January 1, 2018
by Robert Murray
Prince George Cougars (3) at Vancouver Giants (4) — OT
Prince George (14-18-4-2) // Vancouver (20-14-3-2)
James Malm’s seventh game-winning goal of the season helped the Vancouver Giants become the third team in the B.C. Division to 20 victories Monday, exacting some revenge against the Prince George Cougars at the Langley Events Centre.
Jared Dmytriw had a pair of goals and four points while factoring in on every Giants’ goal New Year’s Day.
Things didn’t start well out of the gate for the Giants as both Dennis Cholowski (Detroit Red Wings) and Kody McDonald scored back-to-back in a 14-second span in the first period. Brayden Watts and Dmytriw would strike back for the Giants in the remaining part of the period though, keeping things even after 20 minutes.
Dmytriw gave the Giants their first lead of the game on his 10th goal of the season with the lone goal of the second, but Cholowski’s second goal of the contest came as the only goal of the third, tying the game up and forcing overtime in the Lower Mainland for a second straight time before Malm ended things.
David Tendeck made four saves on six shots before giving way to Todd Scott, who picked up the victory with 12 saves on 13 shots. Tavin Grant stopped 34 of 38 shots in the loss. Owen Hardy picked up a pair of assists for the Giants in the win.
Victoria Royals (1) at Kamloops Blazers (4)
Victoria (21-15-3-1) // Kamloops (17-19-0-2)
The Kamloops Blazers started 2018 off on the right foot, scoring a 4-1 victory over the visiting Victoria Royals Monday.
Quinn Benjafield tallied a goal and three points, Dylan Ferguson (Vegas Golden Knights) stopped 23 of 24 shots and Don Hay inched another win closer to becoming the WHL’s winningest coach of all-time.
Tyler Soy (Anaheim Ducks) opened the scoring 69 seconds into the second period, but the Blazers answered back with Carson Denomie’s fifth goal of the season to keep things tied after 40 minutes.
In the third, Nick Chyzowski, Brodi Stuart and Benjafield scored to form three unanswered goals for the Blazers in their 17th victory of the season, pulling them within five points of the Spokane Chiefs for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference.
Griffen Outhouse stopped 43 of 46 shots in the loss.
Medicine Hat Tigers (5) at Kootenay ICE (4) — OT
Medicine Hat (21-15-2-0) // Kootenay (18-17-3-0)
Kristians Rubins scored 1:54 into overtime Monday, lifting the Medicine Hat Tigers over the Kootenay ICE following a wild third period.
Ryan Chyzowski and Mark Rassell had the Tigers up 2-0 after 40 minutes. Brett Davis cut the Tigers’ lead in half 78 seconds into the third period, but James Hamblin responded with a pair of goals in a 35-second span to put the Tigers in a commanding 4-1 position.
Eager to extend their five-game winning streak, the ICE fought their way back into the game with a pair of goals from Alec Baer, and Cameron Hausinger’s 12th goal of the season to force overtime.
Jordn Hollett (Ottawa Senators) stopped 35 of 39 shots in the victory. Bailey Brkin stopped 31 of 36 shots in the loss.
Rassell finished with a goal and three points for the Tigers while Davis had a goal and an assist for the ICE.
Swift Current Broncos (2) at Saskatoon Blades (4)
Swift Current (26-10-2-0) // Saskatoon (19-17-2-1)
The Saskatoon Blades continued their hot play Monday, striking down the Swift Current Broncos for the second time in three days.
Braylon Shmyr had a goal and an assist, Josh Paterson scored the game-winner and Nolan Maier stopped 20 of 22 shots to earn his 11th victory in a Blades’ uniform.
Dryden Michaud and Ethan Regnier traded goals for the Blades and Broncos respectively in the first period, followed by goals from Evan Fiala and Kole Gable in the second to keep the score deadlocked after 40 minutes.
The third period was where the Blades took over, with Paterson scoring 5:36 into the final period and Shmyr adding the insurance goal with 1:44 to go in the game.
Maier stopped 14 of 16 shots through the first 40 minutes, then shut the door on the Broncos’ six third period shots. Logan Flodell stopped 38 of 41 shots in the loss.
The Blades have now won five straight games and are 8-2-0-0 in their last 10 games, giving them an eight-point cushion on the ninth place Prince Albert Raiders in the wild card race.
Calgary Hitmen (4) at Edmonton Oil Kings (5)
Calgary (11-20-5-1) // Edmonton (10-22-4-1)
Trey Fix-Wolansky had a pair of goals and four points, but it was Davis Koch’s 17th goal of the season with 3:34 to go in the third period to sealed a 5-4 victory for the Edmonton Oil Kings over the Calgary Hitmen Monday.
The Oil Kings burst out of the gate with Fix-Wolansky scoring twice in the first along with Colton Kehler’s 14th goal of the season to give the home side a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes. Things didn’t improve for the Hitmen in the second as Andrei Grishakov and David Kope traded goals, keeping the advantage at three goals heading to the final 20 minutes.
In the final frame, the Hitmen rattled off a pair of goals from Mark Kastelic and the 17th of the season from Jakob Stukel (Vancouver Canucks), but Koch’s dagger shot down the Hitmen’s hopes at any points Monday.
Josh Dechaine stopped 15 of 19 shots for the win. Nick Schneider (Calgary Flames) made 23 saves before giving way to Matthew Armitage, who made seven saves in the loss.
Koch finished with a goal and four points while Tomas Soustal and Connor McDonald each had a pair of assists. Stukel and Grishakov each finished with a goal and three points in the loss. Kastelic had a pair of goals and three points.
Prince Albert Raiders (4) at Regina Pats (5) — OT
Prince Albert (13-17-6-2) // Regina (19-18-3-0)
Matt Bradley completed a comeback effort in overtime Monday with his 24th goal of the season as the Pats took down the visiting Prince Albert Raiders in overtime.
Dawson Davidson opened the scoring with a short-handed goal 7:41 into the first as the lone goal of the opening period, but the Raiders responded in the second with goals from Brayden Pachal, Cole Fonstad and Parker Kelly (Ottawa Senators) giving the visiting side a two-goal lead after 40 minutes.
The Pats made up for the lapse in the third period, as Josh Mahura (Anaheim Ducks), Nick Henry (Colorado Avalanche) and Jake Leschyshyn (Vegas Golden Knights) put the Pats back on top 4-3. The back-and-forth nature of the game continued once more minutes after Leschyshyn’s goal as Jordy Stallard (Winnipeg Jets) tallied his 26th of the season to send the game to overtime.
In the extra period, the Raiders held control of the puck for the majority of the elapsed time, before the Pats found their right moment to apply pressure, breaking in on a two-on-one and having bradley elect to shoot instead of pass, sending the Pats to the victory and important two points in the standings.
Tyler Brown stopped 27 of 31 in the victory while Curtis Meger made 34 stops on 39 shots against.
Bradley, Mahura and Pachal each finished with a goal and two assists for their respective teams while Robbie Holmes had a pair of assists in the victory. Fonstad and Stallard each had a goal and an assist in the loss.
WESTERN CONFERENCE WILD CARD
EASTERN CONFERENCE WILD CARD