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WHL Tonight: Winterhawks nab sole possession of conference lead after epic comeback

Kendra Frankle/Portland Winterhawks

 

A nine-game schedule of action around the Western Hockey League saw plenty of different winning styles Friday. In Brandon, the Wheat Kings used an offensive eruption to claim two points of their own. Special-team support featured prominently in a win for the Red Deer Rebels. The Prince Albert Raiders, Edmonton Oil Kings, and Seattle Thunderbirds held their opposition to a single goal to help them claim two points in the standings. Strong third periods were also a theme of Friday’s action as the Kamloops Blazers pressed ahead in the final period of regulation to earn their victory while the Portland Winterhawks and Victoria Royals used the third period of their games to mount comeback efforts that’d be solved in their favour in extra time.

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Moose Jaw Warriors at Brandon Wheat Kings – Scoring & Highlights

2020 NHL Draft prospect Ridly Greig sent the teddy bears and stuffed animals flying onto the ice early in the first period and then the Brandon Wheat Kings sent a shower of pucks into the back of the net in an 11-1 victory against the Moose Jaw Warriors.

Luka Burzan (Colorado Avalanche) led the way with three goals and six points. Greig finished with two goals and a three-point night. Cole Reinhardt scored twice as well. Brandon scored five times in the first followed by three goals in each of the second and third periods.

2020 NHL Draft prospect Ben McCartney scored once and added three assists for the four-point night. In his second WHL game, Marcus Kallionkieli (Vegas Golden Knights) potted a goal and three points. Lynden McCallum finished with a goal and an assist while Jonny Lambos also found the scoresheet with his fourth of the season.

In net, Jiri Patera (Vegas Golden Knights) was still kept busy, making 22 saves on 23 shots for the win. Tate Popple had the lone Moose Jaw goal.

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Winnipeg ICE at Prince Albert Raiders  – Scoring & Highlights

A 24-save performance from Carter Serhyenko and a multi-point game from 2020 NHL Draft prospect Ozzy Wiesblatt guided the Prince Albert Raiders to a 3-1 win over the Winnipeg ICE Friday.

Wiesblatt opened the scoring 95 seconds into the first period while Justin Nachbaur and Owen Pederson traded goals to make it a 2-1 game through 20 minutes. That’s how things would stand until the third, when Spencer Moe notched his 14th goal of the season to add the insurance goal in the contest.

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Kelowna Rockets at Regina Pats- Scoring & Highlights

Ryker Evans’ scored the game-winning goal in the third period as the Regina Pats topped the visiting Kelowna Rockets by a 4-3 score.

Goals by 2020 NHL Draft prospect Pavel Novak and Caiden Daley kept both sides tied through 20 minutes. In the second, the Pats pressed ahead with a pair of goals from their blue line as Zach Wytinck and Kyle Walker found the back of the net.

The Rockets found a response in the third with goals by Matthew Wedman (Florida Panthers) and Mark Liwiski, but Evans’ goal between those Kelowna markers kept the home side in the lead for the remainder of regulation.

Max Paddock held strong between the pipes with 36 saves on 39 shots.

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Kamloops Blazers at Saskatoon Blades- Scoring & Highlights

Orrin Centazzo scored twice as part of a three-point night and 2020 NHL Draft prospect Connor Zary scored once as part of a two-point night in his hometown as the Kamloops Blazers topped the Saskatoon Blades 5-2 Friday night.

Daylan Kuefler opened the scoring with the only goal of the first period. In the second, Alex Morozoff tallied his first in a Blades’ uniform to tie things up, but Zary’s 20th of the season would restore the one-goal lead through 40 minutes.

In the third, former Blades Ryan Hughes scored before Centazzo struck for his pair of goals. Zach Huber scored his 10th of the season late.

Rayce Ramsay stopped 28 of 30 shots to earn the victory.

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Swift Current Broncos at Edmonton Oil Kings- Scoring & Highlights

The Edmonton Oil Kings earned their second win against the Swift Current Broncos in three nights Friday, downing their Central Division opponents by a 5-1 score.

Matthew Robertson (New York Rangers) and 2020 NHL Draft prospect Carter Souch each tallied a goal and an assist in the victory. Ethan McIndoe opened the scoring 3:40 into the second, followed by goals from Souch and Dylan Guenther to build up a 3-0 lead through 40 minutes.

Hendrik De Klerk got the visitors on the board 129 seconds into the third period, but the Oil Kings added goals from Robertson and Keagan Slaney in the third to close out the win.

Sebastian Cossa turned aside 25 of 26 shots to earn the win.

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Medicine Hat Tigers at Red Deer Rebels- Scoring & Highlights

The Red Deer Rebels held off a furious charge by the Medicine Hat Tigers to secure a 6-4 win on home ice Friday.

Cameron Hausinger had the lone goal through 20 minutes. A four-goal second period burst the game open as Arshdeep Bains scored twice followed by strikes from Josh Tarzwell and Jayden Grubbe to make it a 5-0 game in a 12:49 span.

To their credit, the Tigers found plenty of resolve in the third as goals from Bryan Lockner, Corson Hopwo, Brett Kemp, and captain James Hamblin cut the gap to one with 2:10 left in regulation. The comeback would be for naught though as Brett Davis scored into the empty net in the final minute to close out the game.

Byron Fancy stopped 39 of 43 shots for the win. Tarzwell and Hausinger each finished with a three-point night as they each added a pair of assists to their goal.

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Everett Silvertips at Portland Winterhawks- Scoring & Highlights

Down 2-0 more than midway through the second period, Reece Newkirk (New York Islanders) and the Portland Winterhawks rallied for three consecutive goals in a 3-2 overtime win against the Everett Silvertips.

Justyn Gurney scored the only goal of the first period and captain Bryce Kindopp struck early in the second to give the Silvertips an advantage early on. However, 2020 NHL Draft prospect Robbie Fromm-Delorme answered back to keep the deficit at one entering the third period.

Still searching for the tying goal late in regulation, the Winterhawks had their hopes realized in the final minute as Jaydon Dureau re-directed the puck into the net. On the power play late in overtime, Newkirk completed his three-point night by wiring the puck into the net for the game-winning goal.

Isaiah DiLaura earned his first win as a Winterhawk, stopping 24 of 26 shots.

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Victoria Royals at Prince George Cougars- Scoring & Highlights

Gary Haden scored twice in the third period and Tarun Fizer had the lone goal of the shootout as the Victoria Royals came back to earn a 3-2 win in Prince George Saturday.

The Prince George Cougars were rolling to start with goals by Reid Perepeluk in the first and Ethan Browne in the second. However, Haden scored 12 seconds into the final period of regulation, then tied up the game with 1:07 left.

With the game eventually moving onto a shootout, Fizer scored in the third round to complete the comeback. Shane Farkas stopped 40 of 42 shots before not allowing a goal on three shootout opportunities to earn the victory.

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Tri-City Americans at Seattle Thunderbirds – Scoring & Highlights

The Seattle Thunderbirds were in full control Friday on home ice, scoring three times in the third period en route to a 5-1 victory over the Tri-City Americans.

Matthew Rempe began the scoring with the lone tally of the first period. Payton Mount doubled the lead in the second and goals from 2020 NHL Draft prospect Tyrel Bauer and Henrik Rybinski (Florida Panthers) made it a 4-0 game before Sasha Mutala (Colorado Avalanche) cut the deficit to three heading to the third.

In the final period, the only goal would come from the stick of Mount, who completed his multi-goal game with the 5-1 goal.

Between the pipes, Roddy Ross (Philadelphia Flyers) stopped 21 of 22 shots to earn the victory.

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