WHL Roundup: New Year’s Eve celebrations to close 2016
Dayna Fjord


What better way to send out the old year and ring in a new one than with WHL hockey?

The Victoria Royals knocked around the Kamloops Blazers, while the Brandon Wheat Kings edged the Moose Jaw Warriors in overtime. Down south, the Tri-City Americans defeated the Spokane Chiefs and the Seattle Thunderbirds completed a third period comeback against the Portland Winterhawks.

Happy New Year to the best fans in hockey, from all of us at the Western Hockey League!

Victoria Royals (6) at Kamloops Blazers (1)
Victoria (21-15-4-0) // Kamloops (23-14-2-0)

The Victoria Royals romped, scoring six consecutive goals, to defeat the Kamloops Blazers 6-1 on New Year’s Eve.

There was balanced production all around the Royals lineup as Jack Walker, Matthew Phillips, Tyler Soy and Regan Nagy each recorded a goal and an assist.

Griffen Outhouse made 30 saves for his 21st win of the season.

Brandon Wheat Kings (2) at Moose Jaw Warriors (1) – OT
Brandon (18-15-4-0) // Moose Jaw (21-9-6-1)

James Shearer scored on a power play 2:40 into overtime to give the Brandon Wheat Kings a 2-1 victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors.

The triumph served as the third consecutive win for the Wheat Kings.

Ty Lewis recorded two assists as a catalyst for the Wheat Kings.

Jordan Papirny made 35 saves for his 12th win of the season, while Zach Sawchenko stopped 36 pucks in defeat.

Spokane Chiefs (1) at Tri-City Americans (3)
Spokane (15-16-5-1) // Tri-City (22-16-3-0)

The Tri-City Americans scored three unanswered goals to secure a 3-1 win over the Spokane Chiefs on New Year’s Eve.

After Riley McKay opened the scoring for the Chiefs, Tyler Sandhu bookended a Vladislav Lukin goal to give Tri-City two points.

Rylan Parenteau made 29 saves for his 13th win of the season.

Seattle Thunderbirds (3) at Portland Winterhawks (2)
Seattle (19-14-3-1) // Portland (21-17-1-0)

Luke Ormsby scored midway through the third period to give the Seattle Thunderbirds a 3-2 win over the Portland Winterhawks.

Trailing 2-1 heading into the final 20 minutes of regulation, the Thunderbirds tied the game courtesy Zack Andrusiak’s fourth of the campaign before Ormsby settled the score.

Rylan Toth made 20 saves for his 15th win of the season.

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