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


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


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

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

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

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


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


SATURDAY:

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


SUNDAY (all times local):

Swift Current at Brandon, 4 p.m.

Regina at Everett, 4:05 p.m.


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


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.


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 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).


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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks, Mr. Bettman.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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



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

KEN PEARSON

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

Among the replies to that tweet:

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


THURSDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Calgary at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Brandon at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

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

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

Edmonton at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

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

Victoria at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.

Seattle at Everett, 7:35 p.m.


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


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

.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I don’t know,” Matvichuk reiterated.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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


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

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


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


WEDNESDAY:

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


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


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


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


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


THURSDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Calgary at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Brandon at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

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

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

Edmonton at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

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

Victoria at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.

Seattle at Everett, 7:35 p.m.


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


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

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

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


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

After the game came the explosion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Allingham’s complete piece is right here.


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


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


SUNDAY:

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


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


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


MONDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


TUESDAY (All times local):

Calgary at Brandon, 7 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.

Edmonton at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

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

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


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

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


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


Now there are two.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dheensaw’s story is right here.


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

It turns out that was in error.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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


SATURDAY:

At Swift Current, 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).


Blazers to bid on 2020 Memorial Cup … Royals are “absolutely” interested, too

The Kamloops Blazers announced on Thursday morning that they plan to enter a bid to play host to the 2020 Memorial Cup. The announcement was made at a news conference during which Ken Christian, the city’s mayor, pledge complete support from the city for the bid.

The 2020 tournament will be the 25th anniversary of the last time Kamloops played host and the last time the Blazers on the Memorial Cup. That championship capped a string of three such victories in a four-year span (1992, 1994, 1995).

Norm Daley, the chairman of the Blazers’ advisory committee, is expected to be heavily involved in the Memorial Cup organizing committee, although that group hasn’t yet been put together. Daley has helped bring numerous international and national events to the city, including the 2016 IIHF Women’s World Hockey Championship, the Canada Cup of Curling, and the Tim Hortons Brier.

The Blazers’ home arena, the Sandman Centre, is undergoing improvements, which will include the installation of LED lighting, along with new boards and glass, along with some loge seating.

The last four times the WHL has had a host team for the Memorial Cup tournament, it has been held in the east — Regina, 2018; Red Deer, 2016; Saskatoon, 2013; Brandon, 2010. It hasn’t been played in B.C. since 2007 when the Vancouver Giants were the host team.

At least two other Western Conference teams — the Everett Silvertips and Victoria Royals — have expressed an interest in bidding on the 2020 tournament, while there have been whispers that the Kelowna Rockets and Vancouver may also be interested.

Vancouver and Victoria will be the co-hosts for the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Asked yesterday if Victoria is interested in playing host to the 2020 Memorial Cup, Cam Hope, the Royals’ president and general manager, provided Taking Note with a one-word answer: “Absolutely.”

The WHL is open to expressions of interest into March. The bidding process will take place after that, with a host city expected to be announced in October.

The 2018 tournament, which will mark the 100th anniversary of the Memorial Cup, is to be held in Regina. The 2019 tournament will be held in a QMJHL centre.

Under normal circumstances, the CHL awards hosting rights on a three-year rotation, with it also going to the OHL. But because of the 2018 tournament being extra-special, it was opened to bids from all three leagues. When it was awarded Regina, it interrupted the regular rotation, something that will resume in 2019.

Marty Hastings of Kamloops This Week has more on the story right here.

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.


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


F 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).


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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


SATURDAY (all times local):

Kootenay at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Lethbridge at Calgary, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Edmonton, 7 p.m.

Red Deer at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

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

Kelowna at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

Vancouver at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

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

Portland at Everett, 7:05 p.m.


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