WHL Roundup: Topping’s trick, clean sheets from Kehler and Anders feature in Wednesday’s WHL action
Prince George Cougars (1) at Regina Pats (4)
Prince George (18-26-4-4) // Regina (26-22-5-0)
A date against the Regina Pats didn’t offer any relief for the Prince George Cougars as they continued their East Division road trip Wednesday in the Queen City.
Pats captain Sam Steel (Anaheim Ducks) tallied a goal and an assist, Emil Oksanen added a pair of helpers and Max Paddock made 29 saves on 30 shots as the Pats rolled to a 4-1 victory.
A pair of former teammates traded goals in the first as former Cougar Jesse Gabrielle (Boston Bruins) tallied his seventh of the season just 80 seconds into the game, followed later in the period by a short-handed goal from Jared Bethune to keep the game level after 20 minutes.
The Pats took control of the game in the second, with Matt Bradley notching his 30th goal of the season with Steel also striking to create a two-goal lead for the Pats. In the third, Cameron Hebig (Edmonton Oilers) scored the lone goal to round out the offence.
Taylor Gauthier faced a barrage of shots, stopping 56 of 60 shots in the loss to mark the second time in his young WHL career that he’s stopped 50 or more shots in a game.
— Regina Pats (@WHLPats) February 1, 2018
Red Deer Rebels (2) at Saskatoon Blades (0)
Red Deer (14-25-9-3) // Saskatoon (25-24-2-1)
Whatever Ethan Anders had for breakfast may soon become mandatory for the rest of the Red Deer Rebels.
Anders continued his hot play Wednesday, shutting out the Saskatoon Blades by a 2-0 final, stopping all 33 shots sent his way. Anders stopped 11 shots in the first, seven in the second, and 15 more in the third to hold the Blades off the scoresheet.
At the other end of the ice, Tyler Brown stopped 24 of 25 shots, allowing a single goal to Jacob Herauf 109 seconds into the opening period. Josh Tarzwell would round out the scoring with 1:07 to go in the game, scoring into the empty net.
Kristian Reichel and Chris Douglas picked up assists in the game.
Anders continued to perform well, improving to 3-0-1-0 in his last four games with a 1.22 goals-against-average and stopping 152 of the last 157 shots sent his way.
Caleb Fantillo led the Blades with five shots in the game.
Rebel win 2-0 in Saskatoon. Ethan Anders with the shutout, Josh Tarzwell with the Rebels 2nd goal. Shots 33-26 Saskatoon. #RDR
— Red Deer Rebels (@Rebelshockey) February 1, 2018
Edmonton Oil Kings (5) at Kootenay ICE (2)
Edmonton (14-29-5-2) // Kootenay (23-24-3-0)
Tomas Soustal and Trey Fix-Wolansky each had a goal and an assist while Brendan Semchuk added a pair of assists as the Edmonton Oil Kings edged the Kootenay ICE by a 5-2 score.
Todd Scott also added 30 saves on 32 shots in net for Edmonton to earn the victory. Fix-Wolansky had the lone goal of the first period and Soustal scored early in the second to quickly build up a 2-0 lead.
Brett Davis (Dallas Stars) would respond with his first of two goals in the game to keep the Oil Kings ahead by just a single goal entering the third.
Another early goal supported the Oil Kings in the third as Nick Bowman restored the two-goal lead 1:50 into the final period. Davis would once again cut the lead to one, but goals from Brett Kemp and Colton Kehler rounded out the victory for the visiting Oil Kings Wednesday.
Duncan McGovern stopped 20 of 24 shots for the ICE in the loss. Jonathan Smart picked up a pair of assists for Kootenay Wednesday as well.
— Edmonton Oil Kings (@EdmOilKings) February 1, 2018
Medicine Hat Tigers (1) at Kamloops Blazers (3)
Medicine Hat (26-21-6-0) // Kamloops (24-24-1-2)
Luke Zazula broke open a 1-1 game 2:02 into the third period Wednesday as the Kamloops Blazers rolled to a 3-1 victory over the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers.
The Blazers took the lead in the first period on Luc Smith’s 16th of the season, but Elijah Brown responded in the second with his second of the season, and first in a Tigers uniform, to keep the teams tied after 40 minutes.
Zazula’s goal 122 seconds into the third stood up as the game-winner and Jermaine Loewen completed a two-point game by adding the insurance goal for his 24th of the season. Carson Denomie added a pair of assists in the contest while Dylan Ferguson (Vegas Golden Knights) stopped 36 of 37 shots to bring the Blazers within six points of the Spokane Chiefs for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference.
The latest edition of the battle of the Chyzowski went the older brother Nick this time around as he had an assist in the Blazers’ victory. Michael Bullion stopped 32 of 35 shots in the loss.
Dominating third period… Blazers Zazula (PP) and Loewen on the deflection. Blazers win it 3-1 over the Tigers. Blazer 'tender Dylan Ferguson is on a roll… 36 saves tonight. He's won his last five starts. @JonKeenNLSports pic.twitter.com/QoIxAWV31P
— Kamloops Blazers (@blazerhockey) February 1, 2018
Calgary Hitmen (1) at Vancouver Giants (4)
Calgary (15-29-5-1) // Vancouver (26-16-5-3)
Ty Ronning (New York Rangers) scored twice and Tyler Benson (Edmonton Oilers) added a pair of assists as the Vancouver Giants topped the Calgary Hitmen 4-1 in the Lower Mainland Wednesday.
Davis Koch had the lone goal of the first period while Tyler Popowich and Ronning scored in the second to extend the lead to three after 40 minutes.
The Hitmen broke through for their lone goal early in the third from the stick of Jakob Stukel (Vancouver Canucks), but an empty-net goal from Ronning closed out the scoring.
David Tendeck came close to the shutout, but settle for a 27-save performance, coming out with the victory as well. Nick Schneider (Calgary Flames) stopped 30 shots in the loss.
Koch’s first period goal was the 60th of his WHL career. Ronning’s two goals game him 44 on the season, bringing him with seven of the league lead help by Moose Jaw Warriors forward Jayden Halbgewachs (San Jose Sharks).
GIANTS WIN!!!@TyRonning7 had two goals! @TylerBenson_17 added two assists. @Popowich13 netted the game winner and David Tendeck was rock-solid with 27 saves on 28 shots faced! Giants grab their 26th win and finish January 7-2-2-1!
Much more to come!
— Vancouver Giants (@WHLGiants) February 1, 2018
Everett Silvertips (0) at Portland Winterhawks (3)
Everett (32-17-1-2) // Portland (30-17-1-3)
Fans at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum were treated to a spectacle of a goaltending matchup through 40 minutes Wednesday before the home team took over in a 3-0 win for the Portland Winterhawks over the division-leading Everett Silvertips.
Cole Kehler (Los Angeles Kings) shuts the door with 21 saves and Kieffer Bellows (New York Islanders) scored twice in the third to lead the Winterhawks to their 30th victory of the season, also bringing them within three points of Silvertips at the same time.
Cody Glass (Vegas Golden Knights) had three assists, giving him 120 for his WHL career as well as he factored into every goal. Skyler McKenzie (Winnipeg Jets) added the empty-netter to secure the victory while also picking up an assist for the two-point performance.
Henri Jokiharju (Chicago Blackhawks) picked up an assist to equal his 48-point production from last season in 29 fewer games.
In a battle between Kehler and fellow all-world goaltender Carter Hart (Philadelphia Flyers), one had to come out on the losing end, with Hart taking the loss this time after making 39 saves on 41 shots. Kevin Davis led all Silvertips’ skaters with four shots.
🚨🚨🚨WINTERHAWKS WIN🚨🚨🚨@kehler298 with the SHUT OUT
— Portland Winterhawks (@pdxwinterhawks) February 1, 2018
Victoria Royals (1) at Tri-City Americans (7)
Victoria (30-18-3-1) // Tri-City (26-16-7-0)
The offensive floodgates opened in Kennewick, Wash. Wednesday evening.
Jordan Topping tallied his sixth career WHL hat trick, giving him 100 career goals in his WHL career, while Morgan Geekie (Carolina Hurricanes) had a goal and four points and Michael Rasmussen (Detroit Red Wings) added a goal and three points in a 7-1 rout of the Victoria Royals.
Defensively, Juuso Valimaki returned to the lineup and Dylan Coghlan (Vegas Golden Knights) added three helpers while Beck Warm stopped 28 of 29 shots.
The Americans tallied four goals in the first period and two more in the second to lead 6-0 before the Royals got on the board in the third on Jared Freadrich’s 11th of the season assisted by Matthew Phillips (Calgary Flames) and Noah Gregor (San Jose Sharks).
Nolan Yaremko rounded out the scoring near the midway mark of the third, joining teammate Isaac Johnson as players with a goal and an assist for the Americans.
Griffen Outhouse and Dean McNabb combined for 30 saves in the loss.
— Tri-City Americans (@TCAmericans) February 1, 2018