WHL Roundup: Shynkaruk strikes, boosts Blades to vital victory over Rebels
Victoria Royals (3) at Kelowna Rockets (4)
Victoria (37-24-4-1) // Kelowna (41-21-5-0)
The Kelowna Rockets fended off the Victoria Royals, holding on for a 4-3 victory Tuesday night.
The Rockets built a 4-0 lead in Tuesday’s contest, only to see the Royals execute a late-game push.
Nolan Foote opened the scoring in the first period before Carsen Twarynski and Calvin Thurkauf notched goals in the second period.
Leif Mattson made it a 4-0 game 5:19 into the third period before the Royals stormed the gates.
Jack Walker started it all with his 29th of the season with 7:20 to go in regulation. Only 18 seconds later, Jared Dmytriw struck to make it a 4-2 game. Dmytriw collected his second of the night with 1:15 to go in the third period, making it a 4-3 game, but the Rockets managed to hold off the visitors.
Michael Herringer made 30 saves for his 30th win of the season.
James Hilsendager recorded two assists for the Rockets.
The victory pushed Kelowna to within two points of the Prince George Cougars for first place in the B.C. Division. Both clubs have five games remaining on their respective schedules.
— Kelowna Rockets (@Kelowna_Rockets) March 8, 2017
Kootenay ICE (3) at Medicine Hat Tigers (4) – OT
Kootenay (14-41-9-2) // Medicine Hat (47-19-1-0)
Chad Butcher scored 36 seconds into overtime as the Medicine Hat Tigers slipped past the Kootenay ICE 4-3 Tuesday night.
The Tigers nearly fell to the ICE, but were given an extra life courtesy a late third period tally from John Dahlstrom that tied the game 3-3 with 3:49 remaining.
This all came to be necessary after the ICE scored three straight to start the third period, erasing a 2-0 Tigers advantage.
Mark Rassell converted in the first period and Clayton Kirichenko found the back of the net in the second to give Medicine Hat a two-goal edge through 40 minutes. But the third period provided a shift in story. Brett Davis got the ICE on the board 1:44 in and Colton Kroeker tied the affair just less than five minutes later. Vince Loschiavo beat Michael Bullion 1:27 later and suddenly the ICE held a 3-2 lead. But it didn’t hold as Dahlstrom eventually tied the game before Butcher ended it in overtime.
Michael Bullion made 24 saves for his 19th win of the season.
Kirichenko (1G-1A), David Quenneville (2A) and Butcher (1G-1A) had multipoint nights for the Tigers.
Loschiavo (1G-2A), Kroeker (1G-1A) and Davis (1G-1A) paced the ICE offense.
Swift Current Broncos (4) at Prince Albert Raiders (2)
Swift Current (35-20-4-6) // Prince Albert (18-42-5-2)
The Swift Current Broncos scored three times in the third period, claiming a 4-2 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders Tuesday evening.
Parker Kelly and Lane Pederson exchanged first period tallies before Kelly and Kaden Elder exchange markers midway through the third period, leaving the game tied 2-2.
With only 58 seconds to go in regulation, Tyler Steenbergen struck for his 47th goal of the season to put the Broncos in front 3-2 and Ryley Lindgren added some empty-net insurance 40 seconds later.
The win serves as the fifth in a row for the Broncos.
Jordan Papirny made 33 saves for his 21st win of the season.
Artyom Minulin chipped in with two helpers for the Broncos.
— SC Broncos (@SCBroncos) March 8, 2017
Saskatoon Blades (2) at Red Deer Rebels (1) – OT
Saskatoon (26-31-7-2) // Red Deer (26-28-8-4)
Jesse Shynkaruk did all his team’s scoring, including potting the game-winner with only 17 seconds to go in overtime, as the Saskatoon Blades edged the Red Deer Rebels 2-1 Tuesday.
Shynkaruk kick-started the festivities by tallying his 29th of the season only 1:12 into the first period before Evan Polei responded with his 29th of the campaign, tying the game at 1-1 with 7:50 to go in the second period.
A scoreless third period bled into overtime before Shynkaruk sent his 30th of the year past Riley Lamb to give the Saskatoon Blades a much-needed extra point as they continue to pursue a playoff spot.
Logan Flodell turned aside 35 shots for his 20th win of the season.
The battle for the second wild card slot in the Eastern Conference remains very much up for grabs.
The victory vaulted the Blades back into the playoff picture, one point ahead of the Calgary Hitmen. Saskatoon carries 61 points with six games remaining in their regular season, while the Hitmen have 60 points to their credit, along with seven games left to play.
The Rebels sit third in the Central Division with 64 points, only four up on the Hitmen. Red Deer also has six games remaining.
There’s plenty of potential shuffling left to happen before the final buzzer sounds to end the regular season.
— Saskatoon Blades (@BladesHockey) March 8, 2017
Spokane Chiefs (2) at Seattle Thunderbirds (5)
Spokane (26-29-7-3) // Seattle (42-19-4-2)
The see-saw battle in the U.S. Division continues as the Seattle Thunderbirds moved past the Everett Silvertips and back into first place with a 5-2 win over the Spokane Chiefs Tuesday night.
After Hudson Elynuik gave the Chiefs a 1-0 lead 5:55 into the first period, Seattle took over.
Alexander True converted a power-play opportunity at the 9:08 mark to tie the game before Turner Ottenbreit put the Thunderbirds in the lead 1:37 later. For good measure, Anthony Bishop added another before the first period was over, scoring with 30 seconds left, as Seattle took a 3-1 lead to the dressing room after 20 minutes.
Following a scoreless second period, Keegan Kolesar scored his 26th of the season 2:14 into the third period and Donovan Neuls gave his club a commanding 5-1 cushion before the midpoint of the final period.
Rounding out the scoring, Kailer Yamamoto made good on a penalty shot with only 53 seconds to go in regulation, recording his 37th goal of the season.
Rylan Toth made 26 saves for his 35th win of the season.
Ryan Gropp (2A), Mathew Barzal (2A) and Kolesar (1G-1A) continued to flex their muscles on the Seattle side of the scoresheet.
The win puts Seattle in first place in the U.S. Division, one point ahead of the Everett Silvertips. Thunderbirds are owners of 90 points with five games left to play, while the ‘Tips hold 89 points with eight games remaining on their schedule.
— Seattle Thunderbirds (@SeattleTbirds) March 8, 2017