WHL Roundup: Tendeck, Gauthier sharp as Giants and Cougars score big wins

Chris Relke/James Doyle


Medicine Hat Tigers (4) at Moose Jaw Warriors (5) 
Medicine Hat (16-11-1-0) // Moose Jaw (22-5-1-1)

The Medicine Hat Tigers staged a furious third period comeback, but it was all for naught as Brayden Burke scored with 24 seconds to lift the Warriors to their 22nd win of the season Tuesday.

Burke’s goal completed a three-point night, a feat equalled by Justin Almeida. Matthew Benson finished with a pair of assists while Tanner Jeannot tallied a goal and an assist as the Warriors improved to 7-1-1-1 in their last eight games.

Jayden Halbgewachs, Almeida and Jeannot put the Warriors up 3-0 after 40 minutes, but the game was just getting started. Max Gerlach scored 30 seconds into the third, followed by Hayden Ostir at the 5:11 mark into the period, cutting the lead to one. Noah Gregor (San Jose Sharks) restored the two-goal lead for the Warriors moments later, by Ostir’s second of the game and Jaegar White’s fourth of the season tied things up before the midway mark of the third had hit.

The game wouldn’t be decided until the final minute, when Burke beat Michael Bullion for the final goal of a nine-goal game.

Brody Willms struggled late, but wound up with 43 saves and the win. Bullion stopped 25 of 30 shots in the loss.

Prince Albert Raiders (4) at Swift Current Broncos (5) — OT
Prince Albert (11-11-5-1) // Swift Current (20-6-2-0)

Artyom Minulin helped the Swift Current Broncos keep pace with their Trans-Canada rivals Tuesday, scoring in overtime to defeat the Prince Albert Raiders.

Matteo Gennaro tallied four assists with the Broncos while both Glenn Gawdin (Calgary Flames) and Aleksi Heponiemi (Florida Panthers) each had a goal and two assists. Sahvan Khaira and Connor Horning had the other Broncos goals.

The Broncos led 2-1 after one, with Sean Montgomery getting the lone goal for the Raiders. Prince Albert fought back in the second to tie up the game 3-3 with goals from Jordy Stallard (Winnipeg Jets) and Curtis Miske. Brayden Pachal put the Raiders up midway through the final period, but the Broncos had enough left in the tank to tie up the game on Gawdin’s 24th of the season, followed by Minulin’s fifth goal of the season to win the game.

Curtis Meger had an incredible night, making 44 saves, but could only deliver a single point for his club. Rookie Joel Hofer continued to be a solid backup option for the Broncos, making 35 saves in the winning effort.

Gawdin recorded his 150th career WHL assist in the victory while Heponiemi picked up career point 155 in his 100th WHL game.

Kootenay ICE (1) at Prince George Cougars (3) 

Kootenay (13-16-1-0) // Prince George (11-14-2-2)

Taylor Gauthier put in arguably his best performance this season, stopping 40 of 41 shots as the Prince George Cougars knocked off the visiting Kootenay ICE by  3-1 final.

Pavel Azhgirei scored his first career WHL goal in the first period and Peyton Krebs notched his sixth of the season as the lone goal of the second period, but a pair of third period goals from Josh Maser made the difference as the Cougars rolled to their second straight win in the midst of a four-game home stand.

Liam Ryan, Ethan O’Rourke and Aaron Boyd picked up helpers Tuesday for the Cougars. Duncan McGovern finished with 25 saves on 27 shots in the loss.

Portland Winterhawks (3) at Vancouver Giants (5)
Portland (20-6-0-1) // Vancouver (13-13-2-2)

For the second time in three days, the top team in the WHL was held out of the win column. 

Tuesday, it was a pair of goals from Owen Hardy, 43 saves from David Tendeck and a full team effort as the Vancouver Giants downed the visiting Portland Winterhawks.

Hardy scored his sixth and seventh goals of the season in the first period, with the opening goal of the contest coming short-handed.

Cody Glass (Vegas Golden Knights) got the Winterhawks back in the game, but the Giants kept up the pressure while clinging to a one-goal lead in the third.

Aidan Barfoot and James Malm scored goals 2:41 apart to quickly make it a three-goal lead, but the Winterhawks struck back with goal from Alex Overhardt and Joachim Blichfeld (San Jose Sharks) in the second half of the final period. Ty Ronning (New York Rangers) would tally his 25th goal of the season for insurance on the victory.

Tendeck was busy at the other end of the ice, making 14 saves in the first, 12 in the second and 17 more in the third. Cole Kehler stopped 33 of 38 shots in the loss.

Saskatoon Blades (1) at Seattle Thunderbirds (4)
Saskatoon (11-15-2-1) // Seattle (13-13-2-1)

Blake Bargar had a goal and an assist while Matt Berlin made 26 saves in net as the Seattle Thunderbirds pulled themselves closer to .500 with a 4-1 victory over the visiting Saskatoon Blades Tuesday.

Tyler Carpendale and Seth Bafaro traded goals for the T-Birds and Blades in the first period, but a second period goal from Sami Moilanen and third period goals from Dillon Hamaliuk and Bargar added up to a victory for the Thunderbirds, helping them to improve to 2-1 in December.

Nolan Maier made 31 saves on 34 shots in the loss as the Blades ended their U.S. road trip with a 2-3 record.

Noah Philp’s assist gave him 40 for his WHL career as well as 60 points. Nolan Volcan’s assist was the 75th of his WHL career. Thunderbirds captain Turner Ottenbreit picked up his 75th career WHL point against the team that originally drafted him back in 2012.

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