THE COACHING GAME:
Former WHLer Victor Gervais is stepping down as general manager/assistant coach of the BCHL’s Victoria Grizzlies. Gervais spent five seasons with the Grizzles who are owned by Len Barrie. Barrie also is the head coach, although he hasn’t been behind the bench for a couple of months. The Victoria Times Colonist reports that Barrie is expected to promote assistant coach Rob Doyle to GM and head coach.
Marlin Murray, the GM/head coach of the MJHL’s Dauphin Kings, drew a 12-game suspension for his epic rant and stick-throwing episode from Thursday night’s playoff game against the Winnipeg Saints at the St. James Civic Centre. . . . The Kings also were fined an undisclosed amount. . . . If you haven’t seen Murray in action, the video is right here. He did get his 12 game’s worth.
Bob Young of the Seattle Times takes a look right here at the ShoWare Centre in Kent, Wash., and its financial situation. The ShoWare Centre is home to the Seattle Thunderbirds.
(If you’re on Twitter, you should be following @WHLFacts)
In Brandon, G Corbin Boes made 34 saves to help the Wheat Kings to a 2-1 victory over the Saskatoon Blades. . . . The Wheat Kings clinched a playoff spot for the 12th straight season and the 19th time in the last 20 years. . . . D Eric Roy, with his 10th, at 16:56 of the first period and F Michael Ferland, with his 45th, at 0:55 of the second, gave Brandon a 2-0 lead. . . . Both Brandon goals came via the PP and F Brenden Walker assisted on both. . . . F Lukas Sutter got his 28th for the Blades at 5:19 of the second. Sutter had four goals all of last season. . . . The Blades won the season series, 5-3-0. . . . Lorne Molleken, the Blades’ GM/head coach, tells Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix that D Dalton Thrower and F Michael Burns are week-to-week. Both were injured in a 2-0 victory over the Raiders in Prince Albert on Wednesday. . . . Saskatoon D Matt Pufahl (broken ankle) hasn’t played since Jan. 28 but may return Friday against Swift Current. . . . The Stanley Cup was in the house and country music start Paul Brandt paid his respects. Brandt is to perform in Brandon tonight. . . . Brandon F Tyrel Seaman (concussion) returned after missing 40 of the team’s last 41 games. . . . The Wheat Kings closed to within a point of the Blades, who are seventh in the Eastern Conference. . . . The Blades, in turn, are one point behind Regina and Kootenay, who are tied for fifth. . . .
In Moose Jaw, F Justin Kirsch scored at 2:31 of OT to give the Warriors a 3-2 victory over the Regina Pats. . . . Kirsch has 20 goals on the season. . . . Moose Jaw F Cody Beach forged a 2-2 tie at 5:50 of the third period. . . . Beach also assisted on F Cam Braes’s 39th goal. . . . Regina, having clinched a playoff spot one night earlier, chose to make healthy scratches out of F Jordan Weal, their leading scorer, along with F Lane Scheidl and D Martin Marincin. . . . The Warriors have won 15 in a row at home and have at least a point in each of their last 20 games at Mosaic Place. . . . Regina G Adam Beukeboom stopped 38 shots, 20 more than Moose Jaw’s Luke Siemens. . . . The Warriors will be the Eastern Conference’s second seed when the playoffs begin. . . . Regina is tied for fifth with Kootenay. . . .
In Swift Current, F Graham Black scored twice, including once on a penalty shot, as the Broncos beat the Prince Albert Raiders, 6-3. . . . The Broncos erased a 3-1 deficit with Black’s penalty shot goal, at 15:57 of the second, and three goals in 5:06 early in the third. . . . Black also had an assist and was plus-4. . . . Prince Albert F Mark McNeill scored his 30th goal. . . . Raiders F Justin Maylan had a goal, his 25th, and an assist. . . . Broncos freshman F Coda Gordon scored his 29th goal into an empty net. . . . Swift Current G Jon Groenheyde stopped 34 shots, four more than Prince Albert’s Luke Lee-Knight. . . . Neither of these teams will be in the playoffs. . . .
In Edmonton, D Cody Corbett scored twice as the Oil Kings skated to a 7-4 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Edmonton erased a 2-0 deficit with three goals in 2:26 midway through the second period. . . . Edmonton F T.J. Foster broke a 3-3 tie with his 29th goal at 2:51 of the third period. . . . Corbett has six goals this season. . . . Edmonton D Mark Pysyk picked up one assist but it was a big one — the 100th of this career. He was playing in his 240th regular-season game. . . . Edmonton F Michael St. Croix reached the 100-point plateau with his 42nd goal and an assist. . . . Red Deer D Mathew Dumba had a goal, his 20th, and two assists. . . . Edmonton has won eight in a row. . . . Red Deer took 89 of 156 minutes in penalties handed out by referees Adam Byblow and Fraser Lawrence. . . . Although the online scoresheet doesn’t reflect it, a story right here refers to “a flurry of fights” at 12:33 of the third period. . . . Edmonton F Dylan Wruck left the game at that point with an apparent shoulder injury. . . . Edmonton is scheduled to play in Red Deer on Saturday. . . . “I didn’t like some of the stuff that went on after the whistles,” Edmonton head coach Derek Laxdal told Chris O’Leary of edmontonjournal.com. “It was very cheap and very unprofessional. We picked up an injury from it and that’s going to hurt us down the stretch here. But we’ve got guys we can put in the lineup. We have to go in (to Red Deer) next Saturday night. What comes around, goes around.” . . . Edmonton was 3-9 on the PP; Red Deer was 1-7. . . . Attendance was 16,651. . . . The Oil Kings moved past the idle Tri-City Americans and into first place in the overall standings. Edmonton is a point ahead of Portland and two up on the Americans. . . . The Rebels were eliminated from the playoffs earlier in the evening, when Brandon won. . . .
In Lethbridge, F Emerson Etem scored twice, getting his 60th into an empty net, as the Medicine Hat Tigers beat the Hurricanes, 3-1. . . . Etem is the first WHLer to 60 since F Layne Ulmer did it with the Swift Current Broncos in 2000-01. . . . The Tigers have won five in a row on the road. . . . Medicine Hat G Tyler Bunz stopped 27 shots. . . . Bob Ridley, the legendary voice of the Tigers, called his 3,000th regular-season game. @WHLFacts points out that Ridley will call his 4,000th game when the Tigers play their 61st game in the 2025-26 season. . . . The Tigers are third in the Eastern Conference, four points ahead of Calgary. Medicine Hat can finish no higher than third. . . .
In Kamloops, the Vancouver Giants scored three third-period goals and beat the Blazers, 3-2. . . . F Marek Tvrdon scored twice for the Giants, giving him 27. . . . Vancouver F Nathan Burns broke a 2-2 tie at 12:35 of the third. He has 12 goals, six of them in eight games against the Blazers. . . . Kamloops was 0-4 on the PP, including a 5-on-3 that lasted 1:39. . . . Vancouver was without F Cain Franson, a 26-goal scorer, who is expected to play today against the visiting Victoria Royals. . . . The Giants remain tied for fourth with Spokane in the Western Conference. They will meet in the playoffs but have yet to decide home-ice advantage. . . .The Blazers are three points behind Portland and two in back of Tri-City in the chase for top spot in the Western Conference. . . .
In Everett, G Kent Simpson stopped 26 shots to lead the Silvertips to a 3-0 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . Simpson has two shutouts this season and six in his career. . . . F Cody Fowlie scored twice for Everett, giving him 12. He opened the scoring at 3:19 of the first and closed it at 5:05 of the third, the latter on the PP. . . . In between, F Josh Winquist got his 18th while killing a penalty at 1:23 of the third. . . . The victory allowed the Silvertips to move past the Royals into seventh place in the Western Conference. Everett is a point ahead of Victoria, with the Royals four points ahead of Seattle and Prince George. . . .
In Kelowna, F Troy Bourke scored twice and added an assist as the Prince George Cougars edged the Rockets, 3-2. . . . Bourke, who has 16 goals, gave his side a 2-0 lead on the PP at 15:42 of the third and then added an empty-netter. . . . F Spencer Asuchak and F Caleb Belter each had two assists for the Cougars. . . . Prince George G Drew Owsley, who went over 10,000 minutes player for his career, stopped 19 shots. . . . He lost his shutout when D Myles Bell scored his 15th at 16:01 of the third. . . . The Rockets will finish sixth in the Western Conference. . . . The Cougars, with four games left, are four points out of a playoff spot. . . .
In Kent, Wash., the Portland Winterhawks scored three times in the game’s first 2:52 and went on to an 11-3 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Portland F Nic Petan picked up four goals for his first WHL hat trick. He’s got 13 goals this season. . . . Portland F Brad Ross added three goals, giving him 42, and an assist. . . . Portland players have enjoyed 12 hat tricks this season. . . . Portland also got four assists from F Ty Rattie, two goals and two assists from F Cam Reid and a goal and two assists from F Brendan Leipsic, who was plus-5. . . . Seattle’s Calvin Pickard, who gave up 10 goals on 52 shots, broke the WHL record for career minutes played by a goaltender. . . . Pickard has played 13,721 minutes over 236 games. The record had been held by Kurtis Mucha, who played 13,708 minutes with Portland and Kamloops (2005-10). . . . The Winterhawks moved into first in the Western Conference, a point ahead of idle Tri-City and three ahead of Kamloops. Portland is second in the overall standings, a point behind Edmonton. . . .
In Spokane, F Colin Valcourt’s 16th goal of the season broke a 2-2 tie and gave the Chiefs a 3-2 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . F Darren Kramer scored his 21st goal at 13:38 of the third period to forge a 2-2 tie. . . . Valcourt scored at 14:07. . . . Spokane D Brendan Kitchton had two assists, giving him 135 in his career. He moved passed Jared Spurgeon and into fourth on the Chiefs’ career list among defencemen. . . . The Chiefs have four games left and remain tied with Vancouver for fourth in the Western Conference. Vancouver has three games to play. . . . Should they end up tied, the first tiebreaker is victories, and the Giants hold a 38-36 edge at the moment.
SATURDAY’S CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
SATURDAY’S CHECKING-TO-THE-HEAD COUNT:
D Darren Dietz, Saskatoon.
F Brody Sutter, Lethbridge.
Red Deer at Calgary
Victoria at Vancouver
Everett at Seattle
Prince George at Tri-City
In the BCHL on Saturday, the Penticton Vees completed their regular season with a 5-2 loss to the Spruce Kings in Prince George. The loss snapped Penticton’s 42-game winning streak.
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