WHL Roundup: Goals galore in Portland while Bullion shuts out Oil Kings
Kootenay ICE (3) at Prince Albert Raiders (4)
Kootenay (23-28-3-0) // Prince Albert (22-20-9-2)
One of hockey’s Murphy Laws states that any opponent gone unchecked in the offensive zone will more than likely be the one getting the puck in the back of the net.
Wednesday night, it was Jordy Stallard (Winnipeg Jets) who went unchecked by the Kootenay ICE defence and was wide open for his 34th of the season to put the Raiders ahead for good with 1:18 to go in the contest, delivering the Raiders a 4-3 victory.
The goal was his second of the game and helped to save them from a ICE squad that roared back to briefly tie the game in the third.
Stallard opened the scoring 5:39 into the first, followed by captain Curtis Miske and Cameron Hausing trading goals 23 seconds apart to keep the Raiders in front by one after 20 minutes.
In the second, Sebastian Streu struck for the ICE to tie up the game, but Spencer Moe’s seventh of the season kept the Raiders in front heading to the third. Once again in the third, the ICE evened up the game on Alec Baer’s 22nd goal of the season, but would eventually concede the late goal to Stallard, deciding the game.
Ian Scott (Toronto Maple Leafs) made 20 saves on 23 shots to continue his hot play of late. Wednesday’s victory helped him improve to 6-0-3-0 in his last nine starts. Duncan McGovern stopped 30 of 34 shots in the loss.
In addition to Stallard’s two-goal game, Miske finished with a goal and three points while Vojtech Budik (Buffalo Sabres) had a pair of helpers. Cole Fonstad and Regan Nagy each had a single assist in the victory while Spencer Moe added a helper to his goal.
Raiders win! 4-3 the final! Shots 34-23 us!
We’re back in action on Friday night in Swift Current.
— Prince Albert Raiders (@PARaidersHockey) February 8, 2018
Edmonton Oil Kings (0) at Medicine Hat Tigers (6)
Edmonton (14-31-5-2) // Medicine Hat (27-22-7-0)
The Medicine Hat Tigers took care of the puck at both ends of the ice Wednesday, shutting down the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings by a 6-0 score.
The game featured six different Tigers finding the back of the net, with captain Mark Rassell, David Quenneville (New York Islanders), and Ryan Chyzowski all tallying a goal and an assist.
Gary Haden, Tyler Preziuso, and Josh Williams also scored for the Tigers, who put up four goals in the first period, followed by two more in the third.
Rassell’s 43rd goal of the season, the 97th of his career, was also his first short-handed goal of the season. Elijah Brown added a pair of assists for his second multi-point game in a Tigers uniform.
Quenneville is now five points shy of 200 for his WHL career and just one goal shy of tying his 23-goal performance from the 2016-17 campaign.
Michael Bullion stopped all 31 shots sent his way — 10 in the first, 13 in the second, and eight in the third — for his second shutout of the season and fifth of his WHL career. Josh Dechaine stopped 33 of 39 shots in the loss.
Liam Keeler led all Oil Kings skaters Wednesday with five shots on net.
Your Medicine Hat Tigers shut out the Edmonton Oil Kings 6-0!
Michael Bullion made 31 saves to earn his 5th career shutout!
— Medicine Hat Tigers (@tigershockey) February 8, 2018
Calgary Hitmen (2) at Red Deer Rebels (3) — SO
Calgary (16-30-5-2) // Red Deer (16-25-10-3)
The Red Deer Rebels continued their strong run of late as Ethan Anders stopped 29 shots in regulation and overtime while Kristian Reichel scored the only goal of the shootout as the Rebels picked up a 3-2 victory.
It was a game deserving of the length as the teams went back-and-forth all night. Conner Chaulk opened the scoring in the first, but Mason McCarty equalized the game before the end of the period.
Chris Douglas then put the Rebels up for the first time in the game 13:37 into the second, but the Hitmen came back 86 seconds later to tie the game on Tristen Nielsen’s 11th of the season.
Between the pipes, Nick Schneider (Calgary Flames) and Anders would continue to go save-for-save for the rest of the game, with the two combining to stop all 30 shots in the third period and overtime, then went on to stop five of the six shootout attempts with only Reichel finding a way through.
Schneider would ultimately take the loss, earning a single point for the Hitmen with 38 saves.
— Red Deer Rebels (@Rebelshockey) February 8, 2018
Vancouver Giants (1) at Kelowna Rockets (4)
Vancouver (28-17-5-3) // Kelowna (33-16-3-1)
Kole Lind (Vancouver Canucks) and Carsen Twarynski (Philadelphia Flyers) each had a goal and an assist while Kyle Topping added a pair of helpers as the Kelowna Rockets won an important B.C. Division battle Wednesday against the Vancouver Giants.
The Rockets never trailed in the game as Lind opened the scoring with the only goal of the first and Conner Bruggen-Cate notched the game-winning goal 6:09 into the second on a 2-on-0 short-handed rush before the Giants got on the board thanks to Davis Koch’s 20th of the season.
In the third, Tawrynski and Dillon Dube (Calgary Flames) added goals for good measure. Brodan Salmond was stingy once again in net for the Rockets, allowing one goal on 26 shots. David Tendeck stopped 32 of 35 shots in the loss.
The victory helped give the Rockets some breathing room at the top of the B.C. Division from the Giants, with only the Victoria Royals directly challenging them for the lead at the moment.
— Kelowna Rockets (@Kelowna_Rockets) February 8, 2018
Spokane Chiefs (3) at Kamloops Blazers (1)
Spokane (28-19-3-2) // Kamloops (24-25-1-3)
The Spokane Chiefs came into Kamloops and took care of business in a matchup with playoff implications, scoring a 3-1 victory over the Blazers.
Riley Woods’ 20th goal of the season was the game-winner Wednesday as the Chiefs strengthened their positioning in the second wild card spot with the playoff-bubble Blazers failing to gain any ground on them.
The Blazers did start strong, with Brodi Stuart securing the only goal of the first period, but the Chiefs quickly made up for that with goals from Luke Toporowski and Woods in the second to hold the lead after 40 minutes. Ethan McIndoe would add an empty-net goal for the Chiefs late in the third to secure the victory.
Dawson Weatherill made 21 saves on 22 shots for the victory, his 16th of the season. Dylan Ferguson (Vegas Golden Knights) stopped 29 of 31 shots in the loss.
Jaret Anderson-Dolan (Los Angeles Kings), Hudson Elynuik (Carolina Hurricanes), Dalton Hamaliuk, Matt Leduc, and Cedric Chenier all picked up helpers for the Chiefs Wednesday. Orrin Centazzo had the lone assist for the Blazers.
Chiefs win 3-1. A BIG 2 POINTS for Spokane who are now tied for 4th in the division.
🌟 – Woods
🌟🌟 – Ferguson
🌟🌟🌟 – Piller#GoChiefsGo
— Spokane Chiefs (@spokanechiefs) February 8, 2018
Victoria Royals (5) at Portland Winterhawks (5)
Victoria (32-19-3-1) // Portland (32-18-1-3)
A wild night of goals in Portland, Ore. saw Tyler Soy (Anaheim Ducks) set a franchise record while the Portland Winterhawks came out with the victory and two points in an intense battle.
Soy’s performance — a hat trick and four points — gave him the most goals in Royals franchise history with 142. It was a night that featured significant contributions from the Winterhawks side as well though.
Kieffer Bellows (New York Islanders) had a pair of goals and three points while Cody Glass (Vegas Golden Knights) and Skyler McKenzie (Winnipeg Jets) each added a goal and two assists. On top of that Joachim Blichfeld (San Jose Sharks) added a goal and an assists while Henri Jokiharju (Chicago Blackhawks), Alex Overhardt, and Dennis Cholowski (Detroit Red Wings) each added a pair of assists.
Captain Keoni Texeira also added a helper in the offensive surge as the Winterhawks won for the fourth time in their last five games.
Kaid Oliver opened the scoring, but Conor MacEachern and Glass came back to give the Winterhawks a 2-1 lead, only to see Soy and Mason Mannek add goals late in the opening period to keep the Winterhawks lead at one.
Soy rectified that one-goal deficit 41 seconds into the second and completed his hat trick 92 seconds later to push the Royals ahead. True to the crazy nature of the game, Blichfeld and Bellows would strike 78 seconds apart just past the midway point of the period to put the Winterhawks ahead once again.
Matthew Phillips (Calgary Flames) struck for his 39th goal of the season 6:55 into the third to tie up the game, but the Winterhawks responded from the stick of Ryan Hughes 34 seconds later to give the home side their fourth different lead of the game.
Bellows added his second goal of the game midway through the third and McKenzie became the most recent member of the WHL’s 40-goal club this season with an empty-net goal with 1:46 to go.
Cole Kehler (Los Angeles Kings) worked through the barrage to earn the victory, making 23 saves on 28 shots. Dean McNabb made 36 saves on 43 shots before giving way to Griffen Outhouse, who stopped all three shots sent his way.
McKenzie and Glass are steadily approaching the 200-point plateau for their WHL careers with 198 and 193 points respectively. Blichfeld reached the 100-point milestone for his WHL career Wednesday. Overhardt and Jokiharju are also one and two points away from 100 for their WHL careers respectively.
In his 199th career WHL game, Phillips picked up his 257th career point and is two points away from equalling last season’s 90-point campaign.
🚨🚨🚨WINTERHAWKS WIN🚨🚨🚨 Hawks win AND everyone gets @JackBox
— Portland Winterhawks (@pdxwinterhawks) February 8, 2018
— Victoria Royals (@victoriaroyals) February 8, 2018