WHL Tonight: Mikhalchuk sends teddy bears flying in Prince George as Cougars top Royals Sunday

James Doyle/Prince George Cougars


Western Hockey League Three Stars: Sunday, December 2, 2018

1. Cody Glass, Portland Winterhawks: Vegas Golden Knights prospect and Portland Winterhawks captain Cody Glass scored a pair of goals and added three assists for the fourth five-point game of his WHL career Sunday in a 10-2 win against the Kootenay ICE.

The Winnipeg, Man. product scored the sixth and seventh goals of the contest for the Winterhawks while also assisting on goals one, two, and five for Portland. Through 24 games this season, Glass has recorded 51 points (11G-40A), placing him fourth in WHL scoring.

2. Jared Freadrich, Portland Winterhawks: Camrose, Alta. product Jared Freadrich recorded another career-high for points in a single game Sunday, notching five assists in Portland’s 10-2 victory against the Kootenay ICE.

The performance topped Freadrich’s previous career-high of four assists, set last month against the Spokane Chiefs. Through 27 games this season, Freadrich his 24 points (3G-21A), placing him in a tie for eighth in scoring among WHL defencemen. 

3. Taylor Ross, Lethbridge Hurricanes: Lethbridge Hurricanes forward Taylor Ross recorded the first hat trick of his WHL career Sunday as part of a wild 5-4 overtime victory against the Red Deer Rebels.

Ross scored Lethbridge’s first, second, and fourth goals of the contest. He also assisted on Lethbridge’s third goal of the game to make up the dominant performance. The product of Kronau, Sask. now has 30 points (16G-14A) in 27 games this season.



Medicine Hat Tigers 3 at Regina Pats 2

Sergei Alkhimov delivered a teddy bear toss goal to remember for the Regina Pats Sunday at the Brandt Centre, but the Medicine Hat Tigers would come away with the victory, scoring three unanswered goals in the third to win by a one-goal margin.

Goals 40 seconds apart, at least in the sense of the score clock, from Alkhimov and Austin Pratt quickly made it a 2-0 game in favour of the home side. Adding onto that, goaltender Max Paddock was solid through 40 minutes, stopping all 23 shots from Medicine Hat and taking his shutout into the final period of regulation.

Things would unravel for the Pats though as goals from Bryan Lockner and 2019 NHL Draft prospect Josh Williams tied up the game before the midway mark of the third period. With exactly 90 seconds to go, Tigers captain James Hamblin found the back of the net for the game-winning goal, giving his team an all-important two points.

Paddock finished with 38 stops in the game while Jordan Hollett (Ottawa Senators) claimed the victory after making 30 saves on 32 shots.

Moose Jaw Warriors 1 at Calgary Hitmen 5

The Calgary Hitmen stopped the Moose Jaw Warriors’ winning streak at eight games Sunday afternoon in Calgary to the tune of a 5-1 victory.

Kaden Elder scored twice and James Malm added a pair as well as the Hitmen used two power-play goals and a three-goal second period to win their second game in a row.

Elder had the only goal of the first, then added the game-winning goal 3:25 into the second. Goals from Malm and defenceman Egor Zamula (Philadelphia Flyers) also featured in the middle period.

In the third, Justin Almeida (Pittsburgh Penguins) spoiled Jack McNaughton’s shutout bid while Malm added his second of the contest to round out the scoring. Riley Stotts (Toronto Maple Leafs) recorded the first four-point game of his WHL career in the victory while Josh Prokop added a pair of helpers as well. Elder picked up an assist for the three-point game while Zamula added a helper as well for the multi-point game.

Despite losing his shutout bid, McNaughton turned in a very respectable 33-save performance against one of the WHL’s hottest teams over their past 10 games.

Red Deer Rebels 4 at Lethbridge Hurricanes 5 (OT) 

Taylor Ross recorded the first hat trick of his WHL career while Nolan Jones scored 1:50 into overtime Sunday as the Lethbridge Hurricanes captured a wild 5-4 contest over the visiting Red Deer Rebels.

Ross’ first two goals of the night were the only goals to feature in the opening period, but the Rebels responded with three-straight goals from the start of the second. After Chris Douglas notched the only goal of the second period, Zak Smith and a short-handed goal by Brett Davis (Dallas Stars) swung the game in the Rebels’ favour with just 8:25 left in the contest.

That was plenty of time in the Hurricanes’ minds though as 2019 NHL Draft prospect Dylan Cozens and Ross’ hat trick goal put the home side back up by a goal with 1:17 to go. Miraculously, the Rebels had a response in the form of Davis’ second of the game, which came with 18 seconds left, forcing overtime.

Leaving the game with two points would be the Hurricanes though as Jones got his second of the season to send the Hurricanes to an important win over the division-leading Rebels.

Jake Elmer tallied three assists in the contest while Ross added a helper for the four-point night. Cozens also picked up an assist for the multi-point game. Rebels defenceman Alexander Alexeyev (Washington Capitals) had a pair of assists in the loss. Davis added an assist for the three-point game in his second game with his new team.

Victoria Royals 3 at Prince George Cougars 5

Vladislav Mikhalchuk sent the teddy bears flying at the CN Centre Sunday, then scored again as the Prince George Cougars rolled to a 5-3 victory Sunday afternoon against the Victoria Royals.

The fans didn’t have to wait long to throw items onto the ice as Mikhalchuk scored 7:49 into the first period. The Cougars added to the offensive wave as Rhett Rhinehart and Mikhalchuk scored goals 28 seconds apart in the late part of the opening period, giving the home side a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes.

Josh Maser picked up his third point of the night on a goal to make it a 4-0 game 3:07 into the first period. The Royals would pull close with goals from Tarun Fizer and Dante Hannoun, but a late goal from Ilijah Colina would restore the Cougars’ lead to three after 40 minutes.

Matthew Smith’s first goal of the season featured in the third for the Royals, but that’d be all Victoria could muster in terms of a comeback attempt as 2019 NHL Draft prospect Taylor Gauthier stopped 12 shots in the final period to complete his 21-save performance.

In addition to Maser’s three-point performance, Colina picked up a goal and two assists as well. Rhinehart added an assist for the multi-point performance.

Tri-City Americans 2 at Vancouver Giants 4

Milos Roman (Calgary Flames) assisted on the game-winning goal late in the third and scored the insurance goal less than two minutes later, sending the Vancouver Giants to a 4-2 win Sunday against the Tri-City Americans at the Langley Events Centre.

Blake Stevenson opened the scoring with the only goal of the first period, while Jared Dmytriw and Isaac Johnson traded markers in the second to leave the home side down 2-1 after 40 minutes.

The Giants found some resolve thought to secure the victory in the third period. First, Aidan Barfoot tied up the game 7:26 into the period, followed 6:23 later by Davis Koch’s ninth of the season, which stood up as the game-winning goal. Roman’s insurance goal came 87 seconds later, overwhelming the Americans and finishing off the victory.

2019 NHL Draft prospect Trent Miner stopped 26 of 28 shots in the win.

Kootenay ICE 2 at Portland Winterhawks 10

If Saturday’s eight-goal outburst wasn’t enough for fans of the Portland Winterhawks, the team had more up their sleeves Sunday in a 10-2 drubbing of the Kootenay ICE.

Captain Cody Glass (Vegas Golden Knights) and defenceman Jared Freadrich each recorded five points while Joachim Blichfeld (San Jose Sharks) had a hat trick and four points. Lane Gilliss also scored twice while Brendan De Jong (Carolina Hurricanes) potted a pair of assists and Shane Farkas stopped 24 of 26.

For good measure, Michal Kvasnica added a goal and an assist while Jaydon Dureau and 2019 NHL Draft prospect Reece Newkirk also scored. The Winterhawks reached double digits Sunday by scoring four goals in the first, two in the second, and four more in the third.

Nolan Orzeck and 2019 NHL Draft prospect Peyton Krebs had the only goals for the ICE in the loss while River Fahey picked up his first point since his acquisition from the Red Deer Rebels on Friday.

For the statisticians, Sunday’s 10-goal performance for the Winterhawks was their first since a 10-5 win against the Seattle Thunderbirds on Saturday, October 7, 2017.

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