Saturday, March 18, 2017

Everett clinches division, conference titles . . . History in Prince George . . . Halbgewachs finishes with flurry



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WHAT WE KNOW . . . 

EASTERN CONFERENCE:
Regina vs. Calgary: The Pats finished atop the overall standings; the Hitmen earned the conference’s second wild-card spot on Friday. Season series: Regina, 3-1-0; Calgary, 1-2-1. Opens: Friday and Saturday, in Regina.
Medicine Hat vs. Brandon: The Tigers finished first in the Central Division; Brandon, the WHL’s defending champion, was in the conference’s first wild-card spot. Brandon will play home games in Dauphin, Man., as the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair rules the Keystone Centre complex. Season series: Medicine Hat, 3-1-0; Brandon, 1-3-0. Opens: Friday and Saturday, in Medicine Hat.
Moose Jaw vs. Swift Current: The Warriors were second in the East Division, finishing five points ahead of the third-place Broncos. Season series: Moose Jaw, 4-2-0; Swift Current, 2-4-0. Opens: Friday and Saturday, in Moose Jaw.
Lethbridge vs. Red Deer: The Hurricanes finished a comfortable second in the Central Division, 23 points ahead of the third-place Rebels. Season series: Lethbridge, 5-0-1; Red Deer: 1-4-1. Opens: Saturday and Sunday, in Lethbridge.
WESTERN CONFERENCE:
Everett vs. Victoria: The Silvertips led the U.S. Division and the Western Conference, so draw the second wild-card entry, the Royals, who have lost seven straight (0-6-1), including two in a row to Everett this weekend. Season series: Everett, 4-0-0; Victoria, 0-3-1.
Kelowna vs. Kamloops: The Rockets wound up second in the B.C. Division, one point behind the Prince George Cougars. The difference? One loser point — Prince George finished with six; Kelowna had five. The Blazers were five points in arrears of Kelowna. Season series: Kelowna, 4-6-0; Kamloops: 6-3-1. Opens: Friday and Saturday, in Kelowna.

WHAT WE DON’T KNOW . . . 


The combatants in two Western Conference series have yet to be decided, with the Prince George Cougars, who finished first in the B.C. Division, and the Seattle Thunderbirds, second-place finishers in the U.S. Division, awaiting opponents. One of them will get the Portland Winterhawks, the other the Tri-City Americans.
Portland goes into today’s games in third place, one point ahead of Tri-City. Both teams are at home, the Winterhawks to the Spokane Chiefs, who didn’t make the playoffs, and the Americans to the Everett Silvertips, who are the conference’s No. 1 seed.
A source has told Taking Note that there is some behind-closed-doors intrigue to a possible series featuring Prince George and Tri-City. According to the source, should that series transpire, the Americans want a 2-3-2 format, while the Cougars are asking for the traditional 2-2-1-1-1 format.
Stay tuned. . . .
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SATURDAY’S GAMES:

At Brandon, the Wheat Kings, with six regulars scratched, were no match for Regina as the Pats wheeled their way to a 6-0 victory. . . . The Wheat Kings were without D Garrett Sambrook (ill), D Kale Clague, F
SAM STEEL
Tanner Kaspick, F Nolan Patrick, F Reid Duke and F Tyler Coulter (WHL suspension). Then they lost F Meyer Nell and D Daniel Bukac in the third period. . . . Bukac was injured at 13:44 of the third period on a hit by F Nick Henry, who drew a boarding major and game misconduct. . . . "When you look at it,” John Paddock, the Pats’ GM/head coach, told Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post, the contact of the two guys happened quite a bit before the boards. I understand why it’s a boarding penalty, but there’s nothing malicious or dirty from Nick. He’s the kind of guy who’s probably going to win the gentlemanly player (award) in the next two years. But until we hear something for sure it’s something to be a little bit worried about. Everybody reads it differently.” . . . The game had no bearing on the final standings. . . . Regina (42-12-8) goes into the playoffs having won eight in a row. . . . Brandon (31-31-10) has lost two straight, having dropped a 6-1 decision in Regina on Friday night. . . . G Jordan Hollett recorded his second shutout of the season with 34 saves. . . . Regina F Adam Brooks had a goal, his 43rd, and two assists. Brooks, who won last season’s scoring title with 120 points, finished with 130 points, second to teammate Sam Steel, who had 131. Brooks led the WHL in assists, with 81. . . . Steel was blanked last night. . . . F Austin Wagner scored his 30th goal, giving the Pats six skaters with at least 30 goals. . . . D Connor Hobbs scored his 31st goal, to set a Pats’ single-season record for goals by a defenceman. He finished with one more than John Miner (1984-85). . . . D Jonathan Smart (3), F Dawson Leedahl (35) and F Filip Ahl (29) also scored. . . . Regina got two assists from each of D Sergey Zborovskiy and D Chase Harrison. . . . Regina won the season series, 6-1-1. . . . The Wheat Kings got 38 saves from G Logan Thompson. . . . Regina was 0-1 on the PP; Brandon was 0-7. . . . F Braden Schneider, the 12th overall selection in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft, made his WHL debut with Brandon. From Prince Albert, he had 12 goals and 19 assists in 35 games with the midget AAA Prince Albert Mintos this season. . . . F Robbie Holmes was among Regina’s scratches after he was suspended for one game under supplemental discipline — at hit on which Duke was injured — after Friday’s 6-1 victory over the visiting Wheat Kings. . . . Announced attendance: 5,621.
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At Calgary, the Hitmen scored the game’s last three goals en route to a 4-1 victory over the Kootenay Ice.
KYLE DUMBA
. . . The game didn’t mean anything to the final standings. . . . Calgary (30-32-10) has won two in a row, having posted a 6-1 victory over the host Ice on Friday. . . . The Ice (14-46-12) finished the season on a 10-game skid (0-8-2). . . . D Jake Bean gave the Hitmen a 1-0 lead with his eighth goal, at 3:57 of the second period. . . . F Vince Loschiavo tied it with No. 28 at 12:11. . . . The Hitmen won it with three third-period goals. . . . G Andrei Grishakov (11) provided a 2-1 lead at 11:45. . . . F Matt Dorsey (3) added insurance at 14:20. . . . D Brady Reagan (7) got the empty-netter at 19:34. . . . Calgary got two assists from each of F Matteo Gennaro and F Mark Kastelic. . . . G Kyle Dumba stopped 16 shots for Calgary. . . . Ice G Payton Lee, in the final game of his WHL career, turned aside 30 shots. . . . Kootenay was 0-2 on the PP; Calgary was 0-3. . . . The Hitmen will meet the Regina Pats in the first round of the playoffs. . . . The Ice won’t participate. . . . Announced attendance: 11,410.
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At Everett, D Kevin Davis had three assists to lead the Silvertips to a 5-2 victory over the Victoria Royals.
KEVIN DAVIS
. . . The victory allowed the Silvertips (44-16-11) to clinch first place in the Western Conference and the U.S. Division. . . . The Royals (37-29-6) will finish in the conference’s second wild-card spot, meaning they will meet the Silvertips in the first round. . . . Everett goes in having won three straight; Victoria has lost seven straight (0-6-1). . . . Last night, the Silvertips opened a 5-0 lead. . . . They really took control with three first-period goals, from F Brandson Hein (3), F Patrick Bajkov (29) and F Cal Babych (2). The latter two came via the PP. . . . F Riley Sutter (19) added a second-period PP goal, and F Matt Fonteyne made it 5-0 with his 20th goal at 19:46. . . . The Royals got third-period goals from F Vladimir Bobylev (9) and F Ethan Price (8). . . . D Aaron Irving and F Dominic Zwerger each had two assists for Everett. . . . The Silvertips got 25 saves from G Carter Hart. . . . Victoria G Dylan Myskiw blocked 28 shots. . . . Everett was 3-6 on the PP; Victoria was 0-5. . . . Announced attendance: 7,989.
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At Medicine Hat, F Steve Owre had a goal and three assists to help the Tigers to an 8-7 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . The Tigers trailed 6-5 going into the third period, but tied it on F Mark
STEVE OWRE
Rassell’s 36th goal, on a PP, at 4:59. . . . F Egor Babenko (24) put Lethbridge back ahead at 5:20. . . . Medicine Hat F James Hamblin tied it with his second goal of the game, and 23rd this season, at 8:33. . . . D David Quenneville got the winner, on a PP, at 12:28. He’s got 23 goals. . . . Owre has 26 goals. . . . D Brad Forrest (3), F Mason Shaw (27) and F Max Gerlach (34) also scored for the Tigers, who got three assists from F Chad Butcher, who finished the season with 103 points, two from D Clayton Kirichenko and one each from Hamblin, Gerlach, Shaw and Rassell. . . . F Tyler Wong scored twice for Lethbridge, giving him 51, and added two assists. He is the first Lethbridge skater with 50 goals since F Shane Willis in 1997-98. . . . Wong and F Tyler Steenbergen of the Swift Current Broncos led the WHL in goals this season. . . . D Calen Addison (9), F Ryan Vandervlis (8), F Tanner Nagel (10) and F Alec Baer (15) had Lethbridge’s other goals. . . . Lethbridge got three assists from F Giorgio Estephan, two from each of Babenko and D Brennan Menell, and one from Addison. . . . All four goaltenders got into the game. . . . Medicine Hat starter Michael Bullion allowed three goals on 15 shots in the first period, but left when he reportedly felt ill. Duncan McGovern, who spent most of this season with the MJHL’s Dauphin Kings, gave up four goals on 23 shots over the last two periods. . . . The Tigers already are without G Nick Schneider, who the club said had returned home with an illness. . . . Lethbridge starter Stuart Skinner allowed four goals on 24 shots in 22:30. Adam Swan finished up, stopping 17 of 21 shots in 35:51. . . . Medicine Hat was 3-5 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-2. . . . F Zach Fischer of the Tigers sat this one out with back spasms. . . . F Matt Bradley was among Medicine Hat’s scratches as he served a one-game suspension assessed after he took a spearing major and game misconduct during Friday’s 5-1 victory in Lethbridge. . . . The Tigers (51-20-1) have won two in a row. . . . The Hurricanes (44-21-7) have lost two straight. . . . Announced attendance: 4,390.
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At Moose Jaw, F Jayden Halbgewachs scored four times and added three assists to reach the 50-goal and 100-point marks, leading the Warriors to a 10-5 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . The
JAYDEN HALBGEWACHS
Warriors (42-21-9) had lost their previous five games (0-4-1). . . . The Broncos (39-23-10) finished third in the East Division, ?? points behind the Warriors. . . . The teams will open a first-round playoff series in Moose Jaw on Friday. . . . Halbgewachs, who finished with 101 points, became the WHL’s fifth 50-goal scorer and its fifth 100-point man this season. . . . F Riley Stotts (9) gave the Broncos a 1-0 lead 45 seconds into the first period. . . . F Brett Howden tied it at 3:35. . . . The Broncos went back out front at 7:15 as F Conner Chaulk scored his ninth goal, on a PP. . . . The Warriors took control with the next three goals, with Halbgewachs, F Noah Gregor (26) and Howden scoring. . . . Howden, who has 38 goals, completed a hat trick, on a PP, at 12:03 of the second period. He also had two assists. . . . Halbgewachs finished his scoring night with three goals in a span of 7:13 early in the third period. . . . F Justin Almeida (11) added another goal for Moose Jaw, while Gregor scored the game’s last goal, his second of the game. . . . Chaulk scored twice for the Broncos, with F MacKenzie Wight (1) and F Ryley Lindgren (27) also scoring. . . . The Warriors got three assists from F Brayden Burke, two from F Tanner Jeannot, and one from Almeida. . . . D Artyom Minulin had three assists for Swift Current, with F Aleksi Heponiemi getting two, and Lindgren one. . . . The Warriors got 16 stops from G Zach Sawchenko. . . . Swift Current G Bailey Brkin made his WHL debut in this one, allowing 10 goals on 53 shots. With Jordan Papirny (mumps) out, Brkin has been backing up Taz Burman. . . . Brkin, 17, spent this season with the AJHL’s Calgary Mustangs. . . . Moose Jaw was 3-6 on the PP; Swift Current was 2-4. . . . The Warriors have added D Matthew Benson, who turned 16 on Nov. 24, to their roster. From Vancouver, he had four goals and 10 assists in 30 games with the Delta Hockey Academy prep team this season. A list player, he was pointless in three earlier games with the Warriors. He went pointless last night, but was plus-2. . . . The Warriors were without F Thomas Foster, who served a one-game suspension that was handed down under supplemental discipline following Friday’s 2-1 loss in Swift Current. . . . The Broncos’ scratches included F Lane Pederson, who was injured on Friday, G Jordan Papirny (mumps), D Colby Sissons, D Max Lajoie, F Kaden Elder and F Ryan Graham, all of them key performers. . . . Matthew Gourlie, a contributor at the DUBnetwork.ca, tweeted later that Emanuel Viveiros, the Broncos’ head coach, said Papirny and Sissons have been cleared to return to practice. In fact, all of the absentees should be ready for Game 1. . . . The Warriors won the season series, 4-2-0. . . . Announced attendance: 3,781.
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At Prince Albert, the Raiders scored the game’s last five goals and beat the Saskatoon Blades, 5-1. . . . F Mason McCarty gave the Blades a 1-0 lead with his 21st goal, on a PP, at 5:39 of the first period. . . . The Raiders tied it when F Simon Stransky scored at 5:24 of the second period and took the lead on Stransky’s 22nd goal, on a PP, at 11:35. . . . F Curtis Miske added insurance with his 20th goal, on another PP, at 18:06. . . . The Raiders got third-period goals from F Adam Kadlec (5) and D Cody Paivarinta (2). . . . Miske and Stransky added an assist apiece. . . . G Ian Scott earned the victory with 24 saves, two fewer than Saskatoon’s Brock Hamm. . . . Prince Albert was 2-3 on the PP; Saskatoon was 1-3. . . . Neither the Raiders (21-44-7) nor Blades (28-35-9) qualified for the playoffs. . . . Announced attendance: 2,953.
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At Prince George, the Cougars won the first B.C. Division title in their 23-year history in the northern city
DYLAN FERGUSON
with a 2-1 shootout loss to the Kamloops Blazers. . . . The loser point was enough to clinch top spot in the division, one point ahead of the Kelowna Rockets. . . . The Blazers won the game when F Brodi Stuart, who turned 17 on March 10, scored in the eighth round of the shootout. Because shootout goals aren’t counted in individual statistics, Stuart’s line will continue to show him with no goals in three games. . . . F Collin Shirley (28) gave Kamloops a 1-0 lead, on a PP, 23 seconds into the second period. . . . The Cougars tied it when D Brendan Guhle scored his 15th goal, at 14:56. . . . With the Blazers shooting first in the skills competition, F Lane Bauer gave them a 1-0 lead, only to have F Nikita Popugaev equalize. . . . F Nick Chyzowski scored for Kamloops in the sixth round, with the Cougars then getting a goal from F Kody McDonald. . . . That set the stage for Stuart, a fourth-round selection in the 2015 bantam draft who is from Langley, B.C. . . . G Ty Edmonds stopped 30 shots through OT for the Cougars. . . . Kamloops G Dylan Ferguson was chosen as the game’s first start, thanks to a 47-save performance. . . . Kamloops was 1-2 on the PP; Prince George was 0-4. . . . The Blazers went north without G Connor Ingram, F Deven Sideroff, F Luc Smith and D Dallas Valentine. . . . D Devan Harrison, a second-round pick in the 2015 WHL bantam draft, made his WHL debut with Kamloops. . . . The Cougars had won, 3-1, in Kamloops on Friday. . . . The Cougars (46-21-5) have won four in a row. They will meet either the Portland Winterhawks or Tri-City Americans in the opening round of the playoffs. . . . The Blazers (41-25-6) finished third in the B.C. Division and will meet Kelowna in the first round for the second straight season. The Rockets was a seven-game series a year ago. . . . Announced attendance: 5,806.
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At Red Deer, the Edmonton Oil Kings beat the Rebels, 4-1, winning on the road for the first time in
BRIAN HARRIS
regulation time since Dec. 28. . . . The teams will meet again today in Edmonton. . . . F Lane Zablocki gave the home side a 1-0 lead at 1:27 of the first period, but it was all Edmonton after that. . . . F Brian Harris scored his first WHL goal — it came in his fourth game — at 2:57. . . . D Anatolii Elizarov (7) put the visitors out front at 13:26. . . . F Riley Stadel, who hadn’t played since Feb. 12, scored his sixth goal — and first with Edmonton since moving over from the Kelowna Rockets in January — at 14:11, then drew an assist on F Graham Millar’s 12th goal, an empty-netter, at 18:27 of the third period. . . . Edmonton’s Robertson brothers — Matthew and Tyler — each had an assist. . . . G Josh Dechaine earned the victory with 33 saves. . . . The Rebels got 22 stops from G Lasse Petersen. . . . Each team was 0-5 on the PP. . . . F Trey Fix-Wolansky was among Edmonton’s scratches. . . . The Oil Kings (22-43-6) have won their past two games. . . . The Rebels (30-29-12) had points in each of their previous seven games (5-0-2). . . . Prior to the game, Red Deer trainer Dave (Radar) Horning was presented with a WHL Milestone Award. He was with the Prince Albert Raiders for three seasons before joining the Rebels for 1994-95. . . . Announced attendance: 7,135.
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At Kent, Wash., F Colton Veloso scored two goals and added an assist as the Portland Winterhawks beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 4-1. . . . The victory allowed the Winterhawks (40-27-4) to remain third in the
COLTON VELOSO
U.S. Division, a point ahead of the Tri-City Americans. Portland has won three in a row and eight of nine. . . . Seattle (45-20-6), which had won its previous four games, had its hopes dashed for a first-place finish in the division. . . . Veloso, who has 18 goals, gave his guys a 2-0 lead, scoring at 17:57 of the first period and 6:16 of the second. . . . F Ryan Gropp (35) scored for Seattle at 10:15. . . . The Winterhawks put it away with third-period goals from F Alex Overhardt (41) at 3:39 and D Keoni Texeira (12), an empty-netter, at 19:21. . . . G Cole Kehler stopped 31 shots for Portland, six fewer than Seattle’s Matt Berlin. . . . Portland was 0-2 on the PP; Seattle was 0-3. . . . G Rylan Toth, who led the WHL with 36 victories, was among Seattle’s scratches. . . . Seattle F Mathew Barzal (suspected mumps) missed his fourth straight game, but the Thunderbirds got back F Scott Eansor after a 29-game absence. He last played on Jan. 14. Also returning was D Jarret Tyszka, who had been out since Feb. 24, and D Reece Harsch, out since March 4. . . . The Winterhawks lost F Cody Glass, their leading scorer, to an undisclosed injury in the game’s first half. He’s got 94 points, 32 of them goals, in 69 games. . . . Announced attendance: 6,173.
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At Spokane, F Jordan Topping and F Vladislav Lukin scored shootout goals to give the Tri-City Americans a 5-4 victory over the Chiefs. . . . The Americans (40-28-3) are fourth in the U.S. Division, one
JORDAN TOPPING
point behind the Portland Winterhawks going into the final day of the regular-season. The Americans will entertain the Everett Silvertips, who have clinched first place, while the Winterhawks are at home to the Chiefs (26-33-12), who have lost nine straight (0-6-3). . . . The third-place team will meet Seattle in the first round; the fourth-place finisher will get the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot and hit the highway to face the B.C. Division-champion Prince George Cougars. . . . The Chiefs held 2-0, 3-1 and 4-3 leads in this one. . . . F Keanu Yamamoto’s 24th goal gave Spokane a 1-0 lead at 1:39 of the first period. A 20-year-old from Spokane, Yamamoto was playing his final WHL home game and his last home game with his brother, Kailer. . . . The Chiefs went up 2-0 on F Jaret Anderson-Dolan’s goal, at 4:31. . . . Tri-City got its first goal from F Parker AuCoin, on a penalty shot, at 15:34. He’s got 21 goals. . . . D Ty Smith got that one back for Spokane on a PP, at 17:53. He’s got five goals. . . . The Americans pulled even on second-period goals from Topping (25), at 5:39, and Lukin (26), on a PP, at 15:50. . . . Anderson-Dolan put Spokane ahead again, with No. 39, at 8:54 of the third. . . . F Tyler Sandhu, who had let the game earlier for repairs after suffering a facial injury, forced OT with his 23rd goal, at 13:12. . . . F Riley Woods gave Spokane the edge with a goal in the first round of the shootout, but Topping scored in the second round and Lukin won it in the third. . . . F Kailer Yamamoto had two assists, with Keanu Yamamoto, Anderson-Dolan and Smith getting one each. . . . The Americans got two assists from Sandhu, and one from Topping. . . . G Rylan Parenteau stopped 35 shots for Tri-City, four more than Spokane’s Donovan Buskey. . . . The Americans were 1-2 on the PP; the Chiefs were 1-5. . . . F Max James was back in Tri-City’s lineup on Friday, after a three-game absence. But he was scratched from this one. . . . Announced attendance: 10,118.
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At Langley, B.C., F Kole Lind scored his 30th goal and added an assist as the Kelowna Rockets downed
KOLE LIND
the Vancouver Giants, 5-2. . . . The Giants took a 1-0 lead when F Calvin Spencer scored his 16th goal, on a PP, at 7:19 of the first period. . . . Lind got that one back just 26 seconds later. . . . F Jordan Borstmayer put the Giants back out front at 8:08. . . . The visitors took a 3-2 lead before the period ended, with D Nolan Foote (19) scoring, on a PP, at 14:23 and F Leif Mattson adding his ninth goal, at 16:41. . . . D Devante Stephens (13) added insurance at 19:01 of the second period and F Reid Gardiner got his 18th goal in 28 games 11 seconds later. . . . F Carsen Twarynski had two assists for Kelowna. . . . G Michael Herringer had 29 stops and an assist for the Rockets. . . . Vancouver starter Ryan Kubic allowed five goals on 25 shots through two periods. David Tendeck stopped all seven shots he saw in the third period. . . . Each team was 1-5 on the PP. . . . The Rockets (45-22-5) will finish second in the B.C. Division and meet the Kamloops Blazers in the first round. . . . The Giants (20-45-6) didn’t qualify. . . . Announced attendance: 4,423.
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SUNDAY’S GAMES (all times local):

Red Deer at Edmonton, 4 p.m.
Spokane at Portland, 5 p.m.
Vancouver vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 5:05 p.m.
Everett vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 5:05 p.m.
END OF REGULAR SEASON

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