WHL Roundup: Hurricanes outlast Hitmen, Wolf earns first WHL win

Cindy Adachi/Allen Douglas


Seattle Thunderbirds (2) at Kootenay ICE (4)
Seattle (5-5-0-1) // Kootenay (6-7-1-0)

Kurtis Chapman and the Kootenay ICE defended their home turf against the Seattle Thunderbirds appropriately Friday, doubling up their visiting opponents by a 4-2 score.

Four different ICE skaters scored at even-strength, with 2016 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft first-overall selection Peyton Krebs notching his third of the season and second game-winner of his career.

Zack Andrusiak put the T-Birds up early with the lone goal of the first period, but the ICE fought back in the second. Vince Loschiavo and Colton Kroeker scored 107 seconds apart while Krebs added a goal in the dying minutes of the period to put the ICE up by two.

Austin Strand made things interesting in the third period with his sixth of the season, but Cameron Hausinger closed out the game with his first of the season into the empty net.

Chapman was the star of the game though, making 13 saves in the first, 14 in the second and 10 more in the third. Matt Berlin stopped 27 of the 30 shots sent his way in the loss.

Up next for the ICE is another home date Saturday against the Red Deer Rebels. The Thunderbirds will continue their road trip in Calgary against the Hitmen Saturday.

Spokane Chiefs (3) at Red Deer Rebels (4) OT
Spokane (8-6-1-1) // Red Deer (7-6-0-0)

Jared Dmytriw sent the fans home happy in Red Deer Friday, lifting his Rebels squad to a 4-3 overtime victory over the Spokane Chiefs to snap a two-game losing streak.

Lane Zablocki and Hudson Elynuik each had a pair of goals, while Buffalo Sabres prospect Brandon Hagel had a goal and an assist.Kristian Reichel had a pair of assists in the victory as well.

Elynuik scored twice to open the game before Zablocki responded late in the opening period, followed by his second of the night early in the third. Nolan Reid scored later on in the third to put the Chiefs back on top, but Hagel would find a way to tie things up, scoring in the final minute to force overtime.

That set the stage for Dmytriw, who scored 3:39 into the extra period to send the Rebels to their seventh victory of the season, helping them keep pace in the tight Central Division. Jack Flaman made his debut with the Rebels, wearing #24, but not factoring into any goals Friday.

Ethan Anders stopped 25 of the 28 shots sent his way while Dawson Weatherill made 29 stops in the loss.

The Rebels wrap up a six-game home stand by taking on the Regina Pats Saturday. The Chiefs will now have a week off before hosting the Portland Winterhawks next Friday.

Brandon Wheat Kings (1) at Prince Albert Raiders (4)
Brandon (9-4-0-1) // Prince Albert (6-4-3-0)

The Prince Albert Raiders earned two very important points in the standings Friday with a 4-1 victory over the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings at the Art Hauser Centre.

Ottawa Senators prospect Parker Kelly had a pair of goals, including the game-winner and the insurance goal while Winnipeg Jets prospect Jordy Stallard added a goal and an assist. Cole Fonstad had a pair of assists in the victory as well while Toronto Maple Leafs selection Ian Scott stopped 34 shots in Raiders’ sixth victory of the season.

Stallard and Kelly scored in the first period for the Raiders while Kelly’s second goal of the game and Devon Skoleski’s fifth of the season came in the second period. St. Louis Blues draft pick Tanner Kaspick scored 22 seconds after Skoleski’s goal as the lone offence for the Wheat Kings Friday.

The Wheat Kings threw 35 shots at Scott Friday, but he was equal to the task on 34 of them, including stopping 19 of 20 shots in a busy second period. He made eight and seven saves in the first and third periods respectively. Dylan Myskiw made 15 saves in Brandon’s fourth regulation loss of the season.

The Raiders are now off until next Thursday when they’ll head to Moose Jaw to face the Warriors. The Wheat Kings will wrap up their two-game road trip in Saskatoon against the Blades Saturday.


Calgary Hitmen (4) at Lethbridge Hurricanes (5)
Calgary (4-9-1-0) // Lethbridge (7-5-0-0)

Egor Zudilov and Matteo Gennaro each scored a pair of goals for their respective sides in a wildly offensive battle, which saw the Hurricanes emerge victorious as they held their WHL Suits Up with Don Cherry to Promote Organ Donation presented by RE/MAX event.

Calen Addison and Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Jordy Bellerive each had a goal and an assist as the Hurricanes gained ground in the Central Division.

A wild first period saw both teams each strike three times before settling down. Zudilov opened the scoring for the home side 2:46 in, but the Hitmen responded with goals from Vladislav Yeryomenko and Gennaro in a 1:50 span to take a 2-1 lead. Bellerive answered back three minutes later to tie up the game. Gennaro put the Hitmen back up by a goal 61 seconds after Bellerive’s goal, but Addison chipped in the final goal of a wild period 32 seconds later to even up the game after 20 minutes.

Zudilov would be the next player to find the scoresheet, doing so 8:02 into the third. Andrei Grishakov tied up the game 2:36 later, but the Hurricanes would have the final say, with Ryan Vandervlis scoring the game-winner with 6:44 to go in the game.

Edmonton Oilers prospect Stuart Skinner made 30 saves for the victory while Matthew Armitage made 32 stops in the loss.

Saskatoon Blades (4) at Swift Current Broncos (3)
Saskatoon (4-7-1-0) // Swift Current (9-2-1-0)

A natural hat trick from Cameron Hebig, Ryan Kubic made 33 saves and Tyler Lees’ first goal of the season combined to help the Saskatoon Blades hand the Swift Current Broncos their second regulation loss of the season.

Aleksi Heponiemi had the lone goal of the first period, but a natural hat trick from Hebig in the span of 13:41 to quickly swing momentum back in favour of the Blades’. Lees scored 5:51 into the third to increase the Blades’ lead to three, which was welcomed as Glenn Gawdin scored 12 seconds later, followed by Artyom Minulin minutes later.

Despite the close score, Kubic kept things airtight, finishing with the aforementioned 33 saves and making 10 of those in the third.

The Blades will now return home to host the Brandon Wheat Kings Saturday while the Broncos will host the Medicine Hat Tigers tomorrow as well.

The Hurricanes will host the Seattle Thunderbirds Sunday afternoon while the Hitmen will play host to the T-Birds Saturday night.

Moose Jaw Warriors (9) at Medicine Hat Tigers (1)
Moose Jaw (11-4-0-0) // Medicine Hat (8-5-0-0)

Tanner Jeannot was a one-man wrecking Friday, scoring four goals and finishing with five points as the Moose Jaw Warriors won big to close out their road trip in style.

Brett Howden added a pair of goals and Justin Almeida had a goal and four points while Brody Willms made 34 saves.

The Warriors scored four goals in the first period, two more in the second and three more in the third. Mark Rassell had the lone goal for the Tigers as the Central Division leaders lost a critical game. Brayden Burke had three assists, Jayden Halbgewachs had a goal and three points and Oleg Sosunov had his sixth goal of the season. Five other players collected an assist in the contest.

Michael Bullion made 14 saves on 23 shots in the contest while taking the loss.

The Warriors are off until next Thursday when they host the Prince Albert Raiders. The Tigers are off to Saskatchewan as well, playing the Broncos in Swift Current Saturday.

Everett Silvertips (3) at Kamloops Blazers (1)
Everett (5-9-1-0) // Kamloops (3-11-0-0)

Dustin Wolf had a WHL debut to remember as the  Everett Silvertips goaltender made 38 saves and picked up an assist in his first career WHL victory.

Connor Dewar did most of the heavy-lifting offensively for the Silvertips Friday in their win over the Kamloops Blazers, scoring a pair of goals and assisting on the other as the Tips snapped a 0-3-1-0 stretch in British Columbia.

Dewar’s eighth of the season opened the scoring 16:12 into the first, while his ninth of the year doubled their lead 1:58 into the second. Bryce Kindopp scored four minutes later to round out Everett’s scoring in their fifth win of the season. Ondrej Vala had the lone Blazers goal Friday.

Dylan Ferguson made 23 saves in the loss. The story of the night though belonged to Wolf, who made 15 saves in the first, 11 more in the second and 12 in the third for the strong performance.

The Tips will wrap up their two-game road trip against the Portland Winterhawks Sunday. The Blazers will play host to the Tri-City Americans Saturday.

Tri-City Americans (3) at Kelowna Rockets (4) OT 
Tri-City (9-4-1-0) // Kelowna (6-5-1-1)

Carsen Twarynski second goal of the game came 3:28 into overtime Friday, lifting the Kelowna Rockets over the Tri-City Americans.

Parker AuCoin had a pair of goals for the Americans, but the Rockets were at their best Friday, receiving multi-point efforts from Leif Mattson and Dillon Dube, Team WHL Captain for the 2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series, in the team’s sixth victory of the season.

Aucoin and Dube traded goals in the first while Twarynski had the lone goal of the second period to put the Rockets up by one after 40 minutes. AuCoin and Nolan Yaremko scored early in the third to put the Ams back on top.

Mattson’s goal would be a timely one though, coming with 2:16 left in the contest to tie things up before Twarynski ended it in overtime.

James Porter made 28 saves on 31 shots for the victory while Patrick Dea made 33 saves in the loss.

The Rockets host the Prince George Cougars Saturday for the third meeting of the season between the two clubs. The Americans will continue on to play the Kamloops Blazers Saturday.

Prince George Cougars (2) at Vancouver Giants (1)
Prince George (5-5-2-2) // Vancouver (5-6-1-1)

Edmonton Oilers prospect Tyler Benson scored in his return to the Vancouver Giants’ lineup, but the Prince George Cougars spoiled the party, earning a 2-1 victory on the strength of 32 saves from Tavin Grant and a pair of early goals.

Ryan Schoettler scored midway through the first and Detroit Red Wings prospect Dennis Cholowski scored in the second as the Cougars have now earned points in six of their seven road games this year.

Besides giving up a late goal to Benson, Grant was rock solid, making 17 saves in the first, four in the second and 11 more in the third. Todd Scott made 27 saves in the loss.

The Cougars will head to the Okanagan to battle the Kelowna Rockets Saturday while the Giants will head back to Vancouver Island for the second time this season to do battle with the Victoria Royals twice.

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