Strandberg updates his condition … Wheaties storm past Broncos … Pats get win in Everett

Leonard Strandberg has been a familiar face in hockey circles, especially in Western Canada, for a long time.

Unfortunately, he was involved in a motorcycle accident while in Arizona last week and now is in hospital where he continues to undergo treatment that to date has included the removal of one leg below the knee.

On Sunday, he sent out the statement that follows . . .

No one has any idea how long he will be in hospital, but the family is going to need help. With that in mind, there is a GoFundMe site right here.


If you had hoped to land one of the late Ed Chynoweth’s rings that was available at Classic Auctions, sorry, but you’re too late.

There were 13 rings, all of them hockey-related, in the lot. They brought in a total of $9,737. Of course, not all of that goes to the Chynoweth family as the auction house takes a chunk off the top in handling fees, etc.

The 1989 Swift Current Broncos Memorial Cup ring went for $1,685, the most of any of them. It also had 12 bids, which was tops.

The rings that were available and what they brought:

1989 Swift Current Broncos Memorial Cup, $1,685;

2002 Kootenay Ice Memorial Cup, $977.

1983 Portland Winterhawks Memorial Cup, $783;

1987 Medicine Hat Tigers Memorial Cup, $783;

1994 and 1996 World Junior Championship, $783 each;

1981 Canada Cup, $666;

1994 Kamloops Blazers Memorial Cup, $646;

1991 Spokane Chiefs Memorial Cup, $587;

1995 Kamloops Blazers Memorial Cup $587;

1985 World Junior Championship, $533;

1986 CHL Presidents ring, $484; and

1985 Prince Albert Raiders Memorial Cup, $440;

Before he died, Chynoweth, who meant so much to major junior hockey not just in the west but all of Canada, had told his family not to hang on to memorabilia for his sake. Without any collectors in the family, the decision was reached to sell off a lot of the things that had been in their husband/father’s possession.

I have been told that there are more lots to come, including sweaters and photographs.


Kelly Remple has been in the Moose Jaw/Regina area for more than a few years. He posted the above tweet on Saturday. It’s interesting to visit it and check out the responses. It’s also interesting that not one person has indicated they either have purchased a ticket (or tickets) or that they intend to be at the game, at least not as of the last time I checked.


So . . . were you surprised last week when you heard that Gary Bettman, the commissioner of hockey, was talking with money in Houston, perhaps about putting an NHL franchise in the fourth-largest sporting market in the U.S.? . . . Larry Brooks of the New York Post explains right here exactly what is happening with all of that.


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Taylor Harnett, 42, has signed on as the general manager and head coach of the MJHL’s Waywayseecappo Wolverines, replacing Arnie Caplan, who was in his first season when he was dismissed earlier this month. . . . Harnett, from Edmonton, has coached bantam and midget teams at Edmonton’s South Side Athletic Club in recent seasons. One of his players in bantam was Vancouver Giants captain Tyler Benson. Last season, Harnett was with the midget AAA Leduc Chrysler Oil Kings. . . . Paul MacLean, who had been named interim GM and head coach, will be the associate coach, with Dustin Korlak now the director of player operations. . . . The Wolverines were 1-16-1 when Caplan was fired and after beating the visiting Selkirk Steelers 7-4 on Sunday now are 2-22-1.


SUNDAY:

At Brandon, the Wheat Kings erased a 3-2 deficit with five goals as they beat the Swift Current Broncos, 7-3. . . . The Wheat Kings (14-6-1) have won five in a row. . . . The Broncos (15-5-1) had won their previous two games. The Broncos were playing their third game in fewer than 48 hours in three different cities. They beat the host Medicine Hat Tigers 4-3 on Friday, then edged the visiting Calgary Hitmen 2-1 in a shootout on Saturday. . . . On Sunday, the Wheat Kings took a 2-0 lead on goals from F Ty Lewis (11), at 4:20 of the first period, and F Connor Gutenberg (5), on a PP, at 8:01. . . . F Glenn Gawdin (15) got the Broncos to within one, on a PP, at 9:44. . . . The Broncos got a scare at 12:45 when F Tyler Steenbergen, the WHL’s leading goal scorer, left the game after taking a headshot from Brandon F Tanner Kaspick, who was given a major and game misconduct. Steenbergen, whose head hit the glass, went to the dressing room, but was back for the second period. . . . F Conner Chaulk (5) tied the game, on a PP, just 2:02 after Steenbergen left. . . . Steenbergen (31) then gave the Broncos a 3-2 lead at 5:29 of the second period. . . . The Wheat Kings got back into a tie at 8:16 as F Zach Wytinck (1) scored on a PP, and F Stelio Mattheos scored while shorthanded at 14:39 for a 4-3 lead. . . . F Evan Weinger (3) added insurance at 17:00, and the home side put it away on third-period goals from F Cole Reinhardt (6) and Mattheos (16), the latter via the PP. . . . Brandon got two assists from each of D Schael Higson, D Kale Clague, F Gunnar Wegleitner and Reinhardt, with Mattheos, Lewis, Gutenberg and Wytinck adding one apiece. . . . F Aleksi Heponiemi had two assists for the Broncos, with Steenbergen adding one to his goal. . . . Heponiemi leads the WHL scoring race with 54 points, one more than Steenbergen. . . . Brandon was 3-5 on the PP; Swift Current was 2-6. . . . G Logan Thompson earned the victory with 38 stops. . . . G Logan Flodell started for the Broncos. He allowed two goals on three shots in the first 8:01 when Joel Hofer was sent into the fray. He didn’t face a shot in 19 seconds, before Flodell returned. Flodell finished up with 29 saves. . . . The Broncos played a third straight game without Manny Viveiros, their director of hockey operations and head coach, who is scouting in the Western Conference. In his absence, associate coach Ryan Smith went 2-1-0. . . . During a pre-game ceremony, former Wheat Kings star Bill Derlago, who played with the Toronto Maple Leafs, presented Mayor Rick Chrest of Brandon with a Turk Broda banner that had been hanging in the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. The old banners have been removed and will be replaced in the ACC with new ones as part of the NHL team’s 100th season celebrations. The old banners now are being given to the hometowns of the former players. Broda, a legendary goaltender, is from Brandon. . . . Announced attendance: 3,241.


At Everett, the Regina Pats scored the game’s first two goals and held on for a 2-1 victory over the Silvertips. . . . Regina (13-9-2) now is 1-1-0 on a six-game road trip. . . . Everett (10-12-2) has lost two in a row. . . . The Silvertips went 1-2-0 in playing three games in fewer than 48 hours. They split a Friday-Saturday doubleheader with the Seattle Thunderbirds, winning 3-2 at home and then losing 2-0 in Kent, Wash. . . . F Robbie Holmes (5) gave Regina a 1-0 lead at 11:47 of the first period, and F Jake Leschyshyn (5) made it 2-0 at 2:19 of the third period. D Josh Mahura drew an assist on each goal. . . . The Silvertips cut the deficit in half on F Patrick Bajkov’s 12th goal, on a PP, at 12:10 of the third period. . . . Everett was 1-6 on the PP; Regina was 0-7. . . . The Pats got 38 saves from G Tyler Brown, while Everett’s Carter Hart stopped 48 shots. . . . Everett was without F Luke Ormsby, who drew a TBD suspension after taking a match penalty on Saturday. They also scratched F Connor Dewar, who was injured in that game. Dewar, in his third season, had missed only one previous game in his WHL career. . . . Everett lost F Sean Richards at 14:33 of the first period with a headshot major and game misconduct for a hit on Regina D Marco Creta, who wasn’t injured. . . . Announced attendance: 4,227.


MONDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


TUESDAY (all times local):

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

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

Medicine Hat at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge 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).


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.


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


SATURDAY:

At 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.


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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks, Mr. Bettman.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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



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

KEN PEARSON

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

Among the replies to that tweet:

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


THURSDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Calgary at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Brandon at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

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

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

Edmonton at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

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

Victoria at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.

Seattle at Everett, 7:35 p.m.


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I don’t know,” Matvichuk reiterated.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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


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

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


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


WEDNESDAY:

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


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


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


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


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


THURSDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Calgary at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Brandon at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

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

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

Edmonton at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

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

Victoria at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.

Seattle at Everett, 7:35 p.m.


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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Paddock also told Harder:

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

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


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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


MONDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


TUESDAY (All times local):

Calgary at Brandon, 7 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.

Edmonton at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

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

Red Deer at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.


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


Yamamoto back with four points … Halbgewachs’ late goal beats Pats … Warm heats up for Americans

D Bretton Stamler (Seattle, Edmonton, Swift Current, 2003-08) has signed a 10-day contract with Ritten (Italy, Alps HL). Last season, he had three goals and nine assists in 43 games with Frederikshavn (Denmark, Metal Ligaen). He also was the team captain. . . .

F Peter Quenneville (Brandon, 2013-15) has signed a tryout contract through Dec. 19 with SaiPa Lappeenranta (Finland, Liiga). This season, with Pardubice (Czech Republic, Extraliga), he had two goals and an assist in 12 games. . . .

F Matt MacKay (Moose Jaw, Medicine Hat, Vancouver, Brandon, 2008-11) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Krefeld Pinguine (Germany, DEL). This season, he had three goals and eight assists in 14 games with Heilbronn (Germany, DEL2).


Guy Flaming, the host of The Pipeline Show, asked this question via Twitter on Thursday: “Do you care about the CHL Canada-Russia series?”

That prompted this response from Les Lazaruk, the long-time play-by-play voice of the Saskatoon Blades:

“As far as I’m concerned, the annual series has run its course. I’d rather see a real WHL All-Star Game format return . . . and make it available to be hosted by all (WHL) teams and cities . . . yes, even the U.S. Division ones. Make sure the best three 20-year-olds from each conference, the best five 19-year-olds, 18s and 17s are selected, along with the top two 16-year-olds from each conference.

“Quit trying to sell these games as last chance for Hockey Canada to evaluate possible players for the Canadian team going to the World Juniors when we all now know that Hockey Canada already has their roster pretty much decided on! Enough is enough!!”

That pretty much says it all.

For what it’s worth, I agree wholeheartedly.

So does Steve Ewen, who covers the Vancouver Giants for Postmedia. Ewen tweeted: “Agreed. Too many games in junior already. Too much pressure on players. Risk isn’t worth the reward.”


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!


FRIDAY:

At Calgary, the Medicine Hat Tigers scored the game’s last three goals, two of them from F Mark Rassell, as they beat the Hitmen, 4-2. . . . The Central Division-leading Tigers (11-6-0) have won three in a row. . . . The Hitmen (6-11-1) had won their previous two games. . . . Calgary took a 1-0 lead when F Jakob Stukel (7) scored, on a PP, at 13:43 of the first period. . . . F Jaeger White (1) pulled Medicine Hat into a tie at 19:01. That was White’s first WHL goal since Sept. 25, 2015, when he was with the Lethbridge Hurricanes. He had one goal in 39 games that season, then didn’t play in the WHL last season. This season, he has a goal and five assists in 13 games with the Tigers. . . . F Luke Coleman (4) gave Calgary a 2-1 lead at 4:35 of the second period. . . . Rassell, who has 16 goals, tied it at 17:17. . . . The Tigers took the lead at 2:30 of the third period as D Kristians Rubins (2) scored, then Rassell added insurance at 19:05. . . . Rassell and White each had an assist, too. . . . Calgary was 1-2 on the PP; Medicine Hat was 0-1. . . . The Tigers got 23 saves from G Jordan Hollett, three fewer than Calgary’s Nick Schneider. . . . This was Schneider’s first meeting with his former team. The Hitmen acquired the 20-year-old goaltender from Medicine Hat in May. . . . They’ll meet again tonight, this time in Medicine Hat. . . . Announced attendance: 7,255.


At Cranbrook, B.C., F Justin Nachbaur scored twice in a four-goal first period and the Prince Albert Raiders went on to a 5-3 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . The Raiders improved to 8-6-3, while the Ice, which has lost two straight, now is 8-10-1. . . The visitors opened with four goals in a span of 7:39, all started when F Justin Nachbaur scored at 8:21. . . . Goals from F Sean Montgomery (6), at 9:52, Nachbaur (3), at 13:12, and F Cole Fonstand, on a PP, at 16:00, made it 4-0. . . . D Dallas Hines (1), on a PP, at 9:42 of the second period, and F Alec Baer (6), at 11:44, brought the Ice to within two. . . . F Spencer Moe (3) restored Prince Albert’s three-goal lead at 13:05. . . . The Ice got back to within two at 8:25 of the third period when F Colton Veloso (5) scored. . . . F Jordy Stallard and F Austin Crossley each had two assists for the winners, with Nachbaur adding one. . . . Baer added an assist to his goal. . . . The Raiders were 1-4 on the PP; the Ice was 1-5. . . . G Ian Scott stopped 36 shots for the visitors. . . . Kootenay starter Bailey Brkin gave up four goals on six shots in the first period. Duncan McGovern came on to stop 22 of 23 shots in 37:41. . . . This was Game 1 of a road trip during which the Raiders will play six games in nine nights. They will return home to play one game — Nov. 24 against the Swift Current Broncos — and then will go on the road for five more. . . . Despite the WHL’s regular-season schedule taking six months to complete, the Raiders will have played 30.6 per cent of its road games in the span of 25 days. . . . Announced attendance: 2,264.


At Lethbridge, F Kailer Yamamoto had a goal and two assists in the first period of his first WHL game of the season, leading the Spokane Chiefs to a 6-3 victory over the Hurricanes. . . . The Chiefs (9-7-3) had lost their previous four games (0-2-2). . . . The Hurricanes (7-9-1) have lost five in a row (0-4-1). . . . Yamamoto, who finished with a goal and three helpers, was returned to the Chiefs earlier in the week after recording three assists in nine games with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers. . . . F Jake Elmer (2) gave the home side a 1-0 lead at 6:45 of the first period, but the Chiefs scored the next four goals. . . . D Tyson Helgeson (2) got it started at 7:29, with F Jaret Anderson-Dolan (7) giving his guys a 2-1 lead, on a PP, at 14:52. Yamamoto scored shorthanded, at 17:20, with F Ethan McIndoe (4) making it 4-1 at 10:47 of the second period. . . . Lethbridge got to within two as F Giorgio Estephan (7) got a PP goal at 14:04. . . . Spokane got that one back as D Ty Smith (3) counted at 19:27. . . . F Ryan Vandervlis (6) scored for Lethbridge at 4:17 of the third, with F Zach Fischer (4) getting Spokane’s last goal at 18:22. . . . Smith, D Nolan Reid and F Eli Zummack each had two assists for the Chiefs. . . . Estephan added an assist to his goal. . . . Spokane was 1-3 on the PP; Lethbridge was 1-8. . . . G Dawson Weatherill stopped 33 shots for Spokane, while Stuart Skinner turned aside 27 at the other end. . . . Elmer wasn’t able to beat Weatherill on a third-period penalty shot. . . .  Announced attendance: 4,258.


At Regina, F Jayden Halbgewachs broke a 2-2 tie with 53 seconds left in the third period as the Moose Jaw Warriors beat the Pats, 3-2. . . . The Warriors (14-4-0) have won four in a row. They lead the East Division by three points over Swift Current and four over Regina. . . . The Pats (11-7-2) had points in each of their previous four games (3-0-1). . . . These teams will play again Sunday in Moose Jaw. . . . Last night, the Warriors took a 2-0 lead on goals from F Tristyn DeRoose (1), at 8:07 of the first period, and Halbgewachs, just 47 seconds into the second, on a PP. . . . The Pats tied it on second-period goals from F Matt Bradley (15), at 1:15, and F Sam Steel (5), on a PP, at 4:13. . . . Halbgewachs won it with his 13th goal of the season. . . . F Noah Gregor had two assists for the winners. . . . Moose Jaw was 1-3 on the PP; Regina was 1-5. . . . G Brody Willms earned the victory with 31 stops, four more than Regina’s Tyler Brown. . . . The Warriors were without F Brett Howden, who suffered an undisclosed injury on Monday while playing for Team WHL against a Russian side. . . . Regina F Nick Henry played his first game of the season after recovering from off-season shoulder surgery. . . . Announced attendance: 6,484.


At Saskatoon, the Swift Current Broncos’ hot line accounted for eight points, including three goals, as they led their side to a 6-4 victory over the Blades. . . . The Broncos (12-3-1) have won two in a row. . . . The Blades now are 7-9-1. . . . F Tyler Steenbergen and F Aleksi Heponiemi each had a goal and two assists for the Broncos, with F Glenn Gawdin adding a goal and an assist. . . . F Chase Wouters (6) gave Saskatoon a 1-0 lead 24 seconds into the game. . . . The Broncos responded with the next three goals — Steenbergen (24) struck at 4:08 of the first period, with D Colby Sissons (5) scoring, on a PP, just 36 seconds later. Gawdin added his 12th goal at 14:12. . . . F Braylon Shmyr (8) got the Blades back to within a goal at 17:47. . . . Swift Current then took a 5-2 lead as Heponiemi (13) counted, on a PP, at 18:38, and F Logan Foster got his first goal at 14:18 of the second period. . . . The Blades made its interesting with two late third-period goals — D Libor Hajek (5) scored at 13:16 and F Michael Farren (1) added another at 14:30. . . . F Conner Chaulk (3) iced it for the visitors with an empty-netter at 19:53. . . . Steenbergen leads the WHL in goals (24) and points (41), all in 16 games. . . . Sissons added an assist to his goal. . . . The Blades got three assists from D Jackson Caller, with Wouters adding two to his goal. F Cam Hebig had two assists and Shmyr got one. . . . The Broncos were 2-4 on the PP; the Blades were 1-5. . . . G Logan Flodell blocked 29 shots for the Broncos. . . . Saskatoon got 10 stops from G Ryan Kubic through two periods, with Joel Grzybowski stopping all six shots in faced in the third period. . . . The Blades lost F Seth Bafaro to a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct at 15:51 of the first period. . . . Blogger Darren Steinke was there and his report is right here. . . . Announced attendance: 3,664.


At Kamloops, F Jermaine Loewen ran his goal-scoring streak to three games as the Blazers beat the Red Deer Rebels, 3-2. . . . Kamloops (6-12-0) is 6-3-0 since opening 0-9-0. . . . The Rebels (8-10-1) have lost five in a row (0-4-1). . . . Loewen, coming off back-to-back two-goal games, opened the scoring at 17:59 of the first period. Loewen has seven goals in 12 games. His career high is eight, in 67 games, in 2015-16. . . . F Jared Dmytriw (5) pulled Red Deer even at 3:58 of the second period. . . . Kamloops D Joe Gatenby (6) broke the tie, on a PP, at 11:02. . . . The Blazers went ahead 3-1 as F Nick Chyzowski (4) scored at 4:43. . . . The Rebels got back to within a goal when F Kristian Reichel (7) scored with 15.6 seconds left in the third period. . . . F Quinn Benjafield had two assists for Kamloops. . . . Kamloops was 1-6 on the PP; Red Deer was 0-5. . . . Kamloops G Dylan Garand, who turned 15 on June 7, stopped 31 shots and was named the game’s first star. He earned his first WHL victory in his first start and second appearance. He is on the roster because G Dylan Ferguson has been on emergency recall with the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights since Oct. 30. Garand is the first goaltender to appear for the Blazers in his 15-year-old season since James Priestner on Feb. 23, 2007. Priestner went the distance in a 6-5 OT loss to the visiting Chilliwack Bruins that night. . . . Red Deer was to have given G Riley Lamb his first start since he suffered a broken thumb in training camp. However, the Rebels changed things up after the warmup and G Ethan Anders got the start. He finished with 29 stops. . . . The Rebels left after the game for a Saturday date in Kelowna, while the Blazers were off to Kent, Wash., where they are to meet the Seattle Thunderbirds tonight. . . . Announced attendance: 3,515.


At Prince George, F Jared Bethune scored the only goal of a shootout to give the Cougars a 4-3 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . The Cougars (6-8-4) had lost their previous three games. . . . The Silvertips (7-10-2) have lost two in a row (0-1-1). . . . Everett took a 2-0 lead into the second period on goals from D Gianni Fairbrother (1), at 8:23, and F Sean Richards, at 14:36. . . . F Kody McDonald (10) got the home side to within a goal 32 seconds into the second period, on a PP. . . . Richards (5) restored Everett’s two-goal lead at 16:43. . . . The Cougars tied it on goals from F Jackson Leppard (6), at 17:27 of the second period and D Jack Sander at 15:20 of the third. Sander, with his parents in the crowd, scored his first WHL goal. A freshman from Beaumont, Alta., Sander was playing in his 17th game. . . . Bethune was the first shooter in the third round and his goal won it. . . . F Josh Maser had two assists for Prince George, with Leppard and Bethune each adding one. . . . The Cougars were 1-3 on the PP; Everett was 0-2. . . . G Tavin Grant stopped 22 shots through OT for the Cougars. . . . Everett got 20 saves from G Carter Hart. . . . Dave Sheldon, a broadcaster who is based in the Lower Mainland of B.C., filled in for Mike Benton, the usual play-by-play voice of the Silvertips. Benton remained at home with his wife, Amy, who is due to give birth to their second child. . . . Back in the day, Sheldon was the analyst on Silvertips’ broadcasts for three seasons, before doing play-by-play of Chilliwack Bruins’ games for two seasons. . . . Announced attendance: 2,961.


At Victoria, the Royals erased a 2-0 second-period deficit en route to a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . The Royals (14-5-1) have won two in a row. They lead the overall standings, by one point over Moose Jaw. . . . The Oil Kings (5-11-2) have lost five in a row. . . . The visitors took a 2-0 lead on goals from F Brett Kemp (5), at 9:47 of the first period, and F Kobe Mohr (5), on a PP, at 1:28 of the second. . . . F Eric Florchuk (5), on a PP, got Victoria on the scoreboard at 12:31, and F Ryan Peckford (12) tied it at 1:33 of the third period. . . . F Tyler Soy (8) snapped the 2-2 tie, on a PP, at 10:41. . . . D Scott Walford and F Matthew Phillips each had two assists for the winners. . . . Victoria was 2-5 on the PP; Edmonton was 1-4. . . . G Griffen Outhouse stopped 32 shots for the home team. At the other end, Travis Child made 19 saves. . . . Announced attendance: 5,717.


At Kelowna, F Carsen Twarynski scored at 1:28 of OT to give the Rockets a 5-4 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Kelowna (9-6-3) had lost its previous game. . . . The Giants (6-8-4) has won their last game. . . . Kelowna took a 1-0 lead when D Gordie Ballhorn (2) scored, on a PP, at 13:53 of the first period. . . . Vancouver took a 2-1 lead on PP goals from F Ty Ronning (16), at 16:46, and F Tyler Benson, at 19:08. . . . F Leif Mattson (6) tied it for the Rockets at 17:35 of the second period. . . . The Cougars took a 3-2 lead at 4:45 of the third period on F Brad Morrison’s fifth goal. . . . Kelowna F Kole Lind (10) tied it again with a shorthanded goal, at 7:29 of the third period. . . . F Conner Bruggen-Cate (2) put the home side out front, on a PP, at 11:46. . . . The Giants forced OT when Benson scored his fourth goal of the season, on a PP, at 14:36. . . . Twarynski, who also had an assist, won it with his 10th goal. . . . D Cal Foote and F Liam Kindree had two assists for Kelowna. . . . The Cougars got three assists from F Milos Roman, with Morrison getting two and Ronning one. . . . Vancouver was 3-5 on the PP; Kelowna was 2-5. . . . The game featured a pair of American-born goaltenders — James Porter of the Rockets and Todd Scott of the Giants. Porter finished with 24 saves, six fewer than Scott. . . . D Tanner Brown, 15, made his WHL debut with the Giants and he did it in his hometown. He was a second-round selection in the 2017 bantam draft. He has a goal and five assists in eight games with the major midget Okanagan Rockets. . . . Announced attendance: 5,037.


At Kent, Wash., G Beck Warm stopped 43 shots to lead the Tri-City Americans to a 4-0 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . The Americans (12-4-2) have points in 11 straight games (9-0-2). . . . The Thunderbirds (9-6-2) had points in each of their five previous games (4-0-1). . . . Warm, a sophomore from Whistler, B.C., recorded his first WHL shutout. Last season, he was 3-5-0, 3.40, .902. This season, he is 6-2-0, 3.12, .909. . . . F Nolan Yaremko (5) got the game’s first goal, on a PP, at 12:56 of the first period. . . . F Carson Focht (2) added another goal, at 3:49 of the second period. . . . D Dylan Coghlan had Tri-City’s other two goals, giving him six this season, and added an assist. He scored at 5:01 and 6:59 of the second period. . . . F Michael Rasmussen had two assists, with Focht adding one. . . . Tri-City was 1-4 on the PP; Seattle was 0-6. . . . G Matt Berlin stopped 22 shots for the Thunderbirds. . . . Announced attendance: 4,143.


SATURDAY (all times local):

Lethbridge at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

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

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

Tri-City at Portland, 6 p.m.

Everett at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Red Deer at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Victoria vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7 p.m.

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


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


Americans’ days numbered in Kennewick? … Ridley set for No. 3,800 … Henry ready to return


Neither the WHL nor the Tri-City Americans is threatening to leave Kennewick, Wash., but if improvements aren’t made to the Toyota Center, well . . .

Wendy Culverwell of the Tri-City Herald reported Thursday night that the Americans are “revisiting” their future.

This comes after voters in Kennewick voted against a two-tenths of a percent sales tax increase — two cents on a $10 purchase — that would have been used to, among other things, upgrade the Toyota Center.

This was the second time that voters have rejected such a proposal, but this time the defeat was far more resounding than it was a year ago.

The WHL has demanded that improvements to the arena, including new boards, be made by September 2019.

Culverwell wrote:

“WHL Commissioner Ron Robison said the league’s new requirements must be in place by the start of the 2019-20 season. He characterized the requirements as non negotiable.

“The league wants an action plan. Failing that, it will consider other options.”

Culverwell quoted Robison as saying: “Let’s hope we can find a solution. We certainly want to keep them there. That’s our objective.”

Bob Tory, who owns part of the franchise and is the general manager, told Culverwell:

“If you look around the WHL, our facility is not just the worst facility in the U.S. Division, but it’s probably at the very bottom of the league as far as the quality of the amenities.”

Culverwell’s story is right here.

In another story, Corey Pearson, the manager of the Three Rivers complex that includes the Toyota Center, told Culverwell that he fears the future of the WHL franchise in the city could be in jeopardy.

“We thought we had a project people wanted,” Pearson said. “Obviously, it’s something that people don’t want.”

As for the Americans’ future, Culverwell wrote:
“The Americans lease expires in 2020 but includes terms that let the team negotiate a lower payment or even early termination if the coliseum doesn’t meet league specifications before then.

“Pearson said the Toyota Center falls short on lighting, back of house amenities such as locker rooms, and it lacks an overhead screen for instant replays and league commercials.”

She quoted Pearson as saying: “I don’t want to push the alarm bell and say the team is going to leave. But teams do move. The good news is they have support here. They have a good base.”

The Americans have been in Kennewick since 1988, having relocated from New Westminster after the 1987-88 season. The franchise originated as the Calgary Buffaloes (1966-67), then became the Calgary Centennials (1967-77), Billings Bighorns (1977-82) and the Nanaimo Islanders (1982-83.) It was in New Westminster as the Bruins for five seasons (1983-88).

That earlier Culverwell story is right here.


The OHL’s Ottawa 67’s and the QMJHL’s Gatineau Olympiques will meet in an outdoor game in Ottawa on Dec. 17. The game will be played at The Stadium at TD Place, which is the home of the CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks. . . . This game is made possible because the NHL will play an outdoor game there between the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens on Dec. 16, meaning the boards, ice, etc., all will be made available for the junior game. . . . From a news release: “Tickets for the . . . outdoor game will be priced at $15 for general admission and $20 for reserved seating. Those prices include all taxes, surcharges and free transportation to the game on OC Transpo in Ottawa and STO in Gatineau.” . . . OHL teams have been involved in two other games, both at Comerica Park in Detroit on Dec. 29, 2013. The Windsor Spitfires met the Saginaw Spirit and the London Knights played the Plymouth Whalers as part of the Hockeytown Winter Festival in Detroit. The first game drew 25,749 fans to set OHL and CHL single-game attendance records. The second game broke both records, at 26,384. . . . The Regina Pats and Moose Jaw Warriors are scheduled to play outdoors at Regina’s 33,350-seat Mosaic Stadium on Feb. 18.


Here’s a note from Stanks’ Sermon, the blog that belongs to Darren Steinke:

“These days at age 73, Bob Ridley is still the only play-by-play voice in the history of the WHL’s Medicine Hat Tigers. He gave up driving the team bus about three years back, but he is still going as strong as ever calling games on the radio, as the Tigers play through their 48th season of existence.

“On Friday when the Tigers (10-6) travel to Calgary to take on the Hitmen (6-10-1) at the Scotiabank Saddledome, Ridley will call his 3,800th game as the Tigers’ play-by-play voice. His total of 3,799 games called to date includes 3,379 of the Tigers 3,380 regular season contests, one standings tiebreaker game, all 399 contests the Tigers have played in the WHL playoffs and all 20 contests the team has played in the Memorial Cup tournament.

“If someone called an average of 80 games between the regular season and playoffs each season for 47 seasons, that person would still fall short of the total number of games Ridley has called.

“It is extremely likely no one in the Canadian media industry will ever come close to Ridley’s still growing games called total as the play-by-play voice of one team.”

Stanks’ Sermon is right here.


F Nick Henry is expected to be back in the Regina Pats’ lineup tonight for the first time this season. The Pats are to entertain the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . The 18-year-old Henry, who had off-season shoulder surgery, has missed 19 games. Last season, as a freshman, Henry put up 35 goals and 46 assists in 72 games. He was selected by the Colorado Avalanche with the 94th pick of the NHL’s 2017 draft.

The Warriors may be without F Brett Howden, who suffered an undisclosed injury during Team WHL’s 7-0 victory over a touring Russian side in Moose Jaw on Monday. Howden didn’t practise with the Warriors on Thursday.

According to a tweet from Marc Smith (@MarcSmith18), Warriors head coach Tim Hunter said that Howden is “day-to-day” and will be re-evaluated before tonight’s game.”

Regina D Josh Mahura, who played for Team WHL on Monday but sat out Tuesday’s 4-3 loss to the Russians in Swift Current with an undisclosed injury, is expected to be in the Pats’ lineup tonight.


Perry Bergson of the Brandon Sun reported via Twitter on Thursday that two of the Brandon Wheat Kings’ injured players appear close to returning to the lineup for the first time this season. . . . D Daniel Bukac skated Thursday “for the first time since having off-season surgery.” Last season, Bukac, who is from Czech Republic, had two goals and 15 assists in 72 games. After his freshman season, the Boston Bruins selected Bukac, 18, in the seventh round of the NHL’s 2017 draft. . . . Meanwhile, D James Shearer, 20, “is no longer skating in a red non-contact jersey . . . suggesting his return is near.” Shearer had off-season surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon. . . . Shearer’s return would leave the Wheat Kings with four 20-year-olds, the others being G Logan Thompson, D Kade Jensen and F Evan Weinger, who was acquired from the Portland Winterhawks on Oct. 10. Weinger has one goal and one assist in 10 games with Brandon. . . . After Shearer’s return to active duty, the Wheat Kings will have a week to get down the maximum of three 20s. . . . They are scheduled to play host to the Saskatoon Blades on Saturday night.


At Owen Sound, Ont., Russia scored five goals on 18 shots and beat Team OHL, 5-2, in Game 3 of the annual CIBC Canada-Russia series. . . . The Russians lost the opener, 7-0, to Team WHL on Monday in Moose Jaw, then beat the WHLers, 4-3, in Swift Current on Tuesday. . . . The series resumes in Sudbury on Monday. . . . Last night, the winners got 35 stops from G Alexey Melnichuk. . . . F Artyom Manukyan and F Alexey Polodyan each scored twice for Russian, with D Dmitri Samorukov adding a singleton. . . . Team OHL got its goals from F Taylor Raddysh, on a first-period penalty shot, and F Adam Mascherin, on a PP. . . . Russia held periods leads of 2-1 and 4-2. . . . Announced attendance: 3,116.


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!


Wes Mussio and his wife, Penny, have purchased the BCHL’s Nanaimo Clippers. Mussio, managing partner of the Vancouver law firm Mussio Goodman, had owned the junior B Delta Ice Hawks, but a Pacific Junior Hockey League rule forbidding ownership in a competing league meant he had to sell. Mussio has told Greg Sakaki of the Nanaimo Bulletin that Darren Naylor, Delta’s GM and head coach, will become the Clippers’ director of hockey operations, with Mike Vandekamp staying on as GM/head coach. . . . Sakaki’s story is right here. . . .

The BCHL’s Penticton Vees have acquired D Jordan Henderson, 20, from the Merritt Centennials for future considerations. Henderson has seven goals and 29 assists in 158 WHL games, split among the Spokane Chiefs, Saskatoon Blades and Medicine Hat Tigers. He started this season in camp with the Kootenay Ice but was released before the regular season started. . . .

F Jackson Keane, 20, has signed a letter of intent to attend the U of North Dakota and play for the Fighting Hawks. The son of former NHL/WHL player Mike Keane, Jackson is in his first season with the BCHL’s Penticton Vees, after spending two seasons with the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers. . . . Keane was selected by the Swift Current Broncos in the fourth round of the WHL’s 2012 bantam draft.

F Brendan Budy, 17, has signed a letter of intent to attend the U of Denver and play for the Pioneers, starting in 2019-20. He is in his second season with the BCHL’s Langley Rivermen and is the team captain. . . . From Langley, Body was a fourth-round selection by the Red Deer Rebels in the 2015 bantam draft. . . .


F Tanner Kaspick of the Brandon Wheat Kings won’t play Saturday against the visiting Saskatoon Blades after being suspended for one game by the WHL. Kaspick took a headshot major and game misconduct on Tuesday in Team WHL’s 4-3 loss to a touring Russian side during the CIBC Canada-Russia series in Swift Current. . . . Russian D Alex Alexeyev, who was hit by Kaspick, wasn’t injured. Alexeyev plays for the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels.


THURSDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Medicine Hat at Calgary, 7 p.m.

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

Spokane at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Regina, 7 p.m.

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

Red Deer at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Everett at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Edmonton at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

Vancouver at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

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


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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


Elliotte Friedman’s latest 31 Thoughts includes this:

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

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

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

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


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


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TUESDAY:

Russia 4, WHL 3, at Swift Current.


WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


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


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).

T-Birds lose player, win game … Cougars add an import … Gregor replaces Benson on Team WHL

F Elijah Brown no longer is with the Seattle Thunderbirds. Prior to the Thunderbirds’ game against the host Lethbridge Hurricanes on Wednesday night, Seattle general manager Russ Farwell revealed that “Brown has gone home. He is unhappy with his ice time. He will on our suspended list.” . . . Browne, 17, is from Edmonton. He was first-round selection in the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft. . . . This season, he has one goal and four assists in 13 games. Last season, as a freshman, he put up four goals and nine assists in 64 games.


The Everett Silvertips placed F Pavel Azhgirei, who is from Belarus, on waivers and he has been claimed by the Prince George Cougars. The 17-year-old is in his first WHL season. He had two assists in five exhibition games and one assist in four regular-season contests with the Silvertips. . . . His departure leaves Everett with one import player, one under the maximum. Slovakian F Martin Fasko-Rudas has one assist in 15 games. . . . The Silvertips now are carrying 23 players, including three goaltenders and seven defencemen. . . . The Cougars had room for a second import after Russian F Nikita Popugaev left the team and returned home to Moscow. He has since signed a two-year, three-way contract with CSKA Moscow of the KHL. . . . Head coach Richard Matvichuk of the Cougars told Taking Note late Wednesday that Azhgirei is with the Cougars in Portland, although he didn’t play in last night’s 2-1 loss to the Winterhawks. . . . Azhgirei joins freshman F Vladislav Mikhalchuk, who is also from Belarus, as Prince George’s import players.


The Vancouver Giants, without the services of their top defensive pairing for two weekend games, have brought in D Parker Hendren, a 16-year-old from Regina. . . . Hendren, a seventh-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft, has three goals and 10 assists in 11 games with the midget AAA Regina Pat Canadians. . . . The Giants will play the visiting Kamloops Blazers on Friday night, then head for Kamloops and a rematch on Saturday. . . . Vancouver will be without D Darian Skeoch and his partner, Bowen Byram, for both games. Skeoch, 20, has two games left in a four-game suspension, while Byram is one of at least 15 WHL players who is taking part in the U-17 World Hockey Challenge.


The Kamloops Blazers made it official on Wednesday — they have added G Dylan Garand, 15, to their roster. He will take the spot vacated by G Dylan Ferguson, who now is with the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights. . . . Garand, from Victoria, was a third-round pick by the Blazers in the 2017 bantam draft. He is 7-0-0, 2.26, .930 with the Delta Hockey Academy midget prep team. . . . The Golden Knights, with three injured goaltenders, brought up Ferguson under emergency recall rules. He is expected to be on the bench backing up Maxime Lagace tonight as the Golden Knights meet the Bruins in Boston. . . . Garand is expected to back up Max Palaga on Friday when the Blazers meet the Vancouver Giants in Langley, B.C., and again Saturday for the rematch in Kamloops.


The Brandon Wheat Kings have dropped F Lynden McCallum, 17, from their roster. He was pointless in five games this season. . . . He is expected to return for a third season with the midget AAA Wheat Kings. Last season, McCallum, who is from Brandon, had 60 points, including 27 goals, in 44 games with the midget side.


The Lethbridge Hurricanes have released D Kyle Yewchuk, a 19-year-old from Calgary. He is expected to play for the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs. . . . Yewchuk has one goal and 13 assists in 100 regular-season WHL games. He was a third-round selection by the Edmonton Oil Kings in the 2013 bantam draft. He had one goal and nine assists in 74 games with the Oil Kings, and four assists in 26 games with Lethbridge. This season, he had one assist in seven gams with the Hurricanes. . . .


F  Noah Gregor has been added to the roster of the WHL team that will play two games against a Russian side next week. It comes as no surprise that Gregor will replace F Tyler Benson of the Vancouver Giants, who has played only two games this season as he returned after off-season sports hernia surgery. . . . Gregor has eight goals and 10 assists in 13 games this season. . . . The annual CIBC Canada-Russia series begins in the WHL with games in Moose Jaw on Monday and Swift Current on Tuesday. . . . All games will be televised on Sportsnet.


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A note from a reader informs us that the junior B Surrey Knights, who play in the Pacific Junior Hockey League dropped a 12-0 decision to the Delta Ice Hawks on Tuesday night. The victors held a 71-10 edge in shots. . . . The Knights now have lost 81 consecutive games, dating to November 2015. Ouch! . . . The Knights, who are 0-14-1 this season, are to play tonight against the visiting Port Moody Panthers. Game time at the North Surrey Rec Centre is 7:45 p.m.


WEDNESDAY:

At Lethbridge, F Chase Wouters scored with 6.7 seconds left in OT to give the Saskatoon Blades a 2-1 victory over the Hurricanes. . . . Saskatoon (6-7-1) has won three straight games. . . . Lethbridge (7-6-1) has lost two in a row (0-1-1). . . . Wouters, who has five goals this season, also drew an assist on the Blades’ other goal. It came from D Mark Rubinchik, on a PP, at 8:32 of the third period. . . . The Hurricanes got the game’s first goal, from F Josh Tarzwell (2), at 6:55 of the first period. . . .Rubinchik’s goal was the first of his career. A Russian, Rubinchik is in his second season with the Blades. This was his 77th regular-season game. He now has one goal to go with his 28 assists. . . . Saskatoon was 1-3 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-5. . . . G Ryan Kubic stopped 35 shots for the Blades and was the game’s first star. He has captured that honour in each game of the club’s three-game winning streak. . . . The Hurricanes got 34 saves from G Stuart Skinner. . . . The Hurricanes were without F Jordy Bellerive and F Zane Franklin, both of whom were ill. . . . Announced attendance: 2,625.


At Red Deer, F Donovan Neuls broke a 2-2 tie with a shorthanded goal at 16:32 of the third period as the Seattle Thunderbirds dumped the Rebels, 4-2. . . . The Thunderbirds (8-5-1) have won three in a row. They are 4-1-0 on a seven-game road swing. . . . The Rebels (8-7-1) had points in their previous three games (2-0-1). . . . D Austin Strand, who played the first 163 regular-season games of his WHL career with the Rebels, gave the visitors a 1-0 lead with a PP goal at 6:04 of the first period. He’s got eight goals this season, seven of them on the PP. . . . Red Deer moved out front 2-1 on goals from D Alex Alexeyev (1), at 18:34 of the first, and F Brandon Hagel (6), at 14:30 of the second. . . . F Nolan Volcan (4) pulled Seattle into a 2-2 tie at 10:33 of the third. . . . Seattle iced it when F Sami Moilanen (11) hit the empty net at 19:46. . . . Neuls also had an assist. . . . Seattle was 1-5 on the PP; Red Deer was 0-5. . . . Seattle got 34 saves from G Liam Hughes. . . . At the other end, Ethan Anders stopped 35 shots. . . . TBird Tidbits points out via Twitter that the last Seattle “goaltender to win in Red Deer before Liam Hughes tonight was current Kootenay Ice president/GM Matt Cockell.” On March 4, 1998, Cockell stopped 25 shots in a 6-2 Seattle victory. . . . The Rebels will play their next seven games on the road, stopping in Regina and Swift Current before venturing into B.C. They won’t play at home again until Nov. 18. . . . Announced attendance: 3,577.


At Regina, the Pats erased a 1-0 deficit with four second-period goals, three of them in 2:37, and beat the Kootenay Ice, 5-1. . . . The Pats (10-6-2) have points in three straight (2-0-1). . . . The Ice (7-8-1) had won its previous two games. . . . F Alec Baer (5) gave the visitors a 1-0 first-period lead. . . . Regina F Robbie Holmes (4) tied it at 4:12 of the second period. . . . F Jake Leschyshyn scored the next two goals, at 4:59 and 6:49, as Regina took control. He’s got four goals. . . . Regina got another goal from F Koby Morrisseau (1) before the period ended, and D Dawson Davidson (5) added a PP score at 16:57 of the third period. . . . F Tanner Sidaway had two assists for Regina. Those were his first points in 11 games since coming over in a trade with the Ice. . . . The Pats were 1-4 on the PP; the Ice was 0-2. . . . G Max Paddock made 22 saves to earn the victory. . . . Kootenay starter Kurtis Chapman gave up four goals on 28 shots through two periods. Duncan McGovern played the third period, stopping 13 of 14 shots. . . . F Sam Steel, the WHL’s reigning scoring champion, was back in Regina’s lineup after a two-game absence. He was pointless, but had five shots on goal and won seven of nine faceoffs. . . . F Jeff de Wit was among the Ice’s scratches. He was acquired from Regina earlier in the season. . . . Announced attendance: 5,390.


At Portland, F Cody Glass scored at 19:21 of the third period to give the Winterhawks a 2-1 victory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . Portland (10-4-0) had lost its previous three games. . . . Prince George (5-7-4) has lost two straight. . . . F Kody McDonald (9) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 14:55 of the second period. . . . F Mason Mannek (3) got Portland into a 1-1 tie at 1:39 of the third period. . . . Glass won it with his ninth goal of the season. . . . Glass also drew the primary assist on Mannek’s goal. . . . Prince George was 0-3 on the PP; Portland was 0-4. . . . G Cole Kehler stopped 30 shots for Portland, 11 fewer than Tavin Grant of the Cougars. . . . Announced attendance: 4,180.


At Kennewick, Wash., F Michael Rasmussen returned from a two-game absence to score in OT and give the Tri-City Americans a 4-3 victory over the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Tri-City (10-4-2) has points in nine straight games (7-0-2). . . . The Rockets (7-5-3) have points in four straight (3-0-1). . . . The Americans led 2-0 after the first period on goals from F Kyle Olson, at 5:41, and F Morgan Geekie, at 16:57. . . . F Kole Lind had given the Rockets a 1-0 lead at 3:12. . . . D Juuso Valimaki gave the home side a 3-1 edge at 5:52 of the second period. . . . Kelowna F Nolan Foote scored at 10:26 of the second period, on a PP, to get the Rockets to within a goal. . . . The Rockets forced OT on a third-period goal by F Jack Cowell. . . . With G Beck Warm out with an undisclosed injury, the Americans had G Talyn Boyko backing up Patrick Dea. Boyko won’t turn 15 until Nov. 16. From Drumheller, Alta., he was a third-round pick by the Americans in the 2017 bantam draft. He is playing at the Pursuit of Excellence in Kelowna. . . . Rasmussen had missed the Americans’ previous two games with an undisclosed injury. . . . F Erik Gardiner was among Kelowna’s scratches. . . . Regan Bartel, the longtime radio voice of the Rockets, called a lot of the game on his cell phone thanks to technical issues in the building. His next blog — it’s called Regan’s Rant — should be a gooder. . . . A city-wide power outage impacted more than Bartel. Statistics weren’t available on the WHL’s website until Thursday morning. . . . Announced attendance: 2,498.


THURSDAY (all times local):

Seattle at Edmonton, 7 p.m.

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.


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