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


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


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

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

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

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


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SATURDAY:

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


SUNDAY (all times local):

Swift Current at Brandon, 4 p.m.

Regina at Everett, 4:05 p.m.


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


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.”


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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).

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


MONDAY:

Team WHL 7, Russia 0, at Moose Jaw.


TUESDAY (all times local):

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


WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


WEDNESDAY:

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


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


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


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


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


THURSDAY (all times local):

Seattle at Edmonton, 7 p.m.

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.


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


Blazers add fourth 20-year-old … Steenbergen snipes two more … Winterhawks light up T-Birds


G Mac Carruth (Portland, 2009-13) has signed a one-year contract with Fehérvár AV19 Székesfehérvár (Hungary, Erste Bank Liga). Last season, with the Rockford IceHogs (AHL), he was 5-11-5, 3.64, .879 in 24 games.


You can add the Kamloops Blazers to the list of WHL teams that has four 20-year-olds on its roster, meaning it must make a move to get down to three by Tuesday. . . . The Blazers, who have lost their first seven games this season, have claimed D Brady Reagan, 20, on waivers from the Calgary Hitmen. The High River, Alta., native was released by the Hitmen as they got down to three 20-year-olds. His arrival in Kamloops leaves the Blazers with four, as Reagan joins F Nick Chyzowski, the team captain, D Joe Gatenby and F Nic Holowko. . . . The WHL deadline for teams to declare three such players arrives on Tuesday. . . . The Blazers next play today (Sunday) when they entertain the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Reagan was a second-round selection by the Regina Pats in the 2012 WHL bantam draft. He also has played with the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . In 235 regular-season games, he has 15 goals and 44 assists. Last season, he had one goal and four assists in 18 games with Lethbridge, then recorded six goals and 16 assists in 50 games with Calgary.


With the WHL’s 20-year-old deadline arriving on Tuesday, here are the teams who were carrying four as of Saturday night:

Kamloops Blazers — F Nick Chyzowski, D Joe Gatenby, F Nic Holowko, D Brady Reagan.

Medicine Hat Tigers — G Michael Bullion, F Zach Fischer, F Mark Rassell. D Kristians Rubins (Latvia) two-spotter. (Bullion was scratched last night against Prince Albert.)

Portland Winterhawks — G Cole Kehler, F Alex Overhardt, D Keoni Texeira, F Evan Weinger. (Weinger was scratched last night against host Seattle.)

Prince George Cougars — F Aaron Boyd, F Jared Bethune, D Shane Collins, F Brogan O’Brien. (Boyd was scratched last night against Kelowna.)

Swift Current Broncos — F Conner Chaulk, G Logan Flodell, F Glenn Gawdin, F Arthur Miller. (Chaulk was scratched last night against Kootenay.)


One might think the odds are pretty good that the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers soon will return F Kailer Yamamoto to the Spokane Chiefs. A native of Spokane, Yamamoto, 19, was a first-round pick by the Oilers in the NHL’s 2017 draft.

Yamamoto made his regular-season NHL debut in the Oilers’ season-opener, a 3-0 victory over the Flames in Calgary on Wednesday. He played 6 minutes 33 seconds over 10 shifts.

On Saturday, when the Oilers played the Canucks in Vancouver, Yamamoto was a healthy scratch.

Developments like that would seem to indicate that Yamamoto will be back in Spokane before long. One things is for sure: Nothing we have seen to this point would make one think the Oilers are prepared to play him in 10 games and burn the first year of his entry-level contract.

Meanwhile, two other WHL-eligible players remain in the NHL.

F Nolan Patrick, the second-overall pick in the 2017 draft, is taking a regular shift with the Philadelphia Flyers, who opened the season on the West Coast. If Patrick, 19, isn’t on the Flyers’ roster, he must be returned to the Brandon Wheat Kings, something that doesn’t seem likely at this point. He played 13:30 on Wednesday against the San Jose Sharks and 14:20 one night later against the Los Angeles Kings, taking 18 shifts in each game.

Patrick picked up his first NHL point, an assist, on Saturday night, as he set up D Ivan Provorov, who also played in Brandon, for the Flyers’ first goal in what would be a 3-2 OT victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Patrick played 13:49 over 18 shifts.

The other player still with an NHL team is F Tyler Benson, who also is with the Oilers. He is expected to be returned to the Vancouver Giants at some point this month. Benson continues to recover from offseason surgery for a sports hernia.


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SATURDAY:

At Regina, F Emil Oksanen and F Matt Bradley each had two goals and two assists as the Pats dumped the Saskatoon Blades, 7-3. . . . Regina took control with four first-period goals, two from Oskanen, who has seven in his freshman season. . . . He scored the game’s first goal, at 3:27, and the Pats added three PP goals before the period ended. F Sam Steel (2), F Jake Leschyshyn (1) and Oksanen scored with the man advantage for a 4-0 lead. . . . F Braylon Shmyr got the Blades on the scoreboard 14 seconds into the second period. . . . Bradley, who also has seven goals, scored at 3:47 of the second period and again at 16:24 of the third. In between, Saskatoon got goals from Shmyr (5) and F Cam Hebig (2), who also had two assists. Shmyr added an assist to his two goals. . . . Regina F Jeff de Wit (1) scored a PP goal at 17:50. . . . Regina D Dawson Davidson had two assists, with Steel and Leschyshyn each getting one. . . . Leschyshyn was playing in his second game in two nights after returning from knee surgery that cut short his 2016-17 season. . . . Regina (3-3-1) was 4-10 on the PP; Saskatoon (1-4-0) was 1-6. . . . The Pats got 18 saves from G Max Paddock. . . . Saskatoon G Nolan Maier, 16, made the first start of his WHL career and blocked 34 shots. . . . Saskatoon D Evan Fiala played in his 200th regular-season game, a milestone Hebig reached on Friday night. . . . Shmyr’s PP at 9:51 of the second period was Saskatoon first in 16 opportunities this season. . . . Blades F Kirby Dach was a question mark before game. He started, but took a check from behind from Regina D Liam Schioler midway through the first period and didn’t finish the game. . . . Announced attendance: 6,179.


At Red Deer, D Kale Clague scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Brandon Wheat Kings to a 5-2 victory over the Rebels. . . . Clague now has five goals this season, with all of the coming in the last two games. He scored three times on Friday in a 7-3 victory over the host Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Clague, 19, is in his fourth season with Brandon. His single-season career-high in goals is six in 71 games in 2015-16. Last season, he had five goals in 48 games. . . . F Gunnar Wegleitner (2) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 7:13 of the first period. . . . Red Deer tied it when F Austin Pratt (2) scored at 1:30 of the second period. . . . Clague broke the tie at 6:22 of the second, and F Stelio Mattheos (7) upped the lead to 3-1, on a PP, at 10:19. He has six PP goals this season. . . . The Rebels got back to within a goal when F Chris Douglas (1) counted at 16:25. . . . Clague got that one back at 18:23, and F Marcus Sekundiak (1) provided more insurance at 9:00 of the third period. . . . D Kade Jensen, Clague’s partner on the back end, had three assists for Brandon, with F Ty Lewis adding a pair. . . . Brandon (3-2-1) was 1-3 on the PP; Red Deer (3-3-0) was 0-5. . . . The Wheat Kings got 31 stops from G Dylan Myskiw, who was making his first start since coming over from the Victoria Royals. . . . Red Deer starter Lasse Petersen surrendered three goals on 15 shots in 30:19. Ethan Anders came on to finish up, stopping nine of 11 shots in 29:40. . . . The Rebels, who opened the season with three victories, have lost three in a row. . . . Announced attendance: 4,705.


At Swift Current, F Tyler Steenbergen, coming off back-to-back four-goal games, scored the game’s first two goals and the Broncos went on to a 5-2 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Steenbergen has a WHL-leading 12 goals, all of them coming in his last four games. Last season, when he was the WHL co-leader with 51 goals, Steenbergen’s hottest four-game stretch covered Feb. 1-10 when he struck eight times. . . . From Sylvan Lake, Alta., the Broncos selected him in the first round of the WHL’s 2013 bantam draft. The Arizona Coyotes picked him in the fifth round of the NHL’s 2017 draft, but he has yet to sign. . . . In his first three seasons with the Broncos, Steenbergen scored five goals in 72 games, 20 in 67, and 51 in 72. . . . Last night, Steenbergen scored at 13:03 of the first period and 35 seconds into the second. . . . D Colby Sissons (3) scored on a PP at 10:44 for a 3-0 lead. . . . The Ice got to within two goals as F Tanner Sidaway (1) scored at 13:14. . . . F Glenn Gawdin (6), who reached 200 career points on Friday, scored on a PP at 3:34 of the third for a 4-1 lead, and F Aleksi Heponiemi (2) made it 5-1 at 9:30. . . . F Brett Davis (2) got the Ice’s final goal at 15:01. . . . Heponiemi also had three assists, while Gawdin had one. . . . Steenbergen now has 18 points, while Heponiemi has 15 and Gawdin 14. Add it up and that line has 49 points, 20 of them goals, in five games. The Broncos have scored 28 goals. . . . Sissons added two assists to his goal. . . . G Logan Flodell earned the victory with 20 saves, nine fewer than the Ice’s Bailey Brkin. . . . The Broncos (5-0-0) were 2-5 on the PP; the Ice (2-4-1) was 0-3. . . . The Broncos opened the season with four straight road games, so this was their home-opener. . . . Ice D Cale Fleury sat out the second of a three-game suspension. . . . Swift Current will visit the 5-0-0 Moose Jaw Warriors in a battle of the unbeaten this afternoon. . . . Announced attendance: 2,865.


At Medicine Hat, F Jordy Stallard had a goal and five assists to lead the Prince Albert Raiders to a 6-1 victory over the Tigers. . . . A 20-year-old from Brandon, Stallard has 11 points, three of them goals, in six games. . . . Stallard (3) gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead at 14:12 of the first period. . . . The home team tied it seven seconds into the second period when F Mark Rassell (6) scored on a PP. . . . The visitors then scored five straight goals to win going away. . . . F Cole Fonstad (2) broke the tie at 2:08 of the second period, and D Zack Hayes (1) stretched the lead at 12:38. . . . D Max Martin (2) and F Parker Kelly, with two, completed the scoring. Kelly has five goals. . . . Fonstad added two assists, with Parker getting one. . . . The Raiders (3-3-0) were 2-2 on the PP; the Tigers (3-3-0) were 1-4. . . . G Curtis Meger earned the victory with 25 saves. . . . Medicine Hat starter Jordan Hollett blocked 14 of 19 shots in 49:00. Duncan McGovern came on in relief to stop one of two shots in 11:00. . . . Raiders F Brayden Pachal left at 11:22 of the second period with a slashing major and game misconduct after hitting Tigers F Max Gerlach. Gerlach, who lost a tooth in the incident, was bleeding heavily when he left the ice. He returned for the third period wearing a full cage. . . . Announced attendance: 3,531.


At Prince George, the Kelowna Rockets scored late in the third period and then again in OT, this time beating the Cougars, 4-3. . . . On Friday night, F Kole Lind tied the game, 6-6, at 16:27 of the third period and won it at 2:38 of OT. . . . Last night, D Konrad Belcourt tied it with his first career goal at 18:22 of the third period and F Dillon Dube won it at 4:17 of extra time. . . . Dude finished with a goal, his third, and three assists. . . . This was Belcourt’s 50th regular-season game. Last season, he had one assist in 50 games. . . . Lind (7), on a PP, and F Carsen Twarynski (1) gave the Rockets a 2-0 lead as they scored at 11:51 of the first period and 8:27 of the second. . . . The home boys opened the third period with three goals, as F Brogan O’Brien (1), shorthanded, scored at 3:03, F Jackson Leppard (3) tied the game at 9:57 and D Dennis Cholowski (3) gave them the lead at 12:55, on a PP. . . . Twarynski added an assist to his goal. . . . F Kody McDonald had two assists for the Cougars, with Cholowski earning one. . . . The Rockets (4-1-1) are 3-0-0 on the road. . . . The Cougars are 2-3-2. . . . Each team was 1-5 on the PP. . . . G James Porter was big for the Rockets, stopping 42 shots, including 25 in the second period. . . . At the other end, Tavin Grant blocked 19. . . . The Rockets were without D James Hilsendager, who sat out a one-game suspension he incurred after taking a charging major and game misconduct on Friday night. . . . Announced attendance: 2,839.


At Langley, B.C., the Tri-City Americans broke a 2-2 tie with a pair of third-period goals and went on to beat the Vancouver Giants, 4-3. . . . F Milos Roman (2) got the Giants started at 11:49 of the second period, only to have the Americans take the lead on goals from F Parker AuCoin (2), at 17:42, and F Jordan Topping (3), at 1:30 of the third period. . . . F Cyle McNabb (2) tied it for the Giants at 6:31. . . . Americans F Michael Rasmussen (2) scored a PP goal at 7:21 and F Maxwell James (3) scored shorthanded, at 18:53, for a 4-2 lead. . . . Vancouver F Brendan Semchuk (1) scored on the PP at 19:24. . . . Topping and Rasmussen each had one assist. . . . Vancouver got two assists from D Dylan Plouffe. . . . One night earlier, the Giants had dumped the Americans, 6-3. . . . Tri-City now is 3-3-0; Vancouver is 2-3-0. . . . Americans G Patrick Dea stopped 31 shots as he recorded his 50th regular-season victory. . . . Vancouver got 33 stops from Todd Scott. . . . Announced attendance: 3,146.


At Kent, Wash., D Henrik Jokiharju scored two goals and added two assists to help the Portland Winterhawks to a 10-5 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . The Winterhawks erased an early 1-0 deficit — Seattle F Zack Andrusiak (2) scored at 1:37 of the first period — with four straight goals, three of them in the opening period. . . . D Keoni Texeira (3), F Skyler McKenzie (4), F Ryan Hughes (2) and Jokiharju had those goals for Portland. . . . F Sami Moilanen (5) pulled Seattle to within two goals at 2:38 of the second period, on a PP, but the Winterhawks took control with the next three goals, from F Jake Gricius (1), Jokiharju (2) and McKenzie. . . . F Ty Kolle (2) and F Mason Mannek (1) also scored for Portland. . . . Seattle’s other goals came from F Matthew Wedman (1), Moilanen (6) and F Blake Bargar (1). . . . Portland got two assists from each of Glass and F Lane Gilliss, while McKenzie had one. . . . D Jarret Tyszka had two assists for Seattle. . . . Portland (4-1-0) was 1-2 on the PP; Seattle (2-2-1) was 2-3. . . . G Shane Farkas blocked 23 shots for Portland. . . . Seattle starter Matt Berlin gave up six goals on 20 shots in 24:30. Liam Hughes came off the bench to stop 15 of 19 shots in 35:30. . . . The Thunderbirds were without D Turner Ottenbreit, who served the second of a six-game suspension for a hit on Portland F Joachim Blichfeld on Sept. 30. Blichfeld, who was diagnosed with a concussion, has yet to return to action. . . . Ottenbreit will be eligible to return on Oct. 22 when the Thunderbirds visit the Everett Silvertips. He will miss today’s game in Kamloops, as well as home games against Vancouver, Victoria and Moose Jaw. . . . Announced attendance: 4,059.


SUNDAY (all times local):

Brandon at Calgary, 4 p.m.

Everett at Edmonton, 4 p.m.

Swift Current at Moose Jaw, 4 p.m.

Seattle at Kamloops, 5 p.m.

Spokane at Portland, 5 p.m.


MONDAY (all times local):

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).


Pawlenchuk, Rebels enjoy his return … Chiefs sweep in P.G. … Lind on fire for Rockets


F Viktor Gibbs Sjödin (Portland, 2006-08) has signed a one-year contract with Den Haag (Netherlands, BeNeLiga). This summer, he had 15 goals and 25 assists in 24 games with the Melbourne Ice (Australia, AIHL), which won the league championship. . . . Sjödin has played three of the last four summers in Australia; in fact, he hasn’t played a winter season since 2013-14.


The 2017 Kamloops Kidney Walk is scheduled for today (Sunday) in McDonald Park. My wife, Dorothy, who underwent a kidney transplant on Sept. 23, 2013, will be walking for a fourth straight year. If you would like to support her cause, you may do so right here. . . . To those of you who already have sponsored her, thanks so much. Your support means a lot.


The U of Wisconsin Badgers now have five 2002-born players committed to play for them, likely staring in 2020-21.

D Anthony Kehrer of Winnipeg, a second-round selection by the Brandon Wheat Kings in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft, made a commitment to the Badgers last week. He had made a visit to the campus in January, then was in the Wheat Kings’ training camp when it opened.

Other 2002-born players to have committed to the Badgers are: D Daniel Laatsch of Altoona, Wisc.; F Isaac Novak of Waukesha, Wisc.; Tanner Latsch of Muskegon, Wisc.; and D Casey Roepke of Erin, Wisc.

While Wisconsin isn’t within the WHL’s territory for its bantam draft, the number of younger players who are making NCAA commitments is interesting.

For the record, the WHL’s drafting territory includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.


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Saturday games:

At Calgary, the Hitmen scored the game’s last three goals and beat the Kootenay Ice, 3-1. . . . This was the first WHL victory for Dallas Ferguson, Calgary’s first-year head coach. . . . The Ice had beaten the Hitmen 3-2 in Cranbrook on Friday. . . . Last night, F Colton Kroeker (1) gave the Ice a 1-0 lead at 6:55 of the second period. . . . The Hitmen won it on third-period goals from F Andrei Grishakov (1) at 1:11, F Andrew Fyten (1) at 5:55 and D Jackson van de Leet (1), into an empty net, at 18:35. . . . Calgary G Nick Schneider stopped 24 shots, as did the Ice’s Bailey Brkin. . . . Announced attendance: 9,669.


At Moose Jaw, three of the Warriors’ veteran forwards enjoyed three-point nights as the Warriors dumped the Prince Albert Raiders, 7-3. . . . F Tanner Jeannot, F Brayden Burke and F Noah Gregor each had a goal and two assists for Moose Jaw, which had won 3-0 in Prince Albert on Friday. . . . The Warriors also got a goal and an assist from each of D Jett Woo, F Justin Almeida and F Jayden Halbgewachs, and two assists from F Luka Burzan. . . . F Jordy Stallard had a goal and an assist for the Raiders, while F Cole Fonstad had two assists. . . . The Warriors enjoyed period leads of 3-1 and 4-2. . . . Moose Jaw (2-0-0) was 1-5 on the PP; Prince Albert (0-2-0) was 1-7. . . . G Brody Willms stopped 40 shots for Moose Jaw in his second complete game in two nights. . . . The Raiders got 23 saves from G Nic Sanders. . . . The Raiders held a 24-4 edge in third-period shots but only got one puck behind Willms. . . . The Raiders lost G Ian Scott to an undisclosed injury on Friday night, so Sanders started this one, with freshman Curtis Meger backing up. . . . Prince Albert had F Parker Kelly in the lineup after his stint with the NHL’s Ottawa Senators. He was with Ottawa as an undrafted free agent and came home with a three-year entry-level contract. . . . Announced attendance: 4,057.


At Red Deer, F Grayson Pawlenchuk scored two goals to lead the Rebels to a 7-3 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Pawlenchuk last scored a goal on Nov. 1. He played three games after that before his season was ended by a shoulder injury that required surgery. . . . This was the season-opener for both teams. . . . Red Deer led 4-0 in the second period, only to have the Oil Kings get to within two. But Pawlenchuk gave his guys a 5-2 lead at 12:35 of the third and iced it at 15:22. . . . Red Deer D Alexander Alexeyev had three assists in his first game after having last season halted by a knee injury. . . . F Mason McCarty, F Austin Pratt, F Kristian Reichel and F Brandon Hagel each had a goal and two assists for the winners. . . . Red Deer also got a goal from F Reese Johnson, who twice underwent shoulder surgery and played only 48 games over the previous two seasons. . . . The Oil Kings got three assists from F Trey Fix-Wolansky and two goals from F Andrei Pavlenko. . . . D Will Warm chipped in with two assists for Edmonton. . . . Red Deer was 2-5 on the PP; Edmonton was 1-6. . . . The Rebels got 31 saves from G Lasse Petersen, while Edmonton’s Travis Child stopped 36 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 5,805.


At Regina, the Pats broke a 2-2 tie with a pair of goals and went on to beat the Brandon Wheat Kings, 4-3. . . . On Friday night, the Wheaties beat the visiting Pats, 8-1. . . . At one point last night, the Pats held a 33-10 edge in shots but the score was 2-2. . . . F George King (1) and F Matt Bradley (2), on a penalty shot, gave the Pats a 2-0 first-period lead. . . . Brandon F Stelio Mattheos scored two second-period goals to tie the score. He also had two goals on Friday night. . . . F Ty Lewis assisted on both Brandon goals, giving him seven points in the two games. . . . Regina F Wyatt Sloboshan (1) snapped the tie at 18:19 of the second period, with Bradley stretching the lead at 13:06 of the third. . . . The Wheat Kings got to within goal when F Tanner Kaspick (1) scored at 19:22. . . . Mattheos also had an assist. . . . Sloboshan added an assist for Regina, which got two assists from D Dawson Davidson. . . . Brandon (1-1-0) was 2-3 on the PP; Regina (1-1-0) was 1-7. . . . Regina G Tyler Brown earned the victory with 15 saves, 25 fewer than Brandon’s Logan Thompson. . . . Brandon is without three injured defencemen. Daniel Bukac and James Shearer are out long term, while Caiden Daley is day-to-day. . . . The Pats have had to open the season without F Nick Henry (shoulder surgery), with F Jake Leschyshyn (Vegas), D Josh Mahura (Anaheim) and F Sam Steel (Anaheim) at NHL camps. . . . Mahura is one of 10 defencemen left on the Ducks’ roster. . . . Announced attendance: 6,484 (sellout).


At Medicine Hat, G Michael Bullion stopped 22 shots to help the Tigers to a 4-0 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . The host Hurricanes beat the Tigers, 5-2, on Friday. . . . Last night, Bullion posted the fourth shutout of his career, stopping four, eight and 10 shots by period. . . . At the other end, G Stuart Skinner blocked 40 shots. . . . TheTigers took control on second-period goals from F Ryan Chyzowski (1) at 1:20, F Josh Williams (1) at 4:03 and F Mark Rassell (2), on a PP, at 10:41. . . . F Max Gerlach (1) got the empty-netter at 18:50 of the third period. . . . Rassell also had two assists. . . . Medicine Hat (1-1-0) was 1-3 on the PP; Lethbridge (1-1-0) was 0-2. . . . If you were wondering, Bob Ridley, the radio voice of the Tigers, is into his 48th season. . . . D David Quenneville, a key part of the Medicine Hat’s offence from the back end, was back with the Tigers after a stint with the NHL’s New York Islanders. . . . The Hurricanes are without D Brennan Menell, who is in camp with the NHL’s Minnesota Wild. . . . Announced attendance: 4,607.


At Prince George, the Spokane Chiefs erased an early 1-0 deficit and went on to beat the Cougars, 5-1. . . . On Friday night, the Chiefs beat the host Cougars, 5-2. . . . A scoring change from that game awarded Spokane G Dawson Weatherill his second assist. He is the first goaltender in Chiefs history to record two assists in one game. . . . Last night, F Jared Bethune (1) gave the Cougars a 1-0 lead at 4:25 of the first period. . . . F Rykr Cole (1) pulled Spokane even just 28 seconds later. . . . The Chiefs took the lead at 13:01 when F Hudson Elynuik (2) scored. . . . F Nolan Reid (1) added insurance at 2:48 of the second. . . . F Eli Zummack (1) and F Riley Woods (2) scored late third-period goals. . . . The Chiefs got two assists from F Hayden Ostir, while Elynuik also had an assist. . . . Each team was 0-4 on the PP. . . . Weatherill earned the victory with 24 saves, three more than the Cougars’ Taylor Gauthier. . . . Announced attendance: 2,683.


At Langley, B.C., F Dante Hannoun scored two goals and added an assist as the Victoria Royals beat the Vancouver Giants, 6-1. . . . The start of the game was delayed almost 30 minutes due to a pane of glass that was broken during the warmup. . . . The Royals, who beat the visiting Giants 7-1 on Friday, scored the game’s first three goals and its last three. . . . The Royals got a goal and two assists from F Jared Legien, two assists from F Matthew Phillips, and a goal and an assist from F Ryan Peckford. . . . Victoria was 2-7 on the PP; Vancouver was 0-5. . . . Victoria G Griffen Outhouse blocked 46 shots, losing his shutout to F James Malm (1) at 6:03 of the second period. . . . The Giants got 24 stops from G David Tendeck. . . . Vancouver D Matt Barberis was ejected after taking an interference major at 15:18 of the second period. . . . The Royals expect to get F Tyler Soy, 20, back before too long. He had been in camp with the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks, but they assigned him to the AHL’s San Diego Gulls on Saturday. He hasn’t signed a pro contract. . . . Announced attendance: 3,317.


At Kamloops, F Kole Lind had two goals and three assists to lead the Kelowna Rockets to a 5-1 victory over the Blazers. . . . One night earlier, Lind had a goal and two assists as the host Rockets beat the Blazers, 6-2. Yes, he is on pace for a 288-point regular season. . . . Lind gave the Rockets a 1-0 lead at 9:16 of the first period. . . . Kamloops tied it at 19:13 of the second on a goal from D Joe Gatenby (1). . . . F Jack Cowell scored Kelowna’s next two goals, giving him three this season, at 1:41 and 5:38 of the third. The second one came via the PP. . . . Lind (3) and D Cal Foote (1), the latter on a PP, finished the scoring late in the third. . . . Foote also had two assists. He has a goal and five assists after two outings. . . . Kelowna was 2-5 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-3. . . . The Rockets got 28 saves from G Brodan Salmond, while the Blazers’ Dylan Ferguson turned aside 27 shots. . . . The Rockets are carrying three imports, all from the Czech Republic — veteran F Tomas Soustal, who is 20 so is a two-spotter; D Libor Zabransky, 17; and F Marek Skvrne, 18. Soustal and Zabransky, whose father Libor played 40 games with the NHL’s St. Louis Blues, played both games against the Blazers, while Skvrne was scratched from both. . . . The Blazers and Rockets will meet six more times in this regular season, but won’t see each other again until Dec. 27 and 29. . . . Announced attendance: 4,847.


At Everett, F Cody Glass had a goal and two assists, while F Kieffer Bellows scored twice in his first WHL game, as the Portland Winterhawks beat the Silvertips, 7-4. . . . The Silvertips took a 2-0 lead into the second period, on goals from F Matt Fonteyne (1) and F Reece Vitelli (1). . . . However, the Winterhawks struck for six goals in the second period to take control of what was the first game for both teams. . . . Bellows got Portland on the board at 2:43, with F Conor MacEachern tying the score at 3:36. . . . F Skyler McKenzie gave the visitors the lead at 5:14. F Joachim Blichfeld, F Alex Overhardt and Bellows upped the Portland lead to 6-2 before Fonteyne got his second of the night at 19:25. . . . Glass and Everett F Riley Sutter exchanged third-period goals. . . . F Elijah Colina and F Brad Ginnell each had two assists for Portland, while Overhardt added one. . . . Everett got two assists from each of F Bryce Kindopp and F Patrick Bajkov. . . . Portland was 0-2 on the PP; Everett was 1-10. . . . Portland G Cole Kehler stopped 22 shots. . . . Everett starter Dorrin Luding gave up four goals on 19 shots in 28:52. Danton Belluk finished up, stopping eight of 11 shots in 31:08. . . . Announced attendance: 5,873.


At Kent, Wash., the Seattle Thunderbirds celebrated last season’s WHL championship and then went out and beat the Tri-City Americans, 4-3. . . . D Jake Lee’s first goal broke a 3-3 tie just 48 seconds into the third period of what was the first game for both teams. . . . That goal also gave Matt O’Dette, Seattle’s freshman head coach, his first WHL victory. . . . F Jordan Topping scored twice for Tri-City, giving it a 1-0 lead at 5:47 of the first period and tying things 2-2 at 17:38. . . . In between, F Sami Moilanen and F Zack Andrusiak scored for Seattle. . . . F Parker AuCoin gave the Americans a 3-2 lead with a shorthanded goal at 2:33 of the second period, only to have F Elijah Brown pull Seattle even at 7:01. . . . There was some nastiness late in this one and the off-ice officials apparently were still sorting things out as Saturday turned into Sunday. Judging from the preliminary stats, this may have been the first ch-ch-ching moment of the regular season. . . . According to TBird Tidbits (@TBirdTidbits), the Thunderbirds are 18-2-1 in their last 21 home games against the Americans. Seattle has won the last six of those. . . . The NHL’s Anaheim Ducks announced Saturday that D Turner Ottenbreit is on his way back to Seattle. He will be the Thunderbirds’ captain. Upon returning, he will sit out one game as he serves a suspension left over from last season — unless the WHL gives Ottenbreit credit for sitting out last night. . . . The Ducks also returned F Kyle Olson to the Americans. He wasn’t in the lineup, however. The Americans also are missing F Michael Rasmussen (Detroit Red Wings) and D Juuso Valimaki (Calgary Flames). . . . At some time over the weekend, G Cole Schwebius disappeared from Seattle’s roster. He will start the season with the major midget Okanagan Rockets, who play out of Kelowna. . . . Announced attendance: 6,104.


Sunday games (all times local):

Red Deer at Edmonton, 4 p.m.

Tri-City 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).


Reigning champs getting new owners … Winterhawks get back top guns … Lewis sparks Wheaties

The 2017 Kamloops Kidney Walk is scheduled for Sunday morning in McDonald Park. My wife, Dorothy, who underwent a kidney transplant on Sept. 23, 2013, will be walking for a fourth straight year. If you would like to support her cause, you may do so right here.


Dan and Lindsey Leckelt, who own controlling interest in the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints, have an agreement in principle to purchase the Seattle Thunderbirds, the WHL’s reigning champions.

The Thunderbirds’ ownership group comprises Russ Farwell, who is the governor and general manager; Colin Campbell, the vice-president and assistant general manager; local businessmen James and Davis Clapp; Gregory Gicewicz, from Microsoft; Craig Howland, the president of Syntek; James Prekeges, who has retired from Microsoft; Carol and Philip Paulsen, of Philip Paulsen D.D.S. Family Dentistry; and Pat Smith, a real estate agent/investor who played for the Thunderbirds (1980-83) and also served as an assistant coach (1988-91).

Farwell and Campbell will remain in their positions.

The Leckelt brothers are the co-CEOs of Silent-Aire, which, according to a news release, is “an engineering and data centre equipment manufacturing company with 900 employees and operations in Edmonton, Phoenix, Seattle, Virginia and Dublin.”

Besides the Saints, they also own the Stony Plain Eagles, a senior AAA team that plays in the Allan Cup Hockey West, which used to be the Chinook Hockey League. Both Leckelts played for the Eagles back in the day.

The sale of the Thunderbirds needs the approval of the WHL’s board of governors and the City of Kent before becoming official. The Thunderbirds are the anchor tenant at the ShoWare Center in Kent.

The WHL’s board of governors is scheduled to review the transfer of ownership at a meeting in Calgary on Oct. 4.

Assuming all is approved, the Thunderbirds will become the second WHL franchise to change hands in 2017. The WHL’s board of governors approved the transfer of the Kootenay Ice from the Chynoweth family to Winnipeggers Greg Fettes and Matt Cockell on April 27.

While it isn’t common for owners to be involved at the junior A and WHL level at the same time, it has happened.

Mark Wagstaff, a Victoria businessman, owned the Tri-City Americans and the BCHL’s Victoria Salsa at the same time (2000-02) before selling the WHL franchise.

Bruce Hamilton, the president and general manager of the Kelowna Rockets, owned a piece of the BCHL’s Penticton Vees before selling it 10 or 12 years ago.

Bill Yuill, who owns the Everett Silvertips, also has the USHL’s Bloomington Thunder in his stable. He also has owned NAHL and NA3HL franchises.


The NHL’s New York Islanders returned F Kieffer Bellows, 19, to the Portland Winterhawks on Friday, but not before signing him to a three-year entry-level contract. . . . Bellows, the son of former NHLer Brian Bellows, was a first-round pick by the Islanders in the 2016 NHL draft. . . . Portland selected Bellows in the seventh round of the 2013 WHL bantam draft. . . . Last season, he had seven goals and seven assists in 34 games as a freshman at Boston U. . . . Bellows, from Edina, Minn., also was a member of Team USA as it won gold at the 2017 World Junior Championship in Montreal/Toronto; in fact, he scored twice in the championship game.

The Winterhawks also learned Friday that the Vegas Golden Knights were returning F Cody Glass to Portland, while the Los Angeles Kings sent F Evan Weinger back. From El Segundo, Calif., Weinger, 20, was in the Kings’ camp as an undrafted free agent. Last season, he had 20 goals and 18 assists in 38 games with Portland. In three seasons, he has put up 37 goals and 52 assists in 89 games.

Weinger’s return leaves the Winterhawks with four 20-year-olds, including F Alex Overhardt, D Keoni Texeira and G Cole Kehler.

Glass, from Winnipeg, was the expansion Golden Knights’ inaugural first-round NHL draft pick. He was taken with the fifth overall selection and is expected to be one of the WHL’s top players this season.


The Moose Jaw Warriors waived veteran F Spencer Bast on Friday as he became a victim of the 20-year-old game. From Macklin, Sask., Bast originally was on the Kamloops Blazers’ protected list. He had three goals and three assists in 20 games with Moose Jaw last season. He started the season with Kamloops, putting up six goals and five assists in 40 games. In 113 career games, he has 13 goals and 16 assists. . . . His departure leaves the Warriors with three 20s — F Brayden Burke, F Jayden Halbgewachs and F Tanner Jeannot.

In Medicine Hat, D Brad Forrest also go caught up in the 20-year-old game. He was released by the Tigers and is expected to join the AJHL’s Calgary Mustangs. . . . Forrest’s departure leaves the Tigers with four 20-year-olds — F Mark Rassell, F Zach Fischer, Latvian D Kristians Rubins and G Michael Bullion. Fischer (concussion) and Rubins (shoulder) are injured at the moment.


The Portland Winterhawks have signed F Seth Jarvis and F Cross Hanas, both of whom were selected in the 2017 WHL bantam draft. . . . Jarvis, from Winnipeg, was taken in the first round. Last season, he had 76 goals and 44 assists for the Rink Hockey Academy bantam prep team in Winnipeg. He will spend the 2017-18 season with the school’s midget prep team. . . . Hanas, from Highland Village, Texas, was a fourth-round pick. Last season, with the Dallas Stars Elite U-14 side, he had 35 goals and 45 assists in 55 games. Cross is the son of former WHL F Trevor Hanas (Regina, Saskatoon, Lethbridge, 1991-96), who had 111 goals and 149 assists in 331 regular-season games. He now scouts for the Winterhawks.


What is going on with the Portland Winterhawks, where the coaching staff includes Danny Flynn? Just one year ago, Flynn was preparing to take the Saint John Sea Dogs into a QMJHL season that would end with them appearing in the Memorial cup. . . . So how is it that Flynn ended up in Portland, working as an assistant coach alongside Mike Johnston, the general manager and head coach? . . . Paul Danzer of the Portland Tribune has more right here.


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Friday games:

At Brandon, F Ty Lewis enjoyed a five-point night to lead the Wheat Kings to an 8-1 victory over the Regina Pats. . . . F Stelio Mattheos scored two first-period PP goals as the home side got off to a 3-0 lead. His first goal, at 11:57 of the opening period, was the first goal scored in the WHL this regular season. . . . Regina got its lone goal from F Braydon Buziak, on the PP, at 19:30 of the first period. . . . Lewis iced it with the only goals of the second period, at 0:53 and 19:17. . . . Lewis, whose previous single-game high was four points from a game against the Calgary Hitmen last season, drew three assists in the first period and scored twice in the second. . . . The Wheat Kings got two goals from F Cole Reinhardt, and two assists from each of D Braden Schneider, D School Higson and F Tanner Kaspick. F Connor Gutenberg added a goal and an assist. . . . Brandon was 3-5 on the PP; Regina was 1-5. . . . G Logan Thompson earned the victory with 33 saves. . . . Regina starter Tyler Brown was beaten five times on 34 shots over two periods. Max Paddock played the third period in his hometown, stopping eight of 11 shots. . . . The Pats are without F Sam Steel, the reigning WHL scoring champion. He is in camp with the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks. Also missing is F Nick Henry (shoulder). . . . The Wheat Kings are missing F Nolan Patrick (Philadelphia Flyers) and D Kale Clague (Los Angeles Kings). Also missing from Brandon’s lineup are D Daniel Bukac and D James Shearer, both out with undisclosed long-term injuries. . . . Announced attendance: 5,012.


At Cranbrook, B.C., the Fettes/Cockell era got off to a winning start as the Kootenay Ice scored a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Winnipeggers Greg Fettes and Matt Cockell purchased the Ice from the Chynoweth family last spring. Jeff Chynoweth now is Calgary’s general manager. . . . Last night, James Patrick, Kootenay’s new head coach, earned his first victory in his first game. . . . The Ice got 35 saves from G Bailey Brkin, whom Cockell, the Ice’s GM, acquired from the Swift Current Broncos last week. . . . Calgary G Nick Schneider blocked 28 shots. . . . Swiss F Gilian Kohler scored the winner, breaking a 2-2 tie at 7:32 of the third period. . . . The Hitmen had tied it just 11 seconds earlier on a goal from D Vladislav Yeryomenko. . . . F Michael King gave the Ice a 2-0 lead with a pair of first-period goals. . . . F Jake Kryski got the Hitmen to within one at 17:53. . . . Calgary was 0-5 on the PP; Kootenay was 0-6. . . . Calgary D Jake Bean remains with the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes. . . . Announced attendance: 3,392.


At Prince Albert, G Brody Willms posted his second career shutout, leading the Moose Jaw Warriors to a 3-0 lead over the Raiders. . . . Willms finished with 21 saves, including eight in the first period and nine in the third. . . . F Brayden Burke scored the game’s first goal at 6:36 of the second period. . . . F Justin Almeida added insurance at 0:56 of the third period, with D Jett Woo icing things at 3:52. . . . Prince Albert was 0-2 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 0-3. . . . The Raiders got 26 saves on 28 shots from G Ian Scott, who left 1:12 into the third period after Warriors F Luka Burzan fell on him. Nic Sanders came on to stop 11 of 12 shots in 18:48. . . . Scott has “a lower-body injury,” Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid told Jeff D’Andrea of paNOW.com. “Those aren’t good on goaltenders. It’s the way it is and we’ll see how it goes. It’s next man up. We have two other goaltenders in camp, they’ll have to run with it for a little bit here. It gives them an opportunity. It’s just unfortunate because I thought Scottie played well tonight.” . . . D Josh Brook, who had surgery to repair a broken wrist in Montreal on Friday, was among Moose Jaw’s scratches, while F Brett Howden is with the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning. . . . The Raiders are without F Parker Kelly, who is with the NHL’s Ottawa Senators. . . . Raiders F Justin Nachbaur sat out Game 2 of a four-game WHL suspension. . . . Announced attendance: 2,514.


At Lethbridge, F Jadon Joseph scored twice and added an assist as the Hurricanes beat the Medicine Hat Tigers, 5-2. . . . F Gary Haden gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead at 3:23 of the second period. . . . The Hurricanes scored the next four goals. . . . F Dylan Cozens tied it on a PP at 14:48 of the second. . . . Joseph broke the tie, on a PP, at 19:56 of the second and later got an empty-netter. . . . F Giorgio Estephan, in his first game as the Hurricanes’ captain, had a goal and an assist. . . . Lethbridge got 37 saves from G Stuart Skinner, while G Michael Bullion stopped 37 for the Tigers. Bullion stopped Joseph on a penalty shot at 13:02 of the third period. . . . The Hurricanes were 3-5 on the PP; the Tigers were 0-3. . . . The Tigers are missing G Jordan Hollett (mononucleosis), Latvian D Kristians Rubins (shoulder) and F Zach Fischer (concussion). . . . Announced attendance: 5,244.


At Saskatoon, the Swift Current Broncos scored four third-period goals, the last two into an empty net, to beat the Blades, 5-2. . . . F Bradly Goethals gave the Blades a 2-1 lead at 11:37 of the second period. . . . F Riley Stotts pulled the Broncos even at 3:43 of the third period and F Conner Chaulk broke the tie, at 12:21. . . . F Glenn Gawdin, with his second goal of the game, got the first empty-netter, with D Artyom Minulin adding the second. . . . F Tyler Steenbergen had two assists for the winners. . . . Broncos G Joel Hofer stopped 23 shots to earn his first WHL victory in his first career start. . . . The Blades got 29 saves from G Ryan Kubic. . . . Swift Current was 0-1 on the PP; Saskatoon was 0-2. . . . G Taz Burman has disappeared from the Broncos’ roster, leaving them with four 20-year-olds, one over the limit. F Arthur Miller sat out last night, with G Logan Flodell, who backed up, F Glenn Gawdin and F Conner Chaulk playing. . . . The Blades were without F Cam Hebig, who served the first of a two-game WHL suspension. . . . Announced attendance: 7,460.


At Prince George, D Ty Smith scored once and added two assists to lead the Spokane Chiefs to a 5-2 victory over the Cougars. . . . The visitors got out to a 3-0 lead, with Smith drawing assists on two of those goals, by 8:45 of the second period. . . . F Hudson Elynuik scored the third of those goals, on a PP, and had an assist on the second one, a shorthanded effort from F Riley Woods. . . . Woods also had an assist, while F Riley McKay had two of them. . . . Spokane was 1-3 on the PP; Prince George was 1-6. . . . G Dawson Weatherill earned the victory with 28 saves, one more than Tavin Grant of the Cougars. . . . The Chiefs were missing F Kailer Yamamoto (Edmonton Oilers) and F Jared Anderson-Dolan (Los Angeles Kings). . . . Prince George is without D Dennis Cholowski (Detroit Red Wings). . . . F Radovan Bondra, 20, won’t be returning to the Cougars after signing with the Rockford IceHogs, the Chicago Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate. The Blackhawks selected him in the fifth round of the NHL’s 2015 draft. . . . Prince George still is carrying five 20-year-olds, although D Tate Olson (shoulder) is on injured reserve. Last night, the Cougars dressed F Brogan O’Brien, F Aaron Boyd and D Shane Collins, while F Jared Bethune didn’t play. . . . Dan Lambert, the Chiefs’ first-year head coach, won his first game in his first start. Of course, he was 53-13-6 in his one season (2014-15) as head coach of the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Announced attendance: 3,833.


At Victoria, F Matthew Phillips scored three times and added an assist to lead the Royals to a 7-1 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Phillips, a 50-goal man last season, gave his guys a 3-0 lead with a shorthanded goal 12 seconds into the second period. He competed the hat trick with goals at 1:41 and 4:38 of the third period. . . . Phillips’ sixth career three-goal game came on Matthew Phillips Bobblehead Night. . . . F Ryan Peckford had two goals and an assist, while F Eric Florchuk, F Dante Hannoun, D Jared Freadrich and F Jared Legien each had two assists. . . . Victoria G Griffen Outhouse stopped 31 of 32 shots in 52:25. He lost his shutout bid when F Ty Running scored at 19:52 of the second period. . . . G Dean McNabb finished up for the Royals, stopping four shots in 7:35. . . . Vancouver starter Todd Scott surrendered seven goals on 24 shots in 46:29. David Tendeck came on in relief and made four saves. . . . Victoria was 3-8 on the PP; Vancouver was 0-6. . . . The Giants were without F Tyler Popowich, who suffered an undisclosed injury in practice on Thursday. Also injured are D Bailey Dhaliwal and F Tyler Benson. Benson, who is recovering from off-season hernia surgery, is with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers but not yet partaking in on-ice drills. . . . The Royals are expecting to get F Tyler Soy, 20, back from the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks, who haven’t signed him. But he didn’t return in time to play in this one. . . . Dan Price, in his first season as the Royals’ head coach, improved his record to 1-2-1. Price, an assistant coach with the Royals last season, went 0-2-1 when then-head coach Dave Lowry sat out during a mumps scare. . . . Announced attendance: 6,549.


At Kelowna, F Kyle Topping scored twice and added an assist as the Rockets beat the Kamloops Blazers, 6-2. . . . The Rockets beat the Blazers three times in the exhibition season — 6-4, 1-0 and 4-3 in a shootout. . . . Last night, the Rockets held period leads of 2-0 and 6-0. . . . Kelowna F Kole Lind, just back from the camp of the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks, had a goal and two assists, with F Jack Cowell, F Liam Kindree and F Tomas Soustal each adding a goal and an assist. D Cal Foote, in his first game as Kelowna’s captain, had three assists. F Nolan Foote, Cal’s younger brother, had two assists. . . . Soustal, a 20-year-old from Czech Republic, was in Kelowna’s lineup as a two-spotter. D James Hilsendager and D Gordie Ballhorn were the other 20s in the lineup. . . . Freshman D Libor Zabransky, also from Czech Republic, was the second import dressed by Kelowna. . . . Kelowna was 2-5 on the PP; Kamloops was 1-5. . . . The Rockets got 33 saves from G Brodan Salmond. He lost his shutout at 13:24 of the third period when Swiss F Justin Sigrist scored his first WHL goal. . . . Kamloops starter Dylan Ferguson was beaten six times on 27 shots. Kyle Dumba came on for the third period and stopped all 10 shots he faced. . . . Announced attendance: 5,238.


Saturday games (all times local):

Kootenay at Calgary, 7 p.m.

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Edmonton at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Brandon at Regina, 7 p.m.

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

Spokane at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Victoria at Vancouver 7 p.m.

Kelowna at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Portland at Everett, 7:05 p.m.

Tri-City vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:05 p.m.

Sunday games (all times local):

Red Deer at Edmonton, 4 p.m.

Tri-City 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).