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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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WHL notes: Much-traveled John Paddock notches first WHL victory

John Paddock owns more than 700 victories as a head coach in the National Hockey League and American Hockey League, so he easily put his first Western Hockey League win in perspective.

“For sure, it means something to you,” Paddock told Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post last Friday after his Regina Pats improved to 1-2 with a 7-1 road win over the Moose Jaw Warriors.

“The guys brought the puck to me. It’s neat to have. It’s important, but (the reason) it’s important is because we needed a win. It’s far better to be 1-2 than 0-3.”

Paddock served as head coach for several AHL teams, winning championships with the Hershey Bears in 1988 and Hartford Wolf Pack in 2000. His head coaching stops in the NHL were with the Winnipeg Jets (1991-95) and the Ottawa Senators (2007-08).

Regina’s Connor Gay had his first career hat trick and a four-point night to spark Paddock’s initial win.

The Pats have defeated Moose Jaw nine consecutive times, sweeping last season’s eight-game series.

Saskatoon winless

Moose Jaw shook off Friday’s 7-1 loss to Regina by defeating the visiting Saskatoon Blades 7-1 the following night.

Saskatoon dropped to 0-4 and is one loss shy of tying the franchise record for worst start to a season, set in 1965-66 and equaled last year.

“Nobody’s hitting any panic buttons yet,” Blades first-year head coach and general manager Bob Woods told Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix. “From my standpoint, we’re in a rebuild. I hate using the word ‘rebuild,’ because then you almost accept losing.”

Brandon 4-0

The Brandon Wheat Kings have gone the opposite direction of Saskatoon, dashing to a 4-0 start by outscoring rivals 21-8.

In Saturday’s 5-2 road win over Swift Current, Jayce Hawryluk had his second winning goal since being returned by the NHL’s Florida Panthers.

“(Swift Current is) a contending team that’s going to be fighting for the lead in the division all year, so it was a real good test, a real good measuring stick for our team to come on the road and play against Swift Current,” Wheat Kings head coach/general manager Kelly McCrimmon told Rob Henderson of the Brandon Sun.

Around the league

Brandon pulled off a big trade with Lethbridge on Tuesday, acquiring veterans Reid Duke and Macoy Erkamps, as well as the playing rights to forward Tak Anholt, in exchange for forwards Brett Kitt and Ryley Lindgren and defenseman Kord Pankewicz. Duke was the fifth player chosen in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft and was drafted in the sixth round this year by the NHL’s Minnesota Wild. … Nikita Scherbak, a Russian winger acquired from Saskatoon last week for goalie Nik Amundrud, has joined Everett after being reassigned by the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens. Scherbak should be available for the Silvertips’ home opener Friday against Kelowna. … Medicine Hat traded right winger Miles Koules to Portland on Monday for a bantam draft pick. Koules had 45 goals and 47 assists in two seasons with the Tigers. … First place in the B.C. Division will be at stake today when the Vancouver Giants (3-0) travel to Kelowna. … Spokane reassigned 16-year-old defenseman Dalton Hamaliuk to the Leduc Oil Kings of the AMHL. Hamaliuk played in one game for the Chiefs this season.

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