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WHL Roundup: New faces impress in Lethbridge, Kamloops as trade deadline looms

Cindy Adachi/Tyler Barrett

 

Edmonton Oil Kings (3) at Brandon Wheat Kings (2) — OT
Edmonton (11-24-4-2) // Brandon (27-12-1-1)

Josh Dechaine stopped 34 shots and Brett Kemp ended a back-and-forth game with his 10th goal of the season 2:06 into overtime as the Edmonton Oil Kings took down the Brandon Wheat Kings in Manitoba Tuesday night.

Ty Lewis (Colorado Avalanche) had the lone goal of the first and Jayden Platz’s first career WHL goal tied things up after 40 minutes. Just past the midway mark of the period, Baron Thompson notched his 12th of the season, giving Brandon their second lead of the night, but Edmonton rallied with goals from Scott Atkinson and Kemp’s winner.

Dylan Myskiw stopped 22 of 25 shots in the loss.

It was a night that belonged to Dechaine though. He picked up his fifth win of the season, stopping 15 shots in the first, seven in the second and 11 in the third.

The Wheat Kings converted on one of four power play opportunities while Edmonton went scoreless on three chances with the extra man.

Red Deer Rebels (4) at Lethbridge Hurricanes (5) — SO
Red Deer (10-22-7-3) // Lethbridge (18-19-3-0)

After making a flurry of trades, the new kids proved to be alright for the Lethbridge Hurricanes Tuesday as they hosted the Red Deer Rebels.

Brad Morrison, scored twice, Logan Barlage scored the winning goal in the shootout and Logan Flodell stopped 29 of 33 shots in his first game with the Hurricanes in a 5-4 shootout victory.

Morrison came out flying in the first, with both of his goals coming in the opening period, bookending a Rebels goal from Alexander Alexeyev. Brendan Stafford notched his first career WHL goal to put the home side up by a pair of goals, but the Rebels had some fight of their own in them Tuesday.

Reeling off three straight goals, a pair of goals from Reese Johnson and Mason McCarty’s 20th goal of the season quickly swung the game’s momentum in a 3:03 span, though Dylan Cozens would score later in the period to tie things up after 40 minutes.

That’s how things would stand through the third and overtime, sending things to a shootout where Flodell would stop five of the six shooters. Morrison scored on Lethbridge’s second shot and Barlage finished things off four rounds later.

Ethan Anders and Riley Lamb combined for 37 saves on 41 shots.

Each team struck for two power play goals on the night, with the Hurricanes converting on both chances and the Rebels getting four opportunities with the extra man.

Spokane Chiefs (1) at Kamloops Blazers (2)
Spokane (21-17-1-2) // Kamloops (18-20-1-2)

Dylan Ferguson (Vegas Golden Knights) delivered a rock solid performance in net for the Kamloops Blazers Tuesday, turning aside 47 of the 48 shots sent his way in a 2-1 victory over the Spokane Chiefs.

Quinn Benjafield and Luc Smith scored for the Blazers while Riley Woods had Spokane’s lone goal of the evening. Joe Gatenby picked up a pair of helpers in the victory.

Brodi Stuart also picked up an assist, as did Orrin Centazzo, who made his debut with his new club after a blockbuster Sunday trade with the Everett Silvertips.

Ferguson stopped all 19 shots in the first, 12 more in the second and added 16 more in the third for the incredible performance, marking the fourth time this season he’s finished with 40 or more saves, with his record in those game improving to 3-1 in those games.

Donovan Buskey made 26 saves on 28 shots in the loss.

Vancouver Giants (5) at Prince George Cougars (1)
Vancouver (18-18-3-0) // Prince George (15-19-4-3)

James Malm and Dawson Holt each had a goal and three points Tuesday as the Vancouver Giants won the opening game of a two-game set against the Prince George Cougars at the CN Centre.

Holt, Malm and Matt Barberis tallied goals for the visiting Giants in the first, with Jared Bethune’s 14th goal of the season mercifully keeping things to a two-goal deficit after 20 minutes.

That wouldn’t deter the Giants though, who added Kaleb Bulych’s first career WHL goal and Jared Dmytriw’s 12th of the season in the second period before riding out a scoreless third.

David Tendeck stopped 21 of 22 shots for his 16th victory of the season. Tavin Grant and Taylor Gauthier combined for 26 saves on 31 shots in the loss.

The Cougars failed to convert on either of their two chances with the extra man Tuesday while the Giants made good on one of their two opportunities with the power play.

Portland Winterhawks (3) at Seattle Thunderbirds (2) — SO
Portland (24-13-1-2) // Seattle (20-14-4-2)

The third time proved to be the charm for the Portland Winterhawks when it came to the shootout as they won in the extra extra frame for the first time this season Tuesday against the Seattle Thunderbirds.

Cole Kehler (Los Angeles Kings) stopped 33 of 35 shots in regulation and overtime before denying all three Seattle shooters in the shootout for his 20th victory of the season.

The Winterhawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first period on goals from Skyler McKenzie (Winnipeg Jets) and Alex Overhardt. McKenzie’s goal was the 83rd of his career and his 175th career WHL point as he played in his 250th career WHL game.

As quickly as the Winterhawks built their lead in the first, the Thunderbirds struck back in the second with goals from Sami Moilanen and Reece Harsch keeping the score deadlocked at 2-2 until the shootout decided the victory.

Liam Hughes put together another strong performance with 26 saves on 28 shots, but could only deliver one of two possible points to his club Tuesday.

The victory, the Winterhawks’ second in a row, bumped them ahead of the Everett Silvertips for the U.S. Division lead as the game of leapfrog continues between the two sides.



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