WHL Roundup: East Division race thickens as Warriors, Broncos and Blades win Saturday
Red Deer Rebels (1) at Prince Albert Raiders (2) — OT
Red Deer (10-21-7-2) // Prince Albert (15-17-6-2)
After making a trade with the Prince George Cougars earlier in the day, the Prince Albert Raiders received immediate dividends on their deal Saturday night.
Kody McDonald scored 68 seconds into overtime, tallying his 20th goal of the season and his first point with his new club in a 2-1 overtime victory over the Red Deer Rebels at the Art Hauser Centre.
Vojtech Budik (Buffalo Sabres) and Reese Johnson traded second period goals for the only goals in regulation. Budik added an assist on the overtime-winner.
Colin Paradis, playing his first game as a member of the Rebels, picked up an assist on Johnson’s goal. Jordy Stallard (Winnipeg Jets), Regan Nagy and Cole Fonstad had the other assists for the Raiders.
Curtis Meger stopped 18 of 19 shots to earn the victory. Ethan Anders stopped 33 of 35 in the loss, picking up a single point for his club.
WELCOME TO PRINCE ALBERT!!! Kody McDonald scores in overtime! 2-1 win!
— Prince Albert Raiders (@PARaidersHockey) January 7, 2018
Regina Pats (2) at Swift Current Broncos (4)
Regina (20-19-3-0) // Swift Current (28-10-3-0)
The Swift Current Broncos scored a much-needed victory in WHL on Access action Saturday night at home, knocking off the Regina Pats by a 4-2 final.
Kaden Elder and Matteo Gennaro each had a pair of goals while Logan Flodell stopped 33 shots as the Broncos got their second win in their last three tries after losing three straight.
Elder and Gennaro got the the Pats early with a pair of goals 2:08 apart in the middle of the first, chasing Tyler Brown from the contest. Rookie Jacob Wasserman finished with 15 saves.
Bryan Lockner and Nick Henry (Colorado Avalanche) got the Pats back into it during the second period, but Gennaro and Elder scored late in the third to put Swift Current on top for good.
Josh Mahura (Anaheim Ducks) had a pair of assists while Cale Fleury (Montreal Canadiens) added a helper. Logan Nijhoff also picked up an assist for the Pats.
Six different Broncos players picked up an assist in the victory, including defenceman Artyom Minulin, who returned to WHL action after playing at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship.
— SC Broncos (@SCBroncos) January 7, 2018
Kootenay ICE (2) at Saskatoon Blades (4)
Kootenay (18-21-3-0) // Saskatoon (21-17-2-1)
The Saskatoon Blades picked up their seventh straight victory Saturday, doubling up the Kootenay ICE by a 4-2 final.
Cameron Hebig (Edmonton Oilers) and Josh Paterson helped to pace the offence, but a bit of an unsung hero stepped up for the Blades Saturday as Gage Ramsay scored twice and added an assist in the victory. Nolan Maier continued his strong play, picking up win 13 on the season with a 27-save performance.
Ramsay struck twice in the first and Paterson added a late goal in the period to build a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes. After a scoreless second, Hebig notched his 30th of the season midway through the final period before the ICE responded with goals from Keenan Taphorn and Brett Davis late in the game to make the score close.
Maier stopped all 22 shots from the ICE through the first 40 minutes, then allowed two goals in the final frame. Bailey Brkin and Duncan McGovern combined for 28 saves on 32 shots.
Braylon Shmyr added an assist to extend his point streak to seven games. Rookie defenceman Zachary Patrick had a pair of assists in the loss for the ICE.
— Saskatoon Blades (@BladesHockey) January 7, 2018
Moose Jaw Warriors (7) at Edmonton Oil Kings (2)
Moose Jaw (33-6-1-2) // Edmonton (10-24-4-2)
Brayden Burke, Jayden Halbgewachs (San Jose Sharks) and the Moose Jaw Warriors walk into a hockey rink. Stop us if you’ve heard this one before.
It was another night and another two points in WHL action for the Warriors as they collected their 12th victory against the Central Division Saturday.
Halbgewachs and Justin Almeida each had a pair of goals, Brayden Burke tallied three assists and Brody Willms stopped 16 of 18 shots for his league-leading 25th victory of the season.
Tanner Jeannot and Halbgewachs scored in the first, but the Oil Kings responded with goals from Davis Koch and Trey-Fix Wolansky to keep things tied after 20 minutes.
Luka Burzan and Almeida added goals in the second to put the Warriors ahead for good and they would goals from Almedia, Halbgewachs and Tate Popple in the final period to round out the offensive explosion. Five separate Warriors picked up an assist in the contest.
Fix-Wolansky and Koch each finished with a goal and an assist. Josh Dechaine made 25 saves on 32 shots.
Moose Jaw finishes the road trip 3-0 after their 7-3 win over Edmonton. pic.twitter.com/NDXS9oX21M
— Moose Jaw Warriors (@MJWARRIORS) January 7, 2018
Calgary Hitmen (6) at Lethbridge Hurricanes (1)
Calgary (13-21-5-1) // Lethbridge (17-19-3-0)
Andrew Fyten scored a pair of goals, Luke Coleman and Riley Stotts each contributed a goal and an assist and Nick Schneider (Calgary Flames) stopped 37 of 38 shots sent his way as the Calgary Hitmen dominated the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
The Hitmen scored twice in the first, three times in the second and once more in the third. Jameson Murray and Cael Zimmerman had Calgary’s other goals with Murray adding a pair of assists.
Jordy Bellerive (Pittsburgh Penguins) had the lone goal for Lethbridge Saturday. Stuart Skinner (Edmonton Oilers) and Reece Klassen shared time in net Saturday, combining for 28 saves on 34 shots.
Jake Kryski added a pair of assists in the victory.
— Calgary Hitmen (@WHLHitmen) January 7, 2018
Vancouver Giants (5) at Medicine Hat Tigers (3)
Vancouver (23-14-3-2) // Medicine Hat (22-16-3-0)
Dawson Holt scored twice while Brad Morrison and Brayden Watts each recorded a goal and an assist as the Vancouver Giants swept their three-game road trip through Alberta Saturday with a 5-3 victory over the Central Division-leading Medicine Hat Tigers.
The team’s traded three goals each in the first 40 minutes, with the tigers going up by one, only to have the Giants tie it up, only to have the tigers go ahead once again, followed by two goals from the Giants and one more from the Tigers in the back-and-forth affair.
The Tigers received goals from Tyler Preziuso, Ryan Chyzowski and Gary Haden.
It was a game that belonged to the Giants though as Ty Ronning (New York Rangers) and Holt’s second of the game came in the third to put Vancouver ahead for good.
Todd Scott stopped 23 of 26 in the victory. Jordan Hollett (Ottawa Senators) stopped 25 of 30 shots.
VICTORY!!!!!@DawsonHolt struck twice. @TyRonning7 had the go-ahead goal on a third period power play, and @Todd_scott42 made 23 saves as the Giants grab win #23! They're now tied with Kelowna atop the Western Conference! Six straight road wins! 4 straight overall! More to come!
— Vancouver Giants (@WHLGiants) January 7, 2018
Victoria Royals (5) at Kamloops Blazers (4) — OT
Victoria (23-15-3-1) // Kamloops (17-19-1-2)
The Kamloops Blazers started hot, but it was the Victoria Royals celebrating the day as Chaz Reddekopp (Los Angeles Kings) scored his fifth goal of the season 23 seconds into overtime to earn a valuable two points for his club in the B.C. Division race.
Nick Chyzowski, Garrett Pilon (Washington Capitals) and Travis Walton’s first goal of the season had the Blazers up 3-0 after 20 minutes and poised to earn the victory.
It was the Royals who had other ideas though. In the second, Tyler Soy (Anaheim Ducks) and Joe Gatenby traded goals to keep the Blazers’ lead at three, but the Royals kept digging, eventually rewarded with a goal from Dino Kambeitz to cup the lead to two after 40.
In the third, Jared Fredrich and Matthew Phillips (Calgary Flames) tallied goals, with Phillips’ scoring his 30th of the season with 5:24 to go in the game.
For good measure, both Soy and Phillips assisted on Reddekopp’s overtime-winner.
Griffen Outhouse worked through a tough first period, finishing with 32 saves and the victory. Dylan Ferguson (Vegas Golden Knights) stopped 30 of 35 shots in the loss.
— Victoria Royals (@victoriaroyals) January 7, 2018
Tri-City Americans (6) at Prince George Cougars (5) — SO
Tri-City (21-12-5-0) // Prince George (15-18-4-3)
A marathon battle between the Tri-City Americans and Prince George Cougars ended when Parker AuCoin scored the only goal of the shootout to give the Ams a split of their weekend trip to northern British Columbia.
Aucoin added a pair of goals in regulation, including the game-tying goal with 7:44 to go in the third period, forcing the game to be prolonged.
Jordan Topping finished with a goal and two assists, Maxwell James had a goal and an assist and Mitchell Brown added a pair of assists in the victory.
Jackson Leppard had a goal and three points for the Cougars, while both Jared Bethune and Dennis Cholowski (Detroit Red Wings) had a goal and an assist. Joel Lakusta had a pair of assists in the loss.
Things started out well for the Cougars, who led 2-1 after 20 minutes and held a 4-1 lead after Cholowski’s goal 12:55 into the second. The Ams cut the lead to one goal after 40 minutes and then erased that deficit in the third before earning the victory.
Beck Warm was in net for all the action, stopping 38 of 43 shots in regulation and overtime before denying all three Cougar shooters in the shootout. Tavin Grant stopped 34 of 39 in the loss.
— Tri-City Americans (@TCAmericans) January 7, 2018
Portland Winterhawks (4) at Everett Silvertips (3)
Portland (23-13-1-2) // Everett (23-16-1-1)
With the top two teams in the U.S. Division duking it out for two points and bragging rights, the Winterhawks delivered on the road Saturday, edging the Everett Silvertips in an important game for both clubs.
Jake Gricius scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner in the final minute, finishing with three points. Mason Mannek added a pair of assists for the Winterhawks in the victory while Cole Kehler stopped 36 of 39 shots in a rebound performance after an ugly loss to the Spokane Chiefs less than 24 hours earlier.
Matt Fontyene scored twice while both Kevin Davis and Patrick Bajkov each had a pair of assists in the loss.
Gricius, Ryan Hughes and Ilijah Colina put Portland up 3-0, but Wyatte Wylie and Fontyene got the Tips back in the game before Portland stole the lead late.
Dustin Wolf stopped 34 of 38 shots in the loss.
#Winterhawks late goal lifts them to win
— Portland Winterhawks (@pdxwinterhawks) January 7, 2018
— Everett Silvertips (@WHLsilvertips) January 7, 2018
Spokane Chiefs (1) at Seattle Thunderbirds (4)
Spokane (21-16-1-2) // Seattle (20-14-4-1)
Donovan Neuls continue to put up solid numbers for the Seattle Thunderbirds, scoring twice and finishing with three points in a 4-1 victory over the Spokane Chiefs Saturday.
Jarret Tyszka (Montreal Canadiens) and Matthew Wedman finished with the other goals for the T-Birds while Liam Hughes stopped 39 of 40 shots for the victory.
Captain Tuner Ottenbreit and Zack Andrusiak each had a pair of assists in the victory.
Jaret Anderson-Dolan (Los Angeles Kings) scored for the Chiefs. Dawson Weatherill stopped 29 of 33 shots in the loss.
VICTORY!! T-Birds defeat Chiefs 4-1 pic.twitter.com/ajzYKTEOLI
— Seattle Thunderbirds 2017 WHL Champions (@SeattleTbirds) January 7, 2018