WHL Roundup: Reichel guides Rebels past Raiders with two-goal performance
Prince George Cougars (0) at Swift Current Broncos (4)
Prince George (18-25-4-4) // Swift Current (36-12-3-1)
Joel Hofer was at the top of his game Tuesday as the rookie goaltender stopped all 30 shots in his first Western Hockey League shutout, a 4-0 blanking of the Prince George Cougars.
Hofer three saves in the first, seven in the second, and 20 in the third for his clean sheet, also counting as his sixth win of the season.
It wasn’t only Hofer working towards a Broncos’ victory Tuesday as Colby Sissions (New Jersey Devils) added three assists, captain Glenn Gawdin (Calgary Flames) added a pair of helpers and Tyler Steenbergen (Arizona Coyotes) had a goal and an assist, opening the scoring for the game-winner.
Matteo Gennaro scored his 32nd goal of the season in the second while Max Patterson and Josh Anderson (Colorado Avalanche) scored in the third, with Anderson lighting the lamp for the first time in a Broncos’ uniform.
Gawdin’s pair of points gave him 92 points on the season, moving him into a tie for third in the WHL’s scoring race with divisional rival Jayden Halbgewachs (San Jose Sharks) of the Moose Jaw Warriors. Gawdin is also approaching some personal history, with him four games away from 300 for his WHL career.
Tavin Grant stopped 36 of 40 shots in the loss. Jackson Leppard led the Cougars with five shots Tuesday.
The Broncos have now won three straight and six in a row at home.
— SC Broncos (@SCBroncos) January 31, 2018
Red Deer Rebels (4) at Prince Albert Raiders (3) — OT
Red Deer (13-25-9-3) // Prince Albert (20-20-8-2)
Kristian Reichel helped the Red Deer Rebels begin their five-game road trip on a positive note, scoring the last two goals of Tuesday’s contest and picking up three points to lift his club over the Prince Albert Raiders in overtime at the Art Hauser Centre.
The two goals were Reichel’s 18th and 19th of the campaign as the Rebels improved to 3-0-1-0 in their last four games.
A wild 4:10 stretch in the second period more than made up for a scoreless first as four goals, two from each side, found the back of the net. Justin Nachbaur and Mason McCarty traded goals 55 seconds apart to put the Raiders ahead first followed by a tying goal from the Rebels.
Raiders captain Curtis Miske put the Raiders ahead by one 64 seconds after McCarty’s goal on his 17th of the campaign, but true to the nature of the period, Alex Morozoff’s second of the season tied things up with 6:12 remaining in the middle period, keeping things deadlocked at 2-2 after 40 minutes.
Eric Pearce would put the Raiders ahead for the third time in the evening early into the third, but Reichel came back minutes later with his first of the game, followed by the winner 2:37 into overtime.
Riley Lamb started between the pipes, making 25 saves in the victory as WHL Goaltender of the Week Ethan Anders got a well-deserved night off. Ian Scott (Toronto Maple Leafs) stopped 19 of 23 in the loss.
Despite the defeat, the Raiders are still 4-0-2-0 in their last six.
Rebels win!!!!! Kristian Reichel with the game winner, Rebels win 4-3 in OT over the Raiders. Final shots 28-23 PA. #RDR
— Red Deer Rebels (@Rebelshockey) January 31, 2018
Medicine Hat Tigers (2) at Kelowna Rockets (5)
Medicine Hat (26-20-6-0) // Kelowna (32-14-3-1)
A battle of division leaders in the Okanagan ended with the Kelowna Rockets leapfrogging the Everett Silvertips for first place in the WHL’s Western Conference Tuesday.
Captain Cal Foote (Tampa Bay Lightning), Dillon Dube (Calgary Flames), and Kole Lind (Vancouver Canucks) were up to their usual offensive tricks, combining for three goals and eight points in a 5-2 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers.
Foote and Dube each collected a goal and a pair of assists while Lind had a goal and a helper to move him within a point of 200 for his WHL career.
After Foote had the lone goal of the first period and Leif Mattson and Carsen Twarynski (Philadelphia Flyers) added goals in the first 8:42 of the second period, things seemed bleak for the Tigers.
Even as they got on the scoreboard thanks to WHL defencemen scoring leader David Quenneville’s (New York Islanders) 21st goal of the season, the Rockets had an answer minutes later from the stick of Lind for his 27th of the season.
Dawson Heathcote would bring the Tigers within a pair of goals early in the third, but that’s how things would stay until Dube potted an empty-net goal for his 22nd of the season, placing him three points away from the 200-point milestone.
Gordie Ballhorn and Braydyn Chizen each had an assist in the victory.
James Hamblin extended his point streak to four games Tuesday, collecting an assist to move him within a point for 100 for his WHL career, all spent with the Tigers.
Brodan Salmond stopped 31 of 33 shots in the victory, Jordan Hollett (Ottawa Senators) stopped 39 of 43 in the loss.
Tuesday’s victory ensured a sweep of the three-game season series between the two clubs with the Rockets outscoring the Tigers 13-5 in the three games.
Time expires! Rockets take it 5-2 over the Tigers! Shots 44-33 for KEL. PP KEL 2/5, MH 1/4. Brodan Salmond with 30 saves for his 6th win of the season #KELvsMH #WHLRockets #W pic.twitter.com/I0rYqVaXuh
— Kelowna Rockets (@Kelowna_Rockets) January 31, 2018