Cam Tucker of the Abbotsford Times has the latest conjecture on what’s going on with Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Victoria and . . . That story is right here.
F Jason Zucker of the U of Denver Pioneers has been named the WCHA’s rookie of the year after putting up 38 points, including 20 goals, 34 games this season. Zucker, who is from Las Vegas, was a second-round selection by the Minnesota Wild in the NHL’s 2010 draft. . . . The Seattle Thunderbirds selected Zucker in the fourth round of the WHL’s 2007 bantam draft.
The Prince George Cougars whipped the Giants 8-0 in Vancouver on Friday night and now are in sole possession of the Western Conference’s eighth and final playoff spot. . . . The Cougars are one point behind the seventh-place Everett Silvertips two points ahead of the Kamloops Blazers and three up on the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . The Cougars will meet the Thunderbirds tonight in Kent, Wash. . . . F Charles Inglis had three goals for the Cougars, while G Ty Rimmer stopped 16 shots for his fourth shutout of the season. . . . Inglis now has 32 goals. . . . The Giants, who can’t finish any higher than second in the B.C. Division, have lost five in a row, three times by shutout. They were without head coach Don Hay, who served a one-game suspension after his club was in it’s third line brawl of the season on Wednesday against the visiting Chilliwack Bruins. . . . The Giants play in Chilliwack tonight. . . .
In Everett, the Portland Winterhawks beat the Silvertips 6-3 to remain in first place in the Western Conference and the U.S. Division. . . . The Winterhawks, who are one point ahead of the Spokane Chiefs, scored four goals in the first five minutes of the second period to erase a 2-1 deficit. . . . Portland F Ty Rattie was back in the lineup after sitting out four games with an injury. He had a goal and two assists. . . . G Keith Hamilton stopped 30 shots for Portland. . . . Everett has lost six in a row and is one point ahead of eighth-place Prince George. . . . Portland F Nino Niederreiter scored his 37th goal of the season and running his goal-scoring streak to six games. . . . Portland and Spokane each has five games remaining. The Winterhawks play again in Everett tonight, while the Chiefs entertain the Kootenay Ice . . .
In Kamloops, the Kelowna Rockets beat the Blazers 5-1 to wrap up first place in the B.C. Division and the second seed in the Western Conference. . . . F Geordie Wudrick scored his 40th goal for the Rockets, while F Gal Koren got his first. . . . The Blazers, who have three games to play, now are ninth, two points out of a playoff spot. . . . The teams meet again tonight in Kelowna. . . .
In Kent, Wash., F Burke Gallimore’s PP goal at 1:31 of OT gave the Seattle Thunderbirds a 3-2 victory over the Chilliwack Bruins. . . . The Thunderbirds, who have five games remaining, are 10th in the Western Conference, one point behind Kamloops and three behind Prince George. . . . Gallimore, who has 32 goals, also had the OT winner Saturday in a 3-2 victory over visiting Everett. . . . The Bruins had a six-game winning streak snapped. . . . Bruins G Lucas Gore stopped 53 shots. . . . The loser point lifted the sixth-place Bruins three points clear of Everett. . . . Prince George visit’s the Thunderbirds tonight, while the Bruins go home to face Vancouver. . . .
In Spokane, F Tyler Johnson became the WHL’s first 50-goal scorer this season as the Chiefs beat the Tri-City Americans, 4-1. . . . It was the fifth straight time Spokane has beaten Tri-City. . . . The loss ended any chance Tri-City had of successfully defending its U.S. Division title. . . . D Tyler Schmidt had Tri-City’s goal, giving him 162 career points. That is one more than the franchise record for career points by a defenceman, which had been held by Darrell Hay (1996-2000). . . . Johnson also had an assist and, with 109 points, trails WHL scoring leader Linden Vey of Medicine Hat by five points. . . . F Blake Gal and F Anthony Bardaro each got his 20th goal for the Chiefs, giving them seven players with at least that many goals. . . . The franchise record is eight (1995-96) and the Chiefs have three players close to 20 -- F Dominik Uher has 19, while D Jared Cowen and F Matt Marantz each has 18. . . . The Americans are headed for a fourth-place finish in the conference, meaning they will have home-ice against the fifth-place finisher in the first round. . . . Tri-City is at home to Prince George on Sunday. . . . The Chiefs, who trail conference-leading Portland by a point, entertain Kootenay tonight. . . .
In Brandon, F Michael Ferland’s OT goal gave the Wheat Kings a 5-4 victory over the Saskatoon Blades. . . . The victory allowed Brandon to clinch a playoff spot. . . . The Wheat Kings are sixth, which is as high as they can finish, but they are just a point ahead of the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . The Blades have wrapped up first place overall. . . . The Blades had won five in a row. . . . Brandon D Ryan Pulock picked up an assist, for his 40th point of the season. That is believed to be a Wheat Kings franchise record for a 16-year-old defenceman. . . . Saskatoon F Marek Viedensky scored a shorthanded goal, giving him one of those in three straight games. . . . Referees Brett Iverson and Sean Raphael handed out only four minor penalties, all to Saskatoon. . . . The Blades had hoped to head home immediately after the game, but inclement weather forced them to stay the night. They are at home to Edmonton tonight. . . . The Prince Albert Raiders are to travel to Brandon for a game tonight. . . .
In Calgary, the Lethbridge Hurricanes kept alive their playoff chances with a 3-2 victory over the Hitmen. . . . D Derek Ryckman pulled Lethbridge into a 2-2 tie with his fifth goal at 9:34 of the third and F Brody Sutter, with his 15th, won it at 11:40. . . . Lethbridge F Max Ross was tossed with a boarding major at 7:38 of the second period. . . . The Hurricanes are ninth, two points behind Prince Albert. Each team has four games remaining. . . . The Hurricanes will play at home to Medicine Hat tonight. . . . The Hitmen next play Sunday against visiting Red Deer. . . .
In Cranbrook, F Cody Eakin scored in regulation time and again in the shootout as his Kootenay Ice scored a 5-4 victory over his former team, the Swift Current Broncos. . . . F Graham Black, who led the Saskatchewan midget AAA league in scoring this season with the Regina Pat Canadians, scored his first WHL goal for the Broncos. . . . Swift Current scored three times in the last 15 minutes to force OT, with Black tying it at 19:36 of the third. . . . The Ice is fourth in the Eastern Conference, four points behind the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . The Broncos have been eliminated from the playoff picture. . . . Swift Current is in Red Deer tonight, while the Ice is in Spokane. . . .
In Medicine Hat, WHL scoring leader Linden Vey scored at 4:48 of OT to give the Tigers a 3-2 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Vey finished with two goals, giving him 46, and 114 points. . . . He is striving to become the first Medicine Hat player to win a scoring title since Tom Lysiak in 1972-73. . . . The Tigers, who are in Lethbridge tonight, are two points behind the Central Division-leading Rebels. . . . The Rebels are at home to Swift Current tonight. . . .
In Prince Albert, the Raiders came from behind to beat the Edmonton Oil Kings, 5-2. . . . Edmonton took a 2-1 lead into the second period, only to have F Mark McNeill tie it with his 29th goal at 5:42 and freshman F Mike Winther get the eventual winner, his ninth goal this season, at 11:39. . . . The Raiders are eighth in the Eastern Conference, six points behind Edmonton and two up on Lethbridge. . . . The Raiders are in Brandon tonight, while Edmonton is in Saskatoon. . . .
In Regina, the Moose Jaw Warriors scored the game’s last two goals and beat the Pats, 4-3. . . . D Morgan Rielly tied the game on a PP at 1:10 of the third and F Sebastian Svendsen won it with his 26th goal at 17:09. . . . The Warriors have won six of seven games with the Pats this season and have come from behind in five of those victories. . . . Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post reports: “Pats top prospect Morgan Klimchuk, the No. 5 pick in the 2010 bantam draft, made his home-ice debut but played just a few shifts. He took the spot of overage forward Colin Reddin, who was a healthy scratch.” . . . The teams meet again tonight in Moose Jaw as the Pats make their last visit to the Civic Centre (aka the Crushed Can). The Warriors will move into a new facility in time for next season. . . . The Warriors, who will finish fifth in the Eastern Conference, can officially eliminate the Pats from the playoff hunt with a victory tonight. Regina, which has four games left, is seven points behind Prince Albert, which holds down the conference’s last playoff spot.