Sunday, February 26, 2017

Rebels get some breathing room . . . No quit in these Broncos . . . T-Birds putting heat on 'Tips


The Dauphin Kings were eliminated from MJHL playoff contention on Sunday, something that officially clears the way for the Brandon Wheat Kings to play first-round playoff games in that city’s Credit Union Place.
The Wheat Kings are forced to hit the road because the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair takes over the Keystone Centre complex in Brandon from March 27 through April 1.
The Wheat Kings, the WHL’s defending champions, hold down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot. They are fourth in the Eastern Conference, seven points behind the Swift Current Broncos with 10 games remaining.
It is looking like the Wheat Kings will face the Medicine Hat Tigers, who lead the Central Division, in the first-round of the playoffs.
The Wheat Kings are expected to play Games 3 and 4 there on March 28 and 29. A sixth game, if needed, would be played in Dauphin on April 2.
The Dauphin facility has 1,763 seats and room for 752 standees.
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If you’re looking for an interesting read, try this one right here. The headline is: The RV Bandit who stole a million dollars, one wallet at a time. . . . It involves a guy who was a regular on the auto-racing circuit but didn’t watch much of the races. Instead, he . . . well, give it a read. It’s interesting, to say the least.
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SUNDAY’S GAMES:

At Calgary, F Lane Zablocki scored two goals and added an assist to help the Red Deer Rebels to a 7-2
LANE ZABLOCKI
victory over the Hitmen. . . . One night earlier, playing at home, Red Deer had blown a 3-0 lead and dropped a 6-3 decision to Calgary. . . . Yesterday, the Rebels scored the game’s first four goals and went from there. . . . Zablocki, who has 25 stars, got it started with a PP goal at 17:47 of the first period. . . . D Carson Sass (5) made it 2-0 just 25 seconds later. . . . F Evan Polei’s 28th goal, at 3:12 of the second period, increased the lead and F Michael Spacek (27) made it 4-0 at 11:24. . . . The Hitmen threw a scare into Red Deer by cutting the deficit to 4-2 with late second-period goals from F Matteo Gennaro (37) at 17:45 and F Jakob Stukel (21) at 19:17. . . . But the Rebels took control back with three third-period goals, from Zablocki, on a PP, F Austin Glover (20) and F Austin Pratt (15). . . . Red Deer got three assists from F Adam Musil and two from D Brandon Schuldhaus, with Polei, Pratt and Spacek each getting one. . . . G Riley Lamb stopped 22 shots to earn the victory. . . . Calgary got 22 stops from G Trevor Martin. . . . Red Deer was 2-6 on the PP; Calgary was 0-4. . . . The Rebels (26-28-10) are third in the Central Division, their lead over fourth-place Calgary (24-28-10) now at four points. . . . Calgary is in possession of the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, two points ahead of Saskatoon. . . . Announced attendance: 7,208.
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At Regina, the Swift Current Broncos, playing their third game in fewer than 48 hours, scored the game’s last three goals and beat the Pats, 5-4 in OT. . . . The Broncos lost 7-0 in Regina on Friday, then went into
RYLEY LINDGREN
Moose Jaw on Saturday and dropped a 5-2 decision. . . . The Broncos, who had lost five straight games to Regina, won this one on F Ryley Lindgren’s 19th goal, at 3:16 of OT. . . . F Austin Wagner (27) had given Regina a 1-0 lead at 2:54 of the first period. . . . The Broncos tied it on F Kole Gable’s sixth goal, at 6:30. . . . Regina went back out front when F Nick Henry got No. 31, at 7:27. . . . F Tyler Steenbergen tied it 2-2, on a PP, at 11:20. . . . The Pats took the lead again on F Dawson Leedahl’s 31st goal, at 14:15 of the second period. . . . F Sam Steel, who leads the WHL scoring race, gave the Pats a two-goal lead, on a PP, with his 44th goal at 16:08. . . . The Broncos’ comeback started when F Aleksi Heponiemi (24) struck at 1:11 of the third period. . . . Steenbergen tied it, on a PP and with an extra attacker on the ice, with 12.6 seconds left in the third. . . . Swift Current D Max Lajoie drew the primary assist on each of the last two goals. . . . Lindgren and Heponiemi each had one assist. . . . Henry, F Adam Brooks and D Connor Hobbs had two assists each for Regina, with Steel and Leedahl each getting one. . . . Steel now has 113 points, 10 more than Brooks. . . . Steenbergen has 45 goals and is tied for the league lead with F Tyler Wong of the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Steel and F Jayden Halbgewachs of the Moose Jaw Warriors are next, at 44. . . . G Taz Burman earned the victory with 43 saves. . . . G Jordan Hollett stopped 25 shots for the Pats. . . . Swift Current was 2-4 on the PP; Regina was 1-6. . . . The Broncos lost D Sahvan Khaira to a charging major and game misconduct at 14:35 of the second period. . . . F Robbie Holmes was among Regina’s scratches. He was injured on Friday on a hit by Broncos F Lane Pederson, who completed a two-game suspension by sitting out this one. . . . The Broncos also were without F Glenn Gawdin (ill). . . . F Kjell Kjemhus made his WHL debut with the Pats. From Grande Prairie, Alta., Kjemhus, 15, was a fourth-round pick in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. He has been playing at Pursuit of Excellence in Kelowna. . . . Swift Current (31-20-10) had lost its previous three games (0-2-1). The Broncos appear headed to a third-place finish in the East Division and a first-round matchup with Moose Jaw. . . . Regina (44-9-8) has points in four straight (3-0-1) and leads the overall standings by seven points over Medicine Hat. . . . Announced attendance: 6,484.
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At Saskatoon, G Zach Sawchenko blocked 29 shots to lead the Moose Jaw Warriors to a 2-0 victory over
ZACH SAWCHENKO
the Blades. . . . Sawchenko has three shutouts this season and nine in his career. He has won 27 games this season, one shy of the 28 he posted last season. . . . F Luka Burzan’s 13th goal, at 10:32 of the first period, stood up as the winner. . . . F Justin Almeida’s ninth goal, at 10:10 of the third period, provided insurance. . . . The Blades got 20 saves from G Brock Hamm. . . . Each team was 0-5 on the PP. . . . Moose Jaw lost F Noah Gregor at 15:50 of the second period when he took a kneeing major and game misconduct for a hit on Saskatoon D Mark Rubinchik. . . . D Josh Thrower of the Warriors played in his 300th regular-season game. This was his 89th game with the Warriors. He also has played with the Vancouver Giants, Tri-City Americans and Calgary Hitmen. . . . The Warriors (38-17-8) have won six straight games. They are second in the East Divsion, 12 points behind Regina and 12 ahead of Swift Current. . . . The Blades (24-31-8) have lost two in a row. They are two points behind the Hitmen, who hold down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . Announced attendance: 3,844.
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At Kent, Wash., the Seattle Thunderbirds opened up a 4-0 lead en route to a 6-1 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . Seattle, which clinched a playoff spot with the victory, got first-period goals from F Keegan Kolesar (22), on a PP, at 7:10; F Luke Ormsby
ANTHONY BISHOP
(6), at 12:35; and D Anthony Bishop (1), at 18:04. . . . Bishop, an 18-year-old from Kelowna, scored in his 98th regular-season game, the 58th of this season. . . . The Thunderbirds went ahead 4-1 on F Ryan Gropp’s 29th goal, on a PP, at 4:56 of the second period. . . . F Connor Dewar’s 11th goal, shorthanded, got Everett on the scoreboard at 10:39. . . . F Mathew Barzal, who also had three assists, scored No. 9, on a PP, at 12:14. . . . Seattle’s Elijah Brown added his third goal at 15:13 of the third period. . . . Barzal has 71 points, including 62 assists, in 37 games. He has points in 18 of his past 20 games, recording 52 points over that stretch. He has put up back-to-back four-pointers. . . . Seattle got two assists from D Ethan Bear, who left in the second period and was seated in the press box by game’s end. Later, Andy Eide of 710 ESPN Seattle tweeted that he asked Thunderbird head coach Steve Konowalchuk “what he could tell us about Bear’s situation.” The response: “Nothing.” . . . Seattle next is scheduled to play Wednesday in Kamloops. . . . Bear ran his point streak to 12 games, while Kolesar now is riding an 11-game streak. . . . The Thunderbirds got 20 saves from G Rylan Toth, who now leads the WHL with 33 victories. . . . Everett starter Carter Hart was beaten three times on 12 shots in the first period. Mario Petit played the last two periods, stopping 12 of 15 shots. . . . Seattle was 3-5 on the PP; Everett was 0-4. . . . Seattle (40-18-5) has won 14 straight home games and is second in the U.S. Division, one point behind Everett (38-13-10), which had a seven-game winning streak snapped. . . . Everett also leads the Western Conference standings, one point ahead of Prince George and Seattle. . . . Announced attendance: 5,157.
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At Spokane, F Reid Gardiner and D Devante Stephens had four-point nights as the Kelowna Rockets beat the Chiefs, 9-5. . . . The Rockets, who scored nine times on 22 shots, were playing their third game
REID GARDINER
in fewer than 48 hours, while the Chiefs had Saturday off. . . . Kelowna scored five times in the first period and opened up a 7-0 lead before the second period was half over. . . . Gardiner scored twice, giving him 11 goals, and added two assists, while Stephens picked up his 11th goal and added three helpers. . . . The Rockets also got two goals from each of F Rod Southam, who has 16, and F Carsen Twarynski, who has 15. Also scoring for Kelowna were F Dillon Dube (12) and F Nick Merkley (22). . . . Merkley, Dube and F Nolan Foote had two assists each. . . . Spokane scored five of the game’s last seven goals, getting them from F Keanu Yamamoto (23), F Hudson Elynuik (22), F Alex Mowbray (3), D Ty Smith (4) and F Riley Woods (10). F Jaret Anderson-Dolan had two assists, with Yamamoto and Woods each getting one. . . . The Rockets got 21 saves from G Bordan Salmond. . . . Spokane starter Jayden Sittler allowed four goals on six shots in 12:00, with Donovan Buskey coming on for his WHL debut at that point. Buskey, a 17-year-old from North Vancouver, gave up three goals on six shots in 18:54. Sittler re-entered and finished up, stopping eight of 10 shots in 29:06. . . . Buskey was a third-round pick by Spokane in the 2015 bantam draft. He has been with the major midget Vancouver Northwest Giants. . . . Spokane was 3-6 on the PP; Kelowna was 2-5. . . . The Rockets (37-21-5) are third in the B.C. Division, one point behind Kamloops with a game in hand. . . . Spokane (25-27-9) has lost three in a row and is nine points out of a playoff spot with 11 games remaining. . . . Announced attendance: 4,927.
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At Victoria, the Royals completed a tripleheader sweep of the Vancouver Giants with a 3-2 victory. . . .
DYLAN MYSKIW
The Royals had won 6-4 in Langley, B.C., on Friday and 3-1 at home on Saturday. . . . On Sunday, the visitors took a 1-0 lead at 3:15 of the first period when F Johnny Wesley scored his 10th goal. . . . The Royals took control by scoring the next three goals. . . . F Jared Dmytriw, who had scored twice on Saturday, got No. 13 at 10:36 of the second period. . . . F Dante Hannoun (21) gave the Royals the lead with a PP goal, at 11:15. . . . Victoria F Vladimir Bobylev picked up his eighth goal, on a PP, 49 seconds into the third period. . . . The Giants got close when F Bartek Bison (6) scored at 14:38. . . . The Royals got two assists from F Jack Walker. . . . G Dylan Myskiw turned aside 24 shots to earn the victory. . . . Vancouver G Ryan Kubic blocked 35 shots. . . . Victoria was 2-8 on the PP; Vancouver was 0-5. . . . The Royals (35-23-5) have points in five straight (4-0-1). They hold down the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot, five points ahead of Portland. Victoria also is fourth in the B.C. Division, six points behind Kelowna. . . . The Giants (19-39-5) have lost three in a row. . . . Next up for Vancouver: Another tripleheader, this time against the Portland Winterhawks. It starts Wednesday in Langley. . . . Announced attendance: 4,007.
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MONDAY’S GAMES (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.
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TUESDAY’S GAMES (all times local):
Lethbridge at Regina, 7 p.m.
Brandon at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

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