WHL Roundup: Night of hat trickery led by Braylon Shmyr in Blades’ comeback

Steve Hiscock


Swift Current Broncos (3) at Prince Albert Raiders (2) SO 
Swift Current (17-5-1-0) // Prince Albert (9-10-3-1)
Glenn Gawdin (Calgary Flames) could do no wrong Friday night, scoring twice in regulation and then notching the shootout-winner as the Swift Current Broncos stole two points from the Prince Albert Raiders on the road.

Cole Fonstad opener the scoring 5:44 into the first and Jordy Stallard (Winnipeg Jets) scored 5:08 into the second as the Raiders jumped out to a 2-0 lead on the Broncos.

Friday’s game was a tale of two halves though. Glenn Gawdin scored 14:17 into the second to cut the Raiders’ lead in half. Then, 10:21 into the third, Gawdin scored his second of the game and 19th of the season to even up the score.

That would be the only goal towards the end of regulation as well as overtime. In the shootout, Logan Flodell added to his 29-save performance with stops on Stallard and Fonstad. At the other end of the ice, Ian Scott (Toronto Maple Leafs) had stopped 32 shots through the first 65 minutes, but surrendered shootout goals to Tyler Steenbergen (Arizona Coyotes) and Gawdin.

Parker Kelly (Ottawa Senators) picked up a pair of assists while Stallard and Fonstad each finished with multi-point games.

Aleksi Heponiemi (Florida Panthers), Colby Sissons (New Jersey Devils) and Artyom Minulin all drew assists on Swift Current’s two regulation goals.

Brandon Wheat Kings (5) at Saskatoon Blades (6)
Brandon (14-7-0-1) // Saskatoon (9-12-2-1)

A third period hat trick from Braylon Shmyr helped to sink the forward’s former team as the Saskatoon Blades topped the Brandon Wheat Kings with a furious comeback Friday night at the SaskTel Centre.

Shmyr’s hat trick, the fourth of his career, accounted for the game-tying goal and game-winner in the final 1:07 of the game as the Blades snapped a four-game losing streak.

The Wheat Kings took charge of the game in the first as goals from Evan Weinger and Connor Gutenberg bookended a Bradly Goethals goal to keep Brandon up 2-1 after 20 minutes.

The only goals of the second came from the visiting side as Weinger notched his second of the game followed by a Ty Lewis (Colorado Avalanche) goal to give Brandon a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes.

There was no quit in the Blades though as they came storming back in the third.

On the man-advantage early in the third, Cameron scored his 20th of the season 5:05 into the period, followed by Shmyr’s first of the game 26 seconds later cut the score to 4-3.

Answering back eight minutes later were the Wheat Kings, as Weinger completed his hat trick to restore Brandon’s two-goal lead. The Blades kept coming though, with goals from Libor Hajek (Tampa Bay Lightning) cutting the lead to one with 1:56 to go. Forty-nine seconds later, Shmyr scored his second of the game, followed 48 seconds later by his hat trick goal to shock the Wheat Kings and complete the comeback.

Nolan Maier picked up his first career WHL victory in the high-scoring affair, making 26 saves. Logan Thompson finished with 37 saves in the loss.

Kootenay ICE (4) at Edmonton Oil Kings (3)
Kootenay (11-13-1-0) // Edmonton (5-16-2-0)

Alec Baer broke open a 2-2 tie in the third period with his ninth and 10th goals of the year as part of a three-point game as the Kootenay ICE hung on for their second straight win on the road.

Kaedan Taphorn and Peyton Krebs scored in the first period for the ICE, but the Oil Kings came back in the second with goals from Matthew Robertson and Liam Keeler.

That set the stage for the third, where Baer scored 9:01 into the period, followed by his second of the game 6:17 later. Davis Koch would score late to close the gap to one, but Bailey Brkin held on in the final minute, finishing with 31 saves for the victory.

Travis Child made 28 saves on 32 shots in the loss.

Krebs had himself a game as well, finished with a goal and an assist. Trey Fix-Wolansky had a pair of assists in the contest, giving him points in five straight games. ICE captain Colton Kroeker had a pair of helpers in the game as well.

Portland Winterhawks (6) at Red Deer Rebels (2)
Portland (18-4-0-0) // Red Deer (9-15-1-0)

No home games no problem for the Portland Winterhawks.

The Winterhawks won their ninth-straight game and fifth-straight on the road Friday, dominating the Red Deer Rebels by a 6-2 final.

Joachim Blichfeld (San Jose Sharks) hat a hat trick, including the game-winner and two power play goals, while Cody Glass (Vegas Golden Knights) scored a pair, including a short-handed goal and Shane Farkas made 39 saves as Portland secured their 18th victory of the season.

Glass and Kristian Reichel traded goals in the first period, and Mason McCarty’s 13th goal of the season gave the Rebels a 2-1 lead, but that would last all of 15 seconds as Glass’ second of the game evened things up.

The Winterhawks kept coming minutes later as Blichfeld potted his first two of the game in the final half of the second. John Ludvig added to the Winterhawks’ success early in the third with his first career WHL goal, followed eight minutes later by Blichfeld’s hat trick goal.

Blichfeld finished with four points, Glass had three and Ludvig has two while Henri Jokiharju (Chicago Blackhawks) and Skyler McKenzie (Winnipeg Jets) each added a pair of assists. Kieffer Bellows (New York Islanders) picked up an assist to give him points in 16 of his last 17 games.

Farkas was rock solid for the Winterhawks, making 19 saves in the first, eight in the second and 11 in the third to stifle the Rebels. He even picked up an assist on Blichfeld’s game-winner, his first career WHL point.

Medicine Hat Tigers (3) at Kamloops Blazers (6)
Medicine Hat (15-8-0-0) // Kamloops (10-13-0-0)

The Kamloops Blazers continued to pick up steam, picking up their fifth win in their past six games by doubling up the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers at the Sandman Centre.

Garrett Pilon (Washington Capitals) had a hat trick and Nick Chyzowski beat out his brother’s team with a goal and two assists.

The Tigers were rolling after the first period on goals from Ryan Jevne, Cameron MacPhee’s first career WHL goal and Mark Rassell’s 24th of the season, giving them a 3-2 lead after the Blazers got goals from Pilon and Luke Zazula’s first of the season.

The Blazers waited until the second to strike, with Jermaine Loewen scoring early in the period and Chyzowski adding the Blazers’ fourth goal of the game later on in the period. Pilon scored twice while Ondrej Vala rounded out a two-point performance to give him points in five-straight games.

Dylan Ferguson (Vegas Golden Knights) stopped 34 of the 37 shots sent his way while Jordan Hollett (Ottawa Senators) stopped 43 shots in the loss.

Regina Pats (0) at Tri-City Americans (6)
Regina (13-11-2-0) // Tri-City (14-7-2-0)

Patrick Dea had come so close to shutouts in the first two months of the season that it seemed like only a matter of time until he put it all together.

Friday was that night as he made 30 saves, including 15 in the third, to silence the Regina Pats.

Jordan Topping had a pair of goals and three points while Carson Focht lit the lamp twice, including the game-winner. That goal ignited a six-goal performance for the Americans while they were missing the likes of Michael Rasmussen (Detroit Red Wings), Dylan Coghlan (Vegas Golden Knights) and Juuso Valimaki (Calgary Flames) from the lineup.

Focht opened the scoring 12:35 into the first, followed 13 seconds later by Morgan Geekie’s 10th of the season. Topping rounded out the scoring in the third with his 12th of the season to give the Americans a commanding lead after 20 minutes.

Mitchell Brown and Focht’s second of the game featured in the second a Topping complete his two-goal game in the third.

Tyler Brown allowed four goals on 15 shots while Max Paddock stopped seven of the nine shots sent his way.

Seattle Thunderbirds (3) at Victoria Royals (4)
Seattle (11-10-1-1) // Victoria (17-8-1-0)

The Victoria Royals got outshot by a two-to-one margin Friday by the Seattle Thunderbirds, but made their limited shots count, scoring twice in the final 2:05 to capture a 4-3 victory on home ice.

Jared Legien’s lone goal of the game came with 18 seconds left in the contest, propelling the Royals to their 17th victory of the season and helping them improve to 7-1-1-0 in one goal games this season.

Igor Martynov added a pair of goals for the Royals while Matthew Phillips (Calgary Flames) also scored in the game. Kaid Oliver and Dante Hannoun each had a pair of assists for the Royals in the victory.

Griffen Outhouse stopped an impressive 43 shots throughout the course of the game, including all 16 in the final period to deny the T-Birds a chance at two points.

Sami Moilanen, Zack Andrusiak and Dillon Hamaliuk all scored for the Thunderbirds in the loss. Matt Berlin stopped 19 of 23 shots.

Kelowna Rockets (3) at Vancouver Giants (2)
Kelowna (13-8-2-1) // Vancouver (10-11-2-2)

The Kelowna Rockets snapped a two-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Giants Friday.

Carsen Twarynski (Philadelphia Flyers), Dillon Dube (Calgary Flames) and Kyle Topping all scored for the Rockets while James Porter made 30 saves and was named the game’s first star.

Dawson Holt and Brendan Semchuk responded for the Giants while Ty Ronning (New York Rangers) saw his goal streak end at 11 games.

The Giants and Rockets traded goals in the first and second periods before Dube scored the go-ahead goal 3:13 into the final period.  Todd Scott stopped 21 of 24 shots in the loss.

Spokane Chiefs (1) at Everett Silvertips (4)
Spokane (12-9-1-2) // Everett (12-12-1-1)

Carter Hart (Philadelphia Flyers) had another 30-plus save performance, holding his opponents to a single goal and delivering a win for the Everett Silvertips. Stop us if you’ve heard this one before.

Hart was on his game against the Spokane Chiefs Friday, making 34 saves in a 4-1 victory at home. In the process, he continued to improve upon his league-best statistics of a 1.59 goals against average and .953 SV%.

Patrick Bajkov, Sean Richards and Jake Christensen each had a goal and an assist while Wyatte Wylie added a pair of assists as the Silvertips improved to 6-3-0-1 in their last 10 games and now just one point behind the Chiefs for third in the U.S. Division.

Dawson Weatherill stopped 25 shots in the loss while Milos Fafrak was the lone Chiefs skater to score a goal Friday.

Bajkov’s assist game him points in seven of his last eight games.

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