WHL Roundup: Stukel helps Hitmen snap losing streak

Candice Ward


Edmonton Oil Kings (2) at Brandon Wheat Kings (5)  
Edmonton (3-5-0-0) // Brandon (5-2-0-1)

CHL Player of the Week Kale Clague and his teammate Stelio mattheos each had a goal and an assist while Ty Lewis had three helpers as the Wheat Kings extended their winning streak to four games Wednesday.

The Wheat Kings once again started hot, scoring three first period goals. Connor Gutenberg opened the scoring with his second of the year 8:26 into the opening period, followed by Caiden Daley’s first goal of the season 3;29 later. Three minutes later, the Wheat Kings struck again with Mattheos scoring his eighth on the season.

Ethan Cap got one back for the Oil Kings before the end of the first and Matthew Robertson scored early in the second, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Wheat Kings from their fifth victory of the season. Clague scored midway through the second and Gunnar Wegleitner was fed an easy tap-in in the third period to round out the scoring.

Logan Thompson made 19 saves on 21 shots for the victory while Josh Dechaine made 29 saves while taking the loss.

The Wheat Kings will host the Prince Albert Raiders this weekend for a pair of games. For Edmonton, they’re in Moose Jaw Thursday evening, continuing their road trip against the Warriors.

Everett Silvertips (4) at Medicine Hat Tigers (5)  
Everett (3-6-0-0) // Medicine Hat (4-3-0-0)

The Medicine Hat Tigers scored three first period goals and held off a comeback bid by the Everett Silvertips Wednesday, winning by a 5-4 final.

Mark Rassell had a pair of goals, including the game-winner as the Tigers improved to 3-1 at home this season.

David Quenneville and Dawson Heathcote scored 29 seconds apart in the first 2:02 of the opening period to put the home side Tigers up early. Matt Fontyene answered back for Everett with 13 seconds to go in the period, but a late goal by Tyler Preziuso restored the two-goal lead after 20 minutes.

Patrick Bajkov and Brandson Hein bookended Rassell’s first goal of the night in the second period to keep the Tigers ahead going into the final 20 minutes. Rassell added his second of the night 4:56 into the third, keeping the Tigers comfortably in the lead, even after Montana Onyebuchi scored late.

Michael Bullion earned his third win of the season after making 30 saves. Dorrin Luding and Kyle Dumba both saw action between the pipes in the loss.

The Tigers will be back in action Friday when they host the Saskatoon Blades at the Canalta Centre. The Silvertips will head south to face the Lethbridge Hurricanes Friday.

Saskatoon Blades (6) at Regina Pats (4)  
Saskatoon (2-4-0-0) // Regina (3-4-1-0)

The Saskatoon Blades became the second team to defeat the Regina Pats at the Brandt Centre this season, scoring a 6-4 win over the 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup hosts Wednesday.

Cameron Hebig tallied a pair of goals and four points while Braylon Shmyr added a goal and three assists as the Blades never surrendered the lead following a wild first period.

That first period saw the two teams combine for seven goals in a 13:54 span. Libor Hajek opened the scoring for the Blades 4:50 into the period, followed 3:08 later by a tying goal from Sam Steel. Hebig notched his first of the game 10:45 into the period while Josh Mahura evened up the scoring 89 seconds later. Seth Bafaro scored his first of the season for the Blades 14:44 into the period, followed 86 seconds later by Shmyr’s goal for his third point of the period. Remarkably, the scoring wasn’t done as Matt Bradley cut the Blades’ lead to one with 1:16 to go in the opening period.

Things settled down in the second period as Bradly Goethals put the Blades ahead by two, only to have the lead cut to one again after George King finished a beautiful tic-tac-toe passing play for his third of the season. Cameron Hebig scored the lone goal of the third period in what would turn out to be the insurance goal to Goethals’ game-winner.

Bradley was the lone Pats skater to finish with a multi-point game while Goethals also picked up a goal and an assist.

Ryan Kubic made 27 saves for his second win in a Blades uniform while Tyler Brown and Max Paddock split the time in Regina’s net.

The Blades will make their first venture outside of Saskatchewan this weekend, starting with a game in Medicine Hat Friday. The Pats travel to face the Prince Albert Raiders Friday in the next WHL on Access broadcast.

Calgary Hitmen (4) at Kamloops Blazers (2)  
Calgary (2-5-1-0) // Kamloops (0-9-0-0)

The Calgary Hitmen found their way into the win column Wednesday, downing the Kamloops Blazers by a 4-2 score in the second game of a three-game road trip.

Jakob Stukel had a goal, which stood up as the game-winner, and an assist in the team’s first victory that snapped an 0-4-1-0 slide in the process. Nick Schneider stopped 30 of the 32 shots sent his way for his second win in a Hitmen uniform.

Andrew Fyten opened the scoring 3:09 into the first period. Luc Smith answered back for the Blazers 7:28 into the second, but 23 seconds later, Luke Coleman quickly restored the lead for the Hitmen. Stukel scored his game-winner 68 seconds later to put the Hitmen ahead for good.

Hunter Campbell and Quinn Benjafield traded goals for Calgary and Kamloops respectively in the third period.

Dylan Ferguson faced his heaviest workload of the season, making 52 saves for the Blazers, but still coming away with the loss.

The Hitmen will close out their road trip at Prospera Place against the Kelowna Rockets Friday. The Blazers will head north for a pair of weekend contests at the CN Centre against the Prince George Cougars starting Friday.

Tri-City Americans (5) at Victoria Royals (4) OT
Tri-City (4-4-0-0) // Victoria (7-0-1-0)

The Tri-City Americans had a great bounce-back effort Tuesday in Victoria, B.C., closing out a two-game set on the island with a 5-4 overtime victory over the number one team in the Canadian Hockey League.

Michael Rasmussen scored with 1:03 left in the third on the power play and Dylan Coghlan scored on another power play 1:12 into overtime to clinch the victory.

Coghlan had scored the opening goal of the game in the first period, but Matthew Phillips had answered in the second with his sixth goal of the season to tie things at 1-1 after 40 minutes. That set the stage for a wild third period.

Regan Nagy scored his first of two goals in the period 3:31 into the final frame. Just 82 seconds later, Jordan Topping had tied the game up for the Ams. At the 6:54 mark of the period, Nagy added his second of the period to put the home side back on top.

Nearly five minutes would then go by before Connor Bouchard could tie it up for Tri-City, though his goal was almost immediately responded to by Igor Martynov’s fourth of the season to give the Royals their third lead of the game, but the Americans weren’t done.

Dylan Coghlan and Jordan Topping assisted on Rasmussen’s power play goal with 63 seconds to go with Phillips in the box. Late in regulation, Royals defenceman Chaz Reddekopp was handed a high-sticking minor, sending the Americans back to the power play. That’s where they’d strike, with Coghlan scoring his second of the contest to even up their record at 4-4 through eight games.

The Americans will now head back to the United States, facing the Spokane Chiefs on the road Saturday. The Royals will also head out onto the road for their next seven games, starting Friday in Spokane against the Chiefs.

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