Western Hockey League Three Stars: Saturday, November 24, 2018
1. Zack Andrusiak, Seattle Thunderbirds: Seattle Thunderbirds overage forward Zack Andrusiak scored the third hat trick of his WHL career Saturday in a narrow 4-3 loss to the Portland Winterhawks.
Andrusiak scored once in each period, including with 45 seconds left in the third period to give his team a chance late in the game. The hat trick was the second of the season by a member of the Thunderbirds after Noah Philp scored one in a win against the Kelowna Rockets on October 10. Andrusiak now has 20 points (15G-5A) in 23 games this season.
2. Bryan Lockner, Medicine Hat Tigers: Medicine Hat Tigers forward Bryan Lockner scored twice and added an assist as his team rolled to a 7-3 win against the Red Deer Rebels Saturday night on the road.
Lockner scored the Tigers’ first and fourth goals of the game, earning the game-winning goal, his first of the season and third of his WHL career. Through 24 games this season, Lockner has 12 point (7G-5A), getting halfway to his goal total from 70 games last season.
3. Connor Dewar, Everett Silvertips: Everett Silvertips captain and Minnesota Wild prospect Connor Dewar scored twice to lift the Silvertips over the Kelowna Rockets by a 2-1 score Saturday night at home.
Dewar opened the scoring in the second, then scored in the final minute to break the deadlock in a game that appeared destined for overtime. The second goal hit two milestones for Dewar, who collected his 20th goal of the season, the second-straight year he’s reached that mark, and 150 points for his WHL career. Dewar has 34 points (20G-14A) in 22 games this season.
Lethbridge Hurricanes 2 at Moose Jaw Warriors 3 (OT)
Down 2-0 with just minutes left in regulation, the Moose Jaw Warriors pulled out two points at the expense of the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Saturday’s Sportsnet Showcase.
Through 40 minutes, the game was a goaltending duel, with Reece Klassen stopping all 20 shots sent his way and Adam Evanoff turning aside 18 shots sent in his direction. The Hurricanes worked quickly to build a lead in the third period though, with Taylor Ross and Keltie Jeri-Leon finding the back of the net.
Battling back though were the Warriors, who evened up the game on goals from captain Josh Brook (Montreal Canadiens) and Tristin Langan to force the game into extra time.
Just 61 seconds into overtime, the Warriors’ comeback bid looked to be in trouble as Brayden Tracey took a minor penalty for tripping. The Warriors resolve pushed through however, killing off the penalty and then scoring with 1:20 left to go in overtime.
The win pushed the Warriors’ winning streak to five games as well as extending their streak of games with at least a point to seven (6-0-0-1).
Edmonton Oil Kings 2 at Swift Current Broncos 3
Battling hard for a 3-2 win, the Swift Current Broncos defeated the Edmonton Oil Kings.
A slick sharp-angled shot by Andrew Fyten put the Broncos up 1-0 late in the first period, but the second quickly heated up. Scoring off of an Oil Kings’ skate, Ben King improved the Broncos score 2-0. Quickly recovering from the 2-0 deficit, 2019 NHL Draft prospect Brett Kemp and Ethan Cap scored two goals for the Oil Kings.
However, it was Max Patterson’s goal and second point of the night that earned the Broncos another tally in the win column, with a final score of 3-2. Coming in clutch for the Broncos was Isaac Poulter, stopping 29 of 31 shots and earning his second win of the season.
Prince Albert Raiders 5 at Kootenay ICE 1
The Prince Albert Raiders rolled to a 5-1 victory against the Kootenay ICE as the usual offensive suspects contributed to the 16th victory in a row by the Canadian Hockey League’s top-ranked team, setting a new franchise record.
2019 NHL Draft prospect Brett Leason scored once and added a pair of assists to retake sole possession of the lead in the WHL scoring race while Noah Gregor (San Jose Sharks) and Parker Kelly (Ottawa Senators) each contributed a goal and an assist. Sean Montgomery added a pair of assists.
Leason opened the scoring with the only goal of the first period while goals from Ozzy Wiesblatt and Kelly featured in the second period. Captain Brayden Pachal and Gregor scored in the third, bookending the first career WHL goal from Michael Milne, which stood up as the only goal of the game for the ICE.
Facing a career-high 56 shots, Duncan McGovern stopped 51 of them in the loss. Donovan Buskey 22 of 23 for the victory, improving to 4-0-0-0 on the season.
Zack Hayes picked up the other lone assist in the contest for the Raiders while the ICE received assists from Nolan Orzeck and Davis Murray.
Medicine Hat Tigers 7 at Red Deer Rebels 3
Although it was a close game between the Medicine Hat Tigers and Red Deer Rebels in the first period, the Tigers ran away with the lead in the second and third to finish the game 7-3.
The Tigers win also ended the Rebels’ five-game win streak and became the first team to beat the Rebels on home ice since September 22, 2018.
Scoring for Medicine Hat was Bryan Lockner and Tyler Preziuso, each scoring twice, 2019 NHL Draft prospect Josh Williams, captain James Hamblin and Trevor Longo. With seven goals in the game, Hamblin capitalized to earn three points on Saturday night.
Earning Red Deer’s three goals were Josh Tarzwell, Arshdeep Bains, and Chris Douglas.
2019 NHL Draft prospect Mads Sogaard stopped 25 of 28 shots in the victory.
Seattle Thunderbirds 3 at Portland Winterhawks 4
A strong performance by the Portland Winterhawks earned them a 4-3 win over Zach Andrusiak’s hat trick night for the Seattle Thunderbirds.
In the first period, 2019 NHL Draft prospect Reece Newkirk and Seattle’s Andrusiak scored within seconds of each other, along with Jaydon Dureau, giving the Winterhawks the upper hand at the end of the period, 2-1.
Less than 30 seconds into the second period, Cody Glass (Vegas Golden Knights) added another point to the Winterhawks’ lead, but Andrusiak wasn’t far behind, scoring his second of the night to edge the Thunderbirds closer to the Winterhawks. Netting his seventh goal of the season, Mason Mannek recorded the game-winning goal before the end of the second.
With 45 seconds left in the game, Andrusiak captured his third goal for his hat trick, which would finish the game with a final score of 4-3 for Portland.
Stopping 15 of 18 shots that came his way, Shane Farkas earned his 13th win of the season. Liam Hughes put together a solid 41-save performance despite taking the loss.
Saskatoon Blades 4 at Prince George Cougars 1
The Saskatoon Blades began their road trip through British Columbia on the right foot, scoring a 4-1 win against the Prince George Cougars Saturday at the CN Centre.
Mike MacLean opened the scoring to put the Cougars on the board first, but first-period goals from Max Gerlach and Seth Bafaro put the Blades up by one after 20 minutes.
After a scoreless second period, Eric Florchuk (Washington Capitals) and Kristian Roykas Marthinsen (Washington Capitals) added goals to make it a three-goal advantage and close out the victory.
Two draft-eligible goaltenders that were former partners at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup faced each other for the first and last time in the regular season. Nolan Maier took the bragging rights in the contest, stopping 21 of 22 shots. 2019 NHL Draft prospect Taylor Gauthier stopped 24 shots in the loss.
Gary Haden added a pair of assist in the win for the Blades while Gerlach added an assist for the multi-point performance.
Kamloops Blazers 1 at Spokane Chiefs 3
Adam Beckman scored twice Saturday as the Spokane Chiefs defended home turf with a 3-1 win against the Kamloops Blazers.
With no score on the board until late into the second, Beckman and teammate Luke Toporowski struck 2:41 apart to give the home side a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes. In the third, Brodi Stuart brought the Blazers within a goal, but Beckman closed out the game with an empty-net goal.
Eli Zummack assisted on all three goals for the Chiefs while co-captain Ty Smith (New Jersey Devils), picked up an assist as well. Toporowski assisted on Spokane’s first goal for the multi-point night. Martin Lang and Quinn Schmiemann had the assists for Kamloops.
Bailey Brkin stopped 17 of 18 shots in the win while Dylan Ferguson (Vegas Golden Knights) stopped 19 of 21 shots. Dylan Garand stopped all five shots sent his way in 18:53 of action.
Calgary Hitmen 2 at Tri-City Americans 3 (SO)
Coming back from a 2-0 deficit in a shootout, the Tri-City Americans fought for a 3-2 shootout victory against the Calgary Hitmen.
Before the Americans’ rallied in the third period, Riley Stotts (Toronto Maple Leafs) picked up a rebound to put Calgary on the board in the first period. In the second, the Americans were unable to clear it from their own zone and Hitmen forward Carson Focht cashed in on the opportunity, improving the score 2-0.
Pouring on the gas was Tri-City’s Blake Stevenson and 2019 NHL Draft prospect Sasha Mutala who evened the score in the third period, before both teams went scoreless through overtime.
It was a swift three-round shootout win for Tri-City with Kyle Olson and Isaac Johnson scoring on Calgary’s Jack McNaughton. Standing tall on home ice was Beck Warm who stopped 38 of 40 shots for Tri-City.
Victoria Royals 1 at Vancouver Giants 4
Facing each other at the Langley Events Centre for the second time in a week, the Vancouver Giants evened up their season series against the Victoria Royals with a 4-1 win Saturday night.
Milos Roman (Calgary Flames) and Davis Koch each scored and added an assist while 2019 NHL Draft prospect Trent Miner stopped 24 of 25 shots in the victory.
Roman’s goal was the only one through 20 minutes while Koch and captain Jared Dmytriw scored in the second period to make it a three-goal game. Justin Sourdif and Tanner Sidaway traded goals in the third period, moving them 10 points up on the Royals for first place in the B.C. Division.
Dylan Plouffe, Brayden Watts, 2019 NHL Draft prospect Bowen Byram, and Alex Kannok-Leipert (Washington Capitals) each picked up a single assist in the victory as the Giants improved to 10-4-1-0 at home, second only in home records to the Prince Albert Raiders.
Kelowna Rockets 1 at Everett Silvertips 2
A last-minute goal from captain Connor Dewar (Minnesota Wild) powered the Everett Silvertips to another home victory Saturday, this one by a 2-1 score against the Kelowna Rockets.
Dewar did all the scoring Saturday, lightning the lamp 6:43 into the second period to open the scoring. 2019 NHL Draft prospect Kyle Topping would tie up the game midway through the third though, collecting his 11th of the season.
With the time passing into the final minute of regulation, Dewar controlled the puck near the blue line along the boards, dangled past a defender, then sent a strong shot through traffic from the high slot past James Porter for the game-winning goal.
The goal took away a chance at victory from what was a dazzling performance by Porter, who finished the game with 40 saves, the seventh time in his young WHL career he’s finished with 40 or more stops.
2019 NHL Draft prospect Dustin Wolf stopped 17 of the 18 shots sent his way for his 17th victory of the season and the 30th win of his WHL career.
Akash Bains, Bryce Kindopp, Wyatte Wylie (Philadelphia Flyers), and Sahvan Khaira each picked up a single assist for the Silvertips. Liam Kindree had the lone assist for the Rockets.