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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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


TUESDAY:

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


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


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


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


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


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


WEDNESDAY (all times local):

Calgary at Regina, 7 p.m.

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

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

Prince George at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

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


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


Oil Kings, Rockets deal … Two Wheaties get NHL deals … Chiefs d-man to retire

F Shane Harper (Everett, 2005-10) has signed a one-year contract with Lada Togliatti (Russia, KHL). Last season, he had two goals and an assist in 14 games with the Florida Panthers (NHL); seven goals and 12 assists in 39 games with the Springfield Thunderbirds (AHL); and one goal and two assists in 19 games with the Albany Devils (AHL).


“It’s the summer of 1994,” Corey Hirsch wrote at The Players’ Tribune in February. “I am standing at the edge of a cliff in Kamloops . . . and I am checking out.” He was 22 years of age and had seen enough. In the end, though, he didn’t drive his car over that cliff. He later was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder, and now he’s telling his story. . . . The former WHL and NHL goaltender will be in Kamloops on Wednesday. His old junior team, the Blazers, will play the visiting Prince George Cougars later in the evening. First, the Canadian Mental Health Association, as part of its 25th anniversary, will present Hirsch and his message at 5:30 p.m., in the Valley First Lounge at the Sandman Centre. Tickets are available right here. . . . If you haven’t read his story, it’s right here. . . . This season, Hirsch is back in hockey as the analyst on the Vancouver Canucks’ radio crew.


The Edmonton Oil Kings and Kelowna Rockets moved Monday to settle roster situations.

The Oil Kings acquired Czech F Tomas Soustal, 20, from the Rockets for a fourth-round selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft.

That move allowed the Rockets to get down to the maximum two imports and three 20-year-olds.

Kelowna found itself with four 20s after F Carsen Twarynski returned from the camp of the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

The Rockets also have D Gordie Ballhorn and James Hilsendager on their roster. Their two imports now are both Czech freshmen — D Libor Zabransky, 17, and F Marek Skvrne, 18.

The acquisition of Soustal left the Oil Kings with three imports, so they placed F Artyom Baltruk, who is from Belarus, on waivers. Baltruk, 18, had three goals and two assists in 60 games as a freshman last season. This season, he was pointless in three games. Edmonton also has freshman F Andrei Pavlenko, also from Belarus, on its roster. Pavlenko has two goals in five games.

Soustal joins G Travis Child and F Colton Kehler as Edmonton’s 20s.

Soustal should bring some offence to an Edmonton team that didn’t make the playoffs last season. He had 113 points, including 47 goals, in 175 regular-season games with the Rockets. Last season, he had 18 goals and 27 assists in 49 games. Soustal also has plenty of playoff experience, having totalled 13 goals and 14 assists in 54 games.


D Jake Toporowski of the Spokane Chiefs announced Monday that he will play his final game on Wednesday against the visiting Everett Silvertips. “Wednesday night will be a night that I grew up hoping wouldn’t come for another 20 years,” he wrote, “yet here we find ourselves. I am about to play my final hockey game. . . . This decision hasn’t been easy, but I feel it is the right one for my physical, mental and emotional health going forward. Words can’t describe the feelings, everything from the obvious sadness over it all ending to excitement about what the future holds.” . . . Toporowski, 19, is from Bettendorf, Iowa. He is the son of former Chiefs D Kerry Toporowski. . . . Injuries limited Jake to 36 games last season — he had three assists — while he didn’t play in any of the Chiefs’ first five games this season. He was a third-round selection by Spokane in the WHL’s 2013 bantam draft. . . . Luke Toporowski, Jake’s 16-year-old brother, is a freshman forward on Spokane’s roster.


Fans of the Regina Pats and Vancouver Giants are up next in the WHL/Kidney Foundation promotion that involves Don Cherry and is aimed at increasing organ donor awareness. . . . The Pats entertain the Saskatoon Blades on Saturday, while the Giants will play host to the Tri-City Americans in Langley, B.C. In both games, the home team will wear sweaters fashioned after Cherry’s wardrobe; yes, the sweaters will be available via auction. . . . The Kidney Foundation will have a booth at each game, so feel free to stop by.

Each of the 17 Canadian WHL franchises will have a night. The Prince Albert Raiders were first up last Saturday, with the Kootenay Ice and Moose Jaw Warriors to follow on Oct. 14. Here’s the remainder of the schedule: Brandon Wheat Kings, Oct. 20; Lethbridge Hurricanes, Oct. 27; Calgary Hitmen, Oct. 28; Edmonton Oil Kings and Kamloops Blazers, March 2; Medicine Hat Tigers, Prince George Cougars and Swift Current Broncos, March 3; Victoria Royals, March 9; and Kelowna Rockets, Red Deer Rebels and Saskatoon Blades, March 10.


F Tanner Kaspick of the Brandon Wheat Kings has signed a three-year entry-level deal with the NHL’s St. Louis Blues. The 19-year-old Kaspick, a fourth-round selection in the NHL’s 2017 draft, attended the Blues’ training camp before being returned to the Wheat Kings. . . . This season, he has two goals and two assists in four games with Brandon. Last season, his third with the Wheat Kings, he had 19 goals and 26 assists in 49 games. . . . Kaspick, from Brandon, was a second-round pick in the WHL’s 2013 bantam draft.

Meanwhile, Renaud Lavoie of TVA tweeted last night that the Colorado Avalanche has signed Brandon F Ty Lewis, 19, to a three-year entry-level deal. Lewis, another Brandon native, attended Colorado’s camp as an undrafted free agent. Last season, he had 30 goals and 38 assists in 70 games. This season, his third with the Wheat Kings, he has two goals and eight assists in four games.


The Calgary Hitmen got down to three 20-year-olds on Monday as they placed D Brady Reagan on waivers. From Calgary, Reagan was a second-round pick by the Regina Pats in the 2012 bantam draft. He has split 235 regular-season games between the Pats, Lethbridge Hurricanes and Hitmen. He has 15 goals and 44 assists. Last season, he had one goal and four assists in 18 games with Lethbridge, and six goals and 16 assists in 50 games with Calgary. . . . The move leaves Calgary with F Matteo Gennaro, G Nick Schneider and F Jakob Stukel as its 20s.


D Turner Ottenbreit won’t be in the Seattle Thunderbirds’ lineup tonight when they visit the Tri-City Americans. Ottenbreit, Seattle’s captain, drew a TBD suspension for a headshot major and game misconduct on Saturday night against the host Portland Winterhawks. He hit Portland F Joachim Blichfeld, who is out indefinitely with a concussion. . . . D Cale Fleury of the Kootenay Ice also drew a TBD suspension. He took a cross-checking major and game misconduct for a hit on F Davis Murray of the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings on Sunday. Murray left the game and didn’t return.

——

Nick Robone, an assistant coach with the hockey team at the U of Nevada-Las Vegas, was among the wounded in the shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday night. . . . Robone, a native of Las Vegas, is in his third season there. The 28-year-old was shot in the chest and underwent surgery on Monday morning. . . . Robone’s father, Tony, told Brian Joseph of the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the bullet didn’t puncture a lung, but the organ is bruised and he was in “pretty bad shape.” Tony added that the family is “optimistically cautious” that their son will be OK.


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MONDAY:

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).

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

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


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

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

Farwell and Campbell will remain in their positions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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


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


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Friday games:

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Saturday games (all times local):

Kootenay at Calgary, 7 p.m.

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Edmonton at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Brandon at Regina, 7 p.m.

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

Spokane at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Victoria at Vancouver 7 p.m.

Kelowna at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Portland at Everett, 7:05 p.m.

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

Sunday games (all times local):

Red Deer at Edmonton, 4 p.m.

Tri-City at Everett, 4:05 p.m.


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