WHL Roundup: Basran leads list of great goaltending performances Saturday

Marissa Baecker


Red Deer Rebels (1) at Calgary Hitmen (2) – OT
Red Deer (9-15-2-0) // Calgary (7-14-3-1)

Mark Kastelic scored 30 seconds into overtime, giving the Calgary Hitmen a critical 2-1 victory over the Red Deer Rebels on the CHL on Sportsnet’s Saturday Showcase.

Barreling down the right win, Kastelic executed a strong power move, taking the puck hard to the blue painta before jamming a backhand shot past the right leg of Rebels goaltender Ethan Anders to secure the bonus point for the host Hitmen.

It appeared as though Calgary goaltender Nick Schneider was going to escape with a shutout performance until Rebels forward and Buffalo Sabres prospect Brandon Hagel beat him with only 42 seconds to go in the third period to tie the game 1-1, forcing overtime.

Despite surrendering the late goal, Schneider steered aside 24 of 25 shots, earning second-star recognition for his efforts.

Jake Kryski opened the scoring for Calgary, converting on a power-play opportunity late in the first period with Rebels defenceman Sam Pouliot serving a double minor for checking from behind.

Prince Albert Raiders (3) at Moose Jaw Warriors (2) – SO
Prince Albert (10-10-3-1) // Moose Jaw (19-5-0-1)

The Prince Albert Raiders moved to .500 on the season after claiming a 3-2 shootout win over the East Division-leading Moose Jaw Warriors Saturday night.

Luka Burzan opened the scoring with his third goal of the season 7:29 into the first period, giving the Warriors a 1-0 lead, only to have the Raiders reply with a pair of second period markers. Winnipeg product Jordy Stallard tied the affair 35 seconds in with his 17th strike of the season, while Eric Pearce put the visitors ahead 2-1 only 3:01 into the second period.

The Raiders lead almost held up to go into the books as a regulation win, but Jayden Halbgewachs struck for his 23rd of the season with only eight seconds to go in the third period, forcing overtime.

After a scoreless extra period, Stallard managed the lone goal in the shootout with Curtis Meger turned aside all three shots to backstop the Raiders.

Outside of his three shootout saves, Meger fought off 31 of 33 shots for his fourth win of the season.

Brandon Wheat Kings (3) at Swift Current Broncos (2) – OT
Brandon (15-7-0-1) // Swift Current (17-5-2-0)

Ty Lewis scored 2:49 into overtime as the Brandon Wheat Kings edged the Swift Current Broncos by a 3-2 margin Saturday night.

Overtime was required in Speedy Creek after Aleksi Heponiemi sent his 17th goal of the year to the back of the net 4:45 into the third period, tying the East Division affair at 2-2.

Tyler Steenbergen snapped a two-game goalless drought by notching his 32nd tally of the year to put the Broncos ahead 1-0 only 5:57 into the first period. But the Wheat Kings battled back before the period was done, with Baron Thompson tying things up before Caiden Daley’s second of the campaign put the visitors in front by a 2-1 margin after 20 minutes of play.

Logan Thompson was lights out between the pipes for Brandon, blocking 46 of 48 pucks sent his way to earn his 13th win of the campaign.

Stelio Mattheos finished the night with a pair of assists for the Wheat Kings. 

Lethbridge Hurricanes (3) at Kootenay ICE (0)
Lethbridge (10-12-1-0) // Kootenay (11-14-1-0)

Stuart Skinner stood in his head, making 47 saves as the Lethbridge Hurricanes blanked the Kootenay ICE by a 3-0 score Saturday night in Cranbrook.

Skinner, the Edmonton Oilers prospect, stopped 18 shots in the first period, another 17 in the second period and 12 more in the final period to backstop the Hurricanes to a third consecutive victory.

Outside of Skinner’s heroics, the Hurricanes received all their scoring during the second period of play.

Ryan Vandervlis remained hot, notching his 11th goal of the season with an unassisted effort 7:22 into the second, which went on to stand as the eventual game-winner. Jordy Bellerive and Jake Elmer added extra insurance for Lethbridge.

Portland Winterhawks (3) at Edmonton Oil Kings (0)
Portland (19-4-0-0) // Edmonton (5-17-2-0)

Cole Kehler made 22 saves, backstopping the Portland Winterhawks to a 3-0 triumph over the Edmonton Oil Kings Saturday evening. The win goes into the books as the 10th straight for the Winterhawks, who sit in prime position atop the U.S. Division.

Cody Glass fueled the offense, scoring twice and adding an assist. Both his strikes came in the second period on power-play opportunities. Glass scored his 15th of the year only 2:50 into the middle period before adding his 16th of the campaign at the 13:35 mark.

Skyler McKenzie rounded out the scoring with a shorthanded empty-net goal late in the proceedings.

For Kehler, the win was his 16th of the year, while the shutout was his second of the season and fourth of his career.

In addition to Glass’ big night, defenceman Henri Jokiharju notched two primary assists.

Prince George Cougars (3) at Kamloops Blazers (4)
Prince George (9-12-2-2) // Kamloops (11-13-0-0)

Brodi Stuart registered a three-point night, helping the Kamloops Blazers to a 4-3 win over the Prince George Cougars Saturday night.

Luc Smith and Garrett Pilon scored in the first period, giving Kamloops a 2-0 lead early in the contest.

The second period provided opportunity for the Cougars to claw back as Josh Curtis and Dennis Cholowski converted to tie the game 2-2 after 40 minutes.

Midway through the third period, Quinn Benjafield scored his eighth goal of the season, giving the Blazers a 3-2 advantage. Stuart hit an empty net to seemingly seal the outing, but the Cougars weren’t quite done.

Chance Adrian replied only 29 seconds later, drawing Prince George back within a goal. But with only seven seconds left on the clock, the Blazers were able to hang on for their fourth consecutive win.

Dylan Ferguson made 38 saves for the triumph.

Medicine Hat Tigers (0) at Kelowna Rockets (4)
Medicine Hat (15-9-0-0) // Kelowna (14-8-2-1)

Rookie netminder Roman Basran made 38 saves in his first career WHL start, backstopping the Kelowna Rockets to a 4-0 win over the Medicine Hat Tigers Saturday evening.

Basran, a 16-year-old product of Delta, B.C., was a third-round selection (64th) of the Rockets at the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft.

The Rockets did the bulk of their offensive damage during the second period of play, with Liam Kindree’s fourth of the season hitting the scoresheet first. Dillon Dube added a second before Carsen Twarynski made good while shorthanded for a 3-0 Kelowna advantage.

James Hilsendager piled on during the third period.

By the time the buzzer sounded, Twarynski had logged a three-point (1G-2A) night. Rookie defender Kaeden Korczak added a pair of assists as well.

Regina Pats (3) at Spokane Chiefs (7)
Regina (13-12-2-0) // Spokane (13-9-1-2)

Defenceman Ty Smith logged a goal and two assists as the Spokane Chiefs knocked down the Regina Pats by a 7-3 margin Saturday night.

Smith, a highly-touted prospect for the 2018 NHL Draft, converted on a power play for his fourth goal of the season. That sparked a run of five unanswered goals by the Chiefs. Jaret Anderson-Dolan made it a 2-0 game with a shorthanded effort before the end of the first period. Eli Zummack, Riley Woods and Hudson Elynuik all registered power-play tallies in the second period to put the game virtually out of reach for the Pats.

The Pats managed to reply with three consecutive goals of their own, courtesy Nick Henry, Sam Steel and Matt Bradley, but it wasn’t enough to close the gap.

Zach Fischer and Carter Chorney added two late markers in the first period, getting the Chiefs to seven on the night.

By the end of the evening, the Chiefs were 4-for-5 on the power play.

Donovan Buskey made 20 saves for his third victory of the season.

Both Henry and Bradley registered three point (1G-2A) nights for the Pats.

Seattle Thunderbirds (1) at Victoria Royals (2)
Seattle (11-11-1-1) // Victoria (18-8-1-0)

Griffen Outhouse stopped 36 of 37 shots as the Victoria Royals claimed a 2-1 win over the Seattle Thunderbirds Saturday evening.

Dino Kambeitz opened the scoring for Victoria 3:59 into the first period. Jared Freadrich’s fifth goal of the season came on a power play 2:49 into the third period and went on to stand as the game-winning goal.

Noah Philp got the Thunderbirds on the board and within striking distance, but Outhouse shut the door the rest of the way.

Vancouver Giants (2) at Everett Silvertips (5)
Vancouver (10-12-2-2) // Everett (13-12-1-1)

The Everett Silvertips rattled off five straight goals to collected a third straight win, defeating the Vancouver Giants by a 5-2 final Saturday.

Tyler Benson opened the scoring for Vancouver, before hometown product Wyatte Wylie notched his first career WHL goal to tie the affair and kick start Everett’s run.

Gianni Fairbrother made it a 2-1 game on the man advantage before the end of the first period. The second period saw Patrick Bajkov provided some padding to the lead before Riley Sutter and Bryce Kindopp extended the advantage further in the third period.

Dylan Plouffe logged one late goal for the Giants, but it failed to change the outcome.

Carter Hart made 22 saves for the win.

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