional selection in the USHL’s 2018 draft. . . . Price, who is from Lincoln, had eight goals and 10 assists in 70 games with the Victoria Royals last season. . . . He had four goals and four assists in 67 games with the Portland Winterhawks as a freshman in 2013-14. He split the next season between the Winterhawks and Lincoln, before joining the Royals for 2015-16. He had 11 goals and 15 assists in 70 games in that season.


The CHL has suspended F Antoine Lessard, 18, for eight games for anti-doping violation. According to a news release: “The violation resulted from a urine sample collected during in-competition doping control (in) March. The sample revealed the presence of methylphenidate and metabolites, a stimulant on the list of banned substances.” . . . Lessard had six goals and three assists in 63 games as a freshman with the Victoriaville Tigres last season. Under terms of the suspension, he will miss the first eight games of the 2017-18 regular season. . . . QMJHL commissioner Gilles Courteau, from the same news release: “The player was very co-operative throughout the process. After we gathered his explanations and evaluated his case, we understand that he now has a medical reason to make use of this medication. However, he did not have any diagnosis or prescription in his name when he carried out his anti-doping control. Several medications, including those for attention deficit disorder, contain substances that are on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) prohibited list. Given this situation, we realize the importance of continuing to educate our teams about the risks involved if a player consumes a prohibited substance . . .”


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!


If you’re looking for information on WHL teams and their training camp rosters, visit Small Thoughts At Large, the blog maintained by Alan Caldwell. . . . You will find it all right here.


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).


Halbgewachs on track early … Gorda not in Oil Kings’ camp … Ex-Lethbridge coach facing charges

F Jayden Halbgewachs, who scored 50 goals last season, struck four times in the first period on Sunday to help White to an 8-5 victory over Black in the Moose Jaw Warriors’ annual intrasquad game. . . . The Warriors will play host to a rookie game against the Swift Current Broncos on Tuesday at Mosaic Place. From the Warriors: “Admission . . . will be by donation with the proceeds going to the Canadian Mental Health Association in memory of Ethan Williams.” . . . Halbgewachs is one of four 20-year-olds in the running for one of the Warriors’ three spots. He had a break-out season in 2016-17. He finished with 101 points, including 51 assists. He went into the season with career highs of 15 goals and 26 assists. . . . The others 20s in camp with the Warriors are F Spencer Bast, F Brayden Burke and F Tanner Jeannot.


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 Bradly Goethals is in camp with the Saskatoon Blades. A native of Ile-des-Chenes, Man., Goethals, 19, had three goals and three assists in 23 games with the Everett Silvertips last season. In 2015-16, he had a huge season with the midget AAA Eastman Selects, putting up 41 goals and 33 assists in 43 games. . . . The Blades will owe Everett a seventh-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft if Goethals is on their roster after the Jan. 10 trade deadline. . . . Everett had acquired his rights from the Brandon Wheat Kings, on Oct. 11, for a conditional seventh-round selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft.


If you’re looking for information on WHL teams and their training camp rosters, visit Small Thoughts At Large, the blog maintained by Alan Caldwell. . . . You will find it all right here.


F Nic Holowko scored three times to help Team Black to a 5-3 victory over Team Orange in Sunday’s first scrimmage at the Kamloops Blazers’ training camp. Holowko, who was acquired last season from the Prince Albert Raiders, is one of three 20-year-olds in Kamloops’ camp, joining F Nick Chyzowski and D Joe Gatenby. . . . Holowko played in 76 regular-season games last season. He had two goals and five assists in 26 games with the Raiders, then added five goals and eight assists in 40 games with the Blazers. . . . Kamloops is holding its training camp at the McArthur Island Sport and Event Centre on the city’s north shore because the Sandman Centre is being used as an evacuee reception centre during the worst wildfire season in B.C.’s recorded history. However, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District is scaling back the centre’s hours of operation, which can only be good news for the Blazers, who are hoping to hold their season-opener there, against the Kelowna Rockets, on Sept. 23.


The Kootenay Ice has signed F James Form, who was a third-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. From Saskatoon, Form played the past two seasons with the bantam AA Saskatoon Outlaws. Last season, he put up 29 goals and 26 assists in 30 regular-season games. . . . The Ice has signed its first three picks from the 2017 draft, having locked up F Connor McClennon, the second overall pick, and D Anson McMaster, who was taken at No. 23, earlier in the summer.


The Edmonton Oil Kings revealed Sunday afternoon that veteran D Brayden Gorda isn’t in their training camp “due to personal reasons.” . . . Gorda, an 18-year-old from Edmonton, has played two complete seasons with the Oil Kings. He had one goal and 11 assists in 60 games as a freshman. Last season, he finished with four goals and 12 assist in 56 games. . . . Gorda was selected by the Oil Kings in the third round of the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft. . . . He was eligible for the NHL’s 2017 draft — NHL Central Scouting ranked him No. 147 among North American skaters — but he wasn’t selected.


G Ryan Gilchrist has chosen not to return to the Lethbridge Hurricanes, apparently choosing instead to return to the AJHL’s Canmore Eagles. . . . Gilchrist, 19, is from McLaughlin, Alta. . . . He got into 18 games last season, while backing up Stuart Skinner. Gilchrist was 9-2-2, 3.60, .890. . . . Gilchrist played with Canmore in 2015-16, going 3.77, .888 in 22 appearances.


D Loch Morrison, who has played 195 WHL games over the past four seasons, is expected to be with the SJHL’s Melfort Mustangs when they open training camp on Friday. . . . Morrison, 20, is from Prince Albert. . . . The Calgary Hitmen selected him in the seventh round of the WHL’s 2012 bantam draft. . . . Over four seasons (2013-17), he played for the Hitmen, Prince Albert Raiders and Victoria Royals. Last season, he had two goals and 11 assists in 37 games with the Raiders, and a goal and four assists in 30 games with the Royals.


Lindsay Hofford, a former head coach of the Lethbridge Hurricanes, is facing numerous charges after a late-night incident near Buffalo on Saturday. . . . Stephen T. Watson of The Buffalo News reports that, according to the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, “Hofford was arrested over the weekend after deputies say he got drunk, stole a golf cart at Darien Lake, hit another vehicle and left the scene of the accident.” . . . Hofford, 53, spent five seasons as the director of amateur scouting for the OHL’s London Knights, before joining the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs. He was an amateur scout in 2015-16 and the Eastern area director of scouting last season. . . . He took over as Lethbridge’s head coach during the 2003-04 season. He was fired midseason in 2005-06. . . . Watson’s story is right here.


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).


Tri-City goalie retires … Ex-Oil Kings ‘tender with Americans … Ex-Giants coach in South Korea

G Evan Sarthou has chosen to retire, rather than return for his 20-year-old season, which would have been his fifth with the Tri-City Americans. . . . He is expected to focus on his education. . . . From Black Diamond, Wash., Sarthou battled injuries last season, going 11-8-2, 3.56, .901 in 25 games. In 129 career games, he was 51-59-7, 3.46, .895. . . . Sarthou’s last season took a wrong turn when he suffered an undisclosed injury while in a summer camp with the U.S. national junior team. He didn’t play again until Nov. 5. . . . That forced the Americans to look elsewhere for a goaltender, and they got veteran Rylan Parenteau, 20, from the Prince Albert Raiders for G Nick Sanders, then 18, and a 2018 third-round bantam draft pick.


G Patrick Dea is one of five 20-year-olds on the training camp roster of the WHL’s Tri-City Americans. Dea was waived by the Edmonton Oil Kings in July. Dea, who is from St. Albert, Alta., played three seasons with the Oil Kings, making 122 appearances. Last season, in 55 games, he was 19-31-3, 3.86, .882. In 123 career games, he is 48-55-8, 3.34, .890. He was a first-round selection by the Oil Kings in the 2012 bantam draft. . . . At the moment, it would appear that sophomore Beck Warm, 18, and Dea are on top of the Americans’ depth chart. Warm was 3-5-0, 3.40, .902 in 10 games last season. . . . The Americans have four goaltenders in camp, with the other two being 6-foot-4 Xavier Cannon, 16, and 6-foot-5 Talyn Boyko, who won’t turn 15 until Oct. 16. . . . Don’t discount Cannon landing the backup spot. He was 2.91, .904 with the West Vancouver Academy’s Elite 15s last season. . . . The other 20s on the Tri-City roster are D Brendan O’Reilly, F Maxwell James, Russian F Vladislav Lukin and F Jordan Topping.


G Evan Sarthou, who announced his retirement on Wednesday after playing four seasons with the Tri-City Americans, is at least the third veteran goaltender to leave the WHL this summer while still having eligibility remaining. . . . Sarthou, 20, is expected to attend school on a full-time basis now that he no longer is with the Americans. . . . Earlier, G Zach Sawchenko left the Moose Jaw Warriors, while Nick McBride left the Prince George Cougars. Both players were entering their 20-year-old seasons, and both plan on attending school this fall. Sawchenko, in fact, will be with the U of Alberta Golden Bears.


The Lethbridge Hurricanes have signed Russian F Yegor Zudilov, who was selected in the CHL’s 2017 import draft. Zudilov will turn 17 on Sept. 10. . . . Last season, he had 31 goals and 34 assists in 36 games with Avangard Omsk’s entry in a Russian U-17 league. . . . The Hurricanes also will have D Igor Merezhko, 19, who is from Ukraine, on their roster. He is returning for a third season in Lethbridge. Last season, he had two goals and 19 assists in 72 games. . . . F Egor Babenko, Lethbridge’s other import last season, is with Lada Togliatti of the KHL this season. At 20, Babenko would have been a two-spotter had he returned.


Tyler Kuntz, who spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach with the Vancouver Giants, has signed on as an assistant coach with the Asia Hockey League’s Daemyung Killer Whales, who play out of Incheon, South Korea. . . . Former Everett Silvertips head coach Kevin Constantine is in his first season as the Daemyung’s head coach. . . . Kuntz, 38, spent eight seasons with the UBC Thunderbirds, the last one as head coach. . . . The Giants announced on May 15 that Kuntz wouldn’t be returning. They eventually filled that spot by hiring Dean Chynoweth as associate coach.


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!


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).

Bonar lands in Vancouver … Raiders add to staff … Hurricanes, Ice cut deal

FIRE REPORT: Kevin Skrepnek, the chief information officer for the B.C. Wildfire Service reported Monday afternoon that this summer’s B.C. wildfires now have torched 1,021,674 hectares. This is by far the worst summer for fires in the province’s recorded history. The previous record, from 1958, was 855,000 ha. . . . Meanwhile, like something out of a horror movie or a Stephen King novel, 19 separate fires on the Chilcotin Plateau, west of Quesnel, have merged and formed the largest fire in B.C.’s history, one that burning at more than 467,000 ha. There are more than 400 personnel working that fire, along with 73 pieces of heavy equipment and 25 helicopters. From one end to the other, the fire measure about 130 kilometres. . . . At the same time, the Elephant Hill fire, which has been burning since early July, has been at 168,000 ha for the better part of a week. The fact that it hasn’t grown is good news. . . . The cost to the BCWS now has surpassed $350 million. . . . There still are 3,800 folks on evacuation order, meaning they are out of their homes, with another 9,700 living under evacuation alerts. . . . In Kamloops, we enjoyed our second straight mostly smoke-free day on Monday. If you are wondering, the downtown Sandman Centre, the home of the Kamloops Blazers, is still being used to house evacuees and as an emergency registration centre. The Blazers’ training camp opened on Monday with goaltenders reporting, but it is taking place at McArthur Island on the city’s north shore.


D Anatoli Yelizarov (Edmonton, 2015-17) has signed a two-year, two-way contract with Salavat Yuleav Ufa (Russia, KHL) after a successful tryout. Last season, he had seven goals and six assists in 67 games with the Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL). . . .

F Rihards Bukarts (Brandon, Portland, 2013-16) has signed a one-year contract with Zlín (Czech Republic, Extraliga). Last season, he had three assists in 14 games with the Springfield Thunderbirds (AHL), and 16 goals and 17 assists in 37 games with the Manchester Monarchs (ECHL). . . .

D Cam Barker (Medicine Hat, 2001-06) has signed a one-year contract with Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia, KHL). Last season, with Barys Astana (Kazakhstan, KHL), he had six goals and 10 assists in 55 games. . . .

F Tyler Shattock (Kamloops, Calgary, 2005-10) has signed a one-year contract with the  Braehead Clan Glasgow (Scotland, UK Elite). Last season, he had seven goals and 16 assists in 37 games as the team captain with the Kalamazoo Wings (ECHL), and seven goals and nine assists in 16 games with the Alaska Aces (ECHL). 


The Vancouver Giants have hired veteran WHL scout Dan Bonar as their director of scouting. Bonar spent the previous four seasons on the scouting staff of the Calgary Hitmen, the past four as their head scout. . . . Vancouver general manager Glen Hanlon is from Brandon; Bonar is from the nearby community of Deloraine. The two were teammates for three seasons (1974-77) with the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . In Vancouver, Bonar fills the void created when Jason Ripplinger left the Giants to become the assistant GM with the Moose Jaw Warriors. Ripplinger had been with the Giants since their inception in 2001 and had been the director of player personnel since 2008.


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!


As you will have noticed in The MacBeth Report, D Anatoli Elizarov, who played the past two seasons with the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings, has signed a two-year, two-way deal with Salavat Yuleav Ufa, a Russian team that plays in the KHL. . . . Elizarov, 19, had nine goals and 13 assists in 125 games with the Oil Kings. . . . Despite his having eligibility remaining, the Oil Kings chose to drop him earlier this summer. Instead, they plan on going with F Artyom Baltruk of Belarus, an 18-year-old who had three goals and two assists in 60 games as a freshman last season, and F Andrei Pavlenko, 17, another Belarusian, who was selected in this summer’s CHL import draft.


The Prince Albert Raiders have hired Mark Maloney to fill the newly created position of senior advisor of player development and analytics in their hockey operations department. . . . From a news release: “Maloney will work alongside Raiders general manager Curtis Hunt and director of player personnel Ron Gunville with the team’s prospects, as well as supporting the coaching staff with analytics. He and his Global Sport Academy team of specialists will support and assist in the growth and development of Raiders prospects.”


D Troy Murray has chosen to begin his university education, rather than return for his 20-year-old season with the WHL’s Kootenay Ice. Murray, who is from White City, Sask., which is located just east of Regina, will attend the U of Regina and play for the Cougars. He was a first-round pick by the Ice in the 2012 WHL bantam draft. In 266 regular-season games (2013-17), he had seven goals and 53 assists. . . . Also joining Murray as U of R freshmen will be G Michael Herringer (Victoria, Kelowna, 2012-17), F Zak Zborosky (Kootenay, Lethbridge, 2013-17), F Ben Duperreault (Moose Jaw, Lethbridge, 2012-16) and F Jacob Cardiff (Spokane, 2012-16). . . . Herringer, 21, played two games with the Victoria Royals in 2012-13 and spent the past three seasons with the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Zborosky, who played out his junior eligibility last season, put up 99 goals, 41 of them last season, and 104 assists in 262 games with Kootenay, which selected him in the fifth round of the 2011 bantam draft, and Lethbridge. He is from Regina. . . . Duperreault, who is from Wilcox, Sask., had 11 goals and 25 assists in 142 WHL games. He played last season with the SJHL’s Notre Dam Hounds, putting up 37 goals and 42 assists in 57 games. . . . Cardiff had 13 goals and 12 assists in 154 games with Spokane. He split last season between the SJHL’s Notre Dame Hounds and the Maritime junior league’s Miramichi Timberwolves.


The Lethbridge Hurricanes have acquired F Austin Wong from the Kootenay Ice for D Tyler Strath and a conditional fifth-round selection in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft. . . . Wong, who turns 17 on Saturday, is the younger brother of former Hurricanes captain Tyler Wong, who played out his junior eligibility last season. . . . The Ice took Austin in the 11th round of the 2015 bantam draft. Last season, with the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers, he had 10 goals and 10 assists in 53 games. . . . Strath, 17, had 10 assists in 43 games with the midget AAA Foothills CFR Bisons last season. A third-round selection in the 2015 bantam draft, he also got into one game with the Hurricanes.


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).


If you aren’t aware of Ethan Williams, click right here. It is wonderful that the Warriors work to keep his memory alive.