WHL Roundup: Berlin backstops T-Birds to fourth-straight victory in hometown

Andy Devlin


Seattle Thunderbirds (3) at Edmonton Oil Kings (1)
Seattle (9-5-0-1) // Edmonton (5-9-2-0)

The defending Ed Chynoweth Cup champions continued to build momentum on their road trip through the Central Division Thursday, downing the Edmonton Oil Kings at Rogers Place by a 3-1 final.

Zack Andrusiak and Nolan Volcan scored in the final five minutes of the third period to break open a 1-1 deadlock in favour of the Thunderbirds while Edmonton native Matt Berlin stopped 30 of the 31 shots sent his way for his fifth victory of the season.

Following a scoreless first period, Austin Strand opened the scoring 11:26 into the second period on the power play. That would be the lone goal of the second period, but it took the Oil Kings just a few minutes to get on the board in the third.

Recent-acquisition Jantzen Leslie beat Berlin for his first career Western Hockey League goal 6:47 into the third, but that wouldn’t be enough for the Oil Kings to avoid defeat Thursday. The late goals proved to be the difference while Boston Bilous stopped 16 of the 18 shots directed his way in the loss.

Already 5-1 on their road trip, the T-Birds will be in Medicine Hat to face the Tigers Saturday looking to wrap it up with another victory. The Oil Kings will close out a six-game home stand when they welcome the Saskatoon Blades to town Saturday.

Prince Albert Raiders (2) at Moose Jaw Warriors (5)
Prince Albert (6-5-3-0) // Moose Jaw (12-4-0-0)

Playing their final home game before the start of the 2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series, the Moose Jaw Warriors didn’t disappoint their home fans.

Jayden Halbgewachs had a pair of goals as part of a furious third-period comeback Saturday that saw the Warriors score four unanswered goals to cruise past the Raiders.

Brett Leason and Luka Burzan traded goals in the first period, while Devon Skoleski added the lone goal of the second to put the Raiders up one headed to the final period. Midway through the final period, the Warriors found their spark.

Brayden Burke scored his seventh of the season 11:14 into the third to tie up the game. Five minutes later, Halbgewachs and Tanner Jeannot scored 16 seconds apart for the game-winner and insurance goals respectively. To add to the flurry of scoring, Halbgewachs added his second of the game 19 seconds later to quickly take over the game.

Brody Willms was solid after giving up the two goals to Prince Albert Thursday, shutting out the Raiders in the third and finishing with 24 saves. Curtis Meger made 37 saves at the other end of the rink in the loss.

The two teams will renew their rivalry for the fourth time this season Saturday when they meet at the Art Hauser Centre in Prince Albert, Sask.

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