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But there was a meeting of the officiating minds at the penalty box and the call was rescinded.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 This one wasn’t rescinded.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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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).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

THURSDAY (all times local):

Seattle at Edmonton, 7 p.m.

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

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

Americans end Royals’ run … Wheat Kings win fourth straight … Blazers’ losing skid hits nine

The Swift Current Broncos now are the WHL’s only unbeaten team. The Broncos have won their seven games of this regular season and will go after victory No. 8 when they entertain the Vancouver Giants on Friday night.

The Victoria Royals were running neck-and-neck with the Broncos until Wednesday night when they dropped a 5-4 OT decision to the visiting Tri-City Americans. One night earlier, the Royals had thumped the Americans, 8-2.

The Royals are scheduled to visit the Spokane Chiefs on Friday night and the Seattle Thunderbirds on Saturday night.

When the CHL rankings were released this week, the Royals were on the top rung, with the Broncos at No. 2.

F Zach Fischer remained on the Medicine Hat Tigers’ suspended list on Wednesday after leaving the team on Sunday.

Fischer, 20, had 34 goals and 29 assists in 62 games last season, then was selected by the Calgary Flames in the fifth round of the NHL’s 2017 draft.

On Tuesday, Shaun Clouston, the Tigers’ general manager and head coach, told reporters: “We spent a lot of time on Sunday talking with him, talking with his agent, trying to get to the bottom of it. He didn’t give us any specifics, so if there’s any specifics, it’ll have to come from Zach.”

On Wednesday, Fischer tweeted a brief statement that really didn’t shed any light on why he chose to leave Medicine Hat.

“Over the past 48 hours,” Fischer wrote, “there have been many different opinions on why I left. I want to make it clear this was a personal decision and not a reflection on the Tigers, or the coaching staff. There is no one to blame. I have my reasons for change. Medicine Hat and the fans will forever have a special place in my heart. I wish Shaun and the staff well and look forward to moving on.”

The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!! Yes, winter must be almost upon us because it’s almost time for the annual CIBC Canada-Russia series.

The touring Russian side and Team WHL will play in Moose Jaw on Nov. 6 and in Swift Current on Nov. 7. These will be the first two games in the series that also will have games played in Owen Sound (Nov. 9), Sudbury (Nov. 13), Charlottetown (Nov. 14) and Moncton (Nov. 16).

The WHL has announced the bench staffs for Team WHL and it’s no surprise that Tim Hunter of the Moose Jaw Warriors will be the head coach because he also is an assistant coach with Canada’s national junior team.

Hunter will be assisted by John Paddock, the general manager and head coach of the Regina Pats, along with Manny Viveiros, who is the director of player personnel and head coach with the Swift Current Broncos.

Swift Current’s Jamie LeBlanc will work as the head athletic therapist, with Greg Mayer of the Pats helping him. Tanner Arnold, the Warriors’ equipment manager, will fill that role with Team WHL.

The WHL news release is right here.

The 2018 U-17 World Hockey Challenge will be played in New Brunswick — in Saint John and Quispamsis — from Nov. 3-10, 2018. The tournament features three Canadian teams and five international entries. . . . The 2017 tournament is to be held in the B.C. communities of Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, Nov. 5-11.

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The WHL suspended two players for a total of seven games on Wednesday, running the October total to seven players and 19 games.

The latest players to be suspended are F Maxwell James of the Tri-City Americans and F Rykr Cole of the Spokane Chiefs.

James drew a four-game sentence after taking a headshot major and game misconduct against the host Victoria Royals on Tuesday night. James hit Victoria F Tarun Fizer, who didn’t return to the game and wasn’t in the lineup for last night’s rematch in Victoria. James began serving the suspension last night.

Cole was suspended after taking a boarding major and game misconduct for a hit on F Ryan Hughes of the Winterhawks in Portland on Tuesday night. Hughes didn’t return to the game.


At Brandon, the Wheat Kings ran their winning streak to four games with a 5-2 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . The Wheat Kings (5-2-1), who had beaten the host Oil Kings 7-3 on Friday night, opened up a 3-0 first-period lead en route to victory. . . . F Connor Gutenberg (2) got it started at 8:26 of the first period, with F Caiden Daley (1) upping the lead at 11:55. . . . F Stelio Mattheos (8), on a PP, made it 3-0 at 14:57. . . . The Oil Kings made things interesting with goals from D Ethan Cap (1), on a PP, at 16:32 of the first period and D Matthew Robertson (3) at 2:17 of the second. . . . Brandon D Kale Clague (6) restored the two-goal lead, on a PP, at 9:06. . . . F Gunnar Wegleitner (4) iced it by running his goal-scoring streak to four games at 11:17 of the third period. . . . Wegleitner went into this season with one goal in 55 games — 43 with the Everett Silvertips and 12 with the Victoria Royals. . . . Brandon got three assists from F Ty Lewis, with Clague and Mattheos each earning one. . . . Brandon was 2-7 on the PP; Edmonton (3-5-0) was 0-5. . . . G Logan Thompson earned the victory with 19 saves. At the other end, Josh Dechaine stopped 29 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 2,940.

At Medicine Hat, F Mark Rassell scored two goals to help the Tigers to a 5-4 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . The Tigers opened up a 2-0 lead early in the first period, then exchanged goals until time ran out. . . . D David Quenneville (1), at 1:33, and F Dawson Heathcote (1), at 2:02, staked the home side to that 2-0 edge. . . . F Matt Fonteyne (6) got the Silvertips to within one at 19:47, only to have F Tyler Preziuso (2) restore the two-goal lead just 12 seconds later. . . . Everett made it 3-2 when F Patrick Bajkov (3) scored, on a PP, at 9:58 of the second period. . . . Rassell, who has eight goals, stretched the lead again, at 12:27. . . . F Brandson Hein (1) scored for Everett at 13:50. . . . Rassell gave the Tigers a 5-3 lead, on a PP, at 4:56 of the third period. . . . D Montana Onyebuchi (1) pulled the visitors back to within a goal at 14:26. . . . The Tigers got two assists from each of F Henry Rybinski, F Ryan Chyzowski and F Gary Haden, while Quenneville had one. . . . Bajkov and Fonteyne had an assist each for the Silvertips. . . . Medicine Hat (4-3-0) was 1-3 on the PP; Everett (3-6-0) was 1-4. . . . G Michael Bullion stopped 30 shots for the winners. . . . G Kyle Dumba made his first start with Everett, but was gone after allowing two goals on three shots in 2:02. Dorring Luding finished up by stopping 28 of 31 shots in 56:45. . . . Everett has two games left in a nine-game road trip that concludes with games in Lethbridge on Friday and Cranbrook on Saturday. . . . The Silvertips are 2-5-0 on the trip. . . . The Tigers were without F Max Gerlach, who has facial injuries after being hit with a stick, and F Jaeger White (undisclosed injury). . . . D Kyle Walker, a 17-year-old from Leduc, Alta., made his Everett debut after suffering a broken collarbone during training camp. . . . Announced attendance: 3,247.

At Regina, linemates Cam Hebig and Braylon Shmyr each had four points to lead the Saskatoon Blades to a 6-4 victory over the Pats. . . . Four nights earlier, the Pats had beaten the visiting Blades, 7-3. . . . Hebig finished with two goals and two assists, while Shmyr had a goal and three assists. F Bradly Goethals, the third member of the Blades’ top line, added a goal and an assist. . . . The Blades escaped from the first period with a 4-3 lead, on goals from D Libor Hajek (1), Hebig, D Seth Bafaro (1) and Shmyr (6). . . . F Sam Steel (3), D Josh Mahura (2) and F Matt Bradley (8), who also had an assist, replied for Regina. . . . Goethals (3) gave the Blades a 5-3 at 5:03 of the second period. . . . Regina F George King (3) pulled his guys to within a goal at 17:17. . . . Saskatoon got insurance when Hebig (4) scored an empty-netter at 19:40. . . . Saskatoon (2-4-0) was 1-3 on the PP; Regina (3-4-1) was 0-2. . . . G Ryan Kubic stopped 27 shots for the Blades in his return from an undisclosed injury. With Kubic back, the Blades returned G Nolan Maier to the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers. . . . Regina starter Max Paddock allowed five goals on 14 shots in 25:03. Tyler Brown came on in relief to stop all 12 shots he faced in 33:59. . . . Announced attendance: 5,273.

At Kamloops, the Calgary Hitmen unleashed a 56-shot attack in skating to a 4-2 victory over the Blazers. . . . The Hitmen (2-5-1) ended a five-game losing skid. . . . The Blazers (0-9-0) remain the only club in the 60-team CHL without at least one point. They will visit the Prince George Cougars for games on Friday and Saturday nights. . . . F Andrew Fyten (2) gave Calgary a 1-0 lead at 3:09 of the opening period. . . . Kamloops F Luc Smith (1) tied it at 7:28 of the second period. . . . Calgary, which had lost 7-1 to the host Prince George Cougars on Tuesday night, scored the next three goals. . . . F Luke Coleman (2) counted at 7:51 of the second, with F Jakob Stukel (4) scoring at 8:59. F Hunter Campbell (1) made it 4-1 at 10:22 of the third period. . . . F Quinn Benjafield (1) scored at 14:55 to get Kamloops to within two goals. . . . F Matteo Gennaro had two assists for Calgary, with Stukel and Hunter adding one each. . . . Each team was 0-5 on the PP. . . . G Nick Schneider earned the victory with 30 saves. . . . The Blazers got 52 saves from G Dylan Ferguson. . . . The Hitmen have won eight of their last nine games against Kamloops. . . . Announced attendance: 3,123.

At Victoria, D Dylan Coghlan scored at 1:12 of OT to give the Tri-CityAmericans a 5-4 victory over the Royals in a game that featured six third-period goals. . . . Tri-City F Michael Rasmussen (3) tied the game, on a PP, at 18:57 of the third period. . . . Coghlan won it on another PP when he scored his fourth goal of the season. . . . Coghlan and F Jordan Topping had the assists on Rasmussen’s goals; Rasmussen and Topping had assists on the winner. . . . The Americans, who had lost 8-2 in Victoria one night earlier, improved to 4-4-0. . . . The Royals now are 7-0-1. . . . Coghlan had opened the scoring at 6:18 of the first period. . . . The Royals took a 2-1 lead on goals from F Matthew Phillips (6), on a PP, at 12:04 of the second period and F Regan Nagy, shorthanded, at 3:31 of the third. . . . Topping (5) tied it, on a PP, at 4:53. . . . Nagy (7), on a PP, restored Victoria’s lead at 6:54. . . . The Americans tied it when F Connor Bouchard (1) scored at 11:23, only to have Victoria go back out front at 12:26 when F Igor Martynov (4) scored. . . . F Morgan Geekie had two assists for the winners. . . . The Royals got two assists from each of F Dante Hannoun and F Tyler Soy. . . . Tri-City was 3-7 on the PP; Victoria was 2-5. . . . The Americans got 23 saves from G Beck Warm. . . . Victoria’s Griffen Outhouse stopped 41 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 4,811.

THURSDAY (all times local):

Edmonton at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SUNDAY (all times local):

Brandon at Calgary, 4 p.m.

Everett at Edmonton, 4 p.m.

Swift Current at Moose Jaw, 4 p.m.

Seattle at Kamloops, 5 p.m.

Spokane at Portland, 5 p.m.

MONDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.

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

Rasmussen returns; Yamamoto stays with Oilers … Hat tricks for Oksanen, Hannoun … Grant blanks Portland

F Brendan Shinnimin (Tri-City, 2007-12) has signed a one-year contract with Växjö Lakers (Sweden, SHL). Last season, he had two goals and seven assists in 12 games with Langnau (Switzerland, NL A), and two goals and four assists in 17 games with Barys Astana (Kazakhstan, KHL).

F Michael Rasmussen is on his way back to the Tri-City Americans.

F Kailer Yamamoto? Not so fast.

The NHL’s Detroit Red Wings returned Rasmussen to the Americans on Sunday, while Yamamoto, a star with the Spokane Chiefs, appears to have made the Edmonton Oilers’ season-opening roster.

Rasmussen, 18, was the ninth overall selection in the NHL’s 2017 draft. Last season, he had 32 goals and 23 assists in 50 games. His season was short-circuited early when he suffered a broken scaphoid.

The 6-foot-5 native of Surrey, B.C., got into five exhibition games with the Red Wings and scored a team-high four goals. He has signed with the Red Wings.

Meanwhile, the Oilers kept Yamamoto, while assigning F Jesse Puljujarvi to the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors.

Puljujarvi was the fourth overall pick in the 2016 NHL draft; Yamamoto was the 22nd overall selection in the 2017 draft.

There already is speculation that the Oilers will keep the 5-foot-8, 154-pound Yamamoto, who turned 19 on Friday, for nine games and then return him to Spokane. The first year of his contract would kick in once he played a 10th game.

The Spokane native earned his spot on the Oilers’ roster by scoring five times and adding two assists in six exhibition games. He led the Oilers in goals and was second to F Connor McDavid in points. McDavid finished with three goals and seven assists in five games.

Last season, Yamamoto put up 99 points, including 42 goals, in 65 games with the Chiefs.

At the same time, F Nolan Patrick, who played the past two seasons with the Brandon Wheat Kings, is on the season-opening roster of the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers. He was the second overall selection in the 2017 NHL draft. Patrick is coming off two sports hernia surgeries.

As well, D Jake Bean, a veteran of three seasons with the Calgary Hitmen, remains with the Carolina Hurricanes. He is one of eight defencemen on their roster. Bean was the 13th overall pick in the 2016 NHL draft.

Also, F Tyler Benson still is with the Oilers, but has yet to be cleared for contact as he continues to rehab after off-season surgery for a sports hernia. He is expected to rejoin the Vancouver Giants in about 10 days.

Things got a little muddier around the Kelowna Rockets’ roster on Sunday when word arrived that F Carsen Twarynski was on his way back. Twarynski, a Calgarian who will turn 20 on Nov. 24, had been with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers.

In four WHL seasons, Twarynski has 43 goals and 67 assists in 189 regular-season games. The Rockets acquired him last season from the Calgary Hitmen. He had 22 points, including seven goals, in 28 games with Kelowna, then added three goals and two assists in 16 playoff games.

Twarynski’s arrival will leave the Rockets with four 20-year-olds, the others being D Gordie Ballhorn, D James Hilsendager and Czech F Tomas Soustal.

The Rockets also are carrying three import players, with two Czech freshmen, D Libor Zabransky and F Marek Skvrne, joining Soustal. Zabransky, 17, has a goal and an assist in three games. Skvrne, 18, has yet to get into a game.

WHL teams are allowed a maximum of three 20-year-olds and two imports.

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At Cranbrook, B.C., the Edmonton Oil Kings scored three second-period goals en route to a 4-3 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . F Trey Fix-Wolansky (3) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 6:38 of the first period. . . . Ice D Cale Fleury (1) tied it at 15:04. . . . F Brett Davis gave the Ice its only lead of the day at 16:12. . . . The Oil Kings then scored three straight second-period goals — D Matthew Robertson (1), at 2:11; F Kobe Mohr (2), at 3:27; and F Davis Koch (2), at 12:03. . . . Kootenay got to within a goal at 11:48 of the third period when F Keenan Taphorn (1) scored. . . . G Travis Child stopped 21 shots in recording the victory. . . . Ice starter Bailey Brkin gave up three goals on 13 shots in 23:27. Kurtis Chapman finished up by stopping 17 of 18 shots in 35:44. . . . Edmonton (2-3-0) was 0-5 on the PP; Kootenay (2-2-1) was 0-4. . . . Fleury was tossed with a cross-checking major and game misconduct for a hit on F Davis Murray at 16:11 of the second period. Murray needed help getting off the ice and didn’t return. . . . Both teams were playing their third game in fewer than 48 hours. The Oil Kings beat the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes 7-6 on Friday, then dropped a 4-1 decision in Lethbridge on Saturday. The Ice split a pair of games with Spokane, losing 6-5 in OT in Cranbrook on Friday, then winning 2-1 on the road on Saturday. . . . Announced attendance: 2,482.

At Regina, F Emil Oksanen scored three goals — on three shots — and added an assist to lead the Pats to a 6-1 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Oksanen, who turned 18 on Sept. 25, is a freshman from Kirkkonummi, Finland. He now has five goals — on 14 shots — and three assists in four games. . . . He provided Regina with a 2-0 lead by scoring at 9:33 of the first period, on a PP, and 5:37 of the second. . . . Red Deer F Mason McCarty (5) scored a PP goal at 17:50. . . . Oksanen got that one back at 4:27 of the third period. . . . F Bryce Platt (2), D Josh Mahura (1) and D Dawson Davidson (2) also scored for Regina in the third period. . . . Regina got three assists from F Sam Steel and two from F Matt Bradley. Davidson added two assists to his goal, with Mahura getting one helper. . . . Regina G Tyler Brown stopped 21 shots, 11 fewer than Red Deer’s Lasse Petersen. . . . The Pats had a 21-2 edge in third-period shots. . . . Regina (2-2-1) was 2-4 on the PP; Red Deer (3-2-0) was 1-7. . . . The Pats were without F Marco Creta, who sat out a one-game suspension he incurred for a cross-checking major and game misconduct in Moose Jaw on Friday night. . . . The Rebels are without D Alex Alexeyev, who suffered an undisclosed injury in Brandon on Friday night. He is to undergo an MRI in Red Deer on Tuesday. . . . Red Deer played three games in fewer than 48 hours, winning in Brandon, 5-4 in a shootout, on Friday before losing  4-2 in Moose Jaw on Saturday. . . . Announced attendance: 5,729.

At Victoria, F Dante Hannoun scored three goals and added an assist to help the Royals to a 6-3 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . This was Hannoun’s second WHL hat trick. The other game on March 4, 2016, in a 5-1 victory over the host Vancouver Giants. . . . Hannoun, who has six goals, broke a 2-2 tie at 14:06 of the second period, then scored the game’s last two goals, at 12:50 and 15:12 of the third period. . . . F Eric Florchuk (1) gave the home side the lead at 2:01 of the first period, with D Ondrej Vala (1) tying it with a PP goal six minutes later. . . . D Matthew Smith (1) sent Victoria back out front at 8:34 of the second period, with Kamloops F Brodi Stuart (1) equalizing, on a PP, at 13:48. . . . Hannoun scored his first goal 18 seconds later. . . . F Spencer Gerth (1) counted 20 seconds into the third period. . . . Kamloops F Garrett Pilon (3) got his guys to within one at 8:41. . . . The Royals got three assists from F Jared Legien and two from F Ryan Peckford. After three straight three-point games, F Matthew Phillips was held to one assist. . . . Stuart and Vala added an assist each for the Blazers. . . . Both goaltenders made the first starts of their WHL careers. Dean McNabb earned the victory with 28 saves, two more than Max Palaga, who is from Kamloops. . . . Victoria (4-0-0) was 1-4 on the PP; Kamloops (0-5-0) was 2-3. . . . The Blazers have yet to lead at any point in their first five games. They are one of only two teams in the 60-team CHL without a point this season. The OHL’s Mississauga Steelheads are 0-4-0. . . . The Blazers next play on Wednesday when they entertain the Prince George Cougars. . . . Kamloops was without F Jermaine Loewen, who suffered an undisclosed injury in Vancouver on Friday, and F Luc Smith, who went down on Saturday in Victoria. . . . Announced attendance: 3,447.

At Portland, G Tavin Grant stopped 47 shots, 23 of them in the third period, to lead the Prince George Cougars to a 3-0 victory over the Winterhawks. . . . Grant, 19, is from Burnaby, B.C. He got into 18 games with the Cougars in 2014-15 and one last season. Grant spent most of last season with the BCHL’s Prince George Spruce Kings. This was his second start this season and his first career shutout. . . . F Kody McDonald (1) scored the game’s first goal, at 4:49 of the first period. . . . F Vladislav Mikhalchuk (1), who also had an assist, added insurance 47 seconds into the second period. . . . F Jackson Leppard (1) iced it at 2:13. . . . The last two goals came via the PP. . . . F Jared Bethune helped out with two assists. . . . The Cougars (1-3-0) were 2-2 on the PP; the Winterhawks (2-1-0) were 0-7. . . . G Shane Farkas started for Portland and made 26 saves. Evan Fradette was backing him up. Fradette, 16, is from St. Albert, Alta. He was a fifth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . That allowed Portland to sit G Cole Kehler, one of four 20-year-olds on the roster, and get in F Evan Weinger who sat out Saturday night. The others 20s on Portland’s roster are F Alex Overhardt and D Keoni Texeira. . . . The Winterhawks were without F Joachim Blichfeld, who suffered a concussion on a hit from Seattle D Turner Ottenbreit on Saturday night. Ottenbreit was given a headshot major and game misconduct on the play. . . . Announced attendance: 2,570.

MONDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.

TUESDAY (all times local):

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

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

Scattershooting, on a slow day … Hurricanes deal for d-man … Broncos win in Regina

Scott Ostler, in the San Francisco Chronicle: “Sales are sluggish for tickets to the Winter Olympics in South Korea in February. Factors include high prices, a sagging world economy, and a reluctance to buy front-row seats for a nuclear holocaust.”

We are going to be hearing a lot over the next while about a Japanese baseball player named Shohei Otani. He is a pitcher who can hit — or a hitter who can pitch — and he’s likely headed this way. Something tells me there isn’t a team in the tradition-bound MLB that will allow him to do both.

Thompson Rivers U in Kamloops will play host to the U Sports men’s soccer nationals, Nov. 9-12. Might TRU athletic director Ken Olynyk ride off into the sunset after the tournament?

Bob Molinaro of the Hampton Roads Virginian Pilot was watching as Maria Sharapova returned to pro tennis from a drug-related suspension: “There’s no danger of me watching Sharapova’s scream queen matches, at least not with the sound on. The Shrieking Violet is as loud as ever. It recalls something the late actor Peter Ustinov said about Monica Seles at Wimbledon in the early ’90s: ‘I’d hate to be next door to her on her wedding night.’ ”

I pay little attention to the weekly CHL rankings and here’s why: The Regina Pats were ranked No. 1 when the first rankings came out a week ago. The Pats lost 8-1 to the host Brandon Wheat Kings on Friday. The Pats are No. 1 again in this week’s rankings. . . . Last night, the Pats dropped a 5-3 decision to the visiting and unranked Swift Current Broncos.

Headlines — At TheKicker.com: Eli tries to give pep talk after game, but he can’t find his receivers. . . . At SportsPickle.com: Breaking: Andrew Luck schedules season-ending shoulder surgery so he doesn’t have to play for the Cubs.

When it was reported that the new Apple iPhone X’s ability to track such things as jogging, stair climbing and mountain biking, comedian Argus Hamilton wondered: “But will it have any features for Americans?”

Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe, pointed out the other day that “Kids today probably would have a hard time believing the movie Major League was supposed to be about the woeful Cleveland Indians.”

A note from Cam Hutchinson of the Saskatoon Express hits the nail squarely on the head: “Trust me: the Calgary Flames won’t be moving to Seattle or anywhere else. NHL teams playing this silly little stadium game have grown tiresome.”

After ESPN, in a preseason U.S. college football poll, had the Michigan Wolverines projected for 8.4 victories, New York Post reader Scott Scovin wondered: “Was that determined by the guy who has 2.3 children?”

Regina police charged someone with impaired driving on Wednesday morning. The driver blew four times the legal limit. Cst. Warner of the Regina Police Service’s traffic unit tweeted: “This driver was trying to drive their kids to school.” . . . Seriously.

Have the Pittsburgh Penguins become Trump’s Political Pawns? Keith Olbermann thinks so, and a whole lot more . . .

The Lethbridge Hurricanes have acquired D Tate Olson, 20, from the Prince George Cougars for a third-round selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam drafft. . . . Olson, however, won’t be able to play for at least a month as he continues to recover from off-season shoulder surgery. . . . Olson was a second-round pick by the Cougars in the 2012 bantam draft. . . . In 252 regular-season games with the Cougars, he has 23 goals and 84 assists. Last season, he had seven goals and 19 assists in 67 games. . . . From Saskatoon, he was a seventh-round selection by the Vancouver Canucks in the NHL’s 2015 draft, but they never signed him. . . . With Olson and D Brennan Riddle, 20, on the injured list, the Hurricanes will go with F Giorgio Estephan and F Jack Flaman, who was acquired on waivers from the Vancouver Giants this week, as their only 20-year-olds. Riddle, who underwent surgery on a wrist, is back skating but has yet to be cleared to return to full-contact practice.

The Cougars, meanwhile, are down to four 20-year-olds — F Jared Bethune, F Aaron Boyd, D Shane Collins and F Brogan O’Brien.

Meanwhile, the Hurricanes have released F Connor Lyons, 18, who is from Lethbridge. He was pointless in one game this season. Last season, he had one assist in 10 games with the Hurricanes. His father, Corey, played two seasons (1988-90) with the Hurricanes.

The Kamloops Blazers released veteran G Kyle Dumba, 19, on Wednesday, leaving them with Dylan Ferguson and Max Palaga as their goaltenders. . . . If Dumba clears WHL waivers, he is expected to join the AJHL’s Sherwood Park Crusaders. . . . The Blazers had acquired Dumba from the Calgary Hitmen on Aug. 1 for a conditional seventh-round selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. That pick now will be returned to the Hitmen. . . . Dumba, from Calgary, was selected by the Hitmen in the fourth round of the 2013 bantam draft. Last season, in 28 games with Calgary, he was 7-9-2, 4.00, .860. . . . He got into one game with Kamloops, coming on in relief of Ferguson to stop all 10 shots he faced in a 6-2 loss to the host Kelowna Rockets on Friday. . . . Dumba was up against it in Kamloops because of his age. The starter’s job was Ferguson’s to lose after he spent the previous two seasons backing up Connor Ingram, who now is in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s organization. . . . Palaga, 17, is from Kamloops.

The NHL’s Los Angeles Kings returned two players to WHL teams on Wednesday, with F Jaret Anderson-Dolan sent back to the Spokane Chiefs and D Kale Clague to the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Anderson-Dolan, 18, was a second-round pick by Los Angeles in the NHL’s 2017 draft. He had 39 goals and 37 assists in 72 games with the Chiefs last season. . . . Clague, 19, was a second-round pick in the 2016 NHL draft. He had five goals and 35 assists in 48 games with Brandon last season. . . . The Chiefs are in Cranbrook, B.C., to meet the Kootenay Ice on Friday, while the Wheat Kings entertain the Red Deer Rebels. . . .

With Anderson-Dolan and Clague back, there now are seven WHLers left in the WHL, not counting 20-year-olds: F Nolan Patrick, 18, of the Wheat Kings (Philadelphia Flyers); D Jake Bean, 19, of the Calgary Hitmen (Carolina Hurricanes); F Sam Steel, 18, of the Regina Pats (Anaheim Ducks); D Josh Mahura, 19, of the Pats (Anaheim); F Kailer Yamamoto of Spokane (Edmonton Oilers); F Michael Rasmussen of the Tri-City Americans (Detroit Red Wings); and F Tyler Benson of the Vancouver Giants (Edmonton).

Benson is recovering from off-season sports hernia surgery and hasn’t been involved in a contact practice yet with the Oilers. He is expected to rejoin the Giants in mid-October.

Yamamoto, who turns 19 on Saturday, was in the Oilers’ lineup as they beat the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-0, last night in Saskatoon. In fact, he was in Edmonton’s starting lineup, on a line with Connor McDavid.

I have to be honest here . . . although I don’t get to see him too often, Todd McLellan is one of my favourite hockey people. I remember bumping into him a few years ago during a Kamloops Blazers training camp. His son, Tyson, was skating with the Blazers and Todd was there as a parent. We had a genuine conversation just like two old friends who hadn’t seen each other in a while. . . . These days, of course, he’s with the Edmonton Oilers and it’s safe to say he is recognized as one of the NHL’s best head coaches. . . . The Oilers played in Saskatoon last night and Darren Zary of The StarPhoenix caught up with McLellan to talk about the coaching road he has followed. That story is right here.

The Victoria Royals remain hopeful that they will get back D Chaz Reddekopp, 20, at some point. On Wednesday, the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings assigned him to their AHL affiliate, the Ontario Reign. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound native of West Kelowna, B.C., was a seventh-round pick by the Kings in the NHL’s 2015 draft and has signed with them.

Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet filed his latest 31 Thoughts and, as usual, it’s a must-read for any hockey fan. Yes, he offers up his thoughts on the Pittsburgh Penguins and the mess they found themselves in on Sunday. It’s all right here.

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At Regina, F Glenn Gawdin figured in Swift Current’s first three goals — all via the PP — and the Broncos went on to a 5-3 victory over the Pats. . . . Gawdin gave the Broncos a 2-0 lead with PP goals at 8:00 of the first period and 3:41 of the second. He’s got four goals in two games. . . . Gawdin then drew the primary assist on F Tyler Steenbergen’s first goal of the season at 4:21. . . . F Matt Bradley got the Pats on the scoreboard, on a PP, at 6:49, but Swift Current F Colby Sissons (1) got that one back at 11:21. . . . The Pats got to within one goal on scores from Bradley (5), at 17:09 of the second, and F Bryce Platt (1), at 12:25 of the third period. . . . Steenbergen, who also had two assists, iced it with an empty-netter at 19:02. . . . The Broncos got four assists from sophomore F Aleksi Heponiemi. . . . Bradley added an assist to his two goals. . . . Swift Current (2-0-0) was 3-5 on the PP; Regina (1-2-0) was 1-5. . . . The Broncos got 34 saves from G Logan Flodell, who is from Regina. He was making his first start since being acquired last week from the Saskatoon Blades. . . . G Tyler Brown was scheduled to start for Regina; in fact, he was in the lineup posted by the Pats on Twitter. However, he was a late scratch with an undisclosed injury, with Max Paddock getting the start and Jacob Wassermann of the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos on the bench in support. Paddock stopped 29 shots. . . . Regina was without Finnish freshman F Emil Oksanen because of what GM/head coach John Paddock said was a “personal” issue. . . . The Pats remain without F Jake Leschyshyn, 18, who is recovering from knee surgery that brought his 2016-17 season to a premature end. He spent more than two weeks in camp with the Vegas Golden Knights — they selected him in the second round of the NHL’s 2017 draft — but wasn’t cleared for contact. . . . Announced attendance: 5,467. . . . Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post has a game story right here.


No Games Scheduled.

Friday (all times local):

Red Deer at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Lethbridge at Edmonton, 7 p.m.

Regina at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Calgary at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Spokane at Kootenay, 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Everett at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

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

Prince George vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:35 p.m.

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

Portland hopes d-man back in four weeks … Tri-City forward gets NHL deal … Chiefs to change benches

Kamloops was back in the smoke on Saturday. In Campbell Creek, 20 km east, it also was smoky. It wasn’t as bad as Thursday when the air quality hit 49 on a scale of 1-10, but we weren’t barbecuing yesterday.

The inferno knowns as the Elephant Hill fire, which is north of Ashcroft and just east of Clinton — grew to more than 110,000 hectares — that’s 271,816 acres — as it remains incredibly active.

One of the things I have learned in this summer of fire is that stupidity, like rust, never sleeps.

Consider the above tweet, and that’s just for starters.

On the night of July 31, thieves made off with a water pump and hoses — 10 100-foot lengths — that were being used by the B.C. Wildfire Service in the Castlegar area.

On July 25, two hikers were found in Tweedsmuir Park near Anahim Lake— that’s Carey Price country. It’s also an area that was closed because of the fire situation. Wildlife people had to extinguish a campfire as the two were helicoptered out of the area. They were fined a total of $1,233.

There have been other similar stories, including one from the Kelowna area that involved a couple of $1,000 fines.

In another incident, a helicopter fire-response crew had to stop work due to interference from some folks who were off-roading in the backcountry. There also have been reports of tankers unable to fill up from various lakes because of boaters who were in the way.

Late last week, thieves made off with pet food and supplies from the Four Paws Food Bank that has been operating outside the Sandman Centre in Kamloops.

It goes on and on. Early on in his mess, there were reports out of Quesnel of scammers posing as wildlife officials going door-to-door and telling people they had to evacuate.

And, yes, there are countless reports of thoughtless smokers flipping butts out of vehicle windows.

Kevin Skrepnek, the chief fire information officer for the Kamloops area, made the point on CBC-TV early on Saturday that things likely will get worse before they get better. As he pointed out, August is usually the wildfire service’s busiest time of the year.

Allow me to remind you that August isn’t half over. You know what? It can’t snow soon enough.

The Portland Winterhawks are hoping that D Henri Jokiharju will be in their lineup when they open the regular season on Sept. 23 against the host Everett Silvertips.

Failing that, perhaps at the time he’ll be in camp with the Chicago Blackhawks, who selected him in the first round of the NHL’s 2017 draft.

No matter, the Winterhawks hope the Finnish defender will be skating by then.

Jokiharju suffered an injury to his left knee while playing for Team Finland at the World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth, Mich., a week ago. The injury ended his Showcase.

On Saturday night, Mike Johnston, the Winterhawks’ general manager and head coach, told Taking Note that “we heard four weeks until skating so should be fine.”

The Winterhawks open training camp on Aug. 24, which is slightly more than two weeks away, so it seems unlikely that Jokiharju will be participating, at least in the beginning.

The Blackhawks open camp on Sept. 16, so perhaps he’ll be there, if only for the team’s medical staff to give him a going over.

Jokiharju is heading into his second WHL season, after putting up nine goals and 39 assists in 71 games last season.

F Michael Rasmussen of the Tri-City Americans has signed a three-year entry-level contract with the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings. They selected him with the ninth overall pick of the 2017 NHL draft. . . . The 6-foot-6, 220-pound Rasmussen was limited to 50 games last season after suffering a broken scaphoid in his left wrist. He finished with 32 goals, 15 of them on the PP, and 23 assists. . . . In 114 career games, he has 98 points, including 50 goals. . . . From Surrey, B.C., Rasmussen will be back for a third season with the Americans. He presently is with Team Canada at the World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth, Mich.

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Season-ticket holders with the Spokane Chiefs are being provided with the option of moving their seats in the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena with the news that the home and visiting teams are switching player benches. Starting with the upcoming season, the Chiefs will occupy the bench closest to the end that they defend in the first and third periods. . . . The home and visiting penalty benches also will be switched. . . . Season-ticket holders were informed of the changes in a letter from the team dated July 28. . . . “The Western Hockey League has ruled that the Chiefs must move benches,” the letter reads, although it doesn’t say why the WHL office made such a decision. “Everything will stay the same except for the Chiefs’ home bench and which penalty box each team uses. This is not a decision put in place by the Chiefs organization, but imposed by the Western Hockey League.” . . . The WHL may have forced the move in the interests of consistency as it works towards using the same template in all buildings. Of course, that’s impossible in some buildings like Brandon and Swift Current, where the player benches are on opposite sides of the ice. . . . I also heard that Dan Lambert, who is heading into his first season as the Chiefs’ head coach, suggested the change, likely preferring not to be faced with the long change for two periods every home game. Lambert spent six seasons on the Kelowna Rockets’ coaching staff so will be quite familiar with playing in Spokane.

The Lower Mainland of B.C. includes three universities with hockey programs. Until now, the three of them — the Simon Fraser Clan, Trinity Western Spartans and UBC Thunderbirds — have never taken part in the same competition. They will in September when they compete in the inaugural Captains Cup, presented by the WHL’s Vancouver Giants. . . . The three teams will play a round-robin affair over two weeks. It begins with the Clan and Thunderbirds meeting at UBC on Sept. 15. One night later, the Spartans will play SFU at the Surrey Sport and Leisure Centre. It all ends on Sept. 30 with the Spartans and Thunderbirds meeting at UBC. . . . From a news release: “The goal of the event is to promote university hockey in the Lower Mainland, while also raising awareness for the WHL’s scholarship program, which is available for players entering into post-secondary hockey. . . . Between the three teams, the 28 players on their collective rosters have experience playing in the WHL. This includes 22 players with UBC, four with TWU and two with SFU. Amongst Giants alumni, the T-Birds have four players who spent time in the WHL with Vancouver.” . . . Also from the news release: “UBC enters the competition with a combined record of 9-1 against SFU and TWU. The Thunderbirds only loss against their BCIHL brethren was Jan. 6, 2012 when the Clan earned a 3-1 win. TWU and UBC played each other last year in an exhibition game for the first time ever, with the T-Birds winning 3-2.”

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).

Colin Birkas is the new head coach of the AJHL’s Calgary Canucks. He replaces James Poole, who left to join the coaching staff at the Edge School in Calgary. . . . Birkas has coached at the junior A level for five seasons, all of them in the OJHL. He spent four seasons (2011-15) with the Kingston Voyageurs and last season with the Brockville Braves. All told, he went 201-124-19, reaching four conference finals and winning one conference title.