Friday, March 10, 2017

Royals await mumps test results . . . Rockets, Tigers romp . . . T-Birds back on top in U.S.



Like a monster in a horror movie, just when you thought the mumps had left the WHL, the illness may have raised its ugly head again.
The Brandon Wheat Kings, Medicine Hat Tigers and Swiift Current Broncos have dealt with mumps
outbreaks in the recent past. But with no new cases in the past week or two it was hoped that the worst was over.
However, the Victoria Royals, in Kamloops for a Wednesday/Friday doubleheader with the Blazers, isolated head coach Dave Lowry and one play before the second game after they showed symptoms of mumps.
Cam Hope, the Royals’ general manager, told Taking Note that no one was yet sure if it is the mumps, “but always better to be safe than sorry until test results (come) back.”
Hope added that the Royals had “isolated a player and coach as per protocol.”
Prior to Friday’s game in Kamloops, arena security posted warnings throughout the arena, asking fans to stay away from players. This is the same protocol that was followed last month.
With Lowry gone, assistant coach Dan Price controlled the bench with help from Hope, who ran the defence.
Price said prior to the game that he couldn’t remember the last time he had flown solo behind a bench, so was grateful to have Hope there.
Doug Bodger, the Royals’ other assistant coach, wasn’t in Kamloops with the team, but is expected to get to Kelowna in time for a Saturday game with the Rockets.
The Royals, playing their third game in four nights, lost 6-2 to the Blazers last night. Victoria will play its fourth game in five nights today in Kelowna.
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If you’re a hockey fan, this piece right here may be the best thing you will read in 2017. Eric Duhatschek of The Globe and Mail explores how coaching in the NHL got from there to here, and it’s fantastic.
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The owners of the Elmira Jackals have informed the ECHL that they won’t return for another season. The ECHL’s board of governors already has approved the request for a voluntary suspension of operations. The Jackals have been in operation for 17 years. . . . This follows on the heels of an announcement by the Anchorage-based Alaska Aces that they won’t be back for another season. . . . At the moment, the ECHL includes 27 teams -- one in Canada and 26 scattered across the U.S. It once was known as the East Coast Hockey League but now simply is the ECHL.
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Coaching

Mike Reagan will be back for an 11th season with the SJHL’s Flin Flon Bombers. It will be his 11th season as the team’s head coach. For the past five seasons, he also has been the general manager. The Bombers will make their 10th playoff appearance under Reagan this season. He was working under a one-year contract that was agreed to in May. A Toronto native, Reagan will turn 38 on March 18. He played two seasons (1998-2000) with the Bombers before spending four seasons at Sacred Heart University. . . . Reagan has a 316-206-48 regular-season record with the Bombers, who reached the championship final last season. This season, they finished 39-14-5 and atop the Sherwood Division.
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After 15 seasons, Walt Kyle is out as head coach of the Northern Michigan U Wildcats, who play out of Marquette. The school made the announcement early Friday.
Later in the day, the Marquette Country Sheriff’s Office arrested Kyle. He was charged with one count each of residential mortgage fraud and forgery of documents. He was released on bond. According to Sam Ali of ABC 10 Sports in Marquette, “The case alleges that Kyle committed forgery and fraud with River Valley Bank while obtaining a mortgage in 2014.”
George Hyde, Kyle’s attorney, released this statement on Friday night:
"These charges against my client, Mr. Walt Kyle, are extremely unfortunate and a prime example of misunderstanding and misrepresentation of the facts.
"The facts are the following: while married to his former wife, his former wife granted him a general power of attorney on her behalf, which authorized him to sign her name on her behalf on any financial documents. While still married, Mr. Kyle and his then wife, Ann Kyle, jointly decided to refinance an existing bank loan in order to complete certain home repairs. Mr. Kyle did nothing more than sign his wife's name to the loan documents, with his wife's full knowledge and consent. The home repairs were completed while Mr. Kyle and Ann Kyle were still married.
"During subsequent divorce proceedings, Ann Kyle sought to avoid responsibility for the loans by falsely claiming no knowledge of them. That didn't work, and the judge in the divorce correctly determined that the loan was a joint debt. This loan was paid in full during the divorce proceedings.
"Undeterred, Ann Kyle has since convinced a local sheriff deputy to seek charges against Mr. Kyle, despite the existence of the valid power of attorney that Ann Kyle had granted her husband.
"The bottom line is this: Mr. Walt Kyle did nothing wrong and broke no laws whatsoever. These charges are the unfortunate result of his former wife's campaign to disparage him, which is ironic given her criminal behavior during their divorce proceedings that until now Mr. Kyle has been reluctant to report to the authorities."
Kyle was 265-263-68 as the Wildcats’ head coach, including 13-22-4 this season. Their season ended with a three-game loss to Bemidji State in the WCHA quarterfinals. . . . Kyle spent nine seasons (1981-92) as an assistant coach at NMU. . . . He played his junior and senior seasons with the Wildcats, captaining the team both seasons. . . . Kyle spent two seasons in the WHL (1992-94) as head coach of the Seattle Thunderbirds.
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If the WHL playoffs began today . . . 
Eastern Conference
Regina vs. Saskatoon
Medicine Hat vs. Brandon
Moose Jaw vs. Swift Current
Lethbridge vs. Red Deer
Western Conference
Seattle vs. Portland
Prince George vs. Victoria
Kelowna vs. Kamloops
Everett vs. Tri-City
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FRIDAY’S GAMES:


At Calgary, the Hitmen erased 2-0 and 3-2 deficits en route to a 4-3 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . They meet again tonight in Lethbridge. . . . F Jakob Stukel pulled Lethbridge into a 3-3 tie
JAYDAN GORDON
with his 22nd goal at 19:58 of the second period. . . . Calgary D Jaydan Gordon won it with his second goal of the season, at 5:10 of the third period. . . . Gordon has three goals in 167 regular-season games over three seasons, the first two with the Swift Current Broncos. . . . The Hurricanes had taken an early 2-0 lead on first-period goals from F Giorgio Estephan (31), at 2:14, and F Tanner Nagel (9), at 3:58. . . . The Hitmen moved into a 2-2 tie on second-period PP goals from F Matteo Gennaro (41), at 2:55, and F Beck Malenstyn, at 6:02. . . . Estephan put the visitors back in front, on a PP, at 18:59. . . . D Jake Bean, F Mark Kastelic and D Vladislav Yeryomenko had two assists each for Calgary. . . . F Tyler Wong drew two assists for Lethbridge. . . . Calgary got 21 saves from G Cody Porter. . . . G Stuart Skinner stopped 18 shots for the Hurricanes. . . . Calgsry was 2-4 on the PP; Lethbridge was 1-2. . . . F Matt Alfaro and F Zak Zborosky, who were acquired from the Kootenay Ice in January, were among Lethbridge’s scratches for a second straight game. . . . The Hitmen (26-31-10) closed to within a point of the Saskatoon Blades, who hold down the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot. . . . The Hurricanes (43-18-7) had won their previous seven games. The now trail the Central Division-leading Medicine Hat Tigers by four points. . . . Announced attendance: 6,328.
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At Kamloops, the Blazers scored a 6-2 victory over Victoria, completing a Wednesday/Friday doubleheader sweep of the Royals. . . . Kamloops had won 5-2 two nights earlier. . . . The Blazers scored
RUDOLFS BALCERS
the game’s first four goals to lead 4-0 late in the second period. . . . F Garrett Pilon got it started with his 20th goal, at 15:10 of the first period. . . . F Nic Holowko (6) followed at 19:07. . . . F Erik Miller (5) made it 3-0 at 4:01 of the second period and F Rudolfs Balcers (38) upped it to 4-0 at 16:26. . . . The Royals got to within two on goals from F Matt Phillips (48), on a PP, at 19:35 of the second period, and F Blake Bargar (5), 27 seconds into the third. . . . The Blazers put it away on third-period goals by F Nick Chyzowski (16) and F Quinn Benjafield (15), on a PP. . . . Kamloops got two assists from D Luke Zazula and one each from Holowko, Chyzowski, Balcers and Benjafield. . . . Kamloops G Connor Ingram blocked 29 shots. . . . Victoria starter Griffen Outhouse surrendered six goals on 38 shots in 52:38. Dylan Myskiw finished up, stopping two shots in 7:22. . . . Kamloops was 2-7 on the PP; Victoria was 1-6. . . . These two teams don’t like each other. In this one, they combined for 100 penalty minutes, 54 to Kamloops. . . . F Jared Dmytriw of the Royals and F Deven Sideroff and D Ondrej Vala of the Blazers didn’t play after they came out of Wednesday’s affair with one-game suspensions. . . . Due to injuries, illness and a suspension, the Royals dressed only 16 skaters for their third game in four nights. . . . The Blazers (40-23-6) have won two in a row. They are third in the B.C. Division, three points behind the Kelowna Rockets and seven ahead of Victoria, which has four games remaining. . . . The Royals (37-26-5) have lost three in a row. . . . Announced attendance: 3,851.
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At Kelowna, the Rockets scored the game’s first eight goals en route to an 8-1 victory over the Vancouver
DILLON DUBE
Giants. . . . The home team started with first-period goals from F Carsen Twarynski (17), on a PP, at 9:55, and F Dillon Dube, at 12:23. . . . Dube added his second of the game and 17th of the season, on a PP, at 7:20 of the second period for a 3-0 edge. . . . The Rockets also got goals from D James Hilsendager (5), D Cal Foote (6), F Leif Mattson (8), F Reid Gardiner (15) and D Devante Stephens (12). . . . The Rockets got three assists from F Calvin Thurkauf. F Nick Merkley and F Erik Gardiner had two assists each, with Hilsendager, Gwarynski, Dube and Foote adding one apiece. . . . Reid Gardiner ran his point streak to 14 games. He has nine goals and 11 assists during that stretch. . . . Vancouver’s goal came from F James Malm (18), on a PP, at 9:06 of the third period. . . . Kelowna G Brodan Salmond stopped 20 shots, 19 fewer than Vancouver’s David Tendeck. . . . Kelowna was 2-4 on the PP; Vancouver was 1-4. . . . The Rockets (42-21-5) have won six in a row; they are 15-2-1 since Feb. 1. They are second in the B.C. Division, two points behind Prince George. . . . The Giants (19-42-6) have lost seven straight (0-6-1). . . . Announced attendance: 5,006.
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At Cranbrook, B.C., F Brandon Hagel scored twice to help the Red Deer Rebels to a 4-1 victory over the
BRANDON HAGEL
Kootenay Ice. . . . The teams will meet again tonight, this time in Red Deer. . . . F Vince Loschiavo gave the Ice a 1-0 lead with his 27th goal, on a PP, at 9:00 of the first period. . . . Red Deer tied it on F Evan Polei’s 30th goal, at 3:32 of the second, and took the lead when Hagel sniped at 12:56. . . . F Michael Spacek (28) added insurance at 15:48 of the second, and Hagel got his 24th, on a PP, at 17:21. . . . Spacek and D Jared Freadrich had two assists each for the winners. . . . Red Deer G Lasse Petersen stopped 32 shots, two more than the Ice’s Payton Lee. . . . Kootenay was 1-2 on the PP; Red Deer was 1-4. . . . The Rebels (27-28-12) have points in four straight (2-0-2). They are third in the Central Division, four points ahead of the Calgary Hitmen. . . . The Ice (14-42-11) has lost five in a row (0-4-1). . . . The Ice has two home games remaining — the Edmonton Oil Kings are to visit on March 14, with the Hitmen there on March 17. Will those be the last two home games in the history of Cranbrook’s WHL franchise? . . . If voters in Nanaimo go YES in a referendum being held today that would lead to a new arena being built, it’s expected the Ice will be sold and relocated. . . . Announced attendance: 1,868.
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At Medicine Hat, F Matt Bradley and F Zach Fisher each scored three times as the Tigers rolled over the Edmonton Oil Kings, 9-3. . . . The Tigers are to visit Edmonton tonight. . . . Fischer and Bradley, each of whom has 33 goals, accounted for five of Medicine Hat’s first six goals. . . . Fischer opened the scoring at 8:13 of the first period, with Edmonton F Colton Kehler (16) tying it, on a PP, at 9:34. . . . Bradley scored twice before the period ended for a 3-1 lead. . . .Fischer got his second goal at 3:49 of the second period, with Bradley completing his hat trick at 4:36. . . . The Tigers completed an eight-goal outburst on goals from D David Quenneville (22), F Tyler Preziuso (5), F Chad Butcher (26) and Fischer, who filled his hat at 1:36 of the third period. . . . D Brayden Gorda (4) and F Kobe Mohr (6) added late Edmonton goals. . . . F Steve Owre and F Mason Shaw each had three assists for Medicine Hat, with D Brad Forrest, Quenneville and Butcher getting two apiece. . . . G Nick Schneider earned the victory with 18 saves. . . . Edmonton starter Josh Dechaine allowed seven goals on 30 shots in 32:15. Patrick Dea finished up with 19 saves on 21 shots in 27:45. . . . Edmonton was 1-4 on the PP; Medicine Hat was 0-5. . . . Gorda left at 18:30 of the third period with a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct for a hit on Medicine Hat F Ryan Chyzowski. Chyzowski was down for a bit but left under his own power. . . . The Tigers (48-19-1) have won two in a row. They are five points behind the Regina Pats, who lead the overall standings. . . . The Oil Kings (20-41-6) have lost 10 straight (0-8-2). . . . Announced attendance: 3,465.
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At Prince Albert, F Cole Fonstad snapped a 1-1 tie at 17:18 of the third period as the Raiders posted a 3-
ZACK HAYES
1 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Fonstad has 10 goals. . . . Raiders F Parker Kelly had a chance to break a 1-1 tie when he was awarded a penalty shot at 15:34 of the third period. However, Brandon G Travis Child turned aside a backhand attempt. . . . D Zack Hayes’ second goal of the season put the home team ahead 1-0 at 12:10 of the first period. . . . F Tanner Kaspick (18) pulled Brandon even at 18:22 of the second period. . . . F Curtis Miske (19) iced it with an empty-netter at 19:29 of the third period. . . . F Cavin Leth had two assists for the Raiders. . . . G Ian Scott earned the victory with 29 saves, one fewer than Child. . . . Prince Albert was 0-3 on the PP; Brandon was 0-2. . . . With the return of Kaspick from the injured list, the Wheat Kings had all players on deck for the first time this season. . . . The Raiders improved to 19-42-7. . . . Brandon (29-28-10) lost for the 10th straight time on the road. It is in possession of the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot. . . . The Raiders will play in Brandon tonight. . . . Announced attendance: 2,168.
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At Regina, F Sam Steel, who leads the WHL in points, had two goals and two assists to lead the Pats to a 5-0 victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . The Pats clinched first place in the East Division with the
TYLER BROWN
victory as they set a franchise record for points (102) in one season. The previous record (100) was established in 1980-81. . . . The rematch goes tonight in Moose Jaw, with the Pats holding a 4-3-0 edge in the season series. . . . Regina G Tyler Brown turned aside 26 shots to earn his fifth shutout of the season. He has seven in his career. . . . F Adam Brooks gave Regina a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 11:44 of the first period. . . . D Josh Mahura got No. 16 at 2:19 of the second and F Nick Henry scored his 33rd at 3:27. . . . Steel scored Regina’s last two goals, at 12:50 of the second, on a PP, and at 12:41 of the third. . . . Steel leads the WHL with 123 points, including 48 goals. . . . Brooks, who also had an assist, is second, with 114 points, including 37 goals. . . . D Connor Hobbs recorded two assists. . . . The Warriors got 38 saves from G Zach Sawchenko. . . . Regina was 2-5 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 0-6. . . . Regina (47-12-8) has won three in a row. It continues to lead the overall standings, by five points over the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . The Warriors (41-18-9) had a nine-game winning streak end. They will finish second in the East Division and meet the third-place Swift Current Broncos in the first round of the playoffs. . . . Announced attendance: 6,484.
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At Saskatoon, the Swift Current Broncos erased a 2-0 deficit with four straight goals and went on to beat
ALEKSI HEPONIEMI
the Blades, 5-3. . . . The rematch goes tonight in Swift Current. . . . The home team took a 2-0 lead on a pair of goals by F Braylon Shmyr, who has 34, at 11:43 and 13:23 of the first period. The second one came via the PP. . . . The Broncos tied it with the only goals of the second period, F Aleksi Heponiemi (27) scoring at 12:37 and F Tyler Steenbergen counting, on a PP, at 17:27. . . . The Broncos took the lead when F Conner Chaulk (8) scored at 2:06 of the third period. . . . Steenbergen followed with his 49th, at 7:47. . . . Saskatoon got back to within a goal when D Evan Fiala (4) scored at 9:48, but the Broncos put it away on F Lane Pederson’s 23rd goal, on a PP, at 14:21. . . . Heponiemi added two assists, with Pederson getting one. . . . Fiala and Shmyr had one each for the Blades. . . . The Broncos got 33 saves from G Taz Burman. . . . G Brock Hamm turned aside 23 shots in his 100th appearance with the Blades. . . . Swift Current was 2-4 on the PP; Saskatoon was 1-4. . . . The Broncos (36-21-10) will finish third in the East Division and meet Moose Jaw in the opening round. . . . The Blades (27-32-9) had points in each of their previous four games (3-0-1). They hold down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, one point up on the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Announced attendance: 4,285.
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At Kent, Wash., D Ethan Bear broke a 2-2 tie at 7:45 of the third period as the Seattle Thunderbirds beat
ETHAN BEAR
the Everett Silvertips, 3-2. . . . The victory lifted Seattle (43-19-6) back atop the Western Conference and the U.S. Division, one point ahead of Everett (40-15-11). . . . Seattle has won two in a row. . . . Everett had points in its previous three games (2-0-1). . . . F Mathew Barzal of the Thunderbirds took part in the pregame warmup, but took ill and left for the dressing room before the anthem. He didn’t return. . . . Everett F Sean Richards (7) gave his side a 1-0 lead at 1:38 of the second period. . . . Seattle D Turner Ottenbreit (7) tied it just 48 seconds later. . . . F Alexander True’s 22nd goal, shorthanded, at 4:18 gave the home team a 2-1 lead. . . . Everett tied it at 19:11 when F Connor Dewar got his 13th goal. . . . Seattle got two assists from F Sami Moilanen, but F Keegan Kolesar had a 15-game point streak end. . . . G Rylan Toth stopped 16 shots for Seattle, including a second-period penalty shot by Richards. . . . Everett got 19 saves from G Carter Hart. . . . Seattle was 0-2 on the PP; Everett was 0-3. . . . D Aaron Irving was among Seattle’s scratches. . . . A mid-game tweet from Andy Eide of 710 ESPN Seattle: “Have confirmed with T-Birds that Wyatt Bear has left the team and gone home.” . . . Announced attendance: 5,204.
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At Spokane, F Cody Glass scored two goals as the Portland Winterhawks skated to a 4-2 victory over the
CODY GLASS
Chiefs. . . . Glass, with 31 goals, opened the scoring at 4:38 of the first period. . . . Spokane F Kailer Yamamoto tied it with No. 38, at 4:44 of the second period. . . . The Winterhawks went back out front when D Caleb Jones (8) scored at 11:34 of the third period. . . . Glass got his second of the night, on a PP, at 14:04. . . . The Chiefs got to within a goal when F Taylor Ross scored his sixth goal, shorthanded, at 16:33. . . . Portland iced it when F Skyler McKenzie put his 39th goal into an empty net at 19:30. . . . McKenzie also had an assist, while F Keegan Iverson had two of them. . . . Glass, a certain first-round selection in the NHL’s 2017 draft, has 91 points in 65 games. Last season, as a freshman, he finished with 27 points, 10 of them goals, in 65 games. . . . G Cole Kehler stopped 23 shots for Portland. . . . Spokane got 45 stops from G Jayden Sittler. . . . Portland was 1-6 on the PP; Spokane was 0-2. . . . The Winterhawks (37-26-4) have won five in a row. They hold down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, one point behind Victoria. The Winterhawks also are fourth in the U.S. Division, one point behind the Tri-City Americans. . . . The Chiefs (26-31-10) have lost five in a row (0-4-1). . . . Announced attendance: 5,759.
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At Kennewick, Wash., FJesse Gabrielle scored twice to help the Prince George Cougars to a 6-1 victory
JESSE GABRIELLE
over the Tri-City Americans. . . . Gabrielle got the Cougars started, on a PP, at 4:06 of the first period. . . . The Americans tied it at 6:28 when F Kyle Olson scored his 19th goal. . . . Prince George F Jared Bethune (21) broke the tie at 6:39, with Gabrielle adding insurance with his 33rd goal, on another PP, at 2:01 of the second period. . . . The Cougars added second-period goals from D Sam Ruopp (4) and F Radovan Bondra (32), before F Jansen Harkins added his 21st, on a PP, in the third period. . . . Bondra also had one assist. . . . G Ty Edmonds earned the victory with 29 stops. . . . Tri-City starter Rylan Parenteau gave up four goals on 23 shots in 26:32. Evan Sarthou finished up with 23 stops on 25 shots in 33:28. . . . The Cougars were 3-3 on the PP; Tri-City was 0-1. . . . The Americans remain without F Vladislav Lukin, while F Michael Rasmussen (wrist) may not play again this season. . . . The Cougars are still without F Brad Morrison (ankle). . . . Prince George (43-21-5) leads the B.C. Division by two points over the Kelowna Rockets. . . . The Americans (38-26-3) have lost three in a row. They remain third in the U.S. Division, but now are just two points ahead of the Portland Winterhawks. . . . Announced attendance: 4,035.
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SATURDAY’S GAMES (all times local):

Prince Albert at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Medicine Hat at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
Vancouver at Kamloops, 5 p.m.
Victoria at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.
Calgary at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.
Regina at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.
Seattle at Portland, 6 p.m.
Kootenay at Red Deer, 7 p.m.
Prince George at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.
Saskatoon at Swift Current, 7 p.m.
Everett vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.

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