Kootenay ICE (1) at Medicine Hat Tigers (3)
Kootenay (25-34-3-0) // Medicine Hat (30-24-7-0)
The Medicine Hat Tigers tallied a pair of third period goals Tuesday at home to make the difference between themselves and the Kootenay ICE in a 3-1 game.
Brett Davis (Dallas Stars) opened the scoring in the first with a beautiful short-handed goal, but the Tigers rallied. Tyler Preziuso scored the lone goal of the second to tie up the game and goals from Bryan Lockner and an empty-net goal from David Quenneville (New York Islanders) in the third made the difference.
Quenneville’s goal was the 200th point of his Western Hockey League career. In net, Michael Bullion stopped 19 of 20 shots for the victory, his 14th of the season.
Matt Berlin stopped all 11 shots in the first period to hold the Tigers off the board, but they’d eventually find a way through, making Berlin finish with 29 saves on 31 shots.
The win helped the Tigers open up a three-point lead atop the Central Division while the ICE remained on the outside of the playoff race, two points behind the Red Deer Rebels for third in the division with two more games played.
Prince George Cougars (5) at Kelowna Rockets (6)
Prince George (20-31-4-4) // Kelowna (36-18-4-2)
Dillon Dube (Calgary Flames) and Carsen Twarynski (Philadelphia Flyers) each scored twice while Dube added an assist for the three-point game as the Kelowna Rockets survived a wild 6-5 game against the Prince George Cougars.
Rookie Liam Kindree also came through with a three-point effort for the Rockets to aid in their offensive success Tuesday where every goal mattered.
The first period alone featured six goals. Dube scored once, Twarynski twice, and Kindree once as well, while the Cougars received goals from Jackson Leppard and Vladislav Mikhalchuk in a crazy 13:56 span.
Dube and teammate Erik Gardiner scored the only goals in the second, building up a four-goal lead for the Rockets, but the Cougars were just getting ready to charge back into the game.
The third period featured goals from Ryan Schoettler, Rhett Rhinehart’s first career WHL goal and Jared Bethune’s 20th of the season as Prince George made a stab at taking over control of the game, but ultimately came up just short.
With 11 goals scored on 74 shots, Tuesday’s contest was hardly a goaltending battle, but Brodan Salmond earned the victory, stopping 32 of 37 shots. Taylor Gauthier and Tavin Grant finished with 20 and 11 saves respectively.
Rockets captain Cal Foote (Tampa Bay Lightning) added a pair of assists in the victory while Bethune, Mikhalchuk, and Leppard each had an assist to add to their goal.
With the win, the now sit three points clear of the Victoria Royals for first in the B.C. Division.
Everett Silvertips (4) at Spokane Chiefs (1)
Everett (39-17-2-3) // Spokane (33-21-3-2)
Garrett Pilon (Washington Capitals) had a pair of goals and an assist while Carter Hart (Philadelphia Flyers) stopped 28 of 29 shots as the Everett Silvertips became the first team in the Western Conference to book their spot in the playoffs Tuesday.
Pilon’s pair of goals and Riley Sutter’s 24th of the season featured in a three-goal second period for Everett on the road while goals from Eli Zummack and Connor Dewar featured in the third.
Dewar finished with a goal and an assist for the multi-point effort on the same night he became the team’s second player to score 30 goals with the team this season, joining captain Matt Fonteyne.
Pilon also his the 30-goal plateau, but has 18 with the Kamloops Blazers and 12 with the Silvertips.
Ian Walker, Jake Christiansen, Reece Vitelli, Wyatte Wylie, and Kevin Daivs found their way onto the scoresheet with assists for Everett.
Luke Gallagher had the lone assist for the Chiefs while Dawson Weatherill stopped 30 of 34 shots in the defeat.
Improving to 7-1-1-1 in their last 10, the Silvertips now enjoy a nine-point lead over the Portland Winterhawks in the U.S. Division and a five-point lead atop the Western Conference.