WHL Tonight: Sawchuk’s natural hat trick allows Oil Kings to tame Tigers

Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings


Sunday’s four-game schedule of Western Hockey League action saw a pair of shutouts and three other exciting games. In Winnipeg, the Calgary Hitmen were lifted to a late win off a goal by Orca Wiesblatt. A Sunday afternoon matchup in Alberta’s capital saw Riley Sawchuk net a natural hat trick to help the Edmonton Oil Kings to a win over the Medicine Hat Tigers. The Kamloops Blazers extended their winning streak to eight games, shutting out the Vancouver Giants in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland. South of the 49th parallel, the Everett Silvertips completed a home-and-home sweep of the Seattle Thunderbirds, shutting them out for the second time in as many nights. Though Sunday’s score was closer than Saturday’s,  the Portland Winterhawks still prevailed with a victory against the Kelowna Rockets, extending their undefeated-in-regulation streak to 19 games.


Calgary Hitmen at Winnipeg ICE Scoring & Highlights 

Orca Wiesblatt scored a wrap-around goal with 6:40 left in regulation Sunday to lift the Calgary Hitmen to a 3-2 win over the Winnipeg ICE.

Cole Muir gave the ICE the first lead of the game with the lone goal of the first period. A short-handed strike by Riley Fiddler-Schultz brought the two teams level in the second and Carson Focht’s (Vancouver Canucks) 22nd goal of the season made it a 2-1 game through 40 minutes in favour of the visitors.

Isaac Johnson tied up the game early in the third, but Wiesblatt’s late effort would lift the Hitmen into the win column.

Brayden Peters turned aside 17 of 19 shots for the victory.


Medicine Hat Tigers at Edmonton Oil Kings – Scoring & Highlights

Riley Sawchuk’s first-ever WHL hat trick powered the Edmonton Oil Kings to a 4-2 win against the Medicine Hat Tigers Sunday in Alberta’s provincial capital.

Matthew Robertson (New York Rangers) opened the scoring with his ninth goal of the season, but 2020 NHL Draft prospect Lukas Svejkovsky scored later in the first and then again in the second to put the visitors in front.

With 30 seconds left in the middle frame, Sawchuk netted his first of the night to tie up the game, then provided the difference in the third with his 18th and 19th goals of the campaign. Sawchuk drew the primary assist on Robertson’s goal for the four-point performance.

Beck Warm made 30 saves on 32 shots, earning the victory.


Kamloops Blazers at Vancouver Giants Scoring & Highlights 


A 21-save shutout by 2020 NHL Draft prospect Dylan Garand and a three-goal first period guided the Kamloops Blazers to their eighth-straight win via a 4-0 decision against the Vancouver Giants Sunday.

Garand stopped seven shots in the first, four in the second, and 10 in the third for the fourth shutout of his WHL career. Offensively, Orrin Centazzo, Logan Stankoven, and Libor Zabransky all found the back of the net in the opening period.

2020 NHL Draft prospect Connor Zary would add his team’s fourth goal of the game late in the third.


Kelowna Rockets at Portland Winterhawks Scoring & Highlights

A goal 70 seconds into the third period by 2020 NHL Draft prospect Jonas Brøndberg stood up as the difference as the Portland Winterhawks fended off a late rally from the Kelowna Rockets to win 3-2.

Reece Newkirk (New York Islanders) and Mason Mannek both scored in the first, which would serve as the only offence from either side until Brøndberg’s fifth of the season made it 3-0 early in the final period.

Ethan Ernst and Jonas Peterek would add goals throughout the rest of the period, but the third goal remained elusive for the Rockets.

Joel Hofer (St. Louis Blues) made 26 saves for the win while Cole Schwebius made 49 saves in a valiant effort between the pipes.


Everett Silvertips at Seattle Thunderbirds Scoring & Highlights 

Dustin Wolf (Calgary Flames) made 29 saves for the 18th shutout of his WHL career as the Everett Silvertips blanked the Seattle Thunderbirds 2-0 Sunday night in the tail end of a home-and-home set.

Wolf made seven saves in the first, 12 in the second, and 10 in the third, moving him into a tie for ninth place on the WHL’s all-time shutouts list.

2020 NHL Draft prospect Michal Gut scored the first penalty shot of the decade with 12:34 remaining in regulation and Wyatte Wylie (Philadelphia Flyers) added an insurance goal on the power play later on. Cole Fonstad (Montreal Canadiens) and Jackson Berezowski picked up the lone helpers for the Silvertips in the win.

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