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WHL Roundup: Skinner stops 29 to blank Raiders in Broncos’ debut

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Edmonton Oil Kings (2) at Moose Jaw Warriors (8)
Edmonton (12-25-4-2) // Moose Jaw (35-6-1-2)

Captain Brett Howden (Tampa Bay Lightning) and WHL goal scoring leader Jayden Halbgewachs each had a hat trick and five points as the Moose Jaw Warriors thumped the Edmonton Oil Kings at Mosaic Place Friday.

Ryan Peckford added three assists and Adam Evanoff stopped 17 of 19 shots. The Warriors broke open the game in a 2:54 span during the first period, with Howden scoring twice and Branden Klatt.

The Warriors continued to pour on the offence in the second. After Halbgewachs and Colton Kehler traded goals in the first two minutes, Moose Jaw tallied three more goals thanks to Halbgewachs, Justin Almeida and Howden’s hat trick goal.

Kehler potted his second of the night, with Brett Kemp picking up the lone assist on both goals, early in the third, but Halbgewachs answered back minutes later with his league-leading 47th goal of the season to complete the offensive beatdown.

Evanoff picked up his 10th win of the season. Josh Dechaine and Todd Scott split time in net, with the duo combining for 31 saves.

Defenceman Kale Clague (Los Angeles Kings) made his debut with the Warriors Friday, picking up an assist, two shots and a +4 rating. Brayden Burke picked up an assist to retain first place in the WHL scoring race for another night, though Halbgewachs is now hot on his tail, just a single point behind.

Swift Current Broncos (4) at Prince Albert Raiders (0)
Swift Current (30-10-3-0) // Prince Albert (15-19-6-2)

Stuart Skinner (Edmonton Oilers) wasn’t prepared to let the Prince Albert Raiders make good on their promise of a guaranteed victory Friday at the Art Hauser Centre.

The Broncos’ new starting goaltender stopped all 29 shots sent his way and captain Glenn Gawdin (Calgary Flames) notched a pair of goals and three points in a 4-0 shutout of the Raiders on their own home ice.

Gawdin opened the scoring with his 33rd goal of the season, followed 44 seconds later by Kaden Elder’s 12th of the season, giving Speedy Creek a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.

Defenceman Colby Sissons (New Jersey Devils) had the lone goal of the second period and Gawdin rounded out the offence with an empty-net goal in the final minutes of the game, securing the win.

Skinner fit right in with the Broncos in his debut, stopping eight shots in the first, 11 in the second and 10 in the third. Ian Scott (Toronto Maple Leafs) stopped 21 of 24 shots in net for Prince Albert.

Aleksi Heponiemi (Florida Panthers), Tyler Steenbergen (Arizona Coyotes) and Artyom Minulin all picked up assists in the victory. Jordy Stallard (Winnipeg Jets) led the Raiders with seven shots.

Medicine Hat Tigers (1) at Regina Pats (3)
Medicine Hat (23-17-3-0) // Regina (22-19-4-0)

Fans at the Brandt Centre were given a 60-minute taste of what the revamped roster of the 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup host Regina Pats can look like on a nightly basis.

Ryan Kubic stopped 47 of 48 shots and Cameron Hebig (Edmonton Oilers) broke open a 1-1 tie early in the third period to lift the Pats to a 3-1 victory.

Josh Mahura (Anaheim Ducks) got the Pats on the board in the first, but Mark Rassell replied with his 35th goal of the season in the second to tie things up after 40 minutes.

Just 3:48 into the final period, Hebig put the Pats ahead, followed by an empty-net goal by captain Sam Steel (Anaheim Ducks) to close out the victory. Mahura earned an assist to finish with two points in the game, while Jared Legien, Matt Bradley, Cale Fleury (Montreal Canadiens) and Nick Henry (Colorado Avalanche) all picked up assists.

Kubic was rock solid between the pipes, stopping 18 shots in the first, 14 in the second and 15 in the third. Jordan Hollett (Ottawa Senators) stopped 28 of 30 shots in the loss.

With the victory, the Pats improved to 6-3-1-0 in their past 10 games.

Calgary Hitmen (1) at Brandon Wheat Kings (4)
Calgary (13-24-5-1) // Brandon (28-12-1-1)

Logan Thompson stopped 28 of 29 shots and Caiden Daley and Zach Wytinck each had a goal and an assist as the Brandon Wheat Kings topped the visiting Calgary Hitmen by a 4-1 final Friday.

Wytinck and Daley had the only goals of the first, giving Brandon a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes, which would end up being the only goals of the first 40 minutes. In the third, Connor Gutenberg and Linden McCorrister each scored their 13th goals of the season, bookending a goal from Vladislav Yeryomenko.

Nick Schneider (Calgary Flames) stopped 36 of 40 shots in the loss. Meanwhile, Thompson shutout the Hitmen through the first 40 minutes before allowing one goal on 12 third period shots.

Luka Burzan picked up an assist in his debut with his new club. Daniel Bukac (Boston Bruins) picked up his fifth assist of the season in the victory.

Lethbridge Hurricanes (6) at Red Deer Rebels (4)
Lethbridge (19-19-3-0) // Red Deer (10-23-7-3)

Logan Barlage continued to impress with his new club, notching his career multi-goal game in WHL action Friday as the Lethbridge Hurricanes topped the Red Deer Rebels in the second half of a home-and-home battle.

Newly-minted captain Jordy Bellerive (Pittsburgh Penguins) and Brad Morrison each tallied a goal and three points as the Hurricanes earned their 19th victory of the season.

It was a different new face making a difference just 26 seconds into the game though as Rebels’ defenceman Colin Paradis notched his second goal of the season. Morrison responded with his 14th of the season minutes later, but the Rebels continued to gain steam in the first with captain Grayson Pawlenchuk and Reese Johnson gave Red Deer a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes.

The Hurricanes found a way to answer back in the second though, with Bellerive and Taylor Ross scoring the only goals of the second, tying up the score at threes.

In the third was where Barlage would find his moment to strike, scoring twice in a 3:02 span to open up the game. Even with Mason McCarty scoring his 21st of the season to bring the Rebels within one, it wouldn’t be enough to turn the tide of Friday’s game. Dylan Cozens added an empty-net goal to secure the victory with 1:09 to go in the contest.

Logan Flodell went through some first period struggles, but battled through to earn the victory, finishing with 23 saves in the game. Riley Lamb stopped 26 saves in the loss.

Ross and Cozens each finished with a goal and an assist while Ty Prefontaine had a pair of helpers. Kristian Reichel also had a pair of helpers, but for the Rebels, while Paradis had a goal and assist to his name.

Prince George Cougars (2) at Spokane Chiefs (6)
Prince George (16-20-4-3) // Spokane (22-18-1-2)

Jake McGrew scored twice and Jaret Anderson-Dolan (Los Angeles Kings) added a goal and an assist as the Spokane Chiefs tripled up the visiting Prince George Cougars Friday.

The Chiefs went to work right from the opening face-off. Kailer Yamamoto (Edmonton Oilers) notched his third of the season 71 seconds into the game. Three minutes later, McGrew had his first of the game and Riley Woods also lit the lamp to give the Chiefs a 3-0 lead before the midway mark of the opening period.

Liam Ryan did get the Cougars on the board in the second half of the first, but the Chiefs were too much to handle. Aaron Boyd scored a short-handed goal 26 seconds into the second to bring the Cougars within a goal, but McGrew and Anderson-Dolan added goals in the second to take a three-goal lead before Ethan McIndoe scored the lone goal of the third.

Hudson Elynuik (Carolina Hurricanes) added a pair of assists and Bailey Brkin earned his first victory in his first attempt with  his new club, stopping 36 of 38 shots. Taylor Gauthier stopped 22 of 28 shots for the Cougars in the loss.

Anderson-Dolan notch his 150th career WHL point in the victory.

Portland Winterhawks (5) at Tri-City Americans (1)
Portland (25-13-1-2) // Tri-City (22-14-5-0)

Cole Kehler (Los Angeles Kings) had his shutout bid broken up in the third period, but that didn’t stop him from earning the victory as the Portland Winterhawks rolled over the Tri-City Americans Friday night.

Kieffer Bellows (New York Islanders) scored twice, Alex Overhardt notched the game-winner and the trio of Joachim Blichfeld (San Jose Sharks), Skyler McKenzie (Winnipeg Jets) and Matthew Quigley each had a pair of assists in the victory.

After a scoreless first period, Bellows, Overhardt and Henri Jokiharju (Chicago Blackhawks) scored in the second period. Newcomer Lukus MacKenzie scored his first goal of the season in the third while Bellows added another goal to round out the offence.

Isaac Johnson scored his 10th of the season late in the third.

Patrick Dea and Beck Warm split time in net Friday, combining for 35 saves on 40 shots.

In their debuts with their new clubs, Dennis Cholowski (Detroit Red Wings) had three shots while Jake Bean (Carolina Hurricanes) had four shots.

Kamloops Blazers (5) at Victoria Royals (6)
Kamloops (18-21-1-2) // Victoria (24-16-3-1)

A quartet of two-point efforts guided the Victoria Royals to a 6-5 victory over the Kamloops Blazers Friday.

Dante Hannoun scored a pair of goals, captain Matthew Phillips (Calgary Flames) added a pair of assists and Tanner Kaspick (St. Louis Blues) and Jeff de Wit each had a goal and an assist as the Royals earned their 24th victory of the season.

A wild first saw Hannoun score twice, followed by the Blazers getting on the board thanks to Jermaine Loewen and topped off with an Igor Martynov goal.

Orriz Centazzo’s seventh goal of the season, his first with his new club, and the sixth of the season from Carson Denomie pulled the Blazers even with the Royals after 40 minutes, but the Royals would be ready to bring it in the third.

Micthell Prowse scored 57 seconds into the final period, followed by de Wit’s goal 97 seconds later to quickly rebuild a two-goal lead for the home side. Luc Smith would pull the Blazers within one, setting the stage for a crazy final few minutes.

As luck would have it, Kaspick’s empty-net goal wound up as the game-winner with Loewen adding his second of the game with 20 seconds to go in the game.

Griffen Outhouse stopped 23 of 28 shots to earn the victory. Dylan Ferguson (Vegas Golden Knights) put together another 40-save performance in the loss.

Kelowna Rockets (6) at Seattle Thunderbirds (2)
Kelowna (27-12-2-1) // Seattle (20-15-4-2)

Carsen Twarynski (Philadelphia Flyers) and Leif Mattson each recorded two-goal games, Cal Foote (Tampa Bay Lightning) added three assists and Kyle Topping had a pair of helpers as well to lead the Kelowna Rockets over the Seattle Thunderbirds 6-2 Friday.

James Porter also contributed greatly to the victory, frustrating the T-Birds shooters until the later stages of the third, finishing with 21 saves on 23 shots. Liam Hughes stopped 37 of 42 shots for the T-Birds in the loss.

Twarynski and Jack Cowell had the Rockets’ goals in the first while Colum McGauley and Mattson scored in the second. Twarynski and Mattson rounded out the Rockets’ scoring in the third. Mattson picked up an assist for the three-point night while Kole Lind (Vancouver Canucks) earned his team-leading 55th point of the season on an assist.

Dillon Hamaliuk and Austin Strand (Los Angeles Kings) scored for Seattle in the loss.

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