Pre-season Roundup: Florchuk scores winner as Royals edge Rockets in OT
The WHL pre-season maintained its busy pace with eight more games on the Saturday schedule.
Tri-City Americans (9) at Portland Winterhawks (3) – Everett
Tri-City (2-0-0-0) // Portland (1-1-0-0)
Sasha Mutala continued his torrid tear to start the WHL pre-season notching a goal and two assists as the Tri-City Americans thumped the Portland Winterhawks by a 9-3 score Saturday afternoon.
The outstanding performance from the 2016 sixth overall selection came on the heels of a three-goal effort Friday night in a 9-4 win over the Everett Silvertips. Mutala, a 6-foot, 187-pound product of Vancouver, now has six points (4G-2A) in his first two pre-season games in 2017.
Mutala wasn’t the only Am to enjoy a big night on the scoresheet as Parker AuCoin chipped in with three points (2G-1A) of his own. Connor Bouchard (2A), Vladislav Lukin (2G) and Dan Gatenby (2A) also contributed multipoint efforts.
Jake Gricius, Ty Kolle and Colton Veloso replied for the Winterhawks.
Veteran goaltender Patrick Dea earned the start for Tri-City, making 27 saves to secure the win.
Prince George Cougars (2) at Calgary Hitmen (1) – Red Deer
Prince George (2-0-0-0) // Calgary (0-2-0-0)
Ethan O’Rourke scored with 10:47 remaining in regulation, breaking a 1-1 tie as the Prince George Cougars slipped past the Calgary Hitmen by a 2-1 final Saturday at the Enmax Centrium in Red Deer.
Josh Maser had originally put the Cougars in front in the first period before Zach Huber tied the game early in the third period.
Taylor Gauthier, the 10th overall pick from the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft, made 13 saves to earn the win for the Cougars. He split time with Isaiah DiLaura, who made 17 saves in the start.
Matthew Armitage went the distance for Calgary, stopping 31 of 33 shots.
Spokane Chiefs (3) at Vancouver Giants (1) – Everett
Spokane (1-1-0-0) // Vancouver (1-1-0-0)
Hayden Ostir scored twice in the second period as the Spokane Chiefs knocked off the Vancouver Giants by a 3-1 margin Saturday at the Xfinity Arena in Everett.
After Darian Skeoch opened the scoring early in the first period, Ostir struck twice in the second period before Rykr Cole added an insurance tally in the third period.
Declan Hobbs was perfect, stopping all 18 pucks sent his way to earn the win. He split duties with Donovan Buskey, who made 10 stops on 11 shots in the start.
At the other end, David Tendeck (17/18) split time with Jacob Wassermann (21/23).
Edmonton Oil Kings (1) at Red Deer Rebels (3)
Edmonton (0-2-0-0) // Red Deer (2-0-0-0)
River Fahey scored twice, including the game-winning and insurance markers, as the Red Deer Rebels defeated the Edmonton Oil Kings by a 3-1 score Saturday night.
Fahey, a 16-year-old product of Campbell River, B.C., now has three goals in two pre-season games.
Austin Schellenberg knotted the game 1-1 for Red Deer after Davis Koch opened the scoring on behalf of Edmonton.
Riley Lamb went unblemished, making 11 saves to notch the win. He spent 20 minutes in the Red Deer crease while Byron Fancy logged 40 minutes of action in the start and stopping 16 of 17 pucks sent his way.
Liam Hughes (16/18) and Josh Dechaine (10/10) shared the responsibilities in the Edmonton cage.
Moose Jaw Warriors (4) at Regina Pats (1)
Moose Jaw (2-1-0-0) // Regina (1-1-0-0)
The big guns showed up in a big way as the Moose Jaw Warriors struck for a 4-1 win over the Regina Pats on Saturday.
Each of Jayden Halbgewachs, Brett Howden, Noah Gregor and Luka Burzan registered a goal and an assist to fuel the Warriors offense.
Jonathan Smart provided the lone reply for Regina.
Ethan Fitzgerald made seven saves on eight shots, earning the start and the win. Adam Evanoff came on in relief to turn aside the 10 pucks sent his direction.
Kurtis Chapman stopped 35 of the 39 shots he faced in the Pats crease.
Seattle Thunderbirds (4) at Everett Silvertips (7)
Seattle (0-2-0-0) // Everett (1-1-0-0)
Connor Dewar scored twice and Matt Fonteyne enjoyed a three-point night as the Everett Silvertips got the best of the Seattle Thunderbirds in a 7-4 triumph Saturday night.
Earning the victory wasn’t an easy task for the Silvertips as they faced a 4-2 deficit early in the third period. Dawson Butt made it a 4-3 affair before Matt Fonteyne drew things even with 5:18 to go in regulation.
The tables turned quickly as Dewar deposited his first of the night only 35 seconds following Fonteyne’s tying tally. Riley Bruce added some insurance before Dewar dropped one more into an empty net.
Zack Andrusiak, Sami Moilanen, Donovan Neuls and Elijah Brown found the back of the net for Seattle.
Danton Belluk steered aside 13 of 14 shots to earn the win, while Blake Lyda stopped 14 of 17 pucks for the Silvertips. Matt Berlin was good on 27 of 33 shots in defeat.
Victoria Royals (5) at Kelowna Rockets (4) – OT
Victoria (1-1-0-0) // Kelowna (0-0-1-0)
Eric Florchuk scored 3:23 into overtime as the Victoria Royals edged the Kelowna Rockets by a 5-4 margin Saturday night.
The win for Victoria came off the strength of a third-period comeback as Jared Legien and Igor Martynov scored to tie the game in the final period. Martynov’s marker came on a penalty shot with only 4:33 to go in regulation. Legien’s effort was his third goal in two games. The former Kootenay ICE forward also added an assist, bringing his pre-season point total to four (3G-1A) in only two games.
Cayde Augustine, Leif Mattson, Kyle Topping and Joshua McNeil all registered goals for Kelowna.
Dean McNabb stopped eight of 10 shots to log the victory, splitting time with Dylan Myskiw, who stopped 12 of 14 shots.
After Brodan Salmond made saves on all 15 shots sent his way, Roman Basran came on in relief and was victimized five times on 16 shots.
Lethbridge Hurricanes (3) at Medicine Hat Tigers (5) – Taber, Alta.
Lethbridge (0-2-0-0) // Medicine Hat (2-0-0-0)
Game summary unavailable as of 11:55 p.m. MT.