Thursday, December 8, 2016

Halifax wants 2019 Memorial Cup . . . Czechs load up on WHLers . . . Coaching change in AJHL

D Ole-Kristian Tollefsen (Brandon, 2002-04) has signed a two-year extension with Färjestad Karlstad (Sweden, SHL). He has two goals and three assists in 25 games. He also is an alternate captain.
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The QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads announced on Thursday that they plan on submitting a bid in the hopes of playing host to the 2019 Memorial Cup tournament. . . . From the Mooseheads news release: “The 2018-19 season will celebrate the 25th anniversary season of the Mooseheads. It will also be 20 seasons since the club hosted its only previous Memorial Cup in 2000 when the hometown team electrified the City of Halifax and garnered national attention for the franchise. The fans were possibly the biggest story of the event in the spring of 2000 as 79,877 packed the Scotiabank Centre (then Metro Centre) for the eight-day tournament which at the time was the second-highest total in the history of the Memorial Cup.” . . . Halifax won its only Memorial Cup title in Saskatoon in 2013, beating the Portland Winterhawks, 6-4, in the final. . . . The 2017 tournament will be played in Windsor, Ont. . . . The 2018 tournament, which marks the 100th anniversary of the Memorial Cup, is to be played in Hamilton, Oshawa or Regina.
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The Czech Republic’s national junior team includes seven WHLers on its 22-man roster. . . . Three of the eight defencemen are from the WHL — Vojtěch Budik of the Prince Albert Raiders, Libor Hájek of the Saskatoon Blades and Ondrej Vala of the Kamloops. . . . As well, four of the 12 forwards are from WHL teams — Adam Musil and Michael Špaček of the Red Deer Rebels, Simon Stransky of Prince Albert and Tomas Soustal of the Kelowna Rockets. . . . The WHLers are expected to join their Czech teammates in Montreal on Sunday.
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It was 36 years ago last night — Dec. 8, 1980 — when John Lennon was shot down on a sidewalk in New York City. Jimmy Breslin, the legendary columnist, was with the New York Daily News. He was at home that night when he got the call. . . . This link right here will take you to the column he wrote on deadline. This is what newspapering used to be.
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If you’ve got a comment, some information you would like to pass along, or if you just want to say hello, feel free to contact me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com.
If you would like to donate to the cause, please visit the bottom of this post and go right ahead.
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Coaching
Ryan Howse no longer is an assistant coach with the BCHL’s Prince George Spruce Kings. According to a news release, Howse “has stepped down . . . for personal and family reasons.” . . . Last season, he was the head coach of the Prince George Coast Inn of the North Cougars, a midget Tier 1 team that won the B.C. championship. . . . Howse played four WHL seasons (2007-11) with the Chilliwack Bruins.
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The AJHL’s Grande Prairie Storm has fired general manager/head coach Kevin Higo and replaced him with Matt Keillor. . . . Higo had the rest of this season left on a three-year contract. . . . Keillor has spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach with the Storm, while also working as head coach of the midget AAA Storm. . . . The AJHL’s Storm is 7-22-5 and in sixth place in the Viterra AJHL North, 14 points out of fifth. . . . Under Higo, the Storm was 33-108-13.
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The SJHL’s Kindersley Klippers have added Larry Wintoneak to their staff as an assistant coach. He will work alongside GM/head coach Geoff Grimwood. . . . Wintoneak, who has coached in the SJHL with the Flin Flon Bombers, La Ronge Ice Wolves and the Klippers, has been Kindersley’s strength-and-conditioning coach for the past two years. He will continue with those responsibilities while also working as an assistant coach.
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Tweet of the Day

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THURSDAY’S GAMES:

No Games Scheduled.
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FRIDAY’S GAMES (all times local):

Red Deer at Calgary, 7 p.m.
Brandon at Edmonton 7 p.m.
Medicine Hat at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.
Victoria at Portland, 7 p.m.
Moose Jaw at Prince Albert, 7 p.m. (TBG)
Seattle at Prince George, 7 p.m.
Swift Current at Regina, 7 p.m. (TBG)
Kootenay at Spokane, 7:05 p.m. (TBG)
Kelowna vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.
Everett vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7:30 p.m.
TBG: Teddy Bear Game.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Broncos' first pick opts for Pioneers . . . Concussions end Verhelst's career . . . 'Canes beat Pats in OT


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D Jacson Alexander, 15, has committed to attend the U of Denver and play for the Pioneers, starting with the 2020-21 season. From Victoria, Alexander was the Swift Current Broncos’ first selection, 17th overall, in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. . . . Last season, he had 22 points, including nine goals, in 24 games with the Shawnigan Lake School’s bantam team. This season, with the prep team, Alexander, who will turn 16 on Feb. 1, has six points, including five assists, in 10 games.
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The Prince George Cougars may be waiting a while longer before they get D Brendan Guhle back from the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres, their defence corps depleted by injuries, recalled Guhle on Friday and he played three games over the next four days. On Tuesday, he played 15 minutes 55 seconds and had two shot blocks in a 4-3 overtime victory over the visiting Edmonton Oilers. Of the six defencemen dressed by Buffalo, Guhle played the fourth-most minutes. . . . In the three games, Guhle, 19, is pointless with four shots on goal. He is plus-1. His ice time in his first two games was 16:20 and 16:48. . . . The Sabres next play on Friday against the visiting Washington Capitals.
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With G Connor Ingram leaving for the Canadian national junior team’s selection camp later this week, the Kamloops Blazers have added G Max Palaga, 16, to their roster. Palaga, who is from Kamloops, plays for the Kamloops-based Thompson Blazers of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League. . . . Palaga practised with the Blazers on Wednesday and will back up G Dylan Ferguson on a Central Division trip that opens against the Edmonton Oil Kings on Saturday. The Blazers will play six games in eight days on that trip. . . . The Blazers also will lose sophomore D Ondrej Vala, as he is scheduled to leave Monday after being named to the preliminary roster for the Czech Republic’s team that will play in the World Junior  Championship. . . . The Blazers also learned Wednesday that former NHL F Mark Recchi, who owns a piece of the Kamloops franchise, is among the B.C. Sport Hall of Fame’s class of 2017. The induction dinner is scheduled for April 12 in Vancouver.
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The Kootenay Ice has returned D Bobby Russell to the Valley West Hawks of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League. Russell, 16, was pointless in four games during his stint with the Ice. . . . Kootenay’s roster now is at 24, including 14 forwards and eight defencemen.
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The Portland Winterhawks have signed G Evan Fradette, 15, who was a fifth-round selection in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. From St. Albert, Alta., he is playing for the minor midget St. Albert Flyers, who are 17-0-0. Fradette has played eight games, going 0.75 and .971. He played last season for the bantam AAA St. Albert Flyers and was 1.81, .925.
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F Craig Cunningham, the captain of the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners and a former WHLer, has been Facetiming with teammates from the hospital in which he has been since collapsing on the ice prior to a game on Nov. 19. But, as Jared Clinton of The Hockey News, writes right here, “There’s still no word as to what exactly caused” Cunningham to collapse. . . . Clinton’s piece is right here.
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Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet offers up his latest edition of 30 Thoughts right here.
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If you’ve got a comment, some information you would like to pass along, or if you just want to say hello, feel free to contact me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com.
If you would like to donate to the cause, please visit the bottom of this post and go right ahead.
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Concussion Report
G Tyson Verhelst has chosen to end his competitive hockey career due to concussion problems. Verhelst, 19, is from Kemnay, Man., a community just west of Brandon. He suffered a concussion while with the MJHL’s Neepawa Natives in 2013-14 and then was twice diagnosed with concussions while with the Spokane Chiefs (2014-16). In fact, a concussion prematurely ended last season for him. The Red Deer Rebels acquired his rights from Spokane earlier this season and he had hoped to be able to continue his career. However, he took a fall in October near his billet’s home in Red Deer, hit his head and was diagnosed with yet another concussion. Now, after consulting with doctors, Verhelst has decided to quit hockey and plans on enrolling in Lethbridge Community College in September. . . . Greg Meachem of reddeerrebels.com has more right here.
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WEDNESDAY’S GAMES:

At Everett, F Jordan Topping’s OT goal gave the Tri-City Americans a 4-3 victory over the Silvertips. . . .
JORDAN TOPPING
This was an interesting game with the Silvertips taking a 2-0 lead and later having to erase a 3-2 deficit in order to get to extra time. . . . Topping ended it with his second goal in two games since returning from an ankle injury. . . . D Noah Juulsen got his eighth goal at 9:29 of the first period to give Everett a 1-0 lead, with D Jake Christiansen (2) making it 2-0 at 14:34. . . . The Americans got the next three goals. . . . F Morgan Geekie, who has 14, got the first two, at 17:51 of the second and 8:53 of the third. . . . F Kyle Olson (9) gave the Americans a 3-2 lead at 14:36. . . . Everett F Patrick Bajkov tied it with his 15th goal, on a PP, at 18:29. . . . Geekie and D Parker Wotherspoon each had two assists for the winners. . . . F Dominic Zwerger drew two assists for Everett, while Bajkov added one to his goal. . . . G Evan Sarthou stopped 26 shots for Tri-City, while Carter Hart blocked 16 at the other end. . . . The Americans were 1-3 on the PP; the Silvertips were 1-6. . . . Tri-City (18-11-2) has won two in a row. . . . Everett (20-3-5) is 5-0-1 in its last six and is tied with the Regina Pats atop the overall standings. . . . F Graham Millar returned to the Everett lineup for the first time since Nov. 2. . . . Announced attendance: 3,464.
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At Kelowna, F Calvin Thurkauf scored three goals to lead the Rockets to a 6-1 victory over the Seattle
CALVIN THURKAUF
Thunderbirds. . . . Thurkauf, who has 12 goals, got the game’s first two scores, at 1:06 and 10:54 of the first period. . . . He completed the hat trick with the game’s last goal, at 16:24 of the third period. The Swiss sophomore recorded his first WHL hat trick in his 86th regular-season game. . . . Kelowna got three assists from F Nick Merkley, with F Jake Kryski (7) and F Tomas Soustal (13) each getting a goal and an assist. F Dillon Dube and D Devante Stephens had two assists apiece. . . . Kelowna G Michael Herringer stopped 21 shots. He lost his shutout bid to F Ryan Gropp (9), on a PP, at 11:26 of the second period. . . . Seattle starter Rylan Toth allowed five goals on 23 shots over two periods. Matt Berlin played the third period, giving up a goal on eight shots. . . . Seattle was 1-3 on the PP; Kelowna was 0-3. . . . The Rockets (17-11-1) have points in five straight (4-0-1). . . . The Thunderbirds (15-10-3) had been 4-0-1 in their previous five outings. . . . Announced attendance: 4,721.
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At Lethbridge, D Brennan Menell scored in OT to give the Hurricanes a 5-4 victory over the Regina Pats.
BRENNAN MENELL
. . . Menell’s fourth goal came at 3:12 of extra time. . . . The Hurricanes took a 4-2 lead into the third period, only to have the Pats force OT on goals from F Adam Brooks (14), at 5:00, and F Jake Leschyshyn (12), at 11:07. . . . Brooks, who leads the WHL scoring race, ran his point streak to 21 games. Including last season’s playoffs, Brooks has at least a point in 33 straight games. . . . Lethbridge took a 2-0 lead in the first period with F Tanner Nagel (4) scoring at 4:10 and F Ryan Bowen getting his seventh, on a PP, at 13:23. . . . Regina F Sam Steel scored twice before the period ended, at 13:55 and 19:22, giving him 21 goals and forging a 2-2 tie. . . . The Hurricanes regained a two-goal lead with the only goals of the second period, F Tyler Wong (20) scoring at 0:33 and F Jordy Bellerive (10) at 14:24. . . . Wong and Bowen also had two assists each, while Bellerive and Menell each had one. . . . In his last six games, Wong has had 3, 2, 3, 2, 3 and 3 points. . . . Regina got two assists from D Sergey Zborovskiy, who has 14 points, 11 of them assists, over his last four games. . . . G Stuart Skinner turned aside 42 shots for the Hurricanes, while the Pats got 28 saves from Tyler Brown. . . . Regina has Max Paddock of Brandon, a nephew of GM/head coach John Paddock, backing up Brown as Jordan Hollett is injured. . . . Lethbridge was 1-6 on the PP; Regina was 0-3. . . . The Hurricanes (15-11-4) are 8-0-1 in their last nine games. . . . Regina (20-2-5) has points in six straight (4-0-2). The loser point was enough to lift the Pats into a tie with the Everett Silvertips atop the overall standings. . . . Regina F Filip Ahl returned after missing one game due to illness. . . . The Pats had won the first two games of the four-game season series — 6-1 and 7-2. . . . Announced attendance: 2,796.
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At Medicine Hat, F Adam Musil broke a 2-2 tie with two third-period goals as the Red Deer Rebels beat
ADAM MUSIL
the Tigers, 4-2. . . . Musil, who has 13 goals, scored at 8:56 and then added an empty-netter at 18:54. He has seven goals over his past four games. . . . D Josh Mahura (10) ave Red Deer a 1-0 lead at 17:28 of the first period. . . . The Tigers tied it 2:01 later when F Steve Owre got his ninth. . . . F Evan Polei shot the Rebels out front again, with his 11th, at 17:51 of the second period. . . . Tigers F Ryan Jevne (4) pulled his guys even at 6:58 of the third period. . . . The Hurricanes got two assists from D Austin Pratt, while Musil and Polei each had one. . . . D Clayton Kirichenko had two assists for Medicine Hat. . . . D David Quenneville of the Tigers was held off the scoreboard. When he gets at least one assist, they are 15-0-0; when he doesn’t they are 6-9-1. . . . Medicine Hat was 0-3 on the PP; Red Deer was 0-4. . . . G Lasse Petersen stopped 26 shots for Red Deer. . . . Medicine Hat G Nick Schneider blocked 20 shots. . . . The Rebels (15-12-4) have won two straight. . . . The Tigers (21-9-1) have followed a 10-game winning streak with four straight losses. They had been atop the overall standings, but now are two points back. . . . This was the fourth of six meetings between these teams this season; the Tigers had won the first three. . . . The Tigers now are 19-3-0 in the Eastern Conference, including 9-2-0 in the Central Division. . . . Announced attendance: 2,974, the smallest regular-season crowd to attend a game in the Canalta Centre, which is in its second season.
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At Prince George, the Cougars scored the game’s first five goals as they beat the Brandon Wheat Kings,
JOEL LAKUSTA
5-1. . . . D Joel Lakusta got it started with his first goal, at 18:42 of the first period. . . . The Cougars put it away with three goals in the second period. . . . F Brad Morrison scored twice, giving him 12 on the season, and F Jesse Gabrielle added the other. . . . Gabrielle scored his second goal of the game, and 18th of the season, at 5:09 of the third period. . . . F Kody McDonald had two assists for Prince George. . . . F Stelio Mattheos (12) scored Brandon’s goal, on a PP, at 15:11 of the third period. . . . G Ty Edmonds stopped 24 shots for the victory. . . . Brandon G Logan Thompson turned aside 33 shots. . . . Each team was 1-1 on the PP. . . . The Cougars improved to 21-7-2 and closed to within a point of first place in the overall standings. . . . The Wheat Kings (13-12-4) have lost four in a row (0-3-1). They went 1-3-1 in the B.C. Division. The trip took a toll, too, as they were able to dress only 17 forwards for this one. . . . Announced attendance: 2,495.
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At Saskatoon, D Jake Bean had a goal and two assists as the Calgary Hitmen overcame a 2-0 deficit and
BECK MALENSTYN
beat the Blades, 4-3. . . . D Libor Hajek gave the Blades a 1-0 lead when he ended a 75-game goal-less skid at 4:54 of the first period. . . . F Jesse Shynkaruk’s PP goal, his ninth score this season, made it 2-0 at 9:38. . . . Bean’s second goal of the season cut into the lead, on a PP, at 16:37. . . . F Matt Dorsey’s first goal tied the scored at 5:59 of the second. Dorsey’s first goal came in his 18th game of the season. A third-round pick in the 2014 bantam draft, he has missed the last two seasons with injuries. . . . F Beck Malenstyn added two goals, to give his guys a 4-2 lead. Malenstyn, who has nine goals, found the net at 12:38 of the second and 39 seconds into the third. . . . F Braylon Shmyr got the Blades to within one with his 12th goal, at 16:44. . . . F Jordy Stallard had two assists for the Hitmen. . . . Saskatoon got two assists from D Bryton Sayers, while Shmyr added one to his goal. . . . The Hitmen got 26 saves from G Cody Porter, while Saskatoon’s Logan Flodell stopped 21 shots. . . . Calgary was 1-2 on the PP; Saskatoon was 1-6. . . . The Hitmen (10-14-2), who were played for the fourth time in six nights, have won two in a row. . . . The Blades (11-18-2) are two points ahead of Calgary in the Eastern Conference. . . . D Jake Kustra returned to Saskatoon after missing 21 games. He last played on Oct. 18. . . . Announced attendance: 2,675.
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At Spokane, F Matt Phillips had two goals, including the OT winner, and two assists to lead the Victoria
MATT PHILLIPS
Royals to a 6-5 victory over the Chiefs. . . . The Chiefs got three goals from F Jaret Anderson-Dolan, who has 13 scores. This was his third WHL hat trick. He opened the scoring at 1:41 of the first period, on a PP, with F Markson Bechtold making it 2-0 at 5:54. . . . The Royals scored the next four goals, three of them in the first period. . . . F Jared Dmytriw (8) got a PP goal at 10:37; F Regan Nagy (8) tied it at 13:50; F Dante Hannoun (11) gave the visitors the lead at 15:56. . . . Phillips upped the lead to 4-2 at 11:58 of the second period. . . . Bechtold (4) got his second of the game at 16:49 of the second, and Anderson-Dolan tied the score, on a PP, at 5:55 of the third period. . . . Royals D Marsel Ibragimov (2) put his bunch in front again at 14:05, only to have Anderson-Dolan force OT at 19:01. He’s got two hat tricks in his past six games. . . . Hannoun added an assist to his goal. . . . Bechtold also also had an assist in his return to the lineup. He had been out since Nov. 15 in what was his third injury-related absence this season. . . . The Chiefs also welcomed back F Kailer Yamamoto, their leading scorer. He had been out since suffering an undisclosed injury against the visiting Kamloops Blazers on Nov. 19. He had an assist on his first shift after a six-game absence and finished with two helpers. . . . Spokane F Hayden Ostir also had two assists, as did D Tyson Helgesen. . . . G Griffen Outhouse stopped 28 shots for Victoria. . . . Spokane starter Jayden Sittler was beaten three times on six shots in 15:56. Dawson Weatherill came on to stop 13 of 16 shots over 46:12. . . . Victoria was 3-6 on the PP; Spokane was 2-2. . . . The Royals (16-13-2) have won two in a row. . . . The Chiefs (11-11-5) have lost two straight (0-1-1). . . . The Royals continue to play without injured F Tyler Soy, while D Ryan Gagnon served Game 1 of a four-game WHL suspension. . . . Announced attendance: 2,955.
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THURSDAY’S GAMES (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.
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FRIDAY’S GAMES (all times local):

Red Deer at Calgary, 7 p.m.
Brandon at Edmonton 7 p.m.
Medicine Hat at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.
Victoria at Portland, 7 p.m.
Moose Jaw at Prince Albert, 7 p.m. (TBG)
Seattle at Prince George, 7 p.m.
Swift Current at Regina, 7 p.m. (TBG)
Kootenay at Spokane, 7:05 p.m. (TBG)
Kelowna vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.
Everett vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7:30 p.m.
TBG: Teddy Bear Game.
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TEDDY BEAR, TOQUE AND MITTEN TOSS GAMES:

Friday, Dec. 9: Moose Jaw at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 9: Swift Current at Regina, 7 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 9: Kootenay at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10: Prince Albert at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10: Kamloops at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10: Kelowna at Kootenay, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10: Calgary at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10: Everett at Portland, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10: Seattle at Prince George, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10: Victoria vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 16: Saskatoon at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 16: Portland vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 17: Brandon at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 17: Portland at Everett, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 17: Vancouver at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 21: Vancouver vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:05 p.m.
Nov. 26: D Micheal Zipp, 19:47 1st period, Lethbridge 4 at Calgary 2.
Dec. 2: D Artyom Minulin, 13:24 1st period, Calgary 1 at Swift Current 5.
Dec. 2: F Jordy Bellerive, 14:00 1st period, Red Deer 3 at Lethbridge 5.
Dec. 3: F Adam Musil, 14:27 1st period, Lethbridge 2 at Red Deer 3 (OT).
Dec. 3: D Ondrej Vala, 10:38 1st period, Vancouver 2 at Kamloops 5.

Dec. 3: F Nick Merkley, 6:54 2nd period, Brandon 1 at Kelowna 3.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Välimäki feted in Finland . . . Brooks' streak at 20 . . . Blades stun Warriors

Juuso Välimäki (centre) of the Tri-City Americans shakes hands
with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, who is behind his
wife Jenni Haukio (in purple).
(YLE screen grab)
Juuso Välimäki is greeted by Finnish First Lady Jenni Haukio.(YLE screen grab)
D Juuso Välimäki of the Tri-City Americans was in Helsinki, Finland, on Tuesday where he was among those feted in that country’s Independence Day celebrations that included the Linnan Juhlat — Palace Ball — which, according to The MacBeth Report, “is a REALLY big deal . . . it is televised live and garners high ratings.
Välimäki was among the honourees because he captained the Finnish team that won the U-18 IIHF world championship in Grand Forks, N.D., in April.
Here’s more from The MacBeth Report:
It begins with the reception line, where everyone is individually greeted by the President (currently Sauli Niinistö) and spouse/significant other (wife in this case, Jenni Haukio).
The first people through the line are war veterans, led this year by 91-year- old General Jaakko Valtanen, former Commander of the Finnish Armed Forces. These are veterans of the Winter War and Continuation War, two wars fought during the Second World War, when the Soviet Union twice attacked Finland. The veterans are dwindling in number every year, just like here.
Afterwards, it's dinner, then dancing. 
Anyway . . . 
From Turun Sanomat (Turku's daily newspaper), a story that includes a picture of Välimäki arriving at the Palace is right here.
There are more pictures of the reception line right here.
And there is more coverage right here, in Finnish, from the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE).
As best as we can tell, Välimäki was the youngest guest at age 18. A Finnish singer named Robin Packalén also is 18, but Välimäki is about six weeks younger. The oldest was a veteran aged 101.
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The Brandon Wheat Kings have acquired F Meyer Nell, 19, from the Red Deer Rebels for a conditonal 10th-round selection in the 2018 bantam draft. Nell is from Boissevain, Man., which is south of Brandon and is playing for the Boissevain Border Kings of the Tiger Hills Hockey League while attending the U of Manitoba in Winnipeg. He spent two seasons with the Rebels, picking up nine goals and 15 assists in 121 games. . . . The Rebels selected Nell in the fifth round of the 2012 bantam draft. . . . Nell is expected to join the Wheat Kings after the Christmas break.
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F Vladimir Bobylyov chose to return to Russia this season, rather than play a second season with the Victoria Royals. Now, according to News 1130 Sports, a Vancouver radio station, Bobylyov, 19, may be coming back to Victoria. Bobylyov — he was Bobylev in his first stint in the WHL — had 67 points, including 28 goals, in 72 games with the Royals last season, after putting up three goals and six assists in 52 games with the Vancouver Giants in 2014-15. After last season, he was selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the sixth round of the NHL’s 2016 draft. . . . He hasn’t been productive in Russia, recording one goal and two assists in 20 games with Spartak Moskva of the KHL before being sent to the VHL’s Khimik Voskresensk. He has a goal and an assist in two games there. . . . The Royals have only one import — Russian D Marsel Ibragimov — on their roster so there is room for Bobylyov.
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The WHL handed out 16 games worth of suspensions and $500 in fines on Tuesday. . . . F Zach Fischer of the Medicine Hat Tigers was given a five-game suspension for becoming “engaged with an unsuspecting opponent.” He hit F Matt Fonteyne of the host Everett Silvertips during a Friday game. Fischer has missed two games and will be eligible to return on Dec. 13 against the visiting Kelowna Rockets. He will miss games divisional games against the Red Deer Rebels, Lethbridge Hurricanes and Calgary Hitmen. . . . F Baron Thompson of the Brandon Wheat Kings was hit with a three-game suspension after taking a headshot major and game misconduct for a hit on F Connor Bruggen-Cate against the host Kelowna Rockets on Saturday. He already has sat out one game and will miss another tonight (Wednesday) when the Wheat Kings play the Cougars in Prince George. . . . F Kolby Johnson of the Prince Albert Raiders was given four games for a headshot major and game misconduct after hitting D Chase Harrison of the host Regina Pats on Saturday. Harrison began this week in concussion protocol. Johnson began his suspension by missing Tuesday’s game against the visiting Calgary Hitmen. . . . D Ryan Gagnon of the Victoria Royals will sit for four games after taking a charging major and game misconduct in a Saturday game against the Cougars in Prince George. . . . The Medicine Hat Tigers and Seattle Thunderbirds each were fined $250 for warm-up violations prior to their Saturday game in Kent, Wash. Ch-ch-ching! Just in time for the WHL office’s Christmas party!
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Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province reports that the Vancouver Giants were missing two players from Monday’s practice. F Radovan Bondra suffered a leg injury on Friday night against the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings and is expected to return Friday against the visiting Everett Silvertips. D Darian Skeoch watched with his right foot/ankle in an air cast. According to Ewen, Skeoch is week-to-week.
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F Pavel Kousal of the Spokane Chiefs will be leaving the team to play for his native Czech Republic at the World Junior A Challenge in Bonnyville, Alta., Dec. 11-17. Kousal, who is eligible for the 2017 NHL draft, has seven goals and two assists in 24 games in his first season with the Chiefs.
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Patrick Conway offers up his latest look at the KHL and its teams and it’s all right here.
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If you’ve got a comment, some information you would like to pass along, or if you just want to say hello, feel free to contact me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com.
If you would like to donate to the cause, please visit the bottom of this post and go right ahead.
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TUESDAY’S GAMES:

At Cranbrook, B.C., F Riley Woods scored at 2:20 of OT to give the Regina Pats a 5-4 victory over the
RILEY WOODS
Kootenay Ice. . . . Woods has four goals this season. . . . Regina F Adam Brooks ran his point streak to 20 games with a third-period goal. He leads the WHL with 46 points, two more than teammate Sam Steel. . . . F Jake Leschyshyn (11) gave Regina a 1-0 lead at 10:47 of the first period. . . . The Ice then took a 3-1 lead on second-period goals from F Vince Loschiavo (7), at 0:33; F Noah Philp (4), at 1:01; and F Zak Zborosky, on a PP, at 5:02. . . . Zborosky has 22 goals and is tied for the WHL lead with F Jayden Halbgewachs of the Moose Jar Warriors. . . . Steel pulled Regina even with two goals, giving him 19, at 10:55 and 15:39. . . . Brooks gave the Pats a 4-3 lead with his 13th goal, at 3:27 of the third period. . . . Loschiavo forced OT with a goal at 11:07. . . . Regina D Sergey Zborovskiy had three assists, giving him 12 points, including nine assists, over his past three games. . . . The Pats got two assists from D Jonathan Smart, who has five points in three games since being acquired from the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Leschyshyn added an assist to his goal. . . . Zborosky added two assists to his goal. . . . It was Zborovskiy versus Zborosky and each had three points. . . . The Pats got 46 saves from G Tyler Brown, while Payton Lee stopped 39 for the Ice. . . . Kootenay was 1-8 on the PP; Regina was 0-1. . . . The Pats (20-2-4) are 4-0-1 in their past five games and now are tied with the idle Everett Silvertips for first place in the overall standings. . . . The Ice (6-17-8) has points in three straight (1-0-2). . . . Announced attendance: 1,538.
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At Moose Jaw, the Saskatoon Blades scored twice in the last two minutes of the third period and then
MICHAEL FARREN
beat the Warriors, 4-3, in a shootout. . . . F Michael Farren scored in the fifth round of the shootout to give the Blades the victory. . . . It was the first shootout of the season for both teams. . . . With the Warriors leading 3-1, Saskatoon F Chase Wouters (3) scored a PP goal at 18:05. . . . The Blades tied it when F Jesse Shynkaruk got No. 8 at 19:01. . . . The last two goals came with G Brock Hamm out for the extra attacker. . . . The Warriors had taken a 2-0 lead into the third period on goals from F Brett Howden (13), at 11:34 of the first period, and F Noah Gregor (13), on a PP, at 19:06 of the second period. . . . F Caleb Fantillo’s second goal of the season allowed the Blades to halve the deficit at 1:36 of the third period. . . . Warriors F Jayden Halbgewachs gave his guys a 3-1 lead, on a PP, at 12:34. The goal gave Halbgewachs the WHL’s goal-scoring lead. F Zak Zborosky of the Kootenay Ice scored his 22nd later in the evening. . . . Halbgewachs also had an assist, while F Nikita Popugaev had two of them. . . . Farren, a 16-year-old from Surrey, B.C., also had two assists for the Blades, as did F Kolten Olynek. . . . Hamm finished with 33 saves through OT and added four more in the shootout as he won for the second time this season. He hadn’t gotten a victory since Oct. 1. . . . Zach Sawchenko stopped 31 shots for the Warriors. . . . Moose Jaw was 2-3 on the PP; Saskatoon was 1-2. . . . The Blades (11-17-2) had been 0-2-1 in their previous three games. . . . Moose Jaw D Matt Sozanski missed his second game with what is believed to be a shoulder injury. . . . The Warriors (16-6-5) had D Matthew Benson, 16, make his WHL debut. Benson has two goals and six assists in 14 games with the Delta Hockey Academy team in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League. . . . The Blades had F Tyler Lees, 16, in their lineup. He has six goals and 14 assists in 19 games with the midget AAA Regina Pats Canadians. He was a fifth-round selection in the 2015 bantam draft. . . . Some notes from Les Lazaruk, the youthful radio voice of the Blazers: “The victory ended a three-game winless streak, was the Double Blue's first win over the Warriors after five straight losses and was the first win at Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw after eight consecutive setbacks, dating back to Nov. 8, 2013. Add in the fact that the Blades were 0-14-0 when trailing after two periods this season and had only won once previously in 18 games when the opposition opened the scoring, and the result was remarkable.” . . . Announced attendance: 2,808.
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At Prince Albert, F Jordy Stallard broke a 2-2 tie at 15:47 of the third period as the Calgary Hitmen got
JORDY STALLARD
past the Raiders, 3-2. . . . Stallard scored his fourth goal on a PP. . . . F Carsen Twarynski (9) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 2:29 of the second period. . . . The Raiders tied it when F Sean Montgomery scored his eighth goal at 4:36. . . . Calgary took the lead right back, with F Beck Malenstyn (7) scoring at 7:07. . . . That lasted until 19:10 when F Simon Stransky (12) pulled the Raiders into a 2-2 tie. . . . Stransky also had an assist. . . . The Hitmen got 22 saves from G Cody Porter, while Ian Scott of the Raiders blocked 39 shots. . . . Calgary was 1-6 on the PP; Prince Albert was 0-3. . . . The Hitmen (9-14-2) had lost their previous five games. . . . The Raiders 6-22-1 have lost two in a row. . . . F Justyn Gurney, 16, made his WHL debut with the Hitmen. From Delta, B.C., he has 25 points, including eight goals, in 17 games with the Valley West Hawks of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League. Gurney was a sixth-round pick in the 2015 bantam draft. . . . Announced attendance: 1,824.
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WEDNESDAY’S GAMES (all times local):

Tri-City at Everett, 7:05 p.m.
Seattle at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.
Regina at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.
Red Deer at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.
Brandon at Prince George, 7 p.m.
Calgary at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.
Victoria at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.
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TEDDY BEAR, TOQUE AND MITTEN TOSS GAMES:

Friday, Dec. 9: Moose Jaw at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 9: Swift Current at Regina, 7 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 9: Kootenay at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10: Prince Albert at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10: Kamloops at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10: Kelowna at Kootenay, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10: Calgary at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10: Everett at Portland, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10: Seattle at Prince George, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10: Victoria vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 16: Saskatoon at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 16: Portland vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 17: Brandon at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 17: Portland at Everett, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 17: Vancouver at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 21: Vancouver vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:05 p.m.
Nov. 26: D Micheal Zipp, 19:47 1st period, Lethbridge 4 at Calgary 2.
Dec. 2: D Artyom Minulin, 13:24 1st period, Calgary 1 at Swift Current 5.
Dec. 2: F Jordy Bellerive, 14:00 1st period, Red Deer 3 at Lethbridge 5.
Dec. 3: F Adam Musil, 14:27 1st period, Lethbridge 2 at Red Deer 3 (OT).
Dec. 3: D Ondrej Vala, 10:38 1st period, Vancouver 2 at Kamloops 5.
Dec. 3: F Nick Merkley, 6:54 2nd period, Brandon 1 at Kelowna 3.

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Monday, December 5, 2016

Patrick off Canada's roster . . . Silvertips add goaltender . . . Want the book on Wheat Kings?


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D Jonathan Harty (Everett, 2004-08) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Heilbronner Falken (Germany, DEL2). This season, with Olimpija Ljubljana (Slovenia, Erste Bank Liga), he had five goals and eight assists in 23 games.
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NOLAN PATRICK
In news that hardly ranks as surprising, Hockey Canada announced Monday night that F Nolan Patrick of the Brandon Wheat Kings won’t be taking part in the national junior team’s selection camp that opens Sunday in Blainville, Que.
Patrick, who still is the consensus No. 1 pick for the NHL’s 2017 draft, hasn’t played since Oct. 11 and hasn’t been medically cleared to attend the camp. He underwent sports hernia surgery in July and is believed to have incurred some difficulties relating to that surgery.
According to Hockey Canada, there won’t be a roster replacement for Patrick, who was the WHL’s playoff MVP as he lead the Wheat Kings to the 2016 Ed Chynoweth Cup. Without Patrick, Canada’s selection camp roster will include 18 forwards.
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The Regina Pats could have as many as four players involved in the 2017 World Junior Championship when it opens in Toronto and Montreal on Boxing Day.
F Filip Ahl was named Monday to Team Sweden’s preliminary roster. Ahl and John Dahlstrom of the Medicine Hat Tigers join 13 other forwards selected to the roster.
Last week, the Pats had forwards Sam Steel and Austin Wagner named to the Canadian national junior team’s selection camp roster, while D Sergey Zborovskiy is on Team Russia’s preliminary roster.
The tournament runs from Dec. 26 through Jan. 5. The The Pats will return from their Christmas break to play the visiting Brandon on Wheat Kings on Dec. 27. Counting that game, Regina is to play seven games from Dec. 27 through Jan. 7.
Five other players showed up on preliminary rosters on Monday, three of them with Team Denmark.
Lasse Petersen of the Red Deer Rebels is one of six goaltenders on Denmark’s roster. He is joined by forwards Joachim Blichfeld of the Portland Winterhawks and Alexander True of the Seattle Thunderbirds. Denmark’s roster includes 22 forwards.
Juuso Välimäki of the Tri-City Americans is one of 10 defencemen on Team Finland’s preliminary roster.
Caleb Jones of the Portland Winterhawks is one of eight defencemen on Team USA’s preliminary roster. He is the only WHL player on that roster.
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D Juuso Välimäki has left the Tri-City Americans for a couple of days as he has been invited to take part in Independence Day celebrations in Helsinki today (Tuesday). Välimäki was the captain of the Finnish team that won the IIHF’s U-18 world championship in Grand Forks, N.D., in April. . . . Independence Day in Finland celebrates accomplishments of its citizens around the world. About 1,800 guests will join President Sauli Niinistö and his wife, Jenni Haukio, in Helsinki.
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DORRIN LUDING
The Everett Silvertips have acquired G Dorrin Luding, 17, from the Saskatoon Blades for a sixth-round selection in the 2019 bantam draft. From Prince George, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Luding is 4-4-0, 2.93 with the Valley West Hawks of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League. Saskatoon picked him in the third round of the 2014 bantam draft. . . . Luding has been added to Everett's roster. . . . Everett GM Garry Davidson explained the trade in a news release: “As we’re anticipating Carter Hart’s potential absence with commitments to Hockey Canada for the upcoming World Junior Championship, the move to acquire Dorrin helps address an immediate need for goaltending depth with our current roster, imperative in the oncoming weeks.” . . . Hart could miss as many as 11 games if he makes Team Canada’s roster. With him gone, it would appear that the Silvertips will go with sophomore Mario Petit and Luding. This season, in five appearances, Petit is 4-0-1, 2.45, .916.
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D Brendan Guhle of the Prince George Cougars played his second game in three days with the NHL’s
BRENDAN GUHLE
Buffalo Sabres on Monday. The Sabres dropped a 3-2 OT decision to the Capitals in Washington.
Guhle’s ice time was 16 minutes 48 seconds. He had three hits and four blocked shots, with no shots on goal. The Sabres dressed six defencemen; Guhle had more ice time than two of them.
Guhle only saw five seconds of PP time but head coach Dan Bylsma admits that he may give him a shot on the team’s second PP unit.
Guhle went to Buffalo under emergency recall regulations. The Sabres have four defencemen injured — Zach Bogosian (knee), Josh Gorges (broken foot), Dmitri Kulikov (undisclosed) and Taylor Fedun (undisclosed) — so Prince George shouldn’t hold its breath waiting for Guhle’s return.
The Sabres had D Erik Bergdoerfer up from the AHL’s Rochester Americans and he made his NHL debut, the 11th defenceman dressed by Buffalo this season.
The Sabres are back on the ice tonight (Tuesday) as they play host to the Edmonton Oilers.
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The Brandon Wheat Kings are celebrating their 50th anniversary season in the WHL. In conjunction with that, they are publishing a book: Brandon Wheat Kings — The First 50 Years in the WHL. . . . According to a news release, the 124-page soft cover book provides “a look back at the teams and players of Manitoba’s major junior franchise.” . . . From the news release: “The book, which highlights the club’s history, team and player photos and detailed stats, will go on sale later this week at the BWK Team Store located at the Keystone Centre as well as online at wheatkings.com. . . . Proceeds from the sale of the book will go to the Wheat Kings’ Education Fund.” . . . The book will set you back $29.99, which includes all taxes.
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The Denver Post reported Monday morning that a coroner has revealed that former Kootenay Ice F Marek Svatos had codeine, morphine and the anti-anxiety medication Xanax in his system when he died on Nov. 5 in Lone Tree, Colo., near Denver. . . . Svatos, a Slovakian, was 34. . . . Tom McGhee of the Post wrote that Svatos “had a history of heroin use and had gone through drug rehabilitation, according to the coroner’s report. He also had suspected depression, prior suicidal ideation, and ‘recent life stressors.’ ” . . . The report also said that there was drug paraphernalia at the scene of Svatos’s death. . . . McGhee’s story is right here.
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Peter King of Sport Illustrated spends more than a few column inches on quarterback Henry Burris and the Grey Cup-champion Ottawa Redblacks in his Monday Morning Quarterback piece. . . . It’s right here.
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If you’ve got a comment, some information you would like to pass along, or if you just want to say hello, feel free to contact me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com.
If you would like to donate to the cause, please visit the bottom of this post and go right ahead.
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Coaching
AJHLJeff Richards has resigned as general manager and head coach of the AJHL’s Calgary Mustangs. According to a news release from the Mustangs, Richards resigned for “personal reasons . . . Later Monday, the Mustangs announced they had signed Tyler Drader as head coach. He had been the head coach of the midget AAA Calgary Northstars. . . . Then the Mustangs went out and beat the visiting Camrose Kodiaks, 2-1, to run their winning streak to two games. They beat the host Grande Prairie Storm, 5-3, on Saturday night. . . . The Mustangs (5-24-1) have the AJHL’s poorest record. . . . Richards stepped in as head coach just over a year ago after the team fired Chad Allen.
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MONDAY’S GAME:


At Edmonton, F Tyler Wong had a goal and two assists to lead the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 6-4 victory
TYLER WONG
over the Oil Kings. . . . Wong, the team captain, has 19 goals. . . . F Egor Babenko gave Lethbridge a 1-0 lead at 9:43 of the first period. . . . Edmonton F Lane Bauer tied it with his 19th goal, at 9:43. . . . Wong broke the tie at 10:14. . . . The Oil Kings took the lead on goals from F Trey Fix-Wolansky (8), at 6:01 of the second period, and F Tyler Robertson (10), at 7:07. . . . The Hurricanes took control by scoring the next four goals. . . . F Zane Franklin (3) tied it at 16:32 of the second and F Jordy Bellerive (9) broke the tie at 19:40. . . . Babenko, who has eight goals, stretched the lead, on a PP, at 2:13 of the third period, with F Giorgio Estephan (16) giving the visitors a 6-3 lead at 11:07. . . . Edmonton D Aaron Irving (9) closed out the scoring at 16:23. . . . The Hurricanes got two assists from F Ryley Lindgren. . . . Wong has 13 points, including six goals, over his past five games. He has 34 points in 26 games. . . . F Davis Koch had two assists for the Oil Kings and Fix-Wolansky had one. . . . Lethbridge got 26 saves from G Stuart Skinner, while Patrick Dea stopped 22 for Edmonton. . . . The Hurricanes were 1-5 on the PP; the Oil Kings were 0-5. . . . The Hurricanes (14-11-4) have points in eight straight (7-0-1) and have moved into a tie with the Red Deer Rebels (14-12-4) for second place in the Central Division. . . . The Oil Kings (13-14-2) had a three-game winning streak snapped. They are four points behind Lethbridge and Edmonton. . . . Announced attendance: 5,067.
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TUESDAY’S GAMES (all times local):

Regina vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.
Saskatoon at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.
Calgary at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.
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TEDDY BEAR, TOQUE AND MITTEN TOSS GAMES:

Friday, Dec. 9: Moose Jaw at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 9: Swift Current at Regina, 7 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 9: Kootenay at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10: Prince Albert at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10: Kamloops at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10: Kelowna at Kootenay, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10: Calgary at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10: Everett at Portland, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10: Seattle at Prince George, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10: Victoria vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 16: Saskatoon at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 16: Portland vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 17: Brandon at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 17: Portland at Everett, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 17: Vancouver at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 21: Vancouver vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:05 p.m.
Nov. 26: D Micheal Zipp, 19:47 1st period, Lethbridge 4 at Calgary 2.
Dec. 2: D Artyom Minulin, 13:24 1st period, Calgary 1 at Swift Current 5.
Dec. 2: F Jordy Bellerive, 14:00 1st period, Red Deer 3 at Lethbridge 5.
Dec. 3: F Adam Musil, 14:27 1st period, Lethbridge 2 at Red Deer 3 (OT).
Dec. 3: D Ondrej Vala, 10:38 1st period, Vancouver 2 at Kamloops 5.
Dec. 3: F Nick Merkley, 6:54 2nd period, Brandon 1 at Kelowna 3.

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