WHL Roundup: Overtime winners galore on a busy night across the WHL
Moose Jaw Warriors (7) at Brandon Wheat Kings (4)
Moose Jaw (29-6-1-2) // Brandon (25-10-0-1)
Brayden Burke and Ryan Peckford shined on the national stage as the Moose Jaw Warriors’ offence flexed their muscles on Sportsnet’s latest Saturday Showcase Broadcast.
Burke had a goal and four points while Peckford scored twice and finished with three points as the Warriors downed their division rivals. Justin Almeida picked up four helpers in the victory.
Jayden Halbgewachs (San Jose Sharks) and Tristin Langan each had a goal and an assist.
The Wheat Kings jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first before the Warriors answered back with five straight goals to take firm control of the game. Linden McCorrister finished with a pair of goals in the loss.
Brody Willms stopped 29 of 33 shots in the victory while Logan Thompson stopped 32 of 38 in the loss.
— The WHL (@TheWHL) December 30, 2017
— CanadianHockeyLeague (@CHLHockey) December 31, 2017
Regina Pats (2) at Prince Albert Raiders (1)
Regina (18-18-3-0) // Prince Albert (13-17-5-2)
A short-handed goal by Jake Leschyshyn (Vegas Golden Knights) with 6:17 left in the third period was the difference as the Regina Pats doubled up the Prince Albert Raiders Saturday at the Art Hauser Centre.
Jared Legien scored his first goal in a Pats uniform to open the scoring in the first, but the Raiders responded in the second with a goal from Curtis Miske. That would be the only other offence though as Tyler Brown stopped 47 of 48 shots Saturday to help lead his club to an important two points.
Matt Bradley picked up the only assist of the night for the Pats while Zach Hayes and Jordy Stallard (Winnipeg Jets) had helpers for the Raiders. Curtis Meger stopped 18 of 20 shots in the loss.
— Regina Pats (@WHLPats) December 31, 2017
Saskatoon Blades (4) at Swift Current Broncos (3)
Saskatoon (18-17-2-1) // Swift Current (26-9-2-0)
Josh Paterson continued to score at will Saturday, tallying a pair of goals against the Swift Current Broncos as the Saskatoon Blades picked up their fourth straight victory.
Cameron Hebig (Edmonton Oilers) and Braylon Shmyr each tallied a goal and an assist in the victory, with the latter tallying the game-winner with 4:35 to go in the third.
Hebig and Colby Sissons (New Jersey Devils) traded goals in the first period and Max Patterson put the Broncos up by one after 40, but the Saskatoon Blades would not be denied another victory.
Paterson opened the scoring in the third with a goal 6:03 in, but Beck Malenstyn responded 22 seconds later to keep the Broncos ahead by a goal. That restored one-goal lead lasted for just 128 seconds as Paterson scored his second of the contest before Shmyr tallied the game-winner minutes later.
Matteo Gennaro picked up three assists in the game. Chase Wouters had a pair of helpers in the victory for Saskatoon.
Nolan Maier continued to post impressive numbers for the Blades, stopping 29 of 32 shots. Logan Flodell stopped 28 of 32 shots in the loss.
— Saskatoon Blades (@BladesHockey) December 31, 2017
Lethbridge Hurricanes (2) at Calgary Hitmen (3) — OT
Lethbridge (16-17-3-0) // Calgary (11-19-5-1)
Mark Kastelic scored his 10th goal of the year 56 seconds into overtime Saturday to lift the Calgary Hitmen to a crucial overtime victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes jumped out to a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes on goals from Jordy Bellerive (Pittsburgh Penguins) and Egor Zudilov, but the Hitmen responded in the second with a pair of goals from Andrei Grishakov, his first multi-goal game of the season.
Both goaltenders kept their teams in the hunt for a pair of points Saturday with Reece Klassen stopping 27 shots, including 10 in the third, and Nick Schneider (Calgary Flames) turning aside 40 shots, 14 of which came in the third.
This photo says it all 😃
Check out the awesome photo gallery from our win over the Hurricanes! ➡️ https://t.co/ct2IFWibmr
— Calgary Hitmen (@WHLHitmen) December 31, 2017
Kootenay ICE (4) at Edmonton Oil Kings (3) — OT
Kootenay (18-17-2-0) // Edmonton (9-22-4-1)
Colton Kroeker’s second goal of the game came 42 seconds into overtime Saturday, lifting the Kootenay ICE to a 4-3 overtime victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings.
Keenan Taphorn and Kroeker opened the scoring, but the Oil Kings came back with goals from Davis Koch and Colton Kehler to even up the game early in the second period. Cameron Hausinger and Tomas Soustal traded goals in the second and both teams went scoreless in the third before Kroeker’s winner.
Bailey Brkin made 24 saves to send the ICE to their fifth straight victory while Josh Dechaine made 29 saves on 33 shots in the overtime loss. Despite losing in overtime, the Oil Kings have now recorded points in four straight games.
— Kootenay ICE (@WHLKootenayICE) December 31, 2017
Red Deer Rebels (3) at Medicine Hat Tigers (4) — OT
Red Deer (10-19-6-2) // Medicine Hat (20-15-2-0)
The Medicine Hat Tigers became the first team in the Central Division to reach 20 wins Saturday as Mark Rassell’s overtime goal lifted the Tigers over the visiting Red Deer rebels at the Canalta Centre.
Rassell finished with a pair of goals as the Tigers picked up their third win in their last four games. Gary Haden opened the scoring 11:31 into the first with a short-handed goal, but the Rebels came back almost immediately with River Fahey scoring his first career WHL goal to even up the game.
The Tigers would regain the lead before the opening period concluded, with Rassell getting his first of the game. After Tyler Preziuso scored the lone goal of the third, the Rebels went to work chipping away at the Tigers’ two-goal lead in the third.
Arshdeep Bains and Mason McCarty struck for lamp lighters, with Bains also securing the first WHL goal of his career. All the Rebels would get out of the extra effort was a single point though as Rassell scored 4:41 into overtime to secure the extra point for the home side.
Michael Bullion stopped 23 of 26 in the victory. Ethan Anders and Riley Lamb split time in net Saturday.
Tigers General Manager & Head Coach Shaun Clouston sets Franchise record with 324th win of Tigers Career.
— Medicine Hat Tigers (@tigershockey) December 31, 2017
Rassell with the game winner!!! pic.twitter.com/8bcUncN1LF
— Medicine Hat Tigers (@tigershockey) December 31, 2017
Prince George Cougars (7) at Vancouver Giants (6) — OT
Prince George (14-18-3-2) // Vancouver (19-14-3-2)
Holy offence Batman.
There aren’t many nights when six goals for will earn you just a single point in the standings, but that’s a reality the Vancouver Giants felt Saturday as the Prince George Cougars topped them in a wild overtime game.
Kody McDonald completed his hat trick on the power play 4:48 into overtime, answering back at a hat trick from Vancouver Giants forward Ty Ronning (New York Rangers).
Dennis Cholowski (Detroit Red Wings) chipped in with a pair of goals and four points, Tyler Benson (Edmonton Oilers) had four assists and four other players picked up a pair of assists in the contest.
The Cougars jumped out to a 4-0 lead with all those goals coming in a 4:56 span during the first seven minutes of the game. The Giants answered back on their own though with a pair of goals before the end of the period, cutting the Cougars’ lead in half.
McDonald collected his second goal of the game early in the second, but the Giants kept charging back into the game, with Ronning scoring twice, followed by goals from Bowen Byram and Jared Dmyrtiw to take the lead for the first time in the game, placing the Cougars on their heels.
The Cougars would find a way to win though, with Cholowski scoring a short-handed buzzer beater in the final second of the game to force overtime before McDonald secured the extra point for the Cougars in the extra period.
Isaiah DiLaura stopepd 41 of 47 shots while Todd Scott made 32 saves on 39 shots for the overtime loss.
COUGARS WIN!!! KODY MCDONALD WITH THE HATTY!! 👒🎩🎓🚨🚨🚨
— PG Cougars (@PGCougars) December 31, 2017
Kamloops Blazers (2) at Everett Silvertips (5)
Kamloops (16-19-0-2) // Everett (23-14-1-1)
Jake Christiansen scored twice, Orrin Centazzo added a goal and two assists and Dustin Wolf made 29 saves as the Everett Silvertips returned to the win column Saturday against the Kamloops Blazers.
After Riley Sutter and Brodi Stuart traded goals in the first half of the opening period, the Silvertips took control of the game with goals from Montana Onyebuchi and Centazzo to give the home side a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes.
Christiansen would add two more goals in the third and Jackson Shepard had the lone goal of the third as the Silvertips handed the Blazers a fourth straight loss.
Wolf was superb in net, stopping 10 shots in the first, 10 more in the second and nine in the third for the 29-save performance. Max Palaga stopped 19 of 23 shots before giving way to Dylan Ferguson (Vegas Golden Knights), who stopped 14 of 15 shots in relief.
Sean Richards had a pair of helpers in the victory.
— Everett Silvertips (@WHLsilvertips) December 31, 2017
Victoria Royals (2) at Kelowna Rockets (3) — SO
Victoria (21-14-3-1) // Kelowna (23-11-2-1)
A battle of the top two teams in the B.C. Division went right down to the wire Saturday in the Okanagan.
Leif Mattson scored the shootout winner in the fifth round to secure a 3-2 victory and an extra point for the Rockets, giving them a three-point lead over the Royals for the division lead.
Mattson scored the opening goal of the game 44 seconds into the contest, but Tyler Soy (Anaheim Ducks) came right back with his 131st career WHL goal 3:08 later to tie up the game.
Kyle Topping then put the Rockets ahead in the second with his 14th goal of the season, but the Royals would find the equalizer in the final frame, with Matthew Phillips (Calgary Flames) 28th goal of the season to push the game into overtime.
After overtime solved nothing, the Royals converted on their first two shootout attempts from Dante Hannoun and Phillips, placing the pressure on Carsen Twarynski to score in the third round to keep the game alive. Not only did Twarynski convert, but Roman Basran shutdown the Royals the rest of the way, saving their last three attempts to clinch the victory.
Basran finished with 36 saves in regulation and overtime, adding three more in the shootout. Griffen Outhouse stopped 30 of 32 shots with two extra saves in the shootout.
Eric Florchuk…….. Stopped by Roman 'The Mayor' Basran and the Rockets win! I repeat the Rockets win!!!!!!!!!!! 3-2 in a shootout! #KELvsVIC #WHLRockets #BCBattle #W #rollin 🚀🐉 pic.twitter.com/4dPHV9GDBy
— Kelowna Rockets (@Kelowna_Rockets) December 31, 2017
Portland Winterhawks (3) at Seattle Thunderbirds (4) — OT
Portland (22-12-1-1) // Seattle (17-14-4-1)
Defenceman Jarret Tyszka (Montreal Canadiens) scored 3:53 into overtime, lifting the Seattle Thunderbirds over the Portland Winterhawks Saturday at home.
Skyler McKenzie (Winnipeg Jets) scored a pair of goals, but the Winterhawks were unable to recreate any of the extra period magic from the night before in the loss.
After the Winterhawks went up 2-1 after 40 minutes, the Thunderbirds came back to tie the game in the third with goals from Samuel Huo, the first career WHL goal for the Richmond, B.C. native, and Nolan Volcan. Jake Lee scored for the T-Birds in the second. Alex Overhardt had the other goal for the Winterhawks, who were defeated for the first time in overtime this season.
Zack Andrusiak picked up a pair of assists in the victory. Brendan De Jong (Carolina Hurricanes) assisted on all three Portland goals while Ryan Hughes had a pair of helpers. Clay Hanus also earned an assist in the overtime loss.
Liam Hughes stopped 31 of 34 shots for the victory. Cole Kehler (Los Angeles Kings) stopped 29 of 34 in the loss.
— Seattle Thunderbirds 2017 WHL Champions (@SeattleTbirds) December 31, 2017
Tri-City Americans (3) at Spokane Chiefs (4) – OT
Tri-City (19-10-5-0) // Spokane (20-14-1-2)
Ty Smith was a difference-maker Saturday for the Spokane Chiefs, scoring 4:09 into overtime to lift the Chiefs over the visiting Tri-City Americans.
Sasha Mutala and Jordan Topping tallied first period goals after Hudson Elynuik (Carolina Hurricanes) opened the scoring for the Chiefs, keeping the homeside behind by one after 20 minutes.
Spokane found their way back to common ground in the second though. Jaret Anderson-Dolan (Los Angeles Kings) converted on a rare short-handed penalty shot and Riley Woods extended his goal scoring streak to five games. Woods’ goal gave the Chiefs a temporary lead that lasted for all of a few minutes as Morgan Geekie (Carolina Hurricanes) answered back for the Americans 4:25 later to keep the game tied.
Elynuik finished with a goal and two assists. Zach Fischer (Calgary Flames) and Tyson Helgesen also had assists for the Chiefs. Dylan Coghlan (Vegas Golden Knights) picked up a pair of assists in the loss.
Dawson Weatherill made 21 saves on 24 shots to earn the victory while Beck Warm stopped 41 of 45 in the loss.
Smith Seals Thrilling Saturday Night Overtime Victory
BOX SCORE 📊 | https://t.co/cy6fWfXVSy
— Spokane Chiefs (@spokanechiefs) December 31, 2017