WHL Roundup: Elynuik guides Chiefs past ICE, Giants finally top Royals

Larry Brunt/Chris Relke


Lethbridge Hurricanes (0) at Swift Current Broncos (6)
Lethbridge (7-10-1-0) // Swift Current (13-3-1-0)

The Swift Current Broncos scored 12 seconds into Saturday’s home game against the Lethbridge Hurricanes and tallied power play goals 22 seconds apart as they coasted to a 6-0 victory.

Aleksi Heponiemi’s 14th goal of the season came on the opening rush of the game as he deflected a shot on net into the net for the game-winning goal as part of a four-point game. Tyler Steenbergen had a pair of goals and four points as well while captain Glenn Gawdin had a pair of goals and three points. Colby Sissons added a pair of assists from the blue line as the Broncos won their third straight game and scored their 12th victory against Eastern Conference opponents.

Logan Flodell recorded his third shutout of the season, making 36 saves throughout the game. Reece Klassen stopped 18 of 24 shots for the Hurricanes.

After Heponiemi’s goal 12 seconds into the game, Steenbergen and Gawdin scored 22 seconds apart during a 5-on-3 power play. Gawdin scored the lone goal of the second followed by goals from Kaiden Elder and Steenbergen’s second of the game in the third.

Saskatoon Blades (1) at Brandon Wheat Kings (3)
Saskatoon (7-10-1-0) // Brandon (11-6-0-1)

The Brandon Wheat Kings kept pace with their division rivals Saturday, downing the visiting Saskatoon Blades by a 3-1 final.

Logan Thompson stopped 36 of 37 shots while Stelio Mattheos’ 11th goal of the season stood up as the game-winner as the What Kings earned their 11th victory of the season.

Baron Thompson opened the scoring 15:24 into the second period, followed by Mattheos’ goal 13:45 into the third. Exactly five minutes later, the Blades got on the board thanks to a short-handed goal by Jake Kustra that brought them within one.

Evan Weinger would ensure that’s as close as they would get though, scoring an empty-net goal in the dying seconds of the game to clinch the victory.

Ryan Kubic stopped 21 of 23 shots for the Blades.

Spokane Chiefs (5) at Kootenay ICE (4)
Spokane (10-7-1-2) // Kootenay (8-11-1-0)

A pair of third period goals by Nolan Reid helped the Spokane Chiefs become the fourth team in the Western Conference to double-digit victories Saturday in Cranbrook, B.C.

Hudson Elynuik had a goal and factored into all five Chiefs goals Saturday while Jaret Anderson-Dolan added a goal and three points. Zach Fischer scored his fourth goal in a Chiefs uniform to round out the team’s scoring.

It was Kootenay who struck first in Saturday’s game, receiving a pair of goals from Cameron Hausinger to put the home side up 2-0 4:05 into the second. Exactly 46 seconds later though, the Chiefs got themselves on the board, reeling off three goals in a 6:51 span to take the lead.

Ryan Pouliot evened up the game minutes later though, sending the game to the deciding third period with the scored tied at 3-3. In the third, Reid scored 42 seconds into the period and then tallied his second of the game 11:21 into the period to give the Chiefs the lead for good. The ICE got a late goal from Alec Baer, but it wasn’t enough to spark the comeback effort.

Dawson Weatherill picked up his eighth victory of the season, making 23 saves on 27 shots. Kurtis Chapman stopped 34 shots in the loss.

Calgary Hitmen (3) at Medicine Hat Tigers (4) OT
Calgary (6-11-2-0) // Medicine Hat (12-6-0-0)

Max Gerlach scored with six seconds left in overtime Saturday for his second goal of the game to complete a weekend sweep of  a home-and-home with the Calgary Hitmen.

Mark Rassell added a goal and an assist in the victory while Michael Bullion stopped 34 shots.

Jake Kryski got the Hitmen on the board first, but the Tigers responded with goals from Jaeger White and Gerlach to give them a 2-1 lead. Jake Bean would even things up late in the period though, sending both teams into the first intermission tied 2-2.

Rassell had the lone goal of the second to put the Tigers up 3-2, but Jakob Stukel would score 32 seconds into the third to quickly tie up the game, which is how things would stand until the final buzzer in regulation.

Things almost seemed destined for a shootout too until Gerlach took a feed from Rassell, scoring his 70th career WHL goal.

Nick Schneider made 32 saves in the loss for Calgary.

Tri-City Americans (2) at Portland Winterhawks (5)
Tri-City (12-5-2-0) // Portland (13-4-0-0)

The race for the lead of the U.S. Division was complicated once again Saturday as the Portland Winterhawks used a three-goal third period to draw even with the Tri-City Americans in the standings.

Joachim Blichfeld scored a pair of goals and added an assist while Kieffer Bellows had a goal and two assists. Skyler McKenzie and Keoni Texeira also scored for the Winterhawks, who won their fourth-straight game. Cole Kehler was sharp in net once again, making 31 saves.

Maxwell James and Morgan Geekie responded for the Americans in the loss. Patrick Dea stopped 44 shots, but took the loss.

The Winterhawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second after a scoreless first. James would get one back for the Ams before the end of the period, keeping the game tight headed to the third.

Blichfeld scored his second of the game 22 seconds into the third. After Geeking once again cut the lead to one, Texeira and Bellows added goals to round out the scoring. Cody Glass added a pair of assists in the victory.

Everett Silvertips (4) at Prince George Cougars (0)
Everett (8-10-1-1) // Prince George (6-9-2-2)

The Everett Silvertips responded to a shootout loss Friday with a 28-save shutout by Carter Hart to eanr three of a possible four points from a weekend set against the Prince George Cougars.

Matt Fontyene scored for the Silvertips in the first while Kevin Davis, Riley Sutter and Sean Richards scored in the second period. Hart stopped 10 shots in the first, 11 more in the second and seven in the third to clinch the victory.

Three Cougars each had four shots in the game while Tavin Grant made 27 saves on 31 shots in the loss.

Red Deer Rebels (2) at Kelowna Rockets (5)
Red Deer (8-11-1-0) // Kelowna (10-6-2-1)

The Kelowna Rockets took care of business Saturday, never trailing in a 5-2 victory over the visiting Red Deer Rebels.

Dillon Dube and Liam Kindree scored in the first period while Jared Dmytriw answered back for the Rebels to keep them within shot of the lead after 20 minutes.

A three-goal second period for the Rockets clinched the game though, with James Hilsendager, Braydyn Chizen and Kole Lind scoring in a 8:12 span to increase the Rockets’ cushion in the game. Carson Sass scored for the Rebels in the third as the lone goal of the period. Leif Mattson had a pair of assists for the Rockets.

James Porter made 27 saves in the victory while Ethan Anders and Riley Lamb combined to make 27 saves on 32 shots.

Victoria Royals (1) at Vancouver Giants (4)
Victoria (14-6-1-0) // Vancouver (7-8-2-2)

David Tendeck made 37 saves, Ty Ronning had a pair of goals and three points and Dylan Plouffe had three assists as the Vancouver Giants finally solved the Victoria Royals this season.

Ronning opened the scoring in the first, followed shortly after Igor Martynov tying up the game for the Royals.

James Malm scored the lone goal  of the second while Brad Morrison and Ronning’s second of the game came in the third period for the Giants.

Griffen Outhouse stopped 23 shots in the loss, but the story Saturday was the Tendeck, who stopped 13 shots in the first ,15 in the second and nine more in the third.

Kamloops Blazers (4) at Seattle Thunderbirds (2)
Kamloops (7-12-0-0) // Seattle (9-7-1-1)

Four different players scored for the Kamloops Blazers Saturday as they doubled up the Seattle Thunderbirds on the road.

Nick Chyzowski and Ondrej Vala scored for the Blazers in the first, but the Thunderbirds answered right back in the second with goals from Blake Bargar and Nolan Volcan to tie up the game. The Blazers would restore their lead with a late second period goal from Quinn Benjafield while Jermaine Loewen scored into the empty net to ice the game.

Max Palaga made 24 saves for the victory while Liam Hughes made 28 saves in the loss.


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