WHL Roundup: Wouters sends Blades to overtime victory in Lethbridge

Cindy Adachi


Saskatoon Blades (2) at Lethbridge Hurricanes (1) OT
Saskatoon (6-7-1-0) // Lethbridge (7-6-1-0)

Chase Wouters scored in the dying seconds of overtime to lift the Saskatoon Blades to a victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes as they began a three-game road trip with a victory over one of the Central Division’s better teams.

Mark Rubinchik scored near the midway mark of the third period for the Blades as their lone goal in regulation, evening up the game after Josh Tarzwell had scored 6:55 into Wednesday’s contest.

Ryan Kubic and Edmonton Oilers prospect Stuart Skinner each faced 36 shots Wednesday, with Kubic making 35 saves to Skinner’s 34.

The Blades are in action Friday against the Medicine Hat Tigers while the Hurricanes will close out their seven-game home stand Friday against the Calgary Hitmen.

Seattle Thunderbirds (4) at Red Deer Rebels (2)
Seattle (8-5-0-1) // Red Deer (8-7-1-0)

Highlighted by short-handed goal from Donovan Neuls in the third period, the Seattle Thunderbirds scored three unanswered goals Wednesday night, doubling up the Red Deer Rebels by a 4-2 score.

Austin Strand and Alexander Alexeyev traded goals in the first for the T-Birds and Rebels respectively, while Buffalo Sabres prospect Brandon Hagel had the lone goal of the second period to give the Rebels the lead after 40 minutes.

That’s when the T-Birds found their fire, with Nolan Volcan scoring midway through the period, Neuls scoring six minutes later on the aforementioned short-handed goal with Sami Moilanen adding an empty-net goal.

Liam Hughes made 34 saves on the 36 shots sent his way while Ethan Anders made 35 saves

Now 4-1 on their road trip, the Thunderbirds will go in search of another road win in Edmonton against the Oil Kings Thursday. The Rebels will head off to Regina to battle the Pats Friday to begin a seven-game road trip.

Kootenay ICE (1) at Regina Pats (5)
Kootenay (7-8-1-0) // Regina (10-6-2-0)

Las Vegas Golden Knights prospect Jake Leschyshyn scored twice in the second period as part of a four-goal second period as the Pats earned their 10th win of the season and moved into sole possession of second place in the East Division.

Tanner Sidaway had a pair of assists while Robbie Holmes had a goal and an assist as the Pats also improved to 7-2-1-0 in their last 10 games.  Despite the offensive surge, it was the ICE that opened up the scoring in Wednesday’s WHL on Access broadcast from the Brandt Centre.

The Pats quickly flipped the script in the second, with Holmes scoring 4:12 into the period. It took just 47 seconds for the Pats to take the lead on Leschyshyn’s first of the game. Leschyshyn scored his second of the game 110 seconds later while Koby Morrisseau scored later on to round out the four-goal effort in the period.

Dawson Davidson scored the lone goal of the third period while Max Paddock earned his third win of the season while making 22 saves on 23 shots.

The Pats are at home to the Red Deer Rebels Friday. The ICE will continue their road trip against the Brandon Wheat Kings this coming weekend.

Prince George Cougars (1) at Portland Winterhawks (2)
Prince George (5-7-2-2) // Portland (10-4-0-0)

For 40 minutes, it seemed as though the Portland Winterhawks would be unable to break through Prince George Cougars goaltender Tavin Grant for the second time in as many games in Portland.

Fortunately, third period goals from Mason Mannek and Vegas Golden Knights prospect Cody Glass, his coming in the final minute of the game, helped power the Winterhawks to their 10th win of the season Wednesday.

Kody MacDonald had the lone goal between both sides after 40 minutes and Grant already 30 saves to his credit when the third began.

The Winterhawks evened up the game 99 seconds into the period on Mannek’s third of the season to break through Grant. Days after being burned by the Everett Silvertips on a goal in the final minute, the Winterhawks used that situation to their advantage, scoring with 39 seconds to go on a goal that appeared to not go in originally, but was eventually credit to Glass as his seventh of the season.

Cole Kehler all 11 shots sent his way in the first, 12 of the 13 he faced in the second and seven more in the third for his first win since Oct. 20. Grant finished with 41 saves.

Up next for the Winterhawks is a date in Spokane against the Chiefs Friday. The Cougars will continue on to Everett to play the Silvertips Friday in the first meeting of the season between the two clubs.

Kelowna Rockets (3) at Tri-City Americans (4) OT
Kelowna (7-5-2-1) // Tri-City (10-4-2-0)

Detroit Red Wings draft pick Michael Rasmussen kept the Tri-City Americans in first place in the U.S. Division with the overtime-winner Wednesday in a victory over the Kelowna Rockets.

Kyle Olson and Carolina Hurricanes draft pick Morgan Geekie scored in the first for the Americans, while Vancouver Canucks prospect Kole Lind answered back for the Rockets. The scoring in the second period belonged to Nolan Foote and Calgary Flames prospect Juuso Valimaki who traded goals to keep the Americans up by one heading to the final period.

Pressing for the equalizer, the Rockets finally found their answer from the stick of Jack Cowell, who sent the game to overtime on his fifth goal of the season.

Despite being forced into the overtime, the Americans went to work in the extra period and got the victory, restoring their two-point cushion over the Portland Winterhawks for the division lead.

The Americans will face the Spokane Chiefs Saturday on the road in their lone game of the weekend. Up next for the Rockets is a trip to Vancouver Island for games Friday and Saturday against the Victoria Royals.

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