WHL Roundup: Steenbergen’s six points spur Broncos past ICE

Darwin Knelsen


Seven games spread across the Western Hockey League saw some stellar production, particularly on the prairies.

In Brandon, Jordan Topping registered a hat trick to guide the Tri-City Americans to a win over the Wheat Kings. In Speedy Creek, Tyler Steenbergen collected six points while Aleksi Heponiemi and Glenn Gawdin each had four points in a big Broncos win over the Kootenay ICE.

Wednesday brought quality debuts from some recently moved stars, including Zak Zborosky, Alec Baer and Radovan Bondra, who all scored in their debuts with their respective new clubs. Baer and Zborosky helped the Lethbridge Hurricanes knock off the Edmonton Oil Kings, while Bondra contributed to a Prince George Cougars’ win in Medicine Hat.

In Prince Albert, Jordy Stallard did what he could to get some revenge on his old club, but it was the Calgary Hitmen securing an overtime win over Stallard’s Raiders.

South of the border, Mario Petit and Dorrin Luding shared a shutout as the Everett Silvertips blanked the Spokane Chiefs. Last, but certainly not least, Kole Lind recorded three assists as the
Kelowna Rockets won a B.C. Division tilt with the Victoria Royals.

And off we go…

Tri-City Americans (5) at Brandon Wheat Kings (2)
Tri-City (26-17-3-0) // Brandon (20-17-4-0)

The Tri-City Americans scored five unanswered goals, including a hat trick from Jordan Topping, en route to a 5-2 win over the Brandon Wheat Kings Wednesday night.

After Ty Lewis and Baron Thompson gave the Wheat Kings a 2-0 lead, Parker Wotherspoon got the Americans on the board 4:25 into the second period. Parker AuCoin and Topping following up as Tri-City took a 3-2 lead into the third period.

Topping added his second of the night on a power play before rounding out a hat-trick performance with an empty-net goal and 16 seconds remaining on the clock. For Topping, his final goal of the night served as his ninth of the campaign.

Morgan Geekie was the dish-master Wednesday night, serving up four assists. Americans captain Tyler Sandhu wasn’t far behind with three helpers.

Between the pipes, Rylan Parenteau made 29 saves for his 16th win of the season.

Lethbridge Hurricanes (7) at Edmonton Oil Kings (4)
Lethbridge (23-15-3-2) // Edmonton (18-21-3-1)

The new kids on the block made their presence felt as Alec Baer and Zak Zborosky contributed two points each, helping the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 7-4 win over the Edmonton Oil Kings on Wednesday.

The win was the third in a row for the Hurricanes, while the Oil Kings dropped their fourth straight.

Zborosky, who was acquired from the Kootenay ICE earlier this week, opened the scoring with his 29th of the season. Jordy Bellerive, Egor Babenko and Tyler Wong followed suit as the ‘Canes claimed a 4-0 lead after 20 minutes of play.

When it looked like the visitors might run away with it, Ty Gerla scored twice to open the second period with Will Warm adding a third. All of that – it happened in a matter of 35 seconds.

Baer took advantage of a power-play opportunity and tallied an even-strength insurance marker midway through the second period to make it a 6-3 game after 40 minutes.

Bellerive struck 36 seconds into the third period to make it 7-3 and Conner McDonald rounded out the scoring.

Stuart Skinner made 39 saves for his 21st win of the season.

Prince George Cougars (4) at Medicine Hat Tigers (3)
Prince George (29-12-2-0) // Medicine Hat (29-13-1-0)

The Prince George Cougars scored twice in the third period, including the game-tying goal from newcomer Radovan Bondra, to complete a come-from-behind 4-3 win over the Medicine Hat Tigers on Wednesday.

Bondra, acquired from the Vancouver Giants on WHL Trade Deadline Day, scored his 20th of the season 37 seconds into the third period, tying the game 3-3. Jared Bethune notched his 12th of the campaign with 12:54 to go in regulation, with the assist coming from Bondra on a power play, as the Cougars rebounded from a Tuesday road loss in Red Deer.

Jesse Gabrielle registered a goal and an assist for the Cougars as well. Zach Fischer and Steven Owre responded in like for the Tigers.

Ty Edmonds made 29 saves for his 23rd win of the season.

Calgary Hitmen (5) at Prince Albert Raiders (4) – OT
Calgary (15-19-4-2) // Prince Albert (8-31-2-2)

Vladislav Yeryomenko scored his fourth goal of the season 2:11 into overtime, giving the Calgary Hitmen a much-needed 5-4 win against the Prince Albert Raiders on Wednesday.

Justyn Gurney and Andrei Grishakov gave the Hitmen a 2-0 lead in the first period before Adam Kadlec and Kolten Olynek scored in the second period to tie the game. Brady Reagan restored Calgary’s lead prior to the second intermission.

Jakob Stukel’s 13th of the season came five seconds into the third period, giving the Hitmen a 4-2 advantage, but a familiar face came back to haunt as Jordy Stallard replied for the Raiders,
making it a 4-3 game. Moments later, Cavin Leth knotted the affair, forcing overtime.

Trevor Martin made 25 saves in his Hitmen debut, earning his first win of the season.

Kootenay ICE (3) at Swift Current Broncos (8)
Kootenay (10-25-7-1) // Swift Current (24-12-3-4)

Tyler Steenbergen recorded an astounding six points, including two goals, as the Swift Current Broncos kicked around the Kootenay ICE by an 8-3 final Wednesday night.

Steenbergen wasn’t the only Bronco to have a big night, as flying Finn Aleksi Heponiemi notched four points (2G-2A), as did captain Glenn Gawdin (2G-2A).

At one point in the first period, the ICE held a 2-1 lead following goals from Jake Elmer and Vinnce Loschiavo. Ryan Graham evened the score heading into the second period. It was late in the second where everything fell apart for Kootenay.

In a span of 2:16, the Broncos booted four pucks past Jakob Walter to take a commanding 6-2 lead into the third period.

Cale Fleury momentarily stemmed the bleeding on a power play, getting the ICE back within three, but Gawdin responded with two tallies to finish off the drubbing.

Taz Burman made 24 saves for his 11th win of the season.

Kelowna Rockets (4) at Victoria Royals (3)
Kelowna (24-15-3-0) // Victoria (22-16-4-0)

Dillon Dube had a goal and an assist, while Kole Lind recorded three assists as the Kelowna Rockets won a big B.C. Division game by a 4-3 final over the Victorial Royals on Wednesday.

After Tomas Soustal opened the scoring in the first period, the Royals got goals from Vladimir Bobylev and Ryan Peckford to stake out a 2-1 lead heading into the third period.

From there, Dube knotted the game 2-2 only to see Matthew Phillips restore the edge for Victoria.

Cal Foote’s power-play goal with 5:24 remaining in regulation served as the turning point, with Calvin Thurkauf striking for the winning goal only 38 seconds later.

Michael Herringer made 19 saves for his 18th win of the season.

Spokane Chiefs (0) at Everett Silvertips (5)
Spokane (17-18-5-2) // Everett (26-5-6-1)

Mario Petit and Dorrin Luding recorded a rare combined shutout, turning aside a collective 23 shots as the Everett Silvertips blanked the Spokane Chiefs by a 5-0 margin Wednesday night.

Petit blocked 18 pucks before Luding came on with 7:24 to go in regulation, making the final five saves of the night.

A scoreless first period gave way to second period strikes from Brandson Hein and Connor Dewar, before Devon Skoleski piled on with a short-handed effort 5:29 into the final period. Jake Christiansen added a power-play marker and Riley Sutter scored his 13th of the season for good measure.

Petit was credited with the victory for his efforts, chalking up his ninth win of the season.

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