ICYMI, Chaz Lucius, who is 14 years of age, and his 13-year-old brother, Cruz, have made verbal commitments to play hockey for the U of Minnesota Gophers. . . . The brothers are forwards who attend, and play hockey at, the Gentry Academy in Vadnais Heights, Minn., which is located about 15 miles northeast of Minneapolis. . . . Could it be that NCAA schools are going to combat the WHL’s bantam draft by getting verbal commitments from younger and younger players?

A question from Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times: “In the spirit of who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb and what color is the White House, any guesses as to which position Arkansas State footballer Dee Liner plays?”

Maria Sharapova may be the second-best story at the U.S. Open — behind Denis Shapovalov, of course — but I still can’t watch her matches with the sound turned up.

If you had had the opportunity to be an NHLer, would you rather have been Shane Doan or Kris Draper? . . . Doan, who retired this week after a 21-year career, had estimated earnings of more than US$60 million. But he never won a Stanley Cup. . . . Draper, who played for 14 seasons, earned about US$19 million. He won four Stanley Cups.

The 29th annual World Hen Racing Championships recently were held in Great Britain. RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com checked with his sources and came up with the top five reasons folks gave for attending the event: “5. Competitors show pluck; 4. To egg on their favourite; 3. Excitement at its beak; 2. We’re off to see the gizzard; 1. It’s poultry in motion.” . . . A chicken named Cooked It won the World title. As Currie reported: “For her efforts she got a bonus serving of chicken feed — just like a CFL playoff team.”

A note from Richmond, B.C., blogger Tony Chong: “Mavis Wanczyk just won the US$758-million Powerball lottery. Congrats from her long-lost, separated-at-birth twin bro TC Wanczyk Chong here on the West Coast of Canada. (Mavis, you can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin or at Airport Arrivals when you get here.)

Kent Austin began this season as the vice-president of football operations and head coach of the CFL’s Hamilton Tigers-Cats. He fired himself as head coach the other day. Then, the Tiger-Cats got caught up in a mess when they hired Art Briles, a disgraced former head coach at Baylor, and their field. One day later, it was reported that they had worked out bad-boy quarterback Johnny Manziel. Then it was revealed that Cornell U is suing Austin for more than $100,000, all to do with his leaving while his contract as head coach still had a couple of years on it. . . . And you thought you had a bad week.

Here’s one from Cam Hutchinson of the Saskatoon Express: “Sportsnet’s Arash Madani was way out of line when he tweeted that women working for the CFL could have raised their voices to help stop the (Art) Briles hiring. Not only was that stupid to say, but as many pointed out, Madani had a working holiday in Vegas where he covered Floyd (The Women Beater) Mayweather’s win over Conor McGregor.”

Boston’s Logan Airport apparently is considering charging drivers who drop off or pick up passengers. Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe, notes: “Airlines are incensed. Mostly that they didn’t think of it first.” . . . BTW, Hough, in her other life, is a travel agent.

A tip of the hat to the two gents who stopped on Hillside Drive in Kamloops, at the Walmart exit, to help a fellow who had lost a load of plywood right in the middle of the intersection on Saturday afternoon. Well done!

If you were wondering, F Nolan Patrick is in camp with the Brandon Wheat Kings. He had a goal for Team Black, in a 7-2 scrimmage victory over Team White on Saturday afternoon. The Philadelphia Flyers took Patrick with the second pick of the NHL’s 2017 draft. Observers are keenly interested on whether he will open the season with the Flyers or be returned to the Wheat Kings. Patrick has had injury and health issues — twice-broken collarbone, two surgeries on sports hernias — and I’m betting he is back in Brandon by Remembrance Day, if not sooner.

The airport in Cranbrook re-opened Saturday after all scheduled flights had been cancelled starting Friday afternoon because of a pair of wildfires in the area. That doesn’t mean the fires are out, because they aren’t. Meanwhile, a fire started just west of Peachland in the Okanagan on Saturday afternoon. . . . Yes, this record-setting fire season just goes on and on. . . . After what was a beautiful, warm summer day, a shift in the wind brought heavy smoke back to Kamloops on Saturday evening, all of it from the Elephant Hill fire. Morning awaits! . . . Meanwhile, there are fires in northern Saskatchewan and Manitoba, with some evacuees having ended up in Saskatoon. See the Tweet of Day for some road hockey action between some of the evacuees and the Blades.

Quarterback Matt Stafford of the Detroit Lions is the highest-paid player in NFL history with his new five-year deal. Comedy writer Alex Kaseberg points out: “Or, as Floyd Mayweather calls $135 mil, four rounds.”

Two time national champion alumni @DylanWillick tied the knot today! Congratulations to Dylan and his bride Keyanna! 👰🤵 pic.twitter.com/44Ms5KQ2u9

— Cariboo Cougars (@cariboocougars) September 3, 2017

In Everett, the Tri-City Americans struck for nine goals for a second straight game as they beat the Portland Winterhawks, 0-3, on Saturday afternoon. . . . On Friday, the Americans had dumped the Everett Silvertips, 9-4. . . . On Saturday, the Americans got two goals from each of F Vladislav Lukin and F Parker AuCoin, with F Sasha Mutala adding a goal and two assists. Mutala, the sixth-overall pick in the 2016 bantam draft, totalled four goals and two assists in the two games. . . . Tri-City was 2-7 on the PP; Portland was 2-8. . . . G Patrick Tea stopped 27 shots for the Americans, one more than Portland’s Ethan Middendorf. . . .

In Everett, the Spokane Chiefs scored the game’s last three goals, two of them from F Hayden Ostir, in beating the Vancouver Giants, 3-1. . . . D Darian Skeoch gave the Giants a 1-0 lead with a PP goal at 4:44 of the first period. . . . Ostir tied it on a PP at 2:53 of the second and put the Chiefs out front at 11:54. . . . Spokane was 1-7 on the PP; Vancouver was 1-6. . . . The Chiefs started Donovan Buskey in goal and he stopped 10 of 11 shots in 29:58. Declan Hobbs finished up with 18 saves. . . . The Giants opened with David Tendeck, who made 17 saves on 18 shots. Jacob Wasserman came on block 21 of 23 in 28:33. . . .

In Everett, the Silvertips erased a 4-2 third-period deficit with five goals to beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 7-4. . . . Seattle broke a 2-2 tie with goals from F Donovan Neuls, on a PP, at 9:13 of the second period and F Elijah Brown, at 5:40 of the third. . . . F Dawson Butt got Everett to within one at 7:27 and F Matt Fonteyne tied it at 14:42. . . . F Connor Dewar broke the tie at 15:17. . . . D Riley Bruce, acquired earlier in the week from the Regina Pats, added insurance at 17:22. . . . Dewar iced it with an empty-netter. . . . Seattle was 2-6 on the PP; Everett was 1-4. . . . G Blake Lyda started for Everett, and stopped 14 of 17 shots in 30:32. Danton Belluk finished up with 13 saves on 14 shots. . . . G Matt Berlin went the distance for Seattle, blocking 27 shots. . . .

In Red Deer, F Ethan O’Rourke broke a 1-1 tie at 9:13 of the third period as the Prince George Cougars beat the Calgary Hitmen, 2-1. . . . F Josh Maser gave the Cougars a 1-0 lead at 6:18 of the first period. . . . F Zach Huber pulled the Hitmen even at 3:47 of the third. . . . Calgary was 1-7 on the PP; Prince George was 0-3. . . . G Isaiah DiLaura started for the Cougars and stopped all 17 shots he faced in 33:47. Taylor Gauthier finished up by stopping 13 of 14 shots. . . . Matthew Armitage went the distance in goal for Calgary, stopping 31 shots. . . . The Cougars now will spend a couple of days in Banff before heading for Langley and three exhibition games at the Events Centre. . . .

In Red Deer, the Rebels scored the game’s last three goals and beat the Edmonton Oil Kings, 3-1. . . . F Austin Schellenberg tied the score, 1-1, at 17:47 of the second period and F River Fahey gave the home team the lead at 2:51 of the third. . . . Fahey later added an empty-netter. . . . F Zak Smith had two assists for Red Deer. . . . Edmonton was 1-6 on the PP; Red Deer was 0-3. . . . Red Deer G Byron Fancy started and stopped 16 of 17 shots through two periods. Riley Lamb stopped 11 shots in the third period. . . . Edmonton starter Josh Dechaine turned aside 10 shots in 32:05. Liam Hughes finished up, stopping 16 of 18 shots. . . .

In Regina, the Moose Jaw Warriors counted the game’s last three goals in a 4-1 victory over the Regina Pats. . . . F Brett Howden broke a 1-1 tie at 19:56 of the first period and F Jayden Halbgewachs gave the visitors a 2-1 lead at 17:31 of the second. . . . Halbgewachs, Howden, F Noah Gregor and F Luka Burzan each had a goal and an assist for the winners. . . . Regina was 1-3 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 1-5. . . . G Ethan Fitzgerald started for the Warriors, stopping seven of eight shots in 30:28. Adam Evanoff finished up with 10 saves. . . . G Kurtis Chapman stopped 35 of 39 shots for Regina. . . .

In Kelowna, F Eric Florchuk scored at 3:23 of OT to give the Victoria Royals a 5-4 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . Victoria scored the game’s last three goals. . . . F Jared Legien, on a PP, got the visitors to within a goal, at 4-3, at 9:00 of the third period. . . . F Igor Martynov tied it on a penalty shot, shorthanded, at 15:27. . . . D Scott Walford had two assists for the Royals. . . . The Rockets got a goal and two assists from F Kyle Topping. . . . Kelowna was 2-7 on the PP; Victoria was 1-6. . . . Victoria G Dylan Myskiw stopped 12 of 14 shots in 30:38, with Dean McNabb coming on in relief to stop eight of 10 shots. . . . Kelowna starter Brodan Salmon was perfect — 15-for-15 — in 30:38, with Roman Basran coming on to allow five goals on 16 shots. . . .

In Taber, the Medicine Hat Tigers scored an empty-netter and beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 5-3. . . . The Tigers got two goals and two assists from each of F Josh Williams and F Mark Rassell.

There is an insatiable thirst among WHL fans for roster information as training camps and the exhibition season progress. Because of that, every one of the WHL’s 22 teams should be sending an email to Alan Caldwell whenever a roster move is made. . . . He works hard at keeping fans updated with roster information, but it isn’t easy. . . . For the teams that don’t have it, the email address is smallatlarge@gmail.com. . . . Fans are able to access what roster information that Caldwell has acquired at his blog, Small Thoughts At Large, which is right here.

The Edmonton Oil Kings have signed G Sebastian Cossa and F Logan Moon to WHL contracts. . . . Cossa, from Fort McMurray, was a second-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound Cossa played last season with the bantam AAA Fort Saskatchewan Rangers and led the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League in GAA (1.80) and save percentage (.934). He was 15-4-0 with five shutouts. Cossa was honoured as the league’s most valuable player and top goaltender as the Rangers won the AMBHL title. . . . Moon, 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds, is from Beaverlodge, Alta. The 17-year-old was a ninth-round selection by the Oil Kings in the 2015 bantam draft. Last season, with the midget AAA Grande Prairie Storm, he put up seven goals and 12 assists in 34 games.

And we have our third ten minute misconduct for mouth guard violation…keep it in your mouth people!

— Andy Eide (@AndyEide) September 2, 2017

If you have been paying attention to the online summaries from exhibition games, it is obvious that the WHL office has instructed its on-ice officials to crackdown on players who don’t properly use their mouthguards.

Hey, guys, no more using them like sticks of red licorice. OK?

David Gove had a Stanley Cup ring, a pretty good professional career and was seen as a potential head coach. But he died at 38, a drug addict who was unable to live with a troubled past. Bob Hohler of the Boston Globe takes a look right here at Gove’s story, which is headlined ‘A hockey pro dies, and the coach he said raped him is free.’

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Hard fought 115-115 tie with kids from Pelican Narrows. Huge props to the groups making the families feel at home as much as possible. pic.twitter.com/5n6ZaW2FzJ

— Saskatoon Blades (@BladesHockey) September 2, 2017

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