D Joe Gatenby went into opening night with five goals in 174 career regular-season games with the Kelowna Rockets.
In his first game with the Kamloops Blazers on Friday night, he scored twice and added an assist in a 9-2 victory over the visiting Rockets. (Originally, he was credited with two assists, but one was taken
away at some point after the game.)
It was his first career two-goal game and his second three-point outing.
“Joe Gatenby was probably our best player,” Kamloops head coach Don Hay said after his side had torched the short-staffed Rockets — they dressed 15 skaters — for six power-play goals on 10 opportunities.
(You’re right . . . it’s not a good idea to give up 10 PP chances when you’ve only got 15 skaters dressed.)
Anyway . . .
“We were fortunate that we were able to capitalize on our power play early,” said Gatenby, a Kelowna native whose first goal came with the man advantage.
Gatenby’s second goal was credited to freshman F Scott Mahovlich, but was switched during the second intermission.
“I felt kind of bad about that,” said Gatenby, knowing that it would have been Mahovlich’s first WHL goal. “I’m not sure about really what happened there.”
What happened is that the Rockets were having one of those nights. In this case, G Brodan Salmon, while being pressured, reached out with his stick to pull the puck underneath him. However, the puck went right underneath him and into the net. The goal was given to Mahovlich, who was the closest Kamloops player to the puck at the time. However, the official scorekeeper reviewed the play and the goal was given to Gatenby, because he had been the last of the Blazers to touch the puck.
“I didn’t know what happened,” Gatenby said with a chuckle.
Gatenby was acquired by the Blazers in the hopes that he would give them a strong defensive game and eat up a lot of the minutes that came available with the graduation of Ryan Rehill, who played a regular shift and also was a stalwart on the power-play and penalty-killing units. So far, so good.
“I’m really enjoying my time,” Gatenby said. “I really like my teammates and the coaching staff has been really good and really easy to work with.”
And don’t look now but he’s tied for the WHL lead in goals and points, as the Blazers go into Kelowna for a Saturday night rematch.
“I’m really good friends with pretty much the whole team,” Gatenby said as he looked ahead to tonight. “I’m focused on the Blazers right now but I know how tough it is (to lose like that). We also had a lot of fortunate power plays. They’re going to bring more to the rink tomorrow.”
——The Vancouver Giants announced late Friday night that they have acquired F Taden Rattie, 18, from the Red Deer Rebels for a sixth-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft. . . . Rattie, from Airdrie, Alta., is the younger brother of former Portland Winterhawks sniper Ty Rattie. . . . Taden, 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds, had one goal in 25 games with the Rebels last season. He is expected to join the Giants in time to play tonight against the host Everett Silvertips. . . . Everett beat the Giants, 7-3, in Langley on Friday night. . . . The Rebels had acquired the younger Rattie from Portland on Dec. 28 for a fourth-round pick in the 2016 draft. He never did play for the Winterhawks; in fact, he had committed to Western Michigan before he chose to join the Rebels.
The Spokane Chiefs have signed head coach Don Nachbaur to a contract extension that runs through 2017-18. That would be his 20th season as a WHL head coach. Nachbaur, who is into his seventh season as the Chiefs’ head coach, was beginning the final season of his contract. . . . Nachbaur also has been head coach with the Seattle Thunderbirds and Tri-City Americans. In fact, he is atop the all-time coaching victories list with the Chiefs (234) and Americans (235). . . . The Chiefs open the regular season against the host Americans on Saturday night. That will move Nachbair into a tie with Mike Babcock for most Chiefs games coached (424). . . . Nachbaur also is one of only four men to have recorded more than 600 WHL regular-season coaching victories. He is third on the all-time list, at 665, behind Ken Hodge (742) and Don Hay (675). Lorne Molleken (626) is the fourth member of the 600 Club.
The Calgary Hitmen have placed G Nik Amundrud on the injured list with an undisclosed injury suffered during the exhibition season. Brad Curle, the radio voice of the Hitmen, reports that Amundrud, who will turn 19 on Oct. 20, is “expected to be sidelined until December.” . . . With Amundrud out of the picture, at least for now, the Hitmen go into the season with two goaltenders — Cody Porter, 19, and Kyle Dumba, 18. . . . Amundrud was 10-7-0, 2.53, .899 in 21 appearances with the Hitmen last season after coming over from the Saskatoon Blades. . . . Porter, who turned 19 on Friday, was 24-11-2, 2.98, .885 in 41 games after being acquired from the Vancouver Giants. . . . Dumba, a fourth-round pick in the 2013 bantam draft, got into 10 games, going 2-3-2, 4.30, .857.
The Medicine Hat Tigers have added G Jake Morrissey, 19, to their roster after he was released by the Vancouver Giants. . . . Morrissey was 1-6-0, 5.07, .853 in 10 appearances with the Giants last season. He also played with the Saskatoon Blades and two AJHL’s teams — the Drayton Valley Thunder and Sherwood Park Crusaders. . . . In 2014-15, Morrissey was 8-1-1, 1.98, .932 in 11 games with the Kelowna Rockets. . . . With starter Nick Schneider in camp with the NHL’s Calgary Flames, the Tigers needed someone to partner with Duncan McGovern, 16, on their roster. . . . McGovern, from Winnipeg, was a fifth-round pick in the 2015 bantam draft. He got into six exhibition games, going 3-0-0, 2.00, .925 in 240 minutes. He also recorded two shutouts. . . . In 25 career appearances, split among Kelowna, Vancouver and Saskatoon, Morrissey is 9-9-1, 3.60, .885. Kelowna selected him in the fifth round of the 2012 bantam draft.
The Prince Albert Raiders have signed F Zack Andrusiak, an 18-year-old list player from Yorkton, Sask. He had 51 points, including 32 goals, in 32 games with the junior B Kamloops Storm last season. He also played in 15 games with the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers, recording two assists. In 2014-15, he was pointless in seven games with the Tri-City Americans, while putting up 38 points, 14 of them goals, in 37 games with the junior B North Okanagan Knights. . . . He is a nephew of former Seattle Thunderbirds assistant coach Perry Andrusiak, who also did a stint as the Regina Pats’ assistant GM.
D Ryely McKinstry no longer is shown on the roster of the Vancouver Giants. Concussion-related issues limited him to 11 games last season. The 18-year-old Calgarian was a second-round pick in the 2013 bantam draft. . . .
The Calgary Hitmen have released F Justyn Gurney, 16, from their roster. Gurney, from Delta, B.C., was a sixth-round pick in the 2015 bantam draft. He is expected to join the major midget West Valley Hawks. . . .
D Jacob Cardiff, 20, has joined the SJHL’s Notre Dame Hounds, who play out of his hometown of Wilcox, Sask. Cardiff spent the previous three seasons with the Spokane Chiefs, but was released and cleared 20-year-old waivers.
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I think he cut in line @SieraBearchell #missuniversecanada #mjwarriors #mosaicplace @bdnwheatkings @TheWHL #CityMJ #UnfinishedBusiness pic.twitter.com/7ASkb0YiAU— Moose Jaw Warriors (@MJWARRIORS) September 24, 2016
At Calgary, F Taylor Sanheim scored in the fifth round of a shootout as the Hitmen beat the Kootenay Ice, 3-2. . . . The Hitmen thought they had won with 29.3 seconds left in OT but a potential goal was waved off after video review. Both teams had gone to their dressing rooms, so had to return to the ice. . . . F Zak Zborosky gave the Ice a 1-0 lead at 19:23 of the first period. . . . Calgary tied it on F Murphy Stratton’s PP goal at 3:58 of the second. . . . Kootenay went back in front when F Tanner Sidaway scored at 19:31. . . . The Hitmen forced OT on F Tyler Mrkonjic’s goal at 1:18 of the third. . . . Calgary G Cody Porter turned aside 28 shots, one more than the Ice’s Payton Lee. . . . Kootenay was 1-3 on the PP; Calgary was 1-5. . . . Announced attendance: 7,524.
At Kamloops, D Joe Gatenby scored two goals, set up another and was named the game’s first star as the Blazers powered their way to a 9-2 victory over the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Kelowna, with six players at NHL camps, dressed only 15 skaters, three under the maximum. . . . Kamloops was 6-10 on the PP; Kelowna was 1-8. . . . Gatenby was acquired from the Rockets in a summer deal that sent F Jake Kryski the other way. Gatenby’s brother, Dan, who was scratched last night, also moved to Kamloops in the exchange. Joe went into the game with five goals in 174 regular-season games with the Rockets. . . . Kelowna F Kole Lind forged a 1-1 tie 34 seconds into the second period. . . . Kamloops scored the next four goals, with the last three of them coming on the PP. . . . Kamloops F Jackson Shepard scored twice, while F Collin Shirley had a goal and two assists. D Dawson Davidson, F Scott Mahovlich and Conner McDonald, a defenceman who played right wing in this one, each had two assists and F Rudolfs Balcers scored once and added an assist, as did D Luke Zazula and F Spencer Bast. . . . Lind and F Jake Kryski each had a goal and an assist for Kelowna. . . . Kamloops fans chanted ‘Warm Up the Bus’ and ‘We Want 10’ as time wound down on the third period. . . . Kamloops G Dylan Ferguson stopped 29 shots. Kelowna starter Michael Herringer gave up four goals on 18 shots, with Brodan Salmond coming on at 4:56 of the second period. He was beaten five times on 16 shots. . . . The game marked the head-coaching debut of Kelowna’s Jason Smith, a former WHL defenceman (Regina, 1991-93) who went on to play 1,008 regular-season and 68 playoff games in the NHL. His only coaching experience prior to signing with the Rockets was two seasons (2014-16) as an assistant with the NHL’s Ottawa Senators. Smith is the Rockets’ fourth head coach in four seasons after Ryan Huska had been in charge for seven seasons. . . . The Blazers now head out for seven straight road games, starting tonight in Kelowna. . . . Announced attendance: 4,063. That was the second-smallest home-opener crowd since the Blazers’ home arena opened in time for the 1992-93 season. Last season, attendance at the opener was 3,937 as Kelowna posted a 7-3 victory.
Tonight marks the start of broadcasting 47 years of Tigers hockey. Still a rush.— Bob Ridley (@BobRidley_CHAT) September 23, 2016
At Lethbridge, the Hurricanes doubled the Medicine Hat Tigers, 4-2, with four of the game’s goals coming via the PP. . . . The Hurricanes took a 2-0 first-period lead and never trailed. . . . D Calen Addison scored the game’s first goal, his first in the WHL. Lethbridge selected him second overall in the 2015 bantam draft. He also drew an assist on the game’s second goal. Early last season, with the midget AAA Brandon Wheat Kings, he suffered a broken leg that required surgery. . . . Both goals came on the PP. . . . Lethbridge was 2-5 on the PP; Medicine Hat was 2-6. . . . Hurricanes F Ryley Lindgren had a goal and two assists. . . . G Stuart Skinner stopped 41 shots for the winners, while Duncan McGovern stopped 16 for the visitors. . . . Announced attendance: 5,009.
Welcome to the WHL @branden_crowe. Calling his first WHL regular season game from his cell phone thanks to Internet issues in Moose Jaw.— Mike Fraser (@MikeFraser29) September 24, 2016
At Moose Jaw, F Tanner Jeannot scored 29 seconds into OT to give the Warriors a 3-2 victory over the defending-champion Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . The Warriors scored the game’s last three goals, with F Jayden Halbgewachs forcing OT when he scored with 4.7 seconds left in the third period. . . . Brandon F Nolan Patrick, who missed all of the exhibition season after undergoing sports hernia surgery in July, was in the Wheat Kings’ lineup and scored the game’s first goal at 8:57 of the first period. . . . F Stelio Mattheos gave Brandon a 2-0 lead at 18:22. . . . Moose Jaw cut into the lead at 18:09 of the third period when F Ryan Bowen scored. . . . D Matt Sozanski had two assists for the Warriors. . . . Halbgewachs, Patrick and Mattheos each had one assist. . . . Moose Jaw G Brody Willms stopped 32 shots, one more than Brandon’s Jordan Papirny. . . . The Warriors were 0-2 on the PP; the Wheaties were 0-5. . . . Darryl Anning, 30, the youngest head coach in the WHL, made his debut with the Wheat Kings, although he had served as the team’s interim head coach for a bit last season while Kelly McCrimmon was with Canada’s national junior team. . . . McCrimmon, who also had been the team’s GM, now is assistant GM with the NHL’s Las Vegas franchise. Grant Armstrong moved over from the Victoria Royals to take over as Brandon’s GM. . . . Announced attendance: 3,744.
At Red Deer, D Aaron Irving, named team captain earlier in the day, scored 26 seconds into OT to give the Edmonton Oil Kings a 3-2 victory over the Rebels. . . . F Akash Bains gave the Rebels a 1-0 lead at 3:31 of the first period, with F Tyler Robertson tying it at 5:50. . . . Red Deer went back out front when F Evan Polei, who was injured in the preseason, scored at 19:30. . . . Edmonton D Kyle Yewchuk forced OT with a goal at 17:27 of the third period. . . . One of the assists on Irving’s winner went to F Lane Bauer. Irving and Bauer were returned by the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers in time to play in the opener. . . . Edmonton G Patrick Dea stopped 24 shots. . . . Red Deer G Riley Lamb, who was 1.98, .940 in three exhibition games, blocked 30 shots. . . . The Oil Kings were 0-5 on the PP; the Rebels were 0-1. . . . Announced attendance: 5,274.
At Regina, F Simon Stransky’s second goal, at 2:57 of OT, gave the Prince Albert Raiders a 4-3 victory over the Pats. . . . Stransky, who returned from the Boston Bruins’ rookie camp on Thursday, also had an assist. . . . Raiders F Kolten Olynek added a goal and an assist. . . . Regina got a goal and an assist from D Chase Harrison. . . . Regina F Riley Woods scored the first goal of this regular season, sniping at 1:22 of the first period. . . . Stransky’s first goal, at 4:24 of the third, pulled the visitors into a 2-2 tie. . . . Olynek put the Raiders out front at 5:32. . . . Regina F Braydon Buziak forced OT at 15:12. . . . Prince Albert G Ian Scott was outstanding, with 42 saves, 12 more than Regina’s Tyler Brown. . . . The Raiders were 1-4 on the PP; Regina was 1-3. . . . The Raiders were without F Drew Warkentine as he completed a three-game suspension he picked up during the exhibition season. . . . Each team still has five players at NHL camps. . . . Announced attendance: 4,830.
At Swift Current, F Jesse Shynkaruk, who came to camp hoping to land a 20-year-old spot, scored twice and added an assist as the Saskatoon Blades beat the Broncos, 5-1. . . . It was the first game of the Broncos’ 50th season. . . . D Mark Rubinchik added three assists for the Blades, with F Mason McCarty getting a goal and an assist, and F Braylon Shmyr chipping in two assists. . . . The game’s starting goaltenders, Logan Flodell of the Blades and Taz Burman of the Broncos, both are former Seattle Thunderbirds stoppers. . . . Flodell made 21 saves, losing his shutout when D Artyom Minulin scored on a PP at 19:28 of the third period. . . . Burman turned aside 28 shots. . . . Saskatoon was 1-7 on the PP; Swift Current was 1-4. . . . F Cole Johnson, who was limited by injury to 10 games over the past two seasons, was in Swift Current’s lineup. Johnson, 18, was a second-round pick in the 2013 bantam draft. . . . Les Lazaruk, the veteran radio voice of the Blades, points out that Saskatoon opened against the Broncos for only the second time. The first time was on Oct. 8, 1967, which was the Broncos’ first home game. . . . Yes, they opened seasons in October back in the day. . . . This marked Dean Brockman’s first game as the Blades’ head coach. He moved up from assistant coach when Bob Woods left for the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres. . . . Former WHL D Emanuel Viveiros was behind the Broncos’ bench for the first time as their head coach. He replaced Mark Lamb, who now is head coach of the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners. . . . Announced attendance: 2,316.
Great Tribute to Charlie Hodge. Kudos to the Vancouver Giants pic.twitter.com/To7lIIagXo— Shane Malloy (@ShaneMalloy) September 24, 2016
At Langley, B.C., F Graham Millar and F Devon Skoleski each scored twice to help the Everett Silvertips to a 7-3 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Everett, which according to the prognosticators will have trouble scoring goals, struck four times in the game’s first 11:27. . . . F Matt Fonteyne had three assists for Everett, while D Jake Christiansen had a goal and an assist. D Lucas Skrumeda and F Patrick Bajkov helped out with two assists. . . . The Giants got two goals from F Dawson Holt and two assists from F Johnny Wesley. . . . Everett G Mario Petit stopped 20 shots, while Vancouver’s Ryan Kubic turned aside 26. . . . The Silvertips were 2-4 on the PP; the Giants were 0-3. . . . Vancouver D Matt Barberis left in the second period and didn’t return. . . . This was the first regular-season game for the Vancouver tandem of general manager Glen Hanlon and head coach Jason McKee. Hanlon replaced Scott Bonner, who had been the only GM in franchise history before moving to The Sports Corporation as a player agent. McKee takes over from Lorne Molleken, who was fired with a couple of games left in the 2015-16 season. McKee, 37, had been with the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints for 10 seasons, the past seven as GM/head coach. . . . It was the Giants’ first regular-season game of this season in their new home, the Langley Events Centre. They had called Pacific Coliseum home since arriving for the 2001-02 season. . . . Announced attendance: 4,875.
At Victoria, F Colby McAuley scored twice to lead the Prince George Cougars to a 3-1 victory over the Royals. . . . The Cougars also got a big game from their penalty killers, who were 9-for-9. . . . D Max Martin gave the Cougars a 1-0 lead at 6:53 and McAuley upped it to 2-0 at 9:49. . . . F Ty Westgard cut into the lead at 15:03 of the second, but the Cougars were able to hang on until McAuley got an empty-netter at 19:03 of the third. . . . F Kody McDonald had two assists for the visitors. . . . The Cougars got 30 saves from G Ty Edmonds, while Victoria’s Griffen Outhouse stopped 17 shots. . . . Prince George was 0-4 on the PP. . . . The Royals were without F Carter Folk, 20, as he served Game 3 of a five-game suspension he incurred during the exhibition season. . . . Cougars head coach Richard Matvichuk picked up his first victory in his first regular-season game. He replaced Mark Holick, who parted company with the Cougars with a year left on his contract and now is coaching in Italy. . . . Announced attendance: 6,539.
SATURDAY GAMES (all times local):
Moose Jaw at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Red Deer at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
Vancouver at Everett, 7:05 p.m.
Kamloops at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.
Calgary vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.
Lethbridge at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.
Seattle at Portland, 7 p.m.
Regina at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.
Spokane vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.
Prince George at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.
SUNDAY GAMES (all times local):
Swift Current at Saskatoon, 2:05 p.m.
Tri-City at Portland, 5 p.m.