WHL Roundup: Stotts tallies game-winner as Hitmen take down division-leading Tigers

Candice Ward


Brandon Wheat Kings (2) at Regina Pats (3)
Brandon (25-12-0-1) // Regina (20-18-3-0)

Jared Legien scored midway through the third period Wednesday, lifting the Regina Pats to a big 3-2 win over the Brandon Wheat Kings.

Logan Thompson kept the Wheat Kings in the game until the dying moments, finishing with a career-high 58 saves but couldn’t secure any points for his club in the standings.

Zach Wytinck scored in the first, but Matt Bradley responded in the second for the Pats, keeping the score tied at ones after 40 minutes. In the third, Legien scored his 15th of the season 1:58 into the period, but Ty Lewis (Colorado Avalanche) responded minutes later to tie up the game once again.

Legien would break the deadlock though, scoring 20 seconds after the midway point of the period to put his side ahead for good, completing a three-point night. Bradley finished with a pair of points. Jake Leschyshyn (Vegas Golden Knights) Nick Henry (Colorado Avalanche) and Josh Mahura (Anaheim Ducks) all picked up assists in the victory.

Tyler Brown held things together in net, finishing with 28 saves on 30 shots. Thompson meanwhile 22 shots in the first, 21 more in the second and 15 more in the third to complete the 58-save performance.

Kootenay ICE (3) at Swift Current Broncos (5)
Kootenay (18-19-3-0) // Swift Current (27-10-2-0)

The Swift Current Broncos broke open a 2-2 tie game after 40 minutes with the Kootenay ICE Wednesday, earning a 5-3 victory at home.

Kaden Elder scored twice, Matteo Gennaro had a goal and two assists and Kole Gable added three helpers as the Broncos found their way back into the win column to keep pace with the Moose Jaw Warriors in the East Division.

Things didn’t go the Broncos way in the first as Brad Ginnell and Alec Baer scored for the ICE, though Sahvan Khaira got the home side on the board with a short-handed goal in the final minute of the period. Elder’s first goal of the game tied up the game after 40 minutes, setting the stage for the Broncos to take control of the game in the third.

All it took for the Broncos to earn their first lead of the game was 100 seconds into the third as Max Patterson notched his fifth of the year. Midway through the period, Cameron Hausinger would answer back for the ICE with his 13th of the season, but the Broncos kept coming with goals from Gennaro and Elder to close out the game.

Logan Flodell stopped 30 of 33 shots to secure the victory while Bailey Brkin made 36 saves on 40 shots in the loss.

Broncos captain Glenn Gawdin (Calgary Flames) picked up an assist in the contest.

Medicine Hat Tigers (3) at Calgary Hitmen (4) — OT
Medicine Hat (21-15-3-0) // Calgary (12-20-5-1)

Riley Stotts’ sixth goal of the season helped the Calgary Hitmen strike down the Central Division-leading Medicine Hat Tigers Wednesday in overtime in the Stampede City.

Mark Kastelic assisted on Stotts’ game-winner to give him a three-point night that included Calgary’s first goal of the game. David Quenneville (New York Islanders) opened the scoring three-and-a-half minutes before Kastelic’s goal though, keeping the scored tied at one after 20 minutes.

Mark Rassell tallied his 33rd goal of the season 97 seconds into the second, but Jakob Stukel (Vancouver Canucks) answered right back for the Hitmen. Max Gerlach and Hunter Campbell would trade goals in the remainder of the second and both teams would play a scoreless third to send the game to overtime.

In the extra period, Stukel dished the puck to Stotts in the Hitmen end. The Winnipeg, Man. native then carried the puck to the outside on what seemed like a harmless rush before cutting in and beating Jordan Hollett (Ottawa Senators) for the game-winner.

Nick Schneider (Calgary Flames) finished with 23 saves for the Hitmen while Hollett made 28 in the loss.

Vancouver Giants (4) at Edmonton Oil Kings (3) — SO 
Vancouver (21-14-3-2) // Edmonton (10-22-4-2)

Tyler Ho scored in the seventh round of the shootout Wednesday at Rogers Place, helping the Vancouver Giants down the Edmonton Oil Kings in the conclusion of the season series between the two clubs. 

Tyler Benson (Edmonton Oil Kings) and Aidan Barfoot scored for the Giants in the first period, but Brett Kemp scored early in the second to bring the home side within a goal. The Giants kept their lead intact after 40 minutes as Dylan Plouffe scored his seventh of the season to keep the Giants ahead by a pair of goals.

The Oil Kings fought back in the third, with goals from Tomas Soustal and Conner McDonald to tie the game, eventually sending things to a shootout.

After Colton Kehler and Benson scored for their respective sides, the goaltenders took over, turning aside nine straight shooters before Ho’s winner.

David Tendeck made 37 saves in regulation and overtime before making six more in the shootout. Josh Dechaine took the loss in net for the Oil Kings.

Ho added a pair of assists in regulation. Plouffe, Soustal and Kemp all finished with a goal and an assist in the game.

Moose Jaw Warriors (6) at Red Deer Rebels (3)
Moose Jaw (31-6-1-2) // Red Deer (10-20-6-2)

The Moose Jaw Warriors bombarded the Red Deer Rebels with a season-high 69 shots Wednesday, earning a 6-3 victory.

Brayden Burke, fresh off being named the WHL Player of the Month for December, scored a pair of goals and added an assist, becoming the first WHL player to reach 80 points this season.

Riley Lamb faced the barrage of shots, finishing with 63 saves in the contest. Justin Almeida added three assists in the Warriors’ 31st victory of the season.

Mason McCarty actually put the Rebels ahead midway through the first, but the Warriors finally broke through for goals from Vince Loschiavo and Burke to take a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes. Chris Douglas tied up the game for the Rebels early in the second, but the Warriors once again answered right back with goals from Tristyn DeRoose and Jayden Halbgewachs (San Jose Sharks).

The Warriors added goals from Burke and Ryan Peckford in the final period while Dawson Barteaux scored for the Rebels.

Lamb was busy Wednesday, stopping 20 shots in the first, 31 in the second and 12 in the second.

Brody Willms earned the victory, stopping 18 of 21 shots.

Tri-City Americans (4) at Kelowna Rockets (5)
Tri-City (20-11-5-0) // Kelowna (24-11-2-1)

Two-goal games from Carsen Twarynski (Philadelphia Flyers) and Connor Bruggen-Cate paced the Kelowna Rockets to a 5-4 victory over the Tri-City Americans at home Wednesday.

Nolan Foote added the other goal for the Rockets, who jumped out to a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes before holding on to the lead over the last 40 minutes as the Americans made a charge.

After Nolan Yaremko had the lone goal of the first for Tri-City, Jordan Topping cut Kelowna’s lead to one after scoring the only goal of the second period. Parker Aucoin and Brett Clayton then scored to give the Ams the lead 2:55 into the final period, but the Rockets found enough resolve to answer back in the next 101 seconds with two goals of their own.

Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week James Porter stopped 24 of 28 shots in the victory, his fourth straight as the Rockets improved their winning streak to six in a row. Beck Warm made four saves on six shots before Patrick Dea came into the game, taking the eventual loss.

Kole Lind (Vancouver Canucks) and Kyle Topping each had a pair of assists in the game while Foote finished with a goal and three points. Twarynski added a helper for the three-point game.

Yaremko had a goal and three points for the Americans. AuCoin finished with a goal and an assist.

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