MERRY CHRISTMAS . . .
The commercialization of Christmas driving you around the bend? Relax and take a deep breath. Here to help you out is Phil Vassar and Santa’s Gone Hollywood.
D Keaton Ellerby (Kamloops, Moose Jaw, 2004-08) has had his contract terminated by Barys Astana (Kazakhstan, KHL). He had two goals and seven assists in 42 games.
The Regina Pats have signed D Riley Bruce, 16, who was a fifth-round selection in the 2014 bantam draft. From Winnipeg, he is in his second season with the midget AAA Winnipeg Thrashers. He has 18 points, including five goals, in 18 games this season. Last season, he had a goal and nine assists in 43 games. . . . The Pats have signed seven of the nine players they selected in the 2014 bantam draft.
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Dave McLellan has resigned as general manager and head coach of the junior B Nelson Leafs, who play in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. According to McLellan, the team’s board of directors has interfered so much that it has led to his resignation and that of assistant coach Greg Andrusak. McLellan had been GM/head coach since August 2014. . . . McLellan told Tyler Harper of the Nelson Star that he isn’t comfortable with the franchise’s direction under the present board or with its influence on roster decisions. . . . Assistant coach Sean Dooley, the son of team president John Dooley, didn’t resign. . . . Sean Dooley ran the bench in a 4-2 loss to the host Spokane Braves on Wednesday night. . . . Harper’s story is right here.
At Brandon, F Reid Duke scored two goals and added an assist as the Wheat Kings beat the Kamloops Blazers, 5-3. . . . F Erik Miller gave the Blazers a 3-2 lead at 11:27 of the second period. It was his first WHL goal. . . . Duke tied it with his second goal, and 18th of the season, at 14:09, and F Braylon Shmyr gave Brandon the lead with his fifth goal at 17:08. . . . The Wheat Kings got insurance from F Nolan Patrick at 16:14 of the third period. He’s got 10 goals. . . . Patrick also had an assist, while F Ty Lewis also had a goal and an assist. . . . Brandon F Tim McGauley had two assists. . . . Brandon G Jordan Papirny stopped 19 shots. . . . Kamloops G Dylan Ferguson, making his fourth start of the season and his first on the road, blocked 37 shots. . . . Kamloops was 1-for-2 on the PP; Brandon was 0-for-1. . . . The Wheat Kings (20-10-3) have won two in a row. . . . The Blazers (15-11-4) are 3-1-0 on a six-game East Division swing that continues Friday in Moose Jaw. . . . Announced attendance: 4,344.
At Moose Jaw, G Jackson Whistle stopped 27 shots to help the Kelowna Rockets to a 1-0 victory over the Warriors. . . . Kelowna is 3-1-0 on its six-game East Division trip. . . . Whistle has two shutouts this season and nine in his career. . . . F Dillon Dube scored the game’s only goal, his 14th, on a PP at 17:43 of the second period. . . . Moose Jaw G Zach Sawchenko stopped 22 shots. . . . The Rockets were 1-for-1 on the PP; the Warriors were 0-for-3. . . . The Rockets (25-7-1) lead the WHL’s overall standings by seven pointgs. . . . The Warriors are 16-11-5. . . . Moose Jaw F Brett Howden left in the first period after a heavy collision with the boards. He didn’t return. . . . Announced attendance: 2,918.
At Saskatoon, the Lethbridge Hurricanes broke a 2-2 tie with three straight goals en route to a 7-4 victory over the Blades. . . . F Justin Gutierrez pulled the Hurricanes into a 2-2 tie with his 17th goal at 14:20 of the first period. . . . F Cory Millette gave them the lead with No. 15 at 15:11. . . . F Carter Folk made it 4-2 with his fifth goal at 7:15 of the second and F Brayden Burke got his ninth at 9:48 for a 5-2 lead. . . . The Blades twice got to within two goals but that was it. . . . The Hurricanes got a a goal and two assists from the red-hot Gutierrez and the same from Egor Babenko, who now has 18 goals. . . . Millette, D Andrew Nielsen, F Ryley Lindgren, Folk and Burke all had a goal and an assist for Lethbridge. . . . Burke has nine goals and is on the verge of becoming the seventh Lethbridge skater with at least 10 scores. The Hurricanes are the WHL’s highest-scoring team. . . . F Cameron Hebig and F Connor Gay each had a goal and two assists for the Blades, while F Nick Zajac had two assists. Hebig has 15 goals; Gay has 10. . . . Hebig’s assist was the 100th point of his career. . . . Lethbridge G Jayden Sittler stopped 21 shots. . . . Saskatoon starter Brock Hamm gave up three goals on 11 shots. Newcomer Evan Smith was beaten three times on 22 shots in 44:01. He is the fifth goaltender to be used by the Blades this season. . . . Lethbridge was 1-for-2 on the PP; Saskatoon was 2-for-5. . . . The Hurricanes (22-11-0) have won two in a row. They are 3-1-0 on a six-game pre-Christmas trip and are tied for first place in the Eastern Conference. . . . The Blades slipped to 11-17-3. . . . Announced attendance: 3,163.
At Vancouver, F Chase Lang broke a 3-3 tie at 18:13 of the third period to give the Giants a 4-3 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . This was the fourth straight game
between these two teams, with the Giants winning three of them. . . . F Reagan Nagy gave Victoria a 3-2 lead with his fifth goal at 7:29 of the third period. . . . Vancouver D Brennan Menell tied it with his second goal at 14:31, setting the stage for Lang to score his 10th goal this season. . . . F Ty Ronning and F Trevor Cox each had two assists for Vancouver, with Menell also getting an assist. . . . F Logan Fisher had two assists for the Royals. . . . F Owen Hardy scored his first goal for Vancouver, while D Jordan Wharrie did the same for Victoria. . . . G Ryan Kubic stopped 26 shots for Vancouver, three more than Victoria’s Coleman Vollrath. . . . The Royals were 1-for-5 on the PP; the Giants were 0-for-3. . . . The Giants (11-19-4) have won two in a row. They remain last in the 10-team Western Conference, but are just one point behind the Tri-City Americans. . . . The Royals (20-11-2) have lost two straight as they head to Prince George for a Friday-Saturday doubleheader. They are tied for second in the Western Conference. . . . With the Giants leading 2-1 and 7:24 left to play in the second period, issues with a pane of glass resulted in both teams being sent to their dressing rooms. . . . Victoria F Alex Forsberg served a one-game WHL suspension. . . . As the game began, Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province tweeted: “Glen Hanlon is in the building tonight. . . . Hanlon has been tied to Vancouver’s vacant GM job.” . . . Announced attendance: 3,251.
At Spokane, F Remi Laurencelle scored four times and added an assist to lead the Everett Silvertips to a 7-4 victory over the Chiefs. . . . Laurencelle, who has 19 goals, tied the game 3-3 at 15:38 of the second period. . . . Spokane’s Kailer Yamamoto got his second goal of the game, and 12th of the season, at 6:20 of the third for a 4-3 lead. . . . The Silvertips then scored the game’s last four goals, the first two from F Carson Stadnyk, his seventh, and Laurencelle. . . . Laurencelle and D Cole MacDonald put it away with emtpy-netters. . . . Everett F Dawson Leedahl had a goal and two assists, with Stadnyk and MacDonald each adding an assist to their goals. . . . Everett D Kevin Davis and D Tristen Pfeifer each had two assists. . . . Laurencelle had never scored more than two goals in a game, or had more than three points. He had a goal and an assist in each of his three previous games. . . . Yamamoto also had an assist to add to his two goals. . . . Everett G Carter Hart blocked 27 shots, one more than Spokane’s Tyson Verhelst. . . . Everett was 1-for-5 on the PP; Spokane was 0-for-5. . . . The Chiefs were without F Adam Helewka, their leading scorer, who began serving a six-game WHL suspension. . . . The Silvertips (18-10-2) have won three in a row, while the Chiefs (16-13-3) have lost three straight. . . . Announced attendance: 3,010.
THURSDAY’S GAMES (all times local):
No Games Scheduled.
FRIDAY’S GAMES (all times local):
Kamloops at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.
Kelowna at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.
Saskatoon at Regina, 7 p.m.
Brandon at Swift Current, 7 p.m.
Lethbridge at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
Calgary at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.
Victoria at Prince George, 7 p.m.
Kootenay at Red Deer, 8 p.m.
Portland at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.
Everett at Vancouver, 7:30 p.m. (TBG)
Tri-City vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:35 p.m.