WHL Tonight: Americans head into holiday break with home-and-home sweep of Winterhawks
Western Hockey League Three Stars: Sunday, December 16, 2018
1. Riley Sawchuk, Tri-City Americans: Tri-City Americans forward Riley Sawchuk recorded the fifth multi-goal game of his WHL career and first four-point game of his WHL career Sunday in a 4-3 overtime victory against the Portland Winterhawks.
The Prince Albert, Sask. product scored the second and third goals of the game for the Americans, picking up the lone assists on their first and fourth goals as well. The 19-year-old Sawchuk now has 22 points (11G-11A) in 31 games this season.
2. Adam Beckman, Spokane Chiefs: Spokane Chiefs forward Adam Beckman went into the WHL’s holiday break on a high note as he continued his strong rookie campaign with the first four-point game of his WHL career.
Beckman scored the first and fourth goals of the game for the Chiefs, then assisted on their fifth and sixth goals in a 6-5 overtime win against the Seattle Thunderbirds. The Saskatoon, Sask. product now has 28 points (17G-11A) in 34 games this season.
3. Jordy Bellerive, Lethbridge Hurricanes: Pittsburgh Penguins prospect and Lethbridge Hurricanes captain Jordy Bellerive reached the 100-goal plateau for his WHL career Sunday as the Lethbridge Hurricanes rolled to a 6-4 win against the Calgary Hitmen.
Bellerive scored the second and sixth goals of the game for Lethbridge, adding an assist on their fourth goal as well. Bellerive now has 39 points (16G-23A) in 33 games this season and 223 points (100G-123A) in 239 WHL regular season games.
Kootenay ICE 4 at Edmonton Oil Kings 7
2018 WHL Bantam Draft first overall selection Dylan Guenther recorded the first multi-goal game of his WHL career and 2019 NHL Draft prospect Brett Kemp also scored twice, picking up an assist for the three-point game in a 7-4 win for the Edmonton Oil Kings over the Kootenay ICE.
Kemp opened the scoring early, with Cole Muir responding for the ICE, though Guenther came right back with two goals, keeping the Oil Kings in front 3-2 after 20 minutes as River Fahey also struck for the visiting side in a wild first period.
Completing his multi-goal game in the second, Kemp scored to open the middle period while Martin Bodak responded for the ICE.
Edmonton put the game out of reach in the third with goals from Vince Loschiavo, 2019 NHL Draft prospect David Kope, and an empty-net goal by Scott Atkinson. Brad Ginnell rounded out the scoring for the ICE.
Lethbridge Hurricanes 6 at Calgary Hitmen 4
A four-goal third period powered the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 6-4 win in Calgary against the Hitmen Sunday.
Taylor Ross scored nine seconds into the first period to open the game with a bang, standing up as the only goal of the first, but the Hitmen would respond in the second with goals from captain and 2019 NHL Draft prospect Mark Kastelic, Bryce Bader, and Kaden Elder. The Hurricanes still hung in the game however, with captain Jordy Bellerive (Pittsburgh Penguins) scoring to make it a 3-2 game after 40 minutes.
The offensive eruption by the Hurricanes started 5:29 into the period when 2019 NHL Draft prospect Dylan Cozens struck for his 18th of the season. Riley Stotts (Toronto Maple Leafs) restored the one-goal lead minutes after, but Lethbridge kept coming.
Just 24 seconds after Stotts’ goal, Ty Prefontaine scored to make it a 4-4 contest, followed exactly one minute later by 2019 NHL Draft prospect Logan Barlage notching what would turn out to be the eventual game-winning goal. Bellerive scored late in the third to complete the multi-goal effort, also giving him 100 career goals for his WHL career.
Nick Henry (Colorado Avalanche) and Calen Addison (Pittsburgh Penguins) each chipped in with a pair of assists.
Prince George Cougars 1 at Vancouver Giants 2
David Tendeck (Arizona Coyotes) supplied the defence with 30 saves and Brayden Watts supplied the offence, as the Vancouver Giants headed into the holiday break with a 2-1 win over the Prince George Cougars.
Jackson Leppard opened the scoring with his seventh of the season, but Watts came back in the second with his sixth of the campaign to tie up the contest. After giving up a goal in the first, Tendeck was solid the rest of the way, stopping all 25 shots over the second and third period from the Cougars.
Then, within the final minute of regulation, 2019 NHL Draft prospect Bowen Byram put the puck on net where Watts was waiting to whack the rebound in, securing the late victory. Byram added a pair of assists in the win while Davis Koch had a pair of helpers as well.
Tri-City Americans 4 at Portland Winterhawks 3 (OT)
A spectacular one-handed play from Kyle Olson (Anaheim Ducks) capped off a 4-3 overtime victory for the Tri-City Americans Sunday against the Portland Winterhawks.
A scoreless first was quickly forgotten as goals from Joachim Blichfeld (San Jose Sharks), Olson, Riley Sawchuk, and Ryan Hughes featured in the first 10 minutes of the second, keeping things tied at a 2-2 score heading to the third.
Sawchuk’s second goal of the game and Jared Freadrich’s fourth of the season kept things tied through the third period, with Freadrich scoring in the final minute of regulation to earn the Winterhawks a single point.
A 31-save performance from Beck Warm wouldn’t go to waste though as Olson broke in down the wing and struck for his second of the game, sending the Americans to their second overtime win against Portland in as many nights. Shane Farkas stopped 32 in the loss.
Seattle Thunderbirds 5 at Spokane Chiefs 6 (OT)
Eli Zummack picked up his fifth game-winning goal of the season Sunday, sending the Spokane Chiefs into the holiday break with a 6-5 overtime win against the Seattle Thunderbirds.
Thunderbirds captain Nolan Volcan opened the scoring early in the first, but the Chiefs responded with goals from Adam Beckman and 2019 NHL Draft prospect Luke Toporowski to lead 2-1 after 20 minutes. The Thunderbirds took the lead briefly in the second as Matthew Wedman and 2019 NHL Draft prospect Dillon Hamaliuk made it a 3-2 game, though Luc Smith would keep the game tied after 40 minutes.
Noah King and Hamaliuk traded goals in the third before Zummack scored to win the game in overtime. beckman finished with a pair of goals and four points while Zummack had three points himself. Jake McGrew (San Jose Sharks) and Bobby Russell each added a pair of assists in the victory.
Jarret Tyszka (Montreal Canadiens) and Zack Andrusiak each also added a pair of assists in the game.