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).


Rebels’ Lamb almost ready for return … Ferguson still with Vegas … A couple of bus tales


The Red Deer Rebels will board their bus today and head out on a five-game road trip that opens with a game against the Kamloops Blazers on Friday.

At some point during the trip, G Riley Lamb, 19, will make his first start of the season. Lamb, a sophomore, suffered a broken thumb late in training camp and hasn’t played since; in fact, he only returned to practice this week.

While Lamb was gone, the Rebels went with freshman Ethan Anders, 17, and veteran Lasse Petersen, 20, as their goaltenders, then released Petersen in juggling their 20-year-old situation, and brought in Byron Fancy, 16.

With Lamb returning to practice, Fancy has been returned to the midget AAA Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Meanwhile, Greg Meachem of reddeerrebels.com also reports that F Chase Lowry, 17, has gone home rather than report to the AJHL’s Olds Grizzlys. The Rebels had released Lowry on Oct. 27 after finding a spot for him with Olds.

“I’ve always wondered that if kids don’t have the passion to play, why are they playing?” Brent Sutter, the Rebels, owner, general manager and head coach, told Meachem. “As you advance you just fall further and further down the ladder. He was at the bottom trying to climb up but he didn’t want to put the work and commitment into it that was necessary to be a player.

“He decided to go a different direction and we wish him all the best doing it.”

Lowry, a third-round selection in the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft, is from the Edmonton area. Last season, he had 14 goals and 14 assists in 34 games with the midget AAA Sherwood Park Kings.

“It bothers you when players have the talent and skill set like he has,” Sutter added, “but (you) can’t get him to make that push to get better. Then when they decide they’re going to quit it just tells you why you couldn’t get it out of him.

“You live by your DNA a lot of the time and obviously he didn’t have that heart and character to push to be a player at this level.”

Meachem’s story is right here.


With G Dylan Ferguson still in the NHL with the Vegas Golden Knights, the Kamloops Blazers have added G Dylan Garand, 15, to their roster for a second time.

Garand, a third-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft, is from Victoria and plays for the midget prep team at the Delta Hockey Academy.

The Golden Knights brought Ferguson in on Oct. 30 as an emergency recall as they have three goaltenders on the injury list. He backed up Maxime Lagace for the last five games of a six-game road swing. The Golden Knights flew home from Montreal on Tuesday night and Ferguson accompanied them.

The Golden Knights are scheduled to entertain the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night, then visit the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday and the Vancouver Canucks on Nov. 16.

Vegas G Marc-Andre Fleury was back at practice on Wednesday for the first time since suffering a concussion on Oct. 13. Oscar Dansk, who was hurt on Oct. 30, remains out, as does Malcolm Subban, who was injured on Oct. 21.

G Max Palaga, a 17-year-old Kamloops native, has started both of the Blazers games in Ferguson’s absence. Garand relieved him during a 5-4 loss to the visiting Vancouver Giants on Saturday and played well, stopping 12 of 13 shots in 34:08.


The Edmonton Oil Kings will be hoping the road trip that began Wednesday only gets better as it moves along. The Oil Kings headed west yesterday — they are scheduled to play the Victoria Royals on Friday — but had only been on the road a short time when there were issues with the bus. As you can see, Corey Graham, their play-by-play voice, was on the bus. About an hour later, he tweeted again, this time writing: “And we’re back!! #rolling.”

Meanwhile, there is another bus-related junior hockey story, but this one likely won’t have a happy ending, at least not for a bus. The photo in the tweet below shows the bus belonging to the BCHL’s Powell River Kings on a big hook, and that’s never a good thing.

If you check out that tweet, you will note that a GoFundMe page has been started in the hopes of raising enough money to help the Kings purchase a new bus.


The Kootenay Ice has added F Connor McLennon, 15, to its roster and he is expected to make his WHL debut on Friday against the visiting Prince Albert Raiders. . . . McLennon was the second overall selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. . . . From Wainwright, Alta., he has 19 points in 12 games with the Northern Alberta X-Treme prep team in the CSSHL. . . . The Ice’s roster now is at 26 players, including eight defencemen and 15 forwards.


F Nic Holowko, 20, who started this season with the Kamloops Blazers, has been involved in a BCHL trade, his rights moving from the Prince George Spruce Kings to the Coquitlam Express. Holowko had three goals and an assist in seven games with the Blazers. He left the team early in October, with a news release stating that he had decided “to utilize his WHL scholarship and pursue his education at Simon Fraser University in his hometown of Burnaby, B.C.” . . . The Spruce Kings acquired F Blake Hayward, 19, in exchange for Holowko. . . . Meanwhile, the Spruce Kings have sent F Reid Perepeluk, 17, to the junior B Kamloops Storm. He started the season with the Prince George Cougars. Perepeluk was pointless in four games with the Cougars and also went without a point in three games with the Spruce Kings. Last season, he had nine goals and 27 assists in 34 games with the midget AAA Cariboo Cougars.


F Jeff Stewart, 19, has signed a letter of intent to attend Colgate U and play for the Raiders in Hamilton, N.Y., next season. Stewart was a sixth-round selection by the Kelowna Rockets in the 2013 WHL bantam draft. . . . He is from Surrey, B.C., and is in his third season with the BCHL’s Surrey Eagles. This season, he has three goals and nine assists in 21 games. Last season, he finished with 16 goals and 20 assists in 48 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!


Ryan Rechner is the new head coach of the AJHL’s Drayton Valley Thunder. He replaces Kyle Adams, who was fired on Sunday with the Thunder at 3-18-0. . . . Adams had been hired in June. . . . Rechner resigned as the associate coach with the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints in order to make the move to the Thunder. . . . Assistant coach Derek Wiest had been named interim head coach on Sunday.


WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Medicine Hat at Calgary, 7 p.m.

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

Spokane at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Regina, 7 p.m.

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

Red Deer at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Everett at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Edmonton at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

Vancouver at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

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


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


Rebels deal for some grit … Silvertips add local flavour … T-Birds hot on road

F Roman Tománek (Calgary, Seattle, 2004-06) has signed a two-game tryout contract with Beyreuth (Germany, DEL2). He was released by mutual agreement by Freiburg (Germany, DEL2) on Tuesday, after recording one assist in 13 games.


The Red Deer Rebels have acquired F Lukus MacKenzie, 18, from the Saskatoon Blades for a fourth-round selection in the 2018 WHL bantam draft.

MacKenzie, who was a late scratch from the Blades’ 2-1 OT victory over the host Lethbridge Hurricanes on Wednesday night, has four assists in 13 games this season.

MacKenzie, from Calgary, was a third-round selection by the Blades in the 2014 bantam draft. In 121 regular-season games, he has eight goals and 16 assists.

At 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, MacKenzie will bring some physical play and an edge to the Rebels’ forward ranks.

The deal was announced Thursday morning, less than 12 hours after the Rebels dropped a 4-2 decision to the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds, a game that was followed by an epic rant from Brent Sutter, Red Deer’s general manager and head coach.

The Rebels gave up a 2-1 third-period lead, with the winning goal, by Seattle F Donovan Neuls, coming with the home team on its fifth straight PP.

Sutter didn’t hold back after the game. He told reporters that the difference was “bad coaching.“

He continued:

“Playing those guys in the third period, our so-called best players. . . . They were terrible tonight and I shouldn’t have had them on the ice in the third period. I shouldn’t have had them on the power play in the last four minutes. That’s my fault.

“It’s unacceptable. (Brandon) Hagel was terrible tonight, (Lane) Zablocki was awful.

“Our older players didn’t play like they need to play and when you have that, when your best players aren’t your best players and they’re your worst players, you struggle. And you put other players in situations that they probably struggle in, too.”

Greg Meachem of reddeerrebels.com has more right here.


Having dealt F Lukus MacKenzie to the Red Deer Rebels, the Saskatoon Blades added F Alec Zawatsky to their roster.

Zawatsky, 18, had two goals and two assists in five games with the BCHL’s Cowichan Capitals, then was dealt to the SJHL’s Notre Dame Hounds. He had nine goals and 10 assists in 13 games with the Hounds.

Zawatsky, who is from Yorkton, Sask., practised with the Blades in Lethbridge on Thursday.

Zawatsky is expected to make his WHL debut tonight against the host Medicine Hat Tigers.

His father, Ed, played four seasons (1987-91) at Colorado College before going on to a pro career that included nine seasons in Germany. He also has coached the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers and now scouts for the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks.


The Everett Silvertips have acquired F Luke Ormsby, 18, from the Seattle Thunderbirds for a ninth-round selection in the 2018 WHL bantam draft.

Ormsby was born in Port Angeles, Wash., and has lived in Everett and Bellingham. He also played in Everett’s minor hockey ranks.

“We’re excited to welcome an individual like Luke to the Silvertips family, who brings proven experience at this level and a is homegrown player as well,” Garry Davidson, Everett’s general manager, said in a news release.“His hard work, beginning in Everett Youth Hockey, gave him the necessary tools to improve each year and reach the WHL level. He gets around the ice very well, and shows up to play with emotion and intensity.”

This season, Ormsby was pointless in 11 games with Seattle. Last season, he had six goals and five assists in 11 regular-season games, then added one assist in 13 playoff games.

The Thunderbirds selected him in the ninth round of the 2014 WHL bantam draft.

Ormsby had left the Thunderbirds on Monday and was to have joined the BCHL’s Wenatchee Wild.

At the time, Seattle general manager Russ Farwell said: “He is going to Wenatchee to play. We are releasing him. It was a mutual decision.”


F Kalen Szeto, who turned 15 on Oct. 12, has committed to attend Yale U and play for the Bulldogs, starting with the 2020-21 season. . . . He was a fifth-round selection by the Saskatoon Blades in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. . . . This season, Szeto, who is from Vancouver, has four goals and 10 assists in 10 games with the Burnaby Winter Club Prep team in the CSSHL. . . . Last season, he had 97 goals and 81 assists in 67 games with the BWC’s bantam A1-T1 side.


F Zach Michaelis of Elk River, Minn., has committed to attend the u of Nebraska-Omaha and play for the Mavericks starting with the 2021-22 season. He turned 15 on May 30. . . . Michaelis was a fourth-round selection by the Prince George Cougars in the 2017 bantam draft. . . . Last season, Michaelis played for a bantam team at Shattuck St. Mary’s in Faribault, Minn. This season, he is playing at Elk River High School and with the U-15 Minnesota Blades.


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 Lucas Cullen has joined the BCHL’s West Kelowna Warriors. Cullen, 18, is from Kelowna. He left the Calgary Hitmen on Oct. 24 to pursue other hockey opportunities. He had one assist in seven games this season. Last season, Cullen had four goals and four assists in 37 games. The Hitmen selected him in the fifth round of the 2014 bantam draft. . . .

The Medicine Hat Tigers have dropped D Trevor Longo, 17, from their roster. Long, from North Vancouver, B.C., was pointless in four games. Last season, he had 11 goals and 26 assists in 40 games with the major midget Vancouver-Northwest Giants, and was pointless in two games with the BCHL’s Langley Rivermen. . . . The Tigers selected him in the sixth round of the 2015 bantam draft. . . .

With D Braden Schneider at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge, the Brandon Wheat Kings have added D Neithan Salame to their roster. Salame, 16, is expected to make his WHL debut tonight against the visiting Kootenay Ice. From Edmonton, he was a seventh-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. This season, he has three goals and nine assists in 10 games with the midget AAA Edmonton-Knights of Columbus Pats.


THURSDAY:

At Edmonton, F Zack Andrusiak broke a 1-1 tie at 15:14 of the third period as the Seattle Thunderbirds skated to a 3-1 victory over the Oil Kings. . . . The Thunderbirds (9-5-1), who were playing their fifth game in seven nights, have won four in a  row. They are 5-1-0 on a seven-game road trip that wraps up Saturday night against the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . The Oil Kings (5-9-2) have lost three straight. . . . Seattle broke a scoreless tie at 11:26 of the second period when D Austin Strand scored on a PP. That was his ninth goal this season, eight of which have come via the PP. . . . D Jantzen Leslie, acquired earlier in the week from the Saskatoon Blades, was in the Oil Kings’ lineup and scored his first goal at 6:47 of the third period. He was playing in his 83rd career regular-season game — 10 with Everett, 72 with Saskatoon and one with Edmonton. . . . Andrusiak snapped the tie with his seventh goal of the season. . . . F Nolan Volcan (5), who is from Edmonton, iced it with an empty-netter at 19:38. . . . Seattle was 1-3 on the PP; Edmonton was 0-5. . . . Seattle G Matt Berlin, who is from Edmonton, stopped 30 shots. . . . Edmonton G Boston Bilous turned aside 16 shots. . . . With G Travis Child out with an undisclosed injury, Edmonton had G Josh Dechaine backing up Bilous. Dechaine, 19, got into 17 games with the Oil Kings last season and two this season. He now plays for the AJHL’s Sherwood Park Crusaders. . . . Tyrel Bauer, a second-round selection in the 2017 bantam draft, made his WHL debut with the Thunderbirds. From Cochrane, Alta., he plays for the midget AAA Airdrie CFR Bisons. . . . Announced attendance: 5,572.


At Moose Jaw, the Warriors erased a 2-1 deficit with four goals in the second half of the third period — the last three in 35 seconds — to beat the Prince Albert Raiders, 5-2. . . . The Warriors (12-4-0) have won two in a row. . . . The Raiders (6-5-3) had points in each of their previous five games (3-0-2). . . . F Brett Leason (2) gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead at 5:31 of the first period. That was his first goal in two games since being acquired from the Tri-City Americans. . . . F Luka Burzan (2) pulled the Warriors even, on a PP, at 19:43. . . . Prince Albert went back out front when F Devon Skoleski (6) scored at 8:32 of the second period. . . . F Brayden Burke (7) tied it, on a PP, at 11:14 and F Jayden Halbgewachs snapped the tie at 16:06. . . . F Tanner Jeannot (10) provided Moose Jaw with some insurance at 16:22 and Halbgewachs (10) finished the scoring at 16:41. . . . The Warriors got three assists from F Brett Howden and two each from D Chase Hartje and Burke. . . . Moose Jaw was 2-5 on the PP; Prince Albert was 0-3. . . . G Brody Willms earned the victory with 24 saves. . . . At the other end, Curtis Meger stopped 37 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 3,209.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Kootenay at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Red Deer at Regina, 7 p.m.

Calgary at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Swift Current at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

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

Portland at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.

Kamloops vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7:30 p.m.

Kelowna at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

Prince George at Everett, 7:35 p.m.


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


Blazers get back arena … Ice deal another veteran … Tigers’ scorer may need surgery


G Riku Helenius (Seattle, 2007-08) has signed a contract through Oct. 31 with KalPa Kuopio (Finland, Liiga) as an injury replacement. Last season, with Jokerit Helsinki (Finland, KHL), he was 10-6-4, 2.66, .902 in 20 appearances. . . .

F Roberts Lipsbergs (Seattle, 2012-15) has been assigned by Dinamo Riga (Latvia, KHL) to Liepāja (Latvia, Optibet Hokeja Līga). He was pointless in four games with Dinamo.


There was good news for the Kamloops Blazers on Monday as staff at the Sandman Centre began putting in the ice surface.

The Blazers have been out of their home arena while it was used as an evacuation centre during what has been the worst wildfire season in B.C.’s history.

At one point, the arena was home to evacuees and the playing surface was covered with cots.

The result was that the Blazers had to move their training camp, including two exhibition games, to the McArthur Island Sport and Event Centre.

This week, the Blazers have scheduled practices at McArthur Island through Thursday. They will complete their five-game exhibition schedule when they meet the host Prince George Cougars on Friday. They should be practising in the Sandman Centre by Monday.

None of this means that the fire season is over, however. In fact, officials are warning people not to get complacent just because there is rain in the forecast. That story is right here.


The Seattle Thunderbirds have acquired veteran F Noah Philp, 19, from the Kootenay Ice for a pair of fifth-round bantam draft picks, one in 2018 and the other in 2019.

Philp, from Canmore, Alta., has 14 goals and 27 assists in 132 regular-season WHL games. Last season, as a sophomore, he had eight goals and 11 assists in 65 games.

This exhibition season, he had a goal and two assists in two games. That included a goal and an assist on Saturday as the Ice beat the Thunderbirds, 5-3, in Kennewick, Wash.

Philp, 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds, will provide the Thunderbirds with some depth up front. The Thunderbirds are the WHL’s defending champions and his experience will help offset the loss of the likes of Scott Eansor, Ryan Gropp, Alexander True, Keegan Kolesar and Mathew Barzal from the forward ranks.

Philp could make his Seattle debut on Friday when the Thunderbirds are in Everett for an exhibition game with the Silvertips.

He is the second veteran to have been traded by the Ice in two days. On Sunday, Kootenay dealt F Max Patterson, who will turn 18 on Dec. 27, to the Swift Current Broncos for G Bailey Brkin, 18, and a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft.


It appears that the Medicine Hat Tigers are going to be without F Mason Shaw for up to six months due to a knee injury he suffered while with the NHL’s Minnesota Wild.

Shaw hurt his right knee — it’s feared that he tore the ACL. If that’s the case — he is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Wednesday — Shaw is looking at reconstructive surgery and an absence that could run to six months.

“I caught a rut in the corner and there was a bigger, heavier guy who kind of leaned on that leg,” Shaw told Ryan McCracken of the Medicine Hat News on Sunday. “I’ve got it wrapped up right now. There’s not a whole lot of pain from it, just a little discomfort, but as of right now I’m hobbling around on crutches.”

Shaw, who will turn 19 on Nov. 3, was a fourth-round selection by the Wild in the NHL’s 2017 draft. He was injured while playing against the Columbus Blue Jackets in a rookie tournament in Traverse City, Mich., on Saturday.

Last season, Shaw was the Tigers’ second-leading scorer, with 94 points in 71 games. He is the only one of the Tigers’ five-leading scorers from last season who was on the team’s roster for this training camp.

Shaw, who is from Wainwright, Alta., also would have been a top candidate to play for Canada at the 2018 World Junior Championship. He was on Team Canada’s roster for the Summer Showcase that was played in Plymouth, Mich., in July.


The Vancouver Giants are down to three goaltenders after they released Trent Miner, 16, on Monday. Miner, from Souris, Man., is expected to play a second season with the midget AAA Brandon Wheat Kings. He was a first-round selection by the Giants in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. . . . His departure leaves the Giants with two veterans — Ryan Kubic, 19, and David Tendeck, who will turn 18 on Nov. 25 — and freshman Todd Scott, a 17-year-old from Albertville, Minn., who was a 10th-round pick in the 2015 draft. . . . Kubic made 56 appearances last season, going 15-32-6, 3.67, .895, while Tendeck was 5-14-0, 4.78, .856.


If you had Brent Sutter and/or Mike Williamson in the pool, you win. Sutter, the GM and head coach of the Red Deer Rebels, and Williamson, the head coach of the Tri-City Americans, were fined $500 each after being ejected from an especially vitriolic exhibition game in Kennewick, Wash., on Friday night. The received the first fines issued by the WHL office this season. Ch-ch-ch-ching! . . . D Alexander Alexeyev of Red Deer drew a one-game suspension “for actions versus Tri-City” in that same game. . . . Meanwhile, F Hudson Elynuik of the Spokane Chiefs was hit with a two-game suspension for a kneeing major he incurred against the Portland Winterhawks in a game in Everett on Sept. 1.


The Tri-City Herald has come out in editorial favour of The Link, a proposition that is scheduled to go to the polls on Nov. 7. It’s a US$45-million project that, according to the Herald’s editorial, “would expand and update the Toyota Center, add multipurpose and exhibition space to the Three Rivers Convention Center, and link the two facilities with a 2,300-seat theater that could handle large, touring productions.” . . . The Toyota Center is home to the WHL’s Tri-City Americans. . . . The newspaper’s editorial is right here.


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The International Hockey Academy, which is located at Winsport in Calgary, announced Monday that former WHL/NHL G Mike Brodeur has signed on as the head coach of its bantam varsity team. Brodeur, 34, also will serve as the IHA goaltender coach. Brodeur is from Calgary. He played for the Moose Jaw Warriors (2003-04) before going on to a pro career that included seven appearances with the Ottawa Senators (2009-11).