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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

But there was a meeting of the officiating minds at the penalty box and the call was rescinded.

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 This one wasn’t rescinded.

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

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

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


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


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FRIDAY:

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


SATURDAY (all times local):

Calgary at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Regina at Portland, 6 p.m.

Edmonton at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Kelowna at Vancouver, 7 p.m.

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

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

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


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


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


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


Now there are two.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dheensaw’s story is right here.


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

It turns out that was in error.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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SATURDAY:

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


SUNDAY (all times local):

Regina at Moose Jaw, 4 p.m.

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

Prince Albert at Portland, 5 p.m.


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Welcome to the Medicine Hat Tigers’ world.

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

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

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


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


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

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

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


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


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


SATURDAY:

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


SUNDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


MONDAY (all times local):

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


TUESDAY (all times local):

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


WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


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