WHL Roundup: Warriors edge Raiders, claim first Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy in franchise history

Moose Jaw Warriors


Saskatoon Blades (3) at Brandon Wheat Kings (5)
Saskatoon (32-33-3-1) // Brandon (38-27-3-2)

Schael Higson, Ty Lewis (Colorado Avalanche), and Evan Weinger each had a goal and an assist while Dylan Myskiw stopped 40 shots as the Brandon Wheat Kings upended the Saskatoon Blades by a 5-3 score Tuesday.

Logan Christensen got the Blades on the board first, but Linden McCorrister responded for Brandon to keep the teams tied after 20 minutes.

In the second, Marcus Sekundiak put the Wheat Kings ahead by a goal, only to have Max Gerlach tie up the game for the Blades. A little over two minutes later though, Schael Higson restored Brandon’s lead to keep them ahead after 40 minutes.

Lewis put the Wheat Kings up for good in the game with his 43rd of the season 6:59 into the third. Eric Florchuk’s 16th of the campaign brought the Blades to within a goal, but that’s as close as they’d come as Weinger’s 30th of the season added the icing on the cake.

Myskiw was solid for the Wheat Kings, stopping 17 shots in the first, 12 in the second, and 11 in the third to earn Brandon’s 38th victory of the season. Nolan Maier stopped 23 of 28 in the loss.

Gerlach and Florchuk also had a goal and an assist while the Blades took the loss. Kirby Dach added a pair of assists. Former Wheat King Braylon Shmyr was named the third star of the night in his last junior hockey game at Westoba Place, the arena where he began his WHL career.

The win helped keep the Wheat Kings in the running for third place in the East Division, one point behind the Regina Pats. The loss eliminated the Blades from playoff contention, helping the Prince Albert Raiders clinch the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Prince Albert Raiders (1) at Moose Jaw Warriors (2) — SO
Prince Albert (32-25-9-3) // Moose Jaw (52-15-1-2)

The Moose Jaw Warriors claimed their first Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy in franchise history Tuesday, edging the red-hot Prince Albert Raiders by a 2-1 score in the shootout.

Nikita Krivokrasov scored 3:21 into the first to put the Raiders ahead, but Vince Loschiavo answered back with his 19th of the season 34 seconds later to tie up the game. Vojtech Budik (Buffalo Sabres) had the lone assist for the Raiders while Justin Almeida and Tristin Langan had the helpers for the Warriors.

That’s how things would stay until the shootout, when both Brett Howden (New York Rangers) and Jayden Halbgewachs (San Jose Sharks) scored while Brody Willms denied Regan Nagy and Parker Kelly (Ottawa Senators) on their attempts.

Willms’ victory handed him the franchise record for wins in a single season with his 37th triumph after he stopped 27 of 28 shots. Ian Scott (Toronto Maple Leafs) stopped 36 of 37 shots to give his squad a chance at recording their 10th straight victory.

Now 9-0-0-1 in their last 10 games, the Raiders still claimed a playoff spot despite the loss. In addition to clinching the Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy, the Warriors claimed first place in the East Division and Eastern Conference.

Lethbridge Hurricanes (1) at Edmonton Oil Kings (5)
Lethbridge (32-31-6-0) // Edmonton (21-41-6-2)

A five-goal second period led the Edmonton Oil Kings to a strong victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes in their second last game of the regular season at Rogers Place.

Led by a goal and four points from Trey Fix-Wolansky, the Oil Kings won the finale of the season series with the Hurricanes by a 5-1 score. Jadon Joseph had the only goal of the first period to put the Hurricanes in front 1-0 after 20 minutes.

That all changed in the second though as captain Colton Kehler scored the first of three power-play goals in the period. Goals followed from Nick Bowman, Conner McDonald, Tomas Soustal, and Fix-Wolansky in the next 16:39.

Josh Dechaine was solid between the pipes, stopping 26 of 27 shots. Logan Flodell stopped 30 of 35 in the loss.

Kobe Mohr added a pair of assists while five other Oil Kings skaters found their way onto the scoresheet with a single assist.

The loss kept the Hurricanes from having a shot at claiming the Central Division, handing the title to the Medicine Hat Tigers. The Oil Kings will close out their regular season with a home-and-home against the Calgary Hitmen this coming weekend.

Calgary Hitmen (3) at Medicine Hat Tigers (1) 
Calgary (22-36-9-2) // Medicine Hat (35-27-8-0)

In the final game against his former club, Nick Schneider (Calgary Flames) shined brightest.

Schneider stopped 36 of 37 shots, including 10 of 11 shots in the third period as the Hitmen mounted a furious comeback to score a 3-1 victory over the Central Division leaders.

Schneider had a record-breaking performance in his final trip to his former home rink. He eclipsed Alexander Fomitchev’s franchise record for minutes played in a single season with 3,371. He also tied Fomitchev’s games played record with his 60th appearance this season.

After a scoreless 40 minutes to begin the game, Dylan MacPherson scored 12 seconds into the third period to giver the Tigers the first lead of the game.

The Hitmen would have an answer though, with goals coming from Tristen Nielsen, Riley Stotts, and Conner Chaulk. Vladislav Yeryomenko and Carson Focht each added a pair of assists while Don Schmiemann added a single helper in the win.

Mark Rassell had the lone assist for the Tigers in the loss. Michael Bullion made 20 stops in the game.

Despite the loss, the Tigers still clinched their second straight Central Division title thanks to Lethbridge’s loss in Edmonton.

Everett Silvertips (2) at Tri-City Americans (4) 
Everett (45-20-2-3) // Tri-City (36-24-8-1)

For the second time in three days, the Everett Silvertips fell to a U.S. Division rival in regulation.

Tuesday’s defeat came at the hands of the Tri-City Americans, who used multi-point efforts from Jake Bean (Carolina Hurricanes), Morgan Geekie (Carolina Hurricanes) and Sasha Mutala to earn a 4-2 victory.

Bean opened the scoring with his 11th of the season late in the first, but the Silvertips quickly overshadowed his goal with captain Matt Fonteyne and Garrett Pilon (Washington Capitals) finding the back of the net early in the second.

The Americans would strike back in the second half of the middle period with goals from captain Michael Rasmussen (Detroit Red Wings) and Geekie to retain their one goal lead after 40 minutes.

In the third, Riley Sawchuk added his 15th of the season as an empty-net goal to secure the victory. Mutala picked up a pair of assists in the contest.

Patrick Dea stopped 33 of 35 shots to score the win against Carter Hart (Philadelphia Flyers), who stopped 20 of 23 shots.

Patrick Bajkov (Florida Panthers) added a pair of assists in the game to set a Silvertips’ franchise record for points in a single season. Kevin Davis also had a pair of helpers.

The win was the Americans’ fourth straight as they pursue the Spokane Chiefs for third in the U.S. Division. With three games remaining, the Americans sit three points behind the Chiefs with both clubs set to begin a home-and-home series at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena this Friday.

With the Silvertips’ loss, the Portland Winterhawks remained well within striking distance for the Western Conference and U.S. Division lead.

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