WHL Roundup: Teddies go flying in Saskatoon, Calgary and Prince George

Steve Hiscock/Candice Ward/John Doyle


Prince Albert Raiders (2) at Saskatoon Blades (3)
Prince Albert (12-12-5-2) // Saskatoon (12-16-2-1)

Cameron Hebig sent the teddy bears raining down onto the ice Sunday in Saskatoon and the Blades held on for the win on a special day.

The game went back and forth after Hebig’s opening goal. Parker Kelly (Ottawa Senators) opened the scoring in the second period, but Bradly Goethals quickly put the Blades back ahead with his seventh of the season. Seven minutes later, the Raiders had tied it up again on a goal by Curtis Miske, his 10th of the campaign.

The day would belong to the Blades though as Alec Zawatsky scored to give the Blades’ the final and most important lead of the game. Nolan Maier made 11 of his 34 saves in the third period, shutting down the Raiders in the final 20 minutes to preverse the win and gain two points for his club.

Ian Scott (Toronto Maple Leafs) stopped 21 of 24 shots in the loss.

The Saskatoon Blades host the Prince Albert Raiders at the Sask Tel Centre Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, December 10, 2017
The Saskatoon Blades host the Prince Albert Raiders at the Sask Tel Centre Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, December 10, 2017 (Photo credit: Steve Hiscock/Saskatoon Blades)

Moose Jaw Warriors (6) at Calgary Hitmen (3)
Moose Jaw (25-5-1-1) // Calgary (9-17-3-1)

An astounding 24,605 teddy bears were thrown onto the ice Sunday afternoon at the Scotiabank Saddledome, but the Calgary Hitmen could keep up the momentum in the final 40 minutes, falling 6-3 to the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors Sunday.

Vladislav Yeryomenko kickstarted the blizzard of teddy bears with his seventh goal of the season as the lone goal of the first period, and Andrei Grishakov scored early in the second to double the lead, but it was nearly all-Warriors after that. The Warriors reeled off goals from Brayden Burke and Jayden Halbgewachs in the first half of the middle period.

After a Jake Kryski goal put the Hitmen ahead again, Dmitri Zaitsev and Josh Brook (Montreal Canadiens) scored their firsts of the season to put the visiting side up 4-3 after 40 minutes.

Brett Howden (Tampa Bay Lightning) and Halbgewachs scored in the third period to round out the offensive effort as the Warriors completed a three-game sweep through Alberta and increasing their lead in the East Division to six points over the Brandon Wheat Kings.

Halbgewachs finished with a pair of goals and four points while Brook, Burke and Howden each had a goal and an assist. 

Adam Evanoff had some shaky moments early, but played well for the majority of the game, finishing with 26 saves on 29 shots. Nick Schneider (Calgary Flames) made 22 saves in the loss.

Victoria Royals (5) at Prince George Cougars (4) — OT
Victoria (20-10-3-0) // Prince George (11-14-3-2)

Josh Maser scored his first career WHL hat trick and sent the teddy bears raining down onto the ice at the CN Centre, but the Royals battled hard late and pulled out a 5-4 victory in overtime.

Maser opened the scoring 13:41 into the first period on the power play, while Jackson Leppard and Maser’s second of the game came as the only goals of the second period, but the Royals saved their best for late.

Matthew Phillips (Calgary Flames) and a pair of goals from Jared Freadrich evened up the scoring in the first half of the third period. Maser completed his trick with 7:48 to go in the game, but Dino Kambeitz found the right time to score his sixth of the season,  tying up the game exactly three minutes after Maser had put the Cougars ahead.

That goal set the stage for the Royals comeback to be completed in overtime as Phillips scored 1:55 in, lifting his club to an important pair of points.

Griffen Outhouse stopped 30 of 34 shots in the victory while Taylor Gauthier made 24 stops in the overtime loss.

Swift Current Broncos (6) at Edmonton Oil Kings (1)
Swift Current (22-7-2-0) // Edmonton (7-20-3-0)

Glenn Gawdin (Calgary Flames) scored twice, Artyom Minulin had three assists and Logan Flodell made 42 saves as the Swift Current Broncos regained their form in a 6-1 drubbing of the Edmonton Oil Kings Sunday afternoon.

Matteo Gennaro added a goal and an assist while Kole Gable scored his second of the season against his former club. Leading 2-0 after 20 on the aforementioned goals by Gennaro and Gable, Gawdin scored twice and Colby Sissons (New Jersey Devils) added his sixth of the season in a three-goal second period. The highlight of the third period was Broncos rookie Quinton Waitzner scoring his first career WHL goal to round out Swift Current’s side of the scoring.

Colton Kehler scored late to break up Flodell’s shutout bid, but there wasn’t enough left in the tank for a comeback attempt on this night.

Flodell made 11 saves in the first, 13 more in the second and 18 in the third. Travis Child stopped 24 of 30 shots in the loss.

Everett Silvertips (4) at Tri-City Americans (3)
Everett (19-12-1-1) // Tri-City (15-10-3-0)

If there’s one thing WHL teams should learn by now, it’s to never assume the Everett Silvertips will be happy to send the game to overtime.

Another late-game goal propelled the Silvertips to their ninth straight victory Sunday in Kennewick, Wash. as Bryce Kindopp completed a two-goal effort by scoring with 17.6 seconds to go, edging the Americans.

Riley Sutter opened the scoring 10:35 into the first, but the Ams quickly responded with Michael Rasmussen’s 13th of the campaign to keep the scored tied after 20 minutes. Maxwell James put the Americans ahead early in the second, but the Silvertips returned the favour less than three minutes later on Kindopp’s first of the game.

The Tips took over control of the game later in the period on Wyatte Wylie’s second of the season, keeping the Tips in front after 40 minutes.

Rasmussen’s second of the game 4:07 into the third reset the game once again, but the Silvertips wouldn’t be denied the two points Sunday, pressing late and forcing a turnover in the dying seconds of the game, with Kindopp getting credit for his ninth of the season.

Dustin Wolf stopped 29 of 32 shots in the victory, improving to 3-1 as Carter Hart (Philadelphia Flyers) enjoyed a well-deserved night off. Beck Warm stopped 18 of 22 shots in the loss.

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