MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM TAKING NOTE
You’re back home after a long day of hacks and whacks at the shopping mall. Right here, to help you chill, are Elvis Presley and Martina McBride with . . . Blue Christmas.
If you haven’t seen it, the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, as they always do, have had some fun with a Christmas classic. Their take on the movie Elf is right here.
By my count, the WHL has 28 players involved in Christmas tournaments.
One of those, D Vladislav Yeryomenko of the Calgary Hitmen, completed his involvement on Saturday as he helped Belarus to the IIHF Under-20 Division 1 Group A championship in Bremerhaven, Germany, thus earning promotion to the 2018 World Junior Championship in Buffalo.
Belarus beat Austria, 4-0, in its final game. Belarus finished with four victories and an OT loss, its 13 points leaving it two clear of Germany.
Yeryomenko finished with a goal and two assists in five games.
With Yeryomenko and Belarus finished, there are 27 other WHL players who are either in a selection camp or will play in the World Junior Championship when it opens in Montreal and Toronto on Boxing Day.
Here’s a look at who’s where, at least for the moment:
Brandon (1): D Kale Clague (Canada).
Calgary (2): D Jake Bean (Canada), D Vladislav Yeryomenko (Belarus).
Everett (2): G Carter Hart (Canada), D Noah Juulsen (Canada).
Kamloops (3): F Rudolfs Balcers (Latvia), F G Connor Ingram (Canada), D Ondrej Vala (Czech Republic).
Kelowna (3): F Dillon Dube (Canada), F Calvin Thurkauf (Switzerland), F Tomas Soustal (Czech Republic).
Medicine Hat (2): F John Dahlstrom (Sweden), D Kristians Rubins (Latvia).
Moose Jaw (0).
Portland (2): F Joachim Blichfeld (Denmark), D Caleb Jones (U.S.).
Prince Albert (2): D Vojtech Budik (Czech Republic), F Simon Stransky (Czech Republic).
Prince George (0).
Red Deer (3): F Adam Musil (Czech Republic), G Lasse Petersen (Denmark), F Michael Spacek (Czech Republic).
Regina (2): F Filip Ahl (Sweden), D Sergey Zborovskiy (Russia).
Saskatoon (1): D Libor Hajek (Czech Republic).
Seattle (2): F Mathew Barzal (Canada), F Alexander True (Denmark).
Spokane (1): F Pavel Kousal (Czech Republic).
Swift Current (0).
Tri-City (1): D Juuso Valimaki (Finland).
Vancouver (1): F Radovan Bondra (Slovakia).
.@WHLHitmen iced an all-American line of Mark Kastelic, Matt Dorsey & Murphy Stratton, which is something I can't recall seeing before.— Laurence Heinen (@lheinen21) December 18, 2016
At Calgary, the Kelowna Rockets erased a 2-1 deficit with five straight goals as they beat the Hitmen, 6-2.
. . . The Rockets took a 1-0 lead when F Jake Kryski scored at 8:56 of the first period. . . . Calgary went up 2-1 on goals from F Mark Kastelic (4), at 12:32, and F Jakob Stukel (9), on a PP, at 11:29 of the second. . . . Kryski tied it on a PP, at 13:16. Kryski, who was acquired from the Kamloops Blazers, has 13 goals in 30 games; he finished last season with 12 goals in 67 games. . . . Kelowna F Kyle Topping put his guys out front, on another PP, at 15:02, and D Riley Stadel (4) provided some insurance, on yet another PP, at 19:12. . . . Topping got his second goal of the game and eighth of the season in the third period, while F Nick Merkley scored No. 9. . . . Rockets F Kole Lind ran his point streak to 13 games with three assists, while D Lucas Johansen and F Erik Gardiner each had two. . . . G Brodan Salmond stopped 17 shots for Kelowna. . . . Calgary got 19 saves from Cody Porter. . . . Kelowna (21-12-2) has points in three straight (2-0-1). . . . The Hitmen slipped to 12-16-2. . . . The Rockets are 4-1-1 on a seven-game road trip that ends in Edmonton on Sunday afternoon. . . . D Micheal Zipp, Calgary’s captain, was scratched with an undisclosed injury. . . . Announced attendance: 6,144.
At Everett, F Devon Skoleski broke a 2-2 tie at 17:10 of the third period and the Silvertips went on to beat the Portland Winterhawks, 4-2. . . . He’s got four goals. . . . F Connor Dewar added insurance with his
fourth goal, at 18:12. . . . F Cody Glass scored both Portland goals, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead at 2:53 of the second period and pulling them into a 2-2 tie at 16:39 of the third period. Glass has 19 goals. . . . Everett F Eetu Tuulola’s eighth goal, at 19:28 of the second period, tied the score 1-1 and was the Teddy Bear Goal. . . . F Matt Fonteyne’s eighth goal gave Everett a 2-1 led at 12:22 of the third period. . . . D Kevin Davis had two assists for Everett, while Tuulola added one. . . . Davis has three goals and 21 assists in 32 games. His career highs are three goals, in each of the previous two seasons, and 22 assists in 2014-15. . . . Everett G Mario Petit stopped 25 shots, while Portland’s Cole Kehler turned aside 41. . . . Portland was 0-1 on the PP; Everett was 0-5. . . . Portland had a 10-1 edge in shots in the game’s first 10 minutes; Everett had a 13-1 edge in the second 10 minutes. . . . The Silvertips (24-4-5) have won three in a row. They go into the break in second place in the overall standings, one point behind the Prince George Cougars and with three games in hand. . . . The Winterhawks (19-16-1) have lost two straight. . . . Announced attendance: 5,733.
Great road trip for @dferg_98 for the Blazers. 2.26 GAA .931 save % 4-1-0-1. 1st time in WHL career he's started more than 2 games in a row— Jon Keen (@JonKeenNLSports) December 18, 2016
At Cranbrook, B.C., F Quinn Benjafield and F Jermaine Loewen each had two goals and an assist as the
Kamloops Blazers overwhelmed the Kootenay Ice, 8-1. . . . The Blazers went 4-1-1 on a six-game Central Division swing in which they played six games in eight nights. . . . The Blazers took control with the only three goals of the first period, as Loewen, who has three goals, scored at 11:35, F Deven Sideroff got his 22nd, on a PP, at 13:02, and D Dawson Davidson got No. 3 at 18:28. . . . F Ryley Appelt made his WHL debut with the Blazers and he started on their big line, alongside Garrett Pilon and Deven Sideroff, with Rudolfs Balcers having left to join the Latvian national junior team. An Edmonton native, Appelt was a fourth-round pick by the Blazers in the 2015 bantam draft. He plays for the Norther Alberta X-Treme prep team in the CSSHL. . . . Appelt made it 4-0 with his first WHL goal, at 3:53 of the second. . . . F Vince Loschiavo scored for the Ice, getting his 12th goal at 4:56. He takes a seven-game goal streak into a Sunday afternoon game against the Hitmen in Calgary. . . . Benjafield, who has nine goals, scored at 6:10 and 14:32 of the second period. . . . Pilon also scored for Kamloops, giving him six goals. . . . D Joe Gatenby and F Nick Chyzowski each had two assists for Kamloops, while Sideroff had one. . . . G Dylan Ferguson blocked 19 shots for Kamloops. He went the distance in all six games on the road trip. . . . Ice starter Jakob Walter surrendered five goals on 18 shots in 26:10. Payton Lee came on in relief to stop 13 of 16 shots in 33:50. . . . Kamloops was 2-4 on the PP; Kootenay was 0-3. . . . The Blades go into the break at 21-13-2. . . . The Ice (6-21-8) has lost five in a row (0-4-1). . . . Announced attendance: 1,731.
At Medicine Hat, F Max Gerlach scored twice to help the Tigers to a 5-3 victory over the Red Deer
Rebels. . . . The teams were tied 2-2 going into the third period when F Matt Bradley put the Tigers ahead with No. 15, at 12:49. . . . Gerlach, who has 23 goals, added insurance at 15:03, on a PP. . . . Gerlach had opened the scoring at 6:19 of the second period and D Dave Quenneville (19) made it 2-0, on a PP, at 16:20. . . . The Rebels tied it as F Dawson Martin got his fifth goal, at 18:15 of the second, and F Evan Polei scored his 15th just 37 seconds later. . . . The Tigers’ final goal, shorthanded, came from F Mark Rassell, his 17th, at 18:23 of the third. . . . F Akash Bains (6), who also had an assist, scored for Red Deer at 18:48. . . . F James Hamblin and F Mason Shaw each had two assists for the Tigers, while Rassell had one. . . . G Nick Schneider turned back 25 shots for Medicine Hat, while Riley Lamb stopped 38 for the Rebels. . . . The Tigers were 2-6 on the PP; the Rebels were 1-3. . . . Medicine Hat (25-10-1) has won four in a row. . . . Red Deer (16-14-6) has lost three straight (0-2-1). . . . Announced attendance: 3,286.
At Prince Albert, D Kade Jensen broke a 3-3 tie at 16:22 of the third period as the Swift Current Broncos
got past the Raiders, 4-3. . . . The Raiders took a 2-0 lead on first-period goals from D Loch Morrison (2), at 3:20, and D Max Martin (5), on a PP, at 12:16. . . . It didn’t last, though, as Swift Current tied it on goals from F Kole Gable, at 15:06, and F Aleksi Heponiemi (10), at 18:18. . . . Gable’s fourth goal gave the Broncos a 3-2 lead 4:05 of the second period. . . . The Raiders tied it on F Austin Glover’s 12th goal at 15:15 of the third period. . . . Jensen, who also had an assist, won it with his third goal, with Heponiemi getting the only assist. . . . Broncos G Travis Child allowed two goals on four shots in 12:16. Taz Burman came on to get the victory, stopping 16 of 17 shots in 47:44. . . . The Raiders got 31 saves from Ian Scott. . . . Prince Albert was 1-1 on the PP; Swift Current was 0-3. . . . The Broncos (18-10-7) are 3-0-1 in their last four games. They are 5-0-0 against Prince Albert this season. . . . The Raiders (7-26-2) have lost three in a row. . . . Announced attendance: 1,977.
At Regina, F Adam Brooks scored three goals and added two assists, and F Sam Steel had a goal and
three assists, as the Pats bounced the Moose Jaw Warriors, 7-3. . . . One night earlier, in Moose Jaw, the Warriors had beaten the Pats, 5-4. . . . Last night, the Pats took a 2-0 lead, then fell behind 3-2, before scoring the game’s last five goals, all in the third period. . . . F Dawson Leedahl (14) got Regina started 55 seconds into the game, with Brooks making it 2-0 at 10:13. . . . D Matt Sozanski (1) got the Warriors on the scoreboard, on a PP, at 11:33. Sozanksi, who returned Friday after missing two weeks, has one goal and 20 assists in 26 games with Moose Jaw, after putting up three goals and 18 assists in 62 games with the Spokane Chiefs last season. . . . Moose Jaw tied it at 12:10 when F Jayden Halbgewachs, who had a 10-game goal streak end on Friday, got his WHL-leading 29th goal. . . . F Brett Howden put the visitors in front, 3-2, with his 15th goal, on a PP, at 5:35 of the second period. . . . Regina D Connor Hobbs (14) tied it on a PP at 2:23 of the third period, with Brooks making it 4-3 at 12:46. . . . Brooks, who has 17 goals, completed the hat trick while shorthanded at 15:23. . . . Steel got his 23rd goal, on a PP, at 17:13, and F Rykr Cole scored his fifth goal at 18:54. . . . Steel now leads the WHL scoring race, with 54 points, one more than Brooks and F Chad Butcher and F Mason Shaw, both of the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Halbgewachs is two points off the pace. . . . Regina got two assists from F Austin Wagner, with Hobbs and Leedahl each getting one. . . . Sozanski added two assists to his goal for Moose Jaw, with Halbgewachs and Howden getting one each. . . . Regina G Tyler Brown stopped 28 shots, while Moose Jaw’s Zach Sawchenko was considerably busier, with 47 saves. . . . Regina was 2-4 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 2-5. . . . Regina (22-3-6) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). The Pats are third in the overall standings, four points behind the Prince George Cougars but with five games in hand. . . . Moose Jaw (20-8-5) had won its last two games, but now is five points behind the Eastern Conference-leading Pats, who hold two games in hand. . . . Announced attendance: 6,484.
Make the final: @bdnwheatkings 3, @BladesHockey 2. #WheatKings held 29-24 edge in shots. #WHL. pic.twitter.com/Gz7Uq12w5R— Darren Steinke (@StanksSports) December 18, 2016
At Saskatoon, F Connor Gutenberg snapped a 2-2 tie at 18:54 of the third period as the Brandon Wheat
Kings edged the Blades, 3-2. . . . F Meyer Nell scored his first goal, shorthanded, to give Brandon a 1-0 lead at 3:42 of the first period. . . . Saskatoon tied it at 2:13 of the second period when F Braylon Shmyr (14) scored the Teddy Bear Goal on a PP. . . . The Wheat Kings went back in front, at 8:54, as F Tyler Coulter got his 11th goal. . . . F Jesse Shynkaruk (11) pulled the Blades back into a tie, at 3:40 of the third period. . . . Brandon F Tanner Kaspick earned two assists. He returned in Brandon’s 3-2 shootout victory over the visiting Blades on Friday night after being out since Dec. 3. . . . Shmyr and Shynkaruk added an assist each for Saskatoon. . . . Here is Les Lazaruk, the Blades’ radio voice: “ All three Wheaties' goals came off face-offs in the (Saskatoon) zone . . . with Brandon centres pushing the puck past the (Blades’) faceoff taker, stepping around him and setting up a team-mate in the slot for fairly easy scores.” . . . Brandon got 22 stops from G Jordan Papirny, while Logan Flodell stopped 26 for Saskatoon. . . . F Tyler Lees of the Blades was given a penalty shot at 5:19 of the second period, with the game tied 1-1, but wasn’t able to beat Papirny. Lees, a fifth-round pick in the 2015 bantam draft, was playing his third game this season with the Blades, but his first at home. Lees, 16, plays for his hometown midget AAA team, the Regina Pat Canadians. . . . The Blades were 1-7 on the PP; the Wheat Kings were 0-4. . . . The Wheat Kings (15-14-4) have won two in a row. . . . The Blades (13-19-4) had points in their previous four games (2-0-2). . . . Brandon holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild card spot and now is four points ahead of Saskatoon. . . . Announced attendance: 4,319.
At Kent, Wash., G Rylan Toth stopped 26 shots to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 3-0 victory over the
Tri-City Americans. . . . That was Toth’s first shutout of the season and the seventh of his career. He had five last season and one in 2014-15, all with the Red Deer Rebels. . . . D Jarrett Tyszka scored his third goal, at 6:06 of the second period, on a PP, and that was all Toth would need on this night. . . . He preserved the blank job with 15 third-period saves. . . . Seattle got a shorthanded goal from F Sami Moilanen, his 11th, at 5:58 of the third period. . . . D Brandon Schuldaus finished it with his second goal, an empty-netter, at 16:58 of the third. . . . D Ethan Bear had two assists. . . . Seattle’s PP was 0-16 before Tyszka’s goal. . . . The Americans got 22 saves from G Rylan Parenteau. . . . The Thunderbirds were 1-2 on the PP; the Americans were 0-5. . . . Seattle (17-13-3) had lost its previous three games. . . . Tri-City (19-15-3) has lost four in a row. . . . Announced attendance: 3,601.
Coach Nachbaur is ready. And in the holiday spirit too! pic.twitter.com/hE1umRqSLy— Spokane Chiefs (@spokanechiefs) December 18, 2016
At Spokane, G Ty Edmonds stopped 30 shots to lead the Prince George Cougars to a 2-1 victory over
the Chiefs. . . . Edmonds, 20, made his 188th appearance with the Cougars, tying the franchise record held by Scott Myers. Edmonds also went over 5,000 career saves during this game. . . . The Cougars took a 2-0 lead on goals from D Tate Olson, his third, on a PP, at 5:07 of the first period, and F Aaron Boyd, his fourth, at 14:11 of the third. . . . F Keanu Yamamoto scored his 14th goal for the Chiefs, at 16:41 of the third. That ran his point streak to 14, the longest active run in the WHL at the moment. He’s got 21 points, including nine goals, in those 14 games. . . . Spokane G Dawson Weatherill turned aside 26 shots. . . . The Cougars were 1-2 on the PP; the Chiefs were 0-3. . . . The Cougars (26-8-2) go into the break having won five in a row. They will have a happy holiday as they assured themselves of staying in first place overall. . . . The Chiefs are 14-13-6. . . . The Cougars were without F Jesse Gabrielle (undisclosed injury) for a second straight game. . . . F Wyatt Sloboshan and D Nolan Reid, who were acquired earlier in the week from the Saskatoon Blades, made their Spokane debuts. . . . Announced attendance: 6,094.
At Victoria, F Ty Ronning’s PP goal, at 4:46 of OT, gave the Vancouver Giants a 5-4 victory over the
Royals. . . . Ronning has 11 goals this season. . . . The Giants took a 2-0 lead on first-period goals from F Jack Flaman (10), at 9:56, and F Tyler Benson, on a PP, at 13:34. . . . (Flaman is from Vibank, Sask. Might he be related to ex-NHLer Fernie Flaman, who was from Dysart, Sask.?) . . . Victoria F Eric Flochuk’s second goal, at 15:57, was the Teddy Bear Goal. . . . Because that goal came in the last five minutes of a period, the teams were sent to their dressing rooms while the ice was cleared. . . . When play resumed, Vancouver D Jeff Rayman got his first goal, at 17:53, for a 3-1 lead. . . . The Royals roared back to take the lead on goals from D Chaz Reddekopp (5), on a PP, 54 seconds into the second period; F Matt Phillips (24), at 19:55; and F Jack Walker (17), at 8:44. Walker scored from behind the icing line as he banked the puck in off G Ryan Kubic. . . . The Giants forced OT when F Thomas Foster scored his eighth goal, at 18:42 of the third period. . . . One night after he drew three assists in a 6-4 victory over the visiting Portland Winterhawks, Benson had a goal and three assists. He drew assists on the Giants’ last two goals. This season, he has 10 goals and 24 assists in 28 games. Last season, one that was ruined by health and injury concerns, he finished with nine goals and 19 assists in 30 games. . . . Ronning and Foster each added an assist. . . . Victoria D Ryan Gagnon had two assists, with Walker and Phillips adding one each. . . . Gagnon played in his 284th regular-season game, setting a Royals’ career record. He had shared the record with F Logan Fisher (2012-16). The Chilliwack/Victoria record belongs to F Brandon Magee, who played in 318 games with the Bruins (2010-15). Gagnon could finish this season having played in 320 games. . . . Kubic finished with 38 saves. . . . Victoria starter Griffen Outhouse gave up four goals on 17 shots in 22:39. Dylan Myskiw stopped 24 of 25 shots in 42:07. . . . Vancouver was 2-5 on the PP; Victoria was 1-4. . . . The Giants (13-18-3) have won two in a row. . . . The Royals (17-15-4) have lost two straight. . . . Announced attendance: 6,129.
SUNDAY’S GAMES (all times local):
Kootenay at Calgary, 2 p.m.
Kelowna at Edmonton, 4 p.m.
No Games Scheduled.
TEDDY BEAR, TOQUE AND MITTEN TOSS GAMES:
Dec. 17: F Braylon Shmyr, 2:13 2nd period, Brandon 3 at Saskatoon 2.
Dec. 17: F Eetu Tuulola, 19:29 2nd period, Portland 2 at Everett 4.
Dec. 17: F Eric Florchuk, 15:57 1st period, Vancouver 5 at Victoria 4 (OT).
Saturday, Jan. 21: Vancouver vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:05 p.m.
Nov. 26: D Micheal Zipp, 19:47 1st period, Lethbridge 4 at Calgary 2.
Dec. 2: D Artyom Minulin, 13:24 1st period, Calgary 1 at Swift Current 5.
Dec. 2: F Jordy Bellerive, 14:00 1st period, Red Deer 3 at Lethbridge 5.
Dec. 3: F Adam Musil, 14:27 1st period, Lethbridge 2 at Red Deer 3 (OT).
Dec. 3: D Ondrej Vala, 10:38 1st period, Vancouver 2 at Kamloops 5.
Dec. 3: F Nick Merkley, 6:54 2nd period, Brandon 1 at Kelowna 3.
Dec. 9: F Austin Glover, 0:32 2nd period, Moose Jaw 7 at Prince Albert 3.
Dec. 9: F Riley Woods, 11:45 1st period, Swift Current 1 at Regina 8.
Dec. 9: F Keanu Yamamoto, 4:01 1st period, Kootenay 3 at Spokane 4.
Dec. 10: D Josh Thrower, 12:13 1st period, Prince Albert 4 at Moose Jaw 5 (SO).
Dec. 10: F Nick Bowman, 13:38 2nd period, Kamloops 3 at Edmonton 2.
Dec. 10: D Troy Murray, 1:51 2nd, Kelowna 7 at Kootenay 3.
Dec. 10: F Max Gerlach, 5:26 1st period, Calgary 4 at Medicine Hat 7.
Dec. 10: F Skyler McKenzie 2:21 1st, Everett 2 at Portland 5.
Dec. 10: F Josh Curtis, 6:02 2nd period, Seattle 4 at Prince George 6.
Dec. 10: F Tyler Sandhu, 0:36 1st period, Victoria 3 at Tri-City 4.
Dec. 16: F Linden McCorrister, 17:47 1st period, Saskatoon 2 at Brandon 3 (SO).
Dec. 16: F James Malm, 3:34 1st period, Portland 4 vs. Vancouver 6, at Langley, B.C.
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