December 3, 2017
Below is a quick recap of WHL action on the weekend.
Only one BC division game was played Sunday, with four games Saturday.
Victoria Royals are still on top of BC division, two points behind overall Western Conference leaders Portland Winterhawks.
Kelowna is now just two points back of Victoria, with three games in hand, after posting 8-2-0 in their last 10.
In the East, Moose Jaw leads the league overall, although Portland has a slightly better winning percentage, on two fewer games.
Swift Current and Brandon a point apart, in hot pursuit of the Warriors.
Scroll down for current standings.
In individual stats, Eastern Conference players dominate most categories, with a few exceptions.
Vancouver Giants Ty Running is third overall in goals for, with 26 – nine behind Swift Current’s Tyler Steenbergen. The Giants James Malm is fifth overall in game winners, with 5, two behind Stelio Mattheos of the Brandon Wheat Kings.
Victoria’s Griffen Outhouse is third overall in save percentage at .917. Carter Hart of the Everett Silvertips leads with a .956 record, and the most shutouts – 4. Hart was named WHL Goaltender of the Week.
WEEKEND RECAPS by Robert Murray
Kootenay ICE (4) at Kamloops Blazers (0)
Kootenay (13-15-1-0) // Kamloops (13-15-0-0)
Duncan McGovern posted his first shutout, and the first shutout for the Kootenay ICE since March 15, 2016, making 27 saves to spoil the Kamloops Blazers’ Teddy Bear Toss Sunday at the Sandman Centre.
McGovern made 10 saves in the first, 10 more in the second and seven in the third to preserve the victory, his third with the ICE.
Up front, Colton Veloso had a goal and an assist while captain Colton Kroeker recorded three assists.
The Blazers found the back of the net first, but the goal was waved off, keeping the score deadlocked at zeroes.
Dallas Hines’s second goal of the season would give the ICE a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes with Sebastian Streu doubling the ICE’s lead after 40. Goals from Vince Loschiavo and Veloso rounded out the scoring in the third.
Dylan Ferguson made 18 saves on 22 shots while Max Palaga stopped all three shots sent his way in the contest. Garrett Pilon (Washington Capitals) led the Blazers with six shots.
SATURDAY GAMES, BC – USA TEAMS
Kamloops Blazers (2) at Seattle Thunderbirds (1)
Kamloops (13-14-0-0) // Seattle (12-13-2-1)
The Kamloops Blazers pulled themselves back to even ground Saturday with a critical 2-1 victory against the Seattle Thunderbirds.
Max Palaga made 25 saves on 26 shots while Jermaine Loewen and WHL Rookie of the Month Brodi Stuart scored in the victory. Dillon Hamaliuk opened the scoring for the T-Birds with the lone goal of the first, but the Blazers answered back with a goal from Stuart in the second and Loewen’s game-winner in the third.
Matt Berlin had himself a strong performance, but still took the loss after making 30 saves on 32 shots.
Vancouver Giants (2) at Prince George Cougars (6)
Vancouver (12-13-2-2) // Prince George (10-14-2-2)
The Prince George Cougars picked up a much-needed win at home Saturday, snapping a five-game losing streak, and bouncing back from a 5-3 loss to the Giants Friday.
Jared Bethune scored once and added a pair of assists while Josh Curtis and Joel Lakusta each had a goal and an assist. Taylor Gauthier was sharp in net, making 22 saves throughout the game.
Aaron Boyd and Ethan O’Rourke scored the other goals for the Cougars. Brad Morrison scored twice for the Giants, who had their two-game winning streak snapped in the process.
Todd Scott made 28 saves on 34 shots in the loss.
Kootenay ICE (2) at Kelowna Rockets (5)
Kootenay (12-15-1-0) // Kelowna (17-8-2-1)
Conner Bruggen-Cate scored the most electrifying goal of the season to date for the Kelowna Rockets on Teddy Bear Toss night as the Rockets cruised past the visiting Kootenay ICE.
Kole Lind (Vancouver Canucks) would add a goal and an assists while Kyle Topping and Dillon Dube (Calgary Flames) picked up a pair of helpers and Roman Basran stopped 24 of 26 shots to guide the Rockets to a fifth straight victory.
Braydyn Chizen had the lone goal of the second and Lind added his 12th of the season early in the third to put the Rockets up 3-0. Martin Bodak got the ICE on the board midway through the third, but the Rockets just kept coming, with Nolan Foote adding his seventh of the season and James Hilsendager rounded out a five-goal night for the Rockets.
Alec Baer scored late for the ICE. Bailey Brkin finished with 24 saves on 29 shots in the loss.
Victoria Royals (1) at Lethbridge Hurricanes (4)
Victoria (18-10-3-0) // Lethbridge (12-13-1-0)
Jake Elmer’s first of two goals helped spread some holiday cheer during the Hurricanes 4-1 win over the Victoria Royals Saturday.
Elmer sent the teddy bears flying 6:23 into the first period and scored the game-winning goal early in the second period, giving them five wins in their last six games.
Ty Prefontaine also scored twice for the Hurricanes. Dante Hannoun responded with the lone goal for the Royals as Stuart Skinner ((Edmonton Oilers) made 30 saves in the victory. Griffen Outhouse also had a solid performance, stopping 40 shots, but ended up with the loss in the contest.
Prefontaine added an assist for the three-point game. Giorgio Estephan chipped in a pair of helpers while Zane Franklin and Josh Tarzwell also drew assists.
Tyus Gent picked up a secondary assist on Victoria’s lone goal for his first career WHL point.
Spokane Chiefs (4) at Tri-City Americans (3) — OT
Spokane (15-10-1-2) // Tri-City (14-9-3-0)
Ty Smith scored 3:27 into overtime Saturday, lifting the Spokane Chiefs to a road win over a U.S. Division rival.
Dylan Coghlan (Vegas Golden Knights) put the Tri-City Americans on the board first Saturday and Michael Rasmussen (Detroit Red Wings) scored in the final minute of the opening period to bookend a Chiefs goal from Riley Woods.
Jordan Topping scored early in the second but Ethan McIndoe came back with a pair of goals to tie up the game by the early stages of the third before Smith’s winner in overtime.
Jaret Anderson-Dolan (Los Angeles Kings), Kailer Yamamoto (Edmonton Oilers) and Nolan Reid each finished with a pair of assists in the game.
Declan Hobbs made 25 saves for the victory while Patrick Dea stopped 44 of 48 shots, only to take the loss.
SUNDAY GAMES – CENTRAL AND EASTERN CONFERENCE
Regina Pats (4) at Calgary Hitmen (1)
Regina (15-12-2-0) // Calgary (8-16-3-1)
Bryan Lockner and Koby Morrisseau tallied a goal and two assists each as the Regina Pats took care of business against the Calgary Hitmen Sunday afternoon.
Max Paddock had a light body of work, finishing with 17 saves on 18 shots as Jake Kryski was the lone Calgary player to beat him throughout the game.
Josh Mahura (Anaheim Ducks) got the Pats on the board first Sunday, but Kryski scored later in the first period to keep the score tied after 20 minutes. In the second, the Pats got goals from Lockner and Jake Leschyshyn (Vegas Golden Knights) to take the lead and followed it up in the third with a goal from Morrisseau.
Matthew Armitage finished with 26 saves in the contest Vladislav Yeryomenko and Jake Bean (Carolina Hurricanes) had the lone assists for the Hitmen on the day.
All four Pats goals came at even strength Sunday while the Hitmen’s lone goal came on the power play.
Lethbridge Hurricanes (7) at Edmonton Oil Kings (2)
Lethbridge (13-13-1-0) // Edmonton (6-19-2-0)
Calen Addison and Giorgio Estephan were an assist machines Sunday at Rogers Place, with each picking up five assists in a rout of the Edmonton Oil Kings.
Jordy Bellerive (Pittsburgh Penguins) and Taylor Ross each scored a pair of goals while rookie Dylan Cozens added a goal and an assist while Estephan had a goal for the rare six-point game. Zane Franklin rounded out the scoring for the Hurricanes, who scored at least seven goals in a game for the third time this season and have now won six of their last seven games.
Six of the Hurricanes’ goals came on the power play, including all five second period goals.
Oil Kings captain Colton Kehler and Brian Harris each finished with a goal and an assist in the game. Liam Keeler and Carter Souch picked up the other assists for the Oil Kings.
Reece Klassen earned the second win of his rookie campaign, making 18 saves on 20 shots. Boston Bilous made 31 saves on 38 shots in the loss.
Addison reached 50 career assists for his young WHL career in the victory.
Saskatoon Blades (4) at Portland Winterhawks (0)
Saskatoon (11-14-2-1) // Portland (20-5-0-1)
Whatever Nolan Maier had for breakfast may soon become the team meal of the Saskatoon Blades.
Maier stopped 48 shots for his first career Western Hockey League shutout, blanking the best team in the league with a 4-0 win.
Cameron Hebig scored twice and finished with three points, while Braylon Shmyr had a goal and three assists and Josh Paterson added the game-winner and three points in the win. The Blades scored twice in the second and twice more in the third.
Shane Farkas had himself a game, making 38 saves on 41 shots, but couldn’t top Maier, who stopped 12 shots in the first, followed by 18 in the second and third period each.
Henri Jokiharju (Chicago Blackhawks) fired eight shots at Maier, leading Portland, but couldn’t Maier at any point.
SATURDAY GAMES – CENTRAL AND EASTERN CONFERENCE
December 2, 2017
Moose Jaw Warriors (3) at Swift Current Broncos (2)
Moose Jaw (21-5-1-1) // Swift Current (19-6-2-0)
The day after the Swift Current Broncos spoiled the Teddy Bear Toss night of the Moose Jaw Warriors, the Warriors got some revenge.
Moose Jaw tallied three quick goals in the first period and Adam Evanoff stopped 28 of 30 shots sent his way as the Warriors restored their four-point lead in the East Division.
Tanner Jeannot opened the scoring 10:32 into the first period followed 19 seconds later by Jayden Halbgewachs’ 26th goal of the season. If that wasn’t enough, Luka Burzan scored 1:57 later, adding to the Broncos’ woes.
Tyler Steenbergen (Arizona Coyotes) and Glenn Gawdin (Calgary Flames) scored power play goals 1:26 apart to make the score close, but they could never pull even. WHL scoring leader Aleksi Heponiemi (Florida Panthers) and defenceman Colby Sissons (New Jersey Devils) each finished with a pair of assists.
Logan Flodell was pulled after allowing three goals on 10 shots. In relief, backup Joel Hofer stopped all 19 shots sent his way. Evanoff remained undefeated, moving to 5-0-0-0 early in his WHL career.
Halbgewachs and Burzan each finished with multi-point games.
Calgary Hitmen (4) at Red Deer Rebels (3) — SO
Calgary (8-15-3-1) // Red Deer (9-16-3-1)
Vladislav Yeryomenko scored in the fifth round of the shootout as the Calgary Hitmen claimed a valuable two points in central Albert Saturday night.
Nick Schneider made 32 saves and three more in the shootout to claim the victory in favour of the Hitmen, who won for the second time in their past three games.
The Rebels held a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes as Kristian Reichel sent the teddy bears flying at the Enmax Centrium and Lane Zablocki (Detroit Red Wings). Jake Bean (Carolina Hurricanes) had the only goal for the Hitmen in the period.
Calgary found their way back into the game in the third. After Austin Schellenberg put the Rebels up by two, Jake Kryski and Conner Chaulk responded for the Hitmen, tying things up.
The third period and overtime solved nothing, sending the game to the shootout. Riley Lamb stopped 28 of the 31 shots sent his way, followed by two more stops in the shootout.
Prince Albert Raiders (1) at Edmonton Oil Kings (4)
Prince Albert (11-11-4-1) // Edmonton (6-18-2-0)
Davis Koch sent a record amount of teddy bears flying at Rogers Place Saturday, then helped guide his team to an important 4-1 victory over the visiting Prince Albert Raiders.
Koch finished with a pair of goals and Brett Kemp tallied the game-winner. Kobe Mohr scored a short-handed empty net goal to close out the game.
Fans didn’t have to wait long for Koch’s goal, as he blasted a shot past Ian Scott (Toronto Maple Leafs) 1:07 into the game. Jordy Stallard (Winnipeg Jets) would even up the scoring in the second half of the period, but that’s all they’d get past Travis Child, who finished with 31 saves and even assisted on Edmonton’s fourth goal.
Scott finished with 19 saves on 22 shots while Curtis Meger stopped one shot in 2:39 of action.
Brandon Wheat Kings (5) at Medicine Hat Tigers (4) — OT
Brandon (19-7-0-1) // Medicine Hat (16-10-1-0)
Stelio Mattheos (Carolina Hurricanes) was up to his usual trick again Saturday, scoring the game-tying goal late in the third period and then lifting the Brandon Wheat Kings to two important points in overtime.
Evan Weinger and tanner Kaspick (St. Louis Blues) bookended the teddy bear toss goal from David Quenneville (New York Islanders) in the first period. The Tigers roared into the lead in the second though, with goals from Jaegar White, Ryan Chyzowski and Tyler Preziuso.
That only seemed to spark the Wheat Kings though, as Barons Thompson scored in the opening minutes of the third, followed by Mattheos’ tying goal with 4:11 to play. Then in overtime, he completed the comeback 95 seconds in on his 21st of the season.
Kale Clague (Los Angeles Kings) finished with three assists while Kaspick had a multi-point game.
Logan Thompson stopped 41 of 45 shots for the victory while Michael Bullion made 25 saves on 30 shots in the contest.
December 4, 2017 Standings
WESTERN CONFERENCE WILD CARD
EASTERN CONFERENCE WILD CARD