WHL Tonight: Victory suits Warriors, Blazers in Friday triumphs
Western Hockey League Three Stars: Friday, February 1, 2019
1. Brayden Tracey, Moose Jaw Warriors: 2019 NHL Draft prospect Brayden Tracey of the Moose Jaw Warriors recorded his second hat trick this season as part of a four-point night in a 6-1 win for the Warriors against the Medicine Hat Tigers.
Tracey scored the first three goals of the game for the Warriors, marking the second natural hat trick of his WHL career and his third multi-goal game this season. The Calgary, Alta. product became the first WHL rookie to score 20 goals this season, doing it in one game fewer than it took Lethbridge Hurricanes forward Dylan Cozens, who was lone WHL player to accomplish the feat last year.
In 47 games this season, Tracey has 51 points (22G-29A), owning a 12-point lead in the WHL rookie scoring race. Overall, Tracey has appeared in 52 WHL regular season games, posting 53 points (22G-31A).
2. Reece Klassen, Spokane Chiefs: Goaltender Reece Klassen recorded the first shutout of his WHL career Friday, stopping all 25 shots in a 4-0 win against the Kelowna Rockets. Klassen stopped 11 shots in the first, eight in the second, and six in the third for the clean sheet.
The Cloverdale, B.C. product has a 13-5-4-4 record, 3.26 goals-against-average, 0.897 save percentage, and one shutout in 30 games this season split between the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Chiefs. Overall, Klassen has appeared in 53 WHL regular season games, posting a 18-13-7-4 record, 3.41 GAA, 0.893 SV%, and one shutout.
3. Shane Farkas, Portland Winterhawks: Goaltender Shane Farkas of the Portland Winterhawks recorded his fourth shutout this season and the seventh of his WHL career Friday, stopping all 24 shots in a 3-0 win against the Vancouver Giants.
Farkas stopped six shots in the first, seven in the second, and 11 in the third for the clean sheet, holding the B.C. Division leaders off the scoresheet. The Penticton, B.C. product has appeared in 43 games this season with the Winterhawks, posting a 26-10-3-2 record, 2.83 GAA, 0.902 SV%, and four shutouts. In 77 WHL regular season games, Farkas has a 43-22-3-3 record, 3.05 GAA, 0.900 SV%, and seven shutouts.
Medicine Hat Tigers 1 at Moose Jaw Warriors 6
Leading the Moose Jaw Warriors to a 6-1 win with his second hat trick of the season, 2019 NHL Draft prospect Brayden Tracey generated a Warriors’ take-over against the Medicine Hat Tigers.
Scoring his first of three goals, Tracey notched his 20th goal of the season becoming the first rookie to reach that total in the 2018-19 WHL Regular Season. In the second period, a flurry of action from the Warriors resulted in Tracey’s hat trick and goals from Keenan Taphorn and Kjell Kjemhus.
Earning the Tigers’ lone goal of the night, 2019 NHL Draft prospect Ryan Chyzowski scored on a play with rookie Cole Sillinger who earned the second point of his WHL career on the assist. With Justin Almeida (Pittsburgh Penguins) adding another goal to the Warriors total, he sealed the game 6-1.
Stopping 33 shots, Moose Jaw’s Adam Evanoff stood strong in net.
Edmonton Oil Kings 6 at Prince Albert Raiders 3
In a battle of Eastern Conference division leaders, two-goal games from captain Trey Fix-Wolansky (Columbus Blue Jackets) and Conner McDonald powered the Edmonton Oil Kings to victory against the Prince Albert Raiders.
With the win, the Oil Kings also ended a five-game losing streak at the Art Hauser Centre with their last win in the building dating back to November 27, 2015.
Cole Fonstad (Montreal Canadiens) scored his first of two goals in the game as the only goal in the first, but goals from Jalen Luypen and McDonald’s first of the night put the Oil Kings in front 2-1 midway through the second. The Raiders’ high-octane offence struck back with Fonstad’s 20th of the season and a goal from captain Brayden Pachal 81 seconds later to put the Raiders in front again, but the lead wouldn’t last.
The third lead change of the wild second period saw Fix-Wolansky make his mark late in the middle period with two goals in a 56-second span to put the Oil Kings back on top heading to the third.
McDonald added his second of the game in the third while Vince Loschiavo potted his 22nd of the season into the empty net to close out the game.
In a battle of the Scotts between the pipes, January’s WHL Vaughn Goaltender of the Month Todd Scott earned the victory, stopping 39 of 42 shots.
Quinn Benjafield and Noah Gregor (San Jose Sharks) each added a pair of assists for their respective sides.
Saskatoon Blades 3 at Regina Pats 1
Adding another win to their head-to-head record against the Regina Pats, the Saskatoon Blades played a disciplined game, winning 3-1.
Extending his five-game point streak to six, Max Gerlach went five-hole on Regina’s goaltender to score the first goal of the game. In the second period, hot-streak player Gary Haden tipped the puck in for the Blades second goal with Gerlach also notching an assist. For Regina, it was Sergei Alkhimov who earned their only goal of the game, going bar down. Ensuring the win, Haden scored his second of the game on an empty net.
Despite their loss, Regina’s Max Paddock stopped 39 of 41 shots to earn the first star of the game while Saskatoon’s Nolan Maier blocked all 34 shots that came his way.
Brandon Wheat Kings 6 at Calgary Hitmen 5 (OT)
The start of the Calgary Hitmen’s Corral Series saw a return to the good old days of high-scoring hockey as the Brandon Wheat Kings and Hitmen, playing as the Centennials, combined for 11 goals in a 6-5 overtime win for the visiting Wheaties.
Back-and-forth action saw a total of six lead changes in the contest, started by Calgary’s Tye Carriere. The Wheat Kings tied up the game 15 seconds later on Caiden Daley’s fourth of the season with captain Stelio Mattheos (Carolina Hurricanes) pulling his team ahead by one 5:58 into the second.
That lead also wouldn’t last long as Luke Coleman answered back 39 seconds later while 2019 NHL Draft prospect and captain Mark Kastelic notched his 33rd of the season to restore the Hitmen’s one-goal advantage.
Just 122 seconds after Kastelic’s goal though, Connor Gutenberg tied up the game with his 12th of the season. Kastelic put the Hitmen back in front early in the third with his team-leading 34th goal of the season, but 73 seconds later, the first of two goals in the game from Ben McCartney tied up the contest.
McCartney didn’t have to do much work on his second goal as a terrible series of events for the Hitmen saw them score an own goal, with McCartney and the Wheaties the beneficiary late in the contest. Providing some late-game heroic, Coleman’s second of the night sent the game off to overtime, though 2019 NHL Draft prospect Luka Burzan capped off the game 16 seconds into overtime with his 29th of the season.
Ethan Kruger stopped 27 shots to earn the win in the wild contest while Jack McNaughton stopped 32 in the narrow loss.
Defenceman Zack Wytinck, McCartney, and Mattheos each recorded three-point games. Gutenberg added an assist to his goal for the multi-point game. Kastelic added a helper to his pair of goals for the three-point night while Kaden Elder had a pair of assists.
Swift Current Broncos 2 at Kootenay ICE 3
A tight game between the Kootenay ICE and Swift Current Broncos resulted in a 3-2 win, snapping the ICE’s four-game losing streak.
Connor McClennon and Owen Blocker kicked-off the first period by exchanging goals, but the Broncos’ Christian Riemer took the lead by scoring his first career WHL goal in the second.
Battling hard in the third for the win, McClennon tied the game after letting a shot go from the far-side circle. With just one minute remaining in the third, Jaeger White capitalized on a beautiful back-door pass from 2019 NHL Draft prospect and ICE captain Peyton Krebs, taking the lead for good 3-2.
Between the pipes, 2019 NHL Draft prospect Jesse Makaj earned his third win of the season after stopping 24 of 26 shots.
Red Deer Rebels 2 at Lethbridge Hurricanes 6
Playing a textbook game, the Lethbridge Hurricanes expertly controlled the match against the Red Deer Rebels, 6-2.
It started with two goals for the Hurricanes by Jake Leschyshyn (Vegas Golden Knights) and Nick Henry (Colorado Avalanche) in the first period. Although Red Deer’s Josh Tarzwell placed a shot up top to cut the lead in half at the beginning of the second, Leschyshyn and Henry would both score their second goal of the game to pull the Hurricanes ahead.
Adding one more point to their tally, 2019 NHL Draft prospect Oleg Zaytsev scored on the rebound for Red Deer. In the third, Igor Merezhko scored his second and third goal of the season on the power play and empty net respectively to finalize the score 6-2.
Carl Tetachuk stopped 26 of 28 shots for the Lethbridge win.
Prince George Cougars 1 at Kamloops Blazers 4
Taking care of business, the Kamloops Blazers beat the Prince George Cougars 4-1 on home ice.
Kamloops’ Kyrell Sopotyk and Orrin Centazzo started the game strong with a 2-0 lead in the first period. Splitting the score, Vladislav Mikhalchuk put one in the net off a rebound for the Cougars. In the third, Brodi Stuart was able to secure the insurance goal and Sopotyk hit the empty net to ensure the win for the Blazers.
2019 NHL Draft prospect Taylor Gauthier was awarded the second star of the game for stopping 40 of 43 shots with Kamloops’ goaltender, Dylan Ferguson (Vegas Golden Knights), following closely behind, earning the third star of the game for standing in front of 26 shots.
Vancouver Giants 0 at Portland Winterhawks 3
A 24-save shutout by Shane Farkas and a pair of goals from 2019 NHL Draft prospect Reece Newkirk paced the Portland Winterhawks to a 3-0 win against the Vancouver Giants Friday night in Oregon.
Following a scoreless first, WHL leading scorer Joachim Blichfeld (San Jose Sharks) opened the game with his league-leading 45th goal of the season, making it 1-0. In the third, Newkirk scored 4:42 into the period, then closed out the game with an empty-net goal.
Blichfeld added an assist on Newkirk’s first goal, making him the first 90-point scorer in the league this season. Jake Gricius had a pair of assists in the contest while Mason Mannek and Josh Paterson also added helpers.
Backstopping them to the win was Farkas, who stopped six shots in the first, seven in the second, and 11 in the third for his fourth shutout this season and the seventh of his WHL career. Tristen Nielsen led the Giants with four shots Friday.
Everett Silvertips 5 at Seattle Thunderbirds 2
The strong rivalry between the Everett Silvertips and Seattle Thunderbirds resulted in a 5-2 win for the Silvertips, led by a hat trick from Bryce Kindopp.
With a scoreless first, the tension was high in the accesso ShoWare Centre and with both teams exchanging goals in the second, it only got higher. Getting on the board first, rookie Andrej Kukuca scooped a goal when Everett’s goaltender lost sight of the puck. Matching the score, Kindopp scored a shorthanded goal on a backhand breakaway shot. Adding another two goals on the powerplay, Kindopp recorded his first career WHL hat trick.
In a scrambled third, Matthew Wedman collected another goal on the power play for Seattle but, Dawson Butt and Zack Andrusiak tied down the win with another two goals for Everett.
2019 NHL Draft prospect Dustin Wolf stopped 29 of 31 shots in the game.
Kelowna Rockets 0 at Spokane Chiefs 4
A 25-save shutout from Reece Klassen and two goals from 2019 NHL Draft prospect Adam Beckman guided the Spokane Chiefs to a 4-0 win against the Kelowna Rockets Friday.
Klassen stopped 11 shots in the first, eight in the second, and six in the third for the first shutout of his WHL career. Jake McGrew (San Jose Sharks) notched the game-winning goal 8:02 into the first while Beckman’s 20th made it 2-0 through 40 minutes. Beckman’s second of the game and Nolan Reid’s ninth of the season featured in the third.
Eli Zummack and Riley Woods each added a pair of assists in the contest while four other Chiefs picked up a single helper. 2019 NHL Draft prospect Kyle Topping led the Rockets with five shots in the game.
Tri-City Americans 2 at Victoria Royals 5
Beginning a two-game weekend set on Vancouver Island, the Victoria Royals earned a 5-2 victory against the visiting Tri-City Americans.
Sparked with a three-goal first period, Igor Martynov, Ralph Jarratt, and Logan Doust scored for the Royals while 2019 NHL Draft prospect Krystof Hrabik responded for the Americans.
Kyle Olson’s (Anaheim Ducks) 16th of the season came on the power play to bring the Ams within a goal in the third, but D-Jay Jerome and an empty-net goal from Tarun Fizer put the finishing touches on the game.
Kaid Oliver added a pair of assists while Fizer, Martynov, and Jarratt added an assist to their goal for multi-point performances.
In net, Griffen Outhouse stopped 24 of 26 shots for the win. Beck Warm stopped 25 shots in the loss.