October 9, 2017
by Robert Murray
Here’s a wrap of the Sunday games in the Western Hockey League this weekend.
Victoria Royals and Swift Current Broncos lead the league with 6-0-0 records. Portland Winterhawks are at 5-1-0 and Kelowna Rockets are 4-1-0-1 SOL.
(Scroll down to see standings).
Seattle Thunderbirds (4) at Kamloops Blazers (3)
Seattle (3-2-0-1) // Kamloops (0-8-0-0)
Four different skaters scored for the Thunderbirds Sunday as they rebounded from a loss Saturday to take two important points out of their game against the Kamloops Blazers.
Austin Strand and Noah Philp each had a goal and an assist while Jarret Tyszka had a pair of assists.
Jackson Shepard opened the scoring for the home side 5:35 into the contest, but Philp answered back six minutes later to keep the team’s tied after 20 minutes.
The second period saw the most action with the teams combining for five goals. Strand opened the scoring 1:52 into the period. Brodi Stuart pulled the Blazers even with the Thunderbirds at the 7:02 mark, but Reece Harsch answered back 52 seconds later to keep the T-Birds on top. Nick Chyzowski scored 28 seconds later to tie up the game again, but Sami Moilanen potted his seventh of the season four minutes later to round out the scoring.
Matt Berlin was the latest goaltender to prevent the Blazers from scoring their first win of the season, making 11 saves in the third period to finish with 32 saves on the day. Max Palaga took the loss for the Blazers.
The Thunderbirds will head home to host the Vancouver Giants Tuesday while the Blazers will seek out a win against the Calgary Hitmen on home ice Wednesday.
Spokane Chiefs (2) at Portland Winterhawks (7)
Spokane (4-3-0-0) // Portland (5-1-0-0)
The Portland Winterhawks continued to offensively dominate their opponents Sunday, putting up seven goals on the Spokane Chiefs.
Ryan Hughes and Skyler McKenzie each contributed a pair of goals while Conor MacEachern finished with a goal and two assists. Cody Glass and Ty Kolle each added a pair of assists in the win. Henri Jokiharju and Keoni Texeira also scored in Portland’s fifth victory of the season.
Portland struck for four goals in the second period of Sunday’s matchup. Riley Woods scored in the first for the Chiefs while Eli Zummack scored his second goal of the year in the third.
The two teams meet back in Portland on Tuesday to wrap up a two-game set.
Brandon Wheat Kings (5) at Calgary Hitmen (3)
Brandon (4-2-0-1) // Calgary (1-4-1-0)
The Brandon Wheat Kings completed a sweep of their first three-in-three road trip Sunday in Calgary, downing the Hitmen.
Baron Thompson had a pair of goals, including the game-winner while Ty Lewis chipped in with a goal and two assists.
On a day when fatigue may have been a permissible excuse for the Wheat Kings, they came out firing in the first period, potting three goals past Nick Schneider to swing the game in their favour.
At the other end of the ice, Logan Thompson was rock solid for Brandon, making 38 saves on 41 shots for his third win of the season.
Gunnar Wegleitner, Kade Jensen and Lewis all scored for the Wheat Kings in the first while Thompson tallied his first of the game as the lone goal of the second to put the visitors up 4-0.
The Hitmen found their fire in the third period. Jakob Stukel scored his third of the season 6:17 into the final period, though the Wheat Kings had an immediate answer with Thompson’s second of the game 85 seconds later.
Matteo Gennaro would add a pair of power play goals late in the game to make the score respectable.
The Wheat Kings will now open up a stretch that will see them play five of their next six games at home beginning Wednesday against Edmonton. The Hitmen will begin a three-game road trip Tuesday in Prince George.
Everett Silvertips (1) at Edmonton Oil Kings (5)
Everett (3-4-0-0) // Edmonton (3-4-0-0)
Trey Fix-Wolansky had a pair of goals as part of a three-point game and Josh Dechaine made 22 saves as the Edmonton Oil Kings defended their home turf against the Everett Silvertips Sunday.
Connor McDonald opened the scoring 9:12 into the first period and Fix-Wolansky scored 99 seconds later to tally the eventual game-winner. Davis Koch added his third of the season to pour on the offence. Kemp and Fix-Wolansky scored in the third period while Kevin Davis once again supplied the only goal for the Silvertips, this time in the losing effort.
Dorrin Luding stopped 15 of the 19 shots he faced while Kyle Dumba stopped seven of the eight shots he saw in 18-and-a-half minutes of action.
Dechaine was the superior goaltender Sunday though, stopping the first 17 shots he faced through 40 minutes before allowing one goal on the six shots he faced in the third period for his first win of the season. Tomas Soustal picked up his first points with his new club, drawing a trio of assists.
The Oil Kings are back in action Wednesday on the road against the Brandon Wheat Kings. The Silvertips continue their road trip in Red Deer against the Rebels
Swift Current Broncos (4) at Moose Jaw Warriors (3)
Swift Current (6-0-0-0) // Moose Jaw (5-1-0-0)
The battle of the two remaining undefeated teams in the Eastern Conference lived up to the billing, with the Broncos escaping with a 4-3 win to win the first battle of the season between the two clubs.
The usual suspects on Swift Current’s side factored into the scoring Sunday, but it was Connor Chaulk’s goal midway through the third period that stood up as the game-winner at Mosaic Place.
Tyler Steenbergen scored his league-leading 13th goals of the season while Aleksi Heponiemi had a goal and an assist. Glenn Gawdin was held scoreless, but did earn a pair of assists to keep his point streak alive. Kole Gable earned his first point of the season, assisting on the game-winner Sunday.
Heponiemi and Jayden Halbgewachs traded goals in the first period to keep the teams close. The Broncos took control in the second as both Steenbergen and Sahvan Khaira added goals in the middle period. Noah Gregor brought the Warriors within one early in the third, but Chaulk’s winner came shortly after.
Jett Woo added his third goal of the season with 3:42 to go, but the Warriors could put the equalizer past Logan Flodell, who made 31 saves for the victory. Brody Willms made 25 saves as the Warriors took the loss.
The Broncos open up a three-game home stand Tuesday when the Lethbridge Hurricanes come to the Credit Union I-Plex. For the Warriors, they’ll remain at home to host the Edmonton Oil Kings next Thursday.
Standings October, 8, 2017
WESTERN CONFERENCE WILD CARD
EASTERN CONFERENCE WILD CARD