Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Taking Note wins award . . . Hurricanes stun Ice . . . Blazers now third in B.C.

Taking Note has been honoured with a Carson — a 2015 Paul Carson Broadcast & Media Award — as was announced Wednesday afternoon.
According to the news release that is pictured above, the awards “recognize excellence in sports broadcasting and journalism” in B.C.
Taking Note is being recognized as the Best Blog (Rest-of-BC). Pro Hockey Talk, with Jason Brough, Mike Halford and Cam Tucker, was named the Best Blog (Vancouver-based).
A number of veteran B.C. sports journalists, including Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province, Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun, Cleve Dheensaw of the Victoria Times Colonist and Scott McKenzie of the Nanaimo Daily News are among the print honourees.
I am thrilled that folks know that we even exist here at Taking Note, and I am honoured to win an award that is in memory of a man who meant so much to journalism in B.C.

D Lukáš Bohunický (Kootenay, 2005-07) has signed a contract for the rest of the season with České Budějovice (Czech Republic, 1. Liga). He was released at his request by the Edinburgh Capitals (Scotland, UK Elite) on Monday. He had a goal and 13 assists in 36 games this season. . . .
F Chris St. Jacques (Medicine Hat, 1999-2004) has signed for the rest of the season with the Bietigheim Steelers (Germany, DEL2). This season, with Sterzing/Vipiteno (Italy, Serie A), he had two goals and 12 assists in 15 games. With the Wedemark Scorpions (Germany, Oberliga), he had eight goals and 15 assists in 12 games. St. Jacques played last 3 1/2 seasons with Bietigheim. . . .
F Jakub Langhammer (Spokane, 2002-04) has been released at his request by Regensburg (Germany, Oberliga). He had two goals in two games. Per a Regensburg press release, Langhammer will join an unnamed DEL2 club.


In Prince Albert, the Raiders scored three second-period goals en route to a 6-1 victory over the Saskatoon Blades. . .  .Fittingly, it was Bash The Blades night in Prince Albert. . . . The Raiders scored the game’s first five goals. . . . That included F Sean Montgomery’s first WHL goal, in the 45th game of freshman season, at 9:54 of the second period. . . . F Kris Schmidli had three assists for Prince Albert, while F Reid Gardiner scored his 22nd goal and added an assist. F Simon Stransky and F Austin Glover each had two assists. D Jesse Lees scored his eighth goal — his first since arriving in Prince Albert from Kelowna — and had an assist. . . . Raiders G Rylan Parenteau stopped 32 shots, four fewer than Nik Amundrud of the Blades. . . . This was the final game of the season series between these teams and it ended 4-4-0. . . . The Raiders (20-27-1) had lost their previous four games. They are in Calgary on Friday. . . . The Blades (14-30-3), who play in Swift Current on Friday, had won five in a row. . . .

In Edmonton, F Lane Bauer’s shootout goal gave the Oil Kings a 2-1 victory over the Kelowna Rockets. . . . F Brett Pollock also scored for Edmonton in the shootout — he extended it with a goal in the third round — while F Nick Merkley scored for the Rockets. . . . D Joe Gatenby scored for Kelowna at 9:33 of the first period. His first WHL goal came in his 85th game. . . . Edmonton F Dysin Mayo tied it with his 10th goal of the season, on a PP, at 6:35 of the second. . . . Edmonton G Tristan Jarry stopped 35 shots, five more than Kelowna’s Jake Morrissey. . . . The Rockets gave the goaltending start to Morrissey, meaning he and his holder brother, D Josh Morrissey, were on the ice together for the first time since the latter was acquired from Prince Albert on Dec. 10. . . . F Leon Draisaitl, who started the season with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, made his return to Edmonton. The Oilers, if you missed it, arranged for Draisaitl to be traded by Prince Albert to the Rockets at the trade deadline. . . . Draisaitl went pointless and wasn’t able to score in the shootout. . . . The Rockets were 0-for-8 on the PP, including the game’s last seven. . . . The Oil Kings were 1-for-3. . . . Edmonton (23-21-6) ended a four-game losing skid (0-3-1). The Oil Kings play in Red Deer on Friday. . . . The Rockets (37-8-4), who visit Lethbridge on Friday, have won their previous three games. They are first in the overall standings, three points ahead of idle Brandon. . . .

In Lethbridge, F Brayden Burke had a goal and two assists and G Jayden Sittler beat his former team as the Hurricanes dropped the Kootenay Ice, 6-3. . . . The Ice took a 2-1 lead into the second period, only to have the Hurricanes score the next five goals. . . . Burke tied the score with his third goal of the season, at 1:32 of the second, and F Tyler Wong broke the tie, with his 21st, at 13:53. . . . F Zane Franklin, who made his WHL debut with the Hurricanes on Tuesday night, scored his first WHL goal in this one, tying the game 1-1 at 14:45 of the first. . . . Lethbridge D Brandon Kennedy scored his first WHL goal in his 23rd game, at 6:54 of the third. . . . Wong also had an assist and was plus-4. . . . Kennedy, F Pavel Skumatov and F Giorgio Estephan each had a goal and an assist for Lethbridge. . . . Estephan has 25 points, 10 of them goals, over his last 14 games. . . . F Tim Bozon scored his 20th goal and added an assist for the Ice. . . . Skinner stopped 38 shots. . . . The Hurricanes (12-29-6), who will entertain Kelowna on Friday, have equalled their victory total from last season. . . . The Ice (26-23-1) had won its last four games. Kootenay is at home to Regina on Friday. . . .

In Portland, the Winterhawks erased a 2-1 deficit with three straight goals and hung on to beat the Victoria Royals, 4-3. . . . Victoria F Alex Forsberg scored his 20th goal of the season at 12:41 of the second period for a 2-1 lead. . . . Portland F Alex Schoenborn tied it, with his 15th goal, at 17:20. . . . D Alex Henry gave the Winterhawks the lead at 3:08 of the third, with his fifth goal, and F Chase De Leo made it 4-2 with No. 22 at 13:21. . . . Forsberg got the Royals to within a goal at 13:39. . . . Portland G Adin Hill stopped 36 shots, four more than Victoria’s Justin Paulic. . . . F Miles Koules and D Blake Heinrich had two assists each for Portland. . . . Portland won despite not getting any points from its big line of Oliver Bjorkstrand, Nic Petan and Paul Bittner. Victoria D Joe Hicketts and his partner, Chaz Reddekopp, were plus-3 while playing as much as possible against the Petan line. . . . Hicketts also had one assist. . . . F Dominic Turgeon was back in Portland’s lineup for the first time since Jan. 17 and scored his 15th goal. Portland F Mitch Walter remains out. Both were injured in fights. Walter hasn’t played since Jan. 14. . . . The Winterhawks (29-19-3) have won six straight and are three points behind U.S. Division-leading Everett, which olds three games in hand. . . . Victoria (26-20-4) had points in its previous seven games (6-0-1). . . . Portland is at home to Kamloops on Friday, while Victoria will play in Spokane. . . .

In Kamloops, the Blazers scored three PP goals and beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 4-3, to grab sole possession of a playoff spot. . . . Still, it was the only Kamloops goal that wasn’t on special teams that won it, D Brady Gaudet getting his second goal of the season at 14:38 of the third period, breaking a 3-3 tie in the process. . . . Kamloops F Cole Ully scored twice, giving him 24, and had an assist. . . . Kamloops F Deven Sideroff had three assists, all on the PP. . . . F Matt Needham, the third member of that line, had two assists. . . . Seattle D Shea Theodore had two assists. He has 185 career points, two shy of Craig Channell’s franchise record (Breakers/Thunderbirds) for a defenceman. . . . Seattle F Cory Millette had given his guys a 3-2 lead at 14:46 of the second, on a PP, with his 12th goal. . . . Kamloops D Dawson Davidson, who was brought in to add to the PP, scored his third goal at 3:42 of the third. . . . Kamloops was 3-for-5 on the PP; Seattle was 1-for-5. . . . Seattle D Jared Hauf and Kamloops D Ryan Rehill, a couple of heavyweights, were tossed nine seconds into the game for becoming involved in a staged fight. . . . The Blazers scored two first-period goals. According to Tbird Tidbits, it was the sixth time in 48 games that Seattle has allowed more than one goal in the first period. The Thunderbirds are 1-5-0 when that happens. . . . Kamloops, already without injured Swiss D Michael Fora, lost Slovakian D Patrik Maier at 15:18 of the third period when he was KO’d in a scrap with Seattle F Nolan Volcan. Maier was wobbly and needed help getting to the dressing room. . . . The Blazers (19-25-6) moved into third place in the B.C. Division, two points ahead of Vancouver and Prince George. . . . The Thunderbirds (23-19-6) are third in the U.S. Division, two points ahead of Spokane and Tri-City. . . . The Thunderbirds are in Prince George for games Friday and Saturday nights. . . . The Blazers travel to Portland for a Friday night game.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Broncos tie Bow on Wheaties . . . Missing d-men no problem for Tigers . . . Bowey wins it for Rockets

It seems that the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers attempted to purchase the OHL’s Erie Otters in order to move the franchise to Hamilton, which would have led to the Oilers getting a lease at what was then Copps Coliseum in Hamilton. . . . Dave Shoalts of The Globe and Mail takes an intriguing look at that entire situation right here.
Meanwhile, Jennifer Saltman of the Vancouver Province reports that “a one-year peace bond has been issued for a Vancouver Island junior-league hockey team owner who got into a series of heated confrontations with the owners of another team and their coaching staff.” . . . Saltman’s complete story is right here.
Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet filed his weekly 30 Thoughts piece on Tuesday. As usual, it’s a must read for hockey fans, and it’s right here.


WHL team logoIn Brandon, G Landon Bow stopped 52 shots through OT and D Max Lajoie scored the only goal of the shootout to give the Swift Current Broncos a 3-2 victory over the Wheat Kings. . . . F Carter Rigby of the Broncos scored the game’s first goal, via the PP, at 10:53 of the first period. He was back in the lineup for the first time since Jan. 11 when he suffered an undisclosed injury. . . . Rigby, who has 14 goals, also had an assist. . . . Broncos F Jake DeBrusk got his 26th at 1:08 of the second for a 2-0 lead. . . . Brandon F Tim McGauley scored his 30th of the season at 11:55 to get his guys on the board. . . . F Morgan Klimchuk tied it with his 18th at 6:28 of the third. . . . Brandon G Jordan Papirny stopped 26 shots as he went for his 30th victory. . . . The Wheat Kings continue to be without F Jayce Hawryluk and D Kyle Clague with undisclosed injuries. They also scratched F John Quenneville from this one. . . . Swift Current is without D Dillon Heatherington for up to six weeks with an undisclosed injury. . . . The Wheat Kings (35-9-5) now are two points behind Kelowna in the race for first overall. Brandon had won its previous six games. . . . The Broncos (22-22-5) had lost three in a row. They are third in the East Division, five points ahead of idle Moose Jaw. . . . In their next five games, the Broncos will play Prince Albert twice and Saskatoon three times. . . .

In Medicine Hat, the Tigers scored the game’s last four goals as they beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 6-3. . . . The visitors took a 3-2 lead into the second period. . . . Tigers D Tyler Lewington tied it at 7:43 of the second and gave his guys the lead at 19:52. He’s got eight goals. . . . F Trevor Cox, who leads the WHL in points, got his 21st goal at 2:49 of the third and F Chad Butcher scored No. 15 at 7:11 on a PP. . . . Cox also had two assists. . . . F Markus Eisenschmid had two goals, giving him 15, and added an assist for Medicine Hat. . . . Tigers F Cole Sanford had three assists, as did freshman D David Quenneville, who enjoyed his first three-point game. . . . Medicine Hat F Dryden Hunt didn’t get a point, thus ending his point streak at 19 games, the longest in the WHL this season. He had 10 goals and 19 assists during his streak. . . . The longest active point streak in the WHL now belongs to Cox, at nine games. . . . Cox has 83 points in 48 games; last season, he finished with 82 in 70 games. He leads the scoring race by eight points over Sanford. . . . Lethbridge F Tyler Wong scored his 20th goal of the season, while F Brayden Burke had two assists. . . . With seven regulars out — including D Tommy Vannelli, Ty Stanton, Kyle Burroughs and Kyle Becker— the Tigers had D Brad Forrest of Calgary and F Ryan Jevne of Edmonton in their lineup. Forrest was an eighth-round pick in the 2012 bantam draft; he plays for the AJHL’s Calgary Mustangs. Jevne, who plays for the AJHL’s Drumheller Dragons, was taken in the second round of the 2013 bantam draft. . . . F Zane Franklin, the 43rd overall selection in the 2014 bantam draft, made his debut with the Hurricanes. Franklin, from Marwayne, Alta., is playing for the midget AAA Lloydminster Bobcats. He has 31 points, including 11 goals, in 26 games. . . . The Tigers (34-12-2) have won five in a row. . . . The Hurricanes (11-29-6) entertain the Kootenay Ice tonight. . . .

In Red Deer, D Madison Bowey scored in the fourth round of a shootout to give the Kelowna Rockets a 4-3 victory over the Rebels. . . . Red Deer F Conner Bleackley forced OT with his 23rd goal at 5:29 of the third period. . . . The Rebels took a 2-0 lead with a pair of second-period goals 13 seconds part. . . . F Austin Adamson scored his fourth goal at 3:40 and F Wyatt Johnson added his 20th at 3:53. . . . The Rockets then took the lead with three goals in 2:02. D Madison Bowey got his 12th at 11:55 of the second, with F Justin Kirkland getting his 17th at 13:29 and F Tyson Baillie notching his 30th at 13:57. . . . Kelowna G Jackson Whistler stopped 24 shots through OT and was perfect in the shootout. . . . Red Deer G Rylan Toth turned aside 36 shots. . . . Red Deer was 0-for-4 on the PP, including a 5-on-3 for 1:54 in the second period as it was leading 2-0. . . . Kelowna was 0-for-3. . . . Red Deer won’t have F Evan Polei in its lineup for up to two months. He suffered an undisclosed injury Saturday against visiting Vancouver. . . . The Rockets (37-8-3), who are in Edmonton tonight, have won three straight. . . . The Rebels (27-14-7) are 7-0-2 in their last nine games. They are second in the Central Division, two points ahead of idle Calgary.

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Seattle goaltender retires . . . Giants goaltender hurt . . . Busy day for WHL Dept. of Discipline

F Cody Sylvester (Calgary, 2008-13) has signed for the rest of the season with the Iserlohn Roosters (Germany, DEL). This season, with the South Carolina Stingrays (ECHL), he had seven goals and 10 assists in 25 games. He was an alternate captain with the Stingrays. . . .
D Lukáš Bohunický (Kootenay, 2005-07) has been released by the Edinburgh Capitals (Scotland, UK Elite) at his request. According to a club press release, Bohunický requested his release in order to return to Slovakia to attend to personal matters. He had a goal and 13 assists in 36 games.

When the SJHL’s Nipawin Hawks revealed Sunday that they had lost G Logan Flodell to Seattle, it was evident that something was going on with the Thunderbirds’ goaltending. What exactly that was became apparent Monday when the Thunderbirds announced that G Danny Mumaugh, 18, had chosen to retire. . . . Mumaugh, from Centennial, Colo., was in his third season in Seattle. He got into 18 games as a freshman and 35 games last season. This season, he had made only eight appearances as he backed up Taran Kozun, 20, who has been in 40 games. In 61 regular-season games, Mumaugh was 18-21-8, 3.76, .887, with one shutout. . . . “Danny came to us recently and told us he did not have the drive to keep playing,” Seattle general manager Russ Farwell said in a news release. “To have a player quit this soon after the (trade) deadline could have left us in a real bind. We are fortunate that Logan is able to join us. We appreciate the Nipawin Hawks working with us to allow Logan to join the team for the remainder of the season.” . . . Flodell, 17, was with the Thunderbirds through Nov. 1, playing in one game — a 3-1 loss to the Prince George Cougars on Oct. 17. In Nipawin, Flodell, who is from Regina, was 8-4-0, 2.44, .901 in 13 games. . . . Flodell was a third-round selection by Seattle in the 2012 bantam draft. . . . The Thunderbirds next play on Wednesday when they are in Kamloops. Kozun, who was acquired from the Kamloops just more than a year ago, is 21-13-6, 2.36, .914 this season. . . . Thom Beuning, the radio voice of the Thunderbirds, has a good piece right here explaining the Mumaugh situation.
The Vancouver Giants are expecting to be without G Payton Lee, 18, for up to 10 days, according to Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province. Lee was injured three goals into an 8-0 loss to the Hitmen in Calgary on Sunday, when he took a shot to the underside of his blocker. . . . That leaves the Giants with freshman Cody Porter, 17, as their starter for now. . . . Scott Bonner, the Giants’ general manager, also told Ewen that D Clayton Kirichenko should be back Friday when they play in Everett. Kirichenko hasn’t played since Nov. 26 thanks to an undisclosed injury. . . . The Giants go into Everett having lost seven of eight games.
Head coach Tim Hunter of the Moose Jaw Warriors and three of his players went for the ride of a lifetime on Monday. "The G-forces that you go through when you are coming out of the loops is something that you can't really explain,” Hunter told the Moose Jaw Times-Herald after spending some time in the air with the Snowbirds. “I know that my stomach didn't handle it so well when we came out of it for the second time.” . . . The Times-Herald story is right here.
F Oliver Bjorkstrand has 21 points in nine games since he returned from the 2015 WJC, where he played for his native Denmark. Bjorkstrand has 61 points in 37 games and is up to fifth place in the WHL scoring race.
Is it cheating, or is it gamesmanship? In the wake of Deflategate, Arash Madani of Sportsnet, who has worked for CFL teams, explores the subject in an excellent piece that is right here.
Department of Discipline

F Carter Arnson of the Lethbridge Hurricanes and F Colby McAuley of the Prince George Cougars both were suspended for five games on Monday after they became in a game-ending bout on Saturday in Lethbridge. McAuley already has missed one game. . . . The Cougars and Hurricanes each were fined $1,000 because of the incident. . . .
D Kyle Burroughs of the Medicine Hat Tigers was suspended for four games for a headshot major and game misconduct on Friday against visiting Prince George. He already has missed one game. That hit was on Cougars F Jari Erricson, who missed most of last season with a concussion. Erricson didn’t play Saturday in Lethbridge or Sunday in Cranbrook. . . . Medicine Hat D Ty Stanton has been suspended for one game for a headshot major and game misconduct that he incurred in Edmonton on Sunday. . . . Burroughs and Stanton won’t play tonight when the Tigers entertain the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . The Tigers also will be without veteran D Tommy Vannelli, 19, who suffered a broken finger in Edmonton on Sunday. . . . In Edmonton, the Tigers were able to dress only 16 skaters, two under the maximum. Still, they beat the Oil Kings 5-2.

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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Blazers involved in life-saving attempt on Coq . . . Sunday in the WHL . . .

The Kamloops Blazers’ ride home on the Coquihalla highway on Sunday was anything but typical.
The Blazers, who had been in Victoria for a Friday-Saturday doubleheader with the Royals, caught a morning ferry to the B.C. mainland and stopped at the Coquihalla summit for a restroom break about 11 o'clock.
Colin (Toledo) Robinson, the team’s veteran trainer, had been sleeping.
“We pulled over . . . I heard some rustling around and I could hear that the voices were a little bit serious,” Robinson said on Sunday evening. “I had been teasing (assistant coach) Mike Needham about having a soft bladder and then I heard someone say we needed a doctor. I knew then that things were bad.”
As it turned out, a woman believed to be in her 70s and travelling with a daughter was in difficulty. Robinson and Kamloops head coach Don Hay, who is a former firefighter, immediately tried to help.
“Your training kicks in and you just go do your thing,” Robinson said.
He said they did CPR on the elderly woman for “at least 45 minutes” while awaiting the arrival of an ambulance.
“Another bystander was doing a real good job of CPR when we first showed up,” Robinson said. “She was getting tired. (Hay), being a firefighter and having CPR knowledge, took over the chest compressions. I monitored pulse and breathing and was controlling the scene.”
Unfortunately, the story didn’t have a happy ending as the woman didn’t survive.
“It sucks. It sucks for sure,” Robinson said. “At the end of the day, it’s not about what I did, or what (Hay) did. A lady lost her life and a family is missing someone they love. That’s the story.
“I just wish we could have had a better result.”
By Sunday evening, Robinson was in Kal Tire Place in Vernon, watching his daughter, Lahney, 9, score the first goal of her minor hockey career.
“The second mouse always gets the cheese in front of the net . . . a rebound and a one-timer,” he said. “There’s a big smile on my face now.”
After the day Robinson experienced, he more than earned it.


In Saskatoon, G Nik Amundrud stopped 24 shots to help the Blades to a 3-0 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . Amundrud, a 17-year-old freshman from Melfort, Sask., has two shutouts this season. . . . Saskatoon F Brett Stovin scored the game’s first goal, on a PP at 1:09 of the first period. . . . He’s got 19 goals. . . . The Blades were 2-for-9 on the PP, with F Josh Uhrich getting his seventh goal, with the man advantage, at 11:58 of the third. . . . Saskatoon F Garrett Armour scored his first goal at 2:36 of the third. . . . Raiders G Nick McBride stopped 35 shots, including 17 in the opening period. . . . The Blades (14-29-3), who have taken three in a row from the Raiders, are on a season-best five-game winning streak. . . . The Raiders (19-27-1) have lost four straight. They are 3-9-0 since the Christmas break. . . . Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix has a game story right here. . . .

In Calgary, G Brendan Burke kicked out 33 shots as the Hitmen blanked the Vancouver Giants, 8-0. . . . Burke, who came over from the Portland Winterhawks at the trade deadline, has one shutout this season and nine in his career. . . . F Elliott Peterson and F Jake Virtanen each scored twice for Calgary. . . . Peterson, who has seven goals, opened the scoring at 3:16 of the first period. . . . Virtanen, who also had an assist, has 13 goals. . . . D Jake Bean had four assists, with F Jody Stallard and Connor Rankin each getting two. . . . F Chase Lang notched his 20th goal. . . . Vancouver G Payton Lee left after Peterson's second goal, at 1:17 of the second period. Peterson's shot appeared to hit Lee on the underside of his blocker and he immediately headed for the bench and was replaced by Cody Porter. . . . The Hitmen (27-17-5) have won four in a row and now are one point behind secod-place Red Deer in the Central Division. . . . The Giants (20-27-2) completed a five-game Central Division trip with a 1-4-0 record. . . .

In Edmonton, the Medicine Hat Tigers scored two goals before the game was five minutes old and went on to beat the Oil Kings, 5-2. . . . Tigers F Dryden Hunt ran his point streak to 19 games with his 22nd goal, just 49 seconds into the game. . . . F Alex Mowbray made it 2-0 with his seventh goal at 4:53. . . . The Oil Kings got to within 2-1 and 4-2 but never were able to catch up. . . . Tigers F Cole Sanford scored his 40th goal, moving into a tie for the WHL goal-scoring lead with F Rourke Chartier of the Kelowna Rockets. . . . F Trevor Cox, who leads the WHL with 80 points, scored his 20th goal and added an assist. Cox had 82 points in 70 games last season; this season, he has 80 in 47. . . . The Tigers were 2-for-4 on the PP; the Oil Kings were 1-for-2. . . . Medicine Hat G Nick Schneider stopped 32 shots, nine more than Patrick Dea of Edmonton. . . . The Tigers (33-12-2) have won four straight. . . . The Oil Kings (22-21-6) have lost four in a row (0-3-1). . . . After the game, Bob Ridley, the radio voice of the Tigers, tweeted: “Another d-man injured. T. Vinnelli—finger.” . . .

In Cranbrook, G Keelan Williams earned his first WHL victory as the Kootenay Ice beat the Prince George Cougars, 7-4. . . . Williams, who normally backs up Wyatt Hoflin, stopped 26 shots. . . . The Ice broke a 2-2 second-period tie with three goals in 6:21. . . . Cougars F Chase Witala tied it 2-2 with his 26th goal at 18:11 of the first, via the PP. . . . Ice F Zak Zborosky broke the tie with his 15th goal at 15:55 of the third, F Jaedon Descheneau scored his 24th at 11:36 and F Austin Wellsby got his first at 12:16. . . . Ice F Levi Cable scored twice, giving him 22, while Descheneau also had two assists. . . . Ice F Luke Philp drew three assists, F Tim Bozon scored twice, giving him 19, and added an assist, and F Sam Reinhart had two assists. . . . Prince George F Jansen Harkins scored his 17th goal and added two helpers, while D Josh Connolly got his ninth goal and also had two assists. . . . The Ice (26-22-1) has won four straight and holds the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, three points ahead of Edmonton. . . . The Cougars (20-29-2) have lost 10 in a row (0-8-2). . . . Prince George is tied with Kamloops and Vancouver for third place in the B.C. Division. . . .

In Portland, F Oliver Bjorkstrand scored three times and set up another to help the Winterhawks to a 7-5 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . The Winterhawks broke a 1-1 tie with four straight goals, allowing them to take a 5-1 lead into the third period. . . . Each of Bjorsktrand’s goals was unassisted. . . . Bjorkstrand has 31 goals this season. In his third WHL season, he has 112 goals in 171 games. . . . Yes, Sunday was Jan. 25, but it’s interest that Bjorkstrand scored three times on Jan. 26, 2014, against Everett, and he had three goals on Jan. 26, 2013, against Tri-City. . . . F Paul Bittner scored his 21st goal and added an assist for Portland. . . . Trailing 5-1, the Americans made it interesting in the third period as they got to within 6-5, but Bjorkstrand put it away with an empty-netter. . . . F Taylor Vickerman and D Parker Wotherspoon each had two assists for the Americans. . . . The Winterhawks (28-19-3) won their fifth straight. . . . Tri-City (24-23-2) had won its previous two games. . . .

In Spokane, G Taran Kozun turned aside 20 shots to help the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 2-0 victory over the Chiefs. . . . Kozun has seven shutouts in his career, five of them with Seattle. Of those five, four are against the Chiefs. . . . F Donovan Neuls got the game’s first goal, his fifth, at 9:09 of the first period. . . . D Shea Theodore scored his seventh, on a PP, at 16:09 of the third. . . . Theodore also had an assist. . . . Prior to the game, the Thunderbirds brought in G Logan Flodell, who had been with the SJHL’s Nipawin Hawks. . . . The Thunderbirds (23-18-6) had lost their last three (0-2-1). . . . The Chiefs (23-20-4), who have been blanked in three of their last four games, have lost six straight (0-5-1). . . . Seattle moved into third place in the U.S. Division, two points ahead of Spokane and Tri-City. . . . The Chiefs scratched seven injured regulars and then lost F Adam Helewka, their leading scorer, and F Kolten Olynek to undisclosed injuries. Helewka left after having been involved in a fight with Seattle F Scott Eansor. Olynek was injured in a collision with teammate Jacob Cardiff. . . . "Two teammates running into each other, but that's the way things are going for us right now," Spokane head coach Don Nachbaur told Chris Derrick of the Spokane Spokesman-Review.

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If cornerback Richard Sherman’s shoulder holds up, the Seattle Seahawks will win the Super Bowl. If not, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are winners. . . . With the NFL mounting an investigation into Deflategate, Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee tweeted: “If New England was to be DQ’d . . . We’d be their replacements, right?? . . . I should probably lay off these strawberry margs.” . . . “Due to irregularities in the earth’s rotation, an extra second will be added to clocks on June 30,” reports Richmond, B.C., blogger TC Chong. “I hope they don’t add this time onto the end of NBA games.” . . .

Dan Carcillo of the Chicago Blackhawks, one of the NHL’s few remaining slugs, drew a six-game suspension for a brutal cross-check from behind on Winnipeg Jets forward Mathieu Perreault, who had scored four goals in a recent game. Carcillo has been suspended nine times and fined on three other occasions for this kind of stuff. And there, on Monday night, was Sportsnet analyst Brad May telling the world that he didn’t mind the play on which Perreault was injured. Hey, Sportsnet, it’s OK for you to suspend May. He would be missed about as much as the NHL would miss Carcillo. . . .

If you didn’t notice, the Vancouver Canucks’ bandwagon is beginning to fill up again. If you hurry, though, you may be able to get a seat near the back. . . . “Man,” wonders Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle, “why can't we give Bill Belichick credit for finding a way to deal with runaway inflation?” . . . “Good thing,” Ostler adds, “that Belichick isn’t in charge of the Macy’s Parade.” . . . Seattle Times reader Bill Littlejohn has a suggestion for the Super Bowl halftime show: “How about Air Supply?” . . .

On Monday night, as the host Toronto Maple Leafs were losing 4-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes, three fans threw their replica sweaters onto the ACC ice surface. Toronto police charged two of those fans with public mischief; the Leafs were then charged with impersonating an NHL team. . . .

You may not have been aware that New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon now heads up Major League Baseball’s finance committee. You also may not be aware that Wilpon was taken to the cleaners by Bernie Madoff as part of perhaps the biggest scam of our time. . . . Headline from “NFL investigating whether Patriots played game with properly inflated Vince Wilfork.” . . .

Urban Meyer, the head coach of the national champion Ohio State football Buckeyes, appeared on Late Night with David Letterman and, as usual, refused to say ‘Michigan.’ . . . Not speaking the name of his No. 1 rival is an old act for Meyer. As Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel wrote: “Meyer used to do the same thing (during his Florida tenure) when asked about the Gators’ biggest rival — the Gainesville Police Department.” . . .

Here is Seattle Seahawks punter Jon Ryan, on the 19-yard TD pass he threw out of field goal formation last Sunday: “It was a moment I won’t forget, even though I don’t remember it all right now.” . . . Ryan, who is from Regina, was a goaltender in his hockey-playing days. In fact, he says he was cut by three different WHL teams — the Brandon Wheat Kings, Medicine Hat Tigers and Regina Pats. . . . Larry Walker, who had a terrific baseball career, also was a goaltender back in the day. He was cut by the Regina Pats before deciding to focus on baseball. . . .

During the week, Ryan’s fiancee, Sarah Colonna, sent a tweet in the direct of supermodel Gisele Bundchen, who is married to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady: “My fiancé throws touchdown passes too, so if you wanna hang at the Super Bowl just let me know #twinsies.” . . . “It’s hard to adequately describe just how lurid Victoria Azarenka’s neon-yellow outfit is at the Aussie Open,” writes RJ Currie of “I’ll put it this way: it’s almost as loud as her grunts.” . . . One more from Currie: “I wasn’t surprised to hear ESPN analysts saying Kobe Bryant might pass up the rest of the season. I was surprised to hear ‘Kobe’ and ‘pass’ in the same sentence.” . . .

“(The Twelves) might be a fitting nickname for the collective IQ of the legal team for the Seahawks, who seek trademark protections for various uses of the number 12 and the word ‘boom,’ ” writes Ron Judd of the Seattle Times. “Who do you people think you are, the U.S. Olympic Committee?” . . . One more from Judd, who sums things up nicely: “Deflategate has a touch of evil genius to it, inspired by the very corporate ethic that rules the land. Everyone involved in the Patriots’ blatant cheating scam has built-in, plausible deniability — except the poor, bottom-feeding sap who actually deflated the footballs, who at some point will get canned. God Bless America.”

(Gregg Drinnan is a former sports editor of the Regina Leader-Post and the late Kamloops Daily News. He is at and Keeping Score appears here on weekends, except when it doesn’t.)

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Broncos lose key d-man . . . Ams' Sarthou shutout king . . . Koules no teddy bear to T-birds

The Swift Current Broncos have lost D Dillon Heatherington for what the club says will be four to six weeks. Heatherington left Friday’s 7-0 loss to the Hitmen in Calgary in the first period with an undisclosed injury. . . . Heatherington, a 19-year-old from Calgary, was playing in his seventh game since returning from being part of Canada’s victory at the WJC in Toronto and Montreal.
The Medicine Hat Tigers are scheduled to meet the Oil Kings in Edmonton this afternoon. The Tigers will be without D Kyle Burroughs, F Anthony Ast and D Kyle Becker. . . . Bob Ridley, the long-time radio voice of the Tigers, tweeted Saturday afternoon that those three will be missing due to “injury and suspension.” . . . Burroughs was ejected from Friday’s 5-2 victory over the Prince George Cougars with a headshot major. He is awaiting a decision on the length of a suspension.
John Paddock, the general manager and head coach of the Regina Pats, was fined $500 by the WHL on Saturday for comments he made concerning the officiating after a 4-3 OT loss to the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors on Friday night. . . . Moose Jaw F Jack Rodewald won that game with a PP goal at 3:44 of extra time. Regina D Sergey Zborovskiy had been penalized for tripping at 3:02. . . . After the game, Warren Woods of Regina radio station CJME tweeted: “Pats HC John Paddock says they were fortunate to get a point tonight but were " screwed by the officials" in OT.
You will recall reading here yesterday about the Moose Jaw Warriors’ decision to fire head scout Rob MacLachlan, who had the rest of this season and 2015-16 remaining on his contract. . . . Matthew Gourlie of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald covered the firing in a story in Saturday’s newspaper. That story is right here.


In Saskatoon, F Brett Stovin, the team captain, scored three times and added an assist as the Blades dumped the Moose Jaw Warriors, 6-1. . . . Moose Jaw F Axel Blomqvist scored his 18th goal 28 seconds into the game. . . . The Blades then scored the next six goals — one in the first period, three in the second and two in the third. . . . Stovin, who has six goals over his last four games, broke a 1-1 tie with a PP goal at 3:13 of the second period. . . . He added a second goal at 10:51 of the middle period and completed the hat trick at 14:23 of the third with the game’s last goal. He’s got 18 on the season. . . . Saskatoon F Nick Zajac and F Ryan Graham each had a goal and two assists. Graham has 13 goals; Zajac has six. . . . Blades F Wyatt Sloboshan, playing on his 18th birthday, had two assists, as did F Josh Uhrich. . . . The Blades were 3-for-5 on the PP; the Warriors were 0-for-3. . . . Saskatoon G Brock Hamm ran his record to 3-0-0 with 31 saves. . . . The victory came on Saskatoon GM/head coach Bob Woods’ 47th birthday. . . . The Blades (13-29-3) have won a season-high four in a row. They are at home to Prince Albert this afternoon in a game that is to be televised by Sportsnet. . . . The Warriors (20-25-4) had won their previous two games. . . . Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix has a game story right here. . . .

In Brandon, the Wheat Kings erased a 2-1 deficit by scoring seven times en route to an 8-3 victory over the Regina Pats. . . . Regina took a 2-1 lead into the second period and, in fact, held that lead almost 14 minutes into the period. However, Brandon exploded for seven goals in a span of 18:55 to take control. . . . Wheaties F Ryan Duke tied it 2-2 with his 14th goal at 13:40 of the second and D Ryan Pilon’s eighth goal, on a PP at 15:12, gave the home side the lead. . . . Pilon, Duke and F Nolan Patrick each scored twice, with the latter reaching the 20-goal plateau. . . . Brandon D Ivan Provorov and F Tim McGauley each had three assists and F Morgan Klimchuk, who was acquired from Regina prior to the trade deadline, had two. . . . F Adam Brooks scored his 20th goal for the Pats. . . . Brandon G Jordan Papirny stopped 24 shots in winning for the 29th time this season. . . . Brandon had a 55-27 edge in shots. . . . The Wheat Kings were 3-for-4 on the PP, scoring three of its first four goals with the man advantage. . . . Brandon (35-9-4) has won six in a row, matching its longest winning streak this season. The Wheat Kings remain one point behind the Kelowna Rockets, who hold down first place in the overall standings. . . . Regina (26-17-5) has lost five in a row (0-3-2). . . . Rob Henderson of the Brandon Sun has a game story right here. . . .

In Edmonton, the Calgary Hitmen scored the game’s last five goals and beat the Oil Kings, 5-2. . . . D Marshall Donald, with his second goal, and F Brett Pollock, with his 22nd, gave Edmonton a 2-0 first-period lead. Donald was acquired from Calgary at the trade deadline. . . . Calgary F Adam Tambellini tied it with two goals, giving him 32, at 4:21 and 13:39 of the second. The second goal came via the PP. . . . Tambellini has six goals in his last three games. . . . F Elliott Peterson snapped the tie with his fifth goal, at 1:58 of the third, on a PP. . . . F Beck Malenstyn, with his sixth, and F Connor Rankin, with his 25th, scored nine seconds apart later in the third for insurance. . . . Rankin, F Pavel Kamaukhov and D Travis Sanheim each had two assists for the Hitmen. . . . Calgary G Mack Shields stopped 21 shots, 10 fewer than Edmonton’s Tristan Jarry. . . . The Hitmen (26-17-5) have won three straight. . . . The Oil Kings (22-20-6) are 0-2-1 over their last three outings. . . . The Oil Kings entertain Medicine Hat this afternoon, while the Hitmen are at home against Vancouver. . . .

In Red Deer, the Rebels scored the game’s first four goals and went on to a 5-3 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Thirteen Red Deer skaters earned at least a point, with F Brooks Maxwell the only one with two. He got his 15th goal and added an assist. . . . Vancouver F Zack Jones scored his 22nd goal at 6:48 of the third to get his guys to within two, at 4-2, but Red Deer D Haydn Fleury scored his third goal, on a PP, at 12:20. . . . Vancouver F Carter Popoff scored twice, giving him 20, and added an assist. . . . Red Deer G Rylan Toth stopped 28 shots. . . . Red Deer was 2-for-5 on the PP; the Giants were 0-for-3. . . . The Rebels (27-14-6) have points in eight straight (7-0-1). They are six points behind the Central Division-leading Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . The Giants, who were playing their fourth road game in five nights, slipped to 20-26-2. The Giants play in Calgary this afternoon. . . . Vancouver, Kamloops and Prince George are tied for third place in the B.C. Division. The way things are looking, one of those teams will get into the playoffs; the other two will miss out. . . .

In Cranbrook, F Austin Vetterl scored twice to lead the Kootenay Ice to a 5-2 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Vetterl, who has six goals this season, gave the Ice a 3-1 lead at 6:32 of the second period and added a shorthanded goal at 3:41 of the third for a 4-2 lead. . . . F Jake DeBrusk scored both Broncos goals, giving him 27. . . . F Luke Philp scored his 22nd goal and added an assist for the Ice, which got two assists from F Levi Cable. . . . Ice F Jaedon Descheneau scored his 23rd goal this season; it was the 100th regular-season goal of this career. He has 245 points in 239 games. . . . F Colby Cave had two assists for the Broncos (21-22-5), who have lost three in a row. . . . The Ice (25-22-1) has won three straight. . . . The Ice is at home to Prince George tonight. . . .

In Lethbridge, G Jayden Sittler turned aside 52 shots and F Florian Bartram had two goals and an assist as they led the Hurricanes to a 7-4 victory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . Lethbridge F Mike Winther broke a 3-3 tie with his eighth goal, at 10:13 of the second period, and Baltram got his second of the game, and third of the season, 4:54 later. . . . Baltram’s parents and a sister, who are from Austria, were in attendance. . . . Lethbridge scored four of the game’s last five goals. . . . Hurricanes F Giorgio Estephan scored his ninth goal, getting a shorthanded marker at 3:50 of the first, and added two assists. . . . F Ryley Lindgren and F Brayden Burke had three assists apiece for Lethbridge. . . . F Jansen Harkins scored twice for Prince George, giving him 16, and F Brad Morrison had two assists. . . . The Cougars outshot the Hurricanes, 56-32, including 28-7 in the third period. . . . Lethbridge scratches included F Jamal Watson (elbow) and D Nick Walters (ankle). Watson, the team captain, may return Tuesday in Medicine Hat. . . . The Hurricanes (11-28-6) snapped a five-game losing skid. . . . The Cougars (20-28-2), who play in Cranbrook tonight, have lost nine in a row (0-7-2). . . .

In Spokane, G Evan Sarthou posted his fourth shutout in his last five starts as the Tri-City Americans beat the Chiefs, 2-0. . . . With Eric Comrie, Tri-City’s No. 1 goaltender, first with Canada’s national junior team and now injured, Sarthou has been the go-to guy. The 17-year-old — he’s a late-97 — from Black Diamond, Wash., was a third-round pick, 65th overall, in the 2012 bantam draft. . . . Over his last five games, Sarthou has stopped 134 of 137 shots. That’s a .978 save percentage. . . . Sarthou has 10 victories this season and has put up shutouts in six of them. . . . Sarthou and Swift Current G Landon Bow lead the WHL in shutouts. Bow has been in 44 games; Sarthou has been in 24. . . . Carey Price holds the Tri-City single-season shutout record, with eight. . . . F Lucas Nickles scored his 18th goal 41 seconds into the third period. . . . Nickles drew the lone assist on F Beau McCue’s 18th goal, into an empty net, at 19:51. . . . The Chiefs lost D Matt Sozanski (shoulder) in the first period. They already were without F Calder Brooks, F Hudson Elynuik, D Evan Fiala, D Jordan Henderson and F Blair Oneschuk, all out with undisclosed injuries. . . . The Americans (24-22-2) have won two in a row. . . . The Chiefs (23-19-4) have lost five straight (0-4-1). . . . The Americans travel to Portland tonight, while the Chiefs are at home to Seattle. . . .

In Victoria, G Justin Paulic stopped 26 shots to help the Royals to a 6-0 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . Paulic, a trade deadline acquisition from Moose Jaw, is 4-0-0 with the Royals. That was his first shutout with the Royals and the third of his career. . . . The Blazers had beaten the Royals 4-3 in OT on Friday night. . . . Last night, F Brandon Fushimi’s 10th goal, at 8:08 of the first period, got things started. . . . The Royals then scored four straight PP goals. . . . Fushimi, who also had an assist, got Victoria’s sixth goal. His two goals were the only two not scored via the PP. . . . D Jack Walker scored his 11th goal and added two assists. . . . F Brandon Magee scored his 15th goal and had an assist. . . . F Matthew Phillips, who scored his first WHL goal in his first game on Friday, had two assists, as did sophomore F Tyler Soy. . . . Kamloops D Michael Fora, who didn’t play after the first period on Friday, was scratched with an undisclosed injury. . . . The Royals (26-19-4) have points in their last seven games (6-0-1). . . . Kamloops (18-25-6) had won its previous four games. . . .

In Kent, Wash., F Miles Koules scored at 1:52 of OT to give the Portland Winterhawks a 4-3 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Koules has 21 goals this season and two of them have been game-winners in Kent. . . . Seattle F Ryan Gropp forced extra time with his second goal of the game, and 18th of the season, at 11:55 of the third period. . . . This was the Thunderbirds’ Teddy Bear game and D Jared Hauf scored the goal that launched the stuffed toys at 5:50 of the first period. . . . Attendance was announced at 6,208, the third-largest crowd in the ShoWare Center’s existence. . . . Portland F Oliver Bjorkstrand had opened the scoring, with his 28th goal, at 1:53. . . . F Nic Petan scored his seventh goal and added two assists, including one on the winner. . . . F Donovan Neuls had two assists for Seattle. . . . F Paul Bittner drew two assists for the Winterhawks. . . . Portland G Adin Hill was outstanding, with 42 saves, 17 of them in the second period. . . . The Winterhawks (27-19-3) have won four in a row. . . . The Thunderbirds (22-18-6) have lost three straight. . . . Portland entertains Tri-City tonight; the Thunderbirds are in Spokane. . . . Seattle and Spokane are tied for third place in the U.S. Division, two points ahead of Tri-City. . . .

In Kelowna, the Rockets scored five times in the second period en route to an 9-3 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . Rockets F Tyrell Goulbourne tied the game 1-1 at 16:24 of the first period and broke the tie at 4:26 of the second with a SHG. He’s got 17 goals this season. . . . Goulbourne also had three assists. . . . Kelowna beat Everett 5-3 on Friday night. . . . The Silvertips were playing their fourth road game in five nights, having swept the Cougars in Prince George on Tuesday and Wednesday. . . . F Nick Merkley scored twice, giving him 16, and added an assist for Kelowna, while F Rourke Chartier moved back into the WHL goal-scoring lead with his 40th goal in his 40th game. He also had two assists. . . . Kelowna F Leon Draisaitl scored his fourth goal into an empty net with 5:49 to play in the third period. Trailing 6-3, Everett head coach Kevin Constantine went with the extra attacker with ample time remaining. . . . Kelowna D Cole Martin had two assists and was plus-6. He now leads the WHL at plus-38. In his last two-plus seasons, Martin is plus-146. . . . F Nikita Scherbak had two assists for Everett. . . . The Rockets (36-8-3) have won two in a row. They continue to lead the overall standings by one point over Brandon. . . . The Silvertips (30-14-4) are atop the U.S. Division. . . . Larry Fisher of the Kelowna Daily Courier has a game story right here.

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