October 30, 2017
The Victoria Royals are still the toast of the WHL Western Conference, notching another win in their most recent outing, to open up a nine point lead over the #2 Kelowna Rockets in the BC division. The Prince George Cougars are just two points back of the Rockets.
The Tri-City Americans, Portland Winterhawks and Spokane Chiefs are almost neck in neck in the US Division, though the Winterhawks have two and three games in hand vs their division rivals.
The Seattle T-Birds hold a slim lead in the Western Conference Wild Card (scroll down for standings). The Vancouver Giants and Everett Silvertips are just two points back.
Here’s a run-down of the most recent games, played Sunday.
Vancouver Giants (3) at Victoria Royals (4)
Vancouver (5-7-1-2) // Victoria (12-4-1-0)
Calgary Flames draft pick Matthew Phillips scored his second goal of the game while short-handed in the third period as the Victoria Royals topped the visiting Vancouver Giants 4-3 to sweep a two-game weekend set.
New York Rangers prospect Ty Ronning and Milos Roman each had a goal and an assist for the Giants, but Dean McNabb held the majority of the Giants shots at bay, making 32 saves for his second win of the season.
Matt Barberis opened the scoring in the first for the Giants, but Phillips answered back early in the second period. That tie game would last all of 15 seconds as Ronning quickly restored the one-goal lead to put the Royals behind once again.
Fortunately for Victoria, Ryan Peckford and Regan Nagy tallied goals later on in the period to put the Royals up by one after 40 minutes.
Roman tied up the game early in the third period but the Royals weren’t done, with Phillips notching his 15th of the season with Dino Kambeitz in the box minutes later.
Todd Scott stopped 20 of 24 shots in the loss for the Giants as the Royals improved to 3-0 against the Giants this season and a perfect 8-0 against the entire B.C. Division.
The Royals downed the Giants in a 6-5 shootout Saturday- with Matthew Phillips getting the winner and his 200th WHL point.
The Royals will put that streak on the line next weekend when they welcome the Kelowna rockets to the Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena for a pair of games. The Giants will play a home-and-home with the Kamloops Blazers next weekend starting Friday at the Langley Events Centre.
Seattle Thunderbirds (7) at Lethbridge Hurricanes (4)
Seattle (7-5-0-1) // Lethbridge (7-6-0-0)
Zack Andrusiak had a hat trick and four points as the Seattle Thunderbirds improved to 3-1 on their seven-game road trip Sunday against the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
Turner Ottenbreit and Sami Moilanen each had a goal and an assist while Austin Strand and Jarret Tyszka each added a pair of helpers in the victory.
Down 2-1 to the Hurricanes after 20 minutes, the T-Birds owned the second, scoring four goals, including Andrusiak’s second of the game, which stood up as the game-winner.
Liam Hughes held the fort for the Thunderbirds, making 17 saves while Reece Klassen stopped 25 shots against the defending Ed Chynoweth Cup Champions.
Ryan Vandervlis had a pair of goals while Giorgio Estephan and Josh Tarzwell also scored in the loss.
The Thunderbirds will now have two days off before resuming their road trip against the Red Deer Rebels. For the Hurricanes, they’ll play host to the Saskatoon Blades Wednesday.
Everett Silvertips (3) at Portland Winterhawks (2)
Everett (6-9-1-0) // Portland (9-4-0-0)
The Everett Silvertips picked up a valuable two points against a division rival Sunday, downing the Portland Winterhawks on the road.
Patrick Bajkov had a pair of goals, including the game-winner with 29 seconds to go as the Silvertips won their second-straight game in front of rookie goaltender Dustin Wolf.
Wolf had another heavy workload Sunday, but emerged victorious after making 44 saves. The rookie netminder has now stopped 82 of the first 85 shots he’s faced in the league.
The Winterhawks got to Wolf early though, with Lane Gilliss scoring 2:02 into the contest, though goals from Matt Fontyene and Bajkov gave the Tips a one-goal lead after the first.
New York Islanders prospect Kieffer Bellows tied the game up midway through the third, but the Silvertips struck late on Bajkov’s seventh of the season to snag an important road victory.
Cole Kehler made 23 saves in the loss.
Up next for the Silvertips is a pair of home games next weekend at home, starting Friday against the Prince George Cougars.
Regina Pats (5) at Edmonton Oil Kings (3)
Regina (9-6-2-0) // Edmonton (5-8-2-0)
The 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup hosts ended a four-game road trip on a positive note Sunday, edging the Edmonton Oil Kings at Rogers Place by a 5-3 final.
Dawson Davidson had a goal and four points while Jonathan Smart had four assists to his credit as the Pats positioned themselves within two points of the division leading Moose Jaw Warriors.
Bryan Lockner had the lone goal of the first period in favour of the Pats until three goals were scored in the final minute of play. Nick Bowman tied things up with exactly one minute remaining in the game, but the tie was broken up five second later by Mat Bradley’s 13th goal of the season. With the Pats still leading in the dying seconds of the opening period Tomas Soustal scored a power play goal with two seconds to spare, keeping the teams tied after 20 minutes.
The Pats managed to bring their A-game in the third though, with the Pats scoring three power play goals in a 7:26 span to burst the game wide open. Dawson Davidson struck first, followed by Braydon Buziak and eventually Wyatt Sloboshan all scored to put the Pats up by three heading to the final period.
The third period would feature just one goal, with David Kope scoring the first of his Western Hockey League career to bring the Oil Kings within two.
Max Paddock had himself a strong start Sunday, making 37 saves to secure the victory while Boston Bilous and Travis Child combined to save 25 of the 30 shots sent their way.
The Pats will now return home to host the Kootenay ICE Wednesday while the Oil Kings will host the Seattle Thunderbirds Thursday.
Red Deer Rebels (4) at Kootenay ICE (5) OT
Red Deer (8-6-1-0) // Kootenay (7-7-1-0)
Montreal Canadiens prospect Cale Fleury scored on the power play in overtime to end a four-game home stand with a 5-4 overtime win over the Red Deer Rebels Sunday. With it, the ICE ended a four-game home stand with a 3-1 record.
Colton Kroeker had a goal and four points while Alec Baer contributed a goal and three points in the ICE’s seventh win over the season as they scored a win against a divisional rival ahead of them in the standings.
Fleury opened the scoring 69 seconds into the first period, but Chris Douglas got the Rebels on the board 6:51 later to even up the game. That deadlock wouldn’t last long though, with Cameron Hausinger scoring 2:56 later to restore the one-goal lead.
The ICE added to their lead in the second as Kroeker potted his seventh goal of the season to put the ICE up by two. The Rebels had plenty of fight in them though, with Kristian Reichel and Austin Pratt scoring 2:20 apart to tie the game up.
With things remaining tied until the late stages of the third, the Rebels struck with 2:21 left to go ahead on Reese Johnson’s fifth of the season. Fortunately for the ICE, Baer scored his fourth of the season 40 seconds later to push the game to overtime, setting the stage for Fleury’s winner.
Kurtis Chapman made 22 saves on 26 shots while Byron Fancy made a similar amount of saves on 27 shots against.
The ICE will now embark on a three-game road trip starting Wednesday against the Regina Pats. Up next for the Rebels is a home date against the Seattle Thunderbirds Wednesday.
WESTERN CONFERENCE WILD CARD
EASTERN CONFERENCE WILD CARD