WHL Roundup: Oksanen, Bradley deliver “beauty” performance for Pats
Saskatoon Blades (3) at Regina Pats (7)
Saskatoon (1-4-0-0) // Regina (3-3-1-0)
On a night when the Regina Pats suited up with Don Cherry jerseys, it seemed only fitting that they delivered a beauty performance while wearing them.
Emil Oksanen and Matt Bradley each had four points and led an offensive explosion for the Pats Saturday as they downed the visiting Saskatoon Blades by a 7-3 in WHL on Access action from the Brandt Centre.
Oksanen opened the scoring 3:27 into the first, followed 94 seconds later by a Sam Steel power play goal to double the lead.
Making his return to the Pats’ lineup, Jake Leschyshyn notched his first on the power play 13:14 into the opening period. Oksanen rounded out the scoring on a busy first with his seventh of the season with 45 seconds to go in the period.
The Blades managed to get one back 14 seconds into the second as Braylon Shmyr scored his fourth of the season, but the Pats answered back quickly with Matt Bradley picking up his third point of the game on his sixth goal of the season.
Shmyr would add his second of the game near the midway mark of the period and Cameron Hebig scored midway through the third to make things close, but the Pats held things together long enough to close out the win.
Late goals from Bradley and Jeff de Wit rounded out the scoring. Steel and Leschyshyn each had a goal and an assist.
Max Paddock made 18 saves on 21 shots for his first win of the season. Nolan Maier took the loss in his WHL debut, making 34 saves throughout the game.
The two teams meet again in Regina this coming Wednesday.
Only seems appropriate to wear @CoachsCornerDC jerseys on Saturday Night!
Auction Ends at 8:30, https://t.co/584DqUqmq7
Puck Down, Game On pic.twitter.com/qtpeie1Nx8
— Regina Pats (@WHLPats) October 8, 2017
Brandon Wheat Kings (5) at Red Deer Rebels (2)
Brandon (3-2-0-1) // Red Deer (3-3-0-0)
Kale Clague had himself another strong game Saturday as the Brandon Wheat Kings rolled over the Red Deer Rebels by a 5-2 final.
The Los Angeles Kings defenceman finished with a pair of goals and three points while Gunnar Wegleitner and Marcus Sekundiak added goals in the victory. Carolina Hurricanes prospect Stelio Mettheos scored his seventh goal of the season, which stood up as the game winner.
Austin Pratt and Chris Douglas answered back in the second period for the Rebels.
Wegleitner opened the scoring with the lone goal of the first period. Pratt tied the game up early in the second, but quick goals from Clague and Mattheos built up a two-goal lead for the visitors.
Douglas cut the lead to one, but Clague added his second of the game late in the second and Sekundiak added the lone goal of the third to round out the scoring.
Dylan Myskiw picked up his first win with the Wheat Kings, making 31 saves. Ethan Anders and Lasse Petersen combined to make 21 saves Saturday.
The Wheat Kings wrap up their road trip of Alberta Sunday in Calgary against the Hitmen while the Rebels will be off until Tuesday, when they host the Everett Silvertips.
— Brandon Wheat Kings (@bdnwheatkings) October 8, 2017
Kootenay ICE (2) at Swift Current Broncos (5)
Kootenay (2-4-1-0) // Swift Current (5-0-0-0)
Tyler Steenbergen had a multi-goal game while the Swift Current Broncos stayed perfect on the season. Stop us if you’ve heard this one before.
Stenbergen notched a pair of goals while Aleksi Heponiemi and Colby Sissons had big games as the Broncos joined the Moose Jaw Warriors at 5-0-0-0 to begin the season.
After scoring the lone goal of the first period, Tyler Steenbergen doubled the Broncos lead 35 seconds into the second. Colby Sissons extended the lead for the Broncos in their home opener with his his third of the season. The ICE got one back before the period was complete, with Tanner Sidaway scoring his first goal of the season.
The Broncos put things out of reach in the third as Glenn Gawdin and Aleksi Heponiemi added goals while Brett Davis added the second goal for the ICE.
Logan Flodell made 20 saves on 22 shots for his second win in as many days while Bailey Brkin made 29 stops in the losing effort.
The Broncos’ win adds intrigue to their contest Sunday as the Broncos will face the Warriors for temporary bragging rights at the top of East Division. The ICE are at home Thursday to begin a three-game home stand against the Red Deer Rebels.
— SC Broncos (@SCBroncos) October 8, 2017
Prince Albert Raiders (6) at Medicine Hat Tigers (1)
Prince Albert (3-3-0-0)) // Medicine Hat (3-3-0-0)
The Prince Albert Raiders used a three-goal second period to dominate their hosts Saturday at the Canalta Centre in Medicine Hat.
Jordy Stallard had a goal and six points while Parker Kelly had a pair of goals and an assist in the lopsided win for the Raiders. Curtis Meger got more than enough goal support, but was still at his best, making 25 saves on 26 shots to preserve the victory.
Stallard opened the scoring in the first period, followed by Mark Rassell’s sixth goal of the season seven seconds into the second period to even up the game. Cole Fonstad quickly put the Raiders back into the lead with what would be the eventual game-winner.
Zack Hayes and Max Martin added more goals for the Raiders in the second period, all assisted by Stallard to build up an insurmountable lead after 40 minutes. For good measure in the third, Kelley notched his fourth and fifth goals of the season 3:27 apart, completing Stallard’s six-point game.
The Tigers are back in action Wednesday as they host the Everett Silvertips. The Raiders are now off until next Friday when they host the Regina Pats at the Art Hauser Centre.
Raiders win! Make the final 6-1 in Medicine Hat! pic.twitter.com/a2js7cNzdG
— PrinceAlbert Raiders (@PARaidersHockey) October 8, 2017
Kelowna Rockets (4) at Prince George Cougars (3) OT
Kelowna (4-1-0-1) // Prince George (2-3-2-0)
The Kelowna Rockets snatched victory from the jaws of defeat for a second straight night at the CN Centre in Prince George, downing the Cougars by a 4-3 final Saturday.
Konrad Belcourt and Dillon Dube were the heroes Saturday, with Belcourt scoring with 1:38 to go before Dube notched the game-winner 4:17 into the extra period.
The goals averted what was almost a disasterous collapse for the Rockets.Up 2-0 after 40 minutes on goals from Kole Lind and Carsen Twarynski, the Cougars reeled off three goals in a 9:52 span during the third period to take over the lead.
Brogan O’Brien, Jackson Leppard and Dennis Cholowski notched goals for the home side Cougars.
James Porter had three blemishes on the 45 shots he faced Saturday, but hung in between the pipes for the victory. Tavin Grant made 19 saves on 23 shots to take the loss.
The Rockets are in action next Friday when they host the Calgary Hitmen at Prospera Place. The Cougars will continue their five-game home stand against the Hitmen Tuesday.
— Kelowna Rockets (@Kelowna_Rockets) October 8, 2017
Portland Winterhawks (10) at Seattle Thunderbirds (5)
Portland (4-1-0-0) // Seattle (2-2-0-1)
The goals came early and often for both the Portland Winterhawks and Seattle Thunderbirds Saturday in Kent, Wash.
Ultimately though, the Winterhawks became the first team in the Western Hockey League to reach double-digit goals in a single game this season, putting up a 10-spot on their hosts.
Henri Jokiharju scored a pair of goals and had four points while Skyler McKenzie and Cody Glass each had three-point games. Sami Moilanen paced the Thunderbirds with a pair of goals.
Zack Andrusiak opened the scoring for the Thunderbirds but the Winterhawks reeled off three straight goals to end the first period. Jokiharju and Moilanen traded early goals in the second period before Jake Gricius added another for Portland, followed 94 seconds later by Jokiharju’s second of the game.
The teams then traded one more goal each in the rest of the second. In the third, the Winterhawks tallied three goals to the Thunderbirds two, rounding out the offensive outburst by both squads.
Liam Hughes and Matt Berlin combined to make 29 saves on 39 shots in the loss for Seattle while Shane Farkas made 23 saves for the win.
The Winterhawks are at home Sunday to open a two-game set with the Spokane Chiefs while the Thunderbirds will travel to the Sandman Centre for a Sunday date with the Kamloops Blazers.
FINAL: Winterhawks: 10 Thunderbirds: 5
Winterhawks now with 16 goals in their last two games… pic.twitter.com/6kWcMsRJAS
— Portland Winterhawks (@pdxwinterhawks) October 8, 2017
Tri-City Americans (4) at Vancouver Giants (3)
Tri-City (3-3-0-0) // Vancouver (2-3-0-0)
Patrick Dea’s 50th career WHL victory came at a good time for the Tri-City Americans, who salvaged a split with the Vancouver Giants Saturday, winning by a 4-3 final.
Michael Rasmussen and Jordan Topping each had a goal and an assist while Dea made 31 saves in the victory.
Milos Roman opened the scoring midway through the second period followed six minutes later by Parker AuCoin’s second of the season to even things up after 40 minutes.
Topping put the Ams ahead early in the third, but this time it was the Giants’ chance to respond, with Cyle McNabb evening up the game. Rasmussen restored the lead 50 seconds later, which is how the game would stand until the final two minutes.
Maxwell James appeared to add the insurance goal late short-handed, but luckily it turned out to be the game-winner as Bredan Semchuk scored later for the Giants to keep things within a goal.
Todd Scott took the loss for the Giants between the pipes, making 33 saves on 37 shots.
The Americans will now head for Vancouver Island and a pair of games against the Victoria Royals while the Giants will head south of the 49th parallel for the first time this season, taking on the Seattle Thunderbirds Tuesday.
The Vancouver Giants also donned some beautiful jerseys in support of organ donation Saturday as part of the Suiting up with Don Cherry promotion, presented by RE/MAX. The Giants wore their custom jerseys that were subsequently auctioned off in support of the partnership.
Photo credit: Rik Fedyck