Cozens, Bellerive, Hughes lead WHL in opening week

in regular season


September 28, 2018

by Robert Murray

Western Hockey League Three Stars 

1. Dylan Cozens, Lethbridge Hurricanes: 2019 NHL Draft prospect Dylan Cozens led a Canadian Sport School Hockey League-trained sweep of the WHL Three Stars Friday, tallying a hat trick and adding an assist as the Hurricanes downed the Regina Pats by an 8-4 score.

The trick was the second of Cozens’ WHL career and second of the calendar year. It also marked his third career multi-goal game. The Whitehorse, Yukon product now has seven points (4G-3A) in his team’s first three games of the season, leading them in scoring and sitting in a five-way tie for second in league scoring.


2. Jordy Bellerive, Lethbridge Hurricanes:Pittsburgh Penguins prospect and Lethbridge Hurricanes captain Jordy Bellerive contributed to the Hurricanes’ domination of the Regina Pats Friday night in the Queen City, potting a goal and three assists for the four-point performance.

Bellerive has continued his torrid scoring pace over the first three games of the 2018-19 WHL Regular Season, posting six points (2G-4A). Bellerive is currently 14 goals away from reaching 100 for his WHL career and 10 points away from reaching the 200-point threshold in his WHL career.

3. Liam Hughes, Seattle Thunderbirds: In a battle of two perfect teams, Liam Hughes was the difference Friday night at the Langley Events Centre, stopping 31 shots in a 3-1 win against the Vancouver Giants.

Hughes stopped all 22 shots from the Giants over the first 40 minutes, then stopped nine of 10 shots in the final frame to allow the Thunderbirds time to press ahead and take the lead. The Kelowna, B.C. product has been solid in his first two games of the season, sporting a 2-0-0-0 record, 2.01 goals-against-average, and a 0.938 save percentage, stopping 61 of the 65 shots sent his way in 120 minutes of action.



-A hat trick from 2019 NHL Draft prospect Dylan Cozens led the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 8-4 win over the Regina Pats Friday night in the Queen City. Cozens tallied a goal in each period while Hurricanes captain Jordy Bellerive (Pittsburgh Penguins) recorded four points (1G-3A) as well.

Noah Boyko’s first career WHL goal also featured in the win as the Hurricanes scored three goals in the first, four in the second, and one in the third. Calen Addison (Pittsburgh Penguins) added three assists in the victory. Pats captain Jake Leschyshyn (Vegas Golden Knights) and forward Sergei Alkhimov each had a goal and an assist in the loss, with Alkhimov’s goal the first of his WHL career.

-The Prince Albert Raiders moved to a perfect 3-0 with a 5-3 win over the Medicine Hat Tigers Friday at the Art Hauser Centre. Goals from Max Martin, Ozzy Wiesblatt, and Cole Fonstad (Montreal Canadiens) had the Raiders sitting comfortably after 40 minutes, but the Tigers cut the lead to one with goals from Tyler Preziuso and Ryan Chyzowski in the third. After Sean Montgomery and Henrik Rybinski traded goals, Justin Nachbaur sealed the game with an empty-net goal late in the contest.

Brett Leason added three assists in the win. Ian Scott (Toronto Maple Leafs) stopped 35 of 38 in the win while Jordan Hollett (Ottawa Senators) stopped 39 of 43 in the loss.

-After earning his first career WHL victory last Friday, Boston Bilous earned his first career WHL shutout tonight, stopping all 15 shots in a 5-0 shutout of the Swift Current Broncos at home.

Vince Loschiavo scored twice, but it was Ethan Cap’s first of the season that stood up as the game-winning goal. Vladimir Alistrov, the second overall selection in the 2018 CHL Import Draft, scored his first career WHL goal in the second period while Brett Kemp added his fourth of the season as well.

Captain Trey Fix-Wolansky (Columbus Blue Jackets) added three assists in the victory, vaulting him into the league scoring lead. Joel Hofer (St. Louis Blues) stopped 42 of 47 shots in the loss.

-A three-point night from Brandon Hagel was capped off by the Morinville, Alta. product scoring the game-winning goal as the Red Deer Rebels fended off the Calgary Hitmen at home by a 4-3 score.

After Zach Huber and Jacob Herauf traded goals in the first, Alexander Alexeyev (Washington Capitals) and Jeff de Wit bookended a goal from Layne Toder, giving the Rebels a one-goal advantage after 40 minutes. Hagel scored the winner 42 seconds into the third, providing the necessary cushion when Hunter Campbell scored late for the Hitmen, bringing them within a goal. Ethan Anders stopped 30 of 33 shots in the win as the Rebels won at home for the first time this season. Import Oleg Zaytsev had a pair of assists in the win.

-A three-point night from Jake McGrew (San Jose Sharks) helped the Spokane Chiefs earn their first win of the season as they began a home-and-home series with the Kootenay ICE Friday in Cranbrook, B.C. Matt Leduc had the game-winning goal for the Chiefs while both Luke Toporowski and Eli Zummack had a goal and an assist.

McGrew had the middle of three goals in the second period for the Chiefs, then added an empty-net goal late. Brett Davis (Dallas Stars) scored twice for the ICE while 2019 NHL Draft prospect Peyton Krebs and defenceman Dallas Hines had a pair of assists each.

-Phillip Schultz’s first career WHL goal came with 65 seconds left in the third period to break a 2-2 deadlock and keep the Victoria Royals perfect in a battle of 2-0 B.C. Division teams Friday night.

Kaid Oliver and Igor Martynov tallied for the Royals, giving them a 2-0 advantage early on, but Kobe Mohr scored late in the first, while Kyrell Sopotyk’s first career WHL goal tied things up midway through the second. Schultz’s game winner would be the decider though, moving the Royals to sole possession of first place in the B.C. Division.

Griffen Outhouse stopped 36 of 38 shots in the victory while Dylan Ferguson (Vegas Golden Knights) stopped 35 of 38 in the narrow loss.

-Matej Toman’s first career WHL goal near the midway point of the third stood up as the difference at the Prince George Cougars took a 3-2 decision over the Kelowna Rockets in their home opener.

Goals 45 seconds apart in the first three minutes from Ilijah Colina and Ethan Browne fuelled the CN Centre faithful early on, but the Rockets responded with goals from Conner Bruggen-Cate and 2019 NHL Draft prospect Nolan Foote 52 seconds apart early in the third to tie up the game.

Just two-and-a-half minutes later, Toman restored the lead for the Cougars, which they’d hold onto until the final buzzer. 2019 NHL Draft prospect Taylor Gauthier stopped 19 of 21 in the win while Roman Basran stopped 26 of 29 in the one-goal loss.

-In a battle of two perfect teams in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland, the Seattle Thunderbirds emerged victorious Friday night at the Langley Events Centre. Dillon Hamaliuk had the only goal through 40 minutes while Matthew Wedman added the winner late in the third. Nolan Volcan added an empty-net goal for his second of the year, equalling both Hamaliuk and Wedman.

An unassisted goal from James Malm was the only offence the Giants could muster in their second home contest of the regular season. Rookie Payton Mount picked up a pair of assists for his the first multi-point game of his WHL career while Liam Hughes stopped 31 of 32 shots in the win. David Tendeck (Arizona Coyotes) stopped 25 of 27 in the loss.

-The Tri-City Americans joined the Thunderbirds as the only other perfect team in the U.S. Division Friday, outlasting the Portland Winterhawks in the shootout, with Nolan Yaremko’s fourth-round tally the decider.

Five different Americans skaters scored in the victory, including Krystof Hrabik and Parker AuCoin, who each finished with a goal and an assist. Isaac Johnson added a pair of assists while 11 total home side skaters earned at least a point.

Reece Newkirk scored twice in regulation while Joachim Blichfeld (San Jose Sharks) had a three-point game, scoring once. In his return to the Winterhawks, Glass tallied three assists and scored the lone goal for the Winterhawks in the shootout.

The Americans battled throughout the third and overtime, erasing a 5-3 deficit to force extra time, then successfully killing off a 5-on-3 advantage for the Winterhawks in overtime before claiming the victory.

Lethbridge Hurricanes 8 Regina Pats 4
Medicine Hat Tigers 3 Prince Albert Raiders 5
Swift Current Broncos 0 Edmonton Oil Kings 5
Calgary Hitmen 3 Red Deer Rebels 4
Spokane Chiefs 7 Kootenay ICE 4
Kelowna Rockets 2 Prince George Cougars 3
Kamloops Blazers 2 Victoria Royals 3
Seattle Thunderbirds 3 Vancouver Giants 1
Portland Winterhawks 5 Tri-City Americans 6 (SO)