According to the WHL, there was some history made in the WHL on Saturday night when the Vancouver Giants got past the visiting Chilliwack Bruins, 2-1. The league announced that the victory was No. 500 in the WHL coaching career of Vancouver head coach Don Hay.
Hay, who also has coached the Kamloops Blazers and Tri-City Americans, is the fourth coach in WHL history to reach that milestone. He is in his 12th season as a WHL head coach; this is his seventh with the Giants.
On the all-time list, he trails Ken Hodge (742), Ernie (Punch) McLean (548) and the late Pat Grinnell (518).
Interestingly, if you add up the franchise victories for Kamloops, Tri-City and Vancouver while Hay has been head coach, you get 498. (The Blazers won 144 with Hay as head coach, Tri-City won 67 and the Giants have won 287, including 14 this season.)
My records indicate that Hay did a 10-game stint as head coach in Kamloops during 1991-92, with the Blazers going 6-4-0 while head coach Tom Renney was with the Canadian team at the World Junior Championship.
That would make last night’s victory No. 504 for Hay.
No matter . . . 500 or 504, that’s a lot of victories.
And it is absolutely amazing how consistent Hay’s teams have been. Only twice in 12 seasons has he failed to win 40 games in a WHL season.
Highlights from Saturday’s WHL games, the results of which left nine of the Western Conference’s 10 teams within six points of each other . . .
In Moose Jaw, G Thomas Heemskerk stopped 25 shots as the Warriors blanked the Everett Silvertips, 4-0. . . . The Warriors acquired Heemskerk from Moose Jaw for D Chad Suer on Sept. 17. . . . It was Heemskerk’s first shutout this season and the eighth of his career, six of which came with Everett. . . . The Silvertips have been blanked four times this season. . . . F Quinton Howden scored twice for Moose Jaw, giving him 17 goals. He also had an assist. . . . Moose Jaw F Dylan Hood had an assist to run his point streak to 11 games. . . . The Warriors have won four in a row. . . . Attendance was 2,711. . . . The Silvertips were blanked one night after they put up a 6-0 shutout in beating the Broncos in Swift Current. . . . G Luke Siemens, who recorded that shutout, stopped 35 shots in this one.
In Regina, F Jordan Weal scored twice to help the Pats to a 4-1 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . The Broncos were playing the first of 11 straight road games. They don’t play at home again until Jan. 2. . . . The Pats had been beaten 9-6 by the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors one night earlier. . . . Weal has 12 goals. . . . F Thomas Frazee had a goal and an assist for Regina. . . . F Lane Scheidl had two assists for the Pats, who got 30 saves out of G Damien Ketlo. . . . F Dillon Wagner, in his fifth game since returning from offseason surgery, scored his first goal for Swift Current. . . . Attendance was 3,521.
In Lethbridge, the Prince Albert Raiders scored three first-period goals and went on to a 5-1 victory over the Hurricanes. . . . D Nathan Deck, with his first of the season, on the PP, and F Mark MacNeill, with two, scored first-period goals. . . . MacNeill finished with three goals. His first WHL hat trick leaves him with 13 goals this season. . . . D Ryan Button, F Igor Revenko and F Brandon Herrod each had two assists for the Raiders. . . . Attendance was 3,474. . . .
In Cranbrook, F Wacey Hamilton scored at 1:37 of OT to give the Medicine Hat Tigers a 3-2 victory over the host Kootenay Ice. . . . D Brayden McNabb had tied the game for Kootenay with his fourth goal at 12:09 of the third. That goal came 1:49 after F Linden Vey had given the Tigers a 2-1 lead with his 19th of the season. . . . McNabb had both Ice goals and now has four. . . . Vey, the WHL’s leading point man, has 19 goals. . . . Attendance was 2,417. . . .
In Kelowna, F Mitchell (Dirty Harry) Callahan had a goal, an assist and an early bout to lead the Rockets to a 6-3 victory over the Saskatoon Blades. . . . Callahan, who has 14 goals, got both his points on the PP. He got into a fight with F Darian Dziurzynski just 1:18 into the game. . . . Dziurzynski’s 15th goal, at 12:37 of the second period, gave the visitors a 2-1 lead. . . . The Rockets responded with the next five goals. . . . Kelowna D Tyson Barrie had two assists. . . . Kelowna, which has won 12 of 14, got a goal from F Colton Sissons, his fifth, to open the scoring. The Blades once owned Sissons’ rights, but traded him to Kelowna as part of a deal in which D Curt Gogol moved to Saskatoon. The Blades, of course, have since dealt Gogol to the Chilliwack Bruins. . . . The Blades, who had won four in a row, got a goal and an assist from each of D Stefan Elliott and F Chris Collins. . . . Elliott has a goal and four assists and is plus-4 in three games since not being invited to the Canadian national junior team’s selection camp. . . . Saskatoon is 3-1-0 on its swing through the B.C. Division, which wraps up Tuesday in Prince George against the Cougars. . . . Attendance was 6,141. . . .
In Spokane, F Steve Kuhn’s two goals helped the Chiefs to a 4-3 victory over the Portland Winterhawks. . . . It was Teddy Bear Night and fans tossed 4,668 stuffed toys onto the ice surface. However, they were guilty of premature celebration as they exploded at 5:38 of the first period when the puck ended up in the Portland net after the whistle had gone on a delayed penalty against the Winterhawks. . . . Kuhn then scored on the resulting PP. . . . He has six goals this season. . . . Portland had won 10 straight games in Spokane. . . . The teams meet again Wednedsay in Spokane. . . . F Ryan Johansen had two assists for Portland, while F Nino Niederreiter had a goal and an assist. . . . D Brenden Kichton had two helpers for the Chiefs. . . . Portland G Mac Carruth stopped 45 shots, 19 more than Spokane G James Reid. . . . Attendance was 7,638. . . .
In Red Deer, the Rebels dropped Brandon 5-2, handing the Wheat Kings their ninth straight loss. . . . It is the second time this season that Brandon has lost nine in a row. . . . The Wheat Kings next play Wednesday against the visiting Everett Silvertips. . . . The Rebels moved into a first-place tie with the Saskatoon Blades atop the Eastern Conference. They are two points ahead of the Kootenay Ice. . . . F Brayden Schenn was in Brandon’s lineup after being assigned by the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings late last week. . . . Schenn scored and set up a goal by F Scott Glennie. . . . F Andrej Kudrna scored twice for Red Deer, both on the PP. . . . Red Deer D Matt Dumba, 16, scored his ninth goal of the season in his 30th game. . . . Brandon G Liam Liston left early for a second straight night. He made it through two periods in an 8-4 loss to the Oil Kings in Edmonton on Friday. This time, he gave up four goals on eight shots and left early in the second period. . . . G Corbin Boes relieved him and stopped 16 of 17 shots. . . . Red Deer G Darcy Kuemper made 25 saves. . . . Attendance was 4,667. . . .
In Kamloops, F Brendan Ranford scored his WHL-leading 25th goal of the season just 16 seconds into OT as the Blazers beat the Calgary Hitmen, 3-2. . . . Kamloops held a 33-19 edge in shots, including 19-5 in the third period. . . . Calgary D Jaynen Rissling had a goal and an assist. . . . Ranford and F Jordan DePape did the same for Kamloops. . . . Ranford has one more goal than F Brendan Gallagher of the Vancouver Giants. Ranford also is second in the points derby, two behind Medicine Hat Tigers F Linden Vey. . . . Kamloops F Chase Schaber was plus-2 but had his 12-game point streak snapped. . . . Ranford is on his second 11-game point streak of the season. He has 25 points in those 11 games. . . . Attendance was 3,890. . . . Each team scored a goal from the neutral zone. . . . Kamloops D Bronson Maschmeyer got his third goal when his shot from the neutral zone glanced off Rissling’s stick blade and beat G Brandon Glover through the legs. . . . Rissling got that one back when his shot from just over the centre red line got through G Jeff Bosch to tie the game 2-2. . . . Rissling’s second goal of the season came just 28 seconds after DePape gave Kamloops a 2-1 lead. . . . Attendance was 3,890. . . . Injured F Tyler Fiddler (ankle) of the Hitmen joined head coach Mike Williamson and assistant coach Brent Kisio behind the Calgary bench. . . . The Hitmen have released F Riley Reinboldt, who had four points in 21 games. Reinbolt, 19, had been acquired from the Moose Jaw Warriors on Sept. 18 for a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2012 bantam draft. A sixth-round pick by Moose Jaw in the 2006 bantam draft, the Calgary native spent two seasons with the Warriors. . . .
In Prince George, the Seattle Thunderbirds got two shootout goals and beat the Prince George Cougars, 5-4. . . . F Connor Sanvido and F Colin Jacobs both scored for Seattle as the shootout went five rounds. F Nick Buonassisi was the only one of the Cougars to beat Seattle G Calvin Pickard, who stopped 39 shots through OT. . . . Prince George G Ty Rimmer turned aside 28 shots. . . . The Cougars led this one 3-0 at 13:07 of the first period, only to give up two goals late in the period. F Charles Wells scored on the PP at 18:22 and D Brenden Dillon added one at 19:19. . . . Seattle trailed 4-2 when F Marcel Noebels got his 10th at 19:07 of the second. . . . F Charles Wells got his second of the game at 13:25 of the third to force OT. He’s got seven goals. . . . Seattle F Luke Lockhart drew three assists. . . . Seattle has played 28 games and 13 of them have gone to overtime. . . . Attendance was 1,941.
In Vancouver, F Brendan Gallagher broke a 1-1 tie at 10:27 of the second period and the Giants went on to beat the Chilliwack Bruins, 2-1. . . . Gallagher has 24 goals, one between WHL leader Brendan Ranford of the Kamloops Blazers. . . . F Robin Soudek scored on the PP for Chilliwack at 2:01 of the first period. . . . Vancouver D Neil Manning tied it on the PP at 2:55 of the second. . . . Gallagher also had an assist, as did Manning. . . . Vancouver G Mark Segal stopped 31 shots, seven more than Chilliwack’s Lucas Gore. . . . Chilliwack’s Curt Gogol and Brett Lyon of the Giants duked it out eight seconds into the game. That was the game’s only scrap. . . . The Giants had lost four straight games. . . . Attendance was 6,156.
SATURDAY’S CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
Spokane D Corbin Baldwin
Vancouver D Neil Manning
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