WHL Roundup: Langan, Maser tally four-goal games, Wolf silences Americans

Robert Murray/Chris Mast/James Doyle


Calgary Hitmen (3) at Moose Jaw Warriors (8)
Calgary (13-23-5-1) // Moose Jaw (34-6-1-2)

On a day when the Moose Jaw Warriors made moves to acquire new faces, it was a familiar one leading them to their league-leading 34th victory Wednesday night at Mosaic Place.

Tristin Langan recorded a natural hat trick in the first period and finished with a four-goal game while Tanner Jeannot and Jayden Halbgewachs (San Jose Sharks) each had three assists in the contest.

Jakob Stukel (Vancouver Canucks) got the Hitmen on the board to open the game, scoring 4:22 into the opening period, but the Warriors, specifically Langan, answered back with three straight goals, capped off by his hat-trick goal with 24 seconds to go in the frame.

The Warriors continued their offensive assault in the second period as Justin Almeida, Brecon Wood and Langan’s fourth of the game built a commanding lead. Carson Focht did notch his first goal in a Hitmen uniform, but the Warriors remained relentless in the third.

Tyler Smithies and Tate Popple bookended a short-handed goal from Stukel in the third while Adam Evanoff finished with 17 saves, earning his ninth victory of the season.

Dmitri Zaitsev (Washington Capitals) added a pair of helpers for the Warriors while Brayden Burke picked up his league-leading 84th point of the season with an assist.

Medicine Hat Tigers (3) at Saskatoon Blades (2)
Medicine Hat (23-16-3-0) // Saskatoon (21-19-2-1)

Gary Haden opened the scoring, Bryan Lockner tallied his first goal with the Tigers and the Medicine Hat Tigers captured a 3-2 victory on the road Wednesday against the Saskatoon Blades.

Braylon Shmyr put the Blades on the board in the first, but they never managed to tie, let alone hold the lead, in Wednesday’s contest.

A goal near the midway point of the third period from David Quenneville (New York Islanders) turned out to be the game-winner Wednesday as Chase Wouters added a late goal for the Blades.

Nolan Maier was impressive despite the loss, making 43 saves. Jordan Hollett (Ottawa Senators) was better Wednesday though, making 31 saves on 33 shots for the victory.

Max Gerlach picked up an assist in his debut with the Blades Wednesday. With an assist added onto his goal, Quenneville earned the 13th multi-point game of his season this year and now stands one point away from back-to-back-to-back 50-point seasons with the Tigers.

Edmonton Oil Kings (4) at Regina Pats (3) — OT
Edmonton (12-24-4-2) // Regina (21-19-4-0)

The Edmonton Oil Kings shocked an East Division contender in overtime for the second time in as many days Wednesday, topping the 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup hosts in overtime.

It was Brett Kemp who ended Wednesday’s game just as he had done Tuesday as well, finishing off a two-on-one with Trey Fix-Wolansky to send the Oil Kings to back-to-back victories.

Even with the highly-touted debuts of Jeese Gabrielle (Boston Bruins) and Libor Hajek (Tampa Bay Lightning), it was Robbie Holmes scoring twice in the first 10 minutes of the opening period. Fix-Wolansky got the Oil Kings back in the game minutes after Holmes’ second of the game, but Edmonton would still trail by one heading to the second.

Colton Kehler then notched back-to-back goals, scoring the lone goal of the second period and then 73 seconds into the third to give the Oil Kings a surprising one-goal advantage.

Thankfully for the Pats though, Matt Bradley would get his side back in it, scoring his 100th career WHL goal to force overtime, earning a point for the Pats.

Austin Pratt had a pair of assists with the Pats while Gabrielle earned his first point in a Pats’ jersey, assisting on Bradley’s goal in the third.

It was another night that went the Oil Kings’ way though, with Josh Dechaine stopping 33 of 36 shots to better a 29-save performance by Ryan Kubic for Regina.

Vancouver Giants (3) at Prince George Cougars (4) — OT
Vancouver (24-14-4-2) // Prince George (16-19-4-3)

To improve the accuracy of Wednesday’s boxscore at the CN Centre, it should read: Josh Maser 4, Ty Ronning 3 (OT).

Maser dazzled and lit up the Giants in the second half of a two-game series in northern British Columbia, scoring all four goals for the Cougars to secure a win for the club against the second place team in the B.C. Division.

Outdone by just a single goal, Ty Ronning (New York Rangers) had a hat trick in the game, earning the Giants a single point from the contest.

Ronning had the only goal of the first and scored 7:53 into the second to put the visitors up by two, but Maser battled back with his first of the game 84 seconds after Ronning’s second goal and tied up the game eight seconds into the third to reset the game.

From there, Maser actually gave the Cougars the lead with 2:25 to go in the contest on his hat-trick goal, but Ronning came back with a hat-trick goal of his own with 29 seconds to play, forcing things into overtime.

The crazy game ended 2:49 into the extra period on Maser’s fourth of the game, delivering a crucial victory for the club.

Taylor Gauthier made 27 saves on 30 shots for the victory while David Tendeck stopped 33 of 37 in the overtime loss.

Josh Curtis picked up a pair of assists in the victory for the Cougars.

Tri-City Americans (0) at Everett Silvertips (4)
Tri-City  (22-13-5-0) // Everett (25-16-1-1)

No Carter Hart, no problem for the Everett Silvertips.

On a night when Garrett Pilon (Washington Capitals) and Ondrej Vala (Dallas Stars) debuted with their new club, Dustin Wolf stole the show, making 29 saves to shutout a U.S. Division rival in the Tri-City Americans, helping the ‘Tips retake control of the lead in the tight division at least temporarily.

Defenceman Kevin Davis scored twice and added an assist for a three-point game while Connor Dewar added a pair of goals himself.

Dewar and Davis had the only goals of the first and second periods respectively before teaming up to score both goals in the third.

Pointless night from Vala and Pilon weren’t due to a lack of trying. Vala had 11 shots in his debut while Pilon fired four shots on net. Matt Fontyene added a pair of assists while Patrick Bajkov chipped in with a helper.

Wolf stopped 12 shots in the first, 12 more in the second and five in the third for the third clean sheet of his young WHL career.

Brett Clayton and Dylan Coghlan (Vegas Golden Knights) led the Americans with four shots each. Patrick Dea stopped 47 of 51 shots while Beck Warm turned aside all six shots sent his way.

Spokane Chiefs (4) at Kelowna Rockets (7)
Spokane (21-18-1-2) // Kelowna (26-12-2-1)

Kyle Topping had a pair of goals and three points in his 100th career WHL game while six different skaters scored for the Kelowna Rockets Wednesday in a beatdown of the Spokane Chiefs.

Kaedan Korczak added his first career WHL goal, Kole Lind (Vancouver Canucks) and Nolan Foote each had a goal and an assist and Carsen Twarynski (Philadelphia Flyers) potted three assists as the Rockets, who pretty much stood idle during the WHL’s Trade Deadline, looked like a fully capable squad.

Captain Cal Foote (Tampa Bay Lightning) and Dillon Dube (Calgary Flames), were honoured pre-game for helping Canada win gold at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship, though Dube didn’t find his way into the game. The older Foote scored his seventh goal of the season in his return to WHL action.

Fischer and Lind each notched their 65th career WHL goals in the game.

It wasn’t a perfect game for the Rockets, who had to rely on a three-goal third period to create enough space on the scoreboard, but they still wound up with the two points.

Jeff Faith, Tyson Helgesen, Jaret Anderson-Dolan (Los Angeles Kings) and Zach Fischer (Calgary Flames) all scored for the Chiefs.

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