WHL Roundup: Ronning, Quenneville secure victories on historic nights

Randy Feere/Vancouver Giants


Lethbridge Hurricanes (0) at Moose Jaw Warriors (2)
Lethbridge (25-22-6-0) // Moose Jaw (41-9-1-2)

Brody Willms stopped all 20 shots sent his way Friday night while Vince Loschiavo and Brayden Burke supplied the offence in a 2-0 blanking of the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Willms stopped seven shots in the first, eight in the second and five in the third for his fourth career Western Hockey League shutout.

Loschiavo got the Warriors on the board 8:11 into the first while Burke scored nearly eight minutes later, registering his 99th point of the season to share a tie of the lead in the WHL’s scoring race.

Tristin Langan, Kale Clague (Los Angeles Kings), and Jayden Halbgewachs (San Jose Sharks) picked up assists in the victory.

Logan Flodell stopped 34 of 36 shots in the loss while Hurricanes’ captain Jordy Bellerive (Pittsburgh Penguins) led Lethbridge with seven shots in the contest.

Kootenay ICE (4) at Regina Pats (2)
Kootenay (24-28-3-0) // Regina (28-23-5-0)

Kootenay ICE captain Colton Kroeker, Dallas Hines, and Alec Baer each had a goal and an assist while Duncan McGovern stopped 37 of 39 shots as they doubled up the Regina Pats Friday night in the Queen City.

After Baer had the only goal of the first period, they added three more goals in the second with Sebastian Streu’s ninth of the season counting as the game-winner.

All three ICE goals came in a 6:29 span during the first half of the second period. Nick Henry (Colorado Avalanche) scored in the second and Matt Bradley scored in the third for the Pats in the loss.

Ryan Kubic stopped 29 of 33 shots in defeat Friday. Sam Steel (Anaheim Ducks) had a pair of assists and Cameron Hebig (Edmonton Oilers) added a helper in his 250th career WHL game.

Prince Albert Raiders (1) at Swift Current Broncos (5)
Prince Albert (22-21-9-2) // Swift Current (38-13-3-1)

A four-goal first period powered the Swift Current Broncos to victory Friday at home.

Captain Glenn Gawdin (Calgary Flames) scored twice while teammates Beck Malenstyn and Giorgio Estephan each had a goal and an assist in the victory.

Goals 45 and 46 on the year for Gawdin came as the first two goals of the game for the Broncos. The goals gave Gawdin a share of the WHL’s scoring lead with 99 points.

Fourteen seconds after Gawdin’s second goal, Estephan struck for his 25th of the season, followed six minutes later by Malenstyn’s seventh of the season to put the finishing touches on the exciting first for the home crowd.

Kaden Elder would get in on the scoring party 1:43 into the second with his 13th of the season, giving the home side Broncos up by a five spot. That lead would last until past the midway point of the second as Justin Nachbaur ending the shutout bid from Broncos goaltender Stuart Skinner (Edmonton Oilers), who stilled finished with 29 saves.

Matteo Gennaro picked up a pair of assists while Tyler Steenbergen (Arizona Coyotes), Aleksi Heponiemi (Florida Panthers), Tanner Nagel, and Artyom Minulin added helpers. Sean Montgomery and Brett Leason had the assists for Prince Albert Friday.

Curtis Meger stopped 30 of 35 in the loss.

Saskatoon Blades (3) at Brandon Wheat Kings (6)
Saskatoon (26-26-2-1) // Brandon (30-19-3-2)

The Saskatoon Blades had hopes of securing an important two points Friday in Manitoba to aid them in the playoff race.

The Brandon Wheat Kings had other ideas.

Cole Reinhardt had a pair of goals and three points, Evan Weinger had a goal and an assist, and Logan Thompson stopped 33 of 36 shots in a 6-3 victory over the visiting Blades.

The Wheat Kings trailed 3-2 after 40 minutes, but reeled off five unanswered goals, including four in the third period, to comeback in the game. Reinhardt opened the scoring, but Max Gerlach, Bradley Goethals, and Dawson Davidson responded for the Blades to give them a 3-1 lead 10:57 into the second.

From there on out, it was all Wheat Kings though as Luka Burzan, captain James Shearer, Chase Hartje, Reinhardt, and Weinger powered Brandon back into the lead.

Thompson stopped all 10 shots from the Blades in the third period.

Tyler Brown took the loss, stopping 19 of 23 shots. Hartje and Weinger’s goals came as late empty-netters.

Edmonton Oil Kings (2) at Red Deer Rebels (7)
Edmonton (14-32-5-2) // Red Deer (17-25-10-3)

Kristian Reichel recorded the first hat trick of his WHL career and the Red Deer Rebels continued their charge towards earning a berth in the 2017 WHL playoffs with a 7-2 victory over the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings.

Tied 1-1 after 20 minutes, the Rebels exploded for three goals in the second and three more in the third.

Mason McCarty and Brandon Hagel (Buffalo Sabres) each had a goal and two assists while Dawson Barteaux added a pair of assists.

In net, Riley Lamb stopped 24 of 26 shots to preserve the victory. Todd Scott stopped 33 of 40 shots in the loss.

Kobe Mohr opened the scoring, but the Rebels proceeded to reel off five straight goals with McCarty, Arshdeep Bains and Reichel’s hat trick powering the Rebels into the lead.

The Oil Kings would cut the Rebels’ lead to three midway through the third on David Kope’s short-handed goal, but Hagel and Hunter Donohoe would add late goals to secure the victory.

The two teams will conclude their season series Saturday afternoon in Edmonton as part of Sportnet’s Saturday Showcase.

Calgary Hitmen (0) at Medicine Hat Tigers (4)
Calgary (16-31-5-2) // Medicine Hat (28-22-7-0)

Michael Bullion made it back-to-back shutouts wih a 16-save performance and David Quenneville (New York Islanders) became the highest-scoring defenceman in franchise history as the Medicine Hat Tigers blanked the visiting Calgary Hitmen Friday.

Elijan Brown added a pair of goals while Mark Rassell and Ryan Chyzowski added the other goals for the Tigers. After a scoreless first, the Tigers struck for three goals in a 140-second span in the first few minutes of the middle period.

Chyzowski added his 18th of the season late in the third on the power play. Overall, the Tigers fired 45 shots at Nick Schneider (Calgary Flames) Friday as he made a respectable 41 saves.

Tristen Nielsen led the Hitmen with five shots in the game.

Kamloops Blazers (3) at Prince George Cougars (2)
Kamloops (25-25-1-3) // Prince George (19-28-4-4)

Jermaine Loewen scored in the final minute of regulation Friday to lift the Kamloops Blazers over the Prince George Cougars by a 3-2 score.

Loewen’s goal was the only one of the final 40 minutes as the two teams combined for four goals in the first 20 minutes.

Ryley Appelt scored 97 seconds into the game, but the Cougars came right back with Ilijah Colina’s eighth goal of the season and Kjell Kjemhus’ first career WHL goal in the next two minutes to take over the lead. That one-goal lead would last for all of six minutes and seven seconds as Jackson Shepard scored just before the midway mark of the first period to wrap up a wild 10 minutes.

Dylan Ferguson (Vegas Golden Knights) made 26 saves to earn the victory Friday while Taylor Gauthier stopped 30 shots in the loss.

Joe Gatenby had a pair of helpers in the contest for the Blazers.

Tri-City Americans (1) at Portland Winterhawks (3)
Tri-City (27-18-7-1) // Portland (33-18-1-3)

Dennis Cholowski (Detroit Red Wings), Joachim Blichfeld (San Jose Sharks), and Kieffer Bellows (New York Islanders) helped turn a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 win for the Portland Winterhawks Friday at the Moda Centre.

Jordan Topping had the lone goal of the first period, but Cholowski and Blichfeld responded 69 seconds apart while Bellows scored the only goal of the third.

Shane Farkas kept the door shut on the Americans besides Topping’s goal, making 32 saves on 33 shots. Patrick Dea stopped 34 of 37 shots in the loss.

Kelowna Rockets (1) at Victoria Royals (6)
Kelowna (33-17-3-1) // Victoria (33-19-3-1)

Matthew Phillips (Calgary Flames) scored twice, Tyler Soy (Anaheim Ducks) added a goal and four points, Dante Hannoun added a goal and three points and Tanner Kaspick (St. Louis Blues) added three assists to power the Victoria Royals past the Kelowna Rockets Friday.

The Royals opened the scoring in the first on Hannoun’s 22nd of the year and added to their lead in the second as Phillips became the latest member of this season’s 40-goal club in the WHL.

Dillon Dube (Calgary Flames) would respond for the Rockets, but it wasn’t enough to slow down the Royals’ offence Friday as Igor Martynov and Phillips added his second of the game to build up a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes. Soy and Andrei Grishakov would add goals in the third to complete the offensive surge, pulling the Royals into a tie for the B.C. Division lead.

Griffen Outhouse stopped 37 of 38 shots in the victory, with Dean McNabb stopping both shots sent his way in four minutes of action. James Porter and Brodan Salmond combined for 34 saves on 40 shots Friday.

Seattle Thunderbirds (1) at Vancouver Giants (2)
Seattle (27-18-6-2) // Vancouver (29-17-5-3)

*You are now entering the Ty Ronning appreciate zone*

Ty Ronning’s (New York Rangers) magical goal scoring season reached a historic milestone Friday as the Vancouver Giants forward scored the opening goal of the game and then the overtime-winner against the Seattle Thunderbirds to set the franchise record for goals in a single season, passing former Giants forward Evander Kane.

Ronning also moved within a goal of the first 50-goal campaign in Vancouver Giants history and sparked his club to earn a much-needed two points in the race for the B.C. Division crown.

David Tendeck was also superb, making 49 saves on 50 shots, limiting the Seattle Thunderbirds to just a single goal from the stick of Noah Philp midway through the third.

Davis Koch and Brayden Watts picked up the lone assists for the Giants in the victory. Liam Hughes stopped 19 of 21 shots in the overtime loss.

Spokane Chiefs (2) at Everett Silvertips (1) — OT
Spokane (29-19-3-2) // Everett (34-17-2-2)

Even for the Western Conference leaders, a game can change in a matter of minutes.

That was a harsh blow dealt to the Everett Silvertips by the Spokane Chiefs Friday. First, Jaret Anderson-Dolan (Los Angeles Kings) scored with less than two minutes to go to break up a shutout bid from Carter Hart (Philadelphia Flyers). Then in overtime, Kailer Yamamoto (Edmonton Oilers) notched his 11th goal of the season 2:58 into the extra period, lifting the Chiefs to a 2-1 victory.

The Silvertips had sat in the drivers seat from the start of the game, with Garrett Pilon (Washington Capitals) striking for his 26th goal of the season midway through the opening period.

Hart finished with 30 saves in the contest while Dawson Weatherill earned the victory, making 38 saves on 39 shots.

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