WHL Tonight: Hofer dazzles with 52 stops as Broncos snap Raiders’ winning streak
Western Hockey League Three Stars: Tuesday, December 4, 2018
1. Joel Hofer, Swift Current Broncos: St. Louis Blues prospect Joel Hofer of the Swift Current Broncos stopped 52 of 54 shots, then added three more stops in the shootout to snap the Prince Albert Raiders’ 19-game winning streak in Swift Current Tuesday night.
Hofer stopped 11 shots in the first, 17 in the second, and 20 more in the third before adding four in overtime to get his team to the shootout portion. Hofer is quickly becoming used to facing, and subsequently stopping, a large barrage of shots. Tuesday marked the third time this season Hofer has stopped 50 or more shots in a game with his 65 saves on October 16 against the Vancouver Giants still a season-high and career-high.
The Winnipeg, Man. product has earned all three of his victories this season by stopping 42, 52, and 53 shots respectfully.
2. Ethan Regnier, Swift Current Broncos: Prince Albert, Sask. product Ethan Regnier picked up an assist on the opening goal of the game, scored the game-tying goal, then added the only goal of the shootout as the Swift Current Broncos won 3-2 against Regnier’s hometown Raiders Tuesday.
Regnier’s goal and an assist was the third multi-point game of his WHL career. The 18-year-old now has 11 points (5G-6A) in 28 games during the 2018-19 WHL Regular Season.
3. Jiri Patera, Brandon Wheat Kings: Vegas Golden Knights prospect Jiri Patera of the Brandon Wheat Kings stopped 40 of 41 shots directed his way Tuesday as the Wheat Kings improved to 8-4-1-2 at home this season.
Patera stopped 10 shots in the first, 19 in the second, and 11 in the third for the victory, his third-straight win personally and the fourth victory in a row for Brandon. The import goaltender from Praha, Czech Republic was recently named to the Czech Republic’s selection camp roster for their team that will compete at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Medicine Hat Tigers 1 at Brandon Wheat Kings 4
The Brandon Wheat Kings extended their winning streak to four games Tuesday night with a 4-1 win against the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers.
2019 NHL Draft prospect Luka Burzan opened the scoring as he attempted to collect an assist instead. Passing the puck into the slot to an awaiting Ridly Greig, the rookie’s shot deflected to Burzan at the side of the net, who banged home the loose puck.
The Tigers would have a response late in the second period as another 2019 NHL Draft prospect in Ryan Chyzowski tied up the game, though the Wheat Kings would respond from the stick of captain Stelio Mattheos (Carolina Hurricanes) just 98 seconds later to restore the one-goal lead heading into the third period.
In the final period, Linden McCorrister and an empty-net goal from Ben McCartney would round out the scoring in the contest as Jiri Patera (Vegas Golden Knights) closed out his 40-save performance with 11 more saves in the third after stopping 29 of 30 through the opening 40 minutes.
In a matchup of two import goaltenders, 2019 NHL Draft prospect Mads Sogaard stopped 42 of 46 for the Tigers.
Prince Albert Raiders 2 at Swift Current Broncos 3 (SO)
The Prince Albert Raiders’ 19-game win streak is no more thanks to the Swift Current Broncos.
Joel Hofer (St. Louis Blues) made an incredible 52 saves, then added three more stops in the shootout to secure the victory while Prince Albert, Sask. product Ethan Regnier scored the game-tying goal with 1:44 left in the third, then notched the only goal of the shootout to send his hometown team to defeat.
The Broncos opened the scoring as the Raiders gave up a rare power-play goal 7:01 into the first on an Andrew Fyten shot that was tipped by Tanner Nagel. Regnier picked up the secondary assist on the goal.
Eventually, the Raiders found their game though as goals from 2019 NHL Draft prospect Brett Leason minutes later and captain Brayden Pachal midway through the third followed a similar script that had so often led to many of their 26 victories this season.
Regnier would tie up the game late though as his shot from just inside the blue line would beat Scott to force overtime. In the extra period, the Raiders continued to pressure, maintaining possession through line changes, but were turned aside at each opportunity.
After stopping 11 shots in the first, Hofer made 17 in the second, 19 in the third, and four in overtime to get the Broncos to the shootout. There, all three Raiders shooters failed to score while Regnier converted after Alec Zawatsky and Fyten had met similar fates of denial.