With each passing day, the significance of each point becomes more apparent as Western Hockey League teams work towards post-season play. There was no exception to that with six games scattered across the league Wednesday.
In Medicine Hat, the Tigers padded their Central Division lead while handing the Victoria Royals a blow in their B.C. Division race.
Over in Saskatchewan, the Prince Albert Raiders stole two points from the Brandon Wheat Kings, while the Everett Silvertips used a shootout win over the Saskatoon Blades to retake the U.S. Division lead. The Regina Pats blanked the Swift Current Broncos, ensuring the middle of the East Division pack remains muddy.
Last, but certainly not least, the Tri-City Americans laid a beating on the Red Deer Rebels, stabilizing their third place position in the U.S. Division for the time being.
As for the full recap, let’s start in Edmonton where the Oil Kings secured a second consecutive overtime win…
Kootenay ICE (2) at Edmonton Oil Kings (3) – OT
Kootenay (12-35-8-2) // Edmonton (20-33-3-1)
Colton Kehler scored his 15th goal of the season 1:18 into overtime as the Edmonton Oil Kings claimed their second consecutive victory with a 3-2 triumph over the Kootenay ICE Wednesday afternoon.
The Oil Kings erased a two-goal deficit after Reed Morison and Vince Loschiavo put the ICE ahead with a pair of second-period power-play goals.
Davis Koch got the Oil Kings on the board with 11 seconds remaining in the second period as Kootenay took a 2-1 advantage to the dressing room after 40 minutes of play.
In the late stages of the third period, Trey Fix-Wolansky redirected a shot in tight, finding a hole in Payton Lee to tie the game with 3:17 remaining in regulation.
Patrick Dea made 29 saves for his 18th win of the season.
— Edmonton Oil Kings (@EdmOilKings) February 15, 2017
Victoria Royals (1) at Medicine Hat Tigers (3)
Victoria (31-23-4-0) // Medicine hat (41-16-1-0)
Matt Bradley and Steven Owre scored third period goals as the Medicine Hat Tigers defeated the Victoria Royals by a 3-1 margin Wednesday night, claiming a fifth straight win.
Gary Haden opened the scoring 6:54 into the second period, with his sixth of the season giving Medicine Hat a 1-0 lead.
Then it was Bradley striking for his 27th of the year 3:04 into the third period putting the Tigers ahead 2-0.
Matthew Phillips reached the 40-goal plateau midway through the third period, bursting the bubble on a Michael Bullion shutout attempt and getting the Royals on the scoreboard with 8:10 to go in regulation. But it was Owre depositing his 20th of the year into an empty net to seal the win for the hosts.
Bullion made 16 saves for his 15th win of the season.
— Medicine Hat Tigers (@tigershockey) February 16, 2017
Brandon Wheat Kings (3) at Prince Albert Raiders (5)
Brandon (27-22-6-2) // Prince Albert (15-38-3-2)
The Prince Albert Raiders scored twice in the third period, snapping a 3-3 tie to defeat the Brandon Wheat Kings 5-3 Wednesday night.
Parker Kelly’s 12th goal of the campaign came 6:32 into the third period, giving the Raiders a 4-3 edge. Simon Stransky provided the insurance with an empty-net goal that came with only 35 seconds remaining in regulation.
The win served as the second in a row for the Raiders, while the Wheat Kings dropped a second consecutive regulation tilt and are now winless in three outings.
Ty Lewis, Nolan Patrick and James Shearer provided the scoring for the Wheat Kings, while Curtis Miske, Tim Vanstone and Sean Montgomery also contributed for the Raiders.
Nicholas Sanders made 22 saves for his ninth win of the season.
Patrick finished the night with a goal and an assist for Brandon. Vanstone, Stransky and Parker all did the same for Prince Albert.
Balanced offensive attack lifts Raiders to win over Wheat Kings.
— PrinceAlbert Raiders (@PARaidersHockey) February 16, 2017
Everett Silvertips (2) at Saskatoon Blades (1) – SO
Everett (34-12-8-2) // Saskatoon (23-26-5-2)
Carter Hart and Brock Hamm duked it out, but eventually it was the defending CHL Goaltender of the Year getting the last laugh as the Everett Silvertips edged the Saskatoon Blades 2-1 in the shootout Wednesday night.
Riley Sutter scored the shootout-winning marker for the visiting Silvertips.
Rookie Kirby Dach scored his third goal of the season, opening the scoring 10:50 into the first period and putting the Blades in front 1-0. But Austrian veteran Dominic Zwerger tallied his 23rd of the year to tie the game with 5:56 to go in the second period.
Hart made 30 saves, plus another three in the skills competition, collecting his 23rd win of the season. At the other end of the rink, Hamm made 28 saves, plus two in the shootout.
The win boosted the Silvertips back into first place in the U.S. Division. With one game in hand, Everett now sits one point ahead of the Seattle Thunderbirds.
As for the Blades, the shootout defeat served them a single point, putting them three points up on the Calgary Hitmen for the second wild card seed in the Eastern Conference.
— Everett Silvertips (@WHLsilvertips) February 16, 2017
Regina Pats (2) at Swift Current Broncos (0)
Regina (41-7-6-1) // Swift Current (29-18-3-6)
Nick Henry scored twice in the second period and Jordan Hollett made 28 saves as the Regina Pats blanked the Swift Current Broncos 2-0 Wednesday evening.
Henry put his 27th of the season to the back of the net on a man advantage 7:55 into the second period, before added some insurance with his 28th of the year late in the same period.
Sam Steel logged two assists for the Pats, improving his league-leading point total to 102 on the year.
Hollett’s performance was worthy of his 12th win of the season and first career WHL shutout.
At the other end, veteran Jordan Papirny was a busy man, making 43 saves in defeat.
— Regina Pats (@WHLPats) February 16, 2017
Red Deer Rebels (4) at Tri-City Americans (8)
Red Deer (23-26-6-3) // Tri-City (33-23-3-0)
The Tri-City Americans scored six straight goals to build a big lead, before eventually fending off the Red Deer Rebels in an 8-4 win Wednesday night.
Morgan Geekie, Juuso Valimaki, Brett Leason and Jordan Topping all scored in the first period as the Americans blew the game open, taking a 4-0 lead into the dressing room after 20 minutes of play.
It didn’t stop there as Leason added his second of the night 2:23 into the second period before Dylan Coghlan made it a 6-0 lead for the Americans moments later. But then the Rebels decided to wake up.
Brandon Hagel scored his 22nd of the season on a power play with 5:08 to go in the second period, sparking a run of four straight goals as Red Deer closed the gap. Akash Bains added his seventh of the year before the second period buzzer sounded, making it a 6-2 game after 40 minutes.
The Rebels picked up in the third period where they had left off in the second as Jared Freadrich sent a power-play goal to the back of the net 3:50 in, making it a 6-3 game. Only 3:08 elapsed from there as Matthew Campese made it a 6-4 game.
But that’s as close as the Rebels got after Parker AuCoin and Nolan Yaremko replied for Tri-City to restore the sizeable advantage and secure the two points.
Rylan Parenteau made 27 saves for his 22nd win of the season.
Jacob Herauf (2A), Bains (1G-1A), Hagel (1G-1A) and Michael Spacek (2A) posting multi-point nights for the Rebels. Valimaki (1G-1A), Geekie (1G-1A), Leason (2G-1A), AuCoin (1G-2A) and Parker Wotherspoon (3A) replied with big nights for the Americans.
The win leaves Tri-City four points ahead of the Portland Winterhawks for third in the U.S. Division, though Portland holds two games in hand.
— Tri-City Americans (@TCAmericans) February 16, 2017