The Regina Pats announced Friday that they have shut down four players for the remainder of the season. . . . F Dryden Hunt, D Tye Hand, D Luke Fenske and D Colby Williams all have been out with “upper-body injuries.” Each of the players is believed to be concussed, with Hunt and Williams both out with their second concussions of this season. . . . The Pats have gone over the 300-game mark for man-games lost to injury and illness.
Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post has more on the injured players right here.
You’ve never experienced a concussion and you’re wondering what it’s like. Click right here and read about all that Philadelphia Flyers D Chris Pronger has gone through since he left the game.
The Everett Silvertips have signed head scout Bil La Forge through the 2014-15 season. La Forge is in his fifth season with Everett and his second as the organizations’s head scout. La Forge, 38, also has worked for the Tri-City Americans and Lethbridge Hurricanes. La Forge, who is from Edmonton, is the son of the late Bill La Forge, who was a well-known junior hockey coach and coached in the WHL with the Regina Pats, Kamloops Blazers and Tri-City Americans.
THE COACHING GAME:
Trinity Western University won’t renew Dwayne Lowdermilk’s conract as head coach of the Spartans. Lowdermilk started as the head coach of the TWU Titans and helped the organization make the move from club to varsity team, something that included a name change. . . . For more information on the position, contact Carol Hofer, the assistant director of athletics/administration at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The matchups, if the WHL playoffs opened today:
Edmonton (1) vs. Kootenay (8)
Saskatoon (2) vs. Medicine Hat (7)
Calgary (3) vs. Swift Current (6)
Red Deer (4) vs Prince Albert (5)
Portland (1) vs. Everett (8)
Kelowna (2) vs. Seattle (7)
Kamloops (3) vs. Victoria (6)
Tri-City (4) vs. Spokane (5)
In Kennewick, Wash., F Connor Rankin scored three times and added two assists as the Tri-City Americans got past the Kootenay Ice, 6-4. . . . The victory was the 40th of the season for the Americans, the seventh straight season in which they have done that. That equals the WHL record that is shared by the Kamloops Blazers (1989-96) and Regina Pats (1979-86). . . . The Americans are the only franchise to accomplished it with all seven seasons coming since the institution of the bantam draft. . . . “It’s a pretty special night,” Tri-City GM Bob Tory told me, “considering all the injuries this season. I am very proud of my players and our program.” . . . In reference to Tory, head coach Jim Hiller told Annie Fowler of the Tri-City Herald: “I’m pretty happy for the guy who has done more work than anyone to make it happen.” . . . F Tyler Fraser made his WHL debut with the Americans, the ninth affiliated player to get into their lineup this season. . . . The Ice held a 3-2 lead halfway through the game. . . . Rankin, who got his 30th goal into an empty net, tied the score at 10:13 of the second and F Mitch Messier broke the tie 17 seconds into the third period. . . . Rankin scored at 14:56, before F Jaedon Descheneau got his 25th goal at 18:42. . . . Descheneau also had two assists. . . . Tr-City got a goal and two assists from each of Rankin’s linemates, Brian Williams and F Parker Bowles. . . . Ice G Mackenzie Skapski, who set a single-season franchise record with his 58th appearance on March 1, played in his 61st game. The previous record had been shared by Clayton Pool (1998-99), Jeff Glass (2003-04) and Nathan Lieuwen (2011-12). . . . Tri-City G Troy Trombley stopped 33 shots in running his record to 8-2-0. . . . The Americans remain fourth in the Western Conference, one point ahead of the Spokane Chiefs. . . . The Ice is eighth in the Eastern Conference, three points behind the Medicine Hat Tigers and six ahead of the Lethbridge Hurricanes, who have five games left. . . .
In Kamloops, F Cole Linaker broke a 2-2 tie at 9:15 of the third period to give the Kelowna Rockets a 3-2 victory over the Blazers. . . . Linaker has two goals this season. He scored his first on one on Dec. 30 in a 5-1 victory over the visiting Everett Silvertips. . . . The Blazers, who had won their previous four games, led 2-0 at 6:09 of the first period but didn’t score again. . . . Kamloops F Brendan Ranford scored his 20th goal and it was his 350th career point, leaving him sixth in franchise history. . . . Kelowna F Myles Bell, who sat out a game after suffering a leg injury in Kamloops on Sunday, scored his 37th goal. . . . Kamloops continues to be without F Matt Needham, who hasn’t played since Feb. 15. . . . The Rockets can wrap up first place in the B.C. Division with a regulation-time victory over the Blazers tonight in Kelowna. . . . The Rockets, with 100 points, hold a five-point leave and Kamloops has three games remaining. . . .
In Victoria, F Jack Walker broke a 3-3 tie at 4:26 of the third period as the Royals dropped the Vancouver Giants, 5-3. . . . The Royals had lost their previous 11 games. . . . Walker’s eighth goal of the season came off an assist from his older brother, Ben. . . . F Brandon Magee got his 30th goal for Victoria when he scored shorthanded at 7:36 of the first period. . . . Vancouver F Alex Baer, a Minnesota high school star playing in his third WHL game, scored his first goal at 17:00 of the second period, pulling his side into a 3-3 tie. . . . Giants F Cain Franson had his 28th goal and two assists. . . . Victoria got two goals and an assist from Steven Hodges. He’s got 27 goals. . . . The Royals are sixth in the Eastern Conference and appear headed to a first-round matchup with Kamloops. . . .
In Brandon, F Henrik Samuelsson and F Stephane Legault scored in the circus as the Edmonton Oil Kings beat the Wheat Kings, 3-2. . . . With the victory, Edmonton clinched its second straight Eastern Conference pennant. . . . Samuelsson was back after serving a two-game WHL suspension. . . . Legault had a goal, his 12th, and an assist in regulation time. . . . Brandon F Tim McGauley scored with 36.7 seconds left in the third period to force OT. . . . Brandon G Corbin Boes stopped 43 shots. . . . Edmonton has won five straight; Brandon has lost seven of eight. . . . The Oil Kings, who have four games remaining, have 48 victories, two shy of the franchise’s single-season record. . . . F Jesse Gabrielle, a 15-year-old who left the Minnesota high school ranks and joined the Wheat Kings earlier in the week, wasn’t in the lineup. . . .
In Saskatoon, F Josh Nicholls scored two shorthanded goals and added an assist as the Blades dropped the Medicine Hat Tigers, 6-3. . . . Nicholls has 44 goals. . . . The Blades scored the game’s first four goals. . . . F Boston Leier scored twice for the Tigers, giving him 17. . . . Saskatoon G Andrey Makarov turned aside 40 shots. . . . The Blades will win the East Division pennant and are one point behind the Calgary Hitmen, who are second in the Central Division and third in the Eastern Conference. The teams are reseeded by points after the first round. . . .
In Moose Jaw, Swift Current F Adam Lowry scored two first-period goals and the Broncos beat the Warriors, 2-1. . . . Lowry’s second goal, at 15:58, was his 200th career point. . . . Broncos F Coda Gordon drew two assists. . . . Moose Jaw G Justin Paulic stopped 17 shots in his 22nd consecutive start. . . . Broncos G Eetu Laurikainen turned aside 25 shots. . . .
Moose Jaw F Jordan Wyton didn’t return to the game after a first-period fight with Swift Current F Ryon Moser. . . . Wyton has been limited by injuries, including a concussion, to 32 games this season. . . . The Broncos are sixth in the Eastern Conference, three points behind Prince Albert and two ahead of Medicine Hat. . . .
In Regina, the Pats scored six times in the second period and dumped the Prince Albert Raiders, 6-2. . . . F Lane Scheidl scored twice for Regina, giving him 37. . . . Regina F Mogan Klimchuk scored his 35th goal. . . . Regina G Matt Hewitt stopped 28 shots. . . . Although he didn’t play last night, the Pats have added D Sean Whelan to their roster. He had been with the SJHL’s Kindersley Klippers and their season is over. . . . The Raiders, who have lost four in a row, can finish no higher than fifth in the Eastern Conference. They now are three points ahead of Swift Current. . . . Regina, which won’t make the playoffs, has won four of five. . . .
In Red Deer, F Tyson Ness scored twice to help the Rebels to a 4-2 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . The Rebels scored the game’s first three goals. . . . F Rhyse Dieno scored his 27th goal for the Rebels. . . . Ness has 17 goals. . . . F Brady Ramsay scored his 12th goal of the season for Lethbridge. He last scored on Jan. 1. He went 23 games between goals. . . . The Hurricanes were without F Graham Hood, their captain, who drew a two-game suspension for a hit on D Devan Fafard of the Red Deer Rebels on Wednesday night. . . . The Rebels, who are fourth in the Eastern Conference, will have home-ice advantage in the first round. They have three games remaining and are five points Calgary, which has yet to play five games. . . .
In Spokane, the Chiefs erased a 2-0 deficit and beat the Everett Silvertips, 6-3. . . . F Alessio Bertaggia scored three times and added an assist for the Chiefs. Bertaggia, who completed the hat trick into an empty, net, has 26 goals. . . . Everett F Brayden Low scored his first WHL goal in his 44th game. The 18-year-old from Richmond, B.C., has played in 39 games this season. He played five games with the Portland Winterhawks over the previous two seasons. . . . Everett held 2-0 and 3-2 leads. . . . Bertaggia tied it at 17:51 of the second and broke the tie at 6”30 of the third on the PP. . . . Everett F Josh Winquist scored twice, giving him 23. . . . The Chiefs are fifth in the Western Conference, a point behind Tri-City. . . . Everett is eighth, three points behind Seattle and four ahead of Everett. . . . Seattle and Everett each has four games remaining; Prince George has six games left. . . .
In Kent, Wash., F Jake Mykitiuk scored in the circus to give the Prince George Cougars a 2-1 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds (of Kent). . . . D Taylor Green got his second goal of the season for Seattle, via the PP, at 15:30 of the first. . . . Cougars F Troy Bourke tied it with his 14th at 4:42 of the second. . . . Mykitiuk scored in the fifth round of the shootout. . . . The Thunderbirds are seventh in the Western Conference, three points ahead of Everett.
D Mike Simpson, Lethbridge
F Brendan Ranford, Kamloops
F Jacob Cardiff, Spokane
D Duncan Siemens, Saskatoon
F Dawson Leedahl, Everett
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