John MacKinnon of the Edmonton Journal offers up his take on the debate — to fight or not to fight — right here.
Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times writes right here about Spokane Chiefs F Liam Stewart, the son of you know who and you know who. The big news here is that Liam’s father and a few other family members apparently are planning on attending a game or two in Spokane in the immediate future.
F Brock Nixon, who played in the WHL with the Kamloops Blazers and Calgary Hitmen, scored a shorthanded goal in OT to give the U of Calgary Dinos a best-of-three series sweep over the host U of Manitoba Bisons in a Canada West playoff series. . . . It was a shocker because the Bisons had gone 20-5-3 in the regular season, their best record since 1970-71. . . . Nixon is from Russell, Man. His goal at 6:39 of OT gave the Dinos a 4-3 victory. . . . Nixon also set up a goal by F Reid Jorgensen, Calgary’s captain, who also is a product of the Blazers. . . .
In the BCHL, the Penticton Vees made it 40 straight victories with a 5-1 triumph over the visiting Chilliwack Chiefs. . . . The Vees are at home to the Trail Smoke Eaters on Tuesday. . . .
Jim Matheson’s Hockey World, from the pages of the Edmonton Journal, is right here. Look for mentions of Brendan Shinnimin, Matt Kassian and Brenden Dillon among others.
(If you’re on Twitter, follow @WHLFacts for lots of facts and numbers.)
In Portland, F Sven Baertschi struck four times, including twice while shorthanded, to lead the Winterhawks to a 7-3 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Baertschi’s game got him back on a two-points-per-game pace. He now has 92 points, including 31 goals, in 46 games. . . . It was his first four-goal game in the WHL and his second hat trick this season. It also was the 10th three-goal game by a Portland player this season. . . . F Ty Rattie added a goal, his 53rd, and an assist. He and Baertschi each was plus-4. . . . F Burke Gallimore scored his 20th goal for Seattle. . . . Portland D Joe Morrow had three assists. . . . The Winterhawks, who are 12-0-1 in their last 13 outings, now have a three-point lead atop the WHL’s overall standings and the Western Conference. The Tri-City Americans, Kamloops Blazers and Edmonton Oil Kings all are three points back. . . .
In Moose Jaw, F Justin Kirsch had a goal and two assists to lead the Warriors to a 6-2 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Kirsch, who scored his 19th goal, now has 102 career points in 150 games. . . . The Warriors, who have won 14 in a row at home, scored the game’s first six goals. . . . D Joel Edmundson scored twice for Moose Jaw, giving him three this season. . . . The Hurricanes took 52 of 96 penalty minutes. . . . The Warriors, who have won four in a row, have clinched at least a tie for top spot in the East Division. . . .
In Regina, F Chandler Stephenson scored three goals to lead the Pats to an amazing 6-4 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . The Pats scored six third-period goals, the first five in a span of 6:49, to erase a 4-0 deficit. . . . The Wheat Kings led 4-0 with 17 minutes to play in the third period. . . . F Dyson Stevenson tied it at 4-4 at 10:06 and Stephenson broke the tie with his 20th just 10 seconds later. He later added an empty-netter to complete his first WHL hat trick. . . . Regina F Jordan Weal had four assists. . . . Regina F Lane Scheidl got his 25th goal and added two helpers. . . . Regina D Luke Fenske scored his first goal of the season. . . . F Brenden Walker had a goal, his 26th, and an assist. . . . The Wheat Kings were again without F Kevin Sundher. He missed six games with a concussion, before returning to play in Friday’s 6-2 victory over visiting Lethbridge. . . . The Pats moved past Brandon and into a tie for sixth with Saskatoon in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of the Wheat Kings. Brandon has six games remaining; the other two have yet to play seven. . . .
In Edmonton, F Kristians Pelss scored at 17:12 of the third period to give the Oil Kings a 2-1 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . His 24th goal gave the Oil Kings their fourth straight victory. . . . F Michael St. Croix, who had 27 goals last season, got his 40th for Edmonton at 3:37 of the second period. . . . Swift Current D Richard Nedomlel tied it on a PP at 5:26 of the second. . . . Edmonton G Tristan Jarry stopped 18 shots, 14 fewer than Swift Current’s Jon Groenheyde. . . . The Oil Kings, who have won four straight, lead the Central Division by eight points over the idle Medicine Hat Tigers, who have six games left. . . .
In Cranbrook, F Brock Montgomery’s 20th goal gave the Kootenay Ice a 2-1 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . F Cody Sylvester gave the visitors a 1-0 lead with his 23rd at 4:00 of the second. . . . Ice F Sam Reinhart tied it with his 27th at 12:59 of the second. . . . Montgomery broke the tie at 2:23 of the third. . . . Ice G Nathan Lieuwen stopped 24 shots, three more than Calgary’s Chris Driedger. . . . The Hitmen had D Jaynen Rissling back after he missed 15 games with a knee injury. . . . The Ice is fifth in the Eastern Conference, three points behind Calgary and three ahead of Saskatoon and Regina. . . .
In Red Deer, the Rebels scored the game’s last four goals and beat the Saskatoon Blades, 4-1. . . . The Rebels were able to dress only 16 skaters, including midget AAA forwards Connor Bleackley and Dexter Bricker. . . . F Chad Robinson got Red Deer into a 1-1 tie with a shorthanded goal at 5:52 of the second. . . . Rebels captain Adam Kambeitz got the winner, his 15th goal of the season, at 4:24 of thet third on a PP. . . . Saskatoon G Andrey Makarov stopped 35 shots, including a first-period penalty shot by F Charles Inglis to preserve what was a 1-0 Blades lead. . . . The Blades killed off 22 straight opposition power plays over five games before Kambeitz’s goal. . . . Saskatoon is 0-5-1 in its last six road games. The Blades are on the road for six because the Tim Hortons Brier, aka the Canadian men’s curling championship, is in Saskatoon through next Sunday. . . . Saskatoon, 2-6-2 in its last 10, is tied for sixth with Regina in the Eastern Conference. . . . Despite the injuries, the Rebels won’t go away. They are eight points out of a playoff spot with seven games left. . . .
In Prince George, D Cody Carlson’s PP goal in OT gave the Cougars a 4-3 victory over the Spokane Chiefs. . . . Carlson got his ninth goal just 18 seconds in OT. The Chiefs had been called for too many men at 19:45 of the third. . . . The Cougars had lost seven in a row. . . . Cougars G Drew Owsley stopped 34 shots. . . . Spokane D Corbin Baldwin had forced OT with his sixth goal at 12:28 of the second. . . . F Troy Bourke had three assists for the Cougars, while Reid Jackson drew two helpers. . . . The Cougars were 3-5 on the PP. . . . The Cougars were without F Dalton Siwak, D Dan Gibb, F John Odgers, D Shane Pilling and F Alex Forsberg, all out with injuries. . . . The loser point guarantees the Chiefs of at least a fifth-place finish in the Western Conference. . . . The Chiefs are fourth at the moment, two points ahead of Vancouver. Each team has seven games remaining. . . .
In Everett, G Kent Simpson stopped 30 shots as the Silvertips stunned the Tri-City Americans, 4-1. . . . The Silvertips had lost five in a row to the Americans. . . . Everett F Josh Winquist broke a 1-1 tie at 1:03 of the second period. . . . F Josh Birkholz followed with his 28th goal, at 18:27, and F Manraj Hayer got his second 1:17 after that. . . . F Brendan Shinnimin scored his 53rd for the Americans. . . . Tri-City F Patrick Holland reached 100 points with an assist on his side’s first goal. . . . From Dan Mulhausen of the Americans: “With an assist, Patrick Holland became the third member of the Americans to reach the 100-point mark this season, joining teammates Brendan Shinnimin and Adam Hughesman. Tri-City did not have any player score 100+ points in a season since 2001-02. It marks the first time since 1991-92 (Terry Degner, Brian Sakic and Vladimir Vujtek), and the fourth time ever, that an Americans’ roster has featured three 100-point scorers in the same season.” . . . Everett D Ryan Murray drew an assist for his 100th career point. It came in his 161st game. . . . The Americans now are second in the U.S. Division, three points behind Portland. . . . The Silvertips, who have won two in a row, are eighth in the Western Conference, and now are three points ahead of Seattle. . . . The Silvertips, with the fewest victories in the WHL, have triumphs over Portland and Tri-City in the last week. . . .
In Victoria, G Jared Rathjen stopped 29 shots to help the Royals to a 5-2 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Rathjen was making his sixth straight start. . . . Vancouver F Brendan Gallagher scored his 40th goal at 17:28 of the second to get his side to within one, at 3-2. . . . Victoria F Ben Walker restored the two-goal lead with his eighth just 29 seconds later. . . . Victoria D Hayden Rintoul got his 16th into an empty net at 18:55 of the third. . . . The same teams meet again today with the first faceoff scheduled for 1:05 p.m. . . . Victoria is seventh in the Western Conference, a point ahead of Everett and four up on Seattle. . . . The Giants are fifth, two ponts behind Spokane. . . .
In Kelowna, F Zach Franko’s goal at 2:31 of overtime gave the Rockets a 4-3 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . The Rockets beat the Blazers 6-3 in Kamloops on Friday. . . . Last night, the Blazers scored the game’s first two goals, with the Rockets getting the next three. . . . Kamloops D Austin Madaisky forged a 3-3 tie at 17:56 of the second period on the PP. It was his 13th goal, 11 of which have come via the PP. . . . F Brett Bulmer, who had two goals Friday, had a goal, his 32nd, and two assists for Kelowna. . . . Kamloops F Dylan Willick scored to run his point streak to eight games. . . . The Blazers wrapped up first place in the B.C. Division when Vancouver lost in Victoria. That game ended a few minutes before the one in Kelowna. . . . That means they will at worst be the Western Conference’s second seed when the playoffs begin.
SATURDAY’S CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
F James Yakubowski, Lethbridge.
F Dominik Uher, Spokane.
SATURDAY’S CHECKING-TO-THE-HEAD COUNT:
D Ryley Miller, Brandon.
F Carter Rigby, Kelowna.
Saskatoon at Edmonton
Prince Albert at Regina
Tri-City at Portland
Vancouver at Victoria
NOTES: Tri-City holds a 5-4-0 edge in the season series with Portland as they prepare for the final game. The Americans won the first five, the Winterhawks the last four, including a 6-4 victory in Kennewick, Wash., on Friday. . . . Seattle visits Prince George for games Tuesday and Wednesday.
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