Banged-up Warriors drop host Broncos … Ferguson gets real taste of NHL … Rassell hat trick sparks Tigers

F Adam Řehák (Medicine Hat, 2011-12) has been released by Invicta Dynamos Gillingham (England, English National Division 1) by mutual agreement. He had six goals and two assists in eight games.


The Moose Jaw Warriors are a bit banged up — they scratched seven skaters from Tuesday night’s game against the host Swift Current Broncos.

That’s why the Warriors brought in D Daemon Hunt, 15, D Matthew Sanders, 16, and D Drae Gardiner, 16.

Hunt, from Brandon, was a first-round pick in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. He had one assist in two earlier games with the Warriors. Hunt has 12 assists in 11 games with the midget AAA Brandon Wheat Kings.

Sanders and Gardiner are from Calgary and play for the midget AAA Calgary Buffaloes. Sanders, a fifth-round selection in the 2016 bantam draft, has one goal and eight assists in 14 games. Gardiner, an eighth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft, has a goal and six assists in 13 games.

Hunt and Gardiner were in Moose Jaw’s lineup last night in Swift Current, while Sanders was a healthy scratch.

The Warriors are missing four defencemen. They have been playing without Josh Brook and Dmitri Zaitsev, then lost Jett Woo and Matthew Benson to undisclosed injuries during a 3-1 victory over the visiting Regina Pats on Sunday.

Brook and Woo are out week-to-week, with Zaitsev listed as day-to-day, and Benson as TBD.

With the three additions, the Warriors now have 11 defencemen on their roster.


With F Kirby Dach having returned from the U-17 World Hockey Challenge, the Saskatoon Blades have sent F Logan Doust, 16, back to the major midget Vancouver-Northwest Giants. . . . Doust, a ninth-round selection in the 2016 WHL bantam draft, was pointless in three games with the Blades.

Meanwhile, the Blades will be without D Seth Bafaro for their next three games as he completes a four-game WHL suspension. With him out of the lineup, they will keep D Randen Schmidt, 17, on their roster until Bafaro is eligible to return. Things will be re-evaluated at that point. Schmidt was brought in from the midget AAA Regina Pat Canadians.


The Kamloops Blazers are likely to be without G Dylan Ferguson again tonight as they play host to the Prince George Cougars.

Ferguson became the fifth goaltender to play for the expansion Vegas Golden Knights this NHL season as he entered in the third period of an 8-2 loss to the host Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night.

Ferguson left Kamloops on Oct. 30 to join the Golden Knights under the emergency recall rule. The Golden Knights have three goaltenders, including starter Marc-Andre Fleury (concussion), on the injured list.

When last night’s game started, Ferguson was on the bench backing up Maxime Lagace again. That marked Ferguson’s seventh game as the Golden Knights’ No. 2 goaltender.

Ferguson, 19, replaced Lagace with the Oilers holding a 7-2 lead in the third period. Ferguson stopped one of two shots in 9:14, giving up a PP goal to F Mark Letestu at 15:38.

Vegas next is scheduled to play on Thursday against the host Vancouver Canucks. Ferguson is from Lantzville, which is on Vancouver Island.

The Blazers start a stretch of three games in four nights tonight. They are scheduled to entertain the Vancouver Giants on Friday night and the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Saturday.

With Ferguson gone, the Blazers have been using freshman Max Palaga, a 17-year-old native of Kamloops, and Dylan Garand, 15, who plays at the Delta Hockey Academy.

The Blazers (7-12-0) are 3-1-0 since Ferguson left to join the Golden Knights.


The junior B Surrey Knights of the Pacific Junior Hockey League haven’t won a game in two years. It all adds up to an 84-game losing streak. . . . David Ebner of The Globe and Mail takes a look right here at how things got to this state.


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D Trevor Longo, who was released by the Medicine Hat Tigers, has joined the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks. Longo, from North Vancouver, B.C., was a sixth-round pick by the Tigers in the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft. This season, he was pointless in four games with the Tigers. . . .

The Lethbridge Hurricanes have dropped F Jayden Davis from their roster, and he has returned to the SJHL’s Estevan Bruins. Davis, who turned 18 on Tuesday, is from Alameda, Sask. He had one goal in 11 games with the Hurricanes. Last season, he had five goals and 16 assists in 45 games with the Bruins.


TUESDAY:

At Brandon, F Ty Lewis scored 27 seconds into OT to give the Wheat Kings a 6-5 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Brandon (12-6-1) has won three in a row. . . . Calgary (6-11-3) has lost three straight (0-1-2). . . . This was the first of four games in five nights for the Hitmen. . . . The Wheat Kings scored the game’s last three goals as they never once held the lead before Lewis scored his 10th goal of the season. . . . Calgary held a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from F Jakob Stukel, at 4:54 of the first period, and D Jake Bean (3), at 6:25 of the second. . . . Brandon pulled even on second-period scores by F Baron Thompson (4), at 7:12, and F Stelio Mattheos, at 10:56. . . . The Hitmen went back out front by two as F Tristen Nielsen scored at 2:49 of the third period and Stukel (10) got his second, at 3:53. . . . F Connor Gutenberg (4) scored shorthanded, at 5:59, as the Wheat Kings crawled back to within a goal. . . . But the Hitmen went back out front by two as Nielsen (6) scored, at 8:01. . . . Mattheos (13) cut the deficit to one at 12:07, and F Linden McCorrister (6) forced OT with a PP goal, at 18:31. . . . D Kale Clague had four assists for Brandon; he was in on two of the last three goals. . . . McCorrister added two assists, with Lewis, Gutenberg and Thompson adding one each. . . . The Hitmen got two assists from D Vladislav Yeryomenko. . . . Brandon was 1-2 on the PP; Calgary was 0-4. . . . G Logan Thompson earned the victory with 32 stops, 15 more than Calgary’s Nick Schneider. . . . Announced attendance: 3,443.


At Swift Current, F Jayden Halbgewachs scored three times and added two assists to lead the Moose Jaw Warriors to a 7-4 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . The Warriors (16-4-0) have won six in a row and nine of 10. They are riding high atop the WHL’s overall standings. They also lead the second-place Broncos by five points in the East Division. The Broncos hold two games in hand. . . . The Broncos (13-4-1) had won their previous three games. . . . Moose Jaw, which scratched seven skaters, was 4-6 on the PP; the Broncos were 1-2. . . . F Logan Foster (2) gave the Broncos a 1-0 lead at 5:33 of the first period. . . . F Barrett Sheen (3), acquired Monday from the Kootenay Ice, pulled his new club even at 6:36. . . . The Warriors went ahead at 10:25 on a PP score by F Noah Gregor (10). . . . The Broncos tied it at 11:13 on a goal from F Tyler Steenbergen. . . . The Warriors took a two-goal lead on PP goals from Halbgewachs, at 17:50 of the first, and F Justin Almedia, at 0:12 of the second period. . . . F Aleksi Heponiemi (15) got the Broncos to within a goal, on a PP, at 4:04, but Almeida (11) got that one back at 12:47. . . . Steenbergen got his WHL-leading 28th goal at 19:25. . . . The Warriors put it away on two third-period goals from Halbgewachs, the first on a PP at 8:33 and the second at 16:22. . . . Almeida also had two assists, as did F Tanner Jeannot. F Brayden Burke had four assists for Moose Jaw, and Gregor had one. . . . Almeida has 11 goals in 20 games this season. Last season, he totalled 11 goals in 70 games — he had four goals in 37 games with the Prince George Cougars, then added seven in 33 games after being dealt to Moose Jaw. . . . F Glenn Gawdin had two assists for the Broncos, with Steenbergen and Heponiemi each getting one. That meant that the Broncos’ hot line totalled seven points. . . . Steenbergen leads the WHL scoring race with 49 points, one more than Heponiemi and nine more than Gawdin. . . . The Warriors got 23 saves from G Brody Willms. At the other end, Logan Flodell stopped 34 shots. . . . D Artyom Minulin was among the Broncos’ scratches. . . . The Warriors scratched D Jett Woo, D Josh Brook, F Tyler Smithies, F Brecon Wood, F Brett Howden, who missed his third straight game, D Matthew Benson and D Dmitri Zaitsev. . . . Announced attendance: 2,129.


At Medicine Hat, F Mark Rassell scored three times to lead the Tigers to a 4-1 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . The Tigers (12-6-0) have won five in a row. . . . The Ice (8-12-1) has lost four straight. . . . The Ice was playing its first game since it traded away D Cale Fleury, the team captain, and veteran F Barrett Sheen on Monday. F Cole Muir, who was acquired from the Regina Pats in the Fleury deal, was in the Ice’s lineup, but D Jonathan Smart wasn’t. . . . Medicine Hat took a 3-0 lead on a first-period goal from F Ryan Jevne (5), at 11:20, and two from Rassell, at 13:52 and 16:54, the latter on a penalty shot. . . . F Sebastian Streu (2) scored the Ice’s goal at 19:57. . . . Rassell, who has 20 goals, completed his first hat trick of this season, and the second of his career, at 13:01 of the third period. He now has eight goals in his past four games. . . . The Tigers were 0-2 on the PP; the Ice was 0-1. . . . G Jordan Hollett earned the victory with 30 saves. . . . G Duncan McGovern, acquired by the Ice from the Tigers on Oct. 23, started for Kootenay and made 24 saves. . . . In each of its last three games, the Tigers have faced a goaltender who used to play for them. On the weekend, they twice beat G Nick Schneider and the Calgary Hitmen. . . . The Tigers scratched F James Hamblin (knee) for a second straight game. . . . The Ice remains without veteran forwards Jeff de Wit and Colton Kroeker. . . . Announced attendance: 3,058.


At Kelowna, the Rockets scored twice in the game’s first five minutes en route to a 5-2 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Kelowna (11-6-3) has won three in a row and now trails the B.C. Division-leading Victoria Royals by four points. Kelowna has two games in hand. . . . The Oil Kings (5-13-2) have lost seven straight. . . . Edm is 0-3-0 on a swing through the B.C. Division that will wrap up with a doubleheader in Prince George on Friday and Saturday. When the trip ends, the Oil Kings will have played five games in four B.C. Division cities, missing only Kamloops. But they will have driven through Kamloops twice. . . . F Dillon Dube scored 25 seconds into the first period and F Kyle Topping (8) made it 2-0 at 4:22. . . . The Oil Kings got to within a goal at 10:49 when F Trey Fix-Wolansky (9) counted. . . . Dube (10) got that one back at 12:59. . . . F Davis Koch (8) scored for the visitors at 8:21 of the second period. . . . The Rockets put it away on two third-period goals from F Carsen Twarynski, at 0:18 and 19:18, the latter into an empty net. . . . The Rockets got two assists from F Liam Kindree, who has a goal and six assists over his past four games. Dube and Twarynski each added an assist. . . . Fix-Wolansky and Koch each had an assist for the visitors. . . . Kelowna was 0-2 on the PP; Edmonton was 1-5. . . . G James Porter stopped 21 shots for Kelowna. With G Brodan Salmond (knee) out for up to six weeks, the Rockets had Roman Basran backing up for this one. He plays for the major midget Okanagan Rockets, who play out of Kelowna. Basran, 16, was a third-round pick by Kelowna in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . G Travis Child stopped 24 shots for Edmonton. . . . The game marked a return to Kelowna for F Tomas Soustal, who was dealt to the Oil Kings on Oct. 3. He had one assist. . . . Announced attendance: 4,326.


At Kent, Wash., the Prince Albert Raiders scored the game’s last three goals and beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 6-4. . . . The Raiders (9-7-3) are 2-1-0 on a six-game road trip. This was the start of a stretch of four games in five nights in four different cities. . . . The Thunderbirds (9-8-2) have lost four in a row (0-3-1). . . . The game featured five goals on special teams, three of them shorties, two of those by the Raiders. . . . F Spencer Moe (4) put the visitors ahead 1-0 at 5:11 of the first period. . . . D Austin Strand tied it, on a PP, at 8:27. He’s got 10 goals this season, nine of them on the PP. . . . The Raiders took a 3-1 lead on goals from F Brett Season (3), shorthanded, at 9:31, and F Parker Kelly (11), at 12:00. . . . Seattle scored the next three goals to take a 4-3 lead. . . . F Zack Andrusiak (8) scored, on a PP, at 14:53. D Turner Ottenbreit got his fourth goal while shorthanded, at 0:40 of the second period. . . . D Jarret Tyszka (1) broke the 3-3 tie at 14:14. . . . F Curtis Miske got Prince Albert back into a tie 16 seconds into the third period. . . . F Jordy Stallard (15) broke the tie at 14:48. . . . Miske (6) iced it with a shorthanded empty-netter at 19:25. . . . Stallard, who also had an assist, is riding a 12-game point streak. He’s got 22 points, including 12 goals, over that stretch. . . . Stallard has his 15 goals in 19 games. Last season, he totalled 14 goals in 40 games. He had eight goals in 32 games with the Calgary Hitmen, then added six goals in eight games after being dealt to the Raiders. A shoulder injury shortened his season. . . . Miske and Leason added an assist each. . . . F Noah Philp and F Nolan Volcan each had two assists for Seattle. . . . The Thunderbirds were 2-8 on the PP; the Raiders were 0-4. . . . In their last two games, the Raiders have allowed seven PP goals on 20 opportunities. Six of those PP goals have come on 5-on-3s. . . . Each of the goaltenders — Prince Albert’s Ian Scott and Seattle’s Matt Berlin — stopped 26 shots. . . . Seattle F Donovan Neuls left in the second period after apparently suffering a cut to one hand when he was slashed. He returned in the third period but was having problems holding his stick. . . . F Sami Moilanen was among Seattle’s scratches. He didn’t finish Saturday’s 4-2 loss to the visiting Kamloops Blazers. . . . Announced attendance: 4,526.


At Victoria, G Riley Lamb stopped 28 shots in his first start of the season and his Red Deer Rebels scored a 5-3 victory over the Royals. . . . Red Deer (9-11-1) had lost is previous six games (0-5-1). . . . Victoria (14-7-1) has lost two in a row and now is 8-2-1 at home. . . . Lamb suffered a broken thumb in training camp. He made his first appearance this season on Saturday when he came on in relief during a 5-2 loss to the Rockets in Kelowna. . . . Last night, the Rebels got off to a 2-0 lead on second-period goals from F Austin Pratt (6), at 3:02, and F Kristian Reichel (8), at 4:38. . . . The Royals then took a 3-2 lead, getting goals from F Matthew Phillips (16), at 10:13 of the second, F Jared Legien (9), at 2:04 of the third period, and F Regan Nagy (17), on a PP, at 5:15. . . . Red Deer won it with three goals in 6:55. . . . F Mason McCarty (11) tied the score at 12:18, and F Reese Johnson (6) broke the tie, at 14:52. . . . F Lane Zablocki (7) got the empty-netter, at 19:13. . . . D Alex Alexeyev, McCarty and Pratt each had two assists for the winners. . . . Red Deer was 0-2 on the PP; Victoria was 1-5. . . . The Royals got 25 saves from G Dean McNabb. . . . The Rebels are 1-4-0 on a seven-game trek that actually began in Regina and will continue in Vancouver on Wednesday and end in Cranbrook on Friday. . . . Announced attendance: 4,337.


WEDNESDAY (all times local):

Calgary at Regina, 7 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Red Deer vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7 p.m.

Prince George at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

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


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


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).

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

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


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


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


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


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


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FRIDAY:

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


SATURDAY (all times local):

Kootenay at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Lethbridge at Calgary, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Edmonton, 7 p.m.

Red Deer at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

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

Kelowna at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

Vancouver at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

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

Portland at Everett, 7:05 p.m.


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

Some Pats fans react to ticket prices … Wheaties complete Alberta sweep … Broncos win battle of unbeaten

Congrats to Wayne Meier, a Pittsburgh Penguins scout who has spent a lot of years in and around WHL arenas. That’s him to the right of the Stanley Cup. Congrats, too, to Colin Alexander, who spent a few years with the Seattle Thunderbirds. He is sixth from the left edge, right behind GM Jim Rutherford.


The Kamloops Blazers lost a forward and added one on Sunday morning. . . . Nic Holowko, 20, has left the Blazers in order to pursue his education at Simon Fraser U, which is located in his hometown of Burnaby, B.C. . . . Holowko had three goals and an assist in seven games this season. In 208 regular-season games, split between the Seattle Thunderbirds, Prince Albert Raiders and Kamloops, he put up 21 goals and 32 assists. . . . The Blazers acquired Holowko from the Raiders last season, for a sixth-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft. . . . Holowko’s departure leaves the Blazers with three 20-year-olds. They added D Brady Reagan on Saturday after he was waived by the Calgary Hitmen. He joined D Joe Gatenby and F Nick Chyzowski as the 20s.

Meanwhile, the Blazers acquired F Keltie Jeri-Leon, 17, from the Tri-City Americans for a seventh-round selection in the 2018 WHL bantam draft. Last season, the West Kelowna, B.C., native had two goals and an assist in 45 games as a 16-year-old with the Americans. This season, he is pointless in two games. The Americans selected him in the fifth round of the 2015 bantam draft.

The Blazers now are carrying 25 players, including eight defencemen and 15 forwards.


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

Medicine Hat Tigers — G Michael Bullion, F Zach Fischer, F Mark Rassell. D Kristians Rubins (Latvia) two-spotter.

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

Prince George Cougars — F Aaron Boyd, F Jared Bethune, D Shane Collins, F Brogan O’Brien.

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


Some notes courtesy Geoffrey Brandow (@GeoffreyBrandow) following Saturday games:

Brandon D Kade Jensen had three assists in the Wheat Kings’ 5-2 victory over the host Red Deer Rebels. Last season, he totalled four assists in 32 games with the Wheat Kings, with just one coming after Feb. 1. . . .

F Aleksi Heponiemi had a goal and three assists to help the Swift Current Broncos to a 5-2 victory over the visiting Kootenay Ice on Saturday. It was his fourth straight four-point outing. A sophomore, he d 30 goals and 73 assists in 77 regular-season games after Saturday. . . . Brandow points out that after Saturday games “there have been 542 players participate in a WHL game this season. Of those,408 (75.3 per cent) had yet to record four points.” . . .

Prince Albert F Jordy Stallard had six points, including five assists, in the Raiders’ 6-1 victory over the host Medicine Hat Tigers. The last Prince Albert skater with five assists in a game? F Justin Maylan on Jan. 25, 2012, in a 6-5 loss in Medicine Hat. . . .

Portland beat the host Seattle Thunderbirds, 10-5, marking the first time the Winterhawks had scored in double digits since 2013-14 when they did it three times (10-4 against visiting Seattle on Sept. 28; 10-2 against visiting Seattle on Nov. 12; and 10-3 against the host Tri-City Americans on Feb. 7).


Fans in Regina are learning just what it’s going to cost if they want to attend the outdoor games at Mosaic Stadium on Feb. 17 and 18, and the Memorial Cup in May.

Regarding the outdoor package, which includes a WHL/NHL alumni game and a WHL game between the Pats and Moose Jaw Warriors, there were a few posts on social media like this one from a fan who has two season-tickets:

“From what I can see they’re making you buy both outdoor games . . . for $116.88 each. My 2 tickets would end up being $467.50 for the 2 games.”

Someone else wrote:

“They remember this is junior hockey? I just bought tickets to see the Oliers for less then that on the lower level. That is just crazy!!”

One more:

“Are you kidding me??????? I’m not paying over $400 to go to the game with my 2 season tickets. I’m not paying anywhere near $100 / a ticket to see either of those games. If they were looking for $20 fee for the Pats game for season ticket holders I’d be fine with it.”

There also was this:

“The way I see it, if you don’t like the price then don’t go. Pats fans should be more concerned about the product on the ice than a price of a ticket because right now this team is nowheres near a Memorial Cup contender.”

Meanwhile, a reader of this blog who is from Regina has told me that information he received indicates that the organizing committee behind the Memorial Cup will charge “$1,000 as the approximate” ticket price to take part in all events, meaning all games and the events surrounding the games.

At the same time, a ticket package just for the games will set you back $834.75 if purchased through “the Hockey Junkies offer from the CHL.”

Communication received by the source from the organizing committee reads: “We are wholly aware that the pricing outlined is higher than previous events — however, this pricing is what has been proposed and approved at the CHL level and will be the price point for the event.”

As the source put it:

“I guess the CHL never got the message from Windsor with all the empty seats and figured the way to fix the problem is to raise the prices.”

You may recall that empty seats at the 2017 Memorial Cup tournament in Windsor became something of a story and resulted in writing like this right here, which is from pensionplanpuppets.com:

“I did some math here, and the cheapest adult season-ticket package with the (Windsor) Spitfires costs $425. That’s 34 games, so it breaks down to $12.50 per ticket, great price for anyone who can afford seasons seats.

“The cheapest walk up for the playoffs was $20. That’s average for the OHL, and 20 bucks is what most people would expect for a regular-season game, some of the bigger arenas or popular teams can reach $30, but that’s where most places top out.

“There are limited $50-tickets available, but you need a special promo code to get that discount, so it’s not available to everyone.

So, the cheapest season-tickets are $425. The cheapest full tournament package, for nine games, is $672.35 after tax, or $74.71 per ticket versus $12.50. A jump of 600% for the same seat.”

Do the math, Windsor vs. Regina, and you will find that a Regina package ($834.75) will cost at least $160 more than a Windsor package.

It will be interesting to see if Regina has enough deep-pocketed hockey fans to support these events.


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SUNDAY:

At Calgary, F Baron Thompson scored twice to help the Brandon Wheat Kings to a 5-3 victory over the Hitmen. . . . The Wheat Kings swept three games in Alberta, having won Friday in Edmonton (7-3) and Saturday in Red Deer (5-2). . . . Thompson enjoyed the first two-goal game of his career as he scored his first goals this season. Last season, he had three goals in 47 games. . . . The Wheat Kings scored the game’s first four goals. . . . G Gunnar Wegleitner (3) scored for a third straight game, at 4:31 of the first period. . . . D Kade Jensen (1) made it 2-0 at 10:03, with F Ty Lewis (4) upping it to 3-0 at 11:30. . . . Thompson got his first goal at 2:48 of the second period. . . . F Jakob Stukel (3) got Calgary to within three goals at 6:17 of the third period, but Thompson got that one back just 1:25 later. . . . Calgary F Matteo Gennaro, who has five goals, completed the scoring with a pair, at 18:28 and 19:10, both on the PP. . . . Lewis and D Kale Clague each had two assists for Brandon, with Wegleitner getting one. . . . The Hitmen got two assists from D Jake Bean. . . . Brandon (4-2-1) was 0-3 on the PP; Calgary (1-4-1) was 2-7. . . . G Logan Thompson stopped 38 shots for Brandon, including all 20 he faced in the second period. . . . The Hitmen got 20 stops from G Nick Schneider. . . . Announced attendance: Not available.


At Edmonton, F Trey Fix-Wolansky scored twice and added an assist, while newly acquired F Tomas Soustal had three assists as the Oil Kings beat the Everett Silvertips, 5-1. . . . The Oil Kings opened up a 4-0 lead, scoring three times in the first period and once in the third. . . . F Davis Koch (3), Fix-Wolansky and D Conner McDonald (1) provided the home team with a 3-0 lead. . . . Fix-Wolansky (6) upped that to 4-0 at 4:19 of the third period. . . . D Kevin Davis (2) scored for Everett at 8:53, giving him goals in two straight games. . . . F Brett Kemp (2) had Edmonton’s other goal, at 18:32. . . . Soustal, a 20-year-old Czech, was acquired last week from the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Edmonton (3-4-0) was 1-7 on the PP; Everett (3-4-0) was 0-4. . . . G Josh Dechaine earned the victory with 22 stops, seven more than Everett’s Dorrin Luding. . . . The Silvertips are five games into a nine-game road trip that includes six games in the Central Division. They are (2-3-0) on the swing, including (1-1-0) in Alberta. . . . Announced attendance: 5,098.


At Moose Jaw, the Swift Current Broncos won the battle of the Eastern Division unbeaten teams, getting past the Warriors, 4-3. . . . The Broncos broke a 1-1 first-period tie with the only two goals of the second period and took it from there. . . . F Aleksi Heponiemi (3) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 4:42 of the first period. . . . F Jayden Halbgewachs (5) got Moose Jaw even at 15:22. . . . The Warriors took a 3-1 lead on second-period scores from F Tyler Steenbergen (13), at 2:05, and D Sahvan Khaira (1), at 12:26. . . . F Noah Gregor (3) scored to get Moose Jaw to within one at 3:49, but the Broncos got that one back from F Conner Chaulk (2), at 11:13. . . . The Warriors halved the deficit at 16:18 when D Jett Woo (3) scored. . . . The Broncos got five points from their hot line, as Glenn Gawdin had two assists and Heponiemi added an assist to his goal. Steenbergen had the one goal. . . . The Broncos (6-0-0) were 0-4 on the PP; the Warriors (5-1-0) were 0-5. . . . Swift Current got 31 stops from G Logan Flodell, while Moose Jaw’s Brody Willms turned aside 25 shots. . . . The Warriors lost F Noah Gregor at 12:57 of the third period when he was given a misconduct for a mouthguard violation. . . . Announced attendance: 3,103.


At Kamloops, the Seattle Thunderbirds scored four goals on 15 shots to beat the Blazers, 4-3, handing the home team its eighth straight loss to open the season. . . . The Blazers’ franchise record for most losses to start a season had been six, from 2015-16. Kamloops next plays on Wednesday when it’s at home to the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Seattle (3-2-1) had lost 10-5 to the visiting Portland Winterhawks on Saturday, then rode the bus to Kamloops for this one. It showed in the latter part of the third period as the Thunderbirds’ legs disappeared. . . . When F Jackson Shepard (2) gave the Blazers a 1-0 lead at 5:35 of the first period, it marked the first time this season that Kamloops enjoyed a lead. That lasted 6:07 until Seattle F Noah Philp (2) tied it. . . . The Thunderbirds took at the lead when D Austin Strand (3) scored, on a PP, at 1:52 of the second period. . . . Kamloops F Brodi Stuart (2) tied it at 7:02, only to have Seattle D Reece Harsch (2) scored 52 seconds later. . . . The Blazers tied it again, just 30 seconds later, as F Nick Chyzowski (2) counted. . . . The Thunderbirds got the game’s final goal, and the winner, at 11:32 of the second from F Sami Moilanen (7), on a PP. . . . The visitors got two assists from D Jarret Tyszka, with Strand and Philp adding one each. . . . Seattle was 2-4 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-5. . . . Seattle G Matt Berlin stopped 32 shots to earn the victory. . . . The Blazers got 11 saves from Max Balaga, a Kamloops native who was making his second start. . . . Palaga is believed to be the first Kamloops native to tend goal for the franchise since Grey Hollomay played five games with the Jr. Oilers in 1981-82. (A tip of the hat to Earl Seitz of CFJC-TV and hockey fan Mitch Williams on that one). . . . Announced attendance: 3,293.


At Portland, F Ryan Hughes and F Skyler McKenzie each scored twice as the Winterhawks skated to a 7-2 victory over the Spokane Chiefs. . . . The Winterhawks, who beat the host Seattle Thunderbirds 10-5 on Saturday, have outscored the opposition 36-17 in six games. They now are 5-1-0. . . . Spokane now is 4-3-0. . . . McKenzie, who has seven goals, opened the scoring at 5:09 of the first period and D Keoni Texeira (4) made it 2-0 just 55 seconds later. . . . Spokane F Riley Woods (4) pulled his guys to within one with a goal at 10:50. . . . Portland scored the next five goals, the first four in the second period as it took control. . . . D Conor MacEachern (2) had a goal and two assists for the Winterhawks. Last season, he finished with six points, including one goal, in 52 games. In 2015-16, his freshman season, he had two goals in 46 games. . . . The Winterhawks also got a goal from D Henri Jokiharju (3). . . . F Ty Kolle and F Cody Glass had two assists each for the winners. . . . F Eli Zummack (2) had Spokane’s other goal. . . . Portland was 1-3 on the PP; Spokane was 0-3. . . . G Cole Kehler earned the victory with 22 saves. . . . Spokane starter Donovan Buskey surrendered five goals on 22 shots in 28:56. Dawson Weatherill finished up, stopping 19 of 21 shots in 31:04. . . . Portland lost D Brandon De Jong to a cross-checking major and game misconduct for a hit on Chiefs D Jeff Faith at 9:51 of the second period. Faith eventually returned to finish the game. . . . Announced attendance: 4,495.


MONDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


TUESDAY (all times local):

Everett at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Calgary at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Spokane at Portland, 7 p.m.

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

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


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


Blazers 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.


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