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


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


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

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

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

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


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SATURDAY:

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


SUNDAY (all times local):

Swift Current at Brandon, 4 p.m.

Regina at Everett, 4:05 p.m.


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


Scattershooting and channel surfing … MJHL coach puts up 500th win … Ferguson returning to Blazers … Broncos captain gets NHL deal

Ahh, this will be a glorious Thursday night. There are five TSN channels and Gary Bettman’s NHL has games on four of them.

Let’s watch the Arizona Coyotes against the Canadiens in Montreal. Maybe we’ll see how it is that the Coyotes have opened without a regulation victory in about 100 games. . . . Whoops! Blacked out.

Well, let’s move on to the next channel where the Winnipeg Jets are entertaining the Philadelphia Flyers. Let’s watch as F Nolan Patrick returns to the Flyers’ lineup after missing nine games with a concussion, and he does it in his hometown. . . . Whoops! Blacked out.

Oh well, there’s always the next channel where the New Jersey Devils are visiting the Toronto Maple Leafs. These aren’t your father’s Devils, you know. They don’t trap. Rather, they fly around the ice with the purpose of scoring goals. This one could be fun. . . . Whoops! Blacked out.

And it’s on to the fourth TSN channel, where the Pittsburgh Penguins are visiting the Ottawa Senators. Hey, it’s always fun to watch Sid Who Used To Be A Kid. . . . But not tonight. You guess it. Blacked out.

Thanks, Mr. Bettman.


What about that fifth TSN channel. Yes, it’s on to the NFL where the Tennessee Titans are visiting the Pittsburgh Steelers. . . . Thanks again, Mr. Bettman. You’re really doing a good job of selling the, uhh, NFL.


Brent Sutter, the owner, general manager and head coach of the Red Deer Rebels, remembers when his off-season training spot was a barn in which there was a heavy bag, a speed bag, some weights and a couple of bikes. Last summer, he did Pilates. Why? Because he wanted to experience what his players were doing. It’s all part of an attempt to cut down on injuries by improving flexibility and core strength.


When this WHL season began, Don Hay, now with the Kamloops Blazers, had 720 WHL head-coaching regular-season victories, meaning he needed 23 more to break Ken Hodge’s career record of 742. The Blazers have won seven of their first 20 games, meaning they are on pace for 25 victories this season.


Hey, there’s an NHL game on one of Sportsnet’s umpteen channels. It’s the St. Louis Blues in Edmonton against the Oilers. Always fun to watch McDavid and Draisaitl, even if we have to put up with Sportsnet’s computer-generated ads plastered all over the glass. . . . Oh wait. It’s blacked out.


After the Carolina Panthers dealt wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin to the Buffalo Bills, quarterback Cam Newton offered this analysis: “Yeah, we just lost a great player, but the Titanic still has to go.” . . . To which Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times responded: “Considering it’s Carolina’s less-than-stellar aerial game, shouldn’t it be the Hindenburg?”


“Twitter has increased the number of characters allowed per tweet from 140 to 280,” notes blogger Tony Chong of Richmond, B.C. “So isn’t that considered an email?” 


Hey, we found another NHL game on Sportsnet as the Vegas Golden Knights visit the Vancouver Canucks. Ahh, no blackout. Might check it out after the football game. Or earlier, if it’s a blowout.


By now you are aware that Dylan Ferguson of the Kamloops Blazers has been the Golden Knights’ backup goaltender since Oct. 30. He has been responsible for more publicity for Kamloops and the Blazers over the past couple of weeks than was generated when J-Lo, Morgan Freeman and Robert Redford were in the area to film An Unfinished Life.


Don’t discount the Vancouver Giants in the WHL’s Western Conference this season. The key, of course, is that F Tyler Benson has to stay healthy, something that hasn’t happened in either of the past two seasons. With Benson, head coach Jason McKee’s guys have two terrific forward lines. If the goaltending holds up, the Giants could make some noise.



Congratulations to Ken Pearson, the head coach of the MJHL’s Winkler Flyers.

KEN PEARSON

When the Flyers beat the host Steinbach Pistons 3-2 in OT on Wednesday night, Pearson chalked up his 500th regular-season victory as an MJHL head coach.

Pearson has made more than a handful of stops during his coaching career, including stints with the Neepawa Natives, Prince Albert Raiders, Brooks Bandits, Winnipeg South Blues and Battlefords North Stars. He has scouted for the Tri-City Americans and NHL Central Scouting.

All told, Pearson is in his 12th season behind the Flyers’ bench.

Pearson’s 500 regular-season victories are third on the MJHL’s all-time list, behind Doug Stokes (670) and Don MacGillivray (669). In the MJHL, Stokes coached the Kildonan North Stars, Winnipeg South Blues, Dauphin Kings, Selkirk Steelers and Winnipeg Saints. MacGillivray, now an assistant coach with the Brandon Wheat Kings, coached with the St. James Canadians, Southeast Blades, Neepawa Natives, Portage Terriers, Winnipeg South Blues and Winnipeg Blues.

Pearson’s Flyers go into this weekend at 16-6-0, tied for second in the 11-team league with the OCN Blizzard (15-5-2). Both teams are one point behind Steinbach (16-4-1).


The Calgary Flames have signed F Glenn Gawdin, the captain of the Swift Current Broncos, to a three-year entry-level NHL contract. Gawdin, 20, was selected by the St. Louis Blues in the 2015 NHL draft, but wasn’t signed by them. He was eligible for the 2017 draft, but wasn’t selected. Gawdin, from Richmond, B.C., was in the Flames’ training camp prior to this season as a free agent. . . . This season, Gawdin has 40 points, including 14 goals, in 18 games and his third in the WHL scoring race, behind line mates Tyler Steenbergen, who has 49 points, and Aleksi Heponiemo (48). . . . Gawdin was the fifth overall selection in the WHL’s 2012 bantam draft. In 263 games with the Broncos, he has 228 points, including 84 goals.


Taylor Shire, who works in TV at Global Regina, tweeted on Thursday: “Tickets for the Regina Pats outdoor game at Mosaic Stadium will range from $149, $219 or $319 per seat. They also have standing room only for $75. Includes Sat and Sun games.”

Among the replies to that tweet:

“Wow, those are some big numbers. Out of my price range so I won’t be joining the regiment for this game.”

“Does this include a signed Jordan Eberle jersey, beer, hand warmers and a hot dog?”

“For a dub game give your head a shake Regina.”

Meanwhile, on Dec. 17, the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s are going to face the QMJHL’s Gatineau Olympiques at The Stadium at TD Place, the home of the CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks.

A general admission ticket will set you back $15, with reserved seats going for $20 each. Those prices include all taxes and surcharges, along with transportation to the game.


F Josh Prokop revealed via Twitter on Thursday that he has made a commitment to attend Ohio State and play hockey for the Buckeyes. Prokop, 17, is from Edmonton. He was a fifth-round selection by the Swift Current Broncos in the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft. This season, Prokop has 14 points, eight of them goals, in 25 games with the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers. . . . Last season, he put up a CSSHL-leading 57 points, including 29 goals, in 30 games with the Northern Alberta X-Treme.


The Vegas Golden Knights flew out of Vancouver and headed home late Thursday night after posting a 5-2 victory over the Canucks.

Yes, G Dylan Ferguson of the Kamloops Blazers wasn’t on the plane and is to return to Kamloops today (Friday).

Ferguson, 19, was on the bench for an eighth straight game in support of starter Maxime Lagace last night. Ferguson had made his NHL debut during Tuesday’s 8-2 loss to the Oilers in Edmonton. He played 9:14 and stopped one of the two shots he faced.

Ferguson is from Lantzville, which is on Vancouver Island, so you know he had some supporters in the crowd last night. But they had to be content with watching him in the pregame warmup.

The Golden Knights have three goaltenders out with injuries, although one of them, Malcom Subban, has returned to practice. Subban, who was in Vancouver yesterday and watched the game from the press box, seems  ready to return, at least in a backup role. Starter Marc-Andre Fleury (concussion) and Oscar Dansk, who was injured on Oct. 30 and whose injury resulted in the phone call to Ferguson, also are injured.

The Golden Knights are next scheduled to play on Sunday against the visiting Los Angeles Kings.

Ferguson will rejoin the Blazers in time for two weekend home games, with the Vancouver Giants in town tonight and the Lethbridge Hurricanes following on Saturday.

The Blazers were 3-2-0 while Ferguson was with Vegas. Max Palaga, 17, who has been backing up Ferguson, made three starts, while Dylan Garand, a 15-year-old from the Delta Hockey Academy, was 1-1-0 in his two starts.


The political scene the U.S. is in upheaval due to, among other things, an investigation into whether Russia, under President Vladimir Putin, had its hands in the 2016 election. A short time ago, F Alex Ovechkin, the Washington Capitals’ starry Russian, waded into the mess by creating something that he, or somebody, has dubbed “Putin’s Team.” . . . So just what is that all about? And why would Ovechkin get involved in something like that at this particular point in time? . . . Matt Flegenheimer of The New York Times takes a look right here.


If you like what you see here, you may want to consider donating to the cause. Should you choose to help out, simply click on the DONATE button in the upper right corner of this page and away you go. Thank you!


D Montana Onyebuchi of the Everett Silvertips won’t play tonight against the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds as he serves a one-game WHL suspension. That comes after he took a charging major and game misconduct during a 2-0 victory over the visiting Prince Albert Raiders on Wednesday night.


Colin Birkas is out as head coach of the AJHL’s Calgary Canucks, and has been replaced, at least on an interim basis, by Darryl Olsen. . . . Birkas had been head coach since Aug. 11. He replaced James Poole, who resigned earlier in the summer after one season in the position. . . . Birkas had coached junior A in Ontario before signing with the Canucks. . . . A Calgarian, Olsen stepped up from assistant coach to take over as head coach of the AJHL’s Drumheller Dragons late last season. . . . The Canucks are 10-12-1 and in fifth place in the eight-team Viterra AJHL South.


What does a fired coach do with his time when there isn’t hockey? Here’s Casey O’Brien, who was dismissed by the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers on Oct. 31 . . .


THURSDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Calgary at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Brandon at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Swift Current at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.

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

Edmonton at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

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

Victoria at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.

Seattle at Everett, 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).


Ferguson still in NHL … Delay of game? What delay of game? … Hart ties franchise record

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The Vegas Golden Knights had three goaltenders on the ice when they practised at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Wednesday morning and, yes, one of them was Dylan Ferguson of the Kamloops Blazers.

Ferguson, 19, has been with the Golden Knights since being recalled under emergency conditions on Oct. 30.

Ferguson, who is from Lantzville, which is on Vancouver Islander, made his NHL debut on Tuesday night during an 8-2 loss to the host Edmonton Oilers. He came on in relief of Maxime Lagace to stop one of two shots in 9:14 of playing time.

The Golden Knights are scheduled to play the host Canucks tonight, and chances are that Ferguson will be backing up Lagace for an eighth straight game.

There was speculation earlier Wednesday that Lagace had been injured in Edmonton, but that chatter seemed to fade away after he joined Ferguson on the ice yesterday morning.

G Malcolm Subban, one of the team’s three injured goaltenders, also was on the ice, his first appearance in almost a month. He has been out since Oct. 22 when he was injured while stretching to make a save. Also on the shelf are veteran starter Marc-Andre Fleury (concussion), who has resumed skating, and Oscar Dansk.

Gary Lawless of the Golden Knights has more on Ferguson right here.

Ed Willes of Postmedia wrote about Ferguson on Thursday, too. That piece is right here.

The Blazers are at home to the Vancouver Giants on Friday night and the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Saturday. If Ferguson isn’t back, the Blazers will continue to go with two freshmen goaltenders — Max Palaga, 17,  and Dylan Garand, 15.


There was an interesting sequence of events during the Prince George Cougars’ 5-4 victory over the host Kamloops Blazers on Wednesday night.

The Cougars were clinging to a 4-3 lead at 8:55 of the third period when they cleared the puck into the Kamloops zone from the neutral zone. As G Dylan Garand of the Blazers gloved the puck on the fly, referee Bryan Bourdon, stationed to Garand’s right, yelled at the goaltender to move it.

With forecheckers closing in, Garand hung on to the puck. Bourdon whistled play dead, pointed at Garand and then pointed to the penalty box. It seemed that the referee had called Garand for delay of game.

However, something happened on the way to the penalty box and the call wasn’t made.

Asked later what happened, Richard Matvichuk, the Cougars’ head coach, shrugged and said: “I don’t know.”

Then, at 15:16, a near-identical play occurred, this time in the Prince George zone. The Blazers, still trailing 4-3, dumped the puck at Cougars G Tavin Grant from the neutral zone. He played the puck with his stick and pulled it into his glove.

Nick Panter, the other referee, immediately signalled a penalty and hit Grant for delay of game. This time, the call stuck.

While killing that penalty, the Cougars got a goal from F Kody McDonald at 16:38 and it stood up as the game-winner.

But how did one goaltender get penalized and not the other? What happened to the apparent delay-of-game call on Garand?

“I don’t know,” Matvichuk reiterated.

Matvichuk, who is in his second season with the Cougars, was of the opinion that neither goaltender should have been penalized.

“As much as we’re trying to speed the game up, these kids are under so much pressure,” he said. “It’s a hockey game. If a goalie freezes the puck, he freezes the puck. It is what it is.

“I understand there are times when we try to speed the game up, but we have to remember these guys are here to develop and try to get to the next level.

“What happens if one of those kids puts the puck down, on either side, and shoots it into somebody and they score? He gets into trouble, that’s what happens.”


The Portland Winterhawks went shopping on Tuesday night. Yes, they did.

It was their fifth annual ‘Shop With a Hawk’ event in which the players go Christmas shopping with children from the Boys and Girls Clubs, all thinks to the club’s booster club, Fred Meyer and the Sunshine Division.

Thanks to the Winterhawks Booster Club each child had $100 with which to shop, and they were shown around the Hollywood Fred Meyer store by the players.

It’s worth noting that over the five years the booster club has donated more than $15,000 and it has helped more than 125 children.


If you like what you see here, you may want to consider donating to the cause. Should you choose to help out, simply click on the DONATE button in the upper right corner of this page and away you go. Thank you!


The Kootenay Ice has returned F Connor McClennon, 15, to the Northern Alberta X-Treme prep team that plays in the CSSHL. McClennon, who is from Wainwright, Alta., was the second overall selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. He was pointless in two games with the Ice. . . .

D Brendan O’Reilly, a veteran of 153 games over four seasons with the Tri-City Americans, has joined the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs. O’Reilly, 20, is from Southlake, Texas. He lost his roster spot with the Americans when they had to get down to three 20-year-olds. He then joined the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs, putting up a goal and three assists in 13 games.


The SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers announced Wednesday that they have named Mat Hehr as their general manager and head coach. He had been serving as interim GM/head coach since the club fired Casey O’Brien on Oct. 31. . . . Hehr had been an assistant coach under O’Brien, who was in his second season as GM and head coach. O’Brien had been with the Terriers since 2011 . . . Hehr joined the Terriers in November 2016 after being on staff with the La Ronge Ice Wolves. . . . The Terriers were 3-12-0 when O’Brien was dismissed. They went into Wednesday at 3-16-2.


WEDNESDAY:

At Regina, F Nick Henry had a goal and an assist in his third game after off-season shoulder surgery, leading the Pats to a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . The Pats (12-8-2) had lost their previous two games. . . . The Hitmen (11-9-2) have lost three in a row. . . . F Emil Oksanen (11) gave Regina a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 2:52 of the first period. . . . Calgary tied it on a PP at 7:20 when F Matteo Bennaro got No. 13. . . . Regina went out front 3-1 on goals from F Sam Steel (6), at 11:18 of the first period, and F Matt Bradley (16), at 11:30 of the second. . . . Calgary got back to wishin one at 12:03 as F Tristen Nielsen (6) scored. . . . Henry (1) restored the two-goal lead 15 seconds into the third period. . . . F Luke Coleman (5) pulled Calgary back to within a goal, on a PP, at 10:42. . . . Steel also had an assist. . . . Calgary got two assists from each of D Jake Bean and D Vladislav Yeryomenko. . . . The Hitmen were 2-4 on the PP; the Pats were 1-4. . . . G Max Paddock earned the victory with 25 saves. . . . At the other end, Nick Schneider stopped 36 shots. . . . D Cale Fleury, who was acquired by Regina from the Kootenay Ice on Monday, made his Pats debut. He was plus-1 with three shots on goal. . . . Announced attendance: 5,754.


At Saskatoon, D Evan Fiala’s goal at 18:48 of the third period broke a 4-4 tie as the Blades beat the Moose Jaw Warriors, 5-4. . . . Saskatoon (8-10-1) had lost two straight. . . . The Warriors (16-5-0) had a six-game winning streak snapped. They continue to lead the overall standings by three points over the idle Victoria Royals. . . . The teams were tied 2-2 after the first period. . . . F Noah Gregor (11), at 0:57, and F Justin Almeida (11), shorthanded at 15:44, counted for the visitors, with F Alec Zawatsky, with his first WHL goal, at 1:47, and F Caleb Fantillo (4), at 17:53, replying for the home boys. . . . Saskatoon went up 4-2 on second-period goals from F Braylon Shmyr (9), at 3:14, and F Gage Ramsay (2), at 7:45. . . . The Warriors came right back and tied it. F Tanner Jeannot (12) counted at 17:31 of the second, then F Daemon Hunt, a 15-year-old, scored his first WHL goal at 8:39 of the third period. . . . Fiala won it with his first goal of the season. . . . F Cam Hebig and D Libor Hajek each had two assists for the Blades. . . . The Warriors got two assists from F Jayden Halbgewachs and one from Gregor. . . . Saskatoon was 0-4 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 0-3. . . . The Blades got 34 saves from G Ryan Kubic. . . . Moose Jaw G Brody Willms blocked 46 shots as the Blades unleashed a season-high 51 shots. . . . D Matt Sanders made his WHL debut with the Warriors. Sanders, 16, was a fifth-round selection in the 2016 WHL bantam draft. He is the younger brother of G Nick Sanders, who was released by the Prince Albert Raiders on Oct. 27 and now is with the AJHL’s Lloydminster Bobcats. . . . Included in the Warriors scratches were D Josh Brook, D Jett Wood, D Matthew Benson, D Dmitri Zaitsev and F Brett Howden, all key contributors and all injured. . . . Announced attendance: 2,745.


At Langley, B.C., F Tyler Benson drew three assists to lead the Vancouver Giants to a 4-2 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . The Giants (9-8-4) have points in five straight games (4-0-1). . . . The Rebels (9-12-1) are 1-5-0 on a seven-game road trip that ends Friday in Cranbrook, B.C. . . . F James Malm gave Vancouver a 1-0 lead at 7:48 of the first period. . . . Red Deer took a 2-1 lead on goals from F Kristian Reichel (9), at 19:30 of the first, and F Brandon Cutler (1), at 6:17 of the second. . . . Vancouver F Brayden Watts (8) tied it at 12:53. . . . Malm, who has 10 goals, broke the deadlock at 12:04. He’s got six goals over his past three games. . . . F Ty Ronning scored his 20th goal of the season into an empty net at 19:29. He’s got 20 goals in 21 games. He also has scored in eight straight games. That’s 10 games shy of the WHL record that belongs to his father, Cliff, who did it with the 1984-85 New Westminster Bruins. . . . Benson has six assists over his past two games. In the eight games he has played this season, he has four goals and eight assists. . . . Vancouver was 1-2 on the PP; Red Deer was 0-2. . . . G David Tendeck stopped 31 shots for the winners, four more than Red Deer’s Ethan Anders. . . . Announced attendance: 2,277.


At Kamloops, the Prince George Cougars built up a 3-0 lead and hung on to beat the Blazers, 5-4. . . . The Cougars (7-9-4) moved four points ahead of the fifth-place Blazers in the B.C. Division. . . . The Blazers (7-13-0) had won their previous two games. . . . The visitors got first-period goals from F Ethan O’Rourke, at 4:18, D Cole Moberg, at 7:56, and O’Rourke again, at 15:19. . . . O’Rourke went into the game with two career goals in 39 games. . . . Moberg, who also had an assist, scored his first goal this season, in his 19th game. He scored once in four games last season. . . . D Chance Adrian earned assists on the last two of those goals, his first career points coming in his 13th game. . . . F Jermaine Loewen got the Blazers on the scoreboard at 6:13 of the second period. Loewen has scored in five straight games. He has nine goals in 14 games this season. In three previous seasons, he totalled 14 goals in 170 games. . . . F Brogan O’Brien, perhaps the best player on the ice in this one, scored his fourth goal at 12:24 of the second for a 4-1 lead. . . . Kamloops got to within a goal on scores from F Quinn Benjafield (5), at 18:32 of the second, and F Nick Chyzowski (6), on a PP, at 4:20 of the third. . . . F Kody McDonald (11) stretched the lead to two with a shorthanded goal at 16:38. . . . The Blazers got back to within a goal when F Garrett Pilon (8) scored with 46.9 seconds left. . . . The Blazers got two assists from Pilon and one each from Loewen and Chyzowski. . . . Kamloops was 1-5 on the PP; Prince George was 0-5. . . . G Tavin Grant stopped 27 shots to earn the victory. . . . While Grant, 19, was in Kamloops with the Cougars, his junior A rights were changing teams with the BCHL’s Prince George Spruce Kings having acquired them from the CCHL’s Carleton Place Canadians. . . . The Blazers got 33 saves from G Dylan Garand, 15, who made his second career WHL start. . . . F Connor Zary and F Carson Denomie were among the Blazers’ scratches. Both players were injured in Saturday’s 4-2 victory over the host Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Announced attendance: 3,405.


At Everett, G Carter Hart stopped 25 shuts and tied a franchise record with his 21st career shutout as the Silvertips beat the Prince Albert Raiders, 2-0. . . . The Silvertips (9-10-2) have points in three straight games (2-0-1). . . . The Raiders (9-8-3) are 2-2-0 on a six-game trip that continues in Kennewick, Wash., and Spokane on Friday and Saturday nights. . . . Hart, who tied the career record held by Leland Irving, has put up back-to-back shutouts. He has two shutouts this season. . . . F Sean Richards (8) scored the game’s first goal, at 6:08 of the second period. He’s got goals in four straight games. . . . F Patrick Bajkov (10) got the game’s other goal, at 14:27 of the third period. Bajkov now has 216 career points, tying him with F Joshua Winquist for second spot on the franchise list. F Zach Hamill is No. 1, at 262 points. . . . D Kevin Davis had two assists. . . . Prince Albert was 0-3 on the PP; Everett was 0-8. . . . The Raiders have been shorthanded 28 times over their past three games. In Portland on Sunday, the Winterhawks were 5-12 on the PP in a 6-1 victory over the Raiders. On Tuesday, the Raiders beat host Seattle 6-4 despite the Thunderbirds going 2-8 on the PP. . . . G Ian Scott stopped 40 shots for the Raiders. . . . The Silvertips lost D Montana Onyebuchi at 13:16 of the first period with a charging major and game misconduct for a hit on F Carson Miller. Onyebuchi then was was involved in a fight with D Cody Paivarinta. There was leakage. . . . Announced attendance: 2,864.


THURSDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Calgary at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Brandon at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Swift Current at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.

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

Edmonton at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

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

Victoria at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.

Seattle at Everett, 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).


Warriors sweep two from Pats … Giants escape with win over Oil Kings … Winterhawks power past Raiders

F Ian McDonald (Tri-City, 2000-06) has been released by Gherdëina Selva Val Gardena (Italy, Alps HL) by mutual agreement. He had nine goals and 10 assists in 15 games. . . .

F Colin Long (Kelowna, 2005-09) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Gherdëina Selva Val Gardena (Italy, Alps HL). Last season, he had 10 goals and a team-high 32 assists in 29 games with Asiago (Italy, Alps HL). He was third in the league in assists.


Richard Matvichuk, the head coach of the Prince George Cougars, watched his guys drop a 4-0 decision to the visiting Everett Silvertips on Saturday night.

After the game came the explosion.

“It wasn’t good,” Matvichuk said. “It was frustrating. Our 20-year-olds and our 19-year-olds did not want to play the game and they tried to take shortcuts and that’s why we weren’t successful.”

That is one of the quotes from Hartley Miller’s blog site at myprincegeorgenow.com.

The Cougars’ games are heard on 94.3 The Goat — Miller is the analyst — and Matvichuk told the post-game show that had he been a fan he would have headed home with the locals down 4-0 after 40 minutes.

“It was awful,” Matvichuk continued. “We didn’t have any work ethic. They wanted it more, they played harder, they finished more checks, and they put pucks in the right area. We were soft; we wouldn’t finish checks. We swung away. We didn’t want to get traffic in front of their net. They didn’t beat us, we beat ourselves.”

The Cougars had beaten the visiting Silvertips 4-3 in OT on Friday night.

Prince George next plays on Wednesday when it travels to Kamloops to meet the Blazers, who are 7-12-0, but have won seven of their past 10 games after an 0-9-0 start.

The Cougars (6-9-4) are fourth in the B.C. Division, two points ahead of the Blazers. Prince George is two points out of the Western Conference’s second wild-card playoff spot.


James McEwan spent four seasons (2004-08) in the WHL, two with the Seattle Thunderbirds and two with the Kelowna Rockets.

It’s fair to say that the Kelowna native was one of the last hired guns.

In two seasons with the Thunderbirds, he had two goals, three assists and 245 penalty minutes.

In two seasons with the Rockets, he recorded five goals, seven assists and 295 penalty minutes in 105 games.

These days, he is back in Kelowna, his hockey-playing days behind him, and he says it’s time for fighting to be eliminated from hockey.

He told Jeremy Allingham of CBC News that he has gone through the drugs and the alcohol, the depression and the suicidal thoughts.

“Fighting is linked with CTE and it’s caused suicides, it’s causing mental illness,” McEwan told Allingham. “It was a direct link to, I believe, my own trauma and challenges which put me to the edge, very close to taking my own life multiple times.

“Knowing what we know now, when you’re cheering and supporting these fights, you’re also cheering and supporting the things that have helped cause suicides of guys like Rick Rypien, Wade Belak, Steve Montador and many others.”

Allingham’s complete piece is right here.


If you are wondering where the KHL is headed, well, this piece right here is for you. Patrick Conway, who runs Conway’s Russian Hockey Blog, turned over his space to Tomáš Vorčák, who use the opportunity to write in length on the “KHL’s new development plan for the next few seasons . . . which represents a significant change of philosophy from the way the league used to operate.”


If you like what you see here, you may want to consider donating to the cause. Should you choose to help out, simply click on the DONATE button in the upper right corner of this page and away you go. Thank you!


SUNDAY:

At Moose Jaw, the Warriors completed a weekend sweep of the Regina Pats with a 3-1 victory. . . . The Warriors (15-4-0) have won five in a row and have moved into first place atop the overall standings, a point ahead of the idle Victoria Royals (14-6-1). . . . The Pats (11-8-2) have lost two in a row. They went into Friday just two points behind the Warriors, but now trail by six with the Warriors holding two games in hand. . . . F Jayden Halbgewachs (14) gave the Warriors a 1-0 lead at 3:46 of the first period. Halbgewachs is from White City, which is located just east of Regina. He had a goal and an assist on Sunday, after scoring twice in Friday’s 3-2 victory in Regina. . . . F Bryan Lockner (3) pulled the Pats even at 13:44 of the first period. . . . F Noah Gregor (9) broke the tie at 13:07 of the second period and F Tanner Jeannot (11) added the insurance at 18:47 of the third. . . . Moose Jaw was 0-4 on the PP; Regina was 0-2. . . . G Brody Willms stopped 23 shots for the Warriors, while Regina’s Tyler Brown blocked 43. . . . The Warriors went into the game without two front-end defencemen in Josh Brook and Dmitri Zaitsev. Then they watched as Jett Woo and Matthew Benson failed to finish the game due to injury, something that left them with only four defencemen. . . . The Warriors also were without F Brett Howden for a second straight game. He suffered an undisclosed injury while playing for Team WHL against the Russians in Swift Current on Tuesday. . . . Announced attendance: 4,005.


At Langley, B.C., the Edmonton Oil Kings scored the only six goals of the third period, but it wasn’t enough — SERIOUSLY! — as they dropped an 8-7 decision to the Vancouver Giants. . . . You are free to wonder which team’s coaching staff slept better after this one. . . . The Giants (8-8-4), who were playing their third game in fewer than 48 hours (2-0-1), have points in four straight (3-0-1). . . . The Oil Kings (5-12-2) have lost six in a row. . . . The Giants got three goals and a pair of assists from F James Malm, who now has eight goals. Last season, Malm finished with 20 goals and 31 assists in 69 games. He had four points, including two goals, in a 5-3 victory over the visiting Victoria Royals on March 14. That was one of his five two-goal games last season. . . . Malm got the scoring started at 2:15 of the first period, with F Brendan Semchuk (6), on a PP, scoring at 7:18 and F Ty Ronning (19) finding the range on another PP, at 13:08. . . . F Ty Gerla scored Edmonton’s first goal, at 18:40. . . . The Giants broke it open — or thought they did — with five second-period goals, from F Milos Roman (6), D Matt Barberis (3), Malm F Tyler Popowich (3) and Malm, again. . . . In the third period, the Giants scored six times in a span of 8:47, starting with F Davis Koch goal at 11:07. . . . F Tomas Soustal (5), F David Kope (2), Koch (7), F Trey Fix-Wolansky (8) and F Colton Kehler (7) also scored to get the Giants to within a goal at the end. Kehler’s goal came at 19:54. . . . The Giants got three assists from F Tyler Benson, two from F Tyler Ho, and one each from Popowich and Roman. . . . Benson, who has four goals and five assists in seven games, played in all three weekend games. . . . Soustal added four assists to his goal, while D Conner McDonald had three and Koch two. Fix-Wolansky added one assist to his goal. . . . Ronning has goals in seven straight games. His father, Cliff, holds the WHL record for longest such streak. He totalled 27 goals in an 18-game streak for the New Westminster Bruins in 1984-85, from Nov. 6 through Dec. 15. . . . Vancouver was 4-6 on the PP; Edmonton was 2-5. . . . Vancouver G Todd Scott blocked 29 shots. . . . Edmonton starter Boston Bilous, who is from Langley, was beaten three times on 11 shots in 13:08. Travis Child came on to stop 20 of 25 shots in 45:54. . . . Announced attendance: 3,689.


At Portland, the Portland Winterhawks scored five PP goals, four of them on 5-on-3s, en route to a 6-1 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . The Winterhawks (14-4-0) have won five in a row and lead the U.S. Division by two points over the Tri-City Americans (12-5-2). . . . The Raiders are 8-7-3. . . . F Jordy Stallard (14) of the Raiders scored the game’s first goal, on a PP, at 3:42 of the opening period. Stallard is riding an 11-game point streak, with 20 points, including 11 goals, over that time. . . . D Henri Jokiharju (6) got Portland even, on a PP, at 5:32 of the second period, with F Brad Ginnell breaking the tie at 14:32. . . . The Winterhawks added four third-period goals, three of them coming via the PP. . . . F Cody Glass scored twice, giving him 10, with F Skyler McKenzie (15) and Ginnell (5) adding the others. . . . Jokiharju and F Joachim Blichfeld each had two assists for Portland. . . . The Winterhawks were 5-12 on the PP; the Raiders were 1-5. . . . The Raiders took the game’s last 11 penalties — 10 minors and a misconduct — all coming between 5:58 and 17:50. . . . G Cole Kehler stopped 28 shots for Portland. . . . The Raiders got 28 saves from G Curtis Meger. . . . Announced attendance: 5,536.


MONDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


TUESDAY (All times local):

Calgary at Brandon, 7 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.

Edmonton at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

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

Red Deer at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Welcome to the Medicine Hat Tigers’ world.

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

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

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


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


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

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

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


If you like what you see here, you may want to consider donating to the cause. Should you choose to help out, simply click on the DONATE button in the upper right corner of this page and away you go. Thank you!


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


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


SATURDAY:

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


SUNDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


MONDAY (all times local):

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


TUESDAY (all times local):

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


WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


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


Popugaev leaves Cougars, returns to Russia … Benson to play for Giants on Friday

The Prince George Cougars revealed Thursday afternoon that F Nikita Popugaev, who is to turn 19 on Nov. 20, has returned home to Russia “for personal reasons.”

According to the Cougars’ news release:

“The Cougars were presented with opportunities to move Popugaev elsewhere in the (WHL), but after consulting with him and his family, Popugaev decided it was in his best interests to return to Russia.”

The 6-foot-6, 205-pound Popugaev is in his third WHL season. From Moscow, he was a fourth-round selection by the New Jersey Devils in the NHL’s 2017 draft.

In 154 regular-season WHL games, he has 47 goals and 76 assists.

In 2015-16, as a freshman, he had 47 points, including 16 goals, in 70 games.

Last season, he put up 51 points, 22 of them goals, in 40 games with the Warriors when he found himself having been traded to Prince George. On Jan. 5, the Cougars gave up F Yan Khomenko, F Justin Almeida and two bantam draft picks — a second-rounder in 2018 and a fifth-rounder in 2017 — in exchange for Popugaev.

At the time, Todd Harkins, the Cougars’ general manager, said: “We’ve added a player to our lineup that can be an offensive game-changer for us. Nikita is one of the most skilled and dominant offensive players in the Western Hockey League and he’s got a tremendously bright future in the game. He makes us better in all areas and he will play a big part in our success not only this year, but next season as well.”

For whatever reason, or reasons, Popugaev didn’t really live up to those expectations in Prince George.

In 31 games with the Cougars last season, he had seven goals and 11 assists.

This season, Popugaev had two goals and five assists in seven games.

On Thursday, Harkins told Ted Clarke of the Prince George Citizen:

“I don’t know the personal reasons but he wants to go home, and I can’t keep an 18-year-old boy sitting here in Prince George and not grant his wishes. You can’t stop him from moving on and if it’s the KHL he wants to go to I can’t stop him from that either. . . .

“We feel he’s an asset if he wanted to play somewhere else, but I don’t think it’s anything particular with our league or Prince George. I don’t know if it’s family or a girlfriend or what. He said that we treated him really well and he enjoyed it here but it was his parents’ wishes as well.”

Popugaev’s departure leaves the Cougars with one import — freshman F Vladislav Mikhalchuk, who is from Minsk, Belarus. He has three goals and two assists in 11 games.

Clarke’s story is right here. He also writes about whether the Cougars might be interested in bringing back F Radovan Bondra, a 20-year-old Russian, who is with the ECHL’s Indy Fuel.

The Cougars go into weekend games at 4-5-4, which has them tied for second in the B.C. Division with the Kelowna Rockets (5-5-2) and Vancouver Giants (5-5-2), nine points behind the Victoria Royals (10-4-1).

The Cougars are scheduled to meet the Giants in Langley, B.C., tonight, and then play in Kelowna on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Giants announced Thursday afternoon that F Tyler Benson has medical clearance to play against the Cougars tonight.

Steve Ewen of Postmedia tweeted that Benson skated on a line with James Malm and Brendan Semchuk at practice on Thursday. That leaves the Giants’ top line — Cliff Running, Milos Roman and Brandon Morrison — intact.

Benson, 19, hasn’t played since Jan. 2. He was returned to the Giants earlier this week by the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers. He had been with the Oilers while recovering from off-season surgery for a sports hernia.

Benson was a second-round pick by the Oilers in the NHL’s 2016 draft and he has signed a three-year entry-level deal with them.

Hockey Canada, CHL talking Olympics … Nagy sparks Royals … Warriors win in Portland


F Juraj Bezúch (Lethbridge, 2011-12) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia, KHL). This season, he had seven goals and seven assists in 15 games with Dukla Trenčín (Slovakia, Extraliga).


Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet posted his latest 31 Thoughts on Tuesday afternoon.

If you are a follower of major junior hockey, this one is rather interesting.

Friedman reports that Hockey Canada, on behalf of the Canadian men’s Olympic team, and the Canadian Hockey League have been talking.

About what?

Well, it seems that the Olympic team would like to have the option of including CHL players on its roster for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games that are scheduled for Feb. 9-25 in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Friedman has spoken with sources who have told him that Hockey Canada and the CHL are involved in quite a battle. However, Tom Renney, Hockey Canada’s CEO, says “there is no battle with the CHL.”

Whatever is happening, you can bet that there isn’t a major junior operator out there who would be pleased about losing a star player to the Canadian Olympic team . . . especially after that player likely would have missed about a month with Canada’s national junior team.

But, at the same time, how do you deny a player the opportunity to represent his country at the Olympics?

Canada’s men’s team has three pre-Olympic competitions on its schedule, too. It will play in the Karjala Cup in Zurich, Switzerland, and Helsinki, Finland, Nov. 8-12; the Channel One Cup in Moscow, Dec. 12-17; and the Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland, Dec. 25-31.

If the Olympic team’s roster is to include a CHL player or two, you would think GM Sean Burke, head coach Willie Desjardins and their staff would want to get a look at those players in one or more of those events.

You are able to check out Friedman’s report right here.


F Tyler Benson was back on the ice with the Vancouver Giants on Tuesday and Steve Ewen of Postmedia was there. As Ewen reports right here, the Giants are hopeful that their captain will be in the lineup on Friday against the visiting Prince George Cougars. But the final say will be up to the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers.


The Prince George Cougars have acquired F Matthew Mosher, 17, from the Saskatoon Blades for a ninth-round selection in the 2019 WHL bantam draft. . . . Mosher, from White Rock, B.C., was a third-round pick by the Blades in the 2015 bantam draft. . . . He is pointless in four career games with the Blades, one of them this season. . . . Last season, Mosher had 13 goals and eight assists in 29 games with the midget prep team at Delta Hockey Academy.


The Everett Silvertips have four goaltenders on their roster, although only two of them have been healthy in recent times. However, that is about to change as Carter Hart (mononucleosis) was back on the ice Tuesday; he hasn’t played since Sept. 30. At the same time, Dustin Wolf is back practising after recovering from off-season hip surgery. . . . With those two on the sidelines, Dorrin Luding and 15-year-old Blake Lyda have been holding down the net. . . . Head coach Dennis Williams isn’t about to commit one way or the other, but fans may get a feel for which way he will go when the Silvertips play Friday in Kamloops and Sunday in Portland. . . . Jesse Geleynse of the Everett Herald has more on the Silvertips’ goaltending situation right here.


F Nolan Patrick of the Philadelphia Flyers didn’t finish Tuesday’s 6-2 loss to the visiting Anaheim Ducks. Patrick, 19, who spent the past three seasons with the Brandon Wheat Kings, left at 2:35 of the second period after taking a hit from Anaheim F Chris Wagner and having his head bounce off the glass. . . . An update on Patrick’s condition isn’t expected to be available until sometime today (Wednesday). . . . Patrick was playing in his ninth game of the season. . . . If you haven’t seen the play, there’s more right here.


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TUESDAY:

At Calgary, the Spokane Chiefs scored four third-period goals en route to a 6-4 victory over the Hitmen. . . . The Chiefs (8-5-1) have points in four straight games (3-0-1). . . . The Hitmen are 4-8-1. . . . Calgary held leads of 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2 before Spokane’s third-period offensive explosion. . . . Goals from F Andrei Grishakov (3) and F Matteo Gennaro, on a PP, at 1:49 and 6:38 of the first period got the home side off to a great start. . . . F Zach Fischer (2), with his first goal since being acquired from the Medicine Hat Tigers last week, got the Chiefs started, on a PP, at 8:39. . . . F Cael Zimmerman (2) restored Calgary’s two-goal lead at 10:47, but F Hudson Elynuik (7) got that one back for Spokane at 18:03. . . . After a scoreless second period, Gennaro (8), on a PP, gave the Hitmen a 4-2 lead. . . . D Nolan Reid (5) pulled Spokane to within a goal, at 7:18 of the third period, and F Riley McKay (2) tied it at 13:04. . . . F Eli Zummack (4) gave Spokane its first lead, on a PP, at 17:40, and F Riley Woods (7) iced it with an empty-netter while on a PP at 19:49. . . . The Chiefs also got three assists from Reid, who enjoyed his first career four-point outing. F Jaret Anderson-Dolan added two assists, with Woods and Zummack each getting one. . . . D Jake Bean had two assists for Calgary, with Grishakov adding one. . . . Spokane was 3-6 on the PP; Calgary was 2-5. . . . The Chiefs got 30 saves from G Donovan Buskey, who recorded his first career WHL victory in his third appearance this season and his seventh in two seasons. He went into the game at 0-3-1. A 17-year-old from Vancouver, B.C., Buskey was a third-round selection by Spokane in the 2015 bantam draft. . . . The Hitmen got 32 saves from G Nick Schneider. . . . Announced attendance: 5,678.


At Cranbrook, B.C., the Regina Pats broke a 1-1 tie with five straight goals as they dumped the Kootenay Ice, 6-3. . . . The Pats improved to 8-5-1, while the Ice slipped to 5-7-1. . . . D Josh Mahura put the Pats out front at 2:44 of the first period, only to have F Brett Davis pull the Ice even 19 seconds later. . . . Regina F Matt Bradley (12) snapped the tie at 11:14 of the first period and F Bryce Platt (3) made it 3-1 on a penalty shot at 18:05. . . . The Pats took control with second-period goals from F George King (5), F Robbie Holmes (1) and Mahura (5). . . . The Ice rounded out the scoring with third-period PP goals from Davis (6) and F Colton Veloso (4). . . . F Emil Oksanen and F Sam Steel each had two assists for Regina and Platt had one. . . . The Ice got two assists from D Cale Fleury. . . . Regina was 1-2 on the PP; Kootenay was 2-7. . . . G Tyler Brown turned aside 23 shots for Regina, 10 fewer than the Ice’s Brkin Bailey. . . . The Pats opened a four-game road trip with this victory. . . . Announced attendance: 2,128.


At Red Deer, the Medicine Hat Tigers scored the game’s last four goals and beat the Rebels, 5-2. . . . The Tigers improved to 7-4-0, while the Rebels (6-6-0) lost their second straight game. . . . F Brandon Hagel (4) gave the home team a 1-0 lead at 13:33 of the first period. . . . The Tigers tied it when F Ryan Chyzowski (5) scored, on a PP, at 1:33 of the second period. . . . Red Deer went back out front 1:09 later on F Lane Zablocki’s third goal. . . . Medicine Hat F Ryan Jevne (4) tied it at 16:09 and D David Quenneville (4) provided a 3-2 lead, on a PP, at 18:53. . . . The Tigers put it away with third-period goals from F Tyler Preziuso (3) and D Joel Craven (1). . . . Craven, 17, made his debut with the Tigers after being out with an undisclosed injury. Craven is the son of former Tigers F Murray Craven, who now is the senior vice-president of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights. . . . F James Hamblin had two assists for the Tigers. . . . Medicine Hat was 2-6 on the PP; Red Deer was 1-3. . . . G Michael Bullion earned the victory with 30 saves. . . . G Ethan Anders made his fourth straight start for the Rebels but was gone after 48:06 as he gave up five goals on 27 shots. Lasse Petersen finished up, stopping all six shots he faced in 11:53. . . . Announced attendance: 3,534.


At Saskatoon, F Regan Nagy scored three times and added an assist as the Victoria Royals skated to a 7-2 victory over the Blades. . . . The Royals (10-3-1) have one game left in a seven-game road trip that has stopped in Spokane, Kent, Wash., Edmonton, Regina, Brandon and Saskatoon. The Royals, who will wind it up in Prince Albert tonight, are (3-3-0) on the swing. . . . The Blades (3-7-1) have lost three in a row (0-2-1). . . . In this one, the Blades had a 16-11 edge in first-period shots, but found themselves trailing 3-0 when the second period began. . . . F Dante Hannoun (9) gave Victoria a 1-0 lead at 1:27 of the first, with Nagy scoring twice, at 6:46 and 18:12. . . . Nagy completed his second hat trick this season at 11:53 of the second period for a 5-0 lead. . . . Nagy has 13 goals in 14 games; last season, he finished with 18 goals in 69 games. . . . F Jared Legien (6), F Tyler Soy (6) and F Matthew Phillips (12), shorthanded, also scored for Victoria. . . . Phillips, who scored his 100th career regular-season goal, tied the franchise record as he recorded a point in a 14th straight game. He now shares the record with F Mark Santorelli, who did it with the 2006-07 Chilliwack Bruins. . . . Soy added an assist to his goal, giving him 251 career regular-season points in 266 games. He is 13 points shy of the franchise record held by F Brandon Magee, who had 264 points in 318 games with Victoria/Chilliwack Bruins (2010-15). . . . Saskatoon got goals from F Dryden Michaud (1) and F Josh Paterson (3). . . . Victoria F Yan Khomenko earned three assists as he was in on each of his club’s first three goals. Soy and Hannoun added one assist each. . . . Victoria was 1-4 on the PP; Saskatoon was 0-4. . . . G Griffen Outhouse played the first two periods for the visitors, stopping 28 of 29 shots. Dean McNabb played the third period, turning aside 10 of 11 shogts. . . . G Ryan Kubic started for Saskatoon and gave up five goals on 14 shots in 31:53. Joel Grzybowski played the last 28:06, stopping 10 of 12 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 2,732.


At Portland, F Jayden Halbgewachs had a goal and three assists to help the Moose Jaw Warriors to a 6-4 victory over the Winterhawks. . . . The Warriors (10-3-0) have won three in a row. . . . The Winterhawks (9-3-0) have lost two straight. . . . F Brett Howden opened the scoring for the Warriors at 15:42 of the first period. . . . Portland F Skyler McKenzie (12) tied it, on a PP, 1:06 later. . . . D Jett Woo (5) gave the Warriors a 2-1 lead, on a PP, at 3:46 of the second period. . . . F Kieffer Bellows pulled the Winterhawks even at 10:11, but the Warriors scored the next two goals to gain the edge. Howden (6) scored at 13:45 and F Tanner Jeannot (5) made it 4-2 at 17:50. . . . F Alex Overrhardt (4), on a PP, got Portland to within a goal at 2:40 of the third period. . . . D Luka Burzan (1) restored Moose Jaw’s two-goal lead 16 seconds later 2:56. . . . The Winterhawks moved back to within a goal when Bellows (9) scored at 16:25, but Halbgewachs (7) put it away with an empty-netter at 19:10. . . . F Brayden Burke had two assists for Moose Jaw, with Howden, Woo and Jeannot earning one apiece. . . . Portland got two assists from McKenzie and one from Bellows. . . . The Warriors were 1-5 on the PP; the Winterhawks were 2-5. . . . G Brody Willms stopped 31 shots for the Warriors. . . . Portland G Cole Keller made 43 saves as he had a 15-game winning streak snapped. It dated back to last season. This season, he is 7-1-0. . . . F Noah Gregor was among Moose Jaw’s scratches with an undisclosed injury. . . . The Warriors are on a seven-game road trip that followed on the heels of a seven-game homestand. With stops left in Kennewick, Wash., and Medicine Hat, Moose Jaw is 3-2-0. The Warriors dropped 2-1 decisions in Cranbrook, B.C., and Spokane to begin the trip. . . . Last night’s game was played in Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the same time as the NBA’s Trail Blazers were playing their home-opener at the Moda Center. . . . Announced attendance: 2,618.


WEDNESDAY (all times local):

Spokane at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.

Victoria at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Regina at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Moose Jaw 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).


Benson returns to Giants … Ice adds goaltender … Hitmen roster shrinks by two


D John Negrin (Kooteney, Swift Current, 2004-09) has signed a contract with Lørenskog (Norway, GET-Ligaen). The terms weren’t announced. Last season, he had five assists in 22 games with the Utica Comets (AHL). . . .

F Björn Svensson (Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, 2003-06) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with the Fischtown Penguins Bremerhaven (Germany, DEL). Last season, he had three goals and three assists in 31 games with Färjestad Karlstad (Sweden, SEL), and two goals and six assists in 16 games with Ingolstadt (Germany, DEL).


F Tyler Benson has been returned to the Vancouver Giants by the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers.

Benson, 19, has been with the Oilers while recovering from off-season surgery for a sports hernia. From Edmonton, he was selected by the Oilers in the second round of the 2016 NHL draft. He has signed a three-year entry-level contract with them.

Benson hasn’t played for the Giants since Jan. 2.

In fact, his last two seasons both have been health/injury-shortened.

Last season, he finished with 11 goals and 31 assists in 33 games. In 2015-16, he had nine goals and 19 assists in 30 games.

While Benson is expected to be on the ice for practice today (Tuesday), there isn’t a timetable for his return to game action.

The Giants (5-5-2), who are proving to be quite competitive, are coming off a seven-game road trip (3-2-2) that took them through the East Division. Both of their regulation-time losses were by a goal — 3-2 in Seattle and 1-0 in Swift Current.

It seems unlikely that Benson would play this weekend. The Giants are prepping for one of those WHL specials — three games in fewer than 48 hours. They are scheduled to entertain the Prince George Cougars at the Langley Events Centre on Friday night, then play the host Victoria Royals on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.

It would seem to be more likely that, if all goes well, Benson would play on Nov. 3 against the visiting Kamloops Blazers and perhaps the next night in the rematch in Kamloops.


With F Tyler Benson having been returned by the Edmonton Oilers to the Vancouver Giants, it means there are two 19-year-olds with WHL eligibility still in the NHL.

F Nolan Patrick, who was with the Brandon Wheat Kings for the past three seasons, is with the Philadelphia Flyers, who selected him second overall in the 2017 NHL draft. He has one goal and two assists in eight games and almost certainly will remain in the NHL.

F Kailer Yamamoto is coming off three seasons with his hometown Spokane Chiefs. The Edmonton Oilers selected him with the 22nd overall pick in the NHL’s 2017 draft. Yamamoto had three assists in six games with the Oilers and has seen playing time on the team’s top line, alongside Connor McDavid and Patrick Maroon. Right now it seems likely that Yamamoto will be staying with the Oilers.

NHL teams face a 10-game deadline with 19-year-olds who have been drafted out of the CHL. Once a player gets into a 10th game the first year of his contract kicks in, which is a big deal down the road when it comes to being eligible for free agency.

A player still may be returned to major junior after playing 10 games or more in the NHL, but the first season of his contract would be used up.


The Prince George Cougars are expected to announce today (Tuesday) that they have acquired F Matthew Mosher, 17, from the Saskatoon Blades for a late-round bantam draft. pick. . . . Mosher, from White Rock, B.C., was a third-round selection by the Blades in the 2015 WHL bantam draft. He was pointless in three games with the Blades last season and pointless in one this season. . . . A source familiar with the situation told Taking Note that Mosher wasn’t getting in the lineup with the Blades and wanted to play closer to home.


The Kootenay Ice has acquired G Duncan McGovern, 17, from the Medicine Hat Tigers for a fifth-round selection in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft.

McGovern, from Winnipeg, was a fifth-round selection by the Tigers in the 2015 bantam draft. He got into eight games with the Tigers over two seasons, going 3-4-0, 4.31, .850. This season, playing behind Michael Bullion, 20, and Jordan Hollett, 18, McGovern had gotten into just one game, playing only 11 minutes.

McGovern becomes the third goaltender on the Ice’s roster, joining Kurtis Chapman, 19, and Bailey Brkin, 18, both of whom were acquired in earlier trades.

Since May 24, the Ice has acquired four goaltenders through trades.

On May 24, general manager Matt Cockell acquired G Mario Petit, 20, from the Everett Silvertips for a conditional sixth-round selection in the 2018 bantam draft. Petit was released late in training camp.

On Sept. 10, Brkin was acquired from the Swift Current Broncos, along with a conditional fifth-round selection in the 2018 bantam draft, for F Max Patterson.

On Sept. 13, Cockell got Chapman from the Regina Pats for a conditional sixth-round selection in the 2018 bantam draft.

Cockell, a former goaltender himself, also traded G Declan Hobbs to the Spokane Chiefs on July 5, getting back a seventh-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft. Hobbs now is with the SJHL’s Nipawin Hawks.

The Ice (5-6-1) has allowed 50 goals in its 12 games, 11 of those coming in an 11-1 loss to the host Medicine Hat Tigers on Friday night. The Ice, coming off a 5-4 OT victory over visiting Swift Current on Saturday, is scheduled to entertain the Regina Pats tonight (Tuesday).


The Calgary Hitmen saw their roster shrink by two players on Monday.

D Ryely McKinstry, who has been plagued by concussion-related problems, has retired, while F Lucas Cullen has left the team, according to the Hitmen, to pursue other hockey opportunities in B.C.

McKinstry 19, is from Calgary. He was a second-round pick by the Vancouver Giants in the WHL’s 2013 bantam draft. Unfortunately, he was able to play only 43 regular-season games, all with the Giants, and hasn’t played since Nov. 6, 2015.

In 2014-15, he had two goals and two assists in 30 games. In 2015-16, he had one goal and one assist in 11 games. He then missed all of last season, before being traded to the Hitmen on Sept. 25 for an undisclosed conditional selection in the 2019 bantam draft.

Cullen, 18, is from Kelowna. The Hitmen selected him in the fifth round of the 2014 bantam draft.

He recorded one assist in seven games this season, after putting up four goals and four assists in 37 games as a freshman last season.

Calgary’s roster now is at 23, including 14 forwards and seven defencemen.


D Owen Gallatin of Hugo, Minn., has made a commitment to attend the U of Minnesota-Duluth for the 2021-22 season. Gallatin, who turned 15 on Feb. 6, was a ninth-round selection by the Brandon Wheat Kings in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft.

This season, he has two goals and five assists in four games with the U-15 Minnesota Blades.

D Connor Kelley of Maple Grove, Minn., who turned 15 on Jan. 30, also has committed to attend the U of Minnesota-Duluth for the 2021-22 season.  Kelley also is playing for the U-15 Minnesota Blades. He wasn’t selected in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft.

Gallatin and Kelley are the latest in a series of young teenagers who have made early commitments to NCAA Division 1 programs.


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F Rykr Cole, 20, who was placed on waivers last week by the Spokane Chiefs, has had his SJHL playing rights dealt by the Melville Millionaires to the Nipawin Hawks. Cole is from Moosomin, Sask. The Chiefs dropped him in order to get down to three 20-year-olds after acquiring F Zach Fischer, 20, from the Medicine Hat Tigers.


MONDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


TUESDAY (all times local):

Spokane at Calgary, 7 p.m.

Regina vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Victoria at Saskatoon 7:05 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Portland, 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 lose forward to KHL, add d-man … Warriors iced … Holt on! Giants win in OT

D Linden Springer (Prince George, Portland, 2010-13) has signed a two-year extension with the Manchester Storm (England, UK Elite). This season, he has one goal and two assists in 10 games.


Casey O’Brien is the general manager and head coach of the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers. On Tuesday morning, he posted a tweet involving his wife, Laura, who experienced a medical emergency while having routine blood work done on Monday. . . . O’Brien is in his second season as the Terriers’ GM and head coach, after spending five seasons as an assistant coach. . . . I pass along his tweet and ask the hockey community to keep Laura in its thoughts and prayers.

If you would like to read more about O’Brien, who is deaf, take a couple of minutes and check out this piece right here that TSN’s Darren Dreger wrote in December. It is headlined: The relentless drive of Casey O’Brien. . . . It carries that headline for good reason.


The Tri-City Americans solved their 20-year-old and import situations on Tuesday when Russian F Vladislav Lukin signed with Salavat Yulaev Ufa of the KHL. Lukin, who is from Ufa, played the previous three seasons with the Americans. Last season, he had 26 goals and 32 assists in 63 games. . . . Lukin started this season in camp with the Americans, then moved on to the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage. They assigned him to the ECHL’s Colorado Eagles, who released him last week. Lukin then returned to the Americans. . . . His return left Tri-City with three import players, one over the limit, and four 20-year-olds, also one over the limit. Lukin’s departure leaves the Americans with Finnish D Juuso Valimaki and D Roman Kalinichenko, a freshman from Russia, as the imports, and G Patrick Dea, F Maxwell James and F Jordan Topping as the 20s.

Meanwhile, the Americans have acquired D Anthony Bishop, 19, from the Victoria Royals for an eighth-round selection in the 2018 WHL bantam draft. Bishop wasn’t in the Americans’ lineup last night as they beat the visiting Kelowna Rockets, 2-1. . . . Bishop, from Kelowna, played last season with the WHL-champion Seattle Thunderbirds, recording two goals and five assists in seven games. . . . In 2015-16, as a freshman with the Saskatoon Blades, he had two assists in 40 games. . . . This season, he had one assist in four games with Victoria. . . . The Royals acquired him from Seattle on Aug. 2, giving up F Blake Bargar, 19, in the exchange. . . . With Bishop, the Americans have nine defencemen on their roster. But two of them, Liam Belcourt and Dan Gatenby, are out with long-term injuries.


The WHL has named the roster for Team WHL, which will meet a touring Russian side in Moose Jaw (Nov. 6) and Swift Current (Nov. 7) in the western end of the annual CIBC Canada-Russia Series. . . . Games 3 and 4 will be played in the OHL cities of Owen Sound (Nov. 9) and Sudbury (Nov. 13), with Games 5 and 6 in the QMJHL centres of Charlottetown (Nov. 14) and Moncton (Nov. 16). . . . Team WHL’s roster, as it now stands, features 20 players, including eight defencemen and 12 forwards. . . . The rosters includes F Tyler Benson of the Vancouver Giants, who has yet to play a game this season. He is recovering from off-season surgery for a sports hernia and remains with the Edmonton Oilers, who selected him in the second round of the NHL’s 2016 draft. . . . The roster also includes G Carter Hart of the Everett Silvertips for a third straight season. However, he has played in only two games this season. He was returned to Everett by the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers, played on Sept. 29 and 30, and shortly afterwards was diagnosed with mononucleosis.

The WHL’s news release and the roster are right here.


There are 15 WHL players on the 66-man roster released by Hockey Canada on Tuesday for the U-17 World Hockey Challenge that is to be played in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, B.C., Nov. 5-11. . . . The players will be split into three teams — Black, Red and White — for the tournament that also includes teams from Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden and the U.S.. . . . From a news release: “In July, 111 players were invited to the week-long national under-17 development camp, marking the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence. The players chosen to compete at the (WHC) were selected by Brad McEwen, Hockey Canada’s head scout, in consultation with U17 POE management group lead Steve Staios, along with regional scouts Carl Bouchard (Quebec), Barclay Branch (Ontario), Barclay Parneta (West), Kevin Mitchell (Atlantic), and Darrell Woodley (Ontario).” . . . There is one WHL goaltender on the roster, along with seven defencemen and seven forwards. The complete roster is right here.

The Tri-City Americans have two forwards — Connor Bouchard and Sasha Mutala — on the roster. Expecting that to happen, Tri-City general manager Bob Tory added F Brett Clayton to the roster on Monday. Clayton, who is to turn 19 on Nov. 22, was released by the Portland Winterhawks in September and subsequently dropped from their list.


D Charlie Roy of the QMJHL’s Shawinigan Cataractes has drawn a 15-game suspension after a nasty incident that occurred in a game against the host Victoriaville Tigres on Saturday. . . . Unlike the WHL, which chooses not to use modern technology to provide insight when such decisions are reached, the QMJHL posted video of the incident and the rationale behind the suspension on its website. You are able to view it all right here. . . . In short, Roy twice punched a fallen and defenceless opponent, F Maxime Comtois, the first knocking off the helmet and the second causing the head to strike the ice surface with force. . . . Also taken into consideration: Roy wasn’t a first-time offender and the opponent was injured on the play in question. . . . The incident occurred at 19:42 of the second period in a game won by Shawinigan, 4-2. . . . Comtois was a second-round pick by the Anaheim Ducks in the NHL’s 2017 draft.


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TUESDAY:

At Cranbrook, B.C., F Brett Davis broke a 1-1 tie at 17:45 of the second period as the Kootenay Ice beat the Moose Jaw Warriors, 2-1. . . . The Ice (4-5-1) has won two in a row for the first time this season. Geoffrey Brandow (@GeoffreyBrandow) notes that the Ice won back-to-back games only twice last season and five times over the past three seasons. . . . The Warriors (7-2-0) had won their previous two games. . . . F Vince Loschiavo (4) gave the Ice a 1-0 lead at 5:54 of the first period. . . . The Warriors tied it at 12:55 on a goal from F Tanner Jeannot (3). . . . Davis won it with the game’s only PP goal. . . . The Ice was 1-3 on the PP; the Warriors were 0-2. . . . G Bailey Brkin earned the victory with 28 saves, three fewer than Moose Jaw’s Brody Willms. . . . D Chase Hartje, who turns 18 on Dec. 17, made his debut with the Warriors. From Bemidji, Minn., he had been out with an undisclosed injury. Last season, he had four goals and 21 assists in 25 games with Bemidji High. He also played nine games with the NAHL’s Bismarck, N.D., Bobcats, putting up two goals and four assists. . . . After playing seven straight home games, the Warriors opened a seven-game road swing with this one. From Cranbrook, they’ll go through the U.S. Division and then finish up in Medicine Hat on Oct. 27. . . . Announced attendance: 2,110.


At Prince Albert, F Dawson Holt scored his first goal of the season, at 2:35 of OT, to give the Vancouver Giants a 5-4 victory over the Raiders. . . .Holt won it with a shot from the high slot that went off a post, hit G Nicholas Sanders in the back and went into the Prince Albert net. . . . The Giants (3-4-2) had lost four in a row (0-2-2). . . . The Raiders (3-4-3) went into OT for the third time in four games. They now have lost four in a row (0-1-3). . . . The teams combined for five goals in the game’s first 5:21 and seven in the first period, with the Raiders taking a 4-3 edge into the second. . . . The Giants took a 2-0 lead on goals from F Brayden Watts (7), at 1:33, and F Ty Ronning, at 2:21. . . . The Raiders roared back and tied it as F Jordy Stallard (6) scored, at 3:45, and D Sergei Sapego followed at 4:50. . . . Ronning’s sixth goal gave the Giants a 3-2 edge at 5:21. . . . The home side went out front on goals from D Parker Kelly (6), at 18:27, and F Sean Montgomery (4), at 19:58. . . . After the wild first period, there was only one more goal through the end of regulation time, that coming from Vancouver F Alex Kannok Leipert (1), at 8:25 of the second period. . . . F Cole Fonstad had two assists for the Raiders, with Sapego and Stallard each getting one. . . . Each team was 0-2 on the PP. . . . The Giants got 33 saves from G David Tendeck. . . . G Curtis Meger made his eighth straight start for the Raiders, but lasted just 5:22 after allowing three goals on four shots. Sanders, who hadn’t played since Sept. 23 due to an undisclosed injury, came off the bench to stop 33 of 35 shots in 57:13. . . . Vancouver lost D Darian Skeoch to a charging major and game misconduct at 1:24 of the second period. . . . The Giants are four games into a seven-game road trip — they are 1-1-2 — that will end in Regina on Saturday. . . . D Brayden Pachal returned to the Raiders’ lineup after serving a three-game suspension. . . . Announced attendance: 1,727.


At Kennewick, Wash., G Beck Warm stopped 33 shots to lead the Tri-City Americans to a 2-1 victory over the Kelowna Rockets. . . . The Americans (6-4-0) have won three in a row. . . . The Rockets (4-4-2) have lost four in a row (0-3-1). . . . F Nolan Yaremko scored both Tri-City goals, his first of the season, at 10:24 of the first period and 12:24 of the third. . . . F Jordan Topping of the Americans took a boarding major and game misconduct, for a hit on Kelowna F Jack Cowell, at 17:22 of the third period. . . . Cowell wasn’t injured on the play and, in fact, picked up an assist on the PP goal that followed, from F Dillon Dube (4). . . . The Rockets got 22 stops from G James Porter. . . . Kelowna was 1-5 on the PP; Tri-City was 0-3. . . . Tri-City D Juuso Valimaki returned after missing three games due to illness. F Brett Clayton, who was added to the Americans’ roster on Monday, was scratched. . . . F Maxwell James of the Americans served the final game of a three-game suspension. . . . With assistant coach Brian Pellerin away at the WHL Cup, the Americans had former G Olaf Kolzig working as an assistant coach. Kolzig also is one of the club’s owners. . . . Not to be forgotten in this one was the meeting of the Topping brothers — Jordan, 20, and his younger brother Kyle, a sophomore forward with Kelowna who will turn 18 on Nov. 18. The Toppings are from Salt Spring Island, B.C., which also is home to Valdy, a popular Canadian singer-song writer. . . . Announced attendance: 2,783.


WEDNESDAY (all times local):

Victoria at Edmonton, 7 p.m.

Brandon at Regina, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

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

Tri-City 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).


Teams clear up 20-year-old situations … Pats, Ice swing deal … Raiders add an import

Leland Mack, a familiar face in minor hockey circles on the Lower Mainland of B.C., also scouts for the Seattle Thunderbirds. As you can see from the above tweet, he has received his 2016-17 WHL championship ring from the Thunderbirds.

I posted a tweet here earlier showing the Pittsburgh Penguins’ scouting staff as they were presented with their 2016-17 Stanley Cup rings. Wayne Meier, who is one of Pittsburgh’s amateur scouts and who knows his way around arenas in Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest, is one of those scouts and has been with the Penguins for a few years. He was kind enough to send along a photo of his three Stanley Cup rings, which makes for a nice collection.


F Jaroslav Kristek (Tri-City, 1998-2000) has signed a one-year contract with Brest (France, Division 1). Last season, with Tychy (Poland, PHL), he had 14 goals and 15 assists in 35 games. . . .

F Tayler Thompson (Prince George, 2010-12) has been released by Brest (France, Division 1) at his request for personal reasons. He was pointless in three games. . . .

The KHL playing rights to F Vladimir Bobylyov (Vancouver, Victoria, 2014-17) have been traded by Spartak Moscow to Salavat Yulaev Ufa (both Russia) for Stepan Khripunov. Bobylyov was recalled by the Toronto Marlies (AHL) from the Orlando Solar Bears (ECHL) on Saturday. Last season, he had one goal and two assists in 20 games with Spartak Moscow (Russia, KHL); one goal and one assist in three games with Khimik Voskresensk (Russia, Vysshaya Liga); and nine goals and 27 assists in 38 games with the WHL’s Victoria Royals.


The Massey twins of Regina have their own YouTube channel and are soon to feature Les Lazaruk, the long-time radio voice of the Saskatoon Blades. In fact, the Blades are in Regina tonight (Wednesday) and at some point Lazaruk will be interviewed by the Massey brothers. . . . They are looking for audience participation and would like you to send questions for them to ask Lazaruk to questions@themasseys.ca. . . . Requests must be in by noon. . . . The YouTube channel is located right here.


The WHL’s 20-year-old deadline came and went on Tuesday afternoon, with a few teams making moves. For the uninitiated, WHL teams are permitted to keep a maximum of three 20-year-olds on their active roster.

The Portland Winterhawks got down to three 20s by trading F Evan Weinger to the Brandon Wheat Kings for a third-round selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft.

Weinger, from Los Angeles, is in his fourth WHL season. Last season, he had 20 goals and 18 assists in 62 games with Portland. In 187 career games, he has 89 points, including 37 goals. He was a 13th-round selection by the Winterhawks in the WHL’s 2012 bantam draft.

The trade leaves Portland with G Cole Kehler, D Keoni Texeira and F Alex Overhardt as its 20s.

Weinger’s acquisition leaves the Wheat Kings with four 20s, the others being G Logan Thompson, D Kade Jensen and D James Shearer. However, Shearer is on Brandon’s injury list and isn’t expected to return until perhaps late November, so the Wheat Kings won’t have to worry about getting down to three until his return.

Weinger is expected to make his Brandon debut tonight against the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings.

In Medicine Hat, the Tigers revealed that F Zach Fischer had left the club on Sunday and asked to be traded. That left them with G Michael Bullion, F Mark Rassell and Latvian D Kristians Rubins as their 20s.

Fischer, from Lloydminster, Alta., had 34 goals and 29 assists in 62 games with the Tigers last season. This season, he had one goal in three games. In 154 career games, all with Medicine Hat, he put up 47 goals and 40 assists.

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

Fischer, who now is on the Tigers’ suspended list, was a fifth-round selection by the Calgary Flames in the NHL’s 2017 draft.

In Swift Current, the Broncos waived F Arthur Miller, choosing to keep G Logan Flodell, G Glenn Gawdin and F Conner Chaulk. Miller, from Regina, had two assists in two games this season. In 106 regular-season games, he had nine goals and 15 assists.

The Prince George Cougars also went into the day with four 20s. There wasn’t anything official announced, but D Shane Collins wasn’t in their lineup last night against the visiting Calgary Hitmen. So it would seem the Cougars chose to go with F Aaron Boyd, F Jared Bethune and F Brogan O’Brien.

As well, the Seattle Thunderbirds placed F Tyler Adams on their injured list. He is scheduled for hip surgery so won’t be back anytime soon. The Thunderbirds are left with F Donovan Neuls, D Turner Ottenbreit and D Austin Strand as their 20s.


The Kootenay Ice has acquired F Jeff de Wit, 19, from the Regina Pats in exchange for F Tanner Sidaway, 18, and a seventh-round selection in the 2018 bantam draft. . . . Sidaway, a sophomore from Victoria, has two goals and six assists in 65 games with the Ice last season. This season, he has a goal and an assist in five games. . . . The Pats acquired de Wit, who is from Red Deer, from the Red Deer Rebels in January. He had five goals and six assists in 37 regular-season games with the Pats. De Wit, a first-round selection by Red Deer in the 2013 bantam draft, has 20 goals and 33 assists in 211 regular-season games.


The Prince Albert Raiders have claimed D Sergei Sapego, a freshman from Vitebsk, Belarus, off waivers from the Tri-City Americans. Sapego, 18, had two assists in three games with the Americans. He played for Belarus in the 2017 IIHF U-18 World Championship in April, recording a goal and an assist in seven games. He joins veteran D Vojtech Budik, who is from Czech Republic, as the Raiders’ import players.

Having acquired Sapego, the Raiders dropped D Tyler Lowe, 17, from their roster. Lowe, who got into one game with the Raiders, is expected to join the AJHL’s Drumheller Dragons. The Raiders selected Lowe, who is from Calgary, in the third round of the 2015 bantam draft.

The Americans found themselves with three import players, one over the limit, when D Juuso Valimaki returned from the camp of the NHL’s Calgary Flames, thus the decision to place Sapego on waivers. The other import is Russian D Roman Kalinichenko, who is in his first WHL season.


Almost three weeks ago, there was talk that the Vancouver Giants would have F Tyler Benson back with them in time for their East Division road swing this season. Well, the Giants open that trip against the Swift Current Broncos on Friday and it appears they will have to wait until they get home before seeing Benson again. Benson, who has been plagued by injuries for the previous two seasons, remains with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers where he is working with their medical staff in an attempt to return from off-season surgery for a sports hernia. . . . Steve Ewen of Postmedia reports that once Benson does return to the Giants, he will practise for at least a week before getting into a game. . . . Benson, 19, has played in 63 games over the past two seasons. The Oilers selected him in the second round of the 2016 NHL draft and have signed him to a three-year entry-level contract. . . . Ewen’s complete story is right here.


Ryan Flaherty of Global TV reports that the Saskatoon Blades will be without F Logan Christensen for up to eight weeks. He suffered an undisclosed injury during a Monday practice. . . . Christensen, 18, is in his third season with the Blades. He is pointless in five games, after putting up 11 goals and 16 assists in 27 games last season.


F Elan Bar-Lev-Wise, a 16-year-old from Vancouver, B.C., has committed to play next season for the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers. He was a sixth-round pick by the Victoria Royals in the 2016 WHL bantam draft. . . . Last season, he had six goals and 10 assists in 19 games with Burnaby Winter Club’s prep team. He is captaining that team this season and has three goals and eight assists in seven games.


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The WHL handed out eight games in suspensions on Tuesday.

D Brendan de Jong of the Portland Winterhawks drew a three-game suspension for a cross-checking major and game misconduct he took on Sunday against the visiting Spokane Chiefs. He hit Chiefs D Jeff Faith, who missed some time before returning in the third period.

F Brayden Pachal of the Prince Albert Raiders was suspended for three games after taking a slashing major and game misconduct on Saturday in Medicine Hat. F Max Gerlach of the Tigers is expected to miss a game or two as he recovers from some facial damage.

D Liam Schioler of the Regina Pats will sit for two games after drawing a suspension under supplemental discipline. He delivered a hit from behind on Saskatoon F Kirby Dach in Regina at 10:46 of the first period on Saturday. Schioler was given a minor penalty at the time. Dach will miss at least three games as he won’t accompany the Blades on a three-game road trip that begins tonight in Regina.


TUESDAY:

At Red Deer, G Grayson Pawlenchuk broke a 1-1 tie at 9:21 of the second period and the Rebels went on to a 4-1 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . F Lane Zablocki (1) gave the home side a 1-0 lead at 1:27 of the first period. . . . Everett tied it when F Orrin Centazzo (2) scored at 4:16 of the second period. . . . After Pawlenchuk scored, F Kristian Reichel (3) added insurance at 18:12. . . . Red Deer F Jared Dmytriw (2) completed the scoring at 18:28 of the third period. . . . Pawlenchuk, who has five goals, also had an assist, as did Reichel and Zablocki. . . . Red Deer (4-3-0) was 1-5 on the PP; Everett (3-5-0) was 0-6. . . . The Rebels got 28 saves from G Ethan Anders, who posted his first WHL victory. Anders, 17, is from Regina. . . . Everett’s Dorrin Luding blocked 32 shots. . . . The Rebels had lost their previous three games. . . . The Silvertips are six games into a nine-game road trip. They are 2-4-0. . . . D Kevin Davis (ill) was among Everett’s scratches. He played in all 72 games last season. . . . Announced attendance: 3,977.


At Swift Current, F Tyler Steenbergen scored two more goals as the Broncos ran their season-opening record to 7-0-0 with a 6-2 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Steenbergen, who now has 15 goals, opened the scoring on a PP at 15:06 of the first period. . . . Lethbridge took a 2-1 lead on goals from F Giorgio Estephan (3), on a PP, at 17:24 of the first, and D Calen Addison (2), on another PP, at 5:46 of the second period. . . . Addison was credited with 10 shots on goal. . . . The Broncos then scored five unanswered goals. . . . F Kaden Elder (3) tied it, shorthanded, at 14:02. . . . F Riley Stotts (2) broke the tie, on a PP, at 5:48 of the third. . . . F Aleksi Heponiemi (4) added insurance at 7:38, and F Max Patterson (1) scored at 12:35. . . . Steenbergen scored an empty-netter at 19:42. . . . The Broncos got three assists from D Artyom Minulin and two from F Conner Chaulk, while Elder and Stotts each had one. . . . Swift Current was 2-9 on the PP; Lethbridge (3-3-0) was 2-7. . . . G Logan Flodell earned the victory with 45 saves. . . . Lethbridge’s Stuart Skinner stopped 28 shots. . . . The game experienced a brief delay at 1:43 of the third period due to an electrical problem in the arena. Both teams were sent to their dressing rooms at the time. . . . Announced attendance: 2,121.


At Prince George, F Kody McDonald scored three goals to help the Cougars to a 7-1 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . This was the second hat trick of McDonald’s WHL career. McDonald, who has six goals, also scored three times on Jan. 12, 2016, in a 6-2 victory over the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . After a scoreless opening period, the Cougars took a 3-0 lead on second-period goals from McDonald, at 1:08, F Vladislav Mikhalchuk (3), at 2:43, and F Jared Bethune, shorthanded, at 12:15. . . . F Matteo Gennaro (3) scored, on a PP, for Calgary at 14:37. . . . Prince George got that one back when F Josh Maser (3) scored at 19:54. . . . The home side put it away with two goals form McDonald and one from F Aaron Boyd (2) in the third period. . . . Boyd’s goal also was shorthanded. . . . Bethune added two assists to his goal and Boyd had one. . . . Prince George (3-3-2) was 1-5 on the PP; Calgary (1-5-1) was 1-4. . . . G Taylor Gauthier stopped 16 shots to earn his first victory. Gauthier, 16, is from Calgary. He was a first-round pick by the Cougars in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . Calgary starter Nick Schneider surrendered four goals on 18 shots through two periods. Matthew Armitage played the third period and stopped 13 of 16 shots. . . . There was a clash of brothers in this one as veteran F Jake Kryski, 19, of the Hitmen played against his younger brother Max, a 17-year-old freshman. Max recorded one assist, while Jake was blanked. . . . D Peter Kope was in the Cougars’ lineup after being brought in from the AJHL’s Camrose Kodiaks. The Cougars lost D Josh Anderson and D Jonas Harkins to undisclosed injuries in weekend games. . . . Announced attendance: 2,577.


At Portland, Cole Kehler, the reigning CHL goaltender of the week, stopped 43 shots as the Winterhawks beat the Spokane Chiefs, 3-0. . . . These teams met three times in five nights with the Winterhawks sweeping. They won the first two, 6-1 and 7-2. . . . F Kieffer Bellows (3) scored Portland’s first goal, at 6:40 of the first period. . . . F Alex Overhardt (3) scored while shorthanded at 11:10 of the second period. . . . F Brad Ginnell (2) closed out the scoring at 14:32 of the third period. . . . F Skyler McKenzie had two assists. . . . Portland (6-1-0) was 0-2 on the PP; Spokane (4-4-0) was 0-5. . . . Kehler has one shutout this season and three in his career. . . . The Chiefs got 37 saves from G Dawson Weatherill. . . . Spokane lost F Rykr Cole at 7:08 of the first period when he took a boarding major and game misconduct for a hit on Portland F Ryan Hughes. . . . Portland is four games into an eight-game stretch in which it played Spokane three times in five nights and Seattle once, and now will see the Kelowna Rockets four times in eight days. Yes, Portland’s next four games all are against Kelowna. . . . F Joachim Blichfeld (concussion) and D Brendan De Jong (suspended) were among Portland’s scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 2,621.


At Victoria, F Matthew Phillips and F Regan Nagy each scored twice as the Royals skated to an 8-2 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . The Royals (7-0-0) and Americans (3-4-0) are scheduled to meet again Wednesday night in Victoria. . . . The Royals led this one 3-0 before the game was seven minutes old. . . . F Ryan Peckford (7) got it started just 10 seconds after the first puck was dropped. . . . Phillips, who has five goals, made it 2-0 at 2:43, and F Jared Legien (3) scored, on a PP, at 6:40. . . . The Americans got a PP goal from F Jordan Topping (4) at 14:06. . . . However, the Royals opened the second period with two goals — from F Dino Kambeitz (2), at 7:36, and Phillips shorthanded, at 9:34 — to take control. . . . D Dylan Coghlan (2) also scored for the Americans. . . . F Tyler Soy (2) and Nagy, with two, finished Victoria’s scoring. Nagy has five goals. . . . The Americans were 2-3 on the PP; the Royals were 2-7. . . . Victoria G Griffen Outhouse stopped 18 of 20 shots in 50:51, before Dean McNabb came on for the final 9:09. He stopped all six shots he faced. . . . Tri-City starter Patrick Dea allowed seven goals on 25 shots over two periods. Beck Warm played the third, stopping 11 of 12 shots. . . . The Americans lost F Maxwell James to a headshot major and game misconduct at 10:51 of the third period. . . . Announced attendance: 4,103.


At Kent, Wash., the Seattle Thunderbirds scored twice in a shootout to beat the Vancouver Giants, 3-2. . . . F Ty Ronning, the first shooter, gave Vancouver a 1-0 lead in the shootout. Seattle tied it when F Noah Philp, its third shooter, found the mark, and won it the next round when F Zack Andrusiak scored. . . . In regulation time, F Sami Moilanen (8) gave Seattle a 1-0 lead at 1:50 of the first period. . . . Vancouver tied it at 3:47 when F Brayden Watts (4) scored. . . . The Thunderbirds went ahead 2-1 as D Austin Strand (4) counted on the PP at 12:50 of the second period. . . . The Giants tied it again, at 19:22, as F Brad Morrison (2) scored. . . . Seattle (4-2-1) was 1-5 on the PP; Vancouver (2-3-1) was 0-4. . . . G Liam Hughes blocked 33 shots for Seattle, 10 more than Vancouver’s Todd Scott. . . . Announced attendance: 4,008.


WEDNESDAY (all times local):

Edmonton at Brandon, 7 p.m.

Everett at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Regina, 7 p.m.

Calgary at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

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


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