#WHLPlayoffs Roundup: Teams pay tribute to Humboldt Broncos on night two of Round Two

Marc Smith/DiscoverMooseJaw


Swift Current Broncos (4) at Moose Jaw Warriors (0)
Series tied 1-1
Game 3: Tuesday, April 10 –  Innovation Credit Union i-Plex, Swift Current, Sask. – 7:00 p.m. MT

Less than 24 hours after dropping Game One of the best-of-seven Round Two series against the Moose Jaw Warriors, the Swift Current Broncos struck back against their Trans-Canada rivals to even things up.

Stuart Skinner (Edmonton Oilers) posted his second shutout of the 2018 WHL Playoffs, stopping all 20 shots sent his way while Colby Sissons (New Jersey Devils) led the way with three assists and four separate Broncos found the back of the net in the 4-0 win.

The Broncos went to work offensively on an early power play, as Aleksi Heponiemi (Florida Panthers) fed the puck through a crowded front part of the net to captain Glenn Gawdin (Calgary Flames), who put the visiting side ahead 1-0 with what would be the only goal of the first period.

In the second, Sissons threw the puck on net from the point. As it hit the traffic in front of the net, it deflected to Giorgio Estephan at the side, who was already streaking in and buried his second of the playoffs past Brody Willms who was understandably caught out of position on the play following the weird deflection.

Less than five minutes later, the Broncos added to their lead as Tyler Steenbergen (Arizona Coyotes) picked up on shifting bodies in front of the Warriors’ net and hit a seam that gave him enough open time and space for Heponiemi to hit him with a pass that he made no mistake on.

Kaden Elder would round out the scoring in the third with an empty-net goal, evening up the series between the two clubs headed to Swift Current for Games Three and Four.

Heponiemi finished with a pair of assists while Beck Malenstyn (Washington Capitals) and Andrew Fyten each added a single assist.

Willms stopped 26 of 29 in the loss. Josh Brook (Montreal Canadiens) and Jayden Halbgewachs (San Jose Sharks) led the Warriors with four shots each Saturday.

Brandon Wheat Kings (4) at Lethbridge Hurricanes (5) – OT
Lethbridge leads series 2-0
Game 3: Tuesday, April 10 – Westoba Place, Brandon, Man. – 7:00 p.m. CT

The Lethbridge Hurricanes are going to be heading out onto the road in Round Two they same way they did in Round One: leading 2-0 in their best-of-seven series.

Tate Olson scored 16:31 into the first overtime to complete a wild 5-4 comeback for the Hurricanes against the Brandon Wheat Kings Saturday night in southern Alberta.

Marcus Sekundiak opened the scoring for the Wheat Kings, beating Hurricanes’ goaltender Logan Flodell 2:53 into the first for the first goal of the game.

Connor Gutenberg would get his third of the playoffs 2:55 into the second period as he beat Flodell from a bad angle to double the Hurricane’s lead. Things got rougher for the Hurricanes 41 seconds later as Stelio Mattheos (Carolina Hurricanes) came in on a similar route and sniped the puck glove side past Flodell for the 3-0 lead. After Evan Weinger scored to make it a 4-0 game, capping off three goals in 92 seconds, the Hurricanes offence finally woke up.

Late in the second, the Hurricanes fed the puck to Olson who was streaking down the wing in on net, but managed to feed the puck back across the ice to captain Jordy Bellerive (Pittsburgh Penguins), who wired one past Dylan Myskiw to get the Hurricanes on the board. Still in the second minutes later, the Hurricanes continued to chip away at the lead as Dylan Cozens fought his way up ice on a short-handed rush before feeding a trailing Taylor Ross, who beat Myskiw to bring the home side within a pair of goals after 40 minutes.

Bellerive’s second goal of the night brought the game to within a goal with 6:49 to go and Jake Elmer sniped one past Myskiw from a similar position that had fooled Flodell earlier in the game to tie things up with 2:38 to go in the game.

In overtime, the puck got passed over eventually to Olson, who had jumped up in the rush and buries his third goal of the post-season to lift the Hurricanes to the dramatic victory.

Flodell finished with 29 of 33 shots in the victory. Myskiw stopped 42 of 47 in the loss.

Bellerive led the way with a pair of goals and three points while Olson had a goal and two assists for the similar three-point effort. Brad Morrison also added a pair of assists in the victory. Linden McCorrister had a pair of assists in the Wheat Kings’ loss.

Tri-City Americans (4) at Victoria Royals (1)
Tri-Cities leads series 2-0
Game 3: Tuesday, April 10  – Toyota Centre, Kennewick, Wash. – 7:05 p.m. PT

The Tri-City Americans won their sixth straight game in the 2018 WHL Playoffs Saturday, downing the Victoria Royals to take a commanding 2-0 lead back home to Kennewick, Wash. with an opportunity to close out the series on home ice.

Saturday, the Americans were led by captain Michael Rasmussen (Detroit Red Wings), who had a hat trick and added an assist to factor into all four Americans goals.

After a scoreless first, Rasmussen struck for the visitors 49 seconds into the second as Anthony Bishop’s point shot was tipped by Rasmussen past Royals goaltender Griffen Outhouse for the game’s first goal. Thankfully, the home side had a near-immediate response as 6:10 later, Dante Hannoun sniped one past Patrick Dea to get Victoria’s first goal of the series.

That tie wouldn’t last long though as Rasmussen re-established the one-goal lead by handcuffing Outhouse with a shot that just trickled over the line to make it a 2-1 game 10 minutes later.

Morgan Geekie (Carolina Hurricanes) would tally his 11th of the post-season early in the third and Rasmussen completed his hat trick with a late empty-net goal to secure the victory.

Dea allowed a goal for the first time in the series, but still stopped 25 of 26 shots for the victory. Outhouse stopped 37 of 40 in the loss.

Jordan Topping, Juuso Valimaki (Calgary Flames), Sasha Mutala, and Dylan Coghlan (Vegas Golden Knights) had the helpers for the Americans. Matthew Phillips (Calgary Flames) and Jared Freadrich had the lone helpers for the Royals.

Portland Winterhawks (0) at Everett Silvertips (6)
Series tied 1-1
Game 3: Tuesday, April 10 – Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Portland, Ore. – 7:05 p.m. PT

In Game One, the Portland Winterhawks flexed their offensive muscles. In Game Two, the Everett Silvertips flexed back.

A hat trick from Patrick Bajkov (Florida Panthers) and a 26-save shutout from Carter Hart led the way as the Silvertips evened up their best-of-seven series at a game apiece Saturday.

Goals from Sean Richards and Bajkov featured in the first period. Jake Christiansen’s point shot got tipped by Richards on its way to the net just 62 seconds into the game, beating Winterhawks goaltender Cole Kehler (Los Angeles Kings). Twelve-and-a-half minutes later as captain Matt Fonteyne sprung Bajkov on a short breakaway in the Winterhawks’ zone, doubling Everett’s lead after 20 minutes.

The Silvertips continued to add to their lead in the second. First, Martin Fasko-Rudas pounded on a rebound in front of the net, backhanding it past Kehler to make it 3-0. Then, just 88 seconds later, Kevin Davis’ point shot rebounded to Bajkov at the side of the net, who wired it into the open cage for the 4-0 lead and his second of the game.

Garrett Pilon (Washington Capitals) added to the Silvertips lead in the later portion of the second with his fifth of the post-season and Bajkov completed his hat trick late in the third period to close out the scoring in the contest.

Hart stopped 10 shots in the first, 11 in the second, and five more in the third for his second shutout of the 2018 WHL Playoffs and his fourth career post-season shutout. Kehler stopped 17 of 22 shots in the game while Farkas stopped nine of 10 shots in the third period.

Bajkov added an assist for the four-point game while Pilon and Richard each had a goal and an assist. Fonteyne also added a pair of assists. Mason Mannek and Cody Glass (Vegas Golden Knights) finished with four shots each to tie for the team lead.

#WHLPlayoffs schedule for Tuesday, April 10
Game 3 – Lethbridge Hurricanes at Brandon Wheat Kings – 7:00 p.m. CT (LET leads 2-0)
Game 3 – Moose Jaw Warriors at Swift Current Broncos – 7:00 p.m. MT (Series tied 1-1)
Game 3 – Everett Silvertips at Portland Winterhawks – 7:00 p.m. PT (Series tied 1-1)
Game 3 – Victoria Royals at Tri-City Americans – 7:05 p.m. PT (TC leads 2-0)

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