WHL Roundup: Skinner shuts door on Rebels, Silvertips top Winterhawks

Cindy Adachi/Chris Mast


Medicine Hat Tigers (5) at Prince Albert Raiders (4) — SO 
Medicine Hat (17-11-1-0) // Prince Albert (11-11-5-2)

Mark Rassell and Jordy Stallard (Winnipeg Jets) each scored twice in regulation, but it was Rassell’s goal in the shootout and a miss from Stallard that provided the difference in a shootout win for the Medicine Hat Tigers Wednesday.

In a game that featured five lead changes, the Tigers got on the board first with a goal from Ryan Jevne. In the second, the Stallard notched his first of the game 9:23 into the period to even up the score. Rassell added his first of the game six minutes later, but the Raiders struck twice in the later stages of the period, receiving goals from Stallard and Vojtech Budik (Buffalo Sabres) to hold a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes.

The back-and-forth battle continued in the third, with David Quenneville (New York Islanders) and Rassell’s second of the game swinging the lead back in favour of the visiting Tigers. That lead would last for all of five minutes though, with Eric Pearce’s second goal of the season tying up the game.

Overtime solved nothing, sending the game to a shootout. It was in that extra extra frame that both Rassell and Max Gerlach would score on Ian Scott (Toronto Maple Leafs) while Stallard and captain Curtis Miske were denied by Jordon Hollett (Ottawa Senators).

Hollett finished with a career-high 49 saves on 53 shots in Thursday’s contest. Scott 33 saves on 37 shots.

Regina Pats (4) at Brandon Wheat Kings (7) 
Regina (15-13-2-0) // Brandon (20-7-0-1)

The Brandon Wheat Kings triumphant return home after winning five of six on a road trip emulated their play of late as the offensive taps continued to pour freely for the WHL’s lone Manitoban team.

Fresh off of being named to Hockey Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp, Tanner Kaspick (St. Louis Blues) scored a pair of goals and had a three-point night. The other Wheat King to earn an invite to the camp, defenceman Kale Clague (Los Angeles Kings), finished as one of two players with a pair of assists.

Stelio Mattheos (Carolina Hurricanes) contributed a goal and two assists, Schael Higson added a goal and an assist and Logan Thompson made 37 saves on 41 shots for his 50th career WHL victory in the complete team victory.

The Pats received a pair of goals from fellow Hockey Canada camp invite Sam Steel (Anaheim Ducks) while Matt Bradley and Dawson Davidson provided the other lamp-lighters.

Lead 2-1 after 20, the Pats let go of the lead in the second and third, allowing three goals in each period.

Tyler Brown made 26 saves on 32 shots.

Red Deer Rebels (0) at Lethbridge Hurricanes (4) 
Red Deer (9-17-3-1) // Lethbridge (14-13-1-0)

Stuart Skinner (Edmonton Oilers) made 21 saves and four different Lethbridge Hurricanes skaters scored Wednesday as they gave the Red Deer Rebels a rough welcome to southern Alberta.

Skinner stopped two shots in the first, 10 in the second and nine more in the third for his third shutout of the season and the ninth of his WHL career.

Egor Zudilov scored the game-winning goal 8:29 into the first period, followed by a second period goal from Ty Prefontaine in the second. Koletrane Wilson and Taylor Ross added goals in the third.

Giorgio Estephan finished with a pair of assists while Jordy Bellerive (Pittsburgh Penguins), Igor Merezhko and Brendan Stafford all picked up a single helper in the win. Riley Lamb stopped 27 of 31 shots in the loss.

Rebels captain Grayson Pawlenchuk led his team with four shots on net.

Portland Winterhawks (1) at Everett Silvertips (4) 
Portland (20-7-0-1) // Everett (16-12-1-1)

The Portland Winterhawks became the latest WHL team Wednesday to fail at solving Carter Hart (Philadelphia Flyers) and the Everett Silvertips.

Hart finished with 28 saves in another one-goal against performance while Patrick Bajkov tallied a pair of goals and an assist to lead the way up front in his 300th career WHL game. Matt Fontyene (1G-1A) and Sean Richards (2A) also had multi-point performances in the victory.

Jake Christiansen rounded out the scoring for the Silvertips while Joachim Blichfeld (San Jose Sharks) scored the lone goal for Portland, who lost three regulation games in a row for the first time since Dec. 16-27, 2016.

Even with the slight dip in performance, the Winterhawks still command the lead in the U.S. Division, though the ‘Tips have now cut their lead to seven points.

The Silvertips are taking over the role as the hottest team in the Western Conference, winning their sixth straight game Thursday and improving to 8-2-0-0 in their last 10 games.


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