Monday, March 2, 2015

No suspension for Rockets star . . . Bjorkstrand guns for 50-in-50 . . . Chase ends shootout



The NHL’s trade deadline passed us by on Monday afternoon. The day’s best story involved a young girl and the letter she wrote. If you haven’t read all about D Jordan Leopold and his daughter, Jordyn, check it out right here.
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F Leon Draisaitl of the Kelowna Rockets won’t be suspended for the major penalty and game misconduct he incurred against the visiting Calgary Hitmen on Saturday night. Draisaitl was penalized after running into Calgary G Brendan Burke. . . . Draisaitl should be in the Rockets’ lineup tonight when they meet the Silvertips in Everett. . . . The Silvertips will get D Ben Betker back, after he served a one-game suspension, and D Kevin Davis may return from an undisclosed injury. . . .
Kelowna is likely to have Jackson Whistle in goal for a second straight game since his return from an early February appendectomy. It is quite possible that the Rockets will be without D Josh Morrissey after he suffered an injury to his left leg on Saturday. . . .
The Portland Winterhawks are 18-3-2 in 2015, which has moved them to within two points of the U.S. Division-leading Everett Silvertips. Portland holds one game in hand. . . . The Winterhawks and Silvertips are to meet once more this season. . . .
Portland F Oliver Bjorkstrand has 48 goals in 49 games this season, meaning he will be gunning for the magical 50 in 50 on Friday against the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds. He also has goals in 11 straight games, which tied a franchise record that was set by F Tony Currie in 1976-77, the team’s first season in Portland. . . .
The Saskatoon Blades are adding D Jake Kustra to their roster for the remainder of this season. Kustra, the 34th overall selection in the 2014 bantam draft, played this season with the midget AAA Notre Dame Argos. He played two games with the Blades last month, picking up one assist. . . .
The owners of the Prince George Cougars have purchased $25,000 in 50/50 tickets for Saturday’s game against the Victoria Royals. Why? Because ownership wants to guarantee fans that someone “will win the biggest 50/50 jackpot in Prince George Cougars history.” . . . The owners aren’t going to sit on those tickets, either. They will be distributed “free of charge to all adults with valid tickets attending the game. Season-ticket holders can receive a strip of 10 tickets . . . and all other adults can receive one ticket.” . . . The other half of the jackpot will be donated to the Shelly L. Mrkonjic ALS Research Fund. That fund was created by the Mrkonjic family in memory of wife and mother Shelly, who died in 2006. Her son, Tyler, is a forward with the Cougars.
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“His name is Carson Barry and he is 12 years old,” begins a terrific story at sportscapp.com. “Carson has been researching concussions for over two years since his brother, who suffered several hockey concussions, committed suicide.” . . . The complete story is right here.
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THE WHL'S PLAYOFF PICTURE:

EAST DIVISION: Brandon (9 games remaining) will finish atop the Eastern Conference standings and now trails Kelowna by one point in the race for first place overall. . . . Regina (9) will finish second in the division. . . . Swift Current (9) is third, eight points ahead of Moose Jaw (9), which lost in Regina and now is seven points behind Edmonton (9), which holds down the conference’s second wild-card berth.
CENTRAL DIVISION: Calgary (9) is atop the division, two points ahead of Medicine Hat (9). . . . Red Deer (10) is third, seven points behind Medicine Hat and five ahead of Kootenay (8), which is in possession of the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot. . . . Edmonton (9) is five points behind Kootenay.
B.C. DIVISION: Kelowna (9) has clinched first place in the Western Conference and holds a one-point lead over Brandon atop the overall standings. . . . Victoria (9) will finish second. . . . Prince George (9) has won three straight and moved back into third place, one point ahead of Vancouver (10) and two up on Kamloops (9). . . . Vancouver is two points behind Tri-City (9), which holds down the conference’s second wild-card berth.
U.S. DIVISION: Everett (9) sits atop the division, but is only two points ahead of Portland (10). . . . Seattle (9) is third, eight points behind Portland and seven ahead of Spokane (11). . . . Spokane holds the conference’s first wild-card spot. . . . Spokane is seven points ahead of Tri-City (9), which is 2-8-0 in its last 10 and clinging to that second wild-card spot.
———

IF THE PLAYOFFS BEGAN TODAY:

Eastern Conference
Brandon vs. Edmonton
Calgary vs. Kootenay
Regina vs. Swift Current
Medicine Hat vs. Red Deer
——
Western Conference
Kelowna vs. Tri-City
Everett vs. Spokane
Victoria vs. Prince George
Portland vs. Seattle
(NOTE: Team with home-ice advantage shown first.)
———

MONDAY’S GAME:

In Victoria, F Greg Chase scored the only goal of a three-round shootout as the Royals beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 3-2. . . . Seattle G Logan Flodell stopped 20 shots through OT, but was replaced by Taran Kozun for the shootout. Flodell had appeared in a shootout in Kamloops on Feb. 13, when he was 0-for-2. TBird Tidbits tweeted that, including this game, Kozun has allowed five goals on 31 shootout attempts. . . . The Royals took a 2-0 lead on goals from D Joe Hicketts, his 10th, at 8:53 of the first period and F Jack Walker, his 17th, at 2:59 of the second. . . . D Jerret Smith got Seattle on the board with his ninth goal, at 5:16 of the second, and F Keegan Kolesar tied it with his 19th at 10:57. . . . Victoria G Coleman Vollrath stopped 25 shots. . . . Seattle was 0-for-3 on the PP; Victoria was 0-for-2. . . . The Royals (34-25-4) had lost their previous two games. . . . The Thunderbirds (31-23-9) are 0-2-2 in their last four games. . . . They'll play again tonight in Victoria.
———

TUESDAY’S GAMES

(all times local)
Edmonton at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.
Red Deer at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.
Calgary at Kamloops, 7 p.m.
Seattle at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.
Kelowna at Everett, 7:05 p.m.
Vancouver at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.
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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Broncos defenceman gets NHL deal . . . Pollock sparks Oil Kings . . . Pats clinch playoff spot








D Dylan Yeo (Prince George, Calgary, 2003-07) has signed a one-year extension with the Straubing Tigers (Germany, DEL). This season, in 49 games, he has seven goals and 16 assists.
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A couple of old friends reunited on the weekend as the Moose Jaw Warriors  held a 30th anniversary celebration. Tim Hunter, the Warriors’ head coach, and former Warriors captain Theo Fleury were teammates and roommates with the NHL’s Calgary Flames back in the day. . . . Matthew Gourlie of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald has more right here.
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D Dillon Heatherington of the Swift Current Broncos has signed with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets. The 50th overall selection in the NHL’s 2013 draft, Heatherington signed a three-year entry-level deal. This season, he has 12 points, including 11 assists, in 38 games. He returned this weekend from an injury that kept him out of action from Jan. 23 until Feb. 28. . . . Heatherington played for Canada as it won gold at the 2015 World Junior Championship.
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THE PLAYOFF PICTURE:

EAST DIVISION: Brandon (9 games remaining) will finish atop the Eastern Conference standings and now trails Kelowna by one point in the race for first place overall. . . . Regina (9) will finish second in the division. The Pats clinched a playoff spot on Sunday. . . . Swift Current (9) is third, eight points ahead of Moose Jaw (9), which lost in Regina and now is seven points behind Edmonton (9), which holds down the conference’s second wild-card berth.
CENTRAL DIVISION: Calgary (9) is atop the division, two points ahead of Medicine Hat (9). . . . Red Deer (10) is third, seven points behind Medicine Hat and five ahead of Kootenay (8), which is in possession of the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot. . . . Edmonton (9) won at home on Sunday and is five points behind Kootenay.
B.C. DIVISION: Kelowna (9) has clinched first place in the Western Conference and holds a one-point lead over Brandon atop the overall standings. . . . Victoria (10) will finish second. . . . Prince George (9) has won three straight and moved back into third place, one point ahead of Vancouver (10) and two up on Kamloops (9). . . . Vancouver is two points behind Tri-City (9), which holds down the conference’s second wild-card berth.
U.S. DIVISION: Everett (9) sits atop the division, but is only two points ahead of Portland (10). . . . Seattle (10) is third, nine points behind Portland and six ahead of Spokane (11). . . . Spokane holds the conference’s first wild-card spot. . . . Spokane is seven points ahead of Tri-City (9), which is 2-8-0 in its last 10 and clinging to that second wild-card spot.
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IF THE PLAYOFFS BEGAN TODAY:

Eastern Conference
Brandon vs. Edmonton
Calgary vs. Kootenay
Regina vs. Swift Current
Medicine Hat vs. Red Deer
——
Western Conference
Kelowna vs. Tri-City
Everett vs. Spokane
Victoria vs. Prince George
Portland vs. Seattle
(NOTE: Team with home-ice advantage shown first.)
———

SUNDAY’S GAMES:

In Edmonton, F Brett Pollock scored two goals and added two assists as the Oil Kings beat the Prince Albert Raiders, 5-3. . . . Pollock was in on the game’s first three goals, drawing an assist on F Edgar Kulda’s 10th goal at 4:54 of the first period and then scoring twice, at 7:59 and 12:28 of the first. . . . Pollock has 29 goals. . . . The Oil Kings led 3-1 and 5-2 at the intermissions. . . . Edmonton F Lane Bauer scored his 21st goal and added two assists. . . . F Reid Gardiner and F Simon Stransky each had a goal and an assist for the Raiders. Gardiner has 29 goals; Stransky has 11. . . . Each team was 0-for-4 on the PP. . . . The Oil Kings (29-28-6) have won two in a row. . . . The Raiders (24-35-3) have lost three straight. . . .

In Regina, the Pats dropped the Moose Jaw Warriors 6-2 in a game that featured seven goals in the third period. . . . Regina F Pavel Padakin scored the game’s first goal, on a penalty shot, at 16:29 of the first period. . . . Warriors F Brett Howden tied the game with his 16th goal at 1:29 of the third. . . . Regina F Rykr Cole restored the one-goal lead at 2:15. He’s got eight goals. . . . Moose Jaw F Torrin White scored his 12th goal at 4:01. . . . After that, it was all Regina, with F Braden Christoffer getting his 21st at 9:55 and Padakin opening up a two-goal lead with No. 23 at 13:35. . . . F Jesse Gabrielle iced it with his 21st, on a PP, at 16:39 and F Adam Brooks added is 26th, shorthanded, into an empty net. . . . The Warriors scratched three of their top six forwards -- Axel Blomqvist, Tanner Eberle and Jaimen Yakubowski, as well as D Tyler Brown. . . . They listed D Connor Clouston and F Jayden Halbgewachs as their fourth line. . . . The Pats (34-20-9) had been 0-1-2 in their last three. . . . The Warriors (26-32-5) had won their previous two games. . . . Matthew Gourlie of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald has a game story right here. . . .

In Saskatoon, F Brett Stovin’s 28th goal of the season gave the Blades a 2-1 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Stovin, the Blades’ captain, broke a 1-1 tie on a PP at 8:33 of the second period. . . . D Schael Higson gave the Blades a 1-0 lead with his third goal at 4:26 of the first period. . . . F Zac Mackay scored his fifth goal for the Broncos at 5:50 of the second. . . . Blades D Amil Krupic had two assists. . . . Saskatoon G Brock Hamm stopped 39 shots, eight more than Travis Child of the Broncos. . . . It was the second time in four days that the Blades had beaten the Broncos. Saskatoon won 6-2 at home on Wednesday. . . . The Blades (19-40-4) are within four points of Lethbridge, which is only five points behind Prince Albert. . . . The Broncos (30-28-5) have dropped three straight. . . . Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix has a game story right here.
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MONDAY’S GAME

(all times local)
Seattle at Victoria, 7 p.m.
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TUESDAY’S GAMES

(all times local)
Edmonton at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.
Red Deer at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.
Calgary at Kamloops, 7 p.m.
Seattle at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.
Kelowna at Everett, 7:05 p.m.
Vancouver at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.


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“Michael Oher was recently cut by the (Tennessee) Titans,” writes contributor Bill Littlejohn. “Michael took the news fine, but Sandra Bullock had to be escorted off Titans property.” . . . Littlejohn, again: “Joba Chamberlain's new contract with the Detroit Tigers includes a Cy Young bonus. Isn't that like Vin Diesel's new contract including an Oscar bonus?” . . . A Littlejohn hat trick: “David Ortiz is upset over some of the new pace-of-play rules, including one where the batter has to keep one foot in the box after each pitch. Just think how upset Big Papi will be if a rule comes out speeding up home-run trots.” . . .

Ian Hamilton of the Regina Leader-Post has another idea that would help MLB speed up the process: “Give infielders and base umps a cattle prod to use on Boston Red Sox plodder David Ortiz during his home-run trots.” . . . Here’s Hamilton, again: “Media reports suggest England’s Radio 1 has banned Madonna’s songs because she’s old and irrelevant. Does that mean TV networks won’t show Tiger Woods anymore?” . . .

After a brief flurry of NHL deals on Wednesday, Ray Ratto of CSNbayarea.com wrote: “If this ruins Deadline Day, I will hate them all forever. But if it leaves all those Canadian TV guys on the set dissecting five-day-old news and literally begging teams on set to do something, anyway, my mood will be assuaged.” . . . It has to be a helpless feeling to be one of the TV hockey panelists watching all of the trade activity over the last few days. . . . What’s left for Monday’s trade deadline? No, I won’t be tuning in at 5 a.m. . . . With all of the NHL trade rumours being spewed by the talking heads these days, you have to wonder if the NHL is the leakiest ship in the navy. . . .

RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com reports: “Two Tennessee high school girls basketball teams got banned from the post-season for intentionally trying to lose a game to avoid the top seed. The first thing that gave them away? They came out in tank tops.” . . . Currie, again: “Complex Sports called Michael Jordan the most clutch player in Bulls history. Derek Rose may go down as the most crutch.” . . .

The next time you’re looking at that last strip of bacon and debating, don’t bother. Just eat it and think about Matt Stonie while you’re doing it. Matt Stonie? He’s a competitive eater and holds the world record for most strips eaten in five minutes. That would be 182. . . . Is this a great world, or what? . . . Outfielder Tyson Gillies of Kamloops, who was released last summer by the Philadelphia Phillies, is in Peoria, Ariz., with the San Diego Padres. He signed a minor-league deal with the Padres on Friday. . . .

“Donald Trump said that he is ‘more serious’ than ever about running for President in 2016,” reports Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe. “And Jon Stewart is thinking ‘well, maybe I can delay that retirement just a bit.’ ” . . . Finally, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather are scheduled to climb in a ring together and duke it out. Noted ABC-TV’s Jimmy Kimmel: “I’m glad to see Manny and Floyd are finally putting aside their differences to fight.” . . . The last info I saw on tickets had the cheap seats at $3,500. That would buy a lot of bacon. . . . “If you thought the Mayweather-Pacquiao promoters couldn't get any greedier,” reports Vancouver comic Torben Rolfsen, “they've added Crosby-Dubinsky II to the undercard.” . . . One more from Rolfsen: “Rough week for Chicago sports fans: Patrick Kane injury, Derrick Rose injury, and the Cubs are back.” . . .

It was Larry King — yes, that Larry King — who tweeted this the other day: “The rat is perfectly named.” . . . Think about that for a moment. Is that a profound thought, or what? . . . I didn’t watch much of the Academy Awards, but I did get to see Lady Gaga’s tribute to The Sound of Music. Who saw that coming? . . . “What a strange world we live in,” tweets Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun. “Everybody wants a bigger and bigger TV screen, but they don't mind watching stuff on tiny mobile devices.” . . .

“Alex Rodriguez reported to the Yankees’ spring-training complex in Tampa, Fla., three days early,” reports Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “Apparently clubhouse attendants needed the extra time just to haul in all his baggage.” . . . “According to Delta Dental research,” Perry notes, “kids in the U.S. received an estimated $255 million from the Tooth Fairy last year. In a related story, Alex Rodriguez still has $61 million coming from the Yanks.” . . . After A-Rod delivered that hand-written apology, and everyone laughed, Will Leitch of Sports on Earth wrote: “We have reached the point with A-Rod that everything he does is reflexively seen as venal and murderous; if A-Rod jumped on a grenade to save the President's life, the New York Post headline would be 'A-Rod Stains West Wing Carpet, Fails to Clean It Up.' ’’ . . .

“Junior hockey franchise officials are threatening to move their teams out of state if they are forced to pay players under child-labor laws,” writes Ron Judd in the Seattle Times. “Oh and they also want a new arena. And a PlayStation.” . . . One more from Judd: “Seattle is considering capping rents at $618 a month on ‘micro-apartments,’ defined as those containing less living space than the single box of a stereo speaker you owned in your 20s.” . . .

It was the late Dean Smith, the long-time head coach of the North Carolina men’s basketball team, who once said: “If you make every game a life-and death proposition, you’re going to have problems. For one thing, you’ll be dead a lot.” . . . Only in today’s NHL could Jaromir Jagr, now 43 years of age and slower than slo-motion, be traded to a team that appeared to be getting younger and faster. . . . Only in today’s NHL could David Clarkson, with one of the worst contracts in history, be traded for Nathan Horton, who has a big contract and back problems, and may never play again. . . . Yes, it’s OK to slap your forehead.

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

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Saturday, February 28, 2015

McGauley still streaking . . . Hitmen win showdown in Kelowna . . . Bjorkstrand's tear continues



D Mark Pysyk of the AHL’s Rochester Americans collapsed while taking part in a pickup basketball game on Saturday and was taken to hospital. He was released later in the day. Pysyk is a former captain of the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Kevin Oklobzija of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle has more right here.
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THE WHL PLAYOFF PICTURE:

EAST DIVISION: Brandon (9 games remaining) will finish atop the Eastern Conference standings and now trails Kelowna by one point in the race for first place overall. . . . Regina (10) will finish second in the division. . . . Swift Current (10) is third, eight points ahead of Moose Jaw (10), which is six points ahead of Prince Albert (11). . . . The Warriors are five points behind Edmonton (10), which holds down the conference’s second wild-card berth.
CENTRAL DIVISION: Calgary (9) is atop the division, two points ahead of Medicine Hat (9). . . . Red Deer (10) is third, seven points behind Medicine Hat and five ahead of Kootenay (8), which is in possession of the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot. . . . Edmonton (10) is seven points behind Kootenay.
B.C. DIVISION: Kelowna (9) has clinched first place in the Western Conference and holds a one-point lead over Brandon atop the overall standings. . . . Victoria (10) will finish second. . . . Prince George (9) has won three straight and moved back into third place, one point ahead of Vancouver (10) and two up on Kamloops (9). . . . Vancouver is two points behind Tri-City (9), which holds down the conference’s second wild-card berth.
U.S. DIVISION: Everett (9) sits atop the division, but is only two points ahead of Portland (10). . . . Seattle (10) is third, nine points behind Portland and six ahead of Spokane (11). . . . Spokane holds the conference’s first wild-card spot. . . . Spokane is seven points ahead of Tri-City (9), which is 2-8-0 in its last 10 and clinging to that second wild-card spot.
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IF THE PLAYOFFS BEGAN TODAY:

Eastern Conference
Brandon vs. Edmonton
Calgary vs. Kootenay
Regina vs. Swift Current
Medicine Hat vs. Red Deer
——
Western Conference
Kelowna vs. Tri-City
Everett vs. Spokane
Victoria vs. Prince George
Portland vs. Seattle
(NOTE: Team with home-ice advantage shown first.)
———

SATURDAY’S GAMES:

In Swift Current, F Dryden Hunt scored two goals and set up another as the Medicine Hat Tigers dropped the Broncos, 5-1. . . . Tigers F Cole Sanford scored his WHL-leading 47th goal at 11:13 of the second period for a 2-1 lead. . . . Sanford had the WHL lead until Portland F Oliver Bjorkstrand tied him later in the evening. Bjorkstrand later scored again, giving him 48. . . . Hunt, who has 30 goals, scored at 19:52 of the second, on a PP, and again at 1:30 of the third. . . . Sanford also had an assist, getting him up to 88points in 63 games. . . . Tigers F Trevor Cox, the WHL scoring leader, drew three assists. He’s got 97 points in 60 games. . . . Tigers F Steve Owre and D Kyle Becker each had a goal and an assist. . . . Owre has 16 goals; Becker has 11. . . . F Jake DeBrusk got No. 37 for the Broncos. . . . The Tigers were 2-for-5 on the PP; the Broncos were 0-for-2. . . . Medicine Hat G Nick Schneider stopped 30 shots, nine fewer than Swift Current’s Landon Bow. . . . The Broncos had D Dillon Heatherington back in the lineup. He last played on Jan. 23. . . . The Tigers (39-21-3) have won two in a row. . . . The Broncos (30-27-5) have lost two straight. . . .

In Moose Jaw, F Jesse Shynkaruk scored at 1:31 of OT gave the Warriors a 6-5 victory over the Regina Pats. . . . The Pats led 2-0 on a pair of goals by F Adam Brooks, the second one shorthanded. . . . The Warriors then scored four in a row, with F Tanner Eberle getting two of them in 24 seconds and F Jack Rodewald scoring his 30th. . . . The Pats tied it in the first half of the third period as F Jesse Gabrielle scored his 20th and Brooks completed his first hat trick with his 25th. . . . F Patrick D’Amico gave Regina a 5-4 lead with his 18th goal at 15:28 on a PP. . . . Warriors F Brett Howden got his 15th at 16:56 to force OT. . . . Shynkaruk won it with his seventh goal of the season. . . . Eberle left the Warriors’ bench for the dressing room early in the third period and didn’t return. After the game, Matthew Gourlie of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald tweeted: “Tanner Eberle is still being evaluated, but it looked like a shoulder injury and he has had a previous shoulder surgery.” . . . Rodewald also had two assists, while linemate Brayden Point scored his 29th goal and had two assists. . . . Moose Jaw D Austin Adam also had two helpers. . . . Moose Jaw was 2-for-5 on the PP; Regina was 1-for-3. . . . The Warriors (26-31-5) have won two straight. . . . Regina (33-20-9) is 0-1-2 in its last three. . . .

In Brandon, F Peter Quenneville scored twice to help the Wheat Kings to a 6-4 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Quenneville has 20 goals, and is the seventh player on the Brandon roster to reach that mark. . . . The Wheat Kings built a 5-2 lead before the Ice got two goals in the latter half of the third period to get to within one. . . . Brandon F Morgan Klimchuk iced it with an empty-netter at 19:28 of the third. He’s got 27 goals. Klimchuk also had two assists. . . . Brandon F Tim McGauley had two assists as he ran his point streak to 19 games, tied for the longest such streak in the WHL this season. F Dryden Hunt put together a 19-game streak split between the Regina Pats and Medicine Hat Tigers earlier in the season. Hunt put up 30 points, 10 of them goals, in his streak. McGauley has 39 points, including 27 assists. . . . According to Bruce Luebke, the radio voice of the Wheaties, McGauley has the team’s longest point streak since F Cory Cyrenne went 23 games in 1997-98. . . . F Tim Bozon scored twice for the Ice, giving him 31 this season. He has scored at least 30 goals in each of his four WHL seasons. . . . Ice F Jaedon Descheneau scored his 30th goal, while F Sam Reinhart had two assists. . . . Brandon G Jordan Papirny, making his 13th consecutive start, stopped 26 shots. . . . The Wheat Kings (46-10-7) are 3-0-1 in their last four. . . . The Ice (33-28-3) had points in their previous seven (5-0-2). . . .

In Red Deer, D Kord Pankewicz scored in the fifth round of a shootout to give the Lethbridge Hurricanes a 3-2 victory over the Rebels. . . . With Red Deer shooting first, Rebels F Connor Gay and Hurricanes F Jamal Watson exchanged first-round goals. . . . After seven skaters fired blanks, Pankewicz won it. . . . Lethbridge F Tyler Wong, celebrating his 19th birthday, forced OT with his 23rd goal at 13:05 of the second period. . . . Red Deer F Reese Johnson scored his first WHL goal, in his third game, at 11:07 of the first period. . . . Hurricanes F Mike Winther tied it with his 13th at 15:11. . . . Red Deer F Adam Musil got his 13th on a PP at 2:26 of the second for a 2-1 lead. . . . Red Deer F Wyatt Johnson came up empty on a penalty shot seven seconds into OT. . . . Lethbridge G Jayden Sittler stopped 30 shots, while Red Deer’s Rylan Toth turned aside 27. . . . The Hurricanes (19-35-8) snapped a five-game losing skid (0-3-2). . . . The Rebels (32-20-10) had won their previous two games. . . .

In Kamloops, the Blazers erased a 3-2 third-period deficit and beat the Vancouver Giants, 6-3. . . . F Carter Popoff gave the Giants a 3-2 lead with his 24th goal at 2:23 of the third period. . . . Kamloops D Michael Fora tied it with his fifth goal at 8:16. . . . F Cole Ully of Kamloops broke the tie with his 30th goal at 13:07 and freshman F Quinn Benjafield got his second of the game, and fifth of the season, at 16:20. . . . F Jackson Houck scored his 20th goal for Vancouver in the first period and F Ty Ronning notched his first of the season, also in the first. . . . Ully finished with a goal and two assist, giving him 81 points in 60 games. He also was plus-4. . . . F Logan McVeigh and F Joel Hamilton each had two assists for Kamloops. . . . The Blazers scratched freshman F Deven Sideroff, who left early in the third period of Friday’s 4-2 victory over visiting Victoria with an apparent injury to his right wrist. In his absence, F Jesse Zaharichuk started on the right side with Needham and Ully. Cody Nickolet, who tracks WHL lines and defence pairings, has the Ully-Needham-Sideroff line together for 54 of the Blazers’ 62 games going into last night. . . . Before the night was done, Kamloops head coach Don Hay had cycled a number of skaters through the right wing on that line. Later, he even split up Needham and Ully, putting Ully out with Luke Harrison and McVeigh. It paid off in Harrison’s 12th goal, at 17:37 of the second. . . . Vancouver had F Matt Bellerive (illness) back for the first time since Jan. 25. . . . The Blazers scored four goals on seven shots in the third period. . . . F Tyler Benson had two assists for Vancouver. . . . There were three minor penalties called, two to the Blazers. . . . Neither team scored on the PP. . . . The Blazers (24-33-6) have won two in a row. . . . The Giants (26-33-3) have lost two straight. . . .

In Spokane, F Curtis Miske scored three goals to help the Chiefs to an 8-1 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . The Chiefs took control with five second-period goals. . . . Miske, a freshman from Beaumont, Alta., who turned 18 on Jan. 17, now has five goals in 49 games. . . . Chiefs F Adam Helewka scored twice, giving him 35, and added an assist, while F Kailer Yamamoto and F Keanu Yamamoto each had three assists. Yes, they are brothers. . . . Spokane G Garret Hughson stopped 22 shots. He lost his shutout bid when F Taylor Vickerman scored his sixth goal on a PP at 19:45 of the third period. . . . Tri-City F Beau McCue missed on a second-period penalty shot. . . . Spokane D Riley Whittingham took a charging major and game misconduct at 19:02 of the third period. . . . Tri-City G Beck Warm, a 15-year-old making his first start, stopped 31 shots. With regular goaltenders Eric Comrie and Evan Sarthou injured, Warm is the fifth starting goaltender the Americans have used this season. . . . Spokane leads the season series 7-3-0 with two games remaining. . . . The Chiefs (30-27-4) have won three in a row. . . . The Americans (27-33-3) have lost four in a row. . . .

In Kelowna, F Kenton Helgesen scored at 15:57 of the third period to give the Calgary Hitmen a 2-1 victory over the Rockets. . . . Helgesen’s goal was his 20th of the season. . . . Rockets F Leon Draisaitl scored the game’s first goal, his 14th, at 8:40 of the first period. That was his 200th WHL point. . . . Draisaitl was later ejected, taking a major for goaltender interference at 14:31 of the second period. . . . Calgary F Jake Virtanen tied the game 1-1 with his 19th goal, on a PP at 5:55 of the second. . . . Virtanen also had an assist. . . . Hitmen G Brendan Burke stopped 30 shots. He’s 9-1-1 since being acquired from Portland at the trade dealine. . . . Rockets G Jackson Whistle started for the first time since Feb. 6 when he beat visiting Kamloops, 5-3. He underwent an appendectomy after that start. . . . Whistle turned aside 22 shots in this one. . . . D Josh Morrissey returned to Kelowna’s lineup after a one-game absence, but left in the second period with an apparent left leg injury. According to Larry Fisher of the Kelowna Daily Courier, Morrissey “got tangled up with Calgary forechecker Carsen Twarynski, went down awkwardly and had to be helped off the ice unable to put any weight on his left leg.” . . . Calgary was 1-for-3 on the PP; Kelowna was 0-for-6. . . . The Rockets remain without injured F Rourke Chartier. . . . The Hitmen (39-19-5) are 5-1-0 on a six-game swing that started with five U.S. Division stops. . . . The Rockets (48-11-4) had won their previous two games. They also had won eight straight on home ice. . . . Fisher’s game story is right here. . . .

In Kent, Wash., F Oliver Bjorkstrand ran his goal-scoring streak to a franchise record-tying 11 games as the Portland Winterhawks dumped the Seattle Thunderbirds, 5-2. . . . Bjorsktrand scored twice, giving him 48 goals in 49 games, as he took over the WHL’s goal-scoring lead. . . . He now shares the franchise record of 11 straight games with F Tony Currie, who did it in 1976-77, the Winterhawks’ first season in Portland. . . . Bjorkstrand broke a 1-1 tie at 13:40 of first period and later added an empty-netter at 18:01 of the third. . . . The online scoresheet credits Bjorkstrand with Portland’s third goal, a PP score at 2:29 of the second period, but that one is expected to be changed to F Paul Bittner, who also scored another goal. He’s got 29. . . . Bjorkstrand also had an assist. He has 90 points, good for second spot in the scoring race. . . . F Chase De Leo scored his 31st goal and added an assist for Portland, while F Nic Petan had two assists. . . . F Mathew Barzal got his 12th goal and had an assist for Seattle. . . . Portland G Adin Hill was credited with 49 stops, 26 more than Seattle’s Taran Kozun. . . . Portland was 1-for-1 on the PP; Seattle was 0-for-3. . . . The Winterhawks (37-20-5) have points in eight straight (6-0-2). . . . Seattle (31-23-8) has lost three in a row (0-2-1). . . .

In Everett, the Prince George Cougars scored the last five goals and beat the Silvertips, 5-1. . . . F Jake Mykitiuk, who began his WHL career with the Cougars, got Everett on the board with his third goal at 10:16 of the first. . . . Cougars F Chase Witala tied it with his 31st at 13:02 of the first, on a PP. . . . F Aaron Boyd broke the tie with his sixth, at 8:21 of the second. . . . Witala finished with two goals, while F Jansen Harkins had three assists for a third straight game. . . . Cougars D Josh Connolly had two assists, and F Zach Pochiro scored his 16th goal and added an assist. . . . Cougars G Ty Edmonds stopped 27 shots, two more than Everett’s Austin Lotz. . . . Prince George was 2-for-4 on the PP; Everett was 0-for-6. . . . The Silvertips were without D Ben Betker, who served a one-game suspension for a headshot major and game misconduct he incurred on Friday night. . . . Everett also was missing two other defence men — Kevin Davis and Tristen Pfeifer, both with undisclosed injuries. . . . The injuries and the suspension meant that Everett dressed just four defencemen, so F Dawson Leedahl helped out on the back end. . . . The Cougars scratched F David Soltes for a second straight game. . . . The Cougars (26-33-4) have won three in a row. . . . The Silvertips now are 37-19-7.
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SUNDAY’S GAMES

(all times local)
Prince Albert at Edmonton, 4 p.m.
Moose Jaw at Regina, 6 p.m.
Swift Current at Saskatoon, 6:05 p.m.
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MONDAY’S GAME

(all times local)
Seattle at Victoria, 7 p.m.
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TUESDAY’S GAMES

(all times local)
Edmonton at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.
Red Deer at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.
Calgary at Kamloops, 7 p.m.
Seattle at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.
Kelowna at Everett, 7:05 p.m.
Vancouver at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.
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Warriors announce all-time team . . . Americans Warm to Beck . . . Silvertips derail Hitmen



F Pascal Dupuis of the Pittsburgh Penguins is out of action, thanks to a second blood clot that was found in a lung. It turns out that he actually played five games with that clot hanging around, such is the hockey mentality. If you haven’t read his story, it’s right here, all in Dupuis’ words.
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The Moose Jaw Warriors, who are celebrating their 30th anniversary season, unveiled their all-time all-star team on Friday night. The lineup features G Joey Perricone, D Travis Hamonic, D Morgan Rielly, F Troy Brouwer, F Theo Fleury and F Ryan Smyth. . . . The all-time team was selected in voting by fans.
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By the time this weekend is over, the Tri-City Americans will have turned to their fifth starting goaltender of the season. . . . Eric Comrie and Evan Sarthou, the two regulars on the roster, both are injured. Casey Kaiser, a 19-year-old from Richland, Wash., has started. Nick Sanders will be returned to the midget AAA Calgary Buffaloes after he made his second straight start, this one last night against the visiting Spokane Chiefs. . . . Tonight, in Spokane, the Americans will start Beck Warm 15, from the major midget Vancouver North West Giants. That will be his first WHL start. Warm, who signed with the Americans on Friday, also is expected to start on Wednesday against the visiting Vancouver Giants. . . . Annie Fowler of the Tri-City Herald has more on Warm right here.
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F Oliver Bjorkstrand of the Portland Winterhawks is chasing a franchise record tonight against the host Seattle Thunderbirds. Mike Tokito of The Oregonian takes a look at Bjorkstrand — his past, his present and his future — right here.
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The junior B Sicamous Eagles of the Kootenay International Junior League are looking for a new head coach, which would indicate that Blair Robinson won't be back. The Eagles were 26-23-1-2 this season, good for fourth in the Doug Birks Division. They then lost a first-round playoff series in five games to the Kamloops Storm. . . . According to a news release, “Anyone applying must have at least 5 years of Junior coaching experience and have all CHA Coaching Levels,  plus Speak-Out and Respect in Sports.”
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IF THE WHL PLAYOFFS BEGAN TODAY:

Eastern Conference
Brandon vs. Edmonton
Calgary vs. Kootenay
Regina vs. Swift Current
Medicine Hat vs. Red Deer
——
Western Conference
Kelowna vs. Tri-City
Everett vs. Spokane
Victoria vs. Vancouver
Portland vs. Seattle
(NOTE: Team with home-ice advantage shown first.)
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FRIDAY’S GAMES:

In Regina, D Ty Stanton scored two second-period goals and the Medicine Hat Tigers went on to a 2-1 victory over the Pats. . . . Stanton, who has nine goals, scored at 2:13 and 8:31. . . . Regina F Ty Cooper got his 24th goal at 18:31 of the third period. . . . Medicine Hat G Marek Langhamer stopped 27 shots, 11 fewer than Regina’s Daniel Wapple. . . . Medicine Hat was 0-for-7 on the PP; the Pats were 0-for-4. . . . The Tigers (38-21-3) had lost their previous three games. They are second in the Central Division, two points behind Calgary. . . . The Pats (33-20-8) had been 3-0-1 in their last four. They will finish second in the East Division. . . .

In Moose Jaw, F Brayden Point scored his 28th goal for the Warriors as they got past the Saskatoon Blades, 3-1. . . . The Warriors had a 19-3 edge in shots after one period but had only a 1-0 lead. Here’s a tweet from the Moose Jaw Times-Herald’s Matthew Gourlie on those three shots: “One shot was two feet over the net and another was by Dallas Valentine on his own net.” . . . D Dustin Perillat scored his eighth goal for Moose jaw at 6:23 of the first period. . . . Point made it 2-0 at 2:42 of the second on a PP. . . . Saskatoon F Ryan Graham scored his 17th goal at 4:50 of the third to get his guys within one. . . . Moose Jaw F Jack Rodewald got the empty-netter at 19:37. He’s got 29 goals. . . . Warriors G Zach Sawchenko stopped 21 shots. . . . Saskatoon G Brock Hamm turned aside 37 shots. . . . Saskatoon F Cameron Hebig came up short on a third-period penalty shot with his side down 2-1. . . . F Axel Blomqvist (groin) was among Moose Jaw’s scratches. . . . Moose Jaw F Jaimen Yakubowski left in the second period favouring his left arm and didn’t return. . . . The Warriors (25-31-5) are seven points out of a playoff spot with 11 games remaining. . . . Saskatoon (18-40-4) is the first team to 40 losses this season. . . .

In Brandon, the Kootenay Ice outscored the Wheat Kings 2-1 in the shootout to post a 3-2 victory. . . . It was the Ice’s third straight shootout game. It has won two of those games. . . . F Rihards Bukarts gave Brandon a 1-0 lead in the second round of the shootout. Ice F Matt Alfaro tied it in the third round and F Jaedon Descheneau won it in the fourth round. . . . The loser point, combined with a Regina loss at home, allowed Brandon to clinch first place in the East Division. . . . Ice F Sam Reinhart opened the scoring with his 17th goal, on a PP, at 8:14 of the second period. . . . Brandon F Morgan Klimchuk tied it with his 22nd at 19:22. . . . Alfaro got his 10th at 10:42 of the third for a 2-1 Ice lead. . . . Bukharts forced OT with his 28th goal at 16:33. . . . Brandon F Tim McGauley picked up an assist on Bukarts’ goal to run his point streak to 18 games. He’s got 37 points, 25 of them assists, over that stretch. . . . The Ice was 1-for-4 on the PP; Brandon was 0-for-1. . . . Brandon G Jordan Papirny, making his 12th straight start, stopped 35 shots. . . . Ice G Wyatt Hoflin turned aside 32. . . . The Wheat Kings had G Alex Moodie back on the bench. He missed 11 games with a concussion. . . . Brandon still is without F Nolan Patrick, F Reid Duke and D Kale Clague with undisclosed injuries. . . . The Ice (33-27-3) has points in seven straight (5-0-2). It holds the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, seven points ahead of Edmonton. At the same time, the Ice is fourth in the Central Division, four points behind Red Deer. . . . Brandon (45-10-7) had won its previous two games. It is three points behind Kelowna, which leads the overall standings. . . .

In Red Deer, F Brooks Maxwell scored twice to help the Rebels to a 5-3 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . Maxwell’s second goal, his 19th of the season, gave the Rebels a 4-1 lead at 12:18 of the second. . . . Red Deer F Scott Feser had broken a 1-1 tie with his 12th goal, on a PP, at 5:09 of the second. . . . F Luke Coleman, who joined the Raiders this week from the midget AAA Red Deer Optimist Chiefs, scored his first WHL goal at 13:50 of the second and D Jesse Lees got them to within one with his 11th goal, on a PP, at 6:03 of the third. . . . Rebels F Riley Sheen provided insurance with his 18th goal, an empty-netter, at 19:53. . . . The Rebels were 2-for-3 on the PP; the Raiders were 2-for-4. . . . F Jayden Hart, a 22-goal man, was back in the Raiders’ lineup after not having played since Jan. 30. . . . Red Deer (32-20-9) has won two in a row. It is third in the Central Division, six points behind Medicine Hat. . . . The Raiders (24-34-3) have lost two straight and now are 11 points out of a playoff spot with 11 games remaining. . . .

In Kamloops, F Matt Needham broke a 2-2 tie at 16:21 of the third period and the Blazers went on to beat the Victoria Royals, 4-2. . . . Blazers F Logan McVeigh gave his side a 2-1 lead with his seventh goal at 4:28 of the third. . . . Victoria F Brandon Magee scored his 18th just 33 seconds later. . . . Needham got his 21st goal when he redirected a point shot by D Brady Gaudet, who scored twice, giving him four, and added an assist. Gaudet’s second goal was an empty-netter. . . . Victoria G Justin Paulic stopped 38 shots, while Blazers G Connor Ingram made 12 saves. . . . The Blazers outshot the Royals 13-6, 14-4 and 15-4 by period. . . . The Blazers lost F Deven Sideroff with an apparent right wrist injury. He left for the dressing room at 7:47 of the third period after taking a check in to the end boards in the Victoria zone. He plays the right side on the Blazers’ top line with Needham and LW Cole Ully. Sideroff, a freshman from Summerland, B.C., has 40 points, including 16 goals, in 58 games. . . . The Blazers (23-33-6) had lost their previous four games. They are fifth in the B.C. Division, three points behind Vancouver and two behind Prince George. Vancouver is in Kamloops tonight. . . . The Royals (33-25-4) have lost two straight. They will finish second in the B.C. Division. . . .

In Kennewick, Wash., G Garret Hughson stopped 28 saves for his first shutout of the season as the Spokane Chiefs beat the Tri-City Americans, 4-0. . . . Hughson has three career shutouts. . . . D Jason Fram had three assists. . . . F Jackson Playfair’s 10th goal, at 13:11 of the first period, on a PP, stood up as the winner. . . . F Adam Helewka scored his 33rd goal in the second period; he also had an assist. . . . Tri-City F Austyn Playfair wasn’t able to beat Hughson on a third-period penalty shot. . . . Spokane was 2-for-5 on the PP; Tri-City was 0-for-5. . . . Americans G Nick Sanders stopped 21 shots. . . . Tri-City had D Brandon Carlo back in the lineup. He sat out a few games after taking a puck to the head. . . . The Chiefs (29-27-4) have won two straight. They hold the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot, five points up on the Americans. . . . The Americans (27-32-3) have lost three in a row. . . .

In Vancouver, G Michael Herringer turned aside 29 shots to lead the Kelowna Rockets to a 4-0 victory over the Giants. . . . Herringer has two career shutouts. . . . F Gage Quinney scored once and drew two assists. . . . Quinney, who has 15 goals, was in on Kelowna’s first three goals, drawing the primary assist on each of the first two and scoring the third. . . . F Leon Draisaitl scored his 13th goal for the Rockets, on a first-period PP. He’s got goals in four straight games. . . . The Rockets had F Alexander Uryga, 16, in their lineup. A list player from North Vancouver, Uryga has been with the junior B North Vancouver Wolf Pack. . . . Vancouver is without F Dalton Sward (hand) indefinitely and he is team captain. In his absence, the ‘C’ is being worn by D Mason Geertsen. . . . Kelowna G Jackson Whistle was in the lineup for the first time since undergoing an appendectomy early in February. He was backing up Michael Herringer. . . . D Josh Morrissey and F Rourke Chartier were among Kelowna’s scratches. . . . The Rockets (48-10-4) have reached 100 points for a third straight season. . . . The Giants (26-32-3) are third in the B.C. Division, one point ahead of Prince George and three up on Kamloops. . . .

In Everett, F Carson Stadnyk had two goals and an assist as the Silvertips dumped the Calgary Hitmen, 7-2. . . . Everett took a 2-0 lead on early first-period goals by F Derek Leedahl, his 12th, at 0:34 and Stadnyk at 3:29, via the PP. . . . F Adam Tambellini got Calgary to within one at 16:09. . . . F Matt Fonteyne restored Everett’s two-goal lead with his fifth goal at 11:58 of the second. . . . Tambellini got his 44th goal, shorthanded, at 15:50 to leave Calgary trailing 3-2. . . . Everett scored the next four goals, two of them coming in the second period. . . . Stadnyk scored the game’s final goal, giving him 25. . . . F Nikita Scherbak got No. 26 for Everett and F Kohl Bauml got his 29th. . . . Everett F Ivan Nikolishin had three assists. . . . Silvertips G Carter Hart turned aside 41 shots. . . . Everett D Ben Betker was tossed at 4:23 of the third for a headshot on Calgary F Chase Lang. . . . D Kevin Davis (undisclosed injury) was among Everett’s scratches. . . . Everett (37-18-7) leads the U.S. Division by four points over Portland. . . . Calgary (38-19-5) had won nine straight on the road and six in a row overall. The Hitmen, who lead the Central Division by two points over Medicine Hat, had won four straight in the U.S Division. . . .

In Kent, Wash., F Jansen Harkins scored 33 seconds into OT to give the Prince George Cougars a 5-4 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Harkins, who also had three assists, has 19 goals. . . . Cougars F Jordan Ross, an 18-year-old from Kronau, Sask., scored his first WHL goal, in his 21st game, at 17:57 of the second period to force OT. . . . Seattle held a 3-1 lead in the second period when Seattle D Evan Wardley was hit with a triple minor. Four seconds later, Seattle D Jerret Smith was hit with a delay-of-game minor. . . . Cougars F Zach Pochiro then scored PP goals 39 seconds apart to tie the game. . . . Seattle F Luke Osterman gave his side a 4-3 lead with his second goal of the season at 14:44 of the second. . . . Pochiro also had two assists, as did Cougars D Josh Connolly. . . . Seattle F Mathew Barzal had two assists. . . . Prince George was 3-for-7 on the PP; Seattle was 2-for-6. . . . The Thunderbirds held a 20-3 edge in first-period shots but led only 1-0. . . . Seattle took 57 of the game’s 102 penalty minutes. . . . The Cougars (25-33-4) have won two in a row to get within a point of third-place Vancouver in the B.C. Division. . . . The Thunderbirds (31-23-7) have lost two straight. They are third in the U.S. Division, seven points behind Portland and eight ahead of Spokane.
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SATURDAY’S GAMES

(all times local)
Medicine Hat at Swift Current, 7 p.m.
Regina at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.
Kootenay at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Lethbridge at Red Deer, 7 p.m.
Vancouver at Kamloops, 7 p.m.
Tri-City at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.
Calgary at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.
Portland vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:05 p.m.
Prince George at Everett, 7:05 p.m.
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