March 7, 2020
by Robert Murray
In a 10-game schedule of action in the Western Hockey League Friday two more teams clinched spots for the 2020 WHL Playoffs, with the Saskatoon Blades and Kelowna Rockets each securing spots thanks to victories.
Manitoban teams thrived in Saskatchewan as the Brandon Wheat Kings won in Prince Albert and Winnipeg triumphed in Moose Jaw.
One province over, the Edmonton Oil Kings and Medicine Hat Tigers won at home while the Spokane Chiefs continued their winning ways in Red Deer.
Action in British Columbia belonged to the home team as the Kelowna Rockets, Kamloops Blazers, and Prince George Cougars all claimed victories.
In the U.S. Division, the Everett Silvertips shutout the Tri-City Americans to extend their winning streak to 11 games.
Regina Pats at Saskatoon Blades – Scoring & Highlights
The Saskatoon Blades clinched a spot in the 2020 WHL Playoffs and were then propelled to a 2-1 overtime win against the Regina Pats thanks to Kyle Crnkovic’s 18th goal of the season.
A second-period goal by Colton Dach and a late goal in regulation by Regina’s Logan Nijhoff forced things into extra time. Crnkovic would then win it on the power play 74 seconds in.
Nolan Maier made 32 saves to pick up the victory.
2020 NHL Draft prospect Ridly Greig scored his second goal of the game 29 seconds into overtime Friday, lifting the Brandon Wheat Kings to a 3-2 win over the Prince Albert Raiders in northern Saskatchewan.
Brayden Watts and Jake Chiasson traded goals in the opening 20 minutes to keep things tied 1-1. Greig then put the Wheaties ahead with his first of the night before Watts scored his second of the game to tie things up through 40 minutes.
That would be all the scoring until extra time, when Greig secured the extra point for the visitors. Aliaksei Protas (Washington Capitals) had a pair of assists for the Raiders in the contest.
Jiri Patera (Vegas Golden Knights) made 25 saves to earn the victory.
2020 NHL Draft prospect Owen Pederson scored twice Friday as the Winnipeg ICE took down the Moose Jaw Warriors 4-1 in Saskatchewan.
Michael Milne opened the scoring with his 12th of the season as the only goal through 20 minutes. Kyle Crosbie tied up the game before goals from Isaac Johnson and Pederson’s first of the night made it 3-1 after two periods. Pederson added the lone goal of the third to complete the win.
Captain Peyton Krebs (Vegas Golden Knights) and Carson Lambos each picked up a pair of helpers in the win.
Liam Hughes made 15 saves for the win.
Swift Current Broncos at Edmonton Oil Kings – Scoring & Highlights
The Edmonton Oil Kings continued to roll on home ice, downing the visiting Swift Current Broncos by a 4-1 score Friday.
Captain Scott Atkinson and Jalen Luypen each had a goal and an assist while Beck Warm made 20 saves on 21 shots to stifle the Broncos.
Riley Sawchuk and 2020 NHL Draft prospect Josh Williams also scored in the win while Kayden Ostir had the lone goal for the Broncos in the loss.
Tied 1-1 in the second, the Oil Kings scored twice in the middle period before adding another goal in the third.
Calgary Hitmen at Medicine Hat Tigers – Scoring & Highlights
Cole Sillinger scored twice and Mads Søgaard (Ottawa Senators) made 28 saves as the Medicine Hat Tigers claimed a 6-1 win over the visiting Calgary Hitmen.
The Tigers scored a pair of goals in each period, highlighted by Sillinger striking once in each of the first two periods. Baxter Anderson also scored in the first and Cyle McNabb lit the lamp in the second.
Ryan Chyzowski and Jonathan Brinkman each scored in the third. A second-period goal from Kyle Olson was the lone offence for the Hitmen Friday.
Brett Kemp contributed three assists while Dylan Plouffe and Bryan Lockner each added a pair of helpers.
Adam Beckman (Minnesota Wild) scored his third hat trick of the season and finished with four points as the Spokane Chiefs topped the Red Deer Rebels by a 5-1 score Friday in central Alberta.
Beckman scored the second, fourth, and fifth goals of the game while Michael King and captain Ty Smith (New Jersey Devils) also scored for the visitors. After opening the scoring the first with a single goal, Spokane scored twice in each of the second and third periods.
Cameron Hausinger scored for the Rebels in the loss. Smith added a pair of helpers for the three-point night.
James Porter Jr. made 32 saves on 33 shots for the win while also picking up an assist.
Lethbridge Hurricanes at Kamloops Blazers – Scoring & Highlights
2020 NHL Draft prospect Connor Zary tallied a hat trick and Ryan Hughes scored twice in a four-point night as the Kamloops Blazers doubled up the Lethbridge Hurricanes 6-3.
First-period goals from Orrin Centazzo and Zary kept the Blazers ahead after the Hurricanes received a goal from Trevor Thurston. 2020 NHL Draft prospect Oliver Okuliar evened up the game early in the second, but Zary’s second of the game kept the Blazers ahead by one heading to the third.
2020 NHL Draft prospect Alex Cotton then tied up the game again, but Hughes would supply the game-winning goal and an empty-net goal to re-establish the lead. Zary also found the back of the net in the dying seconds of regulation to complete his hat trick.
Returning to the crease Friday, 2020 NHL Draft prospect Dylan Garand made 22 saves for the win.