WHL Roundup: Skinner stands tall against Winterhawks, Warriors first to reach 20 wins

in Other News, regular season


Photos: Cindy Adachi/Stephen Simon

By Robert Murray

Victoria Royals (4) at Moose Jaw Warriors (7)
Victoria (18-9-1-0) // Moose Jaw (20-5-0-1)

After having their three-game winning streak snapped Saturday, the Moose Jaw Warriors ensured that they wouldn’t fall further in the win column. 

Justin Almeida had a hat trick and four points, Jayden Halbgewachs had a pair of goals and an assist and both Tanner Jeannot and captain Brett Howden (Tampa Bay Lightning), had a goal and three assists each in a 7-4 victory.

The offensive output wasn’t surprising, with the top two offences in the league meeting for their lone matchup of the season between the division leaders.

In the first, the Warriors and Royals traded goals to keep the score even at 2-2 after 20 minutes. In the second, Jared Legien scored his first of two goals in the game to open the period, but the Warriors responded with two goals of their own later in the period to take the lead heading to the final frame.

Almeida opened the scoring in the third and completed his hat trick eight minutes later. Howden added the empty-net goal in the final seconds.

Brody Willms had a relatively light night against one of the league’s top offences, making 18 saves on 22 shots. Griffen Outhouse stopped 29 of the 35 shots sent his way in the game.

Jeremy Masella and Matthew Phillips (Calgary Flames) scored the other goals for the Royals. Mitchell Prowse and Dante Hannoun each added a pair of assists while Tyler Soy (Anaheim Ducks) picked up an assist to tie Brandon Magee for the most points in franchise history with 264.


Portland Winterhawks (3) at Lethbridge Hurricanes (4) — SO 
Portland (19-4-0-1) // Lethbridge (11-12-1-0)

For the first time in November, a team has topped the Portland Winterhawks.

That team just happened to be the Lethbridge Hurricanes, who received 44 saves from Stuart Skinner and a timely goal from Zane Franklin in the seventh round of the shootout to hand the Winterhawks their first defeat since Oct. 29.

Ilijah Colina and Henri Jokiharju (Chicago Blackhawks) opened up a 2-0 lead for the Winterhawks early in the second, but the Hurricanes came back with the 14th goal of the season from Jordy Bellerive (Pittsburgh Penguins) to keep the two teams close heading to the third.

CHL Player of the Week Cody Glass restored the two-goal lead for Portland early in the third, but goals from Franklin and Bellerive’s second of the game forced things into extra time.

After overtime solved nothing, the teams headed for a shootout. Joachim Blichfeld (San Jose Sharks) and Bellerive traded goals in the first round of the shootout, followed by 10 straight misses.

In the seventh round, Franklin finally broke through while Colina was denied on the final shot of the game to hand the Hurricanes their fourth victory in a row.

2018 NHL Draft Prospect Calen Addison finished with a pair of assists. Keoni Texeira finished with a pair of helpers for the Winterhawks.

The night belonged to Stuart Skinner (Edmonton Oilers), who stopped 44 shots in regulation and overtime, followed by six more in the shootout to claim his 10th victory of the season. Cole Kehler stopped 21 shots in the shootout loss, dropping his record to 16-2-0-1 this season.

Brandon Wheat Kings (6) at Red Deer Rebels (5) — OT 
Brandon (16-7-0-1) // Red Deer (9-15-3-0)

Never count out the Brandon Wheat Kings.

A furious third period comeback was capped off in overtime by Stelio Mattheos (Carolina Hurricanes) as the Wheat Kings improved to 7-3 in their last 10 games with a 6-5 victory in overtime.

Cole Reinhardt opened the scoring for Brandon midway through the first period, but it was all Rebels in the moments following. The home side reeled off five goals, including four in the second period, to quickly take over the momentum.

Reese Johnson had a pair of those goals as the Rebels jumped out to their lead, as the four goals came in a 16:07 span.

For as much as they lacked in the second period, the Wheat Kings made up for it in the third. Like clockwork, Brandon chipped away at the lead with four goals of their own in a 12:41 span. Connor Gutenberg’s seventh of the season came on the power play, followed by Evan Weinger’s seventh 89 seconds later.

Reinhardt added his second of the game in the second half of the period and Mattheos scored the game-tying goal short-handed with 1:44 to go as the Wheat Kings pushed for extra time.

What followed in overtime was a magnificent end-to-end battle by both teams, with Riley Lamb and Dylan Myskiw both equal to the task. Then in the dying moments of overtime, Mattheos charged to the front of the net with the puck and eventually whacked it past Lamb for the game-winner and his 18th of the season.

Ty Lewis (Colorado Avalanche) finished with three assists. Caiden Daley and Wheat Kings captain Tanner Kaspick (St. Louis Blues) each had two assists. Rebels captain Grayson Pawlenchuk had a pair of assists in the loss.

Myskiw picked up his third win of the season after making 35 saves. Lamb stopped 27 shots in the overtime loss.

Seattle Thunderbirds (3) at Vancouver Giants (4) — OT
Seattle (11-11-2-1) // Vancouver (11-12-2-2)

Tyler Benson (Edmonton Oilers) scored with 1:27 to go in overtime Tuesday, helping to complete a comeback by the Vancouver Giants at home against the 2017 Ed Chynoweth Cup champions.

Goals from Zack Andrusiak and Jarrett Tyszka (Montreal Canadiens) had the Seattle Thunderbirds up 2-1 on the Giants after 40 minutes, with a goal from Aidan Barfoot, the home side’s lone offence to lay claim to.

That all changed in the third as Milos Roman scored on the power play 5:24 into the final period to tie up the game. Noah Philp put the T-Birds ahead by a goal once again, but the giants remained steadfast in their desire for two points.

Ty Ronning (New York Rangers) scored his 25th goal of the season equalling his total from 67 games last season, evening up the score with 1:26 to go in the game.

That pushed things into the extra period, where Benson completed the comeback on a goal assisted by Dawson Holt.

Todd Scott kept his team in the game, making 33 saves while Matt Berlin made 22 stops in the overtime loss.

Saskatoon Blades (5) at Tri-City Americans (2)
Saskatoon (10-12-2-1) // Tri-City (14-8-2-0)

The Saskatoon Blades started their road trip through the Pacific Northwest by taking down one of the top teams in the Western Conference Tuesday, beating the Tri-City Americans by a 5-2 final.

Cameron Hebig had a goal and two assists while Josh Paterson added a goal and an assist and Kirby Dach and Evan Fiala each added a pair of helpers. Nolan Maier stopped 26 shots for his second career victory.

Hebig and Paterson put the Blades up 2-0 on the Americans before the midway mark of the first period, but a Nolan Yaremko goal helped cut the lead to one after 20 minutes.

Caleb Fantillo’s seventh goal of the season and Paycen Bjorklund traded goals in the second to keep the Americans down by one heading to the third.

That would be as close as the Americans would get though, with goals from Bradly Goethals and Braylon Shmyr adding onto the Blades’ lead in the third.

Patrick Dea had another strong performance, stopping 38 of 42 shots sent his way, though he ultimately came out with the loss.