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


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


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

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

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

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


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SATURDAY:

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


SUNDAY (all times local):

Swift Current at Brandon, 4 p.m.

Regina at Everett, 4:05 p.m.


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 wins in return to Kamloops … That’s 30 for Steenbergen … Americans still unbeaten at home

The Kamloops Blazers had G Dylan Ferguson back with them on Friday night when they met the visiting Vancouver Giants.

Ferguson had been with the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights since being called up under emergency recall rules on Oct. 30.

Ferguson, 19, was a seventh-round selection by the Dallas Stars in the NHL’s 2017 draft, but then was traded to the Golden Knights, along with a 2020 second-round draft pick, in a deal that had veteran D Marc Methot go the other way.

Ferguson attended the Golden Knights’ development, rookie and main camps, then signed a three-year entry-level deal before returning to the Blazers for the start of the WHL season.

He ended up leaving for Vegas on Oct. 30 after the Golden Knights had three goaltenders go down with injury. He returned to Kamloops on Friday afternoon as the Golden Knights took G Malcolm Subban off the injured list.

While with Vegas, Ferguson backed up Maxime Lagace for eight games, with seven of those on the road. Ferguson, who is from Lantzville, B.C., made his NHL debut on Tuesday in the third period of an 8-2 loss to the host Edmonton Oilers. He gave up one goal on two shots in 9:14 of play.

The Golden Knights were 3-4-1 in the eight games in which Ferguson was on their roster.

Last night, Ferguson stopped 23 shots as the Blazers beat the Giants, 6-2. Chances are good that he’ll get the start again tonight, this time against the Lethbridge Hurricanes.


So here’s what happened in regards to the delay-of-game situations that I wrote about here following a game between the visiting Prince George Cougars and the Kamloops Blazers on Wednesday night.

You may recall that Bryan Bourdon, one of the two referees, signalled a delay-of-game minor to Kamloops goaltender Dylan Garand at 8:55 of the third period with his club trailing 4-3.

But there was a meeting of the officiating minds at the penalty box and the call was rescinded.

Then, at 15:16, Nick Panter, the other referee, gave G Tavin Grant of the Cougars a minor for delay of game. This one wasn’t rescinded.

I have it on good authority from a WHL insider that this is what happened:

Panter had given Grant a verbal warning about freezing the puck in a non-pressure situation earlier in the third period. So when Bourdon hit Garand with the delay of game, Panter suggested that because he had given a warning at one end perhaps Garand should be given a warning. That is exactly what was done as the minor was rescinded.

Because Panter had issued a warning to Grant early in the period, the official felt obliged to issue a delay-of-game penalty later when he felt the occasion warranted it.


The Everett Silvertips are down to two goaltenders after releasing Dorrin Luding, 18, on Friday. Luding, who is from Prince George, was a third-round selection by the Saskatoon Blades in the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft. Everett acquired him from the Blades on Dec. 5, giving up a sixth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft in the exchange. . . . This season, Luding was 3-6-1, 3.64, .891 in 11 appearances with Everett. . . . The move leaves the Silvertips with veteran Carter Hart, 19, and freshman Dustin Wolf, 16, as their goaltenders.


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FRIDAY:

At Moose Jaw, F Brayden Burke had three assists, including the 200th of his WHL career, as the Warriors dumped the Calgary Hitmen, 5-2. . . . Moose Jaw improved to 17-5-0. . . . The Hitmen (6-13-3) have lost five in a row (0-3-2). . . . Burke, who came over from the Lethbridge Hurricanes last season, has 62 goals and 200 assists in 199 regular-season games — three with the Red Deer Rebels, 128 with Lethbridge and 68 with Moose Jaw. . . . F Tate Popple of the Warriors opened the scoring at 7:56 of the first period. That was his first WHL goal and ties him with his father, Lavern, who scored once in 18 games over three seasons (1977-80) with the Wheat Kings. . . . F Luka Burzan (3) made it 2-0 on a PP, at 14:06. . . . The Hitmen pulled even on second-period goals by F Luke Coleman (6), on a PP, at 2:08, and F Mark Kastelic (4), at 4:52. . . . The Warriors took control with two PP goals before the period ended, F Noah Gregor (12) counting at 13:56 and F Tanner Jeannot (13) following up at 15:17. . . . F Jayden Halbgewachs got Moose Jaw’s last goal, his 18th, in the third period. . . . D Chase Hartje had two assists for the winners, with Burzan getting one. . . . The Warriors were 3-5 on the PP; the Hitmen were 1-5. . . . G Adam Evanoff earned the victory with 38 saves, nine more than Calgary’s Nick Schneider. . . . F Daemon Hunt, 15, will remain with the Warriors despite having played five games, which is the limit for a 15-year-old player before his club team’s season has ended. The Warriors are banged up on the back end so are able to keep Hunt under emergency recall. . . . The Warriors had D Dmitri Zaitsev back after a six-game absence, but still are without D Josh Brook, D Matthew Benson, D Jett Wood and F Brett Howden. . . . Brook is back at practice but isn’t yet ready to play. He has missed the entire season after injuring a wrist in the Montreal Canadiens’ camp and later undergoing surgery. . . . F Matteo Gennaro was among Calgary’s scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 3,070.


At Saskatoon, G Logan Thompson stopped 42 shots to lead the Brandon Wheat Kings to a 4-1 victory over the Blades. . . . Brandon (13-6-1) has won four in a row. . . . The Blades now are 8-11-1. . . . The visitors scored the first three goals, all in the second period. . . . F Baron Thompson (5), at 10:03, F Cole Reinhardt (5), on a PP, at 17:44, and F Linden McCorrister (7), at 18:04, staked Brandon to a 3-0 lead. . . . F Cam Hebig (15) counted for the Blades, on a PP, at 7:58 of the third period. . . . F Stelio Mattheos (14) scored for Brandon, on a PP, at 12:55. . . . D Schael Higson had two assists for Brandon. . . . The Wheat Kings were 2-7 on the PP; the Blades were 1-5. . . . G Nolan Maier, who was added to the Blades’ roster this week from the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers, made his second career WHL start and his first in Saskatoon. He stopped 21 shots. . . . Blades G Ryan Kubic had started each of the team’s previous 14 games. . . . Saskatoon D Seth Bafaro sat out the third game of a four-game WHL suspension. . . . Announced attendance: 6,242.


At Medicine Hat, G Logan Flodell stopped 39 shots and F Tyler Steenbergen reached the 30-goal mark with two snipes as the Swift Current Broncos beat the Tigers, 4-3. . . . The Broncos improved to 14-4-1. . . . The Tigers (13-7-0) had won their previous five games. . . . Steenbergen opened the scoring with No. 29, on a PP, at 13:24 of the first period. . . . Medicine Hat F Max Gerlach (7) tied it at 15:39. . . . Steenbergen became the WHL’s first 30-goal man this season at 19:47. . . . F Conner Chaulk (4) gave the Broncos a 3-1 lead eight seconds later. . . . The Tigers got to within a goal when F Mark Rassell (21) scored at 5:11 of the second period. . . . Broncos F Aleksi Heponiemi (16) got that one back, on a PP, at 2:53 of the third period. . . . The Tigers closed to within a goal, at 4-3, when F Gary Haden (5) scored at 3:36. . . . The Broncos got two assists from each of F Glenn Gawdin, Heponiemi and D Colby Sissons. . . . It was seven-point outing for Swift Current’s hot line. . . . Steenbergen leads the WHL in goals (30) and is tied with Heponiemi for the points lead, each with 51. Gawdin is third, with 42 points. . . . D Joel Craven had two assists for the Tigers, with Haden getting one. . . . The Broncos were 2-4 on the PP; the Tigers were 0-5. . . . Medicine Hat G Michael Bullion stopped 12 shots. . . . F James Hamblin (knee) was back in the Tigers’ lineup. . . . The Broncos were without Manny Viveiros, their director of player personnel and head coach. Where was he? In Kelowna, watching the Rockets and the Lethbridge Hurricanes. That means associate coach Ryan Smith posted his first WHL head-coaching victory. . . . Announced attendance: 3,414.


At Cranbrook, B.C., the Pouliot brothers each scored a goal, but it was Ryan who got bragging rights as his score gave the Kootenay Ice a 4-3 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . The Ice (9-12-1) had lost its previous four games. . . . The Rebels (9-13-1) have lost two in a row. . . . F Reese Johnson (7) put the visitors ahead 1-0 at 9:05 of the first period. . . . D Sam Pouliot, 17,  scored his first WHL goal for the Rebels, at 9:39. . . . The Ice tied it on goals from F Colton Veloso (6), on a PP, at 14:55, and F Brett Davis (7), at 1:10 of the second period. . . . F Kristian Reichel (10) put Red Deer back out front at 6:25. . . . F Keenan Taphorn (2) got the Ice into another tie, at 1:18 of the third. . . . D Ryan Pouliot, 18, broke the tie with his second goal of the season, on a PP, at 16:31. . . . The Ice got three assists from F Peyton Krebs. . . . F Mason McCarty had two assists for the Rebels. . . . Kootenay was 2-6 on the PP; Red Deer was 0-1. . . . G Bailey Brkin earned the victory with 38 stops, seven more than Riley Lamb of the Rebels. . . . Red Deer F Grayson Pawlenchuk wasn’t able to score on a first-period penalty shot with his guys leading, 2-0. . . .D Jonathan Smart made his debut with the Ice. Smart, 18, was acquired Monday from the Regina Pats, in a deal in which Ice captain Cale Fleury went the other way. Smart had missed Tuesday’s 4-1 loss to the Tigers in Medicine Hat. . . . The Ice had F Colton Kroeker back, but F Jeff de Wit remains out with an undisclosed injury. . . . The Rebels completed a seven-game road trip at 1-6-0 while being outscored 27-19. . . . Red Deer will play nine of its next 12 games at home, including tonight against the Ice. . . . Announced attendance: 2,333.


At Prince George, F Brogan O’Brien had two goals as the Cougars skated to a 5-1 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . The Cougars (8-9-4) have won two in a row. . . . The Oil Kings (5-14-2) have lost eight straight games. . . . D Dennis Cholowski (6) got the home boys started at 4:35 of the first period, and F Kody McDonald (12) made it 2-0, on a PP, at 15:23. . . . O’Brien, who has six goals, scored his first of the night at 15:55 of the second period and F Vladislav Mikhalchuk (5) made it 4-0 at 17:16. . . . F Trey Fix-Wolansky (10) scored for the visitors, on a PP, 2:58 of the third period. . . . O’Brien added a shorthanded goal at 11:46. . . . McDonald and Cholowski each had an assist. . . . Prince George was 1-5 on the PP; Edmonton was 1-6. . . . G Taylor Gauthier stopped 25 shots for the winners, while Edmonton’s Travis Child blocked 35. . . . The Oil Kings are 0-4-0 on a five-game trip into the B.C. Division that will end with another game in Prince George tonight. . . . Announced attendance: 2,922.


At Kamloops, the Blazers scored five times on the PP en route to a 6-2 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Kamloops (8-13-0) is 3-8-0 at home. . . . The Giants (9-9-4) had points in each of their previous five games (4-0-1). . . . F Brodi Stuart (4) gave the Blazers a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 1:25 of the first period. . . . Vancouver F Ty Ronning (21) tied it, on a PP, at 6:05 as he ran his scoring streak to nine games. His father, Cliff, owns the WHL record of 18 games, set with the New Westminster Bruins in 1984-85. . . . The Blazers started to take over with a PP goal from F Luc Smith (4) at 14:02. . . . Kamloops F Jermaine Loewen (10) ran his goal streak to six games, on a PP, at 12:51, and F Quinn Benjafield (6) made it 4-1, on a PP, at 14:22. . . . Loewen has 10 goals in 15 games this season. He went into the season with 14 in 170 games. . . . D Ondrej Vala (5) upped the lead to 5-1 at 14:43. . . . Ronning added his 22nd goal at 5:33 of the third period. . . . Kamloops D Joe Gatenby (7) closed it out with another PP goal, at 9:34. . . . Kamloops F Garrett Pilon had three assists, while Benjafield added two assists to his goal. Stuart, Smith, Loewen and Gatenby each had one assist. . . . Kamloops was 5-7 on the PP; Vancouver was 1-4. . . . G Dylan Ferguson started for the Blazers, having returned earlier in the day from the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights. He finished with 23 saves, three fewer than Vancouver’s Todd Scott. . . . The Giants lost F Owen Hardy at 11:00 of the first period. He left the ice unable to put any weight on his left leg after becoming entangled with Kamloops F Scott Mahovlich near the Giants’ bench. . . . This was the second game in a seven-game homestand for the Blazers. . . . Announced attendance: 3,789.


At Kelowna, the Rockets scored the game’s last three goals to beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 7-4. . . . Kelowna (12-6-3) has won four in a row. . . . Lethbridge (7-11-1), which opened a five-game road swing with this one, has lost seven straight (0-6-1). . . . The home side went up 1-0 just 40 seconds into the game when F Liam Kindree scored his third goal. . . . F Leif Mattson (7) made it 2-0, on a PP, at 2:08. . . . The Hurricanes took a 3-2 lead on a goal from F Jake Elmer (3), at 19:05, and two from G Giorgio Estephan, at 5:48 and 9:12 of the second period. . . . F Dillon Dube tied it for Kelowna at 9:56 and F Kyle Topping (9) put the Rockets out front at 14:45. . . . F Jordy Bellerive (9) got the Hurricanes back into a tie, at 3:58 of the third period. . . . The Rockets took the game away in the third as Dube (12) got his second of the game at 8:52, D James Hilsendager (3) counted, on a PP, at 12:28, and F Conner Bruggen-Cate (3) hit the empty net at 17:04. . . . D Cal Foote drew four assists for the Rockets, with D Gordie Ballhorn and Topping each getting two, and Mattson adding one. . . . Estephan added an assist to his two goals. . . . Kelowna was 2-4 on the PP; Lethbridge was 1-5. . . . The Rockets got 30 saves from G James Porter. . . . At the other end, Stuart Skinner stopped 27 shots. . . . F Kole Lind was among the Rockets’ scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 5,128.


At Kennewick, Wash., F Michael Rasmussen scored the game’s first two goals as the Tri-City Americans got past the Prince Albert Raiders, 4-1. . . . The Americans (13-5-2) are 8-1-2 in their past 11 games. They are 7-0-0 at home. . . . The Raiders (9-9-3) have lost two in a row. . . . The Raiders are 2-3-0 on a six-game road trip that wraps up tonight in Spokane. Prince Albert will return home for one game and then it’s on the road for five more outings. . . . Rasmussen, who has nine goals, scored at 5:06 and 8:24 of the second period. . . . D Juuso Valimaki (5), who also had an assist, made it 3-0 at 9:32. . . . F Parker Kelly (12) got the Raiders’ goal, on a PP, at 0:33 of the third period. . . . F Morgan Geekie (7) counted the home side’s final goal, at 2:03. . . . The Raiders were 1-4 on the PP; the Americans were 0-4. . . . G Beck Warm stopped 30 shots for the Americans. . . . G Ian Scott made 32 saves for the Raiders. . . . Announced attendance: 4,049.


At Spokane, G Griffen Outhouse stopped 19 shots to help the Victoria Royals to a 1-0 victory over the Chiefs. . . . The Royals (15-7-1) had lost their previous two games. . . . The Chiefs (10-8-3) had points in each of their previous three games (2-0-1). . . . Outhouse earned his first shutout of the season and the ninth of his career. He now holds the Royals’ career record with one more than Coleman Vollrath put up. The Victoria/Chilliwack franchise record belongs to Lucas Gore (10). . . . The game’s only goal came from D Jared Freadrich (4) at 18:54 of the third period. That is the third game-winner of his three-year career. . . . Spokane was 0-3 on the PP; Victoria was 0-4. . . . G Dawson Weatherill of the Chiefs stopped 23 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 4,771.


At Everett, G Carter Hart stopped 31 shots to lead the Silvertips to a 3-2 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Everett (10-10-2) has points in four straight (3-0-1). . . . Seattle (9-9-2) has lost five in a row (0-4-1). . . . F Nolan Volcan, who has eight goals, scored twice for Seattle, at 9:12 of the first period and 19:49 of the third. . . . In between, the Silvertips struck three times. . . . F Patrick Bajkov (11) scored a shorthanded goal at 13:01 of the second period. Bajkov added an assist to his goal and now has 218 career regular-season points in 292 games, good for second place on Everett’s all-time list. He now is two points ahead of F Josh Winquist. F Zach Hamill, who now plays in Norway, is No. 1, having put up 262 points in 250 games. . . . F Reece Vitelli (2) gave Everett a 2-1 lead at 15:10 of the third period, with F Sean Richards (9), who also had an assist, adding an empty-netter at 19:17. . . . Seattle was 0-2 on the PP; Everett was 0-3. . . . Hart, who would appear to have rounded into form after having missed time with mononucleosis, now is 5-2-2, 1.82, .941. . . . Seattle got 23 saves from G Liam Hughes. . . . Seattle F Tyler Carpendale was tossed with a spearing major in the first period. . . . The Silvertips were without D Montana Onyebuchi, who served a one-game WHL suspension after he took a charging major and game misconduct during a 2-0 victory over the visiting Prince Albert Raiders on Wednesday. . . . Seattle is without F Sami Moilanen, who has an undisclosed injury. . . . These teams will meet again tonight, this time in Kent, Wash. . . . Announced attendance: 5,983.


SATURDAY (all times local):

Calgary at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Regina at Portland, 6 p.m.

Edmonton at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Kelowna at Vancouver, 7 p.m.

Prince Albert at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.

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

Everett 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).


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


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


Now there are two.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dheensaw’s story is right here.


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

It turns out that was in error.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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SATURDAY:

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


SUNDAY (all times local):

Regina at Moose Jaw, 4 p.m.

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

Prince Albert at Portland, 5 p.m.


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


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).


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


MONDAY:

Team WHL 7, Russia 0, at Moose Jaw.


TUESDAY (all times local):

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


WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


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


Rockets lose Gardiner to head injury … Tigers’ Williams hurt at WHC … Chiefs make moves

F Erik Gardiner of the Kelowna Rockets will be out indefinitely with a head injury. According to Regan Bartel, the Rockets’ radio voice, the team made the announcement prior to a 4-2 victory over the Royals in Victoria on Friday.

Gardiner, who is in his second season with the Rockets, was hit in the helmet with a puck during a 4-3 OT victory over the visiting Tri-City Americans on Oct. 27. As you can see by Bartel’s tweet, the puck split Gardiner’s facemask.

Gardiner was killing a third-period penalty when a point shot caught him flush in the face.

After the game in Kelowna, Bartel wrote on his blog — reganbartel.blotspot.ca:

“With many in the building gasping as Gardiner went down in considerable pain and the replay was shown on the video screen, Gardiner took off his helmet, rubbed his head a few times before eventually making his way to his feet. Surprisingly, Gardiner stayed in the game, blocked another key shot on an Americans’ power play in overtime and then set up Carsen Twarynski for the game winner.”

Still, Gardiner was back in the Rockets’ lineup the next night and drew two assists in a 4-2 victory over the visiting Prince George Cougars.

After Friday’s victory in Victoria, Bartel wrote that Gardiner was symptom free in the early days after he was struck, but “developed symptoms several days later while being monitored by medical staff.”

Bartel also reports that “Gardner continues to be monitored by team physicians and no time line has been set for his return.”

Gardiner has three goals and 10 assists in 12 games this season.


It is every team’s worst nightmare — you have one of your players selected to play in a competition outside your league and he gets injured.

Welcome to the Medicine Hat Tigers’ world.

F Josh Williams of the Tigers left during the week for the U-17 World Hockey Challenge in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, B.C. Now he’ll be out indefinitely, having suffered a broken collarbone while with Canada Red.

According to Ryan McCracken of the Medicine Hat News, Williams was injured on “a hit from behind during practice.”

Williams, 16, was a first-round selection, fifth overall, in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. From Langley, B.C., he has four goals and an assist in 14 games with the Tigers. Last season, he got into four games with them and scored once.


A scoring change has awarded the winning goal to F Jermaine Loewen in the Kamloops Blazers’ 5-4 victory over the host Vancouver Giants on Friday night. . . . Loewen broke a 3-3 tie with 16.4 seconds left in the third period with the Blazers on the PP. Originally, the goal was credited to F Garrett Pilon, with F Luc Smith getting the lone assist. . . . With the change, Pilon was given an assist. . . . Loewen, who went into the game with two goals this season, finished the night with two goals and an assist. It was the second time in his 180-game career that Loewen has enjoyed a two-goal, three-point game. Loewen, 19, has 18 goals and 22 assists in his regular-season career.


The Spokane Chiefs made a couple of roster moves on Saturday.

They traded F Taylor Ross, 19, to the Lethbridge Hurricanes for an undisclosed conditional selection in the 2019 WHL bantam draft. . . . This season, Ross had two goals and two assists in 15 games with the Chiefs. In 116 career games, he has 12 goals and 16 assists. . . . From Kronau, Sask., Ross was a fourth-round pick by the Chiefs in the 2013 bantam draft.

The Chiefs also released D Tyson Feist, 16, from their roster. He is expected to join the junior B Spokane Braves of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. . . . Feist was placed on the Chiefs’ protected list in September 2016, and will remain on that list. . . . From Dawson Creek, B.C., he was pointless in four games with the Chiefs.


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F Brett Wieschorster, 16, has committed to the U of Vermont and the Catamounts for the 2020-21 season. He was selected by the Kootenay Ice in the fifth round of the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. From Sherwood Park, Alta., he has one goal and six assists in 17 games with the AJHL’s Drumheller Dragons. Last season, he had 26 goals and 21 assists in 34 games with the minor midget Sherwood Park Squires.


The junior B Mission City Outlaws of the Pacific Junior Hockey League have made a coaching change, with Brad Veitch returning to take over from Mike Renner, who will step back and serve as an assistant coach. . . . Renner tweeted that “due to a family situation I have decided to reduce my role. . . .” The Outlaws were 6-12-0 at the time of the change. . . . Renner had taken over from Veitch in April. Renner had experience with the Port Moody Panthers, as an assistant and head coach. . . . Veitch had been with the Outlaws since 2012-13. When the change was made in April, Veitch stayed on as assistant GM and coaching consultant.


SATURDAY:

At Brandon, G Logan Thompson stopped 23 shots to lead the Wheat Kings to a 2-0 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . The Wheat Kings (10-6-1) had lost their previous three games. . . . The Ice (8-9-1) had won 4-2 in Brandon on Friday night. . . . Last night, F Cole Reinhardt (4) gave Brandon a 1-0 lead at 17:33 of the first period. . . . F Rylan Bettens (3) supplied the insurance at 10:42 of the third period. . . . Thompson posted his first shutout this season and the second of his career. . . . The Ice got 30 saves from G Bailey Brkin. . . . Kootenay was 0-3 on the PP; Brandon was 0-5. . . . Announced attendance: 3,508.


At Calgary, the Hitmen scored four first-period goals and went on to a 6-3 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . The Hitmen (6-10-1) have won two in a row, both over the Hurricanes. Calgary had won 6-3 in Lethbridge on Friday. . . . The Hurricanes (7-8-1) have lost four in a row (0-3-1). . . . The Hitmen got those first-period goals from F Andrei Grishakov (6), at 5:10; F Luke Coleman (3), on a PP, at 7:43; F Matteo Gennaro (12), at 11:53; and D Vladislav Yeryomenko, on a PP, at 16:05. . . . Lethbridge got to within two goals when D Calen Addison (2) scored, at 13:20 of the second, and F Zane Franklin (7) counted, on a PP, at 12:01 of the third. . . . Yeryomenko (6) got an empty-netter at 17:49, only to have Lethbridge D Koletrane Wilson get his first goal, at 19:16. . . . Calgary F Andrew Fyten (3) added another empty-netter, at 19:37. . . . The Hitmen got three assists from F Jakob Stukel, with Coleman adding two, and Grishakov and Gennaro getting one each. . . . Calgary was 2-5 on the PP; Lethbridge was 1-5. . . . Calgary G Nick Schneider stopped 28 shots. . . . The Hurricanes started G Stuart Skinner, who was beaten four times on 15 shots in the first period. Reece Klassen came on in relief and stopped all 17 shots he faced over the last two periods. . . . Announced attendance: 8,649.


At Edmonton, F Cam Hebig broke a 2-2 tie with 9.8 seconds left in the third period as the Saskatoon Blades beat the Oil Kings, 3-2, on Star Wars Night. . . . The Blades (7-8-1) had been 0-5-2 in their last seven meetings with Edmonton. . . . The Oil Kings (5-10-2) have lost four in a row. . . . The Oil Kings went 1-4-1) on a six-game homestand, during which they were outscored 28-13). . . . Saskatoon took a 2-0 first-period lead on PP goals from D Libor Hajek (4), at 14:18, and F Josh Paterson (5), with 1.8 seconds left. . . . The Oil Kings tied it on goals from F Trey Fix-Wolansky (7), at 0:14 of the second period, and F Tomas Soustal (4), on a PP, at 0:27 of the third. . . . Hebig won it with his 14th goal in as many games. . . . The Blades got two assists from D Jackson Caller. Hajek added an assist to his goal. . . . Soustal and Fix-Wolansky each had an assist for Edmonton. . . . Saskatoon was 2-5 on the PP; Edmonton was 1-5. . . . G Ryan Kubic earned the victory with 29 saves. . . . The Oil Kings got 25 stops from G Boston Bilous. . . . With F Brandon Machado (ill) unable to play, the Blades brought in D Payton McIsaac from the AJHL’s Sherwood Park Crusaders. . . . Announced attendance: 11,172.


At Swift Current, the Broncos split of their big line, then went out and beat the Red Deer Rebels, 4-2. . . . Swift Current improved to 11-3-1. . . . The Rebels (8-9-1) have lost four in a row (0-3-1). . . . One night after losing 5-1 in Prince Albert, Broncos head coach Manny Viveiros split up the WHL’s highest-scoring line, moving Riley Stotts up alongside Glenn Gawdin and Tyler Steenbergen, and putting Aleksi Heponiemi back between Conner Chaulk and Kaden Elder. . . . Still, Steenbergen, Gawdin and Heponiemi were in on three of the four goals. . . . Heponiemi finished with a goal, his 12th, and an assist. Steenbergen scored twice, giving him a WHL-leading 23, and had an assist. Gawdin added two assists. . . . F Grayson Pawlenchuk (9) gave Red Deer a 1-0 lead with a PP goal at 11:33 of the first period. . . . Heponiemi tied it, on a PP, at 4:33 of the second period. . . . The Rebels went back out front when F Jared Dmytriw (4) scored at 19:27. . . . The Broncos then struck three times in the third period. . . . Steenbergen scored 42 seconds into the period. Elder (4) counted at 6:02. Steenbergen got the empty-netter at 18:15. . . . Pawlenchuk also had an assist for Red Deer. . . . Swift Current was 1-5 on the PP; Red Deer was 1-4. . . . G Logan Flodell stopped 22 shots for the Broncos, three fewer than Red Deer’s Ethan Anders. . . . Announced attendance: 2,354.


At Prince Albert, the Moose Jaw Warriors erased a 1-0 deficit with three third-period goals and beat the Raiders, 3-2. . . . The Warriors (13-4-0) have won three in a row. . . . The Raiders (7-6-3) are 6-2-2 at home. . . . The Raiders went ahead 1-0 when F Curtis Miske (4) scored hat 7:27 of the second period. . . . The Warriors got three goals in a span of 7:32 in the third period. . . . F Brayden Burke (8) tied it at 10:16. F Brett Howden (10) put the visitors ahead, on a PP, at 11:36. F Jayden Halbgewachs (11) made it 3-1 at 17:48. . . . Raiders F Jordy Stallard got his guys to within a goal when he scored his 13th at 18:59. . . . F Noah Gregor drew two assists for the Warriors. . . . Moose Jaw was 1-4 on the PP; Prince Albert was 0-2. . . . G Adam Evanoff stopped 16 shots for the Warriors, while the Raiders got 25 saves from G Ian Scott. . . . Announced attendance: 1,931.


At Medicine Hat, F Mark Rassell scored 11 seconds into OT to give the Tigers a 4-3 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . The Tigers (10-6-0) have won two in a row. . . . Seattle (9-5-2) has points in five straight games (4-0-1). It went 5-1-1 on a seven-game road trip that ended with this one. . . . The Tigers got the game’s first two goals, from F Ryan Chyzowski (8), on a PP, at 9:59 of the first period, and F Hayden Ostir (5) at 1:26 of the second. . . . F Blake Bargar (3) got Seattle started at 9:48. . . . Russell, who now has 14 goals, gave the home boys a 3-1 lead at 9:45 of the third period. . . . Seattle tied it on two goals from D Turner Ottenbreit, at 11:15 and 18:18. Ottenbreit has three goals after the first two-goal game of his career. This was his 229th game. . . . Ostir and F James Hamblin had two assists each for the Tigers, with Rassell adding one. . . . Medicine Hat was 1-4 on the PP; Seattle was 0-5. . . . Medicine Hat G Michael Bullion stopped 15 of 16 shots through 35:03, but had to leave after being involved in a collision with Seattle D Cade McNelly, who was penalized for goaltender interference. G Jordan Hollett came off the bench to stop 18 of 20 shots. . . . Seattle got 23 saves from G Liam Hughes. . . . D Dylan MacPherson (ill) was among Medicine Hat’s scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 3,182.


At Victoria, F Ryan Peckford scored twice to help the Royals to a 4-2 victory over the Kelowna Rockets. . . . The Royals (13-5-1) remain atop the overall standings. . . . The Rockets (8-6-3) had points in each of their previous five games (4-0-1), including a 4-2 victory in Victoria on Friday night. . . . Last night, the Royals scored the game’s first four goals. . . . Peckford, who has 11 goals, got the home side started at 9:42 of the first period. . . . F Dante Hannoun (11) made it 2-0 at 10:58, and Peckford added another one, at 13:02. . . . F Dino Kambeitz (3) upped it to 4-0 at 5:33 of the third period. . . . The Rockets got two late PP goals, from F Nolan Foote (5), at 14:50, and F Leif Mattson (5), at 15:52. . . . The Royals got two assists from F Tyler Soy. . . . Kelowna was 2-4 on the PP; Victoria was 0-5. . . . G Griffen Outhouse stopped 20 shots in recording his WHL-leading 11th victory. . . . Kelowna G Brodan Salmond, in his first start since Oct 15, stopped 28 shots. . . . F Carsen Twarynski of the Rockets was in the lineup, so the WHL obviously didn’t feel the boarding major he took Friday night in the third period was worthy of a suspension. . . . Announced attendance: 6,508.


At Kamloops, F Tyler Benson scored once and added two assists as the Vancouver Giants skated to a 5-4 victory over the Blazers. . . . Vancouver (6-8-3) had lost four in a row (0-3-1). . . . The Blazers (5-12-0) had won their previous two games, including a 5-4 victory over the host Giants on Friday night. . . . Last night, Vancouver scored the only three goals of the first period. . . . F Aidan Barfoot’s first career goal got it started at 3:06. . . . F Brendan Semchuk, who is from Kamloops, added his fifth goal at 11:27. . . . Benson (2) upped the lead to 3-0 at 16:53. . . . F Garrett Pilon (7) got the Blazers’ first goal, at 1:13 of the second period. . . . F Ty Ronning got that one back for Vancouver, while shorthanded, at 3:47. . . . F Luc Smith (3) got the Blazers back within two at 19:34, but Ronning (15) came right back, just 19 seconds later. . . . The Blazers made things interesting with a lot of third-period pressure that resulted in two goals from F Jermaine Loewen, at 3:40 and 10:52. Loewen, who has six goals, also scored twice on Friday. . . . D Nolan Kneen had two assists for Kamloops, with Smith adding one. . . . Vancouver was 0-3 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-2. . . . G Todd Scott earned the victory with 43 saves. . . . G Max Palaga made his second straight start for Kamloops. He is the go-to guy with starter Dylan Ferguson up with the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights on emergency recall. Ferguson watched his third NHL game from the bench on Saturday afternoon, this time in Ottawa. . . . Palaga surrendered four goals on 10 shots in 23:47. . . . He gave way to Dylan Garand, 15, who mades his WHL debut by allowing one goal on 13 shots in 34:08. . . . Garand, from Victoria, plays at the Delta Hockey Academy. He was a third-round selection in the 2017 bantam draft. . . . The Blazers lost D Ondrej Vala in the second period. He took a hard hit from Vancouver F Owen Hardy in open ice in the Kamloops zone in the second period and didn’t return. . . . Vancouver D Darian Skeoch sat out as he completed a four-game suspension. . . . Announced attendance: 4,533, on Military Appreciation Night.


At Spokane, F Carson Focht scored in the seventh round of a shootout to give the Tri-City Americans a 3-2 victory over the Chiefs. . . . The Americans (11-4-2) have points in 10 straight games (8-0-2). . . . The Chiefs (8-7-3) have lost four in a row (0-2-2). . . . The Americans also got shootout goals from F Kyle Olson and F Parker AuCoin, with F Hudson Elynuik and D Nolan Reid scoring for the Chiefs. . . . Tri-City scored the game’s first two goals. Olson (3) got the game’s first goal, at 8:05 of the first period, with D Juuso Valimaki (4) getting a shorthanded tally at 5:28 of the second. . . . The Chiefs tied it on goals from F Jaret Anderson-Dolan (6), on a PP, at 6:02 of the second period, and F Cedric Chenier, with his first WHL goal, at 10:45 of the third. . . . Valimaki also had an assist for the Americans. . . . Spokane was 1-5 on the PP; Tri-City was 0-2. . . . G Patrick Dea stopped 50 shots for the Americans, while Spokane’s Dawson Weatherill made 43 saves. . . . The Americans had D Dan Gatenby back in the lineup. He last played on Sept. 24. . . . Announced attendance: 7,365.


At Everett, F Alex Overhardt broke a 1-1 tie at 9:05 of the third period and the Portland Winterhawks went on to a 3-1 victory over the Silvertips. . . . Portland (12-4-0) has won three in a row. . . . Everett (7-10-1) had won its previous three games. . . . The Winterhawks took a 1-0 lead at 16:40 of the first period as F Kieffer Bellows ran his point streak to 11 games with his 13th goal. . . . F Sean Richards (4) tied it at 1:06 of the third period. . . . Overhardt’s fifth goal proved to be the winner. . . . F Skyler McKenzie (13), who also had an assist, added an empty-netter at 18:49 of the third period. . . . Portland was 0-1 on the PP; Everett was 0-6. . . . Portland G Cole Kehler made 43 saves. He now is 10-2-1, 2.09, .935. . . . The Silvertips got 39 saves from G Carter Hart. . . . The Silvertips were without F Mark Liwiski for a second straight game. According to Jesse Geleynse of the Everett Herald, head coach Dennis Williams said after Friday’s 3-1 victory over the visiting Prince George Cougars that Liwiski was being disciplined for “a violation of team rules.” Liwiski, 16, was a third-round selection in the 2016 bantam draft. He is pointless in 10 games with the Silvertips. . . . Announced attendance: 7,887.


SUNDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


MONDAY (all times local):

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


TUESDAY (all times local):

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


WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


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


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.


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).


Flodell, Broncos blank Tigers … Rebels kings of OT … Blades are streaking … Blazers finally win at home


As you may have read here a few days ago, the Victoria Royals have partnered with The Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund. As the Royals noted in a news release: “The Downie Wenjack Fund was established as part of Gord Downie’s legacy to bring awareness of the true history of Indigenous People and to generate discussion to forge new relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians.” . . . If you are interested, there is more on this story right here, from CTV News Vancouver Island. . . . Here’s hoping a whole bunch of other WHL teams follow the Royals into this relationship.


The WHL suspended D Darian Skeoch of the Vancouver Giants on Saturday for something he did in Friday’s 2-1 loss to the visiting Prince George Cougars.

Skeoch was suspended under supplemental discipline. The length of the suspension has yet to be determined, but he didn’t play against the host Victoria Royals last night and chances are he won’t play in today’s rematch.

Here’s something that Steve Ewen of Postmedia wrote after Saturday’s game about what may or may not have been the hit in question:

“Vancouver defenceman Darian Skeoch laid a massive, open-ice hit on Prince George winger Jackson Leppard at the 3:40-mark of the third period. Leppard finished the shift and went to the bench, but left the game and went to the dressing room about four minutes later.

No word yet on Leppard’s status immediately moving forward.

There was no penalty. It was a clean hit. There was no fight afterwards, either, which was kind of refreshing frankly. Skeptics, of course, will say that Prince George didn’t have anyone who wanted to tangle with Skeoch, who is reputed to be one of the tougher customers in the WHL.”

Leppard was scratched from Prince George’s game against the Rockets in Kelowna last night.

Meanwhile, F Tristin Langan of the Moose Jaw Warriors has been suspended for one game after taking a boarding major and game misconduct in Medicine Hat on Friday night.


The Regina Pats released F Riley Krane from their roster a few days ago and he now has returned to the major midget Cariboo Cougars, who play out of Prince George. Krane, 17, is from Dawson Creek, B.C. He was an eighth-round selection by Regina in the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft. . . . He had one goal in five games with Regina last season, but didn’t get into a game this season due to an undisclosed injury.


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SATURDAY:

At Calgary, D Austin Strand scored with 41.9 seconds left in the third period to give the Seattle Thunderbirds a 4-3 victory over the Hitmen. . . . Strand, who is from Calgary, has seven goals this season, the first six of which came via the PP. . . . The Thunderbirds improved to 6-5-1. . . . The Hitmen (4-10-1) have lost three straight. . . . Seattle scored three times in the second period to take a 3-0 lead, then watched as Calgary tied it with three third-period goals. . . . F Blake Barger (2), at 6:25, D Reece Harsch (3), on a PP at 13:03, and F Donovan Neuls (2), on another PP at 18:33, scored for the Thunderbirds. . . . The Hitmen tied it on goals from D Jake Bean (1), at 7:13 of the third period, D Vladislav Yeryomenko (3), at 13:08, and F Mark Kastelic (3), on a PP, at 14:14. . . . Strand also had an assist for Seattle. . . . Bean and Yeryomenko each added an assist for Calgary. . . . Seattle was 2-4 on the PP; Calgary was 1-6. . . . G Liam Hughes recorded the victory with 25 saves, two fewer than Calgary’s Matthew Armitage. . . . The Hitmen were without F Andrew Fyten, who was suspended for one game after taking a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct in Lethbridge on Friday night. . . . D Jarret Tyszka and D Aaron Hyman returned to Seattle’s lineup after a one-game absence. Each picked up one assist. . . . Announced attendance: 5,705.


At Red Deer, F Lane Zablocki scored at 1:42 of OT to give the Rebels a 4-3 victory over the Regina Pats. . . . The Rebels (8-6-0) have won two in a row, both in extra time. . . . The Pats (8-6-2) have lost two straight (0-1-1). . . . D Hunter Donohoe gave the Rebels a 1-0 lead with his first WHL goal at 3:23 of the first period. . . . F Jack Flaman stretched that lead to 2-0 with a shorthanded goal at 16:53. That was Flaman’s fifth goal of the the season, but his first with Red Deer. He was acquired from the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Thursday. . . . The Pats scored the game’s next three goals. . . . D Dawson Davidson (3), who also had an assist, got the visitors started at 17:31 of the first period. . . . D Josh Mahura (5) tied the score, on a PP, at 5:03 of the second period, and F Robbie Holmes (3) gave the Pats a 3-2 lead at  9:11. . . . Red Deer tied it when F Grayson Pawlenchuk (8) scored, on a PP, at 2:52 of the third period. . . . Zablocki won it with his sixth goal of the season. Red Deer acquired Zablocki from Regina in a trade last season. . . . Red Deer was 1-2 on the PP; Regina was 1-6. . . . The Rebels got 28 stops from G Ethan Anders. . . . Regina G Tyler Brown stopped 16 shots. . . . F Brandon Hagel (ill) was among Red Deer’s scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 4,051.


At Swift Current, G Logan Flodell stopped 38 shots and the Broncos’ hot line picked up another seven points, including three goals, in a 4-0 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . The Broncos (10-2-1) had lost their previous two games (0-1-1). . . . The Tigers (8-6-0) have lost two in a row. . . . F Glenn Gawdin, one-third of the hot line, scored twice and added two assists. He got the game’s first goal, while shorthanded, at 5:44, then scored the last goal, again while shorthanded, at 19:40 of the second period. He’s got 11 goals. . . . D Artyom Minulin (3) and F Aleksi Heponiemi (10) had the other goals. . . . Heponiemi, who also had an assist, and F Tyler Steenbergen, who had one assist, are Gawdin’s linemates. . . . Steenbergen ran his point steak to 13 games. He leads the WHL in goals (21) and points (35). . . . D Colby Sissons had two assists. . . . The Tigers were 0-6 on the PP; the Broncos’ PP unit wasn’t given even one opportunity. . . . Flodell posted his second shutout this season and the eighth of his WHL career. . . . The Tigers got 33 saves from G Jordan Hollett. . . . Announced attendance: 2,380.


At Saskatoon, F Cam Hebig scored two goals to lead the Blades to a 4-1 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . The Blades (5-7-1) have won two in a row for the first time this season. . . . The Wheat Kings (9-5-1) have lost two straight. . . . The Blades scored the first four goals, striking twice in each of the first two periods. . . . Hebig got it started, on a PP, at 15:07 of the first period. . . . F Tyler Lees (2) scored his second goal in two games at 17:13. . . . F Chase Wouters (4) upped the lead to 3-0 at 10:13 of the second period and Hebig added his 12th at 18:47. . . . F Tanner Kaspick (6) had Brandon’s goal, on a PP, at 19:14 of the third period. . . . F Bradly Goethals helped the Blades with two assists. . . . Saskatoon was 1-2 on the PP; Brandon was 1-5. . . . The Blades got 32 stops from G Ryan Kubic. . . . Brandon G Logan Thompson made 19 saves. . . . Announced attendance: 3,058.


At Kamloops, D Joe Gatenby scored 40 seconds into OT to give the Blazers a 3-2 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . Kamloops (4-11-0) won for the first time in seven tries at home this season. . . . Tri-City (9-4-2) has points in eight straight games (6-0-2). . . . The visitors took a 1-0 lead when F Riley Sawchuk (2) scored at 3:19 of the first period. . . . The Blazers moved out front 2-1 on goals from F Keltie Jeri-Leon (1), at 5:38 of the first period, and F Quinn Benjafield (2), on a 5-on-3 PP, at 5:58 of the third period. . . . Jeri-Leon was acquired from the Americans on Oct. 8. He went into the game with one assist in eight games. . . . F Nolan Yaremko pulled the Americans into a 2-2 tie with his fourth goal, at 13:16. . . . Gatenby, who also had an assist, won it with his fifth goal this season. . . . F Garrett Pilon had two assists for Kamloops. . . . The Blazers held the puck for all 40 seconds of OT, winning it when Pilon directed the puck to the Tri-City net from the right wing and having it bounce off a player or two, one of them being Gatenby, and trickling into the net. . . . The Blazers were 1-4 on the PP; the Americans were 0-2. . . . G Dylan Ferguson earned the victory with 22 saves, six fewer than Tri-City’s Patrick Dea. . . . With Tri-City G Beck Warm sidelined with an undisclosed injury, Xavier Cannon, 17, backed up Dea. Cannon, who is from Kamloops, was a ninth-round selection by the Americans in the 2016 bantam draft. Cannon now plays for the major midget Kootenay Ice. Craig West, the veteran radio voice of the Americans, picked up Cannon in Trail, B.C., and got him to Kelowna where he backed up on Friday night. After the game in Kamloops, West drove Cannon to Kelowna where the Ice is scheduled to play against the Okanagan Rockets this morning at 10. . . . F Michael Rasmussen was among Tri-City’s scratches for a second straight night. It’s believed that Rasmussen was injured in an 8-4 victory over the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors on Wednesday night. . . . Announced attendance: 3,319.


At Victoria, F Matthew Phillips scored the only goal of a three-round shootout as the Royals got past the Vancouver Giangts, 6-5. . . . The Royals improved to 11-4-1 and moved back atop the overall standings, one point ahead of the idle Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . The Giants (5-6-3) have lost two in a row (0-1-1). . . . The Giants forced OT by overcoming a 5-2 deficit in the last 6:10 of the third period. . . . F Owen Hardy (5) made it 5-3 at 13:50, with F Tyler Popowich (2) getting his mates to within one at 15:56. F Cliff Running (11) tied it, on a PP, at 19:01. . . . D Matt Barberis (1) had given the Giants a 1-0 lead at 12:36 of the first period. . . . The Royals scored the next three goals. . . . F Ryan Peckford (8) counted at 12:45 of the first period. F Eric Florchuk (4), at 8:30 of the second period, and F Matthew Phillips (13), on a PP, at 11:45, stretched it to 3-0. . . . Vancouver F James Malm (4) got his club’s second goal, at 14:42. . . . The Royals opened the third period with two more goals, from F Regan Nagy (15), at 7:48, and F Jared Legien (7), at 8:04. . . . D Scott Walford had two assists for the Royals. . . . The Giants got two assists from D Dylan Plouffe, with Hardy and Barbers adding one each. . . . Phillips picked up the 100th assist and 200th point of his career on Peckford’s goal. With a goal and an assist, Phillips ran his point streak to 16 games. He has 32 points over that stretch. . . . Vancouver was 1-6 on the PP; Victoria was 1-9. . . . The Royals got 43 saves from G Griffen Outhouse. . . . At the other end, David Tendeck stopped 37 shots. . . . This was the Royals’ first home game after a seven-game road trip. . . . F Tyler Benson was among Vancouver’s scratches. He played his first game since Jan. 2 on Friday against the visiting Prince George Cougars. Benson had off-season sports hernia surgery and the Giants chose not to play him in back-to-back games. He is expected to be in the lineup in Victoria this afternoon. . . . Announced attendance: 4,491.


At Kelowna, the Rockets broke a 1-1 tie with a pair of second-period goals and went on to beat the Prince George Cougars, 4-2. . . . Kelowna (7-5-2) now has won three straight. . . . Prince George (5-6-4) had points in each of its previous four games (2-0-2). . . . F Leif Mattson (3) gave the home side a 1-0 lead at 12:13 of the first period. That was his third goal in four games. . . . F Vladislav Mikhalchuk (4) tied the score at 19:25. . . . Rockets F Kyle Topping (7) broke the tie at 9:04 of the second period and D Cal Foote (4) made it 3-1 at 18:58. . . . The Cougars got to within a goal as F Josh Maser (5) scored at 3:19 of the third. . . . The Rockets iced it when F Carsen Twarynski (9) got the empty-netter at 18:32. . . . F Brogan O’Brien had two assists for Prince George. . . . The Cougars were 1-3 on the PP; the Rockerts were 0-5. . . . G James Porter stopped 27 shots for the Rockets, one more than Prince George’s Taylor Gauthier. . . . Announced attendance: 4,708.


SUNDAY (all times local):

Regina at Edmonton, 4 p.m.

Red Deer vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 4 p.m.

Vancouver at Victoria, 3:05 p.m.

Seattle at Lethbridge, 6 p.m.

Everett at Portland, 5 p.m.


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


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

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


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


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


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


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FRIDAY:

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


SATURDAY (all times local):

Seattle at Calgary, 7 p.m.

Regina at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Brandon at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Tri-City at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

Prince George at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.


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