F Tyrell Goulbourne of the Kelowna Rockets has signed a three-year entry-level contract with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers. Goulbourne, who turned 21 on Jan. 26, was a third-round selection in the NHL’s 2013 draft. In his fifth season with the Rockets, he has 38 points, including 17 goals, in 55 games. In 268 career regular-season games, Goulbourne has 118 points, 55 of them goals.
The Edmonton native is one of the WHL’s top power forwards.
The Florida Panthers had both of their goaltenders — Roberto Luongo and Al Montoya — go down with injuries during a game against the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs last night. Confusion reigned. At one point, Panthers goaltending coach Rob Tallas, who played three seasons with the Seattle Thunderbirds (1991-94), was dressed as the backup. George Michael of the Miami Herald has more .
If you were wondering, the WHL playoffs will begin on Thursday, March 26. In a Tuesday news release regarding the deadline for fans to order playoff tickets, the Brandon Wheat Kings revealed that their first two home games will be played Thursday, March 26, and Friday, March 27. . . . The way things are right now, the Edmonton Oil Kings will be providing the opposition in those games. . . .
Rob Henderson of the Brandon Sun reports that F Nolan Patrick of the Wheat Kings is back skating but is wearing a non-contact sweater. Henderson also reports that F Reid Duke and D Kale Clague remain out week-to-week. . . .
Lucas Punkari of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald reports that Warriors F Axel Blomqvist (groin strain) is expected to return tonight against the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers. He didn’t play over the weekend. . . . According to Punkari, F Tanner Eberle, who left a Saturday game with an injury, may play tonight, depending on how he does in the morning skate. . . . Meanwhile, the status of D Tyler Brown and F Jaimen Yakubowski has yet to be determined. They were injured on Friday. . . .
The Kamloops International Bantam Ice Hockey Tournament (KIBIHT) is adding a Premier Division, meaning it will have three divisions in its 2016 tournament. According to KIBIHT, the Premier Division will comprise eight teams from academies, winter clubs and top-ranked teams from across Canada and the U.S. . . . KIBIHT also will feature 12 teams in a Tier 1 Division and 16 in the Tier 2 Division. . . . The next KIBIHT will run from Dec. 30 through Jan. 3.
THE WHL PLAYOFF PICTURE:
EAST DIVISION: Brandon (9 games remaining) will finish atop the Eastern Conference standings and now trails Kelowna by two points in the race for first place overall. . . . Regina (9) will finish second in the division. . . . Swift Current (9) is third, eight points ahead of Moose Jaw (9), which is eight points behind Edmonton (8), which holds down the conference’s second wild-card berth. . . . Prince Albert (9) is four points behind Moose Jaw and eight points out of a playoff spot.
CENTRAL DIVISION: Calgary (8) is atop the division, two points ahead of Medicine Hat (8). . . . Red Deer (9) is third, nine points behind Medicine Hat and five ahead of Kootenay (8), which is in possession of the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot. . . . Edmonton (9) is four points behind Kootenay.
B.C. DIVISION: Kelowna (8) has clinched first place in the Western Conference and holds a two-point lead over Brandon atop the overall standings. . . . Victoria (8) will finish second. . . . Prince George (9) has won three straight and is third, one point ahead of Vancouver (9) and Kamloops (8). . . . Vancouver and Kamloops also are two points behind Tri-City (9), which holds down the conference’s second wild-card berth.
U.S. DIVISION: Everett (8) sits atop the division, four points ahead of Portland (10). . . . Seattle (8) is third, six points behind Portland and seven ahead of Spokane (10). . . . Spokane holds the conference’s first wild-card spot. . . . Spokane is nine points ahead of Tri-City (9), which holds down the conference’s second wild-card spot.
IF THE PLAYOFFS BEGAN TODAY:
Brandon vs. Edmonton
Calgary vs. Kootenay
Regina vs. Swift Current
Medicine Hat vs. Red Deer
Kelowna vs. Tri-City
Everett vs. Spokane
Victoria vs. Prince George
Portland vs. Seattle
(NOTE: Team with home-ice advantage shown first.)
In Prince Albert, F Craig Leverton scored the only goal of a six-round shootout to give the Raiders a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Raiders F Austin Glover forced OT with his 13th goal at 7:44 of the second period. . . . Edmonton F Brett Pollock scored his 30th goal, on a PP, at 11:06 of the first. . . . Raiders D Jesse Lees tied it with his 12th goal at 3:56 of the second. . . . Edmonton F Luke Bertolucci restored the one-goal lead with his ninth goal at 6:39 of the second. . . . Edmonton G Tristan Jarry stopped 30 shots through OT, one more than Prince Albert’s Nick McBride. . . . Edmonton head coach Steve Hamilton gave Jarry full credit for earning his team the loser point. “We owe Tristan for the point tonight,” Hamilton said on the team’s website. “There’s no question about that. He was the most substantial difference maker in the lineup tonight. It’s disappointing that Tristan gave us that kind of effort and we weren’t able to respond in front of him.” . . . Edmonton was 1-for-4 on the PP; the Raiders were 0-for-4. . . . The Raiders (25-35-3) had lost their previous three games. . . . Edmonton (29-28-7) had won their previous two games. . . .
In Medicine Hat, F Trevor Cox, who leads the WHL scoring race, had two goals as the Tigers got past the Red Deer Rebels, 4-0. . . . Cox, who now has 99 points, including 25 goals, scored on a PP at 7:30 of the first period and on a penalty shot at 13:08 of the second. . . . Tigers F Matt Bradley scored his 15th at 11:10 of the second and F Chad Labelle got his eighth goal, into an empty net, at 18:58 of the third. . . . Tigers G Marek Langhamer stopped 24 shots for his first shutout of the season. . . . Langhamer, the last European goaltender in the WHL, has five career shutouts. . . . The Tigers (40-21-3) have won three straight. . . . The Rebels (32-21-10) have been 2-0-1 in their previous three games. . . .
In Kamloops, D Colby Harmsworth’s third goal of the season, at 4:45 of OT, gave the Calgary Hitmen a 5-4 victory over the Blazers. . . . With the teams playing three skaters aside due to penalties, Harmsworth and F Radel Fazleev took off on a 2-on-1. Fazleev slid a pass to Harmsworth and he got the puck under G Connor Ingram for the winner. . . . Calgary led this one 2-0 after one period and 3-1 in the second period, only to have Kamloops scored three second-period goals to take a 4-3 lead. . . . F Collin Shirley scored twice for the Blazers, giving him 22. . . . Calgary F Connor Rankin forced OT with his second goal of the game, and 30th of the season, at 5:23 of the third. . . . F Terrell Draude also scored twice for Calgary, giving him 12 goals. . . . D Travis Sanheim, F Jody Stallard — I hope his nickname is Tracy — and F Taylor Sanheim each had two assists for Calgary. . . . F Matt Revel scored his 16th goal and added an assist for Kamloops. . . . Calgary G Brendan Burke, who has won nine straight decisions, stopped 29 shots, five fewer than Connor Ingram of the Blazers. . . . Kamloops was 1-for-6 on the PP; Calgary was 0-for-5. . . . D Jake Bean, the terrific 16-year-old, was among Calgary’s scratches. He is expected to miss at least four weeks after suffering a suspected shoulder/collarbone injury in Kelowna on Saturday. . . . The Blazers have put F Deven Sideroff (suspected wrist) on the injured list. They show him as out week-to-week. . . . Kamloops also scratched F Matt Needham with an undisclosed injury. . . . Needham and Sideroff have played almost the entire season with F Cole Ully on one of the WHL’s top lines. . . . The Hitmen (40-19-5) are 6-1-0 on their franchise record 11-game road swing. They left Calgary on Feb. 19 and had travelled 2,579 km when they left Kamloops for Prince George last night. . . . Calgary has won 17 of its last 19 games and is 13-1-1 on the road since Jan. 4. . . . The Blazers (24-33-7) had won their previous two games. . . .
In Victoria, D Shea Theodore had a goal and two assists to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 4-1 victory over the Royals. . . . Victoria had beaten Seattle 3-2 in a shootout on Monday night. . . . One night later, the visitors scored the game’s first three goals, two of them in the first period. . . . F Cory Millette got his 19th goal at 1:13 and Theodore added his 11th at 17:03. . . . D Jerret Smith made it 3-0 at 8:50 of the second, on a PP, and the Royals weren’t able to get back in this one. . . . D Joe Hicketts scored his 11th goal for the Royals, on a PP, at 2:08 of the third. . . . Seattle G Taran Kozun stopped 29 shots. . . . Each team was 1-for-4 on the PP. . . . The Thunderbirds (32-23-9) had lost four in a row (0-2-2). . . . The Royals are 34-26-4. . . .
In Everett, F Kohl Bauml scored with 39 seconds left in OT to give the Silvertips a 3-2 victory over the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Bauml has 30 goals this season. . . . Everett scored the game’s last three goals. . . . Kelowna F Tyson Baillie scored his 36th goal, on a PP, at 6:46 of the first period. . . . Rockets F Leon Draisaitl, who drew an assist on Baillie’s goal, got his 15th goal, on a PP, at 4:19 of the second. Draisaitl now has goals in six straight games. . . . Everett F Nikita Scherbak got his guys on the board with his 27th goal at 3:54 of the third and F Dawson Leedahl tied it with his 13th at 10:16. . . . Kelowna was 2-for-4 on the PP; Everett was 0-for-1. . . . Everett G Carter Hart stopped 37 shots, 10 more than Kelowna’s Jackson Whistle. . . . Hart is 9-1-1 since Jan. 1. . . . The Silvertips scratched D Kevin Davis and D Tristen Pfeifer, both with undisclosed injuries. . . . D Josh Morrissey and F Rourke Chartier were among Kelowna’s scratches as it went with 17 skaters. . . . The Silvertips improved to 38-19-7. . . . Kelowna (48-11-5) has lost two in a row. . . .
In Spokane, F Adam Helewka scored three goals and G Garret Hughson stopped 29 shots as the Chiefs dropped the Vancouver Giants, 7-0. . . . Hughson has two shutouts in his last four games. He has four career shutouts. . . . Helewka, who has 38 goals, scored the game’s first two goals, the first one coming while shorthanded at 15:18 of the first period. He also drew one assist. . . . It was Helewka’s second career hat trick. He scored four times against Vancouver on Nov. 1, 2013. . . . F Calder Brooks added his 20th goal and three assists, while F Kailer Yamamoto scored his 19th goal and had two helpers. . . . D Jason Fram and F Liam Stewart each had two assists. . . . The Chiefs (31-27-4) have won four in a row and outscored the opposition 22-2 in the process. . . . The Giants (26-34-3) have lost three straight.
(all times local)
Lethbridge at Brandon, 7 p.m.
Red Deer at Swift Current, 7 p.m.
Medicine Hat at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.
Edmonton at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.
Calgary at Prince George, 7 p.m.
Vancouver vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.
(all times local)
No Games Scheduled.
Can officially say that I have scored a goal on every team in the WHL. Great feeling https://t.co/XS40fkT8LO
— Cory Millette (@corbomb95)