WHL Roundup: Spokane’s Smith snags seven points in rout of Cougars
Regina Pats (7) at Saskatoon Blades (5)
Regina (33-24-5-1) // Saskatoon (31-28-2-1)
Nothing cures a deficit after 40 minutes quite like a five-goal third period.
Matt Bradley scored twice and had three points, Jared Legien scored the go-ahead goal with 2:34 to go and Jacob Wasserman battled back from a rough start for his first career Western Hockey League victory as the Regina Pats went out and made their own fortune Friday in Saskatoon.
It was all Blades to begin the game as goals from Kirby Dach, Seth Bafaro, and Eric Florchuk gave the Blades a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes. A goal 7:47 into the second from Gage Ramsay made it a 4-0 game, adding to Regina’s misfortune.
That tone changed in the second half of the game though. Cameron Hebig’s (Edmonton Oilers) 40th goal of the season and Koby Morrisseau cut the Blades’ lead in half by the end of the second.
In the third, Robbie Holmes and Bradley struck in the first four minutes of the period to tie the game back up with plenty of time to go. Adding to the intensity of the game, Chase Wouters scored his 17th of the season 25 seconds after Bradley’s goal to put the Blades back on top, but goals from captain Sam Steel (Anaheim Ducks), Legien’s game-winner and an empty-net goal from Bradley clinched the victory for Regina.
Wasserman stopped 23 of 28 shots in the victory. Nolan Maier took the loss, stopping 29 of 35 shots.
Both Steel and Hebig finished with three-point games while Emil Oksanen had a pair of helpers in the victory. Max Gerlach had a pair of assists in the Blades’ loss.
The Pats continued to separate themselves from the wild card race, moving five points up on the Brandon Wheat Kings for third in the East Division. The Blades meanwhile held steady in the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
— Regina Pats (@WHLPats) February 24, 2018
Medicine Hat Tigers (3) at Kootenay ICE (2)
Medicine Hat (31-24-7-0) // Kootenay (25-35-3-0)
A tight Central Division battle between the Medicine Hat Tigers and Kootenay ICE ended with the division leaders securing another two points to aid their pursuit of claiming the title.
Gary Haden and Alec Baer traded goals in the first while Brad Ginnell and Cole Clayton traded goals in the second to keep things tied after 40 minutes.
That set the stage for the third period, where David Quenneville (New York Islanders) notching the 25th goal of the season on the power play, counting as the game-winner.
Michael Bullion stopped 32 of 34 shots to hold together the victory. Duncan McGovern stopped 33 of 36 shots in the loss.
Jaegar White was the lone player on either side to finish with a multi-point effort securing a pair of assists.
The regulation loss by the ICE prevented them from overtaking the Red Deer Rebels and climbing back into a playoff spot Friday, with two points still separating the clubs.
— Medicine Hat Tigers (@tigershockey) February 24, 2018
Brandon Wheat Kings (2) at Lethbridge Hurricanes (7)
Brandon (31-24-3-2) // Lethbridge (30-25-6-0)
Just days after being on the receiving end of a lopsided loss, the Lethbridge Hurricanes flipped the script and found themselves on the positive end of an offensive outburst, downing the Brandon Wheat Kings by a 7-2 score.
Brad Morrison scored twice, captain Jordy Bellerive (Pittsburgh Penguins) added a goal and three points and Calen Addison added three helpers in the victory while Jake Elmer and Jadon Joseph each had a pair of assists.
Goals from Morrison and Dylan Cozens featured in the first. Connor Gutenberg cut the deficit to one early in the second but the Hurricanes came back with goals from Logan Barlage, Morrison’s second of the game and Bellerive to lead by four after 40 minutes.
In the third, Egor Zudilov and Taylor Ross found the back of the net before Rylan Bettens added a late Brandon goal.
Logan Flodell made 29 saves on 31 shots for the win, also picking up an assist on Lethbridge’s fourth goal of the game. Logan Thompson stopped 27 of 32 shots before giving way to Dylan Myskiw, who stopped six of eight shots.
The win helped the Hurricanes close the gap between them and the Medicine Hat Tigers to a single point, though a victory later in the night by the Tigers restored it back to three points.
The Hurricanes ate their @wheaties this morning and they sure ate them tonight!
Final score: 7-2 Hurricanes
— LethbridgeHurricanes (@WHLHurricanes) February 24, 2018
Prince Albert Raiders (3) at Red Deer Rebels (2)
Prince Albert (25-25-9-2) // Red Deer (21-28-10-3)
The Prince Albert Raiders picked up their second straight win Friday, edging the Red Deer Rebels by a 3-2 score.
Kody McDonald had a goal and an assist, Vojtech Budik (Buffalo Sabres) added a pair of helpers, and Ian Scott (Toronto Maple Leafs) stopped 29 of 31 shots for the victory. The win moved them within four points for the Saskatoon Blades for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference.
McDonald’s goal gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead just 14 seconds into the game and Jordy Stallard (Winnipeg Jets) added his 39th goal of the season to give the visitors a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.
The Rebels would respond in the second with goals from Alex Morozoff and Josh Tarzwell, but a late goal from Brett Leason kept the Raiders ahead for good in the game.
Ethan Anders stopped 20 of 23 shots in the loss.
Zack Hayes, Parker Kelly (Ottawa Senators), and Cole Fonstad also had assists for the Raiders. Alexander Alexeyev and Jacob Herauf had the helpers for the Rebels.
Time runs out! Raiders win 3-2 over the Rebels!
We're back at it tomorrow night in Edmonton against the Oil Kings to wrap up the Central swing.
— Prince Albert Raiders (@PARaidersHockey) February 24, 2018
Seattle Thunderbirds (4) at Kelowna Rockets (5)
Seattle (28-23-7-2) // Kelowna (37-18-4-2)
The Kelowna Rockets were aided by the return of Kole Lind (Vancouver Canucks) as his goal with 1:21 left in regulation lifted the Rockets to an important regulation victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds Friday.
Donovan Neuls and Dalton Hamaliuk gave Seattle a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes, but the Rockets roared back in the second on goals from captain Cal Foote (Tampa Bay Lightning) and Dillon Dube (Calgary Flames).
In the third, Leif Mattson and Kaedan Korczak tallied back-to-back power-play goals to build a two-goal lead for the Rockets, but the T-Birds had an answer. Matthew Wedman and Zack Andrusiak scored 29 seconds apart to tie up the game and give Seattle hope, but Lind’s late winner stole the show.
Brodan Slamond stopped 23 of 27 shots to earn the victory in the one-goal game. Dorrin Luding stopped 24 of 29 in the loss.
With the win, the Rockets opened up a five-point gap on the Victoria Royals for first in the B.C. Division. As the T-Birds took the loss, they remained six points ahead of the Kamloops Blazers in the wild card race.
— Kelowna Rockets (@Kelowna_Rockets) February 24, 2018
Prince George Cougars (2) at Spokane Chiefs (9)
Prince George (20-32-4-4) // Spokane (34-21-3-2)
So…uh…this Ty Smith guy is pretty good eh?
The first overall selection from the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft tallied his first career multi-goal game and finished with seven points, as well as a plus-seven rating, as the Chiefs offence scored at will against the Prince George Cougars in a 9-2 result.
Ethan McIndoe and Kailer Yamamoto (Edmonton Oilers) added a goal and three points each while Milos Fafrak, Luke Toporowski, and Dalton Hamaliuk each had a goal and an assist in the game. Carter Chorney had the other goal for the Chiefs in the victory.
The Chiefs lead 2-0 after 20 minutes, 6-0 after 40 minutes and added three more goals in the third to cement the victory.
Brogan O’Brien and Aaron Boyd had the goals for the Cougars in the loss. Josh Maser added a pair of assists.
As much as the Chiefs’ offence took care of business Friday, Dawson Weatherill was also a player Spokane could rely on, making 32 saves on 34 shots.
Jaret Anderson-Dolan (Los Angeles Kings) had a pair of assists in the victory.
The win helped the Chiefs extend the gap between their third place positioning in the U.S. Division and those involved in the Western Conference wild card race.
A 7 point night by Ty Smith helps propel the Chiefs to a 9-2 victory.#GoChiefsGo
— Spokane Chiefs (@spokanechiefs) February 24, 2018
Edmonton Oil Kings (1) at Calgary Hitmen (4)
Edmonton (18-34-6-2) // Calgary (19-33-5-2)
The Calgary Hitmen won their second straight game Friday, downing their provincial rivals from Edmonton by a 4-1 score.
Jake Kryski had a pair of goals and three points while Jakob Stukel (Vancouver Canucks) tallied a goal and three points to lead the offensive performances for the Hitmen. Carson Focht added his 10th of the season.
Focht opened the scoring with the only goal of the first while Kryski’s first of the game came early in the second on a power play. That goal was well-timed as Tomas Soustal answered back minutes later for the Oil Kings, keeping things at a one-goal game again.
Goals from Kryski and Stukel would feature in the rest of the period though, serving as more than enough goal support for Nick Schneider (Calgary Flames), who stopped 14 of 15 shots for the victory. Josh Dechaine stopped 22 of 26 shots in the loss.
Riley Stotts picked up a pair of assists in the victory for the Hitmen.
With the win, the Hitmen took a one-point lead on the Oil Kings in the standings as the two teams battle back-and-forth. The season series between the two rivals will conclude Friday, March 2 (7:00 p.m. MST) in Edmonton.
— Calgary Hitmen (@WHLHitmen) February 24, 2018
Kamloops Blazers (2) at Tri-City Americans (4)
Kamloops (27-30-1-4) // Tri-City (31-21-7-1)
The Tri-City Americans aided their playoff hopes, doubling up the Kamloops Blazers by a 4-2 score Friday at home.
Captain Michael Rasmussen (Detroit Red Wings) had a goal and an assist while Juuso Valimaki (Calgary Flames), Nolan Yaremko, and Parker AuCoin added goals for the Americans.
Nick Chyzowski and Brodi Stuart scored for the Blazers in a four-goal third period that saw the Americans enter the period with a 2-0 lead and maintain that advantage.
Patrick Dea stopped 31 of 33 shots for the victory while Dylan Ferguson (Vegas Golden Knights) stopped 36 of 39 shots in the loss.
With the loss, the Blazers remained six points behind the Seattle Thunderbirds for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference.
Game over! Ams win 4-2! #AmsNation
— Tri-City Americans (@TCAmericans) February 24, 2018
Portland Winterhawks (2) at Victoria Royals (1)
Portland (36-20-1-3) // Victoria (35-22-3-2)
The Portland Winterhawks kept pace with the Everett Silvertips in the U.S. Division and Western Conference race Friday, downing the Victoria Royals by a 2-1 score Friday.
Alex Overhardt and Kieffer Bellows scored for the Winterhawks in the second period Friday with the latter reaching the 30-goal plateau. Ryan Hughes, Conor MacEachern, Cody Glass (Vegas Golden Knights) and Brendan De Jong (Carolina Hurricanes) all picked up assists in the victory.
Noah Gregor (San Jose Sharks) had the lone goal for the Royals Friday, his 23rd of the season. Dante Hannoun picked up the primary assist on the goal while captain Matthew Phillips (Calgary Flames) became the first player in a Royals jersey to reach the 100-point milestone with the secondary assists.
Friday’s game was a goaltending battle, but not the one you may think as Shane Farkas picked up the victory, stopping 29 of 30 shots. Griffen Outhouse stopped 35 of 37 shots while taking the loss.
The two teams will meet again on Vancouver Island Saturday to close out the season series.
With the loss, the Royals dropped to five points behind the Kelowna Rockets for first place in the B.C. Division.
Bellows, Farkas Lead Portland to Victory in Victoria
— Portland Winterhawks (@pdxwinterhawks) February 24, 2018
Everett Silvertips (2) at Vancouver Giants (1)
Everett (40-17-2-3) // Vancouver (31-21-5-3)
A matchup that was billed as the Vancouver Giants against IIHF World Junior champion Carter Hart (Philadelphia Flyers) finished with the Everett Silvertips goaltender gaining the upper-hand.
Hart stopped 29 of 30 shots in a 2-1 victory Friday for the Silvertips, moving them closer to the division and conference titles. Connor Dewar and Martin Fasko-Rudas had the goals for the Silvertips while Davis Koch was the lone Giants skater to find the back of the net.
David Tendeck put in a good performance at the other end of the ice, stopping 26 of 28 shots. Captain Matt Fonteyne and Garrett Pilon (Washington Capitals) each had a pair of assists while Ty Ronning (New York Rangers) and Tyler Benson (Edmonton Oilers) had the assists for the Giants.
With the win, the Silvertips remained nine points up on the Winterhawks for first in the U.S. Division and five points up on the Rockets for the Western Conference lead.
The loss kept the Giants in third place in the B.C. Division, now 10 and five points behind the Rockets and Royals respectively.
— x Everett Silvertips (@WHLsilvertips) February 24, 2018